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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern pregnant with first child.

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday she was pregnant with her first child, prompting an outpouring of support from women’s rights groups and labor activists as she declared “I’ll be a prime minister and a mum”.

Ardern said she planned to work until the end of her pregnancy in June and then take six-weeks leave, during which time Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters would run the country.

Speaking to reporters outside her Auckland home, Ardern said her partner Clarke Gayford would care for the “surprise” addition full-time and that the whole family would travel together when necessary.

“I am not the first woman to work and have a baby. I know these are special circumstances but there are many women who have done it well before I have,” she said.

The popular 37-year-old politician’s pregnancy is one of the very few examples of an elected leader holding office while pregnant and the first in New Zealand’s history. Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto gave birth while she was prime minister in 1990.

Ardern, who came to power through a coalition deal after a closely fought election last year, has experienced a meteoric rise to power as New Zealand’s youngest prime minister in more than a century, and its third female leader.

Ardern’s rise to power has generated intense interest in her personal life and drew comparisons with other youthful leaders such as France’s Emmanuel Macron and Canada’s Justin Trudeau.

Ardern was quick to assure the public that she would only take six weeks off, during which time she would still be contactable, so that the country would run as usual.

The short period contrasts with her party’s parental leave policies, with the Labour-led coalition expanding paid parental leave from 18 to 22 weeks in one of its first legislative changes. That is set to rise again to 26 weeks in 2020.

Ardern acknowledged that she was “lucky” that her partner, a well-known television fishing show presenter, could take time off to travel with her while he cared for the baby full-time.

She had no plans to stop work until June and would fly to London in April to attend a Commonwealth leader’s meeting.

Advocacy groups and politicians from across the political spectrum were quick to offer support.

“It’s really inspiring…having our prime minister lead by example is a great sign of how far we’ve come in women’s industrial rights in New Zealand,” said Council of Trade Unions President Richard Wagstaff in an emailed statement to Reuters.

New Zealand has long held a progressive reputation, having been the first country to give women the right to vote in 1893.

It’s amazing timing…125 years later we have a prime minister who’s going to give birth in office,” said Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter.

Ardern revealed on Friday that she had unexpectedly found out she was pregnant on Oct. 13, just six days before she was propelled into the country’s top job when New Zealand First Party leader Peters announced he was siding with Labour in post-election negotiations.

When asked by a reporter how she had managed putting together a government while suffering from morning sickness, she replied, “it’s just what ladies do”.

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Thailand pick March 24 for first general election

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Thailand Election Commission has confirmed its readiness to carryout their first election on March 24, chairman Ittiporn Boonprakong told the  newsmen.



The commission admitted that the elections would have been held on Feb. 24, but the military government expressed concern that election-related events would clash with early preparations for the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, scheduled for May 4-6.

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In a statement, the Office of the Prime Minister said it would be inappropriate for election events to “unnecessarily coincide with the scheduling of the Coronation Ceremony.

The junta has pushed back the election several times for various reasons after overthrowing the democratically elected government of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014,

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duo the delay has lead to street protests for months, but he said that there is need for everybody to maintain peace in-order to protect the image of  country.

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Former communication minister arrested over corruption in Ethiopia.

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Ethiopia’s former Communication Minister, Bereket Simon, has been arrested by the federal government at his residence in the capital, Addis Ababa, multiple news sources, state and private, have reported.



Simon is also a founding member of the ruling coalition, the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF. Multiple local mdia channels are reporting that his arrest is in connection with corruption.

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Another arrested official is Tadesse Kassa, a former top civil servant. Simon was a member of the Amhara regional bloc in the EPRDF.

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His party, now the Amhara Democratic Party ousted him from executive committee membership.

Bereket resigned his position in government in October 2017 at the time as an advisor in charge of Policy Studies and Research to ex Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

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