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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Friday, July 30, 2010

North Korea to seek RI support over ship sinking

Mustaqim Adamrah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 07/30/2010 10:45 AM

North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui-Chun is scheduled to meet with his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa next Monday, an Indonesian Foreign Ministry official says.

The visit may highlight the country’s efforts to gain support from Asian states, including Indonesia, over a ship sinking row, which has placed it under threat by world powers, especially the US, and deepened its isolation from the rest of the world.

“The context of his visit is actually to make preparations [along with Indonesian officials] ahead of the special ministerial meeting for the MDG [millennium development goals] review in Asia and the Pacific,” Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told The Jakarta Post.

“But they may raise other issues, such as the Korean peninsula [boat] incident. We would also like to hear what steps they are taking.”

Four months ago, the South Korean warship ROKS Cheonan sank in the waters off the Korean west coast, killing 46 sailors.

A joint civilian-military investigation group led by the South Korean Defense Ministry and comprising some international members claimed that a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo that sank the ship in what Seoul called the worst military attack on it since the 1950-1953 Korean War.

North Korea has denied any role in the sinking of the Cheonan. The UN also condemned the attack, but did not identify the attacker.

While denying any North Korean involvement in their investigation, the team of international investigators concluded the torpedo was fired from a North Korean submarine, prompting South Korea to take punitive measures ranging from slashing trade, resuming propaganda warfare and blockading North Korean cargo ships.

Faizasyah did not disclose any possible Indonesian response to North Korea about the incident.

“They already understand our stance and what our concerns are in the Korean peninsula,” he said.

He added that Marty was scheduled to visit both South Korea and North Korea between Aug. 22 and 25, where the issue will certainly be raised again.

University of Indonesia international relations expert Hariyadi Wirawan said what North Korea was doing was collecting support as it felt more cornered by “almost all countries”.

“Certainly, a frustrated [North Korea] is collecting political support because almost all countries buy into the North Korean torpedo theory,” he told the Post.

“[North Korea] expects countries such as Indonesia to help it prevent total isolation [from the world community] as the two have good relations, although not very close.”

Hariyadi said it was a high time for Indonesia to regain the North’s trust to help resolve the issues in global forums.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono cancelled a planned trip to both North and South Korea in 2006, but last visited South Korea later in 2009 to attend an ASEAN summit on Jeju Island.

Early this week, US and South Korea hold a massive joint military training “to warn Pyongyang” against any aggression while both countries’ naval ships fired artillery and dropped anti-submarine bombs off South Korea’s east coast.

Military analysts have agreed that the tension would not escalate into war as long as South Korea holds its fire. North Korea’s obsolete conventional military equipment and nearly 1.2 million ill-fed soldiers mean quick and certain defeat if it wages full-scale war, and Pyongyang is well aware of its limits.

Some analysts, however, expressed concerns that as the level of rhetoric rises, there is always a risk of skirmishes, which could in turn develop into wider conflict.

Arabs back direct peace talks when Abbas sees fit

Reuters, By Yasmine Saleh, CAIRO | Thu Jul 29, 2010 12:59pm EDT

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) speaks with Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani (C) and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa at the opening session of the foreign ministers meeting at Arab League headquarters in Cairo July 29, 2010. (Credit: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)


(Reuters) - The Arab League said on Thursday it would back face-to-face peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel when the Palestinians believe the time is right.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, facing U.S. pressure to agree to such talks, has said he first wants progress in U.S.-mediated, indirect negotiations that began two months ago with the Arab League's blessing.

Abbas briefed the Arab League's peace process committee in Cairo on Thursday about the indirect talks, which will end in September according to a timeframe set by the League.

U.S. President Barack Obama said earlier this month he hopes direct talks will begin by September. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is ready for such talks immediately, putting the spotlight on Abbas.

Knocking the ball back into the U.S. court, senior Palestinian officials said their decision would depend on the U.S. response to Palestinian concerns, to be laid out in a letter the Arab League had decided to send to Obama.

"There is a green light from the Arabs to go to direct negotiations if we receive terms of reference (for the negotiations) in line with the letter," Nabil Abu Rdainah, a senior Abbas aide, told Reuters.

Abbas, his credibility damaged by the failure of past negotiations, is keeping Israel at arm's length until it makes clear the size and shape of the Palestinian state that Netanyahu is prepared to consider.

He also wants Israeli agreement in principle to the idea of a third party, NATO for example, guarding the frontiers of the state the Palestinians aim to establish alongside Israel on land it occupied since a 1967 Middle East war.

Abbas, 75, doubts Netanyahu is willing to make peace on terms the Palestinians can accept.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, speaking to journalists after the process committee meeting, said the Arab League would agree to direct talks when Abbas believed conditions were right.

Responding to the Arab League statement, Netanyahu's office said in a statement he was "ready to begin direct and honest talks with the Palestinian Authority already in the coming days."

"The prime minister added that in direct negotiations it is possible to reach a peace agreement soon," it added.

U.S. efforts are complicated further by the scheduled end of a 10-month, partial Israeli freeze on Jewish settlement building in the West Bank -- part of the territories where the Palestinians aim to found their state.

Netanyahu, who leads a cabinet including pro-settler parties, has voiced reluctance to extend the moratorium.

Avigdor Lieberman, his foreign minister, said on Wednesday there was "no place for any moratorium after 25 September."

(Additional reporting by Dina Zayed in Cairo; Mohammed Assadi and Ali Sawafta in Ramallah; Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem; Writing by Tom Perry; editing by David Stamp))


Sunday, July 25, 2010

UFO sighting causes stir at beach resort

The Star Online, compiled by LESTER KONG, LEE YUK PENG and A.RAMAN




SIGHTINGS of an unidentified flying object (UFO) have been reported by guests and employees at a beach resort near Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Harian Metro reported.

The tabloid even published a front-page blurb of the object, which had apparently caused much excitement and uneasiness among those staying at the Tuaran Beach Resort.

One of the guests, Jemas Dungil, 27, told the tabloid that a woman shouted when she saw a round blue flying object in the sky.

“We came out of a hall to see what the commotion was all about and I saw a round blue disc in the sky.

“It turned green a few seconds later,” she said.

Several other guests and employees, who claimed to have also spotted the object, said it hovered in the air for a few minutes before disappearing.

Some even claimed that their handphones “went dead” when they tried to record the object with the devices.

Jemas said although she managed to capture a picture of the object, she did not believe that it was a UFO.

“What I saw was really extraordinary because it happened right in front of me,” she said.

Another witness, Donny Benedict, 29, said he did not believe in the existence of UFOs, but changed his mind upon watching the unusual sight.

“I saw the object for about 20 seconds before it disappeared.

“It’s strange that it did not make any noise like a normal aircraft,” he said, adding that he regretted not being able to take a picture of the object with his handphone as it was out of battery.





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Friday, July 23, 2010

Jakarta will claim costs from PTTEP

Bangkok Post, 23/07/2010 at 12:00 AM

Indonesia plans to seek damages from PTT Exploration & Production Plc (PTTEP) from an oil spill in the Timor Sea in August last year, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said yesterday.

Indonesia plans to file a claim with the company while maintaining a good bilateral diplomatic relation, he said at a cabinet meeting yesterday.

''The communities of Indonesia hurt by the leak should be given proper assistance,'' President Yudhoyono said.

''What is clear is that the company must provide something. The damages are estimated at about 500 billion rupiah (1.8 billion baht) and may increase,'' Transport Minister Freddy Numberi told reporters.

PTTEP admitted that while it had been aware of the Indonesian government's plan to sue the company for a while, it was awaiting an official notification before deciding what to do next.

''We have not yet been officially informed by the Indonesian government. So far, there have been only news reports. As such, we won't comment on this. We have to see the official letter first,'' said PTTEP vice-president Chatchawal Eimsiri.

PTTEP has estimated that up to 400 barrels of oil leaked into the Timor Sea off Australia's northwest coast each day over more than 10 weeks last year. It stopped the spill on Nov 3 and extinguished the fire that had engulfed the West Atlas drilling rig.

Thirty-eight percent of Indonesia's sea territory in the Timor Sea was affected by the spill. Local fishermen's catches dropped and thousands of tonnes of shallow-water fish and whales died. The spill also destroyed seaweed farms cultivated by coastal communities in East Nusa Tenggara.

Australian Resources Minister Martin Ferguson plans to release the results of an investigation into the spill after reviewing the findings.

The incident and the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico had damaged confidence in the oil and gas industry, Mr Ferguson said last month.

Shares of PTTEP closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 141 baht, down three baht, in trade worth 1.17 billion baht.



The aftermath of the West Atlas rig explosion, seen in this file photo, and the massive oil spill that came as a result is being assessed by ministers from Indonesia and Australia. (AP Photo/PTTEP Australasia)


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Thursday, July 22, 2010

U.S. ends ban on ties with Indonesian special forces

Reuters, JAKARTA, By Phil Stewart, Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:26am EDT

(Reuters) - The United States announced on Thursday it was dropping a more than decade-old ban on ties with Indonesia's special forces, imposed over human rights abuses in the 1990s.

The decision, made public by U.S. officials during a visit by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Jakarta, was taken after Indonesia took steps requested by Washington including removal of convicted human rights violators from the organization's ranks.

Human rights groups have voiced concern, however, that the roughly 5,000-strong special forces unit, known as Kopassus, still harbors rights offenders who were suspected of abuses but never convicted.

"There has been a dramatic change in that unit over the last decade - the percentage of suspicious bad actors in the unit is tiny," said Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell.

"We are talking about probably a dozen, or a couple dozen people, that some regard as suspicious still in the unit. Obviously we are working to reduce that number to zero."

For the moment, the decision only re-establishes contacts between the U.S. military and Kopassus, which were cut off entirely in 1999. Actual combat training of Indonesia's special forces, suspended since 1998, would come much later and only after vetting of individuals who would receive U.S. assistance.

"These are two organizations, the U.S. military and Kopassus, that haven't dealt with each other for a long time," a senior U.S. defense official said, calling the re-engagement with Kopassus a "gradual, measured" process.

The decision is meant to bolster the U.S. effort to build military ties with the world's most populous Muslim nation, seen in Washington as an ally in the battle against Islamic extremism.

Indonesia was hit by deadly bomb attacks on hotels in the capital Jakarta last year, blamed on a splinter group that had split from the Jemaah Islamiah militant group. Jemaah Islamiah was blamed for the 2002 bombings of the Indonesian resort island of Bali that killed 202 people. Police have the lead role in combating terror threats in Indonesia.

Human rights groups and some members of Congress have strongly resisted calls to restore funding to Kopassus without concrete steps taken to ensure that members suspected of committing abuses would not benefit from U.S. assistance.

"We have received assurances and commitments that anybody in the future who is suspected of a human rights violation will be suspended. Then, if the investigation proves that they were responsible and they were convicted, they will be removed," the official said.

But those assurances did not apply to suspects of past abuses who were not convicted in Indonesia, the official said.

New York-based Human Rights Watch, in a letter to Gates and to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this year, singled out its concerns about the Kopassus counter-terror component known as Unit 81, "the entity whose members the Department of Defense presumably seeks to train."

"Members of what is now called Unit 81 have been credibly accused of serious human rights abuses or other improper conduct," it wrote.

It cited its suspected role controlling abusive pro-Indonesia militias in East Timor between 1986 and 1999 and the disappearance of student activists in 1997-1998 in Jakarta.

Kopassus has also been accused of rights abuses in secessionist hot spots such as resource-rich Papua, located on the western half of New Guinea island, which is one of Indonesia's most politically sensitive regions.

Indonesian police have said militants may be switching tactics and instead of targeting Westerners, focusing future armed attacks on state targets such as the president and police.

(Editing by Sara Webb)


In this Dec. 19, 2008 file photo, Indonesian elite soldiers of Special Forces Commandos, or Kopassus, wearing the unit's signature red beret, stand in formation in a show of force ahead of a major anti-terror drill. The United States announced on Thursday it will resume cooperation with Indonesia's special forces after ties were severed more than a decade ago over human rights abuses allegedly committed by the commando unit. (AP Photo/Irwin Fedriansyah)


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U.S. Wants Myanmar Transparency After Nuclear Program Reports

Businessweek, July 22, 2010, 12:18 AM EDT

July 22 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. called on Myanmar to disclose its relationship with North Korea amid concerns Kim Jong Il’s regime is helping the military-run Southeast Asian nation pursue a nuclear weapons program.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will hold meetings in Hanoi today with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes Myanmar. Tomorrow, she will join North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun at Asia’s biggest security forum.

“We have told Burmese officials that they have international obligations we expect them to heed,” State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said yesterday in an e- mail, referring to Myanmar by its former name. “This requires greater transparency in their dealings with North Korea.”

Myanmar told its Asean counterparts at meetings this week that it’s not seeking nuclear weapons. Jane’s Intelligence Review released an article yesterday with newly available commercial satellite images that it says corroborate allegations by Myanmar defector Major Sai Thein Win that the government is pursuing an atomic bomb.

“Myanmar’s government, the foreign minister, has told us categorically that they don’t have a nuclear weapons program, and have no ambitions” to start one, Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo told reporters in Hanoi on July 20.

Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win hasn’t addressed reporters at the meeting. Last month, after Al Jazeera television reported the allegations, his government said they were “baseless accusations based solely on the fabrications of deserters, fugitives and exiles.”

North Korea Ties

Myanmar conducts relations with North Korea “in the same way as it has been trying to maintain friendly relations with every nation,” the Foreign Ministry said in a June 11 statement. The country upholds United Nations resolutions regarding North Korea and shipments between the nations involve “normal commercial activities,” it said.

Photos of buildings and security fences near the country’s capital, Naypyidaw, confirm reports by Sai Thein Win of machine tool factories and other plants alleged to be part of a nascent program to build nuclear weapons, Jane’s reported from London.

“They will not make a bomb with the technology they currently possess or the intellectual capability,” Jane’s analyst Allison Puccioni said in an interview. “The two factors do make it possible to have a route to one.”

Military Ties

Clinton expressed concern about reports that North Korea and Myanmar are expanding military ties and sharing nuclear technology at a meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers in Thailand last year. The U.S.

will remain “vigilant” against any military cooperation between the two countries, she said.

Yesterday, Clinton announced further sanctions against North Korea in an effort to halt the country’s nuclear-weapons program.

Sai said he worked at two factories involved in the nuclear program. His report to a U.S.-funded Myanmar opposition news website, Democratic Voice of Burma, based in Norway, included documents and color photographs of the interior of the installations.

The satellite imagery reviewed by Jane’s showed only the exterior of the buildings, Puccioni said.

Myanmar’s nuclear program is “overly ambitious with limited expertise,” Jane’s said in a statement yesterday.

While Myanmar is a signatory to international agreements to control nuclear weapons use, it hasn’t agreed to more recent changes in the treaties and therefore isn’t subject to international inspections, the magazine said.

Nuclear Free

The reports about Myanmar’s nuclear weapons program “perplexed” Asean member states, Indonesia Foreign Marty Natalegawa said in a July 20 interview. Asean ministers, including Myanmar, reiterated intentions to keep Southeast Asia free of nuclear weapons at the meetings this week.

The allegations directed at Myanmar are a “manifestation of the lack of information about what’s happening in the country,” Natalegawa said. “That’s why we think the best approach would be to ensure greater transparency so we have greater confidence about what’s going on.”

Asean works closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency and can send inspectors to Myanmar under the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone treaty, he said.

During President George W. Bush’s administration, North Korea discussed delivering short-range missiles and nuclear capability to Myanmar, according to Michael J. Green, an adviser at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies and former senior director for Asia on the National Security Council under Bush.

The evidence points to a method of uranium enrichment, laser enrichment, that the North Koreans have never used, David Kay, a former United Nations weapons inspector and now a fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Arlington, Virginia, said in an interview.

“If it is laser enrichment the finger points more toward Chinese assistance or some place in the former Soviet Union,” he said.

--With assistance from Indira A.R. Lakshmanan and Viola Gienger. Editors: Paul Tighe, Ben Richardson.

To contact the reporters on this story: Peter S. Green in New York at psgreen@bloomberg.net; Daniel Ten Kate in Hanoi at dtenkate@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net; Bill Austin at billaustin@bloomberg.net

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Malaysian Sentenced to Death over Indonesian Maid Murder

Jakarta Globe, July 20, 2010

Kuala Lumpur. A Malaysian court Monday sentenced a market trader to death for murdering his Indonesian maid, one of a series of abuse cases that prompted Jakarta to ban domestic helpers working in Malaysia.

A. Murugan, 36, was charged with the murder of Indonesian Muntik binti Bani, who died in hospital on October 25 last year.

Her death was among a string of shocking cases of mistreatment of domestic workers that has strained ties between Malaysia and Indonesia, leading Jakarta last June to ban maids from working there.

Last week Malaysia said a deal with Indonesia on the working conditions of maids had stalled and the ban remains in force.

During the trial high court Judge Mohamad Yazid Mustafa said Murugan had failed to raise a reasonable doubt against the charge, state news agency Bernama reported.

Witnesses told the court they had seen Muntik’s employer beating her with a broomstick and that Murugan’s wife had lodged three police reports against him for domestic abuse, it reported.

Malaysia is one of Asia’s largest importers of labour and depends heavily on domestic workers, who come mainly from Indonesia, but it has no laws governing their working conditions.

An average of 50 maid abuse cases are reported annually out of the 300,000 Indonesian maids working in the country, according to Malaysian officials. But Indonesia says 1,000 maids face violence and mistreatment every year. 
Agence France-Presse

Friday, July 16, 2010

Goldman to settle with SEC for $550 million

Reuters, By Rachelle Younglai and Steve Eder, WASHINGTON/NEW YORK | Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:41pm EDT


Traders are seen working by the Goldman Sachs kiosk on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 26, 2010. Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) agreed to pay $550 million to settle civil fraud charges over how it marketed a subprime mortgage product, ending months of negotiations that rattled the bank's clients and weighed on its share price.

The investment bank paid the largest-ever penalty to the Securities and Exchange Commission by a Wall Street firm.

But many investors viewed the $550 million settlement as just a slap on the wrist for a bank that earned more than $13 billion last year.

"They pay $550 million and they get an $800 million pop in their stock price ... they got off easy," said Kevin Caron, a market strategist at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co in Florham Park, New Jersey.

Goldman's shares rose 4.2 percent after the market close to $151.38, after rising 4.4 percent late in the day on reports that the bank was close to settling.

Goldman's market value had plunged by more than $25 billion since the SEC charged it on April 16.

The settlement appears to leave the door open for additional enforcement actions by the SEC and further investigation by federal prosecutors.

The SEC accused Goldman of creating and marketing a debt product linked to subprime mortgages without telling investors that a hedge fund helped choose the underlying securities and was betting against them.

Goldman acknowledged as part of the settlement that its marketing materials were incomplete, but it did not admit or deny the allegations. The settlement appears to only resolve the issue of this transaction in particular.

The Wall Street Journal reported late on Wednesday that Goldman had pressed regulators to agree to a global settlement, which would effectively have ended any SEC investigations into other collateralized debt obligations underwritten or marketed by the Wall Street firm.

Of the $550 million settlement, $250 million will be returned to harmed investors, and $300 million will go to the U.S. Treasury. Of the $250 million, $150 million will go to Germany's IKB, and $100 million will go to the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L)

The settlement is subject to approval by a federal judge.

The SEC announced the settlement during a news conference in Washington. It was announced the same day Wall Street reform cleared Congress and headed to President Barack Obama for his signature.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Regional Judges’ Group Vows to Promote Democracy

Jakarta Globe, July 12, 2010, Camelia Pasandaran


Chairman of Asian Constitutional courts from left-right; Dong-Heub Lee (Korea), Tun Zaki Tun Azmi (Malaysia), Jamsran Byambadorj (Mongolia), Mahfud MD (Indonesia), Mariano C Del Castillo (Philippines), Chut Chonlavorn (Thailand), Bakhtiyar Mirbabaev (Uzbekistan) after signing of declaration on the establishment of the association of asian constitutional court and equivalent institution in Constitution Court, Jakarta, on Monday. (JG Photo/Safir Makki)


A regional meeting of constitutional court justices in Jakarta has signed a declaration to establish an Association of Asian Constitutional Courts.

The 7th Conference of Asian Constitutional Court Judges, which runs until Thursday and focuses on election laws, adopted the Jakarta Declaration at its meeting on Monday.

Indonesian Constitutional Court Justice Harjono said there was a shared recognition of the need to enhance cooperation between Asian constitutional institutions to promote the rule of law, democracy and human rights.

“[We] reaffirm our common understanding to build a partnership through sharing information and best practices on constitutional cases for the progress of democracy and the promotion of human rights in Asia on the basis of mutual respect and judicial independence,” Harjono said when reading out the declaration.

The declaration was signed by constitutional court justices from Indonesia, the Philippines, Mongolia, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Uzbekistan, which make up the founding members of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts.

The head of the Malaysian delegation is Zaki Azmi, the chief justice of the country’s Federal Court, while the Philippine representative is Supreme Court Justice Mariano Del Castillo.

Harjono said the association would be an independent and nonpolitical forum.

Its first congress will be held in 2012 in South Korea, which has been appointed to chair the association and its secretariat.

“Next year, we’ll appoint a board, and in 2012, maybe in the spring or summer, we’ll hold the inaugural congress,” Lee Dong-heub, a judge on the Constitutional Court of Korea, said after the signing of the declaration.

The Jakarta conference continues today at the State Palace when President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono officially opens the sessions to discuss election laws.

It will explore issues such as the merits of different electoral systems, problems and shortcomings in election laws, and dealing with election complaints.

Lee pointed out that in South Korea, the Constitutional Court was not authorized to handle election disputes.

“We don’t have the jurisdiction for that,” he said.

“The High Court and Supreme Court have jurisdiction over election disputes.”

He said he hoped to learn more from the conference about Indonesia’s experience in dealing with election laws.

Indonesian Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mahfud MD said that since its establishment in 2003, his court had been held up as a benchmark in the region for its handling of various election laws and disputes.

“All things considered, elections in Indonesia have actually proceeded quite well during this period,” he said.

“Of the 36 election disputes that we’ve heard at the court, only six were found to have involved subjectivity on the part of polling officials or structured and massive irregularities during voting.

“That’s a small percentage. Most of the cases brought to our attention are essentially baseless and only proceed that far because of the hype and publicity surrounding them,” Mahfud added.


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Monday, July 12, 2010

China expands anti-corruption law

BBC News, 12 July 2010 09:40 UK

China has issued new anti-corruption rules which require government workers to report their investments, incomes and assets, state media reports.

Those who fail to comply will
face "dismissal or discipline"
Officials must now also give the financial details of family members and any change in their personal status.

Analysts say the new rules are designed to prevent officials from hiding income under the names of other people.

The Chinese president has said fighting corruption is a matter of life and death for the Communist party.

The new regulations, which came into effect on Sunday, are an expansion of laws issued in 2006 and broaden the scope of personal information officials have to declare.

However, the new rules stop short of requiring that the incomes and assets of Chinese officials be made public, the China Daily reported.

Those who fail to comply or submit false information will face "dismissal or discipline", the state-owned newspaper said.

Previously, the harshest penalty was "informed criticism".

The regulations apply to mid-level to senior Communist Party officials and executives at state-owned businesses.

The BBC's Damian Grammaticas in Beijing says that despite a high-profile campaign by the government, corruption among officials remains widespread.

This worries China's leaders, who are seriously concerned that public anger at levels of corruption is undermining support for the Communist Party, he says.



Australian vegetables poisoned as police probe sabotage

BBC News, 8 July 2010 17:00 UK

Police in Australia are investigating the poisoning of seven million vegetable seedlings, including tomatoes, aubergines and melons.

Around four million tomato
seedlings were poisoned

Detectives believe a herbicide was injected into the irrigation system at a nursery in northern Queensland.
The Australian farm minister described the poisoning at a Queensland nursery - the fourth such incident in eight years - as "sabotage".

Farmers and analysts say the price of vegetables will increase as a result.

The cost of the damage is estimated at AUS $23.5m (£19.7m; $20.3m US), said Denise Kreymborg of the regional growers' association.

Grudge or vandalism?

Police are investigating possible links to the other poisonings in the region, which produces most of Australia's vegetables during the winter months.

"It could be a grudge, it could be competition-based... or it could be an act of vandalism," said Dave Miles, the acting police inspector for Townsville, near Cairns.

"I don't think it's just a local vandal," Ms Kreymborg said, according to the Associated Press.

"Obviously they knew what they were doing, as it was a pretty technical act they've done. But we don't want to contaminate the investigation by pointing fingers."

Workers at the Supa Seedlings nursery, which supplies around 30 regional growers, noticed plants wilting from 20 June.

The bulk of the poisoned plants - around four million - were tomato seedlings. Some of them had already been transplanted on farms.

Around 350 hectares of production land, with the capacity to grow about 200 tonnes of fresh produce, have been affected.

The vegetables were destined for sale across Australia and for export to New Zealand and the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.

Prices in all three countries are likely to spike over the next few months until produce from other regions comes onto the market, reports say.