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
While the increasingly likely possibility that Saturday night’s deadline to avert a federal shutdown will pass without an agreement is set to dominate the news next week, there’s plenty going on besides the high-stakes standoff over government spending.
Following Tuesday’s bombshell ruling from the judge overseeing New York Attorney General Letitia James’ case against Donald Trump, finding the former president and his company persistently committed fraud by inflating the value of his assets, the trial is set to get underway on Monday (October 2). While the ruling in favor of James resolves the main claim at stake in the case, the non-jury trial – which Trump failed to delay – will examine several other claims as well as James’ request for $250 million in damages.
Hunter Biden is scheduled to appear in federal court in Delaware on Tuesday (October 3) after unsuccessfully seeking to avoid an in-person appearance in his felony gun charges case. Biden’s day in court comes after House Republicans released fresh documents from IRS whistleblowers claiming to back up their claims of interference in the Hunter Biden criminal probe, though there are questions over the extent to which the new documents further their case. Special Counsel David Weiss, meanwhile, has indicated he intends to file fresh charges against Biden by today following the collapse of a plea deal concerning tax evasion charges.
Next week is also a big moment in the case of Adnan Syed, the subject of the hit podcast Serial, who was freed from prison last September only to have his murder conviction for the 1999 killing of Hae Min Lee reinstated in March following a successful claim from Lee’s family arguing that they had not received sufficient notice about the court hearing that won Syed his freedom. The Baltimore Supreme Court will hear arguments on Thursday (October 5) as to whether the appellate court ruling to reinstate Syed’s conviction should stand, particularly given prosecutors themselves no longer have confidence in his original conviction.
European leaders meet in Granada on Thursday (October 5) for the third European Political Community Summit, which features nearly 50 heads of government from across the continent. The summit, which is due to focus on AI and Ukraine, takes place against the backdrop of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh following Azerbaijan’s military offensive and the announcement yesterday that the self-declared ethnic Armenian Republic of Artsakh would cease to exist next year. The Azeri and Armenian leaders are not only due to attend the EPC meeting, but have long been scheduled to participate in five-way talks with the EU, France and Germany on the sidelines to discuss resolving the conflict and normalization efforts. Following this week’s developments, the international community will be looking for immediate action on allowing humanitarian observers into the territory amid Armenian fears of ethnic cleansing.
The winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize is announced on Friday (October 6) to round off ‘Nobel Week’, which sees daily announcements of the big prizes in science, economics and literature. The deliberative process is extremely secretive, though we do know that this year there are 351 candidates, of which 259 are individuals and 92 are organizations. It is notoriously hard to predict who will be chosen each year, but Henrik Urdal, the head of the Peace Research Institute Oslo who puts together an annual list of potential winners, has this year included rights activists from Iran, Afghanistan, Ecuador and the Philippines, Myanmar’s Ambassador to the UN Kyaw Moe Tun, the ICJ and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group.
Following Rishi Sunak’s recent decisions to delay net-zero targets and approve the biggest new North Sea oilfield in years, the UK prime minister is set to deliver the closing speech in Manchester on Wednesday (October 4) to what is likely to be the last Conservative party conference ahead of elections next year. The location of the conference has proved controversial, since the gathering comes amid reports that Sunak’s government is considering delaying or even cancelling plans to extend the country’s HS2 high-speed rail project from Birmingham to Manchester, prompting criticism from his predecessors and yet more infighting among MPs who are already divided by U-turns on climate policies.
The shift is seen as part of a wider strategy to appeal to the party’s right-wing base and cut the opposition Labour party’s polling lead: Sunak’s Home Secretary Suella Braverman laid the groundwork for an even harder line on immigration during a speech in DC on Tuesday, and a series of ‘pro-car’ policies are expected next week after a surprise victory in a July by-election was attributed to local opposition to a tax on polluting vehicles.