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'Can you imagine? I arrive in front of other guests, and I leave with cash? This is slander.'

NICOLAS SARKOZY, French President, in a rare television interview, defending himself against allegations of illegal campaign financing stemming from meals at the estate of Liliane Bettencourt, heir to the L'Oréal fortune

'I don't intend to drink at Westminster again.'

MARK RECKLESS, a British parliamentarian, apologizing for being drunk in the House of Commons and missing a vote on the budget following a late-night reading of the finance bill

'What we have done today in the air is ... what should be done on the ground.'

BERTRAND PICCARD, head of the team behind an experimental solar-powered aircraft that landed safely after flying through the night; the goal is for the plane to circle the globe nonstop

'May you continue to lead your countrymen in majesty, courage and strength, for a lifetime and in peace.'

OVADIA YOSEF, an Israeli spiritual leader, wishing ailing Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (right) well in a surprising display of goodwill toward an Arab head of state; Yosef, known for acerbic comments, has said that "God regrets creating Arabs"

'We have an issue with their acceptance and welcoming of white supremacists.'

BEN JEALOUS, NAACP president, referring to the Tea Party, following a resolution condemning racism within the political movement; Tea Party activists denied the allegations

'Spain's name will be on top of the world for the next four years.'

IKER CASILLAS, goalkeeper and captain of the Spanish soccer team, on winning the 2010 World Cup

'It felt right, even though we don't have the approval of our parents.'

BRISTOL PALIN, daughter of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, announcing her engagement to Levi Johnston, father of her son, despite his public criticism of her family


Rick Wartzman

Explaining in the Los Angeles Times why LeBron James' move to the Miami Heat from the Cleveland Cavaliers isn't surprising:

"His move simply puts him in step with others of his generation. If younger workers have displayed anything as employees, it's that they prize mobility more than they do fidelity to their employers ... The trend is inescapable: More and more, the labor force will find itself chock-full of free agents, unabashedly looking for a better deal."


Eugene Robinson

Writing in the Washington Post about director Roman Polanski:

"The decision by Switzerland to release the artist from his gilded cage was based on a technicality. The issue was 'not about deciding whether he is guilty or not guilty,' Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said. She's right; Polanski is guilty by his own admission. What the Swiss have decided is that despite admitting his crimes and fleeing from U.S. justice, Polanski will never have to be punished."


Charlie Sorrel

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