It's not the 2010 news

So what will the new year bring? We speculate what the biggest stories of the next 12 months will be.

By Simon Round, December 30, 2009

The attempts of President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Gordon Brown to reconvene the Copenhagen conference on climate change ended in failure this week as blizzards again engulfed Western Europe making travel to the Danish capital impossible. Brown told reporters: “The current spell of cold weather will not deflect us from our mission to ensure that global temperatures do not rise.” As temperatures plunged to -20 centigrade in the Scottish Highlands, a weather expert claimed that this pattern of extreme weather could be proof of global warming. A climate change expert at London University said: “Extreme cold is consistent with rising temperatures. It is quite possible that global warming could herald in a new ice age.”

At hastily convened Middle East peace talks this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to tear down the security fence and freeze settlement activity, and in return Hamas recognised the state of Israel and vowed to live in peace with its neighbour. Syria and Lebanon also exchanged ambassadors with Israel. The comprehensive peace settlement, including treaties with several Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Libya was ratified as Israelis celebrated the festival of Purim.

There was surprise in Hollywood when the Oscar for best director was awarded to Barack Obama. Industry insiders complain that the United States leader has never actually made a movie, and the president himself appeared slightly confused when making his acceptance speech. A spokesman for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rejected any criticism and says that the move is in line with the trend set last year by the Nobel peace prize committee.

“If the Swedes can give our president an undeserved globally recognised award, we sure as hell can,” he explained.

Gordon Brown resigned today following Labour’s worst-ever showing in a General Election. The Prime Minister conceded defeat on Friday morning as the Conservatives celebrated a 300-seat majority in the Commons. Labour finished sixth overall behind the Liberal Democrats, the Greens, UKIP, and the Monster Raving Loony Party. However, Mr Brown maintained that the election had not been a complete failure. He said: “Our vote held up well in Glasgow Cathcart and the Vale of Glamorgan. I see this as a vindication of Labour policies.”

Avram Grant’s Portsmouth lifted the FA Cup yesterday to crown a triumphant season for the Israeli manager. Pompey’s 5-0 trouncing of Manchester United follows an amazing run of form for the south coast club, who were at the bottom of the table last Christmas. Last week they claimed the final Champions League place from Arsenal.

New Labour leader Ed Miliband has controversially excluded his brother David from his first shadow cabinet. Miliband, who won the election in a run-off against the former Foreign Secretary, refused to give a reason why his brother would not be serving on the Opposition front bench. However, Labour watchers have claimed that the snub may have originated in a dispute over sweets in the back seat of the family car at some point during the late 1970s.

There were celebrations in the Murray family home and throughout Scotland yesterday following the historic Wimbledon singles final. However, Jamie Murray’s happiness at his shock victory over Roger Federer was in stark relief to the ignominious exit of his brother, Andy Murray, in the first round following defeat to Ecuadorian qualifier Eduardo Merluzo.

Meanwhile, in other sports news, Thierry Henry has refused to apologise for the dive leading to the penalty which gave France a 1-0 victory in the World Cup Final against Brazil. And Fabio Capello has announced his resignation as England manager following the three first round defeats to the USA, Algeria and Slovenia in South Africa. The FA will convene soon to appoint a successor.

Avram Grant has been appointed manager of the England Football team. The Israeli takes over with immediate effect. He has appointed recently sacked Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho as his deputy.

JCoss secondary school opened this week in East Barnet this week with controversy still raging about its selection methods. Following on from the Supreme Court ruling last December, the JCoss board decided that places in the new school were to be filled by means of a raffle. The lucky names pulled out of the hat took the first 28 places in each class. Those who wished to appeal against the results were placed in a further draw for chance to win two “lucky losers” places in each form entry. Meanwhile, there is speculation at JFS that its current method of selection may be abandoned in favour of a scratch card system for 2011.

US President Barack Obama is named as Top Kosher Butcher 2010. Judges of the little-known award explained that although President Obama’s salt beef was disappointing, if not to say non-existent, what was good enough for Hollywood was good enough for them.

Tiger Woods is to convert to Judaism, according to a press release from his PR company. The decision is, added his spokesperson, completely unrelated to recent revelations involving Stacey Solomon, Tzipi Livni, Madeleine Albright and Esther Rantzen. Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher has been crowned World Champion after winning every single race of the Formula 1 season. Top executives at the sport’s governing body are set to offer the German a huge cash sum not to compete next year, as low viewing figures indicate that fans have become bored at the lack of competitiveness in the sport.

There was uproar at The X Factor as Amy Winehouse — the judge brought in to replace Dannii Minogue — appeared to pass out as the show was reaching its climax, meaning that Jedward, who replaced Louis Walsh, were left with the casting vote. Meanwhile, Simon Cowell has claimed that the new line-up was not a panic measure taken after Joe McElderry failed to win last year’s Christmas number one spot. Cowell was quoted as saying that Winehouse is one of the most respected figures in British music, and that the incident involving the vodka bottle and Cheryl Cole’s nose, he believed, was a complete one-off. There is further bad news for the show as the Christmas number one slot again fails to go to the X Factor winner. Stacey Solomon and Barbra Streisand’s version of My Yiddishe Momma has stormed to the top of the charts.

Last updated: 12:13pm, December 30 2009