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Shaggy, skittish, saved: the Spanish sheep brought back from the brink
20 October 2021 - Thanks to a local vet and a group of concerned ecologists, the churra lebrijana breed has been rescued from extinction. Numbers of the breed -- indigenous to Andalusia -- had dwindled to about two dozen animals. The hardy sheep had long carved out an existence on the marshy lowlands of the Guadalquivir river, adapting to a landscape that swings from months of flooding to prolonged drought. As humans expanded their footprint, however, the marshes shrank from 150,000 hectares (370,000 acres) to less than 30,000 and the sheep were pushed out. (more)

Earthshot Prize: Costa Rica wins 1m British pounds from William's Earthshot prize
19 October 2021 - Two best friends who grow coral and the country of Costa Rica are among the winners of the first ever Earthshot Prizes. The annual awards were created by the Duke of Cambridge [Prince William] to reward people trying to save the planet. There were five winners announced in London, each receiving 1m British pounds. (more)

Winners of Prince William's Earthshot environmental prize announced
19 October 2021 - The inaugural winners of Prince William's Earthshot Prize include the country of Costa Rica, an Indian organization that creates fuel from agricultural waste, and a coral farming group in the Bahamas. The prize, a Nobel-like award founded by the Duke of Cambridge and renowned British naturalist David Attenborough, aims to inspire innovative solutions to the most pressing environmental challenges currently facing the planet. (more)

Children who eat more fruit and veggies have better mental health, UK research finds
10 October 2021 - New research finds that children who eat more fruit and veg have better mental health. The study is the first to investigate the association between fruit and vegetable intakes, breakfast and lunch choices, and mental wellbeing in UK school children. The research team studied data from almost 9,000 children in 50 schools. They found that the types of breakfast and lunch eaten by both primary and secondary school pupils were significantly associated with wellbeing. (more)

UK: Invisible Studio installs waterside bee house at Somerset hotel
8 October 2021 - Invisible Studio has unveiled the Beezantium, a lakeside apiary for honey bees in the grounds of hotel The Newt in Somerset. With a hive built into its walls, the Beezantium is designed to house a bee colony, but also serve as an exhibition centre for hotel guests and visitors. (more)

Rewilding: 500,000 acres of the Scottish Highlands to be transformed
29 September 2021 - Half-a-million acres of the Scottish Highlands are set to be transformed, by letting nature take over. The area has been selected for rewilding, a process that allows land and oceans to return to a more natural -- or wilder -- state. The huge Affric Highlands initiative is being run by the charity Trees for Life, along with 20 landowners and six organisations. Work has also begun to involve local communities in the project, which is due to begin in 2023. (more)

Kew Gardens: Royal Botanic Gardens breaks record for largest plant collection
16 September 2021 - Kew Gardens has set a new record for the largest living plant collection at a single site, according to Guinness World Records. Established in 1759, the Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) at Kew had 16,900 unique plant species as of May 2019. 'It re-enforces the importance of botanic gardens around the world, as not only beautiful places to enjoy, but as essential hubs of inspiration and education,' said Richard Barley, director of horticulture at the gardens. (more)

Britain's Tesco joins refillable revolution with in-store trial
13 September 2021 - Britain's biggest supermarket group Tesco launched a trial on Monday [13 September] that allows customers to buy food, drink, household and beauty products in reusable packaging, part of its strategy to cut plastic waste. Britons have become increasingly aware of the amount of plastic they use in recent years, with television documentaries such as naturalist David Attenborough's 'Blue Planet II' particularly highlighting the dangers of plastic pollution to marine life. (more)

Tesco zero-waste trial launches at 10 stores in England
13 September 2021 - Supermarket chain Tesco is to trial its zero-waste shopping service at 10 stores in the East of England. Customers will be able to buy common household goods in reusable packaging that can be returned to the store to be used again. The trial aims to meet demand for less single-use plastic packaging. (more)

Shell to vastly expand EV charging network in Britain
1 September 2021 - Royal Dutch Shell on Wednesday [1 September] announced plans to vastly expand its network of electric vehicle charging points in Britain, aiming to install 50,000 on-street posts by 2025 as part of its global rollout. The expansion is part of a government-backed push to rapidly grow Britain's electric vehicle (EV) fleet in line with a target to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. Britain also plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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An Antidote to Violence: New book shows meditation can aid governmental efforts to bring peace and heal divisions
19 June 2020 - Author to present new book - An Antidote to Violence - at All Party Parliamentary Group on Indian Traditional Sciences during International Day of Yoga 2020 in the UK, 21 June. It's accepted that Transcendental Meditation (TM) can create peace for the individual, but can it do the same for society, and if so, what is the mechanism? InAn Antidote to Violence,Barry Spivack and Patricia Saunders examine peer-reviewed research suggesting that Transcendental Meditation can influence the collective consciousness of society, leading to decreases in violent crime and war fatalities, and increases in quality of life and cooperation between nations. (more)

UK art expert Geraldine Norman: Transcendental Meditation helped with grief - 'It felt so good, I was amazed'
15 October 2019 - Over her 20 years writing for The Times of London, Geraldine Norman became best known for exposing art forgeries in front-page stories. Later she started a second career, as founder and director of the Hermitage Foundation UK, supporting the famous Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1981 Geraldine learned Transcendental Meditation, after a devastating personal loss. 'I suddenly realized that the extreme pain I'd been experiencing for the past year was leaving me. And it felt so good that I was amazed. I have continued meditating regularly all these years, and have been extremely happy with it,' she says. 'I think TM is also useful while growing old. It's helped me to think about things that no one understands, like life and death and consciousness and so on. And that is a marvelous gift.' (more)

UK: Transcendental Meditation featured in Daily Star's recommendations to reduce blood pressure
17 September 2018 - One in four Brits suffers with high blood pressure, according to the UK's National Health Service. The Daily Star reports that a study led by Dr Robert Schneider, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, USA, found that Transcendental Meditation reduces high blood pressure. TM is featured first in a discussion of research on lifestyle approaches to reducing blood pressure including meditation, yoga, exercise, and diet. (more)

Head of worldwide Transcendental Meditation organisation addresses International Yoga Day celebration, UK Parliament
26 June 2018 - Dr Tony Nader, MD, PhD, MARR, addressed this week's celebration of International Yoga Day held in the Parliament of the United Kingdom at Westminster, London. Dr Nader is a distinguished neuroscientist and the leader of the worldwide Transcendental Meditation organisation founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The celebration was hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Indian Traditional Sciences. Dr Nader spoke on 'Yoga, consciousness and prevention' and presented the scientific basis of yoga, including scientific research on the benefits of yoga, of which Transcendental Meditation is a central aspect; and how the principles of yoga are found reflected in physics, physiology, and other areas of modern science. He presented published research showing the relevance of yoga for promoting health and preventing disease. (more)

UK: Dr Charlotte Bech shares the secrets of stress-free living
27 May 2018 - Dr Charlotte Bech, a Danish doctor, surgeon and expert on natural medicine - lecturing in the UK for National Stress Awareness Month - said that simple procedures, such as the right light, diet, oils, spices, mental and emotional training, yoga and meditation, have been shown to reduce stress, despite the demands of our frenetic, modern lives. 'The most important advice is to practise Transcendental Meditation (TM), which is probably the most effective method against stress as it is time-tested, is the most extensively researched and most widely-practised and is the simplest and most natural procedure for meditation,' she said. 'In just a few minutes, this technique activates the parasympathetic nervous system and transforms the physiology to a settled and stress-free state.' (more)

First ever neuroimaging study of people in the midst of Transcendental Meditation - British Psychological Society review
21 April 2018 - It is possible to pay attention effortlessly, your mind 'pulled by the inherent nature of the object of experience'. In fact, with practice, doing so can 'lead you to experience inner silence, tranquility, peace and transcendence'. That's according to a research team led by Michelle Mahone at the California School of Professional Psychology, who have published in Brain and Cognition what they describe as the first neuroimaging study of people in the midst of Transcendental Meditation (TM). (more)

Scotland: Transcendental Meditation for caregivers - 'The dynamic in the family has changed'
14 April 2018 - Caring for elderly relatives can be exhausting. Leaving the Scottish Civil Service to take care of his mother left Owen feeling tired and stressed. 'As a carer, Transcendental Meditation seemed like a good fit. It would help deal with the stress of the caring combined with the isolation.' He had tried other forms of meditation which required a bit of effort. 'TM was surprisingly easy,' he said. 'I was able to do it right away and I felt the benefits almost immediately. . . . When I meditate I feel calm and restful but not sleepy. [Afterward] I feel very refreshed and more alert and focused.' During the day Owen feels more aware and understanding of his mother's needs, and that his increased calm has had a relaxing and reassuring effect on both of his parents: 'The dynamic in the family has changed.' (more)

UK Parliament marks International Yoga Day - Prof Tony Nader, MD, PhD honoured with special award
16 July 2017 - The third International Yoga Day was celebrated in the House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Indian Traditional Sciences, its Secretariat Amarjeet S Bhamra and the High Commission of India. The event on 10 July was designed to explore the value of introducing Yoga in the NHS (National Health Service). Chief Guest of the event, H.E. High Commissioner Y K Sinha paid tribute to the work of the APPG in introducing Yoga, Ayurveda and other disciplines into the mainstream of public life. Prof Tony Nader, MD, PhD, MARR, head of the worldwide Transcendental Meditation organization, was honoured with a special award, and presented five volumes of Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation Programme to Members of Parliament. In his keynote address Prof Nader explained that 'every one of us has within us, built into our very physiology, the essential quality of Yoga, which is unifying.' (more)

UK: Could Ayurveda be the cure for ailing National Health System?
1 July 2017 - As the UK's National Health Service (NHS) shoulders a growing financial burden, the ancient Indian tradition of Ayurveda is being promoted as a way to take the pressure off doctors while helping people keep good health. At the recent Second International Ayurveda Congress in London, Dr Rainer Picha, chairman of the International Maharishi Ayurveda Foundation in the Netherlands (one of three organizations that hosted the Congress), said: 'Modern medicine has become hugely expensive to support. Rather, we should be focused on the prevention of disease, which is much cheaper than curing diseases.' (more)

UK: SuperMind Peak Performance Programme - Transcendental Meditation for professionals
20 June 2017 - The SuperMind Peak Performance Programme, a division of the David Lynch Foundation UK, offers Transcendental Meditation to companies and organisations to help executives and employees overcome stress, promote health, and attain high levels of performance. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


UK: Prison guards, but not mother, get counseling after baby dies in cell
26 September 2021 - A vulnerable 18-year-old whose baby died after her calls for help were ignored as she gave birth alone in a prison cell was not provided with bereavement support -- but the prison guards who failed to get her medical assistance were offered counseling. (more)

Scientists convert used plastic bottles into vanilla flavouring
26 June 2021 - Plastic bottles have been converted into vanilla flavouring using genetically engineered bacteria, the first time a valuable chemical has been brewed from waste plastic. ... Researchers have already developed mutant enzymes to break down the polyethylene terephthalate polymer used for drinks bottles into its basic units, terephthalic acid (TA). Scientists have now used bugs to convert TA into vanillin. (more)

Legacy of toxic leaded petrol lingers in air in London, study finds
22 June 2021 - Toxic lead from petrol that was banned 20 years ago still lingers in the air in London, a study has shown, with researchers saying the legacy of leaded fuels is likely to hang over most cities. While levels are much lower than at their peak in the 1980s, they remain far above natural background levels. Lead is extremely poisonous and there is no safe amount of exposure. It is of particular concern for children, as it damages their developing brains and ability to learn. (more)

'Orchidelirium': How a modern-day flower madness is fueling the illegal trade
20 June 2021 - With traffickers taking species from the wild before they are even recorded, one of the UK's oldest constabularies is on guard at Kew Gardens. Orchids from all over the world are studied at Kew Gardens and many need special protection. Ivory and rhino horn dominate the popular perception of wildlife crime, but the colonial-era enthusiasm of wealthy Victorians for orchids, known as 'orchidelirium', has taken on a new form today, with social media the focus of a thriving illicit global market that threatens the survival of some species. 'Orchid influencers', complete with live streams and 'unboxing videos', are at the heart of the modern obsession. (more)

Delta variant causes more than 90 percent of new Covid cases in UK
11 June 2021 - The coronavirus Delta variant first discovered in India is thought to spread more easily and be more resistant to vaccines. Also known as B.1.617.2, the Delta variant has been linked to a rise in Covid cases in the UK in the past weeks ... Now, Public Health England (PHE) has said that more than 90% of new Covid cases in the UK involve the Delta variant. Indeed the most recent data suggests the figure could be as high as 96% of new cases in England. (more)

UK reports 6,238 daily Covid cases amid fears over Delta variant infectiousness
5 June 2021 - Prof Neil Ferguson says India variant may be 30-100 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant. The Delta variant of coronavirus is 30 percent to 100 percent more transmissible than the previously dominant variant, Prof Neil Ferguson has warned, as the number of daily reported Covid cases exceeded 6,000 for the first time since March. (more)

India Covid variant spreading across England, data shows
31 May 2021 - The coronavirus variant of concern first detected in India is continuing to spread across England, with cases emerging beyond 'hotspot' areas, data suggests. The variant, known as B.1.617.2, is thought to be driving a rise in Covid cases in parts of the UK and is believed to be both more transmissible than the variant first detected in Kent, which previously dominated, and somewhat more resistant to Covid vaccines, particularly after just one dose. At present up to three-quarters of new Covid cases in the UK are thought to be caused by the India variant. (more)

Drinking any amount of alcohol causes damage to the brain, study finds
20 May 2021 - There is no such thing as a 'safe' level of drinking, with increased consumption of alcohol associated with poorer brain health, according to a new study. In an observational study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, researchers from the University of Oxford studied the relationship between the self-reported alcohol intake of some 25,000 people in the UK, and their brain scans. The researchers noted that drinking had an effect on the brain's gray matter -- regions in the brain that make up 'important bits where information is processed,' according to lead author Anya Topiwala, a senior clinical researcher at Oxford. (more)

'Catastrophic': UK has lost 90% of seagrass meadows, study finds
4 March 2021 - The UK has lost more than 90% of the lush seagrass meadows that once surrounded the nation, research has found. Scientists described the decline as catastrophic, but the latest analysis also shows where the flowering plants could be restored. A resurgence of seagrass meadows would rapidly absorb the carbon dioxide that drives the climate crisis and provide habitats for hundreds of millions of fish, from seahorses to juvenile cod. (more)

Air pollution is linked to an increased risk of irreversible sight loss, study finds
26 January 2021 - Increases in air pollution are linked to an increased risk of irreversible sight loss, according to a new study. Researchers from University College London (UCL) found that even low exposure to air pollution across England, Scotland, and Wales appears to impact the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). (more)

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