United Nations Declaration (Articles 1 - 30):

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts
Nigerian Minister of the Environment Amina Mohammed, seen in 2015, will be the UN's number two official (AFP Photo/Mireya ACIERTO)
Sustainable Development
"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.) -
"The Timing of the Great Shift" – Mar 21, 2009 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"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 Declaration of Human Freedom

Archangel Michael (Via Steve Beckow), Feb. 19, 2011

Every being is a divine and eternal soul living in a temporal body. Every being was alive before birth and will live after death.

Every soul enters into physical life for the purpose of experience and education, that it may, in the course of many lifetimes, learn its true identity as a fragment of the Divine.

Life itself is a constant process of spiritual evolution and unfoldment, based on free choice, that continues until such time as we realize our true nature and return to the Divine from which we came.

No soul enters life to serve another, except by choice, but to serve its own purpose and that of the Divine from which it came.

All life is governed by natural and universal laws which precede and outweigh the laws of humanity. These laws, such as the law of karma, the law of attraction, and the law of free will, are decreed by God to order existence and assist each person to achieve life’s purpose.

No government can or should survive that derives its existence from the enforced submission of its people or that denies its people their basic rights and freedoms.

Life is a movement from one existence to another, in varied venues throughout the universe and in other universes and dimensions of existence. We are not alone in the universe but share it with other civilizations, most of them peace-loving, many of whom are more advanced than we are, some of whom can be seen with our eyes and some of whom cannot.

The evidence of our five senses is not the final arbiter of existence. Humans are spiritual as well as physical entities and the spiritual side of life transcends the physical. God is a Spirit and the final touchstone of God’s Truth is not physical but spiritual. The Truth is to be found within.

God is one and, because of this, souls are one. They form a unity. They are meant to live in peace and harmony together in a “common unity” or community. The use of force to settle affairs runs contrary to natural law. Every person should have the right to conduct his or her own affairs without force, as long as his or her choices do not harm another.

No person shall be forced into marriage against his or her will. No woman shall be forced to bear or not bear children, against her will. No person shall be forced to hold or not hold views or worship in a manner contrary to his or her choice. Nothing vital to existence shall be withheld from another if it is within the community’s power to give.

Every person shall retain the ability to think, speak, and act as they choose, as long as they not harm another. Every person has the right to choose, study and practice the education and career of their choice without interference, provided they not harm another.

No one has the right to kill another. No one has the right to steal from another. No one has the right to force himself or herself upon another in any way.

Any government that harms its citizens, deprives them of their property or rights without their consent, or makes offensive war upon its neighbors, no matter how it misrepresents the situation, has lost its legitimacy. No government may govern without the consent of its people. All governments are tasked with seeing to the wellbeing of their citizens. Any government which forces its citizens to see to its own wellbeing without attending to theirs has lost its legitimacy.

Men and women are meant to live fulfilling lives, free of want, wherever they wish and under the conditions they desire, providing their choices do not harm another and are humanly attainable.

Children are meant to live lives under the beneficent protection of all, free of exploitation, with unhindered access to the necessities of life, education, and health care.

All forms of exploitation, oppression, and persecution run counter to universal and natural law. All disagreements are meant to be resolved amicably.

Any human law that runs counter to natural and universal law is invalid and should not survive. The enactment or enforcement of human law that runs counter to natural and universal law brings consequences that cannot be escaped, in this life or another. While one may escape temporal justice, one does not escape divine justice.

All outcomes are to the greater glory of God and to God do we look for the fulfillment of our needs and for love, peace, and wisdom. So let it be. Aum/Amen.



Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit

Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit
Pope Francis laughs alongside US President Barack Obama upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, on September 22, 2015, on the start of a 3-day trip to Washington (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)


Today's doodle in the U.S. celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech on its 50th anniversary (28 Aug 2013)

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'

'Love is love': Obama lauds gay marriage activists in hailing 'a victory for America'
The White House released this image, of the building colored like the rainbow flag, on Facebook following the supreme court’s ruling. Photograph: Facebook

Same-sex marriage around the world

"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. …

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'
Reporters Without Borders labels Erdogan as 'enemy of press freedom'

Search This Blog

Friday, June 14, 2019

US bishops approve changes to Church law on sex abuse reporting

Yahoo – AFP, Cyril JULIEN, June 13, 2019

US bishops have approved a change to Church law on reporting sex abuse first
announced by Pope Francis in May 2019 (AFP Photo/Filippo MONTEFORTE)

Washington (AFP) - The Catholic Church in the United States, which has been rocked in recent years by child sex abuse scandals and investigations, on Thursday approved a papal document that requires clergy to report suspicions of sexual assault.

At a meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore, participants approved by a large majority the changes to the US catechism, which also reinforces systems in place for victims to signal alleged abuse.

The "motu proprio" -- a legal document issued under Pope Francis's personal authority -- declares that anyone who has knowledge of abuse, or suspects it, is "obliged to report (it) promptly" to the Church, using "easily accessible systems."

The law only applies within the Church and has no force to oblige individuals to report abuse to civil authorities.

Under the new measure, every diocese around the world is obliged by June 2020 to create a system for the reporting of sexual abuse by clerics, the use of child pornography and cover-ups of abuse.

Until now, clergy only reported sexual abuse according to their own consciences.

"We approved some motions that will help us to move forward, especially in light of bishops' accountability... and reaffirming the need of lay expertise to help us in our work," said conference spokesman Michael Burbidge.

Victims' rights groups cried foul, especially about the lack of obligation to report any alleged crimes to the police.

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said the bishops' policy of "self-policing" was not enough and could lead to continued abuse.

"US bishops do not operate a self-governing country when it comes to criminal acts against children," said SNAP board member Becky Ianni.

'Predator' priests

The Church is in the throes of a major crisis of confidence in the United States, with multiple revelations of sexual assault and abuse committed by priests nationwide, notably targeting children, over the course of decades.

Those priests were largely shielded from prosecution by their superiors.

In August 2018, a devastating report from a Pennsylvania grand jury revealed that more than 300 "predator" priests had allegedly abused over 1,000 children across seven decades.

That scandal forced the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who served as a bishop in Pennsylvania and was blamed for not doing enough to deal with pedophile priests.

Another influential US cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, was defrocked earlier this year over accusations that he sexually abused a teenage boy in the 1970s.

Bishop Michael Bransfield stepped down last year amid allegations that he sexually harassed adults.

The Catholic Church is not the only one under scrutiny in the United States.

Also this week, delegates attending the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Alabama easily approved a resolution to bar congregations where allegations of sexual abuse are mishandled.

The decision marked a significant change for a church with 15 million members. The Southern Baptist Convention is largely decentralized and individual churches are largely autonomous.

Related Articles:



Pope Francis meets with leaders from the US church at the Vatican on Thursday
to discuss claims of sexual abuse by clergy (AFP Photo/Handout)

Part of the painting, said to one of the highlights of the Vatican collection


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

“… I gave you a channelling years ago when Pope John Paul was alive. John Paul loved Mary, the mother. Had John Paul survived another 10 years, he would have done what the next Pope [The one after the current one, Benedict XVI] will do, and that is to bring women into the Church. This Pope you have now [Benedict XVI] won't be here long.* The next Pope will be the one who has to change the rules, should he survive. If he doesn't, it will be the one after that.

There it a large struggle within the Church, even right now, and great dissention, for it knows that it is not giving what humanity wants. The doctrine is not current to the puzzles of life. The answer will be to create a better balance between the feminine and masculine, and the new Pope, or the one after that, will try to allow women to be in the higher echelon of the Church structure to assist the priests.

It will be suggested to let women participate in services, doing things women did not do before. This graduates them within church law to an equality with priests, but doesn't actually let them become priests just yet. However, don't be surprised if this begins in another way, and instead gives priests the ability to marry. This will bring the feminine into the church in other ways. It will eventually happen and has to happen. If it does not, it will be the end of the Catholic Church, for humanity will not sustain a spiritual belief system that is out of balance with the love of God and also out of balance with intuitive Human awareness. 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Pope to receive Putin at Vatican on July 4

Yahoo – AFP, June 6, 2019

Pope Francis most recently met Putin in 2015 (AFP Photo/GREGORIO BORGIA)

Vatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis will receive Russian President Vladimir Putin for an audience next month, the Vatican said on Thursday.

"The Holy Father will receive the president of the Russian Federation... this upcoming July 4," interim spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said in a statement.

The meeting will be the third between the two men, with Francis having received Putin most recently in 2015, when the pope urged all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to make a "sincere effort" for peace.

The meeting lasted an unusual 50 minutes. Only audiences with former US President Barack Obama and French President Emmanuel Macron have been longer.

But the pope did not go further than calling for "an important and sincere effort to achieve peace" in Ukraine, where Russia is accused of carrying out a proxy war, after annexing Crimea in 2014.

Francis first met Putin in 2013, as the Roman Catholic Church sought to improve ties with the Russian Orthodox Church.

Only in 2009 did the Vatican and Moscow re-establish full diplomatic ties which had been severed during Soviet times.

Relations between Russia and the Vatican have improved since the coming to power in the same year of Patriarch Kirill, who headed up the Russian Orthodox Church's diplomatic arm for years.

The Russian Orthodox Church has frequently accused the Catholic Church of proselytising in Russia, an Orthodox Christian country of 144 million.

The pope in 2016 held an historic meeting with Kirill in Cuba, the first encounter between the heads of the two largest Christian churches since Christianity split into Western and Eastern branches in the 11th Century -- an event known as "The Great Schism."

The two wings have been estranged ever since with each maintaining for centuries that they are the true inheritors of the early Christian church established by the apostles of Jesus Christ.

While relations have warmed of late between Rome and other branches of the Orthodox tradition, the Russian one, the most influential in the Eastern family, is historically the most guarded.

Putin previously met the pope's now-retired predecessor Benedict XVI as well as late pope John Paul II.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

No country meeting global goals for gender equality: study

Yahoo – AFP, June 5, 2019

The UN survey shows richer countries like Finland have made the most
progress on gender equality (AFP Photo/Roni Rekomaa)

Vancouver (AFP) - No country is on track to achieve the gender equality called for in the United Nations's development blueprint, a report released on Tuesday said.

In 2015, all United Nations member states adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to achieve by 2030 in areas such as education, climate, and gender equality.

But the new report says countries aren't on the right track to meet the gender equality benchmark, which requires eliminating discrimination and violence against women and ending harmful practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation.

"We're literally failing to deliver on the gender equality promises made in the (SDGs) for billions of girls and women," said Alison Holder, director of Equal Measures 2030, which put together the SDG Gender Index report.

"Even more worrying for me is 1.4 billion girls and women live in countries that got a 'very poor' failing score on the index," she said, speaking on the sidelines of the Women Deliver gender equality conference in Vancouver.

Using data from 129 countries, the survey shows that wealthy nations like Finland, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands were making the most progress while poor or unstable countries such as Chad, DR Congo, Congo-Brazzaville, Yemen and Niger were falling behind.

Some poorer countries did make gains, with Senegal closer to achieving 
gender parity in its parliament than Denmark (AFP Photo/SEYLLOU)

There were also "pockets of good news even in struggling countries," said Holder.

For example, Senegal is closer to achieving gender parity in its parliament than Denmark, even though Senegal's GDP is 56 times lower.

However, no country has fully achieved gender equality, the report said.

The findings of the index indicate a lack of political will to invest in advancing gender equality, according to Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, chief executive officer of Plan International, a child rights charity that contributed to the report.

She hopes to see advocacy groups and activists take up the data from the gender index and use it to mount "clever political campaigns to generate actions."

The survey isn't the first to show the tough road ahead for the SDGs.

A report released last month said that despite 150 million people gaining access to electricity every year, the SDG of assuring affordable and clean energy was not on track to be reached.
Related Article:


“… With free choice, the percentage of DNA efficiently started to go down as humanity grew. As soon as the DNA started to lose percentage, the gender balance was dysfunctional. If you want to have a test of any society, anywhere on the planet, and you want to know the DNA percentage number [consciousness quota] as a society, there's an easy test: How do they perceive and treat their women? The higher the DNA functionality, the more the feminine divine is honored. This is the test! Different cultures create different DNA consciousness, even at the same time on the planet. So you can have a culture on Earth at 25 percent and one at 37 - and if you did, they would indeed clash. …”

“… You're at 35. There's an equality here, you're starting to see the dark and light, and it's changing everything. You take a look at history and you've come a long way, but it took a long time to get here. Dear ones, we've seen this process before and the snowball is rolling. There isn't anything in the way that's going to stop it. In the path of this snowball of higher consciousness are all kinds of things that will be run over and perish. Part of this is what you call "the establishment". Watch for some very big established things to fall over! The snowball will simply knock them down. …”

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Canada indigenous teen covers Beatles' 'Blackbird' in Mi'kmaq language

Yahoo – AFP, June 4, 2019

Paul McCartney, seen in 2017, gave a shoutout to Canadian teenager Emma Stevens'
cover of "Blackbird" in her Mi'kmaq language during a concert in Kentucky (AFP Photo/
Kamil Krzaczynski)

Ottawa (AFP) - A Canadian teen and her classmates are earning praise including from Paul McCartney for their cover of the Beatles' classic "Blackbird," sung in her native Mi'kmaq language.

McCartney wrote the song, inspired by the civil rights movement, for the Beatles' 1968 "White Album."

With the help of teachers in Eskasoni, Nova Scotia, singer Emma Stevens, 16, and her classmates recorded the tender acoustic version to raise awareness about indigenous languages around the world at risk of disappearing.

A video of the performance quickly went viral after being posted to YouTube, where it has been viewed more than half a million times.

"There's an incredible version done by a Canadian girl. You see it on YouTube. It's in her native language," McCartney recently told a concert crowd in Lexington, Kentucky. "It's really cool."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also urged his followers on Twitter to "check it out."

After learning of McCartney's shoutout, Stevens said to the syndicated arts magazine show "q," on Canadian public broadcaster CBC, that she got so excited that she was almost moved to tears.

"I grew up listening to the Beatles every day. My dad is a super-fan," she said.

"My culture is one of the biggest things in my life," Stevens added. "So sharing it with others outside of the community, and people who don't speak Mi'kmaq and don't really understand it, it gives them a different perspective and shows them that our language is very beautiful."

Her music teacher Carter Chiasson, who organized the recording, echoed Stevens' remarks in an interview with AFP, saying: "We're hoping that this recording brings awareness to the importance of preserving indigenous languages and culture."

He said that "so many of them are endangered and could disappear within a few generations."

There are more than 70 indigenous languages still spoken in Canada, divided into 12 distinct language families, according to government data.

Census figures show the total number of native speakers is 260,000, out of a total indigenous population of 1.6 million. Three out of four are classified by the UN cultural agency UNESCO as endangered.

Some of the languages such as Kutenai are spoken by as few as 170 people while others, like Cree, are spoken by as many as 96,000.

Mi'kmaq is one of the most common Algonquian languages, spoken by 9,000 indigenous people.

A public inquiry into murdered indigenous women on Monday recommended that Ottawa recognize indigenous languages as official languages of Canada, alongside French and English.

Two acts to preserve indigenous languages and to bring Canadian laws into harmony with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples are now before the Senate.



Monday, June 3, 2019

China says trade war 'has not made America great again'

Yahoo – AFP, Poornima Weerasekara, with Elizabeth Law in Singapore, June 2, 2019

Beijing's broadside is the latest act in a bruising conflict between the world's top two
economies that has spooked markets and sparked fears about the global economy
(AFP Photo/Mark RALSTON)

Beijing (AFP) - Washington's escalating trade war with Beijing has not "made America great again" and has instead damaged the American economy, China said Sunday, warning that while it wants resolution through talks there will be no compromise on core principles.

Beijing's broadside is the latest act in a bruising conflict between the world's top two economies that has spooked markets and sparked fears about the global economy.

With trade talks stalled, the dispute has intensified in recent weeks with US President Donald Trump imposing fresh tariffs on imports from China and moving to blacklist Chinese tech titan Huawei over national security concerns.

"The (US) tariff measures have not boosted American economic growth. Instead, they have done serious harm to the US economy," the Chinese government said in a white paper, pointing to what it described as increased production costs and consumer prices in the United States and threats to economic growth.

"The trade war has not 'made America great again'," it said, referring to Trump's political slogan made famous during his 2016 presidential campaign.

The white paper's release came a day after China hit $60 billion worth of US goods with new punitive tariffs ranging from five to 25 percent, in retaliation for Washington raising duty on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25 percent.

Trump launched the trade war last year in a bid to reduce the US trade deficit with China and force Beijing to undertake economic reforms, accusing it of seeking to dominate global industries with unfair state subsidies and of acquiring American technology through theft or forced transfers.

Since Trump fired the first shot, the two countries have exchanged tit-for-tat tariffs on two-way trade worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

The resulting conflict has gutted US farm exports to China, and weighed on the manufacturing sectors in both countries.

While both sides have sought to find a resolution through several rounds of negotiations, they appear to have stalled after the latest meetings ended without a deal.

American negotiators have alleged their Chinese counterparts reneged on previous commitments, but China said Sunday the US should bear "sole and entire responsibility" for the setback in negotiations, accusing Washington of repeatedly changing its demands.

Beyond tariffs

Despite the tensions, China has reiterated that it wants to resolve trade issues through talks.

"On the trade friction started by the US: if the US wants to talk, we will keep the door open. If they want to fight, we are ready," Chinese defence minister General Wei Fenghe told an international security dialogue in Singapore on Sunday.

And the white paper said: "China does not want a trade war, but it is not afraid of one and will fight one if necessary."

With trade talks stalled, the dispute appears to be spreading beyond tariffs.

Beijing has said it will unveil its own list of "unreliable entities", apparently in response to the US blacklisting of Huawei over national security concerns, specifically over possible links to China's military.

The company has dismissed such fears, and Wei echoed that on Sunday.

"Do not think that because the head of Huawei used to serve in the military, then the company that he built is part of the military," he said.

China's deputy commerce minister Wang Shouwen said Sunday that Beijing's list will target companies that "violate market principles", cut supplies to or block Chinese enterprises, and "whose actions affect China's national security".

He did not say when the list will be published or what kind of penalties will be imposed on such firms.

Chinese state media have also dangled the threat of cutting exports of rare earths to the United States -- a key resource used in the production of everything from smartphones to military hardware.

There are hopes that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet at the G20 summit this month to ease tensions and jumpstart trade negotiations.

But Wang said he had no information when asked about the meeting at a press conference on Sunday.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Angela Merkel tells Harvard grads to 'tear down walls'

DW, 30 May 2019

The chancellor has addressed students at the elite university, encouraging them to shape the future. Her halting speech appeared to contain a few digs at President Donald Trump, without mentioning him by name.

Angela Merkel delivers commencement speech at Harvard University
(picture-alliance/S. Senne)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivered a commencement speech to Harvard graduates on Thursday after being greeted with rousing applause when introduced as "one of the most respected and influential leaders of the postwar era."

Addressing students at the Ivy League school's 368th commencement ceremony, Merkel began in English, yet quickly switched to German.

Merkel, speaking through a translator, touched on a number of topics throughout the speech — beginning with her own upbringing in East Germany under the shadow of the Berlin Wall. The idea of the wall was one that she would return to throughout the speech.

She would go on to speak of the "walls in people's minds, walls of ignorance and narrow-mindedness," at one point calling on students to, "Tear down walls of ignorance and narrow-mindedness for nothing has to stay as it is."

The chancellor hit on other subjects including the opportunities and threats posed by new technologies, as well as the challenge of combating climate change.


She warned students that nothing could be taken for granted, yet encouraged them to realize: "Anything that seems to be set in stone and unalterable, can be changed. Every change begins in the mind."

Merkel also acknowledged Germany's historic responsibility, as well as the theme of forgiveness, noting that: "The relations between Germany and the US, too, show how former enemies can become friends."

During that passage, she underscored the importance of transatlantic relations based on shared values, referring to George Marshall's famous 1947 Harvard commencement speech in which he unveiled his plan for helping rebuild Europe after the war.


In clear reference to current US policy under President Trump, she said, "protectionism threatens the foundations of our prosperity." Instead, Merkel laid out a different path, one that is, "Multilateral rather than unilateral, global rather than national, outward looking rather than isolationist. In short, we have to work together rather than alone."

The biggest applause by far came when she told those present: "We must be honest with others and with ourselves, and that means that we do not call lies truths and not call the truth lies." The line struck a note with the audience and she was given a standing ovation for it.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Leaked report calls indigenous women's deaths a 'Canadian genocide'

Yahoo – AFP, May 31, 2019

Indigenous leaders participate in a protest against the expansion of Texas-based
Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline project in Burnaby, British Columbia
on March 10, 2018 (AFP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Ottawa (AFP) - A public inquiry report leaked to Canada's public broadcaster Friday called the disappearances and slayings of possibly thousands of indigenous women over recent decades a "Canadian genocide."

The report concluded that through "state actions and inactions rooted in colonialism and colonial ideologies" indigenous women and girls faced a disproportionately high level of violence.

"We do know that thousands of Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual) have been lost to the Canadian genocide to date," said the report, titled "Reclaiming Power and Place."

"The fact that First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples are still here and that the population is growing should not discount the charge of genocide."

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls's 1,200-page final report is set for public release Monday at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau -- who has made reconciliation with Canada's 1.6 million indigenous peoples a government priority -- and families of the victims.

CBC said it contains more than 230 recommendations.

The inquiry was the culmination of years of lobbying by native leaders, activists and victims' families seeking to know why possibly thousands of indigenous women were murdered or have gone missing over the past three decades.

Indigenous women represent four percent of Canada's population but accounted for up to 16-24 percent of homicide victims during the period, said the report's authors.

According to official estimates, almost 1,200 women and girls went missing or were killed between 1980 and 2012.

But inquiry commissioners have said that figure is probably too low.

The commissioners held 24 hearings across Canada over the past 2.5 years and heard from more than 2,000 witnesses, including family members of missing or murdered women, survivors of violence, experts and officials.


Sunday, May 26, 2019

In Asia, Trump finds more than ever he's among friends

MSN – AFP, 25 May 2019 

US President Donald Trump arrives for lunch with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe at the Kasumigaseki Country Club golf course outside Tokyo in November 2017

In Europe, Donald Trump's relationships with leaders range from lukewarm to hostile. But in Asia, more than ever, the US president is finding that he's among friends.

At a time that Trump is ramping up pressure on China, he has built warm relationships elsewhere in Asia and has recently seen surprise electoral triumphs by key partners.

Japan is rolling out the red carpet for Trump, who will become the first foreign leader to meet newly enthroned Emperor Naruhito. Trump will bond with conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over sumo wrestling and, weather permitting, their latest rounds of golf.

Trump's trip comes on the heels of India's election in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist who has enthusiastically built ties with Washington, won an unexpectedly strong new mandate, as well as Australia's polls, where Prime Minister Scott Morrison stunned pundits by beating back a challenge from the Labor Party, whose promises included a "more considered" approach to China.

Trump will return to Japan in June for the Group of 20 summit in Osaka and also visit South Korea, where President Moon Jae-in, despite coming from the opposite end of the political spectrum, laid the groundwork for one of Trump's signature foreign policy initiatives -- direct negotiations with North Korea.

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet Prime Minister 
Shinzo Abe at the White House in April 2019 on one of the Japanese leader's many visits

The diplomacy comes amid an intense trade war between the United States and China that has no end in sight, with Trump blacklisting Chinese tech titan Huawei and demanding an end to allegedly rampant theft of US technology.

"Why would Kim Jong Un insult me by calling me 'old,' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?' Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!"

On Nov. 11, 2017, Trump tweeted a reply to North Korea's insults that described him as a "destroyer."

Envisioning a long-term US struggle against China, the Trump administration has said it is working on a comprehensive policy to counter the rising Asian power, akin to the Cold War doctrine of containing the Soviet Union.

Asian model for managing Trump

Toshihiro Nakayama, a professor at Keio University in Tokyo, said the Japanese were fully aware of the controversial nature of Trump, who is facing rising calls for impeachment from Democrats.

But the United States, which stations some 50,000 troops in Japan under a defense alliance, is by far the most important ally for Tokyo -- as well as an often difficult partner on trade.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison won a surprise re-election victory after campaign 
promises that mirrored US President Donald Trump on immigration and climate

"There's a consensus that if the American people chose Mr Trump, it's not our job to criticize it; it's our job to manage the relationship," said Nakayama, also a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International scholars in Washington.

French President Emmanuel Macron "initially tried to embrace him with style and nuance and it didn't succeed. So the Japanese government and people say that if you're going to embrace Mr Trump, you have to totally embrace him," Nakayama said.

Trump came of political age talking tough on trade in the 1980s, when Japan loomed large in the US imagination as a competitor. But Abe has courted Trump assiduously since the mogul's stunning election in 2016, gifting him gold-plated golf clubs and flying halfway around the world to celebrate his wife Melania's birthday.

Patrick Buchan, a longtime Australian official who directs the US Alliances Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said Abe served as a global model on how to woo Trump -- making the relationship personal and resolving concerns through private channels.

"The Europeans, in my opinion, completely mishandled the Trump phenomenon. By responding to his public rhetoric or his Twitter tirades, you only created a vicious circle," Buchan said.

"I think it is partly, if you want, the Asian way of not engaging in megaphone diplomacy," he said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivers a victory speech after leading
his Bharatiya Janata Party to an unexpectedly sweeping re-election

Common cause on China

To be sure, Trump's ties with allies in the region have also hit rocky patches. Shortly after Trump's election, he reportedly exploded and hung up the phone on Australia's then prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, when he heard of a deal on moving refugees from Australia to America.

And in India, accounts that Trump likes to mimic Modi's accent have sparked outrage.

But on strategy in Asia, leaders have found common ground. China has longstanding claims on territory administered by both Japan and India, while Australia has also voiced worries about Beijing's trading practices.

Modi -- who will meet Trump alongside Abe in Osaka -- has sided unabashedly with the United States despite India's historic resistance to alliances, building a defense relationship but stopping short of accepting any joint military operations.

Modi "has been willing to take the relationship with the US further than any of his predecessors," said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia program at the Wilson Center.

But Kugelman warned that trade disputes could cloud the relationship. Trump is ending key trading preferences for India and forced the energy-hungry economy to stop buying from Iran and Venezuela.

Still, "I think Modi recognizes that India's national interests are tightly aligned with the US on issues like China's increasing presence in Asia and the terrorism threat in South Asia," Kugelman said.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Modi plots course after landslide Indian election win

Yahoo – AFP, Simon Sturdee and Abhaya Srivastava, May 24, 2019

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures during his victory speech at the
BJP headquarters in New Delhi (AFP Photo/PRAKASH SINGH)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met allies and former mentors Friday to plot a course for his second term after a landslide victory left the once-mighty Gandhi dynasty reeling.

A considerable to-do list includes addressing India's lacklustre economic growth and reducing unemployment, as well as fixing a stricken agriculture sector on which 70 percent of households depend.

Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 303 seats, its best ever score, giving it an even bigger majority than five years ago and defying predictions of a dip, final results confirmed Friday.

The main opposition Congress party, which has ruled the roost in India for much of its post-independence history, improved on its historic low five years ago of 44 seats but still only managed a paltry 52.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi even lost his own seat in Amethi, long a family bastion. He did win a seat in the southern state of Kerala, however, a quirk allowed under Indian election rules.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, meanwhile, joined a chorus of international well-wishers, with US President Donald Trump hailing Modi's "BIG" win and even Pakistan's Imran Khan tweeting congratulations.

On Thursday there were delirious scenes at BJP party offices across the nation of 1.3 billion people, including its headquarters where Modi, 68, was showered with petals by chanting fans.

"The voting numbers in India's election is the biggest event in the history of (the) democratic world. The entire world has to recognise the democratic strength of India," Modi told cheering crowds.

"Modi will make India great again. Modi is the strongest prime minister India has ever had and will get. We need to support his policies to prosper," said one supporter, Santosh Joshi.

On Friday, ahead of a cabinet meeting, Modi conferred with two now-sidelined former mentors, LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, touching their feet in sign of respect.

'Can Modi deliver?'

With the election behind him, Modi must now tackle the economy and unemployment -- notably among women, who have one of the lowest labour market participation rates in the world.

The Congress Party under Rahul Gandhi suffered a major rout at the polls
(AFP Photo/SAJJAD HUSSAIN)

"The real question is can Modi deliver on his economic commitments -- for example creating the high number of jobs needed?" said Champa Patel, of the Chatham House think-tank.

"This is essential to address India's growing wealth inequalities. Can he address the challenges that millions of Indians face on a daily basis in a highly stratified country?"

India's agriculture industry is also in a dire state with drought, low prices and debt driving thousands of farmers to suicide in recent years.

The country's waterways are filthy and India is home to 22 of the world's 30 most polluted cities, killing 1.24 million people early in 2017 according to a Lancet Planetary Health study.

On Friday, around 80 to 100 people held a demonstration in Delhi as part of a global day of climate change to demand Modi does more on the environment, .

"We are here to fight for our right to breathe clean air," said Ishika Goyal, 16.

Modi and the Hindu nationalist BJP must also try to heal divisions which have left religious minorities -- including India's 170 million Muslims -- feeling anxious for the future.

During the campaign he managed to deflect criticism on these issues by focusing on national security, claiming he alone could defend India.

Congress meanwhile was picking up the pieces after the second election debacle in a row, having failed to win a single seat in 13 states and five union territories.

These included Rajasthan where it won state elections late last year. This time the BJP swept all 25 seats, and in Uttar Pradesh Congress took just one constituency.

An anti-Modi alliance in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state with 200 million people, also failed to prevent the BJP juggernaut sweeping 64 out of 80 seats.

Even in West Bengal, run by formidable Modi critic Mamata Banerjee, the BJP made major inroads, boosting its seat tally from two to 18.

Congress on Friday was forced to deny media reports that Gandhi -- the great-grandson, grandson and son of three former premiers -- had offered to throw in the towel.

"The Congress leadership has clearly failed. It is a discredited and bankrupt leadership," Kanchan Gupta from the Observer Research Foundation think-tank told AFP.

"It is astonishing that Rahul Gandhi has not yet resigned", Ramachandra Guha, a renowned historian, said on Twitter. "The Congress should dump the Dynasty."