New Sun Newsbriefs
U.S. and China Collaborate on Environment

Washington, DC, -- An agreement signed in December by the United States and China Business Councils for Sustainable Development brings the U.S. closer to China on all things renewable.

"It is exciting to consider the possibilities of a U.S.-China collaboration on sustainable development, which should offer new business opportunities that produce clear and measurable economic, environmental and societal benefits," says Terry Welch, vice-chairman, U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development

Business leaders from the two countries will collaborate on economic, social and environmental projects, specifically the establishment of a joint communication center in Beijing to disseminate information on project results involving economic, environmental, and societal benefits.

The focus will begin on expanding the use of clean-burning bio-fuels, creating a more sustainable strategy for the cement industry, of which China is the world's largest producer, and implementing byproduct synergy, a system that allows companies from one industry to reuse byproducts as feedstocks for another.

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M&M's Offer Personal Messages

MCLEAN, Va. (UPI) -- The U.S. candy company, Mars Inc., is allowing customers to have a personal message imprinted on M&M's.

Customers get two lines, with eight characters per line, on one side of the pill-shaped candies. The flip side will sport the traditional "m," according to the M&M's Candies Web site,

However, the site warns that there are several restrictions: "No business names, product names, celebrity names, specific sports teams, major events, landmarks, names of schools or institutions, obscenities, or religious or political phrases," reported The New York Times.

Mars does give advice on how to bypass the restrictions. Instead of "Mount St. Helens" customers could use "Thar She Blows!"

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Seattle Residents Most Literate

SEATTLE, Wa (UPI) -- Seattle is tops in the country's latest literacy poll that ranked amount of reading done by residents in the 69 largest U.S. cities.

Dr. John Miller is president of Central Connecticut State University and lead author of the third annual nationwide study.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports the city ranked second last year and attributes their rise in 2005 to an additional category for judging -- the Internet.

It looked at online book orders, the number of public wired and wireless Internet connections as well as the percentage of people who read newspapers online. Other categories include bookstores per capita, published media in the city, newspaper circulation and education of the population.

And then there are the libraries.

Andra Addison, a spokeswoman for the Seattle Public Library system said 80 percent of residents have a library card. She said the growth of the library system -- 2 million more items checked out last year than in 2000 -- probably helped boost Seattle to No. 1 as well.

Seattle has 24 library branches besides the Central Library.

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Spirituality Program for Therapists

WEST ROXBURY, Mass., Dec. 2, 2005 (UPI) -- Mental health experts estimate that about 80 percent of U.S. patients bring up their spiritual life during therapy.

However, only about 15 percent of therapists are trained to work with that aspect of a patient's life to enhance healing. Yet more and more studies show that attention to spiritual life can have an important impact, say psychologists and other mental health professionals.

As a result, researchers at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology have established a Spirituality Program.

"It is an approach, a movement, whose time has come," says Dr. Stanley Rosenzweig.

"Our goal is to build a community of like-minded people who see a role for this aspect of human nature in the personal and professional development of psychologists."

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