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'Jazz in Albania 2014' to promote cultural heritage
24 July 2014 - The third edition of the International Festival 'JAZZ in ALBANIA' 2014, will be held from 23 July until 27 July in Albania, according to the Albanian Telegraphic Agency. Nine national and international bands will be in Albania. Their music is expected to create a special atmosphere in the country. The festival is supported by the Ministry of Culture, as well as by the respective municipalities. (more)

Algeria to host women's African Nations volleyball championships
24 July 2014 - The Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB) has announced Algeria as the host of the 2014 Girls' U-18 African Nations Championship and the inaugural Women's U-23 African Nations Championship. According to a statement from CAVB on Wednesday, both events will hold from 5 to 11 September. (more)

Scotland: Tartan-tastic ceremony opens Glasgow Games
24 July 2014 - Glasgow welcomed a large part of the world and remembered recent tragedies as a diverse and colourful opening ceremony signalled the start of the 20th Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on Wednesday. As the sun set on the hottest day of the year in Scotland's biggest city, a vibrant display of tartan-clad dancers, pipe bands and kilted entertainers kicked off 11 days of sporting endeavour. Famed singers Rod Stewart and Susan Boyle, along with over 3,000 volunteers, helped provide the entertainment for a packed stadium as they welcomed the 6,500 athletes from 71 mostly former British colonies. (more)

Trans-boundary tourism experience across Angola, Botswana, and Namibia
24 July 2014 - There are many trans-boundary tourism experiences across the Southern Africa region, particularly, in the Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA). A TFCA is a component of a large ecological region that straddles the boundaries of two or more countries encompassing one or more protected areas as well as multiple-use areas. Many renowned tourism destinations are situated within TFCAs, positioning them as prime areas for development of tourism which has the great potential to generate employment in the rural areas, thereby contributing to poverty reduction. (more)

Thailand: Reconciliation Festival to return happiness to the people
20 July 2014 - The public and private sectors are joining hands in organizing a 'Reconciliation Festival' to return happiness to the people and promote national reconciliation. The festival is scheduled for 22-27 July 2014 at Sanam Luang ceremonial ground in Bangkok. The Reconciliation Festival will consist of several activities, such as prayers for peace and happiness by major faiths in Thailand, a bazaar of low-priced products, exhibitions, music, cultural performances, and film screenings. (more)

Australia: More Pacific voyaging canoes join fleet planned for spectacular Sydney visit after epic sea crossing
18 July 2014 - Traditional voyaging canoes from five countries will now be part of a spectacular armada making a journey from Cook Islands to Australia. The purpose of the epic voyage is to highlight the environmental needs of the world's oceans and the threat posed by climate change. The four-month journey will end with a grand entrance through the Sydney Harbour heads in November to coincide with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's World Parks Congress. (more)

South Africans remember Nelson Mandela on his birthday
18 July 2014 - South Africans marked Nelson Mandela's birthday on Friday with charitable acts in honour of the former President, whose death in December prompted a global outpouring of tributes. Organizers had urged people to perform acts of charity for 67 minutes, symbolizing the anti-apartheid leader's 67 years of public service. Graca Machel, Mandela's widow, joined volunteers who packed food parcels at a convention centre in Johannesburg. The United Nations has declared 18 July to be Nelson Mandela International Day. (more)

Thailand: Preparations for activities to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen's 82nd birthday anniversary
18 July 2014 - The Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office will organize various activities, as part of the celebrations of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit's 82nd birthday anniversary, 12 August. The activities will take place on 9 and 10 August 2014 at the Ambara Gardens and the Royal Plaza in Bangkok. Among the activities are demonstrations of craft-making by the Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques (SUPPORT), khon performances, a light and sound presentation, and a candle-lit tribute paying ceremony. A small garden will be arranged as a model food bank at the ceremonial ground. (more)

UK: London street artist makes hit -- and money -- with dog sketches
18 July 2014 - A former homeless man's sketches of his dog George, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier he credits with changing his life, are commanding rising prices in a London gallery and have earned him a show in Los Angeles. He also plans to make a book of drawings of rock stars with their dogs in conjunction with a dog shelter. (more)

Science meets ceremony in UK's royal swan count
15 July 2014 - Swans on the River Thames in London have a powerful ally -- Queen Elizabeth II. One of the British monarch's many titles is Seigneur of the Swans -- Lord of the Swans -- and by ancient tradition she owns all mute swans found in Britain's open waters. In practice, she only exercises that right along the Thames, and every year she sends a flotilla of emissaries in rowing boats to count, measure, and check the condition of her flock. Known as swan upping, the five-day census is a uniquely British mix of ceremony and science that has been taking place since the 12th century. (more)

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

How to handle stress and live authentically according to Hugh Jackman
22 July 2014 - Between watching the FIFA World Cup and attending the 2014 Wimbledon Men's Final, actor, producer, and family man Hugh Jackman made time to join David Lynch Foundation Executive Director Bob Roth for an interview on Bob's SiriusXM radio show Success Without Stress. If you didn't already know it, Hugh is as likable in person as he is on the big screen, and he had some thought-provoking things to say. (more)

Three years of Transcendental Meditation - Blake Ian
19 July 2014 - 'On April 30, 2011, I learned the method of Transcendental Meditation,' writes singer-songwriter and music producer Blake Ian. 'Since then I have experienced the most productive and present three years of my life, which includes moving to New York City and turning an idea I had into a successful tech startup (the social conversation app This practice has changed the quality of my life in so many ways that it is hard to list them all, let alone effectively describe them. For starters, as someone who suffered with intense anxiety and panic attacks for most of my life, I now live nearly anxiety free, and TM is one of the key ingredients to that major shift.' (more)

Ringo Starr birthday celebration continues with premiere of tribute concert supporting David Lynch Foundation
7 July 2014 - Today Ringo Starr, currently in the midst of a multi-city USA concert tour with his All Starr Band, is celebrating his 74th birthday. The celebration continues 13 July, with the premiere showing of a tribute concert honouring the legendary former Beatle on AXS TV. The concert--'Ringo Starr: A Lifetime of Peace and Love'--features performances by many other top recording artists. Taped in January, the event launched the Ringo Starr Peace and Love Fund, a division of the David Lynch Foundation, which provides Transcendental Meditation instruction to at-risk students in underserved schools, women survivors of domestic violence, and veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. (more)

'The fastest best way to living an authentic life' - Hugh Jackman on Transcendental Meditation
1 July 2014 - In an in-depth interview from the Sirius XM radio show 'Success Without Stress'--hosted by David Lynch Foundation Executive Director and Transcendental Meditation teacher Bob Roth--actor Hugh Jackman discusses risk in his profession, the 'gotta gotta' mind, and practising Transcendental Meditation before hosting the 'Oscars'. (more)

Transcendental Meditation enhances leadership performance on Wall Street
26 June 2014 - Anita Warner began her career in finance at Merrill Lynch in New York. 'I started in a support position, but I began every morning with Transcendental Meditation before heading out to Wall Street, and it gave me unending energy and focus,' she said in Part 2 of a recent interview. Within two years, she became an Institutional Fixed Income sales professional and, ultimately, earned the title of Vice President. 'A VP in this division had the responsibilities of handling major clients. Even though there were few women at the time, I found I was personally capable of hard work and of going the extra mile. There is no question that my Transcendental Meditation practice enhanced leadership performance qualities in me.' (more)

'To scale a mountain, first meditate by the sea' - The Wall Street Journal
24 June 2014 - In a recent article that appeared in the What's Your Workout section of The Wall Street Journal, writer Jen Murphy interviews LA entrepreneur/restaurateur Erik Oberholtzer about how he prepared for his 2012 trek in the Himalayas, and how he stays healthy and successful. 'The 45-year-old says the last time he felt stressed by life was his sophomore year at Drexel University in Philadelphia. With a full courseload and full-time work, he recalls, ''I was struggling to find balance.'' That was when a friend convinced him to try Transcendental Meditation. He has done it every day since.' (more)

Bhutan: Maharishi University of Management students help build traditional bamboo/earth houses
24 June 2014 - In June, Maharishi University of Management study abroad students helped build nine houses made of bamboo and earth in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. They also worked with Bhutan's Gross National Happiness Centre and visited organic gardens. Bhutan is being presented as an example of a developing country that has put environmental conservation and sustainability at the heart of its political agenda. (more)

Winning on Wall Street: An interview with Anita Warner
24 June 2014 - Anita Warner retired from a successful, dynamic career on Wall Street. In a recent interview she describes how practising the Transcendental Meditation technique helped her withstand the pressures of a stressful work environment while giving her the energy and focus necessary to rise to positions of leadership in a field dominated by men. In Part 1 she explains how she began practising Transcendental Meditation, and how the technique provided a good foundation for her entry into the world of finance. (more)

Why does Lena Dunham make time for Transcendental Meditation during her 12-plus hour days on set?
13 June 2014 - In a recent radio interview Lena Dunham, star and super-power behind the HBO series Girls, shares how she came to learn Transcendental Meditation as a 9-year-old, and how it has helped her since then, both on and off the set. Lena talks about anxiety, ideas and her creative process, and she touches on the very real problem of stress and exhaustion in the workplace and her desire to bring the Transcendental Meditation technique to her sets. (more)

Uplifting all the women of the world
28 May 2014 - The Transcendental Meditation (TM) programme enlivens the full potential of the brain and consciousness--this is one solution that underlies the resolution of all problems. What does 'one solution to all problems' mean? An analogy explains: a child not understanding that a wilting plant cannot be healed by painting the leaves green or supporting the stems with sticks. The child will try to solve the problem at its surface, whereas a gardener understands that we have to nourish the root of the plant for the plant to flourish. In this same way, the TM technique enlivens the fundamental value or root of every woman so that she can display more of her full potential and handle the circumstances around her in a more profound and effective way. This technique takes the term 'empowerment' to its deepest meaning because it literally wakes up the power in every woman. (more)

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

As forests are cleared and species vanish, there's one other loss: a world of languages.
7 June 2014 - A new report shows a direct link between disappearing habitats and the loss of languages. One in four of the world's 7,000 spoken tongues is now at risk of falling silent for ever as the threat to cultural biodiversity grows. As the politics change and deforestation accelerates, the natural barriers that once allowed so many languages to develop there in isolation are broken down. This is part of a process that has seen languages decline as biodiversity decreases. While around 21 per cent of all mammals, 13 per cent of birds, 15 per cent of reptiles, and 30 per cent of amphibians are threatened, around 400 languages are thought to have become extinct in the same time. Conservationists fear that the loss of species due to man's activities is accelerating. And linguists say that the wealth of the world's human languages is now safeguarded by very few indigenous peoples, most of whom live precarious lives in developing countries. (more)

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)

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