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.)


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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

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"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. …

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Pinochet agents apologize for Chile crimes

Yahoo – AFP, December 23, 2016

Human rights activists demonstrate during the private ecumenical ceremony in
 the Punta Peuco prison where nine former agents of Chile's 1973-1990 dictatorship,
apologize for their crimes, in Santiago, on December 23, 2016 (AFP Photo/
Christian Miranda)

Santiago (AFP) - Nine former agents of late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's regime asked forgiveness for their crimes Friday -- a first for Chile -- but victims' families rejected the gesture as a ploy.

The apology came in the form of a private religious ceremony at the Punta Peuco prison, where some 100 former regime agents are serving sentences for the kidnappings, killings and torture perpetrated during Pinochet's rule from 1973 to 1990.

The nine convicts included Raul Iturriaga, a high-ranking official in Pinochet's political police.

"God is doing something extraordinary in this country. This would not have been possible until recently," Anglican priest Pablo Alvarez told journalists after the ceremony, which was closed to the press.

But dozens of victims' family members protested outside the prison, rejecting the ceremony as a hollow bid to obtain a pardon or early release.

"We have the right and the moral duty to be here to prevent this media show," said Alicia Lira, head of a rights group for victims' families.

Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nunez, right, leaves the federal courthouse with his
 attorney, Luis Calderon, left, Monday, June 27, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. Barrientos, 
former lieutenant under the brutal dictator Augusto Pinochet, tortured and killed 
a famed Chilean folk singer whose family had been seeking justice for more 
than 40 years, a federal jury in Florida ruled. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Family members emphasized that none of the convicts have provided information on the fate of nearly 1,000 people missing and presumed killed by the regime.

They also demand the closure of Punta Peuco, which they condemn as a luxury prison with tennis courts, terraces and barbecues.

More than 3,000 regime opponents and alleged collaborators were killed or disappeared during Pinochet's rule. Some 38,000 were tortured.

Pinochet, who came to power in a military coup, died in 2006 without being brought to justice.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Brazil's Odebrecht, Braskem pay record fine in bribery case

Yahoo – AFP, Heather Scott, with Sebastian Smith in Rio de Janeiro, December 22, 2016
Brazilian construction company Odebrecht pled guilty to paying hundreds of
millions to bribe government officials in countries on three continents (AFP
Photo/YASUYOSHI CHIBA)

Washington (AFP) - Scandal-plagued Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht and petrochemical affiliate Braskem have agreed to pay a record $3.5 billion to settle a vast international bribery case, US officials said.

Odebrecht, a key player in the Petrobras corruption scandal gripping Brazil, agreed to a fine of $4.5 billion but said it was only able to pay $2.6 billion, the US Justice Department said in a statement. Braskem, meanwhile, will pay $957 million.

The fines are to be paid to Brazilian, Swiss and US authorities, the department said, calling it "the largest-ever global foreign bribery resolution."

It is the latest in a string of terrible headlines for Odebrecht, which Brazilian investigators say was one of the ringleaders of a scheme to plunder billions of dollars from state oil company Petrobras.

Revelation of the scandal has rocked Brazil's political and business establishment to its foundations, with ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva facing trial and current President Michel Temer reportedly under suspicion.

The bribery case settled Wednesday includes the Petrobras allegations, but is even bigger.

The Odebrecht conglomerate pleaded guilty to bribing government officials and political parties to the tune of $788 million to secure business on three continents -- mostly in Brazil, but also 11 other countries in Latin America and Africa.

"Odebrecht and Braskem used a hidden but fully functioning Odebrecht business unit -- a 'Department of Bribery,' so to speak -- that systematically paid hundreds of millions of dollars to corrupt government officials in countries on three continents," US Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sung-Hee Suh said in a statement.

"Such brazen wrongdoing calls for a strong response from law enforcement, and through a strong effort with our colleagues in Brazil and Switzerland, we have seen just that."

Political fallout

In the main scheme, Odebrecht targeted top Brazilian politicians and executives at Petrobras for more than a decade starting in about 2001. The bribes were used to secure inflated contracts and even get favorable legislation passed in Congress.

Suh praised Brazil's judiciary for tackling the issue head on.

"I cannot praise their efforts enough. They have been under enormous pressure, done an extraordinary job of initiating the investigation and carrying it through," she said.

The Brazilian probe, known by its codename Operation Carwash, has cast dark shadows over two of Brazil's most important companies, Petrobras and Odebrecht, adding to economic pain as the country flounders in deep recession.

Odebrecht's jailed boss Marcelo Odebrecht and 76 other current and former executives have signed plea deals agreeing to tell all in exchange for lighter sentences.

The Brazilian press has described the deal as potentially apocalyptic for the political establishment.

Panama, meanwhile, said it would request information from the United States about alleged Odebrecht bribes paid in Panama to secure contracts, its foreign ministry said.

Shattered record

The previous record bribery settlement was $1.6 billion for German engineering group Siemens in 2008. It settled charges of systematically using bribes and slush funds to land public works contracts around the world.

Margarida Gutierrez, an economist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, told AFP that this settlement, Odebrecht's newest move to come clean, would open the door for its return to the market.

"Right now they are unable to participate in any bids in Brazil or probably out of Brazil," she said. "Now they can start again, and try to clear their name. They will succeed but it will be hard."

The US Justice Department will conduct an "inability to pay analysis" by March 31 to determine the final amount that Odebrecht must come up with. Sentencing has been scheduled for April 17.

Under the plea agreement, Brazil will receive 80 percent of Odebrecht's fines, while the United States and Switzerland will garner 10 percent each.

Braskem, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange through American Depositary Receipts (ADR), saw its shares soar after the deal was announced, closing up four percent.

It will pay a criminal fine of $632 million, and another $325 million penalty to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Under the Braskem deal, Brazil will receive 70 percent of the fines, while US and Swiss authorities receive 15 percent. Sentencing for the firm has not yet been scheduled.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Panama pardons Dutch journalist jailed for libel

DutchNews, December 20, 2016

Panama’s president Juan Carlos Varela has given an official pardon to Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein, who was arrested last month and ordered to spend three years four months in jail. 

The Panama authorities published a list of names of people who are being pardoned on Tuesday. Ornstein will be freed on Friday if he does not object, the Dutch foreign ministry said.

‘It will be terrific if he is free in time to celebrate Christmas with his family,’ said foreign minister Bert Koenders. 

Ornstein was arrested last month on a charge of criminal libel dating from 2012 as he entered Panama where he lives. 

The libel charges followed articles on his blog Bananama Republic about the business practices of Canadian national Monte Friesner who lives in Panama City. The blog has since been closed down.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Bolivia ruling party defies referendum, backs Morales for 4th term

Yahoo – AFP, December 17, 2016

Bolivia's President Evo Morales, seen in November 2016, has the backing
 of his ruling party to run for a fourth term in 2019, despite the results of a
February referendum (AFP Photo/Aizar Raldes)

La Paz (AFP) - Bolivia's ruling socialist party on Saturday defied the results of a February referendum and backed President Evo Morales for a fourth term in 2019.

The Movement for Socialism (MAS) party, holding a congress in the eastern city of Montero, approved the candidacy of Morales -- Bolivia's first president with an indigenous background -- in a unanimous vote.

Morales welcomed the party's decision, saying, "If the people decide it, Evo will continue."

He added: "So many times we have defeated the right."

Morales was first elected president in 2005, and re-elected in 2009 and 2014.

But he narrowly lost the referendum in February on the question of whether the constitution should be revised to permit him to run again in 2019. His current term expires on January 22, 2020.

The party congress Saturday recommended "four legal alternatives" to allow his candidacy within the constitutional framework, according to a union leader who read the conclusions.

The first was a partial constitutional reform through an initiative requiring the signatures of some 20 percent of the electorate. Another also involves a constitutional reform to allow an extended presidential mandate.

The third recommends that the president renounce his office before the 2019 elections, so that he would not have served three full terms, while the fourth involves a reinterpretation of the constitution.

Morales, who has cultivated an "everyman" image, has been highly popular throughout most of his presidency.

He won his first election with 54 percent of the vote, his second with 64 percent and his third with 61 percent.

Morales has generally benefited from a fragmented opposition.

At the time of the February referendum, his popularity had been damaged by allegations that he had fathered a child with a young woman, Gabriela Zapata, and done favors for the Chinese company employing her.

He admitted the two had had a son, who died in infancy, but emphatically denied the other allegations.

Still, he lost the referendum by a narrow margin, 51 percent to 49 percent, and vowed to continue pressing the leftist platform that underlies his popularity.

As president, he has worked to redistribute the nation's natural gas wealth and provide a more inclusive environment for the indigenous majority.

To burnish his common-man credentials, Morales has often traveled on foot or stopped to play soccer with locals.

But some Bolivians said they felt he had amassed too much power in his years in power, and that the onetime outsider had himself joined the elite establishment.

In a survey early this month, the Ipsos polling firm found Morales's popularity had slipped a bit but was still relatively solid, at 49 percent.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Venezuela to remove the 100-bolivar note from circulation

The 100-bolivar bank note will be removed from circulation in Venezuela on Wednesday. The Venezuelan government promised six much larger notes in coming days.

Deutsche Welle, 12 December 2016


Stuck in an economic crisis and facing rampant inflation, the Venezuelan government announced Sunday it would pull its largest bill from circulation on Wednesday.

The 100-bolivar note, which is worth approximately two cents, will be replaced by much larger bank notes. Venezuelans will have 10 days after the 100-bolivar bill is removed from circulation to exchange the notes at the central bank. In the wake of the 100-bolivar note's demise, six bank notes worth between 500 and 20,000 bolivars will be made available, and three new coins. One US dollar can buy up to 4,400 bolivars on the black market.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said the move was necessary as international mafias kept the notes in Colombian and Brazilian cities. Maduro demanded "all land, air and sea possibilities closed immediately so that they do not return those notes that were taken," on his television show "Contact with Maduro."

Critics were quick to denounce the decision, saying Maduro should fight against the use of contraband bills on the Colombia-Venezuela border, and that there was no realistic way for Venezuelans to exchange 100-bolivar bills currently in circulation within the allotted time. Data from the central bank showed there were more than six billion 100-bolivar notes in circulation in November, which is about 48 percent of all bills and coins in use.

"When ineptitude governs! Who would possibly think of doing something like this in December amid all our problems?" said two-time opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles on Twitter.


Unprecedented inflation

No official data exists for inflation in Venezuela in 2016, but economic consultants Ecoanalitica estimates annual inflation in 2016 is more than 500 percent. The Venezuelan currency has fallen 55 percent against the US dollar on the black market in November.

Paying for simple items in the oil-rich company - often after waiting in lines that can last for hours - requires a large sack of bills in order to pay for whatever may be needed. But getting cash has proven difficult in recent months and credit card machines have suffered many problems, forcing many businesses to ask customers to pay by bank transfer.

kbd/kl (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

Related Article:


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Colombia's President Santos receives Nobel Peace Prize

Yahoo – AFP, Pierre-Henry Deshayes, with Gael Branchereau in Stockholm, December 10, 2016

Nobel Peace Prize winner Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos poses with
 his award in Oslo on December 10, 2016 (AFP Photo/Haakon Mosvold Larsen)

Oslo (AFP) - Colombia's peace deal between the government and the Marxist FARC rebels is a model for war-torn countries like Syria, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize.

The peace accord, signed on November 24 to end five decades of conflict, is a "model for the resolution of armed conflicts that have yet to be resolved around the world."

"It proves that what, at first, seems impossible, through perseverance may become possible even in Syria or Yemen or South Sudan," Santos said during a lavish ceremony at Oslo's City Hall, decked out in red, orange and white roses and carnations imported from Colombia for the occasion.

After a first peace deal was rejected in a popular vote on October 2, the rebels and government negotiated a new accord to end the conflict, which has killed more than 260,000 people, left 45,000 missing and forced nearly seven million to flee their homes.

"The Colombian peace agreement is a ray of hope in a world troubled by so many conflicts and so much intolerance," he said.

Yet in an interview with AFP just hours before Saturday's prize ceremony, Santos acknowledged that the hardest part of the country's peace process was yet to come.

The period ahead "is a more difficult phase than the (negotiation) process itself, and will require a lot of effort, perseverance and humility," he said.

"A lot of coordination efforts will also be needed... to bring the benefits of peace to the regions that have suffered the most in the conflict," he added.

He also said he could offer no guarantees there would be a peace deal in place with Colombia's second-largest rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), before the end of his mandate in 2018.

"I will do my best but to establish a time frame is always counter-productive in negotiations of this sort," he said.

In a speech at the ceremony, Berit Reiss-Andersen, deputy chairwoman of the Nobel committee, urged "all sides in Colombia to carry on the national dialogue and continue on the road to reconciliation.

"Hopefully, a similar negotiated disarmament agreement with the ELN guerrilla will soon be in place as well."

The Nobel prize consists of a gold medal, a diploma and a cheque for eight million Swedish kronor (824,000 euros, $871,000), a sum Santos promised to donate to the victims of the war.

The 2016 Nobel Prize laureates (AFP Photo/Paz PIZARRO)

Dylan's snub

Later on Saturday, another ceremony will be held in Stockholm where the Nobel laureates in the sciences, economics and literature will be honoured -- a ceremony marked by the notable absence of this year's literature laureate, Bob Dylan.

The first songwriter to win the prestigious award, he has declined to attend the glittering ceremony due to "pre-existing commitments".

The no-show has created a stir in Sweden, where it has been perceived as a slight towards the Swedish Academy that awards the literature prize and the Nobel Foundation.

Announced as the winner on October 14, Dylan waited almost two weeks to publicly acknowledge the accolade, a silence one Academy member termed "impolite and arrogant".

Dylan did ultimately say he was honoured to win, but then informed the Academy in mid-November that he would not be travelling to Stockholm to accept his prize.

"A slap in the face," remarked editorialist Lena Mellin at one of Sweden's biggest dailies, Aftonbladet.

"Anyone who has ever received a prize, even if it's just for being the best neighbour in the apartment building, knows that the least one can do is go and accept it," she wrote.

On social media, opinions were mixed.

"If it were me, I would probably... collect a Nobel Prize and $900,000. But it's Bob, and that's part of what makes him Bob," wrote fan Evan Sarzin on the singer's Facebook page.

"He is 75, give him a break," argued another, Karen Lunebach.

The singer-songwriter has sent a thank-you speech to be read at the gala banquet at Stockholm's City Hall, attended by around 1,300 guests and the Swedish royal family.

And just before that, American rock star Patti Smith will sing Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" during the formal prize ceremony at Stockholm's Concert Hall.

According to the Nobel Foundation, his prize should be presented to him in person sometime in 2017, either in Sweden or abroad.