News diary 1-7 August: Sky News Tory debate, New York Times results

News diary 1-7 August: Sky News Tory leadership debate, New York Times results and David Trimble funeral

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A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News.

Leading the week

The gloves came off during a suitably dramatic first full week of campaigning as Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss squared off in TV debates and elaborated on the policies that they hope will sway the Tory party members who will decide which candidate gets the keys to No.10 in September. Monday’s BBC debate between the pair was a feisty affair, with testy clashes over inflation and taxes likely to have further worried Parliamentary colleagues about the impact of blue-on-blue attacks on the party’s reputation as it moves on from Boris Johnson’s leadership. After a second head-to-head this week was unfortunately cut short when TalkTV host Kate McCann fainted, the stage is set for a Sky News debate on Thursday (August 4).

Truss and Sunak have also had the opportunity to get more specific on regional issues (and Love Island) as membership hustings started this week. Having had a go at proving which of them is more northern for the first event in Leeds, they’ll need to come up with some new angles for this week’s hustings in Exeter, Cardiff and Eastbourne (August 1, 3 and 5 respectively). Next week’s events represent the final opportunity for the candidates to generate favourable headlines before ballots are sent out to members by Friday (August 5), and we could see the contest intensify as the former Cabinet colleagues seek to gain the upper hand in the early stages of voting.

The funeral of former Northern Ireland First Minister David Trimble takes place in Lisburn on Monday (August 1) following his death on July 25 at the age of 77. Lord Trimble played an instrumental role in the negotiations surrounding the Good Friday Agreement; among countless tributes from across the globe, Tony Blair described Lord Trimble’s contribution to the UK and Northern Ireland as ‘immense, unforgettable, and frankly irreplaceable’, while former US President Bill Clinton said that his ‘lifetime of service helped bring peace to Northern Ireland’. A special session of the Northern Ireland Assembly also takes place on Tuesday (August 2) for Members to pay tribute.

The new Premier League season kicks off in London on Friday (August 5) as Crystal Palace welcome Arsenal to Selhurst Park. Liverpool, last year’s bridesmaids in both the Premier League and the Champions League, begin their campaign away to Fulham on Saturday (August 6) while defending champions Manchester City face West Ham on Sunday (August 7). Other highlights across the weekend include newcomers Nottingham Forest facing Newcastle in their first Premier League match for 23 years, while Erik Ten Hag takes charge of his first home game as Manchester United manager on Sunday as Brighton visit Old Trafford.

Looking abroad

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan travels to Sochi on Friday (August 5) to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, their second meeting in just over two weeks. Erdogan’s relationship with Putin has allowed Ankara to take a leading diplomatic role in the Ukraine conflict – Turkey hosted talks with both sides and the UN last week, which led to the signing of the Black Sea Grain Initiative on Friday and the inauguration of a Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul earlier this week to organise the safe resumption of grain exports from Ukraine. Officials are hoping the first ship could leave as early as today, but the agreement – which also helps to smooth the way for Russian fertiliser and food exports – is expected to feature prominently on the agenda.

Southeast Asian foreign ministers wrap up a week of meetings in Phnom Penh on Friday (August 5) with the ASEAN Regional Forum, which includes 11 partner countries for talks on Indo-Pacific security. There’s no shortage of regional issues to discuss: North Korea-watchers are concerned that Pyongyang is once again refusing to send a high-level representative as the country looks to be preparing another nuclear test, while Myanmar’s foreign minister had already been excluded from the meetings before four high-profile activists and politicians were executed this week despite ASEAN’s plea to reconsider their sentences. But there will be a fair amount of attention on the sidelines of the gathering, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov both due to attend. The pair avoided each other at last month’s G20 meeting in Bali, but there is speculation that a meeting could be on the cards next week after Blinken announced plans for a call to discuss a potential prisoner swap to secure the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner and former US Marine Paul Whelan.

Also look out for…

August 1

  • Strike action by BT Group workers and criminal barristers
  • China assumes UN Security Council presidency
  • Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) in High Court hearing
  • 10th NPT Review Conference opens

August 2

  • Health Select Committee report on body image and mental health
  • Hashem Abedi’s brother in court over failed inquiry appearance
  • Brittney Griner trial continues
  • BP results

August 3

  • Northern Ireland Assembly recall sitting to elect new Speaker
  • OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial meetings
  • 100m finals at Commonwealth Games
  • The Hundred (cricket) competition begins

August 4

  • UK interest rate decision and Monetary Policy Report
  • Viktor Orban opens CPAC Texas
  • Nigerian senator in court over alleged organ harvesting
  • ASEAN foreign ministers meeting

August 5

  • Boris Johnson’s premiership surpasses Theresa May’s
  • Archbishop of Canterbury keynote address to Lambeth Conference
  • Edinburgh International Festival opens

August 6

  • Brighton Pride Parade
  • London Triathlon

August 7

  • Lambeth Conference closing service
  • New Colombian President’s term begins
  • British MotoGP
  • Ashura

Statistics, reports and results

August 1

  • Hong Kong GDP Q2
  • Results from: HSBC

August 2

  • NIESR quarterly economic forecast
  • Results from: Uber, Starbucks, PayPal

August 3

  • Deaths related to drug poisoning 2021
  • UK services PMI
  • Results from: Taylor Wimpey, Société Générale, BMW, eBay, New York Times Co.

August 4

  • ONS data on long covid
  • Results from: Next plc, Glencore, Lufthansa, ConocoPhillips, Alibaba

August 5

  • HMICFRS reports on national child protection inspection
  • FAO Food Price Index
  • Results from: AngloGold Ashanti

Anniversaries and awareness days

August 1

  • PLA Day (China)
  • Yorkshire Day
  • World Breastfeeding Week begins (runs to August 7)

August 3

  • Three years ago: El Paso mass shooting
  • 55 years ago: Aberfan Disaster Tribunal findings

August 4

  • National Cycle to Work Day
  • Barack Obama turns 61
  • Duchess of Sussex turns 41
  • Two years ago: Beirut explosion
  • Three years ago: Dayton mass shooting

August 5

  • International Beer Day
  • National Underwear Day

August 7

  • One month ago: Boris Johnson resigned Conservative leadership

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

Picture: Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration 

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