“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.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Mozambique Airlines passenger plane goes missing in Namibia

Deutsche Welle, 30 November 2013

A Mozambique Airlines flight with 34 people on board has been reported missing over northeast Namibia. Authorities have been searching a game park for signs of the aircraft.

The Mozambique Airlines (LAM) flight TM 479 was bound for the Angolan capital, Luanda, after setting off from Maputo in Mozambique.

The airline said in a statement that 28 passengers and six crew members were on board the plane when it lost contact with air traffic controllers on Friday afternoon.

Namibian Police Force Deputy Commissioner Willy Bampton told the Namibia Press Agency on Saturday that a search was oingoing in the Bwabwata National Park in the Kavango East region.

The thick jungle terrain and heavy rains were complicating search efforts, he said.

Namibian police were informed by Botswanan officials that smoke was seen and explosions heard near the countries's common border on Friday afternoon.

Like all airlines in Mozambique, LAM is banned from flying in European Union airspace as it does not comply with EU safety standards.

tj/jr (Reuters, dpa)
Related Article:

Friday, November 29, 2013

S.Africa's Zuma benefited from security revamp deal: report

Google – AFP, 29 November 2013

South African President Jacob Zuma gives a press conference on July 29,
2013 in Pretoria (AFP/File, Stephane de Sakutin)

Johannesburg — South Africa's President Jacob Zuma personally benefitted from the controversial security renovations at his private home and must repay the state, according to a damning watchdog report leaked in a local newspaper on Friday.

The government has spent more than 200 million rand ($20 million) to revamp Zuma's rural home, justifying it as necessary security for a head of state.

But a government watchdog has found that some of the so-called security upgrades were "improperly" weaved into the project at "enormous cost" to the taxpayer, the weekly Mail & Guardian reported.

A picture of South African President
Jacob Zuma's private residence in Nkandla
on November 4, 2012 (AFP/File, Rajesh
A swimming pool, an outdoor amphitheatre, visitors' waiting area, a cattle enclosure, houses for the president's relatives and "extensive" paving, were some of the extras that did not necessarily fit into security features, according to a yet-unpublished report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

South Africa's public protector investigates reported abuse of power by public officials, publishes the findings, and recommends prosecution where needed.

Madonsela wants Zuma to explain himself to parliament and repay the extra and non-security related expenses, the paper said citing the report.

The improvements at Zuma's house were "acutely" higher than those done at past presidents' properties, said the report.

The most expensive renovations so far had been at the house of South Africa's first black leader Nelson Mandela, which cost 32 million rands ($3.2 million).

She also said "genuine" security issues such as the two helipads, a clinic and housing for the police protection unit at the thatched-roof compound in Nkandla in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal were "excessive". Above all, they could have been located in a nearby town to also benefit local residents, the report said.

South African President Jacob Zuma (R) sings and dances with new
 wife Thobeka Madiba (L) at their wedding ceremony on January 4, 2010 at 
Zuma's rural homestead of Nkandla (AFP/File, Rajesh Jantilal)

The public protector's office declined to comment on the newspaper's story on Friday, but last week Madonsela said four ministers seen as Zuma's loyalists, had tried to vet her report by approaching the court to instruct her on what to "throw out and what to retain".

The government's decision to spend large sums of taxpayer money on Zuma's private property sparked public anger amid an economic crunch in a country where 10 million people live on social grants and many have only tin shacks for their homes.

The exact cost of the upgrades remains unclear. Two weeks ago, a parliament panel put it at 206 million rand ($20.2 million), then a few days later a group of ministers upped the figure by 208 million rand. The Mail & Guardian cited the report as putting the costs at 215 million rand.

Zuma's office did not respond to phone calls and an email seeking comment.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Kenya launches $13.8bn China-built railway to boost trade

Google – AFP, 28 November 2013

President Uhuru Kenyatta (3rd right) and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta (2nd right)
 fastening the first nuts to secure the first rail of the Mombasa-Kampala-Kigali-Juba
 Standard Gauge Railway in Changamwe, Mombasa County on November 28, 2013
(Kenya Presidential Press Service/AFP, Ho)

Mombasa — Kenya launched construction of a Chinese-funded $13.8 billion (10 billion euro) flagship railway project Thursday, hoping to dramatically increase trade and boost Kenya's position as a regional economic powerhouse.

The key transport link, to run from the busy port city of Mombasa inland to the highland capital Nairobi, is eventually hoped to extend onwards to Uganda, and then connect with proposed lines to Rwanda and South Sudan.

"What we are doing here today will most definitely transform the course of development not just for Kenya but the whole eastern African region," President Uhuru Kenyatta told crowds at the ground breaking ceremony he called a "historic milestone".

A porter at Nairobi Railway station ferries
 baggage on August 11, 2004, for
 passengers arriving from Mombasa on the
 existing railway line (AFP/File, Tony
"As a result east Africa will become a competitive investment destination... a busy growing east Africa is good for us a country."

Kenyan media have enthusiastically hailed the project, which replaces dilapidated British colonial-era lines, as the region's largest infrastructure project for a century.

"Kenya is stepping forward... it will be a landmark project both for Kenya and east Africa," China's ambassador to Kenya Liu Guangyuan said at the ceremony.

Kenyatta thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping, praising his "great personal interest in the project and his government's immense support."

China has funded the project only for the first 450-kilometre (280-mile) section -- $5.2 billion (3.8 billion euros) -- from Mombasa to Nairobi.

Work on that section, by the state-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), is expected to be completed by 2017.

"Presently our region relies almost exclusively on road transport," Kenyatta said, adding he was looking forward to waving off "the first train to Kigali via Nairobi and Kampala, delivering the promise of prosperity for all our east African peoples."

Aimed to serve four nations

CRBC completed in August the first stage of an expansion to Mombasa's port, including a berth able to handle 50,000 tonne container ships.

According to plans, the new lines would see passenger journey times cut from the current 12 hours to around four, which is around half the current driving time on crowded and pot-holed roads.

Freight trains are planned to be able to cut the current 36-hour trip by rail to just eight, a major boost for regional landlocked nations, with planners claiming it will slash cargo transport costs by 60 percent.

However, the project has sparked controversy, with some Kenyan lawmakers criticising the awarding of the contracts and complaining the process was not transparent.

It has also rankled regional nations not included in the line, with Burundi's transport minister on Thursday announcing a raft of infrastructure plans with Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tanzania, currently building a new port at Bagamoyo aimed to surpass Mombasa in size, is also planning to add to its railways with lines to Burundi and beyond to DR Congo.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and First 
Lady Margaret Kenyatta unveil a plaque
during the launch of the construction of
Standard Gauge Railway line in
Changamwe, Mombasa County (AFP)
Britain's railway line from Mombasa to Kampala, cutting through thick bush and man-eating lion territory, was dubbed the "Lunatic Express" -- seen by many at the time as an impossible dream.

Nairobi, Kenya's capital, was founded as a railway station.

However, after years of minimal investment, less than half of the original 2,730 kilometres (1,700 miles) of line are operational. Services on the remaining tracks are infrequent and painfully slow.

"The standard gauge railway is the largest joint transport infrastructure project undertaken by the people of east Africa since the British colonial administration laid tracks for the Kenya-Uganda railway more than a century ago," Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper said.

Last year, Kenya launched the construction of a massive port, railway and refinery project in Lamu -- a $24.5 billion scheme aimed at connecting Ethiopia and oil-rich South Sudan.

Work has begun clearing sites to build the planned 32-berth port, near a UNESCO-listed Indian Ocean island.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Rohani's 'Yes We Can' Moment

Radio Free Europe, November 26, 2013

Iranian President Hassan Rohani's charm offensive continues at home with a musical clip that seems to have been inspired by U.S. President Barack Obama's "Yes We Can" music video.

The beautifully made black-and-white clip,  which includes segments of the Iranian president's August 3 inauguration speech mixed with music, singing, and sign language, has been released to mark the first 100 days of his presidency.

Obama's 2008 "Yes We Can" clip was created with the participation of some 30 Hollywood actors and singers.

Rohani's video was posted on his website and shared on Twitter by the unverified account of the Iranian president, which is said to be maintained by his media team.

WATCH: Rohani's 100 Days

The clip, which features a well-known singer and actor, Amir Hossein Modaress, was produced by Iranian documentary-maker Hossein Dehbashi, who also worked on Rohani's election campaign videos. Dehbashi has been quoted by Iranian media as saying that the video was created "spontaneously."

In the clip, unprecedented for an Iranian president, people of all ages play musical instruments and sing to Rohani's words in Persian, but also in the languages of Iran's minorities, including Kurdish and Arabic.

The clip also includes sound bites from prominent figures in Iran's modern history including Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and the founder of the Islamic Republic Ruhollah Khomeini.

The main takeaway of the clip seems to be unity:

Let space and opportunity be given to all Iranians who are devoted to this land. Let those who are competent serve the nation. Let their hearts be cleansed from hatred. Let reconciliation replace anger and friendship replace enmity.

Rohani said his government wants happiness to return to the Iranian people's lives and calls on God to guide him.

Dehbashi lived in the United States for several years. He was arrested in 2010, allegedly for forging a United Nations letter that accompanied his immigration application. Upon returning to Tehran, Dehbashi claimed he had been held in solitary confinement by the FBI.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Guinea threatened with EU sanctions for illegal fishing

Google – AFP, 26 November 2013

Children play on fishing boats in the harbour at Conakry, Guinea, on August 10, 
999 (AFP/File, Issouf Sanogo)

Brussels — The European Commission on Tuesday urged EU governments to hit Belize, Cambodia and Guinea with trade sanctions over illegal fishing, while warning South Korea, Ghana and Curacao they may be next.

The European Union executive called for action against the first three with no 'credible progress' made since hitting them with so-called 'yellow cards' last year along with five others.

Once placed on an official list of "non-cooperating countries" in the fight against illegal fishing, related products from those territories will find themselves all-but shut out of the EU market of half a billion consumers.

The Commission also flagged up a new round of 'yellow cards' which puts key free-trade partner South Korea, Ghana and Caribbean island Curacao under mounting pressure to meet international obligations.

"West Africa was identified as a major source of illegal fishing and my intention is now take the same thorough approach in the Pacific," said EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki.

Damanaki told a press conference that for South Korea, Ghana and Curacao, "this is not about EU legislation -- we are implementing international rules."

"We are very much willing to give them more time."

She said the "right to fish as they want" had to be set against the EU's "right to protect consumers."

The EU says at least 15 percent of all landings around the world are done illegally, between 11 and 16 million tonnes each year, with international rules agreed in 2001 routinely flouted.

Five countries made sufficient progress this year to avoid being expelled from EU markets at least until March next year: Fiji, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo and Vanuatu.

The EU imports 65 percent of its fishing consumption.

Campaigners Greenpeace said the decisions announced would "motivate all six countries to improve fisheries management and help create a better future for their seas and fishermen.?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Afghan council endorses US security deal, seeks immediate signing

Google – AFP, 24 November 2013

Afghan delegates walk through the grounds of the loya jirga premises during
 discussions on the Bilateral Security Agreement in Kabul on November 22, 2013
(AFP/File, Massoud Hossaini)

Kabul — An Afghan grand assembly of tribal chieftains and elders Sunday endorsed a major security pact with the United States and called on President Hamid Karzai to sign the deal immediately.

Karzai had said the signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) governing the US military role in Afghanistan beyond 2014 would have to wait until after next year's presidential election.

"Given the current situation in, and Afghanistan's need... the contents of this agreement as a whole is endorsed by the members of this Loya Jirga," Fazul Karim Imaq, a deputy of the loya jirga said, reading a declaration reached at the end of the four-day grand meeting.

"The loya jirga requests the president to sign the agreement before the end of 2013," Imaq said.

Related Article:

Saudi Juliet demands right to marry her Yemeni Romeo

Google – AFP, 24 November 2013

A Yemeni girl takes part in a gathering in support with Saudi woman Huda al-Niran
outside a courthouse in Sanaa, on November 24, 2013 (AFP, Mohammed Huwais)

Sanaa — A young Saudi woman on Sunday urged a Yemeni court to let her stay and marry the man she loves, defying norms in both deeply conservative countries.

In a case reminiscent of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, Huda al-Niran, 22, defied her family and crossed the border illegally to be with her beloved.

As she pleaded her case to be able to stay and marry Arafat Mohammed Tahar, 25, her supporters demonstrated outside the Sanaa courthouse, sporting headbands proclaiming "We are all Huda."

The lovers' plight has gripped imaginations in both Yemen and Saudi Arabia, where the young woman's courage is seen as astonishing.

A Yemeni shows his support for a Saudi 
woman during her trial in Sanaa, on
 November 24, 2013 (AFP, Mohammed
She not only went against the wishes of her family, who said she could not marry Tahar, but also dared to flee the country and follow him to Yemen.

In court, she refused to accept a lawyer provided by the Saudi embassy, fearing pressure to return home.

But Huda did accept to be represented by a lawyer appointed by a Yemeni non-government organisation called Hood, who said he hoped for a favourable outcome.

"This is a humanitarian case, and must not raise tensions between the two countries," lawyer Abdel Rakib al-Qadi told AFP.

He indicated that Sanaa had come under pressure from the Saudi authorities to ensure Huda's return.

She is currently under arrest and on trial for illegal entry. If found guilty, she faces expulsion.

No decision was announced on Sunday, and the court set the next hearing for December 1 as it awaited a UN High Commissioner for Refugees ruling on a request for asylum.

A UNHCR representative confirmed to AFP that Huda had initiated proceedings to be granted refugee status in Yemen.

If she succeeds, it will be difficult for the authorities in Yemen to expel her.

Huda's case has also come to the attention of the New York-based Human Rights Watch.

On November 19, HRW urged Yemen not to repatriate her and to take into consideration the fact that returning to her family could put her life at risk.

"She fears physical harm from her family members, whom she said have beaten her in the past, if she is returned to Saudi Arabia," HRW said in a statement.

Pakistan's teenage activist Malala Yousafzai is awarded with the
Sakharov Prize  for Freedom of Thought by European Parliament
chief Martin Schulz in Strasbourg, eastern France, on November 20,
2013 (AFP, Patrick) 

Aisha North, Feb 8, 2013

The manuscript of survival – part 265 - (Constant Companions channeled through Aisha North)

Aisha North
As you have noticed, there are many stirrings in the undercurrent now, and some of the light is already starting to penetrate the fog that has enveloped mankind for such a long time. At the moment, this will seem to be mere pinpricks of light in a huge ocean of darkness, but do not let that fool you. As we have talked about so many times, this layer of darkness that still seems to cover most of your planet is only an illusion, a thin film of confusion covering up the new reality. And now, this reality will start to become more and more visible. Not only to you, but also to others out there, people who look upon themselves as no more than an ordinary citizen, but who will soon start to realize that they too have the power to change not only their own life, but also the lives of so many others.

And they will do so in a peaceful way, for we do not speak of a violent upsurging, far from it. For have you not witnessed already how the power and might of an armed scoundrel is not match for the power of the light? We refer of course to the story of the brave girl who had to face armed assassins because she stood up for her right to educate herself (From Aisha: I think they refer to the story of Malala Yousafzai). If you look closely at her story, you will see how the light penetrating her has been seeping into thousands, if not millions of others already. So she is indeed a shining example on how one of these pinpricks of light can blow away a huge area of fog and darkness, and how the forces of ill intent are no match for the light, for those bullets being aimed at her did not kill the light, it only made it that much stronger.

So let that be a lesson to you all on how nothing and no one can stop the light, no matter how hard they try. For the force of anger and hatred is not match for the love and compassion that is starting to grow on your planet now. And even if these forces of the old are trying their hardest to instill the old fear into you all, they will not succeed, no matter how many weapons they fire off, or how many people they beat to a pulp. For they cannot beat you now dear ones, you are the ones who have won this battle for the souls.

For in your soul, the light is growing stronger and stronger, and with it, the power you carry. And through your example, just like the girl who took the bullets in order to let the light shine out to the whole world, the change will come, step by step, person to person. For you are also brave, and even if you will never have to face the same hardships as this girl, you too will have to conquer the world with your actions. For you are indeed the bravest of the brave, and you have walked through fire to get where you are today. And doing that, you have liberated not only yourself, but thousands upon thousands of your fellow men and women. For you have hacked a trail trough that dense jungle of fear and darkness, and following in your footsteps are the rest of humanity. With a few exceptions of course, and they will clamor and cry as loud as they can in order to make you all believe that they still outnumber you. But they do not, and that is what you will all see as the days keep getting lighter and lighter, and those pinpricks of lights grow ever brighter and ever bigger.

So fear not, as fear has been diminished to such a state it is but a shadow of itself. That shadow is still touching the hearts of many around you, but that shadow is also thinning out, and it will be replaced by light in even the sturdiest of hearts. For light has no boundaries, only the fear has that now, so light is spreading out faster and faster, and the courage it inspires in you all is growing with it. So stand tall and proud, and know that you too has been a part of that journey from the darkest abyss and to this, the threshold of everlasting light. And know too that your actions will never go unnoticed, as you have all been instrumental in this about turn of the human race. So look around, and we think you will find these shining examples starting to emerge in every corner of your world, even in the places where you least expect them to. For, as we said, the light has no boundaries, certainly not one set by any human, and no line on the map or no wall, no matter how high it is, can keep it out. So again we say rejoice, for the morning has broken, and the day is about to start. And this day is one that will last forever.

World powers, Iran clinch 'historic' nuclear deal

Google – AFP, 24 November 2013

Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd L) shakes hands with US Secretary of
 State John Kerry, next to Chinese FM Wang Yi (far L) and French FM Laurent Fabius
after a statement on early November 24, 2013, in Geneva (AFP, Fabrice Coffrini)

Geneva — Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief in a breakthrough deal with world powers reached on Sunday after a decade of failed diplomacy and rising tensions.

US President Barack Obama said the preliminary accord clinched in marathon Geneva talks was "an important first step" towards easing fears once and for all that Tehran will get the bomb.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose elections in June raised big hopes for a thaw with the West, said on Twitter that the breakthrough was made possible by the "Iranian people's vote for moderation" and that it would "open new horizons".

Top diplomats from China, US, France,
Russia, EU and Iran attend a plenary 
session on early November 24, 2013, in
Geneva (AFP, Fabrice Coffrini)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office however immediately called the agreement struck in Geneva a "bad deal", saying it still left the Islamic republic with the capacity to make a nuclear weapon.

"Today, the United States together with our close allies and partners took an important first step toward a comprehensive solution that addresses our concerns with the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear programme," Obama said at the White House.

"While today's announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal.

"For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear programme, and key parts of the programme will be rolled back."

The Arms Control Association called the deal an "historic breakthrough" in the decade-old impasse a "net plus for nuclear nonproliferation and international security."

Under the deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany announced at 3:00 am Geneva time (0200 GMT), Tehran will limit uranium enrichment -- the area that raises most suspicions over Iran's alleged nuclear weapons drive -- to low levels.

It will neutralise its entire stockpile of uranium enriched to medium 20-percent purities -- close to weapons-grade -- within six months, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in Geneva where he and other foreign ministers helped nail down the deal.

Iran will also not add to its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, nor install more centrifuges or commission the Arak reactor.

UN atomic inspectors will also have additional, "unprecedented" access, Kerry said.

In exchange the deal will afford the Islamic republic some $7 billion (5.2 billion euros) in sanctions relief and the powers promised to impose no new embargo measures for six months if it sticks by the accord.

US President Barack Obama makes a
statement from the State Dining Room of
the White House in Washington, DC,
after an agreement to freeze Iran's nuclear
program was reached in Geneva, on
November 23, 2013 (AFP, Brendan
This represents "limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible relief while maintaining the vast bulk of our sanctions, including the oil, finance, and banking sanctions architecture," the White House said.

During this six-month period, Iran and the US, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany will negotiate a "comprehensive solution ... to give the international community confidence that Iran?s nuclear activities will be exclusively peaceful."

The deal was done at the third meeting of the P5+1 and Iran since Rouhani, seen as a relative moderate, replaced the more hawkish Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in August saying he was ready for "serious" negotiations "without wasting time".

It remains to be seen, however, how the deal will go down with hardliners in both the United States and Iran -- and whether both sides stick to their commitments over the next half year.

Iranians, many of whom see the nuclear programme as source of national pride, are impatient to see a lifting of sanctions that have more than halved Iran's vital oil exports since mid-2012 and hit the economy hard.

Supreme leader Ali Ayatollah Khamenei, describing Israel as a doomed "rabid dog", said in Iran on Wednesday that he insisted "on not retreating one step from the rights of the Iranian nation."

Many in Israel strongly believe that the only aim of Iran -- an ally of Hezbollah and embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- is to develop a nuclear arsenal with which to threaten their country.

Netanyahu wants all of Iran's nuclear facilities dismantled for good, not some of them temporarily, believing nothing short of this will prevent its arch foe going nuclear -- as it is widely assumed to be itself.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (L)
 and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad 
Javad Zarif arrive for a statement on early
 November 24, 2013, in Geneva (AFP,
Fabrice Coffrini)
"This is a bad agreement that gives Iran what it wanted: the partial lifting of sanctions while maintaining an essential part of its nuclear programme," Netanyahu's office said.

"Iran is threatening Israel and Israel has the right to defend itself," Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said, warning that Israel was not bound by the accord.

Kerry said however that the deal extends the "breakout" time needed by Iran to develop nuclear weapons and thus "will make our partners in the region safer. It will make our ally Israel safer."

Many hardliners in the United States agree that Obama, who in September held an historic phone call with Rouhani, is being too soft on Iran by negotiating with Tehran and striking this deal.

"Unfortunately, some members of Congress believe further US-mandated sanctions would improve the United States negotiating position in the next round of talks," said Daryl Kimball of the Arms Control Association.

"Such a strategy is illogical and would be counterproductive."

Related Articles:

'Energizer bunny' Kerry wins new diplomatic coup

Iranians hail 'smiling' FM as hero of nuclear deal
Iranian Leaders Welcome 'Historic' Nuclear Deal

Obama and Iran's Rouhani hold historic phone call

Putin plays powerbroker in Mideast

"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. …”

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mauritania stages peaceful election despite opposition boycott

Google – AFP, Hademine Ould Sadi (AFP) , 23 November 2013

A woman casts her vote at the Ksar polling station in Nouakchott on
November 23, 2013 (AFP, Mohamed Ould Elhadj)

Nouakchott — Mauritanians voted Saturday in nationwide elections overshadowed by a widespread boycott of opposition parties, with all eyes on the performance of an Islamist party allowed to take part for the first time.

The mainly-Muslim republic, a former French colony on the west coast of the Sahara desert, is seen as strategically important in the fight against Al-Qaeda-linked groups within its own borders, as well as in neighbouring Mali and across Africa's Sahel region.

"I think these elections today are a victory for democracy in my country," President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz said after visiting his local polling station in Nouakchott.

Residents queue up to vote outside the
 Ksar polling station in Nouakchott on
 November 23, 2013 (AFP, Mohamed
Ould Elhadj)
Around a third of Mauritania's 3.4 million people are eligible to vote in the first parliamentary and local polls since 2006, a test of strength for Abdel Aziz five years after he came to power in a coup and four years after he won a widely contested presidential vote.

His Union for the Republic (UPR) is expected to retain power and opinion is divided over whether the main Islamist party Tewassoul, only legalised in 2007, will provide a serious challenge to the favourites or sink back into obscurity following the election.

Some 1,500 candidates from 74 parties representing the administration and the so-called "moderate" opposition are registered to vie for 147 seats in parliament and the leadership of 218 local councils dotted across the shifting sands of the vast nation.

Voting began on time at 7:00 am (0700 GMT) and closed 12 hours later, with no major incidents reported and turnout appearing to be strong in Nouakchott, according to an AFP correspondent visiting several polling stations.

The process of voting appeared more complicated and arduous than had been expected, however, and long queues began to build up outside polling stations in the capital soon after they opened.

Mauritania's president Mohamed Ould
 Abdel Aziz (left) with Senegalese
counterpart Macky Sall at Dakar airport on
September 10, 2013 (AFP/File, Seyllou)
Voters, most of whom are illiterate, faced the difficult task of finding the symbol for their party among several electoral lists covering parliamentary and council seats.

Towards the end of the morning many stations were tripling the number of booths available for casting ballots.

"I came in the early morning, I have just voted. There was a long wait but I have done my duty," said an elderly woman at a Nouakchott polling station.

Party activists near several polling stations discreetly tried to canvas last-minute support, breaking election law.

"I know propaganda is forbidden near polling stations on election day, but everyone is doing it," said a campaigner called Rabia when challenged by a journalist.

Tewassoul is the only member of the so-called "radical" opposition, the 11-party Coordination of Democratic Opposition (COD), contesting the polls after its coalition partners said they would "boycott this electoral masquerade".

Opposition parties' supporters attend a 
meeting in Nouakchott on November 21, 
2013, as part of the campaign for the 
legislative and municipal elections
scheduled for November 23 (AFP/File)
The party, associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, professes to hold more moderate beliefs than the country?s jihadist fringe and draws support from female voters and Mauritania's young, urban middle-class -- although it has just four seats in parliament.

Party leader Jemil Ould Mansour, who has described Tewassoul's participation as a form of struggle against the "dictatorship" of Abdel Azi, complained of foul play in the voting process after casting his ballot.

"I note that deficiencies have been observed by our members, including a campaign inside a polling station by its manager in favour of one particular party and the refusal in some places to let our representatives into polling stations," he said.

The UPR is the only party fielding candidates in every constituency, making it a strong favourite over Tewassoul, its closest rival, and the People's Progressive Alliance of parliament leader Messaoud Ould Boulkheir.

"I hope that this election will end the political stalemate that exists and I think the door of dialogue should remain open to achieve this," Ould Boulkheir said.

Messaoud Ould Boulkheir delivers a
 campaign speech in Nouakchott
on November 21, 2013 (AFP)
Following independence from France and the ensuing one-party government of Moktar Ould Daddah, deposed in 1978, Mauritania had a series of military rulers until its first multi-party election in 1992.

Abdel Aziz seized power in a 2008 coup and was elected a year later, but the COD has never accepted his rule as legitimate and demanded he make way for a neutral leader to administer the vote.

"We made the necessary effort to ensure that everyone could participate in these elections but, unfortunately, not all the parties were involved," the president said after casting his ballot.

"I think, unfortunately for them, they missed an opportunity, an important date, because they find themselves in a situation where they will be absent from the National Assembly and therefore the political debate."

The first preliminary results were expected to be announced on Sunday.