1. Still, the optimistic view is that several roadblocks to recovery -- an over-indebted consumer, a moribund housing market and shellshocked banks -- are no longer holding back hiring. Barring an unforeseen shock to the economy, this could mean 2013 will be another year of slow but steady growth.[qh]
4. First there was SARS, then the global spread of H5N1 flu and now the H1N1 flu. Globalization is not helping, either. The earth now is truly a village, making it easy for a virus to travel from Beijing to Boston in a matter of hours. Will another epidemic arrive in 2010?
5. Obama won the second to put himself back in the race. Although he also won the third, foreign policy is not a major concern for voters and it is unlikely to result in any major poll swings.
6. “The environment is gaining increasing appreciation from policymakers,” Alistair Hewitt, head of market intelligence at the World Gold Council, said. “Gold mining has come under tighter regulations.”