The Telegraph: Qatar asked Shell and ExxonMobil for donations
"Qatar wrote to major international oil companies, including Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil, to demand up to $1.7bn (£1bn) in donations for a medical centre, according to leaked diplomatic cables.
The Middle Eastern nation is one of the world's richest countries per capita on account of its oil and gas wealth. However, it caused surprise by approaching a number of companies that work with Qatar Petroleum with a cash call in 2007. According to the Wikileaks documents, letters signed by Abdullah al-Attiyah, the deputy prime minister, told each company how much they were expected to donate."
El País: Periodismo a sangre y fuego en Yemen (Journalism, blood and fire in Yemen)
Next: American official says PDP is not a party
"The United States does not consider the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party a political party, a US diplomatic cable leaked to the whistleblowing site, Wikileaks, and made exclusively available to NEXT has shown.
Charge d’ affaires of the US embassy in Nigeria, Lisa Piascik, in a dispatch dated October 19, 2007, informed Washington that despite its labelling as a political party, the PDP did not meet “the common western understanding” of a political party."
The Guardian: WikiLeaks cable links defecting Yemeni general to smuggling rackets
"US diplomatic cables reveal powerful army chief behind moves to oust president is seen as unwelcome successor to Saleh.
The Yemeni general who has thrown his weight behind moves to oust President Ali Abdullah Saleh is a powerful and shadowy figure who has amassed a fortune in arms and fuel smuggling rackets, according to US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks."
(Image Credit: Dali Rău)
Next: We got Obasanjo to anoint Yar'Adua, says Saraki
"Contrary to the belief that former President Olusegun Obasanjo personally hand-picked late President Umaru Yar'Adua as his successor, a United States diplomatic cable obtained by Wikileaks and made available exclusively to NEXT, has detailed how a group of governors led by Bukola Saraki, the Kwara State governor, worked behind the scene to pressure Mr. Obasanjo into anointing the former Katsina State governor as his replacement.
No other person than Mr. Saraki himself gave the account of the political intrigues that threw up the late president to a former US Consul General, Brian Browne."
Aftenposten: MP CRITICIZES JAPANESE NUCLEAR PLANS
"Lower House Diet Member Taro Kono voiced his strong opposition to the nuclear industry in Japan, especially nuclear reprocessing, based on issues of cost, safety, and security during a dinner with a visiting staffdel, Energy Attache and Economic Officer October 21. Kono also criticized the Japanese bureaucracy and power companies for continuing an outdated nuclear energy strategy, suppressing development of alternative energy, and keeping information from Diet members and the public. He also expressed dissatisfaction with the current election campaign law."
Aftenposten: CLIMATE CHANGE: EMISSION IMPOSSIBLE: NPP SHUTDOWN EXACERBATES JAPAN´S KYOTO TARGET BIND
Next: US view of Nigeria's most influential persons
Next: 'Vengeance is his': US official on Obasanjo
"Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has a penchant for “storied vindictiveness” and “proverbial vengefulness”, American embassy officials told their superiors in Washington. In a cable titled ‘Bayelsa governor’s arrest strikes fear in the hearts of his peers’ and sent to Washington on October 21, 2005, the consul general at the American embassy in Nigeria at the time, Brian Browne, described how governors of other southern states became jittery following the arrest of the former Bayelsa State governor. Mr. Alamieyeseigha was arrested in London in September 2005 on charges of money laundering. At the time of his arrest, about £1 million cash was found in his London home. He jumped bail in December 2005 but was impeached upon his return to Nigeria and prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for corruption. Two years later, on July 26, 2007, Mr. Alamieyeseigha pleaded guilty to a six-count charge of corruption and was sentenced to two years in prison on each count. The consul general, in his cable, which was sent before the former governor’s escape from the UK, told his superiors that Mr. Alamieyeseigha’s arrest in the UK was not only due to corruption allegations, but also due to his friendship with former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, who was Mr. Obasanjo’s arch enemy at the time."
Next: Inside NDDC and EFCC
Next: Yar’Adua asked Ibori to turn himself in, says Saraki
"Disturbed by the waning bilateral relations between Nigeria and the US government over the perceived lack of vigour in the anti-corruption fight, late President Umaru Yar’Adua asked James Ibori, the corrupt former governor of Delta State, to turn himself in to the British Metropolitan Police.
According to a U.S. diplomatic cable, made available to NEXT, Bukola Saraki, Kwara State governor, a close friend of Mr. Ibori and confidant of Mr. Yar’Adua, said this in a chat with former US ambassador to Nigeria, Robin Sanders."
Next: ‘We blocked Obasanjo, Babangida’s candidates for PDP chair’
"The emergence of Vincent Ogbulafor as National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2008 was a result of deft political manoeuvring and intense power play among three former Nigerian presidents which saw the camp of late President Umaru Yar’Adua triumphing, according to a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable made available to NEXT.
Bukola Saraki, the Kwara State governor, told former U.S ambassador, Robin Sanders, during a meeting on September 22, 2008 that he used his powerful position as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to help Mr. Yar’Adua’s anointed candidate emerge victorious."
The Telegraph: US feared British 'sharia banks' would finance terrorist groups
"Britain's enthusiastic support for "sharia banking" raised concerns in Washington that the City of London could become a centre of terrorist funding, leaked documents show.
Financial reforms pushed through by the Labour government allowed Islamic banks to flourish in Britain, amassing assets valued at more than £12 billion."
The Telegraph: US feared British 'sharia banks' would finance terrorist groups
"Japan was warned more than two years ago by the international nuclear watchdog that its nuclear power plants were not capable of withstanding powerful earthquakes, leaked diplomatic cables reveal.
An official from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in December 2008 that safety rules were out of date and strong earthquakes would pose a "serious problem" for nuclear power stations."
La Jornada: EU rechaza que Josefina Reyes haya sido asesinada debido a su activismo (EU rejects that Josefina Reyes has been killed because of her activism)
"Señala en un cable que el homicidio es producto de "sus vínculos" con delincuentes. (It is pointed out in a cable that the murder is product of "ties" with criminals.)"
La Jornada: Por "insistencia" de EU se relegó al Ejército de la lucha antinarco en Juárez (By "insistence" of EU was relegated the fighting anti-narco army in Juárez)
"Cables revelan la "colaboración" estadunidense para dejar al frente a la PF. (Cables reveal U.S. "collaboration" to give control to the Federal Police.)"
La Jornada: PGR y SG pidieron ayuda a EU para enfocar la lucha en dos ciudades (SG [Secretary of Government] and PGR [General Police of the Republic] sought for help from U.S. to focus on the struggle of two cities)
"Calderón "se juega su reputación" en el combate al crimen organizado, afirmaron". (Calderón "is staking its reputation" in the fight against organized crime, they said.)
El País: EE UU cree que Lugo carece de apoyos para gobernar Paraguay (The United States believes that Lugo lacks support to govern Paraguay)
"El presidente de Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, comenzó a gobernar en el año 2008 con serias turbulencias y maniobras desestabilizadoras de la oposición, que a los pocos meses de la investidura imputó al exobispo impericia, favoritismo, la promoción de la lucha de clases y le culpó por la inseguridad ciudadana y el estancamiento político. (The president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, began to rule in 2008 with serious disturbances and destabilizing maneuvers of the opposition, which a few months after the inauguration accused the ex-bishop of incompetence, favoritism, the promotion of fights between classes and blamed him about the insecurity and political stalemate.)"
(Image Credit: Dali Rău)
Aftenposten: FRENCH TOTAL-LED CONSORTIUMS ACCEPT LOWER PRODUCTION SHARES IN LIBYA
"Libya´s National Oil Corporation (NOC) renegotiated the terms of its production sharing agreements with France´s Total and its partners in Libya (Germany´s Wintershall and Norway´s StatoilHydro), adjusting the existing stand-alone contracts to bring them into compliance with the Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) rubric. The renegotiation of Total´s contract is of a piece with the NOC´s effort to renegotiate existing contracts to increase the Libya´s share of crude oil production. An interesting corollary is that one of the affected fields is that from which Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi, periodically obtains oil lifts, which he sells to finance his various activities. Depending on whether his lifts had been coming out of the NOC´s production share or Total´s (it´s not clear what the arrangement was), the renegotiated agreements could adversely impact his revenue stream."
La Jornada: En 2009, Pascual destapó la debilidad de AN y Calderón tras la elección intermedia (In 2009, Pascual uncovered the weakness of AN and Calderon after the election term)
"En cable diplomático, el embajador describió el entorno político Calderón, "abrumado e inseguro" sobre la vía a seguir, sostuvo "Cree que un repentino éxito" en seguridad dará impulso a su posición, dijo. (In a diplomatic cable, the ambassador described the Calderón's political environment, [who was] "overwhelmed and unsure" about the way forward; "he believes that an overnight success" in security will boost its position, he said.)"
(Image Credit: Dali Rău)
Next: Govt paid N20m ransom to free Delta hostages
"The Nigerian government, through its secret police, fuelled kidnapping in the restive Niger Delta region by paying millions of naira in ransom to kidnappers, a leaked US diplomatic cable, made available to NEXT, has revealed.
The cable, dated February 6, 2007, and which punctured the claims by the government, and the Nigerian security agencies, that ransoms were never paid to kidnappers, detailed how the government funnelled N20 million through an official of the State Security Service (SSS) to militants to free two foreign hostages."
Next: CHEVRON NIGERIA SEEKS LONG-TERM SOLUTION TO DELTA UNREST
"Chevron Nigeria security consultant Hamish MacDonald shared concerns that a large amount of money was paid for the release of the Delta hostages and an industry of hostage-taking may be in the offing. Chevron has managed thus far to stay out of harm's way, but MacDonald feels the urgent need to expand internationally-supported, long-term development programs. He plans to discuss the matter privately with Delta State Governor Ibori. Chevron will be welcoming a new Managing Director, and, with his arrival, MacDonald expects Chevron to transition from an expansion mode to one of consolidation."
El País: "Ábrelo y di ahhhh: Sistema venezolano de salud" ("Open it up and say ahhhh: Venezuelan health system")
Next: Yar’Adua made me acting President, says Yayale
"As his health failed late president Umaru Yar’Adua illegally bypassed his vice president, Goodluck Jonathan, and handed presidential authority to Yayale Ahmed, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
This unconstitutional act has now come to light through US diplomatic cables leaked to Wikileaks and made available exclusively to NEXT."
Next: Buhari says speaker’s comments confirm his fears
"Two parties who went to court over the 2007 presidential elections, Atiku Abubakar and Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday reacted to comments credited to Speaker Dimeji Bankole that the late president, Musa Yar’Adua, bribed Supreme Court justices to swing the judgment in his favour. While Mr. Abubakar, the candidate of the opposition Action Congress in the election, maintained that the speaker of the House of Representatives’s comment had disgraced Nigeria, Mr. Buhari, the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, said the revelation had vindicated his stand that the nation’s judiciary could not be trusted, and therefore needed a thorough overhaul."
Der Spiegel: EADS-Manager verspotteten Kollegen vor US-Diplomaten (EADS managers colleagues mocked U.S. diplomats)
Argentina.- Desde hace días comenzaron a tener repercusiones los cables de Wikileaks en Argentina.
El comienzo de la campaña presidencial, es un buen pretexto por parte de los medios de reflotar los mismos.
Para la prensa opositora al gobierno, estos cables le sirven para ridiculizar a los políticos que desfilan asiduamente por la Embajada de los Estados Unidos. Muchos como el jefe de Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, posible candidato de la derecha a la presidencia, golpeó la puerta en su momento de la embajada para que EEUU intervenga en cuestiones de política interna, entre otros.
Ahora es el turno del ministro de Economía, Amadeo Boudou (La Nacion: Proamericano y que no se sepa) en cuya reunión con la embajadora de EEUU en la Argentina Vilma Martínez se habló de posibles negociaciones de la deuda con los holdouts, Fondo Monetario Internacional y el Club de París. Además de que el presidente Barack Obama ponga en agenda una visita al país.
Gbagbo's dictatorial grip of Ivory Coast has allowed him to dispose of the country's budget at his will. This includes heavily funding Charles Ble Goude, the head of Young Patriots(COJEP), a focal point of young supporters of Gbagbo. A cable 08ABIDJAN396 reveals how Ble Goude was effectively ‘converted’ from a boss of an armed militia to a wealthy businessman and ‘serious politician’, by Gbagbo’s limitless economic support out of Ivorian taxpayers' money.
All actions of Ble Goude have been heavily paid by the taxpayers money
Ble Goude has drawn support from youths of Ivory Coast’s minor ethnic group Bebe tribe, the tribe where Gbagbo is from and representing the southern and western parts of the country loyal to Gbagbo.
He has been able to conduct his costly, large-scale works by means which an officially sworn in government could never dream to use formally; violent looting and strong incitement of terror against its political rivals and personnel from international societies.
He has been under UN sanction since 2006 for this notorious violence; actively participating in looting, rape, extra-judicial killings against UN and other international personnel. The sanction includes banning him from traveling abroad and freezing of assets. His nickname had been Gbagbo’s “Street General” because of his ability to draw storms of young Ivorians within hours by television speeches
Next: Supreme Court judges took bribes to validate Yar'Adua/Jonathan election
"We had just had elections in 2007 that, by most accounts, were possibly worst ever, and the legitimacy of the presidential poll that the authorities had declared won by Umaru Yar'Adua and his running mate, Goodluck Jonathan, hung in the balance.
Justices of our Supreme Court, the final arbiters of the disputed election, immediately became the objects of affection of interested politicians, who proceeded to shower them with cash to make sure they confirmed the legitimacy of the election of Messrs Yar'Adua and Jonathan, according to secret US diplomatic cables leaked to the whistleblower site Wikileaks and made available to NEXT."
Next: EFCC not worth a penny, says Bankole
"Mr. Bankole's conversation with the then U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms. Robbin Sanders, did not only indict the top echelon of the judiciary, the Speaker also derided the country's foremost anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Mr. Bankole said that the chairman of the EFCC, Farida Waziri, with the complicity of the president, was working hand-in-hand with the Attorney General of the Federation to ensure that the corruption charges brought against Mr. Ibori by the former chairman of the EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, were quashed."
Next: Selling justice to the highest bidder
Aftenposten: QADHAFI SONS SQUABBLE OVER COCA COLA
"A lengthy standoff between the franchise-holder for Coca Cola-Libya, Ka´Mur Bottling Company-U.K., and two of Mu´ammar Qadhafi´s sons, Mu´tassim and Mohammed, appears to have stabilized in the wake of a compromise agreement. The problem became public on December 28, 2005 as security troops controlled by Colonel Qadhafi´s son Mu´tassim encamped at the Tripoli Coca-Cola plant, owned jointly by Ka´Mur Bottling Company and the Libyan Olympic Committee (LOC) through their joint venture, the Global Beverage Company (GBC). With the plant shut for more than three months, Colonel Qadhafi´s daughter Aisha may have intervened to broker a compromise, according to which LOC would--at an unspecified future date--sell its shares in GBC to the Libyan Social Security Fund. Mu´tassim´s men left the plant in late February, shortly after USLO sent a strongly-worded diplomatic note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressing concern over the legality of the plant shutdown and urging a swift resolution to the conflict. Coca Cola´s General Manager for Libya credits USLO support for helping keep the incident under control as Ka´Mur, GBC and Coca Cola worked their own channels."
El País: El embajador norteamericano en México, noqueado por los papeles de Wikileaks (The U.S. ambassador to Mexico, knocked out by Wikileaks papers)
Aftenposten: THE CURSE OF THE BLUE DIAMOND
"In the latest chapter of a two decade-long saga which has long soured Thai-Saudi relations, the Royal Thai Government (RTG) Office of the Attorney General on January 12 indicted five police officers in connection with the 1990 murder of a Saudi Arabian businessman with family ties to the Saudi royal family, just weeks before the expiration of the 20-year statute of limitations. In 1989, a Thai worker in the Saudi Arabian royal palace stole a large quantity of jewelry and smuggled it back to Thailand, including a 50-carat blue diamond. The graft, murders, and kidnappings that followed this incident resulted in a rift in the Saudi-Thai relationship that has lasted to the present day, compounded by the murder of four Saudi diplomats in 1989-1990 in circumstances never clearly explained publicly. In their effort to respond to Saudi demands for justice, the RTG seeks to hold senior members of the Royal Thai Police (RTP) accountable for their part in the drama and, in doing so, normalize relations with Saudi Arabia and possibly reap economic benefits through expanded trade and investment with gulf states."
(Image Credit: Dali Rău)
La Jornada: Sócrates Rizzo: imposible, prevenir que cárteles financien a candidatos (Sócrates Rizzo: "Impossible to prevent cartels from financing candidates")
"El ex gobernador señaló posibilidad de que el narco proveyera dinero para sobornar a votantes. En sus cables, el consulado en Monterrey incluyó opiniones sobre atentado contra Televisa. Se afirmó que ataque perpetrado contra la televisora buscaba dañar imagen de Rodrigo Medina. (The former governor said that the drug can provide money to bribe voters. In their cables, the consulate in Monterrey included views about the attack against Televisa. It said the attack against the broadcaster wanted to damage the image of Rodrigo Medina.)"
(Image Credit: Dali Rău)
Aftenposten: CONGRESSMAN LANTOS STRESSES BILATERAL ACHIEVEMENTS AND REGIONAL CHALLENGES WITH LIBYAN OFFICIALS
"In a series of meetings with senior Libyan officials during his August 22-24 trip to Libya, Congressman Tom Lantos, ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Relations Committee, reviewed bilateral achievements since his first visit to the country in January, 2004 and set new goals for enhanced future cooperation. The Congressman, accompanied by Charge Berry, House International Relations Committee (HIRC) Senior Professional Staff Member Alan Makovsky, HIRC Professional Staff Member Mike Beard, and Poloff, met with the Libyan Leader Moammar Qadhafi, Director of the Qadhafi Development Foundation Seif Al-Islam Qadhafi, Libyan Director of Military Intelligence Abdullah Sanussi, Director of the External Security Organization Musa Kusa, Secretary of the General Peoples Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation (Foreign Minister equivalent) Abdurrahman Shalgam, Secretary of American Affairs Ahmed Fatouri and Secretary for European Affairs Abdelati Obeidi of the General Peoples Committee for Foreign Liaison and International Cooperation. The Congressman´s trip partially overlapped with visit of Senator Arlen Specter (septel) and several official meetings were combined."
(Image Credit: Dali Rău)
Over the last decade, the Colombian government has tried hard to free itself from the bonds between government officials, congressmen and military leaders and right wing paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia. The group is sponsored by a wide range of people: from high profile corporations and politicians to small landowners looking to protect their interests from opposite guerrilla formations such as FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) and ELN (Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional). Their actual political and economic power is a matter of concern and in the past even ex-President Alvaro Uribe has been questioned about his and his government’s involvement in illegal activities related to the organization. During these years violence has been widespread and thousands of people –civilians, businessmen and politicians have been killed or kidnapped.
El País: Israel pidió a España que investigara los vínculos de sus bancos con Irán (Israel asked Spain to investigate links with Iranian banks)
"El Gobierno de EE UU no es el único que mostró su preocupación por la relación que varias empresas españolas desarrollaron con Irán. En una reunión celebrada a principios de 2009 en la embajada estadounidense en Madrid, un representante del Ministerio de Exteriores español informó de los movimientos que había hecho Israel para informarse de hasta dónde llegaba el vínculo Madrid-Teherán. (The U.S. government is not the only one who was concerned about the relationships developed between Spanish companies with Iran. At a meeting in early 2009 at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, a representative of the Spanish Foreign Ministry informed of the movements that Israel had to find out how far the link between Madrid and Tehran went.)"
El País: EE UU: Los sandinistas robaron las municipales de 2008 (USA: The "Sandinists" stole the 2008 municipal elections)
El País: EE UU veía al actual jefe de las FARC como el hombre más dispuesto a firmar la paz (U.S. saw the current head of the FARC as a man more willing to make peace)
"Alfonso Cano, el jefe de las guerrillas de las FARC, el hombre más buscado de Colombia, anda estos días con el Ejército pisándole los talones. El presidente de Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, declaró el jueves 17 de febrero que los militares andan "respirándole en la nuca". Poco tiene que ver ahora este Alfonso Cano con el que ingresó en la guerrilla a finales de los setenta y se hizo un hueco entre sus dirigentes cuando Manuel Marulanda, alias Tirofijo, ejercía de jefe indiscutible en la montaña. En aquella época Alfonso Cano era la persona en la que Estados Unidos depositaba sus esperanzas de paz, según confirman los documentos del Departamento de Estado filtrados por Wikileaks. (Alfonso Cano, the leader of the guerrillas of the FARC, Colombia's most wanted man, come these days with the army at his heels. The president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos said on Thursday Feb. 17 that the military walk "breathing down your neck." Has little to do now this Alfonso Cano with the one who joined the guerrillas in the late seventies and obtained his position between the leaders when Manuel Marulanda, alias "Sureshot", was the undisputed boss on the mountain. At that time, Alfonso Cano was the person in which the United States deposited their hopes for peace, as confirmed by State Department documents leaked by Wikileaks.)"
El País: Estados Unidos presionó a Uribe para hacer una limpia en sus servicios de espionaje (U.S. pressure on Uribe to make a clean intelligence services)
"Estados Unidos presionó en 2009 al entonces presidente de Colombia, Álvaro Uribe, para que hiciera una limpieza a fondo en el Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS), la agencia de espionaje que depende directamente del presidente del país. Los cables del departamento de Estado filtrados por Wikileaks revelan cómo el embajador de Estados Unidos en Bogotá, William R. Brownfield, amenazó al entonces vicepresidente Francisco Santos con endurecer las relaciones de su país con los servicios secretos colombianos. Santos reconoció que Uribe no comprendía a fondo la gravedad de la crisis y pidió al embajador que hablara directamente con Uribe para convencerle de la necesidad de tomar medidas efectivas respecto al DAS. (The United States pressed in 2009 the then President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe, to do a thorough cleaning at the Department of Administrative Security (DAS), the spy agency that reports directly to the president. The State Department cables leaked by Wikileaks reveal how the U.S. ambassador in Bogota, William R. Brownfield, threatened the then Vice President Francisco Santos to toughen his country's relations with the Colombian secret services. Santos acknowledged that Uribe did not understand fully the gravity of the crisis and asked the ambassador to talk directly to Uribe to convince of the need to take effective action on the DAS.)"