Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
July 29th, 2012
04:24 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:

Olympic Games' first amputee runner takes to the track

The first amputee to compete in Olympic track events will make his London 2012 debut on Saturday.

South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, whose legs were amputated below the knee when he was an infant because of a bone defect, will compete in the individual 400-meter run on Saturday before participating in South Africa's 4×400-meter relay squad later in the Games. He runs on blade-like carbon fiber prosthetics, from which his nickname "The Blade Runner" derives.

Pistorius' speed sparked a few years of debate over whether his prosthetics give him an advantage over able-bodied athletes. But Switzerland's Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that although the springy prosthetics gave Pistorius at least one advantage, Pistorius is at a net disadvantage because he has more  difficulty coming out of the blocks and accelerating during the first part of the race.

For more on the Olympics, including stories about China's quick start in the medal count, the ongoing rivalry between U.S. swimmers Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps, the U.S. men's gymnastics team qualifying for Monday's all-around finals, visit our London 2012 page.

Human to hero: Blade Runner's 2012 Olympic ambition

Why China will top the medal count

Suspect in Colorado theater shooting to be charged

A man accused of killing 12 people and wounding dozens of others in a July 20 shooting at a Colorado movie theater is expected to be charged in the case on Monday.

A judge also is expected to hear arguments Monday on a request by the defense team of suspect James Holmes for authorities to surrender a package he allegedly sent to a psychiatrist before the shooting.

Holmes is accused of shooting people who were watching the early morning premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colorado. He was arrested outside the theater shortly after the shooting.

The school where the psychiatrist works said last week that it received the "suspicious package" on Monday, and it described as "inaccurate" a Fox News report citing a source who said the packaged was received July 12 and sat in the mail room. CBS News reported that the package included a description of how Holmes was planning to kill people.

According to the request from Holmes' defense team, the package seized by authorities under a July 23 search warrant was a protected communication and should be handed over. Prosecutors are fighting the request.

Profiles of the 12 victims

How to help the victims of the Colorado shooting

Fight between rebels, Syrian government forces intensifies in Aleppo

A nine-day struggle for control of Syria's commercial hub of Aleppo looks to stretch into this week, with Syria's top diplomat vowing Sunday that rebel troops would not gain control of the nation's largest city.

About 200,000 people have fled shelling and heavy weapon fire in Aleppo and surrounding areas in the past two days of fighting, a U.N. official said Sunday, citing the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. Tanks pounded Aleppo on Saturday, a sign that a much-feared government offensive in the critical city has started.

Meanwhile, the Arab League is backing the Syrian opposition's call for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting over fighting in Aleppo. Officials from the regional body are planning visits to Russia and China as part of efforts to persuade those countries, which have vetoed several resolutions over Syria, to change their stance, the head of the Arab League said Sunday.

A Syrian uprising started in March 2011, after President Bashar al-Assad's regime cracked down on  protesters.

Postal Service to default on $5.5 billion bill?

The U.S. Postal Service has said that without congressional action by Wednesday, it will - for the first time in its history - default on its annual payment covering retiree health care.

The service is required to prepay health care benefits for retirees, and it next payment, due Wednesday, is supposed to be $5.5 billion. The service and its workers' unions want Congress to repeal the prepayment mandate and stop service cuts and plant consolidations.

The Senate passed legislation to help the Postal Service in April, but the House has yet to act. While default would be a first for the Postal Service, it's largely symbolic with few immediate implications. The service would prioritize bills, ensuring employees and subcontractors get paid, spokesman David Partenheimer said, CNNMoney's Jennifer Liberto reported.

Postal Service officials have said they also don't have the cash to make a required $5.6 billion payment on September 30. The Postal Service reported a $5.1 billion loss last year citing the recession, declining mail volume and the congressional mandate to prefund retirement health care benefits.

Culture war breaks out at chicken restaurants

After two weeks of outrage and counteroutrage over Chick-fil-A’s president saying he was against same-sex marriage, groups on both sides of the issue hope their supporters will make their positions known at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country this week.

Former Arkansas Gov. and ex-presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has called for a "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” on Wednesday. A Facebook page for the event calls for supporters of the fast-food chicken chain to simply show up and eat at one of the 1,600 Chick-fil-As nationwide.

Meanwhile, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is backing a call for a National Same-Sex Kiss Day to be held at Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide on Friday.

The controversy took flight in mid-July after Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy gave an interview to the Biblical Recorder, on online journal for Baptists in North Carolina. In the July 2 story - picked up by the Baptist Press on July 16 - Cathy affirmed that his company backs traditional marriage. After proponents of same-sex marriage expressed outrage at the comment, the chain emphasized that it treats every customer and employee with respect, "regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.”

Drew Peterson trial gets under way

The murder trial of Drew Peterson, a Chicago-area police office accused of killing his third wife and is a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth, is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Peterson, 58, is charged in the 2004 death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, whose passing initially was ruled accidental after her body was found in a bathtub. She had been divorced from Peterson for about five months when she died, and Savio was to receive part of Peterson's pension and other support.

Just eight days after his divorce from Savio, Peterson married Stacy Cales, then 19. After Stacy went missing in October 2007, her husband became the focus of a police investigation. Authorities exhumed Savio's body and conducted a second autopsy, this time ruling her death a homicide. Stacy Peterson still is missing.

The case was depicted in the Lifetime movie "Drew Peterson: Untouchable," which set a ratings record of 5.8 million viewers for the channel when it premiered in January.

Get caught up on the Peterson case in 3 minutes


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Filed under: Ahead of the curve
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    So the US Postal Service has run out of cash , well so has the US. 15 trillion of debt and counting, economic forecast far from encouraging.
    No heartening silver linings in the clouds gathering on the horizon. Drought, more wars?
    Well there is always the prospects of gold we will collect at the Olympics and our well wishes and prayers are for our athletes. May they triumph.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      With the USPS having to pre-pay their retirement fund from money that hasn't even be earned yet, is it any wonder they're broke?
      And the House has been sitting on a measure that could help alleviate the problen since April?
      Go know.

      July 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      I sometimes feel for the mailman . That job has got to suck. No air conditioners in the vehicle and a lot of walking. Give them a break.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard33407

      It is sad to say that the folks on the Hill act more like kids in daycare than adults when it comes to resolving the nations problems. We are paying the price for their lack of maturity and them not putting their skills to good use. It is easy to disagree, it is harder to work through those disagreements and come up with real solutions to national problems.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les Too

      The requirement to fund benefits for workers that they haven't even hired yet is stupid. Period. But not quite as stupid as thinking that God would be remotely interested in who wins or loses a bunch of silly games held every 4 years. And utter insanity to believe that God would pay attention to prayers asking Her to to give advantage to one athlete over another.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. carbide scribe

    The post office is just another example of cultural largesse. Nothing against the workers. They deserve what they were promised.
    It's time to break up the post office and let corporate America run the shipping business. They will have these workers living like the rest of us in no time.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    On the election front Romneys pilgrimage to Israel to get elected and President Obama's maneuver to be one up. Announcing expanded military ties with Israel (read more American tax dollars flowing to them) proves just one thing.
    That the American leadership is now reduced to proving who loves Israel more. Gone are the days when it was about loving and honoring US of A and serving its people above all.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. saywhat

    Apparently the vote bank of 70 million Evangelists and one million strong Christians United for Israel overcomes the interests of America and its people.
    Dreaming of and praying for the glory of Israel to prepare for the Messiah these voters will not tolerate a leadership which puts America first. And this is an election year.

    July 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • carbide scribe

      It is a moral imperative we serve Israel. But nobody cares about 150 million of our own impoverished citizens.
      Well what do you expect from a venture capitalist.
      Lets call what you did to America the beautiful a success. Good job man. Your selfishness inspires confidence.
      Let's all try to be more like mittens and look for others we can exploit.

      July 29, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Facts

      The only causes of poverty in the US are stupidity and laziness.

      People come from foreign countries, don't speak the language and within 3 years own a home and a business.

      July 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    lol @ Jay Jay, pay attention now, the government wants to be in charge of EVERYTHING!

    July 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    Please, convict Drew Peterson already, so his smarmy smile is gone from the public airwaves....

    July 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. saywhat

    @banasy @chrissy
    Good evening.
    For that wives killer Drew no punishment would be deserving enough.
    What is happening to this nation, our sovereignty, self respect, elections should concern us my friends.
    Why should we let foreign influence and its lobbies to shape our policies and elections. The likes of Koch bros and Sheldons and foreign funds and corporations to buy and sell our elections? Those with twisted ideology to strong arm our leadership into submission?

    July 29, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Oh, it *does* concern me!
      Big corporations should *never* dictate the will of the people.
      Lobbyists should be banned from campaign contributions, imo.
      It is high time we, as a Nation, took back our country, ad two thing would help achieve that goal:
      1) Your vote, and
      2) Term limits in Congress.

      The same old, same old status quo isn't working.
      We need to look ahead, not behind.

      And, good evening to you; I hope you are well.

      July 29, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Really?

    "Is there anywhere in America outside of Chicago itself where the term “Chicago values” isn’t pejorative? It’s basically a byword for political corruption and insane levels of gun violence (tough local gun-control measures notwithstanding). If I were the Cathy family, I’d be tempted to make Rahm’s quote the company’s new slogan. “Chick-fil-A: Where the numbers add up and no one gets shot.”

    July 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ATLmatt

    Keeping an eye on The Blade Runner, Oscar Pistorius. I hope he does well.

    July 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. angrybabykitty

    Oh, boy. We are in for an interesting week.

    July 29, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bill

    Isn't it hypocritical that the gay brigade can express their opinion about "diversity" but when we express our opinion they try to shut us down. I have a message for you: WE WILL NOT BE SILENT. We have the right to our own opinions just like they have the right to theirs.

    July 29, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • carry arbucle

      Bill, I agree, both/all sides have the right to express their opinion.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les Too

      The fact that everyone can have an opinion does NOT make those opinions valid especially when they are based on stupidity, discrimination and little education. The fact that MR. Chick-fil-A has such an ignorant misguided opinion leaves him wide open to anything a more reasonable person can throw at him. He has no right to opine on what is right or wrong about who loves whom when those actions clearly are none of his business. Utterances from the mouths of the ignorant should not be left unchallenged.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chocorito

    Where is freedom of speech. Now if one stands firm on moral values it is hatred? I don't like fast food, but I think I am going to Chick-fil-A to acknowledge the fact that they have the "balls" to stand for what they believe is right. Look what you do in your bedroom is your problem, but don't try to convince me of something that is unnatural. What is next? Marrying your cat or your dog?

    July 29, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • achepotle

      It is a slippery slope. Verrry slippery.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Um, yeah

      Um, yeah, the difference is your dog or cat can't consent, thought you'd understand that by now.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Um, yeah

      Um, yeah, but what you do to your dog and cat in the privacy of your bedroom isn't any of our business, Chocorito.

      July 29, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truth

      You are correct .
      Some People are becoming wilder than ever.
      Even animals does not have such behaviours .

      July 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les Too

      Gay behavior is not unnatural. Obviously, you have never lived on a farm or been around animals pf any sort for more than a few minutes. Cats do not mate with dogs BUT cats, dogs, and humans (and every other animal) all practice all types of love among their own kind. In fact, these types of activities are so common as to make the lack of them totally "unnatural". Get a little education and leave the distorted Xtian moral values in the trash where they belong.

      July 29, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Al

    LOL. The post office is broken because of the internet. Email. Nobody mails things anymore. Exactly how dense are you??

    July 29, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Um, yeah

      That and having to pre-pay their retirement fund. Not everything can be emailed. If you had to pre-pay for syuff before you started making a profit on things, you'd be broke too. How dumb are you?

      July 29, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheGameisLame

      How do you think commerce and trade are done?
      wow. Do they have portals where you live??

      July 30, 2012 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. Casey

    Gay or straight.

    July 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Um, yeah

    Um, yeah. Whatever. Look, if you don't to eat at chicfila, don't, if you do, fine. If you're against gay marriage, don't marry one. So stupid. Gays don't care who YOU marry, why should you care who THEY marry? Let them be as miserable as the rest of us!

    July 29, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
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