ICYMI: Feel-good stories from around the world | News | DW | 21.05.2021

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ICYMI: Feel-good stories from around the world

A Spanish police officer rescues a baby from drowning off the coast of Ceuta while Wales elects the world's first non-binary mayor. DW shares some feel-good stories of the week.

Spanish police officer Juan Francisco rescues baby at sea

Spanish police officer Juan Francisco say the baby and mother are now doing well

Spanish Guardia Civil officer Juan Francisco and his colleagues this week rescued a baby from drowning off the coast of the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

Francisco jumped to the rescue as the mother was carrying the baby on her back in a desperate attempt to swim to Ceuta.

The mother and baby were among 8,000 migrants who attempted to cross from Morocco to Ceuta within 36 hours, starting Sunday night.

"There were three of us in the water, we were helping various people," Francisco told Spanish television broadcaster La Sexta.

"I saw a woman with a toy life jacket, trying to survive... I thought she was wearing a backpack with some clothes inside, but after one movement I realized it was a baby," he said.

"A colleague and I went quickly towards them. I took the baby and he helped the mother."

Francisco said that the baby and his mother are now doing well, according to information he received.

Watch video 02:08

Ceuta migrant crisis: Minors face uncertain future

COVID vaccines effective against known variants so far

The World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, voiced optimism on Thursday about the ability of vaccines to protect against current coronavirus variants.

"All COVID-19 virus variants that have emerged so far do respond to the available, approved vaccines," Kluge said.

The news comes offers some relief amid concerns surrounding the spread of variant  B.1.617, which was first discovered in India and has been identified by the WHO as a variant of "concern.".

Health worker preps vaccine

'All COVID-19 virus variants that have emerged so far do respond to the available, approved vaccines,' the WHO says

'Progress made' on Target 11 global biodiversity goals

Ahead of the UN's next Biodiversity Conference in China in October, conservationists reported "major progress" in rescuing the world's shrinking biodiversity over the past decade by establishing conservation areas on land and at sea.

The "Protected Planet" study by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and International Union for Conservation (IUCN) based in Switzerland compares "Target 11" goals set at the 2010 Nagoya/Aichi summit hosted by Japan with global trends in 2020.

That Target 11 urged the world to "protect and integrate" at least 17% of its terrestrial and inland waters and 10% of its coastal and marine areas. 

The monitored gain in protected areas established between 2010 and last year was 22 million square kilometers (8.5 million square miles) of land meeting that target and 28 million square kilometers of oceanic waters.

The findings merited "celebration," said the authors.

Watch video 03:28

Preserving Biodiversity in Germany

Wales elects non-binary mayor

Twenty-three-year-old Owen Hurcum has become Wales' first openly non-binary mayor after being chosen by fellow councillors on Bangor City Council in the county of Gwynedd.

Hurcum, a Labour Party member who says they identify as genderqueer or agender, said they were the world's first openly non-binary mayor and also Wales' youngest ever.

Owen J Hurcum

The newly elected mayor identifies as genderqueer or agender