Kryon Berlin Tour & Seminar - Berlin, Germany, Sept 17-22 2019 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll)

Kryon Berlin Tour & Seminar - Berlin, Germany, Sept 17-22 2019 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll)
30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Council of Europe (CoE) - European Human Rights Court - founding fathers (1949)

Council of Europe (CoE) - European Human Rights Court - founding fathers (1949)
French National Assembly head Edouard Herriot and British Foreign minister Ernest Bevin surrounded by Italian, Luxembourg and other delegates at the first meeting of Council of Europe's Consultative Assembly in Strasbourg, August 1949 (AFP Photo)

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

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)

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. …

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Revealed: British government's plan to play down Fukushima

Leaked emails show PR campaign was launched to protect UK nuclear power plans after tsunami in Japan, Rob Edwards, Thursday 30 June 2011

Government officials launched a PR campaign to ensure the accident
at the Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan did not derail plans for new
nuclear power stations in the UK. Photograph: AP

British government officials approached nuclear companies to draw up a co-ordinated public relations strategy to play down the Fukushima nuclear accident just two days after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and before the extent of the radiation leak was known.

Internal emails seen by the Guardian show how the business and energy departments worked closely behind the scenes with the multinational companies EDF Energy, Areva and Westinghouse to try to ensure the accident did not derail their plans for a new generation of nuclear stations in the UK.

"This has the potential to set the nuclear industry back globally," wrote one official at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), whose name has been redacted. "We need to ensure the anti-nuclear chaps and chapesses do not gain ground on this. We need to occupy the territory and hold it. We really need to show the safety of nuclear."

Officials stressed the importance of preventing the incident from undermining public support for nuclear power.

The Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, who sits on the Commons environmental audit committee, condemned the extent of co-ordination between the government and nuclear companies that the emails appear to reveal.

"The government has no business doing PR for the industry and it would be appalling if its departments have played down the impact of Fukushima," he said.

Louise Hutchins, a spokeswoman for Greenpeace, said the emails looked like "scandalous collusion". "This highlights the government's blind obsession with nuclear power and shows neither they, nor the industry, can be trusted when it comes to nuclear," she said.

The Fukushima accident, triggered by the Japan earthquake and tsunami on 11 March, has forced 80,000 people from their homes. Opinion polls suggest it has dented public support for nuclear power in Britain and around the world, with the governments of Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Thailand and Malaysia cancelling planned nuclear power stations in the wake of the accident.

The business department emailed the nuclear firms and their representative body, the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), on 13 March, two days after the disaster knocked out nuclear plants and their backup safety systems at Fukushima. The department argued it was not as bad as the "dramatic" TV pictures made it look, even though the consequences of the accident were still unfolding and two major explosions at reactors on the site were yet to happen.

"Radiation released has been controlled – the reactor has been protected," said the BIS official, whose name has been blacked out. "It is all part of the safety systems to control and manage a situation like this."

The official suggested that if companies sent in their comments, they could be incorporated into briefs to ministers and government statements. "We need to all be working from the same material to get the message through to the media and the public.

"Anti-nuclear people across Europe have wasted no time blurring this all into Chernobyl and the works," the official told Areva. "We need to quash any stories trying to compare this to Chernobyl."

Japanese officials initially rated the Fukushima accident as level four on the international nuclear event scale, meaning it had "local consequences". But it was raised to level seven on 11 April, officially making it a major accident" and putting it on a par with Chernobyl in 1986.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has released more than 80 emails sent in the weeks after Fukushima in response to requests under freedom of information legislation. They also show:

• Westinghouse said reported remarks on the cost of new nuclear power stations by the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, were "unhelpful and a little premature".

• The company admitted its new reactor, AP1000, "was not designed for earthquakes [of] the magnitude of the earthquake in Japan", and would need to be modified for seismic areas such as Japan and California.

• The head of the DECC's office for nuclear development, Mark Higson, asked EDF to welcome the expected announcement of a safety review by the energy secretary, Chris Huhne, and added: "Not sure if EDF unilaterally asking for a review is wise. Might set off a bidding war."

• EDF promised to be "sensitive" to how remediation work at a UK nuclear site "might be seen in the light of events in Japan".

• It also requested that ministers did not delay approval for a new radioactive waste store at the Sizewell nuclear site in Suffolk, but accepting there was a "potential risk of judicial review".

• The BIS warned it needed "a good industry response showing the safety of nuclear – otherwise it could have adverse consequences on the market".

On 7 April, the office for nuclear development invited companies to attend a meeting at the NIA's headquarters in London. The aim was "to discuss a joint communications and engagement strategy aimed at ensuring we maintain confidence among the British public on the safety of nuclear power stations and nuclear new-build policy in light of recent events at the Fukushima nuclear power plant".

Other documents released by the government's safety watchdog, the office for nuclear regulation, reveal that the text of an announcement on 5 April about the impact of Fukushima on the new nuclear programme was privately cleared with nuclear industry representatives at a meeting the previous week. According to one former regulator, who preferred not to be named, the degree of collusion was "truly shocking".

A spokesman for the DECC and BIS said: "Given the unprecedented events unfolding in Japan, it was appropriate to share information with key stakeholders, particularly those involved in operating nuclear sites. The government was very clear from the outset that it was important not to rush to judgment and that a response should be based on hard evidence. This is why we called on the chief nuclear inspector, Dr Mike Weightman, to provide a robust and evidence-based report."

A DECC source played down the significance of the emails from the unnamed BIS official, saying: "The junior BIS official was not responsible for nuclear policy and his views were irrelevant to ministers' decisions in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake."

Tom Burke, a former government environmental adviser and visiting professor at Imperial College London, warned that the British government was repeating mistakes made in Japan. "They are too close to industry, concealing problems, rather than revealing and dealing with them," he said.

"I would be much more reassured if DECC had been worrying about how the government would cope with the $200m-$300m of liabilities from a catastrophic nuclear accident in Britain."

The government last week confirmed plans for eight new nuclear stations in England and Wales. "If acceptable proposals come forward in appropriate places, they will not face unnecessary holdups," said the energy minister, Charles Hendry.

The NIA did not comment directly on the emails. "We are funded by our member companies to represent their commercial interests and further the compelling case for new nuclear build in the UK," said the association's spokesman.

"We welcome the interim findings of the independent regulator, Dr Mike Weightman, who has reported back to government that UK nuclear reactors are safe."

Influential MEP calls for shale gas regulation

Jo Leinen is proposing a European directive that would penalise or even ban the exploitation of the controversial fossil fuel, Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent, Thursday 30 June 2011

3Legs Resources, a British company, drilling in shale gas deposits near Lebien,
Poland. MEPs are increasingly worried about the role of shale gas in the world’s
energy mix. Photograph: Michal Fludra/Corbis

One of the most influential members of the European parliament is proposing a new directive that would penalise or even ban the exploitation of shale gas, the controversial new fossil fuel that is tipped as the major energy source of the future.

Jo Leinen told the Guardian he wanted a new "energy quality directive" that would mean fuels with adverse environmental impacts - such as shale gas and oil from tar sands - were stringently regulated within the EU.

Leinen chairs the EU parliament's main body overseeing environmental regulation, the influential committee on the environment, public health and food safety. He has the power to bring forward proposals that could make it into law within a few years.

Leinen said there was likely to be support for such a legislative intervention, as many MEPs are increasingly worried about the role of shale gas in the world's energy mix. Shale gas extraction has been linked to a wide variety of environmental problems, including pollution of the water supply, excessive use of water resources and potential seismic effects. In France, further expansion of the shale gas industry has been banned, and in the UK drilling operations have been halted after two small earthquakes near the exploration sites.

Although gas produces only half of the carbon dioxide emissions associated with coal when burned to produce electricity, one study from Cornell University has suggested that the true emissions related to shale gas could be greater than those from coal, if factors such as methane leakage during the extraction process were taken into account.

"We need to be looking much more carefully at shale gas, and at the consequences of pursuing it," said Leinen.

Although there are few details yet of what an energy quality directive would look like, the EU already has rules on transport fuel quality. A new directive could impose effective limits or financial penalties on shale gas use, depending on the environmental consequences associated with the fuel.

Other "unconventional" fossil fuel resources could also fall under the remit of such a directive, such as oil from tar sands.

Plans for a directive on energy quality are likely to be fiercely resisted by the gas industry, which for months has been lobbying strongly for shale gas to be accepted as a "green" alternative to renewable energy. Earlier this year, the European Gas Advocacy Forum adapted a report on the expansion of Europe's renewable energy industry to show instead that gas could deliver greenhouse gas savings at a lower cost than adopting renewables. The interpretation was rebuffed by the renewables industry, and the NGO that commissioned the original report.

A report from the International Energy Agency also found that gas was not a "panacea" and that pursuing gas as the main energy source for the future would cause global warming on a serious scale, raising temperatures by much more than the 2C that scientists regard as the limit of safety, beyond which climate change becomes catastrophic and irreversible.

There is dispute over the environmental effects of shale gas drilling, fuelled in part by the secrecy of the gas industry in the US, a pioneer of shale gas exploration. Several studies are now under way, including one spearheaded by Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, through the institute he also chairs, and one undertaken by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Related Article:
Jessica Ernst, whose village in Alberta, Canada, is surrounded
by natural gas wells, told a Calgary publication in 2008 that due
to methane contamination, she could set her tap water on fire.
Below, an apparatus the Duke University researchers used to test
methane levels. (Photograph by Wil Andruschak.)


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dutch move to ban slaughter of livestock which hasn't been stunned

The Australian, AP June 29, 2011

The Dutch parliament has passed a bill banning the slaughter of livestock
without stunning it first. (Source: Supplied)

THE Dutch parliament has passed a bill banning the slaughter of livestock without stunning it first, removing an exemption that has allowed Jews and Muslims to butcher animals according to their centuries-old dietary rules.

If enacted and enforced, religious groups say observant Jews and Muslims would have to import meat from abroad, stop eating it altogether, or leave the Netherlands.

However, the bill must still pass the Senate, which is unlikely before the summer recess, and the Cabinet said the law may be unenforceable in its current form due in part to ambiguity introduced in a last-minute amendment.

The move comes after Australia banned the export of live cattle to Indonesia over animal cruelty allegations.

It also follows revelations that livestock in Australia were routinely killed without first being stunned, despite the Gillard government's encouragement of Indonesia to adopt the practice nationally.


If the Netherlands outlaws procedures that make meat kosher for Jews or halal for Muslims, it will be the second country after New Zealand to do so in recent years. It will join Switzerland, the Scandinavian and Baltic countries, whose bans are mostly traceable to pre-World War II anti-Semitism.

"The Cabinet will give its judgment over the proposed law after it has been treated by both houses," said Deputy Secretary of Economic Affairs and Agriculture Henk Blekers.

The Cabinet will "also look at how it fits with freedom of religion," he said, citing the European Convention on Human Rights.

MP Marianne Thieme of the Party for the Animals, the world's first animal rights party to win seats in a national parliament, welcomed the approval of the bill that she had first introduced in 2008, and said she was now prepared to defend it in the Senate.

"It's a great honour," she said. She has argued that sparing animals needless pain and distress outweighs religious groups' rights to follow slaughter practices "no longer of our time."

But the threat of a possible ban has led to outcry from Jewish and Muslim groups who say it infringes on their right to freedom of religion.

Around one million Muslims live in the Netherlands, mostly immigrants from Turkey and Morocco. The once-strong Jewish community now numbers 40,000-50,000 after more that 70 per cent were deported and killed by the Nazis during World War II.

"The Dutch Jewish community is small and the Jewish kosher meat consumption is smaller still, but the impact on our community is deep and large," said a committee of rabbis pleading with parliament not to pass the law in an open letter Tuesday.

"Older Jews are frightened and wonder what the next law will be that limits their religious life. The youth are openly asking whether they still have a future that they can or want to build in the Netherlands."

A solid majority of Dutch voters say they support the ban, and parliament voted for it by a margin of 116 for to 30 against.

Ritual slaughter rules prescribe that animals' throats must be cut swiftly with a razor-sharp knife while they are still conscious, so that they bleed to death quickly.

Support for the ban came from the political left, which sees ritual slaughter as inhumane, and from the anti-immigration right, which sees it as foreign and barbaric.

Only Christian parties were opposed, arguing the ban undermines the country's long tradition of religious tolerance.

Centrist parties were initially divided, with many of them loath to lose support of Muslim voters. Last week they introduced an amendment that says ritual slaughterers may still be granted licences, if they can "prove" that it does not cause animals more pain than stunning.

Animal slaughter methods have been in the spotlight in Australia, where the government recently banned the live cattle trade to Indonesia earlier following concerns about animal rights abuses, including animals being killed without first being stunned.

Related Article:

A trip to hell

Deutsche Welle, 29 June 2011

Human traffickers exploit Nigerian
women's dreams of a better future
in Europe
The latest US anti-slavery report says Nigeria is meeting minimum anti-trafficking standards. Yet tens of thousands of Nigerian women are being brought to Europe and forced to work as prostitutes, as a German film shows.

The US State Department's annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report released this week ranks countries according to efforts made to stop trafficking and help the victims. Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, was able to hold on to its Tier 1 ranking, joining Mauritius as the only African country with a top grade.

Yet German director Lukas Roegler portrays a different story in his film "Sisters of no mercy." Roegler spent several months researching and filming in Nigeria. His documentary tells the stories of four Nigerian girls whose dream of a better future turned into a prostitution nightmare on the streets of Europe.

Nigerian families often have many children, and can't provide all with a good education. For girls and young women in particular, it's often difficult to find an occupational perspective for the future.

So for many young women, Europe appears to be the answer to all their problems. They envision opportunities to work as nannies or housekeepers, and to earn their own money. As Roegler discovered, human traffickers brutally and mercilessly exploit these dreams. Instead of finding work as household help, these Nigerian women end up in German brothels or as prostitutes on the streets of Italy, where an estimated one in three prostitutes comes from Nigeria today.

Informing both sides

Four years after the film was released, the director was finally able to screen the film in Nigeria last week. For Roegler, the trip back to Nigeria fulfills a vision. He said right from the outset, it was his aim to show the documentary on both continents in order to close an information gap.

Anti-trafficking campaigns do
exist in Nigeria
"The European side can be informed about the structures of this human trafficking, so that the authorities can better react," Roegler says. "We have achieved this. Today, the police and aid organizations in part use the film for training purposes and it has made a difference."

Now, Roegler is hoping to throw light on the issue in Nigeria. "Sisters of no mercy" was shown in Abuja, Lagos and Benin City - the most important screening for the director.

Most potential victims live in Benin City. The Nigerian city is considered the center of human trafficking. One of these victims told her story to Roegler in the film. For years, Faith was forced to work as a prostitute in Italy on the streets of Turin.

"So you have sex with someone you don't know, just to keep things moving because you must eat," she says.

Many Nigerian women believe they'll earn good money as housekeepers or nannies and can help support their families back home. Faith says she remembers the day she arrived in Europe with these dreams.

"It was a very nice day," she says. "In my mind I was saying, God, I want to be a nanny. I'll work, send money home to buy land for my father and take care if my family."

Treacherous journey

In these women's minds, Europe is paradise. But already the trip there turns out to be hell. Human traffickers don't put their victims in an airplane. Their journey often takes years, crisscrossing North Africa, squeezed into trucks - a fact also confirmed in the State Department's TIP report.

"Traffickers decreasingly relied on air travel to transport trafficking victims, and more often utilized land and sea routes, for example by forcing victims to cross the desert on foot to reach Europe," the report said.

Roegler says the treacherous journey is supposed to break their will. Several sources told him that the traffickers responsible for the transport from Africa to Europe deliberately incorporate concrete mishaps on the trip.

"The girls and women are then stuck in some little town in part for weeks," he says. "Of course, at some point, they run out of money or food and are forced to prostitute themselves. So they experience this as if it were all an unhappy coincidence. But there's a system behind it. These women are then brought to Europe and have already had to prostitute themselves out of necessity."

Unscrupulous 'Madams'

These women live in constant
Whoever actually survives the journey through the Sahara, the introduction into prostitution in Mali or Morocco and the crossing to Europe, lands immediately as a sex slave on the streets of Turin, Rome or Verona.

Here, the next nightmare awaits them: the so-called "Madams" - Nigerian female pimps, who make the human trafficking business from Nigeria the only major organized crime business worldwide controlled by women.

The Madams are unscrupulous and brutal. They take the young women's passports away and force them to prostitute themselves on the streets. There, they have to work off their transport costs of some 60,000 Euros ($86,000).

"We calculated that this means up to 1,500 customers that they have to serve sexually," Roegler says. "That can take years. If you consider a city like Turin, where it can be minus 15 degrees cold in the winter and you have to stand around burning garbage cans, that is of course completely unimaginable for these African women before they arrive."

Control instrument

Escaping the system is impossible. A large number of these young women are recruited in an animist region in southern Nigeria, where superstition is an integral part of their lives. This is also exploited by the traffickers, who force the women through an occult "juju" ritual.

This contract, which is made in a voodoo shrine before they leave Nigeria, ties them to their traffickers until they repay their individual debt. It's a pact with the gods, says Roegler.

"These women grow up with this so they believe that if they swear on the god of iron, Ogun, and then break their contract, the god will punish them here," he says. "These rituals are then devised accordingly that they say: we're keeping your hair here. Then we can punish you here and you will get sick in Europe or die there."

Platform for discussion

Faith also lived through this fear and described it in the film. She is just one of some 50,000 Nigerian prostitutes in Europe. In Nigeria, there are increased efforts now to educate women on the situation.

Last week, human rights activists, judges, district attorneys and potential victims, some 500 girls from a school in Benin City, watched the film at the Nawa Festival, which serves as a platform for discussion on human trafficking issues. Roegler was told there about furtive recruiting methods.

"One girl told us that there's a white Italian man who pays her school fees," he says. "As soon as she graduates, she supposed to be brought to Europe to work for him. And so you really notice that it's simply important to show this film here."

For this girl, Roegler's film came precisely at the right time to Nigeria. A human rights organization working against trafficking of women is now dealing with her case.

Authors: Beatrice Weiskircher, Sabina Casagrande
Editor: Rob Mudge

Related Article:

Auditors criticise EU farm payment system

BBC News, 29 June 2011

Related Stories

The EU's main audit body says agricultural subsidies - the biggest item in the EU budget - often go to people who do little or no farming.

A farm near Rennes: France gets the biggest
portion of EU agricultural subsidies
A new report by the European Court of Auditors complains of deficiencies in the Single Payment Scheme (SPS), which distributed about 29bn euros (£26bn) of subsidies in 2009.

It says payments "have become divorced from current farming conditions".

The EU is considering how to reform its Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The auditors have made various recommendations to the European Commission aimed at improving the SPS - the biggest area of spending in the CAP.

They say the SPS ought to direct aid to "active" farmers and provide more balanced funding so that a small number of big landowners no longer get the lion's share.

They also call for clearer definitions of land eligible for subsidies and of farming activities.

The report complains that the 17 EU countries applying the SPS use about 20 different variants of the payment scheme, making it too complex.

Absentee farmers

The SPS does not operate in 10 EU countries, which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007. All 10, except Cyprus, are former communist countries and they use a different system of farm support, called SAPS.

The auditors say the SPS has encouraged farmers to respond better to market demand and has benefited EU agriculture as a whole.

But they say the way the scheme's beneficiaries were defined "permitted persons or entities not, or only marginally, engaged in an agricultural activity to benefit from SPS payments".

In some cases landowners have carried on receiving the payments even though their land is worked by tenant farmers who do not get the subsidy.

In the UK the auditors found some individual beneficiaries receiving up to 1m euros annually or even more in SPS aid without having any agricultural activity on their land.

The report also highlights examples of non-agricultural land qualifying for SPS payments in France, Italy and Spain.

The European Commission has said EU farm spending should no longer be based on previous subsidy levels for farmers.

But the commission believes subsidies are still needed to protect Europe's food supplies and rural diversity. The proposals are contained in an EU blueprint for farming beyond 2013.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Germany, China stress support for euro

The Jakarta Post, Geir Moulson, Associated Press, Berlin | Tue, 06/28/2011

German and Chinese leaders on Tuesday pledged a big increase in trade between their countries, the biggest economies of Europe and Asia, while China's premier underlined his support for the eurozone amid its debt crisis.

After a meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao dominated by economic issues, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also pressed for "transparent" handling of the case of recently released Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, a prominent government critic.

Merkel welcomed Wen and many Chinese ministers to Berlin, a reception that she said opened a "new chapter" in relations - underlining Germany's hopes of deepening political and economic ties with fast-rising China.

Germany and China want to increase their annual bilateral trade volume to euro200 billion ($284 billion) by 2015, she said. Wen voiced hopes that the countries could even double their trade volume over five years.

Trade between China and Germany totaled just over euro130 billion last year, a 38.5 percent increase compared with 2009. China was the No. 7 buyer of German exports, at euro53.6 billion; and it led the list of importers to Germany, which bought Chinese goods and services worth euro76.5 billion.

"We both take the view that what is good can become better," Merkel said. She added that China and Germany are "ideal partners" to develop electric cars for the future, for example, and said both sides want to increase investments.

Germany and the rest of the 17-nation eurozone are grappling with Greece's deepening debt crisis.

China has said repeatedly that "when Europe has difficulties, we reach out our helping hand," Wen said at a joint news conference.

"We have said that we have confidence in the European economy, that we have confidence in the euro," Wen said through an interpreter. "We have also said that we support some countries, as needed, in that we buy their government bonds to a certain extent."

For her part, Merkel said she assured Wen that Germany will do everything to ensure that all eurozone countries' competitiveness improves but also ensure that "among ourselves, we show the necessary degree of solidarity."

Wen, whose visit to Germany followed stops in Hungary and Britain, insisted that some European Union countries' economic difficulties "are of temporary character" and that growth in the region is "useful for the whole world."

China is prepared to buy more high-quality German goods, Wen said, but he also called for Berlin to quickly grant it formal recognition as a full market economy to help remove obstacles to trade.

He said that "we are not forcing anyone into technology transfer" but urged Germany to seek a loosening of EU restrictions on technology exports.

German officials say there's no contradiction between pursuing trade interests in China and also raising concerns about the country's human rights record.

Last week, artist Ai was freed after nearly three months in detention that drew widespread criticism in Germany. He was the most high-profile target of a sweeping crackdown on activists this year.

Merkel said after meeting Wen Tuesday that the government critics' release was welcome but it's important that there now be "transparent proceedings" for Ai and others.

China says Ai admitted to tax evasion; a friend said Tuesday that Beijing tax authorities are seeking nearly $2 million in back taxes and fines from him.

"We welcomed the fact that the artist Ai Weiwei was released as well as Hu Jia," another prominent activist, Merkel said as she spoke alongside Wen.

However, "we also noted that it is important that transparent proceedings follow for Ai Weiwei and for all others who are affected by such proceedings," she added.

Tuesday's meeting involved the signing of several bilateral deals, including an agreement in general terms for China to buy 88 Airbus jets.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Beatings instead of wages - domestic helpers in the diplomatic service

Deutsche Welle, 27 June 2011

Seeking a better life - maids from
A Saudi diplomat in Berlin is said to have maltreated his Indonesian domestic helper. A 50-year-old international convention guaranteeing diplomatic immunity means the attache will not face legal consequences.

Dewi Ratnasari left her home in Indonesia in hopes of a better life. Via Saudi Arabia, she travelled to Germany, where she started to work as a domestic helper for the family of a Saudi-Arabian diplomat in Berlin in April 2009.

She did not find a better life. Later, she told authorities that she was forced to hand over her passport, was not allowed to leave the house alone and was prohibited to get in touch with her family. She worked up to 18 hours daily in the diplomat's large household. She slept on the bare floor in one of the children's bedrooms.

Ratnasari - not her real name but a pseudonym - managed to escape in the fall of 2010, and showed up on the doorstep of Ban Ying, a Berlin based, city-funded human rights association founded in 1988 as a shelter and counseling center for migrant women from Southeast Asia. The center deals with up to ten cases a year from among the 249 domestic helpers currently employed by diplomats in Germany.

Ban Ying's Nivedita Prasad told Deutsche Welle that the Indonesian woman is an example of particularly shoddy treatment. The entire family regularly slapped the 30-year-old Indonesian household help, beat her with objects, humiliated her and insulted her. "The worst part is that they never called her by her name, but by the Arabic word for 'shit,'" Prasad said.

Exploitation is not isolated

Nevedita Prasad of Ban Ying, the
Thai term for 'House of Women'
NGOs across Europe are aware of the problem of exploitation of domestic help in diplomatic households. A common complaint is that employees are forced to work long hours without extra pay and that they have signed what amounts to a virtually worthless work contract.

Maltreating and locking up domestic help is regarded as a grave human rights abuse and a breach of the ban on slavery. In many European countries, stressful working conditions and measly pay violate both human rights and national legislation.

But the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations guarantees diplomats and their personnel legal immunity. Diplomats are immune from civil or criminal prosecution and no German civil court is allowed to, for example, require a diplomat to pay lost wages to an employee.

"This immunity blocks the legal process for domestic help in diplomatic households," Heike Raabe of the German Institute for Human Rights said. "It's a gap in the protection of human rights at the expense of women, who usually take on such jobs because of economic hardship."

Under the Vienna Convention, Dewi Ratnasari could have taken her employer to court in Saudi Arabia - in theory. In reality, according to Heike Raabe, that is impossible because of her gender, her family background, a lack of resources and visa limitations. "Without a male escort, women are forbidden to travel to or within Saudi Arabia. They also have to be accompanied by a man in court," she said.

Unrealistic legal claims

Ban Ying contacted the German Foreign Ministry, in the hope that it would negotiate compensation for Dewi Ratnasari, in exchange for a commitment not to go public about the case. But the sum the Saudi embassy offered was "outrageously low," said Nivesita Prasad.

Bertelsmann is up against slavery
and exploitation of foreign domestic
The Institute and other organizations helped to bring the case to trial, hiring labor lawyer Klaus Bertelsmann to take Dewi Ratnasari's case to Berlin's Labor Court. He filed a criminal complaint on the grounds of human trafficking and claimed 70.000 euros ($99,310) in back wages, overtime and compensation for personal suffering. On June 14, the court ruled against the complainant, citing her employer's diplomatic immunity.

Dewi Ratnasari has meanwhile returned to her native Indonesia. Ban Ying organized a fundraiser so she would not have to go home empty-handed, but she officially passed on her wage entitlement to Heide Pfarr, a women's rights activist who continues to act for her as claimant.

Lawyer Bertelsmann said he is appealing the Labor Court's ruling, and is confident of a solution along the lines of a ruling in a similar case earlier this year by France's top administrative court, which said that the state must pick up the tab for the foreign employee's back wages.

It can take up to six months before the next higher German court rules on Dewi Ratnasari's claim, but diplomats will in any case go scot free despite continuing human rights abuses and slavery practices.

But the situation will not be changed unless the 192 signatory states to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations decide to do so.

Author: Ulrike Mast-Kirschning / db
Editor: Michael Lawton
Martin Kuebler

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Are aliens getting less camera shy? UFO's filmed above BBC building in London

Daily Mail, By DAILY MAIL REPORTER, 26th June 2011

If UFO's are real and trying to get our attention perhaps they are getting a little more savvy about the way we humans work.

A new video has emerged purporting to show 'a mothership and its fleet' zipping around in the clouds above a BBC building in London.

Perhaps the group of intergalactic travellers was hoping for some coverage from Auntie.

See the video below...

UFOs? In the video, three fast-moving white dots streak across
the London skyline

Crowd puller: By the time the cameraman arrives on the scene
there are already three other people observing the phenomenon'

Instead they were caught on camera by a passer-by, and at least one other person who can be seen filming or taking pictures on his camera phone while the video is filmed.

In the video, the cameraman runs towards the street corner where two other men are already standing, gazing skywards, and one of whom is using a mobile phone camera.

As the camera is pointed upwards three white dots flash across the sky at great speed in a triangle formation, they are very quickly followed by two similar sized white dots.

As the camera pans down again, two people on the opposite side of the road can also been seen watching events unfold above them.

Mothership: After the five white dots are seen whizzing around, one
larger brighter disc-shaped white object movers around slowly in the sky

The, one larger, bright and more slow moving disc-shaped white object appears, circles around briefly and then zips off.

By this time a crowd of five people have gathered on the street corner to observe. A Scottish man's voice is heard off camera saying the word 'UFO'.

Shortly after another Scottish man's voice is heard saying: 'Are you getting that up there? I couldn't see before because the sun as flashing by.'

Far be it from us to suggest that the video is a hoax, but were people so minded then that part of London is home to a great many production houses offering both the expertise and facilities to mock up a video.

But as the person who circulated the video wrote in order to circumvent the cynical naysayers: 'If you believe it's easy photoshopped why don't you make a video & show us all.'

Close-up encounters: The three white dots that appear at the
beginning of the video

The video was originally uploaded to YouTube by 31-year-old user alymc01, but it has been more widely circulated by a user called EllasVirgo, who on his YouTube profile describes himself as a farmer from Australia.

Virgo's YouTube channel is filled with space, asteroid and UFO-related snippets, including videos with titles such as 'More proof Nasa is lying'.

In the brief text accompanying the video Virgo wrote: 'UFOs Over London BBC Radio 1 Building.

'Right - took over a week to get it....but finally managed to get these critters on camera on a clear day, and even get a close-up

'It seems to be attracting quite a crowd now when they appear

'Can anyone explain what on earth these lights are please?'

The video was uploaded on June 26 and, given that Virgo says it took more than a week to source, and that he states in the description that it was shot on a Friday in June, the film was made on either June 3, 10 or 17.

Memo FBI: Aliens landed in Roswell