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Positive Trends
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Eat, pray, farm: U.S. churches turn faith lands into food
19 September 2018 - Across the United States, more than 200 faith groups are members of an emerging Christian Food Movement, which promotes more sustainable food systems by growing their own crops, bringing idle land into use, and feeding the poor and hungry. (more)

The 52 Places Traveler: In Lucerne, kindness trumps the (stunning) views
18 September 2018 - Lucerne, Switzerland, is best known -- rightly so -- for its mountains, lake, and views. What sticks with me [New York Times travel writer Jada Yuan] most, though, is the pervasive sense of hospitality and human kindness I found there. (more)

He served 3.6 million free meals after Hurricane Maria. Now he's feeding people hit by Florence
17 September 2018 - When disaster strikes, the Red Cross and the National Guard are always there to help. And these days, so is Jose Andres. The renowned chef, equipped with a team of cooks and volunteers and a ton of food, is feeding people in the Carolinas who were hit by Hurricane Florence. Andres and his nonprofit World Central Kitchen team arrived in North Carolina a week ago -- days before the storm arrived . . . The team served more than 3.6 million meals in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of 2017's Hurricane Maria and stayed on the island through an entire year to make sure people weren't left hungry. (more)

Authorities show off extraordinary discovery of Roman coins
10 September 2018 - Italian authorities are unveiling the 'epochal' discovery of hundreds of Roman-era gold coins that were found during excavations to build a new apartment building in northern Italy. Construction crews digging in the historic center of Como discovered the small stone jar containing about 300 coins last week. Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli said the coins, believed to date from 474 B.C., were extraordinary but still not fully understood ... (more)

Italy: Hundreds of Roman gold coins found in basement of old theater
9 September 2018 - Archaeologists are studying a valuable trove of old Roman coins found on the site of a former theater in northern Italy. The coins, at least 300 of them, date back to the late Roman imperial era and were found in a soapstone jar unearthed in the basement of the Cressoni Theater in Como, north of Milan. Archaeologists also uncovered a golden bar inside the jar. The Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities did not place a value on the coins. But reports in the Italian media suggest they could be worth millions of dollars. (more)

Saudi Arabia's 'date city' hosts annual festival dedicated to delicacy
30 August 2018 - Amid rows of pick-up trucks loaded with crates and boxes, vendors cry out prices at Saudi Arabia's Buraidah Dates Festival, a huge seasonal market dedicated to the sweet golden-brown fruit. Farmers, traders, and consumers descend on the town, known locally as 'the city of dates', in the central Qassim region ... which organizers say is the largest of its kind in the world. (more)

Bagpipes take over Czech town
24 August 2018 - Bagpipers from 18 nations marched through the Czech town of Strakonice on Friday (24 August) in a colorful parade to kick off the International Bagpipe Festival. Running almost every other year since 1967, the four-day festival includes concerts, lectures and exhibits and organizers bill it as a meeting point for musicians, dancers, and singers from around Europe. (more)

India: Bihar Sampark Kranti Express adorning beautiful Madhubani paintings arrives in Delhi
24 August 2018 - Nine coaches of Bihar Sampark Kranti Express have been beautifully painted in ancient form of Madhubani art by Railways. It is an effort by the Railways to revive the ancient art form. It took 100 artists 10 days to decorate the train with the mesmerizing paintings. Madhubani art is one of the oldest and most famous arts practiced in Bihar and parts of Nepal. (more)

Beautiful, Indian Railways! Arriving today, Bihar Sampark Kranti Express with coaches painted with Mithila art
23 August 2018 - The Bihar Sampark Kranti Express train of Indian Railways is all set to arrive Delhi today (23 August) with 9 of its coaches painted with Mithila art. The famous Madhubani art form, which belongs to the Mithila region of Bihar, is popular for using unique geometric patterns to create colourful and attractive paintings. (more)

US: Archaeologists explore a rural field in Kansas, and a lost city emerges
19 August 2018 - Of all the places to discover a lost city, this pleasing little community [Arkansas City, Kansas] seems an unlikely candidate. There are no vine-covered temples or impenetrable jungles here -- just an old-fashioned downtown, a drug store that serves up root beer floats, and rambling houses along shady brick lanes. Locals have long scoured fields and river banks for arrowheads and bits of pottery, amassing huge collections. Then there were those murky tales of a sprawling city on the Great Plains and a chief who drank from a goblet of gold. (more)


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


Fatherly: Transcendental Meditation makes me a calmer, more present Dad
6 September 2018 - In Fatherly.com's weekly 'How I Stay Sane' column, fathers talk about the things that help them keep grounded in all the other areas of their lives. Zack, a club owner in Miami, says, 'I practise Transcendental Meditation. . . . It's so incredibly helpful. There are times where, especially with two kids, chaos exists - obviously - and it's very easy to get upset. So I use meditation as a tool to excuse myself for 15 minutes, gather myself, and make sure that I'm composed. . . . It helps me be the best version of myself that I can be - a better dad, person, friend, colleague - everything.' (more)

Tom Hanks on how TM helps him overcome 'the afternoon slump'
22 August 2018 - The Afternoon Crash. The 3 O'clock Slump. The Post-Lunch Syndrome. Whatever you call it, we've all experienced that point in the afternoon where energy seems to evaporate and productivity plummets. International film star Tom Hanks says that learning the Transcendental Meditation technique helped him regain and maintain his energy, focus, and productivity at that time of the day: 'I crumbled between 3 o'clock in the afternoon and 7. I mean I was no good for anything. I couldn't read; I couldn't talk on the phone; I couldn't do any work. It was really an unproductive four hours. And now, with meditation, it is the most productive hours of my day.' (Includes video) (more)

Wide awake: Katy Perry on Transcendental Meditation
7 August 2018 - Ever-evolving music icon Katy Perry shares her enthusiasm for the benefits of her Transcendental Meditation practice, while delivering a message of empowerment and hope for young people. In a conversation with her TM teacher Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, she says, 'I noticed when I meditate that my whole brain kind of opens up . . . and it's like I'm clearing out the cobwebs of my neural pathways and finding new neural pathways to ignite. It's some of the most incredible stillness. And I would also say it brings some of the best, most creative ideas to the surface for me, especially when I come out of it. . . . Recharging, having the mental strength, the physical strength and immune strength, to be able to take on this big, technical, technological world.' (more)

Transcendental Meditation is improving life for Zuni youth
9 July 2018 - The Zuni are one of many Southwest American Indian tribes. Most Zuni people live in an area called the Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico. The Zuni have largely remained self-contained, avoiding outside influences, and have greatly preserved their way of life. However, the tribe suffers from some of the same problems plaguing much of Indian Country, such as unemployment, poverty, alcoholism, crime, and insufficient education. In the last two years a number of Zuni youth have begun learning the Transcendental Meditation technique. Commenting on the positive influence of her TM practice, one young woman said, 'I feel more relaxed and confident of who I am.' Another said, 'I feel happier, less grudge in my soul, excited to create positive energy at home.' (more)

Uganda: An Iowa woman's Transcendental Meditation road leads to Africa
19 June 2018 - 'I've always gravitated toward projects that had to do with women,' says Leslee Goldstein. For her Ph.D. in Vedic Science at Maharishi University of Management, 'I decided to do a research study on Transcendental Meditation with women, and then I narrowed it to mothers.' Goldstein put the word out that she wanted to do her research in Africa, and within 48 hours had a project with 81 single, illiterate mothers living in poverty in Uganda. 'A mother is the first teacher. . . . a mother's job is a challenging job: You have to be a doctor, counselor, cook - you have to be everything, her job is 24/7. I started to see how important it is for mothers to have a way to stay balanced and to help them do their jobs, because it's critical for the world.' (more)

Canada: Premeditated move - Rabbi relocating to Iowa to deepen knowledge of Transcendental Meditation
15 June 2018 - Inspired by meditation to seek ordination, Rabbi Alan Green plans to use his Jewish perspectives in the meditation capital of North America. After 18 years as the senior rabbi of Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Green and his wife Chaya, a meditation teacher, will move this summer to Fairfield, Iowa, USA, home to thousands of practitioners of Transcendental Meditation. 'Basically it will be a context where I can fulfil my dream of Jewish observance and study with the practice of Transcendental Meditation,' says the Los Angeles native, who came to Winnipeg in 1992 and has served at Shaarey Zedek since 2000. (more)

Maharishi University of Management student film wins six top awards
11 June 2018 - 'Last Tree Standing', the thesis film by a graduate of Maharishi University of Management, recently won six Awards of Excellence at the Iowa Motion Picture Association's annual awards ceremony - more than any other entry. The 30-minute film, by Agnes (Baginska) Peel-McGregor, who graduated from MUM's David Lynch Graduate School of Cinematic Arts in 2016, won the top award in the categories of director (short-form), editing (short-form), original score, screenplay, soundtrack audio mix, and visual effects. It has also won recognition at international film festivals. (more)

'As soon as I finish meditating, I get a beautiful feeling of expanded consciousness' - musician Jon Hopkins
3 June 2018 - English electronica [music] wizard Jon Hopkins explains that his 'hypnotic' fifth album, Singularity, was inspired by reconnecting with nature through meditation. Hopkins practises Transcendental Meditation twice daily. 'As soon as I finish meditating, I get a beautiful feeling of expanded consciousness,' he says. 'When I'm in this headspace I can make so much progress in my writing,' the Irish Times reports. 'It is funny how we talk about nature as this separate entity when we are nature, and nature is us. . . . we've completely forgotten this somewhere along the way. . . . In the last few years, I was forced into reconnecting my body and mind with nature. It was an extremely healthy process. . . . I realised nothing separates us from anything else in the entire natural system.' (more)

'Transcendental Meditation is the real thing' - David Lynch at New York City's first 'Festival of Disruption'
26 May 2018 - The Transcendental Meditation technique featured prominently amongst film screenings, music, and panel discussions throughout the third annual David-Lynch curated 'Festival of Disruption' last weekend - the first to be held in New York City. At the opening of this year's Festival at Brooklyn Steel, filmmaker David Lynch said, 'Remember this: Transcendental Meditation is the real thing. It will bring a good life. If you don't have it already, get it.' (more)

David Lynch curates a weekend festival including films, music, and Transcendental Meditation - Vanity Fair reports
21 May 2018 - The third-annual, two-day Festival of Disruption was held for the first time in New York on 19-20 May at Brooklyn Steel, featuring panels, film screenings, musical guests, and lectures on Transcendental Meditation. As in years past, proceeds went directly to the David Lynch Foundation, which teaches Transcendental Meditation to inner-city youths, veterans, and survivors of domestic abuse. Bob Roth, CEO of the foundation, explained in his opening remarks, 'Look what's going on in the world today. Constant upheaval. Constant disruptions. . . . Inside, we do things to access our own reservoir of creativity and resilience.' As Roth and David Lynch, his longtime friend and fellow practitioner, see it, TM holds the power to 'disrupt narrowness of thinking, prejudice, and bias'. (more)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


In world's 'happiest' countries, signs of a happiness gap
26 August 2018 - The Nordic countries regularly appear at the top of an annual list of the world's happiest nations, but their reputation as 'happiness superpowers' masks the difficulties of a significant part of the population, a new analysis shows. The trends highlighted in the report appear to be backed up by various national studies conducted in the region. (more)

American Indians fear U.S.-Mexico border wall will destroy ancient culture
12 June 2018 - To the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Indians, the water of the Rio Grande that divides the United States and Mexico sanctifies religious rites and purifies their hunts. Indian communities living miles away use the river to send messages to fellow tribes downstream, tribal chief Jose Sierra told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. ... But now tribal leaders fear a proposed border wall ... will sever access to the river, spoiling traditions and ruining ancient culture. (more)

AP analysis: American Americans largely left out among high-paying jobs
31 March 2018 - Jonathan Garland's fascination with architecture started early: He spent much of his childhood designing Lego houses and gazing at Boston buildings on rides with his father away from their largely minority neighborhood. But when Garland looked around at his architectural college, he didn't see many who looked like him -- there were few black faces in classroom seats, and fewer teaching skills or giving lectures. ... An Associated Press analysis of government data has found that black workers are chronically underrepresented compared with whites in high-salary jobs in technology, business, life sciences, and architecture and engineering, among other areas. Instead, many black workers find jobs in low-wage, less-prestigious fields where they're overrepresented, such as food service or preparation, building maintenance and office work, the AP analysis found. (more)

AP-NORC Poll: 50 years after MLK, civil rights goals unmet
30 March 2018 - Fifty years after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., only 1 in 10 African Americans think the United States has achieved all or most of the goals of the civil rights movement he led, according to a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Three-quarters of African Americans said there has been little or no progress on fair treatment by police, and more than half answered the same about fair coverage by the media, political representation, or equal economic opportunities. (more)

For Chinese millennials, despondency has a brand name
4 September 2017 - Chinese millennials with a dim view of their career and marriage prospects can wallow in despair with a range of teas such as 'achieved-absolutely-nothing black tea', and 'my-ex's-life-is-better-than-mine fruit tea'. While the drink names at the Sung chain of tea stalls are tongue-in-cheek, the sentiment they reflect is serious: a significant number of young Chinese with high expectations have become discouraged and embrace an attitude known on social media as 'sang', after a Chinese character associated with the word 'funeral' that describes being dispirited. It's a reaction to cut-throat competition for good jobs in an economy that isn't as robust as it was a few years ago and when home-ownership -- long seen as a near-requirement for marriage in China -- is increasingly unattainable in major cities as apartment prices have soared. While 'sang' can be a pose or affectation, despondency among a segment of educated young people is a genuine concern for President Xi Jinping and his government, which prizes stability. ... The average starting salary for college graduates dropped by 16 percent this year to 4,014 yuan ($608) per month amid intensifying competition for jobs as a record 8 million graduate from Chinese universities -- nearly ten times the number in 1997. (more)

Key radical Islamist groups in Bangladesh
3 July 2016 - The hostage crisis at a restaurant in Bangladesh's capital that left 28 dead, including 20 hostages and six militants, has focused attention on the radical Islamist attacks occurring in the moderate, mostly Muslim country in the past few years. Most have been claimed by the Islamic State group or by al-Qaida's local branch, but the government vehemently denies these transnational jihadi groups have any presence in the country. Instead, the government blames domestic militants and its political opponents of trying to destabilize the country. Authorities have cracked down on extremist groups by banning them from operating and arresting many of their members. The opposition parties deny the allegation that they're involved. A look at some of the main Islamic political parties and radical groups in the country: (more)

Hostage crisis leaves 28 dead in Bangladesh diplomatic zone
2 July 2016 - The dramatic, 10-hour hostage crisis that gripped Bangladesh's diplomatic zone ended Saturday morning with at least 28 dead, including six of the attackers, as commandos raided the popular restaurant where heavily armed attackers were holding dozens of foreigners and Bangladeshis prisoner while hurling bombs and engaging in a gunbattle with security forces. The victims included 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, and two Bangladeshi police officers. The attack marks an escalation in militant violence that has hit the traditionally moderate Muslim-majority nation with increasing frequency in recent months, with the extremists demanding the secular government set up Islamic rule. (more)

U.S. families struggling with teens' phone addiction: report
3 May 2016 - Half of teenagers in the United States feel addicted to their mobile phones, with most checking the devices at least every hour and feeling pressured to respond immediately to messages, a survey released on Tuesday found. The majority of parents concurred. The findings from the nonprofit group Common Sense Media, which focuses on the effects of media and technology on children, highlighted the tension such close ties to devices can cause, with it disrupting driving, homework, and other time together. 'It is causing daily conflict in homes,' Common Sense Media's founder and CEO James Steyer said in a statement. (more)

Retaking Syria's Palmyra reveals more shattered antiquities
28 March 2016 - The recapture of Syria's ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State group has brought new revelations of the destruction wreaked by the extremists, who decapitated priceless statues and smashed or looted artifacts in the city's museum. Experts say they need time to assess the full extent of damage in Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site which once attracted tens of thousands of tourists every year. The Sunni extremist group, which has imposed a violent interpretation of Islamic law across the territory it controls in Syria and Iraq, claims ancient relics promote idolatry. But it is also believed to have profited from looted antiquities. (more)

'Here we go again' -- Americans' lament after Oregon shooting
2 October 2015 - The news from Oregon was grim enough in isolation -- nine people shot dead at a community college. For many Americans it was all the sadder as a reminder of how frequent, how depressingly routine, mass shootings have become -- in malls, at churches, and so often at schools and colleges. (more)

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