African Union summit
January 25: Leaders of African Union nations gathering in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for a summit could spend time talking about political instability in Sudan, but probably will focus most of their attention on the 2010 FIFA World Cup, hosted by South Africa. Leaders see the summer event as an opportunity to increase African prestige across the globe.
Scottish independence movement
January 25: Text of a referendum aimed at winning independence for Scotland in November 2010 will debut today. The governing Scottish National Party says it will publish its so-called Referendum Bill that will ask Scottish voters later this year if the government should seek to negotiate independence from the United Kingdom.
January 26: India celebrates the 60th birthday of its republic in style today with a two-hour military parade in New Delhi meant for a dual audience. Indians will certainly marvel at the nuclear state's arsenal, but military officials hope the Chinese government tunes in also. The communist nation had its own display of military might for its 60th anniversary parade last October.
January 31: CBS will televise the 52nd annual Grammy Awards on this day. Beyoncé, who told USA Today on Jan. 11 that she would take a break from music for several months "to recharge my batteries," leads all artists with 10 Grammy nominations.
New credit rules
February 1: The Obama administration's Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act will go into effect by at least today, making it harder for consumer credit issuers to alter the terms of credit card accounts. Because the new law makes it more difficult to raise interest rates, card issuers have been quietly raising interest rates and fees before the measure goes into effect.
February 5: Finance ministers from the Group of Seven are scheduled to meet for two days in the tiny Canadian Nunavut capital Iqaluit beginning today. The group of finance ministers from seven of the world's richest nations appears headed for a showdown: The United Kingdom wants wealthy nations to levy taxes on financial transactions to curb foolhardy investing. The United States opposes the proposal. Either way, the conference will likely be the biggest thing to hit Iqaluit, population 6,000, for a while.