Chinese New Year
Chinese across the world are ringing in their new year on Jan. 23-a Year of the Dragon. According to Chinese zodiac traditions, babies born during a Year of the Dragon are reputed to become strong leaders.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Jan. 24 plans to announce, live, the nominees for the 25 categories of its annual awards, the Oscars, in February.
The Academy, which changes rules for selection from time to time, made a new round of changes in June. Among them: The number of Best Picture nominees will now float instead of being limited to five or 10.
State of the Union
President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak to a joint session of Congress for the State of the Union address on Jan. 24. The remarks will suggest President Obama's talking points and strategy for his reelection campaign.
Republicans will head to the polls in Florida on Jan. 31 to engage in the fourth and largest GOP contest of the early primary season. Occurring just 10 days after the South Carolina primary and four days prior to the Nevada caucus, the Republican contest in Florida could cement a front-runner for the nomination to challenge President Barack Obama in November.
Citing ecological concerns, the government of Ecuador on Feb. 1 will begin limiting tourists' access to the Galapagos Islands, which it controls. More than 600 miles off the coast of mainland South America, the Galapagos Islands were the site of what Charles Darwin said were his most crucial studies into natural selection. Responding to complaints by a United Nations commission, Ecuador plans to ban ships from visiting the islands more than once every two weeks.