OGN Saturday

Updated: Jan 17

Making sure your weekend gets off to a bright start with a collection of positive news nuggets.


  • Germany has adopted a national strategy to fight gender inequality for the first time in its history. The Strong for the Future plan aims to reduce the gender pay gap and get more women in leadership positions in business, the civil service and in politics. Although Germany has been led for over a decade by a female chancellor - Angela Merkel (pictured) - held in high global regard, it falls below the European average for gender equality.

  • UK to cut emissions by two thirds by 2030: Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the UK is "taking the lead with an ambitious new target to reduce our emissions".

  • Hats off to Denmark for pledging to phase out fossil fuel extraction by 2050. The first pledge of its kind from a significant - albeit not massive - oil producer, it brings supply-side climate policy in line with demanding emissions goals.

  • Good news for the UK government as Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Asda will hand back almost £900m in business rates relief after Tesco and Morrisons announced plans to repay almost £1bn of Covid tax breaks. Every little helps!

  • Campaign to buy JRR Tolkien's house in Oxford is backed by Lord of the Rings actors. Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman support £4.5m crowdfunding campaign to turn the Oxford home where Tolkien wrote his most famous books into a museum.

  • Many native crops across America's prairies that were once integral to the diets of Indigenous peoples vanished from the landscape when bison herds were hunted to the brink of extinction. Now, with bison herds reintroduced, the good news is that the crops are gradually recovering and biodiversity restored.

  • If you're a fan of mince pies and wondering what's the best offering in England this year, you can relax. The Telegraph has done the tasting research for you, declaring M&S Collection mince pies the winner (£2.50 for 6) with a score of 10/10, beating such luminaries as Heston Blumenthal.

  • A Christmas Carol: The Old Vic has created a Christmas tradition of its own with Jack Thorne’s popular adaptation of the Dickens classic. This year its Andrew Lincoln playing Ebenezer Scrooge - with a fantastic supporting cast. Old Vic’s full-scale production, featuring live music, has employed 80 freelance creatives. Treat yourself to a ticket (from £10) from anywhere in the world and enjoy the play online from 12-24 December.

  • Hunted for their meat, pelts, and scent glands, beavers became extinct in the UK in the 16th century, but have been successfully reintroduced to a few sites in Britain in the past two decades. A beaver reintroduction project in Exmoor, south west England, has recently resulted in the first dam in the area in more than 400 years. It's all part of an ecosystem restoration programme led by the National Trust.

  • Enjoy these sensational pictures, part of the People's Choice Award of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year from the Natural History Museum - and vote for your favourite.

  • During his spare time, mostly at the weekend, Mahinda Dasanayaka packs his motorbike with books and rides his mobile library to underprivileged children in backward rural parts of Sri Lanka. It's a remarkable story of compassion and dedication.

  • Act of kindness: 16 year old Charlotte Howard of Hastings, on England's south coast, spotted a note on a bus stop that “broke her heart”. “Anything to earn a living and make life seem worth living,” the note read. Anthony Johnson, who had been living on the streets for the past nine years, placed the note at the bus stop next to his tent in hopes of finding a job. Charlotte posted his appeal on social media and it didn’t go unnoticed. Initially she set out to raise £300 to buy Anthony a caravan, but the community was much more generous. She quickly raised £1,000, someone donated a caravan, and a homeless charity is trying to find a permanent site for it. Nelson Smith, a local with a handyman business, offered Anthony a job. “I wasn’t expecting all this from a couple of shares,” Charlotte said.

  • London is soon to have a 1.1 acre rooftop forest of over 100 established trees and 10,000 plants! This is all part of Roots In The Sky, which is turning the former Blackfriars Crown Court into a new workspace. It will become the capital's first office building to deliver an urban forest rooftop, and will allow access to the local community and the public, with community gardens, a rooftop restaurant, bar and even a swimming pool. It sounds extremely impressive.

  • If you want to be entertained for 5 minutes, you might enjoy some remarkable displays of epic frisbee throwing....