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 President Joe Biden’s controversial address in Philadelphia accusing Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans of being “a threat to democracy”, on Thursday (September 15) he will gather a wide range of groups including civil rights activists, faith leaders, law enforcement officials, and gun violence prevention advocates for the United We Stand Summit. The event marks a continuation of Biden’s framing of the current moment in America as representing “a battle for the soul of the nation”, a phrase he memorably employed in announcing his bid for the presidency in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville in 2017. He used it again in his September 1 speech, with Trump countering a few days later that it had been “the most vicious, hateful, and divisive speech ever delivered by an American president”. And while the White House is billing next week’s event as a bipartisan gathering aimed at fostering unity, it’s likely to elicit further accusations that Biden is labeling ordinary Americans enemies of the state. Trump’s next major rally, as it happens, is planned for Saturday (September 17) in Youngstown, Ohio.
Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II yesterday, the next 10 days are a whirlwind of meticulously planned ceremony, beginning with the formal accession ceremony and proclamation of the reign of King Charles III on Saturday (September 10). While Buckingham Palace hasn’t yet confirmed the full timeline and all events are subject to change, we have a good idea what we can expect thanks to Operation London Bridge, a plan setting out what should happen on each day after The Queen’s death. On Sunday (September 11), The Queen’s coffin is expected to travel from Balmoral to the official Royal residence in Scotland, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, before being flown to London and on to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday (September 13). A procession from there to the Palace of Westminster follows on Wednesday (September 14), which will see members of the public line the street to pay their respects, ahead of a service in the 1000-year-old Westminster Hall, where The Queen will lie in state for four days. A state funeral, the first in the UK since that held for the wartime prime minister Winston Churchill, is then expected on September 19, which will be a public holiday and a Day of National Mourning across the UK.
Uzbekistan rarely features in the news, but next week all eyes will be on the Silk Road city of Samarkand, which is hosting the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Thursday and Friday (September 15-16). News earlier this week confirming that Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the summit in person and plans to meet one-to-one with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the margins has galvanized interest in what was already shaping up to be a star-studded affair. Other leaders expected to attend include a who’s who of regional players, featuring Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But the Putin-Xi meeting, their first in-person encounter since Putin launched his offensive in Ukraine back in February, looks set to garner the most interest, particularly as it comes at a particularly tense moment in relations between Washington and Beijing.
The latest session of the UN Human Rights Council opens on Monday (September 12) in Geneva, the first since former rights chief Michelle Bachelet issued her bombshell report on the situation in China’s Xinjiang province. The report, which provoked a predictably furious response from Beijing, came on Bachelet’s last day in office, with no successor in place. Yesterday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced the nomination of Volker Türk, an Austrian had been Under-Secretary-General for Policy, for the post. Although Türk’s appointment was subsequently approved by the UN General Assembly, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif will kick things off on Monday with an oral update, with states responding during the general debate, which follows on Tuesday and Wednesday (September 13 and 14). The session will cover rights in a wide range of countries, but there will be particular interest in the findings of the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, which will be presented on September 23.