Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (C) addresses the
audience during a meeting of the annual Mercosur trade bloc presidential
summit in Mendoza June 29, 2012. (Credit: Reuters/Enrique Marcarian)

Chinese leader woos Latin America with deals

Chinese leader woos Latin America with deals
Chinese President Xi Jinping (4-L, first row) poses with leaders of the CELAC group of Latin American and Caribbean states, in Brasilia, on July 17, 2014 (AFP Photo/Nelson Almeida)
"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.) -

“ … 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.)

A student holds a sign reading "Don't shoot, listen!!!" during a protest
on June 17, 2013 in Brasilia (AFP, Evaristo)

Brazil's Rousseff claims nation 'ready for greatest World Cup'

Brazil's Rousseff claims nation 'ready for greatest World Cup'
Google: Ready, set, goooaaallll! The WorldCup is finally here.

Paraguay police search S. American football HQ

Paraguay police search S. American football HQ
The Conmebol headquarters in Luque, Paraguay, is seen on January 7, 2016, during a raid within the framework of the FIFA corruption scandal (AFP Photo/Norberto Duarte)

'Panama Papers' law firm under the media's lenses

'Panama Papers' law firm under the media's lenses
The Panama Papers: key facts on the huge journalists' investigation into tax evasion (AFP Photo/Thomas Saint-Cricq, Philippe Mouche)

Mossack Fonseca

Mossack Fonseca


"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. …

Monday, October 24, 2016

Pope grants Venezuela president private audience

Yahoo – AFP, October 24, 2016

Pope Francis met Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro in a private capacity,
 because the pontiff's heart was with the Venezuelan people (AFP Photo/
Vincenzo Pinto)

Vatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis on Monday granted Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro a surprise private audience at the Vatican in the midst of a deep political crisis in the South American country.

A statement from the Holy See said Francis had met Maduro because the pontiff's heart was with the Venezuelan people.

Maduro is accused by the opposition-majority legislature of committing a coup d'etat by blocking a referendum on removing him from power.

"The meeting took place in the context of the worrying situation of political, economic and social crisis which the country is going through and which has had severe repercussions on the daily life of the entire population," the statement said after the encounter.

"In this way, the pope, who has the wellbeing of all Venezuelans in his heart, wanted to offer his contribution in support of constitutionality in the country and to every step that could help to resolve the open questions and create greater trust between the parties.

"He urged (the parties) to show courage in pursuing the path of sincere and constructive dialogue, to alleviate the suffering of the people, particularly of the poor, and to promote renewed social cohesion, which will allow the nation to look to the future with hope."

Opposition lawmakers in Venezuela on Sunday passed a resolution declaring "the breakdown of constitutional order" and "a coup d'etat committed by the Nicolas Maduro regime".

The measure came during an emergency session on the crisis gripping the resource-rich but recession-hit South American state.

Maduro visited the pope on his way back from the Middle East, where he was lobbying for cuts to oil production to help crude prices improve and stem the free-fall of his country's economy.

The heir to Hugo Chavez, socialist Maduro has seen his political support crumble of late with a recent poll finding that 75 percent of Venezuelan voters disapprove of him.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Brazil charges 21 over deaths in mine dam collapse: prosecutor

Yahoo – AFP, Sebastian Smith, October 20, 2016

A firefighter walks in the mud in Bento Rodrigues, three days after an avalanche
 of mud and mining sludge buried the town in southeastern Brazil, on
November 8, 2015 (AFP Photo/Chirstophe Simon)

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Brazilian federal prosecutors announced homicide charges Thursday against 21 people, including senior mining executives, allegedly responsible for the deadly collapse of the Samarco iron-ore mine dam last year.

The lead prosecutor in the case, Jose Leite Sampaio, made the announcement in a televised news conference in Belo Horizonte, near Mariana, the site of the disaster, where on November 5, 2015, the failed dam unleashed a torrent of muddy water down the River Doce, killing 19 people.

It was branded Brazil's worst environmental disaster, drawing comparisons with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion which killed 11 workers and triggered a devastating spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a statement, prosecutors denounced the mining companies for reckless policies in pursuit of greater profits that amounted to "qualified homicide," which in Brazilian law is more serious than ordinary manslaughter.

"Security was always of secondary importance. The increase in production at Samarco sought to compensate for the falling value of the ore in order not only to maintain but also to boost profits and dividends," Sampaio said. "It should have taken steps to promote the safety of the dam."

Prosecutors said Samarco -- which operated the mine and is owned 50-50 by Brazil's Vale and Anglo-Australian giant BHP Billiton -- ignored basic responsibilities.

They accused the mining companies of not taking into account the fate of communities downstream or even their own employees, saying there were not even "sirens or warning lights" in case of disaster.

The accused included the chief executive of Samarco at the time of the tragedy, Ricardo Vescovi, as well as operations managing director Kleber Terra, and three operations managers.

Aerial view of damages after a dam burst in the village of Bento Rodrigues,
in Mariana, Minas Gerais state, Brazil (AFP Photo/Christophe Simon)

They could face sentences of "up to 54 years," prosecutors said in the statement.

The three companies themselves also face charges for a total of 12 different environmental crimes, prosecutors said.

Vehement rejection

Vale said in a statement that it "vehemently rejects the charges presented by the federal prosecutor's office."

BHP also issued a statement, saying it "rejects outright the charges against the company and the affected individuals. We will defend the charges against the company, and fully support each of the affected individuals in their defense."

The charges still need to be approved by a judge before a jury trial would start.

The breaking of the tailings dam unleashed a massive flood of sludge into the River Doce, reaching the Atlantic Ocean.

Drinking water supplies were cut for hundreds of thousands of people, a village was flattened, and local fishing and tourist businesses were badly impacted. According to prosecutors, 14 tons of dead fish were collected in the aftermath.

The mining companies have agreed to pay billions of dollars in compensation but in May prosecutors filed a civil lawsuit against Vale, BHP and Samarco seeking 155 billion reais ($49 billion).

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Argentine women protest rape and murder of teenager

Argentine women have taken to the streets in protest after the savage rape and murder of a 16-year-old-girl. Organizers said their goal was to protest a macho culture and system that values women less than men.

Deutsche Welle, 20 Oct 2016

Women from across the country marched in memory of Lucia Perez, who died earlier this month, in the latest demonstration to take place after more than a year of mass protests.

Many who part in the Buenos Aires protest wore black, to mourn victims of gender-based violence.

The demo took place under the banner "Black Wednesday," and was organized by the collectives "Ni Una Menos" (Not One Fewer) and MuMaLa. There were no official attendance figures.

There was an eruption of anger in June last year after a series of gruesome killings, but the murder of Perez in the city of Mar del Plata has led to particular outrage.

"If you touch one of us, we all react," said signs carried by many of the protesters, who staged an hour-long strike at 1 p.m. (1400 UTC). Solidarity protests were held in other countries, including Spain and Mexico.

'Sobering and planned' murder

Perez, a high school student, died on October 8 after she was allegedly raped and impaled on a spike.

Prosecutor Maria Isabel Sanchez said last week that Perez had been drugged with cocaine and had suffered "inhumane sexual aggression" that resulted in cardiac arrest. The perpetrators were then said to have washed the body in an effort to make the death appear accidental.

Two men, known for selling drugs outside a school, were being held on Sunday in connection with the rape and homicide.

"The brutality of this crime reveals a sobering, planned and sophisticated violence," said Florencia Minici, spokeswoman for Ni Una Menos. Minici said the event would serve as a visual reminder of the violence, which she said was "beyond any statistic."
'Gather strength, shout together'

Perez' brother, Matias, said the demonstration could help prevent more deaths like that of his sister. "We have to gather strength - now more than ever - and get out onto the street to shout together - 'Not one more (life lost)!'" he said.

MuMaLa coordinator Raquel Vivanco told the news agency EFE that the state was "absent" from dealing with the problem, with figures showing that a woman was murdered in Argentina every 30 hours.

However, Argentine Justice Minister German Garavano, who met Perez' family last week, said the government was committed to dealing with the problem.

rc/jr (AFP, AP, EFE)
Related Article:

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

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

Monday, October 17, 2016

Guantanamo prison author arrives back in Mauritania

Yahoo – AFP, October 17, 2016

The US flag flies above the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (AFP
Photo/Paul J. Richards)

Nouakchott (AFP) - A longtime Guantanamo Bay prisoner who wrote a best-selling book about his experiences in the controversial military prison was back in his native Mauritania on Monday night, Mauritanian sources said.

The transfer of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, believed to be the last inmate from Mauritania held at the facility in Cuba, brings the prison's remaining population down to 60.

His case became a cause celebre after the publication last year of "Guantanamo Diary", in which he outlines his treatment at the notorious US naval base in Cuba and says he was subjected to torture.

Mauritania's official AMI news agency confirmed "the return by the American authorities to their Mauritanian counterparts Mohamedou Ould Sellahy (or Slahi) after his release from Guantanamo."

AMI said the handover was the result of "diplomatic efforts over many years at the highest levels."

The US Defense Department announced his release in an earlier statement and said it was "grateful to the government of Mauritania for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility."

The younger brother of Mohamedou Ould Slahi poses with a copy of 
Mohamedou's prison memoir 'Guantanamo Diary' open to show pages that 
were redacted by the US government in London on January 20, 2015
(AFP Photo/Beb Stansall)

Slahi, 45, was detained in his home country following the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001, on suspicion of involvement in an unsuccessful plot to bomb Los Angeles in 1999.

He was taken to Guantanamo in August 2002 following interrogation in Jordan and Afghanistan.

In his book, Slahi described the toll of life inside the jail, saying: "I started to hallucinate and hear voices as clear as crystal. I heard my family in a casual familial conversation ... I heard Koran readings in a heavenly voice."

He added: "I was on the edge of losing my mind."

A Mauritanian security source told AFP Slahi had arrived in the capital Nouakchott on Monday in a US military plane, and was met by the Mauritanian security services.

"He will not be free to move around immediately but has to be interviewed by the security services before being released," the source said.

US President Barack Obama wants to close the Guantanamo jail before he leaves office, but his efforts have faced stiff Republican opposition and time to shutter the prison is running out fast.

Still, the United States has in recent months accelerated the rate at which detainees who have been approved for transfer are released from the facility.

When Obama took office, there were 242 detainees at Guantanamo.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Juan Manuel Santos: Colombia rebels' archfoe turned peacemaker

Yahoo – AFP, Alina Dieste, October 7, 2016

Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos came to power in 2010 (AFP
Photo/Guillermo Legaria)

Bogota (AFP) - Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who won the Nobel Peace Prize Friday, is a son of a powerful family who staked his legacy on troubled efforts to make peace with the communist FARC rebels.

The Nobel Committee hailed the two-term president's "resolute" bid to end Latin America's longest conflict -- despite a shock referendum defeat last weekend for the peace accord he has championed.

"I prefer an imperfect accord that saves lives to a perfect war that keeps sowing death and pain," Santos had said as he signed the historic deal last month with his erstwhile mortal enemy, the FARC guerrilla leader Timoleon "Timochenko" Jimenez.

Juan Manuel Santos (AFP Photo/Gustavo IZUS,
Tatiana Magarinos)
Voters rejected the deal to end five decades of conflict by a razor-thin margin in Sunday's referendum -- a move the Nobel committee warned could plunge the country into fresh civil war.

The 65-year-old Santos, a career politician, led a major offensive against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as defense minister from 2006 to 2009.

But after becoming president in 2010, he changed tack and negotiated for a settlement with the guerrillas.

"I was never a hawk or a dove. I've always been a standard-bearer for peace," he told AFP in an interview before the September deal.

'Do the right thing'

Santos defied fierce opposition to the talks from some former allies.

"I am not looking for applause. I just want to do the right thing," he once said.

He won reelection in 2014 in a vote widely seen as a referendum on the talks. But his popularity rating has since plunged.

Santos said receiving the Nobel Prize would be "a great stimulus" for efforts to achieve peace.

"We are very, very close, we just need to push a bit further," he told the Nobel Foundation in a telephone interview.

He accepted the prize "not in my own name, but in the name of all Colombians, especially the millions of victims," he added later in a televised address.

"I will dedicate all my strength to this cause for the rest of my life."

'Political courage'

UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi hailed Santos's "political courage" and voiced hope the impasse could be overcome.

A former hostage of the FARC, Ingrid Betancourt -- a Franco-Colombian former politician who was held in the jungle for six years -- said it was a "just" reward for Santos, but added that the rebels should have shared the Nobel.

Since Santos launched peace negotiations four years ago, his predecessor, ex-president Alvaro Uribe, has become his main critic, arguing that the peace accord offered the rebels impunity for their crimes.

Both Uribe and FARC leader Timochenko congratulated Santos on the award, however.

Santos "made war as a means to achieve peace," Santos's brother-in-law and adviser, Mauricio Rodriguez, told AFP recently.

"He weakened the FARC to make them sit at the negotiating table," he added.

The peace drive "required courage, audacity, perseverance and a lot of strategy -- those are Santos's strengths."

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos (left) and FARC leader Timoleon 
Jimenez, aka Timochenko, shake hands after signing a historic peace agreement 
in Cartagena, on September 26, 2016 (AFP Photo/Luis Acosta)

'Extreme center' politician

Santos was born in August 1951 in Bogota into a rich, powerful family entrenched in Colombian politics and the media.

He has described himself as politically in the "extreme center."

He was educated at a top naval academy in the Colombian city of Cartagena and later at the London School of Economics.

Santos began his career as a journalist, winning a Spanish award for his coverage of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua as a young man.

The work he did along with his brother Enrique in Nicaragua "had a profound impact on us both," Santos once said.

In 1991 he switched to politics, and has served in various ministerial posts.

An admirer of Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Nelson Mandela, Santos is said to be an early riser and late sleeper. He survived prostate cancer in 2012.

His source of strength, he says, is his family -- "my saints," he has called them, playing on his surname which means saints in Spanish.

He and his wife Maria Clemencia Rodriguez have three children.

"... The Change in the Way Things Work

Now I'm going to be very cautious with number five, and I'm going to change a paradigm of the way we channel. For 23 years, we have given you information in the soup of potentials that we read around you as the highest probable potential that exists. These things eventually become your reality because they are your free choice, and we know what you're thinking. We know what the potentials are because we know what the biases are, and we see all of humanity as a whole. Potentials are energy, and it gives us the ability to project your future based on how you are working these potentials. We have done this for a long time. Twenty-three years ago, we told you about many things that were potentially going to happen, and now they are your reality.

But now I'm going to depart from that scenario and I'm going to give you a potential on Earth that is not the strongest. I am going to tell you about a Human Being who has a choice. This potential is only about 50 percent. But I'm going to "read a potential" to you that you didn't expect. It's about a paradigm that is starting to shift.

Let's talk about North Korea. There's a young, new leader there. The potential is that he will never, ever hear this channel, so I can talk freely about him. He is facing a dilemma, for he is young and he knows about the differences in the energy in his land. He feels it. The lineage of his departed father lies upon him and all that is around him expects him to be a clone of this lineage. He is expected to continue the things that he has been taught and make North Korea great.

But he's starting to rethink them. Indeed, he wants to be a great leader, and to be heard and seen, and to make his mark on North Korea's history. His father showed him that this was very important. So he ponders a question: What makes a world leader great?

Let's ask that question to someone in an older earth paradigm from not that long ago. He will be an expert and a successful one. So this is a valid exercise, asking someone from the past who knows. We will ask that question to a man who you know and whose name is Napoleon. For us, this was yesterday and some of you were there. 

If you asked Napoleon, "What makes a world leader great?", he will say, "the size of the army, how much area can be efficiently conquered with a given amount of resources and men, how important the leader appears will then be based upon how many citizens call him emperor or king, the taxes he can impose, and how many fear him." Not only was that Napoleon's reality, but he was right for the energy he was part of at the time. So Napoleon went back and forth between world leader, general and prisoner. He accomplished almost everything he set out to do. His expertise was obvious, and you remember his name to this day. He was famous.

What makes a world leader great? What I am showing you is the difference in thinking between then and now. There are some choices that this evolving young Human Being has that could change everything on the planet if he wanted. His father would tell this boy that what makes a world leader great is the potential of his missile power, or how close he can get to having a nuclear weapon, or how he stands up against the power of the West, or how he continues to aggravate and stir drama as a small country - getting noticed and being feared. His father would tell him that this is his lineage and that is what he's been told all his life. His father did it well and surrounded himself with advisors who he then passed on to his son.

Now, there's a 50 percent chance of something happening here, but this is not a strong potential, dear ones. I'm bringing this forward so you can watch it work one way or the other. For if the son continues in his father's footsteps, he is doomed to failure. The energy on the earth will see it as old and he will be seen as a fool. If, however, he figures it out, he could be the most famous man on the planet... which is really what his father wanted.

If Kryon were to advise this man, here's what I would tell him. He could be the greatest known leader the current world has ever known, for what he does now will be something the world will see as a demarcation point from the old ways. Not only that, but what he does now will be in the history books forever, and because of his youth, he has the potential to outlive every other leader on the planet! So he's going to have longer fame than anyone ever has.

I would tell him this: Tell the border guards to go home. Greet the south and begin to unify North and South Korea in a way that no past prophet ever said could happen. Allow the two countries to be separate, but have them as two parts of a larger Korean family with free trade and travel. Start alliances with the West and show them that you mean it. Drop the missile programs because you will never need them!

This will bring abundance to the North Korean people that they never expected! They will have great economic sustenance, schools, hospitals and more respect than ever for their amazing leader. The result would be fame and glory for the son, which the father had never achieved, something that the world would talk about for hundreds of years. It would cause a United Nations to stand and applaud as the son walked into the Grand Assembly. I would ask him, "Wouldn't you like that?"

Doesn't this seem obvious to most of you? He could achieve instant fame and be seen as the one who made the difference and started something amazing. But watch him. He has a choice, but it's not simple. He still has his father's advisors, but one of which he's already dismissed. He may get it, or he may not. There is a 50 percent chance. But I'll tell you that if he doesn't do it, the one after him will. Because it is so obvious. 

We show you this to tell you that this is the evolvement of the Human species. It is the slow realization that putting things together is the answer to all things, instead of separating them or conquering them. Those who start promoting compromise and begin to create these energies that never were here before will be the ones you're going to remember. Dear ones, it's going to happen in leadership and politics and in business. It's a new paradigm...."

Friday, September 30, 2016

Denmark pays for Panama Papers data on own citizens

Yahoo – AFP, September 29, 2016

In April, media outlets published details of murky offshore financial dealings
gleaned from 11.5 million leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm --
the so-called "Panama Papers" (AFP Photo/Andreas Solaro)

Copenhagen (AFP) - The Danish tax authority said on Thursday it had paid an anonymous source almost six million kroner (0.81 million euros, $0.9 million) for leaked data from the Panama Papers on hundreds of Danes.

The government justified the payment earlier this month saying it needed to take all necessary measures to catch tax evaders.

"The material contains the number of files on Danes that we expected and the quality is on a par with the sample cases we were given before," Jim Sorensen, a division head at the agency, said in a statement.

The agency would now analyse the material in more detail, he said.

The Danish government said on September 7 that it would pay an amount in the "lower millions" of kroner to the anonymous source for information on between 500 and 600 Danish taxpayers from the Panama Papers.

In April, media outlets published details of murky offshore financial dealings gleaned from 11.5 million leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm -- the so-called "Panama Papers".

The leaks saw a host of high-profile politicians, celebrities and sports stars embarrassed over their assets in tax havens.

Monday, September 26, 2016

EU to 'suspend' Colombia's FARC from terror list

Yahoo – AFP, September 26, 2016

A member of the FARC serves soup for lunch at their camp in El Diamante,
Caqueta Department, Colombia, on September 26, 2016 (AFP Photo/Raul Arboleda)

Brussels (AFP) - The European Union has decided to "suspend" Colombia's FARC rebel group from its terror group list, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced on Monday.

In a statement, Mogherini said the EU would "suspend FARC from its list of terrorist organisations. This decision will take effect upon the signature of the Peace Agreement."

The Colombian government and the leftist FARC rebels were scheduled to sign their historic peace agreement at 2200 GMT Monday in a ceremony in the colonial city of Cartagena.

The suspension will allow the temporary lifting of sanctions against FARC, including the freezing of its assets. FARC was added to the EU terror list in 2002.

"We are ready to continue our support, focusing on the implementation of the agreement," Mogherini said, adding that the EU was also ready to activate a 600-million-euro package to support the peace deal.

"Today peace is in the hands of the Colombian people," she said.

"An endorsement of the agreement would send positive shockwaves through the continent and the entire world. It would send a message of reconciliation. It would send the powerful message that all conflicts can come to an end."

Earlier, a diplomatic source said the sanctions would be suspended for an initial period of six months, after which they would be reviewed.

On Sunday, the EU's Colombia envoy Ana Paula Zacarias said the guerrilla group could be definitively removed from the blacklist after a six-month review process in which the bloc could have "political dialogue with guerrilla members".

FARC, a Marxist guerrilla group, launched its war on the Colombian government in 1964.

Members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) celebrate
 the approval of the peace deal with the government during the closing ceremony
 of the 10th National Guerrilla Conference in Llanos del Yari, Colombia, on
September 23, 2016 (AFP Photo/Luis Acosta)

Related Article:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

China and Japan take a trip to Cuba

In the next few days, the prime ministers of Japan and China will visit Havana to talk about trade and investment. The two countries hope to gain a foothold in a market that is still off- limits to US companies.

Deutsche Welle, 22 Sep 2016

Cuba is all the fashion. After Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Havana earlier this week, the prime minister of Japan and the Chinese premier are set to come to the Caribbean island - an expression of Asia's increased interest in Cuba.

On Thursday night (22.09.2016) Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will land in Havana. The first-ever visit by a Japanese prime minister on the Caribbean island opens a new chapter in their bilateral relations, which were established in 1929. Most recently, in May last year, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida visited Cuba shortly after the United States and Cuba began their rapprochement. In June this year, in turn, Cuban Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel was in Tokyo.

Strong economic partner wanted

As in many other countries, the US' new Cuba policy and the new economic dynamism in Cuba initiated by President Raul Castro's policy of economic openness sparked new interest in Cuba in Japan. Until then, ties were mainly focused on development cooperation.

While the rapprochement is proceeding more slowly than many expected - the US blockade remains in force and the outcome of the US presidential elections in November is far from certain - the arrival of a strong business partner like Japan comes at just the right time for the troubled Cuban economy, hit by reduced oil deliveries from its ally Venezuela.

Just ahead of Abe's visit, Cuba and Japan agreed to restructure Havana's debt of around 1.5 billion euros ($1.67 billion). The deal is part of Cuba's restructuring negotiations with the Paris Club and paves the way for Japanese loans and investment. What's more, as part of his visit Abe will give Cuba medical equipment, the Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported. While this is officially being described as development assistance, it raises hopes to later export orders for medical technology. A teaching center for Cuban doctors will also be set up in which they are trained on Japanese technology. Alongside tourism and infrastructure projects, medical tourism is an area likely to be of particular interest to Japanese companies.

'A market with potential'

Abe's visit could open new doors to Japanese companies, which want to do business on the island. In July, the Mitsubishi group opened an office in Havana. "We are trying to find new business opportunities to establish some infrastructure projects ... as well as new trading opportunities," Mitsubishi's senior vice president for global strategy told the Reuters news agency. The special economic zone established in Mariel just outside of Havana two years ago which provides tax advantages and other benefits to foreign investors is interesting because of its strategic location in the middle of the Caribbean between the US and the Panama Canal.

Cuba's and Japan's foreign ministers during a recent meeting

"From a logistics point of view, the Caribbean market has a big potential to grow," Takada said.

Despite this small-scale diplomatic offensive, relations between Japan and Cuba are far from being as good as those between Havana and Beijing. After Venezuela, China is Cuba's second-largest trading partner, albeit a distant second, and in some ways a model for Cuba's economic reforms. Ideologically, the two countries are close.

The friend from Beijing

After Abe, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is expected in Cuba in the next few days. The trip has been confirmed, but exact dates are not yet available. During the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in July 2014 some 30 agreements were concluded "raising relations to new heights." These deals included health, biotechnology, education, agriculture, renewables, energy and tourism. The expansion of Cuba's internet infrastructure is happening with Chinese technology. Since December 2015, there have also been direct flights between Beijing and Havana.

Trade between the two countries amounted last year to nearly 1.6 billion dollars - an increase of more than 50 percent compared with 2014. However, there are only a few Cuban-Chinese joint ventures, and at an estimated 410 million euros, Chinese direct investment has been relatively low, especially in the tourism sector, even if the trend is increasing.

China supports Cuba primarily with loans. In February two credit lines were agreed - they allow Cuba to purchase Chinese tractors for the rice harvest, as well as 240 railway wagons for transporting passengers. In addition, the cargo port of Cuba's second largest city, Santiago de Cuba, is being expanded with Chinese funds - said to amount to more than 100 million dollars.

Economic agreements and cooperation agreements are once again likely to be key at the talks in Havana with Li Keqiang. Like Japan, China wants to strengthen its position in Cuba before the US blockade falls and US companies return to the Cuban market.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Brazil ousts lawmaker who pushed for Rousseff impeachment

Yahoo – AFP, Damian Wroclavsky, September 13, 2016

The former president of Brazil's lower house Eduardo Cunha delivers a speech
 during a session in the Chamber of Deputies in Brasilia on September 12, 2016

Brasília (AFP) - Brazil's lower house of Congress voted Monday to oust its former speaker Eduardo Cunha, who spearheaded the drive to impeach president Dilma Rousseff only to suffer his own graft-stained downfall.

Cunha, who is often compared to the dark, manipulative villain Frank Underwood of the hit Netflix series "House of Cards," was stripped of his seat in the Chamber of Deputies by a resounding vote of 450 in favor, 10 against and nine abstentions.

"I declare lawmaker Eduardo Cunha stripped of office for conduct incompatible with lawmakers' duties," said the decision read out at the conclusion of the late-night session.

Cunha, a 57-year-old conservative allied with the Evangelical Christian right, was a central figure in Brazil's long impeachment drama.

His enemies accuse him of using his power to launch impeachment proceedings as a trump card to stave off his own prosecution for allegedly taking millions of dollars in bribes.

He resigned as speaker in July amid swirling accusations of corruption linked to the huge state oil company Petrobras.

He was forced to face the music in Congress for having "lied" to other lawmakers about his possession of secret Swiss bank accounts.

Cunha, who denies any wrongdoing, handled his own defense at Monday's session. He mainly displayed the cool and calculating persona he is known for, but occasionally his voice broke with emotion.

"I didn't lie. There's no bank account. Where's the proof?" he said.

"Don't judge me based on what public opinion says," he implored, reminding his colleagues that at least 160 of them also face judicial investigations.

But his appeals fell on deaf ears. The vote against him was well clear of the simple majority of 257 needed in the 513-member chamber.

Cunha was first suspended in May, less than a month after lawmakers voted to open impeachment proceedings against Rousseff, Brazil's first woman president.

Rousseff was definitively removed from office on August 31, and replaced by her vice president turned nemesis, Michel Temer.

The new center-right administration brought an end to 13 years of leftist rule in Brazil.

Evangelical 'gangster'

Cunha used a variety of stalling tactics to slow the proceedings that ultimately led to his ouster from Congress. The process dragged on for almost a year, the longest in Brazilian history.

Analysts had predicted he would continue to stall by asking his peers to delay a vote on his fate, arguing for a simple suspension or asking that lawmakers allow him to keep the right to hold public office.

But many of his onetime allies deserted him -- including in his own PMDB party, the biggest in Brazil and also Temer's party.

Rousseff, from the leftist Workers' Party, accused both Temer and Cunha of orchestrating a coup against her.

Thanks largely to Cunha's leadership, the lower house voted heavily in favor last year of opening an impeachment trial against Rousseff, on charges that she illegally manipulated government accounts.

On April 17, the day Rousseff's impeachment trial was authorized, Cunha was the target of a barrage of insults in Congress from leftist deputies, who shouted "Gangster!" and "Putschist!"

Cunha was long considered one of the best wheelers-and-dealers in Brasilia, building a considerable support base including the powerful agriculture lobby, fellow evangelicals and the so-called "bullet caucus" of politicians with police and army connections.

He won prominence promoting a conservative social agenda that included a "Heterosexual Pride Day" and restrictions on abortion. He has been reported to own no less than 150 Internet domains using the name "Jesus."

His defense Monday was sprinkled with religious references, as well as condemnation of Rousseff and her Workers' Party (PT).

In the end, he outlasted her by just two weeks.

"It's the price I'm paying so Brazil can be free of the PT. They're making me pay the price for impeachment," he said.

No matter his fate, he said, no one can take from him "the pleasure of seeing that criminal government go."

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The shifting of the Earth’s poles means a change at Cork Airport

The poles ain’t where they used to be, apparently., Jan 20th 2016

Image: Sean Barry via Flickr/CC
CORK AIRPORT IS to change the numbers assigned to its runways for the first time ever.
The move comes after shifts in the earth’s magnetic poles.

Each airport runway is assigned a runway designator number. The runway designator is made up of a two digit number displayed at each side of the runway, which shows its magnetic heading nearest the full 10 degrees.

The main runways at Cork Airport have been numbered as runway 17 and runway 35 since 1961 and the drifting of the Earth’s magnetic poles has shifted the runways’ magnetic headings, which now stand at 164°M and 344°M, respectively.

Pole shift is a constantly occurring geological phenomenon, in which the Earth’s magnetic field shifts.

Nasa says:
Earth’s polarity is not a constant. Unlike a classic bar magnet, or the decorative magnets on your refrigerator, the matter governing Earth’s magnetic field moves around. Geophysicists are pretty sure that the reason Earth has a magnetic field is because its solid iron core is surrounded by a fluid ocean of hot, liquid metal.

The numbers are required to change in April 2016 in order to remain safety compliant and licensed by the Irish Aviation Authority.

Speaking about the change Ciaran Carton, General Manager of Operators at Cork Airport said:
This is an unusual occurrence for Cork Airport as an airport runway number only changes approximately once in every 50 years. The different runway numbers are crucial for pilots during take-off, landing and taxiing.

“There will also be an alteration of software systems, new airfield mapping and a change in communications with private and commercial pilots. Additionally, we will be replacing the taxiway signage and painting new designation numbers on runway thresholds.”

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