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POSITIVE NEWS - What went right this week: the other G7, plus more positive news

Posted 11th June 2021 • Written by •

Art installations cut straight to the point at the G7, Israel became the first nation to ban fur, and a plan was announced for a basic income trial in Wales, plus the week’s other positive news

Cheeky art installations cut to the chase at the G7

Recent G7 summits have been panned for failing to tackle the big issues of the day. Some have suggested that the world leaders present are better at generating hot air than reducing it.

Reminding the G7 about its obligations to people and the planet this week were the artists Joe Rush and Alex Wreckage (main picture, above). They created a Mount Rushmore-style sculpture of the G7 leaders out of electronic waste, which they dubbed ‘Mount Recyclemore’. 

The robot-like faces will stare across Cornwall’s Carbis Bay at the real leaders this weekend as they convene for the latest G7 summit. The installation will quietly urge them to tackle the growing scourge of electronic waste, 15.9m tonnes of which is produced by G7 nations annually.

Separately, two giant footprints (pictured) appeared on the sand in Carbis Bay to highlight the size of the G7’s carbon footprint compared to the rest of the world. Other activist-led activity taking place alongside the G7 includes Sea7, an event where conservationists will discuss solutions to ocean degradation.

The G7 backed a ‘historic’ deal to tax multinationals

Before their representatives decamped to Cornwall for the G7 summit, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada and the US reached a “historic” deal to make multinationals pay more tax.

Finance ministers of the seven nations agreed to tackle tax avoidance by making companies pay more in the countries where they do business. They also agreed to a minimum corporate tax rate of 15 per cent. 

The rules will only apply in the G7, and 15 per cent is on the low side compared to existing corporate tax rates. Nevertheless, the move is considered a progressive step towards a global agreement on tax reform, which once seemed unlikely. 

Israel became the first nation to ban fur

Animal rights campaigners claimed a major victory this week, as Israel became the first country to ban the sale of fur. The historic step comes as other nations reconsider their relationship with a controversial material that is fast falling out of fashion. 

“Israel has made history and put yet another nail in the cruel fur industry’s coffin,” said Mimi Bekhechi, vice president of international programmes at Peta.

“With the British government currently exploring a similar ban – which would make it the first country in Europe to close its borders to fur – we’re getting ever closer to a day when no animals are suffocated or skinned alive for collars and cuffs.”

Drugs offered hope for people with breast cancer and Alzheimer’s

Two drugs brought fresh hope for people with breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease this week. 

A trial of the breast cancer drug olaparib found that it reduced the risk of invasive recurrence, secondary cancers or death by over 40 per cent, according to the Guardian. 

Meanwhile, the first new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease for nearly 20 years was approved by US regulators, potentially paving the way for its use in the UK. Aducanumab was found to slow cognitive decline, although some scientists remain unconvinced as to its effectiveness. 

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