Bernie Sanders and the Movement Where the People Found Their Voice

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … 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.)


.
A student holds a sign reading "Don't shoot, listen!!!" during a protest
on June 17, 2013 in Brasilia (AFP, Evaristo)

FIFA scandal engulfs Blatter and Platini

FIFA scandal engulfs Blatter and Platini
FIFA President Sepp Blatter (L) shakes hands with UEFA president Michel Platini after being re-elected following a vote in Zurich on May 29, 2015 (AFP Photo/Michael Buholzer)
"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. …

Search This Blog

Loading...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Obama commutes sentence of WikiLeaker Manning

Yahoo – AFP, Andrew Beatty, January 18, 2017

Chelsea Manning, seen in an undated photo, was convicted in August 2013 of
espionage and other offenses after admitting to handing classified documents
over to WikiLeaks (AFP Photo/HO)

Washington (AFP) - US President Barack Obama slashed the sentence of transgender army private Chelsea Manning, who had been sentenced to 35 years behind bars for handing classified US documents to WikiLeaks.

Obama pardoned 64 people and commuted the sentences of 209 others -- including 29-year-old Manning, who will now be released in May -- in one of his final acts as president.

Manning was convicted in August 2013 of espionage and other offenses, after admitting to the leak of 700,000 sensitive military and diplomatic documents.

The cache included military logs from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and cables offering sensitive -- and often embarrassingly bareknuckle -- diplomatic assessments of foreign leaders and world events.

Then Bradley Manning pleaded guilty and was sentenced by military court martial. She has since been held in an all-male prison, at times in solitary confinement, and has attempted to commit suicide twice.

Activists had argued her sentence is excessive and point to the psychological frailty of the transgender soldier.

"This move could quite literally save Chelsea's life," said Chase Strangio of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Still, Obama's move is something of a surprise, coming in the midst of a scandal over election-related hacking.

Obama has imposed sanctions on Russian intelligence services over the hack of Democratic party emails, some of which were released via WikiLeaks.

Chelsea Manning to be released (AFP Photo/John SAEKI)

'Victory'

In recent weeks the White House had refused to be drawn on a possible commutation or pardon.

But spokesman Josh Earnest did attempt to paint a stark difference between Manning -- who went through the courts and admitted wrongdoing -- and the likes of Edward Snowden.

Snowden, a former NSA contractor, fled to Hong Kong and then Russia in 2013 after revealing a highly classified global communications and internet surveillance system.

He was not on Obama's list of commutations or pardons, but did tweet his thanks.

"Let it be said here in earnest, with good heart: Thanks, Obama."

WikiLeaks -- which has been linked to last year's election hacks -- claimed "victory" and thanked those who campaigned on Manning's behalf.

"Your courage & determination made the impossible possible," the group tweeted, citing founder Julian Assange.

But there was no suggestion Assange -- who is holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London -- would make good on a promise to be extradited to the United States if Manning was freed.

"If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case," the group tweeted last week.

White House officials dismissed any link between WikiLeak's pledge and Obama's decision on Manning.

Backlash

Republicans expressed outrage at Obama's decision.

“This is just outrageous," said House Speaker Paul Ryan. "Chelsea Manning's treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets."

"President Obama now leaves in place a dangerous precedent that those who compromise our national security won’t be held accountable for their crimes."

Republican Senator Tom Cotton, who is tipped as a possible future leader of the party, expressed fury at Obama's decision, saying "we ought not treat a traitor like a martyr."

"I don't understand why the president would feel special compassion for someone who endangered the lives of our troops, diplomats, intelligence officers, and allies."

Republicans have been on the back foot over Russian hacks that appeared to help their presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Among the others who received commutations was Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez-Rivera, who has been in prison for more than three decades on terrorism charges.

Obama also pardoned James Cartwright, a former four-star general who lied to the FBI about his discussions with journalists about Iran's nuclear program.

Another round of commutations is expected on Thursday, officials suggested.

Many will look to see whether the new list includes Bowe Bergdahl, a US Army sergeant held captive for five years by the Taliban before his release in a prisoner swap. He is due to be court-martialed for desertion.

Other names omitted Tuesday were General David Petraeus -- who pleaded guilty to improperly sharing classified information -- and Obama's ally Hillary Clinton.

There had been wild speculation that Obama may choose to preemptively pardon her, forestalling any Trump-led prosecution over her handling of email as secretary of state.

Presidents can theoretically pardon people before they are even sentenced.

Trump takes office on Friday.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Singapore jails Swiss banker in 1MDB corruption probe

Jens Fred Sturzenegger has pleaded guilty to money laundering and giving false information to investigators. Regulators said he failed to report "astronomical sums" from a financier tied to the defunct 1MDB fund

 Jens Fred Sturzenegger walks to a Singaporean district court

A Singaporean district court on Wednesday found Swiss banker Jens Fred Sturzenegger guilty of failing to report suspicious transactions amounting to more than $1 billion (95 million euros) involving the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a failed Malaysian state fund.

"The accused had deliberately omitted to report the suspicious transactions, despite the obligation … to do so. I find you guilty and convicted of six charges," said Judge Ow Yong Tuck Leong, while announcing Sturzenegger's 28-week jail-term.

The court also fined Sturznegger $89,000 (84,600) after he pleaded guilty to three counts of money laundering and three counts of giving false information.

According to prosecutors, Sturnegger, who headed Swiss lender Falcon Private Bank's Singapore branch, gave investigators false information concerning Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho's transactions.

'Astronomical sums'

Low, a family friend of Malaysian premier Najib Razak, allegedly setup the 1MDB bank after it was created by the premier. At least $1 billion flowed into Low's accounts at Falcon.

However, Sturzenegger failed to report the "astronomical sums" to Singaporean regulators. The Swiss banker later told investigators that he did not know Low, despite evidence showing he had met with the Malaysian financier, who held accounts at Falcon under the alias Eric Tan.

He has become the first foreigner to be charged by Singaporean authorities in connection with a multinational investigation into allegations that Najib siphoned more than $1 billion from 1MDB.

Sturzenegger's lawyer announced that his client would likely not file an appeal and, instead, begin serving his sentence on Wednesday. 

ls/ksb (AP, AFP)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Israeli soldier convicted for shooting dead Palestinian assailant

Yahoo – AFP, Joe Dyke, January 4, 2017

Israeli soldier Elor Azaria (C) had been on trial for manslaughter in a military
court, with right-wing politicians defending him despite top army brass harshly
 condemning the killing (AFP Photo/Heidi Levine)

Tel Aviv (AFP) - A soldier who shot dead a wounded Palestinian assailant as he lay on the ground posing no apparent threat was convicted of manslaughter Wednesday after a trial that deeply divided Israel.

Elor Azaria had been on trial in a military court since May, with right-wing politicians defending him despite top army brass harshly condemning his actions.

He now faces up to 20 years in prison.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after the ruling that he favoured a pardon for the 20-year-old French-Israeli sergeant.

"This has been a hard and painful day for us all -- first and foremost for Elor and his family," Netanyahu wrote on Facebook.

"I support giving a pardon to Elor Azaria."

Netanyahu made waves before the trial even began, by calling Azaria's father to express his sympathy.

Earlier Wednesday, President Reuven Rivlin's office issued a statement advising that any talk of a pardon was premature.

It said an application could only be made after the judicial process had run its course.

No date has yet been announced for sentencing, and Azaria could then appeal.

Judge Colonel Maya Heller spent more than two and a half hours reading out the court decision Wednesday, sharply criticising the arguments of Azaria's lawyers.

On behalf of the three-judge panel, Heller said there was no reason for Azaria to open fire since the Palestinian was posing no threat.

She called his testimony "evolving and evasive".

"His motive for shooting was that he felt the terrorist deserved to die," she said.

Azaria had entered the courtroom smiling, applauded by family and supporters.

But he looked shaken as the judge spoke, and after the verdict his mother yelled: "You should be ashamed of yourselves."

Israeli women protest outside the defence ministry in Tel Aviv on January 4, 2017, 
in support of Israeli soldier Elor Azaria, who shot dead a wounded Palestinian 
assailant (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

Protests and scuffles

Outside Israel's military headquarters in Tel Aviv, where the court announced the verdict, dozens of Azaria supporters scuffled with police.

Shabtay Oz, a retired policeman carrying a large Israeli flag and protesting peacefully, said he never imagined himself joining a demonstration.

"But when I saw a soldier in cuffs after he shot a terrorist," he said, slapping his hands together, "that was the point of no return."

Right-wing leaders have called for him to be pardoned in an extraordinary public rift between politicians and the military.

Before he became defence minister in May, Avigdor Lieberman was among those showing strong support for Azaria, including attending one of his court appearances.

He has since backed away from his earlier stance, and after Wednesday's verdict said he disagreed with the decision but that it must be respected.

The March 24 shooting in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron was caught on video and spread widely online.

It showed Abdul Fatah al-Sharif, 21, lying on the ground, shot along with another Palestinian after stabbing and moderately wounding a soldier minutes earlier, according to the army.

Azaria then shoots him again in the head without any apparent provocation.

His lawyers argued the soldier may have thought the Palestinian was wearing explosives, but others said he had already been checked for a suicide belt and no one in the video appears to be acting with caution toward him.

The Palestinian's father told reporters in Hebron after the verdict that Azaria should be sentenced to life.

"For me, a just verdict will be one that is similar to the verdicts our sons (in Israeli prisons) get," Yusri al-Sharif said.

Yusri al-Sharif (L), Abdul Fatah al-Sharif's father, told reporters that Azaria 
should be sentenced to life (AFP Photo/Hazem Bader)

Polarised public

The video was filmed by a Palestinian volunteer for Israeli rights group B'Tselem, which accused the security forces of "routine whitewashing" in a statement after the verdict.

"The fact that one soldier was convicted today does not exonerate the Israeli military law enforcement system from its routine whitewashing of cases in which security forces kill or injure Palestinians with no accountability," B'Tselem said.

The case galvanised the Israeli public, and television and radio stations interrupted their broadcasts to carry live coverage of the verdict.

It had been portrayed by some as a test of whether Israel's military could prosecute one of its own, though many Palestinians dismissed it, arguing Azaria was only put on trial because of the video.

The military has said it began investigating before the release of the video.

The last time an Israeli soldier was convicted of manslaughter was in 2005, Israeli media reported.

The shooting came against the backdrop of a wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks that erupted in October 2015.

Israeli security forces have been accused of using excessive force in certain other cases as well, though authorities say officers act appropriately to protect themselves and civilians.

Most of the attacks were by lone-wolf assailants, many of them young people, including teenagers. Israel's military has said it believes a significant number of them were essentially on suicide missions.

The violence has greatly subsided in recent months.

Related Articles:




“… What have we told you about the bridge? Actually, not much except that in crossing the bridge, the old energy ones were not going to like it. Old energy does not want you to escape! Old energy doesn't want you to cross the bridge because it can't cross. Did you know that? It can't cross. The old paradigms of Human nature that you've known all of these millenniums have to stay on the old side of the bridge. It cannot cross, for the bridge rejects all that is not in love, compassion and light. Those things that are dark, including Human nature of the past, will not be able to go. But the ones I speak to right now are already on the bridge. That was your design, old soul, and those are the words that are ringing in your ears to this day and the ones given at the wind of birth, that this might happen in your lifetime. So what's going to happen next?

Swords

Let us talk about the swords: When you hear the word sword, the first thing that occurs to you is battle. The Bridge of Swords is a battle and we told you that as well. Swords are metaphoric and they mean many things, so let us describe the things we mean them to say to you.

Number one: They are indeed a weapon in a battle. There is a battle coming. "Kryon, does that mean there's going to be a war?" Potentially, yes. Right now we will tell you that the Middle East cooks itself. You've noticed, haven't you? What do you know about the Middle East, dear one? Let's start examining things for a moment. What energy did you grow up in? What was the energy of the Middle East? In the '40s, what was the energy? With the establishment of the state of Israel, you built a wall of hate, both sides. The wall was so thick that the children of both sides were taught to hate one another as soon as they were able to understand the language. They were told who their enemies were. Now, where were you then?

Some of you weren't here yet. By the time you arrived, in your youth, were you aware of the Middle East? Not particularly. "What's the hatred about?" you might ask. What if I told you it's about a family feud? Two sons of a Jewish master are involved. One founded the Arabs and one remained a Jew. They don't want to hear this, but they are all Jews. (Don't tell them this.)

If you look at the lineage, it's pretty obvious and yet it's a complete and total set-up for either solution or war. The set-up would have this world ending in a conflagration that would have been brought about by this hatred. That's in the prophecy of Nostradamus and your scripture, but it is no longer the prophecy of the planet. Yet the hatred still exists. The hatred is as great today as it was then, but where was all the terrorism 40 years ago? It was isolated.

Those in Israel and Palestine and surrounding areas took the brunt of it, but now it's seemingly everywhere - and you're worried. Why would this be? The answer is that the old energy was happy to have this hatred contained, for it would keep it going and never involve outsiders. Outsiders tend to bring unwanted light to the party. Suddenly, the whole earth is involved and can see the entire scenario before them. The old guard wants war, just like all the eons before them. The ones on the bridge are holding the light and showing the earth how to cross. Even many younger ones in Israel and Palestine and Iran are holding light! It's all around the old guard and they are furious, for they are losing the "battle of hatred." …



(Subjects: Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

" ..... If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening. ....."

"... Taught to Hate From Birth

On this earth today, many who are born in Israel are taught from birth how to dislike and distrust all those around them. At this time in history on this earth, those around them from birth are taught how to hate the Jews. Carefully taught, they are. Against all odds, they are proud of this separation because it is the lineage of their ancestors that is at stake, and they want to follow historic protocol. They want to stay separate. Yet I want to tell you that's what is changing. Oh, it's really changing! It's changing in the places you don't expect. It's changing in Jerusalem. It's changing in Iran. And the children are waking up and saying, "Tell me again why I should hate them? They did what, when? That wasn't them. It was their ancestors. The ones here now are current and didn't participate in history. Tell me again, because I don't feel it."

The parents are shaking their heads, and saying, "Do as we say, for tradition and history tells us that they are our enemy and always will be." And the children are saying, "No. I am not going to do this, and neither are those around me." This is slowly making a difference on this planet and it is not being recorded. For your worldwide media has no idea what to do with this new energy and it doesn't seem to even be news to them. They are steeped in the old Human nature, where things that separate are news, and things that unify are not. Yet it is one of the greatest energies this planet is seeing today. I'm here to tell you it's real and it's happening under the hood, you might say. Oh, there are other things I'd like to report to you. ..."

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

House Republicans drop rule change gutting ethics watchdog

Following critical tweets by Donald Trump, House Republicans drop plans to remove the independence of the Office of Congressional Ethics

The Guardian, David Smith in Washington, Tuesday 3 January 2017

House majority leader Kevin McCarthy discusses the move by Republicans to
eviscerate the independent Office of Government Ethics in Washington
Tuesday. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP

House Republicans were forced into a humiliating climbdown on Tuesday after Donald Trump tweeted criticism of their move to gut an independent congressional ethics watchdog.

Members ditched their plan to severely weaken the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) at an emergency meeting just before the start of a new legislative session on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The original rule change, carried out without warning and behind closed doors, had provoked a fierce backlash from Democrats and transparency activists when first announced on Monday night.

But it was flexing of muscles by the president-elect that appeared to force Republicans to cave in. “With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it may be, their number one act and priority,” he tweeted on Tuesday morning. “Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!”

Trump added the hashtag #DTS, for his campaign slogan “drain the swamp”.

His team confirmed it was the timing, not the reform itself, that had irked the president-elect. His incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer, told reporters: “He says their focus should be on tax reform and healthcare. It’s not a question of strengthening or weakening, it’s a question of priorities.”

Even before Trump’s tweet, many House Republicans, including top leaders, opposed the measure and worried about its ramifications, the Associated Press reported.

At the subsequent emergency meeting, House majority leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who had opposed the timing of the decision, reportedly offered a motion to restore the current OCE rules which was accepted by members. The House will instead study changes to the office ahead of a deadline in August.

Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a Republican, said: “People didn’t want this story on opening day.”

The abrupt reversal was welcomed by Democrats – but with a note of scepticism. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said: “House Republicans showed their true colours last night, and reversing their plans to destroy the Office of Congressional Ethics will not obscure their clear contempt for ethics in the people’s house.

“Once again, the American people have seen the toxic dysfunction of a Republican House that will do anything to further their special interest agenda, thwart transparency and undermine the public trust.”

Government accountability groups also expressed caution. Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said: “The Office of Congressional Ethics is the only independent check on the House of Representatives. Without it we would return to a Congress awash in scandal.

“We’re glad that the House Republicans listened to the public outrage about this proposal and came to their senses to reverse it – and not end real ethics enforcement in Congress.”

Morris Pearl, chairperson of the campaign group Patriotic Millionaires, added: “While it is a relief to see that better heads have prevailed against this egregious proposal, this needs to be seen as warning shot across the bow of American democracy. We cannot and will not let politicians of any party function without accountability to the American electorate.”

The U-turn marked a public relations disaster for the party on a day when it hoped to hit the ground running with an ambitious agenda that includes dismantling Barack Obama’s healthcare policy. Republican senator Mike Enzi introduced a resolution allowing for the repeal of Obamacare on Tuesday, his office said in a statement.

The ethics office U-turn handed Trump a victory in what may prove a battle of wills over the next four years.

It is not the first time that Trump, a billionaire businessman often described as an outsider who mounted a “hostile takeover” of the Republican party, has been at odds with its rank and file. His intervention came on the day that the 115th Congress convened, with Republicans in control of both chambers, hoping that the incoming president will prove willing to sign long-planned bills into law.

But on the OCE issue, Trump did appear aligned with McCarthy and the House speaker, Paul Ryan, who had both urged their colleagues during the closed-door meeting to vote against the idea, arguing that it should be done later and on a bipartisan basis.

Both men then appeared to defend the move on Tuesday morning – “The office is still expected to take in complaints of wrongdoing from the public. It will still investigate them thoroughly and independently,” Ryan said – only for it to collapse at the emergency meeting, fuelling a sense of confusion and chaos before Trump is even inaugurated.

The OCE was conceived in 2008 to investigate allegations of misconduct after a series of bribery and corruption scandals that resulted in three members of Congress being sent to jail.

The Republicans’ plan would have barred the OCE from considering anonymous tips about potential ethics violations, seen by critics as a potential deterrent to whistleblowers, and would have meant the OCE would have fallen under the control of the House Ethics Committee, which is run by lawmakers. It would have been known as the Office of Congressional Complaint Review, and the rule change would have required that “any matter that may involve a violation of criminal law must be referred to the Committee on Ethics for potential referral to law enforcement agencies after an affirmative vote by the members”, according to the office of Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia who pushed for the change. Lawmakers would have had the final say on their colleagues under the change.

During the nomination process for Ryan as speaker and Pelosi as minority leader in the House on Tuesday, many Democrats said they were voting for Pelosi because “the people’s house should be ethical, accountable and open to free debate”. One said: “We should read the bills before we pass the bills.” There were heckles from Republicans.

Ryan won the election for speaker with 239 votes, while Pelosi notched 189. Republican Liz Cheney, daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney, who won her father’s old House seat in Wyoming, sat beside him in the crowded chamber, which included some members’ young children.

Meanwhile, addressing the Senate for the first time as minority leader, Chuck Schumer, of New York, implored Trump not to abandon the promise of change that helped elect him.

“Making America Great Again requires more than 140 characters per issue,” Schumer said of the president-elect’s habit of sparking outcry with a single tweet. “With all due respect, America cannot afford a Twitter presidency.”

He added: “On January 20, we won’t be in reality TV – we’ll be in reality.”

Vice-president Joe Biden, who also serves as the president of the Senate, presided over the swearing-in ceremony for a historic class of new senators. Among them were Catherine Cortez Masto, of Nevada, who is the first Latina senator, Kamala Harris, of California, the first Indian American senator, and Tammy Duckworth, of Illinois, an Iraq war veteran.

The new Congress is among the most racially diverse in history, owing in large part to the minority party, which represents the majority of racial, gender and religious diversity.

Republicans hold a 52-48 edge over Democrats in the Senate and 241-194 advantage in the House.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

US anti-Islam campaigner donated €150,000 to the PVV in three years

DutchNews, December 28, 2016

Wilders campaigning in 2012. 
Photo: Depositphotos.com
An American foundation run by fervent anti-Islam campaigner David Horowitz has donated at least €150,000 to Geert Wilders’ PVV party in three years, the NRC said on Wednesday. 

The David Horowitz Freedom Center donated €108,244.24 to the PVV in 2015, according to PVV party records which have to be handed over to the home affairs ministry every year. 

That was the biggest single donation by a private individual to a Dutch political party, the NRC said. In 2014, Horowitz donated €18,000 to the PVV, the official records show. 

However, the origin, total amount and what the money was spent on remains unclear, the NRC said. 

The foundation itself says its donated $75,000 in 2014 and the same amount last year. Taking the exchange rate into account, the total in 2014 and 2015 was around €126,000. 

Differences 

Horowitz cannot explain why the PVV has declared different amounts of money to his foundation’s records. The PVV’s accountant, the PVV and Wilders himself have refused to comment, the paper said. 

This year, the donation was smaller – $25,000, the NRC said. 

Political parties have been required to register all donations of over €1,000 since 2013. Donations of over €4,500 have to be made public. 

Other funding

The NRC says Wilders does not appear to have any other foreign funding. Daniel Pipes, director of the neo-conservative think tank Middle East Forum has donated to Wilders in the past but told the NRC last year he was withdrawing his backing following Wilders’ ‘fewer Moroccans’ chant and court case. 

The PVV does not quality for official funding for political parties in the Netherlands because it has no membership structure. Wilders is the only official PVV member.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Pinochet agents apologize for Chile crimes

Yahoo – AFP, December 23, 2016

Human rights activists demonstrate during the private ecumenical ceremony in
 the Punta Peuco prison where nine former agents of Chile's 1973-1990 dictatorship,
apologize for their crimes, in Santiago, on December 23, 2016 (AFP Photo/
Christian Miranda)

Santiago (AFP) - Nine former agents of late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's regime asked forgiveness for their crimes Friday -- a first for Chile -- but victims' families rejected the gesture as a ploy.

The apology came in the form of a private religious ceremony at the Punta Peuco prison, where some 100 former regime agents are serving sentences for the kidnappings, killings and torture perpetrated during Pinochet's rule from 1973 to 1990.

The nine convicts included Raul Iturriaga, a high-ranking official in Pinochet's political police.

"God is doing something extraordinary in this country. This would not have been possible until recently," Anglican priest Pablo Alvarez told journalists after the ceremony, which was closed to the press.

But dozens of victims' family members protested outside the prison, rejecting the ceremony as a hollow bid to obtain a pardon or early release.

"We have the right and the moral duty to be here to prevent this media show," said Alicia Lira, head of a rights group for victims' families.

Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nunez, right, leaves the federal courthouse with his
 attorney, Luis Calderon, left, Monday, June 27, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. Barrientos, 
former lieutenant under the brutal dictator Augusto Pinochet, tortured and killed 
a famed Chilean folk singer whose family had been seeking justice for more 
than 40 years, a federal jury in Florida ruled. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Family members emphasized that none of the convicts have provided information on the fate of nearly 1,000 people missing and presumed killed by the regime.

They also demand the closure of Punta Peuco, which they condemn as a luxury prison with tennis courts, terraces and barbecues.

More than 3,000 regime opponents and alleged collaborators were killed or disappeared during Pinochet's rule. Some 38,000 were tortured.

Pinochet, who came to power in a military coup, died in 2006 without being brought to justice.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Brazil's Odebrecht, Braskem pay record fine in bribery case

Yahoo – AFP, Heather Scott, with Sebastian Smith in Rio de Janeiro, December 22, 2016
Brazilian construction company Odebrecht pled guilty to paying hundreds of
millions to bribe government officials in countries on three continents (AFP
Photo/YASUYOSHI CHIBA)

Washington (AFP) - Scandal-plagued Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht and petrochemical affiliate Braskem have agreed to pay a record $3.5 billion to settle a vast international bribery case, US officials said.

Odebrecht, a key player in the Petrobras corruption scandal gripping Brazil, agreed to a fine of $4.5 billion but said it was only able to pay $2.6 billion, the US Justice Department said in a statement. Braskem, meanwhile, will pay $957 million.

The fines are to be paid to Brazilian, Swiss and US authorities, the department said, calling it "the largest-ever global foreign bribery resolution."

It is the latest in a string of terrible headlines for Odebrecht, which Brazilian investigators say was one of the ringleaders of a scheme to plunder billions of dollars from state oil company Petrobras.

Revelation of the scandal has rocked Brazil's political and business establishment to its foundations, with ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva facing trial and current President Michel Temer reportedly under suspicion.

The bribery case settled Wednesday includes the Petrobras allegations, but is even bigger.

The Odebrecht conglomerate pleaded guilty to bribing government officials and political parties to the tune of $788 million to secure business on three continents -- mostly in Brazil, but also 11 other countries in Latin America and Africa.

"Odebrecht and Braskem used a hidden but fully functioning Odebrecht business unit -- a 'Department of Bribery,' so to speak -- that systematically paid hundreds of millions of dollars to corrupt government officials in countries on three continents," US Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sung-Hee Suh said in a statement.

"Such brazen wrongdoing calls for a strong response from law enforcement, and through a strong effort with our colleagues in Brazil and Switzerland, we have seen just that."

Political fallout

In the main scheme, Odebrecht targeted top Brazilian politicians and executives at Petrobras for more than a decade starting in about 2001. The bribes were used to secure inflated contracts and even get favorable legislation passed in Congress.

Suh praised Brazil's judiciary for tackling the issue head on.

"I cannot praise their efforts enough. They have been under enormous pressure, done an extraordinary job of initiating the investigation and carrying it through," she said.

The Brazilian probe, known by its codename Operation Carwash, has cast dark shadows over two of Brazil's most important companies, Petrobras and Odebrecht, adding to economic pain as the country flounders in deep recession.

Odebrecht's jailed boss Marcelo Odebrecht and 76 other current and former executives have signed plea deals agreeing to tell all in exchange for lighter sentences.

The Brazilian press has described the deal as potentially apocalyptic for the political establishment.

Panama, meanwhile, said it would request information from the United States about alleged Odebrecht bribes paid in Panama to secure contracts, its foreign ministry said.

Shattered record

The previous record bribery settlement was $1.6 billion for German engineering group Siemens in 2008. It settled charges of systematically using bribes and slush funds to land public works contracts around the world.

Margarida Gutierrez, an economist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, told AFP that this settlement, Odebrecht's newest move to come clean, would open the door for its return to the market.

"Right now they are unable to participate in any bids in Brazil or probably out of Brazil," she said. "Now they can start again, and try to clear their name. They will succeed but it will be hard."

The US Justice Department will conduct an "inability to pay analysis" by March 31 to determine the final amount that Odebrecht must come up with. Sentencing has been scheduled for April 17.

Under the plea agreement, Brazil will receive 80 percent of Odebrecht's fines, while the United States and Switzerland will garner 10 percent each.

Braskem, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange through American Depositary Receipts (ADR), saw its shares soar after the deal was announced, closing up four percent.

It will pay a criminal fine of $632 million, and another $325 million penalty to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Under the Braskem deal, Brazil will receive 70 percent of the fines, while US and Swiss authorities receive 15 percent. Sentencing for the firm has not yet been scheduled.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying will not run again

Yahoo – AFP, Elaine Yu,  December 9, 2016

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announces that he will not run again
 for office and will step down at the end of his term in July, citing family reasons
(AFP Photo/ANTHONY WALLACE)

Hong Kong's unpopular leader Leung Chun-ying, who has been vilified by critics as a puppet of Beijing, said Friday he would not run again for office after a term marked by anti-China protests and political divisions.

Leung said he would step down at the end of his term in July for family reasons after speculation intensified in recent weeks over who would get the nod from Beijing for leadership elections in March.

Some pro-democracy campaigners predicted there would be public "euphoria" at the news, while analysts said the announcement had come as a surprise, just three months before the election in which Leung was widely expected to run for a second term.

Leung said Beijing had been "very supportive" and said he was not stepping down because of a lack of backing from China.

"The central government has always fully affirmed and had high opinions of my work," he said.

China has accepted Leung's decision, according to state news agency Xinhua.

Leung took office in 2012 as concerns were growing that Beijing was tightening its grip on the semi-autonomous city and his opponents have slammed him as a hardline leader overseeing the erosion of Hong Kong's freedoms.

His term has been one of political crises with massive pro-democracy rallies in 2014 bringing tens of thousands onto the streets calling for reform and for Leung to step down.

The failure of the protests to win any concessions left the city starkly divided between pro-establishment and pro-democracy camps and sparked an independence movement calling for the city to break entirely from Beijing.

China has expressed its fury over the movement, which it says is illegal and will damage Hong Kong's prosperity.

Last month two democratically elected lawmakers who support a split from China were barred from taking up their seats after an intervention from Beijing.

Lawyers protest at a ruling by China which effectively bars two pro-independence
 legislators from taking office in Hong Kong, on November 8, 2016 (AFP Photo/
Anthony Wallace)

Cautious celebrations

A group of more moderate pro-democracy lawmakers are facing a court case Thursday brought by the government which is also seeking to remove them from the legislature.

Pro-democracy campaigner Joshua Wong, who led the 2014 rallies, said that while some people might celebrate Leung's decision, there were now fears that he would simply be replaced with another hardline leader.

The chief executive is chosen by a 1,200-strong committee of special interest groups weighted towards Beijing.

The mass "Umbrella Movement" rallies of 2014 were calling for that system to be overturned and for the leader to be chosen by the public.

Those protests were triggered after Beijing said Hong Kong could choose its own chief executive, but that candidates would have to be vetted.

"I think CY Leung not getting re-elected is of course a good thing... he has triggered lots of public discontent," Wong told AFP but added there needed to be broader fundamental changes.

"The problem is not about people, but that the system needs to be reformed," he said.

Pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo also warned that campaigners should not be complacent.

"Whoever is chief executive is still going to be hand-picked by Beijing," Mo told AFP.

Analyst Joseph Cheng said that there had been speculation that Beijing had refused to back Leung as it had not signalled support.

Riot police form a line during a political protest in Hong Kong, one of many during
the term of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (AFP Photo/ISAAC LAWRENCE)

"Normally we expect some signals from Beijing by this time," he said.

There are question marks over how much support Leung could rally from the pro-establishment camp after his rocky term. Beijing may want a stronger candidate, said analyst Edmund Cheng.

Leung only secured 689 votes of 1,200 in 2012.

"To assure that Beijing has better control of the current system, they may want to increase the legitimacy of the next chief executive, and they may want someone to get more (votes) than that," said Cheng, professor of government and international studies at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Leung said he was stepping down out of "responsibility as a father and a husband" and that it was not to do with his performance as leader.

Reports in local media have said that Leung's daughter Leung Chai-yan, 25, has been in hospital for more than a month, although the reasons are unclear.

His daughter hit the headlines in 2015 after slapping her mother in public and announced she was leaving home because of explosive rows with her parents.

China's spokesman for Hong Kong and Macao Affairs told Xinhua: "We express our deep regret that Leung has decided not to pursue another term due to family reasons, and we respect his decision."

Only one candidate has declared they are running for the leadership so far -- retired judge Woo Kwok-hing.

"With Mr. Leung not running, I hope society will be less divided," Woo said Friday.

Related Articles:

A wreath from Vietnam Communist Party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong is
seen next to a large portrait of Fidel Castro in front of the Cuban embassy in
Hanoi (AFP Photo/HOANG DINH NAM)



Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh (centre) leaves a polling booth in Banjul
on December 1, 2016 (AFP Photo/MARCO LONGARI)


Jose Eduardo dos Santos has been president of Angola since 1979 (AFP
Photo/Alain Jocard)


"Recalibration of Knowledge" – Jan 14, 2012 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: Channelling, God-Creator, Benevolent Design, New Energy, Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) SoulsReincarnation, Gaia, Old Energies (Africa, Terrorists, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela ... ), Weather, Rejuvenation, Akash, Nicolas Tesla / Einstein, Cold Fusion, Magnetics, Lemuria, Atomic Structure (Electrons, Particles, Polarity, Self Balancing, Magnetism), Entanglement, "Life is necessary for a Universe to exist and not the other way around", DNA, Humans (Baby getting ready, First Breath, Stem Cells, Embryonic Stem Cells, Rejuvenation), Global Unity, ... etc.) (Text Version)

"... I want you to watch some countries. I don't have a clock [this statement is Kryon telling us that there is no time frame on his side of the veil, only potentials]. I'll just tell you, it's imminent [in Spirit's timing, this could mean as soon as a decade]. I want you to watch some countries carefully for changes. You're going to be seeing changes that are obvious, and some that are not obvious [covert or assumptive]. But the obvious ones you will see sooner than not - Cuba, Korea [North], Iran, of course, and Venezuela. I want you to watch what happens when they start to realize that they don't have any more allies on Earth! Even their brothers who used to support them in their hatred of some are saying, "Well, perhaps not anymore. It doesn't seem to be supporting us anymore." Watch the synchronicities that are occurring. The leaders who have either died or are going to in the next year or so will take with them the old ways. Watch what happens to those who take their place, and remember these meetings where I described these potentials to you.

The Old Energy is Alive, But Not Happy

I want to tell you something: Old energy dies kicking and screaming. Old energy does not surrender, ever. Old energy simply dies hard and slow. There will be hold-outs for a long time. There will be those who are convinced that the only way to get what they want is to create drama, war, and fear. They continue to want to spring up in places you felt were safe, and to pull you backwards with them. They hate the fact that the earth is going soft on them, and they continue to rattle their sabers, make threats, and make news doing it. They're not the majority, Human Being, but often they are the loudest. When you walk around in perfect health and you are feeling great except for your sore toe, what do you think about? Your SORE TOE! So then you watch your media talk about sore toes for endless hours, and you get depressed. I know you understand the metaphor. ..."


"The Quantum Factor" – Apr 10, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Galaxies, Universe, Intelligent design, Benevolent design, Aliens, Nikola Tesla (Quantum energy), Inter-Planetary Travel, DNA, Genes, Stem Cells, Cells, Rejuvenation, Shift of Human Consciousness, Spontaneous Remission, Religion, Dictators, Africa, China, Nuclear Power, Sustainable Development, Animals, Global Unity.. etc.) - (Text Version)

“…  There's another quantum energy on the planet that has the quantum factor... the Great Shift. It is a benevolence that you have created, and that is new. You now sit in a revolutionary change and some of you are aware it and feeling it. It is the shift of Human consciousness and it's shifting right into the quantum factor, since you are becoming more quantum in your consciousness... and it is becoming benevolent. That is why you're seeing this earth react the way it is.

You're starting to see those who will not allow the old systems. You will no longer have dictators. Citizens all over earth want control over lives. They don't want war. They want their families to be safe! They want peace and abundance. They want their grandchildren to have hope for a better life than they had. You're starting to see it over and over in these places that have had dictators for years. ..”