Brazilians will head to the polls on Oct. 3 to pick a successor for President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is barred by national law from running for a fourth term. The left-wing Lula has been criticized for his willingness to make deals with any world leaders-even tyrants. But current polls indicate voters aren't likely to swing against Lula's preferred candidate, Dilma Rousseff, in favor of lead center-right candidate Jose Serra.
High court returns
The Supreme Court reconvenes on Oct. 4 for its fall session. Among its juicy cases comes one courtesy of the Kansas demagogue pastor, Fred Phelps, who has achieved national attention for his "God Hates Fags" signs and his church's protests at soldiers' funerals (see "On the docket").
Germans will celebrate the two-decade anniversary of a free, unified Germany on Oct. 3 with concerts and parades. On this day in 1990, West Germany officially absorbed East Germany following the fall of the Berlin Wall the year before. Now, 20 years later, unified Germany boasts Europe's single largest economy.
Would-be terrorist sentenced
Faisal Shahzad will be sentenced on Oct. 5 after pleading guilty to multiple charges stemming from his plan to explode a vehicle in Times Square on May 1. Shahzad's attempt to blow up a Nissan Pathfinder in downtown New York failed, but the Pakistani-American nearly made a getaway. Authorities caught Shahzad aboard a Dubai-bound jet waiting to taxi at New York's JFK airport. Shahzad faces life in prison.
Last year, President Barack Obama took home an unexpected Nobel Peace Prize, ostensibly for what he planned to do, rather than what he had accomplished in mere months in office. Favorites for the 2010 prize, with winners to be announced Oct. 8, seem hard to come by, but internet fans of the late Michael Jackson have collected more than 62,000 signatures petitioning for his posthumous win.
Giant bypass opens
On Oct. 9, about 1,000 cyclists will be the first to cross the new 1,896-foot Hoover Dam bypass bridge before its official opening in November during the RTC Viva Bike Vegas 2010 race. The bridge's 1,060-foot concrete arch span is the fourth-longest in the world and the longest in the United States.