- SIGHT EDITOR
"It looked like a war zone, actually."
- Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Wilcox, speaking of the Queensland town of Bowen after it was devastated by Cyclone Debbie which also caused widespread damage across the Whitsunday Islands and other mainland based communities including Airlie Beach (as quoted on Fox News).
"Evidence gathered on the ground in East Mosul points to an alarming pattern of US-led coalition airstrikes which have destroyed whole houses with entire families inside."
- Donatella Rovera, senior crisis response advisor at human rights organisation Amnesty International, speaking of allegations that hundreds of civilians have been killed by airstrikes in their homes or places where they sought refuge during the offensive to capture Mosul from the so-called Islamic State. Iraqi and US defence departments have launched investigations into possible civilian deaths from airstrikes.
"They don't understand the severity. This is a major cyclone. We haven't seen a cyclone like this."
- Burdekin Shire Mayor Lyn McLaughlin, referring to people who had chosen not to evacuate as she spoke to the ABC ahead of the landfall on the central Queensland coast of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
"Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism."
- London Mayor Sadiq Khan speaking in the aftermath of the terror attack outside the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.
"Right before she went up she was a little nervous. Then she stole his hat. It was hilarious. Everyone was laughing, including the Pope."
- Mountain Butorac, godfather of three-year-old Estella Westrick who took off Pope Francis' hat during a visit to Rome (as quoted by CNN)
"I am sorry to the people. I will faithfully cooperate with questioning.”
- Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye as she arrived at a Seoul prosecutor's office for questioning, 11 days after the nation's Constitutional Court ruled unanimously to dismiss her over a corruption scandal (as quoted on the Japan Times)
“With respect to the President’s tweets about alleged wire-tapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets."
- FBI Director James Comey in comments made to a Congressional committee concerning tweets made by US President Donald Trump on 4th March, 2017, that former President Barack Obama had "wire-tapped" his headquarters in Trump Tower.
"Since I retired, I have devoted a fair bit of time to work more closely with the drug user coalface and it has become obvious we can't arrest our way out of it. Law enforcement can't solve what is a serious issue and we need a more multi-faceted approach to deal with the problem."
- Former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer, speaking to the ABC on 20th March, following publication of an Australia21 report into drug-related deaths which has said it's time for decriminalisation of drug use in Australia.
“We’re going to fight this terrible rule, we’re going to take this case as far as it will go, including the Supreme Court. We’re going to win."
- US President Donald Trump, in response to a Federal Court judge's decision to impose a temporary stay on the president's latest travel bans (as quoted in The Guardian)
"Today, in a sense, the entire country has become a torture-chamber: a place of savage horror and absolute injustice. As the conflict enters its 7th year, this is the worst man-made disaster the world has seen since World War II."
- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein in a statement made to the UN Human Rights Council on 14th March, 2017, as the sixth year anniversary of the start of the war in Syria passes.
"The Netherlands and the Dutch, we know them from the Srebrenica massacre. We know how much their morality, their character is broken from the 8,000 Bosnians that were massacred. We know this well. No one should give us a lesson in civilisation. Their history is dark but ours is clean."
- Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking on 14th March amid an escalating dispute with The Netherlands, sparked after two Turkish ministers were prevented from holding rallies in The Netherlands targeting Turkish expats ahead of a Turkish referendum on expanding Mr Erdogan's powers (as quoted on SBS). Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose country is facing a general election this week, has called his claim a "repugnant historical falsehood" and said "Erdogan's tone is getting more and more hysterical".
“It will be Scotland’s choice. And I trust the people to make that choice."
- Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, announcing she would ask the UK Government for a second referendum on Scotland's independence in light of the Brexit decision (as quoted on The Washington Post)
"The tragedy of missing loved ones, the fear of unexploded ordnance, armed violence in urban settings, threats, the restrictions on the movements of whole communities in areas controlled by armed groups - these all point to there still being a long way to go in Colombia."
- Christoph Harnisch, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross delegation to Colombia, as the organisation released a report which found that despite the peace deal signed between the Colombian Government and leftists guerilla group FARC and a "clear reduction" of the impact of the conflict on the population, it was too early to talk about a "post-conflict phase" in Colombia.
"This is not a rational person. He is not thinking clearly."
- US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, in reference to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, after a closed door meeting of the Security Council in response to recent missile tests (as quoted on CNN).
"The world must act now to stop this."
- UN Secretary-General António Guterres during a visit to drought-striken Somalia which is facing the spectre of famine and where some 300,000 children are already acutely malnourished.
“We urge North Korea to stop its provocative actions, which threaten international peace and security. North Korea should instead re-engage with the international community and take credible, concrete steps to prioritise the wellbeing of its own people instead of the illegal pursuit of its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.”
- UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, speaking after North Korea fired a volley of test missiles in contravention of a UN ban (as quoted in The Guardian).
"Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"
- One of a series of 'tweets' sent by US President Donald Trump early on 4th March, 2017, in which he accuses former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his phones at Trump Tower prior to the 2016 election. The claims have been flatly dismissed by former senior US officials, intelligence officials, and a spokesman for Mr Obama as well as sparked some sharp replies from some members of Mr Trump's Republican Party.
"I'm really quite personally shocked about this warning because it does feel like 1984 Ethiopia all over again, and we remembered those images and said never again."
- World Vision Australia's chief advocate speaking to the ABC with regard to the desperate humanitarian situation facing many people in African nations including South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
"I want to say that I am very sad because of these kind of reckless accusations and neglect of the good things that the government and the military have done for them."
- Myanmar's General Mya Tun Oo, chief of the General Staff, in comments referring to media reports quoting members of the Rohingya Muslim minority who say they suffered human rights abuses at the hands of Myanmar's millitary including the burning of houses (as quoted on ABC).
"I think that President Obama is behind it because his people are certainly behind it."
- US President Donald Trump in an interview with Fox News during which he said former President Barack Obama is behind the recent string of anti-Trump protests taking place across the nation.
"Guys, guys, I'm sorry. No. There's a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won best picture. This is not a joke."
- La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz, speaking after realising that the winner of the Oscar for Best Picture had been wrongly announced as La La Land instead of the actual winner, Moonlight.
"While Yemen is being starved or is starving, there is nothing really that is actually taking place to actually fix it."
- Jamie McGoldrick, the UN's top aid official in Yemen, in an interview with the ABC.
"[I]t was a kind of criminal negligence to deal with some of the problems that were staring us in the face."
- The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, in evidence given on 23rd February to Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, speaking in reference to the response of Catholic Church leaders to allegations of child abuse.
"The Mexican Government will not hesitate in going to international organisations, starting with the United Nations, to defend human rights, liberties and due process for Mexicans abroad according to international law."
- Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, speaking on 22nd February in a reference to US treatment of Mexican citizens (as quoted on BBC). His comments come ahead of a planned visit by two top US officials to Mexico to talk about the new immigration policies.
"For those who flee conflicts and terrible persecutions, often trapped within the grip of criminal organisations who have no scruples, we need to open accessible and secure humanitarian channels."
- Pope Francis in an address on 22nd February calling for a change of attitude towards immigrants and denouncing their rejection based on "self-centredness" which is "amplified by populist rhetoric".
"This day will be remembered for the triumph of dictatorship over the dream of the Paris Peace Accords for a rights-respecting, multi-party democracy."
- Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, speaking after the Cambodian Government changed the law to make it easier for the Ministry of the Interior and Supreme Court to dissolve a political party on the basis that it threatens "national unity" (as quoted on ABC)
“If you want to preserve - I’m very serious now - if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press. And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.”
- Republican Senator John McCain, in an interview with NBC. The interview came in the wake comments from US President Donald Trump that certain news media outlets were the "enemy of the American people" in a tweet on 17th February, 2017.
"If people are asking the question, is the direction for humanity to come together more or not? I think that answer is clearly yes. But we have to make sure the global community works for everyone. It is not just automatically going to happen."
- Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in an interview with the BBC about globalisation.
"I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit."
- US President Donald Trump speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about curtailing Jewish home-building in the West Bank in a meeting at the White House in comments in which Mr Trump also said he could "live with" either a one or two state solution for peace between Israelis and Palestinians (as quoted on The Washington Post).
"This is a test for tolerance and our multi-faith society. Indonesia is a pluralist nation that has great respect for different faiths. We cannot let this case sink the dream of our founding fathers who wrote our national motto: 'Bhinneka Tunggal Ika' [Unity in Diversity]."
- Sirra Prajuna, lawyer for Jakarta's first Christian governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (also known as Ahok), who is on trial for blasphemy. Tens of millions of Indonesians will this week vote in local elections, including for Jakarta's governor (as quoted on the BBC).
"The last thing Canadians expect is for me to come down and lecture another country on how they choose to govern."
- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a statement made during a meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House (as quoted on BBC)
“Isn’t it wonderful that this country has become an anchor of hope for many people in this world?”
- Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was elected as Germany’s new president on Sunday (as quoted on The Financial Times)
"Refugees, like all people, are treasured human beings made in the image of God who deserve safety, freedom and the opportunity to flourish. Jesus commands us to care for the most vulnerable among us..."
- Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in a statement expressing his sadness and shock after the UK Government announced that only 350 children will be received under an agreement to take in unaccompanied refugee children from Europe.
"He said very specifically that they were demoralising and disheartening and he characterised them very specifically that way."
- US Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, quoting President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, after a conversation they had in reference to tweets Mr Trump has made criticising the judiciary as they deliberate over whether an executive order he issued banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries should be allowed to continue (as quoted on CNN).
"The respect for the values and principles that have served us well seem to have been set aside for expedient, self-serving, short-term ends. That approach has not served our nation well."
- Australian Senator Cory Bernardi in a statement to the Senate in which he announced he is resigning from the federal Liberal Party to move to the crossbench and is starting a new party called Australian Conservatives (as quoted on the ABC).
"If something happens blame him and court system."
- US President Donald Trump in a tweet referring to Federal Judge James L Robarts who on Friday blocked a travel ban President Trump had introduced targeting citizens of seven mainly Muslim nations. Challenges to the judge's decision are ongoing.
"The President had a very cordial conversation with Prime Minister Trumble, where they went through an extensive discussion of this deal."
- White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer apparently mis-stating Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's name during comments he made about the reportedly tense phone call between the US President Donald Trump and Mr Turnbull in which they discussed the deal agreed between Australia and the administration of former US President Barack Obama concerning the resettlement of refugees from Nauru and Manus Island.
"This was the worst call by far."
- Reportedly said by US President Donald J Trump in a conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last Saturday, according to The Washington Post. The news organisation said senior US officials briefed on the exchange said that during the conversion, Mr Trump "blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refugee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win" before ending it abruptly after 25 minutes. The Post says the White House has declined to comment. Mr Turnbull has also refused to comment.
"I request that the person found guilty of homicide for my killing not be subject to or put in jeopardy of the death penalty under any circumstances."
- Rev Rene Robert, a Catholic priest who was murdered in Georgia in April, 2016, in a legal declaration signed in 1995 which has led Catholic bishops to petition a US court to drop the possibility of capital punishment in his alleged killer's case (as quoted on BBC).
"This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe."
- US President Donald Trump in a statement issued on Sunday afternoon after his controversial executive order concerning immigration bans sparked widespread protests (as quoted on the Boston Globe).
"The days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are over. But nor can we afford to stand idly by when the threat is real and when it is in our own interests to intervene. We must be strong, smart and hard-headed. And we must demonstrate the resolve necessary to stand up for our interests."
- UK Prime Minister Theresa May, in a speech made during a visit to the US (as quoted on BBC on 26th January, 2017)
"I am confident we will maintain the arrangements we have entered into with the previous administration."
- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, in reference to a refugee resettlement deal Australia had entered into with the US Obama administration, despite the change of government in the US (as quoted on the ABC on 26th January, 2017).
“We are relieved that so many people in the eastern sections of Mosul have been able to stay in their homes. We hope that everything is done to protect the hundreds of thousands of people who are across the river in the west. We know that they are at extreme risk and we fear for their lives."
- Lise Grande, UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, in a statement signed by UN agencies and civil society on 24th January, 2017, as the battle for Mosul expands to the western part of the city.
“If you so fundamentally reject this country, then I’d prefer it if you leave.”
- Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, in an open letter to the Netherlands citizens ahead of elections in March (as quoted in The Guardian on 23rd January, 2017).
“This was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period."
- US President Donald Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, addressing journalists on Saturday, 21st January, 2017, in comments which numerous media outlets say contradict photos, videos and public transport figures.
"I stand by everything I said including the offer to go to the United States if Chelsea Manning's sentence was commuted. It's not going to be commuted (until) May. We can have many discussions to that point."
- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, in a live online audio news conference from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, saying he stood by earlier comments in which he offered to be extradited to the US if former US Army intelligence officer Chelsea Manning - jailed for 35 years for leaking classified material to WikiLeaks - was released. Manning's sentence was commuted this week (as quoted by CNBC on 20th January, 2016).
"I feel very comfortable that justice has been served and a message has been sent."
- US President Barack Obama in his final press conference as president, defending his decision to commute the setence of Chelsea Manning, a former US army intelligence analyst who was jailed for 35 years for leaking classified files. Manning will now be released in May.
"I want to be clear: what I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market. Instead, we seek the greatest possible access to it though a new comprehensive, bold and ambitious free trade agreement."
- UK Prime Minister Theresa May in a landmark speech in 17th January, 2017, which put an end to any suggestion the UK would try to make what's been referred to as a "soft Brexit" when it leaves the EU.
“We Europeans have our fate in our own hands."
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking after US President-elect Donald Trump said in an interview that NATO was obsolete and suggesting other European countries would follow Britain and leave the EU (as quoted on The Guardian on 16th January, 2017)
"[The Participants] reaffirmed that a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is the only way to achieve enduring peace."
- From a controversial joint communique issued after representatives of more than 70 nations and international organisations at a "Conference for peace in the Middle East" in Paris on 15th January, 2017.
“As far as hacking, I think it was Russia."
- US President-elect Donald Trump, speaking at a news conference on 11th January, 2016, in which he conceded for the first time that he believed Russia had carried out cyberattacks during the US presidential election but rejected other reports that Moscow had gathered compromising personal and financial information on him (as quoted on The New York Times on 11th January, 2017)
"The central tenet of my belief - the thing that shapes my approach - is that there is more to life than individualism and self-interest."
- UK Prime Minister Theresa May in her most significant policy speech for months (as quoted on BBC on 9th January, 2017)
"When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose."
- US actress Meryl Streep, speaking as she received a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes on 9th January, 2017, in comments relating to an incident involving US President-elect Donald Trump in which he has been accused of mocking a disabled reporter. Mr Trump, who has denied the claims, later tweeted that Ms Streep was "one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood".
"I have nothing to hide - I have not broken any of the rules."
- Australian Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley, speaking after agreeing to stand aside from her position during an investigation into her travel claims, including a number of tax-payer funded flights to the Gold Coast (as quoted on ABC on 9th January, 2017).
“Australia is committed to building a strong Defence relationship with Indonesia, including through cooperation in training. We will work with Indonesia to restore full cooperation as soon as possible."
- Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne in a statement released on 4th January, 2017, following news that the Indonesian military had suspended joint operations with its Australian counterparts, citing "technical matters", after Indonesian military members reported finding insulting teaching materials while in Australia.
"[A] kidney now is probably going to sell for about $100,000"
- Griffith University's Dr Campbell Fraser who says that Syrian refugees desperate for passage to Europe are selling their organs on the black market to pay for it with the profits going to organised crime and terrorist organisations (as quoted by the ABC on 4th January, 2017).
"It is a sin that shames us."
- Pope Francis, referring to the sexual abuse of children by priests, in a 28th December letter to Roman Catholic bishops worldwide in which he condemned all forms of oppresion and exploitation of children (as quoted by Vatican Radio).
"Despite our best efforts over the years, the two-state solution is now in serious jeopardy...If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both and won't ever really be at peace."
- US Secretary of State John Kerry in comments in which he defended the US decision last week to abstain from - and not veto - a UN Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jeruslam.
"For over an hour, Kerry obsessively dealt with settlements and barely touched upon the root of the conflict -- Palestinian opposition to a Jewish state in any boundaries."
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responding to Mr Kerry's speech which he said was "skewed against Israel". (Both as quoted on the CNN on 29th December, 2016).
"We must never repeat the horrors of war again, this is the solemn vow the people of Japan have taken."
- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in a visit to the US naval base at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, where, as the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit the site, he offered "sincere and everlasting condolences" to the victims of Japan's attack on the base on 7th December, 1941 (as quoted on the BBC on 28th December, 2016)
"The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes."
- US President-elect Donald Trump in a tweet after Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia needed to bolster its nuclear potential. A spokesman for Mr Trump later said he was referring to the need to prevent nuclear proliferation.
“The killings committed by [President Duterte of the Philippines], by his own admission, at a time when he was a mayor, clearly constitute murder. It should be unthinkable for any functioning judicial system not to launch investigative and judicial proceedings when someone has openly admitted being a killer.”
- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, speaking on 20th December, 2016, after last week's admission by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte that he had killed people while serving as mayor of the city of Davao.
"After so many delaying tactics and obstruction, this resolution should finally allow the full respect of international humanitarian law in Syria."
- French President Francois Hollande, speaking after the UN Security Council voted to send monitors to watch over evacuations from the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo (as quoted on SMH on 20th December, 2016)
"Aleppo is now a synonym for hell...[W]e have collectively failed the people of Syria. Peace will only prevail when it is accompanied by compassion, justice and accountability for the abominable crimes we have seen."
- Outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his final press conference in the role at the UN headquarters in New York City, on 16th December, 2016.
"There is absolutely no justification whatsoever for the indiscriminate and savage brutality against civilians shown by the regime and by it's Russian and Iranian allies."
- US Secretary of State John Kerry, accusing the Syrian Government of carrying out "nothing short of a massacre" against citizens in east Aleppo, adding that "last thing anyone wants to see and the world will be watching is that that small area turns into Srebrenica". (as quoted on ITV on 15th December, 2016).
"I go around in Davao [on] a big bike and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble. I was really looking for an encounter to kill."
- Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in comments in which he said he used to hunt suspects on his motorcycle, shooting people on the spot, when mayor of Davao with the goal of encouraging police officers to do the same (as quoted on the SMH on 15th December, 2016)
“According to the latest information that we received in the last hour, military actions in eastern Aleppo are over.”
- Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the UN, speaking to reporters in New York City on 13th December, 2016.
"Our most serious shortcoming - and here I refer to the entire international community - is our inability to prevent crises. The United Nations was born from war. Today, we must be here for peace."
- Incoming UN Secretary-General António Gueterres in a speech made to the UN General Assembly on taking the oath of office in New York City on 12th December, 2016.
“Northern Ireland must not be allowed to become collateral damage of Brexit”.
- Tim Boswell, chairman of a UK House of Lords EU committee, in an interview with The Guardian following the release of a committee report on the impact of Brexit (as quoted in The Guardian on 12th December, 2016)
“In many parts of the Western world disadvantage is now an intergenerational reality, and all the aspirations that we once commonly shared, that we might, irrespective of how we were born into society, have an opportunity through the education system to achieve the things that might have been our potential, for an increasing number of people that doesn’t seem to be how it works anymore.”
- Archbishop Philip Freier, Anglican primate of Australia, speaking at an 'Archbishop’s Conversation' event held on 30th November, 2016, at Federation Square in Melbourne (as quoted in The Melbourne Anglican on 6th December, 2016)
“We predict that the number of victims will increase, considering a large number of people are still trapped under debris."
- Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho speaking to journalists on 7th December, 2016, in reference to a magnitude 6.5 earthquake which struck in Aceh at about 5am on 7th December, killing almost 100 people (as quoted in The Jakarta Post on 7th December, 2016)
"I think there are tensions, there has been fighting, but I wouldn't put it the way some have done."
- Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in an interview with the BBC in which he said he would not describe violence being committed against Myanmar's Rohingya minority as "genocide". The interview followed a trip by Mr Annan to Rakhine State.
“[I] owe no debt to a party. I owe a debt to my children to leave them a nation they can trust.”
- Republican presidential elector, Christopher Suprun, in an article in The New York Times on 5th December, 2016, in which he said he intends to vote against Donald Trump when casting his vote in the electoral college on 19th December in an attempt to stop the President-elect from entering the White House.
"The 'one China' principle is the political basis of the China-US relations."
- A statement from a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman in which he said the country had made "stern representations" with the US after President-elect Donald Trump took a phone call from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, in a reference to the policy, recognised by the US since 1979, under which China claims Taiwan as part of its territory (as quoted on CNN on 4th December, 2016)
"On behalf of the United Nations, I want to say very clearly we apologise to the Haitian people. We simply did not do enough with regard to the cholera outbreak and its spread in Haiti. We are profoundly sorry for our role."
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over the organisation's role in the deadly cholera outbreak which has killed around 10,000 people in the nation since 2010.
"I think President Trump and the new administration need to be wary of Russian promises."
- John Brennan, director of the CIA, in an interview with the BBC (as quoted on BBC on 30th November, 2016)
"I eat two eggs a day, and that's it. And cookies. But I do not eat much because I have no teeth."
- Italian Emma Morano who at 117-years-old, is the last known person alive to have been born in the 19th century (as quoted on Today on 1st November, 2016)
"Nobody can think about peaceful solutions in these circumstances."
- George Sabra, chief negotiator for the Syrian opposition forces after rebels were driven by eastern Aleppo by the Syrian Government and its allies (as quoted on BBC on 29th November, 2016)
“You cried out when 50,000 refugees were at the Kapikule border [in Bulgaria]. You started asking what you would do if Turkey would open the gates. Look at me - if you go further, those border gates will be open. You should know that.”
- Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a speech made on 25th November, 2016, speaking apparently in response to a European Parliament move, in a non-binding vote, to suspend talks on Turkey entering the EU (as quoted in The New York Times on 25th November, 2016)
"After the October 9th assassinations of nine border guard police, the military and the BGP [border guard police] engaged in collective punishment of the Rohinga minority, killing men, shooting them, slaughtering children, raping women, burning and looting houses..."
- John McKissock, an official with the UN Refugee Agency, speaking in an interview with the BBC about circumstances he says has forced many Rohingya in Rakhine state to flee to the Bangladeshi border. The Government of Myanmar has denied the claims.
"The point that I was making is that we should call out the small number within the community – within the Lebanese community – who are doing the wrong thing."
- Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton after earlier saying that the Fraser Government had made mistakes in letting some migrants into Australia from the Lebanese Civil War in the 1970s in which he referred to advice that 22 of 33 terrorism offenders were second and third-generation Lebanese-Muslim Australians (as quoted by Sydney Morning Herald on 24th November, 2016)
“I think there is some connectivity. Some, something. It depends on how much.”
- US President-elect Donald Trump, in an interview with The New York Times on 22nd November, 2016, with regard to the connection between human activity and climate change (as quoted by New York Times writer Mike Grynbaum).
“I am more or less at my wit’s end...I had hoped to say today that last month I put it all on the table and frankly it’s still just as terrible and leave it at that – shame on us all for not acting to stop the annihilation of eastern Aleppo and its people and much of the rest of Syria too."
- Stephen O’Brien, UN emergency relief coordinator, in a briefing to the UN Security Council in New York on 21st November, 2016, in reference to the ongoing conflict in Aleppo, Syria.
“I don’t give a damn what the president of the United States wants to do or anybody else wants to do. We will not waterboard. We will not do it."
- US Senator John McCain, addressing an international security forum on 19th November, 2016 (as quoted in The Guardian on 20th November, 2016)
“And I don’t expect that the president-elect will follow exactly our blueprint or our approach, but my hope is that he does not simply take a realpolitik approach."
- US President Barack Obama, speaking at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in reference to his hopes for Mr Trump's presidency (as quoted on New York Times on 17th November, 2016)
“I know how ridiculous it is for me to be on this stage accepting this award. But if I didn’t know how ridiculous it was, I did have the blessed internet to remind me.”
- U2 frontman Bono, after he won an award for Man of the Year at Glamour's Woman of the Year awards in Los Angeles, referring to some of the criticism he has taken as a result (as quoted on News.com.au on 16th November, 2016)
“We cannot tell anything about what he’s going to do, but if...he is going to fight the terrorists, of course we are going to be ally, natural ally in that regard with the Russian, with the Iranian, with many other countries."
- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in an interview with Portuguese television, in his first comments following Donald Trump's victory in the US election (as quoted on The Guardian on 15th November, 2016)
"First of all we want safety and I think the United States is a safe place for us."
- Pakistani refugee Naeem Udin, receiving news of the deal Australia has brokered to resettle refugees now on Manus Island and Nauru in the US (as quoted on ABC on 15th November, 2016)
“You are surrounded! Park Geun-hye, come out and surrender!”
- Protestors, chanting in the South Korean capital of Seoul, at a mass march on 12th November, 2016, in which they called for President Park Geun-hye's resignation following a scandal surrounding a presidential advisor (as quoted on New York Times on 12th November, 2016)
"If we don't manage to re-launch agriculture then in three to four months we'll find ourselves with a major food crisis."
- Haiti's interim President Jocelerme Privert, speaking with regard to the country's recovery in the wake of last month's devastating hurricane (as quoted on BBC on 11th November, 2016)
"I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans."
- President-elect Donald Trump in his acceptance speech following his election as 45th US president.
"As a son, it is something that I have been praying for for many, many years. Even equally, it's important with the belief that this was for the healing process in this country."
- Philippines former senator Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos, Jr, speaking to CNN after the country's Supreme Court controversially ruled the body of his father, former President Ferdinand Marcos, could be buried in the country's Heroes' Cemetery (as quoted on CNN on 8th November, 2016)
"I urge all Australians to reject these cruel and unnecessary measures. We need to build a more just, humane and effective society in dealing with the complex issues of asylum seekers and protection of refugees. Inflicting pain on a small group of people who have not caused any damage is not worthy of all Australians."
- Roman Catholic Bishop Vincent Long, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference delegate for migrants and refugees, in a statement issued in reference to the Australian Government's proposal measures banning refugees who arrived in Australia by boat after 19th July, 2013, from every applying for a visa.
"We are very concerned that ISIL intends to use these families to shield themselves from air strikes."
- A spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, speaking on 4th November, 2016, with regard to reports followers of the so-called Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIL) had been transporting trucks full of abducted civilians in Iraq to battle zones.
“The government does not have power under the crown’s prerogative to give notice pursuant to article 50 for the UK to withdraw from the European Union.”
- UK lord chief justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, in a decision handed down in the high court on 3rd November, 2016, which ruled Parliament alone has the power to trigger Brexit by notifying the EU of the UK's intention to resign its membership of the body. The decision is being seen as a huge setback for PM Theresa May who had insisted the government alone would decide when to trigger the process following the Brexit referendum in June.
"Religious freedom is more than just freedom from persecution; it is the freedom to choose how to express our understanding of our relationship with God."
- Justin Welby, Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, in a keynote address given at an interfaith event in Abu Dhabi on 2nd November, 2016.
"It is pure politics designed to appease the xenophobes. It is without any policy merit in dealing with the real policy challenges all countries face today in what is now a global refugees crisis. And it does nothing to help those refugees left to rot for more than three years, who should be resettled now."
- Former Australian PM Kevin Rudd in an opinion piece in Fairfax media outlets referring to the Federal Government's proposed legislation to ban people being held in asylum seeker detention centres on Nauru or Manus Island from ever entering Australia (as quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald on 2nd November, 2016).
"The spiritual experience of Martin Luther challenges us to remember that apart from God, we can do nothing."
- Pope Francis, speaking at an event commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in Sweden on 31st October, 2016 (as quoted on ABCNews on 31st October, 2016).
"We don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails."
- FBI director James B Comey in a letter to Congress written on 28th October, 2016, notifying the body of an FBI bid to search the emails of former congressman Anthony Weiner and his estranged wife (and Hillary Clinton aide) Huma Abedin, with regard to an investigation into Ms Clinton's use of a private email server. The timing of the letter has promoted an outcry from Clinton supporters and applause from those in the camp of rival US Presidential candidate, Donald Trump (as quoted in The Washington Post on 30th October, 2016).
"I just find this a joke, and I'm getting sick and tired of the crap that is coming out of this government in regard to Indigenous Affairs."
- Warren Mundine, the Prime Minister's top Indigenous advisor, responding to news of a new inquiry into Indigenous imprisonment rates in Australia (as quoted on 9News on 27th October, 2016).
"Climate change is happening now and it's having a tangible impact on Australia."
- Karl Braganza, manager of the Bureau of Meteorology's climate monitoring, speaking as the bureau and CSIRO release the country's fourth State of the Climate report (as quoted on The Sydney Morning Herald on 27th October, 2016).
"Should the rights of Muslim daughters not be protected? Should Muslim mothers and sisters not be given protection? Should Muslim sisters not be given equal rights?"
- India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a speech in which he said it was the Indian Government's constitutional "duty" to ensure Islamic women have rights. The speech was made against the backdrop of a constitutional challenge to a practice which allows Islamic men to unilaterally divorce their wives simply by saying so three times (as quoted on ABC on 25th October, 2016).
"I have come to this conclusion with regret, but the best interests of the Commonwealth can be served only when its first and second law officers enjoy each other's complete trust and confidence within a mutually respectful relationship."
- Australia's Solicitor-General Justin Gleeson in a letter in which he resigned from office, claiming his relationship with Attorney-General George Brandis was "irretrievably broken" (as quoted on ABC on 25th October, 2016).
“The people are going to snap...Sugar is like rice and oil and wheat. You can never run out of it. You can never mess with it. Who can live without sugar?”
- Egyptian Ahmad el-Gebaly who runs a subsidised goods store in the Cairo neighbourhood of Bulaq, speaking in reference to the sugar shortage taking place in Egypt (as quoted on The New York Times on 20th October, 2016)
“I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense."
- US presidential candidate Donald Trump, speaking in the third debate between the two presidential candidates with regard to the issue of whether he would accept the US election result if he lost.
"I think the first priority is with relation to peace. The lack of peace is the most dramatic problem we are facing in today’s world. We have seen a multiplication of new conflicts; old conflicts never die."
- Incoming UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, in an interview with UN media on 19th October, 2016.
"We know they are being used as human shields, absolutely. They are being held there against their will. We have not seen any change in the last day of people leaving or fleeing."
- Pentagon spokesman US Navy Captain Jeff Davis, speaking on 18th October, 2016, with regard to claims so-called Islamic State fighters are stopping civilians from leaving Mosul as Iraqi forces continue in an operation to retake the city.
“On Nauru, the Australian Government runs an open-air prison designed to inflict as much suffering as necessary to stop some of the world’s most vulnerable people from trying to find safety in Australia."
- Anna Neistat, Amnesty International’s senior director for research, following the release of a report Island of Despair detailing what the organisation claims is a "deliberate and systematic regime of neglect and cruelty" on Nauru. The Australian Government's Department of Immigration and Border Protection said the claims have been refuted on numerous occasions.
“Bhumibol was a towering presence whose contribution to Thailand, and the rest of the region, is beyond words."
- Najib Razak, the prime minister of Malaysia, following the death of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the age of 88 after a reign lasting 70 years (as quoted on The Guardian on 14th October, 2016)
“In my opinion, the only real alternative to a hard Brexit is no Brexit. Even if today hardly anyone believes in such a possibility.”
- European Council President Donald Tusk, speaking about the departure of the UK from the European Union (as quoted on the Financial Times on 14th October, 2016)
"If Donald Trump is elected, on the basis of what he has said already and unless that changes, I think it's without any doubt that he would be dangerous from an international point of view."
- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, speaking to reporters (as quoted on ABC on 13th October, 2016)
"Actors on all sides appear more and more willing to resort to violence to achieve their ends."
- Maman Sidikou, head of a UN peace-keeping mission, speaking about the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the UN Security Council this week (as quoted by the BBC on 12th October, 2016)
“Hundreds have died. At least 1.4 million people need assistance at this time. Some towns and villages have been almost wiped off the map. Crops and food reserves have been destroyed. At least 300 schools have been damaged."
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, speaking at UN headquarters in New York City on 10th October, 2016, with regard to the devastating impact Hurricane Matthew has had on the Caribbean island nation of Haiti.
"I’ve seen a lot of death, but not this thing. This is shocking and this is what makes you feel you are not living in a civilized world.”
- Photographer Aris Messinis, who was on board a vessel involved in the rescue of more than 11,000 would-be migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Europe this week (as quoted in The New York Times on 5th October, 2016).
"There is no escape. It is like the end of the world."
- An unnamed resident of Aleppo, in Syria, speaking last month as fighting continues in various parts of the city between Russian-backed government and rebel forces (as quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald on 5th October, 2016).
“Malcolm Turnbull, our PM, took the first opportunity to lecture South Australians about the dangers of renewable energy, and for the Labor states in promoting unrealistic renewable energy targets."
- South Australian Premier Mike Weatherill, speaking to reporters in regard to the recent statewide blackout following the release of a report which Mr Weatherill said pointed the finger at extreme weather and not renewable energy as the cause (as quoted in The Guardian on 5th October, 2016).
“Brexit should not just prompt us to think about our new relationship with the European Unionl. It should make us think about our role in the wider world. It should make us think of Global Britain, a country with the self-confidence and the freedom to look beyond the continent of Europe and to the economic and diplomatic opportunities of the wider world."
- UK Prime Minister Theresa May, speaking to the Conservative Party Conference in the UK on 2nd October, 2016 (as quoted in The Telegraph on 3rd October, 2016).
"The government initiated the referendum, so both politically and legally the outcome is binding."
- A Hungarian Government spokesman, speaking after only 43 per cent of the population took part in a referendum on mandatory EU migrant quotas which, while less than half of eligible people voted, resulted in almost 98 per cent in support of the government's call to reject the EU plan (as quoted on BBC on 3rd October, 2016).
“By killing the parish priest in a small village, the narcos assert their authority in a brutal way. Not even the traditional, spiritual authority of the priest is respected: narcos alone rule."
- Pablo Mijangos y González, a historian at the Centre for Research and Teaching of Economics in Mexico, speaking after three Catholic priests were kidnapped killed in the country in a week (as quoted in The Guardian on 29th September, 2016).
"As the State of Israel mourns Mr Peres, I hope that his memory and many years of service will inspire us all to work with ever greater urgency for peace and reconciliation between peoples. In this way, his legacy will truly be honored and the common good for which he so diligently labored will find new expressions, as humanity strives to advance on the path towards enduring peace."
- Pope Francis in a telegram to Israeli President Reuvin Rivlin following the death of Shimon Peres, former president and prime minister of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who died on 28th September, 2016, after a stroke.
"I am staggered that so many conservative or evangelical Christians would see a man who is a bully, who made his money by casinos, who has had several wives and several affairs…That they would somehow paint him as a hero, as someone that we could stand behind."
- US Christian author and speaker Philip Yancey, speaking in an interview with Evangelical Focus, about US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (as published on 23rd September, 2016).
"I would like to ask for forgiveness for all the pain that we have caused during this war."
- FARC leader Timoleon Jimenez, speaking as the Colombian Government and representatives of the guerilla group signed an historic peace agreement which brings to an end 52 years of war in which some 260,000 people were killed (as quoted on BBC on 27th September, 2016)
"Instead of peace, Russia and Assad make war. Instead of getting life-saving aid to Syrians, Russia and Assad are bombing hospitals and first responders."
- Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN, accusing Russia of telling the UN Security Council lies about its role in Syria.
"It is unacceptable in a world of plenty that nearly 800 million people still suffer from hunger. This represents a collective moral and political failure."
- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, speaking to a high-level event on 'Pathways to Zero Hunger' at UN headquarters in New York City, on 22nd September, 2016.
"Now, once again, it is a time of determined hope for Myanmar...And these dreams and aspirations echo those that had led to the founding of the United Nations."
- Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, speaking on 21st September, 2016, in the first speech given by a civilian representative of Myanmar to the UN General Assembly in more than 50 years.
"Some argue the future favours the strong man. I believe this thinking is wrong. History shows that strong men are then left with two paths: Permanent crackdown, which sparks strife at home, or scapegoating enemies abroad, which can lead to war."
- US President Barack Obama in his farewell speech to the UN General Assembly on 20th September, 2016.
"The bitter truth is, this summit was called because we have been largely failing. Failing the long-suffering people of Syria, in not ending the war in its infancy. Failing others in now-chronic conflict zones, for the same reason. Failing millions of migrants who deserve far more than lives marked by cradle-to-grave indignity and desperation."
- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein addressing the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19th September, 2016.
"We regret the loss of life and injury to any Syrian personnel affected."
- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after Australian planes were involved in an air strike which killed as many as 90 Syrian soldiers who have been fighting the so-called Islamic State (as quoted on ABC on 19th September, 2016)
"It's not just another crisis, it might be an existential crisis."
- French President Francois Hollande, speaking on 16th September, 2016, with regard to the crisis facing the European Union after the British decision to exit (as quoted in The New York Times on 16th September, 2016)
"I will not apologise to you, I will not apologise to anyone."
- Australian Senator Pauline Hanson, speaking after her maiden speech to Parliament, in which she said Australia was in danger of being "swamped by Muslims", promoted criticism including a walk-out by Greens senators.
"Through his decision-making in the National Security Council, former Prime Minister David Cameron was ultimately responsible for the failure to develop a coherent Libya strategy."
- The UK's House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee in a report criticising the intervention of the UK and France in Libya in 2011, which led to the overthrow of leader Muammar Gaddafi (as quoted in the report).
"Every Pyongyang district, particularly where the North Korean leadership is possibly hidden, will be completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosive shells as soon as the North shows any signs of using a nuclear weapon."
- An unnamed military source, speaking after North Korea last week undertook its 5th nuclear test (as quoted by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency on 11th September, 2016)
"That should put an end to the barrel bombs, an end to the indiscriminate bombing of civilian neighborhoods."
- US Secretary of State John Kerry announcing a plan for a ceasefire in Syria along with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on 9th September, 2016. The ceasefire is to come into effect on the evening of 12th September, 2016 (as quoted on CNN on 10th September, 2016)
"We have little hope that the UN-coordinated humanitarian response might operate independently of the political priorities of the Syrian government ."
- From a position paper signed by 73 NGOs working on the humanitarian response to the crisis in Syria and neighbouring countries in which they claim the Syrian Government has had "a significant and substantial influence" on the performance of UN agencies based in Damascus, say they are suspending their cooperation with the UN and demand an immediate and transparent investigation into its operations in Syria.
"I'm appalled at talk about treaty, that will be so divisive and will fail."
- Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, speaking at the National Press Club on 7th September, 2016, about the prospect of a treaty between the Australian Government and Indigenous Australians.
"It's condescending because we're too quick to put a tag on the fact that someone hasn't got that ultimate make-up, two arms and two legs."
- Retired Australian Paralympian Don Elgin saying that paralympians are sick of being called 'courageous' in an interview on 7th September, 2016 (as quoted on ABC on 7th September, 2016).
"Mother Teresa loved to say, 'perhaps I don't speak their language but I can smile'. Let us carry her smile in our hearts and give it to those whom we meet along our journey, especially those who suffer."
- Pope Francis, in his homily at the canonisation Mass of Mother Teresa, held in St Peter's Square in Vatican City on 4th September, 2016 (as quoted on Vatican Radio on 4th September, 2016).
“He used us as props.”
- Republican Jacob Monty, speaking about why he left US presidential candidate Donald Trump's Hispanic advisory council (as quoted on The New York Times on 1st September, 2016)
"We should not be so delicate as to say Daesh and Islamist terrorism have ‘got nothing to do with Islam’...At the same time there is nothing to be gained by rashly fixing labels and pre-empting the findings of complex investigations...We must not link all Muslims with the crimes of a terrorist minority – that is precisely what the extremists want us to do."
- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, in a statement on counter-terrorism initiatives made in the Australian Parliament on 1st September, 2016.
"Australia used to tell others to respect international law. They must now show us that they also abide by international law."
- Xanana Gusmao, the "father of East Timorese independence", speaking outside the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague which is hearing a case concerning maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea (as quoted on ABC on 31st August, 2016)
“You described people who weren’t in favour of changing the definition of marriage as ‘haters who come out from under rock’. Can I ask you not to speak like that?”
- Ian Powell, rector of St Matthew’s Church in the Canberra suburb of Wanniassa, speaking after an ecumenical service to mark the opening of the Australian Parliament (as quoted on News.com.au on 30th August, 2016)
"[W]e were hoping for some sun."
- Cyprien Verseux, one of six people who spent a year living in an isolated habitat on the island of Hawaii as part of a simulation to help scientists better prepare for deep space missions such as a trip to Mars, overheard as he left the habitat on Sunday (as quoted on NBC on 28th August, 2016)
"The town is no more."
- Sergio Pirozzi, mayor of the central Italian town of Amatrice, speaking to Italian state broadcaster RAI in the wake of Wednesday's earthquake in central Italy (as quoted on CNN on 25th August, 2016)
"This poses a grave threat to Japan's security, and is an unforgivable act that damages regional peace and stability markedly."
- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking after North Korea launched a ballistic missile from a submarine early on 24th August, 2016 (as quoted on SMH on 24th August, 2016)
"She came out and she apologised, I don't hold grudges — I forgive her for what she's done and I think everyone else should as well."
- Adelaide Crows player Eddie Betts after a Port Adelaide supporter threw a banana at him during an AFL game at Adelaide Oval on Saturday (as quoted on ABC on 24th August, 2016)
"I am back!"
- Australian Senator Pauline Hanson as she arrived at Parliament House on 23rd August, 2016, as one of 14 new senators taking part in a 'school' aimed at helping them learn about their new role.
“Here comes the UN, easily swayed, and coming with a very stupid proposition. Why would the United Nations be so easily swayed into interfering in the affairs of this republic?”
- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in response to criticism of his 'war' on illegal drugs which has reportedly claimed hundreds of lives (as quoted on TIME on 18th August, 2016). He has since threatened to leave the UN and said he would invite China and African nations to join a new international body.
"I am trying to be one of the greatest. Be among [Muhammad] Ali and Pele."
- Jamaican runner Usain Bolt, winner of both the 100 metre and 200 metre sprints at the Rio Olympics - the third consecutive time he has won both events at an Olympics, speaking after winning the latter.
"Every war, every conflict, has an operation, a battle which captured the public imagination - the most dramatic battle, and costly, in which Australia was involved during the course of the Vietnam War was the battle of Long Tan. It's become a battle which has come to symbolise the Vietnam War, and the legacy from ANZAC which was carried by those young Australians."
- Brendan Nelson, director of the Australian War Memorial (as quoted on ABC on 18th August, 2016).
"It's an untenable situation for it to remain the way it is."
- Toby O'Brien, a former child protection officer for Save the Children, speaking to the BBC after more than 100 former employees at Australia's offshore detention centres signed a letter calling for asylum seekers to be brought to Australia (as quoted on BBC on 17th August, 2016).
"The fact is we are overwhelmed with a feeling of depression. It's like being beaten and being stopped from crying. You helplessly watch your daughter but there is nothing you can do. It's a real heartache."
- Samuel Yaga, father of abducted schoolgirl Serah Samuel, talking to the BBC's Hausa service, as terror group Boko Haram released another video showing some of the schoolgirls abducted from the Nigerian town of Chibok (as quoted on BBC on 14th August, 2016).
"I accept and even support their right to have a peaceful assembly in a park — across the road even. But to come in and violate our sacred space and traumatise our congregation is simply unacceptable."
- Anglican minister Rod Bower, speaking after an anti-Islamic group invaded a service at the Gosford Anglican Church on Sunday (as quoted on ABC on 15th August, 2016).
"No, I meant he's the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award."
- US Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump responding to a question by a US radio host asking whether, when he initially said Barack Obama was the "founder of ISIS" (another name for the so-called Islamic State), he actually meant he "created the vacuum, he lost the peace" (as quoted on CNN on 11th August, 2016).
"This was not an attack, nor was it a hack."
- Australian Small Business Minister Michael McCormack at a press conference on 10th August, 2016, explaining what the denial of service operations - which led to the closure of the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Census website on 9th August - were not. The comment was at odd with the words of cyber security advisor Alistair McGibbon who told ABC radio it was "definitely an attack, but not a hack" (as quoted on 9News on 11th August, 2016).
"We are convinced that in the Oval Office, he would be the most reckless President in American history."
- Fifty Republican foreign policy and national security experts in a letter denouncing Donald Trump's presidential candidacy and pledging not to vote for him (as quoted on CNN on 9th August, 2016)
"Every day you would witness scenes of crushed skulls, dismembered bodies, mutilated limbs, dead children. That's everyday life for the people of Aleppo."
- Orthopedic surgeon Samer Attar, one of two Chicago-based doctors from the Syrian American Medical Society who testified to the UN Security Council on 8th August, 2016 (as quoted in Deutsche Welle on 8th August, 2016)
"Director Fernando Mereilles and his team delivered a sobering call to address global warming and deforestation cloaked in a stirring multicultural celebration of tolerance."
- Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney, in his TV review of the Opening Ceremony at the Rio Olympic Games (as quoted from the Hollywood Reporter on 5th August, 2016)
"ISIL [another acronym for the so-called Islamic State] has not had a major successful offensive operation in Syria or Iraq in a full year".
- US President Barack Obama, speaking at a press conference in Washington, DC, on 4th August, 2016, in which he also spoke of the possibility of attacks by a lone actor or small cells.
“We recognised that the gas was chlorine as we have experienced it many times before.”
- Laith Fares, a civil defence worker in the rebel-held town of Saraqib, Syria, speaking after claims surfaced that barrel bombs containing chlorine gas were dropped on the town late on Monday night (as quoted in The Australian on 3rd August, 2016).
“Australia’s atrocious treatment of the refugees on Nauru over the past three years has taken an enormous toll on their well-being."
- Michael Bochenek, senior counsel on children’s rights at Human Rights Watch, speaking following a joint investigation with Amnesty International into the treatment of refugees on the Pacific Island.
“While our party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us."
- US Republican Senator John McCain, in a rebuke to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump after Mr Trump belittled the Muslim parents of a US soldier who died for his country in Iraq after they spoke at the Democratic National Convention (as quoted on the New York Times on 1st August, 2016)
"I'm almost levitating, it's incredible."
- American Luke Aikins who became the first person to jump from 25,000 ft (7,620m) without a parachute, landing in a specially made net, in southern California on 30th July, 2016.
"I didn’t say it would be easy. I said back then, and I’ll say it again, that we can manage our historic task - and this is a historic test in times of globalisation - just as we’ve managed so much already, we can manage it."
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel in comments defending her policy allowing hundreds of thousands refugees into Germany last summer, made after a spate of terror-related attacks in Germany and elsewhere in Europe in recent days (as quoted in The Guardian on 28th July, 2016)
"We must not be afraid to say the truth, the world is at war because it has lost peace. When I speak of war I speak of wars over interests, money, resources, not religion. All religions want peace, it's the others who want war."
- Pope Francis, speaking ahead of a visit to Poland following the murder of a Catholic priest in France on Tuesday (as quoted on BBC on 27th July, 2016)
"There will be no let-up in this campaign. Double your efforts. Triple them, if need be. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier, and the last pusher have surrendered or put behind bars or below the ground, if they so wish."
- Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in his first State of the Nation address, speaking about his crackdown on drugs which human rights groups say has already claimed the lives of almost 300 suspected users and pushers (as quoted on GMA News on 25th July, 2016)
"If one of us were to have been found to have treated our children in this way we would probably be charged with a criminal offence and the children taken away from us."
- Australia's Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs, speaking on Monday night after the ABC's Four Corners program aired footage of the treatment of juveniles at a detention centre in Darwin in 2014 (as quoted by SMH on 26th July, 2016)
"It's a significant blow to the fight for integrity in the Olympic movement and the rights of clean athletes."
- United States Anti-Doping Agency head Travis Tygart, speaking after the International Olympic Committee decided not to impose a blanket ban on Russian athletes at the Rio Olympics but to leave decisions on individual competitors to sports federations (as quoted by SkySports on 25th July, 2016)
"This measure is in no way against democracy, the law and freedoms. On the contrary it aims to protecty and strengthen them."
- Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking after declaring a three month state of emergency following a failed coup (as quoted by SMH on 21st July, 2016)
"I'm afraid that there is such a rich thesaurus now of things that I have said that have been one way or another...somehow misconstrued that it would really take me too long to engage in a fully global itinerary of apology to all concerned."
- Boris Johnson, newly named as the UK's Foreign Secretary, responding to questions over whether he would apologise to world leaders, including UK President Barack Obama, about disparaging remarks he has previously made about them (as quoted by Reuters on 19th July, 2016)
"As citizens of this great nation, it is kindness, love and compassion for each other that will bring us together - and keep us together. These are the values Donald and I will bring to the White House."
- Melania Trump, wife of would-be US presidential candidate Donald Trump, in a speech at the Republican National Convention in the US which has since come under fire for similarities, elsewhere in her talk, to one given by Michelle Obama in 2008 (as quoted by News24 on 19th July, 2016)
"I've come to buy what I can't find in the country - rice, beans, lentils, sugar, toilet paper...We're only eating once a day."
- Elizabeth Perez, 47, who is among thousands of Venezuelans who crossed in Colombia on Sunday to buy food and medicines now unavailable in her own economically-stricken country (as quoted by Reuters on 17th July, 2016)
"Do you support a non-democratic coup" (or an) or “increasingly non-democratic leader?"
- Richard N. Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, in the wake of the attempted coup in Turkey which has sparked a harsh crack-down on opposition by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (as quoted in the New York Times on 15th July, 2016)
"Like all of us, Australians would have no doubt preferred a clearer outcome last night. I remain quietly confident that a majority Coalition government will be returned."
- Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, speaking on Sunday follow Saturday's inclusive federal election in Australia (as quoted on ABC on 3rd July, 2016)
"What I'm very sure of is that, while we don't know who the winner was, there is clearly one loser: Malcolm Turnbull's agenda for Australians and his efforts to cut Medicare. We want to make the 45th parliament work."
- Australia's Opposition leader Bill Shorten, speaking 3rd July, 2016, following Australia's inconclusive federal election (as quoted on SMH on 3rd July, 2016).
"In a free and democratic process, the British people have expressed their wish to leave the European Union. We regret this decision but respect it...We now expect the United Kingdom government to give effect to this decision of the British people as soon as possible, however painful that process may be. Any delay would unnecessarily prolong uncertainty."
- A joint statement by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Mark Rutte, Holder of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission following he UK's Brexit vote, speaking on 24th June, 2016.
"The fight is not over. This is just one step of when we come back here on July the 5th we're going to continue to push, to pull, to stand up, and if necessary, to sit down. So don't give up, don't give in. Keep the faith, and keep your eyes on the prize."
- US politician John Lewis, speaking on 23rd June, 2016, after he and other Democrats ended a day-long sit-in in the US House of Representatives in an attempt to force a vote on the issue of gun control (as quoted on CNN on 24th June, 2016).
"Where we see hatred, where we find division, where we see intolerance we must drive it out of our politics and out of our public life and out of our communities."
- UK Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking after MP Jo Cox, a vocal supporter of the UK remaining part of the EU, was killed in a daylight attack in a street in her northern English constituency village of Birstall on 16th June, 2016.
"We were shocked by the number of displaced people and we weren't prepared to receive them. We secured tents for some of them but the rest, including women and children, are sleeping on the ground under the sun. Their situation is a tragedy."
- An unnamed Iraqi aid worker, speaking with regard to the tens of thousands of people who have fled their homes since the Iraqi Government launched an attack against what was an Islamic State stronghold (as quoted on SBS on 20th June, 2016)
"Although it's still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate."
- US President Barack Obama, speaking after at least 50 people were killed and scores more injured in a mass nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, in the early hours of 12th June, 2016.
"Each and every killer will be brought to book."
- Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, vowing to bring an end to a wave of killings targeting minorities in the country (as quoted on BBC on 11th June, 2016)
"Muhammad Ali shook up the world. And the world is better for it."
- US President Barack Obama, speaking after champion boxer Muhammad Ali died on 3rd June, 2016, at the age of 74. A procession and funeral will be held for him this week.
"I intend to specify that among these so-called 'serious reasons' is the negligence of bishops in the exercise of their functions, especially in cases of sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable adults."
- Pope Francis in a papal decree saying that while canon law already allows bishops to be removed for negligence, he wants a more precise definition of the reasons that could led to the dismissal of a Roman Catholic bishop (as quoted on BBC on 4th June, 2016)
"We sincerely apologise for our serious mistakes."
- Australian 60 Minutes reporter Michael Usher, speaking on Sunday night's program (29th May, 2016), in reference to a story on a custody dispute which saw four members of its crew and others involved in the case detained temporarily in a Beirut jail on charges of kidnapping.
"It's time that Europe had the courage to offer safe alternatives that allow these people to come without putting their own lives or those of their children in danger."
- Tommaso Fabri, of Medicins San Frontieres, speaking as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee said more than 700 people had drowned - and about 14,000 rescued - in the past week trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea (as quoted on ABC on 30th May, 2016)