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Canada: Proposed Iqaluit university would offer Inuit knowledge and language classes - report
22 May 2015 - A proposed Inuit university is getting a renewed push due to corporate money and a recent high-level report that sketches out what Canada's northernmost academic institution could look like. The institution would be located in Iqaluit and would need to be independent of both government and Inuit organizations, the report says. While it would be open to all, it would mostly serve Inuit students from across the North. (more)

National Geographic recommends the world make Edmonton, Canada a summer vacation stop
22 May 2015 - National Geographic magazine is recommending Edmonton as a top travel destination this summer. The magazine included the city on its list of Best Summer Trips 2015, portraying Edmonton as a destination for festivals, dining, and long days of sunshine. Along with Edmonton, the list recommends the ancient city of Machu Picchu in Peru, the Magna Carta Trails in England, and Singapore's Jubilee weekend in August to mark that city's 50th anniversary of independence. (more)

Lotus on Mongolian state emblem delights Indian Prime Minister Modi
20 May 2015 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi discovered a 'special connection' with Mongolia when he entered the country's Parliament to deliver a speech, the first foreign leader to do so on Sunday. At the end of his address to lawmakers at the State Great Hural, the Parliament, Mr Modi turned around and pointed to state emblem, which had a lotus among other symbols. (more)

Scotland: Music project 'helping improve lives of impoverished children'
20 May 2015 - A long-term study of a pioneering music project in Stirling and Glasgow has found that it is improving the prospects of underprivileged children. The research looked at the economic, educational, and community impacts of the Big Noise projects and found that children taking part had higher school attendance, improved language, handwriting, and other skills, and improved confidence and pride. (more)

William Shakespeare: Newly-discovered image revealed
20 May 2015 - An image claimed to be the first and only contemporary portrait of William Shakespeare has been discovered in a 16th century book about plants. The bearded man in Roman dress does not instantly bring to mind the world's most famous playwright. Beneath it is an Elizabethan cipher which Mark Griffiths claims to have cracked -- and which he says translates as 'William Shakespeare'. Symbols included in the portrait, in the form of flowers and vegetables, are also said to be coded references to the playwright's identity. (more)

'True face of Shakespeare' appears in botany book (+ BBC video)
19 May 2015 - A 400-year-old botany book contains what could be the only known portrait of Shakespeare made in his lifetime, according to an academic expert. Botanist and historian Mark Griffiths cracked an 'ingenious cipher' to identify the playwright in an engraving in the 16th-Century work. The figure is holding a fritillary and an ear of sweetcorn -- plants which Griffiths says point to Shakespeare's poem Venus and Adonis and his play Titus Andronicus. (more)

British magazine publishes 'new portrait of Shakespeare'
19 May 2015 - A British magazine has published an image of a figure that it says is the first and only known demonstrably authentic portrait of William Shakespeare made in his lifetime. Botanist and historian Mark Griffiths said the discovery had come when he began researching the biography of pioneering botanist John Gerard (1545-1612), author of The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes, published in 1598. 'I began to look at the title page engravings ... and realized it was full of allusions to people who had been involved in the creation of the book and that four of the figures on the title page were in fact real persons.' (more)

US and Cuban sailors in friendly race amid warming relations
19 May 2015 - Competitive sailors from the U.S. and Cuba have been showing off their skills in Havana Bay as the two countries work on restoring diplomatic relations after decades of hostility. Sailors from both countries said they were excited for the rare opportunity to race against each other. (more)

Image of Asia: A holy dip in the Ganges on auspicious day
18 May 2015 - Devotees believe the Somvati Amavasya, or no moon day that falls on a Monday, is more auspicious and that rites and rituals practiced on this day will bring more favor. Hindus fast and take holy dips in the sacred Ganges river to mark the occasion, and wives tie thread to trees and pray for their husbands' longevity. (more)

Ordinary people help migrants as Asia struggles with crisis
18 May 2015 - For hundreds of migrants stranded at sea in sinking boats, the first helping hand came not from governments but from fishermen who towed them to safety. The desperation of migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh has inspired compassion from ordinary people across Southeast Asia. Sympathetic Malaysians have launched donation drives to help feed migrants who have flooded ashore in the past two weeks. In Indonesia, where fisherman rescued three boats last week and saved 900 lives, villagers have donated clothing and home-cooked meals. '. . . it's encouraging to see that the people in this region have responded very generously to these boat people,' said Vivian Tan, a Bangkok-based spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR. (more)

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

Discovering our greatness: Part I - Enjoying our truest selves
21 May 2015 - 'We respect qualities in great persons that we ourselves value, that we ourselves hold and uphold. When we see people express great courage, compassion, creativity, generosity, or other qualities we esteem, it resonates; we feel something noble enlivened within. The seed of that quality of greatness is already within us,' writes Cynthia E. Johnson in a new essay exploring the 'superb human characteristics' exemplified in great people, and also how we can unfold our own greatness. 'This quality of being true to our deepest self, our truest, best self, is something that unfolds as we practise Transcendental Meditation,' she says. 'A sense of lightness, grace, even playfulness unfolds when we are rested, when anxiety dissolves--whether we are engaged in doing what we love, or what duty necessitates. As we grow in inner fullness, it overflows to others.' (more)

The Solitude of Self: Experience inner silence with Transcendental Meditation
17 May 2015 - 'While most modern women have a sense of what the ''solitude of self'' means, and have had some experience of reaching deep into their inner silence to make an important decision or to stay calm in a crisis, we all need help accessing it on a daily basis. But how?' asks health writer Linda Egenes. 'We need it now more than ever. It's the desire to access the solitude of self that is causing thousands of women today to turn to the Transcendental Meditation technique, to find that oasis of silence and self-sufficient happiness within themselves every day.' (more)

Writing with and within an awareness of silence
4 May 2015 - 'The Transcendental Meditation technique takes us from concrete thoughts on the surface of the mind to finer and finer values of thought deep within ourselves. It allows us to transcend the sphere of thought altogether and arrive at the source of thought--that field of pure potential, pure silence,' writes educator, artist, and award-winning writer Sasha Kamini Parmasad, in an essay exploring the value of this silence within, in the creative process of writing. 'The more we experience this beautiful silence in meditation, the more it flows into all our activities in the world, supporting our creativity in every way--as writers, mothers, cooks, business executives, doctors, teachers, lawyers. This silence is always there for us, no matter what our path through life.' (more)

See what happens when designer Lindsey Adelman and her staff stop working each day
2 May 2015 - Lindsey Adelman Studio is an innovative and top-tier design studio that has been featured in Oprah Magazine, Vogue, City Lights, New York Times and more. Why do the designers, artists, managers, and staff take time to dive within every day with the practice of Transcendental Meditation? Founder and creative director Lindsey Adelman explains, 'Obstacles aren't really even a topic anymore. People are so about how many different ways can we find to getting to the solution. . . . They feel happier and it allows people to be themselves. TM is super helpful with being a business owner and a creative person. It's the secret door to actually enjoying life.' (more)

David Lynch Foundation receives prestigious TriBeCa award
29 April 2015 - The David Lynch Foundation and filmmaker David Lynch were honoured with the 'TriBeCa Disruptive Innovation Award' during their sixth annual award ceremony on 24 April in New York City. The award recognized 'those whose ideas have broken the mold to create significant impact'. The DLF was recognized for its innovative approach to disrupting the dangerous cycle of toxic stress, sickness, substance abuse, and violent behaviour among at-risk populations through widespread introduction of the Transcendental Meditation technique. (more)

'Women in the Media Who Meditate' luncheon raises funds to teach TM to at-risk women and children
23 April 2015 - An audience of 450 women business leaders attended a luncheon roundtable on the benefits of Transcendental Meditation on 16 April in New York City. In addition to Arianna Huffington, the chair, president and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post, the event featured a panel of women leaders from the media who meditate, including Robin Roberts, anchor of ABC's Good Morning America; Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Cynthia McFadden, senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC News; Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, Lenox Hill Hospital heart specialist and host of 'Focus on Health'; Dr. Jennifer Ashton, senior medical correspondent for ABC news; Lesley Seymour, editor-in-chief of More magazine; and Perri Peltz, award-winning HBO producer and director. Proceeds from the event will help provide the TM technique to women and children in New York City who are survivors of violence and abuse. (more)

A writer's perspective: An interview with Sasha Parmasad
16 April 2015 - 'This is what the process of transcending though Transcendental Meditation helps you realize,' says award-winning writer Sasha Kamini Parmasad, on the value of TM in the creative process, and how her perspective has evolved as one committed to effecting social change. 'You transcend the sphere of thoughts, get in touch with silence, come out refreshed, elevated--this elevates the consciousness of the world. So the path to improving the world is simple. All we have to do is dip daily into that delicious ocean of silence, our essence, and enjoy ourselves. The light we access, we bring into the world, into our relationships. Writing as an act of seeing, emptying, also allows one to transcend the sphere of what is seen and engenders inner transformation.' (more)

Cultural harmony through women and the five fundamentals
4 April 2015 - 'More than ever, in our multicultural country and world, we as women need to honour, embrace, and rise to our creative role as nurturers, collaborators, and harmonizers,' writes Cynthia Johnson. 'There is so much potential for rich mutual learning and growing, but there is also potential for misunderstanding, tension, and eruptions of conflict. Just as women are so often the harmonizers in the smaller unit of families, we need to embrace our role as harmonizers in the larger families of our cities, nations, and the world.' Through the practice of Transcendental Meditation, she writes, 'we can tap into the harmony deep within ourselves as a foundation to create harmony, healing, and progress in our communities and our world.' (more)

Japan: National Transcendental Meditation facility features Maharishi Vastu design
28 March 2015 - The national headquarters of the Transcendental Meditation organization in Japan, the Maharishi Institute of Total Education, is located in Nasu, approximately one and a half hours north of Tokyo. It is not only an organizational headquarters but offers many residential courses to those already practising Transcendental Meditation, as well as the opportunity to learn TM in this serene setting. The largest wood structure in all of Japan, 4,800 sm (51,500 sf), with a striking copper roof, it is a wonderful example of the use of natural materials--a key element in Maharishi Vastu construction, according to a recent newsletter featuring Maharishi Vastu architecture and design in Japan. (more)

Japan: Maharishi Vastu homes designed to connect individual and cosmic life
24 March 2015 - The second of three Vastu buildings in Japan featured in the current Maharishi Vastu newsletter was completed in the autumn of 2014. It is the most recent of several private homes in Ryugasaki, northeast of Tokyo, that have been designed and built according to Maharishi Vastu architecture. Like another Vastu home in the area, it features lovely wood interiors, traditional Japanese features, and an abundance of natural light on both levels. (more)

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

Islamic State claims Yemen mosque attack: Islamic State Twitter statement
22 May 2015 - A bomb exploded at a Shi'ite Houthi mosque in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Friday, wounding 13 people, a security source said, and the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on Twitter. The bombing came against a backdrop of civil war in the country. Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have seized large swathes of territory, including Sanaa, prompting formation of a Saudi-backed Arab coalition that is using air power to try to halt their advances. Sunni Islamist militants have been seeking to extend their influence amid the chaos. (more)

Suicide bomber kills 21 at Saudi Shi'ite mosque, Islamic State claims attack
22 May 2015 - A suicide bomber killed 21 worshippers on Friday in a packed Shi'ite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia, residents and the health minister said, the first attack in the kingdom to be claimed by Islamic State militants. It was one of the deadliest assaults in recent years in the largest Gulf Arab country, where sectarian tensions have been frayed by nearly two months of Saudi-led air strikes on Shi'ite Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen. (more)

Boko Haram retakes Nigerian town of Marte in Borno state
16 May 2015 - Boko Haram militants retook the Nigerian town of Marte in Borno state, which had been liberated in February, the state deputy governor said. The recapture of the town followed two strikes this week on state capital Maiduguri, which left at least 12 people dead. (more)

AP News Guide: Plight of Myanmar's Rohingya
14 May 2015 - Thousands of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims have been fleeing persecution at home, and now their refugee boats are being turned away by neighboring countries, leaving them stranded at sea. Others had been locked up in jungle camps in Thailand. An untold number have died of starvation, sickness, and abuse. Here's a brief look at their plight and history: (more)

Alcohol use in movies tied to teen drinking
16 April 2015 - In a study of 15-year-olds in the UK, those who had been most exposed to alcohol use in films were also most likely to have tried alcohol, and about twice as likely as the least exposed to have been binge drinking. The results are in line with research from the USA, Europe, and elsewhere that links youth 'viewing of depictions of alcohol use in movies and the onset of drinking, regular drinking, binge-drinking, and alcohol-related problems,' said lead author Andrea Waylen of the School of Oral and Dental Sciences in Bristol, England. (more)

A year after kidnap of schoolgirls in Nigeria, hope dwindles (+ AP video)
14 April 2015 - They have been gone a year now, the hundreds of girls abducted by Islamic militants from their school in northeastern Nigeria. The new President Tuesday would not repeat his predecessor's failed promise to find them -- only that they won't be forgotten. Several of the girls' parents have died -- some killed in Boko Haram attacks, some of illnesses like high blood pressure that residents blame on the trauma related to their lost daughters. At least 2,000 women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram since 2014, forced to become sex slaves and fighters, Amnesty International said Tuesday. Unknown hundreds of boys and young men also have been kidnapped and forced to fight for Boko Haram. Those who refuse are killed. (more)

It's official: many women become invisible after 49
13 April 2015 - In a world of data-driven policies, there is one group in society that barely registers and is at risk of missing out on crucial resources and services, according to researchers -- older women. Much international data, including metrics on health, employment, assets, and domestic violence, appears to back up the anecdotal view that women become invisible in middle age. The data sets start at the age of 15 and stop abruptly at 49. (more)

US: Impoverished tribe struggles to stop surge in teen suicides
13 April 2015 - The people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation -- a sprawling expanse of badlands on the South Dakota-Nebraska border -- are no strangers to hardship or to the risk of lives being cut short. But a string of seven suicides by teenagers in recent months has shaken this impoverished community to its core and sent school and tribal leaders on an urgent mission to stop the deaths. 'The situation has turned into an epidemic,' said Thomas Poor Bear, vice president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Suicide has been a persistent problem, a fact that is hardly surprising considering the grim prospects for a better life on the remote grasslands, say tribal officials. But the teenagers' deaths are especially shattering. (more)

For Afghan women, violence remains entrenched despite gains
7 April 2015 - Rights workers say violence and abuse against women remains one of Afghanistan's most deeply entrenched problems, even as the government tries to build greater rights for women. Even measuring the extent of abuse is difficult. In 2014, for example, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission received 2,026 reports of violence against women, up from previous years. But Hussain Mohsen, of the group's investigation department, said variations from year to year are usually just technical blips and that the problem in general is more pervasive. 'The violence is so high and was high in the past as well,' Mohsen told AP. (more)

Terror attack in Tunisia a fresh blow to tourism industry
20 March 2015 - The terror attack in Tunisia that killed 21 people is a fresh blow to the North African nation's tourism industry, which has been struggling since the country's revolution of 2011. Tourism to Tunisia plunged after the revolution in 2011 led to the overthrow of an authoritarian president and augured the so-called Arab Spring. The country has set forth on a democratic path since but the number of tourists never fully recovered. And yet 2015 began with promise for Tunisian tourism. National Geographic Traveler listed Tunis on its top 20 destinations for 2015, citing its 'cultural energy,' festivals, and yes, the Bardo museum, known for antiquities. (Foreign tourists scrambled in panic Wednesday after militants stormed the Bardo museum in Tunisia's capital and killed 19 people.) (more)

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