Celebrating the start of the weekend with a collection of upbeat news nuggets.
It might just be the greatest karaoke band of all time. Gary Barlow, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Geri Horner and Emma Bunton formed a ‘supergroup’ as they gathered around the piano for a sing-along at Christian Horner’s surprise birthday party in Oxfordshire. Between them, the superstars have recorded 34 number-one hit singles and sold over half a billion records worldwide. Christian Horner is boss of the Red Bull Formula 1 team and married to former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell.
Over the past decade, the Black Mambas, an all-female anti-poaching unit in South Africa, has eliminated rhino poaching in the Olifants West Nature Reserve, without the use of weapons. The group has made a significant impact on both local wildlife and the wider community, empowering women’s social standing and economic independence, reports BBC News.
Le Bassin aux Nymphéas
Claude Monet's dreamy paintings of water lilies are some of the most recognizable works of art ever created. The series Water Lilies depicts scenes from Monet's garden and pond at Giverny in France, and while many can be viewed in Paris's Musée de l'Orangerie, others are less well known. In an exciting recent auction at Christie's, a Monet which had been held in a private collection for 50 years came to light, selling for an impressive $74 million. Known as Le Bassin aux Nymphéas (Water lily pond), the work was painted between 1917 and 1919, and “hails from an important period of renewal and experimentation in Monet’s painterly visions of the lily-pond,” according to the auction house.
Tennis Fans Rejoice
Rafael Nadal will return to professional tennis in January after a year-long layoff as he seeks a fitting end to his legendary career. Nadal, a 22-time grand slam champion, has not competed since the Australian Open in January, where he lost in the second round to Mackenzie McDonald after suffering a hip injury. In a video on X (formerly Twitter), Nadal announced that he will be returning at the Brisbane International. “After a year away from competition, it’s time to come back. It will be in Brisbane, the first week of January. I’ll see you there,” he said.
Record-breaking sea turtle nesting has been observed on U.S. beaches, particularly in Florida, where over 133,840 loggerhead turtle nests and 76,500 green turtle nests have been recorded, breaking previous records.
Oman has planted more than 3.5 million mangrove seeds as part of its Blue Carbon project, which aims to cultivate 100 million mangrove trees over four years. In Pakistan, a massive mangrove restoration project spanning an area nearly the size of Rhode Island is expected to absorb an estimated 142 million tons of carbon over the next 60 years. Blue Carbon projects are a practical, regenerative climate solution with multiple benefits.
A new Swedish factory can recycle more plastic packaging than any other site in the world, according to the non-profit behind it. The ‘Site Zero’ plant in the city of Motala is being billed as the biggest of its kind, capable of sorting up to 20,000 tonnes of plastic packaging a year, reports EuroNews. It’s not simply size but cutting-edge technology that makes this feat possible. Infrared red cameras are used to separate the tide of waste arriving at the factory gates into 12 different types of plastic.
"If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older." Tom Stoppard
On This Day
2 December 1697: St Paul's Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren is consecrated for use (previous building destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666).
Up close and personal with a pack of Arctic Wolves: Behind the scenes with Planet Earth III.