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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)

Barcelona's African street traders swap crime for craft
12 October 2017 - When Alioune Thiam arrived in Barcelona, he joined hundreds of other undocumented African migrants peddling their wares illegally on the streets. Now he's part of a scheme to give some of the Spanish city's most vulnerable people an alternative. Senegalese-born Thiam arrived in Barcelona by plane in 2007, joining his brother. But he couldn't get a job because he didn't have a work permit. (more)

Group opposing nuclear weapons wins Nobel Peace Prize
6 October 2017 - The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday (6 October), a forceful show of support for a grassroots effort that seeks to pressure the world's nuclear powers to give up the weapons that could destroy the planet. The committee cited the tiny, Geneva-based ICAN for its work that led to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that was reached in July at the United Nations. More than 120 countries approved the treaty . . . (more)

International Day for the total elimination of nuclear weapons 26 September
26 September 2017 - Achieving global nuclear disarmament is one of the oldest goals of the United Nations. It was the subject of the General Assembly's first resolution in 1946. This Day provides an occasion for the world community to reaffirm its commitment to global nuclear disarmament as a high priority. It also provides an opportunity to educate the public -- and their leaders -- about the real benefits of eliminating such weapons, and the social and economic costs of perpetuating them. Commemorating this Day at the United Nations is especially important, given its universal membership and its long experience in grappling with nuclear disarmament issues. (more)

International Day of Peace 21 September
21 September 2017 - Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. Ultimately, it is about bringing people together and reminding them of their common humanity. (more)

US: Overall crime rate in 2017 is projected to decrease
6 September 2017 - Researchers at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law project that the overall crime rate in 2017 is projected to decrease slightly, by 1.8 per cent. If this estimate holds, 2017 will have the second-lowest crime rate since 1990. (more)

Korean leaders, US open door to diplomacy in nuclear crisis
15 August 2017 - . . . both Koreas and the United States signaled their willingness to avert a deepening crisis, with each suggesting a path toward negotiations. South Korean President Moon Jae-in, meanwhile, a liberal who favors engagement with the North, urged North Korea to stop provocations and to commit to talks over its nuclear weapons program. (more)

North Korea holds off on Guam missile plan as China urges 'brakes' on rhetoric
15 August 2017 - North Korea's leader has delayed a decision on firing missiles towards Guam while he waits to see what the United States does next, the North's state media said on Tuesday, as South Korea's President said Seoul would seek to prevent war by all means. (more)

Afghan boy known as 'Little Picasso' shows works in Serbia
9 August 2017 - A 10-year-old migrant from Afghanistan, who has been nicknamed 'Little Picasso,' is using his first ever exhibition to help another boy in need. Farhad Nouri's drawings and photographs were put on display Wednesday (9 August) in what was also his charity event to raise money for a Serbian boy recovering from surgery. 'Thank you all for coming here!' Nouri told dozens of visitors as he opened the exhibition organized with the help of aid groups and supported by Serbia's government. (more)

UK National Health Service pilot scheme taps into skills of refugee doctors
18 July 2017 - A pioneering scheme that aims to harness the skills of refugees fleeing conflict and unrest in their home countries could help boost health services in north-east England. Middlesbrough has the highest number of asylum seekers in the UK. ... But many of the refugees are skilled professionals such as doctors or pharmacists, skills that happen to be in short supply in the area. Unable to practise their profession at home, they are embracing the opportunity to use their skills in an understaffed NHS [National Health Service]. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Invincible Defense Technology: Preventive defence to eliminate the ground for war and terrorism - Eurasia Review
18 August 2017 - To maintain its leadership in the world, the U.S. needs a new kind of 'disruptive technology' that not only challenges enemies, but completely disables them. By applying 'Invincible Defense Technology' - a human resource-based, non-lethal, non-destructive technology - militaries can prevent enemies from arising. IDT is inexpensive, scalable, and has proven effectiveness, as described in 18 peer-reviewed studies. The authors, led by Lt. Gen. Clarence E. McKnight Jr. (U.S. Army, Ret.), suggest organizing Prevention wings - large groups of military personnel practising the Transcendental Meditation technique and its advanced programmes. IDT groups have been shown to reduce social stress and promote positive changes indicated by reduced terrorism, crime rate, infant mortality, accidents, hospital admissions, etc. After such profound societal changes occur, the ground for war and terrorism is eliminated. (more)

US: First annual conference, Enlightened Buildings and Communities - 8-10 September, Florida
12 August 2017 - Maharishi Vastu Architecture announces the first annual conference, 'Enlightened Buildings and Communities' - in Orlando, Florida, in September - for builders, developers, real estate professionals and anyone who would like to be involved in creating built environments that foster healthy lifestyles and enlightened living. Leading experts on Maharishi Vastu architecture and communities will address how the timeless knowledge of design/build maintained in the Vedic tradition is the key element to establishing a truly sustainable and life-enriching environment for communities and those who live in them. Highly experienced real estate developers and builders will discuss their experiences with Maharishi Vastu construction, and experts in the areas of healthy building certification will present recent technological advances and how they contribute to a holistic design system for the 21st century. (more)

David Lynch Foundation offering summer TM courses through 31 August - the Hamptons, New York
9 August 2017 - This summer the David Lynch Foundation (DLF) in the USA is offering a special series of courses to learn Transcendental Meditation in the Hamptons, New York, through 31 August. The Hamptons are a group of villages and towns that form a popular seaside resort near the eastern end of Long Island. In addition to its philanthropic work bringing the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique to thousands of underserved children and adults around the world, DLF also teaches TM to leaders of society in many fields including business, healthcare, media, and the arts, and has offered summer courses in the Hamptons for several years. (more)

IDT: Empowering our military personnel to harness their full potential
29 July 2017 - Invincible Defence Technology (IDT), currently deployed by militaries in countries around the world, uses a superior defence system to defeat terrorism and prevent war, for about the cost of one modern fighter jet, writes Dr David Leffler in RealClearDefense. IDT is a revolutionary human resource technology that would empower our military personnel to harness their full potential. Conflict and terrorism would end rapidly if our military personnel are trained to form prevention wings of the military, comprised of IDT experts practicing the non-religious discipline of Transcendental Meditation (TM) and the advanced TM-Sidhi programme in groups twice a day. Based on 25 years of research, this approach has been endorsed by independent scientists and scholars. (more)

New Book: The Supreme Awakening maps new paradigm of human development
8 July 2017 - In his book The Supreme Awakening: Experiences of Enlightenment Throughout Time - and How You Can Cultivate Them, Dr. Craig Pearson breaks new ground by putting forward a theory of human development in which higher states of consciousness are accessible to anyone. Pearson connects descriptions of higher states of consciousness from the world's greatest philosophers, poets, writers, saints, scientists, and even athletes, to modern day personal development, drawing on his many years of experience with Transcendental Meditation (TM), both personally and as an educator. Medical and scientific research on TM shows that development of higher consciousness is genuine, authentic, measurable, quantifiable, and beneficial in the high-speed world of the new millennium. (more)

Global Peace Summit offers solutions to terrorism
2 July 2017 - Last month, the Global Union of Scientists for Peace (GUSP) hosted a Global Peace Summit in Kiev, Ukraine. The Summit, entitled SCIENCE AND PEACE: Proven Solutions to Violence and Global Conflict, explored cutting-edge, evidence-based approaches to preventing war, achieving national security, and promoting regional and global peace. One such approach is the Brain-Based Approach to Peace, which has been shown by extensive research to restore balanced neurological functioning and reduce individual and societal stress, through the widespread application of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Heads of state and other top government leaders presented striking examples of how the implementation of this approach put an end to decades of civil war and brought lasting societal peace and prosperity. The Summit drew more than 600 leading scientists, Nobel Laureates, foremost educators, and political and military leaders from 21 countries. (more)

Afghanistan: 'Transcendental Meditation could be the answer to ending war'
20 June 2017 - War and terrorism in Afghanistan could quickly end if a minimum of 578 of Afghanistan's troops were trained in Invincible Defense Technology (IDT), writes Dr David Leffler in TOLOnews.com. The purpose of this IDT group would be to practise the non-religious Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique and its advanced programmes in groups twice a day. Extensive peer-reviewed research and military field-tests worldwide show that proper application of these programmes brings about measurable decreases in crime, terrorism and war and improvements in quality of life, resulting from the reduction of societal stress. (more)

Global Peace Summit in Kiev - Conference report
19 June 2017 - More than 600 scientists, Nobel Laureates, foremost educators, and political leaders from 21 countries converged in Kiev on 14-15 June to explore innovative solutions to the mounting problems of war and social conflict, and new approaches to national security and global peace. The global peace summit, entitled Science and Peace: Proven Solutions to Violence and Global Conflict, was hosted by the Global Union of Scientists for Peace. Renowned scientific, educational, political, cultural, and military leaders of Ukraine listened intently to presentations by former Presidents and other leading representatives of nations, who presented compelling evidence for successful solutions that have markedly reduced crime and terrorist incidents, or in some instances have lifted their countries out of civil war and restored peace and prosperity to their nations. (more)

US: Kennedy Center benefit for 10,000 veterans and at-risk youth to learn Transcendental Meditation - 5 June
3 June 2017 - Stars gather to help bring inner peace and relief to the nation's capital: Jerry Seinfeld will headline the David Lynch Foundation benefit concert on Monday, 5 June, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall in Washington, D.C. The benefit will support teaching Transcendental Meditation to 10,000 at-risk veterans and youth in Washington. Co-hosted by Hugh Jackman, Deborra-Lee Furness Jackman, and Katie Couric, the lineup at the 'National Night of Laughter and Song' features comics Jay Leno and Margaret Cho, and musical artists Kesha, Ben Folds, Angelique Kidjo, and Sharon Isbin. (more)

Global Peace Summit: Invitation to Scientists and Governmental Leaders of All Nations - Kiev, Ukraine, 14-15 June
23 May 2017 - The Global Union for Scientists for Peace (GUSP) is hosting a high-level global peace summit this month in Kiev, Ukraine. This conference, entitled SCIENCE AND PEACE: Proven Solutions to Violence and Global Conflict, will showcase innovative, evidence-based solutions to the ongoing problems of violence and conflict in Ukraine, Europe, and throughout the world. Among those confirmed or expected to speak are President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, who applied innovative GUSP-inspired programmes to end that nation's civil war; Ecuadorian General Jose Villamil, who applied similar peace-creating methods to end the longstanding war between Ecuador and Peru; Dr Rajendra Pachauri, former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize; and distinguished Ukrainian leaders in anti-terrorism and scientific research. GUSP encourages all scientists and leaders committed to the cause of peace to attend this historic conference. (more)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


276 killed in deadliest single attack in Somalia's history
16 October 2017 - The most powerful bomb blast ever witnessed in Somalia's capital killed 276 people with around 300 others injured, the country's information minister said early Monday (16 October), making it the deadliest single attack in this Horn of Africa nation. The toll was expected to rise. ... As angry protesters gathered near the scene of the attack, Somalia's government blamed the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group for what it called a 'national disaster.' However, Africa's deadliest Islamic extremist group, which often targets high-profile areas of the capital, had yet to comment. (more)

After bombing, Somalia fears renewed al-Shabab onslaught
16 October 2017 - As the toll rises above 300 from one of the world's deadliest attacks in years, the al-Shabab extremist group has sent a powerful signal that the international focus on extremism can't afford to overlook the African continent. Saturday's truck bombing on a crowded Mogadishu street showed that al-Shabab, targeted for years by U.S. airstrikes and tens of thousands of African Union forces, has once again made a deadly comeback. Pushed from Somalia's capital in recent years, al-Shabab has retreated mostly to rural areas of the country's south, where the fragile central government can't assert its authority and local fiefdoms are in charge. From there, Africa's deadliest Islamic extremist group has continued to plan guerrilla-style attacks like Saturday's truck bombing in the capital, Mogadishu. (more)

Somalia truck bombing toll over 300, scores remain missing
16 October 2017 - More than 300 people were killed in the weekend truck bombing in Somalia's capital and scores remained missing, authorities said Monday (16 October), as the fragile Horn of Africa nation reeled from one of the world's worst attacks in years. As funerals continued, the government said the death toll was expected to rise. Nearly 400 people were injured after Saturday's bombing targeted a crowded street in Mogadishu. (more)

Yemen cholera cases could hit 1 million by year-end: Red Cross
29 September 2017 - The humanitarian situation in Yemen is a 'catastrophe', and cholera cases could reach a million by the end of the year, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Friday, 29 September. Warring parties in Yemen -- including the western-backed Saudi-led coalition -- are all using disproportionate force, leading to 'very excessive' civilian casualties, said Alexandre Faite, the head of the Red Cross delegation in Yemen. (more)

CNN Exclusive: Russian-bought Black Lives Matter ad on Facebook targeted Baltimore and Ferguson
27 September 2017 - ...The decision to target the ad in those two cities offers the first look at how accounts linked to the Russian government-affiliated troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency used geographically targeted advertising to sow political chaos in the United States, the sources said. New descriptions of the Russian-bought ads shared with CNN suggest that the apparent goal of the Russian buyers was to amplify political discord and fuel an atmosphere of incivility and chaos . . . These ranged from posts promoting Black Lives Matter to posts promoting gun rights and the Second Amendment to posts warning about what they said was the threat undocumented immigrants posed to American democracy. Beyond the election, Russians have sought to raise questions about western democracies. The targeting issue is also important because, if it appears that the targeting was particularly sophisticated, questions may be raised about how the Russians knew where to direct their ads. ... (more)

After woman's mysterious death at Mexico resort, tourists report similar incidents
22 July 2017 - Something sinister is happening at a handful of luxury Mexican resorts -- at least according to one lawyer and some tourists who've vacationed there. After a young woman died under mysterious circumstances at the Iberostar Paraiso Resort in Playa Del Carmen, her family and attorneys have been looking for a plausible explanation for what happened to her. Abbey Conner, 20, died in January within just a few hours of arriving at a resort with her family. ... An attorney hired by the Conner family to investigate the situation visited the resort and noticed numerous young tourists hanging out drinking at the bar. But he also noticed something else. ...The Conners were not the first to report mysterious events and ultimately, tragedy, during their time at a luxury resort in Mexico. An investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel revealed other tourists found themselves in unexplainable situations with no memory of what had occurred. (more)

Mexico murders up with deadliest month in at least 20 years
22 July 2017 - Mexico's spiraling violence reached new heights with 2,234 murders in June, the country's deadliest month in at least 20 years, according to government data. Killings rose in states ranging from the tourist haven of Baja California Sur to the Gulf coast state of Veracruz and even in Mexico City, long considered a relative oasis from drug gang violence. For the first six months of 2017, authorities nationwide recorded 12,155 homicide investigations, or 31 percent more than the 9,300 during the same period last year. (more)

East Congo militia violence forces 80,000 to flee home, U.N. says
11 July 2017 - About 80,000 people have fled fighting between the Democratic Republic of Congo army and a new rebel coalition, the United Nations said on Tuesday (11 July) joining the millions already uprooted in Africa's worst displacement crisis. Militia violence has intensified across Congo since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate in December, raising fears the country will slide back into the wars at the turn of the century that killed millions. The latest fighting broke out in South Kivu province's Fizi territory, in the eastern part of the country. (more)

CNN Exclusive: US suspects Russian hackers planted fake news behind Qatar crisis
7 June 2017 - US investigators believe Russian hackers breached Qatar's state news agency and planted a fake news report that contributed to a crisis among the US' closest Gulf allies, according to US officials briefed on the investigation. ... Intelligence gathered by the US security agencies indicates that Russian hackers were behind the intrusion first reported by the Qatari government two weeks ago, US officials say. Qatar hosts one of the largest US military bases in the region. (more)

AP Analysis: Qatar crisis exposes a long Gulf family fight
6 June 2017 - Gulf Arab nations often get considered one giant family, as many ruling tribes intermarried and have long ties stretching back to the days before oil turned dusty fishing villages into skyscraper-studded metropolises. But if the last day has proven anything, it's that every family fights. The diplomatic standoff between Qatar and its neighbors has exposed longstanding faults running just under the surface of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional body meant to serve as a counterbalance to Iran. None of the key countries -- Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates -- appears to be backing down, calling into question the unity of the council just as it seeks to portray itself as standing up to Iran. (more)

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