Friday, July 31, 2009

30 KILLED IN IRAQ BLASTS

BOMBS OUTSIDE MOSQUES
IN BAGHDAD KILL AT LEAST 30
BAGHDAD — Bombs exploded near five Shiite mosques around Baghdad within 45 minutes on Friday as worshipers attended prayer services, killing at least 30 people in what appeared to be a coordinated attack against followers of the anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr, Iraqi officials and a Sadr aide said. The bombs, which the police said were hidden just outside the mosques, tore through the Friday calm in five predominantly Shiite working-class neighborhoods, three of them on the east side of the city, one in the south and one in the north. A total of 136 people were reported wounded in the attacks, according an official from the Interior Ministry who spoke under customary condition of anonymity.

Officials said that highest death toll was outside the Shuroofi mosque in the north, in the district of Shaab. Once controlled by a militia loyal to Mr. Sadr, the mosque had in recent years been taken over by the national police, so Sadr loyalists pray outside in the street. Initial reports indicated that 23 people died in the attack and 107 were wounded. Shortly after the bombing, prayer mats, beads, shoes and umbrellas used for shade from the midday sun were scattered along the street. Women wailed. Witnesses said the explosion had been caused by a bomb hidden in a parked car on a road where several hundred people had gathered to pray. A young witness said “It was a horrific scene,” “People lost their limbs, and some had their faces blown off. I haven’t seen anything like this.”

The second most deadly bombing Friday took place at Al Rasool Mosque in the Diyala Bridge neighborhood of east Baghdad. Five people died when two bombs exploded in quick succession there, and 15 were wounded. While there have been numerous attacks on Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad and in predominantly Shiite marketplaces, attacks on the city’s mosques have been infrequent in recent months. Although violence has declined significantly since the worst of Iraq’s sectarian conflict in 2006 and 2007, attacks continue almost daily against Iraqi forces, and an intermittent pattern of major attacks continues to wreak havoc, often aimed at civilians in markets and other public places.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
The body is not the self; we are different from the body, and therefore there is no question of friends, enemies or responsibilities in terms of the bodily conception of life. One should not be very anxious about the body's changing from childhood to boyhood, from boyhood to old age and then to apparent annihilation. Rather, one should be very seriously concerned about the soul within the body and how to release the soul from the material clutches. The living entity within the body is never annihilated; therefore one should surely know that whether one has many friends or many enemies, his friends cannot help him, and his enemies cannot do him any harm. One should know that he is a spirit soul (aham brahmāsmi) and that the constitutional position of the soul is unaffected by the changes of the body. In all circumstances, everyone, as a spirit soul, must be a devotee of Lord Visnu and should not be concerned with bodily relationships, whether with friends or with enemies. One should know that neither we ourselves nor our enemies in the bodily conception of life are ever killed.
Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 6 - Chapter 10 - Verse 32"

Thursday, July 30, 2009

NIGERIAN TROOPS PUT EXTREMISTS TO FLIGHT

ISLAMISTS EXTREMISTS FLEE
AFTER ASSAULT BY NIGERIAN FORCES
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Nigerian forces on Thursday put Islamist extremists to flight after a brutal all-out assault on their northern stronghold to crush a five-day uprising that left hundreds dead. After days of fighting in the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, government forces claimed Thursday to have killed the deputy leader of a fundamentalist Islamic sect in a climactic gun battle that forced the leader of the insurgents to flee, news reports said. Troops raided the Islamists headquarters in the northern city of Maiduguri, killing some 200 followers of the self-styled Taliban sect along with its deputy leader. "The military is in control," defence spokesman colonel Mohammed Yerima told a news conference in the federal capital Abuja. Maiduguri has seen the worst of the unrest in northern Nigeria which started on Sunday in nearby Bauchi state. At least 600 people have been killed in the five days of clashes between security forces and militants in Borno and three other northern states, according to figures from police and witnesses. The military was unable to give details on casualties. Police spokesman in Maiduguri Isa Azare told AFP that 180 women and children "kidnapped" from parts of the country's north by the extremists had been rescued and would be reunited with their families.

Troops pounded the extremist sect's base in Maiduguri throughout the night and then gunned down followers as they tried to flee in the morning, witnesses and security sources said. An AFP reporter saw dozens of bodies strewn on the grounds leading to Bayan Quarters, the Talibans base and epicentre of Wednesday's bloodbath. Earlier Mustapha Isa, a Daily Trust newspaper journalist said he counted the bodies of 90 Taliban followers after the troops had finished pounding a building and nearby mosque where the die-hard supporters of Yusuf had holed up. A source at a Maiduguri hospital said "the corpses are countless." "Some of them are still lying in the streets and around the police headquarters," the source said.

The Taliban emerged in 2002 in Maiduguri before setting up a camp on the border with Niger, from where they launched a series of attacks on the police. The leadership has previously said it intends to lead an armed insurrection and rid the society of "immorality" and "infidelity". Police sources said nationals from Niger and possibly Chad had fought alongside the Nigerian militants during the clashes this week. The unrest is the deadliest in Nigeria since November last year when human rights groups say up to 700 were killed in the central city of Jos in direct clashes between Muslims and Christians.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
This material world is called the world of death. Every living being, beginning from Brahmā, whose duration of life is some thousands of millions of years, down to the germs who live for a few seconds only, is struggling for existence. Therefore, this life is a sort of fight with material nature, which imposes death upon all. In the human form of life, a living being is competent enough to come to an understanding of this great struggle for existence, but being too attached to family members, society, country, etc., he wants to win over the invincible material nature by the aid of bodily strength, children, wife, relatives, etc. Although he is sufficiently experienced in the matter by dint of past experience and previous examples of his deceased predecessors, he does not see that the so-called fighting soldiers like the children, relatives, society members and countrymen are all fallible in the great struggle. One should examine the fact that his father or his father's father has already died, and that he himself is therefore also sure to die, and similarly, his children, who are the would be fathers of their children, will also die in due course. No one will survive in this struggle with material nature.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 6 - Chapter 7 - Verse 14"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

DEMOCRACY LEADER FACES MYANMAR TRIAL VERDICT

PRISON LOOMS FOR AUNG SAN SUU KYI
AS BURMA SHOW TRIAL DRAWS TO A CLOSE
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — After several delays, the trial of Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi entered its final phase Friday as her lawyer delivered closing arguments under tight security at Yangon's Insein Prison. A day after democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi murmured in court that the verdict in her trial was already "painfully obvious," Myanmar's junta-run state media warned Wednesday against making predictions of a guilty verdict in the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi, even as it suggested that the democracy leader had broken the law. On Tuesday, lawyers gave their closing arguments in the high-profile proceedings against Suu Kyi, who is accused of violating the terms of her house arrest by harboring an American who swam uninvited to her lakeside home and stayed for two days.

The 64-year-old Nobel Peace laureate faces a jail term of five years over a bizarre incident in which an American man, named Yettaw, swam uninvited to her lakeside house. Yettaw is charged as an accomplice in violating the terms of Suu Kyi's house arrest and could also be sent to prison for five years. He has pleaded not guilty, and explained in court his aim had been to warn Suu Kyi because he feared she would be assassinated. She is widely expected to be convicted, although there has been speculation she may serve her sentence under house arrest rather than in jail.

Suu Kyi emerged as a democracy icon during a popular uprising in 1988 that the military — which has ruled since 1962 — brutally suppressed. Her party won national elections in 1990, but Myanmar's generals refused to relinquish power. Critics say the trial is part of a plan to keep Aung San Suu Kyi in jail during next year's election. Myanmar's detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said she expects the outcome of her trial will be "painfully obvious" when judges deliver their verdict on Friday. International pressure to release Suu Kyi has been mounting. At a meeting of southeast Asian nations in Thailand, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke on Suu Kyi's behalf.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
Some of the living entities are relatively happy in better conditions of life, whereas others are in distressed conditions of life. But factually, none of them are actually happy in material conditional life. No one can be happy in prison life, although one may be a first-class prisoner and another a third-class prisoner. The intelligent person should not try to be promoted from third-class prison life to first-class prison life, but should try to be released from the prison altogether. One may be promoted to first-class prisoner, but the same first-class prisoner is again degraded to a third-class prisoner in the next term. One should try to be free from prison life and go back home, back to Godhead. That is the real goal for all types of living entities.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 2 - Chapter 10 - Verses 37-40"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

DOZENS MISSING AFTER HAITIAN BOAT SINKS

HAITIAN MIGRANT SHIPWRECK
KILLS 15, DOZENS MISSING

MIAMI, July 28 (Reuters) - At least 15 Haitian migrants drowned and more than 65 were missing after their wooden sail boat hit a reef and sank off the Turks and Caicos islands, local police and the U.S. Coast Guard said on Tuesday. More than 120 people were rescued following the shipwreck late on Sunday, and Coast Guard cutters and aircraft were assisting Turks and Caicos authorities in the search for more survivors. Police in the British territory said 15 bodies had been recovered in waters off West Caicos, a sparsely inhabited island popular with divers and boaters.

They are illegal immigrants, who are escaping from poverty. These Haitian migrants often leave their impoverished Caribbean country in dangerously crowded boats, hoping to escape poverty and find work in the Bahamas or Florida. The Turks and Caicos islands are a British territory in the Atlantic Ocean, between the southern Bahamas and the north coast of Haiti. Last week, the Coast Guard intercepted 124 Haitian migrants from what they called a "grossly overloaded" 60-foot (18-metre) boat about 150 miles (240 km) southwest of the shipwreck site. They were repatriated to Haiti on Monday.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
Back to Godhead means one must be completely pure. A slight impurity will not allow. Kingdom of God is so, that no impure person can enter. Just like in your country. You belong to USA.? There are... In every country, there are so many. Especially in your country, there are so many immigrants, immigration authorities to check whether contamination... Even they do not allow plants to be carried. Is it not? From one port to another. Why? Checking the contamination. So if in this material world such strict checkings are there, don't you think that one who enters, one who wants to enter the kingdom of God, there is no checking? Anyone will be able to enter? It is a commonsense affair. So kingdom of God means purity. So if there is slight impurity, he will not be allowed: "Keep aside." And it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, yesam anta-gatam papam (BG 7. 28)."

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"Lecture on the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 6, Chapter 1, Verses 34-39"
Lecture given in Surat, on December 19, 1970

NIGERIA: ISLAMISTS ATTACK POLICE

TIGHT SECURITY CONTOL
AFTER NIGERIA ISLAMIC UNREST

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters - AFP) - Members of a local Islamic group which wants a wider adoption of Islamic law (sharia) across Africa's most populous nation have burnt churches, a police station and a prison and clashed with the security forces in Bauchi, Borno, Kano and Yobe states, which a result of at least 80 people killed across four states. Residents said youths armed with machetes, knives, bows and arrows, locally made hunting rifles and home-made explosives had attacked police buildings and anybody resembling a police officer or government official in Borno's capital Maiduguri.

Armed police manned roadblocks and patrolled the streets of Kano on Tuesday but the city appeared to be calm. Soldiers and police also enforced a night time curfew in Bauchi, where the unrest began on Sunday, but there was no fresh violence. The government has estimated 55 people have been killed but security sources and residents say the toll is much higher. One Nigerian newspaper with reporters around the region put the death toll at over 150 in Borno and Kano states alone.

A rebel group called Boko Haram, which opposes Western education and demands the adoption of sharia law in all of Nigeria, is behind the latest unrest. "We do not believe in Western education. It corrupts our ideas and beliefs. That is why we are standing up to defend our religion," a senior member of the group, Abdulmuni Ibrahim Mohammed, told Reuters on Monday after his arrest in Kano state. More than 50 Nigerians were killed and over 100 arrested in those clashes, prompting the Bauchi state governor to impose a night time curfew on the state's capital city.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
If one is actually Krishna conscious, he cannot have any enemies. Since his only engagement is to induce others to surrender to Krishna, or God, how can he have enemies? If one advocates the Hindu religion, the Muslim religion, the Christian religion, this religion or that religion, there will be conflicts. History shows that the followers of religious systems without a clear conception of God have fought with one another. There are many instances of this in human history, but systems of religion that do not concentrate upon service to the Supreme are temporary and cannot last for long because they are full of envy. There are many activities directed against such religious systems, and therefore one must give up the idea of "my belief" and "your belief." Everyone should believe in God and surrender unto Him. That is bhāgavata-dharma.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 6 - Chapter 16 - Verse 41"

Monday, July 27, 2009

ECUADOR: MILITARY RESPONSE IF COLOMBIA ATTACKS AGAIN,

CORREA WARNS IF COLOMBIA ATTACKS AGAIN,
ECUADOR RESPONSE WILL BE MILITARY

QUITO (Colombia Reports) - Ecuador President Rafael Correa said on Sunday that if Colombia carries out another cross-border attack like the one on a FARC camp in 2008, Ecuador's response will be military. When asked on local television, the President said he will not "allow an insult to the homeland as happened on March 1 2008 in Angostura", referring to an incident in which Colombia bombed a FARC camp just over the Ecuadorean border, klling 26 people including the rebel's number two, Raul Reyes. According to Correa, a military response is the only possible way for Ecuador to respond. "Colombia was totally condemned [by the Organization of American States], but they continue to have this attitude," Correa said. "If they attack us again, of course the response will be military," stressing a repercussion would consist of "smart bombs" fired on Colombian territory.

Ecuador said his government would also not allow the incursion of any of Colombia's illegal armed groups to enter the country and distanced himself from the practices of the FARC.
Colombian and Ecuadorean ties have been strained after the Colombian bombing of a FARC camp in Ecuador. The release of a video in which a FARC commander confirms Colombian allegations that the guerrillas financially supported the 2006 campaign of Correa has worsened the relations even further.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
The kings and the princes released by Lord Krishna after the death of Jarasandha were rulers of different parts of the world. All the princes who saw Lord Krishna forgot all their past tribulations. With folded hands and with great devotion, they began to offer prayers to Lord Krishna, as follows:

"O Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, we must admit that, before this, we were puffed up with our material opulences. Because we were all envious of each other and wanted to conquer one another, we all engaged in fighting for supremacy, even at the cost of sacrificing the lives of many citizens."

This is the disease of political power. As soon as a king or a nation becomes rich in material opulences, he wants to dominate other nations by military aggression. Similarly, mercantile men want to monopolize a certain type of business and control other mercantile groups. Degraded by false prestige and infatuated by material opulences, human society, instead of striving for Krishna consciousness, creates havoc and disrupts peaceful living. Thus men naturally forget the real purpose of life: to attain the favor of Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"
Krishna Book , Chapter 72 - Lord Krishna Returns to the City of Hastinapura"

INDIA LAUNCHES NUCLEAR SUBMARINE

INDIA LAUNCHES NUCLEAR
POWERED SUBMARINE FOR TRIALS

NEW DELHI — India launched its first nuclear-powered submarine in a ceremony in southern port city of Vishakhapatnam on Sunday, becoming one of just six nations in the world to have successfully built one. After years of relying on rented Russian submarines, the government unveiled the 367-foot Arihant, which means “destroyer of enemies” in Hindi. The new vessel is part of a broad effort by the Indian government to create a military that matches India’s rising global stature. It is said the launch is an important technological step putting India in a small group of nations capable of designing and building nuclear-powered submarines.

Arihant is powered by a nuclear reactor, and will be armed with ballistic missiles, it will carry a crew of about 100 men and it would be capable of carrying nuclear weapons, however Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who attended the ceremony, said that it was not built to threaten India’s neighbors.“We do not have any aggressive designs,” he said. “We seek an external environment in our region and beyond that is conducive to our peaceful development and the protection of our value systems.”


India has not signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, arguing that the current list of accepted nuclear powers does not reflect reality. But after years of isolating India because of its nuclear program, the United States has moved in recent years toward closer ties, and in 2008 the Bush administration agreed to trade civilian nuclear power equipment with India in exchange for greater monitoring. India agreed to allow international inspection of its civilian nuclear reactors. Pakistan, India’s neighbor to the west, also has nuclear weapons, and the two countries have fought three wars since the partition of British-ruled India produced the two nations in 1947, making the region perhaps the most dangerous nuclear flashpoint in the world.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
We, the conditioned souls, have fallen in the ocean of nescience, but the human body fortunately provides us a good opportunity to cross the ocean because the human body is like a very good boat. When directed by a spiritual master acting as the captain, the boat can very easily cross the ocean. Furthermore, the boat is helped across by favorable winds, which are the instructions of Vedic knowledge. If one does not take advantage of all these facilities to cross the ocean of nescience, he is certainly committing suicide.

All of human society is in such a dangerous position that to be rescued it must abide by the standard instructions of the Vedas. The cream of these instructions appears in the form of Bhagavad-gītā.
One should not take shelter of any other instructions, for Bhagavad-gītā gives direct instructions on how to fulfill the aim of human life. Lord Śrī Krishna therefore says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam śaranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] "Give up all other processes of religion and simply surrender to Me."

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 6 - Chapter 7 - Verse 14"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

IRANIAN OPPOSITION LEADERS REQUEST CEREMONY

OPPOSITION ASKS PERMISSION TO HOLD MEMORIAL SERVICE
FOR VICTIMS OF POST-ELECTION UNREST

TEHRAN, Iran – The top aide to Iran's opposition leader says his boss has requested permission from authorities to hold a memorial service for victims of post-election unrest. Ali Reza Beheshti told The Associated Press Sunday that Mir Hossein Mousavi signed the request with Mahdi Karroubi, the other reformist candidate in last month's disputed presidential election. Mousavi has said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory was fraudulent.Beheshti said the two requested a memorial Thursday in a Tehran mosque to recite the Quran, the Muslim holy book, and hold moments of silence. Police have said at least 20 people were killed in the post-election unrest. Pro-reform Web sites have reported families of slain protesters have been banned from mourning publicly.

The reformists compared the regime's crackdown to that of the late shah of Iran, remembered in the country for his brutal secret police, with one opposition leader even tactics were worse than those used by the Israelis against the Palestinians. The reformists criticized the regime's actions in the letter they sent to the clerics, saying "they have resorted to illegal, immoral and un-Islamic methods to obtain confessions." "What legal, Islamic or human rights code can justify the repeated torture of those who live under the banner of Islam?" it said. The letter said the repressive methods used to obtain confessions were reminiscent of the methods employed by Iran's former shah, who was toppled by the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
"Vritrāsura said: All living entities who have taken birth in this material world must die. Surely, no one in this world has found any means to be saved from death. Even providence has not provided a means to escape it. Under the circumstances, death being inevitable, if one can gain promotion to the higher planetary systems and be always celebrated here by dying a suitable death, what man will not accept such a glorious death?"
Srimad Bhagavatam - 6 - 10 - 32.
If by dying one can be elevated to the higher planetary systems and be ever-famous after his death, who is so foolish that he will refuse such a glorious death? Similar advice was also given by Krishna to Arjuna. "My dear Arjuna," the Lord said, "do not desist from fighting. If you gain victory in the fight, you will enjoy a kingdom, and even if you die you will be elevated to the heavenly planets." Everyone should be ready to die while performing glorious deeds. A glorious person is not meant to meet death like cats and dogs.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 6 - Chapter 10 - Verse 32"

Saturday, July 25, 2009

HONDURAS’ OUSTED PRESIDENT BRIEFLY RETURNS

OUSTED HONDURAN PRESIDENT
RETURNS TO NICARAGUA

LAS MANOS, Nicaragua (CNN) - Ousted Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya returned to Nicaragua late Friday night after briefly entering his home country from which he was removed in a military coup nearly a month ago. In a purely symbolic move, Manuel Zelaya crosses the border with Nicaragua but stays only about 30 minutes. He decided to go after crisis-resolution talks broke down. The Honduran government said it would arrest Zelaya if he pushed further into the nation and would ask the International Red Cross to monitor his treatment. Provisional President Roberto Micheletti, who was sworn in hours after Zelaya was removed from office on June 28, said Friday night his country was willing to continue negotiations. Micheletti said Zelaya had no intention of returning to Honduras, where he faced certain arrest by the national police.

Zelaya went back to Nicaragua, and provisional President Micheletti said Zelalya will keep causing problems. "We have received information that they want to continue with these type of actions that only incite the public," he said.
In his trademark white cowboy hat and a black leather vest, Zelaya drove a white Jeep from the northern Nicaraguan city of Esteli to the border, ahead of a long motorcade. At the Las Manos crossing, he waded through a phalanx of television cameras and loudly chanting supporters, giving one interview after another on his cellphone."Allow me to return to my country," Zelaya said, directly addressing his nation's police and army. "To embrace my fellow countrymen, my children, my wife, my mother."

Honduran police and soldiers set up numerous roadblocks between Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, and the border, and established an immediate curfew in the area until 4:30 a.m. Zelaya supporters surged toward the blockade. Shootings came and troops fired tear gas in an effort to disperse the crowd. No serious injuries were reported.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
In the modern setup of the democratic states, the people themselves are fallen to the qualities of the śūdras or less, and the government is run by their representative, who is ignorant of the scriptural mode of administrative education. Thus the whole atmosphere is surcharged with śūdra qualities, manifested by lust and avarice. Such administrators quarrel every day among themselves. The cabinet of ministers changes often due to party and group selfishness. Everyone wants to exploit the state resources till he dies. No one retires from political life unless forced to do so. How can such low-grade men do good to the people? The result is corruption, intrigue and hypocrisy. They should learn from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam how ideal the administrators must be before they can be given charge of different posts.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 1 - Chapter 12 - Verse 18"

Friday, July 24, 2009

STRANGE! HUMANS GLOW IN VISIBLE LIGHT

RESEARCH: SCIENTISTS REVEAL
HUMAN BODY EMITS VISIBLE LIHT

LiveScience.com - Yahoo News . The human body literally glows, emitting a visible light in extremely small quantities at levels that rise and fall with the day, scientists now reveal. Past research has shown that the body emits visible light, 1,000 times less intense than the levels to which our naked eyes are sensitive. In fact, virtually all living creatures emit very weak light, which is thought to be a byproduct of biochemical reactions involving free radicals. (This visible light differs from the infrared radiation, an invisible form of light, that comes from body heat.)

To learn more about this faint visible light, scientists at Kyoto University in Japan employed extraordinarily sensitive cameras capable of detecting single photons. The researchers found the body glow rose and fell over the day. These findings suggest there is light emission linked to our body clocks, most likely due to how our metabolic rhythms fluctuate over the course of the day. Since this faint light is linked with the body's metabolism, then these cameras which spot the weak emissions could help spot medical conditions, said researcher Hitoshi Okamura, a circadian biologist at Kyoto University in Japan.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
In the Vedānta-sūtras the living entity is qualified as light because he is part and parcel of the supreme light. As sunlight maintains the entire universe, so the light of the soul maintains this material body. As soon as the spirit soul is out of this material body, the body begins to decompose; therefore it is the spirit soul which maintains this body. The body itself is unimportant.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"
Bhagavad-gītā As It Is - Purport in Chapter 2 - Verse 18"

In the process of evolution from the lower to the higher grade of living, the human form of life is a great boon. But māyā is so strong that in spite of achieving this great boon of the human form of life, we are influenced by temporary material happiness, and we forget our goal of life. We are attracted by things which will cease to exist. The beginning of such attraction is the temporary body.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 4 - Chapter 7 - Verse 44"

FAMILY SUES McDONALD's, CLAIMS FOODBORNE ILLNESS

McDONALD's SUED AFTER
DINER GETS HEPATITIS A

LOS ANGELES -(Reuters) - The parents of a teenage boy who allegedly contracted hepatitis A after eating at a McDonald's Corp restaurant in Milan, Illinois, have sued and are seeking damages and other relief. The lawsuit against the fast-food giant was filed on Thursday in the Circuit Court of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit of Rock Island County, Illinois. It claims that on July 12 -- weeks after eating at the Milan McDonald's -- 16-year-old Dillon Mrasak came down with a very high fever, aches and fatigue. The teen was hospitalized and tested positive for hepatitis A, a highly contagious liver infection. Hepatitis A is most often contracted from food or water contaminated with the virus - which is present in the stool of people who are infected - or from close contact with an infected person. It can take two to seven weeks before symptoms appear.

Two workers who handled food at the McDonald's operated by franchisee and co-defendant Kevin Murphy are among those who have fallen ill in the outbreak that has sickened more than 20 people in Illinois and Iowa. According to press reports, a Milan McDonald's worker was hospitalized on June 16 and subsequently diagnosed with Hepatitis A. That worker, who handled food while she was infectious, said she informed her manager of the diagnosis. Restaurant operator Murphy said he learned of the outbreak from the health department on July 13. The Milan McDonald's closed its doors on July 15 and reopened on July 18. The Rock Island County Health Department is investigating after receiving its first report of illness on July 10.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
The purpose of food is to increase the duration of life, purify the mind and aid bodily strength. This is its only purpose. In the past, great authorities selected those foods that best aid health and increase life's duration, such as milk products, sugar, rice, wheat, fruits and vegetables. These foods are very dear to those in the mode of goodness.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"
Bhagavad-gītā As It Is - Purport in Chapter 17 - Verse 10"

If we take food from the houses of others, such as karmīs, we shall have to share the qualities of those from whom we take alms. Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took prasādam in the houses of Vaiṣṇavas. This is the general process. The members of the Krishna consciousness movement are advised not to take food from anywhere but a Vaiṣṇava's or brāhmana's house where Deity worship is performed. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said, visayīra anna khāile dusta haya mana: "if a devotee takes alms or food from the house of a karmī who is simply interested in money, his mind will become unclean".

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"
Sri Caitanya-caritamrita - Purport in Antya-lila - Chapter 3 - Verse 101"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

PARAGUAY: MERCOSUR SUMMIT BEGINS

MERCOSUR, PRESIDENTIAL SUMMIT
BEGINS TODAY IN PARAGUAY

PARAGUAY (Télam) - The Mercosur summit begins with the participation of its four full members and of a fifth country that has applied for full membership. At least ten chiefs of state are scheduled to participate in this Mercosur summit which is hosted by Paraguay. During the summit Paraguay will hand the Mercosur rotating chair to Uruguay for the next six months. "Presidents from Mercosur full members, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and associate members, Chile and Bolivia have confirmed their participation," said Paraguyan Foreign Affairs minister Hector Lacognata. Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez has also been announced in Asunción.

Chavez requested incorporation as a full member in 2006, and was quickly approved by the congresses of Argentina and Uruguay. However the Venezuelan request is still pending approval from the Brazilian and Paraguayan legislative branches.
This summit is held at a time when Mercosur is undergoing some problems and shows stagnation regarding such important issues as the incorporation of Venezuela as full member, or the adoption of a common Customs Code.

Other new issues will also be part of the agenda, as the Influenza A epidemic affecting the region, and also a resolution condemning the Honduran coup d’etat is also expected. The defacto regime has so far only been recognized by Israel and Taiwan.
Paraguay and Uruguay are expected to make strong presentations during the summit given the growing difficulties to access the Argentine and Brazilian markets. In anticipation of the summit the Paraguayan government held a round of meetings where the different sectors of the economy discussed Mercosur, achievements and shortcomings. Mercosur was formally launched in March 1991, precisely in Asuncion.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
Politics involves accepting one group of men as enemies and another group as friends. Everything in politics is based on this philosophy, and the entire world, especially at the present, is engrossed in it. The public is concerned with friendly countries and friendly groups or enemy countries and enemy groups, but as stated in Bhagavad-gītā, a learned person does not make distinctions between enemies and friends. Devotees, especially, do not create friends and enemies. A devotee sees that every living being is part and parcel of Krishna (mamaivāmśo jīva-bhūtah).

mamaivāmśo jīva-loke
jīva-bhūtah sanātanah
manah-sasthānīndriyāni
prakriti-sthāni karsatī


"The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind." - (Bhagavad-gītā 15.7)

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 7 - Chapter 5 - Verse 3"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

ITALY: ‘I’M NO SAINT’, SAID BERLUSCONI

ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER BERLUSCONI SAYS
"I’M NO SAINT" IN RESPONSE TO TAPES WITH ESCORT

ROME - (Bloomberg) - Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (72) said he’s “no saint” after an Italian magazine released more tapes of what it said were conversations between Italy’s leader and a high-priced call girl. L’Espresso news magazine yesterday published for a second day tapes purporting to show Berlusconi talking with Patrizia D’Addario, who claims to have been paid to attend parties with the premier. The tapes appear to describe details of her spending the night with Berlusconi at his Rome residence.

L’Espresso and newspaper la Repubblica, opposition publications that belong to the same media group, have linked Berlusconi to paid escorts since his wife Veronica Lario asked for a divorce in May and accused him of frequenting “underage females.” Much of the material regarding Berlusconi’s alleged activities is part of a criminal probe into prostitution and corruption in the southern city of Bari. Berlusconi himself is not being investigated. Later Berlusconi spoke to a meeting of the executive of his People of Freedom Party and said that the attacks on him “don’t touch me”.


The scandals are starting to take a toll on the prime minister’s popularity. After La Repubblica published a new poll showing that Mr Berlusconi’s popularity had fallen below 50 per cent for the first time since he was re-elected a year ago. Berlusconi’s approval rating fell to 49 percent from 53 percent the previous month, according to an IPR Marketing poll released yesterday. That’s the lowest since he returned to power for a third time in May 2008.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
A man sleeps very soundly when he is greatly fatigued, and when a rich man is greatly fatigued he goes to his garden house with many female friends and there enters the water and enjoys their company. Such is the tendency of the living entity within this material world. A living entity is never satisfied with a woman unless he is trained in the system of brahmacarya. Generally a man's tendency is to enjoy many women, and even at the very end of life the sex impulse is so strong that even though one is very old he still wants to enjoy the company of young girls. Thus because of the strong sex impulse the living entity becomes more and more involved in this material world.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 4 - Chapter 12 - Verse 26"

PERU: WORRIED ABOUT CHILE'S ARMS RACE

PERU HAS DENOUNCED CHILE’S ARMS RACE
CHILE BUYS MORE WEAPONS BUT DENIES ACCUSATIONS

Lima, Jul. 21 (ANDINA).- Peru’s Foreign Minister José Antonio García Belaunde urged more social mobilization efforts to prevent arms race in the region, as consequence of Chile’s increased military expenses. He said Peru is worried about the military expenses of the southern country and said this trigger an arms race. However, he rejected that these purchases constitute a sort of arms race, when asked about whether Peru, Argentina, and Bolivia should react to this situation. “I think there should be more social mobilization efforts, because we can’t enter a process of arms race with all the needs we have,” he told Peru 21daily newspaper. “I wouldn’t say there is a cold war, but there is an incitement for an arms race,” he said.

CHILE DENIES ARMS RACE
: Chilean Chancellor Mariano Fernandez strongly denied that recent Chilean weapons acquisitions could alter the South American military balance, he said that Chilean short and medium military equipment purchases “were not part of an arms race”. In this way he denied that Chile is driving an arms race on the continent by acquiring new weapons, but "it is just a normal process of modernisation" of its naval fleet and Army.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
The asuras want to enjoy a life of sense gratification, even at the cost of others' happiness. In order to fulfill this ambition, the asuras, especially atheistic kings or state executive heads, try to equip themselves with all kinds of deadly weapons to bring about a war in a peaceful society. They have no ambition other than personal aggrandizement, and thus mother earth feels overburdened by such undue increases of military strength. By increase of the asuric population, those who follow the principles of religion become unhappy, especially the devotees, or devas.

In such a situation, the Personality of Godhead incarnates to vanquish the unwanted asuras and to reestablish the true principles of religion. This was the mission of Lord Śrī Krishna, and He fulfilled it.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 1 - Chapter 16 - Verse 34"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

ASIA PREPARES FOR LONGEST SOLAR ECLIPSE


JULY 22, TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE OF THE YEAR
TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN IN INDIA
India (AP) – A Total Solar Eclipse will be visible in India on July 22, 2009 from early morning 05:28 hrs to 07:40 hrs (Indian Standard Time). The total solar eclipse will last nearly four minutes — from 6.26 am to 6.30 am — in India and the sun will not be visible at all. According to NASA, the solar eclipse on July 22, 2009 is a ‘Total Solar Eclipse’ and the Moon's umbral shadow on Sun begins in India and crosses through Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, China and ends in the Pacific Ocean. It is the longest total solar eclipse in the 21st century and will not surpass in duration until next 123 years.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon is caught between the sun and the Earth while each of them moves along their fixed orbits. Astronomers hope the eclipse would help to improve their understanding of the sun as it would offer a prolonged view of the sun's corona. The total solar eclipse in India will be visible in regions around Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Surat (Gujarat), Darjeeling (West Bengal), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) and Patna (Bihar). Majority of the regions in India will not have a view of the Total solar eclipse. Vast swathes of India and China and the southern Japanese islands are to be plunged into darkness for more than six minutes. Thousands of amateur stargazers and scientists have travelled to what were expected to be the best places to observe the eclipse. Millions of people across Asia will witness the longest total solar eclipse expected this century early on Wednesday. Meanwhile an astrologer in Burma predicted the event could usher in chaos. Some in India advised pregnant relatives to stay indoors to follow a centuries-old tradition of avoiding the sun's invisible rays.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
After His separation from Vṛndāvana and the innocent rural cowherd boys, girls, ladies and others, they all felt shock throughout their lives, and the separation of Rādhārāṇī, the most beloved cowherd girl, is beyond expression. Once they met at Kurukṣetra during a solar eclipse, and the feeling which was expressed by them is heartrending.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"
The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 1 - Chapter 10 - Verses 9 & 10"

Krishna, Baladeva and Subhadrā are represented in the famous Jagannātha temple of Purī, and the temple is still visited by thousands of pilgrims daily. This temple is in remembrance of the Lord's visit at Kuruksetra during an occasion of solar eclipse and His subsequent meeting with the residents of Vrindāvana. The meeting of Rādhā and Krishna during this occasion is a very pathetic story, and Lord Śrī Caitanya, in the ecstasy of Rādhārāṇī, always pined for Lord Śrī Krishna at Jagannātha Purī.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"
The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 1 - Chapter 13 - Verses 3 & 4"

When the gopīs of Vrindāvana, the residents of Gokula, met Krishna at Kuruksetra during the solar eclipse, they wanted to take Krishna back to Vrindāvana. Śrī Krishna Caitanya Mahāprabhu also felt the same ecstasy as soon as He saw Jagannātha in the temple or on the Ratha-yātrā car. The gopīs of Vrindāvana did not like the opulence of Dvārakā. They wanted to take Krishna to the village of Vrindāvana and enjoy His company in the groves. This desire was also felt by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and He danced in ecstasy before the Ratha-yātrā festival when Lord Jagannātha went to Gundicā.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"
Sri Caitanya-caritamrita - Purport in Madhya-lila - Chapter 1 - Verse 56"

AFGHANISTAN: TALIBAN SUICIDE BOMBERS ATTACK

14 DIE AS TALIBAN SUICIDE
BOMBERS ATTACK 2 AFGHAN CITIES

KABUL (Reuters) - Eight Taliban militants attacked three government buildings and a U.S. base in two eastern cities Tuesday in near-simultaneous attacks — a signature of major Taliban assaults. Eight insurgents and six Afghan security forces died. Using suicide bombings, gunfire and rockets, the militants attacked the governor's compound, the intelligence department and the police department in the eastern city of Gardez.

A rocket fired into the intelligence department killed three officers, said Ghulam Dastagir, the province's deputy police chief, while a suicide bombing in front of a police station killed two police. A rocket was also fired at the governor's house, he said.
A total of four attackers were shot and killed at the police station and the governor's compound, Dastagir said, including at least two bombers clothed in women's burqas, said Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary. Three militants, meanwhile, tried to attack a U.S. base in a second eastern city at nearly the same time. U.S. and Afghan forces killed two of the assailants at the base near the city of Jalalabad, said the provincial police chief. U.S. military spokesman Lt. Robert Carr said a third attacker was captured.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, claimed 15 militants — all in suicide vests — attacked government centers in Gardez. He said they were carrying AK-47 assault rifles and rockets. Taliban militants over the last year have launched several complex attacks, which usually involve multiple suicide bombers and additional gunmen. They have been launched in Kabul, the capital, and Kandahar, the Taliban's spiritual birthplace. Analysts say al-Qaida fighters provide the training that help militants here to carry out such attacks.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
According to the anthropologists, there is nature's law of struggle for existence and survival of the fittest. But they do not know that behind the law of nature is the supreme direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is confirmed that the law of nature is executed under the direction of the Lord. Whenever, therefore, there is peace in the world, it must be known that it is due to the good will of the Lord. And whenever there is upheaval in the world, it is also due to the supreme will of the Lord. Not a blade of grass moves without the will of the Lord. Whenever, therefore, there is disobedience of the established rules enacted by the Lord, there is war between men and nations.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"
The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 1 - Chapter 15 - Verse 24"

At the present moment, so-called civilized men do not sacrifice animals to a deity in a religious or ritualistic way. They openly kill animals daily by the thousands for no purpose other than the satisfaction of the tongue. Because of this the entire world is suffering in so many ways. Politicians are unnecessarily declaring war, and according to the stringent laws of material nature, massacres are taking place between nations.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"
Sri Caitanya-caritamrita - Purport in Madhya-lila - Chapter 24 - Verse 250"

Monday, July 20, 2009

40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MOON LANDING

OBAMA HOSTS APOLLO 11 CREW TO MARK
40TH ANNIVERSARY OF MOON LANDING

Washington, D.C. (AHN) - President Barack Obama marks the 40th anniversary of the Moon landing on Monday by hosting the crew of the Apollo 11 at the White House. Obama will meet with the former astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins at the Oval Office at 2:00 pm. They will be joined by NASA Administrator Charles Frank Bolden. The meeting marks the exact day in 1969 when Armstrong stepped off the Lunar Excursion Module and became the first man to walk on the Moon. Footage of his and Aldrin's moonwalk, frequently invoked by Obama during the presidential campaign and after assuming office to push his agenda during an economic crisis, have been restored and released by NASA to commemorate the anniversary.

Obama has long been a fan of the space race and America's victory on the Moon. In an April speech to the National Academy of Sciences, Obama touted the works of NASA's Apollo program. "The Apollo program itself produced technologies that have improved kidney dialysis and water purification systems; sensors to test for hazardous gasses; energy-saving building materials; and fire-resistant fabrics used by firefighters and soldiers," Obama explained. "And, more broadly, the enormous investment of that era - in science and technology, in education and research funding - produced a great outpouring of curiosity and creativity, the benefits of which have been incalculable."

Now, meeting with Aldrin, Armstrong and Collins at the White House, the trio are expected to push the president into funding a clear and decisive mission to Mars. Although they didn't directly criticize NASA's current plans, Aldrin and Collins said the moon is old hat. Aldrin presented an elaborate slide detailing how to make a quick visit to the moon a stepping stone to visits to the Martian moon Phobos, Mars itself, and even some asteroids like Apophis that may someday hit Earth. Aldrin said he and Armstrong landed on the moon 66 years after the Wright brothers first flew an airplane. What he would like would be for humanity to land on Mars 66 years after his flight. That would be 2035.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
Material scientists are attempting to go to the moon and other planets, but they cannot imagine going to the topmost planet, Brahmaloka, for it is beyond their imagination. By material calculation, traveling at the speed of light it would take forty thousand light-years to reach the topmost planet. By mechanical processes we are unable to reach the topmost planet of this universe, but the process called bhakti-yoga, as executed by Mahārāja Dhruva, can give one the facility not only to reach other planets within this universe, but also to reach beyond this universe to the Viṣṇuloka planets. We have outlined this in our small booklet Easy Journey to Other Planets.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 4 - Chapter 12 - Verse 26"

One may profess a high philosophy, but when one is in need of money, he becomes a cheater. In this material world, so-called scientists, philosophers and economists are nothing but cheaters in one way or another. The scientists are cheaters because they present so many bogus things in the name of science. They propose going to the moon, but actually they end up cheating the entire public of large sums of money for their experiments. They cannot do anything useful. Unless one can find a person transcendental to the four basic defects, one should not accept advice and become a victim of the material condition. The best process is to take the advice and instructions of Śrī Krishna or His bona fide representative. In this way one can be happy in this life and the next.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 5 - Chapter 14 - Verse 26"

Sunday, July 19, 2009

INDIA: RESISTS US PRESSURE ON CARBON EMISSION

INDIA REFUSES TO BEND TO OBAMA
PRESSURE ON CARBON EMISSION CAPS

New Delhi - (Bloomberg) - India won’t bend to demands from the Obama administration or threats from the U.S. Congress to adopt legally binding caps on its carbon emissions, the country’s environment minister told visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday. “There is simply no case for the pressure” the U.S. is exerting, considering India produces among the lowest per capita emissions in the world, Minister Jairam Ramesh told Clinton during an unexpected discussion of climate negotiations during an event intended to showcase U.S.-Indian cooperation on clean energy at a “green” office building outside New Delhi.

“As if this pressure was not enough, we also face the threat of carbon tariffs on our exports to countries such as yours,” Ramesh said, referring to a climate-change bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on June 26 that imposes tariffs on exports from countries that refuse to adopt greenhouse gas controls by 2020. The U.S. and European countries must offer financial incentives and equitable reductions in carbon emissions to ensure any deal won’t hinder growth, food security and poverty alleviation in developing nations such as India, China and Brazil, Ramesh said.
“We look upon you suspiciously because you have not fulfilled” the commitments made by developing countries in earlier climate treaties, Ramesh told Clinton, adding there’s a “credibility crisis” that industrialized nations will have to overcome in their demands of poor nations. India has a comprehensive national action plan on climate change, Ramesh said.

In December, negotiators will meet in Copenhagen to broker a new treaty to fight global warming by limiting the release of gases from burning fossil fuels and clearing forests. “Both of us reiterated our commitment to arriving at an agreement at Copenhagen that takes note of the imperative of doing something quickly but also takes note of the special concerns of countries like India for continuing with their path of economic growth with the objective of poverty eradication,” Ramesh told reporters.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
Material desire is just like a blazing fire. If a fire is continually supplied with drops of fat, the fire will increase more and more and never be extinguished. Therefore the policy of trying to satisfy material desires by catering to one's material demands will never be successful. In modern civilization, everyone is engaged in economic development, which is another way of constantly dropping fat into the material fire. The Western countries have reached the summit of material civilization, but people are still dissatisfied. Real satisfaction is Krishna consciousness. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (5.29), where Krishna says:

bhoktāram yajña-tapasām
sarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhrdaḿ sarva-bhūtānām
jñātvā mām śāntim rcchati

"The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries."
One must therefore take to Krishna consciousness and advance in Krishna consciousness by properly following the regulative principles. Then one can attain an eternal, blissful life in peace and knowledge.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 9 - Chapter 6 - Verse 48"

IRAN: PRESIDENT CRITICIZED OVER VP CHOICE

IRAN HARDLINERS CRITICIZE
AHMADINEJAD OVER APPOINTMENT
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has come under fire from many leading hardliners for appointing controversial figure Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie as his new first vice-president, Iranian media reported on Sunday. Mashaie, previously one of several vice presidents and in charge of a culture and tourism body, created a storm in 2008 by saying Iran was friendly with everyone, even the people of its sworn foe Israel.

In rare public criticism, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, an Ahmadinejad ally and member of the top legislative body, said Ahmadinejad had shown "a twisted face to clerics and elites" by appointing Mashaie last Thursday. "Ahmadinejad should not challenge conservatives with such decisions. I request the President to replace him before more criticisms are made," the hardline cleric was quoted as saying by the Khorasan newspaper. Many hardline lawmakers and clerics, including several top clerics, had called on the president to dismiss Mashaie for his comments. Ahmadinejad remained defiant, saying Mashaie's comments had been "misrepresented." Mashaie also came under fire for hosting a ceremony in November where women in traditional dress carried in Muslim's holy book, the Koran, to music, an action deemed insulting to Koran. Lawmaker Hamid Rasai said Iranian society was very sensitive over Mashaie, a close relative to Ahmadinejad through marriage.

Ahmadinejad was re-elected in a June presidential vote, which stirred the largest display of internal unrest in Iran, the world's fifth biggest oil exporter, since the 1979 revolution and exposed deep rifts in its ruling elite. Defeated moderate candidates say the vote was rigged in favor of Ahmadinejad, who has called the vote "the world's freest election." But there are still many hardliners who back him such as Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi who said in remarks published on Saturday that the Iranian government drew its legitimacy from "the Almighty God."

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
Since the population is fallen in these democratic days, they can only elect a person in their category, but a government cannot run very well when it is run by sūdras. The second class of men, known as ksatriyas, are especially meant for governing a country under the direction of saintly persons (brāhmanas) who are supposed to be very intelligent. In other ages — in Satya-yuga, Tretā-yuga and Dvāpara-yuga — the general populace was not so degraded, and the head of government was never elected. The king was the supreme executive personality, and if he caught any ministers stealing like thieves and rogues, he would at once have them killed or dismissed from service. As it was the duty of the king to kill thieves and rogues, it was similarly his duty to immediately kill dishonest ministers in government service. By such strict vigilance, the king could run the government very well, and the citizens would be happy to have such a king.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"
The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 4 - Chapter 14 - Verse 17"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

TURKEY IS NEXT TO BAN SMOKING

TURKEY'S NEW NON-SMOKING LAW
EXTENDS BAN TO BARS, RESTAURANTS
ANKARA, Turkey (Associated Press) – At midnight Saturday Turkey extended a ban on indoor public smoking to include bars, restaurants, village coffeehouses and hookah bars. Some smokers have left the bar for its courtyard to light up, but most are carrying on smoking inside. The ban came into effect despite protests from bar and coffeehouse owners who fear it will ruin businesses that have already been hit hard by the effects of an economic crisis. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-oriented government barred smoking in offices and public transport and other public places in May 2008 in an effort to reduce the country's high smoking rates and the effects of secondhand smoke on people's health. Bars, restaurants and cafes were given a grace period that ended at midnight Saturday.

"To smoke like a Turk" is an expression used in many European countries to describe heavy smokers and the government says more than 100,000 people die annually in Turkey from smoking-related illnesses. Health Minister Recep Akdag says smoking rates have dropped seven percent since May 2008, when the ban on indoor smoking was introduced. He says more people will give up smoking once bars, restaurants and cafes are also made smoke-free.
The government has dismissed the bar and coffeehouse owners' protests and requests that special smoking rooms be set up to make sure that smokers keep coming.

"There is no reason for (cafe and bar owners) to be worried. The public supports a smoke-free environment and the only ones to suffer will be the cigarette producers and sellers," Akdag told reporters. "We are working to protect our future, to save our youth," Akdag said. The government insists the ban has the public's support. However, bar and restaurant owners were planning to stage a protest on Sunday. Yesilay, an organization which devoted to reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption, says around 40 percent of Turks over the age of 15 are smokers, consuming around 17 million packs a day.


WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US?
By the influence of the age of Kali, even a pauper is proud of his penny, the women are always dressed in an overly attractive fashion to victimize the minds of men, and the man is addicted to drinking wine, smoking, drinking tea and chewing tobacco, etc. All these habits, or so-called advancement of civilization, are the root causes of all irreligiosities, and therefore it is not possible to check corruption, bribery and nepotism. Man cannot check all these evils simply by statutory acts and police vigilance, but he can cure the disease of the mind by the proper medicine, namely advocating the principles of brahminical culture or the principles of austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 7 - Chapter 5 - Verse 12"

The basic principles of irreligiosity, such as pride, prostitution, intoxication and falsehood, counteract the four principles of religion, namely austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness. ... Intoxication of all description — even smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco or the drinking of tea — must be prohibited.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 7 - Chapter 5 - Verse 12"