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UK's Prince Charles meets Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams for first time
19 May 2015 - Britain's Prince Charles shook hands with Gerry Adams on Tuesday in his first meeting with the leader of the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) that killed his great uncle in a bomb attack 36 years ago. The latest in a series of gestures of reconciliation between Britain and Sinn Fein, it was the first time Adams has met a senior member of the royal family. (more)

Sailboat race is latest sign of better US-Cuba relations
16 May 2015 - US sailors raced from Key West across the Florida Straits to Cuba in a regatta propelled by strong winds and an easing of tensions between the two countries. An amateur race billed as the 'Havana Challenge' took place for the first time with US government authorization thanks to the historic easing of tensions that began in December. They planned to race Cuban sailors on Tuesday. (more)

China, India pledge to cool border dispute (+ Reuters video)
15 May 2015 - China and India proposed measures on Friday to resolve a long-festering border dispute, as Beijing sought to clear obstacles to a relationship that it said could change the international political order. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Beijing, the second leg of his three-day trip to China during which both sides have pledged to boost cooperation between the two Asian giants. (more)

For first time in years, major US orchestra performs in Cuba
15 May 2015 - A concert Friday night by the Minnesota Orchestra marks the first performance in Cuba by a full professional US orchestra since 1999, coming just months after the two former Cold War rivals announced a thaw in relations. Friday's concert comes a day after the Americans held standing-room-only master classes with music students at a Havana high school and university. Students filled every seat, sat on floors, peered in through windows, and videotaped the sessions with cellphones. The Americans' lack of Spanish did not impair their enthusiasm. (more)

Putin, Kerry to discuss Ukraine, Syria, Iran, U.S. says
11 May 2015 - US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, on Tuesday to discuss Ukraine and other issues, the United States said on Monday in a statement that made no mention of their deep disagreements. (more)

Cuban President Castro thanks Pope Francis for mediating thaw with US
10 May 2015 - Cuban president Raul Castro has met Pope Francis at the Vatican, thanking the Pope for his role in brokering an historic rapprochement between Havana and Washington, a papal spokesman says. The first South American Pope played a key role in secret negotiations between the United States and Cuba, which led to the surprise announcement in December that the two countries would seek to restore diplomatic ties after more than 50 years of tensions. (more)

Raul Castro thanks Pope Francis for brokering Cuba-US deal (with BBC News video)
10 May 2015 - Cuban President Raul Castro has praised Pope Francis for brokering the restoration of relations between Cuba and the US, announced in December. At the end of an audience at the Vatican, Mr Castro said he had thanked the Pope for his contribution for the historic rapprochement. The Pope will visit Cuba on his way to the US in September. After the audience with the Pope, Mr Castro said he was so impressed by a Vatican audience with Pope Francis that he might return to the faith he was born into. (more)

Netherlands: Crime rate drops 8 per cent
29 April 2015 - Dutch police registered just over one million crimes in 2014, a drop of 8 per cent on 2013, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday. The number of recorded crimes has been falling steadily for years. (more)

US vets come to Vietnam to confront past, and find a home
27 April 2015 - The presence of American war veterans in today's Vietnam -- and the warm welcome they usually receive -- is yet another sign of how much the U.S.-Vietnamese relationship has evolved since the countries normalized relations in 1995. Several veterans said in interviews they returned to Vietnam to confront wartime demons, and to see more of a country that had affected them so profoundly as young men. (more)

President Obama to remove Cuba from state sponsor of terror list
14 April 2015 - President Barack Obama will remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the White House announced Tuesday, a key step in his bid to normalize relations between the two countries. The terror designation has been a stain on Cuba's pride and a major stumbling block for efforts to mend ties between Washington and Havana. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Book review: 'The Transcendental Meditation Technique and the Journey of Enlightenment'
15 May 2015 - In this new, expanded second edition of her book, Ann Purcell shares her own experience of practising Transcendental Meditation, gives an easy-to-digest overview of different levels of consciousness as described by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and covers a range of benefits of TM documented by scientific research. Illustrating these topics with practitioners' descriptions of their TM experiences, the book reveals the secret to personal fulfilment, spontaneity, inner peace, and balance. Ann Purcell explains that you do not have to give up your normal everyday life to experience enlightenment. Rather, it is the innate natural quality of each human to be enlightened. (more)

Today - Conference call for women: 'Developing Higher States of Consciousness'
3 May 2015 - Today the 10,000 Women Initiative continues in 2015, with the second in a series of six phone conferences being held throughout the year. Women are invited to join in this bimonthly 'virtual assembly' and learn how women can become a powerfully nourishing agent for positive change in the world, by awakening the nourishing power of consciousness within. Today's conference call features a discussion on the topic 'Developing Higher States of Consciousness'. (more)

Enlivening the nourishing power of nature in oneself and the world through Transcendental Meditation
20 April 2015 - 'Within ourself, in our own consciousness, we can enliven what is sometimes called the creative, nourishing, feminine aspect of nature,' writes Lesley Goldman, Director of Transcendental Meditation for Women in Long Island, New York, USA. 'But what does it mean?' During the TM technique, she explains, we can transcend concrete mental activity and delve into the field of Being, or pure existence, pure consciousness, the silent source of all creation, the unified field of physics. It is the nature of this field--the infinite dynamism within the silent unified field--which creates and administers the whole ever-expanding universe. 'This is the feminine aspect, the creative principle', Ms Goldman explains. This nourishing principle in nature, described by quantum physics as the Hamiltonian, can also be called the force of evolution, or 'Mother Nature'. Through daily direct experience of 'this inner field of universal love, we spontaneously radiate that love to the whole world'. (more)

A new understanding of 'flawless' based on transcending
8 April 2015 - 'Consciousness is fragmented by the dynamics of perception. But when the activity of perception is reduced and the mind transcends its bounded states, consciousness is awake to its wholeness, its infinity. Every woman is infinite consciousness in her nature,' writes Janet Hoffman, national director of the Transcendental Meditation Program for Women Professionals in the USA. 'When our conscious mind becomes accustomed to diving within during the TM technique twice daily, the experience of our unbroken flawless nature starts to be infused into our daily experience after meditation--until it is a permanent feature of life. With that stability and wholeness at the foundation of our experiences, we find that our potential to live life gracefully, successfully and flawlessly is spontaneous. (more)

UK: Construction to begin on Maharishi Peace Palace in Rendlesham, Suffolk
8 April 2015 - The laying of a foundation stone has paved the way for construction work to begin on the Maharishi Peace Palace in Rendlesham, Suffolk, England. The 22,000 sq ft (2,044 sq m) development will be the centrepiece of Rendlesham's Maharishi Garden Village. Dr Peter Warburton, Chairman of the Maharishi Foundation UK, said: 'As its name suggests, the Peace Palace will be dedicated to creating peace and harmony for the individual and society by offering practical programmes to develop the full potential of life.' (more)

President Obama, PM Netanyahu, military leaders urged to adopt Invincible Defence Technology: The Daily Mail International (Pakistan)
27 March 2015 - 'According to US President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the US Congress did not offer any ''viable alternatives'' regarding the ongoing negotiations with Iran concerning their alleged quest to obtain nuclear weapons,' writes Dr David Leffler in The Daily Mail International (Pakistan). Actually, he explains, 'neither leader's current strategies offer a scientifically-validated, field-tested means to solve this immediate crisis. Nor do they offer such an approach to rapidly dissipate the rapidly growing perilous instability in the Middle East.' Dr Leffler urges government and military leaders to quickly implement a proven, practicable, non-violent alternative, verified by extensive peer-reviewed research and military field tests: Invincible Defence Technology (IDT), which includes daily practice by specially trained military units of Transcendental Meditation and its advanced programmes to dramatically reduce social stress throughout the region. 'If the US military and/or Israeli military or any other organization intervened with this proven advanced military solution, rising tensions in the Middle East could be rapidly reduced.' (more)

Historic Vedic India conference talks available for online viewing
25 March 2015 - Videos of the main talks from the historic three-day International Conference to Re-Establish Ideal Vedic India, which was held 20-22 February in New Delhi and featured many leading Indian and international scientists and Vedic scholars, are now being made available online. Now 'people everywhere can learn of the scientific foundations and reality of Veda and the practical programmes to create an ideal India and a peaceful, prosperous world,' said Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management in the USA. Dr Morris led a delegation of distinguished MUM faculty and trustees who participated in the conference. (more)

Tolerance as a state of being
22 March 2015 - As tensions rose in Paris and demonstrations swept western Europe in January, people around the world wondered how to stop religious intolerance and promote peace and goodwill among all people. 'When someone has a strong sense of self, a strong sense of who they are, they don't feel threatened by another person for having a different belief, race or religion, because they experience the connectedness between all beings on a deep level,' writes Linda Egenes. Citing research on Transcendental Meditation, she also quotes Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who said in 1971 that when individuals beginning TM 'start to dive deep within, they begin to feel better and the stresses are less, and life becomes easier and ''help thy neighbor'' becomes an instinct, an inspiration to everyone. . . . so in this way one begins to live their religion. Living the religion is by developing pure consciousness'. (more)

Maharishi: The goal of meditation
19 March 2015 - Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, speaking in 1972 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, explained that regular practice of Transcendental Meditation is designed to produce a state of fulness even in dynamic activity. 'We want that the fulfilment gained during meditation--that state of contentment, balanced state of life, home of all knowledge--should not go away when we enter into activity,' Maharishi said. This can be realized over time, he explained, through the regular alternation of deep rest during TM with activity during the day. 'The procedure of alternation of meditation and activity has been designed to produce a permanent state of the physiology which will create and maintain that unbounded awareness in a very natural way, no matter what we're doing.' Excerpts from Maharishi's address are currently featured on the Excellence in Action page of Global Good News. (more)

Faculty of Maharishi University of Management address Delhi conference to re-establish Vedic India
14 March 2015 - Last month Maharishi University of Management President Dr Bevan Morris and nine faculty members and trustees participated in and helped to organize a historic conference to re-enliven the Vedic tradition in India. The International Conference to Re-Establish Vedic India, held 20-22 February in New Delhi, was notable for bringing together government ministers, leaders of Indian spiritual organizations, and leaders of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's worldwide organizations. (more)


Flops
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Islamic State claims Yemen mosque attack: Islamic State Twitter statement
22 May 2015 - A bomb exploded at a Shi'ite Houthi mosque in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Friday, wounding 13 people, a security source said, and the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on Twitter. The bombing came against a backdrop of civil war in the country. Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have seized large swathes of territory, including Sanaa, prompting formation of a Saudi-backed Arab coalition that is using air power to try to halt their advances. Sunni Islamist militants have been seeking to extend their influence amid the chaos. (more)

Suicide bomber kills 21 at Saudi Shi'ite mosque, Islamic State claims attack
22 May 2015 - A suicide bomber killed 21 worshippers on Friday in a packed Shi'ite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia, residents and the health minister said, the first attack in the kingdom to be claimed by Islamic State militants. It was one of the deadliest assaults in recent years in the largest Gulf Arab country, where sectarian tensions have been frayed by nearly two months of Saudi-led air strikes on Shi'ite Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen. (more)

Boko Haram retakes Nigerian town of Marte in Borno state
16 May 2015 - Boko Haram militants retook the Nigerian town of Marte in Borno state, which had been liberated in February, the state deputy governor said. The recapture of the town followed two strikes this week on state capital Maiduguri, which left at least 12 people dead. (more)

Iraq sends troops to Ramadi, largely held by Islamic State
16 May 2015 - Iraq's military has dispatched reinforcements to help its battered forces in Ramadi, a city now largely held by the Islamic State group after its militants swept across it the day before, an Iraqi military spokesman said Saturday. On Friday, the militants swept through Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, launching a coordinated offensive included three near-simultaneous suicide car bombs. The militants seized the main government headquarters and other key parts of the city. (more)

Taliban claim attack on Afghan guesthouse that killed 14
14 May 2015 - The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility on Thursday for an attack on a popular guesthouse in Kabul that killed at least 14 people, including foreigners attending a dinner and arriving for a concert. The five-hour assault occurred at Park Palace guesthouse in an upscale neighbourhood of central Kabul. The attack heightened a sense of insecurity in the Afghan capital and throughout the country as the Taliban step up attacks following the withdrawal of most foreign troops. There have been a spate of similar attacks in Kabul last year. (more)

Car bombings in Iraq's capital kill at least 20 civilians
27 April 2015 - A series of car bombings targeting busy commercial areas in Iraq's capital killed at least 20 civilians Monday, officials said. Nobody claimed responsibility for the attacks. Baghdad has seen near-daily attacks as security forces struggle to dislodge the Islamic State group from vast areas in northern and western Iraq seized by the extremists during a stunning blitz last summer. (more)

Cash handoffs, extortion fuel Mediterranean trafficking
27 April 2015 - Fleeing war, persecution, and poverty, migrants desperate to reach Europe are paying thousands of dollars apiece to become pawns in a multimillion-dollar trafficking network that stretches from the Sahara to Sweden. By the thousands, they're handing themselves over to abusive smugglers who hold them hostage in wretched conditions in Libya until their families cough up the cash to fund their trips. Those payments fund treacherous trips across the Mediterranean that have killed hundreds of people in recent weeks. And even if migrants survive the crossing, the exploitation doesn't end there. 'Human trafficking has become such a lucrative business for criminal gangs around the world it's probably rivaling the drugs trade,' said Itayi Viriri of the International Organization for Migration. (more)

Yemen: 'There are just no words for how bad it's gotten'
27 April 2015 - The humanitarian situation in Yemen has become catastrophic, relief officials said on 27 April, as Saudi-led aircraft pounded Iran-allied Houthi militiamen and rebel army units for a second day, dashing hopes for a pause in fighting to let aid in. 'It was difficult enough before, but now there are just no words for how bad it's gotten,' said International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) spokeswoman Marie Claire Feghali. 'It's a catastrophe, a humanitarian catastrophe.' (more)

In Libya's anarchy, migrant smuggling a booming trade
22 April 2015 - Libya's chaos has turned it into a lucrative magnet attracting migrants desperate to make the dangerous sea voyage to Europe. With no central authority to stop it, business is booming, with smugglers charging ever more as demand goes up, then using the profits to buy larger boats and heavier weapons to ensure no one dare touch them. It's a vicious cycle that only translates into more tragedies at sea. With each rickety boat that sets off from Libya's coast, traffickers rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars. So assured are they of their impunity that they operate openly. Many even use Facebook to advertise their services to migrants desperate to flee war, repression, and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. (more)

Taliban announce plans to ramp up attacks in Afghanistan
22 April 2015 - The Afghan Taliban on Wednesday (22 April) announced the start of its annual spring offensive, warning it would ramp up attacks on foreign embassies and government officials, as well as military targets, starting on Friday. The Taliban typically steps up its military efforts when warmer weather facilitates the transit of fighters and weapons. The Taliban made no mention of the much discussed peace process, which the Afghan President said was close to restarting several months ago. (more)

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