A year of hardship, but not only. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the last twelve months have been marked by uncertainty, intense social debates and great psychological fatigue for many French people. However, in the shadow of worrying figures and health measures, great victories have occurred, both scientifically, sporting and legislative. Franceinfo invites you to watch the glass half full, essential to toast (in moderation) to this good news. Best wishes !
1. NASA’s Perseverance robot landed safely on the planet Mars. He is responsible foranalyze Martian soil to find out if, one day, there could have been life on the Red Planet. While waiting for an answer to this fascinating enigma, the little robot has delivered a historical document: the first sound recording captured on Mars by microphones.
2. Good news for the climate: short air travel has been banned in France, if an alternative train journey lasting less than 2.5 hours is possible. This flagship measure of the Climate Law marks the end of certain domestic airlines, such as the connections between Paris-Orly and Nantes, Lyon or Bordeaux. An exception will be made for connecting journeys.
3. Malaria has been eradicated in China after seventy years of struggle. The World Health Organization has confirmed that the country, which had 30 million cases per year in the 1940s, had not experienced an indigenous case in the past four years. A big victory that China shares with a much smaller country, El Salvador, which officially got rid of the disease this year.
4. Judokate Clarisse Agbégnénou won her first Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, taking her revenge on Slovenian Tina Trstenjak, who beat her in the final at the Rio Games in 2016. A consecration for the 29-year-old athlete, five-time world champion, who only lacked Olympic gold to complete her impressive record .
5. Glue hunting has been declared illegal in France. This “traditional” method of catching birds using sticks coated with glue, much criticized by animal rights associations, has been banned by the Council of State, the highest French court.
6. Beauval Zoo (Loir-et-Cher) saw the birth of two eagerly awaited pandas. The female Huan Huan, loaned by China, gave birth to two small females who were baptized Yuandudu and Huanlili, surnames inspired by those of their parents. Last I heard, the twins were in good health and each weighed 7.5 kilos for just over 50 centimeters.
7. With regard to the births of human beings, medically assisted procreation has been opened to all women in France within the framework of the law on bioethics. A reform eagerly awaited by many single women and couples of women wishing to found a family, who had until then to carry out procedures abroad.
8. Archaeologists have made an “exceptional” discovery of objects from the Bronze Age, in the Allier region. They unearthed vases, jewelry and weapons that would have been buried nearly three thousand years ago as offerings. Enough to provide valuable information on the Bronze Age, a period still unknown to specialists.
9. There is no longer any leaded gasoline sold in the world. The abandonment of this additive supposed to improve engine performance will prevent more than 1.2 million premature deaths and save 2,450 billion dollars a year, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
10. Contraception becomes free for all women up to 25 years old in France. This measure, announced in September by the Minister of Health, includes hormonal contraception, prescription consultation “and all the care associated with this contraception”, assured the government. This measure comes into force on Saturday, January 1, 2022.
11. The Swiss have overwhelmingly approved of same-sex marriage. The text voted by referendum also authorizes same-sex couples to adopt a child jointly. In addition, female couples will be able to use sperm donation for medically assisted procreation (MAP).
12. The death penalty has been completely abolished in Kazakhstan, Malawi and Sierra Leone. These three countries join the 108 countries that had previously abolished the death penalty in their legislation for all crimes, according to the latest Amnesty International report On the question...
13. For the first time, a vaccine to prevent malaria in children will be deployed on a massive scale in Africa. This disease, carried by mosquito bites, kills around half a million people each year, almost all in sub-Saharan Africa, including 260,000 children under five. It is also the very first vaccine against a parasitic disease.
14. The French football team won the 2020-2021 Nations League, a comfort after a disappointing streak at Euro football in July. Ported by Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappé, France took the title against Spain by winning two goals to one. What to dream of a new trophy for the next World Cup, which will begin in November 2022 in Qatar?
15. Finished, the plastic packaging for many fruits and vegetables. From January 1, 2022, this type of packaging will be prohibited for apples, pears, bananas, cucumbers or even round tomatoes. A grace period ranging from one to four years, depending on the product, has however been granted so that manufacturers can adapt.
16. For the first time, a Frenchman has been crowned MotoGP world champion. At only 22 years old, the young driver Fabio Quartararo won the precious title at the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna. One “dream” for the driver nicknamed El Diablo (“the devil” in French), who snatched this title at the end of a painful season.
17. A promising new treatment against breast cancer has been authorized in France. The Trodelvy, designed by the American laboratory Gilead, offers new hope to patients with so-called “triple negative” cancer, the most aggressive form of this disease – including 9,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
18. Researchers say a young woman recovered from HIV without treatment. An extremely rare remission, which could help better fight against the virus responsible for AIDS, which we know today to contain but not to make disappear. And a new source of hope for the 37.7 million people living with HIV around the world, according to UN figures.
19. Joséphine Baker, artist and icon of the Resistance, entered the Pantheon. Forty-six years after his death, the star of the interwar years became the first black woman to join the great French figures. A celebration commensurate with his commitment to France and against Nazi barbarism.
20. A new step has been taken against waste. France has chosen to ban the destruction of unsold non-food items, which concerns two billion euros of goods each year. As of January 1, 2022, it will no longer be possible to burn unsold electronics, textiles, furniture or hygiene products, for example, under penalty of heavy fines.
21. Thirty years after its big brother Hubble, the James Webb telescope finally launched into space over Christmas. This gem of technology, the most powerful telescope ever launched into the cosmos, will scan the light of the first stars that formed shortly after the Big Bang, and thus deliver valuable information on the origins of our universe.