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Ancient statues looted in Lebanese war returned decades later
12 January 2018 - A marble bull's head made 2,400 years ago for a Phoenician temple and looted during Lebanon's civil war arrived in Beirut on Friday (12 January) after American officials found it in the United States and sent it home. Located on the east coast of the Mediterranean, Lebanon was an important part of the classical world, home to the Phoenician civilization ... (more)

Time with grandparents may impact how kids view the elderly
11 January 2018 - Children and teens who spend a lot of time with their grandparents may be less likely than peers who don't to have negative and stereotypical ideas about the elderly, a recent study suggests. Researchers in Belgium asked 1,151 youth ranging in age from 7 to 16 years about the time they spent with grandparents as well as their opinions about aging and the elderly. Growing evidence also suggests that contact between grandchildren and grandparents can be good for both, said Dominic Abrams, a psychology researcher at the University of Kent, in the UK. 'More time that is enjoyable and positive really makes the biggest difference. I think there are several ways that this works,' Abrams, who wasn't involved in the study, said by email. (more)

AP Photos: World celebrates Epiphany - 12th night of Christmas, 'Day of the Magi'
6 January 2018 - Parades with camels, kings, and crowns. Presents for homeless children and admonishments to live a better life. All this took place Saturday as Christians around the world celebrated the holiday of Epiphany, the 12th night of Christmas, which recalls the three kings, or magi, who reportedly followed a star to find the baby Jesus. (more)

In a Papuan district, tribes push to revive a legacy of sustainability
2 January 2018 - Two tribes in the foothills of the Cyclops Mountains in eastern Indonesia have ratified a village regulation that aims to formalize their age-old traditions. The villagers are also known to practice herbal medicine using locally sourced plants, which they incorporate into their traditional rituals and culture. (more)

AP Photos: New Year's Eve observances around the world
31 December 2017 - People around the world are welcoming 2018 with traditional fireworks displays, partying, and an array of local traditions. One of the first countries to welcome the new year was Australia, where fireworks exploded over the iconic Sydney Opera House as people watched from boats in the harbor nearby. Buddhists lit candles during New Year celebrations at Jogyesa temple in Seoul, South Korea. (more)

New year welcomed around the world with fireworks, food, and prayers
31 December 2017 - Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building at 828m, has once more served as the focal point of New Year's Eve celebrations in the United Arab Emirates, though this year authorities decided against fireworks and chose a massive LED light show. Meanwhile India welcomed in the new year with midnight celebrations at popular landmarks, temples, mosques, gurdwaras, and churches. In New Zealand, tens of thousands of people took to the streets and beaches, becoming among the first in the world to usher in 2018. Many Japanese people were celebrating the arrival of the Year of the Dog by praying for peace and good fortune at Shinto shrines ... In South Korea, thousands of people were expected to fill the streets near Seoul's City Hall for a traditional bell-tolling ceremony to usher in the new year. (more)

Puerto Rico designates popular beach as natural reserve
27 December 2017 - Puerto Rico's governor has declared one of the U.S. territory's most popular beaches as a natural reserve. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Tuesday [26 December] that the area has some 164 species, including several that are in danger of becoming extinct. (more)

Tourism in coal country: Digging into culture, ecotourism
26 December 2017 - Two-thirds of Appalachia's coal industry jobs have disappeared since the 1990s. Now the region is hoping tourism will help rebuild its economy by tapping into history and its rugged natural beauty. (more)

Charity launches festive TV ad to challenge view of British Muslims as anti-Christmas
23 December 2017 - The first mainstream television advertisement by a Muslim charity will be aired over the festive period, a development many hope will help to challenge the misconception that Muslims are anti-Christmas. The 59-second advert for the West Yorkshire charity Penny Appeal highlights the often ignored role of British Muslims in helping vulnerable people across the UK over Christmas. The commercial, which will debut on Christmas Eve ... underlines the fact that for many British Muslims the festive season is about helping others. (more)

New Zealand gives Mount Taranaki same legal rights as a person
22 December 2017 - Mount Taranaki in New Zealand is to be granted the same legal rights as a person, becoming the third geographic feature in the country to be granted a 'legal personality'. Eight local Māori tribes and the government will share guardianship of the sacred mountain on the west coast of the North Island, in a long-awaited acknowledgement of the indigenous people's relationship to the mountain, who view it as an ancestor and whanau, or family member. (more)


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


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's comments to the press - Christmas, 2002
25 December 2017 - Maharishi Mahesh Yogi replies to a question from the world press on the Vedic nature of Christ's words, 'Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and all else will be added unto you.' - 25 December 2002, MERU, Netherlands. (more)

Powered by Transcendental Meditation: Artist Krista Kim and the Techism movement
13 December 2017 - Artist Krista Kim's 'canvas' is digital images of LED lights. Her 'brushes' and 'paints' various kinds of software. For inspiration she uses Transcendental Meditation to dive into the creative silence deep within. 'You just basically tap into this creative force of intelligence from where all things come, and this collective intelligence . . . you go into this deep state of bliss and then when you come out, you feel amazing, you feel like you've touched the sky.' After learning TM, 'I felt that every aspect of my life, whether it's being a mother, being an artist, being a person, just being myself, it just made everything better, brought it to a new level.' Krista feels that meditation and art are vital to creating a better world. She is a pioneer bridging the gap between art and tech: 'The more involved artists are in conversation amongst leading-edge technology innovators, the more humane the future becomes.' (more)

Dr Norman Rosenthal to be featured in free webinar: 'The Way to a Super Mind' - 8 December
8 December 2017 - This Friday, 8 December, from 1:00pm-2:00pm US ET (7:00pm-8:00pm CET) renowned psychiatrist, researcher, and bestselling author Norman Rosenthal, MD, will be featured in a webinar titled 'The Way to a Super Mind': Exploring the principles and techniques elite performers use to achieve sustained excellence. Dr Rosenthal will engage in a conversation with business executive Moe Abdou, founder of 33 Voices, on topics including: What is a Super Mind? What are the key barriers that prevent access to one's super mind? Learning to transcend thought and unconscious behaviour, and the keys to building a better brain. (more)

Tom Bergeron, dancing with the stars and relaxing with Transcendental Meditation
25 November 2017 - For American TV host Tom Bergeron the art of staying sane in Hollywood is no different than staying sane anywhere. Today the host of popular shows such as America's Funniest Home Videos and Dancing with the Stars is the epitome of calm and cool. In the early 1980s, acknowledging a major anger management issue, he signed up to learn Transcendental Meditation, and his rage has been under control ever since. In addition, decades of TM practice have helped him become the king of 'off the cuff' on television. '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 . . . That you are not constantly at the beck and call of any regrets you might have about what happened in the past or unnecessary fears and anxiety.' (more)

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)


Flops
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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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