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Lonely Planet founder wants to change the world -- through business
14 June 2018 - The man who brought backpacking to the masses is now banking on business to make the world a better place. Together with his wife Maureen, Tony Wheeler -- founder of the iconic Lonely Planet travel guide -- has set aside 10 million pounds ($13.40 million) to educate a new generation of leaders to lend their business skills to development issues. (more)

Google launches solar power service in UK
30 May 2018 - Google is offering a new service, which it says could help British homeowners save money by switching to solar power. The tech giant has released an online tool called Project Sunroof, in partnership with energy supplier Eon, that estimates savings using data from Google's Earth and Maps apps. Google is also working with German software firm Tetraeder on the project. Project Sunroof uses machine learning to estimate how much solar potential a house has by examining the property's features, such as its roof area and angle, and weather data, such as sun positioning. (more)

Royal wedding 2018: Prince Harry and Meghan married at Windsor
19 May 2018 - Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have become husband and wife in a moving ceremony at Windsor Castle. The wedding service combined British tradition with modernity and the bride's African-American heritage. Lady Jane Fellowes, the sister of Prince Harry's late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, gave a reading from the Song of Solomon. After the service, the [couple] travelled through Windsor along a route lined by tens of thousands of well-wishers. (more)

Scotland: Paisley hosts British Bagpipe Band Championships
19 May 2018 - Thousands of people have descended on Paisley [Scotland] to see more than 130 of the world's best pipe bands battle it out in the British championships. More than 4,000 pipers and drummers -- some from as far afield as Denmark -- gathered on St James Playing Fields. (more)

U.S. bishop wows Royal Wedding with impassioned sermon on love
19 May 2018 - African-American bishop Michael Curry electrified the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with a barnstorming sermon on the power of love that won smiles in the ancient British chapel and praise across the internet. 'There's power in love. Don't underestimate it. Don't even over-sentimentalise it,' he said at the start of an address that jolted the congregation after a long period of serene choral music and ceremony. Members of the royal family, including Harry's brother Prince William, could be seen on TV smiling during the lengthy address. (more)

Good eating: Scottish cafe chain builds village for homeless
18 May 2018 - A cafe chain that employs homeless people and runs a scheme to provide free food to rough sleepers has gone a step further, building a village of 11 houses in Scotland. Up to 20 homeless people will be given accommodation in the new village to the north of the Scottish capital Edinburgh built by Social Bite, which was set up in 2012. Last year the Scottish government pledged 50 million pounds ($67.53 million) to fund homelessness prevention schemes over the next five years. (more)

UK: Companies sign up to pledge to cut plastic pollution
26 April 2018 - More than 40 companies have signed up to a pact to cut plastic pollution over the next seven years. The firms, which include Coca-Cola and Asda, have promised to honour a number of pledges such as eliminating single-use packaging through better design. They have joined the government, trade associations, and campaigners to form the UK Plastics Pact. The signatories are responsible for more than 80 percent of plastic packaging on products sold through UK supermarkets. (more)

The U.K. just went 55 hours without using coal for the first time in history
19 April 2018 - No coal was used for power generation by stations in the U.K. between 10:25 p.m. in London on Monday until 5:10 a.m. on Thursday, according to grid data compiled by Bloomberg. At the same time wind turbines produced more power. The U.K. was an early adopter of renewable energy and has more offshore wind turbines installed than any other country. It also has fields of solar panels that are meeting more and more demand as old traditional power plants close permanently. (more)

UK drives into e-vehicle fast lane with 11 per cent sales rise
19 April 2018 - Sales of electric cars in the UK have risen 11 per cent on last year, putting the country in the premier league of those ditching petrol and diesel engines, though it is still miles behind Norway and China. Globally, new registrations of e-cars are expected to increase moderately by 2020, and will range between 2.5 per cent and 6 per cent of market share, according to Centre of Automotive Management. (more)

Major UK companies aim to create 300 jobs for survivors of modern slavery
17 April 2018 - Several major British businesses will offer jobs to up to 300 survivors of modern slavery to help people who have been rescued from or escaped exploitation rebuild their lives, Britain's Co-op supermarket said on Tuesday (17 April). (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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UK: Dr Charlotte Bech shares the secrets of stress-free living
27 May 2018 - Dr Charlotte Bech, a Danish doctor, surgeon and expert on natural medicine - lecturing in the UK for National Stress Awareness Month - said that simple procedures, such as the right light, diet, oils, spices, mental and emotional training, yoga and meditation, have been shown to reduce stress, despite the demands of our frenetic, modern lives. 'The most important advice is to practise Transcendental Meditation (TM), which is probably the most effective method against stress as it is time-tested, is the most extensively researched and most widely-practised and is the simplest and most natural procedure for meditation,' she said. 'In just a few minutes, this technique activates the parasympathetic nervous system and transforms the physiology to a settled and stress-free state.' (more)

First ever neuroimaging study of people in the midst of Transcendental Meditation - British Psychological Society review
21 April 2018 - It is possible to pay attention effortlessly, your mind 'pulled by the inherent nature of the object of experience'. In fact, with practice, doing so can 'lead you to experience inner silence, tranquility, peace and transcendence'. That's according to a research team led by Michelle Mahone at the California School of Professional Psychology, who have published in Brain and Cognition what they describe as the first neuroimaging study of people in the midst of Transcendental Meditation (TM). (more)

Scotland: Transcendental Meditation for caregivers - 'The dynamic in the family has changed'
14 April 2018 - Caring for elderly relatives can be exhausting. Leaving the Scottish Civil Service to take care of his mother left Owen feeling tired and stressed. 'As a carer, Transcendental Meditation seemed like a good fit. It would help deal with the stress of the caring combined with the isolation.' He had tried other forms of meditation which required a bit of effort. 'TM was surprisingly easy,' he said. 'I was able to do it right away and I felt the benefits almost immediately. . . . When I meditate I feel calm and restful but not sleepy. [Afterward] I feel very refreshed and more alert and focused.' During the day Owen feels more aware and understanding of his mother's needs, and that his increased calm has had a relaxing and reassuring effect on both of his parents: 'The dynamic in the family has changed.' (more)

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)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Vigorous exercise may not keep dementia from worsening
14 June 2018 - People with dementia who exercise regularly are just as likely to experience cognitive decline as those who don't work out, a UK study suggests. 'High-intensity exercise is unlikely to cure or reduce the symptoms of dementia,' said lead study author Sarah Lamb of the University of Oxford. ... 'Although the current study didn't show benefits to cognition, physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle is still likely to reduce the risk of other chronic diseases which can also negatively impact a dementia patients' quality of life,' Joe Northey of the University of Canberra in Australia, who wasn't involved in the study, said by email. (more)

Disrupted sleep cycles linked with mood disorders
7 June 2018 - People who have disrupted sleep cycles or less variation in their activity levels around the clock may be more likely to have depression, bipolar disorders, and other mental health issues, a UK study suggests. ...'That includes having a regular sleep schedule (sleeping and waking at about the same times), keeping active and exercising (which helps to regulate rhythms), avoiding late night light exposure (such as from mobile devices), and avoiding or addressing the circadian disruptions from shift work,' [said Dr. Raymond Lam, a psychiatry researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, who wasn't involved in the study]. (more)

Stressed out middle-aged workers have higher risk of mental health issues
30 May 2018 - Middle-aged adults who feel stressed, powerless or overworked on the job may be more likely to develop mental health problems in the coming years than more contented coworkers, a recent study suggests. For the study, researchers examined data from questionnaires completed by 6,870 workers in the UK who, at age 45, had never been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or other common mental illnesses. ... By age 50, workers who reported high levels of job strain five years earlier were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with mental health disorders as the people who had low-stress jobs, researchers report in The Lancet Psychiatry. (more)

Dementia risk linked to some medicines
26 April 2018 - A study links the long-term use of some drugs with a higher risk of dementia. In England, 1.5 to two million people are likely to be taking anticholinergics for depression, Parkinson's, and bladder problems. University of East Anglia researchers found more cases of dementia in patients prescribed larger quantities of particular anticholinergics. ... The research [was] funded by Alzheimer's Society and published in the British Medical Journal ... (more)

Siberian blizzards blast Britain and Ireland as Storm Emma approaches
1 March 2018 - Snow storms from Siberia blasted Britain and Ireland on Thursday with the worst weather since 1991, trapping several hundred motorists on roads in Scotland, closing thousands of schools, grounding planes, and halting trains. With up to 90 cm of snow and temperatures as low as minus 10.3 Celsius in Scotland, Britain, and Ireland issued their most severe red warnings which advise people to stay at home as travel is too dangerous. (more)

'Ultra-processed' products now half of all UK family food purchases
7 February 2018 - Half of all the food bought by families in the UK is now 'ultra-processed', made in a factory with industrial ingredients and additives invented by food technologists and bearing little resemblance to the fruit, vegetables, meat, or fish used to cook a fresh meal at home. The study of 19 European countries is published this month in a special issue of the journal Public Health Nutrition. It shows that UK families buy more ultra-processed food than any others in Europe, amounting to 50.7 per cent of the diet. Germany comes second, on 46.2 per cent and then Ireland on 45.9 per cent. (more)

Plastics chemical poisoning 86 per cent of teenagers
7 February 2018 - Experts are calling for the BPA content of packaging to be clearly labelled, after a new study showed that 86 per cent of teenagers had the harmful chemical compound in their bodies. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical compound used in the manufacture of certain types of plastic, and can be found in some water bottles, till receipts, the inside of cans and bottle tops, as well as highly processed foods. The chemical is known to disrupt the endocrine system, which controls how hormones are released into the body via several glands. ... It has also been linked to cardiovascular disease and liver enzyme abnormalities. There is a higher risk of ingesting BPAs if products are exposed to high temperatures, or reused, for instance in the case of plastic bottles. (more)

Britons ever more deeply divided over Brexit, research finds
31 January 2018 - The social divide revealed by Britain's 2016 vote to leave the European Union is not only here to stay but deepening, according to academic research published on Wednesday. Britain is negotiating a deal with the EU which will shape future trade relations, breaking with the bloc after four decades, but the process is complicated by the divisions within parties, society, and the government itself. (more)

Disabilities caused in babies by epilepsy drug a 'scandal'
22 January 2018 - A Member of Parliament has said the harm caused to children after their mothers were given the epilepsy drug sodium valproate is an 'extraordinary scandal'. It is thought about 20,000 children in the UK have been left with disabilities caused by valproate since the 1970s. Norman Lamb MP said it was also 'extraordinarily distressing' new research suggested medical problems could be passed through generations. (more)

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)

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