OGN Wednesday

Updated: Jan 17

Mid week round up of good news nuggets.

  • Trump's D.C. hotel appears to concede election by unblocking hotel rooms. The Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., had blocked off room bookings during inauguration week, but has finally released them.

  • Analysis of the new Covid-19 variant identified in the UK before Christmas has confirmed that it does spread more easily but the good news is that it does not lead to more severe disease.

  • World's loneliest bear rescued: She spent her whole life in a cage in the Ukraine but has now been rescued and taken to a bear sanctuary in Switzerland where she can live out her days in comfort and make new friends.

  • Sweden suspects it may have too many shops and offices after the pandemic; and knows for sure that it doesn't have enough homes. It spies an opportunity. The government is now examining whether empty commercial real estate in the wake of Covid-19 could be converted to help plug the country's shortfall of approximately 140,000 homes.

  • 2020: Fabulous Year for Wildlife. Whilst humanity has had a lot of unwanted ghastliness to contend with in 2020, one of the positive upsides has been a the extraordinary global renaissance for wildlife - partly through human absence caused by lockdown and partly through successful conservation efforts. We review some of the highlights to help put a smile on your face.

  • Argentina legalises abortion in landmark moment for women's rights. Country becomes only the third in South America to permit elective abortions.

  • Four day working week for the UK? A carefully designed four-day week could be introduced in the UK immediately and be affordable for most firms with more than 50 workers, says a thinktank. The aim is to boost productivity and enhance wellbeing.

  • When Shubham Saxena took his electricians course online during India's coronavirus lockdown, he spent the first few days teaching his class of mainly unskilled migrant workers how to use the mute button. They fast progressed to weightier matters. Millions of migrant workers who lost their jobs during the country's strict lockdown earlier this year have turned to online training courses like Saxena's to learn new skills as they seek to re-enter the labour market, or start a business.

  • When a worker at a Russian waste-sorting plant rescued a cat from imminent death, he had no idea it would end up with an honorary title and napping in a government official's chair. Surveillance footage at the plant in Ulyanovsk, southeast of Moscow, on Monday showed worker Mikhail Tukash scooping up a white plastic bag from a conveyor belt and slashing it open to discover a black and white male cat inside. ... The cat's rescue, broadcast on television and on social media, has made him a local celebrity. He has been adopted by the Ulyanovsk region's environment ministry and unofficially given the position of deputy environment minister.

  • Jean-Michel Jarre, Live from Notre Dame on New Year's Eve: Get comfortable at home and enjoy the composer performing virtually in Paris. In partnership with the City of Paris, and under the patronage of UNESCO, Jean-Michel has teamed up with VR start-up VRrOOm to provide a must-see live stream on New Year's Eve. Set in the virtual environment of the French landmark, expect a spectacular performance to ring in 2021. Here's the trailer: