Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground off the Italian island of Giglio in January.
October 14th, 2012
04:29 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

Here is a look at some of the stories that CNN plans to follow this week:

Obama intends a more energetic debate performance Tuesday, aide says

President Barack Obama reportedly was disappointed in his own debate performance  against Republican challenger Mitt Romney earlier this month. One of Obama's top advisers says he'll be more rigorous on Tuesday, when the presidential candidates participate in a town hall-style debate in Hempstead, New York, at Hofstra University.

"He knew when he walked off that stage, and he also knew as he watched the tape of that debate, that he has to be more energetic," Robert Gibbs said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" to Candy Crowley, who will moderate the debate.

Polls after the October 3 debate showed most respondents thought Romney won the first match-up, and he's achieved a bump in voter-choice polls. CNN's October 9 Poll of Polls, calculated using at least three polls that use CNN-approved methodology, had Romney with a slim lead over Obama nationally, 48% to 47%. Eight days earlier, the Poll of Polls had Obama up by 3 percentage points.

Last week on the campaign trail, Romney appeared buoyed by his debate performance and praised his running mate, Paul Ryan, who debated Vice President Joe Biden. Poll takers were split on who won the Ryan-Biden debate.

Crowley says the town-hall format of Tuesday's event, with undecided voters in attendance, will make it harder for the candidates to dodge questions. Coverage on CNN will begin at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday.

Greene: Let them debate one-on-one

Watch: SNL spoofs Biden-Ryan debate

Italian cruise ship captain to see victims at trial

The captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner is expected to see survivors of the January wreck and victims' relatives when a hearing - set to determine whether he will go to trial - begins Monday.

Thirty-two people reportedly died when the cruise liner struck rocks and turned on its side off the Italian island of Giglio on January 13. Francesco Schettino could be charged with manslaughter and other crimes at the end of this week's proceedings in Italy.

He was freed from house arrest in July but is still confined to his hometown of Meta di Sorrento while he awaited the hearing, The Telegraph reported.

Philippines, Muslim rebels expected to sign peace deal

Officials in the Philippines and Muslim rebels are expected to sign a peace deal Monday, marking a major milestone after decades of militant insurgency in the nation's troubled south that has killed tens of thousands.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has fought for an independent Islamic state in southern Philippines, has been blamed for rampant attacks in the region. Peace talks have taken 15 years.

President Benigno Aquino III described the deal as a "framework agreement" for establishing a new autonomous region to be administered by Muslims in the south. The new region is expected to replace the current one by 2016.

Could Colombia, FARC move toward peace?

Talks aimed at ending 50 years of fighting between  FARC guerrillas and Colombian forces are expected to take place this week in Norway.

The war between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebel group, commonly known as the FARC, and the Colombian government is Latin America's oldest insurgency. Talks are expected to begin Monday, and a news conference to update progress might be held Wednesday, according to Reuters.

Peace talks between the rebels and the government have occurred sporadically since the 1980s. The last attempt fell apart in 2002. Then-President Andres Pastrana ceded an area the size of Switzerland to the guerrilla group but ended negotiations after rebels launched a series of attacks across the country in an apparent bid to strengthen their position.

The FARC continues to carry out kidnappings and attack security forces, though it has been severely weakened in recent years, thanks in part to a U.S.-backed security campaign.

Quran case against Pakistani girl could be dismissed

A hearing on whether to dismiss the case against a teenage Pakistani girl who was charged with blasphemy for allegedly burning pages of Islam's holy book has been scheduled for Wednesday.

Rimsha Masih, a Christian teenager, has denied the charges. Police arrested Rimsha in August after her neighbor accused her of burning Quran pages for use as cooking fuel, investigators said.

But they then arrested the neighbor, Muslim cleric Khalid Jadoon Chishti,  after witnesses accused the cleric of tampering with evidence to frame the girl. Based on these accusations and other factors, Rimsha's lawyer are trying to get the case thrown out.

However, Chishti has been released on bail after three of four witnesses recanted their statements against him.

Rimsha's case has sparked international outcry against the Pakistani government, with some saying that blasphemy laws are used to settle scores and persecute religious minorities.

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soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. BOMBO ©

    Re Philippines peace deal, this is the Moro group, not the Abu Sayyef. The Moro group has not been much of a problem over the past few years. Abu Sayyef has. So not much will change on the ground. It's a bit like the situation in Israel, they have an agreement with Fatah, but not Hamas who are the real problem.

    October 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    'The captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner is expected to see survivors of the January wreck and victims’ relatives when a hearing — set to determine whether he will go to trial — begins Monday.'

    Set to *determine* whether he will go to trial??
    Absolutely he should GO to trial!!

    October 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ben

    Wow I hope President Obama is reelected. I'm really afraid he may not be, but most American people need him. We missed out in the "government option " on the health card plan. Lots of us simply can not afford to go to the doctor or have surgery. Even with health insurance we can not afford the thousands of dollars it will cost. Personally I need at least three surgical procedures right now. Guess it is not going to happen. Maybe I can "walk it off " or ride an exercise bike more while not working sixty hour weeks. Us normal average people need Obama. Please ignore the one percenters. They don't need anyone.

    October 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • realist

      Everyone is meant to die at some point if i got cancer today i would say go ahead its my time this world is way to populated and only getting bigger if we paid for everyone to get a surgery from the tax payer dollars to go to medicare or pay for old people to live forever then we would not have any other money to make our children have a better education or finacial position for there future

      October 14, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • coalminer

      If you are so sick Obama's plan will consider you too much of a risk. No surgery. A,erica does NOT need him or his plans. Vote down socialism.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. 1608

    I want to c the Baumgartner jump. what is wrong cnn?

    October 14, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick Shultz

      I can tell what's wrong. It's their nonsensical "abundance of caution" they cut out anything that might end badly and they won't let anyone see it. They censor the news for "our own good". How do you like that?

      October 14, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Observer

    Cruise ship..."32 people 'reportedly' died"? Reportedly? So it might not be true that 32 people died? Its just a possible rumor that 32 people died?

    October 14, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    Do they REALLY think peace talks are gonna end a 50 year dispute in Columbia? Seriously?

    October 14, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Timmy

    Send the FARC to the Phillipines to "negotiate" with the Muslims.

    October 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    Well i might believe that if they hadnt immediately posted my original post right after. Too freaking wierd.

    October 14, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. 1608

    I wanted to know the outcome because the suit was made here, and i would never do it.

    October 14, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. 1608

    Thank you Chrissy, read u morrow 5:30 am really fast you know.

    October 14, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Hide Behind

    Has your health improved with the new medical program. Has your cost of medical been Lowered?
    Behind the curve are they who know how to spin.
    The election is coming and the absentee balots are arriving, and the great change is awaiting to change. because no one realy knows what the he... they are voting for or against.
    The middle class are clueless and without class. and employed without directions of where their employment is heading and mostly in occupations that are only held by a piece of paper that says they are or once were educated. and the working poor know dam..... well that no matter who wins the election it will only be the middle class who thinks they won.
    The only change will be the lack of spare change the working poor will have in their future.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rogue351

      My life has improved and it is sad that you are willing to take hand outs from the rich via trickle down measures. Do you honestly think they will pay fair wages, provide good insurance if they don't have to ? No they have not and will not. They will buy a new house, car, second home long before they will pass anything on to the workers who actually make the money for them. But sad people like you are willing to work for scraps. Pathetic

      October 15, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Gimcy

      I'm middle class. I am employed full-time. My place of employment does NOT provide health care insurance. I am now paying alot MORE for health insurance than before Obamacare. My provider discontinued my coverage and switched me to a more expensive, less coverage plan, and I no longer have prescription coverage. No, I am not better off than I was before Obamacare, or Obama, for that matter.

      October 15, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. Rogue351

    Take a good look at this ship on the rocks. This is exactly how the Republicans left us. That is the reason there captain George Bush has not shown his face during this election cycle. Mitt Romney wants you to believe that this could not happen again. Since that time the ship is floating again, we have stopped taking on water, but we are no way ready to cruise yet. Being off the rocks and not sinking is a far more than McCain and Palin could have done or would have done. BUt because we have not thrown cardboard over the holes and started up the engines taking us into deeper water the Republicans would lead you to believe no progress has been made, it has and will continue. However if elected Romney will take tis ship directly into battle. He will patch the holes with material that will not last and in the process he will segregate the crew. The wealth will be issued personal life boats, the middle class may get a life jacket and the poor will get nothing but a locked door in the bottom of the ship. Remember who put us on the rocks in the first place and that it takes time to get off. Religion, prayer, war and hate will not right this ship. Hard work and staying the course will. I will tell you now that this ship is not ready to run full steam ahead and if sailed into battle now will sure a very uncertain future. Do the right thing. Vote for Obama, keep us out of war, give the healthcare system a chance so we do not have people dying in the streets. Stop listening to Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and Beck They already have a life boat in the form of millions of dollars and can sail away at a moments notice. Ask yourself why Romney wants this election so bad ? He has more money than he could ever spend. He has the American dream. It is about the power..... The power to strong arm you, the system and other countries. The power to start a war at a moments notice to fulfill war contracts he has most certainly promised his donors. Romney has no good reason for wanting this post other than to rule. Romney will make religion changes that will trickle down to everyone no matter what you believe. Romney will send your sons and daughters to war with out loosing a night sleep. Romney will allow our environment to be destroyed by companies seeking only profits. Romney is not the answer.

    October 15, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  13. Hide Behind

    The revolt on the islands has a major reason and it has far less to do with religion than it has to do with the massively corrupt govetnment of the Phillipines.
    That our military is now helping to squash all resistance with our own military on order to succor favors from that govrrnment and begin rebuilding our military presense in area. and doing so under the same BS. they use for years ti enter 30 More nations than when Bush was pimping the GOP "THE WAR ON TERTOR.

    October 15, 2012 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. how much can you pack into one article??

    Pakistan be one messed up country! Freaks running rampant!! Burning the Quran for fuel? Right!!

    FARC know peace? FARC no peace!! They will never reconcile with da Columbian govt and just like gangs here in the US...dey will keep on recruitin!! Keep it in da family!

    Obama be rockin the next few debates fo sho! He gonna wipe da stage with Mitt's pits.

    Dat Italian ship captain gonna get lynched once the families find out where he be hidin. Watch your back end buddy!!


    October 15, 2012 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. saywhat

    Good morning all.
    I do sure hope President Obama opts for a more aggressive in the second round. both on economy and foreign policy Romney stands to be cornered. The Bain/Mitt enduring ties to China a $450,000 a week moolah for exporting jobs to china while he struts around asking Obama to stand up to that country etc. His clueless f.policy vision. Ambassador Mark Ginsberg wrote a very interesting analysis of Romney foreign policy "Mitts M.East Mirage" in the Blog a couple days back. Worth reading.

    October 15, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
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