In health news, the plant-based diet helps improve eye health. During a radio interview on the syndicated USA-based Sharon Kleyne Hour show, Dr. Philip Paden, a vegan ophthalmologist and Chief of Surgery at the Paden Eye Care Center in Medford, Oregon, USA, addressed the importance of diet in maintaining and improving eye heath. Dr. Paden has found that his elderly patients with glaucoma and cataracts were able to stop taking medication after following a plant-based diet with no added salt. During the radio interview, Dr. Paden also recommended people with macular degeneration consume ample amounts of leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and chard, which researchers have discovered reversed the condition. Our many thanks, Dr. Philip Paden, for highlighting the importance of a vegan diet for eye health, and Ms. Sharon Kleyne, for your beneficial program. May all reach vibrant well-being of body, mind, and spirit by adopting a wholesome animal-free diet.
Green Accord to Create 300 000 Jobs
In environmental news, the South African government and its labor and business partners sign an accord to create 300,000 green jobs. With the support of ten ministries and three labor unions, the agreement includes the areas of waste management, biodiversity, green buildings, and sustainable energies. The plan proposes to install 1 million solar water heaters by 2015, procure 3,725 megawatts of sustainable energy, provide job training, develop energy efficiency standards, and establish an investment fund of up to US$3 billion. Bravo, South Africa, for taking a comprehensive step towards green development. May your eco-responsible approaches, combined with the organic vegan lifestyle, soon help bring our world to a balanced and flourishing state.
Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan Sign Agreement in Field of Peaceful Uses of Space
In world news, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Kazakhstan agree on peaceful space collaboration. The accord was signed by Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Suwaiyel (Ph.D., Male), President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, and Mr. Talgat Musabayev, President of the National Space Agency of Kazakhstan. Areas of collaboration include space research, remote sensing, satellite communication and navigation, exploration of outer space, as well as building and launching space vessels. The countries will develop joint research projects, exchange and train scientists, share information and data, and co-organize scientific conferences, workshops, and exhibitions. Congratulations, Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan, for forming this mutually beneficial partnership. May your joint venture be blessed with great success.
First molecular evidence links live poultry markets to human H5N1 infection in China
FN… Link found between poultry farms and human viral infection. According to a new Chinese study published in the December issue of the Journal of Virology, a strong link exists between live animal markets where birds are being slaughtered for meat and human viral infections. In environmental samples tested from the areas surrounding six live bird markets that infected patients had visited before they caught the virus, 12 highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu viruses were found in four of the markets. Speaking of the growing possibility for a new and more severe form of infection that could arise, the researchers wrote, "The sporadic cases of human H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza... the H5N1 outbreaks in birds, and the simultaneous circulation of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus raise concern that a deadly re-assortment virus may emerge." Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO), also known as factory farms, are already known to be potent reservoirs of bacterial infection, with viral transmission now also being confirmed between animals and humans.
Many thanks, Chinese scientists for these findings that reaffirm the danger of cruel and unhygienic confined animal conditions. May plant-based fare soon become the norm for all beings to coexist in humane health and peace of mind.
15 found alive near capsized Indonesia migrant boat
FN… Survivors found in two Indonesian capsized boat incidents. In the second such accident within several days, a vessel filled to over capacity sank as it was hit by stormy conditions near Indonesia's Maluku Islands. With four who perished, 100 people, mostly villagers traveling home for the holidays, were saved as Indonesian rescuer teams rushed to the area. This incident followed one that occurred the previous Saturday, where a 100-person-capacity boat carrying some 250 asylum seekers capsized in rough stormy weather off the coast of East Java. Despite bad weather with low visibility, strong currents, and waves as high as three meters, Indonesian officials sent out five rescue boats and two helicopters who were joined by an Australian navy patrol ship and surveillance aircraft. They were ultimately able to save 49 people. The migrants, thought to be primarily Afghans and Iranians, originally boarded the boat to seek refuge in Australia.
Our deep thankfulness for the swift and tireless efforts of the Indonesian and Australian rescue personnel. While it saddens us deeply to know of the lives lost, we are thankful for those who were found and brought to safety and wish them loving reunions with cherished ones in renewed appreciation of life.
US tops world charitable giving index
FN… Americans recognized as most charitable overall for 2011. With rankings that are determined by the giving of money and time, as well as helping strangers, the UK-based Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has identified the people of the United States as being the world's most generous in 2011, with Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom also in the top five. Charities Aid Foundation Chief Executive John Low pointed out that the giving quality of people was independent of their country's overall wealth. For example, the highest-ranked population for donating money was Thailand, with 85% of residents having made contributions this year, followed by the UK at 79%. Chief Executive Low also highlighted an overall increase in volunteering, as he stated, "More people gave their time to help others over the last year...a compelling and inspiring reminder of human kindness."
Kudos and Heaven bless the people of the United States and all those who have shared in promising acts of care from countries around the world. May such a spirit of giving continue to inspire love and kindness toward all our fellow inhabitants.
Floods in S. Malaysia displaces 1,011 people
FN… Malaysia floods displace thousands. As of Tuesday, December 20, over 2,500 people had been forced to flee their homes after floods swept the southern state of Johor. Inundating 17 districts, the rising waters prompted evacuations throughout the communities of Kluang, Skudai, Pontian, Segamat, Batu Pahat, and Kulaijaya. A group of 21 Singaporean visitors were also stranded in Johor National Park as roads became impassable, and were rescued via helicopter by Malaysian officials some 48 hours later. The Marine Department was deployed with boats to the worst-hit Kluang, where more than 1,700 people were evacuated to 19 relief centers. Police and other personnel also went to aid the affected as well as attempt to divert waters and protect the homes of evacuees.
With all her love and prayers, Supreme Master Ching Hai requested that our nearby Association members please check with local officials to see if any assistance is required, and to go if possible to render comfort to the flood-afflicted, adding that funds would be available for emergency relief.
We appreciate the diligent disaster response of the Malaysian officials and personnel, with gratefulness also for Supreme Master Ching Hai's wholehearted concern. Our prayers that such distressing conditions may be quickly averted through our fostering of a more balanced ecosphere as a vegan world.
Northern Thailand declared cold disaster zone
FN… Severe cold claims lives in South East Asian nations. As dense fog and cold have descended over countries such as Bangladesh for the past week, at least 15 people, seven of whom were newborns, perished as of Wednesday, December 21 due to cold-related complications. Hundreds of people, mostly children and the elderly, were also receiving treatment at hospitals in the most severely affected districts of Pabna, Gopalganj and Madaripur, while ferries remained stranded in some locations due to the fog. Meanwhile in neighboring India, the death toll had risen to at least 93 by Thursday, with the highest number of fatalities occurring among the homeless and the elderly in the state of Uttar Pradesh. And in nearby Thailand, still recovering from devastating floods, frigid conditions prompted disaster zones to be declared in 17 northern provinces. The Thai Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department dispatched personnel to distribute warm clothing to people in the affected region, which encompasses over 13,000 villages.
After hearing of the severe cold in India on December 20, Supreme Master Ching Hai had conveyed all her love and prayers as she requested that our nearby Association members please consult with local officials on any needed help, and to go if possible to render assistance to the most vulnerable. Upon knowing of these updates, she asked that they check with regional governments in Thailand and Bangladesh and to go there if possible as well, saying that financial aid is available for warm clothing and blankets as well as any other urgent necessities.
Our gratefulness, officials and health personnel working to assist the cold-stricken, as we also thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for her sincere concern. May such weather extremities soon be eased through our kinder stewardship of the Earth.
International campaign to rescue race dogs
FN… International campaign to rescue race dogs. The greyhound protection organization GREY2K USA has been working to end the cruel industry of dog racing worldwide. Mr. Carey Theil is GREY2K USA’s executive director and a vegan.
Carey Theil – Executive director, GREY2K USA; vegan (M): Greyhound racing is very cruel and inhumane. Thousands of dogs all over the world endure lives of terrible confinement. They suffer serious injuries on the race track. And dogs are killed when they’re no longer profitable.
VOICE: One of GREY2K USA’s current campaigns is aiming to save greyhounds at China’s only dog track, located in Macau, where all its 600 canines, imported from Australia, are eventually killed. With no adoption program in place to rehome the dogs after they are removed from racing, on average 30 greyhounds per month, or about 400 per year, are reportedly killed at the Macau race stadium. In efforts to save them, GREY2K USA has rallied the support of international animal protection groups including Animals Australia, Animals Asia, and Sydney, Australia-based Greyhound Rescue, to preserve one of the dogs' lives first.
Carey Theil (M): Brooklyn is a 3-year-old greyhound. He now sadly lives in a cage at the racetrack in Macau. And when he stops winning races, unless we’re able to help him, he will be killed.
VOICE: The groups are urgently asking the stadium to allow Brooklyn to be brought back to Australia and given a home, in the hope that this would symbolize an initial case toward the rescue of all greyhounds there on death row.
Carey Theil (M): The entire world is watching now to see how they’re going to respond. They now have a choice. They can either do the right thing and they can allow us to rescue Brooklyn, or they can send a terrible message to the rest of the world that they’re going to continue killing these gentle dogs. Greyhounds in particular are especially sweet and gentle animals, and for the racetrack to simply allow these dogs to die without any adoption program whatsoever is outrageous and needs to stop.
VOICE: For more information on Brooklyn the greyhound and GREY2K USA’s endeavors, please visit RescueBrooklyn.org
With a grateful salute to Mr. Carey Theil, and GREY2K USA, as well as Animals Australia, Animals Asia, Greyhound Rescue and supportive others, we, too, join in solidarity for the rescue of Brooklyn as well as all innocent canines in the racing industry. May the day come soon when such inhumane practices end worldwide and animal co-inhabitants everywhere live in the freedom and dignity they so deserve.
Death toll from illicit liquor disaster in India rises to 121
WARNING NEWS… As of Sunday, December 18, 170 primarily less fortunate workers in the state of West Bengal, India had sadly perished, with dozens others still struggling to recover, after buying and drinking illegally-made alcohol containing toxic methanol.
Executions, death sentences continue steady declines in 2011
According to findings released by the Death Penalty Information Center of the US, capital punishment executions continue to decrease across the country, with the number of sentences also falling by 75% since 1996, as more Americans show concern over the practice.
Oklahoma man loses more than 40 pounds by leaving meat, dairy behind
The daily paper NewsOK, of Oklahoma, USA highlights the benefits of plant-based eating as it features the story of Mr. Randy Hale who not only lost 40 pounds but also was able to eliminate his type 2 diabetes medication after switching to vegan fare.
IMF head arrives in Nigeria for first Africa visit
On her first visit to Africa as head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde visits Nigeria, where she meets with Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to discuss regional financial matters as well as ways to reduce youth unemployment.
a poor man return 45 milions Vietnam dongs to owner
While sifting through disposed refuse to collect metal and plastic for recycling, Mr. Trần Văn Cho of Đà Nẵng, Âu Lạc (Vietnam) finds US$2,150 in cash, which he thoughtfully turns over to local police, who commend his actions as they locate and return the money to its owner.
Climate changes cause environmental problems in Yangtze River Source
SAVE OUR PLANET... As lack of rain reduces levels of the Xijiang and Xiangjiang Rivers to historic lows in December 2011, over 900 ships are halted from operation in order to preserve drinking water in the reservoirs rather than allow it to flow into the drying rivers.
Bob Barker Pays to Move Toronto Zoo Elephants to Long-Awaited Sanctuary
Multi-Emmy Award-winning television show host Bob Barker, who is also a staunch supporter of animal welfare, has pledged to pay the entire relocation costs for the three elephants Toka, Thika, and Iringa to be moved from Canada's Toronto Zoo to the Performing Animals Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California, USA.
THAI PM MEETS MYANMAR OPPOSITION LEADER SUU KYI
In a visit to Myanmar (Burma), Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra meets with democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, conveying her support for Dr. Aung San Suu Kyi's decision to run as a candidate in the upcoming 2012 by-elections.
Bravery Award For NYP Officers
Four North Yorkshire, UK police officers, Sergeant Andy Stubbings, Traffic Sergeant Neil Campbell, Police Constable Ray Thwaites and Police Constable Emma Collins, are honored with Royal Humane Society Awards for their heroic rescue that saved a man from the freezing waters of the River Derwent in Malton.
Afghanistan Opening First Major Train Service
Afghanistan inaugurates her first major train service, with service between the Uzbekistan border and the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif, with plans in place for more railway networks to be built that join neighboring countries.