Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
October 30th, 2011
04:20 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

Relief agencies fear disease in flooded Thailand

Charities working in Thailand have warned of the risk of water- and insect-borne diseases in the coming weeks in Thailand, which is battling what the government is calling the nation's worst flooding in half a century.

The floods, caused by monsoon rains that saturated rivers, have killed at least 373 people nationwide and affected more than 9.5 million of the country's roughly 66 million people.

Areas in Bangkok's outlying districts were covered with waist-deep water Sunday. Thais have questioned whether resources may be dwindling, including whether electricity and tap water will be available to residents, with a water utility saying algae is slowing down its tap-water processing.  But the prime minister assured residents Saturday that tap water and electricity would be available, though with disruptions.

The prime minister said the flood waters would likely reduce by this week if relevant agencies control the drainage.

NATO ending Libya military mission on Monday

After seven months of an aerial bombing campaign that helped depose longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi, NATO is scheduled to end its mission in Libya on Monday.

NATO's move comes after the United Nations Security Council last week rescinded its March mandate for military intervention to protect civilians targeted during anti-regime protests.

Momentum for the decision began building after Gadhafi was killed following his capture by revolutionary forces near his hometown of Sirte, Libya, on October 20. Many British military personnel who had been stationed at an Italian airfield for the campaign already are returning home.

Meanwhile, Gadhafi's relatives said NATO's actions led to the strongman's death, and plan to file a war crimes complaint with the International Criminal Court, a lawyer representing the family said.

The ICC had issued a warrant for Gadhafi's arrest, accusing him of crimes against humanity. It still has warrants out for the arrest of Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, and his brother-in-law and intelligence chief, Abdullah al-Sanussi.

Syria to attempt drafting new constitution amid clashes

A committee backed by the Syrian government is expected to begin efforts Monday to write a new constitution for the strife-torn nation, according to Syria’s state news agency.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad two weeks ago announced that a committee would draft a new constitution within four months, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported at the time. The announcement was one of several moves the government has made to try to defuse anti-government protests that have happened since mid-March.

The panel will be meeting after a weekend of intense violence in the country. Opposition activists said at least 21 people were killed in clashes with government forces Saturday, including at least 11 who died when Syrian forces pounded the western city of Homs with tanks, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

The state-run SANA, however, said government forces killed six people they described as terrorists Saturday, and arrested 20.

Fierce fighting has been taking place between armed military defectors and loyalist forces, said Rami Abdel Rahman, president of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. More than 3,000 people have died since unrest broke out in Syria in mid-March, according to the United Nations. CNN cannot independently confirm individual accounts of violence because Syria's government restricts the activity of journalists.

The world at 7 billion people

Monday is the day that the United Population Fund estimates that the world's population will reach 7 billion people - an increase of 1 billion since 1999.

According to the U.N. Population Fund, it took the whole of human history until the early 19th century to reach a population of 1 billion people, and it was not until 1927 that the figure doubled to 2 billion. Now, the U.N. calculates that the global population will reach 9 billion by 2050.

The buzz behind 7 billion people: A milestone and a warning

iReport: What does 7 billion look like?

Last defense witness on stand in Conrad Murray trial

Closing arguments in the trial of a physician charged with involuntary manslaughter in the June 2009 death of pop icon Michael Jackson could begin this week - about a week later than once expected.

The final witness for Dr. Conrad Murray’s defense - an expert in the surgical anesthetic propofol - is expected to be cross-examined by the prosecution Monday morning in a Los Angeles courtroom. After the cross-examination, the prosecution could begin a rebuttal case on Tuesday, and closing arguments would follow.

The defense’s propofol expert, Dr. Paul White, testified on Friday that Jackson probably died after he rapidly injected himself with a dose of the surgical anesthetic propofol on top of a large dose of sedatives he swallowed when Murray - who was trying to help Jackson sleep for weeks - was away from his bedside.

The Los Angeles County coroner ruled that Jackson's death was caused by a combination of sedatives with propofol, which Murray admitted in a police interview that he used to help Jackson sleep. Prosecutors argue that Murray's use of propofol to help Jackson sleep led to his death and that even if Jackson did tamper with the propofol flow, it would make no difference in Murray’s guilt.

Trial observers had said closing arguments were possible last week. The judge on Friday apologized to jurors for the case - which is about to enter its sixth week - taking as long as it has.

You can turn to HLN for full coverage and analysis of the trial and watch live on CNN.com/Live and CNN's mobile apps.

G-20 nations to meet in France

When leaders of the Group of Twenty nations get together this week, they're expected to bring along their plans for resolving the global debt crisis.

The conferees need to figure out how to bring debtor nations Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United States more into balance with creditor nations such as China and Germany, say scholars Matthias M. Matthijs and Neil K. Shenai.

"The creditors, like Germany and China, see the crisis as a problem of profligate spending and irresponsible borrowing in the debtor countries, while debtors, like Greece and the United States, see the crisis as a problem of unfair competitive practices on behalf of their lenders," they write in an essay for CNN.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said the G-20 needs to roll out a "big bazooka" to blast away the debt problem, a statement the Daily Mail contends was calculated to get a rise out of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The hope is that Sarkozy will feel challenged to come through with a big plan backed by big money, the Daily Mail writes.

The summit will be held Thursday and Friday in the French Mediterranean city of Cannes.

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soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    @gung hoe:
    You didn't do anything to apologize about.
    It's no biggie. 🙂

    October 31, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    All of my names are honestly JIF. I'm usually a fancy car, or what a sad boy gets instead if he wants a car:
    Rosebud, Schwinn...
    I'm Sheryl's voice, when I'm feeling really good.

    October 31, 2011 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    @JIF:
    I really don't know, but no matter what people may think of me, I am not that petty to say those things to our friend.
    People are frequently wrong about my ident ity.
    If it's me, I own it.

    October 31, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. anaeliss

    Any comment on what I stated???

    October 31, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    @anaeliss:
    No, because you're probably right.

    October 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
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