Five things to know for the week ahead


It's Monday, it's a new week, and while we won't pretend to know everything that's going to happen over the next seven days, we have some sense of what's coming up.

Here's your briefing on some of the most important and interesting stories happening in the week ahead.

1) Budget day in the UK

image copyrightAFP
image caption11 Downing Street is the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer

What's happening?

On Monday, the UK government will announce its plans for tax and spending for the next financial year.

Why does it matter?

The year's major financial statement will be made by Chancellor Philip Hammond, whose role is known as finance minister in many countries, and it comes at a crucial time.

This is the final Budget when the UK is part of the European Union, so any comments on the readiness of the economy for Brexit will be significant.

But there are everyday implications, too.

Everything from the price of beer to the cost of running a car could be affected by what the Chancellor announces.

2) World's tallest statue unveiled

image copyrightEPA
image captionIt is hoped the site will become a significant tourist attraction

What's happening?

A 182m (600ft) tribute to a hero of India's independence struggle will be unveiled by the country's prime minister on Wednesday.

Why does it matter?

The statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, in Gujarat state, will be the world's tallest.

It will be nearly twice as tall as New York's Statue of Liberty - but unsurprisingly, a project of this scale doesn't come cheap.

It cost 29.9bn rupees (£330m; $430m) and is seen as a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

And for context, it will knock the 128-metre Spring Temple Buddha in China off its rather large perch.

3) Trump rallies ahead of mid-terms

image copyrightReuters
image captionTrump's Florida rally will happen just days before crucial US elections

What's happening?

US President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Fort Myers, Florida on Thursday.

Why does it matter?

Mr Trump's distinctive campaign events are an opportunity for him to energise his supporters and spread his message in front of a receptive crowd.

But this appearance in Florida comes one week before the crucial mid-term elections that could define the rest of his presidency.

He has been campaigning for Republican candidates across the country, and in Florida the party's candidate for Senate could do with his support.

Rick Scott, the state's current governor, is in a very tight race against Democrat Bill Nelson.

4) An anticipated Apple launch

image copyrightReuters
image captionApple is expected to show off updates to its iPads and Macbooks

What's happening?

Apple will host an event to showcase its new hardware in New York on Tuesday.

Why does it matter?

Apple is the first US company to have been valued at a trillion dollars (£768bn), so any move it makes will be closely watched.

Its launch events are usually met with excitement and speculation in the tech world, and this one has been no different.

The company is widely expected to announce significant updates to its iPad and Macbook ranges.

But as always, fans of the brand will have to wait for the big reveal.

5) The Trade War continues

image copyrightEPA
image captionIran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei

What's happening?

New US sanctions against Iran, which target the country's energy and finance sectors, will come into force on Sunday.

Why does it matter?

The first stage of sanctions took effect in August and they were aimed at Iran's automotive and precious metals trades.

But this week's sanctions are likely to bite much harder as they block Iranian oil sales.

They could halt around half of the country's exports of some two million barrels a day, striking a major blow to the economy.

The US hopes this renewed economic pressure will force Iran to agree to a new deal on nuclear weapons, after Mr Trump withdrew from a previous agreement earlier this year.

More on this story