Celebrating the start of the weekend with a global round up of good news nuggets.
Brown bears are roaming the Pyrenees in their largest number for a century, following the success of a scheme to reintroduce the species. Thirty years ago, the predators were on the verge of extinction in the French Pyrenees along the Spanish border, until three bears were introduced from Slovenia in 1996. Last year, the population hit 70, up from 52 in 2018, according to the cross-border group that monitors the bears in France and Spain. However, the rise in the bear population has long been a source of tension with local farmers, so in a bid to calm tensions France has created a special state “bear prefect”.
Act of Kindness
Dr. Mohammed Basha from Florida tells this story: "As I walked through the parking lot, all I could think about was the dire diagnosis I had handed my patient Jimmy: pancreatic cancer. Just then, I noticed an elderly gentleman handing tools to someone working under his stalled car. That someone was Jimmy. “Jimmy, what are you doing?” I yelled out. Jimmy dusted off his pants. “My cancer didn’t tell me not to help others, Doc,” he said, before waving at the old man to start the car. The engine roared to life. The old man thanked Jimmy and drove off. Then Jimmy got into his car and took off as well. Take-home message: Kindness has no limits and no restrictions."
UK's EV Boom
More electric cars were sold in March than the whole of 2019, with Tesla retaining its pole position. Sales of Tesla’s Model Y and the cheaper Model 3 continued to be the most popular vehicles, helping sales of battery cars to jump to 39,000 vehicles, accounting for 16pc of total sales. Bear in mind that this surge in EV sales reflects orders placed months ago, before fuel prices rose dramatically, so this trend is likely to continue with petrol and diesel prices now close to record highs. It might be one good thing that comes out of Mad Vlad's territorial aggression.
In good news for all of us, The Rainforest Trust and its partners have, remarkably, already protected more than one million acres of habitat so far in 2022. Since 1988, it has safeguarded more than 38 million acres of vital habitat by establishing protected areas in partnership with local communities - all through public donations. Studies show that protected areas are one of the most cost-effective ways to safeguard nature and vulnerable Indigenous populations. Acres protected this year include projects in Belize, Ecuador, Guatemala, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.
A mountain rescue search dog has been honoured for 11 years of service, with a PDSA Order of Merit medal (akin to an 'animal OBE'). Across her career, Skye the border collie has carried out 200 searches in England's Lake District and in Scotland, locating missing people, protecting those in danger and persevering no matter the weather. Praising Skye for her "long and distinguished career", PDSA director general Jan McLoughlin applauded “her exceptional skills and outstanding devotion above and beyond that of normal companionship". At almost 16-years-old, Skye is now retired and putting her paws up for some well-deserved rest.
A new form of liver cancer treatment is proving effective in 90 percent of patients. The technique, pioneered at England's University Hospital Southampton, 'bathes' the organ in chemotherapy, allowing doctors to administer much larger doses than usual without causing unnecessary damage to healthy parts of the body. In some cases the treatment almost completely eradicated the cancer.
Siemens Gamesa, a Spanish-German company, has begun production of its 377 foot (115m) B115 blades at its facility in Denmark - making it the longest wind turbine blade in the world. With each spin it can generate 14 MW. It's also thinking ahead as it's using a recyclable resin that melts away. Siemens also plans to make the components of its turbines recyclable and repurpose them completely by the year 2040. This is another example of the world adopting greener ways of meeting its energy demand, and offshore wind farms are ideal for further exploration, since they don’t impinge on limited real estate.
Quote of the Day
“One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution.” Malala Yousafzai
On this Day
9 April 1963: An act of Congress conferred honorary U.S. citizenship on Sir Winston Churchill.
Dive in Deeper
The Power of Kindness
The wonderful benefits of kindness - for both giver and recipient.