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Japanese Prime Minister Abe hails 'fresh start' to Japan-China ties after Xi meeting
11 November 2017 - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed a 'fresh start' to the relationship between the countries after a meeting that saw them agree to work more closely on North Korea. ...Ties between China and Japan, the world's second- and third-largest economies, have been plagued by a long-running territorial dispute over a cluster of East China Sea islets. (more)

South Korea, China agree to manage North Korea issue peacefully, in stable manner
11 November 2017 - The leaders of South Korea and China on Saturday (11 November) agreed on the need to manage the security situation on the Korean peninsula in a stable way and to resolve North Korea-related tensions peacefully after a summit meeting, the South's presidential office said. (more)

The pop-up crafts shop helping war-torn communities
5 November 2017 - A small shop in England selling work from Afghanistan and elsewhere is helping people from conflict zones make a living. From a small corner window display on London's Baker Street, Edmund le Brun and Flore de Taisne are trying to help the victims of war. Their pop-up shop, Ishkar, which is also online, sells crafts from conflict zones. Among the items on display are gorgeous hand-blown glasses in green, lapis lazuli blue and turquoise, intricate kilim rugs, fine-woven camel hair shawls, earrings and necklaces, and knives. (more)

Breaking barriers, Arab-Israeli women join movement to 'wage peace'
24 October 2017 - Frustrated with the peace process, more Arab-Israeli women are joining the ranks of Women Wage Peace, rejecting pressure not to 'normalize' relations with Israeli Jews. 'We want, in our own way, to make peace,' says one member. ... The women held their biggest event this month, a two-week march throughout the country that included stops in Arab cities and in a section of the West Bank near the Dead Sea that is under combined Israeli and Palestinian control. The march drew 10,000 women, including 2,000 Palestinian women from the West Bank. (more)

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)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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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)

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)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


Boko Haram leaves 3 million kids out of school in N. Nigeria
8 December 2017 - Boko Haram's ongoing insurgency in northern Nigeria has forced the closure of more than 57 percent of schools in Borno state, leaving about 3 million children without an education as the school year begins, the United Nations Children's Fund said Friday [29 September]. 'Children in northeast Nigeria are living through so much horror,' said Justin Forsyth, UNICEF's Deputy Executive Director at the end of a three-day visit to Maiduguri, the epicenter of the crisis in the northeast. 'In addition to devastating malnutrition, violence, and an outbreak of cholera, the attacks on schools is in danger of creating a lost generation of children, threatening their and the country's future.' (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)

Syria: Raqqas dirty secret (+ BBC News video)
13 November 2017 - The BBC has uncovered details of a deal that let hundreds of IS fighters -- including foreign militants -- and their families escape from Raqqa in Syria, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city. Great pains were taken to hide it from the world. But the BBC has spoken to dozens of people who were either on the convoy, or observed it, and to the men who negotiated the deal. (more)

TV interview with Lebanon PM full of odd moments
12 November 2017 - When Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation in a televised speech from Saudi Arabia last weekend, it stunned his country and created a mystery that lasted for more than a week. On Sunday, another TV appearance by Hariri was filled with bizarre moments. November 4 resignation triggered a political crisis in Lebanon, along with rumors about whether Hariri was under house arrest or being coerced to quit. Although he met with various ambassadors in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in the days that followed, no one in Lebanon was really sure what was happening to him. A much-awaited live interview was done with Hariri on Sunday night by Future TV, a channel associated with his political party. It sought to dispel those rumors, but also raised some new questions. (more)

Reuters Exclusive: How Saudi Arabia turned on Lebanon's Hariri
11 November 2017 - From the moment Saad al-Hariri's plane touched down in Saudi Arabia on Friday November 3, he was in for a surprise. There was no line-up of Saudi princes or ministry officials, as would typically greet a Prime Minister on an official visit to King Salman, senior sources close to Hariri and top Lebanese political and security officials said. His phone was confiscated, and the next day he was forced to resign as Prime Minister in a statement broadcast by a Saudi-owned TV channel. (more)

Hezbollah says Saudi declares Lebanon war with Hariri detention
10 November 2017 - Hezbollah's leader said on Friday that Saudi Arabia had declared war on Lebanon and his Iran-backed group, accusing Riyadh of detaining Saad al-Hariri and forcing him to resign as Lebanon's Prime Minister to destabilize the country. France became the first Western country to indicate that Saudi Arabia was holding Hariri against his will ... Hariri's resignation has plunged Lebanon into crisis ... Hariri's resignation is being widely seen as part of a Saudi attempt to counter Iran as its influence deepens in Syria and Iraq and as Riyadh and its allies battle Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen. (more)

Little hope of peace talks as renewed fighting looms in South Sudan
10 November 2017 - As fresh fighting looms in South Sudan with the onset of the dry season, there is little chance of peace talks to end a war that has already killed tens of thousands of people and created Africa's largest refugee crisis, diplomats and analysts said. South Sudan's war began in late 2013 between soldiers of President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and his former vice president, Riek Machar, a Nuer, devastating the country's swampy northeast. (more)

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