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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Sunday, September 30, 2012

China must advance reform, stick to opening-up, says premier   2012-09-29  

Chinese top leaders Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun,
 Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang attend a reception marking
 the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China at the Great
Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 29, 2012. (Xinhua/Ju Ping)
BEIJING, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- China must steadfastly advance institutional reforms in economic, political, cultural, social and other fields and stick to the opening-up policy, Premier Wen Jiabao said here on Saturday.

Addressing a reception marking the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, Wen said "there is still a long way to go" before China becomes a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao delivers a speech at a 
reception held by the State Council marking the 63rd
 anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of
China  at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, 
capital of China. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)
President Hu Jintao, senior leaders Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang, Zhou Yongkang and more than 1,200 Chinese and foreign personages were present at the reception.

"We must promote socialist democracy and rule of law, uphold social equity and justice, improve the educational and moral standards of our people and achieve freedom and all-round development of the people," said the premier.

Wen said, "sixty-three years ago today, the Chinese nation put an end to a century of humiliation and suffering in its modern history, and a new China stood up in the east of the world."

"Since then and especially since the launch of reform and opening-up, the Chinese people of all ethnic groups have been united as one and worked tenaciously under the leadership of the CPC, bringing tremendous changes to the country," he said.

"The Chinese economy has maintained fast growth; people's livelihood has improved markedly; and China's overall national strength and international influence have grown significantly. Every Chinese has reason to take pride in these achievements," the premier said.

"While recognizing achievements, we must always keep a cool head," he said.

The country is in an important period of strategic opportunities for development, Wen said, stressing that the power of reform and opening-up as well as the persevering spirit of the Chinese nation will lead China to a brighter future.

As to the 18th National Congress of the CPC, the premier said that it will be an important meeting "for us to build on past achievements and open up new prospects for future development."

He stressed that "we will unswervingly follow the basic line of the Party and stay committed to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics."

Wen also reiterated the government's policies on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, vowing to maintain long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao and to promote peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait.

On foreign affairs, the premier said that China will pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and firmly safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2012 shows the scene of a reception held by the
 State Council of China marking the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the People's
 Republic of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China.
(Xinhua/Ding Lin)

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The Japan Times: Spirituality on the rise

The Japan Times, EDITORIAL, Sunday, Sep. 30, 2012

Is Japan a spiritual-oriented or materialistic society? The answer is definitively spiritual, according to the most recent national livelihood survey by the Cabinet Office. The highest percentage of Japanese ever — 64 percent — said they are now placing priority on "spiritual fulfillment" rather than "material richness."

The survey also found the lowest percentage ever, 30.1 percent, pursuing wealth as their main priority in life. The percentage of those pursuing spiritual matters has led the annual survey since 1979. However, the relative difference between spiritual and material values reached its highest gap this year.

Watching the tragic destruction caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 surely changed many people's life priorities. The sustained economic downturn has also shown many people, whether they wanted to see it or not, that they can enjoy their lives with less money than they once imagined.

The turn away from affluence showed up in another result of the survey. According to 66.5 percent of people, what is most in need of improvement in Japan is the economy. That doesn't necessarily mean they seek affluence. The ideal of the Japanese economic miracle is receding even further into the past, replaced by the realities of the current economic situation. People do not want to get rich; they want the economy to function.

The ongoing trend in Japanese life also involves a revaluation of lifestyle issues. More of those surveyed, 37.7 percent, said they preferred pursuing leisure and recreational activities, rather than a higher income (33.3 percent). Personal fulfillment and human relations have begun to receive greater attention and concern.

Unfortunately, government policy and foreign relations do not always reflect this national mood. It is not that the government should interfere in spiritual matters, much less promote them, but the economic engines should not be repaired simply to pump up the level of affluence, but to allow people to get on with their other interests.

The survey indicates that people now have concerns that go past the limits of material acquisitiveness.

Politicians on all sides of the political spectrum would do well to understand this ongoing shift in public values. The survey indicates that Japan is moving beyond the past overemphasis on economic and material growth, both individually and nationally, to a more balanced view of what life entails, a view that includes more nuanced and complex aspects of human experience.

That change can only be for the good.

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Japan's premier-in-waiting Yukio Hatoyama (not pictured) and his wife  Miyuki
 pose for the media after casting their absentee ballots at a polling station in
Tokyo August 26, 2009. (Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon)

"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) 

Divided town a challenge to Myanmar democracy bid

Associated Press, Todd Pitman, Sep. 30, 2012

In this photo taken on Sept. 8, 2012, Muslims gather during a visit by a delegation
 of American diplomats including U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar Derek Mitchell,
 unseen, at a refugee camp in Sittwe, Rakhine State, western Myanmar. Three-and-a-half
months after some of the bloodiest clashes in a generation between Myanmar’s
 ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and stateless Muslims known as Rohingya left the western
town of Sittwe in flames, nobody is quite sure when -or even if- the Rohingya will
be allowed to resume the lives they once lived here. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

SITTWE, Myanmar (AP) — There are no Muslim faithful in most of this crumbling town's main mosques anymore, no Muslim students at its university.

They're gone from the market, missing from the port, too terrified to walk on just about any street downtown.

Three-and-a-half months after some of the bloodiest clashes in a generation between Myanmar's ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and stateless Muslims known as Rohingya left the western town of Sittwe in flames, nobody is quite sure when — or even if — the Rohingya will be allowed to resume the lives they once lived here.

The conflict has fundamentally altered the demographic landscape of this coastal state capital, giving way to a disturbing policy of government-backed segregation that contrasts starkly with the democratic reforms Myanmar's leadership has promised the world since half a century of military rule ended last year.

While the Rakhine can move freely, some 75,000 Rohingya have effectively been confined to a series of rural displaced camps outside Sittwe and a single downtown district they dare not leave for fear of being attacked.

For the town's Muslim population, it's a life of exclusion that's separate, and anything but equal.

"We're living like prisoners here," said Thant Sin, a Rohingya shopkeeper who has been holed up since June in the last Rohingya-dominated quarter of central Sittwe that wasn't burned down.

Too afraid to leave, the 47-year-old cannot work anyway. The blue wooden doors of his shuttered pharmaceutical stall sit abandoned inside the city's main market — a place only Rakhine are now allowed to enter.

The crisis in western Myanmar goes back decades and is rooted in a highly controversial dispute over where the region's Muslim inhabitants are really from. Although many Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for generations, they are widely denigrated here as foreigners — intruders who came from neighboring Bangladesh to steal scarce land.

The U.N. estimates their number at 800,000. But the government does not count them as one of the country's 135 ethnic groups, and so — like Bangladesh — denies them citizenship. Human rights groups say racism also plays a role: Many Rohingya, who speak a distinct Bengali dialect and resemble Muslim Bangladeshis, have darker skin and are heavily discriminated against.

In late May, tensions boiled over after the rape and murder of a Rakhine woman, allegedly by three Rohingya, in a town south of Sittwe. By mid-June, skirmishes between rival mobs carrying swords, spears and iron rods erupted across the region. Conservative estimates put the death toll at around 100 statewide, with 5,000 homes burned along with dozens of mosques and monasteries.

Sittwe suffered more damage than most, and today blackened tracts of rubble-strewn land filled with knotted tree stumps are scattered everywhere. The largest, called Narzi, was home to 10,000 Muslims.

Human Rights Watch accused security forces of colluding with Rakhine mobs at the height of the mayhem, opening fire on Rohingya even as they struggled to douse the flames of their burning homes.

Speaking to a delegation of visiting American diplomats earlier this month, Border Affairs Minister Lt. Gen. Thein Htay described Sittwe's new status quo. Drawing his finger across a city map, he said there are now "lines that cannot be crossed" by either side, or else "there will be aggression ... there will be disputes."

"It's not what we want," he added with a polite smile. "But this is the reality we face."

While police and soldiers are protecting mosques and guarding Rohingya in camps, there is much they cannot control. One group of 300 local Buddhist leaders, for example, issued pamphlets urging the Rakhine not to do business with the Rohingya or even talk to them. It is the only way, they say, to avert violence.

Inside Sittwe's once mixed municipal hospital, a separate ward has been established to serve Muslim patients only; on a recent day, it was filled with just four patients whose families said they could only get there with police escorts.

At the town's university, only Rakhine now attend. And at the main market, plastic identity cards are needed to enter: pink for shopkeepers, yellow for customers, none for Rohingya.

The crisis has posed one of the most serious challenges yet to Thein Sein's nascent government, which declared a state of emergency and warned the unrest could threaten the country's nascent transition toward democracy if it spread.

Although the clashes have been contained and an independent commission has been appointed to study the conflict and recommend solutions, the government has shown little political will to go further.

The Rohingya are a deeply unpopular cause in Myanmar, where even opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and former political prisoners imprisoned by the army have failed to speak out on their behalf. In July, Thein Sein himself suggested the Rohingya should be sent to any other country willing to take them.

"In that context, we're seeing them segregated into squalid camps, fleeing the country, and in some cases being rounded up and imprisoned," said Matthew Smith, a researcher for Human Rights Watch who authored a recent report for the New York-based group on the latest unrest.

In places like Sittwe, "there is a risk of permanent segregation," Smith said. "None of this bodes well for the prospects of a multi-ethnic democracy."

In the meantime, the government's own statistics indicate the crisis is worsening — at least for the Rohingya.

While the total number of displaced Rakhine statewide has declined from about 24,000 at the start of the crisis to 5,600 today, the number of displaced Rohingya has risen from 52,000 to 70,000, mostly in camps just outside Sittwe.

The government has blamed the rise on Rohingya it says didn't lose homes but who are eager to gain access to aid handouts. Insecurity is also likely a factor, though. Amnesty International has accused authorities of detaining hundreds of Rohingya in a post-conflict crackdown aimed almost exclusively at Muslims. And in August, 3,500 people were displaced after new clashes saw nearly 600 homes burned in the town of Kyauktaw, according to the U.N.

Elsewhere in Rakhine state, the army has resumed forced labor against Muslims, ordering villagers to cultivate the military's paddy fields, act as porters and rebuild destroyed homes, according to a report by the Arakan Project, an activist group.

In Sittwe, mutual fear and distrust runs so high that 7,000 Rohingya crammed inside a dilapidated quarter called Aung Mingalar have not set foot outside it since June. It's the last Muslim-inhabited block downtown, a tiny place that takes about five minutes to cross by foot.

Thant Sin, the Rohingya shopkeeper who lives in Aung Mingalar, said that the government delivers supplies of rice, but that getting almost everything else requires exorbitant bribes and connections. There is just one mosque. There are no clinics, medical care or schools, and Thant Sin is worried his savings will run out in weeks.

The married father of five has been unable to open his market stall since authorities ordered it shut three months ago. One told him, "This for the Rakhine now," he recalled.

"All we want to do is go back to work," he said. "The government is doing nothing to help us get our lives back."

All four roads into Aung Mingalar are guarded by police, and outside, past the roadblocks of barbed wire and wood that divide the district from the rest of town, Rakhine walk freely — sometimes yelling racial slurs or hurling stones from slingshots.

Across the street, a 57-year-old Rakhine, Aye Myint, leaned back in a rusted metal chair and peered at a group of bearded Muslim men in Aung Mingalar.

"I feel nothing for those people now," he said. "After what happened ... they cannot be trusted anymore. To tell the truth, we want them out of here."

Hla Thain, the attorney general of Rakhine state, denied there was any official policy of forced segregation, saying security forces are deployed to protect both sides, not keep them apart. But he acknowledged that there were not enough police or soldiers to make the two communities feel safe, and that huge obstacles to reconciliation remain.

"We want them to live together, that is our goal, but we can't force people to change," he said. "Anger is still running high. Neither side can forget that they lost family members, their homes."

For now, he said, the government is studying every possibility to make life "normal" again. For example: having Rakhine students attend university in the morning, while Rohingya go each afternoon.

Thein Htay, the border minister, was more blunt.

"We may have to build another market center, another trading center, another port" for the Rohingya, he said, because it will be "very difficult otherwise."

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Will Influential Asia Shape the World?

Jakarta Globe, Shoeb K. Zainuddin, September 29, 2012

Customers talk to a salesperson at a Lenovo shop in Shanghai in this
February 17,  2011 file photo. Experts urged the West not to underestimate
China. (Reuters Photo/Aly Song)
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New York. Fueled by rising incomes and a half billion new consumers by 2020, Asia will dominate the global economy over the next few decades, forcing the world’s financial and security architecture to reflect the rise of emerging nations.

This point, made by Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, at the 12th annual Leadership Forum in New York, was countered by billionaire investor George Soros, who said that many emerging powers do not have strong internal systems, such as democratic institutions, to play a leading role on the global stage.

The forum — titled “Defining the Future: How Emerging Powers Will Shape The World Order” and co-sponsored by Strategic Review, an Indonesian journal of leadership, policy and world affairs — brought together Mahbubani, Soros and Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations Special Representative for Syria.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who delivered the keynote address, laid the groundwork for the debate when he said the seismic power shifts now underway would continue to have an impact as the Cold War gives way to “Warm Peace.”

“One of the challenges of the Warm Peace is how to accommodate the rise of emerging powers such as Brazil, Argentina, India, Indonesia, China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia,” he said. “Economic growth is what makes a country strong, and it determines a country’s influence in the community of nations.”

The emerging powers, he added, are even more influential today given the gloomy economic outlook in the developed world. “As a result, emerging powers are not just hard to ignore but they are new partners in reshaping the global landscape,” the president said.

This point was picked up by Mahbubani, who argued that despite uncertainty in the short term, the long-term outlook appeared bright as growing numbers of people from emerging powers join the ranks of the middle class.

“Indonesia is part of the larger story and the key word is confidence, which is incredibly high within the emerging countries,” he said.

“But how do we restructure the global order to reflect this significant change? The UN Security Council must change as the current permanent members are dictators as they cannot be voted out.”

Soros, however, was not convinced, saying that the collapse of the Soviet Union and other past emerging powers proved that democracy and freedom of expression are vital components of a nation’s power.

“We must consider this when we talk about the emerging powers and the West, especially so for China. Will it become an open society? That is the single most important development for the world to consider,” he said.

Mahbubani countered by urging bystanders to not underestimate China, because that would be dangerous.

“The Chinese Communist Party of today is very different from the past. More than 70 million Chinese travel every year and they can see how the rest of the world is developing,” he said, adding that the Western mindset is a black-and-white one and cannot comprehend the complexity of China.

Another region of the world that is poorly understood is the Middle East, Brahimi said. The region, he noted, has had many false starts but the Arab Spring has given people a new voice and they are not going to be silenced.

The West, he added, is too preoccupied with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who will soon leave office.

“But Iran is an ancient civilization that has been around for a long time and will continue to be around in the future.”

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Taiwan hopes to add RMB to foreign reserves within a year

Want China Times, 29 September 2012

Perng Fai-nan takes questions at the legislature. (Photo/Wang Yuan-mao)

Perng Fai-nan, the head of Taiwan's central bank, said Wednesday he hopes to add the renminbi to Taiwan's foreign reserves in a year's time under a landmark currency clearing agreement signed by Taipei and Beijing.

Perng said there is still a lot of work to do following the signing of the memorandum of understanding on currency clearance, including holding negotiations on establishing a cross-strait currency swap mechanism.

He made the comment in response to lawmakers' questions on the progress of the clearing mechanism at a hearing of the Legislative Yuan's Finance Committee Wednesday.

Enabling central banks to swap Taiwan dollars and Chinese yuan will enable Taiwan to diversify its foreign exchange reserves by adding the yuan into its portfolio, which is currently heavily weighted toward US dollars.

The central bank signed the deal on yuan clearing with the People's Bank of China on Aug. 31.

Under the pact, both sides need to designate a clearing bank to activate the mechanism. Taiwan has chosen the state-run Bank of Taiwan's branch in Shanghai as the Taiwan dollar settlement bank in China.

China has yet to announce its clearing bank for the renminbi in Taiwan.

The clearing mechanism will allow Taiwan to become the second offshore yuan trading center after Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Perng's future was also a hot topic at the committee meeting. His current term is scheduled to end in February 2013, and several lawmakers asked him if he would agree to stay on as head of the central bank.

India's royal women make a difference

Deutsche Welle, 28 September 2012

Most of India's royal families do not enjoy the same privileges as they did long ago. But many among them, especially women, are now playing an important role in the development of society.

Devyani Rana, who is married to Kunwar Aishwarya Singh, a member of the royal Indian Rana family, is a busy woman these days. She is focused and is keen to make a dent in the social sector. Armed with a master's degree from the London School of Economics, Rana, whose mother Usharaje Scindia is from the Gwalior royal family of Rajasthan, India, works as a consultant for the United Nations Development Programme.

"I have also worked for the Schwab Foundation to promote social entrepreneurship. We have to move with the times. I certainly did not lead a cloistered life because I was part of the royalty. Gone are those days when royalty was out of touch with the times," Rana told DW.

While these royals are dashing and magnetic, and command respect for their blue-blooded lineage, they have also done their bit to contribute to society. Many do not want any special treatment simply because of the families into which they were born.

Princess Jyotsana Singh of Jammu and Kashmir is one such example. Her grandfather, Hari Singh was the last ruler of the princely state.

She likes sculpting and creates abstracts and sculptures in enamel art, an art form Kashmir is celebrated for. She has also brought it upon herself to keep alive the tradition of weaving Pashmina [fine cashmere wool] in Jammu. 

'We have to move with the times:'
Devyani Rana
"We are only relevant as long as we make ourselves relevant," she told DW. "If you go harking back to the good old days, you are irrelevant. Sure my background helped and I have a lot of goodwill in the state and that gave me a head start for the things I am doing."

Women of mettle

Sharing their experiences on September 27 at the Young FICCI Ladies Organization (YFLO), an exclusive women's wing of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry aimed at women empowerment at various levels, members of India's glamorous royal women felt they could no longer bask in the bubble of prestige and privilege.

"These are women of substance. They may hail from royalty but they are playing an important role in the development of society," said Divya Suri Singh, chairperson of YFLO.

Though the government abolished privy purses in 1971 and terminated all royal privileges and titles, many took to politics as a career.

"My cousin is a minister in the government and my aunt has been a chief minister. People have voted for them because they have done work for the people. They have made a mark and are doing innovative things," said Devyani, who has a strong political lineage as well.

Like many of India's former aristocrats, who have transformed their assets to heritage hotels or build luxuriant palaces, Princess Divya Singh family, too, built the holiday resort in Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.

Their resort Woodville has been a site for many royal weddings and has an impressive history dating right back to 1866.

"Be it politics, sports, fashion or heritage tourism, royalty has made a mark in these areas. They have given it a branding and stature and continue to excel. So we are certainly relevant and in synch with the times," Princess Divya Singh, 33, told DW.

The event in New Delhi made clear: the glamour and indulgence associated with royalty is slowly being exchanged for goodwill.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Burma leader Thein Sein pays tribute to Aung San Suu Kyi

BBC News, 27 September 2012

Burma's Transition 

The Burmese president said
Burma's President Thein Sein has paid tribute to opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in his address to the UN General Assembly in New York.

He also said radical democratic reforms in his country were irreversible.

Thein Sein referred to Aung San Suu Kyi for the first time as a Nobel laureate, and congratulated her on the honours she recently received in the US.

Ms Suu Kyi was under house arrest for 15 years under the previous military government in which he served.

Earlier this month, the Nobel laureate - who is also currently in the US - received a top honour, the Congressional Gold Medal, and called for sanctions to be eased.

"As a Myanmar citizen, I would like to congratulate her for the honours she has received in this country in recognition of her efforts for democracy," the Burmese president said.

In his speech, also scheduled for broadcast inside Burma, he told the UN that Burma had left behind its system of authoritarian government. But, he said, the democratic transformation would be a complex and delicate task that required patience.

Burma's civilian-led government has undertaken a series of reforms since the end of outright military rule last year.

Thein Sein also said the government placed a high priority on ending armed conflicts with its ethnic minorities through peace talks and confidence-building measures.

But he revealed no new initiative on the recent serious unrest in Rakhine state - involving Buddhists and mainly Rohingya Muslims - which is currently the subject of a national commission of inquiry, correspondents say.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US would ease its import ban on goods from Burma.

Mrs Clinton said the step came in recognition of Burma's continued progress towards reform and in response to requests from both the government and opposition there.

Thein Sein said he was grateful for the decision - which is the latest in a series of such moves since the process of reform in Burma got under way.

The US lifted sanctions against Burma's president shortly before his visit to the US and relaxed its financial restrictions after by-elections were held earlier in the year.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nigeria suspends Hajj flights over women deportation

BBC News, 27 September 2012

Related Stories 

More than 500 women from Jeddah
airport are to be deported
Nigeria has suspended all Hajj flights to Saudi Arabia after the authorities there deported more than 170 women who had arrived without a male escort.

About 1,000 Nigerian women intending to make the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca have been detained since Sunday.

A Nigerian government delegation is going to Saudi Arabia to complain.

There has been an understanding in the past that Nigerian women are exempt from travelling with a male relative - a requirement for women on the Hajj.

Nigerian diplomats say the agreement between the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria and the Saudi authorities allows visas to be issued for Nigerian women going to Mecca as long as they are accompanied by Hajj committee officials.

BBC Nigeria correspondent Will Ross says it is not clear if this action was taken as part of an effort to clamp down on people entering Saudi Arabia illegally to work.


Since Sunday, hundreds of Nigerian women - mainly aged between 25 and 35, according to Nigerian diplomats - have been stopped at the airports in Jeddah and Medina.

Bilkisu Nasidi, who travelled from the northern Nigerian city of Katsina, told the BBC that hundreds of women had been sleeping on the floor, did not have their belongings and were sharing four toilets at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.

She said she was part of a group of 512 women being deported to five states in Nigeria on Thursday.

With many of them now facing deportation, she said the atmosphere at the airport was not good, and the women felt "victimised".

The main problem was that their surnames did not correspond with those of their husbands or male guardian on the visa documentation, she said.

It is a common practice for Muslim women in Nigeria not to take their husband's name.

"Honestly both governments are to blame, ours and theirs. They're telling us that our government has been aware of what are the requirements for the visa application and granting our visas," she told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme

"We're not happy about the situation - other than the Hajj we would not be interested in coming back to Saudi Arabia but unfortunately it is the holy land to us Muslims and we will have to look beyond the treatment and come back."

Nigeria's vice-president met the Saudi ambassador to Nigeria on Wednesday and gave him a 24-hour ultimatum for the situation to be resolved, the BBC's Chris Ewokor reports from the capital, Abuja.

The deportations have heightened concerns that the situation is threatening to develop into a diplomatic showdown, he says.

Nigeria's speaker of the house of representative is leading a government delegation - to include the foreign affairs minister - to Saudi Arabia in an attempt to resolve the situation.

More than two million Muslims are due to converge on Mecca for this year's Hajj, which is set to culminate over a four-day period somewhere between 24-29 October depending on lunar observations.

The Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam, which every adult Muslim must undertake at least once in their life if they can afford it and are physically able.

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RBS trader sent mocking messages as he tried to rig Libor, court told

Online chats between colleagues said to contain boasts such as 'our six-month fixing moved the entire fixing hahahah'

The Guardian, Jill Treanor,  Wednesday 26 September 2012

Filings containing messages to and from an RBS trader in Singapore regarding
Libor have now been sealed by the court. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

A former trader at Royal Bank of Scotland sent mocking emails as he attempted to manipulate the price of Libor, according to court filings in Singapore which add to the controversy surrounding the benchmark interest rate.

Inspected by the Bloomberg news agency before they were sealed, the filings also show an RBS trader quipping "hahahah", describing Libor as a "cartel" and claiming that hedge funds would be "kissing" a colleague if the rate was reduced.

The remarks are contained in instant messages, similar to emails, some of which were sent in the months before RBS was bailed out with £45bn of taxpayer funds in October 2008.

With reforms to Libor expected to be unveiled on Friday, the filings in the Singapore court show how traders around the globe appeared to find it easy to move the interest rate benchmark for at least four years.

The filings are part of a sworn statement by Tan Chi Min, senior trader at RBS in Singapore until he was fired last year for attempting to manipulate Libor. The 231-page statement is part of his case for wrongful dismissal, claiming the bank condoned manipulation of the rate and sought out scapegoats.

Bloomberg reported that RBS, in a letter dated 29 August 2011, sent Tan copies of instant message chats he had with others as evidence of potential wrongdoing and informing him the bank was bringing disciplinary proceedings against him.

In April 2008, Tan sent an instant message to a number of traders, saying: "Nice Libor ... Our-six month fixing moved the entire fixing hahahah."

In an earlier message to colleagues and traders at other banks, including Deutsche Bank, Tan writes: "It's just amazing how Libor fixing can make you that much money or lose if opposite ... It's a cartel now in London."

"What's the call on Libor," one Singapore trader asked a London-based trader in a August 2007 chat.

"Where would you like it, Libor that is," the London end replied.

"Mixed feelings, but mostly I'd like it all lower so the world starts to make a little sense," another trader responded.

"The whole HF world will be kissing you instead of calling me if Libor move lower," Tan said, referring to hedge funds.

"OK, I will move the curve down 1 basis point, maybe more if I can," the London man replied.

RBS, 81% owned by the taxpayer, expects to be fined as a result of investigations by a number of regulators. The scale of the penalty is not yet known. Barclays is the highest-profile bank to be penalised so far, with a £290m fine after regulators in the UK and the US found its traders offered each other bottles of Bollinger champagne for attempting to move the rate. The case also forced chief executive Bob Diamond and other top bankers out of Barclays.

While the identities of individuals involved in the Barclays case were concealed, the documents in Singapore offer no such protection, citing messages with a number of former RBS staff and traders at other banks.

RBS has asked for the documents to be sealed by the Singapore high court while investigations by the FSA and US regulators such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Department of Justice are completed. But Bloomberg said it had inspected the filings before they were closed to viewing.

"Our investigations into submissions, communications and procedures relating to the setting of Libor and other interest rates are ongoing. RBS and its employees continue to cooperate fully with regulators," RBS said.

The process of setting Libor, which determines borrowing costs on $300tn of financial products around the globe, is expected to be overhauled following recommendations to be set out on Friday by Martin Wheatley, top regulator at City watchdog the FSA. The British Bankers' Association is to lose its role in setting the rate to a formal body. It is also expected the rate will be set on levels at which banks have borrowed rather than their predictions. At present a panel of banks is asked the pricethey expect to borrow over 15 periods, from overnight to 12 months, in 10 currencies.

The instant messages released in Singapore quote Tan as saying in May 2011, when investigations into Libor had begun: "This whole process would make banks pull out of Libor fixing.

"Question is what is illegal? If making money if bank fix it to suits its own books are illegal ... then no point fixing it right? Cuz there will be days when we will def make money fixing it."

Netanyahu 'working in every way' to prevent a nuclear Iran

AFP/Google, 26 September 2012 

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he was using all available means to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, on the eve of his address to the UN General Assembly.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu (AFP/File, Gali Tibbon)
"As the prime minister of Israel, the state of the Jewish people, I am working in every way so that Iran will not have nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said in a statement released just before he left to address world leaders assembled at the United Nations in New York.

"Israel is a modern and strong state thanks to the strength and talents of its citizens and to our faith in the justice of our cause," he added.

Netanyahu is due to address the General Assembly on Thursday -- the day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who criticised a "continued threat by the uncivilised Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation".

There has been mounting speculation that Israel could launch a military strike against Iran's bunkered nuclear facilities.

The Iranian government faces mounting international pressure over its nuclear programme, which Western powers say hides a bid to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran says the programme is for civilian power generation.

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

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

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

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

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