Saturday's Good News Nuggets

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

Eclectic bundle of good news snippets from around the world.

  • You know the world is getting back to normal when the Moulin Rouge re-opens its doors. After 18 months, the legendary home of burlesque in Paris begins welcoming customers again this weekend. Treading the boards in feathers, gems and (very) little else, the dancers are returning to the stage.

  • All new homes and offices in the UK will feature electric car chargers under new laws designed to address fears over a shortage of plug-in points. The government announced that legislation would be introduced this year requiring the installation of charging points on all new-build properties in England. The legislation, billed as the first of its kind in the world, will also require all chargers to be “smart” devices that will ensure batteries can be replenished without overloading the grid.

  • When Gary Crane's wife, Donna, was admitted to the ICU in Florida with Covid-19, he stood outside her window for 10 days with a sign saying, 'I love you'. "The nurses said, 'Oh my God, he has a sign! That's so sweet!'" Donna said. "Every day, I got the see my baby in the parking lot."

  • Medellín, Colombia wants to become Latin America’s first “eco-city” by working on a variety of initiatives in renewable energy, transportation, housing, water management, and waste management. Their aim is to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent, make all public transport electric by 2030 and expand bike lanes by 50 percent.

  • The world's largest carbon sucking machine has been switched on in Iceland. The plant, known as Orca, will annually draw down a volume of emissions equivalent to about 870 cars. Orca will boost total global DAC (Direct Air Capture) capacity by about 50 percent, adding to the dozen or so smaller plants that are already operational in Europe, Canada, and the US. Whilst the numbers are still paltry, it's good news that DAC is up and running and very likely to form a critical ingredient in the world's climate tackling endeavours.

  • Dolphins inadvertently alert rescuers: A swimmer missing for almost 12 hours off the Irish coast was rescued after a lifeboat crew's attention was drawn to a pod of dolphins. In very good news for the exhausted man, the RNLI volunteers spotted him among the dolphins in the sea near Castlegregory in County Kerry.

  • The high cost of train tickets in the UK means many travellers take to the skies instead, where (crazily!) low-cost carriers undercut rail firms on many domestic routes. Given the unfolding climate crisis and aviation’s stubbornly high emissions, environmentalists warn that such a scenario isn’t sustainable. Enter Lumo, a low-cost, low-carbon rail firm that has launched to provide an alternative to flying on the UK’s busiest domestic route: the 400 mile (650km) London-Edinburgh journey. Its all-electric trains are scheduled to start running on 25 October, with one-way tickets starting from £14.90. Lumo says that 60 per cent of all fares would cost £30 or less.

  • In good news for ordinary working people, cities in the Netherlands are planning to prohibit property investors from snapping up houses in some neighbourhoods, in a bid to make homes more affordable for ordinary folk. Amsterdam and Utrecht are among the cities planning to prevent investors from buying cheap and mid-price properties. The legislation needed to make that happen is due to come into effect on 1 January 2022.

  • Swedish steelmaker SSAB has partnered with Mercedes-Benz to introduce fossil fuel-free steel into vehicle production, commencing next year. SSAB plans to supply the market with fossil-free steel at a commercial scale in 2026, using the HYBRIT system to replace coking coal, traditionally needed for iron ore-based steelmaking, with electricity and hydrogen.

  • Fun Fact: There's only one country in the world that doesn't use the metric system. For simplicity's sake, most of the more than 200 countries in the world use the metric system when describing things like length or mass. However, there were recently three countries that stood out: Liberia, Myanmar, and the United States. Finally, Liberia and Myanmar relented, which leaves the U.S. as the lone holdout.

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