INQ Roundup: Good news stories from January | Inquirer News

INQ Roundup: Good news stories from January

/ 05:51 PM January 31, 2023

Tired of reading stressful news about the war, devastating calamities, surging prices of commodities, crimes, accidents, and politicians bickering? Fret not! We got you covered here at INQ Good News! Although we can’t do away with reporting “unpleasant” news, we’ll do a roundup of the good ones worth celebrating.

Saudi women

Saudi conductors walk beside a high-speed train ferrying pilgrims to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, on January 22, 2023. AFP

Women drive fast train to Mecca as Saudi workforce evolves

JEDDAH — Driver Tharaa Ali takes her seat at the helm of a high-speed train ferrying pilgrims to Mecca, a beneficiary of conservative Saudi Arabia’s bid to employ its booming female workforce.


Saudi women only gained the right to drive in 2018, and until recently 25-year-old Ali’s transportation experience was limited to cruising around her native Jeddah in the family sedan.

But last year she joined some 28,000 applicants vying for just 32 slots for women drivers on the Haramain High Speed Railway, which plies the 450-kilometer (280-mile) route between the holy cities of Mecca and Medina at speeds of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles) per hour.


To her astonishment, the former English teacher was among the lucky few selected, and she completed her first trip last month.

Click here to read more.

Uganda Ebola

FILE PHOTO: Motorists and cyclists are seen at a traffic light intersection in Kabuusu area of the Lubaga division amid the Ebola outbreak in Kampala, Uganda November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Abubaker Lubowa

Uganda says it is now free of Ebola

KAMPALA — Uganda on Wednesday declared the end of a nearly four-month Ebola outbreak that it briefly struggled to contain but was then able to swiftly bring under control despite the absence of a proven vaccine against the viral strain in question.

“We have successfully controlled the spread of Ebola in Uganda,” Jane Ruth Aceng, the health minister, said during a ceremony to mark the outbreak’s end.

The outbreak killed 55 of the 143 people infected since September, according to health ministry figures. Six of the fatalities were health workers.

Click here to read more.

blood donations for pets

The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

Bill in South Korea aims to boost blood donations for pets

SEOUL — Just like people, pets also lose large amounts of blood from accidents, diseases and surgeries, and therefore require blood transfusions. But, there is currently not enough donated blood in South Korea.


That’s why keen attention is being paid to a bill recently proposed at the National Assembly that aims to set up a control tower within the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to oversee and facilitate blood collection for animals.

Click here to read more.

PHUKET beach

Women pose for a photo in front of a Phuket sign at Patong Beach on the Thai island of Phuket on October 28, 2021, as the country prepares to welcome visitors fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 coronavirus without quarantine from November 1. AFP

COVID-19 curbs over, China’s tourists hit Thai beaches for first time in 3 years

PHUKET — Hitting the white sand beaches and eating mango sticky rice and seafood, Chinese tourists are returning to Thailand for their first trips abroad since China ended its strict COVID-19 curbs and reopened its borders.

“Because of the pandemic, we hadn’t been out of China for three years,” said tourist and business owner Kiki Hu, 28, in Krabi on Thailand’s southwest coast. “Now that we can leave and come here for holiday. I feel so happy and emotional”.

Click here to read more.

Japan tourism

Foreign tourists are seen near Kiyomizudera temple in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, on Dec. 2. The Japan News/Asia News Network

Japan’s overseas visitor numbers increase for first time in 3 years

TOKYO — The number of inbound tourists to Japan increased in 2022 for the first time in three years, with visitor numbers on a steady rise since the government eased border restrictions in June.

However, a full recovery of the tourism industry remains out of reach for now as Chinese visitors have been slow to return amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in China.

According to figures released Wednesday by the Japan National Tourism Organization, the number of international visitors to Japan climbed to an estimated 3.83 million in 2022, 15.5 times higher than the total in 2021, when the figure sunk to a record low.

Click here to read more.

New species of lizard

This undated handout picture released on January 16, 2023 by the National System of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SERNANP) shows a new species of lizard called “Proctoporus titans” at the Otishi National Park in Cusco, Peru. AFP

New species of lizard discovered in Peru national park

LIMA — Scientists have discovered a new species of lizard in a protected natural area in Cusco, southeastern Peru, national park officials said Monday.

“Otishi National Park reveals a new species of lizard to science,” the National Service of State-Protected Natural Areas said in a statement.

The new species, named “Proctoporus titans,” was found high in the Andes mountains at an altitude of 3,241 meters (10,600 feet).

Click here to read more.

lightning bolt

A lightning bolt strikes over a popular neighborhood of Bogota during a thunderstorm on September 13, 2022. AFP

Scientists use laser to guide lightning bolt for first time

PARIS — Scientists said Monday they have used a laser beam to guide lightning for the first time, hoping the technique will help protect against deadly bolts — and one day maybe even trigger them.

Lightning strikes between 40-120 times a second worldwide, killing more than 4,000 people and causing billions of dollars worth of damage every year.

Yet the main protection against these bolts from above is still the humble lightning rod, which was first conceived by American polymath Benjamin Franklin in 1749.

A team of scientists from six research institutions have been working for years to use the same idea but replace the simple metal pole with a far more sophisticated and precise laser.

Now, in a study published in the journal Nature Photonics, they describe using a laser beam — shot from the top of a Swiss mountain — to guide a lightning bolt for more than 50 meters.

Click here to read more.

breast cancer tattoo

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Jacqueline van Schaik, breast cancer survivor, poses for a picture after receiving a tattoo around her mastectomy scars on January 10, 2023 in Lelystad, Netherlands. AFP

Free tattoos give hope for Dutch breast cancer survivors

LELYSTAD, Netherlands — Flowers and butterflies surround the scars left by the removal of Jacqueline van Schaik’s breasts, thanks to a new tattoo the cancer survivor says she treasures.

“It’s magnificent,” exclaims an emotional Van Schaik, 56, looking at herself in the mirror at the end of the session at a tattoo parlour in the central Dutch city of Lelystad.

“I don’t see the scars anymore. I only see this gem,” added the mother-of-one, who underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with cancer in October 2020, followed by extensive chemo- and radiotherapy.

Her tattooist, Darryl Veer, is part of a growing group of ink artists ready to help women love their bodies again after the traumatic experience of a mastectomy.

Click here to read more.

Petra Jordan

A tourist poses for a photo while riding a camel before the site of the Treasury at the ruins of the ancient Nabatean city of Petra in southern Jordan on December 12, 2022. AFP

Tourists surge back to Jordan’s desert marvel Petra

PETRA — Tending to his camels in Petra, Jordan’s spectacular archaeological marvel hidden deep in a desert canyon, Hussein Bdoul is all smiles: the tourists are back.

After years in which the Covid pandemic turned the storied “Rose City” into a ghost town, the father of seven is back at work, offering visitors rides on his decorated animals.

“Tourism has returned and the numbers are even greater,” said Bdoul, 35, wearing Bedouin garb with a red keffiyeh scarf over his long black hair, reflecting on a resurgence last year.

Click here to read more.

Earth ozone layer

This file image released on December 1, 2009, shows a combination of two images released by the Nasa Earth Observatory showing the size and shape of the ozone hole each year in 1979 (L) and in 2009. AFP

Ozone layer healing but imperiled by schemes to curb Sun’s heat

PARIS — The ozone layer that shields life on Earth from deadly solar radiation is on track to recover within decades, but controversial geoengineering schemes to blunt global warming could reverse that progress, a major scientific assessment warned Monday.

Since the mid-1970s, certain industrial aerosols have led to the depletion of ozone in the stratosphere, 11 to 40 kilometers (7 to 25 miles) above Earth’s surface.

In 1987, nearly 200 nations agreed on the Montreal Protocol to reverse damage to the ozone layer by banning chemicals that destroy this naturally occurring stratum of molecules in the atmosphere.

That agreement is working as hoped, and is in line with previous projections, more than 200 scientists found.

Click here to read more.

Bahrain's crown prince

FILE PHOTO: Bahrain’s Prime Minister and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa attends the inauguration of Exhibition World Bahrain at Sakhir Bahrain, November 21, 2022. Bahrain News Agency/Handout via REUTERS

Bahrain’s crown prince calls Qatari emir in apparent step towards mending fences

DUBAI — Bahrain’s crown prince spoke with Qatar’s emir by telephone, the BNA state news agency reported late on Wednesday, in a sign the two Gulf states could move towards repairing relations two years after an Arab boycott of Qatar was lifted.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt in January 2021 ended a 3-1/2-year embargo of Qatar but since then there have been no bilateral discussions between Doha and Manama to resolve differences.

BNA said that Bahrain’s crown prince and prime minister, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, had in the call with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani “emphasized the importance of joint efforts to resolve all outstanding differences”.

Click here to read more.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Good news
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2023 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.