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Global Good News Round Up

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

Woman celebrating hearing some good news

Presidential Connection: The story "has waited 160 years to be told," according to a Washington Post article, written by historian David J. Gerleman. And then went on to describe how Abraham Lincoln pardoned Joe Biden's great-great grandfather.

America's Amazon: A $15 million land purchase in Alabama will protect 32 km2 of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, dubbed ‘America’s Amazon’ for its remarkable biodiversity and wildlife. "This is one of the most important conservation victories that we’ve ever been a part of. It’s protected a vitally important complex of land, almost 8,000 acres, critically important to the health of the Mobile Delta and then, by extension, Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico."

Brightest Object Ever Detected: A distant quasar has become the most luminous object ever detected. Scientists say the energy emitted makes the quasar over 500 trillion times more luminous than the Sun.

Apogee Full Moon: The second full moon of the year graced the skies this weekend. The farthest from Earth in 2024 - technically called an apogee full moon - the “Snow Moon” is the year’s smallest full moon.

Reckoning: Chicago, America's third largest city, has joined an "historic wave" of law suits against Big Oil for deceit and the damaged caused.

Impossible Galaxy: Looking at objects far away in the universe is like looking back in time. Far distant objects are therefore very young objects, as they were when the universe was also young. Imagine the surprise, then, of astronomers who found a very distant galaxy that looks extremely old.

Heart Breaker: There is a new entry to the Guinness Book of World Records: a Dutch man has been recognized as the longest-surviving heart transplant patient. He has had the donor heart for almost 40 years.

Supersonic: A massive jet stream formed over the mid-Atlantic region last weekend, resulting in the remarkable effect of boosting some eastbound commercial flights to travel faster than the speed of sound - without breaking the sound barrier!

Eye of a whale
Rafael Fernandez Caballero | UPY2024

Intelligent Soul: This close-up of a grey whale, taken in Magdalena Bay off the Mexico coast by Spanish photographer Rafael Fernandez Caballero, won the Portrait category at the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2024 competition. "Few people have ever gazed into the eye of a whale," said judge Alex Mustard, "but through this remarkable image many will be able to catch a glimpse of this intelligent soul."

New Mersey Beat: It's being called the 'greatest river recovery in Europe.' Liverpool's Mersey River is continuing to thrive and, last year, 45 different kinds of fish were found in the river, triple the amount recorded in 2002. Not bad for a river declared biologically dead 40 years ago.

Pest Control: When it comes to protecting crops via insect-blocking netting, you may think that the size of the holes in that netting is the most important factor. According to new research, however, red netting makes an even bigger difference in effectiveness.

Debt Burden Relief: Last week, President Biden canceled another $1.2 billion in student loan debt, bringing the total amount that he has wiped out to $138 billion for 3.9 million borrowers.

yellow-crested helmetshrike
The first-ever photograph of the yellow-crested helmetshrike | Matt Brady/The University of Texas at El Paso

Species Rediscovered: An international team of scientists traversed 75 miles of steep terrain in the Itombwe Massif mountain range in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and succeeded in taking the first recorded photos of a bird listed as 'lost': the yellow-crested helmetshrike.

Wind-Powered Tanker: An oil tanker equipped with sails has embarked on a landmark voyage from Rotterdam to test the potential of wind power in the shipping industry. The Dutch-owned vessel has been fitted with rigid aluminium “sails” that are designed to cut fuel consumption by up to 20 percent.

US Air Pollution: For the first time in a decade, the EPA has tightened regulations on air pollution. The reduction is predicted to reap $46 billion in net health benefits by 2032, including prevention of up to 800,000 asthma attacks and 4,500 premature deaths.

Skywalker Gibbons: In good news for species conservation, new populations of the wonderful ‘Skywalker’ gibbon, known to science for only 6 years, have been found in Myanmar.

EU Energy Transition: A record fall in coal and gas burning left the EU with a cleaner electricity mix than ever in 2023. That’s according to a new report by the thinktank Ember which revealed a 26 percent decline in coal power generation and a 15 percent fall in gas generation in the bloc in 2023. Meanwhile, renewables, Ember said, accounted for a record 44 percent of the EU’s electricity mix.

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