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US: Construction starts on Missouri's largest solar farm
24 June 2017 - Construction has begun on what will be the largest solar farm in Missouri. The 72-acre project, with more than 33,000 solar panels, will be built in Nixa. The Springfield News-Leader reports the city of Nixa will buy all the power generated by the farm, which is expected to provide about 9 percent of the city's yearly power demand. Nixa officials say the project will save the city an estimated $2.5 million over the project's 25-year contract. (more)

Want to be more creative? Schedule a break
24 June 2017 - A recent Columbia University study makes the case that you'll be more creative at work -- and perhaps more refreshed in your soul -- if you schedule your breaks, rather than stopping whenever you feel like it. (more)

America's hungriest renewable energy users: big companies
23 June 2017 - Major U.S. corporations such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and General Motors Co have become some of America's biggest buyers of renewable energy, driving growth in an industry seen as key to helping the United States cut carbon emissions. The big reason: lower energy bills. (more)

Solar, wind surpassed 10 percent of U.S. electricity in March: EIA
22 June 2017 - Wind and solar accounted for more than 10 percent of U.S. electricity generation for the first time in March, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, 14 June. Wind and solar power capacity has been growing in the United States, accounting for an average of up to 7 percent of electricity in 2016. (more)

Heart healthy lifestyle tied to lower drug costs
21 June 2017 - People with heart disease spend a lot less on medications when they take steps to lower their risk of complications by doing things like getting enough exercise, avoiding cigarettes, and keeping their blood pressure in check, a U.S. study suggests. (more)

More playtime with dad linked to lower obesity risk for young kids
21 June 2017 - Fathers who get more involved in raising their children may be helping to lower their kids' risk of obesity, a U.S. study suggests. By age 4, kids were 30 percent less likely to be obese if their fathers increased the amount of time they spent taking children outside for walks and play, compared to those whose dads remained more hands-off or even reduced their involvement between their kids' second and fourth birthdays. (more)

New South Korean President vows to end use of nuclear power
19 June 2017 - South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, has vowed to phase out the country's dependence on nuclear power . . . Moon, who won last month's presidential election by a landslide . . . said he would increase the role of renewable energy and lead South Korea towards a 'nuclear-free era'. (more)

Yoga asanas as good for low back pain as physical therapy
19 June 2017 - Chronic lower back pain is equally likely to improve with yoga [asana] classes as with physical therapy, according to a new study. Twelve weeks of yoga [asanas] lessened pain and improved function in people with low back pain as much as physical therapy sessions over the same period. Physical therapy is the most common non-drug treatment for low back pain prescribed by doctors, according to lead author Dr. Robert Saper, of Boston Medical Center and colleagues. Yoga is also backed by some guidelines and studies as a treatment option, but until now no research has compared the two. (more)

US: How Father's Day started 107 years ago
16 June 2017 - Sunday is the 107th Father's Day celebrated in the U.S. since Sonora Smart Dodd created the holiday in 1910. It's a tradition Dodd decided to start as she sat in a Spokane, Washington, church on Mother's Day 1909, listening to a sermon about -- what else? -- Mother's Day. 'And it bugged her,' Dodd's ... great-granddaughter recalled with a laugh ... 'She thought, 'Well, why isn't there a Father's Day?' Dodd spent the next 62 years lobbying everyone from Presidents to retailers for support. Finally, in 1972, President Richard Nixon declared the third Sunday of June a federal holiday honoring dads. Dodd, who died at age 96 in 1978, had lived to see her dream come true. (more)

U.S. youth tobacco use in 2016 fell by largest amount in 6 years
15 June 2017 - Youth tobacco use in the United States fell to historic lows in 2016, leading public health experts to speculate that a smoke-free generation may be within reach. The number of high school students who smoked cigarettes in the 30 days prior to being surveyed fell to 8 percent from 9.3 percent in 2015, the data shows. In 2011 the number was 15.8 percent. The decline in e-cigarette use was even greater . . . (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Watch live today: Maharishi University of Management commencement to be live-streamed online
24 June 2017 - Commencement ceremonies for the Maharishi University of Management class of 2017 will be held on Saturday, 24 June, on the MUM campus in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) will deliver the commencement address and will receive a Doctor of Laws honoris causa degree in recognition of his public service and his strong support for meditation, healthy food, renewable energy, and enhanced access to healthcare. The event will be live-streamed online, starting at 1:00 p.m. (US Central Time). (more)

'The field of consciousness at the most settled state of the mind has absolute managing ability' - Dr Ayako Huang
23 June 2017 - Born in Taiwan, Dr Ayako Huang earned her PhD in management at Maharishi University of Management (MUM), USA. She now directs the university's online MBA programme in sustainable business. On the benefits of MUM's Consciousness-Based Education in management, Dr Huang says, 'Transcendental Meditation helps one to operate effortlessly from the full potential of the mind - the field of consciousness at the most settled state of the mind has absolute managing ability - it's a field of infinite intelligence, energy and organizing power.' She has seen this developing through her own TM practice, which she learned when starting her PhD: 'Life is not only happier but also everything becomes clearer. With such a clear lens, I can do things more efficiently and effectively.' (more)

Heading to Hawaii with Teach For America: Maharishi University of Management alum
22 June 2017 - Chas Zachar, a native of Arizona, graduates this month Maharishi University of Management (MUM) with an undergraduate degree in education and certification in special education. 'My biggest takeaway was Consciousness-Based Education, so I try to utilize these universal principles . . . whenever I can,' he said. One of 10 percent of applicants accepted to Teach For America (TFA), a national programme that recruits teachers to work in underserved areas, Chas will teach high school this fall in Kona, Hawaii. He says that people at TFA are intrigued by MUM and its unique approach to education. 'The cutting-edge principles TFA is talking about are part of Consciousness-Based Education, and have been here the whole time.' (more)

Transcendental Meditation: Calming the mind to help the body self-repair
18 June 2017 - The 'paradigm shifting' work of Robert H. Schneider, MD, FACC, since the 1980s has been centred on preventing disease and promoting health naturally. After he received the first grant from the (US) National Institutes of Health to study the effects of Transcendental Meditation on hypertension (high blood pressure), interest and research in this field expanded rapidly. The Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management, which Dr Schneider directs, 'became a national centre of excellence in research on complementary and alternative medicine for heart health'. He reviews research showing that the stress-reducing TM technique produces measurable improvements in stress-related cardiovascular disease and risk factors: 'We conducted studies which indeed showed that you can lower your own blood pressure with your mind. Manage your mind, manage your blood pressure!' (more)

Maharishi University of Management student receives Outstanding CMA Student award
16 June 2017 - Maharishi University of Management doctoral student Han Wan received the Outstanding CMA Student award from the Des Moines Chapter of the Institute for Management Accountants. A graduate of Qiongzhou University in China, which has a collaboration with MUM, Han learned Transcendental Meditation in Beijing and decided to continue her studies at MUM. 'Coming here was a life-changing experience for me,' she said. 'I fell in love with MUM. The environment is so supportive, and the professors are so dedicated to their students.' Han completed her MA in education and began her PhD in management. She recently passed the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam and has designed an original research plan to examine the impact of sustainability reporting on a firm's financial performance. (more)

Learning Transcendental Meditation - One of my top decisions
15 June 2017 - 'It's been about 43 years since I learned TM, back in 1974,' says businessman and humanitarian Larry Comp. 'The first time I meditated, I could feel the stress draining out of my body. It wasn't long before my whole life began to improve. While I had been a ''C'' student, the following three quarters, I received a 3.8, 3.9, and 4.0 GPA, and several years later, I ''aced'' grad school. Now, when I tell folks that I used to be an angry young man with a horrible temper, they're shocked. Many people have told me that I'm one of the most relaxed, even-keeled people they know. Over the years, TM has totally changed me. I've become more outwardly directed, kind, generous, and loving. It's become easy for me to focus, sell our consulting services, and continually grow our business.' (more)

How to avoid and reduce gambling addiction with Transcendental Meditation
14 June 2017 - Pathological gambling is a known mental health issue, and gambling addiction among older women seems to be growing in severity and scope. A recent review explores the effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation for both 'prevention and intervention' in this area. 'Meta-analyses have found that TM practice is significantly more effective than other meditation or relaxation approaches and other conventional programs used to treat addictions,' said Stuart Rothenberg, MD, a family physician and author. The article includes research showing increased coherence of brain functioning during TM, especially in the prefrontal cortex or 'CEO of the brain' - 'the seat of crucial higher-level executive functions, including healthy decision-making ability, impulse control (willpower), moral judgment . . . . Cognition and emotional balance improve. A woman struggling with addiction diminishes her unhealthy emotions, tendencies and cravings by learning TM.' (more)

My secret for nourishing the mind, body, and soul
12 June 2017 - Before she became a successful nutritionist, health consultant, and life coach, Teri-Ann Coombes had decided it was 'time for a shift' toward personal development. Inspired by the journey of Russell Brand, and the words of Ellen DeGeneres, Howard Stern, and Jerry Seinfeld, she learned Transcendental Meditation, and 'right away it felt like a heavy cloud was being lifted from in front of my eyes; my vision became clear and I was able to start taking steps to actualize a life I had only previously dreamed of.' Now, two years later, 'I can say that I am a totally transformed person.' She adds, 'I would recommend Transcendental Meditation to anyone looking to have a practice that feeds all aspects of their life. . . . Stress is a major cause of disease in our modern world, so I'm always telling my clients to check out TM to reduce their stress levels and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.' (more)

Katy Perry on Transcendental Meditation: 'When I meditate, I get to the real well of creativity'
10 June 2017 - 'Life can get a little crazy, and I am always juggling a thousand balls at once,' said Katy Perry in a recent E! News interview. The 32-year-old pop superstar credited Transcendental Meditation as the 'biggest help in my life' when it comes to disconnecting from the chaos. She explained that she learned TM while in India for her wedding to comedian Russell Brand, who is an avid meditator. 'When I meditate, I get to the real well of creativity. It stirs up all of these creative juices and I get my best ideas,' she added. (more)

Busy moms share tips for balancing their TM practice with work/family life
9 June 2017 - A new series explores how working mothers look to their practice of Transcendental Meditation as both a respite and a source of renewal in their very full lives. They share their stories and tips about the joys of being a meditating mom. 'We started TM because we wanted to begin filtering out some of the unnecessary ''noise'' in our lives,' says Andrea Jayavelu, a business analyst. 'Modern lives are full of stressors, distractions, and negativity. TM is a great way to manage ''knee-jerk reactions'' and instead channel that energy into increasing focus, creativity, and peace!' As a working mom, 'I have had to get creative,' Andrea says. She and her husband Jay, an IT consultant, work as a team to ensure both get to enjoy their two TM sessions every day. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


US: Invasive Asian carp found near Great Lakes beyond electrified barrier
24 June 2017 - An Asian carp has been found just miles from the Great Lakes, beyond an electrified barrier designed to keep the invasive species from entering the ecosystem and wreaking the sort of damage seen elsewhere in the US. The animals have been blamed for pushing out native species and lowering water quality, which can kill off organisms such as freshwater mussels. . Any invasion of the Great Lakes could disturb the vast freshwater ecosystem . . . (more)

Conservationists: Imperiled Atlantic salmon decline worsens
18 June 2017 - Fewer of North America's Atlantic salmon are making it back to rivers to spawn, which bodes poorly for the future of the imperiled fish, an international conservation group says. Atlantic salmon were once abundant in the rivers of New England and Atlantic Canada, but they are now endangered or have disappeared in parts of both areas. The salmon are born in rivers, swim to the Atlantic and return to their natal river to spawn. (more)

US: Lead found in 20% of baby food samples, especially juices and veggies
16 June 2017 - Pediatricians and public health researchers know they have to be on the lookout for lead exposure from paint chips and contaminated drinking water. A new report suggests food -- particularly baby food -- could be a problem, too. The Environmental Defense Fund, in an analysis of 11 years of federal data, found detectable levels of lead in 20 percent of 2,164 baby food samples. The toxic metal was most commonly found in fruit juices such as grape and apple, root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots, and cookies such as teething biscuits. The organization's primary focus was on the baby foods because of how detrimental lead can be to child development. Lead can cause problems with attention and behavior, cognitive development, the cardiovascular system and immune system, said Dr. Aparna Bole, pediatrician at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, who was not involved with the report. (more)

APNewsBreak: Official says more Hanford nuke mishaps likely
15 June 2017 - Future accidental radiation releases at the largest U.S. site of waste from nuclear weapons production are likely following back-to-back emergency evacuations of workers in May and June because aging infrastructure is breaking down, the top Energy Department official at the site told The Associated Press. (more)

US: Summer vacation? Lots of Americans say they can't afford it
15 June 2017 - Forget frequent flier miles, last-minute getaways, and even road trips. Nearly half of Americans say they won't be taking a vacation this summer, mostly because they can't afford it, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (more)

Irregular sleep tied to worse grades
13 June 2017 - College students who go to sleep and wake up at different times during the week may be harming their academic performance, according to a U.S. study. Consistency -- going to bed and waking up at about the same time every day, weekends included -- was linked with a better grade point average (GPA) among the college students in the study, the researchers found. (more)

Trump pulling US from global climate pact, dismaying allies
1 June 2017 - President Donald Trump declared Thursday [1 June] he was withdrawing the U.S. from the landmark Paris climate agreement, striking a major blow to worldwide efforts to combat climate change and distancing the country from many allies abroad. He said the U.S. would try to re-enter but only if it can get more favorable terms. Several of his top aides have opposed the action, too, as has his daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump. Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more dangerous levels of warming sooner as a result of the president's decision because America contributes so much to rising temperatures. Calculations suggest withdrawal could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide in the air a year -- enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher, and trigger more extreme weather. (more)

U.S. Alzheimer's deaths jump 54 percent
25 May 2017 - U.S. deaths from Alzheimer's disease rose by more than 50 percent from 1999 to 2014, and rates are expected to continue to rise, reflecting the nation's aging population and increasing life expectancy, American researchers said on Thursday [25 May]. There is no cure for Alzheimer's, a fatal brain disease that slowly robs its victims of the ability to think and care for themselves. Meanwhile, the number of people with Alzheimer's who died at home increased to 24.9 percent in 2014, from 13.9 percent in 1999, researchers reported in the CDC's weekly report on death and disease. The sharp increase in Alzheimer's deaths coupled with the rising number of people with Alzheimer's dying at home have likely added to the burden on family members and others struggling to care for their stricken family members, they said. (more)

Insomnia and sleep apnea rates are high and rising in the U.S. military
15 May 2017 - Insomnia cases have quadrupled, and sleep apnea cases have increased five-fold in the U.S. military over a decade, according to a recent study. Rates of these two sleep disorders among service members are now about double those seen in the general U.S. population, the study team writes in the Journal of Sleep Research. (more)

Chicago police department struggles with officer suicide
4 May 2017 - The Chicago Police Department's suicide rate ... stands 60 percent higher than the national average according to a recent U.S. Department of Justice report. The pressure on Chicago's police officers has intensified as the city has dealt with a surge in murders and increased scrutiny around tactics . . . In 2016, the number of murders in the city jumped nearly 60 percent to over 760, more than New York and Los Angeles combined. There were more than 4,300 shooting victims in the city last year, according to police. ... 'Chicago is a war zone,' said Alexa James, the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Chicago. 'They (officers) are seeing the worst day of everybody's life every day.' (more)

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