Each month, I summarize local, national and international “stories of need” from local, national and international news sites, blogs, press releases and editorials. The following are some of December’s most need-in-the-news-worthy stories:
YEMEN — Peace talks began between the warring sides in Yemen’s ongoing civil war, and although they agreed to prisoner swaps and a ceasefire, obstacles to peace remain, including the involvement of outside forces.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA — Asylum claims spiked at U.S. ports of entry. A growing number of clergy and others protested the government detention of 15,000 children as well as attempts by the current administration to discourage immigration. Meanwhile, inside the United States, many “ordinary” people struggle to make ends meet.
FRANCE — Mass public protests occurred across France in opposition of government policies that ignore the realities of life for people on the lower end of the economic spectrum. The protests are now known as the “Yellow Vest Movement,” after the neon vests French motorists are required to keep on hand in their cars.
SIERRA LEONE — Koryardu residents handed over to their government a record-sized “peace” diamond worth $6.5 million. They have yet to see any dividend.
THE MIGRANT CRISIS — On both sides of the Atlantic nations are struggling to deal humanely with the flow of people attempting to cross their borders.
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 handful I’ve heard about recently:
WYOMING — A recent story highlighted the lifelong friendship of former U.S. Senators Norman Mineta and Alan Simpson.
AN ILLUSTRATED BIOGRAPHY — Inge Morath escaped from Nazi Germany, broke barriers as a photojournalist and married the playwright Arthur Miller.
NORTH CAROLINA — Civil Rights hero and voting rights advocate Rosanelle Eaton died at the age of 97.
OSLO (Norway) — Nadia Murad received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to assist Yazidi victims of sexual violence and genocide at the hands of ISIS.
HAMILTON COUNTY (Ohio) — Opioid deaths decreased more than 30 percent in one Ohio County thanks to the distribution of free Narcan.
Thoughts and stories worth reflection:
JOURNEY OF A BOMB — The sobering biography of a bomb, from its ‘birth’ in Arizona, to its use in Yemen.
HUMAN RIGHTS IDEALS — Is the U.N.’s declaration of human rights too idealistic? Or is there not enough political will to translate the rights it outlines into a reality?
SELECTIVE BIBLICAL EDUCATION — In the 1800s, the Bible was used to instruct slaves. But the Bible used for their training was selectively edited so as to omit passages that might incite rebellion.