News diary 7-13 March: Andrew Marr starts at LBC, Sky's Beth Rigby launches interview slot, and Ukraine takes Russia to International Court of Justice - Press Gazette

News diary 7-13 March: Andrew Marr starts at LBC, Sky's Beth Rigby launches interview slot, and Ukraine takes Russia to International Court of Justice

Andrew Marr leaves BBC to join LBC

Foresight News rounds up the key events that need to be in your news diary this week…

MONDAY

A two-day initial hearing begins in a case brought by Ukraine against Russia at the International Court of Justice relating to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Specifically, this case concerns an effort by Ukraine to establish that Russian claims that Ukraine had committed acts of genocide in the Donbass, used to justify its intervention in the country, are false. The case is separate to the investigation opened by International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan last week into whether possible war crimes are being committed in Ukraine.

In other Ukraine-related news, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is hosting his Dutch and Canadian counterparts for talks on the crisis Monday, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken continues his tour of Europe with a stop in Latvia. Liz Truss appears before the Foreign Affairs Committee for a session that was postponed from last week, and will expect to face questions on what further action the government is prepared to take after introducing a new round of sanctions against Russia and Belarus.

Former BBC Sunday Morning stalwart Andrew Marr (pictured) fronts the first edition of his new radio show on LBC. With allegations that the BBC is cracking down on presenters not sticking to impartiality guidelines, Marr said he is aiming to “ruffle feathers”, warning viewers not to expect bland, predictable political journalism. Fellow high-profile broadcasters Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel have also recently been lured away from the corporation.

[Read more: Andrew Marr goes from BBC star to newbie reporter – ‘I want the notebook in my back pocket’]

TUESDAY

The annual CERAWeek energy conference runs over four days this week with the usual mix of CEOs and high-level policymakers scheduled to address attendees. There’s likely to be plenty of discussion throughout the event about the medium-to long-term effects of Russia’s warmongering on energy markets, though the pick of the agenda may be today’s speech by BP CEO Bernard Looney in the wake of the company’s decision to exit its stake in Rosneft.

Sir Michael Barber publishes the findings of his long-awaited strategic review of policing in England and Wales, likely to be a difficult read for the country’s police leaders. In a recent speech, Barber pressed home the need for “fundamental reforms” to address a public “crisis of confidence”, adding that Britain’s tradition of policing by consent is now at serious risk. The report is also expected to call for the root and branch modernisation of crime-fighting technologies and the creation of new training regimes for officers.

The US House Select Committee on Intelligence holds its annual hearing on worldwide threats, featuring testimony from the heads of all the major intelligence agencies, including the FBI and CIA. The national and international security implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine will undoubtedly dominate, including the heightened threat of cyber attacks in response to sanctions. Russia’s increasingly close ties with China and North Korea’s recent missile testing are also likely to be discussed.

Today is also International Women’s Day, this year running under the theme #BreaktheBias, encouraging action to identify and call out gender bias, discrimination, and stereotyping.

WEDNESDAY

Anti-racism campaign group Hope not Hate releases its annual “State of Hate” report, documenting domestic and international developments in the far-right movement over the last 12 months. Last year’s report warned the coronavirus pandemic had accelerated the far-right’s evolution into a digital threat, highlighting the targeting of journalists and an “explosion” in conspiracy theories. This year’s report could also touch on the Russia-Ukraine war, as British authorities voice concerns far-right extremists may try to capitalise on the conflict to secure weapons and military training.

South Koreans elect a new president, with ruling Democratic Party candidate and Gyeonggi Governor Lee Jae-myung in a close race with his main rival, People Power Party candidate Yoon Suk-yeol. Yoon’s campaign received a boost last week when People Party candidate Ahn Cheol-soo withdrew from the race, throwing his support behind Yoon. Incumbent Moon Jae-in’s policy of engagement with North Korea appears to have yielded few tangible results and, if elected, Yoon is likely to push a tougher line with the DPRK.

THURSDAY

French President Emmanuel Macron, who last week confirmed his candidacy for a further term in elections next month, hosts European Union leaders for a two-day summit in Versailles. The gathering is one of the highlights of the French presidency of Council of the European Union, and was supposed to focus on “joint thinking on a new European model for growth, investment and employment” but is now set to be dominated by discussions on European energy independence and European defence given developments in Ukraine.

Another reshuffle in the news media schedule as Sky News’ Political Editor Beth Rigby hosts her first new primetime show, Beth Rigby Interviews…. The programme is part of a shake up at the channel in 2022, which sees Sophy Ridge return to her regular Sunday morning slot and the debut of veteran broadcaster Trevor Phillips’ two new shows, Common Ground and The Great Debate.

FRIDAY

Turkey hosts the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, featuring high-profile speakers including NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, EU High Representative Josep Borrell and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is also expected to attend, barring any last-minute changes, with the Turkish foreign ministry calling for a meeting on the sidelines between Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba. Having urged Russia to call off its military operation while refusing to impose sanctions on par with the rest of NATO, Turkey has positioned itself as a potential mediator in the conflict.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi delivers a keynote speech at the Association of School and College Leaders annual conference. Zahawi’s time in the post has been considerably less fraught than his predecessor’s (ASCL general secretary Geoff Barton expressed “surprise” at Williamson’s recent knighthood), but he drew the ire of teaching unions recently with new guidance on “particularly contentious and disputed” topics, which the ASCL said could deter open discussions in class.

SATURDAY

The Welsh Labour Party opens its first annual conference in three years, as First Minister Mark Drakeford delivers his keynote address. Drakeford has already made a series of flagship policy announcements ahead of the conference, including a plan to target second home owners with a 300% increase to their council tax bills. The First Minister has also confirmed plans to offer shelter to Ukrainian refugees fleeing the current Russia conflict, and has pledged £4 million in aid to help tackle the emerging humanitarian crisis.

Donald Trump holds a “Save America” rally in South Carolina. As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, Trump is expected to continue backpedaling his recent praise of President Vladimir Putin and instead criticise President Joe Biden’s response to the crisis. The former president, who is facing multiple civil and criminal investigations, is also likely to respond to the January 6 committee’s damning court filing stating that Trump violated federal law by engaging in a “criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States” in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

SUNDAY

The Liberal Democrats come into this year’s Spring conference on the back of a good year for the party, with two striking by-election victories leading to talk of a Yellow Wall forming in the south of England. Ed Davey delivers his leader’s speech today after a punchy interview with the i newspaper in which he said the party was getting ready to fight a general election and target seats outside of its southern base, with conference policy motions on tackling sleaze and the cost of living giving an indication of key battlegrounds for the party over the coming months.

The 2022 BAFTAs take place at The Royal Albert Hall. Science fiction action-adventure Dune leads the nominations followed by Kenneth Branagh’s semi auto-biographical drama Belfast and the Benedict Cumberbatch western Power of the Dog. This year’s ceremony will not feature an Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award following the allegations of sexual misconduct made against actor/director Noel Clarke and subsequent criticism of the BAFTA vetting process.

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

Picture: Global

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