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DTH News : Wikileaks
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#1
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[Image: 160x180.jpg?center=0.5] Zimbabwe's diamonds are dirty, claims Wikileaks

SURAT: A US document, which says that thousands have been murdered and those close to president Robert Mugabe have been enriched by illicit diamond trade in Zimbabwe and published by Wikileaks, has come as a big jolt to diamantaires in the world's biggest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat and also the founders of Surat Rough Diamond Sourcing India Limited (SRSDIL).

The Wikileaks expose on Zimbabwe's blood diamond trade has come at a time when the company formed by 1,500 diamantaires - SRSDIL -- is eagerly awaiting the clearance of rough diamond export from Zimbabwe by Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).

"In a country filled with corrupt schemes, the diamond business in Zimbabwe is one of the dirtiest," according to a classified document dated November 2008 from the US embassy in the country, released this week on Wikileaks.

The Zimbabwean government, according to Wikileaks, deployed soldiers at the diamond fields in Marange in 2008 to seal off the area and clamp down on illegal mining, but rights activists say this resulted in serious rights abuses by the army. Villagers were uprooted and murders increased, the classified US documents said. The classified document cited a village chief as saying the government had relocated as many as 25,000 villagers in an attempt to secure more money.

The Wikileaks expose is likely to impact the ongoing decision making process by international diamond regulator -- Kimberley Process -- and the member countries on allowing rough diamond export from the Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe. The KPCS has failed to break an international deadlock over Zimbabwe's suspended diamond export at two consecutive meetings. In the first meeting organised in Israel on November 1, no agreement was reached on whether to allow Zimbabwe to export its rough diamonds from Marange fields after opposition by the members from Canada, Europe and Australia.

The second meeting held at Brussels in mid-November, too, failed to reach any consensus on Zimbabwe stalemate. "The Surat industry has suffered a big setback from this development, especially the newly formed SRSDIL. The company has spent a good amount of money in the last two months to secure a deal from Zimbabwe," said a member of SRSDIL.

The Zimbabwe Diamond Consortium (ZDC) and the SRDSIL had signed a pact for the supply of $1.2 billion worth of rough diamonds mined at Marange diamond fields in October. But the pact may not see the light of the day after the Wiki expose.

In the last two auctions of KP certified goods organised by Zimbabwe government in August and September, 2010, about 90 per cent of the $100 million worth of rough diamonds sold, were purchased by the Indian diamantaires, especially from Surat. Recently, Zimbabwe announced of having mined 2.7 million carats of diamonds worth millions of dollars from Marange diamond fields and that it had an additional stockpile of 4.7 million carats of rough diamonds.


Read more: Zimbabwe's diamonds are dirty, claims Wikileaks - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/...z184HLoOBW
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#2
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WikiLeaks founder to appear in British court

LONDON: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will appear in a British court on Tuesday in a second attempt to win bail after he was arrested over allegations of sex crimes in Sweden.

The 39-year-old Australian makes his second appearance at court in London since his detention one week ago under an international warrant sent out by Sweden.

His arrest came shortly after his whistle-blowing website started releasing tens of thousands of leaked US diplomatic cables, in a move that has infuriated Washington.

Supporters of Assange and his site are expected to protest outside the City of Westminster Magistrates Court, amid a growing backlash against his arrest.

Swedish authorities want to question Assange over allegations of rape and molestation made against him by two women in relation to incidents during his visit there in August.

Assange denies the allegations and his lawyers have condemned them as politically motivated. Swedish officials however have retorted that the allegations have nothing to do with WikiLeaks.

At a hearing last week, Assange was refused jailed as he was deemed a flight risk.

His legal team is to reapply for bail at today's hearing, where he will be represented by high-profile human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson.

There has been a groundswell of support for Assange since his arrest.

A petition on campaigning website Avaaz, which condemns what it terms as the crackdown on WikiLeaks, had attracted more than 600,000 signatories by 0100 GMT on Tuesday.

Computer hackers meanwhile have targeted companies that have withdrawn their commercial services from WikiLeaks, such as Amazon and PayPal.

The Stop The War Coalition, which is organising the protest outside court, claims the US government and its allies have built up a campaign against Assange which culminated in his detention "on dubious charges".

WikiLeaks began releasing the leaked US cables at the end of last month in a move that has infuriated Washington and which US President Barack Obama has denouncing it as "deplorable".

Various countries have also tried to close down the site, sending it jumping from server to server in a bid to stay online.

Assange's British lawyer, Mark Stephens, said yesterday a secret US grand jury had been set up in Virginia to work on charges that could be filed against the WikiLeaks founder, in comments to broadcaster Al-Jazeera.

Read more: WikiLeaks founder to appear in British court - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world...z184SePHjI
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#3
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Rahul Gandhi warns US of Hindu extremist groups: WikiLeaks


This could well turn out to be the most controversial ‘Leaks’ connected to India. President of the Youth Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi is reported to have told the American ambassador last year that Hindu extremist groups could pose a greater threat to his country than Muslim militants. Guardian's report.

The Gandhi scion is said to have warned Timothy Roemer that though "there was evidence of some support for [Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba] among certain elements in India's indigenous Muslim community, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalised Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community". More

Read all the latest news on Rahul Gandhi

As per the Hindu -
His words were revealed in one of 4,000 leaked U.S. diplomatic cables sent from Delhi. The cables reveal a difficult but increasingly warm relationship between a prickly emerging power and a superpower keen to be friends but on its own terms.

At a time when the young Gandhi scion is being pitched as the next Prime ministerial candidate, this kind of a revelation could prove dangerous for the Congress party. Already struggling with the scams and almost inconsequential Winter session, the ruling party may have to do some more tight rope walk before the year end.

Read more from the US Embassy Cables on Rahul Gandhi

In another revelation, the Guardian reported:
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.
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#4
Assange free from prison, back to leaking secrets


Julian Assange freed

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the media on the steps of the High Court, in London. Assange was freed on bail on Thursday while he fights extradition to Sweden over allegations of sex crimes. (Reuters Photo)
LONDON: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was released on bail Thursday — confined to a supporter's 600-acre estate but free to get back to work spilling U.S. government secrets on his website as he fights Sweden's attempt to extradite him on allegations of rape and molestation.

The silver-haired Australian, who surrendered to British police December 7, will have to observe a curfew, wear an electronic tag and report to police in person every day.But there are no restrictions on his Internet use, even as U.S. authorities consider charges related to thousands of leaked diplomatic cables and other secret documents WikiLeaks has released. The site has released just 1,621 of the more than 250,000 State Department documents it claims to possess, many of them containing critical or embarrassing U.S. assessments of foreign nations and their leaders.

Dressed in a dark gray suit, Assange emerged from London's neo-Gothic High Court building late Thursday following a tense scramble to gather the money and signatures needed to free him. Speaking under a light snowfall amid a barrage of flash bulbs, Assange — who's been out of the public eye for more than a month — told supporters he will continue bringing government secrets to light.

``It's great to smell the fresh air of London again,'' he said to cheers from outside the court. ``I hope to continue my work.''


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#5
Assange fears US may indict him for espionage


LONDON: Julian Assange, the Australian founder-editor of WikiLeaks, is more concerned about being extradited to the US than to Stockholm, where he faces an investigation into allegations of sexually assaulting two women."We have heard today from one of my US lawyers, yet to be confirmed, but a serious matter , that there may be a US indictment of espionage for me, coming from a US grand jury investigation,'' said Assange, after his release on conditional bail on Thursday evening.Bradley Manning, the former US intelligence analyst suspected of leaking the diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, has been held at a military base in Virginia state and faces court martial and, perhaps, up to 52 years in jail, if found guilty.

Restricted to staying at a friend's 10-bedroom property and reporting to a police station daily, Assange described his prison as a "black hole''.

Although he can't move out he has access to the internet and remaind defiant. "I hope to continue my work and to continue to protest my innocence in this (the Swedish) matter and to reveal, as we get it, as we have not yet, the evidence from these allegations.''Interestingly, soon after being granted bail, it was revealed that in 2004 Assange may have hacked into details via the internet of a 19-year-old girl he had met in Melbourne . This woman described him as socially awkward. This rather delayed disclosure gives rise to speculation whether the US security community is behind this.ssange insisted to television interviewers that he was being subjected to a smear campaign. Assange also claimed to have information that more "smears" were on their way. He didn't go into detail.

Although Assange promised to focus on clearing his name, he said his first priority was to his work– which he said would continue at a faster pace now that he was back in charge. " Now that I am back to assist the directing of our ship, our work will proceed in a faster manner," he said.

Assange enjoyed a celebratory drink at a journalist's pad in central London, known as the Frontline Club.


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#6
Bank of America cuts off WikiLeaks


WASHINGTON: Bank of America was quoted as saying late on Friday that it was joining other financial institutions in declining to process payments to WikiLeaks which has angered US authorities with the mass release of US diplomatic cables.

"Bank of America joins in the actions previously announced by MasterCard, PayPal, Visa Europe and others and will not process transactions of any type that we have reason to believe are intended for WikiLeaks," the bank said in a statement, quoted by McClatchy Newspapers.No one at Bank of America was immediately available to comment.WikiLeaks has said it will release documents early next year that will point to "unethical practices" at a major U.S. bank, widely thought to be Bank of America.Several companies have ended services to WikiLeaks after the website teamed up with major newspapers to publish thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables that have caused tension between Washington and some of its allies.

"This decision is based upon our reasonable belief that WikiLeaks may be engaged in activities that are, among other things, inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments," the Bank of America statement added.WikiLeaks later issued a message on Twitter urging its supporters to leave the bank.

"We ask that all people who love freedom close out their accounts at Bank of America," it said on the social networking medium."Does your business do business with Bank of America? Our advice is to place your funds somewhere safer," WikiLeaks said in a subsequent tweet.In a backlash against organisations that have cut off WikiLeaks, cyber activists have been targeting companies seen as foes of the website.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was released on bail this week from a jail in Britain, where he is fighting extradition to Sweden over alleged sexual offenses.

Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, said on Friday that he was the target of an aggressive U.S. investigation and feared extradition to the United States was "increasingly likely".US Attorney General Eric Holder has said his government was considering using the US Espionage Act, under which it is illegal to obtain national defense information for the purpose of harming the United States, as well as other laws to prosecute the release of sensitive government information by WikiLeaks.


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#7

Apple removes Wikileaks app

Apple has removed a WikiLeaks app from its store on the grounds that it violated the company’s developer guidelines for applications for use on its iPhones and iPads, the company said Tuesday.

The action places Apple among a group of major U.S. companies who have cut ties or services to the whistle—blowing website and have subsequently been targeted by hackers sympathetic to WikiLeaks.

The 1.99—dollar app was initially released on Friday and allowed users of Apple’s iPad or iPhone devices to access WikiLeaks with a single click, rather than having to use a web browser to navigate to the site.

The app has no official ties with WikiLeaks, but its developer did promise to donate all the income to the site.

“We removed the WikiLeaks App from the App Store because it violated our developer guidelines,” said Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California—based Apple. “Apps must comply with all local laws and may not put an individual or target group in harm’s way.” Apple keeps strict tabs on the apps it offers, unlike the more open platform offered on rival Android phones, prompting some users to “jailbreak” their devices to circumvent the company’s restrictions.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technol...969594.ece
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#8
WikiLeaks will not affect India-U.S. ties’

The release of secret State Department cables by WikiLeaks will not affect the growing relationship between India and the United States, the two countries have agreed.

Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, called Minister of External Affairs S. M. Krishna over telephone to discuss a wide range of issues ranging from bilateral relationship, to the situation in the region including Afghanistan and WikiLeaks cables.

The telephonic conversation between the two leaders lasted for about 15 minutes, State Department spokesman P.J.Crowley said.

“They covered a range of subjects which reflect the depth of U.S.-Indian relations, including President Obama’s successful visit and plans for the next Strategic Dialogue,” he said.

“They talked about the importance of ongoing counterterrorism cooperation. They also discussed the situation in Afghanistan, and the Minister Krishna expressed condolences over the loss of Richard Holbrooke,” he said.

“The Secretary and Minister agreed that unauthorised release of classified cables would not affect cooperation between India and the United States,” Mr. Crowley said. Mr. Krishna invited Ms. Clinton to visit India for the second round of the strategic dialogue, dates for which will be decided through diplomatic channels, MEA officials said.

The first round of the strategic dialogue was held in the U.S. in June this year.

Separately, U.S. Under-Secretary for Political Affairs William Burns had a telephonic conversation with foreign secretary Nirupama Rao on various bilateral issues and regional matters of mutual importance.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ar...epage=true


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#9
'WikiLeaks to publish Israel files on Second Lebanon War, Dubai assassination'

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that his website is due to release thousands of documents related to Israel, particularly dealing with the Mabhouh assassination in Dubai and the Second Lebanon War, Channel 10 reported Thursday.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Assange said that only very few files related to Israel were published so far and that WikiLeaks intends on releasing many more documents over the next six months.

Assange, who was recently released from a British prison, said that he holds 3,700 more files related to Israel, and the main source of them is the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv.

Assange said in the interview that WikiLeaks plans on releasing cables that were classified as top secret regarding Israel's month-long war with Hezbollah militants in Lebanon in the summer of 2006.

Moreover, he also claimed he holds documents indicating Mossad involvement in the assassination of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January.

Assange also noted that WikiLeaks had not had any direct or indirect relations with Israel, but said he was sure Israeli intelligence is monitoring WikiLeaks' activities closely.

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#10
Swiss whistleblower to hand over bank data to WikiLeaks

GENEVA: Swiss whistleblower Rudolf Elmer is planning to handover to WikiLeaks two CDs containing data of around 2,000 bank clients who may have been evading taxes, according to an interview published Sunday.

"The documents show that they are hiding behind bank secrecy, possibly to avoid taxes," Elmer, a former Swiss banker, told Swiss newspaper Sonntag.

The data is to be handed over on Monday, during a press conference in London during which WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would also be present, said Sonntag.

However, the information would not be published immediately on the whistleblower website, said Elmer, noting: "WikiLeaks will go through the data, and if they really deal with tax evasion, they will be published later."

According to Elmer, the clients listed on the two discs include multimillionaires, multinationals and hedge funds from several countries, including Switzerland, the United States, Germany and Britain.

The data also implicate around 40 politicians.

Elmer said that the data stem from "at least three financial institutions and cover the period of 1990 and 2009.

Elmer, who was a director at Bank Julius Baer in Cayman Islands, is to appear before a Zurich court on Wednesday to answer to charges of bank secrecy violation, after he passed on clients' data to WikiLeaks in 2007.

The move led to tax evasion prosecutions in several countries against these clients.

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