Shuttered: EU ditches summit 'family photo'

Shuttered: EU ditches summit 'family photo'
EU leaders pose for a family photo during the European Summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels on June 28, 2016 (AFP Photo/JOHN THYS)

EU founding fathers signed 'blank' Treaty of Rome (1957)

EU founding fathers signed 'blank' Treaty of Rome (1957)
The Treaty of Rome was signed in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, one of the Renaissance palaces that line the Michelangelo-designed Capitoline Square in the Italian capital

Merkel says fall of Wall proves 'dreams can come true'


“ … 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 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. …

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hollande urges French voters to block Le Pen

Yahoo – AFP, Clare BYRNE, 24 April 2017

Emmanuel Macron, frontrunner to become France's next president, set up
his En Marche! movement just a year ago

French President Francois Hollande on Monday urged voters to reject far-right leader Marine Le Pen in next month's presidential runoff against pro-EU candidate Emmanuel Macron.

Macron is the clear favourite to become France's youngest-ever president after topping Sunday's first round of voting with 24.01 percent of votes, ahead of National Front (FN) leader Le Pen on 21.30 percent, according to final results.

The vote revealed a country deeply divided, with 39-year-old Macron, an advocate of open borders and free trade, leading the vote in cities and Le Pen topping the polls in rural areas that feel left behind by globalisation.

In a solemn address to voters, Hollande warned of the "risk for our country" of a far-right victory and said he himself would vote for Macron, who served as his economy minister for two years.

The Socialist president joined a long line of politicians urging voters to back Macron in order to thwart the anti-immigration, anti-EU Le Pen.

Le Pen seized on the flurry of endorsements for Macron from the ruling Socialists and main opposition Republicans -- both of which crashed out in the first round -- as proof he was the choice of the discredited old guard.

Visiting a market in the northern town of Rouvroy on Monday, 48-year-old Le Pen lashed out at the "rotten old republican front" -- the ad-hoc anti-FN coalition formed by mainstream parties whenever the party is at the gates of power.

"I've come here to start the second round campaign in the only way I know -- on the ground with the French people," she said.

Marine Le Pen is now trying to cast her rival Emmanuel Macron as the
choice of the discredited old guard

Macron received several congratulatory calls on Monday from European leaders relieved to find him in pole position.

Thanking Hollande in a tweet for his support, the former investment banker called on the French to "remain true to France's values" in the May 7 runoff.

He and Le Pen will take part in a TV debate on May 3.

Healing wounds

France's traditional political class suffered a stunning blow on Sunday, with voters fleeing the ruling Socialists and conservative Republicans who have governed for the past half century in favour of the extremes or outsiders.

Both Macron and Le Pen campaigned as rebels who transcended the left-right divide.

Conservative candidate Francois Fillon was seen as the favourite until January when his campaign was torpedoed by allegations that he gave his British-born wife and two of his children fictitious jobs as parliamentary assistants.

In the end, the Republicans party candidate trailed in third with 20.01 percent, ahead of radical left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon on 19.58 percent.

On Monday, Fillon told the party's top brass he lacked "the legitimacy" to lead them into parliamentary elections in June.

"I need to rethink my life and heal my family's wounds," he told them, according to a statement.

Fillon and fifth-placed Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon have both rallied behind Macron but Melenchon pointedly avoided endorsing the centrist.

Eurosceptics took around 46 percent of the first-round vote

'Patriots v nationalists'

Addressing thousands of flag-waving supporters in Paris on Sunday evening, Macron said he aimed to unite "patriots" against "the threat of nationalists".

Le Pen, who has been hoping to emulate Donald Trump's victory in the US, said the French faced a choice between "runaway globalisation" and a protectionist France.

Her plans to restore France's borders with its European neighbours, pull out of the eurozone and hold a referendum on leaving the EU had sown fear of another devastating blow to the bloc after Britain's vote to leave.

The euro and European stocks rose Monday, buoyed by polls suggesting Macron would beat Le Pen by more than 20 percentage points in the second round.

After addressing euphoric supporters in Paris on Sunday, Macron spent the evening with friends at a well-known Paris bistro, drawing criticism for what some saw as his triumphalist attitude.

"We need to be humble. The election hasn't been won and we need to bring people together to win," Richard Ferrand, secretary general of Macron's En Marche (On the Move) movement, acknowledged on BFM television Monday.

Le Pen gained over 1.2 million new voters compared with her last presidential bid in 2012, securing 7.7 million ballots, a result she hailed as "historic".

But her share of the vote was far below a March poll high of 27 percent.


Related Article:


“… With free choice, the percentage of DNA efficiently started to go down as humanity grew. As soon as the DNA started to lose percentage, the gender balance was dysfunctional. If you want to have a test of any society, anywhere on the planet, and you want to know the DNA percentage number [consciousness quota] as a society, there's an easy test: How do they perceive and treat their women? The higher the DNA functionality, the more the feminine divine is honored. This is the test! Different cultures create different DNA consciousness, even at the same time on the planet. So you can have a culture on Earth at 25 percent and one at 37 - and if you did, they would indeed clash. …”

“… You're at 35. There's an equality here, you're starting to see the dark and light, and it's changing everything. You take a look at history and you've come a long way, but it took a long time to get here. Dear ones, we've seen this process before and the snowball is rolling. There isn't anything in the way that's going to stop it. In the path of this snowball of higher consciousness are all kinds of things that will be run over and perish. Part of this is what you call "the establishment". Watch for some very big established things to fall over! The snowball will simply knock them down. …”

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Pope says some refugee centres 'concentration camps'

Yahoo – AFP, Angus MACKINNON, April 22, 2017

Pope Francis blesses the crowd as he leaves the Basilica of St. Bartholomew
 on Tiber Island after the Liturgy of the Word with the Community of Sant’Egidio
 in memory of the "New Martyrs" of the 20th and 21th century, on April 22,
 2017 in Rome (AFP Photo/Alberto PIZZOLI)

Rome (AFP) - Pope Francis on Saturday described some of Europe's refugee centres as "concentration camps" as he paid tribute to an unknown Christian woman slain for her faith in front of her Muslim husband.

"These refugee camps -- so many are concentration camps, crowded with people... because international accords seem more important than human rights," Francis said in impromptu remarks at a ceremony in memory of modern day Christian martyrs.

Departing from his prepared script and appearing unusually emotional as he spoke, the 80-year-old pontiff said he wanted the woman to be remembered along with all the other martyrs commemorated in Rome's Basilica of St Bartholomew.

He revealed that he had met the woman's husband during his visit to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos last year.

"I do not know what happened to him, if he managed to get out of his concentration camp, and get to somewhere else" Francis said, describing the man as a father-of-three but not revealing his nationality.

"He looked at me and said 'Father, I am a Muslim and my wife was a Christian. In our country we were terrorised ... they saw her crucifix and they asked her to throw it away.

"When she refused they cut her throat in front of my eyes. We loved each other so much."

Saturday's service at the Basilica located on an island in the Tiber river that separates most of Rome from the Vatican, was also addressed movingly by Roselyne Hamel.

She is the sister of Jacques Hamel, the 85-year-old priest murdered by jihadists last year as he was celebrating mass in his church in Normandy in northern France.

"At his age, Jacques was frail but he was strong in his faith in Christ, strong in love for the Gospel," Roselyne Hamel said.

Describing her sibling as "a universal brother," she said she was certain his love for humanity would even have extended to his killers.

Other speakers included Francisco Hernandez, a friend of William Quijano, an organiser of "Schools for Peace" in El Salvador and a victim of gang violence in 2009, and Karl Schneider, son of Paul Schneider, a protestant pastor who died in the Nazi death camp at Buchenwald.

The Basilica where Saturday's service took place is home to a large collection of relics of Christian martyrs across the ages, including recently added momentoes of Schneider, Quijano and Hamel.

Related Articles:


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

May calls for June 8 election before Brexit talks

Yahoo – AFP, Dario Thuburn and Alice Ritchie, April 18, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May makes an announcement to the media
outside 10 Downing Street in central London on April 18, 2017 (AFP Photo/
Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS)

London (AFP) - British Prime Minister Theresa May called Tuesday for a snap election on June 8, in a shock move as she seeks to bolster her position before tough talks on leaving the EU.

May is apparently aiming to cash in on her 20-point lead over the main opposition Labour party to increase her majority and give her a stronger hand in the Brexit battles with Brussels ahead.

Britain started the formal process of leaving the EU last month, but negotiations are not due to begin for weeks -- giving the prime minister a narrow window for a lightning election campaign.

"We need a general election and we need one now," May said in a dramatic announcement outside her Downing Street office that caught the whole country off-guard.

"We have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done while the European Union agrees its negotiating position and before the detailed talks begin," she said.

Not another one!

The U-turn caps a tumultuous few years in British politics that has seen two historic referendums -- one on Brexit, one on Scottish independence -- and a prime ministerial resignation.

An early election would be the fourth big vote in four years and there are signs that the British public is beginning to suffer from election fatigue.


In a BBC video widely shared on social media, a woman called Brenda told her interviewer in Bristol when asked about the election: "Not another one! Oh for God's sake. I can't stand this!"

MPs will vote on the move on Wednesday and May needs two-thirds of lawmakers to support her but Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has already said he is behind the plan.

"We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain," said Corbyn, a veteran socialist who became leader in 2015 and has strong support in the party's leftist grassroots but has struggled to secure wider appeal.

And recent opinion polls over Easter weekend showed the size of the challenge ahead of him.

The Conservatives polled at 38 percent to 46 percent, while Labour stood at 23 percent to 29 percent, according to the polls by YouGov, ComRes and Opinium.

'Game playing'

May explained her policy U-turn with an attack on her domestic political opponents, many of whom support Britain's continued membership of Europe's single market, accusing them of "game-playing" over Brexit.

"I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions I must take," May said.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party which has 54 of 59 Scottish seats in the Commons, said May was making a "huge political miscalculation".

But in a boost to May, the IMF also on Tuesday significantly raised its forecast for Britain's growth in 2017 to 2.0 percent from a previous estimate of 1.5 percent.

The pound, which has fallen because of the Brexit vote and plunged ahead of May's announcement Tuesday, rose sharply against the euro and the dollar after it.

Stocks instead suffered their worst fall since the Brexit vote last June, since the rising value of the pound hits multinationals.

EU leaders except Britain's PM Theresa May will hold a summit on April 29 to 
map out the strategy for negotiating Britain's departure from the bloc in 2019
(AFP Photo/Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS)

New battles loom

European Council President Donald Trump tweeted that he had had a "good phone call" with May following her announcement.

He then likened the latest twist in British politics to a movie by Alfred Hitchcock, often referred to as the "Master of Suspense".

"It was Hitchcock who directed Brexit: first an earthquake and then the tension rises".

The Brexit negotiations themselves are not expected to start until June at the earliest -- and Brussels said this timetable would not change.

The European Commission has said it wants the exit talks to be concluded by October 2018 at the latest, to allow time for the deal to be ratified.

But while May secured the parliament's support to trigger Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty last month, eurosceptics and europhiles alike are gearing up for further battles over the details of the negotiations.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a statement that "hopefully" the new elections "will lead to more clarity and predictability in the negotiations with the European Union".

One European source said Tuesday that May would be better placed to enter the negotiations -- and give "concessions" -- if she had a stronger hand.

"We have some hope that this will lead to a strong leader in London that can negotiate with us with strong backing by the electorate," said another.

The other 27 EU leaders are set to hold a summit on April 29 where they will agree on a strategy for negotiating Britain's expected departure in 2019.


Friday, April 14, 2017

With too few priests, Portuguese women step up

Yahoo – AFP, Thomas CABRAL, April 14, 2017

Social worker Claudia Rocha is one of a number of women to lead services in
churches in Portugal because of a shortage of Catholic priests (AFP Photo/
PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA)

Reguengos de Monsaraz (Portugal) (AFP) - Facing a shortage of Roman Catholic priests, women churchgoers have stepped in to lead Sunday services in villages in southeastern Portugal, a sign the ageing communities are open to change.

In the tiny church of Carrapatelo, a village overlooking the vineyards of the Reguengos de Monsaraz region, Claudia Rocha stands before a dozen mostly elderly female churchgoers wearing a black dress and sneakers.

Her leather jacket and smartphone sit on the front-row bench as the 31-year-old leads what the church terms "Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest" with ease.

After prayers and church hymns, she makes comments on the day's biblical reading, a form of preaching.

At the end, Rocha hands out communion wafers representing the body of Christ that were blessed by the priest beforehand, but wine is not part of the ceremony.

"This church would be closed if I wasn't here. Who cares if I am a woman, a deacon or a priest? What matters is having someone from the community who maintains our connection with the priest, even when he isn't here," she tells AFP.

No misgivings

A divorced social worker without children, she is one of 16 laypeople -- eight men and eight women -- chosen by Father Manuel Jose Marques to help ensure regular attendance at the seven parishes he presides over.

The practice of Sunday services being led by laypeople in a priest's absence 
take place in a number of countries, including  Canada, France, Germany,
 the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and the US (AFP Photo/PATRICIA
DE MELO MOREIRA)

"It might seem strange and new, but we haven't invented anything here. It's a tool that has long been set out in the Church's guidelines, for cases when it's absolutely necessary," says the 57-year-old priest.

The practice of Sunday services being led by laypeople in a priest's absence take place in a number of countries, including Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and the US.

It began in the 1980s, when services were prepared with a priest or ordained clergy member, resembling mass but without the rite of consecrating bread for communion or the Eucharistic prayer.

The Vatican and many clergy members have refused to encourage the practice, fearing a trivialisation of the tradition of Mass.

Father Manuel had no such misgivings.

To him, the need to set up Sunday services without a priest became apparent as soon as he took on his seven parishes around 16 years ago.

Before, there had been three priests for the seven parishes in Reguengos de Monsaraz, a town in the region of Alentejo between Evora and the Spanish border.

He assembled a group of 16 volunteers aged between 24 and 65 from varied backgrounds.

"These are people who have experience with faith and welcoming Christ, and who know how to talk about it," he says, noting he makes no distinction between men and women.

Due to a shortage of catholic priests, laywomen lead Sunday services in 
churches of rural parishes in some areas of Portugal (AFP Photo/PATRICIA
DE MELO MOREIRA)

Lay women step in, too, in other rural parts of Portugal, whose population of 10 million is overwhelmingly Catholic but only counts around 3,500 priests for 4,400 congregations.

'Very sensitive subject'

Last August, Pope Francis set up a group to study the role of women deacons in the early days of Christianity.

While he ruled out the possibility of ordaining female priests, the move was considered a potentially historic opening towards a place for women in the Church.

"It is a very sensitive subject, but what we have done is very simple. In this tiny village, we are quite a bit ahead of the Vatican," says Rocha.

The progressive Father Manuel says he believes "women would be very good priests and deacons" but is quick to add: "It's not the opinion of one priest, or even 10 that makes theology."

"We are living in the heart of an open community, the difference between men and women is no longer as strong as it was in the past," says Dora Cruz, who teaches catechism in Campinho, a village of 700 people.

"But women's equality doesn't necessarily come from priesthood," adds the 31-year-old mother and kindergarten teacher.

Members of the congregation approve of having a woman behind the altar.

"People found it strange at first -- a woman leading Mass? But now we're used to it," says Angelica Vital, a 78-year-old pensioner.

"If we're short of priests, I think they should be allowed to marry -- they are men, like any other!" she adds, with a devilish grin.

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.  …”


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

“ … Spirituality (Religions)

Number one: Spirituality. The systems of spiritual design on your planet are starting to change. This is not telling you that certain ones are going to go away. They're simply going to change. Some of the largest spiritual systems, which you would call organized religion on the planet, are shifting. They're going to shift away from that which is authority on the outside to authority on the inside. It will eventually be a different way of worship, slowly changing the rules while keeping the basic doctrine the same.

The doctrine of the Christ has always been to find the God inside. The teachings were clear. The examples of the miracles were given as an example of what humans could do, not to set a man up for worship as a God. So when that has been absorbed, the teaching of the Christ can remain the teaching of the Christ. It simply changes the interpretation. 

The teachings of the great prophets of the Middle East (all related to each other) are about unity and love. So once the holy words are redefined with new wisdom, the Human changes, not the words of the prophets. In fact, the prophets become even more divinely inspired and their wisdom becomes even more profound.

You're going to lose a pope soon. I have no clock. Soon to us can mean anything to you. The one who replaces him may surprise you, for his particular organization will be in survival mode at that point in time. That is to say that fewer and fewer are interested in starting the priesthood. Fewer and fewer young people are interested in the organization, and the new pope must make changes to keep his church alive. That means that his organization will remain, but with a more modern look at what truly is before all of you in a new energy. It is not the fall of the church. It is instead the recalibration of the divinity inside that would match the worship that goes on. It's a win-win situation. The new pope will have a difficult time, since the old guard will still be there. There could even be an assassination attempt, such is the way the old energy dies hard. That is number one. Watch for it. It's a change in the way spiritual systems work. It's a realignment of spiritual systems that resound to a stronger truth that is Human driven, rather than prophet driven.…”



“… With free choice, the percentage of DNA efficiently started to go down as humanity grew. As soon as the DNA started to lose percentage, the gender balance was dysfunctional. If you want to have a test of any society, anywhere on the planet, and you want to know the DNA percentage number [consciousness quota] as a society, there's an easy test: How do they perceive and treat their women? The higher the DNA functionality, the more the feminine divine is honored. This is the test! Different cultures create different DNA consciousness, even at the same time on the planet. So you can have a culture on Earth at 25 percent and one at 37 - and if you did, they would indeed clash. …”

“… You're at 35. There's an equality here, you're starting to see the dark and light, and it's changing everything. You take a look at history and you've come a long way, but it took a long time to get here. Dear ones, we've seen this process before and the snowball is rolling. There isn't anything in the way that's going to stop it. In the path of this snowball of higher consciousness are all kinds of things that will be run over and perish. Part of this is what you call "the establishment". Watch for some very big established things to fall over! The snowball will simply knock them down. …”

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

First 'Silk Road' train from Britain leaves for China

Yahoo - AFP, Robin MILLARD, April 10, 2017

The train, carrying whisky, soft drinks, baby products and pharmaceuticals,
will take 18 days to make the 12,000-km (7,500-mile) journey

The first-ever freight train from Britain to China started its mammoth journey on Monday along a modern-day "Silk Road" trade route as Britain eyes new opportunities after it leaves the European Union.

The 32-container train, around 600 metres (656 yards) long, left the vast London Gateway container port laden with whisky, soft drinks and baby products, bound for Yiwu on the east coast of China.

It was seen off on its 18-day, 12,000-kilometre (7,500-mile) journey with a string quartet, British and Chinese flags, and speeches voicing hope that it will cement a new golden age of trade between the two countries as Brexit negotiations loom.

The first train from China to Britain arrived on January 18, filled with clothes and other retail goods, and Monday's departure was the first journey in the other direction.

The rail route is cheaper than air freight and faster than sea freight, offering logistics companies a new middle option.

After the last three containers were lifted onto the wagons, the driver gave a thumbs-up and tooted his horn as he got the train rolling at the port in Stanford-le-Hope, east of London.

"Restoring the ancient Silk Road as a means by which China, north Europe and now the UK can exchange goods is an important and exciting initiative," said Xubin Feng, the chairman of Yiwu Timex Industrial Investment, which is co-running the service.

"We have great faith in the UK as an export nation and rail provides an excellent alternative for moving large volumes of goods over long distances faster."


Nine countries in 18 days

The train will go through the Channel Tunnel before travelling across France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan before heading into China.

The containers, which also contain vitamins and pharmaceutical products, will be taken off and put on different wagons as they leave Poland, as the former Soviet Union countries use a wider rail gauge.

The containers switch back to standard gauge wagons at the Chinese border, an operation that typically takes around two hours.

Boosting trade with China is a top priority for Britain as it leaves the EU and becomes free to strike its own trade deals.

London was hailing the first export train as part of its "global Britain" plan, recalibrating its post-EU trading outlook.

Rupert Soames, Prime Minister Theresa May's business ambassador for infrastructure and transport, told AFP that the new route was "positive and timely".

"I genuinely think that this is quite an historic day," said Soames, a grandson of World War II prime minister Winston Churchill.

"In some quarters now, globalisation is seen as a bad word. But here you see trade in all its glory and possibilities."

China was Britain's seventh-biggest export market last year, behind the United States, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland.

Some £13.5 billion of trade headed to China, according to UK government statistics, with an average annual growth rate of 12.9 percent since 2006.

In terms of imports, China is Britain's third-biggest market after Germany and the United States, with trade worth £35.8 billion last year.

The freight train is part of China's "One Belt, One Road" programme announced in 2013, reviving the ancient Silk Road trading routes to Europe. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Defiant Swedes unite, reject violence after truck attack

Yahoo – AFP, Ilgin KARLIDAG, April 9, 2017

People attend a memorial ceremony on April 9, 2017 at Sergels Torg plaza in
 Stockholm, close to the point where a truck drove into a department store two
days before (AFP Photo/Odd ANDERSEN)

Stockholm (AFP) - A carpet of flowers, candles and stuffed toys on Sunday covered the steps of a Stockholm shopping plaza where up to 50,000 people gathered for a vigil honouring the victims of last week's truck attack.

"We talk, we don't fight," Marianne said just a stone's throw from where the lorry mowed down shoppers before slamming into the facade of a popular department store, killing four people and injuring 15.

A 39-year-old Uzbek suspected of carrying out the attack had previously been refused residency in Sweden and had "shown sympathies for extremist organisations" such as the Islamic State group, the police said.

Although the motive is not yet known, the method resembled previous terror attacks using vehicles in Nice, Berlin and London, all of them claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

"I think it's very important to stay strong together, against anything that endangers our society which is based on democracy," Marianne, who attended the vigil under sunny, spring skies with her elderly mother, added.

A woman handed out roses to two police officers guarding the square.

Mikael Berggren, a 36-year-old from Stockholm who brought his two children aged one and three to the vigil, said he would continue to live his life normally.

"They're too young to understand what happened," Berggren told AFP as he gazed towards his children.

"The attack will not change anything."

Called the "Love Manifestation", the vigil was created as an event on Facebook and attended by politicians, activists and performers.

Flags were, meanwhile, lowered to half mast in the normally vibrant city.

'We will win'

Karin Wanngard, Stockholm's mayor who spoke at the event, described the city as "open, loving and tolerant".

"Horror cannot prevail, horror may never win, we will win instead...(with) openness and kindness!" the Social Democrat said.

Daniel Holl, a 31-year-old German researcher living in Sweden, said he joined the rally to make a stand for unity among nations hit by attacks in recent years.

"Whether it's Berlin, Brussels, Paris or Stockholm you feel the same, it has nothing to do with nationality," he told AFP.

Gurgi Singh, 31, who moved to Stockholm from India a couple of months ago to learn Swedish, said he was not worried the attack would divide or polarise Sweden.

"Sweden or Stockholm is very supportive and people are always welcoming and helpful," he told AFP.

"If it's going do anything its going to make it more stronger than divided," he said, referring to Friday's attack.

For Charlotte, a Stockholm resident, the attack brought people closer even if they didn't always show it.

"This is the capital of Sweden, a lot of people are busy, running around, and we don’t even have time to say 'hi' sometimes because we are on the go," she told AFP.

"This is so nice to see that people really care, even if we don't show it everyday, you do care for the people around you.".

Friday, April 7, 2017

Greece agrees reforms to break bailout impasse

Yahoo – AFP, Alex PIGMAN with John HADOULIS in Athens, 7 April 2017

Greece cedes to reform demands to snap bailout impasse

Greece agreed on a fresh set of reforms with its eurozone creditors on Friday with hopes that Athens could unlock bailout cash in time to avert a debt default just months away.

Eurozone finance ministers meeting in the Maltese capital of Valletta said Athens agreed in principle to the new reforms and technical teams would visit Greece as soon as possible to seal the deal.

"The big blocks have now been sorted out and now we just have the final stretch," Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said after the talks.

Heavily-indebted Athens and the EU and IMF which handle the bailout have been deadlocked over reforms for months amid disagreements on debt relief and budget targets.

The deal is needed in order to stop the country from defaulting on its creditors as early as July, when Athens owes about seven billion euros ($7.4 billion) in debt repayments.

Dijsselbloem said the Greek government was now prepared to reduce pensions in 2019 and lower tax breaks in 2020 in return for a bailout payment despite widespread public opposition.

Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said the commitments would pass through parliament as soon as possible, though the gamble depends on his Syriza party's razor-thin majority.

'Before summer'

Tsakalotos said his eurozone counterparts had also accepted that Greece boost social spending if budget targets were met and that debt relief would also come back to the table.

"We will be ready for all the pieces of the puzzle to fit in for the discussion on debt," said Tsakalotos, for whom debt relief is a key demand.

"I think we will have (a solution) well before summer," he added.

The eurozone is under big pressure to end the feud in order to avert inflicting damage to a stalling Greek recovery.

Despite projections for growth, the Greek economy actually stalled in 2016 and recent data shows that after some stabilisation, it has begun to falter again amid uncertainty triggered by the row.

"Greece needs this; we must end the uncertainties that are scaring investors," EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said.

The sketch of a deal was a victory of sorts for Dijsselbloem who visited Brussels and Berlin ahead of Friday's talks in hopes of finding a compromise.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had until now refused to accept any commitments beyond the term of its current bailout that is due to end in 2018, arguing that his government would not have the votes in parliament.

The impasse has held up the latest instalment of Greece's 86-billion-euro ($92-billion) bailout, agreed in 2015 with the 19 countries that use the single currency.

Without a deal in Malta, Tsipras said he would ask for a eurozone leaders summit later this month, and made his case in a phone call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe's most powerful leader.

IMF row

Also pressing matters is a desire by eurozone ministers to present a united front to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) later this month at the fund's annual meetings in Washington.

The Europeans have been at loggerheads with the IMF over the Washington-based lender's demands for more realistic budget targets and firm commitments to reduce Greece's mountain of debt.

An agreement among eurozone ministers would go a long way towards getting the IMF on board as a financial partner in the bailout, a major demand of Germany, Greece's biggest lender.

The IMF has so far stayed out of the current rescue, Greece's third since 2010.