Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
March 11th, 2012
08:41 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

Welcome to the second full week of March. If you are in any U.S. state besides Arizona and Hawaii and have a timepiece that isn't a cell phone, did you remember to move it forward by an hour today?

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

Gingrich looks to energize campaign in the South

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is hoping to boost his flagging campaign with contests Tuesday in two states near his native Georgia. Mississippi and Alabama hold their GOP presidential primaries on Tuesday. Hawaii also holds its caucuses. The contests come after a week in which the two candidates ahead of Gingrich nationwide did well for themselves, with Mitt Romney bolstering his front-runner status with six Super Tuesday victories and wins in the Pacific islands, and Rick Santorum grabbing three Super Tuesday wins plus Kansas on Saturday.

Gingrich has stressed the importance of winning in the South, where he polls well, and he has been ahead in Mississippi, according to a recent poll of likely primary voters. The poll showed Gingrich with 35% support in Mississippi, followed by Romney with 31%,  Santorum with 20% and Ron Paul with 7%.

According to a CNN estimate Saturday, Romney had 458 delegates, compared with 203 for Santorum, 118 for Gingrich and 66 for Paul. A candidate needs 1,144 delegates at the Republican convention this summer to secure the nomination to face President Barack Obama in November.

Soldier's attack on Afghan civilians under investigation, NATO says

NATO officials are investigating what the Afghanistan government says was a U.S. soldier's attack that killed 16 Afghan civilians in their homes Sunday.

The soldier, Afghan officials said, went from house to house in two villages in eastern Afghanistan and killed the 16, including nine children and three women. NATO's International Security Assistance Force confirmed that a soldier had gone off base and fired on civilians before turning himself in but did not say how many victims there had been.

ISAF commander Gen. John Allen said the "deeply appalling incident in no way represents the values of ISAF and coalition troops or the abiding respect we feel for the Afghan people."

The incident looks likely to inflame tensions between foreign troops and Afghan civilians, many of whom were enraged by the burning of Qurans by American troops last month.

New round of rocket attacks, airstrikes in Israel and Gaza

Israel and Gaza appear to be in a new cycle of attacks and counterattacks. Israel launched a string of airstrikes against targets in Gaza over the weekend, which Israel says are a response to more than 100 rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel since Friday.

The airstrikes have killed at least 18 people and injured at least 35 others in Gaza, Palestinian medical sources said. Three of those killed were civilians, and the rest were militants, according to a Palestinian source.

The rocket attacks on Israel have wounded eight Israelis, and 500,000 have been forced into shelters, Israeli military and emergency services said.

One of the Israeli airstrikes targeted a suspected terrorist moments before he fired a rocket at the city of Ashdod, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested Sunday that the new cycle of attacks  resulted from a successful Israeli strike on " an arch-terrorist who organized many attacks against the state of Israel." Two people were killed in that strike - Zuhair al-Qaisy, secretary-general of the Popular Resistance Committees, and Mahmoud Ahmad Al-Hanini, a Hamas military leader.

Kofi Annan presses for diplomatic solution in Syria

The U.N. special envoy to Syria, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, plans to meet officials in Turkey and Saudi Arabia this week after meeting over the weekend with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regarding violence in that country.

Annan is pressing for a diplomatic solution to an uprising and the Syrian government's yearlong crackdown, which opposition groups say has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.

On Saturday, Annan proposed a cease-fire, the release of detainees, the allowance of agencies to deliver aid and a start to an inclusive political dialogue that would "address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the people." The meetings Saturday and Sunday between al-Assad and Annan was the first time in Syria's yearlong crisis that al-Assad met with such a high-level diplomat.

But the Syrian president quashed the possibility of negotiating with the opposition anytime soon. Syrian state-run media said al-Assad told Annan that he was ready to find a solution, but that such an effort would first require a look at reality on the ground and not rely on what "is promoted by some regional and international countries to distort the facts and give a picture contrary to what Syria is undergoing."

Qatar's prime minister on Saturday called for foreign military intervention in Syria to stop the violence. Annan, though, has distanced himself from such a step, as have some Syrian opposition members.

European finance ministers could OK Greece bailout

Euro-area finance ministers are expected to meet on Monday in Brussels, where they could finalize a second €130 billion bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, CNNMoney reports.

Last week creditors agreed to a plan to restructure Greek government bonds and reduce its debt load by by more than €100 billion , meaning Greece cleared its final hurdle to qualify for the bailout program.  Investors who own Greek bonds could now see losses of up to 75%, but not doing the agreement could have left Greece facing default, putting its financial future and possibly that of the euro zone at great risk.

The IMF also is expected to decide on whether to OK its share of the bailout next week. Greece, the nation at the center of Europe's debt crisis, has been struggling with an unsustainable level of debt and an economy that has been in recession for years,  CNNMoney's Ben Rooney writes. Under its second bailout program, Greece has agreed to implement austerity measures and broader reforms to make its economy more competitive.

Ready for NCAA tourney? British prime minister is

After the 68-team NCAA men's basketball tournament bracket is released Sunday night, one world leader outside the United States who may take note is British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Cameron, who is visiting the United States this week and will attend a state dinner at the White House on Wednesday, will accompany President Barack Obama to a first-round tournament game in Dayton, Ohio, on Tuesday.

"The president and the prime minister look forward to a great game between some of our nation’s finest collegiate athletes," a White House official said last week.

Your A to Z guide to March Madness

Take the Bracket Challenge

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soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Mary

    Crap! I didn't realize Hawaii doesn't observe DST. Now me and my son who's stationed in Hawaii are 6 hrs apart!!! 🙁

    March 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeremy

    If you have a cell phone, you should have a worldwide clock in the tools of your main menu. It will tell you the time anywhere in the world.

    March 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    al-Assad told Annan that he was ready to find a solution, but that such an effort would first require a look at reality on the ground and not rely on what “is promoted by some regional and international countries to distort the facts and give a picture contrary to what Syria is undergoing.
    This is the same thing he said couple weeks ago, as Homs was being shelled. No? Living on denial.

    March 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Pea Brain (R-Ohio)"Right Wing Insanity"

    So if Mary jumps aboard an airplane to go see her son, now she has to go an "extra" 700 miles to see him. Bufoon.

    March 11, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeremy

    @ jeff franks, you are correct. And thats been his stance since he began his mission. Hes either in denial or he thinks he can fool the world.

    March 11, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeremy

    @ pea brain, you should let your brain grow some maybe, before you attempt to use it so much.

    March 11, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeremy

    uhoh, my bad! I didnt notice you 2 were one and the same. Ill stay out of that. Carry on.

    March 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ♔Mmmmm♕

    okay you guys...screw the gop-polls. i want all of you to google search "what kind of flower are you?" and take the flower quizz...just wanna know what kind of bloggers i'm dealin' with...and beeeee honest 'boutcha flower...

    March 11, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeremy

    < am NOT a tulip lol

    March 11, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Scottish Mama

    @Mmmmm-My flower is Edelweis- Strength/courage It says this about me: you get your greatest joy out of life by helping others. You are loyal, caring, and devoted. You are no weakling either. You have been faced with many hardships and challenges throughout your life but rather than become resentful or cold, you have worked through these difficult times and gained great stegth and motivation. You know what it is like to feel helpless and scared. so you make it your lifes mission to help those who are struggling like you once were.

    March 11, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♔Mmmmm♕

      didjew really take the test mamma...the results aren't that detail...please take the test mom...

      March 11, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ♔Mmmmm♕

    me...echinacea plant

    March 11, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Scottish Mama

    What does yours say about you all?

    March 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Scottish Mama

    @Mmmmm – are you a healer?

    March 11, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Scottish Mama

    I did and that is what it said word for word, what I took the wrong test? Story of my life trying to be in with the crowd and on the wrong page. Dang it.lol

    March 11, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Scottish Mama

    @Mmmmm this one says I am a daisy- it says -you are nice calm and laid back, You like sunny days and sometimes just to be alone. Life is a good thing for you.

    March 11, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♔Mmmmm♕

      man...how come everybody else getta beautiful flower...I think dazzle got carnation because she's a mobster or one of those late-night, off-keyed, smokey club singer datin' a mobster...or she falls for guys wearing baby blue tuxedos...

      March 11, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♔Mmmmm♕

      daisey that a makes you a love-'em-leave-'em kinna guy...???

      March 11, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Mmmmm- been married to the same guy 27 years. I guess I am a slow love em leave em?lol

      March 11, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♔Mmmmm♕

      dang momma!...i think that makes you a fly trap plant...lol

      March 12, 2012 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
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