Need in the News, Vol. 1, Issue 5

Former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic at his initial court appearance. Taken on June 3, 2011. (By ICTY staff via Wikimedia Commons)
Former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic at his initial court appearance before the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. Taken on June 3, 2011. (By ICTY staff via Wikimedia Commons)

An overview of “stories of need” with links to news articles, editorials, press releases and blog posts from around the nation and the world:


Front-Page Worthy


Fighting the Good Fight


Major Troublespots

  • MEXICO: Early this month the bodies of nine people were found hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo six miles from the U.S. border. Authorities also found 14 headless bodies left inside a van, as well as 14 heads in ice boxes outside city hall. On May 13, forty-nine decapitated and mutilated bodies were found on a highway outside Monterrey. While these sorts of atrocities seem to have no end in sight, authorities did arrest the cartel commander who allegedly ordered the Monterrey massacre. Also, read how the cartel war terrorizes ordinary people, and how the latter episodes of our serial proved eerily close to real life.
  • THE SAHEL: The coming months remain critical for this region of West Africa, where its hunger and drought crisis have left nearly 1.5 million children near starvation.
  • THE SUDANS: Negotiators for South Sudan and Sudan met for the first time despite ongoing tensions that could pose a threat to world oil prices. Aid groups and community leaders also accused South Sudanese troops on a disarmament mission of crimes against minority groups.
  • YEMEN: Humanitarian agencies raised an alarm about a major food crisis in Yemen, where nearly half of the population do not have enough food to eat. International donor nations pledged $4 billion in aid, although $3.25 billion of that aid will go toward helping the government improve infrastructure and security.
  • MALI: Capt. Amadou Sanogo, the military leader of a March 22 coup, condemned the beating by demonstrators of interim president Dioncounda Traore, who was flown to France for treatment after protesters stormed his palace in Bamako. Meanwhile, two rebel groups in Northern Mali claim to have united and say they are in the process of forming a new state.
  • SYRIA: The international community continued to wrestle with what to do about the ongoing violence in Syria.


Reflections & Reviews

  • REMEMBERING JOPLIN, MO.: These photos show the aftermath of the killer tornado that destroyed a major part of Joplin last year. Pres. Barack Obama praised Joplin’s resiliency during his recent commencement address for Joplin High School graduates. Click here for the full text of his speech.
  • KEN BURNS ON STORIES: The acclaimed documentary filmmaker had some thought-provoking comments on the nature of stories and story.
  • CHILD OR ADULT?: When does adulthood begin?
  • THE GAY MARRIAGE DEBATE: Two faith-based perspectives — pro and con. Also, a more neutral look at the politics of the issue. Here’s what recent polls say. And here is a story about an underground gay group at a Christian college.
    • “If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die”: How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor by Geoffrey Robinson. A little-known but important story. The author says despite its size and relative anonymity in world politics, East Timor “has lived in the crosshairs of the central ideological and geopolitical challenges of each of the last several decades.”
    • The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation by Frans Johansson. On the intersection between ideas and innovation that leads to social change.
    • How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels by N.T. Wright. For readers interested in the intersection between Christian faith, the Christian message and the story of need, this book is a must read.
    • The Central Park Five: The story of five innocent minority teenagers who spent time in prison for raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989.
    • For Greater Glory: This film starring Andy Garcia and Eva Longoria tells the story of the Cristero War uprising against the Mexican government during the late 1920s. Opens June 1.


Published in May on

  • Foster Care Q&A — A look at the challenges and rewards of overseeing foster care at the local level.
  • Health Care Via Media — A commentary on U.S. health care by Paul Sargeant, PhD.
  • Reid’s Healthcare Mirror — A summary of world health systems based on the work of journalist T.R. Reid.
  • Sweep Report Published! — Read about our 68-page report on important indicators, trends and needs in Broomfield County, Colorado. Published in partnership with The Broomfield Community Foundation.
  • A Zambian Epic in Pictures — Displaying the work of photographer Thomas Herrick, who helped tell the story of a non-profit that runs orphanages in Zambia.
  • Prayer Lunch Reflections — A commentary on the recent Colorado Prayer Luncheon.
  • Health Care 101 — An overview of the current U.S. health care system and ways it needs to change. Serves as an introduction for future articles.
  • Toward Humane Services — A commentary on one of the weaknesses in our social services system.


Coming Up

  • Commentary: What is the “good news” and what is the role of churches in addressing the story of need?
  • Stories: Foster Care Q&A, more on health care in Colorado and the everyday challenges of immigrants in the United States.


Feel free to share your thoughts about this month’s review of “need in the news” or offer additional links below.

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