Voices in the News: Blair, Congress and Kofi Annan

A sound montage of some of the voices in this past week's news, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN), Congressman J.D Hayworth (R-AZ), Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY), U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, David Cole of the Center for Automotive Research, and President George W. Bush.

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

And these were some of the voices in the news this past week.

Prime Minister TONY BLAIR (Great Britain): People wanted the return of the Labour government but with a reduced majority. And we have to respond to that sensibly and wisely and responsibly. And I know, too, that Iraq has been a divisive issue in this country, but I hope now that we can unite again and look to the future, there and here.

Representative JIM McGOVERN (Democrat, Massachusetts): I cannot support ever-increasing funding for the war in Iraq without a clear understanding from this administration about when and how it will bring our own troops home. I am tired of the spin, I'm tired of the lack of accountability, I'm tired of the lack of candor. I believe the time to stand up and call for that kind of clarity is now.

Representative MIKE PENCE (Republican, Indiana): We here in Congress must do our duty, demonstrating the idealism and the perseverance of the American people, stand with the men and women serving in our armed forces and speed the passage of this emergency supplemental bill without rancor or without delay.

Representative J.D. HAYWORTH (Republican, Arizona): This supplemental conference report includes the REAL ID Act, and at long last, the Congress of the United States gets real and understands that border security and national security are one and the same.

Representative LOUISE SLAUGHTER (Democrat, New York): Leadership has shoved this extreme measure down our throats as part of the supplemental, knowing full well that many members would never support the measure in its current form but will be forced to vote for it because we want to support our troops.

Secretary-General KOFI ANNAN (United Nations): An important step would be for the former Cold War rivals to commit themselves irreversibly to further cuts in their arsenals so that warheads number in the hundreds, not in the thousands.

Mr. DAVID COLE (Center for Automotive Research): One of the fears that we had looking at this industry is that companies, like GM, were at risk of dying the death of a thousand cuts. A little blood here, a little blood there, and you wake up one day, and they're gone. I think, fundamentally, it's very important that GM have a crisis, and this is a crisis. Because what I think happens in a crisis, you can motivate people inside and outside of the company, the stakeholders, to begin to do things differently than they have done in the past.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: No good purpose is served by stirring up fears and exploiting old rivalries in this region. The interests of Russia and all nations are served by the growth of freedom. It leads to prosperity and peace.

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