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Europe's Suicides 'By Economic Crisis' Increases

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An alarming increase in suicides in European countries hit by debt has researchers wondering if there is a connection between higher suicide rates and economic crisis.

"So I won't leave my debts for my children," the crowd reportedly heard a 77-year-old Greek man say before he shot himself publicly in front of a parliament building in Greece, according to Newser.

Another European man from Italy hanged himself in a warehouse, as reported by New York Times.

These suicides have grown more common in Europe and many suspect it is the backlash of dire economic crises.

The number of suicides in Italy, for instance, rose to 187 in 2010, a 52 percent increase from the 123 suicides in 2005, including the deaths of more small-businessmen, according to the New York Times as reported by Newser.

A report released detailing the health effects of the 2008 recession was released. The report detailed the mortality rates in 26 different European countries. The report found that suicides dramatically increased after 2009 in each country, excluding Australia, by at least 5 percent. The increase in suicides coincided with higher unemployment.

Dalai Lama Influential Despite Lack of Official Political Base

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His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, who is the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet and a Buddhist leader, has greatly influenced the world despite dropping leverage as a political leader.

The Dalai Lama's political power was expected to drop after he left his position as prime minister of Tibet and was replaced with Lobsang Sangay, a Harvard legal scholar. However, the Dalai Lama continues to hold influence in the Tibetan movement and around the world. Here in Minnesota, he's made several visits to speak to students about well-being and spirituality.

The Dalai Lama had anything but a regular childhood. He was chosen as the Dalai Lama at the age of 2 and spent the rest of his life educated by monks. At 15, the Dalai Lama assumed power of the state while the People's Liberation Army of China invaded Tibet in 1950, and he later fled to India.

The Dalai Lama is known to live by peace simplicity. When he visited the University of Minnesota, he told students "The ultimate source of suffering is within ourself. Our mental attitude really makes a difference."

In his life, the Dalai Lama has receeived national peace recognition awards like the Nobel Peace Prize and the Mahatma Gandhi International Award in Bodh Gaya, India.

Conflict with China has been ongoing with the Dalai Lama. Most recently, a state-run Chinese website has accused him of "Nazi" racial policies and of inciting Tibetans to set themselves on fire," according to the Associated Press article on Newsday.com. These reactions referenced the wide-spread Tibetan protests in Southwest China, which included instances of self-immolation that the Dalai Lama attributes to the "cultural genocide" of Tibetans under strict control by Bejing.

The Dalai Lama continues to travel and spread his knowledge, political advocacy of the Tibetan cause, Buddhist spirituality, and advice to many.

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