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The Dish on Princess Diana, Taylor Swift Takes the Stand, Why NZ Loves Jacinda

August 11, 2017, 6:30 AM UTC

Valentina Zarya here, filling in for Claire this week.

Last week, women in New Zealand cheered as deputy Labour leader Jacinda Ardern stepped into the top leadership role after the resignation of Andrew Little. The outspoken 37-year-old generated a surge of excitement for the party, which had “languished in polls behind Prime Minister Bill English’s National Party,” according to Bloomberg. The local media even dubbed her rise in popularity “Jacinda-mania.”

Yet the win from of a week ago is now being tainted by a loss: Metiria Turei, the Green Party’s co-leader, resigned on Wednesday. The politician said she was leaving the party because her family was suffering “unbearable” scrutiny. Life under the microscope began after her admission last month that she had lied to the government about her living situation while on welfare as a single mother in the 1990s.

Turei’s co-leader, James Shaw, will now lead the Greens into the election next month. The party has traditionally used a co-leadership model—with one male and one female leader—but it will not elect another woman until its 2018 party conference.

The news is bigger than just losing a small party politician. In New Zealand’s parliamentary system, smaller parties typically build coalitions with one of the two largest parties so they can pass legislation, so Ardern’s Labour party will most likely have to rely on the Green Party to form a left-leaning coalition government to prevent Prime Minister Bill English’s National Party from maintaining control. Had Turei not stepped down, we could have seen a coalition led by two women.

Not all is lost, of course. The silver lining is that Ardern seems to have a real chance at becoming PM. She would be the third woman in New Zealand’s history to bear the title.

 

EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA

The dish on Lady DiOn Wednesday night, ABC and People kicked off a two-night event focused the rise and untimely demise of the late Princess Diana. Among the interesting things we learned about the Duchess: She was abandoned by her mother at six years old, she used tap dance as an escape, and she was the second girl in her family to be courted by Prince Charles (he first dated her older sister, Sarah). Entertainment Weekly

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What Waters wants
Anne Marie Waters is a proud Islamophobe; she's so far to the right she makes far-right Ukip leader Paul Nuttall "uncomfortable." Yet for all her controversial views, the politician is remarkably soft-spoken. “I quite like making a good speech, but I don’t like people’s attention on me,” she tells The Times' Lucy Fisher. 
The Times
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Romania's cam girls
Thousands of Romanian women work as "cam-girls" from studios and from home, entertaining clients mostly from Western Europe and North America and earning 10 times the country's minimum wage. While interactive webcamming is perfectly legal—in fact, it is the fastest-growing sector of the global pornography business—some wonder whether the industry is taking advantage of young women, 30% of whom cannot find jobs despite being university-educated.
BBC
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THE AMERICAS

Benghazi back in the news
Nine months after the U.S. presidential election, a federal judge is ordering the State Department to try again to find emails Hillary Clinton wrote about the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Before the attack, Clinton had rejected appeals for additional security at the consulate where it took place. Her critics have accused her of incompetence or wrongdoing, but U.S. government investigations have not found her guilty of either charge.
Politico

Swift takes the stand
After three days of proceedings, Taylor Swift finally testified in a trial against David Mueller, the DJ who allegedly put his hand under her dress and grabbed her naked backside during a meet-and-greet photo shoot in 2013. "What Mr. Mueller did was very intentional," Swift said during cross-examination by Mueller's attorney. "It was horrifying and shocking and we had never experienced anything like it," she said.
Fortune
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ASIA-PACIFIC

Finally, fines
Nepalese lawmakers have passed a law criminalizing chhaupadi, a practice that forces women from their homes during menstruation (women on their periods are seen as impure). The ancient Hindu tradition has been in the spotlight recently after two women died while sleeping in sheds. Under the new law, anyone who makes a woman observe the custom faces a three-month jail sentence and a £23 fine.
BBC
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IN BRIEF

Oprah Winfrey is coming to your local supermarket this fall
Fortune

Ruth Pfau: Pakistan's 'Mother Teresa' dies aged 87
BBC

Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics brand is on track to become a $1 billion company
Fortune

Is naming and shaming rapists the only way to bring them to justice?
New York Times

PARTING WORDS

"The reason girls and women aren’t going into engineering and technology isn’t biological. It’s because guys like you make it an unwelcome environment."
—Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, in an open letter to James Damore, the author of the Google anti-diversity manifesto