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United Nations representatives dispense with hierarchical diplomacy during runs in Central Park. It’s “a bit like going to the sauna — everyone is equal,” said one from Finland.
www.nytimes.com | 12/12/18
Northern Ireland Under-21s will face Denmark, Romania, Ukraine, Finland and Malta in Group Eight of the Euro 2021 qualifiers.
www.bbc.co.uk | 12/11/18
Finland's melodic death superstars Children Of Bodom are proud to the announce the release of their tenth album, Hexed, on March 8, 2019 via Nuclear Blast Records. Today, the band reveals the official music video for "Under Grass And Clover" which can be seen below. COB frontman, guitarist, and mastermind Alexi Laiho comments: "'Under Grass and ... Read More/Discuss on Metal Underground.com

Award-winning children’s series creator Chris Nee is leaving Disney to enter into an overall deal with Netflix, the streaming giant announced on Thursday.

It will be a multi-year deal with the Peabody, Emmy, and Humanitas Prize-winning children’s TV screenwriter and producer.

Nee has created hits such as “Doc McStuffins” and the Emmy-nominated “Vampirina” for Disney Junior.

Also Read: Netflix Inks First-Look Deal With 'Harry Potter' Director Chris Columbus' 1492 Pictures

Under her new deal at Netflix, Nee will write and produce animated and live action series for preschool and all audiences exclusively for Netflix. Additionally, Netflix will have a first-look option on any feature film projects that Nee and her production company, Laughing Wild, develop.

“Chris is an absolute master at crafting characters that kids want to spend time with and telling stories that are representative of all different types of families and communities,” said Melissa Cobb, Netflix’s vice president of kids and family content, in a statement. “She  is among the very best and most prolific artists working in kids content today and we are so honored that Chris has chosen to make Netflix her creative home.”

“Doc McStuffins,” which won a Peabody Award, NAACP Awards and multiple Daytime Emmy nominations, was the first preschool show to feature an animated black female as the lead character as well as a family led by LGBTQ parents.

Also Read: Netflix Sets Meg LeFauve, Alex Woo, Jorge Gutierrez Animated Projects

“The beauty of Netflix is that they don’t define me by what I’ve done in the past, but by who they think I can be in the future,” Nee said in a statement. “I love that they don’t believe in boxes but rather encourage creators to dream big and swing for the fences creatively. Just as important is my ability to define the culture of my company and double-down on finding and nurturing new and diverse voices.

“My mission is to create work that reflects the world we live in and lend a voice to the storytellers who haven’t always had access. I can’t wait to get started.”

Nee began her career as an associate producer at Sesame Street International, where she spent time in countries like Mexico, Finland, Israel and Jordan working on local productions for the award-winning show. She has spent over 20 years championing stories with diverse points of view that have paved the way for underrepresented voices to be heard.

Nee is represented by UTA and Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' Sequel Will Be First Film in Paramount-Netflix Deal

'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,' 'Matilda,' 'The BFG': Netflix to Adapt Roald Dahl Library as Event Series

Netflix Announces New Anime Projects Based on 'Pacific Rim,' 'Altered Carbon'

www.thewrap.com | 12/6/18
From Colorado to Finland, wilderness lodges and country inns where cross-country skiing is the main event—not an afterthought.
www.wsj.com | 12/6/18
Google's parent company, Alphabet, will test its drone delivery service in Finland next year.
www.bbc.co.uk | 12/5/18
Finland-based black metal trio Goats of Doom premiere the pre-release full-album stream of the band's upcoming new album "Rukous", which will be out in stores this Friday on Finland’s Primitive Reaction. Check out now "Rukous" in its entirety below. Rukous by Goats of Doom Read More/Discuss on Metal Underground.com
Sensors and cameras help this ferry in Finland navigate independently and it can even dock itself.
www.bbc.co.uk | 12/3/18
You would be spoiled for ways to describe Finland’s natural bounty — a breathtaking tapestry of Arctic tundra, glacial fields, boreal forests, gin-clear lakes, and dramatic coastline offering easy access to the world’s largest archipelago. The landscape is as wild and untouched as anywhere on the planet; the air is relatively pollution-free, making the sunlight […]
variety.com | 11/29/18
Finland’s Arctic landscapes have an almost otherworldly beauty, and the country is spoiled for natural riches. Along its spectacular Baltic coastline, visitors can access the world’s largest archipelago, while the interior boasts fairy-tale backdrops of crystal lakes, brooding forests and unspoiled wilderness areas brimming with reindeer, elk and other wildlife. Turning that natural bounty into […]
variety.com | 11/29/18
Production designer Sarah Greenwood didn’t expect to find herself on the fringes of the Arctic Circle while shooting 2011’s “Hanna,” the story of a teenage girl raised in the wilderness to be an assassin. “We weren’t originally planning to go to Finland,” she says, recalling the pre-production for a film meant to shoot in Germany. […]
variety.com | 11/29/18
Finland's melodic death superstars Children Of Bodom are proud to the announce the release of their tenth album, Hexed, on March 8th 2019 via Nuclear Blast Records. COB frontman, guitarist, and mastermind Alexi Laiho comments, "People have said that this album is generally catchier. So I started thinking about that, perhaps the song structures a... Read More/Discuss on Metal Underground.com
New Stone Age art has been found at a lake in Finland.
www.bbc.co.uk | 11/28/18
A head teacher has returned from Finland with a new philosophy for teaching her youngsters.
www.bbc.co.uk | 11/24/18
Scientists in Finland and the UK have built a computer model that visualises groundwater levels in real time.
www.bbc.co.uk | 11/21/18

Google will invest 600 million euro (roughly $700 million USD) to construct its first Danish datacenter. The company says the site will be matching its energy use with 100 percent carbon-free energy. Google further notes that the data center will be among the most energy-efficient data centers in Denmark to date by taking advantage of advanced machine learning ensuring every watt of electricity counts. This will be Googles fifth data center in Europe with others located in Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands and Belgium. "The Nordic countries, which can generate electricity relatively cheaply from renewable sources such as hydropower and wind, have long been a magnet for heavy power-using industries, but are now attracting power-hungry data centers," Reuters notes.

www.circleid.com | 11/20/18
The Finnish leader is not sure where Donald Trump got the idea that Finland rakes its forest floors.
www.bbc.co.uk | 11/18/18
Like his earlier comments about California’s forest management, President Trump’s remarks about how Finland prepares for wildfires were somewhat misleading.
www.nytimes.com | 11/18/18
Kouvola, Finland based death metal outfit Korpsesoturi premiere the pre-release full-album stream of the band's upcoming debut album named "Malus Corpus", which will be out in stores November 16th via Rotted Life Records. Check out now "Malus Corpus" in its entirety below. Read More/Discuss on Metal Underground.com
Finland's PM suggests it was jammed deliberately in northern Finnish airspace during Nato exercises.
www.bbc.co.uk | 11/12/18
As concern grows about climate change and resources, is it time to re-use more of our junk?
www.bbc.co.uk | 11/8/18
Versions of the hit British TV show in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden also feature well-sculpted singles in a Spanish villa. In other ways, they’re quite different.
www.nytimes.com | 11/6/18
In Finland schools are increasingly ditching traditional classrooms in favour of open-plan learning.
www.bbc.co.uk | 11/6/18
Finland death metal band CORPSESSED have released the video for "Graveborne," the latest single off the band's upcoming album Impetus of Death. Featuring animantion by Jussi Kandelin, the video for "Graveborne" is streaming for you now below: Read More/Discuss on Metal Underground.com
Once a year, the authorities disclose the taxable incomes of all Finns, prompting talk of who’s up, who’s down — and who may be weaseling out of taxes.
www.nytimes.com | 11/1/18
Finland-based thrashers Soulwound have premiered a lyric video for the song "Damned", the closing track of their second album "No Peace". Comments editor and lyricist Janne Huusari: Read More/Discuss on Metal Underground.com
Finnish police and soldiers recently raided a mysterious island. Why? Many suspect that Russia was buying land in Finland for secret military bases.
www.nytimes.com | 10/31/18
A shake-up of the member countries of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon will take place at the end of this month, The Daily Star has learned.
A new cocktail bar in Finland has banned mobile phones.
www.bbc.co.uk | 10/24/18
Finland's progressive metal act, External, premiere a new music video for ”Parasight”. The video combines one-shot material of the band playing with the current trend of a lyric video. The production done by Roger Lundberg. The song itself is from External’s debut album ”The Blurry Horizon” released at the end of summer. Watch the music v... Read More/Discuss on Metal Underground.com
"Tough, eye-catching, the big star" - the man behind Alfredo Morelos' move to Rangers discusses the Colombian's rise.
www.bbc.co.uk | 10/20/18
"Tough, eye-catching, the big star" - the man behind Alfredo Morelos' move to Rangers discusses the Colombian's rise.
www.bbc.co.uk | 10/20/18
Jessika Aro, a Finnish journalist investigating Russian disinformation campaigns, had been called a spy, a drug dealer and unhinged.
www.nytimes.com | 10/20/18
Tele München Group’s world sales unit, TM International, has sold its high-end television series “The Name of the Rose,” starring John Turturro, to multiple territories, including the BBC in the U.K., Sky in Germany and OCS in France. Additionally it has been acquired by YLE in Finland, NRK in Norway, DR in Denmark, SBS in […]
variety.com | 10/15/18
Finland’s Sargeist premiere the full-album stream of the band's brand new album "Unbound", which was released October 11th via W.T.C. Productions / Blut & Eisen Prod.. Check out now "Unbound" in its entirety below. Unbound by SARGEIST Read More/Discuss on Metal Underground.com
Finland’s Kalle Kujala, backed by Family Vijakainen Holding & Investment, has established a new production company called Walking Walnut, which will focus on transmedia original animated content for kids. Brazil’s Spirit Animation Studios are co-producing and animating while the Finnish government is backing the accompanying educational content. The company, its first series and the show’s […]
variety.com | 10/13/18

Eighty-seven films have qualified in the 2018 Oscars race for Best Foreign Language Film, the Academy announced on Monday.

The number is five less than last year’s record of 92 entries, but significantly larger than the 60-odd qualifying films that were the norm only a few years ago. The 2018 race is also expected to be one of the most competitive in years, with a number of esteemed international directors and award-winning films competing for only nine spots on the shortlist and five nominations.

Los Angeles-based volunteers from all branches of the Academy will now watch all the eligible films at AMPAS screenings at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills and the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. This year, the Academy has made it easier to qualify to vote, dropping the number of films each voter must see from 17 or 18 down to 12 and eliminating the color-coded groups that made each voter choose from a specific group of films to which he or she had been assigned.

Also Read: Academy Makes More Changes to Open Up Oscars Foreign Language Voting (Exclusive)

The Mexican entry, Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” is the clear frontrunner, since it is also considered a strong contender for a Best Picture nomination. (In Oscars history, six films have been nominated in both categories, the last one being “Amour” in 2011.)

But the Polish entry, “Cold War,” is the new film from Pawel Pawlikowski, whose last film, “Ida,” won the foreign-language Oscar; it too is considered a likely nominee. So is the Lebanese entry, Nadine Labaki’s “Capernaum,” a powerful drama about a young boy in the slums of Beirut who sues his parents for bringing him into the world.

Two other directors are recent winners in the category, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck with the German entry “Never Look Away” (his “The Lives of Others” won in 2007) and Laszlo Nemes for Hungary’s entry, “Sunset” (his last film, “Son of Saul,” won in 2016).

Also in the race: recent nominees Rithy Panh (“Graves Without a Name,” Cambodia) and Ciro Guerra (“Birds of Passage,” a Colombian film co-directed with his ex-wife, Cristina Gallego).

Also Read: Oscars Foreign Language Race 2018: Complete List of Submissions (So Far)

Other strong Oscars contenders include Lee Chang-dong’s “Burning, which is vying to become the first South Korean film ever to be nominated; Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Shoplifters,” which won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival; Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “The Wild Pear Tree,” the Turkish entry; Lukas Dhont’s “Girl,” which won the acting award in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes; and Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” which took the best-actor award in Cannes’ main competition.

Entries from Ukraine, Egypt, Sweden, Denmark, Israel, the U.K., Spain, Paraguay and several other countries are also contending for the prize.

Malawi and Niger have submitted films for the first time.

Official Academy screenings will begin on Oct. 15 and run through Dec. 10. At that point, the six films that have received the highest average scores from the voters will advance to a nine-film shortlist, along with three additional films chosen by an executive committee.

Also Read: Larry Karaszewski and Diane Weyermann to Replace Mark Johnson as Oscars Foreign-Language Heads (Exclusive)

TheWrap has compiled a complete list of the qualifying films, with descriptions and links to trailers when available.

The list of qualifying films:

Afghanistan, “Rona Azim’s Mother,” Jamshid Mahmoudi, director;

Algeria, “Until the End of Time,” Yasmine Chouikh, director;

Argentina, “El Ángel,” Luis Ortega, director;

Armenia, “Spitak,” Alexander Kott, director;

Australia, “Jirga,” Benjamin Gilmour, director;

Austria, “The Waldheim Waltz,” Ruth Beckermann, director;

Bangladesh, “No Bed of Roses,” Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, director;

Belarus, “Crystal Swan,” Darya Zhuk, director;

Belgium, “Girl,” Lukas Dhont, director;

Bolivia, “The Goalkeeper,” Rodrigo “Gory” Patiño, director;

Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Never Leave Me,” Aida Begi?, director;

Brazil, “The Great Mystical Circus,” Carlos Diegues, director;

Bulgaria, “Omnipresent,” Ilian Djevelekov, director;

Cambodia, “Graves without a Name,” Rithy Panh, director;

Canada, “Family Ties,” Sophie Dupuis, director;

Chile, “…And Suddenly the Dawn,” Silvio Caiozzi, director;

China, “Hidden Man,” Jiang Wen, director;

Colombia, “Birds of Passage,” Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra, directors;

Costa Rica, “Medea,” Alexandra Latishev, director;

Croatia, “The Eighth Commissioner,” Ivan Salaj, director;

Czech Republic, “Winter Flies,” Olmo Omerzu, director;

Denmark, “The Guilty,” Gustav Möller, director;

Dominican Republic, “Cocote,” Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias, director;

Ecuador, “A Son of Man,” Jamaicanoproblem, director;

Egypt, “Yomeddine,” A.B. Shawky, director;

Estonia, “Take It or Leave It,” Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo, director;

Finland, “Euthanizer,” Teemu Nikki, director;

France, “Memoir of War,” Emmanuel Finkiel, director;

Georgia, “Namme,” Zaza Khalvashi, director;

Germany, “Never Look Away,” Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, director;

Greece, “Polyxeni,” Dora Masklavanou, director;

Hong Kong, “Operation Red Sea,” Dante Lam, director;

Hungary, “Sunset,” László Nemes, director;

Iceland, “Woman at War,” Benedikt Erlingsson, director;

India, “Village Rockstars,” Rima Das, director;

Indonesia, “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts,” Mouly Surya, director;

Iran, “No Date, No Signature,” Vahid Jalilvand, director;

Iraq, “The Journey,” Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji, director;

Israel, “The Cakemaker,” Ofir Raul Graizer, director;

Italy, “Dogman,” Matteo Garrone, director;

Japan, “Shoplifters,” Hirokazu Kore-eda, director;

Kazakhstan, “Ayka,” Sergey Dvortsevoy, director;

Kenya, “Supa Modo,” Likarion Wainaina, director;

Kosovo, “The Marriage,” Blerta Zeqiri, director;

Latvia, “To Be Continued,” Ivars Seleckis, director;

Lebanon, “Capernaum,” Nadine Labaki, director;

Lithuania, “Wonderful Losers: A Different World,” Arunas Matelis, director;

Luxembourg, “Gutland,” Govinda Van Maele, director;

Macedonia, “Secret Ingredient,” Gjorce Stavreski, director;

Malawi, “The Road to Sunrise,” Shemu Joyah, director;

Mexico, “Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón, director;

Montenegro, “Iskra,” Gojko Berkuljan, director;

Morocco, “Burnout,” Nour-Eddine Lakhmari, director;

Nepal, “Panchayat,” Shivam Adhikari, director;

Netherlands, “The Resistance Banker,” Joram Lürsen, director;

New Zealand, “Yellow Is Forbidden,” Pietra Brettkelly, director;

Niger, “The Wedding Ring,” Rahmatou Keïta, director;

Norway, “What Will People Say,” Iram Haq, director;

Pakistan, “Cake,” Asim Abbasi, director;

Palestine, “Ghost Hunting,” Raed Andoni, director;

Panama, “Ruben Blades Is Not My Name,” Abner Benaim, director;

Paraguay, “The Heiresses,” Marcelo Martinessi, director;

Peru, “Eternity,” Oscar Catacora, director;

Philippines, “Signal Rock,” Chito S. Roño, director;

Poland, “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski, director;

Portugal, “Pilgrimage,” João Botelho, director;

Romania, “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians,” Radu Jude, director;

Russia, “Sobibor,” Konstantin Khabensky, director;

Serbia, “Offenders,” Dejan Zecevic, director;

Singapore, “Buffalo Boys,” Mike Wiluan, director;

Slovakia, “The Interpreter,” Martin Šulík, director;

Slovenia, “Ivan,” Janez Burger, director;

South Africa, “Sew the Winter to My Skin,” Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, director;

South Korea, “Burning,” Lee Chang-dong, director;

Spain, “Champions,” Javier Fesser, director;

Sweden, “Border,” Ali Abbasi, director;

Switzerland, “Eldorado,” Markus Imhoof, director;

Taiwan, “The Great Buddha+,” Hsin-Yao Huang, director;

Thailand, “Malila The Farewell Flower,” Anucha Boonyawatana, director;

Tunisia, “Beauty and the Dogs,” Kaouther Ben Hania, director;

Turkey, “The Wild Pear Tree,” Nuri Bilge Ceylan, director;

Ukraine, “Donbass,” Sergei Loznitsa, director;

United Kingdom, “I Am Not a Witch,” Rungano Nyoni, director;

Uruguay, “Twelve-Year Night,” Álvaro Brechner, director;

Venezuela, “The Family,” Gustavo Rondón Córdova, director;

Vietnam, “The Tailor,” Buu Loc Tran, Kay Nguyen, directors;

Yemen, “10 Days before the Wedding,” Amr Gamal, director.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Sunset' Film Review: 'Son of Saul' Director Keeps His Characters, and Audience, Off Balance

'Capernaum' Director Left Out 'Shocking' Details About Kids on the Streets That Audiences Couldn't Handle

'Cold War' Film Review: Romance in Postwar Europe Is Ravishing and Haunted

www.thewrap.com | 10/8/18

Globalisation has increased competition in world economies and transcended educational systems across the globe – Sahlberg, 2006. An analysis of Finland and Singapore – two countries with renowned...

www.nationnews.com | 10/3/18
A nationalist MP accuses a school of encouraging hatred after her picture appears on the poster.
www.bbc.co.uk | 10/3/18

LCMDF consists of sisters Emma and Mia Kemppainen. Hailing from Finland, the duohave been setting new standards for electro-pop in their home nation. Since starting out they’ve gone on to tour the world and take up a hectic touring schedule. Not just content with a hectic live lifestyle, their music has hit home online too. […]

The post LCMDF Make Stunning Electro Pop with a Fin-Twist appeared first on Impose Magazine.

What a study of evacuees tells us about the lifelong health effects of separating kids from their parents.
www.nytimes.com | 9/19/18
The UK, Ireland, Finland and Sweden freeze aid funding to Zambia over corruption concerns.
www.bbc.co.uk | 9/18/18

Thursday is a day for hardcore “Cone Bone” fans to celebrate, with Conan O’Brien announcing that a digital archive of his entire late night history is set to launch in the year 2000 — err, 2019.

O’Brien made the announcement in a brief YouTube clip, letting fans know his catalog of more than 4,000 shows, spanning his time at NBC and TBS, will be released in January. A person familiar with the project told TheWrap the shows won’t just be on YouTube, but will be featured on their own standalone site.

That means longtime Conan fans will be able to watch every classic bit — from “The Walker Texas Ranger Lever” to “In The Year 2000” to his hilarious trip to Finland, after realizing he closely resembled Finnish President Tarja Halonen. At 31 years old, Conan made his debut as the youngest host in late night and has since become the elder statesman of the medium.

Also Read: Kevin Nealon Bails on 'Conan' Mid-Interview to Get to a Very Important Meeting (Video)

“Twenty-five years ago today, I made my first late night show, and since then I’ve taped over 4,000 episodes – nine of which I’m told are quite good,” Conan joked.

And to commemorate his 25th anniversary, Conan shared his first episode of “Late Night” on YouTube. His first guests: John Goodman and Drew Barrymore. You can check it out below if you like:

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Conan' to Cut Music Performances When TBS Show Shifts to Half-Hour Format

Conan O'Brien's Sad Batman Tries to Join the Marvel Universe (Video)

Conan O'Brien Says TBS Honchos Resisted 30-Minute Show, Giving Up 'Hour's Worth of Ads'

www.thewrap.com | 9/13/18
"Guys, we're gonna play a festival!" Doppelgänger Releasing has debuted an official trailer for an "offbeat comedy" from Finland titled Heavy Trip, about a heavy metal rock band that goes on a wild road trip to Norway. Turo is stuck in a small village where the best thing in his life is being the lead vocalist for the amateur metal band Impaled Rektum. The only problem? He and his bandmates have practiced for 12 years without playing a single gig. They land a festival in Norway, and decide it's now or never. They steal a van, a corpse, and even a new drummer in order to make their dreams a reality. Starring Johannes Holopainen, Minka Kuustonen, Ville Tiihonen (Hilska), Torstein Bjørklund, and Antti Heikkinen. Well what do you know, this actually looks very funny, the perfect way to make fun of this heavy metal band. Rock on. Here's the official US trailer (+ poster) for Juuso Laatio & Jukka Vidgren's Heavy ...

Please give a warm welcome to celebrity blogger Louise Roe!

The English television star and style expert married Mackenzie Hunkin in October 2016, at Eton College Chapel in her native England.

Roe, 36, and Hunkin welcomed their first child, daughter Honor Florence Crosby, on Jan. 11, giving PEOPLE an exclusive peek at her baby girl’s English-inspired nursery shortly after her birth.

You can following along with the new mom’s adventures in all things style and parenting on her blog at louiseroe.com, and on Instagram and Twitter @louiseroe.

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Parents newsletter.

My favorite people Happy Sunday!

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RELATED GALLERY: Inside New Mom Louise Roe’s English Country-Inspired L.A. Home

I’ve talked a bit about this subject on the blog before, but today I wanted to have an honest conversation with you guys about something that has become very personal to me in recent months: the idea of “maternity leave,” and defining what it means in 2018.

Before I go into what I went through myself, I did a little digging on the history of maternity leave. You might be shocked by the results. First off, less than 50 years ago, there was no such thing as maternity leave. And until the 1940s, women working in the civil service in the U.K. had to retire when they married. And even as more women entered the workforce, provisions for maternity leave (which protected them from being fired when they became pregnant) weren’t introduced until the ’70s in many European countries.

What’s worse, laws demanding a minimum of 12 weeks unpaid leave weren’t introduced in the U.S. until as late as 1993. 1993?! The point is — the act of balancing work and family life has been a large issue for working women over the last half century or so.

Sharing some extremely special moments from Honor’s Christening this weekend. Thank you to all her friends and family who traveled so far and love her so much I was Christened in the same little chapel, and her beautiful gown was an antique found by her Godmummy. Swipe left to see the incredible cakes Mackenzie’s mum baked herself!

A post shared by Louise Roe (@louiseroe) on Jul 25, 2018 at 11:20pm PDT

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RELATED: Co-Workers Gifting New Moms PTO to Help Extend Short Maternity Leaves — and People Have Opinions

After having Honor, it really hit home that the notion of maternity leave isn’t the same for everyone — in fact, for many, it doesn’t exist at all. With my own story, it’s a bit of a toss-up. On the one hand, I am extremely lucky — Mackenzie and I mostly get to plan and arrange our own schedule, work from home a lot and therefore see a lot of Honor. But on the flip side, I was back shooting and writing just days after the birth, and I returned to filming an 11-hour day on my feet, when she was just 6 weeks old.

It was my first time back on the red carpet — the Oscars. No pressure there, then! There was a lot more prep and pressure than usual, trying to do research while my brain was still fuzzy and on very little sleep, finding a dress to flatter a newly postpartum middle, pumping enough for Honor in the bathroom just minutes before going out onto the carpet and praying that the boob pads inside my gown didn’t leak or fall out (which they nearly did!) during filming. And on top of that, I felt so guilty leaving her so soon.

First Father’s Day & I’m off to the polo with the wife for a date @louiseroe

A post shared by Mackenzie Hunkin (@mackenziehunkin) on Jun 17, 2018 at 4:06am PDT

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RELATED VIDEO: Khloé Kardashian Admits She’s “Very Anxious” About Leaving Baby True to Return to Work

I had a similar experience leaving for a 48-hour work trip to Italy when she was 3 months. Even though my mother-in-law came to L.A. to help me and it was such a short trip, I felt incredibly guilty again and had to deal with crazy new experiences — like pumping regularly in the loo of an airplane and trying to sterilize 12 pieces of pumping equipment every three hours around the clock, in a 15th-century hotel room in Verona! Sounds more romantic than it was, trust me! This all made me realize that most of my friends in L.A. are self employed or freelance, and therefore have no traditional “maternity leave” either. So while we have more flexibility in our schedules, it’s often even harder to balance and juggle everything because work never stops.

We are not the only ones. Between 2008 and 2011, 80 percent of people entering self-employment were female, according to official figures. Not only are you bewildered and exhausted, as all new parents are, you feel extra guilty wondering if it’s too early to go back.

Unlike having traditional paid leave, as a freelancer, when you don’t work, you don’t get paid. But even for women who work at traditional companies, not all states are required to provide paid leave — so mothers are often faced with the decision of how much time to take off, balanced with their financial restrictions. Overall, it’s a lot of mixed emotions and hard decisions to make.

Happy Mother’s Day! I want to dedicate this post to one of my dearest friends, who became a Mummy to premature surrogate twins this year, only to tragically lose them a few hours later, as she held them in her arms. My friend had been through years of trying for a baby through IVF, and finally – after years of hope and patience – we all felt her and her husband’s dream of becoming parents was about to come true. That heart-breaking day also happened to be the date Honor was born, so the poignancy was all the sharper. I still remember the moment I learned the news. My own mum was with me, and we wept silently, hugging. I fully expected my friend to avoid Mackenzie and I for a while, to deal with her grief. Surely being around a newborn would just be too much. But testament to her angelic, brave character, she asked to come over. I’ll never forget the warmth and love in her eyes as she held Honor tight. She said she was full of hope. She said that the twins would be watching over, helping and guiding them on their continued journey to have a baby. You’d think that would be enough to focus on, but no. Instead, this wonderful couple decided to set up @pompomsandstardust , a charity not only raising money to help other people have surrogate children, but one that offers crucial (and lacking) advice and support to the ‘IP’s’ (intended parents), along their journey. If you or your loved ones have been through a difficult time conceiving, my heart goes out to you- I wish you strength, perseverance- and please feel free to share your story below. The charity website will be up soon with more information, but for now follow @pompomsandstardust

A post shared by Louise Roe (@louiseroe) on May 13, 2018 at 8:22am PDT

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RELATED: Louise Roe Shows Off Daughter Honor’s “Elegant” Nursery Inspired by the English Countryside

It’s important that women know their local laws surrounding maternity leave, and even their individual company policies and benefits, so that they are able to properly communicate with their employers and know what to expect. In the U.S., there is a federal law mandating 12 weeks of unpaid leave, though not all companies provide paid leave at all. In other countries, women are entitled to much longer paid leave, ranging from 14 weeks to a year in some places like Denmark, Finland and Sweden. In England, you get six months paid leave and the option to extend to another six months unpaid, where they keep your job open.

While “maternity leave” may not mean the same thing for everyone, balancing going back to work with family life is always a juggle no matter where you work or what you do. There are practical things every mother can do to ease the transition back to work a little. Wear breast pads if you’re breastfeeding to keep from leaking, and speak to your boss about having a private place to pump (many big companies like Amazon and Facebook even have special lactation rooms for female employees, while places like airports are shockingly bad).

You may also need to communicate to them ahead of time that you will be needing certain breaks to pump throughout the day (the law requires that they allow these breaks to you, but many women — and even employers — may not be aware of these rights!). It’s also worth checking to see if your employer has childcare available. Large firms here in L.A. such as NBC Universal have nurseries for employees’ babies. See if you can negotiate a shorter week and do not be shy, embarrassed or feel guilty about making it known you will be leaving on time. There are so many company cultures in which employees feel that they can’t leave until the boss does, or feel competitive around “staying late.” This is nearly impossible as a mum and is not acceptable to be pressured into!

I have never felt more grateful or happy than I do right this very moment (& that’s not just my glass of rosé at lunch talking !) HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my partner in crime @mackenziehunkin you’re a ledge

A post shared by Louise Roe (@louiseroe) on Apr 25, 2018 at 3:48pm PDT

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RELATED: Louise Roe and Husband Mackenzie Hunkin Welcome Daughter Honor Florence Crosby

Frequent traveler? With a doctor’s letter, you can freeze your air miles during pregnancy and some of your maternity leave, and you can even get a household account so that your baby can be added once they are ready to come along.

Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Expect to have the odd meltdown. It truly is impossible to do it all (if you need a good laugh about the idea of women “having it all” — literally, having all the responsibilities in the word — read this New Yorker article). Emotions (not to mention hormones) run high, and it’s easy to feel at times like you’re always letting someone down.

Ask for help (Granny?!), call your best friend to unload — even better if she’s a mum who has been through it), accept the fact you might have to spend a few weekends catching up on sleep instead of having fun and keep a bottle of wine open in the fridge at ALL TIMES. Use apps like Peanut or The Bump to get support from other mums, ask questions and share advice.

people.com | 8/23/18
Russian President Vladimir Putin considers new US sanctions counterproductive and meaningless actions."Regarding the sanctions, these actions are counterproductive and meaningless, especially against a country like Russia," Putin said at a press conference after talks with the President of Finland Sauli Niinisto.Putin also said that he was still hopeful that the United States would some day realize how futile this policy is. On August 21 it became known that the US imposed sanctions against a number of Russian citizens and companies because of their alleged cyber-activity and cooperation with the DPRK.Russia may switch to national currencies in settlements with other countries in order to minimize the effect of US sanctions, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov said. According to him, Moscow is preparing a whole package of retaliatory measures in response to Washington's economic policy. The minister also said that the restrictions have made Russia less dependent on the international financial system. Financial sanctions against Russia may affect Russia's exports to third countries. Therefore, Russia may abjure the US dollar in transactions with other countries, Denis Manturov added. In turn, the head of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Dmitry Shugaev, said that the US currency was unreliable. "It is an open secret that the dollar is an unreliable currency today, to say the least, especially within the framework of settlements in the field of military-technical cooperation. That said, we already find ways to overcome negative consequences today," Shugaev said. Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov expressed a similar opinion earlier. According to him, financial restrictions "will backfire on the Americans." It is worthy of note that Turkey also expresses a wish to abandon the US dollar and switch to national currencies. For Turkey, such cooperation can be possible with Russia, China, Iran and Ukraine. "If European countries also want to get rid of the shackles of the dollar, Ankara is ready to switch to national currency settlements with them too," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

Netflix is testing how to bypass paying Apple a healthy cut of its subscriptions, with the streaming giant preventing customers in dozens of countries from signing up through iTunes billing, TheWrap has confirmed.

“We are constantly innovating and testing new signup approaches on different platforms to better understand what our members like,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. “Based on what we learn, we work to improve the Netflix experience for members everywhere.”

The test — seen in countries such as France, India, and Great Britain — aims to redirect users to sign up directly on Netflix’s site. And there’s millions of reasons for Netflix to try this. Apple grabs a 30 percent cut from Netflix on all first-year subscribers, a figure that drops to 15 percent once customers reach their second year. Considering Netflix is one of the top-ranked apps in the App Store, it would be a major blow to Apple if it lost its share of subscriber revenue. Apple made more than $9.5 billion last quarter from its services division, which includes its cut of App Store subscriptions.

Also Read: Netflix Cancels Joel McHale, Michelle Wolf Talk Shows

Apple did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Netflix’s test is running in 33 countries, not including the U.S., up through the end of September, per TechCrunch. Those countries include: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and Thailand.

Netflix’s experimentation is noteworthy because it makes the streaming giant the latest company to scoff at sharing its subscriber revenue with Apple. These companies are now competitors, after all, with Apple plotting its billion-dollar content push. Spotify, which is battling Apple Music for music streaming supremacy, urged its customers not to sign up through the App Store two years ago. And Amazon has for years avoided paying Apple 30 percent of each book it sells on its Kindle app.

Also Read: Renee Zellweger Sets First Major TV Role as Lead in Netflix Series 'What/If'

The test, if it doesn’t offset the revenue Netflix loses from giving Apple its cut, could ultimately be abandoned. On the other hand, if it’s successful for Netflix, you can expect other tech companies to toy with ways to circumvent paying Apple.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Netflix Says New Recommendations Test Doesn't Mean It Plans to Run Commercials During Shows

'GLOW' Renewed for Season 3 by Netflix (Video)

Chelsea Handler Says She's Working on a 'Very Funny' Netflix Series About White Privilege

www.thewrap.com | 8/21/18

Jessica Biel is opening up about how she keeps her marriage to Justin Timberlake healthy.

The Emmy-nominated actress, 36, spoke about her relationship with her husband while on the TODAY show on Thursday.

Biel, who shares 3-year-old son Silas Randall with the singer, said the key to a strong marriage was hard work, and the need for commitment never goes away.

“We’re lucky enough to go and stay in different places and live in different places while we work and that’s definitely part ,” she told Savannah Guthrie, referring to her time traveling the world with Timberlake while on his tour.

“But, honestly, I just really feel like you have to work hard,” Biel shared. “That doesn’t change if you work at home or in an office or you’re on a tour. It doesn’t change, the work doesn’t change.”

The Sinner actress added, “Being devoted to the relationship is our biggest priority.”

RELATED: Paris PDA! Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel Smooch at Midnight in the City of Love as He Drops Summer Bop ‘SoulMate’

Biel and Timberlake have been traveling around Europe recently stopping by Paris, London and Copenhagen, along with their son.

“It is fun to be on the road. You feel like a wild group of gypsies and you’re all in this together,” she told Guthrie. “You’re seeing so many new places and I think it’s amazing for our son because he’s hearing new languages. We’re talking about different countries, the names of different countries, what he likes, what he’s seen.”

“He would never have these experiences if we didn’t just get out there and go for it,” Biel added.

In April, she told PEOPLE that she’s looking forward to touring northern Europe. “I love Scandinavia, so I’m excited about Stockholm and going to Finland and Norway and all these places,” she said.

RELATED: ‘She’s Got My Back’! Justin Timberlake Praises Wife Jessica Biel in Sweet Instagram Post  

And because Timberlake “is working so hard” to deliver the best performances possible to his colossal fanbase, Biel said the best place to take date night is back to the room so the “Say Something” singer stays “healthy.”

“What he has to do and the energy output … honestly, keeping him healthy is so important. It’s not just this wild party that everybody thinks,” she continued.

Biel added, “Yes, we’re in these amazing places, but a lot of times we’re trying to protect his immunity and protect his body from breaking down. A date night for us would be just sitting in the hotel and having room service and watching a movie — just like everybody else.”

people.com | 8/17/18
British pair Meghan MacLaren and Michele Thomson half with Finland in their final group game to qualify for a semi-final against France.
www.bbc.co.uk | 8/10/18