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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soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Jay jay

    Drill baby drill! That's job security for me ūüôā

    August 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    Hooliganism?? Is that even a word? Lmfao!

    August 12, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Chrissy and saywhat:
      Apparently, not only 'hooliganism" a word, it's a crime.
      Sound like a band of ruffians from the 19th century, doesn't it?
      I must say that although I've never heard of the band, I'm not a fan of their name...

      August 12, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. saywhat

    Yup! Word enough to carry a 7 years sentence.
    good afternoon @chrissy

    August 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Drillerphil

    Howdy@saywhat, chrissy. I believe a 'hookigan' is a common criminal, usuallt a petty thief. But can also refer to someone who sullies the Oval Office with lies and/or semen. (casting a shadow of further doubt on those who insure bank deposits, etc)
    @Jay Jay. You work in the oilfield?

    August 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Crappyphil

    Iran supplies much oil and natural gas to China. Yet you won't see anyone complaining about this or accusing China of not joining in the sanction fest vs. Iran. Many value saving a penny at China Mart over the value of their hatred for Iran.

    August 12, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DrillPhil

    Actually, oil is the grease on the axle of life itself. If oil stops flowing, people start dying. (explaining America's "dependance" on foreign oil. Although the US has never imported more than 6.25% of her oil from the middle east in ANY year, without the US purchaseing foereign oil, many foreign peoples more would starve or watch their country divided by cicil clashes over who gets the oil money.
    Notice how Iran's economy fell 60% when Ja pan began buying Bushco Kuwait oil instead of honoring OPEC contracts with Iraq. The president of Kuwait was also the president of Kuwait and so nothing was done but Bush commanded troops to invade Iraq, eventually.

    August 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DrillPhil

    The US could easily supply 100% of it's own energy needs. This is a fact, a statistic, NOT an opinion.
    However, if the US were to syop importing foreign oil, many foreign governments would collapse as they could no longer affors to take care of their poor citizens who would then take to the streets.
    The USA ~MUST~ continue to burn oil instead of natural gas or nations would begin dropping one-by-one and the domino effect would tip US over too.

    August 12, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Name s kel

    Fought an oil refinary fire once, it was pure, pure bad!

    August 12, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Hi, s kel.
      I once saw firemen trying to battle a river fire...the Little Calumet River caught fire in the 70's, that how polluted it was.
      It has since been cleaned up, but *that* was pure bad, also.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mary

    A Russian Orthodox claiming Putin a miracle, well that must be if he is an 'orthodox' ! Really, he who claims to be an orthodox has a correct understanding of Gods beliefs, right?

    I think NOT ! Try again oh twister of faith. Your dogma has as many black holes in it as Chandra has found.

    August 12, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. hobnob (in a spitoon)

    A Texas oilwell blew-out and caught the entire drilling rig on fire. The operators couldn't afford Red Adair or Boots&Coots, who charge 1 million dollars per day, so he hired an outfit from Mexico.
    Later that afternoon, down the road came this old Ford F-250 pickup truck loaded with Mexicans and sporting naked lady mudflaps.
    The oilwell operator watched in amazement as these brave Mexicans, each armed with a shovel, drove straight into the fire...jumping out of the truck and putting the fire out with their shovels!
    "You have GOT to be the bravest men on earth" said the old oilman. "Nada, senor. De brakes no worky dis time."

    August 12, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Lmao! Is that you Katman? lol, just kidding philip

      August 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      oooh am I ever gonna get it, sorry Philip. ūüėČ sorry

      August 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dazzle ©

    I never thought I would come to the opinion that we absolutely have to drill. The dependency on foreign oil has to stop. In the 90's my spouse at the time was a Greenpeace activist and our cars had those bumper stickers on them. Yes, it got me off jury duty every time but the countless dollars spent on an ideal was a complete waste.

    August 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Greenpeace stickers get you off jury duty??
      Go know!

      August 12, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mary

    @ Little mister, Apparently Cnn has grown ears! ūüėČ

    August 12, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dazzle ©

    One of those questions that they ask when called for jury duty is "What kind of bumper stickers are on your car." I guess the answer was sufficient to exclude me. Now I get picked almost every year and the same question is asked. No bumper sticker of any kind, I hate them.

    August 12, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      I don't have bumper stickers, either.
      I've never been asked that question before being considered for jury duty, either.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dr. Phil

    Now, swap the word 'OIL' for the word 'DRUGS'. see?
    If not for US citizens being allowed to burn so much foreign oil and consume so many foreign drugs, the fabric of world society would begin to unravel.
    To illustrate: Imagine if prescription anti-depressant supplies were cut-off. Or how we would react to losing half of our economy as foreigners sanctioned US exports. See?

    August 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dazzle ©

    Little Mister and Kenny Rogers and their thousands of other user names think they have a pretty good gig going on but they are being watched.

    August 12, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Fat lot of good it does, dazzle.

      Meant to tell you that we were out on a boat last night and were treated to a spectacular meteor show...saw about 10 beautiful ones.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
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