Foreign articles

WikiLeaks supporters step up cyber war

WikiLeaks supporters step up cyber war

LONDON: Hackers stepped up their cyber war in support of WikiLeaks on Thursday as the embattled whistleblowers released memos showing that the United States views China as a “pernicious” competitor in Africa.
The Swedish government’s website was forced offline after a group calling itself “Anonymous” vowed to intensify its “war of data” against Mastercard, Visa and other groups which have blocked funding to WikiLeaks.
Organisers of the group said thousands of volunteers had

India to widen telco probe as top mogul backs govt

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday widened a probe into the country’s biggest corruption case to include decisions made during the main opposition party’s rule, a move that may take steam out of a campaign against the government.
The probe into the 2008 grants of telecoms licences that the state auditor said lost India $39 billion in potential revenue will now examine licencing procedures when the main opposition was in power and which have been cited in court as a precedent.

Mullen says China ducking responsibility on N Korea

SEOUL: The top US military officer accused China Wednesday of ducking its responsibility to curb its close ally North Korea in the wake of the North’s “inhumane” and deadly attack on a South Korean island.
Admiral Mike Mullen also announced plans for more joint military exercises with South Korea and said the South has the right to respond as it sees fit to any future attacks.
Asked at a press conference in Seoul if he had asked the South to exclude the option of air strikes

US reversing Taliban momentum in Afghan south: Gates

CAMP LEATHERNECK: Defence Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday hailed US Marines for reversing Taliban gains in one of the toughest Afghan battlefields as he toured the south ahead of a key war review.
He struck an upbeat note, with an imminent White House report likely to credit an extra 30,000 American troops with bolstering security while stressing that the nine-year insurgency is far from defeated.
“The Marines, since arriving a year ago last summer, have really been in

Chile’s worst prison fire kills 81 inmates

SANTIAGO: Fire engulfed a prison in the Chilean capital early on Wednesday, killing 81 inmates and critically injuring 14 others, prison officials said, in the worst-ever accident in the country’s jail system.
Officials said the fire was triggered during an early-morning fight between inmates in one of the crowded prison’s five towers. Television footage showed part of the San Miguel prison in flames, black smoke billowing from the building.
Frantic relatives of the

Two trains collide in Bangladesh, at least 4 dead: police

DHAKA: Two passenger trains collided at a busy station just outside the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on Wednesday, killing at least four people and injuring scores, local officials told AFP.
One train was stopped at the station when the second one ploughed into it from behind, leaving passenger carriages mangled and stacked on top of each other.
Television footage showed workers at the scene trying to rescue people from inside the coaches, as large crowds milled around the

ME peace efforts in ‘crisis’ as US freeze bid fails

JERUSALEM: The Middle East peace process lay in tatters on Wednesday after Washington admitted defeat in its efforts to secure an Israeli freeze on settlement building, the Palestinians’ condition for resuming talks.
Speaking late on Tuesday, US officials admitted top-level efforts to coax Israel into imposing new curbs on West Bank settlement construction had gone nowhere, prompting Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to declare a crisis in peace efforts but backslapping among

Protests in Haiti capital contest election results

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Hundreds of protesters blocked streets with burning barricades in parts of the Haitian capital on Wednesday to contest results of troubled elections that are also being questioned by the United States.
The protesters, some carrying sticks, shouted slogans in support of Michel Martelly, a popular musician and presidential candidate who failed to go through to a second round of voting. Preliminary results from the Nov. 28 first-round elections were announced by

Hackers target bank, credit card websites in WikiLeaks war

ZURICH: An anonymous group of hackers said Wednesday they had launched online attacks to shut down the websites of credit card Mastercard and a Swiss bank that cut off business ties with WikiLeaks.
The self-styled ‘hacktivist’ group dubbed Anon_Operation said in one tweet that “ is down” and the site of the credit card giant could not be accessed from Geneva. On their homepage the group, which claims it is fighting for “freedom on the internet” and against

Spain offered to host Africom: WikiLeaks

MADRID: The Spanish government offered to host the US military command for Africa (Africom) in southern Spain, according to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told newly arrived US Ambassador Alan Solomont in January that “Spain was open to an expanded US Government presence” at the US Naval Base in Rota, near the southern port of Cadiz, “for Africom objectives,” said one cable published the newspaper El Pais on Wednesday.

China says does not want to ‘replace’ US as world power

BEIJING: China does not want to “replace” the United States from its dominant role in the world, and the world should not fear China’s rise, the country’s top diplomat wrote in an essay.
State Councillor Dai Bingguo said that China would not engage in an arms race, as the country’s resources were better spent on development and ensuring its people had enough to eat. “The notion that China wants to replace the United States and dominate the world is a myth,” Dai wrote in the

US official arrives in Myanmar to meet Suu Kyi, MPs

YANGON: A United States official arrived in army-ruled Myanmar on Tuesday for talks with Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was recently freed from house arrest, plus a minister and newly elected lawmakers, a government official said.
The visit by Joseph Yun, deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, is seen as a move by Washington to test the political waters in Myanmar, a month after a controversial general election and Suu Kyi’s release from

US warned Turkey on Iran trade, Gaza-linked group

ANKARA: The United States has cautioned Turkey over business links with Iran and charged that an Islamist charity aided Hamas, according to a cable revealed by WikiLeaks Tuesday.
The dispatch covered a series of meetings that David Cohen, the US Treasury assistant secretary for financial crimes, held in Ankara in October 2009. Cohen “cautioned government and banking officials about doing business with Iranian banks” and passed information “on Iranian mis-use of the Turkish

Cameron, in Afghanistan, eyes British pullout in 2011

KABUL: British Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday that next year must show “irreversible” progress in the anti-Taliban war, expressing hope that British troops could start leaving Afghanistan in 2011.
Making his second visit to the war-torn country as prime minister, Cameron met President Hamid Karzai days after leaked American cables showed heavy criticism by US and Afghan officials of the performance of British forces. Cameron told a joint press conference with Karzai

Gulf urges Iran to be ‘positive’ on nuclear talks

ABU DHABI: Gulf Arab leaders meeting in Abu Dhabi appealed on Tuesday to Iran to “respond positively” to talks with world powers about the Islamic republic’s contentious nuclear programme.
Gulf Cooperation Council states “welcome international efforts, including those made by the P5+1, to peacefully resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis and hope it will respond positively to these efforts,” said a joint GCC statement.
They also stressed the “right of all countries in the region to

Expert report says Haiti cholera outbreak came from UN camp

PARIS: The cholera outbreak ravaging Haiti began at a camp for UN peacekeepers from Nepal, according to an expert report submitted to the French foreign ministry, a source close to the matter told AFP Tuesday.
Respected French epidemiologist Professor Renaud Piarroux conducted a study in Haiti last month and concluded the epidemic began with an imported strain of the disease and broke out at the Nepalese base, the official said.
Foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero

Major WikiLeaks donor under pressure in Germany

BERLIN: A major WikiLeaks donor is in trouble in Germany for not filing its accounts on time, but authorities insisted Tuesday this was unrelated to its ties to the under-fire whistle-blowing organisation.
The Wau Holland Foundation, which has reportedly transferred 750,000 euros (one million dollars) in donations from the public to WikiLeaks, has been sent a second reminder to file its 2009 accounts.
“But this has nothing to do with WikiLeaks,” Michael Conrad, a spokesman