Some things that are going to feature in the news a lot in 2009 and/or that I will be keeping a keen interest in, in no particular order:
President Barack Obama
Starts his job on January 20th. There seems to be a massive amount of hyperbole and eager anticipation about this. However I think it’s too early to tell; it’ll be a real case of wait-and-see. Will he be any better than Bill Clinton for instance? At least he can’t be as bad as G.W. Bush.
This will continue to be an issue globally that most countries will try and shirk their responsibilities for. China is now the world’s largest polluter. Expect freak weather events to become yet more common.
Gaza / Israel
As I write, Israel are apparently gearing up for sending troops into the Gaza Strip. That’s likely to be slightly more successful for them than their invasion of Lebanon in 2006. I’m hoping for an imminent end to their bombing of Gaza, withdrawal of their troops, lifting the blockades on trade and aid currently in place, etc.
2009 will probably be worse financially, at least in the UK, than the disastrous 2008. Will Britain join the Euro? Which big retailers will go into administration? House prices will probably go down, unemployment will go up, etc.
Iraq / Afghanistan
How will any withdrawal of troops from Iraq and/or Afghanistan go? Will there ever be a full public investigation into the phony WMD claims used to justify the invasion of Iraq?
Pakistan / India
Worsening relations between these two countries could provoke conflict.
Incredible inflation, terrible disease, awful leadership. Will Mugabe ever hand over power while he’s alive?
Currently holding about 250
prisoners of war enemy combatants, whatever that means. Hopefully these men will either be charged and tried in a court of law, or released. Currently about 50-60 detainees have been declared not guilty, but complications over how they are to be repatriated has meant they’re still being held. Maybe Obama will do the decent thing and shut down this prison camp.