As Occupy Wall Street-style rallies continue in the United States and spread across Europe and parts of the rest of the world, more protests are expected in Greece ahead of a Thursday vote by lawmakers on whether to approve major changes, including wage and pension cuts and tax hikes. Here is a look at this and other stories CNN plans to follow this week.
Protests expected ahead of Greek austerity vote
Greek lawmakers, trying to address a severe debt problem, are expected to vote Thursday on austerity measures that are unpopular with a large portion of the Greek public. Protests similar to previous demonstrations in that country this month are expected Wednesday at the latest.
Finance ministers with the Group of 20, meeting in Paris, pledged over the weekend to take "all necessary actions" to stabilize global markets and ensure that banks are well capitalized. But with debt crises spreading in Europe – debt problems are prompting austerity plans in Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Portugal - thousands across the continent spent part of the weekend to protest against corporate power, grinding poverty and government cuts.
GOP presidential candidates head west for debate
Most of the Republican U.S. presidential candidates will be in Las Vegas this week for a televised debate and to speak at a conference of GOP members from Western states, with one candidate boycotting the event.
Seven candidates will participate in Tuesday's presidential debate, sponsored by CNN and the Western Republican Leadership Conference, at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. CNN's Anderson Cooper will moderate the event, which CNN will show from 8 to 10 p.m.
The debate comes after a CNN poll of polls indicated that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is on top of the GOP field at 23%, and former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain is three points behind. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who was a front-runner in the national polls from late August through much of September, trails Cain at 14%.
The event will feature those three plus U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas; U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum. The public can suggest questions on the CNN Politics fan page on Facebook and by using the #CNNDebate hashtag on Twitter.
Candidates will stay in Las Vegas to participate in part of the four-day Western Republican Leadership Conference, where people from 16 states and territories that make up the Republican National Committee Western Region will talk politics and policy and hear the candidates discuss their visions.
One of the candidates, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, plans to skip the debate because, he says, he is taking New Hampshire's side in a fight with Nevada over when to schedule New Hampshire's primary and Nevada's caucuses. Instead, Huntsman - who is investing most of his campaign resources in New Hampshire in hopes of making a strong showing there - is holding a town hall meeting in the Granite State on Tuesday. New Hampshire law dictates that its first-in-the-nation primary be held at least one week before a similar contest, and this is being complicated by Nevada's decision to hold its caucuses on January 14.
Israel set to exchange Palestinian prisoners for soldier
Israel early this week is expected to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, barring any changes due to pressure from some Israelis who oppose the deal.
Israel early Sunday released the names of 477 prisoners that it intends to release in the first stage of the exchange. The Israeli public over the next two days is allowed to file objections to specific releases, and Israeli President Shimon Peres is expected to voice his discomfort with the release of prisoners who are convicted murderers. But Peres is unlikely to reject any of the pardon requests, as any changes to the list negotiated with Hamas - the militant movement that controls Gaza - could endanger the entire deal, a spokeswoman told CNN.
The second stage, which includes 550 prisoners, will occur later this year. The 1,027 Palestinian prisoners include hundreds serving life sentences for attacks on Israelis. Palestinians captured Shalit in June 2006 after tunneling into the Jewish state and attacking an Israeli army outpost. Israel immediately launched a military incursion into Gaza to rescue Shalit, then 19, but failed to free him.
Baseball's World Series begins as rugby's World Cup winds down
The Texas Rangers are headed to their second straight World Series, which begins Wednesday. The Rangers, who lost Major League Baseball's championship series last year to the San Francisco Giants, and who won this year's American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers in six games, will face the winner of the National League Championship Series - either the St. Louis Cardinals or the Milwaukee Brewers. SI.com's Albert Chen writes that the Rangers, though they haven't won a World Series in their 51-year history, have become an American League superpower and are determined to show that last year's success was no fluke.
The 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand will conclude with the third-place match on Friday and the final on Sunday. New Zealand will face France in the final, after New Zealand defeated Australia 20-6 and France edged Wales 9-8 this weekend.
Hearing scheduled in Aruba missing-woman case
U.S. tourist Gary Giordano will seek his release from custody in a court in Aruba on Monday. Giordano is being held in connection with the disappearance of his traveling companion, Robyn Gardner, 35. Giordano's defense attorney will argue that authorities do not have enough evidence to continue to hold Giordano.
Giordano, 50, has maintained he and Gardner went snorkeling August 2 behind the Nanki Country Club on the southern end of the island and that Gardner vanished in the water as he returned to shore.
Authorities say Giordano was the beneficiary of a $1.5 million accidental death insurance policy on Gardner, taken out just days before their trip. He was arrested August 5 at the airport in Aruba as he waited for a flight back to the United States.