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. …

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Leave the Kids, Take the Bikini

Discovering a luxury holiday utopia nestled on the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean

Club Med Finolhu offers couples and weary city travelers a luxurious holiday
gateway on the azure blue waters of the stunning Maldives islands. (Photo
courtesy of Club Med Finolhu)

It was every shade of blue glimmering under the golden sun. As far as the eye can see, waters so crystal clear one can easily spot baby sharks swimming around among schools of fish.

On a table in the corner was breakfast — a Japanese breakfast menu consisting of freshly baked salmon, rice, soy sauce, seaweed and a bowl of miso soup, with a fruit platter and a bread basket on the side — delivered by a butler whose phone call had woken me up that morning to tell me he had set up my morning meal on the patio while I was asleep. He hoped I didn’t mind.

I set a portable speaker — provided by the hotel — on the table and connected it with my music player so that the tunes of my choice became the soundtrack to the exquisite morning view before me.

Such was the typical morning for guests at Club Med Finolhu, the French resort chain’s newest and first adult-only resort, located in the Maldives.

Known back in the ’80s for its wild, non-stop partying and youthful flare, Club Med today has taken on an almost completely different form, with most of its resort, including those in Indonesia’s islands of Bali and Bintan, catering more and more to families and businesses.

But the establishment of Club Med Finolhu, the resort’s second chain in the Maldives, marks its foray into even newer territories.

Its first Maldives resort, Club Med Kani, located a short five-minute boat ride away from Finolhu, boasts 260 rooms and villas in total, and still has a touch of the Club Med holiday-goers are more acquainted with. Various forms of entertainment — ranging from comedy performances to musicals — is a nightly affair, and both guests and Club Med staff blend together in the parties that typically follow these shows.

The Sunrise Lagoon Villa, with direct access to the shallow waters.
(Photo courtesy of Club Med Finolhu)

At Finolhu, however, the number of rooms is cut down quite significantly. Home to only 52 villas, guests, most of whom are couples on their honeymoon or those taking a break from their daily grind, are guaranteed premium, uninterrupted tranquility and privacy. Every villa is assigned its own butler, who would readily cater to room service requests.

A pathway divides the island into two. One part, which hosts the Sunrise Lagoon Villas and the Sunrise Beach Villas, looks out to where the sun rises every morning — a treat for the early risers.

The other, upon which the Sunset Lagoon Villas and Sunset Beach Villas are located, is where guests can enjoy the crimson Maldivian sunset.

Each villa boasts a spacious bedroom, living room, and shower room, and a private pool with a view of the sea. For guests occupying a lagoon villa, a staircase next to the pool leads right into the shallow water, calling for a dip.

In the resort’s main area, absent is the sound of upbeat, dance music blaring from the speakers I remember from a visit to Club Med Bali last year. All around at the main pool that overlooks the pristine blue waters and a beach, guests are free to sunbathe and relax to soothing, down-tempo music playing. A bar is located just right next to the pool, so that guests are able to maximize on the all-inclusive policy — drinks, food, and activities are covered for in the nightly rate — which Club Med pioneered.

View from the shower room of the resort’s Sunset Lagoon Villa.
(Photo courtesy of Club Med Finolhu)

Going green

The resort’s adult-exclusive policy is not the only thing that sets it apart from its predecessors. Upon reaching the island and walking on the jetty, guests would easily notice solar panels neatly attached on the roof.

“All of the electricity in Finolhu is solar-powered,” Club Med’s country manager for Indonesia Bruno Courbet explains. “There is a lot of sun, although on days when it’s raining and there isn’t enough power, we have a generator to use as backup.”

While popular as a holiday destination, especially among honeymooners, the mention of Maldives over the past few years have not only included tales of its natural beauty, but also its potential to be one of the countries in the world most geographically prone to be affected by climate change and rising water levels.

In December 2004, the Maldives was also one of the countries that had to bear the brunt of the Indian Ocean tsunami, which in the Indonesian province of Aceh saw hundreds of thousands of people killed and missing.

“It was not as bad as Aceh, we did not have a big wave wash over the islands, but the tide was very, very low, my sailing instructor recalled one afternoon as we were slowly leaving the shore on our small sailing boat for four.

“All of these areas were dry, you could see lots of fish jumping around because there was no water,” he says pointing at the waters around us. “After a while, water suddenly kept rising and rising and before you know it our lands were flooded.”

Club Med Kani, built in 2000, was among the holiday destinations affected by this natural disaster.

“All the over-water bungalows were damaged. We closed the village for a few months and rebuilt them,” Bruno says. “We reinforced their structures with concrete [as part of our] prevention [efforts].”

No guests and staffs of the resort were hurt, although electricity was cut off for a while, Bruno explained, adding that sufficient food and water was provided and everyone was evacuated within on week.

A bird's-eye view of the resort. (Photo courtesy of Club Med Finolhu)

With the establishment of Finolhu and its strict use of solar power, Club Med aims to contribute to the environment and the nature that surrounds and sustains both of its Maldives resorts.

“The use of solar-powered electricity is one example of how we can pursue this [as part of our] corporate social responsibility’s direction, particularly so in the Maldives, given its strategic importance in resort destinations,” Bruno adds.

“We hope it will set the benchmark on further development in the Maldives as this country has to be the pioneer of sustainability.”

A snorkeling excursion to several nearby reefs with guests from the resort made it clear just how valuable the surrounding ecosystem was, not only to Club Med, but to the Maldives and its busy tourism industry.

In these deeper waters, colorful fishes I’ve never seen during previous snorkeling trips, swim about in large numbers and feed from the seemingly endless corals. If lucky, one would meet sea turtles, seahorses, and even manta rays. An attempt to count all the different types of fish with my fingers failed, not because my goggles were fogging up, but because one would simply lose track.

Maldives and all of its beauty, above and underwater, proves itself a gem.

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