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Voices in the News

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Voices in the News

Voices in the News

Voices in the News

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A montage of voices in the week's news, including Professor of Planetary Sciences Richard Binzel; astronomer and astrophysicist Michael Rowan-Robinson; Lawrence Yun (senior economist with the National Association of Realtors); President George Bush; and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

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.

Professor RICHARD BINZEL (Planetary Sciences): The word planet is strictly defined to be a body rounded by self-gravity which has cleared its orbital zone. A dwarf planet is defined to be a body rounded by self-gravity which has not cleared its orbital zone. Smaller bodies that orbit the sun but which have not been rounded by self-gravity are called small solar system bodies.

Dr. MICHAEL ROWAN-ROBINSON (Astronomer and Astrophysicist): Whatever the past history of this process that we may feel resentful about, we have to support this motion overwhelmingly, I think. And then we have to go away and sell it in a very positive way. The glass is filling. The fact Pluto has been demoted is not so important.

Mr. LAWRENCE YUN (Senior Economist, National Association of Realtors): The home sales activity peaked last August, and since that time sales have steadily trended downward. But it's not only the sales, but things like housing starts, mortgage purchase applications, the days on the market have been lengthening. So there are many indicators basically saying that the boom is over and now we're having a cooling trend.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: Now, look, I didn't - part of the reason we went into Iraq was - the main reason we went into Iraq, at the time, was we thought he had weapons of mass destruction. Turns out he didn't but he had the capacity to make weapons of mass destruction. But I also talked about the human suffering in Iraq. And I also talked the need to advance a freedom agenda.

And so my question - my answer to your question is that imagine a world in which Saddam Hussein was there stirring up even more trouble, in a part of the world that had so much resentment and so much hatred that people came and killed 3,000 of our citizens.

Secretary General KOFI ANNAN (United Nations): When you put it all together, Europe is providing the backbone to the force. And I'm very, very encouraged by the firm commitments we have received here at this meeting. I was very confident that Europe wanted to assume its responsibilities and show its solidarity with the people of Lebanon.

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