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. …

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pope urges Muslim leaders to condemn Islamist terror

Pope Francis has urged Muslim leaders to condemn terrorism carried out in the name of Islam. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church rejected misrepresentation of Islam as he wrapped up his Turkey visit.

Deutsche Welle, 30 Nov 2014

Speaking to reporters on board the plane carrying him back to Rome, Pope Francis said he raised the issue of Islamic terror in Ankara during his talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"I told the president that it would be nice if all Muslim leaders, whether they are political, religious or academic leaders, would speak clearly and condemn this, because this would help the majority of Muslim people," the Pope said.

During his three-day visit to Turkey - his first to the Muslim country - Pope Francis condemned the self-fashioned Sunni group "Islamic State" more than once. Turkey is helping the international coalition against the Middle Eastern Islamist outfit, which has taken over vast swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq.

The Vatican officials have long urged the Muslim leaders to be more vocal against Islamic terrorists.

"We all need a global condemnation (of terrorism)," Francis noted.

The Pope, however, went on to say that it would be unjust to call Muslims terrorists just like "we cannot say that all Christians are fundamentalists."

"We have them also. All religions have these groups," he added.

shs/glb (Reuters, AFP, dpa)
Related Articles:

There's too much information to give you in one channelling, in one sitting, so I refer to past messages for you to better understand and reference the information in order to get the bigger picture. So I wish to remind you of something I also told you in a recent channelling called Do Not Despair. You're winning! It's because you're winning that the dark consciousness on this planet is feeling it, and the humanity that represents darkness is pulling out everything it has to survive.

It Has Always Been There

Let's look at it, because it's all over the news. Are you shocked at the sudden existence of the organization that will remain unnamed [for this channelling]? Where did it come from? How could it be so organized? How could it be so well funded? This organization could have its own country soon! They might as well name it, “The Old Energy Dark Country”, for that's what it will represent.

The barbaric past of humanity comes forward to show its face. It has always been there, hiding under the rocks and between the cracks of civilized humanity. It couldn't show itself until now, but now it has to. It's ugly and it's not for the faint at heart, is it, dear ones? Seeing evil personified in Human action is abhorrent. It is so ugly and so dark that you cannot look upon it with a gentle heart. God is not a part of it and this is obvious.

You're winning! Light is winning! The uprising of dark consciousness would not have shown itself with this strength, or this quickly, if this were not so. This is exactly what I told you to look for, and it is proof that those representing this dark consciousness are in trouble. Dear ones, dark consciousness has always had a tried-and-true system. It lurks in the shadows and influences all the power places of the planet - government, commerce, finance. Suddenly, it can't hide there as well anymore and it's out in the open.

Where is the funding coming from? It is coming from a storehouse that has always been there, dear ones. It uses income that has been generated from low consciousness acts, collected for a very long time. Funding didn't just appear. It has been stored, waiting to be used in order to spread fear and darkness to save what they believe is their way.

Who Will Win?

Dear ones, they haven't got a chance! But it looks like they do, doesn't it? Everything that they are doing is calculated to scare you into submission. Are they winning? Now, that's a question I want you to take from here and examine every day.

Fear is black. If you're in fear, there is no light. You can be the grandest Lightworker, or even be the channeller, but if you're in fear, it doesn't matter how many years you've done light work, or how much light you've accumulated personally. It all goes away with fear, and then they've won the battle for your mind. Do you understand this?

The Strength of the Old Soul - YOU

Old souls, Lightworkers reading this, the experiences you have had over lifetimes and lifetimes are incredible! The old soul knows fear. I don't want to be too graphic, but I want you to understand! What was it like when you put your head in the guillotine because you talked about God in a way that was inappropriate? What was it like to be bound hand and foot when they lit the match at your feet? Old soul, that's fear! You carry those experiences in your Akash.

I want to tell you they haven't got a chance to scare you! You absolutely know what fear is, and they haven't got a chance as long as you cling to that part of you that is the strength of God. You've been through it all. That means you've got the weapons of truth, wisdom and light. Don't forget it. Don't forget who you are!

Do you see how fast they assembled? It seemed like only yesterday that there was no organization at all. Where did they come from? Have you noticed a certain hesitancy to fight them? Why is it that the citizens of the lands that they are invading are hesitant to fight them? Instead, these leaders are calling on others to help. Why is it that the others are also hesitant? I want to show you that there are some anomalies of logic that are not making sense, because this is a battle you have never seen before on this planet. We've expected it, but you haven't. It's about consciousness, not land or resources.

How to Win?

We gave you the secret before of how to defeat them without taking even one life: Simply take away their funding. They cannot exist without their funding. The funding has to be organized, stored, and distributed. It has to be generated in such a way that it must also go through institutions. Did you hear that? All you have to do is stop the system. Winning won't be done with bombing. It's going to be done with intelligence, clever thinking and financial forensics. It's time to get smart on some of these things and not to be afraid to look at this puzzle differently than you have before. Do not apply the energy they are using in order to fight them, because you won't win. Figure it out. It's the last bastion of organized darkness and evil thinking on this planet coming together to try to survive the assault of your light. Don't be afraid to look at the funding trail, no matter where it takes you.

Fear is Their Weapon

I want you to know something as you look at your news. It may appear that you are unable to stop them. In many places, they will gain strength as they create fear. The fear is easily created in those who are not old souls and who don't know fear like you do and who don't have the armor of your spiritual experiences. This puts you in the front line, dear one. Did you realize that? But you don't have to go fight them on their terms. All you have to do is broadcast light. High consciousness will beat fear any day.. .”

Pope meets Orthodox leader at close of Turkish trip

Pope Francis has attended an Istanbul church ceremony alongside Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians. In a symbolic show of deference, Francis asked for Bartholomew's blessing.

Deutsche Welle, 30 Nov 2014

On his third and final day in Turkey, Pope Francis joined Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Orthodox Church of St. George in Istanbul, a key meeting aimed at improving relations between the ancient western and eastern arms of Christianity.

The two religious leaders had also met several times on Saturday, when Bartholomew thanked the pontiff for his pursuit of the "fraternal and stable advance … for the restoration of full communion between our churches."

Bartholomew blessed Francis
at the pope's request
During a Saturday evening service, Francis had bowed to Bartholomew and asked for his blessing "for me and the Church of Rome." This step was considered symbolically significant, given that for many years patriarchs were expected to kiss the feet of popes. The Catholic and Orthodox churches split in 1054 over differences on the primacy of the papacy.

Francis was also scheduled to meet young Christian refugees from Syria and Iraq later on Sunday. Well over a million refugees are currently in Turkey, many of them after fleeing the self-styled "Islamic State," which has laid claim to territory in neighboring Iraq and Syria. The pope has repeatedly called for better treatment of refugees and migrants in the past. The Vatican confirmed shortly before his departure for Turkey that Francis would deliver a speech to the youths.

The 77-year-old Argentine, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, began his three-day trip in the Turkish capital Ankara, meeting Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his newly-inaugurated palace. On Saturday, his first day in Istanbul, he visited the Hagia Sophia and shared a "moment of silent adoration" with Grand Mufti Rahmi Yaran in the city's Blue Mosque.

msh/tj (AP, dpa, KNA)
Related Article:

Pope Francis is welcomed by Mufti of Istanbul, Rahmi Yaran (R) outside Sultan
 Ahmet mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque in Istanbul November 29, 2014.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Pope Francis reflects alongside Islamic cleric in Istanbul mosque

In a gesture of harmony between religions, Pope Francis stood alongside a senior Islamic cleric for a moment of contemplation at Istanbul's most famous mosque. It's the second day of the pope's visit to Turkey.

Deutsche Welle, 29 Nov 2014

Pope Francis is welcomed by Mufti of Istanbul, Rahmi Yaran (R) outside Sultan
 Ahmet mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque in Istanbul November 29, 2014.

Pope Francis removed his shoes as he entered the Sultan Ahmet mosque, widely known as the Blue Mosque, on Saturday.

The spiritual leader of the 1.2 billion believers claimed by the Roman Catholic Church was taken through the mosque by Istanbul's Grand Mufti Rahmi Yaran. The two paused for two minutes facing Mecca alongside each other, the pope closing his eyes, bowing his head and clasping his hands in front of the cross he wore on his chest, the cleric performing an Islamic prayer.

Vatican spokesman Reverend Federico Lombardi described the act as a "moment of silent adoration" for God. A similar act by Pope Francis' predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, in 2006 drew criticism from some Catholics as well as Muslims.

The pope then toured the Hagia Sophia, formerly the main Byzantine church in what was Constantinople, before it was turned into a mosque after the Ottoman Turks conquered the city in 1453. Since 1935, the building has been a museum.

Symbolic gesture

Particular attention has been paid to the Pope's visit to Turkey, given that the country borders Iraq and Syria where the "Islamic State" group is waging a bloody campaign of persecution against those who do not follow their radical interpretation of Sunni Islam.

Saturday's visits were conducted amid heavy security, though the pope kept with his custom of traveling in a modest vehicle.

Though Turkey is officially secular, the vast majority of its population is Muslim and its government is moderate Islamist.

The three-day papal visit to Turkey is seen as a test of Francis' ability to build bridges, as he had to establish and strengthen ties with Muslim leaders while condemning the violence against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. On Friday he was received by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the controversial new presidential palace in Ankara.

Pope Francis is also due to meet with Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians, as they hold talks and participate in ceremonies as part of efforts to improve relations between the two branches of Christianity, which split in 1054.

se/msh (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

Bartholomew blessed Francis at the pope's request

Related Articles:

Fuad Nahdi (front row centre) addresses members of the Church of England's
Synod in central London, on November 18, 2014 (AFP Photo/Leon Neal)

Crime-fighting London Jews claim model for Muslim cooperation

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / CreatorReligions/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)

“.   New Tolerance

Look for a softening of finger pointing and an awakening of new tolerance. There will remain many systems for different cultures, as traditions and history are important to sustaining the integrity of culture. So there are many in the Middle East who would follow the prophet and they will continue, but with an increase of awareness. It will be the increase of awareness of what the prophet really wanted all along - unity and tolerance. The angel in the cave instructed him to "unify the tribes and give them the God of Israel." You're going to start seeing a softening of intolerance and the beginning of a new way of being.

Eventually, this will create an acknowledgement that says, "You may not believe the way we believe, but we honor you and your God. We honor our prophet and we will love you according to his teachings. We don't have to agree in order to love." How would you like that? The earth is not going to turn into one belief system. It never will, for Humans don't do that. There must be variety, and there must be the beauty of cultural differences. But the systems will slowly update themselves with increased awareness of the truth of a new kind of balance. So that's the first thing. Watch for these changes, dear ones. ...."

Friday, November 28, 2014

Pair banned for homophobic abuse of referee Owens

Yahoo - AFPNovember 29, 2014

Pair banned for homophobic abuse of referee Owens

London (AFP) - Two people have been banned from Twickenham for two years after being found to have aimed homophobic abuse at referee Nigel Owens, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) announced on Friday.

"Following the RFU's investigations into the allegation of homophobic abuse aimed at referee Nigel Owens at the QBE International against New Zealand, two people have received a ban from all matches at Twickenham Stadium for a period of two years," the RFU said in a statement.

"In addition, they will pay £1,000 ($1,560, 1,260 euros) each to a charity of Nigel Owens' choice. There is a second investigation still ongoing."

Welsh official Owens, who is openly gay, was targeted by supporters during England's 24-21 defeat by New Zealand at Twickenham on November 8.

The matter first came to light when a spectator wrote a letter to British newspaper The Guardian in which he accused a group of male fans of "hurling ... nasty, foul-mouthed, racist, homophobic abuse" at Owens.

Owens, who is one of the sport's most high-profile referees, had previously called for supporters to be issued with stadium bans in cases where allegations of homophobic abuse are proven.

"If someone has gone to the trouble to send a letter to the paper and say that this was disgusting and the behaviour was totally out of order, then I would think what they shouted was pretty bad and if that is the case then these people should be banned from the game," he told The Daily Telegraph.

"They need to be told that some behaviour is not acceptable, that crossing the line of what is humour and banter is a fine line, but if you cross it then you have to put up with the consequences."

RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie said: "While instances of this nature are exceptionally rare, the RFU takes rugby's values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship very seriously, and is determined to uphold them.

"We are all guardians of these aspects of the game, on and off the pitch, and it is these values which make the sport special."

Europe and Africa pledge new approach on migration issue

European and African ministers have agreed to adopt a coordinated approach to deal with the issue of migration. They are in Rome to discuss the humanitarian crisis caused by a surge in the number of migrants.

Deutsche Welle, 28 Nov 2014

Interior ministers of 58 European and African countries convened on Friday for a summit on migration in the Italian capital of Rome.

In a joint commentary published in the German daily Frankfurter Rundschau on Friday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni said that by strengthening the educational and health systems in African countries, Europe can tackle the refugee problem.

The two ministers emphasized the importance of comprehensive strategies and a collaborative approach - that goes beyond the policing of borders - to deal with the issue.

Senegal's interior minister, Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo, said Thursday the migration issue was creating problems for both the European countries and their Mediterranean neighbors. However, Diallo said the fourth round of the so-called Rabat process in Rome had resulted in a "significant forward step" in terms of its objectives.

"For Africa, it is not desirable to see some of its best people leaving while European countries find themselves with newcomers they feel they cannot deal with," Diallo said.

Italy, the host of the summit, has been particularly affected by a rise in the number of North African migrants seeking to enter Europe by sea. At least 165,000 migrants - an increase of about 100,000 people compared to last year - have entered Europe via the Mediterranean this year, according to some estimates.

The meeting of the EU and African ministers comes as a ship carrying more than 700 men,women and children broke down in international waters about 30 nautical miles (56 kilometers) from the Mediterranean on Thursday. The ship was later towed to the Greek island of Crete. It is one of the largest refugee boats to make the crossing in recent months.

shs/kms (AFP, dpa)

Argentina charges HSBC with helping tax evasion

Argentina's tax investigation agency has charged the British bank HSBC with helping thousands of Argentines to commit tax evasion. The charges were said to be related to bank accounts in Switzerland.

Deutsche Welle, 28 Nov 2014

The Argentine inland revenue service AFIP said on Thursday that it had charged HSBC with helping more than 4,000 Argentines evade some $3 billion (2.4 billion euros) in taxes.

The money was said to have been handled by intermediaries using offshore accounts, including accounts in Switzerland that were linked to HSBC Argentina.

"We have filed a charge for tax evasion and illicit association relating to bank accounts in Switzerland," said AFIP director Ricardo Echegaray.

Echegaray alleged that some accounts in Geneva are owned by HSBC Argentina's president, as well as other bank executives. He gave no details about whether the bank's operations had been suspended in Argentina.

"There's no doubt that the AFIP will keep cracking down on tax havens because our objective is to collect taxes and to avoid harming those who have less," said Echegaray.

Bank's troubles in Europe

AFIP said that it had received information from France, where the bank was last week placed under formal investigation for suspected aiding of tax evasion. HSBC has also been charged with fiscal fraud in Belgium.

The Argentine branch of HSBC along with some of its executives have now been charged in an Argentine federal court.

The bank's directors in Buenos Airies denied any wrongdoing. "HSBC Argentina emphatically rejects its participation in any illegal association, including any organization that allows capital flight aimed at evading taxes," the bank said in a statement.

Argentina's left-leaning government has recently denounced several foreign firms over alleged tax irregularities, including the household goods giant Proctor & Gamble which was accused of tax fraud and which had its activities in the country suspended.

Argentine officials have been particularly eager to keep capital in the country for the central bank to pay off government debts. The country has been barred from global credit markets since it defaulted on its debt in the 2001-2002 financial crisis and suffered a further default in July this year.

rc/jm (AP, AFP)
Related Articles:

HSBC apologised for its lapses, said reforms had been put in place, and
admitted it was 'horrified' by what it found. Photograph: Gary Cameron/Reuters

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Scotland to be granted income tax autonomy

Yahoo – AFP, Robin Millard, 27 Nov 2014

Saltire flags next to the River Tweed in Coldstream, a town on the border
between England and Scotland (AFP Photo/Lesley Martin)

London (AFP) - Scotland is set to get sweeping new powers including setting its own income tax rates, under plans unveiled Thursday by a cross-party commission on greater devolution.

"The recommendations in the agreement will result in the biggest transfer of powers to the Scottish parliament since its establishment," Lord Robert Smith, who chaired the commission, said in Edinburgh.

"The parliament will be more powerful, more accountable and more autonomous," he said, referring to the assembly set up in 1999 as part of the last major devolution campaign in Britain.

Over 45 percent of Scottish voters were
 in favour of independence from Britain
(AFP Photo/Andy Buchanan)
The commission was set up following a last-ditch promise made by the leaders of Britain's unionist three main political parties to grant Scotland greater autonomy if it voted "No" in the September independence referendum.

Other proposals include control over air passenger duty, some welfare payments and part of national sales tax, as well as the right for 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in Scottish elections, below the national threshold of 18.

Decisions on corporation tax will stay on a national level.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he was "delighted" with the proposals.

"This is a good day for the UK... We are keeping our promise to the Scottish people," the Conservative leader said.

He also pledged to put forward a plan by Christmas to grant greater devolution to England -- a key demand from supporters in England who resent the powers being given to Scotland.

"The report today also makes the case for English votes for English laws unanswerable," he said.

Draft laws for greater Scottish devolution are to be drawn up by January 25.

The British government has come under pressure to deliver on its promise after a close-run victory for those who wanted Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom.

Draft laws for greater Scottish devolution 
are to be drawn up by January 25 (AFP
 Photo/Andy Buchanan)
Nationalists wanted more

Scots voted by 55 percent to 45 percent to stay within the UK.

Scotland's devolved government is run by the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), whose ranks have swelled since the referendum.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the proposals were "not real home rule".

"I welcome all new powers -- and pay tribute to Lord Smith -- but 70 percent of our taxes and 85 percent of welfare (are) staying at Westminster," the SNP leader said.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney lamented that it did not include several measures the SNP wanted, but welcomed the outcome "as far as it goes".

The right to full control over income rax rates was backed by Conservatives and the SNP but the opposition Labour Party long resisted the change.

Former Scottish Labour opposition leader Iain Gray, who sat on the commission, called the proposals "real change".

"These are real powers and they will make our parliament one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world," he said.

Chairman Smith said he accepted that some would think his recommendations had gone too far, while others would say they had not gone far enough.

The devolution report follows up a promise made by the leaders of Britain's three
 main political parties to grant Scotland greater autonomy ahead of the independence
referendum in September 2014 (AFP Photo/Andy Buchanan)

"This process was always going to be difficult. It demanded a compromise from everyone involved," he said.

But he also cautioned on the time needed to implement reforms, saying: "Change of this magnitude cannot be rushed through."

Thursday's report is the result of more than a month of talks with representatives of the Scottish Parliament's five political parties and also took into account 400 submissions from organisations and more than 18,000 contributions from the general public.

Related Article:

FIFA bans Indian official Alberto Colaco for taking bribe

Football's governing body has banned Alberto Colaco from the sport for three years for taking "a payment" in connection with FIFA elections in 2009. The move comes as pressure increases to publicize a corruption report.

Deutsche Welle, 27 Nov 2014

 body FIFA banned Indian footballing official Alberto Colaco from the sport for three years on Thursday. Colaco had been the former general secretary of India's national football federation, known as the AIFF.

A sub-committee of the FIFA ethics committee, led by Hans-Joachim Eckert, found Colaco guilty of accepting "a payment in the context of the elections for the FIFA Executive Committee at the AFC Congress in May 2009," according to a statement.

Colaco's ban, which applies to all football activity at national and international level, starts immediately.

Under fire, but still confident: Sepp Blatter
 has said that the World Cup will stay in
Qatar in 2022
Meanwhile, pressure is continuing to mount on FIFA to make public a report by lawyer Michael Garcia on corruption surrounding the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.

The British government wrote to FIFA President Sepp Blatter this week calling for the release of the full investigation. The English FA's conduct in bidding for the 2018 World Cup was criticized in Eckert's report.

The secret report

A criminal investigation into allegations of World Cup bidding corruption could also be opened in Britain, with authorities urging whistleblowers to come forward with information.

The UK's Serious Fraud Office is pursuing "every reasonable line of inquiry, including working closely with appropriate overseas authorities," the government department said, according to a letter sent to a British legislator.

The Swiss attorney general has also already received a criminal complaint from FIFA against possible law-breaking by unnamed individuals mentioned in the report.

Although the Swiss authorities have a full copy of the bid probe, the 430-page report remains secret, with only a 42-page summary judgment from FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert having been published.

al/ksb (AFP, AP, dpa)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Spain Health Minister Ana Mato resigns over scandal

Spanish Health Minister Ana Mato has resigned after her former husband was linked to a corruption scandal that involved the ruling People's Party. A judge had earlier accused her of benefiting from a bribery scandal.

Deutsche Welle, 27 Nov 2014

The minister on Wednesday said she was standing down for the good of her party as well as the government.

Mato made her announcement only hours after a judge in Spain's Audiencia Nacional higher court accused Mato of having benefited from the illegal business activities of her former husband while he was mayor of the Madrid suburb of Pozuelo.

"I don't want, under any circumstances, to damage the government of Spain, the president or the People's Party by remaining in this post," she said.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, officially the president of Spain's government, is due to give an important speech on corruption this Thursday.

The massive bribes scandal, known as the "Gurtel" case, allegedly extends to six regional governments led by the People's Party (PP) and operated between 1999 and 2009, when an investigation began.

'I had no knowledge'

Mato stressed that she had not been charged and faced only the possibility of fines "because of my family situation at the time the alleged events occurred."

"The ruling in no way accuses me of any crime," she said. "It signals that I had no knowledge of any crime that could have been committed."

The minister may have to return 50,000 euros ($62,000), the value of which the judge said the family had received from one of her husband's contacts, Francisco Correa.

Travel and gifts are alleged to have been given as kickbacks for public contracts that involved Mato's husband at the time, Jesus Sepulveda.

Speaking at the Audiencia Nacional, Judge Pablo Ruz said he planned to ask Mato whether she knew about the provenance of gifts that were received by her family. As well as hotel stays and flights, they included luxury goods and family parties.

Clowns and confetti

Spanish media have reported that the family were treated to designer goods, first-communion celebrations and even clowns and confetti for children's birthday parties. Ruz is expected to determine the exact amount that Mato benefited from "shortly," and she may be summoned to appear in court.

The judge has dropped accusations against former Interior Minister Angel Acebes, who remains under investigation for suspected illegal funding of the People's Party. However, 43 people are to be charged over alleged involvement in the scandal.

Mato's popularity has been on the wane with the public, particularly after criticism about her handling of the case of a Spanish nurse who became infected with the Ebola virus.

Rajoy is set to make a speech about corruption as his party approaches an election year. The subject has enraged many Spaniards, with corruption the second-biggest concern for the electorate after unemployment. Disillusionment with the two main political parties has fueled support for an up-and-coming leftist newcomer, Podemos.

rc/mkg (AP, APF, dpa, Reuters)
Related Article:

Turkey bans reporting on parliamentary graft body

A Turkish court has banned reporting on a parliamentary probe into corruption allegations against four ex-ministers in Recep Tayyip Erdogan's previous cabinet. Turkey's opposition says the move protects "thieves."

Deutsche Welle, 26 November 2014

Turkey's Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) told Turkey's media on Wednesday that they were banned from reporting on a parliamentary inquiry into corruption allegations against four former ministers.

Media were also told that they face penalties for violating the prohibition and that the prohibition remained in place until December 27.

In a statement on its website, the RTUK said the ban was necessary because some media reports had "violated the confidentiality of the investigation and the principle of presumption of innocence."

Scores detained last year

Last December, police investigating illegal building permits awarded in Istanbul detained scores of suspects.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister at the time of the arrests and then the winner of Turkey's presidential election in August, has repeatedly claimed that the parliamentary probe was part of an attempted "judicial coup" by the US-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen. The Islamic cleric has denied involvement.

The interior, environment and economy ministers - respectively: Muammer Guler, Erdogan Bayraktar and Zafer Caglayan - stepped down in December 2013 after police rounded up their sons on charges of bribery linked to construction projects and illicit money transfers to neighboring Iran.

As prime minister at the time, Erdogan also removed from his cabinet the-then EU affairs minister Egemen Bagis.

Smuggled gold?

Investigators alleged that Caglayan, for example, took a 210,000-euro Patek Philippe watch to facilitate smuggling of gold to Iran in breach of international sanctions imposed over its controversial nuclear program.

He paid a fine of 250,000 Turkish liras ($110,000/90,000 euros) for "violating the customs and import regulations," the state-run Anatolia news agency reported on Monday. Prosecutors have since dropped the charges against the 53 individuals named, but the commission of inquiry is still set to carry out its probe.

'Protecting thieves'

Turkish courts frequently block coverage of controversial issues. In July, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said courts issued 150 gag orders in four years.

Officials say the latest commission, however, has failed to summon the suspects and witnesses involved in the corruption investigation to give their testimonies, and accuse members of parliament of seeking the ban for their own personal and professional reasons.

In the summer, the government ordered
the arrests of several investigating officers
The Turkish Journalists' Association has called the ban censorship.

Opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu publicly accused parliament speaker Cemil Cicek of asking for the ban, though the head of the commission, dominated by Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, said that he had called for the ban.

"Since when has parliament taken the role of protecting thieves?" Kilicdaroglu said on Wednesday.

Newspapers to defy ban

Some left-leaning media have vowed to defy the ban. The newspaper Cumhuriyet has promised "twice as much news."

Erdogan, now the head of state, has recently found himself in hot water over comments that many took as being anti-feminist.

Turkey's successor regime, still very loyal to its former prime minister, has sought to expand the government's policing powers.

mkg/ (Reuters, AFP)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pope Francis blasts 'haggard' Europe

Yahoo – AFP, Jean-Louis De La Vaissiere, 25 Nov 2014

Pope Francis delivers a speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg,
eastern France, on November 25, 2014 (Photo by Patrick Hertzog / Pool/AFP)

Pope Francis launched a withering attack Tuesday on a "haggard" Europe, urging it to reclaim global leadership after years of crisis and to take in migrants before the Mediterranean becomes a "vast cemetery".

The Argentine pontiff addressed the European Parliament and Council of Europe during a lightning visit to Strasbourg, during which he called for urgent economic and social change.

Francis, the first non-European pope for more than a millennium, took a harsher tone than the last pontiff to visit the French city, John Paul II, in 1988 at the end of the Cold War.

Pope Francis is greeted by Martin Schulz --
 the president of the European Parliament --
before delivering a speech to lawmakers in 
Strasbourg, on November 25, 2014 (Photo
by Patrick Hertzog / Pool/AFP)
"Europe seems to give the impression of being somewhat elderly and haggard, feeling less and less a protagonist," the 77-year-old pope told the European parliament.

"We encounter a general impression of weariness and ageing, of a Europe which is now a 'grandmother', no longer fertile and vibrant."

Francis -- whose four-hour trip was the shortest abroad by any pope -- was critical of the growing nationalist and anti-immigration sentiment that has surged in Europe amid economic stagnation and unemployment.

Yet he also seemed to echo some of the complaints by eurosceptic parties that won big in the European Parliament elections in May, when he criticised the EU for failing its citizens and being non-democratic.

"The great ideas which once inspired Europe seem to have lost their attraction, only to be replaced by the bureaucratic technicalities of its institutions," he said.

'Vast cemetery'

However the pope reserved his strongest language to call for a "united response" to the plight of migrants fleeing the Middle East and Africa, more than 3,200 of whom have died trying to reach Europe this year alone.

"We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast cemetery," said the pope, who made a similar appeal during a visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa in 2013 after a major shipwreck.

"The boats landing daily on the shores of Europe are filled with men and women who need acceptance and assistance."

Pope Francis delivers his speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern
France, on November 25, 2014. (Photo by Remy De La Mauvinierer / Pool/AFP)

Bells rang out from churches across Strasbourg to mark his visit, including the historic cathedral, where hundreds watched his speech on giant screens.

"The pope comes with a message of peace. He's come to speak to parliamentarians to build a united Europe where there will be respect for everyone," said Melanie Makougang, who was visiting from Cameroon.

But the crowd-loving Francis unusually left his popemobile behind for his trip and dedicated his time to addressing the two European institutions.

xThe European Parliament divides its time between Brussels and Strasbourg, while the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe was set up after World War II to promote human rights and democracy.

The leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics received long standing ovations after his speeches, which followed a flag-raising ceremony and meetings with new European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and outgoing European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz, who welcomed Francis to the huge glass and steel building, said his visit was important at a time of "tremendous loss of confidence in the European institutions".

Tight security

Security was tight with snipers posted atop buildings and army sniffer dogs sent out to check the area before the pope's arrival by plane from the Vatican, AFP journalists said.

Pope Francis arrives at Strasbourg-
Entzheim airport for a visit to the European
Parliament and the Council of Europe in
eastern France, on November 25, 2014
Francis's visit was relatively uneventful compared to 26 years ago when John Paul II was heckled as the "anti-Christ" by the late Northern Ireland Protestant unionist leader Ian Paisley.

But the current pope was not afraid to take on big issues. In his address to the Council of Europe, Francis appeared to allude to the crisis in Ukraine, calling for a "political solution" to end "tensions" in Europe.

"How great a toll of suffering and death is still being exacted on this continent," he said.

Francis also condemned "religious and international terrorism" in Europe and elsewhere.

The pope also spoke out on hot-button topics such as abortion and euthanasia -- particularly after a slew of recent legislative changes in European countries.

His visit had sparked protests in some quarters -- including from a bare-breasted Femen rights group demonstrator who mounted the cathedral altar on Monday -- with critics angry over the decision to invite a religious leader to address a secular body.