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May 7, 2024

News diary 6 – 12 May: Xi Jinping visits Europe, Eurovision finale

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 

Prince Harry makes a rare visit to the UK next week when he attends a special ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral to mark the tenth anniversary of the Invictus Games on Wednesday (May 8). Harry’s return marks his first trip back since a brief meeting with King Charles in February shortly after the monarch was diagnosed with cancer. It has been rumoured another private meeting between the two may be on the cards, though no senior royals will attend the St Paul’s service, with the King electing to hold his weekly meeting with the prime minister before attending the first Buckingham Palace garden party of the season on Wednesday. 

The Duke of Sussex will also be without his wife, Meghan Markle, who is expected to stay home in California with their two children. Having made only three visits to the UK since the pair’s acrimonious departure to the US in 2020, the Duchess has reportedly said she is “done” with the country and “doesn’t want the drama” that would accompany any visit. The couple are instead expected to travel to Nigeria together after Harry’s UK trip, at the invitation of the Nigerian Minister of Defence. They are due to participate in “traditional cultural activities” and meet with service members as the country eyes a potential bid to host a future Invictus Games. 

The parents of Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Barnaby Webber, who were both stabbed to death in Nottingham last year along with caretaker Ian Coates, take their fight for justice to the Court of Appeal on Wednesday (May 8). The victims’ families were appalled when killer Valdo Calocane pled guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter by diminished responsibility and was given an indefinite hospital order after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. The families say they weren’t informed before the decision was made not to try Calocane for murder. 

Wednesday’s hearing will consider whether Calocane’s sentencing was correct after Attorney General Victoria Prentis concluded it was “unduly lenient”, and comes ahead of the sentencing of Lee Byer on Friday (May 10) at the Old Bailey. The CPS accepted a plea of manslaughter by diminished responsibility after Byer stabbed Thomas O’Halloran, 87, to death while he was riding a mobility scooter on August 16, 2022, and O’Halloran’s family have also expressed their disgust over the original murder charge being dropped. In a busy week at the courts, Piran Khan is also sentenced on Friday for the 2005 murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky, after being extradited from Pakistan last year. 

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The UK economy has been edging its way into better shape since entering recession at the end of last year, but the release of quarterly GDP figures on Friday (May 10) will show whether output has started to improve after the meagre numbers seen in the first couple of months of this year. The upward revision to January’s figures in the last monthly ONS release was a positive sign, but downward revisions to growth estimates this month by the IMF and the OECD show expectations remain subdued for at least the remainder of 2024. 

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After the OECD also predicted sticky inflation in the UK over the coming months, policymakers at the Bank of England will set out their own expectations when they publish their Monetary Policy Report alongside the latest interest rate decision on Thursday (May 9). Prices in some sectors are cooling off, but the longer-term outlook and US hesitance may mean the prospect of multiple rate cuts this year is diminishing. 

It’s been a mixed picture for the UK at Eurovision in recent years, with Sam Ryder’s second-place finish in 2022 followed by a disappointing 25th position for Mae Muller in Liverpool last year. Years and Years frontman Olly Alexander will be aiming to emulate Ryder’s success when he steps onto the stage in Malmö for the grand final on Saturday (May 11), though Croatia and Switzerland are the countries tipped for success after this week’s first rehearsals

But the costumes and dodgy lyrics may be overshadowed and the geopolitics even more overt this year after a controversy over Israel’s participation and apparently political song lyrics. Several acts, including Alexander, released a statement in March calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, and protests have taken place at national selection events in the run-up to next week’s final. With tensions running so high, the Israeli security cabinet this week issued a travel warning for the Swedish city and the IDF said it would use an emergency alert system to warn Israeli attendees of any potentially dangerous situations.  

Looking abroad 

Chinese President Xi Jinping pays a rare visit to Europe next week, starting with a two-day state visit to France on Monday and Tuesday (May 6-7). In Paris on Monday, he’ll hold talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the Élysée, followed that evening by a state dinner. On Tuesday, Macron, Xi and their spouses head to the Hautes-Pyrénées for more informal talks, expected to include the war in Ukraine and China’s support for Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

It’s no accident that Xi’s itinerary after France includes stops in two of Europe’s most pro-Putin nations. He is due to arrive in Serbia on Tuesday, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of NATO’s 1999 accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. Three Chinese journalists were killed and a further 20 embassy staff members were injured in the incident, which China continues to exploit to criticise NATO. On Wednesday (May 8) he heads to Hungary, where he’ll meet with Viktor Orban, the country’s Russia-friendly prime minister who is often described as a thorn in the EU’s side. Putin, who is due to begin his fourth term as president on Tuesday, has already announced plans to visit China this month. On Thursday (May 9), he’ll oversee the annual Victory Day Parade in Moscow’s Red Square that’s supposed to commemorate the 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany but will likely focus as much on current Russian efforts in Ukraine. 

Following his brief remarks on the campus protests controversy yesterday, US President Joe Biden is due to address the Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Days of Remembrance (DOR) ceremony on Tuesday (May 7), when he is likely to allude to concerns of antisemitism from some of the protesters. Meanwhile, Columbia University announces the winners of this year’s Pulitzer Prizes on Monday (May 6), as the campus continues to be a focal point of the student protest movement. The Pulitzer Board issued a statement on Thursday recognising the “tireless efforts” of student journalists covering the unrest across the country, including Columbia students who turned Pulitzer Hall – where the prizes are awarded – into a makeshift newsroom as the NYPD raided the protest encampment on Tuesday. 

But journalists have been critical of restrictions on media access and police threats to arrest students covering the protests right outside of the building where the prestigious prizes will be announced. There’s also a potential for controversy around the winners of the journalism prizes, after the Pictures of Year Awards came under fire in March for honouring an AP photo from October 7 which showed the body of German-Israeli Shani Louk in the back of a truck, while The New York Times has seen its newsroom divided over the paper’s coverage of the conflict. 

It’s a busy week for elections. Monday (May 6) sees a presidential election in Chad, where military leader Mahamat Idriss Déby, aka Kaka, is widely expected to win. Kaka is the son of long-time ruler Idriss Déby, who died in 2021 from injuries apparently sustained while personally taking part in a battle against rebels in the country’s north. A run-off, if needed, is scheduled for June 22. In North Macedonia, parliamentary elections are held on Wednesday (May 8) alongside a runoff in the presidential election, where opposition candidate Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova remains on course to become the country’s first female president despite being unable to achieve an outright majority in last month’s first round. 

On Sunday (May 12), voters in Lithuania head to the polls to take part in the country’s presidential election, where incumbent Gitanas Nauseda is expected to secure re-election, though it’s not clear he has enough support to avoid heading to a May 26 runoff. Snap elections are also scheduled Sunday in the Spanish autonomous region of Catalonia, which could have national ramifications amid tensions between Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his Catalan nationalist allies Junts, who accuse Sánchez of using his recent threat to resign as a ploy to sway Catalan voters. 

Also look out for… 

May 6 

  • Early May Bank Holiday 
  • Nominations close in SNP leadership election 
  • Overtime ban begins for ASLEF train drivers 
  • Boeing Starliner launch 
  • Channel 4 airs Spacey Unmasked documentary 
  • Holocaust Remembrance Day 

May 7 

  • Man in court after mass stabbing in Hainault 
  • ASLEF train drivers begin strike action 
  • Apple launch event 
  • BP results 
  • Treasury questions and debate on defence in the House of Commons 
  • Former Scottish first ministers quizzed on intergovernmental relations 
  • Sam Altman addresses Brookings Institution 
  • Phased polling day in Indian general election 
  • Champions League semifinal second legs 

May 8 

  • Rishi Sunak faces questions from MPs at post-elections PMQs 
  • ASLEF train drivers’ strikes continue 
  • House of Lords debate on Media Bill 
  • E.ON and Centrica at committee session on energy bills 
  • Only Fans CEO at committee session on image abuse 
  • Hungarian foreign minister speech to Chatham House on the future of Europe 
  • RSA chief executive Andy Haldane’s annual lecture 
  • Biden administration due to report on Israeli use of US-made weapons 
  • Paris 2024 Olympic flame arrives in Marseille 

May 9 

  • David Cameron’s foreign policy speech to the Easter Banquet 
  • Commons debate on the BBC 
  • RedBird IMI CEO address the WSJ CEO Council London meeting 
  • Final day of strikes by ASLEF train drivers 
  • General strike in Argentina 
  • Former Peruvian President Pedro Castillo in court over ‘self-coup’ attempt 
  • Michael Wolff’s The Fall: The End of the Murdoch Empire published 

May 10 

  • Regional exhibitions mark the bicentenary of the National Gallery opening 
  • Court hearings for five people charged with spying for Russia and China 
  • Hearing in Australian dispute over stabbing video on X 

May 11 

  • Progressive Britain annual conference 
  • Donald Trump holds rally in New Jersey 
  • Doctor Who series 14 airs 

May 12 

  • BAFTA television awards 
  • Applications open for September childcare expansion 
  • Manchester United take on Tottenham Hotspur in the Women’s FA Cup final 

Statistics, reports and results: 

May 6 

  • IEA report on clean technology manufacturing 
  • OECD Consumer Price Indies 
  • Results from: BioNTech, Rocket Lab 

May 7 

  • BRC Retail Sales Monitor 
  • Halifax House Price Index 
  • SMMT car sales figures 
  • UK construction PMI 
  • Results from: BP, Saudi Aramco, UBS, Unicredit, Lyft, Nintendo, Disney, Metro AG 

May 8 

  • Global Electricity Review 
  • Results from: News Corp, ABInBev, Uber, Airbnb, Toyota, BMW, Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY), New York Times Co 

May 9 

  • NHS key services and cancelled operations data 
  • Statistics on deaths associated with hospitalisation in England 
  • HMICFRS annual report on the state of fire and rescue 
  • MPs’ expenses data 
  • NIESR quarterly economic forecast 
  • Results from: Panasonic, Nissan, ITV 

May 10 

  • UK indices of production and services 
  • UK overseas trade statistics 
  • Moody sovereign review of the Israeli economy 
  • Results from: IAG, AngloGold Ashanti, Olympus Corporation, Honda, Tata Motors (Jaguar Land Rover) 

May 11 

  • China consumer price index 

Anniversaries and awareness days 

May 6 

  • Archie Mountbatten-Windsor turns five 
  • One year ago: Coronation of King Charles 
  • 70 years ago: Roger Bannister ran mile in under four minutes 
  • Dying Matters Awareness Week (to May 12) 
  • Deaf Awareness Week (to May 12) 
  • Sun Awareness Week (to May 12) 

May 7 

  • 25 years ago: NATO bombed Chinese Embassy in Belgrade 
  • World Aids Orphan Day 
  • World Asthma Day 

May 8 

  • VE Day 
  • World Red Cross and Crescent Day 
  • World Ovarian Cancer Day 
  • Red Cross Week (to May 14) 

May 9 

  • Europe Day 

May 10 

  • Confederate Memorial Day (North and South Carolina) 
  • World Lupus Day 

May 11 

  • 10 years ago: Donbas status referendums 
  • World Migratory Bird Day 
  • World Fair Trade Day 
  • Somerset Day 
  • National Mills Weekend 

May 12 

  • 21 years ago: Madeleine McCann born 
  • 25 years ago: first sitting of Scottish and Welsh parliaments 
  • Belarus Day of the National Emblem and Flag 
  • Silver jubilee celebration for Ghana’s Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II 
  • International Nurses Day 
  • International ME Awareness Day 
  • Mother’s Day (US) 
  • Christian Aid Week (to May 18) 

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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