Lapang Islanders in Indonesia

"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.) -

“ … 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 ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)


Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'
Representatives of Japan and Australia shake hands at the court in The Hague. (NOS/ANP) - 31 March 2014
"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)
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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Javanese Fishermen in Violent Standoff With Police

Jakarta Globe, Mar 03, 2015

Hundreds of fishermen occupy a road in Rembang, Central Java, on Tuesday
 during a demonstration against Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi
Pudjiastuti’s regulation banning the use of trawl and seine nets. (Antara
Photo/Yusuf Nugroho)

Batang/Rembang, Central Java. Protests by fishermen against Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti’s new ban on the use of some fishing equipment continued in Central Java over the past couple of days, resulting in gridlock on the major highway along the northern coast of Java island and erupting into violence in one town.

Hundreds of people occupied a section of the Pantura Highway in Batang, Central Java, on Tuesday, causing traffic gridlock for several hours before police managed to disperse the crowd following a violent confrontation.

The protestors burned tires and fishing nets on the road in the latest protest against the ministerial regulation, which bans the use of trawls and seine nets to catch fish in Indonesian waters.

The regulation was issued in January, and fishermen in several regions, including West Java, East Java, Bali and West Nusa Tenggara, have since continued to speak out against the ban, conducting rallies in their respective regions, as well as in Jakarta last week.

They have dismissed the ecological concerns cited by Susi as the reason for the new ban, arguing that it is snuffing out their livelihoods, with many of them still relying heavily on the now banned equipment to catch fish.

In Batang on Tuesday, police resorted to using tear gas after protesters refused to move away from the road, despite reports of severe traffic congestion along the highway as a result of their action.

The fishermen retaliated by hurling stones at police, and the demonstration turned violent before officers managed to disperse the crowd. Several protestors were arrested.

“We have arrested a number of people who provoked the crowd,” Batang Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Widi Atmoko said on Tuesday. “We had no choice but take action because [the protest] had made people worried.”

Several police officers were reportedly injured in the incident. It was not clear how many of the protesters were hurt.

Protest coordinator, Asroli, said after the incident that the fishermen were unhappy with the minister’s refusal to drop the new regulation.

“We’re disappointed. This regulation will destroy the livelihoods of fishermen in Batang and also that of all Indonesian fishermen,” he said.

Tuesday’s protest in Batang was similar to that in Rembang, another Central Java town, on Monday, although the latter did not end in violence.

Hundreds of members of the Rembang United Fishermen’s Front blocked part of the Pantura Highway that passes through Rembang, causing traffic congestion for a few hours before police finally managed to negotiate with the protesters and disperse the crowd peacefully.

Fishermen on the northern coast of Java island are expected to continue their rally against the ban, after their protest outside the Presidential Palace and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries’ headquarters in Jakarta proved fruitless.

Rofi Munawar, a Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) lawmaker, demanded that the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries improves communications with fishermen in its implementation of the trawl and seine net ban, and provides solutions to offset the negative impact of the ban on traditional fishermen, the majority of whom still live below the poverty line.

“The violent protest in Batang is a result of escalating protests [against the ban], which have been persistently voiced by fishermen,” said Rofi, also a member of  House of Representatives Commission IV, which oversees agriculture, maritime affairs and fisheries.

“This incident shows communication problems and a lack of alternative solutions from the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry to offset the impact of the ban on the fishing equipment the fishermen have been using until now,” he added. “Banning it is one thing, but creating a solution is way more important. Come up with a solution immediately, don’t let this problem drag on.”

Aside from the trawl and seine net ban, fishermen also protested against another new regulation that restricts lobster and crab catches. The regulation stipulates that only lobsters more than eight centimeters in length, crabs measuring more than 15 centimeters and flower crabs longer than 10 centimeters can be caught; and that none carrying eggs can be caught.

Minister Susi has continued to defend the new policies, saying they were meant to ensure sustainable fishing, which would benefit fishermen over the long term. She said in January that the bans were necessary because Indonesian fishermen had become overly dependent on unsustainable fishing methods, including the rampant use of trawls, purse seines and even fish bombs.

The minister said she had continued to disseminate information concerning the regulations to get local fishing communities to accept and abide by them.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Indonesia to Partner With Interpol in Tackling Illegal Fishing

Jakarta Globe, Mar 02, 2015

Susi Pudjiastuti, the minister for maritime affairs and fisheries, visiting a dock
 where impounded illegal foreign fishing vessels are kept, in Kubu Raya
 district, West Kalimantan. (Antara Photo/Jessica Helena Wuysang)

Jakarta. The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry is eying a partnership with Interpol to better tackle illegal fishing in Indonesian waters.

“The ministry will partner with Interpol to catch poachers using fake taxpayer numbers, so the ministry will not be alone [in facing this challenge],” Minister Susi Pudjiastuti told reporters on Monday, as quoted by news portal Republika.co.id.

The initiative stems from the seizure of a ship named Kunlun by the Australian government, last week. The Kunlun, which had been operating under at least 10 different names and five flags since 2006, was one of three illegal fishing ships in the Southern Ocean that had been tracked down by Interpol, which facilitates international police cooperation.

Susi stressed that illegal fishing was an international crime. She also noted that the ministry had arrested boat crews that included underage workers and others without proper documentation.

“This kind of crime committed on the oceans can be used for human trafficking,” Susi said. “This is a subject for international investigation.”

Related Article:


Sunday, March 1, 2015

India counters Xi's 'belt and road' with competing project

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2015-03-01

Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi meet in New Delhi on Sept. 18,
2014. (Photo/Xinhua)

Chinese president Xi Jinping's "belt and road" initiative to link China with with Europe through Central and Western Asia and to connect with Southeast Asian countries will be met with staunch challenges from India's own competing proposal, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Want Daily.

Xi's ambitious strategic plan, announced last year, comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt, a land-based belt from China via Central Asia and Russia to Europe, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a maritime route through the Strait of Malacca to India, the Middle East and East Africa.

Pang Zhongying, an international relations professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, says while Xi has personally invited Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to join the belt and road initiative, New Delhi has never expressed a clear indication of support.

Instead, India will soon be launching its own Project Mausam, a transnational initiative meant to revive its ancient maritime routes and cultural linkages with countries in the region.

Mausam is a "threatening and competing" initiative will pose a major challenge for China's belt and road plans, Pang said, noting that the project intends to stretch from East Africa, the Arabian peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka to the Southeast Asian archipelago — all the regions forming the extent of India's cultural influence.

As the primary "organizer" of security and trade in the Indian Ocean, New Delhi has a central and unique role in the region, Pang said, adding that the competing initiatives could turn into a major tussle between the world's two biggest rising powers.

India's economic influence has also been growing, with reports that its national GDP for the upcoming financial year will outdo China and soar to a four-year high of 8.5%.

The Economist even described the competitive dynamics between China and India as akin to the tale of the hare and the tortoise, adding that India's economic prowess could very well eclipse that of China's in the near future.




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.

Related Article:


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Easter Island’s Carnival Magic Seduces Tourists

Jakarta Globe, Mike Leyral, Feb 22, 2015

People take part in dance contest in Hanga Roa on Chile's Easter Island (or Rapa
 Nui as its inhabitants call it) in the Pacific Ocean on Feb. 10, 2015 as part of the 47th
 edition of Tapati, an all-out 15-day contest between rival teams to crown a new monarch.
(AFP Photo/Gregory Boissy)

Far from home on Chile’s Easter Island for Carnival festivities, one middle-aged American woman throws caution to the wind. Stripped down to a thong, she lets a local reveler paint her chest.

“If someone had told me I would end up walking down the street almost naked, I would never have believed it,” the woman, who only gave her first name Susan, said.

Susan is one of a few thousand tourists who joined the Pacific island’s 9,000 residents for Tapati, an exuberant mix of music, dance and traditional sports that takes place for two weeks every February.

In the island’s only town Hanga Roa, revelers wait in a long line under the blistering tropical summer sun to take part in a time-honored ritual — a plunge in an old tub filled with clay.

A man known as Ale then spreads with his hand this reddish-brown natural paint on the bodies of other locals — and any tourist ready to participate.

Then, other lines form in front of tubs filled with white and yellow paint.

It’s time for the Rapa Nui — the Polynesian word for both the island and its residents — to paint symbols, inspired by the local Birdman legend, or characters from the long-lost Rongorongo system of writing.

Shortly after 5:00 p.m., a warrior blows into an enormous shell, signaling the start of the nightly parade, which features colorful floats and dancers in elaborate costumes, not unlike the massive Carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro.

The Tapati festival is at once a test of masculine strength and feminine grace celebrating Polynesian pride.

Easter Island is at the southernmost point of the so-called Polynesian Triangle — a Pacific region with Hawaii and New Zealand at the other corners.

The Unesco World Heritage Site is famous for its nearly 900 massive stone monuments — the Moai, carved by the Rapa Nui hundreds of years ago.

Rival teams are locked in an all-out contest to crown a new Tapati queen, who reigns for a year.

Numerous races and other contests take place — including reed board surfing, underwater fishing, fruit-carrying, a triathlon and horse races — but the nightly parades and dance competitions are the highlight.

Locals spend months carving out large wooden statues for the parade floats from Eucalyptus trees representing deified ancestors, such as the mystical Moai stone giants or the Birdman.

One night, a man draped in animal skins leads the way on his motorcycle, featuring a bull’s skull on the steering wheel.

Behind him, a woman dressed as a mermaid — her costume made of all-natural materials including a tail taken from a tuna caught just that morning — poses on a float decorated with huge wooden octopuses.

People originally from the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia play large pahu drums, while the Rapa Nui prefer horse jaws that make a light sound close to maracas when the teeth hit one another.

Some of the Tapati activities reflect a more Latin vibe taken from Chile — the elderly do battle to be the accordion king, as young people display their tango skills.

But the Polynesian dance competitions are fierce.

At the Hanga Vare Vare, the main festival stage in Hanga Roa, dancers sway sensually to the Polynesian drum rhythms.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thailand failing to tackle fishing industry slavery, says rights group

Environmental Justice Foundation says progress on eliminating human trafficking in Thai fishing ‘wholly inadequate’

The Guardian, Kate Hodal, 18 Feb 2015

The Thai government claims to have made progress in cracking down on slavery
in its fishing industry, but a report by the Environmental Justice Foundation
contains a litany of failures. Photograph: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

Thailand has made wholly inadequate progress in its efforts to eliminate human trafficking in its multi-billion dollar fishing industry, and has failed to combat both endemic corruption and the involvement of state officials in trafficking despite repeated promises to do so, a rights group claims.

Trafficking victims are still vulnerable to abuse and attack in Thai government shelters, while government inspections of fishing vessels consistently fail to identify abuse or perpetrators of abuse, the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) says in a briefing paper, Broken Promises (pdf). These failures, among a litany of others, prove that the government’s efforts over the past year have failed to meet even the most minimum of standards for eradicating slavery, the group says.

Thailand was downgraded in June to the lowest level in the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons report, ranking it alongside Iran, North Korea and Saudi Arabia in its treatment of workers and the way it protects them from abuse. The downgrade came after a Guardian report into the Thai fishing industry found that slaves forced to work on Thai fishing boats for no pay were integral to processing prawns sold in the US, UK and elsewhere in the EU by industry giants including Tesco, Walmart, Carrefour and Costco.

But the military-backed government claims to have made significant progress in its attempts to combat human trafficking over the past year. Last month, deputy foreign minister Don Pramudwinai detailed extensive new measures – GPS-monitoring systems on fleets, million-dollar fines for illegal fishing and anti-corruption officers to improve investigations – as proof that the nation was cracking down on slavery.

The EJF paper, however, highlights alarming reports of slavery over the past year, among them the October rescue by Indonesian authorities of 35 Thai nationals from Thai fishing fleets, and the January sale of a father and son on to a Thai trawler by Thai police officers.

The lack of regulation or prosecution of illegal labour brokers, enforcement of existing laws, or even provision of adequate protection and support to trafficking victims – many of whom have alleged assault, threats at gunpoint and physical beatings at government shelters – are clear indicators that Thailand should remain on the State Department’s lowest ranking this year, said EJF’s executive director, Steve Trent.

“Nothing that we have seen or heard in the last year indicates that Thailand has taken meaningful action to address the root causes of trafficking and abuse,” said Trent. “After four years on the tier 2 watchlist and one year on tier 3, the Royal Thai government is still failing to take the action needed to prevent trafficking and human rights abuses in the fishing industry.”

Although Thailand began inspections at sea last year, video footage shows interviews of fishermen taking place in front of their boat captains or gangmasters – the very men who are often responsible for trafficking workers – while local media reports indicate that officials often fail to determine the work conditions, wages or trafficking status of those being questioned. This is due in part to inadequate screening processes, EJF claims, but also to the lack of official vessels at sea, budget restrictions on fuel, and maritime border issues.

Other rights groups, among them Human Rights Watch, have said that nothing less than a complete overhaul of Thailand’s fishing industry would suffice to address the “systematic and pervasive use of trafficked men” on its fishing boats.

“Only a few of the most open and forward-looking companies and industry associations are moving to address the challenges of labour exploitation quickly enough, and they too are held back by the government bureaucracy, corruption and entrenched broker-reliant migrant recruitment, registration and regularisation systems,” migrant rights activist Andy Hall said.

“Too many companies, as well as purchasing giants overseas, continue to seek to hide these challenges through ineffective audits whilst passing almost all of the burdens and costs of these challenges on to workers or subcontractors.”

Thailand has pointed to its registration of 1.6 million migrant workers – 70,000 of whom EJF claims work directly in the fishing industry – as proof that it is combating trafficking. But with the Thai fishing industry facing a labour shortage of roughly 50,000 men, recruitment on to fishing boats remains, by and large, an informal process taken on by illegal brokers who work directly with Thai boat captains.

Little has been done to address that shortage, rights groups claim, and a recent government proposal to fill that gap with prison inmates was met with both local and international derision.

Activists working in trafficking hotspots in Thailand recently told the Guardian that while the government had ramped up patrols in ports and on docked fishing vessels, the real problem was still the thousands of trafficked men stuck out at sea.

“From what I can see, trafficking is still in full force,” one activist charged with helping vulnerable seafarers in southern Thailand told the Guardian. “A Burmese slave recently escaped from a [fishing] boat and said there were many others like him still out at sea – Burmese, Cambodian, all sorts – so to me it looks like the measures aren’t working.”

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Divers find record trove of gold coins in Mediterranean

Yahoo – AFP, 18 Feb 2015

A handout picture released by Israel's Antiquities Authority shows some of the gold
 coins recently found on the seabed in the ancient harbour in Caesarea (AFP Photo)

Jerusalem (AFP) - Scuba divers have discovered the largest trove of gold coins ever found off Israel's Mediterranean coast -- about 2,000 pieces dating back more than 1,000 years, the country's antiquities authority said Tuesday.

"The largest treasure of gold coins discovered in Israel was found in recent weeks on the seabed in the ancient harbour in Caesarea," the authority said in a statement.

It was by pure chance that members of a diving club in the Roman-era port had come across the coins, which the authority said weighed nine kilograms (almost 20 pounds) but described as "priceless".

"At first they thought they had spotted a toy coin from a game and it was only after they understood the coin was the real thing that they collected several coins and quickly returned to the shore in order to inform the director of the dive club about their find," it said.

Experts from the authority called to the site uncovered "almost 2,000 gold coins in different denominations" circulated by the Fatimid Caliphate, which ruled much of the Middle East and North Africa from 909 to 1171.

Kobi Sharvit, director of the marine archaeology unit at the Israel Antiquities Authority, said excavations would be carried out in the hope of shedding more light on the origin of the treasure.

A handout picture released by Israel's Antiquities Authority shows
 a scuba diver holding in his hand some of the gold coins found on
the seabed in the ancient harbour in Caesarea (AFP Photo/
Kobi Sharvit)

"There is probably a shipwreck there of an official treasury boat which was on its way to the central government in Egypt with taxes that had been collected," said Sharvit.

"Perhaps the treasure of coins was meant to pay the salaries of the Fatimid military garrison which was stationed in Caesarea and protected the city.

"Another theory is that the treasure was money belonging to a large merchant ship that traded with the coastal cities and the port on the Mediterranean Sea and sank there," he said.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority declined to put a cash value on the coins, which it said had been exposed as a result of winter storms.

The find was "so valuable that its priceless," spokeswoman Yoli Schwartz told AFP, adding the haul was now the property of the state, and that there was no finder's fee.

Related Article:


Sinking Poachers’ Boats Doesn’t Float With Environmentalists

Jakarta Globe, Basten Gokkon, Feb 17, 2015

The detonation and sinking of illegal foreign vessels, such as this Thai-flagged
 boat, has proved popular with the public despite the environmental blowback.
(Antara Photo/Joko Sulistyo)

Jakarta. Indonesia’s fisheries minister, Susi Pudjiastuti, has fast become one of the most popular ministers in President Joko Widodo’s cabinet, thanks in large part to her trigger-happy policy of sinking foreign fishing vessels caught poaching in Indonesian waters.

The sinkings began on Dec. 5 when three vessels flying the Vietnamese flag were scuttle off the Riau Islands.

Since then, the minister has been on a crusade, with the Navy behind her, to sink more boats, the most recent being on Feb. 10, when another Vietnamese vessel met a fiery fate in the pristine waters of the Raja Ampat archipelago in Papua.

But while the policy has earned Susi brownie points with the public (a survey last month identified her as the most popular minister in the cabinet), environmentalists are appalled at the gung-ho sinking of vessels, using explosives, in delicate maritime ecosystems.

“The debris of the vessels can end up becoming trash floating around in the sea,” says Arifsyah Nasution, an oceans campaigner at Greenpeace Indonesia.

“The use of explosives to sink the boat disturbs and threatens the fish near the location of the explosion — in a way, it has the same effect as using dynamite to catch fish.”

There is also no indication that the Navy properly cleans out the vessels of their highly polluting diesel and bunker oil before sinking them.

“The bigger the boat, the more oil is left over in the tanks, and that oil will contaminate the sea,” says Anton Wijonarno, the manager of the marine protected area for fisheries program at WWF Indonesia.

Both Arifsyah and Anton conceded that there has been little research on the impact to maritime ecosystems of blowing up wooden boats, but say the explosions need to stop, at least for now.

“There should be a discussion among maritime ecosystem experts on this matter as a precautionary approach before the government carries on sinking more vessels,” Arifsyah says.

Anton says the government must consider several factors to minimize damaging delicate ecosystems, such as Raja Ampat, which is an important habitat for manta rays and other rare marine species that flock to its extensive coral reefs.

“Any explosion should be conducted in an area where the water depth is at least 40 meters, not in shallow areas where coral grows,” Anton says.

He notes that while sunken wrecks can and often do serve as artificial reefs in coastal waters, the “excessive use” of explosives by the Navy can end up “destroying the vessels completely, thus rendering them useless as artificial reefs.”

President Joko claims that destroying illegal foreign fishing vessels has proven an effective deterrent against poachers. There are, however, no statistics available on the proliferation of such boats in Indonesian waters before and after the sinkings began to corroborate this.

For her part, Susi claims the government has, through the new hard-line policy, managed to slash the number of illegal vessels operating in the country’s waters by 90 percent — another figure that cannot be independently verified — and prevented them from “stealing the archipelago’s underwater natural resources.”

Greenpeace’s Arifsyah said that no matter how effective the government made the policy out to be, it should still consider sinking boats in the middle of the sea using explosives as an act of last resort.

“There are two other ways: sinking them without any burning or use of explosives, or towing them back to shore and breaking them up and selling the parts,” he says.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Hong Kong captain jailed for 8 years over ferry tragedy

Yahoo – AFP, February 16, 2015

Hong Kong captain jailed for 8 years over ferry tragedy

Hong Kong (AFP) - A Hong Kong boat captain was on Monday sentenced to eight years in prison for the manslaughter of 39 people in a 2012 ferry collision, the city's worst maritime disaster in nearly four decades.

Sea Smooth skipper Lai Sai Ming, 56, was found guilty on Saturday following a trial that gripped the city, over the accident between his high-speed ferry and a pleasure boat near Lamma Island.

"I have concluded you should go to prison for eight years," judge Brian Keith told a court.

"You were in command of a fast ferry, not a small pleasure boat. You knew if you didn't check for the presence of other vessels you would be risking lives... your conduct that night fell way below the standard of professionalism," he said.

"The case has been personal tragedy for your and your family but that cannot begin to compare with the unimaginable grief to those who lost their loved ones," he said, as Lai listened from the dock with his head lowered.

Lai was jailed for a further 18 months for endangering the safety of others at sea, but the terms will be served concurrently.

Chow Chi-wai, 58, who was piloting the leisure boat Lamma IV with 120 people on board in the collision, was jailed for nine months for endangering others' safety at sea. He was acquitted of all 39 charges of manslaughter.

His lawyer Gerard McCoy said that, after the October 1, 2012 incident, Chow "has deep, abiding fear of the sea" and cannot go on ferries anymore.

Saturday's verdict came after a nine-member jury deliberated for four days following a 60-day trial.

Irene Cheng, who lost her 24-year-old son in the accident, told AFP that the sentences could not bring back the families' loved ones.

"I respect the court decision. But even if they were given a death penalty it cannot compensate... his life will not return and my family will never be the same," she said.

The collision raised questions over safety in the crowded waters of Hong Kong, one of the world's busiest ports, with an inquiry pointing to a "litany of errors" that caused the disaster.

Victims could have had vital extra minutes to escape if the Lamma IV had been equipped with a watertight door, while several were actually left trapped when seats fell on top of them, the inquiry found.

The boat also had no children's life jackets onboard when it sank, claiming the lives of eight youngsters.

It was the city's most serious maritime accident since 1971, when a ferry between Hong Kong and Macau sank off the island of Lantau during a typhoon, killing 88 people.

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After Knut: Germany's next top polar bear?

Ever since Knut drew millions of visitors to the Berlin Zoo in 2007, Germany has been known for its infatuation with baby polar bears. Knut's little brother - who still needs a name - may be its next animal celebrity.

Deutsche Welle, 15 Feb 2015


Rostock, a city in northeast Germany, has a new potential superstar. He's only two-and-a-half months old, weighs eight kilograms (about 18 pounds) and lives right by the Baltic Sea with his mother Vilma. It's a polar bear baby, a male one, a detail only recently discovered by zoo staff.

The little ball of white fur looks remarkably like Knut, the polar bear that drew people from all over the world to the Berlin Zoo in 2007. The resemblance is no coincidence: the new polar bear baby in Rostock is Knut's half-brother - the two share the same father, Lars.

The baby animal weighed only 600 grams at birth, not much larger than a guinea pig. Employees at the Rostock Zoo were overjoyed at his arrival; the last time a polar bear was born there was 10 years ago.

Looking for a name

Knut's little brother was born on December 3, is healthy and continues to gain weight. He already has enough energy to play with his mother, crawling all over her - but what he doesn't have yet is a name. After all, nobody even knew his gender until a few days ago.


Now that this crucial issue has been determined, Udo Nagel, the zoo's director, has called on all animal lovers to suggest a name. The criteria: it has to be a simple name, one that "sounds Nordic." Suggestions can be submitted via email to the zoo's press department until March 10. The person whose name is selected will win two nights at a local hotel and an invite to the bear's christening.

The baby's first public appearance is slated for the end of March. Until then, he remains alone with his mother, because the first three months should be as quiet as possible for the little family. Unnecessary stress should be avoided at all costs.

Famous forerunner

Famous brother Knut was born in December 2006 at the Berlin Zoo. He was the zoo's first newborn polar bear to survive past infancy in more than 30 years, and became a huge attraction.

One reason for his superstardom, aside from his natural cuteness, was his perceived humanity - he was raised by a zookeeper after being rejected by his mother, and played with his "adoptive father" like a puppy.

But that fame wouldn't last, with Knut dying in 2011 of a brain infection.

The Rostock Zoo might be in for a treat: Knut's home in Berlin reported a 30 percent increase in visitors in 2007. The polar bear, who earned the zoo millions of euros in revenue through the sales of tickets and merchandise, had fans all over the world.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

13 Chinese fishing boats expelled in Taiwan crackdown

Want China Times, CNA 2015-02-15

Coast guard personnel use high-pressure water cannons to expel
a Chinese fishing boat, Feb. 14. (Photo/CNA)

Taiwan's coast guard has intensified actions to crack down on poaching in the seas northeast of the island, expelling 13 Chinese fishing boats from its waters over the past two days, the Coast Guard Administration said Saturday.

The administration deployed seven vessels, including the 2,000-ton cutter Hsinbei, during the two-day mission around the islets of Pengjia, Huaping and Mianhua, together known as the "three northern islets."

Coast guard personnel used high-pressure water cannons to deter poachers in waters around the islands as it is beltfish season and fishermen are seeking to meet demand in the run-up to the Lunar New Year holiday next week, according to the administration.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Pilot whales die after 198 stranded on New Zealand beach

BBC News, 13 February 2015

A conservation worker tends some of the beached whales

Almost 200 pilot whales have stranded themselves on New Zealand's South Island, as rescuers and volunteers raced to refloat them.

Two dozen of the 198 whales found on Farewell Spit, Golden Bay, had already died, the conservation department said.

If the attempt to refloat them on Friday is unsuccessful, rescuers will have to wait 24 hours for high tide to try again.

A local official said it is the biggest beaching incident in 10-15 years.

"Because there's just so many whales, there are a couple of spots where a lot would gather together and that's kind of problematic from the aspect that you can't get in there, it's just too dangerous," said Mike Ogle, a local conservation ranger.

Farewell Spit has been the location of many whale strandings.

Experts say its shallow waters seems to confuse whales and hinder their ability to navigate.


Once they are stranded, whales can suffer from dehydration and sunburn.

Pilot whales can grow to about 20ft (6 metres) and are the most common species of whale in New Zealand's waters.

Andrew Lamason from the Department Of Conservation said it could take days to refloat the whales and even then there would be no guarantees they would survive.

"We've had plenty times in the past where the pods have gone out to sea and turned around and come back again," Mr Lamason said. "We're preparing for a big few days."

Scientists do not know what causes groups of whales to beach themselves.

File photo of pilot whales in Scotland

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“… (2) The second thing the melting ice caps give you is about ecology. I'll give you this prediction in a moment. There is a Human 3D paradigm that says everything gets "used" and then goes away. But nature doesn't work that way, and our prediction is going to go against everything you have been told. I'm going to give you a parable and the prediction in a moment, but before that, I'm going to give you the explanation of the birds and the fish.

In the last few weeks, fish have been washing up dead in certain lakes by the hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Birds have been falling from the sky. I'm going to make a statement way in advance of what science is going to tell you. All of it can be traced to the water cycle - all of it. It's always about the weather, a cycle of weather you've not seen before. Do you remember a few years ago when whales were beaching themselves? Did you notice that this attribute stopped? But while they were beaching themselves every year, many Human Beings were in fear, saying, "It's the end of the world. They're committing suicide."

The whales beached themselves because the magnetics of the earth shifted so greatly that their navigational system [the magnetite in their biology, which is their migration compass] steered them right into the land. The land didn't move; the magnetics did. Therefore, you might say their internal inherited migration map was flawed. The reason it's not happening now is because the calves, the generation beyond the one that beached themselves, figured it out and rewrote the maps. Nature [Gaia] does this. So the next generation didn't repeat it. Instead, it realigned itself to the migratory lay lines and now whales don't beach themselves nearly as often.

The magnetics of the planet continue to shift and the birds are unaware. Like the whales, many of the birds have migrated themselves right into a high place in the atmosphere, which pummeled them to death by freezing rain and hail. Then they fall from the sky. It's the weather cycle. Will they continue to do this? Some will, for awhile, and then they will figure it out and recalibrate. That's what nature does.

You might say, "Well, nature's way is severe." It is not severe. It is a positive learning system that allows generations of birds to be around next time. The few deaths allow for the many to continue their life cycle and their lineage on the earth.

I want you to analyze the fish that have washed up. Let science reveal this as well. I want you to analyze the fish. They have something in common. They're all juveniles. And why is that? What do you know about the water cycle? What do you know about cold water and the life cycle of certain fish and their habits of reproduction? I will tell you the layers of water are changing in temperature and that is going to change the life cycle of the oceans and lakes. The juvenile fish are the most susceptible to death by becoming too cold, especially the ones of the kind that washed up dead. By the tens of thousands, the cold killed them. It is the water cycle. Will it continue? For awhile, until they acclimate, until they recalibrate for the cold - and they will. Nature does that.  ….“



“… The Physics of It: A Review

Now for some physics, and I'll call it spiritual physics so it's not too complicated. In 1993, we gave you a book called The End Times. In this book, we made some statements. We talked about the magnetic grid of the earth, and we told you that it had to be there for Human life to exist - and it does. At the time, science didn't agree, but now many are seeing it. We went on to give you the esoterics of it, what my partner calls the woo-woo part. Your DNA, a multidimensional molecule, has within it everything that the Universe knows. It carries your Akashic Record, all of your lifetimes, all of your spiritual purpose, your spiritual being and your karma. Everything is in your DNA. This will never be proven, since it's a spiritual attribute. The DNA creates a field and it's called the Merkabah (a Hebrew word).

We also told you that the magnetic grid of the earth, a multidimensional energy, transfers certain things to your DNA on a day-by-day basis. The grid then becomes a major energy transfer system. That should have connected the dots for some of those who were paying attention - for if the grid changes, dear ones, you do, too. I told you the grid would change more in 10 years than it had in 100, and it did. You can measure your magnetic grid's movement with a compass. Between 1993 and 2002, it moved greatly, more than in any other time in modern Human history. We said this would be, and so it was. Our grid group left in 2002, as we told you we would.

Again, those paying attention should have known something was happening. I also told you within those initial transmissions back then that you would have no Armageddon, and you did not. Also, that there would be no World War III, and there wasn't. In the face of all the prophecy that told you differently, we told you there was a potential for Human Beings to pass the marker, survive, and start a new energy on the planet. We told you this would be the start of peace on Earth, and this is where you sit today. All of those years ago, we told you about the potential of where you sit today, listening to this message, and asking what might be next. So I'll label the channel right now: The Energy of the Future.

The Energy of the Future

Last week, I gave you a channelling of what to expect within the next three years. The message tonight will talk to you about the energies that are going to be manifested beyond that and some of the changes to expect and why they are taking place. You may want to listen to this channel a number of times to put it together, for there are reviews and new information.

So before we begin, what have we established?

Number One: Locked into the Human body via your DNA is brilliance and mastery, working at approximately 34 percent.

Number Two: The magnetic grid of the planet postures everything to do with your DNA. It also has much to do with what you call Human nature, what you want and what you've created. It seems static, never changing, and has been seen as "the way it is". However, we will call it the temporary lock on DNA. You see, when your Human consciousness and spiritual maturity starts to move in the next years, your DNA will start to change. This has nothing to do with chemistry, but everything to do with energy stored within it, and rewriting the data. New energies will unlock certain parts that have been locked, some of them being the very parts that I've just told you about at the beginning of this channelling - the things that are puzzling regarding healing and the Akash.  …”