ForesightNews world briefing: upcoming events 26 Sep – 1 Oct

A weekly round up of world events from Monday, 26 September to Sunday, 1 October from ForesightNews

By Nicole Hunt

Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero is scheduled to request the dissolution of Parliament on Monday to make way for early elections on 20 November. Spain was not due to hold elections until March next year, but Zapatero has come under heavy criticism amid debt and budget problems, with persistent rumours that Spain will be the next country to ask for an EU bailout.

In St John’s, Antigua, Kaniel Martin and Avie Howell are set to be sentenced after being found guiltyon 27 July of the murders of Welsh honeymooners Ben and Catherine Mullany exactly two years earlier.

Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko’s abuse of power trial resumes on Tuesday after a 15-day hiatus. Tymoshenko is accused of misspending some $280m while she was Prime Minister in 2009, charges which her supporters say are politically motivated.

Embattled Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as his country faces increasing pressure from the IMF, the European Central Bank, domestic trade unions and other European leaders. Papandreou’s government has to come to an agreement with its lending troika to secure the next €8bn tranche of its loan before 10 October, when it’s estimated the country will run out of money to pay its bills.

In Conakry on Wednesday, Guineans mark the two-year anniversary of the 28 September, 2009 stadium massacre in which at least 157 people were killed when security forces opened fire on tens of thousands of people demonstrating against the junta government. The anniversary is the first since President Alpha Condé was elected in November last year, taking power from the leaders of the 2008 coup d’état.

In Manama, 21 Bahraini activists and members of the opposition who were convicted in June of plotting to overthrow the government and collaborating with a terrorist organisation are scheduled to find out whether their appeal against life sentences has been successful.

The verdict is the first of two high-profile decisions the court is expected to make this week; on Thursday, 47 medical staff accused of attempting to topple the monarchy and inciting hatred against the regime learn whether they have been found guilty.

Saudi Arabia holds its second-ever municipal elections on Thursday, which were delayed from 22 September. The polls were finally scheduled earlier this year as an olive branch from the government as fears mounted that the Arab Spring could spread to the country.

Following a Constitutional Court decision earlier this month ruling that Germany’s commitment to the EU bailout fund is legal, the German Parliament votes on a bill approving new powers for the European Financial Stability Facility which will increase its lending capacity and authorise it to buy government bonds.

On Friday, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania delivers the long-awaited judgement in its ‘Government II’ trial, in which four former cabinet ministers are accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The trial began in September 2003, and the defendants were acquitted of several charges in October 2005.

It’s a relatively quiet weekend: China celebrates Chinese National Day on Saturday, and the seven Italian scientists charged with manslaughter for failing to warn L’Aquila residents about the April 2009 earthquake return to court.

The next session of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change talks open in Panama City on Sunday.

Closer to home, the Conservative Party autumn conference opens in Manchester, with unions and anti-cuts activists planning a march to protest government policies.