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Crime in England and Wales has plummeted 80% in 30 years

As of 2024, violence, burglary, and car crime have been declining for 30 years and by close to 90%, according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW). The drop in violence includes domestic violence and other violence against women. Anti-social behavior has similarly declined. While increased fraud and computer misuse now make up half of crime, this mainly reflects how far the rates of other crimes have fallen.

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A tiny olive ridley sea turtle crawling on sand

Bangladesh achieves major victory in olive ridley turtles conservation

This year, Bangladesh has seen its highest number of olive ridley turtle eggs, thanks to extensive conservation actions, including building awareness among local people and the vigilance of local conservation groups to ensure favorable conditions for the species. The number of eggs has increased by almost 53% compared with the previous year, from 8,096 to 12,425. Those tallies represent a significant jump from the 4,713 eggs recorded in 2020-2021 and 5,763 in 2022-23. The olive ridley is listed as an endangered turtle on the IUCN Red List.

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Teal Wand

Groundbreaking at-home cervical cancer test granted ‘breakthrough’ status by U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The Teal Wand is an at-home self-collect device that aims to improve rates of screenings and provide a comfortable and accessible alternative to traditional pap smears. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has now granted the Teal Wand with Breakthrough Device status; a designation awarded to medical devices that the FDA considers “life-saving” or “life-changing.”

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Satellite view of hurricane

Global death tolls from natural disasters have plummeted over the last century

According to a recent study from Our World In Data, in the early-to-mid 20th century, the average annual death toll from disasters was very high, often climbing to over a million. In recent decades, such deaths are typically fewer than 20,000 people, even as natural disasters become more frequent and more extreme.

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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.

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Bicyclist on city street

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.

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Elephant

2023 was the first year without elephant poaching in Republic of Congo’s Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park

The park, which celebrated its 30th anniversary on December 31 of 2023, also shared an exciting conservation milestone: 2023 was the first year without any elephant poaching detected. “We didn’t detect any elephants killed in the Park this year, a first for the Park since [we] began collecting data. This success comes after nearly a decade of concerted efforts to protect forest elephants from armed poaching in the Park,” Ben Evans, the Park’s management unit director, said in a press release.

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Mail-in ballot with pen

Colorado to be first state in the U.S. to expand automatic voter registration to tribes

Tribal communities in Colorado share some of the same registration and voting barriers as other rural communities across the U.S., like geographic isolation and unreliable mail delivery. But according to the Native American Rights Fund, tribal communities also commonly experience obstacles like language barriers, a lack of voter registration opportunities, and state laws in some parts of the country that block polling places on tribal lands.

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