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Week of 12.2.2007
Ron Cruger
Newscast - December 23, 2072
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  The book barely held my attention. I was relaxing and close to dozing off. The room was dark except for the small halogen lamp behind the recliner throwing light on the pages of the book. 
          The only sounds in the room were the slight ticks of the battery operated clock on the wall to my left and the periodic tones of my own breathing. 
          I broke away from the pages long enough to check the time on the wall clock. It was two minutes before eleven o’clock and the network television news. I wasn’t sure if I had even the little amount of energy required to get off the recliner. The chair and I had become one. 
          I decided to lay the book on my lap and close my eyes for just a minute before getting up and turning on the television. 
          I rose and turned on the television set, pressing the buttons to tune to the most popular news station in America – AARP-TV. 
          The grey-haired newscaster and his co-anchor, a petite woman in her sixties welcomed the viewers, “Good evening and welcome to the AARP News Program, on this, the 23rd day of December, 2072.” 
          The President of the United States came on the screen, sitting behind his desk in the White House. The President spoke, “Good Evening, my fellow Americans, I am here tonight to report to you on the progress of our military involvement in Iraq. Working with members of both parties and our generals in the field we have reduced the size of our army in Iraq to 50,000 troops. We are hopeful that within a year there will be a government in Iraq composed of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds that will bring peace to the area. Until the Iraqi people form a stable government we will have to keep a large contingent of American troops on the ground to prevent neighboring countries from invading this country, which, for the past 65 years has been the battleground for hundreds of thousands of fatalities.” 
          The President of the United States, Dexter Kennedy, a blond haired man in his late forties, continued explaining the rationale behind having American troops on the ground in the Middle East. 
He explained that there were 8,500 members of the United States Army currently serving in Iraq that were the great grandchildren of the troops that were involved in the 2003 force that first invaded Iraq. 
          The President bid goodnight to the camera and the screen returned to the anchor man who reported on the current skirmishes currently being fought in Antarctica between troops of the United States, Finland, Greenland and Russia over who owns the land rights to large land areas that were formerly under hundreds of feet of ice, but with global warming the land is being exposed at a rapid rate and land developers from various countries are anxious to build homes, shopping centers and golf courses on the land that was formerly ice masses and glaciers. 
          The attractive aging female newscaster reported that coastal areas in Miami; New Orleans; Brownsville, Texas; New York City and all along the Pacific Coast of the United States have completed their relocation programs due to the oceans rising eleven and a half inches since 2021. 
          She also reported on the new federal law stating that the father and mother of any child under eighteen years of age found guilty of any crime committed by their child will be sentenced to the same term in prison as their child. The child will serve time in a juvenile detention center. In the event of a broken home federal marshals will hunt down the missing parent and have them serve their sentences. 
          The camera switched to the male newscaster who reported on the progress of the new law which mandates that all male and female citizens, at the age of fourteen will serve two years in a government operated military training program, similar to the R.O.T.C. program which was used in the past century. It was reported that youth gangs in most American cities have been eliminated due to the effectiveness of the mandatory military training program. 
          The newscasters alternated reporting on current events… 
          -A new law would require a six month waiting period before gun dealers, sporting good stores or private parties could sell any firearms. Only hand guns of .22 caliber could be purchased. 
          -Pornography, outlawed since 2035, no longer appears on the internet. 
          -It was reported that the Latino population of California has reached 73%. 
          -Construction crews have completed demolition of 825 miles of the cement wall constructed in 2017 between the United States and Mexico. The remaining 675 miles of the concrete wall will be turned into an international sports center featuring 3,500 squash and handball courts. 
          -The price of “Veggie-Fuel” has risen due to a poor corn crop in the Midwest. America’s largest “Veggie-Fuel” retailer, the MacDonald’s Corporation plans on opening 500 additional fuel stations in the next three years. McDonald’s reports that its latest blend of “Veggie-Fuel” is now 95% cholesterol free. 
          -Jenna Bush’s great grandson, Peter W. Bush, has officially announced his candidacy for the Senate from the state of Texas. The late Jenna Bush was the daughter of the 43rd President, George W. Bush. 
          -A coalition of doctors was interviewed and they reported that no new cases of AIDs or HIV have been reported since 2068 in the United States. However, in 2071, 2,300 cases were reported world wide. The doctors stated that their hope is that within two years all cases of AIDs or HIV will be eliminated from the planet. 
          -Another panel of doctors reported that they are close to reaching a preventative vaccine for cancer. They are currently testing the vaccine and plan for a nation-wide vaccination program to begin by 2076. 
          -The National Bureau of Health reports that the government’s stem cell program has provided cures for all cases of Muscular Dystrophy, blindness, brain and spinal injuries, Parkinson’s disease and Cerebral Palsy. 
          - All United States citizens as well as all legal and illegal immigrants must carry a Citizen Identification Card at all times. Illegal immigrants found in this country without proper Identification Cards are returned to their home countries and imprisoned for one year. It was reported that at the turn of the century there were approximately 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States. Due to the Citizen Identification Card Program the current estimate of illegal immigrants in the United States is approximately 27,000. 
          -The President announced this morning that he is going to propose a five percent tax hike beginning in 2074, raising taxes on all income groups. He reported that due to the All Health/ 
All Caring nationwide health program inaugurated in 2022 the costs for medical care have risen tremendously – adding up to over $18, 900 per person, per year, of which the federal government pays 75%. The President also stated that increased military spending will require additional funds. He blamed the continuing wars in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Kuwait and North Korea for the increase in taxes. 
          -Secretary of State Wendell P. Gore, announced that there was some forward progress on the administration’s plan to unite the United States with Mexico and Canada. The plan, which has been in discussion since 2015, attempts to create one unified nation, divided into individual protectorates for Latinos, Asians, Blacks, Whites, Gays, Muslims, American Indians, Mormons and Jews. The area known today as the state of Arizona would be turned into the world’s largest penal colony, holding all sentenced law breakers. The state known as Alabama would become an area holding all members of the AARP organization. 
          -The President of the United Sports Organization reported that soccer has overtaken baseball, football and basketball as the most popular sport in the U.S. 
          -Secretary of Defense Miguel Hippolito reported that bombings in Israel by supersonic bombers from Turkey and radical Islamists have increased. There has also been an increase in daily rocket firings on Israel from insurgents in Iran. Hippolito also reported that Mainland China’s occupation of Taiwan is now complete, with the surrender of all members of the Taiwan senate. 
          -A spokeswoman from the Food Network reports that the Martha Stewart Foundation has created a complete line of artificial vegetables, meats, breads, desserts and ice cream that contain no calories, cholesterol or fat. Spokesperson Janine Stewart reports that the taste of these new foods rival the original. Stewart would not divulge the contents of these new foods, although she did state that the only color available for the new line of foods is brown.
          The grey haired male newscaster turned to his senior citizen co-anchor and said, “Well, Constance, that’s the news from AARP-TV. Good night to all and have a good day tomorrow.” 
          I reached down and pulled the handle on the recliner, retracting the foot rest. I heaved myself up and stood, still watching the television screen. 
          It was an interesting newscast – or was it?