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Positive News Wednesday

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

Mid week collection of positive news snippets to help get the day off to an upbeat start.


Party Pooper Putin

Vladimir Putin will not hold a year-end press conference for the first time in at least a decade. The marathon press-conferences are traditionally an occasion for the Russian president to burnish his image and celebrate his botoxed gorgeousness. But this year, the campy spectacle that normally gives Putin the chance to play the populist on national television has been cancelled. There will also be no new year reception party at the Kremlin, officials said. What, no friends? At all?

 
 
Tiger lying on a rock
Big Cats

Staying on the subject of dangerous predators, a bill to restrict the private ownership of big cats like lions and tigers in the US has passed by unanimous consent in the Senate. The Big Cat Public Safety Act would stop people from keeping the animals as pets and from them being exposed to public petting and photo opportunities. Efforts to curb private ownership have increased in the wake of the Netflix documentary series Tiger King. The bill now needs to be signed into law by President Joe Biden.


Fusion Breakthrough

US scientists just made a breakthrough in nuclear fusion. Following decades of work in fusion energy, researchers just hit a major milestone. For the first time ever, scientists successfully produced a nuclear fusion reaction that released more energy than they put in. Nuclear fusion holds the promise of being a “near-limitless, safe, clean, source of carbon-free” energy. Research began in the 1950s, but so far, researchers haven’t been able to produce a positive energy gain from the process - until now. US Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm called the scientific advance “game-changing, world-improving, lives-saving history unfolding in real time”. Whilst this is a really significant breakthrough, there's still a way to go until it becomes commercially viable.


The face of a cute little teddy bear
Toys for Tickets

Cities in Canada are allowing citizens to pay their parking fines with toys to help make sure children have a gift to open on Christmas morning. The Toys for Tickets campaign allows motorists to donate toys, in lieu of money, to pay for any parking ticket this holiday season. "We urge everyone with an eligible ticket to take this opportunity to donate a toy," Kingston's Supervisor of Enforcement Services Dan Hazell said. "Your donation will directly benefit a child in our community." The Toys for Tickets campaign was launched in 2005 and has received tremendous support from participating communities each year.

 
 
Geminids

If you missed them last night, tonight is also the peak moment to view the Geminid meteor shower. Stargazers will be able to see up to 150 meteors per hour.


Green Tariff

The EU has become the first big economy to legislate for a “green tariff” on imports, to be levied on goods that are produced with high carbon dioxide emissions. The carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) means that countries which fail to green their industries will soon face a new threat: an effective carbon tax that will penalise those hoping to profit from high-carbon activities, and force them to clean up. The system will be applied at first to iron and steel, cement, fertilisers, aluminium, electricity, hydrogen and some chemicals. The move, announced as part of the EU green deal, a big push to meet the EU’s stringent climate targets, could be the first step towards an equitable global effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions in line with urgent scientific advice.

 

"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."

Babe Ruth

 
On this Day

14 December 1911: One of the greatest figures in the history of polar exploration was Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who left Norway for Antarctica in June 1910 and on this day in 1911 became the first person to reach the South Pole.

 





 
Mood Booster

Fabulously uplifting video of African kids dancing to Jerusalema.



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