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Scotland's largest solar farm gets green light
16 August 2017 - The green light has been given for what will be Scotland's largest solar farm. Moray Council has granted Elgin Energy planning permission for a 20MW project near Urquhart, which could see about 80,000 solar panels installed. The farm will be constructed on the 47-hectare Speyslaw site -- the equivalent of about 40 football pitches. The largest Scottish solar farm is currently a 13MW project at Errol Estate in Perthshire, which went live in May last year. All cabling at the site -- spread over three fields at the Innes Estate -- will be underground, allowing sheep to graze around the panels. (more)

UK: Outsmarting sunshine in Europe's cloudiest corner
8 August 2017 - Within the last year, the sun has taken on new-found importance across the cloudy island nation with photovoltaic cells providing as much as a quarter of the U.K.'s daily power supply on some days, from almost no capacity in 2011. Of all of Britain's power generation capacity, 13 percent is solar. That volume is forecast to more than double by 2040, and make up 22 percent of the country's power mix, BNEF (Bloomberg New Energy Finance) said. (more)

Scotland: How Edinburgh became comedy's 'spiritual home'
6 August 2017 - Comedy did not feature at all when the Edinburgh Fringe [the world's largest arts festival] began, but over the past three decades it has become the 'spiritual home' of Britain's funny folk. ... It was the Scottish capital where the new generation of comics received their education before transforming British humour. The Edinburgh Fringe has continued to be a unique showcase for comedy talent over more than 30 years. This year's Fringe features more than 3,000 shows and more than a third are comedy. That means more than 1,000 comedy acts from all over the world will be in the city during August. (more)

UK: Cricket's summer song making a comeback
29 July 2017 - The song of the field cricket was once a familiar soundtrack on the heaths and grasslands of south east England. In the last century, changes in land management and loss of natural habitat have led to a dramatic decline of field crickets, Gryllus campestris, across northern Europe. By the 1980s in the UK, field cricket numbers had dropped to fewer than 100 individuals, all found only in one location in West Sussex. A decade later, conservationists began catching young field crickets and moving them to new sites across Surrey, Sussex, and Hampshire in a bid to save them. The project ... is showing signs of success. (more)

Living healthily, learning more could cut dementia cases by a third
20 July 2017 - Learning new things, eating and drinking well, not smoking and limiting hearing loss and loneliness could prevent a third of dementia cases, health experts said on Thursday, 20 July. In a wide-ranging analysis of the risk factors behind dementia, the researchers highlighted nine as particularly important. (more)

UK: Hive Energy to develop subsidy-free 40-megawatt solar park
19 July 2017 - Hive Energy, one of the UK's leading solar developers, has announced that it will proceed with plans to develop a 40-megawatt subsidy-free solar park next to its global headquarters. Hive Energy, founded in 2010, is the second largest solar park developer in the United Kingdom, and over the last five years has developed more than 300 megawatts (MW) of solar across 26 sites. The company also has a growing pipeline of international projects, with 2.5 gigawatts (GW) worth across several countries. (more)

UK National Health Service pilot scheme taps into skills of refugee doctors
18 July 2017 - A pioneering scheme that aims to harness the skills of refugees fleeing conflict and unrest in their home countries could help boost health services in north-east England. Middlesbrough has the highest number of asylum seekers in the UK. ... But many of the refugees are skilled professionals such as doctors or pharmacists, skills that happen to be in short supply in the area. Unable to practise their profession at home, they are embracing the opportunity to use their skills in an understaffed NHS [National Health Service]. (more)

River roll call as 'swan upping' gets under way on Britain's Thames
17 July 2017 - Six old-fashioned skiffs interrupted the sleepy pace of life on a stretch of the river Thames on Monday as teams embarked on the annual 'upping' -- a combined census and health visit for swans. The upping sees three teams, one representing Queen Elizabeth and one each representing the old trade associations of the Vintners and Dyers livery companies, patrol the river for five days, and capture, tag, and then release any families of swans with young. (more)

Royal tradition: Counting the swans on the River Thames
17 July 2017 - The annual count of swans belonging to Queen Elizabeth II has begun on the River Thames. The five-day event known as Swan Upping dates back to the 12th century . . . Now it is more about conservation. Data from the census is collected to assess the growth of the swan population. Swan Uppers -- a team of dedicated boaters -- are tasked with finding swans on a specific stretch of the River Thames. When a group of cygnets [young swans] is spotted, they cry 'All Up,' then mark the young birds and check them for disease or injury. (more)

UNESCO awards Lake District in England World Heritage site status
9 July 2017 - The Lake District in England has joined the likes of the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal, and Machu Picchu by being awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) committee praised the area's beauty, farming, and the inspiration it had provided to artists and writers. About 18 million people visit the Lake District each year . . . It is home to England's largest natural lake -- Windermere -- and highest mountain -- Scafell Pike. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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UK Parliament marks International Yoga Day - Prof Tony Nader, MD, PhD honoured with special award
16 July 2017 - The third International Yoga Day was celebrated in the House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Indian Traditional Sciences, its Secretariat Amarjeet S Bhamra and the High Commission of India. The event on 10 July was designed to explore the value of introducing Yoga in the NHS (National Health Service). Chief Guest of the event, H.E. High Commissioner Y K Sinha paid tribute to the work of the APPG in introducing Yoga, Ayurveda and other disciplines into the mainstream of public life. Prof Tony Nader, MD, PhD, MARR, head of the worldwide Transcendental Meditation organization, was honoured with a special award, and presented five volumes of Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation Programme to Members of Parliament. In his keynote address Prof Nader explained that 'every one of us has within us, built into our very physiology, the essential quality of Yoga, which is unifying.' (more)

UK: Could Ayurveda be the cure for ailing National Health System?
1 July 2017 - As the UK's National Health Service (NHS) shoulders a growing financial burden, the ancient Indian tradition of Ayurveda is being promoted as a way to take the pressure off doctors while helping people keep good health. At the recent Second International Ayurveda Congress in London, Dr Rainer Picha, chairman of the International Maharishi Ayurveda Foundation in the Netherlands (one of three organizations that hosted the Congress), said: 'Modern medicine has become hugely expensive to support. Rather, we should be focused on the prevention of disease, which is much cheaper than curing diseases.' (more)

UK: SuperMind Peak Performance Programme - Transcendental Meditation for professionals
20 June 2017 - The SuperMind Peak Performance Programme, a division of the David Lynch Foundation UK, offers Transcendental Meditation to companies and organisations to help executives and employees overcome stress, promote health, and attain high levels of performance. (more)

Second International Ayurveda Congress held in London, 1-3 April
24 April 2017 - The Second International Ayurveda Congress, held in London 1-3 April, was organized by the All India Ayurvedic Congress, New Delhi, the International Academy of Ayurved, Pune and the International Maharishi AyurVeda Foundation, Netherlands. At the Congress, 300 delegates from 55 countries, including research scientists, doctors, and pharmacologists with expertise in Western and Ayurvedic medicine, discussed scientific evidence on preventing disease, promoting longevity and alleviating specific conditions with Ayurveda. The title of the Congress was: ''Ayurveda - The Pursuit of Health, Happiness and Long Life through Prevention-oriented Health Care''. (more)

Profile: Transcendental Meditation, the 'missing piece of the recovery puzzle'
12 April 2017 - Having overcome alcohol addiction through the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 12 step programme, an engineer in Glasgow, Scotland, found Transcendental Meditation to be the missing element in his recovery - allowing him to finally feel rested, and alleviating the high anxiety churning in his 'racing brain'. 'I would be anxious and fearful about something or someone or some event and I would do my TM practice and come out from it rested and full of energy,' he says. 'My ''great fears'' would have evaporated to the point where I had forgotten about what was giving me so much grief in the first place.' With TM, 'the energy of that anxious catastrophic ''racing brain'' is now channelled into creativity both in my personal and professional life.' (more)

UK: 'Ayurveda for Everyone' offers world class speakers and health fair - London, 1-2 April
1 April 2017 - Alongside the Second International Ayurveda Congress, taking place in London this weekend, 'Ayurveda for Everyone', a health fair and full programme of speakers, is being offered to the public. At the Health Fair, experts in Ayurveda, the timeless science of natural medicine, are sharing simple health secrets with the public, such as how to enjoy deep refreshing sleep, banish anxiety and depression, and keep the heart healthy. Exhibitors include leading Ayurvedic institutions and producers of authentic Ayurvedic products and medicines, offering expert advice, sample treatments, and information about health spas, Vedic Architecture, and meditation. (more)

UK: Second International Ayurveda Congress, 1-2 April in London - Minister of AYUSH, Government of India, researchers and scholars from many countries to attend
31 March 2017 - The Second International Ayurveda Congress is being held this weekend in London, with the theme: Ayurveda - the Pursuit of Health, Happiness and Long Life through Prevention-Oriented Health Care. The Congress has drawn more than 80 leading speakers - experts and researchers in the various fields of Ayurveda. The Minister of AYUSH of the Government of India, His Excellency, Minister Shripad Yesso Naik, will honour the Congress by attending. A special Congress extension is planned for 3 April, including sessions on Establishing Ayurveda Globally: strategy and planning with the Ministry of AYUSH and Ayurveda leaders from India and throughout the world; followed by a Global Maharishi Ayurveda Summit, chaired by Dr Tony Nader, MD, PhD, Patron of the Congress. 'Ayurveda for Everyone', a concurrent health fair and full programme of speakers, is offered for the public. (more)

Second International Ayurveda Congress to be held in London - 1-2 April 2017: 'Time-Tested, Scientifically Verified Solutions For the Health Problems of Our Time'
10 January 2017 - All India Ayurvedic Congress, New Delhi; International Academy of Ayurved, Pune; and International Maharishi AyurVeda Foundation, Netherlands, extend a warm invitation to all health professionals, Ayurvedic scholars, and researchers from India and around the world to participate at this Second International Ayurveda Congress to be held in London in April. Internationally renowned scholars will be keynote speakers at the Congress and will present scientifically verified solutions to showcase the effectiveness of Ayurveda towards fulfilling the human pursuit of health, happiness, and long life. The International Ayurveda Congress offers a prestigious platform for research scholars to present their findings in various fields of Ayurveda. The latest innovative and pioneering work will be presented in this Congress. (more)

Prince Charles' initiatives in holistic education: Parallels with Consciousness-Based Education
2 December 2016 - In Part 2 of this series, Ann Purcell explores initiatives by Prince Charles of the UK in holistic education, highlighting parallels to the system of Consciousness-Based Education founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In his book Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World, Prince Charles describes major historical shifts in human thought over the past centuries through which 'nature was understood as being outside of us, something we could conquer and control. Education began to reflect this separation and focused on separate bits of information rather than on connections.' The prince has sought to promote 'a return to holistic education' through establishing innovative educational institutes where children can connect conventional academic subjects with universal patterns in nature, including within their own physiology. In Consciousness-Based Education institutions such as Maharishi University of Management, Ms Purcell writes, 'students learn the universal principles of intelligence that are prevalent in every field of study and discover that all knowledge emerges from the unified field of consciousness' which they experience directly through the practice of Transcendental Meditation. 'Reconnecting students to their own inner harmony and to the interconnectedness of all fields of knowledge', she says, 'is an essential and timely step to meeting the urgent needs of our precarious times.' (more)

UK's first Maharishi Peace Palace - creating peace for the individual and peace for society
7 November 2016 - News media continue to feature Britain's first Peace Palace, most recently in a video report on ITV News. The building, inaugurated last month in Rendlesham, Suffolk, will offer programmes and courses founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The Peace Palace and its surrounding residential development were designed in accord with ancient principles of Maharishi Vedic Architecture to promote peace and happiness for those who visit the building and in the environment. Richard Johnson, national director of the Transcendental Meditation programme in the UK, points out that Maharishi's central objective was to promote peace for the individual and the society. Mr Johnson says, 'We want to create peace on the level of consciousness on a deeper level so that it creates bliss in society and internationally', noting scientific research demonstrating this effect when sufficient people practise Transcendental Meditation. (more)


Flops
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Rare fungus found in 200 patients in 55 UK hospitals
15 August 2017 - A rare fungus that can cause drug-resistant infections has been found in around 200 patients in more than 55 hospitals across Britain, health officials said on Tuesday, 15 August. The fungus, also known as C. auris and first identified in Japan eight years ago, is rare and low-risk, but has a propensity to spread between hospital patients. C. auris has since been linked with bloodstream and wound infections, and with ear infections known as otitis, in at least eight other countries including South Africa, Kuwait, India, and Venezuela. (more)

Short sleep linked to body mass, waist size
3 August 2017 - Getting one extra hour of sleep each night might shave a third of an inch off your waist and a couple of pounds off the number on the bathroom scale, a recent study suggests. Longer sleepers also had slightly higher levels of HDL 'good' cholesterol. (more)

UK: Computing in schools -- alarm bells over England's classes
18 June 2017 - Computing education in England's schools is going through a revolution, but there is evidence that too few pupils want to be part of it. Figures from the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) show only a modest rise in students taking the new computer science GCSE. Experts are concerned. The British Computer Society warns the number studying for a computing qualification could halve by 2020. The organisation -- which is the professional body for the IT industry -- says that would be a disaster for the economy. The other big concern is that too few girls are taking up the computer science exam . . . (more)

Air pollution as bad for wellbeing as partner's death, say researchers
17 April 2017 - The effect on wellbeing of exposure to nitrogen dioxide, a gas mostly produced in diesel fumes, is comparable to the toll from losing a job, ending a relationship, or the death of a partner, research suggests. Pollution from nitrogen oxides is responsible for tens of thousands of premature deaths across Europe, with the UK suffering a particularly high toll. (more)

UK eats almost four times more packaged food than fresh
7 April 2017 - The UK eats almost four times as much packaged food as it does fresh produce, according to new data, with most of western Europe and north America following a similar pattern. The packaged food revolution -- which includes ready meals and calorific cakes and biscuits - is held at least partly to blame for the rise in obesity in the US and Europe. Fresh food has played a smaller and smaller part in some families' lives as the pace of life has speeded up over recent decades, working hours have increased, and more women have entered the workplace. Set against this is the rise of ever more tasty instant meals. (more)

UK: How conniving carmakers caused the diesel air pollution crisis
7 April 2017 - Conniving car makers and their lobbying might, assisted by the 2008 financial crash, were the key factors in producing the diesel-fuelled air pollution crisis the UK is struggling with today, according to key observers of the disaster. The result has been that the air people breathe in cities and towns is now heavily polluted with toxic nitrogen dioxide, causing 23,500 premature deaths a year in the UK and affecting many schools. (more)

UK: Children struggling to concentrate at school due to lack of sleep, MPs told
29 March 2017 - Sleep deprivation is a growing problem in schools, with pupils struggling to concentrate in lessons due to lack of sleep, MPs [Members of Parliament] have been told. Doctors have previously reported a dramatic increase in children with sleep disorders; NHS [National Health Service] data shows hospital attendances in England for under-14s have risen from almost 3,000 in 2005-06 to more than 8,000 in 2015-16. (more)

Many middle-aged workers face job problems due to physical frailty
24 January 2017 - Nearly a third of middle-aged workers suffer from some level of frailty, including fatigue, issues with walking, and other physical limitations that make them less able to hold a job, according to a UK study. Frailty is more often something considered when treating elderly patients, but middle-aged patients may face some of the same symptoms, the study team writes in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Frailty was tied to a large impact on employment. (more)

Britain braced for floods after heavy winds, snow
13 January 2017 - Parts of England were preparing for severe flooding on Friday, after heavy winds, snow, and rain hit the country overnight, cancelling flights, closing schools, and causing disruption to commuters. Around 100 flood warnings are in place across Britain, with 11 at a severe level, meaning that there is a threat to life. (more)

Women suffer much more work stress than men, says psychiatrist
30 December 2016 - Women suffer considerably higher levels of work-related stress, anxiety and depression than men, with workplace sexism and familial responsibilities providing additional career pressures, a leading psychiatrist has said. It comes as official figures show that women aged 25-54 are more stressed than their male colleagues, with this pressure peaking for those aged 35-44, when many women are juggling family responsibilities, such as caring for children and elderly parents. (more)

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