Need in the News, Vol. II, Issue 7

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 July’s most need-in-the-news-worthy crises, people and issues:

DETROIT (Mich.) — Last month, the Motor City became the largest city in the history of the United States to file for bankruptcy. Are U.S. cities promising too much?

SYRIA — There seems to be no end in sight for Syria’s civil war, and to make matters worse, food has become the newest weapon in the conflict.

IRAQ — A series of car bombs killed at least 51 people in central and southern Iraq.

CANADA — Residents are still trying to deal with the aftermath of the train accident that devastated Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

A 2007 view of blighted buildings in Detroit. (Photo by Angelique DuLong via Wikimedia Commons)
A view of blighted buildings in Detroit. (Photo by Angelique DuLong via Wikimedia Commons)
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:

THE BUSH DETAIL — Former President George H. W. Bush and members of his Secret Service detail shaved their heads in solidarity with a 2-year-old leukemia patient.

LANCASTER (Penn.) — Two teenage boys chased an alleged abductor on their bicycles and forced him to abandon the 5-year-old girl he had kidnapped.

U.S.-MEXICO BORDER — Three activists crossed from the United States into Mexico, then returned to the border in graduation caps and gowns to draw attention to the story of many young U.S. immigrants who entered the country as minors. (Regardless of our perspective on immigration, this story should challenge us to consider what we believe in enough to risk being detained.)

MOZAMBIQUE — This profile compared the legacies of former presidents Samora Machel of Mozambique, now deceased, and Nelson Mandela of South Africa, who was recently hospitalized.

MANHATTAN (Mont.) — Tom Morgan has become a sought-after craftsman of fly rods despite being paralyzed from the neck down for the last 17 years.

LAKEWOOD (Colo.) — A bystander rescued a family stuck in a flooding car.

These stories are worth reflection:

ZIMMERMAN NOT GUILTY — What is your take on the verdict in the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case? Here is T.D. Jakes’.

SIXTY YEARS LATER — Korean families are still divided 60 years after the armistice that is still in effect.

“WHO AM I TO JUDGE?” — Pope Francis waded into the discussion about same-sex orientation this week when he extended an olive branch of sorts to well-meaning gay priests.

NOT ENOUGHCharles Kenney says ending extreme poverty is not enough.

MUST SEE — A Lesson in Otherness was filmed a while back, and (quick qualifier) includes some offensive language, but it shows what it might feel like to be treated differently than others because of how you look. Would the teacher in this video be allowed to conduct a similar experiment in one of today’s third-grade classrooms?…Also, this documentary sheds light on the current HIV/AIDS epidemic in the American South.

This month on

Coming up on

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