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. …

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

IMF chief Christine Lagarde pays NO TAX on her £300,000 salary (despite attacking Greece for dodging payment)

Daily Mail, 29 May 2012

  • Questioned about Greek crisis head of IMF said country can help itself collectively 'by paying all their tax'
  • Suggests that IMF's money would be better spent on African children than on people in Athens
  • Lagarde takes home £298,675-a-year untaxed
  • Receives further tax-free allowance package of £52,000
  
Laughing all the way to the bank:
 IMF managing director Christine Lagarde
 criticised beleagured Greeks for not
 paying taxes, while she earns a tax-free
salary herself
The head of the International Monetary Fund who controversially proposed that struggling Greeks should pay taxes contributes nothing herself to the public purse.

Christine Lagarde openly criticised citizens of the ailing EU country in an interview last week, but it has now emerged that the former French lawyer takes home every penny of her own £298,675 a year salary.

In addition the IMF managing director also receives a tax-free allowance package of £52,000 a year.

Ms Lagarde told the Guardian that she believes children in Niger with little schooling deserve the fund's money more than people in Athens.

She continued: 'Do you know what? As far as Athens is concerned, I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time.

'All these people in Greece who are trying to escape tax.'

She added: 'I think they should also help themselves collectively. By all paying their tax.'

Lagarde also criticised Greek citizens 'who are trying to escape tax,' and said the country needs to club together to make more of an effort to solve its economic problems.

Her comments came as the IMF increases the pressure on the Eurozone nation and makes it clear it will not be softening the terms of the nation's austerity package that is deeply unpopular with the country's electorate.

More...

The former French finance minister took over from disgraced countryman Dominique Strauss-Kahn in June last year with strong support including the British, U.S., Chinese and German governments and is now a year into her five-year term.

At the time the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy described her appointment as 'a victory for France.'

Others were less impressed however, with Oxfam labeling the decision 'farcical' because of what it judged to be a lack of transparency in the appointment process.

Imposing: The headquarters of the IMF in Washington is where representatives
 of 184 countries aim to work together to foster global monetary cooperation
and secure financial stability

Mr Strauss-Kahn had been forced to step down under a media storm after he was charged with sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid - the charges were later dropped.

Lagarde, 56, who began her career at Chicago-based law firm Baker & McKenzie, earns more than US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron who both pay taxes.

Mr Obama earns around £255,000 a year while Mr Cameron receives a salary of £142,000 for running the country.

Lagarde's salary could also go up in a few weeks as her contract entitles her to a pay rise on July 1 every year.

Lagarde does not pay tax in line with other international organisations such as the United Nations where workers are entitled to a similar tax break.

It comes under article 34 of the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations which declares that diplomatic agents are 'exempt from all dues and taxes, personal or real, national, regional or municipal.'

Contributors: Christine Lagarde earns more than both Barack Obama, left,
and David Cameron, right

Annual pay for UN workers start at between £29,000 to £51,000 with senior salaries range between £61,000 and £80,000 although this figure varies depending on where an employee is based.

A UN worker based in Geneva could expect to see their base salary increased by 106 per cent while even in Juba, the relatively poor capital of South Sudan, a UN worker could anticipate a 53.2 per cent top up of their salary.

Additional perks include rent subsidies and travel expenses, as well as subsidised medical insurance.

Frustration at the luxury, tax-free lifestyles of international public service workers is not a new issue, the argument dates back to the moment the IMF was created at the Bretton Woods economic conference in 1944.

British representatives felt salaries put forward by U.S. delegates were huge, but they were overruled.

The counter argument suggested by those who work for the organisation is that the whopping salaries are required to attract the best people from the well paid private sector.

However, studies have found that in fact most senior employees are already working in government positions.


Related Article:


Vatican shuffle cloaked in controversy

Deutsche Welle, 26 May 2012



There could be a number of explanations for why Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was asked to step down as head of the Vatican bank. The Holy See, however, has remained tight-lipped about the reasons.

The Instituto per le Opere di Religione (English: The Institute for Works of Religion), odd though it may seem, is a bank hiding behind that name. It is the financial arm of the Vatican, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. The history of its predecessor institution dates back to the 19th century, and the bank took on its present form and name in 1942.

Recent decades have seen repeated rumors of the bank being caught up in dirty dealings, and a new low point has come with the resignation of its head, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi.

Despite repeated disciplinary measures, Tedeschi (ironically, the name means 'the German') "has not completed certain tasks of eminent importance," the Vatican said but did not provide further details. 

Gotti Tedeschi was asked to
step down by the bank's board
Now, speculation is running high about what the real grounds for his dismissal could be. Some Italian media sources suspect a connection to classified documents leaked to the media by the Pope's butler, which include details on Vatican finances. Earlier investigations into Tedeschi's potential violation of anti-money laundering standards could also have played a role, although those investigations were later halted.

Among the world's "least transparent"

"It's a very peculiar bank. A bank that manages billions, including real estate," said Wolfgang Gehrke, a banking expert and head of the Bavarian Finance Center, in an interview with DW.

"It's a bank that is active in financial markets on the Vatican's behalf and that has set itself apart as one of the least transparent banks in the world. So, of course, when someone is being so untransparent, he also has to cope with every possible kind of rumor," Gehrke added.

Italian investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi has also looked into the Vatican bank's financial dealings. His book on the subject argues that the bank has been involved in exercising undue political influence, in money laundering and even murders and mafia affairs. Nuzzi's research suggests that ex-prime minister Giulio Andreotti, who is alleged to have had mafia ties, also had a secret account at the Vatican's bank - with transactions totalling more than 60 million euros ($75 million). 

Giulio Andreotti may have had
a secret Vatican bank account
Cleaning up too thoroughly?

"Out of esteem for the Pope," Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, who has thus far enjoyed a reputation as a competent and morally upright banker, has said he will not respond to rebukes by the Vatican's board of directors.

"It's better that I remain silent, otherwise I would say ugly things," he told the Italian news agency Ansa. Having previously worked for Spain's Santander Bank, Tedeschi was named head of the Vatican's bank in 2009 to help straighten out the institution's affairs. It can also be speculated as to whether he did a bit too much cleaning up and became an uncomfortable, or even dangerous presence along the way.

"The financial machinations of the Vatican that I discuss in my book took place before the current Pope's term. However, there is a similarity between all representatives of the Catholic Church, which Pope Benedict XVI also shares: A mantle of silence is spread over everything. And along with it can come blackmail, corruption and money laundering," said author Nuzzi two years ago to the Hilpoltsteiner German daily.

But the Vatican's current head has taken steps in the direction of reform, says bank expert Gehrke.

"The Pope has made sure that the bank is ready - which used not to be the case - to subject itself to European standards on transparency. But that seems not to be working out entirely. None of us knows exactly how things take place in this bank and whether money laundering did in fact take place there," Gehrke explained. 

The Vatican's bank is housed
within this building
Among the few with insight into those questions are the bank's board of directors as well as the now expelled Ettore Gotti Tedeschi. Gehkre notes that the board contains Curia members, "who absolutely have experience in capital markets."

"Vatileaks" suspect arrested

A suspect has been taken into custody following revelations made in documents leaked to the media. Internet portal ilfoglio.it and news agency Ansa report that one of the Pope's butlers, who has worked at the Vatican since 2006, made the classified information available. The investigation is being led by the Vatican's Gendarmerie police force.

It is safe to assume that the Vatican will do all it can to prevent further internal documents from getting into the media's hands - as they did when Renato Dardozzi (1922-2003), one of Pope John Paul II's closest colleagues, led the inheritors of his estate to publish information he had collected regarding the Vatican's financial affairs. In turn, the information Dardozzi gathered formed the basis for Gianluigi's book on the Vatican and its financial dealings.

Author: Tobias Oelmaier / gsw
Editor: Gregg Benzow
Related Articles:

“…. Each project is underway and that will result in a sudden wealth of information reaching you. Events are such that the facts can no longer be kept hidden, and with that there will be an explosion of people coming forward to tell what they know. It may take longer where the Vatican is concerned, as it is akin to a secret society that has kept its dark secrets hidden well away. However, nothing will remain concealed for too long, as you are entitled to know the truth and the extent to which you have been deceived….”  


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

RNW launches Mexican vote compass

RNW, 29 May 2012

Working in conjunction with Amsterdam’s VU University and a number of Mexican media partners, Radio Netherlands Worldwide launched the Mexican vote compass on Monday in Mexico City.

The Vote Compass gives Mexican voters an online tool for determining their political preferences for the presidential election on 1 July.

The Mexican variant of the Vote Compass is called La Brújula Presidencial, and will give the nearly 80 million eligible voters the chance to discover which of the four presidential candidates’ policy positions are closest to their own. On 1 July, Mexico will not only elect a new president but also 128 senators and 500 members of the lower house of congress.

On the vote compass website, voters are presented with 30 statements about various political, social and economic topics. Some of the statements are left or right-leaning, while others are liberal or conservative. After filling in the responses, the voter receives an indication of how the party platforms of the four presidential candidates match their own preferences.

La Brújula Presidencial was developed by a team of Mexican and Dutch political scientists. The Vote Compass (Kieskompas) was developed by the VU University of Amsterdam and has been adapted to more than 30 countries. Radio Netherlands Worldwide has previously worked with the VU University to develop vote compasses for Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. Mexico is the first Latin American country where the vote compass is being used.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Brazil leader vetoes parts of law opening up Amazon

Google/AFP, by Yana Marull (AFP), 25 May 2012

BRASILIA — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff Friday vetoed parts of a new forestry code that environmentalists say would lead to further deforestation in the Amazon, home to the world's largest collection of plants and animals.

Brazilian President Dilma
Rousseff (AFP/File, Evaristo Sa)
 
"The president of the Republic decided in favor of carrying out diverse vetoes and modifications to the draft law that deals with the forestry code," government lawyer Luis Inacio Adams told a news conference.

The overhaul of the 1965 forestry law approved by Congress a month ago had been seen as a victory for a powerful agri-business lobby after years of feuding with environmentalists.
But it is embarrassing for Brazil less than a month before it hosts the Rio+20 summit on sustainable development.

Rousseff removed 12 controversial articles and made 31 modifications to the bill which was to be published Monday in a special executive measure that enters into effect immediately, although it will have to be ratified later by the Congress.

Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said that in vetoing parts of the bill the government was seeking to ensure that there was no loss of areas of the Amazon and protected sensitive ecosystems.

She said the government also acted to prevent amnesties for those who had illegally cleared areas in the past, to preserve small landowners, and hold timber producers responsible for protecting the environment.

The text to be published Monday maintains the obligation to protect 80 percent of the forest in rural areas of the Amazon and 35 percent of the sertao, or arid hinterland of northeastern Brazil.

But it eases restrictions for small landowners who face difficulties in recovering illegally cleared land.

The veto shows that Brazil "is a country determined to protect the environment while continuing to produce food," Texeira said.

But environmentalists who had pushed for a full veto were not pleased.

"Brazilian and world public opinion sees a country which continues to play with the future of its forests," said Maria Cecilia Wey de Brito, of the Brazilian branch of the conservation group WWF.

"We view the announcement of a partial veto with concern because we feel that a large part of the points most harmful for the environment have been maintained and only a few removed. In addition the veto will have to go through a Congress dominated by the agribusiness sector," said Raul do Vale of the Socioenvironmental institute (ISA).

On Thursday the government was handed a petition calling for a full veto with more than two million signatures collected online from dozens of countries.

The new law has provoked fierce clashes between environmentalists and supporters of farmers and ranchers over how to regulate the country's vast but vulnerable wilderness.
Brazil is a major beef and soybean producer, and with international crop prices high and in many cases rising, farmers are keen to cash in.

The bill approved by Congress a month ago defines what part of the forest landowners in the Amazon and other large ecosystems are responsible for protecting.

It shows the two faces of Brazil: on the one hand, a giant agricultural producer and exporter with nearly 28 percent of its territory under cultivation, and on the other an environmental powerhouse with forests covering 60 percent of its territory.

Agriculture Minister Jorge Alberto Mendes Ribeiro said the presidential veto ensured that the code reconciles the interests of both the environmentalists and the powerful agribusiness sector.

The decision comes only weeks before Brazil hopes to champion sustainable development at the June 20-22 Rio+20 summit that will be attended by 115 world leaders and 50,000 participants.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bolivian president understands Dutch cuts to development aid

RNW, 25 May 2012

Bolivian President Evo Morales says he can understand the Dutch decision to end development aid to his country.

Mr Morales said that Bolivia substantially improved its financial position and no longer needed foreign assistance. In an interview with Radio Netherlands Worldwide, the Bolivian president said:

“Some countries told me, ‘Evo we have helped you so far, but now we want to help other countries.’ They are right. Bolivia is in a much better position than before; that is our economic liberation.”

The Netherlands decided to end its development aid to 15 countries as part of last year’s revision of development aid policies.

Mr Morales said he was seriously concerned about the environmental activism in his country and the interference of other countries. He spoke of a new colonialism. “Capitalist countries destroyed the environment, but are now holding us responsible.”

The president pointed to the need to build power plants for the population of rural areas but said that construction of the necessary roads meets with strong domestic opposition, which Mr Morales said was being encouraged from abroad.

“The bosses of the NGOs and foundations live in cities, they have electricity and running water, while the indigenous brothers do not even have electricity. It’s a national debate, which has been raised to an international level."

Countries which have not even ratified the Kyoto Protocol now present themselves as zealous defenders of the environment. Not at home, but here, to make us turn on each other.”


Related Article:


Growing Mexican student protests target Televisa, TV Azteca over coverage of presidential campaign

McClatchy, Thursday, May 24, 2012

Demonstrators in Mexico City protest against a possible return of the
 old ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), as well as perceived
 biased coverage by major Mexican TV networks. | Eduardo Verdugo/AP


MEXICO CITY — A spontaneous student movement is bringing attention to allegations that Mexico’s media conglomerates offer biased and superficial election coverage, drawing a whiff of “Mexican spring” to a lackluster presidential campaign.

The movement has gathered steam through Twitter and Facebook, leading to student marches in the capital and half a dozen other cities across Mexico.

“Down with Televisa!” and “This is not a soap opera,” a throng of students chanted Wednesday night as they marched along Mexico City’s central boulevard.

Voters will head to the polls July 1, and opinion surveys find that Enrique Pena Nieto, the telegenic candidate of the once-dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI in its Spanish initials, is a runaway favorite to carry the party back to power after 12 years in the opposition.

The two Mexican media conglomerates that dominate the airwaves, Televisa and TV Azteca, have offered broad, and in some cases fawning, coverage of Pena Nieto’s campaign while the nation’s biggest newspaper chain, the owner of El Sol de Mexico, has been an open-throated cheerleader.

Many of the university students taking to the streets were only youngsters when Pena Nieto’s PRI was at the end of a 71-year monopoly on power in 2000.

Yet their protests, which began at a rowdy event May 11 at which students at the elite Jesuit-run Iberoamerican University jeered Pena Nieto, have added “a sense of urgency” to an election season that until now had been lethargic, economist Arturo Franco wrote Thursday on the website animalpolitico.com.

“It is cause for reflection,” he wrote. “Is this movement the beginning of something bigger? Will it mark an awakening in Mexico? Or is it a momentary curiosity?”

After the May 11 university event, Televisa gave only slight coverage to the student rebellion and El Sol de Mexico carried a banner headline that suggested infiltrators from outside the university were behind the disruptions.

In response, indignant students posted a YouTube video in which 131 of them showed their student ID cards, defending their right to express their views. Thus began a campaign under the slogan “We are more than 131,” and the Twitter hash tag #YoSoy132 – “I Am 132” – trended sharply upward.

Student protesters rallied last Friday at the headquarters of Televisa and took to the streets Wednesday evening, with some 10,000 gathering at the Stele of Light, a recently completed giant monument, before marching down the capital’s Paseo del la Reforma boulevard to the landmark Angel of Independence monument.

“It’s really something that students would start from scratch to organize this,” said Alejandro Mora Ruiz, an 18-year-old high school student.

“We’re fed up with media that hide real information,” echoed Berenice Marin, who was nearly drowned out by chants among students from at least 15 private and public universities in the capital. She said the movement was nonpartisan.

Alejandro Calvillo, the head of the nonpartisan activist group Power to the Consumer, said the student movement was having an effect, noting that Televisa aired longer images of the Iberoamerican University event this week, 10 days after it unfolded.

“These are the strongest protests against the television monopolies that have ever occurred,” Calvillo said, adding that Televisa and TV Azteca felt pressure to begin covering the student movement.

Protests also were organized in Puebla, Tijuana, Guanajuato, Monterrey and in the State of Mexico, where Pena Nieto recently served as governor.

A student petition read at the protest Wednesday night called for regulators to open “real competition” of the television spectrum, demanded that ombudsmen be installed at major media outlets to ensure fairness and exhorted authorities to force TV networks to carry a June 10 presidential debate.

TV Azteca declined to air the first debate May 6.

Neither network offered immediate reaction to the protest movement, although Emilio Azcarraga, the chairman of Televisa, tweeted earlier this week that “At Televisa, we value young people and we listen to their opinions. We will always be open to them.”

Through its dozens of stations and repeater towers, Televisa enjoys roughly a 70 percent share of the television viewing audience in Mexico, while TV Azteca holds all but around 5 percent of the remainder.

Census information shows that of Mexico’s 80 million potential voters, 14 million have never voted in a presidential election because of their youth.

Word passed on social networks Thursday for students to gather again Saturday in Mexico City’s Tlatelolco district.

Obscure political forces, meanwhile, seem intent on trying to quell the student movement, which appears to have no identifiable organizers.

In a statement published Thursday, the head of the Iberoamerican University, Jose Morales Orozco, said students at his university who took part in the “We are the 131” video “have received intimidating telephone calls and threatening messages in social media” and that the private university would take action to protect them.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Catholic Church's inquisition of American nuns

Though castigated by their own Church authorities, US nuns are far more in tune with the actual views of American Catholics

guardian.co.uk, Victoria Bekiempis, Thursday 24 May 2012

Bishops have opposed healthcare legislation, while nuns are supporting it.
Photograph: Getty/Reuters/Kacper Pempel

So, did you hear the one about the American nuns?

No, this isn't the beginning of a joke. In April, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the Catholic Church's current iteration of the Inquisition, if you will – issued an assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious,which represents 80% of the US's 57,000 nuns.

Some key context here: the conference was formed 56 years ago at the behest of the Holy See, to provide "a unified voice" for US nuns who helped the poor, nursed the sick, taught students, worked as missionaries, and fought violence. (Another important bit of background: the congregation is the same arm of the church that bullied Lavinia Byrne, feminist theologian and former British nun, for arguing in favor of female ordination in a 1993 book.)

The conference, according to the Vatican, was spending too much time doing good – and not enough time enforcing church teaching (against abortion, homosexuality etc). So, the nuns actually got in trouble for being, well, nuns. So troubled was the church by this and the women's alleged "radical feminism" that the assessment demanded the appointment of an archbishop delegate to make them behave.

Nope, no joke.

At first, many members of the conference reacted with silent shock. They didn't speak out against the Church because of their vows of obedience. Many have since shot back, however, calling the charges wrongful criticism – and a distraction from the Church's failure to address adequately child molestation charges against clergy.

The Vatican might have gotten one thing right about these women: compared to the rest of the Pope Benedict XVI's ultra-conservative administration, they are radical feminists. But the Church has also gotten something terribly wrong: US Catholicism desperately needs "radical" feminist nuns – and should embrace, not criticize them – if it's going to remain relevant to American society.

A 2008 Pew forum on religion and public life study determined that nearly a third of Americans were brought up Catholic, but that "less than one in four remained so" – meaning the faith had shed "the greatest" proportion of US-born believers. Perhaps even more startling:

  • "Roughly 10% of American adults, or 22.5 million, are former Catholics. That would qualify lapsed Catholics as the second-largest single US denomination, behind Catholics, at 54.8 million, and just ahead of the Southern Baptist Convention's 15.1 million members."

In addition, a study conducted by the center for applied research in the apostolate at Georgetown University indicates that "42.7 million Catholics, or two-thirds of US Catholics, are not going to mass." Only some 33% attend regularly. Another approximately 33% attend occasionally, and the rest never go, Catholic advocacy groups report. And the only reason the percentage of Catholics in the US population still hovers around 25%, Pew notes, is because of a steady stream of Latino immigrants.

The denomination's leaders worry so extensively about the hemorrhaging of parishioners that a group called Catholics Come Home launched a $3.5m ad blitz last December, according to the Denver Post, and had sponsored similar marketing campaigns in the past. The non-profit hoped that the 400-plus planned ads, with an estimated audience of 250 million viewers, would boost these sluggish numbers. If you look at lapsed Catholics' reasons for leaving the church, it doesn't seem like a lack of televised adverts quite tops their list.

Researchers at Villanova University's center for the study of church management recently reached out to several hundred lapsed Catholics in the diocese of Trenton, New Jersey. They wanted to figure out why they stopped frequenting mass. They were specifically asked "what issues they would raise if they could speak to the bishop for five minutes," according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

Their complaints included haughty clergy, "conservative haranguing", excessive focus on homosexuality and birth control, as well as negative attitudes toward female ordination. They also "didn't like the church's handling of the clergy sex abuse scandal and were upset that divorced and remarried Catholics are unwelcome at mass."

A key point is that some 66% of respondents "were female, and the median age was 53". This demographic detail has troubled Church leaders, who recognize that it is this group that has in the past tended to indoctrinate younger generations – their children and grandchildren – into the church. Anyone else see what's going on here?

The Catholic Church is shedding US members. Those who have left they church say they don't like the Church's conservative approach toward birth control, homosexuality, and female ordination. The Church has decided not to reconsider these policies – a move that could help maintain membership. Instead, the Holy See has decided to attack the one prominent and popular group among the clergy because they back the modern ideas demanded by believers.

Thus, rather than defending the faith, the Vatican's strategy works only to hasten the extinction of the very institution it's seeking to preserve.


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"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / CreatorReligions/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 (Based in Greece, Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to built Africa to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - New !



"Perceptions of God" – June 6, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Quantum TeachingThe Fear of God, Near-death ExperienceGod Becomes Mythology, Worship, Mastery, Intelligent Design, Benevolent CreatorGlobal Unity.... etc.(Text version)

“.. For centuries you haven't been able to think past that box of what God must be like. So you create a Human-like God with wars in heaven, angel strife, things that would explain the devil, fallen angels, pearly gates, lists of dos and don'ts, and many rules still based on cultures that are centuries old. You create golden streets and even sexual pleasures as rewards for men (of course) - all Human perspective, pasted upon God. I want to tell you that it's a lot different than that. I want to remind you that there are those who have seen it! Why don't you ask somebody who has had what you would call a near-death experience?


“…. Each project is underway and that will result in a sudden wealth of information reaching you. Events are such that the facts can no longer be kept hidden, and with that there will be an explosion of people coming forward to tell what they know. It may take longer where the Vatican is concerned, as it is akin to a secret society that has kept its dark secrets hidden well away. However, nothing will remain concealed for too long, as you are entitled to know the truth and the extent to which you have been deceived….”  


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Russia pays tribute to US budget

Pravda, 21.05.2012

There are many elementary things that recieve no attention at all, although they can be extremely important. If you take a Russian banknote in your hands, you will see that it says: "Note of the Bank of Russia." If you take a look at Soviet banknotes, you will see that they say: "State Treasury Note." It means that it is not the Russian state that makes the money that all Russians use in their everyday lives today. This is a consequence of 1991 - the time when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Modern-day bank notes are made in today's Russia on the base of the Constitution, as well as on the base of the laws about the Central Bank. The production volumes of today's banknotes in Russia are proportionate to the volume of the purchased virtual foreign currency. In other words, in order to pay, let's say, a note of 100 rubles to a cashier in a supermarket, the Russian economy has paid the United States of America the face value of this note.

If we add the structure of the Russian reserves, the general systems of balance of payments, the crediting mechanism - i.e. the elements of economic sovereignty, which Russia does not have, - then we will see that today, Russia pays nearly $200-300 billion to the US. This amount corresponds to the taxes, which Russian tax-payers pay - without customs payments.

Conditionally, every Russian citizen pays two taxes. One of them goes to the Russian budget, and the other one - in the same amount - goes to the American budget. Russia spends this money on the inflation mechanism, because this money is withdrawn from the economy. Therefore, Russia will never solve the inflation problem until it solves the problem of the Central Bank. Hungary tried to do it, for example, but was punished for it.

Russia is not alone here, of course. America defeated many countries of the world. The above is not a specific problem of Russia. That is why the USA consumes a half of the world's GDP because they collect tribute from everyone, not just Russia. 

Sergey Fyodorov

State Duma deputy
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Brazil house passes slave labor amendment

The Jakarta Post, Marco Sibaja, Associated Press, Brasilia, Brazil, Wed, 05/23/2012

Lawmakers approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday that strengthens punishments for landowners and others who force people into slave-like working conditions, in which thousands of Brazilians are trapped.

The amendment allows the government to confiscate without compensation all the property of anyone found to be using slave labor, which is most common on remote farms but also occurs in urban sweatshops in places like Sao Paulo, South America's largest city.

The measure says that besides having their property confiscated, offenders will also be subject to penalties for using slave labor that are already in Brazil's penal code, including fines and jail terms of up to eight years, congressman Domingos Dutra said.

Xavier Plassat of the Roman Catholic Church's Land Pastoral Commission, a watchdog group on rural rights, said confiscation of property will serve as a new weapon to persuade landowners to stop using slave labor. It targets "one of the most sacred values of the country's elite — the sacred right to property," he said.

Leaders in the Senate, which previously adopted the amendment, and in the Chamber of Deputies agreed that a Senate commission will draw up legislation determining how the confiscation of property will be carried out and also strictly define what constitutes slave labor.

The constitutional amendment will fully take affect only after those decisions are made, but that's not expected to encounter any delays and the measure that passed the lower House on Tuesday was its biggest hurdle.

Slave-like working conditions are somewhat common in many parts of Brazil where poor laborers are lured into arduous jobs that they cannot leave because they rack up debts to plantation and factory owners who charge exorbitant prices for everything from food to transportation.

The Labor Ministry says just over 42,000 workers have been freed from slave-like conditions by government policing teams since 1994, when the government began cracking down on the practice.

Both Dutra and Plassat said there are no precise figures on how many Brazilians work in such conditions, but estimated that at least 20,000 people become stuck in slave labor each year in Latin America's largest country.

Since 1994, landowners using slave labor have been fined about $35 million, but Dutra said those fines largely go unpaid and the offenders unpunished as the cases get tangled in Brazil's complex legal system.

Most cases of slave labor are found in rural areas where sugarcane and other crops are grown, but Labor Ministry inspectors have also found workers toiling in slave-like conditions in the textile and clothing sector in urban areas.

The Labor Ministry said in January that it had a "dirty list" of 294 employers using slave conditions. Until the employers on the list stop the practice, they are blocked from obtaining credit from all banks.

The "dirty list" was created in 2005 and is updated twice a year. To be taken off the list, an employer must pay fines and unpaid labor-related taxes.


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Pig iron blast furnaces in Pará state, Brazil, contribute
to deforestation in the Amazon. Photograph: Rodrigo
Baléia/Greenpeace

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Havana’s information monopoly is falling apart

RNW, 18 May 2012, by Raúl López

 (Photo: Raúl Lopez/RNW)
              
The rise of the internet cannot be stopped, not even in communist Cuba. Although the digital age has so far hardly emerged on the Caribbean island, the state monopoly on information in Cuba is bearing its first cracks.

“In Cuba, access to the internet is extremely limited, it is totally controlled and very slow,” says Cuban author and journalist, Leonardo Padura, who gained international fame with a series of thrillers The Four Seasons and a number of novels.

Padura is one of Cuba’s more outspoken critics. “I’m endlessly irritated by the amount of time it takes to log onto the internet. And it takes even longer to find something on a search engine,” he sighs. Padura is able to buy access to the internet now and then from his royalties.

Weblogs very popular

There are no official figures on internet use on Cuba according to Padura. “Even email is very limited due to the poor connections. What’s interesting is the increase in the number of weblogs written in Cuba, which are not accessible to Cubans. They are actually only made for people outside Cuba.”

The best-known example is ‘Generación Y’, a blog by dissident Yoani Sánchez. Thanks to her blog, the outside world learns about a very different Cuba than the country that the regime likes to portray. Sánchez writes about matters that all Cubans are familiar with, but which the outside world mustn’t find out. In 2010, she won the Prince Claus Prize for her blog.

Control of information

Thanks to Generación Y many more Cubans began writting blogs – both dissidents and ordinary people – and the first cracks began to appear in the internet monopoly of the Cuban state. “There are two sorts of blogs in Cuba: official ones and unofficial ones. The official ones are not interesting, but the second sort is. Some bloggers propagate a form of democratic socialism which would be an improvement on the current situation. Others are very hostile about Cuban reality.”

The biggest achievement of these blogs and the new technological developments is that they make it impossible for the regime to keep control over information. In 1961, two years after the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro introduced strict control of information on the island, following the example of the Soviet Union. “But now the information monopoly is falling apart,” says Padura. “It is not just the blogs which play a key role. Some Cubans are able to record television programmes broadcast from Miami in the United States. These programmes are put on DVDs and people watch them in the evenings.”

Political decision

Padura thinks the authorities in Havana should take a political decision to give citizens free access to the internet.

“If they do not, they will put the country in danger. I do not think stricter control of information, which is leaking like a sieve anyway, will stop access to the digital highway.”

Leonardo Padura still hopes Raúl Castro’s regime will lift access restrictions to the internet. “I think it is a matter of time. And of intelligent political decisions.”


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