Need in the News, Vol. II, Issue 4

I summarize local, national and international “stories of need” from news sites, blogs, press releases and editorials at the end of every month. The following are some of May’s most need-in-the-news-worthy crises, people and issues:

SYRIA — The army and rebels disputed the facts surrounding a recent massacre in a Damascus suburb. Meanwhile, the Syrian civil war is putting pressure on neighboring countries and recently led to angry protests in Lebanon. The head of the UNHCR declared Syria potentially the worst humanitarian disaster since the Cold War.

SPAIN — The nationwide unemployment rate reached 27 percent.

INDIA — An important recent court ruling by India’s Supreme Court says drug maker Novartis cannot hold onto its patent for the pricey cancer drug Gleevec.

BANGLADESH — A building housing five garment factories collapsed outside Dhaka, killing more than 300 people. Thousands have been rescued since the accident, the owner of the building may face prison and subsequent worker protests have demanded changes to protect workers.

CHINA — An earthquake killed dozens and injured thousands in Yuxi this month.

DARFUR — Fresh conflict caused 50,000 refugees to flee Sudan for Chad.

At times, what gets lost in the concern and clamor over major local, national and international events and issues, are ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things. Here are a few of them:

(Photo by Aaron "Tango" Tang from Cambridge, Mass. Uploaded by russavia via Wikimedia Commons.)
(Photo by Aaron “Tango” Tang from Cambridge, Mass. Uploaded by russavia via Wikimedia Commons.)

BOSTON (Mass.) — In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, some spectators rushed to help the wounded, and later, Bostonians showed their mettle by helping stranded visitors.

TORONTO (Canada) — A Toronto imam tipped off authorities and foiled an al-Qaeda plot in Canada.

SAN DIEGO (Calif.) — Checking in on a two-year-old plan to end local homelessness.

These stories are worth reflection:

MEMOIRS OF A DETAINEE — Mohamedou Ould Slahi tells his story of being detained at the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison.

ON FIRE — More than 100 Tibetans have self-immolated in protest of China’s policies.

STILL RECOVERING FROM SANDY — Six months after the storm that struck the northeast, this community is still recovering.

OVERLOOKED SHOOTING? — Why did this school shooting get relatively little media coverage?

BRENNAN MANNING — A tribute to the late, grace-minded author of The Ragamuffin Gospel.

MUST SEE — Frontline’s Behind the Lines documents the new and perilous reality of life in Syria.

This month on

Coming up on

  • Commentary — “Shadows and Dust” for May.
  • Stories — “Need in the News” for May.

What do you think was this month’s most important or newsworthy “story of need”?

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