For the last six years, at the end of every month, I’ve summarized local, national and international “stories of need” from news sites, blogs, press releases and editorials. The following are some of May’s most need-in-the-news-worthy stories:
YEMEN — Cholera and famine continue to ravage this war-torn country.
PALESTINE — For the 113th time since 2010, Israeli police forces razed the village of Araqib.
THE PHILIPPINES — Seven million kids are suffering from malnutrition, while martial law has been declared in Mindanao.
NEPAL — Human trafficking has spiked in the wake of natural disasters.
VENEZUELA — Food shortages prompted protests in the streets of Caracas.
IRAQ — Thousands of refugees are living in the gardens of a Baghdad mosque.
SYRIA — Is de-escalation, and eventually peace, truly possible here?
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:
PORTLAND (Oregon) — Ricky John Best, 53, of Happy Valley, Ore., and Taliesin Myrrdin Namkai Meche, 23, of Portland, were stabbed to death on a public train. They had confronted their assailant for yelling racist slurs at two Muslim women.
SAN SALVADOR (El Salvador) — Gregorio Rosa Chavez was serving as a parish priest and planning to retire when he heard Pope Francis had named him a cardinal. Chavez now hopes to build on the legacy of the late Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was a close friend before his death.
TAMPA BAY (Florida) — Bernard Reedy makes hundreds of thousands of dollars with his main job as an NFL player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but that hasn’t stopped him from taking on an $11/hour part-time job in the off-season giving rides to people who are disabled.
BOSTON (Massachusetts) — Matthew Rognlie, 26, a graduate student at the MIT, published a substantial critique based on the NIMBY idea that is challenging contemporary theses regarding economic equality.
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FLAGSTAFF (Arizona) — Feyisa Lilesa won a silver medal in the marathon at the Rio Olympics. As he crossed the finish line, he chose to make a political statement in support of his Oromo ethnic people and in protest of the current Ethiopian government. Now he’s in exile.
- Stories worth reflection:
- THE ANATOMY OF FAMINE — Why is East Central Africa on the verge of famine?
A MODERN-DAY AMERICAN SLAVE — Eudocia Tomas Pulido served an American family without pay for 56 years.
FIRESTONE, LITERALLY — The State of Colorado ordered inspection of thousands of wells and miles of pipeline after a fatal explosion in the Oak Meadows neighborhood of Firestone, Colo.
WHY THE SAHARA? — Examining the motivations behind U.S. and French involvement in Africa.
SECTION 8 DILEMMA — Housing vouchers can help people in financial need, but only if they can find places to rent.
ARCTIC THAW — It appears the melting of ice in the Arctic region is happening faster than once thought.
FIGHTING MALARIA — The world’s first-ever malaria vaccine will be trialed in Africa.
SURVIVING MENTAL ILLNESS — Sufferers and survivors of mental illness share their stories.