Inspiring News Stories
Excerpts of Highly Inspiring News Stories in Major Media



Below are one-paragraph excerpts of highly inspiring news stories reported in the major media. Links are provided to the original stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These inspiring news stories are listed with the stories most recently posted to the website listed first. You can explore the same list with the most inspiring stories listed first. See also a concise list providing headlines and links to a number of highly inspiring stories. May these articles inspire us to find ever more ways to love and support each other and all around us to be the very best we can be.


Note: This comprehensive list of inspiring news stories is usually updated once a week. See also a full index to revealing excerpts of key news articles on several dozen engaging topics.

Turning Education Upside Down
2013-10-09, New York Times Blog
Posted: 2014-11-23 17:59:58
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com//2013/10/09/turning-education-upside-down/

Three years ago, Clintondale High School, just north of Detroit, became a “flipped school” — one where students watch teachers’ lectures at home and do what we’d otherwise call “homework” in class. Teachers record video lessons, which students watch on their smartphones, home computers or at lunch in the school’s tech lab. In class, they do projects, exercises or lab experiments in small groups while the teacher circulates. In the fall of 2011, Clintondale flipped completely — every grade, every class. “On average we approximated a 30 percent failure rate,” said Green. “With flipping, it dropped to under 10 percent.” Graduation rates rose dramatically, and are now over 90 percent. College attendance went from 63 percent in 2010 to 80 percent in 2012. Flipping also changes the distribution of teacher time. In a traditional class, the teacher engages with the students who ask questions — but it’s those who don’t ask who tend to need the most attention. The biggest effect of flipping classrooms is on the students at the bottom. “It’s tough to fail a flipped class, because you’re doing the stuff in here,” said Rob Dameron, the head of the English department. “I used to have about a 30 percent failure rate in English. Now, out of 130 kids, I have three who are failing — mostly due to attendance problems.” Flipped classrooms require more creativity and energy from the teacher. “Lots of teachers who aren’t really good teachers are resistant to this — they like to build time into the day when kids are working to do their taxes or catch up on email.”.

Note: Watch a great five-minute video on this phenomenon. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Living Simply in a Dumpster
2014-09-11, The Atlantic
Posted: 2014-11-23 17:57:56
http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/09/the-simple-life-in-a-dump...

Tucked behind the women’s residence halls in a back corner of Huston-Tillotson University’s campus in Austin, Texas, sits a green dumpster. Were it not for the sliding pitched roof and weather station perched on top, a reasonable person might dismiss the box as “just another dumpster”—providing this person did not encounter the dean of the University College Jeff Wilson living inside. Until this summer, the green dumpster was even less descript than it is now. There was no sliding roof; Wilson kept the rain out with a tarp. The goal was to establish a baseline experience of the dumpster without any accoutrements, before adding them incrementally. Not long ago, Wilson was nesting in a 2,500 square foot house. Now he says almost everything he owns is in his 36-square-foot dumpster, which is sanctioned and supported by the university as part of an ongoing sustainability-focused experiment called The Dumpster Project. “We could end up with a house under $10,000 that could be placed anywhere in the world,” Wilson said at the launch, “[fueled by] sunlight and surface water, and people could have a pretty good life.” Wilson, known around town as Professor Dumpster, recounted in another recent interview that he now owns four pairs of pants, four shirts, three pairs of shoes, three hats, and “eight or nine” bow ties. He keeps all of this in cubbies under a recently installed false floor.

Note: The article above includes many amazing photos of Wilson's unconventional home. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




These 14 Teenage Inventors Built a Glove That Translates Sign Language—and Other Tech Solutions
2014-11-11, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2014-11-23 17:55:39
http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/these-14-teenage-inventors-made-a-glo...

These 16 individuals under 20 have all invented solutions that have somehow eluded those who can legally drink. Many of these kids were inspired by simple necessity. Others were driven by compassion. Some of them were just doing science fair projects. Eesha Khare: This 18-year-old from Saratoga, California, was still in high school when she invented a battery that can be charged in 20 seconds. It also lasts 10 times as long as a standard battery. Ryan Patterson: The inability to communicate with most hearing people makes life difficult for deaf persons. Knowing this, Colorado-born Ryan invented a glove that translates sign language. It’s simply a golf glove that uses sensors, a radio frequency transmitter, and a microcontroller to interpret hand movements. He was 17. Why didn’t anyone else think of this? Raquel Redshirt: Growing up in New Mexico’s Navajo Nation, Raquel experienced poverty so extreme that her family and neighbors often couldn’t afford electricity, making it near impossible to cook anything. So at 16, she discovered a way to make solar-powered ovens using the simple materials collected around the area. Working with old tires, aluminum foil, shredded paper, and dirt, she made these usually expensive ovens for the people in her community. Have you built any ovens for your neighbors lately?

Note: Why aren't some of these inventions being hailed and promoted widely in the media? Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Obama administration endorses treaty banning torture
2014-11-12, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-11-23 17:53:34
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-administration-en...

The Obama administration has formally endorsed provisions of an international treaty banning torture and cruel treatment of prisoners held by the United States. In a statement Wednesday to a U.N. treaty-monitoring committee in Geneva, Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski said, “We believe that torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment are forbidden in all places, at all times, with no exceptions.” State Department legal adviser Mary E. McLeod affirmed to the committee that the definition covers all areas under U.S. jurisdiction and territory. McLeod also reaffirmed that no statement made by a person as a result of torture is admissible in any legal proceeding. The ... issue is likely to reemerge in the United States with the release of a lengthy summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s classified report on the detention and interrogation program that was put in place following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The release has been held up in a dispute between the committee majority and the CIA over portions of the report the intelligence agency believes should remain secret. In her remarks to the committee, McLeod said that “in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, we regrettably did not always live up to our own values. As President Obama has acknowledged, we crossed the line and we take responsibility for that.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




A Father's Letter To His Five-Year-Old Daughter
2014-11-12, Daily Good
Posted: 2014-11-16 21:29:52
http://www.dailygood.org/story/855/a-father-s-letter-to-his-five-year-old-dau...

Tom Attwater is dying of a brain tumor, but he isn’t worried about his cancer. Instead, he is trying to save his 5 year-old daughter from her own. He has vowed to raise approximately $820,200.00 for her cancer treatment, even if he wouldn’t be around to see her go through it. Now Tom is almost half way to his fundraising target. Tragically his deadline is short as his latest scans show his brain tumour is growing. He says: “These days people make bucket lists, and the very top of mine – the one that matters most – is raising money to make sure Kelli gets the medical help she might need." Tom is dedicated to leaving a legacy behind for her, as well as this touching letter: Darling Kelli, I’m so sorry I will not get to see you grow up as I so want to. Please don’t blame people or the world for this. A lot of life is simply luck and mine is running out. I wish I had the words to make you feel better. I wish I didn’t have cancer and you didn’t have to see me in pain as you often do now. I wish so many things were different but they are not. Most dads and daughters have decades to chat around the kitchen table, their hands warmed by mugs of coffee, as the dad dishes out advice and their girls no doubt roll their eyes. We don’t have that time. But while your old dad is still around I thought I’d try to give you some life advice.

Note: Read the all of Tom Attwater's inspiring letter to his daughter in the article above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Quaker Project Offers Inmates Alternatives to Violent Actions
1996-08-11, New York Times
Posted: 2014-11-16 21:28:00
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/08/11/nyregion/quaker-project-offers-inmates-alte...

Alternatives to Violence Project is a conflict-resolution workshop for inmates with a history of violent behavior at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. It is a program started by the Quakers in 1975 and still has strong Quaker involvement from meetings around the county. Each month the program conducts workshops at the prison for some of the most violent offenders in the New York State prison system. "Quakers have been involved in prison ministry for a long time because the founders like George Fox were incarcerated for civil disobedience," said Fred Feucht, 65, a Quaker from the Purchase Meeting and an outside coordinator for the project at the prison. Although the program is steeped in the nonviolent beliefs of the Quakers, most of the volunteers are not Quakers and believe that people need to learn conflict-resolution skills to avoid violence. "We grew out of the Quakers but we reached outside for most of our leaders," Mr. Feucht said. "A lot of our inside leaders are Muslims." Inside, leaders are inmates who have completed the ... workshops and now work as volunteers to conduct and administer the program. Volunteers in the project advocate that violence is the basic cause for people being incarcerated. Many remain involved with the program outside prison, and a group of former project facilitators formed a support group called the Landing Strip. With tougher sentencing laws today, repeat violent offenders may never be freed. For many graduates of the program, it is seen as a last chance.

Note: For more on this excellent program which is powerfully changing lives, watch this inspiring video and see their website.




FBI: Violent crime drops, reaches 1970s level
2014-11-10, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2014-11-16 21:25:37
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-violent-crime-1970s-level-...

U.S. violent crimes including murders fell 4.4 percent in 2013 to their lowest number since the 1970s, continuing a decades-long downturn, the FBI said on Monday. The law enforcement agency's annual Crime in the United States report showed the country had an estimated 1.16 million violent crimes last year, the lowest number since 1.09 million were recorded in 1978. All types of violent crimes were lower, with murder and non-negligent manslaughter off 4.4 percent to 14,196, the lowest figure since 1968. Rape was down 6.3 percent and robbery fell 2.8 percent, the Federal Bureau of Investigation data showed. The violent crime rate last year was 367.9 for each 100,000 in population, down 5.1 percent from 2012. The rate has fallen every year since at least 1994, the earliest year for readily accessible FBI data, and the 2013 figure was about half the 1994 rate. Property crimes fell 4.1 percent ... the 11th straight yearly decline. In an analysis, the non-profit Pew Charitable Trusts said the drop in crime coincided with a decline in the prison population, with the number of U.S. prisoners down 6 percent in 2013 from its peak in 2008. Thirty-two of the 50 states have seen a drop in crime rates as the rate of imprisonment fell, Pew said. California notched the largest drop in imprisonment rate over the five-year period, at 15 percent, and crime was down 11 percent. The state has been under court order to reduce prison overcrowding, and voters last week approved an initiative that reduced sentences for some crimes.

Note: Why isn't this inspiring news being broadcast widely by the media? And why hasn't the FBI website updated their data on this since 2010? The police and media appear to consistently downplay the huge drop in violent crime since 1994. According to the FBI's own statistics, violent crime has currently dropped to 1/3 or less what it was in 1994. See the revealing FBI graphs and charts here, here, and here. Yet some of these charts have now been removed and mention of this huge decrease downplayed. The obvious reason is that a large decrease in crime might cause people to want to decrease police and FBI budgets. More here.




Indian Man, Jadav "Molai" Payeng, Single-Handedly Plants A 1,360 Acre Forest In Assam
2012-04-13, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-11-10 10:00:15
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/03/indian-man-jadav-molai-pa_n_1399930....

More than 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav "Molai" Payeng began planting seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in India's Assam region. It was 1979 and floods had washed a great number of snakes onto the sandbar. When Payeng -- then only 16 -- found them, they had all died. "The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms," Payeng told the Times Of India. "It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. There was nobody to help me," he told the newspaper. Now that once-barren sandbar is a sprawling 1,360 acre forest, home to several thousands of varieties of trees and an astounding diversity of wildlife -- including birds, deer, apes, rhino, elephants and even tigers. The forest, aptly called the "Molai woods" after its creator's nickname, was single-handedly planted and cultivated by one man -- Payeng, who is now 47. Today, Payeng still lives in the forest. He shares a small hut with his wife and three children. According to the Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia, it is perhaps the world’s biggest forest in the middle of a river. "We were surprised to find such a dense forest on the sandbar," Saikia told the Times Of India. "[Locals] wanted to cut down the forest, but Payeng ... treats the trees and animals like his own children. Seeing this, we, too, decided to pitch in," Saikia said.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Man Receives Diploma 55 Years After Being Denied Graduation For Refusing To Accept Racism
2014-08-13, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-11-10 09:56:47
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/13/alva-earley-diploma_n_5672257.html

In 1959, Alva Earley ... attended a picnic at Lake Storey Park. Earley, who is black, went to the picnic with a group of friends. The group, which included other black and Hispanic people, decided to eat at a whites-only area of the park, despite having been told by a school counselor that doing so would result in serious repercussions. "We were just trying to send a message that we are people, too," Earley told NPR. "We just had lunch." After the gathering, Earley was notified by his school that he would not be allowed to graduate, nor would he receive his diploma. Last Friday, Earley, now 73, finally received that diploma. Though more than 50 years late, the graduation was made possible by a few of Earley's former high school classmates. Though the ceremony was a happy one, Earley says that he had been harboring pain over the incident. "The fact that I could not get a cap and gown on and march down the aisle with my classmates -- it meant the world to me. It hurt so bad," he told NPR. Because he was unable to receive a diploma, two colleges that had already accepted him withdrew their offers. He went to Knox College after a classmate persuaded his father and then-president of Knox College to allow Earley to enroll. Now, his other classmates are happy. "When people have been mistreated, we owe it to them to address the injustice," [said] former classmate Lowell Peterson. "This is just a little chance to make something right."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Beyond Charity: Turning The Soup Kitchen Upside Down
2014-09-20, NPR
Posted: 2014-11-10 09:54:33
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/09/20/349859645/beyond-charity-turning-...

If you've ever volunteered in a soup kitchen, you know the feeling of having served others. But what about those on the other side of the food line? Are they getting what they need most? Robert Egger, the founder of DC Central Kitchen, didn't think so. He set out to train homeless people on the streets of Washington, D.C. — many of whom were drug addicts cycling in and out of a life of crime — how to cook and earn a food handler's license. The goal was to help them trade addiction and crime for stable employment in restaurants and other food enterprises. Egger's kitchen got its start turning surplus and donated food into meals that are provided to homeless shelters and other nonprofits. Later, DC Central Kitchen opened an arm that operates much like a private company, selling high-quality meals to schools and 60 corner stores in low-income neighborhoods of the city. Today ... it delivers 5,000 meals each day to local nonprofit organizations and another 5,000 meals to schools. It operates a culinary job-training program that trains 80 people each year, and gets many of its supplies from small, local farms. Sixty percent of its funding is revenue that it earns from sales. "This idea of everyone side by side — it's a powerful image," says Egger. "The president of the United States, someone from the shelter, a kid from Wilson High School — we're Washingtonians, side by side. This is the power of community!"

Note: The DC Kitchen model has been adopted by organizations around the country, and inspired The Campus Kitchens Project, where students help recover food that might be wasted and prepare meals for people in need in their communities.




Debt campaigners tear up student loans
2014-10-22, BBC News
Posted: 2014-11-03 01:31:58
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-29505582

An activist group (is) buying and cancelling other people's student debts. Rolling Jubilee has purchased and abolished $3.8m (£2.35m) of debt owed by 2,700 students. Debts can be bought and sold in the financial marketplace. But student debt, which has spiralled to an estimated $1.2 trillion (£619bn), is not usually as available to buy as other debts. In this speculative secondary market, third parties buy debt for a fraction of its original cost. These debt campaigners are buying debts and then writing them off. Laura Hanna at Rolling Jubilee says, "We wanted to question the morality around repayment. Your debts are on sale. They are just not on sale to you." Ms Hanna says ... the way that selling education as a commodity reinforces inequality. The group is hoping to show students that if they work together, they can renegotiate their debt. Student debt can pursue people all through their working lives and into retirement. Officials giving evidence to a US Senate committee said this could mean that student debt repayments could be deducted from retired people's social security benefits. John Aspray, national field director at the United States Student Association (USSA), said recent changes in law mean people in medical or gambling debt can declare themselves bankrupt - but to do so for student debt ... is very difficult. "Opportunities for renegotiating are very well hidden."

Note: Rolling Jubilee's website has a counter where you can see how many millions of dollars in burdensome debt have been eliminated by their inspiring strategy.




Are these glimpses of the after-life?
2014-10-19, Daily Mail
Posted: 2014-11-03 01:29:38
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2799385/glimpses-life-brain-surgeon-t...

Neurosurgeon Dr Eben Alexander was convinced out-of-body experiences were hallucinations — until he went into a coma himself and had what he now believes was a glimpse of heaven. Dr Alexander, who has taught at Harvard Medical School, reveals many others have also seen what he described. Dr. Alexander: A near-death experience will change your life in more ways than one. It means you have survived a serious illness or a major accident, for one thing. But the aftermath ... can be even more significant. For me, it was as if my old world was dead and I had been reborn into a new one. Coping with that is hard: how do you replace your old vision of the universe? Many people are going through similar versions of what I went through, and the stories I have heard from other near-death experience witnesses give me courage every day. They are a constant corroboration of everything that was revealed to me — how we are loved and cherished much more than we can imagine, how we have nothing to fear and nothing to reproach ourselves for. If you have never seen yourself as a spiritual person, and perhaps did not even believe in God, this new dimension to your understanding has an even greater impact. One of the most extraordinary things about my own glimpse of heaven was that, back in this world, no one was aware of the transformation that I was undergoing. All the monitors and sensors and computers could detect no activity: my brain was flat-lining. New knowledge like this changes us for ever. We evolve into someone fresh.

Note: Learn a lot more about Dr. Alexander on this webpage. Explore an abundance of inspiring resources on near-death experiences.




Pilot Inspires Compton Kids to Dream Big
2013-02-26, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-11-03 01:26:59
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/toan-lam/pilot-inspires-compton-ki_b_2765543.html

Robyn Petgrave, founder of Tomorrow's Aeronautical Museum (TAM), is using aeronautics to get at-risk youth in Compton off the streets and into the air -- educating, inspiring and empowering them to soar high and reach their dreams. Starting at age eight, kids who stay out of trouble, get good grades and have positive attitudes earn the privilege to fly planes. "I talked to the kids about staying away from drugs and gangs, communicating, using aviation as a real life application of math and science, and working hard in school and life. As I noticed that some of them listened and followed through, I realized that I wanted to help kids succeed using aviation as a magnet to keep kids off the streets for a living," Petgrave said. The kids were drawn to TAM because of the planes, but it's clear that they're just a vehicle that gets the kids in the door and cockpit. Petgrave says there's a tremendous amount of responsibility when you fly a plane, life skills that can be transferred from the air and to the streets. High five to Robyn and his crew for taking these amazing kids under his wing and catapulting them past the sky's limit. What a great way to use his power and fueling the dreams of these bright kids and challenging them to soar to new heights.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Humble delivery man becomes reluctant hero after dramatic fire rescue
2014-10-22, CNN News
Posted: 2014-11-03 01:23:36
http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/22/us/mysterious-hero-identified

It is sheer panic in the woman's voice on the cell phone video as the flames shot out of the windows of the wood frame home: "There's a man in there!" The next sound on the video is a loud explosion. "We gotta get the dad," screams the woman. The explosion forced two men who were trying to reach the trapped man away from the home. Seconds later, a man in a blue Los Angeles Dodgers cap jogs out with a 73-year-old man slung over his shoulder. "I didn't see him," says Beth Lederach, the woman who recorded the dramatic weekend fire and rescue on her cell phone. In the seconds before the explosion ... you can see the man in the blue cap calmly walk towards the burning home, flames nearing 20 feet high. "He calmly walks in there, calmly. Then here he comes, carrying the dad," recalls Lederach. Then he vanished. For 48 hours, the Fresno fire department and local reporters hunted for the mysterious hero. Who was he? Why would he dive into a burning home, save a man and then not stay long enough for even a simple "thank you"? It appeared the man would never be found. But in this age, social media has a way of making sure all secrets are uncovered. Tom Artiaga groaned as the reporters starting banging on his door. "I didn't want the glory," he says sheepishly, wearing the same blue Dodgers cap. "We have to help each other out. We kill each other. We fight. We gotta help each other out. I don't feel like a hero. If it was someone else, I'd help them, too."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Bridging the Clothing Divide
2012-10-13, New York Times
Posted: 2014-10-27 20:32:01
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/clothing-the-poorest-for-surv...

One of the most glaring oversights in the field of development is the lack of attention to clothing. Countless organizations work on food, energy, education, health care, economic opportunity — but beyond disaster relief efforts, you hear little about the need for clothes. In India, this makes no sense. In 1998, the Guptas started an organization, Goonj (meaning “echo”), to redistribute (clothing) where it was most needed. They wanted to find a way to address the problem systematically — to craft a permanent, rather than an episodic response, to what they considered a non-natural, perpetual disaster. Goonj has found a way to assist villagers that moves beyond the stigma of charity. The model is grounded in the Indian concepts ... advocated by Gandhi and his disciple Vinoba Bhave. “The whole chain is full of respectful links. Not many supply chains are full of respect.” Today, Goonj operates collection centers in nine Indian cities and provides about two million pounds of materials, mostly clothes, but also utensils, school supplies, footwear, toys and many other items. It will assist about a half a million people in 21 states this year. Goonj also takes pains to see that its materials actually reach the intended recipients. They carefully vet N.G.O. partners and do follow-up visits. If that is impossible, they require that photographs be taken to show the distribution of goods. Gupta said. “It’s a tough game to deal with local police and government officials and tax officers. But we have a zero bribe policy.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Kalamazoo Cop Pulls Over Choking Woman, Saves Her Life
2014-08-14, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-10-27 20:28:52
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/cop-saves-choking-woman_n_5677448.html

What started as a routine traffic stop on Saturday turned out to be a life-saving moment for one Michigan woman. At the time the unidentified driver was pulled over, she was choking. And the officer who stopped her saved her life in a scene caught on his dashcam, which you can see [on the webpage at the link] above. "For the first second or so I thought she might be trying to just get out of a ticket and then I realized she was in legitimate respiratory distress, so I tried to dislodge the item from her throat by just hitting her on the back," Officer Jason Gates said at a press conference, according to MLive.com. "When that didn't work, I got her out and I used the Heimlich for the first time in my nine-year police career and it worked," he said. With three hard abdominal thrusts, Gates dislodged a piece of sausage and bun, WOODTV reported. When she could breathe again, the grateful driver cried and hugged the officer. He did not give her a ticket. "Most of the times, traffic stops are a negative for people, but it's something we have to do," Gates was quoted as saying. "It does keep people safe, not only in slowing people down and keeping traffic safe, but in rare instances like this.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Nobody Should Die From Diseases We Know How To Treat
2014-10-22, Daily Good
Posted: 2014-10-27 20:23:48
http://www.dailygood.org/story/864/poem-from-haiti-sriram-shamasunder

Nobody should die from diseases we know how to treat. Currently in all areas of the world over 50,000 people die daily from diseases we can treat. One component of getting good care in very poor places is to have the human capacity and training to deliver good care. Two UCSF Physicians have started a project called the HEAL initiative that aims to address health workforce in resource poor communities. HEAL initiative works at sites domestically and internationally, from Navajo Nation in New Mexico to Liberia and Haiti and India to both improve the quality of care, support and train local health professionals. The work that is about health care but is also beyond health care. It is about solidarity and justice. A simple home visit can shape the way anyone thinks about health. The community health workers sit with patients and discuss what ails them on many levels. When someone can't pay for medicines or health care, what other costs may be suffocating their budget? On arrival to the house, the family structure is revealed, how many people are staying under one roof, what material makes up that roof, straw or tin or concrete? Does the patient own his/her own land? Are there crops rising up from the soil or is the land barren? On one home visit we came across this grandmother (who) inspired this poem Towards Flooding Homes with Dignity. To witness this solidarity and movement towards health as a human right is to witness something precious becoming conferred as a right.

Note: The moving poem Towards Flooding Homes with Dignity is included in the complete article summarized above. Learn more about HEAL from this initiative's website.




Positive Post-it Day held to encourage Airdrie teen's anti-bullying campaign
2014-10-09, CBC News (Canada's public broadcasting station)
Posted: 2014-10-27 20:18:20
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/positive-post-it-day-held-to-encourage-...

A southern Alberta city got a little brighter today after hundreds of neon Post-it notes with inspiring hand-written messages started popping up at homes, shops and offices in Airdrie. The movement was started by a local high school student trying to fight off a bully. Caitlin Prater-Haacke had been sent a message on Facebook telling her to kill herself. Instead of replying to the message, Prater-Haacke took out a marker and some small pads of paper. She decided to fight back by posting positive messages on every locker in her school. "Little simple messages like, 'You're beautiful' [and] 'You shine bright like a diamond,'" she said. But officials at George McDougall High School didn't like the idea and told her it was littering, which didn't sit well with the community. City council then declared Oct. 9 as Positive Post-it Day. "What's come out of it is 100 times better," said Prater-Haacke, adding she can't believe the support she has received. The school is now filled with the sticky notes, and this time the school says the colourful messages can stay. But it wasn't just among students, as other Airdrie residents also embraced the movement. "I think it put a smile on everyone's face this morning and I think it gave them that little bit of extra oomph for the morning to get them going," said resident David Jones. The campaign has taken off online.

Note: Watch an inspiring two-minute video about Caitlan's movement. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Wind Power Blows Away Coal and Gas in Nordic Countries
2014-10-17, Scientific American/Reuters
Posted: 2014-10-20 18:46:16
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/wind-power-blows-away-coal-and-gas-...

Wind power is blowing gas and coal-fired turbines out of business in the Nordic countries, and the effects will be felt across the Baltic region as the renewable glut erodes utility margins for thermal power stations. Fossil power plants in Finland and Denmark act as swing-producers, helping to meet demand when hydropower production in Norway and Sweden falls due to dry weather. The arrival of wind power on a large scale has made this role less relevant and has pushed electricity prices down, eroding profitability of fossil power stations. "Demand for coal condensing power in the Nordic power market has decreased as a result of the economic recession and the drop in the wholesale price for electricity," state-controlled Finnish utility Fortum said. Nordic wholesale forward power prices have almost halved since 2010 to little over 30 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh) as capacity increases while demand stalls on the back of stagnant populations, low economic growth and lower energy use due to improved efficiency. "The Nordic system price will likely more often clear well below the production cost for coal fired power production," said Marius Holm Rennesund Oslo-based consultancy THEMA. "This will, in our view, result in mothballing of 2,000 MW of coal condensing capacity in Denmark and Finland towards 2030," he added. Adding further wind power capacity at current market conditions could lead to power prices dropping towards as low as 20 euros per MWh, the marginal cost for nuclear reactors, Rennesund said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of key energy news articles from reliable major media sources. To learn about new energy technologies, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our New Energy Information Center.




Moral Courage & The Story of Sister Megan Rice
2014-10-01, Daily Good
Posted: 2014-10-20 18:40:23
http://www.dailygood.org/story/857/moral-courage-and-the-story-of-sister-mega...

The Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oakridge, Tennessee, is supposed to be impregnable. But on July 28th 2012, an 84 year-old nun called Sister Megan Rice broke through a series of high-security fences surrounding the plant and reached a uranium storage bunker at the center of the complex. She was accompanied by Greg Boertje-Obed (57) and Michael Walli (63). The trio ... sat down for a picnic. When the security guards arrived they offered them some bread. Two years later, Rice, Walli and Boertje-Obed were sentenced to federal prison terms of between three and five years, plus restitution in the amount of $53,000 for damage done to the plant - far in excess of the estimates produced at their trial. When questioned about her actions at her trial by Judge Amul Thapar, Rice told him that her actions were intended to draw attention to the US stockpile of nuclear weapons that she and her co-defendants felt was illegal and immoral. They also wanted to expose the ineffectiveness of the security systems that were supposed to protect these weapons from theft or damage. “We were acutely mindful of the widespread loss to humanity that nuclear weapons have already caused,” wrote Rice afterwards in a letter to her supporters, “and we realize that all life on earth could be exterminated through intentional, accidental or technical error. Our action exposed the storage of weapons-making materials deliberately hidden from the general public.” All three defendants were found guilty of “sabotage of the national defense.” Just before they were sentenced, Rice made a statement to the court which ended like this: “We have to speak, and we’re happy to die for that. To remain in prison for the rest of my life is the greatest honor that you could give me. Please don’t be lenient with me. It would be an honor for that to happen.”

Note: If you would like to receive copies of Sister Rice’s letters to her supporters, please email nukeresister@igc.org. Mailing addresses for Sister Rice and her co-defendants can be found here and here. You can also sign a petition requesting their pardon.






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