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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly explains how seeing planet Earth from space changed his perspective on life
19 March 2018 - Retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly spent 340 days in space aboard the International Space Station in 2015-2016, which changed his perspective on life, making him more empathetic. 'I think it makes you a more empathetic person,' he said. 'More in touch with humanity and who we are, and what we should do to not only to take care of the planet but also to solve our common problems, which clearly are many.' (more)

'Enough is enough': US students stage walkouts against guns
14 March 2018 - Declaring enough is enough, tens of thousands of young people from Maine to Alaska walked out of school to demand action on gun violence Wednesday (14 March) in one of the biggest student protests since the Vietnam era. Braving snow in New England and threats of school discipline in places like Georgia and Ohio, they carried signs with messages, railed against the National Rifle Association, and bowed their heads in memory of [the 17 students who lost their lives] in the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (more)

'Enough': US students come together in spectacular walkout to end gun violence
14 March 2018 - Thousands of students poured out of classrooms in the US on Wednesday (14 March) in an unprecedented expression of mourning and a demand for action to stem the country's epidemic of gun violence. The protesters called for new gun safety legislation, including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and the introduction of universal background checks. They also opposed the additional fortification of schools with fences and armed guards, policies endorsed by the NRA, America's powerful gun lobby group. (more)

Finland is the happiest country in the world, says UN report
14 March 2018 - Finland has overtaken Norway to become the happiest nation on earth, according to a UN report. For the first time the UN also examined the happiness levels of immigrants in each country, and found Finland also scored highest. (more)

This is the world's happiest country
14 March 2018 - Finland is the happiest country in the world, according to the latest World Happiness Report. Norway, last year's winner, came in second place in the 2018 report. It's followed by Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland. The World Happiness Report was released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations on March 14, days before World Happiness Day on March 20. (more)

Cuba's Capitol reopens after years of restoration
1 March 2018 - After eight years of restoration work, Cuba on Thursday re-opened to the public the doors of its Capitol, an imposing neoclassical gem previously shunned as a symbol of U.S. imperialism now to become the seat of its national assembly. Its restoration was started in 2010 as part of the Office of City Historian's revamp of Havana, one of the architectural treasures of Latin America. Its design is tailored to Cuba's tropical weather, such as multiple patios to maximize air circulation. (more)

US: First National Bank of Omaha won't renew NRA contract for Visa card
22 February 2018 - First National Bank of Omaha will not renew a contract with the National Rifle Association (NRA) to issue an NRA-branded Visa card, the bank said on Thursday (22 February). 'Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA,' said First National Bank of Omaha spokesman Kevin Langin. The bank declined further comment. (more)

'Migrant TripAdvisor' app helps new arrivals navigate Italy
15 February 2018 - A new smartphone app aims to help migrants in Italy find hospitals, schools, and police stations at the press of a button -- and quickly seek help ... More than 600,000 migrants have reached Italy from North Africa in the last four years, many fleeing war and poverty. Many migrants struggle to adapt when they arrive, said Oliviero Forti of aid group Caritas, which developed the app. 'They need a travel companion,' he said, adding that migrants tend to arrive with nothing apart from a phone. The app is available in four languages -- English, Italian, French, and Arabic -- and has been downloaded more than 500 times since it was launched earlier this month, Forti said. (more)

Afghan province declared landmine-free after 10-year clearance drive
15 February 2018 - Afghanistan's deadliest province for landmines has been declared free of the explosive devices after a decade-long clearance effort, the demining group HALO Trust said on Thursday (15 February). HALO spokesman Paul McCann said nearly 80 percent of the country's minefields had been cleared in the past three decades. (more)

With extraordinary political optics, Winter Olympics begin
9 February 2018 - In an extraordinary show of unexpected unity, North and South Korea sat side by side Friday night (9 February) under exploding fireworks that represented peace, not destruction, as the 2018 Winter Olympics opened on a Korean Peninsula riven by generations of anger, suspicion, and bloodshed. The sister of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, shook hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in -- and appeared genuinely pleased -- while they watched an elaborate show of light, sound, and human performance. (more)

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

New bestselling book Strength in Stillness: A simple, straightforward description of TM
8 March 2018 - Bob Roth's new book, Strength in Stillness, has three pillars of information: The first discusses what Transcendental Meditation is, what it does, how it works and where it comes from. In the second, you can learn about what to expect when you contact a certified teacher to instruct you in the TM technique. It also describes published research on the brain and how TM improves your reaction to stress and anxiety. The third introduces people from all walks of life who have learned TM and their inspiring comments on how they benefited from it. When the actor Michael J Fox learned Transcendental Meditation, his was a stunning experience of profound relief. 'This moment,' he said to Roth, 'is the calmest I have felt in years. Decades.' (more)

Maharishi Effect featured in The Times of India
23 February 2018 - The practice of Transcendental Meditation brings coherence and harmony to create a healing effect, writes Aditi Shrivastava in The Times of India: Research by scientists across the world has shown that when a specific number of people in an area practise Transcendental Meditation (TM) and its advanced techniques together, the influence of coherence and positivity generated is so phenomenal, that it can improve the quality of life of the area, improving the collective consciousness of the people. This leads to an invincible state for society, that is, a state of progressive growth, of stability where no negative influences will disrupt societies and they will be able to rise to true sovereignty and harmony amongst themselves. This phenomenon of increased social coherence was termed the Maharishi Effect in honour of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Founder of the Transcendental Meditation programme, who predicted it in 1960. (more)

Maharishi Vastu Architecture website features new photo albums of homes around the world
16 February 2018 - Have you ever wondered what it would be like to look inside a Maharishi Vastu home? A new photo album page on the Maharishi Vedic Architecture website lets you do just that. The page contains albums of Maharishi Vastu homes from around the world. (more)

Residents of Maharishi Vastu homes report less stress, better health, more success
5 February 2018 - The February newsletter of Maharishi Vastu Architecture reports on a recent, comprehensive survey of several hundred people worldwide who live in dwellings built according to Maharishi Vastu architecture. A high percentage of residents reported improvements from living in these homes, on five measures: improved quality of life, less stress, improved mental health, greater overall success, and that their children were happier. The survey results illustrate the principles and goals of Maharishi Vastu architecture, that living in these homes creates an influence of good health, happiness, family harmony, and growth to enlightenment. (more)

'In the most silent avenue of one's Being, everything is a possibility' - Maharishi, 2007
12 January 2018 - Today organizations teaching Transcendental Meditation in many countries held an annual conference celebrating the achievements of the worldwide programmes founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. On this day in 2007, Maharishi inaugurated a global capital of world peace at the centre of India. There a large group of experts would be established to create an influence of peace, progress, and prosperity for every nation, through their daily routine of Yoga (Transcendental Meditation and its advanced programmes) and Yagya, a timeless technology for the prevention of problems and the promotion of success and good fortune. In his inaugural address Maharishi said, 'Administrators should be competent to bestow anything to anyone who desires anything - and anything is a possibility in the transcendental, unmanifest field. In the most silent avenue of one's Being, everything is a possibility, and this is the gate of life that will be opened for everyone in the world.' (more)

A foolproof method for preventing terrorism in the Democratic Republic of Congo
8 January 2018 - Currently the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is experiencing a grave humanitarian emergency, with economic deterioration and increasing political instability. Latest African News features Dr David Leffler's presentation of 'a foolproof, simple, and most expedient method for preventing terrorism and increasing stability in DRC'. During these dangerous times, terrorism could quickly end if DRC's military were trained to form what is known in Latin American military circles as a Prevention Wing of the Military - comprised of Invincible Defense Technology (IDT) experts practising the non-religious Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique and its advanced programmes. Scientific research showing measurable decreases in crime, terrorism, and war through IDT has been published repeatedly in peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Conflict Resolution, Social Indicators Research, Journal of Crime and Justice, and International Journal of Neuroscience. (more)

'A New Science for Peace': Conference replays available online
6 January 2018 - Candy Crowley, former anchor of CNN's 'State of the Nation with Candy Crowley', John Hagelin, PhD, President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace, and experts in health, brain science, education, and the military recently held a summit to discuss the use of the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation technique to address the critical issues of toxic stress, trauma, and peace. The summit - 'A New Science for Peace: Research on Transcendental Meditation, the Brain, Trauma, and Peace' - took place at the Abramson Center for Peace, David Lynch Foundation, in Washington, DC. The full event, which was live streamed, is now available for replay online. (more)

New approach for Somali security forces to prevent terrorism
21 November 2017 - 'During these dangerous times of high tensions in Somalia, terrorism could quickly end if Somali security forces were trained to form what is known in Latin American military circles as Prevention Wings of the Military. These units would be comprised of Invincible Defense Technology (IDT) experts,' writes Dr David Leffler in the publication of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting in Nigeria. The purpose of these IDT groups would be to practise Transcendental Meditation (TM) and its advanced programmes twice a day. 'Extensive peer-reviewed research and military field-tests worldwide show that proper application of these programmes brings about measurable decreases in crime, terrorism and war, and improvements in quality of life.' Somali leaders would be wise, he said, to investigate these technologies and 'learn how to rapidly establish perpetual peace'. (more)

'A New Science for Peace: Research on meditation, the brain, trauma, and peace' - Conference 5 December, Washington, DC
19 November 2017 - On 5 December at American University in Washington, DC, a distinguished panel of experts will explore the impact of 40 years of published research and clinical applications of the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique on improving health and reducing the symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS) among combat veterans, urban youth, and women survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Data will also be presented on the findings of TM reducing trauma, crime, and violence in society as a whole. The conference, hosted by the David Lynch Foundation, will be held at the Abramson Center for Peace, and moderated by Candy Crowley, former anchor, CNN's 'State of the Nation with Candy Crowley'. There is no fee to attend. (more)

India Today: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was the most influential yoga guru from India in 50 years
28 October 2017 - Renowned author David Frawley wrote for India Today: 'Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was probably the most influential yoga guru from India over the past 50 years, with millions of followers in every part of the world . . . . His influence in India was extensive, where he redefined the image of the guru and the corpus of knowledge that the guru was expected to represent. He became the media face of the yogi and meditation master.' Dr Frawley teaches in many disciplines including the ancient teaching of the Vedas, Hinduism, Yoga, Ayurveda, and Vedic astrology. His brief yet comprehensive analysis of Maharishi's influence in the west is summed up by the statement: 'He was able to articulate the ancient traditions of Vedic and yogic knowledge for the modern mind. He took the teachings of the old pandits of India . . . [and] gained them respect as guides to universal consciousness, the cutting edge of science and medicine and the future evolution of humanity.' (more)

10 Short Summaries of Top Stories

7 years on, Syrians despair over a country in pieces
15 March 2018 - For Syrians marking seven years of war, their country has never looked as helpless or fragmented. President Bashar Assad has decimated the rebellion, thanks to massive military aid from Russia and Iran, but foreign powers have carved out zones of influence across the country. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are trapped in besieged areas, and heavy fighting is underway in the suburbs of Damascus and in the north, where al-Qaida-linked militants are clashing with rival insurgents and Turkish troops are battling a Syrian Kurdish militia. (more)

Thousands flee violence in mass exodus from Syrian towns
15 March 2018 - Tens of thousands of terrified men, women and children streamed out on foot and in pick-up trucks Thursday from besieged enclaves on two fronts, fleeing bombings from the Syrian military near the capital, Damascus, and Turkish troops in the country's north. It was the largest single-day exodus of civilians from fighting in Syria's civil war and a reminder of how the conflict that sparked the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe continues to hit new lows as it enters its eighth year. (more)

Colombia: Conflict continues in areas vacated by FARC fighters
1 March 2018 - Thousands of Colombians are being driven from their homes and dozens killed despite a peace accord ending half a century of civil war, the Red Cross said on Thursday. (! March), urging the government to better protect civilians. A peace deal between the government and the left-wing rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was signed in 2016, ending a war that has killed about 200,000 people. The FARC has largely demobilized and become a political party. But conflict continues in areas vacated by FARC fighters, leaving a power vacuum ... Some areas, particularly in Colombia's south and Pacific region, have become flashpoints for fighting among crime gangs and a smaller rebel group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), over drug trafficking and gold mines. (more)

In South Sudan, civil war drives more children onto the streets, into work
13 February 2018 - Hunger, fuelled by a protracted civil war and a failed economy, has pushed children ... into labour or life on the streets, according to a report by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). South Sudan -- the world's youngest country which gained independence in 2011 -- is wrestling one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. The U.N. children's agency UNICEF says every second person in the population of 12 million is hungry, 72 percent of children are out of school, and 4.2 million children need help. armed groups in the civil war that started in 2013 . . . (more)

Syria suffering some of worst fighting of war, UN warns
12 February 2018 - The United Nations said on Monday (12 February) the suffering of civilians in Syria has worsened since it called for a ceasefire six days ago in a humanitarian initiative that was rapidly derailed by an even more intense bombardment. ... 'The military escalation throughout Syria, including the events we have seen on the Israeli border over the weekend, is deeply worrying. It could indeed lead to a dangerous spillover,' a spokeswoman for the European Commission said on Monday. (more)

IS attack on military academy in Afghan capital kills 11
29 January 2018 - Islamic State militants attacked Afghan soldiers guarding a military academy in the capital on Monday (29 January) , killing at least 11 troops and wounding 16. The attack, which began before dawn and continued well past daybreak, was the latest in a wave of relentless violence in Kabul this month unleashed by the Taliban and the rival Islamic State group that has killed scores and left hundreds wounded. (more)

Reuters Special Report: In a hospital ward in Yemen, the collapse of a nation
29 December 2017 - After three years of warfare, cholera, and hunger, Yemen faces a new battle: In the past four months, doctors across the country have recorded at least 380 cases of diphtheria, a bacterial disease that last appeared here in 1992. Arishi [Nahla Arishi, chief pediatrician at the al-Sadaqa hospital in the Yemeni port city of Alden], like her country around her, is struggling to cope. Every month, she and her team drip-feed dozens of Yemen's half a million severely malnourished children. Her ward has also treated hundreds of the one million people infected by cholera. (more)

Mexico murders hit record high, dealing blow to President
23 December 2017 - Mexico has this year registered its highest murder total since modern records began, according to official data, dealing a fresh blow to President Enrique Pena Nieto's pledge to get gang violence under control with presidential elections due in 2018. A total of 23,101 murder investigations were opened in the first 11 months of this year, surpassing the 22,409 registered in the whole of 2011, figures published on Friday night by the interior ministry showed. The figures go back to 1997. (more)

Desperate Venezuelans peddle wares door-to-door in Colombia to survive
20 December 2017 - Thousands of impoverished Venezuelans are crossing the border to Colombia every day to sell cheap basics, from oranges to candles, in a desperate attempt to earn hard currency amid their country's worsening economic collapse. ... Hundreds of vendors are sleeping in the streets of the Venezuelan border town of San Antonio, while the surge in hawkers on the Colombian side is stoking anger among local shopkeepers. (more)

Defector says thousands of Islamic State fighters left Raqqa in secret deal
7 December 2017 - A high-level defector from Kurdish-led forces that captured the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State has recanted his account of the city's fall, saying thousands of IS fighters -- many more than first reported -- left under a secret, U.S.-approved deal. Talal Silo, a former commander in the Syrian Democratic Forces ... told Reuters in an interview that the number of fighters who were allowed to go was far higher and the account of a last-ditch battle was a fiction designed to keep journalists away while the evacuation took place. At the time there were conflicting accounts of whether or not foreign Islamic State fighters had been allowed to leave Raqqa. The BBC later reported that one of the drivers in the exodus described a convoy of up to 7 km (4 miles) long made up of 50 trucks, 13 buses, and 100 Islamic State vehicles, packed with fighters and ammunition. (more)

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