In animal welfare news, the world’s rarest marsupial is being saved through translocation. The Gilbert’s Potoroos is a critically endangered mammal native to Australia. Moving a number of the precious animals from small areas in Western Australia’s south coast to other sites is being shown to be successful in helping to preserve the species. The change in habitat, which was initiated by the Department of Environment and Conservation of Western Australia, has also given scientists the opportunity to monitor the Gilbert’s Potoroos’s behavior. This information will help them in selecting other potential locales to help the lovely marsupials to thrive. A grateful salute, Department of Environment and Conservation of Western Australia, for your efforts in preserving the Gilbert’s Potoroos. May all treasured species be protected and blessed with secure and peaceful homes.
Churches join campaign to save environment
In good governance news, Fiji advocates for church involvement in protecting the planet. In Labasa, the country’s Ministry of Environment held an interdenominational service, “Mankind, Earth Steward, and Guardian.” At the gathering, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment His Excellency Colonel Samuela Saumatua asked church groups to assist the government in raising awareness about safeguarding the ecosphere. The Ministry of Environment has also developed training and workshops to aid in increasing the public consciousness about preserving the planet. Our earnest appreciation, Your Excellency Colonel Samuela Saumatua and the Government of Fiji, for encouraging the assistance of the faithful in maintaining a sustainable Earth. May we all join hands to make this eco sphere a verdant Paradise for each being.
In health news, yoga helps improve the well-being of young people in Mexico. At a juvenile detention center in Mexico City, detainees are learning yoga. It is part of a voluntary program founded by Argentine yoga teacher Ms. Ann Moxey in 2003. Wardens at the facility have reported a more harmonious atmosphere since the project started. Furthermore, the participants have said they feel calmer and more hopeful. Mr. Fredy Kiaz Arista, who teaches the yoga, was a former inmate who learned the practice while he was in custody. He said of his yoga practice, “It helped me to feel at peace with myself –to accept myself.” Our many thanks, Ms. Ann Moxey and Mr. Fredy Kiaz Arista, for assisting many individuals in enhancing tranquility. May all find ways to achieve serenity in our daily lives.
The Empire State Building goes red to raise awareness of dolphin tragedy
FN… Empire State Building turns on the lights to save dolphins. On Friday, December 9, the entire upper section of the legendary structure in New York City, USA was illuminated in red. Inspired by professional race car driver Ms. Leilani Munter who is also a volunteer for the organization Save Japan Dolphins, the lights are intended to raise awareness about the plight of the marine mammals that are killed every year for dolphin meat in Japan. Among those attending the special lighting ceremony were dolphin advocate, Mr. Ric O’Barry, who was featured in the Academy Award-winning documentary film, "The Cove," which depicts the annual dolphin hunt, as well as the film’s producer, Fisher Stevens, and director Mr. Louie Psihoyos. Mr. Psihoyos stated, "The Empire State Building is arguably the most iconic building in the world. In the hearts and minds of the entire world it represents a beacon of what humanity can achieve when we dare to dream a better world."
We sincerely thank Mr. Louie Psihoyos, Ms. Leilani Munter, Empire State Building management and owners and all other concerned advocates for lighting up the New York City skyline on behalf of this worthy cause. May it illuminate the hearts of many with compassion and respect, bringing the dolphin and all fellow animal inhabitants the peace and freedom they so deserve.
SULTAN, 84, IS NEW MALAYSIAN KING
FN… Malaysia welcomes her newest king. In a ceremony commemorating centuries of Royal Malay tradition, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, governor of the Malay state of Kedah, was crowned on Tuesday, December 13 as the country’s 14th king. In addition to being the most elder constitutional monarch to assume the throne, the 84-year-old sultan is also the first to hold the position twice. Malaysia’s unique system allows for a rotation of the role every five years among the nine Malaysian states with Royal rulers. Addressing the nation, the new monarch called for national unity as he stated, “The king is the umbrella to the people and the people are the pillars of the king. The king’s greatest role is to ensure there will be no cruelty and destruction to the people and to the country.”
Our respectful congratulations, Your Majesty Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, for your renewed Royal role. May your benevolent reign be blessed in serving the highest peace and prosperity of your beautiful nation and the people of Malaysia.
5.0-magnitude quake hits off the east coast of Honshu, Japan
FN… Earthquakes jolt Japan, Panama, and Indonesia. On Tuesday, December 13, a temblor registering 5.0 on the Richter scale struck off the east coast of Honshu, Japan, 242 kilometers southeast of Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture. In Latin America on the same day, Panama was rocked by a 5.4-magnitude earthquake centered in the Pacific Ocean south of the Gulf of Chiriquí, 407 kilometers south of David where it was more strongly felt. A powerful magnitude-6.0 quake then followed in Sulawesi, Indonesia, 68 kilometers south of Gorontalo. There were thankfully no reported damages or injuries for any of these temblors.
With gratefulness for the maintained security of those in the quake-shaken regions, we pray that such disturbing events are alleviated through our more caring stewardship as a vegan world.
Singapore's 'Mother Teresa' dies at 113
FN… Singapore’s beloved Teresa Hsu remembered. The dedicated humanitarian and community worker Ms. Teresa Hsu has passed away at the venerable age of 113. Trained as a social worker and then a nurse, the Chinese-born Ms. Hsu was affectionately known as the "Mother Teresa of Singapore" as she devoted her life to the care of others. After working as a volunteer in several countries, Ms. Hsu came to the island nation, where she founded two charity organizations, Home for the Aged Sick and Heart To Heart, both of which were funded by her own earnings to provide food, shelter and monetary assistance for the elderly and others in need. The always cheerful and humble Ms. Hsu, a lifelong vegetarian who also practiced yoga and meditation, credited her mother's example of generosity in speaking of her motivation as she once said, "I choose to serve everybody... who comes to me... The world is my home; all living beings are my family; selfless service is my religion." Ms. Hsu's contributions, which remarkably continued almost up to the time of her passing, were recognized with such honors as the Sporting Singapore Inspiration Award for her teaching of yoga; the Public Service Star for her volunteer work, and a Special Recognition Award from Singapore's government for her contributions to the country.
We share our deep condolences with the loved ones and all those whose lives were touched by Ms. Teresa Hsu, who will be dearly missed and long remembered for her lifelong kindness in action. May her soul rest serenely in the love and grace of the Divine.
Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association relief news from Colombia
FN… Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association relief news from Colombia. As months of relentless rains deluged Colombia, resulting flooding and landslides claimed at least 95 lives from September to November 2011. Nearly 310,000 people were affected, including thousands who were displaced as their homes and swathes of farmland were destroyed. Upon hearing of the disastrous conditions in October, Supreme Master Ching Hai had donated US$15,000, an amount that could obtain US$73,000 in emergency items if purchased in the US, based on the cost of living in Colombia. Conveying all her love and prayers, she requested that our nearby Association members please go to render aid to the most desperate.
In the first week of November, our Association’s relief team from Costa Rica and Colombia traveled to Sincelejo, capital of the department of Sucre, where many of the families affected by the floods had lost everything. They met with government officials and arranged transportation by car and small boat to reach several communities that had not yet received help and where many families had lost everything.
José Nicolas Vega, Coordinator of Prevention and Attention to Disaster, Sucre Department, Colombia (M): There are houses destroyed 100%, so they need to be constructed through new housing programs. There are houses that need reconstruction, homes that have deteriorated walls, others the ceilings. And most of these families have not been able to recover yet; no crops, farmers lose everything because the winter has been so strong and so frequent that they can’t be grown in the area.
VOICE: The relief team purchased vegan food items, including rice, beans, sugar, oil, spaghetti, salt, lentils, corn flour, and wheat flour, in quantities that could supply 800 families for a week. The store owner also helped arrange transport to the municipalities of Sucre, San Benito de Abad, and Caimito. The relief team was thus able to reach more of these isolated communities, with many elderly residents in desperate situations as well as children who could not go out of their homes to play due to the floods.
Relief recipient 1, Sucre Department, Colombia (F): From all this, many homes collapsed, and there are needs due to lack of food and meals.
Relief recipient 4, Sucre Department, Colombia (F): There was a lot of damage, all households were inundated. A little girl fell into the water, but luckily I realized in time.
VOICE: The relief recipients expressed their deep gratitude as they excitedly received Supreme Master Ching Hai’s donations. They were also eager to learn more about the eco-stabilizing vegan diet, saying they were impressed to see our Association’s relief team work with so much energy day after day.
José Nicolas Vega, Coordinator of Prevention and Attention to Disaster, Sucre Department, Colombia (M): Supreme Master Ching Hai, receive our most sincere thanks with all our heart.
Relief recipient 1, Sucre Department, Colombia (F): I want to send a kiss, a hug, greetings, and may God bless you and see you for this gift that she (Supreme Master Ching Hai) sent us.
Young relief recipient 4, Sucre Department, Colombia (F): You are an angel from Heaven.
Young relief recipient 2, Sucre Department, Colombia (F): May God bless you every day of your life. Thank you.
Young relief recipient 5, Sucre Department, Colombia (M): Thank you, Master, for remembering us.
Relief recipients (M&F): We love you, Master!
VOICE: Our appreciation, Colombian officials and local store owner, for your helpful assistance. We also join in thankfulness for Supreme Master Ching Hai’s caring support, and for the sincere endeavors of our Association’s relief team. With Heaven’s grace, may the Colombian residents soon resume stable daily lives as humanity’s kinder ways help restore the balance of our ecosphere.
Global carbon emissions reach record 10 billion tons -- threatening 2 degree target
SAVE OUR PLANET... A new report by international researchers published in the December 2011 journal, Nature Climate Change, states that global carbon emissions from fossil fuels saw their largest ever annual increase in 2010, also representing a 49% rise since 1990, with the authors urging for action to reverse this direction.
Russian, U.S. presidents donate wheelchairs to Kyrgyz disabled children
Responding to a request for help from former Kyrgyz president Roza Otunbayeva, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack Obama join in donating wheelchairs for physically challenged children in her country.
North American Rattlesnake's Reaction To Climate Change Offers Glimpse Of Future
SAVE OUR PLANET... A December 10, 2011 article in the US-based Huffington Post, describeing a study by US researchers of climate records from the past 300,000 years, states that if global warming continues at its current rate, climate change will occur over 100 times faster than the speed at which species can adapt.
New inventory of Himalayan glaciers, snow
SAVE OUR PLANET... Measurements from a recent satellite imaging survey of the Hindu Kush Himalayas, as reported in the December 12, 2011 Science and Development Network, have shown that the actual glacier ice loss is up to eight times more than what was estimated in prior studies.
Bahrain opposition seeks talks as king arrives in UK
After an independent commission finds that Bahraini citizens were subjected to excessive force, the country’s monarch King Hamad seeks counsel from British Prime Minister David Cameron who encourages swift reforms while offering his nation's expertise in to help improve the judicial system.
Family seeks mystery heroes in fiery crash
Two men save the life of Bobby Botts, a 71-year-old resident of Ohio, USA, pulling him from his burning car after a gas station accident, with Mr. Botts and his family looking for the courageous men to express their gratitude, reports WDTN news of Dayton.
Cuba, US scientists kick off cooperation meeting
Cuban and US researchers convene for a five-day meeting in Havana, Cuba, organized by the Academy of Sciences of Cuba and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, to discuss their cooperation in the fields of biological and environmental sciences as well as science policy.
Turkmenistan marks Day of Neutrality
Commemorating the national Day of Neutrality, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow addresses the nation and commends his fellow citizens for the country’s spirit of gentleness, peacefulness, and friendship.
Medical team to Pakistan: envoy thanks Lanka
Pakistan High Commissioner Seema Baloch thanks Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa for his country's timely help in sending a special medical team to treat people and help contain dengue fever in Punjab province.
Palestinian flag raised at UNESCO in Paris
Following the recent vote admitting Palestine as a member of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas raises the flag at UNESCO headquarters as he also reaffirms the goal of Palestine's international recognition as an independent state.
Higgs boson: scientists reveal first tantalising glimpses of 'God Particle'
Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland report on a possible first glimpse of the Higgs boson particle, also known as the “God particle,” a subatomic component that helps explain why other particles have mass, with confirmation expected through further research in the coming year.