A Global Monitor

Hot spots and headlines to watch for this year

The Clock Ticks on Iran Talks

The six-month window for Western and Iranian negotiators to reach a more lasting agreement over Iran’s nuclear program will go by fast. Already, the telemetry from Tehran and Washington suggests a more durable deal is a long shot.

Indians Go to the Polls

The world’s largest democracy will elect a new national government by May at the latest. After nearly a decade in power, the ruling Congress party will struggle to defeat the rival Hindu nationalist BJP, led by the controversial Narendra Modi.

In Africa, a Forgotten War

The conflict in the Central African Republic, ignored by much of the international community, has claimed hundreds of lives and displaced a fifth of the population. The U.N. warns that the “seeds of genocide are being sown” in the former French colony.

Keeping Up With Kim

North Korea’s young despot Kim Jong Un executed his uncle, a regime insider, in December. The violent purge exposed fault lines inside the Hermit Kingdom–instability that could provoke more volatile behavior from the nuclear-armed Kim in 2014.

Separation Anxieties

Scotland will hold a referendum in September to decide whether to split from the U.K. The secessionists will almost certainly lose. In Spain, a restless Catalonia aims to hold a similar vote in November; Madrid may not let it happen.

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