Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
April 15th, 2012
08:06 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

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

Congress takes on the GSA

Multiple U.S. congressional committees are expected to hold hearings this week on allegedly wasteful spending at the General Services Administration, following reports of a lavish 2010 conference of GSA workers that prompted taxpayer and bipartisan congressional outrage.

An inspector general's report issued this month detailed the $820,000 conference, prompting the resignation of GSA chief Martha Johnson and the dismissal of other high-ranking officials at the GSA, which acts as a real estate agency for the federal government. Congressional investigators also are accusing the GSA of violating its employee gift limit with rewards of iPods, digital cameras and other electronics.

The Republican-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee scheduled a hearing for this week and has asked the GSA to deliver information about previous conferences, including their cost, a committee spokeswoman said. Also expected to hold hearings on the GSA this week are the Republican-led House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Democratic-led Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Senate could consider Buffett Rule tax proposal for millionaires

The Democratic-controlled Senate this week could start considering legislation based on President Barack Obama's Buffett Rule proposal, which would impose a minimum 30% tax rate on people who earn more than $1 million.


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Filed under: Ahead of the curve
April 15th, 2012
02:34 PM ET

Boston Marathon officials issue heat warning

Monday's Boston Marathon may not be as crowded as some had anticipated with temperatures expected to approach 90 degrees.

The Boston Athletic Association is allowing runners to defer their entry into the race until the 2013 marathon as a way of discouraging some from taking on what could be dangerously hot weather.

Watch the video to see who race officials are doing to prepare for the heat and what advice they're giving to even the most seasoned marathoner who decides not to take the day off.

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Filed under: Boston • Massachusetts • Running • Sports
April 15th, 2012
05:59 AM ET

Opposition: Syrian forces pummel Homs from the sky

Government helicopters pounded the besieged city of Homs from the sky, opposition activists said Sunday, three days after a so-called cease-fire in Syria.

In addition, "one bomb is being shelled every 10 minutes from the military academy, aiming at al-Wair neighborhood in Homs," said the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists.

At least nine people died across Syria on Sunday, including six in Homs, said the opposition Syrian Network for Human Rights. Two died in Aleppo a day after they were injured when regime forces opened fire at a funeral procession, the group said.

The latest reports of violence came three days after a deadline to stop the bloodshed and one day after the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously  to authorize unarmed observers to travel to Syria to monitor the shaky cease-fire.

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Filed under: Arab Spring • Syria • World
April 15th, 2012
12:39 AM ET

384 prisoners escape after Taliban raid on Pakistan prison

Authorities in northern Pakistan were looking for 384 inmates who escaped from a prison early Sunday morning after 300 Taliban militants raided it.

The attack took place in the city of Bannu in northwest Pakistan, an area known for a heavy militant presence.

Iftikhar Khan, a senior police official in Bannu, said the attack lasted more than two hours and wounded three prison officials.

Of the 944 prisoners the facility held, 384 escaped, he said. Among them were two who were awaiting execution.

One, Adnan Rashid, had been found guilty in the attempted murder of former President Pervez Musharraf in 2003. The other, Safi Ullah, was convicted of several bombings in northern Pakistan in recent years, officials said.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, according to Aasim Mehsud, a spokesman for the group in South Waziristan.

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Filed under: Pakistan • World