Here are some of the stories that CNN plans to follow this week:
Afghan tribal elders to discuss relationship with U.S.; Taliban threatens
Afghan tribal leaders are set to gather this week for a vital meeting to discuss Afghanistan's long-term relationship with the United States and possible peace talks with the insurgency.
The Taliban, however, have threatened to disrupt the days-long event, called the loya jirga, which is scheduled to start on Wednesday.
The meeting is considered by many an important step in obtaining Afghan consent to a reduced but long-term U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and any possible peace deal with elements of the insurgency. Hundreds of community leaders have been invited from across the country. Their conclusions will likely influence Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Italy poised to install new prime minister as it aims to restore economic confidence
A week after Greece's prime minister stepped down as the country tried to shore up its debts and prevent wider economic worry in Europe, a country with a larger economy is undergoing a leadership change and budget concerns of its own.
Economist Mario Monti was nominated Sunday to replace Silvio Berlusconi as Italy's prime minister. He will need approval by the Italian Parliament, which will consider Monti this week.
Berlusconi, the second prime minister to resign in Europe this month over the continent's debt crisis, stepped down on condition that Parliament pass austerity measures that Europe demanded to restore confidence in Italy. Those measures include pension reform, with plans to raise the retirement age from 65 to 67; the privatization of state-owned companies and sale of state-owned properties; the liberalization of certain professions; and investment in infrastructure.
Italy is the third-largest economy using the euro, and a meltdown would have a massive impact on global markets. The country possesses a gross debt of roughly €1.9 trillion ($2.6 trillion) and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 120%.
Obama on nine-day Asia-Pacific trip
U.S. President Barack Obama is on a nine-day trip through the Asia-Pacific region that will include stops in Australia and Indonesia and meetings with business and world leaders.
On Sunday, he was wrapping up the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hawaii, where he said leaders of nine nations – the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, Chile and Peru – have agreed on the "broad outlines" of a trans-Pacific free trade agreement. He also began a push for renewed engagement with Asia, seeking to highlight how increased exports to the region would create U.S. jobs, and met with the leaders of China and Russia.
After a break Monday for a political fundraiser, Obama is scheduled to depart Tuesday for Australia, where he is to meet with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Later in the week, he'll go to the East Asia Summit in Bali, Indonesia, where he will stress the U.S. role in the Asia-Pacific region and seek to reassure U.S. allies of the nation's continued commitment to the region, according to Ben Rhodes, deputy U.S. national security adviser.
Giffords' book to be released Tuesday
A U.S. congresswoman who survived being shot in the head at a political event in January is about to release a memoir with her husband.
"Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope," which is set for release Tuesday, chronicles the relationship between Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly. It tells of her political career, his rise from combat pilot to space shuttle commander and the shooting in Tucson that killed six people and wounded 13 others, including Giffords.
After months of rehabilitation, Giffords returned to the House floor for a vote in August and received a standing ovation. Kelly retired from the U.S. Navy in October, saying he wanted to devote more time to helping Giffords recover from her injuries.
A man charged in the shooting, Jared Loughner, is in mental health treatment and will be re-evaluated early next year to determine his competency to stand trial.
'Sweat lodge' guru could be sentenced Friday
After several delays, sentencing for James Arthur Ray, a self-help expert who was convicted of negligent homicide in the deaths of three participants of a 2009 sweat lodge ritual, is scheduled for Friday in Arizona.
Three people died and at least 15 others fell ill in October 2009 during a "Spiritual Warrior" retreat, a ceremony modeled after Native American purification rituals, that Ray held at a resort near Sedona. Prosecutors argued that the lodge, which was made of willow trees and branches and covered with tarpaulins and blankets, was heated to a perilously high temperature and that Ray was indifferent to those clearly having trouble.
Ray's lawyers countered that what happened was an accident, not a crime.
Monday Profile: 'Addict whisperer' gives celebrity junkies hope
Bob Forrest knows about addiction and consequences - he was one of the worst junkies in Hollywood. Now, he helps celebrities stay sober and has been Dr. Drew Pinsky's sidekick on "Celebrity Rehab."
CNN.com is kicking off a weekly feature called the Monday Profile, an in-depth look at people behind topics that have made headlines. This week's profile of Forrest, by Ann O'Neill, will hit CNN.com's homepage on Monday, but you can get a sneak peek at the story here.
Norway terror suspect to make public appearance in court
A man accused of killing 77 people in bombing and shooting attacks in Norway is scheduled this week to appear in his first court session that will be open to the public.
Anders Behring Breivik is expected to be at a Monday hearing designed to help a judge decide whether to keep him in jail until his trial in the spring. The hearing will be a chance for victims’ relatives to see Breivik in person.
Breivik is charged in the July 22 attacks that killed eight people in a bombing in Oslo and 69 people in shootings on nearby Utoya island. The people on the island were at a Labour Party youth camp; most of the 700 campers ranged in age from 16 to 22.
Breivik, who purportedly wrote a 1,500-page manifesto critical of Muslim immigration and European liberalism, has pleaded not guilty.