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, January 31, 2015

Podemos rallies Spaniards with anti-austerity message

Spain's upstart leftist party drew tens of thousands of supporters to central Madrid on Saturday. In just one year, it has gone from nothing to a serious contender in the upcoming vote. Guy Hedgecoe reports from Madrid.

Deutsche Welle, 31 Jan 2015


Angel Lopez strode through the back streets of Madrid with a group of friends, towards Puerta del Sol, the city's massive central square. Like tens of thousands of others this Saturday, they took part in the "March for Change," a demonstration organized by Podemos, the upstart political party which has taken Spanish politics by storm over the last year.

Saturday's event is the first time Podemos has gathered so many supporters, and Lopez believes it could be the beginning of the end for what he calls Spain's "pseudo-democracy."
"Podemos is our last hope," said the 61-year-old civil servant. "People of my age believe that the only way of ensuring that this corrupt system changes is through a new force that has the support of the grassroots."

Minutes later, Lopez arrived in Puerta del Sol for the culmination of the march, which saw a total of 100,000 people filling the square and surrounding streets, according to the police. Many demonstrators were brandishing the trademark purple flag of Podemos, or chanting its adopted slogan: "Si se puede" (or "Yes we can").

Iglesias: "Austerity policies have
divided our country in two"
Soaring support

Founded by a group of academics just a year ago, Podemos has transformed Spain's political landscape. Last May, it scooped 1.2 million votes in the EU elections, earning five seats in the European Parliament. Since then, support for its leftist, anti-austerity platform has soared. It currently leads many opinion polls, thus breaking the bi-party grip the Socialists and governing Popular Party (PP) have had on Spanish politics for over three decades.

Much of the party's success is attributed to its leader, Pablo Iglesias, a 36-year-old, ponytailed political scientist with a talent for public speaking. Dressed in jeans and a windbreaker, he addressed the crowd in Madrid to loud cheers.

"Today we're not here to protest, we're here to say that the time has come," he said.
"Austerity policies have divided our country in two: those who have won and those who are worse off than before - it's those on top and those down below."

Allied with Syriza

The party's fierce opposition to the austerity preached by Germany and the European authorities has aligned it with Syriza, the new governing party in Greece. Iglesias and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras have become close allies and in mid-January the Spaniard visited Athens to lend his support to the Syriza election campaign. Among the few concrete policies Podemos has announced is a proposed audit of the national debt, similar to Syriza's own plans.

"Who said that a government cannot change things?" Iglesias asked the Madrid crowd. "In Greece, they have done more in six days than other governments have done in years."

Syriza's election victory is seen as a boost to Podemos, and on Saturday Greek flags were visible among supporters of the Spanish party. One demonstrator bore a placard which read: "Greece 10, Angel Merkel 0."

Tens of thousands joined the rally in central Madrid

Spain's economy may be over five times larger than that of Greece, but the two countries have been suffering similar problems. The eurozone economic crisis has been deeply damaging for both nations, reversing growth, sending public debt soaring and leading to austerity policies which have eroded the welfare state. In Greece's case all of those challenges have been more pronounced than in Spain. However, the Spanish jobless rate, at just under 24 percent, is close to that of Greece's 26 percent.

"I don't know if Greece will get better or worse [under Syriza], but we do know that we don't want what we have right now," said Miguel Ruiz, at the demonstration with his family.

"We need a change in general - a change in our society, a cultural change," said his wife, Gemma.

Spain has now returned to growth after its half-decade economic slump and the International Monetary Fund has forecast that its gross domestic product will increase by 2 percent in 2015. But despite Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's insistence that the country is on the road to recovery, many Spaniards are unconvinced, especially with the jobless rate so high and austerity policies still in place.

Battling corruption

In addition, the perceived mismanagement of the economic crisis and a glut of scandals have combined to undermine the credibility of many state institutions, from traditional political parties and the government, to banks and the royal family.

For the last two years, the governing PP has been plagued by allegations that it ran an illegal cash fund financed by corporate bribes. Meanwhile, in late 2014, it emerged that 82 board members of the lenders Caja Madrid and Bankia had been given unregistered credit cards with which they had spent over 15 million euros ($16.9 million) on personal and luxury items. Other corruption scandals have hurt the Socialists in Andalusia and the Catalan nationalists of the Convergence and Union party.

"We're fed up at the lack of trustworthiness and the level of corruption among our politicians," said Javier Gonzalez, a 37-year-old engineer. "We're fed up with the establishment. It would be great if this [demonstration] worked to boost Podemos, but also as a wake-up call for the traditional parties."

With Podemos firmly focusing public debate on corruption, the party itself has been subjected to intense scrutiny. In recent days, critics have pointed to a 425,000-euro payment that Podemos co-founder Juan Carlos Monedero received from the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua in 2013 for advisory work. The tax authorities are investigating whether the payment was made legally.

A year of upheaval

Such political tensions reflect the fact that Spain is going into a year of potentially major upheaval. Municipal and regional elections are scheduled for May, with a general election almost certain to take place by the end of the year.

"It's going to be an enormous year," said Josep Lobera, a sociologist at Madrid's Autonoma University.

"At a regional level this year is going to see an earthquake, because Podemos could end up governing a number of regions, in coalition or on its own," he said. In the general election, he added, the party will also be a contender.

"That is new. It means a break with the bi-party system for the first time in nearly 40 years," Lobera added.

Related Article:


Sicilian judge Sergio Mattarella elected Italian president

Yahoo – AFP, 31 Jan 2015

Newly elected Italian President Sergio Mattarella arrives at the Constitutional
Council in Rome on January 31, 2015 (AFP Photo/Tiziana Fabi)

Rome (AFP) - Sergio Mattarella, a constitutional court judge from Sicily who is seen as a symbol of Italy's battle against organised crime, was elected Italy's new president on Saturday.

The 73-year-old Sicilian, who was backed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's centre-left Democratic Party (PD), succeeds the hugely popular Giorgio Napolitano, who is stepping down because of his advanced age.

A member of the parliament casts his ballot
 on January 31, 2015 at the Italian
parliament in Rome during the fourth round
in the election of a new president (AFP
Photo/Andreas Solaro)
"My thoughts are, first and foremost, on the difficulties and hopes of our citizens," Mattarella said in a brief appearance.

Renzi, for whom the election was a political victory, rejoiced in a Tweet: "Good work, President Mattarella! Long live Italy!"

By choosing an austere, left-leaning social democrat Renzi unified his party, but also showed disgraced former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, an ally in important reforms, he was no longer essential.

The newly-elected president is little known to the public but is widely respected in politics after a 25-year parliamentary career and several stints as minister in governments of the left and right.

Renowned for his integrity, he entered politics after his elder brother was murdered by the Sicilian Mafia.

Mattarella won 665 votes in the fourth round of voting by a 1,009-member electoral college, composed of members of the two houses of parliament -- the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies -- and 58 representatives of the regions.

Former Italian President Giorgio Napolitano (C), surrounded by Italian politicians,
 applauds newly elected President Sergio Mattarella, on January 31, 2015, at the
parliament in Rome (AFP Photo/Andreas Solaro)

Ferdinando Imposimato, the candidate of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement of Beppe Grillo, won 127 votes.

The threshold for victory at the fourth round fell to a simple majority, down from the two-thirds majority needed for a win in the three opening stages.

As the ruling party's candidate Mattarella had support from most of the 415 PD politicians in the electoral college as well as several allied lawmakers.

'Tough blow'

But Italian presidential elections are nothing if not unpredictable, meaning the vote was not devoid of suspense.

In 2013, Romano Prodi was the favourite to succeed Napolitano, but a revolt within the PD scuppered his chances and blocked a decision, forcing Napolitano to agree to start a second mandate which he always insisted he would not finish.

Now 89, Napolitano announced earlier this month that he was too tired to carry on in what is a largely ceremonial role but can become politically significant during times of crisis over the formation of new governments.

Newly elected President of Italy, Sicilian
 judge Sergio Mattarella arrives at the 
Constitutional Council in Rome, on
January 31, 2015 (AFP Photo/Filipo
Monteforte)
Renzi's backing for Mattarella has been interpreted as the end of a temporary alliance the premier forged with Berlusconi to help drive labour market and electoral reforms through parliament.

Mattarella is seen as an "anti-Berlusconi" figure, having severed his ties with the centre right in Italian politics partly because of his distaste for the media tycoon, who still heads the opposition Forza Italia party despite a tax fraud conviction.

Berlusconi had ordered his party to cast blank ballots in the voting, however than 35 members out of 142 present for voting ignored his orders, signalling a rift in the party.

Berlusconi was reported Friday to be feeling "betrayed" by Renzi. A popular theory is that the Forza Italia leader was hoping for a sympathetic figure to be installed as president to increase his chances of winning a pardon over his criminal conviction which would allow him to return to parliament.

"The PD had to show it was the backbone of the system and it did," Ezio Mauro, editor-in-chief of Italian paper La Repubblica. "For Berlusconi it is certainly a major blow."



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“… 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. Remember where you heard it... in a strange, esoteric meeting with a guy in a chair pretending to channel. [Kryon being factious... Kryon humor] Then when you hear it, you'll know better, won't you? "Maybe there was something really there," you'll say. "Maybe it was real," you'll say. Perhaps you can skip all the drama of the years to come and consider that now? [Kryon humor again]

These leaders are going to fall over. You'll have a slow developing leadership coming to you all over the earth where there is a new energy of caring about the public. "That's just too much to ask for in politics, Kryon." Watch for it. That's just the beginning of this last phase. So many things are coming. The next one is related to this, for a country in survival with sickness cannot sustain a leadership of high consciousness. There is just too much opportunity for power and greed. But when a continent is healed, everything changes. .."

Friday, January 30, 2015

Green power takes on fossil fuels

Renewable energies are becoming globally more competitive. And an increasing number of studies are showing they have an economical edge, especially if environmental and health costs are taken into account.

Deutsche Welle, 30 Jan 2015


In Germany there is much discussion around renewable energies and cost. Fans of conventional energy sources hope to slow the rapid expansion of wind and solar power since, they say, the cost of renewable energies is too high.

The forum Green Budget Germany (FÖS) has now put forward a comprehensive study that compared all power technologies in Germany, including all known costs. Germany's energy cooperative Greenpeace Energy had commissioned the study.

Things considered were overall expenses, as well as "other effects from using conventional energies including costly consequences - for example, environmental and climate damage," said study leader Swantje Küchler from FÖS.

In the case of nuclear power, the damages after a possible nuclear accident were also taken into account. So far, the risks for large accidents worldwide have been carried by the general public, as power plant operators usually don't have the appropriate liability insurance.


Most bang for your buck

In the overall assessment, wind and solar power gave the most bang for your buck, according to calculations by FÖS. In 2014 electricity from wind and large solar power plants cost Germany between five and 10 euro cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). In contrast, the cost of electricity from natural gas, coal or lignite power plants was distinctly higher - between 11 to 17 cents per kWh.

Particularly expensive in comparison was nuclear power. Even though no new nuclear power plants will be built in Germany, with the last reactors expected to shut down in 2022, scientists contemplated the cost of nuclear energy from fictitious new power plants. That, plus the potential harms to the environment and human health arising from accidents, raised the total cost of nuclear power to between 19 to 50 cents per kWh.

A need for transparency

Energy scientists from other institutions felt vindicated by the study.

"The results are basically consistent with our studies, which show that conventional energies are significantly more expensive than renewables," said Claudia Kemfert of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).

Swantje Küchler introduces
the FÖS studie in Berlin.
Consequently, experts are calling for honesty and transparency in the debate, in which all costs should be taken into account.

"The problem is the high costs of coal and nuclear power are hidden from customers, who pay for them indirectly. We wanted to fix this grievance," said Marcel Keiffenheim of Greenpeace Energy.

Also, the study provided good evidence to "promote the development of renewable energies as soon as possible for economic reasons."

Tackling global climate change with renewables

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi arrived at similar results in its most recent study Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014. They found the generation of electricity from fossil fuels took a toll on human health and climate and added up to 11 cents per kWh.

IRENA is headquartered in
oil-rich Abu Dhabi.
Since the cost of renewables in recent years has plunged worldwide, there is now "a historic opportunity to build a clean and sustainable energy supply and, therefore, prevent catastrophic climate change in an affordable way," according to Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA.

At the same time, the march to renewables created "new jobs and reduced the import bills for fuels."

Above all, wind energy in many places in the world is economically competitive, often being cheaper than fossil fuels. According to an IRENA study, some windy places can already produce a kWh of power for four cents.

But the average production cost for wind power varies across regions. In China and Asia, it would cost around five or six; in North America, around six; and in Africa, around seven cents per kWh.

IRENA also saw much potential in the falling prices of solar power - particularly cheap in sunny countries. In the Middle East, operators of solar parks, or photovoltaic power stations, said they already generated electricity for five cents per kWh.

Renewables should also be helpful for the approximately 1.3 billion people who have up to now lived without electricity. According to IRENA's report, renewables in this case were the cheapest energy source, especially in comparison to diesel.

With a new online platform, the international agency hopes to strengthen the push for renewable energies, for which worldwide data are now available.

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One of the wealthiest men in the U.S., Warren Buffett said Monday
that he would double his renewable energy investments. Video
screenshot: Georgetown University/YouTube

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

“…  4 - Energy (again)

The natural resources of the planet are finite and will not support the continuation of what you've been doing. We've been saying this for a decade. Watch for increased science and increased funding for alternate ways of creating electricity (finally). Watch for the very companies who have the most to lose being the ones who fund it. It is the beginning of a full realization that a change of thinking is at hand. You can take things from Gaia that are energy, instead of physical resources. We speak yet again about geothermal, about tidal, about wind. Again, we plead with you not to over-engineer this. For one of the things that Human Beings do in a technological age is to over-engineer simple things. Look at nuclear - the most over-engineered and expensive steam engine in existence!

Your current ideas of capturing energy from tidal and wave motion don't have to be technical marvels. Think paddle wheel on a pier with waves, which will create energy in both directions [waves coming and going] tied to a generator that can power dozens of neighborhoods, not full cities. Think simple and decentralize the idea of utilities. The same goes for wind and geothermal. Think of utilities for groups of homes in a cluster. You won't have a grid failure if there is no grid. This is the way of the future, and you'll be more inclined to have it sooner than later if you do this, and it won't cost as much.

Water

We've told you that one of the greatest natural resources of the planet, which is going to shift and change and be mysterious to you, is fresh water. It's going to be the next gold, dear ones. So, we have also given you some hints and examples and again we plead: Even before the potentials of running out of it, learn how to desalinate water in real time without heat. It's there, it's doable, and some already have it in the lab. This will create inexpensive fresh water for the planet. 

There is a change of attitude that is starting to occur. Slowly you're starting to see it and the only thing getting in the way of it are those companies with the big money who currently have the old system. That's starting to change as well. For the big money always wants to invest in what it knows is coming next, but it wants to create what is coming next within the framework of what it has "on the shelf." What is on the shelf is oil, coal, dams, and non-renewable resource usage. It hasn't changed much in the last 100 years, has it? Now you will see a change of free choice. You're going to see decisions made in the boardrooms that would have curled the toes of those two generations ago. Now "the worst thing they could do" might become "the best thing they could do." That, dear ones, is a change of free choice concept. When the thinkers of tomorrow see options that were never options before, that is a shift. That was number four. ….”

Thursday, January 29, 2015

EU foreign ministers agree to extend Russia sanctions over Ukraine

European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels have agreed to impose new sanctions over Russia's alleged involvement in the Ukraine conflict. This will see an already existing "blacklist" of individuals expanded.

Deutsche Welle, 29 Jan 2015


The European Union's foreign policy coordinator, Federica Mogherini, told reporters in Brussels on Thursday that she and the bloc's 28 foreign ministers had agreed to draw up a new list of people to be targeted by sanctions within the next week. She said the final decision to implement the sanctions, which amount to asset freezes and a ban on those listed entering the EU, would be taken at a further meeting of the foreign ministers, on February 9.

She said they had also agreed to do preparatory work for other possible future "appropriate action."

"We have shown that the EU is ready to take further measures and to prepare further measures in the weeks to come if the situation doesn't improve," Mogherini said.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also noted that more action, beyond extending the "blacklist" of Russian and Ukrainian citizens accused of supporting pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine, could be possible in the future.

"If there were large military offensives, for example with widespread assaults on Mariupol, a clear reaction would be needed," Steinmeier said, referring to the port city where 30 civilians were killed and dozens of others wounded inrocket attacks on Saturday.

'Strong signal' to Russia

EU countries have, however, ruled out a military response to the conflict.

The EU imposed the first visa bans and asset freezes against officials it saw as involved in Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said the decision on Thursday to extend that list has been unanimous and sent "a strong signal toward Russia."

There had been concern earlier in the day that Greece's new foreign minister, Nikos Kotzias, might oppose the measures, which require unanimous approval. Earlier in the week, Syriza - the dominant force in Athens' new far-left and far-right coalition - complained that the EU had announced plans to consider fresh sanctions against Russia without first consulting Greece's incoming government.

Fresh talks in Minsk

The Belarusian foreign ministry announced on Thursday that it would host representatives of the Ukrainian and Russian governments, as well as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in a new round of talks on Friday aimed at ending the bloodshed in Ukraine.

"The contact group on Ukraine has informed the Belarusian side of its intention to hold its next meeting in Minsk on January 30," a statement released by the foreign ministry said.
It wasn't immediately clear whether representatives of the pro-Russian separatists fighting against Kyiv's forces in eastern Ukraine would take part.

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

Russia warns Bosnia and Herzegovina against sending ammunition to Ukraine

Moscow has condemned the plans of Sarajevo to ship small arms ammunition to Ukraine, warning that it would lead to "senseless" deaths. Two Bosnian companies have already agreed on the sale worth millions of dollars.

Deutsche Welle, 29 Jan 2015


Russian Foreign Ministry spokesmen Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday that the Kyiv authorities would use the ammunition "to keep killing peaceful citizens," saying that Moscow was "bewildered" by such plans:

"Such a step, especially in the current escalation on fighting in southeast Ukraine, would not contribute to peaceful resolution in the area, and would lead to new, senseless casualties among the civilian population."

The companies Igman and Unis have agreed to deliver small arms ammunition to Ukraine, with a price tag of 4.9 million euros ($5.6 million), Bosnian media reported.

"These deliveries are planned by a country that itself experienced all the horrors of a fratricidal war from 1992 to 1995," Lukashevich said.

Bosnia's foreign minister,ethnic Serb Boris Tucic, resigned in protest last week, refusing to sign off on the weapons delivery.

According to the local media, the shipment of rifle and pistol ammunition had been approved by the foreign and the defense ministries before his resignation.

New sanctions possible

The central government of Bosnia is formed out representatives of the three largest ethnic groups – Serbs, Muslims and Croats, who need to act together to pass a decision. The Serbs living in Bosnia, just like the ones from Serbia, tend to retain close ties with Russia.

Moscow is often accused of supplying Ukraine's rebels with weapons, charges the Kremlin denies.

The European Union's foreign ministers met on Thursday to discuss the Ukraine crisis and possible new sanctions against Russia.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Top French court OKs Franco-Moroccan same-sex marriage

Yahoo – AFP, 28 Jan 2015

The Cour de Cassation, France's highest appeals court, on Wednesday gave the
go-ahead for a French-Moroccan gay couple to marry (AFP Photo/Martin Bureau)

Paris (AFP) - France's highest appeals court on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for a French-Moroccan gay couple to marry, going against a ruling that homosexuals from Morocco and 10 other nations cannot tie the knot in the country.

France legalised same-sex marriage in 2013 after months of intense and sometimes violent protests, and the couple -- Dominique and Mohammed -- immediately got to work planning their official union.

But just two days before the wedding, prosecutors in the southeastern city of Chambery ruled it could not go ahead.

They cited a government circular stating that nationals from countries as diverse as Morocco, Poland and Laos were not allowed to marry people of the same sex in France.

They are among 11 nations that ban gay marriage and had signed agreements with France under which a citizen in a binational couple must obey his or her own nation's marriage law.

Since their failed attempt to tie the knot, two separate courts had ruled that Dominique and Mohammed -- who have asked for their last names not to be published -- could marry.

So prosecutors took the case to the Cour de Cassation, France's highest appeals court.

On Wednesday, the court said that a clause in the agreement signed between France and Morocco on the issue stipulated that the law of one of the countries could be discarded when it was "obviously incompatible with public order".

Public order is a set of rules that help organise a nation, its economy, health system, security, and also includes the rights and freedoms deemed necessary for each citizen.

The court ruled that freedom to marry was a fundamental right in France, and going against it would therefore be incompatible with public order.

The decision could create a precedent and allow gay citizens from the 11 countries concerned to tie the knot in France.

Socialist President Francois Hollande, who had pledged to legalise gay marriage after taking office, faced a huge backlash from the opposition right and the powerful Catholic Church.

The first gay wedding in France was held in May 2013 in the southern city of Montpellier, which has a gay-friendly reputation.

Related Article:


Greece makes good on promises as Europe huffs and puffs

Newly elected Greek Prime Minister Tsipras has quickly moved to implement his campaign promises to the Greek people. For European leaders, that is cause for serious concern.

Deutsche Welle, 28 Jan 2015


German and European politicians got a taste of what it will be like working with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza-led government on Wednesday, with the freshly-elected Tsipras taking aim at a number of carefully arranged deals made between Greece's international lenders and the previous Greek government.

Tsipras is following through on campaign promises, but many observers believed he would scale back some of his plans that would most deeply impact the terms of the international financial lifeline that has been put in place over the years.

That includes getting rid of certain public spending cuts and tax hikes that have secured Greece a line of credit but left the Greek economy in tatters.

"Our first duty is to help those on the verge of despair, who do not have the basics like good heating, and medical care," Tsipras said in his first Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Over the course of the day, Tsipras made a number of moves that ruffled feathers in Europe and beyond. A number of planned moves to privatize certain Greek utilities and ports have been put on hold, and many public sector employees - deemed to have been unfair victims of the previous government's austerity measures - have been rehired.

While Tsipras claims his government was not seeking a "mutually destructive clash" with his country's lenders, he would also see through his plan to "radically change the way that policies and administration are conducted in this country."

Tough negotiations ahead

The first days of the Tsipras administration have raised more than a few eyebrows in Europe.

Looking ahead to negotiations with Greece about how the country is going to uphold its commitments to international lenders, Jyrki Katainen, vice president of the European Commission, said "the commitments haven't changed and time is running out. We don't change our policy according to elections."

Referring to Greece's decision to put the brakes on the privatization plans, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the decision should have been discussed with Greece's partners first.

"Citizens of other euro states have a right to see that the deals linked to their acts of solidarity are upheld," he said.

In France, Finance Minister Michel Sapin said he thought his country was in a good position to serve as a mediator between Greece and the rest of the eurozone.

"[It's in the Greek government's interest] to find with us, with all European governments, the right way forward to meet the upcoming deadlines and look toward the future, including by striking new deals on new programs," Sapin said on Wednesday.

He added that despite Tsipras' stated goal of getting a large part of Greek debt cancelled, that "no one is talking about debt cancellation."

Greece on watch

In addition to a turbulent day on the Athens Stock Exchange that saw shares drop 9 percent, the Standard and Poor's credit rating agency put Greece's 'B' credit rating on watch for a possible downgrade.

"In our opinion, if the new Greek government fails to agree with official creditors on further financial support, this would further weaken Greece's creditworthiness," Standard and Poor's said in a statement.

The bailout up for negotiation in Greece amounts to a total of 240 billion euros ($272 billion).

mz/sms (AFP, Reuters, AP, dpa)

Italy arrests 'ndrangheta mafia suspects

Italian police have launched a major sweep for 163 suspected members of the 'ndrangheta mafia. Arrests were made in Calabria, its southern homeland, as well as Italy's northern region of Emilia-Romagna.

Deutsche Welle, 28 Jan 2015


Italy's national anti-mafia prosecutor, Franco Roberti, described Wednesday's arrests as "historic" for the juristic battle against 'ndrangheta and its expanded operations.

More than 40 arrests were made in southern Calabria, but the bulk of them, 117, took place in towns and cities across northern Italy, most in the region of Emilia Romagna.

In recent years the 'ndrangheta has taken control of Europe's cocaine trade, overtaking the Sicilian and Neapolitan mafias, and has made inroads into Latin America and the United States.

Roberti described the group as a "deeply implanted and very dangerous criminal organization."

"It is an impressive and decisive step against the mafia in the north," he said.

Arrests made by thousands of police

Thousands of police were involved in the arrest operation codenamed "Aemilia" on Wednesday, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.

Bologna's chief prosecutor, Roberto Alfonso, said at a press conference that those arrested in the north included six alleged bosses of a semi-autonomous clan.

The suspects faced charges of extortion, usury, participation in mafia organizations and illegal possession of weapons.

Last week, Italian police made 31 arrests in connection with an alleged plot by an offshoot of the 'ndrangheta' to take control of the cocaine trade.

Links with Colombia and Morocco

The bosses of a 'ndrangheta offshoot were reported to have lived in Rome for years, and to have established links with cocaine producers in Colombia and smuggling operators in Morocco.

In the course of last week's Rome raids, police seized some 600 kilograms (1,300 pounds) of cocaine, hashish and a stash of firearms.

Police said those arrests stemmed from inquiries into the 2013 murder of Roman mobster Vincenzo Femia and secret video recordings of induction ceremonies.

The name 'ndrangheta comes from Greek for courage or loyalty.

ipj/sms (dpa, AFP)
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Russian court slams Kremlin bid to close Memorial human rights group

Russia's highest court has dismissed a Kremlin bid to shut down leading human rights group Memorial. Activists are calling the verdict a rare victory for civil society and freedom of speech in Russia.

Deutsche Welle, 28 Jan 2015


Supreme Court judge Alla Nazarova rejected a lawsuit Wednesday by Russia's justice ministry to close down the human rights group Memorial. The organization gained a reputation by exposing Soviet-era repression.

The government department argued Memorial's charter did not correlate with the work it carried out, and it had committed a vast number of breaches, such as giving misleading information about overseas finance.

Following the judgment, the ministry released a statement saying Memorial had rectified all violations and the case would now be closed.

Memorial, which also works on issues relating to human rights across Russia, including the troubled Caucaus region, welcomed the court's findings but cautioned Moscow was still trying to control the work of non-governmental organizations.

"It is good that common sense won out," senior Memorial member Yan Rachinsky said in court.

"But it is difficult to accept it as a full victory for our organization."

Board member Oleg Orlov said the decision came down to a strong public campaign in support of Memorial, cautioning "the overall situation with Russian civil society is awful."

The rights group established itself during the final years of the Soviet Union, recording Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's purges. They also worked to commemorate victims of the 1930s mass executions.

Since his election for a record third term in 2012, President Vladimir Putin has introduced a raft of measures to make life unbearable for non-governmental groups.

The lawsuit came two years after harassment in the form of smear publications and vandalism to the group's headquarters in Moscow.

Memorial is currently before the courts fighting a separate legal battle against an official move to brand the group a "foreign agent." The controversial new law targets non-governmental groups which receive overseas funding.

jlw/jr (AFP, epd)
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"The Timing of the Great Shift" – Mar 21, 2009 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

“… The Great Shift began in 1987 with the Harmonic Convergence. The first part of that shift ended in 1999. It's important that you understand that this first portion of the shift included the galactic alignment. For the true galactic alignment energy began in the first phase of the shift. As my partner indicated, this astronomical alignment is not coming in 2012. It's already here. This is not esoteric information, but something that your astronomers will verify with their telescopes and computers. The ancients did their best, and a good estimate it was. But the 2012 date for the galactic alignment is incorrect.

There are those of you sitting in the chairs who know what I mean. These past 20 years have been remarkable for you, have they not? Look at what has taken place and the awakening and changes that have occurred... all without any prophesy that foretold of them. Those who walk this stage today were not interested in spiritual things 20 years ago. Oh, they may have been seekers, but they had no core, they had no center, they had no purpose. This includes the one who channels in front of you [Lee Carroll], and the ones that have channelled before me on this stage [Geoff Hoppe-Tobias]. Twenty years ago, they were all separate and unknown to each other, without any spiritual purpose. They had no idea what Kryon was or Tobias was. None at all. Their lives were those of men with careers and of an age where starting another passion wasn't something they would do. But they did, and it coincided with the Great Shift.

Remember, there is no such thing as predestined prophecy. God cannot tell you what's going to happen, for on this planet, humans are in charge. "If that's the case, Kryon, how can you tell us about a plan?" It is because these things I speak of are the potentials in front of us, generated by the consciousness of humanity. Therefore, what I give you is something we read into the consciousness of potentials. They are not predictions, but potential energies of what you are about to accomplish as you act upon the energy of the consciousness you have now. Much has happened in these 20 years, and it's part of the shift. Here was the plan from 1987 to 1999 - we told you the following things would take place:

Remember, as I speak to you now, this is history. But when I gave it to you in 1989, it was your future. The first thing that was at hand was moving the magnetic grid. That's why I came here. The grid group came in 1989 and left in 2002, and the grid was moved for the reasons I've been giving you and itemizing for 20 years. It was to build a matrix for a change in your DNA. This is, indeed, what happened, for the grid's magnetic field moved greatly in that time, and it has intersected with the magnetic field of your DNA elements. This overlap has transmitted information and energy and a new quantumization to your DNA, which has always been quantumly prepared for this.

The second item in this first phase was the voiding of the energy of Armageddon. Now, for those of you who think nothing happened, a great deal happened: This planet moved into another energy at that time. One of the largest political systems on the planet fell over and didn't come back, known as the Soviet Union. Again, we say to you there is no Nostradamus quatrain that predicted this, and that should tell you something. It changed the future greatly, yet no prophet called it. Something was happening that was out of synch with everything you had been told. This one event changed the future of a potential war that would never happen. The Armageddon scenario simply didn't take place. Look back at your prophesy, but clearly it said it would. …