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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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Iran pilgrims to join this year's hajj: Saudi

Yahoo – AFP, March 17, 2017

More than 1.8 million Muslim pilgrims took part in the 2016 hajj (AFP Photo/
Ahmad Gharabli)

Riyadh (AFP) - Iranian pilgrims will participate in this year's annual hajj, Saudi Arabia said on Friday, despite ruptured ties between the regional rivals.

For the first time in nearly three decades Iran's pilgrims -- which would have numbered about 60,000 -- did not attend last year's hajj after Riyadh and Tehran failed to agree on security and logistics.

Tensions remain as Saudi Arabia repeatedly accuses Iran of fuelling conflicts by supporting armed Shiite movements in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain.

But after talks between the two sides, the Iranians will join this year's ritual which takes place at the beginning of September.

"The ministry of hajj and the Iranian organisation have completed all the necessary measures to ensure Iranian pilgrims perform hajj 1438 according to the procedures followed by all Muslim countries," the official Saudi Press Agency said, referring to this year in the Islamic calendar.

The hajj ministry said that the kingdom, home to Islam's holiest sites, welcomes "all pilgrims from all the different nationalities and backgrounds".

Iran rejects accusations of regional aggression and says Riyadh must stop its alleged support for Sunni "terrorists" like the Islamic State jihadist group and Al-Qaeda.

Although the verbal sparring continued, Saudi media reported in December that the Saudi minister in charge of pilgrimages, Mohammed Bentin, had invited Iran to discuss arrangements for this year's hajj.

An Iranian delegation visited Saudi Arabia in February for talks with Bentin.

In early March, Iran said there had been progress.

"Most of the questions up for discussion have been resolved and a couple of issues are remaining," Iran's ISNA news agency quoted Ali Ghazi Askar, the Iranian supreme leader's representative for hajj affairs, as saying.

"If those questions are resolved, we hope pilgrims will soon be sent to Saudi Arabia."

A major issue was compensation for the families of hundreds of people killed in a stampede during the 2015 hajj. Iran says 464 of its citizens died in the disaster.

More than 1.8 million faithful took part in last year's hajj. The pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam and all Muslims who can must perform it at least once in their lives.

Iranian pilgrims have for the past two years not attended the lesser pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina in western Saudi Arabia, known as umrah, which occurs outside hajj.

Tehran suspended its umrah participation over the sexual assault of two Iranian teenage boy pilgrims by Saudi police at Jeddah airport in early 2015.

Ghazi Askar said Iran had raised this issue as well, and if the culprits were punished, "the lesser hajj will also be restored".

Despite agreement on the hajj, Riyadh maintains its criticism of Iran, as highlighted in talks on Tuesday between Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US President Donald Trump.

The two leaders "noted the importance of confronting Iran's destabilising regional activities", the White House said.

Related Article:


Friday, March 3, 2017

Japan emperor meets Vietnam kin of Tokyo's WWII soldiers

Yahoo – AFP, March 2, 2017

Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko arrive for a meeting in Hanoi with
family members of Japanese veterans living in Vietnam on March 2, 2017
(AFP Photo/MINH HOANG)

Japan's royal couple on Thursday listened to the tearful stories of Vietnamese children who were abandoned by their Japanese soldier fathers after WWII, a symbolic meeting in Hanoi aimed at healing wounds between the former war foes.

The 83-year-old Japanese emperor Akihito and his wife, Michiko, are on their first visit to Vietnam, the latest in a series of trips to former battlegrounds.

The elderly couple shook hands and comforted more than a dozen children of the some 700 Japanese military men who decided to stay in Vietnam for a decade after their country's defeat in the second world war.

It was under Akihito's father Hirohito that Japan first sent troops into Vietnam in 1940 when the country was a colony of France.

After the war many of the soldiers stayed on, married Vietnamese women and began raising families as they helped revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh secure independence from Paris, a little-known chapter of the two countries shared histories.

But they were ordered to leave the country in 1954 and "encouraged" by the Vietnamese government to leave their families behind, said Hatsuhisa Takashima, the emperor's press secretary.

"It might be possible that Vietnamese authorities thought that it was not good for Vietnamese people to jump to a quite new environment," he said.

The half-Japanese children left behind often endured painful ostracisation at home, while their mothers struggled to raise families on their own and were criticised for cosying up to the former occupying forces.

"I understood that families of ex-Japanese soldiers here encountered many difficulties," Emperor Akihito said after listening to tearful stories of separation.

"We are thankful for the attention by the Japanese emperor and empress," said 94-year-old Nguyen Thi Xuan, a former war bride who raised three half-Japanese children on her own and never remarried.

"War brought nothing to us. I only want peace for both countries of Vietnam and Japan," Xuan said.

Tran Duc Dung, whose Japanese father trained Vietnamese military men during the war, said he was eager to forget the hardships and discrimination his family faced.

"It's time to close all that happened in the past. My only wish now is to be recognised by the Japanese government as a Japanese citizen," Dung told AFP.

Akihito's visit is laden with personal symbolism.

Under Hirohito, considered an emperor god by his followers at the time, Japan embarked on its rapid and often brutal colonial expansion across Asia that still stalks regional relations.

But Vietnam and Japan have built up a warm relationship since diplomatic relations were established in 1973, pushed together by business ties and, increasingly, a mutual suspicion of China.

Japan is now a top aid donor and a leading investor in the communist country. It also welcomes thousands of Vietnamese to its universities.

Akihito and Michiko will fly to Hue the former imperial capital on Friday and then on to Thailand on Sunday. 

Related Articles:




Kryon.com, November 19, 2016

This live channelling was given in Wilmington, North Carolina

Lee Carroll
To help the reader, this channelling has been revisited [by Lee and Kryon] to provide even clearer understanding. Sometime information is even added or condensed. Often what happens live has implied energy within it, which carries a kind of communication that the printed page does not. So enjoy this enhanced message given in Wilmington, NC.

Greetings, dear ones, I am Kryon of Magnetic Service.

Today I want to talk about wild cards. I wish to help explain what or who they’ve been over time, but in order for this explanation to be understood and accepted and beautiful to your soul, you’re going to have to do some pretending.

Adjusting Your Attitude

If you were a scientist coming from another planet to observe Human history, you would need to do it without emotion or bias. I can tell the story about wild cards, both for your grandfathers and for you, but there is often emotion and bias involved. Because of this, I will say one thing, and you may hear another. Dear ones, it can’t be that way for you to understand this message.

Warning: What comes next has to be disengaged from what you think you know, or from the emotions of who you think you are, what you think has happened, or even from what you feel is historical. Remember, in his pretending scenario, you’re aliens coming from another planet to learn what has happened. You’re pretending so you will disengage. Pretend history will be told to you about a race you’re not part of. This is so you will have no attachment to anything as you listen. This is the only way you will understand this lesson today. It is the only way you will begin to understand the beauty of a spiritual system that pushes you when you need to be pushed.

Wild Cards Examined

Wild card, as used in spiritual language, is a term that is difficult to define. Wild cards can be events, they can be inventions, they can involve one Human or a few. They can be one of many things or many of one thing, but they follow a timeline that you can look at. We want to talk about some of the wild cards that you’ve had in the past, and some attributes of their occurrence that you might not have thought of.

The basic attribute of any kind of wild card is that it’s a surprise event. It’s often shocking, sometimes revealing, but always a surprise. We’re also going to do some of the numerology as we go, and also take a look at the energies that help define what the energy is around specific wild cards.

Numerology is an ancient system that helps define an energy around something. For instance, an event may seem to be one thing, but the numerology will tell a story around it that may be more explanatory. When you see what we will call synchronized numerology – the same numbers repeated around a wild card – it’s very telling, for there are no accidents.

Dear Kryon, you might ask, “Does spirit create wild cards for the planet?” Answer: No, you do. Your consciousness at a certain point in time gives an allowance for a wild card. Sprit is ready to enhance some wild card scenarios and not others. But the energy and consciousness of humanity allows for their occurrence.

A wild card can be a person, an invention, a thing, an event, a new system or a new paradigm that changes the planet. It is unexpected, sometimes startling and often dramatic in its influence. If it’s an invention, it has to be outside of the purview of what would normally have occurred through the evolution of science or the timing of expected scientific evolution. It is often a paradigm shifter, and it’s usually from one person. When you see that, you will know there it’s a wild card. It isn’t always an individual invention, and sometimes it’s collective. But, dear one, you can tell because every single wild card takes everybody by surprise.

Wild Cards in History

You’ve had a number of them, and I’ll list a few so you get the idea. You’ll also get to see a system of singularity that comes to inventors. You’ll see this as I go.

Tesla was a wild card. His ideas were unexpected, controversial and advanced to a degree that even to this day those in electronic engineering shake their heads. They will take a look at what he invented and will comment, “How is it possible for any one person to have seen that? If you study alternating current, it’s a conundrum. Phase relationships of alternating current are brilliant beyond brilliant.” This was Tesla.

However, what you know about him is only what he brought to you. Now, a brilliant mind like that would have other things, don’t you think? Indeed, he did, so you might ask, “Well, where are those other things?” The answer is that those other things were stopped cold – all of them. He only was able to promote the one thing that you needed for the planet. The brilliance of his mind had many other profound ideas, but he was unable to proceed. He saw ways to alter mass in his workshops, but couldn’t. He was frustrated that he didn’t have the elaborate tools to be precise enough to make it work on a regular basis. That’s just one. Transmission of electricity without wires through the ground was the other. However, it would not have been correct at the time for those things to have been presented to humanity. You weren’t ready, but you were ready for alternating current, one of the most needed inventions for the time. Tesla died frustrated, poor, in a small room and alone. He came to do one thing, and was stopped from anything else, then he passed. If you have analyzed the people who were wild cards in your history, there is a pattern.

Other wild card inventors have come into the planet just because the earth was ready for a specific invention. Remember, Spirit does not give the information, but allows for it to be released, often all at once, all over the earth. Let me give you some examples.

Another wild card is the Wright brothers. Isn’t it odd to you that it wasn’t that long ago that you got powered flight? It was just yesterday! Some of your relatives were alive when flight was discovered! Dear ones, the Chinese have been flying kites for thousands of years. Don’t you think that they knew the dynamics of a bird? Do you think that century after century after century occurred and nobody figured out how to sustain flight with any kind of power source? Two bicycle makers figured it out!

That’s odd enough, but the fact that they only beat the French by two weeks is something worth looking at. That’s odd! It’s almost like this profound invention was ready to be given to the planet simultaneously, all over the earth, at the same time. Whoever got to it first would be the ones who got the credit. The real oddity is the timing. It’s not logical that it was so hidden, then suddenly so many were working on it all at once.

The Wright brothers were here to show it to you, then stop. All they did was what you saw at Kitty Hawk. They never went past basic wing warping, and did not have first intuitive thought about ailerons, or the basics of flight control today. For them, it stopped there. Dear ones, there was great frustration, and perhaps even health issues from it, from having others take the basics and develop flight so fast beyond them. Dysfunction and sorrow followed them both, and they died without ever being able to participate fully beyond the initial invention. One died far earlier than the other, creating sorrow for the one left behind. They came to do what they did and move on. This is more common than you know with wild cards, especially when it comes to inventions that change this planet.

Who invented the radio? Was is the Italian Guglielmo Marconi, or our frustrated wild card Tesla? Marconi got the credit, but the invention was everywhere, ready to be claimed. The earth was ripe and ready for it, and it was delivered to the consciousness of the planet at the right time. But both men got it at the same time, apart from each other. I’m giving you things to think about.

We have told you that there are wild card inventions coming in the future. One in particular is ready, but you will not receive it until the time is right. It’s almost like there’s a thinking ceiling on what you can do. We even gave you some of the attributes of the coming invention, but not the one who will bring it. We’re not even concerned that you’ll do it in advance, because we know the wild card is coming. An invention is coming. It is an invention that will rewrite physics as you know it. You’d see the patterns in quantum fields, and there would be the big aha! It would be like reinventing the wheel.

“Kryon, why can’t we have it now? What’s stopping it?” We told you, it’s too easy to weaponize. When you reach the point where you won’t weaponize it, it’s yours. All this is coming. It’s natural, and it will come when it’s time just like the Wright brothers, just like Tesla, just like Einstein.

Einstein was a genuine wild card. He was not a quantum thinker at all, but what he presented is still alive and well today and they’re still looking inside the atom for the concepts he gave you. So I will make this statement: Einstein isn’t finished yet, because the very concepts that continue to be received from his work are going to be applied to the invention of the century. So the Einsteinean principles, even though they are not quantum, will be very much involved in what is coming. You might say he was a wild card and continues to be one. The joke is that his concepts last and last, outside of time, yet his main ideas were with time. If you asked Einstein if he was happy with what he brought to the planet, he would tell you no. He was frustrated that he didn’t get to do what he really wanted. Like Tesla, he felt that something was just “out of reach” and he didn’t get to do it.

Then there was World War II. Dear ones, pretend you are an alien scientist. Disengage your emotion. You’ve come in from another planet to look at this.

World War II (WWII) was not a wild card, but the man who created and enhanced it was. This planet was teetering on the edge of ultimate dark energy and destruction. Nobody expected it. The most despicable old energy card played itself out exactly as it should have, with the consciousness of this planet going to where it had brought itself. You had just finished World War I (WWI), yet WWII ignited and continued. So WWII was simply an extension of WWI. You did it again, only this time the weapons were getting bigger and more able to destroy all of humanity. Remember the prophecy of your scripture? You were headed for mass destruction. WWII would become World War III, and by the year 2000, you would be almost gone.

As I mentioned, WWII wasn’t the wild card, rather it was the man who led the lowest consciousness in recent history who was. He was the wild card, and you know of whom I speak. This wild card killed millions of people who were not even participants in the military portion of the war. Genocide had begun, a race war had begun, and many were following his lead. It showed the darkest side of humanity – more than you had ever seen before, and it almost targeted the demise of civilization if he had won.

It was a horror wild card, and the planet had created it. However, when it was over, the entire world took a breath and for a moment, just for a moment, there was a glimmer of realization: “This cannot go on, for we will do it again.” Many things took place due to this realization. Without the wild card, you would not have the European Union, you would not have the United Nations or any attempt at unity on Earth. Disengage from your logic and emotion, dear ones. These things were not created from Spirit, but rather from the depth of lower humanity. This is the dark side at its worst, showing itself with almost free reign, but the world objected to it and started to climb out of it. It was the beginning over half a century ago of what you’re starting to see now in the shift.

The amazing shift that you’re in right now is something that goes slow. It didn’t happen all at once. The Cold War was a natural occurrence out of the consciousness that was part of the end of WWII. But, dear ones, you could never have the shift if that Cold War had continued the way it was. Enter another wild card: The Soviet system fell over.

The Cold War could not continue, and it was stopped in the form it was in. Dear ones, for those reading now, that was one of the biggest wild cards of all. The consciousness of earth said “no” and it ended. That was a huge wild card. It changed everything; it wasn’t expected; nobody saw it coming, and it changed everything. It may not have changed things immediately to the way you want it right away, but it created that which you needed at that time.

Then there was Steve Jobs. He was a wild card. What he did had little to do with technology, for that would have happened anyway soon enough. Instead, it had to do with the paradigm of the business of music on Earth. He freed it, and the paradigm of how music is obtained and heard will never be the same. However, Steve Jobs did basically one thing for all of you, and then he died. Do you see any kind of connecting of the dots to some of the inventors who come and give you the one thing, then leave? If he had lived, would there be more? Yes, but you’re not ready for it. Consciousness has to support what happens.

Yes, it would seem we have left some things out – the invention of DNA, the atomic bomb, etc. However, these were not wild cards. These are your civilization, within a normal evolution of science. Wild cards are very unexpected things, and there are more coming your way.

The Wild Card of 2016

Remember: No emotion now. You have come from another planet and you’re looking at the end of 2016 – and there is the election. Understand without bias.

So for 2016, let’s do the numerology. You add the numbers and get nine. Nine is completion in simple numerology, and when you see a nine it often means the completion of something. Often it is of a time cycle, an energy or the completion of a paradigm. But it’s very strong.

The nines are stronger than many of the other numerological aspects and you feel them. The president-elect (at this writing) is a strong wild card. He is scheduled to become the 45th president. What a coincidence! Forty-five is a nine. A nine and a nine together are more than significant. They tell a story about what is happening. I will tell you something else. This story is not finished yet and there is more coming. You don’t know what you don’t know, so don’t make up your mind in advance about any outcomes. You’re from another planet, remember? There’s no emotion, no bias, no politics and nothing to judge. Look at it for what it is.

A big stick has just been inserted into what is normal and it’s going to be turned. As the big stick turns, other things will respond that never would have responded otherwise. I wish to tell you, dear one, old soul, relax with upcoming wild cards. They do what they do on purpose so that you will have a better civilization in the future. Sometimes they show you what won’t work, and sometimes they change paradigms that would have never changed otherwise. But what you have now is a profound wild card. That is the message.

It’s so common for you to respond certain ways when you are invested in the process. The knee-jerk reaction is expected or you wouldn’t be a Human. However, for this lesson, you’re from another planet and you’re looking down and you’re seeing it. Pretend.

Isn’t that interesting about a nine and a nine together? It means that truly the end of something is here. Perhaps it’s the end of the old way things were done? Perhaps it’s a shake-up of the system so it can correct itself? Don’t dare make up your mind where it’s going, because it’s not finished yet. However, wait a moment. Did you also realize that 2017 is a “one” year? Not only is the energy one of completion with a double nine, but it moves into “a new beginning” (the definition of a one in numerology).

I have more to tell you about numerology, and also something that will be clearer about this whole situation. I will give this to you in the next channelling.

Can you relax in the face of uncertainty when it’s your own country? Can you relax in the face of not knowing what’s next? When you’re so involved, can you disengage from either side of the fray? That is the test of a Lightworker.

There’s something else coming. Dear ones, this is beautiful. No matter what you think and no matter what your reaction is to this channelling, what is happening is correct for your time and needed for your immediate future. I will speak of this later. The beauty is when you step away and see how grand it is, that Spirit cares enough that it would allow a big stick to occur that would stir your complacency at this time. The real reason? The shift is here.

How do you feel? I want you to relax and smile at what the shift has brought you. For those of you who felt all the “shift talk” was nonsense, this may be your wake-up call. It’s real. Here it comes.

This is the message of the day. I am Kryon, in love with humanity, and for good reason.

And so it is.

KRYON 

Indonesia, Saudi sign deals as King Salman starts landmark visit

Yahoo – AFP, Dessy Sagita, March 1, 2017

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdul Aziz (L) held talks with Indonesian
President Joko Widodo (R) in Bogor, West Java, on March 1, 2017

Indonesia and Saudi Arabia Wednesday signed agreements in areas ranging from trade to aviation as the kingdom's monarch visited the world's most populous Muslim-majority country for the first time in almost half a century.

King Salman was treated to an elaborate official welcome as he arrived in Jakarta, his latest stop on an Asian tour seeking investment opportunities, at the head of a 1,000-strong delegation including princes and ministers.

After disembarking from his plane, he was met by President Joko Widodo before travelling past cheering crowds in pouring rain to a presidential palace at Bogor south of Jakarta, where he was greeted by a marching band, a mounted honour guard and a 21-gun salute.

Almost 460 tons of equipment have been flown in for the visit, including limousines and escalators.

Preparations have been elaborate. Naked statues at the Bogor palace were covered up before Salman's arrival. Some 150 chefs have reportedly been hired to cook for the king's party and a VIP toilet has been constructed at a mosque he will visit.

Widodo hailed the "historic" visit, adding: "As the country with the biggest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia will always have a special bond with Saudi Arabia."

The leaders oversaw the signing of 11 cooperation memoranda following Wednesday's talks at the Bogor palace. Apart from trade and aviation, they included agreements on boosting cooperation in science, health and fighting crime.

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (centre L) welcomes Saudi Arabia's King 
Salman bin Abdul Aziz (centre R) at Halim airport in Jakarta on March 1, 2017

Jakarta and Riyadh also inked an agreement that builds on an existing $6 billion deal between state-owned energy firms Aramco and Pertamina to expand an Indonesian oil refinery.

Salman, 81, said he hoped the visit would "contribute to the improvement of the bilateral relationship between our two countries".

The visit -- the first by a Saudi Arabian king to Indonesia for 47 years -- is one of the highlights of a rare Saudi royal tour of Asia, a region seeking investment as the world's biggest oil exporter tries to diversify its economy.

After the three-day visit to Jakarta, Salman and his entourage will head to the Hindu-majority resort island of Bali for a holiday, where they will reportedly stay in five luxury hotels.

On Thursday the king is due to give a speech to parliament and visit a major Jakarta mosque. He is also due to meet leaders of some of Indonesia's major Muslim organisations during the trip.

Salman began his three-week Asian tour in Malaysia earlier this week and is also set to visit Japan, China and the Maldives.


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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Slavery claims as UK child sex abuse inquiry opens

Yahoo – AFP, Robin MILLARD, February 27, 2017

Between 1945 and 1970, youngsters were sent from Britain to Australia mainly,
but also Canada, New Zealand and what is now Zimbabwe -- often without the
consent of their families (AFP Photo/WILLIAM WEST)

London (AFP) - England's mammoth inquiry into historical child sex abuse was told of the "torture, rape and slavery" suffered by child migrants shipped to Australia, at its first public hearings on Monday.

The wide-ranging Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse opened by looking at the schemes that sent thousands of vulnerable children to far-flung parts of the Commonwealth in the decades after World War II.

David Hill broke down as he told the inquiry of the "endemic" sexual abuse at the school he was sent to in Australia.

"I hope this inquiry can promote an understanding of the long-term consequences and suffering of those who were sexually abused," he said.

"Many never recover and are permanently afflicted with guilt, shame, diminished self-confidence, low self-esteem, fear and trauma."

British Prime Minister Theresa May set up the inquiry in 2014 when she was interior minister.

The British Empire sent some 150,000 children abroad over 350 years, according to a 1998 parliamentary study, although the probe started Monday by looking at use of the practice after World War II.

British Prime Minister Theresa May set up a mammoth inquiry into historical 
child sex abuse in July 2014 when she was the interior minister (AFP Photo/
Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS)

It was justified as a means of slashing the costs of caring for lone children and providing disadvantaged young people with a fresh start, while meeting labour shortages in the Commonwealth and populating colonial-era lands with white British settlers.

Between 1945 and 1970, youngsters were sent mainly to Australia, but also Canada, New Zealand and what is now Zimbabwe -- often without the consent of their families.

But the promise of a good upbringing and an exciting new life in the sun was often, in reality, a world of forced labour, brutal treatment and sexual assault in remote institutions run by churches and charities.

"They sent us to a place that was a living hell," victim Clifford Walsh told the BBC.

Oliver Cosgrove was sent to Australia in 1941, one of an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 children shipped there from 1922 to 1967.

"Those who were abused tried in vain to tell others, who they hoped and believed might assist them. But they didn't," his representative told the inquiry.

"This was a systematic and institutional problem."

'Unacceptable depravity'

Aswini Weereratne, of the Child Migrants Trust which supports victims, said there was good evidence that Britain knew of the poor standards of care in Australian institutions but failed to respond.


"Some of what was done there was of quite unacceptable depravity. Terms like sexual abuse are too weak to convey it," she said.

"This was not about truly voluntary migration, but forced or coerced deportation."

Some children were said to have suffered "torture, rape and slavery," she added.

Professor Stephen Constantine told the hearings that royal visits to such institutions legitimised them for people who saw the photographs, believing if it was good enough for the royal family, "it is good enough for us".

The hearings are being held at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in London. The opening phase dealing with Australia is expected to last 10 days.

The inquiry was established following the death of TV star Jimmy Savile in 2011, when it emerged he had been one of Britain's worst serial paedophiles, carrying out abuse unchecked in a range of public institutions.

The inquiry will look at historic abuse in England and Wales, including in schools, hospitals, children's homes, local authorities, religious organisations, the BBC, the armed forces and charities.

It will also examine allegations involving famous people in politics and the media.

The inquiry got off to a rocky start, with the first three chairs stepping down.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Kim killing suspect paid $90 to take part in 'TV prank': reports

Yahoo – AFP, Frederick ATTEWILL, 25 February 2017

People watch a television showing news reports of Kim Jong-Nam, the
half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in Seoul on February 14, 2017

Two women being held over the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam said Saturday they thought they were taking part in a prank video, with one of them reportedly telling a senior diplomat she was paid just RM400 ($90) for her role.

Almost two weeks after the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was killed with a lethal nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur airport, Malaysian teams in hazmat suits sealed off the scene of the assassination early Sunday to sweep the site for toxins.

Two women are seen shoving something into Kim's face in leaked CCTV footage from the airport. He later suffered a seizure and was dead before he reached hospital.

Malaysia revealed Friday the 45-year-old was assassinated with a lethal nerve agent manufactured for chemical warfare and listed by the UN as a weapon of mass destruction.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, who was arrested soon after the assassination on February 13, said she believed she was handling a liquid like "baby oil", the country's deputy ambassador to Malaysia Andreano Erwin said according to reports.

Siti, 25, "only said in general that somebody asked her to do this activity", according to Erwin, who was granted access to Siti in Kuala Lumpur Saturday.

Kim Jong-Nam (grey suit), half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un, 
speaks to airport authorities at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on 
February 13, 2017 in this screengrab made from CCTV footage obtained by Fuji TV

Another female suspect, Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 28, is also in custody over the murder, but Erwin said Siti had told Indonesian consular staff she did not know her.

Huong told Vietnam's foreign ministry that she believed she had been tricked into killing Kim and thought she was taking part in a prank for a comedy video.

"During contact with embassy staff, Huong said she... had thought she was playing a role in a humorous video clip," a statement from Vietnam's foreign ministry said.

Huong gained notoriety after Malaysian police shared CCTV images of her wearing a top emblazoned with "LOL" shortly after the killing.

Malaysian police have said one of the women arrested after the attack fell ill in custody, adding she had been vomiting.

However, Erwin said Siti was physically healthy while Vietnam said Huong was "in stable health".

'Blatant violation'

The news Friday that lethal VX nerve agent was used in the attack brought condemnation from South Korea, which has pointed the finger at the North over Kim's death.

Seoul slammed the use of the toxin as a "blatant violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and other international norms".

Nerve agent VX

The fallout from the attack continued after US media reported unofficial talks in New York between North Korean and former American officials had been cancelled.

Malaysian teams equipped with gas masks and specialised detection machinery descended on Kuala Lumpur airport's terminal two early Sunday, accompanied by forensic experts and officials from the Atomic Energy Licensing Board.

Large sections of the departures hall were cordoned off with police tape in preparation for the hour-long sweep for traces of the highly potent toxin.

Malaysian police had said they would do everything possible to ensure there was no risk to the public from the nerve agent.

National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said Friday experts would sweep the site where the attack took place as well as other locations the female suspects visited.

Detectives are also holding a North Korean man but want to speak to seven other North Koreans, four of whom are thought to have fled to Pyongyang.

One man wanted for questioning, who is believed to still be in Malaysia, is senior North Korean embassy official Hyon Kwang Song, who enjoys diplomatic immunity.

Members of Malaysia's Hazmat team conduct a decontamination operation at
 the departures terminal of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) in 
Sepang on February 25, 2017

However, state police chief Abdul Samah Mat insisted under Malaysian law "we have the right to call anybody for statements for our investigations".

He added if wanted people do not co-operate, police would issue a notice "compelling" them to come forward.

Abdul Samah also told reporters an investigation in connection to the murder was ongoing at an apartment complex in Kuala Lumpur but declined to comment on local media reports chemicals has been seized from the address.

No next-of-kin have yet come forward to formally identify the body of the 45-year-old victim or provide a DNA sample, but Abdul Samah said authorities would give relatives a "reasonable" amount of time to do so.

Saudi FM in first visit to Iraq since 2003

Yahoo – AFP, Ammar Karim, February 25, 2017

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir was in Baghdad for talks, the first such
visit by a chief diplomat from the kingdom in years (AFP Photo/Oliver Berg)

Baghdad (AFP) - Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir held talks in Baghdad with Iraq's leadership Saturday, the first such visit by a chief diplomat from the kingdom since 2003.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi received Jubeir and his accompanying delegation, a statement from his office said, a key step in efforts to normalise frosty ties.

Both sides "discussed cooperation in various fields, including the fight against the Daesh gangs," it said, referring to the Islamic State group Iraqi forces are currently battling in the northern city of Mosul.

The Saudi minister also met his counterpart Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who said in a statement the visit was "the first by a Saudi foreign minister since 2003."

"This visit is to reestablish relations in a more stable way than previously," a senior government official said told AFP on condition of anonymity. "It's the first visit of its kind."

Abadi, who has been at the helm since 2014, has supported efforts to improve strained ties but the road to normalisation has been rocky.

Thamer al-Sabhan, whose credentials were received in January 2016, became the first Saudi ambassador to Iraq in a quarter century, after relations were cut following ex-president Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

He left the same year after Baghdad demanded he be removed following remarks he made to the press about an alleged plot to assassinate him and criticism he voiced of the Hashed al-Shaabi.

Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) forces, which have played a key role in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group, are a paramilitary umbrella dominated by Shiite militia and seen by Riyadh as a proxy for arch-rival Iran.

Jaafari was one of the most vocal critics of Saudi Arabia at the time and issued several strongly-worded statements against the kingdom and Jubeir himself.

He told him directly on the sidelines of a global conference on the anti-IS war last year and in a statement expressing Iraq's "annoyance" over what he called "unacceptable interference."

Iran-Saudi thaw?

Saudi Arabia is very unpopular among Iraq's Shiite majority and often accused of direct support to the IS jihadists that took over a third of the country in 2014.

Saudi Arabia nominally supports the fight against IS but Iraq and other partners have argued it needs to do more to help durably defeat IS and its ideology.

As evidenced in recent attacks, IS has retained its ability to sow chaos and undermine the Iraqi government's authority even after it lost fixed positions in various regions.

Several of them have occurred in Iraq's vast Anbar province, which has long and porous borders with Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria.

"Jubeir congratulated Iraq on the victories achieved against Daesh and pledged Saudi Arabia's support to Iraq in fighting terrorism," the statement from Abadi's office said.

It said the minister had also "expressed Saudi Arabia's willingness to back the stability of liberated areas."

While Iraq has often suffered from being turned into a battlefield where the rivalry of its neighbours Iran and Saudi Arabia -- the region's Shiite and Sunni Muslim powerhouses -- played out, the Iraqi government official said there was an opportunity for Baghdad.

"The whole region is heading towards compromise and Saudi Arabia sees Iraq as an important player to have on its side," he said. "Iraq's neutrality could make it a ground for Iranian-Saudi rapprochement."

He stressed that despite intense pressure from the street to take a strong stand against Saudi Arabia, Abadi -- who belongs to Iraq's largest Shiite political bloc -- had "never indulged in aggressive rhetoric against Saudi Arabia."

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Good times over for expats in Saudi

Yahoo – AFP, Ian Timberlake, February 24, 2017

Western expatriates participate in leisure activities at a compound in the Saudi 
capital Riyadh, on February 11, 2017 (AFP Photo/FAYEZ NURELDINE)

Riyadh (AFP) - Seventeen years after first setting foot in Saudi Arabia, Dominic Steck shipped his two cats and returned to Germany with his wife and school-age children, who hardly know their homeland.

As Saudi Arabia steps up efforts to employ more of its own people, and with economic growth slowing, the ranks of well-paid white-collar expatriates like Steck are thinning.

For them, the good times are over.

Steck said that to reduce costs, his employers "sent the Westerners" away.

"I have to admit, they will save a lot," he told AFP with a chuckle.

Cost-cutting, financial problems and a drive to employ more Saudis have all led to a noticeable reduction in expatriate employment as the Arab world's largest economy adjusts to lower crude prices.

Saudi Arabia, which exports more oil than any other country, since last year has pursued its "Vision 2030" economic diversification effort to broaden its investment and business base, while placing more Saudis in the private sector.

Almost nine million foreigners were employed in Saudi Arabia before 2014
 (AFP Photo/FAYEZ NURELDINE)

The drop in global oil prices by about half since 2014 left the kingdom with a huge budget deficit and billions of dollars in debt to private firms, chiefly in the construction business.

Saudi Binladin Group alone laid off around 70,000 expats from poorer countries, but the impact of slower economic growth has gone further and left many Western expatriates also saying goodbye.

Latest official figures showed almost nine million foreigners employed in the kingdom but that was before the worst of the economic pain struck, sending home expats like Steck.

"People are leaving because there's not enough business for their contract to be renewed," said a foreign manager in the consumer electronics sector whose business is down 10 percent.

"Everybody's margins are seriously under pressure. There's not a business out there that's really doing well," he said, declining to be named.

More pain is expected come July when the government plans to impose a levy on foreign workers with dependents.

The fee will start at 100 riyals ($27) a month, rising to 400 riyals monthly by 2020, according to a government document seen by Bloomberg News.

'So expensive'

The electronics manager said his company will make its nearly 300 expatriates, largely Indians, Pakistanis and Filipinos, pay these charges themselves.

With most of them earning less than 10,000 riyals monthly, this will encourage them to either send their families home or quit -- creating space for hiring Saudis, he said.

Saudi Arabia is pursuing its "Vision 2030" economic diversification effort which
aims to place more Saudis in the private sector (AFP Photo/FAYEZ NURELDINE)

According to the document seen by Bloomberg News, the government will also raise monthly fees paid by employers who hire more foreign workers than Saudis as part of a programme to encourage local hiring.

Abdulrahman al-Zamil, chairman of Saudi Arabia's Zamil Group which employs thousands of foreigners, said the government will continue to increase such fees if necessary "because they need to be fair to the country" and ensure jobs for locals.

The new levies add to rising costs including water and electricity bills as the government cuts subsidies, noted a foreign diplomat.

"The cost of doing business is so expensive," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Western expatriates, often more highly paid than their Asian or Arab counterparts, said they could afford the new family levies, but admit that the lucrative packages that drew them to the kingdom are becoming harder for companies to maintain.

These include housing allowances worth thousands of dollars each month, family flights home and, in many cases, international school fees.

There is no income tax in the kingdom although it plans to introduce taxes on some consumer items this year.

'Not as lucrative'

"Budgets are getting tighter and I don't think it's as lucrative as maybe it was" for expats, said an Australian engineer, lured to the kingdom with his family, partly out of a sense of adventure but also because of the financial benefits.

An expatriate working in Riyadh, waits for his flight at the King Khalid
International airport, on February 16, 2017 (AFP Photo/FAYEZ NURELDINE)

Three years later, he is going home, with his firm still "owed a lot of money" by its Saudi contractor.

"I've actually been made redundant but I was going to leave anyway," the engineer, who also declined to be named, said.

Dozens of expatriates of various nationalities had already been let go by his firm and others will follow, he said.

The Australian leaves with mixed feelings, having made friends and enjoyed his expatriate housing compound complete with a swimming pool and other diversions hard to come by in Riyadh, where alcohol is banned and there are no public cinemas or theatres.

A foreign fund manager with several years in the kingdom said the good times are over for expensive Western labour.

"In 10 years I don't think there will be expats, because they have to get the Saudis to work," he said.

The foreign diplomat said the departing workers were often replaced by less expensive hires including Portuguese, Greeks and, increasingly, Arab nationals.

Steck, who flew home in early February, had planned to stay another year.

He was the last of several Western managers let go by his firm.

The company, a subsidiary of a German multinational working for a major local telecommunication firm, had been under-bid by China's Huawei.

With a company car, the house and school fees all paid for, he had hoped for a final boost to his savings.

"Leaving, I'm happy, (but) not for my salary in the future," he said.

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