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Budapest museum lifts lid on Houdini's magic, Hungarian roots
20 December 2016 - The name Harry Houdini is synonymous with escapology, but less is known about his first great escape -- how he left his Hungarian home as a child for a new life in the United States. The House of Houdini, a museum in Budapest's historic Castle district, seeks to shed light on the illusionist's roots with a display of memorabilia and a research team tracking down documents about his life. David Merlini opened the museum this year as a tribute to the artist who was born in Budapest as Erik Weisz into a Jewish family in 1874. (more)

'Light bringers' help Hungary's impoverished Roma power their homes
16 December 2016 - For Karoly Nemeth, a Roma man who lives with his family in a town just outside Budapest, having electricity in his home is not always guaranteed. Nemeth, 42, who has side jobs in construction, lives with his wife, two daughters. and son on a monthly income of about 90,000 forints ($300). With the help of Hungary's Romaversitas Foundation, an NGO, his home has now been equipped with a solar panel. ... The program, called 'Light bringers', has so far helped 40 families in various parts of Hungary. (more)

Hungary may be first in Europe to ban GMOs in agriculture
28 May 2015 - The growing anti-GMO movement has gained traction in Europe as Hungary aims to be the first European Union nation to end the cultivation of genetically modified crops. Hungary's Minister of Agriculture Sandor Fazekas has even mounted the 'Alliance for a GMO-free Europe' initiative to encourage other countries in the EU to become GMO-free zones as well. (more)

Budapest-Tehran train trip is newest luxury pursuit
15 October 2014 - A luxury train connecting the capitals of Hungary and Iran left Budapest for the first time on Wednesday, with 70 passengers set to cross the Balkans, the Bosphorus, and Kurdistan on the way to Persia aboard a set of deluxe railcars. The two-week trip sets back each participant at least 9,000 pounds ($14,333) and some as much as 25,000 pounds including full service, a sightseeing programme, and the beautiful scenery that rolls leisurely by for about 7,000 km (4,350 miles). The tickets for the first train sold out in 10 days, said Tim Littler, the founder of tour operator Golden Eagle, adding he planned four more trains to make the trip next year. (more)

First all-electric mini bus in Hungary
4 August 2014 - UQM Technologies Inc. continues to broaden its global customer base, with a UQM PowerPhase electric motor and controller systems being used to power an all-electric mini bus built by Inter Tan-ker Ltd in Hungary. This is the first all-electric mini bus to be approved for use by the Hungarian National Transport Authority. (more)

103 Torah scrolls from Hungary found in Russia
18 February 2014 - Hungarian Jewish leaders say they have found 103 Torah scrolls taken from Hungary during the Holocaust in a Russian library. Negotiations are underway with Russian officials to restore the scrolls and possibly display them in international exhibits. A Torah is a handmade copy on parchment scrolls of the first five books of the Old Testament. (more)

Hungarian rabbi finds 103 stolen Torah scrolls in Russia
18 February 2014 - A Hungarian rabbi said on Tuesday he had uncovered 103 Torah scrolls stolen from Hungarian Jews during World War Two and stashed in a Russian library, adding he planned to restore and return them to the Jewish community. Slomo Koves, chief rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation, called it an historic find and added that once the scrolls are restored he would try to take them on tour around the world. 'I think it's the first time in history when such a large collection of Judaica with 100 Torah scrolls in one place was discovered,' Koves said. (more)

Hungary's 'Chess Palace' helps kids to learn and play
24 October 2013 - Ten-year-old Tamas Katona hopes one day to be a chess champion, but in the meantime his love of the game is helping him to master the skills that should help him in school and later life. The boy lives in Hungary where the world's best female chess player, Judit Polgar, has turned a school into 'chess wonderland' catering precisely for students such as Katona. Polgar, who has two children, spends much of her time implementing a special teaching programme called the 'Chess Palace' that puts chess thinking at the heart of learning. (more)

Famed Hungarian music academy gets new lease on life
22 October 2013 - The Liszt Academy music school founded by Franz Liszt, the first piano superstar, reopens its main concert hall on Tuesday refurbished under an ambitious plan to give the 138-year-old institution, and its music study programme, a new lease on life. Liszt was a renowned virtuoso pianist and one of the 19th century's great classical composers. The reopening, on Liszt's birthday, will feature a gala concert attended by heads of music institutions from around the world and include remarks by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. For music academy alumni, it is essential that the institution survive and build on traditions that have given it pride of place in Hungary's distinguished musical culture. (more)

Hungary reopens Liszt hall, Budapest's musical heart
22 October 2013 - Hungary celebrated a rich musical heritage on Tuesday with a gala black-tie concert to mark the refurbishment and reopening of the main concert hall of the Liszt Academy music school in Budapest. One of the world's cherished concert venues, where audience and performers alike praise the acoustics, the Liszt Academy's 'Large Hall' has been painstakingly restored during a four-year closure to its early 20th-century style. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Scholar from Hungary developing MUM online MA in Maharishi Ayur-Veda health care
24 January 2014 - One of the first writers in Hungary to popularize Ayurveda, the ancient Vedic science of natural health care, Daniel Pal translated and edited numerous books and other materials on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's knowledge and programmes, and wrote over 200 articles on natural health, Ayurveda, and Vedic wisdom. Now a graduate student at Maharishi University of Management in the USA, in his internship Daniel works on curriculum development for the Physiology and Health department, where he is helping develop an online master's programme in Maharishi Ayur-Veda and integrative medicine to be launched in the fall of 2014. (more)

University in Hungary holds first Transcendental Meditation course: 300 students learn
18 February 2010 - In Hungary, a course in the Transcendental Meditation Programme has been given at a university for the first time; 300 students learnt the technique. This university has now formed an alliance with Maharishi University of Management in the United States, to share knowledge and degree programmes. (more)

Hungary: Leaders of the future, and translation of historic lectures by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi - Highlights of 2009
8 January 2010 - In the past year, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's historic lectures and course on higher states of consciousness were translated into Hungarian. In other highlights, future leaders of the Global Country of World Peace have formed the Maharishi Youth Foundation in Hungary, and hundreds of people attended residence courses for deep rest and rejuvenation, and to accelerate their progress through practise of the Transcendental Meditation Technique. (more)

Hungary: Professional training in Maharishi's Vedic Approach to Health - Highlights of 2009
7 January 2010 - Hungary hosted the world's second course for medical doctors to be trained in Maharishi's Vedic Approach to Health. Subsequently, a Maharishi Ayur-Veda Health Spa was opened in Debrecen, Hungary, by two of the course participants. (more)

Hungary: Education for the development of consciousness - Highlights of 2009
6 January 2010 - An innovative college in Budapest began offering the Transcendental Meditation Technique to its students, and this year the Science of Creative Intelligence course and Transcendental Meditation Teacher Training course will be offered. Also this year, the college will begin a cooperative programme with Maharishi University of Management, USA. At other universities and smaller schools around the nation, approximately 2,000 students, faculty, and school administrators learnt Transcendental Meditation recently. (more)

Hungary: Eighty students learn Transcendental Meditation in Budapest
10 November 2009 - On 2 November, the Global Mother Divine Organization held its monthly global internet broadcast - Full Moon celebration, which included highlights of the organization's activities around the world. This month's celebration featured reports from Germany, Japan, Ghana, and the following report from Hungary, where 80 lady students recently learnt the Transcendental Meditation Technique in Budapest. (more)

Developments in the field of education and health in Hamsa (Hungary)
22 August 2009 - In Hamsa (Hungary) 3,000 students from a variety of high schools in one area will have the opportunity to learn the Transcendental Meditation Programme in August and September. They will form the first invincibility group for Hamsa, with their influence spreading to the whole of Europe. A coherence-creating group has also been established by a mayor in Hamsa, who practises the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme. (more)

Maharishi's programmes welcomed in Hamsa (Hungary) - Part III - Vedic Architecture, Vedic Agriculture
2 September 2008 - Raja John Konhaus, Raja of Hamsa (Hungary) for the Global Country of World Peace, reported on his recent visit to the nation and the great interest in Vedic Organic Agriculture, as well as an initiative to build a Maharishi Peace Colony. (more)

Maharishi's programmes welcomed in Hamsa (Hungary) - Part II - Consciousness-Based Education
1 September 2008 - Raja John Konhaus, Raja of Hamsa (Hungary) for the Global Country of World Peace, reported on his recent visit to the nation and the tremendous interest in Consciousness-Based Education there. (more)

Maharishi's programmes welcomed in Hamsa (Hungary) - Part I - Maharishi College of Vedic Medicine
30 August 2008 - Raja John Konhaus, Raja of Hamsa (Hungary) for the Global Country of World Peace, reported on his recent visit to the nation and the initiative to create a Maharishi College of Vedic Medicine there. (more)


Flops
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Hungary prisons criticised for overcrowding, racism
30 April 2014 - The Council of Europe says Hungary's prison system needs to reduce overcrowding, stop discrimination against Roma prisoners, and offer inmates work or recreational activities so they don't spend 23 hours a day in their cells. The report released Wednesday is based on visits to 10 jails and prisons across Hungary by a special committee of the Council in April. The report also cites several cases of the use of excessive force and racist remarks by police during arrests or questioning of suspects. In a detailed reply from the government, authorities highlighted a 'significant increase' in prisoners' employment, said other issues are being addressed but acknowledged that overcrowding at prisons has grown from 122 per cent of capacity to 144 per cent since 2009. (more)

Thousands protest over new Hungarian constitution
2 January 2012 - Tens of thousands of protesters on Monday jeered Hungarian leaders outside a glitzy gala to mark the country's brand new constitution, accusing the government of exerting control over everything from the media, to the economy and religion. Opposition activists and civil rights groups say Orban and his centre-right Fidesz party, which has a two-thirds parliamentary majority, have passed laws eroding the democratic system of checks and balances by increasing political control over the judiciary, the central bank, religious groups, and the media. Protesters repeatedly shouted 'bovli' -- 'junk' in Hungarian -- mocking Hungary's recent credit rating downgrades. (more)

Hungary requests financial help from IMF, EU
21 November 2011 - Hungary has officially requested precautionary financial help from the IMF and the European Union, confirming a sharp reversal of the government's opposition to working under the international lender's guidance. The euro zone debt crisis, and Hungary's weak economic outlook coupled with the threat of a downgrade to 'junk' debt status prompted the government to take a sudden U-turn. Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government -- which has pursued unconventional policies since it swept to power in April 2010 -- may face hard talks with lenders if it wants a deal without strict conditions attached, analysts have said. (more)

Hungary plans to axe 25,000 public sector jobs - report
12 October 2010 - Hungary plans tough public sector staff cuts in 2011 and may impose taxes on the energy sector to keep its pledge to the European Union to cut its budget deficit below 3 per cent of GDP, a local website said on Tuesday. Meeting deficit goals is essential for Hungary to maintain investor confidence and keep EU funds flowing into an economy struggling to return to growth after a deep recession in 2009. The measures could axe up to 25,000 jobs, cut bonuses, and lead to tens of thousands more losing their jobs if state funding to local municipalities is curbed, the web portal said. (more)

Hungary sludge reservoir at risk of collapse
9 October 2010 - The cracking wall of an industrial plant reservoir appeared on the verge of collapse late Saturday, and engineers were working to blunt a possible second wave of the caustic red sludge that has already deluged several towns in western Hungary and killed seven. Residents of one nearby town were evacuated, others were ordered to be ready to evacuate, and everyone was bracing for a new onslaught of toxic material. Engineers feared a second wave could be even more toxic than the first because the sludge remaining in the reservoir was more concentrated. Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the northern wall of MAL Rt.'s storage pool, which released at least 700,000 cubic meters (184 million gallons) of caustic red sludge and water five days ago after one of its corners ruptured, was showing numerous cracks and seemed ready to fail completely. (more)

Red sludge only latest Hungarian calamity
9 October 2010 - The disaster that buried three Hungarian villages in caustic red sludge this week is deepening the gloom of a country gripped by recession, polarization, and the near-ubiquitous feeling that its people are doomed to be victims of calamity. Environmental groups are warning of other potential disasters, among them seven storage ponds about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Budapest that hold 12 million tons of sludge accumulated since 1945 -- more than 10 times the amount that spilled this week. 'If the gates break there, much of Hungary's drinking water would be endangered,' says WWF official Martin Geiger. Such worries add to the burdens of a people whose national psyche has been formed by centuries of foreign domination, internal turmoil, and economic hardships. (more)

Hungary: Possible long-term harm from toxic sludge 'mind-boggling'
8 October 2010 - The mighty Danube apparently absorbed Hungary's massive red sludge spill with little immediate damage but laboratory tests heightened concerns about possible longer-term harm caused by toxic heavy metals in the slurry. The reservoir break at an alumina plant dumped up to 700,000 cubic meters (184 million gallons) of sludge onto three villages. Red sludge samples taken a day after the spill contained 'surprisingly high' levels of arsenic and mercury, Greenpeace told reporters. The analysis suggested that roughly 50 tonnes of arsenic, 300 tonnes of chrome, and half a tonne of mercury was unleashed by the spill. (more)

Hungary: Toxic red sludge has reached the Danube
7 October 2010 - The toxic red sludge that burst out of a Hungarian factory's reservoir reached the mighty Danube on Thursday after wreaking havoc on smaller rivers and creeks, and downstream nations rushed to test their waters. The European Union and environmental officials fear an environmental catastrophe affecting half a dozen nations if the red sludge, a waste product of making aluminum, contaminates the Danube, Europe's second-longest river. The Hungarian reservoir break on Monday disgorged a toxic torrent through three villages and creeks that flow into waterways connected to the Danube. Creeks in Kolontar, the western village closest to the spill site, were still swollen and ochre red days later and villagers said they were devoid of fish. Alumina plants are scattered around the world, with the 12 largest concentrated in Australia, Brazil, and China. (more)

Hungary sludge flood called 'ecological disaster'
5 October 2010 - A lethal torrent of toxic red sludge from a metal refinery engulfed towns in Hungary, burning villagers through their clothes and threatening an ecological disaster Tuesday as it swept toward the Danube River. The flood of caustic red mud triggered a state of emergency declaration by Hungarian officials. At least four people were killed, six were missing and 120 injured, many with burns. Dozens of villagers were burned when the caustic material seeped through their clothing. Because chemical burns can take days to emerge, seemingly superficial injuries can turn deadly as they penetrate deeper tissue, Dr. Peter Jakabos of Gyor Hospital told state TV. By Tuesday, about 35.3 million cubic feet of sludge had poured from the reservoir, flooding a 16 square mile area, Environmental Affairs State Secretary Zoltan Illes called the spill an 'ecological catastrophe.' (more)

Roma a powderkeg in Hungary as crisis deepens
13 August 2009 - The pain of economic downturn is exacerbating tensions and resentment towards minorities and immigrants across Europe and even in north Africa. In Hungary, both the crisis and the violence are particularly drastic. The country was the first nation in the European Union to turn to the IMF for help last year, and faces deep recession and mounting unemployment. The economic slowdown has especially hurt the Roma, who account for 6 to 7 per cent of the population and find it hard getting jobs even in prosperous times. The crisis has reinforced social tensions, and the recent attacks on the Roma have brought the country to the brink of open conflict, according to its President. (more)

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