Today's Good News

Updated: May 20

Today's collection of uplifting news nuggets.

  • One good turn deserves another: Back in 1847, members of the Choctaw tribe of Oklahoma sent $170 to help starving Irish families during the Great Famine. Their act of generosity was not forgotten and, many years later, almost 70,000 Irish men and women have raised $4 million on GoFundMe. Their goal is to help the Native American tribe during the coronavirus pandemic and to return an old favour.⁠

  • Britain's wind farms set a new clean energy record on Monday, generating almost half of all electricity, thanks to the blustery bank holiday weather powering the country's onshore and offshore wind turbines.

  • Meanwhile, across the Channel, the EU signs historic deal that makes its climate goals legally binding. Under the new law, the bloc will cut carbon emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The pact paves the way for tougher rules that will affect all industries and include reinforcing carbon pricing mechanisms, fostering energy savings, ramping up the production of renewable energy, boosting sustainable transport, and curbing imports of products associated with deforestation.

  • A species of owl not seen for 125 years has been rediscovered and photographed in mountainous forests in the north of the island of Borneo, in the Malaysian state of Sabah. The Bornean subspecies of rajah scops owl (Otus brookii brookii) was found and photographed by Smithsonian Migratory Bird Centre ecologist Andy Boyce, and it is now believed it may be its own unique species. The photograph of the “mythical bird”, is the first time it has been documented in the wild since 1892.

  • In good news for those who like a quiet life, Donald Trump's ban from Facebook has been confirmed after the company's independent appeals board upheld his suspension for supporting the rioters who stormed the US Capitol in January.

  • Swap and go: In a simple but brilliant idea that could be adopted worldwide for long haul road freight, an Australian company is to trial electric trucks with swappable batteries allowing almost non-stop travel for heavy vehicles between Sydney and Brisbane, a distance of 970km (600 miles). Developed by Janus Electric, the batteries can be swapped in three minutes, removing the need for trucks to plug in and charge for several hours. And, of course, there's no need for charging points either.

  • Co-op, the UK supermarket chain, is to make its vegan 'meat' cost the same as the real thing as part of plans to go carbon-neutral by 2025. The supermarket chain is to cut the price of its plant-based sausages, burgers and mince to bring them in line with the meat versions, in an effort to tempt consumers into more eco-friendly eating habits.

  • Pandora, the jewellery brand, will stop using mined diamonds. The Danish firm is the largest producer of jewellery in the world and will begin using stones created in a laboratory as they are identical to excavated ones. “They have the same optical, chemical, thermal and physical characteristics and are graded by the same standards known as the four Cs – cut, colour, clarity and carat,” the company stated. The company said 60 percent of the energy used to create its new “Brilliance” collection for the UK, featuring artificial diamonds, had come from renewable sources. When the product line is released outside Britain in 2022 that figure will jump to 100 percent, it claimed.

Dive in Deeper

Magic meercat moments...

Some of the most magical moments of filming meerkats for BBC Planet Earth Live in the harsh environment of the Kalahari desert.