Category: USA

Mubarak Wants to Resign But Not Now

Mubarak says he wants to resign from his post as he fed up with ten days continuous protests but he fears that the country will run into chaos. Commenting on the calls resign, he said: "I don’t care what people say about me. Right now I care about my country." Doesn’t Egypt mean Egyptians?

It may be reminded that the protesters lead by ElBaradei and Muslim Brotherhood demanded Mubarak to step down by Friday, February 4. Mubarak told Obama that he did not know about Egypt and he did not know what would happen if he stepped down, Mubarak informed to the press. He did not answer directly to a question whether he felt the US betrayed him, Reuters reported.

With the unprecedented challenge to Mubarak’s autocratic rule descending into violence, Washington has been urging Egypt to begin the transition of power and move towards elections. The US officials are quoted as saying that they were weighing different options for Egypt. The New York Times cited U.S. officials and Arab diplomats as saying Washington was discussing a plan for Mubarak to hand over power to a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military.

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West Relinquishes Mubarak!

Article first published as West Relinquishes Mubarak! on Blogcritics.

Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years with full backing from all western countries from the US to the EU, appears losing confidence of his western mentors. The clashes, which erupted on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, have brought in the US and the European Union in support of the agitating anti-government demonstrators. The western states have condemned the violence forced by the pro-government demonstrators prompting Egyptian Prime Minister to offer apology on behalf of the government. The Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has apologized for stone pelting and gun shots on peaceful demonstrators pledging to investigate the “fatal error.”

The protests that have been peaceful for Nine days in Cairo and Alexandria, have turned violentMubarak Baradei as thousands of pro-government protesters stepped in throwing stones on anti-government protesters on Wednesday evening. Anti-government protesters have also begun stone pelting and chasing them from the Tahrir Square in a bid to retain the control of the square that has been the main rallying point of the protesters. Meanwhile Muslim Brotherhood and ElBaradei faction denied sitting for talks saying Mubarak’s resignation is the only solution.

The US expressed shock over clashes and the leaders of France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain released a joint statement condemning the violence and declaring that the peaceful political transition should immediately be started. Hosni Mubarak could remain in power for 30 years only with the political, economic and military support of the western countries lead by the US.

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New Zealand Threatened Fiji Army Chief against Coup

One of the US diplomatic cables revealed that New Zealand threatened Fiji’s Army Chief Bainimarama and his wife with preventing them visiting their grandchildren living in New Zealand if he staged a coup to dethrone the government of Laisenia Qarase. Stuff.co.nz quoted the cable as saying that Bainimarama and his wife Meli came to New Zealand in November 2006 to attend a granddaughter’s First Holy Communion in Wellington.

His statement prompted then New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to set up urgent meetings with Bainimarama and, later, Qarase to discuss the issue. Unusually, New Zealand’s "talking points" were then put to Bainimarama by the British Defence Attache based in Wellington, Nigel Lloyd, at a lunch. "I gather you are down here on a private visit for your grand-daughter’s first communion – a significant family occasion. I hope you enjoy your visit," the cable says Lloyd was instructed to say.

Lloyd further warned that if Bainimarama did not listen, New Zealand would change its travel advisory to discourage tourism to Fiji. Bainimarama returned to Fiji, staged his coup and has since then expelled at various times three New Zealand diplomats. His grandchildren are reportedly backed in Fiji.

Bank of America stops handling Wikileaks payments

BBC News | 18 December 2010

Bank of America has stopped handling payments for whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, joining several other major financial institutions. It said it acted because "Wikileaks may be engaged in activities that are… inconsistent with ourAssange bailed internal policies for processing payments". In response, Wikileaks urged its supporters to stop doing business with the bank – one of the world’s largest.

MasterCard, PayPal and other companies earlier cut off Wikileaks’ payments. The financial institutions acted after Wikileaks – together with several major media organisations – began publishing thousands of secret US diplomatic cables, causing tension between Washington and some of its allies.

Mr Assange, 39, dismissed the claims as part of a "smear" campaign. He also said he was worried about an attempt to extradite him to the United States, adding that Washington was conducting an "aggressive" and "illegal" investigation into him and the website.

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Julian Assange Granted Bail

Julian Assange, founder of whistle-blower website was granted conditional bail on Thursday, November 16 by a British court. The Australian is fighting extradition to Sweden over sex charges involvingassange two Swedish women. Assange’s supporters put up sureties worth 240,000 pounds.

Gemma Lindfield, representing the Swedish authorities, had told the judge there was "a real risk" Assange would abscond and pointed to his nomadic lifestyle. She said he had "the means and ability" to go into hiding among Wikileaks’ many supporters in this country and abroad.

However, Mr Justice Ouseley pointed out Mr Assange had offered to meet the police in London when he heard the Swedish matter was still live and he said, "That is not the conduct of a person who is seeking to evade justice."

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WikiLeaks cables: US pressured UN climate chief to bar Iranian from job

The US used backstage diplomatic manoeuvres to help block the appointment of a scientist from Iran to a key position on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a leaked diplomatic cable reveals. The US privately lobbied IPCC chair Dr Rajendra Pachauri, as well as the UK, EU, Argentina and Mali representatives, and had put its embassies to work from Brazil to Uzbekistan. It wanted to prevent the election of Dr Mostafa Jafari as one of two co-chairmen of a key working group.

The other co-chair was to be an American scientist, Prof Christopher Field. ThePachauri Rajendra US state department noted that sharing the IPCC position with an Iranian would be "problematic" and "potentially at odds with overall US policy towards Iran". The jobs often involved travel to and extended residencies in each other’s countries, the cable said. The appointment of an Iranian would also "significantly complicate" US funding for the IPCC secretariat for that working group. US diplomats recognised Jafari as "a highly-qualified scientist … but he is also a senior Iranian government employee".

Pachauri today rejected any suggestion he had colluded with the US private approaches, which apparently ended in another candidate, an Argentinian, being appointed to the position to which Jafari had been nominated. A spokesperson for Pachauri said that he, "neither influenced, nor agreed to influence, the election. Not only would such an agreement be outside his mandate as chairman of the IPCC, but it would also be impossible to achieve."

The cable claims: "Prior to arrival in Geneva, the [US delegation] contacted IPCC chairman Dr Rajendra Pachauri (please protect) who agreed to work on this issue to avoid the potential for disruption to one of the organisation’s three core working groups." The phrase "please protect" is used to tell the cable’s recipients not to use a contact’s name publicly.

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WikiLeaks cables: CIA drew up UN spying wish list for diplomats

Guardian.co.uk | 02/12/2010

The US state department’s wish list of information about the United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, and other senior members of his organisation was drawn up by the CIA, the Guardian has learned. The disclosure comes as new information emerged about Washington’s intelligence gathering on foreign diplomats, including surveillance of the telephone and internet use of Iranian and Chinese diplomats.

One of the most embarrassing revelations to emerge from US diplomatic cablesWikileaks - CIA obtained by the whistleblowers’ website WikiLeaks has been that US diplomats were asked to gather intelligence on Ban, other senior UN staff, security council members and other foreign diplomats – a possible violation of international law.

US state department spokesperson PJ Crowley, in interviews since the release, has tried to deflect criticism by repeatedly hinting that although the cables were signed by secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and her predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, they originated with another agency. However, he refused to identify it.

The Guardian has learned that the intelligence-shopping list is drawn up annually by the manager of Humint (human intelligence), a post created by the Bush administration in 2005 in a push to better co-ordinate intelligence after 9/11. Humint is part of the CIA, which deals with overseas spying overseas and is one of at least 12 US intelligence agencies. The manager of Humint sets out priorities for the coming year and sends them to the state department. The actual form of words used in the diplomatic cables is written by the state department but a US official confirmed tonight that the original directives are written by the "intelligence community".

The US has been keen to stress that its diplomats are not acting as spies, a label that could endanger their lives. A senior US intelligence official said: "It shouldn’t surprise anyone that US officials at the United Nations seek information on how other nations view topics of mutual concern. If you look at the list of topics of

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