In Detroit, Muslims and Jews try to heal the wounds of Gaza

Plus Chinese restaurants in San Jose face rise in minimum wage

Latitude News staff By Latitude News staff

The aftermath of Israeli air strikes in Gaza City November 19, 2012. (Reuters)

Global stories can have local impacts, which is why communities in the U.S pay attention to what happens around the globe. Latitude News brings you three international stories turning heads in America this week.

  • As the violence in Gaza intensifies, Jews and Muslims across Detroit are meeting to forge “closer ties” and “promote harmony,” according to a report in the Detroit Free Press. Sponsored by a New York City group called the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, members of both faiths have been sitting in on services at synagogues and mosques. “We have to relate to each other beyond politics and religion,” said one Jewish resident after sitting in on prayers at the Muslim Center of Detroit. “We’re fellow human beings sharing a common space. It’s about understanding other people . . . metro Detroit is truly a global world now.”


  • In Miami, the Catholic Church is sending relief supplies to Cuba, where 11 people were killed and 15,000 homes were destroyed during Hurricane Sandy. The Miami Herald reports that the first plane will leave today with 9,000 tons of food, including powdered milk, rice, beans and canned sausage. “We have had cyclones before, but nothing like this devastation,” an elderly pensioner, whose house was washed away by the storm, tells the BBC. “I stayed to try to protect my things, because I am poor. But I couldn’t. I had no time to save anything.”


  • Two dollars might not seem like a lot of money, but an increase in San Jose’s minimum wage has left the city’s Chinese restaurateurs feeling angry, according to the Chinese language World Journal. A ballot initiative in the city — approved by 60 percent of voters — raised pay for minimum-wage workers from $8 to $10. It passed despite heavy opposition from the restaurant industry, which spent $155,000 on pre-election advertisements, almost four times as much as proponents of the wage raise. “$2 sounds like a small amount, but it quickly becomes a large amount after a day, a month and a year,” says the owner of Chinjin Eastern House, a local restaurant. “It wasn’t easy,” a student at San Jose State University tells ABC News. “It was us fighting for, if we work hard and play by the rules we should get the fair wage we deserve and that’s what people in our community need.”