Thursday's collection of good news snippets.
Queen's Platinum Jubilee: four-day festival weekend to celebrate 70-year reign has been announced by Buckingham Palace. A four day bank holiday weekend in June 2022 to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee will include a concert of world-class stars and a street pageant on The Mall. The Queen, 95, will become the first British monarch to reign for 70 years on the anniversary of her accession in February, beginning a year of festivities throughout the UK and the Commonwealth.
The Biden administration has suspended all Trump-era oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge pending its own review of how fossil fuel drilling would impact the remote landscape. The move is a first step toward fulfilling the president’s campaign promise to “reverse the Trump administration’s assaults on America’s natural treasures, including by reversing Trump’s attacks on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.” So said the great American writer William Faulkner, speaking at his daughter's graduating class in 1951.
Good news for students at Wilberforce University in Ohio. The president of the historically Black university announced it will cancel student debts for 2020/21 of more than $375,000. 'As these graduates begin their lives as responsible adults, we are honored to be able to give them a fresh start by relieving their student debt to the university,' President Elfred Anthony Pinkard said.
A drive to tackle the under-representation of black students is being launched at Imperial College London, in a £5m scholarship and mentoring scheme. Out of more than 10,000 undergraduates at Imperial, only 235 are black. The university, one of the world's top science institutions, wants to at least double that number.
A group of poor, struggling fishermen in Yemen came across a sperm whale carcass floating in the Gulf of Aden. They towed it to the beach and opened up its belly. Inside, much to their astonishment and delight, they discovered $1.5m worth of ambergris - a rare and valuable substance used in the perfume industry. Apparently, the smell was horrible, but the smell meant money - lots of it! So, the lucky fishermen are now rich beyond their wildest dreams; in a country where the average annual income is just $2,200.
The English county of Oxfordshire has unveiled plans to become the first region in the country to go 'smoke-free' by 2025. The move will see smoking at outside bars and restaurants, pavements outside offices, etc. etc. all banned for smokers.
Ford’s electric Mustang Mach-E topped Norway’s car sales in May, the first full month of registrations for the crossover vehicle in the small but influential Nordic market. Battery electric vehicles made up 60 percent of all new cars sold in Norway last month, up from 43 percent a year ago as the country seeks to become the first to end the sale of petrol and diesel engines by 2025. Ford Mustangs registered in May took a 10 percent share of Norway’s overall car market. Tesla’s Model 3 took sixth place. By comparison, only 6.5 percent of new cars sold in UK last month were electric.
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State of Mind
A legendary piece of reflective poetry written by Walter D. Wintle, a poet who lived in the late 19th and early 20th century.