In community news, a 102-year-young psychotherapist enjoys her wonderful life. Dr. Hedda Bolgar, a Swiss-born psychoanalyst, still maintains a thriving practice four days a week out of her home office in Brentwood, California, USA. She also teaches courses and continues her research. Dr. Bolgar co-founded the Wright Institute of Los Angeles and also began the Hedda Bolgar Psychotherapy Clinic to treat individuals who could not otherwise afford the cost. The joyful centenarian attributes her long and happy life to being vegetarian since she was 14, good genes, sleeping well, and not worrying about things which are yet to occur. She said, “I have a very strong feeling of connection with everything that’s alive – animals, plants, trees, people.” She also believes that the best time of her life is now. A heartfelt salute, Dr. Hedda Bolgar, on your amazing life. May you continue flourishing in good health, sharing your love and wisdom with many fortunate beings.
'Extinct' frog hops back into northern Israel
In animal news, a rare frog is seen after half a century in Israel. The Hula Painted Frog, also known as the Palestinian Painted Frog (Discoglossus nigriventer) has been discovered at Ha’Hula Lake in northern Israel. The species was previously assumed to be extinct. Dr. Dana Milstein, an ecologist with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, believes that the frog’s survival is due to the decision to restore the Hula Valley marshes. Approximately 500 million migrating birds pass through this area every year. What joyous news! May such eco-friendly policies continue to support vibrant biodiversity on our planet.
Kuwait donates US$250,000 to help WFP continue to save lives in Somalia
In humanitarian news, Kuwait donates US$250,000 for food assistance to Somalia. The contribution was made to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for their ongoing relief operations to help up to 1.9 million people affected by famine. This includes those individuals who have been seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Our sincere appreciation, Kuwait, for your generosity. Also, our deep thankfulness, the United Nations World Food Programme, for your dedication to providing sustenance to millions of brethren. May we soon reach the time when all have sufficient nourishment on a balanced and gentle Earth.
Taiwan culls 1,000 pigs in foot-and-mouth outbreak
FN… Pigs and chickens culled en masse in efforts to contain deadly illnesses. Facing the worst outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease since 1997, when 3.8 million were killed in an epidemic of the illness, Formosa (Taiwan) has slaughtered 983 pigs at a farm in the southern city of Tainan after they were found to be infected. Meanwhile on Tuesday, December 20, Hong Kong culled more than 19,000 chickens as it raised the area's bird flu alert to the level of "serious" after several birds tested positive for the H5N1 virus strain, and in Bangladesh on the same day, the government killed almost 14,000 chickens and destroyed approximately 50,000 eggs as it endeavored to prevent the spread of disease.
It saddens us deeply to know of the suffering and deaths of these thousands of animal co-inhabitants. With Heaven's grace, may all such tragic incidents be prevented through humanity's switch to life-sparing and nourishing vegan fare.
China, Vietnam agree over maritime dispute
FN... China and Âu Lạc (Vietnam) advance peaceful bilateral relations. During a two-day visit this past week, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and Aulacese (Vietnamese) Vice President Nguyễn Thị Doan discussed ways that their countries could further cooperation and solidarity. At the conclusion of their meetings, they agreed to adopt accords that would peacefully address any differences, including issues concerning the South China Sea, while Vice President Xi pledged to foster steady growth of ties between the two neighbors. The visiting vice president also attended the 12th China-Vietnam Youth Friendship meeting, where he called upon the countries' leaders and youths to uphold the historical friendship and mutual support between the two countries.
We are glad for your cordial visit, Your Excellencies, and your efforts to highlight cooperation as a means of resolving all differences. May the people of China and Âu Lạc flourish in prosperity, friendship and peace.
Floods: 40,000 affected
FN… Forty thousand affected by Sri Lanka floods. As of Saturday, December 24, officials from the nation's Disaster Management Center stated that rising waters from heavy rains across Northern Province had caused at least 10,000 families to flee to safer areas. As the incessant precipitation resulted in the overflowing of 33 main reservoirs, the Department of Irrigation warned residents in low-lying areas of potential floods as continued rain was forecast, and water levels in other reservoirs were still rising. The government stated that 41 shelters had been made available in the hardest-hit Northern Province districts of Kilinochchi, Mannar, Jaffna, and Mullaitivu, where residents had already been striving to recover their stability after decades of internal conflict. In Kilinochchi District alone, over 14,400 people were displaced.
Conveying all her love and prayers, Supreme Master Ching Hai requested that our nearby Association members please check with local officials to see if any help is needed. Saying that funds are available for urgent necessities, she also asked that they go if possible to render aid to the most desperate.
Our appreciation, Sri Lankan officials and personnel, for your caring response, as we also thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for her sincere concern. May such weather extremities be lessened as humanity’s kinder ways foster a restored ecosphere.
Dog dies after saving drowning girl in CDO flashflood
FN… Dog gives her life to save young girl. When flash flooding from tropical storm Sendong collapsed the roof on which she had been standing with her parents, brother and the family dog in Mindanao, southern Philippines, 7-year-old Jennylou Yecyec was frantically separated from her family in the rushing waters. Despite her panic, she suddenly realized that the family’s dog was swimming beside her and that the canine, who was also pregnant, was bumping her lightly as if saying something. In a flash of understanding, Jennylou saw that the dog was trying to help her, and she held tight as the canine navigated her safely toward a plank of wood. However, as soon as Jennylou grabbed the wood, her faithful companion immediately sank into the swirling flood waters and was never seen again. Rescuers later found Jennylou and reunited her with her joyful family in an evacuation center. The young girl said, “I would have died if not for our dog.”
With our hearts touched, we offer grateful thanks for the lifesaving efforts of the heroic Yecyec family's faithful companion as we send our sympathies for her loss. Blessed be all families in appreciating the undying love and loyalty of our animal friends.
Family survives being thrown from home in Gordon Co. tornado
FN… Tornadoes cause damage in Georgia, USA. On Thursday, December 22, a powerful storm with three tornadoes, as confirmed by the National Weather Service, swept through the northeastern part of the state, with Gordon and Floyd counties being the most affected. At least seven people were injured, while six buildings were destroyed and some 100 others damaged, as trees were uprooted and more than 20,000 homes were left without electricity. Officials in Gordon County declared a local state of emergency, while the Red Cross set up a shelter in case of any need, and clean-up efforts as well as utility repairs began as crews arrived from southern Georgia as well as Tennessee.
We thank all officials, emergency teams and the Red Cross for your help in restoring regular function to the affected areas. Wishing the injured a soon recovery as we pray for a more gentle tomorrow through our striving for greater benevolence as a vegan world.
EU helps to further stabilise Libya through support for education, administration and civil society
The European Commission announces a comprehensive €10 million aid package to Libya to help the nation's people transition to stability through assistance in areas such as civil administration and education.
Frankincense tree facing uncertain future
SAVE OUR PLANET... In a study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology on December 20, 2011, scientists in Ethiopia warn that the survival of the Frankincense tree, whose resin is used for religious ceremonies and in perfume, is at risk due to factors that include overharvesting of the resin and climate change effects that have slowed regrowth of the trees.
Mobile app to help Indian women fight sex assault
The nonprofit organization Whypoll in India launches a smart phone application to help ensure safety especially for women, as it enables the user to press one button, which in turn transmits an alert to designated friends and family via text message, email, and Facebook for help.
Taiwan to donate 4,300 tons of rice to Kenya
In partnership with the Formosan (Taiwanese) Agriculture and Food Agency and Foreign Affairs Ministry, the charity World Vision sends 4,300 metric tons of rice to Kenya to help sustain 200,000 drought-affected residents.
Prince William shows off dance moves at charity event
In a holiday visit to a London, UK center for homeless youth, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and the Duchess of Cambridge Catherine Middleton share their support and good cheer, with His Royal Highness bringing smiles as he demonstrates a hip-hop dance move.
Vietnam joins hands to build int’l fiber optical cable system
Vietnam Telecom International partners with leading telecommunication firms from China, South Korea, and Japan to construct the undersea Asia-Pacific Gateway Network, a fiber-optic cable system linking nine countries and territories to provide high-speed broadband connections.
Hard-hit Spanish town celebrates after $940 million 'El Gordo' win
This year's top prize in Spain’s famous traditional Christmas lottery, the world’s largest, goes to the small, economically struggling town of Granen, where 1,800 residents rejoice as they share the prize that awards each of them €400,000.
Abbas holds unity talks with Hamas chief Meshaal
Fifteen Palestinian groups, including Fatah and Hamas, agree to create a panel to oversee upcoming elections, with Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal expressing support for peaceful rallies toward the goal of an autonomous Palestinian existing side-by-side with Israel.
Pink Saves Life of Puppy Thrown Off Los Angeles Overpass
After hearing that a local puppy had sustained extensive injuries in a fall, Award winning US singer Pink pays US$5,000 in medical bills to save the young dog's life at the Ace of Hearts animal rescue organization, with the fully-recovered canine now adopted by a loving family.