By Syed M. Aslam
Jan 19 - 25, 2004 



*** "A BLIND man in a room full of deaf people."

(Former US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill likening President George W. Bush's presence at cabinet meetings as 'a blind man.' He said that the president did not ask him a single question during their first one-on-one meeting that lasted an hour adding that his former boss did not encourage free flow of ideas or open debate)

*** "SISTERS AND BROTHERS, as you are aware, positive winds are blowing in India's external environment. The conclusion of a South Asian Free Trade Agreement will herald a new era of trade and economic co-operation in this religion."

(Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee hailing improving relations with Pakistan at a conference of Indian expatriates in New Delhi)

*** "MAYBE THE AMERICANS were trying again to present themselves as logical beings and say that we are stubborn."

(Former Iranian president Akbar Rafsanjani asking the US to stop slandering to show it really wants to open a new page in bilateral relations. He also said that while Iran welcomed the US relief aid for Bam earthquake last month it showed "immaturity" to dispatch a mission headed by two prominent figures which was refused by his country because it had nothing to do with the relief aid)

*** "WE RESPECT and understand the United States security problems, but we must find a solution that also respects the dignified treatment of citizens from all countries."

(Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim rejecting a plea by the US to change his country's decision to fingerprint and photograph American visitors in retaliation for new US measures just ahead of President George W. Bush's meeting with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva)

*** "IT IS ESPECIALLY joyous that in the outgoing year we had more new citizens of Russia born, more than in the previous year. This means that people in our country look with more assurance to the future."



(Russian President Vladimir Putin hailing population surge in his New Year's address calling it "a sign of confidence in the country")

*** "THE TESTS we conducted on some vials of the polio vaccine confirmed the presence of oestrogen, a human reproductive hormone which can act as an infertility agent."

(Chairman of an influential 13-member panel of Nigerian doctors, Dr Lawal Alassan Bichi, a pharmacologist by profession, disclosing that the samples of vaccine to be used in the mass immunization drive recently were laced with anti-fertility drugs)

*** "IT DELIVERS a big surprise. It is like putting your fingers in an electrical socket ... It's like armour but we have designed it so that you can wear it just like any jacket."

(Research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology talking about a fashionable jacket designed by him that sends an 80,000-volt shock to anybody who tries to attack its wearer)

*** "CARNAL RELATIONS and automatic alignment don't exist anymore."

(Argentina's cabinet chief Alberto Fernandez rejecting Washington's criticism on its foreign policy warning that its automatic support for the world's only super power were over. The remarks came less than a week before the meeting between President Nestor Kirchner and George W. Bush)

*** "$ 130 million"

(Funds raised by President George W. Bush for his re-election campaign. The Bush campaign has set a goal of raising a total of $ 170 million)

*** "START SHARING baths with your partner to conserve water."

(Advertisement campaign ran by environment department in Philippines capital Manila asking the 12 million residents to conserve water)

*** "AT THIS POINT we don't know exactly why coffee is good for diabetes. Coffee is actually a complex beverage."

(Associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, Frank Hu and the co-author of report which claims that drinking more than 6 cups of coffee a day reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes)