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OGN Saturday

Today's selection of good news snippets.

  • A photography competition challenged young people in the UK to capture life under lockdown. From living room ‘beach holidays’ to neon-lit home workouts, the quiet eccentricities of life in lockdown have been documented as part of a nationwide photography competition: Lockdown: Taking a Positive View The above picture is one of our favourites.

  • Courtesy of new plywood technology, timber skyscrapers are going to become a more frequent sight around the world. They create lower carbon emissions, require less time to build, and are very pleasing to the eye.

  • Biden announces $1.9 trillion relief plan to curb Covid-19 and boost U.S. economy. Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden's goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration.

  • Using a narrow needle to administer coronavirus jabs significantly boosts supply of the vaccine, officials have announced. Drawing the liquid drug out of a vial using a syringe with less "dead space" increases the number of doses available by up to 20 percent, according to Public Health England. Dr Mary Ramsay, the organisation's head of immunisations, said staff had been able to get at least one more dose out of vials for both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs. She noted that this additional capacity had not been factored into the national rollout plans, suggesting the forecast deliveries of jabs could immunise more people than planned.

  • A new drug that could be used to treat Alzheimer's slows cognitive decline by one third, the initial stages of a clinical trial have found, as scientists hail the “potential therapy” for the disease.

  • Giuseppe Paterno grew up in a poor family in Sicily. He joined the Navy and served during WWII. After the war, he married, brought up 2 children, and graduated from high school at the age of 31.⁠ In 2017 he decided to enroll at Palermo University for a history and philosophy degree. Now, aged 96, he achieved top honours and has become Italy's oldest ever graduate.

  • The Great Green Wall: France announces $14 billion cash injection to speed up the process of slowing down the Sahara's creeping desertification, by planting trees, grasslands and vegetation (5,000 miles long and 10 miles wide) from the Atlantic coast to the Red Sea.

  • Tens of thousands of small businesses in the UK will receive insurance payouts covering losses from the first national lockdown, following a court ruling. The Supreme Court found largely in favour of small firms receiving payments from business interruption insurance policies. For some businesses it could provide a lifeline, allowing them to trade beyond the coronavirus crisis.

  • 143 years ago today, Queen Victoria wrote to Alexander Graham Bell asking to buy two of his newfangled telephones after she witnessed the first public demonstration of a long distance call - from the Isle of Wight to London.

  • In further good news regarding China's race to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, Chinese money managers are already rushing to launch new green energy funds, seeking to capitalize on investors’ green fever which has been fuelled by President Xi Jinping’s carbon neutrality pledge.

  • A woman in British Columbia, Canada, decided to mark her 40th birthday with 40 acts of kindness. Sabrina Ryan had a very busy day, with activities including presenting strangers with flowers, donating blood and helping with a beach clean-up. “My hope is that my actions will in turn inspire others to perform other random acts of kindness as well. It can be as simple as buying the person behind you in the drive-through line a coffee. It’s unexpected and is sure to make someone’s day.”

  • Northerner leaves Londoners traumatised by saying hello and being friendly. We think you'll enjoy this hilarious spoof news video.

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