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



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


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

Why This 73-Year-Old Is a Gang's Worst Nightmare
2013-01-14, DailyGood
Posted: 2013-08-27 07:55:54
http://www.dailygood.org/more.php?n=5540

Watts is famous for its gangs. But it's also famous for its dreamers, like the Italian immigrant Sabato Rodia, who spent three decades building the ten-story tall Watts Towers from discarded scrap metal, broken glass, and ceramic tiles. Mix Rodia's ambition with a pragmatism about the hardships facing the neighborhood, and you get 73-year-old Milicent "Mama" Hill, a former LAUSD school teacher who's turned her living room into a makeshift community center. Kids in Watts need a safe place to go after school. They need someone who's going to ask them about their homework and give them a hug. And so, at an age when most people retire and relax, Hill opened Mama Hill's Help and started her second career as the entire block's mentor and mother. Over the last decade, nearly 3,000 kids have come through her door. And the kids seem to thrive under her watchfulness, even though they don't always smile when she orders them to clean up their trash. Mama Hill estimates she's known—or at least known of—2,000 children who've died, an impossible-sounding number that becomes believable only after hearing the matter-of-fact way she describes their shootings, many of them random and all of them senseless. "Hurt people hurt other people," is Mama Hill's mantra. She claims that if you watch a person closely, you can see what age they were wounded. Pain stunts people. The first thing she asks a new child when they sit down for their initial one-on-one conversation is, "Who hurt you?" They might not want to answer at first, but eventually they always do.

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




Alfredo Moser: Bottle light inventor proud to be poor
2013-08-12, BBC News
Posted: 2013-08-19 16:10:35
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23536914

Alfredo Moser's invention is lighting up the world. In 2002, the Brazilian mechanic had a light-bulb moment and came up with a way of illuminating his house during the day without electricity - using nothing more than plastic bottles filled with water and a tiny bit of bleach. In the last two years his innovation has spread throughout the world. It is expected to be in one million homes by early next year. So how does it work? Simple refraction of sunlight, explains Moser, as he fills an empty two-litre plastic bottle. "Add two capfuls of bleach to protect the water so it doesn't turn green [with algae]. The cleaner the bottle, the better," he adds. Wrapping his face in a cloth he makes a hole in a roof tile with a drill. Then, from the bottom upwards, he pushes the bottle into the newly-made hole. "An engineer came and measured the light," he says. "It depends on how strong the sun is but it's more or less 40 to 60 watts," he says. The inspiration for the "Moser lamp" came to him during one of the country's frequent electricity blackouts in 2002. "The only places that had energy were the factories - not people's houses," he says, talking about the city where he lives, Uberaba, in southern Brazil. "It's a divine light. God gave the sun to everyone, and light is for everyone. You can't get an electric shock from it, and it doesn't cost a penny." Moser has installed the bottle lamps in neighbours' houses and the local supermarket. While he does earn a few dollars installing them, it's obvious from his simple house and his 1974 car that his invention hasn't made him wealthy. What it has given him is a great sense of pride.

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




“Renegade Gardener” Plots World Domination Through Home-Grown Veggies
2013-07-30, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2013-08-19 16:09:08
http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/gardening-is-gangsta-an-interview-wit...

Ron Finley grew up in South Central Los Angeles, a "food desert" where nutritious eats are chronically unavailable. But when the fashion designer [and] father got tired of driving 45 minutes to buy an organic tomato, he decided to grow his own. In the fall of 2010, he planted a "demonstration garden" on the strip of land between the curb and the sidewalk in front of his house in South Central Los Angeles, a neighborhood where he has lived all his life. He says he was tired of living in the "food prison"—where the lack of access to healthy foods was causing diabetes, obesity, and other health problems. "If you look at the statistics, the drive thrus literally are killing more people than the drive-bys," Finley says. Finley encouraged people to take what they needed from the garden. He shared tomatoes, peppers, melons, eggplant, pumpkins, and more with anyone who passed by his home, often people with few financial resources and little access to vegetables. In May of 2011, however, Finley received a citation from the city, which considered his plants "obstructions." They asked him to pay $400 for a permit or remove the garden. After getting 500 signatures on a petition posted on change.org and gaining the confidence of a city councilman, Finley received a permit for free and eventually provoked the city to relax its laws on curb strip usage. Since then, Finley has created the organization LA Green Grounds, which plants vegetable gardens in South Central yards free of charge and has installed public gardens in curb strips, homeless shelters, abandoned lots, and traffic medians. The all-volunteer organization has installed over 30 gardens.

Note: For an inspiring 10-minute TED talk given by Mr. Finley, click here. 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
Posted: 2013-08-19 16:07:39
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.




Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz launch the B Team challenge
2013-06-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-08-19 16:06:31
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/blog/richard-branson-jochen-z...

In a sign that the corporate sustainability movement may be entering a new dynamic phase, Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz, former chief executive of Puma and current director of Kering, today launched a new global collaboration to drive transformational change in the business sector. The B Team brings together an initial 14 leaders from major corporations around the world, including Unilever, Natura, Celtel, Tata and Kering, in an attempt to enlarge projects that demonstrate that long-term business success can be built only by prioritising people and planet alongside profit. The collective ... has issued a declaration that places much of the blame for the world's problems directly on the doorstep of companies. Recognising that their views will be seen by many competitors as an "affront", the declaration states: "Business is now waking up to the reality that if we carry on using the natural resources of the world unsustainably, they'll quite simply run out. With a burgeoning population, more people are still living in poverty than ever before and inequalities are increasing in many parts of the world. Unemployment rates are at frightening levels. Non-Profits alone cannot solve the tasks at hand, while many governments are unwilling or unable to act. While there are myriad reasons we've arrived at this juncture, much of the blame rests with the principles and practices of business as usual." Rather than go it alone, the B Team is forging partnerships with other organisations such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Ashoka, a leading light in the social enterprise movement.

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.




A Universe Full of Planets
2013-07-26, New York Times
Posted: 2013-08-12 16:46:46
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/26/opinion/global/a-universe-full-of-planets.h...

Using techniques of exquisite sensitivity and technological finesse, astronomers have spent the past two decades on an astonishing voyage of cosmic discovery. They have found that the universe is full of planets: cold, small, and dark next to their large and glaring suns, these worlds have previously been hidden from us. To spot them represents a challenge that has been compared to looking across thousands of miles to see a firefly buzzing around a brilliant searchlight. They exert a gravitational pull, tugging their parent stars into a gently wobbling motion that we can now detect. We now have firm evidence for thousands of planets, around thousands of stars. We also know something about these worlds, their sizes, their orbits, often their ages. In a handful of cases ... we have even measured the temperature of their upper atmospheres and [determined] their gaseous chemistry, finding substances like sodium, methane and water. No matter how conservative or optimistic we are, the statistics tell us that something like an astonishing one out of every seven stars must harbor a planet similar in size to the Earth, and at roughly the right orbital distance to allow for the possibility of a temperate surface environment. In other words, roughly 15 percent of all suns could, in principle, be hosting a place suitable for life as we know it. Since our galaxy contains at least 200 billion stars, this implies a vast arena for the universe’s ubiquitous carbon chemistry to play in — a process that, as here on Earth, might lead to the complex machinery of life. Indeed, there is a 95-percent confidence — give or take a few percent — that one of these worlds could be within a mere 16 light years of us.

Note: For fascinating testimony from top military and government officials revealing a major cover-up of the existence of UFOs and ETs, click here. For more on the nature of reality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Dolphins Use Names for Each Other
2013-07-24, ABC News
Posted: 2013-08-12 16:45:27
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/dolphins-names/story?id=19751193

They escape from aquarium tanks. They locate underwater mines. Now, a new paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science claims that dolphins recognized their own name when called. Vincent Janik, one of the authors of the study and a biology researcher at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, said that the name is actually a specific type of dolphin vocalization that the animals respond to. "They're these high pitched whistles that have a little bit of a melody," he told ABC News. These sounds are referred to as "signature whistles." Janik and his colleague, Stephanie King, cruised along the east coast of Scotland looking for bottlenose dolphins. After spotting and identifying a dolphin in the wild, the researchers would play one of three different sounds: a modified sound clip of that dolphin's signature whistle, a signature whistle of one of its podmates, or the signature whistle of a completely foreign dolphin. They played the dolphin's own signature whistle and the animal would come up and approach the boat and whistle back. However, the dolphin didn't respond to the other two types of whistles and mostly kept about its business. It may seem odd that the dolphins don't react much to the whistles of their fellow herdmates, but Janik says that copying a dolphin's signature whistle just right is part of their social group. "This copying only occurs between closely associated animals, like between mothers and their calves," he said. Dolphins only need to respond to their own signature whistles, since any socially relevant animal will have learned how to copy it. "It says to them, 'I know that this [whistle] is a friend.'"

Note: For an abstract of this intriguing study, click here. For more on the fascinating capabilities of marine mammals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Delaware 'Public Benefit Corporation' Lets Directors Serve Three Masters Instead Of One
2013-07-16, Forbes
Posted: 2013-08-12 16:44:09
http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2013/07/16/delaware-public-benefit-c...

[On July 17 Delaware] Gov. Jack Markell is scheduled to sign a law creating a new “public benefit corporation” where directors must balance the interests of the owners with those of employees, the general public and the environment. Delaware becomes the 19th state to pass such a law, but it may be the most important one since it is home to half of all publicly traded U.S. companies. Not that Ford Motor Co. or Intel are likely to avail themselves of this new corporate structure. Under the Delaware law, 90% of shareholders must approve a shift to benefit status. The law will likely be more popular with closely held firms like Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade products with more than $500 million a year in sales. It gives them a chance to declare a broader set of objectives than profit alone, and a legal structure to pursue them without risking lawsuits by disgruntled shareholders who might prefer a fatter dividend, say, than the comfort of knowing no endangered species were wiped out by their company’s logging operations. Under the new Delaware law, the purpose of a public benefit corporation is to operate in a “responsible and sustainable manner.” Directors can’t be sued for pursuing objectives that advance “artistic, charitable, cultural …scientific or technological” goals. The benefit corporation movement has even formed the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board to come up with the equivalent of GAAP for the Birkenstock-wearing set.

Note: For more on this exciting development, see the Huffington Post article written by Delaware's governor at this link.




Selfish traits not favoured by evolution, study shows
2013-08-02, BBC News
Posted: 2013-08-06 07:53:08
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23529849

Evolution does not favour selfish people, according to new research. This challenges a previous theory which suggested it was preferable to put yourself first. Instead, it pays to be co-operative, shown in a model of "the prisoner's dilemma", a scenario of game theory - the study of strategic decision-making. Published in Nature Communications, the team says their work shows that exhibiting only selfish traits would have made us become extinct. The eminent mathematician John Nash showed that the optimum strategy was not to co-operate in the prisoner's dilemma game. "For many years, people have asked that if he [Nash] is right, then why do we see co-operation in the animal kingdom, in the microbial world and in humans," said lead author Christoph Adami of Michigan State University. The answer, he explained, was that communication was not previously taken into account. Prof Andrew Coleman from Leicester University explains that this new work suggests that co-operation helps a group evolve. "The two prisoners that are interrogated are not allowed to talk to each other. If they did they would make a pact and be free within a month. But if they were not talking to each other, the temptation would be to rat the other out. Being mean can give you an advantage on a short timescale but certainly not in the long run - you would go extinct." Crucially, in an evolutionary environment, knowing your opponent's decision would not be advantageous for long because your opponent would evolve the same recognition mechanism to also know you, Dr Adami explained. This is exactly what his team found, that any advantage from [selfishness] was short-lived.

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




Garry Davis, Man of No Nation Who Saw One World of No War, Dies at 91
2013-07-29, New York Times
Posted: 2013-08-06 07:51:55
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/29/us/garry-davis-man-of-no-nation-dies-at-91....

On May 25, 1948, a former United States Army flier entered the American Embassy in Paris, renounced his American citizenship and, as astonished officials looked on, declared himself a citizen of the world. In the decades that followed ... he remained by choice a stateless man — entering, leaving, being regularly expelled from and frequently arrested in a spate of countries, carrying a passport of his own devising, as the international news media chronicled his every move. His rationale was simple, his aim immense: if there were no nation-states, he believed, there would be no wars. Garry Davis, a longtime peace advocate, former Broadway song-and-dance man and self-declared World Citizen No. 1, who is widely regarded as the dean of the One World movement, a quest to erase national boundaries that today has nearly a million adherents worldwide, died ... in Williston, Vt. He was 91. He continued to occupy the singular limbo between citizen and alien that he had cheerfully inhabited for 65 years. Mr. Davis was not the first person to declare himself a world citizen, but he was inarguably the most visible, most vocal and most indefatigable. The One World model has had its share of prominent adherents, among them Albert Schweitzer, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Einstein and E. B. White. But where most advocates have been content to write and lecture, Mr. Davis was no armchair theorist: 60 years ago, he established the World Government of World Citizens, a self-proclaimed international governmental body. To date, more than 2.5 million World Government documents have been issued.

Note: 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
Posted: 2013-08-06 07:50:19
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.




Bhutan set to plough lone furrow as world's first wholly organic country
2013-02-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-08-06 07:48:25
http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2013/feb/11/bhu...

Bhutan plans to become the first country in the world to turn its agriculture completely organic, banning the sales of pesticides and herbicides and relying on its own animals and farm waste for fertilisers. But rather than accept that this will mean farmers of the small Himalayan kingdom of around 1.2m people ... will be able to grow less food, the government expects them to be able to grow more – and to export increasing amounts of high quality niche foods to neighbouring India, China and other countries. The decision to go organic was both practical and philosophical, said [Pema Gyamtsho, Bhutan's minister of agriculture and forests]. "Ours is a mountainous terrain. When we use chemicals they don't stay where we use them, they impact the water and plants. We say that we need to consider all the environment. Most of our farm practices are traditional farming, so we are largely organic anyway. But we are Buddhists, too, and we believe in living in harmony with nature. Animals have the right to live, we like to to see plants happy and insects happy," he said. Gyamtsho, like most members of the cabinet, is a farmer himself, coming from Bumthang in central Bhutan but studying western farming methods in New Zealand and Switzerland. "Going organic will take time," he said. "We have set no deadline. We cannot do it tomorrow. Instead we will achieve it region by region and crop by crop." Gyamtsho [says] Bhutan's future depends largely on how it responds to interlinked development challenges like climate change, and food and energy security.

Note: Bhutan is also the country which has pioneered Gross National Happiness (GNH) as a more appropriate measure of economic growth than GNP. For more on this, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




New study of tribal societies reveals conflict is an alien concept
2013-07-18, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-07-31 11:33:44
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/is-it-natural-for-humans-to-make-wa...

Is it natural for humans to make war? Is organised violence between rival political groups an inevitable outcome of the human condition? New research suggests not. A study of tribal societies that live by hunting and foraging has found that war is an alien concept and not, as some academics have suggested, an innate feature of so-called “primitive people”. Douglas Fry and Patrik Söderberg of Abo Akademi University in Vasa, Finland, studied 148 violently lethal incidents documented by anthropologists working among 21 mobile bands of hunter-gatherer societies, which some scholars have suggested as a template for studying how humans lived for more than 99.9 per cent of human history, before the invention of agriculture about 10,000 years ago. They found that only a tiny minority of violent deaths come close to being defined as acts of war. Most the violence was perpetrated by one individual against another and usually involved personal grudges involving women or stealing. Only a tiny minority of cases involved more organised killing between rival bands of people, which could fall into the definition of war-like behaviour. Most of these involved only one of the 21 groups included in the study. In short they found that some of the most “primitive” peoples on Earth were actually quite peaceful compared to modern, developed nations. “These findings imply that warfare was probably not very common before the advent of agriculture, when most if not all humans lived as nomadic foragers,” Kirk Endicott, an anthropologist at Dartmouth College told the journal Science, where the study is published.

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




Solar Impulse aims to push innovation on the ground
2013-07-15, CBS News
Posted: 2013-07-31 11:30:53
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-35040_162-57593684/solar-impulse-aims-to-push-inn...

Hangar 19 at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport is host to one unique airplane: the Solar Impulse. The sun-powered plane made history by becoming the first aircraft to fly across America day and night without fuel. The Solar Impulse finished its two-month journey from NASA's Moffett Field in Mountain View, Calif. to JFK airport on July 6, where it is currently parked. The aircraft is powered by 11,628 solar cells, has an average flying speed of about 43 miles (70 kilometers) per hour and its maximum altitude is about 27,900 feet. Although its wingspan rivals a 747, the actual body of the plane is a lot smaller, with a cockpit that can only fit one person. The groundbreaking trip may seem too slow to be practical, but chairman and pilot Bertrand Piccard thinks there is a bigger picture behind the project. "We believe if we can demonstrate this in the air, where it is the most difficult to do, people will understand that they can also use the same technologies for their daily lives," Piccard [said]. Piccard shared piloting the plane with the company's co-founder and CEO Andre Borschberg. The two flew in 24-hour shifts across America, and made stopovers in Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Dulles. Some of the key advances used on the Solar Impulse include carbon fiber sheets that weigh 0.8 ounces per 11 square feet, solar cells that are about the thickness of a human hair and batteries with a high energy density. While the technologies are impressive, the creators emphasize that they didn't re-invent the wheel. They believe that pieces of the puzzle already exist, but needs to be put together in a different way.

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




Mothers of Invention: Girltank, A Sisterhood of Changemakers
2012-12-24, The Daily Beast/Newsweek
Posted: 2013-07-31 11:29:11
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/24/mothers-of-invention-girltan...

While still a teen, Bay Area-based activist Sejal Hathi founded the non-profit, Girls Helping Girls. Encouraging social change, the NGO raised money for scholarships, shared curricula across borders, and combated sex trafficking. Tara Roberts authored two critically acclaimed young adult books, What Your Mama Never Told You and Am I the Last Virgin? exploring social issues facing today’s black youth. And as an editor for the likes of Essence and CosmoGirl, one of her job responsibilities was to track down and nominate candidates for an annual magazine award acknowledging the outstanding social accomplishments of teens. Girltank [is] an online model intended to engage young entrepreneurs in various stages of their ventures—from the idea stage to the launch and scaling stages. Girltank has three main components—connect, inspire, and fund. Girltank sets up a forum for girls interested in similar causes to find each other and collaborate, and is supported by a variety of workshops that encourage the exchange of ideas. For the second component, inspire, Tara produced an eclectic database of clips featuring girls and women both in the U.S. and abroad discussing vulnerabilities and issues they face with their respective projects. It’s an inspiring resource for anyone looking to get started. The third and all-important component is its crowd-funding platform poised to funnel financial support from its partners to the most promising ventures. To date, girltank’s community, comprised of women of all ages, represents more than 105 countries and every economic, racial, and religious background.

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




Euro MPs back large-scale fishing reform to save stocks
2013-02-06, BBC News
Posted: 2013-07-23 08:38:18
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21352617

The European Parliament has voted for sweeping reforms of the controversial EU Common Fisheries Policy [CFP]. The package includes measures to protect endangered stocks and end discards - the practice of throwing unwanted dead fish into the sea. Wasteful discards are reckoned to account for a quarter of total catches under the current quota system. With an estimated 75% of Europe’s stocks overfished, there has been enormous public and media pressure over this latest attempt to shake up the CFP. The BBC's environment analyst Roger Harrabin says the vote is something of a victory for citizen power, following organised lobbying of MEPs by ordinary people, as well as by high-profile celebrity chefs and environmentalists. The reform package was presented to the full parliament in Strasbourg by the German Social Democrat MEP Ulrike Rodust. She said the reforms “will bring an end to the December ritual of fisheries ministers negotiating until 4am, neglecting scientific advice and setting too high fishing quotas. “As of 2015, the principle of maximum sustainable yield shall apply, which means that each year we do not harvest more fish than a stock can reproduce. Our objective is that depleted fish stocks recover by 2020. Not only nature will benefit, but also fishermen: bigger stocks produce higher yields.” MEPs have made some tough choices. For instance, they had an option to vote for maximum sustainable yield - that is taking as much fish as the sea can reproduce annually. They demanded instead that fisheries should be allowed to grow, rather than to stay at their current depleted level.

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




Top 10 Crowdfunding Sites For Fundraising
2013-05-08, Forbes
Posted: 2013-07-23 08:36:30
http://www.forbes.com/sites/chancebarnett/2013/05/08/top-10-crowdfunding-site...

Collaboration on the web is an area of exponential growth. Crowdfunding, or collaborative funding via the web, is one of the standouts for growth in this evolving collaborative economy. There are 2 main models or types of crowdfunding. The first is what’s called donation-based funding. The second and more recent model is investment crowdfunding. Business owners are using different crowdfunding sites than musicians. Musicians are using different sites from causes and charities. Below is a list of crowdfunding sites that have different models and focuses. 1. Kickstarter -- is a site where creative projects raise donation-based funding. These projects can range from new creative products, like an art installation ... to pre-selling a music album. It’s not for businesses, causes, charities, or personal financing needs. 2. Indiegogo -- approves donation-based fundraising campaigns for most anything — music, hobbyists, personal finance needs, charities and whatever else you could think of (except investment). 3. Crowdfunder -- is the crowdfunding platform for businesses, with a growing social network of investors, tech startups, small businesses, and social enterprises (financially sustainable/profitable businesses with social impact goals). 4. RocketHub -- powers donation-based funding for a wide variety of creative projects. 5. Crowdrise -- is a place for donation-based funding for Causes and Charity. They’ve attracted a community of do-gooders and and fund all kinds of inspiring causes and needs.

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
Posted: 2013-07-23 08:35:18
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
Posted: 2013-07-16 09:25:37
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.




World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim: 'They said poverty would always be with us. Well, maybe not'
2013-07-07, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-07-16 09:19:08
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/world-bank-chief-jim-yong-k...

Jim Yong Kim [is] the first man from outside the discipline of economics to take the helm at the World Bank. Having just celebrated his first year in charge, the Korean-American medical expert has refocused the world’s premier development bank on ending extreme poverty. The World Bank leader prefers to dwell on the positives. Global poverty, defined by the bank as living on $1.25 or less per day, was halved five years ahead of schedule. The next phase is to lift the remaining 20 per cent of the world’s population out of extreme poverty by 2030. “The efforts to end poverty have been really significant,” says Mr Kim. “They said poverty would always be with us. Well, maybe not.” A proportion of people – he estimates three per cent – will remain below the poverty line due to natural disasters and their related aftermaths, but otherwise “extreme poverty will be gone from the earth”. His appointment to the World Bank last year was not universally welcomed. Many observers resented his imposition by the United States over popular candidates from Africa and Latin America, while others worried that he was not an economist. They pointed to his presence at protests against the World Bank in 1993. Mr Kim now says that it was the lender’s “one size fits all” approach to economies that he objected to. As well as aiming to end poverty, the bank has set itself the task of tracking the progress of the bottom 40 per cent in every country as a means of measuring social mobility and equality.

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





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