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US: Tribes to partner with federal government to manage public lands
23 October 2016 - U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was in Alaska on Friday to sign a new commitment to federal-American Indian cooperation in the management of public lands and resources. The order facilitates consultation and collaborative partnerships between federally-recognized tribes and Interior's land, water and resource management agencies in order to give tribes a meaningful and substantive voice in the management of public lands to which they have a special geographical, historical and cultural connection and to ensure that indigenous knowledge and practices are considered in land management decisions. (more)

US: Conservative desert town on the cusp of emerging solar trend
21 October 2016 - The city of Lancaster, California requires solar on new homes. San Francisco is California's biggest city to approve a solar requirement. It follows others. The city wants to cut greenhouse gases in the city 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. In addition to other efforts on reducing waste and switching buses to clean transportation, San Francisco wants to increase the use of electric vehicles. (more)

US: A vision for a Chicago unified by rivers
20 October 2016 - As the 15-year Chicago Riverwalk project draws to a close, the city hopes to use its waterways to bridge neighborhoods. Since the first section opened in 2009, the Riverwalk has pulled visitors to its many new restaurants and bars and public sites, like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza. Carol Ross Barney, the founder of Ross Barney Architects, worked with Sasaki Associates on the design for the project. In a press release, Ross Barney said that the goal of the Riverwalk is to 'return the river to Chicago and return Chicagoans to the river.' (more)

US: Puget Sound in line for environmental health boost
20 October 2016 - Advocates for a healthier Puget Sound have long contented that it needs to be treated as a nationally significant water body, just like the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay. And the first big step toward that goal was taken Tuesday. Officials from the Obama Administration joined Washington's Governor Jay Inslee, tribal leaders and members of the state's congressional delegation in Seattle for the announcement that they would be coordinating efforts to improve the health of the Northwest's inland sea. That includes putting a combined $800 million into various environmental projects. (more)

Netherlands: Falling crime rates and prison closures
17 October 2016 - The closure of five prisons in as many years against the background of a falling crime rate, is the kind of news many governments would give their eye teeth for, but opinions are mixed depending on politics and point-of-view. The official figures indicate that recorded crime has been falling for around a decade. Between 2014 and 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, recorded crime was down by nearly 5%, according to national statistics office CBS -- statistics Netherlands. In total, recorded crime has shrunk by 25% over the past eight years. (more)

Thailand: People pay respects to Thai King at Grand Palace
14 October 2016 - Buddhist ceremonies began Friday in Bangkok's Grand Palace complex for King Bhumibol Adulyadej before his body is displayed for people to pay respects to the revered monarch. Most Thais have known no other King. Bhumibol, the world's longest-reigning monarch, had been on the throne for 70 years. Television channels were running non-stop programs devoted to the life of the King. Although a constitutional monarch, Bhumibol wielded enormous political power and served as a unifying figure during Thailand's numerous political crises. He anchored the Southeast Asian country . . . with a blend of majesty and a common touch. So revered was Bhumibol that his portraits are displayed in virtually every Thai home and business, generally depicting him in arduous travels to remote villages, where he often went to see the situation of his subjects first hand. (more)

Remembering Thai King's seven decades of rule (AP video)
13 October 2016 - The King of Thailand was the world's longest-reigning living monarch, presiding over his country for seven decades. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, also known as as King Rama the Ninth (King Rama IX), was deeply revered by his people -- blending majesty with a common touch. Public service was the keynote of his reign. He was most visible to the people crisscrossing the country sponsoring development projects for Thai farmers. He anchored the nation through violent upheavals and communist revolutions next door. And he was a powerful influence on the spiritual, material, and political life of the country. (more)

Thai King Bhumibol was bridge in close relations with US
13 October 2016 - Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed Thursday after a 70-year reign, was historically an important bridge in his nation's close . . . relations with the United States. Bhumibol was born in the U.S. He met with six sitting U.S. Presidents, starting with Dwight Eisenhower in 1960 and ending with President Barack Obama in 2012. King Bhumibol's passing at age 88 won't set back those ties. The U.S.-Thai relationship dates back over 180 years. 'His Majesty the King was a close friend of the United States and a valued partner of many U.S. Presidents,' President Obama said in a statement Thursday. 'The American people and I stand with the people of Thailand as we mourn His Majesty the King's passing, and today we hold the Thai people in our thoughts and prayers.' (more)

Canada's Prime Minister Trudeau steps up on climate change
7 October 2016 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada promised to make climate change a priority when he campaigned for office last year. This week he made progress on that promise with a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by putting a price on carbon. This marks a big turning point for his country, whose previous government resisted aggressive steps on climate change because it wanted to protect the oil industry. (more)

US: The best views in the country have gotten better, thanks to air pollution laws
7 October 2016 - Decades ago the average visibility in Shenandoah National Park was about 35 miles, and on many days only a fraction of that. These days, the average view in Shenandoah stretches 60 miles, and on the clearest days it can reach twice that far. Part of that has to do with national efforts over the years to reduce air pollution from cars and trucks, and to require power plants and other facilities to install technology to curb emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, which contribute to the haze that has long clouded some of the nation's most spectacular vistas. (more)

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

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)

Hundreds of FDA employees learn about ''Next Generation PTSD relief strategy'' that really works
29 September 2016 - On September 22, the founding president of African PTSD Relief, David Shapiro and Dr. Katie Grose, a teacher of Transcendental Meditation, gave presentations to employees at the Health and Human Services (HHS), a 5,000 employee complex in the Washington, D.C. area connected to the Federal Drug Administration. In addition to explaining personal benefits employees could gain from practicing TM, the PTSD Relief team presented scientifically-validated evidence from studies conducted on-site with refugees in Africa learning TM and experiencing dramatic relief from post-traumatic stress. Last month, the PTSD Relief team presented their information to the Department of Health and Human Services. The PTSD relief leaders are invited to attend an HHS charity fair on October 5th. US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy will be in attendance. (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)

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)

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

Toxic economy: Common chemicals cost US billions every year
17 October 2016 - Exposure to chemicals in pesticides, toys, makeup, food packaging, and detergents costs the U.S. more than $340 billion annually due to health care costs and lost wages, according to a new analysis. The chemicals, known as endocrine disruptors, impact how human hormones function and have been linked to a variety of health problems such as impaired brain development, lower IQs, behavior problems, infertility, birth defects, obesity, and diabetes. The estimated economic toll is more than 2 percent of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP). The findings, researchers say, 'document the urgent public threat posed by endocrine disrupting chemicals.' The study was published Monday in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal. (more)

Chemical weapon for sale: China's unregulated narcotic
7 October 2016 - For a few thousand dollars, Chinese companies offer to export a powerful chemical that has been killing unsuspecting drug users and is so lethal that it presents a potential terrorism threat, an Associated Press investigation has found. The AP identified 12 Chinese businesses that said they would export the chemical -- a synthetic opioid known as carfentanil -- to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, and Australia for as little as $2,750 a kilogram (2.2 pounds), no quesions asked. Carfentanil burst into view this summer, the latest scourge in an epidemic of opioid abuse that has killed tens of thousands of people in the United States alone. Despite the dangers, carfentanil is not a controlled substance in China, where it is manufactured legally and sold openly online. The U.S. government is pressing China to blacklist carfentanil, but Beijing has yet to act, leaving a substance whose lethal qualities have been compared with nerve gas to flow into foreign markets unabated. China's Ministry of Public Security declined multiple requests for comment from the AP. Before being discovered by drug dealers, carfentanil and substances like it were viewed as chemical weapons. Carfentanil is so deadly that an amount smaller than a poppy seed can kill a person. (more)

US Official: One-third of calls to VA suicide hotline roll over
26 September 2016 - More than one-third of calls to a suicide hotline for troubled veterans are not being answered by front-line staffers because of poor work habits and other problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to the hotline's former director. Some hotline workers handle fewer than five calls per day and leave before their shifts end, even as crisis calls have increased sharply in recent years, said Greg Hughes, the former director of the VA's Veterans Crisis Line. The crisis hotline received more than 500,000 calls last year, 50 times the number it received in 2007, the hotline's first year of operation. (more)

Yahoo hack steals personal info from at least 500M accounts
22 September 2016 - Computer hackers swiped personal information from at least 500 million Yahoo accounts in what is believed to be the biggest digital break-in at an email provider. The massive security breakdown disclosed Thursday (22 September) dates back to late 2014, raising questions about the checks and balances within Yahoo -- a fallen internet star that has been laying off staff to counter a steep drop in revenue during the past eight years. Yahoo didn't explain what took so long to uncover a breach that it blamed on a 'state-sponsored actor' -- parlance for a hacker working on behalf of a foreign government. (more)

Aid trucks hit by air strikes as Syria says ceasefire over
19 September 2016 - Air raids hit aid trucks near the city of Aleppo on Monday, a monitoring group reported, as the Syrian military declared that a week-long ceasefire was over. The attacks were carried out by either Syrian or Russian aircraft, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that there had been 35 strikes in and around Aleppo since the truce ended. (more)

Nepal's deadly roads
19 September 2016 - Hundreds have died or been severely injured in a summer of carnage on Nepal's roads. The recent spike in accidents follows the bloodiest year yet on Nepal's roads -- 2,006 people died and more than 4,000 were severely injured in the 12 months from July 2015. More people have been killed on the roads in the last 10 years than in the country's decade-long civil war, in which an estimated 16,000 people died. (more)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to extend drug war as 'cannot kill them all'
19 September 2016 - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has asked for a six-month extension for his war on drugs, saying there are too many people involved in the narcotics trade and he 'cannot kill them all'. Some 3,000 people have been killed since Duterte won May elections in a landslide on a vow to kill tens of thousands of criminals in an unprecedented blitz to rid the country of illegal drugs in six months. (more)

US: Drugmakers fought state opioid limits amid crisis
18 September 2016 - The makers of prescription painkillers have adopted a 50-state strategy that includes hundreds of lobbyists and millions in campaign contributions to help kill or weaken measures aimed at stemming the tide of prescription opioids, the drugs at the heart of a crisis that has cost 165,000 Americans their lives and pushed countless more to crippling addiction. The drugmakers vow they're combating the addiction epidemic, but The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that they often employ a statehouse playbook of delay and defend that includes funding advocacy groups that use the veneer of independence to fight limits on their drugs, such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and fentanyl, the narcotic linked to [musician] Prince's death. The industry and its allies spent more than $880 million nationwide on lobbying and campaign contributions from 2006 through 2015 -- more than 200 times what those advocating for stricter policies spent and eight times more than the influential gun lobby recorded for similar activities during that same period, the AP and Center for Public Integrity found. (more)

US: EPA says glyphosate, used in Monsanto Roundup herbicide, likely not carcinogenic
16 September 2016 - Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto Co's Roundup herbicide, is not likely carcinogenic to humans, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday as it outlined its current position on the controversial chemical. Other government authorities have issued a variety of opinions. The European Food Safety Authority last November said glyphosate was 'unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.' (more)

How Libya is slowly becoming 'Somalia on the Mediterranean'
13 September 2016 - On 15 September 2011 David Cameron flew into a newly liberated Tripoli with the then President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, to be mobbed by rebels grateful for NATO airstrikes that had helped them secure victory over Muammar Gaddafi. Back then, optimism was in the air. In rebel camps, coffee bars, hotels already jammed with foreign businesspeople -- even amid the shattered concrete ruins of Gaddafi's giant Bab al-Azizia compound -- the talk was of progress. Back-of-the-envelope calculations showed Libya would undoubtably have the brightest future of any of the emerging Arab Spring states. It had Africa's largest oil reserves and only 6 million souls to share it. Democracy was on the way. What could go wrong? As it turned out, everything. (more)

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