Despite the fact Ted Koppel has just joined the Discovery Channel to make news documentaries, witches predict the former ABC “Nightline” broadcaster will team up with “Today” show host Katie Couric to anchor the “CBS Evening News” this year.

That is just one of the predictions for 2006 by some 350 witches, compiled in an annual list by the New York Center for the Strange. The group collects the prognostications, but only events to be forecast by at least two witches make the final cut.

“We certainly want it to be taken seriously, or our work would be for naught,” Lewis Scott, an associate director at the center, told the New York Daily News.

Among the other events “seen” for 2006 by the witches include:

  • Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld knocking out a younger man in a barroom brawl;

  • the World Series will be a Subway Series between the Mets and Yankees, with the Mets victorious;

  • a series of UFO sightings and landings in the Midwest;

  • the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield will finally get some respect, in the form of a postage stamp;

  • and nationwide shortages of king-size beds, bowling balls and Vidalia onions.

    “Maybe some of the witches are from Georgia, where they grow Vidalia onions,” Scott said. “Maybe some of them are bowlers.”

    Scott claims an accuracy rate of 28 percent for the predictions, with some calls being on the money including the huge success of eBay and “The Sopranos,” as well as the razor-thin victory for President Bush over Al Gore in 2000.

    In the late 1990s, the witches wrongly predicted shortages of razor blades and salsa, a Microsoft program that replaces sex, a musical remake of Gone with the Wind starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Madonna, and Brad Pitt, and that nude tap-dancing and rectangular bagels would become national crazes.

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