সোমবার, ২৩ নভেম্বর, ২০১৫

After years of delays, Palestinians get high-speed mobile

FILE- In this Nov. 19, 2015 file photo, a technician works in the servers unit at the headquarters of the Palestinian cellular network Jawwal, in the West Bank city of Ramallah. After years of delays, Israel said Thursday that it would allow the Palestinians to have their own 3G network, bringing relief to one of the last places in the world without mobile broadband services. The lack of high-speed access has been a source of frustration for young professionals, forcing many to seek creative solutions, sign up with Israeli carriers or scramble to find Wi-Fi networks. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, file)RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Political science lecturer Amjad Abu el-Ez lived in London and Dubai for 17 years before returning home in 2014 to teach in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. He was stunned to learn he could barely check his email on the commute from his nearby village because Palestinian mobile carriers do not offer high-speed data.

শুক্রবার, ২০ নভেম্বর, ২০১৫

Visa waiver program poses greater terrorist threat than refugee admissions, lawmakers say

Visa waiver program poses greater terrorist threat than refugee admissions, lawmakers say

As many Republicans urge a post-Paris moratorium on Syrian refugees, a band of leading lawmakers – including many Democrats – are warning that the United States visa waiver program poses the greater threat to security. “I would tell you, from a threat standpoint, I’m probably more concerned with the visa waiver program today,” said Sen. […]

মঙ্গলবার, ১৭ নভেম্বর, ২০১৫

Obama calls GOP rhetoric on Syrian refugees a ‘potent recruitment tool for ISIL’

Obama calls GOP rhetoric on Syrian refugees a ‘potent recruitment tool for ISIL’
MANILA, Philippines -- In a press conference in Manila on Wednesday President Obama blasted Republicans' recent calls to block Syrian refugees' entrance into the United States, saying, "I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric coming out of here in the course of this debate." Obama's sharp words, […]

Frenchman identified in Islamic State audio claim of Paris attacks

A French flag is seen in front of the Bataclan concert hall to pay tribute to the victims of the series of deadly attacks in ParisPARIS (Reuters) - The voice of a jihadist claiming Islamic State's responsibility for last week's attacks in Paris has been identified as a 36 year-old Frenchmen authorities believe is now in Syria, a source close to the investigation said on Tuesday. The man, Fabien Clain from Toulouse, reads out a pre-written statement already published earlier this week claiming the attacks that killed 129 people and injured more than 350. ...

Indian airlines fined $39mn for fuel surcharge cartel

The Indian airline SpiceJet, pictured operating at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on October 5, 2015, is among carriers fined a total of $39 million November 17 for collusion on fuel surchargesIndia's competition regulator on Tuesday fined three domestic airlines a combined 2.57 billion rupees ($39 million) for colluding to fix fuel surcharges for cargo transport.

বৃহস্পতিবার, ১২ নভেম্বর, ২০১৫

A Matter of Confidence

When it's my turn in line at Starbucks, I order a decaffeinated latte and without thinking I utter, "sorry." Whether real or perceived, I feel that the barista is judging me for ordering decaf. After all, isn't the point of coffee the caffeine? I could offer support and tell her about my weak stomach lining, how I'd feel the acid splashing for hours, but then I'd run the risk of sounding needy.

Once home from the morning loop of dropping off my three kids at school and humbling myself at Starbucks, I settle in at my computer. As a writer, I have a mountain of work to do: essays to write, a website to update, a barrage of social media sites to post to. Not to mention the next book -- that unruly behemoth of a document that requires the most attention.

The kids are at school. The clock is ticking. Everything else could and should wait.

But my brain is a hamster on a wheel, and with each revolution I am reminded of all the motherly duties I've left undone: Daughter No. 1 needs to get to the orthodontist; Daughter No. 2 needs the dermatologist; Daughter No. 3 needs a new tennis racquet. I scribble down a quick list of 15 items.

I shove the formidable mommy to-do list from my brain, but it's hard to say no to the nurturing, caregiving side of myself, kind of like slamming the door on Girl Scouts selling cookies. My first nature is to take care of my family. But I also want to advance my career. Damn me, wanting to have my cake and eat it, too.

I focus on my writing, managing to edit a good 20 pages of the next novel and am preparing to launch into some new material. But then the laundry buzzes, and because I know Daughter No. 2's soccer uniform is in it (one she'll need for this afternoon), I pop up to empty the load.

While I fold, I click on CNBC. Female newscasters, female analysts, female fund managers. By all accounts, females have succeeded; they have procured the same opportunities as the men. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is so committed to her job, she has declined her right to maternity leave when her twins arrive. The commentators bicker back and forth, debating whether this is a smart move for her career, for her family. A conversation that would never ensue if she were a he.

I deliver the laundry bundles to the doors of my children's rooms. Then I get back to my computer. I'm inspired to write some new pages, but in the back of my mind the to-do list ticks like a metronome. More immediate than the novel deadline is a batch of other commitments: A book review, a magazine essay, a list of my favorite reads for a literary blog.

I'll get to it all, I vow. But first let me write these new pages. I'm two pages in when an alert pops up at the bottom of my screen: Grandma's birthday. I quickly click on my online calendar. I see that we're entering into the birthday season for my family. In the next four months alone there are six birthdays to celebrate, in addition to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

There is too much to do and not enough time. I'll get it done, but how well? A dark cloud of inadequacy hovers over me as the shame seeps in. The constant worry of not measuring up either at home or at work nags at me like a fly buzzing at my ear. As Sheryl Sandberg writes in Lean In, "The stereotype of a working woman is rarely attractive. She's almost always harried and guilt-ridden." I envision a cartoon depiction of me, a frantic woman running in circles like a dog chasing its tail.

I think of the novel I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson. The female protagonist, Kate, having just flown in from a business trip in the middle of the night, switches roles from high-powered hedge fund manager to at-home mother and attempts to "distress" a store-bought mince pie for her daughter's school in an effort to make it look homemade. Having done this, she then needs to dispose of the evidence -- the store-bought wrapper -- lest her nanny rats her out to the other moms. The pressure of being the perfect mom while at the same time the ladder-climbing working woman bears down on her like the Boeing jet she just flew in on.

Later, I drive up to my kids' school for a parent association meeting. I've "over-volunteered," as I frequently do, chairing multiple committees. With two daughters entering high school next year, I know my time with them is dwindling. I want to be as involved as I can. While another woman speaks, I feel the buzz of my phone. I take a peek. A text from my mother. "Still alive?" it reads. "Haven't heard from you for a while." I add Call Mom to my mental to-do list.

The obligations abound: to my husband, children, and parents. To the workplace, my volunteer activities, and maintaining the home. Sandberg has described my frustration perfectly, the "holy trinity of fear: the fear of being a bad mother/wife/daughter." I don't want to disappoint anyone.

For women, balancing our home life with our work life is only the first step. We also need to strike the just right tone. I want to be heard, but I also want to be liked. Society -- for all that it has allowed in terms of feminism -- still demands that we act appropriately female. No one likes the loud-mouthed woman. Ambitious and aggressive women violate our social norms about how we should act. We expect men to be driven and decisive. We expect women to be sensitive and communal, says Sandberg. And it doesn't take much to be labeled in a derogatory way. Just standing one's ground is often enough.

In her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, Susan Cain claims that our society values extroverts, the booming man of action, who talks first and loud, who takes risk, and whose charisma is spell-binding. Our culture used to value the person of introspection, the quiet, prudent, and morally upstanding individual, Cain says, yet now we love the salesman, the Tony Robbins of the business world. This could account for Trump's popularity. Side by side, he out-"charismas" his opponents.

If this is true, and if we as a culture reward the booming, engaging individual, women are in a real fix. In our guts we know our place. We know it's okay for us to want to strive and thrive in the worlds of business, academia, medicine, and any other field. But we also know that our female role requires us to be nice, compassionate, and caring. We can only be so forceful before we cross the line and offend those same people we're trying to impress.

Maybe that's why we apologize our way through the day, even at Starbucks.

In a recent satire by edgy comedian Amy Schumer, a group of professional women innovators have been asked to participate in a panel discussion. What follows is a string of apologies for saying too much, too little, for clearing one's throat, for asking a question, and for being misconstrued as the wrong type of scientist. At one point, one of the panel members (played by Schumer) offers to "run to the store" to get medicine for an ailing audience member -- the ultimate show of female nurturing, even when she's working.

Perhaps the apology is our way of permitting ourselves to lean in. It's the compromise that says we will no longer be silent, relegated to a lesser position, but will preface our opinions with a copious amount of "sorrys" and all the other precursors that beg our listeners to hear us but also to still like us.

"I hope you don't mind my asking..."

"This might be a stupid question...."

We're using "sorry" as a stand-in for "excuse me."

Or maybe not.

Maybe we are just truly sorry. Sorry for being both a mother and having a job. Sorry that we can't be in two places at once.

Feeling sorry just might come with the territory of assuming so many different roles and creating the fraud that's inherent in being one thing to one person and another thing to another. When I'm around a group of moms, I want to be just like them, telling silly stories about what our children said, debating best techniques for homework management, and swapping lunch box ideas. When I'm conducting business, I play a different role with different tones, different vocabulary, and different body language, which hints at living two lives.

Yet women are anything but fraudulent. The honesty with which they scrutinize their own abilities is often to their detriment. In researching for their book, The Confidence Code, Kay and Shipman found that women will only apply for jobs or promotions if they feel they're 100 percent qualified versus men who will take the chance, even if they're woefully underqualified, gauging their abilities at maybe 50 percent of what's needed.

More likely the reason we apologize so much is simply that our confidence doesn't match our competence. For all the strides made -- females earning more college and graduate degrees than males, closing the gap on middle management, and inching our way toward a more equitable pay -- we're still not finding the bold confidence to own our accomplishments.

Discounting our abilities is a female phenomenon. Women are likely to attribute their successes to the help from others, luck, or being in the right place at the right time. Men more easily attribute success internally, stating that a victory was due to his high level of competency.

It seems that we as women, in general, are quite hard on ourselves. We worry about whether we're allocating our time properly, we ruminate to the point of constant worry, and we demand perfection. Perhaps the next rung of feminism we must reach for is owning our accomplishments, without apology.

But for now, it's a crisis of confidence and for that, I'm truly sorry.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

বুধবার, ১১ নভেম্বর, ২০১৫

Japan's first passenger plane in 50 years makes maiden flight

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp's Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) takes off for a test flight at Nagoya Airfield in Toyoyama town, JapanBy Tim Kelly TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's first commercial passenger plane in half a century made its maiden flight on Wednesday, in a breakthrough for the country's long-held ambition to establish an aircraft industry able to challenge some of the major players in global aviation. The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) successfully completed a 1.5-hour return flight from Nagoya Airport to test Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp's ability to bring the 100-seat class plane into service after three years of delays. The unit of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries , which built the World War Two-era Zero fighter, is hoping the $47-million regional jet will help it oust Canada's Bombardier Inc as the world's second-biggest maker of smaller passenger jets behind Brazil's Embraer SA .

মঙ্গলবার, ১০ নভেম্বর, ২০১৫

Protests at Mizzou, Yale create an opening for GOP politicians to denounce university liberals

Protests at Mizzou, Yale create an opening for GOP politicians to denounce university liberals
MILWAUKEE -- After a roundtable at a Christian school here, flanked by school choice activists and beneficiaries, the Washington Post asked Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) about the protests that had broken out this week at Yale and the University of Missouri. In the first case, students were filmed hectoring a residence hall master whose wife had […]

GOP debate edition: Presidential candidates push dramatic tax plans, Rubio’s tax math and Carson’s 15 percent rate

GOP debate edition: Presidential candidates push dramatic tax plans, Rubio's tax math and Carson's 15 percent rate

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES PUSH DRAMATIC TAX PLANS. The latest GOP presidential debate scheduled for Tuesday night is expected to focus heavily on the economy and nearly every Republican platform for 2016 includes some form of dramatic tax reform, Richard Rubin of the Wall Street Journal reports Driven by a desire to stand out in a crowded field and spark […]

সোমবার, ৯ নভেম্বর, ২০১৫

SeaWorld Doesn't Seem To Understand Its Business Is Over

The shift was sudden.

One day, SeaWorld's bleachers were full. Many Americans held fond memories of watching killer whales belly-flop gallons of water onto the crowd, carry trainers on their heads across a tank and pose for fish amid a chorus of "oohs" and the snap of cameras. Some went home with dreams of becoming one of those wetsuit-clad animal lovers, working with the massive creatures day after day.

Then, a trainer died, pulled underwater by one of her charges. The story of Dawn Brancheau's death made headlines in 2010, but it wasn't until Gabriela Cowperthwaite released the documentary "Blackfish" three years later that we realized those childhood aspirations were tainted.

The film cast a harsh light on the seemingly beautiful world orcas spent inside the theme park. Tanks turned into prisons, trainers into anguished captors. And the adoring audience, vicious conservationists. The so-called "Blackfish effect" led to an astounding 84 percent collapse in profits for SeaWorld, and attendance plummeted.

But although the documentary was released more than two years ago, the park has been slow to acknowledge its own massive shortcomings. Promises to build a new, $100 million tank for its killer whales met sharp resistance from freedom-or-bust activists. The California Coastal Commission approved the plans but banned the breeding of captive whales, so the snazzy new cage was put on hold.

And on Monday, SeaWorld San Diego finally announced its iconic orca shows would end sometime in 2017, some four years after "Blackfish."

"We want to do something even better for the whales," executives said.

But again, the promises reflect a company struggling to hang on to an outdated business. The jumping, fish-eating, trainer-carrying show will be replaced with a "new orca experience, designed to take place in a more natural setting," The San Diego Union-Tribune notes.

"We start everything by listening to our guests," CEO Joel Manby told the Union-Tribune. "They want experiences that are more natural."

But to Manby, "natural" apparently still means artificial tanks rather than freedom. Slate notes the shows will take place in the same arenas with "minimal" spending to improve them. The whales will still jump, but they'll be "natural" leaps that don't appear to be tricks. And the other orca shows in Orlando and San Antonio won't be following suit. For them, the Shamu Show will go on.

SeaWorld has yet to release its third-quarter attendance and profit numbers, which would reflect the highly lucrative summer season. But the tides have already turned.

The company's demise has been a long time coming, and those kids who used to dream of riding atop the mouth of an orca would now very much prefer to see them in the ocean.

Because, yes, killer whales do jump. But they jump in the wild without the promise of a dead fish. Let's go see them there.

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-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.