Today's global bundle of positive news nuggets to help put a spring in your step.
... a Valentine's present for our pets, apparently. Retailers report that Brits are splurging on gifts and cards for their pets. Online retailer Moonpig reports that sales of Valentine's Day cards for pets have risen by 30 percent this year compared with 2021. Cards on offer include messages like 'You're purrfect', and those that incorporate cherished photos are especially popular. Meanwhile, Pets At Home says the number of searches for Valentine's dog toys tripled. In response to demand, it has now released a gift guide for pets, which recommended gifts ranging from a £20 dog bathrobe to non-alcoholic wine for dogs. The firm has also released a playlist of pet-related love songs they say will 'strengthen the bond' between animals and their owners – including Puppy Love, You're My Best Friend and Run To You.
Mozambique has launched Africa's largest mangrove reforestation project. UAE-based mangrove reforestation specialist, Blue Forest, is a partner. Between 50 million to 100 million trees will be planted across 185,000 hectares (457,145 acres) of mangrove forests. It’s estimated that 200,000 tons of CO2 emissions will be offset annually in the long term, equivalent to 50,000 cars off the road. “Mozambique is a hugely strategic country when it comes to mangrove forests," said Vahid Fotuhi, founder and CEO of Blue Forest. "Tens of thousands of people and endless marine life will benefit from this project.”
Graduating at 98
Donald Huisenga, from Texas, was supposed to graduate high school in 1943. Six weeks before graduation, however, he left to fight in WWII. When Donald came back after the war, he proceeded with his civilian life, but he never officially graduated. When Donald, now 98, met social worker Tess Gooding in November 2021, he mentioned that he never got his diploma. So she decided to help. Tess contacted Kevin Litterer, the principal of East Sac County High School in Lake View, IA, which had replaced the school that Donald previously attended. Litterer immediately agreed to help, and within a few weeks, he came up with a replica of Donald’s diploma. Litterer drove down from Iowa to Texas and presented Donald with his diploma in an official ceremony. "For me to present the diploma to him, it was an honor," Litterer commented.
In Phoenix, Arizona, where farmers are on average 61 years old and local growers have trouble finding apprentices, the city has launched a program to match nine Phoenix residents between 18 to 24 with nine local farms. It is part of the Phoenix Resilient Food System Program, which aims to create a stronger, more sustainable local food system. Fellows will receive $15 an hour to work and train on their respective farm for 20 hours a week. Joseph Rossell, who oversees the fellowship program hopes successful fellows would find abundant opportunities once the program concluded.
Quote of the Day
"You know you’ve reached middle age when you’re cautioned to slow down by your doctor, instead of by the police."
On this Day
16 February 1957: The British TV broadcasters BBC and ITV ended a postwar policy in which there was no programming between 18:00 and 19:00, known as the “toddler's truce.” The break was designed to help parents put children to bed.
Dive in Deeper
Patagonia is one of the most remote and spectacular regions in the world. Spanning the southernmost tip of South America across both Argentina and Chile, its natural beauty is defined by extremes, from jagged glaciers to barren desert. Prepare to get swept up in Patagonia’s dazzling scenery...