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Lotus on Mongolian state emblem delights Indian Prime Minister Modi
20 May 2015 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi discovered a 'special connection' with Mongolia when he entered the country's Parliament to deliver a speech, the first foreign leader to do so on Sunday. At the end of his address to lawmakers at the State Great Hural, the Parliament, Mr Modi turned around and pointed to state emblem, which had a lotus among other symbols. (more)

UK's Prince Charles meets Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams for first time
19 May 2015 - Britain's Prince Charles shook hands with Gerry Adams on Tuesday in his first meeting with the leader of the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) that killed his great uncle in a bomb attack 36 years ago. The latest in a series of gestures of reconciliation between Britain and Sinn Fein, it was the first time Adams has met a senior member of the royal family. (more)

US and Cuban sailors in friendly race amid warming relations
19 May 2015 - Competitive sailors from the U.S. and Cuba have been showing off their skills in Havana Bay as the two countries work on restoring diplomatic relations after decades of hostility. Sailors from both countries said they were excited for the rare opportunity to race against each other. (more)

Photos of Prime Minister Modi's summit with China liked with enthusiasm
18 May 2015 - One of the most striking by-products of last week's grand summit between India and China: a torrent of astonishing images emanating from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government's feed. The images were hits on social media, retweeted and liked with enthusiasm. Prime Minister Modi has now arrived in South Korea has arrived in South Korea to bolster investment opportunities. (more)

China, India sign more than $22 billion in deals - Indian embassy
16 May 2015 - China and India signed 26 business deals worth more than $22 billion in areas including renewable energy, ports, financing, and industrial parks, an Indian embassy official said on Saturday. Namgya C Khampa, of the Indian Embassy in Beijing, made the remarks at the end of a three-day visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which he sought to boost economic ties and quell anxiety over a border dispute between the neighbours. (more)

China, India pledge to cool border dispute (+ Reuters video)
15 May 2015 - China and India proposed measures on Friday to resolve a long-festering border dispute, as Beijing sought to clear obstacles to a relationship that it said could change the international political order. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beijing, the second leg of his three-day trip to China during which both sides have pledged to boost cooperation between the two Asian giants. (more)

India, China commit to work together on climate change
15 May 2015 - China and India, the world's first and third largest greenhouse gas emitters, projected a united front on climate change on Friday with a rare joint statement that asked rich countries to step up efforts to reduce global carbon emissions. The statement, issued by the two largest developing nations during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to China, asked wealthy countries to provide finance, technology, and other necessary support to emerging countries to help reduce their own emissions. Both the countries will continue to work together in areas such as clean energy technologies, energy conservation, and renewable energy, the joint statement said. (more)

US, Cuba announce new round of diplomatic talks
15 May 2015 - The US and Cuba say they will hold a new round of talks next Thursday in an attempt to remove barriers to the reopening of embassies in Washington and Havana. (more)

France's Hollande meets Fidel and Raul Castro in Havana (+ BBC News video)
12 May 2015 - French President Francois Hollande has met Cuba's 1959 revolutionary leaders Fidel and Raul Castro on a historic trip to Havana. Mr Hollande is the first French president to visit Cuba since 1898, and the first Western European leader on the island since the 1980s. Mr Hollande announced plans to double the number of scholarships to enable Cuban students to continue their studies in France, as part of attempts to increase academic and scientific co-operation between the two nations. (more)

Raul Castro: US and Cuba ambassadors to be named soon
12 May 2015 - Cuba and the U.S. will name ambassadors to each other's countries after the island is removed from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism later this month, Cuban President Raul Castro said Tuesday. Castro spoke to journalists at Havana's international airport after seeing off visiting French President Francois Hollande. The United States and Cuba have not had full diplomatic relations since 1961. (more)

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

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)

Belgium: Transcendental Meditation group established to create coherence, harmony for EU
21 January 2013 - In Brussels, Belgium, where many key institutions of the European Union are based, a group of advanced Transcendental Meditation practitioners dedicated to supporting unity and stability in Europe has been established nearby in two adjacent, dignified city-centre buildings. The group's purpose is to create through their daily meditation practice an influence of coherence and harmony in the collective consciousness of Europe--one of many initiatives of Maharishi's Invincible Defence programmes in Belgium and other countries around the world. (more)

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

Homeless Nepalis sleep in the open as monsoon rains approach
19 May 2015 - The Nepali government is struggling to provide shelter for more than a million people who were uprooted by two massive earthquakes, first on April 25 and then 17 days later. Tens of thousands are sleeping in the open, with monsoon rains possibly little more than a fortnight away. Aid organizations worry about the possible spread of disease and the risk of further displacement in a country ill-equipped to help those most in need. (more)

Brokers tricking Rohingya children onto trafficking boats
18 May 2015 - Rohingya Muslims have been fleeing persecution in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar for years, but that was not the central reason Mohammad Tayub ended up on the ship anchored off the coast of western Rakhine state two weeks ago. He said he was simply tricked by brokers, now capitalizing on poverty and a growing sense of desperation. Tayub had no way of knowing there is little chance of an exit for thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshis stranded in the sea since a crackdown on human trafficking networks in Thailand earlier this month left the region grappling with a monumental humanitarian crisis. They are growing weaker each day as the navies of three Southeast Asian nations have pushed crowded rickety boats out of their respective waters, each nation fearing that any sign of acceptance could trigger a mass exodus that would swamp its shores. (more)

AP News Guide: Plight of Myanmar's Rohingya
14 May 2015 - Thousands of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims have been fleeing persecution at home, and now their refugee boats are being turned away by neighboring countries, leaving them stranded at sea. Others had been locked up in jungle camps in Thailand. An untold number have died of starvation, sickness, and abuse. Here's a brief look at their plight and history: (more)

South Africa eyes Brazil and Argentina for likely GMO maize imports: official
13 May 2015 - South Africa could import maize from Brazil and Argentina, fellow producers of genetically modified maize, to boost local supplies curbed by drought, a senior government official said on Wednesday. He said the exact amount of imports would still need to be determined, although this season's crop was the lowest in eight years due to dry weather conditions in key maize growing areas in Africa's top producer of genetically modified crops. (more)

US: One day after wreck, increased funding for Amtrak fails in a House Panel
13 May 2015 - The bodies had not yet been fully recovered from the Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia before Capitol Hill erupted hours later into its usual partisan clash over how much money to spend on the long-struggling national rail service. The scene in the hearing room was a replay of the swirling politics that have threatened to consume Amtrak in the four decades since it was nationalized by the United States government. Like the rest of the country's crumbling public infrastructure, its aging rail beds and decades-old trains are sagging under increased use, especially in the Northeast, where nearly three-quarters of all travel takes place on the trains, not on planes. (more)

Up to 6,000 Rohingya, Bangladeshi migrants stranded at sea
11 May 2015 - Hundreds of migrants abandoned at sea by smugglers in Southeast Asia have reached land and relative safety in the past two days. But an estimated 6,000 Bangladeshis and Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar remain trapped in crowded, wooden boats, migrant officials and activists said. With food and clean water running low, some could be in grave danger. The conditions at home -- and lack of job opportunities -- have sparked one of the biggest exoduses of boat people since the Vietnam War. (more)

EU approves first new genetically modified crops since 2013
24 April 2015 - The European Union cleared the import of 10 new types of genetically modified crops and two more kinds of genetically modified cut flowers on Friday, its first authorizations in more than a year after a review of its blocked approval process. The European Commission said it had authorized 10 new types of maize, soybeans, cotton, and oilseed rape as either human food or animal feed for 10 years. It also extended by 10 years the use of seven other crops already in use produced by Bayer, Monsanto, Dupont's Pioneer, and Dow AgroSciences. (more)

In Libya's anarchy, migrant smuggling a booming trade
22 April 2015 - Libya's chaos has turned it into a lucrative magnet attracting migrants desperate to make the dangerous sea voyage to Europe. With no central authority to stop it, business is booming, with smugglers charging ever more as demand goes up, then using the profits to buy larger boats and heavier weapons to ensure no one dare touch them. It's a vicious cycle that only translates into more tragedies at sea. With each rickety boat that sets off from Libya's coast, traffickers rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars. So assured are they of their impunity that they operate openly. Many even use Facebook to advertise their services to migrants desperate to flee war, repression, and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. (more)

US: EPA expands areas of approved use for Dow's Enlist Duo herbicide
1 April 2015 - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday more than doubled the number of U.S. states where Dow AgroSciences' controversial new herbicide can be used. Enlist Duo was developed by Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical, as an answer to severe weed resistance problems that are limiting crop production around the country. More than 84 million acres of farmland are infested with glyphosate-resistant weeds, and the problem continues to climb each year. (more)

Boko Haram kills 41, prevents hundreds voting in Nigeria
28 March 2015 - Boko Haram extremists killed 41 people, including a legislator, and scared hundreds of people from polling stations in the northeast, but millions voted across Nigeria Saturday in the most closely contested presidential race in the nation's history. All the Boko Haram attacks took place in northeastern Nigeria, where the military Friday announced it had cleared the Islamic extremists from all major centers, including the headquarters of their so-called Islamic caliphate. (more)

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