Monday's global round up of good news nuggets.
Kazakstan has some good news this week: its population of critically endangered saiga antelope has more than doubled since 2019. Aerial surveys revealed that numbers had bounced back from 334,000 to 842,000. It follows a nationwide conservation initiative, which included a crackdown on poaching.
From offshore wind farms in Britain to floating solar power plants in Vietnam, about 13,000 renewable energy projects in nearly 50 countries are waiting for finance - and could create up to 10 million green jobs, says consultancy EY-Parthenon.
World's deepest diving pool, certified by Guinness World Records, has opened. Where else but Dubai? The brand new facility even houses an 80-seat restaurant with glass panels facing the pool for those who aren't into diving. The diving pool also features two underwater habitats with dry chambers at 6m and 21m, as well as 56 underwater cameras, and advanced sound and mood lighting systems. Well, of course.
Zaila Avant-garde, a 14-year-old from New Orleans has won the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee, becoming the first African American contestant to win in 93 editions of the competition. The only Black winner before was Jody-Anne Maxwell, representing Jamaica in 1998. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden was on hand to cheer on the competitors at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Zaila takes home $50,000 prize.
In a timely move hailed as an “historic step”, Canada has appointed Mary Simon to the role of governor general. It's the first time an indigenous leader has held the position. Simon is a longtime champion of Inuit rights and her appointment comes as Canada reckons with its past treatment of indigenous people.
Joe Biden has signed an executive order directing the Federal Trade Commission to draft new regulations limiting device manufacturers’ ability to restrict independent repairs of their products. The executive order is considered a significant win for right-to-repair advocates, although they must look on with envy at the progress already made in Europe.
Scientists have caught a glimpse of a rare, nearly transparent, glass octopus during an expedition to a remote group of islands in the Pacific Ocean. The crew spotted the see-through cephalopod on a 34-day trip to map more than 30,000 sq.km of ocean floor around the Phoenix Islands Archipelago. They captured live footage of the weirdly beautiful creature whose only visible features are its eyeballs, optic nerve and digestive tract.
Tech giant Microsoft is to give its employees a $1500 (£1,090) pandemic bonus. Both US and international employees are eligible for the one-off payment.
Coronation Street rolled out the red carpet to welcome the Queen: To mark the soap opera’s 60th anniversary, the Queen met longstanding cast members outside the Rovers Return pub on set at Media City in Manchester. “It’s marvellous that you’ve been able carry on during this pandemic,” the Queen said. “Ma’am, you’re the one that’s carried on,” replied William Roache, who holds the record as the world’s longest-serving soap star, having played the role of Ken Barlow since the first episode.
With so much sport on TV last night, it's perfectly possible you missed the fact that the Battle of the Billionaires was 'won' by Sir Richard Branson on board Virgin Galactic as it successfully made the 110 mile round trip to space. However, Jeff Bezos reckons Branson’s trip doesn't really count as a trip to space, since he did not cross the Kármán line that generally defines the boundary of space. Could be another penalty shootout!
Dive in Deeper
Ground transport at airplane speeds: New HyperPort will allow operators to sustainably transport freight hundreds of miles in mere minutes. [1 min] HyperloopTT...
Pollinators: Study by Oregon State University finds that shade under solar panels increases the abundance of flowers and beneficially delays their bloom. [2 mins] Win Win...
Earth's largest migration happens every night: The mass vertical ascent of marine life is unique in the wild world. [2 mins] Ocean Health...
Stunning Drone Footage
The recent eruption of the Icelandic Volcano Fagradalsfjall in the Geldingadalir valley was captured beatifully in this exquisite video.