7 Reasons The World Isn't Totally Screwed Right Now

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If you've turned on the news lately, you may have gotten the sense that the world is falling apart. From rising body counts in Gaza and Israel to a plane getting shot down in Ukraine to increasing violence in Nigeria and Syria, it can often seem like a never-ending stream of grim realities.

But although bad news is dominating the headlines, it doesn't mean those are the only stories out there. The sky isn't falling -- and the proof isn't hard to find.

Amazing Advances In Medicine Are Happening Daily

vaccination

  • Every day in Africa, more than 1,500 children die of malaria -- but that might not be the case for long. A pharmaceutical company is awaiting regulatory approval on a new drug that could be the world's first malaria vaccine. According to Time magazine, it may be available to the public in one year's time.
  • An experimental drug for hepatitis C got rid of the disease in more than 95 percent of patients during trials. It's currently awaiting FDA approval, and could be a cheaper way to treat the disease than medication currently on the market.
  • A 19-year-old from Chicago might be well on his way to discovering a cure for colon cancer. His experimental vaccine has been 100 percent effective in ridding young mice of malignant tumors.

Huge Strides Are Being Made For LGBT Equality

rainbow flag

  • On Aug. 1, Uganda struck down its draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act, which made some homosexual acts punishable by life in prison.
  • The United Nations announced last month that it will recognize same-sex marriage of all employees, regardless of whether their home country outlaws it.

Programs To End Poverty Are Working

kids receiving food

  • The U.S. food stamp program isn't just working -- it's helping millions. According to a recent article in the New Republic, "program benefits improve the long-term health outcomes of children" and "reduce the number of households with children in the U.S. living in extreme poverty by about half."

Protecting The Environment Is Increasingly Popular

recycling sign

  • The Philippines is hopping on the electric vehicle bandwagon -- or in this case, the electric taxi tricycle. In an effort to reduce urban pollution, the country has invested in 100,000 electric-powered tricycles that will be rolled out in 2016, according to Fast Company.
  • Indigenous farmers in Peru are banding together to fight climate change and diversify their agricultural output by saving and exchanging seeds. Their hope is that by collaborating, they can identify the strongest and most resilient crop varieties and encourage biodiversity throughout the country.

Women's Rights Are Improving

gender equality sign

  • Egypt criminalized sexual harassment last month with a law that can send offenders to jail for up to five years. And just last week, a group of dozens of civilians took to the streets to raise awareness about street harassment and violence against women.

New Technologies Are Enhancing People's Lives

kids computer

  • War victims in Sudan are getting help from a Los Angeles company that is using 3-D printers to create low-cost prosthetic limbs.
  • People in Zambia who have cellphones but no Internet connection will now be able to access health and education services online, thanks to an app recently rolled out by Facebook. The company says it plans to expand the program into other countries as well.
  • Researchers at the MIT Media Lab are working on a device called the "FingerReader," which scans written text for the visually impaired and reads it aloud. According to its creators, the device "could help the visually impaired read everything from books to restaurant menus to important forms at doctor’s offices, and thus increase a visually impaired person’s self-sufficiency."

Everyday People Are Coming Up With Innovative Solutions To Complicated Problems

light bulb bright idea

  • Four MBA students from McGill University in Canada might have come up with an unexpected cure for world hunger: insect farming. The students are testing their concept in a pilot program in Ghana, where they're teaching rural farmers how to breed tiny bugs called palm weevils.

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