Good News 2009
North Sea "Supergrid"

Nine European Countries Pledge to Build North Sea "Supergrid" for Offshore Wind Power

Offshore wind power may soon cross national boundaries more easily than ever, based on news from the Copenhagen climate summit. Nine European nations announced plans for a "Supergrid" in the North Sea that would allow them to connect Irish wind farms to continental Europe, or vice versa.

No funding figures have emerged just yet, but the project could help Europe reach its goal of getting 20 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020. Green, Inc. reports that offshore wind power currently makes up just 0.3 percent of Europe's electricity use, compared to Denmark's 4.5 percent of electricity from offshore wind farms.

The North Seas Countries' Offshore Grid Initiative includes Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden and Ireland. A supergrid connecting all those nations might not only create a wider electricity market, but also encourage offshore wind power development.

European nations such as Norway have begun installing deep-water wind turbines that could expand the current offshore wind farms. U.S. companies such as GE have also begun investigating gearless wind turbines that could find an offshore home in Europe.

December, 2009

Berlin Wall's fall

Bush, Gorbachev, Kohl mark Berlin Wall's fall

(Reuters) - George Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev and Helmut Kohl paid their respects to the ordinary people who were behind the peaceful revolution of 1989 that brought down the Berlin Wall at an emotional ceremony in Berlin on Saturday.

The three statesmen from the United States, Soviet Union and West Germany -- whose steady-handed leadership paved the way for the Wall's opening on November 9, 1989 -- recalled the heady events that led to the end of the Cold War at a ceremony attended by 1,800 people.

November, 2009

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Gloria Estefan

Gloria Estefan Buys Concert Tickets For PR Jobless

October 8, 2009 - Thousands of laid-off government employees in Puerto Rico will be doing the conga for free, thanks to Gloria Estefan.

The Cuban-born singer bought some 2,000 tickets for her weekend concert and they will distributed by raffle among the nearly 17,000 workers who learned last month that they will lose their jobs beginning Nov. 6.

October, 2009

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Adidas and Puma - peace day

Adidas and Puma bury the hatchet for peace day

Sep 16, 2009 - More than 60 years after a feud between brothers Adi and Rudolf Dassler resulted in the creation of the Adidas and Puma sportswear rivalry, the two companies are making peace...for one day.

A historic handshake between the chief executives of the two firms and a football match, which will see employees from both companies play on mixed teams, have been planned for Monday to celebrate International Peace Day, the companies said in a joint statement this week.

September, 2009

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Saving the World's Women

Saving the World's Women

August 21, 2009 - This week's issue of the New York Times Magazine is devoted almost entirely to the topic of women's issues around the globe. Featuring a cover story by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn called "The Women's Crusade" the magazine also includes an interview with Secretary Clinton - who just wrapped up a trip to Africa-as well as a Q&A with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

August, 2009

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Venice first female gondolier

Just one trained woman: Venice finally gets its first female gondolier

Venice is to get its first female gondolier, ending nine hundred years of male dominance in the profession.

Giorgia Boscolo, 24, has become the first woman to pass the Italian city's strict gondolier exam and be granted a full license.

She will now join the previously all-male Venetian gondoliers' guild and can officially row tourists through the city's narrow canals.

August, 2009

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Operation Flower

Residents fight burglars with flower power

(Reuters) - A Tokyo district plagued with burglaries has turned to planting flowers to beautify its streets and help stamp out crime.

"Operation Flower" began about three years ago. By planting flowers facing the street, more people will be keeping an eye out while taking care of the flowers or watering them," said Kiyotaka Ohyagi, a Suginami City official.

"The best way to prevent crime is to have more people on the lookout."

June, 2009

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Women Win Seats in Kuwait Parliament

First Women Win Seats in Kuwait Parliament

SANA, Yemen May 17, 2009 - Women won four seats in the Kuwaiti parliamentary elections over the weekend, a historic first and one of several electoral surprises that appeared to reflect a deep popular frustration with the political deadlock in the oil-rich gulf state of Kuwait.

Liberal Kuwaitis celebrated the landmark with fireworks and parties after the elections on Saturday. Women gained the right to vote and run for office in 2005, but none had been elected until now. Many conservatives resisted the idea, and in recent weeks Islamists urged voters not to elect women to the 50-seat assembly.

May, 2009

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Vatican to build Europe's largest solar power plant

The Vatican plans to spend $500m building a 100-megawatt solar power plant supplying electricity to 40,000 homes.

The Vatican is well versed in conversions, but there probably hasn't been something on this scale since its very own St Paul was on his way to Damascus: the world's smallest country has announced it is to spend $500m (£441m) building Europe's largest solar power plant.

April, 2009

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Gorilla Growth in Congo

"Spectacular" Gorilla Growth in Congo, Despite War

January 27, 2009: The extremely rare mountain gorillas of Virunga National Park seem to have prospered during a warlord's reign over the refuge in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to new census results.

The population-made famous by a series of murders in 2007-has grown by nearly 13 percent in the last 16 months, despite having no protection from civil war or poaching for 15 months, park rangers said Monday.

February, 2009

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Kiwi the bird

Kiwis (the Birds) get help in averting extinction

KARORI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, New Zealand - As national symbols go, the kiwi makes up in curiosity value for what it lacks in good looks.

The squat, flightless bird appears a bit like a cross between a hamster and an anteater, with furlike plumage, a long, quill-like beak and a grumpy demeanor.

But don't let its looks and ungainliness mislead you. This bird is to New Zealanders what the bald eagle is to Americans.

January, 2009

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Other years with Good News

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A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. ALBERT EINSTEIN