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. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "On The Lunatic Fringe"

    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.

    How ironic huh. The United States finds Iran unacceptable IF they have nuclear wepaonry. But alas...it was the United States that started Irans nuclear program decades ago.
    Soooo what if the inspectors were allowed in and they found a bunch of queer looking nuclear tipped scuds anyways? Is Mr.Obama going to take Iran to court? Be apathetic? Going to war (fat chance of that happening)? Or suck it up and possibly take incomming to a major metropolis?
    I'm scared. Really.

    March 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Superman

    End iran! We can make it happen, and at the same time , take syria down.

    March 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nicki

      Syria has nothing to offer the US, they'll be left to fend for themselves unfortunately.

      March 4, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      I just wish that this world could have world peace. Sigh...

      March 4, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    Lo & behold our lord & master Netanyahu cometh. Undoubtedly to whip our 'American' law makers in line & remind them where their allegiance & loyalty lies- not to the Old Glory or Americans for sure.

    16 th April 2008 " 9/11 has been good for Israel. Weae benefitting from attacks on Twin Towers and Pentagon & America strugggling in Iraq" Netanyahu addressing Bar Ilan University.
    2001 a private conversation.The video surfaced in 2009." I know what America is.America is a thing that can be moved easily in any direction. You move it and it won't stand in their way' . I decieved Clinton on the Peace process" Netanyahu.
    Where has our national pride gone? This man shouldn't be even allowed on our soil.

    March 4, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sofa King

      Why don't you spin that a little faster. I know it is a favorite liitle quote by the foil hat gang, but is taken completely out of context. Netanyahu was merely speaking about how American public opinion was being eroded in the late 1990s, and that the 9/11 attacks reminded America of the worldwide terrorist threat. He did NOT, in any way hape or form, say that the attacks were a good thing.

      March 5, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. saywhat

    Our military commanders and all those with some sense in positions of access to relevant info bothy in Israel & here have been advising against a war with Iran. The consequences would be horrific and against American interests, jeopardizing our troops and civilians everywhere. Engulfing an entire region in fire with far reaching fall out. A war we can ill afford.
    The only message Netanyahu should get from us is this " If American interests or a single American soldier or civilian is harmed due to his govt's actions in the M.East, he would be held responsible'.

    March 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. saywhat

    AIPAC does not represent Jews or American interests – they represent just themselves- a spy agency and enforcer of the policies of the regimes in Tel Aviv.
    Two of their officials Steven Rosen & Kieth Weissman were convicted of espionage in August 2005 in collaboration with a Pentagon analyst.
    If only our public insulated from the truth would listen to the what the good Jews are saying . Listen to Jewish Voice for Peace & JStreet.
    Pandering to AIPAC goes against our interest. Where is a President of US of A who has the courage to stand up & say – for me and my administration America comes first and I will do what is best in our interest. We help our allies but only to the extent that American interests are not harmed or compromised in the short or long term'.

    March 4, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "On The Lunatic Fringe"

    How ironic, but it was the United States that started Irans nuclear program decades ago.
    And what if, the inspectors stumble upon a cheezy looking nuclear tipped scud anyways? Is Mr. Obama going to take 'em to court ? Is he going to declare war (fat chance). Or are we going to accept a couple of devastating nuclear assaults?
    Frankly (pardon the pun), I don't know that I feel to safe anymore.

    March 4, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nicki

    Bet your bottom dollar that it's going to be a Iranian occupation in the next 6 months Jeff

    March 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "On The Lunatic Fringe"

    Maybe that military installation the inspectors were steered away from is in fact a massive towel storage facility for the greater middle east.
    You know bald men in this country put thier money on that hair stuff minoxidil to grow hair. Over there, they ladel a liberal layer of cow dung on top of thier heads and wrap a towel around it.

    March 4, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "On The Lunatic Fringe"

    @Nicky
    Either way you look at it...it stinks!
    Back to work...later. 😉

    March 4, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Nicki

    Right – O Jeff ! have a good one.

    March 4, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chrissy

    @ superman, Al-Assad is doing a fine job on his own of taking Syria down! Once he kills all his people he will be the dictator of no one!

    March 4, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. leeintulsa

    shouldn't that read "when" putin is declared russia's next president?

    March 4, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mrs. Prithinstockings

    Leeintulsa: correct!

    March 4, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jj

    Ahead of the curve huh? CNN loves to throw us curve balls while avoiding what's really going to effect our lives. Ahem. Obama care: starting next year 3.8% of all home sales will directly go towards supporting Obama care. That's on top of all the other taxes fees etc. Obama can kiss my ass while he pretends to support middle America. Now we can read about cats and repub politicians all day but let's have a conversation about what this one man is doing to the regular person in the USA. Bet I get but one comment on this. That's how protective libs are of this political maniac.

    March 4, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • AZpatriot

      @Jj: your "facts" are extremely suspect. you should start
      admitting the real real reason you hate the president. it
      has nothing to do with taxes(which are lower) or health
      care, and every thing to do with race.

      March 5, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
    • AZpatriot

      i do indeed think you pulled it out of your butt. 3.8% or 8.3%.
      you are full of it.

      March 5, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  15. chrissy

    @ jj, did YOU read the l200 pages? And if you did so much research on the subject you would know most of the garbage in it was added by CONGRESS and not OBAMA. If you want to place blame put it where it belongs on the do nothing, stonewallers in congress!

    March 5, 2012 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
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