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Positive Trends
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US: Utah teens convince lawmakers to recognize climate change
24 May 2018 - A group of Utah teenagers convinced state lawmakers to adopt a resolution that recognizes the consequences of climate change and encourages the reduction of emissions. The resolution, which is a formal statement and not a law, observes that the impacts of climate change affects Utah residents and calls for the use of sound science to understand the causes. It also encourages the reduction of emissions while calling for innovation to grow the economy. (more)

Canada launches $40 million electric bus trial
19 May 2018 - A fleet of electric buses are to be tested in the new Pan-Canadian Electric Bus Demonstration and Integration Trial project with standardized and interoperable buses and chargers in mind. The Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC), a nonprofit consortium founded in 2014 with nearly 100 members representing public and private stakeholders across Canada, launched the $40 million CAD (nearly $32 million USD) project at TransLink in Vancouver. (more)

Royal wedding 2018: Prince Harry and Meghan married at Windsor
19 May 2018 - Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have become husband and wife in a moving ceremony at Windsor Castle. The wedding service combined British tradition with modernity and the bride's African-American heritage. Lady Jane Fellowes, the sister of Prince Harry's late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, gave a reading from the Song of Solomon. After the service, the [couple] travelled through Windsor along a route lined by tens of thousands of well-wishers. (more)

Good eating: Scottish cafe chain builds village for homeless
18 May 2018 - A cafe chain that employs homeless people and runs a scheme to provide free food to rough sleepers has gone a step further, building a village of 11 houses in Scotland. Up to 20 homeless people will be given accommodation in the new village to the north of the Scottish capital Edinburgh built by Social Bite, which was set up in 2012. Last year the Scottish government pledged 50 million pounds ($67.53 million) to fund homelessness prevention schemes over the next five years. (more)

US: San Francisco moving to all-electric bus fleet by 2035
18 May 2018 - San Francisco is joining other world cities in moving toward a zero emissions public transportation fleet. Last week, the city and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency announced that all public buses operating in the city will be electric no later than 2035. To achieve that goal, new buses purchased in 2025 and thereafter will be battery operated. (more)

US: San Francisco seeks 100% electric bus fleet by 2035
17 May 2018 - On Tuesday (15 May), the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SF Muni) Board of Directors passed a resolution to begin procuring zero emission battery buses to replace electric hybrid vehicles by 2025, with a goal of achieving a 100 percent electric bus fleet by 2035. The resolution allows SF Muni to catch up to other Californian transit agencies from Los Angeles to Stockton that have already started switching their bus fleets to zero-emissions electric buses. (more)

Hamburg takes steps to impose Germany's first big city ban on old diesels
16 May 2018 - Hamburg said on Wednesday (16 May) it had begun putting up signs to enforce what will be the first ban on older diesel vehicles from streets in a major German city, after a court ruled in February that cities were entitled to impose such bans. German cities are under pressure to meet legal clean air targets to reduce illness caused by emissions. (more)

US: Electric buses arriving soon in Duluth
13 May 2018 - The Duluth Transit Authority's Jim Caywood spent last week in Greenville, South Carolina, where he was the first person locally to set eyes on the electric buses coming to Duluth (Minnesota) this summer. The order of a half-dozen fully electric buses will roll out one at a time over the course of the summer. (more)

California becomes first U.S. state to require solar panels on new homes
9 May 2018 - Builders in California will be required to fit solar panels on most new homes from 2020 under new building standards adopted on Wednesday (9 May), a move that is the first in the United States and could provide a big boost to the solar industry. The decision, adopted unanimously by the five-member California Energy Commission, is part of the state's effort to fight global climate change. (more)

Ninja Supreme Court Justice: Ruth Bader Ginsburg has fun with fame (+NY Times video)
9 May 2018 - No one knew when, or even how or where, Ruth Bader Ginsburg would pop up. The Supreme Court justice was due at a screening here of 'RBG,' a new documentary chronicling her exemplary life. ... One notion threaded through the documentary is that the diminutive Justice Ginsburg is not the usual vision of authority. Friends and colleagues remark that she is quiet, reserved -- not at all what is traditionally thought of as powerful. (more)


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


New study: Transcendental Meditation helps women reduce trauma in prison, gain 'self-care for life'
24 August 2017 - Research finds that women are the fastest growing population in U.S. prisons, nearly double the rate of men, and enter prison with high rates of abuse and proportionally more trauma. Fortunately, a 2017 randomized controlled study published in The Permanente Journal found that the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique significantly reduced trauma symptoms in female inmates at an Oregon prison. 'Meditating twice a day has helped lessen my stress levels, allowed me to connect to and centre myself at deeper levels, and to retreat, reflect, and problem-solve,' said one inmate. Another said, 'I no longer feel imprisoned. I now feel my freedom from the inside of me.' The TM technique has critical advantages as a mind-body intervention for underrepresented populations, according to Charles Elder, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., author of a companion editorial in The Permanente Journal. (more)

Post-Traumatic Growth: 'Transcendental Meditation has given me the opportunity to live a life that is truly full of purpose, meaning, connection, and service'
1 August 2017 - Suffering from post-traumatic stress (PTS), and finding no relief through treatments provided by the U.S. Veterans Administration, Marine Corps veteran Paul Downs went to Boulder Crest Retreat Facility for veterans in Virginia, which partners with the David Lynch Foundation to offer Transcendental Meditation as part of its programme. One of only five witnesses testifying before the recent U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs' hearing on PTS, Downs said that after just a few weeks of practising TM, he felt less anxious, less angry, more focused, more energized, more directed. 'I gained a connection to self that I didn't have before. I found peace with my past. I realized who I am - and there's no pill for that. . . . It is hard to believe that 20 minutes, twice a day, is exactly what we require. But it is. It works for me, and for thousands of my brothers and sisters. It has given me the opportunity not just to survive on earth, but thrive here - and to live a life that is truly full of purpose, meaning, connection, and service.' (more)

US: Veterans are using Transcendental Meditation to treat PTSD
22 July 2017 - Thousands of veterans have turned to Transcendental Meditation to treat their PTSD [post traumatic stress disorder]. The David Lynch Foundation has worked with US Veterans Administration centres, Army and Marine bases, and veterans' organizations to bring TM to vets and active-duty soldiers, Mother Jones reports. Research has found TM to be effective in reducing PTSD. One veteran, a former Army nurse in Iraq who has been practising TM for four years, says painful memories are still there, but increasingly they seem like a thing of the past. 'Very recently,' she says, 'I've started to feel happiness, which I hadn't felt in years.' (more)

UK Parliament marks International Yoga Day - Prof Tony Nader, MD, PhD honoured with special award
16 July 2017 - The third International Yoga Day was celebrated in the House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Indian Traditional Sciences, its Secretariat Amarjeet S Bhamra and the High Commission of India. The event on 10 July was designed to explore the value of introducing Yoga in the NHS (National Health Service). Chief Guest of the event, H.E. High Commissioner Y K Sinha paid tribute to the work of the APPG in introducing Yoga, Ayurveda and other disciplines into the mainstream of public life. Prof Tony Nader, MD, PhD, MARR, head of the worldwide Transcendental Meditation organization, was honoured with a special award, and presented five volumes of Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation Programme to Members of Parliament. In his keynote address Prof Nader explained that 'every one of us has within us, built into our very physiology, the essential quality of Yoga, which is unifying.' (more)

U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan gives Maharishi University of Management commencement address: 'We are living in a moment that calls out for you'
4 July 2017 - U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan from Ohio's 13th District delivered the commencement address at Maharishi University of Management, USA, on 24 June. Congressman Ryan has taken a national leadership role in improving access to healthcare, promoting ways to make college more affordable, and expanding renewable energy. He challenged the graduates to find innovative solutions to the seemingly intractable problems facing the world: 'Graduates, we are living in a moment that calls out for you, because you are those rare positive disruptors - creative, open, smart, self-driven, resilient, fearless. You are the modern-day explorers. Your meditation practice will assist you in navigating the turbulent waters of modern society. Your Consciousness-Based Education has prepared you to take your place among those leaders who are redefining the rules and changing the way we all see things. Our nation and the world desperately need you now.' (more)

Maharishi School grad posted at US Embassy in Liberia
15 May 2017 - Colette 'Coco' Clark, a 2011 graduate of Maharishi School in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, has recently been hired by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service Officer. Her first posting will be at the U.S. embassy in Liberia, beginning in June. Ms. Clark received a Bachelor of Science in foreign service, summa cum laude, from Georgetown University in 2015 and a Master of Arts in security studies the following year, also from Georgetown. She is proficient in Arabic and has worked for the past two years at the U.S. Department of Justice on legal negotiations between the U.S. government and Middle Eastern countries. (more)

'Results inside correctional facilities with Transcendental Meditation have been simply astounding'
1 February 2017 - In an editorial published this week accompanying two studies on Transcendental Meditation with male and female prison inmates, Dr. Charles Elder, a clinician and researcher with Kaiser Permanente, called for wider use of evidence-based mind-body interventions for prisoners. 'Mind-body interventions can provide the patient with a simple self-help tool that can effectively reduce anxiety, help treat substance abuse, reduce inmate recidivism, and help address a range of medical conditions,' Dr Elder wrote, citing research on Transcendental Meditation that supports these benefits. Rebecca Pak of The Women's Prison Association agrees: 'The results inside correctional facilities . . . with Transcendental Meditation have been simply astounding. If we shifted our focus from punitive responses to interventions designed to improve mental and physical health, we would have much greater impact.' The article reviews research results on Transcendental Meditation in prisons over the last four decades. (more)

Can Blacks and Police Find Inner Peace? Afro.com reports
22 November 2016 - 'If war refugees with PTSD can find rapid relief from stress through Transcendental Meditation practice, how much easier will it be for both police and inner city African-Americans to find inner peace?', write the authors of an article in Afro.com. TM is described as an evidence-based strategy to address the underlying buildup of stress in communities 'that inevitably erupts into violence'. According to recent research, more than 50% of people with PTSD who learn TM are symptom-free in 30-105 days. Police practising TM have found increased stability in stressful situations, better health, and greater resiliency to stress. It is a 'well-documented protocol for reducing stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) . . . . that will prevent and help neutralize this buildup of stress, anger, and violence in individuals and in society as a whole.' (more)

Transcendental Meditation: A resource for reducing stress among law enforcement professionals
19 November 2016 - Dr Martha Batorski, a recognized speaker on the topic of leadership development and stress reduction, calls for the use of healing strategies like Transcendental Meditation to 'reduce the effects of stress on those who serve and protect - male and female - so they may better draw upon inner resources of calm to de-escalate situations and serve as true role models in our society.' 'Policewomen,' she writes in TM for Women, 'have naturally contributed to a new paradigm in law enforcement, bringing qualities to the field . . . that include greater empathy and ability to defuse situations and a larger field of awareness during stressful situations.' With as many as 18 per cent of police officers suffering from PTSD, and a higher rate among policewomen, there is increasing interest in the scientifically proven effectiveness of TM in greatly reducing PTSD symptoms and increasing resiliency to stressful situations. (more)

Transcendental Meditation significantly helps ease trauma symptoms, stress among inmates
8 October 2016 - Researchers have found that Transcendental Meditation significantly reduced trauma symptoms and stress in male prisoners. The study, funded by the David Lynch Foundation and conducted by a team led by Dr Sanford Nidich, was a randomized, controlled trial of 181 Oregon state correctional inmates categorized as 'moderate to high-risk'. One inmate expressed his experience after learning TM: 'As I entered the 24th year behind bars I had come to grips with most of the demons of the past but still felt fragmented. Recently I was given the chance to learn TM. . . . As the weeks passed that sense of fragmentation started to flow into something deeper and new. A quiet that feels so natural and restful that I feel like I've finally come home. To a place where things make sense and I'm just happy. The pains of my life haven't gone away . . . just feels like I've grown beyond them.' The study was published yesterday in The Permanente Journal. (more)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


Almost half of US families can't afford basics like rent and food
17 May 2018 - The economy may be chugging along, but many Americans are still struggling to afford a basic middle class life. Nearly 51 million households don't earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation, and a cell phone, according to a study released Thursday (17 May) by the United Way ALICE Project. That's 43% of households in the United States. (more)

US: Lack of paper trail a concern amid fears of election hacking
17 May 2018 - As the midterm congressional primaries heat up amid fears of Russian hacking, roughly 1 in 5 Americans will be casting ballots on machines that do not produce a paper record of their votes. That worries voting and cybersecurity experts, who say lack of a hard copy makes it difficult to double-check results for signs of manipulation. (more)

58 dead in Gaza protests as Israel fetes US Embassy move
15 May 2018 - In a jarring contrast, Israeli forces shot and killed 57 Palestinians and injured more than 2,700 during mass protests Monday (14 May) along the Gaza border, while just a few miles away Israel and the U.S. held a festive inauguration ceremony for the new American Embassy in contested Jerusalem. (more)

AP-NORC Poll: Young adults in US feel stress of long-term care
15 May 2018 - Most young adults haven't given much thought to their own needs as they get older, but a significant number are already providing long-term care for older loved ones, according to a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. ... Most young adults have little confidence that government safety-net programs will be there for them as they get older, and they're not too sure about their own financial situation, either. Only 16 percent of younger adults are very confident that they'll have the financial resources to deal with their own care needs when they get older. (more)

Australia's Northern Territory lifts fracking ban
16 April 2018 - Australia's Northern Territory on Tuesday (17 April) lifted a nearly two-year moratorium on fracking to extract gas, unlocking vast onshore reserves in the resource-rich region and raising the possibility of other provinces following suit. (more)

Labour trafficking rises across Europe as laws fall short - watchdog
3 April 2018 - Labour trafficking is on the rise across Europe and has overtaken sexual exploitation as the predominant form of modern-day slavery in several countries including Britain, Belgium, and Portugal, a leading European human rights body said on Tuesday (3 April). But a lack of prosecutions and convictions, limited labour laws and inspections, and fear among victims are hindering efforts to tackle trafficking in industries from agriculture to construction, said a report by the Council of Europe (CoE). (more)

The hidden crisis on US college campuses: 36 percent of students don't have enough to eat
3 April 2018 - Caleb Torres lost seven pounds his freshman year of college - and not because he didn't like the food in the dining hall. A first-generation college student, barely covering tuition, Torres ran out of grocery money halfway through the year and began skipping meals as a result. ... Torres is finally talking about his experience with the hunger problem on America's college campuses: a quiet, insidious epidemic that researchers say threatens millions of students every year. (more)

Global carbon emissions hit record high in 2017
22 March 2018 - Global energy-related carbon emissions rose to a historic high of 32.5 gigatons last year, after three years of being flat, due to higher energy demand and the slowing of energy efficiency improvements, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. The IEA said Asian countries accounted for two thirds of the global increase in emissions. The biggest drop came from the United States, where they were down 0.5 percent to 4.8 gigatons due to higher renewables deployment. (more)

How to disrupt an election: Fake IDs, fraud, and Facebook
16 February 2018 - A year before Donald Trump announced his presidential candidacy, two Russian operatives landed in the United States to lay groundwork for an intelligence operation targeting the legitimacy of the 2016 election. What began as a Cold War-like attack by an old adversary would mix old-fashioned political agitation with 21st century social media tools that ultimately roiled the election and shook America's political landscape. (more)

US: Bottled water giant Nestle tells California regulators it's entitled to keep piping water
12 February 2018 - Nestle is disputing the findings of an investigation by California water regulators, arguing the company is entitled to keep piping water out of the San Bernardino National Forest -- even more water than it has been bottling and selling in the past few years. State officials carried out a 20-month investigation and concluded in December that the company doesn't seem to have valid rights for much of the water it's been drawing from the forest north of San Bernardino. The dispute stretches back more than a century to the creation of the national forest in 1893, and to an early bottling operation that began with a contract in 1909. (more)

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