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Looking ahead

Looking Ahead | News to watch in the weeks to come

Issue: "2009 Daniel of the Year," Dec. 19, 2009

Busiest Mailing Day of the Year

December 15: Get ready for long lines. Even in a down economy, Dec. 15 is likely a day you'll want to avoid the post office. Postal officials have estimated today as the busiest mailing day of the year as millions head out to send Christmas packages to far-off loved ones.

G-20 birthday brings party crasher

December 16: A decade ago, the original G-20 meeting wrapped up in Berlin. Now 10 years later, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is pushing for inclusion of Spain into the group of developed and developing economies to create a G-21.

Moon deal turns 30

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December 18: Three decades ago, the United Nations Moon Agreement declared Earth's satellite the common property of mankind. But the ambiguous declaration has led some speculators to enter the space race privately in hopes of obtaining lunar real estate. Some companies are reportedly considering everything from mining the lunar surface to building lunar resorts.

Next hearing for Rifqa Bary

December 22: A judge in Ohio will conduct a hearing to decide what to do with Rifqa Bary, a Central Ohio teenager who fled her home in July after converting from Islam to Christianity. Saying she feared for her life, the 17-year-old Bary left her Ohio home and traveled to Florida to stay with the family of a Christian pastor she met on Facebook. Soon after, Florida officials took Bary and returned her to child protection authorities in Ohio.

Post-Christmas sales begin

December 26: With some economists estimating that 14 percent of Christmas shopping occurs in the last week of December, shoppers traditionally flock to retailers on Dec. 26 looking for post-Christmas bargains. The growth of gift cards as Christmas gifts has also increased post-Christmas shopping.

5-year anniversary of Indian Ocean tsunami

December 26: On this day in 2004, a massive earthquake in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Indonesia spawned a tsunami that, according to estimates, killed 230,000. The natural disaster struck hardest in Indonesia, where more than a half million people became displaced. But nearly every nation bordering the Indian Ocean felt the effects: In South Africa, a father and son were swept to sea when a surprise 10-foot wave crashed ashore as a result of the earthquake an ocean away.

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