These are events that I think will happen this year. I am not Nostradamus, I am not Cassandra, nor do I have a crystal ball. I am not even an expert. These are simple educated guesses and nothing more. Godwilling I will review my predictions in December so long as I don’t fall victim to the impending nuclear apocalypse.
Disclaimer: This list is only speculation. Planned Events certain to occur, like Russia hosting the Fifa World Cup, are not included. Note these are not all positive: just because I think they will happen, does not mean I want them to!
1. The Democrats will win a senate majority in the US Midterm elections
Public confidence in the current administration is low. Donald Trump has the worst average approval rating of any modern president and the Democrats have already won Alabama, the reddest of red states. This does not bode well for the incumbent Republicans, who only hold a slim majority of 51% as is.
2. Bitcoin will surpass 20,000 USD
Altcoins too will grow in value, with runner up Ethereum reaching 2,000 USD a coin.
3. The USA will suffer its largest ‘mass shooting’ in history
The Pulse Nightclub Shooting took 50 in 2016, the Las Vegas Shooting 59 in 2017. The pattern may continue.
4. New Caledonia will vote no to Independence
The 1998 Noumea Accord stipulates that New Caledonia’s second independence referendum is to be held by November 2018 at the latest.
New Caledonia outstrips other, independent, Pacific islands economically because of French support. New Caledonians, Caldoches and Kanaks alike, simply have too much to lose.
5. Putin will win Russia’s March 2018 Election
This one is obvious. Other autocrats like Egypt’s Abdul Al Sisi, Thailand’s Prayut Chan-o-Cha and Cambodia’s Hun Sen will also be reelected.
6. Social Democrats will win the Brazilian Election
Less certain. Former president Lula de Silva of the Worker’s Party currently tops the polls but faces a pending criminal conviction over the Petrobas Corruption Scandal. Unless overturned, Lula will be ineligible to run for president. This leaves the runner up Social Democrat Party in a promising position, providing they select the right candidate.
7. Artificial Meat will be available in supermarkets.
The first cultured meat burger was tested in 2013. Memphis Meats may not plan public release til 2021, but they have only raised $3 million towards research so far. Competitor Hampdon Creek has already raised over 120.
8. Bashar Al-Asad will win the Syrian Civil War.
This may seem unlikely, but with ISIS out of the picture it’s only a matter of time before the regime emmerges triumphant.
9. The Islamic State will launch an insurrection in Southeast Asia
As their caliphate crumbles in the Middle East, the Islamic State looks to new frontiers – specifically East and West Africa, Central and South East Asia.
IS is already spreading its seeds in the later: Malaysian, Indonesian and Filipino fighters are returning home to radicalise their friends while existing insurgent groups unite under the Black Standard.
The ongoing plight of the Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar will prove effective propaganda and the dispossessed will rally to their cause. Marawi’s 2017 violence was only the beginning.
10. Bangladesh will declare war on Myanmar
Since a standoff with its neighbour in 2007, Bangladesh has purchased Chinese tanks, Russian missiles and helicopters in preparation for a possible war. They are expecting 100 Turkish armoured vehicles this year.
With tensions heated by border violence and thousands of refugees fleeing ethnic cleansing, Bangladesh warned in September that further provocations will trigger ‘unwarranted consequences.”
The last Southeast Asian genocide was only prevented when the Vietnamese invaded. Perhaps Bangladesh will do the same.