*** "WE MUST QUESTION those who think that America is our strategic option that cannot be substituted ... There is a need to revise the kingdom's international strategic relations."

(Leading Saudi daily Al-Watan's sharp reaction to a lawsuit filed by over 600 relatives of victims killed in 11.9 attacks in the USA. The lawsuit is seeking trillions of dollars in compensation from the Saudis, including three royals)

*** "I'M GOOD. I'm tempting. I'm too good to share. What am I?"

(Advertisement for Swiss chocolate maker Cadbury featuring Kashmir on the map of India attracting the wrath of Hindu nationalists)

*** "BUT THERE WAS a lot of Saudi money with American banks that was not diversified, now they (the Saudis) are spreading their wings."

(Unnamed London banker commenting on report of at least 200 billion dollars withdrawn by Saudi investors from the US in recent months)

*** "... of the brokers, for the brokers and by the brokers."

(Chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, Khalid Mirza, reiterating his resolve not to be held hostage by a group of 'intermediaries [stock brokers]' in the current Regulator-broker conflict arising due to SECP's directive to restructure board of directors of national bourses replacing broker members to members nominated by the government)


(Top leader of Palestinian rising against Israeli occupation, Marwan Barghouti, shouting defiantly at the beginning of his trial in Tel Aviv)

*** "AN ACADEMIC STUDY has now turned into something much more spiritual. I'm very impressed with what I've found."

(British journalist Ridley who was captured by the Taliban while sneaking into Afghanistan last year announcing her plans to convert to Islam)

*** "WHAT IS IMPRESSIVE is the Cuban literacy rate. We should improve ours in the United States."

(US Congresswoman Maxine Waters expressing pleasure at Cuban literacy rate. Waters, an advocate of lifting the US trade embargo against Cuba, was present in Havana to celebrate Cuban President Fidel Castro's 76th birthday)

*** "$ 40 Billion"

(The value of a planned five-year economic cooperation agreement between Russia and Iraq)

*** "ARROGANCE HAS DRAWN the bullying West into disgrace and the president of a country which claims to support human rights and freedom speaks the same language to the people of the world as Hitler used."

(Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accusing the US President George W. Bush of using the same language as Adolf Hitler to bully the world)

*** "4,600"

(Number of planes grounded by US air traffic controllers immediately after the September 11 attacks. The shutdown of US airspace was unprecedented)

*** "AS MANY AS 76 million people mainly children will die from preventable water-related diseases by 2020 even if current United Nations goals are reached."

(Report issued by a San Francisco-based non-profit policy research institute demanding urgent action to clean up world water supplies to avoid a human catastrophe due to dirty water)

*** "THEY SUFFOCATED. Died, not killed. Nobody killed anybody."

(Spokesman of former Afghan Defence Minister, Abdul Rashid Dostum, commenting on the cause of death of about 1000 Taliban prisoners whose remains were found in mass grave were discovered recently. The prisoners were suffocated to death in trucks driven by the US-backed warlord)

*** "IT IS CHEAPER to keep maintaining the missiles than to dismantle them."

(Russian analyst at the Centre for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies in Moscow explaining the reason to overhaul over 100 intercontinental nuclear missiles, nicknamed 'Satan', instead of scraping them under the arms reduction treaties with the US)

*** "THE TRAFFIC DATA of the whole population of the EU and the countries joining is to be held on record. It is a move from targeted to potentially universal surveillance."

(Editor of Statewatch, an independent human rights watchdog, criticising a proposal allowing the EU governments to store records of personal communications, including all e-mails and telephone calls for at least a year)