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 by Thomas Wm. HAMILTON


     "To all our viewers, ladies, gentlemen, and AIs, welcome to NewsNet's coverage of this historic occasion.  Our advisors say we have about half an hour before the magic moment, so we will be going around the globe and even out in space for comments on what's happening.  I'll be your host for a happening so important that we will have no commercial interruptions until we are done.  So this is Gary Samuels, switching you now to Washington, where NewsNet's White House correspondent, Jackie Fletcher, has a report."
     "Thanks, Gary.  The White House Press Secretary, Bob Brill, read a statement just a few moments ago.  Here it is."
     Roll in:  "The President congratulates the American people in their support of Administration policies in the face of history being made as we watch.  The President hopes that this will be a lesson to Congress which will cause them to move pending legislation faster."
    "Gary, Brill declined to take questions after reading that."
    "So, Jackie, would you say the President is trying to avoid taking a stand on this?"
     "Not exactly, Gary.  Word around the White House is the President hopes to see public reaction before committing himself."
     "Given Washington politics these days, that's probably a good move.  Next we go to Brussels, where NewsNet reporter Alois Bardossy has word on the European Union reaction."
     "Right you are, Gary.  I have here the current Chair of the Council of Ministers of the European Union, Radmilla Smerdenjovic of Croatia."
     "We Europeans have seen tens of centuries of history, but this event is unique.  The EU Council of Ministers hopes everyone appreciates how significant what is happening today is, and all are prepared to treat this with the seriousness it deserves."
     "That's interesting, Alois.  It sounds like EU politicians are more prepared to stick their necks out on this than is the American President."
     "Not surprising, Gary.  I suspect this President would like to break the string of five consecutive Presidents to face impeachment, even if none ever seem to be convicted."
     "Alois may have that right, but now we go to another European location, Vatican City, where NewsNet reporter Frank Malloy is ready."
     "Gary, I'm with Bishop Suarez, long a spokesperson for His Holiness, the Pope.  Bishop, has the Pope anything to say about this historic event?"
     "The Holy Father is spending his time in prayer and meditation.  He offers blessings, and hopes that everyone recognizes God's hand in all that is happening.  Sinful mankind must learn a lesson today."
     "A generous statement in line with much this Pope has said during his tenure.  Frank, give the Bishop our thanks.  Next we seek comment from NewsNet's reporter, Clara Siegel, in the lunar capital."
2.4 second pause.  "Gary, there is little interest here in what is about to happen on Earth.  I'm with Viglaf Sundersson, a member of the Armstrong City Council who is rumored to be a likely candidate in the next election for the Lunar Parliament."
     "Thanks, Clara, but I've no comment on any parliamentary elections, I'm just trying to be the best member Armstrong has ever had in its City Council."
     "Okay, Viglaf, but what have you to say about this event that has Earth all atwitter?"
     "I can tell you right now, my constituents are totally uninterested.  If you want their views on an historic event, well, last week the City Council voted to build the first swimming pool on the Moon."
     "Here's Gary, back at the scene on Earth.  And I guess all my fellow Earthlings know just where we rank.  Well down in importance, below that of a swimming pool, eh, folks?  Maybe Bejing has something more encouraging.  Let's go to NewsNet reporter Antoine Takahashi in the Chinese capital."
     "Gary, Chinese Foreign Minister Wu Feng Xiu is with me to give the Chinese position."
     "This event would not be happening if the decadent western powers had not abandoned all sense of responsibility.  The Chinese People's Republic will continue to make strides, emboldened in the knowledge that what happens today only makes us stronger."
     "Well, folks, between swimming pools and chopsticks, it would seem not everyone values this historic moment very much.  But I'm getting the signal from our technical advisors that the magic moment is nearly here.  During the final countdown our camera will target the crucial site, and NewsNet's chief sports reporter, Biff Hogan, will give the commentary.  Biff?"
     "Okay, we are only seconds away.  Viewers are looking at the last trace of the last glacier on Earth.  You may know that at its peak 13,000 years ago about 40% of Earth's land mass was covered in ice.  As recently as 50 years ago Greenland, now a well named verdant paradise, was under a couple kilometers of ice, and Antarctica was even worse.  But now, only a few square centimeters of ice remain on Earth, and even as we watch, it is melting away. Little rivelets of water are flowing away.  Melting.  Gone!"

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