Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners

Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners
Widodo has pledged to bring reform to Indonesia

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has pleaded to Indonesia to stop the execution of prisoners on death row for drug crimes. AFP PHOTO

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person
The pope wrote that the principle of legitimate personal defense isn’t adequate justification to execute someone. Photograph: Zuma/Rex

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison   (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)
US President Barack Obama speaks as he tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, July 16, 2015 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)
Woman who spent 23 years on US death row cleared (Photo: dpa)


"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. …

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Don't shoot that tree! And leave those rocks alone...

Eye witness

AFP's Sydney-based journalist Madeleine Coorey delves into Australia's evolving respect for its Aboriginal people, and looks at some of the taboos around reporting from sacred sites.

Participants at the Mbantua Aboriginal cultural festival, October 12, 2013.
(AFP Photo/Greg Wood)

AFP, Madeleine Coorey, 21 January 2014

In the middle of the Australian outback, with the sun beating fiercely down, comes a voice in my ear: "You can't take photos of that tree, it's a sacred site." What? The beautiful silver gum tree right in the middle of where we are about to do an interview? Yes, replies my extremely patient media contact, adding there were other sites of deep significance to the local Aboriginal people nearby -- including sacred rocks -- and we should avoid those too.

It was the kind of comment my colleagues and I heard frequently during our stay in Alice Springs covering the Mbantua indigenous cultural festival and journeying to the awe-inspiring red monolith Uluru in central Australia.

A participant performs at the Mbantua Aboriginal cultural festival in Alice Springs
in Australia's Northern Territory state, October 12, 2013. (AFP Photo/Greg Wood)

From towering trees to small shrubs, from waterholes to collections of random boulders; sites that to the traveller might seem an ordinary feature in the desert landscape were frequently pointed out as sacred sites, with a history heavy in significance to the indigenous owners of the land.

At the Mbantua festival, some sacred sites were fenced off, but others -- such as the off-limits towering River Red Gum, formed part of the spectacular backdrop for the festival which included an open-air musical theatre performance and traditional dances. That Uluru, the massive sandstone monolith which rises 348 metres (1,148 feet) from the desert sands, would be a sacred site to its traditional Aboriginal owners, known as Anangu, for thousands of years is obvious.

Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, a large sandstone rock formation and
 the world's largest monolith situated in the southern part of the Northern Territory
in central Australia, October 11, 2013. (AFP Photo/Greg Wood)

Even though I had seen images of Uluru my whole life, nothing prepared me for seeing it with my own eyes for the first time. It's impressive from the moment it appears ahead of you some kilometres in the distance. And up close it again surprises; who knew that fig trees bloomed in its fissures or that waterpools formed in its crevices from rain?

Once you're standing at the base of Uluru, you "get" the magic of it -- the fact that this enormous rock mysteriously rises out of the desert sand to dominate the landscape. How did it form here? And why here in the heart of the Australian continent?

For tens of thousands of years these were questions that the Anangu alone pondered. But thanks to the rise of tourism, thousands of people from all over the world now come to see the rock, and the traditional owners are keen to protect the World Heritage site.

This photo taken on October 11, 2013 shows a tourist looking at a sign stating
 that the climb is closed for safety reasons near the base of Uluru. (AFP Photo/
Greg Wood)

National Parks officers, who manage the major tourist attraction with the Aboriginal owners, stress that capturing the site on camera is sensitive and that some sites and ritual objects are restricted to certain groups, such as initiated men or women. Media visiting the park are given written guidelines, complete with a map which shows the sites that should not be filmed, photographed or painted. But even the map does not give all the answers, as some sites cannot be specifically identified or even publicly discussed -- so cannot even be marked on the chart.

Another difficulty for journalists here comes when prominent indigenous Australians die because Aboriginal people generally don't speak the deceased's name or look at their pictures for a considerable time as a way of honouring their dead. Australian media generally respect this concept; when the lead singer of Yothu Yindi died last year his family approved certain images for the media to use and he was mostly referred to without using his first name, as Mr Yunupingu.

Tourists looking at the Kapi Mutitjulu waterhole at Uluru, October 11, 2013.
(AFP Photo/Greg Wood)

The entire northeast face of Uluru is generally not allowed to be photographed because it includes many sacred sites. An image of this might be allowed if, say, a shadow or a bush or sand dune, obscures the most sensitive areas, the guidelines say. National Parks support the wishes of the Anangu, which also include a request that visitors stifle any urge to climb Uluru and content themselves with walking around the base. The media are also asked not to use images of people climbing the rock.

It's a far cry from decades past, when Australians and tourists climbed the rock without a thought, hanging on tightly to the chain link fence driven into the rock which has left it scarred, but which aids climbers on the steepest slopes. Fewer people are tackling the ascent and signposting indicates to visitors that some sites may be sacred and off-limits. And the greater acceptance of indigenous cultural values appears to be getting through to visitors.

A woman peruses traditional artwork at the Mbantua Aboriginal cultural
(AFP Photo/Greg Wood)

Australia has a long history of mistreating its indigenous inhabitants since European colonisation in 1788, with Aborigines not even included in the national census until 1967. Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders have struggled against policies, which robbed them of their land, took away their children and denigrated their cultural traditions.

They remain the country's most disadvantaged people, with a much higher rate of infant mortality than other Australians and a significantly shorter life expectancy. But at Uluru, you feel that some progress has been made towards greater education and respect for indigenous cultural values.

National Parks media officer Amy Warren looks at the Kapi Mutitjulu waterhole
at Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, October 11, 2013. (AFP Photo/Greg Wood)

For our visit, we were accompanied by an Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park media officer who was able to check that all our still photographs did not breach the guidelines and to offer advice on what was, and wasn't, permissible to shoot for video.

And she was pleased to take queries from tourists, who are not required to apply for permits to take photos for personal use. One Sydney man who had snapped what he worried could be a sacred site, came forward to ask her opinion -- Had he had inadvertently captured something he shouldn't have on his digital camera? He told me he didn't want to do the wrong thing. If only all visitors could be so considerate, I thought. 

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