Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
June 26th, 2011
06:27 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

Minot, North Dakota, saw the bloated Souris River finally start to crest over the weekend after record water levels flooded thousands of homes. But the worst is yet to come for other North Dakota cities and towns. Here is a look at this and other stories that CNN plans to follow this week:

River cresting in Minot,  but danger remains

Water levels in Minot are expected to stay relatively high, said meteorologist Patrick Ayd of the National Weather Service in Bismarck, North Dakota. The Souris River last week already topped its record high of 1,558 feet above sea level, set in 1881.

Water levels near the Broadway Bridge were still expected to remain around 1,561 feet through Tuesday - well above the record of 1,558 feet - with a slow drop over the coming week.

Shannon Bauer, a public information officer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, described the situation as "touch and go" as crews worked to build a temporary levee in the now-vacant town of Sawyer. "We have not given up," Bauer said.

Michele Bachmann to officially announce 2012 bid

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, is expected to officially announce her bid for the Republican nomination Monday in Iowa, the state of her birth.

"I have a distinct advantage there, I think," Bachmann said in an interview broadcast Sunday on Fox News. The 55-year-old Tea Party favorite from Minnesota will kick off a three-state campaign tour in Iowa, then head to New Hampshire and South Carolina.

"What people know about me is I do what I say and I say what I mean," Bachmann said on Fox. "I think people recognize I'm very sincere in what I say," she said.

Colorado Rapids visiting the White House

President Obama will welcome the Colorado Rapids, 2010 Major League Soccer champs, to the White House on Monday. The ceremony will be in conjunction with a soccer clinic for children of military families, which the Rapids will conduct on the South Lawn. Obama will also continue his tradition of honoring teams for their outreach efforts in communities.

NASA preps for final launch of shuttle program

NASA will hold a news conference Tuesday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the run-up to the July 8 final launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis. Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim will all be on hand for demonstrations and interviews.

While NASA is rolling out all the stops to make the media and the public as much a part of the experience as they are, it hasn't been all 'Star Wars' jokes and games.

"We've got a complex mission," Ferguson told reporters last week. "We've had a very short training flow, about nine months, and four people. The number of tasks aboard the shuttle haven't changed just because there's four people. So I think what I'm really driving at is that we've been enormously busy."

Sen. Durbin to convene talks on Dream Act

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, a chief sponsor of the Dream Act, is expected to chair a hearing on the controversial bill, which would offer a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children.

Proponents, including President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders, say the legislation would give legal standing to young people brought to the United States who have bettered themselves and served their new country. Opponents claim the bill, formally called the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, is a way to circumvent the Constitution and is a form of amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Tour de France to begin Saturday

When the Tour de France begins Saturday, it will be amid a mass of media, fanfare and a cloud of suspicion as doping allegations continue to dog one of the sport’s stars, three-time Tour champ Alberto Contador.

While Contador was cleared after a failed drug test last year, the sport’s anti-doping agency appealed the decision. The case is set for arbitration August 1-3, about a week after the Tour ends.

Doping accusations have surrounding the Tour in recent years. In May a former teammate of Lance Armstrong said he saw the seven-time Tour de France winner use performance-enhancing drugs before several events, including the Tour. Armstrong denied the accusations.

The grueling 21-stage race covers more than 2,000 miles and lasts more than three weeks.

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Filed under: Ahead of the curve • Barack Obama • Politics • Sports • U.S.
June 26th, 2011
04:34 PM ET

River begins to crest in Minot, North Dakota

Many residents of Minot, North Dakota, who evacuated ahead of rising floodwaters were approaching the water's edge on Sunday, hoping to catch a glimpse of their homes.

Most often, they are disappointed by what they see.

Officials have estimated up to 4,000 homes are flooded to some degree.

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Filed under: Flooding • North Dakota
June 26th, 2011
04:29 PM ET

Why you'll save more at the pump

Gas prices fell 11 cents over the past two weeks, part of a downward slide likely to continue in the coming weeks, the publisher of a new survey said Sunday.

The Lundberg Survey found the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline is $3.63. That's down 37 cents since prices peaked on May 6.

Crude oil prices have dropped in recent weeks, and "weak performance" by the U.S. economy has lowered demand, said publisher Trilby Lundberg.

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Filed under: Economy • Energy • U.S.
Oklahoma murder suspect steals deputy's car, escapes
Shaun Bosse is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of arson.
June 26th, 2011
01:28 PM ET

Oklahoma murder suspect steals deputy's car, escapes

A manhunt was under way Sunday for an Oklahoma jail inmate who overpowered two deputies and stole one deputy's car, authorities said.

Shaun Bosse, 27, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of arson. He is accused of killing Katrina Griffin, 24, and her two children - Christian, 8, and Chastity, 6 - on July 23, according to CNN affiliate KOCO. Read more information about Bosse on a law enforcement web site.

Bosse stole a black 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix in his escape, said McClain County Undersheriff Bill Shobe. The car, which was newly purchased, has a paper tag, he said.

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Filed under: Oklahoma
June 26th, 2011
12:59 PM ET

Cheering new marriage law during New York pride parade

Forty-two years after a police raid sparked rioting and perhaps the birth of the American gay rights movement, New Yorkers geared up for the city's annual pride parade Sunday in what many expect to be a celebration of same-sex couples' newly-acquired right to wed.

The parade is expected to meander along Manhattan's Fifth Avenue and pass the famous Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village where the rioting took place in 1969. The parade was set to begin at noon ET.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Friday that made New York the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage. The new law more than doubles the number of Americans living in states that permit such unions.

The measure will take effect 30 days after it was signed, providing same-sex couples with new rights that include employer health benefits, inheritance laws and a host of new tax benefits.

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Filed under: New York • Same-sex marriage
Israel denies fiscal pressure on Greece to block flotilla boats
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman visiting Greece in January of this year on an official visit.
June 26th, 2011
10:45 AM ET

Israel denies fiscal pressure on Greece to block flotilla boats

The Israeli foreign ministry on Sunday rejected as "ludicrous" suggestions that Israel and the United States were using economic pressure to force fiscally strapped Greece into preventing boats from participating in an international flotilla to the Gaza Strip.

"Do these people have any proof whatsoever to such claims?" asked Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. "Their entire activity is aimed at demonizing the state of Israel. What are they saying, that we have used all the Jewish bankers in the world to cancel Greece's bonds? What kind of fantasy world are they living in?"

Organizers of one boat planning to join the flotilla, the U.S.-registered Audacity of Hope, released a statement Sunday asking the Greek government to explain why the leased vessel was being prevented from leaving a Greek port.

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Filed under: Greece • Israel
June 26th, 2011
10:40 AM ET

6 bodies found in French Alps

The bodies of six climbers were found Sunday in the French Alps, authorities said.

After a hiker spotted the bodies, they were brought by helicopter to the nearby village of Villar d'Arene, local police said, according to a report on French state radio.

Authorities believe the mountaineers died Saturday morning, said the village mayor Xavier Cret.

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Filed under: France