Tuesday's collection of upbeat news snippets from all corners of the globe.
Asian Americans are the country's fastest-growing electorate, but Asian American candidates haven't fared well in big-city elections. Of the 100 largest cities in America, only six have Asian American mayors, all in California or Texas. But today, Michelle Wu could change that when she faces off against another city councilor in Boston's mayoral election. Wu, a protégée of Senator Elizabeth Warren, proposes to make Boston a laboratory for progressive policy. Wu says: "In nearly a decade in city government, I have learned the easiest thing to do in government is nothing. And in trying to deliver change, there will be those who are invested in the status quo who will be disrupted, or uncomfortable, or even lose out." So far, Wu's polling way ahead of her opponent.
Amid viewer concerns that the supposedly impartial BBC is becoming, rather obviously, overtly woke and leftie, the corporation is to appoint external experts to ensure all of its content is impartial, reports The Telegraph. Tim Davie, the director-general, has sought to tackle accusations of bias with an impartiality crackdown, which has included controls on staff sharing their opinions on social media and emphasising the need for neutrality in news roles. Now, external experts will reportedly analyse all the broadcaster’s content for signs of potential bias.
Every fall a hillside along Oregon's highway 18 greets passers-by with a giant smiley face formed by trees. The trees were planted by Hampton Lumber in 2011 and consists of douglas fir and larch trees. Larch trees are conifers with needles that turn yellow and drop in autumn. Douglas fir makes up the eyes and mouth. The smiley face is about 300 feet wide and will return every fall for the next 30-50 years, until the trees are harvested for lumber.
David Bowie's estate is capitalising on the song rights frenzy as his back catalogue attracts bids of about $200m (£145m). The late singer's songbook that includes albums such as Let's Dance, Heroes and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars has been put up for auction. A sale could be announced within weeks, the Financial Times reported, with negotiations at an advanced stage. The singer known as the Thin White Duke passed his estate to his two children and second wife Iman when he died in 2016. The film director Duncan Jones, Bowie's son from his first marriage to Angela Barnett, received a 25pc share.
A mission to clear up the Great Pacific garbage patch – a swirling mass of floating rubbish twice the size of Texas – has returned with its first haul. A vessel operated by The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit, brought almost 30 tonnes of trash ashore. The organisation was testing technology that skims the water to remove rubbish. “While it’s just the tip of the iceberg, these kilograms are the most important ones we will ever collect, because they are proof that cleanup is possible,” said Boyan Slat, CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. “With a small fleet of these systems, we can clean this up.”
The Beijing-Zhangjiakou intercity railway is nearing completion ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The new bullet train line connects Beijing and Zhangjiakou – the Games’ twin host cities. According to Chinese state media, it is the world’s first self-driving high- speed railway. South China Morning Post says that the travel time between the two cities will be shortened from 3 hours to only 47 minutes.
Solar panels thinner than a pencil have just been invented and they could revolutionise renewable energy. Ultra thin, lightweight panels are being made by Singapore-based company, Maxeon Solar Technologies, and it’s predicted they’ll take over the European market very soon. Solar power is a particularly effective renewable energy source because it’s free. The sun provides us with more energy than we could ever use. Buildings are responsible for 28 percent of global emissions, yet far too many rooftops - around 40 percent of existing commercial buildings - can’t go solar because most solar panels are too heavy. So, Maxeon's new product is potentially very good news.
Nine House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump outraised their GOP challengers over the summer months, new federal election data shows. The incumbents are being targeted by Trump and his allies who want to unseat them for their decision to vote with Democrats to impeach Trump for the "incitement" of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. Of the 10 House Republicans who backed Trump's impeachment, nine are running for re-election and some are facing candidates endorsed by the ex-president, says USA Today. Federal Election Commission numbers show the incumbents raised more money than their Republican challengers in July, August and September. Let's hope that's good news.
Fun Fact: In Ancient Greece, wearing skirts was manly. In fact, the Ancient Greeks viewed trousers as effeminate and would mock any men who wore them.
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