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Positive Trends
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EU Chemicals Agency proposes ban on deliberately added microplastics to combat pollution
18 January 2019 - The EU Chemicals Agency ECHA on Friday (18 January) proposed a ban on deliberately adding microplastics to products such as cosmetics, detergents, and agricultural fertilizers in the EU by 2020 to combat pollution. The tiny bits of plastic pollution in waterways and oceans are causing growing concern among scientists about their effect on marine ecosystems. (more)

French court cancels Monsanto weedkiller permit on safety grounds
15 January 2019 - A French court canceled the license for one of Monsanto's glyphosate-based weedkillers on Tuesday (15 January) over safety concerns, placing an immediate ban on Roundup Pro 360 in the latest legal blow to the Bayer-owned business. A court in Lyon in southeast France ruled that the approval granted by French environment agency ANSES in 2017 for Roundup Pro 360 had failed to take into account potential health risks. (more)

Luxembourg makes all public transport free
15 January 2019 - With a population of 602,000, Luxembourg is one of Europe's smallest countries -- yet it suffers from major traffic jams. But that could be about to change. Last month, it announced plans to make all public transport -- trains, trams and buses -- free from March 2020. The government hopes the move will alleviate heavy congestion and bring environmental benefits ... (more)

Milan, Italy: The grey city is going green
10 January 2019 - Milan, the city of Italian fashion and the economic capital of the country, is going green. Local authorities have announced plans to plant 3 million trees by 2030, believing that the increase in greenery will have a positive effect on the quality of air, and consequently on the health of the people. According to Italian media, the city's authorities are planning to create 20 new urban parks, to extend the already existing ones, and to make the most out of discarded areas like an abandoned freight railway network which will be turned into seven parks. Trees will also be planted in more than 2,000 schoolyards and in private gardens, parking lots will be reconverted into parks, and greenery will be also planted on flat rooftops, with 10 million square meters already fit for the project. (more)

US: In first, Native American tribe displaced by sea gets land to relocate
10 January 2019 - A small Native American tribe in Louisiana whose land has nearly vanished into the sea has moved a step closer to relocating its community further inland after authorities acquired new land for the move, part of a first-of-its-kind project. Pat Forbes, an official with the state of Louisiana, which handled the purchase, said he hoped this first attempt in U.S. history to move an entire community losing its home to water would serve as a blueprint for generations to come. (more)

US: New Jersey port to be 1st to use electric container carrier
10 January 2019 - The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will conduct the first test at a U.S. port of an electric vehicle to move cargo containers, with an eye toward eventually replacing the current gas-powered fleet. The pilot program is part of a broader effort by the Port Authority to reduce greenhouse gases at the ports, which handle billions of dollars in cargo annually. (more)

China: Anti-pollution effort pays off along Yangtze
7 January 2019 - Zhang Liangcai used to be a fisherman on Taihu Lake in the 1990s, but now he works as a lake cleaner since the city government of Wuxi, Jiangsu province, started to restore the lake's ecology in 2002. The environmental campaign accelerated in response to a water crisis in Wuxi caused by pollution in 2007, and a 'river chiefs' system was established in which government officials are assigned to protect waterways in their area. 'Now the water is much cleaner, and more birds rest here during the winter migration in recent years,' said Zhang. (more)

Germany: Renewables overtake coal as main power source
3 January 2019 - Renewable energy became Germany's dominant source of electricity in 2018, beating coal for the first time in history, experts from the Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute said on Thursday. Germany has set ambitious energy targets for the upcoming decade, aiming to have renewable sources provide 65 per cent of energy by 2030. (more)

Norway's electric cars zip to new record: almost a third of all sales
2 January 2019 - Almost a third of new cars sold in Norway last year were pure electric, a new world record as the country strives to end sales of fossil-fueled vehicles by 2025. In a bid to cut carbon emissions and air pollution, Norway exempts battery-driven cars from most taxes and offers benefits such as free parking and charging points to hasten a shift from diesel and petrol engines. (more)

Norway: Oslo starts 2019 as Europe's eco capital
2 January 2019 - Oslo's waterfront was once a mass of shipping containers and a vast intersection jammed with cars pumping out fumes. Today, traffic is diverted through an underwater tunnel, and much of it is made up of electric or hybrid cars. Now, the scene is becoming dominated by a new Edvard Munch art museum and central library -- both due to open in 2020. The new development has impressive environmental as well as cultural credentials, with all new buildings meeting energy efficiency standards for low energy use, explains Anita Lindahl Trosdahl, project manager for Oslo's Green Capital year. As European Green Capital 2019, Oslo hopes to set an example for others. (more)


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


USA: State's attorney brings Transcendental Meditation to New England courthouse and beyond
29 December 2018 - While Senior Assistant State's Attorney Kevin Dunn pursues his hectic, high-stress profession as a prosecutor for domestic violence cases in Connecticut, USA, he also encourages people to learn and practise Transcendental Meditation, as he has twice daily for over 40 years. Dunn has organised regular TM group meditations in a courthouse in Bridgeport, attended by colleagues from all areas of the regional legal system: prosecutors, defence attorneys, social workers, police officers, and family resource officers. Participants have noticed good effects from their TM practice, including reduced stress, a more settled mind, inner peace, and newfound energy. (more)

Japan: Applying a Maharishi University of Management education in the political sphere
19 December 2018 - Kenichi Suzuki serves as the assistant general manager of the Communication Department of the Democratic Party for the People in Japan. He recently published an article in The Diplomat, an international current affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific region, highlighting how South Korea's National Security Advisor played a key role in the recent North Korea summits. An alumnus of Maharishi University of Management in the USA, Kenichi appreciates how practising the Transcendental Meditation technique supports his everyday life. 'TM helps to bring me confidence in my mind,' he says. 'This, in turn, enables me to keep trying new things and yet keeps me calm in the midst of such activity.' (more)

Mozambique: Profile of esteemed 'elder statesman' President Joaquim Chissano, whose leadership brought peace, reconciliation, and economic progress to his nation
17 November 2018 - When he became president, Joaquim Chissano would make moves that would see Mozambique become a better country. He signed a historic peace agreement with Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) in 1992, ending the Mozambican Civil War that had ravaged the country since 1977. He also introduced the Transcendental Meditation technique in the government and the military. The technique is said to have contributed to reduced crimes. 'First I started the practice of Transcendental Meditation myself,' he said, 'then introduced the practice to my close family, then to my cabinet of ministers, then to my government officers, and then to the military. The result has been political peace and balance in Nature in my country.' He received the inaugural Mo Ibrahim Prize in 2007, 'for his achievements in bringing peace, reconciliation, stable democracy and economic progress to Mozambique following the civil war'. (more)

Mozambique: President Chissano receives Athens Democracy Award, introduced Transcendental Meditation to government, military
21 September 2018 - Joaquim Chissano, Mozambique's second president, known for transforming the war-torn country into one of Africa's most successful democracies, was bestowed with the 3rd City of Athens Democracy Award this week by Athens Mayor Georgios Kaminis. President Chissano was selected for the acclaimed award in recognition of his efforts to end the 16-year Mozambican Civil War in 1992 and negotiate a peace treaty with the rebel forces that involved no prosecutions or punishments. Besides bringing peace, reconciliation, stable democracy, and economic progress to Mozambique, he introduced Transcendental Meditation techniques to government officials, police and military. (more)

Brazil: Maharishi University of Management faculty assist in introducing integrative medicine
30 August 2018 - Brazil is one of the first non-Asian nations to introduce integrative healthcare into the national healthcare system, and faculty of Maharishi University of Management, USA are significantly contributing to the initiative. This year professors Robert Schneider, Sandy Nidich, and John Fagan spoke in Brazil at the 1st International Congress of Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Public Health, and MUM President John Hagelin and Professor Fred Travis sent presentations. 'This initiative by the federal government of Brazil is real,' Dr Schneider said. 'This is a major step of government implementation that will entail bringing Maharishi Ayur-Veda, Transcendental Meditation, and other prevention-oriented, natural health approaches to the people of the country through their national health care system.' (more)

Head of worldwide Transcendental Meditation organisation addresses International Yoga Day celebration, UK Parliament
26 June 2018 - Dr Tony Nader, MD, PhD, MARR, addressed this week's celebration of International Yoga Day held in the Parliament of the United Kingdom at Westminster, London. Dr Nader is a distinguished neuroscientist and the leader of the worldwide Transcendental Meditation organisation founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The celebration was hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Indian Traditional Sciences. Dr Nader spoke on 'Yoga, consciousness and prevention' and presented the scientific basis of yoga, including scientific research on the benefits of yoga, of which Transcendental Meditation is a central aspect; and how the principles of yoga are found reflected in physics, physiology, and other areas of modern science. He presented published research showing the relevance of yoga for promoting health and preventing disease. (more)

Maharishi University of Management graduation speaker: Former government official Scott Gould to encourage public service
23 June 2018 - Scott Gould, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration and current CEO of Mountain Lake associates, LLC, will encourage Maharishi University of Management graduates to volunteer for public service at today's 2018 commencement ceremonies in Fairfield, Iowa. 'I'm eager to encourage graduates to consider a career that serves people, whether serving in the military, working in federal, state, or local government, or working with a nonprofit,' said Dr. Gould, a Cornell graduate who holds an MBA and an EdD from the University of Rochester. Dr. Gould is a prime example of service. In addition to being a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique, he is a 26-year veteran of the Navy Reserves and has held top positions in the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. (more)

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)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


Japan to withdraw from International Whaling Commission: Kyodo News
20 December 2018 - Japan will withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in a bid to resume commercial whaling, Kyodo News reported on Thursday (20 December), citing government sources. ... Japan halted commercial whaling in 1982 in line with a moratorium adopted by the IWC. Japan has hunted whales in the Southern Ocean since 1987 for what it calls 'scientific research' purposes, but this has been criticized internationally as a cover for commercial purposes. (more)

It's official: Brexit deal will hurt the UK economy
28 November 2018 - It's official: The British government's plan for leaving the European Union will be bad for the economy. The government published a report Wednesday (28 November) that outlines the economic costs associated with a range of Brexit scenarios. The Bank of England followed later in the day with its own assessment. (more)

Ukraine leader warns of threat of full-scale confrontation with Russia
28 November 2018 - Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko warned that his country's simmering conflict with Russia could quickly spiral into full-scale confrontation following a maritime clash between the two countries over the weekend. The incident between the Kiev and Moscow ended with three Ukrainian ships in Russian custody. Ukraine and Russia have offered conflicting accounts of what happened, each accusing the other of violating the laws of the sea. Poroshenko says Sunday's (25 November) events were 'extraordinary,' accusing Russia of attacking his country's ships. (more)

World is woefully short of 2 degree goal for climate change, according to UN report
28 November 2018 - If there is one consistent message about climate change that has been made abundantly clear in a flurry of recent major assessments on the topic, it is that our planet's climate is already changing, and now is the time to act to avoid devastating impacts. According to a United Nations report released Tuesday, however, projected emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas, from nations around the world fall woefully short of the 2 degree Celsius goal set in the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. (more)

Climate change: CO2 emissions rising for first time in four years
27 November 2018 - Global efforts to tackle climate change are way off track says the UN, as it details the first rise in CO2 emissions in four years. The emissions gap report says that economic growth is responsible for a rise in 2017 while national efforts to cut carbon have faltered. (more)

Scientists warn new Brazil President may smother rainforest
26 November 2018 - Scientists warn that Brazil's President-elect could push the Amazon rainforest past its tipping point -- with severe consequences for global climate and rainfall. Jair Bolsonaro, who takes office January 1, claims a mandate to convert land for cattle pastures and soybean farms, calling Brazil's rainforest protections an economic obstacle. (more)

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon reaches decade high
23 November 2018 - The destruction of Brazil's Amazon rainforest reached its highest level in a decade this year, government data released on Friday (23 November) showed, driven by illegal logging and the encroachment of agriculture on the jungle. Deforestation is a key factor behind global warming, accounting for around 15 percent of annual emissions of heat-trapping gases, similar to that of the transportation sector. (more)

Several dead, thousands flee homes in Iraq floods
23 November 2018 - At least seven people died and thousands fled their homes in flash floods around the northern Iraqi town of Shirqat on Friday (23 November), its mayor said. The floods, after unusually heavy and early rainfall in recent weeks, have piled more pressure on Iraq's new government to provide services and fix infrastructure in provinces hard-hit by the 2014-17 war against Islamic State militants, and by years of neglect that critics blame on corruption. (more)

Rise in rural poverty reverses gains in Latin America - U.N.
21 November 2018 - Rural poverty has risen for the first time in a decade in Latin America and the Caribbean, reversing earlier gains, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Wednesday, 21 November. Two million people joined the ranks of the region's rural poor between 2014 and 2016, taking the total to nearly half the rural population, many of them subsistence farmers and landless agricultural workers, according to a new FAO report. ... Eliminating rural poverty is key to combating drug and human trafficking, as well as illegal logging and mining, which have been gaining ground in rural areas, the FAO said. (more)

US: Psychedelic advocate nears goal of legal ecstasy
1 November 2018 - . . . After 32 years of false starts, setbacks, and regulatory hurdles, [Rick Doblin] has brought MDMA -- the illegal, all-night party drug also known as ecstasy -- to the brink of medical legitimacy. The goal is to win FDA approval by 2021. MDMA would become the first psychedelic drug -- currently in the same ultra-restrictive category as heroin and cocaine -- to make the leap to prescription medicine. (more)

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