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. …

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Northern Ireland's first minister called on to apologise publicly to Muslims

Thousands attend rally in Belfast after Peter Robinson made comments backing a preacher denouncing Islam as evil

theguardian.com, Henry McDonald in Belfast, Saturday 31 May 2014

Thousands marched at an anti-racism rally held in Belfast, where Peter Robinson
 was called on to apologise publicly to Muslims over his comments. Photograph:
Stephen Barnes/baDemotix/Corbis

Thousands attending an anti-racist rally in central Belfast on Saturday heard a demand that Northern Ireland's first minister Peter Robinson issue a public apology for insulting Muslims living in the region.

A Muslim nurse who has worked in the local NHS for more than a decade told protestors gathered outside Belfast city hall that a private apology and meeting with representatives of the Islamic Centre in the city was not enough.

The first minister provoked a major political storm earlier this week when he first backed a born again preacher who denounced Islam as evil and the "spawn of the devil." Robinson then caused further controversy after stating in an interview that he would not trust Muslims who adhered to Sharia law although he would "trust them to go to the shop" for him.

The Democratic Unionist party leader later issued an apology during a private meeting in Stormont with members from the Islamic Centre based in the university area of South Belfast on Thursday.

But Mohammed Samaana, who has worked at the Ulster Hospital as a nurse for more than 10 years, told Saturday's rally that the first minister's apology should not have been made behind closed doors.

"I heard the insult, but I haven't heard the apology. I heard that he apologised before three men behind closed doors - that's not an apology," Samaana said to the cheers of several thousand people at the rally outside city hall, which was called in solidarity with Muslims and other minorities in Northern Ireland.

The nurse told the crowd he had been the victim of racist attacks and abuse while living and working in Northern Ireland.

He also challenged Robinson to condemn remarks by Pastor James McConnell, the founder of the Metropolitan Tabernacle church on the shores of Belfast Lough. Pastor McConnell also described the Muslim religion as "satanic" in a sermon in his church in north Belfast three weeks ago. The evangelical preacher has since refused to take back his remarks about Islam in interview with local media.

Samaana called on Pastor McConnell to condemn the recent spike in racist attacks mainly in loyalist districts of greater Belfast against Muslims and other ethnic minorities.

Among those attending the Stand Up and Rally Against Racism protest in Belfast was Anna Lo, the only Chinese-born parliamentarian in the UK.

In an interview with the Guardian earlier this week, Lo revealed that she was quitting politics and would not stand again for re-election to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Lo said she had become disillusioned with local politics due to enduring sectarianism and now rising racism in the province.

Some anti-racism demonstrators held up banners urging Lo to stay in Northern Ireland after she also revealed that she was thinking of moving to England because of the abuse directed at her.

First minister Robinson has previously insisted his remarks in the interview were "misinterpreted and given a meaning that was never intended".

His defence of Pastor McConnell, whose church Robinson sometimes attends on Sundays, and his initial remarks about Muslims caused a blazing row around the cabinet table at Stormont on Thursday.

Sources at Stormont said the meeting of the power sharing executive soon degenerated into heated arguments between Robinson, his fellow DUP ministers and the four other parties represented in the devolved government.

Greek Cypriots in first gay pride parade

Yahoo – AFP, Fanny Andre, 31 May 2014

Cypriot policemen on their motorbikes escort people during the gay
pride parade in Nicosia on May 31, 2014 (AFP Photo/Patrick Baz)

Nicosia (AFP) - Nicosia held its first Greek Cypriot gay pride parade Saturday, 16 years after homosexuality was decriminalised on their Mediterranean island, where the influential Orthodox Church views non-heterosexual relations as sinful.

Organisers Accept-LGBTI said a bill legalising homosexual civil partnerships promised by the government last year has still not been submitted to parliament.

The march left the capital's Eleftheria (Freedom) Square at around 6 pm (1500 GMT), with hundreds of waving and cheering people following a car decked with rainbow flags and blaring out music.

A protester holds a crucifix during an
 anti-gay pride demonstration in Nicosia,
 Cyprus on May 31, 2014 (AFP Photo
/Patrick Baz)
Police escorted the marchers, which included staff of embassies sponsoring the event, such as Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland,Sweden and the United States, carrying their countries' flags.

The parade headed for a park behind parliament, where Accept-LGBTI promised "a super-fun, celebratory party full of surprises, including... a spectacular, full-blown show by international artist A Man To Pet."

But spokeswoman Joanna Constantinuou said it was better the parade took "the form of a march for our rights than another Mardi Gras,"a reference to the annual carnival in the American city of New Orleans.

Marchers waved rainbow flags and blew whistles in a relaxed atmosphere.

Earlier, a group called the Cyprus Christian Orthodox Movement held a counter-demonstration not far from where the march began.

Police kept the protesters, who included priests and monks, several hundred metres (yards) away without trouble.

Yanos Petrou, an organiser of the rival event, said "we don’t have a problem with the persons but they want too much; they shouldn't show those things" in public, referring to public displays of their homosexuality.

The influential Church of Cyprus has also reacted negatively to gays taking to the streets, saying it "regretted the behaviour and lifestyle of some of our fellow men."

The word of God condemns homosexuality, and such relationships are a "moral aberration", the church said, adding that it was not "a normal lifestyle choice."

Celebrity support

British actor Stephen Fry, in comments to the Cyprus Daily, had called for a widespread show of support from the Cypriot public.

"I invite the Church of Cyprus to join the civilised and educated and loving world, including Christian faiths... to recognise the natural, unthreatening nature of homosexuality," said Fry, who is openly homosexual and has campaigned for gay rights across the world, notably in Russia.

A man walks in front of graffiti bearing an image of Jesus Christ and reading
 in Greek "I love you all" in Nicosia on May 31, 2014 (AFP Photo/Yiannis Kourtoglou)

"I encourage all Cypriots of whatever sexuality to join in the Pride March to show their support for an open, free, tolerant and enlightened Cyprus," he said.

Veteran British pop icon George Michael, also gay, was born to conservative Greek Cypriots.

Accept-LGBTI says it is holding the march to combat prejudice against what it claims is "10 percent of the population, hence against 85,000 Cypriot compatriots."

A second bill is before the Cyprus parliament that would criminalise anti-gay hate speech.

Golden Globe-nominated American actress Lainie Kazan, who starred in Hollywood comedy "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," has also come out in support of the LGBTI community on the divided island to "be who they are".

"We can’t hide in the shadows; that’s no way to live," said Kazan, starring in a new movie entitled "Oy vey! My son is gay!"

Turkish Cypriots living in the breakaway north of divided Cyprus narrowly beat their fellow islanders in the internationally recognised south to the draw with a "Queer Cyprus ... Rainbow Walk" on May 17 in the northern sector of Nicosia, the world's last divided capital.

But it was only this January that Turkish Cypriot deputies voted to legalise homosexuality.

Referring to homophobia on the island, Accept's Andreou said: "It depends on where you live, but you can be sure of facing discrimination in the workplace."

Related Articles:

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: [http://www.kryon.com/direct.html]

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?


Question: Dear Kryon, did a person named Jesus actually exist, or was it a group with the Christ energy that the church made into a person?

Question: Dear Kryon, I’ve looked at birth charts for Jesus over many years and found one which I believe, if not real, is the most intriguing. Therefore, I ask: Can you please reveal the exact date and time of Jesus Christ’s birth? And which DNA layer is the "astrology layer" that you’ve mentioned? I really believe that this may help in realigning astrology with the energy you’ve talked about

Question: Dear Kryon, when Jesus came here, did he know of our eternal work of Universe building? Does he know how much we love him?

Question: Dear Kryon, I’m not a Christian, but am curious as to whether the story of Jesus is accurate. Did he die by crucifixion, or was he spared to live a full life with a family of his own, elsewhere?

Question: Dear Kryon, was Jesus nothing more or less than a Crystal Child? Did he possess something that simply wasn’t understood during his time? Did he have different DNA or advanced DNA? This time is so exciting, and things have become so clear, that I want to be able to tell others what I now understand.

Answer: Dear ones, we posture this answer with great respect for those who love this Human master. It serves no purpose to give information that would be detrimental to any study or search for the divine by any Human alive. This is why we often do not give you the actual history of some of the masters who walked this earth. We see the search for the divine as the most important thing a Human can do. Even if the facts of history are incorrect, sometimes the benefits of the search still bring the Human into the light and into the realization that God is inside us all.

Jesus was a real person. His birth and death were far different than have been reported, but he walked the earth as an enlightened soul whose miracles and teachings were the beginning of a new dispensation. He taught unity, and the principle that all men could speak personally to God. He said, "You can be just like me!" and that is what our message is, also . . . that master-hood is within each of you. If you really want to know more about the real history, it’s very clearly in the scrolls, but it’s not in your scriptures!

If you feel that Jesus might have had a special consciousness, as many of the new children do, you’re right! His DNA was without some of the restrictions that you have, but had those that you’re now learning about. The astrological layer of his DNA (the layers that respond to other planetary energy movements) were void and neutral. (This particular layer will be exposed this year for you, along with a name.)

And yes, he knows of your love, and all the things that your divinity knows. Like all of you, he is multidimensional, and is in many places at the same time. Did you know that you are, too?

Spiritual enlightenment is not about following any Human Being or any entity in the Universe. It’s about knowing that God resides within you, and that you’re an eternal part of His universal plan. This information has been brought to you from many masters and is within many cultures throughout the history of the earth.

Jesus, as well as other masters who walked the earth, not only gave you messages of empowerment, but then "walked the walk" so you could see that a Human Being could actually do what he said could be done. Many of you are poised on the edge of realizing this same thing.

Google receives thousands of European requests to 'be forgotten'

Internet giant Google has received more than 12,000 requests from people in Europe wanting past information from their lives to be "forgotten" in online searches. The case pits privacy against freedom of information.


Google opened up an online form late this week that allowed people to ask for certain information to be removed from the search engine's results. Within the first 24 hours, Google confirmed late on Friday, more than 12,000 requests were submitted, sometimes at a rate of more than 20 entries per minute.

Google was responding to a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling from May 13, which found that citizens should be able to request this of the company. The ruling applies to the 28 EU member countries, although Google agreed to broaden the catchment area to include Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

"The court's ruling requires Google to make difficult judgments about an individual's right to be forgotten and the public's right to know," a Google spokesman said.

The case of a Spanish man who objected to the fact that searches of his name revealed links to an old newspaper article about the repossession of his home prompted the ECJ to issue the advisory ruling. Data protection representatives from the EU's 28 members are due to discuss the ruling's implications in a two-day meeting next week.

Any data "forgotten" by Google, which mostly provides links to material published by others, is not deleted or removed from the Internet - only from Google search results.

Past privacy rulings

Advocates hailed the decision as an advancement of personal privacy in the Internet age, while critics have either said it amounts to censorship, or that it could serve to help the rich, powerful or criminal to conceal information.

In January, a German court ordered Google to block search results in German linking to photos of a role-playing sex-party, set in a prison environment, involving former FIA President Max Mosley. France had issued a similar court order to Google on the Mosley case late last year.

The former head of motorsport's global governing body, also a key Formula One figure for more than a decade, survived an FIA members' vote of confidence in 2008 related to the scandal, first reported in Britain's now-defunct Sunday paper the News of the World. However, in 2009, Mosley agreed not to run for a fifth term as FIA president.

msh/rc (AFP, AP, Reuters)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Merkel backs Jean-Claude Juncker for European commission president

Move deals blow to David Cameron's attempts to block Luxembourg's former prime minister from taking up the role

theguardian.com, Philip Oltermann in Berlin, Friday 30 May 2014

Jean-Claude Juncker and Angela Merkel in 2011. Photograph: Ralph
Orlowski/Getty Images

Angela Merkel has thrown her weight behind Jean-Claude Juncker for the next European commission leader, dealing a blow to David Cameron's attempts to block Luxembourg's former prime minister from taking up the role.

The German chancellor said at the National Catholic Congress in Regensburg: "I will now lead all negotiations in the spirit that Jean-Claude Juncker should become president of the European commission."

Both Merkel and Juncker's parties are members of the European People's party (EPP) bloc, the centre-right group that gained the most seats in Sunday's European parliament elections.

David Cameron, whose Conservative party left the EPP in 2009, as well as Hungary and Sweden's prime ministers have opposed Juncker, lobbying for a more reformist candidate.

In the immediate aftermath of the election, Merkel appeared to have cooled on Juncker as a candidate, failing to state her endorsement and saying that "anything is possible". That she has now had another change of heart may be down to the increasingly critical press coverage of her prevarication in Germany.

The influential tabloid Bild took the unusual step of publishing an op-ed by its publisher, Matthias Döpfner, which described Cameron's opposition to Juncker as a scandal.

"That much is certain: Europeans want Juncker as EU president. [The German candidate of the Party of European Socialists bloc, Martin] Schulz got the second best result. A third, who didn't stand for election, can't be allowed to get the job. That would turn democracy into a farce. You may get away with something like that in the GDR or in far-right banana republics. But not in the EU. Or otherwise it will abolish itself."

The philosopher Jürgen Habermas has also criticised the resistance against Juncker. In an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, he said: "If this group [the European council] really were to suggest someone else as a leading candidate, it would be a bullet to the heart of the European project. In that case you couldn't expect any citizen to ever involve themselves in another European election again. From a legal and constitutional point of view, I consider such an act of wanton destructiveness out of the question."

Merkel's Social Democrat coalition partners had pressured her to state her endorsement of the leading candidate. The SPD's general secretary, Yasmin Fahimi, welcomed the endorsement, saying: "Anything else would have amounted to a deception of the electorate."

Related Article:


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Swedes test a future of less work, more play

Yahoo – AFP, Peter Harmsen, 29 May 2014

Robert Nilsson, a mechanic with Toyota in the Swedish city of Gothenburg,
 prepares a part of a rear window to be attached to a Toyota Prius car on May 8,
2014 (AFP Photo/Peter Harmsen)

Gothenburg (Sweden) (AFP) - Robert Nilsson, a 25-year-old mechanic in Sweden's second city Gothenburg, may be the harbinger of a future where people work less and still enjoy a high standard of living.

He gets out of bed at the same time as everyone else, but instead of rushing to work, he takes it easy, goes for a jog, enjoys his breakfast, and doesn't arrive at his Toyota workshop until noon, only to punch out again at 6:00 pm.

"My friends hate me. Most of them think because I work six hours, I shouldn't be paid for eight," Nilsson said, talking while fitting part of a rear window onto a Toyota Prius with swift, expert moves.

A woman smells cherry trees in full
 blossom at Kungstradgarden in central
 Stockholm on April 17, 2014 (AFP
Photo/Jonathan Nackstrand)
Sweden often stuns first-time visitors with its laid-back prosperity, making foreigners wonder how it is possible to have both lots of money and lots of leisure.

Part of the answer, according to economists, is a productive and well-educated workforce that adapts to new technologies quicker than most.

Exactly how much –- or how little –- Swedes work compared with other nations is a somewhat open question.

"We have a 40-hour work week, but also we have a little more absence than many people and we start work late in life because we study longer," said Malin Sahlen, an analyst at Timbro, a libertarian Stockholm-based think tank.

In 2012, the average Swede worked a total of 1,621 hours, according to the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This is more than the Netherlands with 1,381 hours, but less than Britain with 1,654 hours or the United States with 1,790 hours – and way below Chile's 2,029 and Mexico's 2,226 hours.

"We could work more, that's a fact," said Sahlen.

Less is more

But far from looking to increase time spent at work, some in Sweden are out to prove that less is more and that cutting hours can boost productivity.

In an international productivity ranking by the Conference Board, a non-profit business research organisation, Sweden was already placed close to the top, coming 11th out of 61 countries.

The United States was third, the Netherlands number five, and Britain number 13, whereas Chile and Mexico were both in the bottom third.

Now, the Social Democrat-led city government in Gothenburg is planning to test the impact of shorter hours on productivity, in an experiment beginning on July 1.

One group of government workers in the elderly care sector are to work six hours a day, while another will work the eight they are used to.

After a year, the municipal government will analyse the results and decide whether the six-hour day brings enough savings -- in the form of fewer sick days for instance -- that it warrants becoming permanent and extended to other sectors.


So far, the plan is limited to the civil service, but city councillor Mats Pilhem of the Left Party is convinced that all of Sweden is headed towards a shorter work day.

"People have long work lives, and it's necessary to think of ways to create a more humane environment for them in the workplace," he said.

'Crazy idea'

Critics like Timbro's Sahlen warn the math does not add up in terms of the wider economy, saying it would be far too expensive to make a large part of the labour force work 25 percent less -- for the same pay.

"I think it's a crazy idea and I don't think it's going to be reality either," she said.

Opponents say shorter workweeks have been experimented across Europe -- 35 hours in France and Germany, an average of 30 hours in the Netherlands -- to mixed economic results.

"It's the kind of populist and socialist policy that's very dangerous for the economy, and we shouldn't go through with it," warned Maria Ryden, a member of Gothenburg city council for the centre-right Moderates, which oppose the plans.

"We're capable of working more."

Swedes relax at the Tyresö Castle,
south-east of Stockholm on June 22,
2007 (AFP Photo/Sven Nackstrand)
But proponents of cutting the workday point at short term benefits in the form of fewer sick days, and greater efficiency at work due to fewer breaks.

And they argue greater savings will come in the long run, with a workforce that is less exhausted and therefore more productive as it approaches retirement.

'Saw the results'

Left-wing councillor Pilhem says the concept has already proven its merits -- at mechanic Nilsson's workplace, Toyota.

Toyota's Gothenburg branch introduced the six-hour day in 2002 to make its facilities more efficient by having two shifts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, instead of a single, longer one.

Nilsson confirms that in his experience a six-hour day -- paid as much as eight -- is more efficient because it requires fewer breaks.

"Every time you have a break, it takes 10 to 15 minutes to get back to work, because you have to see where you were when you left off," he said.

That efficiency is reflected in the salary, as the Toyota workshop pays technicians like Nilsson 29,700 Swedish kronor (3,300 euro, $4,510) a month, well above the 25,100 kronor (2,790 euro, $3,810) national average for workers in the private sector.

"It was a huge success straight away," said Toyota service centre manager Elisabeth Jonsson.

"We saw the results, and everything was working for the staff, for the company, for the customers, so I don't think we ever had any discussion about putting an end to it."



Ex-Soviet trio sign trade bloc deal

A treaty to launch the Eurasian Economic Union spanning Russia, Kazahkstan and Belarus has been signed by the countries' presidents in the Kazahk capital. The bloc will come into being next January.

Deutsche Welle, 29 May 2014


Three ex-Soviet republics took the first step on Thursday to creating a trading bloc with a combined population of 170 million after years of tense negotiations. It still depends on approvals from the republics' parliaments.

Ukraine opted not to join the proposed bloc in February after an unprecedented to-and-fro wrangle with Russia over an alternative plan - aborted during unrest - to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union.

At Thursday's signing in Astana, Kazakhstan, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Eurasia bloc would enable the trio to strengthen their positions in global markets - alongside the EU, US and China.

The Eurasian deal stops short of introducing a single currency and delays the creation of a common energy market.

The treaty deepens a customs union created in 2010 and is supposed to guarantee the free transit of goods, services, capital and labor, as well as coordinated economic policy.

A compromise, says Lukashenko

Belarus' authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko said before the signing that he was not fully happy with the deal, but hailed it as a compromise.

The agreement was "well-balanced," said President Nursultan Nazabayev of Kazakhstan whose energy riches leave Russia with little leverage.

The union should become a "powerful incentive for modernizing our economies," said Nazabayev, adding that he saw it as a "bridge between the East and the West."

Armenia and Kyrgyzstan have said that they want to join the union later.

The Eurasian Economic Union will base its executive body in Moscow, a high court in Belarus and a top financial regulator in Kazakhstan.

The office of Ukraine's newly elected president, Petro Poroshenko, said on Wednesday that he wanted to sign a landmark treaty with the EU soon after his inauguration as head of state.

Last November, Ukraine's then Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovych turned his back on an accord with the EU. His decision triggered protests, especially in Kyiv, that led to his ouster in February.

Putin began the drive to create the Eurasian union after asserting in 2005 that the break-up of the Soviet Union had been the "biggest geopolitical disaster" of the 20th century.

ipj/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Merkel tops Forbes 'powerful women' list

Yahoo – AFP, 28 May 2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives on May 27, 2014 to take part in
 an informal summit at EU Headquarters in Brussels (AFP Photo/Georges Gobet)

New York (AFP) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel topped Forbes's list of the world's most powerful women for the fourth consecutive year, followed by US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, the magazine said Wednesday.

Behind them came Melinda Gates, who co-chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with her billionaire philanthropist husband, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and IMF chief Christine Lagarde.

Hillary Clinton, former first lady, onetime Secretary of State and possible future US presidential contender, was listed at number six.

The annual list includes women in business, media, politics, technology, entertainment, philanthropy and non-profits, billionaires, and finance, a new category for the first time.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives on
 May 27, 2014 to take part in an informal
summit at EU Headquarters in Brussels
(AFP Photo/Georges Gobet)
"As we mark the 10th anniversary of publishing the World's 100 Most Powerful Women list, these impressive women from around the world continue to make a dramatic, lasting impact on our global footprint and in all aspects of our lives," said Moira Forbes, president and publisher of ForbesWoman.

Forbes has named Merkel the most powerful woman nine times.

Top businesswomen on the list include General Motors CEO Mary Barra (No. 7) -- subject of the Forbes cover story -- Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (No. 9) and IBM CEO Virginia Rometty (No. 10).

Forbes said the list features nine heads of state who run nations with a combined GDP of $11.1 trillion and 28 corporate CEOs who control $1.7 trillion in annual revenues.

In another measure of influence, the 100 women on the 2014 list have a combined social media following of over 812 million, the magazine said.

The list can be viewed here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Capitalism is doomed if ethics vanish, says Bank of England governor

Mark Carney issues strong critique of City behaviour and warns of growing sense that basic social contract is breaking down

The Guardian, Angela Monaghan, Tuesday 27 May 2014

'We simply cannot take the capitalist system for granted,' says Carney.
Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

Capitalism is at risk of destroying itself unless bankers realise they have an obligation to create a fairer society, the Bank of England governor has warned.

Mark Carney said bankers had operated a "heads-I-win-tails-you-lose" system. He questioned whether traders met ethical standards and said that those who failed to meet high professional standards should face ostracism.

Speaking at a City conference, the Bank's governor warned that there was a growing sense that the basic social contract at the heart of capitalism was breaking down amid rising inequality. "We simply cannot take the capitalist system, which produces such plenty and so many solutions, for granted. Prosperity requires not just investment in economic capital, but investment in social capital."

In a strongly worded critique of City behaviour in the run-up to the financial crisis, Carney said market radicalism and light-touch regulation had eroded fair capitalism, while scandals such as the rigging of Libor markets had undermined trust in the financial system.

"Just as any revolution eats its children, unchecked market fundamentalism can devour the social capital essential for the long-term dynamism of capitalism itself. To counteract this tendency, individuals and their firms must have a sense of their responsibilities for the broader system."

Carney told delegates at a conference on inclusive capitalism in London – which was attended by the former US president Bill Clinton – that big banks had operated in a "heads-I-win-tails-you-lose bubble", with personal gain hotly pursued by bankers.

"All ideologies are prone to extremes. Capitalism loses its sense of moderation when the belief in the power of the market enters the realm of faith. In the decades prior to the crisis such radicalism came to dominate economic ideas and became a pattern of social behaviour."

The governor added that policymakers and regulators in the UK and internationally were addressing ways of making the system fairer and of limiting the likelihood of a future financial crisis through reforms.

But he stressed that there was a greater onus on banks and also bankers to take responsibility. Referring to changes afoot, after the scandals in fixed income, currency and commodity markets, he said: "Such changes are vital but they cannot anticipate every contingency or discipline every miscreant.

"The scandals highlight a malaise in corners of finance that must be remedied. Many banks have rightly developed codes of ethics or business principles, but have all their traders absorbed their meaning?

"Consideration should be given to developing principles of fair markets, codes of conduct for specific markets, and even regulatory obligations within this framework. There should be clear consequences including professional ostracism for failing to meet these standards."

He said G20 leaders and international regulators on the Financial Stability Board were working to resolve the issue of financial institutions that were "too big to fail", a problem which left taxpayers with a huge bill at the onset of the crisis in 2008.

"This is the year to complete that job," he said. "Perhaps the most severe blow to public trust was the revelation that there were scores of too-big-to-fail institutions operating at the heart of finance. Bankers made enormous sums in the run-up to the crisis and were often well compensated after it hit. In turn, taxpayers picked up the tab for their failures."

Carney said that ultra loose monetary in the UK had helped to prevent a lost generation of long-term unemployed, and improved long-term social mobility prospects.

He added new powers and responsibility handed to the Bank by George Osborne should help to reduce incidence of financial crises.

He said one of the lessons of the crisis was that compensation schemes that delivered large bonuses for short-term returns encouraged individuals to take on too much long-term risk. "In short, the present was overvalued and the future heavily discounted."

Pope says 'no privileges' for bishops on abuse

Yahoo – AFP, 27 May 2014

Pope Francis prays during a meeting with prelates, nuns and seminarists at the
 Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane, in east Jerusalem, on May 26,
2014 (AFP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

ABOARD PAPAL PLANE (Undefined) (AFP) - Pope Francis on Monday warned there were "no privileges" for bishops when it came to child sex crimes and said he would hold a special mass with victims next week in the Vatican.

"Three bishops are being investigated," Francis told reporters on his return flight from the Middle East when asked about the thousands of scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church.

"One of them has already been convicted. There are no privileges. Priests who do this are betraying the Lord," said the Argentine pontiff, who has set up a new committee to root out abuse.

Francis also said he would be celebrating a mass next week at his Vatican residence, St Martha's, with "six or eight victims" and would then meet with them privately to talk about their ordeal.

The pope last month personally asked forgiveness for the "evil" of abuses and promised more action in response to accusations of cover-ups and excessive leniency by the Vatican.

At a UN hearing earlier this year, Vatican officials revealed that 3,420 abuse cases had been handled over the past decade by the Catholic Church's Canon Law prosecutors.

As a result of these cases, 848 priests were defrocked -- expelled from the priesthood. A further 2,572 were ordered to "live a life of prayer or penance", for example in a monastery.

Pope Francis celebrates a mass at the site known as the Cenacle, or Upper Room,
 where Christians believe Jesus had his Last Supper on May 26, 2014 in Jerusalem's
Old City (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

The Pope also commented that the celibacy of priests is not a matter of Church dogma, while defending its value amid calls among some Catholics for the requirement to be dropped.

Pope Francis said "there are married priests in the Church" citing married Anglican ministers who joined the Catholic Church, Coptic Catholics and the priests of some Eastern churches.

The celibacy of priests "is not a dogma", the pontiff confirmed, apparently leaving the door open to debate on the subject.

The Church, and notably the current pope's predecessor Benedict XVI, had previously said that the celibacy issued was not a matter of unbendable church dogma unlike, for example, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

One suggestion which has been made among church faithful is of the ordination of married men, especially retired men, who are already very engaged in church business.

It is not envisaged that single men could become priests and subsequently marry.

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"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.  …”

UK tax inspectors collect record £23.9bn

Investigations by HM Revenue and Customs take £3.2bn more than previous year, with one third coming from large businesses

theguardian.com, Press Association, Tuesday 27 May 2014

Exchequer secretary David Gauke said HMRC campaigns such as the
one above had helped increase the tax yield.

Investigations by tax inspectors have collected a record £23.9bn over the last year, according to official figures.

The total was £3.2bn more than the previous year, £9bn higher than three years ago, and nearly £1bn above the target set by the chancellor, George Osborne, in his 2013 autumn statement, HM Revenue and Customs said.

More than £8bn was secured from large businesses, more than £1bn from criminals and £2.7bn from tackling tax avoidance schemes in the courts, it said.

Exchequer secretary David Gauke said: "The government supports the hard-working, honest majority of taxpayers that play by the rules, and is determined to tackle the minority that seek to avoid paying the taxes they owe.

"We set HMRC ambitious targets to increase its yield and the figures published today demonstrate that HMRC is successfully meeting these challenges. It also sends a clear signal – HMRC will pursue those seeking to avoid their responsibilities and will collect the taxes that are due."

Gauke told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme a variety of things had been done to increase the tax yield, including campaigns and better use of technology.

"The staff of HMRC deserve credit for what they have done … the government has been very much backing HMRC. We put in place a reinvestment programme that has contributed to this increase in yield."

Asked about Amazon, which paid just £4.2m in tax last year, despite selling goods worth £4.3bn, he replied: "I don't want to be drawn into individual cases but I do think you can't expect HMRC to collect tax that isn't in accordance with the law. The answer is to make sure we have international reform … the UK has led the way in that process."

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