Four things to expect this week

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) A relationship update

Scientists and government officials spent much of last week in Paris finalising a key assessment on humanity’s relationship with nature ahead of a report published on Monday.

The conclusions will come from a panel belonging to the awkwardly-named Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), a body that aims to get the world’s governments singing from the same sheet about the need to protect natural systems.

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Environmental changes in Antarctica have led to the collapse of a colony of emperor penguins

There is little doubt that, worldwide, humanity struggles to coexist with other species that inhabit the planet, but this global report has the lofty goal of setting out a path to a more sustainable future.

It comes as young climate campaigners mobilise around the world and just days after the UK parliament declared a national climate emergency.

Do you have a question you want to ask about the planet? Try our climate change chatbot.

2) Camping out in fashion

Celebrities are preparing to wipe their feet on the red carpet at the glamorous Met Gala event on Monday in New York – considered the highlight of the city’s social calendar, attracting fashion designers and stars from around the world.

Co-chairing with Vogue editor Anna Wintour will be musicians Lady Gaga and Harry Styles, and world tennis champion Serena Williams.

Image copyright Metropolitan Museum of Art
Image caption This year’s Met Gala theme is entitled “Camp: Notes on Fashion”

The theme for this year’s benefit event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute is “camp” – or rather “exploring the origins of camp’s exuberant aesthetic”.

But what exactly is camp? Well, inspiration here is drawn from the late American writer Susan Sontag’s lauded essay “Notes On Camp”. In it, Sontag defines camp as “a seriousness that fails”, as “the love of the unnatural” and of the “exaggerated”.

So is this year’s theme likely to encourage costumes more extravagant than previous years? Probably not, no.

3) South Africans venture ‘into the unknown’

Almost 27 million South Africans are registered to vote on 8 May, which is a lot, but is less than half the country’s total population.

The gap between the rich and the poor is set to be a key issue at the ballot box.

While the quality of life may have improved for many South Africans since the landmark 1994 elections that ended white-minority rule, huge inequalities remain.

The African National Congress (ANC), the party of Nelson Mandela, has been the governing party in the country since then. The ANC will attempt to retain its majority status and secure President Cyril Ramaphosa, one of the country’s wealthiest politicians, a further full term in office.

The main opposition parties are the Democratic Alliance (DA) and a relatively new party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

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Media captionSouth African rappers speak on voters’ apathy as election draws nearer

Meanwhile, as many as six million young eligible voters chose not to register earlier this year, telling the BBC that they felt underrepresented.

Others, such as rapper Lex La Foy, say the elections promise to be interesting this year as voters venture “into the unknown” in search of those of who “can deliver the change that they are looking for”.

4) End to one of football’s greatest seasons

The Premier League season will end on Sunday and it’s been a nail biter. For weeks, a neck-and-neck race for the title has played out with Manchester City and Liverpool both refusing to blink.

Liverpool, who face Wolves at home on Sunday, have gained one of the highest ever Premier League points totals with more than 90 points. It’s worth remembering that the league winners in 2016 – Leicester City – finished with just 81.

But, remarkably, Liverpool still find themselves in a close-fought contest. Manchester City have matched them step-for-step and will face Leicester at home on Monday before a final trip to Brighton on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the other teams battling to secure positions near the top of the Premier League table as we head for the final weekend of fixtures include Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Whatever happens next, it’s set to be a premier end to a truly captivating season.

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