Photo: Joshua Rawson-Harris / Unsplash (CC0)
Until now, Squirrel News has only looked back at the stories of the year. From now on, readers can expect a monthly recap of the the most important and exciting solutions. In January 2023, we saw fewer traffic deaths, more 988 lifeline users, zero-interest loans for Black home buyers, and literary treasure hunts.
Death penalty and criminal defamation abolished in Zambia
Following 24 other African nations, Zambia has abolished the death penalty for all crimes.
Premium Times Nigeria
Jersey City records zero traffic deaths on its streets
Jersey City’s roads have not had a single traffic death in 12 months. In 2018, the city adopted Vision Zero – an international plan for traffic safety that lowers speed limits and puts pedestrian safety first.
New York supervised injection site programme cuts drug deaths to zero
Since 2019, drug users in New York have been able to inject in supervised sites. More than 2000 people used the facilities, which boast no on-site deaths.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
988 Lifeline sees increase in usage and funding in first months
More people are using the crisis support service, which has received funding increases in order to meet demand.
How Niger halved postpartum haemorrhage fatalities at clinics
Severe bleeding after childbirth accounts for at least 25% of maternal mortality in developing countries. Researchers are counting on a three-step approach to prevent further deaths.
US cancer deaths have been declining since 1991
Better treatment, more accurate detection and public awareness are just some of the factors that have steadily reduced cancer-related deaths in the US since 1991.
Graduates develop AI-powered app that can identify cervical cancer
Dubbed “Smart Tampon,” the technology can be used to screen for the disease, providing potentially lifesaving insight to the public.
Scottish government opposes new oil, gas projects
Scotland’s previous energy policy set a 2030 renewable energy target of 50%. Amid the energy crisis, Scottish officials say they can no longer favour the former approach.
Innovative technologies to replace animals in drug research
In a departure from a 1938 congressional mandate, a newly signed US law authorises drugmakers to use organs-on-chips or miniature tissue models instead of lab animals in safety trials.
South Africa and India collaborate to relocate cheetahs to national park
Cheetahs disappeared in India around 70 years ago. Now South Africa will provide the Asian nation with more than a hundred of its own cheetahs to populate national parks.
Gaza’s first boxing club for girls opens
The new facility gives girls the opportunity to practice their sport in a more suitable environment than beaches or rented spaces.
Hawaii makes preschool available for all pre-K children in the State
The island state plans to publicly fund preschool for an additional 9,200 children, in a bid to help all 3-4 year-olds have access to these programmes.
The Associated Press
Indigenous-led activists have successfully conserved millions of acres
Indigenous communities in Canada are setting aside millions of acres of land for conservation and research by making agreements with the Canadian government.
Bubble barriers used to catch plastic before it enters the sea
A Dutch startup has developed a method to ‘catch’ water-borne plastic waste before it enters seas or oceans, using an innovative perforated tube. The technology is set to be implemented in other European waterways.
Spain passes law forcing tobacco companies to clean up cigarette butts
Starting this year, tobacco companies will have to foot the bill for cleaning up discarded cigarette butts in Spain. Additionally, these companies will have to pay for informational ads discouraging citizens from littering.
Belgian town rewards young people who arrive to parties sober – with beer
In an effort to combat youth drinking, the Belgian town of Balen has developed a programme where partygoers can get free beer, if they show up sober.
British city aims to boost biodiversity through a ‘ring of blossom’
Birmingham has planted hundreds of fruit trees around the city to improve food sources, biodiversity and health.
Zero-interest loans for Black homebuyers instead of reparations
A San Francisco Bay Area loan programme called the Black Wealth Builders Fund provides low-to-moderate-income homebuyers in Black neighborhoods with zero-interest loans to cover the down payment on their first home.
Co-buying helps people of colour and those in low-income communities buy homes
Buying a house with someone you know is becoming an increasingly popular affordable route to get off the renting cycle and onto the property ladder.
Reasons to be Cheerful / Next City
Conservationists preserve prairies by selling them – with a condition
Oregon ranchers are buying prairie grasslands from conservationists with an agreement to never develop the land, leaving the ecosystem pristine and intact.
Reasons to be cheerful
The Sioux Chef’s Owamni restaurant wows critics – and decolonises cuisine
‘We need to reclaim our Indigenous foods,’ says Sean Sherman, the founding chef and co-owner of the award-winning Minneapolis eatery.
To encourage reading, initiative takes kids on hidden book quest
A literary treasure hunt trend has hit the streets of Braidwood, a town in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. Children can find books hidden in a variety of locations including parks and shop windows.
Pakistani town known for gun trade turns to local library
The area has been transforming its gun-runner reputation into one of a place of information and knowledge.
Re-Entry 2.0 assists previously incarcerated individuals
It can be daunting for returning people to find resources and keep up with technology. This is where a network of people once affected by the justice system comes in.
How citizen participation helped increase red squirrel population
In Scotland, locals were instrumental in conservation efforts that saw a rise in red squirrel population.
Super sniffer dogs help save Italy’s vulnerable olive trees
For a decade now, Southern Italy’s olive trees have been plagued by a type of bacterium that is notoriously difficult to spot. Now an elite sniffer squad has been called in, as the remaining crops are at risk.