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Good News Only Saturday

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Today's global collection of positive news nuggets.


Trio of sea otters floating in the ocean
Sea Otters

A century ago, sea otters in the United States were hunted nearly to extinction for their extraordinary fur coats. Since they became a protected species under the Endangered Species Act in 1977, their numbers have rebounded to about 100,000, and populations of southern sea otters are recovering too, albeit more slowly. That's good news for sea otters and our planet. As top predators, sea otters are critical to maintaining the balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp forests, seagrass meadows, embayments and estuaries. Without sea otters, sea urchins can overpopulate the sea floor and devour the kelp forests that provide cover and food for many other marine animals. Kelp and seagrass also absorb copious amounts of CO2.


Saturn photographed by the JWST
Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, M. Tiscareno (SETI Institute), M. Hedman (University of Idaho), M. El Moutamid (Cornell University), M. Showalter (SETI Institute), L. Fletcher (University of Leicester), H. Hammel (AURA); image processing by J. DePasquale (STScI)

New Look Saturn

The James Webb Space Telescope has captured its stunning, first official image of Saturn and its rings. With this new view of the planet, the telescope has now taken images of all four of the solar system’s gas giants. In this new picture from the telescope’s Near-Infrared Camera, four of Saturn’s rings shine brightly, with the planet itself appearing dimmer. Three of its moons can be seen as pinpricks of light on the left side. Webb’s capture of Saturn appears starkly different from past images of the planet - gone are the gas giant’s recognizable bands, and in their place is a darker-looking orb encircled by the rings.

 
 
Iceland Comes Top

Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the Global Peace Index is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. Iceland has been declared the world's most peaceful country, just pipping Denmark to the accolade. Want to know where your country comes? Click here


Love Philippines poster
Credit: Facebook | Cebu Provincial Tourism Office
Oops!

An advertising agency made a rookie error by using footage of other countries in a promotional video for the Philippines. The island nation’s tourism department commissioned DBB Philippines to create the video as part of its “Love the Philippines” campaign. But following the recent launch, which cost around $1m, eagle-eyed commentators pointed out that the footage included stock shots of “rice terraces in Indonesia, sand dunes in the United Arab Emirates and an aircraft landing in Switzerland.”


Hannah Dingley, football coach
Credit: Forest Green Rovers | Twitter
First Female Guv'nor

Forest Green Rovers - the greenest football club on the planet, according to FIFA - have appointed Hannah Dingley as their caretaker head coach, making her the first female to take charge of a men’s team at a professional English football club. “I’m really excited for this next step of my career,” Dingley said. “Pre-season has just begun and the full season kicks off very soon. It’s an exciting time in football. I am grateful for the opportunity to step up and lead such a progressive and forward-thinking club.”


Phone Ban

Mobile phones, tablets and smartwatches will be banned from classrooms in the Netherlands from 1 January 2024 in an attempt to limit distractions during lessons. Devices will only be allowed if they are specifically needed, for instance during lessons on digital skills, for medical reasons or for people with disabilities. “Even though mobile phones are intertwined with our lives, they do not belong in the classroom,” the education minister said.

 
 

British Rainforest

A temperate rainforest - a magical, wildlife-rich place of mosses, lichens and ferns - is being planted in Devon, south west England. The rainforest will sit within a larger site where multiple other regenerative projects are taking place. The name Dart 'derives from the Celtic for "oak", so it’s very apposite that one of the first rainforest restoration projects should be to help restore Atlantic oakwood to the valley of the Dart.'

 
 
Shipping Forecast

Eight years after Bhutan set the world’s first net zero target, the global shipping industry just about caught up this week. As the chair of this week’s International Maritime Organisation talks asked negotiators to rise in applause, they signed off on targets to cut emissions 20% by 2030, 70% by 2040 and 100% “by or around, i.e. close to 2050”. For an industry with the same volume of emissions as Germany, it’s much better than the status quo. Before today there were no 2030 and 2040 targets and a goal to just halve emissions by 2050. No doubt the pressure will continue to pile on the industry until, at last, a concrete, legally binding deal is reached.

 

“At every party there are two kinds of people - those who want to go home and those who don’t. The trouble is, they are usually married to each other.” Ann Landers

 
On this Day

8 July 1889: Journalist Charles Henry Dow published the first issue of The Wall Street Journal.

 





 
Mood Booster

Pre Monty Python: The Four Yorkshire Men Sketch.



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