U.S. President Barack Obama and congressional leaders enter the week struggling with negotiations over raising the federal debt ceiling, now with just three weeks left before the country would begin defaulting on its obligations without a deal. Here is a look at this and other stories that CNN plans to follow this week:
Debt negotiations stumbling over proposed tax hikes
Congressional Republicans say they want an agreement to cut federal spending before agreeing to raise the federal debt ceiling, which the Treasury Department says should be done before August 2 to prevent default. But over the weekend, efforts to secure a major deficit-reduction deal took a hit when Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said his party wouldn’t go along with Democrats’ insistence that cuts be paired with higher taxes.
Without Republican support, no deal would pass the GOP-controlled House.
The grand deal reportedly might have included significant Medicare reform – a concession for Democrats who have said proposed cuts to entitlement programs were unacceptable.
The president and congressional leaders still plan to meet Monday to continue negotiations, and Obama is scheduled to hold a press conference in the White House briefing room at 11 a.m. ET
The Treasury Department has warned that failure to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by August 2 could lead to a possible default on its loans, which could send interest rates skyrocketing and cause the dollar to plummet.
Soldier to become second living Medal of Honor recipient from Afghan war
A U.S. Army Ranger who lost his right hand while tossing an enemy grenade away from comrades in Afghanistan will receive the Medal of Honor on Tuesday.
Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry, a father of four from New Mexico, will become only the second living Medal of Honor recipient from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The other is former Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta.
Petry, who is assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia, also will be inducted into the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes on Wednesday afternoon. He has served six tours of duty in Afghanistan and two in Iraq.
WikiLeaks founder appealing extradition to Sweden
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, under house arrest in the United Kingdom for months, is scheduled to begin his appeal Tuesday against extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted on sexual misconduct allegations that he denies.
WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of once-secret U.S. documents on subjects ranging from the war in Afghanistan to the inner workings of U.S. diplomacy. His lawyers have expressed concern that Sweden, if Assange is sent there, might hand him over to the United States.
'National dialogue' talks on crackdown in Syria continue
Monday will be the second day of Syria's government-sponsored "national dialogue" talks, where activists have been criticizing recent crackdowns by the country's security forces.
Hundreds of people are believed to have been killed since unrest across Syria began in mid-March, after teens were arrested for writing anti-government graffiti in Daraa, according to Amnesty International. The Syrian government has consistently blamed the protest casualties on "armed gangs," though activists say security personnel have assaulted unarmed protesters.
The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency says the talks at Damascus University have included members of the opposition, independent activists and youth leaders and academics. Syria's vice president has hailed the discussions as a step toward creating a "democratic union." But some opponents of President Bashar al-Assad's government have boycotted the talks, alleging that the regime is trying to stop the unrest without making meaningful changes.
Women's World Cup final, British Open among high-profile sporting events
The United States is still in the hunt for this week's FIFA Women's World Cup final in Germany, thanks to some late heroics in a quarterfinal on Sunday. Down 2-1 to Brazil deep into extra time, the United States' Abby Wambach headed home a cross from teammate Megan Rapinoe to tie the game.
The Americans then won the match on penalty kicks, 5-3, keeping alive their hopes of winning their third Women's World Cup and first since 1999. Wednesday's semifinals pit the United States against France and Sweden against Japan. The winners will meet for the title on Sunday.
Other high-profile sports events this week are golf's Open Championship - otherwise known as the British Open, this year played at England's Royal St. George's Golf Club - and Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Phoenix.