News / USA

    US Rights Group Urges Nobel Peace Prize for WikiLeaks Soldier

    U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning (C) departs the courthouse at Ft. Meade, Maryland, July 30, 2013.
    U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning (C) departs the courthouse at Ft. Meade, Maryland, July 30, 2013.
    Reuters
    A U.S. rights group has collected over 100,000 signatures urging the Norwegian Nobel committee to give this year's Peace Prize to Bradley Manning, a U.S. soldier convicted of leaking classified U.S. government files touching on military policy.
     
    Recognizing Manning, the head of the RootsAction group said, would also help repair the Nobel panel's reputation after it chose President Barack Obama for the Peace Prize in 2009, only a few months into his first term of office.
     
    “There's a cloud hanging over the Nobel Peace Committee,” Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction said on Monday, as he prepared to hand his 5,000-page petition to the committee.
     
    “In a sense, the Nobel Peace Prize at this point needs Bradley Manning more than Bradley Manning needs the Nobel Peace Prize ... There has now grown a question about the Nobel Committee's commitment to human rights and peace in an even handed, independent way.”
     
    Private First Class Manning was convicted earlier this month of charges that included espionage and theft for releasing more than 700,000 battlefield videos, diplomatic cables and other secret documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. He now faces up to 90 years in prison.
     
    Solomon argued that the disclosures shortened the U.S. military involvement in Iraq and made it more difficult for the country to engage in conflict. A representative of the Nobel committee said the petition would not influence its decision.
     
    “The Nobel Peace Prize is not a popularity contest and a large number of signatures will neither help nor hinder his [Manning's] candidacy,” Asle Toje, the Norwegian Nobel Committee's Research Director said.
     
    “It will be reviewed on its merit, based on the principles laid out in the will of Alfred Nobel. It's not unprecedented that we receive a large volume of supporting material for a candidate ... but these do not influence the committee.”
     
    Manning, 25, was a low-level intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010 when he was charged with leaking files including videos of a 2007 attack by a U.S. Apache helicopter gunship in Baghdad that killed a dozen people, two of them Reuters news staff.
     
    The Nobel committee, which also came under fire for awarding the Peace Prize to the European Union last year, has repeatedly rejected criticism over its selection of Obama before the first black U.S. president had achieved anything notable in office.
     
    The 2013 Peace Prize will be announced on October 11. A total of 259 people and groups were nominated by the February deadline, including Manning, Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Myanmar President Thein Sein.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora