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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Filed under: Ahead of the curve
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Joey

    I will donate to Obama's campaign.
    Philosophically I am a Republican because of that party's focus on personal responsibility and aspiration, but there is no Republican presidential prospect that I think would be as good as Obama.
    Republicans should move their posture on social issues like abortion, religion, evolution, and DADT into the 21st century, or at least into the latter part of the 20th century.

    April 17, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      Joey, can you define each issue you sited. I mean exactly how would the Republican party feel about abortion in the 21fst century for instance.

      April 17, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Col. Bat Guano

      Personal resposibilty and aspiration? Really?

      April 18, 2011 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
    • NW1000

      ...move their positions. What if they are right, and you are wrong? Why should positions be changed, if they are correct? Why should good morals be scrapped? There is certainly NOTHING wrong with wishing the horror of abortion was gone. Religion? True it motivates some to evil, but it motivates more to good. DADT? You are hung up on that? Why? Personal agenda? Evolution? There are just as many, if not more, PhD's who disagree with Darwin's monkey story that agree with it. Sounds a lot like the man made global warming fairy tale. "We are right, you shut up, no disagreement allowed, especially with us open minded people, now go away." Republican, my rear-end.

      April 18, 2011 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      Jaaaazzzz... Whatever..... Let me tell you this.. Those mostly apposed to abortion are folks no one would want to get it on with... Is that what you question ?

      April 18, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
    • El Kababa

      Conservatism has no interest in personal effort and achievement. That is just propaganda. They are saying that if the government doesn't provide any help to any one for any reason, the taxes on the wealthy can be decreased. Note that no Conservative has ever promoted any law or program or reform that will stimulate personal initiative or reward effort. They promote instead the fairy tale that the magic market automatically gives people exactly what the deserve.

      Worker productivity is up 85% since 1970.
      Worker wages are up zero percent since 1970.

      However, upper class income has skyrocketed during that time. Are the upper class working 500% harder than they did in 1970? Is their IQ 500% higher than it was then?

      Conservatism: They don't call it "The Big Con" for nothing.

      April 18, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Giving money to somebody just because there is nobody else to give it too is NOT the right thing to do.

      April 18, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joey

    My initial impression of the TEA Party movement was positive, but then its leaders began to run for government offices, opening their mouths to reveal some amazing stupidity.
    Only their "Taxed Enough" point is valid.

    April 17, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    It wasn't an "explosion" on the Deepwater Horizon...it was a blowout. They were drilling at a depth of nearly 20,000 ft. when they drilled into an high-pressure natural gas zone. The pressures encountered were so high, the entire drill string was lifted. (US Navy x-rays revealed two 30 ft. joints of pipe sandwiched inside of the blowout preventer, so the BOP couldn't function properly) The idea that this disaster was due to human negligence is laughable. Oil was spewing out of the ocean floor up to six miles away from the wellbore! (filmed by Jaques Cousteu's kid) Only one thing can possibly account for this: faulty casing cement. It's Halliburton's fault so much oil escaoed. (Halliburton did the cement job that failed) Yet Halliburton was indemnified (held harmless and not responsible) by BP! So now BP pays to clean up the mess and settle lawsuits! (reminds me of when LLoyds of London thought they wouldn't have to pay 9/11 insurance claims because the gov. said it was an act of war, not covered by insurance.

    April 17, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • enough lie's

      well said. Halliburton is to blame.

      April 18, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. flippy floppy

    If you could'nt figure out the tea party until now,we dont need you.

    April 17, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. leeintulsa

    I can't believe it's been a year on the oil spill.. And i guess the libyan rebels don't understand how flying and bombing in bad weather can be different than indiscriminantly lobbing shells in their general direction..

    April 17, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jennifer

    "Republicans should move their posture on social issues like abortion, religion, evolution, and DADT into the 21st century, or at least into the latter part of the 20th century."
    And so Christianity is so 20th century? As well as creationism? And how about terminating the life of a fetus because an irresponsible and selfish woman who uses abortion as birth control- that's so 20th century to oppose? Talk about "amazing stupidity" Joey. We have turned into a nation of low IQ, selfish, all about ME ME ME, all for the sake of "tolerance." PLEASE. If that's what you consider 21st century this world is on a mighty slippery downhill slope into idiocracy.

    April 17, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      Yes Yes and Yes , Jennifer so agree with u, thanks.

      April 17, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Col. Bat Guano

      Christianity and creationism isnt even 20th century. That is dark ages stuff. Get real.

      April 18, 2011 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. Cesar

    What NATO needs to do is halt the stupid bombings and get out of Libya's civil war altogether. We need to let the chips fall where they may. That's the moral thing to do and don't let any right-wing nut tell you otherwise!!!

    April 17, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      I happen to be one of those "right wingers" but let me tell you- we should never have been there in the first place. It's THEIR war. We simply cannot continue to throw on a cape and fly to every hostile country and become Super America of the World and bombs away. No. We cannot afford it and we are beginning to lose more and more credibility.. We have our hands in so much and our country is severly lacking now because of it. We're falling apart and for what? So we can go into hostile countries (where they hate us by the way), risk more of our soldiers' lives and dig ourselves into a bigger hole? None for me thanks.. Frankly I'm tired of us fighting everyone else fights. Time to get back to America the People...

      April 17, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Well said,Jennifer. Thank you.

      April 17, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jazzzzzzzz

    As long as they have a military for the ppl by the ppl , yes we should get out .

    April 17, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar

    @Cesar of 9:57, Shut up stupid.

    April 17, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bob

    I am a poor old man – I have never donated to a political campaign. This year and next I will donate everything I have including my false teeth to make sure Obama loses.

    April 17, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. George D.

    We've been in afghan. for over 9 years and spent well over $1 Billion. And for what? The taliban are like rats, they scurry around and attack randomly. They retreat and come back with acts of terroism – suicide bombers etc. We will never "win" that war.
    And we don't have any business to be in libya. Those missles we lauched cost $1 million each. And how many have we launched, 20, 30, 40. Let them sort it out themselves.
    We need to pull our troops back home and defend our own borders. And use the money to get this country back on track.
    War mongering needs to end now. We should not be the police of the world. Crazy.

    April 17, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Thank you,George D. You said it all.

      April 17, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      @ Cesar ...BTW hello Cesar, good to see you.

      April 17, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. boog

    Donate to me ill take your money

    April 17, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jazzzzzzzz

    @ George D. , When you put it like that yes I do agree , good comment. Thanks

    April 17, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jazzzzzzzz

    Boog , what are u doing up so late?

    April 17, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. boog

    Rebels started something they cant win now they want the world to do it for them. .sounds like the french in vietnam before we got involved

    April 17, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
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