Inspiring News Stories
Excerpts of Highly Inspiring News Stories in Major Media



Below are one-paragraph excerpts of highly inspiring news stories reported in the major media. Links are provided to the original stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These inspiring news stories are listed with the stories most recently posted to the website listed first. You can explore the same list with the most inspiring stories listed first. See also a concise list providing headlines and links to a number of highly inspiring stories. May these articles inspire us to find ever more ways to love and support each other and all around us to be the very best we can be.


Note: This comprehensive list of inspiring news stories is usually updated once a week. See also a full index to revealing excerpts of key news articles on several dozen engaging topics.

Volunteering May Be Good for the Heart in More Than One Way
2013-06-27, Mercola.com
Posted: 2013-07-09 08:13:46
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/27/volunteering.aspx

Volunteering is a simple way to help others, but it’s also a powerful way to help yourself. Beyond the good feelings you’ll get from donating your time, and the potential to develop new, meaningful relationships with people in your community, volunteering has a significant impact on your physical health, including a boost to your heart health. New research from Carnegie Mellon University, scheduled to be published in the journal Psychology and Aging, followed more than 1,000 adults between the ages of 51 and 91. Those who volunteered for at least 200 hours a year were 40 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who did not. Research shows volunteering can cut your overall mortality risk by 47 percent, may lower your risk of depression and anxiety, and even boost your psychological well-being. The type of volunteer work appeared to be irrelevant. Rather, it was the amount of time spent doing it that mattered. The benefits are particularly pronounced among older adults, a population that tends to slow down once retirement hits. Social interaction, and the stress relief it can provide, is likely one major reason why volunteering has a beneficial effect on blood pressure, as it’s a well-known fact that stress elevates blood pressure. Blood pressure aside, volunteering is not only a boon for your heart health. It’s likely that one reason volunteering is so beneficial is simply because it keeps you active and on your feet. Instead of resigning yourself to your couch, choosing to volunteer adds many hours of non-exercise activity to your life – a key to optimal health.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




'A way out of the landfill': Paraguay kids play Mozart with violins made from trash
2012-12-17, NBC News/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-07-09 08:12:16
http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/17/15965768-a-way-out-of-the-landf...

The sounds of a classical guitar come from two big jelly cans. Used X-rays serve as the skins of a thumping drum set. A battered aluminum salad bowl and strings tuned with forks from what must have been an elegant table make a violin. Bottle caps work perfectly well as keys for a saxophone. A chamber orchestra of 20 children uses these and other instruments fashioned out of recycled materials from a landfill where their parents eke out livings as trash-pickers, regularly performing the music of Beethoven and Mozart, Henry Mancini and the Beatles. Word is spreading about these kids from Cateura, a vast landfill outside Paraguay's capital where some 25,000 families live alongside reeking garbage in abject poverty. The youngsters of "The Orchestra of Instruments Recycled From Cateura" performed in Brazil, Panama and Colombia this year, and hope to play at an exhibit opening next year in their honor at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Ariz. "We want to provide a way out of the landfill for these kids and their families. So we're doing the impossible so that they can travel outside Paraguay, to become renowned and admired," said Favio Chavez, a social worker and music teacher who started the orchestra. Paraguayan documentary filmmaker, Alejandra Amarilla Nash ... and film producer Juliana Penaranda-Loftus have followed the orchestra for years, joining Chavez in his social work while making their film "Landfill Harmonic" on a shoestring budget. The documentary is far from complete. But last month, the filmmakers created a Facebook page and posted a short trailer on YouTube and Vimeo that has gone viral, quickly getting more than a million views altogether.

Note: For an inspiring 12-minute video of the amazing landfill harmonic orchestra, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Mystery Behind the Damanhur Temples
2008-01-21, ABC News
Posted: 2013-07-01 12:45:16
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=4216350

Hidden away in a country renowned for its architectural beauty lies a massive hand-built place of worship many tourists never see. An entrance that looks like a mineshaft opens up to a maze carved inside the mountain holding the Damanhur Temples of Humankind in the Valchiusella Valley, about 30 miles north of Turin, [Italy]. Damanhur narrates the history of human potential through art. With at least nine rooms — some with 25-foot high ceilings — it looks as if the secret doors and passageways were built centuries ago. In truth, the unlikely temple is no ancient wonder and was built piecemeal by 150 people over a 15-year period beginning in 1978. The work was so secret, the Italian government never knew it was going on and never gave permission for it. The handcrafted structure is full of dramatic beauty, and each apparent dead end really leads into another mysterious hall. "You have to think that we did that without any engineer or architect," Ananas said. "Everything has been excavated by hand." At least as mysterious as the temple itself is the utopian society to which it belongs, The Federation of Damanhur. Damanhur, which means city of light, comprises 800 people who live in communal homes. Founded in 1975, the Federation of Damanhur thinks of itself as the builders of a new civilization that stands for peace and human potential. It prides itself on being an eco-society based on ethical and spiritual values. Falco, as the group's founder is known, said that he always dreamed of the elaborate temples. The group wanted the temple to be "a gift to humanity" once it was completed. Visitors to the halls of the temple have expressed awe, delight and intrigue.

Note: To see photos of the stunning beauty of these temples, click here. Damanhur's visionary Falco died of cancer on June 23, 2013. For more on this great visionary, click here. To watch a one-minute ABC News video giving a glimpse of the beauty of these temples, click here. Watch an awesome video tour of Damanhur and the Temples of Humankind available here. And for an intriguing 15-minute video of experiments done at Damanhur attaching plants to synthesizers to make angelic music, click here.




Urban Homesteading Video: Growing What You Eat
2013-01-21, Urban Gardening Digest
Posted: 2013-07-01 12:42:28
http://urbangardeningdigest.com/5272/urban-homesteading-video-growing-what-yo...

Urban homesteading differs from urban gardening in that it is a way of living that endeavors to be as self reliant as is possible in our modern age. The video [available at the above link] shows one family’s commitment to urban homesteading and how they have freed themselves from the urban rat race, grow their own food, and much, much more. In Pasadena, California, is a 4,000 sq. ft. urban homestead, owned by the Dervaes family. This homestead feeds a family of four, producing about 6,000 lbs. of food annually, on just 1/10th acre [1/25th hectare]. 63 year old Jules Dervaes, started this backyard urban farm 10 years ago. It is a deliberate throw back to the story days of self reliant rural America. Jules and his children grow almost all of the food they need and everyone pitches in. At the time of this video, they were also raising eight chickens, four ducks, and two goats. The ducks and chickens lay thousands of eggs a year and keep the bugs in check. Over 400 varieties of vegetables, fruits, and edible flowers are grown in this compact space. Enough [is grown] to feed themselves with plenty left over for local chefs looking for organic, pesticide-free produce. Front porch sales net the family about $20,000 a year, which they use to purchase things that they can not grow on their urban homestead, such as wheat, rice, and oats. In addition to growing their own food, Dervaes family has gone off the grid. Their ‘gizmos’ are all hand powered. What little electricity that they do use is generated by solar panels.

Note: Watch the full, nine-minute video at the link above to get a closer look at this urban homesteading lifestyle. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Chipotle labels all GM items on menu
2013-06-20, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2013-07-01 12:40:04
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-06-20/features/chi-gmo-news-chipotle-...

As part of its "Food With Integrity" program, Chipotle this week posted information on its website identifying which items on its menu contain genetically modified ingredients. The chain posted a chart noting that 12 out of 25 ingredients, including its rice, barbacoa, chips, chicken, vegetable fajitas, steak and flour tortillas (except in certain restaurants) use either genetically modified corn or soybean oil, the vast majority of which is derived from GM soybeans. The chain said that those ingredients are "currently unavoidable" but that it is "working hard" to eliminate them. This move comes on the heels of Ben & Jerry's announcement that all of its flavors will be GM ingredient free by the end of the year and Whole Foods pledge to phase out all foods with GM ingredients by 2018. Although GM crops ... are considered safe by federal authorities and are legal to plant and sell, some independent studies have linked them to health and environmental problems. The announcements happen amid a flurry of state bills to require mandatory labeling of food with GM ingredients. In more GM news, this afternoon the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan amendment to require labeling of GM salmon as part of a 2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Overseas, where the labeling question is largely over, the GM debate rages over expanding GM crop planting approvals in the European Union. Asked [whether UK Prime Minister David] Cameron would eat GM foods or allow his children to eat them, the spokesman steadfastly declined to answer.

Note: Much of Europe labels their food for GMOs, which are even banned in many areas. Read an MSN article on the banning of GM foods from all restaurants and food in the UK's parliament at this link. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




The world is a better place than you think
2013-06-06, The Intelligent Optimist (Formerly Ode Magazine)
Posted: 2013-06-25 08:23:36
http://www.theoptimist.com/stories/society/the-world-is-a-better-place-than-y...

Since the end of the Cold War, the number of armed conflicts in the world has fallen by 40 percent, according to Simon Fraser University’s Human Security Report. And those conflicts have resulted in strikingly low numbers of fatalities. While that statement may sound odd ... the numbers are nonetheless telling. Since 1988, the number of wars killing more than 1,000 people a year has gone down by 78 percent. What explains this spectacular reduction in violence? In The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, Harvard professor Steven Pinker cites a number of reasons. Nation-forming curbed people’s inclination to steal their neighbors’ land and reduced the threat of enemy invasion, allowing geopolitical stability to take root. The emergence of democracy curbed tyrannical government excesses. International trade turned countries into business partners, and peace became economically attractive. A general process of civilization brought about more and more self-control. Not every indicator shows a steadily falling line, but enough measurements do register a continuous drop in brutality. It’s human to remember grisly periods like world wars and senseless outbreaks of savagery and forget how many people died violently in past centuries. It’s a fact, though, that we experience considerably less violence today than our forebears did. You’re more likely to drown in a swimming pool than to die a brutal death. That’s a luxury no one knew in generations past. We do, indeed, live in history’s most peaceful era.

Note: One of the most under-reported positive stories is that global violent crime has dropped dramatically in the last two decades. For FBI statistics showing violent crime in the U.S. dropped to 1/3 the rate of 1993, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Christian group that sought to help gays repress same-sex attraction apologizes, closes down
2013-06-20, Washington Post/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-06-25 08:21:58
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/christian-group-that-helped-p...

The leader of Exodus International, a Christian ministry that worked to help people repress same-sex attraction, has apologized to the gay community for inflicting “years of undue suffering.” He plans to close the organization while launching a new effort to promote reconciliation. “The church has waged the culture war, and it’s time to put the weapons down,” Alan Chambers told The Associated Press on [June 20], hours after announcing his decision at Exodus’ annual conference and posting his apology online. “While there has been so much good at Exodus, there has also been bad,” Chambers said at the conference. “We’ve hurt people.” Based in Orlando, Fla., Exodus was founded 37 years ago and claimed 260 member ministries around the U.S. and abroad. It offered to help conflicted Christians rid themselves of unwanted homosexual inclinations through counseling and prayer, infuriating gay rights activists in the process. Last year, Chambers — who is married to a woman but has spoken openly about his own sexual attraction to men — said he was trying to distance his ministry from the idea that gays’ sexual orientation can be permanently changed or “cured.” Chambers said the board had decided to close Exodus and form a new ministry, which he referred to as reducefear.org. He told the AP that the new initiative would seek to promote dialogue among those who’ve been on opposite sides in the debate over gay rights. “We want to see bridges built, we want peace to be at the forefront of anything we do in the future,” he said.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Helping 'Kliptown' kids take control of their future
2012-07-12, CNN
Posted: 2013-06-25 08:20:23
http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/12/world/africa/cnnheroes-madondo-kliptown/index.html

Brian Munyai has spent nearly all of his 22 years living in a small metal shack that has never had electricity or running water. Conditions like this are typical for the nearly 40,000 people who live in the slums of Kliptown, a district in the largely black township of Soweto, South Africa. In high school, he heard about the Kliptown Youth Program. The after-school program, commonly known as KYP, provided him with intensive tutoring that helped him pass his senior exams and find funding to attend the University of Johannesburg. Stories like this motivate Thulani Madondo, the director and co-founder of KYP. A lifelong Kliptown resident, he has a goal of helping people like Munyai change their lives and their community through education. Right now, Madondo's group provides academic support, meals and after-school activities to 400 children. Every Monday through Thursday at 4 p.m. sharp, students hit the books in the tutoring program. Primary school students are tutored by the program's staff twice a week; on alternate days, professional teachers work with the high school students to prepare them for the matriculation exams required at the end of 12th grade. Books can be borrowed from the program's library -- the only one in the community -- and there are nearly 300 Internet-accessible laptops that were donated through the nonprofit One Laptop Per Child. So far, 21 members, including Munyai, have gone on to a university. [KYP provides] some financial assistance and helps members find ways to finance the rest.

Note: Check out the Kliptown Youth Program website at www.kliptownyouthprogram.org.za and see how to help. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Facebook rejects rape culture. Can you?
2013-05-31, CNN
Posted: 2013-06-18 13:38:42
http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/30/opinion/chemaly-facebook/index.html

After I wrote an article about misogyny found on Facebook, people began to send me links to content that they had tried and failed to have removed by the site. Among these was a seven-minute video depicting a gang-rape of a girl by the side of the road. I began looking more deeply into the subject. I came across "humor" pages with names like "Raping Your Girlfriend." There were easily accessed pictures and videos of girls and women frightened, humiliated, bruised, beaten, raped, [and] bathed in blood. In one instance, Facebook declined to remove an image of a woman, mouth covered in tape, in which the caption read, "Don't tap her and rap her. Tape her and rape her." The photo went viral. Facebook's response ... "the photo ... did not violate our community standards." I joined [others] to launch a global campaign to confront institutionalized sexism in media. We wrote an open letter to Facebook, co-signed by more than 100 organizations, asking the company ... to train people to recognize violence against women as hateful. We encouraged users of Facebook to send messages to its advertisers encouraging them to boycott the social media network. Over seven days, men and women around the world sent more than 60,000 tweets ... and 5,000 e-mails to targeted advertisers, 16 of whom withdrew their advertising. Facebook responded, noting that its "systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively" as they would like. We are in the midst of a shifting cultural tide in which gender based violence -- historically kept private -- is better understood as a pandemic problem. Facebook's action represents an open acknowledgment that violence against women is a serious issue [that] deserves serious attention.

Note: How sad that it took facebook advertisers withdrawing their support to make this change. And how awesome that the writer of this article, Soraya Chemaly, had to the courage to stand up and do something about it by initiating this sexism campaign against facebook, and to inspire others to join her. Working together, we can make a difference.




A New Deal for Appalachia’s Forests: Growing Biofuels?
2013-05-31, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2013-06-18 13:05:55
http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/could-biofuels-mean-a-new-deal-for-app...

Using valuable food crops like corn and sugar cane to produce biofuels has been a highly controversial topic in an age of imminent food crises. But nobody is growing corn on the former strip mines of Eastern Kentucky. Surface mining left its mark on the Appalachian landscape through much of the 20th century, as large swaths of native forest were replaced with sparse, scrubby grassland. But University of Kentucky forestry professor Chris Barton sees in the compacted soil of old strip mines the possibility of using former surface mine land for short-rotation forestry—in order to produce fuel. Here's how it would work: Fast-growing, native trees like black locust could be grown and harvested every five to 10 years; then, the woodchips would be burned in an oxygen-restricted condition to produce combustible gases that in turn could be used to generate energy and heat. After a few generations of short-rotation harvests, the land could be transitioned to a long-term forest. Barton is the founder of Green Forests Work, a nonprofit spin-off of the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative that seeks to reforest lands scarred by mining with native trees—all the while helping to rebuild struggling local economies. Since GFW was launched in 2008, more than 5,000 volunteers have planted nearly 1 million trees on former surface mine sites. And last year, the program received a $300,000 grant, enabling Barton to add a couple full-time staff members.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




A Hospital Network With a Vision
2013-01-16, New York Times blog
Posted: 2013-06-18 13:04:27
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/16/in-india-leading-a-hospital-f...

In 1976, Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy — known as Dr. V — retired. He decided to devote his remaining years to eliminating needless blindness among India’s poor. Twelve million people are blind in India, the vast majority of them from cataracts, which tend to strike people in India before 60. Blindness robs a poor person of his livelihood and with it, his sense of self-worth; it is often a fatal disease. Dr. V started by establishing an 11-bed hospital with six beds reserved for patients who could not pay and five for those who would pay modest rates. He persuaded his siblings to join him in mortgaging their houses, pooling their savings and pawning their jewels to build it. Today, the Aravind Eye Care System is a network of hospitals, clinics, community outreach efforts, factories, and research and training institutes in south India that has treated more than 32 million patients and has performed 4 million surgeries. Aravind’s story is well-told in depth in a new book, Infinite Vision: How Aravind Became the World's Greatest Business Case for Compassion. Aravind is not just a health success, it is a financial success. Aravind’s core services are sustainable: patient care and the construction of new hospitals are funded by fees from paying patients. And at Aravind, patients pay only if they want to. The majority of Aravind’s patients pay only a symbolic amount, or nothing at all. Dr V was guided by the teachings of the radical Indian nationalist[, philosopher] and mystic Sri Aurobindo ... who located man’s search for his divine nature not in turning away from the world, but by engaging with it.

Note: For lots more on this most inspiring business model, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Pulling children out of Nepal's prisons
2012-03-15, CNN
Posted: 2013-06-18 13:02:39
http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/15/world/cnnheroes-basnet-nepal-prisons/index.html

Pushpa Basnet doesn't need an alarm clock. Every morning, the sounds of 40 children wake her up in the two-story home she shares with them. All of these children once lived in Nepal's prisons. This 28-year-old woman has saved every one of them from a life behind bars. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. When no local guardian is available, an arrested parent often must choose between bringing their children to jail with them or letting them live on the streets. "It's not fair for (these) children to live in the prison because they haven't done anything wrong," said Basne. "My mission is to make sure no child grows up behind prison walls." Since 2005, she has assisted more than 100 children of incarcerated parents. She runs a day care program for children under 6 and a residential home where mostly older children receive education, food, medical care and a chance to live a more normal life. Basnet decided to start a day care to get incarcerated children out from behind the prison walls. "When I started, nobody believed in me," Basnet said. "People thought I was crazy. They laughed at me." But Basnet was undaunted. She got friends to donate money, and she rented a building in Kathmandu to house her new organization, the Early Childhood Development Center. Two years later, Basnet established the Butterfly Home, a children's home where she herself has lived for the past five years. While she now has a few staff members who help her, Basnet is still very hands on. "We do cooking, washing, shopping," she said. "It's amazing, I never get tired. (The children) give me the energy. ... The smiles of my children keep me motivated."

Note: Check out the Early Childhood Development Center website at www.ecdcnepal.org and see how to help. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Aquaponics sprout a business - Kijani Grows
2013-06-05, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-06-11 07:16:20
http://www.sfchronicle.com/homeandgarden/article/Aquaponics-sprout-a-business...

Eric Maundu never wanted to be a farmer. Raised in an agricultural community in Kenya, he learned early on to equate that way of life with unrewarding, sunbaked drudgery. Given the opportunity to go to college, he opted for a career that would take him as far away from plows, chickens and fertilizer as possible - electronics and computer science. Now, 14 years after moving to the Bay Area, the soft-spoken programmer is once again reaping and sowing crops - though this time with technological help. Maundu, 46, is the founder of Kijani Grows, an aquaponics company based in downtown Oakland. Using "nothing more than sticks, stones and a computer," Maundu fashions freestanding aquaponics systems, soilless gardens that are watered and fertilized by an integrated fish tank. The gardens are fully automated and (if Maundu's diet is anything to go by) very productive. "I come from a place that's very dry," Maundu explains. "Seeing any plant grow without soil completely changed my thinking." Quitting his job as a software engineer in San Francisco, he returned to Kenya, where he spent the next six months (and most of his money) designing a system that could grow vegetables using no soil and little water. Observing the environmental destruction that had happened in eastern Kenya during his absence because of overcultivation and deforestation, he wanted his system to be fully computer-guided. "Farmers take shortcuts because their work is hard and they need to do everything quickly," he says. "But what if something could grow the plants for me at nature's speed, and then I could just come get my food when I'm ready?"

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Connecticut Approves Labeling Genetically Modified Foods
2013-06-04, New York Times
Posted: 2013-06-11 07:14:23
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/04/business/connecticut-approves-qualified-gen...

Connecticut on [June 3] became the first state to pass a bill that would require food manufacturers to label products that contain genetically modified ingredients. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has said he would sign the bill into law, after reaching an agreement with the legislature to include a provision that the law would not take effect unless four other states, at least one of which shares a border with Connecticut, passed similar regulations. “This bill strikes an important balance by ensuring the consumers’ right to know what is in their food while shielding our small businesses from liability that could leave them at a competitive disadvantage,” Mr. Malloy said in a statement issued over the weekend after negotiations on the necessary provisions. The legislature passed the bill on Monday, 134 to 3. More than 20 other states are considering labeling laws, including New York, Maine and Vermont. Early polling suggests widespread support for a ballot initiative that would require labeling in Washington, as concern spread about the impact of genetically engineered salmon and apples on two of the state’s marquee businesses. In 2005, Alaska passed a law requiring the labeling of all genetically engineered fish and shellfish, but Connecticut would become the first state to adopt labeling broadly. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, called Connecticut’s move an “important first step,” and “a reminder of where the tide is going on this issue.” Big food and seed companies like Monsanto and Dow spent tens of millions of dollars last fall to help defeat a ballot measure in California that would have required labeling.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Jim Tracy: ailing coach's tale on film
2013-06-03, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-06-11 07:12:49
http://www.sfchronicle.com/movies/article/Jim-Tracy-ailing-coach-s-tale-on-fi...

It's a sunny Saturday in early May at Kezar Stadium, a great day for a high school track-and-field meet. You might assume it's killing University High track coach Jim Tracy not to run free, as he has done most of his life. But you would be wrong. He remains relentlessly upbeat even though he's stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). His optimism has inspired his University High girls' cross-country teams to win state titles - four straight, the last three since his diagnosis and 10 overall; the New York Giants to win a Super Bowl; and a documentary, "Running for Jim," directed by KGO television reporter Dan Noyes and Robin Hauser Reynolds. Tracy, now 63, ran track at San Francisco's Riordan High in the 1960s and for the next 44 years never stopped running. He once considered himself a professional runner ... and estimates he's put about 80,000 miles on his body's odometer. Now, all of that has changed. "It's worse every year," Tracy says. "Probably 10 percent (weaker each year). It's a generally weakening pattern, but something more particular might happen that makes you understand how much you've lost." But it has also been inspiring for his track teams, who have come together as a family. "Certainly, his disease has affected our success in positive ways," says Jennie Callan, who helped win a state title in cross-country all four of her years and will run track at Yale next year. "His resilience in these four years has inspired us. Also, he hasn't changed much as a coach. The remarkable thing is he's stayed mentally strong." Or as Tracy puts it, "I continue to make them face reality every day. ... That's my goal, their greater success."

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Simple vinegar cancer test could save tens of thousands of lives
2013-06-02, NBC News
Posted: 2013-06-11 07:07:28
http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/02/18698271-simple-vinegar-cancer-tes...

A simple vinegar test slashed cervical cancer death rates by one-third in a remarkable study of 150,000 women in the slums of India, where the disease is the top cancer killer of women. Experts called the outcome "amazing" and said this quick, cheap test could save tens of thousands of lives each year in developing countries by spotting early signs of cancer, allowing treatment before it's too late. Usha Devi, one of the women in the study, says it saved her life. "Many women refused to get screened. Some of them died of cancer later," Devi said. "Now I feel everyone should get tested. I got my life back because of these tests." Pap smears and tests for HPV, a virus that causes most cervical cancers, have slashed cases and deaths in the United States. But poor countries can't afford those screening tools. This study tried a test that costs very little and can be done by local people with just two weeks of training and no fancy lab equipment. They swab the cervix with diluted vinegar, which can make abnormal cells briefly change color. This low-tech visual exam cut the cervical cancer death rate by 31 percent, the study found. It could prevent 22,000 deaths in India and 72,600 worldwide each year, researchers estimate. "That's amazing. That's remarkable. It's a very exciting result," said Dr. Ted Trimble of the National Cancer Institute in the U.S., the main sponsor of the study. India has nearly one-third of the world's cases of cervical cancer — more than 140,000 each year.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Protesters around the world march against Monsanto
2013-05-26, USA Today/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-06-04 09:21:18
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/05/25/global-protests-monsanto/...

Protesters rallied in dozens of cities [on May 26] as part of a global protest against seed giant Monsanto and the genetically modified food it produces. Organizers said "March Against Monsanto" protests were held in 52 countries and 436 cities, including Los Angeles where demonstrators waved signs that read "Real Food 4 Real People" and "Label GMOs, It's Our Right to Know." The 'March Against Monsanto' movement began just a few months ago, when founder and organizer Tami Canal created a Facebook page on Feb. 28 calling for a rally against the company's practices. "If I had gotten 3,000 people to join me, I would have considered that a success," she said Saturday. Instead, she said an "incredible" number of people responded to her message and turned out to rally. "It was empowering and inspiring to see so many people, from different walks of life, put aside their differences and come together today," Canal said. The group plans to harness the success of the event to continue its anti-GMO cause. "We will continue until Monsanto complies with consumer demand. They are poisoning our children, poisoning our planet," she said. Protesters in Buenos Aires and other cities in Argentina, where Monsanto's genetically modified soy and grains now command nearly 100% of the market, ... carried signs saying "Monsanto-Get out of Latin America." In Portland, thousands of protesters took to Oregon streets. Police estimate about 6,000 protesters took part in Portland's peaceful march.

Note: For a powerful summary of the dangers to health and the environment from genetically modified foods, click here. For major media news articles revealing the risks and dangers of GMOs, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Look for more cooperation as Millennials gain power
2013-05-20, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-06-04 08:59:26
http://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Millennials-may-break-political-g...

Baby Boomers - the protest-loving generation that didn't trust anyone over 30 - are approaching retirement by the millions, an evolution that many say could be the last best hope for a hopelessly gridlocked Washington. Replacing the Boomers are the Millennials, a get-it-done group born roughly between the early 1980s and 2000s, who make up the largest and most diverse generation in history. It's a generation that proudly rises above party loyalty and is driving the surge in the number of decline-to-state voters, who now make up 1 in 5 Californians, experts say. They are less divided, and they have a much greater "unity of belief" on social issues such as same-sex marriage, which 70 percent of them support, said author Morley Winograd, a former White House policy adviser under President Bill Clinton and a demographics expert. Their political mind-set ... is: "We want to change the world - what can we do together?" The legacy they are beginning to inherit, and fundamentally change, is a political culture that is rabidly partisan and all but frozen in animosity. The politics of an unpopular Congress suggest that lasting solutions will come not from the once-influential Boomers, but instead from their kids. "American politics will never be the same - because it is the end of the Boomer-dominated era," said Winograd. Winograd, co-author of a new book with Michael Hais called Millennial Majority: How a New Coalition Is Remaking American Politics, said, "The new Millennial-driven majority coalition in the United States will change almost everything."

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Seattle’s Free Food Experiment
2013-04-29, National Geographic
Posted: 2013-06-04 08:57:16
http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/04/29/seattles-free-food-experim...

Can food be free, fresh and easily accessible? That’s the bold question that the city of Seattle is hoping to answer with a new experimental farm not far from the city’s downtown that will have fruits and vegetables for anyone to harvest this fall. On Beacon Hill, just south of central Seattle, landscape developers and a few affordable-food advocates are building an edible food forest. Everything grown in the area, from the tree canopies to the roots, will be edible. And it’ll be open around the clock to anyone who wants to come and pick some fresh blueberries or pears. In its first phase, the farm will be 1.5 acres. But if it’s successful, the public land it’ll sit on—currently owned by Seattle Public Utilities—will be able to accommodate 5.5 more acres of growth. One thing that’s striking about the idea (other than the idea in itself to have essentially a public farm that anyone can use—or abuse) is how the [crop] selection came together. Many are expected: apples, berries, row vegetables like lettuce or tomatoes. But others are pretty far out. A large Asian community in the area suggested things like Asian pears and honeyberries. A European influence led to the planting of medlar trees. The concept is modeled on permaculture, a design system and school of thought aimed at returning some land to its own devices. Offering people free, fresh food is one motivation, but making the land useful and ecologically enriched is the larger goal.

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Drugs in Portugal: Did Decriminalization Work?
2009-04-26, Time Magazine
Posted: 2013-06-04 08:49:05
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1893946,00.html

Portugal [in] in 2001 became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. At the recommendation of a national commission charged with addressing Portugal's drug problem, jail time was replaced with the offer of therapy. People found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs are sent to a panel consisting of a psychologist, social worker and legal adviser for appropriate treatment (which may be refused without criminal punishment), instead of jail. The recently released results of a report commissioned by the Cato Institute ... found that in the five years after personal possession was decriminalized, illegal drug use among teens in Portugal declined and rates of new HIV infections caused by sharing of dirty needles dropped, while the number of people seeking treatment for drug addiction more than doubled. "Judging by every metric, decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success," says Glenn Greenwald, an attorney, author and fluent Portuguese speaker, who conducted the research. "It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country does." Compared to the European Union and the U.S., Portugal's drug use numbers are impressive. Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%. Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana.

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