Nigeria, Russia sign nuclear energy deal

Nigerian President Buhari has made sustainable energy production – particularly nuclear energ – a central goal of his administration [Xinhua]

Russia and Nigeria, two of the world’s major emerging markets, have signed a nuclear research and cooperation agreement on Tuesday.

Russia’s Rosatom official nuclear corporation said that the agreement was signed on the sidelines of the International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century, held in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The conference is held under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Anton Moskvin, vice president of the marketing and business development department of Rusatom Overseas, said “The development of nuclear technologies will allow Nigeria to strengthen its position as one of the leading countries of the African continent”.

Nigeria has been holding talks with Rusatom for the past two years to look at feasibility studies for the construction of four nuclear power plants at a cost of about $20 billion.

While Nigeria is a major oil exporter, it lacks proper infrastructure to delivery electricity generated by its largest current power plant Egbin.

A number of countries, even those who have vast oil and gas reserves, are looking to nuclear power generation as a strategic necessity in the near future, particularly in light of global warming and climate change.

Rusatom is currently constructing a 4,800 megawatt nuclear power plant in El Dabaa, Egypt. Russia is providing loans for the $25 billion project.

Rusatom sees a lucrative market in the emerging Middle East market. It recently opened an office in the UAE and is helping its government dispose of industrial waste.

Just three weeks ago, Saudi Arabia signed an agreement in Moscow with Rusatom for the Programme for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

Meditation popularity grows as people pursue natural ways of well-being for everything from mental health to better sex

(Natural News) Sex enhusiasts are now into practicing meditation to indulge in “better sex,” ex-actress and now an expert in the ancient Buddhist philosophy, 38-year-old Ziva Meditation owner Emily Fletcher, says. Meditation works on the premise that the problems and worries of everyday life can be diminished by focusing on what is happening in the…

Scientists Show What Meditation Does To The Brain Compared To The Psychedelic Drug, Ayahuasca

Ailments — physical, emotional, mental, spiritual — are often cured in the modern day world with outside help. Big Pharma’s stranglehold on our health, along with the restrictions on field experts, can hinder us, as individuals, from seeking within to heal from the inside out.

That is not to say that some modern medical practices and experts do not have a place in this world, but our world has nevertheless created a dangerous disconnect between self and health.

Mind-altering substances, such as ayahuasca, have long been thought to help people re-connect with themselves.

In the Peruvian Amazon, indigenous healers called Onanya teach visitors the way of the psychedelic drug as a therapeutic hallucinogenic brew. It’s been used for thousands of years by locals, but has become a hot topic in modern times due to a global shift in consciousness to break from this idea that we should cover our wounds with synthetic medicine rather than heal them fully from within.

And it shows. While many indigenous healers reside in what is referred to as the Temple of the Way of Light, far away from what is considered “medical” or scientifically supported, there are researchers in a hospital in Barcelona, Spain, now studying ayahuasca’s physical effects on the brain.

Though the healers in Peru and the researchers in Spain may have different approaches, their conclusions on the effects of the drug on the mind share much in common.

“It’s interesting because even though our research out of Peru is based on surveys, while in Barcelona it’s based on more traditional scientific research, our results out of both places are showing an increase in these traits,” explains Amanda Feilding, the founder and director of the UK-based nonprofit Beckley Foundation, who works with scientists around the world to understand how psychedelic drugs affect the brain.”It seems patients are finally able to liberate themselves from the emotional pain they have long been suffering from. To calmly observe one’s thoughts and feelings in an objective way in order to become less judgemental and more self-accepting.”

Scientists have found that, among the volunteers who take ayahuasca for studies, specific traits appear that mimic those of experienced meditators, including increased openness, optimism, and, perhaps most interestingly, an ability to decenter, which Fielding says is “the ability to objectively observe one’s thoughts and feelings without associating them with identity.”

Of the volunteers who’ve taken ayahuasca for Beckley’s research, decentering has been associated with higher scores on questionnaires created to better understand well-being and happiness. Lower scores on measurements of depressive or anxious thoughts and symptoms of grief were also reported after taking the drug.

In Spain, a collaboration between Beckley and Sant Pau Hospital is analyzing the effects ayahuasca has on brain activity in depressed volunteers. Heading the research is neurologist Jordi Riba, who has found that people reported feeling more decentered and less depressed after taking ayahuasca.

Other research has also shown the potential for psychedelics to provide therapeutic value, like the studies out of  New York University and Johns Hopkins which found the psychedelic drug psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, to provide similar effects as ayahuasca in depressed people.

“With the psilocybin you get an appreciation — it’s out of time — of well-being, of simply being alive and a witness to life and to everything and to the mystery itself,” explained Clark Martin, a patient who participated in one of the Johns Hopkins trials.

38 Women Accuse US Jewish Director James Toback of Sexual Harassment

Toback reportedly approached women on the streets of New York and promised stardom; report comes amid the ongoing downfall of producer Harvey Weinstein

23 October 2017

HAARETZ (AP) — Writer and director James Toback, who received an Oscar nomination for writing “Bugsy,” has been accused of sexual harassment by 38 women in a report published Sunday in The Los Angeles Times.

In the report, many of the women allege that Toback approached them on the streets of New York City and promised stardom. His meetings would often end with sexual questions and Toback masturbating in front of them or simulating sexual intercourse with them, according to the accounts.

The 72-year-old denied the allegations to The Los Angeles Times, saying he never met any of the women, or if he had it “was for five minutes and (I) have no recollection.”

Thirty-one of the women spoke on the record including Louise Post, who is a guitarist and vocalist for the band Veruca Salt, and “As the World Turns” actress Terri Conn. […]