Maclean's magazine names top newsmakers of 2009: THE OBAMAS, JIM BALSILLIE,
MICHAEL JACKSON, ANGELA MERKEL and H1N1's PATIENT ZERO

In its 5th annual and biggest-ever Newsmakers issue, Maclean's looks at the year's good, bad and outrageous - on newsstands starting today

TORONTO, Dec. 3 /CNW/ - It's been quite a year: The financial crisis, the Obamas' arrival in the White House, Michael Jackson's death and Stephen Harper's rebirth (as a pop star). While Maclean's biggest-ever Newsmakers issue looks back at these events, it also showcases hundreds of other political pratfalls, celebrity shenanigans and memorable moments. The issue is a funny and irreverent romp through 2009.

For this year's Newsmakers issue, Maclean's chose five Newsmakers of the Year:

The Obamas: They kicked off 2009 with an inauguration that drew almost two million supporters to the U.S. capital, and stayed in the spotlight all year long.

Jim Balsillie: While running the most important tech company to emerge from Canada, he also made a daring bid to bring a seventh NHL team to Canada.

Michael Jackson: His death made news, but so did the world's overwhelming response to his passing.

Angela Merkel: As Germany's first female chancellor, she has emerged as the de facto leader of the European Union and one of the most important political leaders on the world stage.

HINI: In a matter of months, it became the defining public health event of the decade.

    
    -   Merger of the Year: Hockey players and figure skaters in battle of
        the blades
    -   U-turn of the Year: Stephen Harper steals the show
    -   Hero of the Year: Canadian soldier David Schultz

    More Highlights:

    Entrances
    ---------
    -   Glee: TV's high school musical comedy makes being in a singing club
        cool.
    -   Seal meat as the "it" food for Canadian politicians.
    -   Chinese curling. They could beat out Canada at the 2010 Olympics.
    -   The Octomom, whose January delivery of octuplets ushered in the year
        of multiples.

    Exits
    -----
    -   Wayne Gretszky steps down as Coyotes coach.
    -   Paula Abdul staggers down from the American Idol judging table.
    -   Kodachrome: The film that made you think all the world is a sunny day
        has been replaced by digital photography.

    Winners
    -------
    -   Usain Bolt, the six-foot-five sprinter who, at age 23, has won 25
        consecutive races in two years.
    -   Susan Boyle, whose rise to stardom, makeovers and tantrums have yet
        to eclipse that first magic shock of her Britain's Got Talent
        appearance.
    -   Beyoncé: Her Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) started the first dance
        craze of the century.

    Good Samaritans
    ---------------
    -   Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III lands a crippled plane on the Hudson
        River in New York.
    -   Winnipeg's Faron Hall, a homeless man, jumps into the freezing river
        to save a man.
    -   Jasmine, a greyhound who is an animal sanctuary resident (and one of
        our many Animal Newsmakers), is surrogate mother to animals ranging
        from badgers and rabbits to guinea pigs and a fawn.

    Feuds
    -----
    -   Sarah Palin and Levi Johnston (The father of her daughter Bristol's
        baby, Levi leaves the Palin home and poses for Playgirl.)
    -   Vladimir Putin vs. Ukraine (They didn't pay the gas bill.)
    -   Atheists vs. the United Church

    Comebacks
    ---------
    -   Ford Taurus
    -   Tim Hortons (It's Canadian again!)
    -   Whitney Houston

    Breakups
    --------
    -   Steven Page and the Barenaked Ladies
    -   Ian Davey and Michael Ignatieff
    -   Dany Heatley and the Ottawa Senators
    -   Avril Lavigne and Deryck Whibley

    PLUS: Twits, Rogues Gallery, gifts for some of the most memorable
    personalities of the year and Lingo of the year.
    

About Maclean's:

Maclean's is Canada's only national weekly current affairs magazine.

Maclean's enlightens, engages and entertains 2.8 million readers with strong investigative reporting and exclusive stories from leading journalists in the fields of international affairs, social issues, national politics, business and culture. Visit www.macleans.ca.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Maclean's

For further information: For further information: Louise Leger, (416) 764-4125, louise.leger@rci.rogers.com

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