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Christian, Muslim leaders in Cyprus support peace talks
10 February 2016 - Christian and Muslim leaders in Cyprus on Wednesday repeated their full support for ongoing talks aimed at reunifying the ethnically-split country, saying their united stand for peace serves as a strong example of cooperation in a region where conflict is often fueled by religion. Cyprus was split into an internationally-recognized Greek Cypriot south and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup aiming at union with Greece. (more)

Iran says good commercial relations with Britain can resume
4 February 2016 - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday that good economic and commercial relations could resume with Britain. 'Iran and Britain have had traditionally good commercial and economic relations and I think those can resume,' Zarif said at Chatham House in London. 'We need to work together on moving the political relations forward.' (more)

British Airways to resume flights to Iran
3 February 2016 - British Airways will resume direct flights from London to Tehran from July, renewing links with the Iranian capital after sanctions were lifted. The British airline followed Air France-KLM in confirming its intention to restart flights to Tehran after Iran curbed its nuclear program in return for the lifting of U.S., EU and United Nations sanctions in January. British Airways said it had a long history of flying to Tehran and offered its first scheduled flights to the city in 1946. (more)

Britain to take in unaccompanied refugee children from conflict areas
28 January 2016 - Britain will take in some unaccompanied refugee children from Syria, North Africa, and other conflict areas, the Home Office (interior ministry) said on Thursday, but it did not say how many. This is in addition to the 20,000 Syrian refugees the government has pledged to take in by 2020. More than 1,000 of them -- around half of them children -- have already been resettled in Britain under this scheme, the government says. (more)

Book on India's partition wins $5,000 prize
27 January 2016 - A book on the partition of India in 1947 and its fatal consequences has won a $5,000 prize. Nisid Hajari's 'Midnight's Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition' is the 17th annual recipient of the William E. Colby Award, which is administered by Norwich University and the Colby Symposium. Mr. Hajari heads Asia coverage for Bloomberg News' editorial page, Bloomberg View. (more)

Deals and warm words flow as Iran President visits Europe
26 January 2016 - Italy and Iran signed billions of dollars of business deals on Monday at the start of a visit to Europe by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani aimed at rebuilding his nation's ties with the West after years of economic sanctions. Heading a 120-strong delegation of business leaders and ministers, Rouhani will spend two days in Rome before flying to France on Wednesday, looking to polish Tehran's diplomatic credentials at a time of turmoil in the Middle East. A pragmatist elected in 2013, Rouhani championed the 2015 accord under which Iran curbed its nuclear program in return for the end of U.N., EU, and some U.S. sanctions this month. (more)

Germany proposes short-term jobs for half a million Syrians
26 January 2016 - Germany proposes creating up to 500,000 short-term jobs to help Syrian refugees survive in overburdened Middle Eastern host countries, the minister for economic cooperation said during a visit to Jordan on Tuesday, 26 January. 'This program ... can create 500,000 jobs in the whole region with 2 billion' euros, German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Mueller said in Jordan's Baqaa refugee camp, established almost half a century ago for Palestinian refugees, but now housing thousands of displaced Syrians. (more)

Iranian President Rouhani begins 4-day European visit
26 January 2016 - Italy's Premier said Monday that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, kicking off the first state visit to Europe by an Iranian President in nearly two decades, 'can play a fundamental role in the stability' of the Middle East. Iran's President Rouhani told reporters the political talks leading to the nuclear deal could provide the blueprint for pursuing peace in the Middle East. Europe was Iran's largest trading partner before the sanctions, and a range of business and trade deals are on the table. The trip is also aimed at expanding tourism as Rouhani's administration is planning to diversify its revenue sources. (more)

Japan Emperor visits Philippines, a former WWII adversary
26 January 2016 - Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko were met at Manila's airport by President Benigno Aquino III and his top Cabinet members. Relations between the Asian nations have improved dramatically in the seven decades since WWII. Japan has become a major trading partner and aid donor to the Philippines. President Aquino will formally welcome Emperor Akihito at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday for talks, and hold a state banquet for Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko later Wednesday. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, among the Philippine officials who welcomed Akihito at the airport, said the first visit by a Japanese Emperor to the country following the last world war was a milestone. (more)

Pope asks Iran to work for Mideast peace
26 January 2016 - Pope Francis met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the Vatican on Tuesday and urged Tehran to work with other Middle East states to promote peace. Despite being an Islamic republic, Iran has good relations with the Holy See and the Vatican has been seeking to use its influence with Teheran to help bring peace to the Middle East. (more)

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

Transcendental Meditation: More than a stress buster - Huffington Post
7 February 2016 - 'Most people think of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique as an effective way to reduce stress. Hundreds of scientific research studies show that TM can help improve all aspects of physical, mental, and emotional well-being and verify that it is the most effective technique available to reduce anxiety,' writes Ann Purcell in The Huffington Post. 'However, very few people are aware of the ultimate benefit of TM, which extends far beyond mere stress reduction. TM is a direct means to fully unfold one's innate potential -- enlightenment.' (more)

Is Transcendental Meditation a solution to conflict and war? Huffpost Live interview
20 January 2016 - The video of an interview that first aired on HuffPost Live two weeks ago is now available online. The show discussed an Open Letter from the Global Union of Scientists for Peace (GUSP), addressed to President Obama, President Hollande and President Putin--and to the leaders of all nations--proposing a scientific alternative to the conventional approach of creating peace through force or violence. Guests were John Hagelin, PhD, quantum physicist and president of GUSP; Bob Roth, executive director of the David Lynch Foundation; and Col. Brian Rees, MD, co-chair of Operation Warrior Wellness. All three are proponents of using the Transcendental Meditation technique to create peace for the individual and for the world. (more)

Creating enlightenment, invincibility, and permanent world peace through education: Maharishi
12 January 2016 - Today the Global Country of World Peace held its annual conference celebrating the achievements of the worldwide programmes founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and unfolding new initiatives for the coming year. On this day in 2005, Maharishi inaugurated the new year by launching a programme to establish Maharishi Vedic universities, colleges, and schools in 3,000 cities throughout the world. In his 2005 inaugural address Maharishi said that the new educational institutions would offer the knowledge and practical programmes to actualize the Constitution of the Universe--the unified field of total natural law--in the daily life of every individual and every nation to create permanent world peace. 'The Constitution of the Universe administers the universe with perfect order,' Maharishi said. 'Total knowledge of the Constitution of the Universe will create and maintain world order so that every individual enjoys enlightenment and every nation enjoys invincibility.' (more)

Interview: Laurie Sluser on business success, happiness, and Transcendental Meditation
6 January 2016 - Laurie Sluser has run many successful business ventures in Canada and the United States, and his idea of a relaxing time involves founding bizHUMM, an online content provider helping entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses. Recently, he co-authored a free guide on The Steps to Start a Business. Laurie has always balanced his dynamic activity with the practice of Transcendental Meditation. (more)

Policymakers urged: 'Use a treatment for PTSD that actually works'
6 January 2016 - The Hill and the Early Bird Brief, two news sources popular with the US Congress and the Department of Defense, recently featured two op-eds that urged policymakers to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through the use of Transcendental Meditation (TM). The authors cited pilot studies showing that TM practice provides profound, rapid, and effective relief from PTSD symptoms, both for US veterans and for civilians -- in contrast to primary psychotherapy treatments. 'Based on the evidence, TM should be considered a top adjunct to psychotherapy that can dramatically improve the results of PTSD treatment. It can also be used successfully and cost-effectively as a stand-alone approach, as has been the case in PTSD relief projects across Africa,' writes David Shapiro, president of PTSD Relief Now. (more)

The neurophysiology and biochemistry of the Golden Rule
4 January 2016 - If the 'Golden Rule'--a principle found in most ethical traditions and religions: Behave toward others as you'd have others behave toward you--is so universal, why is it so widely ignored? Why are crime, violence, and war so pervasive? Research points to a neurophysiological explanation--identifying severe chronic stress as a major contributor to the biochemical imbalances and acute brain dysfunction found in those exhibiting aggressive, impulsive, violent behaviour. Research has also found that the Transcendental Meditation technique dramatically reduces stress and promotes integrated brain functioning, producing a marked reversal of the neurophysiological basis of violent behaviour. (more)

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's comments to the press - Christmas, 2002
25 December 2015 - Maharishi Mahesh Yogi replies to a question from the world press on the Vedic nature of Christ's words, 'Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and all else will be added unto you.' - 25 December 2002, MERU, Netherlands. (more)

How women can help save our nation from violence
16 December 2015 - 'Every woman--whether she is working as a police officer, a teacher, an executive, or staying at home to raise her kids--is a force for good in this world,' says health writer Linda Egenes, exploring the powerful contribution women can make to creating a peaceful society -- by creating more happiness and peace within themselves. Recommending ways that women can increase their positive influence on their environment, she reviews scientific research showing that Transcendental Meditation promotes deep rest, reduced stress and cardiovascular risk factors, leading to renewal and revitalization in mind and body. 'It's important to remember that a peaceful world is made of peaceful, happy individuals,' Ms Egenes concludes--and that 'the source of peace and happiness is inside us.' (more)

TODAY on HuffPost Live: John Hagelin takes questions about the solution to terrorism
16 December 2015 - In a follow-up to his recent interview in The Huffington Post, today John Hagelin, PhD, quantum physicist and President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace (GUSP), will field questions on HuffPost Live, regarding the solution to terrorism put forward by GUSP in an Open Letter to world leaders. With Dr Hagelin will be: Bob Roth, executive director of the David Lynch Foundation, which has brought the Transcendental Meditation technique to more than 500,000 individuals in at-risk populations, and Col. Brian Rees, MD, who co-chairs Operation Warrior Wellness, a programme for treating veterans, military personnel, and their families suffering from PTSD. Join the online conversation about this proven solution--today at 1pm US Eastern Time (7pm Central Europe Time) on HuffPost Live. (more)

Scientists propose 'peace-promoting technology' to counter terrorism: An interview with quantum physicist John Hagelin
12 December 2015 - As governments falter in their struggle to find a solution to unpredictable outbreaks of terror, an international alliance of concerned scientists has offered a possible solution. The Global Union of Scientists for Peace has recently published an Open Letter to Presidents Obama, Hollande and Putin--and to the leaders of all nations--proposing a scientific alternative to the conventional approach of creating peace through force or violence (International New York Times, 3 December 2015). The Huffington Post published an interview conducted by Jeanne Ball, in which quantum physicist John Hagelin, President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace, answers questions about this novel approach. (more)

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

North Korea orders military takeover of inter-Korean factories
11 February 2016 - North Korea on Thursday ordered a military takeover of a factory park that had been the last major symbol of cooperation with South Korea, calling Seoul's earlier suspension of operations at the jointly run facility as punishment for the North's recent rocket launch a 'dangerous declaration of war.' North Korea said it was responding to Seoul's shutdown order by immediately deporting the hundreds of South Koreans who work at the complex just across the world's most heavily armed border in the city of Kaesong, pulling out the tens of thousands of North Korean employees and freezing all South Korean assets. The North also said it was shutting down two crucial cross-border communication hotlines. (more)

Syrians flee to Turkish border as Aleppo assault intensifies
6 February 2016 - Russian and Syrian government forces on Saturday intensified an assault on rebel-held areas around the Syrian city of Aleppo that has prompted tens of thousands to flee to the Turkish border to seek refuge. (more)

Isolated Nepal PM could be toppled by constitution crisis
4 February 2016 - An unwieldy coalition of lawmakers trying to implement Nepal's first democratic constitution is finding common cause with protesting minority groups, isolating Prime Minister K.P. Oli and increasing the risk his government could fall this spring. Oli, of the leftist Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), promised to resolve simmering tensions in the southern plains and lift a blockade of the Indian border when he was voted in to power almost four months ago. Yet sporadic violence continues in the Himalayan nation. Protest leaders say the heavy-handed police tactics show the government is not sincere about finding a solution, while in Kathmandu residents have to choose between queuing for hours for fuel and gas and paying exorbitant prices on the black market. (more)

Syrian refugees struggle to buy food as aid dwindles
4 February 2016 - Perwin Shamsaddeen Ali, a Syrian refugee living in a tent camp in northern Iraq, has been reduced to cooking one meal a day for her family of four. As aid agencies struggle to keep pace with the worst refugee crisis since World War II they have been forced to cut back on assistance, including food rations. With no end in sight to the Syrian war, and regional host countries increasingly overwhelmed, many refugees see the perilous crossing to Europe as their only option. (more)

10,000 young migrants unaccounted for, EU police agency says
1 February 2016 - Authorities dealing with Europe's migrant crisis have lost track of about 10,000 unaccompanied children amid fears that organized crime gangs are beginning to exploit the vulnerable youngsters, a senior official at the European Union's police agency said Monday. Europol Chief of Staff Brian Donald said that the figure 'would be a conservative estimate across all the countries that are dealing with this migrant crisis' over the past 12-18 months. (more)

Number of Syrian refugees on Jordan border reaches 20,000
31 January 2016 - The number of Syrian refugees stranded on Jordan's border and waiting for permission to enter has risen to 20,000, with 4,000 to 5,000 more arriving in the remote desert area every month, the head of the U.N. refugee agency in the kingdom said Sunday. In recent months, Jordan has permitted only several dozen refugees to enter each day, leading to rapidly growing crowds of Syrians, including women and children, who are stuck in two areas along the Syrian-Jordanian border. (more)

AP Explains: Islamic extremists step up attacks in Africa
22 January 2016 - The number of deadly attacks by Islamic extremists is mounting across Africa, raising questions about the resurgence of armed groups once seen to be in decline. Here is a brief description of the attacks and an explanation of who was behind them and what is driving the surge. (more)

Gang warfare in El Salvador pushes death rate to record
21 January 2016 - Gang warfare that has made the Central American country of El Salvador one of the most violent in the world. Last year was the most violent on record, with a 70 percent increase in murders from the previous year and a surge in attacks by street gangs, said a civil servant. The number of homicides reached an estimated 6,650 in 2015, from 3,912 the year before, Miguel Fortin Magana, director until Dec. 31 of the National Forensics Institute of El Salvador, told Reuters. The current level of violence is even higher than the average annual loss of life during the 1980-92 civil war. (more)

IS radio beams propaganda, threats across rural Afghanistan
21 January 2016 - The Afghan reporters recognized the voice threatening them with death on the Islamic State group's local radio station. It was a former colleague, who knows their names and where they work. The threats were made during a discussion program on 'Voice of the Caliphate,' an elusive radio station operated by one of the extremist group's newest affiliates. The so-called Khorasan Province has battled Afghan forces and the Taliban alike, carving out an enclave in Nangarhar, a rugged eastern province bordering Pakistan. The group is actively targeting other media outlets to prevent them from competing with its chilling broadcasts. Militants bombed a building housing two radio stations in the provincial capital, Jalalabad, in October, and attacked the local offices of the independent Pajhwok news agency and Voice of America in July. The menacing broadcast in mid-December, in which a former local radio broadcaster called on reporters to either join IS or risk being hunted down and killed, could be heard across Jalalabad. The message is clear: the Afghan government is a doomed 'puppet regime' of the Americans. The Taliban are a spent force hijacked by Pakistan. The caliphate is coming. (more)

Deadly Pakistani school attack raises security questions
20 January 2016 - Once again, Islamic militants stormed a school in northeastern Pakistan in a deadly attack that lasted for hours. And once again, the blood of students and teachers stained classrooms and hallways, raising questions about whether security forces are able to protect the country's educational institutions from extremists. (more)

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