Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
September 25th, 2011
05:39 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

U.S. lawmakers are flirting with the possibility of a partial government shutdown by the end of this week - and watching the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief funds run dry as early as Monday - as they fight over new spending legislation. Here's a look at this and other stories that CNN plans to follow this week:

Congress faces deadlines to stop shutdown, keep FEMA funded

Both chambers of Congress must agree on new spending legislation to avoid a partial government shutdown after the close of the current fiscal year on Friday. Late last week, legislation that passed the GOP-controlled House was rejected in the Democratic-controlled Senate, in part because Democrats opposed spending cuts that House Republicans championed.

The legislation also is needed to replenish FEMA's disaster relief fund, which will be relied on to help states hit hard by Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, and a series of recent wildfires and tornadoes. FEMA could run out of funds as early as Monday, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada.

FEMA says that if the fund runs out, the agency would shut down disaster recovery and assistance operations until Congress gives it money. Reid said he would push for a new vote Monday on a compromise package.

This is the third time this year that the country has come to the brink of a shutdown. Legislators nearly forced Washington to start closing its doors in mid-April and again during a debt-ceiling fight in August.

Eyes on Europe debt crisis

With concerns about the sovereign debt of Greece and some other European nations upsetting financial markets around the world, Germany's parliament on Thursday is expected to take a critical vote on a second Greek bailout and an overhaul of a fund meant to help struggling European Union nations.

For the proposed bailout and stability fund reforms to go into effect, they need to be ratified by the governments of all 17 nations that use the euro as their currency.

The debt and banking crisis in Europe has grown into the biggest challenge the European Union has faced since the adoption of the euro as its single currency 12 years ago, with Greece teetering close to default and Portugal and Ireland not faring much better, CNNMoney.com's Ben Rooney writes.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warned the International Monetary Fund on Saturday that the crisis in Europe represents "the most serious risk now confronting the world economy." Greece's debt problems are threatening to spill over into the European banking system, with possible repercussions for the fragile U.S. economy, Rooney writes.

CNNMoney.com: Five things you need to know about Europe's debt crisis

CNNMoney.com: Full coverage of the Europe's debt crisis

Obama to answer questions about jobs in LinkedIn town hall

In the middle of a three-day trip to the West, President Barack Obama on Monday will answer questions about his jobs proposal and the economy during a town hall sponsored by social media giant LinkedIn.

During event in Mountain View, California, Obama will field questions submitted by LinkedIn members across the country. People can submit questions through LinkedIn, and watch the event live on LinkedIn and WhiteHouse.gov/live.

The event comes amid fundraising stops that Obama will make in Washington, California and Colorado from Sunday to Tuesday.

Trial of Michael Jackson's doctor begins 

Opening statements in the trial of Conrad Murray, a doctor charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 death of pop icon Michael Jackson, are scheduled to begin Tuesday in California.

The Los Angeles coroner ruled that Jackson's death was caused by an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol combined with other drugs.  Prosecutors have accused Murray, who served as Jackson's personal and full-time physician at the time, of having a role in the overdose.

An intensive jury selection process was completed last week. Murray would face up to four years in prison if found guilty.

Campus group plans bake sale with race-based pricing

The Campus Republicans group at the University of California-Berkeley are planning to hold a bake sale Tuesday and charge different prices to customers according to their race and sex.

Pastries will be sold to white men for $2, Asian men for $1.50, Latino men for $1, black men for 75 cents and Native American men for 25 cents. All women will get 25 cents off those prices.

Campus Republicans President Shawn Lewis, who planned the event, told CNN affiliate KGO that the sliding scale is intended to make a statement about legislation that would let the California university system consider race or national origin during the admission process.

"But it's really there to cause people to think more critically about what this kind of policy would do in university admissions," Lewis said.

Watch Lewis explain how the "inflammatory" bake sale is intended to make a point:

Tim Wise, author of the book "White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son," called the bake sale a "sarcastic and rather smarmy slap at people of color."

Lewis said the group has received threats but will go ahead with the "Increase Diversity Bake Sale." Other campus groups have organized a simultaneous "Conscious Cupcakes Giveaway" as a countermeasure, according to the Daily Californian student newspaper.

New hurricane likely brewing in the Atlantic

Tropical Storm Philippe formed Saturday in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean, the National Hurricane Center reported. It has grown more powerful in recent days with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph early Sunday evening, 20 mph stronger than those reported 24 hours earlier. Tropical storm-force winds of 40 mph or more extended out 60 miles from its center.

The hurricane center predicts that Philippe will become a hurricane, meaning it will have sustained winds of at least 74 mph, by late Monday.

What had been Tropical Storm Ophelia lost its status Sunday when its winds declined to 35 mph. The system, staggering around 145 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands on Sunday, had kept  forecasters guessing with its erratic movements. They now expect it to weaken and dissipate over the next few days.

soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Elizabeth

    So since I'm a Native American woman, that means I get it for free?

    Wow America, this makes up for the near-extinction of my race. Thanks.

    September 26, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. raven

    Hey Elizabeth: You said almost exactly what I did .I think thats the reaction the organizers of the sale were hoping for : bitter resentment amongst students, pitting them against one another. Poor way to call attention to an old issue,if you ask me.

    September 26, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. Fox Mulder


    September 26, 2011 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. Billy


    September 26, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. hayley

    obama is nothing but disappointment to the united states, not to mention i jadplsad a comment talking about how white plp live off welfare, that's not true , keep ur negative comments to yourselves ..

    September 26, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
    • richard flynn

      maybe the right wing lawmakers who refuse to work with obama are more to blame than anyone

      September 26, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jim Davis

    I don't have time to post a complete reply, I have to go to Work to support myself and my Family. Besides, nobody wants to hear my thoughts anyway. Have a nice day F Oing, all you Welfare Slackers. And to my fellow workers, see you at the jobsite. America.... Land of Justice, Hime of the Free. Peace.

    September 26, 2011 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    What a ray of sunshine you are Jim Davis!
    Must be tough coming up with 'Garfield' cartoons every day.

    September 26, 2011 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. Amir

    I think it's funny. They have been trying that for years. Mabeee the bake sale should ask about annual income. I laugh at that all the time. I know so many people who went to school based on a "black" type of reward system. Family at that. Noe I get the chance to laugh at that decision. Although I will accept this behavior for cookies and muffins. 😉 After all is said and done I think it was roughly ten or so universities that tried to claim me within the past 6 or so years. Yeah these guys are slouches........ I just spend my days watching them and taking account for their actions. I often find there is more of the what are those groups called that were collective during the time of enrollment going on. Their all still friends and do their bargaining through these close connections. All in all their bums strait forward. They'll use any ones name for anything just to get over. But I do like muffins

    September 26, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
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