Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
June 5th, 2011
07:23 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

The wounding of Yemen’s president late last week has further muddied the political situation in a country that the United States sees as a key ally in the fight against al Qaeda. Here is a look at this and other stories that CNN plans to follow this week:

Will Yemen's president return?

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the target of months of demonstrations seeking his ouster, was being treated in neighboring Saudi Arabia on Sunday following a Friday attack in Yemen's presidential palace that wounded him and killed 10 others. Officials had blamed members of a tribe that has been fighting the government, but they're now are investigating whether the local branch of al Qaeda was behind the attack.

His injuries raise questions about when and even whether he will return to Yemen, though a member of the ruling party said he would return soon.

Demonstrators have demanded Saleh's ouster for months, and fighting between Yemeni government forces and Yemen's Hashed tribe broke out in late May after Saleh refused to sign an agreement with opposition leaders that would have eased him from power in 30 days.  Yemen has been a key U.S. ally against al Qaeda, which has an active franchise in the Middle Eastern nation.

Long wildfire fight ahead in Arizona

Firefighters in northeastern Arizona are facing one of the state's largest-ever wildfires, which has destroyed more than 144,000 acres in a week and isn't close to being contained.

More than 2,000 people had been evacuated from their homes as of Sunday. Some 1,300 firefighters were battling the blaze, which has been difficult to fight because of wind gusts that have carried burning embers up to three miles.

A number of other wildfires are burning in the state, destroying more than 250,000 acres combined.

Appeals court to hear arguments over health care reform

A federal appeals court in Atlanta will hear oral arguments Wednesday in one of the many challenges of the sweeping health care reform bill that Congress passed last year.

In this case, Florida and 25 other states are challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Last week, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati expressed concern about the law, especially the requirement that Americans purchase health insurance in coming years or face financial penalties. With roughly 30 legal challenges filed nationwide, the issue probably will the U.S. Supreme Court, perhaps by the end of the year.

Apple reaches for the cloud

Apple on Monday is expected to announce its next generation of software, including its upcoming online media service, iCloud.

The service is rumored to be a "digital locker" offering, similar to Amazon's cloud storage service for music. Such a service could allow Apple customers to stream music online in addition to downloading songs via iTunes.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to pause his medical leave of absence to take part in Monday's announcement at the company's annual developers' conference in San Francisco.

Obama to host Merkel, two other leaders

U.S. President Barack Obama will host German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington for an official visit and state dinner on Tuesday. The two leaders are expected to talk about governmental transitions in Egypt and Tunisia, the Middle East peace process, and global economic issues, among other things.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, fresh off an election victory, will visit Obama at the White House on Wednesday. On Thursday, Obama will meet with Gabon's president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, whose country holds the presidency of the United Nations Security Council for June.

Strauss-Kahn arraignment set for Monday

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former chief of the International Monetary Fund, is expected to be arraigned Monday in an alleged May 14 sexual assault of a housekeeping employee at a New York hotel.

Strauss-Kahn, who was considered a front-runner in France's next presidential race before his arrest last month, is expected to plead not guilty to sexual assault charges.

Defense attorneys will formally request discovery materials - copies of scientific reports as well as police reports and formal statements made by the hotel employee - from Manhattan prosecutors on Monday, according to a source close to the case.

Derby winner vs. Preakness champ at Belmont

If Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom were just a little more than a half-length better at last month's Preakness, it would be running for a Triple Crown at this Saturday's Belmont Stakes. But horse racing fans will have to settle for a rubber match between Animal Kingdom and the horse that edged it out in Baltimore, Shackleford.

Post time for the race, to be shown on NBC, is expected to be shortly after 6:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

- CNN's Brandon Griggs contributed to this report.

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