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New Nobel literature prize winner transcends easy categories
8 October 2015 - With a reporter's eye and an artist's heart, Svetlana Alexievich writes of the catastrophes, upheaval, and personal woes that have afflicted the Soviet Union and the troubled countries that succeeded it. The Belarusian author's writings, characterized by plain language and detail so visceral it's sometimes painful to read, won her this year's Nobel literature prize. She is an unusual choice. The Swedish Academy, which picks the prestigious literature laureates, has only twice before bestowed the award on non-fiction -- to Winston Churchill and Bertrand Russell -- and had never honored journalistic work with a Nobel. (more)

US: People magazine issues gun violence 'call to action'
8 October 2015 - In the aftermath of the Oregon school shooting, People magazine did something it always does: It covered the story at length and wrote about each victim. But the magazine also did something it hasn't done before. It issued a 'call to action', asking readers to contact their representatives in Congress and find out what they're doing about gun violence. It printed the names and phone numbers of all 535 voting members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. (more)

Five things to know about the Nobel Prizes
6 October 2015 - The beginning of October means Nobel Prize time, when committees in Stockholm, Sweded and Oslo, Norway announce the winners of what many consider the most prestigious awards in the world. Each prize is worth 8 million Swedish kronor ($960,000) and will be handed out with a diploma and gold medal on December 10. Here are five other things to know about the coveted prizes: (more)

Online university offers refugees chance to study for free
1 October 2015 - A new online university, due to launch this month, promises to grant refugees internationally recognized degrees without fees and the need to provide all the required documentation. Kiron University, named after the centaur Chiron, known in Greek mythology for nurturing others in times of need, was founded last year by a group of students in Berlin. Kiron has designed a three-year program and partnered with top universities such as Harvard, Stanford, and Yale in the United States, which already offer accredited online degree courses. The courses are currently available only in English but Kiron hopes to offer studies also in Arabic and French. (more)

Amid Europe's migrant tensions, kindness arises too
29 September 2015 - While European governments string barbed wire across borders and lambast each other over asylum rules, ordinary citizens are taking action to cope with an unprecedented inflow of migrants, their generosity offering moments of hope for the newcomers -- and for Europe itself. To read the beautiful and inspiring stories from The Associated Press, please see: (more)

Presidents Obama, Castro meet as they work on thawing U.S.-Cuba ties
29 September 2015 - U.S. President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro at the United Nations on 29 September in a rare one-on-one meeting between the former Cold War foes as they work toward improving relations after decades of animosity. The two Presidents stunned the world late last year by announcing detente, and in July, the United States and Cuba restored diplomatic relations after a 54-year break. (more)

Venezuela, Guyana to restore ambassadors amid border dispute
27 September 2015 - After a tense meeting, the Presidents of Venezuela and Guyana agreed Sunday to restore ambassadors and hold talks to resolve a long-running border dispute that flared up recently following the discovery of oil in disputed waters. The current border between the South American countries was determined by international arbitration in 1899, but Venezuela has disputed that line for more than a half century and claims about 40 percent of Guyana's territory that is rich in gold, bauxite, diamonds, and other natural resources. It extended its maritime claims recently after a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corp. announced it made a significant oil discovery off Guyana's coast. (more)

Facebook founder calls for universal Internet to help cure global ills
26 September 2015 - Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and a host of celebrities kicked off a campaign on Saturday to make Internet access universal, saying this was critical to fulfilling the United Nations' newly adopted agenda to combat global ills. Calling for efforts to ensure Internet access for everyone globally by 2020, Zuckerberg said Internet connections are a dynamic tool for sharing knowledge, creating opportunities, lifting communities out of poverty, and promoting peace. (more)

At a castle in Austria, villagers and refugees celebrate Eid al-Adha
24 September 2015 - An ancient castle in an Austrian village somewhere between Vienna and Hungary is not where you would expect to see an Islamic celebration. But on Thursday, Austrians in the village of Bruckneudorf came together with Syrian and Iraqi refugees living among them to celebrate the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha. (more)

Pope's Cuba trip helped advance Colombia peace talks
24 September 2015 - Pope Francis may not have directly facilitated Wednesday's breakthrough in talks to end Colombia's half-century armed conflict, but the spirit of the popular pontiff hovered over the negotiation of the historic agreement, people involved in the talks said. The surprise agreement after years of negotiations was achieved partly because of the desire by the rebels to make the announcement during the Pope's visit to Cuba this week. Rebel negotiators worked through a final 20-hour session last week to achieve this goal, people involved said. (more)

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

The Huffington Post: Are you living only three of the seven states of consciousness?
5 October 2015 - People often ask, 'Is there more to life?' writes Ann Purcell, author of The Transcendental Meditation Technique and the Journey of Enlightenment. She explains that beyond the three commonly experienced states of consciousness--waking, dreaming, and sleeping--are four higher stages of human development described by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Founder of the Transcendental Meditation programme. 'Journeying to the silence of your mind and passing through the gate of transcendental consciousness' during TM practice, she explains, 'you will start to unfold your cosmic potential.' (more)

Joining hands to create peace in Israel and the Middle East
29 September 2015 - 'Transcendental Meditation in Israel, adopted by one or two per cent of the population of the country, and the attitude of the enemies around will change.' In a 1976 interview for Israeli TV, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi referred to recent research showing reduced crime rate in '1%' cities in the US. Now 50 demonstrations and 23 studies published in peer-reviewed journals have confirmed that group practice of TM and its advanced programmes by the square root of 1% of a population reduces violence and conflict and creates coherence and peace for the whole society. One study, published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, was conducted in 1983 at the peak of the Lebanon war. On days when the number in a group in Israel practising these peace-creating technologies of consciousness was high, war deaths in neighbouring Lebanon dropped by 76% and other indicators of social stress declined in Israel. (more)

Creating world peace on the International Day of Peace and every day
21 September 2015 - Today, 21 September, is the day designated by the United Nations and observed around the world as the 'International Day of Peace' or 'World Peace Day'. For this annual observance, the UN 'invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.' Organizations teaching Transcendental Meditation worldwide are upholding the ultimate value of this theme--simply by continuing what they've offered every day for many years: the TM programme. This natural, effective technology of consciousness has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, violence and conflict and create peace for the individual and society. Creating world peace is not the reason most people give for why they want to learn to meditate. Yet this was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's goal when he first introduced Transcendental Meditation in 1958. (more)

Maharishi Vastu architecture - promoting good fortune
9 September 2015 - A home that promotes health, family harmony, peace and abundance is a Fortune-Creating 
home. Maharishi Vastu architecture ensures that a building or community will have only nourishing influences on its occupants. (more)

An ideal way to protect Nigeria from internal and external threats: Nigerians Report
8 September 2015 - Recently a string of terrorist attacks have occurred as Nigeria has struggled to build a functional and coherent response. 'Fortunately, there is a science-based approach to create societal coherence that can protect Nigeria from both internal and external threats. It is called Invincible Defense Technology (IDT) because it assures invincibility, peace, and even economic progress, to the nation and the military that employ it,' writes Dr David Leffler, Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS), USA, in a recent article published in Nigerians Report. 'Invincible Defense Technology is a proven, state-of-the-art, non-violent military solution.' (more)

Institute for Excellence in Africa: Consciousness-Based solutions to critical problems
3 September 2015 - The Institute for Excellence in Africa was founded to identify and implement proven, prevention-oriented, forward-looking solutions to critical national, continental and global problems facing Africa. A key to change is the development of individual and collective consciousness so that it displays full creativity, intelligence and harmony. Without this fundamental awakening of human potential, the provision of mere economic assistance, infrastructure, and social systems will not be effective in solving the problems of poverty, sickness, conflict, and suffering found throughout Africa. The initiatives the Institute promotes include not just sustainable organic agriculture; natural prevention-oriented healthcare; balanced and fair economic development; and cultural integrity--but most importantly, Consciousness-Based Education to awaken the full potential of every individual. (more)

How is Transcendental Meditation different from other forms of meditation?
25 August 2015 - Considering different forms of meditation, author and Transcendental Meditation teacher Ann Purcell writes, 'I was extremely fortunate to learn Transcendental Meditation 42 years ago. The reason I like TM and have stayed with it all of these years is that it is easy, and does not require any effort. In my very first meditation, I sank to the most peaceful silence I had ever experienced.' Trying to control the mind requires effort and creates strain; the TM technique 'allows the mind to naturally settle down to quieter levels. Because those quiet levels are extremely charming, the mind will automatically stay there. . . . Such a technique effortlessly leads the mind to transcendence: inner wakefulness along with pure silence.' (more)

Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey talk TM
14 August 2015 - Before learning Transcendental Meditation, Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres 'had each tried various types of meditation and found them difficult, boring, exhausting, or just not rewarding,' writes Janet Hoffman, executive director of the Transcendental Meditation Program for Women Professionals in the US. But when Ellen and Oprah were introduced to the TM technique, 'they each immediately found that it came naturally and was easy and deeply restful, and they have both publicly endorsed it. Oprah called it ''the kind meditation.'' Ellen said: ''Something about TM . . . it gives me this peaceful feeling. I just love it so much.'' ' (more)

South Africa: New Maharishi Vastu home near Johannesburg
13 August 2015 - A new home was recently completed near Johannesburg, South Africa, which was designed and built according to principles of Maharishi Vastu architecture. Photos of the beautiful building are featured on the website and in an album on the organization's page on Facebook. (more)

Celebrating 'a miraculous field of total wakefulness of total knowledge' - Maharishi
31 July 2015 - On 31 July, the organizations of the Global Country of World Peace in many countries participated in the festival of Guru Purnima, held on the full moon day in July to honour the Vedic tradition of knowledge--the source of the many programmes and technologies of consciousness founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, including Transcendental Meditation. Ten years ago, on this occasion in July 2005, Maharishi praised the knowledge of the 'Constitution of the Universe' that came from the timeless Vedic tradition. He described this as the unified field of total natural law, the laws of nature 'that are always nourishing, supporting, and always evolutionary to everyone . . . that field of total knowledge which is every aspect of life in parts, or in whole--life as a unified wholeness of all the innumerable parts, and life in terms of parts.' He also described it as 'a miraculous field of total wakefulness of total knowledge' which is being applied through programmes to enrich every area of human life. (more)

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

'Here we go again' -- Americans' lament after Oregon shooting
8 October 2015 - The news from Oregon was grim enough in isolation -- nine people shot dead at a community college. For many Americans it was all the sadder as a reminder of how frequent, how depressingly routine, mass shootings have become -- in malls, at churches, and so often at schools and colleges. (more)

AP Investigation: Nuclear black market seeks IS extremists
7 October 2015 - n the backwaters of Eastern Europe, authorities working with the FBI have interrupted four attempts in the past five years by gangs with suspected Russian connections that sought to sell radioactive material to Middle Eastern extremists, The Associated Press has learned. The latest known case came in February this year, when a smuggler offered a huge cache of deadly cesium -- enough to contaminate several city blocks -- and specifically sought a buyer from the Islamic State group. Criminal organizations, some with ties to the Russian KGB's successor agency, are driving a thriving black market in nuclear materials in the tiny and impoverished Eastern European country of Moldova, investigators say. The successful busts, however, were undercut by striking shortcomings: Kingpins got away, and those arrested evaded long prison sentences, sometimes quickly returning to nuclear smuggling, AP found. (more)

Iran's supreme leader bans negotiations with the United States
7 October 2015 - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday banned any further negotiations between Iran and the United States, putting the brakes on moderates hoping to end Iran's isolation after reaching a nuclear deal with world powers in July. His statements directly contradict those of moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who says his government is ready to hold talks with the United States on how to resolve the conflict in Syria, where the two countries back opposing sides. Khamenei often invokes an unspecified 'enemy' when talking about Western powers, particularly the United States and Israel, which he suspects of plotting to overthrow the Islamic Republic. (more)

'Who will pay for that?' - Migrants clog east Europe trade routes
2 October 2015 - Border closures and tighter controls caused by record numbers of migrants are clogging up trade in southeast and central Europe, driving up costs and forcing transport companies to seek other routes. (more)

Shooting in Oregon: So far in 2015, we've had 274 days and 294 mass shootings
1 October 2015 - Today (October 1) a shooter opened fire at a community college in Oregon. Early media reports indicate numerous fatalities and a number of additional people wounded. That brings the total of mass shootings this year -- incidents where four or more people are killed or injured by gunfire -- to 294. There have been only 274 days this year. (more)

Doctors see new trial for asylum-seekers: the cold weather
28 September 2015 - Doctors treated migrant children -- including newborns -- for exposure as dropping temperatures Monday worsened the plight of asylum-seekers walking for days trying to reach sanctuary in Europe. Vladimir Bozic, a physician from Doctors without Borders, said he had treated many young children for temperature-related illnesses. Many are suffering in rising numbers from colds and the flu after days or weeks on the move in the rain and the mud. (more)

In search for Mexico's 43, killings of 6 others go ignored
25 September 2015 - International attention has been focused on the 43 students who vanished a year ago Saturday, but six others died at the hands of police in those hours. According to an independent group of experts, the disappearances and the killings were the result of a long, coordinated attack against students from the Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Normal School of Ayotzinapa who had come to the southern city of Iguala to commandeer buses for a protest. But the events of last September 26 were far from isolated. Some 25,000 people have been reported missing in Mexico since 2007, and hundreds from the Iguala area in the last year alone. The disappearance of the students has drawn attention to others who have been lost, as well as brutal drug cartels, official corruption, government indifference, and languishing legal cases. (more)

Croatia says it can take no more migrants
18 September 2015 - After suddenly finding itself in the path of Europe's biggest tide of migrants for decades, Croatia said on Friday it could no longer offer them refuge and would wave them on, challenging the EU to find a policy to receive them. The migrants, mostly from poor or war-torn countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, have streamed into Croatia since Wednesday (16 September), after Hungary blocked what had been the main route with a metal fence and riot police at its border with Serbia. The arrival of 17,000 since Wednesday morning, many crossing fields and some dodging police, has proved too much for one of the EU's less prosperous states in a crisis that has divided the 28-nation bloc and left it scrambling to respond. A record 473,887 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, most of them from countries at war such as Syria who are seeking a better, safer life. (more)

Croatia overwhelmed by flood of migrants
17 September 2015 - Amid chaotic scenes at its border with Serbia, Croatia said on Thursday it could not cope with a flood of migrants seeking a new route into the EU after Hungary kept them out by erecting a fence and using tear gas and water cannon against them. More than 7,300 people entered Croatia from Serbia in the 24 hours after Wednesday's clashes between Hungarian riot police and stone-throwing refugees at its Balkan neighbor's frontier. At the eastern border town of Tovarnik, Croatian riot police struggled to keep crowds of men, women and children back from rail tracks after long queues formed in baking heat for buses bound for reception centers elsewhere in Croatia. (more)

Thousands of Mexican families mourn the 'other disappeared'
16 September 2015 - The world, and even most of Mexico, paid little attention to Iguala until 43 students from a rural teachers' college disappeared on September 26, 2014. According to a federal investigation, the students were taken by police and then handed over to a local drug gang that allegedly killed them and burned the bodies. The incident cast national and international attention on Iguala, emboldening hundreds of local families in the area to come forward and speak up about their missing relatives. Their message was simple: there are many more missing. They called them 'the other disappeared'. Their names were added to the government's growing registry of 25,000 people reported missing nationwide since 2007. Following is an in-depth report from The Associated Press. (more)

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