An overview of “stories of need” with links to news articles, editorials, press releases and blog posts from around the nation and the world:
- UNITED STATES: In a move seen by many as an attempt to end Occupy protests, the Denver, Colo., city council passed a controversial camping ban that went into effect yesterday. While the ban could adversely affect homeless families, business and non-profit leaders say they are searching for solutions to Denver’s increased number of people who are homeless and its shortage of beds in local homeless shelters. Although Denver police say they won’t enforce the ban during a “grace period,” Denver suburbs could begin to bear the brunt of the camping ban’s effects.
- THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS: Prosecutors in the trial of Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic revisited the July 1995 deaths of 7,000 unarmed Muslim boys and men in Srebrenica. Mladic was captured last May after being at-large for 15 years.
- SYRIA: On Friday, May 25, government forces and their allies massacred more than 100 people, including children, in the area of Houla. Syrian diplomats have subsequently been expelled from a number of countries.
- UKRAINE & POLAND: A BBC documentary called “Stadiums of Hate” cited racist violence and anti-Semitism at the sites of next month’s European soccer championship. Co-hosts Ukraine and Poland denounced the report.
- THE WORLD’S OCEANS: Worldwide ocean “garbage patches” may be bigger than once believed.
- DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: Clashes escalated in the Kivu regions of the DRC forcing thousands to flee their homes.
- UNITED STATES: The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to deliver its decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act late next month.
- YEMEN: A suicide attack during a rehearsal for a military parade in the capital Sanaa killed more than 90 and wounded more than 200 people.
Fighting the Good Fight
- DETROIT, MICH.: Neighbors find common ground over urban gardening.
- BELLINGHAM, WASH., ET. AL.: Recession-proofing through strengthening local economies.
- MOZAMBIQUE: One non-profit is using cassava as a cheap, sustainable fuel alternative to coal.
- WESTERN MISSOURI: Effie Day honored for 40 years of service with Legal Aid.
- BANGLADESH: Community radio is helping to reduce disaster risk in coastal areas.
- WALLACE FALLS STATE PARK, WASH.: Boy saved by rescuers after spending the night alone on a dangerous cliff.
- LONDON, ENGLAND: Video of Lewis Dediara committing a random act of kindness becomes popular on YouTube.
- 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.
- RECOMMENDED READS:
- “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.
- MUST SEE:
- 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 EverydayEpics.com
- 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.
- 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.