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Lithuania bans GM crops as biotech industry loses more ground
3 October 2015 - Lithuanian Agriculture Minister, Virginija Baltraitienė, announced last week that the Baltic country has demanded an EU opt-out regarding the growing of genetically modified (GM) crops. Northern Ireland and Lithuania have followed France, who announced their decision last week, and also Greece and Latvia in asking for an opt-out from growing GM crops. (more)

Poland and Germany join wave of EU GMO crop bans
3 October 2015 - Germany and Poland have both joined the growing list of countries in the EU Wednesday, September 30 that have demanded a total opt-out from growing genetically modified crops. On Tuesday both Slovenia and Serbia announced full GM crop bans. (more)

India announces plan to slow rate of greenhouse gas growth
2 October 2015 - India has promised to shave a third off the rate at which it emits greenhouse gases over the next 15 years, in a long-awaited contribution toward reaching a deal to slow global warming at a U.N. climate summit in Paris in December. The United Nations said 146 nations, accounting for almost 87 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions, have issued plans in the run-up to Paris. (more)

Bulgaria opts out of growing genetically modified crops
1 October 2015 - Bulgaria has told the European Union it will ban the cultivation of crops with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) under EU rules that allow member states to opt out of GMO cultivation, the agriculture ministry said in a statement on 1 October. (more)

Germany tells EU it will opt out of growing GMO crops
1 October 2015 - Germany has told the European Union it will ban cultivation of crops with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), under new European Union rules allowing member states to opt out of GMO cultivation, a document seen by Reuters showed on 30 September. (more)

Italy tells EU it will opt out of growing GMO crops: statement
1 October 2015 - Italy has told the European Commission that it will ban growing crops with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) under a rule that allows European Union countries to opt out of GMO cultivation, a government statement said on 1 October. On Wednesday, Germany sent a similar letter to Brussels, and Bulgaria also said it would opt out of GMO cultivation. (more)

Presidents Obama, Castro meet as they work on thawing U.S.-Cuba ties
29 September 2015 - U.S. President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro at the United Nations on 29 September in a rare one-on-one meeting between the former Cold War foes as they work toward improving relations after decades of animosity. The two Presidents stunned the world late last year by announcing detente, and in July, the United States and Cuba restored diplomatic relations after a 54-year break. (more)

Bhutan wants to go organic by 2020
28 September 2015 - In 2011, Bhutan's government launched the National Organic Program, which aims to make the country's agriculture 100 percent organic by 2020. By teaching farmers good organic farming practices and how to earn more money by growing organic produce, and by providing financial support, Bhutan hopes to reduce waste, decrease the country's dependence on imported food, and ensure it remains climate-neutral, producing no more climate-changing emissions each year than its forests absorb. (more)

Crowd chants 'Modi, Modi' as India Prime Minister Modi winds up Silicon Valley tour
28 September 2015 - Lights flashed and chants of 'Modi, Modi' filled the 18,000-seat sports arena in San Jose, California, on Sunday as the Indian Premier took the stage for the final event of his Silicon Valley tour. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was winding up a whirlwind two-day U.S. West Coast trip. Modi, 65, was the first Indian leader to visit the West Coast in more than 30 years. 'The world has started to believe that the twenty-first century belongs to India,' Prime Minister Modi said. (more)

Peru says to crack down on palm oil-related Amazon deforestation
27 September 2015 - Peru will confront the deforestation of its Amazon region by issuing a decree next month putting palm oil plantations under federal rather than local authority, Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal said on Sunday, 27 September. He expects the decree within two weeks. Forests worldwide play a key role in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; chopping them down worsens global warming. (more)

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

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.

Coherence-creating conference of advanced meditators convenes in Brussels 'to support unity and stability in Europe' during EU summit
6 March 2013 - A four-day conference of advanced Transcendental Meditation practitioners is in progress in Brussels, Belgium--'to support unity and stability in Europe' during the current summit of European Union leaders, organizers said. Scientific research has found that large groups practising these advanced technologies of consciousness reduce social stress and create a measurable influence of coherence and harmony in the surroundings. Similar conferences held during EU summits last year had 'remarkable' effects, said Dr Stijn van den Bosch, director of the Transcendental Meditation programme in Belgium. The first was held in June during an important EU summit meeting about the financial crisis. 'Although expectations for a good outcome were very low, heads of state came to an agreement on the first day.' A news article commented, 'After 20 failed EU summits, here is finally one that has some good results.' (more)

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

Brazil's economy plunging; no relief in sight
29 September 2015 - A currency hitting historic lows. Unemployment at a five-year peak. Consumer spending in the dumps, and a grinding political crisis that's frozen leaders' ability to push through Congress measures to jumpstart a moribund economy. The news keeps getting worse for the once-ballyhooed Brazilian economy. President Dilma Rousseff is trying to fight off widespread calls for her impeachment or resignation, which gives her scant political capital to force austerity measures through Congress to halt across-the-board economic hemorrhaging. (more)

In search for Mexico's 43, killings of 6 others go ignored
25 September 2015 - International attention has been focused on the 43 students who vanished a year ago Saturday, but six others died at the hands of police in those hours. According to an independent group of experts, the disappearances and the killings were the result of a long, coordinated attack against students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa who had come to the southern city of Iguala to commandeer buses for a protest. But the events of last September 26 were far from isolated. Some 25,000 people have been reported missing in Mexico since 2007, and hundreds from the Iguala area in the last year alone. The disappearance of the students has drawn attention to others who have been lost, as well as brutal drug cartels, official corruption, government indifference, and languishing legal cases. (more)

US: Millions more government fingerprints deemed stolen
23 September 2015 - The number of people applying for or receiving security clearances whose fingerprint images were stolen in one of the worst government data breaches is now believed to be 5.6 million, not 1.1 million as first thought, the Office of Personnel Management announced Wednesday. Intelligence officials say the full extent of damage will play out over years and may never be visible to the public. (more)

Croatia overwhelmed by flood of migrants
17 September 2015 - Amid chaotic scenes at its border with Serbia, Croatia said on Thursday it could not cope with a flood of migrants seeking a new route into the EU after Hungary kept them out by erecting a fence and using tear gas and water cannon against them. More than 7,300 people entered Croatia from Serbia in the 24 hours after Wednesday's clashes between Hungarian riot police and stone-throwing refugees at its Balkan neighbor's frontier. At the eastern border town of Tovarnik, Croatian riot police struggled to keep crowds of men, women and children back from rail tracks after long queues formed in baking heat for buses bound for reception centers elsewhere in Croatia. (more)

Thousands of Mexican families mourn the 'other disappeared'
16 September 2015 - The world, and even most of Mexico, paid little attention to Iguala until 43 students from a rural teachers' college disappeared on September 26, 2014. According to a federal investigation, the students were taken by police and then handed over to a local drug gang that allegedly killed them and burned the bodies. The incident cast national and international attention on Iguala, emboldening hundreds of local families in the area to come forward and speak up about their missing relatives. Their message was simple: there are many more missing. They called them 'the other disappeared'. Their names were added to the government's growing registry of 25,000 people reported missing nationwide since 2007. Following is an in-depth report from The Associated Press. (more)

Northern Ireland spirals towards worst crisis since 1998 peace deal
10 September 2015 - Northern Ireland's power-sharing administration was on the brink of collapse on 10 September after a murder linked to the IRA plunged the province towards the gravest crisis since a 1998 peace deal ended years of sectarian violence. (more)

Ecuador moves to shut down press freedom group
9 September 2015 - President Rafael Correa's government has initiated proceedings to shut down Ecuador's sole remaining press freedom group, accusing Fundamedios of political partisanship. The Associated Press called the Communications Secretariat and was told no one there would comment. Correa's government has used criminal libel prosecutions against critical voices as well as a restrictive media law considered among the most repressive in the hemisphere. (more)

USDA to approve Simplot's genetically engineered potato
28 August 2015 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a potato genetically engineered by Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co. The next step in the process is approval by the FDA. The potatoes must also be approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates genetically modified organisms. The company said they expected those approvals within a year. (more)

Deforestation in Mexico butterfly reserve more than triples
25 August 2015 - Illegal logging more than tripled in the monarch butterfly's wintering grounds In central Mexico, reversing several years of steady improvements, investigators announced Tuesday. The forest canopy is a sort of blanket against cold for the masses of orange-and-black butterflies that form huge clumps on tree branches during their winter stay in Mexico. Loss of that habitat is just one of the threats to the butterflies' amazing migration across Canada and the United States to Mexico. (more)

US: Groundwater pumping in California has land sinking
19 August 2015 - Vast areas of California's Central Valley are sinking faster than in the past as massive amounts of groundwater are pumped during the historic drought, state officials said Wednesday, citing new research by NASA scientists. The data shows the ground is sinking nearly two inches each month in some places, putting roads, bridges, and vital canals that deliver water throughout the state at growing risk of damage. (more)

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