An eclectic bundle of good news nuggets to get the weekend off to a sunny start.
Sir David Attenborough has said he is “truly delighted” after scientists named a fossil of the earliest known animal predator after him. The fossil is the first of its kind and is believed to be the earliest creature to have a skeleton, scientists say. The 560-million-year-old specimen, which has been named Auroralumina attenbouroughii, was found in Charnwood Forest near Leicester, in central England, where the rocks date back 600 million years.
Louisiana has banned the ninth US state to ban the sale of any cosmetics tested on animals. It follows the lead of California, Nevada, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, Maine, Hawaii, and New Jersey where similar bans are already in place, says the Humane Society
Indigenous tribes across America have brought bison populations back from the brink of extinction over the last decade. Today 76 tribes across 20 states manage more than 20,000 bison - an incredible achievement considering the population sat below 1,000 in the early 1900s. It's also a victory for local ecosystems, with a flourishing of native grasses, animals, and insects wherever they roam.
A reforestation program in the East African country of Burundi is restoring communities as well as nature with formerly warring factions working together to help boost the country’s forests. The initiative launched in 2018 after a brutal civil war, and in just four years has planted 150 million trees across 50,000 hectares. In further good news about trees, over the past 20 years global tree cover has increased by 130.9 million hectares - an area larger than Peru. 36 countries are now gaining more trees than they’re losing, including Ireland, Poland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, reports the World Resources Institute
Adjective: in excellent order. Any boss is pleased to hear "everything is copacetic" from their employees.
A federal judge in Northern California has restored a large number of protections for endangered and threatened species that were removed by the Trump administration. Environmental groups have applauded the move which will speed up protections and critical habitat designations for threatened species, including salmon in the Pacific Northwest.
Thailand is among the top plastic polluters in the world, but seeking to change that, a Buddhist temple in Bangkok is recycling thousands of plastic bottles and turning them into sacred orange robes for the monks. Over the last two years, monks at the recycling temple of Wat Chak Daeng have crushed 40 tons (88,000 lbs) of plastic as part of a program aiming to curb plastic waste entering the Chao Phraya River, which flows south to the Gulf of Thailand in the western Pacific Ocean. Unlike most temples where people give monks alms like food and clothes, devotees ride bicycles here asking for plastic bags and bottles in exchange for blessings from the temple’s abbot. The temple has produced at least 800 sets of robes.
Only two countries in Africa are now building coal plants – Zimbabwe and South Africa – and the pipeline of new capacity is collapsing after China's pledge to end overseas support. Meanwhile, wind and solar are already the cheapest way to generate electricity across almost every part of the continent, reports the IEA.
Quote of the Day
“Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get.”
W. P. Kinsella
On this Day
30 July 1930: Uruguay defeated Argentina to win the first ever World Cup in football (soccer).
Fans of Marylin Monroe will be delighted that Blonde, starring Ana de Armas, will premier on 28 September. Here's the official trailer to whet your appetite.