'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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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Pope Francis issues sweeping sex abuse legislation

DW, 29 March 2019

At the Vatican, Pope Francis has issued wide-ranging new sex abuse legislation that covers all Vatican personnel as well as those who work for the Vatican diplomatic corps. It aims to be a model for the church globally.

   
Pope Francis issued sweeping new sex abuse legislation on Friday for Vatican personnel and diplomats that requires the immediate reporting of abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors.

For the first time, the law provides an explicit Vatican definition for "vulnerable people," who are entitled to the same protections as minors under church law.

The Vatican amended its canon law covering sex abuse to include "vulnerable adults" in 2010, but never defined it.

It is a policy shift aimed at being a model for the Catholic Church around the world.

While limited in scope, the mandatory reporting provision marks the first time the Vatican has put into law requirements for Catholic officials to report allegations of sex crimes to police or face fines and possible jail time.

Vatican City State

Francis also issued child protection guidelines for Vatican City State and its youth seminary. The move comes after the global sex abuse scandal exploded anew last year, and The Associated Press reported that the headquarters of the Catholic Church had no policy to protect children from predator priests.

While the new legislation only covers Vatican City State, affiliated institutions and the diplomatic corps, they were still symbolically significant and were welcomed by a former seminarian whose case helped spark the reform.

"I see this as something positive," Kamil Jarzembowski told the AP.

Vatican's new definition

According to the new definition from the Vatican, a vulnerable person is anyone who is sick or suffering from a physical or psychiatric deficiency, who isn't able to exercise personal freedom even on occasion and has a limited capacity to understand or resist the crime.

The new legislation applies to all who work in the Vatican

The new law covers all personnel who live and work in the Vatican as well as the Holy See's vast diplomatic corps.

The issue of whether adult seminarians, religious sisters or other adults who are emotionally or financially dependent on clergy can be considered "vulnerable people" has come to the fore in the wake of the scandal over ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a once high-ranking American cleric accused of molesting seminarians, and revelations of priests and bishops sexually preying on nuns.

Vatican ambassadors have figured in some of the most scandalous cases of sex abuse in recent years, with papal representatives accused of groping, distributing child pornography and sexually abusing minors in their far-flung posts.

Current law

The law currently requires any Vatican public official who learns of an allegation of abuse to report it to Vatican prosecutors "without delay." Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to 5,000 euros ($5,615) or, in the case of a Vatican gendarme, up to six months of prison.

The mandatory reporting provision, however, is significant, since the Holy See for decades has justified not having a binding reporting policy for the universal church by arguing that accused clergy could be unfairly persecuted in places where Catholics are a threatened minority. Since that is not a risk in the Vatican, it is now law.

"With this document the Vatican wants to send a message that it takes these crimes seriously, wants to prosecute them, to avoid cover up, and also to create an atmosphere that prevents these crimes from happening in the first place," said Ulrich Rhode, a canon law professor at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University.

The legislation requires that victims be welcomed, listened to and provided with medical, psychological and legal assistance, and sets the statute of limitations at 20 years past the victim's 18th birthday.

In a statement accompanying the new law, the Vatican's editorial director, Andrea Tornielli, said while very few children actually live in the Vatican City State, Francis decided to make the legislation and accompanying guidelines a model.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Church in Canada opens probe of child sexual abuse by clergy

Yahoo – AFP, March 27, 2019

A former Quebec superior court judge will assess "the number and the nature" of
allegations of sexual abuse of children against clergy members going back to 1950
(AFP Photo/ANNE LEVASSEUR)

Montreal (AFP) - The Catholic Church in Quebec has commissioned a former judge to investigate possible sexual abuse of children by clergy in the Canadian province over seven decades, the archdiocese of Montreal said Wednesday.

Former Quebec superior court judge Anne-Marie Trajan will assess "the number and the nature" of such allegations against clergy members going back to 1950, the archdiocese said in a statement.

It said the investigation was "inspired" by similar probes of clergy sexual abuse elsewhere in the world, which have uncovered hundreds of previously unacknowledged cases.

"We all wish to prioritize transparency and to get to the bottom of things in the search for truth," Montreal Archbishop Christian Lepine said.

Trajan has been assured access to all pertinent church archives and the results of the investigation will be published.

The investigation will focus solely on "individuals working in diocesan parishes, services and institutions," the archdiocese said.

Trajan is expected to begin in September and take 18 months to two years to complete the probe.

"The report to be made public will present an aggregate statistical overview of sexual abuse allegations involving minors that occurred in the five dioceses combined, while respecting the requirements under Quebec's privacy laws."

The clergy pedophile scandal has reached to the very top of the church, with disgraced Australian Cardinal George Pell recently sentenced to six years in prison for the sexual abuse of two choirboys.

The Netherlands is a tax haven alongside Ireland, Malta and Cyprus, say MEPs

DutchNews, March 27, 2019

Photo: Joep Poulssen

Members of the European parliament have voted to include the Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and Cyprus on the official EU tax haven black list. 

However the motion, proposed by Dutch Labour MEP Paul Tang, will not have any affect on the listing because members states have to unanimously approve every inclusion, the Financieele Dagblad said on Wednesday. 

The official EU blacklist of places considered to facilitate tax evasion now comprises 15 countries, after 10, including Aruba, were added earlier this month. However, Tang said this did not go far enough, and referred to research last year by the European Commission which said the Netherlands cooperated with ‘aggressive tax planning’. 

Tang’s motion was passed by 408 to 205. 

Dutch junior finance minister Menno Snel said in a reaction that he was astonished by the vote. ‘The Netherlands has a leading position in the battle against international tax evasion,’ he told the FD.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Probe opened after elderly 'yellow vest' protester injured

Yahoo – AFP, March 24, 2019

Activist Genevieve Legay was hospitalised after hitting her head in a fall as
police charged protesters (AFP Photo/Valery HACHE)

Nice (France) (AFP) - French officials faced fresh questions Sunday about the handling of the "yellow vest" protests after an elderly activist was seriously injured during a police charge in the southern city of Nice.

Prosecutors there have opened an inquiry to try to establish what happened Saturday when 73-year-old Genevieve Legay suffered head injuries.

When paramedics evacuated veteran activist Legay from the demonstration she was bleeding from the head, but still conscious, AFP journalists at the scene noted.

Her daughter later said that she had suffered several fractures to the skull and subdural haematomas.

Arie Alimi, the family's lawyer, told AFP that they would be filing a formal complaint against the authorities for violence against "a vulnerable person". The region's governor would be named in the lawsuit, to be submitted on Monday.

"The police charge was very violent," he said. "Mrs Legay ... has been very badly injured." But contrary to some reports, she was in a stable condition and not in a coma, he added.

Photos and video footage from Saturday's protest showed her carrying a rainbow-coloured flag with the word "peace" written on it.

Legay is an activist with the social justice campaign group Attac. The group published a message on its website calling for an inquiry to establish who was responsible for her injuries.

Riot police forced protesters out of Garibaldi Square in Nice city centre, where 
demonstrations had been banned (AFP Photo/Valery HACHE)

Demos restricted

Both local prosecutors and France's justice minister Sunday pointed out that protests in some parts of the city centre had been banned.

The minister. Nicole Belloubet, was asked about the incident in an interview with French channel BFMTV.

While wishing Legay a speedy recovery, she said, ""I do find it curious all the same that when a demonstration had been banned, as was the case in Nice, someone goes with the declared intention of demonstrating in that place there."

"There were some areas, in some cities, where demonstrations were banned. Following warnings, a person who stays there is likely to commit a crime and it is in this context that the events happened."

Nice prosecutor Jean-Michel Pretre said they were doing everything they could to find out what happened.

"When you stay in a protest after the regulatory (police) warning that people have to disperse, it's a crime."

In Legay's case however, it was not clear whether she had been in the banned area, or on the edge of it, when police moved against the protesters.

Demonstrations this weekend were also banned in certain parts of Paris and in the centres of Toulouse, Bordeaux, Dijon and Rennes.

Vandals and looters have left a trial of destruction on the margins of France's 
'yellow vest' protests (AFP Photo/Sylvain THOMAS)

2,000 convictions

French courts so far have convicted around 2,000 "yellow vest" protesters of offences since the marches began last November, Belloubet told BFMTV.

"Of the 2,000 convictions that have already taken place, the figure that should be retained is that 40 percent are prison sentences," she said. They ranged from one month to three years, according to justice ministry figures.

The other 60 percent of convictions involved community service, suspended sentences or other non-custodial sentences, the minister added.

Nearly 1,800 cases arising from the protests, in Paris and other French cities every Saturday since November 17, were still to be resolved and a total of 8,700 people had been detained, she said.

More than 40,000 people took to the streets across France on Saturday for the 19th consecutive week of anti-government protests, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said.

The government redeployed soldiers from its Sentinelle anti-terror force to guard public buildings in Paris, freeing up 6,000 police in Paris to tackle any flare-ups of violence.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Massive lawsuit says Sackler family broke laws to profit from opioids

The Guardian, Joanna Walters in New York, Fri 22 Mar 2019

Group of more than 500 cities, counties and tribes accuses family of helping to create ‘worst drug crisis’ in US history

Photographer Nan Goldin leads a protest out of the Guggenheim Museum in
Manhattan, New York, against its funding by the Sackler family, the owners of
Oxycontin manufacturer Purdue. Photograph: Yana Paskova/The Guardian

A group made up of more than 500 cities, counties and Native American tribes across the United States has filed a massive lawsuit accusing members of the Sacklerfamily, who own the maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, of helping to create “the worst drug crisis in American history”.

The lawsuit represents communities in 26 states and eight tribes and accuses Sackler family members of knowingly breaking laws in order to enrich themselves to the tune of billions of dollars, while hundreds of thousands of Americans died.

“Eight people in a single family made the choices that caused much of the opioid epidemic,” the lawsuit, filed earlier this week in federal court in the southern district of New York, states.

The same eight members of the family had recently been added to a small number of lawsuits that are underway against a string of opioid-makers, including the Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company the Sacklers wholly own, Purdue Pharma, but they have not been sued as individuals on anything like this scale before.

“This nation is facing an unprecedented opioid addiction epidemic that was initiated and perpetuated by the Sackler defendants for their own financial gain, to the detriment of each of the plaintiffs and their residents. The ‘Sackler defendants’ include Richard Sackler, Beverly Sackler, David Sackler, Ilene Sackler Lefcourt, Jonathan Sackler, Kathe Sackler, Mortimer DA Sackler, and Theresa Sackler,” this week’s lawsuit states.

The eight are the most high-profile members of a family which has long been known for prolific philanthropy to famous arts and education institutions, including the Metropolitan and Guggenheim museums in New York, which have faced fierce recent protests against the taking of Sackler money. Other institutions include Columbia, Yale, MIT, Tufts and other US universities, and, in the UK, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Serpentine Gallery, Glasgow University and other recipients.

Earlier this week Britain’s National Portrait Gallery decided not to take up the offer of a £1m Sackler family grant and, in the US, Columbia University and the University of Washington, which have both received Sackler donations in the past, have announced they are not now accepting gifts from the family.

Court documents accuse the eight family members of purposely playing down the dangers of the prescription painkiller OxyContin, which is more potent than heroin or morphine. They are accused of deceiving doctors and patients and directing sales and marketing techniques that drove huge over-prescribing and ever stronger doses for many patients who should never have been prescribed the pills in the first place.

“The defendants’ actions caused and continue to cause the public health epidemic…caused deaths, serious injuries, and a severe disruption to public peace, order and safety, it is ongoing and it is producing permanent and long-lasting damage,” the court documents allege.

Many of the allegations have already been made public in a lawsuit naming the same eight family members in Massachusetts, and are contained in court documents in the multi-district litigation taking place in a federal court in Cleveland, Ohio, which has been brought against Purdue and other companies, though no members of the Sackler family individually, by more than 1,200 cities and counties.

The family and Purdue deny wrongdoing.

“This complaint is part of a continuing effort by contingency-fee counsel to single out Purdue, blame it for the entire opioid crisis in the United States, and try the case in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system,’’ Robert Josephson, a Purdue spokesman, said in an emailed statement to the Bloomberg news agency.

“These baseless allegations place blame where it does not belong for a complex public health crisis, and we deny them,’’ the Mortimer and Raymond Sackler families said in a statement. They also noted OxyContin sales “represented a tiny portion of the opioid market”.

The lawsuit filed in New York on 18 March is extraordinary because it focuses almost entirely on the individual Sacklers.

Richard and Jonathan Sackler are sons of the late Raymond Sackler, one of the founding brothers of Purdue. Beverly is Raymond’s widow and David his grandson.

Ilene, Kathe and Mortimer David Alfons are children of the late Mortimer Sackler, another of the founding brothers of Purdue, and Theresa is his widow.

The only other defendants named in the lawsuit are the family trust connected to Raymond Sackler’s branch of the family and Rhodes Pharmaceuticals, a company owned by the Sacklers that produces generic opioid painkillers.

Other cases focus mostly on Purdue and other well known pharmaceutical giants involved in opioid production, such as Johnson & Johnson and Allergan.

The lawsuit in the southern district of New York has been brought by city and county authorities across America, including, for example, 42 counties and cities in Alabama, 31 counties in California, 21 cities and counties in Florida, 28 counties in Illinois, 51 cities and counties in Kentucky, more than 100 towns and cities in Massachusetts and dozens of cities and counties in other states including Wisconsin, Virginia, Utah, Tennessee, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Indiana and Michigan.

Among the eight Native American tribes suing the Sacklers are parts of the Cherokee, the Chippewa and the Sioux, the Oneida Nation and the Blackfeet.

Drug overdoses now kill more than 72,000 people in the US a year, according to government figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 49,000 of those are caused by opioids.

Purdue’s business has attracted a wave of lawsuits alleging deception about the safety of OxyContin, which the company had admitted misbranding in a 2007 criminal case.

Purdue has not ruled out filing for bankruptcy, which would cause a hiatus in the civil cases brought against it, but also indicates it could be short of the kind of funds that would be needed for a massive settlement or a fine at trial in the cases against it, to compensate communities for the cost of the crisis.

But a victory in the latest lawsuit against the Sacklers would give the plaintiffs access to the Sacklers’ personal fortune.

".... Let me tell you what else is in the field. Two things: These are going to be things that exist now in the field and they are upcoming potentials. The reason I give you these potentials is so if they happen, just like the handshake, you might believe a little more in this process.

There will come a time when Big Pharma will fall over because of a growing higher consciousness of the public. [Applause in the audience] There is a consciousness growing here that begins to have a new respect for each other, so that abuse of women will no longer be tolerated. Things that never happened before will begin happening, like bishops and cardinals resigning. [All 34 bishops in the Catholic Church resigned May 2018 after the new wild card pope called them on their reaction to child abuse for years by their colleagues.] All the things my partner brought today [in the seminar] are actually happening now. Why should some of these drug companies fail? Because there will be a strong reaction from your general public when they realize there are companies that have policies that would keep a Human sick or let him die for money. [Applause in the audience] It would be unconscionable, and the potential grows stronger daily that it's going to happen. The trigger? It's coming. When it does, that industry will be in trouble. Not all pharma is this way, dear ones - understand this - but the ones who are will fall. ..."


"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Dallas Texas, Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical)  8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) (Text version)

Monday, March 18, 2019

ING ordered to clean up its Italian operation, client freeze imposed

DutchNews, March 18, 2019

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Dutch banking group ING has been told not to acquire any new clients in Italy by the Italian central bank because of flaws in money laundering checks. 

The Bank of Italy gave the order after a four-month on-site inspection, it said in a statement at the weekend. 

ING itself says it will work hard in the coming weeks to tackle the shortcomings and solve the problems which Italian central bank inspectors identified. 

‘The measures in Italy come in the context of the steps ING announced in September 2018 to enhance its management of compliance risks and embed stronger awareness across the whole organisation,’ the bank said. 

Last year ING agreed a €775m out of court settlement with the Dutch authorities because of its lax approach to money laundering checks. 

The Italian arm of ING has more than 900 members of staff and made a loss of €101m in 2018, the Financieele Dagblad said.


Photo: ING.com



"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / 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. …”

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Streaming wars heat up as rivals queue up to challenge Netflix

Yahoo – AFP, Rob Lever, March 17, 2019

Netflix has taken the lead in streaming to expand into 190 markets but is now facing
some deep-pocketed rivals including Apple and Disney (AFP Photo/ROBYN BECK)

Washington (AFP) - Some of the biggest names in media and tech are gearing up to move into streaming, in what could be a major challenge to market leader Netflix.

Apple is expected to make its move with an announcement March 25 on its media plans, with a war chest estimated at some $1 billion and partners including stars like Jennifer Aniston and director J.J. Abrams involved in content.

Walt Disney Co. has announced its new streaming service Disney+ will launch this year, as will another from WarnerMedia, the newly acquired media-entertainment division of AT&T.

The new entrants, with more expected, could launch a formidable challenge to Netflix, which has some 140 million paid subscribers in 190 markets, and to other services such as Amazon and Hulu.

"It's really going to change the industry," said Alan Wolk, co-founder of the consulting firm TVREV who follows the sector.

Wolk said he sees seven or eight powerful players in streaming which will lead to "huge competition for new shows and hit shows."

These rivals are coming into the segment which has been transformed by the spectacular growth of Netflix and a growing movement by consumers to on-demand television delivered over internet platforms.

In the US alone, an estimated six million consumers have dropped pay TV bundles since 2012, while on-demand services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon have been surging, according to Leichtman Research.

But just as Netflix has disrupted traditional "linear" television, rivals are now moving to disrupt Netflix.

Strong name recognition and sought-after content is liekly to make Disney a
formidable competitor in streaming television (AFP Photo/Alberto E. Rodriguez)ls)."

Feeling pain

Netflix is likely to feel pain, not only from the new rivals, but also from the loss of content from the big libraries of Disney and Time Warner.

These Hollywood firms "have big libraries, so the cost of their content is much lower than it will be for Netflix, which has to pay for all its content," said Laura Martin, analyst with the research firm Needham & Co.

"Netflix will lose subscribers to these new entrants," Martin said.

AT&T's WarnerMedia will launch its service later this year that combines the content from its premium HBO channel (known for "Game of Thrones") and the vast Time Warner library or films and shows.

Disney's service will have its films and TV shows, along with the library it is acquiring from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, a deal closing in the coming days. That includes the "Star Wars" and Marvel superhero franchises and ABC television content.

JP Morgan analyst Alexia Quadrani predicts Disney will eventually scale up to become as big as Netflix, or even bigger by signing up 45 million US subscribers and 115 million internationally.

Quadrani cited Disney's "unmatched brand recognition, extensive premium content, and unparalleled ecosystem to market the service."

The analyst said Disney benefits from its global ecosystem that develops good customer relationships from its theme parks, hotels, cruises, and consumer products.

Wolk agreed that Disney "is in a good spot" because of its strong brand and content but predicted that consumers may be overwhelmed by the growing options.

"I think there will be a lot of churn," Wolk said. "People will subscribe to one service to watch one show, and then it becomes easy to cancel and take another."

Jennifer Aniston is one of the Hollywood stars Apple is counting on as it prepares
to launch its streaming video service (AFP Photo/Alberto E. Rodriguez)

No panic, yet

Some analysts say Netflix has no reason to panic -- yet.

"Netflix has figured this business out, they know what consumers want," said Dan Rayburn, a streaming media analyst with Frost & Sullivan.

But Rayburn said that over time, rivals may be able to leverage their user base and infrastructure to eat away at Netflix's advantage.

"What does Netflix own? Nothing," Rayburn said.

"If you're Amazon or AT&T you can give this stuff away and be a loss leader, that's the big value."

Still, he said any company that wants to challenge Netflix needs to be "quick and nimble" and that it remains to be seen if the legacy players can do that.

Richard Greenfield of BTIG Research also questioned the capability of the legacy entertainment firms to compete in the world of new media.

"We believe legacy media has missed their window to compete with Netflix (and other tech platforms) unless they are willing to truly go all-in," Greenfield said in a recent research note.

The streaming service from AT&T's Warner Media will include 
programs from HBO such as "Game Of Thrones," whose star 
Emilia Clarke is seen here (AFP Photo/Alberto E. Rodriguez)

'Innovator's dilemma'

Greenfield said that means moving the focus away from the box office and getting better control of content.

"Disney is battling a classic innovator's dilemma that makes it hard for them to truly pivot to direct-to-consumer, not to mention, they and the rest of legacy media do not really appreciate how important technology is to success in direct-to-consumer streaming," Greenfield wrote.

Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities said Apple could be the wild card, but that the iPhone maker might need to acquire a content provider like CBS or Sony Pictures to be a major player.

Apple "is definitely playing from behind the eight ball in this content arms race with Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Hulu, and AT&T/Time Warner all going after this next consumer frontier," Ives said in a note to clients.

"While acquisitions have not been in Apple's core DNA, the clock has struck midnight for Cupertino in our opinion and building content organically is a slow and arduous path, which highlights the clear need for Apple to do larger, strategic (deals}."

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings gives a keynote address, January 6, 2016 at the
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada (AFP Photo/Robyn Beck)

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"Wild Cards" (3) - Nov 19 - 20, 2016 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

"... Then there was Steve Jobs. He was a wild card. What he did had little to do with technology, for that would have happened anyway soon enough. Instead, it had to do with the paradigm of the business of music on Earth. He freed it, and the paradigm of how music is obtained and heard will never be the same. However, Steve Jobs did basically one thing for all of you, and then he died. Do you see any kind of connecting of the dots to some of the inventors who come and give you the one thing, then leave? If he had lived, would there be more? Yes, but you’re not ready for it. Consciousness has to support what happens. ..."

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Behind the bribery: US university admissions favor the rich

Yahoo – AFP, Thomas URBAIN, March 14, 2019

Some American parents will pay heavily to better their children's chances of entering
schools like Washington's Georgetown University (AFP Photo/WIN MCNAMEE)

New York (AFP) - The scandal of parents paying to cheat their children's way into elite US universities has put a harsh spotlight on the ultra-competitive college admissions process, in which the haves hold a massive advantage over the have-nots.

Thirty-three wealthy parents -- financiers, lawyers, and two famous actresses among them -- were arrested Tuesday as part of an operation that charged from $15,000 to millions of dollars to help them get their children into renowned schools like Yale, Georgetown, Stanford and the University of Southern California.

But as outraged as many Americans were at the illegality, even within the law, the rich have a huge, unfair advantage when it comes to gaming the intensely stressful annual college admissions battle.

The competition is clear in the numbers. Just 4.6 percent of over 40,000 students applying to Harvard University get in.

The figure is 4.3 percent at Stanford and 5.5 percent and Columbia, two other top universities.

Many who are qualified grade-wise are rejected, intensifying the competition to stand out.

The process favors the wealthy. They can apply to more schools and invest heavily in preparing for tests and essays.

The richest, too, can beat the competition by donating to universities. ProPublica editor Daniel Golden documented how President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner gained admission to Harvard University in 1998 after his father made a legal $2.5 million donation to the school.

"There's a limited number of spots for those with enormous means," said Hafeez Lakhani, whose Lakhani Coaching company helps prepare students.

"I understand that there is a disparity out there and that not everyone is able to afford the best help or any help at all."

Planning and spending

Many parents spend their kids' lives planning their university career.

"In the United States, families are obsessed with the entrance into university," said Sylvie Bigar, a New Yorker whose daughter just entered the respected Smith College in Massachusetts.

Some American parents will pay heavily to better their children's chances of entering 
schools like Washington's Georgetown University (AFP Photo/WIN MCNAMEE)

"It seems like these things are decided almost in kindergarten, that admission to a prestigious university leads to a prestigious career and happiness."

"It's an extremely stressful process, especially for kids whose parents aren't the most affluent," said Angela Perez, a student at the highly competitive Georgetown University in Washington.

"While I considered myself academically strong, getting in was one thing, and paying for it was another."

Perez, from a working class, immigrant Filipino family, said that to maximize her chances at both acceptance and financial aid, she applied to 18 different universities.

Adding together the application fees, test fees, training for the tests, and other, she said, "it was honestly quite costly."

$40,000 to prepare

The process begins in earnest in tenth grade, three years before graduating from high school. Students prepare for and take multiple times the ACT and SAT entrance examinations -- the ones the parents arrested Tuesday paid to have fixed for their children.

There are essays to write, interviews, tutorials, preparation tests, and for the families with access and connections, direct lobbying.

And, notes Bigar, "at every stage of this process, there are firms that help families who can afford it."

According to the Independent Educational Consultants Association, parents pay on average $200 an hour to consult experts on the applications process. But that price, in some situations, can run into the thousands of dollars per hour.

The parents of children who are shepherded by Lakhani pay on average $40,000.

"The reason families are interested in working with my firm is that they see an opportunity to climb higher than they would have climbed potentially on their own," he said.

To critics of the system, the issue illustrates the deep economic and social inequality in the country.

"It's obviously a scandal when rich people are accused of breaking the law to get their kids into top schools," wrote journalist Rainesford Stauffer in an op-ed in the New York Times.

"But the bigger outrage should be that a legal version of purchasing an advantage happens every college application season and that there's an entire industry supporting it."


"Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman (L) and fellow Hollywood actress
Lori Loughlin are among 50 people indicted in a nationwide university admissions
scam, court records showed (AFP Photo/LISA O'CONNOR, Tommaso Boddi)

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