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. …

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Development threatens Latin America's great Pantanal wetlands

France24 –AFP, 17 March 2018

A Yacare Caiman, in the Pantanal wetlands of Mato Grosso state, Brazil (CÁCERES

You can only just hear the murmur of running water through Plinia Rodrigues' vegetable garden, but that tiny stream has a huge job: keeping alive Latin America's mammoth wetlands, known as the Pantanal.

Rodrigues, 63, shows off the thick stands of palms and other native plants crowding around the fish-filled, crystalline water. The garden in the tiny community of Piraputanga in the far west of Brazil, near the border of Bolivia, looks like a little slice of paradise.

It's also important, one of a myriad of similar streams rising from the lush landscape to feed the mighty Paraguay river, which in turn underpins the Pantanal.

But with industrialized agriculture encroaching deeper and deeper into former wilderness, that fragile water network nestled between Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia is now under serious threat, experts say.

The problem is that even if the Pantanal itself is protected -- and Brazil's Congress is currently considering additional measures -- destruction of the sources upstream would be just as bad.

Rodrigues, who raises chickens, makes cheese and grows vegetables, says the undergrowth flourishing along her stream shows its good health. The plants help keep the banks in place, shielding the water and the life in it.

"We don't touch the river banks, so they're full of trees. We want to preserve what we have," she said, adding that she has only told a handful of other people about the hard-to-access spot where the stream is born.

But she's aware of the growing threat from deforestation, pesticides and industrial-scale planting of monocrops like soya.

Once, big fish swam here but they vanished when a nearby hydroelectric station blocked their path, she says.

"Everyone around here works with soya. Since that started, our trees haven't produced such good fruit," she said. "We grew papaya for the market but not any longer and the oranges have turned ugly."

Natural treasure trove

Covering 65,600 square miles (170,500 square kilometers), the Pantanal contains some 4,000 species of flora and fauna. But even though the Pantanal is Brazil's best preserved biosphere, that doesn't mean it isn't under pressure.

The Pantanal itself enjoys many legal protections and some 82 percent is untouched, the World Wildlife Fund says, but in the area where water rises, 55 percent of the territory has suffered deforestation.

"This region is at risk and if nothing is done to change this, we'll start seeing the collapse of the Pantanal during the coming years," said Julio Cesar Sampaio, WWF's coordinator for the Cerrado-Pantanal.

On the Pantanal, life is governed by the coming and going of the dry and rainy seasons. Between October and May, rain-swelled rivers spill and gradually flood 80 percent of the whole area, leaving only rich green islands.

At peak flooding, the Pantanal is a spectacular place for fishing and adventurous tourists. Birds, alligators, jaguars, monkeys and the mammoth green anaconda snake call this magical place home.

The Pantanal also plays an important role in controlling the climate, says Sergio Freitas, who studies the region at the University of Brasilia.

"The surface functions as a big mirror made of water, reflecting part of the heat back and making the climate more agreeable," he said.

It's not that humans can't coexist with the natural treasure house. Local cowboys, called "pantaneiros," move their herds in rhythm with the movement of the floods.

Freitas said ranchers have had a presence for more than 200 years without causing undue impact. The problem was the arrival in recent decades of intensive agriculture, reducing the topsoil and muddying the streams.

A better balance could still be achieved if the government applies incentives for producers to diversify and to steer away from current unsustainable practices, he said.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

VIDEO: Restricted internet access doesn't stop young YouTubers in Cuba... even if it means working from outdoor public areas - the only place where they can access Wi-Fi - to passing their content across the island through a USB stick

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Pinera, a conservative billionaire, is sworn in as president of Chile

Yahoo – AFP, Paulina ABRAMOVICH, Ana FERNANDEZ, 11 March 2018

Sebastián Piñera (C), is takes office in Chile as the country's new president,
replacing ra Michelle Bachelet (R)

Conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera was sworn in Sunday to his second term as president of Chile, replacing socialist Michelle Bachelet in the office for the second time in eight years.

An emotional Bachelet helped Pinera put on the sash of office, gave him a kiss and then left the Congress with members of her government.

Pinera, who was president from 2010-2014, has promised to stimulate growth and create jobs.

He is assuming the presidency just as Chile's economy is showing signs of rebounding from a period of sluggish growth due to low prices for copper, the country's biggest export.

"The good times are coming," his supporters chanted after he was sworn in. He was to deliver a speech later in the day.

Bachelet was cheered by supporters as she capped a second term in office in which she saw through an ambitious package of reforms aimed at eliminating the institutional legacy of the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

In a Facebook message, she said she was "profoundly proud of the transformation that we pushed these years" and said she was convinced Chile today is more "just, equitable and free."

She was Latin America's last sitting chief of state who is a woman.

Implementing the changes she made will now be up to the 68-year-old Pinera, who says he wants to reform the Pinochet-era pension system and supports the free education system instituted by Bachelet.

"I feel I now have more experience, more maturity, more awareness of the importance of uniting Chileans; greater humility to listen, with eyes and ears that are more attentive," he said this week.

Pinera -- whose fortune has been estimated by Forbes at $2.7 billion -- has promised to transform Chile into a developed economy in eight years.

The economy has grown at an average pace of two percent over the past four years, but surged 3.9 percent in January. Analysts are predicting 3.5 percent growth this year.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Trump name stripped from Panama hotel in property dispute

Yahoo – AFP, 5 March 2018

View of the hotel entrance sign after the Trump letters were removed,
outside the hotel in Panama City on March 5, 2018

The owner of the Trump Hotel in Panama City said Monday he had succeeded in expelling the management company of the US president's family from the building.

Cypriot businessman Orestes Fintiklis, who owns a majority of the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama, said it was "a commercial dispute that just spun out of control, and today this dispute has been settled by the judges and the authorities in this country."

Workers removed the Trump logo from the entrance to the luxury complex, where police had been deployed earlier in the day.

"Today Panama has showcased stable institutions, rule of law and investor-friendly legal framework," said Fintiklis in a brief statement to the press.

The row erupted last month when Fintiklis, a Miami-based investor who last year became owner of the majority of units in the building through a company he controls, said he wanted to boot the Trump Organization out before its management contract was up, remove the Trump name and rebrand the building.

In lawsuits lodged in the United States, Fintiklis alleged a decline in occupancy in the hotel. The Trump Organization hit back, claiming Fintiklis was breaching his contractual commitments as owner.

Fintiklis complained to the Panamanian prosecutors' office that Trump Organization employees were barring him access to the units he owns in the sail-shaped complex, which also boasts a casino, shops, a spa and a small private beach.

The complex was inaugurated in 2011 by Trump and Panama's president at the time, Ricardo Martinelli. Martinelli is currently on bail in Miami fighting extradition to Panama, where he is charged with corruption and spying.

The hotel and the majority of the apartments were sold last year to Fintiklis' Ithaca Capital Partners, which is based in Miami.

As part of the deal, the administration of the hotel remained in the hands of the Trump Organization, run by the president's two sons since he took office last year.

Trump Hotels last week accused Fintiklis of "fraud" and using "mafia-style tactics" to force its administration staff out of the disputed building.

There have been reports of physical confrontations between the new owner and his team and the Trump administration staff.

Last month, Panamanian prosecutors announced they were opening an investigation into the case following complaints by Fintiklis that he had been prevented from entering the building.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

VIDEO: A local initiative is underway in Guatemala to reduce plastic pollution in the country: Francisco Tambriz creates fabrics inspired by Maya clothing that will be used to make colourful reusable cotton bags

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Archaeologists find fossils, Mayan relics in giant underwater cave in Mexico

Yahoo – AFP, February 20, 2018

Remains of a Pleistocene bear from 2.5 million years ago, in the Sac Actun underwater
 cave in Quintana Roo state, Mexico, in an image published by the National Institute
of Anthropology and History (INAH) on February 19, 2018 (AFP Photo/HO)

Mexico City (AFP) - Archaeologists who have been exploring the world's largest underwater cave -- recently discovered in Mexico -- presented their findings Monday, including fossils of giant sloths and an elaborate shrine to the Mayan god of commerce.

Researchers discovered last month that two large networks of underwater caves in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, the Sac Actun and Dos Ojos networks, are in fact connected, forming the largest such structure on Earth.

Diving with SCUBA gear, they have been exploring the ancient relics left in the caves over the millenia, in a project sponsored by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

Researchers believe the water level in the caves has fluctuated over time, and that they were a source of water in times of severe drought -- a sometimes perilous one.

Some of the animals and humans who ventured inside never made it out alive. Today, their remains are a treasure trove for scientists, enabling them to piece together bits of the cave's history dating all the way back to the Pleistocene epoch (2.6 million to 11,700 years ago).

Remains of a mask in the Sac Actun underwater cave in Mexico's Quintana Roo 
state, from an image published by the National Institute of Anthropology and History
(INAH) on February 19, 2018 (AFP Photo/HO)

The animal remains include gomphotheres -- an extinct elephant-like animal -- as well as giant sloths and bears, archaeologists told a press conference.

Then there are the artefacts left inside by humans: burnt human bones, ceramics, wall etchings and more.

"It is very unlikely that there is another site in the world with these characteristics. There is an impressive amount of archaeological artefacts inside, and the level of preservation is also impressive," said Guillermo de Anda, an underwater archaeologist.

The relics include a shrine to the Mayan god of war and commerce, with a staircase accessed through a sink-hole in the middle of the jungle.

Many other of the hundreds of sink-holes that connect to the cave have elaborate signs of ritual activity around them, archaeologists said.

The ancient Mayans viewed caves, "and especially ones that led to water, as extremely sacred places," the INAH said.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Rabobank settles US money laundering charge for €300m

DutchNews, February 8, 2018

Rabobank’s headquarters in Utrecht. Photo:

Rabobank has settled a long-running charge that one of its US subsidiaries – RNA – laundered money for Mexican drugs cartels and deliberately withheld information from the authorities. 

The settlement means Rabo will not have to undergo prosecution in the US, the Volkskrant said on Thursday. 

The bank has forfeited nearly $370m (€298m) for anti-money laundering funds that authorities say allowed untraceable money transfers on behalf of criminals and for hiding information from US regulators. That includes a $50 million fine the bank will pay to the US treasury. 

The case involves a RNA branch in Calexco, a US city on the Mexican border, which US authorities had been monitoring since 2006. A formal investigation on laundering Mexican drugs money through three accounts at the branch was launched in 2013.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Dutch government assumes control of Caribbean island Sint Eustasius

DutchNews, February 6, 2018  

Photo: Walter Hellebrand via Wikimedia Commons

The Dutch government has taken direct control of the tiny Caribbean island of Sint Eustasius following years of neglect by the island’s local authority. 

Sint Eustasius is one of three Caribbean islands which have independent local authority status within the kingdom of the Netherlands. 

A six month investigation into conditions on the island has found that it is in ‘a very neglected condition’ and that the local authority is more concerned with its own status than the public interest, Trouw said on Tuesday. 

Junior home affairs minister Raymond Knops has now started emergency legislation which will allow him to dissolve the island council and replace it with a government commissioner. 

Measuring just 21 square kilometres, the population of Sint Eustasius is around 4,000.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Top UN court draws new borders for Costa Rica, Nicaragua

Yahoo – AFP, Jan Hennop and Toni Cerda, February 2, 2018

Experts examine the damage to a tract of land lying in a border area that
has caused years of tension between Costa Rica and Nicaragua (AFP)

The Hague (AFP) - The UN's highest court drew new maritime boundaries between Costa Rica and Nicaragua on Friday seeking to end a decades-long frontier dispute, and ordered Managua to pay compensation for environmental damage.

In a multi-pronged judgement, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) also ordered Nicaragua to remove a military camp near the river San Juan -- which divides the two neighbours -- and which the Hague-based ICJ said "violated Costa Rica's sovereignty."

Friday's judgements resulted from a string of disputes between the two Central American neighbours before the ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule on border and territorial disputes between nations.

Apart from a ruling on the disputed San Juan wetlands area, Costa Rica also asked the ICJ to set its maritime boundaries on both its western Pacific Ocean coast and in the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Environmental damage

On Friday morning, the ICJ judges ruled that Managua must pay San Jose almost $380,000 for environmental damage and to compensate for the costs of efforts to restore the area on the San Juan River.

"Costa Rica has sovereignty over the whole of Isla Portillos up to the point at which the right bank of the San Juan River reaches the low-water mark of the coast of the Caribbean Sea," judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf said.

The Somali-born judge was referring to a slither of land on Costa Rica's disputed northern border, where Nicaragua set up a military camp in 2010, dredged the San Juan River and dug three channels.

The judge ordered Managua to pay the compensation before April 2 for the damage to the land, known in Costa Rica as Isla Portillos and in Nicaragua as Harbour Head.

But the amount fell far short of the $6.7 million demanded by Costa Rica in the ICJ's first-ever compensation ruling for environmental damage.

The judges then drew maritime borders between the two countries in both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean along "delimitation lines."

'Spectacular' ruling

Costa Rican ambassador Sergio Ugalde said San Juan was happy with the marathon set of judgements, calling the ruling on maritime boundaries "spectacular."

Nicaragua and Costa Rica first held negotiations in 1976 to try to reach an agreement
on the border which broadly follows the San Juan river (AFP Photo/YURI CORTEZ)

"Although a little less than what Costa Rica had estimated, the decision this morning (too) remains a very important economic remedy," he added.

Costa Rica now wanted to normalise relations with its northern neighbour, Ugalde told AFP.

Nicaraguan ambassador Carlos Arguello also said his country was pleased with the outcome, calling it "a fair assessment".

"There is no longer a major problem, or there should be no problem to have normal relations between Nicaragua and Costa Rica," Arguello said.

The new rulings came more than two years after the ICJ found that Costa Rica had sovereignty over Isla Portillos, basing its ruling in part on an 1858 treaty.

In December 2015, the court reproached Managua for violating San Jose's right to navigation in the waters and ordered the two countries to negotiate an amount of compensation.

But the neighbours failed to reach a deal and the issue trundled back to the ICJ so judges could set the compensation amount.

The two countries first held negotiations in 1976 to try to reach an agreement on their border which broadly follows the San Juan river, but talks dragged on.

Costa Rica brought the case to the ICJ in 2014 saying it had "exhausted its diplomatic means" to resolve the row.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Amazon's indigenous people 'never so threatened': pope

Yahoo – AFP, January 19, 2018

Pope Francis shakes hands with an indigenous woman during a meeting with
 Amazon basin community members from Peru, Brazil and Bolivia, in the Peruvian
city of Puerto Maldonado (AFP Photo/Vincenzo PINTO)

Puerto Maldonado (Peru) (AFP) - Pope Francis sounded a stark warning about the future of the Amazon and its peoples during a visit to the region on Friday, saying they had "never been so threatened."

In a speech to thousands of tribe members on the edge of the rainforest in Peru, he said the Amazon and its peoples bore "deep wounds."

Francis lamented "the pressure being exerted by great business interests that want to lay hands on its petroleum, gas, lumber, gold and forms of agro-industrial monocultivation."

Bare-chested tribesmen, their bodies painted and their heads crowned with colourful feathers, danced and sung for the pope when he arrived in the Peruvian city of Puerto Maldonado.

Thousands of indigenous people had traveled to meet the pontiff from throughout the Amazon basin region of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia.

Members of one of the tribes presented the pope with a bow and arrow in a symbolic gesture aimed at urging him to defend land rights they say they have been stripped of.

"The native Amazonian peoples have probably never been so threatened on their own lands as they are at present," said the pope, who appeared visibly moved by the reception.

"Amazonia is being disputed on various fronts," he said.

"The problems strangle her peoples and provoke the migration of the young due to the lack of local alternatives.

"We have to break with the historical paradigm that views Amazonia as an inexhaustible source of supplies for other countries without concern for its inhabitants."