Verbatim: Feb. 7, 2005

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"I believe that the conditions have been created that will allow us and the Palestinians to reach a historic breakthrough."

ARIEL SHARON, Israeli Prime Minister, in his most optimistic comments since the election of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas

"The story of the camps reminds us that evil is real and must be called by its name and confronted."

VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY, speaking at Auschwitz on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp in Poland

"It seems like most of the leadership there understands that there will be a need for coalition troops at least until Iraqis are able to fight."

PRESIDENT BUSH, asked whether the U.S. would pull out its troops if requested by a newly elected government

"It's a monster, and with size comes the fact that it is not very maneuverable."

RICHARD ABOULAFIA, military-industry analyst, on the crash of a CH-53E Super Stallion, the largest helicopter used by the U.S. military, in an Iraqi sandstorm last week, killing 31 troops in the deadliest single event for American soldiers since the war began. The cause of the crash is still unknown

"Many parents would not want their young children exposed to the lifestyles portrayed in the episode."

MARGARET SPELLINGS, new Secretary of Education, in a letter about Postcards from Buster, a PBS show in which the title character, an animated bunny, visits a Vermont family headed by two lesbian mothers

"Did I violate journalistic ethics by not disclosing it? I don't know. You tell me."

MAGGIE GALLAGHER, syndicated columnist, after it was disclosed that she was paid $41,000 by two government departments to promote the Administration's marriage initiative

"It is as important and as inexpensive to save lives and stabilize in Congo as it is in Aceh and in Sri Lanka."

JAN EGELAND, U.N. emergency-relief coordinator, urging the international community to pay as much attention to the poor nations of Africa as it has to the countries affected by the tsunami

Sources: New York Times; AP; N.Y. Times (2); AP; Washington Post; N.Y. Times