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Time announced its Persons of the Year early yesterday morning, and the winners were Bono and Bill and Melinda Gates, "[f]or being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow." This is good news for things like philanthropy and poverty reduction and debt elimination, but it also very bad news for Mother Nature, previously thought to be the leading contender for this year's honor. It's also, perhaps, a harbinger of a very bad 2006: If the tsunami, the earthquakes, and Katrina weren't quite enough to put Nature over the top in 2005, we hate to think what she's now planning for next year.

Persons of the Year: Bono, Bill & Melinda Gates [Time]