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For The Record






Politics & Policy

Edited by Syed M. Aslam
Dec 18 - 24, 2000

*** "THE QUALITY OF WHAT YOU SAY COUNTS: not your designer tie, not your shoes, not your fashion haircut, not whether you are beautiful or ugly, just your voice. If you don't talk, you don't exist."

(Manager of a Zurich restaurant which offers dining in pitch black where diners cannot see the diners, waitress or the food they eat. The restaurant has been an instant success with reservations running four months in advance)

*** " . . . THE PACE OF TECHNOLOGICAL change threatens to erode America's technical advantage in intelligence- an advantage that has long been a pillar of our national security."

(Director of US intelligence agency CIA, George Tenet, expressing concerns that America's technical superiority in intelligence gathering is under threat from rapid advances in information technology)

*** "'HE VIOLATED IT NOT ONCE, he violated it not twice, but regularly like clockwork.' 'Except for his name, he violated every word.'"

(Prosecutor Feliciano Bemonte's and Prosecutor Joker Arroyo's respective opening comments on the breaking of oath of office by Philippine President Joseph Estrada on the first day of his corruption trial)

*** "YOU HAVE MANY PEOPLE in the United States, Elian, who are wishing you a happy, happy birthday. You are back where you belong."

(Joan Brown Campbell, who campaigned relentlessly in favour of Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez's return to his native country, speaking at a celebration marking 7th birthday of the boy in his home town of Cardenas)

*** "I ONLY saw him a handful of times . . . Sadly I never really knew the man. I had a great deal of anger towards Dad because of his negligence and his attitude to peace and love. That peace and love never came home to me."

(Son of Beatle John Lennon, Julian Lennon, angrily looking back at his father's legacy on his website twenty years after he was gunned down outside his New York apartment)

*** "THERE'S NO RIGHT to a minimum wage, there's no right to employment, there's no right to housing. The whole charter is a disgrace."

(One of demonstrator staging a protest against the EU's new Charter at the EU summit in Nice, France)

*** "COME LET US reason together and heal the hurt deep inside, reach out a hand to a brother and heal the great divide."

(Song penned overnight by country singer Larry Gatlin on the request of US President-elect George W. Bush's wife Laura for church service attended by the couple in their ancestral town of suburban Austin, Texas)

*** "YES, I MADE IT."

(Briton Bob Talley's loud uttering on reading a congratulatory telegram from Queen Elizabeth on his 100th birthday seconds before the sudden death)

*** "WE PLEDGE TO BOYCOTT, and call for boycotting, all hostile and cultural American institutions in Syria and to abstain from any relations with them."

(Statement issued by some 3,000 Syrian intellectuals who have formed a committee to promote a boycott of US goods as a protest against its biased siding with Israel)

*** "IN KASHMIR, Indian security forces used draconian counter-insurgency measures, including arbitrary arrest, torture and staged 'encounter killings' against Muslim citizens suspected of supporting guerrilla activity."

(Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission commenting on Rights situation in Asia region as grim including the situation in Indian-held Kashmir)

*** "THE EXECUTIVE Committee of the Council of Ministers agreed to the total suspension of direct telephone links between Cuba and the United States."

(The brief statement issued by tiny island of Cuba announcing to cut off direct telecommunication links with its all-powerful neighbour the US from December 15 due to inability of 15 American companies to pay taxes imposed by Havana in October)