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Canada to phase out crop chemicals linked to bee deaths
15 August 2018 - The Canadian government said on Wednesday (15 August) it would move to restrict use of two types of crop chemicals that have been linked to deaths of aquatic insects and bees, in a victory for environmentalists and the latest setback for companies that sell the pesticides. Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) said it would phase out, over three to five years, the outdoor use of thiamethoxam, made by Syngenta AG, and clothianidin, produced by Bayer AG. (more)

U.S. appeals court orders EPA to ban pesticide said to harm
9 August 2018 - A divided federal appeals court on Thursday (9 August) ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ban a widely-used pesticide that critics say can endanger children and farmers. Writing for the Seattle-based appeals court, Judge Jed Rakoff directed the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos within 60 days, saying the agency failed to counteract 'scientific evidence that its residue on food causes neurodevelopmental damage to children.' (more)

New Zealand: Government pumps another $3.9 million into electric vehicle projects
7 August 2018 - The government [of New Zealand] is pumping another $3.9 million of co-funding into 19 projects that range from improving the range of electric camper vans to building a series of charging stations as part of its goal to get 64,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2021. (more)

This is the world's first fully solar powered airport. (It serves as many people as Dulles Airport)
1 August 2018 - The United Nations Environment is bestowing its highest annual honor on an airport in India for being the first airport in the world to function entirely on solar energy. UN Environment named Cochin International Airport as the 2018 recipient of its Champion of the Earth Prize. Cochin is not some small regional airport. ... For comparison's sake, this is roughly the passenger volume of Midway Airport in Chicago or Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. And it runs entirely on solar power. (more)

US: New York state expands popular grassland bird area
31 July 2018 - New York is buying 180 acres to expand a wildlife area that's a popular destination for birders looking for snowy owls and other rare birds of prey. The Department of Environmental Conservation is adding the land to the existing 286-acre Washington County Grasslands Wildlife Management Area in Fort Edward. The state-owned area is within a 2,000-acre grassland recognized by the National Audubon Society as critical bird habitat. (more)

Gene editing is GM, says European Court
25 July 2018 - The European Court of Justice has ruled that altering living things using the relatively new technique of genome editing counts as genetic engineering. It would mean any novel food developed with the help of gene editing would need to be labelled as GM. In the opinion of ECJ Advocate General Michal Bobek, 'mutagenesis' covers any alteration to a genome -- effectively the instruction booklet for life. (more)

Remote Greek isle switches off power cuts, lights up green energy
25 July 2018 - Residents of Tilos hope a new system to produce electricity from renewables will lower costs and put an end to frequent power outages. An effort is underway to turn the remote Dodecanese island, 78 km (48 miles) from Rhodes, from an importer of dirty diesel power into a largely self-sufficient energy hub capable of exporting clean electricity to neighbouring small islands. Using a grant of 11 million euros ($12.9 million) from the European Commission, as part of the EU's Horizon 2020 research and innovation push, the plan is to transform Tilos into one of the Mediterranean's first green energy islands. (more)

Turkey, Netherlands agree to normalize ties
20 July 2018 - Turkey and the Netherlands have agreed to normalize ties, Turkey's foreign ministry said on Friday (20 July), restoring relations that have been strained since a 2017 diplomatic row. (more)

Turkey, Netherlands to reappoint ambassadors in couple of months: Cavusoglu
20 July 2018 - Turkey and the Netherlands will reappoint ambassadors in the next couple of months, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday (20 July), after the NATO allies agreed to normalize ties following more than a year of diplomatic tensions. (more)

U.N. pact offers hope to world's climate migrants
19 July 2018 - Be it by flood, drought, or hurricane, communities at risk of climate displacement have won vital protection after their plight was for the first time recognized in a global pact on migration, campaigners say. The United Nations agreed last Friday to draw up the migration compact to cope with the millions of migrants moving from country to country. Now campaigners want nations to follow up the new recognition with concrete action. (more)


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


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)

Maharishi University of Management graduation speaker: Former government official Scott Gould to encourage public service
23 June 2018 - Scott Gould, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Administration and current CEO of Mountain Lake associates, LLC, will encourage Maharishi University of Management graduates to volunteer for public service at today's 2018 commencement ceremonies in Fairfield, Iowa. 'I'm eager to encourage graduates to consider a career that serves people, whether serving in the military, working in federal, state, or local government, or working with a nonprofit,' said Dr. Gould, a Cornell graduate who holds an MBA and an EdD from the University of Rochester. Dr. Gould is a prime example of service. In addition to being a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique, he is a 26-year veteran of the Navy Reserves and has held top positions in the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. (more)

New study: Transcendental Meditation helps women reduce trauma in prison, gain 'self-care for life'
24 August 2017 - Research finds that women are the fastest growing population in U.S. prisons, nearly double the rate of men, and enter prison with high rates of abuse and proportionally more trauma. Fortunately, a 2017 randomized controlled study published in The Permanente Journal found that the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique significantly reduced trauma symptoms in female inmates at an Oregon prison. 'Meditating twice a day has helped lessen my stress levels, allowed me to connect to and centre myself at deeper levels, and to retreat, reflect, and problem-solve,' said one inmate. Another said, 'I no longer feel imprisoned. I now feel my freedom from the inside of me.' The TM technique has critical advantages as a mind-body intervention for underrepresented populations, according to Charles Elder, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., author of a companion editorial in The Permanente Journal. (more)

Post-Traumatic Growth: 'Transcendental Meditation has given me the opportunity to live a life that is truly full of purpose, meaning, connection, and service'
1 August 2017 - Suffering from post-traumatic stress (PTS), and finding no relief through treatments provided by the U.S. Veterans Administration, Marine Corps veteran Paul Downs went to Boulder Crest Retreat Facility for veterans in Virginia, which partners with the David Lynch Foundation to offer Transcendental Meditation as part of its programme. One of only five witnesses testifying before the recent U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs' hearing on PTS, Downs said that after just a few weeks of practising TM, he felt less anxious, less angry, more focused, more energized, more directed. 'I gained a connection to self that I didn't have before. I found peace with my past. I realized who I am - and there's no pill for that. . . . It is hard to believe that 20 minutes, twice a day, is exactly what we require. But it is. It works for me, and for thousands of my brothers and sisters. It has given me the opportunity not just to survive on earth, but thrive here - and to live a life that is truly full of purpose, meaning, connection, and service.' (more)

US: Veterans are using Transcendental Meditation to treat PTSD
22 July 2017 - Thousands of veterans have turned to Transcendental Meditation to treat their PTSD [post traumatic stress disorder]. The David Lynch Foundation has worked with US Veterans Administration centres, Army and Marine bases, and veterans' organizations to bring TM to vets and active-duty soldiers, Mother Jones reports. Research has found TM to be effective in reducing PTSD. One veteran, a former Army nurse in Iraq who has been practising TM for four years, says painful memories are still there, but increasingly they seem like a thing of the past. 'Very recently,' she says, 'I've started to feel happiness, which I hadn't felt in years.' (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)

U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan gives Maharishi University of Management commencement address: 'We are living in a moment that calls out for you'
4 July 2017 - U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan from Ohio's 13th District delivered the commencement address at Maharishi University of Management, USA, on 24 June. Congressman Ryan has taken a national leadership role in improving access to healthcare, promoting ways to make college more affordable, and expanding renewable energy. He challenged the graduates to find innovative solutions to the seemingly intractable problems facing the world: 'Graduates, we are living in a moment that calls out for you, because you are those rare positive disruptors - creative, open, smart, self-driven, resilient, fearless. You are the modern-day explorers. Your meditation practice will assist you in navigating the turbulent waters of modern society. Your Consciousness-Based Education has prepared you to take your place among those leaders who are redefining the rules and changing the way we all see things. Our nation and the world desperately need you now.' (more)

Maharishi School grad posted at US Embassy in Liberia
15 May 2017 - Colette 'Coco' Clark, a 2011 graduate of Maharishi School in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, has recently been hired by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service Officer. Her first posting will be at the U.S. embassy in Liberia, beginning in June. Ms. Clark received a Bachelor of Science in foreign service, summa cum laude, from Georgetown University in 2015 and a Master of Arts in security studies the following year, also from Georgetown. She is proficient in Arabic and has worked for the past two years at the U.S. Department of Justice on legal negotiations between the U.S. government and Middle Eastern countries. (more)

'Results inside correctional facilities with Transcendental Meditation have been simply astounding'
1 February 2017 - In an editorial published this week accompanying two studies on Transcendental Meditation with male and female prison inmates, Dr. Charles Elder, a clinician and researcher with Kaiser Permanente, called for wider use of evidence-based mind-body interventions for prisoners. 'Mind-body interventions can provide the patient with a simple self-help tool that can effectively reduce anxiety, help treat substance abuse, reduce inmate recidivism, and help address a range of medical conditions,' Dr Elder wrote, citing research on Transcendental Meditation that supports these benefits. Rebecca Pak of The Women's Prison Association agrees: 'The results inside correctional facilities . . . with Transcendental Meditation have been simply astounding. If we shifted our focus from punitive responses to interventions designed to improve mental and physical health, we would have much greater impact.' The article reviews research results on Transcendental Meditation in prisons over the last four decades. (more)

Can Blacks and Police Find Inner Peace? Afro.com reports
22 November 2016 - 'If war refugees with PTSD can find rapid relief from stress through Transcendental Meditation practice, how much easier will it be for both police and inner city African-Americans to find inner peace?', write the authors of an article in Afro.com. TM is described as an evidence-based strategy to address the underlying buildup of stress in communities 'that inevitably erupts into violence'. According to recent research, more than 50% of people with PTSD who learn TM are symptom-free in 30-105 days. Police practising TM have found increased stability in stressful situations, better health, and greater resiliency to stress. It is a 'well-documented protocol for reducing stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) . . . . that will prevent and help neutralize this buildup of stress, anger, and violence in individuals and in society as a whole.' (more)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


US: Toxics from manufacturing turn up in public water systems
13 August 2018 - Lauren Woeher wonders if her 16-month-old daughter has been harmed by tap water contaminated with toxic industrial compounds used in products like nonstick cookware, carpets, and fast-food wrappers. Henry Betz, at 76, rattles around his house alone at night, thinking about the water his family unknowingly drank for years that was tainted by the same contaminants, and the pancreatic cancers that killed wife Betty Jean and two others in his household. In Horsham, and surrounding towns in eastern Pennsylvania, and at other sites around the United States, the foams once used routinely in firefighting training at military bases contained per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. PFAS have been in production since the 1940s, and there are about 3,500 different types. EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] testing from 2013 to 2015 found significant amounts of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in public water supplies in 33 U.S. states. (more)

Hacking the US mid-terms? It's child's play
11 August 2018 - Bianca Lewis, 11, has many hobbies. She likes Barbie, video games, fencing, singing... and hacking the infrastructure behind the world's most powerful democracy. She's taking part in a competition organized by R00tz Asylum, a non-profit organization that promotes 'hacking for good'. Its aim is to send out a dire warning: the voting systems that will be used across America for the mid-term vote in November are, in many cases, so insecure a young child can learn to hack them with just a few minute's coaching. The first competitor to break in was 11-year-old Audrey Jones. It took her 10 minutes. (more)

Hackers already attacking midterm elections, raising U.S. alarms
8 August 2018 - The U.S. midterm elections are at increasing risk of interference by foreign adversaries led by Russia, and cybersecurity experts warn the Trump administration isn't adequately defending against the meddling. At stake is control of the U.S. Congress. The risks range from social media campaigns intended to fool American voters to sophisticated computer hacking that could change the tabulation of votes. (more)

Water crisis salts the earth in Iraq's long-neglected south
2 August 2018 - Qassim Sabaan Ali has spent the past 15 years tending to orchards in southern Iraq, only to see them wither or die as saltwater has seeped into the once-lush soil. The southern city of Basra was once known as the 'Venice of the East' because of its freshwater canals, and Iraq itself is still known as the 'Land Between the Two Rivers' -- the Tigris and the Euphrates -- which have nourished civilizations since antiquity. (more)

China's ozone levels hit record high in June: Greenpeace
18 July 2018 - Despite China's four-year battle against air pollution, ozone has become 'an emerging health threat', Greenpeace said. Average levels in the capital Beijing stood at 120 micrograms per cubic meter in June, around double the rates in ozone hotspots like California and Mexico City. Ground-level ozone, known as 'sunburn for the lungs', is caused by the interaction of sunlight with nitrogen dioxide and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). (more)

In town with little water, Coca-Cola is everywhere. So is diabetes.
14 July 2018 - San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico: Maria del Carmen Abadia lives in one of Mexico's rainiest regions, but she has running water only once every two days. When it does trickle from her tap, the water is so heavily chlorinated, she said, it's undrinkable. Potable water is increasingly scarce in San Cristobal de las Casas, a picturesque mountain town in the southeastern state of Chiapas where some neighborhoods have running water just a few times a week, and many households are forced to buy extra water from tanker trucks. .... Climate change, scientists say, has also played a role in the failure of artesian wells that sustained San Cristobal for generations. 'It doesn't rain like it used to,' said Jesus Carmona, a biochemist at the local Ecosur scientific research center, which is affiliated with the Mexican government. 'Almost every day, day and night, it used to rain.' (more)

Japan hit by worst weather disaster in decades: Why did so many die?
11 July 2018 - Torrential rains unleashed floods and set off landslides in western Japan last week, killing at least 176 people, forcing millions to evacuate and leaving dozens missing in the country's worst weather disaster in 36 years. [Reuters give] some reasons for the high death toll. (more)

Most people think world is more dangerous than two years ago - survey
11 July 2018 - Concerns have risen over politically motivated violence and weapons of mass destruction. Most people think the world is more dangerous today than it was two years ago as concerns rise over politically motivated violence and weapons of mass destruction, according to a survey released on Tuesday (10 July). (more)

Factbox: Which are the world's 10 most dangerous countries for women?
26 June 2018 - India was named as the world's most dangerous country for women in a survey of global experts released on Tuesday (26 June). The Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of about 550 experts on women's issues ranked war-torn Afghanistan and Syria in second and third place, with Somalia, and Saudi Arabia next. The survey was a repeat of a similar poll in 2011 which ranked the most dangerous countries for women as Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India, and Somalia. (more)

India the most dangerous country to be a woman, US ranks 10th in survey
26 June 2018 - India is the most dangerous country in the world to be a woman . . . a new survey of experts shows. The Thomson Reuters Foundation released its results Tuesday (26 June) of a survey of 550 experts on women's issues . . . Nine of the 10 countries on the list were from Asia, the Middle East, or Africa. At number 10 was the United States, the only Western country to be included. In April, thousands of protesters took to the streets to demand better protection for women ... (more)

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