Foresight News rounds up the key events that need to be in your news diary this week…
Monday 6 December
Deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi may get decisions in two cases brought against her following the coup in February, with guilty verdicts expected in both after trials that have largely been held in secret. Suu Kyi is accused of inciting dissent against the military after she was taken into custody, and of breaking COVID-19 restrictions during the 2020 election campaign by waving to a passing convoy of supporters from her home, which authorities have dubbed an illegal campaign rally. The verdicts could be delayed again as the government files further charges against her, most recently on accusations of corruption.
- July 1, 2022
- June 17, 2022
- June 10, 2022
Global business and political leaders gather for the annual Wall Street Journal CEO Council summit. Featuring US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the two-day gathering focuses on current economic and political challenges. Issues on the agenda include the climate crisis, COVID-19, global supply chains and the influence of China and Russia. The emergence of the Omicron variant and its impact on international markets and policy making is likely to dominate.
Newly appointed defence chief Sir Tony Radakin appears at the Royal United Services Institute to deliver his first public address since becoming Chief of the Defence Staff. The speech is certain to be closely watched by both Britain’s allies and adversaries, as the Admiral discusses challenges facing the UK’s armed forces as well as broader security concerns. Radakin’s predecessor used his final days in office to warn of the threat posed by Russia, as well as the emergence of “unconventional” security threats.
The pick of this week’s select committee calendar sees Tracey Crouch appear before the DCMS committee to discuss her review of football governance, which made several fan-friendly recommendations in its final report last month. Sports minister Nigel Huddlestone said the government backed proposals such as the creation of an independent football regulator, though Premier League clubs are reportedly less keen on the introduction of a new transfer tax.
Elsewhere on the committee corridor, Alok Sharma is quizzed by the Environmental Audit Committee on COP26 outcomes, the Prime Minister’s special representative Nigel Casey and former Ambassador Sir Laurie Bristow discuss the government’s policy on Afghanistan, FCA chief Nikhil Rathi is before the Treasury Committee and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab discusses human rights with the JCHR.
Olaf Scholz is set to officially become Germany’s next Chancellor when lawmakers in the Bundestag hold a vote on the country’s new ruling coalition of the SPD, Greens, and FDP. Under the coalition agreement, the Greens co-leader Annalena Baerbock will be the next foreign minister, while the FDP’s Christian Lindner will take over from Scholz as finance minister. Scholz will have big shoes to fill and faces a raft of challenges, not least managing mooted plans for mandatory vaccines and the country’s fourth coronavirus wave.
The Ashes Series begins in Brisbane as England look to end their decade-long wait for a series win in Australia. Both sides have seen their fair share of turbulence in the buildup to the series; the sport in England continues to be engulfed by the ongoing racism scandal, while Australian captain Tim Paine opted to resign following an investigation into inappropriate text messages. The teams play a total of five tests and conclude the series in January.
Plymouth Coroner Court holds separate inquest hearings into the deaths of Jake Davison and his five victims, who were killed when the 22-year-old launched a shooting spree in the city in August. Davison shot his mother Maxine, and then targeted Stephen Washington, Kate Shepherd, Lee Martyn and Sophie Martyn before turning his gun on himself. Police confirmed following the shooting that Davison was a licensed gun carrier, adding that the incident was “domestically related”.
US President Joe Biden hosts the inaugural Summit for Democracy, a virtual gathering of world leaders centered around defending against authoritarianism, fighting corruption and advancing human rights. Representatives from over a hundred countries have been invited to participate. The inclusion of Taiwan has prompted criticism from China, which has accused the US of emboldening supporters of Taiwanese independence, while Russia and Hungary have been excluded. An in-person summit is planned for next year to showcase progress made on this year’s commitments.
The London-based Uyghur Tribunal, which has been investigating whether China’s treatment of the Muslim minority group constitutes genocide, is set to deliver its verdict this morning following two sets of hearings over the past year. Tribunal chair Sir Geoffrey Nice QC will read out the non-binding judgment, which could form the basis for future legal action against China. Beijing vehemently denies claims it is mistreating the Uyghurs and has described the tribunal as a “kangaroo court”.
The 2021 Nobel Prize ceremonies take place in Oslo. This year’s joint Nobel Peace Prize winner, Rappler co-founder Maria Ressa, may become the third-ever laureate to be barred from attending the ceremony – Filipino Solicitor General Joe Calida has filed his objection to her attendance, describing Ressa as a “flight risk”. Ressa and Russian journalist Dmitri Muratov (both pictured) were awarded the prize for their “courageous fight for freedom of expression”.
Shareholders in the energy giant Royal Dutch Shell vote on proposals for a restructuring which the company says is designed to increase competitiveness and speed up its transition to net zero (handily timed after the decision to pull out of the Cambo oilfield). The plan would see the company scrap its complex share structure and shift tax residency from the Netherlands to Britain, with a rebrand to Shell plc completing the simplification. The changes may still not be enough for some investors, with the Third Point group likely to call for a wider break-up of the company’s assets.
Former US president Donald Trump begins what he is calling the “History Tour”, a series of events with disgraced former Fox pundit Bill O’Reilly, as he continues to welcome speculation of a potential run in 2024. Trump has promised the events will be “wonderful but hard-hitting sessions”, though in a reminder of the good old days, there is likely to be debate over the crowd size at the events amid reports of slow ticket sales.
A busy week for the International Olympic Committee begins with an executive board meeting and concludes with today’s pre-Beijing Olympic Summit. There’s much for IOC officials to discuss, with the threat of a US boycott and complaints over reporting conditions causing concern even before the emergence of a new international travel-disrupting Covid variant. The IOC’s handling of China’s treatment of Peng Shuai, in contrast to the WTA response, is only adding to the controversy which threatens to overshadow next year’s Winter Games.
Sunday 12 December
The Formula One season concludes in Abu Dhabi as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton reach the final leg of their battle for the world championship. The pair are currently separated by just eight points at the top of the standings, meaning anything less than a win would likely end either man’s title hopes. Verstappen is yet to win a world title in Formula One, while Hamilton stands on the brink of history by becoming the first driver to clinch eight F1 championships.
The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.
Picture: Euku/Wikimedia and Reuters/Eloisa Lopez