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 ongoing crisis in the Middle East is set to dominate the news agenda again next week (more on that below), there are nevertheless some important stories happening at home to keep an eye on.
On Monday (October 23), the first trial is scheduled open in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s case over alleged election interference in Georgia in 2020. Lawyer Kenneth Chesebro, who faces charges related to the alleged conspiracy to overturn former President Donald Trump’s election loss in the state, had been scheduled to go on trial alongside fellow lawyer Sidney Powell, before her unexpected decision yesterday to plead guilty to six counts in a deal with prosecutors. Assuming Chesebro doesn’t change his own plea in light of Powell’s change of heart, proceedings are expected to last five months.
President Joe Biden will host Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for a state visit to the White House on Wednesday (October 25), during which the two leaders will likely try to find time to discuss partnership in the Indo-Pacific, cooperation on critical minerals, and climate change, though the Israel-Gaza conflict is sure to come up.
The big event next week for Republican presidential hopefuls, including Donald Trump, is the annual Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) Leadership Summit taking place in Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday (October 28-29). The summit will feature speeches from almost all of Trump’s would-be challengers, including Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, Mike Pence, Vivek Ramaswamy, Chris Christie and Doug Burgum. Given recent developments, the prospective candidates’ Middle East policies are likely to dominate, with Haley probably best positioned to benefit from the new focus on foreign policy given her experience as a former Ambassador to the UN.
It’s also a big week in business ahead of the Fed’s next interest rate decision on November 1, with recent data boosting expectations in anticipation of third quarter growth figures on Thursday (October 26). The markets will be busy, with results dropping from Alphabet and Microsoft on Tuesday (October 24), Meta and Boeing on Wednesday (October 25), Amazon on Thursday (October 26), and ExxonMobil and Chevron on Friday (October 27).
Following a grim week that has seen hundreds of civilians killed, the number of Israelis taken hostage rise, and a last-minute visit by President Biden that was almost overtaken by recriminations surrounding the October 17 explosion at Gaza’s Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital, the crisis in the Middle East shows no sign of abating.
With an Israeli ground operation in Gaza possible at at any moment, and the prospect of a regional escalation still very much on the cards, European foreign ministers will discuss the latest news when they meet in Luxembourg on Monday (October 23) ahead of a two-day gathering of European leaders in Brussels that opens on Thursday (October 26). In New York, Brazilian foreign minister Mauro Vieira chairs a UN Security Council meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian situation on Tuesday (October 24) after this week saw members unable even to agree on a resolution calling for a ceasefire. The US ultimately vetoed a text put forward by Brazil, a move that will trigger a debate at the UN General Assembly in the coming days.
Ultimately, though, it will be developments in the region that will matter most. This week has seen a hectic diplomatic schedule as leaders and ministers scramble to respond to developments and defuse rising tensions, and on Saturday (October 21) Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is due to host what is being dubbed the Cairo Peace Summit, which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres plans to attend. But with Iran issuing ominous warnings about the consequences of a ground offensive in Gaza, and escalating clashes between Hezbollah and Israel at the Lebanese border, there appears to be little hope of a resolution to the conflict any time soon.