Kickstarting the week with a global round-up of positive news nuggets.
You're no doubt aware that Carrie and Boris recently announced the birth of their third child, a son. He is Boris's eighth child (from 3 marriages) and Carrie posted an image on Instagram of herself holding her new born, with the caption: "Welcome to the world Frank Alfred Odysseus Johnson (can you guess which name my husband chose?!)" The former Prime Minister is keen to be thought of as a scholar of the classics. In Greek mythology, Odysseus leaves behind his wife and child to seek adventure, encountering many other women along the way. Enough said.
Culture Without Chaos
Greece attracts millions of tourists every year - and now, one of its ancient historical sites is feeling the pressure. Officials have announced that by the end of July the Acropolis, one of the world's most famous landmarks, will adopt crowd control restrictions for the first time in its history. These new policies will include a timed entry system, electronic ticketing and expedited entry for organized groups. Some 17,000 tourists visit the Acropolis every day, and visits in June and early July alone increased by 80 percent compared to 2019.
Life Saving Idea
Back in 2014, a 22-year-old student at Loughborough University (central England) saw a film about the impact of the war in Syria, which inspired him to invent a foldable, battery powered incubator. At the time, James Roberts said his dream was that one day, the device would save a life. A decade on, 75 of the machines have been distributed to shelters and hospitals across Ukraine - where they have been credited with saving the lives of 1,500 babies.
Message of Hope
Native giraffes are once again roaming a national park in Angola, decades after they were driven to extinction in the country, most likely by its long-running civil war. Fourteen young giraffes were transported to Iona National Park from a game reserve in Namibia last week. “It’s great seeing a species back where it should be,” said park manager Pedro Monterroso. “It’s a message of hope for conservation in this country.”
More Than Just Books
They may be best known for lending books, but libraries also lend a hand in battling loneliness, boosting literacy and addressing mental health issues, delivering add-on services worth £3.4bn ($4.46bn) a year in England - according to a report commissioned by the charity Libraries Connected. It reveals how England’s 3,000 libraries provide around £1 million ($1.3m) apiece in digital inclusion, children’s literacy and health and wellbeing extras, typically generating a six-fold return on running costs.
Kid Sneaks His Self-Made Book Onto Library Shelf: There's a rare book in high demand at a public library in Boise, Idaho. It's the original manuscript, there are no copies, and it now has a years-long waitlist to borrow it...
Largest US City Park
It's been two decades in the making, but work has finally begun on creating America's largest city park, in Irvine, California. The 'Great Park Project' has broke ground on the long-derelict El Toro Marine Corps Base, 21 years after voters approved a ballot measure ordering the state to create a park on the site. Expected to take another 10 years to complete, the park will span 1,300 acres and include several museums, an amphitheater, a veterans memorial garden, an aquatics center, a sports complex, and two lakes. It will be nearly twice the size of New York's Central Park.
Following a tense debate, the European Parliament has voted in favour of a Nature Restoration Law that establishes legally binding targets to restore degraded natural areas in the European Union. There's still a few legislative hurdles to get through, but if passed it will be the first major piece of legislation to protect biodiversity in the EU in 30 years. Members of Parliament said the restoration measures must cover at least one-fifth of the land and sea areas in the EU and be in place by 2030.
"Nothing is worth more than laughter." Frida Kahlo
On this Day
17 July 1955: Disneyland, an amusement park featuring attractions based on the creations of Walt Disney and the Disney Company, opened in Anaheim, California. A one-day ticket cost $1 for adults and 50 cents for children.
Wonka: Official Trailer. In 1971 it was Gene Wilder, then Johnny Depp in 2005. Now it's Timothée Chalamet turn to play Willy Wonka.