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'People want to help': Scottish town prepares to host Syrian refugees
14 November 2015 - Shopkeepers in the resort town of Rothesay on the isle of Bute, off Scotland's handsome Argyll coast, are more used to catering for the summer ice cream trade. This weekend, they are busily preparing to welcome 15 Syrian families when the first of at least three charter flights touches down in Scotland early next week, bringing the first tranche of refugees to arrive in the UK before Christmas as part of the government's promise to take in 1,000 people by the end of the year. (more)

It's a wonderful life: Scotland's holiday isle prepares to greet its first Syrian refugees
14 November 2015 - The winter's first hailstorm and iced rain cocktail greeted visitors disembarking from the Gourock to Rothesay ferry on Friday morning. In the next week or so, 15 Syrian refugee families, fleeing bombs and bullets in their homeland, will make the same crossing, seeking security, compassion and the Arabic for winter woollies. The families, including up to 50 children, are among a first large group of refugees who will begin arriving in Scotland this week. (more)

Prehistoric 'Stonehenge' monument in Golan Heights fuels mystery
11 November 2015 - Driving past it, one of the most mysterious structures in the Middle East is easy to miss. The prehistoric stone monument went unnoticed for centuries in a bare expanse of field on the Golan Heights. Known as Rujm el-Hiri in Arabic, meaning the 'stone heap of the wild cat', the complex has five concentric circles, the largest more than 500 feet (152 m) wide. Its Hebrew name Gilgal Refaim, or 'wheel of giants', refers to an ancient race of giants mentioned in the Bible. It is up to 5,000 years old, according to most estimates, making it a contemporary of England's Stonehenge. There could be an astrological significance. On the shortest and longest days of the year -- the June and December solstices -- the sunrise lines up with openings in the rocks, said Uri Berger, an expert on megalithic tombs with the Israel Antiquities Authority. (more)

Record share of young U.S. women living with relatives: research
11 November 2015 - A record portion of young U.S. women are living with parents or other relatives, largely because of higher college attendance and delayed marriage, a research report said on Wednesday, 11 November. (more)

What is Diwali and what are the best ways to celebrate the 2015 festival in the UK tonight?
11 November 2015 - Indian celebrate the 'Festival of Lights' this week, with Diwali Day on November 11. The Telegraph looks at the story behind the celebration, and the UK's best events. Marked annually by yellow flickers of light appearing in shop windows, public places, and homes, Diwali -- popularly known as the 'Festival of Lights' -- is a five-day festival celebrating light, knowledge, and good nature. (more)

Melbourne celebrates Diwali 2015
7 November 2015 - Melbourne was in for a sensational weekend after having heavy rain through the week. The end of the working week and there could not have been a better way to celebrate . . . in the heart of Melbourne City, Federation Square celebrating Diwali. Diwali is known, as the Indian equivalent of Christmas, also known as the Festival of Lights, is believed to be a symbol of prosperity, brings happiness to your house and where good reigns over evil and darkness. It not only has a National but a religious significance to the various religions in India. (more)

Brazil project aims to save endangered indigenous languages
6 November 2015 - Of the estimated 2,000 indigenous languages thought to have been spoken in pre-Columbian times in what is now Brazil, only around 160 survive today. A program spearheaded in part by UNESCO, the U.N.'s cultural and educational agency, aims to give a fighting chance to nearly three dozen threatened languages. Over nearly eight years, the program has helped 35 tribes to transcribe their languages, develop dictionaries and teaching tools for children, and document their rich oral traditions. (more)

Katy Perry, Sting perform at David Lynch Foundation concert
5 November 2015 - Sting played it cool for a New York benefit concert dedicated to Transcendental Meditation. Katy Perry added some volume. They and Jerry Seinfeld were featured performers Wednesday at 'Change Begins Within,' a Carnegie Hall event presented by the David Lynch Foundation. The benefit raised money to offer Transcendental Meditation for 10,000 at-risk New Yorkers. (more)

Greek fortress, key to ancient Jerusalem, uncovered, researchers say
3 November 2015 - After a century of searching, archaeologists say they have found the remnants of an ancient Greek fortress once a center of power in Jerusalem and a stronghold used to hold off a Jewish rebellion celebrated in the scriptural Book of the Maccabees. Researchers have long debated over the location of the Acra, built more than 2,000 years ago by Antiochus Epiphanes, king of the Hellenised Seleucid empire. Many asserted it stood in what is now Jerusalem's walled Old City, at spots like the Church of the Holy Sepulchre or by the hilltop where two Jewish temples once towered and which now houses the Al Aqsa mosque compound. (more)

Rome's refilled Trevi Fountain basks in restored glory
3 November 2015 - Water coursed back into Rome's Trevi Fountain for the first time in over a year on Tuesday as the city showed off the latest privately-funded restoration of its prized landmarks. The work was sponsored by fashion house Fendi. Tourists in the piazza, named after the three roads ('tre vie') that once met there, waited to throw a coin into the newly-crystalline water in homage to the tradition that doing so guarantees the thrower a return trip to the Italian capital. (more)

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

Everyone can enjoy the practical benefits of the experience of transcending
24 November 2015 - More about the supreme value of the experience of transcending--the subject of Dr Craig Pearson's book, The Supreme Awakening: Experiences of Enlightenment Throughout Time - and How You Can Cultivate Them, now in an expanded second edition. Although rare until now, he writes, 'this experience can be systematically elicited' by anyone through the simple, effortless Transcendental Meditation technique--which 'enables the mind to settle inward, beyond thoughts, beyond perceptions, to experience the ocean of stillness that we all have within us'. The many practical, scientifically verified benefits of this experience include enhanced brain functioning, reduced stress, improved health, and increased intelligence and learning ability. (more)

Enabling girls and women to enjoy freedom from self-doubt, stress, stereotypes
20 November 2015 - Transcendental Meditation 'provides such deep rest that it normalizes the nervous system so a girl or woman can be who she is out of strength and conviction rather than due to stress and abnormalities in blood chemistry,' writes Janet Hoffman, executive director of the Transcendental Meditation Program for Women Professionals in the US, commenting on recent New York Times articles on outdated stereotypes of girls and women. TM 'allows us to dive within, where we effortlessly experience deeper levels of our being--more expansive and free from the limitations of self-doubt, stress and fatigue.' The TM technique 'enlivens full brain capacity so a person can truly express their full potential.' (more)

Scotland: Plans move ahead for Maharishi Vastu building in Edinburgh
17 November 2015 - The City of Edinburgh Planning Council has granted permission to build a substantial Maharishi Vastu building with eight attractive apartments and a spacious ground-floor commercial space for the teaching and practice of the Transcendental Meditation programme. David Rae, national director in Scotland, says, 'This building, virtually a palace of peace, will generate a transforming influence of coherence, order, and goodwill at an important time in Scotland's history.' (more)

David Lynch Foundation: Highlights of the Change Begins Within 2015 gala
6 November 2015 - On 4 November, Change Begins Within, a gala event at Carnegie Hall in New York City, celebrated another year of the David Lynch Foundation's successful initiatives bringing Transcendental Meditation to at-risk individuals including inner city school children, veterans suffering from PTSD, and women survivors of domestic abuse. The benefit concert featured performances by Katy Perry, Sting, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim James, Angelique Kidjo, and Sharon Isbin. Jerry Seinfeld said, 'I'm thrilled to be here tonight and to promote TM as a life tool, for helping things make sense.' (more)

Parenting: 'Transcendental Meditation increased my energy, resilience, and creativity'
21 October 2015 - 'I have absolutely no concept of how any parent can be the parent they want to be without the benefit of the practice of TM,' says Becky, a grandmother. 'TM increased my energy, resilience, and creativity, and the inner calm experienced during meditation stayed with me during the rest of the day.' She also notes that, 'having meditated just before the kids arrived home from school, I felt fresh and patient and able to deal with chaos.' Both Becky and her husband have enjoyed successful careers, 'but with our regular practice of Transcendental Meditation we've demonstrated that inner development is equally important to the enjoyment of [the children's] full potential as caring productive human beings.' (more)

Consciousness in poetry and prose
17 October 2015 - A poem by Sasha Kamini Parmasad inspires an essay exploring the 'immense value' of the experience of the transcendent--'the silent source of one's thought, the silent basis of one's self'--which 'has been enjoyed over the past 50 plus years by many people around the world who regularly practise the Transcendental Meditation programme,' writes Lesley Goldman. Scientists characterize it as a fourth major state of consciousness, distinct from waking, dreaming, and deep sleep, in which the body is deeply rested, the brain coherent, and the mind alert. This brings practical benefits for health and well-being, and its growing integration into daily life allows us to 'easily and naturally live the fullest value of life'. (more)

David Lynch Foundation announces Change Begins Within 2015 benefit concert
6 October 2015 - The David Lynch Foundation (DLF) officially announced its annual 'Change Begins Within 2015' benefit concert presented by Citi, which will be held at Carnegie Hall on 4 November. DLF will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of its work teaching Transcendental Meditation (TM) to at-risk populations worldwide. The evening will feature performances by meditators Katy Perry, Sting, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim James, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angelique Kidjo, and Grammy-Award winning classical guitarist Sharon Isbin. The concert will be hosted by long-time meditators ABC's George Stephanopoulos and David Lynch. (more)

Citi presents: Change Begins Within - David Lynch Foundation Benefit Concert, Carnegie Hall, New York City - 4 November 2015
22 September 2015 - Celebrate the David Lynch Foundation's 10th anniversary with a grand benefit concert at Carnegie Hall in New York on 4 November 2015, presented by Citi. Headliners for the event are Katy Perry, Sting, Jerry Seinfeld, George Stephanopoulos, Jim James, Angelique Kidjo, Sharon Isbin, musical director Rob Mathes and David Lynch. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Foundation's Meditate New York initiative to provide Transcendental Meditation instruction at no cost to 10,000 at-risk New Yorkers. A special ticket presale for Citi cardmembers is being offered starting 24 September. (more)

Anushka Sharma, the Indian movie star who works hard and meditates twice a day
15 September 2015 - Anushka Sharma is living the dream of many young women in India. After a brief modeling career, she has firmly established herself as one of the top actresses in Bollywood. For an additional boost to her body and mind, Anushka also practises the Transcendental Meditation technique. 'Meditation works wonders for me when it comes to beating stress,' the actress says. 'I meditate twice a day . . . . It has a calming effect which translates into better health.' (more)

Canada: Radio host Roz Weston finds success with Transcendental Meditation - 'a literal recharge'
28 August 2015 - Canadian radio host Roz Weston describes how Transcendental Meditation helped him become a better professional broadcaster. The host of ET Canada (Entertainment Tonight) says that as a result of practising TM, 'I now have the ability to deal with issues, thoughts, information so much more effectively than I did before. I no longer feel overwhelmed.' The former Howard Stern intern is also the co-host of a radio morning show and enjoys the benefits of TM in his hectic schedule: 'You shut everything down, you go deep, and when you come out of it you have so much energy. It is a literal recharge.' (more)

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

'Here we go again' -- Americans' lament after Oregon shooting
2 October 2015 - The news from Oregon was grim enough in isolation -- nine people shot dead at a community college. For many Americans it was all the sadder as a reminder of how frequent, how depressingly routine, mass shootings have become -- in malls, at churches, and so often at schools and colleges. (more)

Horrific stampede at hajj in Saudi Arabia kills 717 pilgrims
24 September 2015 - A horrific stampede killed at least 717 pilgrims and injured hundreds more Thursday on the outskirts of the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the deadliest tragedy to strike the annual hajj pilgrimage in more than two decades. At least 863 pilgrims were injured in the crush, said the Saudi civil defense directorate, which provided the death toll. The tragedy struck as Muslims around the world marked the start of the Eid al-Adha holiday. It was the second major disaster during this year's hajj season. Two survivors interviewed by The Associated Press said the disaster began when one wave of pilgrims found themselves heading into a mass of people going in another direction. (more)

Unsupervised teens more likely to use tobacco, pot, and alcohol
18 September 2015 - A small U.S. study appears to confirm adult fears that teens who spend more than the average amount of unsupervised time 'hanging out' with peers have higher odds of smoking cigarettes and marijuana and drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, greater than average involvement in structured school and after-school activities did not seem to offer a protective effect. Organized time, such as arts classes at school, religious activities outside school, or community volunteer work had a very modest protective effect. (more)

Islamic State magazine blasts Muslims fleeing to Europe as sinners
10 September 2015 - Hundreds of thousands of people have fled wars in the Middle East this year, often from areas seized or threatened by Islamic State militants. They have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe on flimsy boats that have sometimes capsized, killing hundreds, in one of the biggest waves of migration since World War Two. Most of the refugees come from Syria, Iraq, and Libya -- states ravaged by conflict frequently involving Islamic State. But the magazine of Islamic State, which controls territory in Iraq and Syria where some 10 million people live, said those who leave its domain were committing a 'major sin'. (more)

UN: Satellite images show Temple of Bel in Syria 'destroyed'
31 August 2015 - A satellite image on Monday shows that the main building of the ancient Temple of Bel in the Syrian city of Palmyra has been destroyed, a United Nations agency said. The image was taken a day after a massive explosion was set off near the 2,000-year-old temple in the city occupied by Islamic State militants. It stood out among the ruins not far from the colonnades of Palmyra, which is affectionately known by Syrians as the 'Bride of the Desert.' Palmyra was an important caravan city of the Roman Empire, linking it to India, China, and Persia. Before the outbreak of Syria's conflict in March 2011, the UNESCO site was one of the top tourist attractions in the Middle East. (more)

Islamic State images purport to show destroyed Syrian temple
25 August 2015 - The Islamic State group released propaganda images Tuesday that purport to show militants laying explosives in and then blowing up the 2,000-year-old temple of Baalshamin in Syria's ancient caravan city of Palmyra. A resident of Palmyra had told the Associated Press the temple was destroyed on Sunday, a month after the group's militants booby-trapped it with explosives. The temple, a structure of giant stone blocks several stories high fronted by six towering columns, was dedicated to a god of storm and rain -- the name means literally 'Lord of the Heavens.' (more)

Islamic State destruction of ancient Syrian temple erases rich history
24 August 2015 - The destruction of the nearly 2,000-year-old temple of Baalshamin by Islamic State militants erased a symbol of the once rich religious life of Syria's ancient caravan city of Palmyra and left residents, archaeologists, and historians fearful that the extremists will destroy more of the rich site, including an even larger more ancient temple nearby. One resident told The Associated Press he saw it after it was blown up Sunday and said it was reduced to 'rocks on the ground, nothing more.' The temple was part of a sprawling Roman-era complex that includes other remains of temples to local gods and goddesses, including the even larger and slightly older Temple of Bel. (more)

Islamic State kills leading Syrian antiquities scholar in Palmyra
19 August 2015 - Islamic State militants beheaded one of Syria's most prominent antiquities scholars in the ancient town of Palmyra, then hung his body from one of the town's Roman columns, Syrian state media and an activist group said Wednesday. The killing of 81-year-old Khaled al-Asaad was the latest atrocity perpetrated by the militant group, which has captured a third of both Syria and neighboring Iraq and declared a self-styled 'caliphate' on the territory it controls. The IS overran Palmyra in May. The Sunni extremist group has imposed a violent interpretation of Islamic law, or Shariah, believes ancient relics promote idolatry. (more)

US: Antipsychotic use rising among teens and young adults
10 July 2015 - A growing number of U.S. teens and young adults are being prescribed antipsychotics, a new study suggests. In particular, it appears they're being used to treat attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) -- a condition for which the powerful drugs are not approved. 'Increasingly, many youth are receiving these medications to treat behavior problems in the absence of a more severe psychiatric illness,' said Meredith Matone, a research scientist with PolicyLab at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, who wasn't involved in the study. (more)

Boko Haram guns down 97 people praying in mosques in Nigeria
2 July 2015 - Boko Haram extremists gunned down nearly 100 Muslims praying in mosques in a northeast Nigerian town during the holy month of Ramadan, a government official and a self-defense fighter said Thursday. The attack Wednesday night on the town of Kukawa came the day after the Islamic extremist group attacked a village 35 kilometers (22 miles) away and killed another 48 men and boys, according to witnesses who counted the dead. (more)

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