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Invisible plastic: microfibers are just the beginning of what we don't see
17 December 2017 - Multiple studies have shown synthetic fibers to make up the lion's share of microplastics found in oceans, rivers, and lakes, and clothes made from synthetics (polyester, nylon, and so on) are widely implicated as the source of that pollution. Microfibers, as the name implies, are tiny, so they can easily move through sewage treatment plants. Unlike natural fibers, such as cotton or wool, synthetic fibers do not biodegrade, and tend to bind with molecules of harmful chemical pollutants found in wastewater, such as pesticides or flame retardants. (more)

As climate threats grow, Iraq battles a new enemy: Water shortages
15 December 2017 - After years battling Islamic State militants, Iraqi farmers -- many of them military volunteers -- are now returning to their homes and fields only to find a new threat: a shortage of water. Construction of dams and other water-holding facilities in upstream Turkey and Iran, combined with increasingly erratic rainfall across the region, mean the amount of water flowing in key Iraqi rivers has fallen by at least 40 percent in recent decades, said Hassan Janabi, the country's water resources minister. (more)

Arctic report card: Permafrost thawing at a faster pace
12 December 2017 - Permafrost in the Arctic is thawing at a faster clip, according to a new report released Tuesday (12 December). Water is also warming and sea ice is melting at the fastest pace in 1,500 years at the top of the world. 'What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic; it affects the rest of the planet,' said acting NOAA chief Timothy Gallaudet. 'The Arctic has huge influence on the world at large.' (more)

Monsanto offers cash to U.S. farmers who use controversial chemical
11 December 2017 - Monsanto Co will give cash back to U.S. farmers who buy a weed killer that has been linked to widespread crop damage, offering an incentive to apply its product even as regulators in several U.S. states weigh restrictions on its use. (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)

West Coast crisis leads to rise in US homeless population (+ AP video)
6 December 2017 - The nation's homeless population increased this year for the first time since 2010, driven by a surge in the number of people living on the streets in Los Angeles and other West Coast cities. Increases are higher in several West Coast cities, where the explosion in homelessness has prompted at least 10 city and county governments to declare states of emergency since 2015. City officials, homeless advocates and those living on the streets point to a main culprit: the region's booming economy. Rents have soared beyond affordability for many lower-wage workers ... The numbers in the report back up what many people in California, Oregon and Washington have been experiencing in their communities: encampments sprouting along freeways and rivers; local governments struggling to come up with money for long-term solutions; conflicts over whether to crack down on street camping and even feeding the homeless. (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)

Arctic sea ice melt to exacerbate California droughts: study
5 December 2017 - Melting Arctic sea ice could render sun-soaked California vulnerable to a recurrence of the severe drought suffered in recent years as it is likely to cause high pressure systems that push away rain-bearing storms, a study released on Tuesday (5 December) said. As temperatures rise, the Arctic Ocean is expected to become ice-free within two or three decades, resulting in more of the sun's heat being stored in the Arctic Ocean, leading to atmospheric circulation changes and cloud formations in the tropical Pacific that move north. The recent five-year drought cost California's farmers billions of dollars in lost production, slashed seasonal agriculture jobs by the thousands, and spiked electricity bills for residents as hydroelectric systems failed. (more)

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Scientific Research
on the Transcendental Meditation and Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme

   
Decreased Crime Rate chart

When one per cent of the population of a city or town practices Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation Programme, the crime rate significantly decreases over the long term. This is known as the Maharishi Effect, which is the phenomenon of the rise of coherence in the collective consciousness of any community.

   
   
   

The collective practice of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation and Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme creates harmony and coherence throughout the environment, leading to reduced hostility and increased cooperation between nations.

   
   
Reduced Armed Conflict chart
 

Large groups of individuals practising Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation and Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme create an environment of harmony and coherence for themselves and for the whole world.

   
   
Reduced Conflict chart
   

When the number of individuals practising Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation and Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme in a group excedes the square root of one per cent of a nation’s population,there is a significant reduction in conflict both at home and throughout the world.

 
   
   
   
   
   
   

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