sunflower.jpgIn times of high unemployment, scary news from overseas, and embarrassing political press conference at home, it’s inspiring to know there’s some good news out there.

Sit back, let your guard down, and relish our list of the Best Good News of the Summer.

1) Crime is Plummeting Across North America — But No One Knows Why

Toronto is celebrating an “unprecedented” nearly 30 percent drop in crime, but this downward trend in crime statistics is being documented in cities across Canada and the United States.

From the state of Washington to Oregon, to Vermont, and in big cities like Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago and New York, both property and violent crime rates have steadily declined despite the economic downturn. Even Detroit has seen steady decreases, along with huge double-digit improvements in Tampa, Memphis and Milwaukee.

A score of scholars have produced a wide variety of theories to explain the drop, but none of these explain why Canada also has seen such improvement.

2) Lady Liberty’s Crown Opens to Tourists, First Time Since 9/11


July 4th marked the first time visitors could tour the crown of the Statue of Liberty since it was closed following the 9/11 attacks. 240 visitors per day will now be able to reserve a spot in line to climb the 354 steps to the top. But everyone can tour the crown from home by taking the new online virtual tour.

The National Park Service has all the details.

3) 10 Banks Repaying Bailout Money – With $1.8 Billion in Interest for US Treasury


Ten of the nation’s largest banks are returning more than 34 percent of the TARP bail-out loans including $1.8 billion in interest. J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Capital One, American Express and Morgan-Stanley among others, have been paying back $68 billion of the $199 billion in taxpayer money over the last month. The decision is a milestone for the financial rescue plan, reflecting new confidence that some large banks have returned to stable profitability.

4) Major Cell Phone Companies Agree on Universal Charger 


Major cell phone manufacturers agreed in late June to introduce a universal adaptor by January 1. Industry leaders, including Apple, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, have struck a deal to introduce a one-size-fits-all charger in Europe, eliminating a major source of mountains of electronic waste.

5) Passenger Spots Leaking Jet Fuel, Averting Mid-Ocean Crash


A Staff Sgt. seated as a passenger spotted a fuel leak during take-off and possibly saved the lives of more than 300 aboard the airliner in route to Japan last May. After repeatedly trying to alert the air crew, the ranking pilot finally made a decision to divert the flight to San Francisco. He said they would have never made it to Japan if it wasn’t for the passenger’s insistence that an emergency situation was developing. The aircraft was losing 6,000 pounds of fuel an hour. (This photo was used to persuade the flight attendent of the trouble.)

6) Child Deaths Worldwide Drop by 28 Percent Over Seven Years


Deaths of children under five years of age have plummeted by almost one third since 1990, the United Nations World Health Organization announced at the end of May. 28 percent fewer young children worldwide died in 1997 than the number estimated to have died in 1990.

“The decline in the death toll of children under five illustrates what can be achieved by strengthening health systems and scaling up interventions, such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets for malaria and oral rehydration therapy for diarrhoea, increased access to vaccines and improved water and sanitation in developing countries,” said one WHO director.

graduation-cap.jpg7) Homeless Girl Finds a Home: Harvard

She is known as the “smart girl”. . . What her friends did not know is that she has been homeless for years. But not anymore. Her plane left for Harvard the day after graduation. As long as she can remember, Khadijah Williams has floated from shelters to motels in Los Angeles with her mother, living out of garbage bags, among prostitutes and drug dealers. Every morning, she upheld her dignity and held fast to the fact that her teachers marked her as gifted when she was 9-years-old after scoring in the 99th percentile on a state exam. (LA Times)

8) U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions Are Dropping


Amid concern over global climate change, the U.S. government reported in late May that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions declined by 2.8% last year, the largest annual drop since the government began regular reporting of climate-changing greenhouse gas pollution. The decline was attributed to a 2.2% drop in energy consumption.

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