Freedom more important to happiness than wealth, study finds
In social science news, liberty and personal independence are more key to one’s happiness than affluence. This conclusion was according to an analysis of data from three different psychological tests of more than 420,000 people from 63 countries, spanning over a period of almost 40 years. New Zealand psychologists Dr. Ronald Fischer and Dr. Diana Boer from the Victoria University of Wellington authored the study. They stated that their research consistently demonstrated that having freedom and autonomy were the best indicators of well-being, rather than being in possession of wealth. Our thankfulness, Dr. Ronald Fischer and Dr. Diana Boer, for your very relevant observations. May all individuals – human and animal alike – be blessed to live in freedom and joy.
Liberian host communities support education for Ivorian refugee children
In humanitarian news, Liberia welcomes refugees from Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). Hundreds of remote communities in the West African country of Liberia have opened their homes and schools to displaced families from neighboring Ivory Coast. Moreover, Liberia’s Ministry of Education is allowing public schools to schedule special classes for students from Côte d’Ivoire so they can keep up with their studies. United Nations Children’s Fund and its United Kingdom-based aid partner, Plan International, have helped to organize such courses. Our heartfelt appreciation, gracious people of Liberia, Liberian Ministry of Education, United Nations Children’s Fund, and Plan International, for your caring support of Côte d’Ivoire citizens. May nations continue to offer assistance to ensure that residents of every land are safe and secure, with Heaven’s blessings.
concert in China celebrates our co-inhabitants and the planet
In animal welfare news, a concert in China celebrates our co-inhabitants and the planet. The touching “Voice of the Earth, Love for All Beings” event was held at Beijing’s China Millennium Monument. Famous artists and celebrities from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Formosa (Taiwan) joined together in performances and speeches to promote the noble ideal of caring for the ecosphere, safeguarding the animals, and respecting all lives. Among the many famous individuals who attended were esteemed actress Ms. Athena Chu and acclaimed singer and actress Ms. Li Lingyu.
Athena Chu (f): Human beings should protect our Earth, protect other species. No matter which species, we have to treat them as our companions. We should respect them. We should respect life. Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!
Li Lingyu (f): I hope people will wake up as soon as possible. I hope they will develop their love, and will not kill other beings. Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!
ANCHOR: Well-known children’s author, Mr. Zheng Yuanjie, a vegan, spoke of the importance of humans and animals living in harmony.
Zheng Yuanjie (Vegan)
Prominent children’s author
Zheng Yuanjie (m): I think that Earth is the home for both humans and the animals. Human beings and animals are friends.
He Xuerui and Zhang Wanning
“Voice of the Earth, Love for All Beings”
Volunteers (f): Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!
Hundreds of people from all over China came to the concert and offered their support. In addition, Global Green Media Alliance and Beijing Public Fund for Animal Protection, the first such foundation in Mainland China, was established at the gathering.
Beijing Public Fund for Animal Protection, Chairman
Li Jing (f): In the future, one of the major tasks of Beijing Public Fund for Animal Protection will be calling for love towards animals and the prevention of animal abuse.
Accolades were also presented during the program to honor the kind heroes of animal protection from various organizations. Our gratitude, thoughtful and distinguished participants, for raising awareness about the need for the power of love for our planet and her inhabitants at this critical time. May everyone choose benevolent ways of living through the vegan diet to awaken compassion for all.
2 killed, 5 hurt in Olongapo landslide
FN… Typhoon Mina disrupts the Philippines, Formosa (Taiwan), and China. As of Tuesday, August 30, Philippine officials had confirmed 29 fatalities, with12 others missing and 30 injured after the storm also known as Nanmadol struck the nation days before. Over 70,000 families were affected, 800 of whom were taking refuge in evacuation centers, with the most recent impact including the loss of a mother and daughter to a landslide in Barangay Santa Rita on Tuesday morning. Moving on to Formosa, Typhoon Mina set off severe flooding in Pingtung County, claiming at least one life. Some 50,000 troops were deployed to help evacuate 10,000 vulnerable people, with over 4,000 being given shelter on military sites. In southernmost Pingtung County, more than 600 homes were damaged in one township, with another 300 people isolated after landslides struck in a more rural area. Vast swaths of agricultural lands were inundated and 30,000 households in the south and east parts of the island lost electricity as the storm also forced the closure of a number of roads and bridges.
Upon making landfall in southeastern China's Fujian province early Wednesday, the typhoon had been downgraded to a tropical storm but still left damage as 138,000 residents were evacuated and hundreds of homes destroyed or damaged. In the neighboring coastal province of Zhejiang, heavy rains caused 15 reservoirs to overflow, with homes that were inundated as more than 100 people were rescued from floodwaters, 20 of whom had been swept off the banks of the Qiantang River, where tides reached their highest in a decade.
When Typhoon Mina had first struck the Philippines, Supreme Master Ching Hai offered US$10,000 with all her love and prayers as she requested that our nearby Association members please go if possible to render aid to the most vulnerable. This amount could obtain US$135,000 in urgent necessities if purchased in the United States, based on the cost of living in the Philippines. Upon hearing these updates, she also asked that our Association members please consult with local officials in Formosa and China on any needed assistance there.
Our appreciation, all officials and personnel working to ease the situation as we thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for her loving concern. May the regularity of daily life be swiftly regained by those in the affected areas as such weather extremities are curbed through humanity's kinder care of the environment.
World nations see six all-time record high temperatures, no lows so far in 2011
SAVE OUR PLANET… Record high temperatures already in 2011. Less than three-quarters into the year, six nations have seen record high temperatures including Kuwait, Iraq, Armenia, Iran, and Republic of Congo. In noting this extreme weather, US-based meteorologist Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground stated that no record lows have been recorded in any country thus far, only unprecedented heat. On August 3, the city of Mitraba in Kuwait saw the thermometer register 53.3 degrees Celsius, an all-time high for the nation and a temperature never seen before in the world for the month of August. The 2011 warming trend also repeats a theme of last year, when 20 countries reported all-time highs but none saw record lows. Extreme heat is known to be dangerous to both human and animal health, with many people who have perished to recent high temperatures in cities as well as tens of thousands of fish that have suffocated due to reduced oxygen in warming waters.
We appreciate your research and sharing of this factual information, Dr. Masters and associates, despite its alarming nature. Our prayers that humanity joins in lifestyles that restore balance to our planet and all cherished fellow inhabitants.
Videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai
Mexico City, Mexico – June 4, 2011
Supreme Master Ching Hai: The heat is so intense nowadays that government officials are genuinely concerned about your health, so they have asked you to stay indoors even, in midday hours, or to put a hat on when going outdoors, and to drink plenty of water, and constantly. You see, climate change is very dangerous to our health, the health of our parents and our young children.
The extreme heat not only makes us feel hot, but as the glaciers melt, livelihoods, food, drinking water, etc., etc., also face a real meltdown.
How do we keep the global temperature at safe levels? There is a solution. The United Nations proposed that the best way to bring about cooling, rather than focusing on carbon dioxide, would be to reduce the shorter-lived global warming agents. These include methane, black carbon, and ground-level ozone.
The fastest, cheapest way to do this is to stop raising animals for human consumption.
Taipans join President Aquino’s trip to China
FN… Philippine president visits China. On Tuesday, August 30, President Benigno Aquino III arrived in Beijing for a five-day visit, accompanied by a delegation of senior officials and business delegates. He was ceremoniously welcomed at the Great Hall of the People by his Chinese counterpart, President Hu Jintao before a meeting between the two leaders on Wednesday in which they agreed to expand cooperative ties and witnessed the signing of several bilateral agreements. On Thursday, President Aquino was invited to address the Philippines-China Economic and Trade Forum, and he also met with China's top legislator Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao. In speaking of matters such as the South China Sea territorial dispute, the leaders agreed to handle such issues peacefully and through increased diplomatic consultations.
Our respectful accolades for your cordial and productive visit, Your Excellencies. May your mutually cooperative interests bring much benefit, progress and friendship to both the Philippine and the Chinese people, spreading throughout the world.
Three shallow quakes hit Canterbury
FN… Chile, New Zealand, Formosa (Taiwan), and Portugal shaken by earthquakes. On Tuesday afternoon, August 30, a magnitude-5.1 quake jolted Chile, 965 kilometers west of Castro in Los Lagos Region. The following morning, Canterbury, New Zealand was rocked by a series of shallow aftershocks, with tremors up to 4.7 in magnitude that hit in areas near Christchurch as well as Lyttelton. Meanwhile in Asia on Wednesday, Formosa’s flooded south was struck by a 4.9-magnitude quake centered 111 kilometers south of Taitung. That same day, a 5.4-magnitude temblor rumbled the undersea northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 491 kilometers northeast of Santa Cruz das Flores on Portugal’s Flores island. Fortunately, none of the tremors resulted in reports of damage or injuries.
Thank Heaven for the protection of those in the quake-hit regions. May such distressing events be eased as we join in more eco-considerate lifestyles as a vegan world.
Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano blasts out ash cloud
FN... Volcano erupts near Mexico City. With ash that spewed more than one kilometer skyward four times on Tuesday, August 30, the eruption of the 5,450-meter high Popocatepetl about 65 kilometers from Mexico's capital has caused officials to urge people to avoid a 12-kilometer zone around the crater. Water, ash and rocks have also been observed flowing down the sides of the volcano, and the nation's disaster prevention agency stated that while there is no current danger to human populations, nearby communities are being warned to stay on alert.
We are grateful for the precautionary advisements of the Mexican officials to safeguard the public. May such instabilities subside for the benefit of all beings as we strive for greater benevolence on our shared planetary home.
Climate change impacting agriculture in India: Swaminathan
SAVE OUR PLANET... In a presentation on August 26, 2011, well-known agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan of India warned of increased pests, disease and weeds associated with climate change, with just a one degree Celsius temperature rise causing losses of 6 million tons of wheat per year as well as decreasing the quality of grains.
South Sudan proposes traditional leadership conference to end conflicts
The Sudan Tribune states that with tribal conflicts resulting in over 1,000 people having lost their lives in the recently autonomous South Sudan, the new government has proposed a conference of traditional leaders for diplomatic resolution of their differences.
New Zealand's farewell to lost penguin Happy Feet
Following his successful recovery from delicate surgery to remove sand he had swallowed after going off course and arriving in New Zealand in June 2011, Emperor penguin “Happy Feet” is being returned by a government vessel to the waters of his Antarctic home.
Over 2,300 Taliban join Afghan peace process: NATO
China-based Xinhua news agency reports that a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) spokesperson in Afghanistan announced the voluntary relinquishing of arms by over 2,380 members of the Taliban in the past 18 months as they decide to join the government-led peace process.
City that suffered most calls for an end to nuclear testing
During the UN International Day to Stop Nuclear Testing, residents of Semey, Kazakhstan who suffered serious health and environmental problems from the testing of 456 nuclear bombs between 1949 and 1989, call for a complete worldwide ban on all nuclear testing.
Rural poor at risk from climate change, says report
SAVE OUR PLANET... A United Nations report on Cambodia identifies climate change effects such as loss of precipitation and temperature rise as a significant threat to her people, the overwhelming majority of whom live in rural areas and depend on agriculture as their primary livelihood.
IKEA foundation donates $62 million to Dadaab refugee complex
In the largest donation ever made by a private organization to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the charitable branch of Sweden-based IKEA home furnishings company contributes US$62 million to ease the malnutrition and thirst of newly arriving refugees in Kenya.
Guatemala to Launch Anti-Weapon Drive
As part of Guatemala’s first Youth Festival for Peace, several regions simultaneously launch the UNESCO-founded “I Am Against Violence, I Do Not Use Arms” campaign that focuses on youth returning toys related to conflict in exchange for ones that provide educational fun.
Hotel helps nine children with surgery and artificial limbs
The Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia donates US$41,000 through its annual Gift of Life charity project to pay for surgery and prosthetic limbs that will benefit the lives of nine disadvantaged children.
Texas drought could threaten endangered species
SAVE OUR PLANET... As severe drought continues into September 2011 in the US state of Texas, scientists with the US Fish and Wildlife Service prepare to evacuate small numbers of endangered fish, amphibians and other aquatic animals in an effort to safeguard them from extinction.
Library in China offers new reading possibilities for the blind
The newly opened China Braille Library in Beijing has been designed to provide the visually impaired with an ideal location for reading as well as other interactive events for their enjoyment such as lectures, recitals and music.