Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
August 12th, 2012
05:20 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:

Will Shell get OK to drill in Arctic?

A decision on whether Royal Dutch Shell can perform one of the first Arctic offshore oil drilling operations in recent memory is expected to come by Wednesday.

Federal regulators are to decide whether to grant Shell its final permits. If Shell gets approval and drilling goes smoothly, the operation could be a catalyst for further development there. Shell and other energy companies say they can safely drill in the region, though environmentalists generally oppose Arctic drilling, saying it could put a sensitive environment, and the people who rely on it, at risk, CNNMoney reports.

Shell's ships already are in the area, and one of them made news last month when it slipped its mooring and drifted close to one of Alaska's Aleutian Islands, briefly raising concerns about a possible grounding. No grounding or pollution were reported.

Greenpeace, which has been fighting against the permits, caused a stir last month when it set up a fake Shell website to mock the company and get support for an anti-drilling petition.

Rival leaders of Iran, Saudi Arabia to discuss Syria

Leaders of Iran and Saudi Arabia - rivals who support opposite forces in the uprising in Syria - are expected to discuss Syria at the Organisation of Islamic Countries summit in Mecca on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia, one of Shiite-led Iran's main rivals in the Persian Gulf area, supports Syria's rebels. Iran, meanwhile, is the Syrian regime's last regional ally. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly will be in Mecca at Saudi King Abdullah's invitation.

The 17-month uprising in Syria has claimed 17,000 lives, according to the United Nations, and fighting continued over the weekend.  Last week, the United States announced new sanctions against Syria and its supporters, focusing on Hezbollah's support for the regime and a Syrian oil company for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Report on Norway massacre expected after yearlong inquiry

As Norway awaits a verdict for the man accused of killing 77 people in a shooting and bombing spree last year, an independent commission is expected to deliver a detailed report Monday on how the massacre happened, and what might be done to guard against similar attempts.

Anders Breivik has admitted carrying out the July 22, 2011, attack on a Labour Party youth camp on Utoya Island that killed 69 people and a bombing targeting government workers in Oslo that killed eight. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg is expected to speak to the media about Monday's report. Stoltenberg asked for the report last year, saying he hoped it would show ways to prevent attacks.

Breivik was put on trial earlier this year, and a verdict is expected later this month. Prosecutors have asked that Breivik be acquitted on the grounds of insanity, in which case he would be held in a secure mental health unit. If he is fully acquitted on the grounds of "necessity," as urged by his defense, he could go free. If he is ruled sane and found guilty of some or all the charges, he would be sentenced to up to 21 years in prison.

Verdict expected in Russia's Pussy Riot trial

In a trial that has been a cause célèbre for entertainers and Amnesty International, the Russian punk band Pussy Riot is expected to hear a verdict Friday on charges of hooliganism for performing a song critical of Russia's president in a cathedral.

In February, the band members screamed "Mother Mary please drive Putin away" inside Moscow's Christ Savior Cathedral, their faces covered in neon masks. A video of the performance, ahead of the election that returned Vladimir Putin to Russia's presidency, was posted to YouTube and became a symbol for the opposition movement, Time reported.

The performance was inspired by the women's anger about the relationship between the Russian government and the Orthodox Church, according to the band's manager. The Russian Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Kyril had been widely reported as saying, just before the election, that Putin's years in power have been a miracle from God.

The charges carry a potential seven-year sentence. Putin has asked the court to show leniency.

Punk band Pussy Riot gets celebrity backing

NASA to report on record-breaking galaxy cluster

NASA apparently has seen something it likes in the form of galaxies far, far away, and it's set to reveal it on Wednesday.

NASA says it will talk about "an extraordinary galaxy cluster that is smashing several important cosmic records." The agency has hinted that it was uncovered with the help of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

Using the Chandra observatory, astronomers have scoured hundreds of distant galaxies.  Last year, scientists reported they used Chandra to discover that at least 30 million black holes had formed in the early history of the universe.

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Filed under: Ahead of the curve
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Hope


    Button it!


    August 12, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Hope

    Maybe you're not the real Chrissy.

    Great minds think alike!


    August 12, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Hope

    Thanks, bobcat (in a hat)©

    A little smile to brighten the day.


    August 12, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Flutterby

    Bobcat (in a hat), funny. That'll learn 'em.

    August 12, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bobcat (in a hat)©

    A guy decides to bring his new blonde girlfriend to a football game. After the game is over, he asks her if she liked the game.

    She replies: "Oh it was great, I loved watching those men in tight clothes, but there is one thing I don't understand."

    "What did you not understand ?"

    And the blonde says: "Well, at the begginning of the game, both teams flipped a quarter to see who would kick off first. Then the rest of the game everybody was yelling get the quarter back, get the quarter back, get the quarter back. So I thought to myself, gosh it's just a quarter!"

    August 12, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bobcat (in a hat)©

    There was this bar and in the bar there was a magic mirror.

    If you told a lie it would suck you in.

    One day a brunette walked into this bar. She walked up to the mirror and said 'I think I'm the most beautiful woman in the world' and it sucked her in.

    The next day a redhead walked into the bar. She walked up to the mirror and said 'I think I'm the most beautiful woman in the world' and it sucked her in.

    Then the next day a blond walked into the bar. She walked up to the mirror and said 'I think...' and it sucked her in.

    August 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hope


      Nite... for real.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hope

      @ bobcat:

      Thanks for the apology, but it wasn't necessary. I was outta line. Hoping all's forgiven.... Nite, for the last time, tonight. Sleep tight...

      August 12, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay jay

      A guy Walks into the united states and applies for welfare. He gets it. Then all his hopes and dreams are smashed because he is just another hopelessly dependent American sucking the system dry. Not a joke but reality...

      August 13, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    lol @ flutterby, i thought maybe he/she/IT meant donny and marie, like in the osmonds. And to whoever, theres a cpl ppl can text me to see if im me, ya twit!

    August 12, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    lol @ bobcat, cute.

    August 12, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. chrissy

    Good nite, banasy, bobcat, dazzle, raven, rascal, little mister, kenny and family. Long day tomorrow.

    August 12, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Hope

    Don't worry about it. Friends are far and few to come by on the internet. Besides, some regulars have their faves. Stick around... it gets better.

    Nite, Chrissy...
    The Hope

    August 12, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jay jay

    Was watching a video that my aunt put together of my mothers family from Iowa. They had themselves 19 kids in their family. Good farming folks. Were they focused on getting a check from uncle Sam? Hell no! They were out in the fields earning their way in life. Look at America now...

    August 13, 2012 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
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