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Putin: Russia will facilitate plane investigation
22 July 2014 - President Vladimir Putin says Russia will do 'everything in its power' to facilitate an investigation into the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet crash. The Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down and crashed in rebel-held eastern Ukraine Thursday, 17 July. (more)

World stocks rise as Ukraine plane tensions ease
22 July 2014 - World stock markets rose Tuesday as tensions over the downing of a passenger jet in Ukraine eased after pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the aircraft's black boxes. (more)

Honouring Nelson Mandela's legacy, UN pledges acts of kindness and goodwill
18 July 2014 - On Nelson Mandela International Day, the United Nations pledged to promote acts of kindness and goodwill and uplift poor and underdeveloped communities worldwide. 'For the past five years, we have come together to celebrate the life and spirit of a unique individual who touched the entire world -- Nelson Mandela -- the Madiba,' General Assembly President John Ashe said during a special event at UN Headquarters. In 2009, the Assembly declared 18 July 'Nelson Mandela International Day' in recognition of the former South African President's contribution to the culture of peace and freedom. Today's is the first observance since Mr Mandela's passing last December. (more)

Crime falls 14 per cent in England and Wales to reach lowest level in 33 years
17 July 2014 - A record 14 per cent fall in the last 12 months has taken crime levels in England and Wales to their lowest level for 33 years, according to the Office for National Statistics. Crime has fallen across most types of offences, according to the authoritative crime survey of England and Wales with the largest falls in the 12 months to March including a 20% drop in violent crime, a 17% fall in criminal damage, and a 10% fall in theft. (more)

Mali peace talks start in Algiers after prisoner swap
16 July 2014 - Mali's government and rebels held peace talks in Algiers on Wednesday in an effort to end decades of uprisings by northern tribes, though the government said at the start it would refuse to discuss any demands for full autonomy. Algeria's government said it had helped broker a prisoner swap to build confidence at the start of the talks -- 45 civilians and troops from the government in exchange for 42 members and sympathisers of rebel movements. (more)

Peace talks aim at restoring calm in Mali's north
16 July 2014 - International negotiators, Malian officials, and Tuareg separatists are holding peace talks aimed at restoring stability in northern Mali. The Algerian capital is hosting peace talks, which started Wednesday, involving Malian government representatives, six Tuareg groups, and officials from the UN African Union, regional group ECOWAS and the European Union. (more)

Somalia ambassador arrives in US
14 July 2014 - Somalia has posted an ambassador to the United States for the first time in more than 20 years. It is a step forward in a nearly two-year effort to improve relations between the US and Somalia as the war-ravaged African nation struggles to regain stability against extremist attacks and a weak government. The US Embassy closed in 1991 when Somalia's government collapsed in civil war. (more)

Two Koreas to hold talks on Asian Games
14 July 2014 - A Seoul official says the rival Koreas have agreed to meet to discuss North Korea's participation in the upcoming Asian Games in the South. Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do says North Korea agreed Monday to meet at a border village on Thursday to discuss its plans to send athletes and cheerleaders to the games. The participation in the games is part of measures North Korea recently proposed to lower tension between the rivals. (more)

US, Germany vow cooperation despite espionage spat
13 July 2014 - The United States and Germany put a brave face on an escalating espionage dispute, stressing on Sunday the importance of their cooperation to solving several global crises. After a meeting on the sidelines of nuclear talks in Vienna, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and US Secretary of State John Kerry each extolled the value of the two NATO allies' work together on issues such as Iran and Israeli-Palestinian violence.' Relations between Germany and the US are necessary and indispensable, and that's for both of our sides,' Steinmeier told reporters in German. Still, he acknowledged the recent 'difficulties' and urged that relations 'revive on the basis of trust and mutual respect.' (more)

Libya's El Sharara oilfield restart another breakthrough for Tripoli
8 July 2014 - Libya's oil sector took another big step back to normality with the restarting of an oilfield that could double its current meagre crude output, a week after blockades ended at major ports. The El Sharara oilfield has resumed operations after protesters ended a four month strike, state-run National Oil Corp (NOC) said on 8 July. Last week, eastern rebels handed over to the government the Ras Lanuf and Es Sider oil ports, ending an almost year-long occupation. Both terminals had accounted for 500,000 bpd. The restart of El Sharara and the two eastern ports give hope to the weak central government to restore vital oil production and revenue to help fight a worsening budget crisis. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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World Association for Vedic Studies to hold 11th international conference at Maharishi University of Management, USA
21 July 2014 - The World Association for Vedic Studies (WAVES) conference is the largest and most prestigious academic conference on Vedic Studies, and they have chosen to host their 11th international conference at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. More than 100 Vedic scholars and thought leaders from around the world will come together at MUM, 31 July - 3 August, for a seminal conference, 'Vedic Living in a Modern World'. (more)

The ancient art of nourishing life from the inside
18 July 2014 - Why do people meditate? Those who practise Transcendental Meditation know it's not just for the experience they have during the 20-minute practice of the technique, as enjoyable as this can be. It's because the practice brings substantial rewards--after meditation. Transcendental Meditation is a preparation for more successful activity, for the development of consciousness, and for greater fulfilment in life. (more)

Celebrating the Vedic tradition of knowledge: 'The world is my family' - Maharishi
12 July 2014 - On 12 July, the organizations of the Global Country of World Peace in many countries participated in the festival of Guru Purnima, the full moon day in July which honours the great teachers of the Vedic tradition of knowledge--the source of the many programmes and technologies of consciousness, including Transcendental Meditation, brought to the world over 50 years by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. On this occasion in July 2007, Maharishi said, 'The world is my family has been the inspiration from all time, and we are experiencing today, the world is my family on the highest level, on the pinnacle level of invincibility characterizing real lasting freedom in affluence, integrity, coherence, all positivity, perfect health, long life.' (more)

Women invited to join third 'virtual meeting' in 2014 conference call series - 29 June
28 June 2014 - Sunday, 29 June is the date of the third in a series of six telephone conferences for women being held throughout this year. All women are invited to join in this bimonthly 'virtual global 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. The next women's conference call will feature a discussion on the topic of shifting our world view in order to redesign our destiny. (more)

Interview in Algerie Patriotique: 'Three experts explain post traumatic stress disorder from terrorism and war'
27 June 2014 - An extensive, wide-ranging interview was published today in Algerie Patriotique, in which three experts discuss post-traumatic stress (PTS), its causes and devastating physical and emotional effects in many millions of people across Africa, including in Algeria. Dr David Leffler, Dr Atmane Kouider, and David Shapiro also bring out findings of recent published research showing rapid, substantial decreases in PTS symptoms in African war refugees who have learned the Transcendental Meditation technique. The interview probes deeply the timely implications of this research--in particular the potential of large-scale adoption of Transcendental Meditation as a simple, cost-effective, evidence-based solution--not only to alleviate individuals' suffering, but also to reduce and ultimately prevent societal stress from erupting in violence and war. This is the aim of an initiative sponsored by the David Lynch Foundation and African PTSD Relief. (more)

Proven approach to stop sectarian violence in Iraq
23 June 2014 - With regard to growing sectarian violence in Iraq, President Barack Obama recently said, 'I don't rule out anything,' and 'my national security team is looking at all the options.' He should consider Invincible Defense Technology (IDT), a scientifically-validated approach to effectively, efficiently, and quickly end the turmoil, writes Dr David Leffler in an editorial published today in The Hill, a top US political website widely read by Washington policymakers. This IDT approach to reducing stress and violence is already part of the training of America's future commanders at Norwich University, and has been field-tested by foreign militaries. It is validated by 23 peer-reviewed studies carried out in both developed and developing nations in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Independent scientists and scholars endorse it, based on 25 years of research. (more)

10,000 Women Initiative: Women invited to join third 'virtual meeting' in 2014 conference call series - 29 June
18 June 2014 - The third in a series of six telephone conferences in the 2014 10,000 Women Initiative will be held Sunday, 29 June. All women are invited to join in this bimonthly 'virtual global 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. The next women's conference call will feature a discussion on the topic of shifting our world view in order to redesign our destiny. (more)

A statistically tested way to stop terrorism and boost Iraq's economy
14 June 2014 - NBC News reports that U.S. President Barack Obama said ''I don't rule out anything,'' and ''my national security team is looking at all the options'' with regard to the rapidly growing unrest in Iraq. Even if The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, is defeated, the problem of terrorism will not likely be solved for long, particularly if Iraq's economy does not improve, write the authors of an article that has been reprinted in many countries. Obviously, it is a dangerous time in Iraq. There is a scientifically-validated approach--known as Invincible Defense Technology--validated by 23 studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, that has been statistically proven numerous times to decrease and prevent violence and terrorism. If President Obama really means that he will not rule anything out, then he should request that Iraq establish Preventive Wings of the Military to ease high tensions and prevent further terrorism and war. If they promptly act, Iraq could create lasting peace, boost its economy and gain international prestige. (more)

Living in the 'home' of all knowledge
13 June 2014 - 'One intriguing phenomenon reported by those who have had glimpses of enlightenment is the experience of direct knowledge of reality that comes from within consciousness, as distinct from our usual modes of learning through the senses and intellectual concepts,' writes Cynthia E. Johnson in a recent essay that includes several accounts, both historical and contemporary, expressing 'this phenomenon of direct knowledge'. (more)

'Preventing Future Boko Haram Attacks': Article on Invincible Defence Technology finds receptive audience in Africa and worldwide
11 June 2014 - An article titled 'Preventing Future Boko Haram Attacks', by Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Kulwant Singh and Dr. David Leffler, has appeared in an ever-increasing number of publications since it was first released last month. To date the article has been featured in nearly 100 locations worldwide--43 within Nigeria alone. The authors urge Nigerian leaders to immediately adopt the evidence-based approach of Invincible Defense Technology as an effective, scientifically validated means to reduce social stress, violence, and terrorism, and create lasting peace in their country. IDT requires creating a Prevention Wing of the military--a small portion of the armed forces of a country practising Transcendental Meditation and its advanced programmes, which published scientific research has shown to reduce crime and armed conflict and create social coherence. (more)


Flops
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Ukraine, Russia never further apart
22 July 2014 - Even the most mild-mannered Ukrainians, known for their long-suffering tolerance born of a history of occupation and conflict, have turned on, if not all their neighbours in Russia, one in particular: Russian President Vladimir Putin. 'Putin should understand that it's enough already. This is not a conflict between Ukraine and Russia. It is an international conflict,' Ukraine's usually quietly spoken prime minister, Arseny Yatseniuk, told a news conference. For many Russians, the feeling is mutual. Since the street protests in Kiev that ousted a pro-Russian president in February, Russia has branded Ukraine's new rulers as fascists. It now says Kiev is being run by US leaders bent on bringing Russia to its knees. Marriages between Ukrainians and Russians have become tense, families divided, and one couple on the verge of marriage called it off after arguing whether Putin was in the wrong or the right, acquaintances said. (more)

Gunmen attack Egypt troops, killing 21 near Libya
20 July 2014 - Gunmen armed with rocket-propelled grenades attacked a border guard post Saturday in Egypt's western desert in a brazen assault that killed 21 troops deployed in the province along the border with neighbouring Libya. Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi called it a 'terrorist attack' on soldiers defending the country's borders that will 'not go unanswered. 'Terrorism will be uprooted from every part of Egypt,' a statement from the presidency said. It declared a three-day mourning period. The attack was the second in as many months on the same post, where a border guards company is based. Coming just over a month after el-Sissi took office, the attack is the worst single loss for military troops in recent history. (more)

Palestinians killed in Israeli attack on Gaza suburb: witnesses
20 July 2014 - At least 62 Palestinians were killed on Sunday in Israeli shelling of a Gaza neighbourhood that left thousands fleeing for shelter to a hospital packed with wounded, Palestinian witnesses and officials said. The Israeli military said militants from Gaza's dominant Hamas group responded with anti-tank missiles and heavy weapon fire in some of the bloodiest fighting since Israel launched its Gaza offensive 13 days ago. A two-hour 'humanitarian ceasefire' in the area, agreed by both sides at the request of the International Committee of the Red Cross, broke down in minutes with each side blaming the other. Witnesses said the Israeli attack was the fiercest they had seen since the 1967 Middle East war, when Israel captured Gaza. Thousands fled Shejaia, some by foot and others piling into the backs of trucks and sitting on the hoods of cars filled with families trying to get away. Several people rode out of the neighbourhood of 100,000 in the shovel of a bulldozer. (more)

South Sudan ceasefire under threat as rebels, govt troops clash
20 July 2014 - South Sudanese rebels and government soldiers clashed in the northern town of Nasir on Sunday, adding to fears that a shaky ceasefire agreement signed in May could totally collapse. Rebel spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said troops loyal to Riek Machar, South Sudan's former vice president, launched an assault on the government-held town and 'at dawn liberated Nasir'. South Sudan army spokesman Philip Aguer confirmed there was fighting but said the rebels were not in full control of Nasir, a small town 30 km from the Ethiopian border in the oil-rich Upper Nile State. Nasir has changed hands several times since fighting broke out in the capital Juba between soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir and troops backing Machar in mid-December, quickly spreading across the country. The violence, triggered by a power struggle between the two men, has often followed ethnic faultlines, pitting Kiir's Dinka against Machar's Nuer. (more)

Thousands flee major battle with Israel in Gaza
20 July 2014 - Escalating their ground offensive, Israeli troops backed by tanks and warplanes battled Hamas militants in a crowded neighbourhood of Gaza City early Sunday. The fighting, including heavy Israeli tank fire, killed scores of Palestinians, forced thousands to flee, and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes. Palestinian health officials reported at least 65 people killed as air and artillery strikes echoed across the city for hours. They put the number of displaced at 35,000. At least 425 Palestinians and 20 Israelis have been killed in the near two-week conflict which escalated as UN chief Ban Ki-moon headed to the region to try to revive cease-fire efforts. US Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, said he expects to come to the Middle East in coming days and that he support's Egypt's call for an immediate cease-fire, rejected last week by Hamas. The Islamic militants say they want guarantees that Gaza's border blockade will be eased before agreeing to stop fighting. Sunday's battle in Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighbourhood was the deadliest so far in Israel's 3-day-old ground offensive, which followed 10 days of heavy airstrikes on targets linked to Gaza's Hamas rulers. Israel has said it sent thousands of troops into Gaza to destroy Hamas rocket launchers and tunnels dug by the Islamic militants to sneak into Israel. (more)

Israel expands Gaza ground offensive; no sign of truce
19 July 2014 - Israel said on Sunday it had expanded its ground offensive in Gaza and militants kept up rocket fire into the Jewish state with no sign of a diplomatic breakthrough to end the worst fighting between Israel and Hamas in two years. Gaza residents said land and naval shellings were the heaviest in 13 days of fighting. Explosions rocked the coastal enclave overnight and shells fired by Israeli naval forces lit up the sky. Israeli tank shelling killed one Palestinian and hit houses in the northeastern Shejaia district, where residents called radio stations pleading for evacuation. An Israeli air strike there on the house of senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya killed his son and daughter-in-law and two children, hospital officials said. Near the southern town of Rafah shelling killed four Palestinians, health officials said. (more)

Israel steps up Gaza ground offensive, civilian casualties grow
18 July 2014 - Israel warned on Friday it could 'significantly widen' a Gaza land offensive but was cautioned by its main ally, the United States, about the risks of further escalation as Palestinian civilian deaths mounted. Palestinian officials said 58 Palestinians, at least 15 of them under the age of 18, have been killed since Israel sent ground forces on Thursday into the densely-populated enclave of 1.8 million Palestinians. One Israeli soldier was killed in an apparent friendly fire incident, the military said, and several other troops were wounded in the ground operations. It said some 150 targets, including 21 concealed rocket launchers and four tunnels, have been attacked. The current conflict -- the worst warfare between Israelis and Palestinians in two years -- was stoked by the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank last month and the death on July 2 of a Palestinian youth in a suspected revenge murder. Israel last mounted a large-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip during a three-week war in late 2008 and early 2009 that claimed 1,400 Palestinian and 13 Israeli lives. (more)

Malaysian airliner downed in Ukraine war zone, 298 dead
17 July 2014 - The United States believes a surface-to-air missile brought down a Malaysian airliner that crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 people on board, an incident that sharply raises the stakes in a conflict between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels. One US official said Washington strongly suspected the missile that downed the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was fired by Ukrainian separatists backed by Moscow. There is no evidence Ukrainian government forces fired a missile, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. A second US official said the origin of the missile was unclear. US Vice President Joe Biden said the passenger jet apparently was 'blown out of the sky'. Ukraine accused pro-Moscow militants, aided by Russian military intelligence officers, of firing a long-range, Soviet-era SA-11 ground-to-air missile. Leaders of the rebel Donetsk People's Republic denied any involvement and said a Ukrainian air force jet had brought down the intercontinental flight. Russian President Vladimir Putin pinned the blame on Kiev for renewing its offensive against rebels two weeks ago after a ceasefire failed to hold. The Kremlin leader called it a 'tragedy' but did not say who brought the Boeing down. The loss of MH-17 is the second disaster for Malaysia Airlines this year, following the mysterious loss of flight MH-370 in March, which disappeared with 239 passengers and crew on board on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. (more)

Nowhere to go for Gaza civilians urged to evacuate
16 July 2014 - Tens of thousands of Gazans are being told by Israel to flee targeted areas, but most have nowhere to go. UN shelters lack the space, and relatives, with their own overcrowded homes, often cannot help. Israel says urging residents to evacuate is part of the military's attempt to spare civilians whenever possible. It holds Hamas responsible for the ordeal of Gaza's 1.7 million people, saying Hamas fighters fire rockets toward Israel from residential areas, effectively using civilians as human shields. However, rights groups say simply sending warnings does not absolve Israel of responsibility and that those being urged to evacuate need somewhere to go. The Israeli army did not say how many homes it sent the warnings to, but the three areas -- the town of Beit Lahiya and the sprawling Gaza City neighbourhoods of Zeitoun and Shijaiyah -- have a combined population of well over 300,000 people. That's far more than can be accommodated in UN schools, which cannot shelter more than 35,000. Currently, some 21,000 Gazans are crammed into 24 UN schools, said Sami Mshasha, a spokesman for the UN aid agency. (more)

Scars show as Gaza's children endure third war
15 July 2014 - The children of the Attar clan have lived through three wars in just over five years, each time fleeing their homes as Israel bombarded their neighbourhood in the Palestinian Gaza Strip. Their psychological scars show. Some act out, others cling to their mothers or withdraw, like 12-year-old Ahmed who sat by himself Monday on a bench in the courtyard of a UN school where his family once again sought shelter. Experts said it will be increasingly difficult to heal such victims of repeated trauma. 'For the majority of the children (in Gaza), it is the third time around,' said Bruce Grant, the chief of child protection for the Palestinian territories in the United Nation's children's agency, UNICEF. 'It reduces their ability to be resilient and to bounce back. Some will not find their way back to a sense of normalcy. Fear will become their new norm.' Rasem Shamiya, a counselor who works for the UN school system, said many of the children show signs of trauma, including trouble paying attention, aggressive behaviour, or avoiding contact with others. 'They are very stressed,' he said. 'Since these children were born, they have never known peace.' Sada Attar, 43, said she worries her children and others in that generation will come to see violence as normal. Israeli children, especially in the areas close to Gaza, have also been affected. Since 2000, Gaza militants have fired thousands of rockets at Israeli communities. Psychologists have found high rates of anxiety and bed-wetting among children in the border town of Sderot. (more)

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