ForesightNews world briefing: upcoming events 6 – 12 February

February 3, 2012

A weekly round up of world events from Monday, 6 February to Sunday, 12 February from Foresight News

By Nicole Hunt

Towards Healing and Renewal, the Catholic Church’s four-day long symposium on sexual abuse within the Church, begins on Monday in Rome. The conference brings together over 200 representatives from bishops’ conferences and other religious orders, as well as doctors, theologians and child abuse specialists.

Anders Behring Breivik is in court in Oslo again, for what will probably be a routine remand hearing ahead of his trial in April. Breivik is scheduled to stand trial on 16 April, pending a psychiatric report due some time before then. An initial assessment declared Breivik insane and unfit to stand trial.

This week also sees two back-to-back big anniversaries in the UK: Queen Elizabeth marks 60 years since her accession to the throne in 1952 on Monday, while the country marks 200 years since the birth of Charles Dickens on Tuesday.

Italy’s Constitutional Court convenes in Rome on Tuesday to hear a motion brought by the Senate requesting that former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s trial for abuse of power and paying for underage sex be moved from Milan to a special minister’s court. The motion was passed by the Senate on 14 September, 2011, when Berlusconi still headed the government.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg issues its judgement on two cases involving media coverage of celebrities. One of the cases was brought by Princess Caroline of Monaco and her husband Prince Ernst August von Hannover, challenging the publication of photos of their family under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which protects the right to respect for family and private life.

News Corporation announces its second quarter results on Wednesday, covering October to December 2011. During that period, the company faced threats of a revolt against James Murdoch at its AGM in October, allegations that it tried to bribe an Australian Senator, and calls to reform a stock structure that ‘disenfranchises’ the vast majority of News Corporation’s shareholders.

The Pakistani Supreme Court Commission investigating the ‘memogate‘ scandal sits in Islamabad on Thursday, hearing further evidence from Mansoor Ijaz, the man who revealed the existence of the memo, in which President Asif Ali Zardari appears to offer increased cooperation with the US in return for staving off a coup by military figures.

The European Central Bank’s Governing Council meets in Frankfurt to decide whether to raise, lower or maintain the euro zone’s interest rate. At last month’s meeting, the Council decided to maintain the record-low rate of one per cent.

In Frankfurt on Friday, a verdict is expected in the case of Kosovan Arid Uka , who is charged with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder in connection with the 2 March, 2011, shooting of US soldiers outside Frankfurt airport.

Meanwhile, two men on trial for the November 2010 murder of British honeymooner Anni Dewani are before a Cape Town court. Mziwamadoda Qwabe and Oxlile Mngeni are charged with murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and kidnapping; Zola Tongo has already been tried for his role in the killing, while Dewani’s husband Shrien, who is accused of arranging his new wife’s death, is awaiting an extradition judgement in the UK.

Saturday sees the celebration of two successful revolutions, though the celebrations are expected to be quite different. Iranians celebrate Victory of the Revolution Day, the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution and the overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s monarchy, typically with mass rallies and parades.

Though mass rallies are likely in Cairo to mark the one year anniversary of the resignation of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak after 17 days of protests, celebrations may be muted in the aftermath of the football tragedy. Demonstrations in recent months have been increasingly angry with the speed of the handover from military to civilian rule, a fact likely to be exacerbated by the failure of security services to stop the football violence.

Presidential elections take place in Turkmenistan on Sunday. Incumbent Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow stands for a second term against a number of candidates – all members of the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan, the only party in town.

Venezuelans also go to the polls to choose which opposition candidate will face off against Hugo Chavez in the country’s 7 October election. Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles is currently the front-runner to lead the Democratic Unity coalition.

Finally, the Africa Cup of Nations tournament wraps up as the final takes place in Libreville, Gabon.