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from Ask...:

Place your bets on 2009′s top stories

As part of our Year in Review package, we're inviting you to place a virtual bet on the outcome of what we think will be some of the top stories in 2009. Clicking on one of the questions below will take you to the Hubdub news prediction site, where you can place a bet on the outcome and peruse other questions set by Reuters.

The graphs below reflect the current betting by the Hubdub community. We're also inviting you to set your own questions on 2009 events, either via Hubdub or via the comments field below. We'll feature the best ones here and add more of our own questions in coming days. If you create a 2009 question on Hubdub, you can flag it to us by sending a challenge to the Reuters account. We're 100 percent likely to check it out.

Question 1: Which G7 economy will record the strongest growth in the first quarter of 2009?

Question 2: What will President Obama's approval rating be after his first 100 days in office?

Question 3:

from Global News Journal:

The kinder, gentler side of North Korean communists

 

                                 By Jack Kim
North and South Koreans have been divided for more than 50 years by one of the world’s most heavily fortified borders. When we come into contact, it is almost always in small and carefully arranged visits.

I was a part of a South Korean group that recently spent four days in the North. Over the course of countless hours of contact with the North Korean minders assigned to our group, conversation turned from heated discussion over international politics and inter-Korean troubles to nationalism and sports. 

from Global News Journal:

Greater freedom in Pyongyang than Seoul?

                                                           By Jack Kim
For about eight straight years I’ve been covering North Korea, one of the world’s most closed countries with a human rights record that is roundly criticised as one of the worst on the globe.

So it came as a surprise when a North Korean “guide” said on my seventh visit to the communist state that when it comes to restricting freedom of movement, South Korea’s spy agency makes life tougher for North Korean visitors to the capitalist neighbour.

from Changing China:

Story of the day: Blind archer targets fuzzy yellow, gold

Legally blind archer

Peter Rutherford had an interview today with South Korean archer Im Dong-hyun, who has already won one gold medal at these Games and is favourite for the individual title despite being legally blind.

Im's eyesight is listed at 20/200 by the Korea Archery Federation, which basically means he can see at 20 feet what a person with perfect vision can see at 200 feet.

from DealZone:

What goes around…

lehman3.jpgLehman Brothers is looking for fresh capital in South Korea, the Wall Street Journal reports. If the investment bank does end up tapping South Korea, it will have taken slightly over a decade for the 1997 multibillion loan from the IMF, backed by Wall Street and the Federal Reserve, to come full circle. The Journal says Lehman is looking to state-run Korea Development Bank and Woori Financial Group as it searches for funds to ward off a Bear Stearnsian crisis of confidence. The IMF demanded strict economic reforms for its money. A South Korean lender, like the Chinese and Arab investors bailing out Citi and Merrill Lynch, might just want a juicier cut.

The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup -- with a side of Smuckers jelly. The maker of Jif peanut butter and Crisco oil said it would buy Folgers from Procter & Gamble for stock valued at $2.95 billion plus the assumption of $350 million in debt. J.M. Smucker & Co also acquired Jif and Crisco from P&G.

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