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Art versus science? Using both for conservation
27 October 2016 - As a child, Lindy Rodwell van Hasselt was so fascinated by the six-foot-tall wattled cranes she saw during family visits to the bushveld, that they shaped her career as a conservation advocate for South Africa's endangered birds. Now she's using her skills as an artist to protect wildlife. (more)

A new opera star emerges from the 'vocal breadbasket' of South Africa
21 October 2016 - In recent years, South Africa's rich choral tradition has produced a wave of talented opera singers who are making their mark on the world stage. Soprano Pretty Yende wowed opera enthusiasts in 2013, when she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, while bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana will open next year's Glimmerglass Festival as Porgy in the American classic, 'Porgy and Bess.' Now, South Africa is pinning its hopes on another rising opera star - 25-year-old Noluvuyiso Mpofu. (more)

African grey parrot has global summit to thank for protected status
2 October 2016 - The loquacious African grey parrot, one of the most illegally trafficked birds in the world, has been talking itself towards extinction for years thanks to its reputation as a gregarious and long-living pet. On Sunday it was given extra protection after a global wildlife summit agreed a ban on the international trade. (more)

Africa's portable solar revolution is thwarting thieves
26 September 2016 - When South Africa's government started giving laptops to off-grid schools, James van der Walt spotted an opportunity for a solar business. But his market research revealed a problem: of 12 schools he visited, 11 had previously lost solar panels to thieves. So he decided to pack his system into a reinforced shipping container, creating a secure, mobile power station that could be shut away at the end of each day. (more)

Africa hosts Henri Matisse exhibit for first time: 'Perfect'
4 September 2016 - For the first time, Africa is hosting an exhibit devoted to Henri Matisse. The show in Johannesburg features more than 80 works, including a painting that points to how the continent inspired Matisse and his contemporary, Pablo Picasso. Because this is the first Matisse exhibit in Africa, the show is broad in scope to allow space for learning and engagement . . . (more)

South Africa offers reward for helping keep the environment clean
27 June 2016 - Imagine being able to buy airtime or even train tickets just by recycling your plastic bottles and tin cans. Although the concept isn't new, it's a first in Africa. The idea is that for every plastic bottle or tin can inserted into the machine, the user earns points that can be used to buy airtime, train tickets, and more. Green advertising company Imagined Earth has imported seven machines, and since last week, has been placing them at venues across Johannesburg. (more)

Female anti-poaching unit in South Africa gets UN award
28 September 2015 - A mostly female anti-poaching unit from South Africa has won a top environmental award at the United Nations. Two members of the Black Mamba group received the U.N. accolade on behalf of their unit in New York on Sunday. They were among several individuals and organizations that were given the Champions of the Earth prize. (more)

South Africa says no to genetically modified potatoes
16 September 2015 - A decision has been made by the Minister of Agriculture, Water Affairs and Fisheries and an Appeal Board to reject the commercialisation of genetically modified (GM) potatoes in South Africa. The GM potatoes, also known as 'SpuntaG2', were genetically engineered to produce a toxin to kill the potato tuber moth. Ex-ante studies carried out by the project itself, found that the GM technology would be of no benefit to either small or large scale farmers, as it was rather a 'solution in search of a problem'. (more)

Mostly female anti-poaching unit from South Africa wins top UN environmental prize
8 September 2015 - The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, a South African ranger group consisting mostly of women, has been named as one of the winners of the top United Nations environmental prize. By bestowing its Champions of the Earth award to the Black Mambas, in the Inspiration and Action category, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is recognizing the 'rapid and impressive impact' the unit has made in combatting poaching and the courage required to accomplish this task, the agency said in a news release issued yesterday. (more)

South Africa: Five new female SARChI Chairs announced at University of Cape Town
1 September 2015 - Five prominent female researchers at University of Cape Town (UCT) have been awarded South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) Chairs in their respective fields as part of the Department of Science and Technology and National Research Foundation initiative to promote women in research. UCT was delighted that all five of its applicants were succesful. Prior to this announcement, UCT was home to 34 SARChI Chairs, of which nine were women (just more than a quarter). That proportion has now risen by almost 10 per cent to 14 out of 39 (over a third). (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
Short Summaries of Top Stories

South Africa: Maharishi Invincibility Institute students create the Maharishi Effect in Johannesburg
1 December 2016 - The number of students practising an advanced programme of Transcendental Meditation at Maharishi Invincibility Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa has exceeded the threshold predicted to improve the quality of life in the city. Recently 170 students took a course to learn the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme, and now more than 315 are practising these peace-creating technologies of consciousness together daily. That is the number determined by scientists that will create the Maharishi Effect of increased positive social trends in Johannesburg, which has a population of just under 4.5 million. Published research in other major cities has found that when this threshold formula is reached, a measurable effect of increased coherence and decreased social stress and violence is produced. Maharishi Institute CEO Taddy Blecher credits this Maharishi Effect with reducing the crime rate in Johannesburg, which recent public data has shown is no longer in the top 50 crime-ridden cities in the world. (more)

David Lynch Foundation honours the Communiversity of South Africa with its first global 'EnterPrize' Award
16 December 2015 - The Communiversity of South Africa has been selected as the first social enterprise worldwide to receive the David Lynch Foundation (DLF) ''EnterPrize'' Award. The award honors innovative institutions which are helping to fulfill DLF's mission by offering Transcendental Meditation (TM) to at-risk populations to help eliminate the negative effects of trauma and toxic stress while improving cognitive abilities and developing self-sufficiency. The Communiversity, located in Cape Town, is a cutting-edge, community-based, effective, low-cost enterprise providing unemployed and unemployable young people with life-changing learning experiences to enable them to successfully enter the workplace, start their own businesses or continue further education to pursue a career. (more)

South Africa: New Maharishi Vastu home near Johannesburg
13 August 2015 - A new home was recently completed near Johannesburg, South Africa, which was designed and built according to principles of Maharishi Vastu architecture. Photos of the beautiful building are featured on the website and in an album on the organization's page on Facebook. (more)

Maharishi Invincibility Institute graduates succeed in South African job market
26 July 2015 - Of the second class of graduates from Maharishi Invincibility Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa, 97 per cent have found employment. Companies employing the graduates praise their hard work, commitment, initiative, and solution-driven nature, said Taddy Blecher, founder and co-director of the Institute. Maharishi Invincibility Institute is a nonprofit organization established in 2007 and is affiliated with Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, USA. (more)

South Africa: Top global software company helps fund Maharishi Institute students
5 May 2015 - Students at Maharishi Institute in South Africa, which partners with Maharishi University of Management in the USA, will now have their education supported in part by SAP South Africa, a subsidiary of the world's largest business software company. Maharishi Institute was selected by SAP South Africa because it 'provides not only access to an effective education but also provides the relevant life-skills and ethos that assist in transforming previously disadvantaged graduates to market-ready accomplished individuals'. (more)

Transforming destinies: The story of Consciousness-Based Education in South Africa - special event at Maharishi University of Management
27 June 2014 - Consciousness-Based Education in South Africa is the subject of a special colloquium Friday, 27 June at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. The event is titled 'Transforming Destinies: The Amazing Story of Consciousness-Based Education in South Africa'. The evening features a presentation by Dr Taddy Blecher, Co-Director of Maharishi Invincibility Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa. Dr Blecher, who has been in the forefront of developing Consciousness-Based Education in South Africa for many years, will speak on how this award-winning approach to education is transforming the lives of South Africa's at-risk youth--and transforming the destiny of the whole country. (more)

Consciousness-Based Education bringing new opportunities to students in South African schools
1 May 2014 - Continuing his recent tour of Consciousness-Based Education institutions in South Africa, Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management in the USA, visited schools in Durban and Capetown that have adopted the programme. Dr Morris, an international authority on Consciousness-Based Education, had previously visited Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg. As is the case in most of the Consciousness-Based Education schools in Africa, he commented, the students come from the poorest families and neighbourhoods. And as in all Consciousness-Based Education schools around the world, students begin to flourish both within themselves and as a group and become 'shining stars' at their school. (more)

South Africa: Maharishi Institute, a bright star of Consciousness-Based Education
1 May 2014 - Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa, a sister institution to Maharishi University of Management in the USA, offers the Bachelor of Arts degree in Management. After a recent visit, Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management, reported that all 500 students practise Transcendental Meditation, crediting it with many improvements in their lives--including reduced stress and tension, more happiness, better health, and increased creativity and intellectual capacity. Many reported higher academic achievements that they themselves found astonishing, and their confidence had grown to the point they felt they could achieve great things. The students love and support each other, Dr Morris said, and all their successes are a great example of how Consciousness-Based Education transforms lives. (more)

South Africa: Advances in Consciousness-Based Education
30 March 2014 - The Album of Events page of Global Good News is currently featuring a series of photos about Consciousness-Based Education in South Africa. Under the direction of Dr Taddy Blecher and Dr Richard Peycke, Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg has grown and is flourishing, offering Consciousness-Based Education to several hundred students. When the Institute was established about six years ago, its administrators were inspired by the success of the programmes developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Consciousness-Based Education, to develop leaders and create peace and harmony for the nation. (more)

South Africa: Study shows achievement of Maharishi University of Management students
6 March 2014 - A case study recently published by adjunct professor Mohan Gurubatham shows the progress of Maharishi University of Management's corporate MBA students at Neotel in South Africa. Appearing in Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences, the paper illustrates how Dr Gurubatham's approach of active learning combined with practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique helps students develop higher order thinking skills. 'These higher order thinking skills blended with technology are deemed paramount by ministries of education,' Dr Gurubatham said. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

Deadly election season for South Africa's candidates
2 August 2016 - South Africa's municipal election season has been deadly for candidates and party activists, with more than 12 killed ahead of Wednesday's vote. One motivation behind the killings is the chance of a steady job as a councillor in a country where more than 25 percent of people are unemployed, said Gareth Newham, head of the governance, crime, and justice division of the local Institute for Security Studies. 'These are people who go from literally being unemployed to suddenly being able to afford a much better lifestyle. So there is intense competition for those positions,' Newham said. The posts also come with the chance to control local resources and patronage. (more)

South African farmers face losses as drought worsens
12 November 2015 - Six of South Africa's nine provinces have been hit by drought, with three provinces declared disaster areas. Water restrictions have taken effect in the capital, Pretoria, and Johannesburg, where two hospitals had to halt surgeries and dialysis treatment for a day as some suburbs were left without water, according to South African media. An estimated 2.7 million households, about 18 percent of the population, have been affected by the drought, according to the water ministry. (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)

South Africa: Park staff arrested for poaching
22 September 2014 - A ranger and two other employees of South Africa's parks service were arrested on suspicion of rhino poaching in the country's flagship wildlife reserve, the agency said Monday. Kruger park lies in the northeast part of South Africa and is nearly 20,000 square kilometres (8,000 square miles), almost the size of small countries such as Israel and El Salvador. Home to most of the world's rhinos, South Africa is struggling to stem a surge in rhino poaching in recent years as demand for rhino horn rises in some parts of Asia, including China and Viet Nam. (more)

South Africa's murder rate goes up
19 September 2014 - South Africa recorded about 17,000 murders in the year ending in March, reflecting a 5 per cent increase over the previous year, police said Friday. While South Africa's murder rate has shown an overall decline in the past decade, analysts said the annual crime statistics show that violence is one of the most serious problems facing the country. The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, said the latest data shows that an average of 47 murders happen daily in South Africa and likened the rate of killing to that of a country at war. (more)

Heavy health toll of South Africa's coal-fired power plants
8 September 2014 - South Africa's dependence on coal to generate 85 per cent of its electricity is taking a substantial toll on human health, according to environmental groups. A recent report from Greenpeace estimates that up to 2,700 premature deaths are caused every year by air pollution emissions from the country's 16 coal-fired power plants. Greenpeace released the report in the wake of an application by Eskom, South Africa's public power utility, to postpone compliance with new minimum emissions standards aimed at reducing the damaging health impacts of air pollution. The new standards are particularly vital for the country's north-eastern Mpumalanga Province where 12 coal-fired power plants are clustered on the western high-altitude side of the province known as the Highveld. The power stations pump out sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter at levels that are often more than double than those recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). As a result, levels of air pollution in Mpumalanga's Highveld are the highest in the country and among the highest in the world, according to news reports. (more)

South Africa: Water everywhere -- except to drink
8 August 2014 - The Cape Peninsula, which is almost surrounded by the sea, could face dire water shortages in the next seven to 10 years and authorities are considering pumping water from the ocean to ensure the population will have something to drink. The City of Cape Town is considering a range of options to secure the precious resource, including water reclamation and seawater desalination, which could add pressure on South Africa's already strained electricity grid. Energy is the largest single expense for desalination plants, accounting for as much as half of the costs of making seawater suitable for human consumption. South Africa is a water-scarce country -- even where there is plenty of water available it often cannot be used because of pollution such as acid mine drainage and E. coli contamination from leaking sewage. (more)

Women join gangs in South Africa
11 June 2014 - Up to 60 per cent of serious violent crime on the Cape Peninsula may be gang-related -- a main contributing factor to Cape Town's reputation as South Africa's deadliest city. Based on a study in 2012 by Mexican research group Seguridad, Justicia y Paz, it is the 34th most lethal city in the world -- with a murder rate of 46.15 per 100,000 people. That violence is concentrated in the Cape Flats, 30-minutes from Cape Town's, wealthy, cosmopolitan, city centre. Often referred to as 'apartheid's dumping ground', much of the Cape Flats were populated from the 1950s through the forcible relocation of non-white communities from central Cape Town to its low-lying periphery. Hanover Park is one in a patchwork of still neglected and poor 'Flats' communities where gangsterism -- and with it violence and drug dealing -- is part of everyday life. City authorities estimate there are between 100 to 120 gangs in Western Cape Province, with membership ranging from 80,000 to 100,000. How many are women is unknown (more)

South Africa loses first elephant to poachers in a decade
16 May 2014 - South Africa suffered its first elephant poaching incident in 10 years this week at the country's largest game reserve, the South African National Parks (SANParks) said on Friday. An elephant bull was 'purposefully shot for its tusks' by four suspected poachers at the Kruger National Park in the eastern Mpumalanga province, SANParks said in a statement. Elephant poaching has been a problem in the rest of Africa while poaching in South Africa has been largely confined to rhinos, with more than 1,000 rhinos killed for their horns last year. 'If we compare the situation in Africa our concentration has been on rhinos. We need to now refocus our attention,' SANParks spokesman Reynold Thakuli said. (more)

South Africa's inequalities strain foundations of 'Rainbow Nation'
25 April 2014 - South Africa celebrates 20 years since the end of white-minority rule on Sunday as a more integrated society, albeit with racial tensions still bubbling beneath the surface. Angry blacks still crammed in badly serviced townships have clashed with police during often violent protests, while some whites feel they are being unfairly punished through state policies aimed at correcting the imbalances of apartheid. As South Africa braces for elections on 7 May, there is widespread discontent directed at the ANC, the liberation party that many believe has failed to achieve the equality Mandela and his comrades fought for. A census in 2011 showed that white South Africans still remain in control of Africa's most advanced economy, with incomes for white households nearly six times above those of black families who constitute 80 per cent of the population. A report by South Africa's Institute of Race Relations (IRR) last year showed that poverty among blacks was at 42 per cent on average, against just one percent for whites. White males still occupy more of the chief executive positions in the country's biggest companies. Critics say the ANC is responsible for failing to improve the lot of blacks due to rampant corruption in its ranks, with legislation like the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment only benefiting a small clique with ties to the ruling party. Lack of access to good education has also left many blacks ill-equipped to compete against their white and Asian counterparts on the job market. (more)


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