Caledonian Record (Vt.), April 9:

In Nigeria last week, 800 women were “freed” from their Boko Haram captors after years in sexual slavery and brutal captivity. A Washington Post report Monday said, upon their return, they were shunned and scorned by society. The women, and the children they bore while imprisoned, are being blamed for having been kidnapped, beaten and raped every day by terrorists.

A continent away, migrants from war-torn Middle-Eastern countries are being rounded up in Europe and shipped to Turkey – a nation with an abysmal record on human rights. The government there agreed to “handle” the migrants in exchange for $6 billion and various other concessions from the European Union. The lives of these migrants – who were stripped of everything and forcibly expelled from their country by the ravages of war – are likely to remain unimaginably arduous for some time.

Meanwhile, drug-related violence continues to claim approximately 150 lives a month in the Tierra Caliente valley of Mexico. El Salvador, similarly, endured 2,000 murders in the past three months as violent gangs abduct and behead police and their rivals. For its part, the government stands accused of running its own death squads.

In the United States, the most pressing concerns yesterday (as extrapolated from Google search term trends) were American Idol, Wrestlemania and National Beer Day. The most heated public debate is over who should be allowed to use what public restroom, and why.

That’s not to diminish the “urgency” of our cultural bathroom conundrums. It’s just a reminder to us to be mindful of our blessings and thankful that our daily woes don’t include mortar shells, kidnappings, beheadings, starvation, chained bondage, torture and gang rape.