Noteworthy News
 
      13 Dec 2011
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 UNWFP to Open Anti-Hunger Center in Brazil
In humanitarian news, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) assists Brazil in ensuring sustenance to youth. Her Excellency Ms. Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of WFP, inaugurated a local branch of a Center of Excellence Against Hunger in Salvador, on the northeast coast of the country. The goal of the project is to improve school children’s nutrition, education, and food security through national school meal programs. The governments of Africa, Asia, and Latin America will be assisted by learning through the expertise of the initiative. Partnerships have already been started with Haiti, Mozambique, and Timor Leste. Our heartfelt gratitude, Your Excellency Josette Sheeran, World Food Program, and Brazil, for this caring plan. May young people in all parts of the globe be blessed with abundant healthy meals and many bright tomorrows.
 Scientists pioneer “electronic nose” to detect TB on breath
In health news, Canadian and US organizations donate US$950,000 for the development of a tuberculosis (TB) detector. Grand Challenges Canada, which is funded by the Government of Canada, and the US-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation made the generous contribution for the development of the Electric Nose. Indian researchers are working on this hand-held battery-powered device which would noninvasively identify TB in minutes through molecules in the patient’s breath. By allowing for early diagnosis and treatment as well as reduced transmission of TB, the innovative tool is expected to save up to 400,000 lives yearly. Our sincere appreciation, Grand Challenges Canada and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for your generous support of this project. Also, many thanks, Indian scientists, for this new technology to improve well-being of many. May advancements such as these bring about a healthier world.
 Ren-Shou, Vegan Restaurant
(All interviews in English)

HOST: Open since January 2011, Ren-Shou Vegan Restaurant in the city of Wenzhou in China’s Zhejiang province has been offering all-you-can eat meals from a menu of 20 dishes and two soups at the very affordable price of 5 Yuan (or 79 US cents).

Mr. Zheng (Vegetarian)
Co-owner of the Ren-Shou Vegan Restaurant
Wenzhou City, Zhejiang, China

Mr. Zheng (m): It is to promote an eco-conscious lifestyle.

Volunteer staff member
Ren-Shou Vegan Restaurant
Wenzhou City, Zhejiang, China

Staff (f2): Food is our blessing; we must cherish it.

HOST: Ren Shou, meaning “the virtuous live long,” currently serves 400 to 500 customers a day. People notice many benefits after transitioning to the plant-based diet.

Mr. Zheng (m): Veg food is good for people’s health. I used to have high blood pressure. Since I became a vegetarian, my blood pressure has come back to normal.

Customer (Vegetarian)
Ren-Shou Vegan Restaurant
Wenzhou City, Zhejiang, China

Customer(m1): It doesn’t involve killing animals. It’s beneficial in many ways. It’s really good for your health.

Customer (Vegetarian)
Ren-Shou Vegan Restaurant
Wenzhou City, Zhejiang, China

Customer(m2): Since I switched to the vegetarian diet, my mind has become clearer and clearer and my body feels much lighter. All my blood work is back to normal. I am very healthy now. My whole family is vegetarian.

HOST: The restaurant is operated by a team of volunteers, whose numbers have grown tenfold over time to more than 100 workers. One day a week, they take turns helping out at the restaurant.

Ms. Liu
Volunteer Staff
Ren-Shou Vegan Restaurant
Wenzhou city, Zhejiang, China

Aunty Liu(f): We work here voluntarily to offer people healthy food.

HOST: The restaurant also regularly provides food for the homeless and less fortunate and often receives donations of money, rice and other items. Due to its rising popularity, the Ren Shou Vegan Restaurant opened a second, larger branch in the city, and has plans for further expansion in the near future.

Customer
Ren Shou Vegan Restaurant
Wenzhou City, Zhejiang, China

Customer(m2): If people become vegetarians, fewer animals will be raised, and thus less carbon dioxide will be emitted. Be Veg, Go Green, 2 Save the Planet. Everyone in our nation, let's work toward it together!

Customer(f1): Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet.

(m3), (f3), (f4), (m4): Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet.

HOST: Congratulations, Ren Shou Vegan Restaurant, on your great success. May your loving service help many people realize the numerous benefits of following the Earth-saving plant-based diet.
 Strong quake kills at least three in Mexico
FN… Lives lost as strong quake strikes Mexico. Three people perished, two in small towns and one in a travel-related incident, after an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale struck the state of Guerrero Saturday night, December 10. In the Pacific resort area of Acapulco on Guerrero's western coast, visitors fled in panic from hotels, and in Mexico City, 166 kilometers north of the quake's epicenter, high-rise buildings swayed for a full minute, with people running into the streets and some shopping centers temporarily evacuated. According to the nation's Interior Department, the temblor was felt in parts of nine total states, but officials such as Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard stated that there were no reports of widespread major damage.

Our appreciation, officials and all personnel, for your efforts to monitor the situation and ensure everyone's safety. It saddens us deeply to know of the lives lost, and we pray that such dangerous events may be averted through humanity’s kinder lifestyles as a vegan world.
 An awards show unlike any other
FN… CNN awards everyday heroes. The fifth annual "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute," recognizing 10 citizens for their outstanding efforts to make the world a better place, was held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, USA, on Sunday, December 11. Hosted by journalist and CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper, the event was broadcast live and featured Hollywood celebrity presenters as well as musical performances. Among the top 10 Heroes, each of whom also received a US$50,000 cash prize, was Ms. Diane Latiker, who has opened her Chicago, Illinois home to neighborhood youths, helping some 1,500 thus far to improve their lives; Mr. Richard St. Denis, whose own disability inspired him toward improving the care of others in rural Mexico, where he now delivers customized wheelchairs, crutches and canes to people in need; and Haitian-born Mr. Patrice Millet, whose gratefulness for his recovery from a rare bone cancer became the motivation for soccer sponsorships he began offering to children in Haiti as part of an overall effort to help them mature into responsible adults. Finally, based on popular vote, the CNN Hero of the Year and its additional US$250,000 was awarded to Ms. Robin Lim, a midwife who has helped thousands of low-income women through pregnancy and childbirth in Indonesia, thus saving countless lives.

We join in heartfelt applause, CNN Hero awardees, for your deserved distinctions. May your shining examples inspire many more toward such life-enhancing contributions that truly do make our world a better place for all.
 Peru PM replaced in cabinet shake-up
FN... New prime minister in Peru. On Sunday, December 11, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala named former Interior Minister Oscar Valdés to the post of premier as he also inaugurated a new Cabinet. Addressing the nation via televised interview, Prime Minister Valdés pledged to bring greater order and national benefit through the coordinated effort of all Cabinet ministers.

Our respectful congratulations on your new position, Your Excellency. May your leadership be graced with success in serving the noble ideals of your distinguished country and fellow citizens.
 Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association relief news from Ghana
FN… Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association relief news from Ghana. As reported by the country's national disaster management organization in the first week of November 2011, incessant rains since October had claimed 14 lives. Homes, properties and roads were also destroyed, displacing at least 14,000 people as some 43,000 were affected.

Upon hearing of the disaster, Supreme Master Ching Hai immediately offered US$10,000, an amount that could obtain US$296,000 in urgent necessities if purchased in the United States, based on Ghana’s cost of living. Conveying all her love and prayers, she also asked that our nearby Association members please go if possible to render aid to the most desperate.

Traveling as soon as conditions permitted, our Association’s relief team from Accra Center met on November 19 with the Deputy District Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Mr. Mamud Azumah, at the Ga South Assembly Office. He expressed his deepest gratitude to Supreme Master Ching Hai on behalf of NADMO and the government, adding that this was the first aid of its kind to his district since the disaster.

Accompanied by disaster agency personnel, the relief team went to three of the most affected communities, where 1,315 people had been displaced. There, they distributed rice, maize, cooking oil, sugar, buckets, washing basins and cups, blankets, and mosquito nets. The local residents also gladly received informative SOS flyers on the vegan solution to such disasters.

(In Twi)
Relief recipient, Akwasa Electoral Area, Accra, Ghana (M): After all this, I stand on behalf of Akwasa Electoral Area to thank our mother who is doing this remarkable charity. It is not everybody who has such love, so this morning, we give thanks to the almighty God. Secondly, our thanks go to Supreme Master Ching Hai. How she expressed her love for Ghanaians, which is also benefitting us here in Akwasa Jerusalem and the whole world, how do we thank her?Thanks be to her! And may God bless her manifold.

(In Ga)
Relief recipient, Sowutuom, Accra, Ghana (F): I thank her! I thank her in the name of God for what she has done, because what she has done nobody else will do.

(In English)
Relief recipient, Sowutuom, Accra, Ghana (M): It was a nightmare for them. The relief that has come, has come at the right time, I think it will go a long way helping the people. We thank you, very much Supreme Master Ching Hai.

(In Ga)
Relief recipient, Weija 1 Accra, Ghana (F): We give a big thanks to Supreme Master Ching Hai, and we are immensely thankful for the items they have brought. We are very grateful to all of you.

VOICE: Our appreciation, National Disaster Management Organization, for your considerate assistance. We are also thankful for Supreme Master Ching Hai’s unconditional care for the flood victims, as well as for the diligent endeavors of our Association’s relief team. May the people of Ghana swiftly recover the comforting regularity of their daily lives as we join in fostering more considerate lifestyles to lessen such disasters as these.
 Ravens Use 'Hand' Gestures to Communicate
After two years of carefully observing ravens in the wild, researchers at Germany's Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and the University of Vienna in Austria conclude that, similar to humans' use of hand gestures, ravens use their beaks and wings to communicate.
 Doris Day’s New Album to Benefit Animals
American actress, singer and animal rights activist Doris Day releases a new album, her first in 17 years, titled "My Heart," with all proceeds going to benefit her two animal charities, the Doris Day Animal Foundation and the Doris Day Animal League.
 Prawase says floods due to deforestation
SAVE OUR PLANET… The Bangkok Post reports that Thai physician and respected social activist Dr. Prawase Wasi, speaking in early December 2011, stated that the country's recent catastrophic flooding is due in part to extreme deforestation as he called for a more harmonious balance to be restored between humans and nature.
 Sea Levels Will Rise Much Faster Than Previously Predicted, Says New Report on Antarctic Polar Ice Melt
SAVE OUR PLANET… Sea levels may rise much faster than previously anticipated. A study by international researchers published in the December 2011 issue of the journal Science has revealed that Antarctica, which contains most of the world's fresh water frozen in its glaciers, could be melting at a rate very similar to the Arctic. Although scientists have known that the Antarctic is also affected by climate change, it was previously thought that the magnitude and rates of change were much less. Through the use of ice core samples, however, the research team for this study found that at the end of the last Ice Age, both the Arctic and Antarctica were disappearing nearly simultaneously. This suggests that deepwater circulation changes had carried warm waters to the edge of the Antarctic, creating instabilities in the southern ice cap that could also be occurring today. Lead author Dr. Michael Weber of the Geological Institute in Germany's University of Cologne concluded by warning of the current likelihood of ever more rapid sea level rise, saying that based on these findings, future forecasts would need to be adjusted accordingly.

Although disturbing in its implications, we are grateful for your work, Dr. Weber and colleagues. May we all be motivated toward the swift adoption of lifestyles that restore the fragile balance of our Earth.

During a March 2009 videoconference in California, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai emphasized the urgency of warming ice caps, while offering a crucial way to respond.

Videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai
March 7, 2009 - Culver City, California, USA

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Before, the United Nations predicted that a one meter sea level rise would be very catastrophic already and causing a lot of people to lose their homes. But scientists have learned that Greenland and western Antarctica and eastern Antarctica are all melting now, which had not been a factor before. Based on these findings, one scientist said if all Antarctica were to melt, then the sea level could rise up to 70 meters! So, there’s no way we can run away from this except we turn to a virtuous way of life; then we are connected with Heaven because Heaven is virtuous and love and blessing. I see no other way we can protect ourselves at all.
 Drought taking a toll on Paynes Prairie's alligators, cranes
SAVE OUR PLANET… As reported on December 6, 2011, extended drought in Florida, USA's Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park has caused water levels to become extremely low, with sand hill cranes and other avian wildlife disappearing from the area as dry conditions continue.
 Butterflies: 72% of UK Species in Decline
SAVE OUR PLANET… A study released on December 6, 2011, conducted by the UK-based Butterfly Conservation and the British Center for Ecology & Hydrology, found that many of the country's butterflies are disappearing, with the populations of nearly 75% of all species having declined over the past decade.
 Organic farming of chilli, cauliflower, tomato yields positive results
The Times of India reports that over 1,000 Indian farmers are reaping the benefits of a pilot organic growing project for chilies, cauliflower, and tomatoes, as they harvest large quantities of high-quality crops that are not only less expensive to grow but are also saving the environment.
 Azerbaijan and Switzerland discuss improvement of economic relations
Visiting Azerbaijani officials and members of the Swiss Federal Council sign an agreement to further their countries' relations through enhanced cooperation in industry, energy, investments, agriculture, banking, culture and tourism.
 Ban Ki-moon's surprise Mogadishu trip is first by UN chief since 1993
In a first such visit of a UN official in nearly two decades, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrives in Mogadishu, Somalia, where he affirms the country's readiness for new opportunities as he announces plans to reopen agency offices there by January 2012.
 Peruvian Ollanta Humala: LAm Unity against Hunger
As dignitaries from Venezuela, Argentina and Chile help commemorate Peru's 187th anniversary of independence, President Ollanta Humala calls on his Latin American neighbors to unite and together overcome issues such as poverty, hunger, and illiteracy toward a brighter future for all.
 Syrian political cartoonist Ali Farzat awarded journalist of the year
Syrian political cartoonist Ali Farzat receives the Journalist of the Year 2011 award from Reporters Without Borders in recognition of his important contributions toward protecting the freedom of press.
 Tunisia adopts provisional constitution
Tunisia’s National Organization Assembly votes a provisional constitution into law, which now sets the path for the country's new government, including upcoming democratic elections for president and prime minister.

   
 
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