As TS Eliot wrote in his poem “The Waste Land”, “April is the cruellest month”. I say this not only because this week marks the start of the UK fiscal year, but also because the centenary of what was one of the most important poems of the 20th century is celebrated in the financial center of London from of this Thursday with a festival through 22 churches in the city.
It’s hard to be optimistic about world events right now. What will happen in Ukraine? It is impossible to predict. But there will be many other meetings, first between the foreign ministers of the member countries of NATO, which coincidentally celebrates its 73rd anniversary on Monday. There will also be a meeting of EU finance ministers for the Ecofin conference, whose agenda includes an attempt to assess the economic impact of the conflict.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continues his (virtual) tour of Western parliaments to rally support – this week addressing the elected chambers of Dublin and Athens. Another fortuitous anniversary: this Thursday is the seventh anniversary of the declaration of the Donetsk People’s Republic as a breakaway region from Ukraine.
Are there reasons to be happy? Well, there will be firsts for space travel this week. On Monday, Nasa will hold a press conference to discuss the final stages of testing — called a “wetsuit rehearsal” — for its Artemis 1 rocket. The Artemis program aims to return astronauts to the Moon and establish a long-term lunar colony. term as a precursor to human exploration of Mars.
Then on Wednesday, Axiom (or Ax-1), the first fully private astronaut rocket mission to the International Space Station, is to launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
This weekend, democracy in Western Europe will be in the spotlight with the first round of voting in the French presidential election on Sunday.
It wasn’t too long ago that it could be said that none of the 11 challengers looked close to unseating incumbent President Emmanuel Macron, but he now warns he could lose the election to the far right. The fear is that Macron’s overwhelming success in the polls will foster voter apathy and a festering disillusionment with centrist politicians, as this Big Read explains.
Read the full schedule for the coming week here