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. saywhat

    pl read that "Obama opts for a more aggressive tone'.

    October 15, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    Its hard to fathom that any kind of majority of american citizens are behind THAT! Or they have their heads so buried in the sand that they dont realize what that *tool* is really all about! Nothing worth having comes easily, remember that ppl! ie:Change!

    October 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    The US militarily currently has forces based in 130 of the world's 194 nations. Most of the other countries in the world are occupied by other nations that have veto power over UN resolutions.
    Only a few nations remain that have enough natural resources to make an invasion and occupation profitable for war profiteers. Iran and Venezuela among them.
    There will be no WWIII, in other words. Did your TV talking head forget to mention the above facts?

    October 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    The next world war will be United World Military vs. Invading "aliens" flying manmade flying saucers.
    Laugh all you want. But when it happens, say yer sorry. (like you didn't say sorry for being DEAD wrong by jumping joyfully on Bush's 'Iraqi WMD 9/11' War Wagon and not posting even one RIP for Iraqi victims by name. Not one single recounting of how an Iraqi citizen was slain for being a citizen or how it happened. You are still happy Bush invaded the Iraqi peoples to protect his families Kuwaiti oilwells.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    Even democrats stopped harping about Bush's lies that led to war...the day president Obama was elected. You hardly ever hear Bill Clinton supporters ragging on the Bush family anymore. It's as if all that arguing about "the other guy" was all for nothing.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    ...trusting you are all aware of the fact that the Iraqi peoples formally complained at the UN for nearly two years about Bushco illegally selling their Kuwaiti oil to Iraq's OPEC contract customers before trespassing into Kuwait and setting Bushco oilwells on fire.

    October 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    Bushco is slang for Bush family oil ventures. From young George W. Bush's 'Arbusto Energy', a failed enterprise finance by Salem Bin Laden (OBL's brother), to todays massive Carlyle Group enterprise financed by 26 members of the ultra wealthy Saudi Bin Laden family. 'Bushco' stands for Bushes, not Americans.
    FUNNY. George W. Bush named his first oil company Arbusto b/c he thought arbusto was spanish for 'bush'. It means 'shrub'. What kind of a maroon would make such a mistake? Drunken coke fiend. Why he had to borrow from OBLs brother. His own dad didn't trust him with a loan.

    October 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    Israel's current puppet president Obama hasn't started WWIII. I fail to see where having a presient stupid enough to believe that the Israeli government represents "God's chosen people" has anything to do with a WWIII.
    I and the public know that when you support Israel, you are supporting Israelis, not jews. 1/3 of Israel are non-jew, with many more being jew in name only.
    Care to take a guess how much US tax dollars have gone to Israel b/c even most American's think it's for God's people?
    One day we will have a smart president who doesn't fall for the fairy tale gods of Obama and Romney. People burning alive forever in hell...how utterly rediculous are our leaders fairytale gods.ZERO scientific basis for a burning hell.

    October 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Philip

    ...and zero biblical basis for supporting modern-day Israel as if they are God's chosen people Israel of old.

    October 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    Cnn, why did you delete my post stating that the word for bush in Spanish is indeed arbusto, and that the word for shrub is the same?
    Because it is.

    October 15, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    Chrissy, I'd have to agree.

    October 15, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    A political leaders taught religious beliefs should not dictate foreign policy. (duh)

    October 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Philip

    Awe. Lookit banasy defending Dubya Bush. Cute.

    October 15, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Nah, I was correcting your lie that Bush is too stupid to name his company correctly, Philip, that's all.
      HE got the name right.

      October 15, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    When one is casting aspersions, even if the recipient is deserving of all the contempt in the world, it is helpful to have whatever that aspersion is be correct.
    Sadly, some have missed this memo.

    October 15, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Obamacare song (a sing along)

    Big bad pjarma goin' dowwwwwwn
    Big! bad pharma goin' dowwwwwn.
    Well, big bad pharma
    Big bad pharma
    Big bad pharma goin' downnnnnn.
    Illegal employers goin' downnnnn.
    Illegal enployers going dowwwwww.
    Well, you can't buy healthcare for
    You can't buy healhcare for
    YOU CAN'T COMPLY WITH OBAMACERE if you hire illegal aliuunnnnnns.
    Doing did e doing did e doing diddy doing ditty doing ditty dumb do! Yee Haw!

    October 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
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