Uplifting bundle of good news nuggets to help brighten up the day.
A new bill signed into law will now provide millions of children in California with free books thanks to Dolly Parton. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom and will provide funding for Parton’s “Imagination Library” program, providing free books to children from birth to 5 years old. Aiming to encourage preschool children to develop an early love of reading and learning, the bill received bipartisan support in both houses.
Back in the Balkans
Since 2018 around 70 young black vultures have been released in various regions of the Balkan Mountains, with the last two female Cinereous Vultures flying into the wild skies of Bulgaria earlier this month. The reintroduction project has been “very successful”, with several pairs of the reintroduced birds already raising offspring, both this year and last year - earlier than experts had expected - says Hristo Peshev from the Bulgarian partner organization the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna and one of the biologists involved in the project.
A Labour of Moles
A group of moles is called a ‘labour’ - likely because of their hard-working nature, tunnelling up to 200 metres a day. If you already knew this noun you can give yourself a pat on the back; one UK quiz show contestant thought the political party which shares its name with a collective noun for moles was the Liberal Democrats.
Wind and solar power have made up a record 24 percent of the European Union’s electricity mix since Russia launched its war on Ukraine - a boost that has also helped the bloc battle soaring inflation. The growth in renewable power capacity has saved the 27-nation bloc €99 billion ($97 billion) in avoided gas imports between March and September, which is €11 billion ($10.8 billion) more when compared with the same period from last year, according to a report published by climate think tanks E3G and Ember.
After more than two years of near-total isolation, Japan has reopened its borders to overseas visitors. The country has lifted some of the strictest pandemic border controls in the world by removing a 50,000 daily cap on arrivals, reinstating waivers for short-term visas and dropping the rule requiring tourists to visit as part of group tours.
A flourish made after a signature, as in a document, originally as a precaution against forgery.
Message From Ukraine
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy is to publish a collection of his war speeches, which his publisher has described as “a battle cry for the world to speak out and fight for liberty”. A Message from Ukraine will include 16 speeches personally selected by Zelenskiy, which will “explore Ukraine’s journey since 2019”, said publisher Penguin Random House. The speeches will help readers “understand Ukrainians: our aspirations, our principles, and our values”, said Zelenskiy. The book will also include a new introduction in which Zelenskiy will reflect on what he has learned about himself and Ukraine since the start of the conflict with Russia. All of the president’s proceeds from the book will be donated to the United24 fund. Run by the government of Ukraine, money from the fund is allocated by government ministries to cover their most pressing needs.
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Quote of the Day
“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” Coco Chanel
On this Day
20 October 1973: Australia's Sydney Opera House - designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, whose dynamic, imaginative, but problematic plan won an international competition in 1957 -was opened by Queen Elizabeth II.
A flying visit to the remarkable temple strewn landscape of Bagan, Myanmar.