Wikileaks Public date: 10.08.2017 19:48:51

Publisher: The Guardian

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21 Dec 2010

Tanzania official investigating BAE ‘fears for his life’

The Tanzanian prosecutor investigating worldwide misconduct by BAE, Britain's biggest arms company, confided to US diplomats that "his life may be in danger" and senior politicians in his small African country were "untouchable".
The Tanzanian prosecutor investigating worldwide misconduct by BAE, Britain's biggest arms company, confided to US...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

21 Dec 2010

US suspected Allen Stanford long before ECB deal

More than two years before he touched down in a helicopter at Lord's cricket ground bearing $20m, US diplomats were so concerned about rumours of "bribery, money-laundering and political manipulation" surrounding Allen Stanford that they avoided contacting him or being photographed with him.
More than two years before he touched down in a helicopter at Lord's cricket ground bearing $20m, US diplomats were so...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

20 Dec 2010

Julian Assange like a hi-tech terrorist, says Joe Biden

The US vice-president, Joe Biden, today likened the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to a "high-tech terrorist", the strongest criticism yet from the Obama administration. Biden claimed that Assange has put lives at risk and made it more difficult for the US to conduct its business around the world.
The US vice-president, Joe Biden, today likened the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to a "high-tech terrorist", the...
20 Dec 2010

So, Mr Assange, why won’t you go back to Sweden now

It could be a quality lost on suspicious interviewers, or one he has quite recently acquired, but in all the profiles I have read of the extraordinary Julian Assange, none has begun to convey the man's dazzling effect on his admirers, male as well as female. For the woman who last week flourished the placard: "Julian, I want your babies", his release from Wandsworth must have come as particularly welcome news. But his chief British benefactor, the former army officer Vaughan Smith, has shown that the Assange effect goes way beyond standard manipulation of the groupie-reflex.
It could be a quality lost on suspicious interviewers, or one he has quite recently acquired, but in all the profiles I...

Publisher: The Observer

Author:

20 Dec 2010

Will Julian Assange regret WikiLeaks – Past whistleblowers say no

"Was it worth it?" That was what Julian Assange was asked, through his mother, by an Australian TV channel last week as he sat in Wandsworth jail. It was, perhaps, a not unexpected question for someone who had found himself in solitary confinement, facing extradition to Sweden and the United States and death threats from conservative American politicians.
"Was it worth it?" That was what Julian Assange was asked, through his mother, by an Australian TV channel last week as...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

19 Dec 2010

Julian Assange furore deepens as new details emerge of sex crime allegations

As fresh snow erases the traces of Friday's scrum of camera crews from the elegant lawns of a Georgian mansion in East Anglia, inside Ellingham Hall Julian Assange is considering his next move. Transformed from cyber celebrity into household name, Assange the man who kicked a diplomatic hornet's nest across the globe is carrying an extraordinary weight of controversy and opprobrium on his narrow shoulders.
As fresh snow erases the traces of Friday's scrum of camera crews from the elegant lawns of a Georgian mansion in East...

Publisher: The Guardian

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19 Dec 2010

Julian Assange says his life is ‘under threat’

Julian Assange said today his life and the lives of his colleagues at the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks are under threat. Speaking to reporters outside Ellingham Hall, the Norfolk house at which he is staying following his release on bail from prison, Assange said: "There is a threat to my life. There is a threat to my staff. There are significant risks facing us."
Julian Assange said today his life and the lives of his colleagues at the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks are under...

Publisher: The Observer

Author:

19 Dec 2010

UN offered Robert Mugabe a lucrative retirement overseas

The head of the United Nations offered Robert Mugabe a lucrative retirement package in an overseas haven if he stood down as Zimbabwe's president, according to claims quoted in leaked diplomatic cables. The extraordinary offer was allegedly made by Kofi Annan, who was then the UN secretary general, at the millennium summit of world leaders in New York, according to a memo drawn up by American officials which was obtained by the WikiLeaks website.
The head of the United Nations offered Robert Mugabe a lucrative retirement package in an overseas haven if he stood...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

18 Dec 2010

10 days in Sweden the full allegations against Julian Assange

Documents seen by the Guardian reveal for the first time the full details of the allegations of rape and sexual assault that have led to extradition hearings against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.
Documents seen by the Guardian reveal for the first time the full details of the allegations of rape and sexual assault...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

18 Dec 2010

Cuba banned Sicko for depicting ‘mythical’ healthcare system

Cuba banned Michael Moore's 2007 documentary, Sicko, because it painted such a "mythically" favourable picture of Cuba's healthcare system that the authorities feared it could lead to a "popular backlash", according to US diplomats in Havana
Cuba banned Michael Moore's 2007 documentary, Sicko, because it painted such a "mythically" favourable picture of Cuba's...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

18 Dec 2010

How Arab governments tried to silence WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks may be breaking new ground to promote freedom of information by releasing leaked US diplomatic cables, but Arab governments have been resorting to old tricks to ensure that nothing too damaging reaches their subjects
WikiLeaks may be breaking new ground to promote freedom of information by releasing leaked US diplomatic cables, but...
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Publisher: The Guardian

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18 Dec 2010

Julian Assange WikiLeaks faces ‘very aggressive’ investigation by US

WikiLeaks faces a "very aggressive" and secretive investigation by US authorities stung by a perceived loss of face following the release of thousands of secret American diplomatic cables, the organisation's founder, Julian Assange, said today
WikiLeaks faces a "very aggressive" and secretive investigation by US authorities stung by a perceived loss of face...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

18 Dec 2010

Steven Spielberg was target of Arab League boycott, WikiLeaks cable shows

Steven Spielberg was blacklisted by the Arab League's Central Boycott Office after making a $1m ( 645m) donation to Isreal during the 2006 conflict in Lebanon. A US embassy memo released by WikiLeaks reveals that during a meeting of the group in April 2007, diplomats or representatives from 14 Arab states voted to ban all films and other products related to Spielberg or his Righteous Persons Foundation
Steven Spielberg was blacklisted by the Arab League's Central Boycott Office after making a $1m ( 645m) donation to...

Publisher: The Guardian

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18 Dec 2010

US criticises court that may decide on Julian Assange extradition, WikiLeaks cables show

US officials regard European human rights standards as an "irritant", secret cables show, and have strongly objected to the safeguards which could protect WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from extradition.
US officials regard European human rights standards as an "irritant", secret cables show, and have strongly objected to...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

18 Dec 2010

US diplomats suggested Bollywood stars should tour Afghanistan

US diplomats suggested that India send Bollywood stars to tour Afghanistan to aid international efforts to stabilise the country. In a confidential March 2007 cable responding to a request from Washington for "specific, concrete ideas for opportunities for India to use soft power in helping Afghanistan's reconstruction", officials said Bollywood was an area that "seems ripe".
US diplomats suggested that India send Bollywood stars to tour Afghanistan to aid international efforts to stabilise the...
18 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks and Israel Shamir

WikiLeaks's spokesperson and conduit in Russia has been exposed in the Swedish media as an anti-semite and Holocaust denier; his son, who represents the organisation in Sweden and is handing out stories to selected papers there, has been involved in an earlier scandal where a story he wrote about the supposed Israeli control of Swedish media was withdrawn after several of the people in it complained of being misquoted
WikiLeaks's spokesperson and conduit in Russia has been exposed in the Swedish media as an anti-semite and Holocaust...
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Publisher: The Guardian

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18 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks cable reveals Berlusconi’s efforts to duck Bono tongue-lashing

Silvio Berlusconi considered increasing Italy's foreign aid budget during the country's 2009 G8 presidency to avoid a "tongue-lashing" from Irish rock hero Bono, according to a confidential US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks. In the leaked memo, William Meara, the economic adviser at the American embassy in Rome, reports that despite budget cuts and "with its 2009 G8 presidency looming", the newly installed, centre-right government "may decide to maintain funding levels [to Africa] simply to avoid an embarrassing tongue-lashing from Bono et al".
Silvio Berlusconi considered increasing Italy's foreign aid budget during the country's 2009 G8 presidency to avoid a...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

18 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks cables describe Belarus leader as ‘bizarre’ and ‘disturbed’

Alexander Lukashenko, the autocratic ruler of Belarus who is poised for re-election for a fourth term this weekend, is an increasingly "bizarre" and "disturbed" ruler who plans to stay in power indefinitely, according to US diplomats in Minsk.
Alexander Lukashenko, the autocratic ruler of Belarus who is poised for re-election for a fourth term this weekend, is...
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Publisher: The Guardian

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18 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks cables detail Fidel Castro’s doomed love for Obama

Barack and Fidel: like so many great love affairs it was doomed. But memory of the passion, or at least infatuation, lingers. Having seen off 10 US presidents - all committed to his assassination, overthrow or isolation - Fidel Castro had more reason than most to beware the occupant of the Oval Office.
Barack and Fidel: like so many great love affairs it was doomed. But memory of the passion, or at least infatuation,...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

18 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks cables reveal US concerns over timing of Charles Taylor trial

Judges in one of the world's most controversial war crimes trials have been deliberately slowing down proceedings, senior US officials believe, causing significant delays to proceedings. Secret cables reveal US doubts about the trial in The Hague of Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, amid allegations that one of the judges has manipulated proceedings so that she can personally give the verdict in the case.
Judges in one of the world's most controversial war crimes trials have been deliberately slowing down proceedings,...
18 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks’ lesson on Haiti

One area of US foreign policy that the WikiLeaks cables help illuminate, which the major media has predictably ignored, is the occupation of Haiti. In 2004, the country's democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was overthrown for the second time, through an effort led by the United States government. Officials of the constitutional government were jailed and thousands of its supporters were killed.
One area of US foreign policy that the WikiLeaks cables help illuminate, which the major media has predictably ignored,...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

17 Dec 2010

Anonymous hierarchy emerges

They were described as a leaderless, anarchic group of "hacktivists" who briefly brought down MasterCard, Visa and PayPal after those companies cut off financial services to WikiLeaks. But inside Anonymous, the Guardian has found that the organisation is more hierarchical with a hidden cabal of around a dozen highly skilled hackers co-ordinating attacks across the web.
They were described as a leaderless, anarchic group of "hacktivists" who briefly brought down MasterCard, Visa and...

Publisher: BBC News

Author:

17 Dec 2010

Anonymous Wikileaks activists move to analogue tactics

Online activist group Anonymous has once again changed tactics in its campaign to support Wikileaks, eschewing web-based attacks. At least one faction of the group has urged supporters to plaster the streets with pro-Wikileaks propaganda on 18 December.
Online activist group Anonymous has once again changed tactics in its campaign to support Wikileaks, eschewing web-based...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

17 Dec 2010

Bradley Manning’s health deteriorating in jail, supporters say

As Julian Assange emerged from his nine-day imprisonment, there were renewed concerns about the physical and psychological health of Bradley Manning, the former US intelligence analyst suspected of leaking the diplomatic cables at the centre of the storm.
As Julian Assange emerged from his nine-day imprisonment, there were renewed concerns about the physical and...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

17 Dec 2010

Fidel Castro almost died in 2006

Fidel Castro almost died in 2006, according to a confidential US diplomatic cable released by the whistleblower site, WikiLeaks. The cable contains a detailed description of the Cuban leader's medical condition from the moment he fell ill with a perforated intestine during a flight. The memo, sent in March 2007 by the then head of the US interests section in Havana, Michael Parmly, quotes a report by an unnamed doctor, who said the plane landed urgently when Castro started bleeding
Fidel Castro almost died in 2006, according to a confidential US diplomatic cable released by the whistleblower site,...
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Publisher: The Guardian

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17 Dec 2010

Grace Mugabe sues Zimbabwe newspaper over Wikileaks diamond story

Grace Mugabe is suing a Zimbabwean newspaper for $15m ( 9.5m) for reporting allegations released by Wikileaks that she had made "tremendous" profits in the illicit diamond trade, according to state media. The first lady launched a defamation suit against the Standard newspaper in the high court in Harare yesterday. The offending article quoted extensively from a US embassy cable that alleged Mrs Mugabe was among a group of elite Zimbabweans making "several hundred thousand dollars a month" from the sale of illegal stones mined in the Marange district - scene of a frenzied diamond rush in recent years.
Grace Mugabe is suing a Zimbabwean newspaper for $15m ( 9.5m) for reporting allegations released by Wikileaks that she...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

17 Dec 2010

India accused of systematic use of torture in Kashmir

US officials had evidence of widespread torture by Indian police and security forces and were secretly briefed by Red Cross staff about the systematic abuse of detainees in Kashmir, according to leaked diplomatic cables released tonight.
US officials had evidence of widespread torture by Indian police and security forces and were secretly briefed by Red...
17 Dec 2010

My husband, the conscientious objector, has his fate decided on Friday

On Friday a 24-year-old navy medic faces a decision that could lead him to military prison after becoming one of the few conscientious objectors in the Royal Navy since the second world war. That man is my husband, Michael Lyons. He joined the navy in 2005 at 18, as a medical assistant submariner. He chose the medic path because he wanted to help people. In 2008 Michael was promoted to the role of leading medical assistant, and has been very proud of his service to his country for the past five years.
On Friday a 24-year-old navy medic faces a decision that could lead him to military prison after becoming one of the few...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

17 Dec 2010

The emperor wears no clothes

Since Sunday, 28 November, WikiLeaks and five major newspapers from around the world (the Guardian, the New York Times, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El Pais) have been publishing redacted versions of leaked US diplomatic cables in an ongoing story that has become known as "Cablegate". The identity of the original leaker is as yet unconfirmed.
Since Sunday, 28 November, WikiLeaks and five major newspapers from around the world (the Guardian, the New York Times,...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

17 Dec 2010

US lawyers explore extradition routes for Julian Assange

A US congressional committee took evidence from a variety of lawyers about the possibility of bringing a prosecution against Julian Assange under the Espionage Act, as well as the legal and constitutional issues raised by the Wiki-Leaks revelations. The hearing was in front of the house judiciary committee.
A US congressional committee took evidence from a variety of lawyers about the possibility of bringing a prosecution...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

17 Dec 2010

US officials voiced fears India could be target of biological terrorism

US diplomats are concerned that India could be the target of a biological terror attack, with fatal diseases such as anthrax being released into the country before spreading around the world, confidential cables from the US embassy in New Delhi reveal.
US diplomats are concerned that India could be the target of a biological terror attack, with fatal diseases such as...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

17 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks cables show warming relationship between India and US

"The encouraging news for US interests is that whereas India, over the previous 40-odd years, had tended to quickly and suspiciously dismiss US intentions in the region, our recent improvement in relations have made Delhi much more amenable to co-operating," Holbrooke, who died earlier this week, was told.
"The encouraging news for US interests is that whereas India, over the previous 40-odd years, had tended to quickly and...
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Publisher: The Guardian

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17 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks embassy cables download the key data and see how it breaks down

WikiLeaks embassy cables revelations cover a huge dataset of official documents: 251,287 dispatches, from more than 250 worldwide US embassies and consulates. It's a unique picture of US diplomatic language - including over 50,000 documents covering the current Obama administration. But what does the data include
WikiLeaks embassy cables revelations cover a huge dataset of official documents: 251,287 dispatches, from more than 250...
16 Dec 2010

A sad day for the US if the Espionage Act is used against WikiLeaks

Numerous US officials are calling for a resurrection of the US Espionage Act as a tool for prosecuting WikiLeaks. The dusting-off of the old law is all but certain. But the outcome of the constitutional dust-up that is sure to follow will result in triumph or tragedy for the US bill of rights.
Numerous US officials are calling for a resurrection of the US Espionage Act as a tool for prosecuting WikiLeaks. The...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

16 Dec 2010

Anonymous takes down Swedish prosecution website

The Swedish prosecutor's website crashed late yesterday, moments after the authority announced its intention to fight the decision to grant WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange bail in the UK. The website of the Swedish Prosecution Authority, Aklagare.se, was brought offline for almost 11 hours on Tuesday in the latest online attack by Anonymous, the loose-knit group committed to crippling the websites of companies and governments perceived to be acting against WikiLeaks. The site was back online at the time of publication.
The Swedish prosecutor's website crashed late yesterday, moments after the authority announced its intention to fight...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

16 Dec 2010

Azerbaijan complains of BP clout in country

In the 21st-century equivalent of the "Great Game", it seems that some Azeri ministers knew that there is likely to be only one winner in pipeline politics BP. Azerbaijan will become even more important in the future in supplying Europe with energy as new pipelines are planned to transport the vast oil and gas reserves in the Caspian Sea region westwards. But the US diplomatic cables show that in reality, despite threats and bluster from the government, it is BP who holds the key to how, when and where Azerbaijan's reserves are developed.
In the 21st-century equivalent of the "Great Game", it seems that some Azeri ministers knew that there is likely to be...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

16 Dec 2010

BP accused by Azerbaijan of stealing oil worth $10bn

The president of Azerbaijan accused BP of stealing billions of dollars of oil from his country and using "mild blackmail" to secure the rights to develop vast gas reserves in the Caspian Sea region, according to leaked US cables. Ilham Aliyev said the oil firm tried to exploit his country's "temporary troubles" during a gas shortage in December 2006. In return for making more gas supplies available for domestic consumption that winter, BP wanted an extension of its lucrative profit-sharing contract with the government and the go-ahead to develop Caspian gas reserves, one cable from the US embassy in Baku reports. Aliyev also threatened to make BP's alleged "cheating" public, cables show.
The president of Azerbaijan accused BP of stealing billions of dollars of oil from his country and using "mild...

Publisher: The Guardian

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16 Dec 2010

BP suffered blowout on Azerbaijan gas platform

Striking resemblances between BP's Gulf of Mexico disaster and a little-reported giant gas leak in Azerbaijan experienced by the UK firm 18 months beforehand have emerged from leaked US embassy cables. The cables reveal that some of BP's partners in the gas field were upset that the company was so secretive about the incident that it even allegedly withheld information from them. They also say that BP was lucky that it was able to evacuate its 212 workers safely after the incident, which resulted in two fields being shut and output being cut by at least 500,000 barrels a day with production disrupted for months.
Striking resemblances between BP's Gulf of Mexico disaster and a little-reported giant gas leak in Azerbaijan...

Publisher: The Guardian

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16 Dec 2010

Chevron discussed oil project with Tehran, claims Iraqi PM

The US energy firm Chevron negotiated with Tehran about developing an Iraq-Iran cross-border oilfield in spite of tight US sanctions, according to the Iraqi prime minister in leaked diplomatic cables. Nouri al-Maliki's claim, reported in the cables, that Chevron was in discussions with the Iranian government will raise eyebrows in Europe and other parts of the world where international companies have come under significant pressure from Washington to end investments and other financial dealings with Tehran.
The US energy firm Chevron negotiated with Tehran about developing an Iraq-Iran cross-border oilfield in spite of tight...

Publisher: The Guardian

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16 Dec 2010

Julian Assange bail decision made by UK authorities, not Sweden

The decision to have Julian Assange sent to a London jail and kept there was taken by the British authorities and not by prosecutors in Sweden, as previously thought, the Guardian has learned. The Crown Prosecution Service will go to the high court tomorrow to seek the reversal of a decision to free the WikiLeaks founder on bail, made yesterday by a judge at City of Westminster magistrates court.
The decision to have Julian Assange sent to a London jail and kept there was taken by the British authorities and not by...
16 Dec 2010

Julian Assange is no hero – but Khodorkovsky and Holbrooke may qualify

Watching the TV news and reading newspaper accounts of Julian Assange's bail hearing I'm struck by the need some people have to embrace heroes, an impulse which is mirrored by an equally urgent need for villains, preferably American ones. Personally, I don't find Assange quite satisfactory in that role, for reasons I'll explain. But cheer up. In today's Guardian I can find two weightier candidates and the good news is that one is an improbable Russian, the other an American.
Watching the TV news and reading newspaper accounts of Julian Assange's bail hearing I'm struck by the need some people...

Publisher: The Guardian

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16 Dec 2010

Openleaks? Brusselsleaks? Tradeleaks? The market’s getting crowded

You wait years for a whistleblowing site, and then three come along at once. But some look like they'll be more robust than others. The whistleblowing website Wikileaks has company - suddenly, a lot of it. In the past week alone three new sites have sprung up offering to act as conduits for leaks - though with varying amounts of believability. Openleaks, Brusselsleaks and a new one launched overnight in Australia called "Tradeleaks" are all trying to garner the trust of internet users with stories to tell.
You wait years for a whistleblowing site, and then three come along at once. But some look like they'll be more robust...

Publisher: The Guardian

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16 Dec 2010

Rush Limbaugh hits out at Michael Moore over help for Julian Assange

The US conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh has criticised film-maker Michael Moore and others for their decision to put up 20,000 each to help secure the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on bail. The radio talkshow host, whose syndicated show is the most listened-to talk-radio programme in the US, said Moore and others who provided surety for Assange's return to court on sex charges filed by Swedish prosecutors were "fans of serial rapists". Film-makers Ken Loach and John Pilger are amongst those who have joined Moore to put up money to help Assange meet the 200,000 bail demanded by senior district judge Howard Riddle at the City of Westminster magistrates court.
The US conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh has criticised film-maker Michael Moore and others for their decision to...

Publisher: The Guardian

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16 Dec 2010

Thai leaders doubt suitability of prince to become king

Thai leaders harbour grave misgivings about the crown prince's fitness to become king owing to his reputation as a womaniser and links to a fugitive former prime minister, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable. Three senior members of Thailand's powerful privy council, a group of advisers appointed by the king, make clear their preference for an alternative to Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, who is considered a political liability because of his extramarital affairs in several European countries.
Thai leaders harbour grave misgivings about the crown prince's fitness to become king owing to his reputation as a...
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Publisher: The Guardian

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15 Dec 2010

Drive to tackle Islamists made ‘little progress’

Britain made "little progress" in reaching out to Muslim communities despite investing "considerable time and resources" after the 7/7 London bombings in 2005, US diplomats concluded in cables passed to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. A powerful critique of the government's efforts to engage with British Muslims, outlined in a cable published as police investigate the UK connections of the Stockholm suicide bomber, shows the US embassy in London concluded that both sides often appeared far apart.
Britain made "little progress" in reaching out to Muslim communities despite investing "considerable time and resources"...
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15 Dec 2010

European arrest warrant in spotlight

The case of Julian Assange has again put the European arrest warrant (EAW) in the spotlight (Report, 9 December). The EAW is a valuable and successful EU instrument, cutting the delays and red tape that in the past allowed major criminals to party beyond the reach of the law.
The case of Julian Assange has again put the European arrest warrant (EAW) in the spotlight (Report, 9 December). The...

Publisher: The Guardian

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15 Dec 2010

Ireland ‘a bit optimistic’ on banks before bailout

The US was concerned as long as ago as October 2008 that Ireland did not have a grip on its crippled banks, according to a confidential cable from its Dublin embassy released by WikiLeaks. Following a meeting with Irish regulators a few days after the government stepped in to guarantee all deposits in Irish banks at the end of September 2008, Washington's economic adviser in the Dublin embassy warned that Ireland may be "a bit optimistic" about the financial sector's prospects.
The US was concerned as long as ago as October 2008 that Ireland did not have a grip on its crippled banks, according to...

Publisher: Telegraph

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15 Dec 2010

Julian Assange bail hearing makes legal history with Twitter ruling

Howard Riddle, the Chief Magistrate, agreed that reporters could send the short messages, known as Tweets as long as they did so "quietly" and "did not disturb" the court. Ther majority of the tweets were posted by Alexi Mostrous, a Times journalist, and Heather Brooke, the Freedom of Information campaigner. Although there is no central rule banning the use of mobile phones in court, in practice they are prohibited during hearings in the same way that television cameras and recording equipment are not allowed.
Howard Riddle, the Chief Magistrate, agreed that reporters could send the short messages, known as Tweets as long as...

Publisher: The Guardian

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15 Dec 2010

Julian Assange urges supporters to protect WikiLeaks

The crippling web attacks on multinational companies threaten to escalate after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange urged supporters to protect the whisteblowers' site from "instruments of US foreign policy". Whitehall is preparing for an online backlash from the Anonymous cyber activists that brought down sites belonging to Visa, Mastercard and PayPal last week in response to the companies cutting ties with WikiLeaks. Downing Street said sites that deal with tax returns or benefits for millions of Britons are on red alert for a possible cyber attack.
The crippling web attacks on multinational companies threaten to escalate after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange urged...

Publisher: The Guardian

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15 Dec 2010

Mervyn King plotted banks bailout by four cash-rich nations

The Bank of England governor, Mervyn King, was so concerned about the health of the world's banks in March 2008 that he plotted a secret bailout of the system using funds from cash-rich nations, according to a US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks. Six months before the world financial crisis reached its peak, forcing taxpayers to rescue collapsing financial institutions, King told US officials in London that the UK, US, Switzerland and Japan could jointly enable a multibillion-pound cash injection into global banks, overriding the "dysfunctional" G7 nations.
The Bank of England governor, Mervyn King, was so concerned about the health of the world's banks in March 2008 that he...

Publisher: The Guardian

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15 Dec 2010

RBS chairman said directors ‘failed to live up to their duties’

Lord Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority, is likely to come under pressure to reopen the regulator's probe into Royal Bank of Scotland after leaked US cables show the bank's new chairman Sir Philip Hampton said the former bank directors had failed to live up to their duties. The private remarks by Hampton that directors had breached their "fiduciary responsibilities" are disclosed barely a week after the City regulator controversially shut its investigation into what went wrong at RBS.
Lord Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority, is likely to come under pressure to reopen the regulator's...

Publisher: The Guardian

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15 Dec 2010

The Julian Assange case a mockery of extradition

There may be many unintended consequences of the race to prosecute Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder. But as he faces extradition to Sweden, where he is accused of rape, one of the more eccentric side effects has already become clear: the rise to prominence of the European arrest warrant.
There may be many unintended consequences of the race to prosecute Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder. But as he...

Publisher: The Guardian

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15 Dec 2010

US pressured British regulator to act against Iranian banks

Senior US officials urged British banking regulators two years ago to take more draconian action against Iranian banks suspected of financing nuclear and missile programmes, US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks show. Hector Sants, chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, was forced to defend the regulator's record on Iran particularly with regard to Bank Sepah to the state department under-secretary Reuben Jeffrey and the US treasury assistant Patrick O'Brien.
Senior US officials urged British banking regulators two years ago to take more draconian action against Iranian banks...

Publisher: The Guardian

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15 Dec 2010

Whitehall braced for cyber-attacks over WikiLeaks

David Cameron's national security adviser has put Whitehall on alert for the possibility of a cyber-attack on government websites after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a court appearance today. Sir Peter Ricketts has spoken to permanent secretaries about the security of government websites amid fears that the government may be targeted by supporters of Assange, who will try to win his release today after being held on remand after Sweden requested his arrest over allegations that he sexually assaulted two women.
David Cameron's national security adviser has put Whitehall on alert for the possibility of a cyber-attack on government...
15 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks, Anonymous and cyber war

The Swedish prosecutor's website crashed late yesterday, moments after the authority announced its intention to fight the decision to grant WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange bail in the UK. The website of the Swedish Prosecution Authority, Aklagare.se, was brought offline for almost 11 hours on Tuesday in the latest online attack by Anonymous, the loose-knit group committed to crippling the websites of companies and governments perceived to be acting against WikiLeaks. The site was back online at the time of publication.
The Swedish prosecutor's website crashed late yesterday, moments after the authority announced its intention to fight...

Publisher: The Guardian

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14 Dec 2010

Gerry Adams welcomes ‘MI5 offer’ to disclose files on Pat Finucane murder

Gerry Adams this morning welcomed the disclosure that MI5 is prepared to hand over files on one of the most high profile murders during the Northern Ireland Troubles. The Sinn F in president said the existence of MI5 files on the murder of Pat Finucane, a well known civil rights lawyer who was shot dead in 1989 by loyalist gunmen working with members of the security forces, could be significant.
Gerry Adams this morning welcomed the disclosure that MI5 is prepared to hand over files on one of the most high profile...

Publisher: The Guardian

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14 Dec 2010

Inside ‘Anonymous’ tales from within the group taking aim at Amazon and Mastercard

"Just don't use my name, OK, please?" said the person on the other end of the phone. "I don't want this to get out." His cause for concern? He'd helped produce some innocuous content - nothing actionable legally in any way - for "Anonymous", the vague online group spawned by Chan's forums. The real reason he was worried wasn't that he thought law enforcement might find out. He was worried about other people in Anonymous finding out - because in that group, to stand up and identify yourself is seen as the worst thing you can do. Stripping off the Anonymous mask is viewed as a form of betrayal by the wider group.
"Just don't use my name, OK, please?" said the person on the other end of the phone. "I don't want this to get out." His...

Publisher: The Guardian

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14 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks cables US keeps Uzbekistan president onside to protect supply line

The post-Soviet state of Uzbekistan is a nightmarish world of "rampant corruption", organised crime, forced labour in the cotton fields, and torture, according to the leaked cables. But the secret dispatches released by WikiLeaks reveal that the US tries to keep President Islam Karimov sweet because he allows a crucial US military supply line to run into Afghanistan, known as the northern distribution network (NDN).
The post-Soviet state of Uzbekistan is a nightmarish world of "rampant corruption", organised crime, forced labour in...

Publisher: BBC News

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14 Dec 2010

Wikileaks defectors to launch Openleaks alternative

Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who left the site after disagreements with its founder, plans to launch Openleaks in the coming months. The technology, which can be embedded in any organisation's sites, will allow whistle-blowers to anonymously leak data to publishers of their choice. Its founders say it will address problems they had with Wikileaks.
Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who left the site after disagreements with its founder, plans to launch Openleaks in the coming...

Publisher: The Observer

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14 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks row why Amazon’s desertion has ominous implications for democracy

One of the most interesting aspects of the WikiLeaks controversy is the light it has shed on the providers of cloud computing. One after another they have fallen over like dominoes when the going got rough. First, some of the ISPs hosting WikiLeaks caved in; then EveryDNS, the company that mapped its domain names (eg wikileaks.org) on to machine addresses, dropped it; then Amazon, which had enough computer power and bandwidth to resist even the most determined cyber-attacks, took it off its computers; then PayPal and later Mastercard, the online conduits for donations, cancelled its accounts. The rationalisations these outfits gave for dropping WikiLeaks had a common theme, namely that it had violated the terms and conditions under which the terminated services had been provided.
One of the most interesting aspects of the WikiLeaks controversy is the light it has shed on the providers of cloud...
13 Dec 2010

China has a long record of helping Africa

It's not surprising that the spotlight has fallen again on China's role in resource-rich Africa. Concerns have been evident recently among NGOs, the media and foreign governments, even before this week's release of diplomatic cables. This, despite the fact that the Chinese presence there goes back to the 1950s.
It's not surprising that the spotlight has fallen again on China's role in resource-rich Africa. Concerns have been...
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Publisher: The Guardian

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13 Dec 2010

IRA used Irish boom to turn ‘respectable’

The IRA used the Celtic Tiger economic boom in the Irish Republic to diversify into "more sophisticated business enterprises" by buying up properties in London, Dublin and Spanish resorts, according to leaked US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
The IRA used the Celtic Tiger economic boom in the Irish Republic to diversify into "more sophisticated business...
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Publisher: The Guardian

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13 Dec 2010

MI5 offered files on Finucane killing to inquiry

MI5 has said that it is prepared to hand over sensitive files on one of the most high-profile murders during the Northern Ireland Troubles carried out by loyalist gunmen working with members of the British security forces. The offer in the case of the Pat Finucane, the well-known civil rights and defence lawyer murdered in front of his wife and three young children in 1989, is contained in confidential US embassy cables passed to WikiLeaks.
MI5 has said that it is prepared to hand over sensitive files on one of the most high-profile murders during the...

Publisher: The Guardian

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13 Dec 2010

Russia ‘was tracking killers of Alexander Litvinenko but UK warned it off’

Russia was tracking the assassins of dissident spy Alexander Litvinenko before he was poisoned but was warned off by Britain, which said the situation was "under control", according to claims made in a leaked US diplomatic cable. The secret memo, recording a 2006 meeting between an ex-CIA bureau chief and a former KGB officer, is set to reignite the diplomatic row surrounding Litvinenko's unsolved murder that year, which many espionage experts have linked directly to the Kremlin
Russia was tracking the assassins of dissident spy Alexander Litvinenko before he was poisoned but was warned off by...

Publisher: The Guardian

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13 Dec 2010

Sinn Féin leaders ‘were aware of’ Northern Bank heist plans

Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness held lengthy negotiations with the former Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern to save the Northern Ireland peace process in the full knowledge that the IRA was planning to carry out the biggest bank robbery in its history, according to leaked US cables passed to WikiLeaks
Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness held lengthy negotiations with the former Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern to save...
13 Dec 2010

The powerful may howl, but only because we are learning the truth

Publication of the cables has caused no loss of life; troops are not being mobilised; and the only real diplomatic crisis is merely one of discomfort. The idea that the past two weeks have been a disaster is self-evidently preposterous. Yet the leaks are of unprecedented importance because, at a stroke, they have enlightened the masses about what is being done in their name and have shown the corruption, incompetence and sometimes wisdom of our politicians, corporations and diplomats. More significantly, we have been given a snapshot of the world as it is, rather than the edited account agreed upon by diverse elites, whose only common interest is the maintenance of their power and our ignorance.
Publication of the cables has caused no loss of life; troops are not being mobilised; and the only real diplomatic...

Publisher: The Guardian

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13 Dec 2010

Vatican reaction to WikiLeaks claims

The Vatican has described the release of Wikileaks cables depicting its inner workings in an unflattering light as a matter of "extreme seriousness". The cables from the American embassy at the Vatican, which describe an out of touch Vatican leadership and its refusal to assist an Irish inquiry into priestly abuse, were potentially unreliable, the Vatican said in a statement.
The Vatican has described the release of Wikileaks cables depicting its inner workings in an unflattering light as a...

Publisher: The Guardian

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13 Dec 2010

Why did I back Julian Assange It’s about justice and fairness

Assange has not even been charged, let alone convicted. Swedish prosecutors do not have to produce any evidence that he committed the alleged sexual offences to justify the warrant. On the basis of the allegations that I heard read out in court, the evidence seems feeble, but I concede that I don't know the full facts. Neither does Assange. Stockholm's chief prosecutor, Eva Finne, who heard the evidence against Assange in August, threw the case out of court, saying: "I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape."
Assange has not even been charged, let alone convicted. Swedish prosecutors do not have to produce any evidence that he...

Publisher: The Guardian

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13 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks cable describes legacy of distrust left by Finucane killing

Patrick Finucane, a prominent civil rights and criminal defence lawyer, was eating supper with his wife and three children, when masked, loyalist gunmen smashed their way into his north Belfast home and shot him dead. Members of the outlawed Ulster Freedom Fighters broke down the front door with sledgehammers and fired 14 shots from a .38 revolver and a 9mm Browning automatic pistol.
Patrick Finucane, a prominent civil rights and criminal defence lawyer, was eating supper with his wife and three...

Publisher: The Guardian

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13 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks cable sticks the knife into Azerbaijan’s first lady

The first lady of Azerbaijan has problems showing a "full range of facial expression" following "substantial cosmetic surgery, (done) presumably overseas," US diplomats say witheringly in US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks. In some of the cattiest comments to emerge from the leaked state department cables so far, diplomats shove the scalpel into Mehriban Aliyeva, the wife of Azerbaijan's president Ilham Aliyev. The cable written in January examines Aliyeva's family, the influential Pashayevs, describing them as one of oil-rich state's "most powerful families".
The first lady of Azerbaijan has problems showing a "full range of facial expression" following "substantial cosmetic...

Publisher: The Guardian

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13 Dec 2010

Will David Cameron now sanction an inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane

Even David Cameron's fiercest opponents agree that one of his finest moments as prime minister came on 15 June this year when he offered an unequivocal apology for the killings on Bloody Sunday in 1972. Nationalists in Derry erupted with joy when the prime minister said he was "deeply sorry" as he published the inquiry into the 1972 Bloody Sunday shootings in a statement to MPs.
Even David Cameron's fiercest opponents agree that one of his finest moments as prime minister came on 15 June this year...

Publisher: The Guardian

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12 Dec 2010

Pope’s offer to Anglicans risked ‘violence against Catholics’

The British ambassador to the Vatican warned that Pope Benedict XVI's invitation to Anglican opponents of female priests to convert en masse to Catholicism was so inflammatory that it might lead to discrimination and even violence against Catholics in Britain, according to a secret US diplomatic cable.
The British ambassador to the Vatican warned that Pope Benedict XVI's invitation to Anglican opponents of female priests...
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Publisher: The Guardian

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12 Dec 2010

US proposed counter-terrorism centre in Barcelona

The US grew so concerned about the possibility of an Islamist terrorist attack in Spain in 2007 that it proposed setting up a counter-terrorism centre in the country's second-largest city, according to leaked US embassy cables. The three cables say the US planned the "counterterrorism, anti-crime and intelligence centre" at its consulate in Barcelona. The goal was to "combat the target-rich environment of terrorist and criminal activities centred in the region," which has a "presence of over one million Muslims," according to a 2007 cable.
The US grew so concerned about the possibility of an Islamist terrorist attack in Spain in 2007 that it proposed setting...

Publisher: The Guardian

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12 Dec 2010

Vatican refused to engage with child sex abuse inquiry

The Vatican refused to allow its officials to testify before an Irish commission investigating the clerical abuse of children and was angered when they were summoned from Rome, US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks reveal. Requests for information from the 2009 Murphy commission into sexual and physical abuse by clergy "offended many in the Vatican" who felt that the Irish government had "failed to respect and protect Vatican sovereignty during the investigations", a cable says.
The Vatican refused to allow its officials to testify before an Irish commission investigating the clerical abuse of...

Charging Julian Assange would be unconstitutional

There's been lots of talk about US authorities prosecuting Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, but it has posed a big question: Assange did all his leaking while remaining outside of the United States, so is it constitutional to extend America's criminal laws to activities beyond its shores?
There's been lots of talk about US authorities prosecuting Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, but it has posed a big question:...
11 Dec 2010

China’s aid to Africa has strings attached

One of the most amusing aspects of international development work in the last few years has been the paranoid alarm in western development agencies about the rising influence of China in Africa. China is not a "new donor" it has been investing in Africa for decades, but the quantity and commitment of China's investment has risen in proportion with its newfound economic strength, challenging western donors as the largest aid donor and business partner in some key countries in Africa. Western fears veer from overblown claims that Chinese aid will undermine progress on human rights, to ill-disguised geopolitical worries about loss of western influence and an admittance that Chinese aid, with its focus on providing infrastructure cheaply and disregard for the more complex, political development problems, is proving more effective than western aid in helping African countries develop.
One of the most amusing aspects of international development work in the last few years has been the paranoid alarm in...

Publisher: The Guardian

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11 Dec 2010

Pfizer ‘used dirty tricks to avoid clinical trial payout’

The world's biggest pharmaceutical company hired investigators to unearth evidence of corruption against the Nigerian attorney general in order to persuade him to drop legal action over a controversial drug trial involving children with meningitis, according to a leaked US embassy cable. Pfizer was sued by the Nigerian state and federal authorities, who claimed that children were harmed by a new antibiotic, Trovan, during the trial, which took place in the middle of a meningitis epidemic of unprecedented scale in Kano in the north of Nigeria in 1996
The world's biggest pharmaceutical company hired investigators to unearth evidence of corruption against the Nigerian...

Publisher: The Guardian

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11 Dec 2010

Pope wanted Muslim Turkey kept out of EU

The pope is responsible for the Vatican's growing hostility towards Turkey joining the EU, previously secret cables sent from the US embassy to the Holy See in Rome claim. In 2004 Cardinal Ratzinger, the future pope, spoke out against letting a Muslim state join, although at the time the Vatican was formally neutral on the question. The Vatican's acting foreign minister, Monsignor Pietro Parolin, responded by telling US diplomats that Ratzinger's comments were his own rather than the official Vatican position.
The pope is responsible for the Vatican's growing hostility towards Turkey joining the EU, previously secret cables sent...
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Publisher: The Guardian

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11 Dec 2010

Restrained reaction to WikiLeaks from French ministers, says Le Monde editor

Initially, the publication of the cables provoked a strong reaction in France. Some well-known political figures and commentators, notably the former socialist foreign minister Hubert V drine, were very strongly against the publication. V drine deemed it "totalitarianism disguised as transparency" and accused Le Monde of "laundering stolen information". A fierce debate ensued, particularly among diplomatic commentators and in the world of French diplomacy itself. Diplomats felt they had lost control of this information. It was a big shock to them.
Initially, the publication of the cables provoked a strong reaction in France. Some well-known political figures and...

Publisher: The Guardian

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11 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks cables had a huge impact in Spain, says El Pais editor-in-chief

The impact within Spain and in Latin America has been huge. This has been especially so in Spain, because of our four-part series on the national court, looking at some high-profile cases in which the US embassy in Madrid has tried to influence judges, the government, and prosecutors in cases involving US citizens. One involved a detainee in Guant namo, another covered secret rendition flights in Spain, and another was about the murder of a Spanish journalist by US fire in Baghdad.
The impact within Spain and in Latin America has been huge. This has been especially so in Spain, because of our...

Publisher: The Guardian

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11 Dec 2010

Wikileaks cables started a ‘spy hunt’ in Germany

When Der Spiegel appeared with its cover story on the cables on Monday 29 November, Germany had a new "most wanted" figure. Who, wondered the media, was the mysterious man who had been briefing the American embassy about the coalition negotiations in the immediate aftermath of the German general election in 2009?
When Der Spiegel appeared with its cover story on the cables on Monday 29 November, Germany had a new "most wanted"...

Publisher: The Guardian

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11 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks cables suggest Burma is building secret nuclear sites

Witnesses in Burma claim to have seen evidence of secret nuclear and missile sites being built in remote jungle, according to secret US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, heightening concerns that the military regime is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
Witnesses in Burma claim to have seen evidence of secret nuclear and missile sites being built in remote jungle,...

Publisher: The Guardian

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11 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks fake cables – Pakistani newspapers admit they were hoaxed

Two leading Pakistani papers admitted today they had been hoaxed by a fake account of the WikiLeaks cables that portrayed Indian generals as vain, "geeky" and engaged in a "genocide" against Muslims in Kashmir. The News admitted the story "was dubious and may have been planted". The left-leaning Express Tribune, which is published in co-operation with the International Herald Tribune, offered "profuse" apologies to readers.
Two leading Pakistani papers admitted today they had been hoaxed by a fake account of the WikiLeaks cables that...

Publisher: BBC

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10 Dec 2010

Amazon site unaffected by pro-Wikileaks attack

Attempts by online activists to bring down online retailer Amazon's website appear to have failed. The group Anonymous had pledged to to attack the site at 1600 GMT but the site seems to be functioning normally. The site was targeted because it withdrew services from whistle-blowing website Wikileaks
Attempts by online activists to bring down online retailer Amazon's website appear to have failed. The group Anonymous...

Publisher: The Guardian

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10 Dec 2010

Julian Assange should be awarded Nobel peace prize, suggests Russia

Russia has suggested that Julian Assange should be awarded the Nobel peace prize, in an unexpected show of support from Moscow for the jailed WikiLeaks founder. In what appears to be a calculated dig at the US, the Kremlin urged non-governmental organisations to think seriously about "nominating Assange as a Nobel Prize laureate".
Russia has suggested that Julian Assange should be awarded the Nobel peace prize, in an unexpected show of support from...
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