OGN Saturday

Kick starting the weekend with a selection of uplifting news snippets.

  • Proving that, whatever the weather, it's possible to enjoy the big outdoors and have a good time: Colorado families enjoy socially distanced fun by building vast ice castles!

  • UK on the brink of approving fourth vaccine: Trials show that the Novavax vaccine is 89 percent effective and even combats Kent mutation. The UK has pre-ordered 60 million doses of the vaccine, with the Health Secretary hailing the results as a 'breakthrough'. After Canada, UK has the highest number of doses ordered per person (5.5) across all vaccines.

  • In Mexico City, after more than a year of behind-the-scenes work, a ban on single-use containers, cutlery, straws, cups, stirrers and other popular but disposable items has come into effect. Mexico City’s environmental secretary explained that the capital will now be a place “without single-use plastics,” and urged citizens to think of reusable containers as something they never leave the home without - just like they might do with cell phones.

  • The UK’s largest bird of prey could be poised for a comeback in Norfolk, where a consultation has been launched to reintroduce white-tailed eagles. The birds, once persecuted to extinction in England, have already been reintroduced to the Isle of Wight.

  • This will make you laugh or cry: Donald Trump was cultivated as a Russian asset over 40 years and proved so willing to parrot anti-western propaganda that there were celebrations in Moscow, a former Major in the KGB claims. This former KGB spy is a key source for American Kompromat, a new book by journalist Craig Unger.

  • When George Floyd was killed last year by a police officer in Minneapolis, it sparked the BLM protests across America. Floyd may have left in his wake a lasting legacy of activism, but he also left behind a 7-year-old daughter named Gianna. Happily, kind benefactors are now looking after her welfare. An NBA professional basketball star learned what the family needed most and stepped up to provide it. Kyrie Irving, bought them a house. Irving is not the only celebrity help Gianna and her family. “Barbra Streisand gave them stock in Disney, so I think God has definitely blessed her right now. She’s doing the best she’s ever done, she’s happy,” Jackson said.

  • Spanish Armada maps saved: The ten rare maps which plot the defeat of the Spanish Armada have been saved from being exported to the US after the National Museum of the Royal Navy raised £600,000 to buy them.

  • Traditional clay teacups called kulhads will be making an impactful comeback in 7,000 railway stations across India. Kulhads are 100 percent environment-friendly, unpainted, and unglazed. The clay’s natural, earthy fragrance is said to enhance the flavor of the tea, while evoking memories of India’s rich provincial past. The government hopes that the widespread use of these completely biodegradable cups will be a big step towards their objective of making India free of single-use plastic.

  • US libraries go fine-free: Penalty charges for overdue books were designed to get books back. Actually, it had the opposite effect or no effect at all. Now that such charges are being waived, readers are flocking back. Particularly amongst low income households.

  • Man’s best friend has proven a loyal ally once again - this time in the fight against breast cancer. The humble pooch is the inspiration behind a new device that provides affordable, pain-free and non-invasive testing for breast cancer. Most of the credit for the home testing kit, however, must go to Spanish engineer Judit Giró Benet (pictured), who invented it. The Blue Box uses artificial intelligence that mimics a dog’s nose to analyse urine samples and identify breast cancer biomarkers. The Blue Box’s potential to boost cancer survival rates gained it first prize at the 2020 James Dyson Awards.

  • World's first 'airport for electric flying cars' to be built in the heart of England, becoming the first fully operational airport for air taxis when it's unveiled later this year.

  • In the German city of Ulm, people who don’t have a roof over their head can now benefit from a thoughtful initiative - a series of pods for homeless people to sleep in. Called Ulmer Nests, made of wood and steel, shield those without homes from the cold, wind, and humidity - and fit up to two people. There are no cameras, but when the doors are opened motion sensors alert social workers that the pods are in use. Caretakers then check the pod following its use to ensure it's cleaned and also to provide assistance to anyone using the shelter.

  • If only all dad's could do this: