2017 in Good News

2017 might have been gloomy but it was not entirely bad after all.

We at INKLINE are strong believers that the good always, always, outshines the bad. Here is a list of 12 good news – one for each month of the year – to jumpstart 2018 with more positivity!

January: Sweden to finally stop categorising transgender people under ‘mentally ill’ 

Following the footsteps of the World Health Organisation, Sweden takes the long-overdue decision to acknowledge transgenders with dignity. Kristina Bränd Persson, the organisation’s head, said in a press release: “This is a completely reasonable change. Many divisions and categories are obsolete. For us, the decision is uncontroversial. We tend to follow the changes the WHO makes.”

© Ted Eytan at Flickr

February: HSBC commits to cutting ties with palm oil companies 

HSBC pledges to cut ties with palm oil companies destroying rainforests and peatlands. The bank said: “We recognise that the finance sector can play a greater role and that the wider market participants — growers, processors, consumer goods companies, NGOs and banks — can work together more successfully to promote a sustainable palm oil sector.”

© CIFOR at Flickr

March: Iceland pledges to eradicate gender pay gap by 2022 

Iceland becomes the first country in the world to force companies to prove equal pay. “Equal rights are human rights,” said Equality and Social Affairs Minister Thorsteinn Viglundsson. “We need to make sure that men and women enjoy equal opportunity in the workplace. It is our responsibility to take every measure to achieve that.”

© World Bank Photo Collection at Flickr

April: US cancer death rates fall as survival rates rise 

Research shows cancer death rates in the United States are falling and the five-year survival rates of those diagnosed to be rising. The North American Association of Central Cancer Registries executive director Betsy Kohler said, “The continued drops in overall cancer death rates in the United States are welcome news, reflecting improvements in prevention, early detection, and treatment.”

© Brianna Privett at Flickr

May: Black rhinos reintroduced in Rwanda 10 years after disappearance

18 eastern black rhinos have been moved to Akagera national park, Rwanda, from South Africa.“Rhinos are one of the great symbols of Africa yet they are severely threatened and are on the decline in many places across the continent due to the extremely lucrative and illegal rhino horn trade,” said African Parks boss Peter Fearnhead.

© Gerry Zambonini at Flickr

 

June: Mosul celebrates Eid without IS for the first time in years

The Iraqi city of Mosul celebrated its first Eid in many years after the IS militants were ejected from parts of the city. The Iraqi forces took the Eastern side of the city after 100 days of fighting and started attacking the Western side in February, with the militants now confined within the Od City of Mosul.

July: France announces plan to ban petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040

French environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, has announced that the country will outlaw the sale of all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. He added: “The government will offer each French person a bonus to replace their diesel car dating before 1997 or petrol from before 2001 by a new or second-hand vehicle.”

© Danielle Scott at Flickr

August: Huge win for women’s rights as India bans Islamic instant divorce

India’s top court has declared the controversial Islamic practice of ‘triple talaq’ as unconstitutional. “It will change the entire landscape of Muslim families. It’s now in the mainstream and will protect not only women but children. Families will be more stable because children will also be protected,” said Chandra Rajan, an advocate for the All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIWPB).

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September: Scientists engineer antibody that can attack 99% of HIV strains 

Scientists have engineered an antibody that can attack 99% of the HIV strains, which effectively prevents infection in primates. A study, published in the journal Science, combines three such antibodies into an even more powerful “tri-specific antibody.” The tri-specific antibody is more potent and has greater breadth than any single naturally occurring antibody that’s been discovered.

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October: New Zealand government to plant 100 million trees every year 

New Zealand government plans to transition its power grid to 100 percent renewable energy on top of planting 100 million trees every year. “I do anticipate that we will be a government, as I said during the campaign, that will be absolutely focused on the challenge of climate change,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

© Brandon Oh at Flickr

November: Australia votes 61.6 percent in favour of same-sex marriage 

Marriage equality in Australia could be legal by Christmas after 61.6% of the participants in the voluntary survey approve a change to the law. “They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love. And now it is up to us here in the parliament of Australia to get on with it, to get on with the job the Australian people asked us to do and get this done,” said Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

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December: China’s tech giant launches $1.5 billion fund to fight poverty

Tech giant Alibaba group have made plans to spend $1.51 billion on poverty alleviation in the next five years. “We’ve decided to make our contribution to achieving the goal of wiping out poverty,” said Jack Ma, founder and chairman of Alibaba.

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