Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 26th 2015 Contents Music-streaming service Spotify
recently announced the launch of a
broad parental leave programme that
includes six months leave for new
mothers and fathers.
Effective immediately, the Swedish-
born company is offering full-time
employees time off with 100 per cent
pay, which can be broken up into three
separate periods and taken within the
first three years of a child s life (employ-
ees who become parents by birth, adop-
tion or surrogacy are all eligible). The
policy also extends to employees who
became parents as far back as 2013.
On top of that, the company is offer-
ing a one-month "welcome back" pro-
gramme where new parents can ease
back into their work lives with part-
time hours and the option to work from
According to a statement from Kata-
rina Berg, Spotify s chief human
resources officer, the parental leave pol-
icy was created with Swedish cultural
values in mind. "This policy best defines
who we are as a company, born out of
a Swedish culture that places an empha-
sis on a healthy work/family balance,
gender equality and the ability for every
parent to spend quality time with the
people that matter most in their lives."
Spotify joins a growing list of tech
companies that have announced new
parental leave policies in the last year,
including Amazon, Netflix and
Microsoft. Some have suggested that
the wave of new policies reflects the
age demographic of typical tech
employees, who started working in their
early-to-mid 20s and are now becoming
In the USA, workers rights organ-
isations are applauding Spotify s deci-
sion, but caution that the US remains
the only developed nation in the world
that does not offer federally mandated
paid family leave to workers.
"This is great news for Spotify s
employees, and a sign of the times that
it joins several other companies in
pulling their workplace policies out of
the past," said Vivien Labaton, co-
founder and co-director of Make It
Work, in a statement.
"But these kind of policy changes
shouldn t just be happening in the tech
industry. It s time for our elected officials
to take notice and pull America out of
the past. Paid family leave is a world
standard, and it s time for America to
stop failing its workforce." (feminist.org)
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, November 26, 2015
A young woman has had to have a metal spoon fished out of her stomach after accidentally swallowing it
while eating ice cream. Zhang Weiwei, the 22-year-old varsity student from Wuhan University in Wuhan,
central China's Hubei Province, was on her way back from a meal with friends when the incident
happened. Weiwei had bought an ice cream and was chatting and walking back to her dorm room when
another friend saw her and jumped on her back to greet her. Weiwei got such a fright that she swallowed
the entire 14 cm metal spoon. PHOTO: EUROPICS/THE TELEGRAPH, UK
OOPS! I SWALLOWED A SPOON
US scientists say they have bred a
genetically modified (GM) mosquito
that can resist malaria infection.
If the lab technique works in the field,
it could offer a new way of stopping
the biting insects from spreading malaria
to humans, they say.
The scientists put a new "resistance"
gene into the mosquito s own DNA,
using a gene-editing method called
And when the GM mosquitoes mated,
their offspring inherited the same resist-
ance, PNAS journal reports.
In theory, if these mosquitoes bite
people, they should not be able to pass
on the parasite that causes malaria.
About 3.2bn people---almost half of
the world s population---are at risk of
Bed nets, insecticides and repellents
can help stop the insects biting and
drugs can be given to anyone who catch-
es the infection, but the disease still kills
around 580,000 people a year.
Scientists have been searching for
new ways to fight malaria. The Univer-
sity of California team believe their GM
mosquito could play a pivotal role,
breeding resistant offspring to replace
endemic, malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
They took a type of mosquito found in
India---Anopheles stephensi---on which
Dr Anthony James and his team
showed that they could give the insect
new DNA code to make it a poor host
for the malaria parasite.
The DNA, which codes for antibodies
that combat the parasite, was inherited
by almost 100 per cent of the mosquito
offspring and across three generations.
The researchers say the findings offer
hope that the same method could also
work in other mosquito species.
Mutant mosquitoes 'resist malaria'
Music-streaming service Spotify recently announced the launch of a broad parental
leave programme that includes six months leave for new mothers and fathers.
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