Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
May 15th, 2011
07:57 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

Hundreds of people in low-lying central Louisiana will be fleeing or trying to protect their homes this week as authorities divert more water from a swollen Mississippi River toward them and away from more-populated areas. Here is a look at this and other stories that CNN plans to follow this week:

More spillway gates expected to be opened in Louisiana

For the first time in nearly 40 years, some of the Morganza Spillway's floodgates were opened over the weekend, sending excess water from the Mississippi River toward homes and farmland in Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin. Nearly 4,000 people are expected to be affected, and some of them are trying to build barriers around their towns and homes in hopes of defending themselves against the flooding.

Authorities plan to open as many as one-fourth of the spillway's 125 floodgates in the coming days, the Army Corps of Engineers has said. The water is being diverted through the spillway in hopes of sparing heavily populated areas such as Baton Rouge and New Orleans from severe flooding.

Across the South and the lower Midwest, floodwaters have covered about 3 million acres of farmland, eroding for many farmers what would have been a profitable year for corn, wheat, rice and cotton, officials said.

Endeavour's delayed final launch could come Monday

The final launch of the space shuttle Endeavour - and the shuttle program's next-to-last - is scheduled for Monday morning, more than two weeks after a previous attempt was scrubbed because of a heater problem.

Endeavour's launch from Florida's Kennedy Space Center is set for 8:56 a.m. ET. NASA has said there is a chance that strong winds or low clouds could force another delay.

About 500,000 people are expected to be on hand to see the spacecraft's final liftoff, NASA said. Among them will be U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, wife of Endeavour commander Mark Kelly. Giffords, who survived a gunshot to the head in a January assassination attempt during a political event in Arizona, will be taking a break from rehabilitation in Texas.

NASA is retiring its shuttle fleet. Atlantis is scheduled to be the last shuttle in orbit; its launch is scheduled for July.

Gadhafi expected to face international arrest warrant

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is expected to announce Monday that he's seeking arrest warrants for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and two other Libyans on suspicion of crimes against humanity, an official with direct knowledge of the case said.

The allegations include the killings of unarmed protesters by security forces and the use of displacement, illegal detentions and airstrikes against civilians. The prosecutor must present all his evidence to a panel of judges before the court in The Hague, Netherlands, can decide whether to issue arrest warrants.

A United Nations envoy was in Libya on Sunday, hoping to negotiate a cease-fire between government and rebel forces. Libyan rebels rose up against Gadhafi in February, demanding freedom and an end to Gadhafi's nearly 42-year rule.

Obama to make Mideast address, meet with Jordanian and Israeli leaders

Uprisings in the Middle East and the Palestinian-Israeli peace process are expected to comprise a large portion of U.S. President Barack Obama's agenda this week.

Obama on Thursday is set to deliver an address on U.S. policy regarding the "Arab Spring" uprisings that have shaken governments in North Africa and the Middle East.

He also is expected to meet in Washington with Jordan's King Abdullah II on Tuesday and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday. Parts of those discussions are expected to center on Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations.

This week's meetings come days after former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell resigned as Obama's Mideast envoy. Mitchell was assigned to keep the peace talks on track. They also come on the heels of Sunday's deadly clashes between pro-Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces along Israel's border Sunday.

Casey Anthony trial may begin Tuesday

Opening statements in the trial of a Florida woman charged with capital murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter are expected to begin Tuesday in Orlando, provided that jury selection can be completed Monday.

Casey Anthony, 25, has pleaded not guilty in the death of her daughter, Caylee, whose body was found in the woods near her family's home in 2008. Caylee was reported missing months before her body was discovered.

A judge and attorneys identified 12 jury candidates last week. Jurors are expected to be sworn in when the pool of unrejected candidates reaches 15.

Derby's long-shot winner set for Preakness

Can Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom be horse racing's first Triple Crown winner since 1978? The 3-year-old colt will need to win Saturday's Preakness Stakes in Maryland to stay on track for the feat.

Animal Kingdom was considered a long shot to win the Derby and wasn't even considered to be his trainer's best horse this year (the other, Toby's Corner, was scratched from the Derby because of injury). SI.com's Tim Layden writes of how a series of strange events (including a late jockey substitution) led up to Animal Kingdom's victory at the Triple Crown's first of three legs on May 7.

The third leg - New York's Belmont Stakes - is scheduled for June 11.

Networks officially announce fall schedules

The fates of many TV shows were made known last week - ABC's "Brothers and Sisters," NBC's "Outsourced" and Fox's "Lie to Me" are reportedly among the programs getting the boot - but the networks will officially announce their fall lineups this week. CBS and the CW still have plenty to announce this week about which shows they'll have.

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Filed under: Ahead of the curve
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Joey

    To hagen-joey at 7:11am. Quit trolling me I'm the real Joey, can't you tell, I'm more intelligent than everyone else on this blog including you.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joey

    Hagen you are a churlish human being without any class. See that proves I'm the real Joey because I know how to use arcane words.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joey

    Hagen, you have a tenebrous soul. Tenebrous means dark and gloomy by the way so don't bother getting your dictionary out you pin head.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. larry

    Joey, why do you think some one is trolling you? Are you really so conceited as to believe that you are the only person in the world that is named Joey. Or maybe it's just the fact that you believe that you are the only one that really matters.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joey

    Oh wonderful, another preacher trying to sell a book.

    May 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey

    This is the Joey at 5:59am, I'm from Idaho thank you very much. Don't know who the other Joey is and couldn't give a rats' a** for that matter. I was trying to make a comment to Aaron, but thanks for correcting my grammar Joey. I guess you've never made a grammatical error in your life.

    May 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
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