Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
March 6th, 2011
08:02 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

As an uprising in Libya approaches the start of its fourth week, the stage appears set for more bloody battles as pro-government and opposition forces grapple for key cities along the Mediterranean Sea. Here is a look at this and some of the other stories CNN plans to follow this week:

Libyan government and opposition in battle for territory, minds

Sunday - a day of heavy fighting in some areas of Libya - witnessed a bizarre clash of claims from both sides, with the opposition saying it had repelled attacks from pro-government troops in places such as the key north-central Libyan city of Misrata, where 42 were said to have been killed in fighting on Sunday, while a pro-government rally in Tripoli celebrated what participants said were government victories in the same cities.

Opposition forces, said to be bolstered by weapon caches previously under the Libyan government's control, are seeking the ouster of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi after his nearly 42-year rule. It's the kind of revolution that was seen in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, but unlike in those countries, the uprising has turned into warfare. Death toll estimates range from more than 1,000 to as many as 2,000, and the international community has been pondering strategies on how to end the violence and remove the Gadhafi regime. Meanwhile, a council in Libya's second-largest city, opposition-held Benghazi, says it is the country's sole legitimate representative and will stay in Benghazi until Tripoli is out of Gadhafi's grasp.

Libya is one of the countries in Africa and the Middle East hit by unrest in the past couple of months. Read more details on the situations in the other nations.

U.N. sending more troops to Ivory Coast as violence escalates

The United Nations says it's planning to send 2,000 more troops to its peacekeeping mission in the Ivory Coast because of escalating violence stoked by a disputed presidential election. Last week, at least six women were fatally shot in Abidjan while protesting the refusal of the incumbent leader, Laurent Gbagbo, to step down. The United Nations says about 365 people have been killed since December in violence between supporters of Gbagbo and his challenger, Alassane Ouattara, whom the U.N. says defeated Gbagbo in November's election. World leaders are concerned that the standoff will cause a civil war like one that ravaged the country in 2002.

House panel to start hearings on radicalization of American Muslims

A U.S. House committee on Thursday is due to start a series of hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims, a topic that has alarmed many U.S. adherents of Islam. The House Homeland Security Committee's chairman, Republican Rep. Peter King of New York, says radicalization in a small minority of American Muslims poses a threat to the United States, and that the threat needs to be explored. The hearings have persuaded some U.S. Muslims to lobby Washington, trying to counter what they call a rising tide of Islamophobia.

Florida, Ohio budget battles will top governors' state-of-the-state speeches

While Tuesday will bring exuberant indulgence in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, temperance and sacrifice will be the motto in Florida and Ohio. Govs. Rick Scott and John Kasich likely will try to sober up the masses when they address their states' budget deficits during their state-of-the-state speeches Tuesday. Just how daunting a budget task do they face compared to their 48 peers? Click here to see a chart listing states' projected 2012 budget deficits. The chart also lists the number of public employees who collectively bargain in those states, something that's been in the crosshairs of many a GOP governor. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has threatened to lay off some state workers if lawmakers don't pass a budget that  would limit collective bargaining for public employees.  

Australian prime minister visits United States

U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday will welcome Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to Washington for the first time since she was elected in June. Gillard is due to address a joint session of Congress, and she and Obama will discuss "shared political and economic interests in the Asia-Pacific region" and the countries' work together around the world, including in Afghanistan, according to a White House press release.

NFL, players' union get another week to avoid lockout

The National Football League and its players' union now have until midnight Friday to get a new labor deal and avoid a possible lockout. The current labor deal was to expire last week, but negotiators agreed to extend collective bargaining negotiations. If the new deadline holds and a new deal isn't struck, team owners could choose to lock out their players and the union could decertify, allowing the players to sue the league under antitrust laws.

Potential GOP presidential candidates head to Iowa

Five potential candidates for the GOP presidential nomination will be in Iowa, the first caucus state for presidential primaries, for a "presidential forum" held by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer and businessman Herman Cain will be at the event to make a 10-minute pitch on "their vision as the voters of Iowa begin the process of making their decisions," according to the coalition's website. Meanwhile, a senior adviser to Donald Trump, who also may be considering a run for the White House, also will be in Iowa on Monday to meet with Republican party officials, organizers and potential sources of campaign money.

Shuttle Discovery due to make last return from space

NASA's space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to make its final return from space on Wednesday.  The shuttle, which is being retired with the rest of the shuttle fleet, is due to touch down at Florida's Kennedy Space Center. The nearly three-decade shuttle program is scheduled to end later this year.

CNN Freedom Project spotlights modern-day slavery

Monday will see the launch of the CNN Freedom Project, which aims to shine a light on the horrors of modern-day slavery. Check CNN.com for stories amplifying the voices of the victims, highlighting successes and helping unravel the complicated tangle of criminal enterprises trading in human life.

- CNN's Kevin Conlon contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Ahead of the curve
soundoff (17 Responses)

    when does the new space shuttle come into service..?

    March 6, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • .

      There is no new shuttle.

      March 6, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rocko

      The new program uses rockets. Cheaper than making a new shuttle.

      March 6, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank P.

      There is no new shuttle program in the works; the Orion program was cancelled last year. Future manned space flight in the US will most likely be handled by the private sector.

      March 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sparky

    I don't know why that man in the third picture is unhappy. His head would look as good if it were re-attached to his neck upside-down.

    March 6, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. NewDemocracy highvalueoil

    ghadaffi is old payola oil. Democracy oil is the higher value of the popular profit returns to the people who suffered western payola front men. Obama oil is old payola pyramid oil. Free oil is liberty pricing for liberty.

    March 6, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Priceofhumanrights

    human rights are high value oil by true popular vote as free of western backed pyramid oil pricing. Finally the world celibrates free oil. In one year facebook belongs to the highest true bidders. That is democracy free of obstructions and delay.

    March 6, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Apologiesarenotenough

    obama is obsolete oil ... The bush pyramid oil. The hillary fast talking shuffle oil. The new oil is high value human righted oil. The celebration is true supply side versus true consumption expectation valuation oil. Payment is no apology needed.

    March 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |

      Good posting,Apologiesarenotenough. Thank you.

      March 6, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Damian

    Go PACK GO!!

    March 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Booyah

    Is that you, Jared?

    March 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |

    I noticed how the people in the right-wing news media seem to cheer when the so-called "rebels" seem to score a victory over the pro-Qadaffi forces,not hiding the bias in favor of the anti-Qadaffi forces. I'm afraid that if these so-called "rebels" win,it might produce another pro-Western stooge inQadaffi's place.

    March 6, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jacob starks

    Evenualy we will go to war with another muslum country mabye even with north korea who knows what do all of you think?2012 is nearing and conflict is erupting all over and getting worse every day

    March 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Offtopic

    Islamophobia. Funny. Another made-up word to make it seem the actions of others are born of fear rather than good sense.

    March 6, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |

    shutup all u idiots

    March 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Judy Prebell

    If in fact Gov Scott Walker holds firm to his lay off threat Impeachment should be filed against him. The Collective Bargaining Freedom cannot be erased.Gov Walker has become nothing less than a Huey Long Gov Walker is very scary.

    March 7, 2011 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |

    Wel im drunnk now, and highh.!?@$+&%*#..........

    March 7, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |