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Intermediate Word:  avatar  (a) bookmark  (b) anachronism  (c) incarnation of a deity  (d) satrap
Difficult Word: - sericeous -  a) pertaining to body fluids  (b) light and airy  (c) scabbed over  (d) silky  

Troops in desert with oil ablaze   BBC World 'going too slow on poverty'  - BBC  The world is doing much too little to live up to its promises on eradicating poverty, an influential economic group says in an analysis of progress so far. The World Economic Forum says efforts towards achieving the UN's Millennium Development Goals are faltering badly. The goals set targets for realising a better world in several areas including hunger, peace and health, many by 2015. The goals include universal primary and gender education, halving those without water and sanitation while preserving biodiversity, cut by 2/3rds the under-five mortality rate, and halve the number of poor and undernourished people.
President John F Kennedy Grand visions: Bush is not the first US president to put forward a big idea  - BBC  In proposing a mission to Mars, George Bush is joining a long line of American presidents who have sought immortal fame with a "big idea". One could start with President Woodrow Wilson, who declared in 1917 that the world must be made "safe for democracy". The closest precedent for Mr Bush is of course the pledge by President John Kennedy to send a man to the moon. Kennedy was in trouble at the time. His presidency had started badly with the failed attack on Cuba. "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."

Nasa,Pat Rawlings

'Headed out into the cosmos'  - BBC  I believed that man would stay on the Moon, build a base there, construct vast wheel-shaped space stations where interplanetary ships could dock, and I expected planetfall on Mars not many years hence. When I grew older and these things did not happen, when presidents were threatened with impeachment and the planet was being polluted, I realised that the science fiction gurus were too optimistic. Their vision of the future may well be right 1,000 years hence, but they were wildly wrong about the near-term. But perhaps the future needed to catch up with them, and perhaps it is starting anew.


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