"As for me running for president, look, there's a guy in office who is smarter than anyone you know, and nicer, and he's having an almost impossible time governing. Why would anyone volunteer for that job? I have a very good job, so I have no interest." -- George Clooney.
"He should be behind bars." -- US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, on Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.
"You're in total isolation and don't know how long you're going to be there. But you truly believe they can do anything to you. There's no way to even question it. You're not protected by anything. Why am I here? Your mind is very uncertain of time. You become like mad. It's very hard for anyone. Even for people who have strong beliefs. " -- Ai Weiwei, artist, on being imprisoned in China.
"I am very sad to tell you that I've just been fired over the phone by Yahoo!'s chairman of the board." -- Carol A. Bartz, Yahoo!'s chief executive, in e-mail sent to employees with subject line 'Goodbye'.
'I know my best angles ... They were sent to my husband. There's nothing wrong with that. It's not like I was shooting a porno. Although there's nothing wrong with that either.' - Scarlett Johansson's not embarrassed by the nude photos hacked from her email account that sparked an FBI investigation.
'The next day I read he really broke his jaw and I wasn't surprised - but I don't think he did. He's prone to exaggeration - which is why I hit him! Nah, just kidding!' - Hugh Jackman hosted a WWE Raw Supershow where he 'punched' wrestler Dolph Ziggler to promote new film Real Steel.
"It is a matter of life and death and in this case, the death was of an innocent New Yorker." -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticizing federal gun laws after Brooklyn woman died from stray bullet during a confrontation that led to a gun battle; 48 people were shot in NYC Labor Day weekend.
"This crisis has the potential to be a lot worse than Lehman Brothers." -- George Soros, billionaire hedge-fund investor, on euro-zone crisis and lack of pan-European body to handle it.
"Now I won't have to see Abba being used in a TV commercial." -- Bjorn Ulvaeus, member of legendary Swedish pop group, as EU Council agrees to extend copyright for sound recordings from 50 years to 70.
"He came back over to the White House to his bedroom and he started to cry, just with me." -- Jacqueline Kennedy, former First Lady, on US President John F. Kennedy's reaction to failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961; her comment was recorded in 1964 and aired on ABC Sept 13.
"His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo and smears." -- Todd Palin, Sarah Palin's husband, on biography written by Joe McGinniss about her.
"We have decided to call it a day as a band." -- Rock group R.E.M. announces split after 31 years.
"It is the biggest moment of my career." -- Simon Cowell, on his new American version of The X Factor, which had its premiere and will be seen as competing against his previous program American Idol.
"The haka is an orchestrated representation of our culture when it is used in an appropriate place, but it is being abused." -- Peter Love, New Zealand Maori leader, on how rugby teams are overusing the haka, a traditional Maori war dance and chant, before games to intimidate opponents.
"A pretty boy with no brains." -- Model Nereida Gallardo, on her former boyfriend, footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Could I see myself with a British boyfriend? Absolutely. The way they wear their pants is so cute." -- Kelly Rowland, singer and X Factor judge.
"It is mortifying to acknowledge conduct that is not only contrary of public decorum but intrinsically sad and empty." -- Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, head of Italy's bishops' conference, on Silvio Berlusconi.
"The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented." -- President Barack Obama, on death of Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs.
"After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States." -- Sarah Palin.
'The unintended consequence of such potentially fatal levels (of alcohol) was her sudden and unexpected death.' - UK coroner Suzanne Greenaway gave a verdict of 'death by misadventure', saying Amy Winehouse suffered accidental alcohol poisoning.
"I'm paying with my life for things that I didn't do." -- Amanda Knox, telling Italian appeals court that she did not kill British roommate Meredith Kercher. Her conviction was overturned and she was freed.
"This cocktail was a recipe for disaster." -- Dr. Nader Kamanger, UCLA sleep expert, testifying that Michael Jackson's combination of prescription drugs ultimately caused his death.
"The messaging and browsing delays being experienced ... were caused by a core switch failure within RIM's infrastructure." -- Research In Motion, maker of BlackBerry, in a statement explaining service disruptions experienced by customers on four continents.
'I am not to be made an example of anymore. I am working hard and fulfilling my obligations every single day, to the court as well as myself ... I'd appreciate it if people will just let me do what is asked of me, so that I can get my life back.' - Lindsay Lohan says on October 14 before being arrested on October 19 for violating her probation.
"We were working class, and we were the lowest. There's a level underneath that now: the can't-be-bothered working class." -- Noel Gallagher, formerly of Oasis, on the welfare culture.
"We took pills and woke up the next day ... It was very impulsive and I am glad we woke up." -- Ruth Madoff, wife of Bernie Madoff, speaking on 60 Minutes about the couple's suicide attempt.
"Finding out how they died matters. It will set the tone for whether the new Libya will be ruled by law or by summary violence." -- Sarah Leah Whitson, of Human Rights Watch, on possibility that Muammar Gaddafi and his son Mutassim may have been executed after they were detained by Libyan fighters.
"If I'm coming off as angry, it's because I am." -- Samuel Wurzelbacher, Joe the Plumber, announcing he will run for US Congress in Ohio; he became famous after asking Barack Obama several questions during the 2008 Presidential election
"This has all been invented by porn-obsessed prosecutors. It's all the work of their fevered imaginations. My roots are strengthened by Christian values that have been with me since I was growing up. Can you imagine if I would allow any sort of blasphemous behavior in my house?" -- Silvio Berlusconi, Italian prime minister, denying he ever hosted sex parties.
"They allow people to stay in touch but they stop people from really communicating in some ways. If we're not careful, people will never leave their sofas." -- Julie Walters, actress, on social media.
"Nobody should believe that another half century of peace and prosperity in Europe can be taken for granted. Therefore, I say that if the euro fails, Europe fails." -- Angela Merkel, German chancellor.
“If you’ve come here recently, you have no ties to this country, you ought to go home, period. If you’ve been here 25 years and you got three kids and two grandkids, you’ve been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don’t think we’re going to separate you from your family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out.” — Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich on immigration policy reform.
“I would find myself, at the age of 21, at midnight, running down a dark street on my own with 10 men chasing me. And the fact they had cameras in their hands made that legal.” — Actress Sienna Miller testifying as to the extremity of privacy invasion by Britain’s tabloid media.
“[We’re] trying to improve the business and the structures to make sure these things don’t happen again because they’re something that I am very sorry about” -James Murdoch answering questions from the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee as part of the inquiry into News International’s role in phone hacking.
“Everyone wants to leave [Greece], not only because they have no money: there is no order…There are no rules.” - A Greek mother on the worseniung situation in the country.
“Umm what’s the third one there […] I can’t remember the third one. Oops.” - Presidential hopeful Rick Perry at the cringe-inducing CNBC Republican debate in which he forgot which department of government he would abolish.
“The question is how much effect…There is courage- very strong courage. But how much effect? Courage alone is no substitute. You must utilise your wisdom” - The Dalai Lama on the wave of young Buddhist self-immolations sweeping Tibet and China in protest at the government repression in Tibet.
“The government recognises that it was formed to resolve a serious emergency…Given the sacrifices required of citizens, action to contain the cost of elective bodies is unavoidable” - Italy’s new technocrat Prime Minister, economist Mario Monti, on his plans for reform within the country in order to curb its debts and rescue it from a potential bail-out situation.
“There is no racism, there is maybe one of the players towards another, he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one, but also the one who is affected by that. He should say that this is a game. At the end of the game, we shake hands” - Sepp Blatter, President of FIFA, on his view that racism within football isn’t a serious issue and can be solved with a handshake. Commentators are calling for his resign, branding him as out of touch and inappropriate, especially after scandals of corruption and controversial comments about homosexuals and women within football.
“We are extremely concerned about the future of Syria and the way the leadership is moving." - King Abdullah of Jordan calling on President Bashar al-Assad to step down amid further government violence on protesters in Syria.
“Today more than ever we need authentic witnesses, and not simply people who parcel out rules and facts: We need witnesses capable of seeing farther than others because their life is so much broader.” — Pope Benedict XVI, in his message for the World Day of Peace Jan. 1, with its theme, “Educating Young People in Justice and Peace”
Paris Jackson on advice her father gave her: "He said, 'If I die tomorrow, always remember what I told you.' I took his advice, and I remembered everything he told me."
“... it's in hardship that we often find strength from our families; it's in adversity that new friendships are sometimes formed; and it's in a crisis that communities break down barriers and bind together to help one another. Families, friends and communities often find a source of courage rising up from within. Indeed, sadly, it seems that it is tragedy that often draws out the most and the best from the human spirit.” – Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas message.