Three killed in Ivory Coast poll violence: UN

Three killed in Ivory Coast poll violence: UN

ABIDJAN: Violence in western Ivory Coast during Sunday’s second round of presidential elections has killed three people, the UN envoy to the divided west African country, Youn-jin Choi, said Monday.
The previous toll, given on Sunday by the government, was two dead, and the authorities blamed Dozo traditional hunters.
“We have confirmed three deaths yesterday in the west,” Choi told a press conference, without giving details of “this violence, these troubles,” which he said

Russia puts brave face on damning US assessments

MOSCOW: Russia on Monday tried to play down the release of confidential US cables reportedly calling the country “a virtual mafia state” that is ruled by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and not the president.
Russian officials scrambled for a diplomatic response after the WikiLeaks whistleblower website published eight cables dealing with Russia and released further material to Western newspapers and magazines.
Some of the most damaging material concerned characterisations of

China AIDS death toll up nearly 20,000 in a year

BEIJING: The total number of reported AIDS deaths in China has jumped by nearly 20,000 since an official estimate last year, state media said Monday as Beijing vowed to step up efforts to curb its spread.
Deaths linked to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) since its emergence in China in the 1980s reached 68,315 by the end of October, state television said, citing figures from the health ministry. That compares with a tally of 49,845 reported deaths released by the

Italy calls Wikileaks release ‘9/11 of diplomacy’

ROME: The expected release of classified US documents by Wikileaks will be the “9/11 of world diplomacy”, Italy’s foreign minister said on Sunday, urging Italian prosecutors to investigate the whistle-blowing website.
Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, on a trip to Qatar, said he did not know the content of the files to be released but warned they would “blow up the relationship of trust between states”, according to Italian news agencies. “It will be the September 11th of world

White House condemns latest releases

WASHINGTON: The White House condemned on Sunday WikiLeaks’ “reckless and dangerous action” in releasing classified US diplomatic cables, saying it could endanger lives and risk hurting relations with friendly
US State Department documents released by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks provided candid views of foreign leaders and sensitive information on terrorism and nuclear proliferation, The New York Times reported.
The documents show Saudi donors remain

WikiLeaks ‘under cyber attack’

LONDON: WikiLeaks said on Sunday it was under a cyber attack but stressed this would not stop the publication of classified US documents, it said in a message on Twitter.
“We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack,” the whistle-blower website said in a statement on its Twitter feed, just hours before an expected mass release of the documents. But it insisted that the Spanish, French, German, British and US newspapers that were planning to publish the

US military unveils steps to prevent future leaks

WASHINGTON: The Pentagon on Sunday condemned the latest release of classified documents by WikiLeaks and unveiled steps designed to prevent future disclosures of secret files.
“As we have in the past, we condemn this reckless disclosure of classified information illegally obtained,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said in a statement.
As WikiLeaks released 250,000 diplomatic cables to The New York Times on Sunday, the Defence Department announced a series of measures

Britain warns documents release could put ‘lives at risk’

LONDON: Britain condemned on Sunday the release of classified US documents by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, echoing US concerns that it “may put lives at risk”.
“We condemn any unauthorised release of this classified information, just as we condemn leaks of classified material in the UK,” a Foreign Office statement said, as WikiLeaks prepared to publish classified US documents.
“They can damage national security, are not in the national interest and, as the US have

Suspicions abound Wikileaks is part of US cyber-warfare ops

LAHORE: Asian intelligence sources say that there is a strong belief in some Asian countries, particularly China and Thailand, that the website Wikileaks, which purports to publish classified and sensitive documents while guaranteeing anonymity to the providers, is linked to US cyber-warfare and computer espionage operations, as well as to Mossad’s own cyber-warfare activities, investigative blog Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) said on Sunday.
Wikileaks claims to have decrypted video

US says WikiLeaks release would endanger lives

WASHINGTON: The State Department has warned the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks that its expected release of classified US documents would endanger countless lives, jeopardize
American military operations and hurt international cooperation on global
security issues.
The department’s top lawyer urged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a letter Saturday to keep classified documents off the website, remove records of them from its database and return any material to

Swiss divided over tougher rules for foreigners

GENEVA: Switzerland was divided Sunday over a far-right push to automatically expel foreign residents convicted of certain crimes, with partial results in a referendum indicating a close race.
More than an hour after polls closed at mid-day, research institute gfs.bern said it was unable to forecast the likely result of the vote, while adding that it was clear that another referendum on whether the country should introduce a minimum tax rate across the board was set to be

Iran offers Hariri help for Lebanese military

TEHRAN: Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi on Sunday told Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri that Tehran was prepared to help the Lebanese army, state television’s website reported.
“We have stated on several occasions, and we say it again today, that we stand alongside the Lebanese army and are prepared to cooperate” with it, Vahidi said during a meeting with the visiting premier, the report said.
In a symbolic move, Vahidi offered Hariri an Iranian-made sub-machine gun

Brazilian police claim victory against criminal stronghold

RIO DE JANEIRO: After days of preparation, Brazilian security forces on Sunday invaded and seized a slum where between 500 and 600 drug traffickers had been holed up and refused to surrender.
The success of the operation, launched earlier in the day, was announced by military police commander Mario Sergio Duarte. “We took control of all the points we needed to control,” he said. “Our battalions have reached them all.”
Duarte said the raid was supported by aircraft and was

Two Afghans accused of Christian conversion risk execution

KABUL: Two Afghans accused of converting to Christianity, including a Red Cross employee, could face the death penalty, a prosecuting lawyer said on Sunday.
Musa Sayed, 45, and Ahmad Shah, 50, are being detained in the Afghan capital awaiting trial, the prosecutor in charge of western Kabul, Din Mohammad Quraishi, told AFP.
“They are accused of conversion to another religion, which is considered a crime under Islamic law. If proved, they face the death penalty or life

Indian gay pride parade draws thousands

NEW DELHI: Thousands of people danced, sang and cheered through the streets of Delhi on Sunday in a colourful and vibrant celebration for the first gay pride parade since gay sex was made legal in India.
Under a huge rainbow flag, to the sound of drums, whistles and horns, 2,000 gay activists and supporters clad in feather face masks shouted slogans and waved placards as they marched through the capital of this still sexually conservative country.
“Today is about saying

Israel to crack down on illegal migrant workers

JERUSALEM: Israel approved a plan on Sunday to hold and deport thousands of illegal migrant workers whom Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described as a “threat to the character of the country”.
In remarks to the cabinet, Netanyahu said thousands of migrants who have entered Israel mainly through Egypt in past years would be housed at a special holding facility, due to built in Israel’s southern Negev desert.
“We must stop the mass entry of illegal migrant workers because

Disaster-ravaged Haiti begins voting in key elections

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Haitians early Sunday began voting for a new president and lawmakers in an election marred by violence and concerns about fraud, while a cholera epidemic eats away at the earthquake-ravaged country.
Voters will choose a successor to President Rene Preval, who is not running for re-election, as well as 11 of the country’s 30 senators and all 99 parliamentary deputies in the landmark vote.
Balloting began in most of the country shortly before 6:00 am (1100