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Portugal: The world's first plastic-free flight is here
2 January 2019 - The world's first plastic-free flight took to the skies just after Christmas, operated by a Portuguese airline that says it can 'no longer ignore' the impact the single-use material has on the environment. Hi Fly, that leases aircraft from Portugal and Malta, replaced plastic cutlery and containers with bamboo and compostable alternatives crafted from recycled material. The flight took passengers from the carrier's headquarters in Lisbon to Brazil on an Airbus A340 on Boxing Day and is the first of three more test flights to follow, all carrying a total of 700 travellers. The aim, according to Hi Fly president Paulo Mirpuri, is to adopt a plastic-free policy on all its flights by the end of 2019. (more)

31 new solar power plants bring 1 gigawatt of renewables to Portugal
25 July 2018 - Thirty-one new solar power plants will be installed in Portugal with a total of over 1,000 MW of production capacity by 2021, according to an article on Dinheiro Vivo. 'By 2021 we will be able to triple the solar capacity in Portugal, from the current 572 MW to close to 1600 MW,' said Jorge Seguro Sanches, Portugal's Energy Secretary of State. Portugal's goal is to run completely on renewable electricity. (more)

Goats may be Portugal's secret weapon for fighting wildfire threats
27 June 2018 - Wildfires are fairly common across Portugal during their normally dry summer months. Wildfires were a large problem in Portugal last year ... To prevent another catastrophe, Portugal is using an ancient and reemerging strategy to fight the growing wildfire threat as dry summer months approach: goats. (more)

Portugal tourist arrivals spike 12 percent to new record in 2017
14 February 2018 - The number of foreign tourists visiting Portugal rose nearly 12 percent last year to a record 12.7 million people, contributing to the once-bailed out country's strongest economic growth since 2000, official data showed on Wednesday (14 February). The tourism sector is also a key source of employment and big component of exports of services. Preliminary data ... also showed that total hotel revenues in the Atlantic coast country, including domestic tourism, soared nearly 17 percent to 3.4 billion euros ($4.20 billion). (more)

'This is possible. We did it': the week Portugal ran on renewables
26 December 2016 - For four and a half days in May, Portugal ran entirely on electricity from renewable sources. Despite fears of a blackout, the lights stayed on for a record 107 hours between 6.45 am on Saturday 7 May and 5.45 pm the following Wednesday. Francisco Ferreira, president of the Portuguese environmental NGO Zero, stated, 'It was great to see that the system was working; to see that we could manage all these renewables even though the circumstances were quite challenging.' (more)

Portugal's political stability is Europe's rare pleasant surprise
22 June 2016 - The alliance between the center-left Socialists and far left was widely seen as doomed to swift collapse when it was formed last year. But it has so far confounded expectations by enduring, providing something rare for investors in the European Union: a pleasant surprise. Portugal, one of the countries hardest hit by the euro zone financial crisis, has proven an unlikely haven of political stability. (more)

Portugal runs for four days straight on renewable energy alone
20 May 2016 - Portugal kept its lights on with renewable energy alone for four consecutive days last week in a clean energy milestone revealed by data analysis of national energy network figures. News of the zero emissions landmark comes just days after Germany announced that clean energy had powered almost all its electricity needs on Sunday 15 May, with power prices turning negative at several times in the day -- effectively paying consumers to use it. (more)

Overseas tourists visiting Portugal hit record in 2015
16 February 2016 - A record number of foreign tourists stayed in Portuguese hotels last year, with the number surpassing 10 million visitors for the first time and boosting hotel revenues, official data showed on Tuesday, 16 February. The National Statistics Institute said the number of foreign tourists reached 10.18 million in 2015, a rise of 10 percent on the previous year. (more)

Scientists figure out pendulum clock puzzle that dates back centuries
28 July 2015 - After more than three centuries, scientists say they have figured out why pendulum clocks hung on the same wall tend to sync up -- with one clock's pendulum swinging to the left just as the other swings right. The strange phenomenon was first observed in 1665 by Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695), according to LiveScience. No matter how the clocks started, the Dutch scientist noticed that within about 30 minutes their pendulums wound up swinging in precisely opposite directions. (more)

Portugal's exports seen hitting new record
13 April 2015 - Portugal's exports should pick up steam and hit a new record this year despite a steep fall in sales to Angola, which is likely to be short-lived, the head of the state agency for promotion of exports and investment (AICEP) said. Miguel Frasquilho is also optimistic 2014's foreign direct investment of 6 billion euros (4.3 billion pounds) -- the highest since 2006 -- could be surpassed this year, adding to economic growth. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Portugal: Schools implement Consciousness-Based Education
18 July 2013 - In Portugal two schools have implemented the Consciousness-Based Education curriculum. The first school, located in the southern Portugal town of Algarve, started the programme in 2010. A second school, in the northern part of Portugal, decided to implement Consciousness-Based Education earlier this year. (more)

Portugal: 66 students and teachers learn Transcendental Meditation
16 July 2011 - In Portugal and Portuguese-speaking nations of Africa, many are learning the Transcendental Meditation Programme, as well as enjoying programmes of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in education and health. (more)

Portugal: Teachers, parents, education leaders support secondary school implementing Consciousness-Based Education
15 December 2009 - In Portugal, a secondary school with 600 students is implementing Consciousness-Based Education. The school could potentially create invincibility for the nation, through group practice of Transcendental Meditation. Interest is also rising from other schools and education leaders, to offer the scientifically demonstrated benefits of the meditation technique to their students. (more)

Portugal enjoys new Maharishi Invincibility Centre, Consciousness-Based Education programme
30 September 2009 - Portugal has enjoyed recent expansion of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes, promising enlightenment for a greater number of individuals and invincibility for the nation. (more)

Portugal: New wave of interest in Transcendental Meditation
30 November 2007 - Dr David Lynch, celebrated filmmaker and leading proponent of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's peace-creating technologies, visited Portugal this month as part of a tour throughout Europe, generating the nation's biggest wave of interest in Transcendental Meditation in 20 years. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

Wildfires blaze across unseasonably hot, dry Portugal
27 March 2019 - Hundreds of Portuguese firefighters struggled on Wednesday (227 March) to contain wildfires which erupted far earlier in the season than usual because of unexpectedly hot and windy weather. Ten fires were burning across the country, most in the north, several months before the late spring season when fire crews are normally in place. Meteorologists said global warming had made it difficult to predict where blazes would erupt. (more)

Portugal's wildfire moves south towards tourist coastal spots
7 August 2018 - Portugal's government moved command of the emergency services battling a huge fire in the southern Algarve region to the national level on Tuesday (7 August) as the fire moved south towards popular tourist towns on the coast. The blaze started in eucalyptus and pine forests in the hills but is now steadily moving towards the coast where thousands of tourists, foreign and local, take their holidays every year. (more)

Portugal wildfires kill at least 35; 4 dead in Spain
16 October 2017 - Late season wildfires that broke out over the weekend in Portugal have killed at least 35 people ... authorities said Monday (16 October), making 2017 by far the deadliest year on record for forest blazes in the country. In neighboring Spain, wildfires have also killed at least four people and prompted the evacuation of thousands in the northwest region of Galicia, as the remnants of winds from Hurricane Ophelia fanned the flames along Iberia's Atlantic coast. ... A prolonged drought has made the calamity worse this year. (more)

Portugal fights record number of wildfires for 1 day in 2017
12 August 2017 - Portugal is fighting to put out a spate of wildfires after the southern European country hit a year high of outbreaks for a single day on Friday, authorities say. Portugal's Civil Protection Agency, which coordinates its firefighting efforts, said Saturday that it recorded a record for this year of 220 separate wildfires on Friday [11 August]. (more)

Spain, Portugal issue health alerts amid scorching temps
29 June 2015 - Spain and Portugal both issued weather alerts Monday, advising residents to take extra care as temperatures soared above 40 C (104 F) in some southern areas. Portuguese authorities also warned of a high risk of forest fires. Official statistics show that after an uncommonly dry winter and spring, almost 54 percent of the Portuguese mainland was enduring extreme or severe drought at the end of May. With little rainfall in June, that percentage is expected to rise. (more)

Portugal political crisis rages again as talks break off
19 July 2013 - Portugal's main political parties broke off talks on Friday on a 'national salvation' pact to ensure an EU/IMF bailout stays on track, leaving it to the president to decide how to proceed. Political turmoil has already forced Lisbon to request a delay in the eighth review of the bailout by its creditors, which was initially due to start last Monday, until the end of August or early September. The 78-billion-euro ($102.5-billion) bailout programme and attached austerity policies are associated with the worst recession in Portugal since the 1970s. The leader of the main opposition Socialists, Antonio Jose Seguro, said the ruling coalition had rejected most of his party's proposals aimed to renegotiate the terms of the bailout. The crisis, which started as an internal political rift in the ruling coalition and expanded to a debate over the bailout plan, has threatened to derail Portugal's planned exit from the bailout and full return to debt markets in mid-2014. (more)

Second ministerial resignation plunges Portugal into crisis
2 July 2013 - Portugal's prime minister refused to accept the resignation of his foreign minister on Tuesday, raising the stakes in a political crisis that could derail Lisbon's plan to exit an international bailout. Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho told the nation that he would continue to head the government to ensure political stability and would work in coming hours to overcome the crisis sparked by the resignation of Foreign Minister Paulo Portas. Coelho's decision puts the responsibility for the government's survival squarely on the shoulders of Portas, who now has to decide whether to stay in his post or pull his rightist CDS-PP party out of the coalition. Without the CDS-PP, the centre-right government would lose its majority. Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar, the architect of a programme of spending cuts and tax hikes required by foreign lenders as a condition of their support, resigned a day earlier, citing an erosion in support for the bailout. (more)

Economic fears drive Portuguese presidential vote
20 January 2011 - Portuguese voters fearing their nation is heading toward economic disaster seem poised to re-elect a conservative economist as president by a landslide Sunday in a vote that could make governing difficult for the nation's Socialist Prime Minister. Though Portugal is one of the 17-nation eurozone's smaller members, worries about Portugal's fate are magnified by the possibility that its troubles could add to pressure on far bigger neighbour Spain and propel Europe's debt crisis into a more alarming phase. Many analysts believe Portugal will end up needing a financial rescue like the ones provided to Greece and Ireland last year. The government insists it can weather the storm alone, but its reforms will likely take years to revive Portugal's ailing economy. (more)

Portugal seen needing up to 60 bln euro aid package
3 December 2010 - Portugal is likely to need a rescue package of 45-60 billion euros from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund and may not get through the year without seeking a bailout. Investors believe Portugal will be the next euro zone country after Greece and Ireland to ask for help as its borrowing costs have risen above sustainable levels while its economy lacks competitiveness and growth is very slow. Many economists believe a bailout is just a question of when, not if, and some expect it could happen before the year-end if Lisbon is persuaded to tap EU funds pre-emptively in an effort to stop the euro zone sovereign debt crisis from spreading to Spain. (more)

Portuguese unions strike over austerity measures
24 November 2010 - Portuguese unions staged what they said was the country's largest general strike on Wednesday, pressing the government to scrap austerity measures intended to ward off a debt crisis that is spreading through the euro zone. Any wavering in the Socialist government's commitment to austerity measures could push up Portugal's borrowing costs in the same vicious spiral that forced Ireland, and before it Greece, to seek international aid. Portugal has suffered from years of low growth, and waning competitiveness which economists say undermines its ability to ride out the debt crisis. Although the Portuguese economy is growing this year, economists fear it will slide back into recession in 2011 as higher taxes and civil servant wage cuts of five per cent bite into consumption. Unemployment, already at its highest since the 1980s at 10.9 per cent, could rise further. (more)


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