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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a media conference after an EU summit, in video conference format, at the European Council in Brussels, June 19, 2020. VOA

European Union (EU) members were debating Friday a multi-billion-dollar economic recovery package to help the 27 member nations pull out of the downturn – the worst since the Great Depression – that resulted from efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19 as per latest World News.

Friday’s meeting – held virtually – is the first step in discussions that could culminate with a deal in July if member states overcome their differences. Members also discussed the latest version of the European Commission’s plan for a $1.2 trillion, seven-year budget, which includes an $825 billion recovery fund.


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Ahead of the meeting, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged support of the plan, saying, “This is a chance Europe cannot afford to miss,” adding it will provide economic security for Europe well into the future.

She said the plan does not only help countries hardest hit by the coronavirus, but those hit indirectly as well, because of lockdowns and the loss of commerce.


“This is a chance Europe cannot afford to miss,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Wikimedia Commons

But the EU leaders are sharply divided on the plan. A group of countries known as the Frugal Four – the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria and Sweden – which are averse to spending and want to see support given out as loans that have to be paid back instead of grants.

Also Read: New Moms More Likely to Suffer from Depression, Anxiety During Pandemic

Several EU officials and diplomats said the goal of Friday’s virtual meeting was to have an initial discussion on the plan and, as one diplomat put it, “take the temperature” of the members before serious negotiations begin next month. (VOA)


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The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash


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