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Positive News Friday

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Celebrating the end of the week with some upbeat chunks of positive news.

Male Takahē walking on grass
Takahē Recovery

A prehistoric, flightless bird has been returned to the wild in New Zealand after it was deemed extinct in 1898. Thanks to decades of conservation work, 18 takahē were released onto the alpine slopes of South Island. Since the bird’s rediscovery in 1948, the population has increased by 8 percent a year to reach 500 today. Takahē are unusual creatures. Like a number of New Zealand birds, they evolved without native land mammals surrounding them, and adapted to fill the ecosystem niches that mammals would normally occupy. They are flightless, stand at around 50cm (20 inches) tall, and live in the mountains.

Turning Life Around

Sarah Gad has come a long way. In 2012, while in medical school, Gad became addicted to opioids prescribed after a car accident. Over the next three years, she had seven non-violent felony drug convictions. While incarcerated, Gad met attorney Kathleen Zellner, and began working at her law firm. Gad helped exonerate a client who had been wrongfully convicted of murder, and "found the work to be very rewarding." After being accepted to the University of Chicago Law School, Gad found herself before a Hennepin County judge due to mandatory minimum sentencing for repeat drug offenders. The judge could have sent Gad to prison, but instead let her go to law school. She's been practicing since 2022, and has run into judges who are happy to see how far she has come. Gad "has transformed herself from a criminal defendant into a champion for the legally oppressed," Zellner told Fox 9. "All she needed was a second chance."

Intentional Fires

Indigenous ranger groups in Australia have burned 23,000 km2 (8,880 square miles) across the Great Sandy, Tanami, Gibson, and Great Victoria Deserts this year. 'The goal is to shift from wrong-way fire - where fuel builds up until large, damaging bushfires ignite - to right-way fire, culturally informed fire regimes led by traditional owners.' The goal is to protect against devastating summer bushfires, which are more destructive. Without Indigenous rangers expertly managing the deserts through landscape-scale fire management, these protected lands would be at risk of decline.

Urban Composting

Composting is already mandatory in Queens, New York, and will roll out across New York City and Brooklyn over the next year. The program requires residents to separate food scraps and yard waste from their trash and is thanks to the Zero Waste Act that passed this summer, says the New York Times.

Andean condor

Ecuador Conservation

In Pichincha, Ecuador, 120,722 hectares (465 square miles) have recently been protected, safeguarding 13 different ecosystems, 67 endemic bird species, and water sources for local communities. The network links to a further 74,281 hectares (287 square miles) of parks in Mejía, creating protected migration corridors for pumas, Andean bears and imperilled species like the Andean condor and the capuchin monkey.

London's ULEZ

To reduce traffic emissions in the City of London, Mayor Sadiq Khan has expanded London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, which imposes a daily charge on the vehicles that pollute most, to the entire city. The new zone will make the air cleaner for an additional five million people, as well as reduce carbon emissions by an expected nearly 30,000 tons in London’s outer boroughs. “This is a landmark day for our city which will lead to a greener, healthier London for everyone,” Khan said. “The decision to expand the ULEZ London-wide was a difficult one, but necessary to save lives, protect children’s lungs and help prevent asthma, dementia and other health issues.”

Progress in Nepal

Nepal has made significant progress in basic and secondary education in the last five years, reports the World Bank. Between 2017 and 2022, the number of out-of-school children was reduced by 7 percent; high school completion rates increased from 11.5 percent to 33 percent; and 8.2 million students benefitted from direct interventions to enhance learning, of which 4.07 million were girls.


"In life, winning and losing will both happen. What is never acceptable is quitting." Earvin 'Magic' Johnson

On this Day

1 September 1952: Life magazine published Ernest Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea, his last major work of fiction; it was also released as a book, and in 1953 it won a Pulitzer Prize.


Mood Booster

Cliff Edge: Baby ibex out-foxes a fox.


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