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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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

An earthquake of magnitude 7.9 has struck off the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

More pictures ....

BBC News

Indonesia quake 'traps thousands'

Thousands of people are trapped under rubble and at least 13 are dead after a strong earthquake shook the Indonesian island of Sumatra, officials say.

The epicentre was about 50km (30 miles) off the coast, near the city of Padang. It destroyed buildings and bridges.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has lifted the tsunami watch it put out.

It comes hours after a tsunami triggered by an unrelated earthquake in the South Pacific killed more than 100 people across a number of islands.

'Extreme panic'

Witnesses said residents ran out of buildings in Padang - which has a population of 900,000 - and surrounding cities.

"A number of hotels in Padang have been destroyed," Rahmat Triyono, from the Indonesian geophysics and meteorology agency, told AFP.

"Up to now we haven't been able to reach Padang, communications have been cut," Mr Triyono added.

A Reuters witness said there was "extreme panic" in the city, with bridges down and flooding caused by broken water pipes.

The quake struck at 1716 local time (1016 GMT) some 85km under the sea, northwest of Padang city in West Sumatra province, the US Geological Survey said.

Reports said the shaking could be felt in high buildings in the capital Jakarta and was also felt in Singapore and Malaysia.

The quake was along the same fault line that spawned the 2004 Asian tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

That much more powerful earthquake struck roughly 600km north-west of Padang.

Geologists have long warned that Padang could one day be completely destroyed by an earthquake because of its location.

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Powerful aftershock shakes West Sumatra

KL high-rise buildings evacuated after Sumatra quake

8.0 magnitude quake generates tsunami off Samoa islands

Reuters, Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:40pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A tsunami warning was issued for New Zealand and other small Pacific islands after a major 7.9 magnitude quake struck in the ocean off American Samoa, U.S. government agencies said on Tuesday.

A tsunami warning was issued for New Zealand and other small Pacific islands after a major 7.9 magnitude quake struck in the ocean off American Samoa, U.S. government agencies said on Tuesday. (REUTERS/Graphics)

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, a branch of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, issued the warning after the quake hit about 120 miles southwest of the remote Pacific island of American Samoa. It struck at a depth of 20.5 miles.

A tsunami watch was in effect for Hawaii, Papua New Guinea and other small Pacific islands.

The agency noted that its warning did not mean a tsunami had necessarily been generated by the quake. The warning was issued because a quake of this magnitude had the power to generate a destructive tsunami, it said.

In 2004, a quake in the Indian Ocean generated a powerful tsunami that killed tens of thousands people in Asia.

(Writing by Stacey Joyce, Editing by Frances Kerry)

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Pacific Tsunami LIVE (Reuters)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Water found in moon dirt

Three different space probes found the chemical signature of water all over the moon's surface, surprising the scientists who at first doubted the unexpected measurement until it was confirmed independently and repeatedly. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON - THE moon is not the dry, dull place it seems. Traces of water lurk in the dirt unseen.

Three different space probes found the chemical signature of water all over the moon's surface, surprising the scientists who at first doubted the unexpected measurement until it was confirmed independently and repeatedly.

It is not enough moisture to foster homegrown life on the moon.

But if processed in mass quantities, it might provide resources - drinking water and rocket fuel - for future moon-dwellers, scientists say. The water comes and goes during the lunar day.

It is not a lot of water. In a two-litre soda bottle of lunar dirt, there probably would be a medicine dropper full of water, said University of Maryland astronomer Jessica Sunshine, one of the scientists who discovered the water.

Another way to think of it is that a drink of water would require a 730 square meters of dirt to produce, said team leader Carle Pieters of Brown University.

'It's sort of just sticking on the surface,' Dr Sunshine said.

'We always think of the moon as dead, and this is sort of a dynamic process that's going on.' The discovery, with three studies bring published in the journal Science on Thursday and a Nasa briefing, could refocus interest in the moon. The appeal of the moon waned after astronauts visited 40 years ago and called it 'magnificent desolation.'

The announcement comes two weeks before a Nasa probe will be smashed near the moon's south pole to see whether it can kick up buried ice. Over the last decade, astronomers have found some signs of underground ice on the moon's poles.

This latest discovery is quite different. It finds unexpected and pervasive water clinging to the surface of soil, not absorbed into it.

'It is drier than any desert we have here,' Dr Sunshine said. -- AP

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Moon Rising (YouTube video)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Desert dust storm chokes Sydney

Australia's biggest city, Sydney, has been shrouded in red dust blown in by winds from the deserts of the outback.

BBC News

Sydneysiders have woken to a red haze unlike anything seen before by residents or weather experts, as the sun struggles to pierce a thick blanket of dust cloaking the city this morning. (Bridge over Narrabeen lakes. Photo: Paul Bowler)

More pictures

Visibility is so bad that international flights have been diverted and harbour ferry traffic disrupted.

Emergency services reported a surge in calls from people suffering breathing problems. Children and the elderly have been told to stay indoors.

Sydney's landmarks, including the Opera House, have been obscured, and many residents are wearing masks.

Traffic has been bumper-to-bumper on major roads.

The dust blanketing eastern parts of New South Wales has been carried by powerful winds that snatched up tons of topsoil from the drought-ravaged west of the state.

One Sydney resident told the Associated Press news agency: "The colour was amazing... I'm 72 years old and I've never seen that in my life before."

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology warned of "widespread damaging winds" in Sydney and other areas, as gusts of 65km/h (40mph) hit the city.

Forecasters predicted the winds would weaken later on Wednesday.

The BBC's Phil Mercer in Sydney says it has been a difficult 24 hours for Australia, which has been hit by earthquakes, hail storms and bushfires.

In parts of New South Wales, huge hail stones whipped up by thunderstorms smashed windows and sent residents running for cover.

Further north in Queensland, officials banned open fires in many areas when bushfires sprang up after a spell of hot, dry weather.

Two minor earthquakes hit Victoria state on Tuesday, and heavy rains that followed led officials to issue a warning of flash floods.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Máxima special advisor to UN head

DutchNews.nl, Tuesday 22 September 2009

Princess Máxima has been named a special advisor to United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon in the field of financial services.

Máxima's role will be to advise Ban Ki-moon on how to make banks accessible to everyone, including in developing countries where it is often impossible to open a bank account or borrow money. The princess will give a speech in her new role in New York on Tuesday.

Máxima has been a member of a UN committee on bank accessibility for the past few years and is a known supporter of micro-financing in developing countries.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dementia burden 'underestimated'

BBC News

The future global burden of Alzheimer's and other types of dementia has been underestimated, say UK experts.

A report from King's College London suggests more than 115 million people across the globe will suffer from dementia by 2050.

This prediction is 10% more than previous figures published in 2005, driven mainly by new figures from South Asia and Latin America.

The Alzheimer's Society said the data showed the "scale of the challenge".

The rise in dementia fuelled by increasing life expectancies in countries around the world is causing widespread concerns.

The strain of caring for people with dementia is not just a social issue, but an economic one, placing a growing burden on the working population and health systems.

The King's College London research, part of the 2009 World Alzheimer's Report, published by Alzheimer's Disease International, estimates that there will be 35 million people worldwide with dementia by next year.

That number is set to almost double every 20 years, to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050.

Ageing world

Advances in healthcare and nutrition will have the biggest impact in poorer countries and, as a result, the number of older people is set to increase rapidly.

Currently, it is calculated that just over half of all people with dementia live in poor- or middle-income countries, but this is expected to rise to more than two-thirds by 2050.

In addition, the research suggests that the proportion of older people who have dementia is higher than previously thought in some parts of the world, adding to the estimated numbers.

Professor Martin Prince, from King's College, said that the numbers involved were "staggering".

He said: "The current investment in research, treatment and care is actually quite disproportionate to the overall impact of the disease on people with dementia, the carers, on health and social care systems, and on society."

Alzheimer's Disease International said that more countries should follow the lead of Australia, France, Korea and the UK in developing action plans to tackle the impact of the disease.

The Alzheimer's Disease Society said that the UK could still do more, with one million people set to develop the illness in the next decade.

A spokesman said: "This shows the scale of the challenge. This worldwide problem needs a response from every nation and the UK government must play a key part."

Related Article:

3 Genetic Variants Are Found to Be Linked to Alzheimer’s

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Iran replaces Dollar with Euro in FX

PressTV, Sun, 20 Sep 2009 09:58:03 GMT

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered the replacement of the US dollar by the euro in the country's foreign exchange accounts.

The September 12 edict was issued following a decision by the trustees of the country's foreign reserves, Mehr News Agency reported.

Earlier, the Islamic Republic of Iran had announced that the euro would replace the greenback in the country's oil transactions. Iran has called on other OPEC members to ditch the sinking dollar in favor of the more credible euro.

Following the switch, the interest rate for the facilities provided from the Foreign Exchange Reserves will be reduced from12 to 5 percent.

Since being introduced by the European Union, the euro has gained popularity internationally and there are now more euros in circulation than the dollar.

The move will also help decouple Iran from the US banking system.

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The Age of Stupid: An eco call-to-arms comes to Houston

Examiner.com, September 19, 6:39 PM, Houston Entertainment Examiner, Rob Cox

The Age of Stupid is an experiemental film mixing science fiction with non-fiction documentary footage in an environmentally-conscious attempt to stimulate activism against global climate change. Though already screened in several countries, it debuts world-wide on Monday to coincide with the United Nations first climate summit, which begins on Tuesday.

According to the AFP news service’s piece on the film, The Age of Stupid is set in 2055 and stars Pete Postlethwaite as the film’s only fictional character. Postlethwaite plays an aging archivist who reviews non-fiction footage of six people from our own time—each of them real people who were interviewed and profiled by the film’s director Franny Armstrong. Those six people are all living with the current, real-world consequences of global warming. They include an aspiring medical student from Nigeria; a young Indian entrepreneur; two young refuges from the current Iraqi war; a 37-year-old British man struggling to start a windfarm; and an 82-year-old French mountain guide. Postlethwaite, looking back from a fictional world devastated by global warming, wonders why we didn’t do something to stop climate change when we could. In his world, it’s already too late. Here's the trailer:

Related Article:

"Chronology of Events leading to December 21 2012"

Obama, Abbas, Netanyahu to meet

JTA, September 19, 2009

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama, Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu will meet in a summit.

The leaders of the United States, the Palestinian Authority and Israel will meet Tuesday, according to a statement released Thursday night by the White House. Obama will meet separately with each leader before the summit.

"These meetings will continue the efforts of President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Special Envoy George Mitchell to lay the groundwork for the relaunch of negotiations, and to create a positive context for those negotiations so that they can succeed," the statement said.

Mitchell met Friday with Netanyahu and Abbas. After the Abbas meeting in Ramallah, Saeb Ereklat, the top Palestinian negotiator told reporters that Mitchell had failed to achieve the breakthrough necessary to renew talks. Abbas wants Israel to totally freeze settlement building; Netanyahu is willing to freeze such building for a limited time, and to make allowances for "natural growth."

Additionally, the Palestinians want to have comprehensive talks on all issues, including Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees; Israel wants only to discuss borders.

The statement did not say whether the meeting would take place in Washington or in New York, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

Mosquito-borne African virus a new threat to West

Reuters, by David Morgan, Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:50am EDT

A man walks behind a model of an Anopheles mosquito in the new Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum, in London September 8, 2009. (REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Europe face a new health threat from a mosquito-borne disease far more unpleasant than the West Nile virus that swept into North America a decade ago, a U.S. expert said on Friday.

Chikungunya virus has spread beyond Africa since 2005, causing outbreaks and scores of fatalities in India and the French island of Reunion. It also has been detected in Italy, where it has begun to spread locally, as well as France.

"We're very worried," Dr. James Diaz of the Louisiana University Health Sciences Center told a meeting on airlines, airports and disease transmission sponsored by the independent U.S. National Research Council.

"Unlike West Nile virus, where nine out of 10 people are going to be totally asymptomatic, or may have a mild headache or a stiff neck, if you get Chikungunya you're going to be sick," he said.

"The disease can be fatal. It's a serious disease," Diaz added. "There is no vaccine."

Chikungunya infection causes fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, rash and joint pain. Symptoms can last a few weeks, though some suffers have reported incapacitating joint pain or arthritis lasting months.

The disease was first discovered in Tanzania in 1952. Its name means "that which bends up" in the Makonde language spoken in northern Mozambique and southeastern Tanzania.

The virus could spread globally now because it can be carried by the Asian tiger mosquito, which is found in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, Australia and New Zealand.

In the United States, the mosquito species tends to live in southern regions east of the Mississippi but has been found as far afield as western Texas, Minnesota and New Jersey.

Health officials are greatly concerned about the appearance of Chikungunya in the islands of the Indian Ocean -- Mauritius, Seychelles and Reunion -- which have beach resorts frequented by European tourists.

"It is hyper-endemic in the islands of the Indian Ocean," Diaz told the meeting.

"Travel by air will import the infected mosquitoes and humans," he added. "Chikungunya is coming."

Diaz warned of possible double-infections involving Chikungunya and dengue fever or malaria, which are also carried by the Asian tiger mosquito.

The spread of the disease could be greatest in so-called mega-cities such as Mumbai and Mexico City, which have large and impoverished populations, poor health controls and water systems that provide ready breeding grounds for mosquitoes, Diaz said.

West Nile, spread by a different mosquito species, first appeared in New York in 1999 and now can be found in most of North America.

(Editing by Maggie Fox and Paul Simao)

Friday, September 18, 2009

"Quiet" Sun can also hit Earth with wild winds

Reuters, Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:25am EDT

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The Sun can lash the Earth with powerful winds that can disrupt communications, aviation and power lines even when it is in the quiet phase of its 11-year solar cycle, U.S. scientists say.

(Solar and Heliospheric Observatory - website)

Observers have traditionally used the number of sunspots on the surface of the Sun to measure its activity. The number of sunspots reaches a peak at what is called the solar maximum, then declines to reach a minimum during a cycle.

At the peak, intense solar flares and geomagnetic storms eject vast amounts of energy into space, crashing into the Earth's protective magnetic fields, knocking out satellites, disrupting communications and causing colorful aurorae.

But scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the United States and the University of Michigan found that the Earth was bombarded with intense solar winds last year despite an unusually quiet phase for the Sun.

"The Sun continues to surprise us," said Sarah Gibson of the center's High Altitude Observatory and lead author of the study. "The solar wind can hit Earth like a fire hose even when there are virtually no sunspots."

Scientists previously thought the streams of energy largely disappeared as the solar cycle approached the minimum.

Gibson and the team, which also included scientists from NOAA and NASA, compared measurements from the current solar minimum interval, taken in 2008, with measurements of the last solar minimum in 1996.

Although the current solar minimum has fewer sunspots than any minimum in 75 years, the Sun's effect on Earth's outer radiation belt was more than three times greater last year than in 1996.

The research, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research, found that the prevalence of high-speed streams during the solar minimum in 2008 appeared to be related to the current structure of the Sun.

As the number of sunspots fell over the past few years, large holes lingered in the surface of the Sun near its equator. The high-speed streams that blow out of those holes engulfed Earth during 55 percent of the study period in 2008, compared to 31 percent of the study period in 1996.

A single stream of charged particles can last for as long as 7 to 10 days, the study says.

"The new observations from last year are changing our understanding of how solar quiet intervals affect the Earth and how and why this might change from cycle to cycle," said co-author Janet Kozyra of the University of Michigan.

(Reporting by David Fogarty and Sanjeev Miglani)

(Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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SBY calls on world to combat terrorism together

Erwida Maulia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 09/17/2009 10:27 PM

New face: National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Nanan Sukarna displays the picture of most wanted terror suspect Noordin M. Top, who was killed in a raid in Central Java on Thursday. The police announced on Saturday a DNA test confirmed Noordin’s death. – JP/Wendra Ajistyatama

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono appreciated the National Police on Thursday for its endless fight against terrorism, but underlined that concerted efforts among nations across the world would be needed to eliminate acts of terror.

Yudhoyono said the root cause of terrorism was a sense of injustice felt in some parts of the globe.

"There is a perception, a feeling; that the world looks unfair, that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poor... the wars in the Middle East; in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and many other global problems are seen as a result of global injustice," the President said during a breaking of the fast dinner with journalists at the Presidential Palace.

"The solution is we have to build a just, peaceful and prosperous world. We hope that people will lend a hand to those in troubles, and that there will be a solution to halt wars in the Middle East," he added.

Other root causes, Yudhoyono said, were poverty, underdevelopment as well as radical and extremist beliefs.

The President thanked the police for conducting their duty to enforce law and protect the nation from terrorism threat.

Earlier in the day the counter-terror squad stormed into a hideout of suspected terrorists in Surakarta in Central Java, killing four people, including top Al-Qaeda-linked fugitive Noordin M. Top.

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Noordin death makes region safer: Singapore PM

US praises RI for eliminating long-sought terrorist

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Muslim model

What Indonesia can teach the world

Globe Correspondent, by Joshua Kurlantzick, September 13, 2009

Youngsters study the Koran at a pesantren, or Islamic boarding school, in Indonesia. (Dimas Ardian/Getty Images)

At times this summer, much of the Muslim world seemed at war with itself. In Iran, protesters furious over what they viewed as a stolen election spilled into the streets and were met with a brutal security crackdown. In Pakistan, powerful Taliban-type militant groups battled the army. In neighboring Afghanistan, opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah and local tribal leaders accused President Hamid Karzai of stealing the national election.

Farther south, the world’s largest Muslim nation, Indonesia, received far less attention. Yet what happened there in July ultimately could prove far more important than the meltdowns in Afghanistan or Pakistan or Iran. Some 100 million Indonesians, spread across a vast archipelago, went to the polls, and in a free and fair vote, they reelected president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, leader of the secular Democrat Party. Hard-line Islamic parties fielded candidates as well, but they barely registered at the polls, gaining less of the vote than they had in the previous national election five years ago.

Yudhoyono’s reelection was only the capstone of a triumphant decade for Indonesia. Despite its vast size and remote terrain - it is the world’s fourth-largest nation by population, its 240 million people spread across thousands of islands between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific - Indonesia has become a rock of political stability in a turbulent region. After decades of military dictatorship, and the threat of Islamism in the late 1990s, Indonesia is today ruled by a coalition that mixes secular and moderate Islamic parties and protects minority rights. And at a time when countries from Japan to Singapore are struggling, Indonesia posted some of the strongest growth in Asia this year. The nation’s occasional terrorist attacks haven’t succeeded in destabilizing the government, which has steadily built a reputation for good governance and an effective battle against militant groups.

“If you want to know whether Islam, democracy, modernity and women’s rights can coexist, go to Indonesia,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on a trip to Southeast Asia earlier this year.

Though Indonesian leaders themselves are hesitant to lecture other countries, their model could offer lessons for nations from Pakistan to Morocco. It has managed to create a stable political system without using its military to guarantee secular rule, as does Turkey. The militant Islamic groups that once seemed to threaten the country’s future have been crushed or co-opted. And it has adopted modern anti-terrorism techniques that appear to be working. In its success, Indonesia also offers the United States, constantly seeking ways to help build stable societies in the Arab-Muslim world, a model for cooperation and moderation.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Ahmadinejad: Iran ready for nuclear talks

The Jakarta Post

Associated Press, Tehran | Mon, 09/07/2009 3:19 PM

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran is ready to hold talks with the world powers over global challenges, including its nuclear program.

Ahmadinejad said Monday that Iran will initially present its package of proposals to the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany.

He did not give a timeframe but reports have indicated that Iran may do so this week.

Western powers have given Iran until the end of September to agree to talks on its nuclear program.

Ahmadinejad said setting deadlines for talks is "incompatible" with the needs of the world today.

The U.S. and some of its allies accuse Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has denied the charges.

Related Article:

Japan urges N. Korea to return to nuclear talks

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Climate change: melting ice will trigger wave of natural disasters

Scientists at a London conference next week will warn of earthquakes, avalanches and volcanic eruptions as the atmosphere heats up and geology is altered. Even Britain could face being struck by tsunamis

The Observer, Robin McKie, Sunday 6 September 2009

Kirkjufell volcano erupting above the town of Vestmannaeyjar, Heimaey Island, Westmann Islands, Iceland. Photograph: Emory Kristof/National Geographic/Getty Images

Scientists are to outline dramatic evidence that global warming threatens the planet in a new and unexpected way – by triggering earthquakes, tsunamis, avalanches and volcanic eruptions.

Reports by international groups of researchers – to be presented at a London conference next week – will show that climate change, caused by rising outputs of carbon dioxide from vehicles, factories and power stations, will not only affect the atmosphere and the sea but will alter the geology of the Earth.

Melting glaciers will set off avalanches, floods and mud flows in the Alps and other mountain ranges; torrential rainfall in the UK is likely to cause widespread erosion; while disappearing Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets threaten to let loose underwater landslides, triggering tsunamis that could even strike the seas around Britain.

At the same time the disappearance of ice caps will change the pressures acting on the Earth's crust and set off volcanic eruptions across the globe. Life on Earth faces a warm future – and a fiery one.

"Not only are the oceans and atmosphere conspiring against us, bringing baking temperatures, more powerful storms and floods, but the crust beneath our feet seems likely to join in too," said Professor Bill McGuire, director of the Benfield Hazard Research Centre, at University College London (UCL).

"Maybe the Earth is trying to tell us something," added McGuire, who is one of the organisers of UCL's Climate Forcing of Geological Hazards conference, which will open on 15 September. Some of the key evidence to be presented at the conference will come from studies of past volcanic activity. These indicate that when ice sheets disappear the number of eruptions increases, said Professor David Pyle, of Oxford University's earth sciences department.

"The last ice age came to an end between 12,000 to 15,000 years ago and the ice sheets that once covered central Europe shrank dramatically," added Pyle. "The impact on the continent's geology can by measured by the jump in volcanic activity that occurred at this time."

In the Eiffel region of western Germany a huge eruption created a vast caldera, or basin-shaped crater, 12,900 years ago, for example. This has since flooded to form the Laacher See, near Koblenz. Scientists are now studying volcanic regions in Chile and Alaska – where glaciers and ice sheets are shrinking rapidly as the planet heats up – in an effort to anticipate the eruptions that might be set off.

Last week scientists from Northern Arizona University reported in the journal Science that temperatures in the Arctic were now higher than at any time in the past 2,000 years. Ice sheets are disappearing at a dramatic rate – and these could have other, unexpected impacts on the planet's geology.

According to Professor Mark Maslin of UCL, one is likely to be the release of the planet's methane hydrate deposits. These ice-like deposits are found on the seabed and in the permafrost regions of Siberia and the far north.

"These permafrost deposits are now melting and releasing their methane," said Maslin. "You can see the methane bubbling out of lakes in Siberia. And that is a concern, for the impact of methane in the atmosphere is considerable. It is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas."

A build-up of permafrost methane in the atmosphere would produce a further jump in global warming and accelerate the process of climate change. Even more worrying, however, is the impact of rising sea temperatures on the far greater reserves of methane hydrates that are found on the sea floor.

It was not just the warming of the sea that was the problem, added Maslin. As the ice around Greenland and Antarctica melted, sediments would pour off land masses and cliffs would crumble, triggering underwater landslides that would break open more hydrate reserves on the sea-bed. Again there would be a jump in global warming. "These are key issues that we will have to investigate over the next few years," he said.

There is also a danger of earthquakes, triggered by disintegrating glaciers, causing tsunamis off Chile, New Zealand and Newfoundland in Canada, Nasa scientist Tony Song will tell the conference. The last on this list could even send a tsunami across the Atlantic, one that might reach British shores.

The conference will also hear from other experts of the risk posed by melting ice in mountain regions, which would pose significant dangers to local people and tourists. The Alps, in particular, face a worryingly uncertain future, said Jasper Knight of Exeter University. "Rock walls resting against glaciers will become unstable as the ice disappears and so set off avalanches. In addition, increasing meltwaters will trigger more floods and mud flows."

For the Alps this is a serious problem. Tourism is growing there, while the region's population is rising. Managing and protecting these people was now an issue that needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency, Knight said.

"Global warming is not just a matter of warmer weather, more floods or stronger hurricanes. It is a wake-up call to Terra Firma," McGuire said.

Related Article:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

150 Years Ago: The Worst Solar Storm Ever

Niburu.nl, 05-09-2009 om 10:15 uur

On Sept. 2nd, a billion-ton coronal mass ejection (CME) slammed into Earth's magnetic field. Campers in the Rocky Mountains woke up in the middle of the night, thinking that the glow they saw was sunrise. No, it was the Northern Lights. People in Cuba read their morning paper by the red illumination of aurora borealis. Earth was peppered by particles so energetic, they altered the chemistry of polar ice.

Hard to believe? It really happened--exactly 150 years ago. This map shows where auroras were sighted in the early hours of Sept. 2, 1859:

Above: Aurora sightings, Sept. 2, 1859. Image courtesy J.L. Green, NASA

As the day unfolded, the gathering storm electrified telegraph lines, shocking technicians and setting their telegraph papers on fire. The "Victorian Internet" was knocked offline. Magnetometers around the world recorded strong disturbances in the planetary magnetic field for more than a week.

The cause of all this was an extraordinary solar flare witnessed the day before by British astronomer Richard Carrington. His sighting marked the discovery of solar flares and foreshadowed a new field of study: space weather. According to the National Academy of Sciences, if a similar flare occurred today, it would cause $1 to 2 trillion in damage to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to ten years for complete recovery.

A repeat of the Carrington Event seems unlikely from our low vantage in a deep solar minimum--but don't let the quiet fool you. Strong flares can occur even during weak solar cycles. Indeed, the Carrington flare itself occured during a relatively weak cycle similar to the one expected to peak in 2012-2013. Could it happen again? Let's hope not.

Bron: spaceweather.com