...where failure is documented
Bradley Manning: marine commander warned detention was inappropriate
by Ed Pilkington
Wednesday 28 November 2012
Bradley Manning, center, steps out of a security vehicle as he is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Maryland. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP
The former commander of Quantico marine base in Virginia has revealed to the court martial of Bradley Manning that he warned his Pentagon superiors that the jail on the base was insufficiently prepared to deal with the long-term detention of the WikiLeaks suspect.
Daniel Choike told a pre-trial hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland, that when Manning arrived at the brig on 29 July 2010, having been arrested in Iraq on suspicion of being the source of the massive WikiLeaks dump of state secrets, he informed his superior officer in the Pentagon that in his opinion Quantico was not the right place for the soldier should his detention last long. "I didn't feel that PFC Manning should be detained more than 90 days in the brig," he said.
In the end, Manning spent nine months at Quantico – three times the maximum Choike thought appropriate. The soldier's treatment there prompted international protests from the UN, Amnesty International and other organisations that likened it to torture.
Ecuador says WikiLeaks' Assange suffering lung problems
By Eduardo Garcia
November 28, 2012
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, speaking during a teleconference from Ecuador's embassy in central London, is pictured on a screen during a news conference in Brussels November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
(Reuters) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is suffering from a chronic lung ailment that could worsen at any time and is being checked regularly by doctors, the Andean country's ambassador to Britain said on Wednesday.
Assange, 41, whose website angered the United States by releasing thousands of secret diplomatic cables, has been holed up inside Ecuador's embassy in London since June to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations. Assange has denied any wrongdoing.
"He has a chronic lung complaint that could get worse any time. The Ecuadorean state is covering Mr Assange's medical costs and we have arranged for regular doctor visits to check on his health," Ambassador Ana Alban told a local TV network during a visit to Quito.
Bum groping is not sexual harassment in Austria
22 November 2012
Austrian prosecutors have dropped sexual harassment charges against a man who pinched the bottom of a woman he saw on the street after saying that sexual harassment can only involve a woman's breasts or private parts.
The incident happened at the start of October when the 43-year-old woman who works in a bank in the Austrian city of Graz was waiting at a crossing when a man came alongside and said: "Wow, a woman with a fantastic arse, can I touch it?" When she told him no he grabbed her backside anyway and squeezed.
Argentines shocked by verdicts in sex slave trial
12 December 2012
By EMILY SCHMALL and MICHAEL WARREN
A protester hurls a stone at police officers during a protest against the acquittal of 13 people accused in the disappearance of a young woman in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- The acquittal of 13 people accused in the disappearance of a young woman who was allegedly kidnapped and forced into prostitution for "VIP clients" spread shock and outrage across Argentina on Wednesday, prompting street protests and calls by political leaders to impeach the three judges who delivered the verdict.
Many called the ruling a setback for Argentina's efforts to combat sex trafficking, which began largely as a result of Susana Trimarco's one-woman, decade-long quest to find her missing daughter, Maria de los Angeles "Marita" Veron. Her attorneys said she would pursue appeals. Trimarco's search exposed an underworld of organized crime figures who operate brothels with protection from authorities across Argentina.
Google phones forget December
November 20, 2012
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (UPI) -- Some users of California-based Google's Android 4.2 smartphone operating system are complaining about the lack of a December in their phones' calendars.
The users complained the latest version of the operating system omitted the entire month of December, skipping directly from November to January on the calendars, CNN reported Tuesday.
Power-saw wielding thieves steal ancient rock carvings in 'worst vandalism ever'
20 November 2012
The damage done to a petroglyph panel at a site on the Volcanic Tableland north of Bishop, California Photo: AFP/Getty Images
The petroglyphs, etched by ancient hunters 3,500 years ago, had survived winds, floods and earthquakes, only to disappear from the rock face in a matter of hours, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A fifth carving suffered deep saw cuts, and a sixth was removed but broken and abandoned near a parking lot in the Eastern Sierra desert. Dozens of others were scarred by hammer blows.
"This was the worst act of vandalism ever seen," US Bureau of Land Management archeologist Greg Haverstock, whose field office manages the 750,000 acres of public land in Bishop, eastern California, was quoted as saying. "The individuals who did this were not surgeons, they were smashing and grabbing."
Facing austerity, Europe's bureaucrats chafe
By Sebastian Moffett and Claire Davenport
November 18, 2012
Demonstrators shout slogans against the government in front of the Portuguese parliament during a 24-hour nationwide general strike in Lisbon in this November 14, 2012 file photo. REUTERS-Rafael Marchante-Files
(Reuters) - Workers protesting austerity on the streets of southern Europe weren't to know it, but earlier this month there was also a strike at the heart of the European Union - by bureaucrats fighting possible cuts.
For an increasing number of Europeans, cuts in Brussels are what is needed. The European capital has told member states to reduce spending, but as millions in Spain, Portugal and Greece feel the pain in pay, pensions, and social services, people are looking to the centre and finding what looks like fat.
Britain has led the way. Newspapers there have for decades carped at cosy 'eurocrats', as they call Europe's civil servants. Prime Minister David Cameron need only mention the EU and generous spending to produce a sea of nods and chants of "hear, hear!" around parliament. "We can't have European spending going up and up and up when we're having to make difficult decisions in so many different areas," Cameron told reporters at the last summit of EU leaders in October, going on to express his frustration at the salaries of civil servants in Brussels.
Loyal Sainsbury's worker sacked for going to get change for a coffee wins £10,000 compensation
By Rachel Rickard Straus
16 November 2012
Loyal: Steven Tyler, 29, was dismissed after 11 years working for the supermarket
A loyal Sainsbury’s worker who was sacked after leaving the store for just two minutes to get change for a coffee has received a £10,000 payout.
Steven Tyler, 28, had worked as a baker at the supermarket for 11 years when he was dismissed for leaving his post during a night shift. CCTV footage captured him walking out the back of the store on August 24 last year. He was fired after his manager told him he did not have permission to leave, an offence which amounted to ‘gross misconduct’.
18th-century French chateau razed 'by mistake'
By THOMAS ADAMSON
December 5, 2012
Chateau de Bellevue. (http://www.domainedebellevue.info)
PARIS (AP) — Residents of a sleepy French village in Bordeaux have been left dumbfounded after discovering their local 18th-century chateau was completely bulldozed "by mistake."
The mayor's office in Yvrac said Wednesday that workers who were hired to renovate the grand 13,000-square-meter (140,000-square-foot) manor and raze a small building on the same estate in southwest France mixed them up.
Greece seen as most corrupt in EU
5 December 2012
By DAVID RISING
BERLIN (AP) -- The countries worst hit by the European financial crisis are also perceived as being among the most corrupt in Western Europe, and those perceptions appear to be getting increasingly negative, an international watchdog said in a report released Wednesday.
Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index shows Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece with the lowest scores in Western Europe.
On a scale newly introduced for this year's report, where 0 is "highly corrupt" and 100 is "very clean," Spain was ranked highest of the four in place 30 with a score of 65. Portugal followed in place 33 with a score of 63, followed by Italy in place 72 with a score of 42 and Greece in 94th place with a score of 36.
The index measures the perception of corruption in the public sector and not the financial sector, but Transparency's Europe director Anne Koch told The Associated Press the results clearly indicate that people in countries worst hit by the crisis perceive corruption to be widespread. "It seems to me to be quite blatantly obvious that the lack of transparency in public finances in these four countries has been reflected in the figures," she said.