Need in the News, Vol. V, Issue 6

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

THAILAND — According to the World Health Organization, Thailand has become the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to completely eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.

ERITREA — A U.N. human rights report declared recently that the government of Eritrea has over the past 25 years enslaved 300,000-400,000 people through an unjust system of indefinite, compulsory military service.

ISRAEL & PALESTINE — As violence between in Israel and Palestine once again begins to escalate, these two families attempt to make sense of one death.

SYRIATens of thousands of Syrians were trapped in “no-man’s-land” as of this month.

This is what it looks like to get evicted. (Marrton Dormish, taken this month in Broomfield, Colo.)
This is what it looks like to get evicted. (Marrton Dormish, taken this month in Broomfield, Colo.)

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

ORLANDO (Florida) — In the midst of noise, blood and terror inside the Pulse nightclub these people put themselves in harm’s way to save others.

RIO DE JANIERO (Brazil) — Ten athletes will compete in this summer’s Rio Olympics as “Team Refugee” under the Olympic banner.

ORANGE COUNTY (California) — Andrew’s Ice Cream and Dessert asked a patron to leave for saying “racist and nasty” things about two Muslim customers in the shop. This is how the community thanked them.

CENTRAL CITY (Kentucky)Michael Wilson, a retired coal miner with black lung disease, is working to ensure others don’t end up with his condition.

LONDON (England)Josh Coombes is a barber. He also helped begin the “#DoSomethingForNothing” movement by using Instagram to record his free haircuts for people who are homeless. 

NBC TELEVISION — You may have heard of the comedian Drew Lynch who appeared on America’s Got Talent, but I hadn’t until this month. Watch this YouTube video about his debut.

Stories worth reflection:

“OUR COMMUNITY WILL HEAL” — After the Pulse nightclub attack, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, editors for the Orlando Sentinel decided to make a different kind of statement with their front page.

THE GREATEST — Reflections on the life of the late Muhammad Ali.

IT’S NOT EASY BEING ME — A Nepalese girl recently took photos of all the things she is not allowed to do or touch while menstruating.

WHITE MAGIC? — Some people in Malawi believe the bodies of albino people contain magic powers, which is why their bodies are sold on the black market.

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