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Refugees find their feet through football in Ireland
5 July 2018 - Every summer, refugee communities in Ireland form teams that compete in the Fair Play World Cup, now in its ninth year. Fair Play World Cup, held in central Dublin, draws players from refugee communities all over Ireland whose countries of origin range from Vietnam to South Sudan. (more)

US restaurants host refugee chefs who offer a taste of home (+ AP video)
24 June 2018 - The Refugee Food Festival -- a joint initiative of the United Nations Refugee Agency and a French nonprofit, Food Sweet Food -- started in Paris in 2016 and came to the U.S. for the first time this year, with restaurants in New York participating as well. The establishments' owners turn over their kitchens to refugee chefs for an evening, allowing them to prepare sampling platters of their country's cuisine and share a taste of their home. (more)

A Barcelona restaurant that tells refugee tales
21 June 2018 - Tucked away in a medieval Spanish square, an unconventional restaurant is training refugees and telling their stories, hoping to change the lives of migrants and how people see them. Espai Mescladis is both a restaurant and culinary school -- and part publishing house. (more)

Koreas holding military talks to reduce tensions on border
14 June 2018 - The rival Koreas were holding rare high-level military talks Thursday to discuss reducing tensions across their heavily fortified border. Seoul's Defense Ministry said the military talks would focus on carrying out agreements from a summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in which they vowed to take steps to reduce military tensions and eliminate the danger of war. The discussions are the first general-level talks between the militaries since December 2007. (more)

Jordan charity gathers hotel leftovers to feed poor
12 June 2018 - At the end of a lavish Ramadan buffet in the banquet hall of one of Amman's five-star hotels, a young Jordanian charity worker rushes to gather up left-over food that his team of volunteers will package and redistribute to needy families. Bandar Sharif began his 'Family Kitchen' initiative 10 years ago, [distressed by] the amount of food thrown away by hotels during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, traditionally a period when consumption levels double across the region. (more)

US: Utah inmates cook up a fresh start in kitchen
10 June 2018 - A group of inmates are learning to be chefs inside the Utah County Jail as they try to acquire a skillset that can help them lead a crime-free life once they get out. The inmates used to deal in drugs. Now, in the jail's RISE program which seeks to rehabilitate drug offenders, they deal with food, the Deseret News reported . (more)

US: Chicago officials laud 15th consecutive month of declining gun violence
2 June 2018 - Chicago has had 52 fewer murders and 229 fewer shootings through the end of May -- a 21% drop in both categories -- compared to the first five months of 2017, according to the Chicago Police Department. So far this year, Chicago has had 500 fewer shooting victims than the same period in 2016, police said. (more)

You've got mail: Cuba, U.S. make permanent restored postal services
1 June 2018 - Cuba and the United States are making the re-establishment of postal services permanent after a trial run, the state-run Cuban News Agency reported on Friday (1 June), as cooperation in some areas inches forward ... The former Cold War foes first restored direct mail service as a pilot program in December 2015 as part of the policy of detente pursued by former U.S. President Barack Obama with then Cuban President Raul Castro. (more)

Amid conflict, Jews and Muslims in US seek solidarity
15 May 2018 - As turmoil spreads through the Middle East, American Jews and Muslims have been forming alliances to build trust and seek solidarity in more ambitious ways than in the past, a sharp contrast to the violence engulfing their homelands this week. Muslims and Jews have dispatched members into mosques and synagogues to learn about each other's faiths, made a joint trip to tour civil rights sites in the South, and formed partnerships involving CEOs of major corporations. Leaders of the groups said the challenging world events have provided impetus for the outreach efforts ... (more)

Muslim scholars: Suicide attacks violate Islamic principles
12 May 2018 - Muslim scholars from three countries issued an edict Friday (11 May) saying that violent extremism and terrorism, including suicide attacks, are against Islamic principles, in an effort to convince the Taliban to end their violence. Seventy prominent scholars from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Indonesia issued the fatwa, or edict, at a conference in Indonesia on ways to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan. In a declaration, the scholars said Islam was a religion of peace and denounced all kinds of violent extremism and terrorism. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

The 'Dear Prudence' Story: The inspiration for the Beatles song in Rishikesh, India, 1968
14 July 2018 - After learning Transcendental Meditation at UCLA, Prudence Farrow attended a TM Teacher Training Course in India with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1968. John Lennon and George Harrison were her 'course buddies' during their studies with Maharishi. 'I was deeply immersed in my studies and meditation,' she says, explaining that the Beatles' song 'Dear Prudence' was written to encourage her to come out and sing with them. Over the last 50 years, Prudence has instructed thousands of people in TM. Author and filmmaker, she earned her doctorate in 2007, with a focus on South Asian Studies and Sanskrit. 'The years of meditating have enriched my life so much,' she says. 'We need a better world. We need people to be more conscious, to be more evolved. . . . If you can strengthen people inside, you've changed the world.' (more)

Creating peace in Lebanon: One woman's story
30 June 2018 - Susan Hamza and her family live in Lebanon, a country that has survived a civil war, terrorist attacks, and invasion from neighbouring countries in recent decades. She and her husband learned Transcendental Meditation 45 years ago, and now she says, 'When I meditate I feel a sense of peace, a total absence of disturbance on the level of emotions, and that carries on throughout the day. It's now a time of my life when very little can disturb my inner peace.' Susan, who is head of the TM women's organization in Lebanon, believes that the peace-creating effects of TM provide great hope for the Middle East. Based on published research, she says, 'I am convinced that there is no other way to create peace but by having large coherence-creating groups practising Transcendental Meditation' and its advanced programmes. (more)

The power of love is the power of transcendence
22 June 2018 - 'What keeps us from being loving?' asks Ann Purcell, award-winning author and Transcendental Meditation teacher. 'It may sound simplistic, but the answer is simple: the obstacle to the flow of love from the heart is stress! As much as we would like to be loving, if we are tired, anxious, and have too many demands on us, it is challenging to feel - let alone express - love.' Twice-daily practice of TM, she explains, allows us to experience the quietest level of the mind regularly, release deep-rooted stress, and 'begin to find more calmness and orderliness in our lives. When we are calm, collected, and less stressed, then we are automatically able to listen better, be more aware, and extend ourselves spontaneously - without trying. This is gaining the power of the transcendent, the deepest level within ourselves, that can generate free flowing feelings of love and kindness.' (more)

Attn: President Putin - No Enemies = No Nuclear War
12 June 2018 - In an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dr David Leffler, executive director at the Center for Advanced Military Science, presents Invincible Defense Technology (IDT) as a solution for any head of state 'to achieve unquestioned invincibility for their nation'. Dr Leffler explains that extensive peer-reviewed research and military field-tests worldwide show that IDT brings about measurable decreases in war, terrorism, and crime, and improved quality of life - tangible signs of reduced societal stress. Studies show that large groups practising the non-religious Transcendental Meditation technique and its advanced programmes twice a day generate a proven field effect that profoundly influences all within its vicinity. The approach has been used during wartime, resulting in reduced fighting, war deaths, and casualties - and improved progress toward resolving conflict through peaceful means. 'Recent events worldwide show that IDT is desperately needed. It works quickly, and there is no better solution,' Dr Leffler concludes. 'President Putin would be wise to immediately implement the programme, thereby turning his enemies into allies, and creating lasting peace.' (more)

Teaching Transcendental Meditation: 'I wake up every day excited to give people a precious tool to transform their lives'
1 June 2018 - Jesse Berkowitz, who has been practising Transcendental Meditation since the age of 10, grew up with the desire to help people. After earning an MBA, a stint working at Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa, propelled him to become a certified TM instructor. 'It was amazing to see firsthand how students from extreme poverty and hardship could blossom, with TM playing a big role in that transformation.' Now teaching fulltime in Los Angeles, he says, 'Transcendental Meditation is such a simple, clear technique, and I'm continually surprised by how quickly many people experience positive changes. . . . I wake up every day excited to give people - rich or poor - a precious tool to transform their lives in ways they hadn't even imagined, and to discover a wealth of possibilities within themselves.' (more)

Uganda: Empowering women from within through Transcendental Meditation
23 May 2018 - Leslee Goldstein had a deep desire to do something fully worthy of her PhD in Vedic Science from Maharishi University of Management. In a collaboration with Brenda Nakalembe, director of United Women's Platform for Empowerment and Development (UWOPED), and Ugandan teachers of TM through the African Women and Girls Association for Total Knowledge (AWAGO), a group of impoverished mothers in Kampala learned the Transcendental Meditation technique in their native language, and participated in a research project to evaluate the results. 'They have huge resilience, huge endurance,' Dr Goldstein said. 'This is the lot they were given in life and somehow, when given the opportunity to do something, TM helped them to do something for themselves, by themselves. We call it empowerment from within.' (more)

The Power of Transcendence: Growing in Love, Creativity, Health, and Happiness: New book released
14 May 2018 - How can the daily experience of transcendence have such profound benefits in our lives? In over fifty short essays, a new book by award-winning author Ann Purcell - The Power of Transcendence: Growing in Love, Creativity, Health, and Happiness - explores the phenomenon of transcending and its influence in daily life. The articles cover many different topics including love, yoga, silence, enlightenment, women, and health and well-being. The book reveals how all aspects of life can be transformed by experiencing the essence of who we are - the silent level of our Being - the transcendent. Today this experience is available effortlessly to everyone through the Transcendental Meditation technique. (more)

Peaceful mind, peaceful world: Facebook Live talk by Dr Tony Nader explores the power of transcending
10 May 2018 - Why are we here? What is the purpose of it all? How can we do all that we can for ourselves, the people we love, our communities, and society as a whole? These are some of the questions explored by Tony Nader, MD, PhD, MARR, the MIT- and Harvard-trained neuroscientist and head of the international Transcendental Meditation organizations, in a Facebook Live talk in April, now available online. 'We are all motivated by a search for more and more,' he says. 'The reality of consciousness, of the depth of the mind, is our true inner Self.' He explains how transcending, especially with the TM technique, effortlessly allows us to explore the Self, the source of all creativity, intelligence, and peace within. And 'a peaceful mind that creates right decisions creates a more positive collective consciousness. . . . when we improve individually, we also improve collectively.' (more)

Growth of consciousness: The foremost purpose and accomplishment of Transcendental Meditation
30 April 2018 - 'Although we consistently talk about the Transcendental Meditation programme's scientifically verified benefits - ranging from reduced heart disease to increased focus - the purpose of the TM programme is simply the growth of consciousness. All the other benefits derived from TM practice are the side-effects of that growth,' writes Janet Hoffman, national director of TM for Women Professionals in the USA. It is this inner growth, she says, that 'makes external achievements not just more attainable, but also more enjoyable and sustains us as human beings'. Hoffman describes ten 'attributes or symptoms of the growth of consciousness', and includes comments from TM practitioners Katy Perry, Ellen DeGeneres, and other women from many fields of life. (more)

Women waging peace in the Middle East
24 April 2018 - A group of women in the Middle East have learned to contact the source of peace within themselves through the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique. Dorit Goldschmidt teaches TM to Arab and Jewish women in Israel. 'There is so much stress here, and TM gives women the resilience we need. If more and more women and mothers start meditating, it will affect their families because they are the center of their homes. . . . the effect on the community can be significant.' Research has found TM highly effective in reducing stress, anxiety, even PTSD in the individual - and that its effects can spread in the environment. A study published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution found that during a two-month period in 1983 during the Lebanon-Israel conflict, when a peace-creating group of advanced TM meditators convened in Jerusalem, conflict, violence and war fatalities decreased significantly. (more)

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

Fears of more violence in Pakistan election after bomber kills 130
14 July 2018 - A week of bombings on political rallies has shattered the relative peace of Pakistan's general election campaign, culminating in a devastating suicide attack that killed at least 130 people at a rally in the southwestern Baluchistan province. As campaigning intensifies, attacks in different areas of the country have stoked fear of more violence in the Muslim country of 208 million where political rallies can draw tens of thousands of people. (more)

Most people think world is more dangerous than two years ago - survey
11 July 2018 - Concerns have risen over politically motivated violence and weapons of mass destruction. Most people think the world is more dangerous today than it was two years ago as concerns rise over politically motivated violence and weapons of mass destruction, according to a survey released on Tuesday (10 July). (more)

Factbox: Which are the world's 10 most dangerous countries for women?
26 June 2018 - India was named as the world's most dangerous country for women in a survey of global experts released on Tuesday (26 June). The Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of about 550 experts on women's issues ranked war-torn Afghanistan and Syria in second and third place, with Somalia, and Saudi Arabia next. The survey was a repeat of a similar poll in 2011 which ranked the most dangerous countries for women as Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India, and Somalia. (more)

India the most dangerous country to be a woman, US ranks 10th in survey
26 June 2018 - India is the most dangerous country in the world to be a woman . . . a new survey of experts shows. The Thomson Reuters Foundation released its results Tuesday (26 June) of a survey of 550 experts on women's issues . . . Nine of the 10 countries on the list were from Asia, the Middle East, or Africa. At number 10 was the United States, the only Western country to be included. In April, thousands of protesters took to the streets to demand better protection for women ... (more)

How bad is it in the countries these families are fleeing to come to the US? This bad
24 June 2018 - We've been bombarded by arguments about whether parents and children crossing the US-Mexican border without documentation should be separated. But we seldom hear how dire life is in these migrants' homelands. A snapshot of the countries they're fleeing [Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala] shows the nightmares they're trying to escape: (more)

'Catastrophic' risk of death for 300,000 Yemeni children trapped by attack
13 June 2018 - Some 300,000 children risk death, injury, and starvation as they are trapped in Yemen's main port city which is under assault from Saudi-led Arab states, aid groups said on Wednesday (13 June). The biggest battle in a three-year war, which has already created the world's biggest humanitarian crisis, centers on Hodeidah, the main route for food and aid to reach most Yemenis, 8.4 million of whom are on the verge of famine. (more)

World less peaceful than a decade ago, global index shows
6 June 2018 - The world is less peaceful than a decade ago, mostly due to conflict in the Middle East and Africa that is costing the global economy trillions of dollars, an international index showed on Wednesday (6 June). (more)

Lack of hope in South Sudan camps drives youth into gang crime
4 June 2018 - Having twice escaped the clutches of South Sudanese rebels who forced him to fight with them, Puok Barar, a grinning 16-year-old in rubber flip-flops decorated with the word 'LOVE', has already confronted many of his worst fears. But in the PoC3 camp for people uprooted by violence and conflict, encircled by a barbed-wire fence on the outskirts of the capital Juba, where Barar now lives, he is still afraid. His kidnappers may be far away, but inside the muddy camp of ramshackle tents, youths his age prowl, attacking others. (more)

Sweden issues leaflet to homes telling people how to prepare for war
22 May 2018 - Sweden will send out instructions to its citizens next week on how to cope with an outbreak of war, as the country faces an assertive Russia across the Baltic Sea. The 20-page pamphlet, released in English and Swedish and titled 'If Crisis or War Comes', gives advice on getting clean water, spotting propaganda, and finding a bomb shelter, in the first public awareness campaign of its kind since the Cold War. (more)

Sweden to send war pamphlet to 4.8 million households
22 May 2018 - The Swedish government is reissuing an instructional war pamphlet to all 4.8 million households in the country, informing them for the first time in more than 30 years on the perils of war. ... The brochure provides information on everything from how to identify fake news and prepare against extreme weather conditions to what to do in the event of terror attacks and military conflicts. In May 2017 Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told CNN: 'The Russian regime has showed they are ready to use military powers to fulfill political goals.' (more)

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