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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Friday, January 31, 2014

US admiral named new NSA chief: Hagel

Google – AFP, 30 January 2014

This January 31, 2012 US Navy handout image shows Vice Admiral
Michael Rogers in Monterey, California (US Navy/AFP/File, MC1 Nate Guimont)

Washington — President Barack Obama has nominated a US Navy officer, Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, to take over as head of the embattled National Security Agency, the Pentagon said Thursday.

"This is a critical time for the NSA, and Vice Admiral Rogers would bring extraordinary and unique qualifications to this position as the agency continues its vital mission and implements President Obama's reforms," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who recommended Rogers for the post, said in a statement.

If confirmed by lawmakers, Rogers would also take over as head of the military's cyber warfare command.

Rogers, 53, would take the helm at a difficult moment for the spy agency, which is under unprecedented pressure after leaks from ex-intelligence contractor Edward Snowden revealed the extent of the NSA's electronic spying.

In response to the furor triggered by the leaks, Obama proposed reforms to rein in the NSA's spying authority in some areas.

Hagel said he was "confident that Admiral Rogers has the wisdom to help balance the demands of security, privacy and liberty in our digital age."

Rogers, who trained as an intelligence cryptologist, would succeed General Keith Alexander, who has served in the top job since 2005.

He currently heads the US Fleet Cyber Command, overseeing the navy's cyber warfare specialists.

In more than 30 years in the Navy, Rogers has worked in cryptology, eavesdropping or "signals intelligence" and cyber warfare.

Like Alexander, the naval officer would not only run the powerful NSA but would also serve as chief of the US military's Cyber Command.

Obama has decided to keep the "dual-hatted" arrangement, even though some top officials recommended splitting up the two jobs.

The president has also rejected suggestions to name a civilian as NSA director.

US says 92 nuclear officers tied to cheating scandal

Google – AFP, 30 January 2014

US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James delivers remarks at the
Pentagon on January 24, 2014 (Getty/AFP/File, Chip Somodevilla)

Washington — The US Air Force said on Thursday that 92 nuclear missile officers are now implicated in a widening scandal over cheating on exams and have been suspended from their duties.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said she returned from a visit to missile bases convinced there were "systemic problems" among crew members related to morale, referring to a climate of "undue stress and fear."

"As the investigation has moved forward, we can now report there is a total of 92 crew members that have been identified as having some level of involvement," James told a news conference.

"That means either participating in the cheating or knowing something about it and not standing up and reporting it," she said.

Two weeks ago, officials said 34 officers were implicated at Malmstrom Air Force base in Montana.

The mounting scandal, as well as other incidents, have prompted commanders to put a hold on any promotions of senior officers in the nuclear mission, a defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

"They're reviewing all of those (proposed promotions)," the official said.

The cheating was discovered when criminal investigators looking into illegal drug possession among missile launch officers stumbled upon evidence of cheating on a monthly proficiency test at the Montana base.

The investigators found one officer had the answers to a monthly proficiency test on his mobile phone and had sent them to his fellow crew members.

James said the illicit drug case has also widened and now two more officers have been implicated, bringing the total to 13 airmen tied to the probe.


AU summit kicks off, with Central African Republic high on the agenda

Deutsche Welle, 30 January 2014

African leaders are discussing violent conflicts that have forced people to flee their homes. Thirty-four leaders from across the continent have traveled to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa for the summit.


Opening the 22nd summit of the African Union (AU), Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn expressed concern over conflicts in South Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR). The UN estimates that South Sudan's monthlong conflict has left 3.7 million people without food security and displaced more than 700,000. Sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians in the neighboring CAR has displaced nearly 1 million people since last spring.

"We need to find urgent solutions to rescue these two sisterly countries from falling into the abyss," Hailemariam said Thursday. "Failure to do so will have serious implications for peace and security in the region and indeed the whole continent."

The UN accuses both sides of atrocities in South Sudan. A failed coup attempt in December sparked the violence. An uneasy peace agreement has been signed.

Conflict in CAR

The AU and UN also called for action to end violence in CAR, which slid into conflict in March after the overthrow of its president.

"Our common objective is to end the violence between Muslim and Christian communities," UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said. "We must act without delay."

Often accused of responding sluggishly toward crises, the AU, with members from 54 of the continent's 55 states - only Morocco has not joined - appears to have taken steps toward more robust action in the face of sudden outbreaks of violence. Plans include keeping in place an AU standby force of troops ready to deploy during emergency situations.

More positive plans

The AU also looked ahead on Thursday, toward a distant future of high-speed railways, a common language, diplomatic clout, cutting-edge fashion and leadership in space exploration. In a speech, AU chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma provided a foresight of what Africa could look like in just 50 years' time, providing some welcome distraction to an agenda dominated by conflict.

Written as a message to a friend in 2063, Dlamini-Zuma spoke of a "grand reality" where a new Confederation of African States had replaced the AU. "At the beginning of the 21st century, we used to get irritated with foreigners when they treated Africa as one country: As if we were not a continent of over a billion people and 55 sovereign states!" she said. "But the advancing global trend towards regional blocks, reminded us that integration and unity is the only way for Africa to leverage its competitive advantage."

She spoke of a future Africa with "regional manufacturing hubs" in Congo, Angola and Zambia, as well as "Silicon Valleys" in Rwanda, Egypt, Nigeria and Kenya, and of equal access for women to education and business ownership. The future Africa, Dlamini-Zuma said, would also lead the world in renewable energy and leave its wars in the past. She also spoke of an African Space Agency, a telecommunications infrastructure spanning the whole continent and high-speed rail links between countries as exist in Europe.

mkg/msh (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)

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".. Africa

Let me tell you where else it's happening that you are unaware - that which is the beginning of the unity of the African states. Soon the continent will have what they never had before, and when that continent is healed and there is no AIDS and no major disease, they're going to want what you have. They're going to want houses and schools and an economy that works without corruption. They will be done with small-minded leaders who kill their populations for power in what has been called for generations "The History of Africa." Soon it will be the end of history in Africa, and a new continent will emerge.

Be aware that the strength may not come from the expected areas, for new leadership is brewing. There is so much land there and the population is so ready there, it will be one of the strongest economies on the planet within two generations plus 20 years. And it's going to happen because of a unifying idea put together by a few. These are the potentials of the planet, and the end of history as you know it.

In approximately 70 years, there will be a black man who leads this African continent into affluence and peace. He won't be a president, but rather a planner and a revolutionary economic thinker. He, and a strong woman with him, will implement the plan continent-wide. They will unite. This is the potential and this is the plan. Africa will arise out the ashes of centuries of disease and despair and create a viable economic force with workers who can create good products for the day. You think China is economically strong? China must do what it does, hobbled by the secrecy and bias of the old ways of its own history. As large as it is, it will have to eventually compete with Africa, a land of free thinkers and fast change. China will have a major competitor, one that doesn't have any cultural barriers to the advancement of the free Human spirit. …." 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Norway fund blacklists Israeli firms with settlement ties

Voice of Russia – AFP, 30 January 2014

Photo: tsweden/flickr.com

Norway's huge sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, blacklisted two Israeli companies involved in construction of settlements in East Jerusalem, the country's finance ministry said Thursday.

The ban on investing in the firms revived a three-year prohibition on them that the Government Pension Fund of Norway had dropped in August last year.

The companies are Africa Israel Investments, an Israeli real estate developer, and its construction subsidiary Danya Cerbus.

The ministry cited the company's alleged "contribution to serious violations of individual rights in war or conflict through the construction of settlements in East Jerusalem," a territory where Israel's claims are not recognised by the international community.

Norway's sovereign wealth fund is fed by the country's oil surplus. It is worth an estimated $818 billion according to the SWF Institute, a body that tracks such funds.

As well as resuming the Israeli firm blacklisting, Norway suspended a restriction on the fund buying bonds issued in Myanmar, leaving only North Korea, Iran and Syria on the list of countries ineligible for investment.

Latin America, Caribbean proclaim 'zone of peace'

Google – AFP, 29 January 2014

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (2-L) and Colombian Foreign
 Minister Maria Angela Holguin (L) attend the Second Summit of the Community
 of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), on January 29, 2014 in Havana
(AFP, Adalberto Roque)

Havana — Regional leaders declared a "zone of peace" in Latin America and the Caribbean Wednesday at a summit in Havana that also showcased Cuba's emergence from international isolation.

"I solemnly proclaim Latin America and the Caribbean as a 'zone of peace,'" Cuban President Raul Castro told representatives of 33 countries, not including the United States and Canada, which were not invited.

As part of the proclamation, the region's leaders pledged not to resort to force for the resolution of conflicts among them.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa (L)
 attends the Second Summit of the
Community of Latin American and
Caribbean States (CELAC), on January 29,
2014 in Havana (AFP, Adalberto Roque)
Although largely spared wars over the past century, border disputes abound in the region and many countries have suffered civil wars and bloody insurgencies fueled by Cold War rivalries.

Among the heads of state and government attending the summit were the presidents of Chile, Sebastian Pinera, and Peru's Ollanta Humala, whose countries this week received a World Court ruling on a longstanding maritime boundary dispute.

They were expected to meet on the sidelines of the summit for the first time since the ruling in the Hague.

The two-day summit was to close Wednesday with a "declaration of Havana" affirming the region's "unity within diversity."

"The creation of a common political space is of primordial importance to advance our objective of peace and respect among nations, in order to overcome natural barriers and those imposed on us," said Castro.

Cuba's communist regime received numerous expressions of solidarity during the summit and the final communique was expected to condemn the more than 50-year-old US trade embargo on the island.

Among those in attendance were the secretary general of the Organization of American States, a Washington-based regional security group that expelled Cuba in 1962 but reinstated it in 2009. Also taking part was UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Castro has taken strides to open Cuba's Soviet-style state-controlled economy, but the regime brooks no political opposition.

Cuban rights groups reported more than 100 dissidents were taken in for questioning to prevent their meeting during the summit.

Unlike previous international gatherings in Havana, none of the presidents attending the summit sought to meet with dissidents, although the Costa Rican embassy received a visit from a delegation led by a prominent dissident, Elizardo Sanchez.

Ban on Tuesday said he raised the problem of "arbitrary arrests" with Castro.

Cuba also used the summit to pay homage to the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who was a driving force behind the Community of Caribbean and Latin American States. Castro is to turn over the rotating presidency of the group to Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla

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 "The End of History"- Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll)

“.... South America and the New Energy 

South America is starting to consider the same thing. My partner was just there and I allowed him to see the energy of the potential future in that land.

I would like to paint history for you regarding South America. There was a time when every single country had a dictator. Less than 15 years ago, they had failing economies and currencies that were worthless. Trouble and strife and killings were the norm. Marauding drug lords openly killed in the streets and corruption was everywhere. Even the politicians created fear and many disappeared overnight, never to be seen again. Today it isn't that way. Today, there is an ongoing stability as one country after another brings a new, positive, stable energy to their cultures. So, without a concentrated effort by any kind of multi-national leadership or direction, how could this have changed in only 15 years?

Within the entire continent, there's only one dictator left. What's happening? If you think that's amazing, there is a move afoot that you're not going to hear about yet. But they're discussing it right now, so let me tell you what they're thinking. "What would happen if we took these countries and eliminated the borders?" Sound familiar? They're talking about it. In back rooms where nobody is reporting it, they're saying, "What about a plan of eventually having one currency from the top of Columbia to the bottom of Chile? And we would be strong and we would be unified." And dear ones, I'm here to tell you, that it's going to work, and it might not take 50 years. Soon the one dictator will be gone, and the unification can begin.. Read More …. "The End of History"- Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) ‘…”


"Recalibration of Knowledge" – Jan 14, 2012 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: Channelling, God-Creator, Benevolent Design, New Energy, Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) SoulsReincarnation, Gaia, Old Energies (Africa, Terrorists, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela ... ), Weather, Rejuvenation, Akash, Nicolas Tesla / Einstein, Cold Fusion, Magnetics, Lemuria, Atomic Structure (Electrons, Particles, Polarity, Self Balancing, Magnetism), Entanglement, "Life is necessary for a Universe to exist and not the other way around", DNA, Humans (Baby getting ready, First Breath, Stem Cells, Embryonic Stem Cells, Rejuvenation), Global Unity, ... etc.) (Text Version)

“…  I want you to watch some countries. I don't have a clock [this statement is Kryon telling us that there is no time frame on his side of the veil, only potentials]. I'll just tell you, it's imminent [in Spirit's timing, this could mean as soon as a decade]. I want you to watch some countries carefully for changes. You're going to be seeing changes that are obvious, and some that are not obvious [covert or assumptive]. But the obvious ones you will see sooner than not - Cuba, Korea [North]Iran, of course, and Venezuela. I want you to watch what happens when they start to realize that they don't have any more allies on Earth! Even their brothers who used to support them in their hatred of some are saying, "Well, perhaps not anymore. It doesn't seem to be supporting us anymore. "Watch the synchronicities that are occurring. The leaders who have either died or are going to in the next year or so will take with them the old ways. Watch what happens to those who take their place, and remember these meetings where I described these potentials to you. …”

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Obama takes populist economic agenda on the road in four-state tour

• President pledges to act without Congress in 'year of action'
• Speeches to focus on minimum wage and retirement savings
• Hopes social mobility spotlight will boost mid-terms prospects

theguardian.com, Paul Lewis and Dan Roberts in Washington, Wednesday 29 January 2014

President Barack Obama waves before delivering the State of the Union Address
on Capitol Hill in Washington. Photograph: Yin Bogu/Xinhua Press/Corbis

Barack Obama launched a tour of four states on Wednesday to press home the central pledge in his State of the Union speech to address the decline in social mobility, hoping the populist economic agenda will boost Democrats in this year's mid-term elections.

Less than 12 hours after using his speech to call for a “year of action”, Obama embarked on a trip to suburban Maryland to underscore his key pledge to increase the federal minimum wage.

He will speak at a branch of the wholesaler Costco, whose CEO, Jim Sinegal, is a major Democratic donor. The president will then fly to a steel plant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to deliver a speech expanding the announcement he made about retirement savings.

Executive orders to raise the minimum wage for a few hundred thousand employees of federal contractors and create a new savings bond for low-income families were among a handful of limited, presidential actions Obama laid out in his speech.

He vowed he would "not stand still" in the face of inertia from the divided Congress, and promised to help rebuild a “stalled” dream of economic opportunity for all.

On Thursday, Obama will continue his tour across the country, repeating that message in speeches in Nashville, Tennessee, and Waukesha, Wisconsin.

However, the executive orders will have only limited impact in comparison with legislative action, and his speech laid bare how powerless Obama is in the face of intransigence from the Republican-controlled House.

The cautiously optimistic address set the tone for Democrats ahead of November's elections, when Republicans stand to increase their majority in the House and possibly even regain control of the Senate.

“The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by, let alone to get ahead ...” Obama told a packed joint session of Congress on Tuesday night.

“Too many young people entering the workforce today will see the American Dream as an empty promise – unless we also do more to make sure our economy honors the dignity of work, and hard work pays off for every single American. ”

But despite a series of limited new policy measures, Obama's anticipated blizzard of executive orders was less confrontational than many Republicans had predicted.

Instead, the president made one last attempt at persuasion: either for Congress to pass a series of stalled bills on immigration, minimum wage legislation and unemployment insurance, or for the American people to elect a Congress that will.

“After five years of grit and determined effort, the United States is better positioned for the 21st century than any other nation on Earth,” said Obama. “The question for everyone in this chamber, running through every decision we make this year, is whether we are going to help or hinder this progress.”

The GOP’s opposition to healthcare reform, and its role in October's government shutdown, was another theme that brought loud cheers from Democrats in the audience.

But there were also attempts to enlist the support of emerging Republican leaders such as Senator Marco Rubio, who was praised for his work on reform of tax credits, in a sign of where limited bipartisan agreement may be possible before the mid-term elections.

Despite a gloomy prognosis for domestic reform, Obama set out a more upbeat vision of US foreign policy, drawing wide applause for his efforts to end American involvement in Afghanistan. “Together with our allies, we will complete our mission there by the end of this year, and America’s longest war will finally be over,” he said.

He also called on Congress to “give diplomacy a chance” in his efforts to negotiate over nuclear weapons with Iran, and threatened to veto any bill containing new sanctions against Iran that would undermine those efforts. “If John F Kennedy and Ronald Reagan could negotiate with the Soviet Union, then surely a strong and confident America can negotiate with less powerful adversaries today,” he said.

And Obama continued to try to put thorny issues such as NSA surveillance, the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay and drone warfare behind him. Speaking of the NSA, Obama said: “Working with this Congress, I will reform our surveillance programs, because the vital work of our intelligence community depends on public confidence, here and abroad, that privacy of ordinary people is not being violated.”

The longest ovation was reserved for Cory Remsburg, an army ranger seriously injured by a roadside bomb on his 10th deployment in Afghanistan. Members of Congress, usually divided along party lines in their response to the State of the Union address, rose to their feet for more than a minute to recognize Remsburg, a guest of the White House. Remsburg, a Purple Heart recipient and sole survivor of the 2010 attack, now spends six hours of his day in occupational, physical and speech therapy.

In the official Republican response to Obama's address, the party sought to strike a compassionate tone, with Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers presenting a folksy picture of American conservatism. She emphasised family and children, and talked of her son born with Down's syndrome, in remarks delivered from a couch positioned strategically by a fireside.

She framed her criticisms of Obama in positive and forward-looking terms, in stark contrast to much of the toxic rhetoric that has been directed by leading conservatives against the president in recent months. Though she said “the president's health care law is not working”, she tempered the attack with the proviso: “No, we shouldn't go back to the way things were”.

The goal, she said, was an “America every bit as compassionate as it is successful, our plan is one that dreams big for everyone and turns back no-one”.

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Tony Abbott: Broadcaster ABC on 'everyone's side but Australia'

BBC News, 29 January 2014

Tony Abbott said the ABC should not "leap to be critical" of Australia

Related Stories

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has criticised national broadcaster ABC for "taking everyone's side but Australia's".

Mr Abbott said the publicly-funded broadcaster should show "some basic affection for the home team".

The ABC has been at the forefront of reports on abuse claims from asylum seekers and reports that Australia had spied on Indonesia.

The ABC had no immediate comment on Mr Abbott's statements.

However, the opposition said that the government should welcome media scrutiny.

'Benefit of doubt'

Mr Abbott made the comments during an interview with radio station 2GB.

He said he was "worried and concerned" by the ABC's role in reporting spying claims in documents leaked by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden.

The documents appeared to show that Australian spy agencies named the Indonesian president and other senior ministers as targets for telephone monitoring.

The reports led to a diplomatic row, with Indonesia suspending military co-operation with Australia.

Mr Abbott also criticised the ABC's coverage of allegations that Australian navy personnel had mistreated asylum seekers.

Acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek said it was right that the
ABC scrutinised government

Footage obtained by the ABC showed asylum-seekers being treated for burns that they said had been caused when they were forced to hold on to a hot boat engine.

Indonesian police said some asylum-seekers had burn marks on their hands, but they did not know who had inflicted them.

The claims were strongly rejected by both the Australian military and government, which has offered to co-operate with an Indonesian investigation.

"If there's credible evidence, the ABC, like all other news organisations is entitled to report it," Mr Abbott said.

"[But] you can't leap to be critical of your own country," he said, adding that the ABC should be prepared to give the Australian navy "the benefit of the doubt".

'Welcome scrutiny'

Acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek said every government had "been subject to the close scrutiny of the ABC, and we should all welcome that".

"From emergency broadcasts in times of trouble to coverage of the events that shape our nation, the ABC is there, free for all Australians," she said.

The number of asylum boats travelling to Australia from Indonesia rose
in 2012 and the beginning of 2013

"[Mr Abbott] should stop complaining about media coverage and start behaving like a prime minister," she added.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said: "We need strong voices in parliament to stand up for the public's right to an independent national broadcaster".

Critics have accused the government of secrecy over asylum policy.

The government has refused to comment on reports that the navy are towing asylum boats back to Indonesia. It has however recently issued an apology to Indonesia for "inadvertently" violating its waters on multiple occasions.

The government has also limited information on asylum arrivals and vessel-related incidents to a weekly e-mail, citing operational needs.

The ABC charter describes the corporation as "the provider of an independent national broadcasting service".

In December, ABC managing director Mark Scott defended the ABC's coverage of the spying allegations.

"We are an independent media organisation and of course sometimes we will publish stories that politicians won't be happy about," he said. "That's the role we have to play."

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"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / 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)

“…  Government

Let us speak of government. We're not speaking of your government, but of any government - the way it works, how it survives, how it has survived, the way it campaigns, and how it elects leaders. It's going to change.

Years ago, I told you, "When everybody can talk to everybody, there can be no secrets." Up to this point on this planet, government has counted on one thing - that the people can't easily talk to each other on a global scale. They have to get their information through government or official channels. Even mass media isn't always free enough, for it reports that which the government reports. Even a free society tends to bias itself according to the bias of the times. However, when you can have Human Beings talking to each other all at once, all over the planet without government control, it all changes, for there is open revelation of truth.

US whistleblower laws offer no protection

Deutsche Welle, 28 January 2014

The White House says that Edward Snowden should have reported his concerns within the NSA, instead of revealing surveillance programs to the press. But who exactly do US whistleblower laws protect?


Some eight months before Edward Snowden leaked classified NSA programs to the press, US President Barack Obama issued an order extending whistleblower protections to employees of America's intelligence agencies. The White House often cites this fact when addressing the three felony charges against Snowden, in total carrying a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Two of those charges fall under the 1917 US Espionage Act.

In his January speech on NSA reform, President Obama said that he did not want to "dwell on Mr. Snowden's actions or his motivations." But five months earlier, the US commander-in-chief had already made clear that he did not view the 30-year-old as a whistleblower or patriot, saying that Snowden had failed to use official, non-public "proper channels" to express his concerns about NSA surveillance.

But Snowden has said that Obama's extension of whistleblower protections to the intelligence community, under Presidential Policy Directive 19 (PPD-19), does not cover government contractors. Before his disclosures, Snowden was an employee of the company Booz Allen Hamilton, which contracted with the National Security Agency.

"If I had revealed what I knew about these unconstitutional but classified programs to Congress, I could have been charged with a felony," Snowden said in a live, online question and answer session last Thursday.

'Death by a thousand cuts'

For years, would-be whistleblowers in the US intelligence community had no legal protections to shield them from retaliatory measures by their superiors. The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 covered most of the federal government with the glaring exception of the intelligence agencies.

In an effort to close this legal gap, Congress passed the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA) a decade later. The law covers employees and contractors at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) as well as the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

But according to Thomas Drake, the act failed to adequately protect whistleblowers from retaliation. A former senior executive at the NSA, Drake blew the whistle on a failed surveillance program called Trailblazer. He used what the government calls "proper channels" to express his concerns about the program's exorbitant cost and its lack of privacy protections, reaching out to his immediate supervisor, the office of the inspector general, and the congressional intelligence committees.

"I was reprised against severely within the proper channels," Drake told DW. "I was identified as a troublemaker."

Drake used "proper channels,"
but still faced retaliatio
n
Drake called the NSA's response to his whistleblowing activities "death by a thousand cuts administratively and bureaucratically," saying that the agency found ways to change his job and cut his responsibilities. Ultimately, the NSA re-organized the section he worked in, leaving him with nothing but a "paper title." Drake resigned from the agency in 2008.

"There's nothing within the act that actually protects you. I don't have cause of action - I can't go to the courts for redress," he said, adding that his only recourse was to file evidence with the Defense Department inspector general's reprisal unit. According to Drake, the unit agreed that he had suffered from reprisal, but the case still has not completely resolved itself.

Drake only went public, contacting the Baltimore Sun newspaper, when he felt that the proper channels had failed. The federal government indicted him under the US Espionage Act for supposedly taking classified documents illegally, an allegation that unraveled before the trial. In the end, the government dropped the charges in exchange for Drake agreeing to plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of misusing a NSA computer. He was sentenced to a year of probation and 240 hours of community service.

Murky legal framework

Although the ICWPA covered both employees and contractors, US whistleblower laws have been changed through legislative and presidential action since the Drake case. In 2012, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act. But the law excluded the intelligence agencies from coverage.

Although Obama had issued his directive that same year extending whistleblower protections to the entire intelligence community, PPD-19 only covers intelligence agency employees. Contractors, such as Edward Snowden, are not explicitly protected by the directive. Even for legal experts, it's unclear how exactly all of these different regulations interact with one another, and whether or not contractors such as Edward Snowden are covered by the whistleblower laws.

"No one knows exactly how those pieces are supposed to fit together," William C. Banks, an expert on national security law at Syracuse University College of Law, told DW. "But I think the trump card is the criminal law. Regardless of whether the contractor or a regular employee of a US agency is blowing the whistle, if he or she is at the same time violating a criminal law of the United States, the whistleblower protection is worthless."

Legal, moral obligations

Mark Zaid, an attorney in Washington, D.C., represents intelligence community whistleblowers. Zaid doesn't make use of the whistleblower protection laws when representing his clients, calling the provisions "inadequate." Obama's presidential directive, for example, is largely discretionary and doesn't actually guarantee whistleblowers protection. It only provides a process by which their claims of suffering from retribution can be addressed.

Nevertheless, Zaid said that Edward Snowden had a legal obligation to use the proper channels, even if the protection laws were insufficient.

It's murky, at best, whether or not a
 contractor like Snowden was covered
 the whistleblower laws
"He has a legal obligation to do so, and I think he has moral obligation to do so, to at least try to work through the system, as futile as it might be, before taking the last resort, which is to provide the information to third parties without authorization," Zaid told DW.

But according to NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, the whistleblower system has been corrupted from within, which discourages people from coming forward.

"The reporting chains themselves largely serve to protect the institution from those that would expose it, even from those within," Drake said.

"…Especially when they see what happens to people like me, they will choose to remain silent, they will ultimately censor themselves and not report the wrongdoing, although they're in the best position to do so."

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dozens of dissidents arrested in Cuba as major summit looms

Google – AFP, Carlos Batista (AFP), 27 January 2014

A man works during preparations at the complex where the CELAC
summit will be held, in Havana on January 18, 2014 (AFP/File, Yamil Lage)

Havana — Dozens of dissidents have been detained in a "wave of political repression" ahead of a major international summit in Cuba, activists said Sunday.

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) summit hosting heads of state from across the region provides opportunities for dissidents in the Americas' only one-party Communist-ruled state to try to raise their profiles, and seek world leaders' ears.

"The government is carrying out a wave of political repression ahead of the summit" in Havana that ends Wednesday, warned dissident Elizardo Sanchez.

One dissident who planned to attend an event on the summit's sidelines, Jose Daniel Ferrer, was arrested Friday after meeting with European diplomats, Sanchez said.

Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas on 
July 3, 2013 during a ceremony to receive
 the 2010 Sakharov prize in Strasbourg
(AFP/File, Frederick Florin)
"As of now, he is technically missing. No one knows where he is," said Sanchez, who heads the outlawed Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation.

Dissident Guillermo Farinas said he has been placed under house arrest to keep him from taking part in an opposition forum on the summit sidelines.

"Today is the third day they won't let me go out," Farinas told AFP by telephone from his home in Santa Clara, 280 kilometers (174 miles) east of Havana.

"There is a police operative who stays a block away from my house during the day but is in front of it at night," he said.

Farinas, who was awarded the European parliament's Sakharov prize in 2010, is a veteran of hunger strikes seeking political opening on the communist-ruled island.

The 52-year-old psychologist said he had planned to take part in a "democratic forum about international relations and human rights" that Cuban dissidents have called for Tuesday in Havana.

The meeting is timed to coincide with the opening of the two-day CELAC summit. The organization counts 33 members.

And the higher-profile dissident group Ladies in White, made up of political prisoners' relatives, said that as many as 100 of its members have been arrested to keep them from taking part in the dissident forum.

The Ladies in White, who won the 2005 Sakharov prize, were out on the streets in Havana marching as they do each week.

Police strength had been boosted discreetly but 56 of the group's members marched on Fifth Avenue, calling for political opening after mass.

"More than 100 members of the Ladies in White have been called in by the police since Friday, taken to police stations," said Ladies in White leader Berta Soler.

"They have been threatened, warned by the force of repression, State Security, that today Sunday, they should not be here on Fifth Avenue.

"The people who are not here (marching), are all being detained," she added.

The Ladies in White are the only group whose demonstrations are approved by the government. President Raul Castro, 82, agreed to the arrangement in 2010 with mediation from the Roman Catholic church.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gets a haircut at a barber
shop in Old Havana, Cuba (AFP)

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