Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
March 11th, 2012
08:41 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

Welcome to the second full week of March. If you are in any U.S. state besides Arizona and Hawaii and have a timepiece that isn't a cell phone, did you remember to move it forward by an hour today?

Here is a look at some of the stories that CNN plans to follow this week:

Gingrich looks to energize campaign in the South

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is hoping to boost his flagging campaign with contests Tuesday in two states near his native Georgia. Mississippi and Alabama hold their GOP presidential primaries on Tuesday. Hawaii also holds its caucuses. The contests come after a week in which the two candidates ahead of Gingrich nationwide did well for themselves, with Mitt Romney bolstering his front-runner status with six Super Tuesday victories and wins in the Pacific islands, and Rick Santorum grabbing three Super Tuesday wins plus Kansas on Saturday.

Gingrich has stressed the importance of winning in the South, where he polls well, and he has been ahead in Mississippi, according to a recent poll of likely primary voters. The poll showed Gingrich with 35% support in Mississippi, followed by Romney with 31%,  Santorum with 20% and Ron Paul with 7%.

According to a CNN estimate Saturday, Romney had 458 delegates, compared with 203 for Santorum, 118 for Gingrich and 66 for Paul. A candidate needs 1,144 delegates at the Republican convention this summer to secure the nomination to face President Barack Obama in November.

Soldier's attack on Afghan civilians under investigation, NATO says

NATO officials are investigating what the Afghanistan government says was a U.S. soldier's attack that killed 16 Afghan civilians in their homes Sunday.

The soldier, Afghan officials said, went from house to house in two villages in eastern Afghanistan and killed the 16, including nine children and three women. NATO's International Security Assistance Force confirmed that a soldier had gone off base and fired on civilians before turning himself in but did not say how many victims there had been.

ISAF commander Gen. John Allen said the "deeply appalling incident in no way represents the values of ISAF and coalition troops or the abiding respect we feel for the Afghan people."

The incident looks likely to inflame tensions between foreign troops and Afghan civilians, many of whom were enraged by the burning of Qurans by American troops last month.

New round of rocket attacks, airstrikes in Israel and Gaza

Israel and Gaza appear to be in a new cycle of attacks and counterattacks. Israel launched a string of airstrikes against targets in Gaza over the weekend, which Israel says are a response to more than 100 rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel since Friday.

The airstrikes have killed at least 18 people and injured at least 35 others in Gaza, Palestinian medical sources said. Three of those killed were civilians, and the rest were militants, according to a Palestinian source.

The rocket attacks on Israel have wounded eight Israelis, and 500,000 have been forced into shelters, Israeli military and emergency services said.

One of the Israeli airstrikes targeted a suspected terrorist moments before he fired a rocket at the city of Ashdod, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested Sunday that the new cycle of attacks  resulted from a successful Israeli strike on " an arch-terrorist who organized many attacks against the state of Israel." Two people were killed in that strike - Zuhair al-Qaisy, secretary-general of the Popular Resistance Committees, and Mahmoud Ahmad Al-Hanini, a Hamas military leader.

Kofi Annan presses for diplomatic solution in Syria

The U.N. special envoy to Syria, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, plans to meet officials in Turkey and Saudi Arabia this week after meeting over the weekend with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regarding violence in that country.

Annan is pressing for a diplomatic solution to an uprising and the Syrian government's yearlong crackdown, which opposition groups say has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.

On Saturday, Annan proposed a cease-fire, the release of detainees, the allowance of agencies to deliver aid and a start to an inclusive political dialogue that would "address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the people." The meetings Saturday and Sunday between al-Assad and Annan was the first time in Syria's yearlong crisis that al-Assad met with such a high-level diplomat.

But the Syrian president quashed the possibility of negotiating with the opposition anytime soon. Syrian state-run media said al-Assad told Annan that he was ready to find a solution, but that such an effort would first require a look at reality on the ground and not rely on what "is promoted by some regional and international countries to distort the facts and give a picture contrary to what Syria is undergoing."

Qatar's prime minister on Saturday called for foreign military intervention in Syria to stop the violence. Annan, though, has distanced himself from such a step, as have some Syrian opposition members.

European finance ministers could OK Greece bailout

Euro-area finance ministers are expected to meet on Monday in Brussels, where they could finalize a second €130 billion bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, CNNMoney reports.

Last week creditors agreed to a plan to restructure Greek government bonds and reduce its debt load by by more than €100 billion , meaning Greece cleared its final hurdle to qualify for the bailout program.  Investors who own Greek bonds could now see losses of up to 75%, but not doing the agreement could have left Greece facing default, putting its financial future and possibly that of the euro zone at great risk.

The IMF also is expected to decide on whether to OK its share of the bailout next week. Greece, the nation at the center of Europe's debt crisis, has been struggling with an unsustainable level of debt and an economy that has been in recession for years,  CNNMoney's Ben Rooney writes. Under its second bailout program, Greece has agreed to implement austerity measures and broader reforms to make its economy more competitive.

Ready for NCAA tourney? British prime minister is

After the 68-team NCAA men's basketball tournament bracket is released Sunday night, one world leader outside the United States who may take note is British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Cameron, who is visiting the United States this week and will attend a state dinner at the White House on Wednesday, will accompany President Barack Obama to a first-round tournament game in Dayton, Ohio, on Tuesday.

"The president and the prime minister look forward to a great game between some of our nation’s finest collegiate athletes," a White House official said last week.

Your A to Z guide to March Madness

Take the Bracket Challenge

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soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    Roflmmfao @ mmmm, BRAVO! And fruit too!

    March 12, 2012 at 2:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nency

      Nice post. I used to be checking cosannttly this blog and I am impressed! Very useful info specifically the last phase I deal with such information a lot. I used to be looking for this particular info for a long time. Thanks and best of luck.temperaturen mallorca recently posted..

      July 14, 2012 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    I was teasin you mama lmao guess you had to be there. Its the l67 bodies found in a mass burial site in mexico thread. Some funny stuff.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scottish Mama

      Now I have to go there.

      March 12, 2012 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. Scottish Mama

    Did not see your post Chrissy, nice post.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Scottish Mama

    I always wonder why protesters don't use dry erase boards.lol I think I will at the next venue I decide to attend.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Scottish Mama

    Did Dazzle post some question or riddle? I missed it.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. chrissy

    lol no that was me. what do you get when you cross a river and a creek?

    March 12, 2012 at 2:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scottish Mama

      I do not know, what?

      March 12, 2012 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    lmao WET FEET!

    March 12, 2012 at 2:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. chrissy

    ok time for some sleep, it was fun girls, love it when theres no friction. mmmm sure knows how to kick off a party. lmao g nite mama ttyt ok?

    March 12, 2012 at 2:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Scottish Mama

    Wet feet, aaaahhhhhhh.Good night Chrissy. Just read the Mexican thread, all of it, jees. nuts.
    I think I am heading off too, blurry eyed.
    Good night Mmmmm, Dazzle, and banasy. Pleasant dreams. smiley face here.

    March 12, 2012 at 2:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. ron

    Lol mmmmm: no definately not republican!!! actually refuse to vote for anyone. cosidering ALL the dishonesty in politics today its hard (impossible) to pick out the few who aren't thinking of themselves first. so my act of not voting is my vote- its a vote of no confidence in whats become a club of which evil is better.

    March 12, 2012 at 6:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • bananasy©

      Actually, ron, that's a great idea, putting "no confidence" on a ballot; that would be a good way to tell our government just how many people are dissatisfied with our current bs two-party system.

      March 12, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. ron

    Then of course, we have to weed through all the"sarah i can see russia from my backyards". Well, sarah, i can see indiana from my backyard! Oh, wait, i live in indiana-never mind.

    March 12, 2012 at 6:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • bananasy©

      You alsp have as much of a chance of seeing Russia from your backyard as SP did from hers.
      What part of Indiana are you from?

      March 12, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. ron

    @ bananasy, like the name change-must be a result of the fruit test! I dont think I'll be takin that one-something are better left unknown.

    March 12, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • bananasy©

      @ron: exactly right...I like to switch it up once in a while, lol.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. ron

    @ Bananasy, live in lafayette indiana. not too far from where you live. its known as home of purdue university so most people have heard of it. nice place!!

    March 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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