Looking forward to 2020 coming to an end? Before we draw the line on this long year, let’s take a moment to realize that EVERYTHING hasn’t been that bad. These news selected by The HuffPost, small and large, light and serious, could console you for this year spent in confinement.
Kamala Harris becomes the first female Vice President of the United States
Joe Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris made history following the latter’s election as the 46th President of the United States. At 56 years old, the California senator born of a Jamaican economist father and an Indian mother specializing in breast cancer will have embodied the youth asset of the Democrat ticket, making an impression with her dynamism.
“If I am the first woman to hold this position, I will not be the last,” she said during her victory speech. Along with the unprecedented amount of LGBTQ + community representatives elected to Congress, Kamala Harris also heads a slew of firsts, Sarah McBride, is the first transgender woman elected State Senator and Jen O’Malley Dillon. Many experienced the victory of the Biden-Harris ticket as a breath of fresh air in this trying year.
In Zimbabwe, mining is now banned in nature reserves
Zimbabwe’s government has banned all mining in the country’s nature reserves September 8. The move follows a lawsuit to prevent a Chinese company from opening a coal mine in the country’s largest protected park. It is therefore a great victory for environmentalists who worried about the future of the Hwange nature reserve, the largest in the country and home to more than 45,000 elephants.
Scotland makes menstrual products free
Scotland is the first country to offer free menstrual products in 2020. After taking a first step on February 25 through the proposal of this law by the autonomous Parliament of the country, the deputies voted on November 24 in favor of a free access to periodic protection to fight against menstrual insecurity, a first in the world on this scale.
According to our colleagues from West France, nearly 10% of girls in the United Kingdom cannot “afford” hygiene products for their periods, while 19% use replacement protections. The provision of these products further aims to combat the culture of silence and the stigma surrounding menstruation.
Pygmy opossum survives Australian fires
Almost a year after bushfires devastated Australia and more than three billion animals were killed or displaced, a ray of hope has arrived in the form of a pygmy opossum, report our colleagues of HuffPost American.
Environmentalists feared that this species that was on Kangaroo Island had become extinct due to fires that killed 33 people and razed more than 24 million hectares. But, in early December, the island’s conservation teams who were assessing the damage caused by these fires, discovered a small possum on a small unburned plot. Proof therefore that the species has survived.
A 2nd patient fully recovered from HIV
A man with AIDS and nicknamed the “London patient” was declared in remission in March 2019. A year later, the medical journal The Lancet revealed on March 10, 2020, that the virus had completely disappeared from his blood and that he had stopped all treatment. He is therefore considered to be cured, after the “patient from Berlin” in 2011, the first man infected with HIV whose virus was no longer visible in his blood.
Strong links have been forged
Containment sometimes also gives rise to great stories. It was not given for Cathy, 64 years old and suffering from multiple sclerosis, who lost her husband a month before confinement. So as not to be alone, she welcomed Adam, a 21-year-old young man from Chad who was living in a hostel while waiting for his status to be regularized. The latter therefore shared their confinement, Cathy learned from Adam when the latter gave her a hand with the garden or sewing.
Interpol saves thousands of animals
An operation for the protection of wild species called “Thunder” was carried out between September 14 and October 11, 2020. It led to the arrest of almost 700 traffickers according to the international organization for police cooperation. Indeed, operations coordinated by Interpol in 103 countries have dealt a blow to the trafficking of wildlife and natural products. A hundred shipments of wood, thousands of turtles, birds and reptiles and more than a ton of ivory were seized, we could read in a statement released on November 9.
Newborn baby rips doctor’s mask off
Posted on Instagram on October 5, the photo of a newborn baby tearing off the mask of a gynecologist was widely shared, much to the surprise of the doctor in question. It was the baby’s father who immortalized this moment.
Loved by more than 130,000 Instagram users, black and white photography has traveled the world. “It’s time for positivity to go viral,” said Samer Cheaib, contacted by The HuffPost.
200 letters from WWII saved
Thousands of love letters have been saved in extremis. On Wednesday, December 2, Cécile, a lawyer in environmental law who was working that day in the Saint-Jean-d’Angély waste collection center, in Charente-Maritime, discovered 200 love letters dating from the Second World War , reported France Blue.
These letters were intended for the same person, Aimée, a resident of Loubillé in Deux Sèvres, again according to the local radio. They were found in a box that a man had just left. “The letters were buried under dozens of newspapers from the 1960s and 1970s,” the author of the discovery told France Blue.
Renewable energies in unprecedented growth
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable energies experienced exceptional growth in 2020. The IEA report reports the “deleterious, but not categorical” effect of COVID-19 on the overall growth of renewable energies, which, fortunately, will experience their historic maximum at the end of the year.
Indeed, during the period, renewable energies such as solar and wind represented 90% of new electricity production capacity according to the report. The latter envisages an advance of coal by green energy as the main energy source by 2025. It is important to point out, however, that this growth has been continuous in recent years. The results for 2020 can therefore be explained by a logical development.
This text was originally published on HuffPost France.
SEE ALSO: What awaits us in 2021?