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Saturday's Positive News

Updated: Mar 6

Ensuring the weekend gets off to a sunny start with today's bundle of upbeat news nuggets.

L’ami intime (The Intimate Friend) by René Magritte
L’ami intime (The Intimate Friend), René Magritte, 1958 | Christie's
Surreal Masterpiece

André Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto, a text that both described and shaped a revolutionary artistic movement, turns 100 this year. To celebrate this milestone, a mysterious masterpiece by René Magritte that hasn’t been seen publicly in over 25 years is going to auction. Completed in 1958, L’ami intime (The Intimate Friend) is the highlight of a Christie’s sale on 7 March. Officials estimate it could fetch up to £50 million (about $63 million). Compared to other Surrealist painters, Magritte is the “most sought after internationally,” says Christie's Olivier Camu.

Akshata Murty
Akshata Murty (centre) | Credit: Simon Walker / No. 10 Downing Street
Murty Wears Cameron

Akshata Murty paid homage to her predecessor at a No.10 fashion lunch party. Akshata, the wife of current British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, wore a suit designed by Lady Samantha Cameron (wife of former PM David Cameron) at an event on the final day of London Fashion week. Lady Cameron was also there and no doubt appreciated the gesture from the woman now occupying her former place in Downing Street.


Lincoln Pardoned Biden's Great-Great-Grandfather: The story "has waited 160 years to be told," according to the Washington Post. Read on...


The new Vidde Alfa all-electric snowmobile
The new Vidde Alfa is the first all-electric snowmobile | Vidde
First of its Kind

Like the trail bike rider, the driver of a traditional snowmobile is all but oblivious to the guttural whine of their machine. For those in the immediate vicinity, the noise is often an unwelcome intrusion into a pristine landscape, be it snowy hills or old growth forests. The new Vidde Alfa Snowmobile - designed by Pininfarina - aims to banish the vehicle’s reputation for scene-shattering noise without compromising the qualities a true all-weather snowmobile possesses. Remarkably, this innovative Swedish machine can operate in temperatures at low as -39°C (-38°F) and is the first all-electric snowmobile.

The first-ever photograph of the yellow-crested helmetshrike
The first-ever photograph of the yellow-crested helmetshrike | Matt Brady/The University of Texas at El Paso
Species Rediscovered

Rediscovering a lost species is exciting, and important for boosting conservation efforts. However, it is not for the faint of heart. An international team of scientists traversed 75 miles of steep terrain in the Itombwe Massif mountain range in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and succeeded in taking the first recorded photos of a bird once considered lost. The yellow-crested helmetshrike was listed as a ‘lost bird’ by the American Bird Conservancy because it hadn’t been seen by scientists in almost 20 years.

Biodegradable Satellite

Japanese scientists have created one of the world’s most unusual spacecraft - a tiny satellite that is made of timber. The LignoSat probe has been built of magnolia wood, which, in experiments carried out on the International Space Station, was found to be particularly stable and resistant to cracking. Now plans are being finalised for it to be launched on a US rocket this summer. The timber satellite has been built by researchers at Kyoto University in order to test the idea of using biodegradable materials such as wood to see if they can act as environmentally friendly alternatives to the metals from which all satellites are currently constructed.

Debt Burden Relief

After the Supreme Court struck down President Biden’s plan to cancel billions of dollars in student loan debt, borrowers wondered how he would make good on his promise to tackle debt burdening millions of Americans. The answer: He would do it bit by bit. Last week, Biden canceled another $1.2 billion in student loan debt, bringing the total amount that he has wiped out to $138 billion for 3.9 million borrowers. It's a far cry from his initial plan, but - says the New York Times - even his critics acknowledge that he has gone further than any of his predecessors in relieving the debt burden for millions of borrowers.


A third type of magnetism, recently discovered by an international team of researchers, that could lead to more energy-efficient computing by using the magnetic properties of electrons, rather than their electrical characteristics. The discovery joins ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism, and scientists believe more types of magnetism could yet be found.


“Every man has a right to a Saturday night bath.” Lyndon B. Johnson

On This Day

24 February 1803: In Marbury v. Madison, the U.S. Supreme Court declared an act of Congress unconstitutional, thus establishing the doctrine of judicial review.


Mood Booster

Snowy owls in the Arctic tundra have a strong commitment to parenthood.


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