Serena Williams Stands Up for Maternal Health After Harrowing Childbirth: Daily Brief

Plus: “Hysterical” violence in eastern Ghouta, Syria; Child marriages among refugees in Europe; No progress in Kazakhstan; Hungary's government tries to take its hate campaign international...


  1. Professional tennis player, businesswoman, and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Serena Williams recently gave birth to her daughter, Olympia. The birth became a life-threatening experience for Ms. Williams, resulting in an emergency C-section and multiple complications. After the harrowing ordeal, she spoke out in a strong appeal for affordable healthcare access for everyone, and the dangers to maternal health and the welfare of children around the world when it is not available.
  2. The slaughter in Syria continues with a day of “hysterical” violence by the regime against civilians in the opposition-controlled enclave of eastern Ghouta. Multiple hospitals were attacked during the assault, in what many are calling one of the worst days of civilian massacres since the war began.
  3. Indonesia's panic-driven hysteria over sexuality has reached alarming levels. The government has done little to curb spiking anti-LGBT rhetoric and attacks over the last two years. And with extreme anti-LGBT draft laws being introduced, the situation could get even more dangerous.
  4. From earlier today: The cost of private probation supervision in the United States disproportionately harms the poor, often criminalizing a person’s inability to pay their probation fees and court costs.
  5. How is Europe dealing with child marriages among Syrian refugees?
  6. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a coalition of governments, companies, and nongovernmental groups meant to foster open public debate about the use of resource revenues, chose to gloss over the chilling effects of Kazakhstan’s heavy restrictions over civil society.