This Year in Quotes

“You are free to kill the idiots.”

– Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, whose violent anti-drug campaign has led to thousands of civilian deaths, giving police their marching orders.


“He’s not my bride, and I’m not his bride or groom.”

– Russian President Vladimir Putin rejects talk of a special relationship with President Trump.

“We are fighting against a European Union that wants to squash us, that wants to eat us all in the same sauce.”

– Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, who lost France’s presidential election to upstart Emmanuel Macron. #NoSoupForYou

“I didn’t want this job. I didn’t seek this job… My wife told me I’m supposed to do this.”

– U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson found himself at odds with the president throughout 2017, often to the detriment of key diplomatic objectives.

“Everyone already thought Medvedev was pathetic and pointless, but it turns out he’s pathetic, pointless and a billionaire.”

— Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, whose anti-corruption campaign brought out record numbers to protest this year. Navalny has been disqualified from running for president in 2018 against Putin.

“If they ask me what my final wish is, I would say the person who caused all this suffering and oppressed thousands of innocents, I want to spit in his face”

– Exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen — who the Turkish government accuses of masterminding the 2016 failed coup attempt — on the country’s descent into authoritarianism.

“What’s the requirement of my job? I don’t have to be very clever. I don’t have to know that much. I just do have to be calm.”

- British Brexit Secretary David Davis

“If you have been paid to boo me, boo, go ahead… I don’t care, I am powerful.”

- First Lady of Zimbabwe Grace Mugabe. Six days later, the military took over the country, ending her husband’s 37-year reign.

On the latest episode of Bank of America's That Made All the Difference podcast, Ken Burns explores the opportunity to come out of this moment as better versions of ourselves — and reveals whether a film about this year is in the cards.

Listen to the new episode here.

The twin explosions at Beirut's port on Tuesday were so powerful that the aftershocks reverberated as far as the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, 150 miles away. The specter of fire and smoke was such that many suggested on social media that Beirut had experienced a nuclear blast.

In the days ahead, more details will come to light about why a deadly cache of materials was haphazardly stashed at a port warehouse, and why Lebanon's government failed to secure the site. So, what comes next for crisis-ridden Lebanon?

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Former Spanish King Juan Carlos I's decision to leave the country after being investigated for corruption has reignited the debate over the future of the monarchy in Spain. Opinions are divided between mostly older Spaniards who defend the institution's role as a symbol of national unity, and the younger generations and nationalist regions who want Spain to become a republic. More than three quarters of the world's countries are now republics, but 44 still have a king or queen as their head of state — among them the 16 Commonwealth countries officially ruled by British Queen Elizabeth II and 5 countries where the sovereign is all-powerful. We take a look at which countries remain monarchies today, and those that sent their royals packing in the post-World War II waves of decolonization and republicanism.

Modi riles up his base: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday set the first stone for a new Hindu temple to be built over the remains of a Mughal-era mosque in Uttar Pradesh state. The site, in the town of Ayodhya, has been disputed for decades by Hindus and Muslims, but the Supreme Court last November ruled, based on archeological findings, that construction of the temple could begin. The ruling dismayed many of India's 180 million Muslims, who worry that Modi — who was accompanied at the ceremony by Mohan Bhagwat, an ultranationalist Hindu activist whose followers helped to destroy the old mosque amid a wave of sectarian violence in 1992 — wants to replace India's secular foundations with his more explicitly Hindu vision of the country's identity. Although months ago Modi saw sizable protests over a controversial new citizenship law that discriminated against Muslims, he has so far proven to be extremely resilient and remains widely popular in India.

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280 million: Democratic candidate Joe Biden plans to spend $280 million on campaign ads in his battle against US President Donald Trump. Although Trump trails the former vice president by 7 points in an average of national polls, the incumbent has set aside less than half that amount for ads of his own.

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