In health news, German researchers find that drinking non-alcoholic beer is beneficial. Dr. Johannes Scherr (NFT: MD, male) and colleagues from the hospital at Technical University of Munich (NFT:Technische Universitaet Muenchen) examined 277 runners in the Munich Marathon, both before and after the long-distance race. The study participants consumed up to 1.5 liters of a non-alcoholic wheat beer known for its high and diverse polyphenol content. According to medical tests, they showed decreased signs of inflammation, compared to others who drank another beverage without polyphenols, which was produced specifically for the study. Improved functioning of the immune system and reduced risk of getting a cold were some of the other results noted. Our thankfulness, Dr. Johannes Scherr and colleagues, for your interesting study. May more people enjoy non-alcoholic products which are conducive to vibrant health of body, mind, and spirit.
New mammal species found in Philippines
In animal news, seven new mammals are discovered in the Philippines. A group of American and Philippine scientists have identified the previously unknown forest mice species, belonging to the genus Apomys, on Luzon Island. The researchers called for protection of the watershed areas where the mice live, stating that both the animals and humans will gain from a healthy ecosystem. Our hats off to you, American and Philippine researchers, for your wonderful discovery. May we always safeguard the loving animals who continue to add color and blessings to our planet.
Village grain banks empower women and improve food security in Uttarakhand
In humanitarian news, village grain banks in northern India provide access to emergency food supplies. According to ReliefWeb, 55 reserves have been established in villages by the World Food Program and the Uttarakhand State Government to respond to extreme weather conditions. The banks are owned and operated by the community and managed by local women. They distribute grain to households in need and are repaid after the harvest. Our sincere appreciation, World Food Program and Uttarakhand State Government, for helping to support food security. May such caring measures, accompanied by the Earth-saving plant-based diet, bring our world to a sustainable and joyful era.
Meat-Free No Longer Bourgeois
FN… Media report on the benefits of the veg lifestyle. With awareness rising of the plant-based diet's healthful effects for humans, animals and the planet, media around the world are also reflecting this growing support for the veg movement. Among a number of vegan restaurants garnering recent favorable reviews is One World Vegetarian Cuisine in Los Angeles, California, USA. This locale was featured as a Regional Winner for the Los Angeles Times Readers’ Choice Restaurants, with its delectable menu options also described in the article, “West Covina vegan eatery puts the flavor back in veggies,” published in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. The vegan lifestyle is also being featured for its optimal effect on the environment, as revealed in the July 2011 TIME article, “How Meat and Dairy are Hiking Your Carbon Footprint.” Meanwhile, USAToday has addressed the dangers of meat consumption in “Doctors group says hot dogs as dangerous as cigarettes,” citing the findings of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and other health experts. And major Russian newspapers The Moscow Times and The St. Petersburg Times published, “Vegetarianism No Longer Seen As a Bourgeois Luxury,” which highlights the expansion of veg restaurants, websites, festivals, and more.
International journalists and publishing media, we appreciate your sharing of the many wholesome, palate-pleasing delights of plant-based cuisine. May such illuminating information help pave the way to a vegan world of harmony and abundance.
Four killed in UP floods
FN… Floods sweep Uttar Pradesh, India. On Thursday, August 4, at least four people lost their lives to rain-related incidents in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. At least 16 more perished as over 50,000 residents were affected this past week by floods across at least seven districts, with more than 20,000 acres of crops destroyed. These floods follow heavy rainfall in Nepal and the neighboring Indian state of Uttarakhand, which led to a breach in the embankments along the Ghaghara River. Officials in the flood-hit districts began rescue operations, with at least 13,500 villagers in Barabanki district being evacuated to safety on Monday as the overflowing Ghaghara River continued to inundate hundreds of villages.
With all her love and prayers, Supreme Master Ching Hai asked that our nearby Association members please check with local officials to see if any help is needed. Saying that emergency funds are available, she requested that they also go if possible to render aid to the most desperate.
Our appreciation, Indian officials working to ensure the safety of those in the flood-hit regions, as we also thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for her detailed concern. May such disasters be alleviated as our gentler care of the ecosphere helps restore planetary stability.
Belarus top human rights activist arrested
FN... Citizens speak out. As people continue to proclaim for themselves and fellow countrypersons the right to greater freedom, safety and an equal voice in government, they rally together in countries such as Belarus, Libya, Syria, United States, Ukraine and Yemen.
BELARUS - Global leaders are calling upon the Belarusian government to free Ales Belyatsky, leader of the human rights group Vyasna, who has been instrumental in helping provide legal support for political prisoners. His recent arrest came after months of police pressure, with charges that could bring up to seven years in jail. Among those speaking out for his fair treatment and release are UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, the Czech Republic, the Lithuanian foreign ministry and the Polish Foreign Ministry.
UKRAINE - Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is currently on trial for abuse of power during her time in office, was arrested for contempt of court on Friday as she faced charges. Supporters expressed anger at what they said is persecution, while US Senator John McCain said that her arrest represented a violation of human rights as he called for her immediate release.
SYRIA - Following a brutal week-long crackdown in Hama, one of the original cities where reform protests were held, US-based MSNBC reported on government claims that the revolt had been quelled as state TV showed a Hama in ruins, including burned buildings, bloodshed, and rubble in the streets. Residents meanwhile reported that the siege has left them without medical supplies and food that was rotting after six days with no electricity. Tens of thousands of citizens across the nation rallied in support of Hama on Friday, with Syria-based rights activist Mustafa Osso saying that violence from government forces caused at least 24 deaths. Respected Syrian poet Adonis also called upon President Bashar al-Assad to step down from power, and Al Arabiya news agency reported that Kuwaiti citizens held rallies demanding that their government expel the Syrian ambassador to Kuwait. The US government meanwhile issued a call for all citizens to leave Syria immediately while commercial transportation is still available, as Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called upon President Assad to immediately enact reforms, restore civil order and create a modern state. Other leaders such as Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim, the Kuwait Foreign Ministry, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and UN rights investigators joined in also urging the government to listen to the people and halt the bloodshed.
As we grieve for those perished and for the injury and suffering of fellow humans, we pray that all turmoil may cease and that people in countries everywhere may choose to live in security and freedom as a peaceful world.
Floods, drought hit south central China
FN... China hit by both floods and drought. Days of heavy rains in the southwestern province of Sichuan caused the Zhouhe River to overflow on Thursday night, August 4, prompting the evacuation of 18,600 residents as it flooded the city of Dazhou. Officials reported Friday that at least 2,400 homes had collapsed and five people were injured, with ground-level apartments and shops that were also submerged. Roads become impassable, and power was lost in parts of the city as lines were downed. Central Hubei province was also struck by storms and flooding, with nearly 200 homes destroyed, some 1,350 residents evacuated and more than 210,000 people affected as 35,000 hectares of cropland were also inundated. Local officials said that military and other personnel were initiating disaster relief operations. Meanwhile, drought in central Hunan province has left some 400,000 residents faced with drinking water shortages in the city of Huaihua after prolonged lack of rainfall also resulted in the failure of 140,000 hectares of crops and dried up over 1,200 wells. City officials on Friday stated that water trucks were being dispatched along with relief supplies to the drought-stricken areas.
Supreme Master Ching Hai requested our local Association members to please find out from the governments of the affected regions whether help is required and to also go if possible to comfort the most desperate. Sending her heartfelt love and prayers, she added that financial aid is available for emergency needs.
We are grateful for the immediate response of the Chinese officials, military and other emergency teams to ease the situations of the storm- and drought-afflicted as well as Supreme Master Ching Hai for her kindhearted concern. May Heaven grace them with a swift return to the regularity of daily life as we pray that such disruptive conditions are calmed through humankind's more compassionate care as a vegan world.
Executives Without Borders launches recycling program to create thousands of Haitian jobs
In partnership with US-based CSS International Holdings, Inc. and Haiti Recycling, the US-based non-profit Executives Without Borders launches Haiti's first commercial recycling program to help clean up plastic debris while expanding job opportunities at the same time.
Elephants never forget old friends and are social network experts
Studying adult Asian elephants in a Sri Lankan wildlife sanctuary, US researchers find that the pachyderms have social networks that span even long distances, with close relations between groups that may also result in shared protection of food and water supplies during the dry season.
Flock of hundreds of herons living peacefully in longan orchard
SAVE OUR PLANET… Lê Văn Chìa, a 64-year-old resident of Trà Ôn District in Âu Lạc (Vietnam) continues his efforts as of July 2011 to protect a flock of herons from hunting in his longan fruit orchard, with their population having grown to more than 100 since they began seeking sanctuary in 2009.
US, Higher Water Temperatures Killing Texas Fish
SAVE OUR PLANET… The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in the USA reports that as of August 1, 2011, prolonged extreme heat and drought conditions in the north of the state has caused the death of many fish in lakes due to depleted oxygen levels, with those in smaller lakes and ponds being the most likely to perish.
'Freaked out' BBC reporter tells millions of radio listeners of the moment he faced a UFO on his way to work
Respected UK-based BBC sports journalist Mike Sewell describes what he said was a shocking encounter with a UFO while driving, as a brightly illuminated disc descended from the early morning sky, then hovered overhead and disappeared from sight a few minutes later.
Conference in Bulgaria calls for inter-religious tolerance
During an international conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, well-known clergy leaders of various faiths from Russia, Turkey, Israel, Greece, Serbia, Croatia, Albania, and other countries pledge to work toward preserving and promoting acceptance and respect among their religions.
China, North Korea discuss restarting nuclear talks
Following an North Korea's agreement to further dialog with the US, China’s envoy for North Korean nuclear discussions, Wu Dawei, meets with North Korean diplomat Kim Kye-gwan, where the two discuss the resuming of six-party talks on denuclearization.
Thai lawmakers vote for first female prime minister
Following her election in July 2011 as Thailand's first female prime minister, Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra also receives an approving vote by the nation's Parliament, with a proclamation from His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej expected within days for her term to officially begin.