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Kamala Harris Makes History: What The First Female Vice President-Elect Means For Women

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There’s a vignette that Senator Kamala Harris likes to tell about her mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris. It’s a well-trodden soundbite that has proliferated into hashtags and official 2020 campaign merchandise, but the commercialization shouldn’t detract from its meaning: An immigrant from India who came to the United States with dreams of curing cancer, Shyamala raised Harris and her sister Maya to be strong Black women who are mindful of what their identities mean in American work and life. “My mother would look at me,” Harris has said, “and she’d say, ‘Kamala you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last.’”

Shyamala was right: Her daughter has been “the first” a number of times. In 2010, Harris became the first African-American and first woman to serve as California’s attorney general. In 2016, she became the first Indian-American woman to be elected to the United States Senate. In August of 2020, she became the first Black woman and first Asian-American woman to appear on the presidential ticket of a major political party.

On Saturday, November 7, the Associated Press projected that former vice president Joe Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, won the state of Pennsylvania and have earned more than 270 electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election. Senator Harris can therefore add more firsts to her list: she is officially the first female vice president-elect in United States history and the first person of color to earn the distinction as well.

In her first public statement after the race was called—a tweet—Harris didn’t mention these firsts. “This election is about so much more than @JoeBiden or me,” she said. “It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s get started.”

Harris’s presence in the 2020 race—both for as a candidate for president in the early days of the Democratic primary, and for vice president in the general election race—has been a potent reminder of what has been lacking in our nation’s highest office for more than two centuries.

“It’s a kind of beautiful, full circle moment for the story of America, because I think women, and more specifically Black women, have done so much work—and are sort of the backbone of this country—without the acknowledgement of the work that we’ve done,” says Alia Daniels, cofounder of the global queer digital media network Revry. “And so I think being able to see someone who looks like me, in one of those positions, it’s just a level of pride that I don’t even know if I can fully express.”

Daniels notes that because we’ve seen women attain powerful positions in the private sector over the past few decades—consider former Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi, or General Motors chief Mary Barra, to name a few boundary-breaking corporate leaders—it can be all too easy to take female leadership for granted. “But this is the highest position in our country that a woman has held,” she says. “There’s something to actually seeing it.”

The American public has already witnessed Harris asserting her expertise and authority on the national stage: her use of “I’m speaking” during the vice presidential debate last month was a master class in dealing with a male interrupter, and her questioning of then-U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions and now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh in Senate hearings in 2017 and 2018 were similar showcases of feminine confidence and capability. But her impending presence in the executive branch of government has the potential to be as instructive as inspirational.

“No one can deny the power of seeing somebody who shares an identity, like your gender or your race, which are so salient in American society, certainly, in a position of power,” says Colleen Ammerman, director of the Gender Initiative at Harvard Business School. Ammerman points to research that has shown how female role models and mentors, as well as mere exposure to portraits of female leaders, can help encourage women to speak up, stand up and perhaps achieve more. “The images of leadership and power that we see are overwhelmingly white and male. Sometimes we don’t even quite notice that until we see something different,” she says.

Henah Parikh, development and communications manager at She’s the First, a nonpartisan nonprofit devoted to fighting gender inequality through education, puts it this way: “You can’t be what you can’t see.” She points to research that shows that, without female role models, girls stop believing they can be anything they want to be as early as 5 years old. Women like Harris help combat that.

“We talk a lot about these women trailblazers, like Kamala Harris who are the historic first, but they’re also paving the way for pulling other girls and women up with them,” Parikh says. “And that’s what’s so important to me and to a lot of women, but especially for me as a South Asian woman.”

Senator Harris’s election to the vice presidency comes at a moment when a pandemic has killed more than 200,000 Americans and forced thousands more out of work. Women have been disproportionately affected: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 865,000 women dropped out of the labor force in September, compared to 216,000 men. The childcare and remote learning demands on mothers working from home stand to erase close to a decade of gains for women in the workplace unless spouses, employers and the government work to find solutions and provide support.

Harris alone cannot fix this. But for Aimee Koval, cofounder and president of Metis Consulting, a B-corp and certified disability-owned enterprise that provides technology and management consulting, Harris’s experience as a daughter, aunt and stepmother makes her more qualified than previous White House occupants to understand the unique challenges facing women.

“For me the big impact of choosing a woman in the White House is that that comes with a perspective that I think that we haven’t seen enough of, or enough understanding at a federal level from lawmakers who have not taken those concerns into account have not addressed issues such as childcare and the funding of schools,” Koval says.

Koval notes that fairly or unfairly, all eyes will be on Harris when it comes to these issues; this level of scrutiny and pressure is one of the well-documented downsides of being a “first” or “only” within an organization. In the federal government, where Democrats have held onto their majority in the House but control of the Senate is still unclear, women like Cori Bush—the first Black woman elected to Congress by Missouri—and the newly-reelected members of “The Squad” (Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib) can use their personal experiences and political sway to advocate for these policies, too. But the rates of women in government, even with a record 131 women so far elected to the 117th Congress, still lag that of the general public. The work is not over.

“I strongly believe that progress isn’t inevitable,” Harvard’s Ammerman says. “And I think it’s dangerous to sort of think, okay, we’ve broken one barrier and so we’ll just automatically keep going.”

Jackie Adams, coauthor of “A Blessing” and the first African-American female correspondent formally assigned to cover the Reagan and H.W. Bush White Houses for CBS News, has watched women vie for positions of power since Geraldine Ferraro was the first female vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket in 1984. Looking at the developments from the 2018 and 2020 election cycles, she finds reasons to be optimistic about female leadership beyond Harris’s fresh status as vice-president elect. “There are more women of color running for office than ever before,” she said. “I think that there is a flywheel that’s spinning and it might be pushed further ahead a little bit faster, [as] Senator Harris becomes vice president, but even if she doesn’t, it’s not gonna be stopped.”

The inspiration that Harris has already instilled in young girls is evident in the tweets and photos depicting Halloween costumes (Converse and all) and driveway stump speeches. But the significance of her election is not limited to the Gen-Z set.

“Senator Harris actually shares a birthday with my mom,” She’s the First’s Parikh says, going on to explain that both her mom and Shyamala Gopalan Harris come from South India, and both came to American with a lot to learn. Parikh describes hearing Harris talk so fondly about Shyamala and then texting her own mother.

“I said, ‘I just hope that you feel like you have seen some growth in this country, just by seeing this on television.’ Millions of Indian people around the country can relate,” she says. “It is something we’ve never ever experienced before.”

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Elon Musk Is Not The Second Richest Person In The World — Here’s Why

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Elon Musk

Thanks to Tesla’s roaring stock, Elon Musk’s net worth has nearly quadrupled during the Covid-19 pandemic, racing from $24.6 billion in mid-March to a current $126.8 billion by Forbes’ estimate. But despite this meteoric rise, the 49-year-old is not the world’s second-richest person yet

Forbes currently has Musk in the No. 3 spot, behind Jeff Bezos, who reigns supreme at $182.6 billion, and French luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault, worth $140.6 billion. With the surge in the value of Tesla shares this week, Musk surpassed Bill Gates, who is now in fourth place, worth $119.4 billion

Musk owns 21% of Tesla but has pledged more than half his stake as collateral for personal loans; Forbes applies a 25% discount to his shareholding to account for the loans. Musk’s net worth estimate includes $25 billion worth of options that he was awarded since May as part of  a historic 12-tranche compensation plan. 

Musk became eligible for the fourth tranche in late October after Tesla exceeded the cumulative EBITDA requirement, but Tesla has yet to confirm in public filings that it has certified the results. A representative for Musk did not reply to a request for comment from Forbes in time for publication. Until the receipt of the fourth tranche is confirmed, Forbes is only counting some 25 million options from the package towards Musk’s net worth.

Musk also owns an estimated 48% of SpaceX, the rocket company that recently made its first launch with astronauts on board. Investors valued SpaceX at $46 billion in August. After applying Forbes’ 10% private company discount, Musk’s SpaceX stake is worth just under $20 billion.

Tesla’s shares have risen 36% since Tuesday November 17 when S&P Global announced that the electric car company would be added to the S&P 500 index on December 21. The addition to the index means that more mutual funds tied to the S&P 500 will buy Tesla stock. 

With a current market capitalization of $525 billion, Tesla is worth far more than Toyota ($198 billion) and GM ($66 billion) combined. In the first three quarters of 2020, Tesla delivered 318,000 cars, a small fraction of the number produced by the world’s larger automakers.

“I really couldn’t care less,” Musk emailed Forbes about his net worth in July. “These numbers rise and fall, but what really matters is making great products that people love.”

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Ghana Election 2020: Exclusive: Nana Addo Allegedly Caught Taking Bribe – Video To Premier Soon

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Ghana Election 2020: The President of the Republic of Ghana Nana Addo-Dankwa Akuffo-Addo is allegedly caught taking bribe, which is said to have been videotaped secretly.

The President could face bribery corruption hurdles by the people of Ghana and the media as well, because, the NPP has made Ghanaians believe Akufo-Addo is incorruptible.

According to information gathered, the president will soon be exposed by his corrupt deals he has been engaging in the office of the president.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is spreading information across their social media platforms propounding the allegation of president Akufo-Addo taking bribe

The video is said to be premiered by a pro-NDC member Kelvin Ekow Taylor. They say the video will expose the President of Akufo-Addo taking bribe.

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Biden Appoints Nigerian-Born Adewale Adeyemo As US Deputy Treasury Secretary

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Adewale Adeyemo

US President-elect, Joe Biden has appointed Nigerian-born attorney, Adewale  Adeyemo, as Deputy Treasury Secretary

“It’s official! Wale Adeyemo becomes the first-ever Nigerian American Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury, in the history of the country!! Congrats to Wale,” the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa tweeted on Monday, confirming the appointment of the former senior international economic adviser during the Obama administration.

Adeyemo will serve under former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who Biden plans to appoint to lead the US Treasury Department.

Born in Nigeria, Adeyemo was raised in California where he obtained a bachelor’s degree before proceeding to Yale Law School for his legal education.

Adewale Adeyemo

Before his appointment into the Obama administration, Adeyemo worked as an editor at the Hamilton Project, then served as senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to Jack Lew in the United States Department of Treasury.

He later worked as the chief negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and also served as the first chief of staff of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under Elizabeth Warren.

In 2015, he was appointed to concurrently serve as Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics and deputy director of the National Economic Council.

He went on to become the first president of the Obama Foundation.

According to Politico, Biden is also expected to name Cecilia Rouse, an African American economist at Princeton University, to lead the Council of Economic Advisers.

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