Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
November 6th, 2011
05:54 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

A shuffle of Greece's government and questions over how it will deal with its debt – which could drag down larger European economies - will be in a spotlight this week as the country's prime minister prepares to resign. Here is a look at this and some other stories CNN plans to follow this week.

Greece dealing with government shakeup, questions about debt

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is expected to resign this week after the makeup of a new coalition government is decided. He narrowly won a confidence vote last week after announcing he would seek a new government, and he's agreed to resign - after talks with the opposition - on the condition that a controversial 130 billion euro bailout deal is approved.

Papandreou found himself in turmoil when he announced he would put a European bailout package for his country - a deal that would slash half of Greece’s 100 billion euro debt - to a referendum. He later backed off the referendum, and he says implementing the package is a priority, but the fate of the deal still isn’t clear.

The bailout deal, reached October 26, comes with strings that would require Greece to slash government jobs, privatize some businesses and reduce pensions. If Greece ever were to decide it doesn’t want to meet those conditions, it could decide to default.

A Greek default could drag down larger European economies, in particular those of Italy and Spain, as well as struggling Portugal and Ireland, analysts warn.

The new government will have a life of four months, according to Greek television, and elections will be held in early spring. Papandreou and main opposition leader Antonis Samaras will meet Monday to discuss who will be Greece's next prime minister and who will be part of the new government, according to a statement released Sunday night by the office of Greek President Karolos Papoulias.

Mississippi 'personhood' vote could affect abortion, birth control rules in state

Mississippi residents on Tuesday will vote on whether to amend the state constitution to define fertilized human eggs as a person. If passed, the measure likely would render abortions illegal in the state and hamper the ability to get some forms of birth control, such as the morning-after pill.

Initiative 26 – also known as the Personhood Amendment - would define personhood as "every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof."

Anti-abortion forces hope the amendment, if passed, would ultimately be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, providing another opportunity for the justices to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

Besides a likely effect on abortions, the measure also could make in vitro fertilization treatments more difficult because it could become illegal to dispose of unused fertilized eggs.

Opponents of the measure argue that, among other things, it would give government too much control over women's reproductive rights, and that it could have unintended consequences. An area of particular concern for opponents is that it doesn't provide exceptions for a victim of rape or incest who wishes to terminate her pregnancy. Some anti-abortion religious groups say it could lead to a Supreme Court ruling that actually strengthens Roe v. Wade.

Also on Election Day: Two gubernatorial races

We're a year away from presidential and congressional elections, but this year's Election Day will feature gubernatorial races in Mississippi and Kentucky.

In Mississippi, Republican nominee Phil Bryant, the state's lieutenant governor, will face Democratic nominee Johnny L. Dupree, the mayor of Hattiesburg and the first black candidate to win a statewide primary nomination.

In Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, is seeking re-election against state Sen. David L. Williams, a Republican.

GOP presidential candidates debating twice in four days

Republican candidates for U.S. president will have two debates this week - on Wednesday at Michigan's Oakland University, and on Saturday at South Carolina's Wofford College.

A national poll released last week showed GOP candidate Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, virtually tied with President Barack Obama in a hypothetical contest for the presidency.

While businessman Herman Cain now polls closely with Romney in national surveys on the GOP nomination, Cain didn't fare as well in a potential matchup with Obama. According to the Reuters/Ipsos National Poll, Obama holds a 46-41 edge over Cain, and a 47-41 advantage over Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

The poll was conducted after news broke of sexual harassment allegations against Cain when he led the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s.

The bid of another GOP candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, appears to be on the rise. According to a poll by ABC News and the Washington Post last week, 12% of Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP say they support Gingrich for the GOP nomination - up 5 points from one month ago. Gingrich is in fourth place in the new poll, 1 percentage point behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Gingrich was in third place at 10% support in a Quinnipiac University national poll released Wednesday, up 7 points from late August.

Diplomats: IAEA to detail Iran's efforts to develop nuclear weapon

In a report to be released early this week, the International Atomic Energy Agency will make the most detailed charges to date that Iran's nuclear program is geared toward weapons development and military use, several Western diplomats briefed on the report told CNN.

The diplomats said that the report will include more data than the organization has previously released on clandestine efforts by Iran to develop technologies to build a nuclear weapon, including computer models of a nuclear warhead. They argue the IAEA studies offer no other explanation for those efforts beyond Iran seeking to develop a nuclear weapon.

Although previous IAEA reports have cited concerns by the organization that Iran has been seeking to develop nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles to deliver them, the diplomats said the upcoming report is expected to make the charges more explicitly. The United States and other Western powers suspect Iran's nuclear program is geared toward weapons development, although Tehran insists its program is for peaceful purposes.

The Obama administration has downplayed speculation that the United States and Britain are weighing a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, saying U.S. officials are focused on a diplomatic strategy. However, some officials say privately the U.S. military and intelligence community is growing increasingly concerned that Israel could be preparing such a strike and are monitoring both Israel and Iran closely.

Carlos the Jackal on trial in connection with '80s bombings

A man who once was one of the world's most wanted fugitives is expected to go on trial Monday in connection with fatal bombings in France in the early 1980s.

Carlos the Jackal, a Venezuelan whose real name is Illich Ramirez Sanchez, is accused of complicity in the bombings that killed 11 and injured more than 100 people in France in 1982 and 1983.

Ramirez, who was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, already is serving a life sentence in Paris for the murders of two French secret agents and an informer in 1975. He also was involved in an assault during an OPEC meeting in Vienna 1975; the raid resulted in 70 hostages being taken, including 11 oil ministers.

He was captured in Sudan in 1994 and brought to France, where he was convicted of the 1975 slayings in 1997.

Obama expected to see MSU-UNC game on carrier

President Obama is expected to be in attendance when Michigan State and North Carolina meet for the first college basketball game to be played on an aircraft carrier.

The two teams are scheduled to play Friday - Veterans Day - aboard the USS Carl Vinson at pier side at the San Diego Naval Base. On hand will be honorary captains James Worthy, a UNC alumnus, and Magic Johnson, who went to Michigan State.

About 7,000 fans will be able to see the event in person. The game is scheduled to be carried live on ESPN.

Asteroid to pass closer to earth than moon

An asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier will pass Earth to within eight-tenths of the distance of the moon - the closest approach to Earth of an object this size in over 30 years.

The asteroid poses no threat of an Earth collision for at least the next 100 years, according to NASA’s Near Earth Object Program. But scientists will be interested in the pass, in part because it is a rare opportunity for amateur astronomers to directly observe an asteroid with optical telescopes.

NASA plans to study the asteroid with Goldstone radar antennas in California’s Mojave Desert. Scientists will use the antennas to map the asteroid's shape with a resolution as fine as 13 feet. Several days of high resolution operations are also scheduled at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

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soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. OhISee

    Hey CNN, how about you cover the deliberate cover up of the raping of young boys by Penn State University?

    November 7, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bay area , San Jose white male

    Either TAKE CARE of Iran or leave them ALONE!
    I'm sick and tired about how close we are[n't] to a military confrontation.
    The IAEA news will just ratchet-up rhetoric on both sides, while we tune in for what's next.

    November 7, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. Occupy Will Prevail

    Can you believe the GOP? Herman Cain is still their front runner.

    Who next? Larry "wide stance" Craig?

    November 7, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. s kel

    Yeah vote Ron Paul 2012.....Now if a disaster should strike your community, state, city, town, ect......Ron Paul and his tea bag son says.....screw you all, its your fault...your on your own. Now lets hear the defence BS from the ron paul people on here...this will be good.

    November 7, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ leeintulsa & s kel:
    Both of you wrote terrific posts about Ron Paul.
    I read all of Paul's hype on his site: I don't want him at aLl.
    The hype was well written.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. michaelfury

    "The Obama administration has downplayed speculation that the United States and Britain are weighing a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, saying U.S. officials are focused on a diplomatic strategy. However, some officials say privately the U.S. military and intelligence community is growing increasingly concerned that Israel could be preparing such a strike"


    November 7, 2011 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Medici

      Really? Do tell. Without me having to go to another blog.

      November 7, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. Scottish Mama

    Dang I just posted my reply to the greeks problems on the Michelle Backmann post.

    November 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Janne

    Wigwag The countdown to an American bimobng campaign against Iran has begun. The countdown started the minute we invaded Iraq. I have been following the Aipac site for seven years. After they changed their action box that was focused on attacking Iraq they switched to being focused on attacking Iran. Had one action effort after the next focused on sanctions against Iran. The last Aipac conference that Ariel Sharon attended there was a Hollywood set to look like an alleged Iranian nuclear weapons site at the conference. Aipac and other Israeli lobbyist have been pounding the hill for seven long years pushing for more aggressive action towards Iran based on unsubstantiated claims.We have heard the debunked by Professor Juan Cole alleged statement by the Iranian President Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map repeated so many times on our national news outlets it has been hard to keep count. Heard this lie repeated on MSNBC, CNN, Fox, NPR. Heard David Gregory, Stephanapoulous, Rachel Maddow, Diane Rehm of NPR, Scott Simon Talk of the Nations Neil Conan allow guest after guest repeat this hogwash along with claiming that Iran all ready has a nuclear weapons program. NONE OF THESE CLAIMS CHALLENGED. Hell I have heard Fresh Air's host Terri Gross repeat these false claims out of her own mouth so many times.The stage has been set..the lies have been told. Now we are seeing energy commercials that show U.S. tanks being blown up in Iraq with a soldier saying we have to get off middle east oil and then always a picture of Iranian President Ahmadenjad image being shown and claims about how much money we are spending with this madman terrorist Oh the I lobby and other warmongers have been setting the stage for an attack on Iran for quite some time. Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration are clearly on boardNot enough people murdered in Iraq for these warmongers. Next stop Iran

    March 13, 2012 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
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