Into the unknown

 Into the unknownAt the centre of the lush Guatemalan rainforest in El Peten lies the complex considered the epicentre of Mayan culture – Tikal. At its centre is the Gran Plaza, an acropolis flanked by two giant temples. One afternoon in July, a young Mayan shaman prepares the altar facing the acropolis to conduct a rite of prosperity. He has chosen the day carefully – it’s the auspicious day of the mono, the monkey. As the shrieks of howler monkeys form an acoustic backdrop, the shaman goes about his duties, setting up four candles at the cardinal points. He seeks blessings for a commercial venture, to bring its promoters the qualities a monkey embodies in Mayan lore – resourcefulness, intelligence, agility of thought and action

Growing debate in SKorea over traditional medicine

Growing debate in SKorea over traditional medicineKim Nam-soo has stuck needles into generals, actors, tycoons and at least one president for more than six decades as South Korea's acupuncturist to the stars.

Grateful patients say his treatments combining acupuncture with the ancient practice of burning herbs on the skin do as much good, or more, as Western medicine in treating everything from arthritis to diabetes, burns and even cancer.

Australia's First People - Their Social and Emotional Well-being

AustraliaAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians make up 2.5 per cent of the Australian population and continue to suffer disproportionately from the consequences of European settlement. The life expectancy for Indigenous Australians is 10 years lower than that of other Australians; the death rates for Indigenous people are twice as high across all age groups; and intentional self-harm was the leading cause of death from external causes for Indigenous males between 2001 and 2005.1 Although definitive national data about the incidence and prevalence of mental health disorders among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians is not available, it is clear there are enormous disparities in mental health outcomes for Indigenous people.

Australia's Aboriginals won land, now defend right to use it

AustraliaFor environmentalists, it doesn’t get much better than Australia’s Cape York Peninsula, a vast expanse of wetlands, tropical rainforest, savannah grasslands, and bone-white sand dunes, sheltering one-half of the country’s birds and one-third of its mammals.

Crews work to keep oil spill from Lake Michigan

Crews work to keep oil spill from Lake MichiganBATTLE CREEK, Mich. – Federal officials believe an oil spill that has contaminated a major Michigan river was larger than first estimated, and the governor is warning of a "tragedy of historic proportions" should the oil reach Lake Michigan some 80 miles away, and the vacation communities that depend on it.

The Environmental Protection Agency, which has taken control of efforts to contain and clean up the Kalamazoo River spill, said late Wednesday that it believes more than 1 million gallons of oil leaked from a pipeline into Talmadge Creek, which feeds the river. Enbridge Inc., the Canadian company that oversees the pipeline, had estimated that 819,000 gallons spilled Monday before they could stop the leak.