News That Will Make You Smile

My morning news scroll is almost always filled with serious, political, pandemic-related headlines. I’m not saying these headlines are irrelevant or that they should be ignored—staying updated on what’s going on around us is important. But I think with everything going on in the world today, it’s important to take time to skim some light-hearted headlines that will bring a smile to your face. The steady stream of wonderful news from all over the world from the #goodnews on Twitter and Good News Network never fail me. Here are 7 headlines I loved reading about this week!

  1. 1. April 11th was International Good Deeds Day

    Good Deeds Day brings citizens from 108 countries together for a common cause—doing good deeds for the benefit of others and our planet. This initiative was launched in 2007 in Israel by businesswoman and philanthropist Shari Arison. This year, about 100 countries participated, including the US, India, Mexico, Italy, Trinidad, Russia, and Armenia. Some projects from this year include making food baskets for the underprivileged, Habitat for Humanity fundraisers (USA), and teaching artisanal skills to immigrant communities (Armenia).

     

  2. 2. In 24 years, California has cut toxic air pollution by 78%.

    Between 1990 and 2014, California’s toxic air pollution has decreased drastically due to the air pollution control standards the state has established. Diesel engine standards and other measures have contributed to this accomplishment. There have been 82% fewer attributable deaths to air pollution, including cardiopulmonary deaths caused by dangerous air quality. This is a huge accomplishment—hopefully, other states and countries follow.

     

  3. 3. Indian fishermen rebuild roads with plastic waste from the ocean.

    Fishermen in Kerala, India are working towards cleaning up plastic waste from their oceans. Kerala’s state government launched a campaign (Suchitwa Sagaram) that trains fishermen to collect and transport plastic from the ocean. Once this plastic waste reaches the local fishing community, the plastic is shredded and used for road surfacing. Using recycled plastic is cheaper and more environmentally durable in India’s heat, which makes this campaign economically, structurally, and environmentally sustainable!

  4. 4. Endangered rhino population in Nepal has grown 16%.

    For several years, Nepal’s rhino population has been in danger of extinction. In recent years, due to anti-poaching and conservation laws, the population has increased by nearly 16% in the past 6 years! This is exciting news, as the rhino population is now the highest it has been in decades. Though the rhino population is still on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, this is hopefully a step in the right direction.

  5. 5. Bilingual dog counts to ten, answers questions, and does math.

    This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but that doesn’t make it any less adorable. Monica Elkhalifa’s 6-year-old Shiba Inu knows more than 90 words and can do addition. Akira can also recognize different colors, and he’s working on learning subtraction right now.

  6. 6. Unemployment in the US fell to a pandemic low last week.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, unemployment dropped to the lowest it has been since the COVID-19 pandemic began last March. This is a hopeful indicator that the US economy is bouncing back. Jobless claims fell from 769,000 two weeks ago to 576,000 last week. According to Oxford economist Kathy Bostjancic, this economic pick-up has been faster than many economists predicted and can be attributed to several factors. These include but are not limited to vaccinations, higher consumer spending, fewer business restrictions, and stimulus funds.

  7. 7. The FASTER Act was passed in the House of Representatives on April 14.

    I was scrolling through Twitter today and came across this good news. And, of course, as someone with a sesame allergy, this is a headline I had to include. The FASTER (Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research) Act was passed by the House a couple of days ago. This critical piece of legislation acknowledges sesame as the 9th most common allergen in the US and requires that sesame be labeled as an allergen on packaged foods. This legislation prioritizes food allergy research and safety. If approved by President Biden, this bill would be a much needed update to allergen labeling laws