| Good News Stories from around the World
Wednesday March 4th 2015

Welcome to Good News Stories

Here at Good News Stories we bring you upbeat news stories from around the World.

HIV in South Africa improving

From Associated Press….

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — The number of new HIV infections among South African teens has dropped significantly, prompting hope that national efforts to tackle the epidemic have finally turned a corner after years of denial and delay.

A report by the Human Sciences Research Council released Tuesday said that although young people continue to have multiple sexual partners — which drives South Africa’s epidemic — they are increasingly heeding advice to use a condom.

“There is clearly light at the end of the tunnel,” said Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi. “There is real light.”

Motsoaledi, a respected medical doctor, became health minister last month. He must overcome the legacy of former President Thabo Mbeki, who denied the link between HIV and AIDS, and his health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, who mistrusted conventional anti-AIDS drugs and promoted beetroot and lemon.

New hope for Chinas’ polluted cities

pearl river tower 310mA new skyscraper that is being constructed in Guangzhou in southern China is being heralded as a change of direction for China’s green credentials.

The 310m Pearl River Tower is going to be off the electricity grid of China, in one of it’s most polluted cities, and will be run on a combination of wind turbines, solar panels and fuel cells. The building is expected to be finished in late 2010.

Other energy efficient features include a double-layer curtain-wall system to reduce heat absorption and slab concrete vaulted ceilings that enhance natural daylight. Chilled water will run through metal panels in the ceiling, helping to cool the building.

Hopefully China is finally waking up to the threat of global warming and can lead the world in sustainable building.

Good news for a close relative

bonoboGood news for one of the lesser known great ape species! A partnership between local villages and conservation groups, headed up by the Bonobo Conservation Initiative, has led to the creation of a new 1,847 square mile (4,875 square kilometre) reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The reserve will save some of the region’s last pristine forests: ensuring the survival of the embattled bonobo—the least-known of the world’s four great ape species—and protecting a wide variety of biodiversity from the Congo peacock to the dwarf crocodile.

However, the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve is worth attention for another reason: every step of its creation—from biological surveys to reserve management—has been run by the local Congolese NGO and villages of Kokolopori.

War in Sri Lanka is over

sri_lankaThe government of Sri Lanka today declared an end to the 25 year old Sri Lankan civil war after the army took control of the entire island and killed the leader of the Tamil Tigers, Velupillai Prabhakaran.

According to the Sri Lankan army the chief of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE),  was shot dead while trying to flee the war zone in an ambulance after the final battle in an offensive that has killed thousands of Tamil civilians since January.

Special forces troops also killed the rebels’ intelligence chief Pottu Amman, and Soosai, the head of the group’s “Sea Tiger” naval wing, said the state broadcaster, Rupavahini TV, according to Reuters.

European Union nations this morning called for an independent war crimes investigation into the killing of civilians in the country.

British soldier completes marathon on crutches

majorphilpackerA British soldier, who lost his legs in a rocket attack in Iraq last year, completed the London marathon after walking on crutches for two weeks. Major Phil Packer was greeted by hundreds of well-wishers as he touched the finishing line on Saturday.

“There are others who are coming back injured (from Iraq and Afghanistan) and my thoughts are really with their families at the moment,” Major Packer said.

The 36-year-old former soldier was told that he would never be able to walk again after he was injured in an attack in the southern Iraqi city of Basara in February 2008.

He completed 2 miles a day over two weeks.

Solar Lanterns to light up developing World

solar_radio_e4b508About 2 billion people in developing countries worldwide lack electricity, which in turn impacts the health, ecology and safety of rural households. Many are forced to rely on inefficient and environmentally damaging kerosene lamps.

Developing nations alone burn 470 million barrels of oil and release about 400 billion pounds of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as a result of using kerosene. Other sources of light fuel include cow dung, precious forest firewood or crop residue.

But in a massive new study carried out in Gujarat, one of Western India’s poorest states, hit hard by drought in recent years, researchers have proposed that solar photovoltaic lanterns could represent a solution for rural communities with insufficient lighting.

This is particularly true in India, where the average number of sunny days ranges from 250 to 300 per year, generating a solar energy equivalent greater than the country’s total energy consumption. With India’s large and growing population, solar lanterns, using the country’s abundant sunlight, could be the cleanest and most practical energy alternative available.

Prostrate cancer risk cut by masturbation

prostate awareness

Researchers from Australia have suggested men could reduce their risk of developing cancer of the prostrate through regular masturbation. Cancer causing chemicals could build up in the prostate if men do not ejaculate regularly.

Australian researchers questioned over a thousand men who had developed prostate cancer and 1,250 who had not about their sexual habits.

They found those who had ejaculated the most between the ages of 20 and 50 were the least likely to develop the cancer.

The protective effect was greatest while the men were in their 20s.

The silver lining of climate change

polar-bearFrom GoodNewsStories.org

Believe it or not, climate change could be the best thing that ever happened to the amazing array of animal and plant species that make up the Earth’s biodiversity.

Climate change is still the most serious environmental threat we have ever encountered, and it is already taking a terrible toll on species, as well as people, all over the world.

However, there is a silver lining to this rather acidic cloud. Climate change has triggered an international wake up call and never before have so many sectors of society been equally concerned and motivated to combat an environmental threat.

Some pessimists say it’s too late, but consider the positive results of the latest meeting of the WCC in Spain that brought together representatives from governments, indigenous peoples, industry and environmental groups are meeting to present innovations and create partnerships. The fact this type of meeting took place is a big positive stride for protecting the world and it’s inhabitants.

Regardless of whether you believe in climate change or not, it cannot be denied that the whole subject has highlighted many global issues and brought about a and positive change in attitude and to the environment and our rich biodiversity.

UK heading for Mediterranean-style summer

cornish beach

Widespread reports in the press are suggesting that the next few summers in the UK will be some of the longest, hottest and sunniest on record. This is mainly attributed to the harsh winter and the oceanic and atmospheric phenomenon known as El Niño which occurs in the Pacific Ocean.

The pattern of El Nino is suggesting that Britain and much of Northern Europe will be in for a number of long and sunny summers which will come as welcome news after the recent ones.

Rainfall throughout Europe is predicted to be lower this summer too meaning BBQs will be enjoying plenty of use throughout the UK.

The Met office in the UK is usually pretty accurate with these long range forecasts and have predicted many hot days above 30C .

Sri Lankan army to protect civilians

From Good News Stories….

The Sri Lankan Government has announced an end to combat operations against the Tamil Tiger rebels and instructed the army to stop using heavy weapons and aerial bombardment that could harm civilians caught in the conflict zone.

A statement issued by the office of the Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, last night said security forces would now “confine their attempts to rescuing civilians who are held hostage and give foremost priority to saving civilians”.

There was no explanation for the about-face but Mr Rajapaksa’s Government has been under huge pressure from overseas to halt fighting to protect civilians caught up in the conflict.

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