Front Page Talking Points


Ahead in 2022: Potter reunion, Olympics, music and film awards, a royal 'jubilee' and Covid again


1.gifWhat upcoming activity or events are you most interested in? Tell why.

2.gifPick a photo or article about someone sure to be in the paper again during 2021. Do you want to read more about that person?

3.gifChoose coverage of another ongoing topic and explain why it'll stay newsworthy.

We're overdue for a brighter year, right? Here's a brief roundup of topics sure to make front-page news in the next 12 months. Covid-19 still dominates attention, naturally, as government and health officials continue stressing the value of vaccinations and booster shots for everyone over age 5. The pandemic, which has affected education, business, politics, sports, entertainment, recreation and the economy since March 2020, now includes a highly contagious Omicron variant of the original virus. Since it was detected in South Africa in November, Omicron (pronounced OH-meh-chron) has been reached dozens of countries, including ours. It appears to cause milder illness than the still-dominant Delta variant, but seems to be more contagious. "We should all be concerned about Omicron, but not panicked," President Biden said two weeks ago. "If you're fully vaccinated, and especially if you got your booster shot, you are highly protected.”

Among big events affected by health concerns is this month's annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a Las Vegas showcase where companies preview new tech tools and entertainment diversions. The relentless pandemic leads some big companies to stay away or scale back their participation. "Due to the quickly shifting situation and uncertainty around the Omicron variant, we will no longer have an on-site presence at CES," Amazon announced recently. Others not sending people include T-Mobile, Pinterest, Twitter Facebook's parent company (Meta).

In entertainment news, Harry Potter fans (who isn't?!) can enjoy "Return to Hogwarts," a 20th anniversary TV special that started streaming on HBO this past weekend. It reunites the actors and filmmakers from the eight-movie series that began near the end of 2001. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are back in the cast. Also on this year's calendar:

Amateur sports will grab global attention from Feb. 4-20, when China hosts the Winter Olympics in its capital, Beijing, and two nearby areas. More than 100 events are scheduled in seven sports: biathlon, bobsled, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating and skiing. Artificial snow will be used since it doesn't snow much in that area. Another world event in early June also will be widely watched as Great Britain stages a three-day "Platinum Jubilee" to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's 70th anniversary as monarch -- the first such event in England. The queen was 25 years old when she was crowned.

UN health official says: "2022 must be the year we end the pandemic. All of us want to spend time with friends and family. All of us want to get back to normal." -- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization

President Biden says: "We all want this [pandemic] to be over, but we're still in it. This is a critical moment, but we also have more tools than we've ever had before. We're ready, we'll get through this." – Dec. 21 at White House

'Potter' star says: “It feels like no time has passed — and loads of time has passed. … When things get really dark, and times are really hard, there's something about Harry Potter that makes life richer." – Emma Watson, who was Hermione Granger in all eight movies

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2022

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Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.