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Good News Saturday

Celebrating the start of the weekend with a global round up of positive news nuggets.

Olympic flame arriving in Marseille
Flame arriving in Marseille
Olympic Torch Sails In

The 2024 Olympic torch made landfall in France earlier this week, arriving in Marseille on a three-masted ship after it was lit in Greece last month. Between now and the Paris opening ceremony on July 26, the torch is scheduled to make 400 stops in various French towns and territories in what will be one of the longest relays in Olympic history.

Stat of The Day

88: The percentage reduction in emissions, from 1990 levels, that modelling from the European Commission predicts can be reached by 2040 for the European Union.

White-tailed eagle in flight
White-tailed eagle.
First Time in 500 Years

White-tailed eagles nesting and breeding in Belgium has been observed for the first time in 500 years ago. They are not an endangered bird, but it’s a sign of an emerging comeback from a bird that had been heavily depopulated across most of Western Europe. While parts of Norway, Russia, and Germany will find this bird, also known as the sea eagle or grey sea eagle, it has been deemed such an important event in Belgium that the local government has set up an exclusion area around the nest where intruders are threatened with a fine of up to €500,000.

Opal Sandy playing
Opal playing at home
Hearing Unaided

A UK girl born deaf can now hear unaided, after a groundbreaking gene-therapy treatment at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. Opal Sandy was treated shortly before her first birthday - and six months on, can hear sounds as soft as a whisper and is starting to talk, saying words such as "Mama", "Dada" and "uh-oh". Given as an infusion into the ear, the therapy replaces faulty DNA causing her type of inherited deafness. Opal is part of a trial recruiting patients in the UK, US and Spain.

Swiss Army knife
Knifeless Swiss Army knife | DALL-E
Swiss Army What?!

There are many models of Swiss Army knives, which can be equipped with everything from a flashlight to a seatbelt cutter. To date though, there's not a version without the tool's namesake knife. That's about to change. Since the late 1800s pocket-tool maker Victorinox has been manufacturing pocket knives encased in a trademark red outer shell and filled with tools that go well beyond a simple slicer. Now however, due to pressure from rising worldwide knife violence, the company has announced that it will be releasing a version of its product that has no blades. That's right, the company is going to be putting out a range of knifeless Swiss army knives.

Yes to Low Emissions

It was an election billed as a bellwether for British attitudes towards environmental policies, with one issue coming to dominate London’s mayoral elections last week: the city’s ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ). The main challenger for the top job, Susan Hall, vowed to repeal the roll out of ULEZ to outer London on “day one” if she was elected - despite it being linked with improvements in air quality. In the end, Sadiq Khan, who expanded the ULEZ last year, was re-elected with a big majority.

Private jet in flight
Tour tourism is taking off
Tour Tourism

Many Americans either couldn’t get tickets to or couldn’t afford to see Taylor Swift in the US, so they planned European vacations to see her - a phenomenon that Expedia is dubbing “tour tourism.” Considering Beyoncé’s tour is also commanding similar travel, expect tourism firms and live ticketing companies to start offering vacation packages built around seeing in-demand artists - as sometimes it's cheaper to fly to Europe to see your favourite artist than right in your hometown.


“O, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.” Roman Payne

On This Day

Monty Python logo

11 May 1969: British comedy troupe Monty Python forms, made up of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.


Mood Booster

Mappa Mundi: The greatest map of the medieval world.


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