Arms treaty talks
After failing to come to an agreement last year, the United Nations Conference on an Arms Trade Treaty will try again beginning March 18. The group discussed placing international regulations on the trade of weapons like rifles and pistols in July 2012 but could come to no consensus.
President Barack Obama plans to make his first visits to Israel and the Palestinian territories on March 20. Obama will begin his three-day tour by traveling to Jerusalem to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The next day, Obama will travel to the West Bank to visit with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
First day of spring
Though the first day of spring on March 20 will not herald swarms of newly hatched mosquitoes across the South, it does mark the last, best chance for a deep freeze to thin the summer insect population. Mild winters in Texas and other states last year helped promote an active mosquito season. That led to the worst summer on record for West Nile Virus.
New archbishop of Canterbury
On March 21, the Anglican Church will install Justin Welby as its 105th archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Anglican church around the world. Welby, the present bishop of Durham and former oil executive, replaces Rowan Williams, who is retiring after 10 years as the head of the church.
Cardinals meeting to select a new pope have informally set March 24, Palm Sunday, as a target date for installing a new pontiff. After Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope in centuries to resign the office on Feb. 28, cardinals gathered in the conclave to elect a new leader of the Roman Catholic Church.