WARS will always invoke extreme emotions, from intense sadness to unbridled joy.

This week, those emotions have been encapsulated in two of the most moving human stories so far in the war in Iraq.

The dramatic rescue of American prisoner of war Jessica Lynch brought tears of joy around the world. While her family and friends insisted they had never given up hope - tying yellow ribbons around her home - they must have begun to fear they would never see 19-year-old Jessica again.

While her family celebrate and look forward to a homecoming which will surely one day be the closing sequence of a feelgood Hollywood film, the relatives of Royal Marine Philip Guy are still coming to terms with the fact that they will never see him again.

Now, an already unbearable loss must feel deeper than ever following the birth of the baby daughter born just four days after her father's body was flown home.

Our thoughts are with Philip's widow Helen because we can only imagine the range of emotions she must have felt in the past few days.

The birth of Emily, a baby sister for one-year-old Henry, is a joyous event in the most tragic of circumstances.

We can only hope that the outcome of this wretched conflict is a safer world for her to grow up in.

Shame on you

WHILE families try to cope with the tragic reality of war, a mindless minority of morons stand guilty of shaming this country by bringing their petty, hate-filled rivalries to a, comparatively unimportant, football match.

It is impossible to have anything other than contempt for those whose violence took the shine off the Stadium of Light victory for England's footballers on Wednesday night.

As a result, there is now a threat to stop spectators watching England's next North-East fixture, against Slovakia, in Middlesbrough on June 11.

It is to be hoped that the Riverside Stadium does not miss out on a famous night in its brief history.

If it does, it will mean that the tiny, mindless minority will have denied tens of thousands of true football fans an opportunity of a lifetime.