Good News 2017

WOMEN ARE ALLOWED TO DRIVE IN SAUDI ARABIA

WOMEN ARE ALLOWED TO DRIVE IN SAUDI ARABIA
The king of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, decreed this year that women shall be allowed to drive. Until now, they haven’t been allowed to get a driver’s licence or drive and would be arrested if they disobeyed the law.

Women in the country are also now allowed to attend events held in stadiums.

Read the full story at: BBC

THE FIRST MISS WHEELCHAIR WORLD

THE FIRST MISS WHEELCHAIR WORLD
On October 7, Belarusian Aleksandra Chichikova became the first Miss Wheelchair World thanks to the Polish foundation Jedyna Taka, whose mission is to spark interest in mobility issues around the world and change perceptions about people in wheelchairs.

Read the full story at: Mail Online

A BIONIC EYE RESTORES SIGHT

A BIONIC EYE RESTORES SIGHT
A Quebec woman has regained her sight through a prosthesis installed at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, the first health centre to perform this surgery in Quebec.

Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative retinal disease that affects around 1 in 4,000 people, Sandra Cassell was able to see her son for the first time by means of technology that stimulates the cells still alive in the retina.

Read the full story at: CBC

THE SNOW LEOPARD IS NO LONGER ENDANGERED

THE SNOW LEOPARD IS NO LONGER ENDANGERED
Since 1986, the snow leopard has been considered an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This year, it moved to the vulnerable species list.

Found in northern India and western China, the snow leopard’s population is estimated at between 2,500 and 10,000 mature specimens. Efforts will need to be ongoing for the species to continue to thrive, especially against poachers, who fetch top dollar for the pelts.

Read the full story at: BBC News

A YOUNG BOY SAVES FIVE PEOPLE

A YOUNG BOY SAVES FIVE PEOPLE
An eight-year-old boy saved five boaters in two days on the coast of Wales. On August 29, young Steffan Williams saved three tourists, including one senior, trapped by rising tides. Two days later, he did it again, saving two teenagers caught in the same “boat.”

Read the full story at: express.co.uk

LEGO WOMEN OF NASA FIGURINES ARE A HIT

LEGO WOMEN OF NASA FIGURINES ARE A HIT
A LEGO set featuring women from NASA was launched this year, becoming one of the most popular items on Amazon in just a few hours.

Figurines of astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, and astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison were pitched by science editor Maia Weinstock.

Read the full story at: Observer

TAIWAN LEGALIZES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

TAIWAN LEGALIZES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
In May, Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize marriage for same-sex couples.

Read the full story at: the guardian

THE FIRST TRANS WOMAN WAS ELECTED IN THE UNITED STATES

THE FIRST TRANS WOMAN WAS ELECTED IN THE UNITED STATES
Danica Roem became the first trans woman to be elected in the United States, winning a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates.

The most ironic part of the story is that the Democrat, and heavy metal singer, won her seat from Republican incumbent Robert Marshall, the author of a bill that would have prohibited trans people from using bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

Read the full story at: VOX

HOUSECLEANING COUNTS AS PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

HOUSECLEANING COUNTS AS PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Hate cleaning your house but hate exercising even more? Now at least you can tell yourself that mopping, sweeping, and dusting improves your health.

A study published in the Lancet shows that spending at least 30 minutes a day on these types of chores reduces your risk of premature death and cardiovascular disease. Walking to work also counts as exercise.

DRINKING COFFEE INCREASES LIFESPAN

DRINKING COFFEE INCREASES LIFESPAN
Good news for people who think one cup of coffee in the morning just isn’t enough—by drinking at least four cups of coffee a day, you’ll reduce your risk of death by 64 per cent compared to people who don’t drink any, according to a study conducted by the European Society of Cardiology. Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages around the world.

Read the full story at: GLP

PEANUT ALLERGIES COULD SOON BE CURED

PEANUT ALLERGIES COULD SOON BE CURED
A study conducted in 2013 by Australian researchers on a probiotic-based treatment that allowed 80 out of 100 children to tolerate peanuts was published this year in the Lancet.

Four years later, 70 per cent of the children in the study can still eat peanuts. Allergies affect 1 in 20 children, with peanut allergies causing the most instances of potentially life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

Read the full story at: telegraph

GOOGLE HELPS WITH DEPRESSION

GOOGLE HELPS WITH DEPRESSION
When you search for the word “depression” on a Google phone, it will suggest you answer a clinically validated screening questionnaire to find out if you’re suffering from this all-too-common mental illness.

Read the full story at: CNN

SILENT NO MORE

SILENT NO MORE
Bad news for creeps, but good news for victims of sexual harassment or misconduct—they have found a voice through the #MeToo movement, which this year has let their voices be heard and taken seriously.

Producer Harvey Weinstein, comedian Louis C.K., and actor Kevin Spacey, among others, have been taken down from their pedestals due to allegations against them. New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey got the ball rolling in October, reporting accounts from Weinstein’s victims.

AN HIV-POSITIVE CHILD IS CURED

AN HIV-POSITIVE CHILD IS CURED
A nine-year-old South African girl born with HIV has surprised experts by surviving without taking drugs, after receiving an antiretroviral treatment at an early age. Despite HIV sill being in her body, the virus isn’t strong enough to be transmitted or compromise her immune system.

These encouraging results, which were announced during the International AIDS Society conference held in Paris in July, give hope to those living relatively good lives with the AIDS virus due to advances in triple therapy.

Read the full story at: BBC

WAX WORMS COULD GET RID OF PLASTIC

WAX WORMS COULD GET RID OF PLASTIC
Plastic is one of the largest problems on the planet. Worldwide, over 80 million tonnes of polyethylene are produced, a plastic that takes 400 years to biodegrade.

Federica Bertocchini, a researcher at the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria in Spain, discovered that wax worms, from a widespread species called the greater wax moth, was able to digest 92 milligrams of plastic in 12 hours.

Read the full story at: national geographic

NEW HABITABLE PLANETS ARE DISCOVERED

NEW HABITABLE PLANETS ARE DISCOVERED
LHS 1140b is the name of a new habitable planet discovered by Jason Dittmann, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge.

Located 40 light years from Earth, this planet is the right distance from its star for there to be liquid water. In February, seven other habitable planets orbiting the Trappist-1 star were also revealed to the public.

Read the full story at: ESO

WORLD POVERTY IS DECREASING

WORLD POVERTY IS DECREASING
The Economist announced that the number of people living below the threshold of extreme poverty in the world has decreased by about a billion in 30 years, despite the world population increasing by roughly 4 billion people over the same period.

In 2013, the most recent year for which reliable data exists, 10.7 per cent of the world’s population lived on less than $1.90 per day, according to data from the World Bank.

Read the full story at: the economist

TRANS PEOPLE ARE NOW PROTECTED IN CANADA

TRANS PEOPLE ARE NOW PROTECTED IN CANADA
This year in Canada, gender identity has become protected from discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

If a trans person is discriminated against in some way, for instance, if they are fired from their job because of their gender or are forced to wear a uniform that doesn’t correspond to their gender identity, they can file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

The bill proposed by Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould was passed by the Senate in June.

Read the full story at: ctv news

FACEBOOK MONITORS FAKE NEWS

FACEBOOK MONITORS FAKE NEWS
During the last U.S. election, fake news was shared more often than real news on Facebook.

Taking the bull by the horns, the company, headed by Mark Zuckerberg, decided to inform its users how true an article might be by flagging when it has been refuted by third-party fact checkers.

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2017