Julian Assange says Bradley Manning verdict is ‘dangerous precedent’ as whistleblower faces 136 years in prison despite aiding the enemy acquittal

Charge carried possible life sentence, although he will now be sentenced after convictions on lesser charges of espionage and theft


Bradley Manning, the former military intelligence analyst who gave classified information to the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks in 2010, was acquitted of aiding the enemy, the gravest charge laid against him by the US government. He was, however, found guilty of 19 other charges including espionage, theft and computer fraud.


Delivered by Judge Denise Lind at the Fort Meade base, the acquittal on the aiding the enemy charge was a large if somewhat symbolic victory for the defence and to Manning supporters worldwide. All the other guilty verdicts – including six on charges of espionage – still mean that Manning faces spending the rest of his life in prison.





Afghan civilian casualty numbers jump by quarter in first half of 2013

UN records 1,319 killed and 2,533 injured, with landmines and battles between Afghan forces and insurgents mainly to blame

The number of civilians killed and injured in Afghanistan rose by a quarter in the first six months of this year, according to the United Nations.

Homemade Taliban landmines are still the deadliest threat to ordinary Afghans, and the insurgents caused around three-quarters of all recorded civilian losses and injuries, said the UN in a report that charts rising violence in the wake of Nato troops’ accelerating departure from the country.

But there was a sharp increase in civilians harmed in ground battles between Afghan government troops and insurgents, the second leading cause of casualties and a worrying new trend as fighting intensifies and insecurity spreads.

Turks harbour mixed feelings about Erdogan in wake of Gezi protests

The big rallies may be over but unease at the PM’s growing power still lingers

Mary Fitzgerald


As the sun sets over Istanbul, hundreds sit cross-legged along Istiklal Caddesi, its busiest pedestrian street, preparing for iftar, the meal that breaks the Ramadan fast.

It is a rather incongruous picnic: plates of food are laid on the ground as curious tourists walk past. Just a few metres away, scores of riot police stand watching.

Now and then a chant goes up from those gathered for the makeshift iftar: usually references to the clashes that erupted on nearby Taksim Square in late May when police moved on demonstrators protesting plans to redevelop an adjoining park. “This is a symbolic iftar,” says Ahmet, a student who took part in the initial demonstrations. “We’re here to make a statement. Our protest continues despite everything.”

China airport bomber arrested: lawyer

July 31, 2013 – 12:54AM

A disabled man who bombed Beijing airport to protest at police brutality has been formally arrested, his lawyer says, in a case that highlights popular resentment towards low-level authorities.

Ji Zhongxing, a 33-year-old wheelchair-bound former driver who said a 2005 beating left him paralysed, set off a small explosion on July 20, destroying his hand and injuring an officer.

He was arrested on Monday on suspicion of bombing, his lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan told AFP, adding that the act carried a potential sentence of three to 10 years’ jail because it caused little damage.

Long lines and bated breath as Zim waits for Mugabe’s vote


Robert Mugabe is still to vote after Morgan Tsvangirai cast his ballot while Zimbabweans queue outside polling stations countrywide.

Elections kicked off to a smooth start in Harare and neighbouring townships on Wednesday, as people prepared to cast their vote for a new government. Zanu-PF president Robert Mugabe is expected to cast his vote at Mhofu Primary School in his hometown Highveld just outside the capital city, Harare, while Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai cast his vote just before 11am.

In Mbare, an overpopulated township on the outskirts of Harare, voters commended this year’s peaceful elections and what by this morning appeared to be an efficient start to the big day. Polling stations opened at 7am. Two hours was the maximum time most voters spent standing in the queue.

Douglas Kupara voted at the biggest polling station in Mbare after waiting on a snaking queue from 5.30am until just after 8am. “It’s amazing what’s going on today,” he said. “The weather is calm, everybody is happy and wants peace.” It took Kupara less than five minutes inside the voting tent to cast his vote.

How socially inclusive is Latin America?

For the second year, Americas Quarterly has ranked Latin American countries and the United States based on social inclusion, sifting through multiple data sets for 16 nations, including variables like access to education, housing, and employment, as well as basic political, civil, and human rights. Here are some of the highest and lowest ranking countries and emerging trends:

– Ezra FieserCorrespondent

1. Why ‘social inclusion?’

The social inclusion index – which ranks countries based on how they score on each of the 21 variables – seeks to provide a picture of progress that goes beyond economic growth and poverty figures. It evaluates how well countries provide opportunities for their citizens to “enjoy a safe, productive life as a fully integrated member of society – irrespective of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.”