"My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."
- Edward Snowden, a former CIA contractor, speaking after he leaked information about how the US Government's National Security Agency collects information from internet companies and US telecommunications providers (as quoted on www.guardian.co.uk on 10th June, 2013).
"To me, social media is the worst menace to society."
- Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking as thousands of people poured out onto the streets of Istanbul to protest against plans to redevelop an inner city park. The protests, which started last week and have spread across the country, have led to violent clashes between demonstrators and police. Mr Erdogan has blamed the protests on an "extremist fringe" and said they had been provoked by the main opposition party. He also spoke out against the role played by website Twitter (as quoted on www.guardian.co.uk on 3rd June, 2013).
"This country will be absolutely resolute in its stand against violent extremism and terror. We will never give in to terror or terrorism in any of its forms."
- British PM David Cameron speaking in the wake of the brutal killing of a soldier outside an army barracks in Woolwich, London, on 22nd May, 2013 (as quoted on www.telegraph.co.uk on 23rd May, 2013).
"This is a long journey and there is still much more to be done. The displacement of people, the violence directed towards them, needs to stop."
- US President Barack Obama speaking to Burma's President Thein Sein during the latter's visit to the White House this week - the first such visit in almost 50 years (as quoted on www.washingtonpost.com on 21st May, 2013).
"I called but nobody heard me. I heard noises, but nobody listened to me."
- Reshma, an 18-year-old Bangladeshi seamstress rescued after being trapped under rubble for more than 17 days. Reshma was trapped when a factory complex in Savar, Bangladesh collapsed on the morning of 24th April, 2013. The death toll from the disaster has climbed past 1,000 (as quoted on www.theaustralian.com.au on 11th May, 2013).
"A pile of corpses lies sprawling, arms akimbo, against the wall of a house. We have seen women and children dead in Syria before, but not in this sort of random pile, untended..."
- Journalist Richard Spencer, writing in London's Telegraph newspaper, following an attack on villages in Syria's north-west on 2nd and 3rd of May, 2013 (as quoted on www.telegraph.co.uk on 4th May, 2013).
"In remembering these men, we remember the hundreds of thousands of Australian servicemen and women who, across centuries, have fought and fallen for the freedoms and rights that are the essence of civilised humanity."
- Australia's Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, speaking at an Anzac Day dawn service at the Bomana War Cemetery in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, on 25th April, 2013.
"CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody."
- Tweet sent by Boston police late on Friday, 19th April, 2013, after capturing suspected bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. His elder brother Tamerlan earlier had been killed in a shootout with police. Three died in the bombing at the Boston Marathon and more than 170 were injured.
"I understand the concerns about this campaign. I personally believe it is distasteful and inappropriate. However I do believe it would be wrong to ban the song outright as free speech is an important principle and a ban would only give it more publicity."
- Tony Hall, director general of the BBC, speaking after furore erupted over an online anti-Margaret Thatcher campaign aimed at getting the song 'Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead' into the top spot on the official UK singles chart on Saturday night. The song reached the number two spot and instead of playing the full song, BBC Radio 1 played a five second excerpt (as quoted in The Telegraph on 14th April, 2013).
"If there is any provocation against South Korea and its people, there should be a strong response in initial combat, regardless of the political considerations."
- South Korean President Park Geun-hye, speaking to senior military officials in the country last week. The comments follow North Korean threats of an attack on the nation and the US (as quoted in The Guardian on 1st April, 2013).
"The important decision made by him is the declaration of a do-or-die battle to provide an epochal occasion for putting an end to the history of the long-standing showdown with the US and opening a new era."
- Part of a long, rambling 'declaration of war; released by North Korea's KCNA official news agency in late March, 2013 (as quoted on www.itv.com, on 30th March, 2013). The statement's issue is the latest in a string of provocative actions taken by the North Korean government in recent months.
"(T)he Palestinian people's right to self-determination and justice must also be recognised. Put yourself in their shoes - look at the world through their eyes."
- US President Barack Obama, addressing college students at the Jerusalem Convention Center on 21st March, 2013 (as quoted on www.jewishjournal.com on 21st March, 2013). It was President Obama's first visit to Israel and the West Bank.
"I think we have got a holy father, a teacher, a man of God, who is yet so simple that it just draws us to him and endears us to him."
- Archbishop Denis Hart, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, speaking after news of the election of Pope Francis (as quoted on www.theaustralian.com.au on 15th March, 2013)
"I love this state but a change in leadership is needed."
- Then Victorian Premier Ted Ballieu announcing his resignation as Premier of Victoria and leader of the parliamentary Liberal Party on the evening of 7th March, 2013.
"We have been a caring and compassionate government for those people most in need in our community and I restate that pledge to the people of WA."
Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett speaking after the Liberal-National coalition was re-elected in a landslide victory over the Labor Party in the 9th March state election (as quoted on www.abc.net.au)
"This is a proof of concept that HIV can be potentially curable in infants."
- Dr Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, speaking at a conference on retroviruses and opportunistic infections in Atlanta, US, where she presented findings of a ground-breaking case in which a baby born with HIV was cured. (as quoted on www.abc.net.au).
"(T)his doesn't mean abandoning the church. On the contrary, if God asks me, this is because I can continue to serve it (the church) with the same dedication and the same love which I have tried to do so until now, but in a way more suitable to my age and to my strength."
- Pope Benedict XVI, speaking to a packed St Peter's Square in his final Sunday blessing on 24th February, 2013 (as quoted in Time).
"When a small piece of rock would fall on the Earth 100 years ago, it could have caused minimal damage and would have stayed largely undetected, but Friday's accident fully demonstrated how vulnerable the technological civilization of today has become."
- Vladimir Lipunov, head of the Space Monitoring Laboratory at Moscow State University, speaking after a shock wave caused by a "tiny asteroid" landing in Russia on Friday, 15th February, 2013, caused millions of dollars in damage and injured hundreds (as quoted in The Los Angeles Times).
"This is not a black day in Australian sport, this is the blackest day in Australian sport."
- Richard Ings, former head of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, speaking following the release of an Australian Crime Commission report on 7th February, 2013, which found banned drugs were being widely used in Australian professional sporting codes.
"So I today announce that later this year, I will advise the Governor-General to dissolve the House of Representatives with writs to be issued on Monday the 12th of August for an election for the House and half of the Senate, to be held on Saturday the 14th of September. I do not do so to start the nation's longest election campaign. Quite the opposite, it should be clear to all which are the days of governing and which are the days of campaigning."
- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announcing the date for Australia's upcoming Federal election in a speech to the National Press Club on 30th January, 2013 (for the full speech, see www.pm.gov.au/press-office/address-national-press-club).
"Those who were far from the doors had simply no chance."
Matheus Bortolotto, speaking after at least 232 people died in a nightclub fire in the town of Santa Maria, Brazil (as quoted on www.independent.co.uk on 27th January, 2013).
"This is a stark reminder, once again, of the threat we face from terrorism the world over. We have had successes in recent years in reducing the threat from some parts of the world, but the threat has grown particularly in north Africa. This is a global threat and it will require a global response. It will require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months."
- British Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking after at least 23 hostages - including at least three British nationals - were killed at a gas plant in the Algerian desert which had earlier been seized by Islamic militants. While more than 100 foreign nationals and almost 700 Algerians were freed after Algerian special forces launched a couple of assaults on the complex following threats from the terrorists, the death toll among hostages is expected to rise (as quoted on www.guardian.co.uk on 20th January, 2013).
"It's an awful scene. The devastation and the randomness of it. There's so much cruelty, and luck and fate."
- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaking as she visited communities in south-east Tasmania devastated by bushfires in the second week of January, 2013 (as quoted on www.dailytelegraph.com.au on 12th January, 2013).
"I appeal you to remain calm and help strengthen our collective resolve to fight the menace of violence against women. Today all Indians feel as they have lost their own beloved daughter, their cherished sister, a young woman of 23 whose life full of hope, dream and promise was ahead of her."
- Sonia Gandhi, the head of the ruling Congress Party and credited as being the most powerful politician in India, speaking following the death of a 23-year-old student who was beaten and gang-raped while on a New Delhi bus in mid-December (as quoted on www.time.com on 29th December, 2012).
"If the worst thing that people can say is that we got the economics right again but fell short on the politics, then I would say so be it."
- Australian Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan, speaking after announcing that the promised budget surplus this year was "unlikely" following a $3.9 billion shortfall in revenue in the first four months of the 2012 financial year (as quoted on www.theaustralian.com.au on 21st December, 2012)
"We heard after Columbine that it was too soon to talk about gun laws. We heard it after Virginia Tech. After Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek. And now we are hearing it again. For every day we wait, 34 more people are murdered with guns. Today, many of them were five-year-olds...Calling for 'meaningful action' is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before."
- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking after 26 people - including 20 children - were shot dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday, 14th December, 2012. The gunman, identified as Adam Lanza, is also believed to have killed his mother before the attack and later killed himself (as quoted on newyork.cbslocal.com)
"Dame Elisabeth Murdoch lived a great Australian life. Her example of kindness, humility and grace was constant. She was not only generous, she led others to generosity."
- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, speaking after the death of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, mother of news magnate Rupert Murdoch and renowned philanthropist, late on 5th December, 2012, in her home on Melbourne's outskirts at the age of 103 (as quoted on www.theage.com.au).
"We are in a country without courts of law and a president with all the powers in his hands. This is a clear-cut dictatorial climate."
- Negad Borai, lawyer and rights activist, speaking after Egypt's judges progressively went on strike last week. The move of the judges to strike comes after President Mohamed Morsi issued decrees on 22nd November which placed his decisions outside their remit (as quoted on www.time.com).
"This milestone marks yet another attempt by the federal government to create an elaborate plan to punish vulnerable people for seeking safety and protection and squibs our responsibilities under the UN Refugee Convention."
- Amnesty International campaigns director Andrew Beswick speaking after the Federal Government announced tough new restrictions for refugees who have been processed onshore including a removal of the right to work (as quoted on www.theage.com..au).
"I'm urging Israel to think very carefully about, first of all, the proportionality of its response and second to think about the prospect of a heavy burden being borne by civilians. But again, I do so from a starting point that unequivocally condemns the rocket attacks made by Hamas and associated terrorist entities on Israel from Gaza."
- Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, speaking on ABC radio on 19th November, 2012, after violence in the area has killed more than 70 people including 69 in Gaza and three Israelis (as quoted on www.heraldsun.com.au on 19th November, 2012).
"You voted for action, not politics as usual."
- US President Barack Obama, speaking to supporters in Chicago after winning the US presidential election - and his second term in the White House - on 6th November, 2012.
"Make no mistake about it, this was a devastating storm, maybe the worst we have ever experienced."
- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking after Superstorm Sandy smashed into the east coast of the US and Caribbean nations on 30th November, 2012. In the US alone, the damage has been estimated at $US50 billion and more than 100 people have died.
"It is a political, incredible and intolerable judgement."
- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi speaking after a court handed him a three year, eight month jail sentence (later reduced to a year) after being found guilt of tax fraud (as reported on 26th October, 2012, on www.bbc.co.uk).
"I know the whole world is watching right now and I wish the world could see what I can see. Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you really are."
- Austrian Felix Baumgartner, speaking moments before jumping off a purpose-built capsule at a height of more than 39,000 metres above the earth last Sunday, 14th October, 2012. He reached speeds of up to 1.24 Mach as he plummeted to earth.
''You are not forgotten, your loss is not forgotten, and the great memorial for those who lost is to be found in the determination of young Australia to keep coming to Bali.''
- Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, in a speech made at a memorial service in Bali on 12th October, 2012, for the 202 people - including 88 Australians - who were killed in the Bali bombings of 12th October, 2002 (as reported by The Brisbane Times).
"We are not interested in war, but we're not far from it either."
- Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, speaking after several exchanges of fire across the Turkish-Syrian border in the past week (as reported by ABC news).
"I...want to express my gratitude towards those who, all around the world, have worked for my cause, or should I say the cause that I defend. I want to express my gratitude to all of those who have supported me, openly or in complete secrecy. You are all very dear to my heart. May the Lord bless you and give you His perfect and sovereign Grace."
- Part of letter written by Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani following his sudden release from prison earlier this month where he had been since his arrest in 2009 on charges of apostasy. He had been subsequently sentenced to death. The full text of the letter was posted online by Present Truth Ministries (you can read the full text here).
"Clearly this is not done in the name of Islam, and it is not done in the name of multiculturalism. It's done in the name of thuggery."
- Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, speaking after a protest in Sydney against the release of an anti-Islamic film produced in the US turned violent on Saturday and resulted in injuries to two police officers and 17 others (as quoted in Sydney Morning Herald on 17th September, 2012).
"Business as usual will not do...(A)fricans want to work, and its workers are willing to work for less than
$2 per day. Such statistics make me worry for this country's future."
- The world's richest woman, Gina Rinehart, speaking about the ramifications of the recently announced Enterprise Migration Agreement in a 10 minute video posted on the Sydney Mining Club's website on 4th September, 2012. For the full video, head to www.sydneyminingclub.org.
"This is news so truly shocking that it’s going to feel for many Australians like a physical blow. This is news so saddening that many are going to feel the immense weight of it, and if we are feeling that, then it is hard to imagine what the families of these five men are feeling."
- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gilliard speaking on 29th August, 2012, of the deaths of five Australian soldiers in two separate incidents on a single day in Afghanistan - the worst single day's death toll since the Vietnam War. Thirty-eight Australian soldiers have now died in Afghanistan since February, 2002.
“Nobody wins when an athlete decides to cheat with dangerous performance enhancing drugs, but clean athletes at every level expect those of us here on their behalf, to pursue the truth to ensure the win-at-all-cost culture does not permanently overtake fair, honest competition. Any time we have overwhelming proof of doping, our mandate is to initiate the case through the process and see it to conclusion as was done in this case.”
- Travis T. Tygart, US Anti-Doping Agency chief executive, speaking in a statement issued on 24th August, 2012, announcing multiple Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong had received "a lifetime period of ineligibility and disqualification of all competitive results from August 1, 1998 through the present" after Armstrong withdrew from the arbitration process last week.
"People have died already so we have nothing more to lose...we are going to continue fighting for what we believe is a legitimate fight for living wages. We would rather die like our comrades than back down."
- South African miner Kaizer Madiba speaking after mining company Lonmin issued an ultimatum for miners to return to work in the wake of last Thursday's incident in which police shot and killed 34 striking miners at a mine in Marikana after armed miners stormed a police line (as quoted on www.timeslive.co.za). The killings followed violence earlier in the week in which 10 people - including two policemen and two security guards - were killed.
“We lit a flame and we lit up the world"
- Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Olympic Games Organising Committee, speaking at the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games on 12th August, 2012.
"What is especially tragic about Syria is that this catastrophe was avoidable."
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, speaking about the escalating conflict in Syria on 3rd August, 2012, in a speech in which he spoke of the genocide in Bosnia "when the international community failed to protect civilians from slaughter".
"Good evening, Mr Bond"
- Queen Elizabeth II addressing James Bond actor Daniel Craig before apparently parachuting alongside him out of a helicopter and appearing moments later in the Olympic Stadium as part of the the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony extravaganza on 27th July, 2012.
“Somebody’s got to do something about this, and it requires, particularly in a presidential year, the candidates for president of the United States to stand up once and for all say, ‘Yes they felt terrible, yes it’s a tragedy, yes we have great sympathies for the families, but it’s time for this country to do something'."
- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, addressing the issue of gun controls in the aftermath of the shooting in Denver, Colorado, in which 12 people were killed and almost 60 wounded when a gunman opened fire at a cinema late Friday night (as quoted in The New York Times on 22nd July, 2012).
"You don't have to be too smart to know that people are going to run out of patience here if they do not begin to see that there are benefits of being independent."
- Noble prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaking on a visit to South Sudan last week as it celebrated one year of existence as a nation (as quoted on www.sbs.com.au on 7th July, 2012).
"Last year, thousands of Libyans sacrificed their lives or suffered lasting injury in order to win the right of the Libyan people to build a new state founded on human dignity and the rule of law. Yesterday, their determination was again on display as men and women, young and old, cast their ballots, many with deep emotion, even in some areas where they faced threats to their security."
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement made as Libyans cast votes in a ground-breaking election on the weekend of 7th to 8th June, 2012 (as quoted on CNN.com).
"When one is in a state of war, all our policies and capabilities must be used to secure victory."
- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, speaking to his cabinet in Damascus in late June and admitting that Syria is now in a civil war (as quoted on www.telegraph.co.uk). The UN estimates more than 10,000 people have died in the 16 month conflict.
"If you compare the political debate that we have in Australia to other countries in equivalent situations, it is pretty disappointing that the process of seeking protection from persecution is so politicised in Australia."
- Paul Power, chief executive of the Refugee Council of Australia, speaking at the launch of Refugee Week on Monday, 18th June, 2012 (as quoted on news.ninemsn.com.au). On Thursday, 21st June, a new refugee crisis emerged when a boat carrying as many as 200 asylum seekers capsized en-route to Australia. With 17 confirmed dead, as many as 70 people remain missing as of Monday, 25th June, 2012.
"The Greek people voted today to stay on the European course and remain in the eurozone...There will be no more adventures. Greece's place in Europe will not be put in doubt."
- Greece's New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, speaking as results come in on 17th June, 2012, for the Greek election showing the pro-bailout New Democracy party having won the most seats (as quoted on www.bbc.co.uk).
"We are relieved and delighted to come to the end of this saga. No longer will Australia be able to say that dingoes are not dangerous and will only attack if provoked."
- Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton addressing the media in Darwin on 12th June, 2012, following the handing down of a coroner's finding that a dingo was responsible for the death of her daughter, Azaria Chamberlain, in 1980 (as quoted on www.theaustralian.com.au).
- Queen Elizabeth II, speaking to the Duke of Edinburgh aboard the royal barge, the Spirit of Chartwell, as she watched a flotilla of more than 1,000 watercraft pass down London's River Thames in honor of her Diamond Jubilee (as quoted on www.telegraph.co.uk). The water flotilla was watched by more than a million people on the banks of the Thames and millions more around the world via a live telecast.
“This appalling and brutal crime involving indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force is a flagrant violation of international law ...Those responsible for perpetrating this crime must be held to account."
- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Joint Special Envoy of the UN and the League of Arab States for Syria, Kofi Annan, speaking in a joint statement on 26th May, 2012, after 108 people - including children and women - were killed in an attack on the village of Houla near Homs in Syria late last week.
"There will be no rush for the exits. Our goal, our strategy, our timetable remain unchanged."
- Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaking on 20th May, 2012, at a Nato Summit in Chicago about the proposed withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan (as quoted on www.bbc.co.uk on 21st May, 2012).
''My view's not changing. I believe what I believe.''
- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, speaking on ABC radio, saying her opposition to same-sex marriage would not change in the wake of comments from US President Barack Obama who last week became the first US president to publicly support same-sex marriage (as quoted on www.smh.com.au on 12th May, 2012)
"We are not turning back the clock, we are moving forward."
- US President Barack Obama launching his re-election campaign on 6th May, 2012.
"We will be only 300, but we can make a difference. Thirty unarmed observers, 300 unarmed observers, even 1,000 unarmed observers cannot solve all the problems."
- Major General Robert Mood of Norway, commander of the United Nations' monitoring mission in Syria, speaking after arriving in the capital Damascus (as quoted on www.latimes.com on 30th April, 2012).
“Australia Day is an important Day too but as an event that stirs the emotion that means we get lumps in our throat and tears in our eyes, it’s Anzac day that has that significance for each of us and all of us.”
- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, speaking in Gallipoli as Australians commemorated Anzac Day (as quoted on www.couriermail.com.au on 26th April, 2012).
"I am 67. I am aware that one should always make room for renewal in politics. A democracy is the healthier for the turnover of the depth of talent there is in its community."
- Australian federal Greens leader Bob Brown announcing his resignation on 13th April, 2012, at a press conference in Canberra.
"We join the Turkish government in calling for the Syrian regime to immediately cease fire...Not only has the violence not abated, it has been worse in recent days."
- US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, speaking after a surge in violence on the eve of a proposed ceasefire in Syria in which government troops are to withdraw. The violence has now also spread into neighbouring Turkey, provoking condemnation around the world. (as quoted in www.bbc.co.uk on 9th April, 2012).
“We hope this will be the beginning of a new era of involvement by the people in the politics of this country."
Burmese pro-democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi speaking after her party won a landslide victory in by-elections held in Burma last weekend (as quoted in The Hindu on 2nd April, 2012).
"I am determined that Queenslanders will walk tall as citizens of the greatest state of the greatest country."
Liberal National Party leader and now Queensland Premier Campbell Newman after winning last weekend's state election (24th March, 2012) in a landslide.
"Nato officials repeatedly stressed their commitment to protecting civilians. They cannot now brush aside the deaths of scores of civilians with some vague statement of regret without properly investigating these deadly incidents."
Donatella Rovera, a senior crisis adviser at Amnesty International which says NATO has failed to properly investigate or provide full reparation for civilian deaths caused by its air strikes during the seven-month operation in Libya.
"A year has passed since the Great East Japan Disaster but it is still unbearable to think of the pain of the survivors and the despair of families whose loved ones have passed away."
Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, speaking as the world paused on 11th March, 2012, to mark the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami which killed 19,000 people in Japan.
''It is unacceptable that people who have been in need of emergency assistance for weeks have still not received any help. We reiterate the appeal we made several days ago, for a daily two-hour halt in the fighting to allow humanitarian assistance. The humanitarian situation was very serious then and it is worse now.''
Red Cross president Jakob Kellenberger speaking after the organisation was barred from entering
the Baba Amr district of Homs by Syrian authorities (as quoted at www.smh.com.au).
"Julia Gillard has won the ballot, 71 votes to 31. I have just formally declared Julia reelected as the leader of the parliamentary Labour Party."
- Returning officer Chris Hayes announcing the outcome of the Australia Labor Party's leadership spill in Canberra on 27th February, 2012, a vote which could have seen the country with a new Prime Minister after former PM Kevid Rudd challenged for the party's leadership.
"While I am sad to leave this office, I am sadder still that it has come to this. The last time I resigned from a position of public office was when I resigned as Prime Minister of Australia. Regrettably there have been some similar factors at play today."
- Kevin Rudd, in a press conference held in Washington DC Wednesday night, 22nd February, in which he announced his resignation as Australia's Foreign Minister.
"I am disappointed that the concerns Mr Rudd has publicly expressed this evening were never personally raised with me, nor did he contact me to discuss his resignation prior to his decision."
- Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaking in a statement made following Mr Rudd's surprise resignation. The Australian Labor Party will now hold a leadership spill on Monday, 27th February.
"We are saddened and our hearts are heavy at the news that Whitney Houston has passed away. Whitney called Newark home and we know that everyone, both near and far, are mourning the loss of this national treasure."
- Pastor Joe A Carter, of the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, US, where Whitney Houston first started singing as a child, speaking after news that broke that Houston, 48, had died in California on 11th February, 2012
"(T)his is an unprecedented first for both of these rivers to be in record flood at the same time which really means that the sound of St George has no prospect of holding back that water with the levy that they built and the mandatory evacuation order was issued yesterday afternoon."
- Queensland Premier Anna Bligh speaking on ABC's AM program on 6th February, 2012, with regard to the floods in Queensland, in particular the town of St George which is expected to be affected by the flooding of both Maranoa River and the Balonne River.
"While we need to acknowledge that there's a real anger, frustration and hurt that exists in some indigenous communities around Australia, we must not give in to aggressive and disrespectful actions ourselves."
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda speaking on ABC radio after an Australia Day incident in which, in extraordinary scenes, the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was swept from a Canberra restaurant by bodyguards after a group of chanting protestors from the Aboriginal tent embassy descended on the building. She lost a shoe in the process which was later returned (as quoted on www.ninemsn.com.au on 26th January, 2012).
"As a nation we are big enough and it is the right time to say yes to an understanding of our past, to say yes to constitutional change, and to say yes to a future more united and more reconciled than we have ever been before."
- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, speaking at the launch of a report recommending that Indigenous Australians be recognised in the Australian Constitution (as quoted on www.abc.net.au on 19th January, 2012).
"Many of them just sitting around and in tears. You just can't understand the ongoing stress. We were just getting over that feeling, I think, and it sets people back.''
- Bob Parker, mayor of the New Zealand city of Christchurch, speaking after the South Island city - which was devastated by an earthquake in February, 2011 - was again affected by a series of earthquakes last week (as quoted on www.odt.co.nz on 23rd December, 2011).
"There is a big possibility that a power struggle may happen.”
- Chung Young-Tae, from the Korea Institute of National Unification, speaking about how events might unfold in North Korea after news of the death of leader Kim Jong-il, who was reported on 19th December, 2011, as having died of a heart attack while on a train to Pyongyang (as quoted on www,telegraph.co.uk).
“I salute the countries who made this agreement. They have all laid aside some cherished objectives of their own to meet a common purpose – a long-term solution to climate change.”
- Christiana Figueres, United Nations climate chief, speaking after almost 200 countries adopted the "Durban Package' to address climate change through such measures as the establishment of the Green Climate Fund to help poor nations adapt to changing climates. The decision was made at the international climate change conference, known as COP17, being held in Durban, South Africa, from 28th November to 9th December, 2011
"The ongoing and brutal suppression of peaceful protests in West Papua is a clear violation of the human rights of the Papuan people to freedom of assembly, expression and religion."
- Andrew Johnston, Christian Solidarity Worldwide's advocacy director, speaking after reports of an alleged crackdown by Indonesian military and police on religious ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of West Papuan independence from the Dutch.
"The revolution gave us an opportunity to get rights, and we must be very careful now not to lose this opportunity...We must switch over very quickly to a civilian government. That is the only thing that can guarantee our rights."
Egyptian Coptic leader Hani Boutros, speaking ahead of the Egyptian elections which got underway on 28th November, 2011 (as quoted on www.haaretz.com).
"I first came to Australia as a child, travelling between my birthplace of Hawaii and Indonesia, where I would live for four years...(T)o a young American boy, Australia and its people - your optimism, your easy-going ways, your irreverent sense of humour - all felt so familiar. It felt like home. I've always wanted to return."
US President Barack Obama, in a speech to Federal Parliament on 17th November, 2011, during his first visit to Australia as president.
"This is something that deeply saddens me."
Words former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reportedly said to aides after protestors jeered him in Rome after he handed in his resignation to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano (as quoted on www.guardian.co.uk).
"Many people are frustrated beyond measure at what they see as the disastrous effects of global capitalism; but it isn't easy to say what we should do differently. It is time we tried to be more specific."
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, writing in The Financial Times in London, in a piece in which he discusses options for change to financial systems, including a proposed 'Robin Hood tax' of about 0.05 per cent being levied on share, bond, and currency transactions and their derivatives (as written on 1st November, 2011)
"He didn't even have a scratch on him!"
The uncle of a 13-year-old boy who used a rock to dig himself out of rubble five days after becoming trapped in the wake of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that claimed the lives of more than 600 people when it struck in eastern Turkey last Sunday. Several thousand people were injured and thousands remain homeless in the wake of the disaster (as quoted on www.time.com on 27th October, 2011).
"He (Gaddafi) has just been buried now in the desert along with his son."
National Transitional Council (NTC) commander Abdel Majid Mlegta announcing the burial of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi at an unknown location in the desert following his death last week (as quoted on www.abc.net.au on 26th October, 2011).
"These people who are released are going to become terrorists again. They're going to be inspirational. Many of them are iconic figures and we're going to pay a heavy price."
Arnold Roth, whose daughter Malka was killed 10 years ago in a suicide bomb attack in Jerusalem., speaking to the BBC at the beginning of a process that will see more than 1,000 Palestinians released from Israeli prisons. The prisoners are being released in exchange for the return of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was abducted by Palestinian militants in 2006 (quote as published on www.bbc.co.uk on 17th October, 2011).
“Like him or not, it doesn’t matter; he redefined the music industry, the cellphone industry, computers and animation. You cannot deny the impact he had on the company, the industry and our culture.”
Donald Norman, a former vice-president for advanced technology at Apple and author of Living With Complexity, speaking to James B. Stewart, in an article for the New York Times (published on 7th October, 2011), following the death of Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs on 5th October, 2011
"For such harsh sentences to be handed down to civilians in a military court with serious due process irregularities raises severe concerns."
Rupert Colville, spokesman for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, referring to reports that a Bahrain military court handed down sentences of up to 15 years imprisonment to medics who treated pro-democracy protestors during unrest earlier this year.
''This time, the dangerous global economic situation is not brought to us by investment bankers but by political gridlock."
Australian Treasurer, Wayne Swan, recently named the "Finance Minister of the Year" by Euromoney magazine, speaking in New York on 26th September, 2011, with regard to the financial crisis in Europe.
"President Abbas informed the secretary-general of his intention to submit to the secretary-general on Friday an application for membership in the United Nations."
UN spokesman Martin Nesirky, speaking on Monday 20th September, 2011, after the arrival of
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas
in New York ahead of this week's annual UN General Assembly.
"They were our neighbours, our friends, our husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, children and parents. They each had a face, a story, a life cut short from under them."
- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking on September 11 as the US remembered the almost 3,000 people who died in the 2001 11th September attacks.
"The churches once again remind the Government and all Australians that asylum seekers are not illegal immigrants and have rights under international law to seek protection from persecution. Australia has committed, as a signatory to the Refugee Convention, to assess each asylum seeker case according to agreed criteria and take this commitment seriously.”
- Tara Curlewis, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia, speaking on 1st September, 2011, in the wake of a High Court decision overturning the Federal Government's 'Malaysia Solution'.
"These riots were not about race: the perpetrators and the victims were white, black and Asian. These riots were not about government cuts: they were directed at high street stores, not Parliament. And these riots were not about poverty: that insults the millions of people who, whatever the hardship, would never dream of making others suffer like this. No, this was about behaviour; people showing indifference to right and wrong; people with a twisted moral code; people with a complete absence of self-restraint."
- UK Prime Minister David Cameron in a speech addressing the rioting of the previous week which took place in London and other English cities in a speech on 15th August, 2011
"Our problems are eminently solvable."
- US President Barack Obama speaking from the White House on 8th August, 2011, after global financial markets reacted negatively following Standard & Poor's decision to downgrade the US credit rating last Friday in the wake of a month long fight over America's debt ceiling.
"A few people always believed in me, I believed in me…we did it.''
- Cadel Evans, speaking after becoming the first Australian in history to win the Tour de France (as quoted on www.smh.com.au)
"Terrorists will obviously attack where it hurts most."
- Prithviraj Chavan, chief minister of Maharashtra state, in televised comments following the detonation of three bombs in Mumbai, India's financial capital, on Wednesday 13th July, 2011, killing at least 18 people. It was India's deadliest terrorist attack since 2008.
"This is the worst humanitarian disaster we are facing in the world."
Antonio Guterres, the head of UNHCR, speaking on 6th July during a trip to the Horn of Africa where 12 million people are reportedly fighting for survival as high food prices and prolonged drought take effect.
"Agricultural development is not as sexy as other policy areas. Aids gets the international community really charged up - and it should - but agriculture just doesn't have that same pizzazz, and yet the implications of whole countries and peoples not being able to feed themselves are so serious."
- Dan Glickman, a former US agriculture secretary, speaking as news emerged that the world's population is expected to grow to 9.2 billion by 2050 (as quoted on www.telegraph.co.uk).
"Today, 27 June 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued three warrants of arrest respectively for Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi for crimes against humanity (murder and persecution) allegedly committed across Libya from 15 February 2011 until at least 28 February 2011, through the State apparatus and Security Forces."
- A statement from the International Criminal Court after it issued arrest warrants for Muammar Gaddafi, his son and the head of the country's intelligence service on 27th June, 2011.
"Nato regrets the loss of innocent civilian lives and takes great care in conducting strikes against a regime determined to use violence against its own citizens."
Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, commander of operation Unified Protector, speaking after Nato admitted "a weapons system failure" may have killed civilians in an air strike in the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Sunday, 19th June, 2011. Libyan officials claimed nine people, including two babies, were killed in the airstrike.
''The weather patterns are breaking the ash up, but as it breaks up it's like chasing leaves around the yard. We don't know exactly where it will go next.''
- Dr Andrew Tupper, of the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in Darwin, speaking with regard to the outlook for the ash cloud which has covered much of Australia, disrupting air traffic, in the wake of the eruption of the Puyehue volcano in Chile last week (as quoted on www.smh.com.au on 14th June, 2011).
"Today, Yemen is newborn."
- Chanting Yemenis in the streets of the capital, Sanaa, following news that President Ali Abdullah Saleh had gone to Saudi Arabia for treatment on wounds he suffered during a rocket attack on his compound - some have suggested such rhetoric may be premature (as quoted on www.abc.net.au on 6th June, 2011).
"His arrest confirms that no one can have impunity for the crimes they've committed."
- Serge Brammertz, prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), speaking on 1st June, 2011, after the arrest of Ratko Mladic, commander of Bosnian Serb forces during the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the laws of war.
"There is no plan B."
- Harold Camping, co-founder of US-based Family Radio, referring to what would happen if his prediction that the world would end at 6pm, 21st May, 2011, proved wrong during an interview prior to the date.
"If you attack a Christian, you're attacking all Egyptians."
- Unknown man speaking at a rally of thousands of people in Cairo's Tahrir Square calling for unity after attacks on Egyptian churches (as quoted on abc.net.au on 13th May).
"If you get on a boat then the risk you run is that you end up in Malaysia, and I'm not going to put any conditions or caveats on that."
- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, speaking after announcing a new deal under which asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat will be sent back to Malaysia (as quoted on news.com..au on 9th May).
"Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children."
- US President Barack Obama informs the United States in a televised speech of the death of wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden on evening of 1st May, 2011. Bin Laden was killed in a raid by US forces in Pakistan.
“In the current conflict in Libya, may diplomacy and dialogue replace arms, and may those who suffer as a result of the conflict be given access to humanitarian aid.”
- Pope Benedict XVI in his Easter message given at the Vatican on Easter Sunday, 24th April, 2011
"I am optimistic."
- South African President Jacob Zuma speaking in Tripoli on Monday, 11th April, 2011, in reference to his announcement that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has accepted an African Union 'roadmap' for peace in the strife-torn north African nation.
"It would take a few months until we finally get things under control and have a better idea about the future.
We'll face a crucial turning point within the next few months, but that is not the end."
Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama, speaking
on 3rd April, 2011, in reference to the ongoing nuclear crisis at the
Fukushima Da-ichi plant.
"At times of greater tension it is even more essential to make use of all means at the disposal of diplomacy, and to support even the faintest sign of openness and of desire for reconciliation between the parties involved, in the search for peaceful and lasting solutions."
- Pope Benedict XVI on 28th March, 2011, in reference to the developing conflict in Libya.
"In Libya, a peaceful civilian population, demanding nothing more than the right to choose its own destiny, is in mortal danger. It is our duty to respond to their anguish."
- Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, speaking of France's intention to be among forces enforcing a no fly zone above Libya prior to the first airstrikes on Saturday, 19th March, 2011.
"Japan is facing its worst crisis in the 65 years since the war. All of the people (in) Japan face a test to see if we can overcome it. I believe we can."
- Japanese Prime MInister Naoto Kan, speaking in a televised address to the people of Japan on Sunday, 13th March, in the wake of Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
"Today's presidents who say I should go, I say to you that you will serve out your terms and then you will retire - but I will still be leader of the revolution."
- A defiant Muammar Gaddafi speaking last week (early March, 2011), in response to calls from world leaders for him to step down as Libya slides into civil war.
"We may be witnessing New Zealand's darkest day."
- New Zealand Prime Minister John Key speaking in the wake of the earthquake which shook the city of Christchurch on 22nd February, 2011
"In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country. May God help everybody."
- Egypt's Vice President Omar Suleiman announcing Hosni Mubarak had stepped down as president on 11th February, 2011 (translation from BBC).
"(W)e will always remember the days of despair and the days of courage we've lived through together this summer."
- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, speaking during the opening day of Federal Parliament, 8th February, for 2011. The death toll from the floods in Queensland is now at 35 while several people are still missing.
"You are the owners of this revolution. You are the future. Our essential demand is the departure of the regime and the beginning of a new Egypt in which each Egyptian lives in virtue, freedom and dignity."
- Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, speaking to crowds in Cairo during a march on Sunday 30th January, 2010 (as quoted in The Guardian, on 31st January, 2011).
"Why should Australia not be a republic? It's its own country, its own man. I find it, in a sense, incomprehensible that it's not that now.''
- Sir Michael Parkinson, British journalist and talk show host, speaking in Sydney after becoming the first foreigner to deliver the annual Australia Day address (as quoted on www.news.com.au, on 24th January, 2011).
"It's like Haiti. It's like a tsunami. It's like a big wave came and destroyed everyone and everything."
- Mauriciio Berlim,, an undertaker living in Teresopolis, one of the towns devastated by landslides following torrential rain in Brazil (as quoted on The Observer, London, on 16th January, 2011).
"Fifty-five years of people fighting and dying for their freedom is culminating today. It is a dramatic representation of Africa coming together...the people and their voices get to determine the future of a region. That doesn't happen very often in history."
- John Prendergast, a Sudan activist who was visiting a polling center in the southern capital, Juba, during the first day of polling on 9th January (as quoted on www.washingtonpost.com).
"In many ways it is a disaster of Biblical proportions."
Andrew Fraser, Treasurer of Queensland, speaking in response to unprecedented floods which, as at 3rd January 2011, have inundated more than 20 Queensland towns, affecting tens of thousands of people.
"The acts of bravery from the locals today I think are worth paying tribute to. You can see the treacherous conditions there, the cyclonic conditions. It's obviously been very traumatising for the local community, and of course tragic for so many people on the boat."
Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan responding in the wake of news that a boat carrying 100 asylum seekers had sunk off the coast of Christmas Island on 15th December, 2010. Forty-two survivors were found and as at 19th December, 2010, 30 bodies had been recovered (as said on ABC's 7.30 Report).
"Negotiators have resuscitated the UN talks and put them on a road to recovery. This deal shows the UN negotiations can deliver. There is now hope for action to help the millions of poor people who are already struggling to survive the effects of climate change. With lives on the line, we must now build on this progress. Long-term funding must be secured so the Climate Fund can start to deliver, helping vulnerable communities protect themselves for the climate impacts of today and tomorrow."
Jeremy Hobbs, international executive director for Oxfam, speaking after world leaders reached agreement in Cancun, Mexico, on 12th December, 2010, on plans to tackle global warming, including the establishment of a Green Climate Fund to help poor countries tackle the issue.
“There is nothing laudable about endangering innocent people and there is nothing brave about sabotaging the peaceful relations between nations.”
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking last week in response to the latest publication of secret US documents on website WikiLeaks.
"At long last, we came to a realization that it no longer makes sense for us to anticipate that the North would abandon its nuclear program or its policy of brinkmanship on its own.''
South Korean President Lee Myung Bak
in a national television address on 29th November, 2010, following North Korea's shelling of Yeonpyeongdo on 23rd Novem,ber, resulting in four deaths.
"We're in search and rescue mode. We're going to get our guys out."
John Dow, chairman of the Pike River Coal, speaking after 29 miners became trapped in a mine at Pike River near Greymouth on New Zealand's South Island on Friday, 19th November, 2010 (as quoted on www.nzherald.co.uk on 22nd November, 2010).
"We would like to engage with the military junta. We would like to engage with everybody who we think would help the democratic process...I would like to have a genuine exchange to find out what we can do to help each other."
- Burmese Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaking to the ABC following her release on Saturday night after spending the past seven years in house arrest (as quoted on www.abc.net.au).
"The people of Burma deserve much better than the regime they have got."
- Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd speaking in the wake of Burma's election on 7th November, 2010, an election many Western leaders have denounced as fraudulent.
"Some villages were literally wiped out while in other villages many houses were buried by mud. Some other villages are empty as the people fled to the hills. They were all traumatised and in need of help, especially medical aid for the injured."
- Edison Salaleubaja, head of the Mentawai Islands regency, speaking after a tsunami struck islands off the coast of the Indonesiamn island of Sumatra on 25th October. The death toll is expected to top 500 with tens of thousands displaced from their homes.
(as reported on www.abc.net.au on 28th October, 2010).
"These logs contain a huge amount of entirely new information regarding casualties. Our analysis so far indicates that they will add 15,000 or more previously unrecorded deaths to the current IBC total. This data should never have been withheld from the public."
Statement from Iraq Body Count made to the UK's Guardian newspaper following the publication by Wikileaks of almost 400,000 Pentagon files (as reported in The Guardian on 22nd October, 2010).
"Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, Oi Oi!"
Australians chanting in St Peter's Square on 17th October, 2010, where Pope Benedict XVI celebrated a mass in which Mary MacKillop, now known as St Mary MacKillop of the Cross, was canonised as Australia's first Catholic saint.
"We have reached them. We have reached them. We have reached them."
Family members of 33 Chilean goldminers, trapped about 700 metres underground, on hearing that a rescue drill had finally broken through to their loved ones (as quoted in The Sunday Times on 10th October, 2010).
"India is ready, ready to host a great Commonwealth Games. There have been delays and challenges but we have been able to ride above them all. India's big moment is finally here; join in.''
- Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi, speaking at the opening of the 19th Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, on October 3rd, 2010.
"We must do better."
- US President Barack Obama speaking at the close of last week's UN Summit on the progress being made toward achieving the Millennium Development Goal targets.
"Today, the United Kingdom strives to be a modern and multicultural society. In this challenging enterprise, may it always maintain its respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate."
- Pope Benedict XVI, speaking on 16th September at the start of his four day trip to the UK - the first by a Pope since 1982 - after arriving at the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh.
"The election two weeks ago was the closest in modern memory. What the Australian people told us, and they told us this in no uncertain terms on that day and on the days that have followed, is this: that we will be held more accountable than ever before, and more than any government in modern memory. We will be held to higher standards of transparency and reform, and it’s in that spirit that I approach the task of forming a government."
- Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaking after independents
Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott
declared their support for Labor.
"I was awe-struck by the power of the earthquake and the damage it has caused in the city. It was miraculous that nobody was killed."
- New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, speaking after touring earthquake affected areas in New Zealand's South Island in the wake of a magnitude 7.1 quake which was centred near the city of Christchurch early on the morning of 4th September. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed but there were only a few serious injuries.
"I can't regret the decision to go to war...I can say that never did I guess the nightmare that unfolded, and that too is part of the responsibility. The truth is we did not anticipate the role of al-Qaida or Iran. Whether we should have is another matter; and if we had anticipated, what we would have done about it is another matter again."
- Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair in his memoir 'A Journey' (released on 1st September), speaking about the Iraq war.
"There is great discontent among Australian voters. Don't be surprised if next week's election witnesses a big informal vote and a sizeable protest vote against machine politics and a lack of vision."
- Ross Fitzgerald, commenting on the election in The Australian on 14th August, 2010.
“As a candidate for President, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end. Shortly after taking office, I announced our new strategy for Iraq and for a transition to full Iraqi responsibility. And I made it clear that by August 31, 2010 America’s combat mission in Iraq would end. That is exactly what we are doing - as promised, and on schedule.”
- US President Barack Obama announcing on 2nd August, 2010, that this month will mark the end of the US combat mission in Iraq.
"(T)he election on the 21st of August will be about the future of this country and I believe we are a confident, optimistic people and there’s no challenge in our future, no challenge that’s too hard, that we won’t master it if we do it together and I am an optimistic person."
"(M)y pledge to the Australian people is to end the waste, to pay back the debt, to stop the new taxes and to stop the boats."
- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard (top) and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott (bottom), speaking during their televised debate on 25th July, 2010.
"Today I seek a mandate from the Australian people to move the Australian people forward."
- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, announcing on 17th July, 2010, that a federal election will be held on 21st August, 2010.
"That's something this World Cup has brought: nation building and social cohesion. People walked tall. They were very proud of this country."
- Danny Jordaan, chief organiser of the World Cup 2010, speaking about South Africa's role in hosting the World Cup after Spain's 1-0 victory over The Netherlands on 11th July, 2010.
"I hope that all the positive gains that have been achieved in our relationship will not be damaged by the recent event."
- Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin commenting to former US President Bill Clinton in the wake of news that US officials had cracked an alleged undercover Russian spy ring operating in the US (as quoted on www.abc.net.au on 30th June, 2010).
"We're pleased with Canada's contributions and some fresh G8 pledges, but I'll still be waking up at night haunted by the thought of the millions of children who will remain unable to get the lifesaving basic healthcare they deserve."
- Dave Toycen, CEO World Vision Canada, speaking in response to the G8 meeting which took place in Canada on 25th to 27th June, 2010, at which governments pledged $5 billion for maternal and child health programmes in developing countries over the next five years including $1.1 billion from Canada.
"There will be some days I delight you, some days I disappoint you. On every day I will be working my absolute hardest for you."
- Australia's first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard in her first speech to Federal Parliament following a dramatic leadership coup in which she ousted former PM Kevin Rudd.
"We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused."
- US president Barack Obama in his first Oval Office address on 15th June, 2010, in relation to the oil spill emergency currently taking place in the Gulf of Mexico.
"This is not life and death. This is sport, for goodness sake.''
- Sports psychologist Sandy Gordon, speaking after Australia's 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Germany in soccer's World Cup, being held in South Africa. Gordon was responding to TV sports commentator Ken Sutcliffe's suggestion - made before the game - that the Socceroos' 'ANZAC Spirit' might be the difference in them overcoming the Germans, a comment Gordon said was "over the top" (as quoted on www.smh.com.au).
"People - I have met some of them - are having to come to terms with the most appalling random acts that they will find very difficult to understand, and in some cases there will be no proper explanation."
- British Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking on 4th June, 2010, while visiting the communities in Cumbria where 12 people were killed in a shooting spree by gunman Derrick Bird.
"We're going to need credible security forces acting lawfully to take us out of the mess of criminality we have landed in by our unfortunate history."
- Carolyn Gomes, head of humnan rights group Jamaicans for Justice, speaking in the wake of violent clashes in the Caribbean nation between security forces and those of alleged drug lord Christopher 'Dudus' Coke which has left more than 80 people dead (as quoted The Observer, London, on 30th May, 2010)
"This is an important step, we think, both scientifically and philosophically. It's certainly changed my views of the definitions of life and how life works."
- US geneticist Dr Craig Venter, speaking about his work - announced last week - in creating the world's first synthetic cell (as quoted on www.heraldsun.com.au on 25th May, 2010)
"I don't consider myself a hero. I'm an ordinary girl who had a dream. You just have to have a dream and set your mind to it.’’
- Sixteen-year-old Jessica Watson, the youngest person to circumnavigate the world, solo, nonstop and unassisted, after arriving back in Sydney on 15th May, 2010 (as quoted on www.smh.com.au)
"We're dealing with a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster. The oil that is still leaking from the well could seriously damage the economy and the environment of our Gulf states. And it could extend for a long time. It could jeopardise the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who call this place home."
- US President Barack Obama, speaking on 2nd May, 2010, after seeing the damage from an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which followed an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in which 11 workers were killed.
"It's not 100 per cent that it is Noah's Ark but we think it is 99.9 per cent that this is it."
- Yeung Wing-cheung, a Hong Kong documentary maker and member of a team from Noah's Ark Ministries International who believe they have found the remains of Noah's Ark on Mt Ararat in Turkey (as quoted on www.news.com.au on 27th April, 2010).
"The flight ban, made on the basis just of computer calculations, is resulting in billion-high losses for the economy. In future we demand that reliable measurements are presented before a flying ban is imposed."
- Lufthansa spokesman Klaus Walter, speaking to Germany's Bild newspaper in reference to the closure of European airspace as a result of an ash cloud created following the eruption of Iceland's
volcano on 13th April (as quoted on www.abc.net.au on 19th April, 2010).
"These attacks have struck at the heart of the capital and at the busiest time."
- Sky News' Russia correspondent Amanda Walker, speaking following two bombings which are believed to have killed at least 37 people when they exploded during peak hour on Moscow's underground railway on 29th March, 2010
(as quoted on www.skynews.com on 29th March, 2010).
"Tonight's vote is not a victory for any one party. It's a victory for them. It's a victory for the American people and it's a victory for common sense."
- US President Barack Obama after the successful passage of landmark healthcare reform legislation in the US (as quoted on www.abc.net.au on 22nd March, 2010)
“The accounts of women and children being hacked to death with knives and machetes would sicken anyone. However this is clearly a cycle of violence that will be repeated unless the international community - including Australia - takes greater action."
- Jim Wallace, Australian Christian Lobby managing director, speaking in reference to the killings of as many as 500 Christians in Jos, Nigeria, in early March.
"Hail was up to 10 centimetres in diameter and left a trail of destruction, with roofs and properties also being inundated with water. I've certainly not seen something that ferocious for quite some time."
- Spokesman for Victoria's State Emergency Service Tim Weebush, speaking after ferocious storms swept across parts of Victoria on the weekend (as quoted on www.abc.net.au on 8th March, 2010).
"The thugs have taken over the city. Now we are not afraid of the earthquakes, we're afraid of the criminals."
- Marcelo Rivera, mayor of
Hualpen, near Concepcion,
speaking to a Chilean radio station in the wake of the weekend's earthquake (as quoted on www.bbc.co.uk).
"(I) hope that every young Aussie girl can take from this and see that it doesn't matter where you're from, what you do or whatever you dream, whatever you want to do - you can go and do it."
- Torah Bright, winner of Australia's first gold medal at the Vancouver Winter Olym,pic Games, speaking after her victory in the women's halfpipe (as quoted on www.abc.net.au).
"One year ago, our lives changed forever. Many of us lost our loved ones and the people close to us. Our son was killed by the bushfires, and our memories and our house were destroyed. On that day, we lost our past, our present and our future."
- Carol Matthews, speaking on behalf of the bereaved families who between them lost 173 relatives in Victoria's Black Saturday fires in February 2009, at a memorial service in St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne, on 7th February, 2010 (as quoted in The Australian).
"I had to take this decision as prime minister. It was a huge responsibility then and there is not a single day that passes by that I do not think about that responsibility, and so I should."
- Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, speaking about his decision to send troops into Iraq, during six hours of evidence given to the Chilcott inquiry looking in to why the UK went to war in Iraq (as published on www.guardian.co.uk on 29th January, 2010).
"I object to having the British flag in the corner of our flag. We have well and truly reached the point where we should have our own flag. I think we have to grow up and move on to the next stage."
- TV presenter Ray Martin, speaking to the Herald Sun newspaper (as published on 25th January, 2010).
"The damage, destruction and loss of life are just overwhelming."
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, speaking after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated parts of southern Haiti, including Port-au-Prince, on 12th January, 2010. Ki-moon has said the disaster represents the "most serious" situation the US has faced for many years.
"We have had a mild flu - and a false pandemic."
- Wolfgang Wodarg, head of health at the Council of Europe, speaking about the N1H1 virus which he also branded as one of the "greatest medical scandals of our century" (as quoted The Daily Mail, UK).
"I accept that I, at times, have stuffed up. I also believe that when you become leader you make a new start."
- Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott after being elected in a leadership spill on 1st December, 2009.
"I screamed, but there was nothing to hear. I dreamed myself away."
- Belgian Rom Houben, who was recently 'discovered' to have been conscious for the past 23 years, despite having been initially diagnosed as being in a permanent vegetative state - unaware of anything going on around him - following a car crash in 1983.
"In the heart of the First World, I saw scenes more reminiscient of the Third World, of countries torn by war, dominated by repressive regimes, racked by corruption. How is it possible that in 21st-century Australia - in the land of the fair go - its first people should be among those living in abject destitution, in such appalling poverty?"
- Irene Khan, secretary-general of Amnesty International, in an address given to the National Press Club in Canberra on 18th November, 2009, as part of a week long visit to the country.
"To you, the Forgotten Australians and those who were sent to our shores as children without their consent...we are sorry."
- Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in a national apology to the "Forgotten Australians" (as quoted on www.abc.net.au on 16th November, 2009) .
“Lord, all those around us search for motive, search for meaning, search for something, someone to blame. That is so frustrating. Today, we pause to hear from you. So Lord, as we pray together, we focus on things we know.”
- Army chaplain Colonel Frank Jackson speaking at a service held in a chapel in Fort Hood, Texas, on Sunday, 8th November, 2009, three days after Major Nidal Malik Hasan is alleged to have shot dead 13 people and wounded 29 more (as quoted on www.nytimes.com on 8th November, 2009) .
"We believe more than five million litres of highly toxic substances have been released into this very near pristine environment, this very important marine environment and that is going to persist for a long time to come."
- World Wildlife Fund's Paul Gamblin, speaking with regard to the amount of oil which has leaked out of the West Atlas rig in the Timor Sea since a leak began 10 weeks ago (as quoted in www.abc.net.au on 3rd November, 2009).
"Asylum seekers should not be penalised because of their method of arrival. The excision and offshore processing regime establishes a two-tiered system."
- Australian Human Rights Commissioner Catherine Branson, criticising the retention of laws which, for the purposes of migration, excise thousands of Australian islands and bar those arriving or taken there from the refugee status determination system which applies under Australian law (as quoted in The Age on 24th October, 2009).
"Such intelligence was of the utmost importance to the safety and security of the UK. It has saved British lives. Many attacks have been stopped as a result of effective international intelligence co-operation since 9/11."
- Jonathan Evans, director-general of UK spy agency MI5, defending Britain's cooperation with the US and other countries accused of abusing and torturing detainees (as quoted in The Times, London, on 16th October 2009).
"There are people out there like Morgan Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwean leader, who have been struggling for years and years for human rights and for a fair deal for their people who have been ignored."
- Former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer commenting on news that US President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize (as quoted on www.abc.net.au on 12th October 2009).
"My family is gone, my house is gone, my land is gone, my animals are gone. What now?"
- Indonesian farmer Syahrial whose parents and nephew were killed in a landslide caused as a result of the recent earthquakes off the coast of Sumatra (as quoted on www.theaustralian.news.com.au on 5th October, 2009).
"(T)here remains much work to be done to prevent the unrestrained greed of unregulated financial markets that has wrought such economic carnage across the world these last 12 months from sowing the seeds of future financial crises."
- Prime Minister Kevin Rudd addressing the United Nations on 24th September, 2009, (as quoted on www.abc.net.au).
"I'm going to use the best weapon I have, which is not the Wolverine claws, or my mutant powers, but my voice. To speak on behalf of Takali and the billion other people in developing countries who, well they contribute the least to climate change and yet they are hit the hardest by it. Simply stated, we must not forget the poor."
- Actor Hugh Jackman, speaking on 22nd September, 2009, at the launch of Climate Week in New York ahead of this week's one day UN conference on climate change (as quoted on www.abc.net.au).
"(A) crisis will happen again, but it'll be different. They are all different. But they have one fundamental source, and that is the unquenchable capability of human beings, when confronted with long periods of prosperity to presume that it will continue. And they begin to take speculative excesses."
- Former US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, reflecting on the passing of a year since the collapse of Lehman Brothers which some say marked the start of the "global financial crisis" (as quoted on www.bbc.co.uk).
“We cannot forget the major events that took place during one of the most terrible conflicts in history, that left tens of millions dead and provoked so much suffering for our beloved Polish people. It was conflict that saw the tragedy of the Holocaust and the extermination of so many other innocents.”
- Pope Benedict XVI, speaking at an open air mass on 6th September, 2009, marking to the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II.
"My stated preference, as a human being, victim and head of state, is that we, once and for all, close the 1975-1999 chapters of our tragic experience, forgive those who did us harm."
- Jose Ramos-Horta, president of East Timor, in a speech marking 10 years since a UN-sponsored referendum on his country's independence (as quoted on www.jakartapost.com on 31st August, 2009).
"Mr al-Megrahi did not show his victims any comfort or compassion...But that alone is not a reason for us to deny compassion to him and his family in his final days...Our justice system demands that judgement be imposed, but compassion be available."
- Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill explaining his decision to release convicted Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, who was jailed in 2001 for the 1988 bombing which claimed 270 lives. Mr Megrahi, who has terminal prostate cancer, was freed on compassionate grounds and flew home to Libya (as quoted on www.bbc.co.uk on 20th August, 2009).
"We all need to learn from this terrible disaster.''
- Victorian Premier John Brumby speaking following the release of the Bushfires' Royal Commission interim report into the state's worst natural disaster - February's Black Saturday bushfires in which 173 people died.
"This is not the time to be divisive, to over-react or to unfairly lay blame."
- Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland following a series of raids across Victoria last week after which a number of men were charged with terrorism-related offences (as quoted on The Age on 8th August, 2009).
"Don was the last guy to step on to the ramp of the aircraft as we brought them out."
- Major General Mark Kelly, the Australian Defence Force's Middle East commander, commenting on the fact that Corporal Don Mander was the last of the Australian combat troops to leave Iraq, formally ending a six year involvement in the Middle East nation (as quoted on www.theaustralian.news.com.au on 1st August, 2009).
"The best way to honour all those who part of the Apollo is to boldly go again on a great new mission of exploration."
- Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the moon, calling for further exploration of space at a gathering of former astronauts aimed at celebrating the 40th anniversary of man walking on the moon (as quoted on www.abc.net.au).
"Any terrorist attack anywhere is an attack on us all. Any terrorist attack on our friends in Indonesia is an attack on our neighbours. Any terrorist attack is an act of cowardice, an act of murder."
- Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, speaking on 17th July, 2009, in response to news that bomb blasts at two Jakarta hotels had killed nine people, including three Australians, and injured scores more.
"Yes, a colonial map that made little sense bred conflict and the West has often approached Africa as a patron rather than a partner. But the West is not responsible for the destruction of the Zimbabwean economy over the last decade, or wars in which children are listed as combatants."
- US President Barack Obama speaking to the Ghanaian Parliament on 11th July, 2009.
"She is doing well."
- Kassim Bakari, father of 12-year-old Bahia Bakari, the only known survivor after a Yemenia Airbus jet carrying 153 people crashed into the Indian Ocean off the Comoros Islands on 30th June, 2009.
"We've just learned Michael Jackson has died."
- US-based website TMZ breaking the news at 4pm on June 25th that Michael Jackson had passed away.
"In many ways, I came to understand the importance of fatherhood through its absence - both in my life and in the lives of others. I came to understand that the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill."
- US President Barack Obama, writing in Parade magazine on 21st June, 2009,, as the US marks Fathers Day.
"People are tired of dictatorship. People are tired of not having freedom of expression, of high inflation, and adventurism in foreign relations. That is why they wanted to change Ahmadinejad."
- Zahra Rahnavard, the wife of Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, speaking after the election result was announced on the weekend. Mr Mousavi has launched a formal appeal against the result which saw incumbent hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad re-elected (as quoted on www.reuters.com on 14th June, 2009).
"Glimmers of hope that the worst of the financial crisis and economic downturn had passed sparked a rebound in risk appetite among investors."
- The Bank of International Settlements, often referred to as the "central banks' central bank", in a statement on 8th June, 2009 (as quoted on www.theaustralian.news.com.au).
"I said to Prime Minister Singh that the more than 90,000 Indian students in Australia are welcolme guests in our country."
- Prime Minister Kevin Rudd condemning recent attacks on Indian students Federal Parliament on 1st June, 2009, after he spoke to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the issue (as quoted on www.abc.net.au).
"May you never forget the great dignity which derives from your Christian heritage, or fail to sense the loving solidarity of all your brothers and sisters in the church throughout the world."
- Pope Benedict XVI, addressing a crowd of 20,000 at an open air mass in Jordan on 10th May - the visit is part of a pilgrimage he is making to holy sites in the Middle East (as quoted on www.latimes.com on 11th May, 2009).
“There do some good signs that…this disease may be slightly slowing, that the spread may be reducing, or its virulence may be reducing. But we’re still in a situation where it’s a novel disease. No-one’s entirely sure how it will develop into the future...and we intend to keep making sure that we are erring on the side of caution..."
- Federal Health MInister Nicola Roxon, speaking on 4th May, 2009, as the World Health Organisation says it has recorded 506 cases of swine flu and 19 confirmed deaths in Mexico (as quoted on www.theaustralian.com.au on 4th May, 2009).
"What this can really be interpreted as is a significant step towards pandemic influenza...a pandemic is not considered inevitable."
- World Health Organisation Assistant Director General Keiji Fukuda speaking in reference to an outbreak of swine flu, believed responsible for more than 150 deaths in Mexico (as quoted on www.bbc.co.uk on 28th April, 2009).
"It is essential...that in re-entering a public debate on asylum seeker issues, we learn, as a nation, from past mistakes and focus scrupulously upon the facts. What must be avoided
at all costs is any return to the divisive and destructive debate surrounding Tampa, ‘children overboard’ and the Pacific Solution.”
- John Gibson, president of the Refugee Council of Australia, in a statement issued on 17th April, 2009, following an explosion off Ashmore Reef near the Western Australian coast on 16th April in which it is believed five asylum seekers were killed.
"It's no use talking endlessly - preaching endlessly - about reconciliation and forgiveness and liberation. No argument can persuade anyone about this, only the lived reality. It's worth remembering that Paul of Tarsus joined the Christian community not as a well-meaning religious enquirer but as someone who had been the equivalent of a terrorist gunman, someone who had supervised the activities of a private militia devoted to abducting and imprisoning members of the Christian sect. He is a perfectly intelligible figure in the back streets of modern Beirut or Baghdad. And he has to find his 'heaven' by going, undefended and unvouched for, to the people he has been trying to silence and kill. Can anyone live like this?"
- Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in his 2009 Easter sermon.
"As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act...So today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment and desire to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons."
- President Barack Obama speaking in Prague following last week's G20 Summit in London (as quoted on www.telegraph.co.uk on 5th April, 2009).
"We have been able to account for a number of people who were initially presumed missing as a result of the fires and this has impacted on the final figure."
- Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe announcing that the death toll from the Black Saturday bushfires had been lowered from 210 to 173 (as quoted on www.abc.net.au on 30th March, 2009).
"The situation remains extremely worrying and difficult. It is the first setback for the world economy in over 50 years...It will be at the roots of social unrest, some threats to democracy and maybe for some cases, it can also end in war."
- International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, speaking in Geneva on 23rd March, 2009, days after the IMF forecast a one per cent contraction on the world economy this year.
"I am painfully aware that I have deeply hurt many, many people, including the members of my family, my closest friends, business associates and the thousands of clients who gave me their money. I cannot adequately express how sorry I am."
- Bernard Madoff, speaking in New York on 13th March after pleading guilty to the largest swindle in Wall Street history (as quoted in The Australian on 14th March, 2009).
"The thought that the Sri Lankans are guests and my country's image will be ruined if any of the players got seriously hurt spurred me."
- Bus driver Meher Mohammad Khalil who drove the Sri Lankan cricket team to safety amid a hail of bullets after the players' bus - along with a bus of officals -, came under attack by a dozen gunmen in Lahore, Pakistan, on 3rd March, 2009 (as quoted in www.theage.com.au).
"You know there's sharks always going to be out there...But I mean really, I mean these are extraordinary situations, I don't think sharks are coming in and preying on beaches or doing what that film Jaws showed was to happen."
- Adam Wilson, organiser of the Sydney Harbour Swim Classic, speaking in the wake of the third shark attack on Sydney's beaches in three weeks (as quoted on The World Today in www.abc.net.au).
"Simply know this - you who suffer are not alone."
- Prime Minister Kevin Rudd speaking at the National Day of Mourning for victims of Victoria's bushfires at Rod Laver Arena on 22nd February.
“February 7th will become etched in our national memory as a day of disaster, of death and of mourning and it is very important that the nation grieves."
- Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announcing the National Day of Mourning for victims of Victoria's bushfires, later revealing it would be held on 22nd February.
"It's just like a bomb blast, like street after street is just no longer there. You see fireplaces and remnants of tin roofs still there and car bodies, cars that are half alight still."
- Dixons Creek firefighter Drew Adamson describing the scene in Kinglake (as quoted in The Age in 9th February, 2009).
"If you invest in girls, if you educate girls, if you get girls into jobs, you solve many problems."
- Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, managing director of the World Bank, speaking at a special session on educating girls in developing countries at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on 31st January, 2009.
"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord."
- US President Barack Obama in his inaugural speech on 20th January, 2009
"The fighting must stop...To both sides, I say: just stop now. Too many people have died."
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in relation to the ongoing strife in Gaza in which at least 900 people have died since late December (as quoted on www.abc.net.au on 13th January, 2009).
"The deaths and suffering of the last three days are dreadful and shameful and will achieve nothing but more deaths and suffering.”
- World Council of Churches General Secretary Rev Dr Samuel Kobia, speaking in reference to Israel's air strikes on Gaza in late December, 2008, in which more than 300 people have been killed and 1,000 injured.
"The time has come for Robert Mugabe to answer for his crimes against humanity, against his countrymen and women and for justice to be done. The winds of change that once brought hope to Zimbabwe and its neighbours have become a hurricane of destruction, with the outbreak of cholera, destitution, starvation and systemic abuse of power by the state. As a country cries out for justice, we can no longer be inactive to their call...The time to remove them from power has come."
- Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, writing in Britain's Observer newspaper on 7th December, 2008.
"We believe that there can be no justification whatsoever for such despicable acts of terrorism and indiscriminate violence."
- The World Council of Churches general secretary Rev Dr Samuel Kobia in a letter to the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, on 27th November, 2008, referring to the Mumbai terrorist attacks in which 172 people - including two Australians died - and almost 300 were injured.
"The entire basic structure in education, healthcare, feeding people, social services and sanitation has broken down. These are all indications that the crisis in Zimbabwe is much greater, much worse than we had ever imagined."
- Former US President Jimmy Carter. speaking at a news conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, after he was part of a delegation refused entry to the African nation (as quoted in The Los Angeles Times on 25th November, 2008).
"The Government's thoughts are with the thousands of families that have been caught up in this disaster and most particularly with the family of the young man who tragically lost his life."
- Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard in references to a storm - one of the biggest in 20 years - which struck parts of southern Queensland on 16th November (as quoted in The Courier-Mail on 17th November, 2008).
"Today is a time for us all to bear in our thoughts and our prayers the 200 Australian and Indonesian families who were shattered by the Bali bombings six years ago. Their lives remain shattered. They've been changed fundamentally by that murder."
- Prime Minister Kevin Rudd following news of the execution of the Bali bonbers on 10th November, 2008 (as quoted in The Age).
"Change has come to America."
- Barack Obama, elected the first African-American president of the United States, in his acceptance speech in Chicago on 4th November, 2008.
"This is going to turn into a landslide."
- Ed Rollins, who masterminded Ronald Reagan's second presidential victory in 1984, has called the US election for Barack Obama (as quoted on www.theage on 27th October, 2008.)
"For the poor, the costs of the crisis could be lifelong. The poorest and must vulnerable groups risk the most serious - and in some cases permanent damage."
- World Bank President Robert Zoellick, speaking in reference to the global financial crisis (as quoted on www.telegraph.co.uk on 13th October, 2008.)
"It is perhaps time now to admit that we did not learn the full lessons of the greed is good ideology. And today we are still cleaning up the mess of the 21st Century children of Gordon Gekko."
- Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in a speech to a group of business leaders in early October (as quoted on www.abc.net.au on 6th October, 2008.)
"This is an epidemic, a cancer in Pakistan which we will root out. We will not be afraid of these cowards."
- Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, speaking after a suicide bombing killed at least 53 people and injured some 266 others at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad (as quoted on www.bbc.co.uk on 21st September, 2008.)
“What Australia needs is real leadership. It needs strong leadership, it needs leaders that say, `This country is strong. It can do anything'."
- Newly elected Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Tunrball after he ousted former leader Dr Brendan Nelson in a party room spill on 16th September, 2008 (as quoted on www.canberratimes.com.au on 17th September, 2008.)
"On the medical, surgical side, to do an abortion at 24 weeks is, for even an obstetrician, a horrific event. The thought of what goes on for a 24 (weeks) and later abortion appals even my hardened obstetrics colleagues."
- Bionic ear pioneer and surgeon, Professor Graeme Clark, addressing a rally of faith leaders in Melbourne on the eve of a debate in the Victorian Parliament over new laws to give women legal access to abortion (as quoted on www.theage.com.au on 8th September.)
"We'll still get some nasty weather but we've dodged a big-time bullet with this one."
- New Orleans stockbroker Peter Labouisse, speaking after Hurricane Gustav weakened to a tropical storm before hitting the US city on 1st September, 2008 (as quoted on www.reuters.com.)
"We are disappointed that China has not used the occasion of the Olympics to demonstrate greater tolerance and openness."
- US Ambassador to China, Clark Randt, in a statement released hours before the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games.
"I have decided to resign from the presidency...I am not thinking on personal levels, but Pakistan first. Take care of Pakistan."
- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, announcing his resignation in an hour long live telecast on 18th August, 2008. Mr Musharraf had been in power since 1999.
"What they are doing is nothing to do with conflict, it is about annihilation of a democracy on their borders."
- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili speaking in reference to the Russian role in a bloody conflict which has broken out over the breakaway enclave of South Ossetia (as quoted by the BBC).
"His works changed the consciousness of millions of people, forcing them to think about past and present in a different way."
- Last Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in a statement about dissident author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who has died on 3rd August, 2008, at the age of 89 (as quoted on www.telegraph.co.au).
"I just thought, 'I'm really happy with life. I have a beautiful fiance, family, friends - I have had a wonderful life.' And I thought, 'I'm on a plane, there's nothing I can really do about it.' "
- Tara Kynnersley, a passenger aboard Qantas flight QF30 which suffered an explosion after leaving Hong Kong bound for Melbourne on 26th July, 2008, but was able to be safely landed (as quoted on www.smh.com.au).
"He has asked for a haircut and a shave."
- Lawyer Sveta Vujacic, speaking about war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic, following Karadzic's arrest in Serbia this week after more than a decade of hiding. He has been indicted for crimes against humanity and genocide over the massacre of up to 8,000 mainly-Muslim Bosniaks at Srebrenica in 1995. Mr Vujacic has said Karadzic will represent himself at his trial to be held in The Hague (as quoted on www.bbc.co.uk).
“Young friend, God & his people expect much from u, because u have within u the Father’s supreme gift: the Spirit of Jesus – BXVI"
- Pope Benedict XVI in a text message sent to 150,000 pilgrims attending the opening mass of World Youth Day in Sydney.
"Such a perfect operation is unprecedented."
- Ingrid Betancourt, a hostage of Colombian rebels for six years, speaking after and she and 14 other hostages escaped in a daring rescue last week without a shot being fired (as quoted by the BBC on 3rd July, 2008).
"We in the MDC have resolved that we will no longer participate in this violent, illegitimate, sham of an election process."
- Zimbabwean Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangarai announcing his withdrawal from this week's presidential run-off poll (as quoted ABC News on 23rd June, 2008).
"I think that in retrospect I could have used a different tone, a different rhetoric."
- US President George W. Bush, commenting on the 'gun-slinging' language he used in the early days of the Iraq war (as quoted in The Times Online on 11th June, 2008).
“To use the threat of hunger as a political weapon shows a callous contempt for human life."
- Douglas Alexander, the British Secretary of State for International Development, accusing Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe of “callous contempt” for the poorest Zimbabweans after his government announced its decision to halt all aid operations in the country in the run-up to the deciding presidential vote (as quoted in The Times Online on 7th June, 2008).
"Tonight, we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another - a journey that will bring a new and better day to America."
- Barack Obama, claiming the Democratic Party presidential nomination in the US on 3rd June, 2008 (as quoted in The Age on 5th June, 2008).
"I hope and believe that any hesitation the Government of Myanmar may have had about allowng international humanitarian groups to operate freely in the affected areas is now a thing of the past.”
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking after a meeting with Burma's leader, Senior General Than Shwe (as quoted at www.un.org on 25th May, 2008).
"It's difficult in there. It's like walking a tightrope."
- World Vision Australia chief Tim Costello talking about how his attempts to convince the military junta that rules Burma that the aid agency was only in the country to help in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis (as quoted in The Age on19th May, 2008).
"The authorities of the country need to open up to an international relief effort. There aren't enough boats, trucks, helicopters in the country to run the relief effort of the scale we need. It's urgent that the authorities do open themselves up."
- Richard Horsey, a spokesman for U.N. humanitarian operations, speaking in reference to the crisis in Burma in the wake of Cyclone Nargis (as quoted in The Wall Street Journal Online on12th May, 2008).
"This is really a war zone and great devastation...done by mother nature."
- Aung Din, from the US campaign for Burma, speaking to Radio Australia's Connect Asia program about the cyclone has left Rangoon without transport, water or communications and killed, according to revised government figures, almost 4,000 people in the Asian nation with thousands more still missing (as quoted on www.abc.net.au on 5th May, 2008).
"My decision not to participate reflects the changed symbolism of the Olympic Torch Relay...The Uniting Church and ACOSS have proud histories of standing with those who suffer violence and injustice and of working for a world in which the dignity of every person is valued and human rights are upheld."
- Lin Hatfield Dodds, president of the Australian Council of Social Services and national director of UnitingCare Australia, talking about her decision not to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay (as quoted on www.smh.com.au on 22nd April, 2008).
“Look, there's some really good stuff there."
- Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, speaking after the weekend's 2020 Summit about the outcomes that came from it (as quoted on theaustralian.com.au on 21st April, 2008).
"I grew up in a little bush town in Queensland of 200 people, and what this day says to Australian women and to Australian girls is you can do anything, you can be anything."
- Quentin Bryce on being named Australia's first female governor-general (as quoted on news.com.au on 14th April, 2008).
"It's bittersweet really, isn't it? But, to know where they're resting is really something."
- Widow Pat Ingham, whose 21-year-old husband John died when the HMAS Sydney was sunk in 1941 with the loss of all hands, speaking after the first pictures of the wreck were seen following its discovery in waters off the coast of Western Australia last month (as quoted on ABC's Lateline in 5th April, 2008).
"We have won an election. Mugabe's victory is not possible given the true facts."
- Tendai Biti, secretary-general of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe, commenting on elections in the nation (as quoted by Associated Press on 1st April, 2008).
"We don't talk turning points, there are no lights at the end of the tunnel, we don't do victory dances, and we've moved the champagne to the back of the fridge."
- US General David Petraeus, commanding general of the multi-national force in Iraq, speaking about the situation in Iraq ahead of next month's report to Congress on the success of the "troop surge" (as quoted on www.telegraph.co.uk on 24th March, 2008).
"These most recent developments in Tibet are disturbing and from my point of view, I would call upon the Chinese authorities to exercise restraint."
- Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd commenting about a Chinese Government crackdown on pro-independence activists in Tibet in which at least 80 people have reportedly been killed (as quoted www.news.com.au on 17th March, 2008).
"New sins have appeared on the horizon of humanity as a corollary of the unstoppable process of globalisation."
- Catholic Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti talking about the addition of new sins - including polluting, genetic engineering, obscene riches, taking drugs and abortion - to the seven deadly sins defined by Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century (as quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald on 11th March, 2008).
"A visit to Iraq without the dictator is a truly happy one."
- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking after becoming the first Iranian head of state to visit Iraq since the bitter war between the two nations in the 1980s (as quoted by Reuters on 2nd March, 2008)
"The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution is unique, Fidel is Fidel, as we all know well, he is irreplaceable."
- Cuba's new president, Raul Castro, after being unanimously selected by the nation's National Assembly to succeed his ailing brother, 81-year-old Fidel Castro (as quoted by BBC on 24th February, 2008).
"To the stolen generations, I say the following: as Prime Minister of Australia, I am sorry. On behalf of the
government of Australia, I am sorry. On behalf of the parliament of Australia, I am sorry. I offer you this apology without qualification."
- Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in a speech made after he read a formal apology to the stolen generations in the Australian Parliament on 13th February, 2008.
"For there to be a coordinated attempt to assassinate the entire democratically elected leadership of a close neighbour and friend of Australia's is a deep and disturbing development."
- Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd speaking in response to news that East Timor's President Jose Ramos Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao had been attacked in raids by rebel gunmen on 11th February, 2008. President Ramos Horta was airlifted to Darwin after he was shot in the chest and stomach while Prime Minister Gusmao escaped harm.
"It's not a baby doll - it's alive!"
- Rescue worker David Harmon after finding 11-month-old baby Kyson Stowell lying about 100 metres from his Tennessee house after it was destroyed by a twister. Fifty-five people have been killed in tornadoes which unleashed their fury across five US states this week (as quoted in The Washington Post on 7th February, 2008).
"It was clear ethnic cleansing in the Rift Valley."
-The top US offical for Africa, Jendayi Frazer, US assistant secretary of state, describing violence in parts of Kenya since the 27th December presidential election as "ethnic cleansing" (as quoted in Guardian Unlimited on 31st January, 2008).
"All the crew did their job absolutely brilliantly, but I think some thanks has to go to the man upstairs for giving us the little lift at the end."
- John Coward, co-pilot of a Britsh Airways jet that crash-landed at Heathrow Airport in Britain late last week (as quoted in Herald-Sun on 21st January, 2008).
"I don't know if I particularly want to be remembered for anything...but there's no doubt, either, that my most worthwhile things have been the building of schools and medical clinics. That has given me more satisfaction that a footprint on a mountain."
- Sir Edmund Hillary, who became the first man known to have climbed Mt Everest - the world's highest peak - in 1953. The New Zealander, who founded the Himalayan Trust which built schools, hospitals and clinics, died on 11th January at the age of 88 (as quoted in The Weekend Australian on 12th January, 2008).
"The impact will be that Pakistan is in more turmoil. There is a very real danger of civil war in Pakistan."
- Riaz Malik, of the opposition Pakistan Movement for Justice party, following the death of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in a suicide bombing attack (as reported on www.telegraph.co.uk on 27th December, 2007).
"God guided me and protected me."
- Security guard Jeanne Assam who shot gunman Matthew Murray after he murdered four people - including two teenage girls at a church and two YWAM workers at a training centre - in Colorado on 9th December (as reported on www.thedenverchannel.com on 10th December, 2007).
"In Africa the lifetime risk of dying of pregnancy-related causes is around one in 22. In industrialised countries, it's one in 8,000."
- UNICEF's chief of health, Dr Peter Salama, commenting on a report which shows that while remarkable progress has been made in reducing child mortality rates, maternal mortality, HIV prevention and pneumonia are all key areas that need improving (as reported on www.abc.net.au on 10th December, 2007).
"My class was delighted and were making wonderful progress with their studies. I will miss them terribly and I am very sad to think that they have been distressed by this event."
- British school teacher Gillian Gibbons in a statement following news that she was being released from prison early in Sudan. Ms Gibbons was sentenced to 15 days in jail for allowing children in her class to name a teddybear Muhammad (as reported on www.bbc.co.uk on 3rd December, 2007).
"Today the Australian people have decided that we as a nation will move forward to plan for the future, to prepare for the future, to embrace the future and together as Australians to unite and write a new page in our nation's history."
- Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd after news of the Labor party's victory on 24th November, 2007.
"Can I say to all the people of Australia that it has been a tremendous honour, opportunity and privilege to serve you...I wish this nation well. "
- Outgoing Prime Minister John Howard in his concession speech on 24th November, 2007.
``Slowing and reversing these threats is the defining challenge of our age."
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, speaking at the launch of the final report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (As quoted on on 19th November, 2007).
"China's religious affairs authorities and the Olympic organisers have not - and could not - issue a rule banning the Bible in the Olympic village."
- China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao responding to reports last week that Bibles would be banned from next year's Beijing Olympics. (As quoted in The Guardian on 8th November, 2007).
"I cannot allow this country to commit suicide."
- Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf speaking in a television address after imposing a state of emergency in Pakistan late last week. (As quoted on www.reuters.com on 3rd November, 2007).
"We cannot declare the execution of Australians to be barbaric and the execution of Indonesians to be acceptable."
- Former chief justice of the Australian High Court, Sir Gerard Brennan, in comments in which he said Australia's stance on the death penalty for the Bali bombers was jeopardising the nation's international credibility. (As quoted on www.abc.net.au on 1st November, 2007).
"The people who died belonged to the poor classes."
- Fasal Edhi, mortuary director, commenting on the deaths of at least 138 people following a suicide attack on the homecoming procession of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in Karachi, Pakistan, on 19th October. (As quoted in The Age on 21st October, 2007).
"This country does not need new leadership, it doesn't need old leadership. It needs the right leadership."
- Prime Minister John Howard, after announcing the federal election will take place on 24th November. (As quoted on www.abc.com.auon 14th October).
"I intend to make the case for why Australia needs new leadership now."
- Opposition leader Kevin Rudd in response to the announcement of a poll date. (As quoted on www.abc.com.au on 14th October).
"It's with a great amount of shame that I stand before you and tell you that I have betrayed your trust."
- Fallen US track star and three-time Olympic champion Marion Jones in a statement made after she pleaded guilty to lying to US government investigators when she denied using performance-enhancing drugs (As quoted on www.news.com.au on 6th October).
"I would like to deeply apologise to the people for causing trouble to them. I regret that I couldn't meet people's expectations."
- Outgoing Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, in a statement made on 24th September, 2007, at his first public appearance since his abrupt resignation on 12th September (As quoted on www.abc.net.au).
"My position is today as it was last week and as it was last year. I'm going to this election as a team. John Howard asked me to go to this election with him as his deputy leader and his treasurer. Last year, I said I would. I will. That's it."
- Federal Treasurer Peter Costello hosing down speculation he would challenge Prime Minister John Howard before the upcoming election (as quoted on Channel Nine on 16th September, 2007).
"It's a very important milestone in the march towards a sensible international agreement on climate change, which recognises the need to make progress, but also recognises that different economies bring different perspectives to addressing the challenge of climate change."
- Prime Minister John Howard, referring to the 'Sydney Declaration' made by APEC leaders. The declaration commits APEC members to trying to improve energy efficiency by at least 25 per cent by 2030 (as quoted by ABC on 9th September, 2007).
"We owe a big debt to the nation and people."
- Yoo Kyung-shik, one of 19 South Korean missionaries released last week after being held hostage for six weeks by the Taliban in Afghanistan (as quoted in The Independent on 3rd September, 2007).
"I want God with all the power of my soul - and yet between us there is terrible separation.”
- Mother Teresa in one of numerous letters to friends and confessors published in a new book 'Mother Teresa, Come Be My Light' (as quoted in The Times Online on 24th August, 2007)
"This type of politics that takes an indiscretion from the distant past is unworthy of our democracy. It is low politics."
- Monsignor Les Tomlinson, Vicar-General of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, in reference to revelations Kevin Rudd visited a New York strip club in 2003 (as quoted in The Age on 20th August, 2007).
``We've heard about climate change, the economy and work laws. It's time to get religion back on the agenda."
- Jim Wallace, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, quoted on Bloomberg in the lead-up to last week's event in which both the Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd addressed Christians around the nation (as quoted on 9th August, 2007).
"By authorising the deployment of a hybrid operation for Darfur, you are sending a clear and powerful signal of your commitment to improve the lives of the people of the region, and close this tragic chapter in Sudan's history."
- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement to the Security Council following its resolution to deploy a UN-African Union force in Darfur (as quoted on 31st July, 2007).
"The Korean government strongly condemns and urges an immediate end to these heinous acts of killing innocent people in order to press for demands that it can't meet. Kidnapping and killing innocent people can't be justified for any cause.''
- The South Korean Government in a statement released after the murder of the second of 23 South Korean Christian missionary hostages being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan (as quoted on www.koreatimes.co.kr on 31st July, 2007).
"I think we are done with the mortality of AIDS in treated people. Only five years ago hope was an abstract notion, now hope is a reality."
- Michel Kazatchkine, newly appointed executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria speakng at the International AIDS Society conference in Sydney (as quoted on www.smh.com.au on 23rd July, 2007).
"It means the Pope is a Catholic, actually. Of course, they would think that - we think they're a bit dodgy, too, but we've come a long way from saying the Pope is the antichrist."
- Anglican Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth, commenting on the release of a document by the Vatican stating that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true church (as quoted on www.theage.com.au on 12th July, 2007).
are Live Earth!"
- Eco-crusader and former US vice-president Al Gore speaking at the weekend's
Live Earth concerts, 7th July 2007 (as quoted by the ABC).
obvious that we have a group of people - not just in this
country, but round the world - who are prepared at any time
to inflict what they want to be maximum damage on civilians,
irrespective of who the religion of these people who are killed
or maimed are to be."
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown,
speaking after terrorist attacks in London (which were foiled
by police) and Glasgow (which involved a car exploding at
the airport) in late June
(as quoted by the BBC).
Australians, myself included, looked aghast at the failure
of the American federal system of government to cope adequately
with Hurricane Katrina and the human misery and lawlessness
that engulfed New Orleans in 2005. We
should have been more humble. We have our Katrina, here and
now. That it has unfolded more slowly and absent the hand
of God should make us humbler still."
Prime Minister John Howard in a
speech at the Australia Institute on 25th June, 2007, referring
to the issue of sexual abuse of children in remote indigenous
communities in the Northern Territory. The Federal
Government last week unveiled their plan to intervene in remote
communities in a bid to stop the abuse. (as quoted on www.smh.com.au
on 26th June, 2007).
just seems impossible sometimes. I left Sudan because they
force us to join the army and I would have ended up killing
my brothers, people just like me."
Sudanese refugee Abueldasim Adam,
one of refugees which gathered in Sydney on 20th June, 2007,
to call on the Federal Government to send peacekeepers to
Darfur (as quoted on www.abc.net.au).
heartbreaking. I've been through the earthquake and a fire
in the building, but the water damage is the worst experience
I've had in 40 years of retail life. Just pure devastation."
Newcastle businessman Paul Murphy, whose business was among
those ransacked by looters in the wake of the floods in New
South Wales (as quoted on www.news.com.au on 12th June, 2007).
Nine people died in the floods with damage estimated to be
in the hundreds of millions.
will not commit to any quantified emissions reduction targets,
but that does not mean we will not assume responsibilities
in responding to climate change."
Ma Kai, director of the National Development and Reform Commission,
which steers climate change policy in China (as quoted on
Reuters.com on 4th June, 2007).
hope this anniversary marks a renewed effort by all Australians
to use all the tools and knowledge of today to achieve a genuine
and full reconciliation and equality of our peoples, both
indigenous and non-indigenous."
Governor-General Michael Jeffery referring to the 40th anniversary
of the 1967 referendum in which voters supported changing
the constitution to allow the Commonwealth Government to make
laws specifically for indigenous Australians and remove barriers
to counting them in the census (as quoted in The Canberra
Times on 28th May, 2007).
is well and he enjoyed the trip, and he's very, very glad
to be back on Australian soil."
David McLeod, Australian lawyer of former Guantanamo Bay internee
and convicted terrorism supporter, David Hicks, following
Hicks' homecoming on the weekend (as quoted on www.abc.net.au
on 20th May, 2007).
on heart, I did what I thought was right."
British Prime Minister Tony Blair sums up his legacy
on 10th May, 2007, as he announces he will be stepping down
in late June.
boycott and not go there so that in this way we can embarrass
and put pressure on the Zimbabwe government and Mugabe and
Pius Ncube, Archbishop of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city,
calling on Prime Minister John Howard to stop the Australian
cricket team touring Zimbabwe in September (as quoted on ABC
Online on 3rd May, 2007).
truth of war is not always easy to hear but it is always more
heroic than the hype."
Former US Army private, Jessica Lynch, testifying before a
congressional committee in the US on 24th April, 2007 (as
quoted by The Guardian newspaper).
must hope and pray there is rain”
Prime Minister John Howard speaking with regard to the ongoing
drought in Australia on Thursday, 19th April, 2007 (as quoted
in The Herald-Sun).
today that we are stronger than yesterday. The parliament,
government and the people are all the same - they are all
in the same ship which, if it sinks, will make everyone sink."
The Iraqi Parliament speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, speaking
in response to the suicide bombing in parliament's dining
hall, since claimed by al-Qaeda, which killed eight and wounded
23 on Thursday, 12th April, 2007 (as quoted on Guardian Unlimited
on 14th April, 2007).
is okay in the day, they play around the camp, but when night
comes and we are putting them to sleep, they start thinking
of their friends and cry because they didn't play with a mate
that was killed."
Tastre Ataria, the co-ordinator of the destroyed village of
Titiana, referring to the 11 children who died in the village.
As many as 20 of the 38 people who died after a tsunami hit
the Solomon Islands on 2nd April were children (as quoted
in The Australian on 10th April, 2007).
was a hero to a lot of people and I want that to remain...I
want all the kids who have admired me to continue to have
Retired Australian swimming champion Ian Thorpe speaking in
response to relevations he had elevated levels of testosterone
and luteinising hormone (as quoted in The Age on 2nd April,
just seemed like it was coming in too quick - I looked out
on the right hand side and saw how fast we were coming in,
which was not a normal landing from the descent and how low
we were to the ground - that's when we hit the ground."
Leading Aircraftsman Kyle Quinlan, of the Royal Australian
Air Force, who was among the injured in last week's plane
crash at Yogyakarta airport. Five Australians were among the
21 killed in the crash (as quoted on www.abc.net.au on 8th
obviously made the wrong decision in this case, so I think
what I have learnt in life is that you make some mistakes,
you admit them, you cop it on the chin and you dust yourself
off and you keep going.''
Federal Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd, referring to now controversial
meetings he had with former West Australian premier, Brian
Burke, during an appearance on Seven Sunrise (as quoted on
PerthNow on 2nd March, 2007).
slavery) ranks as the most horrendous of all depredations
of human rights and violations of our founding ideals in our
From a resolution passed by law-makers in the US state of
Virginia, believed to be the first US state to apologise for
slavery (as quoted on BBC on 25th February, 2007).
separation that exists at the present time is a scandal to
people outside the church who say 'Why can't these Christians
Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, John Bathersby, co-chair
of the International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission on
Unity and Mission which is preparing a statement looking at
the common ground and differences between the Catholic and
Anglican churches. (as quoted on
CNN, 20th February, 2007),
I were running al-Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around
March 2008 and be praying as many times as possible for a
victory, not only for Obama but also for the Democrats."
Prime Minister John Howard in a TV interview broadcast on
the Nine Network on 11th February, 2007, in which he attacked
US presidential hopeful Barack Obama's opposition to the Iraq
is my son, David. He's been missing for five years - held
in Guantanamo Bay. Without trial."
Terry Hicks, father of detainee David Hicks, in a national
television advertisement which goes to air from 6th February.
has been an enormous force for good and has done more than
anything else to shape the lives, not only of millions of
Australians, but the character of our nation."
Prime Minister John Howard in a DVD message presented at an
Australia Day gathering of 4,000 Christians in Melbourne organised
by Catch the Fire Ministries.
models indicate that it is highly likely that it will continue
to weaken and will disappear within the next few months."
Climatologist Blair Trewin, of the National Climate Centre,
referring to El Nino (as quoted in The Age on 24th January,
seems this man wants to live in controversy..."
Ameer Ali, chairman of the Prime Minister's former Muslim
advisory group, referring to Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali in
the wake of comments the sheikh made on Egyptian television
claiming that Muslims who paid their own way to Australia
were more 'Australian' than Anglo-Saxons who came in chains
(as quoted in The Age on 13th January, 2007).
Australian Government has unequivocally condemned last month's
coup against the democratically elected government of Fiji..."
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer reiterating Australia's
condemnation of the Fiji coup as he announced a new high commissioner
to the island nation (as quoted on www.news.com.au on 9th
execution marks the end of a dark period of Iraq's history."
A scrolling headline on Iraq's state run Iraqiya television
on 30th December, 2006, following the execution of the former
Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein by hanging (as quoted on www.bbc.co.uk).
cricket we've played is as good a Test cricket as I've seen
from this team for a long time. We've probably set a new standard
Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting after the Australian
team regained The Ashes from England (as quoted on www.abc.net.au
on 18th December, 2006).
Augusto Pinochet symbolised a dark period in South America's
history, a long night when the lights of democracy disappeared,
stamped out by authoritarian coups."
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in a statement
following the announcement of Pinochet's death in Chile (as
quoted by Reuters on 12th December, 2006).
visit will help us find together the way to peace for the
good of humanity."
Pope Benedict XVI, after pausing to pray alongside the Grand
Mufti of Istanbul, Mustafa Cagrici, in the Blue Mosque during
his controversial visit to Turkey (as quoted in The Age on
2nd December, 2006).
didn't just wake up on a Monday morning and say, 'Let's call
this a civil war'."
Matt Lauer, host of the NBC Today Show in the US explaining
that NBC News, against US Government policy, has decided to
characterise the situation in Iraq as a civil war (as quoted
in The Boston Globe on 28th November, 2006).
do have a brother. That brother, along with both sides of
politics, has failed to see with the same moral clarity what
your generation gets".
World Vision chief executive and co-chair of Make Poverty
History Tim Costello speaking at the Make Poverty History
concert in Melbourne on 17th November, 2006 (as quoted in
should reflect on Senators’ confusion and uncertainty
over this controversial vote and clarify for themselves that
the issue is genuinely about overturning a unanimous decision
to ban cloning in 2002.”
Jim Wallace, managing director of the Australian Christian
Lobby, in a statement released on 8th November, 2006, after
the Senate passed legislation to allow the cloning of human
with the invaders and down the the traitors."
Part of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's response to
news that he had been sentenced to death by hanging for ordering
the murder of 148 Shia villagers in 1982 (as quoted in The
Australian on 6th November, 2006).
the worst in a century. I would expect this drought to leave
a very big impression on the Australian psyche."
Prime Minister John Howard (as quoted by Reuters on 13th October,
the most backward, poverty-stricken, hermetic regime in the
world can go nuclear, it is a sign that any country that wants
to can eventually do the same."
Jon Wolfsthal, a security specialist at the Centre for Strategic
and International Studies in Washington, following news North
Korea had tested a nuclear weapon (as quoted in The Sydney
Morning Herald, 10th October, 2006).
believe words have great weight and I want people to know
exactly what I mean."
president Hugo Chavez responding to a question from Time Magazine
after an extraordinary speech at the United Nations in which
he accused US President George W. Bush of being the 'devil'
and of leaving the smell of sulpher in the UN hall.
Daddy was my hero."
Eight-year-old Bindi Irwin in a speech she made at her father
Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's memorial service in Queensland
on 20th September, 2006.
major priority must be to maintain peace and harmony within
the Australian community, but no lasting achievements can
be grounded in fantasies and evasions."
Cardinal George Pell, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, in a
statement responding to the reaction to a recent speech by
Pope Benedict in which he controversially quoted from a medieval
is a struggle for civilisation. We are fighting to maintain
the way of life enjoyed by free nations."
US President George W. Bush in an address to mark five years
would never blame an animal if it bit me, that is for sure,
because I'm at fault, not them."
Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, whose death from a stingray
barb was reported on Monday, 4th September (as quoted in The
Age, 5th September, 2006).
thought it was just a little ball."
Hassan, one of three children, aged 10 to 12, who was injured
when they encountered a cluster bomb while playing in he village
of Aita al-Shaab, in southern Lebanon. He spoke these words
from his bed in the intensive care ward in a Tyre hospital
where he was being treated after his abdomen was cut open.
(As reported in on Guardian Unlimited, 21st August, 2006).
those who did not return home, the 18 we
lost at Long Tan and another 500 who gave their lives during
the 10-year war, and the 2,400 we lost wounded or maimed in
various ways, let us remember them. Lest we forget."
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Harry Smith, commander of Delta
Company, 6RAR, at Long Tan, (as quoted on 17th August, 2006
political party owns God."
Kevin Rudd in a speech given at the National Christian Heritage
Forum in Canberra on 7th August, 2006.
hope is that there will be an opportunity for voices of freedom
to be heard within Cuba, that this would begin a moment of
transformation and transition to a better life and better
- Former Cuban resident and now
a US senator for Florida, Mel Martinez, on news that Cuban
dictator Fidel Castro was handing power over to his brother
Raul as he enters hospital for surgery (as quoted in the Miami
Herald 1st August, 2006).
"It is urgent
that we reach these children with emergency relief and supplies
that can make the difference between life and death."
UNICEF executive director Ann Veneman quoted as the first
UN convoy carrying humanitarian relief arrived in the strife-torn
city of Tyre in south Lebanon (as quoted by ABC Online 27th
the terrible, tragic loss of life that is happening. It is
an appalling situation, and a dangerous situation for the
whole of the region, the whole of the world."
British Prime Minister Tony Blair in reference to the Middle
East crisis involving Israel and Lebanon (as quoted by Associated
will work to defeat the evil designs of terrorists and will
not allow them to succeed.''
India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after bomb attacks in
Mumbai killed more than 170 people and injured hundreds more
(as quoted on Bloomberg,12th July).
is a grave crisis. The slightest turn of events could easily
set off another full-scale conflict between Israelis and Palestinians,
bringing greater dangers to civilians, and with serious regional
repercussions. All parties must recognise this, and act with
wisdom and care, and in full conformity with international
Assistant UN Secretary-General for Political Affairs Angela
Kane (as quoted on UN website, 30th June).
"We're obviously happy we've got this far but so disappointing
to go out in the fashion we did."
- Australian Socceroos captain
Mark Viduka after Australia bowed out of the World Cup, losing
1-0 to Italy (as quoted on ABC online, 27th June).
had a chance at great wealth and with great wealth comes great
responsibility. It is time to give back to society those resources
in the best possible way to help those in need."
Bill Gates, the world's richest man, announcing he intends
stepping down from running software behemoth Microsoft over
the coming two years so he can devote himself to charity work
(as quoted in The Australian on 17th June, 2006).
is not a question of discriminating against them; it is a
question of preserving as an institution in our society marriage
as having a special character."
Prime Minister John Howard, answering a question about why
the Federal Government was scuttling the Australian Capital
Territory's plans for gay civil unions (as told to ABC's AM
program on 7th June, 2006).
we do not unite, everything we have will be lost. We have
to stop the violence. We have to solve, one by one, all the
East Timorese President Xanana Gusmao addressing demonstrators
outside his office in Dili on 6th June, 2006, referring to
the destruction and violence that has rocked the fledgling
nation during the past couple of weeks (as quoted in the Melbourne
the whole medical infrastructure, are overwhelmed. It's Day
Three after the earthquake, many have severed limbs, crushed
limbs, as in all other earthquakes, and it's a race against
the clock to save their lives."
The UN's top relief co-ordinator, Jan Egeland, referring to
the aftermath of the earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter
Scale which struck close to Yogyakarta on the Indonesian island
of Java on 27th May, 2006 (as quoted on www.bbc.co.uk). At
least 5,000 people are now believed to have been killed with
many times that injured.
regard to the Aboriginal people of your land, there is still
much to be achieved. Their social situation is cause for much
pain. I encourage you and the Government to continue to address
with compassion and determination the deep underlying causes
of their plight."
Pope Benedict XVI in a statement to Anne Maree Plunkett, the
new Australian ambassador to the Holy See (as quoted on www.abc.net.au).
made a film about this mysterious steam locomotive that appears
on front lawns and whisks kids off to the North Pole to visit
Santa Claus and that is as much as a piece of fantasy and
film-making, believe it or not, as Dan Brown's The Da
Tom Hanks, star of the movie 'The Da Vinci Code', likening
the movie's basis to his earlier film, 'The Polar Express'
(as quoted in the Sunday Herald Sun, 14th May, 2006).
Brant and Todd are out of the tunnel and well"
- Text message sent by Beaconsfield
mine manager Mathew Gill to reporters shortly before 5am on
9th May.(as quoted on www.theage.com.au on 9th May, 2006).
town, the prayers...it's just a miracle..."
Kaye Russell, mother of miner Todd Russell, after hearing
he was alive despite being trapped for five days nearly a
kilometre underground inside Tasmania's Beaconsfield mine
(as quoted on www.abc.net.au on 1st May, 2006).
fact that there has been no truth and reconciliation commission
means emotions are still bottled up, repressed."
Solomon Islands' Catholic Archbishop Adrian Smith in comments
on the recent violence in Honiara (as quoted in 'The Age'
newspaper on 24th April, 2006).
Church does not exist just to transmit a message across the
centuries through a duly constituted hierarchy that arbitrarily
lays down what people must believe; it exists so that people
in this and every century may encounter Jesus of Nazareth
as a living contemporary."
Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, in his Easter
sermon on 16th April, 2006.
produce a fictitious history of this kind, which they style
the Gospel of Judas."
Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, referring to the 'Gospel of Judas'
in his work 'Against Heresies', written in about 180 AD. The
recent discovery of the text in the Egyptian desert was announced
by the US National Geographic Society earlier this month.
Scholars say they have long been looking for the 'Gospel of
Judas' because of Bishop Irenaeus' reference to it. (As reported
in the New York Times, 6th April, 2006).
trust God for inspiration"
Unconventional artist Pro Hart who died at the age of 77 after
a long battle with motor neurone disease in March, 2006. As
quoted in The Australian, 28th March, 2006.
"I am serene. I have full awareness of what I
have chosen. If I must die, I will die.''
- Afghan Christian convert Abdul
Rahman quoted in Rome's 'La Repubblica' (as reported by Associated
Press). Since the statement, reports suggest Rahman, who faced
a death sentence for his conversion to Christianity, will
be released by Afghan authorities pending a review of his
case. The move follows a massive global outcry over his case.
me go to God."
Pope John Paul II's last words as quoted in a new book on
the late pope, 'Let Me Go'.
billion (dollars) just isn't what it used to be"
Forbes magazine associate editor Luisa Kroll as quoted in
a Reuters report on 10th March, 2006.
you believe in God (the judgement) is made by God...the only
(way) you can take a decision like that is to try and do the
right thing according to your conscience."
- British PM Tony Blair during
an interview with TV host Michael Parkinson on his decision
to commit British troops to the 2003 invasion of Iraq (as
quoted in the Sunday Age newspaper on 5th March, 2006).
a church being organised on corporate logic. That can be quite
dangerous if we are not very careful, because this may become
a Christianity which I describe as 'two miles long and one
World Council of Churches General Secretary Samuel Kobia in
a reference to the "megachurch" phenomenon, as quoted
in an interview with Reuters which took place at the 9th Assembly
of the World Council of Churches in Brazil (14th to 23rd February,
up to 100,000 abortions a year is accepted as a fact of life
- almost by some as a badge of liberation..."
Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott during the parliamentary
debate held on 15th February over who should decide whether
Australian women can access the abortion drug RU486.
decisions should be taken on their journalistic merits by
Australia's news media - we should not be kow-towing to anybody
when it comes to freedom in this country."
Federal Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Kevin
Rudd saying that decisions about whether to publish cartoons
depicting the Islamic Prophet Mohammed should be made solely
on editorial grounds (as quoted in an ABC online report on
6th February, 2006).
is a fundamental contradiction between armed group and militia
activities and the building of a democratic state. A two-state
solution to the conflict requires all participants in the
democratic process to renounce violence and terror, accept
Israel's right to exist, and disarm, as outlined in the (diplomatic
quartet's peace) roadmap."
From a statement by the Middle East diplomatic "quartet"
- consisting of the United States, Russia, the European
Union and the United Nations - issued on 26th January, 2006,
following Hamas' victory in the Palestinian elections.
are people walking around now who after the use of RU486 will
be dead, and we won't be able to legislate them back to life,
so I think it is very important that we give this inquiry
its proper airing."
Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce quoted in 'The Age'
newspaper on 19th January, 2006, in relation to his push to
extend a Senate inquiry looking at the question of who should
decide whether Australian woman can use the controversial
abortion pill RU486. The inquiry is expected
to report to Federal Parliament on 8th February with members
to make a conscience vote on the issue the next day.
as we recall our collective failures in places like Rwanda
and Srebrenica, it remains my hope that we may never again
be found wanting where so many lives hang in the balance."
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, speaking on the 55th anniversay
of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the
Crime of Genocide, on 12th January, 2006.
urge prayer for his health and for the person of Ariel Sharon,
as well as for his nation, which is facing much sudden uncertainty."
Malcolm Hedding, executive director of the International Christian
Embassy Jerusalem, in a summons to prayer issued on 6th January,
should greet 2006 with hope and optimism. This is a strong
and respected country. Our nation's standing abroad has never
been higher. As 2005 showed it is also a compassionate country
with a big heart."
Prime Minister John Howard in his New Year's message to the
fact that a scientific theory cannot yet
render an explanation on every point should not be used as
a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded
in religion into the science classroom."
US Federal Court Judge John Jones in his ruling that intelligent
design cannot be taught in high school sciences classes in
Pennsylvania (quoted in The Age, 22nd December, 2005).
people on the basis of their race, their appearance, their
ethnicity, is totally unacceptable and should be repudiated
by all Australians irrespective of their own background and
Prime Minister John Howard responding on 12th December to
the violent attacks on people of Middle Eastern appearance
which took place at Sydney's southern beaches on the weekend.
President, we talk about work and family, but this Bill is
about work or family. That is a choice Australians should
never have to make."
Family First Senator Steve Fielding in a speech in Federal
Parliament on 1st December, 2005, following the second reading
of the Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Bill 2005.
hope is that the Government of China will not fear Christians
who gather to worship openly."
US President George W. Bush quoted during his visit to China
earlier this month where he went to a worship service at an
officially sanctioned Protestant church.
schools and kindergartens should be able to have nativity
plays and Christian celebrations."
Victorian Premier Steve Bracks quoted in a Herald Sun story
on 21st November, 2005. The State Government's stance on Christmas
celebrations comes after several schools banned nativity scences
and carol singing last year for fear of offending non-Christians.
believe that it is a matter of concern that Australia, as
a Christian country, does not mention God in our anthem in
the same way God is mentioned in the anthems of other countries..."
Federal MP Peter Slipper addressing Parliament on 8th November
2005, arguing that God should be mentioned in Australia's
the time it took you to read this article, 13 people died
of tuberculosis, 20 people died of AIDS, and more than 5,500
babies died of preventable respiratory infections."
From Time magazine's 7th November issue (2005) in relation
to an article on world health that barely runs for more than
half a page.
to guide deal on fair pay
Frontpage headline from 'The Sunday Age' newspaper, on 30th
October, 2005, referring to comments by the head of Australia's
proposed Fair Pay Commission, Ian Harper, that he will rely
on his Christian faith and values to make decisions.