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FOR THE WEEK OF JAN. 06, 2020

The year ahead: Census, Olympics and elections are among topics that will make front page news in 2020

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What upcoming event or events are you most interested in? Tell why.
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Pick a photo or article about someone sure to be in the paper again during 2020. Do you want to read more about that person?
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Choose coverage of another ongoing topic and explain why it'll stay newsworthy.

Holiday break is over, so we start this year with a look at subjects that'll make headlines during coming weeks and months in the areas of government, sports and entertainment. Politics will be a major newsmaker as voters prepare to elect a president, to fill all 435 seats in the U.S. House and to elect 35 senators – all on Nov. 3. Democrats now are in the House majority with 235 seats. To control that chamber, Republicans need a net gain of 20 seats. In the Senate, Republicans now control of 53 of the 100 seats.

In other political news, the large number of Democratic presidential candidates will start to shrink soon as states hold primary elections or public caucus meetings to pick nominating delegates for the party’s national convention (July 13-16 in Milwaukee). The nominee will run against Donald Trump, who wants a second term. His re-nomination becomes official at the Republican convention Aug. 24-27 in Charlotte, N.C.

The president has another election year concern that carries over from Dec. 18, when the House passed two articles of impeachment – a historic step that accuses Trump of abusing power and also of obstructing Congress. Now the Senate will consider whether to remove him, which currently seems unlikely because Trump's support from the Republican majority appears solid. The House acted after hearings indicated that he solicited foreign interference to help his re-election and then obstructed the congressional investigation.

Also this year, the federal government will conduct a national Census – a count of all adults and children, something that's done every 10 years. This is the first time people can respond online or by phone, in addition to the option of using a paper form requested by April 1. The results will affect federal aid to communities for roads, schools, hospitals and clinics, emergency services, and more. Population data also determines the shape of U.S. House districts and how many are in each state, and will be used for business planning and lots of other purposes this new decade.

In lighter news this year, we can watch the Summer Olympics in Tokyo from July 4 to Aug. 9. The games, held every four years, gain five sports -- baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing – in an effort to keep the Olympics "relevant to sports fans of all generations," organizers say. Other feature-style news coverage will come from the Grammy Awards for last year's best music (Jan. 26 from Los Angeles) and the Academy Awards for 2019 films (Feb. 9, also from L.A.) Another big event in early February is football's Super Bowl, which will be played Feb. 2 at Hard Rock Stadium near Miami. Halftime performers are Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.

Ahead for TV: "This will be a year of new digital programming and new services to deliver it." -- Steven Zeitchik, Washington Post entertainment reporter

Ahead for tech giants: "Amazon, Facebook, Google and their Silicon Valley peers could face the first major consequences in the coming year from investigations by state and federal regulators into whether they undermine privacy, mishandle sensitive online content, damage elections or quash competition." – Tony Room, Washington Post technology policy reporter

Film awards buzz: Among best picture prospects are "Joker," "Parasite" and "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood." Best actor candidates include Eddie Murphy ("Dolemite Is My Name"), Adam Sandler ("Uncut Gems"), Joaquin Phoenix ("Joker"). On the actress list are Awkwafina ("The Farewell"), Saoirse Ronan ("Little Women") and Renée Zellweger ("Judy"), among others.

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2020
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

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