Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
May 27th, 2012
12:47 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:

War crimes sentence expected for former Liberia leader

The first former head of state to be convicted of war crimes since World War II is expected to be sentenced Wednesday.

Charles Taylor, who was president of Liberia from 1997 to 2003, was convicted last month of aiding rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone in a campaign of terror that involved murder, rape, sexual slavery and conscripting children younger than 15.

There is no death penalty in international criminal law, and Taylor, 64, would serve out any sentence in a British prison.

Last month's ruling by the international tribunal was the first war crimes conviction of a former head of state by an international court since the Nuremberg trials after World War II that convicted Adm. Karl Doenitz, who became president of Germany briefly after Adolf Hitler's suicide. Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was tried by an international tribunal, but he died before a judgment was issued.

Earlier this month, Taylor said he was wrongly portrayed, and that he tried to bring peace to Sierra Leone. He said his trial was corrupted by money, and that witnesses were paid off.

Will WikiLeaks founder be extradited to Sweden?

Britain's Supreme Court is expected to rule Wednesday on whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be sent to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault lodged by two women.

WikiLeaks, which facilitates the anonymous leaking of secret information, gained global fame in 2010 with the leaks of documents relating to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and then followed up by leaking nearly a quarter million State Department cables.  A U.S. Army intelligence analyst is facing charges on suspicion of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks.

Assange has repeatedly denied the rape and sexual assault allegations. While fighting extradition, Assange has been under house arrest in Britain since December 2010. He recently started a talk show that he runs from Britain but airs on a Russian television network.

Youngest spelling bee participant makes history

At 6 years old, Lori Anne Madison from Prince William County, Virginia, will become the youngest speller to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee this Wednesday in National Harbor, Maryland.

Madison was born on November 9, 2005. It was determined that she is the youngest according to records from the origination that date back to 1993. According to Mike Hickerson, a communications manager with the bee, there have been four spellers since 1993 that were 8 years old.

This year’s bee is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday with 278 young spellers. They are competing for the main prize, which includes a $30,000 cash prize, engraved trophy, a $2,500 U.S. savings bond, a $5,000 scholarship, a Nook Color and from Encyclopaedia Brtiannica, $2,600 in reference works.

Medal of Freedom honorees

On Tuesday, 13 people will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House. It is the nation's highest civilian honor, awarded  to those who make extraordinary contributions to world peace, national interest and security, or other cultural endeavors.

Jan Karski, a Polish Underground officer who delivered the first of the Holocaust's eyewitness accounts to the world, Gordon Hirabayashi, who defied the forced relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and Juliette Gordon Lowe, founder of the Girl Scouts, will be awarded posthumously.

Also to be awarded: 64th U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, civil rights enforcer and public servant John Doar, musician Bob Dylan, physician and epidemiologist William Foege (who lead a successful campaign to eradicate smallpox), former astronaut and Sen. John Glenn, workers and women's advocate Dolores Huerta, novelist Toni Morrison, former Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt, former Associate Justice John Paul Stevens and ninth President of Israel Shimon Peres.

Deposed Egyptian president Mubarak sentencing

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is expected to be sentenced on Saturday. A final verdict will also be delivered in his trial on charges of corruption and ordering the deaths of more than 800 people who protested his regime and demanded his ouster.

In the event that Mubarak is found guilty, prosecutors formally requested in January a penalty of death by hanging. Throughout the trial, clashes outside of the courtroom have occurred between police and families of the slain protestors.

The ailing Mubarak, who was president from October 1981 to February 2011, has denied the charges. This sentencing comes more than a week after voting began in Egypt's presidential election

View our complete coverage of Egypt.

Tony Blair to take the stand in British phone hacking inquiry

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is set to take the stand at the Leveson Inquiry on Monday. The inquiry was established in July to investigate a phone hacking scandal involving media giant Rupert Murdoch and his flagship British publication News of the World. Blair is expected to give oral testimony on the relationship between the press and people in positions of government power in the U.K.

NASA: Space Hubble will predict future of the galaxy 'with certainty'

Is it the end of the world as we know it? NASA scientists will host a public science update in Washington on Thursday explaining how the Hubble Space Telescope will "predict with certainty the next major cosmic event to affect our entire galaxy, sun and solar system." The briefing, which will discuss the odds of the Milky Way colliding with another galaxy billions of years from now, will be broadcast live on NASA Television and www.nasa.gov. NASA will also hold a live web chat following the press conference.

Madonna kicks off world tour

Pop icon Madonna will kick off her "MDNA" world tour  in Tel Aviv on Thursday. There are 76 shows already scheduled for the world tour of the 53-year-old material girl's latest chart-topping album.

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. HIDE BEHIND

    Only governments legally can do of that which Murdoch is accused, and while they may use and reward his organization for their own nefarious reasons, he will be reminded that he is just another pawn.
    As long as he is capable of furthering their agenda he will get scolded or a light but slap.

    May 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Grendl

    BOB DYLAN is getting a Medal of Freedom????? I wish we could be free if his voice!!!!

    May 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Superman

    By the way bob dylan is one of the best musicians there is among a lot of others,,, the guy is great live and is still performing

    May 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dazzle ©

    I was first introduced to Bob Dylan's music when I was living in the East Village in New York with a musician boyfriend. My opinion of him was that he was a brilliant poet and lyricist. I only saw him live once and did not care for his indifference to his audience.The Medal of Freedom is not a category that I would have expected him to be placed. His music encouraged a lot of young people to embrace the Bohemian lifestyle which I suppose in itself is freeing but I am glad that I took the academic road and went to college.

    May 27, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    I guess I disagree with you, Superman, I am not a fan of Mr. Dylan's either....

    May 27, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dazzle ©

    @banasy©- I am so glad you are back with us. Are you feeling any better?

    May 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Yes, @dazzle ©, I'm better, it's moved to my chest now, though.
      Weak, too.
      Bleh!

      May 27, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. monkeyjunction

    The first record I ever bought was "Freewheelin" Bob Dylan. I have been free ever since.

    May 27, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    Ahhh, dear Rawr, fanning those flames are you...?....lol

    May 27, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dazzle ©

    @banasy© I am glad you are better but I hate when those things find a home in the chest. If you haven't tried this concoction it helps: raw apple cider vinegar and equal parts water, raw honey, and a half of a lemon. Heat in the water in the micro and mix the rest in. I am sure it is fine without the raw parts. It helps and is cheap.

    May 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Am I supposed to drink it or will the smell alone drive the cold out of my chest, lol?

      May 27, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dazzle ©

    LOL, girl you are supposed to drink it but I think it is the smell that is a decongestant.

    May 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Plus, it'll double as a tasty marinade/salad dressing.
      I'll try it, though.
      I sound like Aqualung right now. (1)
      .
      .
      .
      (1) For comedic purposes only. I neither have greasy fingers, shabby clothes, nor do hang out on park benches at playgrounds.

      May 27, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dazzle ©

    Another killer naughty from ©bobcat (in a hat)©.LOL again, this time without beverage in mouth when reading. If we put Dylan and @©bobcat (in a hat)© in the same sentence the real rock star is the latter. I listened to my only vinyl of Dylan today which is Hard Rain. I dedicate a song to our favorite Alabama guy. "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again.

    May 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. raven

    Hey dazzle! Long time no see, hope youre well...and thank you for that remedy! My gramma used to give me that as a kid, but I could never remember exactly what was in it or how much...it tastes good and it's comforting too. And m.s., I hope you feel better soon...I got all kindsa sick from stress a couple years ago...

    May 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      @banasy ©, we know better than that aside from what your troll may have said.

      May 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Oh, I know that, dazzle©, but there are those, (and you know who they are!) who will latch on a sarcastic comment, tweak it to their own twisted satisfaction, and then write about it for months and months as if it were gosphel truth.
      Raven knows what I'm talking about.
      Unfortunately.

      May 27, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    Yep. Stress IS my middle name right now.....wears a body out, innit?
    Thanks, m.s.

    May 27, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. while

    while some little role leader of some little known country is charged for war crimes, bush, clinton, obama, blair testify on phone hackings, starts new wars, funds the same regime that these leaders later are on trial while the regime doesn't change, while accusing a country of mass weapon without any ground and later is completely true there wasn't any weapon, but only million people died, and he tells that they bring democracy, which is more and more evidence is completely cover up and lie. and these people usually called as terrorist or conspiracy theorist. .

    May 27, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dazzle ©

    @raven, yes it's been awhile. I am doing great and hope you are too. I got this remedy from my grandmother but tooled around a bit with it. Say NO to stress girls, it is not good for the body.

    May 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
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