Asean Summit, Malaysia on Nov 21, 1015

Asean Summit, Malaysia  on Nov 21, 1015
Asean Establishes Landmark Economic and Security Bloc
"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.) - Text version)

“….. Here is the prediction: China will turn North Korea loose soon. The alliance will dissolve, or become stale. There will be political upheaval in China. Not a coup and not a revolution. Within the inner circles of that which you call Chinese politics, there will be a re-evaluation of goals and monetary policy. Eventually, you will see a break with North Korea, allowing still another dictator to fall and unification to occur with the south. ….”

“ … 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 ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

North Korean defector criticises China in rare Beijing talk

North Korean defector criticises China in rare Beijing talk
North Korean defector and activist Hyeonseo Lee, who lives in South Korea, poses as she presents her book 'The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story' in Beijing on March 26, 2016 (AFP Photo/Fred Dufour)

US under fire in global press freedom report

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / 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 Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bangladesh charity puts women in the driving seat

Google – AFP, Kamrul Hasan Khan, 31 October 2012 

Unlike many Muslim-majority nations, millions of women do take up salaried
jobs in Bangladesh (AFP/File, Munir Uz Zaman)

DHAKA — Mosammat Shahanara, 22, is a rare breed in Bangladesh: a qualified professional female driver, and she is ready to hit the road in a new career that should bring her independence and an income.

Shahanara, who comes from a poor village in the southwest of the country, is one of 21 women to be the first graduates from a training scheme designed to promote women drivers and challenge deep gender prejudices.

Only a few women work as
 drivers in Bangladesh (AFP/File,
Munir Uz Zaman)
About 600 young women from poor backgrounds are being taught to drive at an eight-week course in Dhaka, funded by the BRAC, a Bangladeshi charity in co-operation with the government. The first course started in July.

For Shahanara, defying the taboo against women drivers has given her a shot at a better life, but it has come at a high price in a Muslim-majority country where conservative values remain strong.

"Village elders declared my family an outcast. They said that a young woman like me should not live alone away from her family and that driving is not for women," she said.

"I told my parents everything will be fine if I become financially solvent. Village elders don't give us food when we go hungry," said Shahanara, who divorced her husband after he demanded gold and a motorbike as dowry.

"I've seen that if you have money you can win over any social stigma," she told AFP, holding her driving certificate in her hand at BRAC headquarters, surrounded by classmates who nodded in agreement.

Unlike many Muslim-majority nations, millions of women do take up salaried jobs in Bangladesh, but the overwhelming majority are employed in the garment export sector making clothes on low pay.

Each driving school graduate will each earn at least 10,000 taka ($122) a month if they get a job as a government or private driver -- three times the salary of a garment worker.

Ahmed Najmul Hussain, head of the programme, believes the course could be one small step towards female drivers becoming a common sight in Bangladesh as women seek to become wage-earners.

"All 21 have received job assurances from two private firms on the day of their passing-out," he said. "I am sure the success of these women will have a huge impact in their villages."

At the BRAC School of Driving, classes include parking, lane discipline, basic vehicle maintenance and practising on a simulator.

Training starts in small cars and moves up to sports utility vehicles and minibuses, with later lessons held on Dhaka's busy and congested roads.

In the capital city, home to 15 million people, most drivers are untrained and illiterate and few abide by traffic rules, while vehicles are dilapidated and roads often in bad condition.

According to the national Accident Research Institute (ARI), the accident rate in Bangladesh is at least 50 times higher than Western Europe and North America, based on the number of fatalities per 10,000 registered vehicles.

Hussain said the training programme has generated interest from many firms that now want to recruit future graduates, prompting plans for the scheme to be expanded.

"Every Bangladeshi business realises how important it is to find a good driver. It saves a lot of money and time," he said.

Only a few women work as drivers -- state figures show the country has only 265 professional women against an estimated 2.4 million males.

"We thought the best way to cut accidents will be to have more women drivers," said head of state-run Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) Ayubur Rahman Khan.

"Female drivers are less aggressive. Their involvement in fatal accidents is 50 percent less than male drivers, and road rage is comparatively less."

But finding female volunteers for the course proved tricky as some fear it could be seen as breaking strict Islamic law.

"My parents and neighbours warned me against the profession. They said it's a taboo job, not for women," said 25-year-old single mother Shirina Khatun said.

Showing off her pass certificate, she said: "I can now earn on my own and ensure a decent education for my daughter.

"I have got used to driving in Dhaka and ignoring comments from men. Most of them do not know how to drive, but I do, and I also see respect in the eyes of women on the street."

North Korean leader's wife re-appears

Yahoo – AFP, 30 October 2012

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C), accompanied by his wife Ri Sol-Ju 
(C-L, beige coat), waves to the audience at a performance of the Moranbong
 Band in Pyongyang. Kim's wife has re-appeared after dropping out of the public
 eye for 50 days amid fevered rumours that she was either pregnant or had 
fallen out of favour

The wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has re-appeared after dropping out of the public eye for 50 days amid fevered rumours that she was either pregnant or had fallen out of favour.

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Ri Sol-Ju joined her husband at a musical performance and a football match in Pyongyang on Monday.

"Marshall Kim Jong-Un, the supreme leader of the party and the people, came to the spectators' seats, accompanied by his wife Ri Sol-Ju. At that moment, thunderous applause broke out," KCNA said.

Kim took over the reins of power in North Korea following the death of his father, Kim Jong-Il last December.

The fact that he even had a wife was only revealed in July when pictures emerged of a stylish young woman accompanying the new young leader at official events.

A terse statement from Pyongyang's state television that month confirmed her identity and the fact that the couple were married.

Then in early September, she dropped from public view just as suddenly as she had appeared.

Her absence triggered speculation that she might be pregnant, while some suggested she was doing penance for failing to wear the lapel pin -- bearing the image of one or both of the country's late leaders -- that all adult North Koreans are required to wear.

A photo of the couple at Monday's musical performance showed Ri, wearing a long coat, applauding as Kim saluted the cheering crowd.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency stoked the pregnancy rumours by observing that her mid-section appeared swollen. It was not clear if she was wearing a badge under the coat.

The announcement of Kim Jong-Un's marriage and Ri's media profile mark a departure for North Korea whose intensely secretive regime has previously kept the private lives of its rulers under wraps.

According to intelligence reports cited by the South Korean media, the couple were married in 2009 and already have one child.

Ri was described as coming from an ordinary family, with her father an academic and her mother a doctor. She visited South Korea in 2005 as a cheerleader for her country's squad in the Asian Athletics Championships.

Related Article:

"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical)  8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) (Text version) 

“… 8. ... North Korea is on the edge of change, as we told you it might be. What did this require? The death of the old energy, and I want you to watch this take place. The advisors of the young leader are going to do their best to pull him back into an old energy. This free choice of his will be far different than his father, for he sees some color. Watch for these things. They'll take longer than you want, but it is the beginning of the beginning. …”

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.) - (Text version)

“….. Here is the prediction: China will turn North Korea loose soon. The alliance will dissolve, or become stale. There will be political upheaval in China. Not a coup and not a revolution. Within the inner circles of that which you call Chinese politics, there will be a re-evaluation of goals and monetary policy. Eventually, you will see a break with North Korea, allowing still another dictator to fall and unification to occur with the south. ….”

Pakistan militant group founder offers US storm aid

Google – AFP, 30 October 2012

"Jamaat-ud-Dawa is ready to send its volunteers, doctors, food, medicines
and other relief items," Saeed said (AFP/File, Arif Ali)

ISLAMABAD — The founder of a Pakistan-based Islamist group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, who is under a $10 million US bounty, Tuesday offered humanitarian aid to the United States as it battles superstorm Sandy.

Sandy hammered the eastern United States early Tuesday, flooding much of New York City, hitting several states with heavy winds and torrential rain and leaving at least 14 people dead.

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the founder of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant outfit and now head of the charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), said his organisation was ready to offer every possible help to the storm-hit American people.

"Jamaat-ud-Dawa is ready to send its volunteers, doctors, food, medicines and other relief items on humanitarian grounds if the US government allows us," Saeed said in a statement.

"America may have any opinion about us, it may fix bounties on our heads but as followers of the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed, we feel it is our Islamic duty to help Americans trapped in a catastrophe."

Saeed's statement said the charity had carried out relief work in Indonesia and Sri Lanka after the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004.

JuD is seen as a front for LeT, which Washington and Delhi blame for the commando-style attacks on India's financial capital in 2008 that killed 166 people.

In April the United States offered $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Saeed, who lives openly in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore.

Saeed's charity has long denied terror accusations and is known around Pakistan for its relief work in the wake of the devastating Kashmir earthquake of 2005 and the floods of 2010, which were the worst in the country's history.

He was put under house arrest a month after the Mumbai attacks, but was released in 2009 and in 2010 as Pakistan's highest court upheld his release on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to detain him.

Last month Saeed led a number of protests in Lahore against a US-made anti-Islam film.

Related Article:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Philippine court enters not guilty plea for ex-leader Arroyo

BBC News, 29 October 2012

Related Stories 

Mrs Arroyo arrived in court in a neck
 brace and wheelchair from a military
Former Philippine President Gloria Arroyo has appeared in court on charges of misusing millions in state lottery charity funds while in office.

The court recorded a ''not guilty'' plea on her behalf after she refused to enter a plea.

Earlier this month, an arrest warrant was issued for Mrs Arroyo, who is accused of diverting $8.8m (£5.5m).

She arrived in court in a neck brace and wheelchair from a military hospital where she has been confined.

Mrs Arroyo, who suffers from a spine-related ailment, was admitted to the hospital for dehydration days before the arrest warrant was served.

She is currently a lawmaker in the House of Representatives.

Corruption charges

Mrs Arroyo was detained earlier this year on a separate election fraud charge but released on bail in July.

Her lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, said he was optimistic that the current charges could be dropped.

He told reporters that there was a "pattern of persecution" against his client.

This is the third corruption case against Mrs Arroyo. She faces a maximum penalty of life in prison if found guilty.

Aside from plunder, she also faces charges over electoral fraud in connection with polls in 2007, as well as corruption over an aborted broadband deal with a Chinese company. She has denied these charges.

President Benigno Aquino has said that bringing her to justice is a key part of his anti-corruption campaign, says the BBC's Kate McGeown in Manila.

But Mrs Arroyo, who was president of the Philippines from 2001 until 2010, accuses her successor of waging a vendetta against her, says our correspondent.

She was first arrested in November 2011 when she tried to leave the country to seek medical treatment for her neck ailment.

China protesters force halt to Zhejiang factory plan

BBC News, 28 October 2012

Demonstrators were thought to be calling for the release of people arrested
during a protest on Saturday

China's New Leaders 

Plans to expand a petrochemical plant in eastern China have been shelved after days of protests.

On Friday, crowds opposed to the expansion attacked police in the city of Ningbo in Zhejiang province.

Officials from Ningbo's city government announced on Sunday evening that work on the project would now not go ahead.

Environmental protests have become more common in China. They come ahead of a once-in-a-decade change of national leaders in Beijing.

Protesters gathered again in Ningbo on Sunday, marching on the offices of the district government. They are opposed to the expansion of the plant by a subsidiary of the China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation.

"There is very little public confidence in the government," protester Liu Li told the Associated Press.

"Who knows if they are saying this just to make us leave and then keep on doing the project," she added.

Violent clashes

On Saturday, police dispersed more than 1,000 protesters in Ningbo.

Witnesses described scuffles and said a few people were arrested.

Local police accused protesters of throwing stones and bricks at officers. Residents, however, said the violence came after police used tear gas and made arrests.

Local officials met demonstrators later on Saturday to hear their demands.

The huge growth in China's economy has come at a huge environmental cost.

Many Chinese are becoming more environmentally aware and are deeply concerned about pollution, correspondents say.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thousands Rally for Gay Marriage at Taiwan Parade

Jakarta Globe, October 27, 2012

Participants revel through a street during the gay and lesbian parade in Taipei,
Taiwan, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. Thousands of gay rights supporters participated
 in the parade as they showed Taiwan's acceptance of alternative lifestyles and
activities from traditional ways of Chinese life. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Related articles

Taipei. Tens of thousands of people marched though Taipei on Saturday to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan as the island marked its 10th annual Gay Pride event in colorful fashion.

"The theme this year is to fight for equal rights on marriage. Gay people are also tax-paying citizens and we demand the same basic right as any heterosexual couples," said Mu Chuan, one of the organizers of the rally.

The parade saw revelers in flamboyant costumes, big feathered hats and swimming trunks waving placards reading "marriage" and "equal rights".

"Even though marriage is a very personal choice, I think gay people should not be stripped of the right to choose to get married," said Mi Feng, a software programmer from Taipei dressed in white and holding a bridal bouquet.

"I just want to tell the world we have the right to love equally like others," said Kongpaphop Panya, a 30-year-old doctor who came from Thailand with three friends.

Organizers expected a turnout of 50,000 people from as far afield as Europe for capital's 10th annual gay parade.

Encouraged by US President Barack Obama's support for gay marriage, Taiwanese rights group have launched a campaign to collect one million signatures for a bill they drafted on the issue that they aim to submit to parliament next year.

Taiwan is one of the most culturally liberal societies in East Asia, and gay and lesbian groups have been urging the government for years to make same-sex unions legal.

Aiming to raise awareness about the issue, some 80 lesbian couples last year took part in Taiwan's biggest same-sex "wedding party", attracting about 1,000 friends, relatives and curious onlookers.

In August, two women tied the knot in the island's first same-sex Buddhist "wedding" in a much-publicized event with the blessings of a well-known Buddhist master and 300 Buddhist guests.

Agence France-Presse
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Out of the closet and on to the pitch

Gay Jamaicans launch legal action over island's homophobic laws

Orlando Cruz: 'I wanted to take out the thorn inside me and have peace'

About the Challenges of Being a Gay Man – Oct 23, 2010 (Saint Germain channelled by Alexandra Mahlimay and Dan Bennack) - “You see, your Soul and Creator are not concerned with any perspective you have that contradicts the reality of your Divinity – whether this be your gender, your sexual preference, your nationality – or your race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or anything else.”

"The Akashic System" – Jul 17, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: Religion, The Humanization of GodBenevolent Design, DNA, Akashic Circle, (Old) Souls, Gaia, Indigenous People, Talents, Reincarnation, Genders, Gender Switches, In “between” Gender Change, Gender Confusion, Shift of Human Consciousness, Global Unity,..... etc.)  - (Text version)

Rohingya: Stateless and 'Friendless' in Myanmar

Jakarta Globe, October 27, 2012

Myanmar's 800,000 Rohingya are seen as illegal immigrants from neighboring
Bangladesh. (AFP Photo)
Related articles

Bangkok. Decades of discrimination have left the Muslim Rohingya stateless, scattered around the globe and viewed by the United Nations as among the most persecuted minorities on the planet.

About 800,000 Rohingya live in Myanmar, according to the UN, mostly in western Rakhine state, which has been hit by fierce communal violence since June that has left about 150 dead and caused tens of thousands to flee their homes.

Confined mainly to three districts — Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung — they have long been treated as "foreign" by the government and many Burmese, a situation that activists say has led to a deepening alienation from Rakhine's Buddhists.

Images of squalid camps and reports of perilous attempts to flee to other countries in rickety boats have drawn international attention to their plight in recent years, but living conditions have scarcely improved.

Forced labour, restrictions on freedom of movement, lack of land rights, education and public services were listed as among the limitations placed on the group, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said in a report published in December last year.

"The Rohingya are virtually friendless amongst Myanmar's other ethnic, linguistic and religious communities," the UNHCR report said.

Speaking a dialect similar to that spoken in Chittagong in southeast Bangladesh, the Sunni Muslims are viewed with hostility by many in Rakhine state, who view them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and refer to them as "Bengali".

That animosity extends outside the state and even includes key figures in the democratic movement, long supported by the international community, which has warned the unrest and displacements pose a threat to Myanmar's reforms.

There have also been a series of recent anti-Muslim protests by Buddhists in the country, sometimes led by monks, amid perceptions of a threat to the majority Buddhist religion and fears over Islamic extremism — accusations the Rohingya strongly deny.

Neighboring Bangladesh - where the UN estimates there are at least 230,000 Rohingya - sees the group as a burden on its strained finances and the refugees are blamed for all sorts of crimes in the southeast of the country ranging from petty theft to drug trafficking.

Bangladesh, which has mobilized extra patrols along its river border in response to the latest violence, drew UN criticism after it turned back boatloads of Rohingya, mainly women and children, after June's unrest.

Two massive waves of refugees, of approximately 250,000 people each, flooded across the border into Bangladesh in 1978 and 1991-92. Large scale repatriations ensued, with the UN questioning the "voluntary" nature of the measure.

In recent years, other Rohingya migrants have undertaken the dangerous voyage by boat towards Malaysia or Thailand, whose navy was has in the past been accused of towing them back out to sea.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya are now thought to live outside Myanmar, including communities in Pakistan and around 400,000 in Gulf states, according to the UNHCR report.

Many are also now fleeing to Malaysia, where the UN says around 24,000 are registered. Rights groups say there may be thousands living unregistered in the country.

Myanmar has a multitude of ethnic groups, many of whom have conducted sporadic armed rebellions since independence from Britain in 1948.

But the Rohingya are not officially recognized, partly owing to a 1982 law stipulating that minorities must prove they lived in Myanmar prior to 1823 - before the first Anglo-Burmese war - to obtain nationality.

Representatives of the Rohingya say their people were in Myanmar long before then, but while there have been suggestions that citizenship could be granted to those with a long-standing link to the country, judging proof of a Myanmar heritage could pose an intractable challenge for authorities.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Malala attack response 'turning point' for Pakistan: dad

Google – AFP, 26 October 2012 

"There were tears in our eyes out of happiness," Malala's father said.
(Queen Elizabeth Hospital/AFP)

LONDON — The response of Pakistan to the shooting of the schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai by the Taliban was a "turning point" for the country, her father said Friday at the British hospital where she is recovering.

"When she fell, Pakistan stood and the world rose. This is a turning point," a clearly emotional Ziauddin Yousafzai told journalists.

He said Malala, 15, was recovering "at an encouraging speed" in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where she was brought from Pakistan on October 15.

Malala was shot in the head in an attack which attracted condemnation in Pakistan and around the world after she was singled out by the Taliban for punishment because she campaigned for girls to be educated in the Swat valley.

"She is not just my daughter, she is everybody's daughter," her father said.

He thanked the doctors at the hospital in the city in central England, saying: "She got the right treatment, at the right place, at the right time.

"She is recovering at an encouraging speed and we are very happy."

At one point, Ziauddin had to stop and compose himself as he recalled how in the aftermath of the shooting he asked his brother-in-law to make arrangements for a funeral because he did not believe Malala would survive.

When asked how he felt when he and his family saw Malala for the first time since they arrived in Britain on Thursday, he said: "I love her and last night when we met her there were tears in our eyes out of happiness.

"We all cried a little bit."

Malala's mother and two brothers have also come to Birmingham, where the girl is being treated in the highly specialised hospital where service personnel who are seriously injured in Afghanistan are taken.

He said her mother was too camera-shy to attend the media briefing, but pictures released by the hospital showed the family gathered around Malala's bed. Malala was wearing a pale green head covering.

Malala has received thousands of goodwill messages from around the world.

Doctors have said a bullet grazed her brain and came within centimetres of killing her, travelling through her head and neck before lodging in her left shoulder.

She requires reconstructive surgery, but she must first fight off an infection in the path of the bullet and recover her strength, which could take months.

New York Times blocked in China over Wen Jiabao story

BBC News, 26 October 2012

Related Stories 

Wen Jiabao, China's premier for almost
10 years, is portrayed as a popular figure
with concern for the public
The New York Times says access to its website is being blocked inside China after it published an investigation into wealth accumulated by relatives of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

The newspaper said its Chinese-language site was blocked first, followed by its English-language site.

References to the report also appear to be blocked on micro-blogging sites.

In its report, the paper said Mr Wen's family members "have controlled assets worth at least $2.7bn (£1.7bn)".

"Many relatives of Wen Jiabao, including his son, daughter, younger brother and brother-in-law, have become extraordinarily wealthy during his leadership," the newspaper wrote.

"In many cases, the names of the relatives have been hidden behind layers of partnerships and investment vehicles involving friends, work colleagues and business partners."

The newspaper said both the Chinese government and Mr Wen's relatives declined to comment on the investigation, which was based on corporate records from 1992-2012.

No holdings were found in Mr Wen's name, it said, nor was it possible "to determine from the documents whether he recused himself from any decisions that might have affected his relatives' holdings, or whether they received preferential treatment on investments".

China is sensitive about reports on its leaders, particularly when it comes to their wealth. A growing wealth gap is causing public discontent, as are the frequent corruption scandals involving government officials.

When, in June 2012, a Bloomberg investigative report examined the finances of the relatives of president-in-waiting Xi Jinping, the company's website was blocked in China - even though the report said there was no indication of wrongdoing by him or his family.

Mr Wen has been the Chinese premier for almost 10 years. He is due to step down in a power transition that begins on 8 November.

He is seen as a popular figure with the common touch, and is portrayed in state media as a leader with great concern for the lives of ordinary people.

A spokeswoman for New York Times said she hoped that full access to the websites would be "restored shortly" in China.

Winston Wen or Wen Yunsong, the
 only son of Wen Jiabao. (Internet photo)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Human trafficking, prostitution thrive in Afghanistan

Deutsche Welle, 24 October 2012

Thousands of Afghan girls and boys are trafficked into neighboring countries and sold into slavery each year. Though it is taboo, prostitution is alive and thriving - at the cost of those forced to work in it.

It is the oldest trade in the world and exists in probably every country in the world. Yet prostitution is not a dream job. Most female sex workers are forced to make a living through prostitution.

In conservative Afghanistan, prostitution is illegal. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. Human trafficking is booming - young women are being sold and sent over to neighboring countries, mostly to Pakistan.

Heather Barr says the government has
 a number of other issues to tackle as well
Many people are unaware of just how many women are forced to work as prostitutes, according to Heather Barr of Human Rights Watch's Asia Division.

"HRW did a report that was released in March this year about women in prison for moral crimes. And one of the things that I found really surprising by doing those interviews, was how many women I met, had been forced in prostitution often by their husbands and in-laws."

Women sold as commodities

The reason, she explained, that women were forced into the sex trade by their families was due to poverty and drug addiction - usually of a husband or brother or both. The families often saw women as a source of money and take advantage of it.

Women from Pakistan are also been bought and sold to Afghanistan. Poor or practically non-existing security at the border means criminals smuggling and trafficking goods and people can easily get away with it. When the trafficked people arrive on the other side of the border, they are fully at the mercy of their pimps.

One woman from Pakistan who wished not to be named is now in Jalalabad - far away from her home in Karachi.

"We are poor and helpless. What are we supposed to do? We don't have anything to eat. That's why the "big man" brought us here from Karachi. No one likes doing this work, but I don't have any other choice," she told DW.

The young woman speaks neither of Afghanistan's official languages - Dari and Pashtu. She said she didn't know who to turn to and was afraid of the consequences she would face should she run away and the authority of her pimp, the "big man," as she called him. But he himself also cited poverty as a reason to force women into prostitution.

Sahar Gul, 15 years old, was tortured
for months by her in-laws for refusing to
prostitute herself
"I do this because I am poor and I want to be able to feed my children. I am aware that there are dangerous consequences, harsh punishments for this kind of work - for instance death or being ostracized and other things."

But he insisted he did not force anyone to work - that the women who work for him prostituted themselves because they wanted to.

Prostitution, whether out of one's own will or not, is illegal according to Islamic law. The cleric Nek Mohammad works for the court in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar and offers consultations on Islamic law. All forms of position are illegal, he told DW.

"At least four people have to bear witness to the crime. And should the prostitute or the person who buys her be married, his or her spouse will have to be stoned. If there are no married people involved, then they receive lashings."


But punishment is not the only thing to worry about. Most of the prostitutes are unaware of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV and do not use condoms. The number of cases of STDs had sharply risen in the past few months, according to Dr. Baz Mohammad Sherzad, head of Nangarhar province's health ministry.

Prostitutes pose as beggars on the
streets of Afghanistan
"Our doctors confirm that many young men who have come to us recently have had urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases. If prostitution is allowed then it is no wonder there is an increase in such problems in Nangarhar."

Nonetheless, doctors should promote educational campaigns, said Sherzad. The government should tackle the problem. Yet the government had a whole set of other problems: "Think about child marriage, forced marriage, domestic violence, the sale of women for marriage and other purposes, forced prostitution, self immolation - honestly the government hasn't been dealing very effectively with any of those issues," said Heather Barr.

She said it was unfortunate that there was a lack of political will to solve these issues. Progress was only made very slow.

As of recently, it is now illegal to lock up women for running away from home, which is just a further symptom of the violence and forced prostitution women continue to face in Afghanistan.

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"... No soul enters life to serve another, except by choice, but to serve its own purpose and that of the Divine from which it came. ..."

"... No person shall be forced into marriage against his or her will. No woman shall be forced to bear or not bear children, against her will. No person shall be forced to hold or not hold views or worship in a manner contrary to his or her choice. Nothing vital to existence shall be withheld from another if it is within the community’s power to give. ...."