The Chinese president's visits to Russia and Africa revealed Beijing's limitations as well as its strength as a regional power.
The president used his charisma and position to try to persuade Israelis to align their desires with those of the United States.
The Cypriot crisis weakens the island's banking sector and government, and underlines questions about the European Union's legitimacy.
Tehran has been the biggest beneficiary of the U.S.-effected regime change in Baghdad.
The imminent financial rescue raises the old question of who must bear the burden.
Their respective histories will influence to what degree Europe and the United States decide to support opposition forces in Syria.
The appointment of an Argentine pope may indicate a change in strategy for the Roman Catholic Church.
The country's religious leadership continues to be at odds with populist President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.