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 House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol holds three more hearings this week (June 13, 15 and 16) following Thursday’s prime time return after over 10 months, which focused on Donald Trump’s culpability for the attack. Monday’s session is expected to focus on how Trump tried to steal the election despite being told by aides and allies that there was no evidence to support his claims.
Later in the week, the hearings look at allegations that Trump planned to replace Department of Justice officials with allies, encouraged right-wing groups to carry out the insurrection, and pressured Mike Pence and state officials to overturn the election results. One of the most high-profile officials associated with this effort is Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who is reportedly set to testify in the week commencing June 20.
Primary season continues on Tuesday (June 14) as voters head to the polls in Nevada, South Carolina, Maine and North Dakota.
Nevada will be the most closely-watched state, with competitive Republican primaries taking place up and down the ballot. In the GOP Senate primary, Trump-endorsed former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt faces retired Army Captain Sam Brown in the race to take on vulnerable incumbent Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto. Though Laxalt maintains a lead in the polls, Brown has narrowed the gap in recent weeks, winning straw polls for the Clark County and Carson City Republican parties, often seen as an important indicator of grassroots support. While Trump’s endorsement power may be waning in the Senate race, his chosen candidate in the gubernatorial race, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, holds a commanding lead in the battle to take on Democrat Steve Sisolak.
The Democratically held 1st, 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts are all considered toss-ups. 1st District Congresswoman Dina Titus faces a particularly tough reelection bid as her district was redrawn to include more GOP voters, improving Susie Lee and Steven Horsford’s prospects in the 3rd and 4th Districts. Titus faces a primary challenge from progressive Amy Vilela.
Meanwhile in South Carolina, keep an eye on the 1st Congressional District where Republican incumbent Nancy Mace faces a primary challenge from Katie Arrington. While Arrington has been endorsed by Donald Trump, Mace is backed by former Governor Nikki Haley, who is widely expected to run against Trump in the 2024 presidential primary. In Maine, former Congressman Bruce Poliquin faces Liz Caruso in the race to take on Democratic Congressman Jared Golden. Poliquin narrowly lost to Golden in 2018, and with the district voting for Donald Trump in 2020, the seat is one Republicans are keen to flip.
The Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision will be announced on Wednesday (June 15). In a bid to bring down what Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently described as ‘unacceptable’ levels of inflation, the Fed is expected to raise rates by another 0.5 points. Though the rate of the increases could lower to 0.25 if inflation begins to settle, minutes from the Fed’s May meeting indicated that as many as three 0.5 increases will likely be necessary to ‘expeditiously’ bring down inflation as the war in Ukraine, lockdowns in China and Covid-era supply chain issues continue to drive up costs for both consumers and manufacturers.
Nearly four months on from the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the conflict looks set once again to dominate international news this week. Monday (June 13) sees the start of a regular UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, which comes in the wake of yesterday’s news that a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic sentenced two British nationals and a Moroccan to death for alleged crimes, claiming they were mercenaries. The session begins with the traditional update from High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, in which she will likely address the conflict. Later in the week (June 16), there is session dedicated to the situation in Mariupol where the last remnants of Ukraine’s armed forces surrendered at the Azovstal steel plant in the second of half of May, with many of them since transferred to Russia to face an uncertain fate.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, meanwhile, will be in Brussels on Wednesday (June 15) for key meetings on the war, including the last gathering of NATO defense ministers before the Madrid summit later this month and a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group. Allies are likely to use the meeting to discuss the supply of weapons to Ukraine as the conflict grinds on, notably in the east of Ukraine around the cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, which straddle the strategically important Siverskyi Donets river. Both the US and the UK recently announced they would be sending sophisticated rocket-launcher systems to Ukraine, which the Kremlin warned will only prolong the conflict.
Meanwhile, the looming global food crisis provoked by the conflict is likely to be addressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin when he speaks at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday (June 17). Ukraine has a critical role as a global exporter of wheat, corn, and sunflower oil, and Russia has blamed Kyiv for mining blockaded ports and international sanctions for limiting its own exports, while the West has countered that Russia is “solely responsible for this looming food crisis”.