The Week Ahead: Feb. 28th - March 6th

Economic news will continue to dominate the upcoming week in each corner of the globe. Australia will release its fourth quarter figures, U.S. unemployment data will come out, and the EU will hold yet another emergency summit in Brussels. South American leaders will also get involved when finance ministers and central bankers from 19 of the region's countries will meet with their counterparts from Spain and Portugal. Asian ministers will hold their own conference in Thailand, as ASEAN convenes. For the exact timeline, keep reading -- hopefully one of these summits will end with something resembling a solution.  


The official celebration of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's 85thbirthday will be held in the town of Chinhoyi. Newly appointed Prime Minister -- and Mugabe rival -- Morgan Tsvangirai will also attend the celebration.

The 14th summit of ASEAN leaders will continue to be held in Hau Hin, Thailand.

EU leaders will hold an emergency summit to discuss the continuing economic downturn. The meetingwill highlight the division between east and west European nations.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key will visit Canberra for an annual bilateral meeting with the Australian prime minister.


Pascal Lamy, the director-general of the World Trade Organization will give an address on international trade and the global financial crisis in Sydney.

The Governator, Arnold Schwarzenneger, will make an appearance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the world's largest trade fair, CeBit, in Hannover, Germany. He will also meet with the German foreign minister.

Finance ministers and central bank governors from Spain, Portugal, and 19 South American countries will meet in Port, Portugal to discuss responses to the global financial crisis.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev begins a two-day visit to Spain.

AIG is set to announce its overhaul plans, which could include a 3-way break up facilitated by the government.

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra will make a rare public statement at the Foreign Correspondent's Club in Hong Kong.


The National Archives in London will hold a press event to highlight the latest file releases from the British Security Service.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled to begin in a Moscow court regarding a new embezzlement and theft trial against oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The Malaysian government will hold an emergency sitting that could force the dissolution of the government.

U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in at the White House.


South Korean President Lee Myung-bak begins a visit to Australia.

Judges at the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands are set to announce whether they will order the arrest of Sudanese President Omaral-Bashir on charges including genocide and crimes against humanity.

Gordon Brown will head across town to address the U.S Congress.

Australia will release its GDP figures for the fourth quarter of 2008, an announcement that could have serious repercussions for the value of the country's currency.


The Chinese government's National People's Congress opens its session in Beijing.

The European Central Bank will hold a policy meeting where it is widely expected to cut interest rates by 50 basis points to 1.5 percent.

Yemen's parliament will hold an emergency session to discuss amending the country's constitution in order to extend the parliament's term.

The Inter-American Development Bank will commemorate its 50th birthday by meeting in Managua, Nicaragua, a country which is currently requesting a $300 million dollars loan from the bank to survive the economic crisis.


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will head to Geneva to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, where the two will discuss ways to improve cooperation between the two nations.

The latest and highly anticipated unemployment data for the United States will be released.

The Japanese government plans on passing another major spending bill, which would give $315 billion toward stabilizing the country's ailing stock market.


Highlights from this week

Here at FP, we spent most of the week surrounded by cardboard and bubble wrap as we prepared to move into our swank new headquarters. But between sorting ancient office supplies  and torturing our amazingly good-natured research assistants, we managed to have a great week for Web content.

The latest controverisal appointment: The Cable's Laura Rozen originally broke the story of Chas Freeman's appointment to head the National Intelligence Council and was all over the controversy about his views and affiliations. Passport had more details and David Rothkopf stood up for the controversial pick.

The Speech: Rothkopf and Chris Brose loved Barack Obama's address to Congress, but Peter Feaver thought he was ducking a discussion of national security.

A little advice: Brazil's former president, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, told FP why it's time to end the war on drugs; Steve Walt imagined what advice Winston Churchill might have for Obama; and Dan Drezner told the WTO it should really consider getting some nuclear weapons. 

High-carb blogging: Passport examined the threat facing German pretzels and Palestinian pasta.

Reinvention: This week's photo essay looked at the new and improved Abu Ghraib and journalist James Card exposed how South Korea's infamous clone doctor has found a bizarre new line of work.

Cell phone photography by Joshua Keating