New technology uses solar UV to disinfect drinking water
In innovation news, UV solar rays are harnessed to purify drinking water. Researchers from Purdue University in Indiana, USA have developed a device which uses ultraviolet light from the sun to disinfect drinking water. The instrument makes use of a parabolic reflector that is focused onto a UV-transparent pipe, through which there is a continuous water flow. The system can be produced for less than US$100. It is envisioned that it could help bring safe drinking water to the world’s 800 million people who are in need of a pure water supply. Kudos, all scientists involved in this laudable project. We wish you much success in bringing clean water to many precious global citizens.
Ecuador Invests 700 Million Dollars in Social Protection
In good governance news, Ecuador allocates US$700 million to help the disadvantaged. The funds will be used by the Social Protection Program. It provides assistance, which includes access to housing, education, and public health, to the underserved, especially older residents and those with disabilities. A goal of the program is to achieve social benefits for all senior citizens of the nation by 2013. Our earnest appreciation, Ecuador, for your positive steps to care for your people. May all your warm-hearted citizens live in security, dignity, and happiness, with Heaven’s blessings.
Mongolian ethnic throat singing revived
In cultural news, an ancient Mongolian folk singing art is revitalized. According to Chinese media agency CNTV, the more than 2000-year-old traditional art of Hoomei is experiencing a resurgence. The article introduced Mr. Hugejiltu, a master of the form in which three different sounds are produced in the throat simultaneously. Besides winning a number of awards both within his native Mongolia and internationally, Mr. Hugejiltu has founded the Inner Mongolian Hoomei Association. He reported that up to 300 young people are now studying Hoomei. It is also being taught as part of college music courses in Inner Mongolia. Congratulations, Mongolia and Mr. Hugejiltu, on this wonderful renewal. Our thankfulness also, CNTV, for highlighting this unique treasure. May the incredible heritage of Mongolia continue to flourish, adding immeasurable beauty to our world.
SYRIAN TV REPORTS 1, 180 PROTESTERS RELEASED
FN... Detainees freed in Syria. The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported on Tuesday, November 15 that 1,180 people arrested over the past few months during incidents of unrest have been released. This action addresses one of the points in the Arab League Plan that Syria agreed to on November 2, which is intended to restore stability to the country and follows the release of 553 people earlier this month. Among those freed was physician Dr. Kamal Labwani, founder of the Syrian Liberal Democratic Union, who had been sentenced to a 12-year prison term in 2007.
We are glad to know of the Syrian citizens' freedom. Wishing you many joyous reunions in the cherished company of loved ones as we pray that lasting peace may prevail for all people of your beautiful nation.
Floods hit Colombia
FN… Flooding and landslides continue to sweep Colombia. As of Tuesday, November 15, the Colombian Red Cross reported that flooding and landslides had claimed at least 95 lives and since relentless rains began in September, more than 66 people were injured and six others are still missing. As one of the Latin American nation’s most severe rainy seasons in decades, it has impacted nearly 310,000 residents, thousands of whom have been evacuated as hundreds of homes as well as vast swathes of farmland were destroyed, while thousands more houses have also been damaged. With major rivers continuing to swell, seven of the country’s 31 provinces remain on high flood alert.
Upon hearing of the ongoing worsening conditions in October, Supreme Master Ching Hai offered US$15,000 for urgent needs, an amount that could acquire US$73,000 in emergency items purchased in the US, based on the cost of living in Colombia. Sending all her love and prayers, she asked that our nearby Association members please go if possible to render aid to the most desperate.
Our appreciation, Colombian Red Cross and personnel working to assist the disaster-stricken, as we also thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for her wholehearted support. We pray for the resiliency of the Colombian people and for the Earth’s balance to be restored through humanity's kinder, eco-conscious actions.
Donya Feuer, Modern-Dance Choreographer, Dies at 77
FN… Modern dance choreographer Donya Feuer remembered. US-born dance choreographer, theater director and producer Donya Feuer has passed away at the age of 77. In her earlier career, Ms. Feuer performed in several productions that were pioneering in their introduction of a focus on everyday movement and went on to co-found a dance school in New York City. After moving to Sweden, Ms. Feuer worked closely with the legendary Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, collaborating on multiple projects that included "The Winter’s Tale," "Julius Caesar," "King Lear" and "Peer Gynt." She went on to direct herself and produced the documentary, "The Dancer" and “Nijinsky: A Life,” as well as collaborating with Mr. Bergman in "The Magic Flute" and "Face to Face."
Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Donya Feuer. May her soul rest serenely in the love and grace of the Divine as her magnificent works become part of the world's treasure for dance lovers across the globe.
Monti officially becomes Italy's PM
FN… Italy inaugurates new prime minister. On Wednesday, November 16 at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti was officially sworn into office. The new prime minister has already formed a new governing cabinet that includes three women, two of whom are the nation’s first female interior and justice ministers. With a survey by the respected Piepoli Institute revealing that 73% of Italians said they have confidence in his abilities, Prime Minister Monti also announced he is initially taking on the role of finance minister in an effort to more quickly restore the country's economic stability.
Our respectful congratulations on your new post, Your Excellency. May the lives of fellow citizens flourish as your leadership serves their highest goals for the peace and fulfillment of your richly cultured nation.
5.3 magnitude earthquake strikes Japan
FN… Japan, Peru, and New Zealand shaken by earthquakes. On Wednesday, November 16, a temblor registering 5.3 on the Richter scale struck off the east coast of Honshu, Japan, its epicenter 227 kilometers southeast of the capital Tokyo. A 4.6-magnitude temblor then struck near the coast of central Peru, shaking residents in the province of Pisco, including the previously quake-rattled city of Ica 65 kilometers southeast of the epicenter. That evening in New Zealand, Gisborne was rocked by three earthquakes up to 4.5 in magnitude that occurred within minutes of each other, all within 40 kilometers of the city. There were fortunately no immediate reports of damage or injuries for any of these occurrences.
With gratefulness for Heaven’s protection of those in the quake-hit regions, may such disturbing events be quickly minimized through our greater consideration of all beings as a vegan world.
Widening effects of climate change on human health
SAVE OUR PLANET… Widening effects of climate change on human health. In an article published in the US-based The Atlantic newspaper, Dr.Paul Epstein, Harvard Medical School's associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, highlighted several key ways that humanity is already being harmed by climate change effects. These include a rise in heat-related illnesses and deaths; increased incidence of other diseases such as asthma, allergies, and infectious conditions; impact to humans through increased diseases in crops, forests, and marine life; and food insecurity. Dr. Epstein explained that in addition to overall global temperature rise, nighttimes are also far less cool, while the added water vapor in the warmer atmosphere has made recent heat waves even deadlier. Regarding the spread of infectious diseases, the author pointed out that their ranges are expanding faster than modeled projections. Warming and extreme weather have also contributed to marine life disease. For instance, in 2004 cruise-ship travelers were sickened by eating Vibrio bacteria-infected oysters from warming Alaskan waters. Similarly, harmful algal blooms, which are the source of many of the world’s 350-plus dead zones, have been spreading in coastal environments, causing direct human harm as well as contaminating shellfish with toxins. Finally, Dr. Epstein described how demands for resource-intensive meat, along with adverse weather events such as the recent East African drought are causing food shortages, food price increases, and consequent malnutrition, leading to further disease vulnerability and even potential conflict.
Our appreciation, Dr. Paul Epstein for this summary alert of how our health is endangered by the combined impacts of climate change. May we rapidly halt the onset of these threats to our well-being and the planet through the actions needed to cool our planet.
During a June 2011 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai explained the best way to stop climate change and prevent its impacts to both our health and the Earth.
Videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai
Mexico City, Mexico – June 4, 2011
Supreme Master Ching Hai: We should fuel the economy with the cleanest fuel to keep our air, our water and land clean and our health in good condition, because everything that is not good for the environment is not good for our health as well. All the chemicals of the agriculture, all the waste from the animal agriculture, run off into the river, into our stream, into the ocean, and we drink this water. We use the ocean. Everything will affect our health. That’s why people are more sick nowadays despite all the new inventions, new discoveries of medicines and different fashions, more hospitals than ever before, when we say we were not so developed right now.
Also, we should not just fuel our system with the clean fuel, but we also should fuel ourselves with the best, most clean and efficient energy source as well. Our best fuel is vegan food, the life-saving organic vegan food.
It benefits the climate physically and also creates a benevolent atmosphere around us.
Women suffer quicker brain damage from alcohol abuse: study
WARNING NEWS... Results published in November 2011 from a study by researchers at Gothenburg University in Sweden shows that alcohol damages the serotonin-regulated functions of the brain that control moods, impulses and sleep, with ill effects that afflict women three times faster than men.
UN lauds South Sudan’s decision to back global treaty against anti-personnel mines
The recently autonomous Republic of South Sudan becomes the newest member and 158th state of the United Nations to join a global convention that seeks to enhance world peace by banning the use, stockpiling, production and sale of anti-personnel mines.
Al Jazeera launches Balkans channel
Al Jazeera launches a dedicated news channel and website to serve some 35 million residents of Balkan countries that include Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, designed to also provide a forum for open dialog to further the shared understanding of people throughout the region.
Turkish Photographers Capture Climate Change
SAVE OUR PLANET… As part of a multi-national initiative sponsored by the British Council, the work of 26 professional and amateur photographers in Turkey has been selected for exhibit across the country through March 2012, to raise awareness about the impact of climate change and encourage people toward planet-restoring actions.
November on course for being warmest since records began
SAVE OUR PLANET… With elevated temperatures that are causing wildlife in the UK to exhibit spring and summer behaviors in mid-November 2011, meteorologists state that this is likely to be the warmest such month in the country's record-keeping history of 353 years.
Pilot trial for cats, stray dogs to be kept in HDB homes
Singapore Yahoo! News reports that cooperative efforts between the Cat Welfare Society and the Singaporean government have resulted in the launch of a new pilot program that allows felines to be adopted by residents of government-subsidized housing, with support for their initial care also being provided.
Ex-smoker turns bad habit into students' good fortune
The US-based Detroit Free Press reports that Ms. Marilyn Shelton of Michigan, USA stops smoking and creates a college scholarship fund, donating US$1,500 annually to a local community college as the amount previously spent on tobacco products, for students who also pledge to permanently quit.
Hitachi links up with 'world's greenest' city
SAVE OUR PLANET… Switzerland-based Living PlanIT, which is developing what it says will be the greenest urban region in Portugal, announces on November 11, 2011 that it is partnering with Japanese electronics company Hitachi for the creation of a comprehensive clean energy system to manage the city's infrastructure, technology and buildings.
Japan's economy grows 1.5%, rebounding after quake
The Eurozone's two largest economies, Germany and France, both report expansive growth in their economies during the third quarter of 2011, while a report on Japan's economic performance following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami also shows a return to growth.
Angola self-sufficient in some agricultural products: minister
Speaking about the nation's food security, Angola’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Afonso Pedro Canga states that it has achieved self-sufficiency in producing cassavas, potatoes and bananas, saying that the government is also constructing roads to make it easier to transport and trade crops.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s Birthday Party Raised $1.3 Million for Charity
During his 37th birthday celebration, US Hollywood actor and film producer Leonardo DiCaprio raises US$1.3 million for charities that include wildlife protection and post-disaster rebuilding in Haiti.
UN chief lauds Bangladesh for healthcare facilities
Visiting Bangladesh, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon commends the government, NGOs and the people of the country for a significant reduction in child and maternal mortality rates that has resulted from increased healthcare being provided to the less fortunate.