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.
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Leading the week
There are a host of events taking place as Americans prepare to mark Thanksgiving (as well as Native American National Day of Mourning) on Thursday (November 23), including the traditional White House Turkey pardoning ceremony early next week with President Joe Biden, who turns 81 on Monday (November 20).
This year’s lucky turkeys, whose names have yet to be revealed, hail from Jennie-O Turkey Store in Minnesota. Ahead of the big day, the duo are set to be put up in a specially prepared room at the Willard InterContinental, in keeping with recent tradition, before heading off for their post-pardon retirement.
Traffic jams are likely to peak on Wednesday (November 22) as an estimated 55.4 million Americans travel to spend the holiday with loved ones, though the situation in Los Angeles may not be as bad as feared after authorities announced that all lanes of the fire-damaged I-10 freeway are now expected to reopen on Tuesday (November 21).
On Thursday itself, beyond arguing about politics, there’s the Macy’s parade – which takes place this year amid accusations it will be a ‘non-binary and transgender extravaganza’ – as well as a triple header of Thanksgiving football. Black Friday rounds things off on, well, Friday (November 24), though in reality many deals are already available.
Ahead of the holidays, Monday (November 20) sees oral arguments in Donald Trump’s appeal against the on-off partial gag order imposed on him as part of proceedings in his federal election interference case in DC. Trump’s team is arguing the gag order infringes his right to free speech and constitutes a ‘heckler’s veto’, while Special Prosecutor Jack Smith has countered that Trump’s repeated attacks on people involved in the case could lead to actual violence, quoting King Henry II’s famous line ‘Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?’. Monday’s arguments come after Trump’s legal team requested a mistrial in his New York fraud case earlier this week, accusing the judge and his principal clerk of bias after he was fined for breaching yet another gag order, which was temporarily lifted yesterday following an appeal.
Voters in the Netherlands head to the polls on Wednesday (November 22) to elect a new government. Mark Rutte, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, announced snap elections following the collapse of his coalition last summer amid a row over policies regarding asylum seekers. Shortly after, Rutte surprised many by announcing he was retiring from politics, possibly to teach, though his meeting with Jens Stoltenberg earlier this week did little to dispel rumors ‘Teflon Mark’ may replace Stoltenberg as the head of NATO next year. In Wednesday’s election, leading candidates to watch include Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, the daughter of Turkish-Kurdish refugees who now leads Rutte’s VVD party, and Pieter Omtzigt, a former member of the center-right CDA party who announced the creation a new party in August called the New Social Contract, which boasts impressive support in polls.
In Spain, Waka Waka hitmaker Shakira is due to appear in court in Barcelona on Monday (November 20) as her trial on tax fraud charges begins. The Colombian-born superstar stands accused by Spanish authorities of failing to pay €14.5m ($15.8m) in tax between 2012 and 2014. The trial is due to last until December 14, and the singer faces a whopping €23.8m ($25.9m) fine if found guilty, as well as a possible eight-year prison sentence. In September, Spanish authorities announced new tax evasion charges against the Barranquilla-born songstress, this time relating to allegations that she failed to declare millions in income in 2018 while living in Barcelona with her former partner, soccer player Gerard Piqué.