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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Worlds 2.0

Our world - and universe - is changing before our very eyes.

In the news growing climate change could create a new generation of British holiday-makers with the classic Mediterranean package holiday becoming "consigned to the scrapbook of history", while scientific textbooks may need to be rewritten as on Thursday experts approved a definition of a planet that would strip Pluto of its status as one, bringing the tally of planets in the solar system down to eight.

However, a fierce backlash has begun against the decision by astronomers to demote Pluto to a lesser category of object.

Meanwhile objections are also being raised over stringent air security to combat a new, more deadly, generation of terrorist attention to airliner flights that may bring permanent change to passenger air travel. Alongside this, tolerance for fellow travellers also seems to becoming a thing of the past with the news that Britsh passengers refused to allow their flight to Manchester to take off from Spain until two men were removed, because of fears they were terrorists.

Suspicion had arisen due to the colour of the men's skin and the fact that they weren't wearing flip-flops on their feet.

A cat in Beirut with its legs covered in oil from a slick which has spread 150m (93 miles) along the Lebanese coast, after an Israeli air strike on a power station during the recent warConflicts of a different nature on the ground take a share in the news, too. UN officials have drawn up an action plan to tackle a huge oil spill along the Lebanese and Syrian coastline when up to 15,000 tonnes of oil poured into the Mediterranean Sea last month after Israeli forces bombed a power station.

The executive director of the environment programme at the United Nations, Achim Steiner, said it was a sad fact that the environment was a victim of the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel.

And as the geography of a place is changed forever, so too is its region as displaced Iraqis in Iraq try to rebuild shattered lives on war torn foundations, in a country also irrevocably mutated.

Meanwhile across the seas, the US Commander-in-chief George W. Bush, whose incompetent foray into foreign politics gave the world this new version of the Middle East, has hailed in an upgraded version of hatred and guerrilla warfare against America, raising the question being asked by the world press - what was it all for?

And, as conspiracy theorists gain popularity over the events of 9/11 and America's first citizen Bush finally accepted at a recent press conference that the war in Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks in New York, it's a question that is becoming more and more difficult to answer.

Plus, it appears that the danger of amassing weapons of mass destruction didn't lie in Iraq but Iran, making observers wonder if America's favourite cowboy shouldn't have "minded his Ps and Qs" in more ways than one.

Two things appear not to be in conflict, however.

In war, nothing is what it seems and a new generation of emotionally and physically damaged children will never be the same again.

Arguably, not the greatest legacy to attach to the sad and courageous deaths of 9/11 victims five years on.

Picture courtesy of BBC News.

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