By Syed M. Aslam
Feb 03 - 09, 2003



*** "IT'S UNHEARD OF. The Americans can't call nations a problem just because they don't share their view. The Americans shouldn't try to divide Europe into 'good' and 'not-so-good' Europeans."

(Member of German parliament Ulrich Klose angrily rejecting the statement made by the US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld that Germany and France were isolated within Europe to oppose war in Iraq)

*** "82, 62, 54"

(Falling approval ratings of US President George W. Bush at this time, last year, last month and recently respectively. The poll was conducted by NBC News and Wall Street Journal last week)

*** "3 Million"

(Number of Pakistanis including politicians, industrialists, businessmen and criminals on whom the US intelligence agency FBI is going to collect complete information about. The FBI wants to collect the information about anyone who is supposedly able to pose threat to US interests)

*** "THE UNITED NATIONS has cruelly damaged the social, economic and cultural rights of the Iraqi people under sanctions for over 12 years. We have allowed massive loss of life."

(Former UN official Denis Halliday, who was based in Baghdad for 14 months ended October 1998 and resigned in protest at continued UN sanctions against Iraq, accusing US and UK of planning to annihilate Iraq for oil)

*** "MANY LIKE ME fought for the freedom of the country. Now the freedom is being surrendered to the West in the name of globalisation and liberalization. There is no point in accepting the honour at this stage."

(Veteran Indian freedom fighter and social activist Siddha Raj Dadda rejecting the 'Padma Bhushan' award in protest against government's 'surrender to the West')



*** "BOTH AT HOME and overseas, we need policies that unite, not divide."

(Democratic US Senator Edward Kennedy accusing the Bush administration of dividing America from issues ranging from Iraq to civil rights)

*** "CUBA IS NOT the private property of anyone."

(Cuban President Fidel Castro reiterating the socialist island was owned not by individuals but by all the people)

*** "A DEAD BODY seems the only source of joy for us."

(Cynical remark by Lakhan, a 72-year old destitute living in Lucknow, about keeping warm at funeral pyres. Cremation grounds in the northern Indian state of UP have become the favourite hangouts for the poor and homeless to keep themselves warm as bitter cold weather has killed hundreds in the state)

*** "60 per cent"

(Percentage of schoolchildren living in urban areas of India drinking alcoholic drinks. According to a study carried out by the New Delhi-based institute of mental health the children are experimenting with alcohol by as early as age 11)

*** "MONEY IS BEING taken from the poor to be given to the rich... the world economy works like a reverse Robin Hood."

(Unnamed participant at the World Social Forum criticizing the global economy for favouring the rich at the cost of the poor)

*** "THE GOVERNMENT does not want any information on the weather to be leaked. All our forecasts are to be sent to the president's office and only then can they be released."

(Zimbabwean meteorological official ordering his office to direct all weather reports to President Robert Mugabe who has also taken control of weather forecasting)

*** "PROTECTING ONE'S PRIVATE life is legitimate. But Schroeder-Kopf has always tried to use it for political purposes, too."

(German daily 'The Frankfurter Allgeneine Zeitung' accusing wife of Chancellor Schroeder, Doris Kopf, of using her husband and daughter to make political points)



*** "IF YOU LOOK at the focus of the research activity, it's either focused specifically on rich world diseases or it's at a basic level that doesn't directly apply to those problems."

(Microsoft founder Bill Gates announcing $ 200 million fund aimed at luring researchers into finding original cures for the poor world's ailments)