Florida’s Ron DeSantis to Prince Harry: 10 people who could be newsmakers in 2023
Popular Florida governor Ron DeSantis might turn on his one-time mentor Donald Trump by challenging him for the Republican nomination for president. DeSantis had won a landslide re-election in November’s midterms, in which Trump loyalists fared badly. The property mogul has coined a nickname for the self-styled anti-woke warrior: “Ron de Sanctimonious”.
Head of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva will have her work cut out for her in 2023. She will have to try to head off a new global debt crisis triggered by escalating inflation and interest rates. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, driving up global food and energy prices, the fund has provided around $90 billion in support to 16 countries. Her message to countries that may need digging out is: act early.
Britain’s royal family is bracing for more potentially damaging revelations as Prince Harry prepares to release his highly anticipated memoir “Spare”. Harry has promised an “unflinching” account of life inside The Firm. The highly-anticipated book will hit the shelves on 10 January. The 38-year-old self-exiled royal and his wife Meghan are already divisive figures in Britain following their allegations of mistreatment and racism against The Firm.
Disney’s longtime CEO Bob Iger has been called back from retirement to try and work his old magic on the struggling entertainment company, which is burning through cash in its quest to attract streaming customers to Disney+. He will also have to negotiate the aftermath of Disney’s row with Ron DeSantis. The Florida governor terminated the self-governing status of Disney World in Orlando after it criticised his “Don’t Say Gay” law banning the teaching of LGBTQ issues in schools.
Tunisia’s tennis hero Ons Jabeur had a brilliant 2022, becoming the first Arab woman to reach a Wimbledon final. In the coming year, she will attempt to win her first Grand Slam title. The 28-year-old world number two, dubbed the “Minister of Happiness” in her homeland for her cheerful disposition and multiple successes, already has three WTA titles to her name.
US hurdler Sydney McLaughlin, who smashed her own world record in 2022 after winning two Olympic golds (400m hurdles and 4x400m hurdle relay) the previous year in Tokyo, has attracted huge following for a much-overlooked sport. The 23-year-old, voted World Athlete of the year for 2022, has hinted she could change discipline to the 400m flat. She will be one of the most closely-watched performers at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August.
The man to watch in Nigeria’s presidential election in February is former governor Peter Obi, who has galvanised the youth vote by campaigning as an alternative to the two parties that have dominated power since the end of military rule in 1999. The Labour Party candidate, who is promising a “new Nigeria”, has mobilised a small army of young urbanites known as “Obi-dients”, who tout his prudent eight-year management of the finances of Anambra state as proof of his leadership ability.
Australian actress Margot Robbie nearly broke the internet when the first pictures of her and Ryan Gosling playing iconic doll duo Barbie and Ken in Greta Gerwig’s film about the Mattel toys were released in June 2022. Gerwig’s feminist “Barbie” is one of the most keenly awaited releases of 2023, along with Damien Chazelle’s “Babylon”.
Taiwan’s pro-democracy president Tsai Ing-wen’s showdown with Xi Jinping looks set to continue in 2023. Washington is warning that China’s most powerful leader since Mao could seek to seize Taiwan “much faster” than previously thought. Tsai has compared Beijing’s plans for Taiwan to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and insists there will be “no compromise” on the territory’s democratic way of life.
France’s 18-year-old basketball prodigy Victor Wembanyama is widely expected to be the first pick in next year’s NBA draft. Thus, the association has begun streaming the former’s games with French club Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92. Four-time NBA champion LeBron James is among the admirers of the willowy 2.2-metre-tall (7.2-feet-tall) Frenchman, saying he has a “generational talent” that borders on “alien”.