Ahead of the Curve: The next 7 days
October 24th, 2010
07:14 PM ET

Ahead of the Curve: The next 7 days

Here's a look at the week ahead:

Cholera outbreak in Haiti

We'll be keeping an eye on Haiti, where officials are trying to contain a cholera outbreak that already has killed 253 people and sickened another 3,000. Officials in the impoverished island nation, which still is dealing with January’s devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake, are trying to keep cholera from spreading in the capital, Port-au-Prince, where tens of thousands of people are still living in post-earthquake tent cities. As of Sunday, five cases of cholera had been confirmed in the capital.

People already are sending in iReports on the cholera outbreak. If you're in Haiti, you're invited to share your photos and video.

Trials for ex-Yankee, Florida murder suspect and Guantanamo detainee

A number of high-profile trials will begin Monday, including that of former New York Yankees player Jim Leyritz, who is accused of DUI manslaughter. Authroities say Leyritz - known in part for a dramatic three-run homer that helped the Yankees win Game 4 of the 1996 World Series - was leaving a December 2007 birthday celebration when his vehicle crashed with another, killing the second vehicle's driver, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Authorities say both drivers were intoxicated, but Leyritz's attorney is barred from telling the jury of the second driver's intoxication.

Also starting Monday is the trial of Leonard Patrick "Pat" Gonzalez Jr., one of the people charged with murder in the July 2009 home-invasion slayings of a Pensacola, Florida, couple known for adopting 13 special-needs children. Authorities said Byrd and Melanie Billings, who also each had two biological children, were shot multiple times, and that nine of the children were at home when the invasion happened. "We are very anxious to share this story with Escambia County and the nation. It's going to be a humdinger,” Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said that August. Now's the time for it to all come out.

CNN.com's Justice section will carry live video of parts of the Leyritz and Gonzalez trials.

Monday also is the day that the military trial for Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr - who was 15 when he allegedly threw a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan in 2002 - is scheduled to resume. Sources told CNN that he was being offered a plea deal in which he would spend some prison time in his native Canada, but as of Sunday afternoon, multiple Canadian news outlets were reporting that no deal had yet been reached. If convicted, Khadr would face a maximum life sentence.


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Filed under: Ahead of the curve
October 24th, 2010
06:09 PM ET

UN: Cholera cases in Haiti's capital are a 'worrying development'

The confirmation of five cholera cases in Haiti's capital is a "very worrying development," a U.N. spokeswoman told CNN.

Public health officials are working to keep the country's cholera outbreak from spreading in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where tens of thousands of people are still living in sprawling tent cities after January's devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake.

The fast-moving outbreak has claimed at least 253 lives on the impoverished island nation, and another 3,015 cases have been reported, according to Haiti's health ministry.


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Filed under: Earthquake • Haiti
October 24th, 2010
06:06 PM ET

Hurricane Richard to dump rain on Belize, Yucatan

The storm known as Richard intensified in the Caribbean from a tropical storm into a Category 1 hurricane as maximum sustained winds increased to 90 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center reported Sunday.

Hurricane Richard was located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south-southeast of Belize City, moving west-northwest at 13 mph Sunday afternoon, the center said.

No significant change in strength is expected in the storm before it reaches the coast of Belize by Sunday evening. It is forecast to weaken once it moves inland.


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Filed under: Hurricanes • Tropical weather • Weather
October 24th, 2010
11:35 AM ET

Yemen searches for cleric linked to Ft. Hood rampage


Militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, pictured in a video released by the SITE Intelligence Group on October 23.

Yemeni security forces have swept into a region of the country thought to be a haven for al Qaeda, the governing party says.

More than 1,000 soldiers and security officials are involved in the operation in Shabwa province, the al-Motamer party said on its Web site Saturday. The United States believes Yemeni-American militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is in the region.

 The cleric has been linked to Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nidal Hasan and failed Christmas bomber Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab. Yemen is not specifically targeting him in the operation.

The offensive comes after the governor of the province delivered an ultimatum to local tribes to "eradicate" al Qaeda operatives themselves or the army would move in, a Yemeni government official told CNN Sunday. FULL STORY

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Yemen
October 24th, 2010
09:33 AM ET

Thousands of blondes descend on Bulgaria

Blondes in Bulgaria try to make the world a better place.

If you ever doubted blonde ambition, "This Just In" presents ... a bunch of blondes gathered in the capital of Bulgaria.

The International Blondes Congress swept the city of Sofia over the weekend. Naturally, the event was organized by the Bulgarian Blondes Association (its site is purple and pink!).

About 1,000 fair-haired lovelies (wearing a lot of pink!) came from across the globe to sing and dance and laugh and dress like cheerleaders in a shopping mall, according to a Bulgarian news agency.

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Filed under: Bulgaria
October 24th, 2010
08:04 AM ET

Georgetown drug lab busted

A drug lab was discovered in a Georgetown dorm.

Some students at Georgetown University are trying to understand how someone could have operated a drug lab in a dorm room at the school.

"I would understand if someone got caught doing it. Making it, that's different. It's shocking," 19-year-old sophomore Gina Park told the Washington Post.

Saturday morning two Georgetown University students and a campus visitor - all male - were arrested in connection to a suspected drug lab found inside a dormitory, said D.C. Metro Officer police said. All are at least 18.

They are facing charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, said Officer Hugh Carew, a police spokesman.  None were identified.

Police received a call shortly before 6 a.m. about a foul odor at Georgetown's Harbin Hall. Initially, police thought the lab was for producing meth, but later said it was used to make Dimethyltryptamine, a hallucinogenic drug commonly known as DMT.  FULL STORY

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Filed under: District of Columbia • Drugs
October 24th, 2010
05:53 AM ET

Early tests suggest U.S. swimmer had heart attack

Preliminary medical tests indicate that Fran Crippen, a member of the U.S. swimming team, had a fatal heart attack during an open-water race in the United Arab Emirates, a swimming official told CNN on Sunday.


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Filed under: U.S.
October 24th, 2010
04:51 AM ET

Pirates hijack ship near Kenyan coast

Pirates hijacked a gas vessel with a crew of 17 off the coast of Kenya, officials said Sunday.


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Filed under: Kenya