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Malala donates prize money to rebuild Gaza school
30 October 2014 - The UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees says Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has donated $50,000 to rebuild a UN school in Gaza damaged during this summer's Israel-Hamas war. UNRWA says Malala is donating all of the proceeds of the $50,000 World Children's Prize, which she collected in Stockholm on Wednesday. The agency quoted Malala as saying Palestinian children deserve a quality education, and that 'without education, there will never be peace.' (more)

Malala awarded 'Children's Nobel' prize in Sweden
29 October 2014 - Children's rights activist and Nobel Peace winner Malala Yousafzai has received the World's Children's Prize 2014 -- a global vote involving millions of children. The Sweden-based awards organization said Wednesday the 17-year-old Pakistani girl, who began speaking out for the rights of girls at age 11 and was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman, won the prize for 'her courageous and dangerous fight for girls' right to education'. (more)

UK: Honour for hero who saved London from WWII flooding
29 October 2014 - Every day, boats full of tourists and commuters float by a pale patch on the wall that lines the River Thames near Britain's Houses of Parliament. Few notice the concrete mark, or recognize it as evidence of how close London came to drowning during World War II. It is a piece of hidden history that has been uncovered by a team of professional and amateur archaeologists. On Wednesday a group of engineers and civic dignitaries will unveil a plaque commemorating Thomas Peirson Frank, leader of a secret squad of engineers and labourers who worked night after night during World War II to repair flood defenses hit in German air raids. (more)

Czechs honour Sir Nicholas Winton for trains evacuating children
28 October 2014 - The President of the Czech Republic awarded a Briton his country's highest state honor for organizing a mass evacuation of children to save them from Nazi death camps. Sir Nicholas Winton received the Order of the White Lion from President Milos Zeman at a ceremony Tuesday at Prague Castle. Accepting the award, the 105-year-old Winton said he was delighted to receive it. Winton had arranged for eight trains to carry 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia through Hitler's Germany to Britain in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II. Winton's story did not emerge until 1988. (more)

Museum of Jewish history opens in Poland
28 October 2014 - The Presidents of Poland and Israel on Tuesday joined Holocaust survivors for the formal opening of a multimedia museum that tells the 1,000-year history of Jewish life in Poland. The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews was built at what was the centre of the Warsaw Ghetto. It shows the richness of Poland's Jewish culture, which was wiped out in the Holocaust. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, on his first foreign trip as President, and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski attended the open-air ceremony. (more)

Museum unveils rich story of Jewish life in Poland
27 October 2014 - In the two millennia between ancient Israel and its modern rebirth, Jews never enjoyed as much political autonomy as they did in Poland, a land that centuries later would become intrinsically linked to the Holocaust. The story of this great flourishing of political and cultural life is part of a 1,000-year history told in a visually striking new museum, the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which opens its long-awaited core exhibition to the public Tuesday, 28 October amid days of celebrations. Polin is Hebrew for Poland, and also means 'rest here', a reference to a story Jews told themselves about their arrival in Poland in the Middle Ages. (more)

Canada: Day to be proud of Parliament
24 October 2014 - The events that unfolded on Parliament Hill on Thursday were encouraging, emotional, and remarkable. They should make all Canadians tremendously proud. Just 24 hours after Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers helped police protect people in Centre Block's Hall of Honour, he walked through the same corridor in full regalia, this time holding the Mace. The spontaneous applause that followed him was drowned out as he entered the House of Commons, where members of Parliament stood and cheered for their protector. He fought back tears, as did many others. Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered an address that was uniquely Canadian, at times resolute and businesslike, at times compassionate and funny. After honouring the memory of those lost and thanking world leaders such as American President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott for their support, he also thanked the Pittsburgh Penguins for playing Canada's anthem at a game between two American hockey teams. Then the Prime Minister shared some private words with Vickers and embraced Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair and the Liberals' Justin Trudeau. It was a touching moment between bitter political rivals. (more)

In US, Pittsburgh Penguins show solidarity by playing 'O Canada'
22 October 2014 - After a tragic day in Ottawa, Canada, the NHL (National Hockey League) and the Pittsburgh Penguins proved that they are about more than just hockey. The Pittsburgh Penguins decided to play the Canadian national anthem prior to their game against the Philadelphia Flyers Wednesday night. (Both teams are American) (more)

US companies return to Mexico's one-time 'murder capital'
21 October 2014 - For years, the only industry Juarez was famous for was murder. But now American companies are betting on a comeback that once seemed highly unlikely. As a result, the city is on track to break its all-time employment record this year of 250,000 manufacturing jobs created, according to the Borderplex Alliance, a privately funded economic development group. That hiring would have been hard to imagine four years ago. (more)

On the road to find the world's funniest person
19 October 2014 - It was last summer and Israeli-Palestinian tensions were at the highest they'd been in some time when Jamie Masada hit on a formula for world peace: Forget about guns and bombs, and just tell jokes to each other. He knew it'd be a challenge to bring together people from across the world who dislike each other, and hope they will laugh at each other. And yet, that's what he's trying to do with what he calls the first Funniest Person in the World competition. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Protecting Turkey: How to confidently achieve and maintain Middle East stability
19 October 2014 - Dr David Leffler, Executive Director at the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS) in Fairfield, Iowa writes that 'a statistical guarantee of stability, based on empirical evidence, is only attainable with the advanced military technology, Invincible Defence Technology (IDT).' He adds, 'a scientifically-validated defence strategy would protect Turkey by preventing hostility and conflict before they arise both within and outside the country.' (more)

Creating national invincibility through individuals creating a 'beautiful, coherent, harmonious, evolutionary influence' - Maharishi
4 October 2014 - In the continuation of an address given in Seelisberg, Switzerland, on 21 October 1977, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi explained further how invincibility can be structured on the level of whole societies and nations. This can be achieved, Maharishi said, through education that gives individuals the ability to awaken and function from the deepest level of their consciousness, which he describes as the 'home of all the laws of nature', and from there create only an evolutionary influence of coherence and harmony in society. Maharishi's historic address, 'Celebrating invincibility to every nation', was featured recently during an international conference at Maharishi European Research University (MERU) in Holland on 3 October. (more)

Celebrating invincibility to every nation: Harmony, coherence, freedom from fear - Maharishi
3 October 2014 - Today organizations of the Global Country of World Peace in many countries participated in the festival of Victory Day, which celebrates the victory of administration based on total natural law to promote peace, happiness, good health and prosperity for every individual and the whole society. Nearly 40 years ago, on Victory Day in October 1977, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi announced that the assembly was 'celebrating invincibility to every nation', on the basis of news reports of reduced crime rate in many parts of the world. The decrease, Maharishi said, reflected rising coherence in world consciousness generated by many people practising Transcendental Meditation and its advanced programmes. 'A coherent, integrated, orderly society will emanate the influence of coherence, integration, life-supporting value, orderliness, evolution. When a nation radiates evolutionary influence, that will be a joy to the whole family of nations,' Maharishi said. (more)

A group of grieving mothers hope to rediscover inner peace with Transcendental Meditation
27 September 2014 - Mothers grieving for children lost to inner city violence connected with the David Lynch Foundation to learn Transcendental Meditation. 'The Chicago mothers, just beginning to see the potential meditation has to bring order to their lives, stumbled into TM,' writes Erin Meyer in an article about the group--'they rediscovered an inner peace thought to have died with their children'. (more)

21 new Maharishi Vastu architects complete training
25 September 2014 - Earlier this summer 21 architects from 13 countries graduated from an intensive, two-month training programme as fully certified Maharishi Vastu architects. Their country affiliations, contact information, and pictures are featured on the Maharishi Vastu page on Facebook, organized according to their region of the world. (more)

The Expansion of Happiness: New book on Transcendental Meditation published
24 September 2014 - The Expansion of Happiness, a new book by Mack Travis, takes us on his personal journey as he discovers how practising Transcendental Meditation, twice a day for the past forty years, has balanced and enhanced the quality of his life. The book is subtitled: A common-sense look at the Transcendental Meditation technique founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Travis presents Maharishi's scientifically validated, effective meditation technique in a compelling, easy-to-understand way that shows how regular practice enables people to achieve peacefulness, purpose, and happiness in their lives. (more)

International Vedic association holds conference at Maharishi University of Management
20 September 2014 - More than 100 Vedic scholars and thought leaders assembled at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA this summer for an international conference on 'Vedic Living in a Modern World' cosponsored by the World Association for Vedic Studies. The conference brought together 'a diverse group of people who share a profound respect for and love of the holistic knowledge and life-supporting culture of ancient India', said co-chair Dr Peter Scharf. Among those presenting were 75 scholars from out of town, including India and Canada, and another 20 from India via Skype. (more)

US: Village of small, modular Vastu homes planned
16 September 2014 - A village of small, modular homes of various sizes, designed according to Maharishi Vastu Architecture, is now being planned for Fairfield, Iowa, USA. This 'micro-village' will have both homes and multi-unit buildings. All units so far are in the 400-800 square foot (37-48 square metre) range, and studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom configurations are planned. (more)

US: More Maharishi Vastu homes using modular construction
9 September 2014 - Maharishi Vastu Architecture reports that another Vastu home built using modular construction has just been delivered and set on its foundation in Iowa. This latest Vastu modular is modern in style, with verandahs and screened porches on front and rear. The open, central living area has clerestory windows just below its high ceilings to allow light to flood in from above--a feature recommended for all Vastu buildings. (more)

US: Vastu modular construction taking hold in Fairfield, Iowa
6 September 2014 - In the past few months the Maharishi Vastu Architecture website has featured the modular construction methods on a house being built in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, in the Abundance Eco Village community. The home was inaugurated over the summer after being delivered from the factory and set on its foundation in May. (more)


Flops
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Brutal winter set to hit war-torn eastern Ukraine
30 October 2014 - In the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk, the inhabitants move around like shadows, eyes dull and faces weary with hardship, dressed in several layers of worn-out sweatshirts, vests, and jackets. The tiny rooms are lit with sunflower oil poured into saucers and set aflame. They are either too poor or old to flee the brutal separatist war that has ravaged Ukraine's east. Their dire situation is about to become much worse as Donetsk, which has lost nearly half of its 1 million-strong population, braces for winter. In eastern Ukraine, where temperatures typically stay below freezing all winter, damage to critical infrastructure and lack of adequate shelter for the newly homeless could mean death from cold for many. (more)

Nigeria: Pirates hijack gunboat, kidnap workers
28 October 2014 - Pirates in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta hijacked a police gunboat, killed three officers, and kidnapped six local oil workers, the military said Tuesday. Joint Task force spokesman Col Mustapha Anka said the gunboat and police were escorting a barge-load of oil for the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, which was not attacked. The day before, the Bayelsa police command reported that six Nigerians working for Agip had been kidnapped by pirates. Oil workers usually are held for ransom and released unharmed. Piracy in Nigeria is aimed at oil theft and kidnapping for ransom and cost the nation some $131 million in the past three years, according to the Contemporary Maritime Piracy Database. (more)

Syria's 3 ½-year conflict roiling the economy
28 October 2014 - The middle-aged salesman sat glumly among an array of shorts, khaki leisure suits bedecked with gold belts, and fancy dresses in the ancient Damascus bazaar -- luxuries few can afford in today's Syria. He, like many traders, lost most of his customers when Syria's uprising erupted in 2011 against the rule of President Bashar Assad, and his new clientele is far poorer: Syrians fleeing the fighting with barely any possessions. Now, he fears there's even worse to come, as the US-led bombings of the Islamic State group target the country's modest oil reserves under the militants' control, sending oil and diesel prices soaring. The Damascus bazaar, known as the Hamidiyeh Souk, is one of Syria's chief markets. It was once packed with tourists and visitors from around the country. Even amid the conflict, it's still an important shopping spot for the country's working classes. Prices have already quadrupled over the past four years for most products in the market, and are likely to rise in the next few weeks, said traders, who are an important measure of the economy's pulse. Most of Syria's impoverished have already hit rock bottom. A handbag trader said he wasn't sure how much longer he could hold on if prices rose again, badly cutting into profits when sales were already so bad. 'The trader who could hold on for two or three years -- I don't think he can survive for five years,' he said. (more)

Violence marks Afghan President's first month
28 October 2014 - Suicide bombers, roadside bombs, and rocket attacks on the Afghan capital have intensified in the one month since President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai took office as the Taliban are sending a message that they disapprove of his tough stance on ending the insurgency and close security ties with Washington, officials, analysts and the Taliban said. In recent days, central Kabul's diplomatic neighborhood has been shaken by late night rocket attacks. Security in the capital -- already fortress-like -- had been stepped up, said General Murad Ali Murad, commander of Afghan National Army ground forces. Jawed Khoistani, a political analyst, suggested that the accuracy of the rockets that have landed in the green zone pointed to some degree of cooperation with the security forces that are supposed to be guarding the city perimeter. 'Rockets are more dangerous than terrorist attacks in Kabul because it is clear there is help from within the capital itself,' he said. (more)

Assad's warnings start to ring true in Turkey
27 October 2014 - When Sunni rebels rose up against Syria's Bashar al-Assad in 2011, Turkey reclassified its protege as a pariah, expecting him to lose power within months and join the autocrats of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen on the scrap heap of the 'Arab Spring'. Assad, in contrast, shielded diplomatically by Russia and with military and financial support from Iran and its Shi'ite allies in Lebanon's Hezbollah, warned that the fires of Syria's sectarian war would burn its neighbors. For Turkey, despite the confidence of Tayyip Erdogan, elected this summer to the presidency after 11 years as prime minister and three straight general election victories, Assad's warning is starting to ring uncomfortably true. Turkey's foreign policy is in ruins. Its once shining image as a Muslim democracy and regional power in the NATO alliance and at the doors of the European Union is badly tarnished. (more)

Dozens more girls abducted by Nigerian extremists
27 October 2014 - Dozens of girls and young women are being abducted by Islamic extremists in northeast Nigeria, raising doubts about an announced ceasefire and the hoped-for release of 219 schoolgirls held captive since April. On 17 October, Nigeria's military said a ceasefire had been agreed to with Boko Haram and ordered troops to immediately comply. But there have been a number of kidnappings and battles since then that call into question the ceasefire. The insurgents also launched several attacks since the ceasefire was announced. None of the escaped girls interviewed by Human Rights Watch was offered proper counseling, the group said in a new report Monday, quoting escapees who described forced marriages and rapes, forced conversions to Islam, forced labour, and forced participation in attacks. (more)

Suspected Boko Haram fighters kidnap 25 girls in northeast Nigeria
23 October 2014 - Suspected Boko Haram militants kidnapped at least 25 girls in an attack on a remote town in northeastern Nigeria, witnesses said, despite talks on freeing over 200 other female hostages they seized in April. John Kwaghe, who witnessed the attack and lost three daughters to the abductors, and Dorathy Tizhe, who lost two, said the kidnappers came late in the night, forcing all the women to go with them, then later releasing the older ones. In a separate attack, a bomb exploded Wednesday at a bus station in the town of Azare in northern Nigeria's Bauchi state, killing at least five people and wounding 12, police said. Boko Haram is likely to be the prime suspect. The insurgents have repeatedly bombed public places since launching an uprising demanding an Islamic state in religiously mixed Nigeria five years ago. They have stepped up their campaign this year, setting off deadly blasts across the country that killed hundreds. (more)

Mexico: Mayor linked to deadly attack on students
22 October 2014 - Officials said Wednesday that a drug gang implicated in the disappearance of 43 students in a southern city essentially ran the town, paying the mayor hundreds of thousands of dollars a month out of its profits from making opium paste to fuel the US heroin market. The statements painted the fullest picture yet of the control that is exercised by gangs over a broad swath of Mexico's hot lands in Guerrero state. The Guerreros Unidos cartel's deep connections with local officials in Iguala came to a head 26 September when the mayor ordered city police to detain protesting students, who were then turned over to the drug gang. The students, who attended a radical rural teachers college, had gained the enmity of Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca because of a previous demonstration in the city. Investigators have found a total of nine mass graves containing 30 sets of human remains during the hunt for the missing students. Officials are waiting for a second round of DNA tests after a first round determined they weren't the bodies of the students. (more)

Nigeria truce is shaky, no news of abducted girls
22 October 2014 - Days after Nigeria's military raised hopes with the announcement that Islamic extremists had agreed to a cease-fire, Boko Haram is still fighting and there is no word on the fate of the 219 schoolgirls held hostage for six months. The official silence raises many questions, especially since Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau has not confirmed that a truce has been agreed. Despite the ceasefire announced by the military on Friday, the Islamic insurgents have attacked two villages and a town in the northeast and raised their flag in a fourth village. People who escaped this week from Bama, a town in a part of northeastern Nigeria where Boko Haram has declared an Islamic caliphate, say hundreds of residents are being detained for allegedly breaking the group's strict version of Shariah law. Many young men have been forced to join Boko Haram, and those who refuse are killed, said those who ran away. (more)

Afghan opium poppy cultivation hits all-time high
21 October 2014 - Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan grew to an all-time high in 2013 despite America spending more than $7 billion to fight it over the past decade, a US report showed on Tuesday. Federal auditors SIGAR reported that Afghan farmers grew an unprecedented 209,000 hectares of the poppy in 2013, blowing past the previous peak of 193,000 hectares in 2007. One factor for the surge was affordable deep-well technology, which over the past decade turned 200,000 hectares of desert in southwestern Afghanistan into arable land much of which is now being used for poppy cultivation. Nangarhar province in the east, and other provinces, once declared 'poppy free', have seen a resurgence in cultivation. An Afghan government official says that Taliban and opium smugglers are fighting for the income of opium in different parts of the country, while cultivation takes place mostly in the south and southwest where insurgents are highly active and the government has little influence. (more)

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