Inspiring News
Excerpts of Highly Inspiring News Articles in Major Media



Below are one-paragraph excerpts of highly inspiring news articles reported in the major media. Links are provided to the original inspiring news articles on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These wonderfully inspiring excerpts are listed with the most inspiring news articles first. You can also explore the news articles listed by order of the date posted. For an abundance of other highly inspiring material, see our Inspiring Resources page. May these inspiring news 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.

CrowdMed wants to bring crowdsourcing to medicine
2014-05-10, Star Tribune/San Jose Mercury News
http://www.startribune.com/business/258540431.html

What Wikipedia has done for knowledge, a San Francisco company called CrowdMed is betting it can do for medicine. Send your symptoms and a nominal fee to CrowdMed.com, and dozens of medical professionals, students and average Joes will “crowdsource” — that is, share their knowledge and expertise — to help diagnose what’s wrong with you. The company isn’t out to replace your family doctor, but instead take advantage of the reach of social media to tap into an age-old medical practice: seeking second opinions. Or, in this case, hundreds of them. At the UC-Berkeley/UC-San Francisco Joint Medical Program, Dr. Amin Azzam, director of the “problem-based learning” curriculum, wants to use CrowdMed “to push the boundaries of how we train medical students.” Instead of teaching first- and second-year students with “pretend patients,” as is done now, Azzam is proposing adding CrowdMed’s cases to the curriculum. “They might even be more motivated to learn because it’s a real patient,” he said. Within 90 days of a consumer putting a case online, CrowdMed’s algorithm generates a list of the most probable diagnoses submitted by its “medical detectives,” along with their explanations. Patients are asked to give those suggestions to their physicians for consideration. Once it’s confirmed that the suggestions were helpful, the patients are refunded their $50 deposit and the detective who made the correct diagnosis gets his or her reward.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity of Fossil Fuels
2014-09-21, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/22/us/heirs-to-an-oil-fortune-join-the-divestm...

John D. Rockefeller built a vast fortune on oil. Now his heirs are abandoning fossil fuels. The family whose legendary wealth flowed from Standard Oil is planning to announce on Monday that its $860 million philanthropic organization, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is joining the divestment movement that began a couple years ago on college campuses. In recent years, 180 institutions — including philanthropies, religious organizations, pension funds and local governments ... have pledged to sell assets tied to fossil fuel companies from their portfolios and to invest in cleaner alternatives. In all, the groups have pledged to divest assets worth more than $50 billion from portfolios. Some say they are taking action to align their assets with their environmental principles. Others want to shame companies that they believe are recklessly contributing to a warming planet. Ultimately ... their actions, like those of the anti-apartheid divestment fights of the 1980s, could help spur international debate, while the shift of investment funds to energy alternatives could lead to solutions to the carbon puzzle. At the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, there is no equivocation. The fund has already eliminated investments involved in coal and tar sands entirely while increasing its investment in alternate energy sources. The family has also engaged in shareholder activism with Exxon Mobil, the largest successor to Standard Oil. Members have met privately with the company ... in efforts to get it to moderate its stance on issues pertaining to the environment and climate change. They acknowledged that they have not caused the company to greatly alter its course.

Note: Read through a rich collection of energy news articles with inspiring and revealing news on energy developments. Then explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




How a German soldier-artist saved Dutch Jews from the Nazis
2014-09-05, Sacramento Bee/McClatchy News
http://www.sacbee.com/2014/09/05/6682262/how-a-german-soldier-artist-saved.html

This is the story of how a beloved German children’s book illustrator, while serving in the army of Nazi Germany, saved the lives of hundreds of Jews from Adolf Hitler’s death machine. It’s ... a story that the artist, [Werner Klemke,] who died 20 years ago, never told. The story surfaced only when Dutch documentary filmmaker Annet Betsalel asked whether she could poke around in the long-shuttered archives of the Jewish community of Bussum, the Netherlands. What she found was the story of a network set up by a Jewish businessman, Sam van Perlstein, who knew in 1942 that Jews were living on borrowed time under Nazi occupation and that if they were going to survive they were going to need some help. Betsalel is turning [the story] into a documentary titled “Rendezvous at Erasmus.” To survive the Nazis, van Perlstein needed documents proving he was half Aryan, and he asked [a young German soldier named Johannes Gerhardt, his friend] for help. Gerhardt was a photographer and knew he could help with part of the project, but he’d need another friend to produce the documents themselves. He turned to another another German soldier, Klemke, who ... hated Nazis, and was an artist. The documents they created were perfect, and fooled everyone who needed to be fooled. They allowed van Perlstein to reclaim his import business and money that had been frozen. That money went to fund resistance to the Nazis, and a hideaway network. Over the next few years, [Klemke] produced documents that helped some people escape from the country, and allowed others to survive while they remained in hiding.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Laughing Makes Your Brain Work Better, New Study Finds
2014-04-20, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/laughing-makes-brain-work-study-finds/story?id=2...

Ever have trouble remembering where you just left your keys? Just laugh it off. New research suggests that humor can improve short-term memory in older adults. In a recent small study conducted at Loma Linda University in Southern California, 20 normal, healthy, older adults watched a funny video distraction-free for 20 minutes, while a control group sat calmly with no video. Afterwards, they performed memory tests and had saliva samples analyzed for stress hormones. You guessed it; those who got to laugh the 20 minutes away with the funny video scored better on short-term memory tests, researchers said. And salivary levels of the stress hormone cortisol -- a memory enemy of sorts -- were significantly decreased in the humor group. The less stress you have, researchers said, the better your memory. It works like this: humor reduces stress hormones, lowers your blood pressure, and increases your mood state, according to Dr. Lee Berk, a co-author of the study. The act of laughter -- or simply enjoying some humor -- increases endorphins, sending dopamine to the brain to provide a sense of pleasure and reward, Berk said. That, in turn, makes the immune system work better and changes brain wave activity towards what's called a "gamma frequency," amping up memory and recall.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Unfair Phone Charges for Inmates
2014-01-07, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/opinion/unfair-phone-charges-for-inmates.html

The Federal Communications Commission ended a grave injustice last fall when it prohibited price-gouging by the private companies that provide interstate telephone service for prison and jail inmates. Thanks to the F.C.C. order, poor families no longer have to choose between paying for basic essentials and speaking to a relative behind bars. Research shows that inmates who keep in touch with their families have a better chance of fitting in back home once released. The commission now needs to be on the lookout for — and crack down on, if necessary — similar abuses involving newer communication technologies like person-to-person video chat, email and voice mail. Before the recent ruling, a 15-minute interstate telephone call from prison could easily cost a family as much as $17. The cost was partly driven by a “commission” — a legalized kickback — that telephone companies paid to state corrections departments. The commissions were calculated as a percentage of telephone revenue, or a fixed upfront fee, or a combination of both. The F.C.C. ruled that rates and fees may not include the “commission” payments that providers pay to prisons. It also set a cap for interstate calls: 25 cents a minute for collect calls and 21 cents a minute for prepaid and debit calls. And it required the companies to base charges on the actual costs of providing service.

Note: Another article further exposes this practice which pads the pockets of the jailers at the expense of inmates. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Brazilian Students Learn English By Video Chatting With Elderly Americans
2014-05-13, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/05/13/brazilian-students-learn-english-w...

Spare a thought for those trying to learn English. That is exactly what Brazilian students in Liberdade set out to do. However, they didn't do this simply by attending English classes or writing in English. [They connected with] senior citizens at an American retirement home [in Chicago who were] looking for new friends. A heartwarming video [depicts] the conversations that they had. The video forms part of the ‘Speaking Exchange’ project that was jointly launched by FCB Brasil and the CNA language school network. The discussion between the two takes place via a unique digital tool that has video chat technology enabled which brings the students face to face with Americans. CNA English school [explains:] “All students really want is to speak English fluently. And here at CNA English school we are always thinking of ways to improve learning, making it more real and human. So, we thought in a very special group of people: seniors living in retirement communities.” CNA English school goes on to say: “…a conversation exercise is also an act of solidarity and personal growth. It is an exchange in which everyone wins.”

Note: Don't miss the touching three-minute video on this beautiful idea at this link. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




This Man With A Van Has A 'Wild Obsession' With Helping Homeless People
2014-04-16, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/16/man-van-homeless-one-inc_n_5153832.html

Armed with a van and fueled by passion, Aaron Reddin is on a mission to help homeless individuals in need. After conquering his own drug addiction, Reddin began to run a long-term drug and alcohol program and a homeless shelter. Through this experience, he developed a "wild obsession" with helping the homeless. "I was dissatisfied with the number of folks that were sleeping outside, and the fact that everyone expected them to somehow come to us to help," Reddin says in the video above. "I said, you know what, let's raise a thousand bucks and buy a crappy old van." With his van, Reddin began a nonprofit called The One, Inc. The organization aims to help any "one" person on the streets. Whether it be through providing shoes, blankets, food, supplies or just lending a helping hand, the organization works to make contributions big or small. A large part of their mission includes mobility. "We primarily serve these needs by going to the people in need, wherever they may be," the website states. "We visit current homeless camps, search for new camps, comb alleyways, check under bridges and seek out the needy deep in the woods."

Note: The One, Inc. now has four buses in four cities. To learn more about The One, Inc., click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Cuddling Babies: Hospital Volunteers Show the Power of Human Touch
2014-03-13, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/03/cuddling-babies-hospital-volunt...

The neonatal intensive care unit [NICU] is full of buzzers, bells and the steady hum of technology. The machines that line the rooms are safeguarding the most fragile human lives. How reassuring ... is the sound of a friendly voice? The look of a friendly face? Babies in the neonatal intensive care unit cling to moments like that, but sometimes parents and nurses can’t be there to offer the constant reassurance. That’s where Pat Rice comes in. He is a volunteer “cuddler” at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. He and his wife, Claire Fitzgerald, have been cuddling babies there for 16 years. His deep voice helps soothe the babies. He joked someone once told him it sounded like a tuba. “Apparently the voice helps make a difference. I don’t know why,” said Rice. “But I find that it works pretty well.” The nurses said that the cuddles have an immediate impact for these infants. It can even be measured. Their blood oxygenation starts to climb, meaning the baby is relaxed and is breathing deeper. The doctors say cuddling leads to better tolerance of pain, more stable body temperature and even stronger vital signs. Fitzgerald and Rice said they often comfort parents whose babies are admitted to the NICU because they can share stories about all the babies they have cuddled who are now home and thriving. Rice said that at his granddaughter’s soccer game recently, a little girl came up to him and gave him a big hug — it was a child he had once cuddled in the hospital.

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




Amory Lovins: energy visionary sees renewables revolution in full swing
2014-02-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/17/amory-lovins-renewable-energy

Amory Lovins last year harvested from his small garden more than 30 pounds of bananas, along with guava, mango, papaya, loquat, passion and other exotic fruit. Nothing remarkable in that, except that the energy analyst and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) does not live in the tropics but in an unheated house 6,500 feet up a mountain near Aspen, Colorado, where the temperature falls to -44C and where last week more than two feet of snow fell in less than 24 hours. The fruit is grown in a greenhouse that is part of the sprawling, experimental, super-insulated house at Old Snowmass, built 30 years ago for $500,000 (£300,000) and an inspiration for a generation of energy thinkers, designers and sustainable builders. Visited by 100,000 people, it was the archetype for the European Passivhaus movement. "Heating systems are so 20th century," he says. "We have found you actually save money by not putting in a heating system. It's cheaper. The monitoring system uses more energy than the lights." Lovins has always maintained that energy conservation not only pays for itself, but that energy-saving technology can lead to higher quality of life at lower cost. He has advised many of the world's largest companies and dozens of countries how to reduce bills with renewables but has also challenged the giant car, aviation and construction industries to rethink the way they operate. Renewables have scaled up incredibly fast, he says. "Worldwide it is faster than mobile phones. More Kenyans now get first electricity now from solar than the grid. China got more generation from wind in 2012 than from nuclear and it added more generation from non-hydro renewable energy than fossil and nuclear combined. It is now the world leader in seven of the 10 renewable energies and wants to be top in all 10.

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




Report: US Abortion Rate at Lowest Since 1973
2014-02-02, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/report-us-abortion-rate-lowest-1973-22...

The U.S. abortion rate declined to its lowest level since 1973, and the number of abortions fell by 13 percent between 2008 and 2011, according to the latest national survey of abortion providers conducted by a prominent research institute. The Guttmacher Institute, which supports legal access to abortion, said in a report issued [on February 3] that there were about 1.06 million abortions in 2011 — down from about 1.2 million in 2008. Guttmacher's figures are of interest on both sides of the abortion debate because they are more up-to-date and in some ways more comprehensive than abortion statistics compiled by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the report, the abortion rate dropped to 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15-44 in 2011, well below the peak of 29.3 in 1981 and the lowest since a rate of 16.3 in 1973. Guttmacher and other groups supporting abortion rights have been apprehensive about the recent wave of laws restricting abortion access that have been passed in Republican-controlled legislatures. However, the report's authors said the period that they studied — 2008 to 2011 — predates the major surge of such laws starting with the 2011 legislative session. The lead author, Rachel Jones, also said there appeared to be no link to a decline in the number of abortion providers. According to Jones, the drop in abortions was likely linked to a steep national decline in overall pregnancy and birth rates. "Contraceptive use improved during this period, as more women and couples were using highly effective long-acting reversible contraceptive methods," she said.

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




Malala Yousafzai meets with the Obamas in the Oval Office
2013-10-11, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/10/11/malala-yousaf...

Malala Yousafzai may not have won the Nobel Peace Prize ... but she enjoyed a private Oval Office audience with President Obama and the first family. Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani student who was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen for speaking out in support of the right of girls to go to school, met Friday with Obama and his wife, Michelle. [and] the Obamas' 15-year-old daughter, Malia. Yousafzai said she was honored to meet Obama and that she raised concerns with him about the administration's use of drones, saying they are "fueling terrorism." "I thanked President Obama for the United States' work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees," Yousafzai said in a statement published by the Associated Press. "I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact." The Pakistani teen was in Washington on Friday for an address at the World Bank, part of her U.S. visit to promote her new memoir, I Am Malala.

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




Startup Idol: Happier wants you to share the love
2013-07-19, CNN
http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/07/19/startup-idol-happier-wants-you-to-shar...

Nataly Kogan understands the pursuit of happiness -- in her younger years, she lived for it. As a Jewish refugee from Soviet Russia, Kogan escaped her native country at the age of 13 with a handful of suitcases and $600 in cash for her entire family of four. Jumping between refugee camps across Europe, Kogan finally made it to the United States where her pursuit of happiness really took off. She graduated top of her class from Wesleyan University. She worked at McKinsey & Company, then at Microsoft. She got married and had a daughter. On paper, Kogan had achieved the American Dream. But still, she wasn't happy. Kogan is the CEO and Chief Happiness Officer of startup Happier. The secret, she says, is understanding that you can't actually be happy, but you can always be happier. That's the message conveyed with her new app, Happier, which she describes as an "emotional bookshelf in your pocket." Users upload anything that makes them happy, from posts chronicling their small daily success stories ("I got a great parking spot!") to photos of their favorite foods or places. Anytime you need a pick-me-up, simply open your Happier app and enjoy all of the happy moments posted by your friends. Since its launch in February, users have shared over one million happy moments, says Kogan. With a $2.4 million seed round under her belt from investors like Venrock and Resolute.vc, Kogan's march toward making the world a happier place is well underway. "Life is made of moments," she says. "Choose to create and collect the happy ones."

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




The Bar Keeps Going Up for Venerable Entrepreneurs
2013-07-12, Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/martinzwilling/2013/07/12/the-bar-keeps-going-up-...

It’s always been tough to start a new business, even when the bottom line was just making a profit to stay alive. A few years ago, a second focus of sustainability (“green”) was added as a requirement for respectability. Now I often hear a third mandate of social responsibility. Entrepreneurs are now measured against the “triple bottom line” (TBL or 3BL) of people, planet, and profit. The real challenge with the triple bottom line is that these three separate accounts cannot be easily added up. It’s difficult to measure the planet and people accounts in any quantifiable terms, compared to profits. How does any entrepreneur define the right balance, and then measure their performance against real metrics? Lots of people are trying to help. Current examples include the Conscious Capitalism movement led by John Mackey, The B Team, led by Sir Richard Branson, the 1% for the Planet organization, and the Benefit Corporation (B Corp) now available in 14 States. The reality is that you can’t help people or the environment, or yourself, if you don’t have any money. Businesses run by ethical people create value and prosperity based on voluntary exchange, while reducing poverty. The whole can be greater than the sum of the parts. The real opportunity for entrepreneurs is to provide solutions that solve a problem better than the competition, while also providing sustainability and social responsibility. Responsibility and integrity are still the key. A responsible entrepreneur promotes both loyalty and responsible consumption by educating consumers so they can make more informed decisions about their purchases, based on ecological footprints, and other sustainability criteria. That’s a win-win business for the customer and the entrepreneur.

Note: For more on the inspiring B Team, see the great three-minute video here and click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




John Kitzhaber's Oregon Dream
2013-05-21, The Nation
http://www.thenation.com/article/174473/john-kitzhabers-oregon-dream#

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is ... explaining the raft of education and healthcare reforms he’s pushing. It’s mid-February. The next week, the governor will receive notice that his state is one of six to be awarded a prestigious State Innovation Model grant, worth up to $45 million. Oregon received the grant because of the reforms Kitzhaber’s administration has pushed regarding delivery of medical services. Kitzhaber has particular credibility on these issues: he’s not only a three-time governor but a former legislator and emergency-room doctor. He has earned a national reputation for thinking holistically. Only slightly tongue-in-cheek, Kitzhaber [discussed] his grandiosely named Unified Theory of Everything. For Kitzhaber, poverty and ill health are too often the result of inadequate education; fixing these problems is what he calls the “left side” of his unified theory. On the right side, he talks about the need to invest in clean technologies and renewables, to open routes to prosperity that neither denude the environment nor leave millions unemployed. Over the past two years, Kitzhaber has focused mainly on the left side of his equation, pushing through the Oregon legislature—which was almost evenly split between Republicans and Democrats from 2011 to 2012—an extraordinary raft of reforms. The pathway up is early childhood—making sure that every child arrives at the classroom in kindergarten ready to learn.” Kitzhaber has pushed the legislature to spend more on education in a drive to improve poorly performing schools.

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




When The 'Trust Hormone' Is Out Of Balance
2010-04-22, NPR
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126141922

This is a story about a fickle little hormone that plays a large role in our lives. The name of the hormone is oxytocin, and until recently it was mostly dismissed by scientists. They knew it played a role in inducing labor and facilitating breast-feeding, but otherwise didn't give it much attention. But over the past 10 years, oxytocin has come up in the world, and several researchers have begun making big claims about it. Now dubbed "the trust hormone," oxytocin, researchers say, affects everything [in] our day-to-day life. To understand the role that oxytocin plays in your own life, consider the experience of a small 9-year-old girl named Isabelle. Isabelle has Williams syndrome, a rare genetic disorder with a number of symptoms. The children are often physically small and often have developmental delays. But also, kids and adults with Williams love people and are pathologically trusting: They literally have no social fear. Researchers theorize that this is probably because of a problem with the area in their brain that regulates the manufacture and release of oxytocin. Paul Zak, a researcher at Claremont Graduate University, ... says that in a normal brain, oxytocin is generated only after some concrete event or action: "When someone does something nice for you — holds a door — your brain releases this chemical, and it down-regulates the appropriate fear we have of interacting with strangers." Suddenly, you are filled with a sense that the person before you is not a threat. And then just as quickly, according to Zak, it disappears. "This is a quick on/off system." Unless, of course, the system gets disregulated, which is what Zak and other scientists say happens with Williams syndrome.

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




Take control of your life
2013-07-10, The Optimist
http://www.theoptimist.com/stories/society/take-control-of-your-life

[Trevor] Blake grew up in very poor circumstances in Wales and literally and actively thought himself from a young boy with very limited opportunities into a financially independent multi-millionaire. Blake claims that his three small steps—also the title of his book—will make everyone effective in creating the reality he or she wants. Protect your mentality. That’s Blake’s Step No. 1 and his critical contribution to the “create your own reality” movement. “I don’t think it is possible to change your thinking at all,” he says. “That’s why positive thinking doesn’t work. It is impossible to control your thoughts because they happen at the speed of light. But I would say that the one thing you do have control over is how you then react to the thought you just had. You can create in your mind a better set of outcomes; you can imagine something more positive. You do control your response to a negative thought. I changed thoughts of expecting to fail to ones anticipating success. I have repeated that behavior so many times that I now know. I changed my own life pattern the very moment I changed my own thought process. That’s why I wanted to write a book for people who feel trapped in the quicksand. That’s how I felt. And I know this helped me get out. Once you get out, you can do almost anything."

Note: For more on this, see the great video at this link. His second step is to take quiet time, while the third step is to set clear intentions. 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
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.




The 13-year-old who has the world planting trees
2011-04-29, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/8476747/The-13-year-old-who-has-the-world-pl...

At the age of nine, Felix Finkbeiner hatched a plan to plant a million trees in his native Germany. Now he's a global eco-superhero. Felix, from the unremarkable town of Pöcking, near Munich, is an environmental superstar at the helm of a global network of child activists whose aim is to mitigate climate change by reforesting the planet. His organisation, Plant for the Planet, recently achieved its target of planting one million trees in Germany; now, Felix is spreading his message around the world. Plant for the Planet is up and running in 131 countries, and the British chapter was established last month, with the aim of planting a million trees here over the next few years. Individuals or planting groups can either 'pledge’ to plant a certain number of trees or make a cash donation – €1 buys one tree. The results are logged on the Plant for the Planet website. Plant for the Planet started as a school project four years ago. 'I was supposed to give a presentation on a Monday,’ Felix says, 'so over the weekend I Googled stuff on climate change and came across Wangari Maathai’s campaign.’ Maathai, the daughter of Kenyan farmworkers..., began her own tree-planting campaign, the Green Belt Movement, in 1977 as a method of tackling soil erosion and encouraging local communities, particularly women, to stand up for themselves, not only environmentally but also politically. In 2004, 45 million trees later, she won the Nobel Peace Prize. 'She achieved so much with so little,’ Felix says. 'So I had the idea that we children could also do something.’

Note: For inspiring reports from major media sources, click here.




Jessica Cox pilots her own course
2012-08-23, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Jessica-Cox-pilots-her-own-course-3811709.php

She can put on contact lenses, drive a car and sign her name - all with her feet - but Jessica Cox's biggest accomplishment may be up in the air. The 29-year-old Arizona native and Tucson resident was born without arms as a result of a rare birth defect, yet she got her pilot's license in 2008 and made the 2011 Guinness World Records for being the world's first licensed armless pilot. "It was tough being different growing up. For me it was a challenge to go to public school and always be stared at," Cox said. "I had a choice to embrace that part of my life or avoid it." So she chose to not hide behind long-sleeve sweaters and instead took up surfing, scuba diving and tae kwon do (she is a black belt), and conquered her biggest fear - flying. Like other tasks, she pilots with her feet. Cox is the subject of a documentary being filmed about her life and accomplishments, titled "Rightfooted." A trailer for the film can be seen at rightfooted.com/movie. In the trailer, Cox is seen as a girl with prosthetic arms as she explains that she was called "hook" and "robot girl" growing up. She is later seen wearing her favorite flying shirt, which reads, "Look Ma, no hands!" "I remember that as a child I always wanted to fly like Superwoman over my playground because I was so angry about how limited I was," she says during the trailer. "With the documentary, I will be able to reach millions of people to say it's OK to be different," Cox said in an interview.

Note: For deeply inspiring reports from major media sources, click here.




USDA: Number of Farmers Markets up Due to Demand
2012-08-03, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ap-newsbreak-number-us-farmers-markets-sur...

As demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables has increased, so too has the number of urban farmers markets sprouting up across the nation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced ... that the number of direct-sales markets has increased 9.6 percent in the past year, with California and New York leading the way. After 18 years of steady increases, the number of farmers markets across the country now registered with the USDA is 7,864. In 1994, there were 1,744. Organizations such as Slow Food, founded in 1989 to counter fast-food, junk-food lifestyles, first ignited consumer demand for fresh, local produce. Some markets are so popular that there are wait lists for farmers to sell there, including one of the largest and most diverse of all, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco. Farmers from across the region travel there three days a week to sell fruits, vegetables and artisan breads and cheeses to thousands of shoppers, including top chefs from the food-centric city. Operated by the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, the iconic market on the San Francisco Bay is celebrating its 20th birthday. "When we started there were only three markets in the city, and now there are 29," said Liz Hunt, a center spokeswoman.

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