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POSITIVE NEWS - What went right this week: an end to the break-up ‘blame game’, plus more positive news

Posted 8th April 2022 • Written by •

An overhaul of divorce laws means couples can now separate without blaming the other party, there were a flurry of health-related developments, plus more positive news

A new law ended the divorce blame game

The first overhaul of divorce laws in 50 years means that couples in England and Wales can go their separate ways – without having to point the finger of blame.

Anyone wanting to split under the old rules had to accuse their partner of adultery, desertion or unreasonable behaviour. The alternative meant dragging proceedings out by living separately for at least two years, rising to five if one partner disagreed with splitting.

Now, no one has to be the bad guy – or girl – under a new, no-fault law. It means that courts require a simple statement from either one or both parties confirming the marriage is over. “At last, the law in England and Wales reflects the fact that even good marriages sometimes come to an end,” wrote one woman, on ending her 15-year partnership.

A little boy walked with robots

Jorge Alejo, who lives in Spain and who has cerebral palsy, was gifted a 12th birthday to remember this week by a robotic exoskeleton, which enabled him to walk and play with his school friends for the first time.

Jorge was met with rapturous applause – and a surprise visit from Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez – when he walked into class at his school near Madrid on Tuesday.

Usually reliant on a wheelchair, Jorge has spent the past two years undergoing therapy with a unique paediatric exoskeleton devised by Marsi Bionics. 

The company describes the kit (similar to the one pictured) as “the only paediatric exoskeleton in the world that allows the child to move around freely”.

A breakthrough Alzheimer’s study found dozens of new risk genes

An international study of Alzheimer’s has pinpointed 75 genes associated with the disease, including 42 that were not previously linked.

The breakthrough effort was led by French scientists, with support from colleagues in the UK, US, Australia and across Europe, and involved 100,000 Alzheimer’s patients.

Researchers say their findings – the culmination of three decades’ work – have helped to refocus attention on the role of the immune system in the development of the disease. Identifying specific risk genes and the part they play in brain cell death will pave the way to new therapies, they hope.

It’s getting cheaper and easier to cut emissions, the IPCC report showed

Scaling up the last decade of progress made in reducing emissions could see emissions halved by 2030 at affordable costs, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has forecast.

The body pointed to increasing evidence of climate action and greater reliance on renewables, thanks to their falling cost paired with effective clean energy policies. 

Its latest report suggests that limiting warming to 1.5C is out of reach, but a sub 2C target is feasible if action is taken rapidly across the board, with the biggest gains to come from the energy and land sectors.

Despite the positive news, the IPCC cautions that reforestation is not an easy fix for emissions, and that meeting a sustainable target still requires hefty reductions in fossil fuel use.

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