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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)

US: Tears, hugs, and help: Church groups assist reunited families
25 July 2018 - ... As the Trump administration works to meet a Thursday (26 July) deadline to reunite immigrant parents and children ... The government is releasing hundreds of families to faith-based groups and leaving the groups to care for them. After the reunions, the mood inside the waiting area brightened from somber to joyful. The Associated Press observed newly reunited families spending their first day together Monday at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, which took them in after they were released from custody. (more)

Yoga asanas on the Danube as Budapest bridge transformed into urban park
23 July 2018 - As the sun rises above Budapest, hundreds of people spread out their yoga [asana] mats on a bridge over the Danube, at the start of a day when the river crossing turns into a unique venue for concerts, dance, and picnics. On four weekends this summer, Budapest's 19th century Liberty Bridge is closed to traffic, becoming a free urban space for Hungarians and tourists. (more)

Swiss folklore fans gather for world's biggest alpine horn festival
22 July 2018 - The soft sounds of hundreds of wooden Swiss alpine horns filled the valley below Switzerland's Mount Tracouet on Sunday (22 July), as the world's largest festival of its kind concluded after three days. Over three meters long and built in several connecting pieces to make transport manageable, they are beloved by many Swiss ... While the horns have been used by mountain dwellers in Switzerland, Germany, France, and elsewhere, they are commonly associated with the traditional Swiss agrarian culture that dominates the country's Alpine hinterlands. (more)

Helping refugees proves labour of love in Germany
19 July 2018 - In the light-flooded reception of a community centre in east Berlin, Syrians -- whose first language is Arabic -- practised German, their conversation occasionally punctuated by laughter as they stumbled over a word or mixed up languages. With an influx of more than 1.6 million asylum seekers into Germany since 2014, mainly from the Middle East and Africa, integration is a hot political issue for Chancellor Angela Merkel ... Hundreds of people have created organizations to help newcomers settle in and build ties, with efforts ranging from sports clubs and music groups that include migrants to recruitment agencies specializing in finding refugees work. (more)

Migrants in Lebanon seek to break stereotypes with new radio show
18 July 2018 - ... Lebanon's first radio show to be hosted and produced by migrants from countries such as Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and the Philippines ... [aims] to give Lebanese people a greater understanding about where migrants come from to create the tolerance and respect that local migrant rights groups say is lacking. ... a series airing on Voice of Lebanon, a popular independent radio station, [features] migrants talking about their own food and culture as well as the issues they face in Lebanon. The show -- whose name 'Msh gharib' means 'not foreign' in Arabic -- has been in the works since 2017. (more)

Cave rescue: The Australian diving doctor who stayed with the boys
11 July 2018 - It was his rare combination of talents that led Australian doctor Richard Harris deep into the Tham Luang cave in Thailand. When the Wild Boars football team was located deep inside the cave, after being missing for a week, the Adelaide anaesthetist abandoned his holiday in Thailand and volunteered to help. Dr Harris was specifically identified by British divers and requested by the 'highest levels' of the Thai government to join the rescue, according to the Australian government. (more)

Thai cave rescue: In celebration, a nation unites
10 July 2018 - When people in Thailand say goodbye, occasionally they say this: 'We will come together when the nation needs us.' For more than two weeks, twelve of the country's boys and one of their men have been encased in a dark mountain, hoping someone would bring them into the light of day. Their nation needed them so the people of Thailand came together. And now, to each and every boy who braved an entrapment and escape attempt that transfixed the world, there is no need to say goodbye. ... in this country, people offer more than thoughts and prayers when their kids are in danger. (more)

Thai cave rescue: Trapped coach's community chooses love over blame
8 July 2018 - More than two weeks ago, the twenty-five-year-old assistant soccer coach crawled inside a cave in [a] remote part of northern Thailand with twelve children under his care; none of them could crawl out. ... Not half an hour from the cave, in the area of Koh Sai, residents say they love the boys; they love their neighbour too, the man who was supposed to protect his young charges. In every corner of Thailand, the country follows their lead. (more)

South Africa's unlikely ultramarathoner helps others cross the finish line
6 July 2018 - It was half past five on a winter morning, the sky above still an inky black, when the starting gun popped. All at once, 19,058 people surged forward toward the starting line of the world's largest ultramarathon. ... But as the minutes ticked by, the people pouring across the start line of the Comrades Marathon looked less and less like stereotypical ultramarathoners. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Wide awake: Katy Perry on Transcendental Meditation
7 August 2018 - Ever-evolving music icon Katy Perry shares her enthusiasm for the benefits of her Transcendental Meditation practice, while delivering a message of empowerment and hope for young people. In a conversation with her TM teacher Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, she says, 'I noticed when I meditate that my whole brain kind of opens up . . . and it's like I'm clearing out the cobwebs of my neural pathways and finding new neural pathways to ignite. It's some of the most incredible stillness. And I would also say it brings some of the best, most creative ideas to the surface for me, especially when I come out of it. . . . Recharging, having the mental strength, the physical strength and immune strength, to be able to take on this big, technical, technological world.' (more)

Transcendental Meditation is improving life for Zuni youth
9 July 2018 - The Zuni are one of many Southwest American Indian tribes. Most Zuni people live in an area called the Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico. The Zuni have largely remained self-contained, avoiding outside influences, and have greatly preserved their way of life. However, the tribe suffers from some of the same problems plaguing much of Indian Country, such as unemployment, poverty, alcoholism, crime, and insufficient education. In the last two years a number of Zuni youth have begun learning the Transcendental Meditation technique. Commenting on the positive influence of her TM practice, one young woman said, 'I feel more relaxed and confident of who I am.' Another said, 'I feel happier, less grudge in my soul, excited to create positive energy at home.' (more)

Uganda: An Iowa woman's Transcendental Meditation road leads to Africa
19 June 2018 - 'I've always gravitated toward projects that had to do with women,' says Leslee Goldstein. For her Ph.D. in Vedic Science at Maharishi University of Management, 'I decided to do a research study on Transcendental Meditation with women, and then I narrowed it to mothers.' Goldstein put the word out that she wanted to do her research in Africa, and within 48 hours had a project with 81 single, illiterate mothers living in poverty in Uganda. 'A mother is the first teacher. . . . a mother's job is a challenging job: You have to be a doctor, counselor, cook - you have to be everything, her job is 24/7. I started to see how important it is for mothers to have a way to stay balanced and to help them do their jobs, because it's critical for the world.' (more)

Canada: Premeditated move - Rabbi relocating to Iowa to deepen knowledge of Transcendental Meditation
15 June 2018 - Inspired by meditation to seek ordination, Rabbi Alan Green plans to use his Jewish perspectives in the meditation capital of North America. After 18 years as the senior rabbi of Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Green and his wife Chaya, a meditation teacher, will move this summer to Fairfield, Iowa, USA, home to thousands of practitioners of Transcendental Meditation. 'Basically it will be a context where I can fulfil my dream of Jewish observance and study with the practice of Transcendental Meditation,' says the Los Angeles native, who came to Winnipeg in 1992 and has served at Shaarey Zedek since 2000. (more)

Maharishi University of Management student film wins six top awards
11 June 2018 - 'Last Tree Standing', the thesis film by a graduate of Maharishi University of Management, recently won six Awards of Excellence at the Iowa Motion Picture Association's annual awards ceremony - more than any other entry. The 30-minute film, by Agnes (Baginska) Peel-McGregor, who graduated from MUM's David Lynch Graduate School of Cinematic Arts in 2016, won the top award in the categories of director (short-form), editing (short-form), original score, screenplay, soundtrack audio mix, and visual effects. It has also won recognition at international film festivals. (more)

'As soon as I finish meditating, I get a beautiful feeling of expanded consciousness' - musician Jon Hopkins
3 June 2018 - English electronica [music] wizard Jon Hopkins explains that his 'hypnotic' fifth album, Singularity, was inspired by reconnecting with nature through meditation. Hopkins practises Transcendental Meditation twice daily. 'As soon as I finish meditating, I get a beautiful feeling of expanded consciousness,' he says. 'When I'm in this headspace I can make so much progress in my writing,' the Irish Times reports. 'It is funny how we talk about nature as this separate entity when we are nature, and nature is us. . . . we've completely forgotten this somewhere along the way. . . . In the last few years, I was forced into reconnecting my body and mind with nature. It was an extremely healthy process. . . . I realised nothing separates us from anything else in the entire natural system.' (more)

'Transcendental Meditation is the real thing' - David Lynch at New York City's first 'Festival of Disruption'
26 May 2018 - The Transcendental Meditation technique featured prominently amongst film screenings, music, and panel discussions throughout the third annual David-Lynch curated 'Festival of Disruption' last weekend - the first to be held in New York City. At the opening of this year's Festival at Brooklyn Steel, filmmaker David Lynch said, 'Remember this: Transcendental Meditation is the real thing. It will bring a good life. If you don't have it already, get it.' (more)

David Lynch curates a weekend festival including films, music, and Transcendental Meditation - Vanity Fair reports
21 May 2018 - The third-annual, two-day Festival of Disruption was held for the first time in New York on 19-20 May at Brooklyn Steel, featuring panels, film screenings, musical guests, and lectures on Transcendental Meditation. As in years past, proceeds went directly to the David Lynch Foundation, which teaches Transcendental Meditation to inner-city youths, veterans, and survivors of domestic abuse. Bob Roth, CEO of the foundation, explained in his opening remarks, 'Look what's going on in the world today. Constant upheaval. Constant disruptions. . . . Inside, we do things to access our own reservoir of creativity and resilience.' As Roth and David Lynch, his longtime friend and fellow practitioner, see it, TM holds the power to 'disrupt narrowness of thinking, prejudice, and bias'. (more)

David Lynch's Festival of Disruption: 19-20 May, New York City - and its link to Transcendental Meditation
18 May 2018 - A music festival fan would have plenty to enjoy at the Festival of Disruption, the filmmaker David Lynch-curated weekend that makes its debut in New York this weekend after two successful runs in Los Angeles. But the star of the two days - and a trait that links many of the performers together - is Transcendental Meditation, the heart of the event and the David Lynch Foundation, for which the festival is raising funds. Proceeds go to the organization, with the goal of bringing the meditation technique to schools, survivors of domestic abuse, veterans, and others in need of stress relief. (more)

Watch replay of Bob Roth on The Ellen Show: Ellen DeGeneres welcomes Transcendental Meditation expert
3 April 2018 - On her show yesterday, Ellen DeGeneres talked with Bob Roth, CEO of the David Lynch Foundation and longtime teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique. Author of the new bestseller on TM, Strength in Stillness, Roth said that this 'simple, natural, easily-learned technique . . . allows your active, agitated thinking mind to settle down and access a field of calm that lies deep within every one of us' - noting its scientifically proven effectiveness against the 'epidemic of stress' in every area of our society. Ellen, who learned TM over seven years ago, said, 'It really helps you, it makes a difference, it just calms you down.' (more)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


American Indians fear U.S.-Mexico border wall will destroy ancient culture
12 June 2018 - To the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Indians, the water of the Rio Grande that divides the United States and Mexico sanctifies religious rites and purifies their hunts. Indian communities living miles away use the river to send messages to fellow tribes downstream, tribal chief Jose Sierra told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. ... But now tribal leaders fear a proposed border wall ... will sever access to the river, spoiling traditions and ruining ancient culture. (more)

AP analysis: American Americans largely left out among high-paying jobs
31 March 2018 - Jonathan Garland's fascination with architecture started early: He spent much of his childhood designing Lego houses and gazing at Boston buildings on rides with his father away from their largely minority neighborhood. But when Garland looked around at his architectural college, he didn't see many who looked like him -- there were few black faces in classroom seats, and fewer teaching skills or giving lectures. ... An Associated Press analysis of government data has found that black workers are chronically underrepresented compared with whites in high-salary jobs in technology, business, life sciences, and architecture and engineering, among other areas. Instead, many black workers find jobs in low-wage, less-prestigious fields where they're overrepresented, such as food service or preparation, building maintenance and office work, the AP analysis found. (more)

AP-NORC Poll: 50 years after MLK, civil rights goals unmet
30 March 2018 - Fifty years after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., only 1 in 10 African Americans think the United States has achieved all or most of the goals of the civil rights movement he led, according to a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Three-quarters of African Americans said there has been little or no progress on fair treatment by police, and more than half answered the same about fair coverage by the media, political representation, or equal economic opportunities. (more)

For Chinese millennials, despondency has a brand name
4 September 2017 - Chinese millennials with a dim view of their career and marriage prospects can wallow in despair with a range of teas such as 'achieved-absolutely-nothing black tea', and 'my-ex's-life-is-better-than-mine fruit tea'. While the drink names at the Sung chain of tea stalls are tongue-in-cheek, the sentiment they reflect is serious: a significant number of young Chinese with high expectations have become discouraged and embrace an attitude known on social media as 'sang', after a Chinese character associated with the word 'funeral' that describes being dispirited. It's a reaction to cut-throat competition for good jobs in an economy that isn't as robust as it was a few years ago and when home-ownership -- long seen as a near-requirement for marriage in China -- is increasingly unattainable in major cities as apartment prices have soared. While 'sang' can be a pose or affectation, despondency among a segment of educated young people is a genuine concern for President Xi Jinping and his government, which prizes stability. ... The average starting salary for college graduates dropped by 16 percent this year to 4,014 yuan ($608) per month amid intensifying competition for jobs as a record 8 million graduate from Chinese universities -- nearly ten times the number in 1997. (more)

Key radical Islamist groups in Bangladesh
3 July 2016 - The hostage crisis at a restaurant in Bangladesh's capital that left 28 dead, including 20 hostages and six militants, has focused attention on the radical Islamist attacks occurring in the moderate, mostly Muslim country in the past few years. Most have been claimed by the Islamic State group or by al-Qaida's local branch, but the government vehemently denies these transnational jihadi groups have any presence in the country. Instead, the government blames domestic militants and its political opponents of trying to destabilize the country. Authorities have cracked down on extremist groups by banning them from operating and arresting many of their members. The opposition parties deny the allegation that they're involved. A look at some of the main Islamic political parties and radical groups in the country: (more)

Hostage crisis leaves 28 dead in Bangladesh diplomatic zone
2 July 2016 - The dramatic, 10-hour hostage crisis that gripped Bangladesh's diplomatic zone ended Saturday morning with at least 28 dead, including six of the attackers, as commandos raided the popular restaurant where heavily armed attackers were holding dozens of foreigners and Bangladeshis prisoner while hurling bombs and engaging in a gunbattle with security forces. The victims included 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, and two Bangladeshi police officers. The attack marks an escalation in militant violence that has hit the traditionally moderate Muslim-majority nation with increasing frequency in recent months, with the extremists demanding the secular government set up Islamic rule. (more)

U.S. families struggling with teens' phone addiction: report
3 May 2016 - Half of teenagers in the United States feel addicted to their mobile phones, with most checking the devices at least every hour and feeling pressured to respond immediately to messages, a survey released on Tuesday found. The majority of parents concurred. The findings from the nonprofit group Common Sense Media, which focuses on the effects of media and technology on children, highlighted the tension such close ties to devices can cause, with it disrupting driving, homework, and other time together. 'It is causing daily conflict in homes,' Common Sense Media's founder and CEO James Steyer said in a statement. (more)

Retaking Syria's Palmyra reveals more shattered antiquities
28 March 2016 - The recapture of Syria's ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State group has brought new revelations of the destruction wreaked by the extremists, who decapitated priceless statues and smashed or looted artifacts in the city's museum. Experts say they need time to assess the full extent of damage in Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site which once attracted tens of thousands of tourists every year. The Sunni extremist group, which has imposed a violent interpretation of Islamic law across the territory it controls in Syria and Iraq, claims ancient relics promote idolatry. But it is also believed to have profited from looted antiquities. (more)

'Here we go again' -- Americans' lament after Oregon shooting
2 October 2015 - The news from Oregon was grim enough in isolation -- nine people shot dead at a community college. For many Americans it was all the sadder as a reminder of how frequent, how depressingly routine, mass shootings have become -- in malls, at churches, and so often at schools and colleges. (more)

Horrific stampede at hajj in Saudi Arabia kills 717 pilgrims
24 September 2015 - A horrific stampede killed at least 717 pilgrims and injured hundreds more Thursday on the outskirts of the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the deadliest tragedy to strike the annual hajj pilgrimage in more than two decades. At least 863 pilgrims were injured in the crush, said the Saudi civil defense directorate, which provided the death toll. The tragedy struck as Muslims around the world marked the start of the Eid al-Adha holiday. It was the second major disaster during this year's hajj season. Two survivors interviewed by The Associated Press said the disaster began when one wave of pilgrims found themselves heading into a mass of people going in another direction. (more)

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