MANHATTAN - ? President Obama will speak before the U.N. in a few hours and hopes to avoid a showdown over Palestinian statehood. Obama will address today?s opening of the General Assembly at 10 a.m. Obama?s speech comes two days before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to ask the U.N. to recognize it as an independent state. Obama will meet with Abbas this morning in hopes to convince him to seek peaceful statehood through talks with Israel. Yesterday, Obama met with officials of Libya?s Natioanl Transitional Council.