Dispatches > Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

Issue: "Food stamps surge," Nov. 19, 2011

Prayer for the persecuted

Thousands of churches on Nov. 13 will mark the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church by praying for persecuted Christians throughout the world and for the salvation of their persecutors. Organizers also hope the day raises awareness and promotes advocacy for the persecuted church.

Coptic papal anniversary

The head of Egypt's Coptic Christian church, Pope Shenouda III, celebrates his 40th anniversary in office on Nov. 14. Many are wondering whether the pope's health, age-88-or the violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt will force him to begin talks of succession.

Obama in Australia

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President Barack Obama on Nov. 17 will travel to Australia to address that nation's joint session of the House of Representatives and Senate to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Australian-U.S. Alliance. Signed in 1951, the alliance once included New Zealand, until the nation pulled out when it banned vessels bearing nuclear weapons from its ports.

Spanish election

Faced with a precipitous economic downturn, voters in Spain will go to the polls in parliamentary elections on Nov. 20. The incumbent Socialists have taken much of the blame for the nation's economic plight, but the center-right Popular Party must convince voters it has better solutions to the nation's debt problems.

Deficit reduction due

The budget-cutting group dubbed the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction must come up with at least $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction by Nov. 23 or risk $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts to domestic and defense spending. The 12-member panel includes equal representation of both houses of Congress as well as equal representation of both major parties.

Buy Nothing Day

Despite being dubbed "Buy Nothing Day" by anti-consumer and environmental groups, the traditional first day of the Christmas shopping season on Nov. 25 is expected to produce big turnouts for retailers.

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