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Sprinkle, roll, dye, and hunt: Easter around the world
20 April 2014 - All over the world, people celebrate and observe Easter this week. Solemn church masses, processions, chocolate bunnies, and eggs come to mind. Traditions vary from one country to the next -- and some are quite unique. (more)

Ground-breaking Good Friday mass signals thaw in Cyprus
16 April 2014 - For the first time in more than half a century, a church in northern Cyprus will host Good Friday mass in a sign of a thaw in relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Off limits to Greek Cypriots for 58 years, the Church of Saint George Exorinos in the medieval city of Famagusta will host a liturgy on what is one of the most important religious dates in the Greek Orthodox calendar. An ancient port city which inspired Shakespeare's tragedy 'Othello', Famagusta was once the Mediterranean island's premier coastal resort. Liturgies at Saint George Exorinos stopped before Cyprus gained independence from Britain in 1960, after clashes between Greek and Turkish Cypriots broke out. (more)

Turkey: For tourism, it's business as usual
16 April 2014 - Istanbul, the noisy metropolis on the Bosporus Strait lauded by many a travel ranking, has much more to offer than grand mosques and bazaars. Away from the din of typical tourist haunts, a walk around several neighbourhoods will peel back the surface to reveal the city's multilayered history, and the lifestyles of those who've lived it. And while headlines persist on Turkey's uneasy political situation, protests have dwindled for now. For tourism, it's business as usual, with the government counting 35 million people visiting last year, a 10 per cent increase over the previous year. As proof of Turkey's popularity among travellers, TripAdvisor just named the country the world's top destination, based on the website's ratings and user reviews. (more)

UK: Royal couple arrive in Sydney for Down Under tour
16 April 2014 - Britain's Prince William, his wife, Kate, and their baby son, George, arrived in sunny Sydney on Wednesday to the cheers of thousands of fans as they kicked off their tour of Australia. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge landed in Sydney after wrapping up a 10-day trip around New Zealand. They are on a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia. (more)

US: Major League Baseball marks 67th anniversary of Jackie Robinson debut
15 April 2014 - Marking the 67th anniversary of the day Jackie Robinson broke baseball's colour barrier on 15 April, the Rev Jesse Jackson praised Commissioner Bud Selig for the strides the sport has taken in minority opportunities over the past two decades. Jackson said Jackie Robinson Day had become 'a national holiday for all practical purposes'. Commissioner Selig said 'Today all of our players league-wide will wear No 42 to celebrate the man who helped change the future course of our game and more importantly our country.' In 1947, Jackie Robinson, baseball's first black major league player, made his official debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on opening day. (The Dodgers defeated the Boston Braves, 5-3.) (more)

US: Native American screenwriter showing film in Tulsa, Oklahoma
15 April 2014 - Native American writer Sherman Alexie will be in Tulsa for a screening of his film 'Smoke Signals' and to answer questions. The film follows two young men taking a road trip to pay respects to one of their fathers. Along the way, they learn from one another about the world and themselves. The film is made up of an all Native American cast and crew. (more)

Austria: Vienna orchestra to return Nazi-looted painting
14 April 2014 - The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra will return to a French family a valuable painting that was looted by the Nazis and given to the orchestra as a gift in 1940 by a Viennese secret police official. The heirs of the painting's late owner, Marcel Koch, will receive 'Port-en-Bessin' by neo-Impressionist Paul Signac at a ceremony this year, the orchestra said on Saturday, announcing the latest step to address its past association with Nazism. (more)

Bulgaria recovers ancient gold artefacts from smugglers
14 April 2014 - Bulgaria's state security agency said it had recovered a trove of 15,000 priceless gold artefacts dating back to the third millennium BC from a smuggling ring. Officials said the collection, which included three gold necklaces worn by women of high social status, would be given to Bulgaria's National Museum of History. 'These amazing golden findings are 1,500 years older than the Trojan War and 2,500 years older than all Thracian treasures we know,' Bozhidar Dimitrov, the director of the museum, told a news conference on Monday. (more)

Thailand: International rock climbers and tourists to join a rock climbing contest in Krabi
14 April 2014 - A number of international rock climbers, enthusiasts, and tourists are expected join the upcoming sixth Krabi Rock and Fire International Contest, to be held in the southern province of Krabi. More than 30 teams of adventurous tourists from the world over are expected to take part in this event, which is the biggest rock climbing competition in Thailand. Thanks to its tall and challenging limestone peaks, Krabi boasts some of the best rock climbing in the world. At Railay Beach alone, there are more than 600 rock climbs, most of which are world-class. The three-day event takes place at Railay Beach and Ton Sai Bay in Mueang district from 21 to 23 April 2014. (more)

Thailand: Songkran Festival - the traditional Thai New Year - is celebrated in all parts of Thailand
11 April 2014 - Many foreigners are joining Thai people in celebrating Songkran, the traditional Thai New Year, which features colourful cultural programmes in various parts of the country. Often referred to as the 'Water Festival' among foreigners, Songkran is celebrated not only in Thailand but also in neighbouring countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and southern China. The theme of this year's Grand Songkran celebrations was chosen to reflect the traditional beliefs that the element of water is imbued with near miraculous qualities. Water, after all, is life and during Songkran, helps to unite families and bring friends together. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

Transcendental inspiration: David Lynch Foundation executive director Bob Roth
19 April 2014 - The David Lynch Foundation brings Transcendental Meditation programmes to at-risk children, veterans, prison inmates, and survivors of domestic violence. Executive director Bob Roth has instructed thousands of people during his 40-year career, from celebrities like Jerry Seinfeld and Donna Karan to NYC's at-risk youth. He explains his beginnings with the age-old practice, and how it blossomed into a professional life of helping people around the world. (more)

People in all cultures around the world have experiences of enlightenment: Author describes new book
8 April 2014 - In a recent interview Dr Craig Pearson discussed his newest book, The Supreme Awakening: Experiences of Enlightenment Through Time--and How You Can Cultivate Them. The Supreme Awakening brings together a remarkable collection of transcendent experiences reported by people through the ages, and shows that they are experiences of higher states of consciousness--experiences of enlightenment. These experiences come from philosophers, scientists, poets, artists, saints, athletes, political leaders, actors, and more--people from a wide variety of times and cultures, describing experiences that rank among the most inspiring in all of literature. (more)

'Culture, Consciousness, and Natural Law': Seminar in Holland explores Maharishi's practical programmes
6 April 2014 - A recent talk at Maharishi European Research University (MERU) in the Netherlands on 'Culture, Consciousness, and Natural Law: Living unity in the field of diversity', gave a comprehensive introduction to the new, profound understanding of culture brought to light by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi--especially the vitally important knowledge and technologies through which Consciousness-Based Culture can meet the crucial challenges of today's ever-changing world. Everyone should know, said Dr Chris Crowell, an international expert in this field, 'how the principles and practices of Maharishi's Consciousness-Based Culture can simultaneously preserve mankind's precious ancient and diverse traditions, yet promote progress in a world of peace and unity.' (more)

Jennifer Aniston: Transcendental Meditation keeps me looking good
27 March 2014 - Jennifer Aniston says Transcendental Meditation keeps her looking young. The 'Cake' actress is renowned for her radiant skin and beautiful hair, but says the thing that's helped her keep her looks best is the mantra meditation technique pioneered by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1950s. When asked what the number one thing which has kept her looking so amazing is, Jennifer replied: 'I'd say a little over a year ago I started doing TM [Transcendental Meditation] and that's really changed everything. Starting your day off with that and ending with that is pretty powerful.' (more)

Transcendental Meditation becomes popular on Wall Street
1 March 2014 - Why is Wall Street taking to the Transcendental Meditation technique as never before? The quick answer, according to a recent report in Yahoo Finance News is: Less stress, more success. An article by Nicole Goodkind at The Daily Ticker explores the increasing pressures on stockbrokers and bankers, and the growing concern over the epidemic of stress-related problems on Wall Street. She includes a video interview with Bob Roth, Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation, who adds the success side of the formula: Wall Streeters who learn Transcendental Meditation are able to 'think more clearly, make better decisions, plan better, and solve more problems'. (more)

Los Angeles: David Lynch Foundation honouring legendary music producer Rick Rubin
27 February 2014 - Tonight in Los Angeles, the David Lynch Foundation is honouring legendary music producer Rick Rubin with the 'Lifetime of Harmony' Award. The event, titled 'A Night of Harmony', is a benefit to support the Foundation's initiatives to make the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique widely available to at-risk youth, veterans, and others suffering from the devastating effects of post-traumatic stress. Mr Rubin has been practising Transcendental Meditation for many years. The event has been announced widely in the news media, including USA Today and Billboard. (more)

Transcendental Meditation in Czech Republic and Slovakia
25 February 2014 - The Album of Events page of Global Good News is currently featuring a series of photos about the Transcendental Meditation programme in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The activities of two new teachers of Transcendental Meditation, one in each country, have led to more interest in the technique, especially among young people. Group practice of Transcendental Meditation is ongoing in Prague, and also in Miroslav in South Moravia. Scientific research has shown that groups of people practising Transcendental Meditation and its advanced programmes contribute to increased coherence and positive trends in society, and decreased social stress, crime, and violence. (more)

Tune in to Success without Stress: Special guests this week on new SiriusXM radio show on Transcendental Meditation
19 February 2014 - Tune in for another enlightening episode of Bob Roth's Success without Stress on SiriusXM Radio. This week Bob presents a very special show, including highlights from the recent David Lynch Foundation-sponsored New York Town Hall, on how the Transcendental Meditation programme can increase creativity, improve performance, and reduce stress in the workplace. Featured will be some of America's most respected thought leaders, including Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of The Dr. Oz Show; Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates; Mario Batali, chef, restaurateur, media personality; and Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group. Those not currently subscribing can listen to the show by getting a 30-day free trial from SiriusXM. (more)

Christine Spotted Elk seeks to bring Transcendental Meditation programme to Native Americans
13 February 2014 - Born into a family of Hispanic, Mexican, and Native American heritage, Maharishi University of Management graduate student Christine Spotted Elk grew up on an indigenous settlement in Colorado, USA, witnessing trauma, economic hardship, and racial discrimination in her environment. At age 11, she learned the Transcendental Meditation technique. Last summer Christine and her 16-year-old son came to Maharishi University of Management for the 'Experience the Self' course. This inspired her to pursue becoming a teacher of Transcendental Meditation so that she can bring the technique's many benefits to children and families in Indian country. (more)

Transcendental Meditation: 'Surprising success secret this hedge fund founder swears by' - Huffington Post reports
12 February 2014 - ' ''Meditation more than any other factor has been the secret to whatever success I've had,'' Ray Dalio, founder of the world's largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, told financial journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin at a David Lynch Foundation event' in New York on 11 February, the Huffington Post reported. 'Dalio said that Transcendental Meditation, which he's been practising for more than 40 years, has revolutionized his approach to work and life.' Mr Sorkin moderated the foundation's forum on 'Meditation: Creativity, Performance, and Stress', which also featured celebrity chef Mario Batali, Dr Pamela Peeke, Dr Norman Rosenthal, Arianna Huffington, and other leaders. (more)

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

Central African Republic marked by rising hatred, violence, and trauma - UN officials
30 March 2014 - One year after rebels seized power in the Central African Republic (CAR), the situation in the country is marked by rising hatred between communities, deteriorating security, and humanitarian conditions, and increasing fear and trauma among the population, United Nations relief officials warned. Since the conflict started in December 2012 following attacks from mainly Muslim Seleka rebels, thousands of people are believed to have been killed, and 2.2 million -- about half the population of CAR -- need humanitarian aid. With more than 650,000 people still internally displaced, and over 290,000 having fled to neighbouring countries, the conflict has taken on increasingly sectarian overtones as mainly Christian militias known as anti-Balaka (anti-machete) have taken up arms. Volker Turk, head of international protection for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, told a news conference in Geneva that the situation in the capital, Bangui, has deteriorated significantly in terms of security. (more)

Screen time tied to poor well-being among kids
18 March 2014 - Spending too much time in front of a television, computer or other devices with screens may signal problems in a child's family and personal well-being, according to a new study. Based on data for more than 3600 children in eight European countries, researchers found that family functioning and emotional well-being were especially linked to changes in the amount of time kids spent in front of screens. Several recent studies have highlighted the possible negative effects of kids spending too much time watching televisions, playing video games, and working on computers. Late last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also urged parents to keep tabs on their children's media use and limit screen time to no more than one to two hours of high quality programming. In the current research, scientists found that in regards to social and peer-related measures, screen time had no effect. But for each additional hour or so of screen time parents reported, a child's risk of emotional and family problems rose up to two-fold. (more)

US: Gun violence increasing in PG-13 movies
10 November 2013 - The amount of gun violence in movies rated PG-13 has more than tripled over the last two decades, says a new study. When PG-13 first became a designation, movies with that rating had similar amounts of gun violence as G and PG films, researchers found. Now, they sometimes have more shooting scenes than R-rated movies. 'It doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out there are going to be disturbed kids who are going to see this kind of content,' said Daniel Romer. 'The problem for parents is they can no longer rely on the PG-13 rating to tell them there isn't a lot of violence in those films,' he added. Across all films, the number of violent sequences more than doubled during the study period, the researchers found. Romer told Reuters Health past evidence suggests seeing weapons in use can make people have more aggressive thoughts. Dr. James Sargent said the movie industry knows films make more money when they are rated PG-13, because adolescents are a profitable audience. Violence also makes money, he said -- so the fact that more of it is showing up in PG-13 films 'is no surprise.' (more)

India: 220 languages lost in last 50 years - survey
7 September 2013 - All over the world there are serious alarms about the disappearance of languages and culture. A new study, the People's Linguistic Survey of India, concludes that in India alone 220 Indian languages have disappeared in the last 50 years, and that another 150 could vanish in the next half century as speakers die and their children fail to learn their ancestral tongues. 'Languages cannot be preserved by making dictionaries or grammars,' survey supervisor Ganesh Devy states. 'Languages live if people who speak the languages continue to live. So we need to look after the well being of the people who use those languages, which means we need a micro-level planning of development where language is taken as one factor.' He says, 'Revival is possible only if the livelihood of those people is protected. I'm emphasizing that the language disappears when the livelihood options of the speech community disappears.' (more)

Northern Ireland violence flares for second day
13 July 2013 - Violence flared for a second night around traditional Orange Day parades in Northern Ireland, with police coming under attack from petrol bombs, fireworks, stones, and bottles, and responding with water cannon. Thousands of pro-British Protestants march every summer in the British province, a regular flashpoint for sectarian violence as Catholics, many of whom favour unification with Ireland, see the parades as a provocation. The Orange Order, which organizes marches to mark the 1690 victory at the Battle of the Boyne by Protestant Prince William of Orange over Catholic King James of England, was angered this year when authorities ruled they could not walk along a stretch of road that divides the two communities. That sparked violence on Friday evening, after tens of thousands of Orange Order marchers, wearing orange sashes and waving British flags, paraded at more than a dozen venues across Northern Ireland. (more)

US: Graffiti force closure of Joshua Tree park sites
13 April 2013 - Acts of graffiti have become so pervasive at Joshua Tree National Park's most popular hiking spots that officials have had to close them to the public, and they blame the big bump in vandalism on social media. Rangers said they've found graffiti spray painted on 17 sites, including the famous rock formations and historic Native American sites, at the Southern California park's Rattlesnake Canyon. They put historic Barker Dam off limits after vandals carved their names into the cement of the Old West landmark. National Parks officials said the graffiti started with just a few markings, but quickly spread. They blame vandals who posted pictures of their handiwork on social media sites such as Facebook, which enticed others to the same spot and leave their own illicit marks. 'I've worked at six national parks, and this is the most extensive I've seen in 20 years,' ranger Pat Pilcher told reporters this week during a tour of some of the damage. Meanwhile, the San Bernardino County Sun reports that officials are closing 308 acres of the canyon until April 30 while volunteers from the Urban School of San Francisco help scrub the graffiti off the giant granite boulders. (more)

US: Researchers report sharp rise in extremist 'patriot' groups
5 March 2013 - President Barack Obama's administration and the gun control debate after the Connecticut school shooting have led to surging numbers of anti-government 'patriot' groups, according to a civil rights group that tracks extremist groups. The Southern Poverty Law Centre reported the rising numbers on Tuesday in its annual report on extremist groups. The number of anti-government patriot groups, one category tracked by the centre, rose dramatically over the past four years, from 149 groups in 2008 to 1,360 today, researchers reported. That was up about 7 per cent from the 1,274 active in 2011. The election and re-election of the nation's first African-American President and the rugged economy have fuelled their growth, said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the SPLC. (more)

Scottish man dies, taking town's dialect with him
4 October 2012 - In a remote fishing town on the tip of Scotland's Black Isle, the last native speaker of the Cromarty dialect has passed away, taking with him a little fragment of the English linguistic mosaic. Academics said Wednesday that Bobby Hogg, who was 92 when he died last week, was the last person fluent in the dialect once common to the seaside town of Cromarty, 175 miles (280 kilometres) north of Edinburgh. 'I think that's a terrible thing,' said Robert Millar, a linguist at the University of Aberdeen in northern Scotland. 'The more diversity in terms of nature we have, the healthier we are. It's the same with language.' 'We'll all live,' Millar said -- but it's part of a relentless trend toward standardization which has driven many regional dialects and local languages into oblivion. Linguists often debate how to define and differentiate the world's many dialects, but most agree that urbanization, compulsory education, and mass media have conspired to iron out many of the kinks that make rural speech unique. (more)

Guinea: Ethnic riots spread in capital
21 September 2012 - At least one person was killed on Friday, as ethnic riots pitting the Peul and the Malinke, the two largest ethnicities in the country, spread from a market in Conakry, to the suburbs of the Guinean capital, according to witnesses and the Red Cross. Tensions between the two groups have been running high ever since the 2010 Presidential election, which was won by Malinke politician Alpha Conde. He defeated a Peul candidate, and the vote was overwhelmingly carried out along ethnic lines. Since coming to power, Conde is accused of favouring his ethnic group in appointments to government ministries, all the way down to the guards and janitors. (more)

Ethnic riots sweep India's Assam, at least 30 killed
24 July 2012 - Police shot dead four rioters in India's northeastern state of Assam on Tuesday as security forces struggled to contain ethnic fighting that has killed at least 30 people and left riverside hamlets ablaze, forcing tens of thousands from their homes. Rioting between Bodo tribespeople and Muslim settlers has raged for days in a region near Bangladesh. Police opened fire on rioters burning property in the Bodo-dominated Kokrajhar district, killing the four, police inspector general S N Singh told Reuters. Rival mobs have spread to rural areas in three districts, targeting hamlets along river banks and in the jungle. About 500 villages have been destroyed by arson, said police. The latest violence was sparked on Friday night when unidentified men killed four youths in Kokrajhar district, police and district officials said. In retaliation, armed Bodos attacked Muslims, suspecting them of being behind the killings. (more)

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