Today's collection of upbeat, positive news nuggets to put a spring in your step.
Surprise and Relief
The expansion of an iron ore mine in the Arctic that would have increased shipping and led to the “complete extirpation of narwhal” from the region has been blocked. After four years of consultations, authorities rejected a request from Baffinland Iron Mines Corp to significantly increase mining on Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada. The area is home to one of the world’s richest iron ore deposits, and the densest narwhal population in the world. The news came as a surprise and a relief to conservationists and community members working to protect the narwhal population and the Inuit who rely on them for subsistence.
Hats Off to Marvin
An alumnus of Samford University in Alabama has given the school the largest gift in its history, including $95 million for scholarships. Marvin Mann, a native of Alabama, graduated from Samford in 1954, and has just gifted the university $100 million. He worked for IBM for 32 years and went on to found Lexmark International Inc. in 1991 which now manufactures laser printers and imaging products. He served as chief executive officer and chairman until 1999.
A restoration project in Ireland is aiming to help oysters flourish in Belfast Lough once again. Native oysters appeared to have become extinct in the lough in 1903, only to be discovered again in 2020. Now a native oyster nursery at Bangor Marina, the first of its kind on the island of Ireland, aims to boost numbers to help the species flourish once more. Native oysters are known as ocean superheroes and help to create cleaner water, boost marine biodiversity, and support healthy fisheries.
Barbatulous - Having but a small beard.
David v Goliath
A German court has begun hearing a case brought against Volkswagen by a farmer who claims the carmaker is partly responsible for the impact that global warming is having on his family business. Such cases have met with mixed success: some have been dismissed, while one made it to Germany’s top court, which last year ordered the government to step up its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the latest case, Mr Allhoff-Cramer is calling for VW – the world’s second-biggest car manufacturer based on sales – to end production of combustion engine vehicles by 2030. VW has a current target of 2050.
The first all-Black Mount Everest expedition team, Full Circle Everest, has reached the summit of the world's highest mountain, nearly doubling the number of Black climbers who have done so, as people all around the world cheered them on. The seven who reached the summit said they hope to inspire the next generation of Black athletes, climbers and mountaineers to new heights. "My big goal with this project is to help demystify the process of climbing your Everest; it doesn't necessarily need to be Everest," said Abby Dione of Full Circle Everest.
People who take part in insurrections against the US government can be barred from office, an appeals court announced, reversing a ruling in favor of Madison Cawthorn, an extremist Republican politician from North Carolina. Hailing a “major victory”, Free Speech For People, the group which brought the case, said: “This ruling cements the growing judicial consensus that the 1872 Amnesty Act does not shield the insurrectionists of 6 January 2021 – including Donald Trump – from the consequences of their actions.”
The largest battery recycling factory in Europe is now in commercial operation in Norway and expects to recycle 12,000 tons of depleted batteries a year initially, rising to 70,000 tons by 2025 and 300,000 tons by 2030. 12,000 tons is enough to handle all depleted batteries from electric vehicles on the road in Norway today. The fully automated Hydrovolt recycling process allows up to 95 percent of materials to be recovered from batteries that have reached the end of their useful service life.
Quote of the Day
“Sometimes, your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” Thich Nhat Hanh
On this Day
26 May 1897: Irish writer Bram Stoker published the Gothic horror classic Dracula, which became the basis for an entire genre of literature and films about vampires.
Dive in Deeper
Pictures flashed around the world earlier this week of the Queen being escorted around the Chelsea Flower Show, in a very stylish golf buggy, by Keith Weed - appointed president of the RHS a couple of years ago. Read on...
Man v Machine
The unbelievably fast KUKA robot faces off against one of the best table tennis players of all time. Who will win the first ever table tennis duel of human versus robot?