Tuesday's eclectic bundle of good news nuggets from around the globe.
One of the biggest palm oil growers in Indonesia has announced it will rehabilitate an area half the size of New York City to atone for its past clearing of rainforests and peatlands. KPN Plantation has just revealed its plan to rehabilitate 38,000 hectares (nearly 94,000 acres) on the islands of Borneo and New Guinea.
Pingdemic: The UK government has made changes so that the NHS Covid app is less sensitive, following concerns that it has been telling too many people to self-isolate. Yesterday afternoon, ministers said the app would now only ‘ping’ a person’s close contacts from the two days prior to a positive test, instead of the current five days.
The National Gallery of Australia is to return 14 works of art to India that are suspected of having been stolen, looted or exported illegally. Some of the disputed pieces date back to the 12th Century, when the Chola dynasty presided over a flourishing of Hindu art in Tamil Nadu. India's High Commissioner to Australia welcomed what he called an "extraordinary act of goodwill and gesture of friendship".
Space flights and satellite launches can now be conducted from the UK with the passing of new regulations. The first launch is expected to take place next year, and it would be the first time a spacecraft or satellite has taken off from a European country.
Raise a glass to Ann Perry, 78: Britain's longest serving lollipop lady finally hangs up her stick after 52 years patrolling the same stretch of road outside Kingsbury School, near Tamworth, in all weathers. Now a grandmother, she said: 'My best memories of the job were watching the children grow up and have children of their own, which I had the pleasure of crossing too.'
In addition to reducing emissions in order to mitigate the effects of climate change, we must also ensure that we are protecting communities by building infrastructure that can withstand the results of climate change we are already experiencing. To address this issue, the EU has now created guidelines to ensure that all new infrastructure projects are designed to withstand climate change. New projects will also be required to report their expected greenhouse gas emissions. This climate infrastructure policy is part of the EU’s €17.5 billion “just transition fund,” which aims to transition the region off fossil fuels while equipping it to manage the challenges of a warming planet.
We have a Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway to protect and preserve the planet's core source of food; now a new vault is being considered for construction near the North Pole to store significant music recordings, ranging from classic Beatles hits to Australian Indigenous beats.
A low-cost airline service with a brand new business class cabin, flying London to New York? As Frank Sinatra might have said: if you can make it there, in the teeth of a global pandemic when the US bars British citizens and advises its own to stay put … well, you can make it anywhere. On 11 August, nonetheless, JetBlue will launch transatlantic flights that could rattle one of aviation’s normally most lucrative markets. The airline will launch its first services to the UK with the promise of driving down fares, particularly for the business traveller.
Dive in Deeper
High jumper Dick Fosbury surprises the world with his "Fosbury Flop" at the Olympic Games Mexico City 1968. Thereby, revolutionising the future of high jumping.