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King: Remembering a defining moment of the 20th century

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Gorbachev on Obama, Berlin Wall
  • Gorbachev: Events started with elections, autonomy for Soviet states
  • Obama meets with Netanyahu, attends Fort Hood memorial
  • President then heads to Japan, China and Singapore
  • CBO could release new numbers on Sen. Harry Reid's health plan compromise

To: Interested parties
From: John King, CNN chief national correspondent
Re: The Monday Memo

Washington (CNN) -- It is a week to remember a defining moment of the 20th century -- the fall of the Berlin Wall. And a week to remember the victims of an Army post massacre, a horrific rampage that has Army leaders openly worrying about discrimination against Muslims in their ranks.

It was Nov 9, 1989, when the wall fell -- and with it the global power structure that had defined the Cold War era.

Reflecting on the moment Sunday, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said the chain of events that led to the wall's collapse began with his decision to hold competitive elections and to tell leaders of the Soviet client states they should take charge of their own territories.

"It was the creation of a new state," Gorbachev told "State of the Union" from Berlin, Germany. "In effect, pluralism, economic, political pluralism, all of that was testimony that our country was moving along the path of democracy."

Video: The Army's home front strain
Video: Gen. Casey on combat stress
Video: Pollsters on health care, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is leading the U.S. delegation to the Berlin commemoration; Newt Gingrich is among the conservative voices making the case it is a mistake for President Obama not to attend.

The president's week includes a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, and he travels to Texas on Tuesday to attend the memorial service at Fort Hood, Texas. Obama then heads overseas for the annual Asian Pacific economic summit, with stops planned in Japan, China and Singapore.

There's no floor debate on health care this week, but it's still an important time as the Senate decides what is good and not so good from its perspective. One thing to watch for: possible new numbers on what the Congressional Budget Office thinks of Sen. Harry Reid's proposed health care compromise

Some other events of note:

• John Allen Muhammad is scheduled to be executed Tuesday. He was convicted of shooting multiple people during a sniper shooting spree in the Washington, D.C., area in 2002.

• Earnings reports from Tyco, Wal-Mart, Walt Disney and Nordstrom.

• Wednesday is Veterans Day

Enjoy the week