OGN Thursday

Updated: Jan 17

Today's collection of news nuggets from around the globe.

  • We all need a bit of colour these days. So, we hope you enjoy this gorgeous image of picking red chillies in Bangladesh from the Drone Awards in late 2020.

  • Pills could replace vaccine jabs: a British biotech has found a way to turn injected vaccines into tablets and believes it could represent a new paradigm in vaccination. You wouldn’t need medical professionals to administer the vaccine, so you could send pills out on Amazon Prime and have everyone vaccinated within a few days.

  • World's largest illegal dark web marketplace is shut down by police from seven countries. DarkMarket allowed customers to purchase items such as hacking software, illegal drugs and stolen card information. Europol, which coordinated the policing operation, said the website had almost 500,000 users including 2,400 sellers. The UK's National Crime Agency and several US government departments also took part in the operation.

  • Germany is transforming 62 military bases into nature reserves. Altogether, the bases will provide more than than 76,600 acres of wildlife habitat in the form of moors, marshes, meadows and forests.

  • Big Tech turns on Trump: From Facebook and Twitter to Reddit and Amazon, tech firms are moving to silence the president, and his QAnon supporters. Even Peloton - the home-cycling app - has joined the fray, alongside many more, including TikTok (which must be enjoying the moment).

  • House of Representatives also turns on Trump, voting to impeach him by 232 (including 10 republicans) to 197, even though there will not be a Senate trial before Biden becomes president. The most bipartisan vote in US history. Congratulations Donald, you've just become the first president to be impeached twice. The door is wide open now for republicans, unlike the first impeachment, but a two thirds majority is still required at the Senate trial.

  • It's not just Trump having a justifiably tough time, as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has cancelled his Europe trip at the last minute this week after top EU officials declined to meet him, reports Reuters.

  • Deutsche Bank became another large company to cut ties with Donald Trump, with the firm that has propped up the Trump Organization for two decades announcing it would no longer do business with the disgraced president. That could prove very tricky for Trump, post presidency.

  • Mission to save Britain's ancient trees: How you can help add to the inventory that is being compiled to preserve the UK’s ancient, venerable and notable giants. Why not join the new Special Branch?

  • The Case of the Hung Parliament: Fancy a bit of lockdown sleuthing? This online Sherlock Holmes whodunnit is designed by Les Enfants Terribles and the virtual reality company LIVR to be an immersive alternative to traditional boardgames. You can play with your family or members of the public, and the experience features live performances and promises more than 100 clues to decipher as you investigate the murky deaths of the home secretary, the foreign secretary and the Lord Chamberlain. Available 27 January to 17 February. Surely it couldn't have been Colonel Mustard, in the library, with a candlestick?

  • The Great American Rail-Trail: an ambitious project is currently underway to create a bike path that stretches almost 6,000km across 12 states, enabling cyclists to traverse the entire US, from Washington state to Washington, D.C. without using roads.

  • Staff at a Miami juice bar got the shock of their lives when a customer left a $2,021 tip for the new year. When staff received the regular’s bill, they thought the tip must really mean to say ‘$20.21’. Miami Squeeze owner Kelly Amar told CNN that her employees went up to the customer to confirm. “I’m so grateful for you guys,” the regular explained, “and I want to give back … I want to start the new year out right and give this to you guys.” All 25 of the cafe’s staff members split the tip equally between them.

  • Food and packaging containers account for almost 45 percent of landfill materials in the US, and a large part of that waste comes from takeout orders, where single-use plastic packaging has been normalized. A delivery service in New York City, called DeliverZero, wants to change that by packaging takeout food in reusable clamshells. Next time you order takeout from the platform, you can hand over those containers to the delivery driver and they’ll be returned to a participating restaurant, washed, and reused again. Customers have six weeks to return them after they’ve placed their order. If they don’t they’ll be charged $3.25 plus tax for each container they keep.

  • Unsurprisingly, there are an enormous number of spoof Biden / Trump videos doing the rounds at the moment, but we rather enjoyed this one.