Kensington Palace yesterday confirmed that the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is pregnant with her third child with husband Prince William.
Royal watchers are already speculating about the gender of Royal Baby No. 3, who will join siblings Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2. In betting that started mere minutes after the palace’s announcement, odds on the unborn baby’s gender were equal at 10/11 for a boy and a girl, according to London-based betting house William Hill. Alice was the top choice for the baby’s name with odds at 8/1, followed by Elizabeth at 10/1, James at 12/1, and Arthur at 12/1.
The gender of the Duchess’s baby is especially notable this time around, since he or she will be the younger sibling of Princess Charlotte. Years ago, a new baby brother would have usurped Charlotte’s place in the line of succession to the throne, but that’s no longer the case. If Royal Baby No. 3 is indeed a boy, he will not displace Charlotte, but fall in line behind her. That’s due to a new law introduced shortly after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge married in 2011, that gave any daughter of a future U.K. monarch equal right to the throne. The law took effect four years later. Its passage upended a centuries-old succession law that said that the sons of a monarch take precedence over any daughters in inheriting the crown. Only if a monarch had no male heirs—as was the case for the Queen’s father George VI—could the throne be passed to a daughter.
“The idea that a younger son should become monarch instead of an elder daughter simply because he is a man…is at odds with the modern countries that we have become,” David Cameron, then the U.K. prime minister, said at the time of the law’s passage.
Interestingly enough, Japan is experiencing a crisis that’s resulting from not adapting to modern standards of equality. The day before the Duchess’s pregnancy announcement, Japan’s Princess Mako made official her engagement to a commoner. Her marriage to a non-royal means she’ll forfeit her title, as dictated by law. Her departure from the imperial family highlights a sort of existential crisis for Japan’s royals. Unlike Britain, in Japan, only male heirs can inherit the Chrysanthemum throne, and the imperial family is running out men.
Oxford University Vice Chancellor Louise Richardson lashed out at “mendacious media and tawdry politicians” who have accused university leaders of using tuition fee increases to boost their own salaries. Rather, she said, the higher fees make up for reductions in government funding. Her comments come after the University and College Union highlighted the discrepancy between the salaries of university vice chancellors and the pay of regular staff.
A Moscow court this week will hear the gender discrimination case of two Aeroflot flight attendants who accuse the airline of demoting them in favor of younger, thinner, more attractive crew members. The case made headlines in April when men with ties to the airline tacitly admitted to the claims, with one stating that “the appearance of its employees” is a selling point for the airline’s passengers. The hearing is also notable because it’s the first of its kind to involve a major, state-controlled Russian company, and it’s challenging what one plaintiff calls Russia’s “new war against women.”
Tunnel vision in Tunisia
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi is pushing forward on his plan for the country to achieve gender equality. The nation has already passed a law prohibiting violence against women and closed a loophole that let rapists escape persecution by marrying their victims. His latest efforts—allowing women to marry outside the Islamic faith and enjoy equal rights under inheritance laws—are facing widespread resistance outside and inside the predominately Muslim nation.
Change in tone
Powerlifting has seen an explosion of women in the sport, with the number of female competitors ballooning from 3,000 to 6,000 between 2014 and 2016. Female power lifters say the sport builds confidence as much as its shapes muscles.
The crypto life
Cryptocurrency has a new supporter in—wait for it—Paris Hilton. The reality TV star tweeted her endorsement of an initial coin offering run by LydianCoin Pte Ltd, which describes itself as a “utility-token that allows cryptocurrency-enabled purchasing of targeted, A.I. driven digital marketing and advertising services.” Hilton’s involvement is simultaneously being seen as proof of a cryptocurrency bubble and as evidence of digital currency’s networking effect.
Nikki on North Korea
U.S Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley continued to call for diplomacy in response to North Korea’s missile tests, though she argued that Kim Jong-un “is begging for war.” “We have kicked the can down the road long enough,” she told the U.N. Security Council. “The time has come for us to exhaust all of our diplomatic means before it’s too late.”
PM under pressure
Following the arrest of Cambodian opposition figure Kem Sokha, another opposition leader Mu Sochua is calling on the international community to put more pressure on Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. Known internationally for campaigns against sex trafficking and for women’s rights, Mu Sochua said world leaders must now recognize Cambodia as a “false democracy” and speak out further against the PM’s crackdown on independent media and rights groups ahead of next year’s elections.
The waiting game
Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai on Sunday urged fellow laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the defacto leader of Myanmar, to act to stop the violence against the nation’s Rohingya minority. Yousafzai said their treatment has left her heartbroken: “Over the last several years, I have repeatedly condemned this tragic and shameful treatment. I am still waiting for my fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to do the same. The world is waiting and the Rohingya Muslims are waiting.”