Loose cannons


Where the cancer is

"Take care of the children. Tobacco will kill you and I am living proof of it ... I've spent the last months of my life in an incubator." — US actor Wayne McLaren, Marlboro Man in numerous cigarette advertisements, shortly before he died of lung cancer in late July at the age of 51.


US President George Bush "made a big mistake" in ending the Gulf War too soon. — Democratic Party presidential candidate Bill Clinton.

US election update

"That doesn't end it. That deals with the tip of the iceberg." — US national security adviser Brent Scowcroft, promising further military standover tactics in the Gulf following Iraq's recent decision to allow a UN weapons team to inspect the agriculture ministry.


"We used to think things would be better ... But now ... in two or three months I think there will be complete collapse. We don't respect him any more." — Changing views of Russian president Boris Yeltsin, according to Natalia Terentieva, a former Yekaterinberg factory worker now making a tenuous living selling eggs on the street.

Learned opinion

"I don't know ... I don't know why we should be sending more than other countries. I really don't know." — British Lord Chief Justice Lord Taylor of Gosforth, explaining why Britain has the highest rate of imprisonment in Europe.

Justice would do

"The man is only one week in office. What do you expect him to do, miracles?" — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on new Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Hard times

"We have no idea how long we are expected to loan the state of California money." — A spokesperson for the California Bankers' Association, announcing that its members would not continue indefinitely honouring IOUs issued by the government after the Republican governor and the Democrat legislature were unable to agree on a budget.