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from Photographers' Blog:

The parents left behind

Warsaw, Poland

By Peter Andrews

I remember my mother taking me to the airport on June 10, 1981. In theory, everyone knew I was leaving for three weeks, but both of us really knew that I would not be coming back. I was nineteen at the time and wanted to see a different world, a world outside the so called Iron Curtain.

My mother didn't show sadness but I could see tears in her eyes when she said good bye to me. I saw her twice in ten years. Once after four years, when she visited my new home, Canada, and later in Germany when the Berlin Wall was coming down. Our contact was scarce. In those days, it was very difficult to call out of Poland, especially after martial law was introduced. Later, when martial law was lifted, it was a bit easier, but still there were only land lines. No mobile phones, no Internet, no Skype - only written letters put inside envelopes, with a postage stamp and sent from the post office. It was only when the Soviet Union collapsed and the so-called evil empire ceased to exist that I was able to see her freely. It is only when you are not able to see your parents often that one notices how age works on people.

At the time when I was leaving Poland no one knew that ten years down the road the world's geo-political situation would change and that eastern European countries would join NATO and later, in 2004, the European Union would allow many young people to travel freely, without any restrictions or prosecution.

A large number of Polish citizens took advantage of the new situation, deciding to try their luck abroad. As most of them had gone to Ireland and the UK some chose places like Spain, Switzerland, the U.S. or Australia. Freedom of movement was finally given to people and was tested by close to over two million Poles. For some of them it has been an adventure for some job opportunity. But in all of the cases it has been an experience shared, like in the case of my mother, by their parents too...

from Photographers' Blog:

India’s missing daughters

New Delhi, India

By Mansi Thapliyal

Atika, 10, woke up early one morning in August 2008 and was sent by her mother to buy a few items from a nearby shop. She returned and told her mother she would prepare tea for her father before quickly going to use a communal toilet close to her house. She never returned.

Ambika was a feisty 15-year-old high school student who took wrestling classes. Her mother returned home from work late in the night on October 10, 2010. She woke up the next morning and found her daughter missing.

from Global Investing:

Bullish Barclays says to buy Portuguese debt

Some bets are not for the faint-hearted. Risky punts are even less so following a sovereign debt crisis, one that has riddled European debt markets for two years. Barclays Capital, however, recommends a particularly unusual bet, one that your parents might baulk at.

It will be of little surprise that Barcap is bullish on the year, advising towards assets that will perform well in an environment of US-led global growth, easy monetary policy and tight oil supplies following reduced tail-risks in Europe curbed by cheap money from the European Central Bank.

from Fan Fare:

Mila Kunis to parents: Retire already!

MilaKunisActress Mila Kunis has enjoyed a lot of success in her career. She starred in TV hit "That '70s Show" and has voiced the character Meg Griffin in "The Family Guy." In her latest role, she appears opposite Oscar winner Denzel Washington in action movie "The Book of Eli," which opens on Jan. 15.

But there's one area where all of Kunis' efforts seem to end in frustration for her -- and that's getting her immigrant parents from Ukraine to take advantage of her own financial good fortune and retire, which means that her dad would have to quit driving a taxi and her mom would have to hang it up at the drug store she manages.

from Changing China:

The right to play?

Fierce competition for jobs and university places, and great expectations from parents, are pushing China ’s only children to their limits.
Two-three year olds learn English, and experimental classes aim to put "little geniuses" in university seven years ahead of their peers.
Are the children in this video losing their "right to play", as stated by UN in the Convention of the Rights of the Child?

Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 31:

1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.

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