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'Migrant TripAdvisor' app helps new arrivals navigate Italy
19 February 2018 - A new smartphone app aims to help migrants in Italy find hospitals, schools, and police stations at the press of a button -- and quickly seek help ... More than 600,000 migrants have reached Italy from North Africa in the last four years, many fleeing war and poverty. Many migrants struggle to adapt when they arrive, said Oliviero Forti of aid group Caritas, which developed the app. 'They need a travel companion,' he said, adding that migrants tend to arrive with nothing apart from a phone. The app is available in four languages -- English, Italian, French, and Arabic -- and has been downloaded more than 500 times since it was launched earlier this month, Forti said. (more)

Afghan province declared landmine-free after 10-year clearance drive
15 February 2018 - Afghanistan's deadliest province for landmines has been declared free of the explosive devices after a decade-long clearance effort, the demining group HALO Trust said on Thursday (15 February). HALO spokesman Paul McCann said nearly 80 percent of the country's minefields had been cleared in the past three decades. (more)

With extraordinary political optics, Winter Olympics begin
9 February 2018 - In an extraordinary show of unexpected unity, North and South Korea sat side by side Friday night (9 February) under exploding fireworks that represented peace, not destruction, as the 2018 Winter Olympics opened on a Korean Peninsula riven by generations of anger, suspicion, and bloodshed. The sister of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, shook hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in -- and appeared genuinely pleased -- while they watched an elaborate show of light, sound, and human performance. (more)

From refugee to chef: Berlin film festival to showcase Syrian cook
25 January 2018 - A Syrian refugee will be cooking dishes from Damascus and Aleppo for VIP guests at the opening of the Berlinale International Film Festival next month. The choice of Malakeh Jazmati reflects the mission of the festival, which was set up in 1951 to showcase films that address urgent social and political issues in the world. (more)

Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team
17 January 2018 - The rival Koreas agreed Wednesday (17 January) to form their first unified Olympic team and have their athletes parade together for the first time in 11 years during the opening ceremony of next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea, officials said. The agreements still require approval from the International Olympic Committee. But they are the most prominent steps toward rapprochement achieved by the Koreas since they recently began exploring cooperation during the Olympics following a year of heightened tension over the North's nuclear weapons program. (more)

A small uptick in inter-Korean ties follows a tense year
9 January 2018 - What a difference a year makes. North and South Korea sat down to talk Tuesday (9 January) after a year of mounting tensions ... The seemingly intractable differences suddenly eased over the past week -- though just a tad -- in a series of developments that followed a suggestion by North Korea's leader that he might send a delegation to the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea. A look at the buildup and easing of tensions: (more)

North Korea to join Olympics in South Korea as tensions ease
9 January 2018 - The rival Koreas took steps toward reducing their bitter animosity during rare talks Tuesday, as North Korea agreed to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea and reopen a military hotline. (more)

AP Explains: What to expect from North-South Korean talks
8 January 2018 - North Korea's recent abrupt push to improve ties with South Korea wasn't totally unexpected, as the country has a history of launching provocations and then pursuing dialogue with rivals Seoul and Washington in an attempt to win concessions. Still, Tuesday's planned talks between the Koreas, the first in about two years, have raised hopes of at least a temporary easing of tensions over North Korea's recent nuclear and missile tests, which have ignited fears of a possible war. A look at how the Korean talks were arranged and what to expect from them: (more)

US: Chicago sees significant drop in homicides, shootings in 2017
1 January 2018 - Chicago ended 2017 with fewer homicides than the year before ... The Chicago Police Department released statistics Monday (1 January) ... Still, the drops -- and the reasons behind the lower numbers -- have police and others optimistic that some of their efforts will lead to more declines over the next year. (more)

US: Want good news at year's end? Crime is down - again
28 December 2017 - For decades the rate of violent crime in the United States has been headed down. In 2017, for example, New York City is poised to experience its lowest level of violent crime since the 1950s. Data from the 30 largest US cities shows that the annual murder rate in 2017 will decline 5.6 percent from 2016, reports the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. Among the cities with the largest decreases: Chicago (down 11.9 percent) and Detroit (down 9.8 percent). In an analysis last spring, the center found that across the US crime has been decreasing for the past quarter century . . . What's causing this encouraging trend is less clear. (more)


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


Maharishi Vastu Architecture website features new photo albums of homes around the world
16 February 2018 - Have you ever wondered what it would be like to look inside a Maharishi Vastu home? A new photo album page on the Maharishi Vedic Architecture website lets you do just that. The page contains albums of Maharishi Vastu homes from around the world. (more)

Residents of Maharishi Vastu homes report less stress, better health, more success
5 February 2018 - The February newsletter of Maharishi Vastu Architecture reports on a recent, comprehensive survey of several hundred people worldwide who live in dwellings built according to Maharishi Vastu architecture. A high percentage of residents reported improvements from living in these homes, on five measures: improved quality of life, less stress, improved mental health, greater overall success, and that their children were happier. The survey results illustrate the principles and goals of Maharishi Vastu architecture, that living in these homes creates an influence of good health, happiness, family harmony, and growth to enlightenment. (more)

'In the most silent avenue of one's Being, everything is a possibility' - Maharishi, 2007
12 January 2018 - Today organizations teaching Transcendental Meditation in many countries held an annual conference celebrating the achievements of the worldwide programmes founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. On this day in 2007, Maharishi inaugurated a global capital of world peace at the centre of India. There a large group of experts would be established to create an influence of peace, progress, and prosperity for every nation, through their daily routine of Yoga (Transcendental Meditation and its advanced programmes) and Yagya, a timeless technology for the prevention of problems and the promotion of success and good fortune. In his inaugural address Maharishi said, 'Administrators should be competent to bestow anything to anyone who desires anything - and anything is a possibility in the transcendental, unmanifest field. In the most silent avenue of one's Being, everything is a possibility, and this is the gate of life that will be opened for everyone in the world.' (more)

A foolproof method for preventing terrorism in the Democratic Republic of Congo
8 January 2018 - Currently the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is experiencing a grave humanitarian emergency, with economic deterioration and increasing political instability. Latest African News features Dr David Leffler's presentation of 'a foolproof, simple, and most expedient method for preventing terrorism and increasing stability in DRC'. During these dangerous times, terrorism could quickly end if DRC's military were trained to form what is known in Latin American military circles as a Prevention Wing of the Military - comprised of Invincible Defense Technology (IDT) experts practising the non-religious Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique and its advanced programmes. Scientific research showing measurable decreases in crime, terrorism, and war through IDT has been published repeatedly in peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Conflict Resolution, Social Indicators Research, Journal of Crime and Justice, and International Journal of Neuroscience. (more)

'A New Science for Peace': Conference replays available online
6 January 2018 - Candy Crowley, former anchor of CNN's 'State of the Nation with Candy Crowley', John Hagelin, PhD, President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace, and experts in health, brain science, education, and the military recently held a summit to discuss the use of the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation technique to address the critical issues of toxic stress, trauma, and peace. The summit - 'A New Science for Peace: Research on Transcendental Meditation, the Brain, Trauma, and Peace' - took place at the Abramson Center for Peace, David Lynch Foundation, in Washington, DC. The full event, which was live streamed, is now available for replay online. (more)

New approach for Somali security forces to prevent terrorism
21 November 2017 - 'During these dangerous times of high tensions in Somalia, terrorism could quickly end if Somali security forces were trained to form what is known in Latin American military circles as Prevention Wings of the Military. These units would be comprised of Invincible Defense Technology (IDT) experts,' writes Dr David Leffler in the publication of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting in Nigeria. The purpose of these IDT groups would be to practise Transcendental Meditation (TM) and its advanced programmes 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.' Somali leaders would be wise, he said, to investigate these technologies and 'learn how to rapidly establish perpetual peace'. (more)

'A New Science for Peace: Research on meditation, the brain, trauma, and peace' - Conference 5 December, Washington, DC
19 November 2017 - On 5 December at American University in Washington, DC, a distinguished panel of experts will explore the impact of 40 years of published research and clinical applications of the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique on improving health and reducing the symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS) among combat veterans, urban youth, and women survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Data will also be presented on the findings of TM reducing trauma, crime, and violence in society as a whole. The conference, hosted by the David Lynch Foundation, will be held at the Abramson Center for Peace, and moderated by Candy Crowley, former anchor, CNN's 'State of the Nation with Candy Crowley'. There is no fee to attend. (more)

India Today: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was the most influential yoga guru from India in 50 years
28 October 2017 - Renowned author David Frawley wrote for India Today: 'Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was probably the most influential yoga guru from India over the past 50 years, with millions of followers in every part of the world . . . . His influence in India was extensive, where he redefined the image of the guru and the corpus of knowledge that the guru was expected to represent. He became the media face of the yogi and meditation master.' Dr Frawley teaches in many disciplines including the ancient teaching of the Vedas, Hinduism, Yoga, Ayurveda, and Vedic astrology. His brief yet comprehensive analysis of Maharishi's influence in the west is summed up by the statement: 'He was able to articulate the ancient traditions of Vedic and yogic knowledge for the modern mind. He took the teachings of the old pandits of India . . . [and] gained them respect as guides to universal consciousness, the cutting edge of science and medicine and the future evolution of humanity.' (more)

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)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


In South Sudan, civil war drives more children onto the streets, into work
13 February 2018 - Hunger, fuelled by a protracted civil war and a failed economy, has pushed children ... into labour or life on the streets, according to a report by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). South Sudan -- the world's youngest country which gained independence in 2011 -- is wrestling one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. The U.N. children's agency UNICEF says every second person in the population of 12 million is hungry, 72 percent of children are out of school, and 4.2 million children need help. armed groups in the civil war that started in 2013 . . . (more)

Syria suffering some of worst fighting of war, UN warns
12 February 2018 - The United Nations said on Monday (12 February) the suffering of civilians in Syria has worsened since it called for a ceasefire six days ago in a humanitarian initiative that was rapidly derailed by an even more intense bombardment. ... 'The military escalation throughout Syria, including the events we have seen on the Israeli border over the weekend, is deeply worrying. It could indeed lead to a dangerous spillover,' a spokeswoman for the European Commission said on Monday. (more)

IS attack on military academy in Afghan capital kills 11
29 January 2018 - Islamic State militants attacked Afghan soldiers guarding a military academy in the capital on Monday (29 January) , killing at least 11 troops and wounding 16. The attack, which began before dawn and continued well past daybreak, was the latest in a wave of relentless violence in Kabul this month unleashed by the Taliban and the rival Islamic State group that has killed scores and left hundreds wounded. (more)

Reuters Special Report: In a hospital ward in Yemen, the collapse of a nation
29 December 2017 - After three years of warfare, cholera, and hunger, Yemen faces a new battle: In the past four months, doctors across the country have recorded at least 380 cases of diphtheria, a bacterial disease that last appeared here in 1992. Arishi [Nahla Arishi, chief pediatrician at the al-Sadaqa hospital in the Yemeni port city of Alden], like her country around her, is struggling to cope. Every month, she and her team drip-feed dozens of Yemen's half a million severely malnourished children. Her ward has also treated hundreds of the one million people infected by cholera. (more)

Mexico murders hit record high, dealing blow to President
23 December 2017 - Mexico has this year registered its highest murder total since modern records began, according to official data, dealing a fresh blow to President Enrique Pena Nieto's pledge to get gang violence under control with presidential elections due in 2018. A total of 23,101 murder investigations were opened in the first 11 months of this year, surpassing the 22,409 registered in the whole of 2011, figures published on Friday night by the interior ministry showed. The figures go back to 1997. (more)

Desperate Venezuelans peddle wares door-to-door in Colombia to survive
20 December 2017 - Thousands of impoverished Venezuelans are crossing the border to Colombia every day to sell cheap basics, from oranges to candles, in a desperate attempt to earn hard currency amid their country's worsening economic collapse. ... Hundreds of vendors are sleeping in the streets of the Venezuelan border town of San Antonio, while the surge in hawkers on the Colombian side is stoking anger among local shopkeepers. (more)

Defector says thousands of Islamic State fighters left Raqqa in secret deal
7 December 2017 - A high-level defector from Kurdish-led forces that captured the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State has recanted his account of the city's fall, saying thousands of IS fighters -- many more than first reported -- left under a secret, U.S.-approved deal. Talal Silo, a former commander in the Syrian Democratic Forces ... told Reuters in an interview that the number of fighters who were allowed to go was far higher and the account of a last-ditch battle was a fiction designed to keep journalists away while the evacuation took place. At the time there were conflicting accounts of whether or not foreign Islamic State fighters had been allowed to leave Raqqa. The BBC later reported that one of the drivers in the exodus described a convoy of up to 7 km (4 miles) long made up of 50 trucks, 13 buses, and 100 Islamic State vehicles, packed with fighters and ammunition. (more)

Somalia's Puntland region declares state of emergency over drought
5 December 2017 - Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland declared a state of emergency on Tuesday (5 December) and appealed for food and water because of shortages triggered by a severe drought. Drought has gripped large parts of the Horn of Africa country this year and the United Nations says children face acute malnutrition. The crisis is compounded by al Shabaab's Islamist insurgency that seeks to topple the central government that is backed by African Union peacekeepers and the West. (more)

Final death toll in Somalia's worst attack is 512 people
2 December 2017 - The final death toll in October's massive truck bombing in Somalia's capital is 512 people, according to the committee tasked with looking into the country's worst-ever attack. Somalia's government has blamed the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group for the Oct. 14 attack, which struck a crowded street. Security officials said the bomb weighed between 600 kilograms and 800 kilograms (1,300 pounds and 1,700 pounds) as the extremist group's bomb-making capabilities grow. (more)

Militants attack Egyptian mosque, kill at least 235 people
24 November 2017 - In the deadliest-ever attack by Islamic extremists in Egypt, militants assaulted a crowded mosque Friday during prayers, blasting helpless worshippers with gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades and blocking their escape routes. At least 235 people were killed before the assailants got away. The attack in the troubled northern part of the Sinai Peninsula targeted a mosque frequented by Sufis, members of a mystic movement within Islam. Islamic militants, including the local affiliate of the Islamic State group, consider Sufis heretics because of their less literal interpretations of the faith. The startling bloodshed in the town of Bir al-Abd also wounded at least 109, according to the state news agency. It offered the latest sign that, despite more than three years of fighting in Sinai, the Egyptian government has failed to deter an IS-led insurgency. (more)

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