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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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Doomed teen Ben Breedlove shares life after death experiences on YouTube

Rawstory, by Agence France-Presse, Friday, December 30, 2011 

Ben Breedlove
CHICAGO — A week before Ben Breedlove died of a heart attack, the Texas teenager posted a remarkable video describing the peace and bright lights he’d found the other times his heart stopped. 

Breedlove, 18, tells his story with simple note cards and the occasional smile, sitting close to the camera and stepping back just once to show the scar from when a pacemaker was implanted to help his troubled heart.

It is a remarkably hopeful video, though Breedlove also describes the fear he lived with after being born with a serious heart condition and disappointment that he could not play sports and “be the same as everyone else.” 

“The first time I cheated death was when I was 4,” one of the cards said.

Breedlove had a seizure and as nurses rushed him down a hospital hallway, he told his mother of the bright light overhead.

She said she couldn’t see anything, but he felt his fear and worries washed away and couldn’t help smiling.

“I can’t even describe the peace, how peaceful it was,” he wrote. “I will NEVER forget that feeling or that day.”

Breedlove nearly died again a few months ago when his heart stopped during a routine surgery to remove his tonsils.

“It was a miracle that they brought me back,” he wrote. “I was scared to die but am SO glad I didn’t.”

Breedlove’s heart stopped again on December 6. He was at his Austin high school and sat down on a bench after feeling like he was going to faint.

He passed out and when he woke up, he couldn’t talk or move. He could only watch and listen as paramedics put shock pads on his chest.

He heard them say that his heart had stopped and that he had no pulse, which he explains by the fact that “when people’s bodies ‘die’ the brain still works for a short time.”

“I really thought to myself, this is it, I’m dying,” he wrote.

“The next thing that happened I’m not sure if it was a dream or vision. But while I was still unconscious I was in this white room. No walls, it just went on and on…”

He found himself standing with his favorite rapper, Kid Cudi, and they were both dressed in really nice suits.

“Why he was the only one there with me, I’m still trying to figure out,” Breedlove wrote.

“I had that same feeling, I couldn’t stop smiling. I then looked at myself in the mirror and I was proud of MYSELF. Of my entire life, everything I have done. IT WAS THE BEST feeling.”

Kid Cudi put his hand on his shoulder and then Breedlove’s favorite song came on, the part where Cudi raps “when will this fantasy end… when will the heaven begin?”

Cudi told him “Go now” and Breedlove woke up.

After viewing the video, the rapper said he broke down in tears watching it.

“This has really touched my heart in a way I cant describe, this is why I do what I do. Why I write my life, and why I love you all so much,” Kid Cudi wrote on his blog.

“I know Ben is at Peace, and I hope he gets a chance to sit and talk with my Dad.”

Breedlove ended his video with four final cards: “I didn’t want to leave that place. I wish I NEVER woke up. Do you believe in angels or God? I Do.”

Breedlove died at Christmas and his family said in his death notice that it was a gift from God.

“We know the Lord used the amazing life of our precious son to reach a weary world on Christmas night, just as He did over 2000 years ago with his own Son,” they wrote, and urged people to find the video that Breedlove posted on YouTube on December 18.






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Changes after returning from near death


Near Death Experience of a Neurosurgeon: A must watch!




"Perceptions of God" – June 6, 2010 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Quantum TeachingThe Fear of God, Near-death Experience, God Becomes Mythology, Worship, Mastery, Intelligent Design, Benevolent Creator,Global Unity.... etc.(Text version)

“… When a Human almost dies, they get close to the veil, very close. They are ever so close to the creator's energy and just barely touched by it. When their heart was stopping and their breathing was almost gone, before they were brought back to life with science, they got to touch the hand of God for just an instant. What they saw was magnificent! The energy before them was filled with love and light, filled with family, filled with beauty. There was no strife there. There was no punishment there or even the hint of it. And when they came back from that experience, listen to what they told you. It changed their lives, didn't it? Listen to each one talk about it, for they continued to say, "There is nothing to fear and death is something you experience as a normal transition." Blessed is the Human Being who experiences both death and birth and has the wisdom to report, "Oh, it's uncomfortable, but I'll get through it, because I've done it before." The person who has experienced a near-death experience is no longer afraid to die! What does that tell you? They have seen what is there and they embrace it! …”

Fox asks: Did the Jews kill Jesus?

RT.com, 30 December, 2011

http://thechristianwallpapers.com

Fox Latin America is being forced to apologize after Rupert Murdoch’s Spanish-language outlet added a questionable poll to its Facebook page as part of a failed promotion.

In an outlandish effort to promote a Christmas special this year on the National Geographic Channel, a Fox Latin America staffer asked fans on the group’s Facebook page, "Who do you think is responsible for the death of Christ?”

The options were Pontius Pilate, High Priests and “Jewish People.” Needless to say, this didn’t go over well with a decent number of Fox’s audience.

In the past, Fox has been called out for its criticism with Muslims and its misrepresenting of followers of Islam, and regularly considered a supporter of Judeo-Christian beliefs. The poll that made it to the network’s Facebook page suggests that a new religion might be on the hit-list for the Latin American branch of the News Corp empire, however.

Fox Spokeswoman Guadalupe Lucero immediately apologized to those offended by the error and assures the network’s Facebook followers that it would be the last time such a gaffe was given the go-ahead. The Simon Weisenthal Center, a Jewish advocacy group based out of Buenos Aires, says it isn’t that easy to dimiss, however. In a statement to the Associated Press, the group calls the inclusion of Jews in the answer pool a reference to outdated Catholic propaganda that characterizes Jewish people as the killers of Jesus Christ. That campaign, says the center, "resulted in the persecution and murder of Jews for two millennia."

Pope Benedict XVI has criticized the Catholic Church for the campaign himself, and in his book Jesus of Nazareth Part II he says there is no wording in the Bible that singles out the Jews for the killing of Christ.

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(Subjects: Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

" .. If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening...."


"Perceptions of God" – June 6, 2010 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Quantum Teaching, The Fear of God, Near-death Experience, God Becomes Mythology, Worship, Mastery, Intelligent Design, Benevolent Creator,Global Unity.... etc.(Text version)

Friday, December 30, 2011

US Banks can't keep up with foreclosures anymore

RT.com, 30 December, 2011

Spencer Platt / Getty Images / AFP

With an economy in ruins, how many foreclosures do banks have to deal with nowadays? Enough that the process of dealing with homeowners in default is taking years to complete.

As a result, more and more Americans are learning that if mortgage payments are becoming too much of a burden on the old bank account, a new surefire way to curb the bills is to simply foreclose. The wave of foreclosures has swept so many homeowners into default that banks can’t deal with the droves of customers and the unfortunate filers for foreclosure are finding a positive side to the depressing ordeal.

Homeowners are quickly realizing that the foreclosure processes — in all of its complicated glory made seemingly impossible by red tape and written forms — could take upwards of two years’ time to go through. In the interim, Americans are foregoing mortgage payments and living scot free while they wait for the banks to catch up on their calling it quits.

Now it seems like the best way to buy a home is to buy your time with the banks.

With the average foreclosure taking 631 days to go through, homeowners are learning that they can stay sheltered for upwards of two years even with the banks aware. While waiting for the paperwork to go through, homeowners are learning that banks aren’t apt to approach them for missing payments if the foreclosure process is almost finalized either.

"It is happening and it's happening more frequently," Chantay Bridges, a senior real estate specialist with Clear Choice Realty & Associates, tells Business Insider. "They know they have a least a year (for the foreclosure to go through), at minimum, and people are taking advantage of it."

With the US economy in shambles, living mortgage-free while planning ahead, even if for a few months, is one of the only breaks homeowners can get. In exchange often, the only sacrifice is a few points on a credit score.

“The longer I’m in foreclosure, the longer I’m able to save and look towards the future, and after my foreclosure,” Alex Gregg told ABC News last year. Gregg made that comment 19 months after beginning to have the banks foreclose on his home near St. Petersburg, Florida.

Florida has among the highest foreclosure rates in America, with homes in Miami-Dade County foreclosing at about a rate of 1 in 181. Roughly a dozen other counties in the southern state have rates around or under 1 in 300.

More people like Gregg are learning the tricks of the trade thanks to people that are publicizing the way around foreclosure — or at least the ways to prolong the process as long as possible. YouWalkAway.com instructs clients on how to work their way through the foreclosure process, and foreclosure defense attorneys such as Mark Stopa will tell clients to stay put while he fights for them in court.

“If you hire a lawyer such as myself to defend a case, then the process can take longer because a lawyer can force a bank to prove its case,” Stopa told ABC News last year. Stopa runs a similar website to the one above called StayInMyHome.com. There Stopa writes, “[J]ust because you can't pay your mortgage doesn't mean you have to leave your home.Just because the bank mails you a letter or files suit against you doesn't mean you need to leave your home.You don't need to leave your home unless and until the bank wins a foreclosure lawsuit against you.”

Around 40 percent of homeowners in default have been occupying their homes for free for at least two years, adds CNN.

Obama campaign chief rejects $1 billion goal

Reuters, by Eric Johnson, CHICAGO, Thu Dec 29, 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama looks back as he boards the Air Force One
 at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington December 23, 2011. Obama is
travelling to Hawaii for the end-of-year holidays. (Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed)

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama's campaign manager on Thursday rejected speculation that the president's 2012 re-election effort will raise $1 billion, saying the goal is to build a "real grassroots" operation.

Democratic Party and Obama campaign officials have railed for months against the notion that the campaign aims to raise $1 billion to finance the president's re-election effort. But a Democratic official said earlier this year the goal was in excess of about $750 million, the record sum Obama collected in 2008 for his first presidential campaign.

The Obama campaign has identified more than 40 ways to get the electoral votes necessary to win the November 2012 election against the eventual Republican nominee, campaign chief Jim Messina said in a video to supporters. The video presented strategies for collecting the 270 electoral votes that Obama needs to win the election.

"People have speculated that this is a billion dollar campaign. That's bullshit," said Messina, a former White House deputy chief of staff who has been described as having a short temper.

"We don't take PAC (political action committee) money unlike our opponents. We fund this campaign in contributions of three dollars or five dollars or whatever you can do to help us expand the map, to put more people on the ground, to build a real grassroots campaign that is going to be the difference between winning and losing," Messina added.

The Obama campaign excelled at persuading small donors to contribute in 2008 when he won the White House, and Obama was keeping that up so far in his 2012 re-election bid with about 98 percent of donations in increments of $250 or less, the campaign said in mid-October when it last filed its quarterly fund-raising figures.

The campaign and Democrats do rely on big-money donations, with 357 top fundraisers directing at least $55.9 million toward Obama's re-election effort, money that goes into the coffers of his campaign as well as the Democratic National Committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The campaign does benefit from a PAC, called Priorities USA Action, which was formed in April by former White House spokesman Bill Burton and former White House aide Sean Sweeney. The PAC raises money and conducts supporter and media outreach to benefit the campaign.

Together with the Democratic National Committee, the campaign has raised roughly $155 million through the end of September. The campaign seeks to raise $60 million in the final three months of 2011 to benefit the re-election bid and the Democratic party, a campaign official said last week.

If it hits that public goal, which is expected, they will end a non-election year having raised more than $200 million dollars without a specific Republican nominee to provide the contrast the campaign will use to rally supporters.

In an email to supporters on Thursday, Messina said "chatter from the other side about the President's so-called 'billion-dollar war chest'" is designed to turn people off from politics and tell supporters small-dollar donations do not matter.

"Here's the truth: $3 and $10 donations have powered this organization from the start," Messina said as the campaign tries to meet its end-of-year fundraising goals by Saturday. "And we measure our success not by how many dollars we raise, but by how many people are inspired to own a piece of this campaign."

(Reporting By Eric Johnson)

Related Articles:

"The New Paradigm of Reality" Part I/II – Feb 12, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (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 Internet - The first Worldwide Tool of Unification ("The End of History")

" ... Now I give you something that few think about: What do you think the Internet is all about, historically? Citizens of all the countries on Earth can talk to one another without electronic borders. The young people of those nations can all see each other, talk to each other, and express opinions. No matter what the country does to suppress it, they're doing it anyway. They are putting together a network of consciousness, of oneness, a multicultural consciousness. It's here to stay. It's part of the new energy. The young people know it and are leading the way.... "

" ... I gave you a prophecy more than 10 years ago. I told you there would come a day when everyone could talk to everyone and, therefore, there could be no conspiracy. For conspiracy depends on separation and secrecy - something hiding in the dark that only a few know about. Seen the news lately? What is happening? Could it be that there is a new paradigm happening that seems to go against history?... " Read More …. "The End of History"- Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

No trial delay for accused Ponzi schemer Stanford

Reuters, Wed Dec 28, 2011

Texas billionaire Allen Stanford flashes a ''thumb up'' as he leaves the
 Federal courthouse in Houston, Texas June 26, 2009, in the custody
of a US Marshal. (Credit: Reuters/Steve Campbell)

(Reuters) - Allen Stanford, accused of running a $7.2 billion Ponzi scheme, on Wednesday lost his bid for a three-month delay in his criminal fraud trial, clearing the way for jury selection to begin on January 23.

District Judge David Hittner said the public interest in a speedy trial was "particularly acute," citing the allegations that Stanford deceived thousands of investors into buying certificates of deposit from his Antiguan bank, resulting in billions of dollars of losses.

The Houston-based judge also noted that Stanford has been in pre-trial detention for 2-1/2 years since his arrest.

"This case needs to be tried," Hittner wrote.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York)

Russia scolds United States for human rights abuse

Reuters, MOSCOW,  Wed Dec 28, 2011

A demonstrator protests against
Guantanamo  Bay prison during a Stop
the War rally in Trafalgar Square, 
central London October 8, 2011.
 (Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor)
(Reuters) - Russia sought to undermine the authority of the United States as a global judge of human rights on Wednesday with Moscow's first report to detail allegations of torture, phone tapping and abuse by the U.S. government.

Criticizing the United States for double standards, Russia said President Barack Obama had failed to shut the military prison at Guantanamo Bay and accused the White House of sheltering officials and CIA operatives from prosecution.

The Foreign Ministry's report "On the situation with human rights in a host of world states," follows China's example in highlighting U.S. failings in an attempt to counter U.S. State Department criticism of domestic human rights abuses.

"The situation in the United States is far from the ideals proclaimed by Washington," Russia's foreign ministry said in a 63-page report posted on its www.mid.ru Web site. "The main unresolved problem is the odious prison in Guantanamo Bay."

"The White House and the Justice Department shelter from prosecution CIA operatives and highly placed officials who are responsible for mass and flagrant breaches of human rights," it said.

Every year since 1976, the U.S. Department of State has published a detailed report on the state of human rights in the world, often with scathing analyses of abuses in China and Russia.

Washington scolded Russia for "governmental and societal human rights problems and abuses during the year" in its report published in April.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton angered Prime Minister Vladimir Putin this month by suggesting that Russia's parliamentary elections were neither free nor fair.

Russia's counter-report is unlikely to harm ties with its former Cold War foe, though Obama's attempt to forge more friendly ties with the Kremlin has cooled since Vladimir Putin said in September he planned to run in the March presidential election.

"These kinds of human rights reports can be a useful mechanism," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

"We certainly don't regard it as interference in our internal affairs when foreign governments, individuals or organizations comment on or criticize U.S. human rights practices."

Russia also criticized European Union countries for the treatment of religious minorities and Britain in particular for breaching human rights in the wake of August's riots.

The report focused on the United States and European countries, mentioning China only once and then in passing.

(Additional reporting by Andrew Quinn; Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by MatthewJones)

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Johnson seeks Libertarian nomination for president

Reuters, SANTA FE, NM, Wed Dec 28, 2011

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson
 speaks during the Republican Party of Florida
 presidential candidates debate in Orlando,
 Florida September 22, 2011. (Credit: Reuters
 / Phelan M. Ebenhack/Pool)
(Reuters) - Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson said on Wednesday he is dropping out of the Republican presidential race and is seeking the Libertarian Party nomination for president.

"We are getting fed up with the two-party system," Johnson said at a news conference at the state capitol in Santa Fe, where he was joined by some 50 supporters and by Libertarian Party chairman Mark Hinkle.

Democrats, Johnson said, have backed off on social issues such as gay rights and Republicans "are no longer stewards of the pocketbook."

Johnson said that he'd been "snubbed by the Republican Party" and ignored by the national media.

As a long-shot candidate for president, Johnson had proposed cutting government spending, reducing taxes and legalizing marijuana.

As governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, Johnson vetoed so many bills -- some 750 -- that he was later nicknamed "Governor Veto."

Hinkle did not endorse Johnson, but the Libertarian Party released a statement welcoming Johnson to the party and commending him for "stopping the expansion of Big Government" when he was governor.

Johnson, a mountain climber, skier and bicyclist, lives in Taos.

He said he hopes that by running as a Libertarian he will get more press coverage and "catch a little fire."

(Reporting by Dennis Carroll; Writing by Corrie MacLaggan; Editing by Jerry Norton)


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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Shimon Peres urges Israelis to rally against extremism

BBC News, 27 December 2011

Related Stories 

Many of those at the protest were teenage girls
Israel's president has urged Israelis to rally against ultra-Orthodox Jewish extremism in what he called a fight for the "soul of the nation".

Shimon Peres was speaking as activists gathered to protest in the town of Beit Shemesh against the way some ultra-Orthodox Jews treat women.

There have been two days of clashes in the town after a girl said she had been harassed on her way to school.

Some ultra-Orthodox in Beit Shemesh are seeking to segregate men and women.

Mr Peres said today was a "test for the nation", not just the police.

"The entire nation must be recruited in order to save the majority from the hands of a small minority," Mr Peres said.

He said the demonstration was a defence of the "character" of the state of Israel "against a minority which breaks our national solidarity".

'Afraid to go to school' 

Ultra-Orthodox Jews clashed with
police  in the Israeli town of Beit
Shemesh, near Jerusalem
Anger spilled over after an eight-year-old American girl, Naama Margolese, said she was afraid to walk to school in the town because ultra-Orthodox men shouted at her.

"When I walk to school in the morning, I used to get a tummy ache because I was so scared... that they were going to stand and start yelling and spitting," she said in a subsequent interview with The Associated Press on Monday.

In his statement, Mr Peres said: "No person has the right to threaten a girl, a woman or any person in any way. They are not the lords of this land."

Dozens, many holding placards, have gathered outside the Orot girls' school, attended by the eight-year-old.

Women have reported similar incidents in the town of 100,000, some 18 miles (30km) south-west of Jerusalem.

Sarit Ramon described the situation in the town, where religiously observant immigrants live alongside Israelis embracing a more modern lifestyle, as having been "catastrophic for years".

"When I told that I was spat at a year and a half ago, people raised an eyebrow, and that was about it," she told Reuters.

Microcosm

Ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel 

- Ultra-orthodox Jews account for just
under 10% of Israel's population

- Rapidly growing community due to a 
high birth rate - meaning this proportion
is set to double within next 20 years

- Beit Shemesh, which lies about 30 km
(18 miles)to the west of Jerusalem, is a
city of about 100,000;Ultra-orthodox Jews
account for about half of the population 
Alisa Coleman told the BBC that she had
been called a prostitute when dressed in
a short-sleeved T-shirt and a skirt.
Though underlining that this behaviour was carried out by only a tiny proportion of the community, she said what was happening in Beit Shemesh was "a microcosm of what's happening in the whole country".

On Monday, one police officer was slightly hurt and a number of Orthodox Jews were detained after a group of some 300 ultra-Orthodox residents pelted police with stones and eggs in an incident reportedly triggered after police tried to remove a sign ordering segregation.

A television crew attempting to film in the town were surrounded and harassed - the second alleged attack on journalists in as many days.

On Sunday, a crew from Channel 2 news, which originally aired Naama Margolese's story, were attacked as they were filming, say reports, with rocks allegedly thrown at their van.

After Monday's clashes, unnamed ultra-Orthodox activists from Beit Shemesh issued a statement condemning the violence, but also accusing the media of initiating "deliberate provocations in order to make the peaceful, quiet and tolerant residents, who live their lives according to their beliefs, look bad".

Such clashes have become more frequent in Israel in recent years as the authorities have challenged efforts by ultra-Orthodox Jews to segregate women in public places.

The BBC's Jon Donnison, in Jerusalem, says the events have highlighted what is a growing religious divide in Israel.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews make up 10% of the population in Israel. The community has a high birth rate and is growing rapidly.



The ultra-Orthodox make up 10 percent of Israel’s population of 7.5 million,but are increasing rapidly amid a growing backlash to the privileges and subsidies long granted to the ultra-religious.
(Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times)