Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
May 29th, 2011
05:46 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

One 2008 presidential candidate is expected to formally launch a new bid for the White House this week, while another may be nearing indictment in a probe into whether he illegally used campaign funds to cover up an affair. Here is a look at this and other stories that CNN plans to follow this week:

Romney to become sixth official GOP presidential candidate for 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Thursday is expected to formally announce his candidacy for president. Romney is to make his announcement in New Hampshire – site of 2012’s first presidential primary – and will be the sixth person to formally seek the Republican nomination.

Even with Romney’s announcement, the field would appear to be far from set. A number of other Republicans are considering White House bids, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is scheduled to be in New Hampshire on Thursday to headline an event for the state Republican Party.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, businessman Herman Cain, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson are official candidates for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

On Friday, a number of GOP presidential candidates and potential candidates will be in Washington to address the Faith and Freedom Coalition forum, a major gathering of socially conservative activists. Socially conservative voters have an influential role in picking the GOP nominee.

Will John Edwards be indicted?

This week could bring the next step - likely an indictment or a plea deal, according to sources with knowledge of the case - in a federal investigation of former U.S. Sen. John Edwards. A grand jury has been investigating whether he illegally used campaign funds to try to cover up an affair with a video producer working for his 2008 presidential campaign.

Sources have told CNN that the U.S. Justice Department is preparing to indict Edwards unless he and prosecutors reach a plea deal. His defense team says Edwards is innocent and that a prosecution is unwarranted.

Obama to participate in Memorial Day ceremony

U.S. President Barack Obama will be among 5,000 people attending Monday's Memorial Day service at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, where service members already have used the weekend to pay respects to fallen troops. Obama also will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

As of this Memorial Day, a day used to honor Americans who've died in war, more than 6,000 U.S. and coalition troops have been killed in the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. You can read stories of the fallen on CNN's Home and Away interactive feature.

Zuma to meet with Gadhafi about conflict in Libya

South African President Jacob Zuma is expected to meet Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Monday as part of an international effort to end a months-long internal conflict in Libya.

Zuma is a member of an African Union panel aimed at ending the battles between rebels and forces loyal to Gadhafi. An African Union delegation visited Libya to seek a cease-fire last month, but fighting continues.

A coalition of nations under NATO has been striking military targets in Libya as part of a United Nations mandate to protect civilians.

USDA to replace food pyramid

Out with the pyramid and in with the plate.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday is expected to unveil a new diagram intended to guide people to make healthy food choices. A source familiar with the new guidelines says the USDA will replace its current food pyramid with a plate icon.

The switch comes after complaints that the old pyramids - first the Food Guide Pyramid introduced in 1992, and then the MyPyramid that debuted in 2005 - were confusing and unhelpful.

Endeavour scheduled to wrap its final mission this week

NASA's space shuttle Endeavour is set to begin its retirement this week following its return from space.

Endeavour's first landing opportunity is Wednesday in Florida, shortly after 2:30 a.m. The shuttle and its crew have been on a mission involving the international space station - including maintenance spacewalks -  since Endeavour's May 16 liftoff.

NASA is retiring its entire shuttle fleet. Atlantis is scheduled to be the last shuttle in space; its launch is scheduled for July 8.

Will court end NFL lockout?

An appeals court on Friday will hear arguments over whether it should overturn a judge's April decision to lift the NFL's lockout of its players.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson's April 25 ruling lifted the lockout, but it resumed days later when the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis temporarily blocked Nelson's decision. The NFL had appealed Nelson's ruling, arguing that law prohibits such injunctions in labor disputes.

The appeals court now must decide whether to overturn Nelson's decision. If it does, NFL owners will continue to lock out their players while negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with them - a situation that could delay the start of the 2011-2012 season if a deal isn't done soon.

Owners and players are arguing about, among other things, how to divide the league's $9 billion in annual revenue. Currently, the NFL owners take $1 billion of the top, and players get 60% after that. The owners say that arrangement is outdated because it doesn't take into account the rising costs associated with building stadiums and promoting the game, but players counter that the teams haven't sufficiently opened up their books to prove this.

Time for the spelling bee

More than 270 boys and girls will be reaching for the top guerdon - er, reward - in this week's televised Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington.

Preliminaries begin Wednesday, and ESPN will show Thursday's semifinals (10 a.m. ET) and finals (8:30 p.m.).

This year's event features two finalists from last year. The winning words for the past three years were guerdon (2008), laodicean (lukewarm; 2009), and stromuhr (an instrument measuring the flow of viscous substances; 2010).

The contest comes more than two months after the first national spelling bee champion, 1925 winner Frank Neuhauser, died at age 97.

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

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soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Dieter

    @ funkybunch:
    Yes, and with such fine humility, you will be needing for yourself to be out-watching.

    May 30, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. ben

    @fernance, Apparently you just don't get it. Obama has already spent more than Bush did his whole eight years-that's including the spending on the wars. You also don't seem to get the Saddam was butchering millions of people and had to be stopped just like Milosovich. If you want to continue being part of the problem then get out of the way so the rest of use can work on fixing the problem.

    May 30, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. ben

    And yes I do admit that Bush spent a lot of money, more than I would have preferred but not for the reasons you think. He never should've passed many of the domestic spending programs he signed, for instance going along with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd on mortgage loans to people who couldn't possibly repay them. That was a disaster begging to happen, it's also what precipitated the recession.

    May 30, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. fernace

    @ben I'll be happy to get out of the way so you can fix the problem! What exactly are you doing about it, now? If you have a solution, for heavens sakes dont sit on it! Run for office so we can vote you in & you can do your thang! I just want to live a comfortable life where my paycheck actually covers my necessities. I'm struggling here, along with thousands of other citizens. Be truthful, what answers are the Repubs coming with for the average American? I'm not talking rich or even semi-rich. They just dont seem interested in us. What's your take?

    May 30, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jimmy

    On this Memorial Day I am so proud we have at last again a President who can string words together with intelligence and passion – God bless America!

    May 30, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • ADDGUY

      YEAH – and it's made so much difference. It turns out this country has some intractable problems and being GLIB and BLACK doesn't seem to be the answer. This country is BROKE and FULL and it will take some time to solve these problems.

      May 31, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    @ dennis...U meant gw bush was good 4 nothin right? Well maybe u didnt, by the sounds of your posts u probably said "yea george, give the banks our tax dollars, emphasis on give and dont worry, party, party and btw its free-you dont have to pay it back!

    May 31, 2011 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ellis

    Good morning. I'm from Panama. I'm gay.

    May 31, 2011 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. ADDGUY

    While ROMNEY looks good on paper he is too BLAND to be elected. However we don't need someone GLIB but ineffective like OBAMA.

    May 31, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
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