France becomes world’s first country to enshrine abortion rights in constitution

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March 4 – 10 2024 C.E.

France becomes world’s first country to enshrine abortion rights in constitution

Lawmakers from both houses of the French Parliament voted 780 to 72 in favor of the measure, easily clearing the three-fifths majority needed to amend the French constitution. The French Senate and National Assembly each overwhelmingly approved the amendment earlier this year. The amendment states that there is a “guaranteed freedom” to abortion in France. Following the vote, the Eiffel Tower was lit up with the words “my body my choice.”

Utility solar dethrones coal as the cheapest power source in Asia

According a new analysis from Wood Mackenzie on the levelized cost of electricity for the Asia Pacific region, the cost of renewables reached a historic low in 2023. Renewable energy costs in Asia last year were 13% cheaper than coal and are expected to be 32% cheaper by 2030. Utility solar is now the cheapest power source in 11 out of 15 APAC countries. New-build solar project costs are expected to fall by another 20% by 2030.

Japan expands free day care centers to all children

The Japanese government announced that it will now offer free daycare to all children aged 6 months to 2 years old, regardless of parents’ employment status. The “Childcare Access for All” program, set to begin in April 2024 with a trial run in 150 municipalities, will see nationwide implementation by 2026. All children within the age range will be eligible, with initial access capped at 10 hours per month, though an increase is planned for 2026.

Vienna Philharmonic, once an all-male ensemble, now has 24 female musicians

A male bastion from its founding in 1842 until 1997, the Vienna Philharmonic now has 24 female players among 145 members. It is widely considered among the world’s preeminent orchestras. Harpist Anna Lelkes played with the Philharmonic for 26 years as a nonmember before she became the first woman admitted.

Scientists successfully 3D-print human skin tissue into open wounds

Scientists at Pennsylvania State University have successfully 3D-printed living human skin tissue directly into the open wounds of rats for the first time in history. This bioengineering milestone could pave the way for major developments in reconstructive surgery — or even human hair treatments. Current methods of skin and hair reconstruction — like skin grafts — often result in scars, meaning this discovery could lead to a more seamless treatment for humans.

Health Canada to completely ban use of strychnine poison

Strychnine has been used for decades to control animal pests, especially predators such as coyotes and wolves. Although it is highly effective, many consider it cruel. Strychnine kills by causing muscle cramps that eventually strangle the animal. A veterinary professor has called it “one of the worst ways to die.” The agency has declared a six-month phaseout period. That means all uses of strychnine will be illegal on September 7, 2024.

New satellite pinpoints global methane pollution in real-time

MethaneSAT, developed by the Environmental Defense Fund in partnership with the New Zealand Space Agency, is the size of a washing machine and cost $88 million to build and launch. While part of its mission is to spot polluters, the other side of the coin is that it can verify that others are indeed managing those emissions in a responsible fashion. Stemming methane leaks is the fastest single way to curb the escalation of average global temperatures, according to The Guardian.

Cancer vaccine for dogs almost doubles survival rates in clinical trial

Scientists at Yale University adapted existing human cancer treatments to find a new version that could benefit both humans and dogs. After conducting multiple clinical trials involving over 300 dogs over the past eight years, the researchers say that their canine cancer vaccine has almost doubled the 12-month survival rate for dogs with some types of cancer.

World’s largest rooftop solar power plant to be built in Denmark

Danish solar company SolarFuture has landed the order to establish a 35 MW rooftop solar power plant at DSV’s new logistics center in Horsens. The building at DSV’s logistics center is over 300,000 m2, an area that corresponds to the world’s 5th largest building, of which the majority of the roof surface will be covered by solar panels. The establishment of the construction site has just begun and is expected to be completed in December 2024.

Denver will now pay residents who commute on bikes

The city’s new Bicycling Rewards Program aims to encourage community members to ride a bike instead of driving. The program comes as a response to the city’s lagging climate goals. According to Denver Streets Partnership, transportation was responsible for 30% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, and this incentive is part of a larger research project to see what motivates locals to ditch their cars.

The Soviet Union becomes the first modern state in the world to formally legalize abortion (1920 C.E.)

The Bolsheviks under Vladimir Lenin made abortion legal within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic with their “Decree on Women’s Healthcare.” After the RSFSR, the law was introduced in Ukraine in July 1921 and then the remainder of the Soviet Union. The government saw legalization as a temporary necessity, as after the economic crisis and nearly a decade of unrest, war, revolution, and civil war, many women would be seeking abortions due to not being able to take care of their child.

The United States enshrines the right to abortion into national law (2038 C.E. ???)

After decades, if not centuries of debate, the U.S. Congress passes a bill formally recognizing and protecting pregnant people’s right to make the right choice for their bodies and to decide if and when they can truly offer their children the healthy, secure, and full life that they deserve.

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