Wrapping up the week with an eclectic bundle of good news nuggets.
In good news for travellers who prefer to avoid unnecessary hold-ups, a town on the Italian Riviera has introduced no-waiting zones to stop tourists for “lingering” in popular spots for selfies. Visitors to Portofino could now be fined up to 275 euros ($300) for hanging around too long in the zones, which include “the most photogenic hotspots”, said the BBC. The local mayor, Matteo Viacava, said that “anarchic chaos” had been caused by tourists stopping to take pictures, leading to huge traffic jams and blocked pavements.
A new marine protected area in Patagonia will safeguard an important feeding and breeding area for endangered blue whales. Spanning 100,000 hectares (387 square miles) along the Gulf of Corcovado, the protections are also good news for humpback and sei whales, South American sea lions and two species of threatened albatross that frequent the area.
Oil to Conservation
A New York investment firm has launched a $400-million bid for oil concessions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with plans to turn them into conservation projects. The concessions include areas of critically endangered gorilla habitat, tropical peatlands and swathes of the planet’s second-largest rainforest in the Congo basin. "Let us prove that we have an alternative to oil exploration and provide a way to centre the economy around nature conservation instead of destroying them for extractive industries," says Matthias Pitkowitz, EQX Biome CEO.
Apple has opened its first retail store in India. Located in Mumbai, Apple BKC incorporates sustainably sourced and local materials, and features a light-filled interior that's defined by an impressive handcrafted timber ceiling. Its complex patterned ceiling is inspired by the work of Mumbai's cane and rattan weavers. It's made from sustainably sourced wood and forms a triangular shape. Each wooden tile is made from 408 pieces of wood, with a total of almost 450,000 individual pieces. The building has received the LEED Platinum green building standard and in addition to its focus on natural light, it reduces its grid-based power needs with a solar panel array that's installed on the exterior.
Wet Wipes Wipe Out
Wet wipes containing plastic will be banned in England as part of the country’s plan to improve its waterways. In 2021 around 90 percent of wipes contained plastics which don’t break down and are the biggest cause of blockages. Although the ban is scheduled to come into force next year, several major retail chains have already stopped selling plastic-based wet wipes.
Soup Reverses Diabetes
A landmark study has found that a “soup and shake” diet can permanently reverse type 2 diabetes. In the latest findings from the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial, patients who kept to an 800-calorie-a-day diet for three months, then kept the weight off, were free from symptoms five years later and no longer needed medication. “This result is wildly important,” said Professor Roy Taylor, of Newcastle University, who led the study. “I avoid saying ‘cure’ because it has not gone away completely,” he added.
"Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else." Maya Angelou
On this Day
21 April 1956: Elvis Presley's first hit record, Heartbreak Hotel, becomes #1.
Trying to play the piano for wild macaques at a 12th century Thai temple isn't as easy as it may sound!