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France: Shakespeare First Folio discovered in French library
28 November 2014 - A Shakespeare First Folio has been discovered in a library in a small French town where it lay undiscovered for two centuries. It is only the second known copy in France of a publication that is seen as one of the most valuable books in the English language and which can sell for millions on the rare occasions a copy comes up for auction. The First Folio was published by two of the Bard's fellow actors and closest friends and includes 36 of Shakespeare's 38 known plays. (more)

Latin American art auctions set record-high sales for 31 artists
28 November 2014 - Blistering sales this week of Latin American art set auction records for 31 artists spanning three centuries, ranging from creators in the Spanish colonial period to living artists like Colombia's Fernando Botero. 'Our November sale series has been a glorious celebration of Latin American art,' said Alex Stein, Sotheby's Latin American art chief. (more)

India: All temple towers to sport new look with environment-friendly paint
27 November 2014 - The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department has decided to apply environment-friendly painting on all towers (gopurams) and the rajagopuram of the Srirangam Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. This is the first time that the emulsion paint is being used. It is more durable and can withstand bad weather conditions also particularly heat during summer. (more)

Scotland: Music has charms to soothe criticism
27 November 2014 - The core purpose of the Big Noise orchestra under the banner of Sistema Scotland is to bring about social transformation, empowering children to succeed in every area of their lives. Musical accomplishment, albeit important, is only part of the story. There will be a minority for whom playing in the orchestras will pave the way for a musical career but for the overwhelming majority the programme is designed to imbue children and parents with a sense of hope and purpose. (more)

Canada: Winnipeg's First Aboriginal mayor takes office
25 November 2014 - Winnipeg, Manitoba has the highest indigenous population of any city in Canada, and as of Tuesday 4 November it has its first-ever aboriginal mayor. Brian Bowman, who won on October 22 in an unexpected landslide, was sworn in during a ceremony preceded by an elder's blessing. He and 15 newly elected councilors met with Elder Harry Bone of the Keeseekoowenin Ojibway Nation in southwestern Manitoba before being officially inducted into office on Tuesday evening, CBC News reported, calling it 'a break with tradition for city hall and a new acknowledgement of the city's aboriginal heritage'. (more)

Russia: Moscow metro opens virtual library of Russian classical literature
25 November 2014 - Its design is already hailed as a masterpiece of modern art, now Moscow's metro system is increasing its cultural credentials by opening a virtual library of Russian classical literature. More than 100 canonical Russian books have been made available for commuters to download for free on train platforms, where scanning a code with a smartphone or tablet allows users to browse the library's virtual shelves. (more)

Ebay founder Omidyar commits $50 mln to combating global slavery
19 November 2014 - Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife are to donate an extra $50 million to tackling slavery worldwide, the chief executive of their US-based foundation Humanity United said on Wednesday. Almost 36 million people are living as slaves across the globe, according to estimates published by Australian-based human rights group The Walk Free Foundation on Monday. The Omidyars have already donated than $50 million in anti-slavery efforts over the past five years. (more)

Middle-earth meets Middle Kingdom in NZ-China TV deal
19 November 2014 - China and New Zealand are to sign a deal which will make it easier to produce television content in the two countries, enabling the South Pacific island nation to showcase its natural landscape to lure more tourists. The agreement, to be signed on Thursday during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Wellington, is expected to promote joint television projects in the two countries, while offering government incentives and easier access for production crews. (more)

Muslim, Christian, Jewish leaders unite to condemn jihadi violence
19 November 2014 - Senior Muslim, Christian, and Jewish leaders condemned violence by jihadi militants such as Islamic State (IS) at a Saudi-backed conference on Wednesday in a rare display of inter-faith unity aimed at promoting tolerance and diversity. (more)

Bank data scheme to combat people trafficking to be extended to Europe
18 November 2014 - A data sharing scheme which has involved US financial institutions helping New York prosecutors uncover human trafficking cases is to be extended to Europe, one of its organizers said on Tuesday. The banks worked with non-governmental organizations to identify customer traits and transaction patterns that may signal a higher risk of human trafficking. (more)

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

Expanding imagination and deepening connections through Transcendental Meditation
12 November 2014 - Artist Kito Mbiango, whose creations have been called 'majestic and elegant', began Transcendental Meditation two years ago. Kito describes his experience, 'TM gives me the freedom and courage to expand my artistic philosophy and explore my creative processes. As an artist, I can now see more clearly the symbiosis between man and nature--a connection which I felt was reflected in my work, but never fully understood until I started meditating. TM has enabled me to be more grounded, to have perspective and be patient about my artistic process.' (more)

Finding enlightenment through music and meditation
24 October 2014 - Erik Martin relates his experience during Transcendental Meditation and its value in the creative world. He also describes working as Executive Producer of DLF Live, the charitable events production division of the David Lynch Foundation. He advises us to 'talk to people who dive within, who access their true nature through meditation. They'll all tell you the same thing. They'll say that the song of the self is the sweetest music they've ever heard.' (more)

David Lynch interviewed, 'Everybody holds the key to unlock the mystery'
23 October 2014 - Filmmaker David Lynch described his creative process and results from practising Transcendental Meditation, saying, 'It's unbounded intelligence, creativity, happiness, love, energy, and peace. And it's within every human being. It's there, that you make the subconscious conscious and develop your full potential as a human being.' (more)

Celebrating the Indian Vedic Calendar Day of Dhanvantari: One day of the year dedicated to perfect health
21 October 2014 - Today Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Transcendental Meditation organization celebrated an ancient Indian holiday, called the Day of Dhanvantari--the Day of Perfect Health in the Indian Vedic Calendar. This day traditionally precedes the celebration of Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, by two days. A highlight of the celebration today was the recitation of Vedic formulae by Maharishi Vedic Pandits at the Brahmasthan--geographical centre--of India, followed by Maharishi's lecture on 10 November 2004. (more)

Architect Bing Thom speaks on Transcendental Meditation and creativity
17 October 2014 - Bing Thom, an award-winning architect and recipient of Canada's celebrated Golden Jubilee Medal said about his work, 'So this combination of the subjective world and the objective world is like Transcendental Meditation, where you come into yourself, and then you come out into action. I can't separate architecture from meditation. To me, it's all just Being, you know? Just the way I am.'

Jerry Seinfeld: 'The Thing That I Love More Than Money, More Than Love, More Than Just About Anything'
13 October 2014 - Celebrated actor Jerry Seinfeld was recently interviewed on SiriusXM Satellite Radio about his 40 years practising Transcendental Meditation. In his talk with show host Bob Roth he said, 'Everyone's got some of this, although many don't have enough, and I rarely meet a person who doesn't want more'. Mr Seinfeld explains in a one minute video what he calls 'the greatest riches in human life' and how you can get more. (more)

What is Liberation
12 October 2014 - We can understand why our status as an individual is never sufficient until we can incorporate the wholeness of our nature, the Unity of our consciousness, into our otherwise endlessly seeking conscious mind. This is the state of liberation that results from repeatedly transcending thought to the silent unified depths of consciousness during the Transcendental Meditation technique. (more)

Who Am I? Strengthening Ethnic Values
8 October 2014 - In Transcendental Meditation for Women Professionals, contributing author Linda Egenes features the life of Christine Spotted Elk, a tribal school counselor, and the inspiring results Christine gained after renewing her regular practice of Transcendental Meditation. Christine feels that not only is the stress of the day dissolving as she meditates each morning and afternoon, but also the historical burden of generations of trauma. After her husband began TM Christine said, 'We both had such a peaceful experience and it made a deep impact on both of us. Each day that I meditated, I felt like I was getting stronger and more resilient to all that was happening around me.' Christine notes that by getting more in touch with herself through meditation, she is strengthening her connection with her tribal traditions. (more)

Fox News' Bill O'Reilly praises Transcendental Meditation: 'Tip of the Day - The David Lynch Foundation, very worthy'
2 October 2014 - At the conclusion of 'The O'Reilly Factor' show on Fox News 1 October, host Bill O'Reilly praised the David Lynch Foundation's programmes providing free Transcendental Meditation instruction to at-risk children. 'TM helps these children . . . calms them down,' he said. Mr O'Reilly explained that at a recent New York event, he commended Paul McCartney for his 2009 Radio City Music Hall concert with Ringo Starr to benefit the Foundation. The anecdote served as the introduction to Mr O'Reilly's 'Tip of the Day: The David Lynch Foundation, very worthy'. (more)

US: David Lynch Foundation director Bob Roth addresses Google Zeitgeist conference
17 September 2014 - Earlier this week in Phoenix, Arizona, Bob Roth, executive director of the David Lynch Foundation, spoke to 400 top international business and tech leaders at Google Zeitgeist. The title of Mr Roth's talk was: 'Relieving the world's stress with Transcendental Meditation': 'Trauma and toxic stress are the number one health epidemic confronting at-risk populations because they fuel disease, violent behavior and poverty. The David Lynch Foundation is committed to empowering all those in need with the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation technique to live healthier, more productive lives.' (more)

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

Nearly 36 mln people are slaves, Qatar in focus: global index
17 November 2014 - Almost 36 million people are living as slaves across the globe with an index on Monday listing Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Haiti, Qatar, and India as the nations where modern-day slavery is most prevalent. (more)

Pakistan Taliban splinter group vows allegiance to Islamic State
17 November 2014 - A splinter group of Pakistan's Taliban has pledged support to Islamic State (IS), a spokesman said on Monday, in another indication of the appeal of the Iraq- and Syria-based jihadist group in a region traditionally dominated by al Qaeda and local insurgencies. Jundullah is one of several Pakistani groups exploring relations with IS, whose fighters have captured swathes of Iraq and Syria in a drive to set up a self-declared caliphate. They share an aim to kill or drive out religious minorities and establish a hardline Sunni theocracy. Analysts say that so far IS has mainly attracted sectarian groups rather than anti-state militants like the Taliban. Pakistan has a ready supply of hardened fighters and a population often receptive to sectarian hatred. (more)

Rohingya relatives says thousands missing in boats en route to Malaysia
15 November 2014 - Thousands of Rohingya boat people who have left Myanmar in the past month have yet to reach their destinations, say relatives and an advocacy group for the persecuted minority, raising fears their boats have been prevented from reaching shore. The boat people are headed for Malaysia, but most transit through Thailand, where smugglers and traffickers hold them at jungle camps near the Malaysian border until relatives pay ransoms to secure their release. About 460 boat people were found and detained by the Thai authorities in November, but thousands more have not made landfall or contacted relatives after what is usually a five-day voyage. 'Where are they?' said Chris Lewa of the Arakan Project, which plots migration across the Bay of Bengal. 'We have become very concerned.' (more)

Nigeria: Militants seize hometown of kidnapped schoolgirls
14 November 2014 - Islamic extremists in Nigeria have seized Chibok, forcing thousands of people to flee the northeastern town where insurgents kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls in April, a local official said Friday. The Boko Haram insurgents entered the town Thursday, shooting from pickup trucks and motorcycles, Bana Lawan, chairman of the Chibok local government, told The Associated Press. 'Nobody can tell you what is happening there today because everybody is just trying to escape with their lives,' he said. In a separate development, a bomb exploded Friday night in northern Kano city, the second largest population center in Nigeria, killing an unknown number of people. (more)

Six out of 10 Indian men admit violence against wives - UN study
10 November 2014 - Six out of 10 Indian men admit to having perpetrated violence against their wives or partners, with men who experienced discrimination as children or faced financial stresses more likely to be abusive, said a study released on Monday. 'Men who experience economic stress were more likely to have perpetrated violence ever or in the past 12 months.' The highest reports of violence came from Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, said the report, with more than 70 per cent of men in these regions admitting to being abusive towards their wives and partners. The study, which also polled 3,158 women, said more than half -- 52 per cent -- of women said they had experienced some form of violence during their lifetime. The reason less women reported being victims than men reported being violent was a feeling of shame or fear of social stigma, said the report. (more)

US: Chef, 90, faces jail, fines for feeding the homeless
8 November 2014 - For decades, 90-year-old Arnold Abbott has hauled pans filled with food onto a south Florida beach park to feed hundreds of homeless people. For his good deeds, Mr Abbott finds himself facing up to two months in jail and hundreds of dollars in fines after new laws that restrict public feeding of the homeless went into effect in Fort Lauderdale, Florida earlier this year. He was first cited last Sunday, along with two clergymen and a volunteer from his nonprofit, Love Thy Neighbor. On Wednesday, several police cars waited for Abbott at a downtown Fort Lauderdale park, and officers pulled aside the frail man, clad in a white chef's coat, soon after the first plates were ready to be served. At least 57 cities in the US have limited or banned public feeding. A widely agreed-upon solution -- giving the longtime homeless beds as they work their way into treatment programmes -- is too costly for many municipalities that struggle with homelessness. (more)

AP Exclusive: Myanmar profits off Rohingya exodus
6 November 2014 - Small wooden boats leave the shores of western Myanmar nearly every day, overloaded with desperate Rohingya Muslims who are part of one the largest boat exoduses in Asia since the Viet Nam War. Helping them on their way: Myanmar's own security forces, who are profiting off the mass departure of one of the world's most persecuted minorities by extracting payments from those fleeing. A report to be released Friday, 7 November by the Bangkok-based advocacy group Fortify Rights, and reporting by The Associated Press, indicate the practice is far more widespread and organized than previously thought, with Myanmar naval boats going so far as to escort asylum seekers out sea, where larger ships operated by transnational criminal networks wait to pick them up (more)

Sexual violence rampant among El Salvador gangs
6 November 2014 - In a country terrorized by gangsters, it is left to the dead to break the silence on sexual violence. Rather, to the bodies of women and girls pulled from clandestine graves. They attest to the abuse committed by members of street gangs. Those who gather statistics say there are no reliable numbers on sexual violence in El Salvador. Threats prevent many from reporting attacks. Others who have grown up amid rampant abuse may not even recognize rape as a crime. Still others flee the country for safety rather than seek justice from a system that more often delivers impunity. US immigration attorneys say there has been a dramatic increase in the number of women and girls from Central America seeking asylum in the United States after having been kidnapped and raped. 'We are seeing an exponential increase,' said Lindsay Toczylowski, a lawyer with Catholic Charities in Los Angeles. The official numbers show just 239 women and girls among the murdered so far this year, about a tenth of the number of men, with 201 others reported missing. But the statistics don't begin to tell the story. 'All of the gang members victimize women. All of the cliques behave this way,' said Silvia Juarez, a lawyer with the Gender Violence Observatory. 'If there are 60,000 or 70,000 gangsters, imagine how many women they have abused.' El Salvador's 6 million people also suffer the second highest per capita homicide rate in the world after neighbouring Honduras. (more)

US: Feeding the homeless: Act of charity or a crime?
6 November 2014 - To Arnold Abbot, feeding the homeless in a public park in Florida was an act of charity. To the city of Fort Lauderdale, the 90-year-old was committing a crime. The face-off in Fort Lauderdale over the new ordinance restricting public feeding of the homeless has pitted those with compassionate aims against residents and businesses trying to protect their neighbourhoods. Mr Abbott and two South Florida ministers were charged last weekend as they handed out food. 'One of the police officers said, 'Drop that plate right now,' as if I were carrying a weapon,' Mr Abbott said. Mayor Jack Seiler said he thinks the three have good intentions, but the city can't discriminate in enforcing the law. In the past two years, more than 30 cities have tried to introduce laws similar to Fort Lauderdale's, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. Advocates for the homeless say the cities are fighting to control increasing homeless populations but that simply passing ordinances doesn't work. The efforts come as more veterans face homelessness and after two harsh winters drove homeless people south. (more)

Acid attacks in Iran sharpen row over Islamic dress and vigilantism
5 November 2014 - It is a question all Iranians are asking: who is stalking the streets of Isfahan, throwing acid into women's faces? The crimes coincided with the passage of a new parliamentary bill that allows private citizens to enforce 'morality' laws. The bill has sparked a clash between hardline politicians, who overwhelmingly support it, and moderates including President Hassan Rouhani. The split is an illustration of the wider political challenges Rouhani faces from his hardline opponents. cid attacks are rare in Iran and authorities, including conservative clerics, were quick to condemn them. Suspicions have fallen on religious vigilante groups. (more)

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