United Nations Declaration (Articles 1 - 30):

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts
Nigerian Minister of the Environment Amina Mohammed, seen in 2015, will be the UN's number two official (AFP Photo/Mireya ACIERTO)
Sustainable Development
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Timing of the Great Shift" – Mar 21, 2009 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)


The Declaration of Human Freedom

Archangel Michael (Via Steve Beckow), Feb. 19, 2011

Every being is a divine and eternal soul living in a temporal body. Every being was alive before birth and will live after death.

Every soul enters into physical life for the purpose of experience and education, that it may, in the course of many lifetimes, learn its true identity as a fragment of the Divine.

Life itself is a constant process of spiritual evolution and unfoldment, based on free choice, that continues until such time as we realize our true nature and return to the Divine from which we came.

No soul enters life to serve another, except by choice, but to serve its own purpose and that of the Divine from which it came.

All life is governed by natural and universal laws which precede and outweigh the laws of humanity. These laws, such as the law of karma, the law of attraction, and the law of free will, are decreed by God to order existence and assist each person to achieve life’s purpose.

No government can or should survive that derives its existence from the enforced submission of its people or that denies its people their basic rights and freedoms.

Life is a movement from one existence to another, in varied venues throughout the universe and in other universes and dimensions of existence. We are not alone in the universe but share it with other civilizations, most of them peace-loving, many of whom are more advanced than we are, some of whom can be seen with our eyes and some of whom cannot.

The evidence of our five senses is not the final arbiter of existence. Humans are spiritual as well as physical entities and the spiritual side of life transcends the physical. God is a Spirit and the final touchstone of God’s Truth is not physical but spiritual. The Truth is to be found within.

God is one and, because of this, souls are one. They form a unity. They are meant to live in peace and harmony together in a “common unity” or community. The use of force to settle affairs runs contrary to natural law. Every person should have the right to conduct his or her own affairs without force, as long as his or her choices do not harm another.

No person shall be forced into marriage against his or her will. No woman shall be forced to bear or not bear children, against her will. No person shall be forced to hold or not hold views or worship in a manner contrary to his or her choice. Nothing vital to existence shall be withheld from another if it is within the community’s power to give.

Every person shall retain the ability to think, speak, and act as they choose, as long as they not harm another. Every person has the right to choose, study and practice the education and career of their choice without interference, provided they not harm another.

No one has the right to kill another. No one has the right to steal from another. No one has the right to force himself or herself upon another in any way.

Any government that harms its citizens, deprives them of their property or rights without their consent, or makes offensive war upon its neighbors, no matter how it misrepresents the situation, has lost its legitimacy. No government may govern without the consent of its people. All governments are tasked with seeing to the wellbeing of their citizens. Any government which forces its citizens to see to its own wellbeing without attending to theirs has lost its legitimacy.

Men and women are meant to live fulfilling lives, free of want, wherever they wish and under the conditions they desire, providing their choices do not harm another and are humanly attainable.

Children are meant to live lives under the beneficent protection of all, free of exploitation, with unhindered access to the necessities of life, education, and health care.

All forms of exploitation, oppression, and persecution run counter to universal and natural law. All disagreements are meant to be resolved amicably.

Any human law that runs counter to natural and universal law is invalid and should not survive. The enactment or enforcement of human law that runs counter to natural and universal law brings consequences that cannot be escaped, in this life or another. While one may escape temporal justice, one does not escape divine justice.

All outcomes are to the greater glory of God and to God do we look for the fulfillment of our needs and for love, peace, and wisdom. So let it be. Aum/Amen.



Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit

Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit
Pope Francis laughs alongside US President Barack Obama upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, on September 22, 2015, on the start of a 3-day trip to Washington (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)


Today's doodle in the U.S. celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech on its 50th anniversary (28 Aug 2013)

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'
The White House released this image, of the building colored like the rainbow flag, on Facebook following the supreme court’s ruling. Photograph: Facebook

Same-sex marriage around the world

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'
Reporters Without Borders labels Erdogan as 'enemy of press freedom'

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Do not fear the other, pope says on World Migrant Day

Yahoo – AFP, January 14, 2018

Pope Francis, himself the son of immigrants to Italy from Argentina, has 
championed the cause of migrants and asylum seekers since his election 
in 2013. (AFP Photo/VINCENZO PINTO)

Vatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis called Sunday for hospitality towards migrants, calling it a "sin" to give in to fear of the other as he marked the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

"It is not easy... to put oneself in the shoes of people so different from us," the pontiff said during a solemn mass at St Peter's Basilica.

"Local communities are sometimes afraid that the newly arrived will disturb the established order, will 'steal' something they have long laboured to build up," Francis said.

While such fears are not a sin, said the spiritual leader of the world's 1.3 billion Roman Catholics, "the sin is to refuse to encounter the other, the different, the neighbour."

"The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection," Francis said, adding: "We often refuse to encounter the other and raise barriers to defend ourselves."

More than 150 migrants were rescued this weekend off the coast of southern
Spain. (AFP Photo/JORGE GUERRERO)

The 81-year-old pontiff, himself the son of immigrants to Italy from Argentina, has championed the cause of migrants and asylum seekers since his election in 2013.

His first official trip outside Rome was to the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, which was at the time the first point of arrival in Europe for thousands of migrants.

In April 2016, Francis visited the Greek island of Lesbos, a main entry point to Greece for migrants travelling from the Turkish coast, and returned home with three families of Syrian refugees aboard the papal plane.

"Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age," Francis said Sunday.

On Monday Francis will begin an eight-day tour of his native South America, visiting Peru and Chile.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Iran rules out any change to nuclear accord

Yahoo – AFP, Eric Randolph, 13 January 2018

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the 2015 nuclear deal
with world powers could not be renegotiated

Iran on Saturday rejected any modification of its nuclear deal with world powers after US President Donald Trump demanded tough new measures to keep the agreement alive.

Iran "will not accept any amendments in this agreement, be it now or in the future, and it will not allow any other issues to be linked to the JCPOA", the foreign ministry said in a statement, using the 2015 deal's technical name.

It has the backing of all the partners to the agreement apart from the United States, with Russia warning Washington on Saturday that withdrawing would be "a big miscalculation".

"We are gradually coming to the conclusion that an internal decision by the US to leave the JCPOA has already been made or is close to being made," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency.

"This could be one of Washington's big foreign policy mistakes," he added.

Trump again waived nuclear-related sanctions on Friday -- as required every few months to stay in the agreement -- but demanded that European partners work with Washington to "fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw".

He said the new deal should curb Iran's missile programme and include permanent restrictions on the Islamic republic's nuclear plants, removing expiration dates due to kick in after a decade.

The other parties to the agreement -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union -- have all said the deal is working and that Iran is complying fully with its commitments.

Britain and Germany said Friday they had taken note of Trump's latest decision and would confer with France before responding.

Map and factfile on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal

'It makes no difference'

On Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron stressed the "necessary respect by all parties" of Iran's nuclear deal with world powers, in a telephone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

However, Israel's leader, a fierce critic of the deal, told Macron that changing the nuclear deal would increase the chances of it remaining in place.

"Trump's remarks should be taken seriously, and whoever wants to keep the nuclear deal would be wise to fix it", a statement from Netanyahu's office read.

On the streets of Tehran, many people have grown cynical and exasperated by the endless pressure from the United States.

"It doesn't make any difference. We have been under US sanctions for the last 40 years," said Farshad Alyan, a 26-year-old law student.

"Two years ago when the JCPOA was signed we were so hopeful. We don't have that hope any more."

Iran argues that continued US sanctions on non-nuclear areas such as human rights and missile testing have effectively barred it from gaining many of the financial benefits expected from the deal.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said Trump's aggressive stance on the deal and Iran generally have also violated the commitment to "refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran" in the accord.

Many people on the street in Tehran have grown cynical and exasperated 
by the endless US pressure

New sanctions criticised

Many analysts agree.

"Trump has once again avoided the nuclear option on the nuclear deal. But the clear reluctance with which he has issued the sanctions waivers will continue to weigh on the business community," said Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, founder of the Europe-Iran Forum, a business network.

"However, if the 'adults in the room' prevailed this time and kept Trump from exiting the deal, there remains hope they will prevail in the end," he added.

Responding to Trump's speech late Friday, Zarif tweeted: "Rather than repeating tired rhetoric, US must bring itself into full compliance -- just like Iran."

Saturday's statement from Iran's foreign ministry further criticised new sanctions on 14 individuals announced by the US Treasury on Friday over human rights issues and Iran's missile programme.

In particular, placing judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani on the sanctions list "crossed all red lines of conduct in the international community... and the government of the United States will bear responsibility for all the consequences of this hostile move".

Related Article:


US President Barack Obama, standing with Vice President Joe Biden, delivers
 remarks on in the East Room of the White House in Washington on July 14, 2015,
after an Iran nuclear deal was reached (AFP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Egypt Copts hold Christmas mass under tight security

Yahoo – AFP, January 6, 2018

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaks near Coptic Pope Tawadros II (L)
during a Christmas Eve mass at the Nativity of Christ Cathedral in Cairo on
January 6, 2018 (AFP Photo/KHALED DESOUKI)

Nativity of Christ Cathedral (Egypt) (AFP) - Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Christians held a Christmas Eve mass on Saturday at a massive new cathedral east of Cairo amid tight security after a year of deadly jihadist attacks on the community.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gave a short speech before the liturgy, which was led by Pope Tawadros II, wishing the Christians a merry Christmas and telling them that the country would prevail over the jihadists.

"You are our family, you are from us, we are one and no one will divide us," he said to ululations and chants from some of the congregants and visitors.

Police had set up barricades outside the cathedral in a new administrative capital Egypt is building east of Cairo.

The cathedral, Sisi said, was a "message to the world, a message of peace and a message of love".

Police had tightened security around the country's churches ahead of services following a spate of attacks that began in 2016.

More than 100 Christians have been killed in the violence, including a shooting at a church south of Cairo just last week claimed by the Islamic State group.

Since the military ousted divisive Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, security forces have sought to quell attacks led by the Egypt branch of IS which has increasingly targeted Christians.

While the jihadists have also taken aim at other civilians, including more than 300 Muslim worshippers massacred at a mosque last November, they have focused on the ancient Coptic community.

In December 2016, an IS suicide bomber killed almost 30 worshippers at a church in Cairo located in the Saint Mark's Cathedral complex, the seat of the Coptic papacy.

In the Sinai Peninsula, where IS is based, hundreds of Christians were forced to flee in January and December after a wave of assassinations.

IS suicide bombers killed more than 40 people in twin church bombings in April and shot dead almost 30 Christians a month later as they headed to a monastery.

The year ended with an IS jihadist killing nine people in an attack on a church in a south Cairo suburb.

Copts, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's 93 million people, have long complained of discrimination and intermittent sectarian attacks.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Israel finds 2,700-year-old 'governor of Jerusalem' seal

France24 – AFP, 1 January 2018

Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, excavator of the Israel Antiquities Authority holds a
2,7000-year-old clay seal which she says belonged to the "governor of the city" of
Jerusalem uncovered near the Western Wall

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli archaeologists unveiled on Monday a 2,700-year-old clay seal imprinted with images and Hebrew words that may have belonged to a biblical governor of Jerusalem.

The round button-sized seal was found in a building in Jerusalem's Old City near the Western Wall and dates back to the 7th century BC, from the time of the First Jewish Temple, said the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The artefact bears an engraving showing two men wearing robes and facing each other in a mirror-like manner.

Below them is an inscription in ancient Hebrew that reads "to the governor of the city", or mayor.

"It's a very rare find," said Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, excavator of the Western Wall plaza for the Israel Antiquities Authority.

"The find's great importance is that until now, we only know the expression of city governor (of Jerusalem) from the Bible," she told AFP.

"This is the first time we find it in the archaeological context, in an archaeological dig of a structure from the seventh century BC," she added.

The seal does not mention the name of the governor or the city of Jerusalem, but Weksler-Bdolah said she believed it referred to the Holy City.

She said a scientific examination of the seal would be conducted soon and was expected to corroborate its link to Jerusalem.

According to her, the seal was apparently attached to an object to be delivered to someone on behalf of the governor of the city.

News of the discovery comes as tensions swirl around Jerusalem after US President Donald Trump designated the city as Israel's capital.

Jerusalem's status is perhaps the most sensitive issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel sees the entire city as its capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

Related Articles:

Netanyahu looks to Belgium-Holland border for settlement solution

The border between Belgium and the Netherlands at Baarle-Nassau
(photo credit: Tos/Wikipedia)


"THE BRIDGE OF SWORDS"– Sep  29, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) (Text version)

“… Let us talk about the swords: When you hear the word sword, the first thing that occurs to you is battle. The Bridge of Swords is a battle and we told you that as well. Swords are metaphoric and they mean many things, so let us describe the things we mean them to say to you.

Number one: They are indeed a weapon in a battle. There is a battle coming. "Kryon, does that mean there's going to be a war?" Potentially, yes. Right now we will tell you that the Middle East cooks itself. You've noticed, haven't you? What do you know about the Middle East, dear one? Let's start examining things for a moment. What energy did you grow up in? What was the energy of the Middle East? In the '40s, what was the energy? With the establishment of the state of Israel, you built a wall of hate, both sides. The wall was so thick that the children of both sides were taught to hate one another as soon as they were able to understand the language. They were told who their enemies were. Now, where were you then?

Some of you weren't here yet. By the time you arrived, in your youth, were you aware of the Middle East? Not particularly. "What's the hatred about?" you might ask. What if I told you it's about a family feud? Two sons of a Jewish master are involved. One founded the Arabs and one remained a Jew. They don't want to hear this, but they are all Jews. (Don't tell them this.)

If you look at the lineage, it's pretty obvious and yet it's a complete and total set-up for either solution or war. The set-up would have this world ending in a conflagration that would have been brought about by this hatred. That's in the prophecy of Nostradamus and your scripture, but it is no longer the prophecy of the planet. Yet the hatred still exists. The hatred is as great today as it was then, but where was all the terrorism 40 years ago? It was isolated.

Those in Israel and Palestine and surrounding areas took the brunt of it, but now it's seemingly everywhere - and you're worried. Why would this be? The answer is that the old energy was happy to have this hatred contained, for it would keep it going and never involve outsiders. Outsiders tend to bring unwanted light to the party. Suddenly, the whole earth is involved and can see the entire scenario before them. The old guard wants war, just like all the eons before them. The ones on the bridge are holding the light and showing the earth how to cross. Even many younger ones in Israel and Palestine and Iran are holding light! It's all around the old guard and they are furious, for they are losing the "battle of hatred." …

Monday, January 1, 2018

China's Xi vows to support UN, boost living standards

Yahoo – AFP, 31 December 2017

China's Xi vows to support UN, boost living standards

Beijing (AFP) - China will play its part in defending the international order and combating climate change while working to raise living standards for its own people, President Xi Jinping pledged Sunday in a New Year speech.

Xi said the nation was committed to economic reforms in 2018, the 40th anniversary of the transformation led by Deng Xiaoping, "as reform and opening-up is the path we must take to make progress in contemporary China and to realise the Chinese dream".

In a speech quoted by the state Xinhua news agency, Xi said that by 2020 all rural residents living below the current poverty line should have been lifted out of poverty.

It would be the first time in thousands of years of Chinese history that extreme poverty had been eliminated, he said.

"It is our solemn promise," Xi said.

The president also acknowledged shortfalls in the government's work.

"That is why we should strengthen our sense of responsibility and do a good job of ensuring the people's well-being," Xinhua quoted him as saying.

"The well-being of our people is the Party and the government's greatest political achievement."

On international affairs, Xi said China "will resolutely uphold the authority of the United Nations", actively fulfil the nation's international obligations and remain firmly committed to its pledges to tackle climate change.

His stance puts him at odds with US President Donald Trump, who has sharply criticised the UN and vowed to quit the 2015 Paris accord on combating climate change.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018: A big year for Latin America elections

Yahoo – AFP, Tupac POINTU, 29 December 2017

The election in Chile of conservative Sebastian Pinera December 17 is part
of a tilt to the right in Latin American politics

Next year will be a big election year for Latin America, a region where democracy in many countries is only decades young, and where the shadow of corruption stretches wide and long.

Half of the population across the region is being called to cast ballots.

Here are the main points of note concerning the polls in regional economic heavyweights Brazil and Mexico, as well a newly pacified Colombia and troubled Venezuela.

Corruption: the roots of wrath

The Odebrecht scandal, an affair of tentacular graft involving a Brazilian construction firm that is alleged to have paid millions of dollars in bribes to Latin American government officials to secure juicy public contracts, has rocked the region.

It has led to Ecuador's vice president being imprisoned for six years, and last week nearly resulted in Peru's president being impeached.

But the scandal is just part of a much bigger picture of corruption, according to Gaspard Estrada, director of an Observatory of Latin America at Paris's Sciences-Po institute.

A corruption scandal involving Brazilian contractor Odebrecht is roiling politics in
Latin American countries like Peru where President Pedro Pablo Kuczynchi barely
escaped impeachment over graft allegations

"Corruption phenomena are deeply rooted in the region, and persist," he said.

"This will have an impact on the next political cycle," said Fiona Mackie, in charge of Latin America for The Economist Intelligence Unit. The Odebrecht scandal, she added, "is really shaking up the political scene."

The disheartening multiple cases of embezzlement and personal enrichment by officials in region has engendered "an impatience now in the electors, because they are so fed up," Mackie said.

"Elections in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico will be dominated by voter anger against the political establishment and demand for change, making them hard to predict and opening up room for negative surprises," the Eurasia consulting firm said in a recent report.

"Candidates that better capture this sentiment will be the most competitive, and the risk of negative surprises is high," as attested to by an unexpected surge for the left in a recent Chilean presidential election, the report said.

That "should serve as a reminder not to underestimate voter frustration," it said.

Outsiders like right-wing soldier-turned-politician Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil have 
gotten a lift from a wave of public disgust with corruption-tainted political elites

A boon for outsiders

The electoral landscape in Latin America in 2018 is dotted with an increasing number of candidates from outside the political system.

This can be put down to public disgust over the many instances of graft that has "disqualified the traditional political class," Estrada said.

He deplored a regional "leadership crisis" and feared political outsiders would fuel discourse that undermines democracy, as in Brazil where an extreme-right soldier-turned-politician, Jair Bolsonaro, has emerged as a contender.

Some traditional politicians were presenting themselves as outsiders "because that's a good thing to do in term of popularity, but they are insiders," Mackie said.

"An outsider needs to ally with a party that has a machinery. You need to have a political movement behind you," she added.

Eurasia said Mexico "is headed towards its most uncertain and consequential elections in decades on 1 July."

A leftwing candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, appears best placed for a win right now, it said.

A former mayor of Mexico City, Lopez Obrador is aiming for the presidency after a long political career. He has spurned the traditional leftwing PRD party to start the Movement for National Regeneration, known as Morena.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, seen here at an event in Cuba this month,
 leads the country with the region's worst economic crisis but analysts predict he will
win re-election next year in a tightly controlled process

Tilt to the right

The victory of conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera as president-elect in Chile after a mid-December runoff has confirmed a general right-leaning tilt to the region, building on the stewardship of Mauricio Macri in Argentina, Michel Temer in Brazil and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in Peru.

But for Estrada, "it's not really a question of left or right -- it's just the government that had been in place, on the left, had flagged, which encouraged the parties on the right. What happened was a phenomenon of alternation."

More than political labels, 2018 will be decided by economic issues "because the economy is doing badly," he said.

"With a few notable exceptions, the policy and economic outlook for Latin America looks set to continue improving in 2018," Eurasia's report said.

But political dynamics could determine whether that "positive trend slows or, in some countries, is derailed," it said.

Eurasia predicted that in Venezuela, the Latin American country with the most severe economic problems, President Nicolas Maduro "will likely remain in office and win the presidential election in a tightly controlled process."

But, it added: "The government will also likely stumble into default, further complicating an already bleak economic outlook."


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Obama warns of social media dangers, in interview with Prince Harry

Yahoo – AFP, December 27, 2017

The interview was recorded in Toronto in September on the sidelines of the
 Invictus Games, the athletic tournament created by Harry for wounded former
soldiers. (AFP Photo/HO)

London (AFP) - Former US President Barack Obama told Britain's Prince Harry he was concerned social media was "corroding civil discourse", in what he said was his first interview since leaving the White House, aired Wednesday.

"One of the dangers of the internet is that people can have entirely different realities," he told the prince, who was guest editing BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"They can be cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases. Things aren't as simple as they've been portrayed in whatever chat room you've been in," he added.

"The question has to do with how do we harness this technology in a way that allows a multiplicity of voices, allows a diversity of views, but doesn't lead to a Balkanisation of society and allows ways of finding common ground."

The interview was recorded in Toronto, Canada, in September on the sidelines of the Invictus Games, the athletic tournament created by Harry for wounded former soldiers.

Despite admitting concern over the future of the US, Obama, who did not mention his successor Donald Trump by name, said he felt a sense of "serenity" on leaving the White House.

"There was a sense that we had run a good race," he added.

On his new routine, Obama told the prince: "I wake up later, it's wonderful to be able to control your day."

The prince opened the discussion by saying: "This is the first interview you've said 'yes' to doing since you handed over the reins", to which Obama replied: "that's true".

Harry is due to marry his US actress girlfriend Megan Markle on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle near London.

According to British press reports, civil servants are concerned that a wedding invite from the couple to Obama could cause a further rift between Britain and Trump following a series of high-profile spats.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Pope's Christmas message seeks peace in Jerusalem

Yahoo - AFP, Catherine MARCIANO, 25 December 2017

Pope Francis kisses a figurine of baby Jesus during a mass on Christmas eve

Pope Francis in his traditional Christmas address on Monday called for peace in Jerusalem and highlighted the plight of children scarred by conflict, having earlier urged the world's Catholics not to ignore the conditions migrants face.

Tens of thousands of worshippers gathered at the Vatican to hear the pontiff's fifth "Urbi et Orbi" (To the City and The World) message. It was delivered hours after a Christmas Eve mass where he spoke on how migrants had been "driven from their land" because of leaders willing to shed "innocent blood".

On Monday, Francis's message sought "peace for Jerusalem and for all the Holy Land.

"We see Jesus in the children of the Middle East who continue to suffer because of growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians," he said.

"Let us pray that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two states within mutually agreed and internationally recognised borders."

The pontiff's plea came as fresh tensions simmered in the Israeli-occupied West Bank after US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Following Trump's declaration, Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales said Sunday his country would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Pope Francis gives his fifth "Urbi et Orbi" (To the City and The World) Christas message

Trump's announcement on December 6 triggered demonstrations and clashes, including in Bethlehem in the West Bank where Christians marked the birth of Jesus at a midnight mass.

"May the Lord also sustain the efforts of all those in the international community inspired by good will to help that afflicted land to find, despite grave obstacles the harmony, justice and security that it has long awaited," the pope said.

The pontiff also mentioned other global flashpoints such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, South Sudan and Venezuela, after stressing that the "winds of war are blowing in our world".

"Let us pray that confrontation may be overcome on the Korean peninsula and that mutual trust may increase in the interest of the world as a whole," the 81-year-old said.

Fewer tourists in Bethlehem

Earlier, celebrating midnight mass in the ancient town, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, used his homily to lambast the wars that "the Herods of today fight every day to become greater, to occupy more space".

Criticising Trump's announcement, Pizzaballa insisted "Jerusalem is a city of peace, there is not peace if someone is excluded. Jerusalem should include, not exclude," stressing the principle that the city is for both peoples and the three Abrahamic faiths.

Hundreds had gathered in the cold on Bethlehem's Manger Square to watch the annual scout parade towards the Church of the Nativity, built over the spot where tradition says Mary gave birth to Jesus.

But the square was noticeably quieter following recent violence between Palestinian protesters and the Israeli army.

Twelve Palestinians have been killed since Trump's declaration, including a 19-year-old who died of his wounds on Sunday nine days after he was shot during a Gaza protest.

Iraqis clergymen attend a Christmas Eve mass at Saint Paul's church in the country's 
second city Mosul

Israel seized east Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed it, in moves never recognised by the international community.

Palestinians view east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, and interpreted Trump's statement as rejecting their right to a capital in east Jerusalem, although the Americans deny this.

First Xmas in Homs in years

Christmas decorations have meanwhile become more visible in Christian areas of Syria's capital Damascus this year.

In the central Syrian city of Homs, Christians will celebrate Christmas with great fanfare for the first time in years after the end of battles between regime and rebel forces -- with processions, shows for children and even decorations among the ruins.

In Iraq too, this year marks a positive turning point for the Christian community in the northern city of Mosul.

In Europe, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II paid tribute to the cities of London and Manchester which this year suffered what she called "appalling" terror attacks.

"This Christmas, I think of London and Manchester, whose powerful identities shone through over the past 12 months," the 91-year-old monarch said in the pre-recorded televised message.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Israelis protest corruption in Netanyahu's government for fourth week

For the first time right-wing government allies joined anti-corruption rallies in Israel. Netanyahu is being investigated in two corruption probes that could take down his government.

Deutsche Welle, 24 December 2017


Several thousand Israelis protested against corruption in Tel Aviv for the fourth consecutive Saturday and called for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to step down.

In Jerusalem, hundreds of protesters also attended a right-wing anti-corruption rally with speakers including former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.

Corruption "is a greater danger than the Iranian threat, (Lebanese movement) Hezbollah, (Palestinian movement) Hamas or the Islamic State" group, Yaalon said. "Corruption is a disease, a disease that must be healed by electing and appointing honest people."

It was the first time right-wing protesters in Jerusalem, some supporters of Netanyahu's Likud Party, joined anti-corruption rallies that have so far been attended mostly by leftist and centrist critics of the right-wing prime minister.

Former defense minister Moshe Yaalon
addresses a right-wing demonstration
 against corruption.
Netanyahu has been questioned seven times in the past year in two corruption probes, which he says are part of a witch hunt carried out by his opponents.

If indicted, the four-term prime minister would be under pressure to resign or call new elections.

Corruption allegations swirling around Netanyahu

The first investigation, known as Case 1000, involves allegations that Netanyahu received cigars, champagne, cash and other gifts from Israeli-born Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer. The case also implicates his wife Sara and son Yair.

Netanyahu has said the gifts were tokens of friendship, and that no favors were done in exchange.

The second investigation, known as Case 2000, involves allegations that Netanyahu sought to negotiate positive coverage with the owner of Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper in exchange for cutting circulation of the pro-Netanyahu Israel Hayom.

The free circulation Israel Hayom has become Israel's largest newspaper and is backed by US casino magnate and major political donor Sheldon Adelson.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the chance of an indictment against Netanyahu in Case 2000 increased after the prime minister's former aide, Ari Harow, turned state's witness.

Police have seized Harow's phone, which had recordings of conversations between Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes, the publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth.

Several people close to Netanyahu have been implicated in other corruption scandals, including the so-called "Submarine Affair" and another involving the Communications Ministry and telecom giant Bezeq.

Anti-government protests drawing upwards of 10,000 protestors started in Tel Aviv earlier this month after Netanyahu's allies drew up legislation that would block Israel's police from publishing findings and issuing recommendations to the prosecutor's office on indictments related to public officials.

Under pressure, Netanyahu was forced to make changes to the controversial draft bill critics say is designed to shield him from ongoing corruption investigations.

cw/bk (AP/AFP)

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Callista Gingrich takes over as US ambassador to Vatican

Yahoo – AFP, December 22, 2017

Wearing a traditional black mantilla, Callista Gingrich presented her credentials to
Pope Francis at the Vatican before officially beginning her new role (AFP Photo/HO)

Vatican City (AFP) - Callista Gingrich, wife of the former House speaker Newt Gingrich, on Friday began her duties as the new US ambassador to the Vatican.

Wearing a traditional black mantilla, she presented her credentials to Pope Francis at the Vatican before officially taking on her role.

The appointment carries some controversy: she is the former speaker's third wife, and had an affair with him when she was a young congressional aide named Callista Bisek and he was still married to his second wife.

In 1999 Gingrich divorced his second wife and the pair married the following year. She is credited with her husband's conversion to Catholicism.

Newt Gingrich was one of the few big-name Republicans to support Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

A self-described devout Catholic, Callista Gingrich hopes to work with the Vatican to "defend human rights, advance religious freedom and combat human trafficking," according to a statement released by the US embassy.

On Thursday she and her husband attended the funeral of disgraced American Cardinal Bernard Law at the Vatican.

Law, a once-senior church figure, was forced to resign in 2002 after revelations he failed to stop paedophile priests in one of the biggest crises in American Catholicism. He had been serving in a low-key position in a Rome basilica.

Callista Gingrich, a 51-year-old businesswoman, currently heads Gingrich Productions, a multimedia company and has written a series of children's books.

Related Article:


Pete Hoekstra with president Donald Trump. Photo: Facebook

Monday, December 18, 2017

Revealed: the Pentagon's secret UFO-hunting program

Yahoo – AFP, 17 December 2017

The Pentagon says its UFO-hunting program wound down five years ago, but
the New York Times reported it is still in operation

The Pentagon has acknowledged funding a secret multi-million dollar program to investigate sightings of UFOs.

The shadowy program ended in 2012, according to the Defense Department, but the New York Times reported that it is still up and running -- with officials continuing to study incidents brought to their attention by US military service members while performing their regular duties at the Pentagon.

The so-called Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program operated from 2007 to 2012 and had $22 million a year in funding tucked away in the Pentagon's gargantuan budget, the Times said, quoting program participants and records.

The program yielded documents describing sightings of unidentified flying aircraft that apparently moved very fast with no visible sign of propulsion or hovered with no apparent means of lift, the Times said.

Program officials also examined video of encounters between unknown objects and US military aircraft.

This included one released in August of a whitish oval object about the size of a jetliner, being pursued by two Navy fighter jets from an aircraft carrier off the California coast in 2004, the paper added.

The Department of Defense said in a statement the program is now over.

"The Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program ended in the 2012 timeframe. It was determined that there were other, higher priority issues that merited funding and it was in the best interest of the DoD to make a change," it said.

It added: "The DoD takes seriously all threats and potential threats to our people, our assets, and our mission and takes action whenever credible information is developed."

The program was initially funded at the request of then Senator Harry Reid, the chamber's majority leader at the time and a long-time enthusiast of space phenomena, the Times said.

Most of the money in the program went to an aerospace research company run by Robert Bigelow, a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Reid, the Times said.

"If anyone says they have the answers, they're fooling themselves," Reid, who retired from Congress last year, said in a tweet Saturday night.

"We don't know the answers but we have plenty of evidence to support asking the questions. This is about science and national security. If America doesn't take the lead in answering these questions, others will," Reid wrote.




Related Articles:

CIA Releases Secret UFO Files - Including Spaceships Over Britain In 1962


In this Nov. 19, 2014 file photo, Counselor to the President John Podesta speaks in
 Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. In the year that will pass before the 2016
campaign for president formally kicks off with the votes in the Iowa Caucus, any
 number of candidates, donors, political operatives — and people who have nothing
 to do with American politics — will shape the race for the White House. (AP Photo/
Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

"... Question Three: Is there life on other planets?

Are you kidding? There's life everywhere. Everywhere! Right now, your scientists are searching for microbial life on all the planets and their moons in your solar system, and they will eventually find it. They expect to find it. They will eventually understand that the seeds of life are everywhere.

How much life might there be? How long has it been "out there"? When science starts to realize the scope of how long life has been in your galaxy, they will begin to see something counterintuitive to evolution - their own Human history. How old is your Universe? Ask your scientists and they will say about 13 billion years. That's OK. Let's use their numbers. How old is your own planet - 4 or 5 billion, perhaps? Correct. But how old is humanity? Why weren't you here with the dinosaurs? You think the earth wasn't ready? Do you think that perhaps that which controls evolution was a little too stupid to make a Human sooner, but the process could make a dinosaur? Have you ever thought about these things?

If you put the earth's entire history into a 24-hour clock, life itself only started in the last hour and humanity, all of civilization, happened the last few seconds. Isn't that odd to you? Therefore, in a Universe that may be 13 billion years old, you arrived in the last few seconds. Did you ever think maybe you're the newest ones on the block? Well, you'd be right.

If the Universe is really that old, do you think perhaps there are civilizations in your galaxy that might be a billion or more years older than you? If that's the case, do you think perhaps they have gone through anything you're going through? Do you think any of them might have had your DNA attributes? Perhaps they also went through what you are going through spiritually? Perhaps they even went into a quantum ascension status? The answer is dozens of them.

You already know them and you've listed them in your publications. The ones who directly seeded you are called Pleiadians. The ones who seeded them might be Octurian and the ones who seeded them may be even Orion. They're everywhere, and they're all here as well. They're looking at you, for you are the ones who are next, and you are passing this marker of the shift.

Oh, dear ones, it's going to be a long time before you really know any of these things to be your reality. The first step is peace on Earth. The next is a new kind of Human evolution that is going to increase your DNA efficiency to 100% and you're going to live a long time. Every time I say that, there are Humans in their intellectual mind saying, "Well, there is a geometric birth rate going on. We're not going to make it. It's going to over-crowd and we are going to run out of food. So what you're saying, Kryon, can't be a good thing. We're all going to be suffering and killing each other for food."

Let me address this, for if that is your thought, Human, you are assuming Humans are stupid and haven't figured out what's going on and why there's so much birth. You assume they can't control it because they haven't figured it out? I want to tell you, you're going to see something you didn't expect. You're going to see a decline in birth rate because Humans are smart and they're getting smarter. They're going to see that quality of life is linked to the number of children they have, and they're going to figure out the solution. It won't be how many children their church says they should have. They are going to do it intuitively. You're going to see it sooner than not.

You are going to see wisdom on the planet in many areas that no sociologist would ever have predicted. You will surprise them all, and it's going to happen without a government program. It's going to happen because you decide you want it. It's going to happen collectively, and you may even see it soon. Look for negative birth rates in first-world countries. Where Humans are able to see a larger picture and have freedom of information, the situation will not be what you have predicted.

Is there life on other planets? The scientists are saying, "It's going to be a long time before we get to the stars, you know? We have to get in this little metal can and put air in it, and then travel in it for years and years before we ever get to the next star." Meanwhile, a Pleiadian can do it in the blink of an eye! What do you think is going on there? Do you even believe me?

Not long ago, if you wanted to communicate to someone far away, you sent a letter. It was carried by a horse. It took a month to get a response. Now you communicate instantly!  Why is this so unbelievable to you about travel?

I will tell you, as long as you stay in 3D, you'll still be getting in little metal cans and air suits and going to planets. As soon as you begin the quantum age, however, you will simply wish yourself there, because you will be entangled with everything and can go with intent. If you don't believe this now, you will later, for what I give you is true. It may be lifetimes and lifetimes from now, but the group that is before me is the group that is going to come back over and over and over. The difference is that you're done coming back in an old energy. This is a new energy. ..”