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US: Woman raises more than $60K for homeless man gave his last $20 to rescue her
23 November 2017 - A New Jersey woman who was helped by a homeless man after she ran out of gas on an interstate in Philadelphia has raised more than $60,000 for the good Samaritan. Kate McClure, 27, started the Gofundme.com campaign earlier this month after she said she ran out of gas on Interstate 95 and a homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., walked a few blocks and bought her some with his last $20. (more)

Donors pledge $2 billion to help hurricane-hit Caribbean recover
22 November 2017 - With thousands left homeless by hurricanes in Caribbean island farming and fishing communities, international donors have pledged more than $2 billion to support rebuilding efforts. Hurricane Irma, packing winds of 185 miles (298 km) an hour, ravaged a series of small islands in the northeast Caribbean in early September, followed by Hurricane Maria. Tourism-reliant Dominica and the two-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda were hardest hit, and require billions of dollars in long-term aid to recover, experts said. (more)

US: A homeless man spent his last $20 to keep her safe. She's raised $34,000 to repay him
22 November 2017 - Kate McClure didn't expect to run out of gas on her drive to Philadelphia last month. And she definitely didn't expect that her misfortune would give her the opportunity to change someone else's life. Pulled over on the side of I-95, McClure, 27, was approached by a homeless man named Johnny. She was apprehensive at first, but Johnny told her to get back into her car and to lock the doors while he walked to get her help. He went to a nearby gas station, used his last $20 fill a can and brought it back to fill up her car. Johnny, who's 34, told McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D'Amico, he has been homeless for about a year. He said he was previously a certified paramedic, and also served in the Marine Corps. (more)

US: Rural schools unite to make college the rule, rather than the exception
21 November 2017 - Cooperation among sparsely populated districts in Ohio fuels a successful -- and necessary -- push for college in a place where manufacturing jobs have disappeared. Turning around struggling high schools is the toughest work in education reform. Research found that a $3.5 billion federal program meant to fix the nation's lowest performing schools - which focused disproportionately on high schools - did little to improve student achievement. In this three-part series, The Hechinger Report is visiting high schools that have beaten the long odds to learn what's behind their success in improving graduation rates and sending more students to college. (more)

US: Thanksgiving tribe reclaims language lost to colonization
21 November 2017 - The Massachusetts tribe whose ancestors shared a Thanksgiving meal with the Pilgrims nearly 400 years ago is reclaiming its long-lost language, one schoolchild at a time. The Mukayuhsak Weekuw -- or 'Children's House' -- is an immersion school launched by the Cape Cod-based Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, whose ancestors hosted a harvest celebration with the Pilgrims in 1621 that helped form the basis for [America's] Thanksgiving tradition. ... Jessie 'Little Doe' Baird, the tribe's vice chairwoman, is almost singularly responsible for the rebirth of the language ... (more)

Babies learn what words mean before they can use them
20 November 2017 - Babies begin to learn words and what they mean well before they begin talking, and researchers are beginning to understand how they do it. 'I think it's especially intriguing that we find evidence that for infants, even their early words aren't 'islands': even with a very small vocabulary they seem to have a sense that some words and concepts are more 'similar' than others,' Dr. Elika Bergelson from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina told Reuters Health by email. 'While they still have a lot to learn before they show adult-like or even toddler-like levels of comprehension, this gives us a peek into how those early words and concepts are organized.' (more)

US: Yale, Mohegans agree on transfer of artifacts
17 November 2017 - Yale University and Mohegan tribal officials signed an agreement Friday (17 November) that calls for Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History to transfer hundreds of Mohegan artifacts to the tribe's Tantaquidgeon Museum in Uncasville. The signing, which took place on the Yale campus, finalized a pact between two Connecticut institutions whose relationship dates back centuries. Links between Yale and the Mohegans are well established. During the 1700s, Yale President Ezra Stiles studied Mohegan language and spirituality. (more)

Twenty countries join global alliance to phase out coal by 2030
16 November 2017 - Twenty countries and two U.S. states have joined an international alliance to phase out coal from power generation before 2030, environment ministers said on Thursday (16 November). Coal is responsible for more than 40 per cent of global emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. (more)

US: Untapped economic opportunity in organic farming
15 November 2017 - Organic farming in Iowa is on the rise, and proving to be an important economic opportunity for small to mid-size farmers. This growing industry is significant for our state because it gives farmers an important and often untapped avenue to continue farming and make money. In a tough farm economy, strong and viable economic opportunities such as this are a valuable option for farms. Demand for organic products is growing at such a high rate that consumer need is exceeding domestic supplies. The U.S. is now spending more than $1 billion a year to import organic products. This rise in demand gives Iowa farmers a good opportunity to jump in on the higher price premiums -- up to three times as much as conventional products. (more)

US: Wisconsin businessman creates fund for solar energy
15 November 2017 - A Wisconsin businessman has created a fund that awards grants to nonprofits trying to move toward solar energy. Cal Couillard created Solar for Good, which awards the grants with the help of the advocacy group RENEW Wisconsin, Milwaukee Public Radio reported. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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American Heart Association recommends meditation to help prevent and treat heart disease
23 November 2017 - After a broad review of the scientific research, a recent scientific statement by the American Heart Association recommended meditation be considered to help prevent and treat heart disease as an adjunct to conventional care. 'It's the first time in the modern history of health care that an established medical body has recommended meditation in the treatment and prevention of heart disease,' said Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, dean of Maharishi University of Management's College of Integrative Medicine in the USA. The statement reviewed five different approaches to meditation . . . . Dr. Schneider said that, compared to other approaches, the Transcendental Meditation research was the most diverse and deepest, including, for example, studies on improved atherosclerosis, decreased insulin resistance, and reductions in the rate of heart attack, stroke, and death. (more)

'A New Science for Peace: Research on meditation, the brain, trauma, and peace' - Conference 5 December, Washington, DC
19 November 2017 - On 5 December at American University in Washington, DC, a distinguished panel of experts will explore the impact of 40 years of published research and clinical applications of the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique on improving health and reducing the symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS) among combat veterans, urban youth, and women survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Data will also be presented on the findings of TM reducing trauma, crime, and violence in society as a whole. The conference, hosted by the David Lynch Foundation, will be held at the Abramson Center for Peace, and moderated by Candy Crowley, former anchor, CNN's 'State of the Nation with Candy Crowley'. There is no fee to attend. (more)

Physicist Amanda Weltman: Using knowledge for good
14 November 2017 - Award-winning physicist Amanda Wellman first learned Transcendental Meditation as a child, then returned to the practice in 2008: 'It was a time in my life when TM was really most welcomed and I found that it helped me to settle my mind at times when it can feel overfull or harried. A settled calm mind is of extraordinary value to anyone but especially for me as a mother and a scientist.' In a recent interview Dr Weltman explored the many ways physics benefits society, especially through technology - plus her love of mathematics, problem-solving, and 'understanding the world around me. Physics is the most precise way to do this.' The Next Einstein Forum Fellow promotes science education and is actively engaged in organizations in several countries to implement programmes for girls. She says, 'we should all be finding ways to improve ourselves. That is the only place we can start, and, in that way, we can slowly change the world.' (more)

Katy Perry: 'Transcendental Meditation changed my life'
10 November 2017 - 'I start the day with Transcendental Meditation. It puts me in the best mood . . . It's the only time my mind gets absolute rest.' A recent interview revealed why Katy Perry has made TM her 'go-to tool for rest and relaxation.' Excerpts from 'a conversation with Katy Perry' include how she has raised awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans and how TM can help returning soldiers heal. In the past, Katy asked fans not to bring any presents to her birthday celebration, but instead to make a donation to the David Lynch Foundation that teaches TM to those most in need, such as veterans, inner-city kids, survivors of domestic violence or the homeless. (more)

Finding connection within: Cell phone use and Transcendental Meditation
8 November 2017 - Author Linda Egenes, writing for Transcendental Meditation for Women, addresses how today's young people are constantly seen 'bent in worship fashion over his or her cell phone.' Answering the question of whether 'they might be having just as much fun as we did', she cites research showing that depression and loneliness are skyrocketing in teen populations. Ms Egenes says, 'I think we have to go beyond good cell phone etiquette to address our society's deeper issues of isolation and loneliness'. Pointing out that practising TM is the most effective way to stay 'connected', she concludes, 'when we are feeling more connected to our inner source of calm and inner happiness, we naturally radiate that to others, contributing to their feelings of well-being and connectedness as well.'  (more)

Josie Overmyer on Transcendental Meditation: 'Meditating has helped me get back to myself.'
8 November 2017 - Josie Overmyer discusses the role anxiety plays in her life while pursuing a new career, and how she maximizes her productivity with the help of Transcendental Meditation. She says, 'I see things moving very slowly in the direction that I want, which is definitely exciting, but it also gives me a lot of anxiety. Meditating is really, really important for me to balance that . . . TM helps me make good decisions for myself.' Although highly treatable, anxiety disorders are extremely common in the US, affecting over 18% of the adult population. Connecting with a deeper part of herself through TM has given Josie the clarity to move into a new area of her life by opening a tea shop. In this active time of working, starting a new business, and continuing to perform her music, she says, 'Staying grounded is really important for me right now . . . Meditating has helped me get back to myself.' (more)

Transcendental Meditation included in a new advance in the fight against Alzheimer's
4 November 2017 - Dr Dale Bredesen and his team at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging have been working for years to 'unravel this complex chronic illness,' of Alzheimers, the third leading cause of death in the US. They discovered that Alzheimer's 'is not a mysterious disease,' but has 36 identifiable contributors. The key was determining each person's 10 to 20 'drivers', then designing a personalized treatment plan. In a new collaboration, Dr Bredesen is recommending Transcendental Meditation as an integral part of his protocol. 'There are a number of ways in which TM is actually a part of the overall approach to preventing and reversing cognitive decline,' he said, citing 'repeated, published support' for the TM technique showing improvements in neuroplasticity and global brain wave (EEG) coherence associated with improved cognitive performance, intelligence, and memory, as well as significant reductions in hypertension, stress, and anxiety. . .' Dr Bredesen concluded: 'Let's all work together to make this a rare disease . . . The fact that you have all these wonderful people who are practicing TM, and are thinking about critical health issues - and thinking in much more of a systems approach - this is going to be what conquers this illness.' (more)

Why hospitals should pay for nurses to learn Transcendental Meditation
1 November 2017 - The Transcendental Meditation program is a low-cost intervention that could save nurses the jobs they love, and save hospitals hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. With 30 to 49 per cent of nurses reporting some level of stress and exhaustion, this qualifies as 'high burnout', a potential health crisis among nurses, and results in an increase in absenteeism and turnover. The cost of training nurse replacements is between US $60-100,000 or, for a critical care nurse, as high as $300,000. A 2015 study published in International Archives of Nursing and Health Care showed that TM improves the mental health and physical well-being of caregivers, with decreases in perceived stress, mood disturbance - including anxiety, depression, anger, confusion, and fatigue - and an increase in spiritual well-being. (more)

Researching the convergence of architecture and neurobiology
30 October 2017 - Maharishi University of Management alumnus David Navarrete has been involved in research collaborations with health institutions around the world to study the effect that an interior architectural design has on the occupant's physiology. He is director of research initiatives and content development at a business in Fairfield, Iowa called Sky Factory. The company creates beautiful architectural illusions of sky and nature, installed in ceilings and windows, that help people feel more connected to nature. A 2017 multidisciplinary study conducted at Texas Tech University earned him and his colleagues a Certification of Research Excellence by the Environmental Design Research Associations. David is also a teacher of Transcendental Meditation, and says, 'In architecture and healthcare everyone is looking at the powerful way the environment affects people's experience . . . If you can experience the deepest level of your own internal environment . . . You bring empathy and receptiveness into the world, tapping more of your creativity and happiness.' (more)

From 12-Step to Transcendental Meditation: An artist's journey of healing from domestic violence
22 October 2017 - The noted Hudson Valley painter and muralist Leslie Bender achieved success in her career, but experienced a dark emptiness inside, an inability to cope with the effects of an abusive childhood. 'I was experiencing an enormous rage,' she says. This began to change after she learned Transcendental Meditation in 2015. 'I noticed right away that it was easy for me to do it faithfully,' Leslie says. Her self-esteem has been given a huge boost: 'TM votes for you when you're not voting for yourself. It means a lot to someone who's been living this kind of trauma.' She continues, 'I feel splashes of happiness and there's much more clarity. My friends say I'm happier. But I think getting in contact with a bigger Self that's beneath these learned belief systems - that is the real breakthrough for me.' (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Stressed out parents less likely to cook homemade meals
24 November 2017 - On days when parents feel stressed or depressed, children are less likely to get homemade food for dinner, a U.S. study suggests. 'One potential explanation for these findings is that parents who have a stressful day at work, school, or home or who feel depressed throughout the day may be overwhelmed and not feel like making a family meal, and so they opt for pre-prepared foods and make less homemade foods,' said lead study author Jerica Berge of the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis. (more)

Nearly half of US cancer deaths blamed on unhealthy behavior
21 November 2017 - A new look at cancer in the U.S. finds that nearly half of cancer deaths are caused by smoking, poor diet, and other unhealthy behaviors. That's less than commonly-cited estimates from more than 35 years ago, a result of new research methods and changes in American society. Smoking rates have plummeted, for example, while obesity rates have risen dramatically. (more)

AP Explains: Farm runoff and the worsening algae plague
16 November 2017 - Harmful algae blooms have become a top water polluter, fueled by fertilizers washing into lakes, streams and oceans. Federal and state programs have spent billions of dollars on cost-sharing payments to farmers to help prevent nutrient runoff, yet the problem is worsening in many places. . . . The U.S. isn't alone. Many countries are experiencing 'disturbing trends of increasing bloom incidence' and growing economic losses, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says. (more)

'Way too little, way too late': Facebook's factcheckers say effort is failing
13 November 2017 - Journalists working for Facebook say the social media site's fact-checking tools have largely failed and that the company has exploited their labor for a PR campaign. (more)

US: Rural areas at risk as water levels drop in massive aquifer
12 November 2017 - The draining of a massive aquifer that underlies portions of eight states in the central U.S. is drying up streams, causing fish to disappear and threatening the livelihood of farmers who rely on it for their crops. Water levels in the Ogallala aquifer have been dropping for decades as irrigators pump water faster than rainfall can recharge it. An analysis of federal data found the Ogallala aquifer shrank twice as fast over the past six years compared with the previous 60, The Denver Post reports. (more)

'We still need to eat': Tech boom creates working homeless
8 November 2017 - In the same affluent, suburban city where Google built its headquarters, Tes Saldana lives in a crowded but tidy camper she parks on the street. ... Many of the homeless work regular jobs, in some cases serving the very people whose sky-high net worth is the reason housing has become unaffordable for so many. The surge in homelessness has prompted at least 10 local governments along the West Coast to declare states of emergency, and cities from San Diego to Seattle are struggling to come up with immediate and long-range solutions. San Francisco is well-known for homeless tent encampments. But the homeless problem has now spread throughout Silicon Valley, where the disparity between the rich and everyone else is glaring. (more)

Amid booming economy, homelessness soars on US West Coast
8 November 2017 - A homeless crisis of unprecedented proportions is rocking the West Coast, and its victims are being left behind by the very things that mark the region's success: soaring housing costs, rock-bottom vacancy rates, and a roaring economy that waits for no one. All along the coast, elected officials are scrambling for solutions. (more)

Bernie Sanders warns of 'international oligarchy' after Paradise Papers leak
6 November 2017 - US senator warned that leak of documents exposing offshore tax havens show 'rapid movement' toward a group of billionaires controlling the global economy. Senator Bernie Sanders has warned that the world is rapidly becoming an 'international oligarchy' controlled by a tiny number of billionaires, highlighted by the revelations in the Paradise Papers. In a statement to the Guardian in the wake of the massive leak of documents exposing the secrets of offshore investors, Sanders said that the enrichment of wealthy individuals and companies in tax havens was 'the major issue of our time'. (more)

How Twitter secretly benefits from bots and fake accounts
6 November 2017 - Twitter may have a fake accounts scandal on its hands. And it's remarkably similar to the scandal that rocked Wells Fargo last year. Leslie Miley, a former engineering manager at Twitter, described to Bloomberg on Friday [3 November] how he uncovered a trove of spam accounts with IP addresses from Russia and Ukraine in 2015. He recommended deletion, but Twitter's 'growth team' controlled all removals of accounts. And they declined to purge them. 'They were more concerned with growth numbers than fake and compromised accounts,' Miley told Bloomberg. (more)

Revealed: how Nike stays one step ahead of the taxman
6 November 2017 - Money paid for trainers in shops moves in and out of Europe, to Caribbean and even to entities not officially based anywhere. This is a company that stays one step ahead of its rivals. And one step ahead of the taxman, too. Thanks to documents in the Paradise Papers, it has been possible to piece together the schemes and structures that have helped Nike over the past decade. (more)

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