Loose cannons

Issue 

Teaching what?

"I think after this is all over, I'll take a lesson in humility and go back to teaching." — Jamie Shea, NATO's chief spokesperson on the war against Serbia, after his inability to put the line convincingly forced NATO to boost his staff from six to 20.

Too hard basket

"We have no information on the air space issue at the present time." — Jamie Shea at an April 29 press conference, asked whether a NATO missile that hit Sofia had violated Bulgarian air space.

The Rupert Olympics

"We are telling the people the best way of getting ticket order forms is through the booklet available through News Limited." — Sydney Olympics media manager Milton Cockburn, confirming that Olympic tickets can be ordered only on forms available only in Murdoch newspapers.

Just business

"We are not in the business of trying to accommodate anybody that's affected by the conduct of the [Olympic] Games." — NSW Olympics minister Michael Knight, unveiling Olympic travel regulations that will "inconvenience" residents.

Like matches

"He let things get out of hand." — French prosecutor Jacques Dallest on the prefect of Corsica, Bernard Bonnet, who is under investigation for complicity in an arson attack on a restaurant frequented by Corsican nationalists.

Swinger

"You can have a holiday without swinging from tree to tree." — The president of the Surfers Paradise Chamber of Commerce, defending high-rise holiday developments. The number of domestic holiday visitors to the Gold Coast declined 16% between 1987-88 and 1996-97.

CIA tip gone wrong?

"Castro dies after years in power." — Headline on a long and fortunately premature obituary published by the Miami Herald on its web site on April 29.