An uplifting bundle of good news nuggets to get the week off to a bright start.
The US women’s national football squad filed a discrimination lawsuit in March 2019, making the case for pay parity with the men’s team. The good news for the squad is that the court has just ruled in their favour. The landmark ruling means the women’s side will now be paid the same as the men’s team in all competitions. Striker Alex Morgan described it as a “monumental step forward”.
A Gruyère from Switzerland has been named as the top cheese for the second consecutive time at the World Championship Cheese Contest in Wisconsin. The cheese from Bern, Switzerland, made its maker, Michael Spycher of Mountain Dairy Fritzenhaus, a three-time winner. Spycher also won in 2020 and 2008. The cheese, called Gourmino Le Gruyère AOP, earned a score of 98.4 out of 100.
A platypus washed away in Queensland floodwaters has been brought back to life, thanks to a woman who spotted the lifeless creature once floodwaters receded. "I just panicked and I didn't know what to do ... I started doing those two finger compressions like we're taught to do on babies that aren't breathing," she said. "It coughed and spluttered and started breathing again, which was just amazing." The woman said she collapsed into the mud with happy tears and sat for about 10 minutes. "It looked at me and blinked its little eyes and very slowly walked back towards the water and eventually swam off," she recalled. "It was the most incredible thing … one of the most joyous things I could've ever been a part of."
Old Tech Revived
As Russia is busy taking out Ukrainian television towers and internet services, the BBC has stepped in to offer aid. By reviving two obsolete shortwave radio stations (15735 kHz and 5875 kHz) Ukrainians can now tune into high quality international news in English. The further good news is that reports also indicate that nearly ten million people in Russia are tuning into the radio station as well, wishing to receive information independent of the state.
Rights of Nature
Wildlife-rich Panama has become the latest country to enshrine the rights of nature into law. The new legislation gives nature the “right to exist, persist and regenerate,” and the “right to be restored after being affected directly or indirectly by any human activity.” Panama joins a growing list of countries that have introduced rights of nature laws. Bolivia, Mexico and New Zealand are among them.
Some of the UK’s leading supermarkets have agreed to install refill stations in shops by the end of the year, having all signed up to the Refill Coalition, which aims to make package-free shopping mainstream. UK supermarkets get through an estimated 59 billion pieces of single-use plastic packaging annually. In a joint statement, the retailers said: “The Refill Coalition presents a landmark opportunity for us to make a step change in the commercialisation of refills, which we know can play a significant role in the reduction of single-use plastic packaging.”
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, has sold its entire portfolio of companies focused on oil exploration and production; the Dutch ABP, the world’s fifth largest pension fund, says it is divesting from all fossil fuel companies; South Korea’s National Pension Service, the world’s third largest pension fund, has ceased all coal investments, as have FirstRand, Africa’s biggest bank, and the AIA Group, Asia’s largest Asian insurance company. All in all, endowments, portfolios and pension funds worth $40 trillion have now partially or fully divested from coal, gas and oil stocks, says the New York Times.
Quote of the Day
"The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around." Thomas Edison
On this Day
7 March 2010: American director Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Academy Award for best director, for The Hurt Locker (released 2008).
Dive in Deeper
Ball of the Century
Let's celebrate the life of this remarkable Aussie cricketer and remember that day (4 June 1993) when, with one remarkable delivery, Shane Warne carved his name in cricket folklore. It was the first ball he ever bowled in a Test match in England, and came to be known as the ball of the century.