The new millennium began with celebrations around the world, but the subsequent decade has been volatile. George W. Bush became US President in 2001 and Tony Blair spent much of the decade in power. The leaders of America and Britain came together to fight common political causes, especially following the 9/11 Al-Quaeda terror attack. Further acts of terrorism have continued throughout the decade, typically characterised by suicide bombing. The Western powers declared war on Iraq in 2003 due to the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussain was captured and executed, but no such weapons were ever found. The war would damage the credibility and reputation of both Bush and Blair.
Natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the Boxing Day Tsunami devastated their respective locations and killed thousands. Global warming became an increasing concern, leading to simultaneous Live 8 concerts. Britain was affected by flooding and there have been media panics surrounding bird flu and swine flu. Crimes such as the Soham murders and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann were reported through 24-hour news channels and celebrities became extremely newsworthy. Big Brother triggered the rise of reality television and broadcasting entered the digital age. London was granted the 2012 Olympics and British sport has largely flourished.