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Looking ahead

Looking Ahead | News to watch in the weeks to come

Issue: "The Road to Cana," Feb. 23, 2008

80th Academy Awards

February 24: The show must go on. And with a deal in place between the Writers Guild of America and major studio chiefs, the annual Oscars show appears to be saved. Comedy Central's Jon Stewart will host a night where the greatest tension should not be between writers and producers, but between acclaimed films No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood as they jostle for honors.

Arguments in Exxon v. Baker

February 27: The Supreme Court will hear arguments in one of the longest-running punitive damage cases to date. Nearly 20 years ago, the Exxon Valdez spilled 10.8 million gallons of oil into the waters off the coast of Alaska after running aground on a reef. The resulting class-action lawsuit pegged Exxon with a $5 billion bill for punitive damages. Through a series of appeals, Exxon managed to cut the charges in half, but now hopes to find a Supreme Court more favorable to decreasing what at the time was the largest punitive award ever administered.

Bush and NATO

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February 29: NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer will travel to Washington to iron out a dispute with President George W. Bush over how the United States should request more troops in Afghanistan from alliance nations. The president's public calls for NATO members to step up their troop levels have failed, but reluctant NATO nations have asked that the president use back channels.

Russian presidential election

March 2: Barred by the Russian constitution from running for a third term, it looks as if Vladamir Putin will get his way anyhow. Recent polling grants Dmitri Medvedev, chosen specifically by Putin, up to 80 percent support nationwide. Western-friendly reform candidate and former chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov is running third behind the communist candidate, according to polls.

Anne Rice released

March 4: A boxed set of Vampire Chronicles is still a best-seller, but its author gave up that ghost in 2005 when she converted to Christianity and began writing novels on the life of Jesus. Her second, The Road to Cana, is released today.

Super Tuesday, the sequel

March 4: With 370 delegates at stake in Democratic primaries-and time running out-candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will try to capture votes in delegate-rich Ohio and Texas as well as Rhode Island and Vermont.

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