The ripples from the latest release of tens of thousands of previously unpublished US diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks continue to spread worldwide.

In Indonesia, President Yudhoyono, the police and the legal system are facing more allegations of ineptitude and corruption.

In South Africa, the US has compared the ruling ANC party to apartheid, noting that “forced removals, violence, intimidation and leaders in hiding” of community opponents had “parallels” with the “apartheid regime”.

A cable from the embassy in Sri Lanka contains accusations that Chinese companies have been bribing Sri Lankan government officials.

The Guardian is running with two cables. The first details concerns China has “vastly increased” the risk of a nuclear accident by using outdated designs for dozens of new nuclear power plants. The second cable covers a US diplomat going undercover as a Korean tourist “to investigate a notorious tiger breeding centre in southern China”.

The New Zealand press are running with the story that centre-right Prime Minister John Key described New Zealanders as having a “socialist streak”.

And in Australia, the Fairfax papers are reporting on a cable that adds to the stink rising off Australia’s dealings with notorious Afghan warlord Matiullah Khan, who runs “protection rackets, skims from the [police] payroll, and is involved in the illegal narcotics trade”. The ABC has picked up on a cable from Perth, written following the boat explosion that killed five refugees at Ashmore Reef, which says an unnamed “leading ALP strategist” said the increased number of boat people was partially due to “Australia’s softer immigration policy” under then prime minister Kevin Rudd — a position markedly different to the ALP’s public position at the time.

Meanwhile, the steady drip of cable releases has become a waterfall. The release of more than 70,000 cables in the past 48 hours far exceeds what WikiLeaks initially announced it was releasing. With the constant threat of other media organisations releasing their own copies of the cables, WikiLeaks may have decided that its old release schedule (which would have seen the last of the cables released sometime in 2018) was no longer sustainable.

Peter Fray

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