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America on red alert at approach of red planet

US President and Commander-in-Chief "Boy" George W. Bush today ordered all American forces to go to red alert. At the same time, at the president's urging, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff raised the terror alert to its highest possible level, ultra-purple, and ordered all Americans to stay indoors until 6 a.m. next Thursday, local time. The only exceptions to the curfew are for those deemed as having essential jobs - firefighters, medical professionals, police officers, McDonald's workers, and anyone associated with NASCAR, the World Wrestling Federation and Fox News.

Mr Bush became alarmed after seeing on the Disney Channel that the planet Mars is to make a close approach to Earth this weekend. The red planet is due to approach to within about 43 million miles in the early hours of Sunday.

"I seen what them Martians can do with their weapons o' mass destruction in that war of the worlds movie," he told reporters at a press conference on the White House lawn this morning, adding that he had appointed actor Tom Cruise as a special advisor on how to deal with "them Martian commies".

"The world should know, any world that is, that I will never leave the Yanide States O'Merica venerable to attack," he said. "I'm the war president," he added, "so bring it on, commies, and that includes you, North of Korea!".

The president was then whisked away in a waiting helicopter to his Fortress of Solitude, believed to be somewhere in the vicinity of the North Pole, or possibly Camp David. White House spokesperson Mildred K. Ramsbottom confirmed that Vice President Dick "Head" Cheney was already at his secret secure location.

Challenged by reporters after the president's departure, Ms Ramsbottom denied that the alert was really only a ruse to divert public attention from the administration's current troubles concerning the CIA leak.

"The president really believes it," she said, "so we just go along with him. He's been feeling a bit down lately, what with Katrina and all, and this kind of firm action cheers him up."

She added that the curfew would likely be lifted sometime on Sunday afternoon, once Mars had started to move away from Earth again.



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