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It wasn't all bad...

The week's good news: November 8, 2018

Catherine Garcia
Luke Walker/Getty Images for Red Bull
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1.

The ozone layer appears to be successfully repairing itself

Here's proof that when countries work together, good things happen. In 1985, scientists discovered a huge hole in the ozone layer above the South Pole. The ozone layer absorbs most of the sun's ultraviolet radiation, which can cause skin cancer and damage crops. Man-made chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) eat at the ozone layer, so in the late 1980s, 180 countries signed the Montreal Protocol, agreeing to phase out CFCs in order to prevent additional holes from forming. A new United Nations report says that the ozone layer is healing itself. By the 2030s, it said, the Northern Hemisphere could be fully repaired, with Antarctica following in the 2060s. The problem is not entirely solved, but this is still "really good news," Paul Newman, the report's co-chairman, told BBC News. "If ozone-depleting substances had continued to increase, we would have seen huge effects. We stopped that." [BBC News]

2.

Fisherman in New Zealand rescues toddler floating at sea

Had Gus Hutt been a minute later or gone to his usual fishing spot, he wouldn't have been in the right place at the right time to rescue a toddler who wandered from his parents' tent and ended up in the ocean. Hutt is a regular at Murphy's Holiday Camp on Matata Beach in New Zealand. Early in the morning on Oct. 26, he was about 50 feet from shore when he saw what he thought was a doll in the water. He grabbed its arm, and "he let out a little squeak and I thought, 'Oh God, this is a baby and it's alive,'" Hutt told The Whakatane Beacon. He pulled 18-month-old Malachi Reeve from the water and raced to shore. The camp's co-owner, Rebecca Salter, told The Associated Press it was "miraculous and fateful" that the sea was calm and Hutt chose to fish in a different spot that day. [The Associated Press]

3.

9-year-old designs 'I Voted' sticker for her county in Virginia

On Election Day, 9-year-old Natalie Nicholson's artwork was on display all over Culpeper County, Virginia. Nicholson designed the winning "I Voted" sticker for the county — an American flag background, with the outline of Virginia in the middle and the words "I Voted." The stickers are used to remind and encourage people to vote. Nicholson told WJLA she thought it was "really cool to see everybody wearing my art." All fourth graders in the county were invited to design a sticker, and Nicholson said it took her about a day and a half to finish. Nicholson may be too young to cast her own ballot, but she understands the significance. "I think it's very important for people to vote so they have a say in government," she told CBS News. [WJLA, CBS News]

4.

After 157 days in the water, Ross Edgley completes 1,791-mile swim around Great Britain

Ross Edgley on Sunday became the first swimmer to circumnavigate Great Britain, having spent 157 days straight in the water. Edgley set out on his 1,791-mile adventure on June 1 and swam for 12 hours every day; at night, he slept on a catamaran. He was joined by a three-person team, and to keep up his stamina, ate 10,000 to 15,000 calories every day. He had amazing experiences — in the Bristol Channel, a female minke whale swam next to him for several miles — as well as some scary ones: He was stung by jellyfish 37 times. After being in the water for 157 days, it felt strange to finally stand on solid ground, he told The Guardian. "I got out of the water and thought, 'This is gonna be amazing, I'll run in like Baywatch,'" Edgley said, but once he "made it to dry land, I was just relieved I didn't fully fall over." [The Guardian]

5.

200 volunteers form human chain to move books from old store to new space

A bookstore in Southampton, England, came up with a novel way to move inventory from its old location to a new space down the street: Form a human chain and pass the books down until they get to their new home. October Books knew it would be expensive to hire movers, so they asked people who frequented the shop if they'd join in and help pass the books from the old stockroom to the new store's main floor. Employee Amy Brown told NPR 100 people were expected to stop by late last month, and the store was shocked when more than 200 showed up. The line stretched for 500 feet, and the whole neighborhood got involved, with local restaurants passing out cups of tea and pedestrians joining in when they learned what was going on. In about an hour, more than 2,000 books made the journey down the line to the new space. [NPR]