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Does a woman’s right to choose apply to breastfeeding?

The moment my son was born, he was placed on my chest and covered with a blanket. I saw people bustling at my periphery, but I remember only stillness as I tried to process that the baby squirming on top of me was not a foreign object. Fifty-five minutes passed before my husband, who had taken notes during our breastfeeding class, shot me a worried look and pointed at the clock: The baby should try to latch in its first hour of life, he said.

I had every intention of breastfeeding, and of doing so until the magical, doctor-recommended six-month mark. I had skimmed the important studies, had familiarized myself with the data. Six months of breastfeeding, several medical institutions had personally assured me, would help ward off infections, obesity, cancer, allergies, hyperactivity and even low IQ. It’s this mainstream medical consensus that now leads more than 75% o

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Auchan launches online sales in Ukraine

French retailer Auchan has started selling non-food goods via its Ukrainian online store launched last month. These include household, garden and pets goods, as well as apparel.

So far, delivery service is available in Kyiv (Kiev) and Kyiv region for 59 and 69 hryvnias ($2.2 and $2.6 respectively at the current exchange rate). Both cash and bank card payments are accepted.

To date, Internet penetration is just above 40% in Ukraine. However, 9 in 10 Ukrainian online users have shopped online at least once, which is twice as much as back in 2011.

Sources: AuchanЧитать далее »

Visa-free – Educating the constituency

The 11th May witnessing the successful and penultimate round of required signatures from the EU Member States regarding Visa-free travel for Ukrainians.

Thus 18th May is scheduled to witness the final two signatures (from Malta holding the rotating EU presidency and European Council Donald Tusk) that subsequently allow the publication of the agreement that in turn, 20 days later, will bring Visa-free into force.  Ergo on or about 8th June the Visa-free regime will come into effect.

A symbolic event.

However such a significant bureaucratic change requires educating the Ukrainian constituency as to what exactly Visa-free means.  What is covered by Visa-free and as importantly, what is not.

It should necessarily be explained –  repeatedly – over the coming weeks, and indeed months, across all channels of the domestic information space.

Every effort should be made to reduce, as far as is practicable, misunderstandings or ignorance withi

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Ukraine takes another (preparatory) step toward NOIS

Almost 2 years ago an entry appeared relating to the fairly high priority the US had relating to intellectual property rights and its place on the Ukrainian legislative agenda.

As stated at the time following a conversation with a senior US diplomat – “Certainly a matter that is not confidential nor sensitive that is a constant for the US, via its embassy in Kyiv, has been trying to quietly force up the Ukrainian legislative agenda over recent years, has been the issue of intellectual property rights/protection.

Needless to say the Yanukovych regime had very little interest in such matters, and the post EuroMaidan government has been slightly preoccupied with what it considered somewhat more pressing issues.  To be fair to the US, it too had issues it thought more pressing here as well.

However, the i

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The Presidential Presser

It is almost a year since President Poroshenko did anything approaching a press conference for the domestic press – as opposed to issued statements and/or Soviet-esque monologues.

Following Eurovision, and ahead of the final two signatures required for Visa-free to be applied to the documentation in Strasbourg in a few days time, it also has to be noted that sometime within 25 and 30 May The Netherlands seem likely to apply the final signature to complete the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

A lot of events that President Poroshenko will want to be personally associated – albeit much work was done prior to him becoming president.

So be it.   That is the nature of politics.  Claim the wins and blame the lose

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The Verkhovna Rada returns – and with it threats to reform

The Verkhovna Rada returned to legislative duty on 15th May after a month off doing whatever Verkhovna Rada deputies do in their time off – holidays, engaging in conspiracies, intrigues, and grubby deals etc – per public perception.

There are, naturally, a lot of reform orientated legislative Draft Bills pending with such a long reform road ahead.  To be fair many reform orientated Draft Bills will be successful in their passing – particularly those where EU funding is dependent upon a passing – such as Bill 4773.  Yet although successes there will be, and which are of course welcome, what is given with one hand can be easily taken by another.

There is the truly scandalous issue of the Central Election

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National security v Freedom of choice and the Internet – Ukraine

The Ukrainian social and main stream media is filled with reaction to the Presidential Decree expanding sanctions upon Russian companies and individuals – for among those companies sanctioned and to be banned are VK (VKontakte) and Odnoklassniki, two social media platforms far more popular than Facebook in Ukraine, as well as Mail.ru wherein which millions of Ukrainians have email addresses, the popular search engine Yandex, Kaspersky software, Dr Web and the extremely popular accounting and business management system C1.

The Decree was signed and subsequently published on 16th May based upon the recommendations of the National Security and Defence Council that appeared in late April.

Naturally prohibiting such sites within Ukraine presumably is supposedly related to security implications in some cases, and will clearly

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Unorthodoxy – A fight for souls (and earthly riches)

Should a reader choose to believe that the recent Presidential Decree sanctioning numerous Russian individuals and companies – and in particular VK (VKontakte) and Odnoklassniki have far less to do with national security and far more to do with severing the Ukrainian Internet space of Russian social media dominance in an effort to cut yet more ties (not that it need be mutually exclusive) then it is necessary to see that as a small piece in a larger mosaic of de-Russification.

There is nothing wrong with such a policy – Ukraine is not Russia and is in fact fighting a war with Russia.   What is necessary, is to do so both strategically, tactically, and within the domestic laws and regional/international obligations and regulations that Ukraine has obligated itself to if public and international perception is to remain supportive of the current l

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Lutsenko names the next MPs to face immunity stripping votes

Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko has named the next 3 Verkhovna Rada MPs that he will seek, via Verkhovna Rada vote, to remove immunity from and thereafter prosecute.

They are Gennady Bobov (Art. 212, 366 para 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine), Evgene Deyde (aka Dade) (Art. 368 para 2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine ) and Andrei Lozov (Article 212, 368 para 2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

Those acquainted with the politician class of Odessa will recognise the name of Eygene Dade and will not be at all surprised to see that the Prosecutor General wishes to proceed against him under Art 368 para 2:

“Art 368.2 – Taking a bribe of gross amount by an official who occupies a responsible position, or by

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Ukraine decriminalises drug possession?

On 20th May, the Cabinet of Ministers in Ukraine were picketed regarding the decriminalising of prohibited drug possession.

That is not to say it would legalise drug possession.  It will remain against the law to possess controlled/prohibited drugs.

What changes with any decriminalisation are the penalties and how offenders are dealt with.  Police may use their discretion to enforce drug related statute relating to possession of a controlled substance – or not.  Discretion is a matter for the individual officer dealing with the offence/offender.

One office may confiscate the prohibited substance and simply drop it d

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