Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
October 23rd, 2011
05:34 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

NATO is scaling back its air-and-sea Libyan military operation following last week’s death of ousted Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi as the country’s interim leaders make plans for a future government. Here is a look at this and other stories CNN plans to follow this week.

NATO to set formal date for end to Libyan operation

NATO is expected to formally decide early this week when to end its military operation in Libya. The alliance's secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, already has set a preliminary end date of October 31. NATO forces will be on standby until the end of the month to continue to provide assistance to civilians if needed, he said.

The alliance in March began targeting military targets through airstrikes and missile launches, and enforced a no-fly zone and arms embargo after the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution mandating the protection of Libya’s civilian population. The resolution came as pro-Gadhafi forces advanced on a rebel stronghold; NATO action by air and sea helped anti-Gadhafi forces in Libya to push back.

NATO aircraft on Thursday struck a convoy of vehicles, one of which contained Gadhafi, though the alliance says it didn’t know Gadhafi was in it at the time. Libyan revolutionary fighters captured Gadhafi after the strike, and Gadhafi died a short time afterward. The United Nations and two major human rights groups have called for an investigation into the circumstances of his death.

Libya’s interim leaders – members of the National Transitional Council – say they are drawing up plans for a National Congress that will draft a constitution in the coming months. After that, parliamentary and presidential elections will be held.

Earthquake rescue and recovery in Turkey

Rescuers will keep trying to pull people out from under the rubble of collapsed buildings in the wake of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck a poor area of Turkey on Sunday. About 25 apartment buildings and a student dormitory were reported to have collapsed, and the number of casualties had not been determined by Sunday night.

Several nations, including the United States and the United Kingdom, offered condolences and support, and Israel offered to send rescue experts. The earthquake, which was followed by numerous aftershocks, was the strongest to strike Turkey in more than a decade.

U.S., North Korea to discuss North Korea’s nuclear program

Officials from the United States and North Korea are scheduled to meet Monday for the second time in three months, in what could be a step toward restarting six-nation negotiations over an end to North Korea’s nuclear program.

The two days of meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, are "exploratory" in nature, U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said. Washington has called repeatedly for Pyongyang to undertake a series of prerequisite steps, such as halting missile and nuclear tests, and further development of nuclear weapons, to show it is interested in returning to six-party talks, which have been dormant since 2008.

At a U.S.-North Korea meeting in July, Washington listed several items - including North Korean engagement with South Korea - which it was looking for from Pyongyang to demonstrate its seriousness about abandoning its nuclear ambitions, a senior State Department official told reporters. A recent "constructive meeting" between North Korea and South Korea helped get the parties to this point, the official said. This week’s meeting will help the United States see how the North Koreans absorbed what Washington said in July, according to the official.

The six-party talks, launched under former President George W. Bush to negotiate an end to Pyongyang's nuclear program, involved both Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia. At various points, progress seemed to be made, only to have North Korea either pull out over disagreements on verifiable declarations of their nuclear program, or to engage in belligerent behavior that scuttled the talks.

Jury in Conrad Murray trial may start deliberating this week

Jury deliberations in the trial of a physician charged with involuntary manslaughter in the June 2009 death of pop icon Michael Jackson could start by the end of this week.

Dr. Conrad Murray's trial is about to enter its fifth week. The prosecution’s final witness – an expert on propofol, a surgical anesthetic – began testifying Thursday and still will be on the stand Monday. He testified last week that the "only scenario" to explain Jackson's death was that he overdosed on propofol infused through an IV drip set up by Murray.

The Los Angeles County coroner ruled that Jackson's death was caused by a combination of sedatives with the surgical anesthetic 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, while the defense contends Jackson self-administered the fatal dose, along with sedatives, without Murray's knowledge.

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.

Trial relating to mine disaster begins

The trial of a mine security chief charged with lying to federal officials investigating the 2010 deaths of 29 miners at West Virginia's Upper Big Branch coal mine is scheduled to begin Monday in West Virginia.  The security chief, Hughie Elbert Stover, also is charged with trying to conceal evidence.

Baseball champion to be crowned

Baseball's World Series will conclude as Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals try to put away Nelson Cruz and the Texas Rangers. On Saturday night, Pujols tied a World Series record held by Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson when he smashed three home runs to lead the Cardinals to a 16-7 victory at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The best-of-seven series' Game 5 will be Monday night in Texas; if any more games are necessary, they will be played in St. Louis' Busch Stadium starting Wednesday night.

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Filed under: Ahead of the curve
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Regarding the NATO action in Libya, it is wonderful to see a successful end to a conflict in which the USA is involved.
    I hate "peace with honor" withdrawals.

    October 23, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    I agree, JIF.

    October 23, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bobcat2u

    This a prime example of the kind of involvment we should have in other countries conflicts. Supply the support and let them do their own fighting on the ground. No loss of american lives and minimal expenditures. And no ill will towards the US for invading their country. But this should still only be done by request of the involved country.

    October 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. AC

    Is there any way you could subscribe to the weekly "Ahead of the Curve" articles? Just get a weekly Sunday email?

    October 23, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. someone

    As long as Libya doesn't end up going right back to the way it was, I will consider it a success.

    October 23, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jane Smith

    Once the 57 OIC countries declare Islam as their law then we have defined borders and won't be chasing lone criminals across mountain caves in Afg and Pak.

    October 23, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dying to be written

    There's a book that's dying to be written. It's called Transforming a War Culture.

    October 23, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TriXen

    GO RANGERS!!!!!

    October 23, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mick

    Nothing about the possibility of a deal between France and Germany to keep the Eurozone from collapsing?

    That's some fine reporting Lou.

    October 24, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. M. James

    Basically, who are we to to set prerequisites to joining arms discussions. That's just like telling someone to neuter themselves before getting married. Countries usually have constructive intentions before initiating any developmental program, and North Korea is not exempt. North Korea is a major power on a sizable content, with centuries of governmental history senior to that of America. In this instance, we are out of order to try and dictate the energy and military futures of a senior government. It is insubordinate, and a disrespect to that country, its citizens and leader.

    Maybe we should meet some conditions and scale back our nuclear programs to show good faith, because our track record in diplomacy would convey that not only do we not intend to regulate our proliferation of such programs, but we have shown the undisciplined proclivity to use them; the latest case being the Iraq tyranny, where we used both, the gravity and bunker busting bombs under ill advised directives, and caused massive loss of civilian lives. If there is any nation that is to be kept in check and monitored, it is US. Not to mention, we gave King Saddam Hussien similar concessions to meet; i.e. the destruction of Al Samuud missiles. After which, we have all come to realize that concession was just a precursor to our so-called preemptive strike method to war. It turned out to be a genocidal jump to conclusion. Have we no shame? Are we that brazen, callous, unrepentant and hostile as to attempt the same aggression on a senior international power. This political move in Switzerland is just a modified form of what took place in the case of Iraq. The North Koreans know we are bluffing, because if it's government decides to continue their programs, we will walk back silently to our corner on good behavior. These preoccupations are a waist of our energies in national interests.

    October 24, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. M. James

    My father fought in the first Korean War, and may I remind you...... WE LOST!!!!! That's a tree we don't need to be barking up. This is not the old Korea that defeated us the first time; it is the progressive Korea. We don't need to sacrifice thousands of American lives for delusional dreams of grandeur. I did not father a child for my country to threaten her life. That's what's most important to me. The republicans SHOULD NOT be elected to power at this juncture. Taking out a terrorist and winning an ACTUAL war, are two completely different challenges. Let's not go there, when we are turning away fit bodies for enlistment, in favor of weak ones; superior intelligence, in favor of misdirected intelligence and integrity, in favor of depravity. Now is NOT the time to incite this! It would be pure LUNACY, and suicide. And, those America thought to economically spite by not allowing them to join the ranks of the military, will turn out to be the spared ones, left behind to form a more accountable and comprehensible government. This chess game will not be won be aggressors, but by the "thinkers". Trust me, I'm not just rattling off non-sense. Take a moment and just think about it, for clarity outside our jangling walls of Indoctrination.

    October 24, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    I believe I am going to become a priest.Thats the life for me,wearing fancy dresses ,taking mind altering drugs, the list goes on and on. Shall I continue?

    October 24, 2011 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. John D Lamb

    Comments please.

    October 24, 2011 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. Cassie Hooper

    anything to do with Michel Jackson is not news. That belongs in the entertainment section!!

    October 24, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  15. Karl

    THe earthquake in turkey was downgraded to 6.0 from from initial assesment of 7.3
    Why is it that you insist on every report about it that it was 7.3?


    Preliminary Earthquake Report


    6.0 Mw


    23 Oct 2011 20:45:37 UTC
    23 Oct 2011 23:45:37 near epicenter
    23 Oct 2011 12:45:37 standard time in your timezone


    38.555N 43.161E


    9 km


    20 km (13 miles) WNW (288 degrees) of Van, Turkey
    118 km (73 miles) NNW (334 degrees) of Hakkari, Turkey
    129 km (80 miles) NNE (28 degrees) of Sirnak, Turkey
    215 km (133 miles) SSW (213 degrees) of YEREVAN, Armenia

    Location Uncertainty

    Horizontal: 13.2 km; Vertical 2.7 km


    Nph = 174; Dmin = 27.8 km; Rmss = 1.30 seconds; Gp = 39°
    M-type = Mw; Version = 6

    Event ID

    US b0006bwz

    For updates, maps, and technical information, see:
    Event Page
    USGS Earthquake Hazards Program

    National Earthquake Information Center
    U.S. Geological Survey

    October 24, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stats

      Wow! Copy and paste, well done...

      October 24, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |