Meditation becomes part of normal treatment

At one Boston hospital, doctors give their patients an unusual instruction: meditate. "I recommend five minutes, twice a day, and then gradually more and more," says physician Aditi Nerurkar. She recommends meditation in the same way as medicine.

"I don't start high doses right away," she is quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal. But ultimately, patients who suffered from insomnia or irritable bowel syndrome, for example, should meditate for about 20 minutes, twice a day.

Studies have found that meditation can lower blood prere and help patients with chronic diseases manage pain and depression. In addition, meditation significantly lowers the risk of heart attack or stroke.


“A high-risk strategy”

First Saudi Arabia, then Angola and Indonesia, now Qatar. Once again, a possible German arms deal is causing criticism. In an interview, Jan Grebe, an expert on arms ies at the Bonn-based International Center for Conversion (BICC), warns against fundamental changes in foreign and security policy. The German government is pursuing a "high-risk strategy".

CBA: Mr. Grebe, in recent months numerous controversial arms deals have come to light. Is this due to a growing transparency or is the number of arms deals increasing?
Jan Grebe: Transparency in the arms trade has certainly not grown. Such transactions take place under strict secrecy. Instead, there are increasing calls from industry for more arms exports – on the grounds that domestic demand has fallen in the wake of Bundeswehr reform. In this way, the arms lobby is putting the federal government under a lot of prere.

CBA: What is the importance of the arms industry to the economy?
Grebe: It is difficult to make reliable statements about actual jobs and turnover. It is suspected that about 80.000 people are employed in the arms industry. Total arms exports account for about 0.5 percent of total foreign trade, war arms exports even only about 0.2 percent. Proponents, on the other hand, always point to the importance of a well-positioned arms industry in terms of security policy and see jobs in danger. Irrespective of the prere from the arms lobby, there are also signs of a fundamental change in foreign and security policy.


Unpunished act

Almost a year after the attack on a theater group in Halberstadt, the 23-year-old main defendant has been sentenced to two years in prison. Christian W. had struck the first blow and thus taken the initiative, the court declared in Magdeburg on Wednesday. The three co-defendants, aged 23 to 29, were acquitted for lack of evidence. Criticism of procedure comes from victims.


“Do even more church youth work”

The extreme right-wing NPD will enter the Schwerin state parliament again. According to preliminary results, it received six percent of the vote in Sunday's state election (2006: 7.3 percent) and is expected to be represented by five deputies (previously six) in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's 71-member state parliament in the new legislative period. Especially in the eastern part of the state, the NPD was able to defend its electoral strongholds. According to Pomeranian Bishop Hans-Jurgen Abromeit, the NPD would not be back in the state parliament if all eligible voters had voted.

epd: Bishop Abromeit, in the run-up to the state elections, the churches had also called for people to go to the polls and vote for the democratic parties. What went wrong that the NPD's re-entry could not be prevented?

Hans-Jurgen Abromeit: Unfortunately, churches, celebrities and democratic parties have not succeeded in changing the basic problem that only every second person entitled to vote also votes. That's why the small number of right-wing extremist voters managed to get the NPD into the state parliament. In the state there is a sediment of about three percent of the total population, who are not protest voters, but regular voters of the NPD. If all eligible voters had voted, the NPD would not be back in the state parliament.


Store operators simply don't have the time

Lack of time is the most common reason for online store operators to shy away from creating their own content. This was the result of an online survey conducted over several months by content automation specialist uNaice GmbH.

For more than 70 percent of the 152 e-commerce company representatives who responded to the survey, time is the biggest barrier related to product copywriting. In addition, for just under half (49 percent of respondents, multiple answers possible), the cost aspect of content creation is a serious problem.

For 37 percent of the participants in the online survey, this means that they always have too little content available in the form of product descriptions and category texts for the reasons mentioned above. Out of necessity, many online retailers resort to manufacturer texts, which in turn leads to problems with duplicate content. This was confirmed by 26 percent of the respondents, who rightly see problems with visibility by search engines. Search engines devalue similar or even identical content of different stores and microsites, so that in the end none of the product texts achieves one of the top positions in the search result lists (SERPs) on Google. The retail experts surveyed saw the creation of product descriptions in additional languages as a further problem. Still, 15 percent judged that they understand the multilingualism of the content as one of the biggest challenges.


“We know what we are talking about!”

A 50. Birthday is an occasion to look back, but no reason to lean back. As the human rights organization Amnesty International commemorates its founding in 1961 by British lawyer Peter Benenson, questions are also being asked about the future.

"I often have the impression that we have settled comfortably into the recognition we have received," writes Volkmar Deile, former secretary general of the German section (1990-1999), in a special volume on the anniversary of the declaration. "Has success gone to our heads?" asks the now retired pastor.

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2008, Deile had already critically noted that despite a growing civil society human rights movement worldwide, the fight against torture, for example, had remained comparatively unsuccessful. In addition, the disappearances of political opponents and politically motivated murders have increased.


Tops upgrades store

To adapt to changing customer needs, Thailand's leading supermarket chain has transformed one of its flagship stores. Six special zones are to act as visitor magnets in the process.

Tops' Westgate store carries more than 40.000 products from around the world. The main focus is on six new areas: Baker's Oven, Healthifulis, World of Snacks, Looks, at Taste and Petster. Baker's Oven, in this case, is simply a shop-in-shop bakery with dine-in seating, offering Asian- and European-style baked goods and enjoying Coffee Arigato beverages. For the bigger appetite, at Taste is ready. Freshly prepared dishes are served in this zone.


Healthiful appears to be much more progressive, as Tops offers healthy products and foods in cooperation with the Institute of Nutrition at Mahidol University. Particular attention is paid to people with special requirements, such as food allergy sufferers. Tops had already opened its first Healthiful store in its Chengwattana market a month ago. As there, customers can consult nutrition experts from Mahidol University online with the new offering. Those who ask them a question via the official Facebook page should receive an answer within 24 hours.Healthiful finds its counterpart in the World of Snacks, which carries tasty snacks from over a hundred brands.