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
President Joe Biden is in Europe next week, starting in the UK where he is scheduled to meet with King Charles for the first time since his coronation as well as with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday (July 10). Both meetings may be slightly awkward after Biden was accused of blocking UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace’s bid to become the next NATO Secretary General and branded ‘anti-British’ over his interventions in Northern Ireland and decision not to attend the coronation. Biden’s discussions with King Charles are expected to focus on climate change, and any emphatic calls for action from the famously environmentally conscious monarch will be contrasted with recent criticisms of Sunak’s commitment to climate efforts. Biden then heads on to Lithuania for the NATO summit on Tuesday and Wednesday (July 11-12) and to Finland, where he is scheduled to hold talks with Nordic leaders on Thursday (July 13). More on the trip below.
In DC, meanwhile, all eyes will be on the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday (July 12) for FBI Director Christopher Wray’s appearance before the panel. Wray, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump following his ousting of James Comey, is likely to face a grilling over Republican accusations that the FBI has become weaponized under his leadership. The list of GOP gripes includes the Bureau’s investigations into Trump, alleged failures to investigate accusations of bribery against Biden, and claims it mishandled the investigation into Biden’s son Hunter, who is due to appear in court in Delaware later this month having reached a what Republicans are calling a ‘sweetheart’ plea deal with prosecutors.
A slew of 2024 Republican hopefuls, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and Senator Tim Scott are scheduled to be in Iowa on Friday (July 14) for the FAMiLY Leadership Summit. Former Fox News host turned Twitter broadcaster Tucker Carlson is acting as a guest moderator at the event, having defended Trump – who he once described as a ‘a demonic force’ – in the wake of the federal charges, suggesting he is the victim of a ‘permanent Washington’ conspiracy. While Trump has been invited to appear at the gathering, at the time of writing the current frontrunner’s attendance has yet to be confirmed.
At the NATO gathering in Vilnius from Tuesday (July 11), which follows news that Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s term has been extended again by a further year as members struggle to settle on a consensus candidate to succeed him, the conflict in Ukraine is top of the agenda. As well as discussing how to support the war effort, leaders are due to address the question of Ukraine’s bid to join the alliance once the conflict ends amid renewed pressure from Kyiv for concrete commitments to be included in the outcomes from the summit.
On Wednesday (July 12), NATO leaders are joined by a group of non-members, including Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Chris Hipkins. The decision to invite this particular set of leaders comes after China was officially labeled a security challenge to NATO at last year’s summit, and follows a recent warning from China’s new defense minister Li Shangfu that creating NATO-like alliances in the region would ‘plunge the Asia-Pacific into a whirlpool of disputes and conflicts’.
Biden’s visit to Helsinki on Thursday (July 13) will see him attend a US-Nordic leaders’ summit alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, and Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir. Biden met with Kristersson earlier this week amid efforts to secure Turkish ratification of Sweden’s bid to join NATO in time for this year’s summit, though this now looks out of reach barring an extraordinary last-minute turnaround at a meeting on Monday (July 10) between Kristersson and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.