Inspiring News Articles
Excerpts of Highly Inspiring News Articles in Major Media
Below are one-paragraph excerpts of highly inspiring news articles from the major media. Links are provided to the original inspiring news articles on their media websites. If any link fails, read this webpage. The most inspiring news articles are listed 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.
Prahlad Jani, an 82-year-old Indian yogi, is making headlines by claims that for the past 70 years he has had nothing -- not one calorie -- to eat and not one drop of liquid to drink. To test his claims, Indian military doctors put him under round-the-clock observation during a two-week hospital stay that ended last week, news reports say. During that time he didn't ingest any food or water – and remained perfectly healthy, the researchers said. But that's simply impossible, said Dr. Michael Van Rooyen, ... the director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative – which focuses on aid to displaced populations who lack food and water. Van Rooyen said he's clearly getting fluid somehow. Jani, dubbed "the starving yogi" by some, did have limited contact with water while gargling and periodically bathing, reported the news wire service AFP.
Note: Military doctors had this man under 24-hour observation for two weeks, yet doctors not involved with the investigation claim it's impossible. How sad that many scientists can't accept the possibility of miracles.
Crime in the United States dropped dramatically in 2009, bucking a historical trend that links rising crime rates to economic woes. Property crimes and violent offenses each declined about 5 percent, the FBI said. It was the third straight year of declines, and this year's drops were even steeper than those of 2007 and 2008, despite the recession. Last year's decline was 5.5 percent for violent crime, including 7.2 percent for murders. The rate for property crime was down 4.9 percent, the seventh consecutive drop for that category. The declines had been a more modest 1.9 percent for violent crime and 0.8 percent for property crime in 2008 and 0.7 percent and 1.4 percent respectively the previous year.
Note: What this report completely fails to mention is that government statistic show that violent crime is down over 50% since 1994! Why do the major media consistently fail to report this awesome news? For reliable, verifiable on this, click here.
A 13-year-old Croatian girl who fell into a coma woke up speaking fluent German. The girl, from the southern town of Knin, had only just started studying German at school and had been reading German books and watching German TV to become better, but was by no means fluent, according to her parents. Since waking up from her 24-hour coma however, she has been unable to speak Croatian, but is able to communicate perfectly in German. Doctors at Split's KB Hospital claim that the case is so unusual, various experts have examined the girl as they try to find out what triggered the change. Hospital director Dujomir Marasovic said: "You never know when recovering from such a trauma how the brain will react." Psychiatric expert Dr Mijo Milas added: "In earlier times this would have been referred to as a miracle, we prefer to think that there must be a logical explanation – its just that we haven't found it yet. There are references to cases where people who have been seriously ill and perhaps in a coma have woken up being able to speak other languages – sometimes even the Biblical languages such as that spoken in old Babylon or Egypt – at the moment though any speculation would remain just that – speculation – so it's better to continue tests until we actually know something."
Thirty-three-year-old Salman Khan recently quit his job as a hedge fund analyst to devote himself to an unpaid job teaching math on the Internet. He has posted 1,200 lessons on YouTube, which appear on an electronic blackboard, and range in subject from basic addition and advanced calculus to science and finance. And they are free. Khan lives in California's Silicon Valley with his wife, a rheumatologist in training at Stanford, and their new baby. He got the idea for Khan Academy four years ago, when he taught a young cousin how to convert kilograms to grams. Many American students have trouble with math, and studies show they lag behind their counterparts in Asia and Europe in both math and science. With Khan's help, his cousin got good at math, and he eventually had a new career tapping into anxieties around the world. Now he records his lessons from a converted closet in the back of his bedroom. Internet instruction, be it the Khan Academy or taped university lectures, could revolutionize education in remote Third World locations, where access to high-quality instruction is frequently unavailable.
Note: To visit the Khan Academy website, click here.
Austrian millionaire Karl Rabeder is giving away every penny of his Ł3 million fortune after realising his riches were making him unhappy. Mr Rabeder, 47, a businessman from Telfs is in the process of selling his luxury 3,455 sq ft villa with lake, sauna and spectacular mountain views over the Alps, valued at Ł1.4 million. Also for sale is his beautiful old stone farmhouse in Provence with its 17 hectares overlooking the arričre-pays. Mr Rabeder has also sold the interior furnishings and accessories business – from vases to artificial flowers – that made his fortune. His entire proceeds are going to charities he set up in Central and Latin America, but he will not even take a salary from these. "More and more I heard the words: 'Stop what you are doing now – all this luxury and consumerism – and start your real life'," he said. "I had the feeling I was working as a slave for things that I did not wish for or need. I have the feeling that there are lot of people doing the same thing." All the money will go into his microcredit charity, which offers small loans to Latin America and builds development aid strategies to self-employed people in El Salvador, Honduras, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Chile. Since selling his belongings, Mr Rabeder said he felt "free, the opposite of heavy".
Men who have sex at least twice a week can almost halve their risk of heart disease, according to new research. It shows men who indulge in regular lovemaking are up to 45 per cent less likely to develop life-threatening heart conditions than men who have sex once a month or less. The study, of over 1,000 men, shows sex appears to have a protective effect on the male heart but did not examine whether women benefit too. Now the American researchers who carried out the investigation are calling for doctors to screen men for sexual activity when assessing their risk of heart disease. Although sex has long been regarded as good for physical and mental health, there has been little scientific evidence to show the full benefits that frequent intercourse can have on major illnesses such as heart disease. An earlier study at the National Cancer Institute in the US showed men who ejaculated through sex or masturbation at least five times a week were much less likely to get prostate cancer.
Note: For a treasure trove of key reports on important health issues, click here.
Is there life after death? Radiation oncologist Dr. Jeffrey Long says if you look at the scientific evidence, the answer is unequivocally yes. He makes the case for that controversial conclusion in a new book, Evidence of the Afterlife. He talked to TIME about the nature of near-death experience. [TIME:] How do you respond to skeptics who say there must be some biological or physiological basis for that kind of experience, which you say in the book is medically inexplicable? [Dr. Long:] There have been over 20 alternative, skeptical "explanations" for near-death experience. The reason is very clear: no one or several skeptical explanations make sense, even to the skeptics themselves. Or [else] there wouldn't be so many. [TIME:] You say this research has affected you a lot on a personal level. How? [Dr. Long:] I'm a physician who fights cancer. My absolute understanding that there is an afterlife for all of us — and a wonderful afterlife — helps me face cancer, this terribly frightening and threatening disease, with more courage than I've ever faced it with before. I can be a better physician for my patients.
Note: For a deeply inspiring online lesson presenting incredibly powerful near-death experiences, click here.
Data, data, data. There's loads of it out there and more coming your way as governments open their statistics vaults around the world. First the US with data.gov, then Australia and New Zealand followed suit. Now it's the UK's turn with data.gov.uk. And that's in addition to the cities and US states that have made government data available too: London launched very recently - you can get the full set of links for government data sites around the world here. You now have tens of sites around the world providing you access, but how do you find them? Well, this is now the place. To coincide with the launch of data.gov.uk, we have created the ultimate gateway to world government data. At World Government Data you can: • Search government data sites from the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and London ... in one place and download the data • Help us find the best dataset by ranking them • Collect similar datasets together from around the world • Browse all datasets by each country.
When capitalism seemed on the verge of collapse last fall, Kristin Halvorsen, Norway’s Socialist finance minister and a longtime free market skeptic, did more than crow. As investors the world over sold in a panic, she bucked the tide, authorizing Norway’s $300 billion sovereign wealth fund to ramp up its stock buying program by $60 billion — or about 23 percent of Norway's economic output. "The timing was not that bad," Ms. Halvorsen said, smiling with satisfaction over the broad worldwide market rally that began in early March. The global financial crisis has brought low the economies of just about every country on earth. But not Norway. With a quirky contrariness as deeply etched in the national character as the fjords carved into its rugged landscape, Norway has thrived by going its own way. When others splurged, it saved. When others sought to limit the role of government, Norway strengthened its cradle-to-grave welfare state. And in the midst of the worst global downturn since the Depression, Norway’s economy grew last year by just under 3 percent. The government enjoys a budget surplus of 11 percent. Norway is a relatively small country with a ... population of 4.6 million and the advantages of being a major oil exporter. Even though prices have sharply declined, the government is not particularly worried. That is because Norway avoided the usual trap that plagues many energy-rich countries. Instead of spending its riches lavishly, it passed legislation ensuring that oil revenue went straight into its sovereign wealth fund, state money that is used to make investments around the world. Now its sovereign wealth fund is close to being the largest in the world.
Note: For lots more on the global economic and financial crisis from reliable sources, click here.
Cafe owner Sam Lippert has come up with an innovative way to cope with the recession: He's done away with pricing and simply asks customers to pay what they want. Lippert says sales and customer count has increased markedly since the change, and he's looking at adding more staff. John Roberts: So you run the Java Street Cafe. You actually own the Java Street Cafe there in Kettering, Ohio. And you've got a menu that's got no prices on it. People pay what they think the food is worth. How did you come up with that idea? Sam Lippert: Well, actually, that was thanks to my girlfriend. She is from Bulgaria, and she says it's a common practice in certain cafes in Europe to allow the patrons to decide how much to pay for their meal. Roberts: So, in terms of paying for something, if somebody gets a sandwich or maybe a bowl of soup or something like that, typically how close to the old menu price would they get in what they pay? Lippert: Well, sometimes people shoot a few dollars over, and sometimes it's a few dollars under. And, you know, at the end of the day, it works out for me. ... It works out even. Roberts: Yes, so, does anybody try to game the system? You know, they'll get a big meal that would be worth $10, $12 and then give you 50 cents for it? Lippert: Well, you know, they have to look me in the eye and say that that's what they think is fair. And, you know, that's a big incentive. When someone's at the counter and you say, you get to pay what you think is fair, very few people are going to take advantage of that situation.
The words drifted across the frozen battlefield: 'Stille Nacht. Heilige Nacht'. To the ears of the British troops peering over their trench, the lyrics may have been unfamiliar but the haunting tune was unmistakable. After the last note a lone German infantryman appeared holding a small tree glowing with light. 'Merry Christmas. We not shoot, you not shoot.' It was just after dawn on a bitingly cold Christmas Day in 1914, ... and one of the most extraordinary incidents of the Great War was about to unfold. Weary men climbed hesitantly at first out of trenches and stumbled into no man's land. They shook hands, sang carols, lit each other's cigarettes, swapped tunic buttons and addresses and, most famously, played football. The unauthorised Christmas truce spread across much of the 500-mile Western Front where more than a million men were encamped. There is only one man in the world still alive who spent 25 December 1914 serving in a conflict that left 31 million people dead, wounded or missing. Alfred Anderson was 18 at the time. 'I remember the silence, the eerie sound of silence,' he said. 'Only the guards were on duty. We all went outside the farm buildings and just stood listening. But there was a dead silence that morning, right across the land as far as you could see. We shouted "Merry Christmas", even though nobody felt merry.' In some parts of the front, the ceasefire lasted several weeks. 'I'll give Christmas Day 1914 a brief thought, as I do every year. And I'll think about all my friends who never made it home. But it's too sad to think too much about it. Far too sad,' he said, his head bowed and his eyes filled with tears.
Note: For more on this amazing moment in history, including a powerfully moving song, click here.
As a plastic surgeon, [Geoff] Williams could live in a sprawling house, cruise in a snazzy sports car and wear custom-made shoes instead of the $5 pair he snagged at the thrift store a few years back. Instead he spends his money on hundreds of strangers, half a world away. Grown men with rope-like tumors engulfing their eyes, nose, lips. Teenage girls with heads cocked permanently to one side because of burn-tightened skin. But mostly children — with faces split up the middle like a half-open zipper. Williams invests in faces. As he worked and taught in wealthy hospitals, his mind was preoccupied with thoughts of the hundreds of desperate mothers in Vietnam who had swarmed him during a volunteer training trip, thrusting their deformed babies at him and begging for help. Only 20 babies were treated that trip; about 180 were sent away. "Leaving, looking down at those lights, I knew these mothers were going home with total disappointment," Williams recalls. "I remember making a promise to myself then, to those mothers: I may not be able to find you, but I'll find someone like you. I'll come back. I'll do more." Several months later, he took another volunteer trip, this time to India. "I thought I'd do it a couple of times and get it out of my system. After about a year, it just hit me — it would not be easy to stop doing it." He took a leave of absence from the University of Texas in 2003 to immerse himself in treating the forgotten patients in developing countries. He never went back.
Paul Rice stands at the edge of a dirt road, overlooking the volcanic peaks and adobe homes of this small Nicaraguan town near the border with Honduras. On a visit to the coffee-growing hills above San Lucas, Rice cultivated what would later become the American fair trade movement. Founded in 1998 in a converted warehouse in downtown Oakland, TransFair USA began as a bare-bones operation with an unusual premise - put more money in the pockets of farmers in the developing world by persuading consumers thousands of miles away to pay a premium in the name of social justice. Modeled after organic produce and dolphin-safe tuna, Rice started the organization with the stark black and white label that told shoppers their coffee came from farmers who received a "fair price." Ten years later, Rice and his family spend every July in Nicaragua, visiting family and friends and working on fair trade issues. In San Lucas, Rice huddled with Santiago Rivera, a 67-year-old cooperative coffee farmer he calls "the real Juan Valdez." Until the Sandinista Revolution in 1979, Rivera worked on a private coffee plantation making less than 50 cents a day. When the new government acquired the farm, Rivera and some 20 other farmers were given the land to work collectively. TransFair says it has generated some $110 million in extra income for small coffee farmers like Rivera. "The great thing about fair trade is that when the market price would fall, we'd have the guarantee of a decent price," Rivera said. "When it'd go up, we'd get more. The great thing is the stability."
Note: For those who are not aware of the paradigm-busting fair trade movement, consider educating yourself on this wonderful new way of doing business by clicking here.
The great watershed event of this present chapter in American life has been the 9/11 attacks and all that has ensued in response, both in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as here at home. The terms in which the attacks were understood and the framework in which the U.S. would respond were laid out very quickly after 9/11 by the president. It was a battle of good against evil, "us" vs. "them." We Americans were encouraged to think of ourselves as "good and compassionate," terms in which the president frequently described us, while those who opposed us were evil people who "hated our freedom." I can go along with this a little ways. The attacks of 9/11 were an appalling evil. Where the line is drawn between good and evil is another matter. The Soviet dissident and author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, "If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being." Lincoln resisted the temptation that comes in every time of conflict and fear, in every polarized situation, to draw the line between good and evil between the two sides. Lincoln famously wrote, "In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party." That is not to say that Lincoln doubted that slavery was evil. He did not. But he refused to claim his own side as God's or to depict, as Bush does, any who opposed him as the embodiment of evil.
An outraged sheriff in Illinois who refuses to evict ... renters from foreclosed homes criticized mortgage companies ... and said the law should protect victims of the mortgage meltdown. Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said earlier he is suspending foreclosure evictions in Cook County, which includes the city of Chicago. The county had been on track to reach a record number of evictions, many because of mortgage foreclosures. "Many good tenants are suffering because building owners have fallen behind on their mortgage payments," he said Thursday on CNN's "American Morning." "These poor people are seeing everything they own put out on the street. ... They've paid their bills, paid them on time. Here we are with a battering ram at the front door going to throw them out. It's gotten insane," he said. Mortgage companies are supposed to identify a building's occupants before asking for an eviction, but sheriff's deputies routinely find that the mortgage companies have not done so, Dart said. "This is an example where the banking industry has not done any of the work they should do. It's a piece of paper to them," Dart said. "These mortgage companies ... don't care who's in the building," Dart said. "They simply want their money and don't care who gets hurt along the way. "On top of it all, they want taxpayers to fund their investigative work for them. We're not going to do their jobs for them anymore. We're just not going to evict innocent tenants. It stops today. When you're blindly sending me out to houses where I'm coming across innocent tenant after innocent tenant, I can't keep doing this and have a good conscience about it."
Note: For many reports of corporate corruption from reliable sources, click here.
When Rick Hoyt was 15, he communicated something to his father that changed both their lives. "Dad," the mute quadriplegic wrote in his computer after his father pushed him in a wheelchair in a five-kilometer race, "I felt like I wasn't handicapped." Rick, now 37, has had cerebral palsy since birth. But he has always been treated simply as one of the family, included by his now-divorced parents in almost everything brothers Rob and Russell did. "They told us to put Rick away, in an institution, (because) he's going to be nothing but a vegetable for the rest of his life," his father remembers. "We said, 'No, we're not going to do that. We're going to bring Rick home and bring him up like any other child,'" says Dick Hoyt, 59, a retired lieutenant colonel with the Air National Guard. "And this is what we have done." For more than 20 years, Dick has either towed, pushed or carried Rick in a string of athletic challenges including every Boston Marathon since 1981 and, most recently, last month's Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Hawaii. But mental determination and physical stamina tell only part of the Hoyt story. A message of independence and acceptance typed by Rick on his computer complete the picture: "When I am running, my disability seems to disappear. It is the only place where truly I feel as an equal. Due to all the positive feedback, I do not feel handicapped at all. Rather, I feel that I am the intelligent person that I am with no limits. I have a message for the world which is this: To take time to get to know people with disabilities for the individuals they are."
Add heaps of red worms to mountains of raw, rotting garbage. Then collect the worms' feces, brew it into a liquid, and squeeze it into a used soda bottle. Sound like a twisted fourth-grade boy's concoction for messing with his sister? Not quite. Rather, it is TerraCycle's recipe for success -- as a booming, eco-friendly fertilizer business. "We're not doing this to help save the environment," said co-founder and CEO Tom Szaky. "We're doing this to show that you can make a lot of money while saving the environment." It does that not only by avoiding excess waste, but by embracing others' throwaways -- from the organic material fed to its hard-working worms, to its used plastic packaging, to the once discarded desks and computers in the firm's Trenton, New Jersey, headquarters. The nonprofit environmental group Zerofootprint recently recognized TerraCycle for having "net zero" negative impact -- the first consumer product to earn that distinction. This unique business takes its cue from Szaky. The Princeton drop-out, born to Hungarian parents and raised primarily in Canada, said he doesn't consider himself an environmentalist, admitting he doesn't eat organic food or drive a hybrid car. Many of the breakthroughs came out of necessity, conveniently married to the pro-environment, anti-waste cause. The two core components are worms -- which eat, excrete and procreate freely -- and similarly cheap, all but omnipresent organic waste. When short on cash, TerraCycle decided to place the liquid fertilizer in used, plastic soda bottles scooped off the streets instead of buying new or recycled bottles.
Note: For lots more on this most inspiring company that is creating a new paradigm in business, visit http://www.terracycle.net and watch the great video there.
Things did not exactly go as planned when Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein conceived the idea of working together on an expose of America's delivery rooms. Called "The Business of Being Born," the documentary examines the politics, economics and history of how and where most Americans take their first breaths. This includes the births of Epstein's and Lake's own babies - Lake delivered at home aided by a midwife. Although they were longtime friends, Epstein had written off Lake's interest in home birth and midwifery as a "reckless" crusade that she admits she "totally didn't get." That all changed in 2004 when Lake showed Epstein a home video of [Lake] giving birth to her second son in a bathtub in 2001. "Ricki's video was so inspiring. I didn't know you could have a baby like that - with no blood, in her own home," Epstein says. "It was clean. It was beautiful. She looked so powerful and so in control." While "The Business of Being Born" clearly takes a stance in defending the craft of midwifery, Epstein and Lake insist that their mission is more about empowering women with knowledge and reminding them that they may have more choices than they realize. "The film is not advocating anything but choice. I'm not at all telling people to have a home birth like me," says Lake, who after reading a book called Spiritual Midwifery decided she wanted to give birth to her second child at home. Citing statistics that show home-birthing rates declining from 95 percent in 1900 to less than 1 percent by 1955, the film questions whether American women today have been convinced that they are not responsible for the births of their children or simply don't know how to give birth on their own.
The office of Razoo on Connecticut Avenue blends two distinct cultures common in Washington. It has the feeling of an Internet start-up, what with programmers clicking away, big flat screens, an espresso machine and funky green carpet. Yet the photos on the walls from Rwanda and other poor countries and the 11 employees, age 23 to 33, suggest it could just as easily be a nongovernmental organization. The combination is no mistake. Razoo is a company that has built a Web site to connect people with one another, much like social networking giants MySpace and Facebook, but in support of humanitarian objectives such as preventing homelessness in the United States and helping families who live in a Nicaragua trash dump. Users and causes each have their own pages. "YouTube is transforming TV. Google has transformed advertising," said Razoo founder J. Sebastian Traeger. "The Web will do the same thing for philanthropy." Traeger ... is following in the footsteps of several other Internet entrepreneurs who are trying to reinvent philanthropy. They hope to apply the tools of the digital age -- such as social networking and peer-to-peer and viral marketing -- to an industry long criticized for its slow-moving ways. Risks abound. The for-profit companies are operating in a nonprofit world. "While the fusion of commercial values and non-commercial values makes sense and has promise, it's not going to be this magical cure," said Jeff Trexler, a Pace University professor who has studied the phenomenon. By merging social networks and philanthropy, the idea is that people will be more likely to give money or support to a certain cause if their friends do. The Internet also holds the promise of cutting down on bureaucracy and the high administrative and marketing costs associated with raising money.
Every year, malnutrition kills five million children -- that's one child every six seconds. But now, the Nobel Prize-winning relief group "Doctors Without Borders" says it finally has something that can save millions of these children. It's cheap, easy to make and even easier to use. What is this miraculous cure? It's a ready-to-eat, vitamin-enriched concoction called "Plumpynut," an unusual name for a food that may just be the most important advance ever to cure and prevent malnutrition. "It's a revolution in nutritional affairs," says Dr. Milton Tectonidis, the chief nutritionist for Doctors Without Borders. "Now we have something. It is like an essential medicine. In three weeks, we can cure a kid that ... looked like they're half dead. It’s just, boom! It's a spectacular response," Dr. Tectonidis says. No kids need it more than ... in Niger, a desperately poor country in West Africa, where child malnutrition is so widespread that most mothers have watched at least one of their children die. Why are so many kids dying? Because they can't get the milk, vitamins and minerals their young bodies need. Mothers in these villages can't produce enough milk themselves and can't afford to buy it. Even if they could, they can't store it -- there’s no electricity, so no refrigeration. Powdered milk is useless because most villagers don't have clean water. Plumpynut was designed to overcome all these obstacles. Plumpynut is a remarkably simple concoction: it is basically made of peanut butter, powdered milk, powdered sugar, and enriched with vitamins and minerals. It tastes like a peanut butter paste. It is very sweet, and because of that kids cannot get enough of it. The formula was developed by a nutritionist. It doesn't need refrigeration, water, or cooking; mothers simply squeeze out the paste. Many children can even feed themselves. Each serving is the equivalent of a glass of milk and a multivitamin.