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Just Good News Monday

Ensuring the week gets off to a bright start with today's bite-sized chunks of upbeat news.

Wild horse, known as a Przewalski’s horse
Credit: D Rosengren/Global Rewilding Alliance
Wild Horses

A group of the world’s last wild horses have returned to their native Kazakhstan after an absence of about 200 years. The seven horses - descended from two groups that survived in Munich and Prague zoos - were flown to the central Asian country on a Czech air force transport plane. The wild horses, known as Przewalski’s horses, once roamed the vast steppe grasslands of central Asia, where horses are believed to have been first domesticated about 5,500 years ago. People are known to have been riding and milking horses in northern Kazakhstan nearly 2,000 years before the first records of domestication in Europe. 40 more will be introduced over the next 5 years.

The Rendina Family at Ryleigh’s graduation from Astronaut High
The Rendina Family at Ryleigh’s graduation | Credit: Tracey Rendina
What Are The Odds?

In Titusville, Florida, each of a married couple’s four daughters was named valedictorian of the same high school. Someone with probability calculating skills said that the chance of this happening is 1 in 11 billion. Celebrations were heightened at the Rendina Household and the sense of relief was palpable in the air when 18-year-old Ryleigh Rendina was named valedictorian at Astronaut High School. Ryleigh followed her older sisters Taylor, 20; Alisa, 22; and Makaley, 24 in being named valedictorian, something which their mother Tracey said was never pushed on any of them, or even suggested as a target.

The Gordie Howe International Bridge nearing completion
The Gordie Howe International Bridge | Credit: WDBA
USA to Canada Link

After four years of construction, work is nearing completion on North America's longest cable-stayed bridge. Providing an additional connection between the USA and Canada, the Gordie Howe International Bridge's main span will measure an impressive 853 m (2,800 ft) once complete. The project derives its name from the Canadian hockey star Gordie Howe who played for the Detroit Red Wings. Its overall form also subtly nods to ice hockey and its tower legs are meant to echo the curvature of a hockey-stick making a slapshot. The bridge is expected to open to the public some time in 2025.

Hands cupped to hold tree seeds
Credit: Scotland’s rainforest
Scotland’s Rainforests

Plans to restore and expand Scotland’s last remaining rainforests just got a boost, with the news that volunteers have collected 2.2m rare native seeds. The haul is part of a three-year project to grow 1.5m native trees from seed. Many of the species included have unique genetics, and date back to the end of the last Ice Age. “Seeds are the unassuming beginnings of life, offering us a symbol for hope and the future,” said Roz Birch, coordinator of the Tree Seed Collection Project. “This project is preserving genetically precious and rare species – in turn helping restore native ancient woodland and rainforest, and providing homes for wildlife.”

Illustration of the Valencia cemetary solar project
Illustration of the solar project | Credit: City of Valencia

Another European city has taken up the idea of making efficient use of the space over its cemeteries by installing solar panels in a project it calls Requiem in Power, or RIP. At the heart of Valencia, three cemeteries at Grau, Campanar, and Benimàmet will be outfitted with 7,000 panels to create the largest urban solar farm in Spain.

Male Contraceptive

A new male contraceptive gel works faster than other hormone treatments, according to research by the National Institutes of Health. The gel combines segesterone acetate and testosterone to suppress sperm production. Men in the study applied the gel daily to their shoulder blades and reached sperm counts deemed effective for contraception within an average of eight weeks. "The development of a safe, highly effective and reliably reversible contraceptive method for men is an unmet need," said Diana Blithe, a senior researcher for the study.


"In a competition of love we'll all share in the victory, no matter who comes first."

Muhammad Ali

On This Day

Taj Mahal, India

17 June 1631: Mumtaz Mahal dies during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, then spends more than 20 years building her tomb, the Taj Mahal.

Today's Articles

Mood Boosting Video

This crafty fox has a unique way of hunting its prey in winter.


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