Last week I heard in the news that breast cancer death rates are down nearly 30 per cent since 1980, and although I of course think good thoughts about figures like these and the new wonder drugs and breaks-through we have from time to time, my happiness is tinged with very personal sadness.
This week, someone you wouldn’t have expected to say this, said this: “What’s happening with the planet’s climate right now needs to be a wake-up call to all of us, meaning all heads of state, all heads of social organisations, in order to take a more energetic approach to countering the global changes to the climate.”
Today marks the 50th anniversary of independence for the Democratic Republic of Congo. At 4am this morning I caught a snippet of the BBC's Martin Plaut asking Congolese people in Kinshasa what there was to celebrate. Not a lot, came the reply. With crumbling infrastructure, continued border conflict, systematic rape of women and girls, and loose trade regulations on the extractives sector - there doesn't seem a lot for the population of DRC to feel good about.
Last night at the One World Media Awards, I looked at more than 100 clips from film, radio and feature articles on developing world stories. A broad sweep of organisations and journalists, from the BBC to the Coventry Telegraph, were celebrated for their coverage and creativity and dedication to stories that bring the world to the UK.
Six months is a long time in international politics. Last December the world (194 countries to be precise) and its media descended on Copenhagen for what was billed as the deal-making opportunity of a generation. But despite the frenzy and an astonishingly high-powered guestlist, the talks ended in qualified failure. Qualified, because it could have been worse - the Copenhagen Accord could have been legally binding - and that would have been a disaster.