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It's Not All Bad News, Here Are Some Good Things That Happened In 2018

We are here to restore your faith in humanity. You're welcome!

For many, this year feels like it's been about a decade long. November was a like a lifetime ago, and March? Never heard of it.

On the bright side, some actual, honest-to-god good news happened this year.

In among the news that climate change is definitely going to kill us, our prime ministers still can’t last a full elected term, and something as simple as a plastic bag ban sends Australians into apoplectic fits of rage -- there were a few good moments.

We've listed a few of them below.

Conjoined twins Nima and Dawa were successfully separated after a six-hour surgery.

The Bhutanese twins were born joined at the torso, but were flown to Melbourne for the life-changing surgery in November this year. The girls have since left hospital and are recovering well.

Nima and Dawa separated and happy. Photo: AAP.

Scientists accidentally created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drink bottles, potentially creating a solution for the global plastic pollution crisis.

While studying bacterium that had evolved to eat plastic at a waste dump in Japan, scientists found a tweak inadvertently made the molecule even better at its task.

The enzyme breaks down polyethylene terephthalate plastic in a matter of days, with researchers hoping it will lead to plastic bottles being 100 percent recycled back into plastic.

READ MORE: By 2050 There Will Be More Plastic In Our Oceans Than Fish

Photo: Getty

Ireland voted for vital abortion reform, effectively decriminalising the medical procedure.

Back home, Queensland voted to decriminalise it, with renewed pushes to decriminalise abortion in New South Wales.

READ MORE: Is Abortion Legal In Australia? It Depends On Your State

Protests ahead of the Ireland abortion referendum. Photo: Getty.

A U.S. woman pulled out a ring to propose to her girlfriend, who responded by pulling out an engagement ring of her own.

Girlfriends Becky McCabe and Jessa Gillaspie had both planned to propose to each other at Memphis Zoo where they had their first date; the couple are still happily together.

All 12 members of the Wild Boar soccer team and their coach were rescued alive from the Chiang Rai caves in Thailand, after an international operation worked around the clock to free them.

After their 25-day-long ordeal and rescue, the boys presented a drawn tribute to the family of Saman Kunan, a retired Thai Navy Seal who died during the rescue. Australian divers Dr. Richard Harris and Craig Challen are both up for Australian of the Year awards for their efforts in the operation.

READ MORE: The Thai Cave Rescue Cartoon Thanking Rescuers

The Wild Boars arrive at press conference. Image: Getty Images

Researchers eliminated all traces of cancer in mice, bringing new hope for a potential cancer 'vaccine' in the future.

The study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, found that injecting small amounts of two immune-stimulating agents into solid tumours eliminated all traces of cancer, including distant, untreated metastases.

The agents worked "startlingly well", noted researchers, who reckon there's no "limit to the type of tumour we could potentially treat".

Ronald Levy and Idit Sagiv-Barfi led the work on the possible cancer treatment. Photo: Steve Fisch / Stanford.

A six-year-old child was ballsy enough to stroke Prince Harry's beard, melting hearts around the globe.

Luke Vincent, who met the Harry and wife Meghan during the royal tour of Dubbo this year, unknowingly broke royal protocol, much to the delight of the Duke of Sussex.

Harry And Meghan Get A Cuddle In Dubbo

Police in New York successfully tracked down a couple who lost an engagement ring.

Footage on social media showed a man pulling out a ring and proposing before dropping it down a drain. Officers managed to find the couple -- visiting from he UK -- thanks to footage of the incident going viral.

Man Drops Engagement Ring Down Grate

Former NRL player Alex McKinnon and his wife Teigan became parents for the first time.The couple welcomed baby daughter Harriet in October, almost four-and-a-half years after McKinnon suffered a devastating career-ending spinal injury.

Coles and Woolworths banned single-use plastic bags in 2018, resulting in an 80 percent drop in plastic bag consumption worldwide, according to the National Retail Association (NRA). Although there was backlash from some customers, the NRA's David Stout told the ABC he was hopeful other businesses would follow suit.

Stop Bagging The Plastic Bag Ban

Sesame Street added a homeless Muppet, to offer "help, hope and healing" to kids and families experiencing homelessness. Lily, a hot pink Muppet staying with friends after losing her house, was introduced in December to comfort kids dealing with the ongoing trauma of losing their home. It comes after Sesame Street also introduced a character with autism and an HIV-positive character.

Just three children are left in detention in Nauru, down from more than 100 a few moths ago. Refugee advocates say while it's good news that the kids and families are getting medical treatment, it's due to legal intervention by lawyers . The Morrison government vowed to remove all children from Nauru by the end of the year.

READ MORE: Aussie Doctors' Desperate Plea For Children In Emotional Video

More Children Quietly Removed From Nauru

A foul-mouthed parrot stuck in a London rooftop told rescuers to "f**k off".

If that isn't a good news story then nothing is. Jessie the parrot flew off to another rooftop, apparently not stuck in the slightest.

Contact the author: abrucesmith@networkten.com.au

Lead photo: Getty / Instagram