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Good News Thursday

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

Today's upbeat news nuggets from around the world.

Community Spirit

The BBC is to suspend the licence fee as part of a one-off dispensation for the king’s coronation weekend. That's good news for venues as the move will allow them to screen the live coronation ceremony coverage on 6 May and the coronation concert on 7 May without needing to buy a £159 ($192) TV licence. The BBC said the dispensation was granted in exceptional circumstances, with the event needing to be of national importance and screened in a community setting. And the further good news, at least for the couple in question, would be if Camilla could be called Queen by then, rather than Queen Consort.

New World Record

A four decade old world record in women’s track and field stands no longer after a young Dutch speed demon smashed it in front of her home crowd. Femke Bol took off at the starting pistol at the Dutch Indoor Championships and completed a 400m sprint in 49.26 seconds, beating Jarmila Kratochvílová’s world record of 49.59 seconds set in 1982. “It was because of all the fans here that I ran this record,” said the 22-year-old Olympic bronze medalist. Kratochvílová’s record was the longest-standing record in track and the second oldest in track and field.

Golden eagle in the DMZ between north and south Korea
Credit: National Institute of Ecology |
Accidental Paradise

Leave it to the ever-ingenious animal kingdom to transform a barren landscape devoid of human activity into a wildlife haven. The more than 6,100 species within the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea have made their homes in the space between the two countries, which has become a sanctuary in the decades since the DMZ was created. Among the DMZ's residents: Mountain goats, otters, golden eagles and musk deer - in all, 38 percent of Korea's endangered species are found there. Seung-ho Lee, president of the wildlife advocacy group DMZ Forum, told CNN that the region has become an "accidental paradise." Thousands of creatures would agree!

Burns' Barn

A charity has revealed its plans to save a barn built by the Scottish poet Robert Burns where he wrote some of his most famous works. Ellisland Farm, on the banks of the River Nith in Dumfries and Galloway, was built by Burns in 1788 for his wife, Jean Armour, and their family, and it was where wrote pieces such as Auld Lang Syne and Tam O’Shanter. The Robert Burns Ellisland Trust has revealed plans to turn the site into a visitor attraction, with the farmhouse becoming an “immersive space” where visitors can experience the couple’s domestic life.

Polio Jabs

More than 33 million children in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe have been vaccinated against polio since March 2022, thanks to an emergency response organised by the WHO, reports AP. Vaccinations will continue “so that every child receives the protection they need."

First Woman in Role

Prof Dame Angela McLean is to replace Sir Patrick Vallance as the government chief scientific adviser, the first woman to hold the role. Dame Angela is currently Ministry of Defence chief scientific adviser and an expert on the spread of infectious diseases, at Oxford University. As Sir Patrick's deputy during the pandemic, Dame Angela played a critical role at the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and drawing up advice. She will take up her post on 1 April.


"The important thing is to learn a lesson every time you lose."

John McEnroe

On this Day

2 March 1965: The Sound of Music, a film adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical play, premiered; the movie, which was based on the real-life story of the Trapp family of Austria, won an Oscar for best picture.


Mood Booster

Hollywood dance clips artfully synced to Lionel Ritchie's Dancing on the Ceiling.


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