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Global Good News Round Up

Synopsis of last week's good news from around the world.

Couple celebrating hearing some good news

Malaria-Free: Cape Verde, an island nation off the coast of West Africa, has just been given the status by the World Health Organization as it has not reported a single case of local transmission in three years. Experts have hailed this as a major achievement. It's the first time a sub-Saharan African nation has been declared malaria-free in 50 years. This "gives us hope that with existing tools, as well as new ones including vaccines, we can dare to dream of a malaria-free world," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Bypassing Hungary: The EU will, if needed, find a way to bypass Viktor Orbán's veto and approve the €50 billion ($54bn) special fund for Ukraine, says Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission. The package is designed to provide Kyiv with financial support until 2027 and plug the government's ballooning public deficit.

The Munchies: Researchers have uncovered a brain mechanism that causes 'the munchies' after cannabis use, paving the way for therapeutics to treat appetite disorders like anorexia and obesity and to improve the appetite of patients undergoing cancer treatment.

World’s Ugliest Lawn Contest: After receiving ugly lawn entries from around the world, the international jury has now crowned Kathleen Murray's hideous lawn in Tasmania as the winner. It’s the most beautiful example of the most unattractive lawn for the most worthy cause in the world: water conservation. That’s the genius of this competition. It uses humour to shine a light on a serious subject.

Breaking Barriers: In a win for inclusivity, politician Mar Galcerán has become Spain’s first parliamentarian with Down’s syndrome. “Society is starting to see that people with Down’s syndrome have a lot to contribute,” Galcerán told The Guardian after she obtained a seat in Valencia’s regional parliament this week.

Bird Watchers: Good news for twitchers, as new smart binoculars can identify over 9,000 bird species at the touch of a button.

Nasal Solution: Researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore have developed an intranasal Covid-19 vaccine that enhances the immune system’s response to the virus, providing longer-lasting, greater protection than vaccine injections, even against new and emerging variants. The novel vaccine candidate could mean fewer boosters in future.

Lost City: Archaeologists have discovered a constellation of ancient Amazonian structures in what is now modern-day Ecuador. The discovery changes what we know about the history of people living in the Amazon, says BBC News. Flourishing for roughly 1,000 years about two millennia ago, the settlements are believed to have been populated by 30,000 residents at their peak - roughly equal to London under the Roman Empire at the same time.

Anyone Out There? The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) just received a major upgrade to detect signatures of advanced alien civilizations. COSMIC, a new system architecture leveraging the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s facilities, now enables scanning hundreds of thousands of stars rather than thousands for techno-signatures like radio emissions. This constitutes the most comprehensive hunt for alien technologies ever undertaken.

Polish Woodlands: The Polish government has ordered the state-run company that manages the nation’s woodlands to “get saws out of Polish forests”, delivering on a campaign promise following October’s elections. “We have decided to stop logging in the most valuable forest areas. It’s time to get saws out of the Polish forests,” says the new climate minister.

Crown of Light: ​Scientists have discovered a new coral species, named Ofwegen’s "crown of light soft coral," off the Arabian peninsula. The discovery gives hope to scientists for finding more unknown marine species, emphasizing the importance of ongoing conservation efforts amid the impact of climate change and pollution on coral reefs.

EV Sales 2023: The reasonably good news for US automakers and environmentalists hoping for a zero-emissions vehicular future is that electric vehicles accounted for 7.6 percent of the new-car market in 2023, according to Kelley Blue Book, which represents nearly 1,200,000 units. That’s up from 5.8 percent in 2022. Meanwhile, across the pond, electric vehicle sales in Europe accounted for 21.4 percent in 2023 - roughly three times that of the percentage achieved in the US.

Miraculous Pothole: Declared dead by doctors, the 'body' of Darshan Singh Brar was being taken to his home for his funeral, when the vehicle hit a pothole - miraculously jolting the 'dead' 80 year old man back to life.

Elton Gets EGOT: Elton John just became just the 19th individual in history to secure the accolade of EGOT winner. He did so this week at the Emmy Awards, where he received a gong in absentia for his Disney+ live performance from Dodger Stadium. That Emmy joins Elton’s trove of Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. Put it all together, and you get the acronym EGOT - one of the ultimate signifiers of pre-eminence in the entertainment industry.

First to 4 Billion: It's been a great week for The Weeknd’s song Blinding Lights as it became the first song to pass the 4 billion stream mark on Spotify, which equals about $22 million in royalties. While some services pay more than others and calculations vary widely, Spotify generally pays between $.003 and $.004 per stream. Want to enjoy a music video of the song? Click here

That's it, you're up to date.

Today's Articles

Vinted Minted: The woman who sold her clothes to clear out her closet and created a billion dollar empire.

Colossus: Never before seen images of the code-breaking computer that helped win WW2.

World's Weirdest Winter Sports: For some, classic winter sports like skiing are a great way to experience an adrenaline rush in nature. For others, it's simply not enough!

Hilarious Tweets: Funny musings on parenting, marriage, Christmas, and children mispronouncing words.

Snap Happy: Cheeky pets caught photobombing.

Top Performers: Last week's most popular (and amusing) articles, plus the most watched mood boosting video.


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