Voices in the News

A sound montage of some of the voices in this past week's news, including: Shani Davis, U.S. Olympic speedskating gold medalist; Joey Cheek, silver medalist in speedskating, wounded hunter Harry Whittington; Vice President Cheney; Sen. Mark Dayton (D-MN); Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI); Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff; Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA); Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Sen. Lincoln Chaffee (R-RI); Hasan al Mudan, Palestinian student.

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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.

SHANI DAVIS: Here I am, 23-years-old. I've been skating for 17 years. I've been skating since I was six. It feels good to have a medal, especially a gold one.

JOEY CHEECK: I will be donating money specifically to a program to help refugees in Chad. What I do is great fun. I love what I do, but it's honestly a pretty ridiculous thing. I mean, I skate around on ice in tights, right? But because I skated well, and because I now have a few seconds of microphone time, I have the ability to hopefully raise some awareness and raise some money.

DICK CHENEY: I'm the guy who pulled the trigger that fired the round that hit Harry. And we can talk about all of the other conditions that existed at the time, but that's the bottom line.

HARRY WHITTINGTON: I'm very grateful and want to thank all of the people who have remembered me in their prayers. My family and I are deeply sorry for all that Vice President Cheney and his family has had to go through this past week.

MARK DAYTON: I think FEMA is the disaster. Today it's an even greater disaster than the disaster it was supposed to be addressing.

CARL LEVIN: We have testimony saying that the helicopter, the Coast Guard flew over, saw the breach in the morning, confirmed it in the evening, took the pictures which I believe Senator Dayton showed you. Those pictures all were there before you went to bed.

MICHAEL CHERTOFF: I agree. I agree that by late Monday, or by Monday, by the time those pictures were taken...

LEVIN: How did these screw-ups happen? I mean, have you looked into them?

CHERTOFF: Yes. The answers I have looked into them.

LEVIN: And how did they happen?

CHERTOFF: I think it's a combination. Some of these messages never got to the operations center. Some of them did, but there were conflicting stories. So there was an effort made to ascertain what the truth was. Was there really a breach, how significant was it?

LEVIN: Should there have been that effort made?

BARABARA BOXER: Secretary Rice, do you really believe that elections in the Middle East, where these kinds of terrorists and extremist groups are being chosen, do you think that's working for the benefit of the United States?

CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Well, Senator, if the option is not to hold elections, I think that would be a terrible...

BOXER: That wasn't my question.

RICE: No, you asked, so let me answer. I think if the option is not to hold elections and not to give people their say, then that's an untenable position for the United States.

BOXER: That wasn't my question.

RICE: Senator, I would like to answer your question.

LINCOLN CHAFFEE: The whole year of 2005, nothing was done. Nothing was done, opportunities missed. Now we have a very, very disastrous situation of a terrorist organization winning elections.

HASAN AL MUDAN: (Through translator) Hamas' most important job now is to unify the Palestinian people under the flag of Islam. We reject all secular ideas, all Communist ideas or any other ideas. Islam is the only way to unify Palestinians.

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