United Nations Declaration (Articles 1 - 30):

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

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

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts

Incoming UN chief names three women to top posts
Nigerian Minister of the Environment Amina Mohammed, seen in 2015, will be the UN's number two official (AFP Photo/Mireya ACIERTO)
Sustainable Development
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Timing of the Great Shift" – Mar 21, 2009 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)


The Declaration of Human Freedom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit

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


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

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

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

Same-sex marriage around the world

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

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Merkel says Turkey media crackdown 'highly alarming'

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

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Jolie urges UN Security Council to solve Syria war

Yahoo – AFP, January 28, 2018

United Nations refugee agency special envoy Angelina Jolie holds a press conference
during a visit to Jordan's Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees on January 28, 2018
(AFP Photo/Khalil MAZRAAWI)

Zaatari refugee camp (Jordan) (AFP) - UN goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie urged the UN Security Council to "find a way" to solve Syria's nearly eight-year war during a tour Sunday of a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.

"It is heartbreaking to return to Jordan and witness the levels of hardship and trauma among the Syrian refugees as this war enters its eighth year," the Hollywood star said at the Zaatari camp.

Jolie, a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said Syria's neighbours Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq now host around 5.5 million refugees from the conflict.

"They really are an example to the world at a time that solidarity with the refugees is in short supply," she told reporters after meeting with families living in the camp which is home to about 80,000 people.

"Humanitarian aid is not a long term solution," she said, urging Security Council members to take action and solve the war which broke out in March 2011.

"This is a crisis that has been out of control for years. UNHCR does not have the funds to provide in full even the most basic necessities," she said.

The UNHCR response for the Syria conflict was "only 50 percent funded" last year and only seven percent since the start of 2018, she said.

Jolie, who was on her fifth trip to Jordan, said "it is soul-destroying" for Syrian refugees "to be made this dependent".

"So I would urge the Security Council members to come to the region, to visit the camps and the urban refugees, and find a way to finally bring the full weight of the UN and international community to bear to solve this conflict," she told reporters.

"My message to the international community today... please do more to help meet the needs of desperate Syrian families, and the countries hosting them.

"But above all please provide the leadership and strength needed to negotiate a principled end to this senseless war, without sacrificing the dignity and human rights of Syrian families. That is non-negotiable," she said.

The UN refugee agency says it has registered more than 650,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan since the conflict in Syria began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.

However, Amman says it is hosting 1.3 million Syrian refugees, and has repeatedly called for more assistance to do so

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Richest one percent made 82% of wealth created last year: Oxfam

Yahoo – AFP, 22 January 2018

Residents walk on a wooden plank to cross a garbage-filled waterway in Manila
on January 17, 2018

The world's richest one percent raked in 82 percent of the wealth created last year while the poorest half of the population received none, Oxfam said Monday, as the world's elite prepared to mingle at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

A new report from the charity also found that the wealth of billionaires has grown six times faster than that of ordinary workers since 2010, with another billionaire minted every two days between March 2016 and March 2017.

Oxfam used its findings to paint a picture of a global economy in which the wealthy few amass ever-greater fortunes while hundreds of millions of people are "struggling to survive on poverty pay".

"The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system," Oxfam executive director Winnie Byanyima said in a statement.

Oxfam also emphasised the plight of women workers, who "consistently earn less than men" and often have the lowest paid, least secure jobs. Nine out of 10 billionaires are men, it added.

The report, titled "Reward Work, not Wealth", used data from Credit Suisse to compare the returns of top executives and shareholders to that of ordinary workers.

It found that chief executives of the top five global fashion brands made in just four days what garment workers in Bangladesh earn over a lifetime.

"The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing
economic system," Oxfam executive director Winnie Byanyima said in a statement

"The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones and grow our food are being exploited to ensure a steady supply of cheap goods, and swell the profits of corporations and billionaire investors,"said Byanyima.

To fight rising inequality, Oxfam called on governments to limit the returns of shareholders and top executives, close the gender pay gap, crackdown on tax avoidance and increase spending on healthcare and education.

The study was released on the eve of top political and business figures meeting at a luxury Swiss ski resort for the annual World Economic Forum, which this year says it will focus on how to create "a shared future in a fractured world".

"It's hard to find a political or business leader who doesn't say they are worried about inequality," said Byanyima.

"It's even harder to find one who is doing something about it. Many are actively making things worse by slashing taxes and scrapping labour rights."


US Democrats accept compromise to end government shutdown

Yahoo – AFP, Michael Mathes, January 22, 2018

Republicans and Democrats sealed a deal on Capitol Hill to reopen the
federal government (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

Washington (AFP) - The US Senate on Monday reached a deal to reopen the federal government, with Democrats accepting a compromise spending bill to end days of partisan bickering that forced hundreds of thousands of government employees to stay home without pay.

The impasse, the first of its kind since 2013, cast a huge shadow over the first anniversary on Saturday of President Donald Trump's inauguration.

As the Senate convened, the chamber's top Democrat Chuck Schumer announced that members of his party would vote with ruling Republicans to end the shutdown on day three, after a weekend of frustrating talks on Capitol Hill.

The compromise bill passed a key procedural hurdle in the Senate by an overwhelming majority of 81-18, with final approval in the chamber expected by day's end.

The shutdown will end formally once the House of Representatives approves the measure keeping the government funded until February 8 -- which it is expected to do.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Schumer said he had reached an arrangement with Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "after several discussions, offers, counteroffers."

"We will vote today to reopen the government," he said.

But Schumer warned McConnell that he expected Republicans to make good on a pledge to address Democrat concerns over the Deferred Action on Child Arrivals (DACA) program that shields immigrants brought to the country as children from deportation, but expires on March 5.

US budgets and government shutdowns since 1989 (AFP Photo/Gillian HANDYSIDE)

There are an estimated 700,000 "Dreamers" whose fates are up in the air.

"If he does not, of course, and I expect he will, he will have breached the trust of not only the Democratic senators but members of his own party as well," Schumer said.

Dealmaker on sidelines

Hopes that the shutdown, which began at midnight Friday, could be limited to the weekend were raised when a bipartisan group huddled for hours on Sunday trying to end the standoff, but they ultimately failed to reach a deal.

Then as Monday began, Trump goaded Democrats from the sidelines, accusing them of shutting down the government to win concessions on immigration, in service of "their far left base."

"They don't want to do it but are powerless," he tweeted, referring to Schumer and other Democratic leaders.

But Schumer said on the Senate floor it was time to get back to work, and lashed out at Trump.

"The great deal-making president sat on the sidelines," he said.

The bill needed 60 votes to pass the procedural hurdle in the 100-member Senate, meaning Republicans -- who have a one-seat majority -- could not maneuver on their own.

Over the weekend, Trump encouraged the Senate's Republican leaders to invoke the "nuclear option" -- a procedural maneuver to change the chamber's rules to allow passage of a budget by a simple majority of 51 votes to end the shutdown.

But Senate leaders have been wary of such a move in the past, as it could come back to haunt them the next time Democrats hold a majority.

There have been four government shutdowns since 1990. In the last one, more than 800,000 government workers were put on temporary leave.

Essential federal services and the military were operational Monday, but even active-duty troops will not be paid until a deal is formally sealed.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Trump inauguration anniversary marred by shutdown, protests

Yahoo – AFP, Jerome Cartillier and Michael Mathes, January 20, 2018

US President Donald Trump expressed frustration that the one-year anniversary
of his inauguration has been marred by the federal government shutdown
(AFP Photo/MANDEL NGAN)

Washington (AFP) - Donald Trump's first anniversary as US president was marred by chaos Saturday as Congress struggled to reverse a government shutdown and mass demonstrations erupted in cities across the country.

Essential federal services and military activity are continuing, but hundreds of thousands of public sector workers will be sent home without wages and even active duty troops will not be paid until a deal is reached to reopen the US government.

Highlighting the deep political polarization, crowds estimated to number in the hundreds of thousands took to the streets of major US cities to march against the president and his policies.

"This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present," Trump, who is in Washington instead of celebrating the anniversary at his Mar-a-Lago resort, wrote on Twitter in reference to the shutdown.

"Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border," he tweeted, later accusing the opposition party of "holding our Military hostage."

The impact of the shutdown will be felt more strongly if it lasts into the coming work week.

But signs that the government was not open for business were already appearing on Saturday.

Democratic US Senator Chuck Schumer is seen as holding the key to a deal on a
measure to fund the federal government (AFP Photo/Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)

"The Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island are closed due to a lapse in appropriations," a notice on the National Park Service's website said, while a sign at US military cemetery in France where 4,409 Americans are buried read: "Due to the US Government shutdown, this site is closed to the public."

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis wrote in a memo that "daily operations around the world" will continue, but "training for reservists must be curtailed" and that "active forces will stay at their posts adapting their training to achieve the least negative impact on our readiness to fight."

'Holding pattern'

There have been four government shutdowns since 1990. In the last one in 2013, more than 800,000 government workers were put on temporary leave.

"We're just in a holding pattern. We just have to wait and see. It's scary," Noelle Joll, a 50-year-old furloughed US government employee, told AFP in Washington.

Joll was also affected by the 2013 shutdown, but "this one feels a lot more ominous," she said.

US budgets and government shutdowns since 1989 (AFP Photo/Gillian HANDYSIDE)

"I think our members are frustrated, they're disappointed in the president and members of Congress that they're not funding the government -- doing their job -- as we do our jobs every day," J. David Cox, the president of one of the largest unions representing government workers, said on CNN.

A deal had appeared likely on Friday afternoon, when Trump -- who has touted himself as a master negotiator -- seemed to be close to an agreement with Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer on a measure to prevent the expulsion of undocumented migrants who arrived in the country as children.

But no such compromise was in the language that reached Congress for a stop-gap motion to keep the government open for four more weeks while a final arrangement is discussed -- and Republicans failed to win enough Democratic support to bring it to a vote.

Congress reconvened for a rare Saturday session, where leaders of both sides traded accusations of responsibility for the shutdown.

Schumer said trying to negotiate with Trump "was like negotiating with Jell-O."

Protesters took to the streets of New York, Washington, Los Angeles and other
US cities to express opposition to President Donald Trump and support for
women's rights (AFP Photo/SPENCER PLATT)

"It's impossible to negotiate with a constantly moving target," he said. "President Trump is so mercurial it's been impossible to get him to agree to anything. The Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said Schumer "took the extraordinary step" of preventing the legislation from passing and thus "plunging the country into this totally avoidable mess."

Anti-Trump protests

Democrats have accused Republicans of poisoning chances of a deal and pandering to Trump's populist base by refusing to fund a program that protects 700,000 "Dreamers" -- undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children -- from deportation.

Republicans have a tenuous one-seat majority in the Senate but would have needed to lure some Democrats to their side to get a 60 vote supermajority to bring the motion forward. They fell ten votes short.

The measure brought to Congress would have extended federal funding until February 16 and reauthorized for six years a health insurance program for poor children -- a long-time Democratic objective.

But it would have cut the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, that affects Dreamers.

White House officials insisted there was no urgency to fix DACA, which expires March 5.

As US lawmakers wrangled over government funding, protesters turned out in cities including Washington, New York and Los Angeles to express their opposition to Trump and their support for women's rights.

Protestors hoisted placards with messages including "Fight like a girl" and "A woman's place is in the White House" and "Elect a clown, expect a circus."

The president meanwhile posted a deadpan tweet referencing the rallies protesting his policies, urging people to "get out there and celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months."

Hollywood celebrities were among those who turned out to protest on Saturday.

"We have a racist in the White House, we have a sexist in the White House and we have a pathological liar in the White House who is tearing away at the fabric in our democracy," actor and producer Rob Reiner said at a rally in California.


Related Article:

Mass crowds rally for anti-Trump Women's Marches across US

People rally at the Lincoln Memorial for the second edition of the anti-Donald Trump
Women's March on Washington (AFP Photo/Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Do not fear the other, pope says on World Migrant Day

Yahoo – AFP, January 14, 2018

Pope Francis, himself the son of immigrants to Italy from Argentina, has 
championed the cause of migrants and asylum seekers since his election 
in 2013. (AFP Photo/VINCENZO PINTO)

Vatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis called Sunday for hospitality towards migrants, calling it a "sin" to give in to fear of the other as he marked the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

"It is not easy... to put oneself in the shoes of people so different from us," the pontiff said during a solemn mass at St Peter's Basilica.

"Local communities are sometimes afraid that the newly arrived will disturb the established order, will 'steal' something they have long laboured to build up," Francis said.

While such fears are not a sin, said the spiritual leader of the world's 1.3 billion Roman Catholics, "the sin is to refuse to encounter the other, the different, the neighbour."

"The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection," Francis said, adding: "We often refuse to encounter the other and raise barriers to defend ourselves."

More than 150 migrants were rescued this weekend off the coast of southern
Spain. (AFP Photo/JORGE GUERRERO)

The 81-year-old pontiff, himself the son of immigrants to Italy from Argentina, has championed the cause of migrants and asylum seekers since his election in 2013.

His first official trip outside Rome was to the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, which was at the time the first point of arrival in Europe for thousands of migrants.

In April 2016, Francis visited the Greek island of Lesbos, a main entry point to Greece for migrants travelling from the Turkish coast, and returned home with three families of Syrian refugees aboard the papal plane.

"Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age," Francis said Sunday.

On Monday Francis will begin an eight-day tour of his native South America, visiting Peru and Chile.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Iran rules out any change to nuclear accord

Yahoo – AFP, Eric Randolph, 13 January 2018

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the 2015 nuclear deal
with world powers could not be renegotiated

Iran on Saturday rejected any modification of its nuclear deal with world powers after US President Donald Trump demanded tough new measures to keep the agreement alive.

Iran "will not accept any amendments in this agreement, be it now or in the future, and it will not allow any other issues to be linked to the JCPOA", the foreign ministry said in a statement, using the 2015 deal's technical name.

It has the backing of all the partners to the agreement apart from the United States, with Russia warning Washington on Saturday that withdrawing would be "a big miscalculation".

"We are gradually coming to the conclusion that an internal decision by the US to leave the JCPOA has already been made or is close to being made," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency.

"This could be one of Washington's big foreign policy mistakes," he added.

Trump again waived nuclear-related sanctions on Friday -- as required every few months to stay in the agreement -- but demanded that European partners work with Washington to "fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw".

He said the new deal should curb Iran's missile programme and include permanent restrictions on the Islamic republic's nuclear plants, removing expiration dates due to kick in after a decade.

The other parties to the agreement -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the European Union -- have all said the deal is working and that Iran is complying fully with its commitments.

Britain and Germany said Friday they had taken note of Trump's latest decision and would confer with France before responding.

Map and factfile on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal

'It makes no difference'

On Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron stressed the "necessary respect by all parties" of Iran's nuclear deal with world powers, in a telephone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

However, Israel's leader, a fierce critic of the deal, told Macron that changing the nuclear deal would increase the chances of it remaining in place.

"Trump's remarks should be taken seriously, and whoever wants to keep the nuclear deal would be wise to fix it", a statement from Netanyahu's office read.

On the streets of Tehran, many people have grown cynical and exasperated by the endless pressure from the United States.

"It doesn't make any difference. We have been under US sanctions for the last 40 years," said Farshad Alyan, a 26-year-old law student.

"Two years ago when the JCPOA was signed we were so hopeful. We don't have that hope any more."

Iran argues that continued US sanctions on non-nuclear areas such as human rights and missile testing have effectively barred it from gaining many of the financial benefits expected from the deal.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said Trump's aggressive stance on the deal and Iran generally have also violated the commitment to "refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran" in the accord.

Many people on the street in Tehran have grown cynical and exasperated 
by the endless US pressure

New sanctions criticised

Many analysts agree.

"Trump has once again avoided the nuclear option on the nuclear deal. But the clear reluctance with which he has issued the sanctions waivers will continue to weigh on the business community," said Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, founder of the Europe-Iran Forum, a business network.

"However, if the 'adults in the room' prevailed this time and kept Trump from exiting the deal, there remains hope they will prevail in the end," he added.

Responding to Trump's speech late Friday, Zarif tweeted: "Rather than repeating tired rhetoric, US must bring itself into full compliance -- just like Iran."

Saturday's statement from Iran's foreign ministry further criticised new sanctions on 14 individuals announced by the US Treasury on Friday over human rights issues and Iran's missile programme.

In particular, placing judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani on the sanctions list "crossed all red lines of conduct in the international community... and the government of the United States will bear responsibility for all the consequences of this hostile move".

Related Article:


US President Barack Obama, standing with Vice President Joe Biden, delivers
 remarks on in the East Room of the White House in Washington on July 14, 2015,
after an Iran nuclear deal was reached (AFP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Egypt Copts hold Christmas mass under tight security

Yahoo – AFP, January 6, 2018

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaks near Coptic Pope Tawadros II (L)
during a Christmas Eve mass at the Nativity of Christ Cathedral in Cairo on
January 6, 2018 (AFP Photo/KHALED DESOUKI)

Nativity of Christ Cathedral (Egypt) (AFP) - Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Christians held a Christmas Eve mass on Saturday at a massive new cathedral east of Cairo amid tight security after a year of deadly jihadist attacks on the community.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gave a short speech before the liturgy, which was led by Pope Tawadros II, wishing the Christians a merry Christmas and telling them that the country would prevail over the jihadists.

"You are our family, you are from us, we are one and no one will divide us," he said to ululations and chants from some of the congregants and visitors.

Police had set up barricades outside the cathedral in a new administrative capital Egypt is building east of Cairo.

The cathedral, Sisi said, was a "message to the world, a message of peace and a message of love".

Police had tightened security around the country's churches ahead of services following a spate of attacks that began in 2016.

More than 100 Christians have been killed in the violence, including a shooting at a church south of Cairo just last week claimed by the Islamic State group.

Since the military ousted divisive Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, security forces have sought to quell attacks led by the Egypt branch of IS which has increasingly targeted Christians.

While the jihadists have also taken aim at other civilians, including more than 300 Muslim worshippers massacred at a mosque last November, they have focused on the ancient Coptic community.

In December 2016, an IS suicide bomber killed almost 30 worshippers at a church in Cairo located in the Saint Mark's Cathedral complex, the seat of the Coptic papacy.

In the Sinai Peninsula, where IS is based, hundreds of Christians were forced to flee in January and December after a wave of assassinations.

IS suicide bombers killed more than 40 people in twin church bombings in April and shot dead almost 30 Christians a month later as they headed to a monastery.

The year ended with an IS jihadist killing nine people in an attack on a church in a south Cairo suburb.

Copts, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's 93 million people, have long complained of discrimination and intermittent sectarian attacks.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Israel finds 2,700-year-old 'governor of Jerusalem' seal

France24 – AFP, 1 January 2018

Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, excavator of the Israel Antiquities Authority holds a
2,7000-year-old clay seal which she says belonged to the "governor of the city" of
Jerusalem uncovered near the Western Wall

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli archaeologists unveiled on Monday a 2,700-year-old clay seal imprinted with images and Hebrew words that may have belonged to a biblical governor of Jerusalem.

The round button-sized seal was found in a building in Jerusalem's Old City near the Western Wall and dates back to the 7th century BC, from the time of the First Jewish Temple, said the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The artefact bears an engraving showing two men wearing robes and facing each other in a mirror-like manner.

Below them is an inscription in ancient Hebrew that reads "to the governor of the city", or mayor.

"It's a very rare find," said Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, excavator of the Western Wall plaza for the Israel Antiquities Authority.

"The find's great importance is that until now, we only know the expression of city governor (of Jerusalem) from the Bible," she told AFP.

"This is the first time we find it in the archaeological context, in an archaeological dig of a structure from the seventh century BC," she added.

The seal does not mention the name of the governor or the city of Jerusalem, but Weksler-Bdolah said she believed it referred to the Holy City.

She said a scientific examination of the seal would be conducted soon and was expected to corroborate its link to Jerusalem.

According to her, the seal was apparently attached to an object to be delivered to someone on behalf of the governor of the city.

News of the discovery comes as tensions swirl around Jerusalem after US President Donald Trump designated the city as Israel's capital.

Jerusalem's status is perhaps the most sensitive issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel sees the entire city as its capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

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"THE BRIDGE OF SWORDS"– Sep  29, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) (Text version)

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 1, 2018

China's Xi vows to support UN, boost living standards

Yahoo – AFP, 31 December 2017

China's Xi vows to support UN, boost living standards

Beijing (AFP) - China will play its part in defending the international order and combating climate change while working to raise living standards for its own people, President Xi Jinping pledged Sunday in a New Year speech.

Xi said the nation was committed to economic reforms in 2018, the 40th anniversary of the transformation led by Deng Xiaoping, "as reform and opening-up is the path we must take to make progress in contemporary China and to realise the Chinese dream".

In a speech quoted by the state Xinhua news agency, Xi said that by 2020 all rural residents living below the current poverty line should have been lifted out of poverty.

It would be the first time in thousands of years of Chinese history that extreme poverty had been eliminated, he said.

"It is our solemn promise," Xi said.

The president also acknowledged shortfalls in the government's work.

"That is why we should strengthen our sense of responsibility and do a good job of ensuring the people's well-being," Xinhua quoted him as saying.

"The well-being of our people is the Party and the government's greatest political achievement."

On international affairs, Xi said China "will resolutely uphold the authority of the United Nations", actively fulfil the nation's international obligations and remain firmly committed to its pledges to tackle climate change.

His stance puts him at odds with US President Donald Trump, who has sharply criticised the UN and vowed to quit the 2015 Paris accord on combating climate change.