Need in the News, Vol I, Issue 9

Protesters line the street in Donostia, Spain, on July 19. The large banner they are holding reads, "Employment Yes (Budget) Cuts No." (Joxemai via Wikimedia Commons)
Protesters line a street in Donostia, Spain, on July 19. The top line of the large banner they are holding reads, “Employment Yes (Budget) Cuts No.” (Joxemai via Wikimedia Commons)
An overview of “stories of need” with links to news articles, editorials, press releases and blog posts from around the area, the nation and the world:



  • MIDDLE EAST: Sometimes violent protests swept the region amid controversy stirred by a poorly made film denigrating the Prophet Mohammed. The man behind the film was recently ordered jailed in Los Angeles because he was judged a flight risk after violating his probation from a 2010 check fraud conviction.
  • INDIA: A panel of ministers recently recommended price regulation for 348 generic drugs judged “essential.” The recommendations come while a major case relating to the question of generic drug patents is pending before the Indian Supreme Court.
  • FRANCE: The latest French budget includes a “supertax” of 75 percent on some upper-earning members of society.
  • SPAIN: A stress test on Spanish banks revealed a €59 billion “black hole” in their capital cushions. Austerity measures undertaken by the Spanish government have led to an increase in homeowner evictions.
  • UNITED STATES: Skyrocketing student debt and a poor economy have led to a record rate of defaults on college student loans. In a related story, more than two-thirds of Americans reportedly live paycheck to paycheck.

Fighting the Good Fight

  • MALAGA (Spain): With unemployment in Spain at 25 percent, a man dubbed the “Spanish Robin Hood” has been leading marches in support of workers and in opposition to austerity measures.
  • CALGARY (Canada): Nate Phelps, son of the notorious Kansas pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church, wants to undue his father’s legacy.
  • CHARLOTTE (North Carolina): More than 1,600 church members recently volunteered to mentor troubled youth.
  • AFRICA: Africa Review profiled 20 of the continent’s most promising social entrepreneurs.
  • MEXICO: New branchless banks are helping the poor.

Major Troublespots

  • SYRIA: The U.S. pledged $45 million to the Syrian opposition, while fighting in Syrian cities between government and opposition forces continued. At the same time, lack of access hindered humanitarian aid to the Syrian people.
  • SOMALIA: Kenyan troops attacked an militant stronghold in Somalia.
  • UNITED STATES: During a recent speech, Pres. Barack Obama declared human trafficking or “modern-day slavery” a problem within the United States. Experts have since weighed in on the challenges to end trafficking.


Reflections & Reviews

  • J.K ROWLING: The author of the Harry Potter books recently reflected on how she went from being a poor single mom to the creator of a worldwide phenomenon.
  • THE DEATH OF A “TRANSIENT”: Most deaths of people who are homeless or transient go unnoticed and unmourned. In Ft. Collins, Colo., a 48-year-old man named Jack Frost died when he was hit by a train. Apparently, he had passed out on the tracks. Frost’s death has been ruled a suicide.
  • CAN SREBRENICA MOVE ON?: The upcoming mayoral election in Serb-controlled Srebrenica, Bosnia, the site of a 1995 massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims, is accentuating an old divide.
  • THE SWEEP REPORT: This 2011-2012 report on the latest indicators, trends and needs in Broomfield County, Colorado, was mentioned again in the Broomfield Enterprise.
    • The Line: On Oct. 2, this 30-minute documentary about poverty in America will be screening in more than 2,000 locations, including in Broomfield.


Published in August on

  • Training in Thailand — Denver-area physician Annie Dominguez tells the story of her recent medical mission trip to Thailand to help train medics who serve Burmese refugees.
  • Screening “The Line” — Details an upcoming screening of the aforementioned documentary “The Line.”
  • Ghawi’s Dream Drive — A recent sports equipment drive in honor of Jessica Redfield Ghawi, a victim of the Aurora theatre shooting, collected more than 25,000 sports items and raised $30,000 for a journalism scholarship in Ghawi’s name.
  • Fall Pantry Highs & Lows — Broomfield, Colo., area food pantries experienced a significant seasonal shortage of food items early this month. In nearby Lafayette, a massive food drive by a local church stocked the shelves of the town’s main pantry through the end of the year.
  • Guest Commentary: “In her shoes” — iEmpathize intern Mary Wade shared her thoughts from a recent trip to Mexico.
  • Another world, next door — Some thoughts on a recent trip to a rundown apartment complex.


Coming Up

  • Commentary: Reflections on “The Sweep Gospel.”
  • Stories: An interview with a Greeley, Colo., pastor who works with neighbors who are immigrants.


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