ForesightNews world briefing: upcoming events 3 – 9 October

A weekly round up of world events from Monday, 3 October to Sunday, 9 October from ForesightNews

By Nicole Hunt

Though it’s sometimes difficult to keep track of which Silvio Berlusconi trial is currently in court, Monday sees the resumption of the most infamous of his four cases, in which he faces charges for abuse of power and paying for underage sex. The Italian Senate has approved a motion to move the case from Milan’s court to a special minister’s court, but the case remains in Milan while the Constitutional Court mulls the Senate’s request.

The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly opens, with more attention than usual being paid this time around. On Tuesday, the Assembly debates a motion that would recommend taking action against pre-natal sex selection in Europe, particularly in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, where the ratio of girls to boys in the population is dropping. On Thursday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the assembly.

Following a meeting of Eurogroup Finance Ministers on Monday, all EU Finance Ministers convene in Luxembourg on Tuesday, with the focus, as with many things this week, squarely on Greece. Discussions are also expected on an EU financial transaction tax, after the European Commission published proposals last week.

In direct response to the austerity measures being so closely watched by the European Finance Ministers, Greek public sector workers hold a 24-hour strike on Wednesday, calling the cuts ‘barbaric’. A general strike is also planned for 19 October.

Meanwhile, in Brussels, German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the weekly meeting of the European College of Commissioners. At NATO headquarters, NATO Defence Ministers hold a regular meeting to discuss operational issues, with Libya topping the agenda.

Former Bosnian-Serb Army Commander Ratko Mladic is back in court in The Hague on Thursday. Since his last appearance on 25 August, Mladic’s lawyers have requested the names of all 7,000 victims of the Srebrenica massacre as part of their opposition to the indictment.

In Johannesburg, the African National Congress’ disciplinary committee resumes hearing the charges against controversial youth leader Julius Malema, who is accused of interrupting an ANC Officials meeting alongside three other men. Malema faces separate charges of bringing the ANC into disrepute and sowing divisions within ANC ranks, which will be heard separately once this case has concluded. It’s currently scheduled to last two days, but has already been delayed several times.

Friday is, oddly, both the 10 year anniversary of the beginning of the War in Afghanistan and also the date for the announcement of the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. Anti-war activists hold mass demonstrations in London and Washington on Saturday, while the Peace Prize will be presented to the winner on 10 December.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu celebrates his 80th birthday and a year since he stepped down from public duties. Three days of celebrations are being held in Cape Town, and a new biography is being released to mark the day.

Spanish ‘indignant’ activists who have marched 1500km from Madrid are scheduled to arrive in Brussels on Saturday to hold a demonstration against unrepresentative politics. The protesters, who are joined by counterparts from across Europe, plan to hold a week of events, culminating in a large rally on 15 October.

Two elections take place on Sunday: voters in Poland elect 460 members to their lower house and 100 members to their upper house of parliament, while in Cameroon voters elect their president for the next seven years. Incumbent Paul Biya is only the second president since independence in 1960, and has held the post since 1982.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is in Zimbabwe on Sunday, making him the first high-profile UK official to visit the country since 2001. The visit is part of a three-country pastoral tour which also includes Malawi and Zambia. Williams is expected to meet with President Robert Mugabe, and is scheduled to hold a special service for members of the Anglican Church who have not joined a splinter movement set up by the former Bishop of Harare.