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. …

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dutch MPs call for national laws to have priority over TTIP trade treaty, March 31, 2015

The Dutch parliament on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted in favour of a motion stating a new trade treaty between the US and Europe should not disadvantage the Dutch legal system and Dutch democracy. 

The TTIP is a new free trade agreement which supporters say will boost prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic. However, its detractors claim Europe will lose control over product safety and workers rights and that it will give big business free play to challenge government policies. 

One section of the treaty allows a company to make a legal claims against a country if it considers its interests are being damaged. This could include being refused permission to sell products or being forced to comply with environmental legislation. 

The Dutch cabinet supports the TTIP in principle but trade minister Lilian Ploumen is trying to ensure it is amended in places, broadcaster Nos reports. The motion states that the Dutch values ‘such as human dignity, freedom, democracy, equal rights and the protection of the environment and human rights must remain guaranteed’. 

The TTIP may not include any ‘dispute settlements which are detrimental to our national legal system and our democratic decision-making process’, the motion said. 

The motion was supported by parties from across the political spectrum, except the ruling VVD.

Rutte and Chinese president Xi Jinping. Photo:

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Queen's Windsor Castle staff threaten industrial action

Yahoo – AFP, 30 March 2015

Queen Elizabeth II outside Windsor Castle (AFP Photo/Steve Parsons)

London (AFP) - Staff at Queen Elizabeth II's Windsor Castle are threatening to take industrial action over pay, a trade union said Monday.

If it goes ahead following a ballot, the action would be the first ever by staff working for the royal family, according to the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS).

The union claims that already low-paid staff are currently expected to carry out extra unpaid duties such as giving tours and acting as foreign language interpreters at the 900-year-old castle west of London.

It argues that they should be paid extra for this and staff would stop performing these "goodwill" duties during the industrial action.

Windsor Castle pictured from the Long 
Mile in Windsor (AFP Photo/Ben Stansall)
"These workers are loyal to their employer and absolutely committed to ensuring visitors are given the royal treatment," said Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS.

"It is scandalous that staff are so appallingly paid and expected to do work for free that brings in money for the royal family."

Queen Elizabeth II usually spends weekends at Windsor Castle but also hosts state banquets there and takes up residence for a month over Easter, which this year falls in early April.

The union, which represents 120 out of 200 staff at Windsor Castle, is holding a ballot on possible industrial action from Tuesday which closes on April 14.

Luxembourg and London vie to host AIIB's Europe office

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2015-03-30

An illustration showing nations lining up to jump on the AIIB bus. (Illustration/CFP)

As of March 28, 42 countries — including 10 from Europe — have officially announced their intent to join the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Due to the expansion of the AIIB's circle of friends in Europe, a focus now is where the bank's European office will be located, with London and Luxembourg having emerged as the two most obvious competitors, Shanghai's China Business News reports.

Although Luxembourg has not caught as much attention as Britain, its strength should not be overlooked. The Grand Duchy has the world's highest GDP per capita at US$110,700 and like London it is one of the world's biggest financial centers. Furthermore, Luxembourg is the largest fund center in the world after the United States, and is the premier private banking center in the eurozone.

Paul Steinmetz, Luxembourg's ambassador to China, told China Business News that Luxembourg is hoping to host the AIIB's Europe office and looks forward to sharing its professional knowledge with China. Steinmetz noted that Luxembourg is home to the headquarters of the European Investment Bank and is an active member of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The chief of the ADB's regional liaison office in Bangkok is from Luxembourg, he added.

Luxembourg has also been competing with London to become an offshore center for trade in the renminbi and joining the AIIB is a crucial step in consolidating this aim.

Liu Ying, a research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China in Beijing, said the purpose of the United Kingdom joining the AIIB is to secure its status as a global financial center. Liu said Britain has shown great confidence in China and the renminbi, evidenced by the fact that it is the first G7 nation to sign a bilateral currency swap agreement with China and is speeding up its efforts to establish a yuan settlement system and to become an offshore yuan center.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

'Poo protest' topples British imperialist in South Africa

Yahoo – AFP, Lawrence Bartlett, 29 March 2015

A statue of British coloniser Cecil John Rhodes is covered in plastic bags as
 part of a protest by students and staff of the University of Cape Town (UCT)
on March 20, 2015 (AFP Photo/Rodger Bosch)

Cape Town (AFP) - A bucketload of human excrement flung at a statue has toppled a symbol of British imperialism in South Africa, marking the emergence of a new generation of black protest against white oppression.

The senate of the University of Cape Town (UCT) on Friday bowed to student demands that a brooding bronze statue of colonialist Cecil John Rhodes should be removed from the campus.

UCT, the oldest university in South Africa and regularly ranked as the best on the continent, was built on land donated by Rhodes, a mining magnate who died in 1902.

A statue of British coloniser Cecil John
Rhodes is covered in plastic bags as part
of a protest by students and staff of the
University of Cape Town (UCT) on 
March 20, 2015 (AFP Photo/Rodger Bosch)
Many of the students involved in the protests never lived under the injustices of white minority rule, but say they still experience racial discrimination 21 years after the end of apartheid.

The large statue of a notoriously racist Rhodes gazing across an Africa that he coveted for the British empire made them feel alienated on a campus still dominated by white staff, they said.

The "poo protest" was launched by a small group of students earlier this month, sparking a series of demonstrations demanding that the statue be torn down.

On Friday, the university senate voted 181 to one to remove the statue permanently from the campus, after vice-chancellor Max Price acknowledged "the many injustices of colonial conquest enacted under Rhodes' watch".

While the university council still has to endorse the move at a special meeting on April 8, the statue will be boarded up until it is handed over to government heritage authorities, university spokeswoman Pat Lucas said.

"It is certainly a victory for us," said student representative council president Ramabina Mahapa.

"It means we are being heard by the larger community."

A divisive history

But the disappearance of Rhodes is unlikely to end the debate on racial transformation launched by the protest, which gave rise to similar demands for change at two other universities.

In the east coast city of Durban, students at the University of KwaZulu Natal splattered white paint and anti-racism slogans on a statue of Britain's King George V.

Students and staff of the University of
Cape Town (UCT) protest against the
statue of British coloniser Cecil John
Rhodes at the university in Cape Town
on March 20, 2015 (AFP Photo/Rodger
And at Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape, activists want the institution to be renamed.

The protests have also sparked lively debate among academics, historians, politicians and writers of letters to newspapers.

Much of the debate has been surprisingly calm and thoughtful in a country with such a divisive history, but a bitter edge of racism lurks beneath the surface in Nelson Mandela's "Rainbow Nation".

One white letter writer probably spoke for many when he suggested in the Cape Times that the student who threw the excrement at Rhodes should leave UCT and attend a university established by "his own ancestors".

But students have dismissed the argument that Rhodes should be honoured for donating land for the campus, saying he stole it from black Africans in the first place.

The discontent goes beyond symbols to cover admission policies and the racial make-up of the teaching staff.

Eusebius McKaiser, an author and commentator who attended Rhodes University and won a prestigious international Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, summed it up in an opinion piece in the New York Times.

"South African universities remain a testament to the country's colonial heritage in terms of what they teach, who does the teaching, and the morally odious symbols that haunt our campuses or lurk in their very names.

Students and staff of the University of 
Cape Town (UCT) shout slogans during
 a protest against the statue of British 
coloniser Cecil John Rhodes at the 
university in Cape Town on March 20, 
2015 (AFP Photo/Rodger Bosch)
"At Rhodes, 83 percent of senior management staff remain white and 77 percent of 'professionally qualified staff,' a category that includes academic teaching staff, are white," he said.

Mandela legacy

Whites make up about eight percent of South Africa's population of some 54 million.

McKaiser, who is of mixed race, defended the fact that he accepted a Rhodes scholarship, telling a radio interviewer that in moral terms the colonialist's money belonged to "the millions of black South Africans whose rights were trampled on".

He took the scholarship to Oxford "so that I could come back and show the middle finger to his legacy," McKaiser said.

Since the end of apartheid the names of some cities and streets deemed offensive have been changed, but monuments to South Africa's racist white-minority rule remain scattered throughout the country.

Much of that can be attributed to the racial reconciliation policies of liberation hero Nelson Mandela, who became the country's first democratically-elected president in 1994.

Another former Rhodes scholar, Shaun Johnson, wrote in South Africa's Times newspaper of his surprise when Mandela agreed in 2002 to have his name coupled with that of Rhodes in a new charitable organisation.

The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, of which Johnson is now executive director, provides post-graduate scholarships to young Africans.

Students and staff of the University of Cape Town (UCT) march on campus 
during a protest against the statue of British coloniser Cecil John Rhodes at
the university in Cape Town on March 20, 2015 (AFP Photo/Rodger Bosch)

"Mandela told us to expect controversy and embrace it, while remaining certain in the knowledge that what we were actually doing was what mattered," Johnson wrote.

"He said... whenever possible, we had to put history to work for a better future."

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa echoed Mandela's approach in his response to the UCT protests.

"The government's attitude and policy to all heritage sites -- including statues of former imperialists like Cecil John Rhodes, among others -- is based on a national policy of reconciliation, nation-building and social cohesion," he said.

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Slovak President ‘Rock Star’ Video Goes Viral

Jakarta Globe, AFP, Mar 29, 2015

Andrej Kiska, President of Slovakia, speaks during the general debate of the 69th
session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters
in New York, NY, USA, 25 September 2014. (EPA Photo/Andrew Gombert)

Bratislava. A video featuring Slovak President Andrej Kiska singing and playing the guitar with a rock band posted Friday on Facebook has gone viral, with over 100,000 views in just six hours.

The popular entrepreneur-turned-president joined the “Business Leaders” band at a recent charity event to perform the 1977 Slovak hit song “Usmev” (Smile) by local rock legends Modus.

The video shows the audience go wild as  52-year-old Kiska sings and strums the guitar to a high octane rock’n’roll beat, decked out in a business suit and red tie.

Known as a rock fan, he attended Slovakia’s largest music festival Pohoda last summer, shortly after he had taken over as president from Ivan Gasparovic, who at 73 preferred folk music featuring a local shepherd’s flute called a “fujara”.

As a youngster, Kiska used to work as an instructor at summer camps, “where he won girls’ hearts by playing the guitar,” according to the Slovakia’s Zivot (Life) weekly.

The multi-millionaire turned philanthropist came out of nowhere in March 2014 to be elected president of the eurozone member of 5.4 million people.

Analysts say he capitalized on his image as a political greenhorn untainted by the corruption allegations that had sunk Slovakia’s right in the 2012 general election and handed victory to the Social Democrats of Prime Minister Robert Fico.

The video of Kiska’s performance can be viewed here.

Agence France-Presse

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Apple CEO Tim Cook plans to donate $800m fortune to charity before he dies

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

“… 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. .."

".. Many years ago, the prevailing thought was that nobody should consider China as a viable player on the economic stage. They were backward, filled with a system that would never be westernized, and had no wish to become joined with the rest of the world's economic systems. Look what has happened in only 30 years. Now, look at Africa differently …”

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Nobel's will goes on display for first time

Yahoo – AFP, Camille Bas-Wohlert, 28 March 2015

The last will and testament of Alfred Nobel is displayed at the Nobel Museum in 
the Old Town of Stockholm on March 17, 2015 (AFP Photo/Jonathan Nackstrand)

Stockholm (AFP) - Alfred Nobel's last will and testament, which played a pivotal role in Swedish history by creating the now-illustrious Nobel prizes, has gone on display for the first time in Stockholm.

Until now, only a handful of people had laid eyes on the original 1895 document that has been stashed away in a safe at the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm.

The Nobel Museum has changed all that, putting it on public display as part of its new exhibition "Legacy".

Inventor Alfred Nobel who founded the 
Nobel Prize (AFP Photo)
"The exhibition draws attention to how important it is to pass things on. The will is the centrepiece. It is a simple document, but it still today provides the basis of our work with the (Nobel) prizes," exhibition curator Karin Jonsson tells AFP.

"The aim is to show Alfred Nobel's legacy to the public. It makes him more understandable," her colleague Gustav Kaellstrand adds.

The Nobel prizes are "one of Sweden's biggest brands," notes a spokesman for the Swedish Institute, Sergio Guimaraes.

The will itself is written on four yellowed pages, with curlicued old-fashioned handwriting in black ink. It's smudged in places, and there are notes and additions running up and down the sides, tops and bottoms of the pages.

Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, details the creation of the Nobel prizes on 26 lines, or almost three-quarters of a page.

He stipulates that part of his fortune -- some 31.5 million kronor at the time, or the equivalent of more than 200 million euros ($220 million) today -- was to be placed in a fund, the interest on which was to be used to honour "those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind" in the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and peace.

He appoints four prize committees to hand out the awards: three in Stockholm and one in Oslo for the peace prize, since Norway was joined with Sweden in a union at the time.

The prize for economics was created in 1968 by Sweden's central bank, the Riksbank, to mark its tricentenary, and is also funded by the Riksbank.

'Who he really was'

Those 26 lines would change Nobel's reputation forever, and shine the spotlight on Sweden for years to come.

Gone is Nobel's image as a dynamite-producing friend of war -- now he is seen as a pacific philanthropist around the world.

"With these prizes, he wanted to show who he really was," explains Jean-Francois Battail, a professor emeritus in Scandinavian languages and literature at Paris' Sorbonne University.

"Albert Einstein, who won the Nobel Physics Prize in 1921, thought Nobel created the Peace Prize because he had a guilty conscience," Battail says.

The will was written in Paris where he kept a home and dated November 27, 1895, and then placed in a safety deposit box at Stockholm's Enskilda Bank.

Nobel died in December 1896 in Italy. When his will was opened early the next year, his family was shocked -- he had told no one of his plans.

"He had no direct heirs, but he left the people closest to him pretty generous sums. They were pretty fatty crumbs. But there were lawsuits, and they tried to have the will annulled -- it didn't transpire peacefully," Battail explains.

"The existence of the prizes is in large part thanks to the will's executors, especially Ragnar Sohlman," he adds.

A former assistant of Nobel's, Sohlman rounded up the fortune that was spread around the world and honoured Nobel's last wishes, going so far as to convince the King of Sweden, who was disgruntled the prizes could be awarded to non-Scandinavians.

The last will and testament of Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel is displayed 
on March 12, 2015 prior to the opening of the exhibition "Legacy" at the Nobel
Museum in Stockholm, Sweden (AFP Photo/Jessica Gow)

Put Sweden on the map

In 1900, Sohlman helped create the Nobel Foundation, which to this day manages Nobel's inheritance and oversees the work of the prize-awarding committees.

The first Nobel prizes were awarded in 1901.

"In Sweden and abroad, a lot of people understood that the will provided Sweden an opportunity on the world stage," Kaellstrand says.

Yet some were already able to predict the headaches that would come with the daunting task of selecting the laureates.

"The New York Times wrote for example in 1897: 'A number of eminent men of Norway and Sweden have a task before them which will inevitably bring to them more trouble than glory'," Kaellstrand muses.

The Nobel prizes have indeed been the centre of controversy over the years.

French writer Jean-Paul Sartre refused to accept the 1964 Nobel Literature Prize, and, more recently, a storm simmered when US President Barack Obama won the Peace Prize in 2009 after less than nine months in office while the US was waging simultaneous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But on the whole, the prize has conferred a positive image of Sweden.

Nobel's last will and testament is on display until at least the end of May.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Reasons behind Russia's reluctance to join AIIB: Duowei

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2015-03-27

Chinese president Xi Jinping greets his Russian counterpart Vladimir
Putin at the APEC summit in Beijing, November 2014. (Photo/CNS)

Russia may have good reasons behind its reluctance to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) proposed by China, says Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet.

With the March 31 deadline for applications to be a founding member of the AIIB looming, Russia has still not decided whether it wants to be a part of the multilateral development bank aiming to finance infrastructure projects in the Asia region. A March 23 report in a Russian newspaper cited comments by the country's deputy finance minister Sergei Storchak to the effect that Russia has not yet decided if it will apply for membership.

While Russia sits on the fence, several other countries have already caught the "late train," with Australia, South Korea and Austria each indicating a desire to apply over the past week. International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde and Asian Development Bank president Takehiko Nakao also both recently declared a willingness to cooperate with the AIIB, which has been viewed as a key sign of support for China.

While it is natural for the United States and Japan to be skeptical of the AIIB, Duowei said, Russia's reluctance to join has been considered a head-scratcher by many analysts because it appears to have more reasons than countries like the UK, France and Germany to want to be a part of the system.

Back in 2007, Russian president Vladimir Putin publicly stated that the world needs to establish a new international financial system to replace the outdated, undemocratic and awkward systems of the present. With the United States still in charge of global financial order, it is inevitable that the financial reforms Russia is pushing for will involve building a new platform, Duowei said.

The scope of the AIIB has already far exceeded that of a regional investment bank and has the potential to influence financial markets on a global scale, Duowei said. Even though the Ukraine crisis, which has isolated Russia from the West, has been devastating for the national economy and its future prospects, Russia is still undergoing structural changes to its economy and holds strong potential in its infrastructure development sector.

Based on information released by Oxford Economics, Russia has attracted more foreign direct investment over the last decade than both Brazil and India, though this does not necessarily mean that investment funding in the infrastructure development sphere meets demand. The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, published by the World Economic Forum, said that the quality of Russia's infrastructure, due to a lack of investment, has slid to be ranked 93rd in the world.

The Road to 2030: A Survey of Infrastructure Development in Russia, a report from global professional services organization EY, notes that in the past five years, Russia has announced at least 325 infrastructure projects. These, as well as other projects such as the upgrading of the Trans-Siberian Railway and the competion of 14 operational airfields in the arctic by the end of the year, will all require significant sums of investment funding, Duowei said.

Despite the above backdrop, Russia still has three main reasons for refusing to join the AIIB, Duowei said. The first is that Putin still wants to build Russia into the leader of Eurasia's economic community, something membership in the AIIB cannot help him achieve. Even if Russia joins, it will not have the power to dictate terms and will arguably not even have significant authority, Duowei added, adding that this is perhaps why Russia is pursuing alternatives such as strengthening bilateral ties with China and actively boosting its position in the BRICS community among the other emerging nations of Brazil, India, China and South Africa.

Secondly, Russia does not want membership in the AIIB to rob it of its economic independence. While Russia can compete with the US and China in terms of its military might, its economy its undoubtedly a fatal shortcoming. According, the Kremlin may have concerns over whether, with China leading the way, the AIIB can genuinely improve infrastructure development in Asia and operate in a fair and open manner that adheres to financial discipline. The better option might therefore to wait and observe to see how the AIIB functions first before deciding whether it is prudent to join, Duowei said.

Thirdly, Russia's reluctance to join the AIIB may reflect China's wishes to some extent. In recent weeks of negotiations, China has been insisting to European countries that Beijing will not have veto power in the AIIB, a declaration that has prompted the likes of the UK, France, Germany and Italy to decide becoming a founding member. The absence of the maligned Russia from this picture therefore actually assists China in gaining support in Europe, Duowei said, noting that this theory makes sense given that China and Russia are now viewed as being in a "quasi-alliance" by the international community. Considering its strong ties with China, Russia will not have too many difficulties if it decides to join the AIIB once the bank is up and running and moving towards success, Duowei added.

Sri Mulyani Indrawati, managing director at the World Bank. 
(File photo/Xinhua)

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Prince Charles secret letters to be made public

Yahoo – AFP, 26 March 2015

Britain’s Prince Charles speaks at the 2015 US Congressional International
 Conservation Gala at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington on March 19, 
2015 (AFP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

London (AFP) - Britain's top court on Thursday ruled that secret letters from Prince Charles to government ministries should be published, in a potential setback for the monarchy seen as a victory for media freedoms.

"The Supreme Court dismisses the attorney general's appeal," read the ruling, after the government went to court to prevent the publication of secret letters believed to show Charles interfering in politics.

The ruling was immediately praised by the Guardian newspaper, which had brought the case to court, but criticised by the prince's official residence, Clarence House, and Prime Minister David Cameron.

"Clarence House is disappointed the principle of privacy has not been upheld," a spokesman said.

The ruling was immediately praised by 
the Guardian newspaper, which had
 brought the case to court, but 
criticised by the prince's official residence, 
Clarence House, and Prime Minister David 
Cameron (AFP Photo/Ben Stansall)
The long-running case relates to 27 items of correspondence sent in 2004 and 2005 by Charles, who is known for his outspoken views on the environment and energetic activism on social issues.

The letters were sent to seven government departments and the previous attorney general, who stopped their publication on the basis that they reflected the prince's "most deeply held personal views and beliefs".

There is concern that their publication could harm the royal family's image of political neutrality in a country where the monarch "reigns but does not rule".

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger hailed the ruling as the result of a "brilliant 10-year campaign" to ensure the letters were made public.

"Guardian wins," he wrote on Twitter.

In a statement, Rusbridger said: "This is a good day for transparency in government and shows how essential it is to have a fully independent judiciary and free press."

The letters have been dubbed the "Black Spider Memos" due to Charles's spiky handwriting.

No date has been fixed for their publication, although the BBC reported that the government now has 30 days to release them.

"This is a disappointing judgement and we will now consider how to release these letters," Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement.

"This is about the principle that senior members of the royal family are able to express their views to government confidentially. I think most people would agree this is fair enough," he said.

Change in public perception?

The government had vetoed the release of the letters under Freedom of Information laws, but this has now been struck down by the courts.

Cameron said the government would consider amending the law for future cases, although that cannot happen before elections in May as parliament's last day before the vote was on Thursday.

"If the legislation does not make parliament's intentions for the veto clear enough, then we will need to make it clearer," Cameron said.

A new biography of Charles last year reignited debate about whether he is fit to become king.

Catherine Mayer's "Charles: The Heart of a King" portrays a royal household riven with infighting, and an heir to the throne uncomfortable with the distant impartiality that has been the hallmark of his mother Queen Elizabeth II's reign.

The 66-year-old Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth's eldest son, has spent a lifetime in preparation for the throne.

But he has also carved out a distinct and highly visible role for himself in public life by wading into topics that interest him.

Graham Smith, head of Republic, a campaign for an elected head of state, told the Guardian that the publication of the memos "will change the public perception of the monarchy as apolitical and harmless, to being a serious political force."

Related Article:

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

“…5 - Integrity That May Surprise…

The Unthinkable… Politics, A Review

Humans will begin to search for integrity and fairness and it's going to happen in the places you never expect. I said this last week, so this is a review. There'll come a time when you will demand this of your politics - fairness and integrity. So when the candidates start calling each other names, you will turn your back on them and they won't get any votes. They're going to get the point real fast, don't you think? How about that?

Let me give you another potential. This country that I sit in right now [USA] will set the mold for that particular attribute. I have no clock. Watch for the youngsters to set this in motion, and they will, for they are the voters of tomorrow and they do not want the energy of today. To some of them, it's so abominable they won't even register to vote in this energy. You're going to see this soon. That was number five.. ..."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Church of England creates second female bishop

The Rev Canon Alison White will become bishop of Hull in appointment heralded as ‘fantastic’ by the archbishop of York, John Sentamu

The Guardian, Caroline Davies, Wednesday 25 March 2015

Alison White has been announced as second female bishop. Photograph:
The Diocese of York/PA

The Church of England has appointed a second female bishop, naming the Rev Canon Alison White as the new bishop of Hull.

The announcement on Wednesday follows the consecration of the Rev Libby Lane, 48, as the eighth bishop of Stockport in January. The archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, declared: “This is a joyous day.”

White, 58, is married to the Right Rev Frank White, 65, who is assistant bishop of Newcastle – making the couple the UK’s first husband-and-wife team of bishops.

Sentamu said: “I am delighted to be welcoming Alison as the next bishop of Hull. Whilst she will be working with others across the diocese of York, encouraging faith in urban life, she will have particular responsibilities for the vibrant city of Hull and the glorious coastline and countryside of the East Riding.

“Alison is a person of real godliness and wisdom – it is fantastic that she has accepted God’s call to make Christ visible together with all of us in this diocese of York.”

White is priest-in-charge of Riding Mill in the diocese of Newcastle. Following a degree in English at Durham, she studied theology at Cranmer Hall, Durham, before studying for an MA in theology at Leeds University.

She said: “In 2010, I was privileged to be invited to take part in the York diocesan clergy conference, where I got a profound sense of a diocese with faith and hope. I know that there is a real vision to be generous churches, making and nurturing disciples, and can’t wait to be part of loving God and growing the church in this great part of Yorkshire.”

She succeeds the Right Rev Richard Frith, who became bishop of Hereford in November, and she will be consecrated on 3 July at York Minster.

The Right Rev Martin Wharton, recently retired bishop of Newcastle, said: “I am thrilled that Alison’s priestly and personal gifts have been recognised by the wider church and believe she will be an outstanding bishop who will quickly endear herself to the people of Hull and the East Riding. As the second woman to be appointed bishop in the Church of England, we rejoice with her and pray for her.”

The church formally adopted legislation last November to allow female bishops following decades of argument over women’s ordination.

From 1989 to 1993, White served as Durham’s diocesan adviser in local mission. She then spent five years as director of mission and pastoral studies at Cranmer Hall. She served as diocesan director of ordinands, also in Durham diocese, for two years and then nationally as part of the springboard team for four years.

She served five years as an adult education officer for the diocese of Peterborough before moving to the diocese of Newcastle in 2011.

The first female Church of England bishop, Libby Lane, is consecrated by 
the archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. Photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA

Related Article:

Leaders see horror of French Alps crash as probe gathers pace

Yahoo - AFP, Daniel Ortelli and Marc Burleigh, 25 March 2015

French President Francois Hollande (3rd left), German Chancellor Angela 
Merkel (centre) and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (2nd right) arrive 
at Seyne-les-Alpes on March 25, 2015, near the site where a German airliner
crashed in the French Alps (AFP Photo/Jeff Pachoud)

Seyne-les-Alpes (France) (AFP) - The leaders of France, Germany and Spain visited a makeshift rescue base near the Germanwings air crash site Wednesday, as investigators ramped up their probe into the mysterious disaster that killed 150.

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel flew over the crash site to see the devastation for themselves before meeting rescue workers outside the crisis centre set up on Tuesday after the worst crash in France in four decades.

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also visited the centre to be briefed on the gruelling rescue operation in difficult mountain terrain where Flight 4U9525 crashed early Tuesday, scattering debris over a wide area.

France's investigators have recovered
 the cockpit voice recorder from the 
doomed Germanwings flight but say it
 was badly damaged in the crash (AFP
Buffeted by strong mountain winds, the ashen-faced leaders spent several minutes inspecting a line-up of blue-uniformed rescue workers, chatting intently with the help of interpreters.

"My deepest sympathies with the families and all my thanks for the friendship of the people of this region and in France," wrote Merkel in a book of condolence.

Hollande wrote: "Tribute to the victims. Support to the families."

Grieving families were also gathering near the crash site, where a counselling unit has been established.

Meanwhile, investigators were combing through the pulverised wreckage and examining its badly damaged black box for clues as to what caused the mysterious crash.

Hundreds of firefighters and police were involved in the massive task at the rugged crash site, accessible only by helicopter or an arduous hike on foot.

And in Paris, experts analysed one of the plane's black boxes, hoping to discover why the Airbus A320 went down in good weather -- an "inexplicable" disaster according to Lufthansa, the budget airline's parent company.

Photos issued by the BEA air crash investigation office showed the mangled orange "black box", its metal casing torn and twisted by the violence of the impact.

Officials warned it would take several days to analyse the "very badly damaged" cockpit voice recorder, but hoped it might offer initial clues to the mystery later Wednesday.

'Horrendous' scene

A woman reads a book of condolence for 
the victims of the Germanwings plane crash
 at the Berliner Dom cathedral on March 25,
2015 (AFP Photo/Tobias Schwarz)
A second black box, recording technical flight data, has yet to be found.

Authorities are scrambling to explain why the plane suddenly began a fatal eight-minute descent shortly after reaching cruising altitude on its route between Barcelona and Duesseldorf.

No distress signal was sent and the crew failed to respond to desperate attempts at contact from ground control.

"It is inexplicable," Lufthansa chief Carsten Spohr said in Frankfurt.

"The plane was in perfect condition and the two pilots were experienced."

Officials in Spain said at least 49 Spaniards had been killed in the accident, and Germanwings said at least 72 Germans were dead.

French police set up road blocks near the crash site, ordering all non-official vehicles to turn around, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

Just beyond lay a steep and broken landscape littered with the shattered pieces of what was Flight 4U9525.

"It's a zone that is very difficult to access, very slippery. There was rain and snow overnight. So we need to secure the zone before the investigators begin their work," a spokesman for the French interior ministry, Pierre-Henry Brandet, told reporters.

"We are not in a race against time," he said. "We need to move forward methodically."

The plane was "totally destroyed," a local member of parliament who flew over the site said, describing the scene as "horrendous."

A helicopter flies over the crash site 
of the Germanwings Airbus A320 in the 
French Alps (AFP Photo/Francis Pellier)
"The biggest body parts we identified are no bigger than a briefcase," one investigator said.

'Darkest day'

More than 300 policemen and 380 firefighters have been assigned the grisly task of searching the site.

The plane was carrying six crew and 144 passengers, including 16 German teenagers returning home from a school trip.

Their high school in the small German town of Haltern was to hold a memorial event Wednesday to honour the victims.

"This is certainly the darkest day in the history of our city," said a tearful Bodo Klimpel, the town's mayor. "It is the worst thing you can imagine."

"Yesterday we were many, today we are alone," read a hand-painted sign at the school, decorated with 16 crosses -- one for each of the victims, most of whom were around 15 years old.

Opera singers Oleg Bryjak, 54, and Maria Radner, 33, were also on board, flying to their home city of Duesseldorf. Radner was travelling with her husband and baby, one of two infants on board the plane.

Condolence messages for the victims 
of the Germanwings plane crash are laid at 
a memorial at Duesseldorf airport in western
 Germany, on March 25, 2015 (AFP Photo/
Federico Gambarini)
In Spain, meanwhile, a minute's silence was observed at noon at countless points around the country, including both houses of parliament in Madrid and public offices.

As the probe gathered pace, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said investigators were not focusing on the possibility it was a terrorist attack.

Germanwings, the growing low-cost subsidiary of the prestigious Lufthansa carrier, had an unblemished safety record.

Weather did not appear to be a factor in the crash, with conditions calm at the time, French weather officials said.

It was the deadliest air crash on the French mainland since 1974 when a Turkish Airlines plane crashed, killing 346 people.

Victims were also confirmed from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Colombia, Denmark, Holland, Israel, Japan, Mexico and the United States, according to officials.