Uplifting News

Science • Animals
Numbers of elephants in Kenya have doubled over the last three decades
Numbers of elephants in Kenya have doubled over the last three decades
Credit: Kenya Wildlife Service via Facebook

Kenya's Tourism Minister Najib Balala has announced that the authorities of the country have "managed to tame poaching" over the past decades which lead to the doubling of the elephant population in the country.

While in 1989 only 16,000 lived in the country the number has grown to over 34,000 in 2018 according to the Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) John Waweru.

Sports
Tony Hawk announces renaming of skateboard trick from "mute grab" to "Weddle grab"
Tony Hawk announces renaming of skateboard trick from "mute grab" to "Weddle grab"
Credit: Tony Hawk Instagram

Professional skater Tony Hawk has announced that for the new installation of the Tony Hawk skating game, the "mute air" or "mute grab" called trick has been renamed. According to him around 1981 the trick had been invented by Chris Weddle a back then "prominent amateur on the competition circuit". As Weddle is a deaf skater and the other skaters wanted to give credit to the inventor, it became known as "mute air". Hawk states that "we all went along with it in our naive youth".

Hawk states that he has talked to Weddle last year and decided to change the name of the trick to "The Weddle Grab".

Politics • European
Lithuania prepares to grant access to the country for Belarusians in light of protests
Representative image Brest (Belarus) border checkpoint
Representative image Brest (Belarus) border checkpoint Credit: Szajci (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Lithuanian Interior Minister Rita Tamašunienė has announced that "in light of the current developments in the neighboring country" people from Belarus should be excluded from the entry restrictions in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

She referenced that "these are foreigners coming to Lithuania for special humanitarian purposes" and a spokesperson for the government has stated that people from Belarus will be able to apply for humanitarian help. The procedure for the application process the expected to be confirmed on Thursday.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Apple announces commitment to become carbon-neutral for all products and supply chain by 2030
Apple announces commitment to become carbon-neutral for all products and supply chain by 2030
Credit: unsplash.com / American Public Power Association

Apple has announced the self-commitment to become a carbon-neutral company for all products it produces and its supply chain, stating that the company is already carbon neutral worldwide in regards to its corporate emissions.

The communicated date to hit the goals is 2030 and Apple aims to achieve this by reducing its emissions by 75 percent and in addition using technology to remove carbon from the environment. These "innovative carbon removal solutions" will be developed by Apple themselves with the aim to close the remaining 25 percent of carbons.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated that "climate action can be the foundation for a new era of innovative potential, job creation, and durable economic growth. With our commitment to carbon neutrality, we hope to be a ripple in the pond that creates a much larger change".

Health
World's largest vaccine manufacturer sets $3 ceiling price per dose of Covid-19 vaccine
World's largest vaccine manufacturer sets $3 ceiling price per dose of Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Serum Institute

The Indian company Serum Institute has announced that its Covid-19 vaccine once developed and approved will have a ceiling price of $3 per dose for India and low-and-middle-income countries. Serum is the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume and has now received at-risk funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. The money will be used to produce possible candidates for vaccines.

Technology • Internet & Web
Google will prevent minors in the UK and EU from seeing ads for unhealthy food and drinks from October on
Google will prevent minors in the UK and EU from seeing ads for unhealthy food and drinks from October on
Credit: unsplash.com / Robin Stickel

Google has updated its "Other restricted businesses policy" and will start "to restrict the serving of High Fat Sugar Salt (HFSS) Food and/or Non-Alcoholic Beverages (F&B) advertising for minors in the United Kingdom and European Union".

The policy will be applied to the Google Display Network and YouTube and there apply to all people under the age of 18. Google stated that the new policy will be enforced from the 6th of October.

Some examples for the products that fall under these advertisement restrictions are sweetened beverages, cakes, pizza, salt, butter, pork and a number of other products.

Health
Scientists have developed a synthetic blood-thinner without bleeding side-effects
Bleeding wound on finger
Bleeding wound on finger Credit: Crystal (Crystl) from Bloomington, USA (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne have developed the first synthetic blood-thinner. Together with three other laboratories, the Laboratory of Therapeutic Proteins and Peptides of Professor Christian Heinis has developed an inhibitor that stays in the blood plasma for over 120 hours and shows high potency, stability and selectivity.

Together with the University Hospital of Bern (Inselspital) and the University of Bern they've shown that the new blood-thinner can efficiently block coagulation in a thrombosis model without the increased risk of bleeding side effects present in currently used blood-thinners.

Professor Christian Heinis has stated that "our collaboration found that it is possible to achieve bleeding-free anti-coagulation with a synthetic inhibitor". According to him, the "inhibitor is a promising candidate for safe thromboprotection in artificial lungs" and will undergo further studies and optimizations.

Politics • European
Portugal reports zero Covid-19 deaths in a day - first time since March

With 106 new Covid-19 cases Portugal reports the lowest number of new infections in a single day in almost three months and reports the first day without a Covid-19 death since March.

In total Portugal has now reported 51,569 Covid-19 cases and 1,738 deaths.

Politics • American • US
Pittsburgh Mayor announces participation in "guaranteed income" program
Pittsburgh Mayor announces participation in "guaranteed income" program
Credit: unsplash.com / Eilis Garvey

Bill Peduto, the mayor of Pittsburgh, has announced that his city will participate in a "guaranteed income" program. Eligible residents will receive $500 per month. Peduto did not specify how many people will receive the money but stated that they'll look for people where the sum of $500 would improve their lives and that they'll look for people of different backgrounds and demographics in order to conduct an impact study.

The project is financed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey who tweeted that "this is one tool to close the wealth and income gap, level systemic race and gender inequalities, and create economic security for families".

Science • Animals
India: Tiger population has almost doubled in last 12 years
India: Tiger population has almost doubled in last 12 years
Credit: unsplash.com / satya deep

The Indian Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar has announced that India is home to 70% of the world's tiger population. According to him: "in 1973, there were just nine tiger reserves which have now increased to 50" and added that all of the tiger reserves are in good quality.

The published report covering the status of Tigers in India states that 1,923 tigers live in all reserves combined which makes 65 percent of the Indian tiger population.

Science • Animals
Orca whale, who carried her dead calf for 17 days, is pregnant again
The picture panel above shows her shape change between September 2019, when she was several months into pregnancy, and recently in July 2020 when her increased width at mid body clearly indicates she is in the late stages of pregnancy. Pregnancy in killer whales typically lasts 17-18 months. Photos by SR3 and NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in 2019 and SR3 and SEA in 2020, collected under NMFS research permit 19091.
The picture panel above shows her shape change between September 2019, when she was several months into pregnancy, and recently in July 2020 when her increased width at mid body clearly indicates she is in the late stages of pregnancy. Pregnancy in killer whales typically lasts 17-18 months. Photos by SR3 and NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in 2019 and SR3 and SEA in 2020, collected under NMFS research permit 19091. Credit: SR3 (Reproduction)

The orca whale known as Tahlequah, who carried her dead calf for 17 days and over 1,000 miles two years ago, is pregnant again. The pregnancy was discovered by John Durban, senior scientist of Southall Environmental Associates, and marine mammal research director Holly Fearnbach of the non-profit organisation SR3, who captured drone images of a community of 72 Southern Resident killer whales. The whale community, which is made up of three pods of whales, is frequently seen in the southern end of Vancouver Island and the marine waters of Washington state. Further pregnancies were spotted in all three pods.

Though pregnancies among orca whales are not unusual, Tahlequah's first pregnancy was believed to be the first in about three years among this whale community. Two of the Southern Resident whales have given birth since.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Valve co-founder Gabe Newell organizes free concert in New Zealand to thank for hospitality during Covid-19 lockdown
Valve co-founder Gabe Newell organizes free concert in New Zealand to thank for hospitality during Covid-19 lockdown
Credit: Dota 2 The International (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The co-founder and president of Vale, having developed Counter-Strike, Half-Life. Dota 2, Portal and the gaming client and platform Steam, decided to stay in New Zealand when Covid-19 started spreading. He now announced on the television channel TVNZ 1 that he is organizing a free event together with his partner Teagan Klein and the Aston Martin racecar driver Alex Riberas from Spain to thank the people from New Zealand for their generosity and kindness.

The event will host live music from multiple bands and have workshops, food trucks, art installations and other activities.

Politics • Asian
Bridal kidnapping into forced marriages to be made illegal, Indonesian officials vow
Multiple men kidnap a woman to force her into marriage
Multiple men kidnap a woman to force her into marriage Credit: Screenshot of viral Twitter video from December 2019

After two cases of bridal kidnapping have been filmed and posted to social media platforms where they went viral, Indonesian officials have vowed to ban the practice. The practice is established in Sumba, a southern island in Indonesia where family members or friends of a man who wants to marry a woman kidnap her and bring her directly to the ceremony.

According to local historian Frans Wora Hebi "There are no laws against it, only sometimes there is social reprimand against those who practice it but there is no legal or cultural deterrent" adding that the practice is not part of any traditions but a way to force women into marriage.

Regional leaders in Sumba have now signed a declaration stating that they reject the practice and Indonesia's women's empowerment minister Bintang Puspayoga stated that there will be a government effort to end the practice.

Health
Study: Oxford Covid-19 vaccine triggers immune response

Researchers from Oxford have published new results from their ongoing trails of a possible Covid-19 vaccine. During the last trial that involved 1,077 people, it showed that the experimental vaccine not only leads the patients to develop antibodies but also T-cells that are able to fight the virus.

The United Kingdom has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine. Further trials are still underway to determine if patients develop a long term immunitiy.

Climate & Environment
Australia: Sydney switches to 100% renewable electricity
Australia: Sydney switches to 100% renewable electricity
Credit: Azri (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The city of Sydney has announced that it has begun switching 100% of the electricity for the city to energy from renewable sources. According to the official announcement on the cities website they struck a deal to purchase energy from three different generators in New South Wales that is equivalent to 100% of the city's usage. The electricity comes in 3/4 from wind generation and 1/4 from solar generation and will be added to the electricity grid of the city.

Since the 1st of July, the city has started getting electricity from these generators with the aim of completing the switch to getting 100% of the cities electricity from these sources in 2021.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
Nigeria: Musician Mr Eazi raises $20 million for African music creatives
Mr Eazi
Mr Eazi Credit: YouTube (Reproduction)

Nigerian singer and entrepreneur Mr Eazi raised $20 million with his Africa Music Fund. The musician wants to offer funding and financial support for African music creatives. One of his main investors is Pan-African seed fund 88mph.

Mr Eazi said: "Artists cannot go to banks to get money for their music because financial institutions don't understand how to secure intellectual property. They get it for physical properties but not for music. So, because not a lot of people understand the music business, there is no finance product for musicians."

Politics • European • United Kingdom
Captain Tom Moore has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth
Arise, Captain Sir Thomas Moore!  Today The Queen conferred the Honour of Knighthood on @captaintommoore  at an Investiture at #WindsorCastle.
Arise, Captain Sir Thomas Moore! Today The Queen conferred the Honour of Knighthood on @captaintommoore at an Investiture at #WindsorCastle. Credit: @RoyalFamily via Twitter

Captain Tom Moore, the British WWII veteran who raised £32 million for health care workers by walking laps in his garden, has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth on Friday. In the Queen's first official engagement in person since the Covid-19 lockdown, she praised the 100-year-old veteran and thanked him for the donation he had raised.

Climate & Environment
Portugal adjusts plans to end energy from coal by 2021
Portugal adjusts plans to end energy from coal by 2021
Credit: Paulo Valdivieso from Lisboa, Portugal / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

According to the energy company EDP its Sines coal power plant will be shut down in 2021, accelerating the original 2023 shutdown plans. This will make Portugal the third country in the European Union to end the energy production from coal-fired power plants.

EDP has stated that they are "now evaluating the development of a green hydrogen production project in Sines" and are "committed to fulfill all labor obligations towards the 107 workers at the plant".

Health
Second Ebola vaccine receives approval by European Commission
Second Ebola vaccine receives approval by European Commission
Credit: Government of Prince Edward Island (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The medical and pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has received approval for their Ebola vaccine by the European Commission.

Both components of the two-dose vaccine for the prevention of the virus have been approved and the company hopes that this will lead to "accelerated registration" in African countries. J&J is the second company to receive approval for an Ebola vaccine after Merck.

Business • Health Care
France: Health care workers get pay rises worth €8 billion
France: Health care workers get pay rises worth €8 billion
Credit: unsplash.com/SJ Objio

France will spend €8 billion in pay rise to health care workers. This results in an average monthly pay increase of €183. The deal was signed by trade unions and both Prime Minister Jean Castex and Health Minister Olivier Véran. Castex called this deal a "historic moment for our health system".