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Dispatches Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images )

Republican debate

A reshuffled GOP candidate field means that all eyes will be on Simi Valley, Calif., on Sept. 7 when contenders for the Republican nomination for president square off for a presidential primary debate. The event will mark Texas Gov. Rick Perry's first opportunity to debate with fellow contenders. Republican candidates will also debate on Sept. 12 in Tampa, Fla., and on Sept. 22 in Orlando.

Doctor on trial

Jury selection in the trial of the late Michael Jackson's doctor will begin in Los Angeles on Sept. 8. Jackson died in 2009 after overdosing on a sedative prosecutors say Dr. Conrad Murray administered. Murray is being charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Anniversary of 9/11

President Barack Obama on Sept. 11 plans to visit the three sites where al-Qaeda terrorists used airliners to attack the United States 10 years ago-in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Collectors who want a commemorative coin for the occasion should beware: A 2011 September 11 National Medal is available via the U.S. Mint, but the "commemorative dollar" for Sept. 11 is not legal tender but offered by a private company, the National Collector's Mint.

Elenin light show

Stargazers equipped with only binoculars will be able to see the newly discovered Elenin Comet on Sept. 10 as it charges past its closest point to the Sun. Since the comet passes between the Earth and Sun, the light show emanating from the comet's dust trail may be spectacular. The comet should come its closest to the Earth on Oct. 16.

Nevada special election

Polling indicates that Republicans will hang onto a U.S. House seat when voters in Nevada's 2nd Congressional District mark their ballots on Sept. 13 to replace Dean Heller, who was appointed to take John Ensign's spot in the U.S. Senate. Republican Mark Amodei faces Democrat Kate Marshall in the House race.