West Papuans Protest Against Indonesian Rule

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

JAKARTA, Indonesia — West Papuan protesters faced off with police in the Indonesian capital in a demonstration calling for the remote region’s independence.

Organizers had promised protests in other cities and said police had denied them permission to protest in central Jakarta.

The dozens of demonstrators were blocked from marching onto a busy traffic circle in the capital on Thursday by several hundred police who fired water cannons and dragged men from the crowd into waiting police vans.

Many West Papuans see Dec. 1 as the anniversary of what should have been their independence.

The Dutch colonizers of the Indonesian archipelago held onto West Papua when Indonesia became independent after World War II. It became part of Indonesia following a U.N.-supervised referendum in 1969 criticized as undemocratic.

Colombia’s Congress Ratifies Peace Deal With FARC Rebels

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS AND REUTERS NEWS AGENCY)

NOV 30 2016, 10:46 PM ET

Colombia’s Congress Ratifies Peace Deal With FARC Rebels

BOGATA — Colombia’s Congress approved a new peace deal with FARC rebels late on Wednesday, despite objections from former President and now Senator Alvaro Uribe, who said it was still too lenient on the insurgents who have battled the government for 52 years.

The agreement was approved in the lower house by 130-0, a day after the Senate ratified it 75-0. Lawmakers from Uribe’s Democratic Center party left the floors of both houses in protest just before voting began.

COLOMBIA-FARC-PEACE-ACCORD-PARLIAMENT-DEMO
A woman shows the picture of a missing relative during a demonstration to demand the immediate endorsement of the new peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla outside the Colombian Congress in Bogota, on Nov. 30, 2016. AFP/Getty Images

The ratification — and signing last week — begins a six-month countdown for the 7,000-strong FARC, which started as a rebellion fighting rural poverty, to abandon weapons and form a political party.

Related: Colombia’s Government, FARC Rebels Sign Modified Peace Deal

President Juan Manuel Santos and rebel leader Rodrigo Londono signed the revised accord last week in a sober ceremony after the first deal was rejected in a national plebiscite.

Santos, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in October for his peace efforts, wants to get the deal implemented as quickly as possible to maintain a fragile ceasefire.

Uribe’s supporters argued the deal offered too many concessions to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and did not serve as a deterrent for other groups involved in crime.

“Let’s not forget what we are doing today, we’re trying to end more than 50 years of war,” government negotiator Sergio Jaramillo said.

The new agreement to end Latin America’s longest insurgency was put together in just over a month after the original pact — which allowed the rebels to hold public office and skip jail — was narrowly and unexpectedly defeated in an Oct. 2 referendum.

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OCT. 03: Colombia Narrowly Rejects Historic Peace Deal 1:51

While the government says the accord includes most of the proposals put forward by those who rejected it, the new document did not alter those two key provisions. That angered many among Colombia’s largely conservative population, who are also furious that Santos decided to ratify the deal in Congress instead of holding another plebiscite.

The government and FARC worked together in Cuba for four years to negotiate an end to the region’s longest-running conflict that has killed more than 220,000 and displaced millions in the Andean nation.

An end to the war with FARC is unlikely to end violence in Colombia as the lucrative cocaine business has given rise to criminal gangs and traffickers.

Liberty Versus License

StopAndPrayTV

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

Parents teach children about boundaries: moral, ethical, legal, courtesy, and safety boundaries. Boundaries are established because of man’s propensity to sin: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Fortunately, the boundaries that surround what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy are huge—seemingly limitless.

We can spend a lifetime pursuing things that are pleasing to God without running out of options. The danger is the heart: The heart wants to turn liberty into license. The heart says, “I’m free to do what I want!” But God says, “You’re free to do what…

View original post 63 more words

Liberty Versus License

StopAndPrayTV

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

Parents teach children about boundaries: moral, ethical, legal, courtesy, and safety boundaries. Boundaries are established because of man’s propensity to sin: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Fortunately, the boundaries that surround what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy are huge—seemingly limitless.

We can spend a lifetime pursuing things that are pleasing to God without running out of options. The danger is the heart: The heart wants to turn liberty into license. The heart says, “I’m free to do what I want!” But God says, “You’re free to do what…

View original post 63 more words

The People Said, “Amen”

StopAndPrayTV

“Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 106:48)

Many is the speaker who, after he has made some point which he considers especially good, will then say: “And all the people said, ‘Amen’” (meaning “that’s right!”).

It is interesting to note the biblical examples of such a demonstration. There are 16 times in which this or a similar statement occurs in the Bible—all in the Old Testament. Twelve of these are found in Deuteronomy 27:14-26 with the people so responding after the pronouncement of a “curse” on those who commit various sins. The last curse is as follows: “Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen” (v. 26) in agreement with the judgment.

King David described his thanksgiving for the…

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When incivility becomes the norm

Along the Graybeard Trail

by J. Herbert Nelson, II | Stated Clerk of the PC(USA) General Assembly

This statement is a response to the violence on America’s streets after the election of Mr. Donald Trump as President–Elect of the United States of America. It was originally posted by the Presbyterian News Service

Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson

LOUISVILLE – I read several post-election statements and heard news accounts of violence, riots, and protests while in Central America visiting Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission partners. The news images were shocking to both our partners and me. We struggled to understand the results of the election, particularly given Mr. Trump’s stance on immigration, which was the theme of my visit. However, I was not as startled as my Central American friends. Serving as director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C., for six years prior to becoming Stated Clerk prepared me to understand the outcomes…

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God Always Has a Purpose

StopAndPrayTV

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. —Isaiah 43:7

God never acts without purpose—never. People act without purpose. I feel that a great deal of what we do in the church today is purposeless. But God never acts without a purpose. Intellect is an attribute of the deity. God has intellect and this means that God thinks; and so God never does anything without an intelligent purpose. Nothing in this world is without meaning.

God put the universe together with a purpose and there isn’t a single useless thing anywhere; not any spare parts; everything fits into everything else. God made it like that….

Now, these plain people of whom I speak believe that God created things for a purpose. He created the flowers, for instance, to be beautiful; He created…

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The Love of One

Mystical Journey

holding-hands

This morning in my way into town I stopped to see a sweet soul at an assisted living facility. She’s been in hospice care for a bit. I am embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I haven’t visited in a few months. And, today it made me so deeply sad at this acceptance because life is so fragile and delicate. Walking into her room I was shocked at how much she had changed in a few months. She had just had breakfast and I sat next to her. I gently loved on her, trying desperately not to lose my shit…cause the tears swelled and I wanted to just break in half there. But…I didn’t.

I told her about how much I appreciated her. I admitted that she and her family have become the epitome of a loving family. I met this woman and her extended family over five years ago…

View original post 978 more words

Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Anil's Blog

1-dsc06030Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a popular tourist monument in Vavathurai, Kanyakumari, India. The memorial stands on one of two rocks located about 500 meters east off mainland of Vavathurai, India’s southernmost tip. It was built in 1970 in honour of Swami Vivekananda who is said to have attained enlightenment on the rock. According to local legends, it was on this rock that Goddess Kumari performed austerity. A meditation hall (Dhyana Mandapam) is also attached to the memorial for visitors to meditate. The design of the mandapa incorporates different styles of temple architecture from all over India. It houses a statue of Vivekananda, made by renowned sculptor Sitaram S. Arte . The rocks are surrounded by the Laccadive Sea. The memorial consists of two main structures, the Vivekananda Mandapam and the Shripada Mandapam.1-dsc060631-dsc060521-dsc060431-dsc060501-dsc060441-dsc060751-dsc06064  Shripada Mandapam (above) where foot print of Goddess kumari on the rock has been preserved. .1-dsc06078

There…

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Iran: Will The Supreme Ruler Ali Khamenei Allow President Hassan Rouhani Win Re-Election?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ‘NATIONAL INTEREST’ REUTERS AND THE BBC)

Can Hassan Rouhani Win Re-Election?

Rouhani’s approach to foreign affairs, his basic faith in the power of diplomacy to resolve bitter conflicts, has been discredited.

November 29, 2016

Before the U.S. elections, when Trump’s chances at ascending to the Oval Office seemed, to most liberal voters at least, a distant possibility, Iranian hardliners lined up with many of the world’s other autocrats to cheer him on. This wasn’t just a display of schadenfreude. In Iran, few hardliners, and certainly not the country’s supreme leader, have ever said a nice thing about any U.S. politician. At the heart of their enthusiasm for Trump is the knowledge that however he changes U.S. policy toward Iran as president, it’ll significantly complicate Hassan Rouhani’s hopes of winning a re-election in May.

Rouhani has led a charge to fill the country’s elective institutions with a diverse coalition of moderates that generally share his centrist values on privatization and diplomatic engagement. In elections last February, he helped oust prominent hardliners from their long-held seats in the parliament and Assembly of Experts, a clerical oversight body. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, moreover, has a personal stake in the May elections, given his interest in isolating Hashemi Rafsanjani, a longtime rival who has orchestrated Rouhani’s rise, from the locus of executive power. As one former reformist official told Reuters in July, “Hardliners want a president who is closer to their camp and gets his directions from Khamenei’s allies.”

Amid this maneuvering, Trump’s electoral victory has all but sealed the legacy, if not the fate, of Rouhani’s landmark policy: the nuclear deal. Trump has promised to either renegotiate or alternately dismantle it – not that the distinction matters much. Rouhani said the day after Trump’s win that there would be “no possibility” of changing the deal. Short of a credible U.S. threat of war, it’s difficult to imagine why Rouhani would accept less favorable terms. At a minimum, Trump would have to make the trying case for why world powers should renege on their prior commitments and reimpose an international sanctions regime.

Suffice it to say, Trump may not know how to negotiate a “better” deal without losing the necessary international buy-in. The furthest his campaign staff has gone toward explaining how to wring a more exacting agreement is a garbled statement of the obvious: “He will take the agreement, review it, send it to Congress, demand from the Iranians to restore few issues or change few issues, and there will be a discussion,” Walid Phares, a top foreign policy adviser to Trump, told the BBC.

Regardless of what tack he takes in his first 100 days, Trump’s rhetoric makes it clear that he doesn’t intend on sweetening the deal for Iran. This has major implications for Rouhani’s popularity. Since the deal’s implementation in January, he has been fighting the perception that it’s failing. Rouhani justified his concessions by promising two outcomes: first, they would alleviate the threat of war against the world’s greatest military power, and second, they would inject foreign capital into the Iranian economy and reconnect it to the global marketplace.

Hardliners have already questioned this bargain, asking why Rouhani negotiated away the country’s hard-fought nuclear program for disparately little economic relief. “The public is asking: what has the nuclear deal accomplished for people’s livelihood and for the dignity of Islamic Iran?” an editorial in the country’s hardliner Kayhan newspaper asked last July, and that was when Rouhani still had a U.S. counterpart who wanted the deal to succeed as much he did. According to a poll released that same month, three-quarters of Iranians, out of a sample of 1 thousand, said they haven’t seen any economic improvement since the deal was signed.

That poll suggests the extent to which the deal hasn’t panned out for Iran. It was supposed to act as a springboard for foreign investment in Iran, a country endowed with natural resources, a robust consumer base and an unrivaled manufacturing capacity. But the gold rush never came, in large part because banks refrained from resuming commercial ties with Iran. The nuclear deal may have lifted restrictions on international trade with Iran, but it left intact a dizzying array of U.S. sanctions, which have in turn left an insurmountable compliance risk for big banks.

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truthtroubles.wordpress.com/ Just an average man who tries to do his best at being the kind of person the Bible tells us we are all suppose to be. Not perfect, never have been, don't expect anyone else to be perfect either. Always try to be very easy going type of a person if allowed to be.

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