Need in the News, Vol. III, Issue 10

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 October’s most need-in-the-news-worthy stories:

WEST AFRICA & BEYOND — Despite outbreak “scares” in countries outside West Africa, the Ebola epidemic has shown signs of slowing. One doctor’s diary tells of his and his team’s fight against the disease. “Patient Zero,” the first person to contract Ebola during this most recent outbreak, has been found.

NIGERIA — Boko Haram abducted dozens more girls in Nigeria.

IRAQ & SYRIA —  The self-declared Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has an apparently murky leadership structure, even as it recruits child soldiers to fight for its cause.

SOUTH SUDAN400,000 schoolchildren have dropped out of school because of conflict in the world’s newest country.

AFRICAThese leaders would rather die than give up power.

A map of Ebola cases in the United States, as of October 24. (Veggies via Wikimedia Commons)
A map of Ebola cases in the United States, as of October 24. (Veggies 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 doing extraordinary things. Here are a few I’ve heard about recently:

HOOKSETT (New Hampshire) Jamie Carnucci walked into her home 70 days after a freak diving accident left her unable to move.

KOCHI (India) — A new species of golden-backed frog has been discovered in an inner-city region of India.

FERGUSON (Missouri) — The grassroots movement to bring change to a community and its police department continues.

New JerseyHannah Gorsegner, 7, shaved her head in solidarity with her younger sister, who has been undergoing cancer treatments.

MEXICO CITY (Mexico)Thousands of protesters gathered in the Mexican capital to demand authorities do more to find 43 students who disappeared recently in the state of Guerrero. The students were last seen in the custody of police.

Stories worth reflection:

AFGHAN VETS BRING TRAUMA HOME — The souvenirs of war that British vets of tours in Afghanistan are bringing home include severe physical and mental trauma.

HOW TO HELP REFUGEES — A recent study found that handing out traditional goods might not be the best way to assist refugees in crisis.

PEOPLE WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES ARE PEOPLE, TOO — This blog post should challenge how us to reconsider we treat our neighbors with disabilities.

COMPARING HOMELESSNESS — Why is the homeless population so much lower in Tokyo than in other megacities?

COLORADO AGING — The Bell Policy Center projects that Colorado’s population will age significantly in the future.

TRUTH REPELLENTS — Philip Yancey is always good for thoughtful commentary on faith and its intersection with everyday life:

“Outsiders will listen to pilgrims, activists and artists far sooner than evangelists or apologists.”

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