ForesightNews world briefing: upcoming events 17 – 23 October

A weekly round up of world events from Monday, 16 to Sunday, 23 October from ForesightNews

By Nicole Hunt


The UN Human Rights Committee session opens on Monday in Geneva, with the situation in Iran on the agenda for the first two days.

Meanwhile, Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos begins a five day visit to North Korea, which is currently suffering through a major food crisis.

A judge in Courbevoie, France is due to rule on whether L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt should be made a ward of the state following accusations by her daughter Françoise that she is mentally unfit to manage her €17bn fortune.

South African President Jacob Zuma hosts Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Pretoria on Tuesday for a trilateral summit, expected to focus mostly on trade.

The meeting comes on the same day that fellow BRICS country China releases its third quarter GDP figures. 

In London, judges reveal the winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize for Fiction; nominees include Julian Barnes, Carol Birch, Patrick deWitt, Esi Edugyan and Stephen Kelman.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh begin a 10-day trip to Australia on Wednesday, heading first to Canberra. During their visit, the royal couple will also take in Brisbane and Melbourne before heading to Perth for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting on 28 October.

Greek public and private sector unions hold a 24-hour strike to protest what they say are ‘barbaric’ austerity measures being introduced as part of the Government’s efforts to meet the conditions of its €110bn bailout from the IMF, the EU and the European Central Bank.

EU Commissioner for Internal Markets Michel Bernier holds a press conference in Brussels on Thursday to present the Commission’s proposals for reforms to the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and the Market Abuse Directive. The reforms are aimed at strengthening the EU regulatory system and increasing oversight in the wake of the financial crisis.

The European Space Agency is having a more exciting day in Kourou, French Guiana, where the first two Galileo satellites are being test-launched at 12:34pm. The full satellite project is expected to be operational by 2014.

News Corporation holds its annual general meeting in Los Angeles on Friday, amid calls from some shareholder groups to vote against the re-election of CEO Rupert Murdoch’s sons James and Lachlan to the company’s board in the wake of the UK phone hacking scandal.

In Abu Dhabi, Finance Ministers from the Gulf Cooperation Council begin a two-day meeting where they discuss proposals for a single Gulf currency. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde attends on the second day.

Remember the apocalypse hysteria back in May? When the world failed to end, preacher Harold Camping revised his prediction, and is now confident that the world will in fact end on 21 October.

Assuming we’re still here, attention turns to Cairo on Saturday where the court hearing resumes for two police officers charged over the death of Khaled Said. The verdict in the case, which prompted widespread protests against police impunity last year, has been delayed twice, most recently from 24 September after new evidence emerged.

Unusually, there’s quite a lot going on on Sunday, beginning with the delayed European Council and Eurogroup meetings in Brussels. Predictably, Greece and the euro debt crisis are at the top of the agenda, with leaders focusing on economic governance and financial regulation.

Following an international uproar over five to 15 year sentences for Bahraini medical staff convicted of inciting hatred against the regime and attempting to topple the monarchy during anti-government protests earlier this year, a civil re-trial ordered by the country’s Attorney General begins in Manama.

There are also four elections taking place across the world: parliamentary polls in Tunisia, which were scheduled in the wake of President Zine al Abidine Ben Ali’s resignation back in January; a general election in Argentina, where incumbent Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is expected to win a second term; a presidential election in Bulgaria, where current President Georgi Parvanov is not eligible for a third term; and federal elections in Switzerland, where 13 parties are currently represented in parliament.

To top it off, the Rugby World Cup final takes place in Auckland.