Eight good things happening in the world

Solomon Islands

Earlier this week, scientists exploring the Solomon Islands discovered the first biofluorescent turtle known to man. Biofluorecence, not to be confused with bioluminescence, is the ability to reflect light and re-emit it as a different color. The endangered hawksbill sea turtle joins the ranks of other biofluorescent sea creatures, including a variety of sharks, corals and copepods. Upon further examination, marine biologist David Gruber found the animals all glowed red. It is still unclear if all hawksbill sea turtles have the ability to fluoresce.

New Zealand

Plans to turn part of the South Pacific into a marine reserve are in the works, and it’s going to be huge. Fishing will be banned in the France-sized reserve, as well as mining. The area lies north of the New Zealand mainland and includes both islands and several underwater volcanoes. The government of New Zealand is currently working to pass legislation so the reserve can be created by next year. The plan would increase environmental protection in the country from 0.5 percent to 15.5 percent.

Nigeria

Nigerian military forces have freed 241 women and children kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014.  Raids took place last Tuesday and led to the arrests of terrorist leader Bulama Modu as well as 42 other Boko Haram militants. This has been part of a series of rescues, as over 500 girls were rescued in May of this year. Many of the freed women were pregnant, leading officials to believe they had been raped.

China

A marriage proposal between two men on the Beijing underground has become big news in China. Gay marriage is not allowed in China, and couples to travel as far as the United States to get married. The response to the proposal has been overwhelmingly positive, and many hope for the men to be able to marry in their own country soon. Debates about gay marriage in China have increased since the U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage in July.

United States

On Sept. 29, Planned Parenthood offered free testing for sexually transmitted diseases in honor of National Pink Out Day in 28 cities. The organization has been facing criticism from Republicans in Congress over federal funding. According to the Planned Parenthood website, one in five American women has received healthcare at Planned Parenthood. Pink Out Day is Planned Parenthood’s way of saying they stand with the over a million Americans who wish for politicians to stop regulating health care.

England

Fifteen World War II veterans have been awarded France’s Légion d’honneur, or Legion of Honor, the highest honor France offers for civilian or military valor, for their role in France’s liberation from the Nazis in 1945. They were awarded the honor in London, at the French ambassador’s home. Defense Minister and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords Earl Howe came for the event, and French Veterans Minister Jean-Marc Todeschini gave out the awards.

Egypt

An investigation of King Tut’s tomb revealed two chambers that had previously been undiscovered.  Archeologist Nicholas Reeves believes this to be the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti. Reeves hopes to use radar to search the walls of the tomb. Thermal imaging could show a hollow space, which would indicate a passageway that would likely lead to Nefertiti’s final resting place. Archeologists should have an answer in the next few months with the approval of the Egyptian Ministry of State for Antiques.

Venezuela

Venezuela will allow the Colombians deported during a smuggling crackdown to return. Over 1,700 Colombians were deported in the aftermath, and many of them claim to have been mistreated by Venezuelan police officers. This angered Colombia, though the two countries have since made peace. Venezuela has now agreed to let the deported Colombians back into the country so long as they agree to legalize their status. Though it will take time, the Venezuelan and Colombian governments aim to ultimately create a peaceful boarder.

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