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Saturday's Good News Nuggets

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

Smorgasbord of uplifting news snippets to help get the weekend off to a sunny start.

  • With Adele's first new album for 6 years released on Friday, will 30 (as it's called) be as big a hit as her recent single? That achieved 84.9m streams in a week on one platform alone; straight to No 1 in 25 countries; a song that received more first-week plays on US radio than any other song ever – in a sense, it wasn’t so much a comeback as an act of global reassurance. The world may recently have lurched from one crisis to another, but Adele’s Easy on Me brought with it the message that at least one thing hasn’t changed: Adele Adkins is still heartbroken and belting it out over a gentle piano and beautiful orchestration. And everyone loves it.

  • 240 years ago, the white-tailed eagle went extinct in England. Now, miraculously, the giant birds of prey have decided to return to the country. The huge eagles, with a whopping 2.5m wing span, were spotted sweeping over the North York Moors, flying a distance of over 400km to get there. It undoubtedly put a smile on the faces of the people who saw them.

  • Beef, palm oil, cocoa and other products linked to deforestation will be banned from entering the European Union under landmark legal proposals that attempt to help prevent the felling of the world’s great forests. The law would require companies to prove that agricultural commodities destined for the bloc’s 450 million consumers were not linked to deforestation. Green groups have welcomed the plans, as for the first time the EU will attempt to regulate products linked to all (and not just illegal) deforestation.

  • An image of a golden sink monkey wearing a pained expression has won the overall prize at this year's Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. The photograph is the work of amateur UK photographer Ken Jensen, who beat off competition from 7,000 other entries. Jensen shot the image on a bridge over the Xun river in Yunnan, southwestern China, capturing the moment the male monkey sat on one of the supporting wires of the bridge.

  • Mask-wearing is the single most effective public health measure at tackling Covid, reducing incidence by 53 percent, the first global study of its kind shows. Results from more than 30 studies from around the world were analysed in detail, reports the British Medical Journal, showing a statistically significant 53 percent reduction in the incidence of Covid with mask wearing and a 25 percent reduction with physical distancing.

  • It's one of Frida Kahlo’s last self-portraits and represents the artist’s vulnerability and emotional turmoil over her husband Diego Rivera’s adultery. Seven decades later, in a unique twist of fate, the painting has sold for almost $35m – making it the most expensive Latin American work of art to be sold at auction and beating the previous record held by Rivera himself.

  • Acts of kindness: In 2001, Dr. Singh established GS Memorial Plastic Surgery Hospital in Varanasi, India, to provide state of the art reconstructive plastic surgery. Since then, this world renowned plastic surgeon and his team have performed over 32,000 free cleft-palate surgeries to help children smile again.

  • Solar power is one of the best solutions for generating clean, renewable energy. Work has now started on the largest one in the USA, dubbed Mammoth Solar and located in Indiana, it will cover roughly 13,000 acres (5,261 hectares) and, when complete in 2024, will power 300,000 homes. As of writing, the world's largest solar panel farm is in India, at 5,700 hectares (14,000 acres). However, Australian firm Sun Cable is building a massive infrastructure project, spanning roughly 12,000 hectares (29,652 acres), which will send power to Singapore via undersea cable.

  • Serbia's soccer team was promised a gift of €1 million by President Aleksandar Vucic if they upset Portugal to qualify to the 2022 World Cup. Against the odds, the Serbian soccer team defeated the Portuguese team 2-1 on in Lisbon. As soon as the national team returned home, the money was immediately transferred to the account of the Football Union of Serbia. However, the players decided to donate all of the €1 million "to those who need it more - sick children for their treatment."

  • Concrete solutions: According to the non-profit Carbon XPrize, cement accounts for 7 percent of global CO2 emissions. The Canadian company CarbonCure uses recycled liquified CO2, captured from factory exhaust, and injects it into fresh concrete during the mixing process. “Once injected, the CO2 undergoes a chemical reaction, converts into a mineral and becomes permanently embedded,” the CarbonCure engineers explain. Not only does the process reduce emissions by five to eight percent compared with conventional mixes, it makes the concrete stronger. CarbonCure claims to have eliminated more than 120,000 tons of CO2 and just won the Carbon XPrize. It shares the award with CarbonBuilt, a Los Angeles company that uses technology developed by the Institute for Carbon Management at UCLA to reduce CO2 in concrete by nearly 50 percent.

  • "Age is just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine." Joan Collins

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