GREAT NEWS, SPANISH ELECTION & PLANETOIDS

Greetings,

EXCITING NEWS: I have been accepted to both King’s and Western for the upcoming academic year. I’m now officially a graduate student – it’s a wonderful feeling that all that hard work getting my applications done were worth it.

SPAINISH ELECTION: Yesterday, the people of Spain decided that the conservative Popular Party’s stance on the war in Iraq – Spain was part of the Big Three that strongly supported military action in Iraq, the other two obviously being the United States and the United Kingdom – in lieu of the terrorist bombings that happened last week in Madrid was grounds for booting them out of office. The Socialist Party, lead by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, won the general election last night, and one of the new government’s first initiatives is a major blow to the coalition forces in Iraq: all Spainish troops are being brought home and Spain is pulling out of operations in Iraq. However, in my mind, this is a good move, because the vast majority of the Spanish people were strongly opposed to their country’s involvement in the war in Iraq. This is a restoration of the balance between the democratic will of the people and government interests.

Nobody is 100 per cent sure that the terrorist bombings that happened in Madrid last week are the work of an Al-Qaeda cell or the Basque separatist group ETA, which has waged a terrorist campaign against the Spainish government for decades in order to restore local governance to the Basque region of Spain. Naturally, the Popular Party wanted to blame the terrorist bombings on ETA because an Al-Qaeda attack would give legitimacy to the idea that Spain is now a target for further terrorist strikes explicitly due to the Spainish government’s decision to be pro-war in Iraq last year. However, the Socialists now control Spain and Europeans all joined together today as a memorial to the 200 killed and 1500 wounded in the terrorist bombings last week.

Personally, I’m of the view this was either an Al-Qaeda cell’s attack or another group closely affiliated or sympathetic to Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attack, so this then begs another question: are other nations at risk now? What about the U.K.? Is Japan, which has for the first time since World War II become engaged in a military action with ground troops in Iraq, a target now as well? What about Poland? Are all allies that were actively pro-war and participated in military action in Iraq on a hit list? If so, we may be gearing up for another long, hot summer of terrorist threats.

PLANETOIDS: A new planet in its formative stages, dubbed Sedna, has been discovered roughly 13 billion kilometres from Earth. This is big news, as another planetoid was found in 2002 outside of Pluto, named Quaoar.

Sedna is a reddish-coloured planetoid in which the surface temperature never exceeds more than – 400 degrees Fahrenheit (as I’m sure you’re aware, that’s *really,* *really* cold).

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