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. …

Friday, April 29, 2016

Japan wants foreign tourists to avoid 'public flatulence'

Yahoo – AFP, April 28, 2016

People cover their noses to avoid a foul smell (AFP Photo)

A Japanese tourism board has called on foreign tourists to refrain from public "belching or flatulence" in an etiquette guide which was hastily rewritten, reportedly after complaints from a Chinese resident.

The Hokkaido Tourism Organization, which represents Japan's northern-most island, published a downloadable brochure on its website, with polite instructions on everything from public bathing to using a Japanese toilet.

Helpfully, it even dedicated an entire section to protocol for avoiding bodily functions.

"Japanese etiquette is based on avoiding causing discomfort or nuisance to others," the guide points out.

"Accordingly, Japanese will avoid bodily functions such as belching or flatulence in public entirely, or perform bodily functions as discreetly as possible."

However, the Chinese-language guide -- originally entitled "Common Sense When Travelling in Hokkaido" -- upset a Chinese resident who angrily claimed the diagrams featuring examples of bad tourist behaviour were offensive, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported.

Chinese tourists spent more than $164 billion in 2014, according to a report by
Bank of America Merrill Lynch (AFP Photo/Toru Yamanaka)

The complaint prompted a new, foreigner-friendly version with softer explanations of Japanese customs.

In the updated guide available in Chinese and English, gone are the large 'X'-marks next to cartoon illustrations of tourists committing, from a Japanese perspective, embarrassing gaffes, such as putting used toilet paper into the waste bin -- the general custom in China -- instead of flushing it away.

According to The Japan Times newspaper, the original booklet was first published last August and was targeted at Chinese tourists, including a reminder not to open products before buying them when shopping, a habit also seen in China.

China has said it will monitor the behaviour of unruly tourists abroad and punish them on their return home after being shamed by a string of well-publicised incidents in recent years.

Research by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch found that more than 100 million Chinese tourists went abroad in 2014, spending some $164 billion.

Tourists prepare for a shopping spree in Tokyo (AFP Photo/Toru Yamanaka)

But reports of disruptive behaviour have tarnished their reputation, such as passengers scalding a flight attendant with hot water and noodles or a holidaymaker fined in Thailand for washing her feet in the wash basin of a public toilet.

Media in Japan have carried a spate of reports of alleged uncouth behaviour by Chinese visitors, though some local commentators have urged understanding, recalling that the emergence five decades ago of Japanese tourists as a force in global travel was often met with complaints about their behaviour.

Around 85,000 copies of the Hokkaido tourist brochure have reportedly been printed in Chinese and English, to be distributed to hotels and tourist attractions across the island.

Related Articles:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cambodia firm to reduce elephant work hours after heatstroke death

Yahoo – AFP, April 26, 2016

Elephant rides are popular with tourists visiting Cambodia's Angkor Wat
temple (AFP Photo/Tang Chhin Sothy)

A Cambodian tour operator said Tuesday it would reduce work hours for elephants during high temperatures following the collapse and death of an animal which had been ferrying tourists in 40C heat.

The female elephant, aged between 40-45, died by the roadside on Friday after carrying tourists around Cambodia's famous Angkor Wat temple complex outside Siem Reap.

Photos were widely shared on social media, prompting calls for Cambodia to reform the already controversial elephant ride industry.

Oan Kiri, manager of Angkor Elephant Company, told AFP Tuesday that vets believed heatstroke was the cause of death.

"Veterinarians concluded that the elephant's death was caused by the hot temperatures which caused stress, shock, high blood pressure and a heart attack," he said.

The elephant had been working around 45 minutes, walking 2.1 kilometres carrying tourists, before she collapsed on her way to an enclosure.

Elephant Dies From Exhaustion After Carrying Tourists In Cambodian Heat

He added that the company was "regretful and felt pity" and would now let the 13 remaining elephants work fewer hours until temperatures drop.

The Greater Mekong region is experiencing its hot and dry season where temperatures of 40C (104 Fahrenheit) are not unusual. This year has seen particularly hot spells.

Animal rights groups have long complained that elephants which give rides to tourists across the region are routinely overworked and brutally broken in during training.

Thailand has seen multiple cases in recent months where elephants have killed their handlers or attacked tourists.

A petition on calling on Cambodian authorities to end elephant rides at Angkor had garnered 24,500 signatures by Tuesday afternoon.

"There is no such thing as cruelty-free elephant rides," it stated.

Handlers and tour operators have long argued that tourism provides much needed income and employment for people -- and for domesticated elephants that would otherwise risk abandonment and starvation.

But Jack Highwood, from the Elephant Valley Project, a Cambodian eco-tourism group, said the country only boasted about 70 domesticated elephants -- "too small a number not to regulate their use to protect their health and welfare."

Papua New Guinea announces Australian refugee center closure

A Supreme Court ruling means an Australian-run refugee detention facility on Papua New Guinea is illegal and must close. Now PNG is working with Australia to find a new place for the refugees to go.

Deutsche Welle, 27 April 2016

The island nation of Papua New Guinea has announced it will close a center for asylum seekers it had been hosting on behalf of Australia. This comes a day after the Supreme Court in Papa New Guinea deemed it was unconstitutional to allow Australia to detain asylum seekers on the country's Manus Island.

"Respecting this ruling, Papua New Guinea will immediately ask the Australian government to make alternative arrangements for the asylum-seekers currently held at the regional processing center," Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said in a statement on Wednesday.

No exceptions

Australian policy regarding those who attempt to enter the country illegally by boat is to reject them and send them to detention camps, paid for by the Australian government, in Papua New Guinea and the island nation of Nauru. Those found to have legitimate claims for asylum can be resettled in Papua New Guinea or Cambodia under agreements reached between Australia and those two countries.

Regarding the current asylum seekers on Manus Island, O'Neill said that legitimate refugees were welcome to live in Papua New Guinea "only if they want to be a part of our society and make a contribution to our community," but added: "It is clear that several of these refugees do not want to settle in Papua New Guinea and that is their decision."

There are currently over 800 asylum seekers being held on Manus Island, and Papua New Guinea will now being working with Australian officials about where to relocate the people being detained. Australia has made it clear that under no circumstances will they be resettled in Australia.


Meanwhile, a 23-year-old refugee in an Australian-run detention facility on Nauru is set to be airlifted to an Australian hospital after setting himself on fire Tuesday during a routine visit of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, to the facility.

According to news reports, the man shouted "I can not take this any more" before setting himself on fire. Bystanders quickly attempted to douse the flames with water and blankets.
The man is in critical condition, but Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has said his application for asylum would not be influenced.

mz/kms (Reuters, AFP, AP)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

European Council President Praises Indonesia’s Democracy and Religious Tolerance

Jakarta Globe, Eko Prasetyo, April 22, 2016

President Joko Widodo meets with European Council President Donald Tusk
in Brussels, Thursday (21/04). (State Palace Press Photo/Laily)

Jakarta. President Joko Widodo met with European Council President Donald Tusk at the Europa building, seat of the European Council, in Brussels, an official statement said on Thursday (21/04).

In the meeting, Joko said Indonesia is a "living laboratory" where Islam, democracy and religious tolerance exist side by side.

Tusk in response praised the way Indonesia has been fostering democracy, human rights and religious tolerance, often under difficult circumstances, and said the council will continue its interfaith exchange program with Indonesia.

The European Council also said it will look at the proposal for a visa waiver program for Indonesian citizens, as soon as the security situation in Europe improves.

The Indonesian president had earlier met with European Parliament President Martin Schulz, and conducted a bilateral meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Merkel Praises Indonesia's Development in Meeting Focused on Education

Jakarta Globe, Eko Prasetyo, April 19, 2016

President Joko Widodo in a discussion with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in
Bundeskanzleramt, Berlin, Germany, Monday (18/04). (State Palace Press Photo/Laily)

Jakarta. German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Indonesia’s developments and achievements while meeting with President Joko Widodo in Bundeskanzleramt, Berlin, on Monday (18/04).

“It is a challenging duty for a country to develop itself, especially for Indonesia with 250 million citizens and 17,000 islands. I am amazed by Indonesia’s achievements. Surely, we can discuss many issues together,” Merkel said in an official statement.

Prior to the visit, Joko said the two will focus on efforts to increase and strengthen partnerships in vocational education in a number of sectors.

“Indonesia wants Germany to assist vocational education, especially those related to industry, such as power plants, textile, maritime and others,” Joko said.

Both leaders agreed in their meeting to follow up the vocational partnership commitment in a technical meeting in May.

Both countries agreed to complete the "scooping papers," which will accelerate the establishment of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

The meeting touched on terrorism and the place of soft and hard power in eradicating the threat, as well as a proposal to establish a Steering Committee to oversee the application of 2012 Indonesia-Germany Comprehensive Partnership.

Germany is Indonesia's top European trading partner and its seventh largest investor.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Myanmar's Suu Kyi reaches out to ethnic minority rebels

Yahoo – AFP, Athens Zaw Zaw, April 18, 2016

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi was blocked from the top job but has vowed to
rule "above" the president (AFP Photo)

Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday vowed to press for greater autonomy for Myanmar's ethnic minorities, in an early move to soothe the rebellions roiling the country after her party's ascent to power.

Myanmar has been swept up in optimism for a more peaceful and prosperous future since the National League for Democracy (NLD) took power on April 1, ending nearly a half century of military domination.

But Suu Kyi warned its prospects hinge on ending ethnic conflicts that have blistered the country since its independence in 1948.

To do so, the NLD government would seek "a real federal democratic union", the democracy figurehead said in a televised address marking Myanmar's New Year.

"Peace and a federal democratic union are closely intertwined and that's why we need to change the constitution. The most important thing is national reconciliation."

They were Suu Kyi's first major comments as "state counsellor" -- a role she took on following the handover to her civilian-led government.

The current charter, penned by the military in 2008, centralises state power.

The former junta in part justified its tight control of the country with fears that ethnic divisions would fracture the nation.

Daughter of a hero

But the concept of federalism has gradually become central to peace discussions steered by the quasi-civilian government that replaced outright military rule in 2011.

Negotiations, which do not include all rebel groups, have yet to agree on exactly how powers such as policing or revenue raising might be shifted to regional authorities under a federal system.

In this image made from video, Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion, left, meets
 with Myanmar President Htin Kyaw and Myanmar Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi,
 right, at the Presidential Palace, in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Thursday, April 7, 2016. 
Dion congratulated Myanmar on installing its first civilian government in decades 
and on its transition from military rule to democracy. (APTN via AP)

But by reiterating the federal pledge, Suu Kyi has sought to reassure ethnic leaders that the NLD will not squeeze out minority groups.

Though Suu Kyi belongs to the ethnic Bamar majority, her party picked up seats in many of Myanmar's ethnic minority regions in last year's election.

She has however come under fire from rights groups for not throwing her moral weight behind the plight of the embattled Rohingya, a largely stateless Muslim minority pushed into grim displacement camps by waves of communal violence in 2012.

Nobel laureate Suu Kyi is beloved by many in Myanmar but blocked from becoming president by the constitution as her two sons carry foreign citizenship.

The 70-year-old is the daughter of the country's independence hero, who famously signed an agreement before his assassination that would have granted a level of autonomy to several ethnic minority regions.

A Shan ethnic woman from the Akha hill
 tribe waits for the arrival of Aung San 
Suu Kyi during a 2015 rally in Kyaing
Tong (AFP Photo/Romeo Gacad)
Attempts to amend the army's charter under the former quasi-civilian government were stymied by the military -- which is gifted 25 percent of all parliamentary seats by the constitution it scripted.

Any fresh moves to change the charter are likely to meet stiff resistance from the military, which can veto amendments through its parliamentary bloc.

Suu Kyi has taken a firm grip of the country's first civilian-led government in decades, taking on a string of senior roles in the new administration, including the powerful -- if vaguely defined -- advisory role.

She has vowed to rule "above" the president, picking school friend and close aide Htin Kyaw as her proxy.

Conflicts continue to rage in several areas between ethnic minority armed groups and the army, which operates beyond the reaches of civilian government, after a ceasefire pact signed late last year failed to include all of the country's fighters.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

High hopes for Indonesian author vying for Man Booker glory

Yahoo – AFP, Olivia Rondonuwu, April 13, 2016

Great expectations weigh on Eka Kurniawan, the first Indonesian ever
nominated for a Man Booker International Prize (AFP Photo/Goh Chai Hin)

Already compared to literary heavyweights Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Haruki Murakami, great expectations weigh on Eka Kurniawan, the first Indonesian ever nominated for a Man Booker International Prize.

The 40-year-old is up against revered writers like Orhan Pamuk and Kenzaburo Oe, both past recipients of the Nobel Prize in Literature, but there is a growing buzz about the works of this little known author.

At home, titles of Kurniawan's novels splashed across the back of trucks, while newspapers and magazines hail him Indonesia's most exciting writer for a generation.

Author Eka Kurniawan holds his 
book "Man Tiger" - the story of a 
young man who gnaws his elderly 
neighbour to death (AFP Photo/
Goh Chai Hin)
“My friends sent me pictures of the back of trucks bearing the titles of my books – these (trucks and the lives of the drivers) were an inspiration for one of my novels -- and the fact my books are emblazoned there brought me to a state of euphoria, I got goosebumps,” he tells AFP.

Internationally, demand is such that he's already attended the acclaimed Frankfurt and Melbourne Book Fairs.

Despite this, Kurniawan says his inclusion on the longlist for the prestigious award, for "Man Tiger" -- the story of a young man who gnaws his elderly neighbour to death -- came as a "surprise".

He will find out Thursday if he has made the final six. The winning author and translator will also share 50,000 pounds (USD$71,000) in prizemoney, while all the finalists receive 1,000 pounds.

A shortlist nomination -- or better still, a victory -- will likely provide a much-needed international profile boost not just for Kurniawan, but for the nation's literary scene.

"I hope this is the case that Indonesian literature is really on the rise, because in the past 10 years I can feel the excitement," he adds.

'Free from taboos'

Indonesian writers have long struggled for appreciation at home, let alone on the world stage. Many do not have the means to translate their books into other languages and attract publishers and readers abroad.

Yet there is a passionate desire to share their stories and the profession has flourished since Indonesia embraced democracy.

Kurniawan, who is now married with a young daughter, participated in the student protests that toppled the authoritarian regime in 1998. He says the wave of openness that followed the end of Suharto's three-decade rule had an "enormous" influence on Indonesia's literary evolution.

“I feel Indonesia is more open," Kurniawan explains. "We can speak practically about many things, including politics, religion and other taboos like sex."

Kurniawan's own work is no exception: "Man Tiger" is a grisly, murderous tale, while "Beauty is a Wound" revolves around the communist massacres across Indonesia in the 1960s, a politically-sensitive topic to this day.

The vein of magic realism throughout his work has earned Kurniawan comparisons to legendary Colombian novelist Marquez, while others tout him as successor to Pramoedya Ananta Toer.

Pramoedya, who died a decade ago this month, is considered Indonesia's greatest-ever writer. His legendary "Buru Quartet" -- which he wrote behind bars during the Suharto years -- earned him several nominations for a Nobel Prize for Literature, and acclaim overseas.

Fuel global interest

For all the high praise directed at Kurniawan, who is from West Java but now lives in Jakarta, it has been slow crawl from aspiring writer to Booker nominee.

He worked as a graphic designer and jobbing writer, but when "Man Tiger" was first published in Indonesian in 2004 -- he concedes the readership really only extended to his circle of close friends.

It took a decade before it was translated into English and on bookshelves overseas.

The respected Southeast Asian scholar, Benedict Anderson stumbled on Kurniawan's work and, impressed, urged him to translate his works and meet with a UK publisher later describing him as "Indonesia’s most original living writer of novels and short stories".

For many writers - language is a challenge. Indonesian is often second choice after local dialects. This limits exposure in a country where only 1 in 1,000 spends time reading, according to research by UNESCO.

Publishing in English is the only avenue for global recognition and readership but for many the cost of quality translation remains too high, ensuring they remain off the radar of major international publishers.

But interest is growing -- last year Indonesia was guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair, an opportunity to showcase the literary culture and traditions at the largest publishing event in the world.

There's a sense Kurniawan could encourage further interest. Barbara Epler, the head of his US publisher New Directions, predicted that if Kurniawan took off overseas he would be a "prime force" in getting more publishers interested in Indonesia, a sentiment echoed in his homeland.

"I hope he wins so that authors will rush to translate their books into other languages, promoting them to the world,” respected Indonesian poet Sapardi Djoko Damono told AFP.

The shortlist for the Man Booker International Prize will be announced Thursday and the winner on May 16.

Strict Indonesian province canes non-Muslim for selling booze

Yahoo – AFP, April 13, 2016

Sharia law enforcement officials cane a non-Muslim woman for selling alcohol in
Takengon, in Aceh province, the first time someone from outside the Islamic faith
has been punished there under strict religious laws (AFP Photo)

An elderly Christian woman has been caned in a conservative Indonesian province for selling alcohol, the first time someone from outside the Islamic faith has been punished there under strict religious laws.

The 60-year was whipped nearly 30 times with a rattan cane before a crowd of hundreds in Aceh province Tuesday, an official said, along with a couple who were subjected to 100 lashes for committing adultery.

Indonesia's Aceh province began
 implementing sharia law after being
 granted special autonomy in 2001
(AFP Photo/Chaideer Mahyuddin)
Aceh is the only province in the predominantly Muslim country that applies sharia law, and public canings for breaches of Islamic code happen on a regular basis and often attract huge crowds.

Those caught engaging in adultery, same-sex relationships, drinking and even associating with unmarried members of the opposite sex can end up facing the cane.

Though the law once only applied to Muslims, a bylaw that took effect late last year allowed sharia regulations to be applied to non-Muslims in certain situations, Lili Suparli, a senior official at the Central Aceh prosecutor's office told AFP.

"This is the first case of a non-Muslim being punished under Islamic criminal bylaw," he said, referring to the punishment of the Christian woman.

Aceh began implementing sharia law after being granted special autonomy in 2001, an effort by the central government in Jakarta to quell a long-running separatist insurgency.

Aceh is the only province in the predominantly Muslim Indonesia that applies sharia
 law, and public canings for breaches of Islamic code happen on a regular basis
(AFP Photo/Chaideer Mahyuddin)

Islamic laws have been strengthened since the province struck a peace deal with the central government in 2005.

More than 90 percent of Indonesians describe themselves as Muslim, but the vast majority practise a moderate form of the faith.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Travel firms to brief holidaymakers on their trip’s environmental footprint

DutchNews, April 12, 2016

A Fokker 70 takes off from Schiphol
airport. Photo jvanderwolf via
Dutch travel firms are to start informing holidaymakers how much environmental damage their trip is doing by listing ‘holiday footprints’ in brochures and on websites, travel sector organisation ANVR says in Tuesday’s Volkskrant

‘We aim to eventually allow consumers to calculate their own holiday footprint via an app or website,’ ANVR spokesman Gerben Hardeman told the paper. ‘We are still a long way off that. But we are now working with a group of travel firms to determine how we can best inform consumers about what we know already.’ 

By helping consumers to realise the impact of their holiday on the environment, holidaymakers can ‘make a responsible choice’, he said. 

Currently, airline passengers can pay extra to offset the cost to the climate of their journey. The amounts vary from €10 to €100, depending on the way the potential damage is calculated by different airlines. 

The system used by the ANVR has been developed by researchers at several hbo colleges and 10 travel firms. It is based on confidential information from airline manufacturers, airlines themselves and the hotel website

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Three Chinese passengers grounded for bad behaviour

Yahoo – AFP, April 11, 2016

Chinese authorities last year declared 11 types of action 'strictly prohibited' on
 flights and at terminals, including damaging airport security facilities and
assaulting crew members (AFP Photo/Greg Baker)

China has banned three passengers from major airlines for "uncivilised behaviour", state media reported on Monday, as the country seeks to instil manners in its increasingly well-travelled populace.

The three were blacklisted for hitting a checkpoint security officer with a can of milk, attacking airline personnel over a flight delay, and refusing to switch off a tablet PC during a landing, the China Daily newspaper said.

They are the first to be included in a system rolled out by the China Air Transport Association in February, and will be unable to book flights with five of China's biggest airlines for up to two years, it added.

Chinese authorities last year declared 11 types of action "strictly prohibited" on flights and at terminals, including damaging airport security facilities and assaulting crew members, according to the China Daily.

Such behaviour has frequently made headlines in the country with the world's worst track record for flight delays.

In January last year, 25 passengers were held by police for questioning after they fought with crew members over a bad weather delay and opened the emergency exits.

In 2013, an official who missed two flights lost his temper at the boarding counter and went on a rampage, violently destroying two computers and attempting to smash a window with a signboard.

In December 2014, a Chinese woman en route back to China from Thailand threw a cup of noodles full of boiling water at a Thai flight attendant and punched the cabin windows, threatening to jump out, in a dispute that began over seat arrangements.

An editorial in the China Daily on Monday said such blacklisting was "long overdue", and that the first punishments would warn other travellers to "toe the line".

"There is no reason for them to be respected when they do not show enough respect for others," it said.

Related Articles:

Monday, April 11, 2016

Springsteen cancels N. Carolina show over anti-trans law

Yahoo – AFP, Shaun Tandon, April 9, 2016

Bruce Springsteen said he canceled a concert in North Carolina to protest a law
 that targets transgender people, as "some things are more important than a rock
show" (AFP Photo/Jamie McCarthy)

New York (AFP) - Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in North Carolina to protest a law that targets transgender people, vowing to fight against "those who continue to push us backwards."

Springsteen's move marks one of the highest-profile actions yet against the law, which prohibits local governments within the southern state from acting to stop discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people in public facilities and restrooms.

"To my mind, it's an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress," the rock legend said in a statement.

North Carolina's Republican governor, 
Pat McCrory (C), signed the law that 
targets transgender people last month 
after its passage by the state legislature
(AFP Photo/Davis Turner)
"Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry -- which is happening as I write -- is one of them.

"It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards."

Springsteen had been due to perform Sunday in Greensboro, North Carolina as part of a sold-out arena tour revisiting his classic 1980 album "The River."

Springsteen, 66, rose to fame with his tales of the struggles of working-class America and his intense marathon concerts.

He has become increasingly open about his political beliefs in the past decade, campaigning for President Barack Obama and other Democrats.

In his statement, "The Boss" saluted activists and business leaders who have spoken out against North Carolina's law.

Notably, online payment giant PayPal scrapped a $3.6 million investment in North Carolina and the National Basketball Association has warned that it may pull next year's All-Star Game from the state.

The governors of New York and Washington and a number of other local leaders have banned non-essential travel by officials to North Carolina.

North Carolina's Republican governor, Pat McCrory, signed the law last month after its passage by the state legislature in response to a non-discrimination ordinance approved by Charlotte, the largest city in the state.

Spreading of laws in South

A Republican congressman from North Carolina, Mark Walker, told The Hollywood Reporter that other artists were coming to the state including Justin Bieber and Def Leppard.

Saying he might go to the Bieber concert in solidarity, Walker accused Springsteen of a "bully tactic."

"It's like when a kid gets upset and says he's going to take his ball and go home," he said.

The law, known as HB2, requires that transgender people use the restroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate.

Another southern state, Mississippi, has followed suit with a measure that allows officials and businesses to deny services to gay people or refuse to employ them if they feel it would violate their religious beliefs.

Steven Van Zandt, a member of Springsteen's E Street Band, said the artists wanted to prevent such laws from spreading, even though it was a "tough decision" to disappoint fans.

"This really vile and evil discrimination is starting to spread state to state and we thought we better take a stand right now and catch it early and maybe try to stop it or at least set some kind of example for others," Van Zandt told reporters at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York.

"It's unfortunately the only way people understand -- you have to hurt them economically in order to have them do the right thing morally," said Van Zandt, who led an artist campaign against apartheid in South Africa.

Van Zandt was taking part in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony to present a lifetime achievement award to late producer and songwriter Bert Berns.

Related Article:

"The Akashic Circle" – Jul 17, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: Religion, The Humanization of GodBenevolent Design, DNA, Akashic Circle, (Old) Souls, Gaia, Indigenous People, Talents, Reincarnation, Genders, Gender Switches, In “between” Gender Change, Gender Confusion, Shift of Human Consciousness, Global Unity,..... etc.)  - (Text version)

“… Gender Switching

Old souls, let me tell you something. If you are old enough, and many of you are, you have been everything. Do you hear me? All of you. You have been both genders. All of you have been what I will call between genders, and that means that all of you have had gender switches. Do you know what happens when it's time for you to switch a gender? We have discussed it before. You'll have dozens of lifetimes as the same gender. You're used to it. It's comfortable. You cannot conceive of being anything else, yet now it's time to change. It takes approximately three lifetimes for you to get used to it, and in those three lifetimes, you will have what I call "gender confusion."

It isn't confusion at all. It's absolutely normal, yet society often will see it as abnormal. I'm sitting here telling you you've all been through it. All of you. That's what old souls do. It's part of the system. …”

Monday, April 4, 2016

All child asylum seekers freed from mainland Australian detention

The last child has been removed from immigration detention on the mainland, Australian authorities announced. However, others are still being held on a remote Pacific island.

Deutsche Welle, 3 April 2016

The government made the announcement on Sunday, saying the children have been moved to what's called "community detention," where processed refugees can live freely among the community.

"It's always been a goal of the immigration minister ... to get kids out of detention," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Sky News.

Turnbull also said that since the change from the Labor government in 2013, the arrival of asylum-seekers in Australia has significantly declined.

Child refugees on the Pacific
island of Nauru
Fierce criticism

Australia's migration policies have drawn sharp criticism from activists, with much of the attention focusing on the detention center on the Pacific island nation of Nauru, which is known for its harsh conditions.

Under Canberra's immigration policy, refugees who try to reach Australia by sea are turned back or sent to Pacific camps in Nauru or Papua New Guinea, where they are held indefinitely while waiting for their asylum applications to be processed. The government action announced Sunday did not impact the dozens of child asylum seekers purportedly still living on Nauru.

Rikki Lambert, a political adviser and current state senate candidate for the Family First Party, told DW in an email that he approved the move to release the children.

"Family First is very pleased with the release of the last child from detention," Lambert wrote. "We have been calling for it for two years. Our first priority was secure borders, as insecure borders saw thousands of children in detention under Labor. Now there are none."