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In final drive, Obama seeks better relations with US foes
24 May 2016 - In his final stretch as President, Barack Obama is driving the United States toward friendlier relations with longstanding adversaries, working to consign bitter enmities with Vietnam, Iran, Cuba, and Myanmar to the history books. Defiant cries of naivete by his opponents have only strengthened his conviction that the U.S. must release itself from an us-versus-them mentality forged during wars that ended decades ago. (more)

Refugees and scholars: Colleges offer war-torn a route to US
24 May 2016 - Colleges in the U.S. are opening their doors -- and their financial aid -- to Syrian refugees. Over the past year, at least a dozen schools have promised to cover full or partial tuition for Syrian refugees who are accepted for enrollment. They join a coalition of more than 60 colleges that have started providing scholarships to Syrian students since the country's civil war began in 2011. (more)

Pope asks followers to pray for Turkey Humanitarian Summit
22 May 2016 - Pope Francis has asked for prayers so that participants at a humanitarian summit in Turkey fully commit to achieve what he defines as their main aim: saving the life of every human being. Francis addressed tens of thousands of tourists and pilgrims in St. Peter's Square Sunday and expressed his hopes for the summit which opens the next day [23 May] in Istanbul. (more)

Eager to heal old wounds, President Obama to visit to Hiroshima
10 May 2016 - Eager to heal old wounds and galvanize new generations, President Barack Obama this month will become the first sitting American President to visit Hiroshima, where seven decades ago the U.S. dropped the devastating atomic bomb that ushered in the nuclear age. By visiting the peace park near the epicenter of the 1945 attack, the President hopes to reinvigorate efforts worldwide to eliminate nuclear weapons. As for Obama's visit, the Japanese people are ready for this moment, seven decades in the making. In a NHK television poll this month, 70 percent of Japanese respondents said they wanted Obama to visit, compared to 2 percent against it. (more)

Jewish leader thanks Putin for fighting anti-Semitism
19 April 2016 - The president of the World Jewish Congress has thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for his efforts to fight anti-Semitism in Russia. Ronald Lauder told Putin during Tuesday's meeting that the Russian leader had kept the promise he made during their last meeting, in 2003, to fight anti-Semitism. Lauder noted that at the time synagogues in Russia were coming under attack. (more)

South Korea's President to visit Iran for 1st summit talks
18 April 2016 - South Korean President Park Geun-hye is to visit Iran early next month for what would be the two countries' first summit talks. Park's office said Monday that she will visit Iran from May 1-3 for talks with her Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani. It said the leaders would discuss regional issues including the Korean Peninsula and ways to promote bilateral ties. (more)

Islamic leaders pledge to combat terrorism, sectarianism
15 April 2016 - A two-day summit bringing together leaders of the Islamic world concluded in the Turkish city of Istanbul with a pledge to combat terrorism and overcome sectarian divide. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who chaired the final session of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation summit, lamented the fact that Muslim countries who are 'the heirs of a civilization that was built on columns of peace and justice are being remembered more for wars, armed conflict, sectarianism, and terrorism.' The Istanbul meeting drew representatives from across the Muslim world, including King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose countries have squared off in Yemen and Syria. (more)

Cease-fire largely holding around Nagorno-Karabakh
6 April 2016 - A cease-fire largely held Wednesday around Nagorno-Karabakh after an outburst of fighting that raised fears of a new all-out war between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces. Russia sought to assuage tensions by reaching out to both sides. Fighting that erupted around the region over the weekend marked the worst violence since a separatist war ended in 1994 and left Nagorno-Karabakh, officially a part of Azerbaijan, under the control of local ethnic Armenian forces and the Armenian military. Armenian forces also occupy several areas outside the Karabakh region. (more)

Colombia to hold peace talks with 2nd-largest rebel group
30 March 2016 - Colombia will hold formal peace talks with the country's second-largest rebel group, heightening expectations for a definitive end to a half-century of political violence in the Andean nation. The government has been in exploratory talks in Ecuador with the National Liberation Army, or ELN, for more than a year. (more)

Russia to start clearing Palmyra of mines this week
28 March 2016 - Russia will be sending troops and equipment later this week to demine the archaeological site in the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra which was recaptured from Islamic State fighters last week. Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month ordered the bulk of Russian forces in Syria to withdraw. (more)

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

Iowa instructors are passionate about Transcendental Meditation
22 May 2016 - A glimpse of the fulfilling lives enjoyed by of teachers of Transcendental Meditation is given by the Dispatch-Argus of Quad Cities, a group of towns spanning the Mississippi River in Iowa and Illinois, USA. The article features David and Claudia Magill who have taught TM in Virginia, California, New York, and now the Quad Cities area since 2010. They have also been involved in teaching TM in programs involving probationers, parolees, the homeless, and victims of domestic violence. (more)

Motherly love: Giving from a position of strength
21 May 2016 - Janet Hoffman, US director of Transcendental Meditation for Women, writes, 'Mothering is for everyone'. In her discussion of how Transcendental Meditation provides a greater capacity for nurturing, she says TM 'provides us with twice-daily experience of inner silence that replenishes our depleted reserves and enlivens our inner connectedness to our deepest sense of Self, which in turn supports our ability to sincerely and authentically connect with, and positively influence, the world around us.' Ms Hoffman touches on benefits from TM such as diminished stress and fatigue 'rewarding us with a naturally relaxed, stress-resilient physiology, and a heart that can spontaneously flow in love and support.' (more)

New study: Group practice of Transcendental Meditation and the TM-Sidhi program reduces crime
25 April 2016 - A new study has found that a large group of people who practice Transcendental Meditation and its advanced programs together daily in Fairfield, Iowa reduced rates of homicides by a total of 21.2 per cent over the four-year period when attendance was at its peak, and reduced the rate of violent crime by a total of 18.5 per cent over the same period. The journals SAGE Open and Science Newsline, published the study 'Societal Violence and Collective Consciousness' coauthored by Dr Michael Dillbeck and Dr Kenneth Cavanaugh. The authors examined the period from 2007 to 2010 in Fairfield, Iowa when participation in a 'peace creating' group was highest. They found that a rising trend of U.S. homicide during the baseline period 2002 to 2006 was reversed during the 2007 to 2010 intervention period. In the case of violent crime, the study found a highly significant shift from a flat trend in 2002-2006 to a declining trend in 2007 to 2010. (more)

Awakening spiritual life
19 April 2016 - Cynthia E. Johnson writes about discussions with her father, the Reverend Roger William Johnson. Together they would consider experiences of deep, inner silence expressed by the first African American chaplain at Boston University, Howard Thurman. Thurman was intrigued with the intimate interconnectedness of all living beings -- that all are interrelated through experience of the common source of life. Cynthia says she and her father, '. . . agreed with Thurman that the mind settling into inner stillness cultivates a sense of wholeness, culminating in a sense of loving unity with all living things.' She asserts, 'Central to spiritual development is the experience of diving deep within on a regular basis, day after day. I have found that the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique affords me this experience.' (more)

A simple proven way to end ALL terrorism
15 April 2016 - Invincible Defense Technology, writes Dr David Leffler, is an approach that if properly applied, can prevent terrorism and conflict. Dr Leffler was a member of the US Air Force for nine years and has a PhD in Consciousness-Based Military Defense. He describes the IDT warrior's daily routine as any group, including any armed forces group, whichs adds the non-religious practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique and its advanced TM-Sidhi program to their day. Military personnel, functioning as a societal peace-creating military unit, practice these techniques together in a group twice a day, seven days a week, preferably near the conflict area in a secure location. The technology has been validated by 23 peer-reviewed studies carried out in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Independent scientists and scholars endorse it, based on its track record and the 25 years of ongoing research confirming its effectiveness to create peace in society. Dr Leffler's article appeared in The Oslo Times and WorldNews (WN) Network. (more)

The Huffington Post: The Silence Revolution
5 April 2016 - 'At first, it may seem odd to put the words Silence and Revolution together', said author Ann Purcell in her blog The Silence Revolution. 'In our ever-evolving world, various kinds of revolution are inevitable, and some can lead to positive outcomes. If we wish to transform all the surface values of life in one fell swoop for the betterment of all, we must attend to their foundation.' Ms Purcell states that while she practices Transcendental Meditation, 'I experience finer and finer thoughts until even the finest thought impulse is transcended and my awareness opens to the state of transcendence -- pure silence -- Being.' Citing research backing the effectiveness of TM for creating brain wave coherence, a harmonious, effective individual, and an influence of peace in society, Ms Purcell asserts '. . . we must attend to the root of our existence by nourishing and infusing all aspects of life with the innermost peace and power of the lively vibrant silence at the source of thought.' (more)

The miracle of transcendence and the human brain
10 March 2016 - Taking the 'unfathomable mystery' and capacity of the human brain as a starting point, author Linda Egenes writes, 'Yet the true miracle is that the human brain allows us to transcend its own activity and experience infinite consciousness awake to itself. . . . The beauty of the Transcendental Meditation technique, I discovered, is that it is a systematic way of directly experiencing the source of the thinking process - which is an unbounded, unlimited state of energy, intelligence and bliss that is hidden from view but drives all the conscious activity of the mind. . . . Transcending through TM is an effortless way to achieve direct access to this infinite field of pure consciousness - and to cultivate it so we can enjoy our own infinite, cosmic potential in everyday life.' (more)

Women can make a 'powerful contribution to peace in our troubled world'
9 March 2016 - The Excellence In Action page of Global Good News is currently featuring an article by health writer Linda Egenes, about the most effective ways that women can create a peaceful, positive influence on society--by reducing stress and radiating peace and happiness from within. Citing extensive published research showing the stress-reducing benefits of Transcendental Meditation, she points out that 'by creating more happiness within ourselves, our families and all those around us, we are making a positive and powerful contribution to peace in our troubled world'. (more)

Prevent terrorism utilizing the most advanced and cost-effective technology
7 March 2016 - Dr David Leffler, in a letter published by The Turkish Sun, presents Invincible Defense Technology (IDT) as a way for Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to prevent terrorism. By deploying a proven, advanced human resource-based military technology, these specially trained IDT Prevention Wings of the Military reduce national and cross-border collective stress. The IDT soldier's daily routine includes the practice of the non-religious Transcendental Meditation technique and its advanced programs, which creates a palpable influence of peace that permeates the surrounding environment. Dr Leffler reports that military field tests and 23 peer-reviewed studies have shown that the technology quickly, effectively, and efficiently ends turmoil. He points out that this approach to reducing stress and violence is already part of the training of Brazil's Elite Police force, and has been field-tested by other militaries worldwide. (more)

Living at the peak: How to experience bliss in everyday life
12 February 2016 - Studies by Dr. Fred Travis, director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management, have found that Transcendental Meditation practitioners have greater EEG coherence and greater presence of alpha waves which has been shown to promote a more efficiently functioning brain. Dr. Travis says: 'The experience of the transcendent is not unique to TM practitioners or peak performers; it's unique to human beings. It's what we experience when the activity of feeling and thinking and perception settle down, and the mind experiences its most expanded state of awareness. It's the experience of pure unbounded consciousness, and it's available to anyone.' Dr Travis's research is referenced in an article by Vanessa Vidal, National Director of Transcendental Meditation for Women in the US. (more)

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

How Kosovo was turned into fertile ground for ISIS
22 May 2016 - Extremist clerics and secretive associations funded by Saudis and others have transformed a once-tolerant Muslim society into a font of extremism. Kosovo now finds itself, like the rest of Europe, fending off the threat of radical Islam. Over the last two years, the police have identified 314 Kosovars who have gone abroad to join the Islamic State, the highest number per capita in Europe. They were radicalized and recruited, Kosovo investigators say, by a corps of extremist clerics and secretive associations funded by Saudi Arabia and other conservative Arab gulf states using an obscure, labyrinthine network of donations from charities, private individuals, and government ministries. (more)

Sabotage of telecoms masts reignite Swedish security fears
18 May 2016 - The mysterious suspected sabotage of three telecommunications masts, key parts of Sweden's infrastructure, has reignited fears of foreign spies and the readiness of depleted security services in a country on the frontline of growing tensions with Russia. In early May, a cable to another mast in the same region, dedicated to rescue services communications was cut off. On Tuesday, the bomb squad was called into the look into a suspicious package near another mast in central Sweden, police told local media. (more)

UN warns that 7.6 million Yemenis are 'one step' from famine
17 May 2016 - The director of U.N. humanitarian operations warned Tuesday that 7.6 million people in conflict-torn Yemen face severe food shortages and are 'one step' from famine. Yemen's Foreign Minister Abdul-Malik al-Mekhlafi late Tuesday announced the suspension of peace talks held in Kuwait after weeks of no progress, saying the rebels refuse to accept the legitimacy of the country's internationally recognized President. (more)

Al-Qaida, hard-line rebels seize Alawite village in Syria
12 May 2016 - Al-Qaida fighters and other ultraconservative Sunni insurgents seized a predominantly Alawite village in central Syria on Thursday, sparking fears of sectarian violence as families from the village were reported missing by activists. Ahrar al-Sham, an ultraconservative Sunni militant group, led the assault on Zaara, along with the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's Syrian franchise, which often fights alongside opposition factions. The Observatory, which covers both sides of the conflict through a network of local activists, said families disappeared from Zaara after the militants took over. Syria's conflict began with peaceful protests against President Bashar Assad but escalated into a civil war after a brutal government crackdown and the rise of an armed insurgency. It became increasingly sectarian with the rise of Sunni insurgent groups and the arrival of Shiite militants from across the region to fight alongside Assad's government. (more)

Afghanistan faces tough battle as Haqqanis unify the Taliban
7 May 2016 - A shadowy, Pakistan-based militant faction is on the rise within the Taliban after its leader was appointed deputy and played a key role in unifying the fractured insurgency. The ascendency of the Haqqani network, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, could significantly strengthen the Taliban and herald another summer of fierce fighting in Afghanistan. The firepower it brings to the Taliban was shown by a Kabul bombing last month that killed 64 people, the deadliest in the Afghan capital in years, which experts say was too sophisticated for the insurgents to have carried out without the Haqqanis. The network's role could also further poison already tainted relations between Islamabad and Kabul. (more)

Gaza sewage spill floods farmland
4 May 2016 - Gaza rescue crews tried to salvage livestock and produce on Wednesday after a sewage reservoir collapsed, flooding about 25 acres (10 hectares) of farmland in a new sign of the worsening water and sewage crisis in the Hamas-run territory. Mohammed Qandeel, a beekeeper, said the sewage reached the room in which he kept the honey he had just harvested. 'I will get rid of it after I wake up from the shock,' he said. Gaza's limited sewage treatment facilities have been overwhelmed by a rapidly expanding population, damage to infrastructure during wars with Israel, and a chronic shortage of electricity. Millions of gallons of raw sewage are dumped into the Mediterranean each day, threatening the coastline and limited freshwater supplies. (more)

Deadly attacks in Afghan capital show Taliban's strength
19 April 2016 - A week after proclaiming their spring offensive, Taliban militants stormed an Afghan government security agency with a suicide car bomb and gunfire Tuesday, killing 28 people and wounding hundreds in a sign of the insurgency's continued strength -- even in the capital. The coordinated attack in central Kabul appeared to have targeted an agency that provides an elite security force for high-ranking government officials, similar to the U.S. Secret Service. On April 12, the insurgents announced the start of their warm weather fighting season, vowing to carry out large-scale attacks in the 15th year of their war against the U.S.-backed government. The Taliban has remained resilient as the government struggles to confront the violence amid a bitter feud between President Ashraf Ghani and the country's chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah. (more)

Bogus identities with fake IDs vital for terror networks
6 April 2016 - Your lost or stolen passport may have found a new life in the shady underworld of a crime gang or in the pocket of a terrorist plotting an attack. Like crime syndicates, terrorist networks are often globe-spanning operations, and doctored documents are the keys to unlocking borders and staying below the radar. Fighting bogus identities is now a top security priority, with France's interior minister pushing for Europe-wide action, and Interpol pleading for tougher document policing as it warns that the world is awash in 38 million lost or stolen passports that are ripe for doctoring. Two of the suicide bombers at France's national stadium remain unidentified except for their fake Syrian passports. (more)

AP Explains: The roots of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh
3 April 2016 - Since 1994, Nagorno-Karabakh, where heavy fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces erupted Saturday, has existed in a tense limbo. AP explains what's behind the conflict: (more)

Heavy fighting erupts between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over Nagorno-Karabakh
3 April 2016 - Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry announced a unilateral cease-fire Sunday against the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, but rebel forces in the area said that they continued to come under fire from Azerbaijani forces. Fighting in what was a dormant conflict for two decades flared up over the weekend with a boy and at least 30 troops killed on both sides. Each side blamed the other for Saturday's escalation, the worst since the end of a full-scale war in 1994. (more)

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