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24 Oct 2011 10:55


World: Wikileaks temporarily suspends operations amidst financial issues

  • what A year after first drawing significant attention for its whistle-blowing ability, Wikileaks is temporarily stopping publication, leader Julian Assange said Monday.
  • why Rather than the significant legal issues he’s facing, Assange blames a bank transaction blockade has that decimated their ability to raise revenue. source

10 Oct 2011 21:40


World: WTF: Wikileaks diplomatic cable claims Jamaicans are terror threat

  • Although not widely known, Jamaicans have been involved in some of the worst or potentially devastating acts of terrorism of the last decade.
  • A recently-uncovered Wikileaks cable from a U.S. diplomat in Jamaica • Suggesting that Jamaicans are a serious terror threat … a claim that the diplomat makes by linking three separate notable terror incidents in the past decade to people of Jamaican descent: Shoe bomber Richard Reid (his parents were Jamaican), D.C. sniper co-conspirator Lee Boyd Malvo and 2005 London bomber Germaine Lindsay. As Talking Points Memo points out, the ties are weak at best, making this 2010 diplomatic cable a bit of a bizarre footnote in the annals of Wikileaks — one with plenty of bizarre footnotes already. source

29 Aug 2011 21:39


World: WikiLeaks criticized for releasing cables with names unredacted

  • redacted In recent months, WikiLeaks made a name for itself by releasing diplomatic cables with the help of media outlets that parsed through the data and helped ensure the data redacted names and other sensitive data from the cables.
  • unredacted Recently, however, WikiLeaks has gone back to simply releasing the cables on its own, using Twitter as a main mechanism. This time, however, the redacted names are staying in — giving officials and human rights activists pause. source
  • » Remaining defiant amid criticism: WikiLeaks did not take kindly to the New York Times portrayal of this story, by the way. “Sorry, NYT,” the organization wrote on its Twitter feed just as we were typing this all in, “It doesn’t matter how many sleazy hack jobs like Ravi Somaiya you hire, we’ve out published your Pentagon tabloid already.” Somaiya co-wrote wrote a fairly unflattering profile of Assange that ran with the diplomatic cables they published.

20 Apr 2011 14:33


World: Wikileaks: U.S. has financial hand in Syria’s opposition

  • $6 million in secret U.S. funding to Syrian opposition causes source
  • » Wikileaks strikes again: Cables released by the organization say that after the Bush administration’s severing of diplomatic ties with the Syrian regime in 2005, the U.S. had funnelled money to groups hostile to the Bashar al-Assad government. About $6 million went to a group of Syrian exiles in London with connections to Barada TV, a satellite station that beams into Syria and provides coverage of the protests against Assad. The funding began in 2006, and continued at least until September 2010, meaning the Obama administration’s diplomatic overtures to the Assad regime weren’t very sincere — frankly, this makes us feel a little better about U.S. policy towards them. Be sure to notch another tally for Wikileaks, exposing yet more profoundly relevant, enthralling information about our geopolitical world.

16 Mar 2011 14:11


World: Wikileaks sheds light on longtime concern over Japanese nuclear safety

  • Taniguchi has been a weak manager and advocate, particularly with respect to confronting Japan’s own safety practices, and he is a particular disappointment to the United States for his unloved-step-child treatment of the Office of Nuclear Security.
  • A U.S. diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks • On Tomohiro Tanaguchi, the man who was the IAEA’s (International Atomic Energy Agency) Deputy Director General for the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security from 2001 to 2009. While another cable reveals that Tanaguchi urged fellow officials to focus more on nuclear power safety in 2008 (which seems like the sort of thing you shouldn’t need to tell the IAEA), it seems that this plea late in his career was not enough to salvage the opinion of American diplomats, who express a great degree of angst over the state of Japan’s nuclear earthquake preparedness. Tomohiro departed his position in 2009, leaving the position to another Japanese member, Yukiya Amano, who currently holds the post. source

28 Jan 2011 02:12


World: Three interesting findings from Wikileaks’ Egypt-focused cables

  • tactics Obama’s people have tended to be harsher about Egypt in private than in public, a change from the more critical Bush years.
  • blogs While the Egyptian government claims they don’t block free speech, they may be forced to act when “people are offended by blogs.”
  • torture Diplomats noted one case where a number of detainees were both shocked and deprived of sleep, making them zombie-like. source
  • » Obama’s not-very-harsh words: It’s clear that Obama’s comments on Egypt, made during a YouTube town-hall style thingy, try to tow that public/private line noted above. “I’ve always said to him that making sure that they are moving forward on reform – political reform, economic reform – is absolutely critical to the long-term well-being of Egypt,” Obama said. “And you can see these pent-up frustrations that are being displayed on the streets.” Dear Obama administration: There’s a point where a chummy relationship doesn’t work anymore.

13 Oct 2010 10:47


Tech: Graduate student redesigns U.K. three-prong plug impeccably

  • So, here’s something you may not know about electrical outlets in the United Kingdom. The three-prongers are really freaking big. And not in a way that can usually be avoided. They’re very cumbersome, and make U.S. power outlets look svelte in comparison. Fortunately for the Brits, Royal College of Art graduate student Min-Kyu Choi is on the case with this device, which folds out only when necessary, and (even better) is designed in such a way that multiple cords can fit into one plug. Expect Apple to have a job offer at this guy’s feet by tomorrow morning. source

20 Sep 2009 10:29


Tech: Whoa. Look at all those basic Amazon-branded cables

  • We mean, we can understand why Amazon might want to get in the cable market. Or the CD-R market. But Amazon Basics seems like such a … basic … move. As long as they don’t make dozens of made-up brands like Radio Shack, we guess we’re OK with this. source