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Dutch ministers seek to simplify procedure to CHANGE GENDER on birth certificate, so that even a CHILD can do it — RT World News From “RT World News”



Two Dutch ministers have submitted an amendment to parliament that would scrap the age limit and expert statement, to simplify changing gender on birth certificates, following pressure from transgender groups.

The legislative amendment to the Transgender Act was submitted by the legal protection minister and emancipation minister to the Lower House of Parliament. “Persons whose gender identity does not correspond to the sex determined at birth can, under certain conditions, change their gender in the birth certificate,” a release published on the website of the Dutch government says.According to the statement, more people want to change their gender registration, with the numbers rising from 460 in 2016 to 640 in 2018. The amendment was put forward in order “to do justice to the emancipation of transgender people.”The ministers suggest scrapping the requirement for an expert statement in which a doctor or psychologist establishes the fact of a lasting conviction of belonging to the opposite sex. The statement says transgender groups consider this requirement to be a violation of the right of individuals to self-determination. The simplified procedure would involve written submission of the desire to change gender registration, and confirmation four to 12 weeks later.

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The proposed legislation would also scrap the age limit, so that children under the age of 16 can change their gender registration. This is being done as a nod to transgender groups and parents who say that some young people already live with a gender other than that designated at birth before they reach 16. In order to change their gender registration, children would have to submit a request to the court.The legislation would also allow changes in registration to be done at the place of current residence, rather than the place of birth.The bill will have to be approved by both houses of the Dutch Parliament and then signed into law by the head of state.The procedures for changing gender on birth certificates were introduced in 2014 with the Transgender Act. The legislation also abolished the requirement for people to undergo surgery, including sterilization, to legally change their gender.Last December, the Dutch government agreed to pay compensation of €5,000 to about 2,000 trans people who were sterilized between 1985 and 2014 in order to change gender.The Dutch government states that it is committed to improving the position of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people worldwide. The Netherlands has some of the most progressive laws regarding LGBTI rights in the world. Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!







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China Calls For Basic Etiquette After Philippine Minister’s Outburst From “NDTV News – World-news”



China Foreign Minister and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary during a meet in Manila (FILE)Beijing: China urged the Philippines on Tuesday to observe “basic etiquette” and eschew megaphone diplomacy after the southeast Asian nation’s foreign minister used an expletive-laced Twitter message to demand that China’s vessels leave disputed waters.The comments by Teodoro Locsin, known for occasional blunt remarks, follow Manila’s protests over what it calls the illegal presence of hundreds of Chinese boats inside the Philippines’ 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).In a statement, China’s foreign ministry urged the Philippines to respect the nation’s sovereignty and jurisdiction and stop taking actions that complicate the situation.”Facts have repeatedly proved that microphone diplomacy cannot change the facts, but can only undermine mutual trust,” it said.”It is hoped that relevant people in the Philippines will comply with basic etiquette and their position when making remarks.”The ministry cited comments by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte that differences between the countries on individual issues should not affect friendship and cooperation.”China has always worked, and will continue to work with the Philippines, to properly resolve differences and advance cooperation through friendly consultations.”China claims almost the entire South China Sea, through which about $3 trillion of ship-borne trade passes each year. In 2016, an arbitration tribunal in the Hague ruled that its claim was inconsistent with international law.”I won’t plead the last provocation as an excuse for losing it; but if Wang Yi is following Twitter then I’m sorry for hurting his feelings but his alone,” Locsin said on Twitter on Tuesday, referring to the Chinese government’s top diplomat.Duterte has reminded his officials that there is no room for cursing in the matter of diplomacy. “Only the President can cuss,” his spokesman, Harry Roque, told a regular news conference.(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)







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G-7 foreign ministers hold talks on ‘rising threats,’ Russia, China From “International: Top News And Analysis”



President of Russia Vladimir Putin looks on prior to the Victory Day military parade in Red Square marking the 75th anniversary of the victory in World War II, on June 24, 2020 in Moscow, Russia.HandoutForeign ministers from the Group of Seven (G-7) developed nations are to meet in London on Tuesday to discuss the most pressing geopolitical challenges facing the world, including Russia and China.The U.K. is hosting G-7 foreign and development ministers in the first face-to-face meetings since the coronavirus pandemic began, and the first gathering of the group’s foreign ministers since 2019.Geopolitical issues that the U.K. said “threaten to undermine democracy, freedoms and human rights” will be on the agenda Tuesday, including “relations with Russia, China, and Iran, as well as the crisis in Myanmar, the violence in Ethiopia, and the ongoing war in Syria,” the government said in a statement.Russia’s “ongoing malign activity,” the U.K. said, including the build-up of troops on the border with Ukraine, its imprisonment of opposition figure Alexei Navalny and the situation in Belarus, are high on the agenda.On Monday, British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. At a press conference, they reiterated their shared commitment to “maintaining transatlantic unity in defense of our common values and in response to direct threats,” Blinken said.’Shared challenges’The talks come ahead of a larger G-7 summit in Cornwall in early June, which will be attended by G-7 leaders including U.S. President Joe Biden who will make his first scheduled trip abroad since taking office.The G-7 is an alliance of the world’s most industrialized nations: the U.K., U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. The EU participates in all discussions as a guest.Following talks through the day Tuesday, the foreign ministers will then hold a dinner discussion with guest countries Australia, India, South Korea, South Africa, and Brunei as the current ASEAN Chair.Diplomatic relations between the G-7 with Russia remain strained since its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine which led to Russia’s suspension from what was then the Group of Eight (G-8) and international sanctions being imposed on Russia.  Since then, Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election, a 2018 nerve agent attack in the U.K., a cyberattack on U.S. government and corporate networks and alleged interference in the 2020 election have prompted further sanctions on the country. The Russian government has repeatedly denied all of the allegations.Meanwhile, relations between the West and China remain at an impasse since the departure of former U.S. President Donald Trump, yet questions remain over the future of international trade.International relations with Iran are also in the spotlight after the Biden administration said it was willing to hold talks to potentially revive the 2015 nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic. Trump withdrew the U.S. from the accord in 2018.’Rising threats’The U.K. currently holds the rotating presidency of the G-7 and Foreign Minister Raab commented that the U.K.’s presidency “is an opportunity to bring together open, democratic societies and demonstrate unity at a time when it is much needed to tackle shared challenges and rising threats.”Tuesday’s discussions will also cover tensions and escalating conflicts in other parts of the world, including the coup in Myanmar. The U.K. said it would urge G-7 nations to take stronger action against the military junta, including expanding targeted sanctions against those connected to the junta; support for arms embargoes; and increased humanitarian assistance for the most vulnerable in the country.U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (R) walk along Downing Street in London, United Kingdom on May 03, 2021.Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty ImagesThe situation in Libya, and the ongoing war in Syria are also on the agenda. On Tuesday afternoon, the group will discuss the situation in Ethiopia, as well as Somalia, the Sahel, and Western Balkans.The London meetings take place as developed nations slowly resume in-person diplomacy after a hiatus due to the pandemic; the last meeting of G-7 foreign ministers took place in April 2019 at Dinard and Saint-Malo in France.The U.K. said Tuesday’s meeting was a crucial opportunity to revitalize in-person diplomacy and, in addition to geopolitical matters, “will look to establish a shared approach among the world’s leading democracies on equitable vaccine access, to agree global girls’ education targets, rigorous goals on climate finance and new measures to prevent famine and food insecurity.”The talks in London come ahead of a high-profile G-7 leaders summit in Cornwall on June 11-13 where U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will gather leaders of member nations, the EU and guest countries.Covid-secure measures are in place for the London talks, including daily coronavirus testing. All domestic social distancing guidelines will be in force, the U.K. said.







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G7 foreign ministers meet face-to-face after pandemic pause From “Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines”



The New York TimesBiden’s Proposals Aim to Give Sturdier Support to the Middle ClassPerhaps the most striking difference between the middle class of 50 years ago and the middle class today is a loss of confidence — the confidence that you were doing better than your parents and that your children would do better than you. President Joe Biden’s multitrillion-dollar suite of economic proposals is aiming to both reinforce and rebuild an American middle class that feels it has been standing on shifting ground. And it comes with an explicit message that the private sector alone cannot deliver on that dream and that the government has a central part to play. “When you look at periods of shared growth,” said Brian Deese, director of Biden’s National Economic Council, “what you see is that public investment has played an absolutely critical role, not to the exclusion of private investment and innovation, but in laying the foundation.” Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times If the Biden administration gets its way, the reconstructed middle class would be built on a sturdier and much broader plank of government support rather than the vagaries of the market. Some proposals are meant to support parents who work: federal paid family and medical leave, more affordable child care, free prekindergarten classes. Others would use public investment to create jobs, in areas like clean energy, transportation and high-speed broadband. And a higher minimum wage would aim to buoy those in low-paid work, while free community college would improve skills. That presidents pitch their agendas to the middle class is not surprising given that nearly 9 out of 10 Americans consider themselves members. The definition, of course, has always been a nebulous stew of cash, credentials and culture, relying on lifestyles and aspirations as much as on assets. But what cuts across an avalanche of studies, surveys and statistics over the past half-century is that life in the middle class, once considered a guarantee of security and comfort, now often comes with a nagging sense of vulnerability. Before the pandemic, unemployment was low and stocks soared. But for decades, workers have increasingly had to contend with low pay, sluggish wage growth and more erratic schedules as well as a lack of sick days, parental leave and any kind of long-term security. At the same time, the cost of essentials like housing, health care and education have been gulping up a much larger portion of their incomes. The trend can be found in rich countries all over the world. “Every generation since the baby boom has seen the middle-income group shrink and its economic influence weaken,” a 2019 report from the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation concluded. In the United States, the proportion of adults in the middle bands of the income spectrum — which the Pew Research Center defines as roughly between $50,000 and $150,000 — declined to 51% in 2019 from 61% 50 years ago. Their share of the nation’s income shrank even more over the same period, to 42% from 62%. Their outlook dimmed, too. During the 1990s, Pew found rising optimism that the next generation would be better off financially than the current one, reaching a high of 55% in 1999. That figure dropped to 42% in 2019. The economy has produced enormous wealth over the past few decades, but much of it was channeled to a tiny cadre at the top. Two wage earners were needed to generate the kind of income that used to come in a single paycheck. “Upper-income households pulled away,” said Richard Fry, a senior economist at Pew. Corrosive inequality was just the beginning of what appeared to be a litany of glaring market failures, like the inability to head off ruinous climate change or meet the enormous demand for affordable housing and health care. Companies often channeled profits to buy back stock instead of using them to invest or raise wages. The evidence was growing, liberal economists argued, that the reigning hands-off economic approach — low taxes on the wealthy; minimal government — was not producing the broad-based economic gains that sustained and grew the middle class. “The unregulated economy is not working for most Americans,” said Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics. “The government has an important role,” he emphasized, in regulating the private sector’s excesses, redistributing income and making substantial public investments. Skeptics have warned of government overreach and the risk that deficit spending could ignite inflation, but Biden and his team of economic advisers have nonetheless embraced the approach. “It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom and middle out,” Biden said in his speech to a joint session of Congress last week, a reference to the idea that prosperity does not trickle down from the wealthy but flows out of a well-educated and well-paid middle class. He underscored the point by singling out workers as the dynamo powering the middle class. “Wall Street didn’t build this country,” he said. “The middle class built the country. And unions built the middle class.” Of course, the economy that lifted millions of postwar families into the middle class differed sharply from the current one. Manufacturing, construction and mining jobs, previously viewed as the backbone of the labor force, dwindled — as did the labor unions that aggressively fought for better wages and benefits. Now only 1 out of every 10 workers is a union member, while roughly 80% of jobs in the United States are in the service sector. And it is these types of jobs — in health care, education, child care, disabled and senior care — that are expected to continue expanding at the quickest pace. Most of them, though, fall short of paying middle-income wages. That does not necessarily reflect their value in an open market. Salaries for teachers, hospital workers, lab technicians, child care providers and nursing home attendants are determined largely by the government, which collects tax dollars to pay their salaries and sets reimbursements rates for Medicare and other programs. They are also jobs that are filled by significant numbers of women, African Americans, Latinos and Asians. “When we think about what is the right wage,” Stiglitz asked, “should we take advantage of discrimination against women and people of color, which is what we’ve done, or can we use this as the basis of building a middle class?” Biden’s spending plans — a $2.3 trillion infrastructure package called the American Jobs Plan and a $1.8 trillion American Families Plan that concentrates on social spending — aim to take account of just how much the workforce and the economy have transformed over the past half-century and where they may be headed in the next. The president’s economic team took inspiration from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and the public programs that followed it. After World War II, for instance, the government helped millions of veterans get college educations and buy homes by offering tuition assistance and subsidized mortgages. It created a mammoth highway system to undergird commercial activity and funneled billions of dollars into research and development that was used later to develop smartphone technology, search engines, the human genome project, magnetic resonance imaging, hybrid corn and supercomputers. Biden, too, wants to fix roads and bridges, upgrade electric grids and invest in research. But his administration has also concluded that a 21st-century economy requires much more, from expanded access to high-speed broadband, which more than one-third of rural inhabitants lack, to parental leave and higher wages for child care workers. “We’ve now had 50 years of the revolution of women entering the labor force,” and the most basic necessities that make it possible for parents to fully participate in the workforce are still missing, said Betsey Stevenson, a professor at the University of Michigan and a former member of the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisers. She paused a few moments to take it in: “It’s absolutely stunning.” Right before the pandemic, more women than men could be found in paying jobs. Ensuring equal opportunity, Stevenson noted, includes “the opportunity to get high-quality early-childhood education, the opportunity to have a parent stay home with you when you’re sick, the opportunity for a parent to bond with you when born.” When it comes to offering this type of support, she added, “the United States is an outlier compared to almost every industrialized country.” The administration also has an eye on how federal education, housing and business programs of earlier eras largely excluded women, African Americans, Asians and others. In the Biden plan are aid for colleges that primarily serve nonwhite students, free community college for all, universal prekindergarten and monthly child payments. “This is not a 1930s model anymore,” said Julian Zelizer, a political science professor at Princeton University. And it is all to be paid for by higher taxes on corporations and the top 1%. Passage in a sharply polarized Congress is anything but assured. The multitrillion-dollar price tag and the prospect of an activist government have ensured the opposition of Republicans in a Senate where Democrats have the slimmest possible majority. But public polling from last year showed widening support for the government to take a larger role. “What is so remarkable about this moment is this notion that public investment can transform America, that these are things government can do,” said Felicia Wong, president of the left-leaning Roosevelt Institute. “This is fundamentally restructuring how the economy works.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company







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