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April 12, 2024

News diary 15-21 April: Trump’s first criminal trial to begin, Olympic flame lit, London Marathon

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

Parliament returns from recess on Monday (April 15) for the start of a crucial period for Rishi Sunak as the final battle to pass the Rwanda bill plays out. After peers inflicted a series of defeats on the government before the break, the bill returns to the House of Commons on Monday for MPs to attempt once again to convince those in the upper chamber that Rwanda is a safe country and the legislation doesn’t conflict with the UK’s obligations under international law.

Sunak will be desperate to see the bill over the line and move closer to achieving his goal of getting planes off the ground in Spring; the prime minister’s PR push with Rwandan president Paul Kagame was undermined somewhat by news the country’s national airline had rejected an offer to participate in the scheme and flats in Kigali apparently earmarked for deportees had been sold privately. The bill will be sent back for another going over in the House of Lords on Tuesday (April 16) with a final day of consideration by MPs pencilled in for Wednesday (April 17), after which we should know when the bill will finally become law and preparations for the first deportations may begin.

Keir Starmer will continue to face questions about what Labour would do in government if the scheme becomes operational, but Sunak is likely to be the one having a more difficult week by the time they meet at PMQs on Wednesday (April 17). On top of rebellious peers, the prime minister also has to contend with more critical ex-colleagues on the international stage as his predecessor Liz Truss publishes her book, 10 Years to Save the West, on Tuesday (April 16), while former Home Secretary Suella Braverman joins Nigel Farage and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the National Conservatism conference in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday (April 16-17).

Andrew Bailey is in Washington DC next week with finance ministers and central bankers from around the world for the annual IMF/World Bank spring meetings, and the Bank of England governor’s appearances coincide with a series of economic indicators back in the UK that will be keenly anticipated by a government in desperate need of some good news. Tuesday (April 16) will see monthly statistics from the ONS on employment and wages, followed by the release of the IMF’s annual World Economic Outlook and its latest forecasts for UK growth, all of which will provide material for Bailey in his IMF Live interview on Tuesday evening.

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The main event is on Wednesday (April 17), when inflation data for March are released and we’ll see whether last month’s bigger-than-expected fall is repeated in time to provide a timely boost for Rishi Sunak before the May 2 elections.Another significant drop would see the UK inflation rate fall below the United States’ for the first time since March 2022, and we’ll get a chance to hear Bailey’s reaction when he sits down for an interview at the IIF Global Outlook Forum that afternoon. Bailey and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt meet with their G20 counterparts on Thursday (April 18), and a review of the UK outlook by the S&P ratings agency, released in the wake of last month’s positive revision by Fitch, rounds out the week on Friday (April 19).

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Looking abroad

Barring any last-minute changes, history will be made on Monday (April 15) when Donald Trump becomes the first former (or sitting) US president to face a trial on criminal charges as jury selection gets underway in his hush-money case in New York. While Trump’s lawyers have successfully delayed the federal cases against him, including having a deadline set in the Florida documents case this week that all-but-ensures that the trial won’t begin in July, his team has seen their efforts to delay next week’s trial repeatedly rejected. While the case is generally viewed as the weakest of the four criminal trials Trump is currently facing, a conviction would still leave moderate voters asking themselves whether they want to put a felon back in charge of the country.

While efforts continue to secure a ceasefire in Gaza, attention turns to diplomatic developments at the UN as the Security Council prepares to meet on Thursday (April 18). The session follows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments this week that a date has been set for a ground offensive in Rafah and the Israeli attack on the Iranian embassy in Damascus earlier this month. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is reportedly set to attend amid warnings from the international community against an Iranian retaliation for the attack.

The meeting has also become the focus of Palestine’s renewed bid for full membership of the UN, which now hinges on whether a Security Council member – most likely Algeria – puts forward a resolution for a vote after a committee on new members failed to reach a consensus. Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour has made it known he wants the vote to happen at Thursday’s meeting, where it would have to be approved by nine of the 15 members, and not be vetoed by any of the permanent members. Russia and China have signalled support for the request, but the US hasn’t made any public change to its longstanding position that membership should only follow a peace deal.

Meanwhile, the final report from the UN-commissioned investigation into the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) could be released as early as Friday (April 19), potentially unlocking desperately needed funding that has been frozen since allegations emerged in January that 12 UNRWA employees participated in the October 7 attacks. An interim report delivered last month was kept under wraps, but said UNRWA had mechanisms in place to ensure its neutrality. The UK and Germany are among major donors that are withholding funds until the final report is published, while a US spending bill agreed last month froze funding for UNRWA until March 2025.

David Cameron will join his G7 counterparts for three days of talks in Italy that start on Wednesday (April 17) ahead of a leaders’ summit in June. The agenda for the Capri meeting includes the situation in the Middle East, Red Sea shipping, and Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, as well as stability in the Indo-Pacific, cooperation with Africa and a range of global issues like food and energy security, climate change and AI. Meanwhile, EU leaders are set to gather in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday for a special summit focused on ‘economy and competitiveness’ as well as relations with Turkey.

Parliamentary elections get underway in India, the world’s largest democracy, on Friday (April 19). Voting for the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha takes place in seven phases over six weeks, with results announced on June 4. Narendra Modi and his BJP are favoured to secure another majority and a third term in office for the prime minister. Indeed, the party’s confidence is such that it’s targeting the country’s prosperous south, where it has traditionally fared poorly, in an effort to secure political dominance over the next five years.

Also look out for…

April 15

  • Home Office officials at committee on asylum accommodation and Rwanda
  • Jury deliberations may begin in Constance Marten trial
  • Hannah Gutierrez-Reed sentenced over Rust movie set shooting
  • Benjamin Netanyahu and Mike Johnson address ‘Keep God’s Land’ reception
  • Joe Biden meets with Iraqi prime minister
  • France hosts humanitarian conference on Sudan
  • UN Security Council discusses Yemen and threats to international peace and security
  • Five years ago: Notre Dame cathedral fire

April 16

  • Deadline for US assurances in Julian Assange extradition case
  • Vaughan Gething’s first FMQs
  • Olaf Scholz meets with Xi Jinping in Beijing
  • Emmanuel Macron visits Vercors ahead 80th anniversary of D-Day
  • US Supreme Court hearing in Jan. 6 case
  • Paris 2024 Olympic Flame lighting ceremony

April 17

  • Jeremy Hunt speaks at Semafor World Economy Summit
  • Former Royal Mail chair Allan Leighton at Post Office inquiry
  • Manchester City and Arsenal play in Champions League quarter-finals
  • US Senate committee hearing on Boeing safety culture
  • Ebrahim Raisi speech to mark Iran National Army Day
  • Ukraine ministerial meeting on margins of IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings
  • Elections in Croatia and the Solomon Islands

April 18

  • Covid excess deaths debate in the Commons
  • Kemi Badenoch at TheCityUK International Conference
  • Sentencing of schoolboys guilty of killing over 20 animals
  • Mike Pence speaks at German Marshall Fund’s Brussels Forum
  • Liverpool, West Ham and Aston Villa play in Europa and Conference League quarter-finals
  • Five years ago: Lyra McKee murdered

April 19

  • UK Retail Sales figures
  • Taylor Swift releases new album
  • Man sentenced for raping schoolgirl in the sea
  • OSCE chairperson briefs UN Security Council

April 20

  • FA Cup semi-finals
  • Devin Haney v Ryan Garcia
  • World Snooker Championship
  • Bitcoin fourth halving expected
  • 25 years ago: Columbine massacre

April 21

  • London Marathon
  • Salman Rushdie discusses attack at memoir launch event
  • Communication Workers Union Conference opens
  • Maldives parliamentary elections
  • Ecuador referendum on security measures
  • Formula One: Chinese Grand Prix
  • 12P/Pons-Brooks ‘devil comet’ may be visible

Statistics, reports and results

April 15

  • EU Industrial Productional Statistics
  • Results from: Goldman Sachs

April 16

  • Annual figures on drug-related hospital stays in Scotland
  • Henry Jackson Society report on antisemitism
  • Universal Credit statistics
  • Register of political donations
  • IMF Global Financial Stability Report
  • China quarterly GDP and economic data
  • Results from: Morgan Stanley, Johnson & Johnson, Bank of America, UnitedHealth Group, Ericsson

April 17

  • UK producer price inflation
  • UK house price index and private rental data
  • State of the World Population 2024
  • OECD harmonised unemployment rates
  • EU inflation
  • Results from: ASML, Alcoa, Hays

April 18

  • Quarterly stats on CPS performance
  • Results from: Netflix, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, Nokia

April 19

  • Results from: American Express, Procter and Gamble

Anniversaries and awareness days: Jamie

April 15

  • One year ago: fighting broke out in Sudan
  • Three years ago: Indianapolis FedEx shooting
  • Kim Il Sung’s birthday: ‘Day of the Sun’ national holiday in DPRK
  • UK Fintech Week (to April 19)
  • National Marmalade Week (to April 21)
  • World Creativity & Innovation Week (to April 21)
  • World Art Day

April 16

  • 10 years ago: South Korea Sewol ferry disaster

April 17

  • 100 days to go until Paris 2024 Olympic Games

April 18

  • International Day for Monuments and Sites

April 20

  • International Record Store Day
  • World Circus Day

April 21

  • Five years ago: Sri Lankan Easter Sunday bombings
  • 98 years ago: Queen Elizabeth II born
  • National Tea Day
  • European Immunization week (to April 27)

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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