See the unique way one Indian village celebrates the birth of a girl.
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Gates Foundation

There are many memorable ways to celebrate a baby's arrival.

Beautiful moment from "The Lion King."


Piplantri, a small village in India, has its own: it turns green.

Beautiful moment from Piplantri village.

Whenever a girl is born, Piplantri village members come together and plant 111 trees to commemorate a new life of health and opportunity.

As reported in The Hindu, by 2013, more than 250,000 trees were planted around the village. And the tradition is still going strong.

To make sure the trees stay healthy, strong, and supported — just like its girls — village members also plant aloe vera plants around the trees. It's not only a smart tactic to keep termites away, but it's also served as a source of income through the creation of aloe-based products.

How cool is that?

It's especially heartwarming to see the positive attention this village places on girls since India — among many other countries — still has a culture that heavily prioritizes boys over girls.

In a lot of places, parents refuse to accept having a girl. And when girls are constantly viewed as not important, they often miss out on the chance to go to school, are forced into early marriage, and never get to reach their full potential.

Piplantri is working to change that. Because girls rock.




And they've got some unique ways of going about it.

"We make these parents sign an affidavit promising that they would not marry her off before the legal age, send her to school regularly, and take care of the trees planted in her name," said Piplantri's former village head, Shyam Sundar Paliwal.

And that isn't all.

Village members also collectively contribute around $500 to be put aside until the girl turns 20. Her parents can then collect the money, which helps to encourage them to accept, educate, and care for their daughter during her adolescent years.

It's a small and interesting way to celebrate life, fight gender discrimination, and set a village up for success.

In Piplantri, they know that their community is a lot stronger when girls have equal opportunities ... and it can turn a lot greener, too.

Imagine if other places in the world put their girls first. Oh, the possibilities!

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As part of its promise for a brighter world, Dole is partnering with Bye Bye Plastic Bags's efforts to bring sunshine to all.

Visit www.sunshineforall.com to learn more.

Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

It sounds like a ridiculous, sensationalist headline, but it's real. In Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a transsexual, anarchist Satanist has won the GOP nomination for county sheriff. Aria DiMezzo, who refers to herself as a "She-Male" and whose campaign motto was "F*** the Police," ran as a Republican in the primary. Though she ran unopposed on the ballot, according to Fox News, she anticipated that she would lose to a write-in candidate. Instead, 4,211 voters filled in the bubble next to her name, making her the official Republican candidate for county sheriff.

DiMezzo is clear about why she ran—to show how "clueless the average voter is" and to prove that "the system is utterly and hopelessly broken"—stances that her win only serves to reinforce.

In a blog post published on Friday, DiMezzo explained how she had never tried to hide who she was and that anyone could have looked her up to see what she was about, in addition to pointing out that those who are angry with her have no one to blame but themselves:

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Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

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