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Week Ahead: Barack meets Bibi and Super Tuesday

US and Israeli leaders meet over the threat of Iran's nukes. Republican fight for Super Tuesday.

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(JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

BOSTON — This week, US President Barack Obama meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. Nuclear proliferation issues will be discussed in Vienna. Slovakia goes to the polls, and the US holds its Super Tuesday primary vote.

Barack and Bibi to meet at the White House.

The American and Israeli leaders will meet today, their ninth meeting since Obama became president. They have a lot to discuss: the Palestinian situation, Israeli settlements on the West Bank and Iran's nuclear program, for starters.

The US-Israeli alliance dominates both countries' foreign policies but there is little warmth between Obama and Netanyahu. Obama has tried to encourage Israel toward more conciliatory policies with the Palestinian Authority and other Arab countries, but Netanyahu has stubbornly refused.

Today's summit, however, has one clear goal: to come to a consensus and present a firm and united front to Iran, and the world, regarding Iran’s advances toward military nuclear capability.

So far, there has been little agreement between the Israeli and US governments about when a military strike would be necessary to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb. Expect a show of unity and joint statement. But look for the sparks between the two, too.

More from GlobalPost: For Obama and Netanyahu, little common ground 

Nuke agency to consider Iran and North Korea

Nuclear issues in Iran and North Korea will be discussed at a Monday meeting of the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

The most pressing is Iran, as the world is concerned over the escalation of rhetoric, especially between Iran and Israel.

But it seems there is some good news from North Korea, usually a perennial nuclear worry. The Hermit Kingdom's new leader, Kim Jong Un, has apparently decided to abandon its nuclear program. Should the whole world be relieved?

Related: North Korea abandons its nukes

Are women smashing the glass ceiling?

The European Commission will investigate if women are making progress in winning seats on the boards of major corporations.

EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding is expected to press for aggressive quotas and timetables that could result in women occupying up to 60 percent of the seats on corporate boards.

Reding told the New York Times that she personally does not like quotas but she likes "what the quotas do. Quotas open the way to equality and they break through the glass ceiling."

She said France and other countries with legally binding quotas had made the most progress in placing women in top business positions.

EU may consider quotas of women on boards

Slovakia goes to the polls 

Slovakia will hold parliamentary elections on Saturday, March 10. The voting will determine whether the country will continue its rightward drift. But many are asking if the Slovaks will choose to cast more ballots for American action star Chuck Norris.

Slovakians vote to name footbridge after Chuck Norris

Super Tuesday: Republicans battle on

The big elections this week are the Republican primaries that will be held in 10 American states, called Super Tuesday. There will be 437 delegates up for grabs — nearly 40 percent of the total needed to secure the Republican nomination.

Polls show Romney neck-and-neck in the swing state Ohio against the ultra-conservative Rick Santorum.

Winning Ohio would go a long way towards confirming Romney as the likely eventual GOP nominee.

Romney spoke to a largely working class audience in Cleveland, representative of the state as a whole, and he reiterated that his business experience would be vital to creating jobs and reviving the economy.

Romney and Santorum are attacking each other in television advertisements in Ohio, prompting many to say that whoever wins will be damaged by the mudslinging.

Romney battles Santorum for Ohio

Joe Biden does Latin America

While the Republicans slug it out, Vice President Joe Biden will visit foreign countries to meet various leaders and makes innocuous statements. At least he will try, unless he makes one of the gaffes that he is known for.

However Biden does have the serious issue of the international drug trade to discuss. There is a blistering debate going on about the need to legalize the drug trade, but it is unlikely that Biden will risk stepping into that controversy in an election year.

Biden will discuss economic and security issues with Mexican President Felipe Calderon. He also plans to meet today with the three top Mexican presidential candidates running for a six-year term to replace Calderon this year.

On Tuesday Biden is set to travel onward to Honduras where he will meet President Porfirio Lobo, along with the presidents of El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala, all countries struggling with the sweeping consequences of expanding drug cartels. Drug gangs have killed tens of thousands, overcrowded prisons are overflowing with accused drug users while powerful cartels fuel corruption — influencing elections, weakening democracies and threatening fragile economies.

Will Biden be able to discuss these weighty matters with sticking his foot in his mouth?

Related: Drug legalization gains support in Central America

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/opinion/columnists/120304/week-ahead-news-events-march-5-12-2012