HIGHLIGHTS - Latest WikiLeaks developments

LONDON Fri Dec 3, 2010 10:28pm IST

WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson speaks to a journalist before a briefing at the Frontline club in London, December 1, 2010.  REUTERS/Paul Hackett

WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson speaks to a journalist before a briefing at the Frontline club in London, December 1, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Paul Hackett

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LONDON (Reuters) - WikiLeaks moved its website address to the Swiss wikileaks.ch on Friday after two U.S. Internet providers ditched it and Paris tried to ban French servers from hosting its database of leaked information.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, reported to be in Britain, said he and colleagues were aware of death threats following the website's publication of U.S. diplomatic cables.

Swedish authorities said missing information in the European arrest warrant for alleged sex crimes against Assange had been handed to British authorities.

Here are some of the latest revelations in U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks:

AFGHANISTAN

- British troops were "not up" to the task of securing Afghanistan's troubled Helmand province and the local governor pleaded for U.S. reinforcements, American diplomats said.

Senior ministers in Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government feared he was easily swayed by "bizarre stories of plots against him" and agreed to collaborate in a bid to stop him "going astray".

The U.S. envoy to Afghanistan calls President Hamid Karzai a "paranoid," "weak" and "overly self-conscious" leader who may never stop America-bashing.

EGYPT

- President Hosni Mubarak warned U.S. officials Egypt might develop nuclear weapons if Iran obtained them. A U.S. ambassador described Egypt, recipient of billions of dollars in U.S. aid since making peace with Israel in 1979, as a "stubborn and recalcitrant ally" in a February 2009 cable.

Egypt lobbied last year to delay southern Sudan's secession vote for four to six years because it feared the new state could fail and the division could imperil its share of Nile waters.

ITALY

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi dismissed reports of U.S. worries over his ties with Moscow and repeated he had never profited personally from his contacts.

U.S. diplomats had voiced concern over Berlusconi's ties to Russia's Vladimir Putin and the grip of energy interests on Rome's foreign policy.

LEBANON

U.S. spy planes flew reconnaissance flights over Lebanon from a British air base in Cyprus in a counter-terrorist surveillance operation requested by Lebanese officials.

MEXICO

A top Mexican official said the government was in danger of losing control of parts of the country to powerful drug cartels.

RUSSIA

President Dmitry Medvedev said the leaks showed the "cynicism" of U.S. diplomacy but suggested they would not seriously upset improving ties with Washington.

Cables had suggested Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rules Russia by allowing a venal elite to siphon off cash.

SPAIN

The family of a cameraman killed by U.S. fire during the 2003 invasion of Iraq is considering legal action against Spanish officials after cables revealed their discussions with U.S. diplomats about Spanish legal moves to prosecute the U.S. servicemen responsible.

SRI LANKA

- The United States believes there is little prospect Sri Lanka will hold anyone accountable for the bloody end of the war with the Tamil Tigers because war crimes allegations involved top government figures, according to a Jan. 15 cable sent by Patricia Butenis, U.S. ambassador in Colombo.

Another cable, from the U.S. embassy in London, revealed an admission by a British diplomat that former Foreign Secretary David Miliband pressured Sri Lanka's government for a ceasefire to help secure Labour Party votes from Britain's Tamil diaspora.

TURKMENISTAN

- Turkmenistan's leader is described as "not very bright" and "a practised liar" in a cable from the U.S. embassy in the gas-rich Central Asian state.

It said Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov did not like the United States, Iran or Turkey, but was fond of China. Fastidiously neat, he once insisted all men who worked in his dental clinic had creases in their trousers. [ID:nLDE6B1151]

UNITED NATIONS

- The CIA prepared a list of the kinds of information on U.N. officials and diplomats that it wanted U.S. envoys in New York and around the world to gather.

VENEZUELA

- Cuban intelligence services directly advised Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in what a U.S. diplomat called the "Axis of Mischief", according to a State Department cable.

Other cables revealed U.S. anxiety at Chavez's "cosiness" with Iran, and concerns of Venezuelan Jews over what they saw as government prejudice against them.

(Compiled by Andrew Roche)

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