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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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Obama 'not happy' about glitches with health website

Google – AFP, 30 October 2013

US President Barack Obama speaks on healthcare at Faneuil Hall in Boston, 
Massachusetts, on October 30, 2013 (AFP, Jewel Samad)

Boston — US President Barack Obama said Wednesday he is "not happy" with the glitch-filled rollout out of his health reform program, as he renewed a vow to fix the problems.

"I take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP," Obama said at an appearance in Boston. "We're working overtime to improve it every day."

The online exchanges, a key element of the health care law, debuted on October 1. As part of Obamacare, nearly all Americans need to have health insurance by next year or pay a fine.

But the rollout was tarnished by the poor functionality of the HealthCare.gov website, which in the first few weeks prevented many users from enrolling in the insurance plans being offered.

"The deal is good, the prices are lower -- but let's face it, we've had a problem. The website hasn't worked the way it is supposed to over these last couple of weeks," Obama said.

"Right now the website is too slow, too many people have gotten stuck. And I'm not happy about it," the president added.

As a consequence, he acknowledged, vast numbers of users have been unable to register and peruse the site or shop for insurance plans, a situation his Republican critics have seized on in recent weeks.

"There is no excuse for it," he said.

Obama came to Massachusetts largely to shine a spotlight on the state-wide health care plan, put together by his 2012 Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney.

Obama pointed to the "early problems" facing the Romney plan's rollout in 2006.

"There were changes that had to be made. Anybody here who was involved in it can tell you that," he said of the Massachusetts plan.

But the low enrollment numbers eventually turned around, something Obama has said he expects will happen with Obamacare as well.

"Today, there is nearly universal coverage in Massachusetts," he said.

"Your law was the model for the nation's law."

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies before the 
House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing about the troubled launch of 
the Healthcare.gov website October 30, 2013 in Washington, DC (AFP, Karen Bleier)

Opposition to President Obama and the Transition to Uncorrupted Governments

goldenageofgaia.comSteve BeckowAn Hour with an Angel, September 30, 2013, with Archangel Michael

"... SB: Oh! Very good! Okay.  I think I recall you mentioning Medicare in Canada. Canada has a wonderful system of universal medicare. When will the United States enjoy the same quality of medicare? Or other nations, for that matter.

AAM: You see, this is one of the fundamental rights, and your United Nations has just begun to peek at this.  All of your — yes, all — of your medical systems have been based on false grids that you are eligible for disease. Many, many industries have grown up around this belief system.

Now, we would not dismantle this in a day, because the displacement would be very large, but you have already begun to see the shift to wellness, to healing centers, to alternative methods of energy healing. And with the arrival of your star brothers and sisters this will become even more so.

So not only universal medical care, but universal healthcare and the right to wellness is going to become the simple stand-alone fact over the next year to two years. Oh, and it will happen much more quickly in the United States.

SB: Oh, that’s good to hear. So many people are bankrupted by a sudden illness. And it never should be that way.

AAM: It is an atrocity that one may suffer and die because one does not have adequate money. That is absurd.  ..."

Shutdown for the EU?

Deutsche Welle, 30 October 2013

With astonishment and incomprehension, many Europeans watched as Tea Party followers paralyzed the US. But some politicans worry the European Union could soon find itself in a similar situation.

The unimaginable became reality when a splinter group of reactionary politicians, the Tea Party Movement, plunged superpower United States into a crisis over a budget dispute. Only with utmost difficulty was President Obama able to end the shutdown and avert the US' looming insolvency. "The US is far away, this could never happen to us," many Europeans might have thought. But those assumptions are probably wrong. In the European Parliament such blockade politics may be just the tactic reactionary forces need to stir things up.

Franziska Keller of Germany's Green Party
Should EU and euro-hostile right-wing populist parties continue to garner momentum - even winning votes in the May 2014 European elections - these groups would gain influence in the European Parliament. There, they could form alliances and influence EU policy in their own favor. In Brussels the assumption isn't that the EU could become completely lame, but fears are growing in the light of a potential shutdown threat. Such a move would block legislative initiatives and obstruct parliamentary work. European representative Franziska Keller from Germany's Green Party spoke with DW regarding current reactionary groups in parliament. "We could soon be facing the blockage of a lot more legislative initiatives and the like," she warned.

Alliance of right-wing populists

The right-wing populist camp is mobilizing. French and Dutch EU opponents under Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders are looking to join forces. On Twitter, Wilders announced a meeting with Le Pen on Nov. 13 to discuss a common European election strategy. Franziska Keller believes that the right-wing populists will target the migration and refugee policies of the EU. "It's going to be tough," Keller said. "If we consider the consequences of the refugee tragedy from Lampedusa and want to strengthen legal immigration, then we're going to have to brace ourselves for the fight."

Marine Le Pen at an election rally of
the Front National
Beyond Germany, other European politicians are concerned. "The rise of populism is the most threatening social and political phenomenon in Europe today," Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta told the New York Times.

"However, we need to address it," Letta said, "or else we'll get the most anti-European European Parliament we've ever had after elections in May 2014."

Electoral victories for anti-Europeans

At least 70 percent of the seats must be occupied by pro-Europeans in order to prevent a "nightmare." But in nearly all of the EU countries, right-wing, euro-skeptical and anti-European parties are gaining presence. These parties' key issues - such as immigration, austerity, EU withdrawal or rejection of the Euro - dominated the last elections.

The latest example is the parliamentary election in Austria, which took place at the end of September: Right-wing populists received more than 30 percent of the vote. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders' right-wing Party for Freedom is third-strongest in the country. A stronghold in France is also the right-leaning Front National. After the first round of presidential voting, party leader Marine Le Pen took a surprising 18 percent of the vote. In a recent survey conducted by magazine, Le Nouvel Observateur, the Front National was the frontrunner for the European elections. In Greece, however, it is the left-wing party, Syriza, and the Communist Party (KKE) who are campaigning for that country's exit from the Eurozone and the EU.

Symbolic message

Low voter turnout could facilitate the entry of EU opponents into the EU Parliament. At the last European elections in June 2009, turnout was just over 43 percent. Thus it was much lower than the average 60 to 70 percent, which is common in national parliamentary and presidential elections in the European democracies.

The lower the overall turnout is, the more indifferent voters are, the easier it is for radical forces to gain majorities," said Sergey Lagodinsky of the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation in an interview with DW. The general frustration with policy draws voters into becoming "prisoners in the camp of populist promises."

According to German broadcaster ARD, policy strategists in Brussels expect that after the European elections, up to 20 percent of the representatives will want to abolish the European Parliament. This would be more than double the current number. Currently about 60 of the 765 deputies are Euro-skeptics. "If there were a relatively strong group within the parliament to work against the parliament and union," said Lagodinksy, it would be a message of great symbolic power. "I believe this symbolic power would be the worst thing that could happen."

In the wake of populism

Unlike the Tea Party, a sub-group of the Republican Partv in the US, which has greater influence over US policy, the EU-critics are relatively isolated, according to Sergey Lagodinsky. These critics would not present an institutional threat like the Tea Party.

After European Parliamentary elections
 in 2014, more anti-Europe representatives
could occupy these seats
"The danger would be, however, that other conservative parties, even left-leaning parties, get involved in the wake of populism." Lagodinsky names Germany as an example, "where, with the growing importance of the anti-Euro Alternative für Deutschland Party (AFD), as well as the conservative groups - potentially the Free Democratic Party (FDP) - are being pressured and attempt to play with these slogans."

EU representatives like Franziska Keller of Germany's Green Party want to use the remaining time until next year's European elections in May to highlight the importance of voting and to develop a strategy above all else to cut the right-wing populists down to size. "Until now the right-wing groups in European Parliament have ultimately broken into pieces over their nationalistic disputes," Keller said, adding that she could imagine the same thing happening again. "But we cannot rely on it."

Related Articles:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

White House offers tentative support for plans to rein in NSA surveillance

Administration says NSA leaks have already prompted changes in intelligence-gathering, including check on UN monitoring

theguardian.com, Dan Roberts and Spencer Ackerman in Washington, Tuesday 29 October 2013

Protesters hold up signs as director of national intelligence James Clapper , left,
and deputy attorney general James Cole prepare to testify at a House intelligence
committee hearing. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

The White House indicated on Tuesday that it would support at least some of the congressional efforts to rein in the controversial surveillance practices of the National Security Agency, as political opinion in Washington hardened against the country’s embattled intelligence community.

The administration revealed that an internal government review in the wake of revelations by the whistleblower Edward Snowden had already led to changes in US intelligence-gathering activities – thought to be a ban on eavesdropping on the leaders of friendly governments and a curb on surveillance at the United Nations.

But wider checks on domestic surveillance practices also looked increasingly likely on Tuesday, as bipartisan legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate and party leaders united in calling for reform.

Even as the White House acknowledged that legislative reform of the NSA was inevitable, senior intelligence officials mounted a uncompromising defence of their current programs. At a congressional hearing, General Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, forcefully and emotionally rejected calls to curtail his agency’s power. Alexander, who declared he was speaking “from the heart”, said the NSA would prefer to “take the beatings” from the public and in the media “than to give up a program that would result in this nation being attacked”.

At the White House, chief spokesman Jay Carney welcomed the various reform efforts in principle but declined to discuss specific recommendations until the conclusion of a separate White House investigation.

“In general the president is supportive of the idea that we need to make some reforms,” Carney said in response to questions about the new legislation. He said that it was important “to increase the confidence that the American people have in these programmes, and to perhaps provide greater oversight and greater transparency as well as more constraints on the authorities that exist”.

White House press secretary Jay Carney speaks at the daily press briefing in
 the Brady press briefing room of the White House in Washington, where he took
 questions on reviewing intelligence gathering of foreign allies. Photograph:
Charles Dharapak/AP

Carney also revealed that the White House review would concentrate on whether the US acted appropriately in relation to surveillance activities on its allies. The White House has been under intense pressure in recent days since reports emerged that the NSA had targeted the cellphone of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel. “The concerns raised by our allies cause us concern too,” Carney said.

The House speaker John Boehner and Senate majority leader Harry Reid also expressed support for reform on Tuesday. "The NSA situation is one we need to look at," said Reid. "I support the complete review of all of these programs."

On Monday night, President Barack Obama said his administration was conducting a complete review of intelligence activities. Interviewed on television network Fusion, Obama said: "What we've seen over the last several years is their capacities continue to develop and expand, and that's why I'm initiating now a review to make sure that what they're able to do doesn't necessarily mean what they should be doing.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, called for a "total review of all intelligence programs" following the Merkel allegations. In a statement on Monday, the California Democrat said the White House had informed her that "collection on our allies will not continue". Carney would not elaborate on that statement on Tuesday.

US senator Dianne Feinstein arrives for a markup of the Senate select committee
on intelligence on Tuesday. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The near unanimity among political leaders left intelligence leaders striking an increasingly lonely defence of the practices at a hearing on Capitol Hill.

At a hearing of the House intelligence committee, Alexander argued that a continued threat of terrorism justified retaining the agency’s post-9/11 powers. At the same hearing, the director of national intelligence James Clapper warned the panel to be mindful of the “risks of overcorrection” in surveillance reform – suggesting that proposed restrictions on bulk surveillance would leave the country in danger of a terrorist attack.

Addressing the growing international row over NSA spying, Alexander forcefully argued that reports of the agency collecting millions of Europeans’ phone calls were “absolutely false”.

But Clapper danced around the central question of how much Obama knew about NSA’s separate surveillance activities on foreign leaders. He said that the intelligence agencies “do only what the policymakers, writ large, have actually asked us to do”. He added that the “level of detail” about how those requirements are implemented rarely rose to the attention of presidents.

Two Democratic representatives, Adam Schiff of California and Jan Schakowski of Illinois, suggested that the House intelligence committee was not informed about the foreign leader spying. Clapper, without confirming that the spying took place, said that “we have by and large complied with the spirit and intent of the law”.

A protester against the practices of US security agenices sits in the audience
as intelligence officials testify at a hearing on Capitol Hill. Photograph:
Jason Reed/Reuters

Schiff drew a heated and unexpected rebuke from Rogers, who called his suggestion “disingenuous”. The committee has access to “mounds of product” from the NSA, Rogers said. Schiff shot back a direct question about whether Rogers in fact knew about the foreign leader spying, which Rogers said he could not answer without confirming – but invited the committee member to view reams of intelligence in private.

There is an increasing sense in Washington that Congress, and perhaps the White House, will impose some form limitation on the NSA’s authorities – a rarity since 9/11. Even Charles "Dutch" Ruppersberger, another staunch NSA ally, signalled he was open to transforming the collection of Americans’ call data.

“Can we move away from bulk collection and toward a system like the one used in the criminal prosecution system, in which the government subpoenas individual call data records,” Ruppersberger told the House committee hearing.

Related Article:

goldenageofgaia.comSteve Beckow,  August 7, 2013

“… SB:  Okay. Thank you for that

Now, we have about four minutes before we run out of time, and this is a bit of a complex topic. But Matthew Ward told us in I think his June message that Obama is working with the galactics; that there are galactics in the National Security Agency; that the National Security Agency was gathering evidence on the Illuminati, and that explains why Obama was supporting the… well, if not supporting, then not doing something about the spying of the NSA. It’s really directed at the Illuminati.

Can you talk a little bit more generally about Obama’s working with the galactics? And if you can — I mean, you may not be able to, but if you can — on the galactics in the other agencies and what they’re doing to bring forward a cleansing of those agencies, please?

AAM:  Let me say that your star brothers and sisters, the galactics and the inter-galactics are everywhere. And yes, they are certainly very deep within the administration not only of the United States but might we say most powerful nations, and those that you would not even deign as powerful.

So yes, of course Obama is working with the galactics, and he has been for some time. And that partnership has been important. Now, there have been some very rough patches, and we would be remiss if we did not mention them. But it is not yet time to discuss the fullness of those rough patches. They will come to light.

The purpose of what you think of as spying has been, yes, targeted to Illuminati or those who are not acting in the best interests of the collective, whether it is the United States, Israel, Botswana, Switzerland, Germany, Russia — it does not matter.

There are more of your star beings, your brothers and sisters on the ground than you can fathom. And one of the reasons why this approach… not only has the approach been taken to assist in this shift, it has also been taken to anchor that energy fully and completely on Gaia.

So, the vision of a fleet of starships arising, or coming across the horizon and causing fear has been circumvented. Look to the person standing next to you and look in their eyes. There is a very good chance that you are looking at one of your star brothers or sisters.

SB:  Wonderful. Thank you very much, Lord. …”

Overwhelming UN vote against US embargo of Cuba

Google – AFP, Tim Witcher (AFP), 29 October 2013

View of the General Assembly at the United Nations June 7, 2012 in New York (AFP/File, Timothy A. Clary)

UNITED NATIONS (United States) — A record-equalling 188 countries on Tuesday condemned the five-decade-old US embargo against communist Cuba in an annual UN General Assembly vote that signalled hardening opposition to US sanctions.

Only Israel joined the United States in opposing resolution, the smallest number ever. Last year two allies voted with the US government.

Three Pacific island states normally close to the United States -- Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau -- abstained as the barrage of criticism of the embargo reached a new peak in the 22nd annual vote at the UN Assembly.

China, Iran, which has launched a bid to thaw relations with the US administration, Latin American and African nations all publicly condemned the United States.

"The US policy against Cuba is suffering from an absolute international isolation and discredit and lacks every ethical or legal ground," Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla said.

While the United States has eased travel restrictions on Cubans, Parrilla said: "Sanctions remain intact and are being fully implemented."

Cuba has lost more than $1.1 trillion dollars because of the embargo, according to the minister who told the meeting how the blockade prevents Cuba from getting heart and anti-AIDS drugs for children.

The United States is being used as an "external scapegoat" for the island's problems, a US diplomat, Ronald Godard, hit back in an address to the meeting.

"Our sanctions policy toward Cuba is just one of the tools in our overall effort to urge respect for the civil and human rights" upheld by the UN, Godard said.

He said that two billion dollars in remittances were sent to Cuba from the United States in 2012 and that the United States is the biggest foreign food supplier to the island.

"The international community cannot in good conscience ignore the ease and frequency with which the Cuban regime silences critics, disrupts peaceful assembly (and), impedes independent journalism," Godard said in an appeal to other countries to oppose the resolution.

The United States started imposing measures after Fidel Castro seized power in 1959 and nationalized US-owned properties. An official embargo was imposed in 1962.

Envoys from around the world slammed US policy.

Iran called off a diplomatic ceasefire with the United States to condemn the embargo as a "despicable practice." The blockade "flouts international law," said Iran's deputy UN ambassador Hossein Dehghani.

"The call of the international community is getting louder and louder, demanding that the US government change its policy toward Cuba," China's deputy UN ambassador Wang Min told the debate.

Bolivia's UN ambassador Sacha Llorenty Soliz said the embargo was "sullying the history of mankind" and finished his speech with the rallying cry: "Up with Cuba -- dear Cuba!"

European nations now oppose the embargo because US legislation even punishes foreign firms that trade with Cuba.

The United States last year eased restrictions on visas for Cubans. The Cuban government has also made travel easier for its nationals.

Cubans have made more than 180,000 trips abroad this year, according to official figures. The US interests section in Havana granted 16,767 visas to Cubans in the first half of 2013, up nearly 80% over the same period in 2012.

Esteban Morales, a Cuban intellectual and specialist on relations with the United States believes the increased travel could be a chink in the armor that could help "end" the embargo.

But other experts say the measures are too timid.

Mavis Anderson of the Latin America Working Group, a non government groups, said that the US administration would have to take a stronger step such as taking Cuba off its list of countries supporting terrorism if it wants better relations.

"The international community believes that Cuba should not be there ," said Anderson.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

China responds over allegations that US spys on allies

Want China Times, Xinhua 2013-10-27

A Taiwanese media report on the alleged tapping of the cell phones of 35 world
leaders by the US National Security Agency. (Photo/CNA)

China on Friday called on the international community to speed up the formulation of guidelines for cyberspace after the United States was accused of spying on the phone records of its allies.

"We have noticed relevant reports and the remarks by some nations' leaders. It is the latest testimony that cyber security is a common focus of all countries," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily news briefing.

The international community must accelerate the formulation of guidelines for a code of conduct in cyberspace within the UN framework in order to ensure an open, secure cyberspace, Hua said.

The US National Security Agency allegedly accessed millions of French phone records and tapped German chancellor Angela Merkel's private mobile phone, according to media reports.

On Wednesday, Berlin voiced its anger at the possibility that the US was spying on Merkel, saying it would be "a serious breach of trust" if confirmed.

French president Francois Hollande on Monday expressed his "strong condemnation" of the monitoring during a phone call with US President Barack Obama, branding it "unacceptable" between friends and allies, according to a spokesperson from the French presidential palace.

Related Articles:

Li Keqiang stresses commitment to upgrading FTA with ASEAN

Want China Times, Xinhua 2013-10-27

Thailand's deputy prime minister and trade minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan,
left, shakes hands with China's premier Li Keqiang in Beijing, Oct. 25. (Photo/Xinhua)

China's premier, Li Keqiang, on Friday underlined the country's commitment to upgrading free trade area with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

In a meeting with ASEAN trade ministers' delegation in Beijing, Li said great potential exists in trade, investment and people-to-people cooperation between China and ASEAN. Li said the delegation's trade and investment promotion activities in China will help implement the China-ASEAN cooperation framework over the next decade.

The premier said that China supports ASEAN's leading role in East Asia cooperation and regional integration, and pledged the country's willingness to build strategic trust with neighboring ASEAN countries, deepen all-round cooperation, upgrade the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) and bring more benefits to people in the region.

China is the largest trading partner of ASEAN, and ASEAN is the third-largest trading partner of China.

The CAFTA is the largest free trade area in the world in terms of population and third largest in terms of nominal GDP. Under the free trade agreement, tariffs will be reduced to zero on almost 8,000 product categories, 90% of imported goods.

Knowing trade ministers travelled by high-speed train from south China to Beijing, Li thanked them for staging a roadshow for Chinese high-speed train. Li called for ASEAN businesses to invest in China and encouraged Chinese companies to invest in ASEAN railways and other infrastructure projects, adding that China-ASEAN transportation links will drive trade development.

Thailand's deputy prime minister and trade minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan, on behalf of the delegation, said that ASEAN countries welcome China's proposal for an upgraded CAFTA and would like to work more closely with Beijing on infrastructure cooperation and pave the way for future East Asian cooperation.

Related Article:

Domestic workers unite behind international convention

Google – AFP, 26 October 2013

A domestic helper from Mindoro island gathers hanging clothes in Manila on
September 6, 2012 (AFP/File, Jay Directo)

Montevideo — Unions representing domestic workers met here Saturday to urge countries to ratify a year-old international convention that sets minimal labor standards for domestic workers.

So far only 10 countries have ratified the International Convention on Domestic Workers, which went into effect a year ago in September.

But Myrtle Witbooi, president of the International Domestic Workers Network, said, "We are entering a new era for domestic workers."

Witbooi's organization, which represents 300,000 domestic workers worldwide, is promoting the convention, which gives domestics the right to a minimum wage, daily and weekly rest hours and freedom to choose where they live and how they spend their leave.

"The International Labor Organization convention is for everyone, but if people don't know about it, it can't be invoked," she told AFP.

"We need to educate (workers) and we need to find those countries that don't even have national laws, so they can pass laws and ratify the convention," she said.

Uruguay, which was the first country to ratify the convention in 2012, is hosting the first international conference on domestic work.

"It's already in force here, and has been approved by more than 10 countries, and there are four or five countries in the process of approving it," said Uruguay's Labor Minister Eduardo Brenta.

He said salaries of domestic workers in Uruguay have risen 400 percent over the past eight years, and about 66 percent have a formal status now.

The ILO estimates that domestic workers -- housekeepers, cooks, gardeners, and babysitters -- account for between four and 10 percent of the workforce in developing countries, and 2.5 percent in industrialized countries, or about 52.6 million people overall.

But the ILO believes the numbers employed as domestics could be as high as 100 million people, because of undercounting by some countries.

Reports presented at the conference said 60 percent of under age domestic workers were found in Asia, including an estimated 1.5 million in Indonesia, one million in the Philippines, 420,000 in Bangladesh and 100,000 in Sri Lanka.

Legal protections for domestic workers are minimal in Asia, according to the ILO, which said 797 cases of torture have been reported by media over the past 10 years in Bangladesh.

In Indonesia, 472 cases of violence against domestics have been reported and in Malaysia 13 domestics were killed in 2011 alone.

Moreover, in 97 percent of Asian countries, domestic workers have no legal right to weekly rest or annual vacations.

In Latin America, ILO estimates that there are more than 14 million domestic workers, and that it is the principal occupation of women in the region.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

NSA denies hackers involved in website outage

Deutsche Welle, 26 October 2013

The US National Security Agency has denied that its website was disabled by hackers, saying the outage was due to a technical mistake. A worldwide furor surrounds the NSA over its vast surveillance operations.

The US agency accused of monitoring phone calls of 35 international leaders said Saturday that an outage of its own website was caused by an erroneous update. The National Security Agency (NSA) site reappeared 8 hours later.

Earlier, a NSA spokesman rejected speculation on social networks that hackers might have staged a so-called "denial of service" attack.

"NSA.gov was not accessible for several hours tonight [Friday, local time] because of an internal error that occurred during a scheduled update," he said.

The loosely organized international hacker collective Anonymous played down any role, saying ironically: "Don't panic. They have a backup copy of the internet."

Draft resolution to boost privacy

Disclosures from fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden and published by media outlets internationally prompted Brazil and Germany on Friday to begin drafting a UN General Assembly resolution.

Its demand that excessive spying and invasions of privacy be ended follows complaints from Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and most recently German Chancellor Angela Merkel over tapping of their communications, allegedly by the NSA.

Latin American and European diplomats quoted by the news agency Associated Press said Brazil and Germany were leading efforts to draft the resolution.

It would seek to expend privacy rights stated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

In the 193-nation General Assembly it would be nonbinding but carry moral weight.
Build trust 'anew'

Last month, Rousseff called off a high-profile state visit to Washington. On Thursday, Merkel said trust had to be "built anew" after claims that her Berlin-based mobile phone was tapped by the US.

Germany on Friday said it would send a senior-level delegation to Washington next week to seek responses to a catalogue of questions it submitted months ago.

Washington contends that data interception is necessary to deter terrorism.

On Thursday, just ahead of a EU summit, Britain's Guardian newspaper said a confidential memo indicated that the NSA had monitored phone calls of 35 international leaders in 2006.

Accountability unchecked

Gordon Adams, a professor at American University who served in the administration of former US president Bill Clinton, said the Patriot Act and other laws adopted after the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington by al-Qaeda aircraft hijackers "basically unleashed what we see today."

"In a climate of fear, we basically took the reins off of accountability for the intelligence community," Adams said.

Post-2001, Congress had "opened up a floodgate" and gave the NSA "immense running room," first under ex-president George W. Bush and then incumbent President Barack Obama, Adams told the news agency AFP.

In a commentary in Thursday's edition of USA Today, Lisa Monaco, one of Obama's homeland security advisors, however said US spy services had "more restrictions and oversight that any other country in history."

ipj/tj (AFP, Reuters, AP)
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goldenageofgaia.comSteve Beckow,  August 7, 2013

“… SB:  Okay. Thank you for that.

Now, we have about four minutes before we run out of time, and this is a bit of a complex topic. But Matthew Ward told us in I think his June message that Obama is working with the galactics; that there are galactics in the National Security Agency; that the National Security Agency was gathering evidence on the Illuminati, and that explains why Obama was supporting the… well, if not supporting, then not doing something about the spying of the NSA. It’s really directed at the Illuminati.

Can you talk a little bit more generally about Obama’s working with the galactics? And if you can — I mean, you may not be able to, but if you can — on the galactics in the other agencies and what they’re doing to bring forward a cleansing of those agencies, please?

AAM:  Let me say that your star brothers and sisters, the galactics and the inter-galactics are everywhere. And yes, they are certainly very deep within the administration not only of the United States but might we say most powerful nations, and those that you would not even deign as powerful.

So yes, of course Obama is working with the galactics, and he has been for some time. And that partnership has been important. Now, there have been some very rough patches, and we would be remiss if we did not mention them. But it is not yet time to discuss the fullness of those rough patches. They will come to light.

The purpose of what you think of as spying has been, yes, targeted to Illuminati or those who are not acting in the best interests of the collective, whether it is the United States, Israel, Botswana, Switzerland, Germany, Russia — it does not matter.

There are more of your star beings, your brothers and sisters on the ground than you can fathom. And one of the reasons why this approach… not only has the approach been taken to assist in this shift, it has also been taken to anchor that energy fully and completely on Gaia.

So, the vision of a fleet of starships arising, or coming across the horizon and causing fear has been circumvented. Look to the person standing next to you and look in their eyes. There is a very good chance that you are looking at one of your star brothers or sisters.

SB:  Wonderful. Thank you very much, Lord. …”

Friday, October 25, 2013

NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts

• Agency given more than 200 numbers by government official
• NSA encourages departments to share their 'Rolodexes'
• Surveillance produced 'little intelligence', memo acknowledges

theguardian.com, James Ball, Thursday 24 October 2013

The NSA memo suggests that such surveillance was not isolated as the
agency routinely monitors world leaders. Photograph: Guardian

The National Security Agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another US government department, according to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The confidential memo reveals that the NSA encourages senior officials in its "customer" departments, such the White House, State and the Pentagon, to share their "Rolodexes" so the agency can add the phone numbers of leading foreign politicians to their surveillance systems.

The document notes that one unnamed US official handed over 200 numbers, including those of the 35 world leaders, none of whom is named. These were immediately "tasked" for monitoring by the NSA.

The revelation is set to add to mounting diplomatic tensions between the US and its allies, after the German chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday accused the US of tapping her mobile phone.

After Merkel's allegations became public, White House press secretary Jay Carney issued a statement that said the US "is not monitoring and will not monitor" the German chancellor's communications. But that failed to quell the row, as officials in Berlin quickly pointed out that the US did not deny monitoring the phone in the past.

The NSA memo obtained by the Guardian suggests that such surveillance was not isolated, as the agency routinely monitors the phone numbers of world leaders – and even asks for the assistance of other US officials to do so.

The memo, dated October 2006 and which was issued to staff in the agency's Signals Intelligence Directorate (SID), was titled "Customers Can Help SID Obtain Targetable Phone Numbers".

It begins by setting out an example of how US officials who mixed with world leaders and politicians could help agency surveillance.

"In one recent case," the memo notes, "a US official provided NSA with 200 phone numbers to 35 world leaders … Despite the fact that the majority is probably available via open source, the PCs [intelligence production centers] have noted 43 previously unknown phone numbers. These numbers plus several others have been tasked."

The document continues by saying the new phone numbers had helped the agency discover still more new contact details to add to their monitoring: "These numbers have provided lead information to other numbers that have subsequently been tasked."

But the memo acknowledges that eavesdropping on the numbers had produced "little reportable intelligence". In the wake of the Merkel row, the US is facing growing international criticism that any intelligence benefit from spying on friendly governments is far outweighed by the potential diplomatic damage.

The memo then asks analysts to think about any customers they currently serve who might similarly be happy to turn over details of their contacts.

"This success leads S2 [signals intelligence] to wonder if there are NSA liaisons whose supported customers may be willing to share their 'Rolodexes' or phone lists with NSA as potential sources of intelligence," it states. "S2 welcomes such information!"

The document suggests that sometimes these offers come unsolicited, with US "customers" spontaneously offering the agency access to their overseas networks.

"From time to time, SID is offered access to the personal contact databases of US officials," it states. "Such 'Rolodexes' may contain contact information for foreign political or military leaders, to include direct line, fax, residence and cellular numbers."

The Guardian approached the Obama administration for comment on the latest document. Officials declined to respond directly to the new material, instead referring to comments delivered by Carney at Thursday's daily briefing.

Carney told reporters: "The [NSA] revelations have clearly caused tension in our relationships with some countries, and we are dealing with that through diplomatic channels.

"These are very important relations both economically and for our security, and we will work to maintain the closest possible ties."

The public accusation of spying on Merkel adds to mounting political tensions in Europe about the scope of US surveillance on the governments of its allies, after a cascade of backlashes and apologetic phone calls with leaders across the continent over the course of the week.

Asked on Wednesday evening if the NSA had in the past tracked the German chancellor's communications, Caitlin Hayden, the White House's National Security Council spokeswoman, said: "The United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of Chancellor Merkel. Beyond that, I'm not in a position to comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity."

At the daily briefing on Thursday, Carney again refused to answer repeated questions about whether the US had spied on Merkel's calls in the past.

The NSA memo seen by the Guardian was written halfway through George W Bush's second term, when Condoleezza Rice was secretary of state and Donald Rumsfeld was in his final months as defence secretary.

Merkel, who, according to Reuters, suspected the surveillance after finding her mobile phone number written on a US document, is said to have called for US surveillance to be placed on a new legal footing during a phone call to President Obama.

"The [German] federal government, as a close ally and partner of the US, expects in the future a clear contractual basis for the activity of the services and their co-operation," she told the president.

The leader of Germany's Green party, Katrin Goring-Eckhart, called the alleged spying an "unprecedented breach of trust" between the two countries.

Earlier in the week, Obama called the French president François Hollande in response to reports in Le Monde that the NSA accessed more than 70m phone records of French citizens in a single 30-day period, while earlier reports in Der Spiegel uncovered NSA activity against the offices and communications of senior officials of the European Union.

The European Commission, the executive body of the EU, this week backed proposals that could require US tech companies to seek permission before handing over EU citizens' data to US intelligence agencies, while the European parliament voted in favour of suspending a transatlantic bank data sharing agreement after Der Spiegel revealed the agency was monitoring the international bank transfer system Swift.