Noteworthy News
      26 Dec 2011
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 Donation from Japan helps WFP provide life-saving assistance in 6 countries
In humanitarian news, Japan donates US$30 million to the United Nations World Food Program. The funds will be used to supply life-saving food and nutritional aid to refugees, internally displaced persons, malnourished children, and other groups in need including the elderly and expectant and nursing mothers in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. In South Sudan and Sudan, the contribution will assist those affected by lack of harmony. Our warm gratitude, Japanese Government, and Heaven’s blessings for your generosity. May citizens of all nations have abundant plant-based sustenance for vibrant health and happiness.
 Mauritania launches new vocational training
In good governance news, Mauritania launches a vocational training program. According to the on-line news source Magharebia, approximately 600 young people who left school will benefit from apprenticeship training. It will enable them to improve their technical and professional skills. The European Union is funding the three-year-program which is based on 13 specific areas, including construction, engineering, refrigeration and agriculture. Our sincere thankfulness, European Union and all training partners. Also, best wishes, all those embarking on new careers. May you find prosperity and fulfillment in your upcoming vocations.
 'Other CO2 problem' research shows that fish won't be OK
SAVE OUR PLANET... Fish threatened by acidic oceans. The higher acid levels in sea waters associated with increased absorption of climate change-related CO2 have long been understood by scientists. However, while it was also known that the survival of organisms with calcium-based shells can be threatened, there had been no known effect on fish. However, researchers in two separate studies, one in the US and one in Europe, have found that increased CO2 concentrations of 1,000 parts per cubic meter, which are forecast by the end of this century, caused 70% of fish larvae to perish within a week due to organ damage, with those that did live being much smaller than their normal counterparts. The scientists concluded that although it had been assumed that the inborn acid-base regulation of fish would protect them from the effects of higher CO2 levels, the eggs and young larvae are extremely vulnerable to these conditions.

Although disturbed by the findings, we are grateful for this information, international scientists. May such insights motivate us all toward actions to preserve all life in the oceans and on Earth.

Speaking during an interview published in The Irish Dog Journal in December 2009, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the alarming dangers of climate change such as ocean acidification, as she also spoke of the surest way to restore the balance of the ecosphere.

Interview with Supreme Master Ching Hai
Published in The Irish Dog Journal
December 16, 2009 edition

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Other devastating effects of climate change have already been occurring: the heat-reflecting Arctic ice is on its way to completely vanishing in a very near summer; rising sea levels and dozens of submerged or threatened islands; oceanic regions that are lifeless with dead zones are becoming too acidic to be livable due to excessive levels of CO2.

Very sad things. All these situations are getting worse and worse and won't stop until we really change the way we live our life. Simply stop eating meat – that is the best solution. This is imperative now because of the perilous state of our planet and our limited time. Stopping meat production will lower greenhouse gas emissions in the fastest possible way and halt the unspeakable environmental damages, ranging from climate change to land and water misuse, pollution, loss of wildlife and threats to human health.
 16 Ill in Salmonella Ground Beef Outbreak
FN… Illnesses caused by Salmonella-contaminated meat. Following a recall of 40,000 pounds of ground beef due to suspected E. coli contamination, another recall was issued for an undetermined amount of ground beef when it was found to be tainted with Salmonella. At least 16 people throughout seven states have been diagnosed with an antibiotic-resistant strain of the bacterial infection, as reported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With more than seven who have required hospitalization, the CDC also indicated that the antibiotic resistance of this strain increases the possibility of treatment failure and even death, as advisements were issued for people to check carefully since many of the contaminated meats had already been purchased. In addition, the combination of scant recordkeeping practices and the fact that the meat may come from several different plants before being processed has resulted in the source of the infection still being unknown. US Congresswoman Chellie Pingree of Maine has thus called on the Department of Agriculture to raise an alert about the need for more stringent regulations, in an effort to better protect people's health.

Our sincere thanks Congresswoman Pingree, US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, and other officials for your concern for public safety, as we pray for the soon recovery of those who have been stricken ill. May we all quickly turn to the humane and hygienic plant-based fare as the most effective protection for ourselves and cherished loved ones.
 5.5-magnitude quake hits off Pacific island Tonga
FN… Earthquakes hit Philippines, Kermadec Islands, Pakistan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Kyrgyzstan. On Friday, December 23, a temblor measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale rumbled the sea floor near northern Philippines, 159 kilometers southwest of Manila, with tremors that were felt as well as in Batangas Province and on Mindoro Island. Later that day, a 5.5-magnitude temblor hit 357 kilometers southeast of L'Esperance Rock, Kermadec Islands, followed by a 5.0-magnitude quake in Pakistan, centered 72 kilometers north of Jacobabad. Also on Friday, a magnitude-4.7 temblor rattled Mexico as it struck in the Gulf of California, 121 kilometers southeast of San Felipe. Meanwhile, the Christchurch, New Zealand area continued to be shaken by aftershocks following three major quakes just days earlier, with a 5.0-magnitude tremor that occurred on Saturday morning, 21 kilometers southeast of Christchurch. A 4.3-magnitude temblor struck Kyrgyzstan on Saturday as well, 55 kilometers northeast of Jalal-Abad. There were fortunately no reports of damage or injuries for any of these earth tremors.

With thankfulness for the safety of those in the quake-affected regions, we pray that such distressing events may soon be a thing of the past through humanity’s gentler ways as a vegan world.
 Extreme weather baffles British butterflies
SAVE OUR PLANET... The UK-based Butterfly Conservation reports on December 20, 2011 that butterflies and moths have become disoriented by the extreme weather patterns this year, with migrating species appearing weeks or even months ahead of their normal arrival time in spring.
 Switzerland funds safe drinking water for seven refugee camps in Lebanon
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation announces a donation of US$2.2 million, in partnership with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, to ensure healthier lives by improving water supplies for Palestinian asylum seekers in seven Lebanese camps.
 Listeria concerns leads to wider cheese recall
WARNING NEWS... The Canadian Food Inspection Agency on December 18, 2011 expanded a previous recall due to Listeria contamination to include nine cheese and several yogurt products distributed in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, with one person thus far who has fallen ill to the bacterial infection that, in its extreme form, can be lethal.
 Summer Rayne Oakes’ Film ‘eXtinction’ Debuts Worldwide In 2012
SAVE OUR PLANET... The film “eXtinction,” written by and featuring US model, television host and eco-activist Summer Rayne Oakes, has been announced for its worldwide debut in 2012 to present powerful imagery showing the vulnerable state of our planet, reports Ecorazzi on December 21, 2011.
 Myanmar opposition leader Suu Kyi’s party registers to re-enter mainstream politics
Burmese Nobel Peace Prize laureate and National League for Democracy party leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi officially registers her party, making it possible for delegates to once again gain seats in the nation's Parliament as well as allowing her candidacy for political office.
Two years after a major earthquake devastated Haiti, the European Commission donates an additional €3 million in humanitarian aid, saying that as long Haitians are in need of reconstruction help, the organization will continue to assist.
 Obama: U.S. fully committed to boost vital partnership with Azerbaijan
US President Barak Obama sends a letter to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the occasion of his birthday, with warm congratulations as he also affirms the two countries' cordial relations and his commitment to further expansion of their cooperative ties.
 China says top diplomat visits Pakistan
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari meets with visiting senior diplomat Dai Bingguo of China, where the two exchange ideas toward further cooperation as President Zardari conveys his appreciation for China's solidarity and support.
 Wild elephant fall in well, rescued through tunnel
Near Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary in India's Jharkhand state, Forest Department staff rush to the aid of an elephant that had fallen into a local villager's well, where they dig a 15-meter tunnel and are successful some four hours later in helping the animal emerge safely.

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