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Dutch design breakthrough fast tracks oceans clean-up plan
11 May 2017 - A Dutch engineer aiming to clean up vast ocean 'garbage patches'of plastic Thursday (11 May) unveiled a radical design breakthrough, enabling his ambitious project to start two years early. Boyan Slat's innovative scheme seeks to use ocean currents to help gather up an estimated five trillion pieces of plastic . . . from the planet's waters. (more)

Dutch group says it will soon start cleaning up ocean trash
11 May 2017 - A Dutch foundation aiming to rid the world's oceans of plastic waste says it will start cleaning up the huge area ... known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within the next 12 months, two years earlier than planned. (more)

Stolen Van Gogh paintings back in Amsterdam after 14 years
21 March 2017 - Two paintings by Vincent Van Gogh were unveiled, barely damaged, at an Amsterdam museum on Tuesday, 14 years after they were stolen in a mafia heist. The works ... are from a period that was crucial to the post-impressionist master's development as a painter. 'They are back,' said Van Gogh museum director Axel Rueger ahead of the unveiling of the paintings, each valued by investigators on their recovery by Italian police six months ago at 50 million euros ($53.97 million). 'I never thought I'd be able to say these words.' (more)

Dutch get creative to solve a prison problem: Too many empty cells
12 February 2017 - The Netherlands has a problem many countries can only dream of: a shortage of prison inmates. While countries like Belgium, Britain, Haiti, Italy, the United States and Venezuela have grappled with prison overcrowding, the Netherlands has such a surplus of unused cells that it has rented some of its prisons to Belgium and Norway. It has also turned about a dozen former prisons into centers for asylum seekers. About a third of Dutch prison cells sit empty, according to the Ministry of Justice. Criminologists attribute the situation to a spectacular fall in crime over the past two decades and an approach to law enforcement that prefers rehabilitation to incarceration. . . . Recorded crime has shrunk by about a quarter over the past nine years, according to the country's national statistics office, and that is expected to translate into a surplus of 3,000 prison cells by 2021. The government has shuttered 19 of nearly 60 prisons over the past three years. (more)

Dutch electric trains become 100% powered by wind energy
1 February 2017 - All Dutch electric trains are now powered by wind energy, the national railway company NS has said. Dutch electricity company Eneco won a tender offered by NS two years ago and the two companies signed a 10-year deal setting January 2018 as the date by which all NS trains should run on wind energy. 'So we in fact reached our goal a year earlier than planned,' said NS spokesman, Ton Boon, adding that an increase in the number of wind farms across the country and off the coast of the Netherlands had helped NS achieve its aim. (more)

Dutch GDP grows 2.4 pct in Q3; unemployment falls most in a decade
15 November 2016 - The Dutch economy grew 2.4 percent year-on-year in the third quarter and unemployment fell sharply . . . Unemployment declined to 5.9 percent from 6.3 percent in the second quarter, the largest quarter-on-quarter decline in a decade, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) said. The economy is benefiting from a strong recovery in housing prices, which is boosting consumer confidence and spending, as well as a continuing large trade surplus. (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)

Netherlands: Organic food producer Wessanen's 2nd-quarter profit soars
26 July 2016 - Dutch organic food producer Koninklijke Wessanen NV reported a better-than-expected profit for the second quarter as consumers continue to shift towards natural foods and healthier eating. (more)

Dutch prototype clean-up boom brings Pacific plastics solution a step closer
22 June 2016 - A bid to clear the Pacific of its plastic debris has moved a step closer with the launch of the biggest prototype clean-up boom yet by the Dutch environment minister at a port in The Hague. On Thursday, 23 June, the 100m-long barrier will be towed 20km out to sea for a year of sensor-monitored tests. If tests are successful, it could be deployed at a larger scale in the 'great Pacific garbage patch'. A fully scaled-up barrier would be the most ambitious ocean cleansing project yet, capturing around half of the plastic soup that circles the Pacific gyre within a decade. That at least is the plan. (more)

Dutch test 'Ocean Cleanup' plan to collect floating plastic
22 June 2016 - A Dutch foundation has developed floating barriers to try to collect trash from the world's oceans, and will launch a 100 meter-long prototype in the North Sea this week to see how it fares during storms. The Ocean Cleanup Foundation's 21-year-old Chief Executive Boyan Slat, who first had the idea for the system as a teenager, hopes to use the technology in an enormous area where trash circulates in the northern Pacific Ocean, from 2020. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Report on Alliance of Women Scientists, 2014
4 December 2014 - The Alliance of Women Scientists and Scholars for a Better World is a collective of women scientists, scholars, and students who share a common goal of using their knowledge and expertise to create a better world. Chairwoman Leslee Goldstein reports on the Fourth International Conference of the Alliance that was held from 21 to 24 July 2014. The theme of the conference was: The World is as We Are: Culturing the Inner and Outer Environment to Realize Our Full Human Potential. (more)

Netherlands: 21 architects complete advanced training in Maharishi Vastu Architecture
14 August 2014 - Twenty-one architects recently completed a post-graduate, professional training course on Maharishi Vastu architecture, held in the Netherlands. The participants, who are based in 13 countries around the world, came to Maharishi European Research University (MERU) in Holland to take the Maharishi Vastu Architect Training Course. The two-month intensive course was part of a comprehensive programme of training in Maharishi Vastu architecture, offered in three phases over the last several years by the Institute for Vedic Architecture and City Planning. (more)

International Ayurveda Conference to offer optional courses in Transcendental Meditation, Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis, aroma therapy - April 2015, Netherlands
13 August 2014 - Organizers of the International Ayurveda Conference, to be hosted by Maharishi European Research University (MERU) in the Netherlands in April 2015, have arranged for several optional courses to be offered for attendees, during the conference or in a special extension following the main conference dates. These include: the opportunity to learn Transcendental Meditation, Maharishi Ayur-Veda Pulse Diagnosis (Nadi Pariksha), and an Introduction to Maharishi Aroma Therapy. (more)

Netherlands: Distinguished experts to helm International Ayurveda Conference - April 2015
9 August 2014 - A distinguished group of experts in Ayurveda--the time-tested, natural, prevention-oriented, and holistic health care system of ancient India--will guide the first-of-its-kind International Ayurveda Conference hosted by Maharishi European Research University (MERU) in Holland next April 2015. Conference Presidents and other officials include renowned Vaidyas (Ayurvedic physicians) from India and heads of leading institutions of Ayurvedic knowledge, training, and practice such as the International Maharishi Ayurveda Foundation, the All India Ayurvedic Congress, and the International Academy of Ayurveda. (more)

Leading institutions organizing April 2015 International Ayurveda Conference in Holland
5 August 2014 - The International Ayurveda Conference to be held in April 2015 at Maharishi European Research University (MERU) in the Netherlands is being organized jointly by the International Maharishi Ayurveda Foundation for Health Professionals, the All India Ayurvedic Congress, and the International Academy of Ayurveda in Pune, India. (more)

Holland: International Ayurveda Conference planned for April, 2015
31 July 2014 - Maharishi European Research University (MERU) in the Netherlands will host an International Ayurveda Conference in April 2015. The conference will offer 'scientific, time-tested and effective solutions for the major health problems of our time'. This conference will be a first of its kind: it will illuminate the time-tested knowledge of Ayurveda--the natural, prevention-oriented, and holistic health care system of ancient India--with the most up-to-date insights of modern science. New research showing the intimate relationship between consciousness and physiology will be presented--locating the inner healing intelligence of the physiology. The conference is jointly organized by the International Maharishi Ayurveda Foundation for Health Professionals, the All India Ayurvedic Congress, and the International Academy of Ayurveda in Pune, India. (more)

New Nepalese teachers of Transcendental Meditation bring Consciousness-Based Education to local schools
25 July 2014 - Nepal, with a population of 27.5 million, needs 600 practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi programme in order to create invincibility for the country. Progress toward invincibility during this last year includes 1551 new practitioners Transcendental Meditation, 22 new practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi programme, and 21 new Teachers of Transcendental Meditation. Fifteen from Nepal took the Consciousness-Based Education Training course, which teaches participants how to establish and manage the Consciousness-Based Education programme in schools in their country. Four schoolteachers from different Nepalese schools attended the course at Maharishi European Research University (MERU), Netherlands, during the summer. (more)

Netherlands: International health professionals' training courses highlight primary importance of consciousness
25 June 2014 - The Album of Events page of Global Good News is currently featuring a series of photos illustrating recent training courses for health professionals at MERU (Maharishi European Research University) in the Netherlands. One course was the first basic course of training in Panchakarma (Maharishi Ayur-Veda purification and rejuvenation therapy) for health professionals to be offered in 20 years. The second course, with 27 participants from around the world, brought out advanced knowledge for very experienced Maharishi Ayur-Veda physicians who have been offering Panchakarma treatments in leading health clinics in their countries. (more)

Netherlands: Maharishi European Research University greenhouse inaugurated
2 June 2014 - The completion of a large new greenhouse at Maharishi European Research University (MERU) in the Netherlands is an important achievement in the direction of sustainability and self-sufficiency, reported Dr Peter Swan, who created a popular course in Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture and has taught it in many countries. The greenhouse at MERU will become the centre for a Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture teaching programme as well as a living example that people can visit to learn more about the principles of Vedic agriculture, he said. (more)

Erfurt, Germany: Peace Palace offers hands-on course in Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture
9 May 2014 - At the Maharishi Peace Palace in Erfurt, Germany, participants in a Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture course created and taught by expert Dr Peter Swan, planted 150 square metres of 'no-till' potatoes as their class project. Research has shown that potatoes grown using the no-till method yield up to 17 per cent more than those grown via conventional methods. One theme Dr Swan emphasized throughout was the importance of organic agriculture and eating organic food in order to be healthy and have a clear mind. He also noted that Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture encompasses the adoption of new techniques being discovered in modern organic agriculture--such as the no-till method--that have been proven scientifically to be more effective than those used previously. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

Netherlands: Lack of motivation an issue at schools
15 April 2015 - Many Dutch secondary school pupils take no pleasure in learning and experience education as something they have to go through, according to a new report by chief inspector Annette Roeters. Four in 10 teachers in the first three years of secondary school say they are not able to motivate theThis lack of motivation plays across the entire school spectrum and many teachers admit being unable to enthuse their pupils about learning, the report states. (more)

One in 10 Dutch students uses drugs to aid concentration
9 April 2015 - One in 10 Dutch students uses some form of drug to improve their performance, broadcaster Nos says on Thursday. The most popular is Ritalin, used by people with attention deficit disorder ADHD. Amphetamines and Adderall, also used to treat ADHD, are other popular drugs (more)

Dutch youngsters take more and stronger party drugs
23 February 2015 - Dutch youngsters are taking drugs like ecstasy more often when they go out and the drugs themselves are becoming stronger, according to new research by the Trimbos institute. Youngsters say they take drugs to escape social pressures and to avoid becoming adults and making life choices, the Trimbos research found. They also claim the threshold to taking drugs has been lowered by social media and the internet. (more)

Decline in birds, not just bees, linked to neonicotinoid pesticides
14 July 2014 - It's not just the bees that are harmed by controversial crop pesticides called neonicotinoids -- the birds are also disappearing in places where there are high concentrations of the pesticide in the environment, a new study suggests. The study led by researchers at Radboud University in the Netherlands compared concentrations of the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid measured in lakes and other surface waters around the Netherlands to local changes in 15 farmland bird species from 2003 to 2010. They found that in areas where concentrations of the pesticide were more than 20 nanograms per litre, populations of birds such as barn swallows, tree sparrow and common starlings fell 3.5 per cent a year, compared to the average population trend for their species. Neonicotinoids act as a neurotoxin for insects, but previous studies have shown they're not very toxic to birds. Because of that, the Dutch researchers think the decline in birds is probably due to pesticides unintentionally killing off the insects they rely on to feed their young during the breeding season. (more)

Second Silent Spring? Bird declines linked to popular pesticides
9 July 2014 - Pesticides don't just kill pests. New research out of the Netherlands provides compelling evidence linking a widely used class of insecticides to population declines across 14 species of birds. Those insecticides, called neonicotinoids, have been in the news lately due to the way they hurt bees and other pollinators. This new paper, published online Wednesday in Nature, gets at another angle of the story-the way these chemicals can indirectly affect other creatures in the ecosystem. Scientists from Radboud University in Nijmegen and the Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology and Birdlife Netherlands (SOVON) compared long-term data sets for both farmland bird populations and chemical concentrations in surface water. They found that in areas where water contained high concentrations of imidacloprid-a common neonicotinoid pesticide-bird populations tended to decline by an average of 3.5 per cent annually. (more)

Sleepless nights raise brain levels of Alzheimer's protein: study
3 June 2014 - After a night of no sleep, even a healthy brain has higher than normal levels of the protein that forms the signature tangles in Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study from the Netherlands. 'We think normal healthy sleep helps reduce the amount of (amyloid) beta in the brain and if your sleep is disturbed this decrease is prevented,' said the study's senior author Dr Jurgen Claassen, from Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen (Netherlands). In people who repeatedly fail to get a good night's sleep, the amyloid-beta concentration may build up and could be one factor in the development of Alzheimer's disease, he said. Distinct from other forms of dementia, Alzheimer's is partly defined by accumulations in the brain of the amyloid-beta protein. The cause of Alzheimer's disease is not known, but the amyloid-beta plaques have long been thought to play an important role. Claassen and his colleagues point out in JAMA Neurology that studies on mice have found decreases in the amount of amyloid-beta in healthy animals' brains after a good night's sleep. That suggests sleep plays a role in cleaning out the protein overnight. (more)

Bullying among kids tied to suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts
10 March 2014 - School children who are bullied are more than twice as likely to think about killing themselves and to make suicide attempts as their peers who aren't bullied, according to a new analysis. Researchers also found that cyberbullying, such as harassment over the Internet, was more closely linked to suicidal thoughts than in-person bullying. 'We found that suicidal thoughts and attempted suicides are significantly related to bullying, a highly prevalent behaviour among adolescents,' Mitch van Geel told Reuters Health in an email. He said it's estimated that between 15 and 20 per cent of children and teens are involved in bullying as the perpetrator, victim, or both. (more)

Study links steroid-dependent asthma to depression
7 February 2014 - People with severe asthma who rely on prednisone are more than three times more likely to be depressed than those with severe cases who don't use prednisone and those with mild to moderate asthma, according to a new study from The Netherlands. Prednisone-dependent asthma patients 'deserve' screening for depression and anxiety, the authors say, both to alleviate their suffering and possibly improve their physical health through mental health treatment. 'There's a well-established connection with asthma, as well as chronic illness in general, and higher reports of depression than the general population,' Dr. Rebecca Hashim told Reuters Health. Prednisone is a steroid anti-inflammatory medication used to treat asthma attacks, often among people with severe symptoms. Previous research has linked steroid use to depression and other mood problems. And links in both directions have been found between depression and the severity of asthma symptoms. (more)

Study links insecticide use to invertebrate die-offs
1 May 2013 - The world's most widely used insecticide is devastating dragonflies, snails and other water-based species, a groundbreaking Dutch study has revealed. On Monday, the insecticide and two others were banned for two years from use on some crops across the European Union, due to the risk posed to bees and other pollinators, on which many food crops rely. However, much tougher action in the form of a total worldwide ban is needed, according to the scientist who led the new study. (more)

Psychiatric drugs tied to falls in the elderly
8 February 2013 - Seniors taking psychiatric drugs may be at extra high risk for falling, new Dutch research suggests. Of about 400 elderly people in the study, those who took medications including antidepressants and antipsychotics were twice as likely to report having fallen three or more times in the previous year, researchers found. Seniors are especially vulnerable to falls, which at their worst can cause hip fractures, head injuries, or death. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 20,000 US seniors died in 2009 as a result of injuries from falls. 'If possible (psychiatric drugs) should be avoided for elderly patients with other risk factors for falling,' Astrid van Strien, of University Medical Centre, Utrecht, and colleagues wrote in the journal Maturitas. (more)


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