Looking at the news is particularly tough at the moment – especially as international conflicts, turmoil in Westminster and difficult updates about the climate crisis are currently dominating the headlines.
But, there have been glimmers of good updates from around the world which you may have missed.
Here’s a look at five headlines to cheer you up as we head into the weekend.
1. Kenya gets planting
The African country has just announced there will be a surprise public holiday on Monday, November 13, so the general public can plant trees.
It’s part of Kenya’s goal to plant 15 billion trees by 2032 as a “patriotic contribution to the national efforts to save our country from the devastating effects of climate change”.
At the moment, around 7% of the country is covered in trees, but the government is pumping £64.6m into a scheme to increase foliage coverage to more than 10%.
Kenya’s president William Ruto has also made the National Landscape and Ecosystem Restoration Programme a priority since he was elected back in September 2022.
2. Drug to reduce breast cancer risk offered to thousands
An estimated 289,000 women in England at moderate or high risk of developing breast cancer will now be offered a tablet to try to prevent it, according to the NHS.
Anastrozole is currently available to women who may have been through menopause and have a risk of developing breast cancer.
Women will be able to take 1mg tablets once a day for five years.
It has “remarkable” potential to cut back on the number of people who go on to develop the disease, according to NHS experts.
It’s a real breakthrough especially as around 56,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with Britain’s most common form of cancer each year.
“It’s fantastic that this vital risk-reducing option could now help thousands of women and their families avoid the distress of a breast cancer diagnosis,” Amanda Pritchard, NHS England’s chief executive, said.
3. A breakthrough for Alzheimer’s?
In more NHS news, it seems blood tests for Alzheimer’s could be available within five years.
A £5 million project – the Blood Biomarker Challenge – will bring simple tests which could speed up diagnosis time and reach more people.
This includes looking for specific proteins which could occur before symptoms for dementia occur.
Using funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery, the Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Alzheimer’s Society and the National Institution for Health and Care Research are working to make blood tests on the health service a reality.
4. Nature boost for the Tees
The North East’s River Tees estuary is getting a helping hand with more than £30 million of funding to realign flood defences, restore mudflats, restore salt marsh habitats and remove tidal barriers in the area.
It’s hoped this will allow migratory fish to go back to rivers where they have “been absent for hundreds of years,” according to the government, and help increase climate resilience through the Tees Tideslands project.
The government’s Environment Agency will work with local partners to bring nature back into the area – and it is certainly needed. More than 90% of the intertidal habitat once in the region has been lost in just the last 200 years.
5. A brand new island was just born
An underwater volcanic eruption created a new island in Japan at the very end of October.
Based around one kilometre away the island of Iwo Jima and 1,200km from mainland Japan, the micro-island measures around 100 metres in diameter and reached as high as 20 metres above sea level.
While similar underground eruptions have occurred in recent years, the formation of an actual island is an exciting development.
Sadly though, experts say it is already shrinking.
According to Yuji Usui, an analyst in the Japan Meteorological Agency’s volcanic division, because of its “crumbly” make-up.
He told Sky News: “We just have to see the development. But the island may not last very long.”