News from around the world automatically selected by our special Intelligent Optimist filter.

  • Common Dreams

    Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

    October 30, 2014 Rise Up America, Rise Up! Rise Up America, Rise Up! A letter to an American activist Statue of Liberty through the morning fog from the Staten Island Ferry. (Photo: Brian Angell/flickr/cc) SPhoto credit: Shutterstock, copyright Misti Hymas The time has come when America must rapidly transform its values through a more inclusive and spiritual vision, based upon a just sharing of the world's resources. Read on

  • The Independent

    Hamish McRae: Despite the danger of deflation, cheaper energy is a bonus to the world

    October 29, 2014 To what extent will cheap, or at least cheaper, oil and gas offset any fall-off in global growth? It is impossible to distinguish cause and effect and so it may be that much of the decline in energy prices in recent months has simply been the result of a slowing down of growth in what has now become the world’s largest oil importer, China. Equally, as evidence has mounted that maybe China won’t slow so much, energy prices have recovered a... Read on

  • New York Times

    An Energy-Efficient Home Celebrates the Dutch Landscape

    October 29, 2014 The exterior, with its pattern of rippling pine strips, looks a bit like wind combing through dunes. Designed by UNStudio of Amsterdam for a cat-loving, musical-instrument-collecting family of four, the 4,400-square-foot house near the sea in the Noord-Holland province in the Netherlands pays tribute to the landscape and weather while regulating their effects. Read on

  • Le Monde diplomatique

    “You got into my heart violently, but you’re there”

    October 29, 2014 The following is excerpted from the new paperback edition of Studs Terkel's oral history of death, Will The Circle Be Unbroken? : Reflections on Death, Rebirth, and Hunger for a Faith, with special thanks to his publisher, the New Press. “The Other Son” Maurine Young In contrast to her husband's introspective nature, she is outgoing, a large-boned woman, overflowing with gusto and ebullience. She frequently laughs out loud. Read on

  • The Christian Science Monitor

    A better motive can make a big difference

    October 29, 2014 Christ Jesus taught his followers to serve God with the whole heart and to love one another (see Matthew 22:37-39). He asked us to change our motives from personal comfort and ease to serve God and man: "If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour" (see John 12:26). Read on

  • Haaretz Israeli News

    PTSD can be treated with transcendental meditation, suggests U.S. colonel

    October 28, 2014 Existing treatments for extended trauma are weak, says Brian Rees, family doctor and soldier: TM is a better way to restore a reasonable quality of life There is no consensus on how to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, a debilitating condition that can bizarrely combine emotional numbness with terrifying flashbacks. No single therapy has proved to work for everyone or to have particularly impressive results. Read on

  • Common Dreams

    Civil Rights Groups Call on Obama to Drop Test-Based ‘Accountability’ System in Schools

    October 28, 2014 Civil Rights Groups Call on Obama to Drop Test-Based 'Accountability' System in Schools It is 'time to end the advancement of policies and ideas' that fail to provide 'equal educational opportunity in diverse settings and to promote positive educational outcomes,' coalition writes in open letter Fifty-nine-year old Susan Bowles is joining the call of other educators who refuse to sacrifice critical learning for hours of high-stakes testing. Read on

  • The Nation

    Trauma, Death, and Forgiveness on the Front Lines of American Life

    October 28, 2014 How a surgeon copes with deaths of young Americans from gunshot wounds, and why a mother chose to forgive her son's killer. This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com. [The following is excerpted from the new paperback edition of Studs Terkel's oral history of death, Will The Circle Be Unbroken? Read on

  • BBC News - Africa

    India’s charities tackle poverty through business

    October 27, 2014 Business of Giving It's a riot of colours - yellow marigolds and bright pink roses spread out in the sun. But the people spreading the joy this festive season cannot see it themselves - they are all visually challenged. They take in tonnes of flower waste produced by temples and hotels in Delhi and turn it into organic skin-friendly colours for Hindu festivals. Read on

  • Environmental News Network

    What could be better than LED lighting?

    October 27, 2014 Even as the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics has enshrined light emitting diodes (LEDs) as the single most significant and disruptive energy-efficient lighting solution of today, scientists around the world continue unabated to search for the even-better-bulbs of tomorrow. Electronics based on carbon, especially carbon nanotubes (CNTs), are emerging as successors to silicon for making semiconductor materials. Read on

  • The Independent

    Small Talk: Many are making thousands from their hobbies, thanks to the web

    October 26, 2014 Do you need a killer idea to start your own business? For many of the record numbers starting up in self-employment, the answer is no; they've simply worked out how to turn a profit from something they were doing already - and often something they love doing. If you could make a living from your hobby, why wouldn't you make the leap? Research by the payments company Visa suggests that's exactly what many are now working towards - 9 per cent... Read on

  • Africa Business Daily

    UN wants Kenya farmers paid for wildlife protection

    October 26, 2014 People living near mountains could receive monthly payments in exchange for good farming practices in a raft of measures aimed at protecting wildlife in East Africa. Conservationists led by experts from the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) want EAC states to craft policies to regulate cash payment to mountain communities to protect the environment for downstream users. Read on

  • The Hindu

    Farmers encouraged to use solar power for irrigation

    October 26, 2014 The agricultural sector is being faced with problems from the power and water fronts. While the duration of electricity supply is getting shortened and becoming uncertain, the groundwater level is depleting fast. The farmers are finding it increasingly difficult even to get the normal crop yield, leave alone increasing productivity in any given crop season. Read on

  • The Denver Post

    Social network Ello gets $5.5M, converts to public benefit corporation

    October 23, 2014 Ello, which launched Aug. 7, touted a clutter-free hangout for friends that didn't track users or spam them with ads. Viral sensation Ello said Thursday it raised $5.5 million from a group of investors that includes Boulder's Foundry Group. The social network also converted to a public benefit corporation, or B corp, and pledged to never bother users with advertising or sell personal information -- even if the company is sold. Read on

  • Belfast Telegraph

    Cameron pledges £80m more for Ebola

    October 23, 2014 Also in this Section Brand 'open' to US 9/11 conspiracy Tearaway leads Joystick nominations Killer driver facing long jail term Queen to open museum's tech gallery The Prime Minister announced his new pledge - which brings Britain's total contribution to £205 million - at a Brussels summit at which Mr Cameron identified Ebola as one of the two big risks facing Europe, alongside the danger of a return to economic slowdown. Read on

  • The New Zealand Herald

    Making stuff makes a comeback

    October 23, 2014 Manufacturing is on the rebound, says the latest report card on New Zealand's technology sector. Whatever the attractions of the virtual economy, manufacturing is the star in New Zealand's high-tech sector this year. The annual Technology Investment Network TIN100 report was launched on Wednesday, and TIN managing director Greg Shanahan says one of the strongest trends has been the resurgence of the manufacturing sector, with strong growth seen... Read on

  • Scientific American

    Cheap Solar Power Becomes Employee Perk

    October 23, 2014 Some companies have begun to offer discounted rooftop solar panels as a worker benefit For a handful of large U.S. companies and organizations, employee benefits are extending beyond the three-legged stool of health care, retirement and vacation to include clean energy delivered to employees' homes at little or no upfront cost. This week, four major firms--3M Co., Cisco Systems Inc., Kimberly-Clark Corp. and the National Geographic... Read on

  • Haaretz Israeli News

    Israeli start-up shows money doesn’t grow on trees, but solar panel can

    October 22, 2014 With solar panels for leaves, environmental structure invented by Israeli startup also can provide park goers with cold water in the day, illumination at night. An Israeli startup intends to demonstrate that money may not grow on trees but solar panels can. Sologic is planning on Thursday to reveal its eTree, an ecological sculpture that aims to promote awareness regarding sustainability within the community, at the Hanadiv Gardens near Zichron... Read on

  • New York Times

    Nation’s Wealthy Places Pour Private Money Into Public Schools, Study Finds

    October 21, 2014 From bake sales to gala auctions, private groups are raising an increasing amount of money for public schools in wealthier communities, highlighting concerns about inequality. In Coronado, Calif., a wealthy enclave off the coast of San Diego, for example, local education groups, which support about 3,200 students in five schools, raised more than $1,500 per student in 2010. Read on

  • South China Morning Post

    Entrepreneur hopes for sweet smell of success … in a jar

    October 21, 2014 Confectionery 'shoppe' hopes to draw on expat childhood memories Raymond Shuai left accounting to become the city's first 'purveyor of British confectionery'. Photo: Nora Tam Expats with a sweet tooth now have a shop to rekindle memories of how they spent their childhood pocket money. With shelves lined with bottles of sugar-coated candies, a Victorian-style sweet shop has opened in Central, full of temptations that can't be found anywhere... Read on

  • Chicago Tribune

    Metro Portland embraces ‘green’ image to boost exports

    October 21, 2014 In a glass tower topped with solar panels, wind turbines and rooftop gardens, a team of architects and planners who helped turn a once-moribund industrial tract into a trendy neighborhood in this river port town is crafting ways to bring street life and energy efficiency to a "next-generation model city" in post-tsunami Japan. ZGF Architects and two other design and engineering firms are among the first to plumb new overseas markets as part of... Read on

  • The Hindu

    Interview with U.S. Ambassador to India Kathleen Stephens

    October 21, 2014 During a visit to Chennai, Ambassador Kathleen Stephens, the charge d'affaires at the U.S Embassy in New Delhi, answered questions on the way forward after the Modi-Obama summit in Washington in an interview to Nirupama Subramanian. Full text of the interview: What in the U.S. is view are the most important takeaways from the Prime Minister Modi's visit? We are very pleased with the visit. Read on

  • CNN

    6 surprising health benefits of pumpkins

    October 21, 2014 The weather is getting cooler, but your produce choices are heating up. These amazing superfoods, picked by our friends at Health.com, are either hitting their peak in the garden or can easily be found in your local farmers market or grocery store. They're the perfect excuse to get cooking on cool nights! 15 best superfoods for fall Editor's note: This article was originally published on upwave.com. Read on

  • The Globe and Mail

    What universities are doing to create a more exciting learning experience

    October 21, 2014 Students are in for a big surprise when they first set foot in the third-floor classroom of Middle East and Islamic history professor Gavin Brockett at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. Unlike a traditional classroom, there are no fixed rows of chairs with students eyes-front to the professor, no beige-coloured walls nor the usual shortage of electrical outlets for computers. Read on

  • The Wall Street Journal

    Virtual Reality Therapy Shows New Benefits

    October 21, 2014 Patients Now Include Sexual-Assault and Car-Crash Survivors ENLARGE Virtual-reality therapy exposes PTSD patients to scenes that recall their trauma, such as the Iraq war. USC Institute for Creative Technologies For some veterans of war, recovering from trauma means going back to the battlefield. The battlefield isn't real, however, nor are the gunfire and soldiers. But the scene is as a veteran like Chris Merkle remembers it. Read on

  • Haaretz Israeli News

    White House: Nazis shouldn’t get Social Security benefits

    October 20, 2014 U.S. administration says is working to cut off benefits for war criminals. In this July 28, 2014, photo, Jakob Denzinger looks from his apartment window in Osijek, eastern Croatia. Photo by AP Martin Hartmann reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2007 to return to Germany when it was found out he was a Nazi SS guard in World War II. Photo by AP Read on

  • The Irish Times

    EUR250m investment to see five new SFI research centres created

    October 19, 2014 Aim of Science Foundation Ireland research centres is to achieve a step-change in the reputation and performance of Ireland's research system Almost EUR250 million is to be invested in five new world-class Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centres, in a move aimed at enhancing research in critical and emerging areas of the economy including applied geosciences, software and medical devices. Read on

  • The Hindu

    Costs of ignoring hunger

    October 19, 2014 Ignoring hunger and malnutrition will have significant costs to any country's development. Nutrition improvement has both intrinsic and instrumental value One of the disappointments in the post-reform period in India has been the slow progress in the reduction of malnutrition, especially with reference to the underweight among children. In fact, the rate of change in the percentage of underweight children has been negligible in the period... Read on

  • Common Dreams

    Investing in Renewables Can Relieve Our Planet–While Reviving Our Economy

    October 19, 2014 Published on by YES! Magazine Investing in Renewables Can Relieve Our Planet--While Reviving Our Economy Carbon reduction alone cannot solve our climate crisis, because it is continuously fed by our economic crisis. But renewables can be a critical driver in building a healthier economic system, free of the fossil fuel industry. Eric Walker, co-founder of People United for Sustainable Housing in Buffalo (PUSH Buffalo), promotes... Read on

  • Belfast Telegraph

    Ethical investment figures revealed

    October 17, 2014 Renewable energy projects are the most popular area for community investment, according to a new report Also in this Section HSBC launches 0.99% mortgage deal Service for murdered aid worker MPs urge Rotherham 'cover-up' probe PM presses EU leaders on Ebola fund A record 1.7 million people across the UK are investing and saving £3.25 billion in businesses which have positive social and environmental impacts, the report from ethical investment... Read on

  • Common Dreams

    Fighting Inequality and Climate Change through Localizing Economies

    October 17, 2014 Fighting Inequality and Climate Change through Localizing Economies 'Developing local economies,' writes Cha, 'is particularly important for low-income communities and communities of color who suffer from under-investment and a lack of resources.' (Photo: http://itsoureconomy.us) We currently face two equally urgent and significant crises: rising inequality and climate change. Read on

  • The Atlantic

    When ‘Collaboration’ Is More Than a Buzzword

    October 17, 2014 The story of a business partnership that stands to boost the economy of Columbus, Ohio, and the surrounding region Part of the skyline of downtown Columbus, Ohio (John Tierney) "Collaboration" is the order of the day in Ohio's capital city, Columbus. It's the word that Jim Fallows, Deb Fallows, and I heard most frequently when we visited Columbus for several days in early September for the American Futures reporting project. "Partnerships," too. Read on

  • Common Dreams

    Can We Earn a Living on a Living Planet?

    October 17, 2014 Can We Earn a Living on a Living Planet? The need for jobs, and the ecological limits to growth This photo shows a worker walking through a field of solar panels at Pocono Raceway, in Long Pond, Pa. When Pocono Raceway flipped the switch on its 25-acre solar farm last week for the Pennsylvania 500, a NASCAR track became the world's largest solar-powered sports facility and thrusted the racing series into a leading role among U.S. sports in... Read on

  • Mercury News

    EPA awards two Bay Area companies for green chemistry

    October 17, 2014 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored two Bay Area chemical companies Thursday for products and processes that reduce or eliminate hazardous substances and may save water and reduce greenhouse gases too. Emeryville's Amyris, Inc. and South San Francisco's Solazyme, Inc., were among the five organizations in the United States to receive Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Program awards. Read on

  • The Age

    Michelle Obama using her life story to promote education initiative

    October 16, 2014 Date October 17, 2014 - 2:13AM Read later Twitter submit to reddit Email article Print Role model: Michelle Obama is encouraging young Americans from low-income families to aspire to college educations. Photo: Getty Images When she was in high school and eyeing Princeton University as a college destination, counsellors warned Michelle Obama she was too ambitious. Read on

  • Environmental News Network

    Can renewables supply 100% of world’s power by 2050?

    October 16, 2014 A global low-carbon energy economy is not only feasible - it could actually double electricity supply by 2050, while also reducing air and water pollution, according to new research. Even though photovoltaic power requires up to 40 times more copper than conventional power plants, and wind power uses up to 14 times more iron, the world wins on a switch to low-carbon energy. Read on

  • IPSNews

    Ethiopia Shows Developing World How to Make a Green Economy Prosper

    October 15, 2014 Ethiopia has experienced its fair share of environmental damage and degradation but nowadays it is increasingly setting an example on how to combat climate change while also achieving economic growth. “It is very well known by the international community that Ethiopia is one of the front-runners of international climate policy, if not the leading African [...] Read on

  • The Huffington Post

    Philanthropy and the Wild West

    October 15, 2014 As technology changes the way we communicate, connect, create, consume and innovate, it is democratizing access to opportunity. Education is no exception. New models of learning are emerging and MOOCs (massive open online courses) are reshaping the pedagogical landscape. In short, we're watching education's transformation -- and philanthropy must be a driving force in that process. Read on

  • The Huffington Post

    The Financial Aftermath of Military Loss: Helping Families Build a ‘New Normal’

    October 14, 2014 Submit this story After Carole Hilton's Navy husband died suddenly, the widowed mother of three had to make a number of financial decisions immediately, while she was preparing to bury her husband. As she details in a recent podcast, she worried she might make a mistake that would hurt her family's future and jeopardize their financial security. While the military provided a death gratuity for immediate expenses, there were other benefits... Read on

  • The Huffington Post

    Understanding the Disruptive Wave of New Learning Models

    October 14, 2014 Submit this story Higher education has been very good about identifying how long someone has sat in a classroom, but very weak in determining exactly what they learned while there. The focus on time, in the form of the Carnegie Unit or credit hour, has come to shape higher education in terms of workload, scheduling room allocation, financial aid, how we segment knowledge, federal financial aid policy, and more. Read on

  • The Huffington Post

    Ushering in the New Era of Healthcare

    October 14, 2014 Submit this story I'm not a doctor...but I am a patient. I'm also a keen observer of the world around me--especially when it involves my health. For many healthcare professionals, I believe the recent challenges surrounding the industry have taken some of the enjoyment out of their work. Issues such as new and changing regulations, increased lawsuits, escalating costs, and barely manageable patient loads, among others, have all taken their... Read on

  • The Irish Times

    Full text: Michael Noonan’s Budget 2015 speech

    October 14, 2014 'The road we have travelled to get to this point has been very difficult and the Irish people have made major sacrifices' A Cheann Comhairle, When the Government took office in March 2011 we set out a plan to regain control of Ireland's fiscal and economic policies, to grow the economy and to get people back to work. Many people both inside and outside this House believed that we as a Government would fail and opposed each and every step we... Read on

  • The Huffington Post

    The New Era of Public Innovation: Part One

    October 13, 2014 The Schwab Foundation Social Innovation Summit, held last week in Lima, Peru, was a breakthrough moment. As the first international, ministerial-level convening focused on the role of government in enabling and growing social enterprise, it ushered in a new era of public innovation. There is broad agreement, in Latin America and beyond, that many conventional efforts to tackle extreme poverty and the associated lack of access to basic services... Read on

  • The Huffington Post

    Summer Learning & STEM Momentum

    October 13, 2014 With summer coming to an end, and back to school season fast approaching, now is the time for STEM educators, advocates and funders to champion the vital role that summer learning programs play in our efforts to improve year-round STEM education in California. To that end, CSLNet and other STEM leaders across California are proud to be part of Summer Matters, the statewide campaign chaired by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom... Read on

  • The Huffington Post

    Summer Learning & STEM Momentum

    October 13, 2014 With summer coming to an end, and back to school season fast approaching, now is the time for STEM educators, advocates and funders to champion the vital role that summer learning programs play in our efforts to improve year-round STEM education in California. To that end, CSLNet and other STEM leaders across California are proud to be part of Summer Matters, the statewide campaign chaired by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom... Read on

  • The Huffington Post

    The Global Search for Education: Internet Sharing Programs

    October 13, 2014 Submit this story "The strength of the Wikiwijs platform is that we are now able to make all learning materials available for all teachers in the entire country to share. Everyone can access the materials through one port of entry." -- Robert Schuwer The goal of the Netherlands Wikiwijs program, when it was launched by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science five years ago, was to mainstream the use of open education resources... Read on

  • The Huffington Post

    The Global Search for Education: Internet Sharing Programs

    October 13, 2014 Submit this story "The strength of the Wikiwijs platform is that we are now able to make all learning materials available for all teachers in the entire country to share. Everyone can access the materials through one port of entry." -- Robert Schuwer The goal of the Netherlands Wikiwijs program, when it was launched by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science five years ago, was to mainstream the use of open education resources... Read on

  • The Huffington Post

    The Global Search for Education: Internet Sharing Programs

    October 13, 2014 Submit this story "The strength of the Wikiwijs platform is that we are now able to make all learning materials available for all teachers in the entire country to share. Everyone can access the materials through one port of entry." -- Robert Schuwer The goal of the Netherlands Wikiwijs program, when it was launched by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science five years ago, was to mainstream the use of open education resources... Read on

  • The Huffington Post

    Sustainable Consumption and the Technology of Sustainability

    October 13, 2014 One of the consistent themes of many environmentalists is that we must reduce consumption and live more modest lives in tune with nature, if we are to promote a sustainable economic future. I do not believe that a frugal sustainability is either feasible or necessary. It's not feasible because with over seven billion people on the planet and a growing majority of them living in cities, it is too late to get back to the land and live as one... Read on

  • The Huffington Post

    Sustainable Consumption and the Technology of Sustainability

    October 13, 2014 One of the consistent themes of many environmentalists is that we must reduce consumption and live more modest lives in tune with nature, if we are to promote a sustainable economic future. I do not believe that a frugal sustainability is either feasible or necessary. It's not feasible because with over seven billion people on the planet and a growing majority of them living in cities, it is too late to get back to the land and live as one... Read on

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