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. …

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How Bank of England 'helped Nazis sell gold stolen from Czechs'

Official account of what many believe was British central bank's most shameful episode revealed more than 70 years after event

The Guardian, Ben Quinn, Wednesday 31 July 2013

Montagu Norman, who was governor of the Bank of England at the time
of the sale. Photograph: Hulton Getty

Bank of England records detailing its involvement in the transfer and sale of gold stolen by Nazis after the invasion of Czechoslovakia were revealed online on Tuesday.

The gold had been deposited during the 1930s with the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the so-called Central Banker's bank, as the Czechoslovak government faced a growing threat from Germany.

The document goes on to detail how a request was made in March 1939 to transfer gold, then worth £5.6m, from a Czech National Bank account at the BIS to an account operated by Germany's Reichsbank. Some £4m of the gold went to banks in the Netherlands and Belgium, while the rest was sold in London.

The document tells how the chancellor, Sir John Simon, had asked the governor of the bank, Montagu Norman, if it was holding any of the Czech gold in May 1939, two months after the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia.

It says: "The Governor in his reply (30th May) did not answer the question, but pointed out that the Bank held gold from time to time for the BIS and had no knowledge whether it was their own property or that of their customers. Hence, they could not say whether the gold was held for the National Bank of Czechoslovakia." A further transaction was made that June – despite concerns from Simon being raised. On that occasion, there were sales of gold to the value of £440,000 and a £420,000 shipment to New York.

According to the documents: "This represented gold which had been shipped to London by the Reichsbank. This time, before acting, the Bank of England referred the matter to the Chancellor, who said that he would like the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown."

The BoE's account, of what some regard as one of the Threadneedle Street's darkest episodes, was written in 1950 and published online on Tuesday following the first stage of the digitalisation of the bank's archive. It admits that the incident involving the Czech gold "still rankled" at the outbreak of the second world war "and for some time afterwards".

"Outside the Bank and the government the Bank's position has probably never been thoroughly appreciated and their action at the time was widely misunderstood," it adds.

"On the BIS enquiring, however, what was causing delay and saying that inconvenience would be caused because of payments the next day, the Bank of England acted on the instructions without referring to the Law Officers, who, however subsequently upheld their action."

Professor Neville Wylie, a historian at the University of Nottingham who has examined the period as part of research into Nazi Germany's looted gold and the role of Britain and Switzerland, said on Tuesday that the Bank of England's official history of the period was news to him and shed new light on a number of issues.

Wylie said that the attitude shown by the BoE in the history was consistent with what emerged from his own research into the British position towards Germany's wartime financial activities, which he described as "wanting".

He added: "The bank was wedded to a view of international finance and central bank co-operation. It was too concerned about maintaining London's status as an international financial centre – and clung to the need to maintain sterling's convertibility long after it was wise to continue with this policy."

Sources at the Bank of England on Tuesday drew attention to a section in the official history, containing comments by the chancellor to the House of Commons in June 1939, when he stated that Law Officers had advised him that the British government was precluded by protocols from preventing the BoE from obeying instructions given to it by the BIS to transfer the gold.

Related Article:

US, Liechtenstein reach settlement in tax evasion case

Deutsche Welle, 31 July 2013

Liechtenstein's second largest bank has agreed to pay the United States millions in undeclared revenue and lost taxes from US citizens. In return, the US says it will drop its investigation of the tax haven.

The Liechtensteinische Landesbank AG (LLB-Vaduz) agreed to pay the US Department of Justice nearly $23.8 million (17.95 million euros). The settlement ended a probe into LLB-Vaduz's practices from 2001 to 2011, during which time US authorities suspected it of facilitating tax evasion for US citizens.

The corporate tax tricks of 'Big Business'

"[LLB-Vaduz] has reached a definitive solution to the US taxation dispute," the bank said in a statement on Tuesday.

Under the agreement, the Vaduz-based bank will pay $16.3 million in revenue from undeclared assets belonging to US depositors. US authorities are to receive $7.5 million in lost tax revenue.

It also provided US authorities with information on 200 US clients, according to the news agency AFP.

The US Department of Justice agreed to halt further prosecution, freeing the Liechtenstein bank from the prospect of criminal charges or fines.

"This non-prosecution agreement addresses the past wrongful conduct of LLB-Vaduz in allowing US taxpayers to evade their legal obligations through the use of undisclosed Liechtenstein bank accounts," US Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally said.

US authorities also agreed to acknowledge LLB-Vaduz' bank reforms beginning in 2008, which required all clients to declare their income before the investigation had begun.

"As a result of new Liechtenstein legislation, US taxpayers who thought that they had obtained the benefit of Liechtenstein's tax secrecy laws have learned that their bank files were turned over on the request of the Department of Justice," Keneally said.

kms/jm (AFP, dpa)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

London gay community joins boycott of Russian vodka

BBC News, Mark Grigoryan, BBC Russian Service, 30 July 2013

Campaign organisers consider Stolichnaya vodka a national brand

Related Stories

Popular London gay bars and nightclubs have decided to boycott Russian vodka brands, joining a global campaign launched by North American gay activists in solidarity with the LGBT community in Russia.

The organisers accuse the Russian authorities of an increasingly aggressive stance towards sexual minorities.

They are angry about a controversial law signed by President Vladimir Putin banning the promotion of "non-traditional values" to children, the refusal to allow gay pride events and harassment of gay activists.

Many conservative Russians suspect gay rights campaigners of trying to undermine traditional family values.

The purpose of the vodka boycott is clear: to harm the image of a product that has become a national brand, symbolising Russia.

Some activists suggest going further by boycotting the 2014 Winter Olympics, due to be held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The call to boycott was posted on the
websites of London's popular gay bars
The SPI Group behind the most famous vodka brand in the West - Stolichnaya - has declared its firm support for the LGBT community.

Russian Standard - another popular vodka brand in the UK - declined to comment.

'How can it get any worse?'

The vodka boycott campaign was launched by US writer and activist Dan Savage.

He wrote in his blog that gay bars in Seattle should "dump Stoli... to show our solidarity with Russian queers and their allies and to help to draw international attention to the persecution of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, and straight allies in Putin's increasingly fascistic Russia".

Savage's initiative generated a swift response in the US and Canada, and then on the other side of the Atlantic.

Jeremy Joseph is co-founder and owner of the G-A-Y Group, which owns a bar chain of the same name. He sees the vodka boycott as an act of solidarity with the Russian LGBT community.

"There are other countries where it is illegal to be lesbian or gay. But this is shocking, because they are taking a step back rather than a step forward. And in the last couple of weeks, looking at some of the videos and stories coming out of Russia - it's so horrific, it's so scary," Mr Joseph said in an interview with BBC Russian.

Moreover, Mr Joseph believes that boycotting Russian vodka may be just the beginning.

"Hopefully, this would lead to not just Russian vodka being banned, but looking at the brands that will be sponsoring the Winter Olympics [who will know that] unless they make a stand, then their products will get banned."

At the same time, the G-A-Y Group owner does not believe that a high-profile campaign in the West will make life worse for LGBT people in Russia.

"How can it get any worse? I would like to hope, not. But what do we do? Sit back and do nothing?" he asks.

Global 'act of despair'

Peter Tatchell, a veteran gay rights activist and human rights campaigner, has expressed his support for the vodka boycott.

Peter Tatchell (l) joined protests against a ban on gay pride in Moscow in 2008

"The Russian government has passed a draconian new homophobic law that criminalises any public expression of gay identity or call for gay human rights," Mr Tatchell told BBC Russian.

"In addition, there has been a wave of organised homophobic violence targeting individual LGBT people. Some of the victims have been tortured or killed. The police are doing little or nothing to bring the perpetrators to justice," he adds.

"Russian LGBT organisations and international human rights groups have appealed to the Russian government to scrap the anti-gay laws and crack down on homophobic violence. Their appeals have been ignored, the repression is intensifying", says Mr Tatchell.

Mr Tatchell describes calls to boycott Russian products as an act of despair and expresses hope that "this campaign will go global in the coming weeks".

Stoli's 'equality and diversity'

Val Mendeleev, chief executive officer of the SPI Group, which owns Stolichnaya, said his company "is an apolitical, business-oriented organisation". "However, the LGBT community in the US and worldwide are consumers of Stoli Premium vodka globally, and as such are our stakeholders," he told BBC Russian.

Mr Mendeleev stresses that his company's "corporate values stand for transparency, fairness, equality and diversity".

Stolichnaya's owners argue the vodka
is not a Russian product as it is
produced in Latvia
Earlier he wrote an open letter to the LGBT community, which was published on the SPI Group's website and on Facebook page.

"Stolichnaya Vodka has always been, and continues to be a fervent supporter and friend to the LGBT community," he wrote, citing examples of the SPI Group's support for gay events all over the world, including gay pride events in Durban, Tel Aviv and Vienna.

He also said Stolichnaya should not be regarded as a Russian product, since it is produced in Latvia, albeit using Russian ingredients.

Chris Amos, the owner and manager of Manbar in London's Soho, welcomed Mr Mendeleev's statement.

"It's regrettable for them that they are getting the raft of the gay fury and all of this. But at the same time, it will be them and other Russian companies like them who will then go back to the Russian government to argue for our case and support our case," he told BBC Russian.

"That's great that they are doing that [writing the letter], but that doesn't stop the boycott. And the boycott will hopefully go to other Russian companies, who will - like Stoli - issue statements in support of the gay and lesbian population", Mr Amos said.

Sochi Olympics

Gay rights campaigners protested
 against the new law in St Petersburg
in May
LGBT activists have been discussing another form of protest against the Russian authorities: boycotting the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Jeremy Joseph of the G-A-Y Group is fully behind the idea.

"I personally believe that Russia doesn't have the right to host the Winter Olympics now", he argues. "There is supposed to be an Olympic spirit of everybody joining together as one. How can you have it in a country that is so prejudiced?"

Dan Savage, however, believes that it would be better if athletes from the LGBT community went to Sochi to compete and win, to show the whole world they are not afraid to be themselves.

Last Friday, the International Olympic Committee announced that it had received assurances from the Russian officials that "the [new anti-gay] legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the games".

But immediately after that one of the most prominent Russian anti-gay campaigners, Vitaly Milonov of St Petersburg Legislative Assembly, called on the Russian authorities to refrain from applying the gay-propaganda law inconsistently during the Sochi Olympics.

After all, Mr Milonov actively participated in writing it.

Related Articles:

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness charged with tax evasion

Deutsche Welle, 30 July 2013

German prosecutors have charged Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness with tax evasion. The charges pertain to a Swiss bank account Hoeness declared in January.

The charges against Hoeness were announced by the Munich prosecution office on Tuesday.

The 61-year-old could face trial should the economic crimes chamber of Munich's district court decide to admit the charges. That decision is not expected before the end of September, with Hoeness' lawyers having one month to respond to the charges.

The investigation by Munich's prosecution into Hoeness' accounts began in January after a voluntary tax disclosure concerning the Swiss account - previously undeclared - and included a search of his offices and private home in March.

"Due to the volume of the investigation files as well as the fact that a defence request to delay answering to the charges for one month was granted, a decision of the court on starting a trial is not to be expected before the end of September 2013," court spokeswoman Andrea Titz said in a statement.

Bayern's board have stood by Hoeness despite the investigation, refusing to accept the former player and general manager's offer to suspend himself from club duties in May.

Under Hoeness' leadership, the Bavarian club won the Champions League, Bundesliga and the German Cup in 2013.

ph/dr (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Pope Francis: Who am I to judge gay people?

BBC News, 29 July 2013

The Pope's position on gay people appears to contrast with that of his predecessor

Pope Francis 

Pope Francis has said gay people should not be marginalised but integrated into society.

Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Brazil, he reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's position that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not.

"If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?"

He also said he wanted a greater role for women in the Church, but insisted they could not be priests.

The Pope arrived back in Rome on Monday after a week-long tour of Brazil - his first trip abroad as pontiff - which climaxed with a huge gathering on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach for a world Catholic youth festival.

Festival organisers estimated it attracted more than three million people.

His remarks on gay people are being seen as much more conciliatory than his predecessor's position on the issue.

Pope Benedict XVI signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests.

Pope Francis said gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.

Gay 'lobbying'

"The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well," Pope Francis said in a wide-ranging 80-minute long interview with Vatican journalists.

"It says they should not be marginalised because of this but that they must be integrated into society."

But he condemned what he described as lobbying by gay people.

"The problem is not having this orientation," he said. "We must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation, or lobbies of greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the worse problem."

On the role of women in the Church, he said: "We cannot limit the role of women in the Church to altar girls or the president of a charity, there must be more.

"But with regards to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and says no... That door is closed."

Answering questions about the troubled Vatican bank, he said the institution must become "honest and transparent" and that he would listen to advice on whether it could be reformed or should be shut down altogether.

"I don't know what will become of the bank. Some say it is better that is a bank, others that it should be a charitable fund and others say close it," he said.


Before leaving Brazil, Pope Francis gave a highly unusual one-to-one interview to a Brazilian TV programme.

The interview was shown on TV Globo's high-profile Sunday night documentary programme Fantastico, broadcast not long after the Pope departed for Rome.

The Pope was asked about the moment on his visit when his driver took a wrong turn and his vehicle was surrounded by crowds.

"I don't feel afraid," he answered. "I know that no-one dies before their time.

"I don't want to see these people who have such a great heart from behind a glass box. The two security teams [from the Vatican and Brazil] worked very well. But I know that I am undisciplined in that respect."

Asked about the recent protests by young people on the streets of Brazil, the Pope said: "The young person is essentially a non-conformist, and this is very beautiful.

"It is necessary to listen to young people, give them places to express themselves and to be careful that they aren't manipulated."

Asked about his simple lifestyle and use of a small car, he said it wasn't a good example when a priest had the latest model of a car or a top brand.

"At this moment I believe God is asking us for more simplicity," he added.

Related Articles:

Pope tells Brazilian church to keep it simple and reach out to the poor

Welby calls for Church to join the sexual ‘revolution’

‘Pray away the gay’ therapies quickly losing ground in the United States

Question: Dear Kryon: Regarding homosexuality or transsexuals. WHY are they the way they are and WHY are they not accepted in mainstream society?

Answer: [From the Kryon Office]
There is often a tremendous amount of information on subjects that are not necessarily part of the on-line magazine Q&A database. Kryon has been channelling for fourteen years, with 9 books covering many, many topics. Homosexuality was one of them from the very beginning. Please see our "Books index page" for subjects contained in the Kryon books: []

An excerpt from Kryon Book 6, page 306

Question from the book: Dear Kryon, I am gay, and an enlightened man. I live in an American society that barely tolerates me, and actually has some laws against my way of life. The church I used to belong to cast me out as being evil and anti-God. I don't feel that I am violating some Human ethic. My love is as true as any heterosexual, and I am a light worker. Tell me what I should know.

Answer from the book: Dear one, less than two generations from now, there will be those who find this book and laugh at the quaintness of this very question. Before I answer, let me ask you and those reading this to examine a phenomenon about Human society and "God."

Thirty years ago, interracial marriage was considered to be wrong by the laws of God. Now your society finds it common. The spiritual objections around it were either dropped or "rewritten" by those divinely inspired and authorized to do so. Therefore, your actual interpretations of the instructions from God changed with your society's tolerance level--an interesting thing, indeed, how the interpretations of God seem to change regularly to match a changing culture!

The truth, of course, is that you find yourself in a situation that is known to create a test for you. Right now, in this time, you have agreed to come into your culture with an attribute that may alienate you from friends and religious followers. You have faced fear of rejection and have had to "swim upstream," so to speak, just as an everyday life occurrence. Your contract, therefore, has been set up well, and you are in the middle of it. Additionally, like so many like you, you have a divine interest in yourselves! You feel part of the spiritual family. What a dichotomy indeed, to be judged as evil by those who are the high spiritual leaders--interpreting God for today's culture.

Now I say this: What is your intent? Is it to walk with love for all those around you and become an enlightened Human Being in this New Age? Is it to forgive those who see you as a spiritual blight on society? Can you have the kind of tolerance for them that they seem not to have for you? Can you overlook the fact that they freely quote their scriptures in order to condemn you, yet they don't seem to have the love tolerance that is the cornerstone of their own message?

If the answer is yes, then there is nothing else you must do. Your INTENT is everything, and your life will be honored with peace over those who would cause unrest, and tolerance for the intolerable. Your sexual attributes are simply chemistry and setups within your DNA. They are given by agreement as gifts for you to experience in this life. Look on them in this fashion, and be comfortable with that fact that you are a perfect spiritual creation under God--loved beyond measure--just like all humans. But then you know that, don't you?

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pope tells Brazilian church to keep it simple and reach out to the poor

Francis implicitly criticises his predecessor and tells bishops the church looks like 'a prisoner of its own rigid formulas', Associated Press in Rio de Janeiro, Sunday 28 July 2013

Hundreds of thousands of people cram onto Copacabana beach in Rio
for the pope's vigil service. Photograph: Sergio Moraes/Reuters

Pope Francis drew hundreds of thousands of flag-waving faithful to Rio's Copacabana beach on Saturday for the final evening of World Youth Day, hours after he chastised the Brazilian church for failing to stem the "exodus" of Catholics to evangelical congregations.

Francis headed into the final hours of his first international trip riding a remarkable wave of popularity. By the time his open-sided car reached the stage for the vigil service on Saturday night, the back seat was piled high with football jerseys, flags and flowers tossed to him by adoring pilgrims lining the beachfront route.

The vigil capped a busy day for the pope in which he drove home a message he has emphasizsed throughout the week in speeches, homilies and off-the-cuff remarks: the need for Catholics, lay and religious, to shake up the status quo, get out of their stuffy sacristies and reach the faithful on the margins of society or risk losing them to rival churches.

In the longest and most important speech of his four-month pontificate, Francis took a direct swipe at the "intellectual" message of the church that so characterised the pontificate of his predecessor, Benedict XVI. Speaking to Brazil's bishops, he said ordinary Catholics didn't understand such lofty ideas and needed to hear the simpler message of love, forgiveness and mercy that he said was at the core of the Catholic faith.

"At times we lose people because they don't understand what we are saying, because we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people," he said. "Without the grammar of simplicity, the church loses the very conditions which make it possible to fish for God in the deep waters of his mystery."

Francis asked bishops to reflect on why hundreds of thousands of Catholics had left the church for Protestant and Pentecostal congregations that have grown exponentially in recent decades, particularly in Brazil's slums or favelas, where their charismatic message and nuts-and-bolts advice has been welcomed.

According to census data, the number of Catholics in Brazil dipped from 125m in 2000 to 123m in 2010, with the church's share of the total population dropping from 74% to 65%. Over the same period, the number of evangelical Protestants and Pentecostals skyrocketed from 26m to 42m, increasing from 15% to 22% of the population in 2010.

Francis offered a breathtakingly blunt list of explanations for the "exodus."

"Perhaps the church appeared too weak, perhaps too distant from their needs, perhaps too poor to respond to their concerns, perhaps too cold, perhaps too caught up with itself, perhaps a prisoner of its own rigid formulas," he said. "Perhaps the world seems to have made the church a relic of the past, unfit for new questions. Perhaps the church could speak to people in their infancy but not to those come of age."

The Vatican said Francis read the five-page speech in its entirety to the 300 or so bishops gathered for lunch in the auditorium of the Rio archbishop's residence. He was due to speak to the bishops of Latin America on Sunday before heading back to Rome, said the Rev Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman.

Copacabana beach was overflowing for the final vigil on Saturday night. Local media, citing information from the mayor's office, said 3m people were on hand for the vigil – three times as many as at the last World Youth Day vigil in Madrid in 2011.

Rio's mayor estimated as many as 3m people might turn out for Sunday's culminating Mass.

The Argentinian pope began his day with a Mass in Rio's beehive-like modern cathedral where he exhorted 1,000 bishops from around the world to go out and find the faithful, a more diplomatic expression of the direct, off-the-cuff instructions he delivered to young Argentinian pilgrims on Thursday.

In those remarks, he urged the youngsters to make a "mess" in their dioceses and shake things up, even at the expense of confrontation with their bishops and priests.

"We cannot keep ourselves shut up in parishes, in our communities when so many people are waiting for the Gospel," Francis said in his homily on Saturday. "It's not enough simply to open the door in welcome, but we must go out through that door to seek and meet the people."

Related Articles:

Pope Francis: Who am I to judge gay people?

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

“ … Spirituality (Religions)

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

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

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

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

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Germans demonstrate against NSA spying as Berlin appoints cyber commissioner

Deutsche Welle, 27 July 2013

People have taken to the streets across Germany to protest against NSA spying. Berlin, meanwhile, has appointed a diplomat to defend Germany's interests in cyberspace in the face of the NSA scandal.

Thousands of people took to the streets of Germany on Saturday to protest against surveillance by the NSA. The Green Party, the Pirate Party, the global alliance "Stop Watching Us" and several NGOs called protests in more than 30 German cities.

According to police, 2,000 people participated in demonstrations in Hamburg, while 1,000 turned out in Frankfurt am Main. Five-hundred people showed up in Berlin and Karlsruhe respectively. Hundreds more demonstrated in Dresden, Leipzig, Stuttgart, Tübingen and Ulm.

"The people have had enough of the attempts by Angela Merkel and her government to cover up the scandal and placate the people," said Malte Spitz, a member of the Green Party's national committee.

"If millions of people are being permanently subjected to surveillance, then it restricts their freedom and lacks any measure of proportionality."Cyber commissioner appointed
Meanwhile, the German Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday that it had established an office for cyber issues, confirming a report by the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has appointed diplomat Dirk Brengelmann to the new post. Brengelmann previously worked for NATO from 2008-2010 as an assistant secretary general of political issues and security policy.

According to the foreign ministry, Brengelmann will represent Germany's interests on cyber policy at the international level. The new position is modeled after the US State Department's coordinator for cyber issues.

Intelligence agencies deny misconduct

The head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency said on Saturday that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was not collecting data in Germany. The news magazine Der Spiegel had reported earlier in the week that the NSA had given German intelligence services access to a data collection program called "XKeyscore."

"XKeyscore is not a spy program, it's an analysis program," domestic intelligence chief Hans-Georg Maaßen told the daily Die Welt newspaper, adding that his agency was only "testing" the program.

Maaßen went on to say that there was no substance to accusations of misconduct by German intelligence agencies regarding surveillance activities.

But the political opposition has continued to hammer Chancellor Angela Merkel for not doing enough to protect German citizens' privacy rights in the face of alleged snooping by US intelligence agencies. The center-left Social Democratic candidate for chancellor, Peer Steinbrück, accused Merkel of being uncritical of the US and having a lax approach toward the surveillance scandal.

"There were massive violations of fundamental rights in Germany by foreign intelligence agencies," Steinbrück said.

slk/tm (AP, AFP, dpa, EPD, Reuters)

Rumors of NSA surveillance outpost in Wiesbaden persist

EU close to brokering deal on Chinese solar imports

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2013-07-27

A Yingli Solar factory in Tianjin. (File photo/Xinhua)

China and the European Union have reportedly reached a consensus on minimum prices and an annual quota for Chinese solar panel imports to the EU, which may help China avoid the hefty 47% anti-dumping duty set to take effect in August. The EU may also be able thereby to avoid a resulting trade war, according to China's Global Times and our Chinese-language sister paper Want Daily.

The EU imposed a 11.8% interim anti-dumping duty on Chinese solar panels from June 6. The duty will be raised to 47% if the two sides can not resolve the trade dispute before Aug. 6. China has been negotiating with the EU on the matter while also launching a retaliatory anti-dumping probe on wine imports from the EU region.

Representatives led by EU Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht and China's Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng have been in talks and are reportedly close to agree a minimum price of €0.55 (US$0.73) per watt of capacity for Chinese solar panels. The panels were formerly sold in the EU for €0.40 (US$0.53) per watt, far lower than the €0.58 (US$0.77) per watt that is the lowest price that European manufacturers can offer.

The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products allegedly sent a letter to 66 Chinese solar panel makers and said the EU was aiming for a minimum price of €0.57 (US$0.76). The EU also reportedly hopes to set the price higher than the productions costs in Asian countries.

A quota for Chinese solar panel imports is also set to be discussed by the Chinese and EU representatives. "Negotiations are ongoing at the highest level toward an amicable solution," said EU trade spokesman John Clancy, according to the Global Times.

China sold over €21 billion (US$27 billion) worth of solar panels in the EU in 2011. The Alliance for Affordable Solar Energy said the anti-dumping duty has caused the prices of solar panels in Europe to rise and reduced demands. The service sector was also influenced significantly and led to increasing unemployment, it said.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Italy police swoop on Mafia near Rome and in Calabria

BBC News, 26 July 2013

Related Stories

Italian police have arrested at least 50 people in a big anti-Mafia operation in the coastal region near Rome.

About 500 police officers, backed by dog units, a helicopter and coastal patrol boats are involved.

A police operation was also launched in the southern Calabria region, a hotbed of 'Ndrangheta Mafia crime.

The Rome crackdown, focused on the coastal suburb of Ostia, is said to be the largest yet in or near the capital. Three crime clans are being targeted.

Italy's Corriere della Sera says a "mortal blow" has been delivered to the Fasciani, Triassi and D'Agati clans, who have dominated organised crime for years in that region.

The Triassi clan is reported to have close ties to the Sicilian Cosa Nostra crime network.

Police had been able to monitor the mafiosi not only as they met to settle disputes and divide up territory, but also as they planned murders, Italian media report.

Professionals under suspicion

It is unusual for Mafia gangs to be
targeted in or near the Italian capital
The operation in the south led to 65 arrests, including doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs, in the town of Lamezia Terme, Italy's Ansa news agency reports.

As part of that operation Senator Piero Aiello, a member of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party, is under investigation, Ansa reports.

Police seized 200m euros' (£173m; $266m) worth of assets from five businessmen, suspected of involvement with the Giampa clan of the Calabria-based 'Ndrangheta crime network.

The suspects include Gianpaolo Bevilacqua, vice president of the company that runs Lamezia Terme airport and a former provincial councillor for the PdL.

The Giampa clan is suspected of an insurance fraud, used to fund arms and drugs and to pay mafiosi.

Police are also investigating murders committed in a clan war that raged in 2005-2011.

The 'Ndrangheta is now reckoned to be Italy's most powerful mafia, having overtaken Sicily's Cosa Nostra. The 'Ndrangheta operates across Europe and has connections with Colombian drug cartels.

Police hold Spain train crash driver for 'recklesness'

Google – AFP, Roland Lloyd Parry (AFP), 26 July 2013

A crane removes a carriage from the site of the train accident near Santiago
de Compostela on July 25, 2013 (AFP)

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain — Spanish police said Friday they have detained the driver of a speeding train that crashed in the nation's deadliest rail disaster in decades, accusing him of criminal recklessness.

The country was in mourning over Wednesday's horrific tragedy, which police said had killed 78 people including several foreigners and injured more than 100.

The 52-year-old driver faces criminal accusations including "recklessness" over the crash near the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela, said Jaime Iglesias, police chief in the northwestern Galicia region.

The train was said to have been travelling at more than twice the speed limit when it hurtled off the rails.

An aerial view shows the site of the
 train derailment near the city of Santiago
 de Compostela on July 25, 2013
The grey-haired driver, who reportedly boasted of his love for speed online, was detained Thursday in hospital where he had been under police surveillance, Iglesias told a news conference.

A Spanish judge had ordered police to question the man, identified as Francisco Jose Garzon Amo in local media which published photographs of him with blood covering the right side of his face.

He has not been charged with a crime and has yet to be quizzed by police about the tragedy because he is still being treated for unspecified injuries suffered in the crash.

"The driver still not gone to court to answer questions and no date has been fixed for his appearance before the judge," a spokeswoman for Galicia's High Court, which is leading the investigation, told AFP.

Spain's leading El Pais newspaper said the driver of the train -- which was carrying over 200 passengers and crew -- had been unable to brake in time.

Seventy-eight passengers perished, five of whom have yet to be identified.

Five foreigners are among the dead -- an American, an Algerian, a Mexican, a Brazilian and a Venezuelan, police said.

Santiago de Compostela city hall said a French national was believed to be among the dead but this has not been confirmed.

Most of the injured are Spanish but at least eight were foreigners from Argentina, Britain, Colombia, the United States and Peru.

The number of people still in hospital dropped to 81, with 28 in critical condition, including three children, Galician Health Minister Rocio Mosquera said.

A dramatic 10-second video from a railway security camera appears to show the train rocketing around a curve, slamming into a concrete wall at the side of the track as the engine overturned.

Map showing location of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, where a
train hurtled off the tracks on Wednesday (AFP/Graphics)

Smoke billowed from the gutted cars as bodies were strewn across the tracks.

The driver, while still trapped in his cab, told railway officials by radio that the train had taken the curve at 190 kilometres (118 miles) an hour, unidentified investigation sources told El Pais, more than double the 80 kph speed limit on that section of track.

"I was going at 190! I hope no one died because it will weigh on my conscience," he was quoted as saying.

He has been with state rail company Renfe for 30 years, including 13 years of experience as a driver.

Media reports described Garzon Amo, one of two drivers on the train, as a speed freak who once gleefully posted a picture on his Facebook page of a train speedometer at 200 kph.
A caption read: "I am on the edge, I can't go faster or else I will be fined."

Spanish newspapers quoted another of his posts as saying: "What fun it would be to race the Guardia Civil (police) and pass them, causing their radar to blow up hehehe. What a huge fine that would be for Renfe."

The Facebook page has since been taken down.

Secretary of state for transport Rafael Catala said the crash "seems to be linked to excessive speed" but that he was awaiting the findings of the judicial probe.

Renfe said the train -- a model able to adapt between high speed and normal tracks -- had no technical problems and had just passed an inspection on the morning of the accident.

Experts have raised questions about the track's speed signalling system.

Staff at a hospital in Santiago de Compostela
 hold a five-minute silence for victims of the
 train crash, July 26, 2013 (AFP, Cesar
Since high-speed trains use the route, it has been equipped with an automatic speed control system known as the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), under which a train's brakes can be automatically applied if speeding.

But the secretary general of Spain's train drivers' union, Juan Jesus Garcia Fraile, told public radio the system was not in place at the crash site.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, a native of Santiago de Compostela, declared three days of national mourning after visiting the scene Thursday.

Flags flew at half mast across Spain, cabinet ministers attended a weekly meeting clad in black and television stations carried an image of a tiny black ribbon thoughout their broadcasts.

It was Spain's deadliest rail accident since 1944 when hundreds were killed in a train collision, also between Madrid and Galicia. In 1972, 77 people died when a train derailed between Cadix and Seville.

Many of the passengers were thought to be on their way to a festival in honour of Saint James, the apostle who gave his name to Santiago de Compostela, an annual event that draws crowds of pilgrims to the town.

All festivities have now been cancelled.

Train driver Francisco Jose Garzon Amo was among
those injured in the crash