In humanitarian news, the German Government donates US$230,000 for clean water in Afghanistan. According to Bakhtar News Agency, four projects carried out by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) will supply potable water to 3,500 families in Samangan Province. Three villages in the Khuram wa Sarbagh District are the recipients of the initiative. Our warm appreciation, Germany, for your generosity. May many kind-hearted Afghani citizens benefit from your caring endeavor.
Vegan accessories maker has success in the bag
In vegan product news, Matt & Nat eco-friendly accessories gain market popularity. Designed by Montreal, Canada-based Via Vegan Ltd., the popular products include men and women’s vegan bags, belts and wallets made mainly with plastic from recycled bottles. With CAD$10 million in annual revenue, the 12-person firm has been recognized by Profit magazine as one of the country’s fastest-growing companies in 2009. Recently, the company signed an agreement to manufacture bags for Apple Computers. The vegan enterprise also regularly donates their beautiful bags to women’s shelters around the Montreal area. Congratulations, Via Vegan Ltd., on your outstanding products and success. May more such wonderful cruelty-free items become readily available for the compassionate citizens of Canada and the world.
THE GOVT OF RWANDA TO SHARE ITS EXPERIENCE ON POST-CONFLICT PEACE-BUILDING
In peace news, Rwanda plans to share lessons of her success towards becoming a harmonious nation. The Experience of Rwanda conference will be held in the capital Kigali on November 8 and 9, 2011. The gathering will be attended by experts, leaders of international and regional organizations, as well as several heads of state and government officials. The goal of the symposium is to discuss the development, reconstruction and reconciliation achievements made after the end of an unpeaceful time in the country. Our best wishes, The Experience of Rwanda, for a very successful meeting. May tranquility and good will prevail throughout the world.
Marlborough rattled by 4.9 earthquake
FN… Earthquakes rattle New Zealand, Indonesia, Spain, Pacific-Antarctic Ridge, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Chile, and Ecuador. On Wednesday morning, November 2, a quake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale rumbled off New Zealand's Clifford Bay, 63 kilometers southwest of Wellington. The tremor was felt as far south as Kaikoura on South Island and northward along North Island's Kapiti Coast. A 5.0-magnitude quake then rocked Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island, occurring 75 kilometers southeast of Gorontalo. Also on Wednesday, a 4.0-magnitude temblor was felt on El Hierro of the Spanish Canary Islands as it struck northwest of La Frontera. These tremors occurred as an underwater volcano south of the island continued to emit magma, altering the color and temperature of regional ocean waters. Another quake that hit on Wednesday struck as a powerful magnitude-6.2 temblor in the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge region. Occurring just 1 kilometer deep, it was the fourth to rumble the southern pole region in four days. In Jamaica, residents in the southern parishes of St. Elizabeth and St. Andrew, as well as in the capital Kingston felt a magnitude-4.6 temblor centered some 80 kilometers southwest of the Black River as the third quake to shake the island since Saturday. In Latin America on Wednesday as well, a 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, 35 kilometers south of Puntarenas, while northern Chile was hit the following day by a quake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale, 77 kilometers southeast of Antofagasta and residents of Esmeraldas, Ecuador reported feeling the effects of a 4.0-magnitude quake centered 14 kilometers from the town. However, there were fortunately no immediate reports of damage or injuries for any of these events.
Thank Heaven for the safety of those in the quake-hit regions. May the threat of such disasters be eased as we engage as a vegan world in gentler, eco-stabilizing ways.
Afghanistan security summit opens in Turkey
FN... Leaders meet to foster Afghan peace. Jointly hosted by Afghanistan and Turkey on Wednesday, November 2 in the Turkish city Istanbul, the conference titled “Security and Cooperation in the heart of Asia” was attended by representatives from countries neighboring Afghanistan, as well as other international and world organization leaders. With the opening address shared by Turkish President Dr. Abdullah Gül and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, delegates discussed various aspects of Afghanistan's restored sovereignty, especially pending the withdrawal of foreign troops scheduled for completion in 2014. Representatives such as Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar affirmed her country's complete cooperation in securing Afghan peace. Delegates from the 12 attending countries also signed the Istanbul Protocol, in which they pledged to support Afghanistan's stability and integrity in the transfer of power to her government. Speaking on behalf of all participants, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated, "We guarantee that the regional and friendly countries will help rebuild Afghanistan until it is peaceful and stable."
Your Excellencies, we sincerely appreciate your warm support of international neighbor Afghanistan. May her deserving people soon be bestowed with lasting security, dignity and unified peace.
Oscar producer Gilbert Cates dies at 77
FN… American producer and director remembered. Renowned in the world of cinema, Mr. Gilbert Cates has passed away at the age of 77. With a long career that earned him much respect in television, film and theater, Mr. Cates was perhaps most widely known for producing a record 14 annual Academy Awards broadcasts, 13 of which were nominated for or won Emmy awards. Amongst his film and television productions were the multiple Oscar-nominated “I Never Sang for My Father,” and the popular “Oh God! Book II.” Having twice served as president of the Director's Guild of America and as a member of the Oscar's Board of Governors, Mr. Cates also founded the Geffen Playhouse as well as the School of Theater, Film and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles. Speaking in tribute, current Academy President Tom Sherak stated, “His passing is a tremendous loss to the entertainment industry.”
Our sincere sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Gilbert Cates, whose legacy will continue to uplift audiences worldwide. May his soul rest serenely in the light and grace of the Divine.
New Loving Hut brings smiles to Formosa (Taiwan)
FN… New Loving Hut brings smiles to Formosa (Taiwan). To support a growing consciousness and wish by more people to protect the welfare of the planet, the Loving Hut Nanzi Youchang was recently opened in Kaohsiung, Formosa. Vibrant and welcoming, this branch is a cozy and abundantly stocked grocery that offers organic vegan foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, and other cruelty-free products.
Customer, Loving Hut Nanzi Youchang (F): When I came here, I found that they have a large variety of products. There are a lot of options. The staff is very friendly.
VOICE: As part of Loving Hut International, the world’s fastest-growing family of vegan restaurants, Loving Hut Nanzi Youchang follows the ideal of Supreme Master Ching Hai in offering ways for people to realize the ease and affordability of the wholesome, Earth-saving organic vegan lifestyle.
Csuan Lin Lee, Owner of Loving Hut Nanzi Youchang, Kaohsiung, Formosa (Taiwan) – Vegan (F): The founding philosophy of this store is to provide everybody healthy, organic, vegan goods in support of [Supreme Master Ching Hai's] long-advocated solution for global crisis – the organic vegan diet. We hope that everything people use in their kitchen will be switched to organic.
Customer, Loving Hut Nanzi Youchang (M): Eating vegan food, or purer food, is very helpful to our thoughts. It helps us to become more positive.
VOICE: Hats off, Loving Hut, on another grand launch! We thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for sharing her noble vision toward the betterment of our health and that of the planet. May appealing locales such as these continue to speed us toward a harmonious, abundant vegan world.
China actively implements 100 clean energy projects to aid Africa
SAVE OUR PLANET… At a first ever China-Africa Think Tank Forum on October 30, 2011, Chinese official Lu Shaye reported on efforts to assist Africa in addressing climate change, saying that his government has helped implement at least 100 sustainable energy projects throughout 11 African countries, with plans for expanded support.
Japan backs IOM shelter operations in flood-hit Sindh
Thanks to a US$1 million donation from Japan, the International Organization for Migration is able to increase shelter and other emergency response operations in flood-affected Pakistan, providing some 24,000 people with tarpaulins, ropes, blankets, kitchen sets, solar lamps and sleeping mats.
Pets caught in house fires have new best friend
The Bristol Tennessee Fire Department in the USA purchases special devices so that it is now equipped to help resuscitate animal companions who have become overcome with smoke, with each unit including a mask and hand-operated air pump.
Hummingbirds face risk of extinction in America
SAVE OUR PLANET… Speaking on October 30, 2011 to Mexican news agency Notimex, Ecuadorian biologist and professor Mario Garcia warns that hummingbirds, whose colorful beauty was once abundant in great variety across the Latin American country, are now imperiled by primarily deforestation for plantations and livestock, with many species that face extinction.
Antibiotic Use Increased in 2010 Food Animal Production
WARNING NEWS… Data released by the US Food and Drug Administration on November 1, 2011 revealed that antibiotics sold for livestock had increased to 30.6 million pounds in 2010, an amount that not only exceeds those prescribed to humans but is also resulting in increased human illness with antibiotic-resistant infections that are more difficult to treat.
Australia Increases Assistance to Drought-stricken Tuvalu
Australia and New Zealand partner to provide additional aid to the drought-affected residents of the island of Tuvalu as they send 450,000 liters of water to the country's main island along with two delivery trucks, while supporting a mission to determine the needs of other islands.
Philippines is making strides in its campaign against tobacco use
At a regional World Health Organization meeting, the Philippine government is recognized for its efforts to curb smoking through initiatives such as raising taxes on tobacco, while the Metro Manila Development Authority is lauded for its public smoking bans in 17 cities and towns.
Ban Ki-moon Visits Libya
Visiting Libya, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon affirms the United Nations' support in helping the country transition to democracy through offered assistance in areas such as elections, a new constitution, public security and human rights.
Raul Castro Receives King of Lesotho
President Raul Castro welcomes His Majesty King Letsie III of Lesotho to Cuba, where the two leaders discuss enhancing bilateral relations, with His Majesty expressing appreciation for the Cuban government’s assistance and cooperation throughout the years.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Offers Free Hajj for a Group of Recently-Freed Palestinian Prisoners
Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud asks that 477 Palestinians recently released from Israel be welcomed to the country for the holy Islam pilgrimage of the Hajj, saying that he is personally donating funds to cover their travel and related expenses.
Palestinians plan to get membership in 16 UN bodies: official
With Palestine's admission as a full member of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) now confirmed, government officials state that they will seek membership in 16 other UN agencies, including the World Health Organization.