Verbatim

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'We've had South Korea, North Korea, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, South Sudan and North Sudan.'

BENJAMIN MARIAL, Minister of Information for the southern Sudanese government, offering his preferred name for the new nation that seems likely to split from Sudan's mostly Arab north

'We have post offices out there that we have two ... or three customers come in in an entire day.'

PATRICK DONAHOE, Postmaster General, on the U.S. Postal Service's plans to close or consolidate 2,000 locations

'It is going to happen sooner or later.'

ANDREI VOROBYOV, an official in Russia's ruling party, which found that of more than 250,000 people polled, two-thirds say the body of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, which has been on display in Moscow's Red Square since 1924, should be buried

'Dialogue and cooperation with repressive governments is too often an excuse for doing nothing about human rights.'

KENNETH ROTH, executive director of Human Rights Watch, which, in its annual report, decried what it called the increasing use of soft measures against authoritarian regimes

'I would like, then, to invite Christians ... to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible.'

POPE BENEDICT XVI, giving his blessing to social networking

'The last time there was a naked man covered in gold paint in my house, it was me.'

BANKSY, underground British street artist, on the Oscar nomination for his documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop

'Nefertiti has been and remains the best Egyptian ambassador to Berlin.'

HERMANN PARZINGER, of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, saying the organization has no plans to return a 3,300-year-old bust of the famous pharaonic queen to Egypt

TALKING HEADS

Chuck Raasch

Downplaying the significance of his generation--baby boomers--beginning to turn 65, in USA Today:

"Not only have we heaped incredible amounts of debt on those who follow us, we enter retirement expecting them to not trifle with our Social Security and Medicare. Then we have the temerity to pass judgment on other generations. GenXers as slackers, remember? ... Celebrate the Boomers turning 65? Nah, we're just another generation, getting old."

--1/20/11

Mary Anastasia O'Grady

Explaining why Haiti's misfortunes are not all bad luck, in the Wall Street Journal:

"Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier did not fall from the sky like a loose tree limb in a hurricane. His return was engineered, like the rampant government corruption that goes on every day. Haiti's troubles are not, by and large, the bad luck of a cursed nation. They are man-made results brought about by local thugs and abetted by foreigners. Expecting change in Haiti without confronting this reality is lunacy."

--1/24/11

Nesrine Malik

On why al-Jazeera is necessary in the Middle East, in the Guardian:

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