This Week In Stories That Actually Mattered: February 24-March 1, 2014

03/01/2014 09:18 am ET | Updated Mar 01, 2014
JEWEL SAMAD via Getty Images

From the Oscars' troubling lack of diversity, to the Syrian refugee crisis, to Uganda's anti-gay law, here is your round-up of this week's stories of impact from around the web.

1. This Infographic Proves The Oscars' Diversity Issues Are Worse Than You Thought

"It doesn't take stat-crunching to realize the Oscars have some diversity issues, but if there was ever any doubt, Lee & Low Books has produced an infographic that verifies our long-standing complaints. It's hard to pinpoint which statistic is the most damning, but let's try this one: Of the more than 6,000 Academy voters, only 6 percent aren't white. That's a paltry 360 members."
Read the rest of the story from The Huffington Post.

2. Syria Crisis: A Palestinian Plea From Yarmouk Refugee Camp

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"'Please, please take us out, we are dying here,' 60-year-old Wafiqa pleads, sobbing uncontrollably as she cradles her lined face in rough gnarled hands. She stumbles toward us in her grief, toward anyone she thinks can rescue her from the punishing eight-month siege of Yarmouk, a devastated Palestinian refugee camp south of Damascus. Just behind her, a tide of hundreds of people presses against a security barrier. Armed men struggle to contain a crowd desperate to reach a UN food distribution point at the end of a narrow rutted road that cuts through a desolate wasteland of utter ruin."
Read the rest of the story from BBC News.

3. Uganda's Anti-Gay Law Prompts International Aid Cuts

uganda gay

"Uganda's government has been hit with substantial aid cuts after the president enacted a severe anti-gay measure. At least three European countries are withdrawing millions in direct support to Uganda's government, which depends on donors for about 25 percent of its budget."
Read the rest of the story from The Huffington Post.

4. Taliban Schoolgirl Target Malala Backs FGM Campaign In Britain

"Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban for demanding education for girls, is backing a campaign to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) in Britain, according to media reports."
Read the rest of the story from Reuters.

5. Al Jazeera Launches Worldwide Day Of Action For Detained Journalists

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"Al Jazeera will launch a number of events in more than 30 countries on Thursday in support of the detained journalists in Egypt. The 'Global Day of Action,' which will include vigils and "stands of solidarity," is the latest movement from the #FreeAJStaff campaign that hopes to pressure Egyptian authorities to release four Al Jazeera journalists."
Read the rest of the story from The Huffington Post.

6. Seth Rogen Testifies Before Congress On Alzheimer's Research

"Seth Rogen went to Washington not to discuss the legalization of marijuana, but rather a cause closer to his heart. The actor testified before a congressional committee Wednesday on the importance of increasing funding for Alzheimer's disease, which affects more than 5 million Americans."
Read the rest of the story from The Daily Dot.

7. After Death Row in Texas, I'm Fighting to End the Death Penalty (Blog)

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"My name is Kerry Max Cook, but for two decades, I was known as "Cook, Execution number 600." Innocent of the murder and rape I was accused of in 1977, my home became a tiny death row cell in Texas, the state that kills more people than anywhere else in the U.S. by far -- including 141 of my fellow inmates before my release in 1999."
Read the rest of the story from The Huffington Post.

8. To Save Endangered Tortoises, Conservationists Deface Their Shells

"They're a quiet bunch, the hundreds of animals residing at the well-guarded botanical oasis in California's Ojai Valley. They've been brought to the Turtle Conservancy from countries around the world, like modern-day refugees escaping certain and persistent perils."
Read the rest of the story from NPR.

9. The Truth About The Death Penalty ... And What You Can Do About It

"Currently, 32 states use the death penalty, but does it really accomplish its intended purpose? Though a majority of Americans -- 55 percent -- support the death penalty for persons convicted of murder, more and more people in the U.S. aren't so sure, according to a 2013 Pew Research poll. Support for the death penalty has dropped by 23 percent since 1996, and new information is leading to renewed conversations around abolition."
Read the rest of the story from The Huffington Post.

10. Obama Unveils 'My Brother's Keeper,' Opens Up About His Dad, Drugs And Race

obama my brothers keeper

"The president has a message for young minority men who grew up like he did. 'No excuses. Government, and private sector, and philanthropy, and all the faith communities, we all have a responsibility to help provide you the tools you need. We've got to help you knock down some of the barriers that you experience,' he said."
Read the rest of the story from CNN.

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