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Year in review: 23 positive headlines that brightened up 2023

As the year ends, let's focus on the good it brought.
Year in review: 23 positive headlines that brightened up 2023
Posted at 1:18 PM, Dec 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-14 14:19:01-05

Yes, we know, the world's got its share of downers, but there's also a whole lot of sunshine peeking through those cloudy headlines. 

Having weathered this 12-month marathon, let's bid 2023 a grand farewell by highlighting all the good it brought. So, to kick off 2024 with some positive vibes, here are 23 headlines that brightened up 2023.

US

• The Biden-Harris administration granted forgiveness for more than $127 billion in student loan debt, benefiting nearly 3.6 million borrowers.

• The collaborative Prison Education college degree program by Yale and the University of New Haven produced its first graduates, with seven inmates earning associate degrees.

• The U.S. Department of Transportation allocated $110 million for projects in 17 states to protect wildlife by reducing vehicle-wildlife collisions by creating new crossings and fencings.

• The Sacramento Zoo announced the birth of a critically endangered Sumatran orangutan — the first born at the zoo since 1981.

World

• The United Nations said the Earth's ozone layer is on the mend and is set to patch up the Antarctic “ozone hole” by 2066, just 42 years from 2024. 

• Scientists found Argoland, a continent that broke away 155 million years ago from the supercontinent in Southeast Asia.

• India became the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon, joining the United States, the Soviet Union and China.

• Japan uncovered over 7,000 previously unaccounted-for islands through digital mapping, revealing a total of 14,125 islands within its territory.

Sports

• Simone Biles became the most decorated gymnast in history when she won her 29th world championship medal, bringing her total to 37 medals across championships and the Olympics.

• Coco Gauff made history at the 2023 U.S. Open by becoming the youngest American to win a match since Serena Williams in 1999.

• Liam Hendriks made an emotional return to Major League Baseball after overcoming Stage 4 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

• Pennsylvania golf pro Braden Shattuck overcame a major car crash and later qualified for the PGA Championship.

Entertainment

• Female artists overwhelmingly dominated the Grammy nominations, securing the majority of spots in several key categories.

• This was a record-breaking year for concert attendance, as concert tours made a significant impact with a growing appetite for live music experiences.

• Taylor SwiftBeyoncé and Barbie revived U.S. movie theaters with the films "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour," "Barbie" and "Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé," breaking box office records.

• 'NSYNC made a comeback after more than two decades, treating fans to a brand-new song.

Health

• A new adaptive device offered hope and independence to spinal cord injury patients, enabling them to overcome limitations.

• The drug donanemab demonstrated potential in slowing the progression of Alzheimer's disease, with a reported 35% reduction in cognitive decline in a phase 3 clinical trial.

• A drug that is being developed to extend the lifespan of some dogs by at least one year achieved a huge milestone as the FDA approved its effectiveness expectation.

• A new program using virtual reality immersion at a hospital in Florida is giving people with autism the skills and confidence to drive.  

Tech

• The Federal Aviation Administration granted approval to two flying cars this year, opening up the skies in the U.S.

• Detroit launched the country's first road with wireless charging to encourage electric vehicle use for a cleaner future.

• Ending on a high note, Apple announced it will make texting Android users easier and might ditch those annoying green bubbles.

Ta-da! Those were some of the good moments we had this year. Now, we wish you a very happy New Year and hope you stick around in 2024 for your daily dose of news and a sprinkle of joy to make your day a bit brighter.

SEE MORE: What were Scripps News' most-clicked-on stories of 2023?


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