Rumsfeld Ramble Wins 'Foot in Mouth' Award
[But Arnie is learning fast]
LONDON (Reuters) -- "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's curious statement at a press briefing was named on Monday as the year's most baffling comment by a public figure.
"Rumsfeld, usually renowned for his uncompromising tough talking, was awarded the 'Foot in Mouth' award for a confusing message which probably left his audience in the dark as to its meaning, Britain's Plain English Campaign said.
"'Reports that say something hasn't happened are interesting to me, because as we know, there are known unknowns; there things we know we know,' Rumsfeld told the briefing. 'We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know.'
"John Lister, spokesman for the campaign which strives to have public information delivered in clear, straightforward English, said: 'We think we know what he means. But we don't know if we really know.'
"Rumsfeld, whose boss President Bush is often singled out by language critics for his sometimes unusual use of English, took the booby prize ahead of a bizarre effort from actor-turned politician Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"'I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman,' was the odd statement from the new California Governor.
New Anti-Drug Weapon: Bras and Thongs
BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) -- "They have tried aerial assaults and stiff jail sentences. Now Colombian officials have a new and unlikely weapon to combat the cocaine trade: push-up bras and thongs.
"Some 900 peasant women in Colombia are set to make racy lingerie and sell it to French supermarket chain Carrefour under a U.N.-backed program aimed at encouraging impoverished farmers and their families to stop growing drug crops.
"'We thought it was a very original idea. These are regions where there are drug crops and people need legal jobs,' said Thierry Rostan of the U.N. Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention in Bogota.
"Despite a fierce U.S.-backed campaign to spray drug crops with herbicide and impose longer jail terms, Colombia remains the world's No 1. producer of cocaine. Poor farmers, many of them coffee growers gone broke, have turned to drug crops to make a living.
"The lingerie, which includes bras and lacy panties, will be made at clothing and shoe plants in the southern coffee-rich province of Cauca, which has seen a spike of cocaine crops due to the collapse of world coffee prices."
Palestinian Baby Born in Bethlehem Draws Crowds
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (Reuters) -- "A baby born in Bethlehem is drawing crowds by the thousands. Palestinians in the West Bank town revered by Christians as Jesus' birthplace have been thronging to the adjacent Aida refugee camp for a glimpse of the 11-day-old infant many are calling a 'miracle baby.'
"The boy has gained attention for being born with a large birthmark across his cheek that roughly forms in Arabic letters the name of his uncle, Ala, a Hamas militant killed by Israeli troops after he was alleged to have planned a suicide bombing."