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Created on 1/4/2008

Close your eyes and you will think you’re dreaming. Today looks like proving to be one of the most extraordinary moments in our history. Just after midnight it was announced in Gaza and Beirut that both Hamas and Hizballah had declared peace with their Israeli neighbours. This provoked the Israeli government to lift all restrictions on the Palestinian population. In a joyous sweep of events the Iranian President then stated that he foresaw a future in which his country and Israel could work together throughout the Middle East as a regional power combination for good.

Confirming their own re-think China has withdrawn all claims on Tibet. The Chinese Government stated that by the first day of the Beijing Olympics, as a gesture of good will, they would withdraw all their military forces from that country. President George W. Bush expressed his sincere appreciation of this momentous action. In another announcement he stated that the troop surge has now been concluded, and that because of the demonstrable ability of the Iraqi army to control that country, and the lessening of the corruption, previously endemic, he felt able to define a date for American withdrawal.

In related news the Taliban’s Leadership Council declared a unilateral ceasefire in the Afghanistan conflict. Their leader stated that he could no longer see the sense in the seemingly endless war. There would be no further attacks launched against the NATO forces or any civilian targets.

The Russian Prime Minister, Mr. Putin seemingly in an effort to embrace this Peace Tidal Wave made the bold statement that his country were ready to accept the claims for independence by the leaders of Chechnya. It is hoped that formalising of this newly won status will shortly be ratified at the United Nations Security Council. Aid is promised to the region by both Russia and the USA, with the European Union also pledging support.

In sport today there were unusual rumblings among the big beasts in the football jungle. Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United and Arsenal’s manager, Arsene Wenger, have apparently agreed to work together on a series of initiatives for the improvement of their sport. There is no financial gain from this and both men agreed that there are more important things to life than winning.

Today’s entertainment news centres on the news that the games and television industries are joining with the internet’s big players to make their self regulation work to more effectively protect their younger, more vulnerable users, both from themselves and those that prey on the young and defenceless.

Our thanks go to our special international correspondent, Rafi P. Lools.

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