Kryon Berlin Tour & Seminar - Berlin, Germany, Sept 17-22 2019 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll)

Kryon Berlin Tour & Seminar - Berlin, Germany, Sept 17-22 2019 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll)
30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Council of Europe (CoE) - European Human Rights Court - founding fathers (1949)

Council of Europe (CoE) - European Human Rights Court - founding fathers (1949)
French National Assembly head Edouard Herriot and British Foreign minister Ernest Bevin surrounded by Italian, Luxembourg and other delegates at the first meeting of Council of Europe's Consultative Assembly in Strasbourg, August 1949 (AFP Photo)

EU founding fathers signed 'blank' Treaty of Rome (1957)

EU founding fathers signed 'blank' Treaty of Rome (1957)
The Treaty of Rome was signed in the Palazzo dei Conservatori, one of the Renaissance palaces that line the Michelangelo-designed Capitoline Square in the Italian capital

Shuttered: EU ditches summit 'family photo'

Shuttered: EU ditches summit 'family photo'
EU leaders pose for a family photo during the European Summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels on June 28, 2016 (AFP Photo/JOHN THYS)

Merkel says fall of Wall proves 'dreams can come true'


“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Sunday, October 30, 2016

EU Commissioner defends Chinese 'slitty eyes' comment

Yahoo – AFP, October 30, 2016

EU-Commissioner for Energy German Guenther Oettinger was secretly filmed
at a Hamburg event earlier this month while mocking a delegation of Chinese
ministers (AFP Photo/Odd Andersen)

Frankfurt (AFP) - Germany's European Commissioner Guenther Oettinger on Sunday defended his use of the term "slitty eyes" for Chinese people which triggered outrage after they were revealed in a leaked recording of a speech to business leaders.

Oettinger -- the commissioner for digital economy who was last week named to the more powerful post of budget commissioner -- also made disparaging remarks about women and gay marriage.

In the comments, secretly filmed at a Hamburg event earlier this month, he mocked a delegation of Chinese ministers, "their hair combed from left to right with shoe polish".

Anonymous YouTube user "Sebas Travelling", who uploaded the clip on Friday, said Oettinger had used the words "slitty eyes" and "chiselers" to refer to Chinese people.

"That was a somewhat sloppy expression that was not meant in any way disrespectfully towards China," Oettinger told Die Welt newspaper on Saturday.

The comments were made during a speech focusing on EU relations with China, the world's second largest economy.

"Nine men, one party. No democracy, no female quota, and no women -- which follows logically," he said, referring to the delegation which had recently visited the Commission.

Oettinger insisted to Die Welt that his comments were taken out of context and that he had "received a lot of positive reaction" to the speech.

In his comments to the Hamburg forum, he also took aim at the political agendas of domestic German politicians, including more generous pensions and child benefits, a controversial road toll for foreign vehicles, and "soon to come, compulsory gay marriage".

"I have nothing against same-sex marriage," he said on SWR public radio on Sunday.

"But while we're all talking and arguing about that, there is no time for other, critical questions, which would keep Germany and Europe ahead in a dynamic world."

In the secretly-recorded speech, he said Germany and other EU nations were allowing Chinese firms to buy up European companies and their valuable know-how and intellectual property, while China did not allow Europeans to invest there as freely.

"The same rules should go for China and for Europe. We should open our markets to one another to the same extent," he told Die Welt.

The comments come at an embarrassing time as they emerged just after European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker announced Friday he had tapped Oettinger to take over the budget portfolio from Bulgaria's Kristalina Georgieva.

Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel should "impose an adequate punishment in the face of this behaviour unworthy of a member of the European Commission", French activist group SOS Racisme said in a statement Sunday.

"Someone who openly spreads racist and homophobic opinions has disqualified themselves for top political positions," Katarina Barley, secretary-general of Germany's centre-left Social Democratic Party, told Spiegel Online on Saturday.

Related Articles:

EU, Canada sign delayed trade deal

Yahoo – AFP, Danny Kemp, October 30, 2016

(L-R) European Council President Donald Tusk, Canadian Prime Minister
 Justin Trudeau and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker during
 the EU-Canada summit meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels on October 30,
2016 (AFP Photo/John Thys)

Brussels (AFP) - The EU and Canada finally signed a landmark free trade deal seven years in the making on Sunday, after overcoming last-minute resistance from a small Belgian region that nearly torpedoed the entire agreement.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau flew to Brussels for a ceremony that had been pushed back from Thursday after Wallonia with its population of 3.6 million initially vetoed a pact affecting more than 500 million people.

But in a sign of the fierce passions aroused by the giant Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), protesters burst through riot police lines and hurled red paint at the EU's headquarters.

"That I be here today or three days ago is not going to make a huge difference in the grand scheme of the real impact it's going to have for this good deal to move forward," Trudeau said after signing the pact with leaders of the EU institutions.

Cheers and applause erupted as they inked a long-anticipated deal that will remove 99 percent of customs duties between the two sides, linking the single EU market of 28 nations with the world's 10th largest economy.


'Disintegration of West'

The leaders hailed the pact as good news after the Belgian drama, which sparked dire warnings for the EU's credibility as it wrestles with Britain's shock vote to leave, a huge migration crisis and the threat of a resurgent Russia.

The signing was also further delayed when Trudeau's plane from Canada suffered "mechanical issues" and had to turn back for repairs.

"Patience is a tree whose root is bitter, but its fruit is very sweet," EU President Donald Tusk said. "Today's decisions demonstrate that the disintegration of the Western community does not need to become a lasting trend."

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker meanwhile said the deal was an "international standard that will have to be followed by others" -- not least an even bigger agreement that the EU is negotiating with the United States.

But the fate of the Canada-EU deal -- so close to the finish line after seven gruelling years of negotiations -- had been hanging by a thread until just days ago because of Belgium.

French-speaking Wallonia had for two weeks resisted huge pressure to back the deal until it won concessions for regional farming interests and guarantees that international investors will not be able to force governments to change laws.

Following marathon talks led by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, the Walloons finally agreed on Thursday evening, and a day later, Trudeau agreed to fly in for the delayed signing.

The pact required all EU member states to endorse it and in some cases such as Belgium's for regional governments to agree too, giving tiny Wallonia an effective veto.

Minister-President of Belgium's Walloon Region Paul Magnette leaves the stage
 after a speech about the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement 
(CETA) (AFP Photo/Bruno Fahy)

'Trojan horse'

Concerns in the declining industrialised region in Belgium's south reflect wider worries in Europe about globalisation, as well as fears among activists that such deals erode consumer, social and environmental protections.

On Sunday, around 100 protesters banged drums and shouted slogans outside the European Council building while Belgian riot police backed by water cannon looked on, AFP reporters said.

The glass front doors of the building were also daubed with red paint after some protesters briefly managed to break through police lines, with a number of them arrested.

The activists also see CETA as a Trojan horse for the even larger -- and more controversial -- deal between the EU and the United States.

Negotiations for that deal, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), have however stalled in recent weeks, and the goal of approving it by the end of President Barack Obama's term in office now having been abandoned.

The troubles with the Canadian deal have meanwhile been seen as a possible harbinger of things to come for Britain as it tries to negotiate a new trade pact with the EU after it leaves the bloc -- most likely in 2019.

Related Articles:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Denmark's feminist mosque founder challenges norms

Yahoo – AFP, Sören Billing, October 26, 2016

Sherin Khankan is one of five female imams-in- training at the Mariam
Mosque in Copenhagen (AFP Photo/Betina Garcia)

Copenhagen (AFP) - The founder of Scandinavia's first female-led mosque is a soft-spoken "imama" who has riled conservatives with her views on marriage but others say her project is not progressive enough.

The Mariam Mosque opened in March and held its first Friday prayer in August, when Danish-born imam Saliha Marie Fetteh spoke to around 60 women -- just over half of them Muslim -- about female scholars in Islam and women's rights.

"It was fantastic and very moving," said Ozlem Cekic, a Turkey-born Danish commentator and former lawmaker, who attended the sermon.

"I believe it will strengthen Islam."

Christian and Jewish community leaders also attended the prayer.

"Talking about women's rights is not a Western phenomenon, it's an Islamic ideal," Sherin Khankan -- one of the five female imams-in-training -- told AFP in a sparsely furnished room where the weekly prayers are held.

Arabic calligraphy and Islamic literature adorn its white walls, but the sounds of a bustling Copenhagen street permeate into the apartment.

An "anonymous donor" is paying the lease of the mosque, located in a building in an area that is one of the most expensive in Copenhagen.

The 42-year-old mother of four was born in Denmark. She describes her father, a Syrian political refugee who married a Finnish woman, as "a feminist icon".

Her Christian mother would fast during Ramadan with the rest of the family, while Muslim family members would join her in church on special occasions.

Inter-faith dialogue has always been vital to Khankan who earlier this year publicly met with French female rabbi Delphine Horvilleur in Copenhagen.

In 2001 she founded "Critical Muslims", a group promoting "a democratic and pluralistic approach to Islam."

One month later, the 9/11 attacks in New York had a dramatic impact on how Muslims were viewed around the world, and she found herself spending more time defending Islam.

The role of Islam in Denmark came under renewed focus last year after a Danish-Palestinian gunman killed a filmmaker and a Jewish security guard in twin attacks in Copenhagen.

Changing power balance

Not everyone is a fan. Khankan said she had received threats from right-wing extremists on social media.

Public reaction from conservative Muslims has been muted, possibly because of the fear of wading into Denmark's high-pitched debate on Muslim immigration, which has often dominated political debate over the past 15 years.

"When you are changing structures in religious institutions, you are changing the power balance. You are challenging men's monopoly," Khankan said.

"Of course you will meet resistance, that's obvious and we were aware of that. But I think the opposition we have met has been quite moderate," she added.

Representatives from some of Copenhagen's major mosques did not respond to requests for comment.

After the opening of the Mariam Mosque, Waseem Hussein, an imam from one of the city's biggest mosques, suggested there was no need for it.

"Should we also make a mosque only for men? Then there would certainly be an outcry among the Danish population," he told the Politiken daily.

"According to the Koran, men and women are equal spiritual partners," said Khankan, wearing a long, white skirt and a long-sleeved top but no veil, which she said she only wears while praying.

"We are re-reading the Koran according to our times and our society," she added.

The mosque is inspired by Sufism, a mystic form of Islam, and mostly caters to Sunni Muslims, although "everyone is welcome".

Female imams have existed in China since the 19th century, and are currently active in a handful of countries including Germany, Belgium, Canada and the United States, where The Women's Mosque of America opened in Los Angeles last year.

Denmark is home to around 284,000 Muslims, according to an estimate by Brian Arly Jacobsen, an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen specialising in religion.

Islamic feminism

Islamic feminism is at the heart of the Copenhagen project, and a concrete example of that was the mosque's marriage contract, Khankan said.

The marriage agreement states that women have the right to divorce, polygamy is prohibited, men and women have equal rights to their children in case of a divorce, and that the marriage is annulled in the event of mental or physical violence.

Five couples have been married at the mosque, of which two were inter-faith unions. Another three ceremonies are in the pipeline.

Khankan admits that she had to compromise on some of her initial plans to avoid "burning bridges" with the rest of the Muslim community.

Both men and women are allowed to take part in the mosque's activities, but Friday prayers have been reserved for women, as having a mixed audience would have been more controversial.

"Burning bridges" would only "create chaos," she said.

Syria-born Danish lawmaker Naser Khader told Danish media that in a country like Denmark, with its high level of gender equality, barring women from preaching to a mixed crowd was simply not "good enough".

But Khankan said the mosque will appeal to "a new generation of young Muslims who feel homeless and who do not feel at home in the existing traditional mosque communities."

Related Article:


Yassmine el Ksaihi poses in the prayer hall of the Polder Mosque in Amsterdam, 
Netherlands, Tuesday, March 2, 2010. Uniquely in the Netherlands, men and women
 pray together in her mosque, albeit segregated, with the women praying in the back
 of the prayer hall. Devotions and sermons are conducted mostly in Dutch rather 
than Arabic. And non-Muslims are welcome. Across Europe Muslims are seeking a f
ormula that lets them be an inseparable part of their country while maintaining their 
loyalty to their faith and origin. (AP Photo/ Evert Elzinga)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

EU parliament strips far-right FN founder Jean-Marine Le Pen of immunity

MEPs have revoked the elderly far-right leader's immunity over anti-Semitic comments made in 2014. It is a move likely to be hailed by French prosecutors, who have sought to charge him with inciting racial hatred.

Deutsche Welle, 25 Oct 2016


European lawmakers agreed on Tuesday to remove parliamentary immunity for France's far-right patriarch Jean-Marie Le Pen.  The decision has long been sought by French state prosecutors who want to see the founder of the National Front tried for inciting racial hatred.

The MEPs were able to gather the requisite number of votes after showing some footage from 2014 in which Le Pen slights Jewish singer Patrick Bruel and makes a pun alluding to gas chambers at Nazi concentration camps.

Le Pen has often been in the headlines over the past few years, not only for similar remarks downplaying the Holocaust, but also for his very public feud with daughter Marine, who now leads the populist party he created.

The legal affairs committee of the EU parliament said that immunity barring lawmakers from prosecution was not meant to "allow for slandering, libeling, inciting hatred or pronouncing statements attacking a person's honor."

According to French news agency AFP, parliament president Martin Schulz was moved to hand the complaint to the committee following complaints about Le Pen's Twitter account. He has been known to post disturbing images of crimes carried out by "Islamic State," such as the decapitation of American journalist James Foley.

Marine Le Pen, who has worked hard to try and recapture the headlines from her father's anti-Semitic views, called the video a "political error" and openly condemned the elder Le Pen for his statements. With an eye to the 2017 general election in France, Marine Le Pen has been hoping to position the National Front as a right-wing alternative to the conservative Republican party.

es/rc (AFP, dpa)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sweden wants EU to switch to emission-free cars by 2030

Yahoo – AFP, October 22, 2016

Sweden's environment minister urged the European Union to ban petrol and
diesel-powered vehicles from 2030 (AFP Photo/Fred Tanneau)

Stockholm (AFP) - Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Speaking to the Aftonbladet daily, Isabella Lovin of the Green Party hailed a non-binding resolution adopted by Germany's upper house of parliament to switch to emission-free cars by 2030.

"It's a really interesting proposition ... In order to achieve it, we will need to implement an EU-wide ban along the same lines," she said.

"As the environment minister, I do not see any other way than to relegate vehicles powered by fossil fuels to the dustbin of history."

The Swedish government aims to produce all of its power from renewable energy sources by 2040.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ryanair hits Brexit headwind as profit forecast cut

Yahoo – AFP, 18 October 2016


Ryanair cut its full-year profit forecast by five percent Tuesday due to the pound's slump since Britain voted in June to exit the EU, heaping more turbulence on a troubled sector.

"The primary cause of this slightly lower growth in full year (net) profitability is the 18 percent fall of sterling post Brexit which will reduce second half average fares," the Irish no-frills airline said in a statement.

The pound's tumble is reducing the amount Ryanair earns from its key British market once the currency is converted into euros -- the unit of Ireland (Other OTC: IRLD - news) and which the Dublin-based airline uses to price its earnings.

Ryanair said it was cutting its 2016/17 profit after tax forecast by five percent to between 1.3 billion euros and 1.35 billion euros ($1.4 billion and $1.5 billion). Its financial year runs to the end of March.

Ryanair is not alone in being hit, with fierce rival EasyJet (Other OTC: EJTTF - news) suffering a 40-percent dive in its share price since late June and warning that annual profits would slump by almost a third on Brexit and because of industrial action and unrest in key markets Egypt and Turkey.

British Airways-parent IAG has meanwhile lost nearly one-third of its share price value since June 23.

Irish no-frills airline Ryanair will put the brakes on new UK connections for the 
coming months given the uncertainty caused by the British vote to leave
the EU, says its CEO.

Elsewhere, British airline Monarch last week won a cash injection from its owner, allowing it to continue flying holidaymakers and fund growth plans.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said Tuesday that "stronger traffic growth and better cost control" would contribute to offsetting the hit in revenues, adding that the British market represents about one-quarter of the group's total income.

Traders did not appear too surprised by the update, with Ryanair's share price down only 0.7 percent at 11.73 euros in Dublin morning deals.

"Ryanair's problem is a microcosm of Ireland's post-Brexit conundrum -- huge exposure to the UK market and sterling, but earnings booked in euros," said Neil Wilson, market analyst at ETX Capital.

"The airline derives 26 percent of its earnings in pounds, while around a third of Irish exports head to the UK."

The pound has tumbled to 7.5-year lows against the euro and 31-year troughs versus the dollar since Britain voted in favour of leaving the European Union, as markets price in future economic uncertainty.

What will Theresa May as British Prime Minister mean for Ireland?

The office of British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday sought to downplay cabinet tensions over Brexit after reports her finance minister is antagonising colleagues with his warnings about the economic dangers.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has reportedly been pushing to delay measures designed to control immigration, which would likely be viewed by EU leaders as incompatible with continued membership of the single market.

O'Leary has meanwhile previously said that Brexit uncertainty would more than halve Ryanair's UK growth.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Europe's royals enjoy strong, but fragile, support

Yahoo – AFP, Alice Ritchie, October 14, 2016

The death of long-serving King Bhumibol Adulyadej is being marked by an intense
 period of national mourning in Thailand, where he was seen as a stabilising father
figure in troubled times (AFP Photo/Lakruwan Wanniarachchi)

London (AFP) - The adoration felt by his people for the late king of Thailand was unique, but several modern monarchs have proved remarkably adept at maintaining public support for what many see as an outdated institution.

The death of long-serving King Bhumibol Adulyadej is being marked by an intense period of national mourning in Thailand, where he was seen as a stabilising father figure in troubled times.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, who now takes over the mantle of the world's longest reigning monarch after 64 years on the throne, is also hailed as a constant, unifying presence.

She celebrated her 90th birthday in April with public approval ratings in Britain of 76 percent -- "ratings that politicians would die for", noted Professor Robert Hazell of University College London's Constitution Unit.

Many other European monarchs are also enjoying strong public support, with the notable exception of Spain -- which acts as a cautionary tale.

The former king Juan Carlos won widespread respect after playing a major role in the transition to democracy after the death of longtime dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.

But he abdicated two years ago amid a corruption scandal involving his daughter, and his son King Felipe VI is struggling to clean up the royal family's image.

"Each generation has to renew the contract between the monarch and the people. Monarchy cannot be taken for granted. It has to earn respect," Hazell said.

Details of the longest reigning monarchs since Louix XIV 
(AFP Photo/K. Tian/S.Malfatto)

'Vulnerable to scandals'

Denmark's Queen Margrethe II, who in 1972 became the first woman to take the helm of the oldest European monarchy, has managed to survive without any major controversies -- and is wildly popular.

King Harald V, who has reigned Norway for 25 years, has similar approval ratings of 82 percent.

But Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf has struggled for more than 40 years to shed his image as a car-mad playboy, and allegations of affairs have taken their toll on his popularity.

The latest poll, in March, found 65 percent of Swedes wanted to keep the monarchy and 24 percent wanted to abolish it.

In Spain, the corruption scandal surrounding Juan Carlos's daughter Cristina came after the king outraged Spaniards in 2012 by going elephant hunting in Botswana at the height of the country's recession.

"There is a paradox here," said Professor Philip Murphy, director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.

"On one hand they seem often like permanent fixtures but in today's climate of 24-hour news they are quite vulnerable to personal scandals undermining their popularity quite seriously."

'Reinventing themselves'

Queen Elizabeth II has not always been so popular, suffering a public backlash over her apparently cold response to the 1997 death of Diana, the ex-wife of her son Prince Charles.

But her reputation recovered and now the next generation, Charles' son William and his wife Kate, are injecting a new lease of life into the institution

"Monarchies frequently have to reinvent themselves, and find a new way of attracting popularity," said Murphy.

"You could do so quite easily around the very attractive and rather glamorous figures of prince William and Kate."

In the Netherlands, Queen Beatrix won many hearts in her 33 years on the throne. But after abdicating in 2013, her 46-year-old son Willem-Alexander took over with a promise to be a 21st century king.

Outside Europe, Morocco's King Mohammed VI marked a break with his feared father Hassan II while providing stability at a time of turmoil as the Arab Spring swept across North Africa and to the Middle East.

Although he retains overall power as head of state and the military, he takes time to meet his people -- as well as to indulge his love of jet skis.

Related Article:


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Maldives quits Commonwealth over rights row

Yahoo – AFP, October 13, 2016

Flags of the Commonwealth nations fly outside the House of Commons in
London on March 10, 2013 (AFP Photo/Justin Tallis)

Malé (Maldives) (AFP) - The Maldives angrily quit the Commonwealth on Thursday after years of wrangling over its human rights record since the toppling of its first democratically elected leader four years ago.

The troubled honeymoon island nation said it had been treated "unjustly and unfairly" by the bloc, a voluntary association of more than 50 countries, mostly former territories of the British empire.

"The decision to leave the Commonwealth was difficult, but inevitable," said a statement from the foreign ministry.

The former British protectorate has come under intense international pressure since the controversial conviction of former president Mohamed Nasheed on terrorism charges.

The Commonwealth put Male on notice after Nasheed stood down as president in February 2012 and said he had been forced out in a coup.

It has since criticised the government over its crackdown on dissidents and its controversial judiciary, and sent a special envoy to try to improve the archipelago's rights record.

In its statement Thursday, the Maldives, which had previously threatened to pull out of the bloc, accused the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat of interfering in its affairs.

"The Commonwealth has sought to become an active participant in the domestic political discourse in the Maldives, which is contrary to the principles of the charters of the UN and the Commonwealth," it said.

"The Commonwealth Secretariat seem to be convinced that the Maldives... would be an easy object that can be used, especially in the name of democracy promotion, to increase the organisation's own relevance and leverage in international politics."

The Commonwealth's watchdog committee of foreign ministers last month voiced "deep disappointment at the lack of progress" in Maldives.

It said it would consider suspension at its next gathering in March 2017.

The Maldives has come under intense international pressure since the
 controversial conviction of former president Mohamed Nasheed on terrorism 
charges (AFP Photo/Ben Stansall)

Hope for return

In a statement received by AFP, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said the organisation's members and peoples "will share my sadness and disappointment" at Maldives' decision to quit.

"The Commonwealth Charter reflects the commitment of our member states to democracy and human rights, development and growth, and diversity," she said.

"We will continue to champion these values and to support all member states, especially small and developing states, in upholding and advancing these practically for the enduring benefit of their citizens.

"Therefore, we hope that this will be a temporary separation and that Maldives will feel able to return to the Commonwealth family and all that it represents in due course."

The United States has said democracy is under threat in the strategically located archipelago, which sits on key international shipping lanes.

Washington has criticised the rush trial against Nasheed and demanded his release.

A UN panel has also ruled that Nasheed's imprisonment last year was illegal and ordered the regime of President Abdulla Yameen to pay him compensation.

The Maldives has become the latest country to leave the Commonwealth after
Gambia, which quit in October 2013 (AFP Photo/Sanka Vidanagama)

Political unrest

The country of 340,000 Sunni Muslims is famed for its coral-fringed islands but has been gripped by political unrest since the fall of Nasheed and there are regular anti-government protests.

The government faces allegations of corruption as well as cracking down on any dissent while all its opposition leaders are either in exile or in jail.

Nasheed secured political asylum in Britain this year after travelling to London for medical treatment while on prison leave from a controversial 13-year prison sentence.

He travelled to neighbouring Sri Lanka last month to meet with other exiled Maldivian dissidents in a bid to agree on a plan to "legally topple" Yameen.

While dissidents met in Sri Lanka, Maldivian police raided the offices of the Maldives Independent website in the capital Male hours after Al Jazeera aired a documentary accusing Yameen and his government of massive corruption and money laundering.

The country becomes the latest to leave the Commonwealth after Gambia, which quit in October 2013.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Economics Nobelist Holmstrom: CEO pay 'just a mess'

Yahoo – AFP,  October 10, 2016

Bengt Holmstrom, the Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics at
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said his research hasn't always
gotten through to those who design pay packages (AFP Photo/Kayana
Szymczak)

Washington (AFP) - Bengt Holmstrom, the Finnish economist whose contract theory research earned him a Nobel economics prize Monday, said that executive compensation has gotten out of hand, and contributed to the collapse of Enron Corp.

Holmstrom, who shared the Nobel with fellow economist Oliver Hart, explored the way employment contracts can shape behavior and reach mutually beneficial outcomes for the hirer and hiree.

But he told an audience Monday at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he now works, that their research hasn't always gotten through to those who design pay packages.

"I was on the Nokia board for two or three years. And I think executive compensation went from reasonable to absolutely dreadful," he said, pointing to stock and option incentives given management.

Likewise, he said, the collapse of Enron, the high-flying energy company that failed in 2001, related to executives' pay deals, with generous stock options, that did not align their interests with the company's.

"I think the main problem with that scheme was that they were not vested, that executives could cash out very quickly," he said.

He told journalists that executive pay had gotten too complicated. "There's so many pieces of it and it's just a mess... I wish they would listen a little bit more about what we know or understand about executive compensation."

Holmstrom, 67, said he was delighted to receive the Nobel. He and Hart will share the eight million kronor ($924,000) prize.

"I feel dazed.... I am still wondering whether I will wake up or not."

He described himself as "lucky" for having gotten into a research topic just at the time it was garnering broader interest, "for being in the right place at the right time."

But he was not ready to offer a prescription on how pay should be decided, saying it is difficult to fiddle with the power of the market.

"Economics doesn't really have an opinion on the level" of pay, or why CEO pay has soared in recent years, he noted. "It is what it is. It is somehow demand and supply working its magic."

After years of working on theoretical topics, Holmstrom said he was now thinking about real-world issues.

"In the last six years, since the financial crisis, have been intellectually very rewarding."

"I'm back into the mode of really thinking about problems, which you can lie in bed and wake up at night and feel excited about."

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Polish parliament rejects abortion ban after mass protests

Yahoo – AFP, Michel Viatteau and Mary Sibierski, October 6, 2016

Huge crowds take to the streets of Warsaw to protest against a legislative proposal
for a total ban of abortion, on October 3, 2016 (AFP Photo/Janek Skarzynski)

Warsaw (AFP) - Poland's parliament on Thursday rejected an abortion ban after women staged massive nationwide protests in the devoutly Catholic nation, where the law is already among the most restrictive in Europe.

Right-wing and liberal parliamentarians in the 450-member lower house joined forces to reject the controversial bill by 352 votes to 58, with 18 abstentions.

The vote came after tens of thousands of black-clad women protested across Poland on Monday, as solidarity demonstrations sprang up in European capitals including Berlin, London and Paris.

Home to 38 million people, Poland sees less than 2,000 legal abortions a year, but women's groups estimate that another 100,000 to 150,000 procedures are performed illegally or abroad.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party told parliament before the vote that his group "would always support protecting the right to life".

But he said the proponents of the ban were "not going about it (protecting the right to life) in the best way."

While the PiS once favoured introducing a near-total ban on abortion, the party is well aware that a strong majority of Poles support existing legislation, which allows terminations in certain cases.

Abortion in Europe (AFP Photo)

Late last month, PiS lawmakers had pushed ahead with the controversial bill that would allow abortions only if the mother's life was at risk and increase the maximum jail term for practitioners from two years to five.

The citizens' initiative tabled in parliament by the Stop Abortion coalition would have put women who had terminations at risk of jail terms, though judges could waive incarceration.

Poland's influential Roman Catholic Church initially gave the initiative its seal of approval earlier this year, though its bishops since spoke out against jailing women.

'Scared by protests'

A poll published last month by the Newsweek Polska magazine showed that 74 percent of Poles want to keep the existing law.

Passed in 1993, the current legislation bans all abortions unless there was rape or incest, the pregnancy poses a health risk to the mother or the foetus is severely deformed.

Liberal lawmaker and former sports minister Joanna Mucha said PiS lawmakers "panicked" and backtracked on the ban after Monday's massive protests.

"Polish women won't allow you to drive them to the slaughterhouse like sheep," she warned PiS lawmakers during the parliamentary debate.

"The herd will trample you."

Meanwhile Mariusz Dzierzawski, whose group had proposed the near total ban, accused PiS lawmakers of "ridiculing their constituents" for retracting support for the bill.

Polish women take part in a nationwide strike and protest against a legislative
 proposal for a total ban on abortion on October 3, 2016 in Warsaw (AFP Photo/
Janek Skarzynski)

Further upsetting conservatives, parliament on Thursday also dropped a bill intended to severely limit in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), the so-called "test-tube baby" treatment that involves fertilising an egg outside a woman's body to produce an embryo that can then be implanted in her womb.

The proposed abortion ban had strained relations between Warsaw and Brussels, already at odds in a high-pitched rule of law dispute.

The European Parliament debated the proposed ban on Wednesday.

Barbara Kudrycka, a Polish MEP with the centrist European People's Party, warned PiS lawmakers that "women aren't merchandise you can use to pay off your campaign promises."

But pro-choice supporters insist they still have a long struggle ahead in conservative Poland.

"We still have to fight for a better sex education, for better access to birth control and above all, to remember that the fight is far from over," Zofia Marcinek told AFP outside parliament after Thursday's vote.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

German taxman goes after foreign banks

German state prosecutors are investigating nearly 60 foreign banks for "abetting tax evasion," a newspaper report has said. Self-declaring former tax-evaders are proving a particularly valuable source of information.

Deutsche Welle, 4 Oct 2016


Prosecutors in Germany's most populous state are investigating 57 foreign banks on charges of abetting tax evasion, according to the "Süddeutsche Zeitung." The banks, from Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria and Luxembourg, have all been under suspicion over the past two years, the report said on Tuesday.

The banks were brought to the investigators' attention thanks to a wave of German citizens offering voluntary declarations of their foreign bank accounts over the past six years - concentrating in particular on banks mentioned repeatedly.

The German authorities have already negotiated fines with banks in around 10 cases, according to the paper, amounting to a total of around 120 million euros ($135 million). The biggest single fine came from the Basler Kantonalbank, Switzerland, which handed over 37.1 million euros.

The Luxembourg bank BCEE has paid 14 million euros, while the Deutsche Bank in Switzerland has paid some 10 million euros. On top of that, in one particularly egregious case, a bank is believed to be negotiating a fine of around 60 million euros.

Walter-Borjans said prosecutors will
pursue every indication of tax evasion
The Austria-based Akte Walser Privatbank confirmed that it had paid its fine of 5.4 million euros, and that its policies had become tighter since the case. "Our bank changed the way it deals with foreign customers radically in 2009," a spokesman told the paper. "The requirements for the identification of customers and the transparency about the origin of the means are very strict."

BCEE did not respond to a request for comment, while a spokesman for Deutsche Bank in Switzerland told DW that it never comments on such cases.

New methods

Paying closer attention to voluntary declarations has become German prosecutors' new favorite method of tracking down tax evaders.

Instead of buying up CDs of customer data from disloyal bank employees (or other illicit sources) - a move that divided Germany's political parties when authorities spent several million euros to do so in the past - the authorities now increasingly investigate banks that repeatedly appear on voluntary declarations.

The former tax evaders are then questioned for more information about the banks. In an email to DW, however, a spokesman for the Cologne state prosecutors said they could "neither comment on or confirm" the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" report and that they did not record statistics about voluntary declarations.

Tenacious taxmen

North Rhine-Westphalia has become Germany's most vociferous tax crime prosecutor in recent years.

The NRW authorities have acquired 
CDs with account data in the past
The state has acquired 11 data storage devices since 2010, which according to a statement from early August, created a wave of voluntary declarations and fines that has brought some 6 billion euros to Germany's public coffers.

The most recent example was in August, when someone anonymously (and free of charge) sent the NRW Finance Ministry an external hard drive containing the details of some 160,000 bank accounts - 54,000 of which were German, around 50,000 Belgian, and around 42,000 French. State Finance Minister Norbert Walter-Borjans has pledged to pass on all the data the state has to the relevant foreign authorities across Europe.

The latest revelations show that German prosecutors are now paying particular attention to banks in Austria, where banking secrecy was once protected by the constitution. In 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that this was unlawful, triggering a sharp rise in voluntary tax declarations, particularly in Bavaria - while many Austrian banks let employees go.

Last week, various German media outlets reported that the NRW tax authorities were also pursuing major multinational financial institutions, including J.P. Morgan, Barclays and HSBC, on suspicion of "devious stock trading," allowing them to avoid some 10 billion euros of tax over several years.

"Our tax investigations go after every suspicion - without regard for either individuals or credit institutions," Walter-Borjans said. He added that a number of banks had already entered into negotiations and were cooperating with authorities, though he would not go into details. He went on to urge other banks to follow suit.

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"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

“… 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. …”