Ahead of the curve: The next seven days
March 18th, 2012
06:50 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next seven days

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

Illinois primary

One of the larger delegate prizes is up for grabs in Tuesday's Illinois primary. The four Republican candidates will slug it out for the state's 54 delegates to the party's national convention in July.

Flagging frontrunner Mitt Romney on Sunday called himself the "economic heavyweight" in the field, while referring to closest competitor Rick Santorum and President Barack Obama as "lightweights."

For his part, Santorum took to CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley" to slap at Romney's inability to put his competitors away despite vast financial resources: "When you have this amount of resources and this amount of advantage, (yet) you can't manage and deliver the mail and win this nomination, that shows a real weakness in his ability to be able to govern," Santorum said.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been concentrating on the March 24 Louisiana primary, including a tour of the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans on Friday.  “With both Santorum and me, (Romney is) now confused as to who he is attacking. It's his only technique," Gingrich said. "I tell people he's like a 4-foot-8 guy who wants to play center and his only technique is to shrink the others, which I think bodes very badly for a general election."

The fourth man in the race, Rep. Ron Paul, is far behind in the delegate count and spent more money than he took in during February. Paul’s self-reported spending of $3.54 million outpaced his fundraising of $3.27 million, and he ended the month with $1.36 million in the bank. His campaign reported carrying no debt.

Queen to make rare speech

Great Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is scheduled to deliver a speech to both houses of Parliament on Tuesday. It is expected to be the only time she will publicly acknowledge her Diamond Jubilee, the 60th anniversary of the beginning of her reign. (Plenty of others are talking about it, though, including soccer megastar David Beckham.)

The 85-year-old monarch's appearance will follow by one day the first official speech by the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton. The bride of Elizabeth's grandson Prince William will speak at the formal opening of a children's hospice facility in Ipswich, England. The popular duchess will also plant a tree, tour the facility and meet patients, parents and staff members.

The two royals attended a fashion show together last week.

Hearing in Ohio school shooting

T.J. Lane, the 17-year-old student accused of shooting six of his peers last month at a high school in Ohio, was scheduled to appear in court Monday for a hearing on whether he should be tried as an adult, but that proceeding has been pushed back to April 3.

Three students were killed, two were seriously wounded and one was grazed in the shooting February 27 in the cafeteria of Chardon High School in Geauga County, 30 miles east of Cleveland.

Lane faces three counts of aggravated murder, two of attempted aggravated murder, and one count of felonious assault. The case is currently in juvenile court; the April 3 hearing will discuss a prosecution motion to move the case to adult court.

World Water Day

Raise a glass on Thursday to toast World Water Day, and be thankful that you can. The theme of this year's United Nations-sponsored event is water and food security. Its slogan is "The world is thirsty because we are hungry."

"Over the coming decades, feeding a growing global population and ensuring food and nutrition security for all will depend on increasing food production," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "This, in turn, means ensuring the sustainable use of our most critical finite resource – water."

Funny business

The 30th World Clown Association Annual Clown Convention is being held all week in San Diego, California.

The event will feature theme parties, lectures, workshops, dealer merchandise displays, and competitions - including the hotly contested balloon-twisting contest on Friday.

Despite the presence of hundreds, if not thousands of attendees, parking is not expected to be a problem, given clowns' legendary penchant for car-pooling.

soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. chrissy

    They REALLY have a legitimate clown convention? Clowns i mean, not presidential wanabe candidates. Lmao! Too funny both topics in one thread, even if its appropriate.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Queen©

    We are not amused.
    Well, okay, we are.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill Fitzgerald

    Santorum can't even get on the ballot in some states and says romney cant govern?

    March 18, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mary

    Just don't let the US in the buffet line first.

    The average American individual daily consumption of water is 159 gallons, while more than half the world's population lives on 25 gallons.

    Americans eat 815 billion calories of food each day – that's roughly 200 billion more than needed – enough to feed 80 million people.

    Americans const i tute 5% of the world's population but consume 24% of the world's energy.

    The list goes on but I think everyone gets the picture. We are a nation of pigs! Sorry to be so blunt but that's the way it is.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    The Clown Convention will be using 50 of the 159 Gallons on this event alone. 😉 lmao

    March 18, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    Or maybe your percentages are incorrect! Are you factoring in water and food supplies used to GROW food and FEED and WATER cattle?

    March 18, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    Or to make Kool-Aid?

    March 18, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mary

    Good night
    Tweedledee and Tweedledumb

    March 18, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber would not be chrissy and I.
      We know kool-aid is bad for us.

      March 18, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. chrissy

    Cant argue facts can you? And just yesterday i had words with someone who called YOU names!

    March 18, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Chrissy I was very tired last night, If banasy and your self wish to debate me that's fine.
      If you have stats please post them as well.
      Furthermore, are you saying Americans have *excuses*
      Chrissy, we are 5% of the worlds population! PLEASE READ THAT SENTENCE AGAIN
      Its insane!
      Banasy...I would NOT drink your kool-aid either dear.
      And Btw that story of the LOST military guy is a hard one to swallow fur sure, glad we can agree on something.

      March 19, 2012 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I don't drink kool-aid period, honey.
      Thought so said you're not going to bicker with people.
      That being said, why the gratuitous Tweedle comment?
      We probably agree on more than you think, if the White Elephant isn't in the corner, or on the phone.
      I don't need THAT sort of lifeline to sort the wheat from the chaff.

      Have a fine day.

      March 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Superman

    @@@@@chrissy, i just came out to my daughters. It feels great its just another day. But im divorced so its ok, better than the three ring circus thats going on in the race hope every ones having a nice day come back chrissy

    March 18, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chrissy

    The FACT is the US is the largest agriculture and cattle country in the world! They have to be fed and watered.

    March 18, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      thank for that lead in chrissy.

      Eighty percent of the corn grown and 95% of the oats are fed to livestock.

      Fifty-six percent of available farmland is used for beef production.

      March 19, 2012 at 6:30 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©


      March 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. chrissy

    Hey @ Superman! 🙂 was wondering what happened to you.

    March 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Superman

    @chrissy superman has been out ice climbing and mountaineering had a hell of a good time, but cleared out my head and went with my clinbing companion and hes straight and he convinced me to come out to my daughters and i did! But ive been good how about you chrissy?

    March 18, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Portland tony

    During this up coming week, I just hope one politician, from either part, says something truthful and not completely self serving.

    March 18, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      That's ...either party...

      March 18, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. chrissy

    Im good, and im glad your friend convinced you! It was the right thing to do! Honesty is always the best policy, especially if you want your children to be honest with you.

    March 18, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
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