Left: Robert Smith. Right (clockwise from left): Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Jay-Z, LeBron James and Nicki Minaj. Reuters, USA Today

Could black philanthropy help solve the black student debt crisis?

A recent gift by billionaire Robert Smith to pay off the student loans of 2019 graduates of Morehouse points to the potential of America's black elite to pay off all black students' college loans.
An illustration from the Christian Herald showing famine-hit people in India. Courtesy of the Christian Herald Association, New York

How American Christian media promoted charity abroad

For International Day of Charity on Sept. 5, a history of how the Christian Herald mobilized Americans in the late 19th century to give millions for the relief of global suffering.
Voodoo believers walk during the annual Voodoo festival Fete Gede at Cite Soleil Cemetery in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery

What is Haitian Voodoo?

Voodoo is often seen as a practice involving magic. In Haiti, Voodoo is a religion born out of the struggle of slaves. And today, it is used as a form of healing and protection.
Red Cross forensic specialist Stephen Fonseca, right, searches for bodies in a field of ruined maize in Magaru, Mozambique, after Cyclone Idai, April 4, 2019. AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Humanitarian forensic scientists trace the missing, identify the dead and comfort the living

Meet the unsung aid workers who put their lives on the line during war and natural disaster to make sure the dead are treated with respect – and that their grieving families get closure.
A Rohingya refugee girl sells vegetables in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. Access to education is extremely limited in the camps, and most children — particularly girls — receive little to no formal education, Aug. 28, 2018. AP Photo/Altaf Qadri

Without school, a ‘lost generation’ of Rohingya refugee children face uncertain future

An estimated 500,000 Rohingya children, refugees from Myanmar, are growing up in Bangladesh in overcrowded camps with no access to formal education.
Abortion rights supporters in Missouri take part in a protest, after state lawmakers passed rules aimed at closing Missouri’s only abortion clinic, May 30, 2019. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

When religious ideology drives abortion policy, poor women suffer the consequences

Young, poor, single and a mother of two: This is the profile of most women in the US and Northern Ireland who seek financial assistance to help pay for an abortion.
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama sits on his ceremonial chair at Tsuglakhang temple in Dharmsala, India. AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia

How the Dalai Lama is chosen and why China wants to appoint its own

Winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize and one of the most recognizable faces of Buddhism, the Dalai Lama has turned 84 and the question of a successor is pressing – and controversial.
A damaged Confederate statue lies on a pallet in a warehouse in Durham, N.C. on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, after protesters yanked it off its pedestal in front of a government building. AP Photo/Allen Breed

A Confederate statue graveyard could help bury the Old South

Where do old Confederate statues go when they die? The former Soviet bloc countries could teach the US something about dealing with monuments from a painful past.
Dalia Yashar, one of the first Saudi female students in training to become commercial pilot, pictured on July 15, 2018. Her future passengers will include solo women travelers, too. Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed

Saudi women are fighting for their freedom – and their hard-won victories are growing

Saudi women may now travel without a man's permission, easing one of the most repressive aspects of the country's 'guardianship' system. Women in Saudi Arabia gained the right to drive last year.
Yemen’s al-Qaida branch, called al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, is the most dangerous and sophisticated offshoot of the terror group Osama bin Laden founded in Afghanistan in 1988. AP Photo/Hani Mohammed

Al-Qaida is stronger today than it was on 9/11

Bin Laden's extremist group had less than a hundred members in September 2001. Today it's a transnational terror organization with 40,000 fighters across the Middle East, Africa and beyond.
Honduran migrant Vicky Chavez with her daughter Issabella on May 31, 2018 in the First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City, where she sought protection from deportation in late 2017. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

More Central American migrants take shelter in churches, recalling 1980s sanctuary movement

The number of migrants living in churches has spiked recently in anticipation of threatened immigration raids, but churches have long protected refugees in an act of faith-based civil disobedience.
Slavery is not so far removed. Anderson and Minerva Edwards met in the 1860s as enslaved laborers in Texas, had 16 children and lived into their 90s in a cabin a few miles from the plantations they once worked. They are photographed here in 1937. U.S. Library of Congress

If Germany atoned for the Holocaust, the US can pay reparations for slavery

Old injustices don't simply disappear with time – they tear a nation apart.

More Analysis and Comment

Just a thought

In this secular humanist tradition, Rosh Hashana is seen as a time for self-evaluation and self-improvement, without reference to God. Instead, emphasis is placed on the cultural, historical and ethical aspects of Judaism. Ronald W. Pies

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