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Positive Trends
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US: California recommends restrictions for popular pesticide
18 November 2018 - California regulators recommended new restrictions Thursday (15 November) on a widely used pesticide blamed for harming the brains of babies. The Department of Pesticide Regulation issued temporary guidelines for chlorpyrifos that include banning it from crop dusting, discontinuing its use on most crops, and increasing perimeters around where it's applied. (more)

France: Greater Paris to ban old diesel cars from summer 2019
12 November 2018 - The Greater Paris region will become a low-emission zone from next summer, which will limit the circulation of old diesel cars, the regional authority decided on Monday (12 November). The council plans to gradually tighten regulations in order to allow only electric or hydrogen-fueled cars on Greater Paris roads by 2030. In central Paris, pre-2000 diesels have been banned since July 2017. (more)

Germany: Stuttgart to ban older diesel engined cars after court ruling
12 November 2018 - Stuttgart will enforce a ban on older diesel vehicles by 2019 following a local German court ruling on Monday (12 November), the latest German city to fall into line with moves to cut pollution. Diesel bans have now been allowed in Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Berlin. (more)

Pennsylvania ranks 2nd in US in organic production
12 November 2018 - 'Pennsylvania has grown phenomenally in organic sales, doubling from 2015 to 2016 alone, and we are now second in the nation in organic production,' Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. 'We are not a leader by accident, but because of public and private investment in taking a strategic approach to industry growth. These funds support that forward-thinking innovation by those seeking to grow and sustain their businesses, respond to consumer trends, and diversify their operations.' (more)

France: Paris region to launch world's biggest fleet of electric bicycles
8 November 2018 - The Paris region plans to launch a large fleet of electric bicycles in a state-funded scheme aimed at getting commuters to cycle to work and reducing congestion and pollution. From September 2019, regional transport agency Ile-de-France Mobilites (IDFM) will provide up to 10,000 e-bikes for long-term rental, with a view to expanding the scheme to 20,000, which would make it the world's largest e-bike rental program. (more)

Rain or shine, grain banks help Kenyan farmers beat trade cartels
2 November 2018 - For a farmer who has repeatedly suffered poor harvests due to inadequate rains, Silas Kirimi was surprised to find himself with the opposite problem this year: What to do with last season's bumper harvest of green gram? When a harvest is better than expected, storage facilities mean farmers keep the extra cash, rather than middleman traders. (more)

Taiwan opens first fully electric bus line
1 November 2018 - The city of Taipei has opened it's first fully electrified bus line. On the 31.5 km stretch a total of 12 electric buses will begin ferrying passengers. But these 12 are just the beginning. The Taiwanese capital plans to have a total of 400 electric buses on their roads in only four years. The electricity for the buses will be provided via a photovoltaic system on the roof of the bus depot. (more)

US: Duke University predicts nearly $1M in savings from new electric bus duo
31 October 2018 - Duke University, based in Durham, North Carolina, is adding two 40-foot Proterra Catalyst E2 electric buses to its fleet. 'Using electric buses is a big step toward reaching our goal of being carbon neutral by 2024,' says Jason Elliott, assistant director of Sustainable Duke, part of the university's Office of Sustainability.' Duke will also install two Proterra 60 kW plug-in charging stations . . . that can also be used to charge other electric vehicles in the fleet. Duke expects to save approximately $924,000 in maintenance, fuel, and vehicle costs over the lifespan of the two buses. (more)

US: Virginia giving communities $14 million for electric buses, Governor announces
31 October 2018 - The Commonwealth will spend $14 million to help local transit authorities switch their aging public bus fleets to electric vehicles, Governor Ralph Northam said Wednesday (31 October). 'We obviously want everybody to have access to transportation, but we really want to move toward clean energy, renewable energy,' Northam told reporters after addressing a state transportation conference at The Main downtown. 'This is a big step in that direction.' (more)

Jordan: With green mosques and schools, Amman pushes for zero emissions
30 October 2018 - Poking above the bright pink bougainvillea that spills into the street, the lone minaret of the Ta'la Al-Ali mosque towers over the Khalda neighbourhood of Amman. Aside from its colourful stain-glassed windows and ornate calligraphy, this mosque stands out for another reason: its roof is covered with shining solar panels that make the building's carbon emissions close to zero. (more)


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


Mozambique: Profile of esteemed 'elder statesman' President Joaquim Chissano, whose leadership brought peace, reconciliation, and economic progress to his nation
17 November 2018 - When he became president, Joaquim Chissano would make moves that would see Mozambique become a better country. He signed a historic peace agreement with Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) in 1992, ending the Mozambican Civil War that had ravaged the country since 1977. He also introduced the Transcendental Meditation technique in the government and the military. The technique is said to have contributed to reduced crimes. 'First I started the practice of Transcendental Meditation myself,' he said, 'then introduced the practice to my close family, then to my cabinet of ministers, then to my government officers, and then to the military. The result has been political peace and balance in Nature in my country.' He received the inaugural Mo Ibrahim Prize in 2007, 'for his achievements in bringing peace, reconciliation, stable democracy and economic progress to Mozambique following the civil war'. (more)

Mozambique: President Chissano receives Athens Democracy Award, introduced Transcendental Meditation to government, military
21 September 2018 - Joaquim Chissano, Mozambique's second president, known for transforming the war-torn country into one of Africa's most successful democracies, was bestowed with the 3rd City of Athens Democracy Award this week by Athens Mayor Georgios Kaminis. President Chissano was selected for the acclaimed award in recognition of his efforts to end the 16-year Mozambican Civil War in 1992 and negotiate a peace treaty with the rebel forces that involved no prosecutions or punishments. Besides bringing peace, reconciliation, stable democracy, and economic progress to Mozambique, he introduced Transcendental Meditation techniques to government officials, police and military. (more)

Brazil: Maharishi University of Management faculty assist in introducing integrative medicine
30 August 2018 - Brazil is one of the first non-Asian nations to introduce integrative healthcare into the national healthcare system, and faculty of Maharishi University of Management, USA are significantly contributing to the initiative. This year professors Robert Schneider, Sandy Nidich, and John Fagan spoke in Brazil at the 1st International Congress of Complementary and Integrative Medicine in Public Health, and MUM President John Hagelin and Professor Fred Travis sent presentations. 'This initiative by the federal government of Brazil is real,' Dr Schneider said. 'This is a major step of government implementation that will entail bringing Maharishi Ayur-Veda, Transcendental Meditation, and other prevention-oriented, natural health approaches to the people of the country through their national health care system.' (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)

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)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


US: Psychedelic advocate nears goal of legal ecstasy
1 November 2018 - . . . After 32 years of false starts, setbacks, and regulatory hurdles, [Rick Doblin] has brought MDMA -- the illegal, all-night party drug also known as ecstasy -- to the brink of medical legitimacy. The goal is to win FDA approval by 2021. MDMA would become the first psychedelic drug -- currently in the same ultra-restrictive category as heroin and cocaine -- to make the leap to prescription medicine. (more)

China planted chips in Apple and Amazon servers, report claims
4 October 2018 - A Chinese military unit has been inserting tiny microchips into computer servers used by companies including Apple and Amazon that give China unprecedented backdoor access to computers and data, according to a new Bloomberg report. The tiny chips, as small as the tip of a sharpened pencil and designed to be undetectable without specialist equipment, were implanted on to the motherboards of servers on the production line in China, the report in Bloomberg Businessweek said. (more)

Survey of 104 countries says 1.3 billion live in poverty
20 September 2018 - A survey of 104 countries comprising 5.5 billion people that looked at health, education and living standards has found that some 1.3 billion people are living in poverty -- including 662 million children. The Multidimensional Poverty Index released Thursday by the U.N. Development Program and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative says 46 percent of the 1.3 billion are considered to be severely impoverished. (more)

2017 was the world's most miserable year on record, study says
12 September 2018 - Last year was the world's most miserable for more than a decade, according to a survey of people's emotions in more than 145 countries. People experienced sadness, stress, worry, anger, and physical pain more frequently in 2017 than in previous years, according to Gallup's annual Global Emotions Report. The results mean the world is more 'negative' than at any point since the polling company started the study in 2005. (more)

Months of deadly unrest devastate Nicaragua's economy
12 September 2018 - Nicaragua's economy has been devastated by the nearly five months of unrest sparked by cuts to social security benefits that quickly evolved into calls for President Daniel Ortega to step down. In June, the country's economic activity was down 12.1 percent compared to a year earlier, according to the central bank. Economists estimate 200,000 jobs have been shed, including as many as 70,000 in the tourism sector, which has become Nicaragua's top source of foreign currency in the past two years. (more)

Brazil court overturns ban on weed-killer glyphosate
3 September 2018 - A Brazilian court on Monday (3 September) overturned an injunction banning products containing the popular weed-killer glyphosate, knocking down a previous ruling ... A Brazilian judge ruled last month to halt the registration of new glyphosate-based products in the country and to suspend existing registrations after 30 days, until health agency Anvisa issues a pending ruling on its safety. ... The injunction and the subsequent reversal also applied to insecticide abamectin and fungicide thiram. (more)

Myanmar dam breach floods 85 villages, thousands driven from homes
30 August 2018 - As many as 85 villages were flooded in Myanmar after a dam failed, unleashing waters that blocked a major highway and forced more than 63,000 people from their homes, a state-run newspaper said on Thursday (30 August). The disaster spotlights safety concerns about dams in Southeast Asia after last month's collapse of a hydroelectric dam in neighboring Laos that displaced thousands of people and killed at least 27. (more)

Microsoft uncovers more Russian hacking ahead of midterms
21 August 2018 - Microsoft has uncovered new Russian hacking efforts targeting U.S. political groups ahead of the November midterm elections. The company said Tuesday, August 21, that a group tied to the Russian government created fake websites that appeared to spoof two American conservative organizations: the Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute. Three other fake sites were designed to look as if they belonged to the U.S. Senate.

The hacking attempts mirror similar Russian attacks ahead of the 2016 election, which U.S. intelligence officials have said were focused on helping to elect Republican Donald Trump to the presidency by hurting his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. (more)

Brazilian lawmakers seek to deregulate pesticide use, ban organic produce sales
14 August 2018 - Brazilian lawmakers have reportedly resurrected a 2002 bill that would severely reduce the role of government health and environment departments in authorizing new pesticides, the Los Angeles Times reported. A second bill would ban the sale of organic foods to supermarkets and other major retail outlets. Environmentalists and other opponents of the proposed changes say that deregulation would increase a range of health problems linked to pesticide exposure -- including cancer and infertility -- and contaminate soil and water. (more)

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)

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