Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
April 17th, 2011
08:11 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

Four weeks after Western powers began enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, rebels there are stepping up criticism over the NATO mission, with a rebel spokesman questioning NATO's commitment as pro-government forces reportedly hit a rebel-held city with missiles and mortars. Here is a look at this and some of the other stories CNN plans to follow this week:

Libyan rebel spokesman: 'NATO wants to use any excuse' to halt airstrikes

Battles between Libyan rebels and forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi continue, with pro-Gadhafi forces bombing the city of Ajdabiya from 40 to 50 kilometers away on Sunday, a Libyan rebel spokesman said. Referring to unconfirmed reports that NATO airstrikes were halted in the area because of weather conditions, he said the pro-government forces that were bombing Ajdabiya "have no problem with the weather conditions there." He said that sometimes rebels feel "that NATO wants to use any excuse out there so they don't carry out their duties." NATO did not immediately respond to a CNN inquiry.

Planes and missiles from a coalition then led by the United States, the United Kingdom and France began attacking Libyan air-defense targets March 19 in part to establish a no-fly zone. It was authorized by a U.N. Security Council resolution, which approved military action - short of occupation - to prevent Gadhafi's forces from attacking civilians and cities. The intervention came amid a Libyan civil war, which began in mid-February after clashes between government forces and protesters. Opposition forces are seeking the ouster of Gadhafi, who has ruled for nearly 42 years.

New leak at Japan's crippled nuclear plant?

Crews working to mitigate the post-tsunami nuclear crisis in Japan might be dealing with a new leak, a Japanese safety official said over the weekend. Elevated levels of the nuclear waste iodine-131 - 6,000 times Japan's legal standards - were recorded Saturday around a water intake at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, up from 1,100 times the legal standards two days earlier. The discovery comes more than a week after workers stopped a more severe leak of contaminated water - containing radioactive iodine at 7.5 million times the limit - into the Pacific Ocean. The weekend increase could be from a fresh leak or from sediment stirred up while fixing the first leak, officials said.

The crisis at Fukushima began March 11, when the plant was hit by a tsunami that followed a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, knocking out the plant's cooling systems and causing reactors to overheat. The plant's owners on Sunday said it will take three months to reduce the levels of radioactivity in the plant and restore normal cooling systems in the reactors and spent fuel pools. Another three to six months will be needed before the reactors are fully shut down.

On Monday, Toyota Motor Corp. will take a step toward recovery by resuming vehicle production at its Japanese facilities.  Production will be at about 50% of normal, and will continue through April 27, when facilities will close for an annual spring holiday, the company said. Rolling blackouts triggered by the power-plant crisis were among the problems that Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers have faced after the tsunami.

Rescuers trying to reach man trapped in Idaho mine

Rescuers are trying to dig through a collapsed portion of an Idaho mine in an attempt to save worker Larry Marek, 53. Marek was one of two men working in the mine near the town of Mullan when a 10-foot by 20-foot section of mostly rock fell on Friday, the mine's owner said. The second worker got out unharmed.

By Sunday afternoon, workers had cleared nearly half of the earth that had caved in roughly 6,150 feet below the surface, according to the mine's owner.

Results of Nigerian presidential election expected soon

The winner of presidential elections in Africa's most populous nation - where voting over the weekend was relatively calm despite fears of violence - could be announced on Monday. Nigeria voted for president on Saturday, a week after parliamentary elections were marred by bomb blasts at a polling station and a collation center. Saturday's presidential voting was largely peaceful; Human Rights Watch has estimated that at least 85 people have been killed in political violence so far. President Goodluck Jonathan, who assumed office last year after his predecessor died of a kidney ailment, was considered the front-runner heading into the vote.

Obama raising funds for 2012, aiming to eclipse 2008's record

U.S. President Barack Obama will be traveling the country this week for town-hall meetings on the nation's debt and budget deficit woes and fundraisers for his re-election campaign. The town-hall meetings will be in Virginia and Nevada - battleground states he might need to win if he's to be re-elected - and California. He'll also hold fundraisers in Los Angeles and San Francisco, having kicked off his re-election fundraising appearances last week in Chicago. The Obama campaign is believed to have set a fundraising goal of $1 billion for 2012, more than his record-breaking 2008 haul of nearly $750 million.

One year after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

Wednesday will mark one year since what has been called the worst oil spill in U.S. history began. On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off Louisiana's coast injured 17 workers and killed 11 others, and a 3-month-long leak of a BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico began. Federal officials on Wednesday will present updates on the safety of Gulf seafood.

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  1. Ahead ofThreeCUPS ofTEA

    Really the best thing is to make LOOP of all American drummers who are now looking for work.... real youth culture: and then make a new democratic nation from that.... Real progress without the fake intellectual property claims of American writers and military "think tanks"... 🙂

    April 18, 2011 at 6:38 am | Report abuse |
  2. wooptydo

    Since when is it NATO's job to overthrow governments? Seems to me these rebels in Libya are depending on foreign intervention or lose. The situation has now set a precedent for other countries including the US. Want to overthrow your government? It's ok to get other countries to help. Plus, your government is not allowed to fight back. Seems to me it should now be easy for us to take back the American government by force, huh? Seeing how they aren't allowed to defend themselves.....hmmmm...

    April 18, 2011 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
    • El Kababa

      Any time a Stalinist dictator can be removed from power is the right time. Any way a Stalinist dictator can be removed from power is the right way. There is no illegal way to end a dictatorship. There is no legal way a dictatorship can be sustained.

      You are saying, to use a metaphor, that if we see a man beating his own wife, we have no right to intervene. I don't think so.

      April 18, 2011 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  3. crystalbeck

    higher gas prices? where can you get money for gas? there are several secrets to auto insurance industry, If you have good credit, you'll pay less. check out "Auto Insurance Clearance" for more secrets

    April 18, 2011 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. Col. Bat Guano

    The only reason youre saying that is because a democrat is president. Youre a right winger, you love war. God bless amuhrica.

    April 18, 2011 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ahead ofThreeCUPS ofTEA

    And it is time for new book series as well > as not lacking in intellectual capital or superior talents >

    "Three Cups of Coffee" a story of the binge drinking women, motherhoods and the more metal proof schools, rehab, and child supports they may need after the Tea Party favors.

    April 18, 2011 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. Alfred Brock

    A story about stories that CNN plans to cover. Junk reporting.

    April 18, 2011 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joey

    I am gratified that my two opening comments generated some lively discussion.
    One result of my thinking outside liberal or conservative boxes, with a separation of issues, has been a loss of agreement from other persons.
    I am accustomed to that.

    April 18, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. enough lie's

    RON PAUL for president!!!!!

    April 18, 2011 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. CSMinDC

    Looks like CNN is trying to create news and not report the news.

    April 18, 2011 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joe

    I read the first three posts after it turns into complaining and name calling.

    April 18, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  11. banasy

    Ok, I'm confused. First the rebels wanted NATO's (and the US') help, now they are criticizing that enough is not being done? Well, pull NATO out, then. I am a big proponent of freedom, but it seems they want Mo-mo's head handed to them on a platter, and that's what NATO's help is all about.

    April 18, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Thank you,banasy. Well put.

      April 18, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. fixit (George D.)

    I posted on this thread last night and then came back later to read. And wow, I couldn't understand any of it. The reason? There is one individual who obviously suffers from a multiple personality disorder and is highjacking everyone's screen names plus inventing some too. It's a total slam to the good folks on these forums. Not only is this individual disturbed but he/she is Stoopid. ip address anyone? Check it, even firewalls are hard to hide behind. Mr. multiple personality, please get some help and also seek education on how the internet works.

    I've got absolutely nothing to hide. How about you?

    George Dimitri

    April 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
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