WEASEL WORDS

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The Independent Online
The Independent on Sunday is on a weasel hunt - to expose the fibs, lies, and obfuscations used by the powerful to justify and excuse themselves. E-mail us at weaselwords@ independent.co.uk. Or write to 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Here is a choice of Weasels of the Week:

n "Nobody has given in to the French" - Agriculture Minister Nick Brown after conceding that there will have to be further talks with the French before they lift the beef ban.

Today, BBC Radio 4, 1 Nov

n "It is better to face problems and deal with them than bury your head in the sand and hope they'll go away" - Railtrack chief executive Gerald Corbett on his company's record-breaking profits of pounds 236m.

The Times, 5 Nov

n "Microsoft competes vigorously and fairly" - Microsoft chairman Bill Gates after a US Federal judge declared the corporation a monopoly.

New York Times, 6 Nov

n "For the American people, the relevant question isn't how many names of foreign leaders a candidate knows, but whether he has the strategic vision for America's role in the world" - Karen P Hughes, spokeswoman for George W Bush, after a reporter asked the Texas governor to name the leaders of Taiwan, India, Chechnya, and Pakistan. He referred to Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui as "Lee" and was unable to identify Atal Behari Vajpayee, Aslan Maskhadov, or Gen Pervaiz Musharraf.

New York Times, 5 Nov

Today presenter John Humphrys: "Isn't it the case that the Labour leadership is actually campaigning for Frank Dobson?"

Nick Raynsford, Dobson's campaign manager: "The Dobson campaign is campaigning for Frank Dobson."

Today, BBC Radio 4, 6 Nov

RESEARCHED BY

SARA BONISTEEL

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