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
The remote possibility of an August trial for Donald Trump in the classified documents case is all-but-certain to be ended when lawyers from both sides attend a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday (July 18) to discuss, among other things, twin requests to postpone proceedings. In filings ahead of the hearing, which was initially supposed to take place today, the government proposed moving the trial to December 11 this year, while lawyers for the former president have argued that it shouldn’t happen at all before the 2024 election. Trump isn’t due in court for the hearing, and instead is scheduled to record a town hall with Sean Hannity in Iowa that will air on Tuesday night on Fox News. His visit to Iowa follows his criticism of Governor Kim Reynolds this week for refusing to endorse a candidate and his decision to skip today’s Family Leadership Summit in Des Moines.
Controversial Democratic candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr, meanwhile, is set to appear before the snappily-named Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on Thursday (July 20) to discuss ‘the federal government’s role in censoring Americans… and Big Tech’s collusion with out-of-control government agencies to silence speech.’ Kennedy’s appearance follows years of controversial and baseless claims regarding vaccines which led to his Instagram account being suspended in 2021 for repeatedly sharing debunked views on Covid-19 and vaccinations.
Two highly anticipated movies, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, are both out on Friday (July 21) in a cultural phenomenon that has been dubbed ‘Barbenheimer’. Barbie, starring Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, sees Barbie set off into the real world after deciding she doesn’t fit into the utopian Barbieland, while Oppenheimer is a historical drama about J. Robert Oppenheimer (played by Cillian Murphy), the scientist who led the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb. The internet is flush with memes comparing the duelling releases, with fans even sharing their opinions on the proper way and order in which they should be watched. AMC Theaters said more than 20,000 AMC Stubs members have already purchased tickets to see both films on the release date.
Following this week’s Ukraine-focused NATO leaders’ summit, the conflict is set to remain high on the news agenda next week as the agreement on facilitating grain exports via the Black Sea expires at the end of the day on Monday (July 17) unless Russia agrees to an extension. Although Russia has previously threatened to block an extension only to relent at the last minute, there are fears this time could be different amid fresh tensions between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who brokered the original deal.
As it happens, Monday’s deadline coincides with a ministerial-level meeting at the UN Security Council on Ukraine, chaired by UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly (who will also chair the first-ever session on the threat posed by AI on Tuesday) and attended by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Kuleba is also due to take part in a General Assembly debate on Tuesday (July 18) on the situation in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine.
The conflict is also likely to loom large over this year’s Aspen Security Forum, which opens on Tuesday (July 18) with an address from US Ambassador to the UN Linda Greenfield-Thomas. The forum features a host of top-level speakers over the following days: Cleverly speaks on Wednesday (July 19), followed by CIA Director William Burns on Thursday (July 20), and Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Friday (July 21).
Voters in both Spain and Cambodia go to the polls on Sunday (July 23). In Spain, the elections are being held early after Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced the snap vote in the wake of a crushing defeat for his Socialist party in local and regional elections last month at the hands of the conversative PP and far-right Vox parties. The election in Cambodia, meanwhile, follows a decision in May to ban the country’s sole opposition, the Candlelight Party, meaning Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party is guaranteed to win. For good measure, Hun announced in June that he was amending the country’s election laws to bar anyone who fails to vote from running as a candidate in future elections.