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Positive Trends
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'Resilient' refugees find freedom with Australian food business
11 October 2018 - Fair Food, which delivers around 1,000 organic fruit and vegetable boxes a week to customers around Melbourne, has workers from the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, Sri Lanka. Fair Food is the largest of 18 social enterprises -- businesses that seek to benefit society as well as turning a profit -- run by CERES, an environment park and farm ... in Melbourne. (more)

In Pakistan, a high mountain water pipe brings a bonus: peace
17 September 2018 - When a pipeline was installed last year to bring spring water and snowmelt to the village [Siksa, Pakistan] of 500 households in northern Pakistan, it brought something else as well: peace. The pipeline, sunk three feet into the ground, uses gravity to carry water six kilometres (3.7 miles) from the heights of the Karakoram Mountains in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan's northern-most region. A reliable supply of water also has allowed villagers for the first time in year to sell a surplus of vegetables grown in the nearby market towns of Khaplu and Skardu ... (more)

Koreas open 1st liaison office for better communication
14 September 2018 - The rival Koreas on Friday [14 September] opened their first liaison office near their tense border to facilitate better communication and exchanges ahead of their leaders' summit in Pyongyang next week. The office's opening in the North Korean border town of Kaesong is the latest in a series of reconciliatory steps the Koreas have taken this year. The office is the first of its kind since the Koreas were divided at the end of World War II in 1945. (more)

Ethiopia-Eritrea border opens for first time in 20 years
11 September 2018 - On Tuesday (11 September), the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea reopened crossing points on their shared border, clearing the way for trade between the two nations. The development was part of a series of reconciliation moves that began in July, when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia and President Isaias Afwerki of Eritrea signed a formal declaration of peace. (more)

If you want peace, prepare for solar
5 September 2018 - Solar has the potential to foster peace and aid conflict resolution by being deployed in several of the world's crisis areas. Electricity is one of the highest costs for humanitarian missions in fragile regions, such as South Sudan, the Congo, Somalia, Myanmar, and Yemen, among others. In an interview with pv magazine, the CEO and founder of Energy Peace Partners describes how solar installed in camps and protected areas, could improve the outcomes of such missions. (more)

More refugees find jobs in Germany, integration going 'pretty well'
21 August 2018 - A growing number of migrants are finding jobs in Germany, according to data released on Tuesday (21 August) that will give heart to supporters of Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to let in hundreds of thousands of war refugees since 2015. Figures last week also showed that German companies have managed to attract more apprentices to on-the-job training schemes due to a surge in applications from asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Syria. (more)

Fix a phone or 50 pushups: how to beat knife crime in Britain
16 August 2018 - Sitting in his cell, mulling a childhood shaped by fear, theft, and drugs, gang member Jake knew things had to change. Enter 'Cracked It' - an innovative business that teaches young offenders how to fix cracked smartphones, boosting former inmates' self esteem and confidence in the process. Josh Babarinde, a 25-year-old former youth worker, started the business three years ago. Nearly two thirds of his 140 graduates are working or studying and 80 percent did not reoffend within six months of graduating, bucking the national trend of 42 percent. (more)

Refugees integrate well in Australia, survey finds
14 August 2018 - A new study from Australian researchers shows that refugees and new immigrants integrate well in Australia -- especially in regional areas. The research found that refugees were welcomed by their new communities, found it 'easy' to get along, and felt a strong sense of belonging to their new homes. (more)

Refugees sow crops with Kenyan hosts - and reap integration
10 August 2018 - Kenyan villager Ekeno Pedo never considered that golden fields of sorghum -- or indeed any crop -- might one day flourish on the outskirts of his village in drought-stricken Turkana county. A 14-year project aims to provide refugees with sustainable livelihoods through agriculture, while helping them integrate with the local Kenyan community. The fields that have sprung up in this vast and arid scrubland in Kenya's northwest are in part due to the hard work of refugees, who have come here from neighbouring South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Uganda in recent decades. Residents and refugees alike say it has worked well. (more)

African refugee grows homeland's bitter eggplants in Vermont
9 August 2018 - After surviving refugee camps in Africa, Janine Ndagijimana settled in Vermont and began to dream of farming. When she considered what to plant, she thought back to her time in Tanzania and settled on the African eggplant, also called bitter ball or garden egg. It wasn't found in Vermont, and she remembered how it garnered a good price at the refugee market. These days, Ndagijimana's farming of the oblong white fruit and other varieties has turned her into a refugee success story in Vermont, one of the least culturally or racially diverse states . . . She's part of a growing number of farmers from other parts of the world who have used social media, the internet, and niche markets often in big cities to successfully sell crops native to their home countries. (more)


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


'Silence the Violence' Town Hall, Washington, DC: Impact of Transcendental Meditation to prevent, curb rise of violence in America - Watch replay
2 November 2018 - 'Silence the Violence', a compelling Town Hall meeting webcast live from Washington, D.C., last month, is now available for online replay. Leading doctors, researchers, educators and community leaders discussed the impact of the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation technique for preventing and curbing the rise of violence in America today. The event was livestreamed from the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) Theater in Southeast Washington. The event also highlighted the work of the David Lynch Foundation's Center for Health and Wellness - including The Meditation Center (TMC) at THEARC. (more)

New reference guide summarizes 227 books by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
12 October 2018 - Maharishi University of Management PhD alumnus Lee Fergusson has recently published a book that summarizes each of 227 books by, or attributable to, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi published between 1955 and the present. 'The purpose of this guide is to provide the reader-researcher with information and background material on the published works of Maharishi and to furnish an appropriate context in which this significant body of work can systematically be accessed and comprehended for future scholarly benefit' and for the advancement of Maharishi Vedic Science and Technology, Dr Fergusson said. (more)

Live on Facebook: 'What Is Consciousness Really?' - Dr Tony Nader, Sunday 7 October
6 October 2018 - How would you answer the question, 'What is consciousness?' Join Tony Nader, MD, PhD, MARR, this Sunday, 7 October, in an interactive Facebook Live event - for an insightful discussion on the origins and structure of human consciousness. Dr. Nader is an MIT- and Harvard-trained neuroscientist, one of the world's great Vedic scholars, and head of the international Transcendental Meditation organizations. He has spent the last 40 years probing the deepest truths of life - both as a world-renowned medical doctor and brain researcher and as an expert in meditation, yoga, and consciousness. The event begins at 9:00 a.m. US Eastern Daylight Time, 3:00 pm Central Europe Time. (more)

In Science of Being and Art of Living, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi presents the key to successful relationships
5 October 2018 - In one chapter of his book Science of Being and Art of Living, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi explains how practising Transcendental Meditation forms a basis for fulfilling relationships. Featuring an extended quote from this section, 'The Art of Behaviour', Janet Hoffman, executive director of TM for Women Professionals in the USA, highlights the role of anxiety-free, stress-free relationships for well-being and happiness. Maharishi writes, 'The fundamental of good social behaviour is the strong, clear, and contented mind of the individual, which . . . easily develop through the simple system of Transcendental Meditation.' Maharishi's book gives the key to good health, right action, clear, effective thinking and speaking, and life in freedom, Hoffman says - 'all based on the experience of the transcendent field of Being located within you during the practice of the TM technique'. (more)

Sunday, 30 September: Live-streaming Transcendental Meditation Introductory talk, Q and A with TM teacher Bob Roth
29 September 2018 - This Sunday, 30 September, attend a live-streaming Transcendental Meditation introductory talk with Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation and author of the best-selling book Strength in Stillness. The TM 'intro' talk, usually given in person, is the first step toward learning the TM technique. This is a special opportunity to do this online, from the comfort of your own home. Over the past 45 years, Roth has taught Transcendental Meditation to thousands of people, including corporate CEOs, entertainment personalities, combat veterans, and inner-city youth. After a 15-20 minute talk including how TM reduces stress and anxiety, improves brain function, and is different from other meditations, he will remain online to answer questions. (more)

TM for Women: Fulfilling the pursuit of happiness at the deepest level of our self
10 August 2018 - 'While all Americans in principle have the liberty that allows for the pursuit of happiness, women struggle to fulfil this goal,' writes Janet Hoffman, executive director of TM for Women Professionals in the USA. Research shows that depression is twice as likely in women than in men. A 2010 study by researchers at University of California Los Angeles shows that depressive symptoms decreased by almost 50% over a 12-month period among people practising Transcendental Meditation. 'Our mission in TM for Women is the full empowerment of women as independent, self-sufficient, happy human beings,' Hoffman writes, '. . . . realizing ourselves as the immeasurable being we are - with no lack, no boundary, nothing missing or needed.' (more)

The secret that makes Transcendental Meditation unique: How TM differs from mindfulness and other practices
27 July 2018 - In this excerpt from the revised and expanded edition of the best-selling classic, Transcendental Meditation: The Essential Teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, author Jack Forem explains the uniqueness of Transcendental Meditation and what distinguishes it from contemplation, concentration, mindfulness, and other practices. A growing body of research is demonstrating significant differences both in the techniques and in the effects they have on body and mind. In contrast to other techniques, which keep the mind active at the surface level, 'TM is a vertical process, opening or expanding awareness to deeper levels. . . . like diving to the depths of the ocean', Forem writes. 'The real ''secret'' is to transcend, to open our awareness to the field where all the laws of nature silently reside in a unified, unexpressed state. With regular practice, we become capable of living and thinking from that level, projecting our thoughts from that realm of unlimited potential.' (more)

The 'Dear Prudence' Story: The inspiration for the Beatles song in Rishikesh, India, 1968
14 July 2018 - After learning Transcendental Meditation at UCLA, Prudence Farrow attended a TM Teacher Training Course in India with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1968. John Lennon and George Harrison were her 'course buddies' during their studies with Maharishi. 'I was deeply immersed in my studies and meditation,' she says, explaining that the Beatles' song 'Dear Prudence' was written to encourage her to come out and sing with them. Over the last 50 years, Prudence has instructed thousands of people in TM. Author and filmmaker, she earned her doctorate in 2007, with a focus on South Asian Studies and Sanskrit. 'The years of meditating have enriched my life so much,' she says. 'We need a better world. We need people to be more conscious, to be more evolved. . . . If you can strengthen people inside, you've changed the world.' (more)

Creating peace in Lebanon: One woman's story
30 June 2018 - Susan Hamza and her family live in Lebanon, a country that has survived a civil war, terrorist attacks, and invasion from neighbouring countries in recent decades. She and her husband learned Transcendental Meditation 45 years ago, and now she says, 'When I meditate I feel a sense of peace, a total absence of disturbance on the level of emotions, and that carries on throughout the day. It's now a time of my life when very little can disturb my inner peace.' Susan, who is head of the TM women's organization in Lebanon, believes that the peace-creating effects of TM provide great hope for the Middle East. Based on published research, she says, 'I am convinced that there is no other way to create peace but by having large coherence-creating groups practising Transcendental Meditation' and its advanced programmes. (more)

The power of love is the power of transcendence
22 June 2018 - 'What keeps us from being loving?' asks Ann Purcell, award-winning author and Transcendental Meditation teacher. 'It may sound simplistic, but the answer is simple: the obstacle to the flow of love from the heart is stress! As much as we would like to be loving, if we are tired, anxious, and have too many demands on us, it is challenging to feel - let alone express - love.' Twice-daily practice of TM, she explains, allows us to experience the quietest level of the mind regularly, release deep-rooted stress, and 'begin to find more calmness and orderliness in our lives. When we are calm, collected, and less stressed, then we are automatically able to listen better, be more aware, and extend ourselves spontaneously - without trying. This is gaining the power of the transcendent, the deepest level within ourselves, that can generate free flowing feelings of love and kindness.' (more)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


Dozens killed in Afghanistan fighting as sectarian threat grows
11 November 2018 - Fifteen Afghan civilians and 10 commandos sent to reinforce Shi'ite militia forces fighting Taliban in the central province of Ghazni were killed on Sunday (11 November), officials said, as a days-long battle with threatening ethnic overtones continued. ... The fighting took place as U.S. special envoy Zakmay Khalilzad prepared for a fresh round of meetings aimed at bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table to try to find a political settlement to the decades-long war in Afghanistan. (more)

In Kyrgyzstan, warming brings less water - and more conflict
11 November 2018 - As the Kyrgyz village of Kok Tal's nominated murab, or water man, Mamatgapirov must ensure that all 200 of Kok Tal's farmers receive their fair share of water. But there is rarely enough for everyone. 'The problem is Uzbekistan' he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. 'Our water flows through Uzbekistan and they do not give us enough.' Kok Tal's water begins its journey at the Papan reservoir in Kyrgyzstan -- 120 miles away from the village. It flows along a series of cracked and crooked canals -- built during the Soviet era -- until it is diverted, using hand-operated gates, to the various farms that line its route. The canal network stretches across the Fergana Valley -- a twisted knot of contested borders and enclaves that is acrimoniously shared between Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Almost a quarter of Central Asia's population lives in the valley ... (more)

79 students kidnapped from boarding school in Cameroon, official says
5 November 2018 - Armed men kidnapped 79 children from a boarding school in Cameroon's Northwest region, a local government official told CNN Monday (5 November). ... Anglophone separatist fighters calling for independence from Cameroon's largely Francophone government have been accused of kidnapping students in Cameroon's north and southwest region. (more)

Separatists kidnap 79 pupils in Cameroon's restive northwest
5 November 2018 - Armed separatists kidnapped at least 79 students and three staff members from a Presbyterian school in a troubled English-speaking region of Cameroon, the governor said Monday (5 November). A video purporting to show the kidnapped students was posted on social media from a group of men who call themselves 'Amba boys,' a reference to the state of Ambazonia that armed separatists want to establish in Cameroon's Anglophone North West and South West regions. (more)

Asia's meth boom: How a war on drugs went continent-wide
2 November 2018 - From the jungles of Myanmar to the streets of Hong Kong, police throughout Asia are fighting a war against methamphetamine. By many indications, they're losing. Demand for both crystal meth and yaba, tablets that typically contain a mixture of meth and caffeine, is skyrocketing. Production is increasing at an unprecedented clip, and so is the body count. Leaders in places like Bangladesh and the Philippines are waging deadly drug wars that have cost thousands of lives. But this isn't 'Breaking Bad' -- meth isn't just used by the poor and the downtrodden. Meth no longer discriminates in Asia; it has become the dominant drug of choice across the region, irrespective of class, age, or gender ... (more)

Yemen conflict could push millions more to brink of famine: U.N.
15 October 2018 - The number of Yemenis on the brink of famine could rise to 12 million -- or two in five of the population -- from around 8.5 million in coming months due to escalating war and a deepening economic crisis, the United Nations food agency said on Monday (15 October). Yemen has been torn apart by more than three years of civil war between the internationally recognized government, backed by a Saudi-led military coalition and based in the south, and the Iran-aligned Houthi movement that controls the north, including the capital Sanaa. The nation of some 30 million is the Arabian peninsula's poorest. (more)

Thousands are arrested in Ethiopia after ethnic violence
24 September 2018 - The Ethiopian government has arrested thousands of people around the capital, Addis Ababa, over the last week and sent many of them to military camps for 'rehabilitation,' the authorities said on Monday (24 September), as the government sought to respond to mounting criticism from Ethiopians who say it has done little as ethnic violence has flared. (more)

'Five million' Yemeni children face famine
19 September 2018 - A further one million children are at risk of famine in Yemen, Save the Children has warned. Rising food prices and the falling value of the Yemeni currency as a result of the conflict are putting more families at risk of food insecurity. But another threat comes from fighting around the key port city of Hudaydah, which is the entry point for most aid to the country's rebel-held areas. The charity says a total of 5.2 million children in Yemen now face famine. (more)

Scotland sets sights on slavery as more Vietnamese chase 'pot of gold'
19 September 2018 - Many young Vietnamese who make tortuous journeys to Britain through Russia and Europe often end up enslaved. After decades spent battling an influx of heroin, some of Scotland's top cops are now striving to get to grips with another troubling import -- modern-day slaves from Vietnam. Better known for its illicit trade in drugs than people, Scotland has set its sights on slavemasters and is stepping up efforts to stamp out the crime as it uncovers more victims. (more)

Fighting breaks out in South Sudan 2 days after peace deal
14 September 2018 - Fighting has broken out in South Sudan two days after the warring sides signed what the government called a 'final final' peace agreement to end the civil war. Each side blames the other for the attacks. Clashes erupted Friday morning [14 September] in Central Equatoria state when government troops stormed bases in Lainya and Kajo Keji counties, opposition spokesman Lam Paul Gabriel said. (more)

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