NEW MOON - Nov. 24-30, 2014

(March 21 to April 19)

The New Moon in Sagittarius turns on your innate desire for conquest. There are no limits, you sail in the same wind that sustained the Columbus caravelle toward the discovery of the new continent. You are launched into the new with a confidence and enthusiasm that you have not felt in quite a while. Even in love, you are now emerging from a long hibernation, with a desire to try something more intense. For some, it will revive a relationship that has grown a bit atrophied. For others, it is to land like Columbus once did on a wholly new, unexplored continent.

TEMPO: allegrissimo con furore

(April 20 to May 20)

It's time to change skin, to let go of anything that is no longer part of your life. Under a sky of great change, it is time to wipe away the dust and welcome what is new into your life. Backed up by a beautiful Mars, able to fight your way through the roughest terrain, you are venturing into new horizons. The challenge of Saturn is almost definitively over. It leaves you more aware of who you are, what you want and where you want to go. Now that you know, it's time to let go of the weights and begin to soar!

TEMPO: Andante con moto

(May 21 to June 21)

The New Moon in Sagittarius shows major new professional scenarios. It is necessary to adjust your mark, especially in relationships with partners and collaborators. Create a new order and learn how to better share the duties and responsibilities so you can make the most of the many opportunities that the future holds. Even in amorous relationships there is the need to re-establish the roles, even with compromises if necessary.

TEMPO: allegretto rallentando

(June 22 to July 22)

A week supported by good energy. Creativity flies high, but in order to bring to bear the fruits of a new system, you will need to better organize your schedule. The usual routine, on the other hand, has left you tired, and you need to recalibrate. There may be some impatience with partners and collaborators, so measure your words and avoid jumping to conclusions. Also with a life partner, it is a better moment to play defense.

TEMPO: marcia moderata

(July 23 to August 22)

This stunning New Moon in trine to Sagittarius inaugurates a month of great energy and vitality. Your creativity could bring unexpected rewards. In the workplace there is great energy and enthusiasm. There is something new in love that awaits: flirting, dating, vitality, or if so inclined, even a possible child on the way.

TEMPO: vivacissimo con fuoco

(August 23 to September 22)

It's time to go back to your nest, you need to rediscover your roots and find some peace inside your home. The New Moon in Sagittarius pushes you to find a new balance in the way you live your domestic life. If your "living spaces" are under siege, it is the right time to speak out and appropriate them back. In your love relationships, it's time to share the family duties, and no longer carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.

TEMPO: andantino marziale

(September 23 to October 23)

The New Moon in Sagittarius fosters contacts and proposals. They open "negotiations" that lead to the conclusion of contracts and cooperation agreements that can be very beneficial to the future of your career. In love, possible surprises for singles. Love is staring in your eyes, right where you’d least expect to find it. A friendship can become something more. Some friction is possible in family and parental affairs.

TEMPO: allegretto energico

(October 24 to November 20)

New Moon brings an air of many thoughts. A close relationship, whether friendship, of the heart or of professional collaboration, requires revision. Fair and visceral, your sign does not spare itself, and yet there is the need to rebalance the scale of what you do for others and what others do for you. If you begin to recognize your true value, you will know how to negotiate with more balance and reach more satisfying agreements.

TEMPO: adagio sostenuto

(November 21 to December 22)

Your image — lately a bit blurred — begins to redefine itself. Change the way others see you, but most of all, change the way you see yourself. You are more affable, charming and magnetic, but also better able to enforce the "boundaries” that are right for you. In a word, more self-assuredness For lonely hearts, it's time to go look around: surprises are around the corner.

TEMPO: veloce con fuoco

(December 23 to January 20)

This week you float in an atmosphere of anticipation and suspension. We are at the end of a cycle and a new one is about to begin. Time to take stock. What goals have you achieved in the year that are or are not coming to fruition? In your blood flows a powerful desire for revolution, to burn down the house of cards around you. Yes, the revolution will come, but you must start with small things and focus on your goals.

TEMPO: marcia rivoluzionaria

(January 21 to February 21)

Week of great socializing. You can get a lot if you let yourself go with the flow of the current happenings, social events and impromptu situations around you. Try to widen your circle of allies, it will be very useful in the coming months. Your attention is almost entirely focused on career success and recognition, and do not worry: they will come. Do not lose sight of the importance of relaxation and the value of "useless" things, as you pursue them for the sake of yourself.

TEMPO: crescendo maestoso

(February 22 to March 20)

This New Moon in Sagittarius opens a month of possible success in your work. Promotions, advancements or rewards are possible. It is important to dust off a little healthy sense of competition. You will feel many eyes on you — perhaps those of a leader who keeps an eye out to see if you can be entrusted with a promotion, or a colleague who is a bit jealous. Be strong! In love, there is the weight of responsibility that strains the heart. Try not to keep it all in and talk to your partner. His or her understanding will amaze you.

TEMPO: moderato con decisione

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How Thailand's Lèse-Majesté Law Is Used To Stifle All Protest

Once meant to protect the royal family, the century-old law has become a tool for the military-led government in Bangkok to stamp out all dissent. A new report outlines the abuses.

Pro-Democracy protest at The Criminal Court in Bangkok, Thailand

"We need to reform the institution of the monarchy in Thailand. It is the root of the problem." Those words, from Thai student activist Juthatip Sirikan, are a clear expression of the growing youth-led movement that is challenging the legitimacy of the government and demanding deep political changes in the Southeast Asian nation. Yet those very same words could also send Sirikan to jail.

Thailand's Criminal Code 'Lèse-Majesté' Article 112 imposes jail terms for defaming, insulting, or threatening the monarchy, with sentences of three to 15 years. This law has been present in Thai politics since 1908, though applied sparingly, only when direct verbal or written attacks against members of the royal family.

But after the May 2014 military coup d'état, Thailand experienced the first wave of lèse-majesté arrests, prosecutions, and detentions of at least 127 individuals arrested in a much wider interpretation of the law.

The recent report 'Second Wave: The Return of Lèse-Majesté in Thailand', documents how the Thai government has "used and abused Article 112 of the Criminal Code to target pro-democracy activists and protesters in relation to their online political expression and participation in peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations."

Criticism of any 'royal project'

The investigation shows 124 individuals, including at least eight minors, have been charged with lèse-majesté between November 2020 and August 2021. Nineteen of them served jail time. The new wave of charges is cited as a response to the rising pro-democracy protests across Thailand over the past year.

Juthatip Sirikan explains that the law is now being applied in such a broad way that people are not allowed to question government budgets and expenditure if they have any relationship with the royal family, which stifles criticism of the most basic government decision-making since there are an estimated 5,000 ongoing "royal" projects. "Article 112 of lèse-majesté could be the key (factor) in Thailand's political problems" the young activist argues.

In 2020 the Move Forward opposition party questioned royal spending paid by government departments, including nearly 3 billion baht (89,874,174 USD) from the Defense Ministry and Thai police for royal security, and 7 billion baht budgeted for royal development projects, as well as 38 planes and helicopters for the monarchy. Previously, on June 16, 2018, it was revealed that Thailand's Crown Property Bureau transferred its entire portfolio to the new King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

photo of graffiti of 112 crossed out on sidewalk

Protestors In Bangkok Call For Political Prisoner Release

Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire

Freedom of speech at stake

"Article 112 shuts down all freedom of speech in this country", says Sirikan. "Even the political parties fear to touch the subject, so it blocks most things. This country cannot move anywhere if we still have this law."

The student activist herself was charged with lèse-majesté in September 2020, after simply citing a list of public documents that refer to royal family expenditure. Sirikan comes from a family that has faced the consequences of decades of political repression. Her grandfather, Tiang Sirikhan was a journalist and politician who openly protested against Thailand's involvement in World War II. He was accused of being a Communist and abducted in 1952. According to Sirikhan's family, he was killed by the state.

The new report was conducted by The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Thai Lawyer for Human Rights (TLHR), and Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw). It accuses Thai authorities of an increasingly broad interpretation of Article 112, to the point of "absurdity," including charges against people for criticizing the government's COVID-19 vaccine management, wearing crop tops, insulting the previous monarch, or quoting a United Nations statement about Article 112.

Activist in front of democracy monument in Thailand.

Shift to social media

While in the past the Article was only used against people who spoke about the royals, it's now being used as an alibi for more general political repression — which has also spurred more open campaigning to abolish it. Sirikan recounts recent cases of police charging people for spreading paint near the picture of the king during a protest, or even just for having a picture of the king as phone wallpaper.

The more than a century-old law is now largely playing out online, where much of today's protest takes place in Thailand. Sirikan says people are willing to go further on social media to expose information such as how the king intervenes in politics and the monarchy's accumulation of wealth, information the mainstream media rarely reports on them.

Not surprisingly, however, social media is heavily monitored and the military is involved in Intelligence operations and cyber attacks against human rights defenders and critics of any kind. In October 2020, Twitter took down 926 accounts, linked to the army and the government, which promoted themselves and attacked political opposition, and this June, Google removed two Maps with pictures, names, and addresses, of more than 400 people who were accused of insulting the Thai monarchy. "They are trying to control the internet as well," Sirikan says. "They are trying to censor every content that they find a threat".

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