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. …

Monday, October 31, 2011

Police officers escaping punishment by resigning

Hundreds of police officers accused of misconduct are escaping punishment by resigning, according to a Panorama investigation

guardian.co.ukAmy Fallon, Monday 31 October 2011

Hundreds of police officers have been escaping punishment for misconduct
by resigning, according to BBC's Panorama. Photograph: Larry Lilac/Alamy

Hundreds of police officers accused of misconduct are escaping punishment by quietly resigning, according to a BBC Panorama investigation.

At least 489 officers from 47 forces facing misconduct action were allowed to discreetly leave through the 'back door' between 2008 and 2010, the programme found.

There were 1,915 guilty findings against officers for misconduct over the same period.

One fifth of officers who were given punishments - 382 all told - were dismissed or required to resign, Panorama found through Freedom of Information (FoI) requests made to the UK's 53 forces over the two years.

Campaigners called for more accountability among forces.

Lawyer Jocelyn Cockburn, who handles cases involving complaints against police, said there were risks in letting officers avoid sanctions by leaving.

"If they are allowed to leave the police without any stain on their character then there is the chance they will go and work in another force, and that does happen," she said.

Greater Manchester Chief Constable Peter Fahy, speaking on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said corrupt officers were damaging community confidence and undermining their counterparts who were doing their job ethically.

"There have always been a small number of individuals who fail to uphold the professional standards required of them and their actions harm the reputation of the huge majority of the 140,000 officers who serve their communities with commitment and integrity," Fahy said.

"No-one in the service wants officers who are clearly incompetent or corrupt to remain within the organisation.

"If such an officer remains suspended on full pay for a protracted period, it may have a damaging impact on public confidence."

He said there was a "judgement to be made" about whether officers should be taken off the payroll and out of the force through a "long, drawn out and potentially costly procedure".

"As a service, we need to ensure that complaints and misconduct are dealt with to the satisfaction of the victim involved as well as making sure that officers who we know to be guilty are removed as quickly as possible," he said.

"Cases of misconduct are closely scrutinised by police authorities and they receive regular updates on the progress of investigations."

The IPCC handles public complaints and only plays a role in very few, serious misconduct cases.

It can make a misconduct finding, but does not have the power to punish, with that being left up to the officer's own force.

"There is no overall body that has responsibility for the police misconduct system other than the Home Office, I dare say, " IPCC deputy chair Deborah Glass said.

Academic linked to Gaddafi's fugitive son leaves LSE

David Held was adviser to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi at the university and director of a research programme funded by his charity

guardian.co.uk, Jeevan Vasagar, education editor, Monday 31 October 2011

Gaddafi's fugitive son, Saif al-Islam studied at LSE and his charity funded
 a research programme at the university. Photograph: Paul Hackett/Reuters

A British academic with close links to Muammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam has left the London School of Economics before a report on the university's relationship with Libya is published.

David Held was an academic adviser to the toppled dictator's son when he studied at the LSE and was director of the research programme funded by his charity.

Held, who is currently Graham Wallas professor of political science at the LSE, has announced that he is leaving in January to take up a post at Durham University.

The LSE is expected to face sharp criticism over the academic independence of the North Africa Research Programme, which was funded with a £1.5m donation from the Gaddafi charitable foundation, and Held's departure is regarded internally as the latest aftershock from the donation. The LSE's links with Libya have already triggered the resignation of its director, Howard Davies.

Held has extensive ties to Saif al-Islam, now on the run after the violent collapse of his father's dictatorship. Held was on the board of the Gaddafi foundation, the charity run by Saif al-Islam.

He was appointed to the board of the charity on 28 June 2009, a few days after the gift was discussed and accepted by the LSE council, the university's governing body. He subsequently resigned from the charity on the LSE council's advice.

The donation – of which £300,000 was received – was paid to a research centre LSE Global Governance, of which Held was co-director.

Saif al-Islam was allowed to lay out "objectives and expectations" for the programme, according to leaked LSE documents.

Lord Woolf, a former lord chief justice, has completed an independent inquiry into the university's Libyan links. Its publication has been delayed pending the results of a separate inquiry into allegations of plagiarism in Saif al-Islam's PhD thesis.

Held is taking up a new position as master of University College and chair of politics and international relations at Durham University.

An LSE insider said that he expected the Woolf inquiry report to criticise the "close consultations" between LSE scholars and the Gaddafi regime. The funding was accepted despite internal protest. Fred Halliday, a distinguished Middle East expert at the LSE, criticised the donation in a letter that described the country's rulers as a "secretive, erratic and corrupt elite".

The letter calls Held "the leading proponent of our accepting this grant".

Held viewed Saif al-Islam as a potential reformer.

The academic introduced the dictator's son when Saif al-Islam delivered the Ralph Miliband memorial lecture at the LSE last May, telling the audience: "I've come to know Saif as someone who looks to democracy, civil society and deep liberal values as the core of his inspiration."

The North Africa Research Programme was suspended when the Libyan uprising began this year, while LSE Global Governance was closed at the end of July. The LSE has agreed to put £300,000 – equivalent to the cash it has received from the Gaddafi foundation to set up the research programme – into a scholarship for north African students.

Held said in a statement: "I will be taking up the positions of master of University College and chair of politics and international relations at the University of Durham from January.

"This move is being made for academic reasons and I look forward to the new avenues of research that this role will bring. I have many links to LSE which will be maintained in the years ahead."

An LSE spokesman said: "Prof Held was offered, and has taken up, a position at Durham University. This is a personal decision made by Prof Held for academic reasons."

Referring to the Woolf inquiry report, the university's spokesman added: "No donor can expect to influence the academic content of research. I don't know what the report says but that has always been our understanding and our strong expectation."

Italy ex-central banker Antonio Fazio convicted again

BBC News, 31 October 2011

Related Stories 

Fazio has already been sentenced to four years for
blocking the foreign takeover of another Italian bank
The former head of the Italian central bank, Antonio Fazio, has been sentenced to three and a half years in jail.

He was convicted of rigging the sale of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) in 2005, by unfairly favouring an Italian buyer, insurer Unipol.

Unipol's former chairman, Giovanni Consorte, was also sentenced to jail.

It is the second time Fazio, who headed the Bank of Italy from 1993 to 2005, has been sentenced for blocking the foreign takeover of an Italian bank.

He also faces four years for a similarly biased intervention in the 2005 takeover battle for Banco Antonveneta.

However, as Fazio has yet to exhaust his last right of appeal, he is not yet required under Italian law to begin his jail term.

'Documents'

As governor of the Italian central bank, Fazio was responsible for oversight of the country's banking system.

European Union law bans national authorities from favouring buyers on the basis of their nationality.

Fazio was accused of unfairly impeding Spanish bank BBVA from buying up BNL. The Italian bank was later taken over by BNP Paribas of France instead.

"Mr Fazio cannot understand the reason for this verdict," said the ex-banker's lawyer. "There were documents that showed that what he did was right."

Fazio was forced to resign his position over the scandal.

He was succeeded as governor of the Bank of Italy by Mario Draghi, who is about to take over from Jean-Claude Trichet as president of the European Central Bank.


Related Article:


Belgium plans to phase out nuclear power

BBC News, 31 October 2011

Related Stories 

Belgium operates seven nuclear reactors
Belgium's main political parties have agreed on a plan to shut down the country's two nuclear power stations, but they have not yet set a firm date.

A new coalition government is being set up and the nuclear shutdown will be on its agenda, officials say.

If alternative energy sources are found to fill the gap then the three oldest reactors will be shut down in 2015.

Germany is the biggest industrial power to renounce nuclear energy since Japan's Fukushima disaster in March.

Belgium has seven reactors at two nuclear power stations, at Doel in the north and Tihange in the south. They are operated by Electrabel, which is part of GDF-Suez.

The agreement reached on Sunday night confirms a decision taken in 2003, which was shelved during Belgium's political deadlock following the last government's collapse in April 2010.

Belgium will need to replace 5,860 megawatts of power if it is to go ahead with the nuclear phase-out.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cameron threat to withhold UK aid to anti-gay nations

BBC News, 30 October 2011 

The Commonwealth must have strong values, David Cameron says

Related Stories 

David Cameron has threatened to withhold UK aid from countries that do not reform legislation banning homosexuality.

The UK prime minister said he raised the issue with some of the states involved at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Australia.

Human rights reform in the Commonwealth was one issue that leaders failed to reach agreement on at the summit.

Mr Cameron says those receiving UK aid should "adhere to proper human rights".

Ending the bans on homosexuality was one of the recommendations of an internal report into the future relevance of the Commonwealth.

British empire

Mr Cameron told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show that "British aid should have more strings attached".

But he conceded that countries could not change immediately, and cautioned that it would be a "journey".

"This is an issue where we are pushing for movement, we are prepared to put some money behind what we believe. But I'm afraid that you can't expect countries to change overnight.

"Britain is one of the premier aid givers in the world. We want to see countries that receive our aid adhering to proper human rights.

"We are saying that is one of the things that determines our aid policy, and there have been particularly bad examples where we have taken action."

Mr Cameron said he had spoken with "a number of African countries" and that more pressure had been applied by Foreign Secretary William Hague, who deputised for him during parts of the summit.

Some 41 nations within the 54-member Commonwealth have laws banning homosexuality. Many of these laws are a legacy of British Empire laws.

The discussion in the Ugandan parliament of an anti-homosexuality bill in 2009 sparked particular controversy, and earlier this year Ugandan gay rights campaigner David Kato was beaten to death in a suspected hate crime.

Nigeria's Senate is currently discussing a bill banning same-sex marriage, that includes penalties for anyone witnessing or aiding a same-sex marriage.

Appointing a human rights commissioner to address this and other human rights issues was one of the 100-plus recommendations of the internal report, by the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group, which includes former UK foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

However, objections from a number of countries blocked adoption of the recommendation, according to Australia's prime minister Julia Gillard, speaking at the end of the three-day summit in Western Australia.

Besides the homosexuality rights issue, Sri Lanka's human rights conduct also came under scrutiny at the summit. The country will host the next head of government's meeting in two years' time.

Sri Lanka's army has been accused of war crimes during the civil war with the Tamil Tigers.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he will boycott the 2013 summit unless there are major reforms in the country.

Succession question

In earlier comments, Mr Cameron said there had to be a "proper, independent exercise to look into the whole issue of what happened, and whether there were war crimes, and who is responsible" in Sri Lanka.

BBC correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the summit had been seen as a "watershed" for the organisation as it "struggles to demonstrate its relevance, particularly on human rights".

Though the summit agreed to draw up a written charter and strengthen its ministerial action group, our correspondent said the outcome will be viewed by many "as a disappointing one and an opportunity missed".

Two other developments came from the summit - a reform of royal succession and action on polio.

It was agreed that sons and daughters of any future UK monarch would have equal right to the throne. They will also be allowed to marry Roman Catholics without giving up a claim to the throne.

The move was agreed by the 15 Commonwealth realms where the monarch is head of state.

And Mr Cameron joined the leaders of Canada, Australia and Nigeria, in committing tens of millions of pounds towards eradicating polio in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

The campaign will be supported financially by Microsoft magnate Bill Gates.


About the Challenges of Being a Gay Man – Oct 23, 2010 (Saint Germain channelled by Alexandra Mahlimay and Dan Bennack) - “You see, your Soul and Creator are not concerned with any perspective you have that contradicts the reality of your Divinity – whether this be your gender, your sexual preference, your nationality – or your race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or anything else.”

"The Akashic System" – Jul 17, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: Religion, The Humanization of GodBenevolent Design, DNA, Akashic Circle, (Old) Souls, Gaia, Indigenous People, Talents, Reincarnation, Genders, Gender Switches, In “between” Gender Change, Gender Confusion, Shift of Human Consciousness, Global Unity,..... etc.)  - (Text version New !

Friday, October 28, 2011

Catholic bishop orders South West child protection review

BBC News, 28 October 2011 

The Roman Catholic Church has ordered a widespread review into its safeguarding children procedures in the South West.

Jarvis was investigating allegations of abuse at a
school run by Buckfast Abbey
It followed the arrest in March of Christopher Jarvis, 49, who was employed by the Devon diocese to investigate sex abuse allegations.

Jarvis, of Penrose Road, Plymouth, has been jailed for a year after admitting 12 counts involving indecent images.

A Plymouth Crown Court judge said children who had confided in Jarvis would feel "sullied and let down".

Former social worker Jarvis had worked for the diocese since 2002, checking on volunteers who wanted to work with children.

He was also authorised to counter-sign applications for Criminal Records Bureau checks and he had access to confidential church files on child abuse cases.

Independent chairman of the Plymouth Diocesan Safeguarding Commission
The court heard that he was arrested after uploading images of pre-pubescent boys to social networking website and was sacked immediately by the diocese.

Police found more than 4,000 child porn images, mainly of boys aged 10 to 12, on his church-supplied computer and a memory stick when they raided his home.

Jarvis, who the court heard claimed he was abused as a child, admitted 12 counts of making, possessing and distributing indecent images.

'Great shock'

Judge Paul Darlow told him: "Children who had confided in you may feel sullied and let down when they find out the person they were confiding in was downloading images in this way.

"You, of all people, were more aware than others of the massive theft of innocence and long-term damage exacted on the children whose images you downloaded for your own sexual gratification."

The diocese said Jarvis had been conducting an investigation into allegations of historic child abuse at a former preparatory boarding school run by monks at Buckfast Abbey before he was arrested.

Ordained priest William Manahan, 80, was jailed for 15 months in 2007 for sexually abusing boys at Buckfast Abbey Preparatory School between 1971 and 1978. The school later closed. 

Bishop Christopher Budd ordered an investigation
by the NSPCC after Jarvis was arrested
Another monk at the abbey, Paul Couch, was convicted in 2007 of two serious sexual offences and 11 indecent sexual assaults against boys at the school and was jailed for 10 years and nine months.

Jarvis was removed from the investigation after he was arrested and Bishop Christopher Budd ordered the review by the NSPCC.

The NSPCC has already produced a report into case files which Mr Jarvis was involved with over the last three years.

It said "safeguarding concerns have been appropriately responded to and overall, safeguarding practices are sound".

It has also started the second phase, into child protection procedures, policies and training for the protection of children by the Church in the South West.

The diocese said Jarvis had been checked for criminal records and had worked in social services before working for the diocese.

A spokeswoman said the recommendations from phase one were for "very minor" changes, but declined to say what they were.

A diocese spokeswoman said: "The recommendations are not for huge changes.

"What can you do? He had worked for social services."

She said the second phase would look at "how we do things and how we move forward".

She said: "It's extremely sad for everyone."

David Pond, independent chairman of the Plymouth Diocesan Safeguarding Commission, said Jarvis's crimes had been "a great shock to the many people who had placed their trust in him and worked with him to protect vulnerable children and adults".

He added: "This particular incident was not a systemic issue in the Roman Catholic Church.

"It is about an individual who had got himself into a position of trust."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Canon of St Paul's 'unable to reconcile conscience with evicting protest camp'

In his first interview since resigning, the Rev Giles Fraser says: 'I get fitted up as Wat Tyler, but I'm no radical'

guardian.co.uk, Alan Rusbridger, Thursday 27 October 2011

Giles Fraser rejects the 'radical' tag that's often applied to him, saying
 he thinks Jesus would be more extreme than him on the shape of modern
capitalism. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

The recently resigned canon chancellor of St Paul's arrives in a black T–shirt, jeans and stubble. He had slipped out of his 17th-century grace and favour house in the shadow of Wren's cathedral before the media arrived without thought to shaving or dress code. He's now regretting this: "I want to look like a priest, not a protester."

The Rev Giles Fraser – matey, warm, a ready, raucous laugh – could easily pass for a protester. It's easier in some ways to imagine him arguing over a beer with the campaigners sleeping outside his cathedral than engaged in debate with the scarlet, purple and black-frocked colleagues of the bishop, dean and chapter.

But in the past few days he has spent very little time with the protesters – despite sympathising with much that they stand for – and a great deal of time with his colleagues discussing the health and safety issues that led to the cathedral closing its doors.

As those discussions continued – totally without acrimony, Fraser insists – he became aware that he would have to resign. That moment arrived on Wednesday when "the course we were set upon" led him to ask to see the dean, the Rt Rev Graeme Knowles, and quit.

Fraser, 46, will not be drawn on the exact "course of action" that provoked his decision, but says "my red line was about using violence in the name of the church to clear people on. It has been very peaceful, the camp, and I feel that the church cannot answer peaceful protest with violence".

He acknowledges the issues are complex. There is a right to worship, which has been disrupted. The cathedral has been unable to continue with its "mission and ministry". There has been a loss of income, not only to the church coffers but to the people running the Crypt cafe.

He respects his colleagues who took a different view and says that the discussions over recent days have been some of the best he has been involved in the church since being ordained in 1993. Everyone has followed their own consciences. "We're a big tent. Tony Blair didn't invent the big tent," he roars with laughter. "We invented the big tent."

But his mood becomes more sober as he describes his growing realisation that he couldn't stay. Once it became apparent that eviction – involving police and bailiffs – was on the cards, he knew he could no longer continue. "I could not countenance the idea that we would have the sort of scenes we had at Dale Farm done in the name of the church on the steps of St Paul's."

It is clear he is ambivalent about some of the health and safety grounds that led to the decision to close to the cathedral in the first place. He says that people feel "intimidated" by the health and safety experts – a view which would surely find some sympathy from the Daily Mail.

He says that the Corporation of London, which co-owns some of the land occupied by the protesters, was "clearer" than the church about the wish to move the protesters. And the clergy received strong legal advice that they could not negotiate with the protesters, since that might imply consent to them staying.

How would he have done things differently? "I would have wanted to negotiate down the size of the camp and to have appealed to people to help us keep the cathedral going … and if that meant that I was thereby granting them some legal right to stay then that is the position that I would have to wear."

There are tears in his eyes as he talks through his decision to depart St Paul's, where he moved two years ago after nine years as the vicar of Putney in south-west London. He emphasises: "I loved my time here."

There was, he says, absolutely no hint of a divide between a troublesome priest and more conservative colleagues. He rejects the "radical" tag that's often applied to him, saying he thinks Jesus would be more extreme than him on the shape of modern capitalism. "I get fitted up as Wat Tyler."

So what does he make of the protest on his doorstep? "The camp is a complex and interesting mixture of such a divergent range of views – united largely by what it's against, which is a very legitimate anger about the way in which wealth has been distributed and the way in which capitalism is currently seen to benefit just a very few people. I think that is very legitimate anxiety.

"I think there's an irony that we are having this conversation today, on the 25th anniversary of Big Bang, the deregulation of the Stock Exchange, liberalisation of the rules and regulations regulating the City and so forth … I mean, it seems to me quite clear that markets were made for man and not man for market.

"I am not against capitalism. I am not one of these people who thinks that capitalism is inherently wicked."

Though that's what he used to think? He nods.

"I used to be a socialist and for a long time I did have the view that there was something intrinsically immoral about capitalism. I changed my mind quite fundamentally about that quite a few years ago. I had a conversion sitting in Notting Hill market, reading the chief rabbi on the subject – an essay called 'the moral case for market economy'.

"I think there is a very clear question here to be addressed," he continues, "and the reason that the protesters have captured some of the public imagination is because a great many people think that something has gone wrong in the City of London and that the wealth generated by the City does not exist for the benefit of us all.

"So, yes, I am sympathetic to that extent. I am not sympathetic to the extent of self-righteous 'bash the banker' rhetoric, I am not sympathetic to 'let's bring down capitalism'. I really think there is a moral self-righteousness about saying what you are against but not saying what you are for."

These are, he thinks, "centrist" views of the sort that Jesus would have found unremarkable.

"I mean, Jesus is very clear that the love of money is the root of all evil … Jesus wants to point us to a bigger picture of the world than simply shopping.

"The interesting thing about the protest camp for me is that St Paul's is very, very good at doing the grandeur and otherness of God. You can do fantastic sermons in it about creation, mystery, otherness, grandeur. But Christopher Wren's forte was not Jesus born in a stable, the sort of church that exists for the poor and for the marginalised."

He says that last Sunday, because St Paul's was closed, he went to worship in Bethnal Green in the East End of London. "It was the most beautiful service. I was at the back, it was really quite full up. They hadn't got an organ. It was catholic, inner city worship and for me it caught a particular aspect of what I believe, which is, as it were, more 'incarnation' than Wren ever tried to do.

"And I think that, in a sense what the camp does is that it challenges the church with the problem of the Incarnation – that you have God, who is grand and almighty, [who] gets born in a stable, in a tent. You know, St Paul was a tent maker. I mean, if you looked around and you tried to recreate where Jesus would be born – for me, I could imagine Jesus being born in the camp."

He says it is "sad that the protesters came to occupy the Stock Exchange and ended closing down a cathedral". But he concedes that the church could have done better to engage with the issues the protestors are raising.

"Money is the number one moral issue in the Bible and the way the Church of England goes on you would think it was sex," he says. "It's easily the number one issue in the Bible … but how many sermons do you get about that? Very few."

He is at pains to scotch the suggestion that there was any pressure applied to the cathedral by wealthy corporate or banking interests in the City. And he also wants to emphasise that, while he expressed support for the right to protest and asked the police to move aside on the first Sunday, "what I didn't do is say 'the protesters are very welcome to camp here'. I didn't say that".

The past 10 days have been stressful, he says. "It's at times of stress when you don't read the Bible but the Bible reads you and that sometimes it doesn't need too much interpretative sauce."

On the first Sunday of the protest he preached to the preordained text of the day, which was "render unto Caesar" from St Matthew's Gospel.

"It plunges you right into the issues in St Matthew's Gospel that are related to the Sermon on the Mount – you cannot serve God and money and all those sort of things. I extemporised. Of course what Matthew says earlier in the Sermon on the Mount, in Chapter 6, is you can't just say 'let money, let the state, let all those issues stay on one side and let you do your piety on another'.

"As Christians, you're called to engage with the world: that's the whole nature of the Incarnation. That means that you have to talk about stocks and shares, and you have to talk about a sort of very raw, incarnational, practical faith. Christianity is one of the most materialistic of the world's religions. It can't be indifferent to the physical circumstances in which people live. It's not some abstract piety. So that was the stuff of the sermon really."

What did the dean say when he handed in his resignation?

"Uhm, he has written a very nice piece saying that he is sad to see me go."

And has Archbishop Rowan Williams been in touch?

"He sent me a little note saying that I was in his prayers."

Will he return to the cathedral – or does the curtain come down abruptly?

"Oh no! I have to work out my notice. I am very much looking forward to standing with my colleagues. When we have the opening Eucharist I will definitely stand with them. I leave with absolutely no sense of acrimony or bad feeling towards my colleagues."

And then? He shrugs.

"I have absolutely no idea! I mean these things happen so quickly. I have a family and kids. I am terrified. I mean I have no other job to go to … there's nothing else that's there!"

Where does this leave his position in the church? "I am absolutely and completely committed to the Church of England … there is absolutely no way I would leave the Church of England."

He reluctantly agrees to be photographed. He borrows an electric razor and a white shirt, roaring with laughter as he strips to the waist in the editor's office. He pulls on his jacket. And, for the first time today, the Rev Dr Giles Fraser begins to look a little less like a protester and a touch more like the canon of England's most majestic cathedral. Albeit an unemployed one.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

German armed forces to close dozens of military bases

Deutsche Welle, 26 october 2011 

Some 55,000 military positions have
already been eliminated
The German Defense Ministry has presented its long-awaited plan to reorganize its military bases, as it prepares to significantly shrink the size of the military. Thirty-one bases are soon to be closed.

Wednesday was a dark day for many German cities and municipalities. They fought to convince the German military, the Bundeswehr, to stay with them, but to no avail. The bad news came from the Defense Ministry in the early hours: 31 military bases will be completely shut down.

Among them some heavyweights: the renowned air force officers' school in the Bavarian town of Fürstenfeldbruck and the fleet command of the navy in Glücksburg. Both bases are to have their functions transferred to other places.

Early Wednesday, the 1,800 soldiers in the southwestern town of Sigmaringen also found out that they'll soon have to move - the base there, rich in tradition, will be closed. And businesses in the Danube city of about 16,000 are now fearing economic losses. 

De Maiziere said the closures were
'painful' but 'unavoidable'
"Every closure and every reduction is painful," said Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere. He said there were deeply-rooted traditions in the military, but that the reforms were unavoidable. "The Bundeswehr is not there for the base's sake. It's there to fulfill its mission efficiently and well."

Smaller army, fewer bases

The Defense Ministry's plan for its military bases follows an earlier decision to reduce personnel in the Bundeswehr, which is set to shrink to about 185,000.

The bases were built for many more soldiers, and the ministry says maintaining them would be too expensive. Since the end of compulsory military service in March, 55,000 posts have been axed, and 30,000 are soon to follow.

The Bundeswehr bases are spread out across the country so that the military is "present in the region," as the military says. This will reportedly not change, as a concentration of the military in a few larger bases was never considered.

Rather, de Maiziere proceeded with the motto "reduction comes before closing." Many bases will be shrunk but not closed. At 31, the number of closures indeed seems moderate. According to the minister's calculations, the smallest bases not included, 264 will remain in operation.

New policy rolls out through 2017

Hardest hit by the closures is Schleswig-Holstein in the north, the state with the highest military concentration. Eight bases there are to be closed, and 10,000 service positions cut. Still, State Premier Peter Harry Carstensen said he doesn't feel betrayed by the closures, since important military installations will remain in the state.

The leadership of the navy, army and air force is also to be consolidated

The western state of Saarland and Bavaria in the south will also feel the cuts, while posts in the former East Germany will remain relatively unaffected.

The Defense Ministry has said it will not yet allocate money made from any civilian use of the closed military bases, but it has stressed that it wants to help the affected soldiers and civilian contractors.

"The uncertainty has come to an end," said the German Armed Forces Association, a soldiers' interest group. It praised the publication of the new base plan, for which soldiers had long been waiting. But its chairman, Colonel Ulrich Kirsch, warned the government not to let the affected soldiers down.

"All hardships have to be mitigated as best possible," he said.

Reforms reach the top

Also to be reworked is the Bundeswehr's leadership structure. First and foremost, the headquarters of the Defense Ministry will remain in Bonn, the former capital of West Germany. Current capital Berlin will continue to play second fiddle. All together, Bonn and Berlin are to have no more than 2,000 employees, a good 1,000 fewer than now.

The command of the various military branches will be relocated and merged with the responsible administrative bodies. The navy will soon be led from Rostock on the northeastern coast, the air force from Berlin and the army from Strausberg, in the eastern state of Brandenburg.

Author: Nina Werkhäuser / acb
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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"Healing the Military Energies in our family Tree" – Jun 13, 2011 (Kryon channelled by David Brown)

“ … There’s much violence and anger throughout the world; when we look at the Middle East, we can see that changes are coming there. The West has a lot of power over the Middle East, but that power will begin to dissolve. The Muslim people of this world will begin to have their own power, and their own prosperity, and they will begin to disconnect from the Western World. This disconnection doesn’t have to be violent as violence only happens when somebody hangs onto what doesn’t belong to them....

... What Military Energy means if we use an analogy: it would be like putting grinding paste into the oil of your motor car. Once you release these energies you will begin to feel lighter as you disconnect from this reality, and, you will find it easier and easier to release any other negative emotions. Military Energies are the core of all your problems...."


New EU rules could force miners to air their dirty laundry

Deutsche Welle, 26 october 2011 

The EU wants to track mining
royalties paid to foreign nations
Brussels is considering new laws to force both privately owned and publicly listed oil, gas and mining companies to report all payments to foreign governments. Anti-corruption groups say the regulations are long overdue.

Companies could be forced to come clean on how much they pay foreign governments to secure oil, gas, coal and other raw materials, under proposals presented Tuesday by the European Union's executive.

The legislation - aimed at curbing corruption between poor countries' governments and EU firms - would apply to privately owned as well as publicly listed companies in the extractive industries, the European Commission said in a statement.

"Reporting taxes, royalties and bonuses that a multinational pays to a host government will show a company's financial impact in host countries," the Commission said in a statement. 

NGOs like Transparency International
have welcomed the amendments
"This more transparent approach would encourage more sustainable business," it predicted.

Long awaited

Anti-corruption campaign group Transparency International said the proposals, which still need to be endorsed by EU governments and the European Parliament, were long overdue.

In a statement, it said its researchers had found that only one out of 12 European companies operating in Libya had publicly disclosed their payments to the discredited regime of deposed leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Irish rock star Bono - speaking as co-founder of the anti-poverty group One - praised the EU for joining "the fight by the citizens of poor countries to ensure their natural resource wealth turns into actual wealth for the people - and doesn't line the pockets of dodgy dictators or distant exploiters."

Timber companies will be among those affected
Improved transparency

Diarmid O’Sullivan from the non-governmental organization Global Witness explained the historic problem of mineral exploitation: "In all the countries that are rich in natural resources, like Indonesia, (and where) you don't have any public accountability over taxes that the companies pay to government, you have problems like corruption and tax fraud, and the countries really don't benefit."

In 2004, the European Commission tightened the directives on transparency, but did not require detailed project and country-level reporting. The proposed amendments would force companies to give more detailed information and complement legislation passed in the United States last year, as part of the Dodd Frank financial reform act.

They would also bolster the work of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which sees governments, companies and civil society groups track and disclose cash flows to citizens in 30 countries.

European companies pay royalties
 to poor governments, but where
does the money go?
"Now the Commission has decided to require country-by-country and project-by-project reporting by all these oil, gas and mining companies," O'Sullivan told Deutsche Welle.

"What's coming out of that is a recognition that it's in European interests that the developing countries are prosperous and stable, and you can't do that without curbing corruption. So they're using the regulatory organizations to create requirements of transparency."

Still unclear

But a group of companies has objected to the rules, saying that it was commercially and politically sensitive to force disclosure on a project-by-project basis.

In a letter signed by Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Xstrata, BG Group, BP, Repsol, Shell and Total, the companies complained that the rules failed to define what constituted a project.

"One example is oil or gas fields which cross borders, where governments are understandably careful to safeguard the confidentiality of the terms they offer to investors," they wrote, according to a copy of the letter seen by Reuters.

"Further damage to competitiveness will be caused by the additional cost and administrative burden of project-level reporting," they said.

Author: Ben Knight
Editor: Sam Edmonds