Medical crisis in east Ghouta as hospitals ‘systematically targeted’

Syrian government and allies accused of deliberately destroying civilian healthcare

The medical system in eastern Ghouta is near collapse, medics and doctors say, after nearly a week of airstrikes that have reached 22 hospitals and clinics and led to widespread claims that civilian healthcare in the besieged area is being systematically annihilated.

Medics inside Ghouta claimed only three medical facilities remained fully operational and all were overwhelmed with mass casualties that continued to arrive throughout Thursday- the fifth day of a blitz by Russian and Syrian airplanes across the opponent enclave. Medecins Sans Frontieres said 13 hospitals it supported had been destroyed or injury in the past three days alone.

As the damage and death toll from the ten-strikes continued to mount, international organisations that monitor the Syria crisis alleged there was clear evidence that hospitals were purposely targeted.

” The unspeakable agony we are witnessing was intentionally schemed and meticulously implemented over period ,” said Susannah Sirkin, the director of international policy at Physicians for Human Rights, an NGO.” The current situation is the lethal result of a conscious strategy of besiegement, blocking of aid and, ultimately, the illegal demolition of civilian targets with bombs- a tactic the Syrian government and its allies initiated in Aleppo, and are now repeating with brutality in eastern Ghouta .”

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Bodycam footage shows children being rescued from rubble in eastern Ghouta, Syria- video

Advocacy group the Violations Documentation Centre, which has compiled data on attacks in Syria, said hospitals were being targeted with different munitions to those used elsewhere in Ghouta.” We have observed and documented that the Syrian government targeted the medical phases with directed rockets ,” said Mona Zeineddine, its director of communications.

” This is important to note because the Syrian regime is largely utilizing unguided and improvised bombs, but when it is necessary to hospitals and medical points, guided and directed rockets are used. Also when a particular medical site is hit once, it is then made again when first responders arrive .”

Authorities in Ghouta have also detailed assaults on up to six civil defense centres, which have been used to coordinate rescue tries.” We are being directly targeted by airplane ten-strikes ,” said Abu Saleh al-Ghoutani, an ambulance driver.” Even as we’re rescuing people from under the rubble or driving them to the hospitals we are mercilessly and directly targeted. They wait and see where we’re driving and they bomb us.

” We have 250 documented deaths, and 1,700 injured until Wednesday. The death toll will rise because some are gravely injured .”

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, at least 403 people have been killed and 2,116 injured in eastern Ghouta since Sunday night. On Thursday Russia blocked a ceasefire proposal at the UN security council for the area, describing the widespread reporting of heavy civilian casualties as a product of” mass psychosis “.

One Ghouta doctor, who uses the pseudonym Abu Bakr, said:” We’ve been targeted immediately. It’s an ungodly situation; we weren’t prepared for this brutality. Civilians did not expect such cruelty. Those who aren’t able to reach shelters are exposed to their demises. We’re targeted by barrel bombs and all types of rockets. There is scarcity of food and water. We cannot do our chores properly as well, it’s impossible. Our hands are tied. There is no electricity. We do not know what’s coming in the next few days .”

The sustained air campaign contribute to strident criticism from aid agencies, but has generated little diplomatic momentum despite repeated claims that the two attacks have constituted war crimes.

Dr Ghanem Tayara, the chairman of the Union Of Medical care And Relief Organisations, said:” Even war has rules and their actions violate countless UN resolves. In military combats, even the dead and wounded are allowed to be cleared. The civilians of Ghouta are afforded no such dignity. Their hospitals, schools, food warehouses are destroyed and they are denounced to a slow and painful death.

” Shouldn’t there be an emergency security council fulfilling to resolve this ?,” said Ghoutani.” We’ve had no electricity for four years; children are succumbing , no milk , no food and no water. The shelters that the families and women and children are hiding in are in terrible conditions; they have no floors, or windows.

” We had one’ sugar dealer’ who was a pro-regime man, and a kilogram of sugar expense us 17,000 Syrian pounds[ PS56 ]. We are now resorting to devoting our kids sugary[ fluids] as food .”

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NRA hate bingo: we decode Wayne LaPierre’s loaded rant

LaPierres incendiary CPAC speech contained an exhaustive list of his dislikes and the things his adversaries apparently hate him for. See how many you can place!

Say what you like about Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association. He knows his audience.

A week after the tragic mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, LaPierre took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington to defend America’s right to bear arms.

The speech was also an opportunity for the audience to play NRA” hate bingo”, as LaPierre ticked off an exhaustive- and exhausting- list of the association’s bogeymen and women: Barack Obama, the media, Hollywood,” European-style socialists “, George Soros, Mexicans, China, Black Lives Matter and NFL players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.

Having exhaustively triggered his audience, he went on to mention God, family, the flag, capitalism and all those other things his adversaries- supposedly- despise.

If you want to play hate bingo, see how many key words you can find in the speech. And here’s a selection of the most memorable quotes.

Key quotes from the speech

Their statutes don’t stop illegal criminals from crossing our own borders every single day.

Their statutes don’t stop the scourge of gang violence and narcotic crime that savages Baltimore, Chicago and every major American community.

Their laws haven’t stopped the plague of opioids and Chinese fentanyl from Mexico that inundates American streets.

Racist, misogynist, sexist, xenophobe and more- these are the weapons and vitriol these character assassins scream to permanently hang in their targets and create a growing segment of victims.

From the occupied motion to Black Lives Matter to Antifa, they agitate the offended, promote uncivil discourse.

Backed by the social engineering and the billions of people like George Soros and Michael Bloomberg.

During the Obama decade’ a tidal wave of new European-style socialists’ have confiscated control of the Democratic party.

On college campuses the Communist Manifesto is one of the most frequently assigned texts.

The United States constitution is dismissed, United States history is perverted and the second amendment freedom is despised.

It should not be easier for a madman to shoot up a school than a bank or a jewelry store of some Hollywood gala.

Here are the results …

Completed bingo card

It’s a full house!

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Blue-sky thinking: how China’s crackdown on pollution is paying off

Clear skies above Beijing again but some anxiety the problem is just being pushed elsewhere

The photographs on display at Wu Di’s Beijing studio imagine China and Beijing at their dystopian worst.

Naked, expectant moms stare out from the walls, their bellies uncovered but their faces hidden behind green gas masks.

Worshippers prostrate themselves around the Ming dynasty Temple of Heaven, desperately petitioning the smog-choked skies for a breath of fresh air.

But while the interior of Wu’s atelier offers a desolate panorama of China’s pollution crisis, outside, a different, brighter side to the country is, for once, on indicate.

Beijing’s skies, so often noxious and smoggy, are a perfect and mystifying cerulean blue.

” It’s 26 today ,” said Wu, a visual artist and documentary photographer, checking his smartphone’s pollution app to confirm the uncommonly low levels of PM2. 5, an airborne particulate links between lung cancer, asthma and heart disease.

” In the past, we made fund first and could only talk about the environment subsequently. But it’s clear the government has changed its mind ,” he said.” We can see everything is starting to move in the right direction .”

During the creation of the nightmarish airpocalypses portrayed in Wu’s artwork, pollution levels might have been 20 or even 30 times higher.” Beijing was like a giant airport smoking room that day. It was an epic haze ,” he recalled, pointing to an image staged in October 2013 in which a girl appears to inhale oxygen through a tube connected to two heart-shaped balloons.

Times, though, appear to be changing.

Wu says he became an artist after he saw foreign athletes wearing facemasks at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Photo: Tom Phillips for the Guardian

Traditionally, wintertime is Beijing’s smoggiest season, as coal burning ramps up to keep millions of residents warm. But the skies over China’s capital have been almost inconceivably clear of late, thanks partly to a government crackdown on the use of the fossil fuel.

Beijing enjoyed a record 226 days of “good” air quality last year and suffered 23 heavily polluted days, compared with 58 in 2013, state media announced last month. The South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper, greeted the recovery with the incredulous headline:” How did Beijing become one of China’s top cities for air quality ?”

Hu Xijin, the editor of the party-controlled Global Times, tweeted alongside a photograph of Beijing’s azure-framed CCTV headquarters:” Isn’t it good to have a ruling party that can honour its promise ?”

Lauri Myllyvirta, a Greenpeace campaigner, said China’s leaders could rightly claim credit for attaining Beijing blue again, temporarily at least, even if favourable weather conditions had played a major role in the exceptionally good spell.

Since last year, thousands of environmental inspectors have fanned out across the industrial belt around the capital as part of an aggressive clampdown on coal employ. Heavily polluting vehicles, mills and construction sites have also been targeted.” There is clear evidence the measures ran ,” said Myllyvirta, who said overall PM2. 5 levels in Beijing had fallen by 40% from their peak in 2012 -2 013.

But he voiced a note of caution. Median PM2. 5 levels in Beijing remained 65% above the national standard and more than five times World Health Organization guidelines last year. A recent bout of severe smog highlighted the fight ahead.

There are also fears that the crackdown around Beijing is forcing polluting industries to migrate south to regions such as the Yangtze river delta around Shanghai, where smog levels are rising.” The’ war on pollution’ is far from over … few people harbour illusions ,” Myllyvirta said.” But there is also no reason for cynicism as there’s clear evidence the measures ran .”

Wu, 41, abandoned his job as an executive to become an environmentally engaged artist a decade ago, shocked into a career change by images of foreign athletes wearing facemasks at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Ten years on, and with the skies over his adoptive home starting to clear, he said he is glad his artwork and photographs, some of which have featured in Greenpeace anti-pollution campaigns, have played a role in increasing public awareness.

” I want to produce work that they are able pushing society and the administration has stimulate the positive developments ….[ and] the most effective way to push the administration has make changes is through public opinion ,” he said.” It demonstrates my work isn’t a waste of time … It shows the power of art .”

Wu worries, however, that change may have come too fast. He was among those left shivering when environmental inspectors began destroying coal-fired heaters late last year as part of a push to switch to natural gas or electric heating systems.” It’s only four degrees in here … I is also difficult to ran ,” he complained, touring his studio in a thick brown coat.

” I agree with the government that we need lucid waters and lush mountains but … the measures should be more gentle and more human. I can cope with the low temperature, but what about the elderly? What about children ?”

In one nearby region, primary school students reportedly suffered frostbite and were forced to study outdoors in the sunshine after their radiators stopped running.

Wu is also concerned about the environmental damage still being inflicted on less visible regions, where pollution crises have not received the same level of media attention as Beijing’s toxic skies. For one installation, he asked 12 volunteer “disciples” to recreate one of Leonardo da Vinci’s frescos, The Last Supper , in a derelict mill.” The message is that because of pollution, mankind’s last supper could come at any time because of pollution .”

Overall, however, Wu believes China is on the right way.” We should admit the government is trying to do the right thing and we need to recognise that it takes time … to deal with environmental issues ,” he said.

If China’s war on smog robbed him of his principal inspiration, he is unperturbed.” There’s no lack of problems to inspire artists in China ,” he joked.” Some western artists are jealous of that .”

Additional reporting by Wang Xueying

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My staff are trying to save lives in the rubble of Ghouta. Who will help us? | Raed Al Saleh

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been abandoned to starvation and bombing. How dare the world turn its face away, writes Raed Al Saleh, the head of the Syria Civil Defence or White Helmets

As Syrians, we have experienced death in so many more routes than we ever dared to imagine: we have been killed by barrel bombs, chemical weapons, starvation, drowning, torturing, napalm and cluster munitions. This month, in eastern Ghouta, another encounter with death was added to the listing: a mother’s corpse dig from under the rubble by her own son, a White Helmet volunteer.

The situation in Ghouta would transgress any heart. Some in the international community have run out of words and have stopped describing the horror. But the suffering of my people compel me to speak in direct terms: the world has left hundreds of thousands of civilians to starve or be bombed to death by the Syrian regime and its allies.

Ghouta has endured a barbaric siege for five years, cut off from food and medication, but nothing has prepared us for the past 48 hours. Dozens of barrel bombs- improvised weapons filled with explosives, shrapnel and anything that will rip through scalp- have been dropped on homes. Hundreds of rockets have been fired. Eight hospitals have been hit. More than 250 people have been killed and the death toll is rising by the hour. Thousands have been injured. All of this in an area of a little over 40 square miles.

Families in eastern Ghouta have been hiding in cellars for weeks at a time, too scared to go above ground, but even these makeshift shelters are being shattered by relentless bombardment.

White Helmet rescuers in Ghouta are facing hell: they’ve left their families, often without the basic necessities, to rescue others. Some have returned to find their families had been forced to flee. White Helmet squads were targeted while on a rescue mission, and a volunteer was killed. This is not a war: this is a massacre.

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Bodycam footage presents children being rescued from rubble in eastern Ghouta, Syria- video
Quick guide

What is happening in eastern Ghouta?

Show Hide

Where is it and why is it important ?

Eastern Ghouta is a rebel-held enclave that borders the city of Damascus. Once a breadbasket of the Syrian capital, since 2013 it has been under a siege that has tightened severely over the last year. In 2013 the region was targeted in a chemical attack by the Syrian regime that killed more than a thousand civilians and nearly prompted a US intervention in the war.

Who controls it ?

The enclave is controlled by a mix of rebel groups dominated by the Islamist leaning Jaysh al-Islam, though the day-to-day affairs of the towns in the area are run by local civilian councils.

How bad is the humanitarian situation ?

The situation is catastrophic for the 400,000 civilians who still live in eastern Ghouta. Prices for basic foodstuffs have skyrocketed and medical furnishes are largely absent because of the siege. Treating the injured is especially difficult because of the repeated bombing of hospitals and clinics.

An calculated 700 civilians have been killed in the area in the last three months alone , not including those killed over the last week of escalation.

The first aid escort to the region in months arrived a week ago but did not do much to alleviate the suffering.

Photograph: Hamza Al-Ajweh/ AFP

Thank you for your feedback.

The deteriorating situation across the country is stretching the White Helmets like never before. We have lost nine volunteers since the start of the year and more than 50 have been injured. The assaults on our centres and missions have destroyed much of our life-saving equipment and ambulances, inducing the work of saving lives much more difficult. My medical colleagues are suffering the same strain.

In our run, we have saved more than 100,000 lives over the past four years, often by carrying civilians in our limbs to the safest place we can find. In eastern Ghouta , nowhere is safe and there is no escape. All we can do is rescue people from immediate danger and hope and pray that the hospital or home where we leave them is not struck immediately. Can you imagine making such decisions, with airplanes overhead?

All this is happening only a 20 -minute drive from Damascus, from UN headquarters and the palace of Bashar al-Assad; a few hours on a plane to Geneva, where “peace talks” are occur. But as you look at the pictures of dust-covered people emerging from rubble or kids calling out in pain, it could be another planet- one where the worst of humanity is in charge. For we have never seen anything like this before in this world.

I am a Syrian humanitarian , not a legislator, so forgive me if I seem naive when I fail to believe that the world’s most powerful countries cannot protect children from waking up tomorrow in the rubble of their homes, their parents nowhere find work. The Syrian people hold international leaders responsible for failing to prevent their suffering, and demand that they use all measures available to stop the aerial assaults, violate the siege and immediately evacuate the hundreds of people in need of urgent medical attention. The White Helmets’ motto is:” To save a life is to save all of humanity .” I ask those who can to join us in our mission.

* Raed Al Saleh is the head of the Syria Civil Defence or White Helmets

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Japanese man given sole custody of 13 surrogate children by Thai court

Children, born to nine different women, taken into foster care in 2014 but will now move to Japan with father

The cult of the unreliable female narrator must be stopped | Stephanie Merritt

In fiction and life, womens witnes is held up to scrutiny and dismissed on the grounds that our biology builds us irrational, says writer Stephanie Merritt

Selma Blair: ‘I’ll lose everything, I’ll go to court’

Selma Blair maintained asking herself why she didnt only hit James Toback and run out of the room. A leading voice in exposing Hollywood talks single parenthood, stray dogs and how speaking out helped her. By Sophie Heawood

Halfway through our interview, Selma Blair’s one-eyed dog Buster climbs on to the restaurant table at the Chateau Marmont in LA and blithely devour an entire plate of leafy greens. Strangers are staring. I’m gazing.” Are you disgusted that I’m letting my puppy do this ?” Selma asks, her face serious, her tone as drily hilarious as it has been for the past hour, even when discussing the state of Hollywood for women and her fears that she’ll never run again. In fact, I’m just astounded that, here in Hollywood, even rescue mutts with part of their face missing seem to enjoy rocket salad with a blue cheese dressing.” I wonder if it’s possible to overdose on arugula ?” she believes aloud.” We’ll see when the dog dies tonight .”

Blair made her name with Cruel Intentions , a 1999 mean-teen remaking of Dangerous Liaisons , and has since acted in Legally Blonde , the Hellboy films directed by Guillermo del Toro and in the US remake of Kath& Kim , where she played the hysterically funny and spoiled daughter. More recently she played Kris Jenner in an episode of American Crime Story. Now she’s in a comedy-ish horror film called Mom and Dad , which isn’t going down too well in America, what with its theme of mothers overtaken by the urge to murder their own children, though Blair’s performance has been praised by the Hollywood Reporter , which describes her as a” chronically underused talent “. Nicolas Cage plays her husband, and they expend half the movie trying to end their two children with an smorgasbord of homemade weaponry.

” I happen to love it ,” she acknowledges,” because I had such a good time on it, giggling. It was funny to me. Isn’t that terrible? I can’t bear horror movies usually- my mama took me to consider American Werewolf in London as a kid and I couldn’t be alone for two years after that , not even to tie my shoelace. So I would have said a movie like this doesn’t help anybody, we have enough problems with killing. But then there was something so freshening to me about saying, aaaah, fuck it all! And the premise is so much more horrible than the movie itself .”

Her real son Arthur came out to the location and played with her son from the movie.” He was actually taken with Zach[ her son in the film, Zachary Arthur ], he was like:’ I finally have a brother !’ I was like:’ Er , not real, and I’m trying to kill him ?’ He hasn’t seen the film, but when he misbehaves I’ll indicate him .” Also came to see you soon is a remake of Heathers , in which it’s not the traditionally beautiful girls who run the school at all, but the outsiders who’ve taken over. Blair, who rose to reputation as part of the young Hollywood of the original Heathers generation, is now 45 years old, and plays” a diabolical stepmother who turns out to be the only sane person in it, because she’s the one who devoted zero fucks and didn’t have a conscience to begin with “.

‘ I’ve been in love, I’ve been in lust, I’ve been crazy about someone ‘: Selma wears jacket by Coach 1941 x Keith Haring, dress and T-shirt both by Coach 1941, and shoes by Christian Louboutin. Photo: Dylan Coulter for the Observer

Blair grew up in Michigan, one of four sisters in a Jewish family. Her parents were both lawyers- her mom a magistrate- and they sent her to Cranbrook Kingswood, a private school that Blair speaks about with great affection. Yoko Ono was a guest; Keith Haring designed their yearbooks, and Blair still has her best friend from there because, apparently:” It wasn’t cliquey, there were no mean daughters. It’s still one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen .” She remembers the glamour of her mom power-dressing in Ungaro suits, with” the looks of Sofia Loren”, and also the formalities.” She had us all by C-Section at 8.45 am on a Friday so she could be back to run by Monday .”

Blair began acting at school and, after encouragement from a teacher and various Tv and cinema parts, her breakout role was in Cruel Intentions , a film she now describes as” pioneering for teens. It was the first time two daughters kissed onscreen in such a mainstream movie .” She was actually 25, but playing a 14 -year-old,” because this was before HD so you could still seem somewhat young on screen “.

Yet her early 20 s in Hollywood were not easy. In the wake of the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, Blair spoke to Vanity Fair alongside Rachel McAdams about another big Hollywood figure, the director James Toback. She was told he wanted a meeting with her, but then, like Weinstein, he insisted the session be conducted in his hotel room, where he became manipulative, trying to convince her he could only fully coach her as relevant actors if he saw how she used her naked body, and then trying to block her from leaving the room until he ejaculated on her because he” required his release “.

At the time Blair was estranged from her parent after her parents’ divorce, and she says Toback said he could have him killed, because “hes working with” contract killers. She says Toback also threatened Blair’s own life. She was scared and felt it was safer to go along with his sex demands.

” I said recently that once I had said it, I let it go altogether. But I didn’t let it go wholly. I let go of the dishonor. And I was ashamed for being a part of it, like how could I not hit him over the head and run out of the room? But I could let that go when other women told their tale to me. I supposed, well, this was a natural reaction for that time .”

‘ Cruel Intentions was pioneering for teens. It was the first time two girls kissed in such a mainstream movie ‘: Selma wears dress by Erdem. Photograph: Dylan Coulter for the Observer

At first, she says, she was too frightened he would sue her.” So we women assembled behind the scenes on Twitter and I was saying in DMs[ direct messages ], go to this reporter, go to this reporter. But I was still afraid because I was the only one who was somewhat known, so I thought this is all gonna be on me, this lawsuit. I won’t be able to set my child through school. Then it turned out there were 38 other women accusing him, and he called them cunts and cocksuckers and liars, so I guessed, OK, I’ll lose everything, I’ll go to court. I will be on the right side of history. Now he’s up to 396 women, and I’m sure there are thousands. I also know plenty who haven’t come out, because what he did to them was so horrifying. He has yet to speak again of it .”

So what happens next? Why isn’t he in jail?” Oh, he gets to only hide. I filed a police report, but there is a statute of limitations. He won’t work again, but he’ll never genuinely be held accountable, even though he should be in a mental hospital and a jail .”

Blair is now the single motherof six-year-old Arthur, her son with her ex-boyfriend Jason Bleick, a fashion designer. She texts her babysitter during our lunch, hoping that her beloved boy can join her here at Chateau Marmont, where the staff like her so much that she has a much sought after key to the locked swimming pool.” It’s my only Hollywood perk, literally my only one after 20 years. They treat Arthur like the Prince of the Chateau .”

She and her son love animals and she goes riding at 6am as often as she can. She scrolls through her telephone to find me a picture of their pony, grumbling:” Why am I doing this to you? Why am I forcing this picture on you ?” She never planned to get pregnant, and wasn’t married.” But my body felt good and I felt happy. And I’m not necessarily, historically, engineered that route ,” she adds, meaning she has been prone to melancholy all her life.” So I was, like, maybe it’ll change me forever !” And has it?” You know what’s weird ?” she asks.” Your DNA changes and you get your child’s DNA inside you, because cells from the foetus cross the placenta. And because some of your child’s DNA is the other person’s, you get their DNA, too .”

Having bonded over the fact that we are both single mothers of unplanned six-year-olds, we now sit and think about our bodies containing parts of our ex-boyfriends eternally. There is a loaded silence. Blair had a bad, induced labour and a rough time afterwards , not sleeping, absence supporting. One friend would come and cook for her on Sundays, but otherwise she thinks she became malnourished.( All new moms talk about the lack of sleep. Single mothers talk about the lack of food .) Yet she managed to breastfeed not for months but for years,” because I’ve always been someone that could construct milk, ever since I was seven years old. Never had breasts, always had milk !”

‘ I’d be content if I could just ride ponies all day ‘: Selma wears dress by Alexander McQueen and shoes by Christian Louboutin. Photograph: Dylan Coulter for the Observer

My jaw drops again. What? Turns out she has the rare condition idiopathic hyperprolactinaemia, which can lead to galactorrhea, in which the nipples emit a discharge resembling milk. An Ayurvedic healer once told her she was producing this” because I had never loved anybody, and this was my spirit trying to bring that person to me, to be loved “. Though Blair looks like someone who’d laugh in the face of hippy mending ideas, that is something that resonated with her.” I was about 34. And I believed, maybe that’s right, I’ve never loved somebody unconditionally- I’ve been in love, I’ve been in lust, I’ve been crazy about someone, but I’ve never really still … no. It rang true .” This was after her two-year marriage to Frank Zappa’s son Ahmet had ended.” And then my son had some health matters and he genuinely required the breast milk, so that really was my job. I guessed:’ Aaaah, I guess I can die now, I got him through that !’ But I depleted myself, too, and I’m still recovering. I still have to remind myself that my own body needs healthier fats than fried food .”

She lately bought the film rights to a novel she loved, The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst, which is about a woman who has been caring for her sick mom for years, but one day merely get in her vehicle and drives, merely to be concluded in a mysterious township where nothing grows and everything has been lost and disposed from elsewhere.” It was so simple, but also metaphysical and sorceries. It actually lifted a veil in my intellect. There are so many females to play, so much room for them .” So she wrote project proposals and is now pitching it, with her as producer and maybe as the lead. She has no other work lined up” and it feels like my only salvation. I had to do this .”

But then she started talking to humen in meetings about it.” They just sit like lumps, going:’ I don’t want to like this character because she left her mom .’ Well, one, she left her mother for a drive, and two, you can’t like a woman who’s broken her back to take care of other people her whole life? You’re not gonna follow this heroine?

” Once I had my child, I realised how unjust life has been for women. When you deal with potential custody issues, which we aimed up not having, but you look into it and realise this is all geared towards men now, and the court systems usually loathe single moms. I guessed, I do not have this fight in me, I don’t know how to deal with this. We’re too powerful, so we dim our glisten to get through stuff. I didn’t even realise until people started speaking up how genuinely kind of … furious … we should be allowed to be .”

I feel like this could be 10 years of fury.” Yeah, this is just the beginning. It starts with stories and then how do you change the system, how do you change the lesser attackers, the ones who shouldn’t be criminalised, but how do we teach our children no, you get out of the room, you have that right. And not have the consequences be so scary .”

I ask if it’s right that females are carrying this whole movement: should men be helping more? She responds that it was another male Hollywood director who promoted her to speak up about Toback.” And the men who are trying to change themselves and be more appropriate people every day … Fuck , I love them! Even the assholes. If they could just own some of it. How far it would go to mending some people if they could just say:’ I did it .’ Louis CK– even if he was cornered into saying it, and it doesn’t attain everything right, but saying:’ I belittled people, I did much worse ,’ well, that does something. So I hope I create a son who wants to be a better person every day .”

In the meantime, she needs to attain some money. I say she seems like she doesn’t want to join the Hollywood club. She agrees.” I likely need to look like I’m trying to join the club. It’s true, there wasn’t a desperation before, but with a kid I’m being introduced to some desperation. I’ve never made tons of fund, I’ve never been a huge star. I’ve always been the dark horse .”

Surely this goes in your favor, too? She cheers up and admits that it can.” It’s true, I’m not wholly out because I’ve never been totally in. There’s a certain luck I have because people suppose I’m still swanks, because I never wanted to be totally in. For me it’s about survival. I’d be content if I could ride ponies the working day and be with my son and read books. I’m various kinds of simple. But I have to make a living and I’m a bit scared shitless how I’m gonna do this .”

The other people I interview never admit that.” Well, maybe the other people you interview aren’t scared shitless. Could someone paid in full for an Instagram post? How do all these people do it? I would be very happy to shill something I liked !” Such as what, I ask?” Well, I don’t know what my marketplace is ,” she replies,” but maybe the Salad Association would like my dog .”

Mom and Dad is in cinemas from 9 March

Styling by Gaelle Paul and Hope Lawrie. Hair by Anh Co Tran, L’Oreal ambassador at Tracey Mattingly. Make-up by Kathy Jeung at Forward artists use NARS. Shot at Quixote Studio

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10 great Finnish innovations

From boxes of baby clothes to free education to prevention of suicide small country, big ideas

Four Israeli soldiers injured, two seriously, in border blast

Tanks retaliate against look-out post in Gaza, with no casualties, say Palestinian authorities

Benazir Bhutto showed you can be a mother and prime minister I know, I am her son

After Jacinda Ardern announced her pregnancy, some questioned how she would cope. They should look at Pakistans late leader