Home / Royal Mail / 10 good news stories this week, from tear-free onions to Rose Ayling-Ellis’s sign language triumph

10 good news stories this week, from tear-free onions to Rose Ayling-Ellis’s sign language triumph

Sign of the times

The ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ live UK tour will have British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters at every show, following a campaign by the EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis, who won the most recent BBC series. For each of the 33 shows across the UK, producers are providing a registered interpreter who will appear on two large screens either side of the stage, meaning deaf people can sit almost anywhere in the venues and fully enjoy the event. It will be the UK’s first arena touring show that will have a BSL interpreter at every performance.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou has become the first black woman to appear on a US quarter, seen above (Photo: Burwell and Burwell Photography/United States Mint via AP)

The late poet and author of 36 books has become the first black woman to appear on a US quarter. The newcoin, which went into circulation on Monday, features an image of Angelou with her arms outspread, with a flying bird and a rising sun behind her. The US Mint said the image of Angelou – who was the author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, in which she wrote about the racial discrimination she experienced growing up – is “inspired by her poetry and symbolic of the way she lived”.

Tear-free onions

Next week Waitrose will begin selling sweet “tearless” onions. Called Sunions, the vegetable has been developed by 30 years of cross-breeding less pungent strains of onion and comes with a promise that “not a single tear” will be shed while chopping.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are only the fourth music group to feature in a dedicated stamp issue – following on from The Beatles in 2007, Pink Floyd in 2016 and Queen in 2020 (Photo: Royal Mail/PA Wire)

Royal Mail has announced that it is releasing a special set of stamps to mark the 60th anniversary of the rock band this year. The 12 commemorative designs cover some of the Rolling Stones’ most famous performances, including London Hyde Park on 5 July 1969, as well as their Knebworth show in August 1976 and Rotterdam concert in August 1995. Ronnie Wood, Sir Mick Jagger and Keith Richards – the surviving members of the band – worked closely with Royal Mail to produce the stamps, which go on sale next Thursday.

Scottish coral

The discovery of a new species of coral in waters off the coast of Scotland has sparked fresh scientific excitement about the biodiversity of the deep sea. “Pseudumbellula scotiae” was found growing at a depth of up to 2,000m in a deepwater basin off the north-west coast of Scotland by scientists from the Scottish Government and the University of Seville.

While it is a type of sea pen – a group of soft corals that grow in cold and tropical waters around the world – laboratory analysis revealed that it is not only a brand new species of soft coral, but that it is from a previously unknown family of sea pens.

David Bennett

The 57-year-old American has become the first person in the world to receive a heart transplant from a genetically modified pig, in a groundbreaking seven-hour procedure. Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Centre were granted special dispensation by the US medical regulator to carry out the procedure on the basis that Mr Bennett – who has terminal heart disease – would otherwise have died. The surgery, known as xenotransplantation, has previously not worked because of patients’ bodies rejecting the animal organ. However, Mr Bennett is said to be doing well.

Sea dragons

Scientists have hailed one of the ‘greatest finds’ in British palaeontological history after the largest fossilised remains of a prehistoric ‘sea dragon’ were discovered in the Midlands (Photo: Bob Nicholls/Anglian Water/PA)

The fossilised remains of a 10m-long ichthyosaur – described as a “sea dragon” – have been found in a reservoir owned by Anglian Water in Rutland. Marine reptiles which resembled dolphins, ichthyosaurs were common in Britain until their extinction around 90 million years ago. The fossil found in Rutland dates back 180 million years and is the largest and most complete skeleton of its kind found in the UK.

A town down under

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of a wealthy Roman trading town dating back more than 2,000 years along the route of the HS2 railway. The discovery, which includes jewellery, fine art and more than 300 coins, was uncovered half a metre below the surface of a remote field in Northamptonshire. It is one of more than 100 archaeological sites that have been examined along the HS2 rail network since 2018, and among the most significant findings to date.

More on Iweekend

Mediterranean diet

Eating more than half a tablespoon of olive oil daily significantly reduces the risk of dying from heart disease and cancer by nearly a fifth, a study has shown. The research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, looked at the diets of healthcare workers over the span of 30 years and found that the group taking in the most olive oil – either in salad dressings, on bread or while cooking and frying – were less likely to die from a number of causes.

James Courtemanche

The Canadian, from Sudbury, Ontario, has won thousands of pounds for the second time in five months – on instant lottery scratch tickets bought from the same store. The 43-year-old first won $100,000 (£58,321) on an Instant Money Match ticket in August. Just months later he won again, this time $88,888 (£51, 840) after buying another ticket from the same shop.

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