At the end of every month, I summarize local, national and international “stories of need” from news sites, blogs, press releases and editorials. The following are some of June’s most need-in-the-news-worthy stories:
BRAZIL — The World Cup, our planet’s most popular sporting event, has centered the world’s attention on this largest South American nation. TVs everywhere have been tuned to the games pitting the world’s 32 best national soccer teams against each other. Relatively less publicity has focused on Brazil’s popular unrest, human trafficking and hidden poverty.
ASIA PACIFIC — A spate of natural disasters have recently struck this remote region.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC — Thousands found themselves displaced by renewed conflict.
IRAQ & SYRIA — Taking advantage of political instability in Iraq and civil war in Syria, The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) recently declared it is erasing the current Iraq/Syria border and restoring the 7th-century Islamic caliphate. The number of displaced Iraqis living in camps continues to grow.
ISRAEL & PALESTINE — The recent abduction of three Israeli teenagers brought about a crackdown on the West Bank and Gaza Strip by the Israeli military, which lead to the deaths of eight Palestianians. Here is the story of two mothers; one from each “side.”
At times, what gets lost in the concern and clamor over major local, national and international events and issues, are the ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things. Here are a few I’ve heard about recently:
OSLO (Norway) — Magnus Carlsen, 23, is the world’s no. 1 chess player. Here’s his journey to earning his lofty status.
SAND CREEK (COLORADO) — Area Methodists traveled to Kiowa County to remember and seek healing for their church’s role in the infamous Sand Creek Massacre of 1864. It is thought that around 200 women, children and elderly people died when volunteer U.S. troops led by Col. John M. Chivington, an ordained Methodist minister, attacked an encampment of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians.
RECIFE (BRAZIL) — Their team lost and was eliminated from the World Cup, but some Japanese fans still stayed after the game to help clean up the stadium in which their team played.
Stories worth reflection:
FORCED DISPLACEMENT HIGHEST SINCE WWII — According to the United Nations, the number of people who have been “forcibly” displaced is at its highest worldwide since the aftermath of World War Two.
CARING FOR LOVED ONES WITH MENTAL ILLNESS — It’s not easy to love someone with mental illness, especially if they refuse to seek treatment.
WHAT DOES YOUR FAITH MEAN TO YOU? — This Afghan man is on the run from his family, for his faith.
INDIAN TRASH AND AMERICA — What does India’s trash mean for people in the United States?