LONDON, Aug. 31 (UPI) — A cyberattack shut down WikiLeaks’ Web site while the whistleblower group was publishing tens of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables, visitors said.
The attack knocked WikiLeaks.org offline for more than three hours Tuesday night and early Wednesday London time, the Financial Times reported.
Visitors told the Times the site was inaccessible from parts of Europe, North America and Australia.
Several back up sites were created so WikiLeaks could continue distribution of the confidential material.
The organization’s latest document dump has been condemned by authorities in the United States and Australia for appearing to reveal the names of terror suspects and government informants.
“For the first time, the diplomatic cables are available from every country that has U.S. diplomatic representation,” WikiLeaks said before releasing the documents.
Robert McClelland, Australia’s attorney general, criticized WikiLeaks for failing to redact identifying features that might put security operations or safety at risk.
LAGOS, Nigeria, Aug. 31 (UPI) — The United Nations will await the results of an investigation to find out who was responsible for last week’s terrorist attack in Nigeria, U.N. sources said.
The sources at U.N. headquarters in New York told The (Lagos) Guardian it will not accept claims of responsibility by any group until the investigation has been completed.
Twenty-three people died and dozens were injured Friday when a suicide bomber rammed his car into the reception hall at U.N. headquarters in the Nigerian capital of Abuja.
The fundamentalist Islamic sect Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has refused to comment until the United Nations “independently determines those behind the attack.”
The United Nations has released the nationalities of some of those killed in the blast.
The organization said Tuesday 10 of the dead were Nigerians and one was a Norwegian.
Twenty-six people injured in the attack remain hospitalized.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Aug. 31 (UPI) — A Florida lawmaker says he wants to repeal a law against cohabitation of unmarried people that’s been on the books since the late 1800s but rarely enforced.
The law makes cohabitation a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by $500 or up to 60 days in jail.
State Rep. Ritch Workman of Melbourne has filed a bill — HB 4021 — to repeal the statutes penalizing adultery and cohabitation, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Tuesday.
The bill has drawn few comments.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Scott said, “This isn’t an issue the governor is focused on.”
Still, in an election year the bill will likely face opposition from conservatives like state Rep. Dennis Baxley of Ocala, who previously headed the Florida chapter of the Christian Coalition.
“I’m not ready to give up on monogamy and a cultural statement that marriage still matters,” he said.
SANTIAGO, Chile, Aug. 31 (UPI) — The Chilean government granted early retirement to nearly half of the men who survived more than three months buried in a mine last year, officials said.
Chilean first lady Cecilia Morel presented 14 of the 33 miners with lifetime pension documents at a ceremony Tuesday in the town of Copiapo, near the mine site, La Cuarta reported.
“This government is committed to be with you and help you as much as we can,” Morel said.
The miners who requested either physical or psychological disability to stop working will receive annuities of as much as $540 a month.
The government chose the miners based on their health, age and the opinions of other survivors.
The miners survived 69 days at the bottom of the San Jose mine, 2,300 feet below the surface, before being rescued.
CAIRO, Aug. 31 (UPI) — A protest group announced plans for massive demonstrations Friday in downtown Cairo to voice their frustration with the slow pace of reform in the country.
A group calling itself the Revolution Youth Coalition called for mass protests in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square, Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reports.
The group, according to postings in its Facebook page, outlined a laundry list of complaints, ranging from frustration with ongoing military tribunals to the pace at which military rulers are preparing for a civilian government.
Six Egyptian soldiers were killed in mid-August during an Israeli raid that was carried out in response to attacks allegedly from militants who crossed into Israel from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Demonstrators thronged the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, calling for mass protests and the expulsion of the Israeli envoy.
Protesters occupied Cairo’s central square for nearly two weeks in early 2011, eventually forcing Hosni Mubarak to resign after serving for three decades as the Egyptian president.
Despite murder charges filed against Mubarak and members of his inner circle, Egyptians have continued to voice their frustrations with the slow pace of reforms.
Elections for Parliament and president are tentatively scheduled for late 2011 and early 2012.
RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 31 (UPI) — A Virginia college student who stripped to a pair of running shorts to protest intrusive search procedures will be allowed to sue two airport screeners.
A federal judge in Richmond, Va., ruled Tuesday that the portion of Aaron Tobey’s lawsuit dealing with free speech rights can go forward, The Christian Science Monitor reported.
Tobey was arrested at Richmond International Airport in December 2010 after stripping down to reveal a portion of the Fourth Amendment written in black marker on his chest.
It read: “The right of the people to be secure … against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.”
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson opens the way for further investigation by Tobey’s lawyers into why security screeners called the police when Tobey removed most of his clothing.
The lawsuit charges security officials had Tobey arrested in response to his protest and not because he failed to follow instructions.
His attorneys say he has a right to peacefully object to the government’s treatment of airline passengers provided his actions are not disruptive.
MOSCOW, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Police in Russia say a father has shot and killed his son’s suspected killer outside a courthouse near Moscow.
The 54-year-old bereaved father fired three shots from a hunting rifle, killing the 29-year-old suspect as he was leaving a courthouse hearing in the town of Orekhovo-Zuyevo Tuesday, The Moscow Times reported
The gunman was arrested immediately, police said.
SEOUL, Aug. 31 (UPI) — Nearly a third of North Koreans who defected to South Korea say they believe the South is likely to use force against its northern rival, a survey indicates.
The survey of 114 North Korean defectors by Seoul National University found 31 percent said the chances of military action are relatively high, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported Wednesday.
The same poll conducted in 2008 found 9.9 percent said South Korea would use force.
This year only 35.4 percent of the defectors said they were “very pessimistic” about a power transfer in North Korea compared to 62.5 percent in 2008.
The university’s Institute for Peace and Unification Studies, which conducted the survey, said this year’s results seem to indicate a toughened military stance on the part of South Korea.
North and South Korea remain in a technical state of war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 (UPI) — A magazine published by gay active duty service members says U.S. military officials will allow distribution of the publication starting next month.
OutServe Magazine will be made available at Army and Air Force bases at the end of September when the Pentagon formally ends the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that bans gays from openly revealing their sexual identity without fear of reprisal, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
The group said the magazine, which started publishing earlier this year, has been available in very limited numbers but will be available on shelves after the repeal of the ban on gays serving openly.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Aug. 31 (UPI) — The case against six high-ranking Kenyan officials, including a deputy prime minister, on crimes against humanity can go forward, the international court ruled.
The International Criminal Court dismissed a challenge by the Kenyan government to throw out the cases against six Kenyan officials charged with crimes against humanity committed in the aftermath of December 2007 elections.
Thousands of people were killed and some 600,000 more were displaced following December 2007 elections.
Presiding Judge Daniel David Ntanda Nsereko said there was “no legal, factual or procedural error” in the case and dismissed the Kenyan government’s challenge.
Human Rights Watch said any prosecution against the six Kenyan officials must be complemented by credible national trials investigating the post-election violence.
“In spite of important reforms under way, Kenya’s judicial system faces a number of challenges in meeting that goal,” the organization said in a statement.
Nsereko said that in order for the cases to be dismissed, a domestic investigation must be ongoing.
The six men are also accused of have a role in mass rapes and the destruction of property.