3 minute read

‘The problem is not that I met with Hamas in Syria. The problem is that Israel and the United States refuse to meet with someone who must be involved.’
JIMMY CARTER, former U.S. President, on meeting with leaders of the Palestinian militant group Hamas after the Bush Administration warned him not to

‘Iraq cannot be the new Somalia.’
NOURI AL-MALIKI, Iraqi Prime Minister, comparing armed militias in Iraq with the violent warlords who effectively took over Somalia in 1991

‘I have always reacted negatively to those who, with their snotty noses and erotic fantasies, prowl into others’ lives.’
VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russian President, denying rumors that he has secretly divorced and plans to remarry

‘It was them saying, We need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you.’
ROBERT BEVELACQUA, retired Green Beret and former Fox News military pundit, describing Pentagon efforts to influence news coverage via sympathetic analysts

‘It’s difficult to convince North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, but it is not impossible.’
LEE MYUNG BAK, South Korean President, dismissing assertions that the U.S. and South Korea have softened demands for North Korea to fully declare all its nuclear activities

‘My sex has got nothing to do with it. I believed in myself as a driver.’
DANICA PATRICK on becoming the first female winner in IndyCar history, after capturing the Indy Japan 300


1% Percentage of refugees living in Greece who have been granted asylum. The country has been criticized by the U.N. for failing to provide interpreters and legal aid for the remaining 99%
50% Percentage of refugees living in Sweden who have been granted asylum, the highest rate in Europe

220 million Number of Chinese who were using the Internet as of February. For the first time, China’s total surpassed the U.S.’s, which in 2007 was 216 million
17% Percentage of people in China who use the Internet, compared with 71% in the U.S.

1,435 Number of calories in a McDonald’s Big Mac meal, which includes a burger, fries and soda
130,000 Number of New Yorkers, according to the state health department, who could avoid obesity if chains like McDonald’s published calorie counts on their menus, as required by a recently upheld New York City law

43 Number of U.S. states that have increased tobacco taxes since 2002; state tobacco taxes generated $14.5 billion in revenue last year
The country’s lowest cigarette tax, imposed by South Carolina, whose Republicans are lobbying to increase it by 50¢ a pack

Sources: A.P.; CNN; BBC; New York Times; Washington Post; Reuters
Numbers Sources: New York Times (2); USA Today (2);; Reuters; New York Times (2)

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at