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'

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Monday, March 30, 2009

China asks Indonesia to maintain ASEAN regional security

Beijing (ANTARA News) - China has asked Indonesia to jointly step up security in ASEAN region, especially during the global financial crisis which led to a significant change in the field of security and defense.

"The global financial crisis has a negative impact on a number of countries, including those in East Asia, and has changed the security situation in East Asia and ASEAN," Chinese Military and Science Academy(AMS) spokesman Lt Gn Liu Chengjun said in a China-ASEAN Defense dialog here on Monday.

Present in the dialog were among others Indonesian Defense Ministry`s Strategic Environmental Analysis director Brig Gen Subekti, Indonesian Defense Attache in Beijing Col Infantry Yayat Sudrajat, and a number of ASEAN and Chinese military officials.

Chengjun said the global crisis had already caused social conflicts and regional instability.

In addition, he said several terrorist activities and separatism, cross border crime such as piracy, and human trafficking would probably escalate.

"Therefore, China and Indonesia, including ASEAN should have a joint security system," he said.

To maintain peace and security in the region, he said China would like to be Indonesia and ASEAN partner as good neighbors.

"China has so far built a strong foundation in defense cooperation with ASEAN and it would continue to be developed in the future," he said, adding that every year China had a defense consultation mechanism with Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore.

In addition, China also had a defense cooperation agreement with Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore, and strategic cooperation with Thailand.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

3 teens arrested in Hong Kong after making bombs

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Hong Kong | Sun, 03/29/2009 2:53 PM

Three Hong Kong teenagers have been arreste for possession of explosives, and tests are being made to determine if the material is the same type used in the deadly 2005 London subway bombings, police said Sunday.

The arrests came after one of the youths set off a homemade bomb Saturday and almost had his hand blown off.

Police spokesman Lawrene Li said experts were trying to confirm that the explosive used by the boys, aged 13 and 14, is triacetone triperoxide, known as TATP.

Chief inspector Chan Wai-man was quoted by Hong Kong's Apple Daily newspaper as saying the explosive was believed to be TATP.

That explosive was used by the four suicie bombers who killed 52 commuters in London in 2005.

Police found the injured 13-year-old Saturday at a food store managed by his family. He had ignited a fuse attached to two plastic bottles containing explosive powder, the Sunday Morning Post reported, adding that he suffered two broken fingers and injuries to his face and eyes in the explosion.

Officers later seizedix more bottles of explosives and a computer from a 14-year-old's home, and arrested another 13-year-old, the Post reported.

The newspaper said police believed the 14-year-old learned to make the explosives on the Internet, then gave the bottles to his classmates two months ago.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Japan says ready to shoot down N.Korea missile

The Jakarta Globe, Friday 27 March 2009

TOKYO (AFP) | by Kyoko Hasegawa | 04:49 PM. 03/27/2009

Japan on Friday gave its military the green light to shoot down any incoming North Korean rocket, with tensions high ahead of a planned launch that the US and allies say will be an illegal missile test.

Japanese and US warships have already deployed ahead of the April 4-8 window, when the secretive North has said it will launch a communications satellite -- warning that shooting it down would be seen as an act of war.

But South Korea, Japan and the United States have all warned the North that any launch would be unacceptable, amid fears the regime is actually intending to test a long-range missile that could reach North America.

Russia -- which with the two Koreas, China, Japan and the US is part of a six-party forum working on the North's nuclear disarmament -- urged Pyongyang not to carry out the launch, saying there was no need to "ignite passions".

The security council in Japan, officially pacifist since the end of World War II, decided ahead of time to shoot down any incoming missile that could hit its territory rather than wait until a launch.

"The security council this morning decided to issue a destruction order in advance," said Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada. "We will do our best to handle any flying object from North Korea."

The North said Thursday that even referring a launch to the United Nations would ruin the long-running and erratic six-nation nuclear disarmament talks, during which North Korea has already tested one missile and an atomic bomb.

US National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said the North wanted to show it had the technology to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The North is believed to be preparing to test a Taepodong-2 that could hit Alaska.

"North Korea is attempting to demonstrate an ICBM capability through a space launch," Blair said.

Japan has announced no plans to strike the North Korean rocket unless it appears to pose a direct threat, for example due to a mishap that could send an errant missile or debris flying toward the country.

"There are various scenarios -- for example, a case of failure," Hamada said. "It's extremely unpleasant that an object flies over our territories."

Pyongyang has reportedly already put a rocket onto one of its launch pads, raising the stakes in a delicate diplomatic stand-off that has come just two months into the new US administration of President Barack Obama.

Enigmatic North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il reportedly suffered a stroke in August, and some analysts speculate he is trying to demonstrate he remains firmly in control of the country.

Though a recent photo showed him looking thin, the North's official media have reported more than three times as many public appearances by Kim so far this year than over the same period in the previous year.

The six-nation talks have offered the North aid and security guarantees in exchange for dismantling its nuclear programme.

North Korea said Thursday that bringing any launch to the United Nations would be a "hostile action" that would end the negotiations.

The United States, which says the launch would violate a UN Security Council resolution, has vowed to do so.

"The six-party talks will become non-existent," a spokesman for the North's foreign ministry told official media.

In Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin told reporters: "North Korea would be better off refraining from it."

"There is no need to ignite passions around this problem," he was quoted as saying by Russian news agencie

Related Articles:

North Korea space launch 'fails'

U.N. Security Council to meet on N. Korea

North Korea launches rocket over Japan

U.S. destroyers on move as N. Korea prepares rocket launch

Russia urges North Korea not to go ahead with its planned rocket launch next month

Japan says ready to shoot down NKorea missile

South Korea warns North Korea against firing rocket

Clinton: North Korea plan to fire missile 'provocative'

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Questions pour in for Obama's online town hall meeting

By Stephanie Chen, CNN

(CNN) -- During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt reassured anxious Americans through his famous fireside chats over the radio.

Americans can submit questions on WhiteHouse.gov for President Obama to answer live online Thursday.

Now, in the 21st century, President Obama has found his own fireside equivalent, launching an online town hall meeting Thursday where he will answer citizens' questions about the troubled economy and his efforts to fix it.

Americans can submit questions on WhiteHouse.gov
for President Obama to answer live online Thursday.

"We're going to try something a little different. We are going to take advantage of the Internet to bring all of you to the White House to talk about the economy," he says in an introductory video on the site.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, more than 30,000 people had submitted more than 32,000 questions on the official administration Web site, WhiteHouse.gov.

Americans may submit questions, and vote on others' queries, until 9:30 a.m. ET Thursday. Obama has promised to answer the most popular questions through a live video stream on WhiteHouse.gov. beginning Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET.

The site had recorded more than 1 million votes as of late Wednesday afternoon.

The White House's Web site asks people to agree to post "only questions related to the economy (including topics essential to long-term economic growth, such as education, fiscal responsibility, green jobs and energy, health care reform, and home ownership)."

A quick review of questions revealed deep concerns among Americans trying to make ends meet.

"What is the government doing to make higher education more affordable for lower and middle class families?" asked James of Bloomington, Indiana, who described himself as a full-time student who also works full time, "only to break even at the end of the month."

"Why do I have to be to the point of foreclosure to get any help with my mortgage? Why aren't you helping the people who want to prevent foreclosure?" asked another questioner from Providence, Rhode Island.

Observers say Obama, who revolutionized the use of technology as a political tool during his campaign, will be the first president to address questions from the public live on the Internet. By allowing people to submit any question they want and answering them live on the Web for the entire world to see, the administration hopes to create a more transparent style of governing that will help win public support.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," said Don Tapscott, author of "Growing Up Digital," a book exploring the generation that has grown up on the Web. "It turns out that the Internet is a new medium of human communication that not only helps you get elected, it changes the way you govern."

Along the presidential campaign trail, Obama was praised for his innovative use of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to announce events, rally volunteers and raise money.

Nine years ago, when George W. Bush ran for president, Internet media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube didn't exist.

Bush and former President Bill Clinton engaged in online chats with citizens, but neither relied on the Internet as a platform for reaching the American public as Obama does, said Andrew Rasiej, co-founder of the Personal Democracy Forum and the techPresident blog.

"It's changing the relationship between the president and the country," Rasiej says. "It's building on a 21st-century information age platform. We want to make sure our president isn't stuck in a bubble."

Some observers wondered whether Obama's creative social media initiatives, dubbed Obama 2.0, would continue once he entered office. But Thursday's online meeting -- the first of many, according to the government -- reaffirms his commitment to engaging with Americans through technology, Rasiej said.

While Obama's staffers have stopped posting updates on social networking sites since the election, they are sill reaching constituents through WhiteHouse.gov, which is more interactive than previous administrations' Web sites.

Launching an online town hall meeting will allow more effective communication with citizens, said Ellen Miller, executive director at the Sunlight Foundation, a group that advocates government transparency. Americans can submit their own questions and receive direct responses without questions or answers being filtered by the media, she said.

"There might be a question asked that wouldn't have been asked at a press conference," she said. "It's a significant step forward for new-media communications."

Adam Ostrow, editor of Mashable.com, a guide to social media, said the online town hall-style meeting will encourage Americans to get involved beyond the election.

"It gives people a sense of participation and what is going on and to be able to shape some of the decision that will be made," he said.

Clinton: North Korea plan to fire missile 'provocative'

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Mexico City | Thu, 03/26/2009 10:13 AM

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday warned North Kore that firing a missile for any purpose would be a "provocative act" that would have consequences.

North Korea is loading a rocket on a launch pad in anticipation of the launch of a communications satellite between April 4 and 8, U.S. counterproliferation and intelligence officials said. North Korea announced its intention to launch the satellite in February, but regional powers worry the claim is a cover for the launch of a long-range missile capable of reaching Alaska.

Clinton told reporters during a visit to Mexico City that the U.S. believes the North Korean plan to fire a missile for any purpose wouldiolate a U.N. Security Council resolution barring the country from ballistic activity. She linked a missile launch to the future of talks between the U.S., North Korea and four other nations aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

"We have made it very clear that the North Koreans pursue this pathway at a cost and with consequences to the six-party talks, which we would like to see revived," Clinton said.

"We intend to raise this violation of the Security Council resolution, if it goes forward, in the U.N.," she said. "This provocative action in violation of the U.N. mandate will not go unnoticed and there will be consequences."

National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said earlier this month that all indications suggest North Korea will in fact launch a satellite. However, North Korea faked a satellite launch in 1998 to cloak a missile development test.

In 2006, North Korea launched a Taepodong-2 that blew up less than a minute into flight.

Both the satellite launch rocket and long-range missile use similar technology, and arms control experts fear even a satellite launch would be a test toward eventually launching a long-range missile.

South Korea, the U.S. and Japan have urged North Korea to refrain from launching a satellite or missile, calling it a violation of the Security Council resolution. North Korea insists it has the right to develop its space program and on Tuesday warned the U.S., Japan and its allies not to interfere with the launch.

In Seoul, the Defense Ministry and the National Intelligence Service said Thursday that they cannot confirm whether the North has loaded the rocket on the launch pad.

South Korea's chief nuclear envoy, Wi Sung-lac, said Wednesday after returning from talks with his Beijing counterparts that a launch would trigger a response.

"If North Korea launches rocket, certain countermeasures are unavoidable," he said. He refused to elaborate, saying the measures, including any sanctions, would be discussed among U.N. Security Council member nations.

It probably won't be clear if the latest launch is a satellite or a missile test until footage can be analyzed after the event; the trajectory of a missile is markedly different from that of a satellite.

Analysts have been watching for signs of a satellite or missile on the launch pad in Musudan-ni, the northeast coastal launch site. Satellite imagery from March 16 showed progress toward mounting a rocket, with a crane hovering over the launch pad, said Christian LeMiere, an editor at Jane's Intelligence Review in London.

LeMiere said that once the rocket is mounted, scientists would need at least a week to fuel and carry out tests before any launch. Images from earlier this month did not indicate the rocket or missile had been mounted, he said.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Netanyahu reaches out to Palestinians

CNN, 25 March 2009

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday his government will be a "partner for peace" with the Palestinians.

Ehud Barak, left, will remain Israeli defense minister in Benjamin Netanyahu's new government.

Speaking to an economic forum, Netanyahu said, "Palestinians should understand that they have in our government a partner for peace, for security and for rapid economic development of (the) Palestinian economy; I believe that this could be done."

This comes a day after the central committee of the left of center Labor Party voted to join a coalition government headed by Netanyahu, the leader of the right of center Likud party.

Under the agreement, Labor leader Ehud Barak would remain Israeli defense minister, and Netanyahu would achieve his goal of broadening a coalition made up mainly of right-wing parties.

Despite these words, his past statements have sparked persistent skepticism about the political will Netanyahu would have to make the moves necessary for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

Just before the Israeli elections, Netanyahu had been visiting the West Bank settlement of Beit Arieh when he was asked why he was visiting a community considered illegal by much of the world community.

He said leaving the spot would hurt Israel's security and accused his rival Kadima party of contemplating a pullout from the area, a policy of "retreat and weakness."

"Behind us is the Israeli national airport, Ben Gurion International Airport, behind us is Tel Aviv and the coastal plain in which most of Israel's population lives.

"The Kadima platform would have us vacate this place in the belief that it would purchase peace. It won't. It will simply implant another Hamas base, terror base here, backed by Iran with Iranian missiles that would be fired on Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion national airport. And this is something we cannot accept.

"We want a policy of security -- we know that we will achieve peace only if Israel is strong, only if it can fight terror, only if it can defend itself. This is our policy, the policy of Likud."

Zimbabwe wants to draw back tourists

The Jakarta Post, The Associated Press, Harare, Zimbabwe | Wed, 03/25/2009 8:32 PM

Zimbabwe's coalition government is pledging to end political violence and turmoil to attract tourists back to its world-renowned nature reserves and resorts.

Several years of political and economic uncertainty has seen revenue from tourism drop sharply. Most Western nations warned citizensto avoid traveling to Zimbabwe last year after disputed national elections.

Last month President Robert Mugabe formed a unity government with longtime rival Morgan Tsvangirai. The government has appealed for $5 billion in international aid to revive the shattered economy.

Speaking at a tourism conference Wednesday, Vice President Joyce Mujuru said leaders need to "condemn" violence and not "contribute to the negative perceptios" of the country abroad.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

S. African event postponed after Dalai Lama barred

The Jakarta Post, Associated Press, Johannesburg | Tue, 03/24/2009 9:05 PM

Organizers say a peace conference in Johannesburg has been postponed over South Africa's decision to bar the Dalai Lama from attending.

The government refused to issue an official invitation to the Tibetan spiritual leader, citing its relationship with China.

The move has generated sharp criticism of South Africa. Fellow Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu as well as members of the Nobel Committee pulled out of the conference in response.

Friday's conference was to highlight ways football can promote peace ahead of the 2010 World Cup to be held in South Africa.

Chairman of the local 2010 committee Irvin Khoza told reportes Tuesday that the conference has been postponed indefinitely "as result of the controversy surrounding the Dalai Lama."

Related Article:

IPL will switch to South Africa

Sunday, March 22, 2009

UFO files reveal close encounter

BBC News, 21 March 2009

A boomerang-shaped object seen from an airport control tower and a woman's encounter with an "alien" are among the secrets revealed in official UFO files.

The woman reported seeing a glowing, spherical object rise into the air in Norwich after meeting a man who said he came from a planet similar to Earth.

Sketch of a UFO spotted in Hemsworth, West Yorkshire, on 25 March 1988

In another sighting, a triangular craft hovered then "shot off at 500mph".

The third set of UFO documents to be released by the Ministry of Defence covers the period from 1987 to 1993.

Crop circles

In November 1989 a "completely terrified" woman contacted RAF Wattisham in Suffolk to report her close encounter with a man claiming to be an alien.

She said she met the fair-haired man with a Scandinavian-type accent as she walked her dog on a sports field.

He told her crop circles were caused by others like him who had travelled to Earth and that the purpose of his visit was friendly.

He then said he had spoken to her because he felt it was important to have contact with humans even though he was told not to.

As the unidentified woman ran home she heard a loud buzzing noise and turned to see a large, spherical object, glowing orange-white, rise steadily until out of sight.

A letter from RAF Wattisham to the MoD and Norfolk police described it as "one of our more unusual UFO reports".

Three years later two air traffic controllers at London's Heathrow Airport reported seeing a black, inverted boomerang-shaped UFO from their control tower.

It was stationary then moved steadily in the morning sun, the files say.

A week earlier on a coastal road in Louth, Lincolnshire, several people had reported similar sightings of a large, triangular-shaped object with three lights.

Many witnesses reportedly stopped their cars and got out for a better look before it turned on its axis and zoomed off "at 500mph towards north west".

Other accounts of strange lights and unexplained objects had plausible explanations.

In November 1990, the crews of six RAF Tornado jets reported being overtaken by a "giant UFO" while flying over Germany.

They thought it was a test flight for the then top-secret US Stealth fighter, but it turned out to be the burning debris from a Soviet rocket body used to launch a satellite into orbit.

On 31 March 1993 various reports of moving lights over south-west England and south Wales were later traced to the re-entry of a Russian Cosmos rocket body.

The files suggest it had burned up, disintegrating over the North Atlantic.

In 1992, a bright cigar-shaped object seen flying silently over central London at night triggered a "spate" of sightings, notably in Ilford and Romford.

It was later identified "almost certainly" as an illuminated airship advertising the Ford Mondeo car.

UFO expert Dr David Clarke said: "The vast majority of reports are ordinary things seen in extraordinary situations.

"So many things can be interpreted as unusual, you've got to eliminate all that noise and see what's left.

"I don't think there's any solid evidence that we have been visited by intelligent life but I don't think you can rule that out.

"There are many good examples of puzzling things, for example seen on radar by the military, that need investigating."

The files, which can be downloaded from the National Archives website, are being released as part of a three-year project.

These latest documents are the first containing information written by defence intelligence staff to be made public.

Dr Clarke said they were among tens of thousands of secret files contaminated with asbestos and were in danger of being destroyed.

They were eventually saved after a campaign by historians to rescue them from the old War Office building in Whitehall.

Related Articles:

MoD took UFO sighting seriously

National Archives

First UFO documents released

Tories 'would publish UFO files'

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Veggie Garden on White House Lawn

We asked for it - a veggie garden on the White House lawn. Could this be true?

ABC News’ Brian Hartman Reports: President Obama’s latest shovel-ready project is close to home — in fact, right in his own yard. In an effort to promote healthy eating, the first family will be planting a vegetable garden right on the White House grounds. - ABC News

The ABC news article says one of the Park Service workers confirmed that the garden will become reality, and went on to state that it will be organised by White House residence staff, not the Park

Service staff that normally maintain the grounds. This infers that Michelle Obama will be in charge of the garden, as she is head of residence staff.

This begs the question, does Michelle Obama read our blog? (well, you can’t help but wonder).

We’ll know in due course - the veggies pulled from the White House turf are either going to be organic (hopefully in the truest sense of the word), or we’ll have a slew of industries proudly proclaiming that White House staff are using their chemicals to ’solve’ any issues they may have along the way.

I like to hold out a little hope though, and the ABC article indicates there may be a valid reason to do so:

As first reported online by food writer Eddie Gehman Kohan, who reports on food issues related to the Obamas, First Lady Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey’s "O" magazine, "We’re … working on a wonderful new garden project."

In the April issue of the magazine, Mrs. Obama tells Winfrey, "We want to use it as a point of education, to talk about health and how delicious it is to eat fresh food, and how you can take that food and make it part of a healthy diet." - ABC News

I’m sure the mainstream media will have their eyes all over this one - so time will tell.

Michelle - if you are reading, I’d like to propose that our own Geoff Lawton come and take you through the design process. He’s worked a lot of unusual locations….

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Free Papua founder to hold 'peace talk' with govt

Erwida Maulia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 03/19/2009 9:42 PM

Exiled Papuan resistance leader Nicolaas Jouwe, left, talking to reporters beside Welfare Minister Aburizal Bakrie. (Photo: Widodo S. Jusuf, Antara)

One of the founders and leading figures of the Free Papua Movement (OPM), Nicolas Jouwe, is visiting Indonesia for a meeting with Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Aburizal Bakrie on Friday to help ending more than 40 years of hostility between the country and the separatist group.

"He had refused to meet with Indonesian officials for dozens of years... But, finally, he is willing to come to Indonesia. He even said he wanted to be President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's adviser for Papua matters," Indonesian Ambassador to the Netherlands J.E. "Fany" Habibie said in a press conference here Thursday.

According to Fany, Nicolas changed his stance after their meeting in the Netherlands, in which they were engaged in light and serious talks, and even shared jokes and exchanged quatrains in Ambonese.

"Nicolas will ask the Indonesian central government to impose sanctions on local state officials embezzling Papua special autonomy funds. He will also call OPM activists to cease their separatist movement and maintain integration with Indonesia,” Fany said.

The ambassador added, however, this seemingly significant step toward peace was still fragile, and warned that the Indonesian government should handle the matter very carefully.

Fany held his meeting with Nicolas in late February, following the sending of an Indonesian delegation to lobby the separatist leader. The President, he said, instructed the delegation sending because of military operations’ failures to oppress the separatist movement.

Related Article:

Papuan Resistance Leader Stuns Bakrie By Referring to Indonesia as ‘Neighbor’

Monday, March 16, 2009

President Yudhoyono receives Myanmar PM

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 03/16/2009 5:16 PM 

Myanmar's Prime Minister Gen. Thein Sein, left, walks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono prior to their meeting at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday. Myanmar's prime minister led a high-level delegation of business leaders and Cabinet members on an official, two-day visit to Indonesia on Monday, officials said. (AP/Dita Alangkara)

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at the Merdeka Palace here on Monday received Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein who is on a two-day state visit to Indonesia from March 16-17, 2009. 

The president welcomed the visiting Myanmar prime minister at an official state ceremony at 3 pm on Monday afternoon, Antara state news agency reported. 

After the welcoming ceremony, the two leaders engaged in a discussion on bilateral relations and cooperation. 

On the occasion, President Yudhoyono was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Hassan Wirayuda, Minister/State Secretary Hatta Rajasa, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Widodo AS, Acting Coordinating Minister for Economy Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and other cabinet ministers. 

After his talk with President Yudhoyono, Prime Minister Thein Sein was also scheduled to meet with Vice President Jusuf Kalla and  Myanmar diplomats stationed in Indonesia. 

Before his meeting with Yudhoyono, Sein visited the Kalibata Heroes' Cemetary in South Jakarta earlier in the day. 

On Monday evening, President Yudhoyono would host a banquet for Prime Minister Thein Sein and his entourage who would return to their country at 9 on Tuesday morning. 

Sein's entourage included Minister of Economic Planning and Development Soe Tha, Tourism Minister MajGen Soe Naing, Trade Minister Brig Gen Tim Naing Thein, Transportation Minister Maj Gen Thein Swe, and Forestry Minister Brig Gen Thein Aung.

Related Article:

RI, Myanmar discusses Rohingya, democracy issues

SBY urged to ask Myanmar to speed up democratization

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Indonesia anti-terrorism chief says monitoring and trust are key

Saud Usman Nasution recently took over an elite anti-terrorism police unit. He attributes some of Indonesia's success in curbing attacks to rehabilitation of militants.

L.A. Times,  By Paul Watson, March 15, 2009

Officers with Special Detachment 88, the anti-terrorism unit.
“My team is always in the field. They rarely come home — always monitoring,” says their chief.

Reporting from Jakarta, Indonesia -- Saud Usman Nasution recently took the helm of Special Detachment 88, the Indonesian anti-terrorism police squad formed in 2002 after bombers linked to Al Qaeda killed 202 people on the resort island of Bali.

He spoke last month in his headquarters office about progress in the fight against terrorists, including the group responsible for the Bali bombings, and the challenges ahead. 

Indonesia hasn't suffered a serious terrorist attack since 2005. Has Jemaah Islamiah in particular, and terrorism in general, been defeated in Indonesia? 

The terrorists are still active. They've had no chance [to attack] because we are actively monitoring their activities. And we have a pretty good program of de-radicalization. There are two elements of the program. One is rehabilitation and the second re-education. 

The rehabilitation program is particularly for those in jail. Re-education targets any group that has the potential to become terrorist. 

What we do is support them, by helping their children go to school or by supporting their healthcare. For example, if they are jobless, we will look for a job for them. Also, we help their families visit them in jail, by providing their accommodation, their transportation and so on. And they are very, very open with us now. 

Your unit captured Zarkasih, the last known head of Jemaah Islamiah, in 2007. Has JI chosen a new emir? 

Yes. The community will always choose the replacement. We are in the process of finding out about the new leader. We can't say anything to you. When we are able to arrest him, I will let you know. 

Just to get the sense of how big the problem is, how many terrorists, roughly, do you think are still out there? 

We can't estimate because their organization is underground. They are still actively recruiting. And some sympathizers still support them, so it's hard to monitor because in Indonesia, especially in villages, there are many people supporting them. 

Do you think you have reduced JI to a much smaller, weaker organization than it was in 2002? 

Yes, of course. Their organization is smaller now. And underground. But before that, they were operational. They know that if their activity is too conspicuous, the police will arrest them because now we always monitor them. My team is always in the field. They rarely come home -- always monitoring. 

The terrorists have changed their operations, for example, the way they do fundraising. They sell herbs for medicine, and use the money to fund their activities. They also published some radical and non-radical books, and the money from selling them is also used for their operations. 

And some of them are going abroad to look for some funding. For example, [two] went to Iraq via Syria. Malaysian authorities arrested them [in May], and exposed their real agenda. They had disguised their intentions by saying they were going to study abroad. But in fact, we found some fundraising proposals, in which the men said that their guns and explosives are very limited. 

President Obama wants to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. Has there been any consideration of what would happen if inmate Hambali, the former military commander of JI captured in Thailand in 2003, were released? Would Indonesia take him back? 

Yes, of course. We think it is very important for Hambali to be tried in Indonesia because he handled the Christmas Eve bombings [of churches in Jakarta, the capital, and elsewhere in 2000] and other cases like the first Bali bombings, and the attacks on the J.W. Marriott Hotel and Australian Embassy. 

What is your biggest challenge now in fighting terrorism? 

I think it's the budget. . . . Our government has no money for this program. There's no support because . . . we still have no laws about anti-terror activity. The police are the only ones who care about it. Sometimes we receive help from others who care, the community. . . . If there is no such support, maybe we wouldn't be able to do anything. 

So these are private donors who are supporting police work? 

Yes. They voluntarily help, these independent donors. Poor us. 

This is an elite force. You shouldn't have to depend on private donors. 

Well, that's our problem. We cannot anticipate what's coming. People will say, "Ah, you're late!" But they wouldn't have understood what our problem was in handling [terrorism]. 

What is the main lesson that the world can learn from Indonesia's success so far in fighting terrorism? 

I think it's our approach to the terrorists. Before now, Westerners did not agree if we helped a [captured] terrorist. But now they understand that without persuading him, or without making a close relationship with him, we cannot do anything. We cannot get any information. 

In other words, establishing trust with the terrorists. 

Yes, trust. If we trust him, he will trust us. For example, once a day during Ramadan, we took prisoners to Lido [a resort area] to have an excursion. We had breakfast there. We said prayers there. We did exercise together, and we performed medical checkups for them. No one ran away. . . . The Muslim eating habit, usually practiced in the Middle East, is to have five people eat from the same big plate. So we shared plates, police and them. The plates were wiped clean, without spoons, only using our hands. 

And they have come to trust you? 

Yes. Maybe other people will not believe how open they are with us. They also say, "Oh, this is a conspiracy theory," or "This is a police trick." But they don't know the truth.