Bernie Sanders and the Movement Where the People Found Their Voice

"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)

FIFA scandal engulfs Blatter and Platini

FIFA scandal engulfs Blatter and Platini
FIFA President Sepp Blatter (L) shakes hands with UEFA president Michel Platini after being re-elected following a vote in Zurich on May 29, 2015 (AFP Photo/Michael Buholzer)
"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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Monday, July 25, 2016

Democratic Party chair resigns in wake of email leak

Yahoo – AFP, July 24, 2016

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, pictured on January 16, 2016, will "step down as
 Democratic party chair at the end of this convention," she said in a statement on
the eve of the Democratic National Convention (AFP Photo/Andrew Burton)

Philadelphia (AFP) - Embattled Democratic Party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Sunday she is resigning, following a leak of emails suggesting an insider attempt to hobble the campaign of Hillary Clinton's rival in the White House primaries Bernie Sanders.

Wasserman Schultz will step down at the end of the Democratic National Convention, she said in a statement on the eve of the confab in Philadelphia that is set to anoint Clinton as the party's presidential nominee.

Her departure, long sought by Sanders, is aimed at drawing a line under the scandal as establishment Democrats seek desperately to unite the party behind the campaign of former secretary of state Clinton, who goes up against Republican Donald Trump in the November presidential election.

Bernie Sanders makes a point July 12, 
2016 at a rally in Portsmouth, New 
Hampshire where he endorsed presumptive
 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary
Clinton (AFP Photo/Justin Saglio)
Wasserman Schultz, a congresswoman from Florida, reiterated her intention to be a surrogate for Clinton in the presidential campaign, but said her five-year stint leading the Democratic National Committee was over.

"Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as party chair at the end of this convention," she said in a statement.

She said she will still open and close the convention.

A cache of leaked emails from Democratic Party leaders' accounts includes at least two messages suggesting an insider effort to cripple the upstart Sanders campaign that had competed with Clinton -- including by seeking to present him as an atheist to undermine him in highly religious states.

The Vermont senator Sunday repeated calls for the resignation of Wasserman Schultz, whose leadership was already under fire and whose impartiality was called into question by the leaks.

President Barack Obama said he called Wasserman Schultz Sunday to say he was "grateful" for her years of service.

"Her leadership of the DNC has meant that we had someone who brought Democrats together not just for my re-election campaign, but for accomplishing the shared goals we have had for our country."

Yet Wasserman Schultz recently proved a divisive leader, with the Sanders camp and its supporters concerned the DNC was angling for a Clinton nomination.

A supporter of former US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders
 holds banners in Philadelphia on July 24, 2016, one day before the Democrats
 gather to formally annoint Clinton as their candidate for the November 
presidential election (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

"The emails just proved what we believed to begin with," Dora Bouboulis of Vermont told AFP as she marched in a Philadelphia demonstration.

Clinton issued a statement to thank Wasserman Schultz and to state her friend "will continue to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally, in Florida, and in other key states."

Trump however was quick to pile on.

"I always said that Debbie Wasserman Schultz was overrated. The Dems convention is cracking up," he taunted on Twitter.

Related Articles:

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Nightly demonstrations follow failed coup in Turkey

Since the failed coup, protesters have filled squares throughout Turkey on a nightly basis. On July 15, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on supporters to take to the streets to defend his regime from the military.

Deutsche Welle, 23 July 2016

Thousands of people have flocked to squares across Turkey on a nightly basis since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called supporters to the streets on July 15, the evening of the failed coup. The supporters of the regime have become known as the "Democracy Watch."

"I still think there is a threat," 26-year-old Muhittin Bayhantopcu said on Istanbul's Taksim Square Friday evening. "This threat is against the entire country, toward all groups. I'm here for democracy."

Thousands of people filled the square on Friday evening, many of them holding Turkish flags. There were women wearing religious coverings such as chadors, men with tattoos on motorcycles, men wearing Islamic skullcaps, and men wearing sleeveless shirts and shorts. Most people appeared to be conservative. Some demonstrators brought their children.

"In this country, there always was and is the threat of a military coup," a university student said. "I know this because I study history." She said she had voted for an opposition party in the most recent elections, but that that party had since characterized the post-coup assemblies on Taksim as nationalist. "But if the other parties displayed the same stance and were in the same place, everything would be different," the student said. "We would be a united nation. I'm here with my people."

Young and old have been lured to Turkey's squares by Erdogan's call to
defend democrarcy

'Security and tranquility'

Protests had been banned for the past three years on Taksim Square, where in 2013 demonstrators had railed against the regime and its plans to turn parts of Istanbul's beloved Gezi Park over to developers. The movement spread nationwide, and more than 20 people were killed in the crackdown. Things have gone more smoothly at these demonstrations, with some participants even posing for photos with the police. Queues for sandwiches distributed by the state stretch 70 meters (230 feet). "These marches must continue," President Erdogan said on Friday.

To facilitate that, public transit is running 24 hours and portable toilets have been put into use. "The danger has not yet passed," Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Friday. "The security and tranquility of our citizens has been ensured. But there is no room for complacency."

On one of two televisions on Taksim Square, a presenter read out the national anthem and encouraged the crowd to wave flags, which can be bought onsite for 5 lira (1.5 euro/$1.60). T-shirts bearing the phrase "Sovereignty belongs to the nation" are also for sale, as are headbands that say "Martyrs never die," scarves with Erdogan's name and image, and flag-themed key chains. People chant "God is great" or slogans referencing the flag's red and white.

"This country is ours," an older woman said on Friday. "This land is ours. This flag is ours." She wouldn't give her name, but it was clear that her sympathies did not lie with the coup's plotters: "My Lord didn't side with these traitors. He protected us."

Red carnations were piled in front of a podium, near the listed names of the people killed during the coup attempt. There were two notebooks on the podium to allow mourners and patriots to express their thoughts.

"What is it like to lie in front of a tank?" said 43-year-old Ilhan Atac, who had come to the square with his 4-year-old daughter, explaining what he had written in one of the notebooks. "How brave must one be to use their chest as a shield from bullets? I thanked my martyrs for doing these things. I said that since we are a great nation, we would not fall apart."

On the stage, the master of ceremonies reminded the crowd that people were on city squares across Turkey. He listed the cities, asking "Are you here?" The demonstrators replied: "We're here. We're here until further notice."

Twenty-four-year-old textile worker Selahattin Ergün had been here for the past five nights. "I'm happy to be together with these people," he said. "Kurds, Turks, Zaza, Circassians, and Laz - I'm seeing everyone in unity together here right now."

Related Articles:

Pro-Erdogan supporters wave a Turkish flag during a rally at Bosphorus bridge
in Istanbul on July 21, 2016 (AFP Photo/Umit Turhan Coskun)

Turkey detains senior Gulen aide after coup attempt
Turkey to disband presidential guard after post-coup detentions: PM

Mini Channelling Grand Rapids, Michigan - July 16-17, 2016 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll)  (With reference to global changes & Turkey coup > 10.10 min) - New

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fox News boss Ailes looking at exit: media

Yahoo – AFP, 20 July 2016

Fox News boss Ailes looking at exit: media

Roger Ailes, the politically connected chief of Fox News, is negotiating his exit from the media group amid a lawsuit alleging he sexually harassed a star host, reports said Tuesday.

Ailes, a longtime ally of founder Rupert Murdoch who is chairman and chief executive at Fox News, is discussing terms of his departure, according to The Wall Street Journal, owned by a separate business unit controlled by Murdoch.

The Journal and The New York Times both quoted sources close to the situation on the exit talks as speculation swirled on Ailes's future.

The Daily Beast reported that Fox had initially confirmed Ailes had negotiated a deal to leave, but "subsequently walked back that confirmation."

The online Drudge Report posted a tweet about an exit package worth $40 million for Ailes, but moments later deleted the tweet.

Fox News declined to comment on the reports.

"Roger is at work. The review is ongoing. The only agreement that is in place is his existing employment agreement," said parent company 21st Century Fox.

The parent company of Fox News has launched an internal review following a
 sexual harassment lawsuit against the network's powerful boss, Roger Ailes. 
Former anchor Gretchen Carlson alleges she was fired after turning down sexual
advances from the Fox News chairman and CEO. Vinita Nair reports.

Earlier this month, the cable news giant said it had launched an internal review of allegations in a lawsuit by Fox News host and former Miss America Gretchen Carlson, who claimed she was fired for rejecting Ailes's sexual advances.

Fox stated at the time it had "full confidence" in Ailes but added that it was reviewing the matter.

"We take these matters seriously," Fox said in the July 6 statement.

New York Magazine reported Monday that Rupert Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James had decided that Ailes would soon be out.

The report, citing sources close to the situation, said Ailes was given the option of resigning or being fired this week.

Ailes, a former consultant to Republican presidents, is a key figure in the media empire.

Murdoch's sons have been taking a larger role in operations since the 85-year-old tycoon announced he was gradually easing control of his corporate empire, which includes 21st Century Fox and the global publishing group News Corp.

Related Article:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Dutch lorry maker DAF fined €753m for cartel forming over 14 years

DutchNews, July 19, 2016

Photo: Alf van Beem via
Wikimedia Commons
The European Commission has fined a group of truck manufacturers, including Dutch firm DAF, a total of €2.93bn for operating as an illegal cartel for 14 years. 

The commission said in a statement that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco, and DAF had broken EU antitrust rules by colluding on truck pricing and on passing on the costs of compliance with stricter emission rules. The cartel operated between 1997 and 2011, the commission said. 

Eindhoven-based DAF was given the second biggest fine of nearly €753m. 

MAN was not fined as it revealed the existence of the cartel to the Commission. All companies acknowledged their involvement in the cartel and agreed to settle the case.

‘It is not acceptable that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF, which together account for around nine out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks produced in Europe, were part of a cartel instead of competing with each other,’ competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement

DAF has been part of American listed industrial group PACCAR since 1996.

Related Article:

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Turkey regains control after deadly anti-Erdogan coup bid

Yahoo – AFP, Fulya Ozerkan with Raziye Akkoc in Istanbul, July 16, 2016

People react after taking over military position on the Bosphorus bridge in
Istanbul, on July 16, 2016 (AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic)

Ankara (AFP) - Turkish authorities wrested back control of the country Saturday, after crushing a military coup by discontented soldiers seeking to seize power from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that claimed more than 250 lives.

After facing down the bloodiest challenge to his 13-year rule, Erdogan triumphantly addressed thousands of supporters in his home Istanbul district after Friday's chaos in the strategic NATO member of 80 million people.

The authorities blamed Fethullah Gulen, the US-based cleric who is Erdogan's arch enemy, for the plot and lost no time in rounding up 2,839 soldiers over alleged involvement, amid concerns over the extent of the retribution.

Turks woke up early Saturday to television pictures showing dozens of soldiers surrendering after the failed coup, some with their hands above their head, others forced to the ground in the streets.

"The situation is completely under control," Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said outside his Ankara offices, flanked by Turkey's top general who had himself been taken hostage by the plotters.

Turkey coup attempt (AFP Photo/Sophie HUET-TRUPHEME, John SAEKI)

Describing the attempted coup as a "black stain" on Turkey's democracy, Yildirim said 161 people had been killed in the night of violence and 1,440 wounded.

General Umit Dundar, who stood in as acting chief of staff while Hulusi Akar was being held by the rebels, said 104 coup plotters has been killed. Akar was later rescued in an operation that marked the end of the plotters' hopes.

During a night where power hung in the balance, large crowds of flag-waving supporters of Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) defied the coup leaders' orders of a curfew and flooded the streets to block the attempt to overthrow the regime.

"We should keep on owning the streets tonight no matter at what stage (the coup attempt is) because a new flare-up could take place at any moment," Erdogan warned on Twitter on Saturday.

'People are afraid'

Friday's putsch bid began with rebel F-16 jets screaming low over rooftops in Ankara, soldiers and tanks taking to the streets and multiple explosions throughout the night in the capital as well as the biggest city Istanbul.

Parts of parliament were turned to rubble after being hit by air strikes from rebel jets.

Supporters of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, protest in Istanbul’s 
Taksim square, early Saturday, July 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Rebel troops also moved to block the two bridges across the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, culminating in a stand-off with an angry crowd.

Turks have not seen such scenes since 1980 when the military led by general Kenan Evren ousted the government and many had no desire to revive these memories.

As protesters poured onto the streets, an AFP photographer saw troops open fire on people gathered near one of the bridges, leaving dozens wounded.

Soldiers also shot at protesters angrily denouncing the coup bid at Istanbul's iconic Taksim Square, injuring several.

There was chaos in the city as angry crowds jeered the passing tanks, with much smaller numbers welcoming the troops.

US President Barack Obama stressed the "vital need" for all parties to "act within the rule of law" as Turkey rounded up the coup plotters.

While condemning the coup bid, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the plotters had to be dealt with "under the rule of law".

Turkey's General Erdal Ozturk, commander of the Third Army, has been detained while Alparslan Altan, one of 17 judges on the constitutional court, was taken into custody.

Judicial authorities said 2,745 judges would also be sacked in the wake of the coup bid.

"Brothers, I must say that this is now being cleaned up," said Erdogan said in his speech in the district of Kizikli on the Asian side of Istanbul.

People apprehend a Turkish soldier, third right in blue, that participated in the 
attempted coup, on Istanbul's Bosporus Bridge, Saturday, July 16, 2016. (AP
Photo/Selcuk Samiloglu)

'Treason and rebellion'

The president's critics have long accused him of undermining modern Turkey's secular roots and of sliding into authoritarianism -- but he was believed to have won control of the military after purging elements who opposed him.

Turkey's once-powerful military has long considered itself the guardian of the secular state founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923.

It has staged three coups since 1960 and forced out an Islamic government in 1997.

Erdogan immediately pinned the blame on "the parallel state" and "Pennsylvania" -- a reference to Gulen, his arch-enemy whom he has always accused of seeking to overthrow him.

"The United States -- you must extradite that person," he said to cheers from the supporters.

But the president's former ally "categorically" denied any involvement in the plot, calling the accusation "insulting".

Yildirim took aim at the United States for hosting what he called "the leader of a terrorist organisation."

Speaking in Luxembourg, US Secretary of State John Kerry invited Turkey to hand over any evidence it had against Gulen.

A man kicks a Turkish soldier that participated in the attempted coup, on 
Istanbul's Bosporus Bridge, Saturday, July 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Selcuk Samiloglu)

Meanwhile, Turkey demanded the extradition of eight people thought to have been involved in the putsch who landed in a Black Hawk military helicopter in Greece.

And Istanbul authorities sought to get life back to normal with the bridges reopening to traffic and Ataturk International Airport -- shut down by the plotters -- gradually reopening.

But the US government said it has suspended all flights to Turkey, and banned all airlines from flying to the United States from Turkey due to uncertainty after the coup bid.

Turkish authorities also imposed a security lockdown at the Incirlik air base in the southern province of Adana used by US and other coalition forces in the fight against jihadists in Syria, the US consulate said.

The US military command in Europe has ordered American forces across Turkey to take maximum protective measures.

Related Articles:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Barroso must not divulge secrets to Goldman Sachs: EU

Yahoo – AFP, July 12, 2016

Barroso must not divulge secrets to Goldman Sachs: EU

Brussels (AFP) - The European Commission said Monday its former head Jose Manuel Barroso will be bound by EU rules of professional secrecy at his controversial new job for US investment bank Goldman Sachs.

The bank has hired Barroso, who headed the executive of the 28-nation European Union from 2004 until 2014, as an advisor on the British public's June 23 vote to leave the EU, drawing fire from leftist politicians in Europe.

"All former members of the (commission) will remain bound by the obligations of integrity, discretion and professional secrecy" by EU law, Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a press conference in Brussels.

He cited EU laws under which former commission members can lose their rights to pensions or benefits if they fail to respect strict conflict-of-interest rules even after leaving their jobs.

Barroso did not have to inform his successor Jean-Claude Juncker about the job because he had been through an 18-month "cooling off" period since leaving the EU and it was safe to assume he no longer had access to privileged information or influence, Schinas said.

"President Juncker was informed after the decision was announced. There was no formal obligation for notification," Schinas said, adding that it was via phone call from Barroso.

"But once the transition is made from the public to the private sector there are very precise articles of the treaty which must be respected," he added.

"And we have a duty as a commission to ensure these articles are respected," said Schinas.

Related Article:

Former VVD senator gets community service for corruption

DutchNews, July 13, 2016

Jos van Rey leaving the court. Photo 
Maarten Hartman / HH
The public prosecution department is to appeal against the 240 hour community service sentence handed down to a former VVD senator found guilty of corruption. 

Jos van Rey had faced two years in jail but judges in Rotterdam on Tuesday said he should not be sent to prison. 

Van Rey was found guilty of passing on confidential information to a potential candidate for the mayor’s job in Roermond, where he was a councillor. He was also found guilty of corruption, although without any great financial gain. 

The prosecution department said it is appealing against the sentence given the severity of the facts of the case. ‘Corruption is corruption. There is no such thing as being a little corrupt,’ a spokesman told news agency ANP.


The investigation into Van Rey began in 2012 when Limburg newspapers wrote about a potential conflict of interest due to his friendship with a property developer Piet van Pol.

The investigation then widened to include claims that he had leaked information about the selection procedure for the new Roermond mayor. 

Telephone taps revealed Van Rey had leaked information to two candidates and passed on the names of candidates to others, including junior justice minister Fred Teeven. 

The prosecution claimed Van Pol spent over €97,000 on Van Rey, taking him on visits to trade fairs in Munich and Cannes, international football matches and to his holiday home in France. In return he was given preferential treatment, confidential information and work at higher than normal rates, the prosecution said. 

The court, however, ruled that the visits to the holiday home were due to the two men’s friendship rather than corruption.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning 'OK' after suicide attempt

Yahoo – AFP, July 12, 2016

Chelsea Manning is serving a 35-year jail sentence for espionage
and other offenses (AFP Photo)

Washington (AFP) - Imprisoned intelligence leaker Chelsea Manning has assured supporters she is "glad to be alive" after a suicide attempt.

The transgender soldier, who is serving a 35-year sentence for espionage and other offenses after admitting to handing classified documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, tweeted late Monday: "I am okay. I'm glad to be alive. Thank you all for your love. I will get through this. #standwithchelsea."

Manning's lawyers said they were out of contact with their client for more than a week before finally being able to speak with her on Monday.

"She remains under close observation by the prison and expects to remain on this status for the next several weeks," the lawyers said in a statement.

"For us, hearing Chelsea's voice after learning that she had attempted to take her life last week was incredibly emotional."

"She is someone who has fought so hard for so many issues we care about and we are honored to fight for her freedom and medical care."

The legal team criticized the government for a "gross breach of confidentiality" in disclosing Manning's health information to media.

The US Army said last Wednesday that Manning was briefly hospitalized, following media reports that she had attempted suicide.

Originally called Bradley, Manning was convicted in August 2013.

After sentencing, Manning announced she identified as female and later obtained legal authorization to change her name and receive hormone therapy.

She remains in a men's military prison in Kansas and is appealing her sentence.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

High-profile US police killings of black suspects

Yahoo – AFP, July 7, 2016

A person reads the personal messages written on the wall next to the convenience
 store where Alton Sterling was shot and killed, July 6, 2016 in Baton Rouge,
Louisiana (AFP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

Washington (AFP) - The United States was coming to terms on Thursday with the latest controversial police shootings of black men.

Wednesday's shooting in the state of Minnesota of 32-year-old Philando Castile, came as civil rights investigators probed a similar incident a day earlier in Louisiana in which 37-year-old father of five Alton Sterling was shot to death by police.

Here are a selection of recent killings of US black citizens that have caused outrage -- and sometimes violent protests -- across America.

Mario Woods

On December 2, 2015, in San Francisco, the 26-year-old is shot by police who say he would not hand over a knife.

The scene is filmed on smartphones. At least six police agents take aim at him while he is huddled against a wall.

Freddie Gray

A mural honoring Freddie Gray near 
where he was arrested, on June 23, 
2016 in Baltimore, Maryland (AFP
Photo/Brendan Smialowski)
On April 12, 2015 Baltimore police officers arrest Freddie Gray, 25. He is handcuffed and eventually placed on his stomach in a police van, unsecured by a seatbelt.

While in transit, Gray asks for medical help but none is given. The police van is diverted to assist in an unrelated case, at which point Gray is found unresponsive.

Despite this, an ambulance is not called until after the police van reaches a police station and Gray is found to be in cardiac arrest, having suffered serious spinal injuries in the van.

Gray dies on April 19, leading to rioting in Baltimore and protests in other US cities. State prosecutor Marilyn Mosby calls the arrest illegal. Six officers are later charged over the incident. One trial ends in a hung jury, and two others in acquittal. The fourth trial started on Thursday.

Walter Scott

On April 4, 2015 in the state of South Carolina, a video shows police officer Michael Slager gunning down a fleeing black man, 50-year-old Walter Scott, after a traffic stop.

The video seems to show Slager in an altercation with Scott. Slager then draws his gun and shoot seven to eight shots in Scott's back as he flees. Slager was charged with murder in June 2015. His trial is due to open on October 31.

A memorial site setup near where Walter Scott was killed on April 11, 2015
in North Charleston, South Carolina (AFP Photo/Joe Raedle)

Tamir Rice

On November 22, 2014, in Cleveland, Ohio, a video emerges of US police officers shooting dead Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy carrying a replica gun, just seconds after confronting him.

Surveillance video showed Rice was killed within seconds of the patrol car arriving on the scene in a park.

In December 2015, the US authorities announce that the police officers concerned will not be prosecuted.

Akai Gurley

On November 20, 2014 an unarmed black man, Akai Gurley, 28, is shot by an Asian-American officer who opens fire in a dimly lit staircase at a Brooklyn, New York apartment block.

On the day of his funeral on December 7, New Yorkers take to the streets to denounce the spate of police killings. The police officer, Peter Liang, is in April 2016 given five years probation.

Laquan McDonald

On October 20, 2014 in Chicago a white police officer pumps 16 bullets into the 17-year-old adolescent, who was not showing threatening behavior.

Images of the incident shown in November 2015 during the indictment for premeditated murder of the police officer shock the country, right up to President Barack Obama.

The shockwaves lead to the chief of police in Chicago being fired and a federal probe which embarrasses Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama's former chief of staff.

Michael Brown

On August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, a white police officer shoots dead 18-year-old Brown, unleashing sometimes violent protests.

A subsequent decision not to indict the officer, Darren Wilson, prompts riots in Ferguson and raises tensions from New York to Seattle, with thousands taking to the streets.

In March 2015, the US Justice Department publishes a scathing report into the shooting, condemning Ferguson's city hall, police department and municipal court for targeting the city's African American majority. A black man subsequently takes over as head of Ferguson's police.

Eric Garner

On July 17, 2014, African American Eric Garner, 43, dies after being held in a police chokehold while he is being arrested for selling individual cigarettes illegally in New York.

In an amateur video which is viewed around the world, as police wrestle him to the ground, Garner is heard repeating: "I can't breathe."

A coroner declares the death a homicide. But a grand jury opts not to charge the white officer involved, sparking demonstrations in several cities.

Trayvon Martin

The 17-year-old unarmed adolescent is killed on February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, who was acquitted in 2013 by a jury which found that he had acted in self defence.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Blair defends Iraq war after damning inquiry report

Yahoo – AFP, Alice Ritchie, July 6, 2016

Iraq Inquiry chairman John Chilcot presents the findings of his report at the QEII
Centre in London, on July 6, 2016 (AFP Photo/Dan Kitwood)

London (AFP) - Former British prime minister Tony Blair on Wednesday made a passionate defence of the 2003 war in Iraq, after a long-awaited official inquiry condemned it as woefully executed and based on flawed evidence.

His voice cracking with emotion, Blair said he had "more sorrow, regret and apology than you may ever know or can believe" for some mistakes in the planning of a war that deeply divided Britain.

But, in a two-hour press conference, he stuck resolutely to his defence, as more than 100 anti-war protesters rallied in London, shouting: "Blair lied, thousands died" and "war criminal Tony Blair."

Former prime minister Tony Blair said 
he acted "in good faith and in what I
 believed to be the best interests of the
country" (AFP Photo/Stefan Rousseau)
"I believe we made the right decision and the world is better and safer" without Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Blair told reporters.

The long-awaited Chilcot report offered a damning verdict on Britain's role in the US-led war, detailing the flawed intelligence, questionable legal basis and "woefully inadequate" preparation for the occupation.

Iraq's descent into violence and loss of life following the invasion saw 150,000 Iraqis killed by the time most British troops left in 2009.

The report said Britain deployed troops before diplomatic options had been exhausted.

It also highlighted how Blair wrote to president George W. Bush in July 2002, the year before the war saying: "I will be with you, whatever."

The inquiry found that "military action in Iraq might have been necessary at some point. But in March 2003 there was no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein".

Shortly after Blair had responded to the report, current Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn -- a top figure in the anti-war campaign -- directly contradicted the former Labour premier.

"The invasion and occupation of Iraq was a catastrophe," Corbyn, who formed the Stop the War coalition, said in a speech to the families of British soldiers who died.

"I now apologise sincerely on behalf of my party for the disastrous decision to go to war in Iraq," he said.

'No lies, parliament not misled'

The war was justified at the time by claims that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, but they were never found and the intelligence was later withdrawn.

Inquiry chairman John Chilcot laid the blame for this firmly on spy chiefs, clearing Blair's officials of "improperly" influencing a key intelligence paper published in September 2002.

The report also criticised Blair for failing to challenge Bush on the lack of planning for the post-invasion phase -- and dismissed his assertion that the impact of local militia and Iran could not have been predicted.

Britain's Iraq War Inquiry said Tony Blair (left) promised George W. Bush in 2002 that
 he would be with him on Iraq "whatever" happened, nearly a year before the US-led
invasion (AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards)

"I accept that especially in hindsight we should have approached the situation differently," said Blair, who was prime minister from 1997 to 2007.

But he added: "There were no lies, parliament and cabinet were not misled, there was no secret commitment to war. The intelligence was not falsified and the decision was made in good faith."

Iraq remains plagued by sectarian violence -- on Sunday at least 250 people were killed by a Baghdad suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State group.

Blair rejected claims the war led to the rise of Islamist groups in the region, saying Saddam was "himself a wellspring of terror" -- but admitted many disagreed.

'I hold him responsible'

Relatives of some of the 179 British soldiers who died in Iraq said they would scrutinise the findings for possible grounds for legal action against Blair and other officials.

"The inquiry has confirmed all our fears that these young men and women were deployed on the back of a falsehood," said Roger Bacon, whose son Matthew, 34, died in 2005.

The legality of the invasion was not in his remit, but Chilcot said the process of deciding the legal basis for war was "far from satisfactory".

"We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort," he said.

A detail of a declassified handwritten letter sent by the then British Prime Minister
 Tony Blair, to former U.S President George W. Bush, is seen as part of the Iraq Inquiry
 Report presented by Sir John Chilcot at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London, 
Wednesday, July 6, 2016. The head of Britain's Iraq War inquiry has released a 
damning verdict on a conflict he says was mounted on flawed intelligence, executed
 with "wholly inadequate" planning. (Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via AP)

The families are not the only ones considering legal action against Blair -- a cross-party group of MPs is also looking into the possibility, including of taking a case to the International Criminal Court.

The war, which at one point saw 46,000 British troops deployed, mostly in southern Iraq around the strategic oil hub of Basra, still looms large over British politics.

Britain's scarring experience in Iraq has made it deeply wary of committing ground troops to international military interventions in countries like Syria and Libya.

Retired civil servant Chilcot said his report was "an account of an intervention which went badly wrong, with consequences to this day".

In a statement to the House of Commons, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "We cannot turn the clock back but can ensure that lessons are learned and acted on".

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