The Top 5 News Stories You Might Be Hearing a Lot About Soon

Image Credit: Wikimedia
It is sometimes easy to pinpoint when a giant story began: major news stories can commence with something dramatic like an assassination or an earthquake, or they can be touched off by something heartening like a birth or a life-saving medical breakthrough. On the other hand, some of the biggest news stories take time to grow and develop. We might not notice a small outbreak of disease in a rural community until it has spread to nearby cities just the same as we might not pay much attention to a junior senator from Illinois until he makes a major speech and finds himself on a track aimed at the White House. These five “stories” may fizzle into nothing, or they might grab front page headlines.

5 The Wounds of War

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We are set to withdraw most combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of next year, having had “boots on the ground” for almost thirteen years, AKA America’s longest military engagement. If current statistics show us anything, that conflict is going to stay with us for a lot longer than thirteen years in its lingering effects on the people who served there. The same can be said of the war in Iraq, as well as the other war in Iraq, the Balkans conflicts, Vietnam, and so on: as of late 2012, war veterans accounted for nearly 20% of American suicides, while representing only 7% of the population. Many more vets are affected by PTSD than will ever be touched by bullets or shrapnel.

4 Keep Your Eyes on this Guy

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You heard it here first, or maybe second or third, but mark our words: Chris Christie will not only be a frontrunner for presidential election within a decade, he will likely occupy the oval office at some point. Why? Because he is pragmatic and willing to work with people of all political stripes, he is opinionated and outspoken without being recalcitrant and brash, and because he has finally taken steps to reduce his hefty frame, giving him better odds at both good health and a better public image. He is also a pretty good governor, and that type of experience is a pro in that arena.

3 To Infinity… or at Least Near Earth Orbit

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We have waited a long time for “the future” as depicted in shows like The Jetsons or movies like Back to the Future (but the one where Marty goes to the future, not the two where he’s in past). If casual space travel is part of your vision of tomorrow, you may actually see it by early next year. Sir Richard Branson’s decades-long dream of space tourism is set to take wings—and well-heeled passengers—aboard Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship Two within a matter of months.

2 The Engine of Progress

Image Credit: Wired.com

Step aside lithium ion technology, you’ve had your handful of years in the sun. The future of power, as it were, might not be from better battery technology, but from engines so small and efficient they occupy no more space than today’s batteries and actually generate their own power! If a group of MIT scientists is on the right track, within a few years your portable electronic devices could be run on micro gas powered turbine engines!

1 More Trouble with OJ

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The citrus industry is worth more than nine billion dollars in Florida alone, and much more than that nationally when you add in California’s huge citrus growing regions, not to mention the oranges, lemons, grapefruits, et al. grown in many other states. But a small insect, the Asian citrus psyllid, carrying an even smaller bacterium, the Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, threatens to wipe out Florida’s entire citrus crop! And the insects/bacteria have already been detected in California and other states, as well, though not in the same concentration as the Floridian infestation.

Steven John is a published novelist and competitive pole vault champion. (The latter is not true.) His writing runs the gamut from speculative fiction to essays fueled by a mix of mirth and derision. He has never been to Lisbon but, statistically speaking, is probably taller than you.

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