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AP Photos: People in Asia and beyond welcome Lunar New Year
16 February 2018 - People in Asia and around the world are celebrating the Lunar New Year on Friday with festivals, parades and temple visits to ask for blessings. This year marks the year of the dog, one of the 12 animals in the Chinese astrological chart. People in Beijing celebrated with family feasts and visits to bustling temple fairs amid the mid-winter chill. Ethnic Chinese and others around the world also marked the holiday with celebrations. (more)

Asian nations make plastic oceans promise
8 June 2017 - At a UN oceans summit, delegates from China, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines said they would work to keep plastics out of the seas. Some of the promises are not yet formalised ... But UN officials praised the statement. Meeting in New York, they said it was part of a clear international shift against ocean pollution. (more)

Here comes the sun: investors increasingly excited about solar projects in S.E. Asia
8 June 2017 - Investors are increasingly excited about the prospects for much faster growth in the solar power industry in Southeast Asia, which has until now been a backwater for renewable energy. They say that the region is in a perfect position to benefit from rapidly declining prices in solar panels. It has strong economic growth, relatively high costs of electricity and a shortage from traditional sources, undeveloped infrastructure in more remote areas, plenty of sunshine, and backing for more renewable energy from many of Southeast Asia's governments. (more)

Factbox - On the sunny side: Southeast Asian nations push into solar
2 November 2016 - Indonesia and Vietnam are looking to join Thailand in blazing a trail for solar power in Southeast Asia, introducing targets to fire up green energy generation as a landmark global agreement to curb pollution is set to take effect this week. Following are some details on solar in the region's countries: (more)

Indonesia, Vietnam look to blaze trail for solar in Southeast Asia
1 November 2016 - Indonesia and Viet Nam are looking to join Thailand in blazing a trail for solar power in Southeast Asia, introducing targets to fire up green energy generation as a landmark global agreement to curb pollution is set to take effect. Indonesia and Vietnam aim to each have annual solar power capacity of at least 5 gigawatts (GW) from 2020, up from close to nothing now, officials from both governments told Reuters. (more)

Foreign ministers of Japan, China, South Korea likely to meet next week: media
17 August 2016 - Japan, China, and South Korea are in talks to hold a meeting of their foreign ministers next week, despite rows between Tokyo and Beijing over China's maritime expansion in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, a Japanese daily said on Wednesday, 17 August. The foreign ministers' meeting is expected to lay the groundwork for a three-way summit Tokyo is set to host this year. (more)

Thailand, Singapore, and Japan least miserable on Earth: Bloomberg Misery Index
14 August 2016 - Thailand, Singapore, and Japan are three of the world's least miserable nations, thanks to falling prices and low unemployment. That's according to a Misery Index compiled by Bloomberg which combines the cost of living with the strength of the job market. The Misery Index gives the Land of Smiles (Thailand) a score of 1.11 per cent, which is the best -- or least miserable -- for all 74 economies surveyed by Bloomberg. (more)

New Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank starts building a green future
1 July 2016 - People watched closely when China launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) last year. AIIB's president and senior executives reassured the audience at its first annual general meeting and seminars this week that green will be the hallmark of AIIB, and laid out three criteria for its projects: financially sustainable, environmentally benign, and socially acceptable. The four projects AIIB approved by the Board at this week's meetings claim to bear the green label: an electricity distribution system upgrade and expansion project in Bangladesh, a national motorway project in Pakistan, a slum upgrading project in Indonesia, and a road improvement project in Uzbekistan. (more)

Tiger countries agree to preserve big-cat habitats
15 April 2016 - Countries with wild tiger populations have agreed to do more to protect tiger habitats that are shrinking drastically because of deforestation and urban sprawl, conservationists said Friday, 15 April. Representatives from the 13 Asian countries with tigers, meeting this week in New Delhi, issued a resolution acknowledging that the forests in which tigers live are inherently valuable themselves and worthy of protection. (more)

World's wild tiger count rising for first time in more than a century
10 April 2016 - The world's count of wild tigers roaming forests from Russia to Vietnam has gone up for the first time in more than a century, with 3,890 counted by conservation groups and national governments in the latest global census, wildlife conservation groups said Monday, 11 April. The tally marks a turnaround from the last worldwide estimate in 2010, when the number of tigers in the wild hit an all-time low of about 3,200, according to the World Wildlife Fund and the Global Tiger Forum. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
Short Summaries of Top Stories

Maharishi University of Management faculty present in India, Rwanda, South Korea, and Bali
15 May 2018 - Maharishi University of Management (MUM) faculty have been making an impact worldwide in recent months, giving presentations in a number of countries around the world, including India, Rwanda, South Korea, and Bali. (more)

Southeast Asia: Maharishi Vastu schools, homes, and Peace Palace under development
17 July 2013 - In several countries in Southeast Asia--Thailand, Malaysia, and Myanmar--schools, homes, and other buildings including a Maharishi Peace Palace are being developed and built, designed according to Maharishi Vastu architecture. In Thailand alone about 5,000 square metres of Vastu buildings are under construction this year. (more)

India, Nepal: Universities learn about integration of modern science and health care with ancient Vedic Science
28 January 2013 - During the first stage of his Total Health World Tour, Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, was invited to speak in a graduate and faculty seminar at Apeejay Stya University, a large private university dedicated to science, research, and technology in Delhi. India. He went on to address a conference on 'Integrative Medicine for the 21st Century for Nepal' at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. (more)

Buddhist monks in Asia learn Transcendental Meditation with support from Japan
24 December 2011 - Over the last nine years several thousand Buddhist monks in southeast Asia have been learning the Transcendental Meditation Programme. Japan has played an important role in the project's continuing success, through the leadership of Reverend Koji Oshima, a Buddhist monk from Japan, and also through the generous support of many Japanese people. (more)

Thousands of Buddhist monks in Asia learn Transcendental Meditation
31 October 2011 - More than 3,000 Buddhist monks in 100 monasteries throughout Southeast Asia have learned the Transcendental Meditation Technique, as a result of the work by a revered Japanese Buddhist monk, Reverend Koji Oshima, who is a longtime TM practitioner and certified TM teacher. According to Rev Oshima, the Buddhist monks appreciate the simplicity, effortlessness, and profound experience of transcendence, which is gained almost immediately after starting Transcendental Meditation practice. (more)

Asian nations applying Maharishi's technologies of consciousness
3 September 2011 - In Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal, interest is rising in applications of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes and technologies of consciousness in education, health, agriculture, and world peace. (more)

Buddhist monk in Japan brings Transcendental Meditation to monks in Thailand and Sri Lanka
10 July 2011 - For the last eight years, an initiative that originated with a Buddhist monk in Japan has been bringing Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's technologies of consciousness to monks in other Asian countries. Since 2003, 4,000 Buddhist monks have been inspired to learn the Transcendental Meditation Technique--1,500 in Sri Lanka, and 2,500 in Thailand. (more)

Women and girls' Consciousness-Based programmes flourishing in Asia and Pacific
19 January 2011 - Consciousness-Based programmes for women and girls in education and health are proving popular in many countries in Asia and the Pacific region. (more)

Global Mother Divine Organization reports achievements in Asia
23 July 2010 - Reports from many Asian nations--including Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Taiwan, and Vietnam--were featured during the Global Mother Divine Organization's Third International Congress. The organization has been very active in each country, with projects and initiatives in Total Knowledge Based, Consciousness-Based programmes for women and girls. These are often being accomplished with the support of newly qualified Teachers of the Transcendental Meditation Programme--who in some cases are the first such Teachers in their countries. (more)

Global Country of World Peace programmes bringing Transcendental Meditation to Vietnam and Laos
13 June 2010 - Interest in Transcendental Meditation and Consciousness-Based Education is rapidly growing in Vietnam, and new avenues are also developing in the Lao People's Democratic Republic to help make Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes widely available. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

Asia's meth boom: How a war on drugs went continent-wide
2 November 2018 - From the jungles of Myanmar to the streets of Hong Kong, police throughout Asia are fighting a war against methamphetamine. By many indications, they're losing. Demand for both crystal meth and yaba, tablets that typically contain a mixture of meth and caffeine, is skyrocketing. Production is increasing at an unprecedented clip, and so is the body count. Leaders in places like Bangladesh and the Philippines are waging deadly drug wars that have cost thousands of lives. But this isn't 'Breaking Bad' -- meth isn't just used by the poor and the downtrodden. Meth no longer discriminates in Asia; it has become the dominant drug of choice across the region, irrespective of class, age, or gender ... (more)

As sand mining grows, Asia's deltas are sinking, water experts warn
21 September 2018 - Without enough sand arriving to maintain themselves, deltas are eroding, bringing worsening flooding and land loss. Sand mining from rivers is depriving many low-lying Asian deltas of the sediment they need to maintain themselves, raising the risk of worsening land loss to sea level rise, researchers say. Combined with losses of soil-holding mangroves and accelerating groundwater extraction, which can lead to land sinking, the mining is increasing climate-related threats for those living in low-lying coastal areas, they said. (more)

Rise of robots fuels slavery threat for Asian factory workers - analysts
12 July 2018 - The rise of robots in manufacturing in Southeast Asia is likely to fuel modern slavery as workers who end up unemployed due to automation face abuses competing for a shrinking pool of low-paid jobs in a 'race to the bottom', analysts said on Thursday (12 July). (more)

Report: Asia facing dire future toll from climate change
14 July 2017 - A report by the Asia Development Bank says Asia will endure extreme heat, rising sea levels, growing losses from severe weather, and increasing food insecurity in coming decades as climate change raises temperatures and alters weather patterns across the globe. The survey released Friday [14 July] by the Manila-based lender paints a grim outlook for many communities in Asia, home to about 4 billion people. It's based on the latest scientific research, with or without more aggressive efforts to curb carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. (more)

Gadget mountain rising in Asia threatens health, environment
15 January 2017 - The waste from discarded electronic gadgets and electrical appliances has reached severe levels in East Asia, posing a growing threat to health and the environment unless safe disposal becomes the norm. China was the biggest culprit with its electronic waste more than doubling, according to a new study by the United Nations University. But nearly every country in the region had massive increases between 2010 and 2015, including those least equipped to deal with the growing mountain of discarded smartphones, computers, TVs, air conditioners, and other goods. (more)

South China Sea ruling won't stop plundering of ecosystem, experts say
13 July 2016 - An international tribunal's ruling that China has caused severe harm to coral reefs and endangered species in the South China Sea will not stop further damage to an already plundered ecoystem, scientists and academics said. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled on Tuesday, 12 July that China did not have historic rights to the South China Sea and that it had breached Philippine sovereignty by endangering its ships and fishing and oil projects in the energy-rich waters. (more)

Behind pomp of APEC summit, crushing poverty endures
19 November 2015 - Just a few miles from the gleaming venue hosting President Barack Obama and other world leaders sits Manila's slum of slums on a mountain of trash, a potent reminder to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation bloc that the globalization agenda it promotes has left many behind. President Benigno Aquino III (Philippines) has vowed to fight poverty and corruption during a six-year term that ends in June. His government says poverty levels have decreased a few notches under his watch. Aquino and his officials, however, acknowledge that poverty remains a formidable dilemma. (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)

Asbestos pushed in Asia as product for the poor
12 August 2014 - At a conference in the Indian capital, executives say the asbestos industry saves lives and brings roofs, walls, and pipes to some of the world's poorest people. A largely outlawed scourge to the developed world, asbestos is still going strong in the developing one, and killing tens of thousands of people each year. In India, the world's biggest asbestos importer, it's a $2 billion industry with double-digit annual growth, at least 100 manufacturing plants and some 300,000 jobs. The International Labour Organization, World Health Organization, the wider medical community and more than 50 countries say the mineral should be banned. Asbestos fibers lodge in the lungs and cause many diseases. The ILO estimates 100,000 people die every year from workplace exposure, and experts believe thousands more die from exposure outside the workplace. But one could say manufacturers have gone back in time to defend their products. The Indian asbestos lobby's website refers to 1998 WHO guidelines for controlled use of chrysotile, but skips updated WHO advice from 2007 suggesting that all asbestos be banned. The lobby also ignores the ILO's 2006 recommendation to ban asbestos, and refers only to its 1996 suggestion of strict regulations. (more)

Tiger, tiger, dying out - a majestic animal on its knees
27 July 2014 - Tigers once covered a vast stretch of Asia. They could be found in the tip of India, all the way across to Bali and even into eastern Turkey. Now they survive in a few pockets, primarily in India, South-east Asia, and here in Russia's eastern Primorsky region. Worldwide numbers are estimated at little more than 3,000. In every one of these locations, they are under mortal threat. A key reason is depressingly predictable: the demand for exotic animal parts. Partly this is for traditional medicines that have no recognised medicinal value. It is also for tiger pelts and tiger-bone wine seen as exotic luxury items. In Russia, local hunters can receive £10,000 for a dead tiger from the middlemen who smuggle it to the black markets across the Chinese border. In the 1940s, Russia had been the first country to grant the tiger full protection and an effective conservation effort allowed its numbers to grow. The collapse of the USSR saw that end almost overnight. Rangers' salaries were not paid, leading to their abandoning their posts, and Chinese traders looking for tiger parts moved north across the newly opened border. Illegal loggers also took their chainsaws to vast stretches of Korean pine forests, felling trees for the Asian markets. This decimated parts of the tigers' habitat and reduced the number of deer and wild boar that the big cats feed on. (more)


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