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BP returns to solar power with $200m stake in Lightsource
17 December 2017 - BP has paid $200m for a 43 per cent stake in Europe's biggest solar developer, marking its return to the sector from which it withdrew six years ago. The investment in the London-based Lightsource marks a turnaround for the British oil firm, which rebranded as Beyond Petroleum in 2000 but shut its alternative energy headquarters nine years later. [The] Tie-up with Europe's biggest solar developer will focus on alternative energy projects in US, India, and Middle East. (more)

BP returns to solar with investment in Lightsource
16 December 2017 - BP is getting back into solar power six years after its first, failed foray, with a $200 million investment in solar generator Lightsource that the oil and gas firm expects will deliver profits and deepen its foothold in renewable energy. BP, which adopted a sunburst logo two decades ago to convey its ambition in solar energy, agreed to acquire a 43 percent stake in Europe's largest solar developer. It will be renamed Lightsource BP. (more)

'People seem happier': how planting trees changed lives in a former coal community in the UK
8 December 2017 - The National Forest has not only transformed an industrial landscape, it has given people a new sense of belonging and wellbeing, created jobs, and boosted wildlife -- benefits that could be replicated across the country. The first tree in the National Forest was planted more than 25 years ago and now much of the land that spans Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Staffordshire is unrecognizable. (more)

Some of the UK's trains could be running on solar power by 2020
5 December 2017 - If you live south of London, chances are your train journey could soon be powered by solar energy. ... New research by Imperial College and green energy charity 10:10, has found that solar energy could supply ten per cent of the power needed to fuel the UK's DC-powered rail routes. On top of this, six per cent of the London Underground's energy demand could also be supplied by solar-power. (more)

Scotland: A British fabric that charmed the world
23 November 2017 - Uniquely made in the Scotland's remote Outer Hebrides, Harris Tweed is beloved by fashionistas from across the globe, from Vivienne Westwood to Manolo Blahnik. Using local wool and natural dyes, islanders had been weaving the fabric for their own use for centuries, but it wasn't until the mid-1800s that Harris Tweed became a sought-after textile elsewhere, thanks to the marketing efforts of Lady Dunmore, whose late husband had owned the Isle of Harris. Now it's the only cloth in the world with a protected provenance, governed by a British Act of Parliament that ensures Harris Tweed must be 'handwoven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides'. Despite the cyclical nature of the fashion industry, Harris Tweed is -- and has long been -- a fabric in demand. (more)

UK 'will support' neonicotinoid pesticide ban
9 November 2017 - An extended ban on controversial neonicotinoid pesticides will be supported by the UK, Environment Secretary Michael Gove says. The UK has previously resisted tighter restrictions on the pesticides, saying there was insufficient evidence. Mr Gove says that's no longer the case. 'The weight of evidence now shows the risks neonicotinoids pose to our environment, particularly to the bees and other pollinators which play such a key part in our [British Pound] 100bn food industry, is greater than previously understood,' said Mr Gove. (more)

Sheep can recognize Barack Obama's face, new study shows
8 November 2017 - A new study shows that sheep have the ability to recognize human faces from photographs on computer screens. The Cambridge University study published Wednesday [8 November] also shows that sheep can recognize the faces of their human handlers without any prior training. It had been known that sheep can recognize familiar faces of other sheep and of humans. Lead scientist Professor Jenny Morton says sheep have advanced face-recognition abilities comparable to those of humans and monkeys. (more)

Sheep recognize familiar and unfamiliar human faces from two-dimensional images
8 November 2017 - One of the most important human social skills is the ability to recognize faces. Humans recognize familiar faces easily, and can learn to identify unfamiliar faces from repeatedly presented images. Sheep are social animals that can recognize other sheep as well as familiar humans. ...Together these data show that sheep have advanced face-recognition abilities, comparable with those of humans ... (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)

Scotland outreach to Canada yields wind energy investment
17 October 2017 - An $8.6 million investment commitment through 2019 could lead to the development of as much as 10 new wind projects for Scotland, joint venture partners said. Scotland has one of the more robust low-carbon programs in the world. The Scottish government last year ruled that natural gas derived from underground coal deposits would have no place in a greening economy. (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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UK budget sees economy wilting under Brexit pressure
22 November 2017 - Britain's Treasury chief (Philip Hammond) has outlined cautious spending plans to a nation bracing for the shock of leaving the European Union, amid a stream of worsening of economic forecasts that hampered room for giveaways. Philip Hammond revealed the deteriorating outlook in his annual budget speech to Parliament on Wednesday (22 November), with slowing growth and a stubborn deficit . . . Hammond, who has been nicknamed 'Eeyore' because of his cautious approach, had been under pressure to appear upbeat about the economy's prospects after Brexit. And though Hammond did his best to put a happy stamp on things ... the part of his speech he himself described as 'economicky' revealed the painful truth. The economy is slowing. (more)

Sharp rise seen in self-harm among young teen girls in UK
2 November 2017 - Reports of self-harm jumped nearly 70 percent among younger teen girls in the UK between 2011 and 2014, suggesting an urgent need for interventions targeted to this group, researchers say. Self-harm, such as self-poisoning or self-injury, is the strongest risk factor for subsequent suicide, and suicide is the second most common cause of death before age 25 worldwide, the study team notes in the journal The BMJ. (more)

Ophelia batters UK after pummeling Ireland
17 October 2017 - Storm Ophelia is battering Scotland and northern England after leaving three people dead and hundreds of thousands without power in Ireland. The former Atlantic hurricane downed trees and power lines, sent waves surging over coastal defenses, and disrupted transport again Tuesday (17 October), a day after making landfall on Ireland's south coast with gusts of almost 100 miles an hour (160 kilometers an hour). (more)

Scared, hungry, unkempt: how a slave looks in modern Britain
27 September 2017 - People who look unkempt, scared, or work without proper clothing might be the victim of slavery, Britain's anti-slavery body said on Wednesday. Slavery predominantly affects immigrants and vulnerable people, often working at car washes, nail salons, and farms, said the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), as it launched a campaign to help the public identify trafficking. At least 13,000 people are estimated to be victims of modern slavery in Britain, but police say that figure is just the tip of an iceberg, with numbers rising countrywide. In August, police said slavery was more prevalent than previously thought, with gangs capitalising on a crime estimated to generate profits of $150 billion a year globally. (more)

Britain: Portland prisoners 'developing drug problem in jail'
20 September 2017 - Prisoners have developed drug problems behind bars prompting a rise in violence at a jail, a report says. One in five inmates have a drug habit they did not have before their jail term began at HMP/YOI Portland, HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) found. It said violence was high against staff as well as inmates at the Dorset jail. (more)

One in four UK teenage girls 'depressed'
20 September 2017 - A quarter of girls and nearly one in 10 boys show signs of depression at the age of 14, say UK researchers. The findings come from more than 10,000 young people who shared their worries and emotions. Lead investigator Dr Praveetha Patalay, from Liverpool University, said teenagers, and particularly girls, were facing more mental health difficulties than previous generations. Half of all cases of adult mental illness start by the age of 14 . . . (more)

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)

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