Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
March 4th, 2012
07:01 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

Here is a look at some of the stories that CNN plans to follow this week:

Netanyahu, Obama to meet amid high tensions with Iran

Days after a trip to Canada in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated that Israel reserves the right to defend itself against Iranian threats, the Israeli leader is due to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Monday.

Iran is sure to be one of the topics of discussion. Tensions between Iran and the West have risen in recent months over its nuclear program, after a scathing report in November from international inspectors that said Iran could be developing nuclear weapons. A more recent report from the inspectors, noting that Iran was increasing its uranium enrichment capacity, said Iran blocked them from a key military facility.

The United States and its allies have long suspected Iran is developing such weapons, though Iran has insisted that its nuclear program is solely intended for civilian energy purposes.

Israeli leadership, fearing the possibility of its enemy's having nuclear weapons, has hinted that a unilateral pre-emptive military strike against Iran is a possibility. Obama, in a recent interview with The Atlantic, cautioned against such a strike, suggesting it would produce worldwide sympathy for Iran at a time when it has very little. He told The Atlantic, as he told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual policy conference in Washington on Sunday, that although Iran's having nuclear weapons is unacceptable to the United States, and that he isn't taking any option off the table, different pressure such as sanctions may make Iran change its course.

Netanyahu this week also plans to visit the AIPAC policy conference, a large pro-Israel gathering in Washington. Several U.S. lawmakers also are scheduled to address the three-day conference.

Romney on hot streak ahead of Super Tuesday

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is on a bit of a roll heading into the Super Tuesday contests, in which 10 states will hold primaries or caucuses and have their say in the Republican nomination race.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, managed to shake off a recent rise in rival Rick Santorum's popularity, winning contests in Michigan, Arizona, Wyoming and Washington state last week. Romney has a lead in the delegate count on the strength of results in early primaries and caucuses.

In Ohio, one of the states with the most delegates in play Tuesday, Romney and Santorum were virtually tied in a poll released Sunday, with Santorum up 34% to 32% among likely Republican primary voters.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he needs to win his home state, Georgia, on Tuesday to stay in the race, and a poll released Saturday showed he had a double-digit lead there over his nearest competitor, Romney.

Other states holding contests Tuesday are Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.

Literary wunderkind turns 35

Jonathan Safran Foer has enjoyed success with “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” and other works. The novelist has much to be proud of yet remains humble, say those who know him. In the words of one friend, he’s “extremely shy” and “incredibly bold.”

CNN’s Elizabeth Landau’s profile of Foer will hit CNN.com’s homepage on Monday. But you can get a sneak peek here.

Here comes the iPad 3 (we think)

Apple isn't saying whether the "special event" it's planned in California on Wednesday is the launch of the iPad 3. But pretty much all of the journalists covering Apple expect the company to unveil the latest version of the device that virtually defined the tablet market when it was introduced in 2010.

There is speculation that the iPad 3 may come with a stronger, bigger battery - making the new tablet thicker than the previous version, CNNMoney reports. Another rumor is a high-pixel-count screen that's already available on the iPhone 4S. Other reports claim the iPad will come with a faster processor, a better camera, the Siri voice assistant and the ability to run on 4G cell networks - and be about $60 more expensive than its predecessors.

The unveiling would come at a time when competitors are beginning to put up a bit of a fight, CNN's Doug Gross reports. Amazon made a splash with its simpler, cheaper Kindle Fire over the holidays, and rival bookseller Barnes & Noble countered with its popular Nook Tablet. The Acer Iconia A500 offers more memory than the iPad 2, while other companies have  begun flooding the market with devices that are smaller and cheaper than Apple's standard-bearer.

Will Putin avoid a runoff election?

When final results of Sunday's presidential election in Russia are announced this week, Vladimir Putin may not need a runoff vote to reclaim the office.

Russians went to the polls on Sunday, and pre-election polls showed that Putin, who was president from 2000 to 2008, may get more than 50% of the vote, in which case he would avoid a runoff election and win the presidency outright.

Putin has been prime minister since stepping down from the presidency in 2008 because of a law barring him from serving more than two consecutive terms. The current president, Dmitry Medvedev, is not running for another term.

The election comes about three months after parliamentary elections that kept Putin's ruling United Russia party in power, albeit with a smaller majority. The results caused mass protests in Russia, with protesters claiming that the results were rigged in United Russia's favor. The demonstrations were considered, among analysts and political observers, the largest in Russia in the past two decades. Protests are expected again on Monday if Putin is declared Russia's next president

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soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    It boggles my mind that people STILL have the mindset that all the problems in the US economy only started 3 years ago and were created by merely one single man!! He must be way more powerful than i suspected! Damn haters anyway!

    March 5, 2012 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. saywhat


    Yes. Blaming President Obama is more like a cult than rational thought process.

    March 5, 2012 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
    • AZpatriot

      and calling him "president" obama drives them nuts.

      March 5, 2012 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Jj

      Yea not reading what's in the bill and blaming people who have read it is totally irrational right crissy? Ignorance is bliss I see. Just read the bill guys. I don't lie nor do I make crap up. Denial is the most popular thing going in America today. READ THE BILL!!! Oh 1200 pages is too much for the average person. Think that's a coincidence? And I am totally average just concerned and curious. 3.8% is a pretty exact number for me to make up but the excuses roll in. READ THE BILL PLEASE if you have a week and don't work.

      March 5, 2012 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat


    I believe our spy agencies do not believe that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb according to N.Y Times and Leon Panetta just a few days ago testified to the same to a congressional committee.
    According to the current Mossad chief even if Iran acquires a nuclear weapon it would pose no existentialist threat to Israel. The ex-mossad chief had also been warning the Israeli leadership against playing up the Iranian threat to get them into a war.
    No sane person would advise us getting into a third war in the M.East.

    March 5, 2012 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
    • revnowwhilewecan

      What's even more sad is that the media here in the west only likes to print mis-translated (imo purposly) quotes meant to perpetuate more fear of Iran to further the cause of corporate America and Israel. Meanwhile, the western media sources rufuse to print statements by Netanyahu such as, "Yes, and it is not a secret that it will happen with U.S.-Gulf support and that is why they have been warned, but before you ask, you have a look at the new map of the world and see that there is no nation with this name.” This was with a German reporter asking the Israeli President about Lebanon.

      March 5, 2012 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    @ saywhat, i agree. I have the same problem when talking to my mom about our POTUS. Hard for me still to believe we are related cuz ive never met a bigger racist. Drives me nuts! And she has 3 african american grandchildren. God forgive her please.

    March 5, 2012 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    Jj taking your frustrations out on me isnt going to change anything. As i posted to you earlier much of that stuff was added by congress, and us commoners dont have access to that bill, but if you can get me a copy i would love to read it.

    March 5, 2012 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    And @ jj i did not blame you for anything! I do however blame congress on a major portion of the probs in our country and im not alone on that!

    March 5, 2012 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Jj

      congress did not create this bill Chrissy. Obama dems created this bill and passed it in the middle of the night with many things in it that are going to infuriate dems as well as pubs. U obviously have the Internet. Do I have to show u step by step instructions as to how to look things up? U seem well informed @ many issues. Why is this one not the same? Just google it duh

      March 5, 2012 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Jj

      Yes frustrated. Absolutely. I have complete and absolute confidence that obama will get hammered in a debate with whoever gets nominated. Saving the best for last is not just a saying. Hint hint All a person has to do is look in detail at Obama care. It'll be too easy with things such as the afore mentioned. And I'm only 400 pages into it! Yippee! Look it up people. You do have the Internet. Don't use the ignorant card

      March 5, 2012 at 4:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jj

    "say what" is the perfect example of ignorance! Thank u. Now take the time to read non-fiction and take pride for the average person and read the bill. Banansy I know U will make some off the cuff comment tomorrow after reading my posts. Read the bill please and don't criticize me because u plainly do not want to know what's in it. READ THE BILL!

    March 5, 2012 at 4:28 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I do not have to say anything, Jj.
      You do a fine job of speaking for yourself, and turning more people to the liberal side all the time.

      And if you want to have a debate with people, look up 'Ad hominem'.
      Thanks again.

      March 5, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    Sorry jj, wasnt ignoring you but at 4am i was asleep. And word of advice, if you want me to listen to you AND take you serious dont call me ignorant while using the word *duh* in youre comment! I do have the internet on my phone which means read pages.

    March 5, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Jj

      Ignorant is not an insult. It means u plainly don't know and probably don't want to know. And duh is a reference to you saying that u don't know how to find something on the Internet. Banz u make me laugh. Me turn people to the liberal side? You plainly want to remain ignorant on what's in Obama care as do most everyone on this site. Can't wait for the first real debate.

      March 5, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. chrissy

    oops meant cant read pages.

    March 5, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
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