October’s Most Inspiring News Stories

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Source: Artfully79 / iStock

6. California bans animal-tested cosmetics
> Date: Sept. 28
> Location: Sacramento, California

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the first measure in any state that prohibits the sale of animal-tested cosmetics. After the law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020, manufacturers will be banned from importing, selling, or offering to sell any cosmetics any cosmetics that were tested on animals. Similar laws have been passed in Norway, Israel, and India. The most common animals used for cosmetics testing are rats, mice, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

Source: US Army photo / Whitney C. Houston

7. Wounded vet summits Mount Kilimanjaro
> Date: October
> Location: Tanzania

Veteran Adam Keys climbed this month to the top of the Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, which is known worldwide as one of the most intense altitude mountain treks. The former Army paratrooper lost his legs in Afghanistan eight years ago after a roadside bomb went off near the vehicle he was riding in. He lost both of his legs and his left arm. Keys has undergone over 100 surgeries since 2010, having to re-learn how to walk and talk again. This month, he accomplished something most people with all four limbs wouldn’t even try. With the help of specialized walking sticks, leg implants, and a huge amount of determination, Keys made it to the summit of Africa’s most treacherous hike.

Source: Courtesy of Yassin Falafel House

8. Falafel house named nicest place in country.
> Date: October
> Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Reader’s Digest magazine named Yassin’s Falafel House the nicest place in America this month. The owner, Yassin Terou, is adored by many in Knoxville, Tennessee, since he arrived as a refugee in 2011. Terou’s falafel may be delicious, and his customer service skills may be exceptional, but that’s not why his business was deemed the nicest in the U.S. — it’s the way that Terou combats hatred — he’ll bring in anyone for dinner.

Last Christmas, at the Nativity scene at Knoxville’s First Baptist Church, a man wrapped in an American flag was claiming that immigrants were hindering his chances of getting a job. An immigrant himself, Terou went into the crowd and offered to buy the distressed man dinner. He also offered him a job at his falafel house. Terou told Reader’s Digest, “I always invite anyone who hates us to the store. I want them to know us more. When you break bread, you break hate.”

Source: Song Kyung-Seok-Pool / Getty Images

9. Korea starts removing mines from DMZ
> Date: Oct. 1
> Location: Korean demilitarized zone

In another step toward reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula, North and South Korea have begun clearing landmines on each side of the demilitarized zone. There are reportedly more than 2 million mines along the zone. The DMZ is the no-man’s land area that stretches over 155 miles and bisects the peninsula. It has separated the two Koreas since a ceasefire halted fighting in 1953. Once the mine clearing is completed, the two sides plan to remove guard posts on the border. The two nations also plan to retrieve the remains of those who are buried along the DMZ.

Source: Jennifer Morrow / Wikimedia Commons

10. ‘Survivor wedding’ in Vegas
> Date: Oct. 1
> Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

A couple turned the site of one of the worst days of their lives into the site of a joyous day earlier this month. Country music fans Regina Harris and Billy Bob Mason fled in terror a year ago when a gunman opened fire on those attending a country music concert in Las Vegas. During the onslaught, Mason was shot in the foot. The two returned to exchange marriage vows at a memorial garden just off the Las Vegas Strip