“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)


''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"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.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."


“ … 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 ..."



Heads of governments during the opening session of the African Union summit
on January 30, 2014 at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa (AFP, Samuel Gebru)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.
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Friday, September 30, 2011

Embarrassing moment playboy son of an African dictator (whose people live on £1.50 a day) has £5million in supercars seized from outside his home

Daily Mail, by Peter Allen30th September 2011 

Eleven supercars worth up to £5 million pounds have been seized from outside an African dictator’s Paris mansion as part of a foreign aid money-laundering investigation.

The vehicles, which included two Bugatti Veyrons, a Ferrari 599 GTO and a Maserati MC12 are all registered to Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the president of Equatorial Guinea.

He is one of numerous African heads of state who regularly receive vast handouts in foreign aid – including British cash via European funding.

Away we go: Among the 11 supercars siezed were Maseratis, two
limited edition Bugatti Veyrons, Ferraris, Porsches and Rolls Royces

'Ill-gotten gains': This Maserati MC12, and the other supercars, were
seized as part of an ongoing investigation into Teodoro Obiang Nguema,
the president of Equatorial Guinea

Load her up: Two officials stand by as the Maserati is lined up to
drive aboard a lorry to take it away

Police swooped on his 15 million pounds mansion on the prestigious Avenue Foch, close to the Arc de Triumphe, this morning, piling all of the vehicles on to a car transporter.

They are all thought to be ‘ill-gotten gains’ bought so as to hide huge amounts of cash smuggled into France from Africa, said a police source.

More...

‘There is an on-going judicial investigation into money laundering and other crimes related to the receipt of foreign aid,’ the source added. ‘These seizures have resulted from this enquiry.’

The cars, which all appeared to be new, also included an Aston Martin V8 600lm, Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe, a Porsche Carrera GT, and a Ferrari Enzo, as well as various Bentleys.

Yellow fever: This Porsche Carrera GT worth a reported £350,000
was one of several cars repossessed

Under investigation: President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, above left,
 was not present as the cars were taken away, but a staff member told
police most of the vehicles were ‘mainly used by his son, Teodorin Obiang'

Obiang Nguema, who is the current chairman of the African Union, was not thought to be present at the time of the seizures, though a member of his staff told police that the cars were ‘mainly used by his son, Teodorin Obiang'.

The Supreme Court of France has appointed an investigating judge to conduct a judicial inquiry into claims that Obiang Nguema has used state funds to purchase property include the Avenue Foch house.

Equatorial Guinea is oil rich, but poverty remains rife and there are regular allegations of high-level corruption, especially by Obiang Nguema and his eldest son, Teodorin.

All aboard: The cars here a Maserati MC12, Rolls Royce Phantom
Coupe and an Aston Martin V8

All of the cars have been impounded and – if the Obiang Nguemas are unable to get them back – they are likely to be auctioned.

Earlier this year it emerged that billions in foreign aid was being used to fund a multi-million-pound Paris property portfolio for African dictators.

Scores of the most luxurious houses and flats in the French capital are now owned by men who regularly receive the money.


EQUATORIAL GUINEA... TINY COUNTRY, HUGE CONTRADICTIONS
  • The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is one of the smallest nations in Africa, with an area of around 11,000 square miles and a population of 676,000.
    It is also one of the richest nations in Africa, but the distribution of wealth is desperately uneven.
    T
    he likes of Teodoro Obiang Nguema enjoys rude wealth, while 70 per cent of the population are living underneath the United Nations Poverty Threshold of £1.50 a day.
    The gulf between rich and poor comers from the recent discovery of large petroleum reserves. The nation's GDP per capita ranks 28th in the world, but few people benefit.

They also include Ali Bongo, President of Gabon, with at least 39 properties, and Denis Sassou-Nguesso, President of the Republic of the Congo, who has 16.

Obiang Nguema’s six-floor period building is used by his family on shopping trips to France, while Obiang Nguema – who came to power in a bloody 1979 coup – prefers to occupy a 2,000 pounds -plus-a-night suite at the Plaza Athenee Hotel, off the Champs Elysee.

The astonishing details are in a report handed to Paris prosecutors by anti-corruption groups Transparency International and Sherpa.

They are also investigating claims that Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt – both deposed in the Arab Spring – retain numerous homes in France.

Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi is also thought to be a Gallic property owner, as is Bashar Al-Assad, accused of killing his own subjects in Syria.

The dossier’s main accusation is that foreign aid flooding into blighted African states was used to fund the extravagant lifestyles of unelected leaders.

French authorities have been accused of turning a blind eye to the scandal. Liberation newspaper highlighted President Sarkozy’s apparent inability to his give up his support for despots.

Critics say Paris prosecutors were fooled by financial 'illusionists' who hid the vast wealth. William Bourdon, barrister for the complainants had to battle against the 'judicial silence' he said.

Related Articles:


Return of Namibian skulls highlights German colonial brutality

Deutsche Welle, 30 Sep 2011 

There are 7,000 skulls from
Namibia in German collections
A Berlin hospital is returning to Namibia 20 skulls that were stolen by colonial Germany, after a brutal repression of an uprising at the start of the 20th century. Some say the gesture does not go far enough.

It is a gruesome sight for those visiting the big auditorium in Berlin's Charite hospital. There are 20 human skulls on the podium. Only two of those are on display, the rest are packed in cardboard boxes, surrounded by flower arrangements.

The skulls are the remains of Namibians who died a horrific death at the hands of German colonial forces. And although skulls are not an unusual sight in medical lectures, they still leave you feeling uneasy.

For German scientists these skulls have a highly symbolic meaning. "It's the first time that we've returned a sizeable stock of skulls from a university," said Thomas Schnalke, head of the Charite's Medical History Museum.

"These skulls were collected in Namibia in a highly dubious ethical context between 1904 and 1908 and then prepared and sent off to Berlin for research purposes," he added.

German colonial forces brutally
crushed the uprising
They belong to victims from the Herero and Nama tribes in the former colony of German South-West Africa. Under pressure from Berlin, the German colonial government brutally repressed an uprising by indigenous people.

An apology

At the beginning of the 20th century, Berlin was a major hub for anthropological research. The Namibian skulls were sent to the German capital for racial analysis, according to the Charite's research.

"In this case, scientists took advantage of the political circumstances and that was wrong," Schnalke said.

"The Charite hospital would like to apologize, or rather ask for forgiveness, from the Namibian people, and we'd like to return the skulls that we have been able to identify."

A delegation of 73 representatives from Namibia, among them senior representatives of the Herero and Nama victims' associations, traveled to Berlin to receive the skulls. The handover reignited the debate about Germany's colonial past.

Calls for recognition of genocide

In 2004, then Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul finally issued the apology many in Namibia had been waiting for - an apology for the brutal repression of the Herero uprising. Since then, the Foreign Ministry has repeatedly emphasized its commitment to improving bilateral relations with Namibia, but for many in Namibia, it does not go far enough.

Muinjangue calls for victims'
groups to be involved
The handover of the skulls has been accompanied by debates, news conferences and a church service. The Left Party and various NGOs have called on the German government to recognize the murder of Herero and Nama people during the uprising as genocide.

'We want to be part of the process'

In addition to that, Utjiua Muinjangue, chairwoman of the Herero Victims' Asociation, has called for a change in attitudes.

"We want to be part of the process. There must not be a discussion without us. The German government has never spoken directly to those affected, to hear about our feelings and to give us a platform so we can be heard," she said.

She also says the money from Germany is not serving its purpose.

"Whatever the German government is paying the Namibian government in terms of money, we regard that as a payment between two countries. That's not the kind of compensation we have in mind."

The dispute is likely to continue and remain in the public eye, not least because there are roughly 7,000 Namibian skulls still in German collections, according to the Charite.

"We want to set an example and set a precedent on how to deal with future demands for returning those human remains," Schnalke said.

The Foreign Ministry has said that the Charite would act as a consultant in this matter, emphasizing that all parties had already worked well together on this occasion.

Author: Kay-Alexander Scholz / ng
Editor: Nancy Isenson

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Saudi men vote in local elections

CBS News, September 29, 2011

 (AP)  RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Men in Saudi Arabia are voting in local elections, the second-ever nationwide vote in the oil-rich kingdom. Women don't have the right to vote this time around, but will be able to do so in 2015.

Thursday's elections are for 1,056 local council seats. The vote was initially due in 2009 but was postponed.

Saudi Arabia held its first nationwide election in 2005, also for local councils.

The kingdom has 1.2 million registered voters out of 5 million men who could be eligible to vote.

An ultraconservative nation, Saudi Arabia does not have a parliament. It has a Shura Council, an advisory assembly appointed by the king.

King Abdullah on Sunday decreed that women will also be appointed to the all-male chamber, which debates general policies but has no legislative powers.


Related Article:

Bahrain sentences medics who treated protesters

BBC News, 29 September 2011

Bahrain Protests 

A court in Bahrain has sentenced 20 medics accused of plotting to overthrow the government by treating protesters to up to 15 years in prison.

The medics and other suspects have
been  tried by a special security court
In a separate case, the special security court sentenced a protester to death for killing a policeman.

The medics had been released on bail after a hunger strike to support them.

They treated people injured when a protest movement calling for more rights for the country's Shia majority in the Sunni-ruled kingdom was crushed.

The Bahraini doctors and nurses were sentenced to between five and 15 years in prison on charges that include inciting the overthrow of the government and provoking sectarian hatred.

Human rights activists say they were only doing their duty.

A wave of mostly peaceful protests swept the country in February and March, but they were put down by force by the government, which called in troops from neighbouring Gulf states.

On Wednesday, a military court in Bahrain upheld life sentences for eight Shia activists convicted over their alleged role in protests.

It also upheld sentences of up to 15 years on 13 other activists.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Police crack down on 'Occupy Wall Street' protests

New York police accused of heavy-handed tactics as 80 anti-capitalist protesters on 'Occupy Wall Street' march are arrested

Guardian.co.uk, 25 Sep 2011



YouTube footage of protesters being pepper-sprayed


The anti-capitalist protests that have become something of a fixture in Lower Manhattan over the past week or so have taken on a distinctly ugly turn.

Police have been accused of heavy-handed tactics after making 80 arrests on Saturday when protesters marched uptown from their makeshift camp in a private park in the financial district.

Footage has emerged on YouTube showing stocky police officers coralling a group of young female protesters and then spraying them with mace, despite being surrounded and apparently posing threats of only the verbal kind.

NYPD officers strung orange netting across the streets to trap groups of protesters, a tactic described by some of them as "kettling" – a term more commonly used by critics of a similar tactic deployed by police in London to contain potentially violent demonstrations there.

The media here in New York has been accused of being slow off the mark to cover the demonstrations, which have been going on for more than a week. The Guardian was one of the first mainstream news organisation to give detailed coverage to the protests – here are some links to our earlier coverage.


Now, however, the local media has paid more attention – almost certainly because Saturday's protest became disruptive, bringing chaos to the busy Union Square area and forcing the closure of streets.

The NewYork Times quoted one protester, Kelly Brannon, 27, of Ridgewood, Queens:

"They put up orange nets and tried to kettle us and we started running and they started tackling random people and handcuffing them. They were herding us like cattle."

The scenes are showing signs of attracting high-profile criticism. Anne-Marie Slaughter, who was director of policy planning, at the State Department from 2009 to 2011, said on Twitter: "Not the image or reality the US wants, at home or abroad," linking to a picture of a police officer kneeling on a protester pinned to the ground.

Here's an extract from a Reuters report, which said the demonstrators were protesting against "bank bailouts, the mortgage crisis and the US state of Georgia's execution of Troy Davis".

  • At Manhattan's Union Square, police tried to corral the demonstrators using orange plastic netting. Some of the arrests were filmed and activists posted the videos online.
    Police say the arrests were mostly for blocking traffic. Charges include disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. But one demonstrator was charged with assaulting a police officer. Police say the officer involved suffered a shoulder injury.

    Protest spokesman Patrick Bruner criticized the police response as "exceedingly violent" and said the protesters sought to remain peaceful

And this is a fuller take from Associated Press.

  • The marchers carried signs spelling out their goals: "Tax the rich," one placard said. "We Want Money for Healthcare not Corporate Welfare," read another.
    The demonstrators were mostly college-age people carrying American flags and signs with anti-corporate slogans. Some beat drums, blew horns and chanted slogans as uniformed officers surrounded and videotaped them.

    "Occupy Wall Street," they chanted, "all day, all week."

    Organizers fell short of that goal. With metal barricades and swarms of police officers in front of the New York Stock Exchange, the closest protesters could get was Liberty Street, about three blocks away.

    The Vancouver-based activist media group Adbusters organized the weeklong event. Word spread via social media, yet the throngs of protesters some participants had hoped for failed to show up.

    "I was kind of disappointed with the turnout," said Itamar Lilienthal, 19, a New York University student and marcher.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

More than 1,200 bodies found in Tripoli mass grave

BBC News, 25 September 2011

Libya Crisis 

A mass grave containing 1,270 bodies has been found in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, according to the National Transitional Council (NTC).


Relatives of the missing have been visiting
the mass grave at Abu Salim prison
The remains are believed to be those of inmates who were killed by security forces in 1996 in the Abu Salim prison.

The uprising against Col Muammar Gaddafi began as a protest to demand the release of a lawyer who represented families of the Abu Salim inmates.

Excavation at the site is expected to start soon.

The NTC said it had discovered the site - a desert field scattered with bone fragments within the grounds of the Abu Salim prison - by questioning prison guards who had worked there when the prisoners were killed after protesting against their conditions.

Several bone fragments and pieces of clothing have already been found in the top soil.

'Grenades and gunfire'

Some family members visited the site, among them Sami Assadi, who lost two brothers in the incident.

He was told they had died of natural causes only five years ago. He told the BBC how it felt to be at the place where his brothers may be buried.

"Mixed feelings really. We are all happy because this revolution has succeeded, but when I stand here, I remember my brothers and many, many friends have been killed, just because they did not like Muammar Gaddafi."

Until recently, little was known about the circumstances in which the prisoners died, says the BBC's Jonathan Head who went down to the site.

A few eyewitnesses have talked about the fact they were killed in their jail cells by grenades and sustained gunfire after a protest.

Officials in the new government say they will need foreign forensic help to determine exactly what happened there.

Women in Saudi Arabia to vote and run in elections

BBC News, 25 September 2011

Related Stories 

Women in Saudi Arabia are to be given the right to vote and run in future municipal elections, King Abdullah has announced.

Saudi women face severe restrictions in their
working and personal lives
He said they would also have the right to be appointed to the consultative Shura Council.

The move was welcomed by activists who have called for greater rights for women in the kingdom, which enforces a strict version of Sunni Islamic law.

The changes will occur after municipal polls on Thursday, the king said.

King Abdullah announced the move in a speech at the opening of the new term of the Shura Council - the formal body advising the king, whose members are all appointed.

"Because we refuse to marginalise women in society in all roles that comply with sharia, we have decided, after deliberation with our senior clerics and others... to involve women in the Shura Council as members, starting from next term," he said.

"Women will be able to run as candidates in the municipal election and will even have a right to vote."

The BBC's world affairs correspondent Emily Buchanan says it is an extraordinary development for women in Saudi Arabia, who are not allowed to drive, or to leave the country unaccompanied.

She says there has been a big debate about the role of women in the kingdom and, although not everyone will welcome the decision, such a reform will ease some of the tension that has been growing over the issue.

Saudi writer Nimah Ismail Nawwab told the BBC: "This is something we have long waited for and long worked towards."

She said activists had been campaigning for 20 years on driving, guardianship and voting issues.

Another campaigner, Wajeha al-Huwaider, said the king's announcement was "great news".

"Now it is time to remove other barriers like not allowing women to drive cars and not being able to function, to live a normal life without male guardians," she told Reuters news agency.

Correspondents say King Abdullah has been cautiously pressing for political reforms, but in a country where conservative clerics and some members of the royal family resist change, liberalisation has been very gradual.

In May more than 60 intellectuals called for a boycott of Thursday's ballot saying "municipal councils lack the authority to effectively carry out their role".

Municipal elections are the only public polls in Saudi Arabia.

More than 5,000 men will compete in municipal elections on Thursday - the second-ever in the kingdom - to fill half the seats in local councils. The other half are appointed by the government.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Abuse in Dutch Catholic care: more evidence

RNW, 24 September 2011, by Robert Chesal

(image: ANP/ kued.org)
              
Serious abuses went on unreported for years in Dutch Roman Catholic homes for the mentally disabled. They included sex offences, castration, secret medical experiments and possibly murder. One Catholic brother was banished to Africa for doing unethical brain research. Radio Netherlands Worldwide tracked him down.

Until recent years, most abuses in Dutch institutional care were kept out of the public eye. One exception was a scandal in 1978 involving medical experiments at 'Huize Assisië’, a Roman Catholic boarding school for mentally handicapped boys in the southern town of Udenhout.

Brain x-rays

The home's medical doctor and a Catholic nurse known as Brother Dionysius performed spinal taps on approximately 180 patients, including minors. They injected fluid and air into the patients' brains in order to take x-rays of the cerebral cortex. These were used for brain research which was quietly being carried out. After the injections, the patients suffered nausea and headaches for days. Their parents were neither asked for permission nor notified of the procedures.

Sent to Africa

When former employees blew the whistle, the doctor was sacked and ordered to pay a fine. Brother Dionysius was sent to Tanzania by his congregation. The case was discussed in the Dutch parliament, where MPs complained that the health inspector had given private institutions such as Huize Assisië a free hand.

"Nothing untoward"

Radio Netherlands Worldwide has discovered that Brother Dionysius is still working as a hospital nurse in the Tanzanian village of Sengerema, near Lake Victoria. Speaking to RNW by telephone, the 76-year-old brother said he had done "nothing untoward".

"What we did was happening at other institutions too," he said. "As the x-ray technician, I was carrying out the doctor's orders. It was none of my business whether the parents knew. I was fired after the story got out, but that was just to put a stop to all the fuss."

Lurid secrets

It was a rare example of institutional abuse becoming public knowledge. More often than not, such cases are swept under the rug where they remain for decades. But lately, some lurid secrets have come out in the open.

In a Dutch TV investigation, a former head nurse at 'Huize Sint Joseph’, a Catholic home for mentally disabled boys, alleged that one of his predecessors had fatally poisoned at least 20 patients in the early 1950s. The story caused ripples well beyond Heel, the small southern Dutch village where the institution has stood proud since the 19th century.

Indecent assault

Aside from alleged multiple murders, the media have revealed that there was both sexual and physical abuse at Huize Sint Joseph. The latest news dug up by investigative reporters: a rector at the home was convicted of indecent assault of minors in 1967. Two nurses who reported him were sacked and ordered to remain silent. Following his conviction, the rector requested a pardon so he could remain employed at a vocational school where he held a job as a teacher of Child Protection. The judge refused and gave him a short prison sentence.

Several people who formerly lived in Huize Sint Joseph say the Catholic brothers often beat the children in their care and locked them up in solitary confinement. Historian Annemieke Klijn wrote about the violence in a book about the home. She described the many forms of restraint and coercion the brothers used, including "a perhaps somewhat unrestrained smack".

Grave faults

Dr Klijn describes Huize Sint Joseph as an institution where many religious men worked with great dedication, but where the quality of care had grave faults. This was partly due to overcrowding and a lack of well-trained personnel.

Like many Roman Catholic care facilities in its day, it suffered from a lack of funds. Catholic homes for the disabled also resisted outside attempts to impose training to professionalize the quality of care. It is not known how widespread similar abuses to those at Huize Sint Joseph were at other Catholic care institutions.

Castration

A practice which was fairly widespread but not widely publicized until recent years was the chemical castration of patients. One of the institutions where this took place was the Sint Willibrordus home, a Catholic facility for the mentally ill in the Dutch town of Heiloo, north of Amsterdam. Among those castrated were priests who had committed sexual offences and seminary students who were thought unable to keep their libido in check.

Inquiry doubtful

So far, there appears to be little interest in a wide-ranging inquiry into abuses in Roman Catholic care for the mentally disabled. Member of the Upper House and medical ethics expert Heleen Dupuis questions the need for an inquiry. Dr Dupuis, who chairs the main Dutch trade organisation for providers of care to the disabled, says anyone found guilty of abuse must be punished. But she prefers to emphasize how much Dutch care has improved since decades past when so many abuses took place. "Thank God we no longer live in those times," she says.


"The Humanization of God" – Jul 16, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Benevolent DesignShift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Guides and Angels, Communication with God, Wars in Heaven ?, The Love of God, (Old) Souls, Global Unity,....  etc.New !

Friday, September 23, 2011

South Africa gets UFO conference


iafrica.com, Thu, 22 Sep 2011
 
South Africa will experience its first ever conference on Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) in November.

"Millions of people in SA have had their own personal experience with ETs and UFOs - but most have in the past been too nervous to raise the subject, afraid of ridicule," conference host Michael Tellinger said on Thursday.

The gathering would allow "those in the know" an opportunity to express themselves on issues like extra-terrestrial (ET) contact.

He said 13 internationally recognised and published leaders in the fields of UFOlogy, genetics, microbiology and biomimicry would speak at the event in Johannesburg.

Speakers would also address topics including alchemy, ancient wisdom, numeric science and the formation of a money-less society.

"The average person on the street is completely oblivious of the unimaginable progress in scientific research, so much so, that it would seem like magic to the unenlightened crowd", said Tellinger.

"While there are still many who smirk in disbelief at the concept of alien presence in the universe and even here on Earth, those in the know are rapidly moving well beyond trying to justify their knowledge to the uninitiated."

Palestinian president requests statehood

CNN News, by the CNN Wire Staff, September 23, 2011


Abbas to address U.N. General Assembly

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Palestinians seek "inalienable, legitimate, national rights," Abbas tells the United Nations
  • The Palestinian president formally requests full U.N. membership
  • The effort is likely doomed to failure, as the United States has promised to veto it if necessary
  • Ahead of the speech, security concerns rise in Jerusalem

United Nations (CNN) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged the United Nations to recognize Palestine as a full member of the international organization in a historic speech Friday to the General Assembly in New York.

Israel, Abbas said, continues to stymie peace, so it is time for the United Nations to act.

"We aspire for and seek a greater and more effective role for the United Nations in working to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in our region that ensures the inalienable, legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people," said Abbas, who was greeted with a long round of applause as he took the rostrum.

The speech was closely watched across the Middle East. In Ramallah, hundreds gathered and raptly watched on big-screen television. They greeted news that he had formally filed the statehood request with cheers, song and dance.

Less than an hour after Abbas ends his speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to give a rebuking speech declaring the request a unilateral move that will only hinder the prospect of true peace in the region.

Mass demonstrations are planned for Friday in New York and are expected across the Middle East.

U.S. Embassies across the region warned citizens to avoid the expected demonstrations, saying they could turn violent with little warning.

An increased police presence was visible in Jerusalem, where the military had stockpiled riot-control gear against the possibility of greater violence.

Ahead of the speech, Palestinian youths lobbed rocks and bottles at Israeli security forces at a West Bank security checkpoint leading to Jerusalem, a fairly routine Friday occurrence.

There were no injuries, but rock-throwing between Israeli citizens and Palestinians in Qusra led to three injuries, one of them fatal, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Abbas to formally delivered a letter to the United Nations secretary-general making a request that Palestine become a member state of the international body.

No immediate action is expected, and such a U.N. declaration is almost certainly doomed to failure: In addition to Israel's opposition, the United States has vowed to veto the effort if necessary in the Security Council.

"Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the U.N.," President Barack Obama said in a speech to delegates at the General Assembly on Thursday. "If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now."

Obama and Abbas met on Wednesday as part of behind-the-scenes diplomatic efforts that have accompanied the Palestinian statehood request. He said he supports Palestinian statehood, but reiterated the long-standing U.S. position that Israel must be part of the discussions.

Israel has described the bid as counterproductive to the peace process, and has called for a resumption of talks to begin in New York and to be continued in Ramallah and Jerusalem.

While a U.S. veto would block any effort to gain full U.N. membership, the General Assembly could vote to upgrade the status of Palestinians, who are currently part of the U.N. as a non-voting observer "entity." The General Assembly could change that status to permanent observer "state," identical to the Vatican's status in the United Nations.

Despite a breathtaking year of change that has seen popular revolutions mark political upheaval in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and other nations, talk of Palestinian statehood has dominated the General Assembly's session this week.

The membership effort sends a strong message by Abbas to Palestinians that he is working to advance the Palestinians' cause, said Steven Cook, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

"Right now, he's thinking about his domestic political situation in order to maintain his position," Cook said. "So he's not eaten alive."

CNN's Kevin Flower and Fionnuala Sweeney contributed to this report.


Related Article: