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US: Once homeless, Iraq War veteran moves into unique new home (+ AP video)
18 August 2017 - A homeless Iraq war veteran in California has a unique place to finally call home. Vernon Poling moved into an apartment made of shipping containers. The complex built for homeless veterans is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. 'There's been a couple nights that I've been surprised I've slept so long,' Poling said. 'It's a load off.' (more)

US: Rhode Island just made community college free
4 August 2017 - Rhode Island just became the fourth state in the nation to make community college free, following examples in New York, Oregon, and Tennessee. They must maintain a 2.5 GPA in college while remaining enrolled full-time. Those who take advantage of the scholarships are also required to live, work, or continue their education in Rhode Island after graduation. The specifics of this policy will be developed by the college, according to the legislation. New York has a similar requirement. (more)

Australia to build superhighway for electric vehicles beside Great Barrier Reef
27 July 2017 - Australia is building a superhighway offering free charging stations in a bid to boost use of electric vehicles, the northeastern state of Queensland said on Thursday (27 JULY), most of its route fringed by the Great Barrier Reef tourist attraction. The move comes as governments around the world regulate to cut emissions by boosting the use of electric vehicles. (more)

Facebook funds Harvard effort to fight election hacking, propaganda
26 July 2017 - Facebook Inc will provide initial funding of $500,000 for a nonprofit organization that aims to help protect political parties, voting systems, and information providers from hackers and propaganda attacks, the world's largest social network said on Wednesday, 26 July. The initiative, dubbed Defending Digital Democracy, is led by the former campaign chairs for Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Mitt Romney, and will initially be based at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, which announced the project last week. Facebook, with two billion monthly users, bills itself as a vehicle for political debate and education, but was also used as a major platform to spread fake news and propaganda during the U.S. election campaign in 2016. (more)

U.S. Senators seek ban on pesticide chlorpyrifos
25 July 2017 - A group of Democratic Senators hopes to ban a pesticide the U.S. government has greenlighted for use, according to a bill unveiled on Tuesday, 25 July. The bill, introduced by Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico, would outlaw chlorpyrifos, an agricultural insect-killer that has been found to cause brain damage in children. The bill is called the Protect Children, Farmers and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act of 2017. Seven other senators are co-sponsoring it ... Chlorpyrifos, produced by a variety of manufacturers, including a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, is listed as a neurotoxin by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. (more)

Indian Railways has just given its new train a futuristic makeover
20 July 2017 - Asia's largest rail network is taking a big step towards being sustainable. The Indian Railways has launched its first ever train equipped with rooftop solar panels in a first step towards what could be a massive renewable energy coup. While India has been uncharacteristically bullish about renewable energy, especially solar, in the last few years, the new train could herald the beginning of a new era in sustainable energy and public transport. (more)

China is adding solar power at a record pace
18 July 2017 - China, the world's biggest investor in clean energy, is on pace to install record amounts of new solar this year after adding 24 gigawatts of capacity in the first half amid a push by policy makers to locate electricity production near the point where it's used. Distributed solar-power projects -- the kind of solar found on industrial buildings, malls, and schools -- accounted for almost a third of the new installations in the period ... (more)

US: South Portland's major solar array project begins
18 July 2017 - Construction has started on what is expected to be Maine's largest municipally owned solar array. The Portland Press Herald reports installation began at South Portland's capped landfill Tuesday, 18 July. The one-megawatt solar array will be composed of 2,944 solar panels. Officials expect the array to generate 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year. (more)

US: Colorado joins 'climate alliance' of states fighting global warming
11 July 2017 - Colorado's governor signed an executive order on Tuesday (11 July) making his state the latest to join a 'climate alliance' of U.S. states and governors seeking to meet the goals of the Paris accord . . . The order calls for Colorado to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 26 percent from 2005 by 2025 and lower carbon emissions from the electricity sector by 25 percent, among other goals. 'Coloradans value clean air and clean water,' Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper said in a written statement. 'Our strong economy is a reflection of how our exhilarating outdoors attracts young entrepreneurs and the talent they need for their businesses.' (more)

France set to ban sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040
6 July 2017 - France is set to ban the sale of any car that uses petrol or diesel fuel by 2040, in what the ecology minister called a 'revolution'. Nicolas Hulot announced the planned ban on fossil fuel vehicles as part of a renewed commitment to the Paris climate deal. Norway, which is the leader in the use of electric cars in Europe, wants to move to electric-only vehicles by 2025, as does the Netherlands. Both Germany and India have proposed similar measures with a target of 2030. (more)


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


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)

Maharishi School grad posted at US Embassy in Liberia
15 May 2017 - Colette 'Coco' Clark, a 2011 graduate of Maharishi School in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, has recently been hired by the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service Officer. Her first posting will be at the U.S. embassy in Liberia, beginning in June. Ms. Clark received a Bachelor of Science in foreign service, summa cum laude, from Georgetown University in 2015 and a Master of Arts in security studies the following year, also from Georgetown. She is proficient in Arabic and has worked for the past two years at the U.S. Department of Justice on legal negotiations between the U.S. government and Middle Eastern countries. (more)

'Results inside correctional facilities with Transcendental Meditation have been simply astounding'
1 February 2017 - In an editorial published this week accompanying two studies on Transcendental Meditation with male and female prison inmates, Dr. Charles Elder, a clinician and researcher with Kaiser Permanente, called for wider use of evidence-based mind-body interventions for prisoners. 'Mind-body interventions can provide the patient with a simple self-help tool that can effectively reduce anxiety, help treat substance abuse, reduce inmate recidivism, and help address a range of medical conditions,' Dr Elder wrote, citing research on Transcendental Meditation that supports these benefits. Rebecca Pak of The Women's Prison Association agrees: 'The results inside correctional facilities . . . with Transcendental Meditation have been simply astounding. If we shifted our focus from punitive responses to interventions designed to improve mental and physical health, we would have much greater impact.' The article reviews research results on Transcendental Meditation in prisons over the last four decades. (more)

Can Blacks and Police Find Inner Peace? Afro.com reports
22 November 2016 - 'If war refugees with PTSD can find rapid relief from stress through Transcendental Meditation practice, how much easier will it be for both police and inner city African-Americans to find inner peace?', write the authors of an article in Afro.com. TM is described as an evidence-based strategy to address the underlying buildup of stress in communities 'that inevitably erupts into violence'. According to recent research, more than 50% of people with PTSD who learn TM are symptom-free in 30-105 days. Police practising TM have found increased stability in stressful situations, better health, and greater resiliency to stress. It is a 'well-documented protocol for reducing stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) . . . . that will prevent and help neutralize this buildup of stress, anger, and violence in individuals and in society as a whole.' (more)

Transcendental Meditation: A resource for reducing stress among law enforcement professionals
19 November 2016 - Dr Martha Batorski, a recognized speaker on the topic of leadership development and stress reduction, calls for the use of healing strategies like Transcendental Meditation to 'reduce the effects of stress on those who serve and protect - male and female - so they may better draw upon inner resources of calm to de-escalate situations and serve as true role models in our society.' 'Policewomen,' she writes in TM for Women, 'have naturally contributed to a new paradigm in law enforcement, bringing qualities to the field . . . that include greater empathy and ability to defuse situations and a larger field of awareness during stressful situations.' With as many as 18 per cent of police officers suffering from PTSD, and a higher rate among policewomen, there is increasing interest in the scientifically proven effectiveness of TM in greatly reducing PTSD symptoms and increasing resiliency to stressful situations. (more)

Transcendental Meditation significantly helps ease trauma symptoms, stress among inmates
8 October 2016 - Researchers have found that Transcendental Meditation significantly reduced trauma symptoms and stress in male prisoners. The study, funded by the David Lynch Foundation and conducted by a team led by Dr Sanford Nidich, was a randomized, controlled trial of 181 Oregon state correctional inmates categorized as 'moderate to high-risk'. One inmate expressed his experience after learning TM: 'As I entered the 24th year behind bars I had come to grips with most of the demons of the past but still felt fragmented. Recently I was given the chance to learn TM. . . . As the weeks passed that sense of fragmentation started to flow into something deeper and new. A quiet that feels so natural and restful that I feel like I've finally come home. To a place where things make sense and I'm just happy. The pains of my life haven't gone away . . . just feels like I've grown beyond them.' The study was published yesterday in The Permanente Journal. (more)

Federal employees learn about 'next generation PTSD relief strategy' that really works
22 September 2016 - On 22 September, the founding president of African PTSD Relief, David Shapiro, and Dr. Katie Grose, a teacher of Transcendental Meditation, gave presentations to some of the employees at a large federal complex in the Washington, D.C. area. The PTSD Relief team presented results of scientific research studies conducted on-site with refugees in Africa who learned TM and experienced dramatic relief from post-traumatic stress. The presenters are invited to participate in a charity fair for federal employees in October. (more)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


US: Flimsy evidence behind many FDA approvals
15 August 2017 - Many drugs granted accelerated approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lack clear evidence of safety and effectiveness, and the same is true for most high-risk medical devices, according to two new reports in the Journal of the American Medical Association. (more)

US: Entrenched poverty tough to shake in the Mississippi Delta
6 August 2017 - Persistent poverty shapes daily existence in this expanse of agricultural flatland that gave birth to the blues [the Mississippi Delta]. Jobs are scarce. Schools struggle for funding. Tens of thousands of families receive government food aid and health insurance. Fifty years ago, Democratic Senators Robert F. Kennedy of New York and Joe Clark of Pennsylvania toured the Delta and saw ramshackle houses and starving children. Although opportunities have improved in the past 50 years, the Delta remains one of the most deprived regions in the U.S. The national poverty rate is about 15 percent; it's 22 percent for Mississippi. In most Delta counties, it's 30 to 40 percent. (more)

Dying 'Mother Ganga': India's holy river succumbs to pollution
10 July 2017 - India's holy Ganges begins as a crystal clear river high in the icy Himalayas but pollution and excessive usage transforms it into toxic sludge on its journey through burgeoning cities, industrial hubs, and past millions of devotees. Worshipped by a billion Hindus and a water source for 400 million, 'Mother Ganga' is dying, despite decades of government efforts to save it. (more)

APNewsBreak: Official says more Hanford nuke mishaps likely
15 June 2017 - Future accidental radiation releases at the largest U.S. site of waste from nuclear weapons production are likely following back-to-back emergency evacuations of workers in May and June because aging infrastructure is breaking down, the top Energy Department official at the site told The Associated Press. (more)

Dow launches new GMO corn after landing China import approval
14 June 2017 - Dow Chemical Co [U.S.] secured import approval from China for its next-generation Enlist corn variety and announced it would be commercially available in the United States and Canada next year, but the company was still awaiting approval of Enlist soybeans from the world's top soy importer. China on Wednesday [14 June] approved two new varieties of genetically modified (GMO) crops for import from June 12, including Dow's Enlist corn, engineered to combat weeds resistant to the widely used herbicide glyphosate, which is the main ingredient in Monsanto's ... Roundup herbicide. (more)

Brazil approves world's first commercial GM sugarcane
8 June 2017 - Brazil has approved commercial use of a genetically modified sugarcane, setting a milestone for the country's highly competitive sugar industry as this is the first time such permission has been granted anywhere in the world. Brazil exports sugar to about 150 countries and some 60 percent of them do not demand regulatory approval to import sugar made from genetically modified organisms. (more)

Trump pulling US from global climate pact, dismaying allies
1 June 2017 - President Donald Trump declared Thursday [1 June] he was withdrawing the U.S. from the landmark Paris climate agreement, striking a major blow to worldwide efforts to combat climate change and distancing the country from many allies abroad. He said the U.S. would try to re-enter but only if it can get more favorable terms. Several of his top aides have opposed the action, too, as has his daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump. Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more dangerous levels of warming sooner as a result of the president's decision because America contributes so much to rising temperatures. Calculations suggest withdrawal could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide in the air a year -- enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher, and trigger more extreme weather. (more)

'My worst nightmares are coming true': last major primeval forest in Europe on 'brink of collapse'
23 May 2017 - Polish government is accused of pushing Białowieża forest ecosystem to point of no return with state-sanctioned logging in UNESCO world heritage site. Scientists and environmental campaigners have accused the Polish government of bringing the ecosystem of the Białowieża forest in north-eastern Poland to the 'brink of collapse', one year after a revised forest management plan permitted the trebling of state logging activity and removed a ban on logging in old growth areas. (more)

U.S. House bill would exempt e-cigarettes from tobacco regulations
25 April 2017 - A bill expected this week in the U.S. House of Representatives would weaken a Food and Drug Administration rule governing e-cigarettes and represent a major victory for the $4.4 billion U.S. vaping industry. The bill, from Republican Representative Duncan Hunter of California, would reverse the Obama administration's 'Deeming Rule' which deems e-cigarettes to be tobacco products, subject to the same strict regulations governing traditional cigarettes. E-cigarettes heat nicotine-laced liquid into vapor but do not contain tobacco. The bill adds momentum to a series of legal and legislative efforts by tobacco and vaping companies to derail the FDA rule, though it is unclear how much support it will garner. (more)

Millions of migrant Gulf workers forced to pay for right to work: report
11 April 2017 - South Asian migrants powering the construction boom in oil-rich Gulf countries are often illegally made to pay for their own recruitment, adding to hardships of poor working conditions and wages, according to an investigation released on Tuesday. Millions of migrants seeking a way out of poverty by working in Gulf nations from Qatar to the United Arab Emirates must routinely pay fees that can equal a year's salary, U.S. researchers said in a report. (more)

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