His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi



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Indonesia takes new step to combat loss of forests, fires
6 December 2016 - Indonesia has strengthened its moratorium on converting peat swamps to plantations in a move a conservation research group says will help prevent annual fires and substantially cut the country's carbon emissions if properly implemented. Draining of peat swamps by palm oil and pulp wood companies is a big contributor to destruction of tropical forests in Indonesia and the country's greenhouse gas emissions. Indonesia's move was welcomed by Norway . . . (more)

Kenya earns 20 pct more from horticulture exports in first 9 months
6 December 2016 - Kenya's earnings from horticulture exports rose 20 percent to 77.81 billion shillings ($766 million) in the first nine months of this year from a year earlier, the country's statistics office said on Monday, 7 November. The data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics showed flower exports contributed 53.88 billion shillings, or 69 percent of the earnings, with the rest coming from the export of fruits and vegetables. (more)

The Dakota Access Pipeline isn't just about the environment. It's about religion.
6 December 2016 - Activists fighting to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota welcomed new developments after the Army [United States Army Corps of Engineers] said Sunday that it will not approve an easement. Protesters saw the announcement as a key victory for Native American tribes and others who have flocked in recent months to protest the oil pipeline, which tribal leaders say threatens lands and artifacts they consider to be sacred. (more)

Lentils, chickpeas can help reverse dangerous trend of soil erosion: U.N.
5 December 2016 - Planting more lentils, chickpeas and other pulses will improve the health of the world's soils that have reached critical levels, threatening to worsen hunger and poverty levels, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Monday, 5 December. Pulses transfer nitrogen from the atmosphere to the soil and can be grown practically anywhere. Cereals grown after pulses yield 1.5 tonnes more per hectare, equivalent to adding 100 kilos of nitrogen fertilizer, the FAO report said (more)

Indonesia October foreign tourist arrivals up 15.6 pct y/y
5 December 2016 - Indonesia attracted 913,589 foreign tourists in October, up 15.62 percent from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said on Thursday, 1 December. (more)

US services firms grow at fastest pace since October 2015
5 December 2016 - U.S. services companies expanded last month at their fastest pace in more than a year, an encouraging sign for the economy. The services industry has now grown for 82 straight months. The continued gain in the Institute for Supply Management's index points to possible economic gains ahead because services companies represent a significant chunk of the U.S. economy, accounting for over 70 percent of nonfarm U.S. jobs. (more)

US: Army will not grant easement for Dakota Access Pipeline crossing
5 December 2016 - The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the Army's Assistant Secretary for Civil Works announced today [4 December]. Jo-Ellen Darcy said she based her decision on a need to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing. 'Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it's clear that there's more work to do,' Darcy said. 'The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.' (more)

US: Wall Street rises, buoyed by economic data; Dow sets high
5 December 2016 - Wall Street rose on Monday, with the Dow Jones industrials setting fresh record highs, as services sector data gave further evidence of strength in the domestic economy. U.S. services sector activity hit a one-year high in November, with a surge in production boosting hiring, following on the heels of Friday's employment report that showed strong job gains last month. (more)

Solid growth in German manufacturing points to fourth-quarter rebound
4 December 2016 - German manufacturing growth slowed slightly in November, but solid demand from domestic and foreign customers kept it robust overall, a survey showed on Thursday, suggesting that factories will contribute to a rebound in the fourth quarter. For 2016 as a whole, the government expects domestic demand to propel growth of 1.8 percent, the highest in five years. (more)

Toyota chief shifts gear, to boost electric vehicle division
4 December 2016 - Toyota Motor Corp on Wednesday appointed its president to lead their newly formed electric car division, flagging its commitment to develop a technology that the automaker has been slow to embrace. The change comes as the United States, China, and European countries are encouraging automakers to make more all-electric battery cars as they push alternative energy strategies. (more)

St. Nicholas, bringer of sweets, reaches Brussels
3 December 2016 - Children gathered with parents in Brussels's medieval main square on Saturday to await the arrival of St. Nicholas, a pre-Christmas tradition in Belgium, the Netherlands, and other parts of northern Europe held in honor of the legendary gift-giver. Every year in early December parades are held in towns across Belgium and the Netherlands, at which thousands of children cheer St. Nicholas. His arrival in the capital cities of the two countries is especially picturesque. (more)

US: After new regulations, Oklahoma's shakes calm down a bit
30 November 2016 - The rate of earthquakes in Oklahoma has dropped dramatically since late May, when the state limited wastewater injections into energy wells, an Associated Press statistical analysis shows. And a new scientific study says the state is on its way back to calmer times that prevailed before a huge jump in man-made quakes. (more)

Record charitable donations reported for Giving Tuesday
30 November 2016 - Giving Tuesday, a 5-year-old phenomenon aimed at encouraging online charitable giving, produced record-shattering donations this week, according to two organizations which tracked the flow of gifts. The 92nd Street Y in New York City, credited for launching the event in 2012, said Wednesday that contributions reported by organizations in the U.S. and abroad for a 24-hour period total $168 million -- up from about $117 million in 2015. It said there were roughly 1.6 million donations, coming from people in nearly 100 countries. (more)

Survey: US businesses add 216,000 jobs, most in 5 months
30 November 2016 - U.S. companies added a solid 216,000 jobs in November, the most since June and evidence that the incoming Trump administration is inheriting a solid economy. Payroll provider ADP said Wednesday that nearly all the gains occurred in service sectors such as retail, hotels, and restaurants, as well as higher-paying professional services. Construction firms added 2,000 jobs... The figures add to other recent signs that the economy is expanding at a decent pace. And there are signs wages are picking up after years of sluggish growth. (more)

U.S. private employers boost hiring; consumer spending rises
30 November 2016 - U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in November and consumer spending increased last month, the latest signs of economic strength . . . The data on Wednesday also showed income rising solidly and savings climbing to a seven-month high in October, positioning households to boost spending in the future. (more)

US consumer spending, incomes rose in October
30 November 2016 - U.S. consumers boosted their spending again in October, while their incomes increased at the fastest clip in six months. Spending is closely watched since it accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity. The overall economy grew at a solid 3.2 percent rate in the July-September quarter. (more)

Automakers fund European electric car charging sites to boost demand
29 November 2016 - Four of the world's top carmakers have agreed to invest in thousands of fast-charging sites across Europe to boost mainstream acceptance of electric cars, the companies said on Tuesday, 29 November. A goal is to make charging an electric vehicle as convenient as refueling at conventional gas stations, the automakers said in a statement issued on Tuesday. Executives across the industry predict electric cars will become increasingly popular due to advances that make batteries cheaper and more powerful. (more)

US consumer confidence jumps to highest level in 9 years
29 November 2016 - US consumer confidence rebounded this month to the highest level in more than nine years as Americans appeared unfazed by a tumultuous election campaign. Americans' assessment of current economic conditions was also the sunniest since July 2007. Their expectations for the next six months were the most optimistic since June 2015. The survey was mostly taken before the Nov. 8 election. Economists monitor the mood of consumers because their spending drives growth, accounting for almost 70 percent of U.S. economic output. The U.S. economy looks healthy. (more)

Designers breathe new life into China's dying folk crafts
29 November 2016 - At her workshop in a remote valley in one of China's poorest provinces, Pan Xiu-ying uses traditional techniques passed down for generations to create an indigo-dye batik scarf embellished with patterns inspired by her ethnic Shui minority. But her handicrafts aren't for family members. They're destined for affluent buyers thousands of miles away. (more)

Top automakers fund charging sites to boost electric-car demand across Europe
29 November 2016 - Top carmakers in Germany have agreed to jointly invest in thousands of ultra-fast charging sites across Europe to boost mainstream acceptance of electric cars, the companies said. The manufacturers want to create about 400 charging sites in a first step and, by 2020, ensure that customers have access to thousands of charging points, they said, citing a memorandum of understanding. (more)

US economy grew at 3.2 percent in third quarter, fastest pace in 2 years
29 November 2016 - The U.S. economy in the third quarter grew at the fastest pace in two years, with a revised report showing stronger consumer spending than first estimated. The gross domestic product, the country's total output of goods and services, expanded at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the July-September period, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday, 29 November. (more)

Solar irrigation cuts drought risk, emissions for Kenya's farmers
28 November 2016 - In the scorching sun, Alphonce Abok keeps an eye on his fields of watermelons growing near the banks of the Sound River, one of the major channels feeding into Lake Victoria. Not so long ago, he said, his efforts failed as he couldn't get enough water to the crop. In July, however, he purchased a solar-powered irrigation pump that he now hopes will give him a much more reliable harvest. ... (more)

Canada sets in motion microbeads prohibition
28 November 2016 - Canada this month took steps toward joining the United States in banning the sale of personal-hygiene products that contain tiny plastics known as microbeads in an effort to keep them away from fish and wildlife and address plastic pollution in general. (more)

First flight in half century leaves Miami bound for Havana
28 November 2016 - Just three days after the death of Fidel Castro, the first regularly scheduled flight to Cuba's capital in more than a half-century has left from Miami. Several airlines began routes to other Cuban cities earlier this year; Monday morning's flight was the first of the new Havana-bound service and the first of four daily flights American Airlines plans out of Miami International. ... The flights were made possible under newly restored ties between Cuba and U.S. President Barack Obama's administration. (more)

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