'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.)


.
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, January 31, 2019

Tilburg slammed for job scheme exposing people to poisonous paint

DutchNews, January 31, 2019

 An example of a Chromium 6 compound: Photo: BXXXD via Wikimedia Commons

A committee investigating the exposure of over 800 long-term jobless people to the highly toxic chromium 6 paint in a Tilburg workshop says Tilburg council, the Dutch rail museum and NS subsidiary NedTrain are responsible for the damage done to their health. 

The committee has recommended Tilburg local council take the lead in compensating the affected workers who were all unemployed and were taking part in a reintegration project which ran between 2004 and 2011. They were put to work in a workshop in Tilburg where they had to remove paint from old trains destined for the rail museum. 

The paint contained chromium 6 which can cause cancer. They were not told of the risks and did not wear protective clothing or masks

Some 70 people who have fallen ill have since started legal procedures against Tilburg local council, broadcaster NOS reports. 

At a press conference on Thursday, committee chairman Peter van der Velden said that all three parties had been negligent and called the lack of information given to workers about the toxicity of chromium 6 ‘shocking’. He also slated the lack of a reaction when worried workers expressed their concern.

‘This is a big fail. It is possible that people have fallen ill because of exposure to chromium 6 and more may fall ill in the future. We cannot guarantee they won’t and that is a very painful conclusion,’ he told the press. 

Tilburg mayor Theo Weterings said the report was a ‘tough indictment’ and said ‘it shouldn’t have happened this way’. The council will be putting together a compensation package next week when it has studied the report, NOS reports. 

The findings may also have ramifications for an investigation started in November by the public prosecutor’s office into the events in the Tilburg work

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

EU fines Mastercard 570 mln euros in anti-trust action

Yahoo – AFP, January 22, 2019

After Visa, Mastercard is the second largest credit card issuer in the European
market (AFP Photo)

Brussels (AFP) - The European Union has fined global credit card giant Mastercard 570 million euros ($647 million) for limiting competition between banks offering cheaper payment fees.

"By preventing merchants from shopping around for better conditions offered by banks in other member states, Mastercard's rules artificially raised the costs of card payments, harming consumers and retailers," EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

After Visa, Mastercard is the second largest credit card issuer in the European market. It has been the subject of an EU anti-trust investigation since April 2013, and has cooperated with the probe.

When a customer pays a retailer with a credit card, the store's bank pays a fee to the cardholder's bank.

The retailer's bank passes on this fee to the store, which increases costs for customers.

Prior to 2015, the level of these "interchange fees" varied widely across Europe, but Mastercard's rules at the time obliged banks receiving card payments to apply the fee set in their home country.

"This led to higher prices for retailers and consumers, to limited cross-border competition and to an artificial segmentation of the single market," the EU Commission said in a statement.

"On this basis, the Commission concluded that Mastercard's rules prevented retailers from benefitting from lower fees and restricted competition between banks cross border, in breach of EU antitrust rules.

"The infringement ended when Mastercard amended its rules in view of the entry into force of the Interchange Fee Regulation."

The fine would have been higher, but Brussels reduced it by 10 percent to thank Mastercard for cooperating.

The company did not dispute the fine.

"This decision relates to historic practices only, covers a limited period of time of less than two years and will not require any modification of Mastercard's current business practices," it said.

"Mastercard sees the closure of this anti-trust chapter as an important milestone for the company," it added.

Ronaldo avoids jail but hit by hefty fine for tax fraud in Spain

Yahoo – AFP, Diego URDANETA, Jan 22, 2019

Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at the court in Madrid with girlfriend Georgina
Rodriguez (AFP Photo/PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU)

Madrid (AFP) - Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo avoided jail on Tuesday but was ordered by a Spanish court to pay 3.57 million euros ($4.1 million) for committing tax fraud when at Real Madrid, part of a broader 18.8-million-euro payout.

Sporting sunglasses and a smile, accompanied by his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez, Ronaldo arrived at the court in northeastern Madrid for a brief hearing.

He was handed a two-year jail sentence immediately reduced to a fine of 365,000 euros and another penalty of 3.2 million euros, according to the sentence.

Accused of having avoided paying 5.7 million euros in taxes due on his image rights between 2011 and 2014, Ronaldo has already paid the taxman 6.7 million euros for what he owed plus interest, the sentence read.

That -- plus the court fine -- comes to more than 10 million euros.

In June, the player's lawyers and Spain's taxman came to an agreement that Ronaldo would pay a grand total of 18.8 million euros.

Ronaldo grinned and signed autographs outside the court (AFP Photo/
OSCAR DEL POZO)

That amount was not mentioned in the sentence but a source at the court, who refused to be named, said Ronaldo would have to pay 18.8 million euros in total, giving no further details.

Contacted by AFP, tax authorities, prosecutors and lawyers representing Ronaldo refused to provide any information.

It is unclear whether the remaining amount is a separate administrative fine.

'Very well'

"I am very well," the five-time Ballon d'Or winner told the crowd of reporters gathered outside of the court as he left the hearing. He signed a few autographs before leaving in a black van.

The court refused the player's request to appear by video or to enter the building by car to avoid the spotlight.

Ronaldo, who last year joined Italian champions Juventus, smiled broadly as he arrived at the court dressed in black trousers, a black turtleneck and dark sunglasses, holding hands with Rodriguez.

Ronaldo's tax troubles come from his time at Real Madrid, where he won two 
league titles and four Champions Leagues (AFP Photo/GABRIEL BOUYS)

Police officers escorted him.

He had played for Juventus on Monday night, missing a penalty as the Italian league leaders eased past bottom club Chievo 3-0.

Offshore companies

Madrid prosecutors opened an investigation into Ronaldo in June 2017 and he was questioned in July that same year.

"I have never hidden anything, nor have I had the intention of evading taxes," he told the court then, according to a statement from the sports agency which represents him, Gestifute.

Prosecutors accused Ronaldo of having used companies in low-tax foreign jurisdictions -- notably the British Virgin Islands and Ireland -- to avoid paying the tax due in Spain on payments for his image rights between 2011 and 2014.

Ronaldo's former Real Madrid teammate Xabi Alonso 
was also in court in Madrid on tax evasion charges
(AFP Photo/PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU)

His lawyers argued there had been a difference in interpretation of what was and was not taxable in Spain, and deny any deliberate attempt to evade tax.

But under the deal between Spain's tax authorities and his lawyers, Ronaldo pleaded guilty to four counts of tax fraud.

Ronaldo is one of several footballers to have fallen foul of Spain's tax authorities in recent years.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi, once Ronaldo's big La Liga rival, paid a two-million-euro fine in 2016 in his own tax wrangle and received a 21-month jail term.

The prison sentence was later reduced to a further fine of 252,000 euros, equivalent to 400 euros per day of the original term.

Alonso faces trial

Ronaldo's former Real Madrid team-mate Xabi Alonso appeared at the same Madrid court on Tuesday, for the first time, on a separate tax evasion charge.

Public prosecutors are seeking a five-year jail sentence and a fine of four million euros.

The trial was suspended while the court considers whether it has jurisdiction to hear the case.

Ronaldo and Rodriguez left court after the star was sentenced. (AFP Photo/
OSCAR DEL POZO)

"I never hid anything, I have to defend myself," Alonso, 37, told reporters as he left the court.

Ronaldo is also facing accusations in the United States where a former American model accused him of raping her in Las Vegas in 2009.

Police in the US city recently asked Italian authorities for a DNA sample from the footballer.

Ronaldo has always denied the accusations.

In a New Year's Eve interview with Portuguese sports daily Record, he said he had a "calm conscience" and was "confident that everything will very soon be clarified".

Related Article:


Sunday, January 20, 2019

UK's Prince Philip, 97, back driving - without seatbelt

Yahoo – AFP, 20 January 2019

Britain's Prince Philip has been photographed behind the wheel days after
surviving a car crash in Norfolk

Britain's Prince Philip has been spoken to by the police for driving without a seatbelt -- just two days after the 97-year-old was involved in a car crash.

Images published in Sunday newspapers appeared to show him behind the wheel of a replacement Land Rover Freelander on his wife Queen Elizabeth II's private Sandringham estate on Saturday.

A Norfolk Constabulary spokeswoman said the force was aware of the photographs and that "suitable words of advice have been given to the driver".

The advice was "in line with our standard response when being made aware of such images showing this type of offence."

Meanwhile, a woman who broke her wrist in Thursday's crash near the royal country residence in Norfolk, eastern England, has reportedly complained about not receiving an apology from the Prince.

"I'm lucky to be alive and he hasn't even said sorry. It has been such a traumatic and painful time and I would have expected more of the Royal Family," Emma Fairweather, a passenger in the Kia which collided with the Prince's Land Rover, told the Sunday Mirror.

A police family liaison officer however did call to pass on a message to Emma, who was in the vehicle with a friend and her nine-month-old baby, she said.

"The message he passed on didn't even make sense. He said, 'The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh would like to be remembered to you.' That's not an apology or even a well-wish," she added.

The crash, which left the Prince's Land Rover on its side, happened as the royal patriarch pulled out of a side road onto a busy main road.

The prince walked away from Thursday's crash shaken but uninjured, according to a passer-by who helped him out of the vehicle.

The driver of the Kia sustained cuts to the knee.

In a statement on Friday, Norfolk Constabulary said: "As is standard procedure with injury collisions, the incident will be investigated and any appropriate action taken."

Philip, known for his forthright manner and off-colour jokes, retired from public life in 2017 and underwent a hip replacement operation last April.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Sony Music drops US singer R. Kelly: reports

Yahoo – AFP, January 18, 2019

R&B star R. Kelly, pictured in 2013, has seen his reputation more and more
seriously hard hit over allegations of sexual abuse (AFP Photo/Jason Merritt)

New York (AFP) - Sony Music has called it quits with embattled singer R. Kelly, ending his contract with subsidiary RCA after a documentary aired accusing him of repeated cases of sexual abuse, media reports said Friday.

While Variety and Billboard reported the breakup, Sony Music did not immediately confirm it when contacted by AFP.

One woman who sued R. Kelly, accusing him of sexual battery, knowingly infecting her with a sexually transmitted disease and false imprisonment, also says he has threatened her.

Women's rights attorney Gloria Allred told reporters on Monday that her client Faith Rodgers, 20, faced "efforts to intimidate and retaliate" from Kelly after she filed the lawsuit now pending in New York's Supreme Court.

And just after Rodgers testified in the documentary "Surviving R. Kelly" that aired this month, her lawyers say Kelly and his team created a Facebook page -- which the social media giant removed within hours -- seeking to discredit accusers including Rodgers, posting "private" photos of her.

But the singer of "I Believe I Can Fly" fame -- who recently announced a new album -- has seen his reputation more and more seriously hard hit.

Calls for a boycott gathered pace in some measure thanks to the #MeToo and Time's Up movements and via the #MuteRKelly hashtag on Twitter.

Spotify announced in May it would drop the singer from its curated "playlists."

The last straw was the broadcast in early January of "Surviving R. Kelly," a documentary in which several women accused the singer and producer, 52, of having sex with girls under the age of 16, and of having surrounded themselves with women whom he made sex slaves.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Prosecutors to decide if Nashville anti-gay charter breaches Dutch law

DutchNews, January 7, 2019 - Gordon Darroch

Kees van der Staaij is leader of the SGP party. Photo: Peter Hilz/ HH

The prosecution service is examining whether the Nashville Statement on marriage and sexuality breaches the law after a recent Dutch translation was condemned by equality organisations. 

The document, signed by around 250 hardline Protestant ministers, states that marriage is the ‘covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman’ and that ‘it it is sinful to approve of homosexual impurity or transgenderism.’ 

A spokesman for the public prosecution service said it was examining the statement to see if there was any basis for a criminal investigation. The service gave no indication how long the study might take. 

Article 1 of the Dutch constitution states that ‘discrimination on the grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race or sex or on any other grounds whatsoever shall not be permitted.’ 

One of the signatories to the Nashville Statement is MP Kees van der Staaij, leader of the testimonial party SGP which has two seats in parliament and draws most of its support from the Dutch bible belt. On Monday he said he supported ‘Biblical notions of marriage, family and sexuality’, but refused to elaborate further. 

Opera singer Francis van Broekhuizen has filed a formal police complaint against Van der Staaij, the first step towards prosecution. Van Broekhuizen, who is a Pride Ambassador, told NPO Radio 4: ‘The whole pamphlet is a call to renew discrimination against LHBTI people. I feel really hurt and very sad.’ 

Emancipation minister Ingrid van Engelshoven described the emergence of a Dutch version of the Nashville Statement as a ‘step back in time’ and evidence that ’emancipation is still a long way off.’ 

‘Dangerous’ 

Around 200,000 people in the US have signed the English version of the statement since it went live in 2017. 

Dutch gay and transgender rights campaign group COC has said the statement is putting ‘LHBTIs back in the closet’. 

‘This statement gives the impression that gay feelings can be changed but dozens of research projects have show that homosexuality cannot be changed with treatment and therapies, and that such treatments are downright dangerous,’ the organisation said. 

Last year, research by the government’s socio-cultural think-tank SCP said members of the Protestant churches are among the least likely in society to accept homosexuality, with 16% saying they are negative about the LHBT community. 

The SGP believes the Netherlands should be governed ‘entirely on the basis of the ordinances of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures’. The party won 2.1% of the vote in the 2017 general election.

Related Articles:



"The Akashic Circle" – Jul 17, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: Religion, The Humanization of GodBenevolent Design, DNA, Akashic Circle, (Old) Souls, Gaia, Indigenous People, Talents, Reincarnation, Genders, Gender Switches, In “between” Gender Change, Gender Confusion, Shift of Human Consciousness, Global Unity,..... etc.)  - (Text version)

“… Gender Switching

Old souls, let me tell you something. If you are old enough, and many of you are, you have been everything. Do you hear me? All of you. You have been both genders. All of you have been what I will call between genders, and that means that all of you have had gender switches. Do you know what happens when it's time for you to switch a gender? We have discussed it before. You'll have dozens of lifetimes as the same gender. You're used to it. It's comfortable. You cannot conceive of being anything else, yet now it's time to change. It takes approximately three lifetimes for you to get used to it, and in those three lifetimes, you will have what I call "gender confusion."

It isn't confusion at all. It's absolutely normal, yet society often will see it as abnormal. I'm sitting here telling you you've all been through it. All of you. That's what old souls do. It's part of the system. …”


"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. ...."

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Saudi woman held at Bangkok airport says fears death if repatriated

Yahoo – AFP, 6 January 2019

Rahaf told AFP she was stopped by Saudi and Kuwaiti officials when she
arrived in Suvarnabhumi airport

A Saudi woman held at Bangkok airport said she would be killed if she was repatriated by Thai immigration officials, who confirmed the 18-year-old was denied entry to the country Sunday.

Rahaf Mohammed M Alqunun told AFP she was stopped by Saudi and Kuwaiti officials when she arrived in Suvarnabhumi airport and her travel document was forcibly taken from her, a claim backed by Human Rights Watch.

"They took my passport," she told AFP, adding that her male guardian had reported her for traveling "without his permission".

Rahaf said she was trying to flee her family, who subjected her to physical and psychological abuse.

"My family is strict and locked me in a room for six months just for cutting my hair," she said, adding that she is certain she will be imprisoned if she is sent back.

"I'm sure 100 percent they will kill me as soon as I get out of the Saudi jail," she said, adding that she was "scared" and "losing hope".

Rahaf was stopped from entering Thailand when she flew in from Kuwait on Sunday, Thailand's immigration chief Surachate Hakparn told AFP.

"She had no further documents such as return ticket or money," he said, adding that Rahaf was currently in an airport hotel.

"She ran away from her family to avoid marriage and she is concerned she may be in trouble returning to Saudi Arabia. We sent officials to take care of her now," he said.

He added that Thai authorities had contacted the "Saudi Arabia embassy to coordinate".

But Rahaf disputed his account, saying that she was in transit to seek asylum in Australia, where she claimed to have a visa, and was accosted by Saudi and Kuwaiti embassy representatives when she deplaned in Suvarnabhumi airport.

Human Rights Watch Asia deputy director Phil Robertson decried the actions of the Thai authorities.

"What country allows diplomats to wander around the closed section of the airport and seize the passports of the passengers?" he said, adding that there is "impunity" within the family unit in Saudi Arabia to abuse women.

Immigration head Surachate said Rahaf would be sent back to Saudi Arabia by Monday morning.

"It's a family problem," he said of the case.

Another Saudi woman, Dina Ali Lasloom, was stopped in transit in the Philippines in April 2017 when she attempted to flee her family.

An airline security official told activists that Lasloom was heard "screaming and begging for help" as men carried her "with duct tape on her mouth, feet and hands" at the airport.

The Saudi embassy in Thailand and officials in Riyadh could not be reached for immediate comment.


Saturday, January 5, 2019

One year on, Time's Up movement has taken shape, but more to do

France24 – AFP, 5 January 2019

Oprah Winfrey's speech at the Golden Globes in January 2018 helped galvanize
the fledgling Time's Up movement to combat sexual harassment, which had been
launched just a week before Oprah Winfrey's speech at the Golden Globes in
January 2018 helped galvanize the fledgling Time's Up movement to combat
sexual harassment, which had been launched just a week before AFP/File

The Time's Up movement against sexual harassment, founded a year ago, has made tangible progress in the world of showbiz and beyond -- by fostering solidarity and encouraging women to speak out -- but the road ahead is indeed long.

On January 1, 2018, more than 300 top women in Hollywood unveiled a manifesto for change, with the goal of "shifting our society's perception and treatment of women," from film sets to farms to auto plants.

Tinseltown's A-listers followed that up with a strong sartorial statement to raise the awareness on the Golden Globes red carpet -- the women wore black to drive home the message.

But for Lisa Borders, the current president and CEO of Time's Up, the real shift came later that night when Oprah Winfrey took the stage to accept a lifetime achievement award.

"For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men," Winfrey said to a standing ovation and even some tears in the audience.

"So I want all the girls watching here now to know that a new day is on the horizon."

For Borders, "that was a clarion call."

"I consider this the civil rights movement of the 21st century," she said this week in an interview with Marie Claire magazine.

'Better' than a year ago

As the Golden Globes approach once again on Sunday, what exactly has changed in a year?

Time's Up has raised more than $22 million for its legal defense fund, which has already helped more than 4,000 women and men who have reported sexual harassment in the workplace.

"At a public awareness perspective, we are better than we were a year ago," says Ellen Kossek, a professor of management at Purdue University, citing the number of high-powered men who have been fired over their behavior.

In the entertainment industry, several top-level scandals over equal pay (Claire Foy making less than her co-star on "The Crown," for one) have fueled the debate on workplace discrimination of all kinds.

According to a survey by the Center for Study of Women in Television and Film, the proportion of women working behind the camera increased by two percentage points in 2018 -- but still is at only 20 percent.

Time's Up, honoring its mission to look past Hollywood, has given $750,000 to several grassroots organizations including the Alianza Nacional De Campesinas (National Farmworkers Women's Alliance).

"There's a lot more potential when you have the resources," Mily Trevino-Sauceda, the Alianza's executive director and co-founder, told AFP.

Thanks to the attention generated by Time's Up, her group raised more than $1 million in the past year, after years of toiling with little to no money.

The Alianza can now hire its first full-time staffers and work more closely with farm workers who are sexually abused by their employers.

"We still have very stubborn companies that think that women are the ones causing the problem," says Trevino-Sauceda, who says she suffered abuse and harassment herself multiple times.

"But we do have certain companies that are looking at getting their supervisors, crew leaders, foremen trained on the subject but because they're afraid."

Kossek says in all sectors, "a lot of companies now are hiring consultants for sexual harassment training," but there is work to be done on evaluating the effectiveness of that training.

'Collective power'

Even if workplace behavior is slow to evolve, the Time's Up initiative -- combined with the #MeToo movement -- has freed up women to speak up.

"The women are more willing to speak out, to do interviews -- not necessarily that they want their faces to be shown but sharing their stories because they know it can help others," says Trevino-Sauceda.

For Monica Ramirez, the gender justice campaigns director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), Time's Up has unleashed a vital public conversation.

"It's the collective power, the collective voice that really has empowered people to begin to talk about what they have experienced," Ramirez told AFP.

"It's something like I have never seen before."

Ramirez says sexual harassment and gender equality are inextricably linked.

"We know that women workers experience different kinds of discrimination in addition to sexual harassment," she says.

The Time's Up battle cry has made it to Capitol Hill, where workers' associations are fiercely lobbying lawmakers.

"This last year, what helped was that more and more organizations starting talking about how can we collaborate," Trevino-Sauceda says.

"It's not just how can we share, but how can we partner and collaborate."

The NDWA is looking ahead to this year's planned introduction of a bill that would reinforce the rights of domestic workers.

One of the main sponsors is Democratic Senator Kamala Harris -- a possible presidential candidate in 2020.

"Prior to the past year, I don't think that there was a public conversation about the fact that there are domestic workers across this country who are currently denied the same protection as other workers," Ramirez says.

She is hopeful that the new Congress, which has a record number of women, will help forward the Time's Up movement.

"For many of us, the hope is that having more women elected, there will be positive progress for women and girls across the United States," Ramirez says.

Bristol-Myers to face suit over US syphilis experiment in Guatemala

Yahoo – AFP, January 5, 2019

Bristol-Myers Squibb is among those ordered by a US judge to face a $1 billion
lawsuit launched in 2015 by 774 Guatemalan victims and relatives over an expriment
in 1940s which aimed to find out if penicillin could be used to prevent STDs (AFP
Photo/GEORGES GOBET)

Washington (AFP) - A US federal judge has ruled pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johns Hopkins University and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a 1940s medical experiment that saw hundreds of Guatemalans infected with syphilis.

774 Guatemalan victims and relatives in 2015 launched a civil suit over the US-led experiment, which aimed to find out if penicillin could be used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

They claimed the experiment "subjected them or their family members to medical experiments in Guatemala without their knowledge or consent during the 1940s and 1950s."

US District Judge Theodore Chuang rejected arguments from the defense that a recent Supreme Court decision protecting foreign companies from US lawsuits over human rights abuses abroad also applied to domestic firms.

The judge said allowing the case to move forward would "promote harmony" by giving the foreign plaintiffs the opportunity to seek justice in US courts.

The unethical experiment was revealed by Doctor Susan Reverby, a professor at Wellesley College in the US.

She came across the work while researching notes left by John Charles Cutler, a public health services sexual disease specialist who headed up the experiment, following his death in 2003.

Cutler and his fellow researchers enrolled soldiers, mental patients, prostitutes, convicts and others in Guatemala for the study.

Former US president Barack Obama apologized for the experiments in 2010, while his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the experiments as "clearly unethical."

Indian court declares tycoon Mallya a 'fugitive economic offender'

Yahoo – AFP, 5 January 2019

A British court in December ruled Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya can be extradited to his
homeland to face fraud charges, although Mallya has challenged the London court order

Billionaire tycoon Vijay Mallya was declared a "fugitive economic offender" by an Indian court Saturday, the first businessman to be indicted under the country's new anti-money laundering law.

The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act approved in August targets suspects who flee abroad or ignore warrants, and allows the government to confiscate assets of those accused of financial frauds and crimes.

The new law enables authorities to charge suspects if the case involves at least one billion rupees ($14 million).

The special court in Mumbai declared Mallya an economic fugitive following a request by India's financial fraud police that is investigating money laundering charges against him.

The court is also due to hear another prosecution plea to seize Mallya's properties.

The 62-year-old liquor baron fled the country in 2016 after failing to repay state-owned banks more than $1 billion in loans that prosecutors say was diverted to other businesses.

The owner of Kingfisher beer and head of the Force India Formula One team is currently in the United Kingdom.

A British court in December ruled he can be extradited to his homeland to face fraud charges, although Mallya has challenged the London court order.

Mallya was once known as the "King of Good Times" but dropped off India's most wealthy list in 2014, engulfed by Kingfisher Airlines' massive debts.

Known for his lavish lifestyle, Mallya made Kingfisher beer a global brand.

He has been living in a sprawling $15 million mansion in southeast England but has denied absconding and any wrongdoings, instead saying the charges are politically motivated.