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, December 28, 2018

Indonesia hikes danger level for deadly tsunami volcano

Yahoo – AFP, Kiki Siregar, Dessy SAGITA, 27 December 2018

Indonesian authorities raised Anak Krakatoa's status to high alert, the
second-highest danger warning

Indonesia on Thursday raised the danger alert level for an erupting volcano that sparked a killer tsunami at the weekend, after earlier warning that fresh activity at the crater threatened to trigger another deadly wave.

Authorities also widened a no-go zone around rumbling Anak Krakatoa to five kilometres (three miles) -- up from a previous two kilometres -- and warned shell-shocked residents to stay away from the coast, after more than 400 were killed by Saturday night's wave.

Plumes of ash burst into the sky as pyroclastic flows -- hot gas and other volcanic material -- flowed down the crater, threatening anyone too close to the volcano and raising the risk of rough seas for boats in the vicinity.

"There is a danger of more eruptions," said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

"People (near the volcano) could be hit by hot rocks, pyroclastic flows and thick ash."

Authorities raised the crater's status to high alert, the second-highest warning on the country's four-point danger scale, while aviation officials ordered flights to be redirected away from the area.

Indonesia is one of the most disaster-hit nations on Earth due to its position 
straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire

'Just pray for us'

The new flows posed no immediate danger to nearby towns as the volcano sits in the middle of the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands.

But the status change sparked new fears with many residents already scared and refusing to return to their communities over fears of another tsunami.

"This worries me," said Ugi Sugiarti, a cook at the Augusta Hotel in hard-hit Carita. "I've already left."

Sukma, a security guard at the shattered Mutiara Carita Cottages, added: "Just please pray for us and that everything will be okay."

A section of the crater -- which emerged at the site of the Krakatoa volcano, whose massive 1883 eruption killed at least 36,000 people -- collapsed after an eruption and slid into the ocean, triggering Saturday night's killer wave.

Before and after satellite images taken by Japan's space agency showed that a two square kilometre chunk of the volcanic island had collapsed into the water.

At least 430 people were killed in the disaster, with 1,495 people injured and another 159 were missing.

Children take part in a trauma healing programme in Labuhan in Banten Province 
after the devastating tsunami

Nearly 22,000 people have been evacuated and are living in shelters.

On Wednesday evening, the disaster agency said that wind was blowing "ash and sand" from the volcano to the nearby towns of Cilegon and Serang on Java, and advised residents to wear masks and glasses if they had to venture outdoors.

Early warning system

Torrential rains have sparked flooding in some areas, hampering the relief effort and heaping more misery on the stricken region, as thousands cram emergency shelters.

Medical workers have warned that clean water and medicine supplies were running low -- stoking fears of a public health crisis.

Indonesia, a vast Southeast Asian archipelago, is one of the most disaster-hit nations on Earth due to its position straddling the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates collide.

The change in the volcano's danger status sparked new fears with many local 
residents already scared and refusing to return to their communities over 
fears of another tsunami

The tsunami was Indonesia's third major natural disaster in six months, following a series of powerful earthquakes on the island of Lombok in July and August and a quake-tsunami in September that killed around 2,200 people in Palu on Sulawesi island, with thousands more missing and presumed dead.

The disaster agency has said it installed new sensors to better monitor tremors at the volatile volcano.

The agency initially said there was no tsunami threat at all, even as the killer wave crashed ashore.

It was later forced to issue a correction and an apology as it pointed to a lack of early warning systems for the high death toll.

One of the hardest-hit areas -- Tanjung Lesung -- is on a list of 10 destinations that Jakarta wants to turn into another Bali, the holiday island hotspot which draws millions of tourists annually.

"We need to have (tsunami) early warning systems, especially in tourist destinations," Indonesia's tourism minister Arief Yahya said Thursday.

"We're going to make that happen."

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Tiny Indonesian church prays for tsunami victims on Christmas day

Yahoo – AFP, December 25, 2018

Carita was one of the worst-hit areas (AFP Photo/ADEK BERRY)

A few dozen congregants gathered at a little church just outside Indonesia's tsunami disaster zone on Christmas day to pray for the victims of the deadly disaster.

Anita Sitorus led a sombre service at the Rahmat Carita Pentecostal church near one of the worst-hit areas on the western edge of Java island.

"After this incident, God let us continue to serve the people, and especially this is a chance to serve you God better," church head Sitorus said, a large cross on the wall behind her.

"To serve our brothers and sisters better, to do something for this area for the people who were victims of the tsunami.

"This is the time to say that you God are present in Carita," she added. "You are in Carita, your church is in Pandeglang (regency), in this tiny town."

Indonesia is a Muslim majority nation but it has a Christian minority, with services held Tuesday nationwide to celebrate Christmas -- and pray for those affected by the deadly tsunami.

"This Christmas is different because we're celebrating it during a disaster," Rahmat Carita congregant Eliza told AFP.

"For me, it's a chance to contemplate. God's love is real, we must not forget that."

The powerful tsunami struck Saturday night and without warning, sweeping over popular beaches on southern Sumatra and the western edge of Java and inundating tourist hotels and coastal settlements.

More than 400 people have been killed and thousands more have been displaced, with many left homeless after houses were flattened by the deadly wave.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Indonesia's angry 'Child of Krakatoa' rumbles on

Yahoo – AFP, December 23, 2018

Anak Krakatoa, the 'child' of the Krakatoa volcano, caused the tsunami,
officials said (AFP Photo/FERDI AWED)

Jakarta (AFP) - The volcano that triggered a deadly tsunami in Indonesia late Saturday emerged from the sea around the legendary Krakatoa 90 years ago and has been on a high-level eruption watchlist for the past decade.

Anak Krakatoa (the "Child of Krakatoa") has been particularly active since June, occasionally sending massive plumes of ash high into the sky and in October a tour boat was nearly hit by lava bombs from the erupting volcano.

Experts say Anak Krakatoa emerged around 1928 in the caldera of Krakatoa, a volcanic island that violently erupted in 1883.

With subsequent lava flows it grew from a submarine setting to become a small volcanic island, with the cone now standing at an altitude of around 300 metres (1,000 feet) above sea level.

Since its birth, Anak Krakatoa has been in a "state of semi-continuous eruptive activity", growing bigger as it experiences eruptions every two to three years, volcanology professor Ray Cas from Monash University in Australia told AFP.

Anak Krakatoa (shown during an eruption in July 2018) has remained active 
since it emerged from the sea nearly 90 years ago (AFP Photo/FERDI AWED)

"Most of the eruptions are relatively small on the scale of explosive eruptions ... and there's also eruptions that produce lava flows," he added.

Cas said the latest event appeared to be "a relatively small explosive eruption" but could then have triggered or coincided with a submarine event like a landslide or earthquake, causing the deadly tsunami.

No one lives on the island, but the peak is popular with tourists and is a major study area for volcanologists.

The island is part of the Ujung Kulon National Park, "demonstrating on-going evolution of geological processes", since the Krakatoa eruption, UNESCO says on its World Heritage site listing for the area.

When Krakatoa erupted on August 27, 1883 it shot a column of ash more than 20 kilometres (12 miles) into the air in a series of powerful explosions that were heard in Australia and up to 4,500 kilometres away near Mauritius.

The Pacific Ring of Fire (AFP Photo/Sabrina BLANCHARD)

The massive cloud of ash plunged the area into darkness for two days. The dust gave rise to spectacular sunsets and sunrises around the world the following year and disrupted weather patterns for years.

The tsunami triggered by the eruption killed more than 36,000 people in one of the world's worst natural disasters.

Indonesia's proximity to the junction of three continental plates, which jostle under immense pressure, makes it particularly vulnerable to earthquakes and eruptions.

The archipelago nation has nearly 130 active volcanoes, forming part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire" -- an arc of intense seismic activity that stretches from quake-prone Japan through Southeast Asia and across the Pacific basin.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Indonesian third-grader's 'school crawl' becomes sensation

Yahoo – AFP, December 20, 2018

Mukhlis Abdul Holik's heartwarming story has become a sensation across

Sukabumi (Indonesia) (AFP) - Indonesian third-grader Mukhlis Abdul Holik begins the long haul to school with a knapsack strapped to his back and hands stuffed into a pair of sandals -- to guard against road burn.

It is no ordinary trip for the eight-year-old. He has severely deformed feet and legs so tiny that he only reaches up to his classmates' waists when standing.

With his mom in tow, the gap-toothed pupil crawls from his West Java village across rocky paths and an old wooden bridge that he navigates on his hands alone, as his sneakers dangle in the air.

Holik crawls from his West Java village across rocky paths and an old wooden 
bridge that he navigates on his hands alone, as his sneakers dangle in the air 

Holik's heartwarming story has become a sensation across the country of 260 million, and earned him a meeting with Indonesian president Joko Widodo, after media covered his trip to school and back -- a distance of nearly six kilometres.

"The road is steep but he crawls every day," said Holik's mother Pipin, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

"If we've got money, then he can take a motorcycle taxi but if things are tight, he's got to crawl. He never complains.... rain or shine, he always goes to school."

Holik declared himself "very happy" after meeting Indonesian President 

Holik met the country's leader on December 3 -- the UN's International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

"I asked Abdul when we met if he wanted anything from me," Widodo said in a statement.

"I thought he'd want me to give him a present. But he didn't want anything. He just said he wanted to go to university."

The pupil declared himself "very happy" for meeting his idol Widodo, who got a full report on Holik's ambitious future plans.

"I want to be a firefighter, a doctor and an astronaut," he told AFP.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

US returns war trophy bells to Philippines

Yahoo – AFP, Ayee Macaraig, December 11, 2018

The bells will be sent back later this week to the church in the central town of
Balangiga where they were looted by US soldiers avenging a surprise attack that
killed 48 of their comrades on September 28, 1901 (AFP Photo/TED ALJIBE)

Manila (AFP) - Church bells seized from the Philippines by US troops as war trophies over a century ago were returned on Tuesday, in a bid to turn the page on a difficult chapter between the historical allies.

Giving back the three so-called Balangiga bells meets a decades-old demand from the former US colony at a time when the two nations' ties have been rattled by President Rodrigo Duterte's pivot to China.

"Returning these bells is the right thing to do," US Ambassador Sung Kim said at a sober handover ceremony on a Manila airfield, where a cheer went up when the bells were pulled from wooden crates.

"It is my great honour to be here at the closing of a painful chapter in our history," he told the crowd that included people who had lobbied for years to bring the bells home.

Residents from Balangiga town pose for photos next to one of the three 
Balangiga church bells shortly after it arrived (AFP Photo/TED ALJIBE)

The bells will be sent back later this week to the church in the central town of Balangiga where they were looted by US soldiers avenging a surprise attack that killed 48 of their comrades on September 28, 1901.

In reprisal, the US commander Jacob Smith ordered the surrounding island of Samar be turned into a "howling wilderness", resulting in the slaughter of thousands of Filipinos and Balangiga's razing.

The return of the bronze bells has been divisive with some US veterans and lawmakers, who see them as a tribute to fallen American troops, while the Philippines hails them as a symbol of its struggle for independence.

Two of the bells had been on display in the US state of Wyoming and the other in South Korea until being restored and flown to a Manila air base Tuesday aboard an American military cargo plane.

The bells were flown to a Manila Tuesday aboard an American military cargo
plane (AFP Photo/TED ALJIBE)

'Ring again after 117 years'

"It is time for healing. It is time for closure. It is a time to look ahead as two nations should with shared history and as allies," Philippine secretary of defence Delfin Lorenzana said.

"After 117 years the sound of the bells will once again ring," he added.

Manila's push for the bells' repatriation began in the 1990s and has had backing from Philippine presidents as well as from the Catholic Church and historians, but also supporters in the US.

Duterte, 73, bluntly called on Washington in a 2017 speech -- where Kim was in the audience -- "Give us back those Balangiga bells. They are not yours."

Within months of winning the presidency in mid-2016 he signalled his intention to split with the Philippines' former colonial master and end a standoff with Beijing over the disputed South China Sea.

Philippine's Ambassador to the US Jose Romualdez visited the bells at a 
Wyoming air base with US Defense Secretary James Mattis earlier this year, 
after the US announced they would be returned (AFP Photo/Braydon Williams)

The president did not attend Tuesday's handover, but is due to speak at a ceremony Saturday in Balangiga when the bells -– which weigh a combined 408 kilograms (900 pounds) -– will be given back to the church.

Salvador Panelo, the president's spokesman, claimed a lot of the credit for Duterte, pointing to his "strong political will". However, experts said the process had been complicated.

"No single president can claim credit to it," Francis Gealogo, history professor at the Ateneo de Manila University, told AFP. "The credit should be given to the Filipino people who campaigned vigorously and actively."

A key factor was also major American veterans' associations, including the largest group Veterans of Foreign Wars, dropping their opposition to the bells being given back.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Paradise regained? Sharks return to Thai bay popularised by 'The Beach'

Yahoo – AFP, November 30, 2018

Authorities shut the area to the public to let Maya Bay recover (AFP Photo/Handout)

Bangkok (AFP) - Thai conservationists have welcomed footage of reef sharks gliding through the azure waters of Maya Bay as a "positive sign" of recovery six months after the closure of a tourist hot-spot made famous by the movie "The Beach".

The bay, circled by dramatic limestone cliffs on Ko Phi Phi Ley island, was made famous by the 2000 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

But the movie prompted hordes of tourists to sweep in on a daily of flotilla of motor boats, damaging the coral ecosystem and eroding the once pristine white sand beach.

Authorities shut the park temporarily to the public in June but later extended the closure indefinitely to let the bay recover.

On Friday park officials shared video of dozens of blacktip reef sharks serenely swimming close to the beach -- images unimaginable just weeks ago as tourists jostled for selfies on the white sand.

"Come and count sharks!" the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department said in a Facebook post.

"It's a good sign that Maya Bay has changed and that change is positive," the post added.

A Thai marine biologist prominent in the campaign to close Maya Bay hailed the shark video as "beyond imagination, unbelievable".

The 2000 movie 'The Beach' prompted hordes of tourists to visit, damaging the 
coral ecosystem and eroding the once pristine white sand beach (AFP Photo/

"How do I feel? Tearful," Thon Thamrongnawasawat said in a Faceboook post.

"At the beginning I never thought (the rehabilitation) would be as good as this in only six months."

Authorities have not said if, or when, the bay will open.

"The reef will take a longer time to recover," an official from the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department said requesting anonymity.

Thailand's idyllic beaches are under increasing strain from huge numbers of tourists and accompanying development in remote and fragile ecosystems.

The country drew around 35 million visitors last year.

Many flock to the town of Krabi where boat trips carried visitors to nearby islands replete with opportunities for snorkelling and selfies -- among them Maya Bay.