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Canada to give UN $75 million for Syrian refugee relief
27 November 2015 - Canada's Liberal government announced on Thursday a US$75 million (CA$100 million) contribution to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to help fleeing Syrians, fulfilling a campaign promise from its recent federal election. The government also announced it is honoring a commitment made by the previous Conservative government to match donations by Canadians to the international relief efforts. (more)

Japan announces $10.6 billion in climate financing for 2020
27 November 2015 - Gearing up for global warming talks in Paris next week, Japan said Thursday it plans to provide 1.3 trillion yen ($10.6 billion) in climate financing a year for developing countries from 2020, including public and private funds. (more)

US President Obama makes holiday appeal for acceptance of Syrian refugees
27 November 2015 - President Barack Obama appealed anew on Thanksgiving Day for acceptance of Syrian refugees, saying 'so much of our greatness comes from our generosity.' He said he has been 'touched by the generosity of Americans who've written me letters and emails in recent weeks, offering to open their homes to refugees fleeing the brutality of ISIL (Islamic State group).' The President said, 'Now, people should remember that no refugee can enter our borders until they undergo the highest security checks of anyone traveling to the United States. That was the case before Paris, and it's the case now. And what happened in Paris hasn't stopped Americans from opening their arms anyway.' (more)

2 Koreas agree to hold high-level talks next month
26 November 2015 - North and South Korea have agreed to hold high-level talks next month to discuss ways to improve ties, Seoul officials said Friday, a sign that the rivals are following through with promised reconciliation efforts after a military standoff in August. (more)

Peru gives landlocked Bolivia a piece of Pacific coast to call its own
26 November 2015 - It might be a strip of sand without even a jetty but a small stretch of the Pacific coast now harbours Bolivia's dream of regaining a coast and becoming a maritime nation. The landlocked Andean country has won access to a patch of Peru's shoreline, fuelling hopes that Bolivia will once again have a sea to call its own. President Evo Morales signed a deal with his Peruvian counterpart, Alan García, allowing Bolivia to build and operate a small port about 10 miles from Peru's southern port of Ilo. (more)

Belgian tourist boards parade cats to lure back tourists after lockdown
25 November 2015 - Belgium's tourist boards have latched onto a social media craze of cats that gave Brussels light relief during a tense five-day security lockdown in the wake of militant attacks in Paris. When police on Sunday asked the public in Brussels not to share details of their operations on social media, Belgians took to tweeting each other pictures of their cats. Capitalising on the social media hit, Belgium's three tourist authorities have now released a 20 second video film. (more)

Britain says 'stars beginning to align' on Cyprus unification
19 November 2015 - Momentum towards ending Cyprus's four-decade-old partition is building, and now is the right time for Greek and Turkish Cypriots to do a deal, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Thursday. 'The stars are beginning to align, but of course there are some very challenging issues,' Hammond said after talks in the island's capital with the leaders of both communities. Cyprus, a former British colony, was ethnically split in a Turkish invasion in 1974 following a brief Greek Cypriot coup. (more)

Vietnam and New Zealand aim to double trade
15 November 2015 - Vietnam and New Zealand have signed several cooperation agreements during a visit by Prime Minister John Key to Hanoi as they seek to double bilateral trade in the next five years. Key is on his first visit to the Southeast Asian country since 2010. He said Sunday that the agreements covering education, aviation, and health care will facilitate companies from both countries to do more business. (more)

Australian leader visits Indonesia in bid to repair ties
12 November 2015 - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tried to mend fences with Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy, in his first overseas trip on Thursday since taking office two months ago. (more)

Carbon emissions fall in 11 of G20 members, in turning point
10 November 2015 - Greenhouse gas emissions per capita are falling in 11 of the Group of 20 major economies, a turning point for tackling climate change, a study showed on Tuesday. The G20 accounts for about three-quarters of world greenhouse gases. Leaders of the G20, led by the United States and China, will meet in Turkey on November 15-16. And France will host talks among almost 200 nations from November 30-December 11 to agree a plan to limit climate change beyond 2030. (more)

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

US: Women's Prison Association brings Transcendental Meditation to women with criminal justice involvement
1 November 2015 - The Women's Prison Association, a social service organization based in New York City that works with women at all stages of criminal justice involvement, has partnered with the David Lynch Foundation to offer Transcendental Meditation to clients and staff. One participant says, 'I meditate everyday, twice a day. I see the benefits everyday when dealing with my child or anyone else. I have more patience and understanding. I have more energy. Since meditation, my sugar levels have regulated (I am diabetic). It seems like everything has fallen into place. . . .' (more)

1001 Benefits of Transcendence
11 January 2015 - For the past five years, Blaze Compton and colleagues have been teaching inmates in several major US state prisons to practise Transcendental Meditation. 'Just 16 weeks of transcending is enough to begin a major reordering of the brain and nervous system to a more normal style of functioning that dramatically supports pro-social thinking and behavior,' he says. Mr Compton presents an extensive collection of research articles on TM ('1001 Benefits of Transcending'), 211 research institutions that have investigated TM, and 176 medical and scientific journals that have published research on the technique. (more)

Meditation sessions a hit in US Congress
25 October 2014 - The success of programmes for veterans and other at-risk groups has inspired a congressional leader to organize meditation sessions for people working in Washington, DC at the US Congress. Rep Tim Ryan began the meditation sessions, which he calls, 'Quiet Time Caucus' two years ago and the New York Post is calling the sessions 'wildly popular' with members of Congress and staffers.

Guardian Liberty Voice: Research shows group meditation can reduce crime rates
11 April 2014 - A recent article in the US publication Guardian Liberty Voice took an in-depth look into scientific research on the coherence-creating effect of group meditation, detailing how it 'was not only able to reduce the crime rate, but also can save cities millions of dollars'. Noting more than 50 research studies on this phenomenon, known as the Maharishi Effect, the article explains that it is produced by a specific form of meditation--the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme, an advanced practice of Transcendental Meditation. In one study in Merseyside, England, 'During periods when a meditating group slightly larger than the square root of one percent of the population held sessions the monthly data showed a 13.4 percent drop in crime. This was very significant in contrast to the national crime rate, which had actually increased by 45 percent.' (more)

Belgium: Peace Assemblies in Brussels create harmonious atmosphere for EU leaders' summits
10 March 2014 - European Union Summit meetings bring together heads of state in Brussels, Belgium, every few months to make important decisions for the whole EU. Brussels is also the seat of the European Commission, European Council, and European Parliament. A few hundred metres away, special Peace Assemblies of advanced Transcendental Meditation practitioners have been held coinciding with the summits, with the aim of creating a coherent, harmonious atmosphere for EU leaders' deliberations, so that they will have the most life-supporting effect for all of Europe. (more)

Hundreds in Albania and Kosovo learn Transcendental Meditation
9 September 2013 - Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, USA, toured Kosovo and Albania in the past year to present the latest developments and research regarding the Transcendental Meditation programme around the world. At the time of Dr Morris's visit, for the past few months a foundation started by a wealthy businessman had sponsored about 700 people to learn Transcendental Meditation in Albania and Kosovo. Because of this, several officials and educators Dr Morris met with had already heard of the technique. (more)

Fiji receives a visit from President of Maharishi University of Management
20 July 2013 - Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management in the USA, visited Fiji this year, meeting with government and education officials, presenting the wide range of scientifically verified applications of the Transcendental Meditation programme to improve all areas of society. (more)

US: Senator supports MUM's substantive research on cardiovascular health
12 July 2013 - In a recent review of the past year's developments, Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management, described the appreciation, help and support given to the university through the years by Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, the home state of MUM in the USA. Senator Harkin, a member of the United States Senate for 28 years, gave the 2013 commencement address at the MUM graduation ceremonies last spring. He has assisted the university particularly in the area of its substantive research on alternative approaches to treating and preventing heart disease. (more)

Study at military academy finds Transcendental Meditation improves cadets' resilience
23 April 2013 - In a study conducted at Norwich University, America's first private military college, researchers found that practising Transcendental Meditation quickly increased resilience among cadets in training. 'Very quickly we saw a huge shift in increase in resilience,' said Marguerite Meyer, Ed.D. Dr Meyer is the director of the Academic Achievement Center at Norwich University. (more)

US Senator Harkin to deliver 2013 commencement address at Maharishi University of Management
3 April 2013 - Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, who has served in the United States Senate since 1985 and in the House of Representatives from 1975-1985, will deliver the 2013 commencement address at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, on 25 May. Known for his strong interest in alternative medicine and sustainability, Senator Harkin has visited the MUM campus twice. In 2004, when he was working on health care legislation, he came to learn more about the university's prevention-oriented wellness programme and the National Institutes of Health-funded research in natural medicine. He also visited the new Sustainable Living Center last August.

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

Russia strikes back at Turkey with economic sanctions
26 November 2015 - Russia plans to retaliate against Turkey for the downing of a warplane by imposing sanctions, cutting economic ties, and scrapping major investment projects. Since the plane was shot down Tuesday on the Syria-Turkey border, Russia has already restricted tourism, left Turkish trucks stranded at the border, and confiscated large quantities of Turkish food imports. (more)

Russian crackdown on Muslims fuels exodus to Islamic State
25 November 2015 - Security forces in Russia's southernmost republic of Dagestan keep devout Muslims under surveillance, routinely raid their homes and haul them to police stations to give DNA samples and fingerprints. So it was no surprise to many in the village of Komsomolskoye that Rashid Magomedov fled to Syria to join the Islamic State group, leaving behind a pregnant wife and two children. The 30-year-old had been detained several times, spent two months in jail on charges that later were dismissed and complained that police repeatedly planted weapons at his home as a pretext to arrest him. This culture of violence has fostered a generation of hardened fighters, which combined with the continuing crackdown by police and other security forces, has made areas like Komsomolskoye a fertile recruiting ground for the Islamic State group. (more)

Armed vigilantes in Burundi's capital expose deepening crisis
23 November 2015 - As darkness falls, vigilantes armed with automatic rifles emerge to patrol the streets of Bujumbura, a city plagued by killings and violence as Burundi's crisis deepens. A Reuters photographer followed one unit last week. It is the first time a foreign journalist has been allowed to follow such a group, securing images from Bujumbura that will stoke international worries about a new conflict erupting in a nation where an ethnically charged civil war ended just a decade ago after 300,000 people were killed. The region remains haunted by the 1994 genocide in next-door Rwanda, in which 800,000 people, mostly members of the Tutsi minority and moderates among majority Hutus, were massacred. Burundi has the same ethnic mix. (more)

Iran says sentences Washington Post reporter and bureau chief Rezaian to prison
22 November 2015 - An Iranian court has sentenced Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian to a prison term, the state news agency said on Sunday quoting the judiciary spokesman, a case that is a sensitive issue in contentious U.S.-Iranian relations. Jason Rezaian, 39, is the paper's Tehran bureau chief and has both U.S. and Iranian citizenship. The Washington Post said last month that the verdict, issued soon after Iran raised hopes of a thaw in its relations with the West by striking a nuclear deal with world powers including Washington, was 'vague and puzzling'. In the indictment, Iranian authorities said Rezaian had written to U.S. President Barack Obama and called it an example of contacting a 'hostile government', the Post said. (more)

Behind pomp of APEC summit, crushing poverty endures
19 November 2015 - Just a few miles from the gleaming venue hosting President Barack Obama and other world leaders sits Manila's slum of slums on a mountain of trash, a potent reminder to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation bloc that the globalization agenda it promotes has left many behind. President Benigno Aquino III (Philippines) has vowed to fight poverty and corruption during a six-year term that ends in June. His government says poverty levels have decreased a few notches under his watch. Aquino and his officials, however, acknowledge that poverty remains a formidable dilemma. (more)

Genetically modified salmon OK'd for human consumption in US
19 November 2015 - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday approved genetically modified salmon, the first such altered animal allowed for human consumption in the United States. The FDA says the law does not require the fish to be labeled as engineered. That means once the salmon reach stores, consumers may not even know they are eating them. (more)

Violence, hunger, poverty stalk troubled Burundi, many flee homes
19 November 2015 - Political violence, a shrinking economy, and biting aid cuts are worsening poverty and hunger across Burundi, amid reports that thousands of people are internally displaced and unable to get help. People are fleeing their homes in one of the world's poorest and hungriest countries, amid United Nations warnings that mass atrocities could erupt following inflammatory remarks by government officials. There have been violent clashes between protesters and security forces in the capital, Bujumbura, and a series of targeted killings. Corpses are regularly found in the streets after nightly gunfire. Children are bearing the brunt of Burundi's political turmoil, agencies said. (more)

Absurdly hot October as Earth sets 8th heat record this year
18 November 2015 - Even in a record-breaking hot year for Earth, October stood out as absurdly warm. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that last month globally was 58.86 degrees (14.98 degrees Celsius). That's the hottest October on record by a third of a degree over the old mark, 'an incredible amount' for weather records, said NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden. 'A complete blowout,' said Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University's Earth Institute. 'This year is going to be an all-time record-breaker.' (more)

Bangladesh court upholds death sentences of 2 politicians
18 November 2015 - Bangladesh's Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld death sentences given to two influential opposition leaders who were convicted of war crimes during the country's 1971 independence war against Pakistan. Jamaat-e-Islami and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party say the trials ordered by the government are politically motivated, an allegation Hasina rejects outright, saying justice for victims' families is overdue. In Washington, leaders of U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee expressed concern that 'democratic space is shrinking' in Bangladesh and that the war crimes tribunal was being used for political retribution. (more)

AP Photos: Homeless struggle with high costs of Hawaii
8 November 2015 - Hawaii has long been known as a tropical paradise, but in recent years another image has intruded into the state's carefully crafted one of idyllic beaches and relaxing resorts: homelessness. The of homeless people has grown in recent years, and it now has the nation's highest rate per capita. Many of the homeless, however, defy the stereotype of the mentally ill or drug addicted. They are families, with men and women who work full-time jobs. They are struggling to get a foothold in a place with a high cost of living and low wages. (more)

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