United Nations Declaration (Articles 1 - 30):

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

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

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts

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

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


The Declaration of Human Freedom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit

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


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

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

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

Same-sex marriage around the world

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

… The Shift in Human Nature

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

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

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

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

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'

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

Search This Blog

Friday, January 30, 2015

UN chief tells African leaders not to 'cling to power'

Yahoo – AFP, 30 Jan 2015

Ban Ki-moon says African leaders should not use undemocratic constitutional 
changes and legal loopholes to cling to power (AFP Photo/Jewel Samad)

Addis Ababa (AFP) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday told African leaders gathered for an annual summit to not cling to power and respect the wishes of their people.

"People around the world have expressed their concern about leaders who refuse to leave office when their terms end. I share those concerns. Undemocratic constitutional changes and legal loopholes should never be used to cling to power," he said in a speech at the start of an African Union summit.

"I urge all leaders, in Africa and around the world, to listen to your people. Modern leaders cannot afford to ignore the wishes and aspirations of those they represent."

In October, chaos in Burkina Faso erupted as lawmakers prepared to vote to allow 63-year-old Blaise Compaore -- who took power in a 1987 coup -- to contest elections in November 2015. He was forced out of power.

Earlier this month in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as many as 42 people were killed in protests that erupted agains a bill that was seen as an attempt to extend President Joseph Kabila's hold on power in the nation he has led for 14 years.

Countries including Benin, Burundi, and Congo-Brazzaville and Rwanda are all said to be considering change to allow their leaders a third term.

Other African nations where laws have been changed to the benefit of their sitting leaders include Algeria, Angola, Chad, Djibouti and Uganda.

Related Articles:

Obama urges Africa's leaders to 'serve their people'


"The Timing of the Great Shift" – Mar 21, 2009 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

“… PHASE THREE

The years 2013 to 2025 are the final phase. I tell you now that these things are going to sound too grand. What I give you now are only potentials and you may hear them and say, "Well, those are just potentials. They're too grand. Those things can't happen." Go back with me 20 years. All the potentials I gave you in 1989 took place. They took place because that was what was within the potentials. It was a reading of humanity within your consciousness. So I do it again, now. These are the potentials for the final phase of the Great Shift.

The first one is the adjustment of actual Human societal thinking. It represents the energies in the way you work and think. These are the kind of things a sociologist would study. Let me give it another name: It's an actual shift to a higher vibration of Human nature. "Kryon, that's impossible. Human nature is Human nature. We can't change it." Well, you've already begun it. You're starting to clean up your financial institutions worldwide. Did you notice? Dear ones, if anyone had ever told you 30 years ago that you were going to clean up your financial institutions, they would have laughed. For don't you know the way society works? Those who have the money win. Banks hold all the cards, and they are run by the those in high places. They are untouchable, since the government is often the same people! Well, why don't you tell them that today. Look around you, because something just happened. It's not working that way, is it? What would make the difference? Consciousness. A new paradigm. You can see it in the news.

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. Remember where you heard it... in a strange, esoteric meeting with a guy in a chair pretending to channel. [Kryon being factious... Kryon humor] Then when you hear it, you'll know better, won't you? "Maybe there was something really there," you'll say. "Maybe it was real," you'll say. Perhaps you can skip all the drama of the years to come and consider that now? [Kryon humor again]

These leaders are going to fall over. You'll have a slow developing leadership coming to you all over the earth where there is a new energy of caring about the public. "That's just too much to ask for in politics, Kryon." Watch for it. That's just the beginning of this last phase. So many things are coming. The next one is related to this, for a country in survival with sickness cannot sustain a leadership of high consciousness. There is just too much opportunity for power and greed. But when a continent is healed, everything changes.

The next one: You're going to heal a continent. Watch for it. It begins. Watch for major shift in Africa. We have said this before, even within the meetings I spoke in what you call the United Nations. Africa has never even been a potential player in the economic field, because it has been sick. What happens when you heal a continent? I'm going to tell you. Suddenly, the people on that continent also want what you have - government that works, peace, their own homes, schools, hospitals, and even banks where they can borrow from. They don't have any of those now, not really. Everything with substance is from somewhere else. That means you're going to have a continent that's going to arise that will become a major player on the stage of Earth's finances and political influence - an entire continent with all the resources on it, with even the potential for unification of common purpose, much like what you have now in your EU. I'm giving you information, and when it happens, again, I say you'll remember where you heard it.

Many years ago, the prevailing thought was that nobody should consider China as a viable player on the economic stage. They were backward, filled with a system that would never be westernized, and had no wish to become joined with the rest of the world's economic systems. Look what has happened in only 30 years. Now, look at Africa differently.   …”



" .... 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.. ...."



"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) 

“… The Future of the Illuminati

Now, I want to tell you something that you didn't expect and something I've reported only one other time. What about all of the money that the Illuminati has? There are trillions and trillions of euro in banks, under their control, waiting. What are they going to do with it and where are they going to use it? It's still here. They're waiting.

This group is waiting for something to happen that they know is going to happen, for they see it coming as much as I do. However, I would like to tell you something that they don't expect. With awareness comes generational shift. Those in charge of this money will not always be elders. The indigos eventually will have it.

They are waiting for something to happen in Africa - the building of a new civilization, a continent that has nothing to unlearn. Once Africa is cured, once it's ready, a new civilization can be created from the ground up. Africans will be ready to learn everything about building a foundation for the most advanced civilization ever and will do it with the most modern and inventive systems available. Eventually, this new continent will even beat the economics of China.

This is the prediction and always has been, and the Illuminati's money will fund it. Did I say the Illuminati will fund it? [Kryon laugh] The Illuminati's money will fund it, but there is a difference from the past, dear ones. The ones who inherit the positions in the Illuminati will be a different consciousness. Listen, they are not suddenly going to be the ones who have the good of everyone in their hearts - hardly. They want to make money, but what they will see instead is a way to make a great deal of money through this investment. In the process, it will automatically help hundreds of thousands, and they will be at the beginning, the foundation, that builds the new Africa. The new African states of unification eventually will create a continent stronger than any of the others, and it will have one currency. The resources alone will dwarf anything in the world. ...”

New Saudi king announces major government shake-up

Yahoo – AFP, Ian Timberlake, 30 Jan 2015

Saudi Arabia's new King Salman (C) speaks with Crown Prince and Interior 
Minister Mohammed bin Nayef (L) at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh
on January 27, 2015 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

Riyadh (AFP) - Saudi Arabia's new King Salman further cemented his hold on power, with a sweeping shakeup that saw two sons of the late King Abdullah fired, and the heads of intelligence and other key agencies replaced alongside a cabinet shuffle.

Top officials from the Ports Authority, the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the conservative Islamic kingdom's religious police were among those let go.

The new appointments came a week after Salman acceded to the throne following the death of Abdullah, aged about 90.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, pictured in
 Vienna, Austria on November 27, 2014,
remains in the cabinet after the reshuffle
(AFP Photo/Samuel Kubani)
Salman also reached out directly to his subjects on Thursday. One of his more than 30 decrees ordered "two months' basic salary to all Saudi government civil and military employees," the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

Students and pensioners got similar bonuses.

"Dear people: You deserve more and whatever I do will not be able to give you what you deserve," the king said later on his official Twitter account.

He asked his citizens to "not forget me in your prayers".

SPA said Salman "issued a royal order today, relieving Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, Chief of General Intelligence, of his post."

General Khalid bin Ali bin Abdullah al-Humaidan became the new intelligence chief, holding cabinet rank.

The change comes after authorities in the kingdom last year blamed suspects linked to the Islamic State extremist group for shooting and wounding a Dane, and for gunning down minority Shiites.

A separate decree said Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a nephew of Abdullah, was removed from his posts as Secretary General of the National Security Council and adviser to the king.

Prince Bandar was the kingdom's ambassador to the United States for 22 years until 2005 before moving to Saudi Arabia's Security Council.

Two sons of the late monarch were also fired: Prince Mishaal, governor of the Mecca region, and Prince Turki, who governed the capital Riyadh, according to the decrees broadcast on Saudi television.

A Saudi carrying his baby poses at a mural dedicated to late King Abdullah with a
 slogan reading "Where are you going? Look back and say hello. We didn't get
enough of you," on January 26, 2015 in the coastal city of Jeddah (AFP Photo)

Super-ministry

Another of Abdullah's sons, Prince Miteb, retained his position as minister in charge of the National Guard, a parallel army of around 200,000 men.

Salman, 79, a half-brother of Abdullah, named a 31-member cabinet whose new faces include the ministers for culture and information, social affairs, civil service, and communications and information technology, among others.

Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, and Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf stayed in the cabinet of the world's leading oil exporter.

A 50 percent fall in global oil prices since last June has left Saudi Arabia projecting its first budget deficit since 2011, but government spending is set to continue.

Salman merged the ministries of higher education and education, naming Azzam bin Mohammed al-Dakheel to head the super-ministry.

Saudi Arabia is trying to improve its basic education system and has built more universities as it seeks to diversify its oil-dependent economy.

Another decree replaced the chief of the country's stock market regulator, ahead of a mid-year target for opening the Arab world's largest bourse to foreign investors.

Hours after Abdullah died on January 23 Salman appointed his son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as defence minister.

Powerful Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef became second in line to the throne, while Deputy Crown Prince Moqren, 69, was elevated to king-in-waiting.

An advertisement in Riyadh on January 26, 2015 shows King Salman (R) and
 Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef (L) now second in line to the throne, 
and Deputy Crown Prince Moqren, 69, now elevated to king-in-waiting (AFP Photo
/Fayez Nureldine)

Moqren would reign as the last son of the kingdom's founder, Abdul Aziz bin Saud, leaving bin Nayef as the first of the "second generation," or grandsons of Abdul Aziz.

In March 2014, King Abdullah named Moqren to the new position of deputy crown prince with the aim of smoothing succession hurdles.

The appointment of Prince Mohammed bin Nayef helps to solidify control by the new king's Sudayri branch of the royal family.

Their influence had waned under King Abdullah.

Regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and home to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

Along with other countries in the Gulf, Saudi Arabia has joined a US-led air campaign against the Islamic State group that has seized parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq.

Related Articles:

Tradition meets Twitter as Saudis pledge to new king


"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. Remember where you heard it... in a strange, esoteric meeting with a guy in a chair pretending to channel. [Kryon being factious... Kryon humor] Then when you hear it, you'll know better, won't you? "Maybe there was something really there," you'll say. "Maybe it was real," you'll say. Perhaps you can skip all the drama of the years to come and consider that now? [Kryon humor again]

These leaders are going to fall over. You'll have a slow developing leadership coming to you all over the earth where there is a new energy of caring about the public. "That's just too much to ask for in politics, Kryon." Watch for it. That's just the beginning of this last phase. So many things are coming. The next one is related to this, for a country in survival with sickness cannot sustain a leadership of high consciousness. There is just too much opportunity for power and greed. But when a continent is healed, everything changes. .."

Thursday, January 29, 2015

International Monetary Fund Begins Work on ‘Plan B’ as US Blocks Reforms

Jakarta Globe – AFP, Jan 29, 2015

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde. (Reuters
Photo/Gary Cameron)

Washington. The International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday it would begin working on alternatives to its stalled, five-year-old reform program after passing another year without the required ratification by the US government.

In a proposal mapped out by the IMF executive board, the global crisis lender will take six months to see what can be salvaged from the 2010 reforms, originally backed by Washington, the IMF’s largest shareholder, but now blocked in the US Congress.

The IMF did not say what the so-called “Plan B” could entail. And it appeared hopeful that the 2010 package, which doubled IMF funding and increased in a small way the voting power of emerging economies like China, could be completed.

But the 24 member executive board said in a statement to the broader board of governors of the Fund that it “deeply regrets” that the 2010 reforms remain blocked.

The board added that this has caused it to miss deadlines in work on a subsequent, more sweeping quota review.

The executive board proposed taking until June 30 to come up with new measures “that represent meaningful progress towards 2010 reforms’ objectives.”

The United States, as one of the key founders of the IMF and the world’s largest economy, controls 16.7 percent of voting rights in the Fund.

That gives it an effective veto over any major initiative, as reforms require 85 percent of total voting power to pass.

The Obama administration has repeatedly pressed Congress to pass the reforms, which were adopted by the IMF as it sought more funding when Europe began to plunge into financial crisis and the Fund joined the rescues of Greece, Ireland, and Portugal.

But Republican conservatives have blocked any endorsement of the reforms, and since they captured full control of the US legislature in November’s elections, prospects for ratification have worsened.

The executive board stressed in a statement Wednesday that it does not see the alternative measures of Plan B as any replacement for the plan decided five years ago.

“The proposed resolution stresses that such interim steps should not in any way be seen as a substitute for the 2010 reforms, which remain the highest priority,” it said.

But it also gave no hint as to how it hoped the 2010 package would be implemented.

Agence France-Presse

Tradition meets Twitter as Saudis pledge to new king

Yahoo - AFPWissam Keyrouz, 27 Jan 2015

Saudi Arabia's new King Salman attends a ceremony at the Diwan royal
palace in Riyadh on January 24, 2015 (AFP)

Decades ago, Saudis trekked across their desert kingdom to pledge allegiance to their new kings at their palaces. Now they are just using Twitter.

Thousands of Saudis have poured into the palace of King Salman who acceded the throne after the death of his half-brother Abdullah last week.

Many others exercised the entrenched tradition at the palaces of provincial princes.

Saudi blogger Raef Badawi, shown
in Jeddah in 2012, was sentenced
in May 2014 to 10 years in prison,
1,000 lashes and a fine for
"insulting Islam" (AFP)
But thousands of others have pledged their allegiance to the new ruler online, taking advantage of social media networks.

Chief among them is Twitter, whose popularity has exploded with an astounding 40 percent of Saudis now using the microblogging website.

Saudi Arabia is governed by a strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law, but authorities have stopped short of banning Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, unlike in the Islamic republic of Iran.

Ultra-conservatives tweet as much as liberals in the tightly censored absolute monarchy, with clerics attracting the most followers, like Mohammed al-Arefe who has 10.8 million of them.

However several users have faced jail over their posts that have been deemed offensive to the authorities or to Islam.

King Salman himself has an account that saw its number of followers surge to 1.6 million as he became the monarch.

"I pray to God to help me serve our dear people and achieve their aspirations, and to keep our country secure and stable," read a tweet posted on the account following his accession.

A hashtag in Arabic declaring "I pledge allegiance to King Salman" spread quickly among Saudi tweeps after King Abdullah died on Friday, as users of the site mourned the late monarch.

'Progress without abandoning tradition'

"I have pledged my allegiance through Twitter because as we progress technologically, we do not abandon our identity and traditions," said Twitter user Salman al-Otaibi.

"This pledge is a duty on every Muslim," he told AFP.

Metab al-Samiri tweeted: "With full obedience, I pledge allegiance to you Salman."

The pledge is both an Islamic obligation to provide the ruler with legitimacy and a tribal commitment to obey the new leader.

Twitter has also proven to be a headache for authorities in Gulf monarchies as social media blogging sites render their censorship largely helpless.

Users calling for reforms in the kingdom have taken to the platform to voice discontent and demand concessions from the ruling family.

"We want a consultative Shura Council that is elected by the people, capable of legislating laws and holding the cabinet to account," said one tweet.

"This way, the alleged reforms could be achieved," it added, using another popular hashtag that said: "Demands for King Salman."

Despite timid steps to introduce reforms, Saudi Arabia under Abdullah remained a tightly controlled kingdom, where conservatives continue to play a strong role.

The case of blogger Raef Badawi serves as an example of the Gulf state's ever-tightening freedom of expression.

Badawi is serving a 10-year jail sentence for insulting Islam, and he has also been sentenced to 1,000 lashes, having received 50 of them in public this month.

Twitter is "the source of all evil and devastation", said the kingdom's top cleric Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh in a fatwa edict in October.

"People are rushing to it thinking it's a source of credible information but it's a source of lies and falsehood," he said.

Despite such warnings, there are no signs of Twitter's popularity waning in Saudi Arabia, whose five million users give the kingdom the world's highest penetration.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

US executes man despite disability claim

A man has been executed in the US after a final appeal by his lawyers who said he was intellectually disabled was turned down. Warren Hill was killed by lethal injection in the southeastern state of Georgia.

Deutsche Welle, 28 Jan 2015


The 54-year-old murderer was initially sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his 18-year-old girlfriend in 1986, who he shot 11 times. While serving that sentence, however, Hill beat fellow inmate Joseph Handspike to death using a nail-studded board.

In 1991, Hill was convicted of Handspike's murder and sentenced to death. His execution was delayed three times between July 2012 and July 2013 following various challenges.

In their final appeal, Hill's lawyers argued that his execution was prohibited by the Constitution because he was intellectually disabled. According to Hill's representatives, he had an IQ of 70 and the mental capacity of an 11-year-old. A number of experts and state doctors had also testified to Hill's mental disability.

The Supreme Court turned down the appeal, however, after the court voted 7-2 to not take up the petition.

Despite being the first US state to ban the execution of mentally disabled inmates, critics say Georgia has the toughest standard for proving intellectual disability in the US.

Global calls for mercy

The European Union (EU), lawyers and doctors, as well as public figures including former US president Jimmy Carter, had also called for mercy for Hill.

"This execution is an abomination," said Hill's attorney Brian Kammer, following the Supreme Court's decision not to take up Hill's petition.

"Today, the court has unconscionably allowed a grotesque miscarriage of justice to occur in Georgia.

"The memory of Mr. Hill's illegal execution will live on as a moral stain on the people of this state and on the courts that allowed this to happen."

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Hill was the fifth US inmate executed this year and the second in Georgia.

ksb/bw (Reuters, AFP, AP)


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Obama pays his respects to King Abdullah, talks security with King Salman

The US president has visited Saudi Arabia, where he offered his condolences for the late king. Obama also held his first formal talks with the newly enthroned King Salman.

Deutsche Welle, 27 Jan 2015


President Barack Obama was in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh on Tuesday, leading an array of current and former US statesmen to pay their respects to late King Abdullah and to hold talks with his brother, the new King Salman (pictured).

The US dignitaries, some of whom flew in separately from Obama, included current Secretary of State John Kerry and several prominent Republicans including Condoleezza Rice and James Baker II, both former secretaries of state, and Senator John McCain. CIA head John Brennan was also in attendance.

Air Force One landed at King Khalid International Airport, where the president and first lady, Michelle Obama, disembarked onto red carpet to a Saudi welcoming delegation that included King Salman and his younger half-brother Muqrin, the heir to the throne. In stark contrast to the niqab, or face veil, and long black abaya worn by Saudi women in public, Michelle Obama left her hair uncovered and wore dark blue slacks.

The two leaders talked privately for about an hour, and the discussion focused mainly on security issues, such as sectarian divisions in Iraq, the campaign against the "Islamic State" jihadists, the precarious situation in Yemen and support for the Syrian opposition fighting President Bashar al Assad.

The situation in Syria has at times strained relations between the two nations, as Saudi Arabia, like most governments in the area, wishes to get rid of the Assad regime. The late Abdullah had more than once pressed the US to take more aggressive action to force Assad from power.

Humans rights issue not on the agenda

Obama had to cut short his trip to India for the Riyadh meeting, but before he left he defended the government's willingness to cooperate so closely with Saudi Arabia despite human rights concerns. Obama told a CNN reporter that he felt the best course was to apply steady pressure about human rights "even as we are getting business done that needs to get done."

"Sometimes we need to balance our need to speak to them about human rights issues with immediate concerns we have in terms of counterterrorism or dealing with regional stability," the president said. The talks with King Salman are likely to cover the ongoing crises in Syria and Yemen.

He added that he would not be raising US concerns over the flogging of liberal blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam: "On this visit, obviously a lot of this is just paying respects to King Abdullah, who in his own fashion presented some modest reform efforts within the kingdom."

After his conversation with King Salman, an official speaking anonymously said the president had "raised the issue of human rights with the king but did not discuss specific cases."

Abdullah died at the age of 90 on Friday. was attended by several region leaders, with Western leaders and dignitaries coming in over the following days to offer their condolences and meet the newly enthroned 79-year-old Salman.

Despite occasionally deep ideological differences between the two nations, Saudi Arabia is a key US ally in the region.

es/kms (AP, AFP)

Barack and Michelle Obama meet a Saudi delegation including King Salman
 bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (far right) on Tuesday. Photograph: Saudi Press Agency/EPA

Related Articles:

Michelle Obama opts to forgo headscarf during Saudi Arabia visit
Saudi buries King Abdullah, Salman takes throne

First female Church of England bishop consecrated in York

Libby Lane made bishop of Stockport, despite interruption of Paul Williamson, who has history of opposing female priests

The Guardian, Andrew Brown in York, Monday 26 January 2015

The first female Church of England bishop, Libby Lane, is consecrated by
the archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. Photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA

The Rt Rev Libby Lane has been made the bishop of Stockport with solemn oaths, high ceremony, and a sermon that drew on Call the Midwife in York Minster.

Since it was first built in AD637, the building has seen Viking raids, civil war, and even German bombing, but never a woman among the tends of thousands of bishops made here. Bishop Lane’s consecration was greeted with joy within the building and outside it – although the ceremony was interrupted by a lone protester who objected when the archbishop of York asked the congregation to consent to Lane’s appointment.

Women have been consecrated as bishops in many parts of the worldwide Anglican communion since 1989, and as priests in England since 1994, but opponents put up a long resistance to their further promotion, which only became possible last autumn. Roman Catholic bishops, who frequently attend important Anglican occasions, were absent. The service marked a final and decisive break with the tradition of an all-male priesthood.

Dr John Sentamu, the Rev Libby Lane, centre, and the bishop of Chester,
the Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster. Photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA

Bishop Lane swore obedience to the queen, and to the archbishop of York and their successors. She heard Jesus’s instructions to his disciples from the gospel of Luke: “I am sending you out like lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say ‘peace to this house’ …”

In the sermon, the archdeacon of York, the venerable Sarah Bullock, described God as “God our midwife”, and preached on a Christmas episode of BBC1’s Call the Midwife. “Like Cynthia, we all have so little to offer and so little to sacrifice”, she said. Later she concluded that it was all about Jesus.

Members of the clergy process into York minster for the consecration.
Photograph: Lynne Cameron/AFP/Getty Images

The congregation was asked to assent to Bishop Lane’s consecration. As the congregation of nearly 2,000 people replied “It is”, a man stepped forward near the altar and shouted: “No. Not in my name. Not in the Bible. With respect, your grace, I ask to speak on this absolute impediment, please.”

Libby Lane has become a bishop despite fierce
 opposition from traditionalists. Photograph: Lynne
Cameron/AFP/Getty Images

Dr Sentamu read out a pre-prepared statement and repeated his question. There was no further interruption and the service continued.

Sentamu read a long legal justification for his acts. He asked the congregation again and their consent was still louder and this time unanimous.

The protester was later identified as the Rev Paul Williamson, who once tried to charge an earlier archbishop of Canterbury with high treason for ordaining female priests. “I’ve worked in York Minster for 15 years and I’ve never heard a shout as loud as that,” said Eleanor Course, one of the congregation.

With a quiet rumble the bishops in scarlet and white rose from their seats to gather round and lay hands on Lane and on each other in a sign that she, like they, had a physical connection running back nearly 2,000 years to the disciples whom Jesus had touched.

Sentamu anointed her with oil as she knelt in front of the congregation. He gave her a Bible. The act was done. History was made. The congregation burst into prolonged applause, led by the archbishops, and she bowed her head at them.

Related Articles:


Clerics at the Church of England synod in York take a 'selfie' as they celebrate
after the vote to allow female bishops. Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP/Getty

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

“… I gave you a channelling years ago when Pope John Paul was alive. John Paul loved Mary, the mother. Had John Paul survived another 10 years, he would have done what the next Pope [The one after the current one, Benedict XVI] will do, and that is to bring women into the Church. This Pope you have now [Benedict XVI] won't be here long.* The next Pope will be the one who has to change the rules, should he survive. If he doesn't, it will be the one after that.

There is a large struggle within the Church, even right now, and great dissention, for it knows that it is not giving what humanity wants. The doctrine is not current to the puzzles of life. The answer will be to create a better balance between the feminine and masculine, and the new Pope, or the one after that, will try to allow women to be in the higher echelon of the Church structure to assist the priests.

It will be suggested to let women participate in services, doing things women did not do before. This graduates them within church law to an equality with priests, but doesn't actually let them become priests just yet. However, don't be surprised if this begins in another way, and instead gives priests the ability to marry. This will bring the feminine into the church in other ways. It will eventually happen and has to happen. If it does not, it will be the end of the Catholic Church, for humanity will not sustain a spiritual belief system that is out of balance with the love of God and also out of balance with intuitive Human awareness.  …”

Monday, January 26, 2015

Kurdish fighters in Kobani report 'IS' retreat

Kurdish fighters and a monitoring body have reported that "Islamic State" fighters have fled the Syrian-Turkish border city of Kobani. Apart from sporadic fighting on the outskirts, the area was said to be secure.

Deutsche Welle, 26 Jan 2015


Extremist fighters with the self-styled "Islamic State" ("IS") were driven out of Kobani on Monday, activists and Kurdish officials said, in what would be a key coup for forces opposing the Sunni Islamist militia.

"The Islamic State is on the verge of defeat," said Kurdish official Idriss Nassan, speaking from Turkey near the Syrian border. "Their defenses have collapsed and its fighters have fled."

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the partial IS retreat out of Kobani, officially known as Ain al-Arab, but noted some sporadic fighting.

"The Kurds are pursuing some jihadis on the eastern outskirts of Kobani, but there is no more fighting inside now."

Months of fighting have leveled
Kobani's old market street
Nassan said he was preparing to visit the border town on Tuesday, saying he expected it to be completely freed by then.

Since mid-September, the balled for Kobani has reportedly claimed some 1,600 lives. According to figures from the UK-based Observatory watchdog released earlier this month, "IS" had lost 1,075 fighters in its bid to control the city, with 459 Kurdish fighters and 32 civilians also killed.

Islamic State fighters first began capturing villages close to Kobani in September, before thrusting into the town itself, pushing thousands of refugees out of Kobani and across the border into Turkey.

The town became something of a symbol for international intervention to stop the IS advance; US Secretary of State John Kerry said after the US-led bombing strikes against IS were announced that it would be "morally very difficult" not to help Kobani.

A combination of US-led airstrikes and the arrival of Kurdish peshmerga fighters from Iraq helped turn the tide in the battle for Kobani, with the peshmerga evening out IS' earlier artillery superiority.

Kurdish official Nassan said that coalition airstrikes had intensified in recent days to lay the groundwork for his fighters' final push on IS positions to the south and east of the town. 
Since the US airstrikes began on September 23, an average of around six air strikes per day have targeted fighters in or near Kobani. Four-fifths of all coalition airstrikes in Syria, as opposed to Iraq, have been in or around the town.

msh/kms (AFP, AP)

An injured police commando on stretcher waits to be loaded onto a waiting US
military helicopter in the town of Mamasapano, on the southern Philippine island
of Mindanao on Jan. 26, 2015, following clashes with Muslim rebels. (AFP Photo/
Mark Navales)

Related Article: