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The Broadsheet: September 6th

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Valentina Zarya (@valzarya) here. Angela Merkel’s party suffers a stunning defeat, Soledad O’Brien blasts CNN, and Oprah’s new show premieres tonight. Have a great Tuesday.


 A tale of two Europes. The weekend’s big political news came from across the pond, where German chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrat party was defeated in her home state for the first time since World War II. The loss is seen as a signal that the country is dissatisfied with Merkel’s immigration policy, but the chancellor is standing by her stance on refugees.

Meanwhile, Marine Le Pen, the leader of French far-right party National Front, is celebrating Merkel’s defeat, tweeting on Sunday night, “That which was impossible yesterday has become possible.” She has also begun to present herself—similarly to Donald Trump—as the only politician in Europe not beholden to special interests.

The Guardian‘s Natalie Nougayrède argues that the future of Europe lies in the hands of these two women, whose rivalry is said to be extremely personal: “Le Pen hates Merkel, and Merkel despises Le Pen. They confront each other in a fight of European proportions. Le Pen has often attacked the chancellor—once describing her as an ’empress’ imposing ‘illegal immigration’ on the whole of Europe. Merkel sees Le Pen as an acute political threat to Europe, although she has rarely mentioned her in public.”  The Guardian


• Brave revelation. Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, who has been scrutinized for not having kids, revealed that she had a miscarriage in 2011. Noting that it was “not an easy decision” to go public about such a “painful experience,” Sturgeon tweeted that she hoped to break the taboo of miscarriage—and stop the judgment of women who don’t have children. Fortune

• Farewell, Phyllis. Conservative activist Phyllis Schafly died on Monday at age 92. She described herself as a housewife, but was actually a powerful political figure who “galvanized conservatives for almost two generations and helped reshape American politics,” as the New York Times describes. Schafly was a staunch opponent of Communism, the Equal Rights Amendment, and abortion. New York Times

The real Theranos. Nick Bilton writes a fascinating profile of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes for Vanity Fair magazine, chronicling both the rise of her blood-testing startup and its much-talked about fall after the Wall Street Journal‘s investigation. Interestingly, he writes, Holmes’ gender was key to her initial success: “In some ways, the near-universal adoration of Holmes reflected her extraordinary comportment. In others, however, it reflected the Valley’s own narcissism. Finally, it seemed, there was a female innovator who was indeed able to personify the Valley’s vision of itself.” Vanity Fair

Justice needs diversity. The current Supreme Court is the most demographically diverse in history, but Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor still believe it is too homogeneous. Both justices (as well as Ruth Bader Ginsberg) grew up in New York City. Five of the current justices went to Harvard Law School. New York Times

Soledad speaks out. Former CNN host Soledad O’Brien is blasting her former employer for profiting off the hate speech that has fueled Donald Trump’s political rise. “We have lost context. We actually don’t even cover the details of something. We just cover the back and forth of it. It’s funny to watch if it weren’t our own country and our own government actually operating,” she said. Raw Story

• Walking the talk. Tonight marks the premiere of Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey’s new show, Queen Sugar. The first season’s 13 episodes were helmed by an all-female slate of directors, and the writing and production teams also reflect the show’s commitment to diversity. Washington Post


Each week, Fortune asks our Insider Network — an online community of prominent people in business and beyond — for career and leadership advice. Here’s some of the best of what we heard last week.

What career ladder? Amy Bohutinsky, COO of Zillow Group, talks about how she went from being a broadcast journalist to a C-level exec in the tech world.  Fortune

Two powerful letters. Here’s how you can say “no” in a professional setting and still be liked, writes Sarah Kauss, founder and CEO of S’well.  Fortune

It’s not all negative. Kelly Keller, a market managing partner for PwC in the Pacific Northwest, writes about a surprising advantage every working parent has in the office.  Fortune


 The latest on Ailes. New York Magazine‘s Gabriel Sherman published another major exposé of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes last Friday. Among the most interesting new allegations: Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson secretly taped her conversations with Ailes. Meanwhile, the network chief’s lawyer has sent a letter to the magazine suggesting he might take legal action over its reporting. New York Magazine

An un-pretty picture. Using over 1,000 responses from Muslim women living in Europe, The New York Times paintsa portrait” of their lives. It’s a bleak one, as these women face everything from dirty looks to outright threats on a regular basis. “One French term was used dozens of times: ‘un combat,’ or ‘a struggle,’ to live day to day.” New York Times

 Is Clinton being Gored? Paul Krugman has an interesting take on this year’s presidential election, pointing out that it is eerily similar to 2000 race. He writes: “Throughout [that] campaign most media coverage gave the impression that Mr. Bush was a bluff, straightforward guy, while portraying Al Gore—whose policy proposals added up, and whose critiques of the Bush plan were completely accurate—as slippery and dishonest.” New York Times

• A model of hypocrisy. Left-leaning Mother Jones alleges that Trump Model Management illegally profited from using foreign models who came to the U.S. on tourist visas that did not permit them to work here. Mother Jones

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We hereby mandate all men wear Speedos to the beach OZY

Victoria Beckham has written a letter to her 18-year-old self that just might make you cry BuzzFeed

Meet the woman who’s been Pearl Jam’s sound engineer for 24 years NPR

You can be a mother and still be a successful artist  Artsy


I am part of the first generation of women not truly dependent on anyone. My feminist mom was married, had kids, got divorced, <em>and</em> made a career for herself. Does only being able to check the last box make me a pariah or a pioneer?

Stylist and <em>What Not to Wear </em>co-host Stacy London