Chinese New Year raises questions and predictions

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BEIJING, China -- Say goodbye to the year of the horse. Now, after a truly spectacular New Years’ celebration (that had fewer fireworks than usual because of a pesky little thing called pollution), the Chinese zodiac cycle says it is officially the year of the sheep! Or the goat. Or the ram.

Actually, seeing as the Chinese use one character for all of the horned animals, it’s open to interpretation. Either way, predictions for the year are roughly the same. Long story short: volatile world politics and economics, property prices will go down, personal wealth may go up (but caution is encouraged) and there's also talk of disasters like landslides, accidents and bacteria possibly leading to outbreaks of disease.

Don’t let it all make you sheepish though. In the end, this horny year is at least supposed to be better than last!