Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
November 21st, 2010
07:52 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days


Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, and from last-minute meal preparations to pardoned turkeys to uproars over airport screening techniques, the holiday will give us plenty to chew on (pardoned turkeys aside, we suppose). Here's a look at some of the stories we plan to follow this week:

Holiday travel, body scanners and pat-downs:

A public outcry over the ramped-up use of pat-downs and full-body scanning at airports comes right as U.S. travelers are preparing for a busy week of holiday travel.  Our special holiday travel section will get you up to speed on the issue, including your rights in the event you are chosen for a full-body scan.

Some people may be annoyed with aspects of air travel, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows for airport employees, either. On Monday, our travel section will have a story exploring airport workers' experiences with passengers gone wild.

Also Monday, the section will have travel tips from airport and airline employees across the country. The section also will keep track of delays at 20 of the United States' busiest airports.

United Nations to address cholera in Haiti

The United Nations on Monday will hold a noon briefing about the increasingly bleak cholera outbreak in Haiti. The U.N. over the weekend blasted the international response to the outbreak, saying donors had pledged only about 10 percent of the money needed to curb the disease in the impoverished Caribbean country. The disease has claimed more than 1,180 lives, according to Haiti's health ministry, and almost 50,000 people have sought medical help. The outbreak came as the country continued to struggle with January's devastating earthquake, which exacerbated problems with abject poverty, congested unsanitary living conditions and a poor health care system.

Will New Zealand miners be rescued?

Rescuers this week will continue trying to determine whether 29 men survived a blast that trapped them in a coal mine on New Zealand's west coast Friday. An official on Sunday said that air tests revealed something might still be burning underground, and that it wasn't yet safe for rescuers to go in.

Ireland faces a pivotal week

After insisting for days that Ireland doesn't need financial assistance to stay afloat, the country is poised to accept tens of billions of euros from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The country formally requested substantial assistance on Sunday. The prime minister said the government would work over the next few days to cut 6 billion euros before it wraps its current budgetary cycle on December 7, and planned to eliminate a total of 15 billion euros over the next four years. Public support for the government is at a record low, and the government's razor-thin majority is expected to be cut even further on Thursday, when a by-election will fill an empty parliament seat.

Natalee Holloway case

An announcement is expected this week from authorities investigating whether a jawbone found on an Aruban beach is that of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, who was last seen in Aruba in 2005. Holloway's dental records were sent to the Netherlands Forensic Institute in The Hague, Netherlands, last week. The jawbone was found near a hotel that had been mentioned by Joran van der Sloot, who was arrested twice in connection with Holloway's disappearance but has not been charged. He has maintained his innocence in her death.

Amanda Knox to appeal murder conviction

American student Amanda Knox, who was convicted last year of murdering her British roommate in Italy, is scheduled on Wednesday to appeal her conviction in an Italian court. Knox, 23, was sentenced in December to 26 years in prison for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher. Kercher, 21, was found semi-naked with her throat slashed in the house she shared with Knox. Earlier this month, Knox was ordered to face a new trial on accusations of defaming Italian police after her arrest.

What was behind the Fed's bond-buying decision?

Although all U.S. financial markets will be closed on Thanksgiving, investors will have a number of reports to sort through this week, including the minutes of the Federal Reserve's last meeting. Those minutes should give investors some insight into what policymakers were thinking when they decided to buy an additional $600 billion in bonds to try to stimulate the U.S. economy.

On Tuesday, a revision of the U.S. gross domestic product for the third quarter will be released. An initial GDP reading showed a 2 percent annual rate of growth, and analysts expect the revision to show a slightly larger increase. Also this week, we'll see two readings on home sales and earnings from Tiffany and Co., Hewlett-Packard and John Deere.

Holiday eating and shopping

Even the best Thanksgiving meal plans can go awry, so our Eatocracy blog will be here to help. From Wednesday afternoon to Thursday, Eatocracy will offer live kitchen-emergency advice. Just post to the blog or send a tweet, and we'll offer cooking advice, cocktail recipes and even moral support if you need it.

The holiday shopping season kicks off the day after Thanksgiving with discounts in stores across the United States. Want to shame someone who cut in line in front of you but not do so in a way that will lead to fisticuffs?  Our Living section this week will offer tips on handling tricky situations on some of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Football and concussions

Former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner suffered five documented concussions during his career and probably many more over a lifetime of playing football. For a story appearing on our health section Monday, Warner and former NFL player Fred McNeill talks to CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta about how head injuries changed their lives.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta receives the Medal of Honor from President Obama on Tuesday. Giunta became the first living recipient of the medal from the war in Afghanistan.

Rewind to last week

That was the look ahead. Now, here's a look at some of the stories CNN covered in the past seven days:

Sunday

A missing 13-year-old girl was found gagged and bound but alive in basement of a home in Mount Vernon, Ohio, four days after she, two relatives and another woman were reported missing. On Thursday, authorities said the remains of the three other missing people - the girl’s mother, Tina Herrmann, 31; her brother, Kody Maynard, 11; and Stephanie Sprang, 41 - were found in garbage bags in the hollow of a tree in Kokosing Lake State Wildlife Area in Knox County, Ohio. On Saturday, a coroner's office said preliminary autopsy results indicate that the three were stabbed to death and dismembered. The man who lived in the home where the girl was found, Matthew Hoffman, was arrested and faces a kidnapping charge in her abduction. He allegedly directed authorities to the missing people.

Monday

Video of a man's refusal to get an X-ray body scan and a pat-down at the San Diego, California, airport got national attention, sparking a debate over screening procedures. In response to the video, the Transportation Security Administration said Monday it tries to be sensitive to individuals, but everyone getting on a flight must be screened.

Tuesday

Britain's Prince William has popped the question to his longtime girlfriend. The prince announced Tuesday that he asked Kate Middleton to marry him during a vacation in Kenya last month, and he gave Middleton his mother's sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring. The wedding is expected to take place in London in the spring or summer of 2011.

Longtime Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen was gunned down on Sunset Boulevard early Tuesday, just minutes after she left a star-studded party to celebrate the premiere of  "Burlesque," police said. Chasen, 64, died when multiple shots were fired into her Mercedes seconds after she drove past the posh Beverly Hills Hotel on her way home, according to Beverly Hills, California, police. Police said they had no suspects or motive for the attack Tuesday. Jimmy Delshad, mayor of Beverly Hills, told reporters Thursday night that the shooting death appeared to be a planned attack from an SUV, but he backed away from the comments Friday morning, and a police official said there was no prevailing theory on whether the attack was a planned hit.

An F-22 crashed Tuesday while on a training mission in Alaska. On Friday, the military said the pilot, Air Force Capt. Jeffrey Haney, did not survive and did not eject before the crash. The crash's cause has yet to be determined.

A 25-year-old Army staff sergeant from Iowa on Tuesday became the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor from the war in Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta was a specialist serving with the Airborne 503rd Infantry Regiment on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan when his unit was attacked on the night of October 25, 2007. When two Taliban fighters were dragging one of his wounded friends away, he ran after them, killing one and wounding the other. The wounded U.S. soldier died, but Giunta's action meant that the soldier was not at the mercy of the Taliban.

Wednesday

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration told the manufacturers of seven caffeinated alcoholic beverages that their drinks are a "public health concern" and can't stay on the market in their current form. The move follows a year-long review by the FDA. Experts have said the caffeine used in the beverages can mask the effects of alcohol, leaving drinkers unaware of how intoxicated they are.

Thursday

The Pakistani government may hang a woman for blasphemy. A Pakistani court this month sentenced 45-year-old Asia Bibi to death. Prosecutors say Bibi, who is a Christian, broke Pakistan's strict blasphemy law by insulting Islam and the prophet Muhammad, a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment according to Pakistan's penal code.

Friday

The pharmaceutical company that makes the prescription pain medications Darvon and Darvocet agreeded to withdraw the drugs from the U.S. market at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the FDA said. The FDA says the drug, propoxyphene, puts patients at risk of potentially serious or fatal heart rhythm abnormalities. Since 2009, 10 million people have been prescribed some form of the drug. The FDA also asked generic makers of the pain medicine to voluntarily remove their products.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos declared a state of emergency in 28 of the nation's 32 departments because of heavy rains and flooding that have affected some 1.2 million people. Flooding and mudslides killed more than 135 people, the nation's Interior and Justice Ministry reported.

Saturday

NATO and the Afghan government said they forged an agreement that will leave international forces in the war-torn country for many years after a planned military transition in 2014. NATO, whose International Security Assistance Force has been battling insurgents for years in Afghanistan, will start transferring security leadership to Afghans next year, with a goal for Afghans to be in the lead by 2014. As the change occurs, coalition forces will focus on supporting roles, such as training soldiers and police.

Pope Benedict XVI said in comments released Saturday that the use of condoms might be acceptable in some cases to prevent the transmission of HIV, possibly foreshadowing a shift in the Roman Catholic Church's stance on the issue.

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soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Mehdi General Tire&Wheel

    FALL SPESHUL!!! wee wil fix the BRakes on yOur caR for FrEE todayy yew Lazy sWine AmeriCuns must die I wiLl kill you all It suck To be you! ha ha

    November 22, 2010 at 4:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. raesalmon

    Very Interesting! I just now printed Coupons of my Favorite Brands for free at http://ow.ly/3akYe

    November 22, 2010 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Indra

    Wow. It's always fun to read some posts, some people need to wear a helmet and stay away from the angel dust lol. I really don't care about the body scans, the pat downs are annoying. Back in 2003 for my senior trip to Disney I was "randomly" checked, they made me take off my shoes, pat me down etc, they asked for my id which i complied. A few of my teachers however came rushing to my defense and flipped out on the lady giving me the search. Someone grabbed a manager and he quickly ran over. Apologized over and over again to me, told me I was fine, said I shouldn't have been checked and we went on our way to our flight. I sometimes wonder if it was just random or she had been put off by my name or what i look like. Ignorance is bliss

    November 22, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  4. mac316

    mehdi is quite amusing spewing his make believe hate to see reactions from others and laughing at them when they lower themselves to that level to respond. he is a phoney and it is easy to see thru his b/s maybe he will become as bored with his little fantasy rants as most of us have and go play with his imaginary hobbit friend

    November 22, 2010 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. RT

    Dr bad is so messed up because he is sleeping with mohammed and his goat!

    November 22, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. bleh

    mac... you do realize you are also responding to him, right?

    November 22, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
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