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
"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, August 31, 2013

US Supreme Court's Ruth Bader Ginsburg to perform gay wedding

BBC News, 31 August 2013

Related Stories

In June Mrs Ginsburg voted to overturn
 a federal law banning recognition of
same-sex marriages
US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is poised to become the first judge on the country's highest court to perform a same-sex marriage.

Mrs Ginsburg, 80, officiates this weekend at the wedding of Michael Kaiser, 59, president of the Kennedy Center performing arts space, and economist John Roberts, 32.

Mr Kaiser is a personal friend of hers.

In June, the Supreme Court overturned a law that banned recognition of same-sex marriages by the US government.

The ruling granted legally married gay men and women access to the same federal entitlements available to opposite-sex married couples.

Mrs Ginsburg, who was appointed to the nine-member high court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, voted in the majority in that case.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in 13 states and Washington DC, and since the court's decision, the federal government under President Barack Obama has taken several steps to grant same-sex marriage couples the same legal status as opposite-sex couples.

The ceremony will take place at the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Associated Press reports.

Mrs Ginsburg told the Washington Post newspaper she believed none of the Supreme Court justices had been asked previously to conduct a same-sex ceremony for fear it would compromise their ability to hear a case on the issue.

Related Articles:

Dutch polish tax image, to 'update' treaties with 23 poor countries

DutchNews.nl, Saturday 31 August 2013

(ANP)
The Netherlands is to update its tax treaties with 23 poor countries to include provisions to stop the system being abused, foreign trade minister Lilian Ploumen and junior tax minister Frans Weekers announced on Friday.

The move follows several reports showing that developing countries are missing out of millions of euros in tax income because of tax avoidance treaties with the Netherlands.

For example, a report in June by multinational research institute Sono said ‘28 [poor] countries together lose €771m on dividend and interest tax income alone every year,’ because of Dutch tax treaties.

The Netherlands has tax treaties with 90 countries. 'By making use of loopholes in tax treaties... companies can avoid paying tax,' the ministerial briefing said. 'This means poor countries miss out on tax revenue, funds they clearly need to pay for instrastructure and education.'

Worldwide

Weekers said the Netherlands alone cannot stop this happening and the issue needs to be tackled at a global level, following consultations with the OECD, G20 and EU.

In particular, the Netherlands plans to renegotiate a treaty with Zambia, which dates from 1977 and is 'outdated', the briefing said.

The most significant measure planned by the cabinet is to ensure letter box companies are more substantive and transparent, the Financieele Dagblad said.

They will need to have their own assets, a bank account, an accountant and the majority of the management board should live in the Netherlands. The company must also carry out actual economic activity.

The cabinet hopes these measures will head off criticism about shell companies locating in the Netherlands purely to take advantage of tax treaties.

Press release (English)

Earlier stories

Offshore Secrets

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Britain says no Syria action before UN inspection results

Google – AFP, Katy Lee (AFP, 30 August 2013

David Cameron arrives at 10 Downing
 Street in central London on August 27,
 2013 (AFP/File, Carl Court)
LONDON — Britain will not take military action against the Syrian regime before UN inspectors report back on evidence of chemical weapons attacks, according to a motion published by the government Wednesday that is set to be put to a parliamentary vote.

Lawmakers are due to vote on Britain's response to the attacks on Thursday but any military action will require a further vote of parliament's lower House of Commons after the UN experts confirm their findings in the coming days.

"Before any direct British involvement in such action a further vote of the House of Commons will take place," the motion said.

The opposition Labour party had threatened to vote against Thursday's motion unless lawmakers were promised a second vote on the basis of the UN evidence -- which had left Prime Minister David Cameron facing possible defeat in his bid for targeted strikes against the Syrian regime.

Along with the United States and France, Britain claims Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government is responsible for horrific poison gas attacks believed to have left hundreds dead near Damascus a week ago.

The Syrian government strongly denies this and blames opposition fighters for the attacks.

Cameron will on Thursday try to convince lawmakers that targeted strikes would punish the Assad regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons and deter any further attacks.

The parliamentary motion, released by Cameron's office, said "every effort" should be made to secure approval from the United Nations Security Council before any military action goes ahead.

Britain had already sought backing from the council on Wednesday, submitting a draft resolution to its five permanent members calling for action to protect Syrian civilians.

But British ministers concede that a UN resolution supporting military action is extremely unlikely as permanent members Russia and China fiercely oppose a strike against Assad.

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague
 leaves Downing Street in central London
 on August 28, 2013 (AFP, Carl Court)
Expectations of a Western military assault rose as the United States ruled out any chance of securing a UN resolution, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the international community had a responsibility to act even if the Security Council could not agree.

A UN spokesman suggested that the world body's team in Damascus will not report back until at least Friday.

British lawmakers will be asked on Thursday to back "a strong humanitarian response" that "may, if necessary, require military action that is legal, proportionate and focused on savings lives by preventing and deterring further use of Syria's chemical weapons".

Cameron has recalled lawmakers from their summer break for the marathon debate, in which he is set to propose targeted military strikes to "degrade" the regime's chemical weapons capability.

He will also attempt to persuade lawmakers that any strikes would not drag Britain into the wider conflict.

Some MPs are reluctant to back British military involvement, haunted by their experience of the Iraq war.

In 2003, parliament gave then prime minister Tony Blair a mandate to join the US-led offensive in Iraq on the basis of allegations that dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

The weapons never materialised and Britain became embroiled in the war for years.

"The PM is acutely aware of the deep concerns in the country caused by what happened over Iraq," a spokeswoman for Cameron said.

"That's why we are committed to taking action to deal with this war crime -- but taking action in the right way, proceeding on a consensual basis."

Women with Syrian flag colours 
painted on their faces take part in a 
demonstration in London on August 28,
 2013 (AFP, Carl Court)
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, whose Liberal Democrats are the junior coalition partners of Cameron's Conservatives, sent an email to his MPs late Wednesday headlined: "This is not Iraq."

"This is not about regime change," Clegg wrote, urging Lib Dems to back the motion.

"This is about upholding international and humanitarian law and deterring the use of chemical weapons to protect innocent people from being murdered in future by brutal dictators."

A YouGov poll for The Sun newspaper showed that Britons overwhelmingly oppose the use of British missiles against military sites in Syria.

Hundreds of anti-war protesters gathered outside Cameron's Downing Street residence on Wednesday, chanting slogans including "Hands off Syria".

"I'm here today because even though Syrian people are suffering massively at the hands of Assad and his brutal regime, I think a Western intervention would be essentially throwing petrol on the fire," protester Nathan Rodgers told AFP.

"We've seen over the last decade that Western intervention into countries in turmoil only leads to more killing."

Related Articles:

Archangel Michael and Sanat Kumara Comment on the Truth of the Syrian Gas Attacks - New


The Declaration of World Peace - Archangel Michael (Via Steve Beckow), Oct 8, 2012


 "Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical)  8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) (Text version) 

“…  8 - The End of War

The last one is the best. For thousands of years on this planet, Human Beings have warred with each other. If you take a look at the reasons they warred with each other, you will quickly see there aren't any good ones - land, resources, greed. Those are not reasons. That is a description of old energy. Those are not reasons. Reasons would be perhaps defense against an aggressor. But what if there is no longer the consciousness of the aggressor?

When I appeared in my partner's life more than 20 years ago, I said to him privately that the first messages we're going to give will be unbelievable. There would be laughter. We told him that Human nature and consciousness itself would change, and that the seeds of peace would be planted and there would come a time where there is no more war. Indeed, the laughter was great because humans look at history and they see patterns based on an absolute energy called Human Nature. "Impossible! There always has to be war. There always has been. Therefore, there always will be." This is you, in a box, in a black and white potential, where you can only see the black and white of what is and the black and white of what has been. You have no idea the shades of color that are there in your consciousness and the beauty of the love of God.

North Korea is on the edge of change, as we told you it might be. What did this require? The death of the old energy, and I want you to watch this take place. The advisors of the young leader are going to do their best to pull him back into an old energy. This free choice of his will be far different than his father, for he sees some color. Watch for these things. They'll take longer than you want, but it is the beginning of the beginning.

You'll see a fresh unification of South America sooner than not, for what is going to take place potentially this year in Venezuela. You'll see Iran changing. We have no clock. These are the potentials. These can change with free choice. These are not prophecies. This is a reality shift, dear ones, so number eight becomes the propensity not to war again. This is what Humans are going to want. This is what governments are going to want. There is a wisdom factor that will begin to happen on the planet that is grander than what you think is possible. For when you look at government, what do you think about? You see dysfunction, and there is an axiom that says the more people that try to do something together, the worse it gets. It all settles to the lowest common denominator. I'm telling you even those things are going to become old energy concepts. Instead, you're going to watch wisdom become the top potential.

I have no clock. I cannot tell you when. I can just tell you it is in the works, and there will be the seeds of it for you to observe soon - right now, in every single of the eight categories I showed you.

There are those who will say, "Well, Kryon, you're doing a lot more predictions than you used to." I want to tell you what's going on, dear one. I am not predicting anything. I am just telling you what's already there in the potential soup of your reality. That's what Humans are doing on this planet, and for those who believe this communication, you should breathe a sigh of relief and say, "It's about time." ….”

Friday, August 30, 2013

Swiss and French police raid offices linked to billionaire Steinmetz

The Guardian understands the raids were requested by the US department of justice, which has been investigating Steinmetz's Simandou mining deal

The Guardian, Ian Cobain, Thursday 29 August 2013

BSGR's acquisition of mining concessions in Guinea, where millions live
 in poverty, caused widespread anger. Photograph: Issouf Sanogo/AFP/
 Getty Image
s

Police in Switzerland and France carried out a number of co-ordinated raids on properties linked to one of the world's richest men as part of a global investigation into allegations of corruption surrounding a multibillion dollar mining deal.

Officers in Geneva raided the offices of a firm that provides management services for BSGR, a company controlled by Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz, while in France police raided the home of a director of the management services firm. Up to 20 police raided the offices of Onyx Financial Advisors, according to a security guard quoted by Reuters, and took away a number of documents. The Guardian understands that the raids were mounted at the request of the US department of justice, which has spent more than six months investigating BSGR's acquisition of lucrative mining concessions in the former French colony of Guinea.

Steinmetz, 57, secured the rights to extract half the ore at Simandou after investing $165m in exploration, and then sold half his stake to a Brazilian mining corporation for $2.5bn.

In a country where millions of people live in desperate poverty, without running water, electricity or a functioning infrastructure – while sitting on some of the richest mineral deposits in the world, it was a deal that caused widespread anger and resentment.

Shortly after FBI agents began investigating the circumstances surrounding the Simandou deal to establish whether there had been any breach of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and anti money-laundering laws, an associate of Steinmetz was arrested in Florida.

The FBI had covertly recorded a series of meetings during which the man had allegedly attempted to secure the destruction of documents detailing the way in which the iron ore concession was acquired. He has been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and is due to stand trial later in the year. He denies any wrongdoing.

Following the raids in Switzerland and France a spokesman for Onyx said: "Onyx has absolutely nothing to hide. We are co-operating fully with the authorities but are unable to comment further at this time."

The company's chief executive, Dag Cramer, added that the firm had "provided the Swiss authorities with information".

Steinmetz and BSGR deny any wrongdoing over the Simandou deal and say they are the victims of a smear campaign that is being led by the current president of Guinea, Alpha Condé, in an attempt to divert attention from his domestic political problems. Condé, who denies this, is conducting a parallel investigation to that being conducted by the FBI, examining a number of mining deals struck by past governments.

Last month the Guardian reported that Steinmetz was under investigation by the FBI as part of its corruption probe. While researching that article questions put to Steinmetz's spokesman Ian Middleton at the London PR firm Powerscourt twice resulted in threats of libel action from his lawyers at Mishcon de Reya.

Earlier this month Powerscourt also attempted to play down connections between Steinmetz's firm BSGR and Onyx, saying they were "separate and fully independent" of each other. Onyx was originally incorporated as BSG Management Services; the two firms share a number of directors as well as offices in London's Mayfair; and BSGR's website offers Onyx as a point of contact for anyone wishing to invest in BSGR.

Asked whether BSGR and Steinmetz had any comment on the raids in Switzerland and France, Middleton replied: "No they don't."

US will not challenge state marijuana legalisation laws

BBC News, 29 August 2013

Related Stories
Colorado and Washington state
 voted to legalise, regulate and tax
cannabis
The US government has said it will not sue to stop the states of Colorado and Washington from legalising recreational use of marijuana.

The justice department said it would focus on preventing underage access to the drug and keeping drug cash from criminals, but declined legal action.

Voters in Colorado and Washington state legalised possession and use of small amounts of marijuana in November.

Federal law forbids marijuana use and possession.

'Surrender'

In addition to the two states that outright legalised the drug, 20 states and Washington DC allow medical marijuana use, a stricter standard.

"For states such as Colorado and Washington... the department expects these states to establish strict regulatory schemes," the justice department said in a statement.

The department said it was "deferring its right to challenge legalisation laws at this time" but said it challenge the eventual regulatory schemes in the states.

Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project, a pro-legalisation group, called the policy change "a clear signal that states are free to determine their own policies".

The executive director of a group called the Drug Free America Foundation said Attorney General Eric Holder, an appointee of President Barack Obama who oversees the justice department, had "surrendered".

"He is essentially setting up a tsunami that will no doubt result in far too many of America's young people being subjected to chemical slavery," said Calvina Fay.

US recognizes same-sex couples for tax purposes

Google – AFP, 29 August 2013

The US government announces that married gay couples will be treated the
 same as other married couples for federal taxes (Getty Images/AFP/File,
Justin Sullivan)

WASHINGTON — The US government on Thursday announced that legally married gay couples will be treated the same as married couples for federal tax purposes.

The decision applies to legally married same-sex couples whether they live in a state that recognizes the marriage or not, the US Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said in a statement.

"Today's ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide. It provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve," said Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in the statement.

"This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change."

Those couples will have the same treatment under federal tax law provisions where marriage is a factor, including their filing status personal and dependency exemptions that they can claim, and other tax benefits that heterosexual couples currently enjoy.

The ruling comes after the US Supreme Court, in a landmark decision on June 26, struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denied federal benefits to married gay and lesbian couples by strictly defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

As a result the federal government was allowed to recognize same sex couples in all federal matters, such as sharing pension benefits -- the issue that brought the case to the highest court.

Related Article:


White House introduces two gun-control measures

BBC News, 29 August 2013

US gun debate

Vice-President Joe Biden called the
policy changes "straightforward" and
"common sense"
The White House has announced two executive orders on gun control, after a failed legislative attempt to pass firearms regulations.

Vice-President Joe Biden announced that the administration would end the import of military surplus weapons.

The second order aims to stop criminals registering guns to corporations or trusts to dodge background checks.

The gun-control debate was revived as a gunman killed 20 schoolchildren in Connecticut last December.

Gun rights advocates said Thursday's White House measures to limit gun violence were "misdirected".

"This administration should get serious about prosecuting violent criminals who misuse guns and stop focusing its efforts on law-abiding gun owners," said Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association (NRA), America's largest gun lobby group.

'Very artful dodge'

The US will now deny requests to re-import military arms sold or donated to foreign countries by private entities, Mr Biden said.

About 250,000 of these kinds of guns have been brought back to the US since 2005. Under the new policy, there will be only a few exceptions, such as museums.

The White House has also proposed a rule to require people associated with corporations or trusts to undergo the same background checks if they want to register guns to those kinds of entities.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) received more than 39,000 such requests in 2012. Mr Biden called the loophole a "very artful dodge".

Jonny Dymond reports from inside the
 exhibition hall of the NRA convention:
''A huge space dedicated to guns''
He announced the moves during a swearing-in ceremony for Todd Jones to serve as the head of the ATF.

Mr Jones's confirmation to the post comes after six years of political wrangling to fill the leadership of the agency.

A move to enact some gun control legislation failed in the US Senate four months ago, amid heavy lobbying by the NRA.

Mr Biden has claimed that a handful of lawmakers who opposed expanded background checks on gun-buyers have told him privately they have changed their minds, though the White House has not named any such officials.

Before the failure of a gun-control package that included expanded background checks, President Obama in January outlined 23 executive orders that his administration could take without congressional approval.

With Mr Jones's confirmation, the White House has completed or made progress on all but one of the 23 items.

Efforts to require insurers to cover mental health at similar levels to general medical benefit have not yet been fruitful.

The White House said it was committed to making that happen by the end of 2013.

Sweeping regulation, however, including any ban on certain assault-style weapons, can only be taken up by Congress.

Related Article:


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Obama hails King but says 'dream' requires vigilance

Google – AFP, Stephen Collinson (AFP), 28 August 2013

US President Barack Obama talks with Yolanda Renee King on
August 28, 2013 in Washington (AFP, Brendan Smialowski)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama hailed Martin Luther King Jr Wednesday for saving America from oppression but said "constant vigilance" was needed to keep the civil rights icon's dream of equality alive.

Fifty years after the "I have a dream speech," America's first black president stood poignantly on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, where King made an appearance in 1963 which changed history.

"He offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressors alike," Obama said, in a ringing address, which he admitted beforehand would not match King's oratory.

"His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time," Obama said.

US President Barack Obama
 speaks at the Lincoln Memorial
 in Washington, DC on August 28,
2013 (AFP, Jewel Samad)
Obama also remembered the thousands of African Americans who joined King's March on Washington to demand their rights and to wake their country's "long slumbering conscience."

The president, who has faced some criticism for not doing more to help the African American community, which remains plagued by poverty and barriers to advancement, dismissed arguments that little had changed for blacks since King spoke.

"To dismiss the magnitude of this progress, to suggest, as some sometimes do, that little has changed -- that dishonors the courage and the sacrifice of those who paid the price to march in those years," he said.

But, in the speech below the monument honoring Abraham Lincoln, the president who ended slavery, Obama also argued that much work remained to be done for King's dream to be fulfilled.

L-R: Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter,
 Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton in
 Washington, DC on August 28, 2013
 (AFP, Jewel Samad)
"We would dishonor those heroes as well to suggest that the work of this nation is somehow complete," Obama said.

"The arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it doesn't bend on its own.

"To secure the gains this country has made requires constant vigilance, not complacency," Obama said.

"Keep on marching," he said.

Obama also recalled that King's throngs came to Washington demanding jobs, and he slipped seamlessly into his core political argument that only by fostering more economic fairness for the middle class, can America meet its promise.

"No one can match King's brilliance. But the same flame that lit the heart of all who are willing to take a first step for justice, I know that flame remains," Obama said.

Obama delivered his speech next to a giant bell that was salvaged from an Alabama Church where four young girls were killed in an arson attack in 1963.

US President Barack Obama speaks
 at the Lincoln Memorial on the
 National Mall August 28, 2013 in 
Washington (AFP, Brendan Smialowski)
The president was joined at the ceremony by former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, revered civil rights leaders like King confidant John Lewis and members of the King family.
Carter bemoaned the "racist bullet" that claimed King's life in 1968.

Clinton said that it was time to open the "stubborn gates" barring wider opportunity.

"The choice remains as it was on that distant summer day 50 years ago. Cooperate and thrive or fight with each other and fall behind."

"(The) march and that speech changed America. They opened minds, they melted hearts," Clinton said, remembering the moment he heard speech.

"They moved millions, including a 17-year-old boy watching alone in his home in Arkansas."

Wednesday dawned rainy and with gray skies in Washington, a far day from that sweltering August back in 1963.

But some of the original crowd returned for the 50th anniversary, pairing their memories with the reality of the challenges facing African Americans today.

US President Barack Obama and
 US First Lady Michelle Obama walk
 into the Lincoln Memorial on 
August 28, 2013 (AFP, Brendan
 Smialowski)
Edith Lee-Payne recalled how, as a 12-year-old, she was captured in an iconic photograph of the day King spoke.

"It was something that didn't end on that day," she said.

"People went back to their respective communities and did what needed to be done and said what needed to be said.

"Still, a lot more needs to be said and done to make this a better place."

King's famous refrain "I have a dream" was not in his original remarks.

But off-the-cuff, King declared: "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal'."

The march helped set the stage for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that outlawed major forms of racial discrimination, followed a year later by the Voting Rights Act, designed to guarantee the franchise for all black US citizens.




Question: I’m a black woman who enjoys your teachings tremendously. It seems that there aren’t a lot of black people involved in these discussions. Is this true, and is there a reason for this? Is it cultural? Or am I wrong in this assumption?

Answer: Dear one, yes. If you’re speaking about black Americans, you’re right. It’s cultural. There are two basic reasons you won’t find many blacks in metaphysics in your culture: The first one is that in your land, your race is a minority with a history of oppression. This has created a very strong spiritual support base. Almost from birth, most of you have been exposed to very high church and spiritual support and a feeling of belonging and sticking together. There are few groups that have this kind of support and prayer base. So spiritually, you don’t look around much for answers other than what you have already learned about the love of God. This works for you and is honored.

The second reason is perhaps politically incorrect in your culture to speak of, but Kryon is not of your culture. Many of you are in survival mode due to sustained second-class citizenship you experience from birth. This causes despair, poverty, and a shift to crime among many due to despondency over life and a need to survive in a system that does not honor you. When a Human is consumed with survival in a difficult environment, they don’t have time or a desire for introspection or a search to better themselves spiritually. All their time is spent spinning within the challenges they have, many of which they assume to be their plight, many of which they have created themselves.

The sadness here is that if they did look within, they would find the tools to co-create a life outside of survival, and start processes that honors their endeavors and their lives. Blessed are those with life challenges, as so many of the minorities have, but who have decided to increase their spiritual knowledge as a solution, instead of trying to force-manipulate the reality of the cultural situation.

UN team takes samples from Syria 'chemical victims'

Google – AFP, 28 August 2013

UN chemical arms investigators wait to leave a hotel in Damascus
on August 28, 2013 (AFP)

DAMASCUS — UN experts visited the site Wednesday of a second alleged chemical attack near Syria's capital, and took blood, urine and hair samples from reported victims, an AFP photographer said.

Rebels who control the area said they had travelled in a six-vehicle convoy to the outlying Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, one of the areas hit in the suspected August 21 attacks.

They visited the site, northeast of the capital, under the protection of rebel fighters, said the Syrian Revolution General Commission activist group.

"We took blood, urine and hair samples" from people in a field hospital in Eastern Ghouta, one of the inspectors said.

Asked if they had done the same with those who died in the incident, the inspector said that was not necessary.

"The test (for the presence of chemical agents) can show positive even after weeks," he said.
The inspectors resumed their mission on Wednesday, a day after postponing it for security reasons.

On Monday, they had braved sniper fire when they initially tried to enter Eastern Ghouta, with bullets hitting the tyres and front window of the lead vehicle, the United Nations said.

Later that day, they managed to enter Moadamiyet al-Sham, southwest of Damascus, to collect evidence of the other main area allegedly hit by chemical weapons on August 21.

The 13 UN inspectors, seven interpreters and backup staff arrived in Syria on August 18 to start an investigation into whether chemical weapons have been used in the 29-month old conflict that has left more than 100,000 dead.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday they needed four days to conclude their probe.

The team's findings would then be analysed and the result sent to the UN Security Council for "any action they would deem to take."

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Ban was referring to a total of four working days, suggesting the inspectors needed at least until Friday to complete their mission.

Ban's comments came as the United States and its allies were building their case for military action against the Syrian regime over the alleged chemical weapons attacks.

Opponents of President Bashar al-Assad's regime say more than 1,300 people, including children, died when his forces unleashed toxic gases on Eastern Ghouta and Moadamiyet al-Sham.

The regime strongly denies the claim and has blamed rebels.

One senior official even said they were put up to it by Britain, France and the United States to justify Western military intervention in the 29-month civil war.


Complex interplay of religious movements within the context of
the crisis in Syria

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