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updated: 1/8/2013 6:17 AM

Income disparity, debt lead risk list

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Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Experts surveyed by the World Economic Forum say rising income gaps between rich and poor and burgeoning government deficits are the risks most likely to have a global impact over the next decade.

Climate change, water shortages and aging populations rounded out the WEF's top five risks.

The over 1,000 experts surveyed for the Switzerland-based forum's annual risk report also warn that risk factors could combine to produce unique problems. These risk combinations included climate change putting a heavy burden on a global economy and a declining economy in turn hurting efforts to fight global warming.

The experts also identified increasing resistance of germs to antibiotics as a global health threat. Another new worry is a "digital wildfire" of wrong or controversial information going viral across online communities.

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