Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (C) addresses the
audience during a meeting of the annual Mercosur trade bloc presidential
summit in Mendoza June 29, 2012. (Credit: Reuters/Enrique Marcarian)

Chinese leader woos Latin America with deals

Chinese leader woos Latin America with deals
Chinese President Xi Jinping (4-L, first row) poses with leaders of the CELAC group of Latin American and Caribbean states, in Brasilia, on July 17, 2014 (AFP Photo/Nelson Almeida)
"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.)


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A student holds a sign reading "Don't shoot, listen!!!" during a protest
on June 17, 2013 in Brasilia (AFP, Evaristo)

Brazil's Rousseff claims nation 'ready for greatest World Cup'

Brazil's Rousseff claims nation 'ready for greatest World Cup'
Google: Ready, set, goooaaallll! The WorldCup is finally here.

Paraguay police search S. American football HQ

Paraguay police search S. American football HQ
The Conmebol headquarters in Luque, Paraguay, is seen on January 7, 2016, during a raid within the framework of the FIFA corruption scandal (AFP Photo/Norberto Duarte)

'Panama Papers' law firm under the media's lenses

'Panama Papers' law firm under the media's lenses
The Panama Papers: key facts on the huge journalists' investigation into tax evasion (AFP Photo/Thomas Saint-Cricq, Philippe Mouche)

Mossack Fonseca

Mossack Fonseca

.

.
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …
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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Four Yemenis freed from Guantanamo arrive in Saudi Arabia

Yahoo – AFP, Abdulhadi Habtoor, January 5, 2017

A former Yemeni inmate, released from the US military prison in Guantanamo
Bay, is welcomed by his family upon his arrival in Riyadh on January 5, 2017
(AFP Photo/STRINGER)

Riyadh (AFP) - Four Yemenis released from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay arrived Thursday in Saudi Arabia to a tearful reunion with relatives, after the White House rejected Donald Trump's call for a freeze on transfers.

The Pentagon confirmed the detainee transfers, and said there are now 55 inmates still being held in the military detention centre in Cuba.

In the Saudi capital, an AFP reporter saw the four prisoners after they landed at a terminal normally reserved for royals at the Riyadh international airport.

Prisoners and family members wept as they saw each other for the first time in years.

One of the released inmates, Salim Ahmed bin Kanad, told reporters he felt "born again" after seeing his relatives.

Another, Mohammed Bawazir, said he hoped to move on and forget the past.

"I want to give back to my family the 15 years I lost," he said.

Officials identified the other former prisoners as Mohammed Rajab Abu Ghanim and Abdullah Yahya al-Shalabi.

"The United States is grateful to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility," the Pentagon said.

Outgoing US President Barack Obama's pledge to close the Guantanamo Bay facility has been met with legal and political hurdles for years, and on Tuesday, his successor jumped into the fray.

"There should be no further releases from Gitmo. These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield," Trump tweeted.

Hours later, Obama's spokesman Josh Earnest said he would expect "additional transfers" before the Democrat hands power to Trump on January 20.

Saudi King Salman has said the four Yemenis who arrived Thursday will live in the kingdom, where they will take part in a rehabilitation and de-radicalisation programme, the interior ministry said in a statement.

The bearded ex-prisoners appeared healthy and were all dressed in two-piece Pakistani-style tunics.

One prisoner was welcomed by 21 relatives, including children, but only a handful greeted the others.

A lone woman waited for one of the inmates.

Reporters were kept in the terminal and could not see what type of aircraft had transported them.

Prisoners and family members wept as they saw each other 
for the first time in years (AFP Photo/STRINGER)

Whittling down numbers

Obama came to office eight years ago vowing to close the Guantanamo facility, arguing that detention without trial did not reflect American values.

But he has run up against Pentagon foot-dragging and stubborn Republican opposition in Congress.

With Guantanamo's closure blocked, Obama's White House has focused on whittling down the number of inmates.

Before Thursday's transfer, around 20 of the remaining prisoners had been cleared for removal. But finding countries to take them has often proven time-consuming.

Only a handful of those who remain have started moving through military tribunals, including the alleged plotters of the 9/11 attacks.

Many of the others are in legal limbo -- not charged but deemed too dangerous to release.

Fifteen of the 19 Al-Qaeda hijackers who carried out the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001 were Saudi. But Riyadh denies any ties to the plotters who killed nearly 3,000 people.

In recent months, Obama has authorised a flurry of transfers of prisoners to other countries -- prompting outrage from Republicans each time.

In April, nine Yemeni inmates were transferred from Guantanamo Bay to Saudi Arabia, the first time the kingdom received any inmates from the facility.

The move followed years of negotiations with the Saudi government.

Yemen's civil war meant those inmates could not be sent to their home country.

Obama's predecessor George W. Bush released or transferred around 500 inmates before leaving office. Obama had released or transferred more than 180.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Pinochet agents apologize for Chile crimes

Yahoo – AFP, December 23, 2016

Human rights activists demonstrate during the private ecumenical ceremony in
 the Punta Peuco prison where nine former agents of Chile's 1973-1990 dictatorship,
apologize for their crimes, in Santiago, on December 23, 2016 (AFP Photo/
Christian Miranda)

Santiago (AFP) - Nine former agents of late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's regime asked forgiveness for their crimes Friday -- a first for Chile -- but victims' families rejected the gesture as a ploy.

The apology came in the form of a private religious ceremony at the Punta Peuco prison, where some 100 former regime agents are serving sentences for the kidnappings, killings and torture perpetrated during Pinochet's rule from 1973 to 1990.

The nine convicts included Raul Iturriaga, a high-ranking official in Pinochet's political police.

"God is doing something extraordinary in this country. This would not have been possible until recently," Anglican priest Pablo Alvarez told journalists after the ceremony, which was closed to the press.

But dozens of victims' family members protested outside the prison, rejecting the ceremony as a hollow bid to obtain a pardon or early release.

"We have the right and the moral duty to be here to prevent this media show," said Alicia Lira, head of a rights group for victims' families.

Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nunez, right, leaves the federal courthouse with his
 attorney, Luis Calderon, left, Monday, June 27, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. Barrientos, 
former lieutenant under the brutal dictator Augusto Pinochet, tortured and killed 
a famed Chilean folk singer whose family had been seeking justice for more 
than 40 years, a federal jury in Florida ruled. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Family members emphasized that none of the convicts have provided information on the fate of nearly 1,000 people missing and presumed killed by the regime.

They also demand the closure of Punta Peuco, which they condemn as a luxury prison with tennis courts, terraces and barbecues.

More than 3,000 regime opponents and alleged collaborators were killed or disappeared during Pinochet's rule. Some 38,000 were tortured.

Pinochet, who came to power in a military coup, died in 2006 without being brought to justice.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Brazil's Odebrecht, Braskem pay record fine in bribery case

Yahoo – AFP, Heather Scott, with Sebastian Smith in Rio de Janeiro, December 22, 2016
Brazilian construction company Odebrecht pled guilty to paying hundreds of
millions to bribe government officials in countries on three continents (AFP
Photo/YASUYOSHI CHIBA)

Washington (AFP) - Scandal-plagued Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht and petrochemical affiliate Braskem have agreed to pay a record $3.5 billion to settle a vast international bribery case, US officials said.

Odebrecht, a key player in the Petrobras corruption scandal gripping Brazil, agreed to a fine of $4.5 billion but said it was only able to pay $2.6 billion, the US Justice Department said in a statement. Braskem, meanwhile, will pay $957 million.

The fines are to be paid to Brazilian, Swiss and US authorities, the department said, calling it "the largest-ever global foreign bribery resolution."

It is the latest in a string of terrible headlines for Odebrecht, which Brazilian investigators say was one of the ringleaders of a scheme to plunder billions of dollars from state oil company Petrobras.

Revelation of the scandal has rocked Brazil's political and business establishment to its foundations, with ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva facing trial and current President Michel Temer reportedly under suspicion.

The bribery case settled Wednesday includes the Petrobras allegations, but is even bigger.

The Odebrecht conglomerate pleaded guilty to bribing government officials and political parties to the tune of $788 million to secure business on three continents -- mostly in Brazil, but also 11 other countries in Latin America and Africa.

"Odebrecht and Braskem used a hidden but fully functioning Odebrecht business unit -- a 'Department of Bribery,' so to speak -- that systematically paid hundreds of millions of dollars to corrupt government officials in countries on three continents," US Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sung-Hee Suh said in a statement.

"Such brazen wrongdoing calls for a strong response from law enforcement, and through a strong effort with our colleagues in Brazil and Switzerland, we have seen just that."

Political fallout

In the main scheme, Odebrecht targeted top Brazilian politicians and executives at Petrobras for more than a decade starting in about 2001. The bribes were used to secure inflated contracts and even get favorable legislation passed in Congress.

Suh praised Brazil's judiciary for tackling the issue head on.

"I cannot praise their efforts enough. They have been under enormous pressure, done an extraordinary job of initiating the investigation and carrying it through," she said.

The Brazilian probe, known by its codename Operation Carwash, has cast dark shadows over two of Brazil's most important companies, Petrobras and Odebrecht, adding to economic pain as the country flounders in deep recession.

Odebrecht's jailed boss Marcelo Odebrecht and 76 other current and former executives have signed plea deals agreeing to tell all in exchange for lighter sentences.

The Brazilian press has described the deal as potentially apocalyptic for the political establishment.

Panama, meanwhile, said it would request information from the United States about alleged Odebrecht bribes paid in Panama to secure contracts, its foreign ministry said.

Shattered record

The previous record bribery settlement was $1.6 billion for German engineering group Siemens in 2008. It settled charges of systematically using bribes and slush funds to land public works contracts around the world.

Margarida Gutierrez, an economist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, told AFP that this settlement, Odebrecht's newest move to come clean, would open the door for its return to the market.

"Right now they are unable to participate in any bids in Brazil or probably out of Brazil," she said. "Now they can start again, and try to clear their name. They will succeed but it will be hard."

The US Justice Department will conduct an "inability to pay analysis" by March 31 to determine the final amount that Odebrecht must come up with. Sentencing has been scheduled for April 17.

Under the plea agreement, Brazil will receive 80 percent of Odebrecht's fines, while the United States and Switzerland will garner 10 percent each.

Braskem, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange through American Depositary Receipts (ADR), saw its shares soar after the deal was announced, closing up four percent.

It will pay a criminal fine of $632 million, and another $325 million penalty to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Under the Braskem deal, Brazil will receive 70 percent of the fines, while US and Swiss authorities receive 15 percent. Sentencing for the firm has not yet been scheduled.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Panama pardons Dutch journalist jailed for libel

DutchNews, December 20, 2016

Panama’s president Juan Carlos Varela has given an official pardon to Dutch journalist Okke Ornstein, who was arrested last month and ordered to spend three years four months in jail. 

The Panama authorities published a list of names of people who are being pardoned on Tuesday. Ornstein will be freed on Friday if he does not object, the Dutch foreign ministry said.

‘It will be terrific if he is free in time to celebrate Christmas with his family,’ said foreign minister Bert Koenders. 

Ornstein was arrested last month on a charge of criminal libel dating from 2012 as he entered Panama where he lives. 

The libel charges followed articles on his blog Bananama Republic about the business practices of Canadian national Monte Friesner who lives in Panama City. The blog has since been closed down.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Bolivia ruling party defies referendum, backs Morales for 4th term

Yahoo – AFP, December 17, 2016

Bolivia's President Evo Morales, seen in November 2016, has the backing
 of his ruling party to run for a fourth term in 2019, despite the results of a
February referendum (AFP Photo/Aizar Raldes)

La Paz (AFP) - Bolivia's ruling socialist party on Saturday defied the results of a February referendum and backed President Evo Morales for a fourth term in 2019.

The Movement for Socialism (MAS) party, holding a congress in the eastern city of Montero, approved the candidacy of Morales -- Bolivia's first president with an indigenous background -- in a unanimous vote.

Morales welcomed the party's decision, saying, "If the people decide it, Evo will continue."

He added: "So many times we have defeated the right."

Morales was first elected president in 2005, and re-elected in 2009 and 2014.

But he narrowly lost the referendum in February on the question of whether the constitution should be revised to permit him to run again in 2019. His current term expires on January 22, 2020.

The party congress Saturday recommended "four legal alternatives" to allow his candidacy within the constitutional framework, according to a union leader who read the conclusions.

The first was a partial constitutional reform through an initiative requiring the signatures of some 20 percent of the electorate. Another also involves a constitutional reform to allow an extended presidential mandate.

The third recommends that the president renounce his office before the 2019 elections, so that he would not have served three full terms, while the fourth involves a reinterpretation of the constitution.

Morales, who has cultivated an "everyman" image, has been highly popular throughout most of his presidency.

He won his first election with 54 percent of the vote, his second with 64 percent and his third with 61 percent.

Morales has generally benefited from a fragmented opposition.

At the time of the February referendum, his popularity had been damaged by allegations that he had fathered a child with a young woman, Gabriela Zapata, and done favors for the Chinese company employing her.

He admitted the two had had a son, who died in infancy, but emphatically denied the other allegations.

Still, he lost the referendum by a narrow margin, 51 percent to 49 percent, and vowed to continue pressing the leftist platform that underlies his popularity.

As president, he has worked to redistribute the nation's natural gas wealth and provide a more inclusive environment for the indigenous majority.

To burnish his common-man credentials, Morales has often traveled on foot or stopped to play soccer with locals.

But some Bolivians said they felt he had amassed too much power in his years in power, and that the onetime outsider had himself joined the elite establishment.

In a survey early this month, the Ipsos polling firm found Morales's popularity had slipped a bit but was still relatively solid, at 49 percent.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Venezuela to remove the 100-bolivar note from circulation

The 100-bolivar bank note will be removed from circulation in Venezuela on Wednesday. The Venezuelan government promised six much larger notes in coming days.

Deutsche Welle, 12 December 2016


Stuck in an economic crisis and facing rampant inflation, the Venezuelan government announced Sunday it would pull its largest bill from circulation on Wednesday.

The 100-bolivar note, which is worth approximately two cents, will be replaced by much larger bank notes. Venezuelans will have 10 days after the 100-bolivar bill is removed from circulation to exchange the notes at the central bank. In the wake of the 100-bolivar note's demise, six bank notes worth between 500 and 20,000 bolivars will be made available, and three new coins. One US dollar can buy up to 4,400 bolivars on the black market.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said the move was necessary as international mafias kept the notes in Colombian and Brazilian cities. Maduro demanded "all land, air and sea possibilities closed immediately so that they do not return those notes that were taken," on his television show "Contact with Maduro."

Critics were quick to denounce the decision, saying Maduro should fight against the use of contraband bills on the Colombia-Venezuela border, and that there was no realistic way for Venezuelans to exchange 100-bolivar bills currently in circulation within the allotted time. Data from the central bank showed there were more than six billion 100-bolivar notes in circulation in November, which is about 48 percent of all bills and coins in use.

"When ineptitude governs! Who would possibly think of doing something like this in December amid all our problems?" said two-time opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles on Twitter.


Unprecedented inflation

No official data exists for inflation in Venezuela in 2016, but economic consultants Ecoanalitica estimates annual inflation in 2016 is more than 500 percent. The Venezuelan currency has fallen 55 percent against the US dollar on the black market in November.

Paying for simple items in the oil-rich company - often after waiting in lines that can last for hours - requires a large sack of bills in order to pay for whatever may be needed. But getting cash has proven difficult in recent months and credit card machines have suffered many problems, forcing many businesses to ask customers to pay by bank transfer.

kbd/kl (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

Related Article:


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Colombia's President Santos receives Nobel Peace Prize

Yahoo – AFP, Pierre-Henry Deshayes, with Gael Branchereau in Stockholm, December 10, 2016

Nobel Peace Prize winner Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos poses with
 his award in Oslo on December 10, 2016 (AFP Photo/Haakon Mosvold Larsen)

Oslo (AFP) - Colombia's peace deal between the government and the Marxist FARC rebels is a model for war-torn countries like Syria, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize.

The peace accord, signed on November 24 to end five decades of conflict, is a "model for the resolution of armed conflicts that have yet to be resolved around the world."

"It proves that what, at first, seems impossible, through perseverance may become possible even in Syria or Yemen or South Sudan," Santos said during a lavish ceremony at Oslo's City Hall, decked out in red, orange and white roses and carnations imported from Colombia for the occasion.

After a first peace deal was rejected in a popular vote on October 2, the rebels and government negotiated a new accord to end the conflict, which has killed more than 260,000 people, left 45,000 missing and forced nearly seven million to flee their homes.

"The Colombian peace agreement is a ray of hope in a world troubled by so many conflicts and so much intolerance," he said.

Yet in an interview with AFP just hours before Saturday's prize ceremony, Santos acknowledged that the hardest part of the country's peace process was yet to come.

The period ahead "is a more difficult phase than the (negotiation) process itself, and will require a lot of effort, perseverance and humility," he said.

"A lot of coordination efforts will also be needed... to bring the benefits of peace to the regions that have suffered the most in the conflict," he added.

He also said he could offer no guarantees there would be a peace deal in place with Colombia's second-largest rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), before the end of his mandate in 2018.

"I will do my best but to establish a time frame is always counter-productive in negotiations of this sort," he said.

In a speech at the ceremony, Berit Reiss-Andersen, deputy chairwoman of the Nobel committee, urged "all sides in Colombia to carry on the national dialogue and continue on the road to reconciliation.

"Hopefully, a similar negotiated disarmament agreement with the ELN guerrilla will soon be in place as well."

The Nobel prize consists of a gold medal, a diploma and a cheque for eight million Swedish kronor (824,000 euros, $871,000), a sum Santos promised to donate to the victims of the war.

The 2016 Nobel Prize laureates (AFP Photo/Paz PIZARRO)

Dylan's snub

Later on Saturday, another ceremony will be held in Stockholm where the Nobel laureates in the sciences, economics and literature will be honoured -- a ceremony marked by the notable absence of this year's literature laureate, Bob Dylan.

The first songwriter to win the prestigious award, he has declined to attend the glittering ceremony due to "pre-existing commitments".

The no-show has created a stir in Sweden, where it has been perceived as a slight towards the Swedish Academy that awards the literature prize and the Nobel Foundation.

Announced as the winner on October 14, Dylan waited almost two weeks to publicly acknowledge the accolade, a silence one Academy member termed "impolite and arrogant".

Dylan did ultimately say he was honoured to win, but then informed the Academy in mid-November that he would not be travelling to Stockholm to accept his prize.

"A slap in the face," remarked editorialist Lena Mellin at one of Sweden's biggest dailies, Aftonbladet.

"Anyone who has ever received a prize, even if it's just for being the best neighbour in the apartment building, knows that the least one can do is go and accept it," she wrote.

On social media, opinions were mixed.

"If it were me, I would probably... collect a Nobel Prize and $900,000. But it's Bob, and that's part of what makes him Bob," wrote fan Evan Sarzin on the singer's Facebook page.

"He is 75, give him a break," argued another, Karen Lunebach.

The singer-songwriter has sent a thank-you speech to be read at the gala banquet at Stockholm's City Hall, attended by around 1,300 guests and the Swedish royal family.

And just before that, American rock star Patti Smith will sing Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" during the formal prize ceremony at Stockholm's Concert Hall.

According to the Nobel Foundation, his prize should be presented to him in person sometime in 2017, either in Sweden or abroad.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Football mourns as plane crash kills Brazilian players

Yahoo – AFP, Rodrigo Almonacid, November 29, 2016

Rescuers and aviation authorities said the survivors of the LAMIA plane crash were
three players, two crew members and a journalist (AFP Photo/Raul ARBOLEDA)

La Unión (Colombia) (AFP) - The football world was plunged into mourning Tuesday after a plane carrying a Brazilian team crashed in the mountains in Colombia, killing 75 people with six survivors, officials said.

Football legends Pele and Maradona as well as current superstar Lionel Messi led tributes to the players of Chapecoense Real.

Having risen only recently from obscurity, the team was on its way to play in the finals of the Copa Sudamericana, South America's second-biggest club tournament when the accident took place.

"The pain is terrible. Just as we had made it, I will not say to the top, but to have national prominence, a tragedy like this happens," club vice-president Ivan Tozzo told Globo SportTV.

"It is very difficult, a very great tragedy."

Colombia's civil aviation authority said in a statement that 75 people were killed in the crash and six survivors were being treated in hospital.

'Electrical failures'

The charter plane of Bolivian company LAMIA, which left from the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz, declared an emergency at around 10:00 pm Monday (0300 GMT Tuesday).

It reported "electrical failures" and crashed a short time later near the city of Medellin, its destination, officials said.

The British Aerospace 146 airliner was first sold as new in 1999 and was used by two other airlines before being eventually acquired by LAMIA, a spokesman for the manufacturer told AFP.

Aircraft tracking website Planespotters said it was sold to LAMIA in 2013.

Specialist sites revealed that the same plane was used two weeks ago to fly the Argentine national team with Messi on board to San Juan, Argentina for a World Cup qualifying match.

Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch said it was sending investigators along with representatives of the plane's manufacturer BAE Systems to Colombia to help with investigations.


Map showing the flightpath of the LAMIA airlines plane that crashed late Monday 
with 81 people on board. (AFP Photo/Vincent LEFAI, Jean Michel CORNU)

'Disastrous scene'

Scores of rescuers picked through the wreckage of the white fuselage which was plastered over a remote hillside in northwestern Colombia.

The plane went down about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Medellin, the country's second largest city, in an area called Cerro Gordo.

Elkin Ospina, the mayor of the town of La Ceja near the crash site, said the mountainous terrain was some 3,300 meters (10,800 feet) above sea level and very difficult to access.

"We found ourselves faced with a disastrous scene. The plane was completely destroyed," fire service captain Elkin Gonzalez told AFP.

In all, there were 72 passengers and nine crew on board, including the team and numerous journalists going to cover the game.

Rescuers and aviation authorities said the survivors were three players, two crew members and a journalist.

"I have just seen the plane and given the state it is in, it is a miracle that six people survived," said the governor of the surrounding Antioquia region, Luis Perez.

The survivors included three players: defenders Helio Neto and Alan Ruschel and another goalkeeper, Jakson Follmann.

The other known survivors were two crew members and a journalist.

The team's goalkeeper Marcos Danilo Padilha, 31, died on the way to hospital, the civil aviation authority said.

His last-minute save in the semi-final had ensured the team made it through to the Copa Sudamericana final.

Brazil's Chapecoense Real players were on the plane and were to have played in
 the Copa Sudamericana finals on Wednesday against Atletico Nacional de Colombia 
(AFP Photo/Nelson Almeida)

Game suspended

The cup final first-leg had been scheduled for Wednesday against Atletico Nacional of Colombia.

In an emotional gesture, Nacional called in a statement for the title to be handed to its Brazilian opponents in tribute.

It asked of CONMEBOL "that the Copa Sudamericana title be handed to Chapecoense Football Association as an honorary trophy for its great loss, and as a posthumous homage to the victims of the fatal accident that has put our sport in mourning."

Regional football confederation CONMEBOL suspended the game. It had yet to announce how the title would be settled.

A source close to CONMEBOL told AFP it was "very unlikely" that the final would ever be played.

Brazil's President Michel Temer declared three days of mourning for the victims.

Dashed dreams

Chapecoense is seen as one of the minnows of Brazilian club football.

It was founded in 1973 in the city of Chapeco in southern Santa Catarina state.

After decades in the lower divisions, Chapecoense returned to Brazil's top flight Serie A in 2014 for the first time since 1979.

The mayor of Chapeco, Luciano Buligon, described the city's despair, in tearful comments to TV Globo.

"We have moved from a dream to a true nightmare," he said.

Related Article:


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Brazil's president to block any corruption amnesty

Yahoo – AFP, Eugenia Logiuratto with Sebastian Smith in Rio de Janeiro, November 27, 2016
Brazilian President Michel Temer arrives to offer a press conference at
Planalto Palace in Brasilia, on November 27, 2016 (AFP Photo/Evaristo Sa)

Brasília (AFP) - Brazil's President Michel Temer, together with congressional leaders, vowed on Sunday to block any attempt by legislators to grant themselves a corruption amnesty as he sought to defuse a series of scandals.
 
In a rare weekend news conference, the president sought to reassure Brazilians that he is fighting corruption among the political elite and working to restore an economy that he predicted will see an upturn in the second quarter of 2017.

Temer -- a center-right veteran politician who took power after the bruising impeachment of his leftist predecessor Dilma Rousseff -- has stated his mission is to save Brazil from its worst recession and corruption scandal in decades.

However, the country's would-be savior is now beset by controversy himself just as the Senate prepares to vote Tuesday on a 20-year spending freeze that would be the first of several deep reforms billed as measures to restore the economy's health.

Seated alongside the speakers of the Senate and lower house of Congress, Temer said he would veto any attempt by the legislature to grant itself an amnesty on undeclared campaign donations.

"It would be impossible for the president of the republic to approve something of this nature," he said. "We all agreed there isn't the slightest basis... for going ahead with this proposal."

He was responding to public outrage over an attempt in the lower house on Thursday to vote in a bill apparently including an amnesty for the previous acceptance of undeclared funds -- often suspected to be bribes -- in political campaigns.

Temer, who took office vowing to end the paralysis and infighting of the Rousseff presidency, was also forced to respond to the latest crisis within his own cabinet.

It involves a powerful minister, government secretary Geddel Vieira Lima, who forced to resign on Friday after the former culture minister accused him of pressuring him to intervene in a business deal. The ministerial resignation was the sixth since Temer took over in May.

The former culture minister has claimed that Temer also pressured him over the business deal and that he had secretly recorded the president, according to local media reports.

Temer said he had never misused his influence and blasted the use of secret recordings.
"For a minister to record the president of the republic is extremely serious," Temer said.

Brazilian Lower House's President Rodrigo Maia speaks during a press 
conference held along with Brazilian President Michel Temer (L) and Senate's
 President Renan Calheiros at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, on November 27, 
2016 (AFP Photo/Evaristo Sa)

Storm on the horizon

The televised show of unity between Temer and the two congressional leaders suggested the president retains enough political capital for now to proceed with his economic reforms.

He promised recession-weary Brazilians that they would notice positive changes.

"We're not standing still, we're working to build growth, and this will come little by little," he said, predicting "results" in the second quarter.

"We will propose reforms so that Brazil can exit the recession," he added. "We will boost industry, business and agribusiness."

But the 20-year spending ceiling -- to be followed by proposed cuts to social security, pensions and other politically sensitive areas -- is already prompting small but angry street demonstrations.

Meanwhile, Temer and the elite in Brasilia face a potentially devastating new storm on the corruption front.

Numerous members of Congress and political parties have already been linked to the alleged receipt of bribe money and campaign slush funds as part of the giant Petrobras state oil company embezzlement scandal.

That could soon expand with accusations stemming from a mass plea bargain struck with dozens of executives at the construction giant Odebrecht, the company at the core of the Petrobras scheme.

Odebrecht systematically bribed politicians and parties, partly to win inflated contracts with Petrobras.

Now, Brazilian media reports indicate that the executives may name as many as 150 politicians in the plea bargains struck with investigating prosecutors.

Temer said it would be "naive" not to be worried about the coming revelations.

"When you're talking about... 150 people from the political class, of course there's concern, in an institutional sense."

Brazil President Michel Temer (right) speaks to key ally Geddel Vieira Lima
during a cabinet meeting in June 2016 (AFP Photo/Evaristo Sa)

Related Article:


Castro's Cuba, beacon in Latin America's leftist tide

Yahoo – AFP, Alexandre Grosbois, November 27, 2016

A billboard depicting Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and reading "The
 Revolution Will Go On," is seen in Havana, on November 27, 2016 two days after
his death (AFP Photo/Yamil Lage)

Havana (AFP) - Beyond his native Caribbean island, Fidel Castro's revolutionary fire set alight much of Latin America, helping drive numerous leftist allies to power in a tide that is now turning.

"Cuba was a model, a beacon for the left in Latin America," said Gaspard Estrada, head of the Latin America Observatory at the Sciences Po politics institute in Paris.

Over the decades, Cuba became a mecca for Latin American leftist dissidents. Thousands of men trained at the Punta Cero military camp near Havana and took up arms against the US-backed right-wing regimes that prevailed in the region.

Here are some of Castro's most prominent friends and admirers across the continent over the years.

Venezuela's late socialist leader Hugo Chavez (L) possibly shared the most 
similarities with Fidel Castro's revolutionary fervor (AFP Photo/Pablo Porciuncula)

Chavez

Venezuela's late socialist leader Hugo Chavez possibly came closest to matching Castro's revolutionary fervor and charisma in recent times.

Castro had backed guerrillas in Venezuela in the early 1960s, as in various other countries.

But it was not until 1998 that Chavez was elected, ushering in what he called "21st-century socialism" strongly influenced by the Cuban revolution.

Often appearing in public with his friend Fidel, Chavez became the Latin American left's provocateur-in-chief with respect to the United States.

Chavez died in 2014 and his protege Nicolas Maduro was elected to replace him. Maduro is now facing pressure to quit over a grave economic crisis.

Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (L) became Cuba's second
most prominent ally after Chavez (AFP Photo/Roberto Stuckert Filho)

Lula

Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva became Cuba's second most prominent ally after Chavez.

A working class union leader, Lula came to power in 2003 and presided over a boom in Latin America's biggest country, winning international plaudits.

But Brazil plunged into recession in 2015 under Lula's successor Dilma Rousseff. She was impeached this year, when conservatives came to power.

Kirchner

Castro allies dominated politics in Argentina from 2003 under Nestor Kirchner and his wife Cristina, who succeeded him in 2007.

Reacting after Castro's death, Cristina Kirchner called her friend Castro and Cuba "an example of dignity and sovereignty."

She became one of the most outspoken anti-US figures in the so-called "pink tide" of leftist governments that swept Latin America from the late 1990s.

She left office a year ago, replaced by conservative Mauricio Macri in another shift to the right.

Bolivia's president Evo Morales (L) hailed Fidel Castro as "the master of
revolutionaries" after his death (AFP Photo/Adalberto Roque)

Morales

Bolivia's president Evo Morales is a confessed admirer of Castro, whom he has called "wise grandfather."

A former farmer and unionist, Morales became the first indigenous person to become Bolivia's president in 2006.

He hailed Castro after his death as "the master of revolutionaries."

"He guided us to raise our voices against those who tried to impose policies of domination to rob us of our natural resources," Morales said in a speech.

Morales lost a referendum in February on whether he should be allowed to stand for a fourth term in office.

Ortega

Castro backed the 1979 Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, a staunch ally of its guerrilla leader, Daniel Ortega.

Unlike some leaders in the "pink tide," Ortega is hanging on. He won re-election this month to a third consecutive term. His opponents say the poll was rigged.

Castro also helped the rebel groups that formed the Farabundo Marti front in nearby El Salvador in the 1980s. One of its former commanders, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, is currently president.

Castro "is mourned in Cuba, across Latin America and in other places because of what he symbolized for the independence of his country and national pride, as a fighter for self-determination," said Geoff Thale of the Office on Latin America, a Washington-based NGO.

Related Articles:

World reacts to death of Cuba's Fidel Castro


QUESTION (2005): Dear Kryon: I read in a spiritual article that Fidel Castro's mission is to show how to do things without money, that this is the reason why he and the tropical revolution have been kept alive. Is that true? If not, then why didn’t Cuba change when Eastern Europe changed? Has Fidel Castro been working for the light or is he a part of the old energy?

Answer: This leader is of the old energy, but was needed for the time. The real reason was to bring the Soviet Union close to your shores in order to help with the year 2000 Armageddon scenario that didn’t happen. His earthly masters would have played a very important part in Cuba with the nuclear war you didn’t have.

That’s the whole reason, and now he exists as a relic of what didn’t happen. His society is poor, and the culture is not elevated or pleased with itself. This energy will change soon… sooner than you think. Then you will see a Cuba that has been “hiding” for a very long time, and also realize the unbalance and cultural richness that has been there all along.


"Recalibration of Knowledge" – Jan 14, 2012 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: Channelling, God-Creator, Benevolent Design, New Energy, Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) SoulsReincarnation, Gaia, Old Energies (Africa, Terrorists, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela ... ), Weather, Rejuvenation, Akash, Nicolas Tesla / Einstein, Cold Fusion, Magnetics, Lemuria, Atomic Structure (Electrons, Particles, Polarity, Self Balancing, Magnetism), Entanglement, "Life is necessary for a Universe to exist and not the other way around", DNA, Humans (Baby getting ready, First Breath, Stem Cells, Embryonic Stem Cells, Rejuvenation), Global Unity, ... etc.) (Text Version)

"... I want you to watch some countries. I don't have a clock [this statement is Kryon telling us that there is no time frame on his side of the veil, only potentials]. I'll just tell you, it's imminent [in Spirit's timing, this could mean as soon as a decade]. I want you to watch some countries carefully for changes. You're going to be seeing changes that are obvious, and some that are not obvious [covert or assumptive]. But the obvious ones you will see sooner than not - Cuba, Korea [North], Iran, of course, and Venezuela. I want you to watch what happens when they start to realize that they don't have any more allies on Earth! Even their brothers who used to support them in their hatred of some are saying, "Well, perhaps not anymore. It doesn't seem to be supporting us anymore." Watch the synchronicities that are occurring. The leaders who have either died or are going to in the next year or so will take with them the old ways. Watch what happens to those who take their place, and remember these meetings where I described these potentials to you.

The Old Energy is Alive, But Not Happy

I want to tell you something: Old energy dies kicking and screaming. Old energy does not surrender, ever. Old energy simply dies hard and slow. There will be hold-outs for a long time. There will be those who are convinced that the only way to get what they want is to create drama, war, and fear. They continue to want to spring up in places you felt were safe, and to pull you backwards with them. They hate the fact that the earth is going soft on them, and they continue to rattle their sabers, make threats, and make news doing it. They're not the majority, Human Being, but often they are the loudest. When you walk around in perfect health and you are feeling great except for your sore toe, what do you think about? Your SORE TOE! So then you watch your media talk about sore toes for endless hours, and you get depressed. I know you understand the metaphor. ..."