Northern lights over Terschelling, Friesland. 27-28 February, 2014 (NOS/Klaas Smit)

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
"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.)

Google: Fijne Koninginnedag 2012 gewenst ! (30 Apr 2012)

Netherlands turns orange for first ever 'King's Day'

Netherlands turns orange for first ever 'King's Day'
Google: Fijne eerste koningsdag ! (26 Apr 2014)
"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. …

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Dutch bring 120 tonnes of gold back to Amsterdam from New York

DutchNews.nl, November 21, 2014

The Dutch central bank has secretly brought a large part of the national gold reserves being held in a secure depot in New York back to Amsterdam.

In total, 120 tonnes of gold valued at €4bn has been brought back to the Netherlands by ship, Nos television said.

The high security reparations for the move took months.

The central bank decided to bring some of its gold reserves back to the Netherlands to ensure a better spread, the bank said in a statement.

In addition, the bank hopes to boost consumer confidence by showing there is enough gold in the Netherlands to take the country through a new economic crisis.

Now 31% of the Dutch gold reserves are in Amsterdam, the same percentage as in New York. The rest is in Ottowa and London.

The Netherlands has 612 tonnes of gold – worth €19bn at current gold prices, Nos said.

The Dutch army failed to properly investigate Iraqi shooting, EU court says

DutchNews.nl, November 20, 2014

The Netherlands failed to carry out a proper investigation into the fatal shooting of an Iraqi man during the 2004 multi-nation occupation, the European Court of Human Rights said on Thursday.

The court ruled the Netherlands had violated Article 2 of the treaty ‘(right to life) because of ‘the failure of the Netherlands authorities to carry out an effective investigation into the death’ of Azhar Sabah Jaloud.

The investigation had been characterised by serious shortcomings, which had made it ineffective, the court said in its ruling.

In particular, records of key witness statements had not been submitted to the judicial authorities; no precautions against collusion had been taken before questioning the Netherlands Army officer who had fired at the car carrying the victim; and the autopsy of the victim’s body had been inadequate, the court said.

The shooting took place on December 21, 2004 when Iraq was under the control of a coalition of different armies led by the US.

Jaloud was in a black Mercedes car which approached a checkpoint manned by Dutch soldiers and hit an oil barrel in the road, placed there to stop traffic.

One Dutch soldier, named as Lieutenant A, shot 28 times at the car after which the driver stopped. Jaloud was in the front seat and was hit several times. He died shortly afterwards. 

Friendly fire

The Dutch authorities originally told Jaloud’s family the soldier had mistakenly reacted to friendly fire from the other side of the road, a position upheld by a military court.

His father then took the case to Europe, alleging the investigation into his son’s death had ‘neither been sufficiently independent nor effective.’­­­ 

The court ordered the Netherlands to pay Jaloud €25,000 in damages plus court costs.

Bird flu found on a second Dutch poultry farm, movement ban reimposed

DutchNews.nl, November 20, 2014

A second Dutch poultry farm has been found to be infected with avian flu, junior economic affairs minister Sharon Dijksma confirmed on Thursday.

The outbreak is at a farm in Ter Aar, some 25 kilometres from Hekendorp where the first case was identified last weekend. All 43,000 chickens on the farm will be destroyed and a nationwide ban on the movement of all eggs, poultry and poultry manure has been introduced for a three-day period.

In addition, farms which have mixed livestock, including poultry, have been stopped from moving their animals and all city farms have been closed for three days, Dijksma said. 

Dijksma said the avian flu in Ter Aar is the highly infectious H5 variant but that she will not know until tomorrow at the earliest if it is the same type as found in Hekendorp. 

Four other nearby farms are also being investigated for signs of the disease.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Top Dutch speed skaters want EU to act on Ice Derby ban

DutchNews.nl, November 19, 2014

Some of the Netherlands top speed skaters, including world and Olympic champions Ireen Wust and Sven Kramer, are campaigning to be allowed to take part in a lucrative event in Dubai.

The international skating union ISU has banned skaters from taking part in the Ice Derby, in which long and short-track specialists will race against each other on a 220 metre track. 

‘This event takes place outside the traditional season, is a lucrative event for skaters and officials and uses a completely different format to the the ISU’s ‘patented’ races,’ the skater say in an open letter to the European Commission.

‘In short, there is no reason to threaten anyone who takes part with a life-long ban,’ the skaters say. The letter is published in Wednesday’s Volkskrant.

The letter focuses on European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. The skaters say the ISU’s action conflicts with European competition rules which ‘guarantee and protect’ the rights of European citizens, workers and athletes.

Foreign ebola doctors to come to the Netherlands for health checks

DutchNews.nl, November 18, 2014

The Dutch branch of medical charity Doctors without Borders is offering foreign doctors and nurses who have been working with ebola patients a temporary stay in the Netherlands to ensure they are not infected.

The offer concerns medical staff who come from places where the medical provision needs improvement or do not live close to a hospital. Dutch medical staff will be able to return home, a spokeswoman for Artsen zonder Grenzen told Dutch media on Tuesday.

The medical staff – a total of six at a time – will live at the Artsen zonder Grenzen complex in woods near the Veluwe national park for a three week period. The local mayor has informed residents about the plan.

The doctors are nurses will be ‘in principle healthy’ although it cannot be ruled out that they will become ill. ‘They will be able to do shopping and go for walks. We will take their temperature twice a day,’ the spokeswoman said.

According to the latest figures from the World Health Organisation, over 5,100 people have so far died from ebola and 14,000 have been diagnosed with the disease.

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One of those times might be frightening for you to know about, since it was a full cooperation with Gaia for your termination, and a pandemic almost wiped humanity off the map. A pandemic! Now, you say, "What has that got to do with Human consciousness, Kryon?" Pay attention, dear ones, because this is the day where the teaching was given by my partner, and he put together the Nine Human Attributes. One of the attribute sets included three Gaia attributes and one of them was the consciousness of the planet. Gaia is related to Human consciousness!

Are you starting to connect the dots? You are connected to this planet in a profound and spiritual way. As goes humanity goes the planet's consciousness. Gaia, Mother Nature, whatever you want to call it, cooperates with Human consciousness. If you spend 1,000 years killing each other, then Gaia will do its best to cooperate with your desires! Gaia will look at Human consciousness and try to help with what you have shown you like to do! Did you know this role of Gaia with you? It's a partner with you, fast tracking what you give to it. You may wish to review what the indigenous of the planet still understand. Gaia is a partner!

Pandemic: Don't you find it odd that in the last 50 years, when you have a population of seven billion Human Beings, with up to 2,000 airplanes in the air at any given moment, going between almost every conceivable place, that there has not been a pandemic in your lifetime? There have been five starts of potential pandemics over the last 20 years, yet none became serious. Did any of you put this together? Dear ones, when the world was far less populated a few hundred years ago, with no mass travel to spread a virus, there were still millions wiped out by a pandemic. With the increased population and mass travel, there is far more danger today than before. It doesn't make sense, does it? What happened to stop it?

When you know humanity's relationship to Gaia, it makes sense. Gaia is a life-force that is your partner, watching you change the balance of light and dark and reflecting what Humans want. It has polarity, too! Perhaps it's time to start your meditations with thanking your planet Earth for supporting you in the spirituality of your Akash, for always being with you, a life-force that is always present. The ancients started their ceremonies in that way. Have you forgotten?


Now, I've just set the stage for the next subject, haven't I? Ebola. Are you afraid yet? Gaia is a life-force that is a part of Human consciousness. My partner put it on the screen today so you could see the connections [during the lecture series]. Now it's time to connect the dots. Dear one, Gaia is in the battle, too, for here comes something scary that you haven't had in your lifetime and you're afraid of it - the potential of a pandemic on the planet.

There's a very famous film that has some dialogue that my partner will quote. Some of you will know it and some of you won't, but here it is: "Have a little fire, scarecrow?" What are you afraid of? Darkness? Gaia is in the battle with you and is actively pursuing solutions through light. The energy of the planet is with you in this fight! The ebola virus is a shock and a surprise. It is propelled by ignorance and fear, so it can flourish. Look at where it started and look at how it gets its ability to continue. It expands its fear and power easily with those who believe it's a curse instead of those who understand the science.

Villages are filled with those who refuse to leave their family members because they believe the disease is a curse! FEAR! Instead of understanding that they should be in isolation from the virus, the family dies together through ignorance and fear. This represents how darkness works. Are you going to become afraid also? Dear ones, ebola will be conquered. Know this and be at peace. Pray for light for those in the villages who are afraid, that they can know more about how to keep the spread of this disease and live to see their families. .”

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mum frees Dutch teen jihadi bride, stuck in Turkey with no passport

DutchNews.nl, November 18, 2014

A woman from Maastricht has freed her 19-year-old daughter from the Syrian city of Raqqa but is unable to get her back into the country because her passport has been cancelled, Dutch media report on Tuesday.

The girl, named as Aïcha, is a convert to Islam and travelled to Syria in February when she was 18 to marry Dutch jihadi Omar Yilmaz, a charismatic former soldier with a high media presence. According to media reports, Aïcha, who converted to Islam last summer, got in touch with Yilmaz via internet after he was interviewed on television in January.

According to Limburg media the girl’s mother, named as Monique, she travelled to Turkey in October in an effort to find her daughter and made a second trip last week, despite being told it was too dangerous.

The two managed to leave Syria but were stopped at the Turkish border because the girl does not have a valid passport. The foreign affairs ministry is now involved and the two hope to be back in the Netherlands within a week, the mother’s lawyer Françoise Landerloo is quoted as saying by the NRC.

EenVandaag carried an interview with Monique earlier this year about her struggle to find her ‘blonde, blue-eyed girl who liked going out and playing piano’.

Related Article:

There's too much information to give you in one channelling, in one sitting, so I refer to past messages for you to better understand and reference the information in order to get the bigger picture. So I wish to remind you of something I also told you in a recent channelling called Do Not Despair. You're winning! It's because you're winning that the dark consciousness on this planet is feeling it, and the humanity that represents darkness is pulling out everything it has to survive.

It Has Always Been There

Let's look at it, because it's all over the news. Are you shocked at the sudden existence of the organization that will remain unnamed [for this channelling]? Where did it come from? How could it be so organized? How could it be so well funded? This organization could have its own country soon! They might as well name it, “The Old Energy Dark Country”, for that's what it will represent.

The barbaric past of humanity comes forward to show its face. It has always been there, hiding under the rocks and between the cracks of civilized humanity. It couldn't show itself until now, but now it has to. It's ugly and it's not for the faint at heart, is it, dear ones? Seeing evil personified in Human action is abhorrent. It is so ugly and so dark that you cannot look upon it with a gentle heart. God is not a part of it and this is obvious.

You're winning! Light is winning! The uprising of dark consciousness would not have shown itself with this strength, or this quickly, if this were not so. This is exactly what I told you to look for, and it is proof that those representing this dark consciousness are in trouble. Dear ones, dark consciousness has always had a tried-and-true system. It lurks in the shadows and influences all the power places of the planet - government, commerce, finance. Suddenly, it can't hide there as well anymore and it's out in the open.

Where is the funding coming from? It is coming from a storehouse that has always been there, dear ones. It uses income that has been generated from low consciousness acts, collected for a very long time. Funding didn't just appear. It has been stored, waiting to be used in order to spread fear and darkness to save what they believe is their way.

Who Will Win?

Dear ones, they haven't got a chance! But it looks like they do, doesn't it? Everything that they are doing is calculated to scare you into submission. Are they winning? Now, that's a question I want you to take from here and examine every day.

Fear is black. If you're in fear, there is no light. You can be the grandest Lightworker, or even be the channeller, but if you're in fear, it doesn't matter how many years you've done light work, or how much light you've accumulated personally. It all goes away with fear, and then they've won the battle for your mind. Do you understand this?

The Strength of the Old Soul - YOU

Old souls, Lightworkers reading this, the experiences you have had over lifetimes and lifetimes are incredible! The old soul knows fear. I don't want to be too graphic, but I want you to understand! What was it like when you put your head in the guillotine because you talked about God in a way that was inappropriate? What was it like to be bound hand and foot when they lit the match at your feet? Old soul, that's fear! You carry those experiences in your Akash.

I want to tell you they haven't got a chance to scare you! You absolutely know what fear is, and they haven't got a chance as long as you cling to that part of you that is the strength of God. You've been through it all. That means you've got the weapons of truth, wisdom and light. Don't forget it. Don't forget who you are!

Do you see how fast they assembled? It seemed like only yesterday that there was no organization at all. Where did they come from? Have you noticed a certain hesitancy to fight them? Why is it that the citizens of the lands that they are invading are hesitant to fight them? Instead, these leaders are calling on others to help. Why is it that the others are also hesitant? I want to show you that there are some anomalies of logic that are not making sense, because this is a battle you have never seen before on this planet. We've expected it, but you haven't. It's about consciousness, not land or resources.

How to Win?

We gave you the secret before of how to defeat them without taking even one life: Simply take away their funding. They cannot exist without their funding. The funding has to be organized, stored, and distributed. It has to be generated in such a way that it must also go through institutions. Did you hear that? All you have to do is stop the system. Winning won't be done with bombing. It's going to be done with intelligence, clever thinking and financial forensics. It's time to get smart on some of these things and not to be afraid to look at this puzzle differently than you have before. Do not apply the energy they are using in order to fight them, because you won't win. Figure it out. It's the last bastion of organized darkness and evil thinking on this planet coming together to try to survive the assault of your light. Don't be afraid to look at the funding trail, no matter where it takes you.

Fear is Their Weapon

I want you to know something as you look at your news. It may appear that you are unable to stop them. In many places, they will gain strength as they create fear. The fear is easily created in those who are not old souls and who don't know fear like you do and who don't have the armor of your spiritual experiences. This puts you in the front line, dear one. Did you realize that? But you don't have to go fight them on their terms. All you have to do is broadcast light. High consciousness will beat fear any day.. .”

PostNL’s chief executive is the most powerful woman in the Netherlands

DutchNews.nl, November 18, 2014

Herna Verhagen, chief executive of postal company PostNL, has been voted the most powerful woman in the Netherlands by feminist magazine Opzij.

The jury said the improvement in PostNL’s financial situation is entirely due to Verhagen’s efforts.

‘She is not just an outstanding leader but a builder and a binder,’ the jury said. The top 100 list includes women from industry, politics and culture and includes fashion company boss Olcay Gulsen, education minister Jet Bussemaker and television presenter Linda de Mol.

Former European Commissioner Neelie Kroes was awarded a lifetime achievement prize for her drive to get women into top jobs. ‘She is a role model for women and has been at the top as junior minister, minister, board chairwoman, business woman and European commissioner for nearly 50 years,’ the jury said.

Wind energy producers replace old turbines with new to beat subsidy stop

DutchNews.nl, November 17, 2014

Many Dutch farmers own wind turbines. Photo: depositphotos.com

Wind energy producers are planning to demolish at least 172 turbines and replace them with new ones in order to qualify for €350m in green energy subsidies, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

The paper says research by an association representing people who live near the turbines shows that local councils have had a surge of permit requests to replace turbines ahead of the December 31 deadline.

The turbines no long qualify for subsidies from next year but are still in good working order. However, it is more financially attractive for energy firms to take them down, sell them second hand and get subsidies for the new turbine, the paper says.

The NLVOW says most of the turbines scheduled for replacement could run for a further 10 to 15 years. 

The economic affairs ministry has changed the regulations, removing the financial advantage for new turbines, from next year. 

Parliament is due to debate sustainable energy on Monday.

Energy firms agree to come clean on coal used in Dutch power stations

DutchNews.nl, November 17, 2014

Five energy firms active in the Netherlands have pledged to take action to improve the working conditions of coal miners and have signed an agreement with aid minister Lilianne Ploumen to that effect.

The agreement centres on Colombia where 25% of the coal used in Dutch power stations comes from. Aid groups describe the coal as ‘blood coal’ because of the human rights abuses suffered by the miners.

MPs had earlier urged energy firms to come clean about the origins of their coal. E.ON, EFZ, Essent, GDF Suez Energie and Nuon say they will talk to their suppliers about conditions at the mines and will name the mines they do business with.

NGO Pax said in a recent report entitled The Dark Side of Coal that companies Drummond and Prodeco are guilty of serious human rights abuses in the region. Pax  claims 3,100 people in Cesar, where the mines are located, have been killed by paramilitaries paid by the mining firms.

When the Pax report was published in June, Nuon, E.ON, EPZ and Essent – the four biggest Dutch energy firms – issued a joint statement in which they said they would not stop buying blood coal, despite calls in parliament for them to do so.

‘If we immediately stop buying the coal, someone else will. The Netherlands is too small a country to exert any influence on its own. And that means you lose your grip on the local situation,’ the statement said.

Energy needs

The companies said they are not dodging their responsibilities but do not want to ‘sit in the judge’s chair’. The companies pointed to initiatives to improve and monitor conditions in the mines.

Three new coal-fired power stations are currently under construction in the Netherlands. 

Figures from the national office of statistics CBS show 25.5% of Dutch electricity in 2013 was produced using coal, up from 23. 6% in 2012 and 18.4% in 2011.

Related Article:

Migrating birds blamed for spreading bird flu, two other Dutch farms declared healthy

DutchNews.nl, November 17, 2014

Poultry experts from the European Commission believe the three cases of bird flu at farms in the Netherlands, Germany and Britain are due to migrating birds, news agency ANP says on Monday.

This infectious form of bird flu is more common in Japan and Korea and has probably been spread by infected birds, the experts say. There is no connection between the three farms where bird flu has been identified. In addition, two farms close to the Dutch farm where the disease was found at the weekend have been given a clean bill of health.

 The movement of poultry, eggs and bird manure has been halted throughout the Netherlands for 72 hours following the discovery of a highly infectious variant of bird flu at a chicken farm in Hekendorp, south of Utrecht.

The virus is of the type H5N8 which can infect humans who have intensive contact with the birds and give them flu-type symptoms, junior economic affairs minister Sharon Dijksma said in a briefing to MPs on Sunday evening.

The 150,000 battery chickens at the factory farm are being destroyed. The last time the Netherlands was hit by this infectious variant of the disease was in 2003.

The Netherlands exports some six billion eggs a year, ANP says. The virus has also been identified at a duck farm in northern England and a turkey producer in Germany.

Related Article:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Black Dutch football internationals gather racist abuse after selfie hits social media

DutchNews.nl, November 17, 2014

Robin van Persie, captain of the Dutch national football team, told reporters on Sunday he would approve if people were prosecuted for placing racist reactions on social media about a photograph of black Dutch footballers.

‘This makes me very unhappy,’ Van Persie said after a selfie taken by midfielder Leroy Fer on Saturday was circulated on social media and gathered a number of racist comments. In some, the players were likened to Sinterklaas’s controversial helper Zwarte Piet, in others monkeys.

‘It is shocking that this sort of thing happens in 2014,’ Van Persie said. ‘This has to be tackled properly. It is time to set an example.’

Football website Voetbalzone removed the photo after it gathered a number of racist reactions and distanced itself from the comments. ‘We are sorry that there are still people around who treat each other with such a lack of respect,’ the website said.

Labour MPs have called on the public prosecution department to investigate the comments if no formal complaint is made by the players themselves.

Related Articles:

Thousands of Brazilians march in gay rights parade

Yahoo – AFP, 17 Nov 2014

Revellers take part in another LGBT Pride Parade in Rio de Janeiro,
 Brazil, on September 28, 2014 (AFP Photo/Yasuyoshi Chiba)

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Thousands of Brazilians took part Sunday in Rio de Janeiro's 19th Gay Pride parade, speaking out against homophobia in a country that has seen years of violence targeting the gay community.

Under the slogan "A million voices!", gays, lesbians, transvestites, transsexuals and supporters marched along Copacabana beach.

"It is important that the population understands their rights and they express themselves against homophobia," said Carlos Tufvesson, one of the event organizers.

More than a million people were expected for the event, organizers said.

Brazil recorded 312 murders of people in the gay community in 2013. The country averages about 300 murders motivated by sexual orientation a year.

The violence prompted rights group Grupo Gay da Bahia to label the country "the world champion of homophobic crimes."

Around 40 percent of recorded crimes against gays in South America occur in Brazil.

For years lawmakers in the Catholic and socially-conservative country have opposed a bill to criminalize homophobia.

But recently the country's highest court has taken steps in favor of gay rights.

In 2011, the Supreme Court recognized gay unions, which are afforded the same rights as heterosexual couples.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that public institutions could not reject gay marriage applications.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

MH17 wreckage removal starts in rebel-held east Ukraine

Yahoo – AFP, Clement Zampa, 16 Nov 2014

Members of the Dutch expert team watch as wreckage from Malaysia Airlines
 Flight MH17 is removed and loaded on a truck at the crash site near the east
Ukraine village of Grabove, on November 16, 2014 (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)

Workers on Sunday began removing the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, four months after it was shot down killing 298 passengers and crew.

Dutch experts supervised a crew from the emergency ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic as they began cutting pieces of the plane's wreckage with metal saws at the crash site near the village of Grabove, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

Dutch experts supervise a crew from the 
self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic
 as they loads parts of the Malaysia Airlines
 Flight MH17 onto the back of a lorry at the
 crash site near the east Ukraine village of
 Grabove, on November 16, 2014 (AFP
Photo/Menahem Kahana)
Investigators from the Netherlands heading the probe into the disaster, in which 193 Dutch citizens died on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in July, said it could take "several days".

"Today the recovery of wreckage from flight MH17 has started. The Dutch Safety Board commissioned the recovery and transportation to the Netherlands of the wreckage as part of the investigation into the cause of the crash of flight MH17," the Dutch experts said in a statement.

The investigation team said the wreckage would be collected before being transported to the Ukrainian government-controlled city of Kharkiv and then flown to the Netherlands.

The Dutch experts eventually intend to reconstruct a section of the doomed airliner.

A rebel official said they hoped to finish the operations in the next ten days and that work would start on the largest chunks of fuselage first.

Some 15 members from the rebel recovery crew used a crane to winch wreckage onto two trucks waiting nearby to shift the evidence from the scene.

Dutch experts supervise a crew from the 
emergency ministry of the self-proclaimed
 Donetsk People's Republic as they loads
parts of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17
onto a lorry at the crash site near Grabove,
eastern Ukraine, on November 16, 2014
(AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)
The team faces a race against time to complete the recovery effort before harsh winter conditions in the former Soviet state make it difficult to continue.

Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of supplying pro-Moscow rebels with the missile that shot down the Boeing 777 in an incident that stepped up international pressure on Moscow over its role in the conflict in Ukraine.

Moscow and the separatists have strenuously denied they were behind the downing of the plane, pointing the finger of blame instead at Kiev.

Russian President Vladimir Putin came under fresh pressure over Ukraine and the MH17 shooting-down at the G20 summit in Brisbane.

After a series of frosty exchanges with his fellow leaders, Putin left the summit ahead of schedule on Sunday, saying he needed to catch up on some sleep.

The MH17 probe team has so far managed to collect and identify the remains of 289 victims from the tragedy but recovery operations have been disrupted by fierce fighting in the area between government forces and insurgents.

Any further human remains found among the wreckage will also recovered by the rescue team, the Dutch Safety Board said.

A pro-Rusian gunman stands guard as
Dutch experts supervise the removal of
wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight 
MH17 onto the back of a lorry at the crash
site near the east Ukraine village of
Grabove, on November 16, 2014 (AFP
Photo/Menahem Kahana)
Sporadic fighting

Elsewhere around the region, fighting dragged on between the two sides, with the Ukrainian military saying that six soldiers were injured as its positions came under mortar fire 26 times during the night.

Local officials in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk reported no "active hostilities" were taking place around the city Sunday morning, while the governor of neighbouring Lugansk region said there was only intermittent shelling there.

The latest clashes come despite a nominal ceasefire that has halted fighting along much of the frontline but not stopped regular artillery bombardments at strategic hotspots.

Over 4,100 people have been killed in the conflict since April and some 9,700 injured according to figures from the United Nations.

The crisis has sent tensions between Russia and the West soaring to their highest point since the end of the Cold War.

Journalists look at wreckage of Malaysia 
Airlines Flight MH17 as Dutch investigators
 inspect the crash site near the Grabove
 village in eastern Ukraine on November 11,
 2014 (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)
At the G20 summit, US President Barack Obama warned that if Putin "continues down the path that he is on, violating international law, providing heavy arms to the separatists in Ukraine.... then the isolation that Russia is currently experiencing will continue."

The European Union and United States have already slapped the toughest sanctions on Moscow since the collapse of the Soviet Union over its meddling in Ukraine.

EU foreign ministers are set to discuss the situation in Ukraine at a meeting in Brussels on Monday.

Moscow rejects allegations that it has provided the rebels with heavy weaponry but does offer open political and humanitarian support to separatist statelets.

On Sunday, the latest in a series of convoys of what Moscow says is humanitarian aid arrived in Donetsk after crossing over a stretch of rebel-held border into Ukraine.

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Germany warns Uefa may quit Fifa if World Cup report not published

• German League president attacks ‘complete loss of credibility’
• Report summary clears Russia and Qatar of wrongdoing
• Investigator says his findings were misrepresented

Guardian, Owen Gibson, The Observer, 15 November 2014

Uefa has called on the Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, to stand down and is looking
for a candidate to take on the Swiss. Photograph: Ito Takashi/AMA/Corbis

The president of the German Football League has warned that Uefa’s 54 member nations could take the ultimate step of quitting Fifa if Michael Garcia’s report into World Cup bidding is not published in full.

Dr Reinhard Rauball laid bare the tensions within Fifa over the split between the ethics committee judge, Hans-Joachim Eckert, and Garcia, the US attorney who heads the investigatory arm and spent 18 months probing the race for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Garcia has disowned Eckert’s summary of his 430-page report, which effectively cleared Russia and Qatar.

“The result was a breakdown in communication, and it has shaken the foundations of Fifa in a way I’ve never experienced before,” said Rauball.

“As a solution, two things must happen. Not only must the decision of the ethics committee be published, but Mr Garcia’s bill of indictment too, so it becomes clear what the charges were and how they were judged,” he told the German website kicker.de.

“Additionally, the areas that were not evaluated [in the report] and whether that was justified [should be published]. It must be made public. That is the only way Fifa can deal with the complete loss of credibility.”

He said that if the report was not published in full – and Eckert has already said that he will not do that, while Fifa argues it cannot intervene – then Uefa should consider its own position within Fifa. “If this doesn’t happen and the crisis is not resolved in a credible manner, you have to entertain the question of whether you are still in good hands with Fifa,” Rauball added. “One option that would have to bear serious consideration is certainly that Uefa leaves Fifa.”

Rauball’s intervention comes against the backdrop of Uefa’s calls for the Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, to stand down, as he promised to do at the end of his current four-year term. Although the Uefa president, Michel Platini, has opted against standing against Blatter in next year’s election, Uefa is continuing to cast around for an alternative candidate to take on the 78-year-old Swiss.

Before the Brazil World Cup, a series of speakers at Uefa’s congress stood up to call for Blatter to make his current term his last, while the FA chairman, Greg Dyke, denounced Blatter for claiming corruption allegations in the media were motivated by racism.

Fifa confirmed on Friday night that it had received formal notification of Garcia’s intention to take Eckert’s summary of his investigation to its appeals committee.

Meanwhile, one of the two whistleblowers discredited in Eckert’s statement, Bonita Mersiades, the head of communications for Australia’s 2022 bid, was scathing in her assessment of Fifa’s handling of the investigation. “It’s an organisation that, in terms of governance, is just a farce,” she said.

“The only people that come out well in that summary report by Eckert is Fifa. [It says] they got their decisions right in respect to Qatar and Russia, and there’s even a sentence and a reference in there that Sepp Blatter ran a wonderful process. It’s almost like high comedy.”

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Sixty arrested in anti-Piet protests as Sinterklaas arrives in Gouda

DutchNews.nl, November 15, 2014

Sixty people were arrested in Gouda on Saturday after clashes between pro and anti Zwarte Piet demonstrators at the welcoming ceremony for Sinterklaas, news agency ANP reported.

City mayor Milo Schoenmaker told a news conference on Saturday afternoon he was disappointed about the incidents but was unable to say if those arrested were for or against Zwarte Piet.

Anti-campaigners had said they would demonstrate against the presence of white people in black face make-up at the parade. They had been told to confine their activities to two locations, but according to Nos television, some insisted on forcing their way to the city centre square. 

One father with young children was caught up in the trouble, Schoenmaker said.

He declined to say how many police had been deployed in the city. Sinterklaas’s arrival passed off peacefully from the point of view of the young audience, Schoenmaker said. Although Sinterklaas was accompanied by mostly Piets in blackface make up, several Piets in different make up, including a clown and a white Piet were spotted by reporters.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Chinese Ambassador: Maritime Links Key in Boosting Ties With Indonesia

Xie Feng speaks at length about his thoughts on President Joko Widodo, the historic treatment of ethnic Chinese, and the future of bilateral relations as both countries pursue parallel visions

Jakarta Globe, Nov 13, 2014

President Joko Widodo (left) walks with China’s President Xi Jinping after
 arriving to take part in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders
 meeting at Yanqi Lake, north of Beijing on Tuesday. (AFP Photo/Greg Baker)

On the eve of President Joko Widodo’s departure for Beijing to attend this week’s APEC Summit and meet a number of world leaders, including China’s President Xi Jinping, the Chinese ambassador to Indonesia, Xie Feng, was interviewed by the Chinese newspaper Global Times.

In the interview, Ambassador Xie, who has been in the country since June, talked about his impression of Indonesia, his interaction with the new president, economic ties between China and Indonesia, and the correlation between Jokowi’s vision of a “maritime axis” and President Xi’s plan to build a “21st-centurty maritime silk road.”

With permission, the Jakarta Globe is republishing the interview, which first appeared on Nov. 6. It was edited for style only.

Global Times: Global media said that Mr. Joko Widodo won voters’ support because he’s a ‘People’s President.’ After your arrival in Jakarta, have you had any contact with him and what are your impressions about him?

Chinese Ambassador Xie Feng. (Photo
 courtesy of the Embassy of the People’s
 Republic of China)
Ambassador Xie: In less than a decade, Mr. Joko Widodo’s journey from being a furniture businessman to president is truly a political miracle in Indonesia and even worldwide. In my first week as ambassador, I had the honor of meeting with him briefly and was deeply impressed by his sincerity, easy-going style and kindness. After that I had two in-depth conversations with him and paid courtesy calls on him on several occasions with visiting Chinese delegations after he won the presidency. I believe President Joko Widodo is a firm, visionary, pro-people and down-to-earth leader, with a clear sense of purpose. His policy agenda has a lot in common with that of Chinese leaders. These include governance in the interest of people, pushing forward reform, developing economy, improving public well-being and fighting corruption. The Indonesian people have quite high expectations for him.

President Joko Widodo told me that he much values the face-to-face communications with the public. He believes such communications should happen day in and day out and this is the only way to understand what people need. That’s why he frequently visits traditional markets, rural villages and street food vendors to talk to and eat together with people. In the Javanese language, there is a specific word to describe his work style, blusukan. It means impromptu visit, which is akin to what we call “reach out to the grassroots.”

Global Times: What does President Joko Widodo’s trip to China mean to the APEC Summit and China-Indonesia relations?

Ambassador Xie: Indonesia was among the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with China. In 1950s, China, Indonesia and other Asian and African countries initiated the Bandung Spirit. At the heart of it is peaceful coexistence, seeking common ground and shelving differences. The Bandung Spirit remains a significant norm in state-to-state relations today. China today is Indonesia’s largest trading partner, its No. 1 source of overseas tourists and a major destination for Indonesian students. In October last year, President Xi Jinping paid a successful state visit to Indonesia. He and Indonesian leaders agreed to lift the China-Indonesia relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership. This has laid a solid foundation and mapped out a blueprint for the long-run development of our bilateral relations. In 2014, Indonesia’s general elections year, our bilateral relations have had a smooth transition and got off to a good start. President Joko Widodo attaches great importance to China-Indonesia relations. He has chosen China for his first overseas visit after inauguration.

Indonesia was the birth place of APEC Bogor Goals. Last year, Indonesia hosted its second APEC Summit in 20 years, and raised three major topics including achieving the Bogor Goals, promoting sustainable and equitable growth and improving connectivity. China actively echoed and supported these ambitions. We look forward to closer coordination and cooperation with Indonesia for positive outcomes out of this year’s APEC Summit, including launching the process of the Asia Pacific Free Trade Area (FTAAP), promoting innovative development, economic reform and growth, and improving connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

Global Times: It’s almost five months since your arrival in Jakarta. Can you share with us some of your impressions about Indonesia?

Ambassador Xie: I’ve been deeply impressed by Indonesia in many ways.

First, Indonesia is a big country with rich resource endowment. Indonesia has around 250 million population. It is the world’s largest archipelagic state, with over 17,000 islands. It takes 9 hours to fly from its east to west. That’s roughly the distance between London and Tehran. Indonesia has abundant natural resources and is known as the Emerald of the Equator. My Indonesian friends often say with great pride that ‘please don’t ask what we have, just ask what we don’t have!’

Second, diversity and inclusiveness. Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world, yet it’s also known for its ethnic and cultural diversity. We Chinese value ‘harmony but not uniformity.’ In the same vein, the Indonesian people believe in ‘unity in diversity.’

Meanwhile, Indonesia has around 20 million Chinese Indonesians, that’s the largest ethnic Chinese community outside China. Over the past hundreds of years, generations of Chinese migrants sailed to Indonesia. They settled down and took root in this country. They survived the tribulations yet always worked hard to pursue a better life. Today, many of them have built a successful career and become social elites. They have made major contribution to Indonesia’s economic, social development and cultural prosperity, and have acted as a unique bridge in promoting China-Indonesia friendly exchanges and cooperation. Since 1998, successive Indonesian governments have made active efforts to improve the social status of Chinese Indonesians and promote ethnic harmony. In 2000, President Abdurrahman Wahid lifted the ban on Chinese culture and customs. In 2002, President Megawati Soekarnoputri announced the Chinese Spring Festival as a public holiday in Indonesia. In 2006, the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) passed a new law on citizenship, annulling the previous legal distinction between native and non-native Indonesians. It marked an end to many discriminatory policies against Chinese Indonesians. In March this year, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono repealed the discriminatory term for the Chinese Indonesians through legislation and adopted ‘Tiongkok’ and ‘Tionghoa’ to refer to China and Chinese Indonesians respectively. This past August, Indonesia’s first Museum on Hakka history and culture was completed. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and I attended the opening ceremony. In his remarks, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono spoke highly of the Chinese Indonesians’ outstanding contribution to Indonesia’s independence, development and progress.

Third, goodwill and kindness. The Indonesian people are warm, hospitable and are always ready to help others. Their happiness index is quite high.

Fourth, great potential. Indonesia’s population, landmass and GDP are all over 40 percent of the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states combined. It’s the only Southeast Asian member of the G20 and is the 16th-largest economy around the world.

Global Times: China is Indonesia’s largest trading partner. Where is the growth point for the bilateral commercial cooperation in the future?

Ambassador Xie: China and Indonesia are both major emerging markets and developing countries. Our economies are highly complimentary and the cooperation potential is huge. Two-way investment will be a bright spot in our business cooperation in the years ahead. And infrastructure is expected to be a new growth driver in this regard. My Indonesian friends told me that the cargo freight from Papua to Jakarta is three times the cost of shipping the cargo from Shanghai to Jakarta. Nearly 50 million population in Indonesia have no access to electricity. Infrastructure is a major bottleneck holding back Indonesia’s economic growth. The Indonesian new government is implementing the ‘ocean highway’ strategy, and planning to build 2,000 kilometers of road, 10 new airports, 10 new sea ports and 10 industrial parks. The purpose is to promote air, land and sea connectivity, and improve energy, telecommunications and transport infrastructure. In my recent meetings with Indonesian leaders, responsible officials of economic departments and entrepreneurs, I could feel their strong desire to enhance cooperation with China.

Global Times: President Joko Widodo vows to develop marine economy and turn Indonesia into a global maritime axis. What’s the purpose of this strategy? What does it mean to China-Indonesia relations?

Ambassador Xie: Indonesia sits between the Pacific and Indian Oceans and connects Asia and Oceania. It controls a number of strategic chokepoints, such as the Malacca Straits, the Lombok Strait and the Sunda Strait. In history, Indonesia was a major hub in the maritime silk road, with a rich legacy of friendly exchanges between our two countries. The city of Semarang has been named after the well-known Chinese navigator Admiral Zheng He. It retains much heritage of Zheng He’s voyages to the Western Seas in the 15th century.

In his inauguration speech, President Joko Widodo called for building Indonesia into a maritime power. This policy agenda focuses on raising maritime awareness, building ocean highways, promoting maritime connectivity, developing marine economy, upholding maritime security and conducting maritime diplomacy. And the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs has been established. In his visit to Indonesia in October last year, President Xi Jinping announced the strategic initiative of building a “21st century maritime silk road.” This is to develop a ‘silk road’ spirit of peace, friendship, openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation among China, Indonesia and other coastal countries of the maritime silk road. The purpose is to promote policy communication, transport connectivity, trade relations, monetary circulation and understanding between the people, and build a community of common destinies. This shows the strategic visions of Chinese and Indonesian leaders complement each other. Maritime cooperation will become a ‘blue bond’ connecting our two countries’ development strategies. It is expected to be a new highlight and a new driver for strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership and deepening the practical cooperation between our two countries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin walks past US President Barack Obama
as Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his wife Iriana and other world leaders
and their spouses get into position for a family photo before a banquet in Beijing
on Nov. 10, 2014. (EPA Photo/Sergei Ilnitsky)

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