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Good News Monday

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

Bite-sized chunks of good news to brighten the day.

  • Israel, which has run the world’s fastest Covid vaccination campaign, may be reaching a point other countries are eagerly looking forward to: an endgame scenario for the pandemic. The country of 9 million people has administered both shots to more than half its population and infection rates have consistently dropped. That has continued even though daily life has returned almost completely to the way it was pre-pandemic.

  • A new single shot Covid-19 vaccine could be available by July and will be mainly used to target young millennials who might not want to wait for three months for a second dose. UK medical regulators are now formally assessing the safety of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

  • Coffee supercharges trees: Forests with a caffeine habit recover four times quicker, ecologists say.

  • Massachusetts has just passed a law requiring it to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Its comprehensive climate pledge is an encouraging blueprint for diversified emissions reduction across all sectors and will hopefully provide guidance for other states seeking to adopt similar measures.

  • Time for the truth to beat Trump's big lie: Could a Canadian company bring down Trump's empire of disinformation and help re-establish America as a fact based democracy?

  • Zero Avia completed the world’s first test flight of a six-seater hydrogen aircraft in 2020. It now says it will launch a zero-emissions commercial aircraft by 2026. Zero Avia, a US-UK aviation company, claimed its ambitions for a 50-seat hydrogen plane had been propelled forward thanks to $24.3m (£17.6m) of fresh funding.

  • Fancy a culture fix? A brief history of the world through some of the most popular objects in the British Museum - from stone age hatchets, to the royal game of Ur, to the Sutton Hoo helmet (pictured) and on to samurai armour. The museum's audio tour is free and available in easily digestible bite-sized chunks.

  • Captain Tom reminisces: In his final months this remarkable man distilled his wisdom, collected over a century, into a book.

  • A study of European cities adds to a growing body of evidence that investmenting in cycling infrastructure encourages bike commuting, which helps cut greenhouse gas emissions and promotes better health. The US National Academy of Sciences found that in cities where bike infrastructure was added, cycling increased up to 48 percent more than in cities that did not add bike lanes.

  • North Atlantic right whales gave birth over the winter in greater numbers since 2015, an encouraging sign for researchers who became alarmed three years ago when the critically endangered species produced no known offspring at all. Survey teams spotted 17 newborn calves swimming with their mothers between Florida and North Carolina from December through March.

  • Zodiacal glow: Until 13 April, a phenomenon that can only be seen twice a year is on display in the Northern Hemisphere's night sky (just before dawn if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere).

  • Russell Jones, from the UK, broke his ankle, and doctors put a plaster cast on his leg. He had to start using crutches, but that didn't stop him from taking his dog Billy out for walks.⁠ On the day after the injury, Russell’s dog, Billy, started limping as well. Concerned for his pet’s health, Russell and his wife Michelle quickly set up an appointment with the vet, only to find out that there was nothing wrong. Actually, when Russell wasn't at home, Michelle noticed that Billy wasn’t limping anymore. He was walking just fine.⁠ "Cost me £300 in vet fees and X-rays, nothing wrong, just sympathy. Love him," Russell wrote on Facebook.⁠

  • Last week, Venice celebrated the 1,600th anniversary of the founding of the city and this gorgeous 4 minute film provides today's vicarious escapism...

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