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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:

Can a new president repair relations with Europe?

A man holds a banner reading 'Obama For Chancellor' before a speech of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama during his visit in Berlin July 24, 2008.

Presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke at the “Victory Column” in Berlin’s Tiergarten park in front of thousands of Germans and tourists in his only formal address during his week-long foreign tour. He called on Europe to stand by the United States in bringing stability to Afghanistan and confronting other threats from climate change to nuclear proliferation.

Relations between the United States and Germany reached a post-war low under former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who strongly opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He said Germany would “not click its heels” and follow President Bush into war — a position that tapped into wells of German pacifism but infuriated Bush. But Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up behind the Wall in the communist East, has worked hard to repair ties with the U.S. and has emerged as one of Bush’s closest allies in Europe.

Should Clinton drop out of the Democratic race?

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) with daughter Chelsea (L) and husband former President Bill Clinton (C) speaks to supporters at her North Carolina and Indiana primary election night rally in Indianapolis, Indiana, May 6, 2008.

The road just got rockier for Hillary Clinton in her battle to win her party’s presidential nomination after Barack Obama’s victory in North Carolina and her slim win in Indiana.

“It’s full speed on to the White House,” Clinton said at a victory rally in Indianapolis, with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, standing behind her. “We’ve got a long road ahead, but we’re going to keep fighting.”

Holiday from gas tax: Good idea or more politics?

A customer fills a car's tank at a gas station approximately one mile from the White House in Washington March 11, 2008.Presidential candidates John McCain and Hillary Clinton want to suspend the gas tax for the summer to offer drivers some relief from record fuel prices. President Bush said this week that he was willing to consider a fuel tax holiday.

Barack Obama opposes the idea, saying it would not amount to much. House Democratic leaders have also shown little support for suspending the gas tax. Some experts say that a gas tax holiday wouldn’t help drivers much if service stations don’t pass on the savings to consumers.