National People’s Congress
When China’s rubber stamp legislature convenes on March 5, it’s expected to make Communist Party Chairman Xi Jingping’s ascension to power complete. The People’s Congress is expected to name Xi president, completing the once-a-decade leadership transition that began late last year in the totalitarian state.
Amateur astronomers will be in for a treat beginning March 5 when the PANSTARRS comet comes close enough to Earth to be seen with the naked eye. The comet, discovered only in 2011, should outshine other bright stars and even Venus when it passes nearly 100 million miles from Earth.
Berlusconi on trial
Fresh off a run to once again become Italy’s prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi will be in court on March 7. Berlusconi faces charges in connection to the illegal publishing of wiretaps that he allegedly obtained and gave to his brother, a publisher. The 76-year-old politician is no stranger to the courtroom: He has been convicted of campaign finance violations and tax fraud in the past.
Falkland Islands election
Falkland Islanders will head to polling places on March 10 to vote on their future as a British Overseas Territory. The referendum, which will take place over two weeks, will ask residents whether they wish to remain British. An expected yes vote will likely agitate Argentina, which claims the South Atlantic islands.
Conservatives still smarting from the 2012 elections will look for a measure of rebirth when the American Conservative Union’s annual CPAC conference meets in Washington, D.C., on March 14. Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz will give the closing speech of the conference, a coveted speaking slot that last year went to Sarah Palin.