July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.  As the designation would imply the month is a time for sharpening the focus on mental health topics.  According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 16.3 percent of Hispanic adults and 18.6 percent of Black adults are living with a mental health condition.  To celebrate Minority Mental Health Month, the council on substance abuse is hosting its annual Community Mental Health Fair on Saturday, July 16th.  More information is available at nami.org.  

A Montgomery woman previously convicted of severely injuring a toddler has been arrested again, this time for allegedly leaving her infant son in a car while she shopped at Walmart.  Police say 33-year-old Javonda Latrice Weeks was arrested Saturday.  A concerned resident reported seeing the infant around 10 a.m. in a vehicle in the Walmart parking lot.  The windows had been left cracked and the vehicle was unlocked.  The baby has been placed in the custody of his father.

So many things about this election are unprecedented — and one of the most obvious is how much voters dislike the candidates. By now, everyone knows that this year features the two most-unpopular presumptive major-party candidates on record.

To Sandra Di Capua, cereal is a Proustian affair.

"I love Proust, and I love Proustian moments and memories," says Di Capua, citing the French novelist whose taste of a madeleine famously sent him on a journey of memory. "The delight that I see here, it goes back to when I had Froot Loops as a kid and watched Saturday morning cartoons."

Hillary Clinton will already make history with her nomination for president, becoming the first woman to lead a major presidential ticket. Now the question is whether she wants to do it again with her choice of running mate.

Clinton is expected to name her vice presidential pick sometime after the Republican National Convention ends and before her own convention begins in Philadelphia on July 25.

On her list are several Hispanic lawmakers, African-Americans and at least one woman.

An international tribunal in The Hague has invalidated China's claims in the South China Sea in a first-ever ruling. The decision has been rejected by Beijing.

The disputed waters are claimed by China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and other countries. But China has been the most aggressive in staking out its claim — marking a "nine-dash line" around the bulk of the islands and waters, and building up artificial islands within the disputed region.

Copyright 2016 Colorado Public Radio. To see more, visit Colorado Public Radio.

"Remember that Twilight Zone where you make your own Hell?" asks the narrator of "The Last Triangle," one of the most haunting stories in Jeffrey Ford's fifth collection, A Natural History of Hell. The character is a homeless drug addict, and the story answers his rhetorical question in ways that are both mundane and wildly weird. Ford is foremost a fantasist — his work has won or been nominated for numerous genre awards over the years — and his fiction has always teased the uncanny out of everyday existence, be it in this world or another.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Animal Rescues: An End-Of-Year Celebration

Dec 19, 2013
Originally published on December 19, 2013 3:09 pm

Celebration: That's the theme I decided on for my final two Thursday posts of 2013. Last week I wrote about the spectrum of genders in the human world. It's only natural that this week I should return to my first love among blogging topics: animals and animal welfare.

It's not only the lives of animals themselves that I want to highlight, though. I can think of no better way to close out the year than to celebrate the people — so many of you, so many of us across the world — who rescue animals in danger, distress or need.

Here are four of my favorite examples from 2013.

4. Dolphin Happiness

Speaking of celebrating! When fishermen in Brazil free a dolphin from a plastic bag, the animal, rather than just swimming away, leaps into the air. I'm too cautious to describe the dolphin's action as thanking the fishermen, as some have. The dolphin is so young we can only hope he or she survived what seems to have been a separation from the mother. But at that moment of freedom? That's pure dolphin happiness we're seeing.

3. Injured Sea Turtle Release

A rehabilitated Olive Ridley sea turtle named Aceituna is released back into his natural habitat.

Aceituna had arrived at Cameroon's Limbe Wildlife Centre in extremely poor condition after he was confiscated by wildlife officials. As a result of being tied tightly by a rope prior to his arrival, Aceituna's back right flipper was completely rotten, causing pain and a general infection. Limbe's veterinary team successfully amputated the flipper in a complicated procedure and, following a long and carefully monitored rehabilitation period, Aceituna was released to swim free.

2. Dogs With New Homes

We all become rescuers when we adopt our pets from shelters or animal-welfare organizations. Here's a fun series of photographs on BuzzFeed of rescued dogs on the way to their new homes.

1. Frolicking German Dairy Cows

Rescued from a planned slaughter, it's wonderful to see how these former dairy cows respond with joyful emotion to release from their winter quarters. Don't miss this one! The narrative is as inspiring as the visuals.

Much work remains to be done, of course. I want to work toward a world where, for example, no chimpanzee is made to become a roller-skating actor in the movies, as chimpanzee Chance was in The Wolf of Wall Street, a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio that opens on Christmas Day.

Yet we are making progress. In the wake of Blackfish, a documentary film showing the trauma to whales kept captive at SeaWorld and the risks to their trainers, high-profile music performers have pulled out of singing at SeaWorld's February concert series.

For the animals, times are changing for the better. May these positive changes continue and accelerate in 2014!


Barbara's most recent book is How Animals Grieve. You can keep up with what she is thinking on Twitter: @bjkingape

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.