Need in the News, Vol. III, Issue 7

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

LIBYA — Life after Muammar el-Qaddafi, with its promise of self-determination, has proven elusive for the people of Libya. Now feuding factions threaten to rip the nation apart.

ISRAEL & PALESTINEMore than 1,000 people have died during the three-week conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Gaza Strip’s ruling party (labeled a terrorist group by the U.S. and Israel).

UNITED STATES-MEXICO BORDER — The recent influx of unaccompanied minors from Central American countries who are crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has prompted a national debate and a variety of responses in border and non-border states, alike, meaning different things to different people.

Color-enhanced electron micrograph of Ebola virus particles. (Thomas W. Geisbert, Boston University School of Medicine, via Wikimedia Commons)
Color-enhanced electron micrograph of Ebola virus particles. (Thomas W. Geisbert, Boston University School of Medicine, via Wikimedia Commons)

WEST AFRICA — An outbreak of the Ebola virus has so far taken the lives of 660 people in several African countries.

At times, what gets lost in the concern and clamor over major local, national and international events and issues, are the ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things. Here are a few I’ve heard about recently:

KENYA — Leela Hazzah has devoted her life to lion conservation and helped Maasai warriors in Kenya transform from lion hunters to lion protectors.

WEST AFRICA — Two of the people who contracted Ebola during the recent outbreak included the physician who attempted to contain it and an American missionary-physician.

VERMONT — A retired farmer recently escaped from his retirement home and returned to his boyhood home.

JAMESTOWN (Colorado) — Slowly but surely, a flood-ravaged mountain town is putting itself back together.

JOHANNESBERG (South Africa) — Nadine Gordimer died on July 13. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991 for her anti-apartheid stories and novels.

Stories worth reflection:

PAYING POLLUTION FORWARD? — The Associated Press published a NIMBY (not in my backyard)-related story recently on U.S. exports of “dirty” coal to developing nations.

WHAT WOULD YOU RISK TO FEED YOUR KIDS?These women in South Sudan risk being raped to feed their children.

VETERANS SAY SUICIDE TOP WORRY — A recent survey found suicide to be the top concern of U.S. veterans.

ALZHEIMER’S DRUG A BREAKTHROUGH? — Researchers at the University of Colorado have received approval to begin a trial of a new Alzheimer’s drug.

HOMELESSNESS ILLEGAL — It’s illegal for homeless people to sit on the sidewalk in many U.S. cities.

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