A Note From the Editor: As we’re inundated with news headlines with every passing day, hour and tweet it seems, we thought it would be helpful to begin curating select news stories here for you that bear particular importance about the world we live in and the people who shape it. It’s easy to consume; it’s a lot harder to stop, process, and think critically about what’s going on around us.
We hope this series opens the door for conversations to develop and for voices to be heard. We encourage you to share your own thoughts on the stories shared and suggest new ones for us to feature in the comment section below.
Migrant Situation in Italy
The facts: Over 50,000 refugees from countries including Syria, Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia have entered Italy in 2015 alone. With dwindling resources, many of these refugees have nowhere to go but train stations in Rome and Milan, left to wait until border restrictions ease and they’re able to travel farther north. Meanwhile, boats of new refugees continue to arrive, overwhelming many southern Mediterranean ports.
Our response: Though it may seem like a situation too foreign to directly affect (most of) us, we shouldn’t let ourselves grow calloused to the plight of others, especially when Europe is such a tourist-driven destination. Staying informed and aware sensitizes us so that we’re able to demonstrate genuine empathy and compassion when opportunity to engage does arise, even in our local cities and communities.
For updated information on this story: Reuters
Intern Discovers New Planet
The facts: While monitoring the light of a star, Tom Wagg, 15, of Keele University in England, noticed a small dip, which turned out to be a yet-identified planet similar to the size of Jupiter. He had been working as part of a research group studying extrasolar planets.
Our response: We love this story because it demonstrates that it’s never too soon to benefit from working hard and with a passion. While internships are notorious for tedious, monotonous work, Tom’s story highlights that being “at the bottom” doesn’t immediately discount you from being a part of something big. When we’re willing to give more than what we may get from something, there’s infinite potential for success.
For updated information on this story: CNN
North Carolina Approves Religious Freedom Bill
The facts: North Carolina’s state legislature voted a measure into law on Thursday, June 11th, which allows some court officials to refuse to perform same-sex marriage responsibilities because of their religious beliefs.
Our response: Given the controversy religious freedom bills like this one have seen (in Indiana earlier this year, for example) we should expect that North Carolina’s recent law will also see a similar debate, as it touches on the perhaps unanswerable question: Where is the line between church and state?
Yet, before we jump into social media threads to air our opinion, let’s first consider what we’re trying to gain by doing so. Who are we ultimately trying to speak to? How informed is our opinion? Is there another, more direct or helpful way we can share what we’re frustrated by? How can we be motivated by love, not fear, in expressing what we think?
For updated information on this story: MSNBC
Historic Architecture Vanishing in New York
The facts: In the last two years, historic buildings in New York’s Midtown area have been steadily on the decline. Without legal protection from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, many face being torn down and replaced by newer, more modern hotels and commercial buildings.
Our response: This situation isn’t exclusive to New Yorkers, as we all have a responsibility to take notice of where we live and what gives it a unique character. If something is happening that we don’t agree with, we shouldn’t sit idly by and assume someone else will speak up first. Should preservation trump progression? Or is there a way the two can co-exist?
For updated information on this story: The New York Times
Image via Lydia and Emilie