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Remembering 2017, the good and bad

on Tuesday, 02 January 2018. Posted in Columns, Opinions

By Brenda Harrison, Editor

As we embark on a new year, let’s recap some of the good and bad things that happened in 2017. Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America on Jan. 21.

On Feb. 11, North Korea receives international condemnation when it tests a ballistic missile over the Sea of Japan.

On March 10, the United Nations warn of the most destructive humanitarian crisis since World War II, with up to 20 million people at risk of death in locations such as Yemen and Somalia.

The US drops the MOAB, the largest non-nuclear bomb in history on April 13.

Women in Saudi Arabia were granted permission to drive starting in June, reported The Washington Post.

On June 13, Verizon closed on its acquisition of Yahoo and its popular media assets, including its sports and finance content. The purchase price was $4.48 billion, $350 million less than agreed on when the acquisition deal was struck in May 2015. Verizon negotiated the lower price after Yahoo disclosed it had been hit with two massive security breaches in 2013 and 2014 that compromised more than 1.5 billion subscriber accounts.

Hurricane Harvey struck South Texas on Aug. 25. In a four-day period many areas received more than 40 inches of rain as the system slowly meandered over eastern Texas and adjacent waters, causing catastrophic flooding.

Hurricane Irma, developing on Aug. 30, caused widespread destruction and catastrophic damage throughout its 11-day span, particularly in parts of the northeastern Caribbean and the Florida Keys. At times a Category 5 hurricane, Irma packed winds up to 185 mph. As of Oct. 10, the hurricane had caused 134 deaths, according to Wikipedia.

Hurricane Maria, regarded as the worst natural disaster on record in Dominica and Puerto Rico struck havoc in September. Reaching Category 5 strength on Sept.18 just before making landfall on Dominica, Maria became the first Category 5 hurricane on record to strike the island. After crossing Dominica, Maria achieved its peak intensity over the eastern Caribbean with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph. Weakening to a high-end Category 4, Maria struck Puerto Rico and moved on to the Bahamas. As of Nov. 20, at least 547 people were killed and many are still missing.

On Oct. 1, Stephen Paddock commits the deadliest gun crime in American history, opening fire on a crowd in Las Vegas and killing 58 people, with another 500 or so injured.

CNN Money reports on Nov. 30 that the Dow has spiked nearly 6,000 points since President Trump’s election in 2017, notching 80 daily record highs since then.

The S&P 500 is up 20% and Nasdaq is up a whopping 30% since the election.

On the health scene: Global measles deaths dropped below 100,000 for the first time last year – an 84% fall since 2000.

Israeli scientists announced a new treatment for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. After the famed “ice bucket challenge” helped raise money to research a cure, Israeli scientists at Ben-Gurion University found a way to stop the increased activity of glial cells, restoring the nervous system’s immune defenses and increasing life expectancy, reported The Times of Israel. This new drug candidate may prove effective in boosting the self-cleansing mechanism of the human brain, thereby improving the lives of millions of people.

Scientists invented a spray gun that shoots stem cells onto burn victims to regrow their skin without scars. In 2017, RenovaCare developed a device called the SkinGun that sprays victims with their own stem cells. These cells help the damaged skin regrow with no scars. The device is awaiting FDA approval, but has already proven successful for patients in both the US and Germany, reported “Newsweek.”