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每日新闻播报(March 22)

chinadaily.com.cn 2021-03-22 16:39

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on International Women's Day at the White House in Washington, US, March 8, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

>Biden's gender council
US President Joe Biden has created a White House council to push for more women's rights, while overseeing the government's commitment to gender equity and equality.

The Gender Policy Council will work with all cabinet secretaries and submit an annual report to the president to measure progress on prioritizing gender equality across government.

It is a reformed version of the White House Council on Women and Girls set up under former president Barack Obama and later disbanded by Donald Trump's administration.

Biden has said that he wants gender equality to be front and center of his new administration's policies.

Sheep graze at Saihanba National Forest Park in Chengde, Hebei province. [Photo/Xinhua]

>Hugging sheep eases loneliness

A German farm is offering people who are feeling deprived of human contact due to coronavirus restrictions an unusual alternative: the opportunity to cuddle a sheep.

"We have marvelous sheep here who like it very much if they get visitors," said Lexa Voss, who runs an educational program on a farm near Hattingen in western Germany to encourage people to get closer to animals. "I allow people to visit the sheep unattended, and have a wonderful time with them in nature and far away from any masks and social distancing."

Visitors have to book an appointment, but can get as close as they like to the shaggy sheep.

The sessions are free of charge although visitors are asked for donations for the farm.

An employee wearing a protective shield talks to a job seeker outside a government job center during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, Feb 2, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

>Spain to test 4-day work week

Spain could be one of the first countries in the world to test a four-day work week after the government agreed to launch a test project for companies that will be closely watched by other nations.

Small left-wing party Mas Pais put forward the idea of a three-year, 50 million euro project "that would allow companies to test reduced hours with minimal risk," the Guardian's correspondent in Madrid reported.

Costs for companies that take part in the experiment could be covered 100% in the first year, 50% in the second year and 33% in the third year, the party said.

"With these figures, we calculate that we could have around 200 companies participate, with a total of anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 workers," Hector Tejero of Mas Pais said in the Guardian. "The only red lines are that we want to see a true reduction of working hours and no loss of salary or jobs."

Mas Pais estimates that the pilot could get under way as early as this fall.

Critics of the program, including business groups in Spain, say with the country in the grip of a recession, more work is required, "not less".

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. [Photo/Agencies]

>Cuomo refuses to resign

US President Joe Biden on Sunday passed up an opportunity to join other Democrats calling for the resignation of New York Gov Andrew Cuomo, who is under investigation after multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

Six women, several of them former members of his staff, have alleged that he sexually harassed or behaved inappropriately toward them. Cuomo has denied touching any women inappropriately.

On Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki did not say whether Biden believes Cuomo should resign.

She said every woman who has come forward "deserves to have her voice heard, should be treated with respect and should be able to tell her story."

Several prominent New York Democrats, including Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, have called on Cuomo to step down.

The three-term governor has refused to resign and has denied he did what has been alleged.

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