President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

From 'sh*thole countries' to Brexit chaos: A year in quotes

By By Amy Walker Time of article published Dec 24, 2018

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As another year ends, it's time to look back at what happened on the world stage - and who was talking about it. 

Trump, Brexit, the football World Cup, women's rights, Germany's (future) changing of the guard and climate change concerns made for some of the year's catchiest quotes.


"Will someone from [Kim Jong Un's] depleted and food-starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!," US President Donald Trump on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"Why are we having all these people from sh*thole countries come here?" Trump on immigration from certain countries.

"I just signed your death warrant." US Judge Rosemarie Aquilina after sentencing former head doctor of USA Gymnastics Larry Nassar to 175 years in prison.


"The smell of death and grief is everywhere." Mazen al-Shami, an activist in Syria's Eastern Ghouta, describes the situation in the rebel-held Damascus suburb.

"Finally!!! Finally!!! Finally!!! Deniz is free!" Dilek Mayaturk-Yucel, the wife of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, in a tweet upon hearing that her husband had been released from Turkish jail.


"Islam is not part of Germany. Germany has been forged by Christianity. Part of that is free Sundays, church feast days and rituals like Easter, Whitsun and Christmas." German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer in an interview with the tabloid newspaper Bild.

"As many have pointed out, the Stone Age did not end because the world ran out of stones ... It ended because there were better alternatives. And the same applies today to fossil fuels." UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on climate change in New York.


"The mother of the nation is gone. When she passed on we heard the skies weeping." South African Deputy President David Mabuza delivers an eulogy for late anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Trump: "I like you." Merkel: "And you." US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel exchange pleasantries as she arrives at the White House.


"The kingdom already has one of the highest rates of road accidents in the world - and that's before we hit the road." Nouf Alotaibi, a Saudi Arabian woman preparing for the end of a ban on women driving, responding to jokes about bad female drivers.

"German newspapers and politicians paint us as Italian beggars, slackers, tax dodgers, deadbeats and ingrates. And we're now supposed to pick an economics minister who's agreeable to them? No thanks!" Matteo Salvini, head of Italy's far-right The League party, tweets on whether he wants German input in forming the country's next government.

"I'm committed to getting this right and to making the significant investments that are necessary to keep people safe." Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg apologizes to EU lawmakers over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.


"Hitler and the Nazis are just birdsh*t in more than 1,000 years of successful German history." Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Alexander Gauland during a meeting of the right-wing party's youth organization in eastern Germany.

"I think it's gonna be really successful and I think we will have a terrific relationship I have no doubt." US President Donald Trump speaks to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as they begin their historic Singapore summit.

"The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable." Outgoing UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein criticizes the United States, where authorities have separated nearly 2,000 children of irregular immigrants from their parents at the Mexican border.

"There is huge disappointment. It is deathly quiet." Germany coach Joachim Loew on the atmosphere in the Germany dressing room after they crashed out of the World Cup in the group stage.


"The Hong Kong people have had enough. It's been 21 years. We hate this country." Raymond Chan, who has lived in Hong Kong for 65 years, speaks his mind about the leadership in Beijing, on the 21st anniversary of the territory's return to China.

"From now on, I will live my life to the fullest." Adul Sam-on, 14, tells a news conference of his future plans after making his first public appearance since being one of 12 boys rescued from a Thai cave.


"This is a new beginning. Let us join hands, in peace, unity & love, & together build a new Zimbabwe for all!" Zimbabwe's president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, tweets after winning the presidential election, the first in decades not to feature Robert Mugabe.

"Military necessity would never justify killing indiscriminately, gang-raping women, assaulting children, and burning entire villages." Statement from the UN's Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar, in which the panel calls for Myanmar military leaders to face an international tribunal for their treatment of Rohingya.


"The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great." Meghan McCain, the daughter of late US senator John McCain, references President Donald Trump's favourite slogan at her father's funeral.

"I don't want to paint a pessimistic picture, but the majority of the world doesn't like us and just wishes us the very worst." Hardliner Ayatollah Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi, a leading Iranian cleric, on how the world sees his country.

"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the uproarious laughter between the two and their having fun at my expense." Dr Christine Blasey-Ford, recounting the night she says US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her.


"The hardest part was wading through the mud for one and a half hours carrying dead bodies." A Red Cross worker in Indonesia speaking after the earthquakes and tsunami.

"This prize gives hope to women who have been raped that they have not been forgotten, that the world knows what they are going through." Denis Mukwege, the Congolese doctor who won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his work with victims of sexual violence, speaks to dpa about receiving the award.

"At the next federal party conference of the CDU in December in Hamburg, I will not run again for the office of leader of the CDU in Germany ... This fourth term in office is my last as chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany." Angela Merkel announces her retirement from politics.


"I am sad, because watching the United Kingdom ... leave the EU is not a moment of jubilation but a moment of deep sadness." EU head Jean-Claude Juncker ahead of a special Brexit summit.

"I firmly believe with my head and my heart that this is a decision that is in the best interests of the entire United Kingdom." British Prime Minister Theresa May on the draft Brexit deal that was approved by her cabinet on Wednesday after a five-hour meeting.

"Heartbreaking time across California. Inspired as ever by the courage, spirit and sacrifice of firefighters. Thank you @LAFD [Los Angeles Fire Department]." Hollywood actor Gerard Butler tweets with a picture of his destroyed home after California's worst ever wildfire.


"For many people, regions and even countries, this is already a matter of life or death." UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at the opening of a UN climate summit in Katowice in Poland.

"This deal, no deal, or no Brexit." British Prime Minister Theresa May calls for politicians and the public to back her Brexit deal with the EU. 


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