Chelsea Clinton announces she’s pregnant with first child

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(CNN) – Chelsea Clinton announced Thursday that she is expecting her first child.
 
The only daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton made the announcement while sharing the stage with her mother at a women's event in New York.
 
"Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year," Chelsea said at the end of the event.
 
"And I certainly feel all the better whether it's girl or a boy that she or he will grow up in a world full of so many strong, young female leaders. So thank you for inspiring me and thank you for inspiring future generations."
 
Clinton added: "I just hope I will be as good a mom to my child and hopefully children as my mom was to me."
 
Clinton married Marc Mezvinsky in 2010.
 
While a spokesperson for Clinton and Mezvinsky declined to answers questions about the due date, how long the couple knew about the pregnancy and why they chose to make the announcement at this event, they did say the baby is coming in the fall.
 
"Chelsea and Marc are very excited to be expecting their first child in the fall," the spokesperson said. "They have been blessed with incredibly supportive, loving families and can't wait to be parents themselves."
 
In an October interview with Glamour, Clinton said the couple wants "to start a family."
 
"So we decided we were going to make 2014 the Year of the Baby," Clinton said.
 
Equally important to the plan, she told the reporter: "Call my mother and tell her that. She asks us about it every single day."
 
Clinton talked about her mother's impatience for grandchildren in a 2012 Vogue interview, saying they were thinking about starting a family in "a couple of years."
 
Bill Clinton congratulated his daughter on the announcement, and he and his wife celebrated their new titles.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NASA discovers Earth-sized planet that may sustain life

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(CNN) — It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.
Designated Kepler-186f, the planet is 490 light-years away. But in the search for worlds similar to ours, nothing has come closer.
"This is the first definitive Earth-sized planet found in the habitable zone around another star," said Elisa Quintana of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute at NASA. "Finding such planets is a primary goal of the Kepler space telescope."
 
"This discovery not only proves the existence of worlds that might be similar to our own but will undoubtedly shape future investigations of exoplanets that could have terrestrial surface environments," the institute said in an announcement Thursday.
After spotting it, the institute wasted no time searching for emissions that could indicate the presence of ETs. So far, no emissions have been found.
The size — estimated to be 10% larger than Earth — and distance from its star don't just make for interesting factoids. They give scientists hope that Kepler-186f might sustain life as we know it.
Of nearly 1,800 "confirmed exoplanets" that have been found, approximately 20 orbit their host stars within habitable zones, where it's believed surface water would not freeze or boil. In 2011, NASA announced that Kepler had observed five planets approximately the size of Earth and in the habitable zone.
But the "previously discovered worlds are larger than Earth, and consequently their true nature — rocky or gaseous — is unknown," the SETI Institute said in a written announcement on Thursday. "On the basis of the observed dimming of starlight from Kepler-186, the authors estimate that this newly discovered planet is roughly the same size as the Earth."
Theoretical models and observations tell scientists that planets the size of Kepler-186f likely have a composition of iron, rock and ice, like Earth, Quintana told reporters Thursday.
Even if Kepler-186f is rocky, it's not necessarily habitable, scientists warned Thursday. First, a lot would depend on the atmosphere, if it has one, Thomas Barclay of NASA's Kepler mission said. And scientists right now don't have the technology to know what the atmosphere is.
The star's size — it's an M-dwarf star, smaller and less hot than our sun — also could come into play. Because it is smaller, the habitable zone is closer, so radiation could prevent life if the atmosphere isn't dense enough, said Victoria Meadows of the University of Washington Virtual Planetary Laboratory.
But the Webb space-based telescope, now under construction, should be able to gather images of planets around closer dwarf stars and study their atmospheres.
Scientists are especially keen about checking dwarf stars because their habitable planets are more easily detectable, and because they are the most abundant type of star in our galaxy, Barclay said.
For researchers, the discovery of Kepler-186f is like a beginning. It's a first but "not a record we wish to keep," Quintana said. "We want to find more of these."
It's likely they will. Astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Hawaii, using data from Kepler, estimate there are tens of billions of Earth-size, possibly habitable planets in our Milky Way galaxy.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Canada-Saudi arms deal has ‘significant risk’

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Read Time:5 Minute, 19 Second

The Canadian government promoted it as the "largest advanced manufacturing export win" in the country's history.

The deal, announced in February, will see Canada's division of General Dynamics Land Systems build more than $10bn worth of light armoured vehicles (LAVs) and associated equipment for Saudi Arabia. Canadian Minister of International Trade Ed Fast touted the "landmark" contract as a way to benefit hundreds of local supply firms and create thousands of advanced manufacturing jobs, particularly in the populous region of southern Ontario.

But critics contend the Saudi deal represents a dangerous escalation in Canada's willingness to supply military equipment to repressive regimes, and a lack of regard for what impact the equipment could have on the ground – particularly in light of a new report showing Saudi leads the Middle East in military spending.

"Under Canada's own guidelines, this sale should not have gone forward, and in the future similar sales should not go forward," said Kenneth Epps, senior programme officer with Project Ploughshares, a Canadian non-governmental organisation that advocates non-violence. Epps, who has been tracking Canada's global weapons sales for decades, called the Saudi deal unprecedented in scope.

"[We have] concerns about human rights violations that the Saudi regime is known for," Epps told Al Jazeera. "There is a significant risk, based on current and past history in Saudi Arabia, and even specifically the fact that armoured vehicles of this kind were used by Saudi forces to reinforce Bahraini troops when Bahrain was putting down opposition a couple of years ago. The risk is clear."

Under existing guidelines mandated by cabinet, Canada is required to closely control the export of military goods and technology to countries "whose governments have a persistent record of serious violations of the human rights of their citizens", unless it can be shown there is no "reasonable risk" the exported goods may be used against civilians.

Human rights groups have long criticised Saudi Arabia for its harsh treatment of dissidents; in December, a Saudi judge reportedly sentenced activist Omar al-Saeed to 300 lashes and four years in prison for advocating changes to the country's political system. The kingdom's intervention in Bahrain during the Arab Spring, meanwhile, stands as evidence of how foreign-purchased LAVs may be used to stifle dissent both domestically and in neighbouring states.

The February deal – which followed two trade missions by Fast to Saudi Arabia in 2012 and 2013 – was signed through the Canadian Commercial Corporation as a government-to-government contract, with General Dynamics in a separate agreement to fulfil the Canadian government's terms.

While Canada has long supplied Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries with military equipment, the latest deal dwarfs its predecessors: In 2013, the Middle East, as a whole, accounted for about one-fifth of Canada's total exports of military equipment, or about $140m, said Caitlin Workman, a spokesperson for Canada's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. She acknowledged that Canadian military exports to Saudi Arabia have increased in recent years, with the vast majority of exports being LAVs.

"Saudi Arabia is a priority market under the government's new Global Markets Action Plan," Workman told Al Jazeera, noting about half of Canada's defence industry revenues are attributed to exports. Asked about criticisms that Canada is helping to arm repressive regimes, she responded: "The promotion and protection of human rights is an integral part of Canadian principled foreign policy… We will continue to engage with Saudi Arabia on a range of issues, including regional security and human rights."

The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to Al Jazeera's multiple requests for comment. Mansour Almarzoqi Albogami, a researcher on Saudi politics at Sciences Po Lyon in France, pointed out that while the United States "has always been the first line of defence" for the kingdom's security, "that is about to change".

"[The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia] is taking that responsibility into its hands," he said. "And KSA needs to build its own defence capacities in order to be able to do that."

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, imports of military equipment by Gulf states increased by 23 percent between 2004 and 2013. Saudi's military budget is now the fourth largest in the world, with the kingdom spending $67bn last year, a 14 percent increase over 2012 – still well below Russia, China and the United States.

The Canadian public remains largely in the dark about the scale of Canada's arms exports to foreign governments, said Wayne Cox, a Queen's University political scientist and a fellow at the school's Centre for International and Defence Policy. This has been the case for many years, he said, even before Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper took office nearly a decade ago – and it has given successive governments considerable latitude to transact business with countries with questionable human rights records.

"In part, this has been the case because all Canadian governments, and especially the Harper Conservatives, know that when it comes to election time, foreign policy issues rarely become election issues," Cox told Al Jazeera. "The irony is, of course, that with the Harper Conservatives they have gone out of their way to justify Canada's participation in missions such as the NATO mission in Afghanistan on humanitarian grounds, so the sale of weapons and training systems to Saudi Arabia stands in stark contrast to much of their own rhetoric."
Canadian MP Paul Dewar, the New Democratic Party's foreign affairs critic, said there should be greater public awareness about foreign arms deals, accusing the ruling Conservatives of attempting to "hide" information on the purchaser in the Saudi contract. General Dynamics did not identify the purchaser in its initial announcement, he said, while the government appeared to include it as an afterthought, tucked into the last paragraph of a press release that emphasised job creation.

"We need greater transparency and accountability when it comes to the international sale of conventional weapons," Dewar told Al Jazeera.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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US: Russian jet made close-range passes

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A Russian fighter jet has made close-range passes for more than 90 minutes near an American warship in the Black Sea amid diplomatic tensions between the US and Russia over Ukraine.

Pentagon said on Monday that the Russian Fencer made 12 passes and flew within 900 metres of the destroyer USS Donald Cook on Saturday at about 150 metres above sea level.

"This provocative and unprofessional Russian action is inconsistent with international protocols and previous agreements on the professional interaction between out militaries," Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said.

The fighter appeared to be unarmed and never was in danger of coming in contact with the ship, said the officials, but it did not respond to radio queries and warnings used by the US warship.

The passes ended without incident.

Warren reported that a second Russian fighter jet was also involved, but it flew at a higher altitude and was not a concern.

A Russian Navy ship, a frigate, has also been shadowing the US warship, remainining within visual distance, but not close enough to be unsafe, according to another US military official who was not authorised to discuss the incident publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Routine operations

The USS Donald Cook, that is now in port at Romania's Constanta, has been conducting routine operations in international waters east of the country.

The ship, which carries helicopters, was deployed to the Black Sea on April 10, in the wake of the Russian military takeover of Ukraine's Crimea region in an effort to reassure US allies and partners in the region.

Romanian President Traian Basescu visited the ship on Monday and said a second US navy warship – a frigate from the Navy's Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea – is also heading to the Black Sea.

"My visit to the ship is symbolic, which first of all shows our respect to our NATO allies' reaction who have strengthened their presence in the Black Sea after Russia's annexation of Crimea," said Basescu, who is a former ship captain.

He said the Russians "had created a circle of fire around the Black Sea".

The US frigate, which has not yet been identified, is expected to arrive in the Black Sea in the next two weeks.

According to a US military official, the frigate is likely to replace the USS Donald Cook, which is expected to return to the Mediterranean Sea.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Suspended senator Brazeau charged with assault, threats, drug possession

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GATINEAU, Que. – Suspended senator Patrick Brazeau is facing new legal challenges following what police are describing as a violent domestic disturbance early Thursday.

Just a day before a court date was to be set in another assault case against him, Brazeau arrived at the Gatineau courthouse in handcuffs hours after police responded to a 911 call.

Wearing a dark green shirt, black jacket and pants and dress shoes, Brazeau was escorted into the courthouse from a van with dark tinted windows.

He is charged with two counts of assault, uttering death threats, cocaine possession and breach of bail conditions.

Police said a 39-year-old man was arrested after an incident that took place around 4 a.m. at a home in Gatineau.

"It was an altercation between a man and a woman," said Gatineau police spokesman Pierre Lanthier.

Personal belongings were strewn about in the back yard of the residence at 452 Labrosse Blvd., including clothing and what appeared to be childhood pictures of Brazeau.

Personal letters addressed to him fluttered in the wind and music CDs, Canadian Tire money and a memorandum on Senate letterhead were scattered on the ground near a doorway.

Lanthier said officers who went to the scene found that a violent confrontation had occurred on a patio in front of the residence, where a woman complained of being assaulted.

Another man who was inside the house, also complained he was assaulted and threatened.

Brazeau faces other legal problems.

In February, the RCMP charged him with fraud and breach of trust in relation to his Senate expense claims.

In another case, Brazeau is charged with assault and sexual assault over an incident at his home in February 2013.

A year ago, the Senate ordered Brazeau to pay back almost $50,000 over disputed expense claims. He refused, and the Senate garnisheed his salary until last November, when he was suspended without pay.

Brazeau's lawyer, Gerard Larocque, refused to comment Thursday on the latest charges.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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A Powerful Cyclone Is Heading For Australia’s Far North Coast

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A powerful category three cyclone is tracking towards Australia’s north Queensland coast.

Tropical Cyclone Ita is intensifying as it approaches the coast north of Port Douglas and is the most powerful storm the region has seen since Cyclone Yasi hit in 2011.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology is expecting the cyclone to make landfall late on Friday, predicting the storm will reach category four levels with winds of up to 240 kilometres an hour.

It is also warning of heavy rain, damaging swells, strong currents and flooding of low-lying areas in the northern parts of the North Tropical Coast and Tablelands.

This forecast map shows the Bureau’s estimate of where the cyclone will hit. It includes the bauxite mining area around Weipa.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Search picks up new signal in seas where past sounds were consistent with aircraft black boxes

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PERTH, Australia – An Australian aircraft hunting for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet picked up a new underwater signal Thursday while searching the same part of the Indian Ocean where earlier sounds were detected that were consistent with an aircraft's black boxes.

The Australian air force P-3 Orion, which has been dropping sound-locating buoys into the water near where the original sounds were heard, picked up a "possible signal" that may be from a man-made source, said Angus Houston, who is co-ordinating the search off Australia's west coast.

"The acoustic data will require further analysis overnight," Houston said in a statement.

If confirmed, it would be the fifth underwater signal detected in the hunt for Flight 370, which vanished on March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people aboard.

On Tuesday, the Australian vessel Ocean Shield picked up two underwater sounds, and an analysis of two other sounds detected in the same general area on Saturday showed they were consistent with a plane's flight recorders, or "black boxes."

The Australian air force has been dropping buoys from the P-3 Orion to better pinpoint the location of the sounds detected by the Ocean Shield.

Royal Australian Navy Commodore Peter Leavy said each buoy is dangling a hydrophone listening device about 300 metres (1,000 feet) below the surface. Each buoy transmits its data via radio back to the plane.

The underwater search zone is currently a 1,300-square-kilometre (500-square-mile) patch of the ocean floor, and narrowing the area as much as possible is crucial before an unmanned submarine can be sent to create a sonar map of a potential debris field on the seabed.

The Bluefin 21 sub takes six times longer to cover the same area as the pinger locator being towed by the Ocean Shield, and it would take the vehicle about six weeks to two months to canvass the underwater search zone, which is about the size of Los Angeles. That's why the acoustic equipment is still being used to hone in on a more precise location, U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Matthews said.

The search for floating debris on the ocean surface was narrowed Thursday to its smallest size yet — 57,900 square kilometres (22,300 square miles), or about one-quarter the size it was a few days ago. Fourteen planes and 13 ships were looking for floating debris, about 2,300 kilometres (1,400 miles) northwest of Perth.

A "large number of objects" were spotted on Wednesday, but the few that had been retrieved by search vessels were not believed to be related to the missing plane, the search co-ordinationcentre said.

Crews hunting for debris on the surface have already looked in the area they were crisscrossing on Thursday, but were moving in tighter patterns, now that the search zone has been narrowed to about a quarter the size it was a few days ago, Houston said.

Houston has expressed optimism about the sounds detected earlier in the week, saying on Wednesday that he was hopeful crews would find the aircraft — or what's left of it — in the "not-too-distant future."

The locator beacons on the black boxes holding the flight data and cockpit voice recorders have a battery life of about a month, and Tuesday marked one month since Flight 370 disappeared. The plane veered off-course for an unknown reason, so the data on the black boxes are essential to finding the plane and solving the mystery. Investigators suspect it went down in the southern Indian Ocean based on a flight path calculated from its contacts with a communications satellite and analysis of its speed and when it would have run out of fuel.

An Australian government briefing document circulated among international agencies involved in the search on Thursday said it was likely that the acoustic pingers would continue to transmit at decreasing strength for up to 10 more days, depending on conditions.

Once there is no hope left of the Ocean Shield's equipment picking up any more sounds, the Bluefin sub will be deployed.

Complicating matters, however, is the depth of the seafloor in the search area. The pings detected earlier are emanating from 4,500 metres (14,763 feet) below the surface — which is the deepest the Bluefin can dive.

"It'll be pretty close to its operating limit. It's got a safety margin of error and if they think it's warranted, then they push it a little bit," said Stefan Williams, a professor of marine robotics at Sydney University.

The search co-ordinationcentre said it was considering available options in case a deeper diving sub is needed. But Williams suspects if that happens, the search will be delayed while an underwater vehicle rated to 6,000 metres (19,700 feet) is dismantled and air freighted from Europe, the U.S. or Japan.

Williams said colleagues at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts had autonomous and remotely operated underwater vehicles that will dive to 11 kilometres (36,100 feet), although they might not be equipped for such a search.

Underwater vessels rated to 6,500 metres (21,300 feet) could search the seabed of more than 90 per cent of the world's oceans, Williams said.

"There's not that much of it deeper than 6 1/2 kilometres," he said.

Williams said it was unlikely that the wreck had fallen into the narrow Diamantina trench, which is about 5,800 metres (19,000 feet) deep, since sounds emanating from that depth would probably not have been detected by the pinger locator.

___

Gelineau reported from Sydney. Associated Press Writer Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, contributed to this report.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Tennessee Wants to Ban the U.N. From Monitoring Its Elections

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When you think of the type of countries the United Nations might want to keep an eye on, you probably think of, say, Libya, whose citizens voted for the first time in over 40 years in 2012.

But newly democratized countries aren't the only subjects of U.N. election oversight. In 2012, civil-rights groups voiced their concern to the U.N. that state voter-ID laws would lead to voter suppression. The U.N. sent 44 of its election monitors to states—including Tennessee—and drew much ire from conservative groups in the process.

Now, the Republican-controlled Legislature in Tennessee is fighting back against the international governing body. On Tuesday, the state Senate passed a bill banning U.N. elections monitors from overseeing state elections—unless they have express permission from the U.S. Senate to be there.
 

The legislation now sits on Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's desk, waiting to be signed. "The governor will review the bill in its final form, like he does all bills, before taking any action on it," a spokesman for Haslam said.

The bill, which is one sentence long, reads: "Any representative of the United Nations appearing without a treaty ratified by the United States Senate stating that the United Nations can monitor elections in this state, shall not monitor elections in this state."

In Tennessee, you can use a handgun carry permit to vote, but not a college student ID. And no nosy Frenchman is going to change that.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Message in a bottle found 101 years after it was tossed into the sea

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Read Time:1 Minute, 46 Second

In 1913, a man named Richard Platz threw a bottle into the sea carrying a message that would later be found and presented to his granddaughter last Tuesday … 101 years later.

Angela Erdmann, 62, never met her grandfather, Platz, as he died before she was born. But receiving the bottle on Tuesday was an extraordinary moment for her.

The bottle was found last month by fisherman Konrad Fischer off the coast of Germany. Though the message inside the bottle was indecipherable, the name and address of the sender, Platz, was still legible. The letter inside, which is now thought to be the world’s oldest message in a bottle, was written by Platz when he was only 20 years old. It is currently on display at a museum in Germany.

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“It was very surprising,” Erdmann told The Guardian. “A man stood in front of my door and told me he had a post from my grandfather. He then told me that a message in a bottle was found and that the name that was on the card was that of my grandfather.”

The brown beer bottle used by Platz to house the letter had been floating in the ocean for 101 years. Researchers believe Platz, threw the bottled message into the sea while on a hike with a nature appreciation group in 1913.

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“I knew very little about my grandfather, but I found out that he was a writer who was very open minded, believed in freedom and that everyone should respect each other,” said Erdmann. “It was wonderful because I could see where my roots came form.”

Although Erdmann is delighted to receive the ancient message in a bottle from her late grandfather, she advises others not to throw bottled messages in to the sea. “Today the sea is so full of so many bottles and rubbish, that more shouldn’t be thrown in there,” she said.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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What’s happening to all of Canada’s female premiers?

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It was a just a few months ago that journos were busy writing about how women in Canadian politics have come of age.

There was a real excitement that six of Canada's premiers were women: Eva Aariak in Nunuvut, Christy Clark in British Columbia, Alison Redford in Alberta, Kathleen Wynne in Ontario, Pauline Marois in Quebec and Kathy Dunderdale in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Today, that impressive list of six has dwindled to just two.

Aariak lost her seat, Redford and Dunderdale were pushed out and Pauline Marois was involved in this week's epic Parti Quebecois election loss.

What happenened in just a matter of months? And does the fact that there's only two women now suggest something about the state of women in Canadian politics?

Most think that the disappearance of female premiers is simply a coincidence.

"It does occur to me that it’s unfortunate that we had six, actually, six women at the Council of the Federation meeting last summer and that has changed, obviously," Ontario Premier Katleen Wynne said on Tuesday, according to the Globe and Mail.

[ Related: Pauline Marois resigns as PQ leader after crushing election defeat ]

"There’s no definite pattern here: I think that it may have been a coincidence of history that there were that many female premiers. I hope it’s not. I hope that we will see over the coming years that trajectory re-established."

Clare Beckton, executive director of the Centre for Women in Politics at Carleton University says that these women didn't fail because they were women.

"In general, I think the four premiers exemplify the exigencies of politics," she told Yahoo Canada News.

"Eva Aariak served five years and Kathy Dunderdale four years. Pauline Marois and her party appeared to have made errors in judgment respecting the concerns of Quebecers. According to the Alberta Conservative party, Allison Redford displayed some leadership attributes that were not conducive to engaging the party members and caucus. A male leader may also not have survived in a similar situation."

Beckton does contend that women leaders face some unique challenges — like high expectations, judgments about their likability and being judged by their appearance — but that having six elected women premiers is something to celebrate.

"A big lesson is that women can run and win because the electorate values good leadership irrespective of gender," she said.

"Simply because several of them did not survive more than 18 months does not mean women cannot be successful leaders."

[ Related: Was sexism a factor in the downfall of Alison Redford? ]

Interestingly, however, a blogger — a man — says that gender did play a role in the demise of each of those premiers.

Scott Ross has this interesting take:

"Surely some may speculate gender had nothing to do with the forced resignations of these female Premiers, but if one considers what would happen if these leaders were men, that argument falls apart. Alison Redford was publicly attacked by one of her own MLAs who said she was "mean" and a "bully". Such a criticism of an equally successful male leader would only strengthen his leadership credentials, for an example look at our Prime Minister," he wrote.

And with regard to Pauline Marois, he suggests that she fell into a trap that all female premiers do.

"Successful political parties have a habit in Canada of not selecting women leaders. It's only when those parties are in desperation do they resort to gender equality, as if it's some last ditch effort to show the party is different. This was the case for every recent female Premier," Ross wrote.

"The five female Premiers that started this year were elected to lead failing political parties, they didn't have a chance. Each party that elected them was facing declining and dismal polling numbers."

What do you think?

Is the loss of all these female premiers in such a short period of time just a coincidence or there something more to it?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments area below.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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