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The world in 2011: a look at the year ahead

The New Year is a time for predictions, so here are some for 2011.

The world economy will continue to falter as the Euro crisis deepens. No European country will default in 2011, thanks to the German taxpayer, but the single-currency will come under increasing political attack, becoming a major factor in European politics. The American economy will grow, but disappointingly, and unemployment will stubbornly hover at just under 10 percent.

Britain’s coalition government will fall apart as disgruntled Liberal Democrats begin to desert. A general election will be called, but with the Labor Party still floundering under a lack of strong leadership and message, the result will be a hung parliament with Conservatives trying to rule with a majority.

Sarah Palin will declare her candidacy for president of the United States, but not before Mitt Romney has thrown his hat in the ring, declaring undying loyalty to Tea Party ideals. Influential Republicans will try to persuade Gen. David Petraeus to become their standard-barer. Mayor Michael Bloomberg will unconvincingly deny any interest in running for the nation’s highest office.

A successful terrorist attack on the United States will be made and, although not highly lethal, it will shake and weaken the Obama administration as it heads into the next election cycle. Guantanamo Bay will not be closed.

Robert Gates will step down as secretary of defense, and Hillary Clinton will be offered the job.