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
The case of the UK’s worst child serial killer of modern times, Lucy Letby, is back in the courts on Monday (September 25) as the Crown Prosecution service decides whether to seek a retrial on six counts of attempted murder. Disgraced former nurse Letby was given a whole-life prison term after being convicted of seven counts of murder and seven counts of attempted murder, using a variety of methods to kill babies on a hospital neo-natal ward. The jury at Manchester Crown Court took weeks to convict Letby, but couldn’t reach a verdict on the remaining six charges. Given the decision is usually made on a public interest basis, the CPS could well order a retrial. Letby may also make her own plea at the hearing – after maintaining her innocence throughout trial, Letby filed an application for permission to appeal her convictions last week. An independent inquiry led by Lady Justice Thirlwall into Letby’s crimes is ongoing.
The parents of a six-month-old girl take their battle to extend her life to High Court on Wednesday (September 27). Hospital bosses in Nottingham have appealed to end life-saving care for Indi Gregory, who suffers from a complex mitochondrial disease. Doctors have described the baby’s condition as incurable and said ‘the best modern medicine’ could not help her. But Indi’s parents, Claire Staniforth and Dean Gregory, have disagreed with doctors’ assessments, saying their daughter ‘deserves a chance at life’. They have also received support from the family of Charlie Gard, who died from the same disease after his parents lost a High Court battle to take him abroad for treatment. A nine-month review into his and similar deaths of critically ill children in hospital found against changing the law to give parents a stronger say in treatments.
After Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised a new kind of thinking and politics over environmental issues on Wednesday, climate change is at the forefront of British politics again next week. Sunak claimed the UK is a global leader on Net Zero and is well on track to reach the 2050 global target, so the International Energy Agency’s updated roadmap on Net Zero emissions, published on Tuesday (September 26), will provide interesting reading.
On Wednesday (September 27), the RSPB, in association with DEFRA and a coalition of wildlife and research organisations, publishes its State of Nature report, which acts as a health check on UK wildlife. The last report found 15% of species at risk of extinction. Wildlife TV presenter Chris Packham leads a coalition of protesters to rally outside DEFRA HQ in response to the report on Thursday (September 28). And on Sunday (October 1), the Met Office is due to release monthly statistics on climate, which are expected to show this month was one of the hottest Septembers on record.
It’s a huge week on Capitol Hill as US lawmakers face the September 30 cutoff to pass spending legislation and avert a government shutdown. Next week’s funding deadline follows a dramatic week in the House amid increasingly bitter infighting among Republicans, which saw their leadership pull a planned rules vote on a doomed short-term continuing resolution before losing votes on Tuesday and then again on Thursday to move forward with a defence spending bill.
With both the House and Senate now not due to reconvene until Tuesday (September 26), the prospect of a shutdown is looking increasingly likely. On the Senate side, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has scheduled a procedural vote for Tuesday on legislation that would serve as vehicle for a short-term CR. But the House is where the matter will ultimately be determined. For McCarthy and his leadership team, the choice looks increasingly to be between siding with hardliners in his party and provoking a shutdown, or relying on Democratic votes to pass a short-term package that would likely end his speakership.
A debate begins in the Spanish parliament on Tuesday (September 26) ahead of a vote on Wednesday (September 27) on a potential government led by the right-leaning Partido Popular following July’s snap elections. Even with the support of the far-right Vox party, it looks unlikely that PP leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo will be able to cobble together enough votes to win either the vote on Wednesday or a subsequent vote expected on Friday (September 29). Though PSOE leader and caretaker prime minister Pedro Sánchez is likely to be given an opportunity to try to form a government, he too looks like he will struggle, making fresh elections in January an increasingly likely outcome.
Sanchez, as it happens, will be among leaders attending a Med9 summit hosted by Malta on Friday (September 29). Leaders from the grouping – whose members also include Italy, France, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Croatia and Slovenia – are likely to discuss migration challenges as huge numbers of people continue to make dangerous journeys to Europe by boat, with nearly 130,000 arriving this year in Italy alone.
While European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined a 10-point plan for a ‘European answer’ to migration on a visit to Lampedusa last week, leaders are far from united on how to tackle the problem – Germany has gone back and forth on accepting arrivals from Italy, while hosts Malta have been accused of ignoring boats in distress and taking in tiny numbers of asylum seekers. The summit may also feature a tense encounter between Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and French President Emmanuel Macron after France said it wouldn’t accept any arrivals from Lampedusa.