Tuesday, 8 September 2015

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Good News

Inmate Offers To Be Bone Marrow Donor For Judge Who Helped Put Him In Prison

Sometimes kindness can be found in the most unexpected places.

Superior Court Judge Carl Fox, who is battling blood cancer and in need of a bone marrow donation, recently received a letter from an inmate he helped put behind bars, WRAL reported. The inmate, 62-year-old Charles Alston, wrote to Fox and offered to be his donor. Fox was the district attorney during Alston's trial. 

Due to the risk of infectious disease, inmates are not allowed to be on the donor registry, so Alston was unable to be Fox's donor. Nevertheless, the judge was touched by his gesture.

“He had every reason to be angry with me, given where he is and the sentence he was given,” Fox told the news outlet. “It means even that much more he did that given the circumstances.”

Fox, 61, a judge in North Carolina, was diagnosed with blood cancer in April, ABC 11 reported. A local coffee shop held a bone marrow donor drive called “Save the Fox” to help set the judge up with a match, which he has yet to find.

But Alston’s letter, which came in July, is a welcome surprise for Fox amid his battle with the disease. In the letter, Alston wrote:

"You were the District Attorney during the course of my trial, where I received a 25 year sentencing … There is no hatred or animosity in my heart towards you ... I know you are in need of a matching donor for bone marrow. I may or may not be a match, but would have been willing to make the sacrifice if needed."

Alston, who is serving his 25-year sentence for armed robbery at Franklin Correctional Center in Bunn, North Carolina, has sent his prayers to the judge for a healthy recovery.

The inmate believes Fox may have saved his life by putting him in jail, so he wanted to pay him back by offering to help with the potentially lifesaving procedure.

“I had a lot of hate for Mr. Fox because he sentenced me to so much time, but I come to church a lot, I found God. So, I thought maybe if I could do something for someone else, I'd do it,”

To watch the related  video, please visit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Famed German Soccer Club Donates $1 Million To New Refugees

BERLIN (AP) -- A training camp for migrant children. A $1.1 million donation. German lessons.

Those are a few of the things German soccer club Bayern Munich is doing to help some of the thousands of migrants who are arriving in the country after fleeing war and poverty in Syria and other troubled nations.

Other German soccer teams have also been at the forefront in preaching acceptance of the new arrivals.

"At a difficult time for these people, this is a small contribution to distract from daily life," German club Mainz said on its website after inviting migrants to attend matches.

Bayern appears to be leading the way, however. The club, among the biggest and richest in Europe, said Thursday it would donate 1 million euros ($1.1 million) to refugee projects and put on a training camp that would give children and adolescents German lessons, meals, and soccer equipment.

And at their next home game on Sept. 12, the team's star players will walk out onto the field holding hands with a German child on one side and a migrant child on the other.

Bayern said it would be "a symbol for the integration of refugees."

Germany is witnessing an unprecedented surge of asylum seekers this year. About 800,000 migrants are expected to arrive in 2015, a fourfold increase from last year, and soccer supporters have long been displaying messages of solidarity. Banners with "Refugees welcome" have been a common sight at Bundesliga games.

More than 2,000 migrants arrived by train in Munich on Tuesday, when police said they were "overwhelmed" by donations from residents.

Germany's national team, which won the World Cup in Brazil last year, has also gotten involved. Jerome Boateng, Ilkay Gundogan, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil and Toni Kroos appeared in a video Wednesday to promote respect and tolerance.

Mainz invited 200 migrants to last week's game, and 400 more are expected for the club's next home game on Sept. 18. Second-division club Bielefeld made 500 tickets available for its home game against Heidenheim. According to the club, all were snapped up within two hours.

In Dortmund, where the club has been involved in a long-running battle against far-right extremism among some of its own supporters, some fans have been welcoming migrants for years. The club recently invited 220 migrants from the local "Angekommen" (Arrived) support initiative to watch a Europa League qualifier against Norwegian club Odds BK.

While many migrants looking for a better life are attracted to Dortmund, set in the heartland of the industrial Ruhr area, the city also serves as a focal point for neo-Nazis in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The club, Borussia Dortmund, has taken several measures to curb right-wing violence and promote tolerance, including its "No Beer for Racists" campaign. The club has also countered the suggestion that Germany can't afford any more migrants.

"Germany is one of the largest and most prosperous countries in Europe," Dortmund wrote on its website. "If you put the asylum applications in relation to the population, Germany is only 10th on the list within Europe."

Rival Bundesliga clubs Hannover and Schalke, and lower-level teams including Fortuna Duesseldorf and Dynamo Dresden, have also taken part in initiatives for migrants. And the generosity isn't restricted to football - handball team HSG Wetzlar made 100 tickets available to migrants for each of its first two home league games of the season.

Babelsberg, a third-division soccer club based in Berlin, founded a team made entirely of migrants last year. "Welcome United," as the fan-funded team is called, will play its first season in Berlin's lower league this year.

"We want people to be welcome, regardless of why they had to leave their homes," Babelsberg says. "We believe every human being can be an asset to society."

Courtesy: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

24 New Baby Gorillas Bring Hope for the Species

In the wake of a 26 percent population boost for this iconic species, the addition of 24 adorable baby mountain gorillas offer new hope for the future.

On September 5, the 11th Annual Gorilla Naming Ceremony known as Kwita Izina took place at the foothills of the Virunga Mountains. The theme of the day was “Conserving Now and For the Future.”

Each of the newborn gorillas were given a name representative of their personality, circumstances of birth, or a hope for the future.

Among them was Icyifuzo, which means to “wish,” and Guhuza, meaning “come together.”

Rwanda has been closely tracking an increase in their gorilla population and have registered a 26.3 percent boost.

Although gorilla naming, a uniquely Rwandan tradition, has always been a part of the country’s culture, Kwita Izina was introduced in 2005 with the aim of creating awareness for the endangered mountain gorilla.

Courtesy: http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/24-new-baby-gorillas-bring-hope-for-species/

Billionaire Offers to Buy Island for Refugees Pouring into Europe

While Europeans are offering up houses to refugees, an Egyptian billionaire wants to buy an island where tens of thousands of refugees can live and work.

Naguib Sawiris is offering to buy an uninhabited island from either Italy or Greece large enough to sustain up to 200,000 people.

“All I need is the permission,” Sawiris told CNN. “I’ll pay for the island, I’ll provide the jobs.

The CEO promises to pay refugees to build their own houses and schools along with a hospital and university.

He heads Orascom, a diverse company spanning transportation, construction, and communications, which is Egypt’s largest private sector employer.

The Sawriss family has been active in helping Egyptians through their foundation for 14 years. It provides scholarships, training and job placement for people and awards prizes for Egyptian literature.Refugees welcome Twitter RefugeesEFL

Sawiriss suggests the refugees could turn the island into their own country and suggested naming the new nation “Hope.”

(READ more at the Jerusalem Post)

Maasai Women & Donkeys Bring Solar Power to Those Who Need it Most

Using donkeys to haul their equipment, groups of women in Kenya are going door to door, hoping villagers will see the light–and benefits–of adding renewable solar energy in their homes.

The solar house-calls are courtesy of a program launched by Green Energy Africa that is putting income into the pockets of women from the Maasai tribe, a semi-nomadic people of East Africa.

The company provides the women with solar products — energy efficient lights, panels and rechargeable batteries—and teaches them how to install the equipment in homes and villages.

There is a great need for solar energy in Kenya where more than half the population is living too remotely to connect to the country’s power grid.

Installing solar power means people no longer have to burn firewood or kerosene to light their homes and children can read or do homework without inhaling smoke. Solar lamps also can light up livestock pens, scaring away the hyenas and wild cats that threatened their cattle and goats.

It also saves money and time for Kenyan households that may spend 40 cents a day on kerosene or hours in the wilderness gathering or cutting firewood. Some already pay a dollar every week to charge cell phones at the nearest charging station miles away.African kids with Kyle De Souza - Curtin.edu photo

But the initiative provides more than clean, renewable energy. Green Energy Africa sells the equipment to the women at a discount, and the women in turn sell it for a profit.

A path to economic freedom for both the women–who don’t have the right to own property in their Maasai culture–and for those whose lives are changed by a clean, cheap energy source.

So far, about 200 tribal women have installed solar power units in more than 2,000 homes.

You can watch a related video at: http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/