Barack Obama is expected to visit Cuba in March.
His visit will be the first by an American president to the island since Calvin Coolidge went in 1928.
Since December 2014 the United States has eased its embargo on Cuba and the two countries have restored diplomatic relations.
This week they signed an agreement that will allow scheduled flights between the two countries to resume after an interruption of more than 50 years.
In Mexico 49 inmates at the Topo Chico prison in Monterrey, the capital of the state of Nuevo León,
were killed in fighting between factions of the Zeta drug gang.
The jail was overcrowded and understaffed, but in some cells investigators found portable saunas, air conditioners and other luxuries.
Pope Francis paid a visit to Mexico.
He ended his trip in Ciudad Juárez, near the United States border, where he highlighted the plight of migrants and visited a jail.
Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela's president, raised petrol prices—the first time they have gone up in 20 years—
devalued one official exchange rate for the bolívar and said another would be allowed to float.
Even after a 60-fold increase in its price, Venezuela's petrol will still be the cheapest in the world. Meanwhile,
Luis Salas left his job as Venezuela's economic tsar after just six weeks.
He had unconventional views, such as holding that inflation is caused by unscrupulous capitalists.
Both America and Taiwan alleged that China has placed surface-to-air missiles on the South China Sea's Woody Island, which is claimed also by Taiwan and Vietnam.
If true it would heighten military tensions in the disputed sea, through which a third of world trade passes.
China's foreign minister, Wang Yi, called the allegation an invention of the Western media.
China decided to move more than 9,000 people to prevent electromagnetic interference with the world's largest radio telescope,
which will start to operate later this year in the south-western province of Guizhou.
Chinese scientists involved in the project told the country's state-owned news agency that the instrument would help in the search for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.
Britain said that the disappearance of a bookseller in Hong Kong, presumed to have been abducted by Chinese security agents,
amounted to a “serious breach” of an agreement reached between China and Britain in 1984 on the handover of the colony to Chinese rule.
The bookseller, Lee Bo, is a British citizen.
Four of his colleagues are also believed to have been snatched while visiting Thailand and the Chinese mainland.
China has confirmed it is detaining them.
In India a student leader, Kanhaiya Kumar, who was arrested after protesting in 2013 against the hanging of a Kashmiri militant,
was charged with sedition under a colonial-era law. Academics, students and others staged demonstrations, saying the charges were unreasonable.
A former university lecturer has also been arrested for sedition.
Sindh became the first ever province in Pakistan, an Islamic republic, to give Hindus the right officially to register their marriages.
The aim is to protect the country's 3m Hindus. Women of that faith have been vulnerable to forced conversions and abductions, with widows left especially unprotected.