Key points in the latest secret US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks:
-- The US thinks China is a "pernicious economic competitor with no morals" whose booming investments in Africa are propping up unsavoury regimes, according to a February 23 cable by the US consul-general in Lagos. The US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Johnnie Carson, was quoting as giving the frank assessment in a meeting with oil executives in Nigeria.
-- Documents showed that Washington put intense pressure on Berlin to not enforce arrest warrants against CIA agents involved in the 2003 abduction of a German citizen mistakenly believed to be a terrorist. Khaled el-Masri, an unemployed car salesman of Lebanese origin, was captured in late December 2003. Local authorities mistook him for an al Qaeda operative with a similar name and turned him over to the CIA. Masri said he was held and tortured in a secret US prison in Afghanistan before US agents realised their
mistake and released him, five months later.
-- A cable revealed that Nigeria's leadership was in total confusion over who was in charge early this year with then-president Umaru Yar'Adua thought to be in a "semi-comatose state".
The cable, dated February 26, 2010, reported on a meeting between then-US ambassador Robin Renee Sanders and Goodluck Jonathan, who was Nigeria's acting president at the time. Jonathan became president in May after Yar'Adua's death.
-- Senior Australian politicians insisted the country's sports minister, Mark Arbib, was not a "spy" for Washington after cables reportedly revealed he was a "protected" source for the United States.
-- The US ambassador to Kenya warned that the East African country could descend into violence even worse than during the crisis that followed a disputed 2007 election unless reform was speeded up and corruption tackled, according to a cable revealed in The Guardian.