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Finland just gave fathers 7 months of paid family leave while 85% of all Americans still get zero

The U.S. is the only industrialized country without a federal paid family leave policy.

The Family Medical Leave Act, passed in 1993, says that employers must let new parents take up to 12 weeks off, but there is no guarantee of getting paid.


Currently, the District of Columbia and nine states have laws offering paid family leave, Washington, California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, Washington, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Oregon.

New laws in Connecticut and Oregon are waiting to go into effect.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics said that just 15% of private industry, and state and local government workers had access to paid family leave as of March 2017.

Paid family leave has been a big issue among the 2020 Democratic candidates with most favoring up to 12 weeks.

President Trump called for paid family leave in his State of the Union Address, but his plan is misleading. It allows new parents to collect a portion of their future child tax credits early in exchange for smaller payments down the road.

While people in the United States are fighting for this basic family need, the people of Finland are working to strengthen their programs for both mothers and fathers. Finland's woman-led center-left government has decided to give new fathers seven months of paid family leave, the same number allowed for women.

Women in Finland also get a paid month off at the end of their pregnancies.

Minister of Health and Social Affairs Aino-Kaisa Pekonenvia YLE puhe / Twitter

Minister of Health and Social Affairs Aino-Kaisa Pekonen said that the "radical reform" was created to increase the country's declining birth rate and to create greater gender equality.

"This enables better equality between parents and diversity among families," she continued.

"Over a longer term, it also improves equality in working life and in wages by directing fathers to use a larger proportion of parental leaves than before," she said.

Sweden goes even further with family leave than Finland.

The Swedish government says that parents of both sexes are entitled to 16 months of paid family leave at 80% of their salaries. Plus, there are extra days added if the parents have twins.

Dads are required to take some of the 480 days allotted to the family and the paid days don't expire until the child is eight years old.

The difference in how Finland and the United States treats their citizens says a lot about the country's values as a whole. We hear a lot about "family values" from politicians in America, but things would be a lot different if they actually valued family.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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