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. …

Monday, April 30, 2012

Former Greek bank chief jailed in anti-fraud drive

Reuters, Athens, Mon Apr 30, 2012

(Reuters) - A former bank chief was sentenced to eight years jail on Monday for fraud and forgery, court officials said, the first major conviction resulting from an anti-corruption drive ahead of a parliamentary election on Sunday.

Pavlos Psomiadis, former President &
CEO of the Aspis Group of Companies
(Photo: May 20, 2001)
An Athens court convicted Pavlos Psomiadis, former chief of small banking and insurance group Aspis, on charges of forging documents to keep his business afloat.

Corruption and cronyism are endemic in Greece. But no politician or senior businessman had been convicted in recent years, fuelling popular frustration with mainstream parties that pledge to uphold the debt-laden country's international bailout and remain in the euro zone.

"He was found guilty of fraud and forgery," a court official said. The conviction stemmed from a forged letter of credit for over 550 million euros ($729 million) that Psomiadis submitted to regulators in 2009.

Aspis was one of the first business groups to fall prey to the country's economic crisis. T-bank (AMBr.AT), a small lender that emerged from the wreckage of the group, was nationalized late last year under the terms of the country's EU/IMF bailout.

Monday's decision was the latest in a string of judicial moves as angry voters turn to smaller parties to punish the main conservatives and socialists whom they blame for the economic crisis and chronic corruption.

Earlier in April, a former defense minister was jailed pending trial on money laundering and bribery charges.

Last month, a Greek prosecutor filed felony charges against a prominent banker over a financial scandal that led to the EU/IMF-funded nationalization of small lender Proton Bank (PRBr.AT).

(Reporting by Harry Papachristou; editing by Stephen Nisbet)

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

Letterbox in Luxembourg one way Apple avoids paying billions in worldwide tax, Charles Duhigg, David Kocieniewski, April 30, 2012

RENO, Nevada: Apple, the world's most profitable technology company, doesn't design iPhones in Nevada. It doesn't run AppleCare customer service from Reno. And it doesn't manufacture MacBooks or iPads anywhere nearby.

Yet, with a handful of employees in a small Reno office in a company subsidiary named Braeburn Capital, Apple has done something central to its corporate strategy: it has avoided millions of dollars in taxes in California and 20 other US states.

Apple's headquarters are in Cupertino, California. By putting an office to collect and invest the company's profits in Reno, just 350 kilometres away, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains.

California's corporate tax rate is 8.84 per cent. Nevada's, zero.

Setting up an office in Reno is one of many legal methods Apple uses to reduce its worldwide tax bill by billions of dollars a year.

As it has in Nevada, Apple has created subsidiaries in low-tax countries such as Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the British Virgin Islands - some little more than a letterbox in Luxembourg or an anonymous office in Nevada - that help cut the taxes it pays.

Almost every large corporation tries to minimise taxes. For Apple, the savings are especially alluring because the company's profits are so high. Wall Street analysts predict Apple could earn up to $US45.6 billion ($43.5 billion) this fiscal year - a record for a United States business.

Braeburn is a variety of apple that is simultaneously sweet and tart. When someone in the US buys an iPhone, iPad or other Apple product, a portion of the profits from that sale is often deposited into accounts controlled by Braeburn, and then invested in stocks, bonds or other financial instruments, company executives say. Some profits from those investments are shielded from California tax authorities by virtue of Braeburn's Nevada address.

Since founding Braeburn in 2006, Apple has earned more than $US2.5 billion in interest and dividend income on its cash reserves and investments around the globe. What's more, Braeburn allows Apple to lower its taxes in other states because many of those jurisdictions use formulas that reduce what is owed when a company's financial management occurs elsewhere.

While Apple's Reno office helps the company avoid state taxes, its international subsidiaries - particularly the company's assignment of sales and patent royalties to other nations - help reduce taxes owed to the US and other governments.

The Luxembourg subsidiary, named iTunes, has just a few dozen employees, according to corporate documents filed in that nation and an executive. But when customers across Europe, Africa or the Middle East - and potentially elsewhere - download a song, television show or app, the sale is recorded in this small country, present and former executives say.

In 2011, iTunes's revenue exceeded $US1 billion, an Apple executive said, representing about 20 per cent of iTunes' worldwide sales.

Apple, say former executives, has been particularly talented at identifying legal tax loopholes.

Apple was a pioneer of an accounting technique known as the ''Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich'', which reduced taxes by routing profits through two Irish subsidiaries - Apple Operations International and Apple Sales International - and the Netherlands and the Caribbean.

Without such tactics, Apple's federal tax bill in the US would have been $US2.4 billion higher last year, a recent study by a former Treasury Department economist, Martin Sullivan, said. As it stands, the company paid cash taxes of $US3.3 billion around the world on its reported profits of $US34.2 billion last year, a tax rate of 9.8 per cent.

Apple, in a statement, said it ''pays an enormous amount of taxes which help our local, state and federal governments. In the first half of fiscal year 2012, our US operations have generated almost $US5 billion in federal and state income taxes, including income taxes withheld on employee stock gains, making us among the top payers of US income tax''.

The New York Times

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gove investigates Catholic school petition on gay marriage

Education secretary will investigate whether Catholic schools' gay marriage petition broke the rules

Guardian, Barry Neild, The Observer, Sunday 29 April 2012

The schools were encouraged to sign a petition against gay marriage.
Photograph: Mike Kemp/Getty Images/Rubberball

The education secretary, Michael Gove, is to examine claims that rules were breached when Catholic schools were asked to encourage their pupils to sign a national petition against gay marriage.

The Catholic Education Service (CES) wrote to nearly 400 British secondary schools to encourage support for the petition organised by Coalition for Marriage, a Christian campaign that has registered more than 47,000 signatures for its campaign.

A spokesman for the Department for Education said yesterday that it was looking into complaints that the request violated regulations concerning impartiality.

"Schools have a responsibility under law to ensure children are insulated from political activity and campaigning in the classroom," the spokesman said. "While faith schools, rightly, have the freedom to teach about sexual relations and marriage in the context of their own religion, that should not extend to political campaigning."

The investigation was welcomed by the British Humanist Association, which said the CES request broke the 1966 Education Act's rules on the political indoctrination of schoolchildren and balance. "Any gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender pupil at a school whose head declares that gay marriage and civil partnerships are unnatural is obviously going to feel discriminated against and trapped," said BHA's faith schools campaigner, Richy Thompson.

The CES, which acts for Catholic bishops, denied breaking any laws. It insisted that both its letter and the online petition were positive affirmations of marriage. "Catholic state schools have always been permitted by law to teach matters relating to sex and relationships education, including the importance of marriage, in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic church," it said.

"The Catholic church's view on the importance of marriage is a religious view, not a political one."

Related Article:

Catholic nuns group "stunned" by Vatican slap

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

Tymoshenko court hearing postponed in Ukraine

Associated Press, by Anna Melnichuk, Apr 28, 2012

This combination of two photos shows on the left, in a Dec. 29, 2009 file photo,
 then Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko speaking to the media in Kiev,
 Ukraine, and on the right, in a photo provided by Ukrainian Pravda, taken
 Wednesday, April 25, 2012, Tymoshenko shows bruises on her body to the Ukrainian
 Commissioner for Human Rights in Kachanovskaya prison in Kharkiv, Ukraine, which
 she said she sustained when prison guards attacked her on Friday April 20 when
trying to transport her to a local hospital against her will. (AP Photos)

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian court on Saturday postponed a hearing in the second criminal case against the jailed former prime minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, whose treatment in prison has raised concerns in Europe.

She was due in court in the eastern city of Kharkiv, but the judge agreed to postpone the hearing due to the poor state of her health. The next hearing was set for May 21.

Tymoshenko is on a hunger strike to protest alleged abuse in a Kharkiv prison. She claims that guards punched her in the stomach and twisted her arms and legs while forcibly taking her to a hospital to be treated for debilitating back pain.

She is serving a seven-year prison sentence on charges of abusing her powers as prime minister in negotiating an energy deal with Russia. The West has strongly condemned the case as politically motivated and threatened to freeze cooperation with Ukraine.

In the second case, she is charged with evading taxes while heading an energy company in the 1990s.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he was "shocked by the reports about the abuse" suffered by Tymoshenko and shared her family and friends' concerns for her health.

"She is refused appropriate treatment against all legal and moral duties," he was quoted as saying in the Sunday paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

Germany has been leading the European Union's critical stance on Ukraine over the Tymoshenko case. The government in Berlin is offering to treat her in Germany, but Kiev has rejected the offer. Tymoshenko refuses to be treated in Ukraine, saying she does not trust the medical system.

Tymoshenko denies the abuse of power charges, saying they are part of a campaign by President Viktor Yanukovych, her longtime foe, to bar her from politics. Yanukovych has denied involvement in the case.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Israeli ex-spy boss: no trust in leadership over Iran (+video), Saturday 28 April 2012

The former head of Israel's internal intelligence agency Shin Bet, Yuval Diskin, denounces Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak for their posturing and policies on Iran which he says are based on 'messianic feelings'. Diskin says he would not trust the Israeli leaders in the event of a pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear sites

Related Articles:

Israel cabinet OKs break-up of big conglomerates

The Large Families that rule the world

Who Controls America? Who Controls Wall Street? (72% Jews)

Brooklyn DA refuses to release details of Orthodox sex abuse suspects

Charles Hynes's refusal comes as
 New York judges ruled for a mistrial
 in the case of Baruch Lebovits (above). 
Photograph: New York Daily
News/Getty Images

9. It can be no other way—simply, this is the physics that governs life in this universe. As Earth continues apace into successively higher planes, nothing with low vibrations in any form—physical bodies, subversive plans, theft, dishonesty, unjust laws and imprisonment, bigotry, cruel customs and deeds—can survive.

10. Moving on, no, it will not be quite like religions being “totally discarded and replaced by universal laws in the Golden Age.” When the truths come forth that science and spirit are one and the same and that religious dogmas were originated by early leaders of church and state to control the masses, people whose consciousness has risen beyond the constraints of third density will adhere to the spiritual aspects of their respective religions and the devised, controlling aspects will fall by the wayside.

11. One of the truths to come forth is that Zionism, which by dark intent has been made synonymous with Judaism, actually is a bellicose political movement within the Illuminati, and its aim for more than six decades has been to create conflict and instability in the entire Middle East. Zionists, who have wielded powerful influence within and behind major governments and their military forces, do NOT represent the Jewish peoples in Israel or anywhere else. And, like all other Illuminati factions, they have been committed to that cabal’s goal of global domination.

12. Although Semites are of diverse national origins and religions, the Zionists have been successful in convincing many that “anti-Semitic” is exclusively prejudice against the Jewish peoples and opposition to Israel’s right to defend itself from its “enemies.” By means of that blatant distortion, they obtained not only world sympathy, but also massive defense funding from Israel’s allies, most especially the United States, all of which served to increase the Illuminati’s vast profits from their industrial-military machine.

13. In addition to controlling the masses through dogmatic teachings, religions have served the dark purpose of divisiveness to such an extent that it resulted in centuries of trauma and bloodshed. Witness the Crusades, wars between Catholics and Protestants, pogroms against Jews, executions of “blasphemous” individuals who refused to “recant.”  (Read More …)

"Matthew preparing us for the Golden Age." -  Jan 19, 2012 (Channelled by Suzy Ward)

"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 (Based in Greece, Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to built Africa to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - New !

Friday, April 27, 2012

Slovak government agrees to tax the rich

Deutsche Welle, 27 April 2012

Slovakia's new center-left government has unveiled plans to consolidate the eastern European country's public finances by doing away with a business-friendly flat tax. It's an attempt to arrive at more social justice.

The Slovak government said on Friday it would raise taxes for rich individuals and companies to bring down its budget deficit. It was aiming to scrap a pro-business flat tax in favor of higher rates for the more affluent in society.

"We're not doing this because of Brussels, we are doing this for ourselves, so that Slovakia can more easily raise funds on financial markets," Prime Minister Robert Fico said in a statement in Bratislava.

Fico had long vowed to eliminate the current 19-percent flat tax on personal income. The proposal essentially adds a 25 percent rate for those who earn more than 33,000 euros ($43,600) a year. He had also floated the idea of imposing a 22 percent tax on wealthy companies, including monopolies, banks and telecommunications firms.

Sticking to EU rules

"The key goal is to trim the public deficit under 3 percent of gross domestic product in 2013," the government's policy statement said. "The government refuses to see higher consumption taxes as the only measure to raise budget revenue."

Vladimir Vano, Volksbank chief analyst, was skeptical about the efficiency of a wealth tax on companies.

"The scrapping of the flat tax may have more of a declaratory effect rather than a real one, because the corporations affected will be able to find a way to avoid paying higher taxes," Vano told the AFP news agency.

Slovakia joined the European Union in 2004. Growth in the country is forecast to top the eurozone at 2.3 percent, after logging 3.3-percent growth in 2011. However, the eastern European nation's export-driven economy makes it vulnerable to any wider slump in the region.

hg/sms (Reuters, AFP)

Credit Suisse CEO says handed data to U.S.

Reuters, ZURICH, Fri Apr 27, 2012

(Reuters) - Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX) has handed data to U.S. officials as part of an ongoing crackdown of hidden Swiss offshore accounts, the Swiss bank's chief executive Brady Dougan will tell shareholders on Friday.

"With regard to this issue, we have delivered data as directed by the Swiss government. According to the recent decision of the Swiss Federal Council, we provided the U.S. authorities directly with information," Dougan said, according to prepared remarks seen by Reuters.

Credit Suisse is one of roughly a dozen Swiss banks being investigated by U.S. officials for helping wealthy Americans dodge taxes by funneling money through offshore accounts.

The bank and the Swiss government are in talks with U.S. justice and tax officials to reach a settlement.

Strict Swiss bank secrecy laws prevent Credit Suisse from handing over client data, and Dougan did not disclose the nature of information handed over.

"We continue to cooperate with authorities, both in the U.S. and Switzerland, to resolve this matter in a responsible manner that complies with our legal obligations," Dougan said.

(Reporting By Katharina Bart; Editing by Dan Lalor)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Brooklyn DA refuses to release details of Orthodox sex abuse suspects

Refusal to grant FOI request marks admission by Charles Hynes that suspected Orthodox child abusers receive special treatment, Zoë Blackler in New York, Thursday 26 April 2012

Charles Hynes's refusal comes as New York judges ruled for a mistrial
 in the case of Baruch Lebovits (above). Photograph: New York Daily
News/Getty Images

Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes has refused a freedom of information request for details of child sex abuse prosecutions in the Orthodox Jewish community, amid questions over the veracity of his arrest figures.

The refusal coincides with the collapse of his most vaunted prosecution after appellate court judges ruled on Thursday for a mistrial in the case of Baruch Lebovits, sentenced in 2010 to a maximum 32-year jail term.

Lebovits was convicted in March 2010 of abusing a 16-year-old boy. The DA's office said it is prepared to retry the case. But victims' advocates say his mistrial is a major setback in their efforts to encourage other child sex victims to risk community censure and come forward. Advocate Joel Engelman said the decision was "extremely demoralising".

The Guardian reported last month that the DA was facing accusations that he has failed to tackle up the cover-up of abuse in Brooklyn's Orthodox community – the largest Orthodox community in the world outside Israel. Rabbinic leaders are accused of hampering efforts to uncover abuse, and many victims face intimidation and threats to prevent them pressing charges.

The Guardian and the Jewish Forward paper had submitted freedom of information (FOI) requests for details of cases. But this week Hynes's office informed the Forward that it was denying its request, because the close-knit nature of the Orthodox community meant disclosing the names of defendants would reveal the identities of the victims. The DA's spokesman, Jerry Schmetterrer, confirmed that the Guardian's request would also be refused on the same grounds.

The statement refusing the FOI request marks the first admission by Hynes that suspected child abusers from the Orthodox Jewish community receive exceptional treatment.

Hynes's policy clarification follows recent claims to have radically increased prosecutions through his Kol Tzedek outreach effort. Kol Tzedek, which features a victims' hotline staffed by a culturally sensitive social worker, aims to encourage reporting of sexual assaults and to break the cover-up of child sex abuse by the Orthodox Jewish community.

The DA credits the initiative, which began in April 2009, with a surge in arrests. In January, the DA said the tally now stood at "over 90" arrests, a figure confirmed again this week by his spokesman.

Of the 38 cases closed by November last year, 23 had concluded in guilty pleas and six in trial convictions with nine dismissals and acquittals, Schmetterer said. Fourteen of the convictions resulted in jail time. But at least nine of the arrests ascribed to Kol Tzedek were in fact made before April 2009.

The Guardian has learned of five: Stefan Colmer, extradited from Israel in 2008, Yona Weinberg, indicted in 2008, Emanuel Yegutkin, arrested in January 2009, Moshe Spitzer, arrested in March 2009, and Baruch Lebovits, whose landmark conviction was overturned this week and who was indicted in 2008. The DA's spokesperson confirmed in writing last month that all five men were being counted as Kol Tzedek arrests.

The Jewish Week knows of a further four arrests inaccurately credited to Kol Tzedek: one convicted of attempting to kidnap an Hispanic girl, arrested in 2007; another in mental health facility and unfit to proceed, arrested 2008; a third who violated his probation and was reconvicted in 2009, first arrested 2002; and Yehuda Kolko, whose case in 2008 saw him plead guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment, not a sex crime. Kolko is currently being prosecuted for criminal contempt.

Schmetterer refused to answer questions from the Guardian. "I have nothing to say to you," he said. "You have the (FOI) letter. I have nothing to add."

The FOI response – set out in a letter signed by assistant district attorney Morgan Dennehy – appears to explain an apparent misinterpretation of a civil rights statute previously used by the DA to explain why case information was being withheld from public scrutiny.

Earlier responses from the DA's office have cited New York Civil Rights Law 50B, which protects the privacy of sex crime victims. 50B prohibits the release of documents that could identify a victim. It does not, however, restrict the release of case files in which the victims' names or other revealing information has been redacted, said Martin Guggenheim, professor of clinical law at NYU. "To my knowledge," Guggenheim said, "the law permits the disclosure of reports so long as the public official does so in a manner that ensures that the identity of the victim cannot be obtained from the report."

Hynes's argument – that the "unique" circumstances in the Orthodox community prohibits release of any and all information, since to name the defendant is to name the victim – apparently explains his over-stringent response to 50B.

Dennehy's letter goes on to say that sex crime victims from the Orthodox community, if identified, face unique challenges that will make them likely to withdraw co-operation "making the prosecution of the defendants extremely difficult". It would also prevent victims of unreported crimes coming forward in the future if they feared their names would become known. Under New York's FOI law, documents which could "interfere with law enforcement investigations or judicial proceedings" are exempt from disclosure.

Roger Canaff, a former sex crimes prosecutor in the Bronx, said he thought the reason for the DA's silence was justified.

"There are some situations where releasing suspect information could lead to unfairly revealing victim information," Canaff said. "I can imagine a situation where that could happen. So for the sake of the victims I think it's OK to make an exception.

"I haven't dealt with it myself, or seen it anywhere else, but I can understand an office being concerned with that. I can't say whether that's what is going on here, or something else, but I think it's a plausible explanation."

Community activist Isaac Schonfeld, an Orthodox Jew from Borough Park, said the DA's position was illogical because if the everybody in the community really did know everybody else's business, the victims' identities woul already be known. "I don't find the argument compelling," Schonfeld said.

"We have this wonderful compassion in our community. Rather than channelling that into covering up [child abuse], we should be using it to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the problem, and giving the victims tools to deal with it rather than just sweeping it under the rug."

"The DA should be challenging the community to bring these issues into the open and to bring the perpetrators into public view," he added.

Related Articles:

Breivik trial: Norwegians rally around peace song

BBC News, 26 April 2012

Thousands gathered in Oslo to sing the song, including singer
Lillebjoern Nilsen

Norway Attacks 

Some 40,000 people have gathered on an Oslo square to sing a popular peace song which mass killer Anders Behring Breivik condemned at his trial.

The right-wing extremist had accused the singer of Children Of The Rainbow, Lillebjoern Nilsen, of being a Marxist who sought to brainwash children.

Nilsen led the crowd on Thursday in singing the song on Youngstorget Square, close to the courthouse.

Inside, the trial heard testimony from survivors of the Oslo bomb attack.

It is the ninth day of Breivik's trial for the killing of eight people in Oslo and 69 on the island of Utoeya, as well as the wounding of more than 200 others.

He admits the attacks on 22 July last year but denies guilt or insanity.

The five-strong panel of judges at Breivik's trial will make a ruling on his sanity at the verdict in July.

Breivik may eventually face a term of 21 years in jail, which could be extended if he is thought to be a continuing danger to society.

He says he launched his attacks to defend Norway from multiculturalism, and Muslim immigration in particular.

Song event 

Lillebjoern Nilsen led
the crowd
In court last Friday, Breivik attacked Norway's educational system and singled out Nilsen as a "good example of a Marxist who infiltrated the cultural sector, [who] writes music that is used to brainwash children".

On Thursday, Nilsen led the singing in the square of Children Of The Rainbow, a Norwegian version of US folk singer Pete Seeger's My Rainbow Race, which is an anti-war song from his 1973 album of the same name.

Standing under umbrellas in the rain, the crowd sang both the Norwegian and English versions of the song.

Its lyrics include the lines: "Some want to take the easy way/Poisons, bombs! They think we need 'em./Don't they know you can't kill all the unbelievers./There's no shortcut to freedom."

People also gathered in other Norwegian towns to perform the song, with the event promoted on social media.

"I grew up with this song and have sung it to my child," said Lill Hjoennevaag, one of the organisers of the demonstration.

"Everybody I know feels strongly about this song and we need to take it back," she told Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.

Singers later headed to the courthouse where the trial was under way, to attach flowers to the security barriers.

"Hopefully they can all hear the song inside," Oslo blogger Fredrik Giertsen told the BBC News website.

Ragnhild Holmas, another Oslo blogger who joined the singers, remembered the mass anti-violence rallies that followed the 22 July killings.

"Glad to see that the love from last summer wasn't just a one-time thing," she told the BBC News website.

While the song might be Utopian, she said, "the message is far from cheesy. Breivik thinks we're brainwashed anyway, but it's important to show our distance."

Battle to recover

Harald Fosker had to have surgery on his face as a result of the blast in the government quarter, which killed eight people and injured 209 others.

Father of Anne Helene Lund, who was injured by the Oslo bomb
Testifying on Thursday, the justice ministry employee described the impact of the explosion: "I only remember spitting out teeth.

"The shock was so great that I did not feel pain there and then. That came the next day."

The trial heard in detail of the numerous operations he underwent as surgeons rebuilt his face and worked to restore his hearing and vision.

He is now back at work part-time and hopes to be fully employed again in time for the first anniversary of the bombing.

Breivik listened expressionless as the court heard other harrowing accounts of the impact of the blast, correspondents say.

Anne Helene Lund, 24, was just 7m (23ft) from the explosion, which left her in a coma for a month. 

Breivik denies he is insane
When she woke up she had lost her memory, unable to even remember the names of her parents.

Her father, Jan Erik Lund, fighting back tears, described seeing his daughter injured in hospital: "It was like experiencing the worst and the best in the same moment.

"It was fantastic that she was alive, horrible that she was as injured as she was."

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'Tonight the streets are filled with love': Royal family and prime minister lead the nation in mourning as crowd of 150,000 gather in Oslo for 'rose march' tribute to Norway's dead

Tribute: Over 150,000 people gathered in Oslo to take part
 in a 'rose march' vigil to mourn the 76 people who were killed
on Friday's twin attacks

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

News Corp dossier appears to show contacts with minister over BSkyB bid

Jeremy Hunt urges Leveson inquiry to give him a chance to clear his name as Labour leader calls for him to resign, Patrick Wintour and Dan Sabbagh, Tuesday 24 April 2012

Jeremy Hunt has urged the Leveson inquiry to allow him to clear
his name. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary, has begged the Leveson inquiry to give him a chance to salvage his reputation after emails released by News Corp appeared to show that Hunt and his office passed confidential and market-sensitive information to the Murdoch empire to support its takeover of BSkyB.

Facing calls from the Labour leader Ed Miliband to resign, Hunt urged Lord Justice Leveson to change his hearings timetable and give him a chance to clear his name.

As the day-long questioning of James Murdoch ended, Hunt rushed to a meeting with David Cameron and the cabinet secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, to explain the emails and texts that appeared to show he ignored his commitment to MPs to act in a quasi-judicial and impartial capacity over the £8bn bid, one that only failed in the wake of the Milly Dowler phone-hacking furore.

In the most dramatic day of hearings at Leveson yet, the inquiry was shown emails written by James Murdoch's chief lobbyist, Frédéric Michel, written the day before Hunt was due to make a market-sensitive statement to parliament, which appeared to indicate that he was minded to approve the bid in negotiation with News Corp. The statement came just a couple of days after the former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was forced to resign as communications chief at No 10 amid mounting hacking allegations.

Michel told Murdoch at 3.21pm on Monday 24 January, with stock markets in London and New York open, that he had "managed to get some infos [sic] on the plans for tomorrow (although absolutely illegal!)" which set out the timetable of Hunt's announcement due next morning and quoted from the planned announcement. Hunt said that he wanted to negotiate with News Corp over potential undertakings in lieu (UIL) of a referral to the Competition Commission. Murdoch said on Tuesday that the reference to "illegal" material was a joke.

A day earlier, Michel explained in an email to Murdoch what he understood to be the culture secretary's true thinking behind his public remarks. "His view is that once he announces publicly he has a strong UIL, it's almost game over for the opposition … He very specifically said he was keen to get to the same outcome and wanted JRM [James Murdoch] to understand he needs to build some political cover on the process."

In another email, Michel reported a request from the Hunt team that News Corp "try and find as many legal errors as we can" in the Ofcom report on the public interest implications of the bid. When Hunt cancels a meeting with James Murdoch in November 2010 because he has received "very strong legal advice not to meet us today as the current process is treated as a judicial one", Michel reports to his boss that he can still talk to him on his mobile phone "which is completely fine".

James Murdoch confirmed on Tuesday that Hunt had called him following this exchange.

The emails were handed over by News Corporation on the order of the Leveson inquiry in a 163-page disclosure that had the effect of deflecting attention from James Murdoch's testimony, and even threatening to overshadow Rupert Murdoch's evidence on Wednesday.

James Murdoch told Leveson that Michel was simply "doing his job" in trying to get the bid approved, and that in any event he took all communications with politicians with a "grain of salt". Hunt was co-operative because "he didn't want to take any heat alone" and that "I have never met a politician who did".

The emails appear to show how News Corp expected Hunt to push for the BSkyB deal to be approved. After speaking to Hunt or a member of his team "before he went in to see Swan Lake" in February 2011, Michel told his boss: "I told him he had to stand for something ultimately … and show he had some backbone." Cameron's spokeswoman robustly defended Hunt, saying he had acted throughout on the basis of independent advice, in a process Hunt repeatedly described as "quasi-judicial". But Robert Jay, the QC for Leveson, suggested to Murdoch that the communications revealed amounted to the judge in a case "telling you behind the scenes ... that you're going to win".

In a statement on Tuesday, Hunt pleaded for time, saying: "Now is not a time for kneejerk reactions. We've heard one side of the story today but some of the evidence reported meetings and conversations that simply didn't happen. Rather than jump on a political bandwagon, we need to hear what Lord Justice Leveson himself thinks after he's heard all the evidence.

"Let me be clear: my number one priority was to give the public confidence in the integrity of process. I asked for advice from independent regulators – which I didn't have to do – and after careful consideration I followed that advice to the letter. I would like to resolve this issue as soon as possible which is why I have today written to Lord Justice Leveson asking if my appearance can be brought forward. I am very confident that when I present my evidence the public will see that I conducted this process with absolute objectivity and scrupulous fairness."

His statement implies he believes he has Cameron's support to cling to office for months including through the Olympics since Justice Leveson is unlikely to report in the short term.

Hunt was resting his defence partly on the admission by Michel that some of his internal emails referring to contacts with JH were in fact "no more than shorthand for what I was told by someone within Jeremy Hunt's office, almost invariably his special adviser Adam Smith".

But Michel states: "His advisers were there to assist and advise Jeremy Hunt and it was my understanding that when they told me something, it was always on behalf of the minister and after having conferred with him."

Hunt's aides were refusing to blame Smith, or accuse him of acting as a rogue operator, suggesting Hunt may have been aware of the content of these contacts.

But Hunt's aides insisted the culture secretary will give evidence under oath and reveal his phone records.

Miliband said: "Hunt should have been standing up for the interests of the British people. In fact it now turns out he was standing up for the interests of the Murdochs. He himself said that his duty was to be transparent impartial and fair in the BSkyB takeover. But now we know that he was providing advice guidance and privileged access to News Corporation. He was acting as a back channel for the Murdochs."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A coffin for Chernobyl

Deutsche Welle, 24 April 2012

The existing sarcophagus on the Chernobyl nuclear power station has long been insecure. Now a new coffin is intended to ensure that the reactor remains safe for centuries.

The official date for the start of construction is April 26, the 26th anniversary of the Chernobyl reactor disaster. That's when work should start on a new sarcophagus for Block 4 of the nuclear power station. The existing one was put up in a hurry in the first few months after the accident. 

The explosion in 1986 caused the
world's worst nuclear accident
In April 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant suffered a melt-down and an explosion which led to the release of several tons of radioactive material. The accident was caused by an experiment which went wrong, as well as by a number of serious construction faults in the Soviet RBMK-type reactor.

It is still not known how many people died as a result. The International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organization talk of 4,000 fatal cancers among the emergency staff as a result of exposure to radiation. Environmental organizations like Greenpeace say that this is a trivialization: they estimate the death toll is ten times greater.

Sarcophagus to last 100 years

The existing concrete mantle was already considered to be in danger of collapse in the 90s. The new one should last at least 100 years. A new consortium, Novarka, was founded to carry out the project, including the French Vinci and Bouygues, the German Nukem and Hochtief, and several Ukrainian companies. Novarka won the Ukrainian government contract in 2007, for a project which is expected to cost around a billion euros ($1.32 billion). Much of the money for the "Chernobyl Shelter Fund" (CSF) comes from the European Union, but the US, Canada, Japan, Ukraine and other countries are also contributing. 

The existing mantle is no longer secure
The new sarcophagus will measure 257 meters (281 yards) across and be 109 meters high, and it will weigh 29,000 tonnes. Because of the high level of radiation, the new containment cannot be built directly over the existing one. It will have to be built on a neighboring plot of land and then shunted into its final position.

Construction is set to be completed in summer 2015, but the Ukrainian prime minister, Mykola Asarov, hopes that it will be ready earlier. He told journalists: "We want to solve the problem in one and half years."

Uncertainty about waste disposal

The administration of the power station says that the existing concrete mantle has to be stabilized before construction starts. It says that, once the new sarcophagus is ready, radioactive material from inside the ruined reactor will be recovered and removed.

But the Ukrainian nuclear expert Vladimir Usatenko is skeptical. He points out that no-one has the slightest idea how dangerous the power station and its ruined Block 4 really are. "The information about the amount of remaining fissile material in Block 4 was falsified after the accident," he told DW, "as was all the data about the situation in the power station." All the plans to make the power station safe, he says, are based on uncertain data.

Just a cover up? 

Yuriy Kostenko thinks that the
 new mantle will merely cover up
the problems
Originally all that was intended was to stabilize the existing mantle and remove the radioactive material from Block 4, according to Yuriy Kostenko, former environment minister and head of the Ukrainian delegation which negotiated with the G7 countries in the 90s. That is when talks about securing the reactor started. He told DW that Ukraine had had neither the funding nor the technology to do that. "It's ended up so that, now, all the problems will simply be covered with a new sarcophagus," he says.

In fact, the plan includes the possibility of removing the old mantle sometime in the future, once the new one is in place. That's when the remaining radioactive material would be removed, without allowing any radiation to get into the environment.

Authors: Alexander Sawitzki, Markian Ostaptschuk / mll
Editor: Greg Wiser

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