ForesightNews world briefing: upcoming events 29 August – 4 September

A weekly round up of world events from Monday, 29 August to Sunday, 4 September from ForesightNews

By Allan Williams

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega has until Monday to appeal against his extradition to Panama. The 77-year-old is currently serving a prison sentence in France after being convicted of money laundering in July 2010.

On Tuesday attention turns to Japan when the Parliament elects its sixth Prime Minister in five years. Incumbent Naoto Kan announced he was stepping down over plummeting approval ratings, following the earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.

Wednesday sees Canada release its second quarter GDP figures. Fears of the economy contracting grew following an announcement earlier this month that manufacturing sales declined 1.5per cent in June, to their lowest level since November 2010.

Also on Wednesday South African President Jacob Zuma makes a state visit to Norway at the invitation of King Harald V. The two-day trip includes a wreath-laying ceremony at the National Monument and a meeting with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

In the UK, on Thursday, repatriations of deceased British troops move from RAF Lyneham to RAF Brize Norton. RAF Lyneham and the parade through the nearby town of Wootton Bassett have made the headlines with the dignified way locals have mourned the fallen.

In Thailand that same day, Chiranuch Premchaiporn, editor of the liberal news website Prachatai, has her trial for lese majeste offences recommence. It is alleged that Premchaiporn failed to screen comments on her website that were critical of the Thai royal family, and if convicted faces up to 20 years in prison.

Attention turns stateside on Friday, when a US district court decides whether to order a retrial of former baseball star Roger Clemens, who was accused of lying to Congress in 2008 when he denied using anabolic steroids. The original trial was declared a mistrial on 14 July.

In London on Saturday the far-right English Defence League are expected to demonstrate in the borough of Tower Hamlets, against what it sees as militant Islam. The march is expected to be banned by the Home Secretary, but the action group Unite Against Fascism has arranged a counter-protest against the EDL.

On Sunday the UN Special Representative on Somalia Augustine Mahiga convenes a conference in the east African nation to provide clear timelines and benchmarks for the Transitional Federal Institutions.

And in Germany there’s a test for Chancellor Merkel’s coalition when state elections take place in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, with local elections coming under increasing scrutiny as a gauge of popularity for Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.