Predictions for 2013: BBC correspondents

What might 2013 bring? Our experts make their predictions on the big stories and the names to watch. You can also read what they predicted for this year here.

Predictions for 2013

The big story People to watch
Lyse Doucet

Lyse Doucet

Chief international correspondent

Remember that infamous phrase "axis of evil"? This year tough decisions will be made on Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

2012 ended with strong statements by some Western leaders that they will accelerate support to Syrian rebels. This will be the year of a post-Assad order but "transition" looks set to be bloody.

What is the "or else" if negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme don't succeed by the Spring?

Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu looks set to win elections in January and will push world leaders to take action on Iran.

President Hamid Karzai will be under pressure as Afghanistan heads towards elections and a Nato troop pull-out in 2014. Some Taliban commanders will engage in secret talks and some won't.

On a more peaceful note, Malala Yusufzai will leave hospital and help galvanise adults to improve girls' education worldwide.

Mark Mardell

Mark Mardell

North America editor

In news terms it will continue to be the Arab uprisings, but I am more interested in whether the US and China co-operate or clash in the Pacific.

The US economy will come back strongly and, surprisingly, manufacturing will play an important role. This will be largely based on growing US energy independence. Europe will slip further back, with crisis as the new normal.

Can US president Barack Obama be bold and push his own agenda for a strong legacy? I think the answer will be yes. If John Kerry becomes US secretary of state he will want to make a mark, and if former Republican senator Chuck Hagel becomes defence secretary it will enrage the right who label him an anti-Israeli traitor.

I think the new Chinese leader Xi Jinping may be a breath of fresh air in terms of style, but not in substance.

Stephanie Flanders

Stephanie Flanders

Economics editor

Markets will decide that the eurozone is going to pull together, but Europe will still be a big story thanks to worries about Spain and Italy and a tussle between the French president and German chancellor over economic strategy.

Confidence is likely to return to European markets raising questions why the feel-good factor hasn't crossed the Channel, and growing momentum in favour of Britain leaving the EU.

I'll be watching Mexico's new president, Enrique Pena Nieto, to see how he capitalises on growing economic success. If he can also make progress in the drug wars, this could be Mexico's year.

If Kazumasa Iwata becomes the next governor of the Bank of Japan, he could herald a new era of central banking, which puts the pursuit of growth first, even at the risk of inflation. (Though not much chance of that in Japan yet.)

James Robbins

James Robbins

Diplomatic correspondent

Syria's civil war deepens, spreading the poison of sectarian and ethnic violence. The Assad regime will fall.

Iran moves closer to the ability to make a nuclear weapon. There will not be outside intervention in Iran in 2013, but it will be close-run.

Prospects for a negotiated settlement between Israelis and Palestinians continue to fade.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be re-elected.

In Italy, watch Silvio Berlusconi, although he won't bounce back to power. Pier Luigi Bersani of the centre-left may emerge as prime minister with Mario Monti,as part of the next government. It has to transform Italy to save one of the eurozone countries which is too big to fail but also too big to bail-out.

Rory Cellan-Jones

Rory Cellan-Jones

Technology correspondent

The web will go truly mobile, with more people getting online via mobile devices than PCs - and the battle for control will get even fiercer.

Google's Android system and Apple's iPhones and iPads will continue to carve up the market. Microsoft's Windows 8phones, and RIM's Blackberry 10 out in January, will battle for third place - though neither will make much of an impression on the big two.

Marissa Mayer, formerly of Google, has begun the task of making Yahoo relevant again. At HP, Meg Whitman has an even harder challenge - turning round the supertanker that has lost its crown as the world's biggest PC maker.

Eben Upton, the creator of the barebones computer, the Raspberry Pi, needs to show his device can transform the way schoolchildren see computers.

Will Gompertz

Will Gompertz

Arts correspondent

Londonderry's year as the UK City of Culture hopes to generate much international interest. It features home-grown shows such as Teenage Kicks: A Punk Musical, and the Turner Prize, which will be awarded outside England for the first time. Also receiving attention will be Manet at the Royal Academy, Glastonbury, Tarantino's Django Unchained, and the reopening of Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of the comedy South Park, will see their award-winning musical The Book of Mormon open in London in February. Helen Mirren will appear in the new Hitchcock biopic as his astute wife, Alma Reville, and on stage as the Queen in Peter Morgan's play, The Audience. London's Southbank Centre will host a festival called The Rest is Noise, named after the book on modern classical music by Alex Ross.

You can listen to the BBC experts making their predictions on Radio 4 on Friday 28 December at 20:00 GMT, repeated on Saturday at 13:10 GMT, or listen again on iPlayer after broadcast. It is also broadcast on the World Service.

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