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
President Joe Biden is off to India later this week, but he’s got a busy long weekend planned before he goes. Biden stops in Florida on Saturday (September 2) to survey damage from Hurricane Idalia, and will then spend Labor Day in Philadelphia on Monday (September 4) to tout his pro-union credentials in the battleground state. He leaves for New Delhi on Thursday (September 7), where he’ll have time for bilaterals ahead of the G20 summit on Saturday and Sunday (September 9-10). Officials had hoped the trip would be an opportunity for a long-awaited face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of attempts to stabilise the frosty relationship between the two countries. However, reports overnight suggest that Xi will skip the summit amid disagreements over the war in Ukraine, climate change and human rights, as well as increasing tensions with India over a border dispute.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will also be noticeably absent from the gathering, represented instead by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has steered away from the thornier topics in hopes of reaching a consensus on issues affecting the global south, including debt reduction and sustainable development. Ministerial meetings in the runup to the summit have ended without agreements, and advisers are still struggling with an outcome document for next weekend. One proposal that may garner more attention following this week’s coup in Gabon is a plan to grant G20 membership status to the African Union – something Biden has previously backed.
Once again, eyes will be on courtrooms around the country next week as high-profile cases related to the 2020 election continue. After a delay this week, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio will be sentenced on Tuesday (September 5) for his role in the January 6 US Capitol attack; fellow members Joe Biggs and Zachary Rehl received 17 and 15 years, respectively, when they were sentenced yesterday. Meanwhile, former senior White House advisor Peter Navarro goes on trial on Tuesday charged with contempt of Congress for defying subpoenas from the House January 6 select committee.
Arraignments in the Georgia election subversion case are set for Wednesday (September 6) for any remaining defendants that haven’t already issued pleas. Former President Donald Trump was among the 19 people due to be arraigned, but he pleaded not guilty on Thursday and waived his appearance. While waivers are still coming in daily, notable figures who are still scheduled to appear at time of writing include Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, who is also facing disbarment proceedings next week in California. The full grand jury report from the election interference probe could be released on Friday (September 8), which would give more insight into how the charges in Georgia came to be following an eight-month investigation.
Away from election cases, a hearing takes place on Thursday (September 7) for New York Rep. George Santos, who is charged with multiple counts of fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and making false statements. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in May after facing public scrutiny for lying about his credentials during his Congressional campaign. A former Santos fundraiser, Sam Miele, is also in court on Tuesday (September 5), accused of impersonating Dan Meyer, who served as chief of staff to Speaker Kevin McCarthy, to get donations for the Santos campaign.
As the international community scrambles to respond to the military coup in Gabon, the junta responsible for ousting President Ali Bongo Ondimba is pressing ahead with its takeover on Monday (September 4), when interim leader General Brice Oligui Nguema is sworn in as president. Bongo has ruled the Central African country since 2009, when he took over from his father, Omar Bongo, and claimed to have won a third term in disputed elections on August 26. Minutes after the election results were officially announced early Wednesday morning, soldiers appeared on state TV to announce the end of Bongo’s regime on behalf of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions.
As with recent coups in Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Chad and Mali, international condemnation was swift – the African Union suspended Gabon yesterday, and the Economic Community of Central African States said the bloc’s leaders would meet ‘imminently’ to examine the political and security situation.
It’s not just the G20 summit Xi Jinping will miss out on next week – Premier Li Qiang will represent China at the ASEAN summit and related meetings being held in Indonesia from Tuesday to Friday (September 5-8). Biden won’t be there, either; he’ll make a stop in Vietnam on Sunday (September 10) en route home, but Vice President Kamala Harris will lead the US delegation in Jakarta. That decision has drawn criticism from some who say the US should be engaging more fully with the regional bloc as it tries to counter Chinese influence in the Pacific. As with past summits, the political violence and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar will be high on the agenda, as well as the ASEAN Outlook in the Indo Pacific (AOIP) and the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, though little progress is expected on the various territorial disputes between China and a handful of ASEAN members.