Photo: Ted Eytan/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0 Deed)
Today at Squirrel News, we’re highlighting the Pope’s decision to allow Roman Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples, an inspiring project that donates bicycles to refugees promoting mobility and independence, and the transformative impact of solar-powered fridges in providing energy access to remote communities in rural Africa.
Vatican gives conditional approval to blessings for same-sex couples
Pope Francis has granted permission for priests to bestow blessings upon same-sex partners, in what Vatican observers describe as “likely the most concrete pastoral shift on the church’s stance toward gay couples in the church’s 2,000-year history”.
Source: The Guardian
New initiative offers bicycles to refugees facing transport poverty
In the UK, the majority of asylum seekers are denied the opportunity to work and survive on allowances as low as £9.58 per week. The issue of transport poverty among this community has become a pressing concern, but The Bike Project has emerged as a solution, offering a lifeline through donated bicycles.
Source: Positive News
Solar-powered fridges revolutionise energy access in rural Africa
Amped Innovation has engineered solar-powered refrigerators equipped with innovative ice batteries. These appliances are specifically designed for use in rural and remote places, addressing the critical need for reliable refrigeration in areas with limited access to electricity, benefiting millions of people.
Source: Fast Company
A pilot project for legal recreational cocaine is being explored in Bern
The proposition has gained support from the Parliament in Bern, aligning with evolving drug policies worldwide. The development emphasises a shift toward prioritising holistic drug treatment over punitive measures, making huge impact on public health and safety and redirecting funds from cartels to public services.
Using “shark dust” to uncover threatened species in Indonesia’s fish trade
The methodology involves conducting DNA analysis on minute fragments of skin and cartilage found on the floors of fish-processing facilities and export warehouses. After examining samples obtained from plants across Java Island, researchers successfully identified a high number of CITES-listed species – providing calls for greater protection measures.
The potential of generative AI to address educational disparities in Indian schools
In a school supported by municipal funds, the use of an English language tool powered by generative AI has proven to be a transformative experience for numerous first-generation learners, fostering newfound confidence and enhancing learning possibilities.
Innovative approaches to minimise the environmental impact of landfills
Landfills stand as unpleasant symbols of our throwaway culture and the environmental damage inflicted upon Earth – but many individuals worldwide are actively working to mitigate the impact of these sites with new ideas.
Source: BBC News
Collaborative efforts rescue stranded manatees in Colombia
In response to the challenges posed by cattle ranching, marsh draining for agriculture, and climate variability, which have led to decreased water levels, a number of NGOs have established a network to address emergencies involving these endangered marine mammals.
Beavers are engineering environmental transformation in California
In a strategic move to boost ecological restoration, seven beavers have been introduced into tribal waters. Tasked with a crucial role in a comprehensive restoration initiative, these industrious rodents are set to make a significant impact on the environmental landscape.
Source: Reasons To Be Cheerful
African models redefine beauty on global catwalks
For years, the fashion industry has been dominated by white beauty standards. However, a positive shift is occurring as awareness expands, letting an increasing number of Black models to make their mark on the world’s catwalks.
Source: Deutsche Welle