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. …

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Belarus strongman offers 'new chapter' in rare talks with US

MSN – AFP, 29 August 2019 

Sergei GAPON Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko (L) with US National
Security Advisor John Bolton -- the highest-ranking US visit to Belarus in two decades

Belarus's strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday he was looking to open a "new chapter" in ties with Washington as he welcomed the White House national security advisor for rare talks in Minsk.

Lukashenko met with John Bolton as the aide to President Donald Trump embarked on the latest leg of his tour of ex-Soviet countries that was sure to ruffle feathers in Moscow.

The Belarusian president, a crucial ally of Russia's Vladimir Putin, said he hoped the visit would mark a turning point after years of distrust.

"Since the start of the deterioration of our relations with the United States, we have constantly proposed turning this bad page and opening a new chapter in our relations," Lukashenko said.

He said Bolton's visit would help "create the foundation for future relations".

Belarusian state news agency Belta said the talks lasted more than two hours.

The pair discussed a range of issues but did not make any concrete decisions, the agency quoted Bolton as saying.

Often dubbed "Europe's last dictatorship", Belarus has been the target of Western sanctions over its poor rights record and lack of fair elections.

Moscow remains a close ally however, and speculation has swirled for years of unification with Russia.

The idea has been put forward again since Putin's re-election last year, with some seeing unification with Belarus as a way for the longtime Russian leader to circumvent his country's constitutional term limits.

Lukashenko, a Soviet-era collective farm chief who become Belarus's first post-independence president, has pushed back at the idea of unification.

Russian 'weak spots'

It was unclear whether Bolton and Lukashenko had discussed sanctions, which the US eased in 2016. The European Union dropped its sanctions on Belarus in what it said was a bid to encourage progress on human rights.

But the Belarusian authorities have ramped up efforts to control media since anti-government demonstrations in 2017, with independent journalists and activists facing pressure and harassment.

Bolton's visit to Minsk comes after a meeting with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev on Wednesday.

The US advisor stressed Ukraine's "territorial integrity" in the face of its conflict with Moscow-backed separatists in the country's east.

Earlier Thursday Bolton met with the president and prime minister of Moldova, where he said the US would continue working with the former Soviet republic in defence and the economy.

Moldova recently formed a new government made up of an unusual coalition of pro-European and pro-Russian forces, following months of political turmoil.

"We discussed a wide range of questions relating to bilateral ties, and noted how these had strengthened after a peaceful transfer of power in June this year," Moldovan President Igor Dodon said.

Analysts said Bolton's trip was aimed at probing for "weak spots" on Russia's borders.

"The United States is likely to search for openings to increase its influence in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova," US geopolitical think-tank Stratfor said.

It was the highest-ranking US visit to Belarus in two decades, Stratfor said. The last US ambassador to Minsk left the country in 2008 in a spat over sanctions.

"While Belarus remains firmly within Russia's orbit, the countries' recent spats over oil supplies may have created an opening for the United States to attempt to expand economic and energy ties," Stratfor added.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Lagarde signals plan to stick to Draghi's ECB expansionary path

Yahoo – AFP, Jean-Philippe LACOUR, 29 August 2019

Early signs are that she will not rock the ECB boat

The ECB's next chief Christine Lagarde signaled Thursday that she would stick with Mario Draghi's controversial expansionary monetary policy that has propped up the eurozone economy amid growing risks to growth.

In a written reply to queries from the European Parliament, Lagarde underlined that inflation has remained stubbornly low in the bloc while growth was stalling.

"It is therefore clear that monetary policy needs to remain highly accommodative for the foreseeable future. The ECB has a broad tool kit at its disposal and must stand ready to act," wrote Lagarde.

"While I do not believe that the ECB has hit the effective lower bound on policy rates, it is clear that low rates have implications for the banking sector and financial stability more generally," she noted.

Over his eight years in office, the ECB's incumbent chief Draghi has brought interest rates to record lows and unleashed billions of euros in quantitative easing to ward off the threat of deflation and drum up growth.

But with the prospects of growth dimming once again, and with Europe's biggest economy Germany on the brink of a recession, Draghi said at the ECB's last monetary policy meeting in July that the bank could fire off a new stimulus package and slash rates further.

Draghi's ultra-expansionary doctrine is however not without its critics.

Too soon to act?

Dutch central banker Klaas Knot told Bloomberg on Thursday that he did not think a new quantitative easing package was necessary at this juncture.

"If deflation risks come back on the agenda then I think the asset-purchase programme is the appropriate instrument to be activated, but there is no need for it in my reading of the inflation outlook right now," he said.

Knot's stance echoes Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann's view, who in an interview published Sunday by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung warned against launching new stimulus measures out of "panic" or simply for the sake of taking action.

Draghi's policy has proved particularly hard to swallow in Germany as the nation of savers has seen its holdings stagnate in banks.

But the Italian central banker has argued that the ECB could not sit back and wait for economic conditions to worsen before acting, setting the stage for new action at central bankers next meeting on September 12.

Surveys have for months pointed to an economic slowdown in the second and third quarters from the 0.4 percent growth booked in January-March.

Slower growth in turn threatens the central bank's target for area-wide inflation which is just below 2.0 percent.

In June the figure came in at 1.3 percent.

Besides growing fears over US-led protectionism, the economic mood in the bloc was also dampened by the looming exit of Britain from the European Union.

The danger of a no-deal Brexit has also intensified, with Boris Johnson as Britain's new prime minister.

Lagarde voiced confidence however that "EU authorities, including the ECB, have prepared for" a hard Brexit.

"Overall, I am confident that the measures taken so far have limited the impact that the UK?s departure from the EU could have on access to financial services in the euro area," she said, adding however that companies should still use the time leading up to the deadline of October 31 to get ready.

Early signs are that she will not rock the ECB boat.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Trump slams Danish PM's 'nasty' rejection of Greenland deal

Yahoo – AFP, Sebastian Smith, with Camille BAS-WOHLERT in Copenhagen, August 21, 2019

President Donald Trump has postponed a meeting with Danish PM Mette Frederiksen
because she does not want to sell Greenland to the United States (AFP Photo/
Tobias SCHWARZ, Nicholas Kamm)

Washington (AFP) - Donald Trump snapped back Wednesday at the Danish prime minister's "nasty" dismissal of his attempts to purchase Greenland, heightening a row which had already prompted the US president to scrap a state visit.

Hours after announcing he would not visit Copenhagen next month as planned, Trump accused Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of insulting the United States as a whole by rejecting talk of buying Greenland as "absurd."

With Frederiksen voicing her annoyance at Trump's cancellation, the war of words marks another spat between the US and one of its traditional allies since Trump came to power two years ago on an avowedly "America First" foreign policy platform.

Trump -- who made his name as a New York property mogul -- has characterized his idea of buying Greenland as essentially "a large real estate" deal, arguing it is a burden on Denmark as the autonomous territory's economy depends heavily on subsidies from Copenhagen.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he was not the first US president to have raised the idea of buying the vast Arctic island which has housed an American air base since even before it became formally a part of Denmark.

Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said: "I am both annoyed and surprised 
that the US president has cancelled a state visit" (AFP Photo/Mads Claus Rasmussen)

"The prime minister (Frederiksen) used a terrible word when talking about something we've been talking about for years," he said.

"It was not a nice statement the way she blew me off. We've done a lot for Denmark ... She said absurd. That's not the right word to use.

"It was not a nice way of doing it. She could have just said no, we'd rather not do it.

"She's not talking to me, she's talking to the United States of America."

The idea of the US buying Greenland was initially dismissed as a joke by some, but its strategic location has grown at a time when both Russia and China are flexing their muscles.

Greenland was a Danish colony until 1953, when it became part of the Danish Realm, and it gained "autonomous territory" status in 1979.

Its 55,000 inhabitants -- of whom 17,000 reside in the capital Nuuk -- are more than 90 percent Inuit, an indigenous group from Central Asia.

Greenland's population of around 60,000 was taken aback by US President's 
Trump's offer to buy the autonomous Danish island (AFP Photo/Linda Kastrup)

The government of Greenland has insisted that the island is "not for sale" and Frederiksen told reporters on Wednesday that she fully endorsed that view.

"I am both annoyed and surprised that the US president has cancelled a state visit," said the prime minister who had been preparing to host Trump early next month.

But, she added, "Denmark and the US are not in crisis, the US is one of our closest allies" and the invitation to visit was still open.

'Show more respect'

The postponement of Trump's visit -- which was announced on Twitter -- has sparked strong reactions in Denmark.

"Reality transcends imagination ... this man is unpredictable," said Morten Ostergaard of the Social Liberal Party, which is part of the ruling coalition.

"For no reason, Trump assumes that (an autonomous) part of our country is for sale. Then insultingly cancels visit that everybody was preparing for," tweeted Rasmus Jarlov, a member of the opposition Conservative Party.

Map of Greenland with key facts about the autonomous Danish territory (AFP 
Photo/Sabrina BLANCHARD)

"Are parts of the US for sale? Alaska? Please show more respect."

Nonetheless, conservative newspaper Jyllands-Posten wrote that Trump's actions ultimately benefitted Denmark, highlighting Greenland's geopolitical value.

"Mette Frederiksen has been given the opportunity to emphasize that Greenland's big affairs are in fact decided in Copenhagen ... strengthening Denmark's position in this great strategic game at stake over the Arctic," it said.

The territory is home to the US airbase Thule, crucial during the Cold War as a first line of monitoring against a potential Russian attack.

But the melting polar ice sheet is opening up potentially major shipping routes, and untapped reserved of oil, gas and minerals will become increasingly accessible, leading Russia and China to show mounting interest in the region.

As far back as 1867, the US State Department expressed interest in the island. And in 1946, President Harry S. Truman offered $100 million in gold, or parts of Alaska, in exchange for Greenland.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Macron says 'real opportunity' for peace in Ukraine

Yahoo – AFP, August 19, 2019

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) meets with Russia's President Vladimir Putin,
at his summer retreat of the Bregancon fortress on the Mediterranean coast,
near the village of Bormes-les-Mimosas, southern France (AFP Photo/GERARD JULIEN)

Bormes-les-Mimosas (France) (AFP) - French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday there was a "real opportunity" for peace in Ukraine following the election of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"There is a real opportunity to put an end to the conflict that has been going on for five years," Macron said at the start of talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin who voiced "cautious optimism" about Zelensky.

The Russian and French leaders met at Macron's summer holiday retreat -- a medieval fort on an island in the Mediterranean -- with the conflict in Ukraine set to be one of the main issues during their discussions.

Macron said he hoped to attend a four-way summit with the leaders of Ukraine, Russia and Germany -- the so-called Normandy format -- "in the next few weeks" to try to end the fighting which began in 2014.

The European Union has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia after it seized Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, an annexation the international community deemed illegal.

It sparked a war in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed separatists which has so far claimed the lives of more than 13,000 people.

"Relations between Russia and the European Union have an irritant, a subject of disagreement, which is Ukraine, which is a problem we have to resolve," Macron told the Russian leader.

"We need to keep up our pressure, our energy to resolve this problem," he added.

Putin said: "I will talk (with Macron) about my discussions with the new Ukraine president. There are things that are worth talking about and that give grounds for cautious optimism."

Zelensky has offered to meet Putin for face-to-face talks and was known to have spoken to him by phone in recent weeks.

"President Zelensky has made offers to which -- it seems to us -- President Putin should respond in an encouraging way," a French official said ahead of the meeting between the leaders on condition of anonymity.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Germany and the Netherlands meet to discuss climate change plans

DutchNews, August 16, 2019

 Photo: DutchNews.nl 

The Netherlands and Germany will hold a joint summit next week to discuss how to dovetail their plans to combat climate change, the Financieele Dagblad said on Friday. 

Prime minister Mark Rutte and German chancellor Angela Merkel will meet in The Hague on Thursday with other government ministers to talk about working more closely together, the paper said. 

The meeting is a preparatory one, and further, more detailed, talks will take place in October. The agenda for next week includes the introduction of a carbon tax on industry and plans to store carbon dioxide underground. 

Jan Braun of The Hague’s Centre for Strategic Studies told the paper that if the Netherlands and Germany can take the same approach they will be able to act as a role model for other EU countries. In addition, their alliance will boost the likelihood of a Europe-wide carbon tax being introduced, he said.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Danish PM apologises for historical abuse in children's homes

BBC News, 13 August 2019

The prime minister addressed a room filled with dozens of victims of abuse in
state-run homes

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has officially said sorry to hundreds of victims of historical abuse in state-run homes.

From 1945 to 1976 children were sexually abused, beaten and drugged at the homes, an official inquiry found.

The abuse took place across Denmark and campaigners have for years appealed to the state to accept it was at fault.

"The apology means everything. All we wanted was peace of mind," said one of the victims, Arne Roel Jorgensen.

The sixty-eight-year-old told the BBC how the lives of many of the children had been ruined by the abuse. Alcohol, drugs, multiple jobs and failed marriages had all taken their toll.
The Social Democrat prime minister met dozens of victims of the scandal at her official residence at Marienborg on Tuesday.

"I would like to look every one of you in the eyes and say sorry," she told them. "I can't take the blame but I can shoulder the responsibility."

Many were in tears as she said that children had been taken from their parents and instead of getting support and warmth, they received humiliation and abuse.

The prime minister hugged Poul-Erik Rasmussen, who campaigned for years
for an apology

"The authorities did nothing. As a society, we cannot and must not close our eyes," she had said earlier.

How did the abuse come to light?

Details about the homes first hit the headlines in 2005, when a Danish TV documentary featured shocking allegations of abuse and mistreatment from victims of the state-run Godhavn Boys' Home, in north-eastern Denmark.

Emotions were high as details of what had happened in state homes were read out

The documentary also uncovered evidence that a psychiatrist had tested drugs on some of the children. Bjorn Elmquist, then an MP who had already been working on the abuse cases, said the drug LSD had been used to counter bed-wetting, leading to many of the children later becoming drug addicts.

Soon after the programme, the National Association of the Godhavn's Boys was formed and an independent inquiry was conducted in 2010.

The report, published in 2011, investigated allegations of abuse and neglect at 19 homes for both boys and girls, interviewing children, staff and state inspectors.

Despite its limited scope, it documented "alarming physical, sexual and psychological abuse" and researchers found blood traces on a gymnastic horse, indicating children had been beaten on it.

Mr Elmquist, now a lawyer, said many of the victims felt great shame over what had happened: "Some of them contacted me and begged me not to have their names mentioned publicly."

He spoke of boys working in fields who were punished by adults using metal tools and of the overweight master at Godhavn having his own special form of punishment. "He pushed them with his big stomach and they fell down the staircase. He put them on a sofa and sat on top of them and jumped on them," he told the BBC.

Poul-Erik Rasmussen said the state had accepted responsibility but the pain and
nightmares would never leave

Arne Roel Jorgensen found out three years ago that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because of what had happened to him many years ago.

"Many of us have had failed marriages and we didn't learn how to act in society because nobody told us. I'm 68 now and definitely still living with the effects."

What now?

Nobody was ever prosecuted for what took place at the homes and successive governments decided the case was too old to be pursued. Before she was elected in June, Ms Frederiksen promised she would apologise for the state's role.


Media captionMette Frederiksen became Denmark's youngest leader back in June
Poul-Erik Rasmussen, who was at Godhavn in the early 1960s, has fought for years to secure an apology and always felt that recognition was the main aim.

Many of the victims have made a point of not asking for compensation but Mr Rasmussen says he can understand anyone who wants it.

Bjorn Elmquist believes a commission and a fund should be set up to assess compensation, as he considers the abuse a clear infringement of the convention of torture that was incorporated into Danish law in 1984.

"It's not just a case of saying sorry," he says.

Monday, August 12, 2019

AFP established in tumult of 1944 Paris uprising

Yahoo – AFP, Juliette Baillot, August 12, 2019

The headquarters of Agence France-Presse remains in the same location in
central Paris, where it began in 1944 (AFP Photo/FRANCOIS GUILLOT)

Paris (AFP) - Agence France-Presse was created in the tumult of World War II by a band of journalists who stormed a pro-Nazi newsroom and took over as Paris was in revolt.

It was August 20, 1944, the day after Resistance leader Henri Rol-Tanguy had called Parisians into action against the Nazis who had occupied their city for four years.

Propaganda

The group of eight met at 7:00 am outside a dilapidated building near the stock exchange on Place de la Bourse, in the heart of Paris, where the French Information Office (OFI) was installed.

It had been the home of Havas, the world's first international news agency that was nationalised by the pro-Nazi regime in 1940 to set up the OFI.

Havas agency, here pictured in the 1930s, was the world's first international 
news agency and the precursor to AFP (AFP Photo)

"It had become an agency of German propaganda," one of the eight, Gilles Martinet, recalled in a radio interview in 2004.

The streets were empty on that summer Sunday, although a German tank was stationed close by, another of the group, Basile Tesselin, would write later in his memoirs.

There was the sound of gunfire as Parisians heeded the call to mobilise without waiting for French and Allied soldiers to arrive to free their city.

'Nobody move'

The group was soon joined by two policemen sent by the Resistance committee organising the Paris uprising. They were the only ones carrying weapons.

Together they stole up the stairs and burst into the newsroom. Ten heads darted up, astonished.

A reproduction of the first news dispatch of the Agence Française 
de Presse, which soon became the Agence France-Presse (AFP Photo)

"Nobody moves, nobody leaves," shouted Martial Bourgeon, the eldest in the group of mostly former Havas editors. "From now on you work for France, and not the Germans."

No one moved. A German censor was taken to the basement and locked in.

Bourgeon took charge and assigned roles. Martinet was made editor-in-chief.

The journalists immediately set to work, making contact with teams of underground newspapers such as Combat, Defense de la France, Le Parisien Libere and L'Humanite.

First dispatch

At 11:30 am the first story went out, announcing they were back in business.

"At the service of all free newspapers, Agence Française de Presse will ensure, with a strict objectivity that is the duty of a news organisation, the publishing of news that has been scrupulously checked and verified...," it said.

Journalists at the Havas news agency in Paris in the 1930s, before it was 
nationalised by the pro-Nazi German regime during World War II (AFP Photo)

The dispatch also paid hommage to other journalists missing or captured by the Nazi police.

"As fighting continues in the city, and where new freedom fighters fall, we salute all our comrades of the press who have disappeared, are imprisoned and deported, and in particular our 21 comrades who have fallen into the hands of the Gestapo."

Network grows

The first stories were printed on early stencil duplication Roneo machines and distributed by cyclists to newspapers and Resistance offices across the city.

Communication was established with journalists of the French government-in-exile led by Charles de Gaulle.

The news team grew fast. People slept at the office and raided the stocks of a nearby restaurant that had served as a canteen for German officers. On the menu: pate, foie gras and fine wines.

Parisians buy newspapers August 1944, after the city was freed from Nazi 
occupation in an uprising that also saw the establishment of AFP (AFP Photo)

Paris liberated

Over the next days reporters crossed the city on bicycles, watching for the arrival of the first French troops.

The scoop went to Tesselin, who had installed himself in the police headquarters with a phone line from the police chief's bathroom.

"General (Philippe) Leclerc entered Paris this morning, at 8:45, through the Porte d'Orleans amid indescribable enthusiasm," he reported on August 25.

"His troops were greeted by bursts of machine-gun fire from the rooftops, where militia and Germans dressed as civilians were posted."

A fierce shootout ensued and Germans were taken prisoner, Tesselin reported.

Just hours later, other dispatches announced that the Germans had surrendered.

The headquarters of Agence France-Presse remains in the same location in 
central Paris, where it began in 1944 (AFP Photo/FRANCOIS GUILLOT)

Paris was liberated.

Worldwide

In 1957, the French parliament adopted the AFP Statute guaranteeing the agency's editorial independence and financial autonomy.

Still headquartered at Place de la Bourse, it has expanded to cover more than 150 countries, becoming one of world's biggest news agencies alongside Reuters and Associated Press.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Prague Pride parade draws 30,000

France24 – AFP, 10 August 2019

30,000 people braved the rain at Prague's Gay Pride march (AFP)

Prague (AFP) -  Tens of thousands of people took part in the Prague Pride parade of the LGBT community on Saturday while a similar march in neighbouring Poland went smoothly despite fears of far-right disruption.

"We had 30,000 people according to our estimate which we arrived at after consulting the police," said Bohdana Rambouskova, spokeswoman for the week-long Prague Pride festival.

"Everything went smoothly, everything was fine except the weather -- it rained throughout the parade," she told AFP.

In 2018, the event had been attended by 40,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and supporters, according to Rambouskova.

Although the festival generally took place without a hitch, local media reported a couple of disruptions.

On Thursday, someone set fire to a rainbow flag in central Prague and fired flares at an island hosting the festival workshops and other events.

On Saturday, Prague cleaners had to wipe away oil poured onto a staircase along the march route.

In neighbouring Poland, around 2,000 people took part in a Gay Pride parade in the city of Plock, while a few hundred far-right nationalists held a counter-protest.

The peace was ensured by a heavy police presence -- a measure taken in the wake of a violent nationalist attack on an LGBT rally in the Polish city of Bialystok three weeks ago.

In conservative and Catholic Poland, which faces a general election in October, homosexuality is a hot topic, with the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party slamming gay rights as a threat to traditional values and families.


Saturday, August 3, 2019

Belfast Pride buoyed by gay marriage breakthrough

France24 –AFP, 3 August 2019

Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, joined the Gay Pride parade in Belfast,
Northern Ireland

Belfast (AFP) -Thousands of supporters of Northern Ireland's LGBT community took to the streets of Belfast on Saturday in Pride celebrations buoyed by the promise that same-sex marriage could soon be legal here.

An armoured police vehicle was decked out in rainbow colours and rainbow flags peppered the crowd, while a sound system blared out hit anthem "It's Raining Men" in defiance of the summer showers.

Leo Varadkar, prime minister of the Republic of Ireland to the south, was near the front of the parade, which was filled with fancy-dress and families.

Organisers hope that Belfast Pride will exceed the crowd of 55,000 they say turned out last year.

The event comes just weeks after the British parliament voted to extend same-sex marriage and abortion rights to Northern Ireland, which lags behind the rest of the country on equality issues.

The law would be changed unless the devolved government in Belfast, which has been suspended since January 2017, is reinstated by October 21.

"Everybody's entitled to the same rights, so here's hoping, yes, that it goes through," said Mary Francis White, a 53-year-old social care worker whose son is an openly gay Belfast councillor.

"And if it does go through, 100 percent absolutely there'll be a big, huge party."

- 'Still fighting for rights' -

Supporters of the global rights group Amnesty held up banners saying "Love is a human right", while one religious group, Christians at Pride, waved sign saying "We are all God's children."

Opinion polls show both abortion and same-sex marriage enjoy popular support in Northern Ireland.

But one of its main political parties, the Democratic Unionists (DUP), is strongly opposed and argues such issues should be decided in Belfast.

"We're still fighting for rights here," said John Eltham, a 46-year-old geographic consultant with a beard dyed in rainbow colours.

"It has been incredibly frustrating. Some of our politicians here really don't represent the majority view in Northern Ireland and there has been a desire for equal marriage here."

Lawmakers in London chose to act after a cascade of headline-hitting developments across the island.

In May 2018, the Republic of Ireland held a referendum to repeal their ban on abortion, voting with a landslide 66 percent in favour.

The case of a mother facing prosecution for allegedly buying abortion pills on the internet for her 15-year-old daughter has gained prominent media attention in Northern Ireland.

The fatal shooting of gay journalist Lyra McKee by dissident republicans in the Northern Irish city of Londonderry in April added to pressure for change.

Even though her death does not appear to have been linked to her sexuality, McKee has become an icon for the marriage equality movement.

Her partner Sara Canning -- who met with Varadkar before Belfast Pride on Saturday -- personally petitioned then prime minister Theresa May to intervene.

"The power of her personal story and the love that her and Sara shared has brought home... for many people actually what this debate has been about," Fergal McFerran, a friend of McKee and campaigner with LGBT rights group Stonewall told AFP in July.

But while many will be celebrating the imminent marriage rights breakthrough, campaigners remain on an active footing.

"There's still a long way to go. The trans healthcare system in Northern Ireland is in a crisis state," said Alexa Moore, the 19-year-old director of Transgender NI.

If the legislation comes into effect in October, the first same-sex marriages are slated to take place in January 2020.