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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  1. Joseph

    Rick Perry's numbers in the ABC/Wapo is 14%, 2 points ahead of the thrice married self-admitted adulter Newt RINO Gingrich and nine points behind Cain.

    It is Perry's best showing in a month.

    November 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • fools

      http://polymontana. com/2011/10/07/hb-1505-is-the-greatest-federal-land-grab-in-history-part-1/

      November 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tony In Largo

    The problem in Greece is the loss of jobs and the subsequent loss of revenues for the government. Does that sound familiar ? Of course, it is. It's the same problem facing Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, France, Syria, Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, the UK, and the United States. It's the loss of jobs to India and China and it will continue until all of these countries tell the corporations " "If they want to sell their goods here, they will have to infuse 50% of the labor of each and every "widget" here". Period. Nothing else will create jobs. We are at an insurmountable disadvantage with people who only get paid 50¢ to $1 per DAY in wages. Corporations have no incentive to manufacture anything here, ever again. We must give them that incentive!!!!!!!!! Either they infuse 50% of the labor here or they lose us as a market. NOTHING ELSE WILL STOP AND REVERSE THE JOB LOSS. That pronouncement MUST be made by our politicians, but since we have a bunch of FOLLOWERS in Congress, instead of leaders, we must tell them what it is that they have to say. Just tell your congressman that they must pass legislation to that effect. Mind you, there are 1 Billion unemployed Chinese and Indian human beings that are not part of their 600 million who are "experiencing" the economic boom. These 1 Billion unemployed human beings who are barely eking out a living in the countryside are waiting to take on more jobs created by more companies going overseas, or new developments or inventions.

    "If they want to sell their goods here, they will have to infuse 50% of the labor of each and every "widget" here".

    November 6, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Goronpaul

    Ron Paul won yet another Straw Poll yet the MSM will not speak of it
    Ron Paul was declared the winner on Saturday of a weeklong Republican presidential straw poll in Democratic President Barack Obama's home state of Illinois.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      What does he want?

      Someone give that guy a fish..

      November 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinker

      No fish necessary. Just the same respect they gave Cain when he won the Florida straw poll. Thanks!

      November 7, 2011 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. tcaros


    November 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • horacev

      If by "nobody" you mean yourself, than perhaps you are right. The rest of the world cares tremendously.

      November 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jay Em

    Again the media dare not talk about Ron Paul. More of a reason for why people, who pay attention to these biased articles, to do their own homework and look at what it is that the media does not want them to know. Google Ron Paul and find out for yourselves why the main stream media is so scared of Ron Paul. Saving American is all of our responsibilities, with the help of Ron Paul we can save our country. Ron Paul 2012.

    November 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joel

      This moron thinks it is a good idea to get rid of federal student loans!!!!! That reason alone should make anyone fear an idiot like RP.

      November 6, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinker

      It is a good idea to get rid of Federal Student Loans. Here's the outcome, moron:

      1. States provide the money instead.
      2. College bound impoverished kids work for a few years before applying.
      3. Less people attend college in general, resorting to things like apprenticeships.

      All three of these outcomes reduce tuition cost and/or debt. Thanks for playing.

      November 7, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    Well, naturally Ron paul was declared the winner in a republican straw poll...Ron paul is a republican.
    I'd be more impressed with your obviously misleading statement is you said he was the winner between RP and BO.
    That's not what you said though, is it?

    November 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinker

      He was the winner in that hypothetical match up. Too bad the MSM hasn't repeated the poll.

      November 7, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Medici

      Want to post a link? That's very interesting. Doubtful, but interesting. And don't tell me Google it; that's not my job. I really don't care; i just think your FOS. Oh, and BTW: this is CNN. Thanks.

      November 7, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. Connor

    Just make a bullseye target over Iran for when the asteroid passes over.

    November 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. leeintulsa

    He's a libertarian trying to run on the republican ticket. He won't fly with old reps.. Sell all our bases, bring em all home, cut mil spending in half..? Certain moneyed interests will keep that from happening. Especially since he sleeps now where republicans sleep..

    Looks good on the circuit, though. It's funny republicans need a libertarian to remind them of some of the things they are supposed to believe in.. I think deep down we're all libertarians.

    He'll fire em up.. Maybe a veep ticket?

    Whoever gets elected will have to deal with congress, whoever that is then.. Maybe rep prez with dem congress? That old gag? That would serve us right..

    But ron paul. He could have made libertarian history (yeah.. Not.. I know..). Why not the libertarian ticket? If you like his ideas, you'll love the libertarian party. Lp dot org. Instead of standing for something, he's going after republican/corporate money. He turned his back, i think because we're po'.

    Same as the old boss.

    November 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©


    November 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. There are no gods!

    I think holding a collegiate basketball game on a ship used for war is an act of propaganda and should not be allowed to take place. We have enough violent images, video games, and tv shows in this country why push it to the max by hosting a basketball game on a aircraft carrierr? This to me seems absurd, but I happen to think about things which makes me an absurd person in the United States.

    November 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    @There are no gods!:

    Nothing wrong with thinking of the absurd.
    Many things on this planet are absurd; it's what makes life interesting.

    November 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Carlos

    I am still waiting for CNN to inform that yesterday Ron Paul won a whole state strow poll in Illinois with 52% leaving behind Cain with 18% and Rommey with 14%.

    November 6, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      I just think it's funny they can't field someone.. They're having a kerry moment..

      November 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ayn

    The threat coming from Iran is by far the most important story, strategic military action against Tehran needs to take place pronto before it's too late for us.

    November 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Alfred H

    The NCAA holding a first ever regular season college basketball game for the Michigan State Spartans and the North Carolina Tar Heels on a Nimitz Class Carl Vinson Super Carrier, "excellent".

    November 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bingo jingo

    Asteroid? 2012 it will be back. People pay attention

    November 6, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
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