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10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

US: After new regulations, Oklahoma's shakes calm down a bit
30 November 2016 - The rate of earthquakes in Oklahoma has dropped dramatically since late May, when the state limited wastewater injections into energy wells, an Associated Press statistical analysis shows. And a new scientific study says the state is on its way back to calmer times that prevailed before a huge jump in man-made quakes. (more)

Canada sets in motion microbeads prohibition
28 November 2016 - Canada this month took steps toward joining the United States in banning the sale of personal-hygiene products that contain tiny plastics known as microbeads in an effort to keep them away from fish and wildlife and address plastic pollution in general. (more)

First flight in half century leaves Miami bound for Havana
28 November 2016 - Just three days after the death of Fidel Castro, the first regularly scheduled flight to Cuba's capital in more than a half-century has left from Miami. Several airlines began routes to other Cuban cities earlier this year; Monday morning's flight was the first of the new Havana-bound service and the first of four daily flights American Airlines plans out of Miami International. ... The flights were made possible under newly restored ties between Cuba and U.S. President Barack Obama's administration. (more)

'They're a lot like us': Program pairs inmates, wild horses
23 November 2016 - Jail inmates and wild horses are helping each other learn to adapt through a California program aimed at preparing both for society. Inmates at Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in rural Elk Grove spend 40 hours a week training mustangs that federal land managers gather from overpopulated areas in 10 Western states. The training program south of Sacramento is one of six nationwide, with the others at the federal level. Sacramento County officials say theirs is the first within a local correctional facility. (more)

Eight African home solar startups win $4 million in Scaling Off-Grid Energy Enterprise Grants
23 November 2016 - Launched by President Barack Obama in 2013, Power Africa is achieving unprecedented success in expanding access to electricity and spurring sustainable development across the African continent . . . Attending the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Marrakesh, Power Africa Coordinator Andrew M. Herscowitz on November 14 announced $4 million in new Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge Enterprise (SOGE) Grant awards for eight African startups that are preparing to launch or expand their presence in sub-Saharan Africa's fast-growing home solar energy market. It's anticipated that proceeds from the latest round of SOGE grants will create as many as 120,000 new off-grid solar electricity connections in African communities. (more)

Vietnam abandons plan for first nuclear power plants
22 November 2016 - Vietnam's National Assembly voted on Tuesday, 22 November, to abandon plans to build two multi-billion-dollar nuclear power plants with Russia and Japan, after officials cited lower demand forecasts, rising costs, and safety concerns. Countries from Germany to Indonesia have decided to either pull out of nuclear energy or cancel development plans in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, the world's worst since Chernobyl in 1986. Environmental campaign group Greenpeace welcomed the decision to drop the nuclear plan, saying it would have been a waste of money when renewable energy alternatives are available. (more)

Britain ratifies Paris climate agreement
17 November 2016 - Britain said on Thursday, 17 November it had ratified the Paris Agreement, the global deal to combat climate change. 'The UK is ratifying the historic Paris Agreement so that we can help to accelerate global action on climate change and deliver on our commitments to create a safer, more prosperous future for us all,' Nick Hurd, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, said. (more)

US homelessness declines: What's working?
17 November 2016 - More communities are focusing on providing their chronic homeless populations permanent, supportive residences. Experts say that's the path to take to in order to put a roof over every citizen's head. Boston may hold some lessons for solving homelessness. Despite being the country's third most expensive place to rent a two-bedroom apartment, Boston has the lowest rate of unsheltered chronic homelessness in the nation. (more)

USAID announces $4 million to solar start-ups for African off-grid energy
14 November 2016 - Marrakesh, Morocco - At the 22nd session of the UN Climate conference (COP 22), Power Africa Coordinator Andrew M. Herscowitz announced $4 million in new investments to eight companies that are revolutionizing household solar power across Africa through the Scaling Off-Grid Energy: Grand Challenge for Development. The Enterprise Awards are expected to create up to 120,000 additional connections in off-grid communities. 'The Grand Challenge for Development is designed to support innovators like these eight companies who are scaling up their inventions,' said Herscowitz. (more)

Australia ratifies greenhouse gas targets agreed on in Paris
10 November 2016 - Australia on Thursday ratified its greenhouse gas emission targets agreed upon last year at the U.N. climate meeting in Paris. Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull told Parliament that Australia had become the 140th country to ratify the agreement signed by 196 nations in New York in April, following the December meeting in Paris. The pact commits countries to work toward limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and set five-yearly targets for cutting emissions. (more)

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

Can Blacks and Police Find Inner Peace? reports
24 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 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
20 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 found Transcendental Meditation significantly reduced trauma symptoms and stress in male prisoners. The study, funded by the David Lynch Foundation and conducted by a team lead 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.' To date the study is published in The Permanente Journal and featured by EurekAlert! while other journals and media are inquiring into reporting the study. (more)

Federal employees learn about 'next generation PTSD relief strategy' that really works
22 September 2016 - On 22 September, the founding president of African PTSD Relief, David Shapiro, and Dr. Katie Grose, a teacher of Transcendental Meditation, gave presentations to some of the employees at a large federal complex in the Washington, D.C. area. The PTSD Relief team presented results of scientific research studies conducted on-site with refugees in Africa who learned TM and experienced dramatic relief from post-traumatic stress. The presenters are invited to participate in a charity fair for federal employees in October. (more)

Rio de Janeiro's elite police learning Transcendental Meditation in preparation for 2016 Olympics
24 November 2015 - With Olympic Games just a year ahead, the pressure is mounting on Rio de Janeiro police. Security has remained a major challenge in preparation for the grand international event. To prevent stress-induced burnout, last week a group of 400 Rio police officers started a course of Transcendental Meditation. An official explained that a policeman who is less stressed will have a better capacity to make decisions. If TM is proven to reduce the stress, the goal is to expand teaching the technique to the whole troop. The courses are supported by the David Lynch Foundation, which was founded to prevent and eradicate the effects of traumatic, toxic stress among at-risk populations. (more)

US: Women's Prison Association brings Transcendental Meditation to women with criminal justice involvement
28 October 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)

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

In Macedonia's fake news hub, teen shows AP how it's done
2 December 2016 - On the second floor of a noisy sports center in the Macedonian town of Veles, a teenage purveyor of fake news cracked open his laptop and laid out his case for why lying is more lucrative than the truth. Real news gets reported everywhere, he argued. Made-up stories are unique. 'The fake news is the good news,' the 18-year-old said, pointing to a graph showing his audience figures, which reached into the hundreds of thousands, a bling watch clasped firmly around his wrist. 'A fake news article is way more opened than any other.' (more)

Trump's Cabinet: 'Draining the swamp' or diving right in?
30 November 2016 - Donald Trump promised to 'drain the swamp' in the nation's capital. Instead, he's diving right in. So far, the president-elect is tapping people with deep ties to Washington and Wall Street as he fills out his Cabinet, turning to two power centers he vilified as greedy, corrupt, and out of touch with Americans during his White House campaign. His choices have won praise from Republicans relieved by his more conventional choices, but could risk angering voters who rallied behind his calls for upending the political system. Two of Trump's early picks are wealthy financial industry insiders with ties to the kinds of institutions he railed against as a candidate. Few of his choices have outwardly displayed much of a common touch. (more)

Potential conflicts around the globe for Trump, the businessman President
26 November 2016 - On Thanksgiving Day, a Philippine developer named Jose E. B. Antonio hosted a company anniversary bash at one of Manila's poshest hotels. He had much to be thankful for. In October, he had quietly been named a special envoy to the United States by the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte. Mr. Antonio was nearly finished building a $150 million tower in Manila's financial district -- a 57-story symbol of affluence and capitalism, which bluntly promotes itself with the slogan 'Live Above the Rest.' And now his partner on the project, Donald J. Trump, had just been elected president of the United States. (more)

Report: Russian propaganda effort spread fake news
25 November 2016 - A new report suggests a 'sophisticated' Russian propaganda campaign helped flood social media with fake news stories leading up to the US Presidential election. The Washington Post, citing a yet-to-be published report from independent researchers, said the goal was to punish Hillary Clinton, help Donald Trump, and undermine faith in American democracy. (more)

Megyn Kelly: Trump tried to influence coverage with gifts
12 November 2016 - Megyn Kelly says Donald Trump tried unsuccessfully to give her gifts, including a free stay at one of his hotels, as part of what she called his pattern of trying to influence news coverage of his presidential campaign. In her memoir 'Settle for More,' to be released Tuesday, Kelly says Trump may have gotten a pre-debate tip about her first question, in which she confronted him with his critical comments about women. Her book also details the insults and threats she received after Trump's tirades objecting to her reporting. Kelly, host of Fox News Channel's 'The Kelly Report,' said Trump routinely attempted to gain favorable treatment from other journalists and commentators. 'This is actually one of the untold stories of the 2016 campaign: I was not the only journalist to whom Trump offered gifts clearly meant to shape coverage,' Kelly said. (more)

Trump relies on Washington insiders to build administration
12 November 2016 - Donald Trump elicited wild cheers on the campaign trail by pledging to 'drain the swamp' in Washington, but the president-elect's transition team is populated largely with creatures of the capital, including former federal bureaucrats, think-tank academics, corporate lawyers, and special-interest lobbyists. Their areas of experience and policy expertise on the chart hint at future efforts to restrict abortion, strip away consumer protections, boost defense spending, and dismantle environmental regulations. Veteran agribusiness lobbyist Michael Torrey is tasked with transforming the Agriculture Department. Jeff Eisenach, a consultant and former lobbyist who has called for deregulation of the telecommunications industry, is overseeing the transition for the Federal Communications Commission. (more)

Q and A: A look at the cancer some believe linked to Vietnam War
11 November 2016 - A rare bile duct cancer that may be linked to time served in the Vietnam War is quietly killing some former soldiers. The disease can be caused by liver flukes, a parasite found in raw or undercooked fish that is common in parts of Asia. Men who served in the Vietnam War and ate raw or poorly cooked fish, sometimes while on patrol in the jungle after their rations ran out, could have been infected by liver flukes. Some American veterans are fighting for the Department of Veterans Affairs to recognize their disease as service-related so they can receive benefits, but most claims are denied. (more)

Still fighting: US Vietnam vets seek help for rare cancer
11 November 2016 - Hundreds of veterans who have been diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a rare form of bile duct cancer that may be linked to their time in the service and an unexpected source: parasites in raw or poorly cooked river fish. This cancer takes decades to manifest itself. Department of Veterans Affairs officials say it's up to the men to prove that liver flukes from Vietnam are killing them. (more)

US: Tough reality check for Trump's pledge of better heartland jobs, wages
10 November 2016 - Donald Trump's promise to revive small town America faces a tough challenge in an economy that for decades has been wired to direct income and opportunities toward urban hubs and the better educated. Little in the president-elect's so far sketchy economic plans indicates the trend can be reversed any time soon, according to interviews with experts on income inequality and recent occupational trends. (more)

UK Government has breached air pollution laws and failed to take enough action on emissions, High Court rules
2 November 2016 - The UK government knowingly relied on 'optimistic' vehicle emissions tests and ignored 'higher, more realistic' figures in order to delay action by up to a decade, judge states. Environmental legal group ClientEarth described the decision as a 'damning indictment of ministers' inaction on killer air pollution'. In an echo of the Volkswagen vehicle emissions scandal, the judge said ministers knew an overly optimistic model of pollution was being used, ClientEarth said in a statement. (more)

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