Positive News is an ongoing series from The Latch turning the spotlight on all the good in the world that you may have missed.
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.
So, here are five of the best news stories from the past week that will put a spring in your step and give you a little something to smile about.
UK Becomes First Nation to Ban the Shark Fin Trade
The UK has announced that it will introduce a comprehensive ban on the shark fin trade, becoming the first nation in the world to impose such strict regulations.
The British government has said that it will prohibit all importation and exportation of detached shark fins, in addition to all and any products containing shark ingredients.
The UK’s Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith published the details in a release from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, however, the exact date of the ban is yet to be announced.
WHO Reports Big Drop in New Coronavirus Infections
The World Health Organization has announced that COVID case numbers appear to be declining across the globe as roughly 4 million were reported globally last week, down from recent highs of 4.4 million.
The 400,000 case drop is the first major drop in new infections the world has seen in more than two months. The UN health agency has said that every region in the world saw a drop in COVID-19 cases compared to the previous week.
Worldwide, the number of deaths from COVID decreased to about 62,000, with the sharpest decline in Southeast Asia.
The WHO also said that children and teenagers continue to be less affected by COVID-19 than adults, adding that deaths of people under 24 account for fewer than 0.5% of global deaths.
Alzheimer’s Researchers in WA Make Breakthrough
Researchers in Western Australia have made a revolutionary discovery in the fight against Alzheimer’s in identifying the likely cause of the disease.
A team at Curtin University in Perth has found that toxic fat proteins can leak into the brain through the bloodstream. Over time, the proteins create plaque-like deposits which cause the disease.
The breakthrough study has now kicked off a clinical trial that could see the treatment of Alzheimer’s in the form of a simple tablet that has been used in the past to reduce cholesterol. It could be just one of many new options that could prevent and treat Australia’s second-biggest killer.
New York to Ban Sale of Petrol-Powered Vehicles by 2035
New York is set to ban the sale of all petrol-powered vehicles in the state by 2035. A bill amending the state’s environmental conservation law was passed by the state’s Senate and Assembly and signed by Governor Kathy Hochul last week.
Under the new law, 100% of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks will have zero emissions by 2035. State agencies will now work to develop affordable powering options for zero-emissions vehicles in all communities, improve sustainable transportation and support bicycle and pedestrian options.
Several agencies are now working to create a zero-emissions vehicle market development strategy by 2023 to ensure that more zero-emission cars are available in New York.
New Rainbow-Colored Fly Species Named After RuPaul
Wrapping it up with something just a little bit fabulous, Australian scientists have named a new rainbow-colored fly species after drag queen RuPaul.
Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) entomologist Bryan Lessard shared news of the soldier fly’s Latin name: Opaluma rupaul.
Category is: new species extravaganza! Introducing the @RuPaul soldier fly, serving charisma and uniqueness, one of 150 new species named by @CSIRO in the last year! #csirocollections https://t.co/CMRbUODVqN pic.twitter.com/TCPNFGYUDo
— Dr Bryan Lessard (@BrytheFlyGuy) September 14, 2021
“As a gay scientist, it took me a long time to feel comfortable in my own skin in a very traditional field of science — in entomology,” he said.
“I think it’s really important for the next generation of LGBTQ+ scientists to know that they’re being represented in the workplace, as we give the names of legends in the community to memorable species.”
Ten years ago, Lessard also named the Scaptia beyonceae fly after Beyoncé.