Aftermath in Tucson – Doctors could remove the breathing tube for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Friday as she continues on her "miracle" journey to recovery after an assassination attempt and mass shooting, her husband said.
Giffords was shot in the head less than a week ago, but she is making progress, her husband and doctors told CNN. Her husband, Mark Kelly, told CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta that his wife is aware to some degree of what is going on around her and has the ability to move her arms and legs.
Meanwhile, a funeral Mass will be held Friday for U.S. District Judge John Roll, who was one of six people killed Saturday in the Tucson, Arizona, rampage. Media reports say more than 100 judges will attend the funeral, and security will be tight.
CNN is covering other angles in the Arizona case, including how suspect Jared Loughner "creeped out" classmates, the investigation into a bag with ammo thought to be Loughner's, whether a hero nearly shot the wrong person in the middle of the chaos and whether it is too easy to blame Arizona when looking at the tragedy.
Diplomacy in D.C. – International relations take center stage Friday in Washington.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with Pakistani President Asif Zardari, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is giving a major speech on relations with China ahead of a state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Also, a memorial service will be held at the Kennedy Center for consummate diplomat Richard Holbrooke, who died December 13. Zardari will attend.
RNC vote – It's anybody's guess which candidate will emerge as the next chairman of the Republican National Committee after a vote Friday, but RNC watchers largely agree on one thing: The reign of Michael Steele has come to an end.
Three RNC delegates confidently threw out the phrases "Steele's toast" and "Steele's done" when asked Thursday to forecast the election, and even some of Steele's most ardent supporters privately admit the outlook for him is grim. The voting at the RNC winter meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, is set to begin around 1:30 p.m. Friday and likely will continue for hours.
Flooding – Thousands of families living on mountain slopes or on river banks in Brazil face "extreme risk" of being washed away in heavy rains and flooding that have killed nearly 500 people. Officials said they fear that many more have died, been buried in landslides or been washed away by gushing waters.
Meanwhile in Sri Lanka, thousands of soldiers have launched a massive operation to rescue nearly 1 million people affected by floods in the central, north and eastern provinces. The flooding has killed at least 27 people, Sri Lanka's national news agency reported.
In Australia, the cleanup is under way after Brisbane survived its worst flooding in decades. Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said Thursday that the reconstruction task will be of "postwar proportions."