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Five things to know this week: Will Google manage to calm Trump?

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) Brexit: The beginning of the end?

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What's happening?

MPs are set to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's deal for the UK's exit from the European Union.

Why does it matter?

Well, if MPs support the vote on Tuesday, the UK will - in theory - plod relatively uneventfully towards 29 March and the UK's break-up with the EU.

Relative, of course, to the utter chaos that some are predicting should the MPs vote against the deal - an outcome which is looking more and more likely.

No deal, a second referendum, a renegotiation, a general election, a new prime minister, or just the total collapse of civilisation? Frankly, at this point, any of them seem possible.

So get some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the spectacle, because right now, the UK's future - and, to a lesser extent, that of their European neighbours - is in the hands of just 650 people.

2) Google fights bias allegations

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What's happening?

Google chief executive Officer Sundar Pichai is due to testify before the US House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, responding to Republican concerns that the search engine's algorithm - as well as platforms like YouTube - unfairly censor conservative-leaning users.

Why does it matter?

Well, it may allow Google to finally put Republicans' minds at ease over the alleged bias.

However, it won't be easy, despite analysts saying there is little to back up the claim.

We already know US President Donald Trump signs up to the theory, tweeting earlier this year that Google had "rigged" its search engines to favour the sources he labels "Fake News Media".

Should Mr Pichai, who has previously said the allegations are "absolutely false", fail to prove his case, the issue could prove costly to the internet giant.

Mr Trump threatened action, or regulations, against Google back in August - although he has given no details about the form they might take.

3) Who is our most important human?

What's happening?

Time Magazine is unveiling its "person of the year".

Why does it matter?

In the grand scheme of things, it probably doesn't matter hugely. It is not going to solve world peace, or end malnutrition.

However, the front cover is seen as a measure of where we - or rather, the US - are as a society, by telling us who made the most impact in the last 12 months.

Last year, it was the Silence Breakers - the people who spoke out about sexual assault and harassment. The year before, it was Donald Trump. One time, it was all of us.

So who might it be this year? Those in the running include Christine Blasey Ford - who testified about an alleged sexual assault carried out by now-Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing - and Stacey Abrams, who fought to become Georgia's first black, female governor.

And also Meghan Markle, the American actress who married a British prince.

Who will it be? We will find out on Tuesday.

4) Trump's former lawyer sentenced

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What's happening?

Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal attorney, is set to be sentenced for six offences included tax fraud, false statements to a bank and campaign finance violations.

Why does it matter?

It's another major domino falling in an investigation that has circled around key associates of the US president.

The really juicy stuff was revealed on Friday, when we learned what exactly Cohen had revealed to investigators in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Among the details we learned from court papers was the fact that Mr Trump was kept fully informed about a deal to build a Trump hotel in Moscow at the same time Russia was trying to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

The president himself has alleged Cohen is lying to get a reduced sentence. And while Wednesday's sentencing won't reveal new information on top of what came out on Friday, it is one of the most important chapters yet in the fast-unravelling saga of the Trump-Russia investigation.

5) Manchester pays tribute to equal vote leader

Image copyright PA

What's happening?

A statue of the Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst will be unveiled in Manchester - the first statue of a woman to be put up in the city since one of Queen Victoria was erected in 1901.

Why does it matter?

Because without women like Mrs Pankhurst, who were willing to give everything to the fight for women's suffrage, half the population of the UK would be unable to vote.

And Friday - the day the statue will be unveiled - will mark 100 years to the day women first voted in a general election.

Admittedly, it would be another 10 years until they had the same rights as men, but it is still definitely a milestone worth remembering.

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