GENEVA: Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev yesterday lauded ailing Nelson Mandela as an icon of the global drive for democracy, after his South African fellow Nobel laureate was discharged from hospital.
“He made a tremendous contribution. And this says it all. No more, no less. Tremendous is the word to characterise him,” said Gorbachev, whose role in ending the Cold War two decades ago won him the Nobel Peace Prize. “He made a tremendous contribution by taking a political position on democracy, on transition to democracy, a moral stance,” Gorbachev said. “I regard him as a great man,” the 82-year-old added, as he wrapped up a visit to Geneva to mark the 20th anniversary of his Green Cross environmental foundation.
Manning files formal pardon appeal
Washington: Chelsea Manning, the US soldier convicted of transmitting hundreds of thousands of state secrets to WikiLeaks, has formally appealed to President Obama to have her 35-year sentence commuted.
The army private, 25, formerly known as Bradley Manning, has written to Obama and the secretary of the army, John McHugh, asking to be granted a pardon. In a statement, which the soldier already made public following last month’s sentencing, Manning said her decision to leak to Julian Assange’s anti-secrecy group was “made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in ... It was never my intent to hurt anyone.”
‘US spied on Assange at German IT expo’
BERLIN: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has filed charges in Germany claiming a US Marines intelligence officer spied on him during a Berlin computer conference four years ago, media reports said yesterday. Assange said the spying at the Chaos Computer Club’s 2009 annual congress was made public when the ex-Marine gave witness testimony in June this year in the military trial of Bradley Manning, who was later sentenced to 35 years’ jail. Agencies