View All Records WeekAhead

WeekAhead events

Page 1 of 1


Expand view
24 Sep
2017

Star Trek TV series rebooted for 50th anniversary

UNITED STATES (WNF) - The Star Trek television series is to get a reboot almost one year after the 50th anniversary of the show’s launch in Sep 2016. Star Trek: Discovery will introduce new characters seeking new worlds and new civilizations. The producers are keeping plot details under wraps.
Star Trek: Discovery premieres Sep 24 on CBS TV, before moving to CBS All Access for further episodes. All Access is the broadcaster’s digital subscription video-on-demand and live-streaming service.

Sonequa Martin-Green stars as Michael Burnham, the first officer of the USS Shenzhou.

It has been leaked that the new series is not related to the 2016 Paramount Pictures feature film, Star Trek Beyond.

Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote and produced the blockbuster films Star Trek (2009) with Roberto Orci, and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) with Orci and Damon Lindelof, is executive producer for the TV series.

According to the franchise’s official web site, Star Trek is one of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time. The original Star Trek spawned a dozen feature films and five successful television series. Almost half a century later, the Star Trek television series are licensed on a variety of different platforms in more than 190 countries, and the franchise still generates more than a billion social media impressions every month.

Born from the mind of Gene Roddenberry, the original Star Trek series debuted on Sep 8, 1966 and aired for three seasons – a short run that belied the influence it would have for generations. #21590 Updated: 07/11/2017 UPDATED JULY TO SHOW FIRM RELEASE DATE AFTER MANY DELAYS

Printer-friendly page

Expand view
24 Sep
2017

Germans elect 19th Bundestag with little expectation of an upset

GERMANY (WNF) - A fourth term for Chancellor Angela Merkel seems probable following a recent win for her conservative party. Speculation has shifted to which party or parties will govern in coalition with her Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
Most postwar German governments have been coalitions.

The Social Democrats (SPD), the junior party in her present coalition, worried the CDU when it put up its own candidate for chancellor, former European Parliament president Martin Schulz. The entry of the popular Schulz into the campaign boosted the prospects of his party in the 631-seat Bundestag, presenting a potential threat to the CDU and its sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU). According to a poll reported by Politico in Dec 2016, Schulz is as popular as Merkel.

CDU optimism returned when her party defeated the Social Democrats in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state and the SPD heartland, in May. The SPD had led the state for all but five years since 1966. Schulz had been hoping for a boost after two previous state election defeats sapped his party’s momentum.

Politico magazine sees Merkel in another Grand Coalition with the Social Democrats, or teaming up with liberal Free Democratic Party, a coalition that could also include the Greens.

Reuters describes the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party as less of a threat to Merkel’s fourth term. It stole voters from Merkel during the migrant crisis, but the slowing influx and a controversy about how to deal with Germany’s Nazi past have damaged the party’s image.

Bloomberg news service reports that the country’s economy is seeing steady growth and record-low unemployment, and that Merkel is promising to keep Germany a reliable partner in an unsettled world, hold the euro area to its fiscal pact and deliver a 15 billion-euro (US $17 billion) tax cut mostly for mid-level incomes. #21835 Updated: 07/25/2017 WRITE THROUGH UPDATE JUL 2017 TO NOTE SPD DEFEAT AND CHANGING MERKEL PROSPECTS

Printer-friendly page

Expand view
24 Sep
2017

Labour party holds annual conference with showdown looming?

UNITED KINGDOM (WNF) - A jubilant but divided Labour Party returns to the seaside city of Brighton for its annual conference. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s efforts to steer the party further to the left might trigger a showdown.
The Financial Times notes that Corbyn, a man once derided as an out-of-touch throwback, is now a cult figure who embodies many voters’ desire for change.

The year between the conferences exposed big divisions in Labour over Corbyn’s leadership. His supporters see Labour’s unexpected near win in June’s snap election, one source of the jubilation, as an indisputable argument for both his leadership and his hard-left approach. His supporters are reported to be aiming to cement the left’s grip on the party.

Another source of the jubilation is that Labour membership has soared since the vote.

The Independent reports that Labour’s right wing has launched a new plan to rein in Corbyn’s power. The newspaper explains that his opponents have issued a battle plan to activists that would water down his influence on the party’s powerful executive by drafting in extra members likely to be hostile to him.

The newspaper notes that the competing plans set the scene for a major showdown at the conference despite Corbyn’s hopes that the whole party would now swing behind him.

Labour is split over Brexit, Britain’s exit from the European Union, but both sides can agree that the governing Conservatives will be blamed for any painful fallout from the departure, and that blame translates into votes for Labour at the next election. #22268 Published: 08/04/2017

Printer-friendly page

Expand view
25 Sep
2017

Kurds plan independence vote for Iraqi Kurdistan

IRAQ (WNF) - The provocative plan for an independence vote on Iraqi Kurdistan is seen by some analysts as more about control over the region’s oil fields than about a divorce from Baghdad.
Kurdish officials said voting on the question of “Do you want an independent Kurdistan?” would take place in regions including three claimed by Baghdad, and in the fiercely-disputed and multicultural city of Kirkuk. Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Assyrians and other groups call the city home.

Some groups want Iraqi Kurdistan to remain part of Iraq. Some Kurds want it incorporated into the wider Kurdistan region, which crosses borders. In Al-Monitor, researcher Nahwi Saeed describes incorporation as a red line for the Arabs and Turkmen. Imposing the will of one party or state on others in a deeply divided city like Kirkuk will lead to bloodshed and few solutions, he explained.

An unnamed political source told Al-Monitor that Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), wants an independence referendum so he will have “strong leverage against the Iraqi government to win the oil fields west of Kirkuk during negotiations on the future of KRG-Baghdad relations.”

The referendum decision is sure to spark a showdown with Baghdad, which has for years sought to keep the restive Kurds inside a barely functioning Iraqi state, according to Foreign Policy magazine.

Between 25-35 million Kurds inhabit a mountainous region straddling the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia. They make up the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East, but they have never obtained a permanent nation state due to political conditions that predate the creation of Iraq after World War I. #22205 Published: 06/16/2017

Printer-friendly page

Expand view
25 Sep
2017

68th International Astronautical Congress a grandstand for big announcement?

AUSTRALIA (WNF) - The 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide provides the host, Australia, with a grandstand for an announcement about its spacefaring intentions. It is under pressure to launch an Australian Space Agency.
Whether the host country takes the plunge hinges in part on the persuasiveness of Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA) and other proponents of a full-fledged Australian space programme. They foresee business opportunities, among other benefits.

A replay of the Cassini mission can be expected among the presentations from space agency heads, astronauts and business leaders at the event billed as the world’s largest annual space industry gathering. The presentations will also include tributes to the 60th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik and the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Outer Space Treaty.

SIAA and Australian network ABC point out that an Australian space programme could tap into the business opportunities presented by the rapidly-growing space sector.

Proponents point out that the country already plays a crucial role in the space programmes of many other countries: some 40 space missions – including deep space planetary explorers, Mars rovers, solar observatories and astronomical space observatories – routinely downlink their data through radio dishes on Australian soil. NASA and the European Space Agency have deep-space tracking facilities in Australia, and these downlink facilities are now being actively “geared up” for the global push to Mars. #22151 Published: 05/05/2017

Printer-friendly page

Expand view
27 Sep
2017

Car Wash scandal the backdrop to Brazil second energy sector auction of 2017

BRAZIL (WNF) - The National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Biofuels (ANP) auctions 287 oil and gas blocks across the country. The sale reflects Brazil’s focus on the energy sector to ease the financial pain from the so-called Car Wash Scandal at Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned oil giant.
More broadly, according to regional publication AS/COA in May 2017, Brasilia is positioning energy as a key industry to reignite Brazil’s lackluster economy.

Petrobras has been rocked by allegations that former directors conspired with contractors and politicians to extract the equivalent of some US $2 billion from the company in kickbacks and illicit political donations over the past decade, according to Britain’s Financial Times.

Time Magazine reports that no fewer than 20 different political parties have had members implicated in the scandal. More than 200 people have been charged with crimes, and two former Brazilian presidents, the heads of both houses of Brazil’s congress, more than 90 lawmakers and one third of President Michel Temer’s cabinet are implicated.

The September sale, the second auction of 2017, is part of the massive wave of energy investments that Brazil is hoping to usher in over the coming years. The ANP sold off eight blocks on May 11, and it will host two separate auctions for pre-salt fields on Oct 27. Pre-salt oil is of good quality, although it is found in reserves that are in deep-sea areas and under thick layers of salt, requiring large-scale investment to extract it. More auctions will follow in 2018 and 2019. The subsequent rounds will get much bigger and offer up larger stakes to attract bigger investments. #22192 Published: 06/02/2017

Printer-friendly page

Expand view
29 Sep
2017

EU leaders meet to advance Europe’s Digital Single Market

EUROPEAN UNION (WNF) - European Union leaders meet in Tallinn, Estonia, to work on the EU Digital Single Market (DSM). The discussion will cover perceived obstacles to its smooth operation, which might include too many restrictions on new technologies.
There is also the issue of whether Britain will have access to it after it leaves the bloc, in its so-called Brexit.

Commenting on the DSM plan in the European Observer in May, policy analyst Nick Wallace notes that the raison d’etre for the DSM was to incorporate the digital economy into European integration. “But from its very launch,” he wrote, “the EU’s five-year DSM strategy always went far beyond that important task, imposing too many restrictions on new technologies.” He warns that many benefits of new technologies will be denied to Europeans and the European economy will be saddled “with senseless and damaging limitations for years to come” if policymakers don’t focus on integrating the digital market.

The European Commission notes that if successful, the bloc’s creation of a common market for online goods, services, and capital could be as significant as the establishment of the original single market 20 years ago.

Britain’s parliamentary publication complained in Mar 2017 that the United Kingdom’s access to the DSM will be affected by Brexit, but that there is a lack of clarity on how specific issues will be affected. The Government has said that it will continue to play a proactive role in DSM negotiations and votes, using its influence to push for an open, flexible digital market until its actual exit from the bloc.

Estonia, which is often nicknamed e-Estonia because of its wide use of IT in public administration, holds the six-month rotating presidency of the bloc from July. DSM development is one of its priorities. #22200 Published: 06/09/2017

Printer-friendly page

Expand view
01 Oct
2017

Catalan separatists step up battle for independence with second referendum

SPAIN (WNF) - Separatists in Catalonia are vowing to press ahead with a referendum on independence despite a crackdown by Madrid which firmly opposes secession for the wealthy, 7.5 million-strong region. Madrid has ruled the vote illegal and has stepped up police efforts to prevent it.
Catalans will be asked to answer yes or no to the question: “Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a Republic?”

Associated Press reports that the ruling pro-independence coalition in Catalonia says the vote will be binding, and says if the “Yes” side wins it will lead to the independence from Spain by Oct 3, no matter what the turnout.

The country held a non-binding symbolic vote for Catalan independence in Nov 2014.

Up to one million Catalans took to the streets of Barcelona in support of independence on the region’s national day on Sep 11, according to the city’s police.

Reuters reports that Madrid has challenged the referendum plans via the constitutional court. According to the news agency, pro-separatist parties won a majority of seats in the regional assembly in 2015 and have starting laying the ground for laws and institutions for an independent state. The moves have been deemed illegal in court.

Two inconclusive general elections left Spain without a new national administration for more than eight months, in part due to squabbling among parties over how best to counter or defuse Catalonia’s separatist challenge. In Oct 2016, Conservative Mariano Rajoy returned as prime minister after securing a parliamentary majority. #21862 Updated: 09/21/2017 UPDATED SEP 21 TO REFLECT LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

Printer-friendly page

Expand view
01 Oct
2017

Illegal arrivals given deadline to prove refugee entitlement

AUSTRALIA (WNF) - The deadline for illegal arrivals living in Australia to apply for refugee protection or face deportation sees the country’s controversial immigration policy back in the headlines.
Announcing the plan in May, Immigration Minister Peter Durron said there were 7,500 illegal maritime arrivals who had refused to provide details about their claim for protection. He dubbed them “fake refugees.”

The new deadline requires people to prove they are refugees and are owed protection by Australia. Many arrive without identity papers on boats run by people smugglers. Durron did not explain how those without documents can prove they are not fakers, and no details have been given about where deported asylum seekers will be sent, or the fate of their children born in Australia.

The asylum seekers Durron refers to reside in Australia because they arrived before the present government set up its Operation Sovereign Borders programme in 2013. Under this policy, military vessels patrol Australian waters and intercept migrant boats to prevent them reaching the mainland. Those who succeed in reaching Australia by boat are sent to the country’s refugee processing facilities on the Pacific island nation of Nauru and on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Rights groups say conditions in both camps are totally inadequate, citing poor hygiene, cramped conditions, unrelenting heat and a lack of facilities.

Both of Australia's two leading political parties, the ruling Liberal-National coalition and the Labor opposition, support tough asylum policies.

The government argues that its policies have restored the integrity of its borders, according to the BBC, and have helped prevent deaths at sea. Critics say opposition to asylum is often racially motivated and is damaging Australia's reputation. #22173 Published: 05/22/2017

Printer-friendly page

Expand view
01 Oct
2017

Independence bid an echo of Biafra civil war

NIGERIA (WNF) - Niger Delta militants plan to declare the independence of the oil-rich region on Oct 1, according to Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper, and have ordered northern Nigerians to leave. The declaration courts another civil war: the independence declaration by three eastern states in 1967 triggered the three-year Biafra civil war.
The declaration announcement by the Niger Delta group came after an attempt by militants in the Muslim north to drive out mainly Christian Igbos.

The Delta militants demand that the federal government return all oil blocs controlled by northerners, and have warned the companies operating oil blocs to vacate before the October deadline.

President Muhammadu Buhari, already juggling the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency in the north, is taking a hard line against independence activism. The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, is in prison with other pro-Biafra activists.

The country’s Vanguard newspaper reported the separatists’ declaration, as well as more moderate voices. Some groups are choosing to negotiate with the northern-led government for the resources they regard as their due.

The northern militants’ drive to expel Igbos also doesn’t appear to have universal support in the region. Nasir El-Rufai, governor of the northern state of Kaduna, has ordered the arrest of the militants, condemning their “inciting” and “hate speech,” according to Reuters. #22246 Published: 07/13/2017

Printer-friendly page

Expand view
01 Oct
2017

Former sports celebrity O.J. Simpson granted date for early release from prison

UNITED STATES (WNF) - Ex-football star O.J. Simpson, 70, will walk free from a Nevada prison any time after Oct 1, his earliest possible release date, after serving some nine years of a 33-year sentence for robbery. Notoriety will keep him in the public eye: at the end of a sensational trial in 1995, he was acquitted of a brutal double murder.
With his safety in mind, officials at the Lovelock Correctional Center are reported to be keeping his release date secret.

Controversially, Simpson was found not guilty of the slaying of ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in 1995. Everything but the actual killing was played out to the world on TV. Viewers saw police chase a white Ford Bronco with a fugitive Simpson on the Los Angeles freeways on Jun 17, 1994. The Bronco eventually returned to Simpson’s home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles, and he surrendered to police on murder charges. The trial gripped America, divided opinion and made celebrities of everyone who came into contact with it. Though cleared of criminal charges, a civil jury later slapped Simpson with a U.S. $33 million wrongful-death judgment, and attorneys for the Goldman family have doggedly pursued his assets.

Pictures of the car chase and details of the murder trial are likely to feature as part of every news story about the robbery and parole.

The robbery incident unfolded in 2007 in a Las Vegas hotel room when Simpson and armed associates confronted two memorabilia dealers and took items from them. Simpson asserted at his trial that he was trying to reclaim family heirlooms and other personal items that had been stolen from him, and claimed that he was unaware his associates were carrying guns. He was convicted on charges including kidnapping, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. #22257 Updated: 09/14/2017 UPDATED SEP 14 TO SHOW OCT 1 AS EARLIEST POSSIBLE RELEASE DATE, NOT ACTUAL DATE IN OCTOBER

Printer-friendly page

Expand view
01 Oct
2017

Conservatives to tussle over party leadership and Brexit at annual conference

UNITED KINGDOM (WNF) - Conservative Party members meet in Manchester for the annual conference to tackle the fallout from the election debacle in June. Prime Minister Theresa May, widely blamed for the disastrous result, is resisting calls to resign.
The Telegraph reports that the prime minister faces a grassroots mutiny in the party after calling the early election as a means of strengthening her hand in Brexit negotiations, then leading her party to unexpected losses. The Tories lost their House of Commons majority and were forced to form a minority government.

She has become the face of Brexit, Britain’s impending departure from the European Union. The Financial Times sees the issue, more than any other, deciding whether the Conservatives can win the next election. Should the talks go awry, according to the newspaper, the electorate will turn on her party because the Conservatives organized the plebiscite, many senior Conservatives campaigned for the country to leave, and the party is in charge of the negotiations with the bloc.

The prime minister or her successor face the ongoing challenge of bringing the party together on Brexit, with some members arguing for a soft Brexit – a close British-European working relationship when EU withdrawal is completed in 2019. Others would settle for a hard Brexit – quitting in 2019 without a deal in place.

The Financial Times also sees the stuttering economy as a threat to the Tories’ prospects. They will have been in power for about a decade when the next election arrives, so they carry responsibility for any slowdown. The newspaper reports that figures in July show that Britain had the slowest growth in the first half of 2017 than at any time in the past four years, and it foresees the possibility of a recession. #22269 Published: 08/04/2017

Printer-friendly page


Welcome to Graphic News

Please get in the habit of logging in when you arrive as we will be restricting the number of pages viewable to unregistered users

The website is undergoing the first part of an upgrade, so please let us know if you encounter problems. When responsive graphics are available, there is now a button to show how they adapt to screen size. There are improved indexing and information pages and also an auto translate facility for our foreign readers. We have also incorporated GN NewsAhead and the GN On This Day anniversaries database.

Cookies