PARENTS may be allowed to choose the sex of their baby under radical new proposals announced yesterday. At present, selecting a baby's sex is only allowed if there is a risk of inheriting a gender-related disorder such as haemophilia. Now the Government is considering letting people choose whether to have a boy or a girl if they feel their family needs "balancing". Furious critics said the plan treated children as lifestyle accessories. Branding sex selection "unpalatable", LIFE charity declared: "It puts us on the slippery slope of using human beings as commodities you can design." The Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child added: "Every child has the right to be accepted unconditionally. Sex selection is a method of social control." But fertility expert Lord Winston said: "Sex selection will probably happen in the next 10 years irrespective of IVF regulations." The issue came under the spotlight as the Government unveiled a review of UK fertility laws. The Human … [Read more...] about CHOOSE THE SEX OF YOUR BABY
Addams family baby
Meghan and Harry Financial Independence—Who Pays For House and Travel?
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's surprise announcement on Wednesday that they will step down as "senior" members of the British family and "work to become financially independent" of the monarchy raised many questions about their income. Now, we have some answers. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex launched a brand new website on Wednesday— SussexRoyal.com —after the bombshell news they will distance themselves from royal duties. The website expands on where their money currently comes from, who pays for their royal residence, Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, and travel, as well as how they will become financially independent. Meghan, 38, and Harry, 37 , said they will continue to support Queen Elizabeth II and honor their royal patronages—through which they are ambassadors for various charities—but have decided to split their time between the U.K. and North America going forward to "enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, … [Read more...] about Meghan and Harry Financial Independence—Who Pays For House and Travel?
The Incredible Challenge of Counting Every Global Birth and Death
The roads surrounding the Jerusalén-San Luis Alto Picudito Indigenous reservation in Putumayo, Colombia, are treacherous on a good day. Made mostly of gravel and mud, they narrow to barely the width of a small truck in some places, and in others, especially after a storm, they yield almost completely to the many rivers with which they intersect. They also twist and turn and bump without stop. So, in the most difficult months of her pregnancy, when everything tasted like cardboard and it hurt even to sit or stand, Marleny Mesa avoided traveling altogether. This meant skipping checkups at the clinic in Villagarzón, which could take two hours or more to get to. But Marleny wasn’t overly worried. A nurse had assured her early in her pregnancy that her blood work was good and that everything looked fine. As a midwife herself, Marleny knew that making the trip would be riskier than missing a few doctor’s visits. But now, in the final days of her pregnancy, she could not shake the feeling … [Read more...] about The Incredible Challenge of Counting Every Global Birth and Death
I. A Broken Economy As Barack Obama prepares to accept the Democratic nomination this week, it is clear that the economic policies of the next president are going to be hugely important. Ever since Wall Street bankers were called back from their vacations last summer to deal with the convulsions in the mortgage market, the economy has been lurching from one crisis to the next. The International Monetary Fund has described the situation as “the largest financial shock since the Great Depression.” The details are too technical for most of us to understand. (They’re too technical for many bankers to understand, which is part of the problem.) But the root cause is simple enough. In some fundamental ways, the American economy has stopped working. The fact that the economy grows — that it produces more goods and services one year than it did in the previous one — no longer ensures that most families will benefit from its growth. For the first time on record, an economic expansion seems … [Read more...] about Obamanomics
Betting on the Planet
In 1980 an ecologist and an economist chose a refreshingly unacademic way to resolve their differences. They bet $1,000. Specifically, the bet was over the future price of five metals, but at stake was much more -- a view of the planet's ultimate limits, a vision of humanity's destiny. It was a bet between the Cassandra and the Dr. Pangloss of our era. They lead two intellectual schools -- sometimes called the Malthusians and the Cornucopians, sometimes simply the doomsters and the boomsters -- that use the latest in computer-generated graphs and foundation-generated funds to debate whether the world is getting better or going to the dogs. The argument has generally been as fruitless as it is old, since the two sides never seem to be looking at the same part of the world at the same time. Dr. Pangloss sees farm silos brimming with record harvests; Cassandra sees topsoil eroding and pesticide seeping into ground water. Dr. Pangloss sees people living longer; Cassandra sees rain … [Read more...] about Betting on the Planet