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The Best News of 2017

Ian Miller, Staff

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2017 was a tough year. Many will remember it as a year of divisive U.S politics, heightened political tensions with North Korea, the opioid epidemic, and the mass shootings in rural Texas and Las Vegas. Others will remember the year for the rise of right-wing extremism, Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria, terrorist attacks in England and Spain, and growing environmental concerns. Masked with all these negative events and the popular belief that 2017 was the worst year of this decade, many have failed to recognize all the positivethat came about in the year. 

 

Here are the 10 best things that happened in 2017: 

 

1.) The “Caliphate” of the Islamic State was destroyed.   

At the height of the Islamic State’s existence they controlled territory the size of Indiana. Now, with the help of Kurdish Fighters, U.S troops, the Syrian Resistance, the Gulf states, and the militaries of Iraq and Syria, the “Caliphate” of the Islamic State has been defeated and destroyed. This isn’t the end of ISIS, but their territory has been stripped away from them, effectively taking away their major recruiting tool. 

 

2.) The #MeToo movement developed into a serious societal conversation. 

Women stood up together across the United States to expose countless examples of sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct in the workplace and our communities. Together, they brought about a movement that expelled countless predators from positions of power and pushed sexual violence into the national conversation. As a result, reforms and proposed legislation have circulated around the nation. 

 

3.) Both the world’s and United States’ economies grew.  

The global economy increased by 3%, according to the United Nations. Globally, the world’s stock markets maintained low volatility even as stocks hit all-time highs. Overall, 2017 was an outstanding year to be invested. 

4.) Global advancements occurred for the LGBTQ community. 

Australia became the 25th country to legalize gay marriage. Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize gay marriage. All the meanwhile, India’s Supreme Court, issued a historic ruling: LGBTQ people are legally allowed to practice their sexuality without discrimination. 

 

5.) There where massive global health advancements. 

Leprosy is now easily treatable across the planet, the Zika virus is almost nonexistent, cases of tuberculosis continued to fall, along with a drastic decrease in AIDS-related deaths. In the developed world cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory-related deaths continued to decline.  

6.) Emmanuel Macron was elected president in France. 

On May 7, the French people rejected the far-right anti-immigrant Mar Le Pen, electing Emmanuel Macron to the French presidency. This election countered the rise of anti-Semitism and xenophobia that have plagued Europe and the World in recent years, while also bringing political stability to one of Europe’s most important powers 

7.) Women in Saudi Arabia gained the right to drive. 

Women can finally get behind the wheel and drive in the ultra-traditionalist Saudi Arabia. Compared to American standards, this progress may appear small. However, this change could mark the beginning of the end for ultra-conservative Islamism that plagues domestic policy in the Gulf state. The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has ambitious plans to propel Saudi Arabia’s economy into the post-oil world by 2030. Women have a part in his plan. 

8.) The Women’s March brought out millions. 

On January 21, an estimated 4 million Americans took to the streets to take part in the Women’s March, effectively making it the largest single-day protest in United States history. The Women’s March influenced subsequent protests across the nation, while also inspiring an unprecedented amount of females to run for public office. 

 

9.) Martin Shkreli went to prison. 

In U.S. society, pharmaceutical companies have put a massive strain on general public’s wallets. These companies have continued to hike drug prices, effectively increasing their profit margins at the expense of the American people. These companies have worked both legally and illegally to protect and expand these profits. Matin Shkreli, known to many as “Pharma Bro,” is most known for his infamous decision to raise a lifesaving AIDS drug price by 5,000%. In 2017, he was found guilty three counts of fraud and may now face up to twenty years in prison.  

 

10.) Malala Yousafzai started college at Oxford. 

In 2017, Malala Yousafzai began enrollment in Oxford’s P.P.E (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics) program. Malala, the Pakistani Activist and youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is now one step closer to her ultimate goals of promoting peace and education in her home country of Pakistan and the World. This prestigious program has propelled aspiring politicians into the world political ring. Examples include David Cameron, Aung San Suu Kyi, Tony Abbott, Christopher Hitchens, and countless others. 

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