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
Senators return to DC next Monday (January 23) for their first work period of the year following their drama-free (though history-making) January 3 session. Their return comes amid a looming battle over raising the debt ceiling after Janet Yellen announced the Treasury Department would begin taking extraordinary measures to avoid a default, possibly as soon as June. On Tuesday (January 24), all eyes will be on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing into the lack of competition in the ticketing industry, which follows on from the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster and the highly-publicized fiasco last November when Ticketmaster’s website repeatedly crashed as hundreds of thousands of fans tried to buy tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour. ‘Swifties’ have already filed two lawsuits against the ticketseller alleging fraud, price-fixing and antitrust violations, while parent company Live Nation is reportedly facing a Justice Department investigation that pre-dates the Swift concert chaos.
Former President Donald Trump will hold a campaign event on Saturday (January 28) in Columbia, South Carolina, his first since announcing last November that he would once again be seeking the presidency in 2024. In a departure from his habit of holding rallies, next Saturday’s event takes place at the State House, where he will be joined by Governor Henry McMaster and Senator Lindsey Graham. As well as being a state that holds its primary early in the nominating process, the choice of South Carolina as a venue for this first event may also benefit Trump in terms of sending a message to potential 2024 rivals Nikki Haley and Tim Scott, both of whom hail from the Palmetto State.
Oscar nominations are announced on Tuesday (January 24) as speculation mounts as to who will receive the coveted nods. Golden Globe winner The Banshees of Inisherin, Top Gun: Maverick, Everything Everywhere All at Once, All Quiet on the Western Front, Tár, The Fabelmans, and Elvis are all likely nominees for Best Picture, while Best Director nominees could include Steven Spielberg (The Fabelmans), Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin), and James Cameron (Avatar: The Way of Water). The Best Actor category likely features Austin Butler, who is a top contender for his performance as Elvis, Colin Farrell for The Banshees of Inisherin and Brendan Fraser for his role in The Whale. Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh are likely Best Actress nominees for their respective roles in Tár and Everything Everywhere All at Once.
With the war in Ukraine having dominated this year’s Davos gathering amid rows over Western military support in the run up to today’s Ramstein defense ministers’ meeting, EU foreign ministers will gather in Brussels on Monday (January 23) for their first meeting of the year, with the conflict again on the agenda. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, meanwhile, will be in South Africa that day for talks with his counterpart Naledi Pandor, and is likely to use the trip to suggest Russia’s isolation over its war in Ukraine is exaggerated by Western leaders threatened by a new multipolar world. Lavrov’s visit, as it happens, comes shortly after South Africa announced planned navy drills with Russia and China next month. In related news, the European Court of Human Rights is set to announce on Wednesday (January 25) whether it will take up three cases against Russia brought by Ukraine and the Netherlands related to the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the downing of flight MH17, respectively.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whose month-old third term has been dramatic, to say the least, will pay his first trip abroad next week, travelling to Argentina on Monday (January 23) for talks with his counterpart Alberto Fernández before he takes part in a summit of regional leaders in Buenos Aires on Tuesday (January 24). Lula’s participation in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit is notable since his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro had suspended Brazil’s membership in the left-leaning bloc in 2020. Before returning home, Lula will pay a visit to Uruguay on Wednesday (January 25) for talks with President Luis Lacalle Pou, who was in Brasilia for Lula’s inauguration alongside his predecessor José Mujica. Lula is also due to meet with US President Joe Biden next month (February 10).