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Positive Trends
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'They're a lot like us': Program pairs inmates, wild horses
23 November 2016 - Jail inmates and wild horses are helping each other learn to adapt through a California program aimed at preparing both for society. Inmates at Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in rural Elk Grove spend 40 hours a week training mustangs that federal land managers gather from overpopulated areas in 10 Western states. The training program south of Sacramento is one of six nationwide, with the others at the federal level. Sacramento County officials say theirs is the first within a local correctional facility. (more)

The Nigerian school for orphans and victims of jihadists
17 November 2016 - In a region where social bonds have been fractured by Boko Haram insurgency, the Future Prowess school is an unlikely model of cohesion. It consciously and publicly welcomes both the orphans of jihadists -- and the children of civilians and soldiers killed by the jihadists. (more)

How a Canadian app is helping refugees find food, clean water and medical care
16 November 2016 - A big issue for humanitarian organizations is finding an efficient and effective way to get up-to-date information to refugees and other aid groups. Now, a new web app, created by Canadian tech startup PeaceGeeks, in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), aims to bring all this information together in one place to make it easier for refugees to find what they need. The app, called Services Advisor, is available in both English and Arabic, and can be accessed using a smartphone or computer. (more)

Revealed: The world's happiest, safest, and richest countries
4 November 2016 - The Global Prosperity Index, published each year by the London-based Legatum Institute, ranks 149 of the world's nations according to nine key sub-indices -- but with a whopping 104 different 'variables'. The usual suspects -- GDP, security and quality of healthcare and education -- are all accounted for, but there are more intriguing considerations too. It all adds up to a remarkably thorough pecking order of the world's happiest, safest, most free and prosperous countries. And the results for 2016 are in. (more)

The 25 richest, healthiest, happiest, and most advanced countries in the world
3 November 2016 - The Legatum Institute, a London based research institute released on Thursday its 10th annual global Prosperity Index, a huge survey that ranks the most prosperous countries in the world. The organisation compared 104 variables to come up with its list. The variables are then split into nine subindexes: economic quality, business environment, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, social capital, and natural environment. (more)

Colombia making 'substantial progress' with peace deal - President
2 November 2016 - Colombia is making 'substantial progress' in getting its stalled peace deal with Marxist rebels back on track and hopes to have a deal very soon, the country's President Juan Manuel Santos said on Wednesday. A renegotiation seems to depend on whether the FARC would accept tougher conditions, maybe combined with a softening of former President Uribe's demands. After years of refusing to meet negotiators, Uribe has now said he is willing to seek a joint solution. Santos predicted significant economic benefits from a peace deal, which would ease decades of unrest in Colombia. (more)

In deeply divided Israel, Jewish and Arab women build case for peace
2 November 2016 - At a time when peace is not high on the Israeli public agenda, Women Wage Peace unites Arab and Jewish activists with a simple demand: that leaders just 'reach an agreement.' Research shows that women's involvement in efforts to procure peace improves both its probability and its longevity. (more)

Soyuz capsule docks with international space station
21 October 2016 - A Soyuz space capsule carrying astronauts from Russia and the United States has docked with the International Space Station after a two-day voyage. The docking took place smoothly Friday and the crew entered the space laboratory after a lengthy procedure to open its hatches. The mission is set to last four months. (more)

Yemen: UN envoy announces restoration of nationwide cessation of hostilities
18 October 2016 - On 17 October, the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, announced a plan for the resumption of a comprehensive cessation of hostilities in the war-torn Gulf nation. Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed welcomed the restoration of the cessation of hostilities, and he called on all Yemeni parties, the region, and the international community to encourage full respect for the cessation of hostilities and to ensure that it leads to a permanent and lasting end to the conflict. (more)

Give peace a chance: Colombia extends ceasefire with rebels
13 October 2016 - President Juan Manuel Santos announced on Thursday (October 16) that he is extending a ceasefire with Colombia's largest rebel movement in a bid to give more time to efforts to save a peace deal rejected by voters. Santos said in a televised address that he was extending by two months the ceasefire with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia until December 31. (more)


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


UK's first Maharishi Peace Palace - creating peace for the individual and peace for society
12 November 2016 - News media continue to feature Britain's first Peace Palace, most recently in a video report on ITV News. The building, inaugurated last month in Rendlesham, Suffolk, will offer programmes and courses founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The Peace Palace and its surrounding residential development were designed in accord with ancient principles of Maharishi Vedic Architecture to promote peace and happiness for those who visit the building and in the environment. Richard Johnson, national director of the Transcendental Meditation programme in the UK, points out that Maharishi's central objective was to promote peace for the individual and the society. Mr Johnson says, 'We want to create peace on the level of consciousness on a deeper level so that it creates bliss in society and internationally', noting scientific research demonstrating this effect when sufficient people practise Transcendental Meditation. (more)

On Veterans Day - Remembrance Day: Transcendental Meditation helps veterans overcome PTSD
11 November 2016 - Operation Warrior Wellness (OWW), a division of the David Lynch Foundation, offers the Transcendental Meditation-based Resilient Warrior Program, a simple, easy-to-learn, evidence-based approach to relieving symptoms of PTSD and major depression and developing greater resilience to stress. Since its launch in 2010 in the USA, the OWW initiative has partnered with leading veterans service organizations and VA medical centers to deliver the Resilient Warrior Program to veterans, active-duty personnel and military families in need. The initiative also partners with military colleges to create a new generation of more resilient officers. (more)

Step inside a custom-built Iowa farmhouse that puts harmony first
29 October 2016 - If you could build a home that would make you happier and healthier, wouldn't you jump at the chance? A farmhouse in Iowa, USA is featured in CountryPolish.com, including beautiful photos. The house was constructed using principles of Maharishi Vedic Architecture -- an ancient concept that informs the architecture of a home, writes author Michelle Krueger, through various means including use of natural materials and strategic placement of rooms, to promote the happiness and health of its occupants. By focusing on sustainability, natural harmony and strategic positioning, Vedic designed homes deliver long-lasting benefits. (more)

Dr David Leffler: An Unthwartable Counter-terrorism Defense
20 October 2016 - Invincible Defense Technology (IDT) is an advanced human resource-based military technology which produces a powerful peace-creating influence, neutralizing the buildup of stress in the national collective consciousness that fuels terrorism, war and crime. Scientific research has documented this effect created by groups practising Transcendental Meditation and its advanced techniques. When large assemblies of civilian IDT experts gathered during the years 1983 to 1985, terrorism-related casualties decreased 72 per cent, international conflict decreased 32 per cent, and overall violence was reduced in nations without intrusion by other governments. The current article featuring IDT's evidence-based military application appears in such publications as: African Prime News, African Herald Express, and Ghana Star; The Daily Guardian, Philippines; Vietnam's Asia Defense News; and Hirportal, Hungary. (more)

See inside the Rendlesham Peace Palace - a one-of-kind architectural feat for Britain: East Anglian Daily Times
15 October 2016 - The organization teaching Transcendental Meditation in the UK is celebrating the inauguration of its first Maharishi Peace Palace in Rendlesham, a Suffolk village. The Peace Palace is Britain's biggest building constructed using a set of principles taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi - and sits at the centre of similarly designed, east-facing homes in Rendlesham's Garden Village - one of the largest Vedic Architecture settlements of its kind in the world. Richard Johnson, Rendlesham resident and national director of the Transcendental Meditation Programme in England, says: 'The building is about creating peace for the individual and society. Maharishi wanted buildings to be dedicated to that cause.' (more)

David Lynch receives the 2016 Namaste Award
5 October 2016 - Yoga Gives Back is a non-profit organization with a mission to mobilize the global yoga community to empower women and children in India. YGB bestowed its 2016 Namaste Award to filmmaker David Lynch for his foundation's work bringing Transcendental Meditation to children in inner-city schools, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, the homeless, and women and girls who are victims of violence. The Namaste Award recognizes special people who have gone beyond the practice and teaching of yoga to incorporate noble humanitarian service, which helps make the world a better place. A motto of the organization's fundraising campaign is: 'For the cost of one yoga class, you can change a life.' (more)

The Huffington Post: Meditate for peace and heal the planet
3 October 2016 - Elaine Gavalas, writing for The Huffington Post, reported on a 2016 study published in SAGE Open that found group practice of Transcendental Meditation was linked to decreased homicides and violent crime in the US during the 2007-2010 study period. Scientists theoretically predicted that the square root of 1 per cent of the US population (about 1,725 people) meditating together would create a nationwide positive effect. Statistical and independent analyses showed the rising trend of U.S. homicides during 2001-2006 was reversed during the 2007-2010 study period. Other variables were ruled out such as the economy, demographics, and law enforcement. (more)

Stacey Hurlin reports from Greek refugee camps - TM could help give peace of mind
20 September 2016 - Stacey Hurlin, a Greek American, mother, educator, artist, and an activist; could not sit by while the refugee crisis escalated with boat arrivals to the Greek islands, which started in early 2015. She left for Greece where she facilitates donations, supplies, and often simply listens to the stories told by refugees. As asylum seekers go through the complex, and mostly discouraging, process of delays, misinformation, and paperwork, stress levels are high in the camps. To date, 60,000 are waiting. Stacey says, ' . . . these camps are filled with educated, intelligent, skilled people. Everyone I have met sincerely wants to get on with their life - to be productive, to provide for their family.' She calls for Transcendental Meditation to be made available in the camps, citing extensive research showing relief from traumatic stress and the peace-keeping qualities of people practicing the technique together, saying that 'peace of mind is the basis of all peace.' (more)

Transcendental Meditation: A solution for peace in South Sudan
4 September 2016 - Transcendental Meditation is an 'innovative science-based tool available to produce inner peace as a means of reducing the anger and violence ravaging South Sudan, Africa and other highly stressed regions worldwide. Inner peace is contagious. It spreads and has the potential to create societal peace . . . ' write scientists, concerned by the UN vote to send in more troops in an attempt to quell violence in South Sudan. They conclude that initiatives employing TM as a method to reduce PTSD and violence as peacemaking tool are the only solutions producing results. Presenting these evidence-based research findings in their OpEDNews article are Dr David Leffler, executive director at the Center for Advanced Military Science, Dr R Keith Wallace, founding president and professor of physiology at Maharishi University of Management, and David Shapiro, founding president of African PTSD Relief. (more)

Maharishi Vedic Architecture: The sun's early light
3 September 2016 - Not only did the ancient Vedic texts of Sthapatya Veda, which detail how to create ideal structures, stipulate an east-facing main entrance as the most auspicious and life-supporting direction for a dwelling to face, but ancient Egyptian structures, North American Indian structures, and even the oldest Christian religious structures stipulated the east and the rising sun as the proper direction for building orientation. When the sun is rising in the east its influence dispels darkness and brings a fresh wave of nourishing light as it falls on the front entrance of a Maharishi Vastu house. This is an important aspect of living 'in Vastu' and homeowners speak of the nourishing, 'silent harmony' of their lives: 'I have lived here now for four years and each day it is a blessing to be here. The happiness I feel is like no other I have ever experienced - deep, unshakable and contagious.' (more)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


EU: Libya's cities making $346M a year from people smuggling
2 December 2016 - Libya's coastal cities are making millions each year from people smuggling, a European Union military task force commander in the Mediterranean Sea says in a confidential report. The report, issued to the EU's 28 member states Wednesday and obtained by The Associated Press, illustrates just how much the flow of migrants toward Europe is a central part of the economy in war-torn Libya. The International Organization for Migration estimates that 4,690 people have lost their lives this year trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe, and over 348,650 migrants and refugees have reached the continent. Libya's economy has suffered badly since the 2011 ouster and slaying of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi plunged the sprawling North African nation into chaos. (more)

Libya's Tripoli sees worst militias clashes in 2 years
2 December 2016 - Clashes continued for the second day among heavily-armed militias in the Libyan capital Tripoli, vying for power and control over the city, with one dislodging another in at least two posts, a five-star hotel and a barracks, in what appears to be the worst outbreak of violence the city has seen in two years. In a statement Friday, U.N. Envoy to Libya Martin Kobler called for halt to the fighting, saying he is 'extremely alarmed.' (more)

'The only two powerful cartels left': rivals clash in Mexico's murder capital
28 November 2016 - Manzanillo and the surrounding state of Colima were once best known for their black sand beaches, lime groves, and a smoldering volcano that erupts every century or so. But over the past year, the region has claimed a new title: murder capital of Mexico. Analysts of the drug war say the violence is part of a nationwide realignment of organized crime -- and a bitter struggle to control the port of Manzanillo, one of the biggest on Mexico's Pacific coast. (more)

2016 sets new record for asylum seekers reaching Italy by boat
28 November 2016 - The Central Mediterranean is once again the main migrant route into Europe, partly due to the chaos of civil war in Libya. More asylum seekers have now reached Italy by boat in 2016 than in any previous year on record. Europe's deterrent strategy has failed to cut migration in the central Mediterranean between Libya and Italy, with the Italian route once again becoming the main migrant gateway into Europe. (more)

IS car bomb kills 56, including 20 Iranians, in Iraq
24 November 2016 - A car bomb tore through a gas station south of Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 56 people, including 20 Iranians, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group. The Iraqi officials said the target of the attack appears to have been a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims heading home after taking part in a major Shiite religious observance in the holy city of Karbala. The blast left the bus and some dozen cars charred. (more)

Mass grave points to IS horrors to come in push for Mosul, Iraq
12 November 2016 - For months, Islamic State group fighters drove thousands of civilians on forced marches across the Nineveh desert into the small town of Hamam al-Alil. Retreating ahead of methodical Iraqi advances on Mosul's southern approach, IS fighters converged here, rounding up men, women, and children for use as human shields and killing dozens of others. When Iraqi forces began to close in on this cluster of villages along the Tigris River valley, most of the militants fled into Mosul, taking thousands of civilians with them. But before the retreat, IS fighters also led hundreds . . . past an old IS training camp and shot them dead . . . (more)

Iraq: 'Crashing waves' of jihadists fray soldiers' nerves in Mosul battle
10 November 2016 - A week after his tank division punched through Islamic State defenses on the southeast edge of Mosul, an Iraqi army colonel says the fight to drive the militants out of their urban stronghold is turning into a nightmare. Against a well-drilled, mobile, and brutally effective enemy, exploiting the cover of built-up neighborhoods and the city's civilian population, his tanks were useless, he said, and his men untrained for the urban warfare they face. ... He said it was impossible to differentiate between civilians and fighters who melt in amongst them. Islamic State has forced its dress code on the population during the two years it has controlled the city. (more)

Colombia in unchartered territory with peace deal's defeat
2 October 2016 - After a stunning referendum defeat for a peace deal with leftist rebels, Colombians are asking what comes next for their war-torn country, which like Britain following the Brexit vote has no Plan B to save an accord that sought to bring an end to a half century of hostilities. The damage from Sunday's vote is still sinking in. Instead of winning by an almost two-to-one margin as pre-election polls had predicted, those favoring the accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia lost by a razor-thin margin, 49.8 percent of the votes to 50.2 percent for those against the deal. (more)

US: FBI data show increase in murder, violent crime in 2015
26 September 2016 - The number of murders reported by local law enforcement agencies jumped by more than 10 percent in 2015 from the year before, according to crime data released by the FBI on Monday. Violent crime overall rose by 3.9 percent, though the total was still lower than levels from five and 10 years ago, in 2011 and 2006, the FBI said. (more)

Syria diplomacy: A US-Russia deal unravels and war revs up
23 September 2016 - In a New York hotel room earlier this week, Russia thought it was close to a deal with the U.S. to revive a cease-fire deal for Syria. Regardless of the differing accounts, the fallout from the failure was severe. By Thursday afternoon, as [U.S. Secretary of State John] Kerry and [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov met with more than a dozen European and Arab foreign ministers, Russia was helping Syria's government launch a fresh offensive on the already besieged city of Aleppo. The week's breakdown in the diplomacy on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly occurred as violence in Syria accelerated. Several high-profile and deadly attacks suggested the war could be entering a darker phase. First, an errant U.S. strike on a Syrian military contingent killed dozens. Then, four medics were killed in a bombing raid, presumably by Syria or Russia. The 5 1/2-year war has killed as many as a half-million people, contributed to Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War II, and allowed IS to emerge as a global terror threat. (more)

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