OGN Thursday

Today's collection of upbeat news nuggets.

  • Angelina Jolie is to sell Winston Churchill's only wartime painting. Churchill created more than 500 works but the only one he painted during the Second World War was a Moroccan landscape, created after the 1943 Casablanca Conference as a gift for President Franklin D Roosevelt, his friend and ally. Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque, depicting sunset over Marrakech, was sold by Roosevelt's son and ultimately bought by Angelina and Brad. The painting will be auctioned by Christie's in London and is expected to sell for £2.5 million, a record for a Churchill work.

  • King George III watch purchased during Napoleonic wars: UK government prevents an historically important pocket watch leaving the country in the hope that a new British buyer can be found. Anyone got another £2.5m?

  • The NFL is showing its support for health care workers as the 2021 Super Bowl approaches. Ahead of the championship game in Tampa Bay on 7 Feb, the NFL announced that they would be giving away free Super Bowl tickets to 7,500 vaccinated health care workers.

  • Good news for the Welsh language: it's now the fastest-growing language being learned on Duolingo in the UK, with 474,000 people actively being taught. There are apparently tens of thousands of learners in the US, and even one in Antarctica.

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has recently become the Republican Party's leading truth teller. OK, it's not a hugely competitive field, but...

  • Amazon has unveiled concept images of its planned second HQ in Virginia which the company is calling the Helix. The $2.5bn (£1.81bn) project has two spiralling outdoor walkways that wrap around the exterior. Amazon has pledged the same amount of money to build 20,000 affordable homes for low- and moderate-income employees. The funds will be distributed in 3 regions - in and around the company’s home base in Seattle, plus in Arlington and in Nashville. These regions are of major importance for the company as most of its workforce lives there.

  • Russia Vaccine has High Efficacy: Anyone with even the vaguest memory of Russia's shenanigans with drugs at international athletic events will have cause to doubt any drug related claims made by them. However, the performance of their Sputnik V vaccine (the 'V' references 'victory', not 5) - tested on more than 20,000 people - has over 90 percent efficacy and has been given a proper peer-review by respected international counterparts, such as The Lancet.

  • To befuddled British viewers seeking the most informed analysis of the American election results, he was the wizard of the magic wall. Now John King’s status as an international cult figure has been acknowledged by his counterparts in Britain, who have helped him become the first overseas presenter to be nominated for a prestigious Royal Television Society award.

  • Korean medical scientists have employed AI-learning to create a new prostate cancer screening with almost 100 percent accuracy. The breakthrough, which is a simple urine strip, is likely to revolutionize testing, as existing methods are not only inaccurate but also necessitate invasive biopsies.

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would "absolutely" support a campaign to erect a statue in honour of Sir Captain Tom Moore, as the country came together to mark his memory with a nationwide round of applause last night.

  • Joe Biden is set to create a task force to reunify families separated at the US-Mexico border by the Trump administration, as part of a new series of immigration executive actions.

  • Court convicts French state for failing to meet its climate obligations: In an extraordinary, groundbreaking case, France has been found guilty of ‘non-respect of its engagements’ aimed at fighting global warming. It's hoped that this will propel other governments to pull their proverbial fingers out.

  • An American in Paris: Feted at the Châtelet in Paris in 2014, Christopher Wheeldon’s resplendent staging of the Gershwins’ classic went on to conquer Broadway and the West End. It’s now available on a great new streaming platform, Stage2View.com, which also offers the musicals Kinky Boots and 42nd Street.

  • This is better than coffee and Belgian chocolate! If you feel like a mood-boostin', foot-tappin' 4 minutes of uplifting entertainment, don't miss this crazy moment at Antwerp's Central Station:


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