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Positive Trends
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Fix a phone or 50 pushups: how to beat knife crime in Britain
20 August 2018 - Sitting in his cell, mulling a childhood shaped by fear, theft, and drugs, gang member Jake knew things had to change. Enter 'Cracked It' - an innovative business that teaches young offenders how to fix cracked smartphones, boosting former inmates' self esteem and confidence in the process. Josh Babarinde, a 25-year-old former youth worker, started the business three years ago. Nearly two thirds of his 140 graduates are working or studying and 80 percent did not reoffend within six months of graduating, bucking the national trend of 42 percent. (more)

Joy, disbelief as Korean families separated by war meet after 65 years
20 August 2018 - About 90 families from North and South Korea wept and embraced on Monday (20 August) as the neighbours held their first reunion events in three years for relatives wrenched apart by the Korean War for more than six decades. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to the reunion events at a summit in April. (more)

Refugees integrate well in Australia, survey finds
14 August 2018 - A new study from Australian researchers shows that refugees and new immigrants integrate well in Australia -- especially in regional areas. The research found that refugees were welcomed by their new communities, found it 'easy' to get along, and felt a strong sense of belonging to their new homes. (more)

Refugees sow crops with Kenyan hosts - and reap integration
10 August 2018 - Kenyan villager Ekeno Pedo never considered that golden fields of sorghum -- or indeed any crop -- might one day flourish on the outskirts of his village in drought-stricken Turkana county. A 14-year project aims to provide refugees with sustainable livelihoods through agriculture, while helping them integrate with the local Kenyan community. The fields that have sprung up in this vast and arid scrubland in Kenya's northwest are in part due to the hard work of refugees, who have come here from neighbouring South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Uganda in recent decades. Residents and refugees alike say it has worked well. (more)

African refugee grows homeland's bitter eggplants in Vermont
9 August 2018 - After surviving refugee camps in Africa, Janine Ndagijimana settled in Vermont and began to dream of farming. When she considered what to plant, she thought back to her time in Tanzania and settled on the African eggplant, also called bitter ball or garden egg. It wasn't found in Vermont, and she remembered how it garnered a good price at the refugee market. These days, Ndagijimana's farming of the oblong white fruit and other varieties has turned her into a refugee success story in Vermont, one of the least culturally or racially diverse states . . . She's part of a growing number of farmers from other parts of the world who have used social media, the internet, and niche markets often in big cities to successfully sell crops native to their home countries. (more)

US: In a conservative Northern California county, a team of Mexican immigrants helps battle the Carr fire
3 August 2018 - Behind River Ridge Terrace in Redding, where the monstrous Carr fire had destroyed homes, a team of 20 men used shovels to stab the charred earth. Under the blazing sun, the clinking of metal stopped when one of the men scooping dirt out from under a tree spotted smoke rising from the ground. ... From afar, the mop-up operation was typical firefighting work, with one exception -- it was being done by mostly Mexican immigrants who spend their off-seasons picking oranges, lemons, and cherries across Washington, Oregon, and California. (more)

British business helping women prisoners rebuild lives
2 August 2018 - Fewer than one in 10 women prisoners have a job to go to on release. As Rita neared the end of a 10-year jail sentence for money laundering, her first thought was getting back her four children -- and finding a way to support them. Enter Shine, an innovative business in northern England that provides job opportunities for female offenders, starting while they are still serving their sentences. (more)

Ethiopian migrant brings the Italian hills alive with the sound of goats
20 July 2018 - Agitu Idea Gudeta has built up a thriving business in her adopted Italy making goat's cheese and beauty products in just a few years since fleeing her native Ethiopia in 2010 over a land dispute. Her experience is a shining example of what migrants can achieve, given half a chance. (more)

Helping refugees proves labour of love in Germany
19 July 2018 - In the light-flooded reception of a community centre in east Berlin, Syrians -- whose first language is Arabic -- practised German, their conversation occasionally punctuated by laughter as they stumbled over a word or mixed up languages. With an influx of more than 1.6 million asylum seekers into Germany since 2014, mainly from the Middle East and Africa, integration is a hot political issue for Chancellor Angela Merkel ... Hundreds of people have created organizations to help newcomers settle in and build ties, with efforts ranging from sports clubs and music groups that include migrants to recruitment agencies specializing in finding refugees work. (more)

Migrants in Lebanon seek to break stereotypes with new radio show
18 July 2018 - ... Lebanon's first radio show to be hosted and produced by migrants from countries such as Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Philippines ... [aims] to give Lebanese people a greater understanding about where migrants come from to create the tolerance and respect that local migrant rights groups say is lacking. ... a series airing on Voice of Lebanon, a popular independent radio station, [features] migrants talking about their own food and culture as well as the issues they face in Lebanon. The show -- whose name 'Msh gharib' means 'not foreign' in Arabic -- has been in the works since 2017. (more)


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


TM for Women: Fulfilling the pursuit of happiness at the deepest level of our self
10 August 2018 - 'While all Americans in principle have the liberty that allows for the pursuit of happiness, women struggle to fulfil this goal,' writes Janet Hoffman, executive director of TM for Women Professionals in the USA. Research shows that depression is twice as likely in women than in men. A 2010 study by researchers at University of California Los Angeles shows that depressive symptoms decreased by almost 50% over a 12-month period among people practising Transcendental Meditation. 'Our mission in TM for Women is the full empowerment of women as independent, self-sufficient, happy human beings,' Hoffman writes, '. . . . realizing ourselves as the immeasurable being we are - with no lack, no boundary, nothing missing or needed.' (more)

The secret that makes Transcendental Meditation unique: How TM differs from mindfulness and other practices
27 July 2018 - In this excerpt from the revised and expanded edition of the best-selling classic, Transcendental Meditation: The Essential Teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, author Jack Forem explains the uniqueness of Transcendental Meditation and what distinguishes it from contemplation, concentration, mindfulness, and other practices. A growing body of research is demonstrating significant differences both in the techniques and in the effects they have on body and mind. In contrast to other techniques, which keep the mind active at the surface level, 'TM is a vertical process, opening or expanding awareness to deeper levels. . . . like diving to the depths of the ocean', Forem writes. 'The real ''secret'' is to transcend, to open our awareness to the field where all the laws of nature silently reside in a unified, unexpressed state. With regular practice, we become capable of living and thinking from that level, projecting our thoughts from that realm of unlimited potential.' (more)

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)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


Beekeeping in Yemen becomes a dangerous profession in war
7 August 2018 - Yemen's beekeepers risk air strikes and land mines as they traverse the country's valleys, transporting their hives on pick-up trucks to produce some of the world's finest honey. The impoverished Arab state, known for its Sidr honey made from the jujube tree, has endured three years of war that have pushed it to the verge of famine and shattered the economy. (more)

Water crisis salts the earth in Iraq's long-neglected south
2 August 2018 - Qassim Sabaan Ali has spent the past 15 years tending to orchards in southern Iraq, only to see them wither or die as saltwater has seeped into the once-lush soil. The southern city of Basra was once known as the 'Venice of the East' because of its freshwater canals, and Iraq itself is still known as the 'Land Between the Two Rivers' -- the Tigris and the Euphrates -- which have nourished civilizations since antiquity. (more)

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)

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