Monday, June 15, 2015

To Sweet Gabriella... I remember You...

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

Freedom Expressed

It has been hours, along with numerous tossed out pieces of beginnings this morning. Yet still I have no clue where to start.

I am hosting a love quest. That much is certain. There’s an unquenched thirst in me that gets satisfied here. A part of me that gets loved through this loving.

A learning about love happens on these trips in the most unexpected places.

I think that I am loving you, yet in truth it is me that gets the benefit. These words fill me up.

I’ve learned that I can love without seeing you, feel without hearing you and know without meeting you. This, only possible if I AM you.

We are ONE. We exist everywhere; in every body. The Netflix Series AK mentioned, Sense8, visually demonstrates an idea of multi-dimensionality. I’ve only seen the first one and am pretty much perplexed. Yet I get it. We are everywhere.

It only takes a sitting down, a sharing, and intent, for you to realize that you know this. You know the other. You’ve been the other. In the case of Sense8 – you ARE the other.

We are ONE beyond physical and beyond trite expressions. I cannot love you if I don’t love me.

I didn’t know this before. I thought I loved you for reasons. There are no reasons for love. Love is a fact.

You can’t see it, smell it, taste it or hear it. Love is as I AM.

I want to tell you how extraordinary you are. How each note sent, every thought shared, all things given and whatever you show up as is the most wondrous thing. I feel you as you read these words and the gift of your reaction explodes in my heart. We give without restraint or even comprehension as we feel each other – this is love expressed.

Love is perhaps the only place we completely agree. This, because the connection starts and ends there.

You are remarkable. You’ve come to a place of contrast and conflict in order to embody its opposite – oneness and unification. All this in slow motion. Every feeling, deeply felt; each heartache, painfully lived through. You are not masochistic. You are determined.

There are few others in all of creation admired such as you. You are brave, strong and attempting the miraculous while blindfolded. Your intent and determination got you here. Your love and power will see you succeed.

And what is success? I was given a locket years ago which states: “A true Master is not the one with most students, but the one who creates the most Masters.

This is your task now, (if you are looking for direction). You know your truth. You are love.

Bits of love emerged when Source chose to experience every facet of itself. You, a bit of Source, a fragment of brilliant light, a piece of eternity. Love without end, looking back at you in your bathroom mirror.

Reflect back to me, to us, your love. Every moment is rich with opportunity. Move deliberately so as not to miss your chance.

Love yourself. Amidst the bills and the struggles, the longings and the pain – remember. You chose and were chosen for this very moment. This string of moments, your Now; the stage for only you.

We are watching. We need you to remind us of our truth. The overwhelming need to feel wanted, safe, secure, accepted and respected is always there, beneath our bravado, hiding in our humor. Show us our love. Be who it is that you are. The express nature of you is but a tiny portion of eternity, holding all of creation in its grasp.

And what is eternity? Ever reaching, always expressing, passionately embracing – it is freedom. It is life without bounds. It is love without restraint. It is what we will explore on this quest.

Freedom is the embodiment of Oneness. To fight for freedom is a game played by some. To embody freedom is sovereignty; Unity has no enemy to fight. We are One.

We are the ones we are waiting for.


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Geneva Whodunit Has Chinese Up in Arms Over $1.2 Billion Lost in Alleged Scam

Geneva Whodunit Has Chinese Up in Arms Over $1.2 Billion Lost in Alleged Scam
by Giles Broom, Alfred Liu
June 15, 2015 — 1:00 AM CEST
Updated on June 15, 2015 — 8:55 AM CEST

(Bloomberg) –- Some Chinese investors are now taking to the streets in Beijing and Hong Kong as they protest and alleged currency scam. Victims say nearly 30,000 were robbed of more than $1B.
Street protests in Beijing and Hong Kong. Chinese investors flying 5,000 miles to show up on doorsteps in Geneva and demand their money back. It’s the fallout so far from an alleged scam that its victims say robbed 29,000 Chinese investors of $1.2 billion.

They were promised returns of as much as 10 percent a month from currency trading by API Premiere Swiss Trust AG and associated companies, according to interviews with six victims and documents they shared over the past three months. The money disappeared from their accounts in January, the investors said.

“We wanted to know the truth,” said Chen Biya, 43, an advertising agency owner in Beijing who flew to Geneva in late March with two dozen fellow investors to try to recover their missing millions. They sought redress at API’s locked former offices, the public prosecutor and in meetings with lawyers, then went to Bern and Zurich to appeal to the Chinese embassy and Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, known as Finma, he said. “But nobody has been able to tell us the entire story.”

Draghi Faces EU Court Ruling on 2012 Bond Plan as Greece Teeters

President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi.
 Photographer: Christophe Morin/Bloomberg

Draghi Faces EU Court Ruling on 2012 Bond Plan as Greece Teeters
by Stephanie Bodoni
June 15, 2015 — 11:11 AM CEST

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is counting on judges in Luxembourg to get a boost for a key part of his economic tool kit, just as Greece provides a reminder of why it was created.

The European Union Court of Justice will deliver a verdict Tuesday on the legality of a plan Draghi announced three years ago, when surging bond yields in stressed economies threatened to split the currency bloc. While a court adviser signaled in January that Draghi should prevail, a defeat would reverberate by also bringing into question his quantitative easing policy.

A contrary ruling “would have an enormous impact on markets,” Carsten Brzeski, ING Diba’s chief economist, said in an interview. “What we would see is probably again a sharp widening of spreads particularly in the peripheral countries.”

The Luxembourg-based court has been examining the Outright Monetary Transactions program after Germany’s own top court expressed doubts that the OMT may have gone beyond the ECB’s mandate and be seen as a form of monetary financing of governments, which EU treaties ban.

The ECB announced details of the OMT plan in September 2012 as bets multiplied that the euro area would break apart and after Draghi’s promise to do “whatever it takes” to save the currency. The calming of financial markets that the still-untapped OMT program produced helped the euro area emerge from its longest-ever recession.

Less than three years on, Greece is again edging toward an exit from the single currency as talks with creditors fail to unlock bailout funds.
Deflationary Scare

This time around, the ECB is in the midst of a separate bond-purchase plan that it started after a deflationary scare, and which has already become the object of a complaint in Germany.

“The implications for QE look to be limited” as long as the EU court backs the advice of advocate general Pedro Cruz Villalon, said Nick Kounis, an economist at ABN Amro Bank NV in Amsterdam.

While judges are free to deviate from the guidance of its advocates general, whose role is to deliver non-binding opinions on cases, they normally back them in their final rulings.

“The statement earlier in the year gave the ECB the green light,’ said Kounis. ‘‘If the judgment follows that statement, then I would not expect it to be a barrier.’’

Since the ECB started its 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.2 trillion) QE program three months ago, the inflation rate in the 19-nation euro area has turned positive, though it remains far short the ECB’s goal of just below 2 percent.

The improving economic performance comes despite uncertainty created by international creditor talks on Greece as the country flirts with default. Greece enters what could be a defining week after last-ditch negotiations between representatives of the Greek government and its creditors collapsed on Sunday.

The case is: C-62/14, Peter Gauweiler and Others.

Tsipras Hardens Greek Stance After Collapse of Talks

Tsipras Hardens Greek Stance After Collapse of Talks
by Marcus Bensasson, Patrick Donahue, Jonathan Stearns

June 15, 2015 — 9:20 AM CEST Updated on June 15, 2015 — 1:23 PM CEST

Greece and its creditors swapped recriminations over the breakdown of bailout talks, each side hardening its position after attempts to bridge their differences collapsed.

With markets dropping, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras portrayed Greece as the torchbearer of democracy, standing firm against creditors’ demand for pension cuts. European Commission spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt said that account of the creditors’ position was a “gross misrepresentation of facts.”

“One can only read political motives in the creditors’ insistence on new cuts to pensions after five years of plundering them under the memorandum,” Tsipras said in a statement to Efimerida Ton Syntakton newspaper on Monday. “We will wait patiently for the institutions to move toward realism.”

The euro dropped after the European Commission said negotiations in Brussels had broken up after just 45 minutes on Sunday because of the chasm separating the sides. The focus now shifts to a June 18 meeting of euro-area finance ministers in Luxembourg. Officials have focused on that as a make-or-break session for Greece’s ability to avert default and stay in the currency union.
Risks Rising

Greek bank stocks, which have fallen 99 percent from their pre-crisis peak, plunged as much as 17 percent and traded 8.7 percent lower at 1:51 p.m. in Athens. The yield on Greece’s 2017 bonds jumped 241 basis points to 28.45 percent.

“The likelihood that no agreement will be reached is rising,” Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said at an event in Frankfurt on Monday. “Time is running out.”

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.1 percent and the euro weakened 0.5 percent.

Breidthardt said Greece’s creditors are not calling for cuts to pension payments, but instead want a higher retirement age and fewer people retiring early. The creditors have lowered their demand for this year’s primary budget surplus to 1 percent of gross domestic product from 3 percent, she added.

Greek government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis said that the different priorities of the IMF and the euro area are making it more difficult for Greece to satisfy its creditors. He said talks have not broken down and Greece’s only plan is to reach a deal.

All the same, other European governments are starting to consider the precautions they’ll need to protect themselves. Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said there’s a real risk of Greece being forced out of the euro, Efe news agency reported.

“The attitude taken by the Greek government obliges us to look at other options of which, at the most extreme, Grexit is one,” Belgian Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt said in a speech in Berlin.
Close to Default

The latest failed attempt to find a formula to unlock as much as 7.2 billion euros ($8.1 billion) in aid for the anti-austerity Syriza-led government brings Greece closer to the abyss. With two weeks until its euro-area bailout expires and no future financing arrangement in place, creditors had set June 14 as a deadline to allow enough time for national parliaments to approve an accord.

“Greece I fear is now close to the point of a default,” German lawmaker Elmar Brok, a Merkel ally who previously backed the European Central Bank bond-purchase program, said in an interview in Berlin. “It’s not something the Greek people want but Tsipras seems determined to court disaster.”

More than four months after he was swept into office on a wave of public discontent about budget cuts that deepened a six-year Greek recession, Tsipras has refused to meet the demands of the euro area and the International Monetary Fund. The core points of contention are pension cuts, tax rises and targets for a budget surplus before interest payments, known as a primary surplus.
2 Billion Euros

Tsipras had sent a delegation to Brussels with proposals aimed at narrowing those differences over the weekend. The commission, the European Union’s executive arm, said the talks were President Jean-Claude Juncker’s “last attempt” to reach a compromise.

The commission said that Greece’s plans still had gaps and were 2 billion euros short of meeting their fiscal targets.

“This is not the kind of situation where you can have a mechanical agreement for some kind of numbers, where you meet in the middle,” Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission vice president for euro policy, said on Latvian television Monday. “To reach an agreement, Greece has to do the work that is necessary.”

IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard called on the euro area to offer concessions to Greece to help put the country’s finances on a sustainable footing. European governments should offer additional financing and debt relief to Greece, Blanchard said in a blog post late Sunday. Tsipras must reform value-added tax and pensions, he said, adding that Greece can cut its pension costs by 1 percent of gross domestic product while still protecting the poorest retirees.

“We’re carrying on our backs the dignity of a people, but also the hopes of the people of Europe,” Tsipras said. “It’s too heavy a burden to ignore. It’s not a question of ideological stubbornness. It’s a question of democracy.”

Sex, lies and debt potentially exposed by U.S. data hack

Sex, lies and debt potentially exposed by U.S. data hack
WASHINGTON | By Arshad Mohammed and Joseph Menn

A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files

A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture.
Reuters/Kacper Pempel/Files

When a retired 51-year-old military man disclosed in a U.S. security clearance application that he had a 20-year affair with his former college roommate's wife, it was supposed to remain a secret between him and the government.

The disclosure last week that hackers had penetrated a database containing such intimate and possibly damaging facts about millions of government and private employees has shaken Washington.

The hacking of the White House Office of Personnel Management (OPM) could provide a treasure trove for foreign spies.

The military man's affair, divulged when he got a job with a defense contractor and applied to upgrade his clearance, is just one example of the extensive potential for disruption, embarrassment and even blackmail arising from the hacking.

    The man had kept the affair secret from his wife for two decades before disclosing it on the government's innocuously named Standard Form 86 (SF 86), filled out by millions of Americans seeking security clearances.

    His case is described in a judge's ruling, published on the Pentagon website, that he should keep his security clearance because he told the government about the affair. His name is not given in the administrative judge's decision.

The disclosure that OPM's data had been hacked sent shivers down the spines of current and former U.S. government officials as they realized their secrets about sex, drugs and money could be in the hands of a foreign government.

The data that may be compromised by the incident, which was first reported by the Associated Press, included the detailed personal information on the SF 86 "QUESTIONNAIRE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY POSITIONS," according to U.S. officials.


As with another cyberattack on OPM disclosed earlier this month, U.S. officials suspect it was linked to China, though they have less confidence about the origins of the second attack than about the first.

China denies any involvement in hacking U.S. databases.

While the Central Intelligence Agency does its own clearance investigations, agencies such as the State Department, Defense Department and National Security Agency, which eavesdrops on the world, all use OPM's services to some degree.

Intelligence veterans said the breach may prove disastrous because China could use it to find relatives of U.S. officials abroad as well as evidence of love affairs or drug use which could be used to blackmail or influence U.S. officials.

An even worse scenario would be the mass unmasking of covert operatives in the field, they said.

"The potential loss here is truly staggering and, by the way, these records are a legitimate foreign intelligence target," said retired Gen. Michael Hayden, a former CIA and NSA director. "This isn't shame on China. This is shame on us."

The SF 86 form, which is 127-pages long, is extraordinarily comprehensive and intrusive.

Among other things, applicants must list where they have lived; contacts with foreign citizens and travel abroad; the names and personal details of relatives; illegal drug use and mental health counseling except in limited circumstances.

A review of appeals of security denials published on the web shows the variety of information now in possession of the hackers, including financial troubles, infidelities, psychiatric diagnoses, substance abuse, health issues and arrests.

"It's kind of scary that somebody could know that much about us," said a former senior U.S. diplomat, pointing out the ability to use such data to impersonate an American official online, obtain passwords and plunder bank accounts.


A U.S. official familiar with security procedures, but who declined to be identified, said some agencies do not use OPM for clearances, meaning their employees' data was at first glance less likely to have been compromised.

However, the former senior diplomat said someone with access to a complete set of SF 86 forms and to the names of officials at U.S. embassies, which are usually public, could compare the two and make educated guesses about who might be a spy.

"Negative information is an indicator just as much as a positive information," said the former diplomat.

A review of appeals of security denials published on the web shows a variety of information now in possession of the hackers, including financial troubles, infidelities, psychiatric diagnoses, substance abuse, health issues and arrests.

The case of the 51-year-old former military man who told the government, but not his wife, about his 20-year affair came to light when he filed an appeal because his effort to upgrade his security clearance ran into trouble.

According to a May 13 decision by an administrative judge who heard his case, the man revealed the affair in the "Additional Comments" section of SF 86 in January 2012, ended the affair in 2013, and told his wife about it in 2014.

"DOD (Department of Defense) is aware of the affair because Applicant disclosed it on his SF 86; the affair is over; and the key people in Applicant’s life are aware of it," the judge wrote, according to a Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals document posted online.

His access to classified information was approved.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed in Washington and Joseph Menn in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by David Storey and Sue Horton)

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter detects impact glass

Image of one of the glass deposits discovered by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter located at Alga Crater, deposits are displayed in green (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHUAPL/Univ. of Arizona)

Okay they can detect impact glass formed from the heat of heated silica on Mars but they can't see the glass tubes on Mars and the glass dome shards on the Moon? What's wrong with this picture? -AK

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter detects impact glass

By Anthony Wood

June 13, 2015
Image of one of the glass deposits discovered by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter located at Alga Crater, deposits are displayed in green

Image of one of the glass deposits discovered by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter located at Alga Crater, deposits are displayed in green (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHUAPL/Univ. of Arizona)

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has detected deposits of impact glass on the Red Planet that may provide a fresh avenue for investigating the question of whether life ever existed there. The hope is that glass forged in the intense conditions created by an asteroid impact may have preserved microscopic signs of life, as it has here on Earth.

Detecting the signature of the glass deposits proved to be no small feat for the MRO, as the weak spectral signal from the glass is usually overwhelmed by the rock entombed inside it.

In order to make the orbiter's instruments more sensitive to detecting the relatively weak signal, Jack Mustard, deputy investigator of the MRO mission, placed a Martian rock substitute in a kiln and fired it in order to create an impact glass-like substance.

He then analyzed the spectral qualities of the glass and used an algorithm to pick out similar deposits on Mars. This resulted in the detection of several large glass deposits located at the central peaks of various Martian impact craters.

“The researchers’ analysis suggests glass deposits are relatively common impact features on Mars,” states Jim Green, director of NASA’s planetary science division. Green continues, “These areas could be targets for future exploration as our robotic scientific explorers pave the way on the journey to Mars with humans in the 2030s.”

Impact glass back on Earth has been found to be a surprisingly effective medium for preserving clues to life, such as organic molecules and even plant life. Such was the case for a glass deposit found at the site of an impact crater in Argentina, which is believed to have formed millions years ago.

Scientist Peter Schultz of Brown University, Ohio, who was responsible for discovering the preserved specimens of life in the Argentinian impact glass, believes that a similar phenomenon on Mars could provide clues to life having existed in the planet's ancient past. However, for organic molecules to be preserved, they must have existed at the location and time of the impact event.

One deposit of glass was found at the Hargraves crater near Nili Fossae trough, which happens to be in the proximity of one of the candidate landing sites for NASA's 2020 Mars rover. The discovery of the glass deposits may well inform the eventual landing site of the mission, which will collect samples from the Martian landscape for analysis and possible return to Earth.

Source: NASA

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