A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News. Delivered to your inbox on Fridays.
Leading the week
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to present her case to an Atlanta grand jury next week to indict former President Donald Trump and others over alleged efforts to intervene in the 2020 election. There has been intense interest in the work of the two grand juries, which sit on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Thursdays and Fridays, respectively, since they were empanelled on July 11. Willis, who has hinted an indictment will come by Friday (August 18), has been leading an investigation since February 2021 into Trump’s infamous phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which he urged the official to ‘find 11,780 votes’. Observers expect the scope and the complexity of the case mean Willis will take at least two days to present to the grand jury, so a vote to indict is most likely on Tuesday (August 13) or Friday. Trump, who has already been indicted three times this year, remains the clear frontrunner to secure the Republican nomination for 2024.
President Biden hosts Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol for a trilateral summit in Camp David on Friday (August 18). The three leaders last met in May on the margins of the Japan-hosted G7 summit, but these talks represent a first standalone meeting not associated with a broader international summit. Discussions are set to focus on cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, North Korea, and China; the war in the Ukraine, with its sprawling ramifications, is also likely to come up as well at a summit which comes amid improved relations between Tokyo and Seoul.
Ecuador holds early presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday (August 20) after outgoing president Guillermo Lasso dissolved the National Assembly in May, invoking the so-called muerte cruzada ahead of an impeachment vote over his alleged inaction over an embezzlement scheme. Earlier this week, the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio following a rally in the country’s capital Quito prompted Lasso to declare a 60-day state of emergency. Vilavicencio, one of eight candidates seeking the presidency, was a vocal critic of organized crime and corruption though not considered a frontrunner. A runoff will take place on October 15 if no candidate secures more than 50% of votes in the first round.
Sticking with Latin America, Guatemalans vote on Sunday in the runoff in the country’s controversial presidential election following a first round held at the end of June. The two remaining candidates to succeed term-limited incumbent Alejandro Giammattei are former first lady Sandra Torres, a conservative, and Bernardo Arévalo, the progressive leader of the Movimiento Semilla (Seed Movement) party who surprised many by securing enough votes to force a second round. Support for Arévalo has surged since June and he is now viewed as the frontrunner, aided by a widely-criticized and ultimately unsuccessful effort by authorities to have his party suspended following the June 25 first round.