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 historic leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion revealing that the court is prepared to overturn Roe v Wade is set to continue dominating the news this week. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised to hold a vote on a bill that would codify the right to an abortion into law and pre-empt the Supreme Court’s eventual ruling. Nevertheless, the vote is expected to be largely symbolic. Democrats do not have the necessary 60 votes to pass the bill into law, and with Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema still opposed to abolishing the filibuster, the road to a simple majority is also blocked.
Regardless of whether the bill passes, the leak has catapulted abortion to the top of the ballot in this year’s midterms. Democrats will seek to galvanize support from voters who fear this marks the start of an erosion of other fundamental rights, while Republicans will look to rally the conservative base around the hot button issue.
Donald Trump is expected to do just that when he appears at an “American Freedom Tour” event in Austin on Saturday (May 14). The former President is likely to take credit for nominating three conservative justices, facilitating the controversial draft ruling. Meanwhile, a coalition of progressive groups have planned a “Bans Off Our Bodies” day of action, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to take part in protests across the country.
Though the issue is unlikely to affect the outcome of this week’s primaries on Tuesday (May 10), notable races are taking place in West Virginia’s 2nd congressional district, where Republicans David McKinley and Alex Mooney face each other in a member-on-member race for the newly redrawn district, and in Nebraska’s 1st district, where Republican Mike Flood and Democrat Patty Pansing Brooks lead their respective fields in the race to fill the seat vacated by Republican Jeff Fortenberry who resigned over a campaign finance conviction.
All eyes will be on Moscow on Monday (May 9) when Vladimir Putin delivers a speech as part of the country’s annual Victory Day military parade marking the 1945 surrender of Nazi Germany and the end of World War II in Europe. With fighting continuing in Ukraine over two months in to the so-called ‘special military operation’, there has been plenty of speculation over how Putin will be able to present the invasion as a victory, particularly given the series of embarrassing setbacks Russia has suffered.
He is almost certain to continue his bizarre justification of the war as part of an effort to ‘denazify’ Ukraine, despite the recent high-profile row with Israel prompted by foreign minister Sergey Lavrov’s antisemitic remarks, for which Putin offered a rare apology.
More substantively, it has been suggested that Putin could use his speech to officially declare war on Ukraine and announce a general mobilization, though the Kremlin has dismissed such speculation as ‘nonsense’. Either way, Putin’s speech is likely to be a critical moment in the conflict.
Assuming he has recovered after contracting COVID-19, Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be heading to Germany for a meeting of G7 counterparts on Thursday (May 12) and then an informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers over the weekend (May 14-15), where the conflict will once again dominate discussions as preparations continue for June’s G7 summit in Germany and the NATO summit in Madrid.
Elsewhere, this week also sees national elections in the Philippines (May 9) and Lebanon (May 15), a new president take office in South Korea (May 10), and ASEAN leaders descend on Washington for a special summit hosted by Joe Biden (May 12-13).