This Week’s Good News From Around the World (March 11th, 2017)

People and Politics

Iceland Makes Gender Wage Gap Illegal

Iceland celebrated International Women’s Day 2017 by becoming the first country to legally require all employers to pay male and female employees equally. The new mandate will apply to both public and private companies with a staff of 25 or more, requiring the companies to provide certification that their wages are equal across genders. [Fortune.com]

India Introduces New Progressive Sex-Ed for Adolescents


New resource material for adolescent health educators in India includes positive information about same-sex attraction, contraception, and sexual violence. While the nation’s current laws still reflect a highly conservative viewpoint, the new educational program, prepared in collaboration with the U.N. Population Fund, will introduce more sex-positive and progressive ideals to some adolescents. [IndianExpress.com]

Local British Authorities Pledge Additional Homes for Syrian Refugees

Local authorities in Britain have pledged enough homes for 22,000 Syrian refugees – 2,000 more than originally offered by Prime Minister Theresa May. With the increase in numbers following campaigns by protest and activism groups, it appears the people of Britain may be more welcoming to refugees than their government believes. [TheGuardian.com]


Animals and the Environment

California Condors May Return Thanks to Yurok Tribe

Efforts by the Yurok Tribe of Northern California to reintroduce the California Condor to its native habitat appear to finally be garnering scientific and government support. The wild Condors are an important aspect of Yurok culture, and the tribe has been lobbying since 2003 to have captive Condors reintroduced to the land that they once populated. [Audubon.org]


Technology

Legal App Switches Programming to Help Refugees

DoNotPay, a chatbot app designed to help people challenge parking fines and find emergency housing, is now being harnessed to give legal aid to refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. and Canada. The bot’s creator, Stanford student Joshua Browder, has reprogrammed the app to allow refugees to fill out immigration applications for the U.S. and Canada, and to help with asylum support documentation in the U.K. [TheGuardian.com]

Elon Musk Pledges to Help End South Australia’s Power Crisis

Following a series of power blackouts in South Australia, Elon Musk and Tesla executive Lyndon Rive have offered to fix the problem by installing hundred of megawatts of battery storage power. Musk stated on Twitter that if the job wasn’t finished within 100 days, it would be free. [BBC.co.uk]

Tab For a Cause Donates Money as You Browse

Tab For a Cause is a browser extension that donates money to charity for every new tab you open while working or surfing the web. Designed by the non-profit organization Gladly, the app has thus far raised over $300,000 for charities including Human Rights Watch, Water.org, and Conservation International. [Tab.Gladly.io

Fellowship Program Offers Paid Aerospace Internships to Women

Wednesday saw the inception of the Brooke Owens Fellowship Program, a mentorship program that is offering 36 paid internships in the aerospace industry to promising young women. Created by former deputy NASA administrator Lori Garver, the program involves mentors and executives from a number of high-profile aerospace companies including SpaceX, NASA, Blue Origin and Virgin. [ArsTechnica.com]


Medicine

Scientists Reverse Sickle-Cell Anemia With DNA Therapy

Scientists at the Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris, France, were able to reverse a teenager patient’s sickle-cell anemia with the help of a groundbreaking new therapy. The therapy involved genetically altering the DNA of the teen’s bone marrow, allowing it to produce healthy red blood cells. So far the patient has been healthy and medication-free for 15 months. [BBC.com]

China Introduces Progressive Sex-Ed

A new, progressive sex-ed curriculum has been introduced in a handful of schools throughout China. The program includes information about gender equality and same-sex attraction, as well as providing young children with information and tools to recognize sexual assault. While some parents are concerned about the straightforward, graphic nature of the text, others are applauding the positive change. [Shanghaiist.com]

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Dallas Jeffs is a freelance writer, art school grad and lover of all things sci-fi. Visit her personal website HappySpaceNoises for book and art reviews, or follow her on Twitter.