2011-08-26 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.
- See @wlfind for some of the latest information found in the newly released WikiLeaks cables.

>> Updates on WikiLeaks news from #wlfind twitter hashtag (as curated by @wikileaks):

* Australian PM took political heat on Guantanamo detainee David Hicks' detention for US government.

* Astonishing 2008 "April Fools" cable: US Ambassador threatens hunger strike to force (corrupt) India nuclear deal.

* State Department brings U.S. IT companies to Thailand to criticize OpenSource.

* Horrific eye-witness report from a teenaged boy on his time in Srebrenica

* Cuban "doctor defectors" face tough times according to Guyana-US secret cable

* "NO CNN CAMERA CREWS!" - secret US cable on child prisoners in the Philippines.

* Wikileaks reveals Saudis "marry" Yemeni underage girls to force them into prostitution in Saudi.

* US Gov't trying to 'convince' Thai government to accept genetically modified foods in face of popular resistance.

* ConocoPhillips warned that Chinese partner could hinder oil spill clean-up

* Finnish company Polar Electro used a subsidiary in Malaysia who employed forced labor.

* US Justice Dept trains elite Bangladesh police — known to kill suspects in custody

* Colombia's proposal for its own "CIA"

* US plan to undermine Chavez "the enemy"

10:50 PM WikiLeaks cables on sex work: how diplomats talk about both sex workers and relevant policies in foreign countries.

07:40 PM WikiLeaks is in the process of releasing 45.000 diplomatic documents today.

07:15 PM Senator John McCain pledged to help Gaddafi obtain U.S. military hardware, during a meeting on the 14th August, 2009.
Business Insider reports on the meeting, related in a diplomatic cable that was recently published:

McCain opened the meeting by characterizing Libya's relationship with the U.S. as "excellent," to which Liebermann added: "We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi."

The cable does not mention anything about the senators pressing Gaddafi for democratic reforms.

06:55 PM A U.S. diplomatic cable titled Devouring Dragon, Disappearing Tigers: A Look at South China’s Tiger Farms and Reserves, containing the report of a visit to a Chinese ‘tiger farm’ by an undercover U.S. diplomat, exposes the commercial nature of these facilities that pose as conservation farms and their abusive treatment of animals:

"During the visit, Econoff observed:
Tigers being whipped and struck with a metal pole
Tigers and bear cubs forced to perform in a “mock Chinese marriage procession”
Tiger bone wine and powdered black bear bile for sale
Four large vats “allegedly” filled with tiger bone wine

The diplomat was told by locals that tiger skins could be purchased by ordering in advance and that tiger meat was served “until recently” to visitors; however, this was denied by farm staff." via PlanetSave

06:30 PM "The latest batch of diplomatic cables unearthed by WikiLeaks reveals China’s failure to measure certain pollution levels and the government’s silence about the issue." via Mashable

06:20 PM How Various Countries Manage Their Terror Lists, a piece by Kevin Gosztola, based on information contained in cables published by WikiLeaks.

03:40 PM The Australian Labor government has been critical of WikiLeaks’ publication of diplomatic communications in the public interest, but is now proposing to breach the privacy of ordinary Australians on an unprecedented scale with a new cybercrime bill :

"The government plans to legally require internet service providers to collect, store and preserve the data of their customers. Private internet service providers will be mandated to collect material and, if requested, will be required to hand this over to foreign agents.

In short, the bill will enable foreign law enforcement agents to require the preservation and forfeiting of information about internet and telecommunication data those agents suppose relate to online crime. That information can then be used without our knowledge. "

02:25 AM The United States had an optimistic view of Benjamin Netanyahu’s intentions to advance the peace process, a newly released cable shows.
According to the 2008 cable, Netanyahu told U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham: "I can deliver two thirds of the Israeli right-wing on anything we agree with the Palestinians, whether on process or interim agreements"

02:05 AM Russia’s nuclear projects abroad labeled 'a fantasy' by U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle.

"Еven without the crunch the financial crisis could put on GOR loans, the lack of sufficient nuclear industry infrastructure and trained specialists will make it hard for ASE [Atomstroyexport, Russia’s international nuclear power plant constructor] to fulfill existing contracts on time. It is extremely unlikely that ASE will be able to complete many of the NPPs [Nuclear Power Plant] in contracts it is currently negotiating within the timeframes being discussed. Even so, ASE continues to seek still more new contracts. As Nigmatulin declared bluntly, "these plans are a fantasy," the cable reads.