On the Radar: Palestinians' bid, falling satellite, wobbly stocks
September 23rd, 2011
10:20 AM ET

On the Radar: Palestinians' bid, falling satellite, wobbly stocks

Three things you need to know today:

Palestinians' expected bid for full U.N. membership

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (pictured) is expected to submit a formal request for full U.N. membership for his territories on Friday, the day he is scheduled to address the U.N. General Assembly. He's expected to speak sometime after 11 a.m.

The bid seems unlikely to succeed because the United States has vowed to block a Palestinian membership application should it reach the U.N. Security Council.  The Obama administration has expressed concern that Palestinian action at the United Nations could intensify conditions on the ground and delay already stalled negotiations with Israel.

A successful vote would not lead to an established Palestinian state with defined borders, but it would afford the Palestinian government an upgraded international status, allowing them to pursue legal actions against Israel.

The Palestinians currently hold the status of a permanent observer entity. As an observer, the delegation can speak in the General Assembly but not vote.

The Palestinians could later appeal to the General Assembly, where only a majority vote would be needed, to gain a lesser status. That would be of a permanent observer state, similar to the position that the Vatican holds. A vote in its favor would be all but assured.

GPS blog: The risks, rewards of Palestinian statehood

Falling satellite

A dead NASA satellite will fall from the sky on Friday afternoon or evening. Because of its speed, no one is quite sure where that will be.

The odds of its pieces hitting anyone are quite slim, experts say.

Twenty-six pieces of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite - about a half-ton of the six-ton object - are expected to survive re-entry and fall to Earth. NASA says the satellite isn't expected to be passing over North America at the time.

Most of the satellite is made up of aluminum and will burn as it re-enters.

Stocks wobbly in Europe ahead of Americans' opening bell

A day after U.S. stocks slid 3%, they looked set to start still lower Friday morning amid fears that the global economy may be heading toward another recession.

European stocks were down Friday morning: Britain's FTSE 100 fell 1.9%, the DAX in Germany dropped 2.9%, and France's CAC 40 plunged 3.1%.

As of 9:45 a.m., the Dow Jones industrial average was down 48 points. It dropped 391 points on Thursday.

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