• U.S.

Verbatim: Apr. 9, 2007

3 minute read

‘I express my sympathy toward the comfort women and apologize for the situation they found themselves in.’

SHINZO ABE, Japanese Prime Minister, referring to World War II–era sex slaves, in his most vocal apology since he came under fire in early March for saying there was no evidence that the Japanese military coerced women in occupied nations into sexual services during World War II

‘The Viking days are gone.’

CARL BILDT, Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Prime Minister of Sweden, which is involved in a diplomatic row with Cuba after Bildt criticized Cuba’s human-rights record recently; a Cuban representative shot back by saying Cuba “does not persecute migrants or carry out ethnic cleansing that only allows … former Viking conquerors to remain in the country.”

‘I don’t want that to be my legacy.’

ELIZABETH EDWARDS, wife of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards, who will continue to pursue the presidency despite the return of his wife’s cancer, saying she doesn’t want to deny him the opportunity to be President

‘It suddenly dawned on me that most people running from the law don’t eat out. They order pizza.’

CYNTHIA BROWN, of the Butler County Child Enforcement Agency in Ohio, on her inspiration for placing wanted posters of child-support scofflaws on local pizza boxes in an effort to turn up the heat on deadbeat dads and moms

‘One must unfortunately note that Europe seems to be going down a road which could lead it to take its leave from history.’

POPE BENEDICT XVI, warning that Europe appears to be losing faith in its future, calling some Europeans’ desire to have fewer children “dangerous individualism”

‘You and your smarmy pundits– and the smarmy pundits you have in your pocket–can take your war and shove it.’

SEAN PENN, actor, about President George W. Bush, at a March 24 town-hall meeting in Oakland, Calif.

‘I’m very angry. They killed my cat. They [put] something that kills rats on the street into the food we trusted.’

DAWN MAJERCZYK, of Chicago, who filed a class action after her cat Phoenix died of kidney failure from eating food contaminated with rat poison; at least 15 other cats and dogs died

‘We prayed so hard and cried so much for God to drop something from the skies, and he did.’

LYN WORLEY, selected to live in a mansion owned by a Japanese real estate mogul who is handing over eight of his multimillion-dollar homes to low-income native Hawaiian families

Sources: AP; BBC; McClatchy Newspapers; AP (2); San Francisco Chronicle; New York Times; AP

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com