“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.

Friday, February 28, 2014

World Bank postpones loan to Uganda over anti-gay law

Deutsche Welle, 28 February 2014

The World Bank has postponed a loan to Uganda's health system because of the African country's new anti-gay law. It comes after similar moves from Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway and criticism from the US.

The World Bank's loan was worth $90 million dollars (65.6 million euros) to Uganda for maternal health, newborn care and family planning. It follows decisions by the Netherlands to freeze a $9.6 million subsidy to Uganda's legal system, while Denmark and Norway said they would redirect around $8.2 million each towards private sector initiatives, aid agencies and rights organisations.

"We have postponed the project for further review to ensure that the development objectives would not be adversely affected by the enactment of this new law," a bank spokesman said on Thursday. The bank still has a $1.56 billion portfolio of projects in Uganda.

President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for 28 years, signed a bill into law which holds that "repeat homosexuals" should be jailed for life, outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and requires people to report on homosexuals.

In reaction to the criticism, government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said in a message on Twitter: "The West can keep their 'aid' to Uganda over homos, we shall still develop without it."

Names and photographs of 200 people accused of being gay were printed in a tabloid newspaper in Uganda this week. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Thursday condemned the publication of the names, warning that it not only violated the right to privacy, but also "demonstrates the very real danger that the new anti-homosexuality law will encourage acts of violence and harassment".

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday compared the "flat-out morally wrong" and "atrocious" law to anti-Semitic legislation in Nazi Germany or apartheid in South Africa.

Ugandan gay rights activist Frank Mugisha met with the top US diplomat for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield and acting assistant secretary for human rights Uzra Zeya in Washington on Thursday to discuss "mutual concerns" about safety and "how the US might respond to the law's enactment."

Thursday, February 27, 2014

US moves ahead on massive Africa power bid

Google – AFP, Shaun Tandon (AFP), 27 February 2014

Electricity wires reflect the sun light at sunset in Mokopane, 60kms southwest
of Polokwane, South Africa, on June 21, 2010 (AFP/File, Daniel Garcia)

Washington — US lawmakers broke through a logjam Thursday on a plan to bring electricity to 50 million Africans, in what Washington hopes will be its next major initiative for the continent.

During a visit to Africa in June, President Barack Obama announced a US drive to improve power for the two thirds of Africans who lack a reliable supply.

But legislation in Congress, which is more concrete and ambitious than Obama's initial statement, had been held up by a dispute on whether to support electrical plants that produce large amounts of carbon blamed for climate change.

The bill, approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sets a goal of installing 20,000 megawatts of power in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020 and reaching at least 50 million people who do not have electricity.

The funding would come from the private sector, using government-backed credit guarantees.

Representative Ed Royce, who chairs the panel, hailed the Electrify Africa Act as a way for the United States to contribute to the continent's development, as lack of power impedes everything from education to health care.

Royce, a Republican who worked on the bill with members of Obama's Democratic Party, said that the plan would also help American companies tap into a growing consumer market and show US engagement in the face of China's rising presence in Africa.

The bill still needs approval from the full House of Representatives and Senate, but the committee vote indicated broad support.

However, the legislation came under fire from Representative Mo Brooks, a conservative Republican from Alabama who said that the United States was not financially sound enough to be "building power plants and power lines in Africa."

"I very much appreciate the altruistic motivations that I've heard in support of this legislation, but quite frankly, I don't believe America's financial condition is such that it supports spending money that we don't have on these projects," Brooks said.

Lawmakers from both parties countered that the US-backed financial institutions involved in the initiative -- the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or OPIC, and the Export-Import Bank -- do not spend taxpayer money and in fact create US jobs by boosting economic activity.

Democratic Representative Gerry Connolly denounced Brooks's view as "dangerous" and said of the act: "It's not just 'altruism,' it's enlightened self-interest."

"I don't want to be the person who has to answer the next generation, 'Why is Africa-Chinese trade the dominant trade in that part of the world and we don't even have a slice of it?' And the answer is because somebody, somewhere, 20 years before said we can't afford it," Connolly said.

- Climate change battle diverted -

Obama had promoted electricity as the next big goal for the United States in Africa after his predecessor, George W. Bush, worked with Democrats to fight diseases including HIV/AIDS and former president Bill Clinton helped jumpstart trade.

But the bill had been held up as corporations pushed to ease existing requirements that OPIC steer clear of carbon-intense projects. General Electric said it supported renewable energy but that efforts in Africa also needed other sources, such as gas.

In a compromise, the bill does not address the issue. The fight was partially diverted as Congress took up OPIC funding when drafting the $1.1 trillion spending bill for fiscal year 2014.

Environmentalists argued that major fossil fuel projects have proven to be a failure in much of Africa and that US investment could encourage more innovative clean energy in a continent expected to be hard hit by climate change.

One, the anti-poverty group co-founded by U2 frontman Bono, pressed for passage of the legislation.

Tom Hart, the group's US executive director, said that the bill "shows the best face of America."

Related Articles:

Greek shipping tycoons threaten to set sail over tax privileges

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

".... The Illuminati

One more. "Kryon, what about the Illuminati?" OK, I'll tell you, for these things are already known by many.

Everything you thought about the Illuminati of the past is correct. This was not conspiracy, but fact. However, in the light of what I just said above, it could not sustain itself in an energy where everyone talks to everyone, and has since gone dormant.

The Illuminati was based in Greece, and it started by controlling the most potent economic attribute that could manipulate the strings of commerce on the earth - shipping. Once they had control of shipping, what followed was financial markets. This, then, worked its way to insurance, world stock markets and banking. This was prevalent for decades, right up to the mid '80s.

I have a question for the elders in the room. Look back in your lifetime, dear ones. What was the stock market like when you were younger? If you remember, you will say it had incremental changes up and down, except for occasional major shifts - which, by the way, were also controlled. It was steady, up or down. It didn't vacillate wildly, with hundreds of point-shifts from month to month. It never did. That's what a controlled market looks like. Now take a look at your current stock market. Does it look controlled? It is not! It is free-wheeling and it can go wherever it is driven by normal financial activity.

This should tell you something, dear ones. The Illuminati is no longer in control. It lost in banking, in tobacco, and it's about to lose in big pharma and insurance because awareness lets people know what is controlled and what is not. Awareness of truth will trump any other energy, and integrity will win some major battles.

So, did the Illuminate die? No. They simply lost their method of control.

The Future of the Illuminati

Now, I want to tell you something that you didn't expect and something I've reported only one other time. What about all of the money that the Illuminati has? There are trillions and trillions of euro in banks, under their control, waiting. What are they going to do with it and where are they going to use it? It's still here. They're waiting.

This group is waiting for something to happen that they know is going to happen, for they see it coming as much as I do. However, I would like to tell you something that they don't expect. With awareness comes generational shift. Those in charge of this money will not always be elders. The indigos eventually will have it.

They are waiting for something to happen in Africa - the building of a new civilization, a continent that has nothing to unlearn. Once Africa is cured, once it's ready, a new civilization can be created from the ground up. Africans will be ready to learn everything about building a foundation for the most advanced civilization ever and will do it with the most modern and inventive systems available. Eventually, this new continent will even beat the economics of China.

This is the prediction and always has been, and the Illuminati's money will fund it. Did I say the Illuminati will fund it? [Kryon laugh]The Illuminati's money will fund it, but there is a difference from the past, dear ones. The ones who inherit the positions in the Illuminati will be a different consciousness. Listen, they are not suddenly going to be the ones who have the good of everyone in their hearts - hardly. They want to make money, but what they will see instead is a way to make a great deal of money through this investment. In the process, it will automatically help hundreds of thousands, and they will be at the beginning, the foundation, that builds the new Africa. The new African states of unification eventually will create a continent stronger than any of the others, and it will have one currency. The resources alone will dwarf anything in the world.

"Wow, Kryon, how long is that going to take?"

The Humans in the room control that and those listening later and reading. When you leave this room, what are you going to do? Go home, report this, rub your hands together, and wait for it to happen? It won't. For the Humans in the room and the old souls hearing and reading have got work to do, and I've told you this before. You've got work to do.

There's an alliance that you're going to have to create with one another and with another group - the young people of Earth. The youth of this earth are changing the way things work. Can you see it? You're not supposed to sit around and watch them either, because they need you, old soul.

It's time for you to align with the indigos and the concepts of the youth of the planet. Do not think for a moment that their age shows their wisdom. These two attributes are not commensurate with one another; they're not linear. These young people may be older souls than you are! Don't think that because they've got technology that you don't understand that you can't be one with them. Their technology is social networking, the very thing we are talking about, where everyone can talk to everyone. The new consciousness on the planet starts in two areas - the children and the old souls. ..."

Central African militia leader arrested in Congo

Google – AFP, 27 February 2014

Self-styled political leader of a militia in the Central African Republic, Patrice
 Edouard Ngaissona speaks during an interview in Bangui on February 26, 2014
(AFP/File, Issouf Sanogo)

Brazzaville — The self-styled political leader of a militia sowing terror in the Central African Republic has been arrested in north Congo and transferred to Brazzaville, police in the country said Thursday.

A former minister under ousted president Francois Bozize, Patrice Edouard Ngaissona -- who calls himself the coordinator of the mostly Christian "anti-balaka" (anti-machete) militia, was arrested Tuesday along with two aides.

"Mr Ngaissona's arrest took place without violence," said a police official speaking on condition of anonymity. "He virtually handed himself in. He is currently in a safe place in the capital."

Congo's pro-government newspaper Les Depeches de Brazzaville splashed a front-page photograph of Ngaissona across its Thursday edition along with news of the arrest.

Congo's northern Likouala region, which lies across the Ubangi river from the CAR, has since end 2013 hosted about 11,000 Christian and Muslim refugees, among the million civilians displaced by the violence engulfing their homeland, according to UN figures.

Ngaissona served as a lawmaker and headed the Central African football federation before becoming sports minister under Bozize, whose ouster in a Muslim-led coup in March last year touched off a year of escalating inter-religious unrest.

Ngaissona went on to declare himself leader of the anti-balaka militia, set up in response to atrocities by the Muslim-led Seleka rebellion behind the coup.

The anti-balaka currently pose the biggest threat to security in the strife-torn country, where French and African peacekeepers are struggling to restore order and protect civilians.

Congo is deeply involved in the Central African crisis, with 1,000 troops deployed there, the largest contingent in the 6,000-strong African force MISCA, and President Denis Sassou Nguesso playing an important role as mediator.

Interim president Catherine Samba Panza made her first foreign trip to Brazzaville after taking over from Michel Djotodia, the Muslim president installed in last year's coup and forced out in January.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Malala Yousafzai backs campaign against FGM

Pakistani schoolgirl shot by Taliban praises campaign calling for better education on female genital mutilation in UK schools

theguardian.com, Alexandra Topping, Monday 24 February 2014

Malala Yousafzai with the anti-FGM campaigner Muna Hasan.
Photograph: David Levene

MalalaYousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who has spearheaded the campaign for universal education for children, has backed a campaign led by the 17-year-old British student Fahma Mohamed to get education about female genital mutilation into all schools in the UK.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Malala praised Fahma's campaign, and joined her in calling for better education in schools about FGM. "I've watched every step of Fahma's campaign and I think she is on the edge of something huge," she said. "Over 140 million girls and women are mutilated – but like keeping girls out of school in Pakistan, we can come out together and be strong and change things for the next generation. I am her sister and I am at her side and I want her to be listened to I as I was."

Fahma is to meet the education secretary, Michael Gove, on Tuesday in an attempt to convince him to play a role in ending the practice of FGM in the UK. Gove agreed to a meeting after a Guardian-backed petition – which is supported by a range of FGM campaigners and groups – attracted hundreds of thousands of signatures since launching at the beginning of February.

Malala – who was shot at close range by the Taliban for her campaign for girls' education and went on to become the youngest ever nominee for the Nobel peace prize – urged Fahma to keep up pressure on the education secretary to write to every school in the UK telling them to train teachers and parents about the risks and impact of FGM on women and girls.

"I think it is very important that we make people aware of this issue because if no one knows, if no one wants to know, then we can never highlight it in front of responsible people and we can never find a solution," said Malala, who is 16. "It's good that … girls like Fahma – so active and with a passion – are continuing this campaign. I truly support you."

Fahma Mohamed is to meet Michael Gove on Tuesday. Photograph:
Patrick Hoeschler

Following sustained public pressure which has seen the Guardian petition attract almost a quarter of a million signatures on Change.org, the Scottish government has agreed to write to every teacher in Scotland about FGM, while an early day motion led by the Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron in support of the campaign has received the backing of 33 MPs.

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, supported the campaign, calling it "deeply inspiring" and praising Mohamed.

The Kent police and crime commissioner, Ann Barnes, also signed the petition and, with the backing of the not-for-profit lobbying group Policing for All, urged all 41 PCCs to sign the campaign before Fahma meets Gove.

Malala, who has recovered well in the UK after receiving specialised treatment at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham, compared the work done by Fahma and other members of the anti-FGM charity Integrate Bristol to her own battle for universal education. "I'm also trying to work for women's rights and girls' education and I think the campaign that you are doing is a part of my campaign as well," she said. "[W]hen you talk about education you talk about quality education and it should be [known] all over the world about FGM – what it is and how can it affect the life of a girl. So I think it should be a part of education and we both will struggle for this. Because we can never achieve our goals unless we struggle for it, so I think this is the time to start it."

Malala, who now lives in Birmingham with her family, took time from revising for her GCSEs to meet representatives of Integrate Bristol, including Lisa Zimmermann, a teacher at City Academy Bristol who set up the project seven years ago, and 20-year-old Muna Hasan, one of the group's original members. City Academy Bristol is one of only two schools in the country to have a dedicated project on the practice, which is thought to affect 140 million women and girls worldwide, and is practiced in 28 African countries as well as some parts of Asia and the Middle East.

Hasan said when she joined the campaign the group had to overcome prejudice and opposition from those who did not want FGM to be discussed. "I faced, and quite a few of the girls in the community faced, hardship," she said. "It wasn't just certain people in our communities who didn't want to know – teachers didn't, politicians didn't want to know, some doctors didn't know what it was."

She said it was now time for politicians such as Gove to play their part in eradicating the practice of FGM, which is believed to affect 66,000 women in England and Wales, while 24,000 girls under the age of 15 are thought to be at risk. "For this to have got so big and to have so many signatures shows people do care, but it is politicians' time – it's their turn to start caring and do something active to stop FGM in this country," she said.

Malala, who will share a platform with other women's rights campaigners, including FGM activists, at the Southbank centre in London next month as part of the Women of the World festival, said the struggle for women's and girls' right must continue. "I totally support you in your campaign for girls' rights because it should be the right of a girl how she wants her body," she said. "I'm truly surprised to hear that 140 million women are affected by FGM. I think we should start a campaign and we should struggle for it because if we remain silent we will never achieve our goals and we will never achieve change. The only way to fight against it is to speak."

Related Articles:

Michael Gove agrees to write to schools over female genital mutilation

British girl leads Guardian campaign to end female genital mutilation

Question: Dear and beloved Kryon: What should we know about "Brit-Mila" (Jewish circumcision)?

Answer: All circumcision was based on commonsense health issues of the day, which manifested itself in religious-based teaching. That basically is what made people keep doing it. This eighth-day-from-birth ritual is no more religious today than trimming your fingernails (except that Brit-Mila is only done once, and it hurts a bit more).

It's time to start seeing these things for what they are. Common sense is not static. It's dynamic, and related to the culture of the time. Yesterday's common sense about health changed greatly with the discovery of germs. It changed again with practices of cleanliness due to the discovery of germs, and so on. Therefore, we would say that it really doesn't make a lot of difference in today's health practices. It's done almost totally for cultural historic and traditional purposes and holds no energy around it other than the obvious intent of the tradition.

This is also true for a great deal of the admonishments of the Old Testament regarding food and cleanliness, and even the rules of the neighborhood (such as taking your neighbor's life if he steals your goat, or selling your daughter in slavery if you really need the money... all found in scripture). The times are gone where these things matter anymore, yet they're still treated with reverence and even practiced religiously in some places. They're now only relics of tradition, and that's all. If you feel that you should honor a tradition, then do it. If not, then don't. It's not a spiritual or health issue any longer.

Be the boss of your own body and your own traditions. Follow what your spiritual intuition tells you is appropriate for your own spiritual path and health.

Holland stops Ugandan aid, promises flexibility on asylum for gays

DutchNews.nl, Tuesday 25 February 2014

A protester against the Ugandan
gay law. (NOS/EPA)
The Netherlands will stop €7m of its aid to Uganda now the country's leader has signed the controversial anti-gay bill.

President Yoweri Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law on Monday. The new law includes life sentences for gay sex and same-sex marriage.

Foreign trade and aid minister Lilianne Ploumen and foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans immediately informed parliament that the €7m aid money donated each year to the Ugandan government for use in improving its judicial system will be stopped.

The €16m which goes towards improving human rights in Uganda and to food projects will continue, the ministers said.


Junior justice minister Fred Teeven said on Tuesday the Netherlands will be more flexible in its policy on granting asylum to homosexuals from Uganda in the light of what he called the 'draconian' measures.

The Netherlands must take a more flexible approach to entry procedures and the deportation of failed asylum seekers back to Uganda.

A similar policy also exists towards Iranians, he said.

The Netherlands has very few asylum requests from Uganda, the minister is quoted as saying by Nos television.

Related Articles:

Zambia court clears activist for calling for gay rights

Google – AFP, Obert Simwanza (AFP), 25 February 2014

Prominent Zambian gay rights activist Paul Kasonkomona (C) leaves the
 Lusaka magistrates court on April 11, 2013 (AFP/File, Joseph Mwenda)

Lusaka — A Zambian court on Tuesday acquitted top gay rights activist Paul Kasonkomona on charges of encouraging homosexuality, a ruling supporters hailed as a boost for African rights after Uganda passed a tough anti-gay law.

"The court ruled that Paul is acquitted. It's a final ruling," said Anneke Meerkotter, a lawyer at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, which provided legal support to Kasonkomona.

The magistrate ruled that the state had failed to prove its case.

"The magistrate was clear, public discussion is important, even on controversial issues that are repulsive to some members of community," Meerkotter told AFP.

"This is a great victory for freedom of expression. The mood in court was one of great relief. Kasonkomona did not deserve to be arrested for expressing his opinion and the court ruling vindicates his rights."

Kasonkomona was arrested in April 2013 and charged with soliciting for immoral purposes shortly after he appeared on a live television show where he openly advocated for gay rights and argued recognition was needed to address HIV.

Kasonkomona hailed his acquittal as "a landmark judgment," telling AFP it was "a victory for all Zambians" and vowing to press on with his activism.

"Today is the end of my court case but the struggle continues. I will continue to speak for the rights of all Zambians, the struggle has to continue," he said.

- The order of nature -

Homosexuality is outlawed in Zambia, as in many African countries, and discrimination against gays and lesbians is rife.

The ruling comes a day after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed off on one of the world's toughest anti-gay laws.

The new rules mean repeat homosexuals could be jailed for life. They also outlaw the promotion of homosexuality and require people to denounce gays.

Zambian law has banned same-sex relationships since British colonial rule, and a sodomy conviction carries a 14-year prison sentence.

lso moving through the country's courts is the case of a gay couple from the northern town of Kapiri Mposhi who were arrested last May.

The pair were charged with sodomy after being reported to the police by one of the men's relatives.

James Mwape and Philip Mubiana have pleaded not guilty to having "carnal knowledge against the order of nature" and are set to return to court next week.

Zambia's crackdown has drawn criticism from human rights groups.

Kasonkomona was set to face one month in prison or a fine if found guilty.

Kasonkomona's lawyer Sunday Nkonde welcomed the ruling as a sign that freedom of expression and other rights were developing in Zambia.

"The magistrate in his acquittal said Paul was exercising his right to freedom of expression including openness," he said.

"This is a welcome judgment and is an indication that freedom of expression and other rights of the citizens are developing in our country."

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Desmond Tutu warns of 'Nazi' parallel to Uganda anti-gay law

Google – AFP, 24 February 2014

A picture dated August 17, 2012 shows a billboard for a play examining the
subject of homosexuality, in Kampala, Uganda (AFP/File, Kasamani Isaac)

Cape Town — South African peace icon Desmond Tutu warned on Sunday that Uganda's controversial anti-gay law recalled sinister attempts by the Nazi and apartheid regimes to "legislate against love".

The Anglican cleric said he was "very disheartened" to learn that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni intended to sign a bill that will see homosexuals jailed for life, urging him instead to clamp down on rape, child abuse and the sex trade.

"In South Africa, apartheid police used to rush into bedrooms where whites were suspected of making love to blacks," Tutu said in a statement. "It was demeaning to those whose 'crime' was to love each other, it was demeaning to the policemen ? and it was a blot on our entire society."

Tutu dismissed the arguments of Museveni's science advisors who concluded that homosexuality was a learned, rather than genetically-determined behaviour -- and therefore could be "unlearned".

"The history of people is littered with attempts to legislate against love or marriage across class, caste and race," Tutu argued.

"But there is no scientific basis or genetic rationale for love... There is no scientific justification for prejudice and discrimination, ever. And nor is there any moral justification.

"Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, among others, attest to these facts."

Uganda's anti-gay bill cruised through parliament in December after its architects agreed to drop an extremely controversial death penalty clause, although the bill still says repeat homosexuals should be jailed for life, and also outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and requires people to denounce gays.

Museveni rallied behind the bill this month despite earlier opposing it.

"My plea to President Museveni is to use his country's debate around the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a catalyst to further strengthen the culture of human rights and justice in Uganda," Tutu said.

He argued that Uganda should step up criminal sanctions against child sexual abusers, rape, sexual violence and commercial sex, "regardless of gender or sexual orientation".

"Tightening such areas of the law would surely provide children and families far more protection than criminalising acts of love between consenting adults."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Kerry Arrives in Tunisia on Unannounced Visit

Jakarta Globe – AFP, February 18, 2014

A handout photo made available by the Tunisian Presidency shows Tunisian
 President Moncef Marzouki meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry
at Carthage Palace in Tunis, Tunisia, on Feb. 18, 2014.

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Tunisia Tuesday on an unannounced trip, in a sign of support for the country where the Arab Spring was triggered three years ago.

Kerry was to meet “senior officials to discuss the progress made in Tunisia’s democratic transition,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

The top US diplomat often references in his speeches the Tunisian fruit vendor who set himself alight in protest at his country’s lack of democracy.

The shocking self-immolation sparked the January 2011 revolution that toppled the autocratic regime of veteran strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and ignited the Arab Spring uprisings that spread across North Africa and parts of the Middle East.

During his brief visit, Kerry was to meet new Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa and President Moncef Marzouki for discussions and to show “continued US support for the Tunisian people and government”, Psaki said.

“What is unique, or at least striking in particular about Tunisia, is the willingness of opposing sides to reach out and show some inclusiveness and cooperation”, a senior US administration official said, asking not to be named.

“What’s positive and even inspiring in Tunisia is the demonstrated willingness not to take power and hold on to it”, he added, pointing to the new constitution adopted last month and the swearing in of a new technocratic interim government.

Tunisia’s new leaders have grappled with violence amid a surge in Islamist unrest, which also led to the assassination last year of two opposition politicians Chokri Belaid and leftist MP Mohamed Brahmi.

The killings sparked a political crisis between the majority Islamist party Ennahda and their secular opponents, from which the country is only now emerging with the adoption in January of the new constitution.

Ennahda won Tunisia’s first free elections in October 2011, following Ben Ali’s ouster in the uprising.

Agence France-Presse

Sunday, February 16, 2014

South Africa: illegal gold miners rescued after rivals rob and trap them

Eleven miners emerged from night underground to find emergency vehicles, TV crews, and police

The Guardian, David Smith in Johannesburg,  Sunday 16 February 2014

The men were saved from the mine shaft when a routine police patrol came
across one of their friends at the site. Photograph: Str/EPA

Eleven illegal miners were rescued in South Africa last night after being trapped underground, apparently by a rival gang intent on stealing their gold.

The group had broken into a remote, abandoned mine shaft on Saturday to dig for the precious metal, but ended up being robbed and caught inside when their assailants blocked the exit with a concrete slab and boulders. They spent a miserable night underground before being rescued on Sunday, emerging to find emergency vehicles, TV crews, and police seeking to arrest them.

Early reports had been of up to 200 people trapped underground. As dusk fell with just 11 rescued from the mine east of Johannesburg, officials admitted that they could not be certain whether there were more men still underground, refusing to be rescued because they feared prison.

Rescuers said it was too dangerous to go down and look for them but they would leave a ladder on the wall of the square metre hole so any remaining could climb out if they wished to. Werner Vermaak, of the emergency service operator ER24, said he heard from many people at the scene that the miners were trapped deliberately. "It's quite common for rival gangs to close off mines," he said.

It could have become the miners' tomb, but the men were saved when a routine police patrol came across one of their friends at the site.

The rescue began at 10am on Sunday , with the help of a crane and other heavy equipment. When rescue workers said the men had claimed they numbered 30, and that 200 or more were trapped in a tunnel below, it attracted the attention internationally of both Twitter and television news.

The concrete slab was removed and rescuers in yellow helmets, dark blue overalls and boots clustered around the shaft as the miners emerged into the late afternoon sunshine, some reluctantly because of what was to come. All were given medical treatment, then taken away in a police van to be charged with illegal mining.

Moshema Mosia, the head of disaster and emergency management in the Ekurhuleni area, said: "At this stage we can't say how many people are still left there. What we can say is that 11 people managed to come and were rescued. … The medical team gave them attention, they did a diagnosis. They are healthy and they are being looked after."

The 11 survivors "did not give any indication as to whether there are still some people there", he added. "They didn't say much. When we asked if they were OK, they indicated they were OK."

Illegal mining of abandoned shafts is common in South Africa and has been dubbed Johannesburg's second gold rush. The men, known as zama zama, are typically from poorer African countries and often live underground in dangerous and precarious conditions. Fatal accidents and turf wars between rival gangs are common.

Ugandan president condemned after passing anti-gay law

Campaigners attack Yoweri Museveni as he approves life imprisonment for 'aggravated homosexuality'

The Guardian, The Observer, David Smith, Africa correspondent, Sunday 16 February 2014

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni is to approve anti-gay laws based on
the advice of 'medical experts'. Photograph: Carl Court/AP

Rights campaigners and health professionals have condemned Uganda's president after he said he would approve controversial anti-homosexuality laws based on the advice of "medical experts".

Yoweri Museveni told members of his governing party he would sign the bill – prescribing life imprisonment for "aggravated homosexuality" – that was passed by parliament late last year, dashing activists' hopes he might veto it.

Ofwono Opondo, a government spokesman, tweeted on Friday that "this comes after 14 medical experts presented a report that homosexuality is not genetic but a social behaviour".

The MPs, attending a party conference chaired by Museveni, "welcomed the development as a measure to protect Ugandans from social deviants", Opondo added.

When Twitter users from around the world then criticised the announcement, Opondo responded: "Hey guys supporting homosexuals take it easy Uganda is a sovereign country #you challange [sic] the law in the courts."

Under existing colonial-era law in Uganda, anyone found guilty of "carnal knowledge against the order of nature" can already face sentences up to life imprisonment. But the new bill represents a dramatic broadening of penalties. It bans the promotion of homosexuality, makes it a crime punishable by prison not to report gay people to the authorities and enables life sentences to be imposed for various same-sex acts, including touching in public.

When the bill was abruptly passed by MPs just before Christmas, Museveni came under pressure to ratify it both within his own party and from Christian clerics who see it as necessary to deter western homosexuals from "recruiting" Ugandan children.

The president, who has been in power for 28 years, said he wanted his governing National Resistance Movement (NRM) to reach what he called a "scientifically correct" position on homosexuality. A medical report was prepared by more than a dozen scientists from Uganda's health ministry, officials said. They told Museveni that there is no gene for homosexuality and it is "not a disease but merely an abnormal behaviour which may be learned through experiences in life". Dr Richard Tushemereirwe, presidential adviser on science, said: "Homosexuality has serious public health consequences and should therefore not be tolerated".

Anite Evelyn, spokesperson for the NRM conference, said: "[Museveni] declared that he would sign the bill since the question of whether one can be born a homosexual or not had been answered. The president emphasised that promoters, exhibitionists and those who practise homosexuality for mercenary reasons will not be tolerated and will therefore be dealt with harshly."

The bill is popular in Uganda, one of 37 countries in Africa where homosexuality is illegal. Ugandan gay activists have accused some of their country's political and religious leaders of being influenced by American evangelicals.

Frank Mugisha, who heads Sexual Minorities Uganda, said: "President Museveni knows that this bill is unconstitutional and that we shall challenge it after he signs it, although I still think he will not sign this particular bill the way it is. But his political remarks about signing will only increase violence and hatred towards LGBT persons in Uganda."

The findings by Museveni's medical experts were disputed in an open letter by more than 50 of the world's top public health scientists and researchers. "Homosexuality is not a pathology, an abnormality, a mental disorder or an illness: It is a variant of sexual behaviour found in people around the world," they wrote. "Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are normal."

They warned that the laws could undermine the fight against HIV by driving these groups away from public health services because of "fear of arrest, intimidation, violence and discrimination".

Robyn Lieberman of the watchdog group Human Rights First said: "There should be no doubt that Museveni's latest words on the subject have been influenced by the reaction to similar legislation in Nigeria, Russia and elsewhere."

Question: Dear Kryon: Regarding homosexuality or transsexuals. WHY are they the way they are and WHY are they not accepted in mainstream society?

Answer: [From the Kryon Office]
There is often a tremendous amount of information on subjects that are not necessarily part of the on-line magazine Q&A database. Kryon has been channelling for fourteen years, with 9 books covering many, many topics. Homosexuality was one of them from the very beginning. Please see our "Books index page" for subjects contained in the Kryon books: [http://www.kryon.com/direct.html]

An excerpt from Kryon Book 6, page 306

Question from the book: Dear Kryon, I am gay, and an enlightened man. I live in an American society that barely tolerates me, and actually has some laws against my way of life. The church I used to belong to cast me out as being evil and anti-God. I don't feel that I am violating some Human ethic. My love is as true as any heterosexual, and I am a light worker. Tell me what I should know.

Answer from the book: Dear one, less than two generations from now, there will be those who find this book and laugh at the quaintness of this very question. Before I answer, let me ask you and those reading this to examine a phenomenon about Human society and "God."

Thirty years ago, interracial marriage was considered to be wrong by the laws of God. Now your society finds it common. The spiritual objections around it were either dropped or "rewritten" by those divinely inspired and authorized to do so. Therefore, your actual interpretations of the instructions from God changed with your society's tolerance level--an interesting thing, indeed, how the interpretations of God seem to change regularly to match a changing culture!

The truth, of course, is that you find yourself in a situation that is known to create a test for you. Right now, in this time, you have agreed to come into your culture with an attribute that may alienate you from friends and religious followers. You have faced fear of rejection and have had to "swim upstream," so to speak, just as an everyday life occurrence. Your contract, therefore, has been set up well, and you are in the middle of it. Additionally, like so many like you, you have a divine interest in yourselves! You feel part of the spiritual family. What a dichotomy indeed, to be judged as evil by those who are the high spiritual leaders--interpreting God for today's culture.

Now I say this: What is your intent? Is it to walk with love for all those around you and become an enlightened Human Being in this New Age? Is it to forgive those who see you as a spiritual blight on society? Can you have the kind of tolerance for them that they seem not to have for you? Can you overlook the fact that they freely quote their scriptures in order to condemn you, yet they don't seem to have the love tolerance that is the cornerstone of their own message?

If the answer is yes, then there is nothing else you must do. Your INTENT is everything, and your life will be honored with peace over those who would cause unrest, and tolerance for the intolerable. Your sexual attributes are simply chemistry and setups within your DNA. They are given by agreement as gifts for you to experience in this life. Look on them in this fashion, and be comfortable with that fact that you are a perfect spiritual creation under God--loved beyond measure--just like all humans. But then you know that, don't you?