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May 10, 2024

News diary 13 – 19 May: Covid inquiry examines Northern Irish govt, Cannes, RAJARs

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

By Foresight News

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

Leading the week:

Michelle O’Neill’s role in the Covid-19 pandemic as then-Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland is set to be closely examined next week as she appears at the UK’s pandemic inquiry for an all-day session on Tuesday (May 14).

The now-First Minister is likely to face questioning over her attendance at the funeral of senior IRA figure Bobby Storey in June 2020 – an event which Alliance Party leader Naomi Long told the inquiry last week led to a loss of “cohesion” in the Executive amid suggestions lockdown rules were broken for the occasion.

O’Neill may also be asked about the absence of Conor Murphy, a former finance minister who she appointed to the economy brief after the reformation of the Executive earlier this year, after he told the inquiry this week that he wouldn’t appear on medical grounds. 

Former DUP leader and pandemic-era First Minister Arlene Foster is then quizzed on Wednesday (May 15), when she can be expected to expand on her previous remarks, made to the inquiry in 2023, that the UK Government should have stepped in to aid the region’s pandemic planning given there was no functioning executive between 2017 and 2020. Foster is followed by former Permanent Secretary at Stormont’s finance department and current Labour Party Chief of Staff Sue Gray, who appears on Thursday (May 16). 

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The arrival of warmer weather may not be enough to keep the nation away from their TVs with a number of top sporting events to watch next week. On Saturday (May 18), lineal world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury aims to become undisputed champion by beating Oleksandr Usyk in their clash in Riyadh.

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The fight, which will cost fans around £25 to watch on pay-per-view, was rescheduled in February due to Fury suffering a cut in sparring. The winner is rumoured to be taking home more than $100m (£80m) for the fight, but whoever comes out on top won’t be able to rest on their laurels with a guaranteed rematch pencilled in for October 12 or 13. Anthony Joshua is also seeking a fight with the winner in the near future, which could take place at Wembley Stadium should Fury prove victorious. 

On Sunday (May 19) another Premier League season comes to a close. The title race may well go to the wire: at the time of writing, Arsenal hold a slender advantage over champions Manchester City, who have a game in hand over the Gunners.

Relegation to the Championship could also be decided, with Nottingham Forest, who have had points deducted due to controversial PSR rules, one of the teams facing the drop. It will also be an emotional day in Liverpool, with the Reds saying goodbye to manager Jurgen Klopp after the Premier League and Champions League winner announced in January he would be stepping down from the job and taking a sabbatical from football. Dutchman Arne Slot has been announced as his replacement for next season. 

Looking abroad: 

Lawmakers in Georgia are scheduled for the third and final reading of the country’s controversial “foreign agents” bill on Friday (May 17). The legislation has prompted major pro-European Union protests amid fears the legislation will be used to crack down on free speech and opposition voices ahead elections expected at the end of October, as well as damaging Georgia’s prospects of joining the EU. Although Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili has said she will veto the bill, the ruling Georgian Dream party and its allies have the votes to override a veto. 

Cannes Film Festival opens in France’s Côte d’Azur on Tuesday (May 14) amid swirling rumours this year’s gathering may be upended by the publication of a list of figures from the French film industry accused of sexual impropriety. Last year’s festival featured premieres of three films which went on to receive nods for Best Picture at the Oscars, and there are a slate of releases from major directors this year that could repeat that feat, along with an out of competition premiere for the latest instalment of the Mad Max franchise.  

Cinema great Francis Ford Coppola is among nominees for the prestigious Palme d’Or for his latest Megalopolis, alongside auteur David Cronenberg and Poor Things director Yórgos Lánthimos. Screen legend Meryl Streep, meanwhile, is set to receive an honorary award at the opening ceremony on Tuesday in what will only be her second ever appearance at the festival after the event opens with a comedy by French filmmaker Quentin Dupieux. The Palme d’Or is awarded at the festival’s conclusion on May 25

Also look out for: 

May 13 

  • House of Commons debate on exclusion of MPs 
  • House of Lords debates Post Office Horizon offences bill 
  • Robert Jenrick discussion with Popular Conservatism 
  • Andrew Mitchell speech on UK foreign aid 
  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Kyriakos Mitsotakis meet in Ankara 

May 14 

  • Keir Starmer hosts meeting with trade unions on workers’ rights 
  • UK Farm to Fork Summit 
  • UK co-hosts trade expo in Saudi Arabia 
  • UK unemployment and wage stats 
  • Theresa May delivers inaugural Churchill-Attlee lecture 
  • Grant Shapps addresses First Sea Lord’s Sea Power Conference 
  • GCHQ and HCSC heads at CYBERUK conference 
  • Elbow gig at Co-op Live Arena 
  • Tottenham Hotspur host Manchester City in the Premier League 
  • Google I/O begins 

May 15 

  • Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer at PMQs and Criminal Justice Bill debate 
  • House of Lords debates renters reform bill 
  • Ben Bernanke at committee session on Bank of England forecasting 
  • Bim Afolami speech on the future of UK finance 
  • Inquest into death of Georgia May Brooke 
  • ECHR hearings in Caster Semenya sporting regulations case 
  • Court hearing for pair charged over Sycamore Gap tree felling 
  • Palestinian Nakba Day 

May 16 

  • David Cameron co-chairs EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement Partnership Council meeting 
  • NATO Chiefs of Defence meeting 
  • Deadline for Israeli government response to Haredi conscription plan 
  • Hearing in Thirlwall independent inquiry into Lucy Letby murders 
  • Christie’s auctions Monet’s Moulin De Limetz painting 
  • US PGA Championship begins 

May 17 

  • Boeing Starliner manned launch scheduled 
  • David Lammy speech to IfG on foreign policy 
  • Sentencing of man guilty of Hartlepool terror murder 
  • Council of Europe’s annual foreign ministers’ meeting 
  • FIFA announces 2027 Women’s World Cup hosts 
  • New Billie Eilish album released 

May 18 

  • Stop the War / Palestine Solidarity Campaign demonstrations 
  • Ed Davey at Scottish Liberal Democrats Spring conference 
  • Donald Trump addresses NRA-ILA leadership forum 
  • Bolton Wanderers face Oxford United in League One playoff final 

May 19 

  • Joe Biden addresses NAACP Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner 
  • Dominican Republic general election 
  • Education World Forum opens 
  • US PGA Championship final round 
  • Italian Grand Prix 
  • League Two playoff final 

Statistics, reports and results: 

May 13 

  • Banking on Climate Chaos: 2024 report 
  • UN World Wildlife Crime report 
  • Results from: SoftBank Group 

May 14 

  • Global Report on Internal Displacement 
  • OECD Digital Economy Outlook 
  • Monthly NOAA global climate report 
  • OPEC monthly oil markets report 
  • Flash UK productivity estimate 
  • Universal Credit stats 
  • Results from: Sony, Alibaba, Bayer AG, Tencent Holdings, Vodafone Group, Flutter, Porsche, Veolia, Currys 

May 15 

  • Annual foodbank figures from Trussell Trust 
  • Stats on UK’s carbon footprint to 2021 
  • Flash estimate EU/euro area GDP 
  • US consumer price index 
  • IEA monthly oil market report 
  • Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 
  • Results from: E.ON, RWE, TUI group, Commerzbank, ThyssenKrupp, Greggs, Experian, Cisco, Imperial Tobacco Group, Compass Group, Britvic, Burberry 

May 16 

  • UN World Economic Situation and Prospects: mid-year update 
  • Annual stats on accommodation in secure children’s homes 
  • Annual stats on fraud and error in the benefit system 
  • Annual Northern Ireland crime figures 
  • Quarterly knife crime and criminal justice stats 
  • Quarterly mortgage and landlord possession figures 
  • Japan and Israel Q1 GDP 
  • Forbes Highest-Earning Athletes 
  • RAJAR listening figures 
  • Results from: BT Group, easyJet, Siemens, Swiss Re, Walmart, United Utilities, Take-Two Interactive 

May 17 

  • China monthly economic data 
  • EU inflation 
  • 2023 Travel Trends 
  • IEA Critical Minerals Outlook 
  • Results from: Land Securities Group 

Anniversaries and awareness days 

May 13 

  • One month ago: Iranian attack on Israel 
  • Israel Memorial Day (Yom Hazikaron) 
  • Mental Health Awareness Week (to May 19) 
  • Dementia Action Week (to May 19) 
  • Wales Tourism Week (to May 19) 
  • Foster Care Fortnight (to May 26) 
  • National Smile Month (to June 13) 

May 14 

  • Israel Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut) 

May 15 

  • Palestinian Nakba Day 
  • International Day of Families 

May 16 

  • British Sandwich Week (to May 22) 

May 17 

  • Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia 
  • Endangered Species Day 
  • World Telecommunication Day 
  • World Hypertension Day 
  • Two years ago: US Covid-19 death toll reached one million 
  • 70 years ago: Brown v Board of Education ruling desegregated US schools 

May 18 

  • HIV Vaccine Awareness Day 
  • World Whisky Day 
  • International Museum Day 
  • National Doughnut Week (to May 26) 

May 19 

  • Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day (Turkey) 

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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