U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker (left)talks with students in Havana in October. Pritzker led a delegation of U.S. officials who met their Cuban counterparts and businessmen to explore expanding ties. While restrictions are being removed, increased business links between the countries are limited so far.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani leaves after a televised speech in Tehran on Dec. 16. Iran has been dismantling parts of its nuclear program as required under an international deal, and some sanctions could be lifted as soon as January.
Syrian Aram al-Doumani (center, facing camera) takes part in a peaceful protest against Syrian President Bashar Assad in Douma, Syria, in 2011. Doumani, who now runs an opposition news agency in Syria, says he is skeptical of a breakthrough in cease-fire talks.
Courtesy Aram al-Doumani