Recap: The best news of the summer

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In this issue, we’re looking back at the best and most important stories of the past two months: from a successful climate lawsuit by young activists to the roll-out of the world’s first Malaria vaccine in 12 African countries.

‘Gamechanger’: judge rules in favor of young activists in US climate trial

Sixteen young plaintiffs had alleged the Montana state government had violated their right to a healthy environment and contributed to climate change by enacting pro-fossil fuel policies.

Source:
The Guardian

Ecuador votes to halt oil drilling in Amazonian biodiversity hotspot

58% of Ecuadorians voted to stop oil exploration in Yasuní national park in the Amazon. This protects the precious ecosystem as well as two of the last “uncontacted” tribes in the world.

Source:
The Guardian

Countries adopt new greenhouse gas emissions target for shipping

While some criticise the lack of ambition, this commitment marks a significant step towards addressing the industry’s environmental impact and meeting global climate goals.

Source:
Reuters

EU lawmakers approve nature restoration bill

After weeks of intense negotiations, the plan survived in the vote at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, aiming to boost environmental protection and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Source:
Deutsche Welle

Breakthrough malaria vaccine to be rolled out in 12 African countries

Africa is set to receive the world’s first malaria vaccine, with an initial allocation of 18 million doses over the next two years. The vaccine, deemed safe and effective, holds the potential to save numerous lives.

Source:
The Guardian

Ghanaian parliament votes in favour of abolishing death penalty

In a historic move, Ghana’s parliament voted on Tuesday to completely abolish the death penalty, positioning the country among a growing number of African nations that have chosen to repeal capital punishment in recent times.

Source:
Reuters

Yemen: UN removes 1m barrels of oil from ageing tanker

The oil was transferred to a replacement tanker after difficult negotiations to avoid a possible spill four times bigger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster off Alaska.

Source:
The Guardian

Amazon Summit paves the way for indigenous voice in forest protection

Indigenous leaders are holding out hope that a summit of Amazon country leaders held this week will give them more power over how the rainforest is managed. Now they call for promises to be followed up with action.

Source:
Context

Wind and solar energy overtake coal in US for longest period ever

More electricity was generated from renewable sources than non-renewables in the US in the first 5 months of the year, a new record. Closure of several coal plants are among factors contributing to renewables’ success.

Source:
Scientific American

India beats emissions reduction goal

India reduced emissions by 33% between 2005 and 2019. This is faster than expected as the country aims to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030.

Source:
Reuters

Nepal becomes the first South Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage

In a groundbreaking decision, Nepal’s highest court has mandated the official recognition of same-sex marriages, marking a significant milestone in the pursuit of equality for the LGBTQ+ community in the traditionally conservative region.

Source:
RFI

UN: ‘end to AIDS’ possible by 2030

Despite nearly 40 million people worldwide living with HIV, the United Nations is confident there is a path to end AIDS by 2030. The agency calls for global political commitment to prevention and non-discriminatory legislation.

Source:
DW

‘It’s a huge sign of progress’: the battle to decriminalise suicide

In at least 17 countries, suicide remains a criminal offence – a ‘huge barrier’ to mental health care. As Ghana becomes one of four countries to overturn its law in a year, others could follow.

Source:
The Guardian

The therapists helping Ukrainians thousands of miles away

Founded in 2022, TeleHelp Ukraine provides virtual medical appointments as it’s become both harder and more vital for Ukrainians to access healthcare. Volunteer translators not only help with communication but also become a second source of support.

Source:
Reasons To Be Cheerful

Bringing mental health into the dental office

Mental health is still a taboo topic among Asian Americans. A dental clinic in California integrates a mental health check-up into its patient intake form and provides in-house counseling services.

Source:
MindSite News

Surfing as therapy

Surfing has been proven to help people with depression, anxiety and trauma. The sport has recently been embraced as an effective therapeutic approach by the UK’s National Health Service and by the US Navy.

Source:
Reasons To Be Cheerful

Paralysed woman able to ‘speak’ through digital avatar in world first

Latest technology uses tiny electrodes on brain surface to read electrical activity in the part of the brain that controls speech and facial movements which are immediately translated into a virtual avatar’s speech and movement.

Source:
The Guardian

New bionic hand allows precise movement of fingers

Scientists and engineers have developed a bionic hand that is able to read electrical signals from an amputated arm in a way that the user can move the fingers with impressive accuracy.

Source:
Euronews

China’s 1000km battery could revolutionise long-range electric travel

With the new ‘condensed’ battery set to enter mass production later this year, electric vehicles will be able to travel up to 1,000km on a single charge, eliminating concerns about range anxiety and expanding the possibilities for electric aviation.

Source:
Positive News

France introduces incentives for clothing repair and reuse

The new programme is designed to encourage consumers to mend and repurpose their clothing and worn-out shoes, encouraging a shift away from a throwaway culture towards a more eco-conscious and resourceful approach to fashion.

Source:
BBC News

Revolutionising medicine with free prescriptions of fresh vegetables

Amidst rising rates of preventable diseases like diabetes, initiatives across California seek to address the root causes by delivering free fresh produce to patients as well as providing cooking and nutrition classes.

Source:
Mercury News

California’s free prison calls boost inmate relationships, aid rehab

California’s new law offering free prison calls is mending strained relationships. The policy change has alleviated financial burdens on families and significantly increased communication.

Source:
Los Angeles Times

UK retailer recruits new employees almost exclusively from prisons

Timpson, the service retailer, supports incarcerated individuals by offering employment opportunities to ex-offenders and those currently serving time, fostering a path to redemption and reintegration into society.

Source:
Reasons To Be Cheerful

Australia becomes the first country to legalise psychedelics for mental health

Australia has achieved a groundbreaking milestone by becoming the first nation to legalise the therapeutic application of magic mushrooms and MDMA in addressing certain mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

Source:
BBC News

Innovative Jordanian farm uses lo-fi tech to cultivate vegetables in the desert

The Sahara Forest Project demonstrates the incredible potential of growing vegetables in the most unexpected locations, employing accessible and low-tech methods whilst showcasing how farming can adapt to climate change and water scarcity.

Source:
Positive News

The crops thriving in the shade of solar panels

Projects worldwide are exploring the benefits of solar panels above crops to shield them from heat, conserve moisture, and increase yields – such as a Bavarian farmer who combines hops cultivation and clean energy by using solar panels to shade his plants.

Source:
AP News

In the face of drought, Spanish farmers turn to ancient water irrigation system

Acequias was an intricate network of water channels engineered by the Moors in Spain which fell into disuse in the 20th century. A low-cost and efficient system, it is now being revived to counteract severe drought.

Source:
New York Times

Ancient animal breeds aid wildfire prevention in Spain and Portugal

To combat wildfires, Spain and Portugal are recruiting endangered Garrano horses and European bison to naturally clear vegetation, reducing fire risks.

Source:
Euronews

How linking patches of wilderness is saving Borneo’s wildlife

Palm oil plantations have fragmented Sabah’s rainforest but land corridors let pygmy elephants and orangutans roam again.

Source:
The Guardian

Vultures pave the way for a remarkable cat comeback in Zambia

The birds flying above Africa’s third-largest national park now play an unwitting role as research assistants, helping scientists by transmitting vital geo signals through their satellite tags.

Source:
Reasons To Be Cheerful


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