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, December 31, 2014

Lithuanian finance minister: 'We need the euro'

Lithuania is to become the eurozone's 19th member, but only half of Lithuanians are in favor of the new currency. That will change, Finance Minister Rimantas Sadzius told DW.

Deutsche Welle, 31 Dec 2014

Why are you introducing the euro now, given that the whole world is talking about the debt and economic crises in the euro area?

People have been talking about the euro crisis for quite a long time and during all that time, the eurzone proved that it is resilient to external shocks, to internal tensions and strains. I think the eurozone has achieved a state where it can cope with the crisis by itself.

Regarding Lithuania, we've had a currency peg to the euro since 2002. We've undergone all the challenges that the eurozone has had - internal devaluation, salary cuts, social benefits cuts during the financial crisis in real terms. But we can't yet use the benefits of the eurozone.

We started using some, for example, lower interest rates for borrowing to finance our small budget deficit. But as of January 1, we will be at the table where decisions are taken about the eurozone, about monetary policy. For the investment climate it's also beneficial because we're removing any talk about any risks, any devaluation of our national currency, because we join the eurozone with the same rate that we fixed the litas to the euro at in 2002.

The exchange rate has been fixed for some time, as you say. What will change for Lithuanians apart from the notes and coins in their wallets?

They will not have to pay exchange fees and we'll have lower interest rates for borrowing, not just for the state, but also for private firms and individuals. For investors - and we need investors from abroad - they always calculated the return on investment by including risk premiums. Now the risk of the devaluation of the currency is removed, so the return on investment could be higher.

The magic number for Lithuania is 3.4528. That's the official exchange rate - 3.45 litas for one euro. How long do you think people will think in litas?

The experience of other countries that joined the eurozone showed that people convert into their old currency for a long time, at least five years …Only half the population thinks that the changeover to euros is good. But we have the example of Estonia. It took two years for this number - half of the population - to increase to 85 percent, who are supporting the euro at the moment.

So, I think in two years, public support for the euro in Lithuania will be equally high.

Lithuania's euro coins feature the country's coat of arms, a knight on horseback

How can you prevent some businesses from using the introduction of the new currency for price hikes? In Germany, many people thought for a long time that prices had gone up across the board.

We monitor prices very carefully. What we see is higher prices in services. But that can be explained through pay rises of 4 to 5 percent annually. It's clearly not because of the euro.

Other prices are stable or even decreasing because of many international economic factors like cheaper fuel and food. I think there'll be no such effect. We also have very strict controls and there is also competition.

We shall see, but monitoring of prices will take place throughout 2015.

The litas was a very strong symbol, of independence when the communist system broke down at the beginning of the 1990s. Do you think people will have a problem with giving up that symbol?

Yes, there such emotions, we're an emotional people. After the war, the litas served even longer than pre-war litas - because the litas was restored from pre-war times - but one side of the euro coin is decorated with our coat of arms, which has been used for Lithuanian coins since the 14th century. That will now be seen everywhere in Europe and it shows our identity in Europe.

How do the crisis in Ukraine and the European sanctions against Russia influence your currency and economic policies?

We had to downgrade our economic outlook quite considerably. For next year, we expect just 0.9-percent growth. We see difficulty for our firms that are exporting goods to Russia. We had quite a significant flow of re-exports, the transit of goods, through Lithuania to Russia, which decreased as well.

But on the other hand, we see that like after the first Russian crisis in 1998, firms are able to find new markets. They go West and euro adoption is a very favorable factor for them to look better for European markets.

Rimants Sadzius is a 54-year-old Social Democrat. He has been Lithuania's finance minister since 2012 as well as from 2007 to 2008. He studied chemistry and law.

The adoption of the euro in Lithuania had long looked unlikely because of high inflation, which Sadzius managed to bring down. Neighbors Estonia and Latvia introduced the euro in 2010 and 2014 respectively.

In the last 100 years, Lithuania has had several different currencies, including East Germany's Ostmark, the Soviet ruble, the Russian ruble, the litas and the talonas. In 1993, the litas was re-introduced. In 2002, it was pegged to the euro.

Interview conducted by Bernd Riegert

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny found guilty, given suspended sentence

Outspoken Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has been found guilty of fraud in Russia. The date of his sentence had been moved up by two weeks, prompting demonstrations in his support.

Deutsche Welle, 30 Dec 2014

A Moscow court sentenced Alexi Navalny to a 3.5 year suspended jail term on Tuesday for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from two firms, including an affiliate of French comestics company Yves Rocher. His brother Oleg was given three and a half years in prison.

"Aren't you ashamed of what you are doing?" Navalny told the court and judge Yelena Korobchenko. He asked Korobchenko if she was sending Oleg to jail to "punish" him and called the decision to send his brother to prison a "disgrace."

Outside the court house, Navalny kissed Oleg goodbye. News agency AFP reported that he had a parting shot for Putin's government, saying "this regime has no right to exist, it must be destroyed," and calling on his supporters to demonstrate against the court's verdict.

Rushed sentencing

The hearing was deliberately sped up to avoid massive protests, though Navalny's advocates still planned to protest later on Tuesday.

Prosecutors in Moscow had asked the court earlier to move up the date on dissenter Alexei Navalny's case and to sentence him to 10 years in prison, an unusually high sentence for a financial crime. Navalny's sentence hearing was originally scheduled for January 15, prompting thousands of his supporters to stage a protest. The former lawyer and rights activist has been under house arrest since February this year.

Following the court's decision to reschedule the hearing, Navalny's supporters decided to protest on Tuesday. "We have no choice, we need to come out tomorrow and show how numerous we are," protest organizers said on Facebook the previous day.

The lawyer and popular blogger rose to prominence due to his investigations of official corruption and his leading role in organizing massive anti-Putin demonstrations in Moscow in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, in a different criminal case, Navalny was found guilty of embezzlement and sentenced to prison, but he was released the next day after thousands of people protested in the streets of Moscow. He was then handed a suspended sentence and finished a strong second in Moscow's mayoral election in September 2013 with 27 percent of the vote.

Navalny was also found guilty of slandering a city lawmaker in spring of 2014.

Earlier in December, prosecutors asked the court to convict Alexei Navalny of defrauding two companies and to sentence him to a decade in prison. Prosecutors are also demanding an eight-year prison sentence for his brother Oleg who is also on trial for the same charge of stealing 30m roubles ($526,000) from two firms.

Navalny, who is under house arrest, has called the charges against him ludicrous. The open critic of Vladimir Putin has previously said that the Russian president himself will personally decide his fate.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Ukraine's Poroshenko flags new talks with Putin, Merkel and Hollande

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he'll meet with the leaders of Russia, Germany and France in mid-January over his country's ongoing conflict. The gathering will take place in Kazakhstan.

Deutsche Welle, 29 Dec 2014

Poroshenko made a new push to end the conflict in Ukraine's eastern regions on Monday, telling a news conference he would join Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande for talks on January 15, in the Kazakh capital Astana.

The Ukrainian president said he wanted eastern Ukraine, and Crimea, annexed by Russia in March, back under the control of Kyiv.

"The most important thing is to turn a fragile ceasefire into a stable peace and return previously occupied territories under the control of Ukrainian authorities," he said.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has killed more than 4,600 people since April. But Poroshenko said Kyiv lacked the resources to regain full control by military means.

"We haven't got the resources for an offensive today," he said.

His comments come after the breakdown of the first talks in three months between Kyiv and pro-Russian separatists, last week in Minsk. However, the talks did produce a prisoner swap between both sides.

The meeting was meant to secure a shaky ceasefire agreed in Minsk back in September, as well as a withdrawal of heavy weapons by both Ukrainian government forces and the separatists. But it appeared both sides were reluctant to give any ground.

"Ukraine will never - and we are supported in this by the entire world - allow the (original September) Minsk agreements to be altered," Poroshenko said on Monday.

Poroshenko also said three Ukrainian soldiers had been killed during a battle at the disputed airport near rebel-held Donetsk.

Ukraine and the West have accused Moscow of stoking the fires of conflict in eastern Ukraine by supplying the separatists with troops and weapons, something the Kremlin has denied.

Meanwhile, Russia is experiencing deep economic troubles caused by lower oil prices and Western economic sanctions imposed over the Ukraine conflict.

On Monday, it was announced that Russian growth declined for the first time since 2009 - with gross domestic product (GDP) falling by 0.5 percent in November, compared to the same month last year.

The ruble fell to $57 on the news on Monday morning. The Russian currency, which is one of the worst performing currencies of 2014, had started losing ground against the greenback again on Friday, following a five-day rally.

jr/ksb (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

"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)

“… 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..  …”

Greece headed for elections as lawmakers fail to approve president

Greek voters are set to go to the polls after lawmakers failed to elect a new president. This has triggered a snap election, raising fears that the country's financial bailout could be placed in jeopardy.

Deutsche Welle, 29 Dec 2014

Greeks are set to go to the polls in a general election in early 2015, after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras failed to get his candidate for president, Stavros Dimas, approved by parliament.

In Monday's third round of voting just 168 lawmakers voted to endorse Dimas, a former European Commissioner, as president, leaving him well short of the required 180 votes - the same result as in last week's second round.

Under Greece's constitution, failure by lawmakers to elect a new president in three rounds of voting automatically triggers the dissolution of parliament within 10 days as well as a parlimentary election within weeks. A general election is now expected in January or early February.

In the days leading up to the third round, Samaras had been desperate to get Dimas approved, as opinion polls over the past few months have consistently put support for the far-left opposition Syriza party ahead of his coalition government.

Terms of bailout at issue

Syriza is opposed to the terms of the international financial bailout, which has kept Greece from defaulting on its debts - and has vowed to seek to renegotiate them if it gets into government.

The party has also pledged to roll back some of the reforms implemented by Athens in
order for Greece to qualify for the billions of euros in rescue funds from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

However, according to a recent opinion poll conducted by the Aclo institute, while Syriza would become the biggest party in snap elections, it might not win enough seats to govern on its own.

The possibility of Syriza coming to power and calling the terms of Greece's bailout into question, has raised concerns throughout the 28-member European Union.

"We will continue to help Greece along the path of difficult reforms," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble told the mass-circulation Bild newspaper on Saturday. However, if Greece "decides to take another path, this will be more difficult," he added.

Anxiety over the possibility of snap elections also weighed on investors' minds, with shares on the Athens Stock Exchange down by more than 10 percent as Monday's vote took place. Although Greece's economy has been showing some signs of recovery in recent months, unemployment remains stubbornly high at more than 25 percent.

pfd/rg (AFP, Reuters, AP)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Burning ferry to be towed to Italy as rescue airlifts continue

A ferry which set on fire during its journey from Greece to Italy is to be towed to Italy's mainland. One person has died, with hundreds more are still stranded on the ship in the Adriatic Sea.

Deutsche Welle, 28 Dec 2014

Italian officials said the Noram atlantic ferry would probably be taken to either Brindisi or Otranto on Italy's southern coast once towing cables could be securely attached.

Airlifts were also set to continue throughout Sunday night whilst the boat was towed towards mainland Italy.

The Italian navy said that two Italian air force helicopters, one Greek Superpuma helicopter, and an Italian plane were continuing to take part in the rescue, pulling up passengers in small groups. Other aircraft and 10 ships were also taking part in the operation in support roles.

Throughout Sunday, firefighting vessels and helicopters from Greece and Italy were sent to the scene as part of a rescue operation coordinated by Italy. Efforts were hindered, however, by extreme weather conditions.

One death

Italian Coast Guard official Giovanni Pettorino confirmed earlier on Sunday that one person had died during the rescue operation and another had been injured - both of whom were transported by Italian rescuers to the country's mainland.

The Italian-flagged ANEK Lines ferry is thought to have set ablaze after a fire broke out in the lower deck garage of the boat in the early hours of Sunday morning. At the time the ferry was about 44 nautical miles off the coast of Corfu, after leaving the Greek port of Patras en route to Ancona in Italy.

Intense heat

Hundreds were left stranded on smoke-filled top decks as the fire spread throughout the vessel. Passengers contacted Greek television stations via mobile phone to describe their horror as high winds, rain and violent seas lashed the burning ferry. Various passengers also reported that the heat was so intense that shoes had started to melt.

In total, there were 478 passengers and crew aboard the ship, around 234 of whom were said to be Greek. According to the German Foreign Office, 18 Germans were also on board.

Ruble’s Depreciation Creates Turbulence for Russian Airlines

Jakarta Globe, Germain Moyon, Dec 28, 2014

An employee counts Russian ruble notes at a small private shop selling home
appliances in Krasnoyarsk, on Dec. 26, 2014. (Reuters Photo/Ilya Naymushin)

Moscow. Their international competitors may be cheering tumbling oil prices, but the collapse in the ruble has meant major financial turbulence for Russian airlines who have expenses in foreign currencies.

The ruble has slumped by 40 percent this year against the dollar and euro, mostly due to crude oil prices falling by half in the past six months as Russia’s economy is heavily dependent upon oil exports.

As jet fuel accounts for upwards of a quarter of the cost for flights, most airlines are set to see a boost to earnings.

Russian airlines also stand to benefit, but that is expected to pale in comparison to the double whammy resulting from the drop in the value of the ruble.

First, traffic on their most profitable international routes has dropped as Russians stopped traveling as their purchasing power has been eroded, not to mention ticket prices being jacked up twice by 10 percent.

Second, the airlines have considerable costs in foreign currencies — mostly aircraft leases — which have nearly doubled in ruble terms as the currency has slumped.

According to Deutsche Bank, Russia’s leading airline Aeroflot earns 90 percent of its revenue in rubles while 60 percent of its costs are in foreign currencies.

“The situation is very serious,” said Oleg Panteleyev, the editor-in-chief of the specialist website AviaPort.

“The result is obvious: as a drop in traffic is inevitable, they must return planes to lessors, reduce foreign currency costs and lower the number of planes and flights,” he told AFP.

With traffic rising by 15 percent to 20 percent annually in recent years, Russian airlines have leased and ordered new planes from Airbus and Boeing to retire their aging fleet of gas-guzzling Russian aircraft.

Uncertainty has hovered for weeks over the third-largest Russian airline, Utair. Unable to repay some of its debts, Alfa Bank has been trying in court to seize its aircraft.

Then this past week doubts began to surface about the finances of number two airline Transaero, which boasts a fleet of more than 100 mostly Boeing aircraft.

TASS news agency reported that it had appealed to the government for help to avoid having to suspend flights.

Holiday connections

Even if Transaero denounced the report as an attempt to destabilize it by competitors, the possibility of thousands of Russian tourists stranded abroad as happened this past summer when a number of travel agencies went bust was enough to prod the government into quick action.

Anxious to show it was moving to contain the effects of the currency crisis, the government promised to help airlines by subsidizing domestic routes and providing loan guarantees to ensure airlines had access to funds.

On Wednesday Transaero was granted a loan guarantee of 9 billion rubles ($170 million). The same day Alfa Bank said it was temporarily suspending, “at the request of the government”, its legal action against Utair in order to avoid disruptions to flights during the upcoming holidays.

The government has a clear short-term goal, according to Panteleyev: “The airlines must transport all the passengers over the holidays.”

Russia nearly shuts down at the beginning of the year as most people take holiday between the New Year and the Russian Orthodox Christmas, celebrated this year on Thursday, Jan. 7.

Panteleyev said “obtaining loans is indispensable … to pay for jet fuel, airport fees and salaries, but it isn’t sufficient to survive.”

With the Russian central bank expecting the country’s economy to contract by nearly 5 percent if oil prices remain at current levels and for there to be no recovery before 2017, there won’t be an easy out for airlines.

Complete upheaval

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich warned airlines that the government aid would not help unless they optimized their fleet and routes and cut costs. Their owners would also have to pump money into them, he said.

Alexei Khazbiyev, a transportation specialist with the magazine Expert, also sees dark clouds ahead for Russian airlines.

“Next year, the traffic on international flights will continue to drop and the airlines will reduce their number of flights,” he said.

Khazbiyev estimated that a majority of Russian airlines will lose money and several smaller regional companies may go bust, as happened in 2008-09.

Air transport expert Elizabeta Kuznetsova wrote in a recent commentary in the business daily Kommersant that even if the state measures “soften the pain” for airlines there risks being a “complete upheaval in the market” in 2015.

Agence France-Presse

Saturday, December 27, 2014

As world honours the dead, Indonesia begins tsunami memorials

Yahoo – AFP, Nurdin Hasan, 26 Dec 2014

Women attend a prayer service at Baiturrahman Mosque in Banda Aceh, in
 the northern Sumatra island, on December 25, 2014, prior to the 10th anniversary
 of the tsunami that hit the west coast of Aceh province (AFP Photo/
Chaideer Mahyuddin)

Thousands of people held a memorial Thursday in Indonesia's Aceh province, the epicentre of the Indian Ocean tsunami, as the world prepared to mark a decade since a disaster that took 220,00 lives and laid waste to coastal areas in 14 countries.

On December 26, 2004 a 9.3-magnitude earthquake off Indonesia's western coast sparked a series of towering waves that wrought destruction across countries as far apart as Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Somalia.

Among the victims were thousands of foreign holidaymakers enjoying Christmas on the region's sun-kissed beaches, striking tragedy into homes around the world.

A tourist rides a bicycle past a poster
 ahead of the tenth anniversary of the 2004
 tsunami at Patong beach in Phuket
 province on December 25, 2014 (AFP\
 Photo/Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)
Muslim clerics, tsunami survivors and rescue workers led around 7,000 mourners gathered at Banda Aceh's black-domed Baiturrahman Grand Mosque for memorial prayers late Thursday.

Malaysian cleric Syeikh Ismail Kassim said he and several hundred compatriots attended to show support for Aceh.

"We hope Aceh people will not waver as a result of the calamity that has befallen them," he told AFP.

Aceh governor Zaini Abdullah thanked Indonesians and the international community in his address at the mosque, one of the few buildings which withstood the wrath of the massive earthquake and ensuing waves which left 170,000 people in the country dead or missing.

"The tsunami had caused deep sorrow to Aceh residents from having lost their loved ones," he said.

"Sympathy from Indonesians and the international community has helped (Aceh) to recover," he added.

He also called on residents not to "dwell in our grief, so that we could rise from adversity and achieve a better Aceh".

Kamaruddin, a fisherman who like many Indonesians goes by one name, said he attended the prayers to remember his wife and three children who died in the tsunami.

"I hope there will be no more disasters in Aceh," the 50-year-old said.

In Meulaboh, a fishing town considered to be the ground zero of the tsunami -- where 35 metre-high waves flattened almost everything -- Indonesian flags were flown at half-mast as small groups of residents held night prayers at mosques.

The main memorials were planned for Friday morning, starting in Aceh which was hit first by the waves, then moving to Thailand where candlelit ceremonies are expected in the resort hubs of Phuket and Khao Lak.

There will also be events in Sri Lanka, including at the site where a train carrying 1,500 people was washed away, as well as in several European capitals to remember foreign nationals who perished.

'Like being in a washing machine'

Many of the tsunami's victims died in dark, churning waters laden with uprooted trees, boats, cars and eviscerated beach bungalows, as the waves surged miles inland and then retreated, sucking many more into the sea.

Thailand saw 5,395 people killed by the disaster -- half of them foreign holidaymakers.

British survivor Andy Chaggar was in a bungalow on Thailand's Khao Lak when the tsunami waves struck, taking his girlfriend's life and sweeping him inland.

This picture taken on December 4, 2014 shows people visiting the Ban Nam
Khem tsunami memorial park wall in Khao Lak (AFP Photo/Nicolas Asfouri)

"I came to in the water... there was glass, metal, there were pieces of wood, bricks, it was like being in a washing machine full of nails," he told AFP on Thursday, on the same beach where he lost his girlfriend.

As the scale of the tragedy emerged, disaster-stricken nations struggled to mobilise a relief effort, leaving bloated bodies to pile up under the tropical sun or in makeshift morgues.

The world poured money and expertise into the relief and reconstruction, with more than $13.5 billion collected in the months after the disaster.

Almost $7 billion in aid went into rebuilding more than 140,000 houses across Aceh, thousands of kilometres of roads, and new schools and hospitals.

The vast majority of Indonesia's 170,000 victims perished in the province, among them tens of thousands of children.

But the disaster also ended a decades-long separatist conflict, with a peace deal between rebels and Jakarta struck less than a year later.

It also prompted the establishment of a pan-ocean tsunami warning system, made up of sea gauges and buoys, while individual countries have invested heavily in disaster preparedness.

But experts have cautioned against the perils of "disaster amnesia" creeping into communities vulnerable to natural disasters.

Related Articles:

Tsunami devastation remembered in Asia, 10 years on (+Video)

"Current" Events –  Apr 10, 2005 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll)

“… Mass Human Death

The final one, dear Human, is the hardest one for my partner and the one we wish to leave you with in this channeling tonight. This is the one that my partner doesn't want to even have me talk about. It's the appropriateness of mass death. For you, built in to your very essence is the honor for life, and the sorrow when it passes. It's correct and appropriate that this is there, and never let it be tempered. But the wisdom of understanding is also needed to help you get past some challenges of the Human heart.

"Dear Kryon, was the tsunami really necessary?" Yes it was. Almost 200,000 Human Beings passed over. It's an event that for you is filled with horror, sorrow, emotion, and challenge. Back in 1989, we told you of those that might have to leave the earth en masse, and here it is. Yet even my partner [Lee] asks the questions, "Why the children? Why the poorest parts of the earth? Why the seeming inappropriateness of all this death?"

And I say to you the same thing I said with respect to Terri: Do you understand yet that death is often as precious as life on this planet of many energies and lessons? They are not gone! They're all here [speaking from Kryon's perspective]. They're having a great time! They're joyful! It seems like a moment ago they leaned into the wind of birth with us beside them. We said, "How would you like to participate in an event that will change the compassion factor of the planet so that energies can move forward and provide faster acceleration of vibratory shift? How would you like to help create peace on earth through a consciousness shift within Gaia itself? And they said, "Show us the way!"

Do you understand why we are in love with humanity... that you would love the earth and the Universe so much that you would go through these things? So much of what you see is horrible tragedy, yet you're looking at the heroes of humanity as they deliver a gift that will change the very fabric of Gaia through the compassion created as a wave of humanity responds to their plight.

They knew the potentials and they went through with it. Even the children knew, for they're old souls within their divinity. There was so much compassion created at that time, in that one week, the earth has never seen anything like it in your lifetime. Billions of Humans were involved with a compassion that instantly went to the core of the planet. It went into the earth and it's still there. It changed the actual energy of where you walk and it planted a seeds that will grow that will indeed emerge later in Israel, and those surrounding Israel.

And that's what it's about. Yet some of you didn't want to hear that, did you? But they're here, with me now... and with you as well. How could you fit them all in this room, you might ask? They can fit on the head of a pin! That's interdimensional talk. They can go home in your purse or your pocket! That's interdimensional talk, too. And they've got a message for you that we've given before, but you can't hear it enough: "We did our part - now you do yours, Lighthouse! For the ones who remain are the only ones who can manipulate the tools we have helped create."

When you go home tonight, you're not going to be in a survival situation - in a tent in a tribe with no lights or clean water, with no food. You're not going to be in sorrow or despair. Instead, you go home to a warm place with plenty of food and friendship and the love of family. That's why you're the Lighthouses, because you have time for it. You've got the intellect for it. You're not in survival mode, as is so much of humanity on the earth. You have the education for it and the intuition for it. Now, do you understand why there are so many Lighthworkers in the western world? It's because your culture has created a situation where there's abundance of these things, and it allows you to lead the way in changing the energy of earth, instead of having all your time spent just trying to survive. Does this help you understand the responsibility of what you have before you?

Strike the light and send it to the Sudanese. Strike light and send it to those dark places with governments where there's corruption. Strike the light and send it to the scientists and researchers who already have the cures for the more virulent diseases on the planet, but can't begin their work due to the barriers of certain leadership and their old ways. Strike the light and send it to Israel and Palestine and get on with this solution! This is why you're here, and this is the agreement you made when you arrived and selected the culture you live in.

Achievable in your lifetime, it is. Peace and compassion will prevail. You shall see. You shall see.

And so it is.


Belarus strongman sacks PM amid economic woes

Yahoo - AFP, Tatiana Kalinovskaya, 27 Dec 2014

AFP/AFP/File - Belarus Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich speaks during
 the opening session of the Climate Change Summit at the United Nations in
New York on September 23, 2014

Belarussian strongman Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday sacked his prime minister and several other top officials as the ex-Soviet state reels from the effects of Russia's economic crisis next door.

Lukashenko, who has ruled the country of 10 million with an iron fist for the past 20 years, linked the reshuffle to a presidential vote scheduled for next year and indicated he would seek re-election.

A woman walks past empty shelves in an 
electronic shops in Minsk, on December 21,
2014 Belarus strongman sacks PM amid
economic woes (Photo by Sergei 
Gapon / AFP)
"Presidential elections will be a test for us all," he was quoted as saying on his website.

"If all goes well, I am ready to work with this cabinet and these officials after elections, too."
His administration, quoting the president, said the reshuffle was "nothing out of the ordinary."

The president dismissed Mikhail Myasnikovich, in office since December 2010, and appointed his chief of staff Andrei Kobyakov as his new head of government.

He also replaced the head of the central bank and several other top officials including the economy and industry ministers.

The tightly-controlled country's economic ills present a key challenge to Lukashenko's grip on power.

The president said he would hold the country's new economic team, including the new premier and the central bank chief, personally responsible for the country's well-being.

He said the economy represented "the greatest danger" and therefore called "for the greatest responsibility."

Although the Belarussian ruble is not officially pegged to the Russian currency, the country is highly dependent on its former master Moscow and is very sensitive to its economic woes.

The collapse of the Russian ruble this month sparked panic, with Belarussians rushing to convert their savings into dollars.

Since the start of the year the Belarussian ruble has lost about half of its value.

People walk past a giant and illuminated
 Christmas tree bauble in central Minsk
 on December 23, 2014 (Photo by Sergei 
Gapon / AFP)
The run on the Belarussian ruble forced the central bank to announce a "temporary" tax of 30 percent on all purchases of foreign currency and raise interest rates to 50 percent.

Lukashenko has admitted that his country's economy has been hit hard as around 40 percent of its exports are bound for Russia.

Earlier this month, the Belarussian strongman tasked the government with conducting transactions with Russia in dollars or euros only.

"Fluctuations on the Russian currency market are unfathomable," he said at the time.

Under pressure from falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine, Russia is sliding into a full-blown economic crisis complete with the collapse of the ruble and growing inflation.

'Country needs reforms'

Independent political analyst Alexei Korol said the Belarussian government re-shuffle was a band-aid solution that would not help address the root causes of its economic troubles.

"The country needs deep economic reforms. Instead he is re-shuffling an old pack of cards," he told AFP, referring to Lukashenko.

"He won't embark on reforms because at the end of the day they would lead to the collapse of his authoritarian regime," he added. "It's important for Lukashenko to pass the buck onto his team."

Alexander Lukashenko, pictured, sacks his
 prime minister as the tightly-controlled
 ex-Soviet state struggles with the effects
 of Russia's economic crisis (Photo by
Maxim Shipenkov / pool/AFP)
The former head of the Belarussian central bank, Stanislav Bogdankevich, also said that the move signalled Lukashenko's apparent unwillingness to conduct sweeping reforms.

"You have to openly say that the economy is in crisis and you have to come up with new economic policies," said the opposition-minded figure.

He dismissed Kobyakov as an "obedient" official who will be unable to challenge the president.

The IMF lent Minsk $3.5 billion (2.8 billion euros) in 2009 but has denied it further support since 2011 as Belarus refused to implement the liberal reforms and budgetary cuts it was demanding.

Lukashenko, once described by Washington as Europe's last dictator, has ruled Belarus that lies between three EU states and Russia since 1994.

In 2010, tens of thousands of people protested against what they saw as unfair presidential elections that gave Lukashenko a landslide victory.

Following the protests the strongman unleashed a crackdown on the opposition, imprisoning some of his most prominent critics and muzzling non-state media.

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Europe's last dictator marks anniversary

"Recalibration of Knowledge" – Jan 14, 2012 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: Channelling, God-Creator, Benevolent Design, New Energy, Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Reincarnation, Gaia, Old Energies (Africa, Terrorists, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela ... ), Weather, Rejuvenation, Akash, Nicolas Tesla / Einstein, Cold Fusion, Magnetics, Lemuria, Atomic Structure (Electrons, Particles, Polarity, Self Balancing, Magnetism), Entanglement, "Life is necessary for a Universe to exist and not the other way around", DNA, Humans (Baby getting ready, First Breath, Stem Cells, Embryonic Stem Cells, Rejuvenation), Global Unity, ... etc.) (Text Version)  

“…  I want you to watch some countries. I don't have a clock [this statement is Kryon telling us that there is no time frame on his side of the veil, only potentials]. I'll just tell you, it's imminent [in Spirit's timing, this could mean as soon as a decade]. I want you to watch some countries carefully for changes. You're going to be seeing changes that are obvious, and some that are not obvious [covert or assumptive]. But the obvious ones you will see sooner than not - Cuba, Korea [North]Iran, of course, and Venezuela. I want you to watch what happens when they start to realize that they don't have any more allies on Earth! Even their brothers who used to support them in their hatred of some are saying, "Well, perhaps not anymore. It doesn't seem to be supporting us anymore." Watch the synchronicities that are occurring. The leaders who have either died or are going to in the next year or so will take with them the old ways. Watch what happens to those who take their place, and remember these meetings where I described these potentials to you. …”

Friday, December 26, 2014

Irish court allows abortion row pregnant brain-dead woman to die

Yahoo – AFP, Conor Barrins, and Naomi O'Leary in London

Pro-Choice supporters demonstrate outside the Irish Parliament building
in Dublin on July 10, 2013 (AFP Photo/Peter Muhly)

Dublin (AFP) - Ireland's high court ruled doctors can withdraw life support for a clinically dead pregnant woman on Friday, in the latest case to trigger heated debate on the country's stringent abortion laws.

Despite requests from the woman's family for her to be allowed to die, doctors continued life support as the Irish constitution says a woman and her unborn child have an equal right to life.

The woman was 14 weeks pregnant when she was declared clinically dead on December 3 after suffering a brain injury. She has been on life support since but is "deteriorating rapidly", the court heard.

The case touched on a deeply divisive issue in Ireland, which has a controversial constitutional ban on abortion, with even the head of the Catholic Church in the country saying, "A woman isn't simply an incubator."

The high court's judgement accepted medical evidence that the foetus has "no realistic prospect of emerging alive" and that only legal uncertainty had brought the case to this point.

"To maintain and continue the present somatic support for the mother would deprive her of dignity in death and subject her father, her partner and her young children to unimaginable distress," the judgement said.

It described continuing medical treatment as "a futile exercise which commenced only because of fears held by medical specialists of potential legal consequences".

The case reignited fierce social tensions in majority Catholic Ireland over the rights of unborn children, prompting the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin to speak out on the issue.

"From the point of view of Catholic teaching in general medical ethics, there is no obligation to use extraordinary means to maintain a life," Martin told Newstalk radio. "A woman isn't simply an incubator."

In a statement following the judgement, the Irish health service welcomed the judgement and expressed "deepest sympathy to the family... in the tragic and extremely difficult situation they have found themselves in."

'Too restrictive'

But experts said similar cases could emerge in the future due to the broad language of the eighth amendment to the Irish constitution.

Though intended to outlaw abortion, the wording of the amendment does not refer specifically to termination and affords equal rights to a woman and her unborn child "as far as practicable".

"The (court's) decision was based on the absence of a realistic prospect of a live birth," Conor O'Mahony, a senior lecturer in constitutional law at University College Cork wrote in an analysis of the judgement.

"As long as the eighth amendment remains in the constitution in its present form, the possibility of such a deeply tragic and private case being decided in the very public and distressing surroundings of the courts will be present."

The broad wording of the law has also been blamed for causing confusion in emergency situations in the past.

Earlier this month, Health Minister Leo Varadkar said the constitutional rules around abortion are "too restrictive" and have a "chilling effect" on doctors.

"Difficult decisions that should be made by women and their doctors, a couple or next-of-kin... on the basis of best clinical practice, are now often made on foot of legal advice. That is not how it should be."

A series of protests have demanded the amendment be repealed, but Prime Minister Enda Kenny has ruled out a referendum before the next general election, which is due in 2016.

In 2013, after another divisive debate and a supreme court ruling, Dublin introduced new laws allowing for terminations in limited circumstances if the life of the mother was at risk.

It followed the death of 31-year-old Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar in a Galway hospital in October 2012, in a case that generated global attention.

Halappanavar had sought a termination when told she was miscarrying, but the request was refused as the foetus was alive and her life appeared not to be in danger. She died of blood poisoning days after miscarrying.

Related Article:

You, as a Human Being, are designed to appreciate and love life. But you put it in a box. You think you live once. You say, life is precious; make it count; keep it going at all costs; make it work. And the underlying thought is that because you only go around one time, all the purpose is wrapped up in one lifetime. Well, I'm going to give you something to think about, something that happened just recently that tens of millions of people all over earth who have the western news media know of.

It was all about one woman's life, and you know who I'm talking about. I'm talking about Terri [Terri Schiavo]. And I'm going to talk about Terri because, you know, she's here [speaking of the real Terri]! And I'm going to give you a perspective about Terri that perhaps you hadn't thought about before, and as I do it, she's going to watch.

It's very metaphysical, you know? This perspective is one from my side of the veil. Terri leaned into the wind of birth many years ago, just as you did. I was there, too. There were potentials laying in front of her - a track that she could take if she wished. There was no predestination, only predispositions of energy that laid before her: the parents she would have (which she had selected), the man she might meet or marry, the accident waiting to happen. All of these things were in her "potential track," and she could have chosen not to go there.

But like so many of you, she looked at it and examined it. These were the times we spoke to her and said, "Dear one, you're going into another Human lifetime that has a potential that's awesome - grander than most Humans on the planet will ever experience. You'll get to present something to tens of millions of people. You'll make them think about life. You'll change the legal system of your country. You'll awaken peoples' awareness to situations that need to be addressed with respect to morality, integrity, and even intuition. Will you do it?"

And I remember what she said. The grand angel who stood before me, who you now call Terri, smiled broadly and said, "I'm ready for that." And some of you cry in your sorrow and say "Why is this Human dead? How could such a thing be tolerated? Why would such a thing happen? Life is so precious." And I ask you this, as Terri looks on in her joy, would you take this away from her? Would you take that away from humanity, what she showed and did that resulted directly in her passing?

Start thinking of these things, perhaps differently. We've told you before that there are even those Human Beings who come in with a predisposition of suicide! What a horrible thought, you might say. "Kryon, could that even be appropriate?" And we say this: More than appropriate, it's by design! "But why should that be?" You might say. "What a horrible dishonorable death." And if that's your reaction, you're placing the whole grand picture in your own little Human box.

When you start examining it spiritually, without Human bias, you start to see that around a suicide there's this energy that develops. It's all about the family. Is there shame? Is there drama? Does it kick the family in the pants so that perhaps they might study things they never did - or perhaps they might they even look within themselves for spirituality? Blessed is the one that comes in with these tasks [like suicide]. There are so many of them who do. For these are the grease of personal change within families, and provide a gift that is grand!

You see, Spirit looks at these things differently. The curtain goes up, it goes down. You come and you go and there are profound lessons, some of which are taught harshly, by those who teach them through their own deaths.

"Well, what is it Kryon? Don't dodge the question with a diversion to suicide, for this isn't what Terri did. Is it proper or is it improper to have somebody in this vegetative state put to death by others around her?" Our answer: Exactly which Human are you talking about? You want a blanket answer, don't you? For six and half billion souls and paths, you want one answer for all. Well, you won't get one. For Terri, the answer is a solid yes. It was as it should have been. She came in with this grand opportunity to change the world, and she did it while everyone watched.

There is appropriateness in all things and sometimes you create for yourselves what seems to be inappropriate. Yet later you understand what the gift was within the challenge. Celebrate Terri, and don't think of this as a shameful thing that Humans did to her. Think of it instead as a book that was written for you to look at, one which pushes you to a place to ask, "What should we do about this now, personally? What should our legislatures do about this, if anything? How can we approach these things more humanely and with more honor? Is our culture addressing this issue? Are we addressing this issue personally?" Let's put these questions where they belong. It's not about "right to life"; it's about the appropriateness of "this life." Each case is individual, and some are profoundly given for the planet and for those around the individual.

Oh, as all of you came into this planet and leaned into the wind of birth separately, each was unique. Each of you has a different story, a different goal, but all have the same purpose: the elevation of the vibration of the planet. Sometimes it happens to many of you at the same time. We'll get to that before we finish. ..."

"THE THREE WINDS" – Feb 23-24, 2013 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Humanity, Home - other side of the veil, Wind of Birth - Birth, Wind of Existence - Life, Wind of Transition - Death) (Text version)