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, March 31, 2019

Comedian heads to run-off against incumbent for Ukraine presidency

Yahoo – AFP, Theo MERZ and Olesksandr SAVOCHENKO,  March 31, 2019

If Zelensky wins the second round in April, as opinion polls suggest, he will take 
the reins of one of the poorest countries in Europe (AFP Photo/Sergei SUPINSKY)

Kiev (AFP) - Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky topped the first round of Ukraine's presidential election Sunday, exit polls showed, setting him up for a run-off with the incumbent after voters expressed frustration over corruption and a stalling economy.

When he announced his long-shot candidacy at the start of the year, Zelensky's political experience had been limited to playing the president in a TV show.

But he tapped into fatigue with the political class to overtake President Petro Poroshenko and knock ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko out of the race.

"This is just a first step towards a great victory," the 41-year-old in high spirits told supporters at his campaign headquarters minutes after the exit polls were released. "We're not relaxing."

If the actor wins the second round in April, as opinion polls suggest, he will take the reins of one of the poorest countries in Europe -- a nation of 45 million people fighting Russian-backed separatists in its industrial east.

At a voting station earlier in the day he had promised a Ukraine "without corruption, without bribes".

The entertainer was projected to garner around 30 percent of the vote, handily beating Poroshenko on about 18 percent, according to combined figures from three pollsters.

Towards midnight local time just over one percent of the vote had been counted and fuller official results were not expected until at least morning.

When Zelensky announced his long-shot candidacy at the start of the year, his 
political experience had been limited to playing the president in a TV show 
(AFP Photo/Genya SAVILOV)

Poroshenko said the projected results were a "harsh lesson" for him personally and for authorities as a whole.

He said he felt "no euphoria" in reaching the second round and said the results should provide an impetus to "work on our mistakes".

Ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was herself a favourite to win when she launched her campaign at the start of the year, was knocked out with around 14 percent, the figures showed.

But Tymoshenko, who rose to international prominence as a charismatic face of the 2004 Orange Revolution, claimed the exit polls were "dishonest".

Taking her third tilt at the presidency, the 58-year-old insisted she had come in second place and told supporters to wait for final results.

Zelensky has yet to spell out what he would do in power and one of his campaign slogans was: "No promises. No apologies."

Despite concerns about his vague platform, supporters insist only a brand new face can clean up Ukraine's murky politics.

Some accuse Zelensky of acting as a front for the interests of oligarch Igor Kolomoysky, who owns the channel that broadcasts the entertainer's shows, but he denies any political links.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said exit polls putting him second in 
the first-round vote was a "harsh lesson" (AFP Photo/Sergei SUPINSKY)

The actor has eschewed rallies and interviews in favour of playing gigs with his comedy troupe up to the final days of campaigning.

His political comedy "Servant of the People" returned for its third series this week.

Deadly conflict

Poroshenko -- a chocolate magnate who was one of the country's richest men when he took office -- came to power in 2014 after a revolution forced his pro-Russian predecessor out of office.

The popular uprising was followed by Russia's annexation of Crimea and the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The 53-year-old leader said he would shut down the fighting, tackle graft and align the country with the West.

But five years on, the conflict has claimed some 13,000 lives and counting, while many feel Poroshenko has failed to live up to the promise of the revolution.

The campaign saw allegations of corruption and fraud from all sides.

A record 39 candidates were on the ballot paper -- which was more than 80 cm long -- but none apart from the frontrunners reached double figures, according to the exit polls.

The head of the central election commission said the vote took place without "systemic violations" though the interior ministry earlier said it had received more than 1,700 reports of voter irregularities.

Turnout was 63 percent, up around 4 percent on the previous presidential election, according to provisional figures from the election commission.

Zelensky and Poroshenko will face off for the presidency on April 21.

Anglicans pray for unity in Brexit chaos

Yahoo – AFP, James PHEBY, March 31, 2019

At Chelmsford Cathedral, Christians got on their knees to pray about the bitter
divide within British society over the chaotic Brexit process (AFP Photo/Tolga Akmen)

Chelmsford (United Kingdom) (AFP) - With Britain's political world in chaos over Brexit, Christians across the country this weekend took part in special prayer sessions hoping for some divine help in healing bitter Brexit divisions.

"It doesn't matter whether you voted leave or remain, we're still one humanity, one nation," Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, told AFP after imploring his congregation to heal the rift.

The Church of England has promoted the initiative as "tea and prayer drop-ins" -- combining two of its most well-known sources of comfort.

Despite a sharp decline in church attendance, Cottrell believes faith still has the power to unite the country after Brexit.

"It's no good the church standing on the sidelines, waving our hands saying 'why doesn't everybody just love each other', what we've got to do is show what that love looks like in action," he said.

Worshipper Angela Sadler, 65, said the church needed to play a larger role in helping resolve the broader issues surrounding the crisis.

Bishop of Chelmsford Stephen Cottrell believes that faith has the power to heal 
the rift caused by Brexit (AFP Photo/Tolga Akmen)

"It's quite difficult for the church because the church needs to be seen as a non-political body, which is correct, but I also think... we need to see more of God's love," she said.

As sunlight flooded through the ornate stained glass windows of Chelmsford Cathedral, Cottrell told the group of around 20 worshippers that the values of the church could be expressed through a return to "British values" that were "rooted in the Christian tradition".

"Those British values of care for the underdog, care for the stranger, tolerance."

'Prayer is so important'

As the floor was opened to parishioners, one woman called for help in being "patient", something she was struggling with in the inescapable and ever-growing crisis.

Another echoed the bishop's call for a return to "traditional values", although the definition of what those values are is one of many debates swirling around Brexit, highlighting the challenges in uniting the country around a common message.

"It's going to be a long process, there's no easy solution to unity," said Sadler's husband Stuart, 66.

Three years from a hugely divisive referendum over Britain's EU membership in which the Leave vote won by 52 percent, Anglican leaders have called for communities across the country "to join together in conversation and prayer".

As the Brexit crisis deepens, the Church of England has invited communities to 
come together at its "tea and prayer drop-ins" (AFP Photo/Tolga Akmen)

The result in Chelmsford was about the same as the national average, with Leave winning by 52.8 percent.

Angela Stuart said she felt "compelled" to come to the service, "to stand amongst others that believe the same".

"We are a great nation and we do need the Lord in this nation, and prayer is so important in bringing that forward," she said.

A recent survey found that around four in 10 British adults have been left feeling powerless, angry or worried by Brexit, exposing the mental toll being taken on citizens.

Without faith, it's impossible

The early-morning service began with a reading of the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector from Luke's gospel, chosen as a warning against the divisiveness of moral hubris.

"For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted," the parable ends.

The toxic debate about Brexit has split communities across Britain and the result 
in Chelmsford reflected that across the country where Leave won by 52.8 percent 
(AFP Photo/Tolga Akmen)

"The reading is about how we define ourselves, we've got to stop defining ourselves by whether we voted leave or remain," said Cottrell, who also sits in the parliament's House of Lords.

"We have to define ourselves by our common humanity... by recognising the presence of God in each other."

Retired policeman David Gilbey, 56, said this could only be achieved through faith, recalling a Bible passage in which Jesus tells his followers to be united, saying: "be one, just as I am one with my Father".

"Unless we have that unity with our heavenly Father, we haven't got anything to grip onto," he warned.

"Everything is slipping and sliding these days, there is no common anchor point."

Slovaks choose change, elect woman president against graft

Yahoo – AFP, Laszlo Juhasz with Anna Maria Jakubek in Warsaw, 31 March 2019

Caputova, a 45-year-old environmental lawyer, won a clear victory Saturday
over the ruling party's candidate

The election of Zuzana Caputova as Slovakia's first female president was hailed Sunday as a vote for change, with the anti-graft activist expected to provide a check on a government tarnished after last year's murder of a journalist.

The 45-year-old environmental lawyer's clear victory Saturday over the ruling party's candidate was a blow to the populist-left Smer-SD -- the largest grouping in parliament -- and could spell trouble for them in the EU elections and next year's general vote.

She is a relative political newcomer known for taking part in mass anti-government protests last year after the shootings of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee. The uproar toppled the then-premier.

Caputova won 58.4 percent of the vote according to a final tally of results released Sunday, compared with 41.6 percent for her ruling party rival, EU energy commissioner Maros Sefcovic.

"A candidate embodying democratic forces has won, and Sefcovic, who was a symbol of continuity, has lost," analyst Grigorij Meseznikov told AFP.

Headlines from the country's newspapers on Sunday suggested the vote was a fresh start for the central European nation of 5.4 million.

Caputova ran on the slogan of "Stand up to evil" but made
a point of keeping her rhetoric measured

"Zuzana Caputova gives us hope but the real fight will only come now," said Dennik N, a leading opposition daily.

European Council President Donald Tusk congratulated Caputova Sunday, tweeting: "A strong vote, at the heart of Europe, for decency in politics, rule of law and tolerance."

Caputova ran on the slogan of "Stand up to evil" but made a point of keeping her rhetoric measured.

"Let us look for what connects us. Let us promote cooperation above personal interests," she said as the results rolled in.

The office of president is largely ceremonial, but the role does involve ratifying international treaties, appointing top judges. The president is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and can veto laws passed by parliament.

Analyst Aneta Vilagi predicted Caputova would "engage in a purposeful confrontation with the government... rather than become an opposition president criticising everything the ruling coalition does."

Yet "she will represent a stronger system of checks and balances in relation to the government than Sefcovic would have."

Headlines from the country's newspapers on Sunday suggested the vote was
a fresh start for the central European nation of 5,4 million

'Justice for all'

Caputova, who will be sworn in on June 15, is no stranger to tough battles. She is known for having successfully blocked a planned landfill in her hometown of Pezinok after a decade-long grassroots campaign.

She was also one of the tens of thousands of protesters who took to the streets after Kuciak's death in February 2018.

The journalist had been preparing to publish a story on alleged ties between Slovak politicians and the Italian mafia.

The killings forced then prime minister Robert Fico to resign but he remains the Smer-SD's leader and is a close ally of the current premier.

Five people have been charged, including a millionaire businessman with alleged Smer-SD ties who is suspected of ordering the murders over Kuciak's investigation into his activity.

Speaking to AFP on the campaign trail, Caputova said she would "initiate systematic changes that would deprive prosecutors and the police of political influence."

In addition to fighting for justice for all, Caputova had promised better care for the elderly and environmental protection.

Tens of thousands have taken to the streets in the wake of the shootings of
investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee in February 2018

Fresh approach

Teacher Iveta Rabelyova said "Caputova has challenged the typical image of a top politician: she is a woman, divorced, a political novice."

"It is a good feeling that our citizens chose someone who breaks all these stereotypes," the 34-year-old told AFP.

"Women are under-represented at top-level posts, this might begin to change now," added the resident of the southern town of Komarno.

Many Slovaks who voted for Sefcovic had said the important position necessitated a man, yet "Caputova won despite her sex" according to analyst Vilagi.

She had been "a strong opponent to Sefcovic more because of her story, her personality, values," Vilagi told AFP.

Caputova also won in conservative, Catholic Slovakia despite being openly pro-choice and promoting greater rights for same-sex couples.

Women leaders in Europe as of March 31, 2019

Sefcovic had tried to use that liberal stance to his advantage by stressing traditional family values on the campaign trail, appealing to voters "who insist that Slovakia remain a Christian country."

But according to official statistics, Caputova not only won over big-city voters but she also took the lead for the more conservative rural elecorate, if by a slim margin.

Yet fewer than 42 percent of eligible voters chose to cast a ballot -- compared to 50 percent at the last presidential run-off -- suggesting that Caputova's idea of change was not to the liking of everyone fed up with the main political players.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Pope Francis issues sweeping sex abuse legislation

DW, 29 March 2019

At the Vatican, Pope Francis has issued wide-ranging new sex abuse legislation that covers all Vatican personnel as well as those who work for the Vatican diplomatic corps. It aims to be a model for the church globally.

Pope Francis issued sweeping new sex abuse legislation on Friday for Vatican personnel and diplomats that requires the immediate reporting of abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors.

For the first time, the law provides an explicit Vatican definition for "vulnerable people," who are entitled to the same protections as minors under church law.

The Vatican amended its canon law covering sex abuse to include "vulnerable adults" in 2010, but never defined it.

It is a policy shift aimed at being a model for the Catholic Church around the world.

While limited in scope, the mandatory reporting provision marks the first time the Vatican has put into law requirements for Catholic officials to report allegations of sex crimes to police or face fines and possible jail time.

Vatican City State

Francis also issued child protection guidelines for Vatican City State and its youth seminary. The move comes after the global sex abuse scandal exploded anew last year, and The Associated Press reported that the headquarters of the Catholic Church had no policy to protect children from predator priests.

While the new legislation only covers Vatican City State, affiliated institutions and the diplomatic corps, they were still symbolically significant and were welcomed by a former seminarian whose case helped spark the reform.

"I see this as something positive," Kamil Jarzembowski told the AP.

Vatican's new definition

According to the new definition from the Vatican, a vulnerable person is anyone who is sick or suffering from a physical or psychiatric deficiency, who isn't able to exercise personal freedom even on occasion and has a limited capacity to understand or resist the crime.

The new legislation applies to all who work in the Vatican

The new law covers all personnel who live and work in the Vatican as well as the Holy See's vast diplomatic corps.

The issue of whether adult seminarians, religious sisters or other adults who are emotionally or financially dependent on clergy can be considered "vulnerable people" has come to the fore in the wake of the scandal over ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a once high-ranking American cleric accused of molesting seminarians, and revelations of priests and bishops sexually preying on nuns.

Vatican ambassadors have figured in some of the most scandalous cases of sex abuse in recent years, with papal representatives accused of groping, distributing child pornography and sexually abusing minors in their far-flung posts.

Current law

The law currently requires any Vatican public official who learns of an allegation of abuse to report it to Vatican prosecutors "without delay." Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to 5,000 euros ($5,615) or, in the case of a Vatican gendarme, up to six months of prison.

The mandatory reporting provision, however, is significant, since the Holy See for decades has justified not having a binding reporting policy for the universal church by arguing that accused clergy could be unfairly persecuted in places where Catholics are a threatened minority. Since that is not a risk in the Vatican, it is now law.

"With this document the Vatican wants to send a message that it takes these crimes seriously, wants to prosecute them, to avoid cover up, and also to create an atmosphere that prevents these crimes from happening in the first place," said Ulrich Rhode, a canon law professor at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University.

The legislation requires that victims be welcomed, listened to and provided with medical, psychological and legal assistance, and sets the statute of limitations at 20 years past the victim's 18th birthday.

In a statement accompanying the new law, the Vatican's editorial director, Andrea Tornielli, said while very few children actually live in the Vatican City State, Francis decided to make the legislation and accompanying guidelines a model.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

EU parliament approves ban on single use plastics

Yahoo – AFP, March 27, 2019

In addition to the ban on a dozen kinds of disposable plastic products, such as straws,
cutlery and cotton buds, the EU will encourage member states to reduce the use of
plastic packaging and introduce stricter labelling rules (AFP Photo/Patrick Pleul)

Brussels (AFP) - European lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Wednesday for an EU-wide ban on single-use plastic products such as the straws, cutlery and cotton buds that are clogging the world's oceans.

The text had already been approved in negotiations with member states and EU officials and it will now be rapidly approved into law. The ban comes into effect from 2021.

EU Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans said Europe was not the worst source of plastic pollution, but that the pioneering measure could serve as an example to the world.

"Asian countries are very much interested in what we're doing. Latin American countries too," he said.

"Even though our share of the pollution is relatively limited, our change of the economic model has a global impact."

Types of single-use plastics to be banned by the European Union (AFP Photo/

The law passed by 560 votes to 35 in the Strasbourg assembly.

Aside from the ban on a dozen kinds of disposable products for which alternatives exist, the EU will encourage member states to reduce the use of plastic packaging and introduce stricter labelling rules.

The law sets a target that 90 percent of plastic bottles will be gathered for recycling by 2029 and that they should be produced with 25 percent recycled material by 2025, 30 percent by 2030.

Rules insisting that polluters pay the costs of a clean-up are strengthened, particularly for cigarette manufacturers, who will have to support the recycling of discarded filters.

According to the EU Commission, the products prohibited under the law represent 70 percent of the waste that pours into the world's oceans, posing a threat to wildlife and fisheries.

School bus hijack children to get Italian nationality

Yahoo – AFP, March 27, 2019

Italian Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini (R) meets with five children
who helped to save other children during the March 20, 2019 Milan bus attack, saying
they deserve Italian nationality (AFP Photo/Tiziana FABI)

Rome (AFP) - Foreign children on the school bus hijacked near Milan last week are to be awarded Italian nationality, far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Wednesday after a week-long debate.

The dramatic police rescue of 51 children on the bus hijacked by their driver of Senegalese origin on March 20 has gripped Italy and rekindled debate about its citizenship laws.

"If there are children who are not Italian citizens, we have studied this question and we will complete the process so that they can become Italian," Salvini said after meeting five of the children and some of the police who saved them in Rome.

Salvini from the anti-immigrant Lega party stressed that the nationality would be awarded "without any variation in the law, since the law exists and works, we do not change it."

Children of foreign parents who are born in Italy can only apply for citizenship when they reach 18.

It is not known how many of the children are concerned, but 14-year-old Ramy, born in Italy to Egyptian parents, and 13-year-old Moroccan Adam played key roles by calling police during the hijacking.

The driver doused the bus in petrol and said he would set it alight, taking what he thought was everyone's mobile phone and heading for Milan airport in what he said was a protest against Salvini's tough anti-migrant policies.

'Like my son'

As some Italians and Ramy suggested changes to the citizenship law, Salvini had earlier told the boy: "Get elected and then you can make the law."

Italian Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini (R) chats with Ramy, one 
of the five children who helped to save other children during the March 20, 2019 Milan
bus attack, whom Salvini says is "like my son" (AFP Photo/Tiziana FABI)

Salvini quickly said he would try to take away the Italian nationality of the arrested bus driver, which he acquired by marrying an Italian, thanks to a tough anti-immigrant decree which became law last year.

The previous centre-left government said it would change the law to make it easier to grant citizenship to foreigners born in Italy but the law was never passed.

Salvini insisted that he himself had decided to give the children nationality, after his coalition partner from the Five Star Movement Luigi Di Maio said he had changed Salvini's mind.

Salvini slammed what he called "the political manipulation of these children" before saying that Ramy was "like my son" and that he had "shown he has understood the values of this country".

He also paid homage to a 13-year-old Italian boy who offered himself as a hostage while his friends were "in panic, crying and praying."

"He is a young Italian so I can't even give him double-Italian nationality," Salvini said.

"As a father myself, I said to him, 'Are you crazy?' And he told me: 'It was the right thing to do'. At 13... Hats off."

According to the most recent data, Italy naturalised 146,000 foreigners in 2017, more than any other European Union country, including 54,000 minors who became adults.

Nationality is a sensitive issue in Italy which is undergoing a birthrate crisis.

Legally resident foreigners represent 8.5 percent of the population, rising to 9.7 percent of children under 10, 13 percent under five and 14.5 percent of children born last year.

Related Article:

The Netherlands is a tax haven alongside Ireland, Malta and Cyprus, say MEPs

DutchNews, March 27, 2019

Photo: Joep Poulssen

Members of the European parliament have voted to include the Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and Cyprus on the official EU tax haven black list. 

However the motion, proposed by Dutch Labour MEP Paul Tang, will not have any affect on the listing because members states have to unanimously approve every inclusion, the Financieele Dagblad said on Wednesday. 

The official EU blacklist of places considered to facilitate tax evasion now comprises 15 countries, after 10, including Aruba, were added earlier this month. However, Tang said this did not go far enough, and referred to research last year by the European Commission which said the Netherlands cooperated with ‘aggressive tax planning’. 

Tang’s motion was passed by 408 to 205. 

Dutch junior finance minister Menno Snel said in a reaction that he was astonished by the vote. ‘The Netherlands has a leading position in the battle against international tax evasion,’ he told the FD.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

German billionaire family admits to Nazi past

The Local – AFP,  24 March 2019

An unrelated file photo showing industry in Germany in 1952. Photo: AFP

More than 70 years after the end of World World II, one of Germany's richest families has admitted to its dark links with Adolf Hitler's regime.

Spokesman of the Reimann family, Peter Harf, told Bild am Sonntag of plans to give 10 million euros to charity after learning of their elders' support for the Nazis and their company's use of forced labour during the war.

"Reimann senior and Reimann junior were guilty. The two entrepreneurs have both passed away, they belonged actually in prison," said Harf.

Albert Reimann senior died in 1954 and his son in 1984.

The company they left behind, JAB Holding, is today a behemoth that owns household brands ranging from Clearasil to Calgon.

With wealth estimated at 33 billion euros, the Reimann family is believed to be Germany's second richest.

Harf said the family began digging into their dark past in the 2000s, and in 2014 decided to commission a historian to produce a thorough study into their ancestors' ties to Nazism.

The family plans to make public a full account when the book by the historian, Paul Erker of Munich University, is finished, said Harf.

Quoting letters and archival documents, Bild am Sonntag said Reimann senior was a willing donor to Hitler's SS as early as 1931.

His company was in 1941 deemed a "crucial" firm in the war, as it produced items for the Wehrmacht and the armaments industry.

In 1943, the company was using as many as 175 forced labourers, and employed a foreman who was known for his cruel treatment of the workers.

Harf, who confirmed the conclusions drawn by the Bild report, said there had been no known efforts to provide any compensation to the forced labourers.

"But we have since talked about what we can do now," he said.

"We want to do more and donate ten million euros to a suitable organisation."

Many of Germany's biggest companies have over the decades confronted their Third Reich history.

Among them is Volkswagen, which used concentration camp internees and prisoners of war as slave labour in its factories during WW2.

In 1938, Hitler himself laid the foundation stone for the first Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg in northern Germany, tasked with building an affordable car for all Germans -- which would go on to become the iconic Beetle.

Friday, March 22, 2019

China's Xi insists new Silk Road runs both ways as Italy signs up

Yahoo – AFP, Charles ONIANS, March 22, 2019

Italy rolled out the red carpet for Chinese President Xi Jinping (AFP Photo/Tiziana FABI)

Chinese President Xi Jinping sought Friday to allay Western unease over his new Silk Road initiative by emphasising the vast infrastructure project's two-way nature as he kicked off a whistlestop European tour in Rome.

Italy has rolled out the red carpet for Xi, who will on Saturday sign a memorandum of understanding for Rome to join the $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative despite misgivings in Washington and Brussels.

Italy will be the first of the Group of Seven most-developed nations to sign up for the new Silk Road, which critics say is "predatory" and overwhelmingly favours China and Chinese companies.

"Between us, there is no fundamental conflict of interest," Xi told journalists after talks with his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella.

"China wants commercial exchanges to go both ways and for investment to flow in both directions," Xi said.

Mattarella said that business must go "in both directions... with fair competition, respecting intellectual property rights and while fighting counterfeit goods".

Xi said there was "no fundamental conflict of interest" between China and Italy after
talks with his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella (AFP Photo/Handout)

Salvini snub

Around 1,000 extra police have been deployed around Rome for the state visit before Xi heads to the Sicilian city of Palermo, where his singer wife Peng Liyuan reportedly wants to see the Teatro Massimo opera house.

In what some perceived as a snub, Italy's far-right Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said he would not attend Friday's state dinner for Xi at Mattarella's Quirinal Palace.

Salvini has said Italy would be "no-one's colony" and urged caution about using telecom Chinese giant Huawei's next generation 5G mobile technology, while his coalition partner Luigi Di Maio is keener for Chinese partnerships.

The United States has warned European allies that Huawei could use its 5G technology as a "backdoor" for spying, a claim that China has strongly rejected, calling them "abnormal, immoral" attacks.

NATO member Italy's plan to join China's ambitious maritime, rail and road venture has raised eyebrows among Western allies and within Italy.

"Today we say 'Italy first' in trade relations, while remaining US allies, in NATO and in the EU," Deputy Prime Minister Di Maio of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement said on the sidelines of a China-Italy business forum on Friday.

The New Silk Road is a massive Chinese infrastructure project including road, 
rail and ship routes (AFP Photo/Laurence CHU)

'Vanity project'

Debt-ridden Italy is technically in recession and keen to have more business with China.

White House official Garrett Marquis last week tweeted that there was "no need" for Italy to endorse "China's infrastructure vanity project".

Xi's visit comes a week after the European Union released a 10-point plan outlining a shift to more assertive relations with Beijing, warning that China was a "rival" to the bloc as well as its biggest trading partner.

France on Thursday announced that President Emmanuel Macron will hold trade and climate talks on Tuesday with Xi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

In Brussels, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Friday briefed EU leaders about Italy's Silk Road MoU, where Merkel said: "As he (Conte) described it, I don't think I have anything to criticise, for now.

"But we have of course already said that it's better to act uniformly," she said.

Macron, who is at loggerheads with Italy's populist government, said: "It's not a good method to discuss new Silk Road agreements bilaterally."

Italy's far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini says he will not attend the state 
dinner for Xi (AFP Photo/Ahmad GHARABLI)
Friday's Brussels summit also laid the foundations for Europe-wide policies ahead of a much-anticipated China-EU summit on April 9 in the Belgian capital.

"For the first time there is a will to coordinate," Macron said.

The European Commission will before the end of the year come up with a broad proposal for the EU's "industrial future", including measures on commerce, competition and hi-tech.

Beijing is particularly interested in investing in Italian ports to help funnel its products into Europe, amid warnings that Rome must avoid the model of the Greek port of Piraeus, which was taken over by Chinese shipping giant Cosco in 2016.

Supporters of the non-binding memorandum of understanding said that it will lead to China complying with European Union standards, including on the environment and intellectual property, and cannot be compared to debt-inducing deals Beijing has signed with developing countries.

Despite apparent warming ties, Xi is not expected to meet Pope Francis.

The Vatican has diplomatic relations with Taiwan and not Beijing, so the encounter would be unlikely despite an agreement on appointing bishops in China signed last year.

Xi heads to Monaco on Sunday and then on to France to cap his European tour.

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“… Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader. Remember where you heard it... in a strange, esoteric meeting with a guy in a chair pretending to channel. [Kryon being factious... Kryon humor] Then when you hear it, you'll know better, won't you? "Maybe there was something really there," you'll say. "Maybe it was real," you'll say. Perhaps you can skip all the drama of the years to come and consider that now? [Kryon humor again]

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

".. 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 …”