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 September’s most need-in-the-news-worthy stories:
HONG KONG — Protests for democratic elections and other reforms continue, despite China’s media blackout.
IRAQ & SYRIA — The self-declared Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) continued its reign of terror in northern Syria and Iraq. Refugees and religious minorities remain at risk. US. airstrikes added to the carnage in the embattled, ancient city of Aleppo.
NAVAJO NATION — The U.S. government and the Navajo Nation agreed to the largest trust settlement to one Native American tribe in history — $554 million — in payment to the Navajos for fund and resource mismanagement.
At times, what gets lost in the concern and clamor over major local, national and international events and issues, are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Here are a few I’ve heard about recently:
FALL ACROSS THE UNITED STATES — Check out these beautiful photos of fall colors from across the United States.
FALLUJAH, IRAQ — Jeremy Courtney helped save an Iraqi child’s life, almost by accident. He’s since helped more than 1,000 Iraqi kids get life-saving heart surgeries and told his story. (Follow @PreemptiveLove on Twitter.)
CHICAGO (Illinois) — Meet the 21 recipients of this year’s MacArthur Foundation Awards, also known as “genius grants.”
CUPERTINO (California) — The iconic rock band U2 released its latest album “Songs of Innocence” for free via Apple’s iTunes. Lead singer Bono called the album “very personal,” in its dealing with “first journeys,” and tragic events like the death of a family member and a deadly car bombing in Dublin.
OKLAHOMA CITY (Oklahoma) — Dozens of preschools have embraces nature and healthy living through recycling and eliminating unnecessary reliance on paper products.
Stories worth reflection:
HALF WORLD’S WILDLIFE GONE? — A recent study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found that the world has lost 52 percent of its biodiversity since 1970.
GLOBAL HEALTH WORKER SHORTAGE — A 2013 World Health Organization (WHO) study found the world health system to be 7 million workers short, with the shortage especially affecting economically poor pregnant women.
NFL & MISS AMERICA MISS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE — Two highly visible U.S. corporations made news recently for their poor understanding of the seriousness of domestic violence.
THE DARK SIDE OF NORTH DAKOTA’S OIL BOOM — Although North Dakota has become the second largest oil producing state in the United States, its new oil riches have come with a price.
RICH-POOR GAP WIDENS, POVERTY RATE DECLINES IN COLORADO — According to the Colorado Center on Law & Policy, the state’s median income dropped by 5.2 percent between 2007 and 2013. At the same time, the child poverty rate in the state decreased by 1.6 percent from 2012 to 2013.
WHY REFUGEE DROWNINGS? — One expert says this is what led to thousands of refugees drowning this year while trying to get from North Africa to Europe.
BRING BACK OUR GIRLS? — Now that this movement to return more than 200 school girls kidnapped in Nigeria is no longer in the headlines, what’s happening with “Bring Back Our Girls“?
SUMMING UP THE PROBLEMS IN FERGUSON — This 11 year-old speaks on the challenges facing Ferguson, Mo.