Life is tough and the news cycle ain’t helping anything right now. Disaster, drama, and death sell papers and get eyeballs on the page but they don’t do much for our mental health.
If you’ve felt like simply switching off from the constant barrage of updates charting the world’s lurch from one crisis to the next, we’re here to provide you with a much-needed antidote.
Good stuff happens all the time. It just doesn’t get quite the same coverage as bad stuff. That means we end up thinking that everything that’s going on in the world is terrible when it really isn’t.
Here are five of the best news stories we’ve seen this week to put a spring in your step and make the world feel just that little bit brighter.
Cautious Optimism at COP26
The 26th Conference of the Parties commenced this week in Glasgow, Scotland, where thousands of world leaders, negotiators, celebrities, and activists have gathered to attempt to limit global warming.
While it’s always good to be cautious about these things, and recognise that a lot of what is said is simply talk, the talk thus far has been pretty good.
Already this week we’ve seen major emissions reductions commitments from countries like the US and India, with reports suggesting that pledges made thus far would limit global warming to 1.8 degrees Celsius. It’s still a long way off the 1.5C agreed at Paris in 2015 but it’s a lot better than the projected 2.7C of warming predicted before the conference.
In addition, we’ve seen 190 nations and organisations pledge to phase out the use of coal over the next few decades, rendering many of the world remaining fossil fuel supplies worthless by the year 2036.
And, in a huge move, we’ve seen dozens of nations sign up to a pledge to end deforestation by the year 2030. Signatories include countries like Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Indonesia, regions with the largest remaining rainforests.
There’s a tonne of other highlights from the conference that we’ve been tracking here if you want to read more.
First Pill to Treat COVID Approved in the UK
The much lauded drug molnupiravir has been approved in the UK for the symptomatic treatment of COVID-19.
It’s a tablet that can be given twice a day to patients who have been recently diagnosed with the disease which has been described as a “game changer” in the fight against COVID.
In clinical trials, the pill was shown to cut the risk of hospitalisation or death by 50% and it will soon be available to vulnerable people with COVID through the UK’s National Health Service.
Our own Therapeutic Goods Administration is currently looking into the drug which could also be available here soon.
In other COVID news, Australia has just hit the 80% double vaccination milestone for over 16s across the country. The news came on Friday, November 5, and signified a key breakthrough in the country’s vaccination rollout. Hitting this target means the federal government will now move ahead to Phase C of its four phase COVID strategy. This indicates that lockdowns will become rarer, social distancing measures repealed, and international travel opened up.
Speaking of travel, the first non-quarantine passengers to arrive in Australia in almost 20 months began landing at Sydney airport this week as international borders reopened. There were tearful scenes at the airport as families and loved one reunited, giving us a glimpse of what the future will be like as travel begins to return to normal.
Mystery Grandparents Pay for Dozens of Toy Shop Laybys
A mystery couple entered a toyshop in Bendigo this week to pay off thousands of dollars worth of layby gifts ordered for Christmas.
The couple said that they went themselves had experienced hardships when they were younger and received charity to get them through. They wanted to pay the gesture forward and so covered the bills of 82 families who had purchased toys through the store.
Scott Mills, the store owner told The Age that the toys are “for families who don’t have the money to duck in and buy their children’s Christmas presents in one go. They are strugglers and they have to be organised. They come in every week and pay off a little bit.”
Mills said that it’s been tough over lockdown but that the huge cash injection from the couple would make things a lot easier for himself and the families of those they’ve helped.
Four-Year-Old Cleo Smith Reunited With Family
The case of the missing girl Cleo Smith who vanished from a campsite in rural WA last month has come to a happy ending with the return of the four-year-old to her parents.
The girl was found alive and well in a house in Carnavon, 70kms south of where she was last seen.
It appears that she was abducted from the campsite where she was sleeping next to her parents and, after 18 long days of searching, hopes were fading that she would be found safe.
But, after some incredible police work and assistance from the community, little Cleo is back where she belongs and the nation can breathe a sigh of relief at her reunion once more with her family.
Dogs Team Up to Save Owner
We love a good dog story, especially a good dog rescue story and this one has it all.
A man in his 70s was out hiking with his two dogs in rural Cumbria, England, when he had a seizure and collapsed.
The dogs, a black Labrador and a golden retriever, managed to somehow formulate a rescue plan to save their owner. The goldie stayed by the man while the Lab ran off in the direction of a walker they had recently passed. Barking at the woman, the Lab was able to convince her to follow him and when she did she found the hiker collapsed with his other dog lying by his side.
She called emergency services who came to help them and the man regained consciousness while they waited. He was treated at the scene and then went to hospital where he made a full recovery.
Of course we wouldn’t hold out on you for the pics so here are the good boys in question:
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