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
Following a decidedly underwhelming Republican performance in Tuesday’s midterms, next week is shaping up to be a potentially important one as attention now turns to the 2024 presidential race. At the time of writing, former President Donald Trump has announced no changes to his plans to make a ‘very big announcement’ at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday (November 15) on another run for the White House, though reports suggest he is under pressure to postpone, possibly until after the December 6 run-off in the Georgia Senate race. Trump also faces another big decision next week: whether to comply with the subpoena issued by the Jan. 6 Committee requiring him to sit down for a deposition on Monday (November 14) to answer questions under oath on the storming of the US Capitol in 2021.
Trump’s former Vice President and potential 2024 challenger Mike Pence, meanwhile, publishes his new book, So Help Me God, on Tuesday (November 15), and can take advantage of a busy promotion schedule to quietly present himself as a stable alternative. Pence has an ABC interview airing on Monday (November 14), followed by a CNN town hall on Wednesday (November 16). He then travels to Las Vegas for the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual meeting which opens on Friday (November 18) and features a host of other potential 2024 Republican hopefuls, including Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo and Tim Scott, all of whom are likely feeling better about their prospects given the overall poor performance of Trump-endorsed candidates in the midterms.
President Joe Biden, who’s in Egypt today speaking at COP27 before heading on to Cambodia for talks with ASEAN nations over the weekend, will be in Bali next week for the G20 summit taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday (November 15-16). Before the summit opens, however, Biden has a major date in his diary: a one-to-one meeting on Monday (November 14) with Chinese President Xi Jinping that comes at a particularly tense time in relations between Washington and Beijing.
But Biden won’t have to worry about avoiding Russian President Vladimir Putin at the summit after Moscow confirmed that he would not attend after all, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky now looks set to participate virtually. Although further meetings are likely to be added, the White House has already confirmed that Biden will meet one-to-one with Italy’s new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Tuesday and the UK’s Rishi Sunak on Wednesday. He’ll skip the APEC summit in Thailand on Friday and Saturday (November 18-19); Vice President Kamala Harris will head the US delegation, and is scheduled to deliver a keynote address at the APEC CEO Summit on Thursday.
The most controversial World Cup in living memory finally kicks off on Sunday (November 20) as hosts Qatar face Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium. The build-up to the tournament has been dominated by criticisms of the country’s stance on LGBTQ+ and human rights, with disgraced former FIFA President Sepp Blatter even admitting that awarding the tournament to the gulf state was ‘a mistake’. The treatment of migrant construction workers in particular has come under intense scrutiny, as estimates suggest some 6,500 labourers have lost their lives – a figure dismissed by Qatari authorities.
Qatar has spent an eye-watering $200 billion to stage the tournament, a figure which dwarfs the total spend of the last eight World Cups combined. As part of its preparations, the country has built seven air-conditioned stadiums, a new airport, a metro system, and around 100 new hotels to house fans. With so many issues already hanging over the tournament before a ball has even been kicked, FIFA will be hoping that their gamble to stage a first World Cup on Middle Eastern soil pays off.