What's ahead in 2017
RUSSIA'S GROWING INFLUENCE: Russian leader Vladimir Putin looks to position his nation as an alternate ally to countries such as the Philippines and Turkey who have been traditionally allied with the U.S.. Putin's Russia, accused of influencing the...more
SYRIA'S SHAKY PEACE: A truce deal brokered by Russia and Turkey faces challenges as clashes between rebel and government forces continue. A lasting peace deal could prove elusive as the large number of warring factions seek to protect their own...more
ISIS-INSPIRED ATTACKS CONTINUE: Following the highly orchestrated Islamic State attacks on Paris and Brussels, the world has witnessed a spate of attacks by individuals who appear to be inspired by the militant group, rather than in direct contact...more
NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR GOALS: "It won't happen!" Trump wrote on twitter about North Korea testing an intercontinental ballistic missile but preventing such a test is far easier said than done. The world will once again look to China, North Korea's...more
THE TRUMP BARGAIN: As President Trump takes office, the white working class that propelled him to the White House will be watching closely to see if he can bring back jobs as promised throughout the campaign. It remains to be seen if the divisive...more
MERKEL'S POLITICAL FUTURE IN JEOPARDY: German Chancellor Angela Merkel's support for accepting refugees risks costing her re-election when Germans go to the polls later in 2017. Following the Berlin Christmas market attack and in the run-up to the...more
BREXIT IN REALITY: Britain will have to navigate how and when to trigger article 50 beginning the process to leave the European Union. How the decision affects immigration, trade and British citizens living in the EU member states should become...more
VENEZUELA CRISIS DEEPENS: The oil-rich but cash-strapped nation faces a dire economic panorama of worsening food and medicine shortages as its socialist system continues to unravel. With few signs of financial relief on the horizon, President Nicolas...more
RACE RELATIONS IN FOCUS: With the retrial of former police officer Michael Slager in the shooting death of Walter Scott slated for March, the Black Lives matter movement and other groups protesting racial injustice will be watching for a verdict. ...more
MIGRANTS ON THE MEDITERRANEAN: As temperatures rise, the number of migrants making the dangerous crossing to Europe could increase again despite a record number of deaths of those traversing the Mediterranean in 2016. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
PIPELINE DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES: The success of the Standing Rock protesters to halt the Dakota Access pipeline has set a precedent for how environmental groups could disrupt planned pipeline projects. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
VIRTUAL REALITY IN REALITY: Will virtual reality be adopted in the mainstream or will it go the way of the laser disc? REUTERS/Albert Gea
CLIMATE CHANGE DISCORD: Top scientists say Trump's vow to pull the United States out of the Paris climate-warming accord would make it far harder to develop strategies to lessen the impact of global warming. Though temperatures in 2017 are expected...more
RIGHT-WING RISING: France's National Front leader Marine Le Pen will likely compete in a presidential run-off election in May that will test whether her brand of populism resonates in a nation that has been hit with attacks on Paris and Nice. ...more
RAQQA OFFENSIVE ESCALATES: An operation by a U.S.-backed alliance of Syrian armed groups' to retake the northern city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State in Syria, looks set to continue in tandem with the offensive on the militant group's...more
THE DOW'S CLIMB: U.S. stocks saw solid gains in 2016, buoyed by a post-election rally that fueled the Dow Jones Industrial Average to approach 20,000 points but whether the rally will contine in 2017 is up for debate. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A NEW ARMS RACE: With both Putin and Trump planning to modernize their nation's nuclear arsenal, the prospect of a looming arms race is back on the table. When asked to clarify a tweet on nuclear capabilities, Trump said "Let it be an arms race. We...more
DROUGHT THREATENS FAMINE: Charities have repeatedly warned about the threat of renewed famine as Somalia continues to be plagued by poor rains and conflict, as well as shortages of aid. REUTERS/Feisal Omar
TURKEY'S MEDIA CRACKDOWN: Turkey now imprisons more journalists than any other nation following a crackdown in the wake of the nation's coup attempt, according to the CPJ. The extent of the crackdown has worried rights groups and many of Turkey's...more
SNAPCHAT DEBUT: Snapchat filed for an initial public offering in 2016 putting the messaging app a step closer to the biggest U.S. stock market debut since 2014. The Venice, California-based company could go public as soon as March and be valued at...more
Iraqi forces have retaken around 70 percent of eastern Mosul from Islamic State militants and expect to reach the river bisecting the city in the coming days.
Our top photos from the past week.
China is in the third year of a war on pollution aimed at reversing the damage done to its skies, soil and water after decades of untrammeled economic growth.
Baby elephant Fah Jam was three months old when her foot was caught in a trap and is now undergoing rehabilitation in Thailand.