Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
April 22nd, 2012
04:53 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

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

A cease-fire that might not be

As the Syrian government and opposition activists accuse each other of attacks during what is supposed to be a cease-fire, the United Nations is preparing to send as many as 300 unarmed military monitors to Syria try to ensure a halt to the violence - a decision the U.N. Security Council made Saturday.

Reports from Homs, a bastion of anti-government sentiment that opposition activists say has faced months of deadly attacks by regime forces, suggest the monitors might be useful from the opposition's perspective. Shelling from government forces stopped Saturday when an advance team of U.N. monitors visited Homs on Saturday, though it resumed on Sunday, opposition activists said.

The cease-fire is part of a six-point peace plan laid out by U.N.-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan and accepted by the Syrian government. The Annan plan calls for the government and the opposition to end the violence, allow access for humanitarian groups, release detainees and start a political dialogue. But reports of daily violence suggest the cease-fire is unraveling in some areas.

Syria has been engulfed in violence for 13 months since the government started a fierce crackdown on protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has ruled Syria for 42 years. The United Nations estimates that at least 9,000 people have died since the protests began.

War crimes verdict expected for former Liberia leader

The first African ruler to appear before an international war crimes tribunal is expected to hear a verdict in his trial on Thursday.

Charles Taylor, who was president of Liberia from 1997 to 2003, is accused of arming rebels and fueling a bloody civil war that led to widespread murder, rape and mutilation in Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone. He has pleaded not guilty to charges, including five counts of crimes against humanity and five counts of war crimes.

Taylor has been on trial since 2007 at the special court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, Netherlands. United Nations officials and the Sierra Leone government jointly set up the tribunal.

Tensions high on newest international border

Tensions between Sudan and South Sudan are rising, prompting fears of a return to the kind of full-scale war that Sudan saw before the South split in July.

Clashes between the two sides escalated in recent days, following Sudan airstrikes targeting the South and the South Sudan troops seizing the disputed oil-rich region of Heglig. Sudan says it has chased South Sudanese troops from the region, but the South has warned it will try to retake it if Sudan continues ts attacks.

Heglig, which both nations claim, is on the border created last year when the two countries split. Oil facilities in the region accounted for close to half of Sudan's entire production of about 115,000 barrels of oil daily before wells were shut down.

South Sudan split from the government in the north in July, officially breaking Africa's largest nation into two. The split followed a two-decade civil war that pitted a government dominated by Arab Muslims in the north against black Christians and animists in the south. An estimated 2 million death died in the fighting. The split was approved by referendum, which was part of a 2005 peace deal that ended the civil war.

Video: Details on the Sudan oil dispute

Murdoch summoned to testify in hacking inquiry

Media magnate Rupert Murdoch is expected to make an appearance Wednesday and Thursday before an independent British inquiry into journalistic ethics prompted by phone hacking at his defunct News of the World tabloid.

News Corp. shut down its British Sunday tabloid, The News of the World, last summer after public outrage at the scale of illegal eavesdropping, which  included hacking the voice mail of crime victims, politicians, celebrities and veterans.  Dozens of people have been arrested in the phone-hacking investigation, which has been running more than a year, but no one has been charged.

Murdoch's son, James Murdoch, a top executive in his father's company, is expected to appear before the inquiry on Tuesday. He already has been called twice to testify before British lawmakers and resigned from a number of positions with British subsidiaries of his father's media empire. James Murdoch has consistently denied knowing about the scale of phone hacking at the paper.

Will ex-Icelandic prime minister be convicted over financial crisis?

A verdict is expected Monday in the case of the only world leader to face charges in connection with the 2008 global financial crisis.

Former Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Haarde is charged in a special Icelandic court with negligence relating to the collapse of his country's banks.

Weekly demonstrations, some verging on riots, forced Haarde and his Independence Party-led center-right coalition to resign in January 2009.

Roger Clemens' perjury trial, take two

With jury selection nearly completed last week, the federal retrial of former Major  League Baseball pitching star Roger Clemens is expected to begin this week.

Clemens is accused of lying to Congress in 2008 when lawmakers investigated the illicit use of steroids in professional baseball. The case against him - involving one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury  was declared a mistrial in July after evidence previously ruled inadmissible was shown in court.

The retrial is expected to last several weeks.

The charges stem from Clemens' 2008 testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, during which he denied using anabolic steroids. Clemens has continually denied using performance-enhancing drugs during his professional baseball career.

John Edwards' trial set to begin

The trial of former presidential candidate John Edwards, charged with six felony and misdemeanor counts related to the money dealings of his failed 2008 presidential campaign, is expected to begin in federal court in North Carolina on Monday.

Rielle Hunter, Edwards' former mistress, is expected to testify at the trial. A major issue in the approaching trial is whether money given to support Hunter, by the former candidate's benefactors, should have been considered donations toward his presidential campaign. Edwards denies any wrongdoing, claiming the money was a gift.

Look! Up in the sky!

Tonight and early Monday are going to be great times to check out the annual Lyrid meteor showers in much of the United States.

The Lyrid meteor showers happen annually, but this year’s "moonless" night and lack of cloud cover for the western two-thirds of the United States should make them unusually easy to see.

The showers, whose name comes from the constellation Lyra, take place as the Earth passes through dust from comet Thatcher. The best times to watch are after midnight Sunday and just before dawn Monday. Check this post for more tips.

Luck or RG3?

With the first pick of the NFL draft, the Indianapolis Colts reportedly have made up their minds. Most everybody believes it will be Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, but you'll have to wait for Thursday - the day of the draft's first round - to know for sure whether they've gone for Luck or the other quarterback at the top of prognosticators' lists, Baylor's Robert Griffin III.

Check out the mock draft from Sports Illustrated's Peter King. It lists his predictions of teams' selections and also the picks that the longtime NFL journalist believes that teams should be making. (Minnesota, he's looking at you and your possibly misguided desire to draft an offensive tackle at No. 3.)

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soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. raven

    I thought it was "Please pass the wine"?

    April 22, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mark H.

    So I couldn't help but notice that this article talked about the Lyrid Meteor Shower, but made no mention about Tuesday's conference about the asteroid mining venture being helmed by Peter Diamandis and Eric Anderson, with support from Google's Larry Page, Microsoft's Charles Simonyi, and director/explorer/visionary James Cameron. This could potentially be the beginning of a new era in human space flight and resource expansion, as well as a giant leap for global GDP, which could improve the lives of billions here on Earth.

    Truthfully, I'm becoming a bit weary of all these stories about political scandals, sportting events, and celebrity mishaps. It's time humans began focusing on what really matters: our continued survival, and the expansion of our species and our technology. Intellectuals should be at the forefront of the news, not TV stars.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

      What's the matter, Mark H.? Didn't you get your government check and food stamps this month?
      Sit down and enjoy the circus.
      Have some leaded wine.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • kredford9373

      Mark I agree with your comments in your last paragraph. I think those comments should be shone everywhere!

      April 22, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    I thought it was the cover of "Rolling Stone"...

    April 22, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. raven

    Mark H, I've never heard of the conference you made mention of. Sounds fascinating and I'm gonna Google it. Thank you for the heads up. And that meteor shower was a bust here. I only saw two flashes. Talk about anti climactic.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark H.

      raven, I'm sorry to hear that you couldn't see much of the meteor shower, they really are wonderful events to witness. Also, please do look into the conference. I think it's a very exciting event. If you type in 'asteroid mining' to Google News there should be several articles that pop up. I hope that after this week more people become interested in exploration and business in outer space 🙂

      April 22, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. raven

    It doesn't take a genius to spot the same old tired stuff..."dropping a deuce " and "Depends" trolls are just that : old and tired.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      @raven, so true the troll is using the same old hackneyed phrases. Maybe it is wearing itself out.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Actually, the chrissy troll, in spite of being so cruel, is the funniest.
    @ chrissy: love you.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. raven

    philip, are you trolling JIF? That sounds like you,is it?

    April 22, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

      No, raven, it wasn't Philip.
      I cannot tell a lie. I wrote it.

      April 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Whyever would you write such a post?
      Why would you assume anyone is on food stamps?
      I am genuinly curious.

      April 22, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      S/B genuinely.

      April 22, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dazzle ©

    @Joey, I don't think the chrissy troll is funny at all. My troll is not at all funny. I can count on Tori to know that I would never make a negative remark about her father.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

      Hello dazzle.
      I think that everybody knew that remark was not from you.
      Was that TORI, really, who wrote the reply? I responded in Italian to check out the TORI/troll question, but my post didn't make the cut.
      Even my parakeet disagrees with me about some jokes.

      April 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. raven

    Mark H, I do try to watch the skies, especially when things like that come around...maybe next year...and welcome to the boards!

    April 22, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. raven

    @dazzle: I would have thought so by now (that they would have worn themselves out). and hello!

    April 22, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    @ Mark H.:
    Yes, welcome. I'm glad you're here.

    April 22, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dazzle ©

    @Joey, yes it is the real Tori but she has worn herself out and is sound asleep. I'm sure she would have responded to you if she saw your post.

    April 22, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dazzle ©

    @raven, hi to you too. I'm finding Mark H's post most interesting. We were watching for hours only saw one shooting star. I am always up before dawn and gazed to the North east away from the city lights but saw nothing.

    April 22, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    Hi, all.
    So...chances of me seeing anything are little to none?

    April 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Superman

    Superman awaits,,,,,,, i have all this talent and im an idiot? I see your up bringing now bark and no bite wow your a jealous one are we not? Im honest with myself and you trolls have to hide behind a vail do you know who you really are? Or has it been that long since you have looked in the mirror

    April 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
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