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China scraps ‘two-child policy’ to allow parents to have three children

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The move is the Communist Party’s latest attempt to reverse declining birthrates and avert a population crisis, but experts say it is woefully inadequate.

China said on Monday that it would allow all married couples to have three children, ending a two-child policy that has failed to boost the country’s declining birthrates and avert a demographic crisis.

The announcement by the ruling Communist Party represents a dramatic shift in the world’s most restrictive family planning policies, one that it had come under increasing pressure to make. The labor pool is shrinking and the population is graying, threatening the industrial strategy that China has used for decades to emerge from poverty to become an economic powerhouse. Already, local officials in some areas had been tacitly allowing couples to have three children.

But it is far from clear that relaxing the policy further will pay off. People in China have responded coolly to the party’s earlier move, in 2016, to allow couples to have two children.

Monday’s announcement still splits the difference between individual reproductive rights and government limits over women’s bodies. Prominent voices within China, including the central bank, have called on the party to scrap its restrictions altogether, but Beijing has resisted giving up full control.

“Opening it up to three children is far from enough,” said Huang Wenzheng, a demography expert with the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing-based research center. “It should be fully liberalized, and giving birth should be strongly encouraged.”

“This should be regarded as a crisis for the survival of the Chinese nation, even beyond the pandemic and other environmental issues,” Mr. Huang added. “There should never have been a birth restriction policy in the first place. So it’s not a question of whether this is too late.”

The party made the announcement after a meeting by the Politburo, a top decision-making body, though it wasn’t immediately clear when the change would take effect. In an acknowledgment that raising the birth limits might not be enough, the party also pledged to beef up support for families, though it did not provide details.

China’s family planning restrictions date to 1980, when the party first imposed a “one-child” policy to slow population growth and bolster the economic boom that was then just beginning.

In 2013, as Chinese officials began to understand the implications of the country’s aging population, the government allowed parents who were from one-child families to have two children themselves. Two years later, the limit was raised to two children for everyone, effective Jan. 1, 2016.

But more couples now embrace the concept that one child is enough, a cultural shift that has dragged down birthrates. And some say they aren’t interested in children at all, even after the latest announcement.

“No matter how many babies they open it up to, I’m not going to have any because children are too troublesome and expensive,” said Li Shan, a 26-year-old product manager at an internet company in Beijing. “I’m impatient and worried that I won’t be able to educate the child well.”

Births in China have fallen for four consecutive years, including in 2020, when the number of babies born dropped to the lowest since the Mao era. The country’s total fertility rate — an estimate of the number of children born over a woman’s lifetime — now stands at 1.3, well below the replacement rate of 2.1.

The party’s announcement was unlikely to ignite a baby boom, experts said.

“The decision makers have probably realized that the population situation is relatively severe,” said He Yafu, an independent demographer based in the southern Chinese city of Zhanjiang. “But merely opening up the policy to three children and not encouraging births as a whole, I don’t think there will be a significant increase in the fertility rate. Many people don’t want to have a second child, let alone a third child.”

Still, the news was met with relief by some women who already had a third child but had been wary of being punished for flouting the rules.

“My mobile phone almost fell to the ground,” said Yolanda Ouyang, a 39-year-old employee at a state-owned enterprise in the region of Guangxi who had kept her third child hidden for two years because she feared that she would be fired.

“I’m so happy and so shocked,” Ms. Ouyang said. “Finally, my child can come outside and play out in the open.”

The party’s announcement was quickly met with criticism on Weibo, a popular social media platform. “Don’t they know that most young people are already tired enough just trying to feed themselves?” wrote one user, pointing to a common lament about the rising costs of living. Other users complained that raising birth limits would do nothing to curb the discrimination that women faced at work when they had more children.

In a nod to such concerns, the party indicated on Monday it would also work to introduce broader changes that would make it easier for couples to have more children. It also pledged to improve maternity leave and “protect the legitimate rights and interests of women in employment.”

The party also said it would increase funding to expand services for the country’s retirees. In 2020, the number of people age 60 and above in China stood at 264 million, accounting for about 18.7 percent of the population. That figure is set to grow to more than 300 million people, or about one-fifth of the population, by 2025, according to the government.

For decades, China’s family planning restrictions empowered the authorities to impose fines on most couples who had more than one child and compel hundreds of millions of Chinese women to have abortions or undergo sterilization operations. Civil servants were fired for violating birth restrictions.

Gao Bin, a 27-year-old seller of lottery tickets in the eastern city of Qingdao, recalled how his mother was forbidden to give birth to him and had to flee to three different places just to escape family planning officials. He said that his mother still cries when she recounts those days.

“To be honest, when I saw the announcement of this policy, I was pretty angry,” Mr. Gao said. “I think the government lacks a humane attitude when it comes to fertility.”

SOURCE: The New York Times

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Alec Baldwin fatally shoots woman with prop gun on movie set

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A woman has died and a man has been injured after actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on a New Mexico film set for the 19th Century western Rust.

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SXSW Music Festival – Initial List of Showcasing Artists Announced

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The South by Southwest® Music Festival (SXSW®) has announced an initial list of Showcasing Artists invited to perform at the 36th annual event. The festival offers the opportunity to connect entertainment, technology, and media professionals with emerging acts, established artists and industry mavens, and share in something big on a truly global platform. The first essential and international music event on the industry’s calendar, the SXSW Music Festival takes place March 14 – 20, 2022 in Austin, Texas.

Each year, the SXSW Music Festival programmers present a global lineup of artists from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Scotland, South Korea, Uganda, U.S., Wales, and Zambia, to name a few. The result is a unique live music experience where industry pros and music lovers experience multiple one-of-a-kind events from a range of up-and-coming and established artists. A few highlights from this first round of artists include: Aeon Station (Ocean City NJ), ANAVITÓRIA (São Paulo BRAZIL), BLACKSTARKIDS (Kansas City MO), CHAII(Auckland NEW ZEALAND), Claire Rousay (San Antonio TX), Delta Spirit (Los Angeles CA), DUMA (Nairobi KENYA), Ezra Furman (Chicago IL), HOODLUM (San Antonio TX), Horsegirl (Chicago, IL), James McMurtry (Austin TX), Maxo Kream(Houston TX), MC Yallah (Kampala UGANDA), Monaleo (Houston TX), Poppy Ajudha(London UK-ENGLAND),  Priya Ragu (St. Gallen SWITZERLAND), Surfbort (Los Angeles CA), TEKE::TEKE (Montreal CANADA), Vitreous Humor (Lawrence KS), W.I.T.C.H. (We Intend to Cause Havoc) (Lusaka ZAMBIA), Y2K92 (Seoul SOUTH KOREA), and Yard Act (Leeds UK-ENGLAND).

This is the first of several announcements revealing the wide array of Showcasing Artists who will perform for the international creative community at SXSW. These showcases give attendees the opportunity to experience tomorrow’s headliners in small-stage performances at unique venues in downtown Austin. A few of this year’s showcase presenters include British Music Embassy, American Dreams, The Legendary SOB.’s, Nyege Nyege Tapes, Fire Records, Rolling Loud, The Anniversary Group, High Road Touring, Jazz re:freshed Outernational, Move Forward Music, Kill Rock Stars, Cosmica Artists + Records, Ernest Jenning Record Co., New West Records, Rocky Road Touring, Polyvinyl Records, Double Double Whammy, Keeled Scales, Park the Van, Don Giovanni Records, Nine Mile Records and Touring, and Focus Wales.

Artists invited to perform include:

2nd Grade (Philadelphia PA)
49 Winchester (Castlewood VA)
A Giant Dog (Austin TX)
Abigail Lapell (Toronto CANADA)
Adam Ostrar (Austin TX)
Aeon Station (Ocean City NJ)
Aertex (Washington DC)
Alex Dupree (Austin TX)
Alien Tango (Murcia SPAIN)
ANAVITÓRIA (São Paulo BRAZIL)
Andrea Cruz (Puerto Rico PUERTO RICO)
Angélica Rahe (Austin TX)
Antti Paalanen (Kokkola FINLAND)
Arp Frique (Amsterdam NETHERLANDS)
Art d’Ecco (Victoria CANADA)
Authentically Plastic (Kampala UGANDA)
Ava Vegas (Berlin GERMANY)
Babehoven (Hudson NY)
Bandicoot (Swansea UK-WALES)
Beauty Sleep (Derry UK-N. IRELAND)
Being Dead (Austin TX)
Bendigo Fletcher (Louisville KY)
Big Bill (Austin TX)
BLACKSTARKIDS (Kansas City MO)
Blunt Bangs (Athens GA)
Blushing (Austin TX)
Bodywash (Montreal CANADA)
Boulevards (Raleigh NC)
Bread Pilot (Seattle WA)
Breanna Barbara (Far Rockaway NY)
Brigid Mae Power (Galway IRELAND)
Buffalo Hunt (Austin TX)
Buffalo Nichols (Austin TX)
Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard (Cardiff UK-WALES)
Caleb De Casper (Austin TX)
CHAII (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Charlotte Cornfield (Toronto CANADA)
Chief Cleopatra (Austin TX)
China Bears (Guildford UK-ENGLAND)
Claire Rousay (San Antonio TX)
Claud (Highland Park IL)
COBRAH (Stockholm SWEDEN)
Coco & Clair Clair (Atlanta GA)
Congee (London UK-ENGLAND)
Constant Follower (Stirling UK-SCOTLAND)
corook (Nashville TN)
Couch Prints (New York NY)
Creamer (Nashville TN)
Cuffed Up (Los Angeles CA)
Curse Mackey (Austin TX)
Dan Bettridge (Cardiff UK-WALES)
Danielle Ponder (Rochester NY)
DEETRANADA (Baltimore MD)
Delta Spirit (Los Angeles CA)
Desperate Journalist (London UK-ENGLAND)
Devin Shaffer (Chicago IL)
Diamante Perez (Wichita KS)
Dig Nitty (Brooklyn NY)
DJ DIAKI (Sanankoroba MALI)
Doeman (Houston TX)
Don Lifted (Memphis TN)
Donna Blue (Utrecht NETHERLANDS)
DUMA (Nairobi KENYA)
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat (Baltimore MD)
Elephant Stone (Montreal CANADA)
Eli Winter (Chicago IL)
Enjoyable Listens (Oxford UK-ENGLAND)
Enumclaw (Tacoma WA)
Estereomance (El Paso TX)
Evicshen (San Francisco CA)
Ezra Furman (Chicago IL)
Family Jools (Bristol UK-ENGLAND)
Fearing (Oakland CA)
Flossing (Brooklyin NY)
Flower (New York NY)
Geese (Brooklyn NY)
Gewalt (Berlin GERMANY)
GIFT (Brooklyn NY)
Glass Spells (San Diego CA)
Go Fever (Austin TX)
Goodbye Honolulu (Toronto CANADA)
Goya Gumbani (London UK-ENGLAND)
Grace Cummings and Her Band (Melbourne AUSTRALIA)
GRAE (Toronto CANADA)
Graham Reynolds (Austin TX)
Graham Reynolds & The Golden Arm Trio (Austin TX)
Greyhounds (Austin TX)
Guapo (Houston TX)
Gully Boys (Minneapolis MN)
Gustaf (New York NY)
HAEPAARY (Seoul SOUTH KOREA)
Hamish Hawk (Edinburgh UK-SCOTLAND)
Haru Nemuri (Yokohama JAPAN)
Henry Brun & the Latin Playerz (San Antonio TX)
HMLTD (London UK-ENGLAND)
Holly Macve (Brighton UK-ENGLAND)
HOODLUM (San Antonio TX)
Horsegirl (Chicago IL)
Hrishikesh Hirway (Los Angeles CA)
India Ramey (Nashville TN)
J Soulja (Austin TX)
Jacks Haupt (Dallas TX)
James Hersey (Vienna AUSTRIA)
James McMurtry (Austin TX)
Jay Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel / Acoustic (London UK-ENGLAND)
JayWood (Winnipeg CANADA)
Jekyll (Blackpool UK-ENGLAND)
Jo Schornikow (Melbourne AUSTRALIA)
Jockstrap (London UK-ENGLAND)
JOPLYN (Berlin GERMANY)
Joshua Hedley (Nashville TN)
Junaco (Los Angeles CA)
KABEAUSHÉ (Nairobi KENYA)
KAINA (Chicago IL)
Kampire (Kampala UGANDA)
Katy J Pearson (Bristol UK-ENGLAND)
Katy Kirby (Austin TX)
KAWALA (London UK-ENGLAND)
Kevin Galloway (Austin TX)
Kiana V (Manila PHILIPPINES)
Kompas Trio (Santo Domingo DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)
Korine (Philadelphia PA)
Kristeen Young (New York NY)
Kristin Hersh (Providence RI)
Kyle Kidd (Cleveland OH)
Laura Lee & the Jettes (Berlin GERMANY)
Lauren Auder (Albi FRANCE)
Lee Bains + The Glory Fires (Birmingham AL)
Letting Up Despite Great Faults (Austin TX)
Linqua Franqa (Athens GA)
Little Mazarn (Austin TX)
Living Hour (Winnipeg CANADA)
Logan Lynn (Portland OR)
Lord Friday the 13th (Austin TX)
Lucy Gooch (Bristol UK-ENGLAND)
Luna Luna (Dallas TX)
Lunar Vacation (Atlanta GA)
Mace The Great (Cardiff UK-WALES)
MAITA (Portland OR)
Mandy, Indiana (Manchester UK-ENGLAND)
Maria BC (San Francisco CA)
Mariangela (San Antonio TX)
Marina Allen (Los Angeles CA)
Mark Burgess of The Chameleons UK (Manchester UK-ENGLAND)
Marta Del Grandi (Milan ITALY)
Mattiel (Atlanta GA)
Maxo Kream (Houston TX)
MC Yallah (Kampala UGANDA)
Me Rex (London UK-ENGLAND)
Meatraffle (London UK-ENGLAND)
MENZI (Durban SOUTH AFRICA)
Mister Goblin (Bloomington IN)
Mobley (Austin TX)
Monaleo (Houston TX)
Moon Panda (Copenhagen DENMARK)
Moriah Bailey (Oklahoma City OK)
My Idea (New York NY)
Native Sun (Brooklyn NY)
Neighbor Lady (Atlanta GA)
NewDad (Galway IRELAND)
Nuevo (Austin TX)
Nuha Ruby Ra (London UK-ENGLAND)
Number One Popstar (Los Angeles CA)
ONO (Chicago IL)
Ouri (Montreal CANADA)
Pachyman (Los Angeles CA)
PACKS (Ottawa CANADA)
Paisley Fields (Brooklyn NY)
PASTEL GHOST (Austin TX)
Paul Jacobs (Montreal CANADA)
Pays P. (Paris FRANCE)
Penelope Isles (Brighton UK-ENGLAND)
Phobophobes (London UK-ENGLAND)
Plato III (Abilene TX)
Polyplastic (Los Angeles CA)
Pom Poko (Oslo NORWAY)
Poppy Ajudha (London UK-ENGLAND)
Portrait XO (Los Angeles CA)
Priya Ragu (St. Gallen SWITZERLAND)
PYNKIE (Jersey City NJ)
Renée Reed (Lafayette LA)
Rett Smith (Austin TX)
REYNA (Milwaukee WI)
RF Shannon (Lockhart TX)
Riley Downing (Kansas City MO)
Ringo Deathstarr (Austin TX)
Roan Yellowthorn (Camden ME)
Roller Derby (Hamburg GERMANY)
Rosegarden Funeral Party (Dallas TX)
Ruby (Dumfries UK-SCOTLAND)
Ryder The Eagle (Toulouse FRANCE)
Salt Cathedral (Bogotá COLOMBIA)
Sara King (Dallas TX)
Sarah Kinsley (New York NY)
Sarpa Salpa (Northampton UK-ENGLAND)
Savak (Brooklyn NY)
Shawn James (Seattle WA)
Silver Synthetic (New Orleans LA)
Sir Woman (Austin TX)
Skirts (Dallas TX)
Smut (Chicago IL)
Sonoda (Los Angeles CA)
Sour Widows (Oakland CA)
Star Parks (Austin TX)
Stella Sommer (Berlin GERMANY)
Strawberry Guy (Liverpool UK-ENGLAND)
Sun June (Austin TX)
Surfbort (Los Angeles CA)
Tagua Tagua (São Paulo BRAZIL)
Taipei Houston (San Francisco CA)
Tallies (Toronto CANADA)
Teenage Halloween (Asbury Park NJ)
TEKE::TEKE (Montreal CANADA)
Tele Novella (Lockhart TX)
Tempers (New York NY)
THALA (Berlin GERMANY)
Thallo (Penygroes UK-WALES)
The Americans (Los Angeles CA)
The Bad Man (Minneapolis MN)
The Chris Lee Band (New Orleans LA)
The Deer (Austin TX)
The Pink Stones (Athens GA)
The Red Pears (El Monte CA)
The Royston Club (Wrexham UK-WALES)
Thee Sacred Souls (San Diego CA)
Tiarra Girls (Austin TX)
Tino Drima (Los Angeles CA)
Tomar and the FCs (Austin TX)
Tunic (Winnipeg CANADA)
Twin Tribes (Brownsville TX)
Vic Santoro (London UK-ENGLAND)
Vitreous Humor (Lawrence KS)
W.I.T.C.H. (We Intend To Cause Havoc)
(Lusaka ZAMBIA)
Walt Disco (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND)
WANDERERS (Adelaide AUSTRALIA)
WARFIELD (Los Angeles CA)
Wargasm (London UK-ENGLAND)
Water From Your Eyes (Brooklyn NY)
Why Bonnie (Austin TX)
Wombo (Louisville KY)
XIXA (Tucson AZ)
Y2K92 (Seoul SOUTH KOREA)
Yard Act (Leeds UK-ENGLAND)
(This list is subject to change. More performers will be announced at later dates.)

Listen to the artists who will be performing at SXSW 2022 by subscribing to the official SXSW Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube Music Video playlists.

All SXSW Music registrants receive primary access to Music and Convergence Conference programming, including Keynotes and Featured Speakers, Music Festival showcases, the Comedy Festival, exhibitions, networking Meet Ups, Game Industry  Expo, the Flatstock Poster Show, Registrant Lounge, the SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake concerts, and the closing BBQ & softball tournament. Secondary access is available for most Interactive and Film events.

The online SXSW Schedule provides a complete rundown of 2022 programming, broken down by time and event category, with the ability to build a customized schedule. To get started, please visit https://schedule.sxsw.com/.

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of tech, film, music, education, and culture. An essential destination for global professionals, the annual March event features sessions, music and comedy showcases, film screenings, exhibitions, professional development and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2022 will take place March 11 – 20, 2022. For more information, please visit sxsw.com. To register for the event, please visit sxsw.com/attend.

SXSW 2022 is sponsored by White Claw and The Austin Chronicle.

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Dr. Dre served with divorce papers at grandmother’s funeral

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American music producer, Dr. Dre was served with divorce papers while laying his grandmother to rest in Los Angeles on Monday, October 18. (more…)

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Jamie Foxx reveals why he’ll never get married

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Jamie Foxx, who is one one of Hollywood’s most eligible bachelors, has revealed why he plans on never getting married. (more…)

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HBO Max Acquires Morgan Freeman & Lori McCreary’s THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN For Streaming Starting November 19

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Following the Gravitas Ventures day and date theatrical release, HBO Max has acquired exclusive streaming rights to the award-winning, critically-acclaimed film THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN. The film will debut on the platform Friday, November 19. Based on a true story, the film was directed by David Midell (NightLights), produced by Midell and Enrico Natale of Redbird Entertainment, and executive produced by Lori McCreary, Morgan Freeman and Gary Lucchesi of Revelations Entertainment, along with Sharad Chib, Chris Paladino and Milan Chakraborty.

THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, which won a bevy of prestigious awards during its festival run, tells the heart-breaking true story of the events that led to the death of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., an elderly African American veteran with bipolar disorder who was killed by the police during a welfare check after his medical alert device was accidentally activated. Through a series of unfortunate circumstances and the overly aggressive policing tactics that make the news on an all-too-frequent basis, the life of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. ended at the hands of those who were sworn to “protect and serve.”

The film’s HBO Max debut date, November 19, 2021, is the 10-year anniversary of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.’s death.

While the title of the film gives away its tragic end, the real-time reenactment of Chamberlain’s final moments alive are a powerful reminder of how interactions with the police can, and do, end for many people of color, and people with mental health challenges, in the United States.

As a former behavioral therapist, and on the autism spectrum himself, director David Midell comes to this material with an added layer of personal experience. “Our goal all along has been to ask important questions about how our criminal justice system treats people of color, people in low-income areas, and people living with mental health challenges.

“I always say it’s bigger than my dad,” Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. said. “It’s about all the lives that have been lost in this pandemic of killing black men, women and children. And I just hope that the film is…going to force a discussion.”

Producing partners Freeman and McCreary were incensed that the film could not find distribution, and immediately offered to help by using Freeman’s voice and Revelations’ brand to help amplify the story. “We simply could not stand by and see this film ignored. Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.’s story, whose death in 2011 was largely ignored by the national media, deserves to be known by the world,” states Freeman and McCreary.

THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN comes at an important time in the national conversation about systemic racism and is a searing example of law enforcement’s sometimes callous and cruel treatment of people of color, echoing recent high-profile incidents involving George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, among countless others. THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN world-premiered at the Austin Film Festival and won the Audience Award and the Narrative Jury Award there. At the Urbanworld Film Festival last year, it claimed the Jury Award for best US Narrative, and continued winning at festivals, and led to an independent Spirit Award Nomination for David Midell in the “Someone to Watch” category.

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Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker are engaged

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Kourtney Kardashian has confirmed her engagement to Travis Barker with a romantic post on Instagram. (more…)

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