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China Ends One-Child Policy, GOP Debate, Google Balloons

China Ends One-Child Policy, GOP Debate, Google Balloons


After months of speculation, China today officially ended its notorious 35-year-long one-child policy, allowing couples in the country to have two children, Xinhua state news agency reports. China's so-called "family planning policy" was implemented in September 1980 in an effort to alleviate social, economic and environmental problems. But as The Guardian reports, while "the government credits it with preventing 400 million births, the human cost has been immense, with forced sterilizations and abortions, infanticide and a dramatic gender imbalance that means millions of men will never find female partners."


"The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don't trust the media," Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said last night during the third Republican presidential debate on CNBC, The Washington Post reports. "Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don't you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues?" Cruz added, as several his fellow Republican candidates also turned against the debate moderators. But his comments came after a substantive question about the debt limit.


Black Tuesday, the beginning of the Great Depression, was 86 years ago today. This and more in your 57-second shot of history.


U.S. naval operations chief Admiral John Richardson and his Chinese counterpart, Admiral Wu Shengli, will hold high-level talks over tensions in the South China Sea after a U.S. warship challenged China in the disputed waters Tuesday, Reuters reports. "We would urge the U.S. side not to continue down the wrong path," Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said. "But if they do, we will take all necessary measures in accordance with the need."

  • Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that two Australian warships will hold military exercises with the Chinese navy in the South China Sea next week despite the U.S. patrol in the area.


Google could have 300 Internet-beaming balloons in the stratosphere, forming a ring around the Earth by next year, Mike Cassidy, vice president of the American company's Project Loon, told the BBC. This would allow most of the world to access high-speed internet.


Representatives of NATO countries in Brussels are discussing increasing the number of troops stationed along Russian borders and putting them under formal alliance command, The Wall Street Journal reports. It's part of an effort to deter possible aggression from Moscow.



Alcoholism and related problems are becoming serious in the three Tohoku prefectures severely affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011, The Japan News reports. "The deaths of loved ones or the stress of a prolonged life as evacuees have led to increased alcohol consumption, and some are newly diagnosed as alcoholics even 4 1/2 years after the disaster."

Read the full article, Alcoholism, Post-Quake Japan's Silent Aftershock.


Nepal's parliament elected Bidhya Devi Bhandari, a women's rights campaigner, current vice chair of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal and former defense minister, as its first female president, The Kathmandu Postreports. Although the presidential position is mainly ceremonial in Nepal, Bhandari has pledged to champion minority and women's rights in the country.


After Hungary and Bulgaria, Austria is now planning to build a wall to regulate the mass flow of refugees into its territory from the so-called "Balkan route," Euronews reports. The wall will be built along the country's border with Slovenia, the Austrian government said Wednesday, adding that it had no intention of closing the border.


Next year's Chad elections will represent a novelty for the central African country. No, not a new president: Chadian voters are being asked to register to vote biometrically. Read more about it on Le Blog here.


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to join talks on the Syrian civil war today in Vienna, along with foreign secretaries from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UK, France, Germany, Egypt, Lebanon and, for the first time, Iran, The Washington Post reports. Speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Kerry said the U.S. would intensify its diplomatic efforts to end what he described as the Syrian "hell." "While finding a way forward on Syria will not be easy, it is the most promising opportunity for a political opening we have seen," he said. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter had also announced the U.S. would increase its military campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.


Photo: Brianna Soukup/The Palm Beach Post/ZUMA

A girl picks out pumpkins Wednesday at the annual Pumpkin Patch in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.


A Google Chrome extension will substitute every instance of the name "Donald Trump" on the Internet into "Your drunk uncle at Thanksgiving."

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Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*


When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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