“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, October 28, 2018

In Kenya, free cash is the latest solution to poverty

Yahoo – AFP, Nicolas DELAUNAY, October 28, 2018

Somes villagers in western Kenya are receiving a universal basic income, an
experimental programme by the American NGO Give Directly as a way to
reduce poverty (AFP Photo/Yasuyoshi CHIBA)

Bondo (Kenya) (AFP) - Until recently, Molly struggled to imagine life beyond the end of each repetitive day: work in someone else's fields and earn enough to eat, rinse, repeat.

"It was a vicious circle I could not escape," says the 25-year-old villager in the Bondo region of western Kenya.

Her hardscrabble, rural existence is the same for many in Siaya County where people eke out a living farming maize, millet and cotton in the ochre soil.

But that was before the introduction in her village of a cash handout known as "universal basic income". It's part of a large, intensive, multi-year study aimed at discovering a new way to end poverty in Africa.

Molly began receiving a no-strings, fixed monthly donation of 2,250 shillings ($22, 19 euros) two years ago, and since then "everything has changed", she says.

"I was able to save to study to be a nursery school teacher," she says proudly inside her tin-roofed cement home as chickens pecked outside.

"It was the little bit of help that turned my situation around."

With a paid internship at the village school Molly has built on the foundation of universal basic income to see her monthly income more than double to $50, broadening her horizons.

"Before, I barely had enough money to survive but now I have plans... I even go to the hairdresser once every two months," she says with a smile.

25-year-old Molly has used her universal basic income to study to be a nursery
school teacher (AFP Photo/Yasuyoshi CHIBA)

Same cash, different dreams

According to the World Bank, over a third of Kenya's nearly 50 million citizens live below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day.

Molly's village -- which is not being identified in order not to stir envy or skew the study -- is one of scores in the area chosen by the US charity Give Directly to test the universal basic income theory.

The region was selected because of its poverty, but also its stability and, crucially, the effectiveness of Kenya's mobile money transfer system, M-Pesa, that allows the easy distribution of payments.

Founded in 2010 and working in six African countries, Give Directly sends money straight to the poor allowing them to choose their own priorities, rather than outsiders "deciding instead of them", explains the non-profit's spokeswoman Caroline Teti.

Previously, recipients were given a single lump sum, but now monthly payments are being trialed.

"When you give people money monthly, will they stop working? Will they take risks in the way they invest knowing they will have an income whatever happens? How does that affect their aspirations?" says Teti of some of the questions their programme is testing.

A villager shows his mobile phone's monitor displaying a message confirming the 
universal basic income transaction, 2,250 shillings per month ($22,19 euros) 
(AFP Photo/Yasuyoshi CHIBA)

"There is a global debate about universal income and we want evidence to move forward," she says.

The study is the biggest in the world and will involve a total of 20,000 people in western Kenya.

Residents of 40 villages will receive $22 a month for 12 years, a further 80 villages will receive the same amount for just two years, while another 76 villages will receive two lump sum payments of $507 spaced two months apart.

Molly's neighbour, 29-year-old Edwin, hopes to replace his mud hut with a cement home, while Monica and her husband have invested in small-scale chicken farming.

"We have a new enclosure and a few chickens," says Monica, 30, wearing an elegant black dress, mended in several places. She hopes to be able to send her three children to school so that they won't "live in poverty, like us".

Without patronising prescriptions from donors, "everyone in the village is using the money differently," she adds.

'Not the sole solution'

Give Directly believes universal basic income is useful, but not a panacea.

30-year-old Monica, hopes to send her children to school so they won't "live in 
poverty, like us" (AFP Photo/Yasuyoshi CHIBA)

"When you are in a conflict situation, you may have been affected beyond basic (needs), you may not have a place to sleep, you're more vulnerable to disease," says Teti.

"In that context, basic income can be a part of a solution, but it cannot be the sole solution."

Nor, she adds, is it a substitute for the state's obligations to provide life's basics such as schools and healthcare.

For villagers involved in the basic income experiment, the money is an assist not a solution, and also an opportunity, to be seized or squandered.

"2,250 shillings is not enough to buy useless things," says Judge Samson, 72, explaining why villagers are not wasting their cash handouts. "It's just enough to feed you and get out of poverty."

Monica has invested her money to benefit her family, but worries that if the basic income trial is a success, others might prove less thrifty.

"Maybe in the future some will forget what we went through and start buying stupid things," she warns, but then adds: "I don't think that will be the case."

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Israeli supreme court overturns entry ban on US student

Yahoo – AFP, Stephen Weizman, October 18, 2018

US student Lara Alqasem attends a hearing at Israel's Supreme Court in
Jerusalem on October 17, 2018 (AFP Photo/Menahem KAHANA)

Jerusalem (AFP) - Israel's supreme court on Thursday overturned an entry ban imposed on a US student over past support for a pro-Palestinian boycott campaign, leading to her release after more than two weeks of detention.

The three-judge panel upheld Lara Alqasem's appeal against the ban, allowing the 22-year-old to take her place on a master's degree programme at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, which had awarded her a scholarship.

The interior ministry's decision to bar her from entry, the court ruled, "was not within the bounds of reason and is revoked".

"The Hebrew University of Jerusalem looks forward to welcoming our newest student, Lara Alqasem, as she begins her MA in human rights and transitional justice at our law school next week," the university said in a brief statement after the court decision.

Alqasem landed at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport on October 2, but despite having a visa she was not allowed to clear immigration due to a 2017 law barring supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Ordered to return to the United States, she decided instead to stay in Israel and challenge the ban.

She has since been in detention at the airport, while lower courts rejected two appeals.

A spokeswoman for the immigration authority said she was released from the holding facility on Thursday evening.

Alqasem, whose father is of Palestinian descent, had been president of a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) during her undergraduate studies at the University of Florida.

The group has supported boycott campaigns against Israel.

In March 2017, Israel's parliament passed the law banning the entry of supporters of BDS, a movement inspired by an international campaign against South Africa before the fall of apartheid.

Alqasem says she left SJP in 2017 and is no longer part of the BDS movement.

Alqasem's lawyer argued before the supreme court that the state should apply common sense when applying the law against BDS supporters.

"Why would she want to enter Israel to call for a boycott?" Yotam Ben Hillel asked.

Thursday's 28-page ruling agreed.

"In this case, denying the applicant's entry does not advance the purpose of the law, and it is argued, for example, by the Hebrew University that it harms Israeli academia," it said, going on to criticise the immigration authorities.

"Since the actions of the applicant do not establish sufficient grounds to prohibit her entry into Israel, the inevitable impression is that the denial of the visa granted to her is due to the political opinions she holds," it wrote, in a slap for immigration authorities.

"Extreme and dangerous step"

"If this is indeed the case, then this is an extreme and dangerous step that could lead to the disintegration of the pillars on which democracy is built in Israel," it added.

Interior Minister Arie Deri, under whose ministry the immigration authority falls, lashed out at the court in response.

"The decision to allow the student who openly acts against the state of Israel to remain in the country is a disgrace," he tweeted.

"I shall look into how to prevent such a thing happening again."

Attorney Ben Hillel said he hoped that Deri would reconsider his policy.

"Israel has the right to control its borders, but that right does not give the ministry of the interior unchecked power to turn away anyone it deems unwanted," he wrote in a statement.

"Lara’s case proves that thought-policing has no place in a democracy."

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Burundi accuses Belgium of ordering hit on independence hero

Yahoo – AFP, 14 October 2018

Burundi independence hero Prince Louis Rwagasore, whose bust is seen here in
Bujumbura, was shot dead a month after being named prime minister in 1961

Burundi on Sunday accused former colonial power Belgium of ordering the assassination of independence hero and Crown Prince Louis Rwagasore in 1961, a move likely to further poison ties between the two countries.

A government statement said Belgium was the "true backer of the assassination of Rwagasore", in the first direct accusation over the murder by Bujumbura, which said it plans to probe the six-decade-old incident.

The statement said that Brussels "has yet to explain itself" over the killing of Rwagasore, who played a key role in Burundi's anti-colonial movement.

Rwagasore was named prime minister in the run-up to independence but was shot dead a month later by a Greek assassin accompanied by three Burundian members of a pro-Belgian party at a hotel in the capital -- a little over a year before independence was achieved in July 1962.

He is one of Burundi's most beloved heroes, with his name gracing stadiums, schools and roads across the country.

In the statement, the government said it "plans to launch a technical commission to investigate the assassinations ... of Rwagasore" and his two young children a few months later.

The Kingdom of Burundi, believed to date to the 17th century, came under German colonial rule in 1890, but was awarded by the League of Nations to Belgium after World War I.

Rwagasore was the eldest son of King Mwambutsa IV.

Burundi has been gripped by political crisis since President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a third term in office in 2015, provoking severe civil unrest that has left at least 1,200 dead and displaced over 400,000 people.

In October 2016, Belgium withdrew its ambassador to Burundi and suspended several development projects, as Bujumbura's relations with foreign allies worsened over the crisis.

The following month, the executive secretary of the ruling CNDD-FDD Evariste Ndayishimiye accused Belgium of "acting as if Burundi is still under its yoke," on Twitter, after accusing it of backing the opposition.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Law protecting Morocco child maids takes effect

Yahoo – AFP, October 2, 2018

Seventeen-year-old Fatima, like thousands of young girls employed as housemaids
 in Morocco, was exploited and abused until she managed to escape (AFP Photo/

Rabat (AFP) - A long-awaited law aimed at protecting thousands of young girls working as housemaids in Morocco took effect Tuesday, the country's first such legislation.

The law sets a minimum age of 18 for household work, in a bid to end the exploitation and abuse of young girls working for unscrupulous employers.

Passed in 2016 following years of debate, it imposes financial penalties on employers failing to provide contracts, a minimum wage, a weekly day off and annual holidays.

The government at the time hailed the law as major progress.

However, human rights say it does not go far enough, allowing 16-17 year-olds to work as domestic helpers for a further five years until October 2023.

Thousands of young girls in the North African kingdom are employed as maids, often facing abuse from their employers.

The Moroccan Collective for Eradicating the Exploitation of "Little Maids", as the young housemaids are known, said the new law fails to provide means to reintegrate them into society.

There are no official figures on the number of minors employed as domestic maids in Morocco, who often hail from impoverished rural backgrounds.

A 2010 study commissioned by NGOs found that between 66,000 and 80,000 girls under 15 years old were working as maids in Morocco.

Related Article:

Monday, October 1, 2018

Namibia follows South Africa with land reform pledge

Yahoo – AFP, October 1, 2018

Namibia President Hage Geingob, seen at the UN, said he would push ahead with
 land distribution, citing the "fundamental issue" of "inequality" (AFP Photo/

Windhoek (AFP) - Namibian President Hage Geingob vowed Monday to push ahead with land redistribution, echoing the government of neighbouring South Africa, where the issue has become a fierce political battleground.

Namibia, which was ruled by colonial Germany and then apartheid South Africa until 1990, has large swathes of agricultural land, as well as major diamond and platinum mining industries.

"Many Namibians were driven off their productive land," Geingob said at the opening of a national conference in Windhoek to discuss new land policy.

"The fundamental issue is the inequality... We also share a burning land issue and a racialised distribution of land resources with South Africa.

"This comes from a common history of colonial dispossession. What we also agree to is that the status quo will not be allowed to continue."

Geinob added that "careful consideration should be given to expropriation", but urged that the process remain peaceful.

The conference has been boycotted by several traditional leaders, civil society organisations and political parties for allegedly having predetermined outcomes.

Traditional leaders have called on the government to resettle people on land that belonged to their ancestors.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who faces elections in 2019, has said expropriating farms without compensating their owners would "undo a grave historical injustice" against the black majority during colonialism and the apartheid era.