A typical scene: my near-threenager son kicks off when I decline to climb a playground pirate ship with my 10-month-old daughter strapped to me in the sling. She, in turn, awakes from a nap and decides to press eject on a carrot-fuelled lunch. I ascend the Jolly Roger and am sent back down to look for special stones among the leaves which will double as a changing mat. I’ve taken the last three months of my wife’s leave with our second child. The main reasons for doing so ranked as these: the chance to bond with both children and test myself; telling them I did it when they’re grown up (hopefully greeted with a shrug, as it will be common then); and cash — my wife out-earns me and nursery fees make Ferraris look cheap. It also allows me proper empathy for the chaos of daily solo parenting that mothers endure, taking some actual feminist action. I’ve felt consistently guilty since becoming a parent (am I educating, entertaining, lazy? etc) but a … [Read more...] about Shared parental leave: a dad’s view from the frontline
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For a few seconds, her face brightened with pleasure, she rejoices in the moment. And why not? It's an evening in January, and Angela Merkel is sitting in a festively illuminated glass building at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, with CNN superstar Christiane Amanpour in front of her. "What can I say about a woman named Angela Merkel?" Amanpour asks the audience. That she's the first female chancellor? Merkel is much more than that, Amanpour continues, a scientist who still believes in the value of facts in this post-factual world; a woman who fights against nationalism and climate change. She describes how the chancellor has set a high standard for how to deal with the desperate people of the world. It's all laid on a bit thick, a mixture of Oscar ceremony and political seminar, but Merkel has a smile on her face. It's only now and then, when the camera zooms in on her, that she puts on a more neutral, chancellor-like face. Despite all that she has achieved, she still has a … [Read more...] about A Dim View of the World: Will Merkel Be Followed by Darkness?
The 11th Ministerial Meeting of the Arctic Council was held on 6-7 May in Rovaniemi, Finland, and we are still in the fall-out zone after U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, went nuclear. The U.S. used the meeting to stoke sentiments on the lawlessness of the Arctic and called out China and Russia’s aggressive agendas. Pompeo moreover urged Arctic states to “adapt to this new future” whilst delivering his speech, leaving Arctic experts unsure whether to laugh or cry. In a speech littered with factual inaccuracies and a brash delivery, even Canada found itself in Pompeo’s crosshairs. Referred to by Pompeo as an ongoing feud, he noted Canada’s faulty "illegitimate" claim over the North-West Passage (NWP) as some kind of an internal waterway and how this is at odds with Washington’s view that it is an international waterway. The U.S. spoke in condescending terms of the Arctic Council, stating it has "had the luxury of … [Read more...] about The U.S., Not Russia Is the New Spoiler in the Arctic
A spokesperson for Melania Trump has responded to comments made by Anna Wintour about First Ladies who have featured on the cover of Vogue, calling her 'insecure' and 'small-minded'. In a recent interview with CNN, the Vogue editor-in-chief spoke with Christiane Amanpour about Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama featuring on the cover of her magazine. “I think Mrs Obama redefined the role of the first lady,” Wintour told Amanpour. “She was so open to everybody. She made the White House a place for everyone. She had incredible initiatives. She was just so, I think, inspiring to so many women. And obviously on a very selfish note, speaking as the editor-in-chief of Vogue, she did wonders for fashion.” Michelle Obama appeared on the cover of Vogue three times while her husband, former US President Barack Obama, was in office. Michelle Obama was the second First Lady to be on the cover of Vogue. Hillary Clinton was the … [Read more...] about Melania Trump hits back at Anna Wintour’s Vogue cover comments
WASHINGTON – With less than two weeks left before Ukrainian voters make a final decision on who will be their president for the next five years, the Transatlantic Task Force on Elections and Civil Society in Ukraine held an international teleconference devoted to the results of the first round of the election and concerns regarding the upcoming second round in which incumbent Petro Poroshenko and his opponent, Volodymyr Zelensky, will compete. In their opening remarks, Johnathan Katz (German Marshall Fund) and Orest Deychakiwsky (U.S.-Ukraine Foundation), who served as first-round election observers in Vinnytsia and Mykolaiv, respectively, gave Ukraine high marks for the conduct of the March 31 vote. Mr. Katz, who was part of a National Democratic Institute mission, cited that organization’s election assessment and noted that “the election was genuinely competitive” and that “despite ongoing Russian aggression Ukraine held an election that broadly reflects … [Read more...] about Task Force on Elections and Civil Society in Ukraine notes: Voters lack information on presidential front-runner’s views