'Dump Trump': Tens of thousands join global march

'Dump Trump': Tens of thousands join global march
Demonstrators arrive on the National Mall in Washington, DC, for the 'Women's March on Washington' on January 21, 2017 (AFP Photo/Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS)

March for Science protesters hit the streets worldwide

March for Science protesters hit the streets worldwide
Thousands of people in Australia and New Zealand on Saturday kicked off the March for Science, the first of more than 500 marches around the globe in support of scienceThousands of people in Australia and New Zealand on Saturday kicked off the March for Science, the first of more than 500 marches around the globe in support of science

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.)

Hong Kong's grandpa protesters speak softly but carry a stick

Hong Kong's grandpa protesters speak softly but carry a stick
'Grandpa Wong' is a regular sight at Hong Kong's street battles (AFP Photo/VIVEK PRAKASH)
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. …

Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl' statue to stay until 2018

Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl' statue to stay until 2018
The " Fearless Girl " statue on Wall Street is seen by many as a defiant symbol of women's rights under the new administration of President Donald Trump (AFP Photo/ TIMOTHY A. CLARY)

“… The Fall of Many - Seen It Yet?

You are going to see more and more personal secrets being revealed about persons in high places of popularity or government. It will seem like an epidemic of non-integrity! But what is happening is exactly what we have been teaching. The new energy has light that will expose the darkness of things that are not commensurate with integrity. They have always been there, and they were kept from being seen by many who keep secrets in the dark. Seen the change yet?

In order to get to a more stable future, you will have to go through gyrations of dark and light. What this means is that the dark is going to be revealed and push back at you. It will eventually lose. We told you this. That's what you're here for is to help those around you who don't see an escape from the past. They didn't get their nuclear war, but everything else is going into the dumper anyway. … “

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Shell has paid no tax on Dutch profits for years: Trouw

DutchNews, November 29, 2018

Shell’s technology centre in Amsterdam. Photo: Shell Media Library Shell 

Shell has paid no tax on its profits booked in the Netherlands for years, Trouw reported on Thursday, quoting unnamed company and other sources. 

The company, which earns ‘billions of euros’ on Dutch soil, uses legal deductions to minimise its tax bill here, Trouw said, a claim which the paper says is backed up by an internal document from the Dutch finance ministry. 

Over the past 10 years, Shell’s net profits have ranged from €2bn to €55, most of which is earned abroad. In the Netherlands, the headquarter operations, roadside petrol stations, the Pernis refinery and the Moerdijk chemicals plant added up to net profit of €1.3bn last year. 

NAM, the gas joint venture between Shell and ExxonMobil, is not included in the national book-keeping. 

‘Various sources’ have highlighted two ways in which Shell is able to polish away any corporation taxes, Trouw said. One involves using legal deductions such as interest on loans made to invest abroad. 

The second allows Shell to deduct losses booked abroad, such as on exploration, from the Dutch profits. 

A spokesman for Shell told Trouw it is not true to say the company pays no tax on its profits in the Netherlands. However, he declined to say if this tax is paid by NAM, which does not publish an annual report.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Samsung Electronics apologises for factory cancer cases

Yahoo – AFP, Jung Hawon, 23 November 2018

Samsung Electronics co-president Kim Ki-nam bows as he makes a formal
apology to victims of work-related diseases in Seoul on November 23, 2018

Samsung Electronics apologised Friday to workers who developed cancer after working at some of its factories, finally ending a decade-long dispute at the world's top chipmaker.

The father of a dead 22-year-old worker and the company's co-president Kim Ki-nam signed a formal settlement agreement in Seoul as other disabled ex-employees looked on.

"We sincerely apologise to the workers who suffered from illness and their families," said the firm's co-president Kim Ki-nam. "We have failed to properly manage health risks at our semiconductor and LCD factories."

Samsung Electronics is the world's biggest mobile phone manufacturer and chipmaker and the flagship subsidiary of the Samsung Group, by far the biggest of the family-controlled conglomerates that dominate the South's economy.

Samsung currently operates vast semiconductor production compounds in Suwon as well as the cities of Hwaseong and Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, as well as Xian in China.

Campaign groups say that about 240 people have suffered from work-related illnesses after being employed at Samsung semiconductor and display factories, with around 80 of them -- many of them young women -- dying.

Under a deal announced earlier this month, Samsung Electronics will pay the group's employees compensation of up to 150 million won ($133,000) per case.

It covers 16 types of cancer, some other rare illnesses, miscarriages and congenital diseases suffered by the workers' children. Claimants can have worked at plants as far back as 1984.

The scandal emerged in 2007 when former workers at its semiconductor and display factories in Suwon, south of Seoul, and their families said that staff had been diagnosed or died of various forms of cancer.

A series of rulings and decisions by courts, Seoul's state labour welfare agency and a mediation committee followed over more than 10 years, culminating in Friday's announcement.

Factfile on Samsung Electronics, including profit and smartphone market share

Hwang Sang-ki, who signed the agreement on behalf of the workers and their families, told reporters he was glad to have fulfilled his promise to his daughter, who died of leukaemia in 2007, to prove Samsung was to blame for her death.

But he went on: "The apology honestly was not enough for the families of the victims but we will accept it.

"No amount of apology will be enough to heal all the insults, the pain of industrial injuries and the suffering of losing one's family.

"I cannot forget the pain she and our family went through. Too many people have suffered the same fate."

Trade secret

Little is known about possible connections between the production process in the factories and the workers' illnesses, as Samsung has refused to disclose what specific chemical substances it uses, describing the information as a trade secret.

Hwang and other relatives have sought a court order to compel it to release the details.

"Compensation for industrial injury is important, but what's more important is prevention," said Hwang, whose story was made into a movie in 2013.

Samsung has played a key part in the South's rise to become the world's 11th-largest economy, but it is also the focus of resentment over the power and influence of the chaebols and has faced accusations of murky political connections.

Its de facto leader Lee Jae-yong was found guilty of bribing former president Park Geun-hye as part of the corruption scandal that brought her down, and he spent almost a year in prison before most of his convictions were overturned on appeal and he was released.

The cancer scandal is one of the worst instances of industrial injuries in the South, where safety standards sometimes belie its advanced technological status.

Two months ago, two subcontractors were killed in a carbon dioxide leak at Samsung Electronics' Suwon chip plant.

In January, four workers suffocated due to a gas leak at a steel factory owned by Posco -- the country's top steelmaker -- in the southern city of Pohang.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Dolce & Gabbana say sorry, in Chinese, after race row

Yahoo – AFP, Elizabeth LAW, 23 November 2018

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana issued a written apology on Weibo after a
video was posted on their company's Instagram feed that some deemed
culturally insensitive to China

The founders of Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana apologised to Chinese customers on Friday as a row over racially offensive posts snowballed, with its products pulled from lucrative Chinese e-commerce platforms.

In an attempt to salvage their reputation in the world's most important luxury market, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana capped a 1 minute 30-second mea culpa by saying "sorry" in Mandarin in a video posted on a Chinese social media platform.

"Our families always taught us to respect different cultures across the world and because of this we want to ask for your forgiveness if we have made mistakes in interpreting yours," said Dolce in Italian.

"We want to say sorry to all Chinese across the world, of which there are many, and we are taking this apology and message very seriously," Gabbana added.

The Chinese-subtitled video -- the company's second apology this week over the row -- was posted on Weibo, the popular Chinese Twitter-like social media platform where they have close to one million followers.

The controversy marks the latest backpedalling by a foreign company for offending Chinese consumers or authorities.

Earlier this year, German automaker Mercedes-Benz apologised for "hurting the feelings" of people in China after its Instagram account quoted Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, seen as a separatist by Beijing. The foreign ministry welcomed the apology.

Under pressure from Beijing, a growing number of international airlines and companies have edited their websites to refer to the self-ruling democratic island of Taiwan as "Taiwan, China" or "Chinese Taipei".

Marriott's website in China was shut down by the authorities for a week earlier this year after a customer questionnaire listed Taiwan, Tibet and Hong Kong as separate countries, prompting the hotel chain to apologise and change the wording.

D&G boycott

Dolce & Gabbana had already issued a written apology on Weibo earlier this week after the scandal prompted Chinese celebrities to boycott a Dolce & Gabbana fashion show in Shanghai, which the company then cancelled.

Protestor Edward Gu targeted the Dolce & Gabbana store in Shanghai 
following the race row

The controversy arose after the brand posted short clips on Instagram showing a Chinese woman eating pizza, spaghetti and a cannoli with chopsticks that some deemed culturally insensitive.

But it escalated after screenshots circulated of an Instagram user's alleged chat with the famously volatile Gabbana, who used five smiling poo emojis to describe China and launched insults at the country and its people.

The company said its account and that of Stefano Gabbana had been hacked and that its legal office was investigating the matter.

Despite the earlier apology, the Italian fashion house's products disappeared from multiple Chinese e-commerce platforms.

A spokeswoman of retail giant Suning.com said they have removed all Dolce & Gabbana products after the incident.

The brands also could not be searched on retail giants Taobao and JD.com. The two companies did not respond to requests for comment.

'Insult' China

A protestor on Thursday targeted the Dolce & Gabbana store in Shanghai, plastering the storefront with the alleged screenshots of Gabbana's conversation.

"Improper comments that insult China from the so-called famous designer of an internationally famous brand have really ruined our mood," said protestor Edward Gu, who claims to work for a modelling and talent agency.

Referring to the cancelled show, he said many models, manufacturers and publicists from around the world worked hard on it but it was now a "wasted effort".

Chinese social media users were unconvinced by the latest apology, with the video garnering over 100,000 comments some three hours after it was posted.

"They're bowing their precious heads to the renminbi (yuan) then," one Weibo user commented on the apology post.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Whistleblowers making their mark on business world

Yahoo – AFP, Valentin BONTEMPS, 22 November 2018

Whistleblowers are increasingly exposing wrongdoing by companies and 
their top managers

UBS, Danske Bank, Cambridge Analytica and now Renault-Nissan: the probe into Carlos Ghosn demonstrates the growing power of whistleblowers as transparency requirements tighten in the corporate world.

Ghosn, who is suspected of having under-reported his income by half between June 2011 to June 2015, was arrested at the beginning of the week by Japanese authorities.

While some information about who pointed the finger at Ghosn is beginning to emerge, the whistleblower's motive remains unclear.

According to Japanese media, the he or she works in Nissan's legal affairs service.

Jenny Corbett, a researcher at the Foundation for Australia-Japan Studies, said "it's unusual because the culture of whistleblowing isn't very well established in Japan".

This, she said, may "suggest there's some kind of internal tensions or struggle for power within the company".

For Patrick Wiedloecher at the French Business Ethics Club, the motivations of the Nissan employee, which could be either personal or political, don't distract from the person's status as a whistleblower -- if the allegations turn out to be true.

"There are many different motivations for whistleblowers. Sometimes they act to defend the common interest, sometimes to protect themselves, sometimes for personal revenge," said the former ethics officer for France's postal service.

He believes it is also part of a much larger phenomenon hitting the business world.

Former UBS Group AG banker Bradley Birkenfeld, who as a whistleblower helped 
US authorities prosecute the Swiss bank for tax fraud

'Tidal wave'

In recent years there have been numerous cases of employees denouncing illegal practices.

A decade ago UBS was stung by one of its American employees denouncing how the Swiss bank helped US citizens evade taxes.

In 2014 whistleblowers provided information on how Luxembourg was providing sweetheart tax deals to multinationals, which allowed them to avoid paying taxes in other countries.

This year, whistleblowers disclosed how Cambridge Analytica misused the personal information of Facebook users and how hundreds of billions of suspect dollars passed through the tiny Estonian branch of Danske Bank.

"There is a tidal wave on the international level" driven by a desire to "battle against an abuse of power" said Nicole-Marie Meyer, who handles anti-corruption affairs at Transparency International France.

"Political and economic leaders are increasing being held to account by citizens," she added.

'Nothing remains hidden'

A study published last year by the Freshfields Bruckaus Deringer law firm that surveyed 2,500 people in the United States, Asia and Europe, found that one out of every two executives had been involved in whistleblowing cases, either by spilling the beans on their own initiative or after being alerted by a whistleblower.

Christopher Wylie blew the whistle on Cambridge Analytica and its abuse
 of Facebook's data privacy provisions

"Today, nothing remains hidden for long -- information circulates very quickly," said Widloecher.

"The market economy is an economy built on confidence. Companies have to inspire confidence or they are at the mercy of their competitors," he added.

A recent study in the Harvard Business Review found that whistleblowers were in fact a sign of a healthy company that had good internal conflict resolution procedures and a desire to reduce risks.

"Companies that more actively use their internal reporting systems can identify and address problems internally before litigation becomes likely," said the study by Stephen Stubben and Kyle Welch.

Their study also found that such companies were also typically more profitable, with fewer lawsuits and less legal settlement amounts.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Under-fire UN environment chief resigns

Yahoo – AFP, November 20, 2018

UN environment chief Erik Solheim resigned after a UN audit exposed huge travel
expenses at a time when the United Nations is struggling with shrinking budgets
(AFP Photo/Fabrice COFFRINI)

United Nations (United States) (AFP) - UN environment chief Erik Solheim resigned on Tuesday after an audit questioning his huge travel expenses triggered an outcry, UN officials said.

The former environment minister of Norway had been at the helm of the Nairobi-based UN Environment Programme (UNEP) since June 2016.

A UN audit found that Solheim had spent nearly $500,000 on travel and that he claimed unjustified expenses at a time when the world body is struggling with shrinking budgets.

His globe-trotting raised accusations that he showed little regard for the environment and efforts to reduce carbon emissions generated by air travel.

Solheim said in a statement that he had received the final report of the audit of his travel expenses on Saturday and that "after deep reflection" had decided to step down.

"As I have maintained throughout this process – I have been and remain - committed to doing what I believe to be in the best interest of UN Environment and the mission we are here to achieve," he said.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric confirmed that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had accepted his resignation. Solheim's last day in the job will be Thursday.

Dujarric said Solheim had been "a leading voice in drawing the world's attention to critical environmental challenges" but he did not specify that the audit findings had led to his resignation.

"The secretary-general is pleased to see that UNEP is committed to implementing the recommendations that are found in the OIOS report on the travel office," he said.

The UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services had questioned the need for such extensive travel by Solheim.

Solheim's resignation comes ahead of crucial talks opening in Poland on December 2 on implementing the Paris climate deal.

UNEP deputy director, Joyce Msuya of Tanzania, will temporarily replace Solheim while Guterres begins a search for a new environment chief.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Auto titan Ghosn under arrest, faces ouster at Nissan

Yahoo – AFP, Natsuko FUKUE, November 19, 2018

Nicknamed "Le Cost Killer", Carlos Ghosn has turned around Nissan and Renault
but now faces arrest (AFP Photo/VANDERLEI ALMEIDA)

Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn faces being fired this week after being arrested in Japan over allegations of financial misconduct, the firm said Monday, in a stunning fall from grace for one of the world's best-known businessmen.

Ghosn's arrest and his likely dismissal from Nissan, as well as possibly from Mitsubishi and Renault, sent shockwaves through the auto industry, where he is a towering figure, credited with turning around several major manufacturers.

Besides being chairman of Nissan, the 64-year-old is also CEO of Renault and leads the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance.

Nissan's board will meet Thursday to decide his fate, and Mitsubishi said it would propose he be dismissed as chairman "promptly." Renault said its board would meet "shortly", after Ghosn was detained over allegations including underreporting his income.

At a hastily organised press conference, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa expressed "despair," but also suggested that Ghosn had accrued too much power and eluded proper oversight.

"Too much authority was given to one person in terms of governance," he told reporters at Nissan's headquarters in Yokohama.

"I have to say that this is a dark side of the Ghosn era which lasted for a long time."

The news of Ghosn's downfall emerged unexpectedly on Monday evening, with local media first reporting he was being questioned by prosecutors and that Nissan's headquarters was being raided.

Shortly afterwards, Nissan said in a statement that it had been investigating Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly for months after a whistleblower report.

French President Emmanuel Macron, seen here with Ghosn at a Renault factory 
visit this month, said his government would be 'extremely vigilant' about the 
automaker's stability (AFP Photo/ludovic MARIN)

"These two gentleman are arrested this evening, that's what I understand," Saikawa said at the press conference.

He said the company had uncovered years of financial misconduct including under-reporting of income and inappropriate personal use of company assets.

Saikawa gave few details about the nature of the improprieties, including refusing to confirm reports that Ghosn under-reported his income by 5 billion yen, or around $44 million, over five years from 2011.

He said an ongoing investigation limited what details could be shared, and refused to be drawn on whether other people were involved, saying only: "These two gentlemen are the masterminds, that is definite."

A Japanese judicial source told AFP that Ghosn could legally be held for up to 23 days but would possibly be freed on bail before then.

News of his arrest caused Renault shares to fall 8.43 percent in Paris trading. The reports emerged after the trading day was over in Tokyo.

The apparent disintegration of Ghosn's career raises questions about the alliance of the three car companies, which the Brazil-born executive was often believed to be holding together personally.

Saikawa insisted "the partnership among the three entities will not be affected by this event," but he was unable to give details on how Renault and Mitsubishi planned to respond, or who might succeed Ghosn.

Ghosn has been regarded as the glue holding together the sprawling alliance 
of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, and questions have been raised in the 
past about how his eventual departure might affect the coalition (AFP
 Photo/Behrouz MEHRI)

'Man of charisma'

French President Emmanuel Macron warned Paris would be "extremely vigilant" about the stability of Renault and the three-firm alliance after Ghosn's arrest. France owns a 15 percent stake in Renault.

Speaking on the sidelines of a eurozone finance ministers' meeting in Brussels, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the government would "do everything as a shareholder represented on Renault's board to ensure operational continuity and stable governance at Renault".

Ghosn's arrest will "rock the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance as he is the keystone of the alliance," said Satoru Takada, an analyst at TIW, a Tokyo-based research and consulting firm.

"He is the man of charisma for the alliance. It is likely to have a negative impact on its brand image," he told AFP.

"It's the future of the alliance that seems in play, because the thing holding it together seemed to be Ghosn himself," said Daniel Larrouturou, a senior executive at investment firm Diamant Bleu Gestion.

The arrest is an astonishing reversal of fortune for Ghosn, often feted for his success at turning around failing companies with hard-nosed tactics that earned him the nickname "Le Cost Killer" in France.

Renault came to the rescue of the then-ailing Japanese automaker Nissan in 1999 and parachuted in Ghosn, who set about slashing costs and jobs in a huge corporate overhaul.

In 2016, Ghosn also took charge at troubled Mitsubishi after Nissan threw it a lifeline, buying a one-third stake for about $2.2 billion as it wrestled with a mileage-cheating scandal that hammered sales.

He is credited with saving Nissan from bankruptcy through measures including closing plants and restructuring, and he has instant name recognition in Japan, where he is a rare high-profile foreign executive.

But he has also faced opposition, including over his pay, with his compensation package at Renault prompting a spat with shareholders and criticism from France's then-economy minister Macron.

In February he was forced to accept a 30 percent pay cut from the 7.25 million euros ($8.3 million) he took home as Renault CEO last year.

Saikawa said he was still thinking through whether Ghosn was "a charismatic figure or a tyrant."

"But looking at the facts he has done what not many other people could have done," he added, referring to Ghosn's overhauls of companies.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

After 'nap-gate', Duterte skips APEC summit dinner

Yahoo – AFP, Ayee Macaraig, November 18, 2018

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's absence from recent diplomatic meetings
has sparked criticism (AFP Photo/Lillian SUWANRUMPHA)

Port Moresby (AFP) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte passed on a gala dinner at a regional summit in Papua New Guinea, days after skipping key meetings in another gathering of world leaders for a "power nap".

Duterte, who has a well-known disdain for stiff diplomatic gatherings, was a no-show Saturday night, sending his trade minister instead to pose with heads of state donning bright yellow and red Papua New Guinean shirts.

His office had initially announced that the mercurial leader was cutting short his trip to Port Moresby even before the main meetings began but on Sunday he did show up at the convention centre.

"This after I loudly and naggingly insisted he stay just one day. ONE DAY, I stressed," Philippine foreign minister Teodoro Locsin tweeted on Sunday.

The absence of the 73-year-old Duterte at diplomatic gatherings has sparked criticism and speculation of ill health, which his spokesman denied, saying the president merely lacked sleep.

Duterte has said previously that he suffers from daily migraines and ailments including Buerger's disease, an illness that affects the veins and the arteries of the limbs, and is usually due to smoking.

On Wednesday, the Philippine leader missed four of the 11 meetings he was slated to attend and a gala dinner in Singapore, which hosted a meeting of Southeast Asian leaders.

Observers have compared him unfavourably with Malaysia's 93-year-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has consistently attended summit meetings saying it was his "duty" to do so.

Commenting on his absence, Duterte said on Thursday: "What's wrong with my nap?"

Asked about the Papua New Guinea dinner, a Philippine official told AFP Duterte "feels constrained by formalities and finds them unproductive and a slight waste of time".

After hosting a regional meeting in the Philippines last year, an exhausted Duterte joked about cancelling another Manila summit saying, "It's true. It's all the same. Nothing changes".

In Port Moresby, Duterte met with Filipinos on Friday night where he sought to explain his absence from summit meetings.

He cited an invitation from Australia to have an "informal breakfast" in Singapore.

"I told my soldiers why would I attend when first of all, I do not eat breakfast. Second, it was informal," Duterte said.

"What will they feed us there, kangaroo?"

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Khashoggi murder: US hits 17 Saudis with sanctions

Yahoo – AFP, November 15, 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was excluded from a list of 17 people
hit with US sanctions over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but two
top aides were on it (AFP Photo/FAYEZ NURELDINE)

Washington (AFP) - The United States on Thursday placed punishing economic sanctions on 17 Saudis allegedly involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, including top aides of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The sanctions were declared after Riyadh's public prosecutor announced that five officials face a possible death sentence in the case but exculpated the prince.

"The Saudi officials we are sanctioning were involved in the abhorrent killing of Jamal Khashoggi. These individuals who targeted and brutally killed a journalist who resided and worked in the United States must face consequences for their actions," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The sanctions came amid widespread anger among Saudi allies over the killing and dismemberment of Khashoggi on October 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Khashoggi, 59, was a veteran Saudi journalist who wrote for the Washington Post and other international media. He had become one of the leading public critics of Prince Mohammed, whose father is the Saudi king.

The 17 included Saud Al-Qahtani and Maher Mutreb, key aides of the powerful prince, and Mohammed Alotaibi, who was the consul general in the Istanbul consulate when Khashoggi was murdered.

The US Treasury said Qahtani, Prince Mohammed's long-time right-hand man, "was part of the planning and execution of the operation" to kill Khashoggi.

But it did not point any fingers at Prince Mohammed, who the Saudi government has insisted did not order the killing.

The sanctions, which fall under the US Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, freeze any assets those blacklisted have under US jurisdiction, and forbid Americans and US companies from doing business with them.

Under heavy pressure from the United States, Britain, France and Turkey, Riyadh has admitted that Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate and said it would punish those involved.

Earlier Thursday the state prosecutor's office announced that 21 individuals had been taken into custody and charges set against 11 of them.

Five of them face possible execution for the murder, according to the prosecutor.

Mnuchin said Washington would persist in pressuring Riyadh for justice in the case.

"The United States continues to diligently work to ascertain all of the facts and will hold accountable each of those we find responsible in order to achieve justice for Khashoggi's fiancée, children, and the family he leaves behind," he said in a statement.

"The Government of Saudi Arabia must take appropriate steps to end any targeting of political dissidents or journalists."

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Israel defence minister quits after ceasefire, government in turmoil

Yahoo – AFP, Jonah Mandel, November 14, 2018

Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman plunges the Israeli government into turmoil
by announcing he is resigning over a ceasefire deal with Palestinian militants in
Gaza that he describes as "capitulating to terror" (AFP Photo/Menahem KAHANA)

Jerusalem (AFP) - Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced his resignation on Wednesday and called for early elections after a sharp disagreement over a Gaza ceasefire deal, throwing the government into turmoil.

Lieberman also said his party was quitting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition, leaving the premier with only a one-seat majority in parliament.

Elections are not due until November 2019, but Lieberman's resignation increases the likelihood of an earlier vote.

"What happened yesterday -- the truce combined with the process with Hamas -- is capitulating to terror," Lieberman told journalists in explaining his reasons for resigning.

"What we're doing now as a state is buying short-term quiet, with the price being severe long-term damage to national security."

He added later: "We should agree on a date for elections as early as possible."

Netanyahu has defended Tuesday's ceasefire deal that ended the worst escalation between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza since a 2014 war.

An official from Netanyahu's Likud party hit back at speculation that early elections would be called and said the prime minister would take charge of Lieberman's portfolio at least temporarily.

"There's no obligation to go to an election in this time of security sensitivity," the official said on condition of anonymity.

Palestinian demonstrators burn pictures of Israel's outgoing defence minister 
Avigdor Lieberman in Gaza on November 14, 2018 (AFP Photo/MAHMUD HAMS)

A Likud spokesman said later in the day that Netanyahu had begun consultations with heads of parties in his coalition to stabilise it.

The party of far-right Education Minister Naftali Bennett, a Netanyahu rival, was threatening to withdraw from the coalition if he was not given the defence portfolio.

'Begged for ceasefire'

Lieberman, a security hardliner, heads the right-wing Yisrael Beitenu party, which holds five seats in the 120-seat parliament, the Knesset.

Before taking over as defence minister, he said he would give Hamas leader Ismail Haniya 48 hours to hand over two detained Israeli civilians and the bodies of soldiers killed in the 2014 war "or you're dead".

He later backed off and said he was committed to "responsible, reasonable policy".

The ceasefire held on Wednesday, but Netanyahu was seeking to combat criticism of the decision.

Palestinians inspect a crater on November 14, 2018 caused by an Israeli airstrike 
in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip (AFP Photo/SAID KHATIB)

Beyond Lieberman's resignation, several hundred Israelis living near the border with Gaza protested on Tuesday night to call for further action against its Islamist rulers Hamas.

Netanyahu defended his strategy and said: "Our enemies begged for a ceasefire.

"In times of emergency, when making decisions crucial to security, the public can't always be privy to the considerations that must be hidden from the enemy," he said at a ceremony on Wednesday.

Hamas portrayed the ceasefire as a victory and thousands of residents of the blockaded enclave took to the streets late Tuesday to celebrate.

On Wednesday, Gazan demonstrators burned pictures of Lieberman and sweets were handed out in the streets, while Hamas called his resignation a "victory."

The Egyptian-brokered truce was announced by Gaza militant groups, including Hamas, on Tuesday.

A diplomatic source familiar with the agreement said it involved returning to arrangements put in place following the 2014 war, but warned: "The situation remains very precarious and can blow up again.

Palestinians clear rubble on November 14, 2018 in a building damaged by an
Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip (AFP Photo/MAHMUD HAMS)

"What we have seen in the past 48 hours was very dangerous and no efforts should be spared to avoid similar flare-ups."

Blown covert operation

The violence saw seven Gazans killed in 24 hours as Israeli strikes targeted militants and flattened buildings, sending fireballs and plumes of smoke into the sky.

Sirens wailed in southern Israel as militants unleashed barrages of rocket and mortar fire, sending residents rushing to shelters.

Around 460 rockets and mortar rounds were fired at Israel, the most ever in such a brief time period, the army said.

An anti-tank missile hit a bus near the Gaza border that Hamas says was being used by Israel's army. An Israeli soldier was severely wounded.

In all, some 27 Israelis were wounded, three of them severely.

Seven Gazans were killed in 24 hours as Israeli strikes targeted militants and 
flattened buildings, and the territory's Islamist rulers Hamas hailed the ceaefire 
as a victory (AFP Photo/Mahmud Hams)

A Palestinian labourer from the occupied West Bank was killed when a rocket hit a building in the Israeli city of Ashkelon.

The violence had begun on Sunday with a botched Israeli special forces operation inside the Gaza Strip that turned deadly and prompted Hamas to vow revenge.

The clash that resulted from the blown operation killed seven Palestinian militants, including a local Hamas military commander, as well as an Israeli army officer.

This week's escalation came despite Netanyahu's decision to allow Qatar to transfer millions of dollars in aid to Gaza for salaries as well as fuel to ease a chronic electricity shortage.

The agreements had led to calmer protests along the border after months of deadly unrest.

But those cash transfers also drew criticism from Netanyahu's own government, and Lieberman slammed them in announcing his resignation.

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“… What have we told you about the bridge? Actually, not much except that in crossing the bridge, the old energy ones were not going to like it. Old energy does not want you to escape! Old energy doesn't want you to cross the bridge because it can't cross. Did you know that? It can't cross. The old paradigms of Human nature that you've known all of these millenniums have to stay on the old side of the bridge. It cannot cross, for the bridge rejects all that is not in love, compassion and light. Those things that are dark, including Human nature of the past, will not be able to go. But the ones I speak to right now are already on the bridge. That was your design, old soul, and those are the words that are ringing in your ears to this day and the ones given at the wind of birth, that this might happen in your lifetime. So what's going to happen next?


Let us talk about the swords: When you hear the word sword, the first thing that occurs to you is battle. The Bridge of Swords is a battle and we told you that as well. Swords are metaphoric and they mean many things, so let us describe the things we mean them to say to you.

Number one: They are indeed a weapon in a battle. There is a battle coming. "Kryon, does that mean there's going to be a war?" Potentially, yes. Right now we will tell you that the Middle East cooks itself. You've noticed, haven't you? What do you know about the Middle East, dear one? Let's start examining things for a moment. What energy did you grow up in? What was the energy of the Middle East? In the '40s, what was the energy? With the establishment of the state of Israel, you built a wall of hate, both sides. The wall was so thick that the children of both sides were taught to hate one another as soon as they were able to understand the language. They were told who their enemies were. Now, where were you then?

Some of you weren't here yet. By the time you arrived, in your youth, were you aware of the Middle East? Not particularly. "What's the hatred about?" you might ask. What if I told you it's about a family feud? Two sons of a Jewish master are involved. One founded the Arabs and one remained a Jew. They don't want to hear this, but they are all Jews. (Don't tell them this.)

If you look at the lineage, it's pretty obvious and yet it's a complete and total set-up for either solution or war. The set-up would have this world ending in a conflagration that would have been brought about by this hatred. That's in the prophecy of Nostradamus and your scripture, but it is no longer the prophecy of the planet. Yet the hatred still exists. The hatred is as great today as it was then, but where was all the terrorism 40 years ago? It was isolated.

Those in Israel and Palestine and surrounding areas took the brunt of it, but now it's seemingly everywhere - and you're worried. Why would this be? The answer is that the old energy was happy to have this hatred contained, for it would keep it going and never involve outsiders. Outsiders tend to bring unwanted light to the party. Suddenly, the whole earth is involved and can see the entire scenario before them. The old guard wants war, just like all the eons before them. The ones on the bridge are holding the light and showing the earth how to cross. Even many younger ones in Israel and Palestine and Iran are holding light! It's all around the old guard and they are furious, for they are losing the "battle of hatred." …

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / CreatorReligions/Spiritual systems  (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it),  Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse),  Illuminati (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)

“.   New Tolerance

Look for a softening of finger pointing and an awakening of new tolerance. There will remain many systems for different cultures, as traditions and history are important to sustaining the integrity of culture. So there are many in the Middle East who would follow the prophet and they will continue, but with an increase of awareness. It will be the increase of awareness of what the prophet really wanted all along - unity and tolerance. The angel in the cave instructed him to "unify the tribes and give them the God of Israel." You're going to start seeing a softening of intolerance and the beginning of a new way of being.

Eventually, this will create an acknowledgement that says, "You may not believe the way we believe, but we honor you and your God. We honor our prophet and we will love you according to his teachings. We don't have to agree in order to love." How would you like that? The earth is not going to turn into one belief system. It never will, for Humans don't do that. There must be variety, and there must be the beauty of cultural differences. But the systems will slowly update themselves with increased awareness of the truth of a new kind of balance. So that's the first thing. Watch for these changes, dear ones. ...."