Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
January 30th, 2011
07:22 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

With massive protests against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak entering their seventh day and a major opposition leader addressing demonstrators in Cairo, this week is shaping up to be a pivotal one for the country's future. The unrest is starting to affect Egyptians' food supplies and the United States is calling for a peaceful transition in Egypt to democracy.

Governments of countries near Egypt are no doubt concerned about to what extent the unrest will spread to them (after all, Egypt's protests came days after Tunisia's president fled protests there) or how it will affect their long-term security. What will Mubarak do, and on what side will the Egyptian army fall? Here's a look at this and some of the other stories we plan to follow this week:

Will Mubarak cling to power in Egypt?

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Egypt's major cities last week to demand an end to Mubarak's 30-year rule, prompting the government to deploy the army to deal with civil unrest for the first time in a generation. The protests came after similar disturbances in Tunisia forced then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country. Both Egypt and Tunisia have seen dramatic rises in the cost of living in recent years and accusations of corruption among the ruling elite. Demonstrations also have taken place in recent weeks Algeria, Yemen and Jordan.

Police forces, which had been replaced in places by the Egyptian army after the police clashed brutally with demonstrators, are returning to some streets, according to a report late Sunday on state-run Nile TV. At Cairo's Tahrir Square, where opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei addressed protesters Sunday evening despite a curfew and called on Mubarak to step down, protesters showed no signs of winding down, indicating a likelihood that they will continue their efforts into Monday.

A key question is whether the 450,000-strong armed forces - deployed to the streets for the first time since the mid-1980s - will remain loyal to Mubarak. Jon Alterman, director and senior fellow of the Middle East Program at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, says it's worth noting that the Egyptian military might have a stake in preserving at least some of the status quo.

Myanmar parliament to open after first elections in 20 years

Myanmar, a country ruled by a military regime since 1988, is expected to see its first parliament in more than two decades convene on Monday. Symbolically, this is the end of military rule, but a military-backed party won the vast majority of seats in a November election. Critics said the voting was aimed at creating a facade of democracy, and the National League for Democracy party boycotted, calling the election a sham. Recently freed political activist Aung San Suu Kyi last week asked delegates at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland not to forget about Myanmar as they rebuild the global economy. Myanmar, the largest country in Southeast Asia, is on the brink of economic collapse, and most of its 55 million people live in extreme poverty.

Snowstorms expected in nation's midsection

Parts of the United States' midsection may get hit with significant amounts of snow from Monday night into Wednesday. The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard watch for the Chicago area, with heavy snow and wind gusts as high as 45 mph possible on Tuesday.

One computer model shows the heaviest snowfall - 10 to 20 inches - could fall in the St. Louis, Chicago and Detroit areas, CNN Meteorologist Jacqui Jeras said. Ice and freezing rain also are possible.

Winter storm warnings are in effect for parts of Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma and Illinois. Winter weather watches and advisories have been issued for some Rocky Mountain, Great Plains and Midwestern states.

Politics: Early voting in Chicago; potential GOP presidential candidates make key appearances

Early voting for Chicago mayor will get under way Monday, days after the state Supreme Court kept Rahm Emanuel's name on the ballot after questions about whether he met residency requirements. Polls show the former White House chief of staff is the overwhelming favorite to succeed Mayor Richard Daley. The election is scheduled for February 22.

On Tuesday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will visit several talk shows, including CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," as he puts out a paperback version of his book, "No Apology." Romney sought the GOP nomination for president in 2008 and is considered likely to run in 2012.

Another probable GOP presidential candidate, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, is scheduled this week to visit New Hampshire and South Carolina - two crucial early voting states on the presidential primary calendar.

U.S. unemployment report for January due this week

Wall Street is bracing for the first U.S. unemployment report of the year. Economists are expecting the unemployment rate to hit 9.6%, up from 9.4% the previous month. Economists forecast that the U.S. economy added 150,000 jobs in January, but they've said the pace isn't enough to keep up with the number of people entering the work force to make a dent in the unemployment rate.

News Corp. to launch first iPad-only daily digital newspaper

On Wednesday, News Corp. will launch the first daily digital newspaper exclusively produced for the iPad. "The Daily," which will cost 99 cents per week, initially will be available only in the United States. Though it is the first iPad-exclusive daily, it is not the first publication created solely for the iPad. Richard Branson launched Project magazine in November.

Packers, Steelers prepare for Super Bowl

This week, the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers will go through their final preparations for Super Bowl XLV in Arlington, Texas. Pittsburgh will be trying to get its third Super Bowl win in six years and its seventh in franchise history. Green Bay is looking for its fourth Super Bowl title, last won in 1997.

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was suspended for the season's first four games after facing his second sexual assault accusation in two years - is looking for his third Super Bowl ring. SI.com columnist Dan Shaughnessy explores how Roethlisberger measures up to the league's elite quarterbacks, noting that while his style isn't always pretty, he has many ways he can beat opponents. SI.com columnist Anne Killion says that although Roethlisberger is being deified for guiding the Steelers to another Super Bowl, his success doesn't wipe away his checkered past.

Eatocracy: Super Bowl chili; new nutritional guidelines

With the Super Bowl comes a great feast in many homes. Our Eatocracy blog this week will deliver some ultimate chili recipes (according to our readers) and incite a city vs. city food fight.

Also this week: National nutritional guidelines are about to change. What does that mean for supermarket shoppers? Eatocracy will break that down into bite-size pieces.

Belief Blog examines 'Porn Sunday'

This week, CNN's Belief Blog will look at "Porn Sunday," a Las Vegas pastor's attempt to get churches nationwide to discuss what he calls "the elephant in the pew" on Super Bowl Sunday. And on Thursday, the blog reports on the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual Washington event that draws top political figures, including President Barack Obama.

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soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. RUFFNUTT

    if you think about it.. how come the witch wasn't covered in dirt and slime? cause she got melted by a bucket of water..

    so how did she take a shower? they should have been able to smell her comming, obvioulsy part of the witch coven is to never take a shower or bath ever again..

    as far as the lion tacos go i'm torn on wether i want flavor flav's chicken first of sneak into the zoo and make some of my own lion tacos..

    if i had a restraunt id serv baby seal tacos.

    January 30, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. vladimir

    only 2 dogs left in SE Asia named carne & asada

    January 31, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. chrissy

    omg could u just see it cesar? u, me, banasy hangin out with ruffnutt? lmao do u have a bomb shelter with this trailer of urs ruffnutt? and dont 4get u have to invite phillip and thomas cuz we are a package deal dude lol

    January 31, 2011 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Cesar

    @RuffNutt: Never in my whole life did I think about that- You're right, that witch was filthy....@Chrissy Hi. Yes it sounds great. We could also play blackjack.

    January 31, 2011 at 5:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    yea it sounds like fun but no freaken way im gonna driue from mich to missourri

    January 31, 2011 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. banasy

    @chrissy:
    Yeah, not with the weather coming...hey, chrissy, I'll drive, a got a Blazer we can pack plenty of spam and beer nuts into! Uh, no canned chili if we're in Ruffie's trailer though, ok? It pays to plan ahead...
    Please, please, PLEASE can I bring my pop-o-matic Trouble game? I just love to hear that thing boink!

    And we DO have to have the packaged deal...*snicker* What doomsday would be complete with them?

    January 31, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  7. banasy

    I meant WITHOUT them. It's Monday, bleh!!!
    Gonna go pour coffee down my throat, and on my fingers,too, since I can't type worth blunt margaritas today...

    January 31, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  8. tomcat

    Can I go to Ruff nutt's too?

    January 31, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar

    Can I go too? Is this the end of the world party? I thought that was for 2012.

    January 31, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. 12 divided by 7

    I'm delighted to see what became of this comment thread.

    January 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cesar

    @12/7, what makes you think it's over?

    January 31, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RUFFNUTT

    i getting the games out now.. i got monopoly , clue , and connect4 , and also shoots and ladders.. oh i just found that 'guess who" game also..

    @ cesar.. if you listen to katie horner, our local weather lady the end of the world is wednsday... she is the most over dramatic weather person ever. she scares all the old people so bad they lock themselves inside there homes.

    the forecast the otherday was winter mix, 1~to~18" of snow with ice and if you go out side you'll fall down and slip and die...

    January 31, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cesar

    Ok RuffNutt, don't forget the DVD for "The Wizzard Of Oz" We can listen to the weather lady, Katie for drama. Tomcat, banasy, and Chrissy are bringing the Spam & Nuts. PHilip will bring the drinks.

    January 31, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
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