07 January 2006

A really bad "what if"

Let's pretend a worse case scenario with a couple of potential headlines:

"King Fahd of Saudi Arabia dies"
King Fahd, Saudi Arabia's ruler since 1982, has died at the age of 84. Saudi state television announced Crown Prince Abdullah, his half-brother, had been named as King Fahd's successor. Defence Minister Prince Sultan is next in line to the throne after Abdullah, his half-brother, and was named crown prince.

"Panic hits Turkey bird flu town"
Residents of the eastern Turkish town hit by a fatal outbreak of bird flu in humans have besieged a local hospital seeking treatment for symptom

"Khaddam calls for Syrian revolt"
Former Syrian Vice-President Abdul Halim Khaddam says he wants to see President Bashar al-Assad ousted through a popular uprising

"Chinese farmer in suicide attack"
"A Chinese farmer has set off a bomb in a court house in north-west China, killing himself and four other people including the court president.....stories like this have become increasingly common in China in recent years.Ordinary Chinese people who feel unfairly treated by China's one party state have virtually no way of gaining recourse. In their frustration some turn to violence and the preferred method is often some sort of bomb. Explosives are relatively easy to come by in China, unlike firearms which are very tightly controlled."

"UN suspends Pakistan aid flights"
The UN has stopped aid flights to some earthquake survivors in Pakistan administered Kashmir after dozens of people stormed two of its helicopters... I presume they were coming down from the mountains and basically wanted out. It's very cold there -Larry Hollingworth, UN humanitarian coordinator

" Canada became the third Western country today to close down its embassy in the Jordania capital, Amman, due to security reasons. The Canadian Embassy's decision came hours after the Australia mission declared its closure and a day after the British Embassy shut down indefinitely"

"CIA Director Porter Goss: Iran Has Nukes"

"Goss warns Ankara to be ready for a possible U.S. aerial operation against Iran and Syria"

"Bashar al-Assad is assinated. Syria in a state of civil turmoil"

"First human to human case of bird flu found in Belgium"

"Netanyahu wins Israeli election. Vows to resettle settlements in disputed territory"
Binyamin Netanyahu, 56, was for years Mr Sharon's main political rival in the Likud party. Articulate, ambitious and a masterful communicator, Mr Netanyahu reclaimed the helm of the party following Mr Sharon's departure at the end of last year, vowing to restore it to its traditional right-wing ideology. An arch-hawk, Mr Netanyahu fiercely opposed the Oslo peace accords with the Palestinians and the concept of land for peace. He served as foreign then finance minister in Mr Sharon's cabinet, before quitting in protest at Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Mr Netanyahu has also hinted that he would not rule out a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities if he was re-elected.

"King Abdullah dies. Prince Turki al-Faisal becomes leader of Suadia Arabia"

"Anarchy in China as health system is overwhlemed by FLu Pandemic victoms"

"US invades Syria to stabilize country"

"Netanyahu attacks Iranian nuclear facilities"

"Iran to retaliate against Israel: Appeals to all Muslims to attack"

"Israel and Iraq declare war!"

"US backs Israel. Suadia Arabia may have mixed allegiances"

"Bird Flu pandemic creates anarchy in Pakistan. Goverment expected to fall"

"Middle East in a state of chaos AND IT's SPREADING!"

...the first group are all actual headlines

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