a. A world financial center is rendered uninhabitable after a "dirty" nuclear bomb is detonated by a terrorist group.b. Labor unrest in Eastern Europe and Asia leads to mass rioting, looting and martial law in several countries.c. President Obama successfully negotiates a Middle East accord that entails making the entire Levant a demilitarized zone which is patrolled by UN peacekeepers indefinitely. The Israeli stock market doubles over the ensuing 6 months.
2. Domestic Politics
a. The Detroit city council asks President Obama to place the city under federal conservatorship in order to provide basic services and health care as social crises mount.b. Several prominent Republican leaders form a new party which emphasizes moderate social values and fiscal responsibility.
a. A basic science breakthrough is announced in cancer therapy giving great hope to the treament of various types of malignancies.b. Primary care physicians thoughout the USA protest decreasing reimbursement and many walk off the job leaving patients without care.c. Later in the year, Congress passes a universal health insurance plan devised by Zeke Emanuel.
4. Financial markets
a. Municipal bonds rise in value as President Obama announces his desire to provide massive funding for urban renewal.b. Gold rises parabolically to $1400 per ounce due to worldwide monetary loosening and geopolitical crises.c. The FTC balks but finally allows the announced merger of Apple and Google which creates an innovation behemoth.
5. Popular Culture
a. Tony Shaloub takes over the Tonight Show Prime Time when Jay Leno abruptly quits.b. The surly comic Kathy Griffin marries a prominent diplomatic leader which raises concerns about her demeanor at official functions.
a. The Chicago White Sox win 110 games on their way to their second World Series win in 4 years as they sweep the Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, League MVP and Manager of the Year awards.b. As a number 7 seed in the NCAA March Madness Tournament, University of Illinois Men's Basketball shocks everyone by beating UNC in the final to become National Champion.