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This Happened

This Happened—November 27: Helen Clark Shatters A Glass Ceiling

Helen Clark became the first elected female Prime Minister of New Zealand in 1999.

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Who is Helen Clark?

On Nov. 27, 1999, Helen Clark became the 37th prime minister of New Zealand, and the first woman to ever be elected to that office. She would go on to serve three terms as prime minister until 2008. Since leaving office, Clark has served in the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

What is Helen Clark’s background?

Helen Clark was born on a farm, leading her to later take an interest in rural political behavior and representation. She quickly became an active member of the New Zealand Labour Party, acting first as a member of the party’s national executive committee, then making a successful bid to become a member of parliament in 1981. In 1990 she became the leader of the opposition party, where she suffered from a low personal approval rating, but was able to turn things around through a series of debates.

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Geopolitics

How Ukraine Keeps Getting The West To Flip On Arms Supplies

The open debate on weapon deliveries to Ukraine is highly unusual, but Kyiv has figured out how to use the public moral suasion — and patience — to repeatedly shift the question in its favor. But will it work now for fighter jets?

Photo of a sunset over the USS Nimitz with a man guiding fighter jets ready for takeoff

U.S fighter jets ready for takeoff on the USS Nimitz

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — In what other war have arms deliveries been negotiated so openly in the public sphere?

On Monday, a journalist asked Joe Biden if he plans on supplying F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. He answered “No”. A few hours later, the same question was asked to Emmanuel Macron, about French fighter jets. Macron did not rule it out.

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Visiting Paris on Tuesday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksïï Reznikov recalled that a year ago, the United States had refused him ground-air Stinger missiles deliveries. Eleven months later, Washington is delivering heavy tanks, in addition to everything else. The 'no' of yesterday is the green light of tomorrow: this is the lesson that the very pragmatic minister seemed to learn.

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