Noteworthy News
 
      17 Dec 2008

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 Buddha statue returns to India after 14 centuries
In cultural news, an antique statue of Amitabha or Amida Buddha returns to India. The 38-centimeter statuette is more than 1,400 years old, and was part of a three-week exhibition in the Delhi National Museum of Buddhist artifacts from Japan. It is believed the statue has been in Japan since 522. At the closing ceremony of the exhibit, Ms. Hisamune,(pronunciation: hi sa MUU ne.) the main organizer, said, “India is the origin land of Amida Buddha and this exhibition is yet another expression of the relationship between Japan and India.” What a wonderful opportunity for a reminder of Amitabha Buddha’s sanctified legacy. May the spiritual people of India and Japan continue to be blessed with happiness and illumination.
 Gonzaga Students Win $10,000 to Bring Green Energy to Kitale, Kenya
In education news, students from the United States win eco-competition to foster sustainable energy. Students from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington have won the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “People, Prosperity and the Planet” contest, which includes a US$10,000 grant prize. Their goal is to construct sustainable energy technology in Kenya, Africa. Their first task will be to find renewable power sources in order to provide local water filter manufacturers with energy. The second part of this project seeks to offer information and accommodation to local students wishing to learn about alternative energy, biomass fuels, as well as water purification. Congratulations, Gonzaga students on your achievement, and best wishes on your laudable quest with Heaven’s blessings.
 Interview with Elizabeth Anile, Vegetarian Animal Welfare Activist Australia
HOST: In animal welfare news, an Australian teen promotes animal-friendly lifestyle. Eighteen-year-old Elizabeth Anile of Melbourne, Australia won Girlfriend magazine’s 2008 Girlfriend of the Year for her commitment to creating a better world for animals. After becoming a vegetarian, she began her own group in 2007 with her friend Andrew Glove. Australian Teens Against Animal Cruelty (ATAAC) was established to bring about awareness of the treatment of animals and to share ideas to encourage a vegetarian diet.

Elizabeth (f): We provide the information to the teenagers from our website from our MySpace and from there they can make an educated decision of what they want to do.

HOST: The ATAAC organization’s website is www.ataac.org. Their MySpace page, www.myspace.com/ataac, won a 2008 Myspace Impact Award for its constructive influence. It has nearly 1,800 members or “friends.” ATAAC has also fundraised for medical supplies for a dog rescue in Thailand and for animal shelters in Bulgaria, Spain, Egypt, and China. Elizabeth, who has been nominated for a Pride of Australia Medal, explained what we can do to help.

Elizabeth (f): The main thing you can do to make the world a better place is to educate yourself; is to learn about what’s going on in the world. It’s up to us to do something. We’ve got to stick together and make this world a better place.

HOST: Congratulations on your honors, Elizabeth! Hats off for your dedication to making this planet a gentler one for others, especially our animal friends.
 Marine life faces 'acid threat'
SAVE OUR PLANET…Rising ocean acidity further endangers marine life. An eight-year continuous study of Pacific Ocean pH levels, salinity, and temperature by researchers from the University of Chicago in Illinois, USA revealed that increasing carbon dioxide levels, spurred on by human-made pollution and global warming, are causing a 10 to 20 times faster rise in the ocean’s acidity than previously estimated. These accelerated acid conditions especially threaten coral and other organisms with calcium-based shells but also have implications for all marine life.

University of Chicago researchers, we are grateful for the information of this ocean crisis. May the Providence protect our marine friends through these critical times as we strive for more benevolent stewardship of our precious Earth. (*)

Speaking via videoconference to public guests, dignitaries and media present for the climate change seminar in Formosa (Taiwan), Supreme Master Ching Hai emphasized the necessity for all global citizens to adopt a vegan, meaning animal-free lifestyle.


Videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai
for the Critical Moments to Save the Earth: What Can I Do? Seminar
June 29, 2008 – Formosa (Taiwan)

(In English)
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Because stock raising, animals breeding, is the #1 cause of damage to our planet and it is going to destroy our world if we do not stop. I really mean it. We have to stop this. We have to stop the killing. We have to stop the meat eating. We have to stop insecticides. We have to go organic. And vegetarian is a must. Otherwise, there will not be just the dead zone in the ocean. I repeat: otherwise, if we don’t do anything now, if we don’t be veggie and we don’t stop polluting our planet in many ways, then there will not be just the dead zones in the ocean. There will a dead planet. And we also will be dead beings, too.
 World leaders meet at Global Peace Festival
FN… Global Peace Festival held in the Philippines. The Global Peace Festival, sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation, is observed in over 20 countries around the world. To celebrate the festival’s theme of promoting cooperation among all nationalities, religions and cultures, nine provinces in the Philippines have hosted numerous events such as concerts, conferences and public service projects. The culminating event was a gala at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.

What a wonderful celebration of life and unity, Universal Peace Federation and people of the Philippines! Blessed be such noble ideals to be more widely reflected in harmonious brotherhood among all nations.
 Britain pledges $149.3m to reduce deforestation
SAVE OUR PLANET… Britain pledges funds for protecting rainforests. Announced on by Energy and Climate Change Minister Ed Miliband, a US$149.3 million amount is being donated to tropical countries to reduce deforestation, which causes 17% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. By protecting trees, these same nations will then earn valuable carbon credits which can be later sold to developed countries. The minister stated, "The money we are putting forward is to hasten action with regards to deforestation."

Our green salute, Minister Miliband and United Kingdom, for prioritizing the preservation of these vital trees in faraway lands. Surely we will see the flourishing of many verdant regions through such dedicated leadership as yours.
 FIFA to help train African journalists
FN… Special training offered to sports journalists for 2010 World Cup. More than 300 African reporters from all 53 African nations are being invited to participate in a series of week-long journalism training courses sponsored by the world football governing body, International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), global news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) and the European Development Fund. The classes are to prepare the journalists for covering the 2010 World Cup football tournament in South Africa. Robert Holloway of the AFP Foundation said that the courses are also intended to help the African reporters expand their skill set and become familiar with the latest technological advances for use in other settings as well.

Many thanks all sponsoring entities for your assistance in bettering sports journalism in Africa. Heaven bless all reporters in their dedicated work of bringing accurate information to the public.
 Ancient Persian kilns used wind power
SAVE OUR PLANET… Wind power was used by ancient Persians. Iranian archeologists have found signs that the inhabitants of Darestan, living more than 5,000 years ago, constructed their kilns and fireplaces in the direction of the local winds to power them and help increase their temperatures for such endeavors as forging metals. This sustainable energy source could be considered reliable at that time because the wind coming from the nearby Lut Desert blew continually in a fixed direction.

What fascinating discoveries! We thank the Darestan archaeology team for sharing this intriguing insight of the sustainable practices of our ancestors. May further knowledge of humankind’s past help us progress towards a greener, brighter future.
 Flooding leaves 20,000 homeless in northern Colombia
FN… Colombians homeless after floods. On Saturday, the rain-swollen Magdalena River unexpectedly overcame levees and flooded portions of northern Colombia’s Magdalena Department, with over 50,000 people who have been rendered homeless. Thus far no casualties have been reported, but 18 persons are missing. The most severely impacted area was the town of Plato where the high waters destroyed and inundated thousands of residences. Many have taken refuge in hospitals, schools and sports venues. In response, Department officials have distributed food baskets, hammocks, awnings, sleeping bags and plastic rolls for shelters.

We are thankful for the quick and caring response of the Colombian officials, and we pray for the safety of the flood victims as they work to restore their day-to-day lives. May we always respect and cherish our environment to help minimize adverse weather events such as these.
 Tappert, aka Inspector Derrick, dies aged 85
FN… German actor Horst Tappert remembered. The famed German television celebrity known for his role as Inspector Derrick in the popular series of the same name, has passed away at the age of 85. “Derrick,” which ran for nearly a quarter of a century, was aired in over 100 countries and was well-loved by audiences throughout the world.

Our sincere condolences to the family of legendary actor, Horst Tappert who brought joy to so many. May his soul rest peacefully in Heaven’s everlasting love.
 Retired world leaders give Mandela another laurel
FN… Nelson Mandela awarded by Club of Madrid. In a ceremony held in Johannesburg, South Africa, the elite forum of 72 former world leaders presented the renowned statesman with a Democratic Leadership Prize. Former Presidents Ketumile Masire of Botswana; Ricardo Lagos of Chile and Cassam Uteem of Mauritius along with former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin were present at the ceremony, and Club President Ricardo Lagos lauded Mr. Mandela’s inspiration of millions toward equality and democracy.

Congratulations for this Club of Madrid honor, Mr. Nelson Mandela. May our world continue to benefit from your wise and peaceful counsel for many years to come.
 Moderate earthquake jolts west Indonesia
FN…Earthquakes shake Europe and Asia. On Tuesday morning, a 4.7-magnitude earthquake hit southern Sweden, prompting hundreds of alarmed calls to emergency personnel. Tremors were felt as far away as Denmark’s capital city of Copenhagen and northwestern Poland’s Pomerania region. Scientists theorized that this rare seismic event was global warming-related, with shifts in the Earth caused by the melting of large ice pockets. Also on Tuesday, a 5.4-magnitude quake shook Indonesia’s Bengkulu province. No tsunami warning was issued, and thus far no associated damages or casualties are reported for either quake.

We thank Heaven for protecting the residents in all the temblor-affected areas. May such disturbing events as these be stabilized through our kinder stewardship of the Earth.
 Calif. storm collapses school roof, snarls travel
FN… Flooding and snowfall impact lives in California, USA. Floods caused by heavy downpours have resulted in at least three fatalities, with several people injured in storm-related incidents and some 20,000 without power. Traffic was severely affected with many motorists stranded in flooded streets and one closure of a highway east of the city of Los Angeles. In Yorba Linda, an area where vegetation had been stripped by recent fires, concerns for mudslides prompted evacuation of hundreds of homes. Further north in the state, snowfall brought down tree limbs that blacked out power for thousands of customers.

We pray that normalcy will soon return to California as residents recover from this powerful storm. May such unstable weather be mitigated through our loving and kind actions toward our planet and each other.
 Former Ecuadorean President Febres Cordero dies
FN… Ecuador’s former president honored. Former President and long-time political leader León Febres Cordero has passed away at age 77. Following his presidency, Mr. Cordero continued to serve as Congressman and head of the Social Christian party. He was considered a unique political presence and was also the first Latin American president to advocate for free-market economics. In his honor, current President Rafael Correa has declared three days of national mourning.

We convey our deep sympathies to the family of Mr. León Febres Cordero, who will be remembered as part of his country’s respected history. May his soul rest serenely in God’s eternal light and care.
 Top climatologist Dr. James Hansen calls for less coal and less meat to stop global warming.
SAVE OUR PLANET… Top climatologist Dr. James Hansen calls for less coal and less meat to stop global warming. At a recent interfaith climate summit in Uppsala, Sweden, Dr. James Hansen called for the phasing out of fossil fuels through strong government actions. He explained what the goals would be for world leaders during an interview with Supreme Master Television.

Dr. James Hansen – Top world climatologist, Director, US Goddard Spaceflight Center, NASA (M): We have to actually reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere; it’s already increased to about 385 parts per million. If we want to stop the warming and stop the melting of more ice, we are going to have to reduce the CO2 at least back to 350 ppm, and perhaps even somewhat lower. That’s a tall order; it requires phasing out the coal emissions but it also means that we are going to need to improve our agricultural and forestry practices.

VOICE: Like many scientists have affirmed, eliminating carbon-based fuels will have far-reaching benefits on the economy, as well as the health of the planet and its inhabitants. While continuing to call for bold government policies to make this happen, Dr. Hansen also shared what ordinary citizens could do to help.

Dr. Hansen (M): There are many things that people can do to reduce their carbon emissions, but changing your light bulb and many of the things are much less effective than changing your diet, because if you eat further down on the food chain rather than animals, which have produced many greenhouse gases, and used much energy in the process of growing that meat, you can actually make a bigger contribution in that way than just about anything. So, that, in terms of individual action, is perhaps the best thing you can do.

VOICE: We join you, Dr. Hansen, in your call to leaders and citizens to preserve our Earthly home, and thank you for continuing to be a voice for courageous and constructive actions, including the shift toward the plant-based diet. May the environment be restored for all the future generations to come.

Dr. Hansen (M): Greetings to Supreme Master TV. My message to you is: Be Veg, Go Green, Save the Planet.
 Superdirt Made Lost Amazon Cities Possible?
SAVE OUR PLANET... Scientists in the Brazilian Amazon Basin work in an area known for its acidic soil, hoping revive a 1000-year-old cultivation method for replenishment of agriculture in the region.
 EU to shut off old-fashioned light-bulbs
SAVE OUR PLANET…The European Union recommends banning conventional incandescent light bulbs by 2012 to aid in reducing emissions.
 Boston vets fix cat's face
In a rare surgical procedure, veterinarians in Massachusetts, USA work to restore the facial structure of Edgar the cat following an auto injury, with his full recovery expected.
 Brazilian tribes 'win' land case
Amazonian indigenous tribes celebrate an initial Supreme Court ruling in favor of protecting their rights and territory in Brazil’s state of Roraima.
 Israel ready to renew Gaza truce with Hamas: official
Israeli Defense Ministry spokesperson Amos Gilad states that Israel is willing to renew the terms of a cease fire agreement with Palestinian Gaza.
 Bulgarian astronomers discover new asteroid
A group of three Bulgarian scientists who have already discovered nine new celestial bodies, discover a new two-kilometer asteroid in the constellation of Taurus.
 As Iraqis head closer to polls, UN finances thousands of election training sessions
The United Nations donates funds and coordinates the training of Iraqi civilians to support upcoming democratic elections.
 Superfast broadband will allow you to download a film in just three minutes and a TV programme in 60 seconds
Virgin Media launches a high speed internet service in the United Kingdom capable of supporting movie downloads in three minutes and TV programs in 60 seconds.
 Zimbabwe: Country to Receive $6.2 Million From U.S. Aid Agency
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announces a US$6.2 million donation for cholera medicines and other emergency aid to Zimbabwe.
 Angola: Esso Works to Improve Children's Living Conditions
The Angolan government expresses its gratitude to oil firm Esso Exploration Angola for the company’s ongoing investments that help improve the lives of children.
 Iran finds innovative tinnitus treatment
Iranian researchers have developed a new and effective method of diagnosing and treating the hearing disorder tinnitus.
 The campaign trail
To raise awareness about the importance of breast cancer early detection, the Women’s Auto Racing Club of the United Arab Emirates’ conducted a National Day unity drive through all seven Emirates.

   
 
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