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Pakistan unveils 1,700-year-old sleeping Buddha, evoking diverse heritage
15 November 2017 - Pakistan unveiled the remains of a 1,700-year-old sleeping Buddha image on Wednesday (15 November), part of an initiative to encourage tourism and project religious harmony in a region roiled by Islamist militancy. A reflection of the diverse history and culture of the South Asian country, the ancient Buddhist site in Bhamala province was first discovered in 1929. (more)

US: Tribe holds State House gathering to mark 1st Thanksgiving
13 November 2017 - The Native American tribe whose ancestors hosted the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims four centuries ago is hosting a Thanksgiving reception at the Massachusetts Statehouse. The Mashpee Wampanoag say the Monday morning gathering at the Capitol building's Great Hall is meant to promote peace and unity for all Americans. (more)

Israel's ancient underwater treasure
9 November 2017 - In 2015, divers discovered a hoard of more than 2,000 gold coins on the ocean floor off the coast of Caesarea -- the largest stash ever found in the region. On an overcast morning in February 2015, Zvika Fayer was scuba diving off the ancient Israeli port town of Caesarea when he saw a glimmer on the sand. He'd gone diving in the area dozens of times before, and loved it for the teeming fish and scattered remains of shipwreck cargo and pottery that he sometimes glimpsed on the ocean floor. Many of Israel's underwater archaeological zones are open to divers, and Caesarea was one of Fayer's favourite spots. (more)

Ancient Hebrew manuscripts to go online in Israel-Russia deal
7 November 2017 - One of the most treasured collections of ancient Hebrew manuscripts and books will be digitized and available for public view online under an agreement by the state libraries of Russia and Israel announced on Tuesday, 7 November. Israel has long sought the transfer to its national library of the 14,000-item Guenzburg collection in the Russian State Library in Moscow, and the digitization compromise effectively shelves a century-old ownership dispute. (more)

Australia can breathe easy after 17th century map restored
7 November 2017 - A 17th century map of Australia, predating British settlement, has gone on display for the first time after suffering extensive damage while purportedly housed for hundreds of years in a Swedish warehouse. The map, which was once so fragile restoration experts refrained from even breathing on it, is one of just two known wall maps of Australia to have survived the 350 years since being created during the period of Dutch exploration and mapping.The map is known as the 'Birth certificate of New Holland' and is on display at the National Library of Australia in Canberra. (more)

Rivers turn as dragon boats mark end of Cambodia's monsoon season
2 November 2017 - Thousands of colorfully dressed rowers competed in dragon boat races in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh on Thursday (2 November), the first day of the annual Water Festival marking the end of the monsoon season. The races on the Tonle Sap River involved more than 270 wooden dragon boats with rowers and spectators from across the Southeast Asian nation. (more)

Women find some respite in Libya's 'families only' cafes
30 October 2017 - Fashionable cafes springing up in Libya's capital [Tripoli] are shutting out single men and catering for women looking for a break from the tensions -- political and personal -- crowding in around them. The cafes with European names and bright decor seem a world away from the city's traffic-clogged and still violent streets. In a socially conservative society, they also offer privacy and protection from unwanted advances. Most of Tripoli's economy has been in freefall since major battles between rival factions in 2014 left the country divided with competing governments. The female clients are offering some respite -- managers say they spend more on fancy coffees and juices than the espresso-sipping men. (more)

US: Hilo World Peace Fest set for 21 October
15 October 2017 - The 8th Annual Hilo World Peace Festival will be held on Saturday, 21 October, in Hilo, Hawaii. The festival celebrates cultural diversity and promotes the creation of a peaceful world. The Hilo World Peace Festival was created to promote the spirit of aloha-the universal language of love that encourages acts to honor and revere our elders; to love, nurture and protect our children; and to respect the harmony of our families, thus creating a healthy community and island lifestyle. (more)

Diwali festivals grow in US, from Disney to Times Square
26 September 2017 - The holiday of Diwali is starting to light up mainstream America. Diwali, a festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and others in India and other countries, has long been observed in immigrant communities around the U.S. But now public celebrations of the holiday are starting to pop up in places ranging from Disneyland and Times Square to parks and museums. (more)

South Africa: Designers transform grain silos into huge new African art museum
24 September 2017 - Contemporary African art has a new home at the southernmost tip of the continent. The Zeitz Museum of Modern Contemporary African Art, which has opened in Cape Town, South Africa is the world's largest museum solely dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. (more)


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


Katy Perry: 'Transcendental Meditation changed my life'
10 November 2017 - 'I start the day with Transcendental Meditation. It puts me in the best mood . . . It's the only time my mind gets absolute rest.' A recent interview revealed why Katy Perry has made TM her 'go-to tool for rest and relaxation.' Excerpts from 'a conversation with Katy Perry' include how she has raised awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans and how TM can help returning soldiers heal. In the past, Katy asked fans not to bring any presents to her birthday celebration, but instead to make a donation to the David Lynch Foundation that teaches TM to those most in need, such as veterans, inner-city kids, survivors of domestic violence or the homeless. (more)

Researching the convergence of architecture and neurobiology
30 October 2017 - Maharishi University of Management alumnus David Navarrete has been involved in research collaborations with health institutions around the world to study the effect that an interior architectural design has on the occupant's physiology. He is director of research initiatives and content development at a business in Fairfield, Iowa called Sky Factory. The company creates beautiful architectural illusions of sky and nature, installed in ceilings and windows, that help people feel more connected to nature. A 2017 multidisciplinary study conducted at Texas Tech University earned him and his colleagues a Certification of Research Excellence by the Environmental Design Research Associations. David is also a teacher of Transcendental Meditation, and says, 'In architecture and healthcare everyone is looking at the powerful way the environment affects people's experience . . . If you can experience the deepest level of your own internal environment . . . You bring empathy and receptiveness into the world, tapping more of your creativity and happiness.' (more)

David Lynch Foundation to honour Jane Fonda, Lena Dunham at 'Wonder Women' benefit in Los Angeles
5 October 2017 - In Los Angeles on 5 November, the David Lynch Foundation (DLF) will be honouring four 'Wonder Women' - Jill Black, Lena Dunham, Jane Fonda, and New Village Girls Academy principal, Dr. Andrea Purcell. The event is a benefit to support the the Foundation's Los Angeles programmes to bring the healing and transformative effects of Transcendental Meditation to underserved schoolchildren and veterans suffering from post traumatic stress. 'Together, we can build resilient communities in Los Angeles and help our city continue to shine throughout the world,' said Lynn Kaplan, DLF director in Los Angeles. (more)

'Dancing With the Stars' host Tom Bergeron says Transcendental Meditation helps him keep his cool during a live show - ABC News
27 September 2017 - In a live show, anything can happen. But Tom Bergeron trusts he can handle it because he has been practising meditation for decades. The host of ABC TV's hit dancing competition show 'Dancing With the Stars', which kicked off its 25th season last week, said he has been practising Transcendental Meditation (TM) for over 35 years. Being a longtime meditator, he said, has been key in keeping his cool and 'respond[ing] appropriately' during a live show in front of a panel of judges, contestants and a studio audience. 'I trust that because of the practice, because of the investment of time and mental energy into being present, that I'm going . . . to somehow know how to roll with whatever happens,' Bergeron, 62, told ABC's Dan Harris during an interview for his podcast, '10% Happier.' (more)

Successful self-reinvention: The award-winning Susan Daniels
19 September 2017 - At a time in life when many women are retiring, Susan Daniels is earning her PhD in creative writing. Mother, author, nurse, with previous degrees including BSN (nursing) and MFA in writing, she says, 'I can't think of an area of my life that hasn't been affected for the better by the Transcendental Meditation practice.' She learned TM in 1973, and later on as 'busy parents with a growing business . . . meditating twice a day was the one thing that made it work.' Susan describes the many rewards she found, following an illness, when she decided to train as a nurse. And while in nursing school she started writing. She recently won a book prize that includes a publishing contract with New Rivers Press, a highly regarded literary press at Minnesota State University. (more)

Actor Hugh Jackman: 'Transcendental Meditation has helped me in every way, immeasurably.'
12 September 2017 - Eight months into practising Transcendental Meditation, actor Hugh Jackman had a very clear thought one day: 'Hang on! Meditation is the centre of it all, where all activities can spring from the deepest well possible. If I act or parent or be a husband or throw a baseball or wash up, if I do it after meditating, it's a whole different activity.' Since then Jackman has not made it a secret how much TM has impacted his life. 'I would say possibly equally to how marriage and kids did - I would put it right up there, in terms of things that have affected my life.' Describing how TM has helped him excel as an actor and deal with the high level of stress in his profession, he says: 'Your only tools you really have are being present, being clear, and listening. So, it helped me in every way, immeasurably.' (more)

The Beatles, Transcendental Meditation and India: Events in August 1967, fifty years ago, made a mark on western culture
25 August 2017 - In August 1967, a wildly popular rock band called the Beatles attended a lecture by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the London Hilton on Park Lane. They were given front row seats and invited to meet Maharishi after the lecture. During their private meeting, Maharishi invited the Beatles to be his guests at a training retreat in Wales. It was there that the band members, who were already exploring ways to expand their consciousness, were initiated into the basics of Transcendental Meditation. The world's ears were tuned to the Beatles, and with the band embracing all things Indian, Western hearts were being transformed by that mystical land's ancient wisdom. That interest continues to grow. In 2016, Forbes reported on the growing popularity of yoga in the U.S., and an increasing number of celebrities attest to practising Transcendental Meditation. (more)

Music DVD Review: Change Begins Within: A Benefit Concert for the David Lynch Foundation highlights Paul McCartney - Ringo Starr Beatles reunion
17 August 2017 - Yes! Finally, the 2009 Change Begins Within: A Benefit Concert for the David Lynch Foundation arrives on DVD via Eagle Rock Entertainment on 1 September 2017. The show was a benefit to provide Transcendental Meditation as an all-natural way to help at-risk kids. This 86-minute programme of highlights from the full concert features Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Cheryl Crow, Donovan, Eddie Vedder, Moby, Bettye LaVette, Jerry Seinfeld, and others. Paul and Ringo make up the lion's share of the running time. And they even perform together, the concert's highlight! (more)

Beach Boys' Mike Love on tour: 'Transcendental Meditation is the one thing I take with me everywhere'
8 August 2017 - Since the band's founding in 1961, the Beach Boys have taken their unique sound around the world, including this year's nationally televised 4 July celebration on the steps of the US Capitol in Washington, DC. In a recent interview, original band member Mike Love was asked, 'Is there anything that you always make sure to have with you that makes life easier when you're on the road?' He replied, 'Well, the one thing I do that keeps me energized and positive is that I meditate. I do Transcendental Meditation, which I learned from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in December of 1967. . . . meditation is great because it has no negative side effects. So that's the one thing I take with me everywhere - it's portable!' (more)

Transcendental Meditation and fame: Five famous practitioners
4 August 2017 - 'I believe that there is a reason why so many celebrities practise Transcendental Meditation,' writes renowned psychiatrist, researcher, and author Norman Rosenthal, M.D. 'They are highly successful and ambitious people, who want to function at their best as much as possible.' Dr Rosenthal is the author of Super Mind: How to Boost Performance and Live a Richer and Happier Life Through Transcendental Meditation. 'To illustrate how TM not only reduces stress, but also expands a person's mental abilities', Dr Rosenthal draws from his interviews with 'five famous TM practitioners - classical guitarist Sharon Isbin, radio host Howard Stern, principal ballet dancer Megan Fairchild, legendary hedge fund founder Ray Dalio, and actor Hugh Jackman - to explore the role TM plays in their lives and the many gifts they feel they've derived from the practice. (more)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


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)

Horrific stampede at hajj in Saudi Arabia kills 717 pilgrims
24 September 2015 - A horrific stampede killed at least 717 pilgrims and injured hundreds more Thursday on the outskirts of the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the deadliest tragedy to strike the annual hajj pilgrimage in more than two decades. At least 863 pilgrims were injured in the crush, said the Saudi civil defense directorate, which provided the death toll. The tragedy struck as Muslims around the world marked the start of the Eid al-Adha holiday. It was the second major disaster during this year's hajj season. Two survivors interviewed by The Associated Press said the disaster began when one wave of pilgrims found themselves heading into a mass of people going in another direction. (more)

Unsupervised teens more likely to use tobacco, pot, and alcohol
18 September 2015 - A small U.S. study appears to confirm adult fears that teens who spend more than the average amount of unsupervised time 'hanging out' with peers have higher odds of smoking cigarettes and marijuana and drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, greater than average involvement in structured school and after-school activities did not seem to offer a protective effect. Organized time, such as arts classes at school, religious activities outside school, or community volunteer work had a very modest protective effect. (more)

Islamic State magazine blasts Muslims fleeing to Europe as sinners
10 September 2015 - Hundreds of thousands of people have fled wars in the Middle East this year, often from areas seized or threatened by Islamic State militants. They have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe on flimsy boats that have sometimes capsized, killing hundreds, in one of the biggest waves of migration since World War Two. Most of the refugees come from Syria, Iraq, and Libya -- states ravaged by conflict frequently involving Islamic State. But the magazine of Islamic State, which controls territory in Iraq and Syria where some 10 million people live, said those who leave its domain were committing a 'major sin'. (more)

UN: Satellite images show Temple of Bel in Syria 'destroyed'
31 August 2015 - A satellite image on Monday shows that the main building of the ancient Temple of Bel in the Syrian city of Palmyra has been destroyed, a United Nations agency said. The image was taken a day after a massive explosion was set off near the 2,000-year-old temple in the city occupied by Islamic State militants. It stood out among the ruins not far from the colonnades of Palmyra, which is affectionately known by Syrians as the 'Bride of the Desert.' Palmyra was an important caravan city of the Roman Empire, linking it to India, China, and Persia. Before the outbreak of Syria's conflict in March 2011, the UNESCO site was one of the top tourist attractions in the Middle East. (more)

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