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September 22, 2023

News diary 25 September – 1 October: CPS mulls Letby retrial, Jimmy Lai’s 1000th day in prison

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 

The case of the UK’s worst child serial killer of modern times, Lucy Letby, is back in the courts on Monday (25 September) as the Crown Prosecution Service decides whether to seek a retrial on six counts of attempted murder.

Disgraced former nurse Letby was given a whole-life prison term after being convicted of seven counts of murder and seven counts of attempted murder, using a variety of methods to kill babies on a hospital neo-natal ward.

The jury at Manchester Crown Court took weeks to convict Letby, but couldn’t reach a verdict on the remaining six charges. Given the decision is usually made on a public interest basis, the CPS could well order a retrial. Letby may also make her own plea at the hearing – after maintaining her innocence throughout trial, Letby filed an application for permission to appeal her convictions last week. An independent inquiry led by Lady Justice Thirlwall into Letby’s crimes is ongoing. 

The parents of a six-month-old girl take their battle to extend her life to High Court on Wednesday (27 September). Hospital bosses in Nottingham have appealed to end life-saving care for Indi Gregory, who suffers from a complex mitochondrial disease. Doctors have described the baby’s condition as incurable and said “the best modern medicine” could not help her.

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But Indi’s parents, Claire Staniforth and Dean Gregory, have disagreed with doctors’ assessments, saying their daughter “deserves a chance at life”. They have also received support from the family of Charlie Gard, who died from the same disease after his parents lost a High Court battle to take him abroad for treatment. A nine-month review into his and similar deaths of critically ill children in hospital found against changing the law to give parents a stronger say in treatments. 

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After Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised a new kind of thinking and politics over environmental issues on Wednesday, climate change is at the forefront of British politics again next week.

Sunak claimed the UK is a global leader on Net Zero and is well on track to reach the 2050 global target, so the International Energy Agency’s updated roadmap on Net Zero emissions, published on Tuesday (26 September), will provide interesting reading.

On Wednesday (27 September), the RSPB, in association with DEFRA and a coalition of wildlife and research organisations, publishes its State of Nature report, which acts as a health check on UK wildlife. The last report found 15% of species at risk of extinction.

Wildlife TV presenter Chris Packham leads a coalition of protesters to rally outside DEFRA HQ in response to the report on Thursday (28 September). And on Sunday (1 October), the Met Office is due to release monthly statistics on climate, which are expected to show this month was one of the hottest Septembers on record. 

Looking abroad 

It’s a huge week on Capitol Hill as US lawmakers face the 30 September cutoff to pass spending legislation and avert a government shutdown.

Next week’s funding deadline follows a dramatic week in the House amid increasingly bitter infighting among Republicans, which saw their leadership pull a planned rules vote on a doomed short-term continuing resolution before losing votes on Tuesday and then again on Thursday to move forward with a defence spending bill. 

With both the House and Senate now not due to reconvene until Tuesday (26 September), the prospect of a shutdown is looking increasingly likely. On the Senate side, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has scheduled a procedural vote for Tuesday on legislation that would serve as vehicle for a short-term CR. But the House is where the matter will ultimately be determined. For McCarthy and his leadership team, the choice looks increasingly to be between siding with hardliners in his party and provoking a shutdown, or relying on Democratic votes to pass a short-term package that would likely end his speakership. 

A debate begins in the Spanish parliament on Tuesday (26 September) ahead of a vote on Wednesday (27 September) on a potential government led by the right-leaning Partido Popular following July’s snap elections.

Even with the support of the far-right Vox party, it looks unlikely that PP leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo will be able to cobble together enough votes to win either the vote on Wednesday or a subsequent vote expected on Friday (29 September). Though PSOE leader and caretaker prime minister Pedro Sánchez is likely to be given an opportunity to try to form a government, he too looks like he will struggle, making fresh elections in January an increasingly likely outcome. 

Sanchez, as it happens, will be among leaders attending a Med9 summit hosted by Malta on Friday (29 September). Leaders from the grouping – whose members also include Italy, France, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Croatia and Slovenia – are likely to discuss migration challenges as huge numbers of people continue to make dangerous journeys to Europe by boat, with nearly 130,000 arriving this year in Italy alone.

While European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined a 10-point plan for a “European answer” to migration on a visit to Lampedusa last week, leaders are far from united on how to tackle the problem – Germany has gone back and forth on accepting arrivals from Italy, while hosts Malta have been accused of ignoring boats in distress and taking in tiny numbers of asylum seekers. The summit may also feature a tense encounter between Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and French President Emmanuel Macron after France said it wouldn’t accept any arrivals from Lampedusa. 

Also look out for 

September 25 

  • UCU university staff begin five-day strike action 
  • Ukrainian MP addresses Lib Dems conference  
  • Sentencing for Downing Street crasher 
  • Joe Biden hosts US-Pacific Islands Forum Summit 
  • UN Human Rights Council discusses Ukraine 
  • IAEA General Conference  
  • Paris Fashion Week begins 

September 26 

  • Ed Davey addresses Lib Dems conference 
  • Deadline for Birmingham council response to intervention plans 
  • ‘Russian spies’ back in court in London 
  • Andrew Tate due in court in Romania 
  • Syria, North Korea and Afghanistan close UNGA debate 
  • CAS hearing for Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva 
  • England face Ireland for final ODI match of series 

September 27 

  • Preliminary hearing for Module 3 of the Covid-19 inquiry 
  • Second Republican primary debate 
  • Donald Trump expected to address UAW members in Detroit 
  • Portuguese youth challenge EU emissions at the ECHR 
  • US Open Cup final: Inter Miami v Houston Dynamo 

September 28 

  • First US House committee hearing in Biden impeachment inquiry 
  • National Grid Winter Outlook 
  • Turner Prize exhibition opens 
  • Trial of Just Stop Oil protestors charged over Ashes disruption 

September 29 

  • UK National Accounts 
  • Court hearing for prison escapee Daniel Khalife 
  • ASLEF train drivers overtime ban 
  • Moscow format talks on Afghanistan 
  • Ryder Cup begins  
  • EA Sports FC 24 release 

September 30 

  • ASLEF train drivers strike 
  • Elections in Slovakia and the Maldives 
  • Scotland faces Romania at Rugby World Cup 
  • Gymnastics World Championships 

October 1 

  • James Cleverly and Grant Shapps speak as Conservative conference opens 
  • People’s Assembly demonstration at Conservative Party Conference 
  • Single-use plastics ban begins in England 
  • Energy price cap changes take effect 
  • New session opens for Turkish parliament 
  • Argentinian presidential election debate 
  • NFL London fixture: Jacksonville Jaguars v Atlanta Falcons 

Statistics, reports and results 

September 25 

  • Human Rights Watch report on IMF lending since the pandemic 

September 26 

  • ONS data on kinship care in England and Wales 
  • Life expectancy in Scotland, 2020-22 
  • Earliest date for Maryland AG report on Church abuse in Baltimore 
  • Results from: ASOS, Costco, Wolseley, Smiths Group 

September 27 

  • ONS figures on sexual orientation in the UK 
  • Lancet Commission analysis on gender inequalities in cancer 
  • Bank of England capital issuance 
  • PAMCo audience measurement figures 

September 28 

  • US Q2 GDP (second release) 
  • UK mid-year population estimates 
  • Statistics on workless households by region 
  • Quarterly statistics on NHS staff earnings 
  • Child vaccination coverage for England 
  • Energy trends and prices 
  • Boiler Upgrade Scheme statistics  
  • ORR rail safety statistics 
  • SMMT automotive production figures 
  • Results from: Nike, H&M 

September 29 

  • UK economic accounts 
  • Bank of England Money and Credit figures on lending 
  • Quarterly consumer trends statistics 
  • UK property transactions 
  • Flash estimate of euro area inflation 

Anniversaries and awareness days 

September 25 

  • National Inclusion Week (to October 1) 
  • International Ataxia Awareness Day 

September 26 

  • Apple Daily Founder Jimmy Lai marks 1,000th day in prison 
  • International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons 
  • World Contraception Day 
  • European Day of Languages 

September 27 

  • One year ago: ‘referendums’ in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine  
  • World Tourism Day 

September 28 

  • International Safe Abortion Day 
  • World Maritime Day 
  • World Rabies Day 

September 29 

  • Six months ago: Evan Gershkovich detained in Russia 
  • Jewish festival of Sukkot begins  
  • International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste 
  • World Heart Day 
  • Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning  
  • UK Wetnose Day 

September 30 

  • One year ago: Putin signed accession treaties absorbing Ukrainian regions 
  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Canada) 
  • International Podcast Day 
  • International Translation Day 

October 1 

  • China’s National Day  
  • South Korea’s Armed Forces Day 
  • Cyprus Independence Day 
  • World Vegetarian Day 
  • International Coffee Day 
  • International Day of Older Persons 
  • Grandparents Day 
  • Breast Cancer and Lupus awareness months begins 
  • Black History Month begins (UK) 
  • Go Sober for October and Stoptober campaigns begin 
  • Jimmy Carter turns 99 
  • 70 years ago: US-South Korean Mutual Defense Treaty signed 

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

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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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