“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)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

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 ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

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

Sunday, April 29, 2012

South Africa: Gold miners sue over lung disease

Apartheid conditions gave black miners incurable silicosis, say experts.

Global Post, Erin Conway-Smith, April 29, 2012

Former South African miner Vuyisile Gibson stands on November 8, 2011
 in his mud hut near the town of Tsolo in the Eastern Cape province. He is
 undergoing tests to see whether his poor health is due to decades of breathing
 dust while working in Anglo American gold mines. Silicosis is caused by inhaling
 gold mining dust and can rest dormant for years before permanently scarring
the lungs. (Rodger Bosch /AFP/Getty Images)

JOHANNESBURG — Long after they left the gold mines, death stalks tens of thousands of South Africa’s former miners.

They fight for breath, their chests tight and bodies weak: Years of inhaling dust caused many ex-miners to contract silicosis, an incurable lung disease that often leads to tuberculosis and can be fatal.

High-profile lawsuits are bringing new attention to silicosis, described by medical expert Tony Davies as a "river of disease flowing out of the South African gold mines.” But some of the former miners fear that any justice may come too late — as court cases drag on, men are dying.

More than a thousand former workers of Anglo American, one of the world’s biggest mining companies, have launched proceedings in the London High Court, seeking compensation for silicosis.

Silicosis is an occupational disease, and a hazard of gold mining, caused by excessive exposure to silica dust. The miners say they were not given protective masks and the mines lacked proper ventilation, even though it was known that the dust could be harmful.

In a separate case, a South African lawyer said he has signed up more than 6,000 plaintiffs from South Africa and Lesotho, and is preparing to file a class-action suit in a Johannesburg court.

A third case, launched by 18 former miners from South Africa’s Free State against a local Anglo American subsidiary, is continuing. Four of the men have died since the suit was filed in 2004. There is still no verdict.

In a heartbreaking case last year, Thembekile Mankayi won the right to sue his former employer, AngloGold Ashanti, for compensation for the silicosis and tuberculosis he allegedly contracted while working underground for 16 years. But Mankayi died of lung disease, aged 53, less than a week before the landmark ruling.

The biggest silicosis case so far is the one launched against Anglo American in Britain, representing 1,200 claimants who worked at Anglo’s mines in South Africa. The lawsuit, which alleges that the miners’ excessive exposure to dust was caused by negligence, is potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation.

Anglo American is contesting the jurisdiction of the British courts, and a hearing on this issue will take place May 9.

South Africa's gold mines employed more than 500,000 people during their heyday in the 1980s, many of the workers migranting from impoverished parts of what is now the Eastern Cape, and from neighboring Lesotho.

About 25 percent of the miners contracted silicosis, most of them having worked in mines between 1970 and 2000, according to various studies.

Black workers had the most dangerous jobs in the mines, and were given little safety equipment. Upon returning home to impoverished rural areas, many received little health care.

“Expert or no expert, it doesn’t take a wizard to see that these men have got a horrendous level of disease,” said Davies, the South African expert, during a briefing in Johannesburg last year.

Daniel Thakamakau, a former South African miner affected by silicosis, attended Anglo American’s annual general meeting last week in London.

“While Anglo became rich from the work that we did on their mines, we are now suffering,” Thakamakau said in a statement. “I have no money and I cannot get medical treatment. All we are asking is for the company to provide medical assistance and our fair compensation.”

Anglo American said that it doesn’t believe it is liable for the silicosis claims. But the company last year agreed to provide treatment for 16 miners in South Africa, on “humanitarian grounds,” while their cases are being heard.

“Anglo American is very sympathetic to the claimants’ situation — but, more than that, we are doing something about it for those individuals whose claims in South Africa have taken so long to be resolved,” said chairman John Parker said at the company’s annual general meeting last week.

Some of the miners have received compensation, usually just a few thousand dollars or less, under industry wide legislation. But, during South Africa’s racist apartheid regime, black workers earned much less than white workers, and received much less compensation.

Another problems is that many miners don’t even know they have silicosis. Thousands of ex-miners have died of respiratory illnesses without treatment or compensation.

“The South African gold mining industry was focused on production and profit and displayed a flagrant disregard for the health of its black workers,” said Richard Meeran from London law firm Leigh Day & Co, which is representing the miners.

“As a result, tens of thousands of ex-miners, without access to proper medical facilities, have been disabled and they and their families left destitute,” Meeran said. “The industry has been well aware of their predicament for over a decade but has failed to act.”

Malawi's Joyce Banda puts women's rights at centre of new presidency

'I'm carrying this heavy load on behalf of all women,' says first female president in southern Africa after foiling coup

guardian.co.uk, David Smith in Pretoria, Sunday 29 April 2012

Joyce Banda during her inauguration as Malawi's president.
Photograph: Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

For 48 turbulent hours she was the victim of a conspiracy that left the future of Malawi hanging in the balance. Then Joyce Banda made a critical phone call to the head of the army, asking if she could rely on his support. He said yes. And at that moment her place in history was assured.

"You ask how I feel to be the first female president in southern Africa?" she said in an interview. "It's heavy for me. Heavy in the sense that I feel that I'm carrying this heavy load on behalf of all women. If I fail, I will have failed all the women of the region. But for me to succeed, they all must rally around."

Banda's dramatic rise came when President Bingu wa Mutharika's increasingly autocratic rule was cut short by a fatal heart attack earlier this month. As vice-president, it was her constitutional right to replace him. After overcoming resistance from Mutharika's powerful allies, she has now set about rebuilding the country's shattered economy and pursuing a cause close to her heart: women's rights.

The 61-year-old first rose to prominence as a champion of female empowerment, founding organisations including a microfinancing network for thousands of women in rural areas. She says her own experiences of marriage have driven her crusade.

"I got married at 22 and remained in an abusive marriage for 10 years," she told the Guardian during a visit to Pretoria, South Africa. "I made up my mind that that was never going to happen to me again. I made a brave step to walk out in a society when you didn't walk out of an abusive marriage.It was mental and physical abuse.

"Two years later I got married again to my husband who was a high court judge in Malawi. For the next two, three years I moved from zero to hero: I was running the largest business owned by a woman in Malawi, in industrial garment manufacturing. But when I looked back his fingerprint was all over: if I wanted training, he paid; if I wanted a loan, he came with me. Because of his status in society everything was easy for me, so I had succeeded but I had succeeded because I was privileged.

"And that's when it began to worry me. I began to think about those that were in my situation that were not able to walk out of an abusive marriage, or maybe those that did not know where to go, that were in a single headed marriage, or widows. I was thinking what it was I could do to reach out to them."

Pointing to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Africa's first elected female head of state, Banda added: "Africa is changing in that regard and I hope you know that we are doing better than most countries. America is still struggling to put a woman in the White House but we have two, so we're doing fine. This is what people did not expect us to achieve but we have."

Compared to her strait-laced predecessor, Banda dresses colourfully – her spectacles have sparkly Dolce & Gabbana designer frames.

In the interview, she revealed the inside story of how Mutharika's sudden death pushed Malawi to the precipice of a coup. By 6 April, the news had spread worldwide yet there was still no official confirmation inside Malawi itself. The cabinet met secretly in an attempt to thwart Banda and install Mutharika's brother, Peter, as acting president.

Ministers held a press conference "in the middle of the night" on state television, she recalled, "telling the nation that I had no authority to act as president, that they were making arrangements to take over, that after all the president was OK and recovering. And all the while he was dead the previous day at 12 o'clock."

On 7 April, South Africa confirmed Mutharika's death and Malawi's cabinet sought a court order to block Banda. It was then she phoned the army commander, General Henry Odillo, who sided with her and stationed troops around her house. This was the pivotal moment.

"By that time the chief justice and some judges were sitting at Peter Mutharika's house waiting for the court order in order to swear him in," Banda continued. "All cabinet ministers were there too and all members of parliament were there as well. But somebody called one minister to say, 'We don't know whether you know what's going on but Joyce Banda is here and now it's looking real, so whatever you are doing elsewhere will be looked upon as treason.' At that point 15 ministers abandoned that place and came running to my house."

Ministers and MPs bowed to the inevitable and rallied around Banda. But she could not be sworn in without the chief justice, a Mutharika loyalist who protested that he did not have his robes and wig. A car was sent to fetch them.

Banda observed: "The fact that the army stood up and restored order is a sign that we have matured. The army had an opportunity to take over – in fact, I am told some of them were being persuaded to say, 'If we can't have it, she can't have it – just take over.' But they resisted that temptation and to me that is the sign of maturity and a maturing democracy."

Banda has wasted no time in appointing a new cabinet, sacking the central bank governor and police chief and reversing her predecessor's most unpopular decisions. She has pledged to follow IMF advice by devaluing the national currency by 40%. "We brought this upon ourselves because of our carelessness and arrogance."

This included falling out with a leading donor, Britain, whose high commissioner was expelled by Mutharika. We have assured the UK that what the high commissioner went through will not happen againand he will be respected , she said.

Banda sounds less enthusiastic, however, about singer Madonna, who has adopted two Malawian children but scrapped the building of an elite academy for girls,announcing plans for 10 schools instead.

"Madonna came to Malawi and Madonna came to build a school, an academy like the one Oprah [Winfrey] built here [in South Africa], but she changed her mind so I have a problem with a lot of things around the adoption of the children and the changing of the mind and then coming back to build community schools.

"She's not interested in investing any more – she has closed her offices in Malawi. We have accepted her position and we respect her decision and I personally don't have any further comment about that."

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saudi Arabian girls' school defies basketball ban

Girls' school in Eastern province defies clerics by installing basketball hoops and allowing pupils to play at break-time

guardian.co.uk, Reuters, Wednesday 25 April 2012

Saudi Arabia's Jeddah United warm up before a basketball game in Amman. The kingdom has never fielded a woman athlete at the Olympics. Photograph: Corbis

A girls' school in Saudi Arabia has defied a religious ban on female sports by erecting basketball hoops and allowing pupils to play at break-time, the daily al-Watan has reported.

Powerful clerics in the conservative Islamic kingdom have long spoken against permitting girls to play sports, with one senior figure saying in 2009 it might lead them to lose their virginity by tearing their hymens.

Saudi Arabia's austere interpretation of Islamic law prevents women from working, opening bank accounts or having some elective surgery without the permission of a male relative. They are not allowed to drive.

King Abdullah has pushed for women to have better opportunities in education and employment and last year said they could vote and run for office in municipal elections, the only official polls in the monarchy.

The school in Saudi Arabia's Eastern province has become the first state-run girls' school openly to encourage sports, Watan reported on Wednesday, quoting a supervisor as saying it would expend pupils' energy "in a positive way". Private girls' schools already offer sports classes.

In recent months Saudi Arabia has faced criticism for having never fielded a woman athlete at the Olympics, with Human Rights Watch calling for the kingdom be barred from this year's London games.

Amid mounting international scrutiny of the issue, local media reported this month that the deputy education minister for female student affairs, the kingdom's first woman minister, was considering setting up "a comprehensive physical education programme" for both sexes.

"The school administration is hoping to instil the importance of sports among the students and introduce them to its benefits, as well as allowing them to spend their spare time doing something beneficial," Amina Bu Bsheit, a school supervisor, was quoted as saying by Watan.

She added that the school, which was not named in Watan's report, still did not provide a physical education class but that the students play during weekly "activities classes".

Related Articles:

"Perceptions of God" – June 6, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Quantum TeachingThe Fear of God, Near-death ExperienceGod Becomes Mythology, Worship, Mastery, Intelligent Design, Benevolent CreatorGlobal Unity.... etc.(Text version)

“.. For centuries you haven't been able to think past that box of what God must be like. So you create a Human-like God with wars in heaven, angel strife, things that would explain the devil, fallen angels, pearly gates, lists of dos and don'ts, and many rules still based on cultures that are centuries old. You create golden streets and even sexual pleasures as rewards for men (of course) - all Human perspective, pasted upon God. I want to tell you that it's a lot different than that. I want to remind you that there are those who have seen it! Why don't you ask somebody who has had what you would call a near-death experience?

(Religions – Zionism - March 1, 2012 - Matthew Channelled by Suzanne Ward)

9. It can be no other way—simply, this is the physics that governs life in this universe. As Earth continues apace into successively higher planes, nothing with low vibrations in any form—physical bodies, subversive plans, theft, dishonesty, unjust laws and imprisonment, bigotry, cruel customs and deeds—can survive.

10. Moving on, no, it will not be quite like religions being “totally discarded and replaced by universal laws in the Golden Age.” When the truths come forth that science and spirit are one and the same and that religious dogmas were originated by early leaders of church and state to control the masses, people whose consciousness has risen beyond the constraints of third density will adhere to the spiritual aspects of their respective religions and the devised, controlling aspects will fall by the wayside.

11. One of the truths to come forth is that Zionism, which by dark intent has been made synonymous with Judaism, actually is a bellicose political movement within the Illuminati, and its aim for more than six decades has been to create conflict and instability in the entire Middle East. Zionists, who have wielded powerful influence within and behind major governments and their military forces, do NOT represent the Jewish peoples in Israel or anywhere else. And, like all other Illuminati factions, they have been committed to that cabal’s goal of global domination.

12. Although Semites are of diverse national origins and religions, the Zionists have been successful in convincing many that “anti-Semitic” is exclusively prejudice against the Jewish peoples and opposition to Israel’s right to defend itself from its “enemies.” By means of that blatant distortion, they obtained not only world sympathy, but also massive defense funding from Israel’s allies, most especially the United States, all of which served to increase the Illuminati’s vast profits from their industrial-military machine.

13. In addition to controlling the masses through dogmatic teachings, religions have served the dark purpose of divisiveness to such an extent that it resulted in centuries of trauma and bloodshed. Witness the Crusades, wars between Catholics and Protestants, pogroms against Jews, executions of “blasphemous” individuals who refused to “recant.”  (Read More …)

"Matthew preparing us for the Golden Age." -  Jan 19, 2012 (Channelled by Suzy Ward)

"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 (Based in Greece, Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to built Africa to develop), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - New !

Friday, April 27, 2012

After the Arab spring, the sexual revolution?

Mona Eltahawy's 'Arab men hate women' article sparks demands for a sea change in engagement between the sexes

guardian.co.ukMartin Chulov in Beirut, Eileen Byrne in Tunis and Abdel-Rahman Hussein in Cairo , Friday 27 April 2012

Egyptian women protest against the army's use of violence against them
 in Cairo in 2011 after images of women who had been brutally beaten
were circulated. Photograph: Mohamed Omar/EPA

An explosive call for a sexual revolution across the Arab world in which the author argues that Arab men "hate" Arab women has provoked a fierce debate about the subjugation of women in countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.

Women are deeply divided over the article, entitled "Why do they hate us?", by the prominent American-Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy, which fulminates against "the pulsating heart of misogyny in the Middle East" and builds to an early crescendo by stating: "We have no freedoms because they hate us … Yes: They hate us. It must be said."

Eltahawy is not alone in stressing that a revolution has come and gone, but done little for Arab women. There are only eight women in Egypt's new 500-seat parliament – and not one female presidential candidate. Domestic violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation are still part of the status quo across a region covering more than 20 countries and 350 million people.

"Even after these 'revolutions,' all is more or less considered well with the world as long as women are covered up, anchored to the home, denied the simple mobility of getting into their own cars, forced to get permission from men to travel, and unable to marry without a male guardian's blessing – or divorce either," Eltahawy argues in Foreign Policy. "An entire political and economic system – one that treats half of humanity like animals – must be destroyed along with the other more obvious tyrannies choking off the region from its future. Until the rage shifts from the oppressors in our presidential palaces to the oppressors on our streets and in our homes, our revolution has not even begun."

Eltahawy draws on anecdotal and empirical evidence for her tirade: 90% of women who have ever been married in Egypt "have had their genitals cut in the name of modesty"; not one Arab country is in the top 100 nations as ranked by gender equality; Saudi women have been prosecuted for daring to drive a car. Eltahawy nails the paradox that it is women who must cover up – because of the sexual impulses of Arab men.

But plenty of women across the Arab world have taken objection to Eltahawy's blanket condemnation of men.

"I agree with most of what she said but I think that the one thing that she might be reluctant to admit is that it's not about men hating women, it's about monotheistic religions hating women," says Joumana Haddad, a Lebanese author and journalist. "They continually reinforce patriarchal standards and patterns that have existed long before. There is no harmony possible between monotheism and women's rights. The teachings deny women their dignity and rights."

Dalia Abd El-Hameed, a researcher on health issues at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, added: "It is oversimplistic to say Arab men hate Arab women; it presents us as needing to be saved. I don't want to be saved, because I am not a victim. We can't put all Egyptian women in one category, let alone Arab women. My problems are not the same as a rural woman from Upper Egypt."

Sarah Naguib, a political activist in Egypt, said: "I honestly think it's almost offensive to be asked if Arab men hate Arab women. That's like saying all Muslims are terrorists and all Jews are evil and the American dream still lives on."

Lina Ben Mhenni, a Tunisian lecturer nominated last year for the Nobel peace prize, said: "It seems to me that this article inaccurately lumps all men together; from a purely personal perspective, if today I'm seen as a blogger who defends the rights of women as well as of other groups, it's because I have a father who is more feminist than I am myself."

Mhenni notes that in Tunisia men and women are working together to defend the freedoms and rights of women. "The examples cited by Mona are real enough, but to speak of hatred as the reason behind discrimination between men and women is exaggerated, uncalled-for even. You have to look at all the historical, social and political factors which are behind all this. Arab regimes have always limited our horizons, undermined our educational systems, and restricted access to culture. It has been a strategy to manipulate the crowd and send it in a certain direction."

In Beirut, Haddad points out that just as not all men are culpable, some women are. "Many women support such negative notions of femininity: endorsing the alpha male, reinforcing the patriarchal system, obedience, submission, financial dependence. There are many women who do not believe in women playing a role in business or demanding their political rights. According to much of the religious teachings it's impossible."

Although that may be true, there is no doubt that even Lebanese law militates against women in places. "There is no law that protects women from domestic violence," notes Lebanese MP Sethrida Geagea. "A husband can violate his wife and even rape her and there is nothing to protect her. Two months ago we passed a draft law that banned so-called honour killings. Before then, if a father or brother thought a woman from his family was seeing another man he could kill her and would spend no more than two months in jail.

"That has now changed but real change in attitudes will take a lot longer."

Others say that women are only one of many oppressed groups. In an article on Comment is Free this week, Nesrine Malik argued: "Yes, in Saudi Arabia women cannot drive, but men cannot elect their government; instead they are ruled over by a religiously opportunistic dynasty. In Egypt, it's true that women were subjected to virginity tests, but men were sodomised. In Sudan women are lashed for wearing trousers, but ethnic minorities are also marginalised and under assault. We must not belittle the issues women face, or relegate them to second place, but we must place them in a wider context where wholesale reform is needed. One cannot reduce a much more universal and complicated problem merely to gender."

Laila Marrakchi, a Moroccan film-maker, takes issue with the word "hate", arguing that many Arab men are repressed too. "It's not hatred, it's fear of women – which in turn brings the hatred. There is so much frustration among men in the Arab world, it begins with sexual frustration, and the frustration of not being able to speak out, and not having political freedom."

Tunisia may historically have enjoyed the most liberal attitudes towards women's rights, but some fear that may be changing, despite last year's revolution. Saloua Karoui Ounalli, a lecturer in American and English literature at Tunis University, said: "Things have changed in just a few months. I can't wear miniskirts at work now, on the campus, for fear that someone will attack me. I only wear trousers now. This change in environment began a couple of years back, when the number of women wearing the veil started to increase."

She says a sexual revolution is desperately needed. "But right now is not the best timing. First you need a cultural revolution to train people to think with a critical frame of mind, to take into account the plurality of cultures in the world, so that they can see Arab culture as just one among thousands of cultures; it isn't necessarily the best one and doesn't necessarily possess the truth. A sexual revolution would be a waste of time until you have first taught people to evaluate their own culture with some detachment from the sacred."

Moroccan journalist Nadia Lamlili says the Arab world does not need a sexual revolution so much as a cultural revolution in the way people are brought up and the way the sexes are segregated.

"It seems to me that the problems facing Arab women derive more from a lack of understanding between the sexes, which is above all due to the two sexes not being allowed to mix, and of the morbid desire on the part of the Arab regimes to keep society divided: men to one side, women to the other," she says. "By separating the sexes, the Arab regimes want to manage sexual temptation. But it doesn't take away the temptation. In fact it exasperates and amplifies the temptation, and ends up with violence in dealings between men and women.

"The problem with our societies is that the women are in love with their sons instead of their husbands, and the men are in love with their mothers instead of with their wives," she adds. "Men and women don't understand one another due to the fact that their dealings are not at all clear, as they don't spend enough time together or don't engage with each other enough."

"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 (Based in Greece, Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to built Africa to develop), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - New !

New international land deals database reveals rush to buy up Africa

World's largest public database lifts lid on the extent and secretive nature of the global demand for land

guardian.co.uk, Claire Provost, Friday 27 April 2012

Kenyans who live on disputed land at the Mau forest stand by the
roadside at a makeshift village. Photograph: Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters

Almost 5% of Africa's agricultural land has been bought or leased by investors since 2000, according to an international coalition of researchers and NGOs that has released the world's largest public database of international land deals.

The database, launched on Thursday, lifts the lid on a decade of secretive deals struck by governments, investors and speculators seeking large tracts of fertile land in developing countries around the world.

The past five years have seen a flood of reports of investors snapping up land at rock-bottom prices in some of the world's poorest countries. But, despite growing concern about the local impacts of so-called "land grabs", the lack of reliable data has made it difficult to pin down the real extent and nature of the global rush for land.

Researchers estimate that more than 200m hectares (495m acres) of land – roughly eight times the size of the UK – were sold or leased between 2000 and 2010. Details of 1,006 deals covering 70.2m hectares in Africa, Asia and Latin America were published by the Land Matrix project, an international partnership involving five major European research centres and 40 civil society and research groups from around the world.

It is the first time a comprehensive list of international land deals has been collected and made public. The database relies on a wide variety of sources – including media reports, academic research and field-based investigations – to add detail to a global phenomenon notoriously shrouded in secrecy.

In a report published alongside the database, which analysed 1,217 agricultural deals covering 83.2m hectares of land, the researchers said the data confirms suspicions that wealthy food-importing countries have been targeting farmland in poorer countries with high rates of hunger and weak land governance. However, the report also reveals the growing role of emerging economies.

The report describes the rise of a "new intra-regionalism" characterised by growing south-south investment. Overall, researchers found more than 30% of documented agricultural deals involve investors coming from the same region as their "target" country. Expanding agribusiness companies from Brazil and Argentina seem to prefer to invest in other Latin American countries, they said, while South African investors appear particularly involved in projects in nearby east, central and southern African countries.

The majority of documented deals are in Africa. Researchers say 754 deals have been identified on the continent, covering 56.2m hectares – or roughly the size of Kenya.

Little evidence of job creation or other benefits to local communities could be found among the hundreds of largely export-oriented projects, said the report. In some cases, it adds, investors have secured hundreds of thousands of hectares of prime farmland at little to no cost. One deal in South Sudan, for example, has reportedly granted a Norwegian investor a 99-year lease for 179,000 hectares at an annual cost of just $0.07 a hectare.

Governments eager for foreign investment have often gone to great lengths to advertise vast tracts of available "vacant" land in their countries. But the report says almost half of the agricultural deals studied showed the areas concerned were already being farmed before investors moved in. Competition between powerful foreign investors and local farming communities seems "inevitable", it said.

But, so far, few large-scale projects have been established on the millions of hectares bought or leased for agricultural activities, according to the report, which says less than 30% of documented deals are thought to be in production. It suggests that some investors may have underestimated the challenges associated with their projects, while other deals are likely to be purely strategic and speculative investments.

A separate report published on Wednesday by the International Land Coalition, the NGO Global Witness, and the US-based Oakland Institute, denounced the "secretive culture" around large-scale land deals, and demanded governments and businesses disclose contracts and detailed information about potential risks and impacts of land-based investments.

"Far too many people are being kept in the dark about massive land deals that could destroy their homes and livelihoods," says Megan MacInnes, senior land campaigner at Global Witness. "Companies should have to prove they are doing no harm, rather than communities with little information or power having to prove that a land deal is negatively affecting them."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Taylor convicted of aiding and abetting war crimes

Deutsche Welle, 26 April 2012

An international tribunal in The Hague has found former Liberian President Charles Taylor criminally responsible for crimes against humanity committed during Sierra Leone's civil war.

A United Nations-backed court in The Hague has unanimously found Charles Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting atrocities in connection with Sierra Leone's civil war.

"The trial chamber finds you guilty of aiding and abetting of all these crimes," presiding judge Richard Lussick told the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague following a preamble of well over two hours.

Lussick said the former warlord, who was later elected president of Libera, provided arms, ammunition, communications equipment and planning to rebels in the 1991-2002 Sierra Leone civil war. The judge said Taylor’s support to the rebels was "sustained and significant."

The 64-year-old Taylor faced 11 charges related to the decade-long war in neighboring Sierra Leone, where he was linked to two rebel groups, and is expected to appeal the conviction. He was put on trial on allegations of funnelling arms, ammunition and mining equipment to the rebels in return for “blood diamonds.”

The charges included acts of terrorism, murder, rape, sexual slavery and enslavement.

Rebels from the Revolutionary United Front, described by prosecutors in the case as Taylor's “proxy army,” were notorious for their brutality, routinely cutting off the limbs of their enemies. 

Many of their victims testified during the trial, which began in 2007 and was completed just over a year ago.

Among those who testified during the trial was the British model Naomi Campbell, who said she had received diamonds from Taylor.

Taylor, who served as president of Liberia from 1997 to 2003, had pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He claims to have been the victim of a political witch-hunt aimed at preventing him from returning to public office.

The reading of the verdict was broadcast live on international news networks. The court is to reconvene for sentencing on May 30. Taylor could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

More than 120,000 people are believed to have died in Sierra Leone's civil war.

The trial is seen as precedent-setting, as Taylor is the first former head of state to convicted by an international court since the Nuremberg trials after World War II.

pfd/acb (AP, dpa)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Uganda Ingrid Turinawe 'sexual abuse' protesters strip

BBC News, 23 April 2012

Related Stories 

Six protesters were arrested and
later detained
A group of women have stripped to their bras in protest at the alleged sexual assault by Ugandan police of a high-profile female opposition politician.

Footage shows an officer squeezing the breast of Ingrid Turinawe of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) during her arrest ahead of a rally last week.

Deputy police chief Andrew Kaweesa has apologised, saying the incident will be investigated.

Uganda's opposition says police regularly harass them during protests.

Since President Yoweri Museveni's controversial 2011 re-election, there has been a wave of opposition demonstrations - many of which have ended in violence and arrests.

But correspondents say Ugandans are outraged by the arrest on Friday of Ms Turinawe, who is the head of the Women's League of the FDC led by Kizza Besigye.

Ugandan television footage clearly shows that, as several officers tried to pull her out of her vehicle, another grabbed and squeezed her breast - and she is heard shouting out in pain.

The BBC's Siraj Kalyango in the capital, Kampala, says a group of about 15 women marched through the town to the main police station waving placards, including one that read "How would you feel if we squeezed your balls?"

Six protesters were arrested after they refused to put their tops back on - but they were released two hours later without charge.

"We wanted to ask the police if they are there to do their jobs or there to pinch breasts," event organiser Barbara Allimadi told the AFP news agency.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

South African government accelerates land reform for sustainable agriculture development

English.news.cn   2012-04-22    
JOHANNESBURG, April 22 (Xinhua) -- The South African government is speeding up its reform plan to redistribute land to rightful owners, the official Bua news agency reported on Sunday.

"The government has set a target of redistributing 30 percent of commercial farmland to historically disadvantaged communities by 2014, we are moving towards achieving this by speeding up the process through negotiated settlements with the private sectors," Bua reported, citing Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti.

The speech was made at a ceremony marking the restoration of over 12 thousand hectares of land to a community in the eastern province of Mpumalanga.

The minister said the government's land reform aims at promoting the sustainable development of the agriculture.

Agriculture plays a major role in the South Africa's economy, and South Africa has a broad and well-developed agriculture.

However, as mining and manufacturing industries expanded at a faster pace, agriculture's share in the GDP declined.

The minister urged the beneficiaries of land redistributors to make full use of the invaluable assets to produce more grains instead of leaving them idle.

"Getting your ancestral land back is a great milestone, but once the government gives you a piece of land, you must use it productively to fight poverty and unemployment," said the minister.

The chairperson of the community said they are committed to make the piece of land valuable, including seeking the possibility of turning the land into a tourist attraction destination, according to Bua report.

The minister was satisfied with the progress made in the land redistribution in Mpumalanga.

There are 16 land claims to be finalized in the central province of the Free state, and 600 cases in the southern province of the Eastern Cape, said the minister.

Editor: Fang Yang
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Saturday, April 21, 2012

UN authorises 300 Syria monitors

UN security council votes unanimously to expand its mission and demands immediate halt to post-ceasefire violence

guardian.co.ukJo Adetunji and agencies, Saturday 21 April 2012

Members of the initial contingent of UN ceasefire monitors in Syria
tour the Damascus suburbs. Photograph: EPA

The UN security council has unanimously voted to send 300 unarmed military observers to Syria to monitor the fragile ceasefire between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and opposition groups.

The resolution approved on Saturday increases the number of observers in the UNSMIS mission from 30 and demands an immediate halt to the violence that has been escalating since a ceasefire took effect over a week ago.

It also authorises the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, to decide when to deploy the additional observers based on "relevant developments on the ground, including the cessation of violence".

The resolution noted that the cessation of violence by the government and opposition was "clearly incomplete".

The British foreign secretary, William Hague, said he welcomed the mission and called for a full end to violence in the country.

"This resolution increases the pressure on the Syrian regime to begin a transition to a democratic, plural political system. I welcome the fact that the council reaffirmed its full support for this goal," he said.

"However, I remain extremely concerned that the Syrian regime is still failing to meet its commitments, and that there has been further violence and the use of heavy weapons since 12 April when a ceasefire should have come into effect.

"The Syrian regime must stop immediately troop movements towards population centres; end the use of heavy weapons in civilian areas; and withdraw the military to their barracks. The Syrian regime must ensure that the UN monitoring mission can operate freely and safely, and this must include agreement on the use of air assets."

Hague called for the full implementation of Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan, which includes starting a Syrian-led political process to address the concerns of the Syrian people and the right to demonstrate peacefully as well as a UN-supervised ceasefire.

"If the Syrian regime fails to take these steps and to comply with Kofi Annan's plan in full, we will push for further action, including in the UN security council," Hague said.

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