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Saturday's Upbeat News

What better way to start the weekend than with a global round up of positive news?

Dog trying to get through a catflap
But the cat made it look so easy! | Sarah Haskell/Comedy Pets
Comedy Pets

One of the best things about having pets is how many laughs they bring. The Comedy Pet Photography Awards celebrates this fact with its annual competition. It hopes to make people smile with funny pet pics and encourage them to support small grassroots animal welfare charities. Want to see some more of this year's finalists? Click here.

Longest English Word

If you can find a way to work pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis into a conversation, congratulations! You’ve just managed to use the dictionary's longest defined word. But also: We hope you’re feeling OK, as the 45-letter word is a disease that causes an inflammation of the lungs due to the inhalation of very fine silicate or quartz dust. At least, that’s what it’s supposed to mean. The word was coined in the 1930s, probably by the president of the National Puzzlers’ League, “in imitation of polysyllabic medical terms,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary, “but occurring only as an instance of a very long word.” In other words, pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis was a word created simply to be long.

Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods
Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde
Legally Blonde Prequel

Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine will produce a Legally Blonde prequel series titled Elle, centered on future lawyer Elle Woods' during her high school years. Witherspoon, who starred in the original cult classic movie in 2001, says "I truly couldn’t be more excited about this series. Fans will get to know how Elle Woods navigated her world as a teenager with her distinct personality and ingenuity, in ways that only our beloved Elle could do. What could be better than that?" Elle will debut on Amazon Prime Video.

Amazing Achievement

A new report by the World Health Organisation says that an estimated 11.7 million malaria deaths have been averted globally between 2000 and 2022 as a result of scaling up malaria control interventions - an astonishing public health achievement. The rollout of the new malaria vaccines provides fresh hope that progress can be maintained.

Sir Paul McCartney on stage
Sir Paul McCartney.
Billionaire Beatle

Sir Paul McCartney has become the first UK musician to become a billionaire, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. The former Beatle, 81, boosted his wealth by £50m in the past year with touring, the lucrative value of his back catalogue and Beyoncé's cover of the classic track he wrote in 1968, Blackbird, helping him achieve the status.

Blue whale seen from above
Blue whale.
Whale of a Time

Scientists have confirmed the comeback of fin whales, with over 50,000 recorded in the Scotia Sea alone, more than triple the number previously estimated for the entire Southern Ocean. Meanwhile, in the Seychelles, blue whales have been spotted for the first time in decades.

Uplifting Eco Stats

10%: Germany's greenhouse gas emissions dropped by one-tenth last year. Europe's biggest economy is trying to cut its emissions by 65 percent, compared with 1990, by 2030. This latest stat puts it on track to doing so.

Less Than 25%: Fossil fuels provided less than a quarter of the EU’s energy for the first time in April - a sharp drop of 22 percent compared to April 2023 despite an increase in demand.

More Than 30%: The percentage of the world’s electricity that's now generated using renewables.

90%: The percentage that battery costs have dropped in the last 15 years.


“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.” J. B. Priestley

On This Day

Poster for the original Shrek movie

18 May 2001: The comedy Shrek - with voices provided by Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz, among others - had its nationwide release in the United States; it went on to become the first movie to win the Academy Award for best animated feature.

Today's Articles

Mood Boosting Video

Northern Lights: Scientists predict that this year or next, the solar cycle will peak and more intense and complex Northern Lights will follow.


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