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By Syed M.Aslam
Apr 30 - May 06, 2001

*** "WE REGARD today's settlement as victory in the sense that it unfreezes our law and restores to us the power to pursue policies that we believe are critical to securing medicines at affordable rates and exercising wise control over them."

(South African Health Minister Tshabalala-Msimang on the withdrawal of case by 39 of the world's biggest drug makers aimed at stopping the government to import cheap copies of their AIDS drugs thus acknowledging the right of poor countries to strike the best deals they can)

*** "I JUST SAW a child who was sick because here in this camp the families are eating grass."

(Cyril Dupra, the representative of the only NGO 'ACTED' working in drought-hit northeastern Afghanistan)

*** "NO. 1 on the Top 10 unpopular people . . . She still works. Maybe she didn't think her husband's government was going to last."

(Clandestinely taped comments of Countess of Wessex and wife of Prince Edward, Sophie Rhys-Jones, on mistress of Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, and wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Cherie, respectively)

*** "I WROTE this parody to ridicule a book that has wounded generations of Americans. I look forward to the day when readers will be able to judge my book for themselves."

(US writer Alice Randall expressing disappointment at the court decision blocking the publication of her novel 'A Wind Done Gone'- the retelling of Margaret Mitchell's classic novel 'Gone With the Wind')

*** "CHINA DOES NOT wish to see confrontation. However, it will never make concessions in dealing with issues which involve national sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity."

(President Jiang Zemin reinforcing China's position in the standoff over the spy plane incident with the US)

*** "WANT TO GO see my office? Come in, let's do it."

(President George W. Bush playing White House tour guide to over half dozen young boys for an impromptu visit to the Oval Office)

*** "IMAGINE 5,000 nights on death row, especially for something you didn't do."

(Donald Paradis, a 53-year-old, being freed after spending 14 years on death row in Idaho, USA during which he escaped execution thrice)

*** "IT IS TIME for the people to resist the aggressions of the great powers and especially their illegitimate representative in the region, which must be eliminated . . . If the Islamic world tries to live with this knife, it will be accepting a slow death."

(Leading Iranian reformist Ali Akbar Mohtashami calling for elimination of Israel ahead of a major international conference in support of Palestinians in Tehran)

*** "IN QUEBEC, the hegemonic superpower will try to dictate the conditions of surrender to the Latin American governments. "The shark wants to eat the sardines."

(Cuban President Fidel Castro urging the Latin American nations to stop the US 'shark' by destroying them with a free trade pact referring to the three-day Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, Canada)

*** "DENYING CHILDREN TV is no more likely to encourage kids to enjoy reading, for instance, then denying kids ice cream would encourage them to like brussels sprouts."

(Head of a US cable TV organisation slamming the annual movement to switch off television sets at homes during the last week of April)

*** "ONLY IMBECILES never change their minds . . . I trusted you, but you tricked me. You are running Bucharest by tyranny "you don't deserve the job you hold."

(A scathing letter written by former French actress turned animal rights activist, Brigitte Bardot, to the mayor of the Romanian capital, Traian Basescu, calling his decision to start killing of stray dogs 'shocking and disgraceful')

*** "HE'S GOT a huge voice and a strong temperament he's wonderful."

(Singer Phil Collins bragging about the voice of his newborn son)

*** "THE SECURITY COUNCIL could claim no credibility when it has repeatedly failed to effectively respond to the need by Palestinian civilians for protection."

(Arab diplomats to the UN flaying the Security Council's record on the Palestinians)