Drear Diary,

And now some bad news:
A new study published in the journal Nature predicts that a quarter of known land animals and plants--nearly a million species--will go extinct in the next 50 years due to global warming, from 45% of the species in Brazil's savannah the Cerrado to all but three varieties of Europe's 400 butterfly types.

Who wins in Iraq? Eight people died when a US helicopter was shot down in Iraq today. Another US soldier was killed and 34 more were injured in a mortar attack on a military camp yesterday. Meanwhile Iraqi citizens are accusing the US of human rights violations for the wrongful imprisonment of nearly 10,000 Iraqis and the indiscriminate bombing of personal property.

An old epithet has been revived in Iraq just for US occupiers, "Ulooj." The ancient term from Arabic literature can be translated various ways: pigs of the desert, foreign infidels, little donkeys, medieval crusaders, bloodsuckers and horned creatures.

Here at home, the Bush administration reasserted its broad authority to declare American citizens to be enemy combatants yesterday.

The record-breaking US debt--last year at $374 billion, expected to exceed $400 billion this year--threatens the stability of the global economy, according to a report by the International Monetary Fund. Questioning the wisdom of Bush’s tax cuts, the IMF warns that our financial obligations to other nations ("an unprecedented level of external debt for a large industrial country") could hurt the value of the dollar and international exchange rates, as well as inflate global interest rates and slow global economic growth.

A bit of economic critique from today's edition of the comic strip, The Norm:
Dear Editor:
Recently downsized, I’m sitting at home reading your optimistic story on the "economic recovery." Ironically, your reporter quoted several employed experts, but no one like me. Maybe it’s time for an employee evaluation.

T. Norman Miller

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