Armenian Protest Leader Loses Bid For Premier, Warns Of A 'Political Tsunami'

Nikol Pashinyan’s supporters packed a square Tuesday in the capital, Yerevan, after lawmakers rejected the opposition leader’s bid for prime minister. Pashinyan is calling for a campaign of civil disobedience in protest.

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Vano Shlamov/AFP/Getty Images

Just minutes after midnight Wednesday, Nikol Pashinyan stepped in front of a huge crowd in Armenia’s capital, microphone in hand. Not long before, lawmakers had rejected the opposition leader’s bid for prime minister — the only one officially in the running — after he was grilled for hours in parliament Tuesday.

Now he was speaking to a different crowd: tens of thousands of his supporters packing a square in downtown Yerevan. After weeks of anti-government rallies which led to the ouster of the previous prime minister, longtime leader Serzh Sargsyan, Pashinyan told the crowd he was not giving up.

“We will block the streets, the airports, the metro, the railway, everything that can be blocked,” he told them, according to a Reuters translation. “If everyone participates in a total act of civil disobedience, this will be a total victory of the people of Armenia. Our struggle is a struggle of non-violence, it is a peaceful act of civil disobedience.”

Nikol Pashinyan, the only candidate for prime minister, answers lawmakers’ questions at the extraordinary session of parliament Tuesday. Lawmakers later rejected him, leaving the post vacant.

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Karen Minasyan/AFP/Getty Images

Pashinyan’s call for a general strike came shortly after the 42-year old former journalist saw his candidacy stamped out by Sargsyan’s ruling Republican Party. Ultimately, his bid failed to win the required majority, with most of his fellow lawmakers preferring to leave the post of prime minister vacant rather than give Pashinyan the job.

“Mr. Pashinyan, you’re a good parliament member,” said Republican Party member Arman Saghatelyan, according to Al Jazeera, “but not qualified for prime minister.”

The Armenian constitution dictates that the government now has seven days to hold another election. If lawmakers fail again to decide on a new prime minister themselves, this current parliament will be dissolved and Armenian voters will have the chance to replace them all in a general election.

It appears that many in the crowd backing Pashinyan, while disappointed with the day’s result, eagerly welcomed an opportunity to cast their own ballots.

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The demonstrators are fresh off weeks of protests against Sargsyan, a two-term president whose shift to prime minister earlier this year they viewed as a cynical attempt to evade term limits. Led by Pashinyan, the protesters blocked major thoroughfares and surrounded government buildings until Sargsyan finally ceded to their objections and stepped down.

“The movement in the streets is against my tenure,” he said in a statement last month. “I comply with your demand.”

Now, the protesters have turned to another cause: Pashinyan’s election.

On Tuesday, shortly before his bid failed, Pashinyan had threatened a “political tsunami” in the country of 3 million if he were not elected. By the time night fell, several protesters attending the rally were already echoing the sentiment.

“They spat on us but we’re not going to tolerate this,” a baker attending the post-election rally for Pashinyan told The Associated Press. “This government just won’t resign on its own will. It’s tens of thousands of us, and we need them to go. We can’t take this anymore.”

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Stolen Iranian Nuclear Plans May Trigger New Inspections

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech on Iran’s nuclear program at the defense ministry in Tel Aviv on Monday.

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Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Former weapons inspectors say an apparent trove of information on Iran’s nuclear weapons program will increase pressure for more intrusive inspections of its atomic sites.

On Monday, the Israeli government disclosed it had obtained thousands of pages of documents and nearly 200 CDs’ worth of data on Iran’s nuclear program.

“Everything you’re about to see is an exact copy of the original Iranian material,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters. His presentation included blueprints, photos and documents that he claimed were stolen from a vault in Tehran earlier this year.

Netanyahu said Israel was prepared to share the documentation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA is the body charged with conducting comprehensive inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites under a 2015 deal that froze the nation’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

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The IAEA has long known that Iran once had a nuclear weapon’s program, despite Iranian denials. That assessment is based on information provided to the agency by other countries, as well as the IAEA’s own efforts to probe sites inside the Islamic Republic.

In a 2015 report the IAEA provided numerous details about the old Iranian program, known as project AMAD. Nevertheless, former inspectors say the documents obtained by the Israelis could provide still more information about what the Iranians were up to in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“Certainly if this is what they say it is, this is quite a jackpot,” says Olli Heinonen, a former weapons inspector who is now with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Heinonen adds that the documents shown by Netanyahu appear to be authentic, and are consistent with information contained in some unpublicized documents obtained by the IAEA when it was investigating the Iranian program.

“There were some pictures that were quite familiar to me,” he says. “But at the same time, there was also new information.”

Among new details publicly disclosed in Netanyahu’s 20-minute presentation were old Iranian plans to initially field five 10-kiloton nuclear weapons.

“That’s like five Hiroshima bombs to be put on ballistic missiles,” Netanyahu said in his speech.

The Israeli prime minister also showed a map of possible sites where Iran once apparently considered testing a warhead underground.

Not everyone agrees that this kind of information is groundbreaking.

“I didn’t really learn anything new that the IAEA hasn’t said publicly before,” says James Acton, co-director of the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

In a Twitter thread, Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies pointed out that many of the things shown in Netanyahu’s report had also been detailed in the 2015 report.

Let’s go through Netanyahu’s dog-and-pony show. As you will see, everything he said was already known to the IAEA and published in IAEA GOV/2015/68 (2015). There is literally nothing new here and nothing that changes the wisdom of the JCPOA. 1/10 pic.twitter.com/F6v9jYFCGE

— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) May 1, 2018

“I have yet to see anything new, but there are thousands of pages of documents and they should all be handed over to the IAEA,” Lewis said in an interview.

Still, the devil is in the details, and those new details could shift the IAEA’s relationship with Iran, says David Albright, a former United Nations weapons inspector who worked on Iraq’s nuclear program in the 1990s. Albright, who was privately briefed on the archive, points out that Iran’s position that it never had a nuclear weapons program appears all the more untenable, given the new disclosures.

“Here we have a jigsaw puzzle with 30 to 40 percent of the pieces [turned into] one that has 99 percent of the pieces. The picture is clear,” he says.

Both Albright and Heinonen believe the agency may decide to step up inspections based on what’s in the documents. Heinonen says that some images appear to show pieces of equipment directly related to nuclear weapons work which had not been previously disclosed.

“They must have manufactured pieces of equipment in Iran. Where are those pieces? Who is keeping them?” he asks.

Albright says the documents may also contain information about the places where work has been done. The IAEA could use the documents to seek inspections of new sites, if it so chose, he says.

The IAEA did not immediately respond to NPR’s request for comment about the Israeli disclosures. But in a statement on its website, it said that it had long been aware of the nuclear weapons work of Iran. The agency believes that work stopped in 2009, before the current agreement was signed.

The statement says the agency will review any information provided to it. “However, it is not the practice of the IAEA to publicly discuss issues related to any such information.”

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White House Officials Downplay Tension Between Trump And His Chief Of Staff

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is denying that he called President Trump an “idiot.” He called reports to that effect, “B.S.”

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

White House officials are defending Chief of Staff John Kelly, after an NBC News report said President Trump had soured on his top aide — and that Kelly had repeatedly called Trump an “idiot.”

Kelly issued a statement Monday calling the NBC story “total B.S.”

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders dismissed rumors that Kelly might soon be reassigned and nominated to be secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“He is not being considered as the V.A. Secretary,” Sanders said Tuesday. “Both the president and the chief of staff are very happy with his position that he currently holds, which is chief of staff to the president at the White House.”

According to the NBC story, Kelly has been equally critical of his boss, belittling Trump’s grasp of policy and the workings of government. On more than one occasion, the story says Kelly described Trump as an “idiot.”

In his statement, Kelly insisted that he remains “committed to the president, his agenda, and our country.” He called the NBC story “another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration’s many successes.”

It’s the latest sign of friction between Trump and Kelly, who took over as chief of staff last July after a stint as Homeland Security secretary. The retired Marine general was initially credited with bringing much-needed discipline to a chaotic West Wing. But Trump has reportedly bristled under Kelly’s tight leash.

Vanity Fairreported back in January that Trump told friends, “I’ve got another nut job here who thinks he’s running things.”

Kelly wouldn’t be the first high-profile Trump administration official who reportedly questioned the president’s mental faculties in a frustrated and provocative way. Back in October, it was reported that Rex Tillerson, Trump’s first secretary of State, had referred to Trump as a “moron” after a tense meeting at the Pentagon. Tillerson denied that he had considered resigning over the remark, but he never denied the remark itself.

“I’m not going to deal with petty stuff like that,” Tillerson said at the time, adding that the report was “intended to divide.”

Trump later proposed comparing IQ tests with Tillerson. “I think it’s fake news,” Trump told Forbes magazine, “but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests. And I can tell you who is going to win.”

Five months later, Tillerson was out at State.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow also dismissed the latest NBC story as “fiction.”

“You seriously think that a four-star Marine general is going to call the president names? Are you kidding?” Kudlow asked. “It’s utter fantasy and the fact that people are writing about it is even worse.”

Kudlow, who was tapped to run the National Economic Council less than two months ago, praised Kelly’s work as chief of staff.

“Things run smoothly. They run on time. He’s an easy fellow to work with. He gives you good advice,” Kudlow said. “These folks who are criticizing him are just doing everybody a great disservice. And they’re besmirching Kelly and they’re besmirching Trump and they are besmirching the country.”

The NBC story cites current and former White House officials who expect Kelly to quit the chief of staff’s post this summer. But Kelly had challenged such statements before.

He told Fox News in January, “I’m in for the long haul.”

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#MeToo Founder Tarana Burke Responds To R. Kelly

#MeToo founder Tarana Burke, attending the TIME 100 gala in New York on April 24, 2018.

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Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Activists have been trying since last summer to get the music industry to sever its ties to R&B singer R. Kelly, following years of allegations from women who say the singer sexually and emotionally abused them.

Over the past year, families of several women have come forward accusing him of keeping their loved ones as sex slaves; just two weeks ago, the attorney of one woman presented evidence to the Dallas County district attorney’s office in the hopes of generating an indictment.

Jerhonda Pace, who met the singer when she was 15 and is now in her twenties, described her experiences on the talk show The Real last September. “He would slap you in your face, and he would physically like harm you,” Pace said. “He would put you in a room, and he would lock you in the room for days.”

In response to the allegations, an online campaign called #MuteRKelly launched last year. It has gained widespread visibility since Time’s Up publicly joined in on Monday, supported by several influential women in entertainment — including director Ava DuVernay, television producer and writer Shonda Rhimes and actress Lupita Nyong’o.

Another advocate is Tarana Burke, an activist and the founder of the Me Too movement.

“What we are looking for, in our community and out,” Burke says, “is some accountability from the corporations that support this person who has a 24-year history of sexual violence perpetrated against black and brown girls around the country.”

In yesterday’s statement, R. Kelly’s management called the Time’s Up letter an “attempted public lynching,” and noted, “Since America was born, black men and women have been lynched for having sex or for being accused of it.”

Tarana Burke says that using the word “lynching” is wrong.

“This is not a lynching,” she says. “You know, we are only a week out of the national monument to lynching being opened in Montgomery, Ala. and the history, and the reality of lynching in America is so, so painful and so real. This is not a public lynching. This is a call for public accountability.”

“So what we’ve seen in the last six months,” Burke continues, “is a wave of accountability happen where corporations have stepped away from men, even if in the short term, to have authentic investigations into allegations. We have seen 24 years of allegations leveled against R. Kelly, and he has gone unscathed. So what the letter does is join the #MuteRKelly campaign, that was well on its way already, and joined the chorus of black women around the country who have been saying we want some accountability. Those things have to be interrogated. And I think at the very least we need to see corporations step away from them until we have satisfactory investigation into these allegations.”

An R. Kelly concert last Saturday in Chicago was cancelled by promoters. His next scheduled show is next week in Greensboro, North Carolina. The venue where Kelly is expected to perform, the Greensboro Coliseum Complex, was one of the companies and venues named in the Time’s Up letter, along with RCA Records, Spotify, Apple Music and Ticketmaster.

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Experimental Lung Treatment Could Make Breathing Easier

An image from an electron microscope shows a type II alveolar cell, found in the air sacs of lungs. In the cell’s cytoplasm (pink) are lamellar bodies (purple), which contain surfactant.


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An engineer in California has an invention that she hopes will someday help people with damaged lungs breathe easier.

Stanford University’s Annelise Baron has developed a synthetic version of something called lung surfactant. Lung surfactant coats the tiny air sacs in the lung. Without it, every breath would be a struggle, like blowing up millions of little balloons. With surfactant, breathing is as easy as blowing soap bubbles.

Scientists inferred the existence of lung surfactant in the 1950s, and then Dr. Mary Ellen Avery showed that premature infants were unable to make surfactant, explaining the often fatal respiratory distress syndrome they suffered from.

Stanford University pulmonologist Angela Rogers says a surfactant harvested from animal lungs has been used successfully to treat these preemies.

“It’s absolutely a lifesaver,” says Rogers. “Hundreds of thousands of people are alive in our country today because of the widespread use of surfactant.”

Rogers says that success made doctors wonder if surfactant use could be expanded.

“There was a lot of interest in my field to try to surfactant in adults that have a problem with their lungs called acute respiratory distress syndrome,” says Rogers, an adult illness also related to missing surfactants.

Initial results using surfactant in adults weren’t very promising, and lung surfactant was just too expensive to try using it for very long in adult lungs.

That’s where Barron’s work comes in. For more than 20 years, she’s been trying to make a cheaper, synthetic surfactant, and now she thinks she’s succeeded.

The surfactant our bodies make is made up of chemicals called peptides. The one Barron has invented is made up of peptoids.

“A peptoid is a completely synthetic, not-natural mimic of a peptide,” explain Barron.

Barron turned to peptoids because they’re cheaper and easier to work with than the natural peptides that make up surfactant.

After years of trying various peptoid combinations, Barron felt she had found one that behaved like the real surfactant. She and her colleagues have done some initial testing, “and what we found is our surfactant works as well as animal surfactant.”

It will still be several years before her cheaper synthetic surfactant is ready to try in humans. But Barron says she’s prepared to see the project through until the day that happens.

“If you want to take on a scientific problem or a medical problem that is very complex, it takes a long time and a lot of work,” she says.

Barron’s work on the synthetic surfactant was published Tuesday in the journal Scientific Reports.

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Rosenstein Rejects Pressure From Hill, Vows Justice Dept Won't Be 'Extorted'

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said he and the Justice Department would not be intimidated by criticism or threats such as new “articles of impeachment.”

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein dismissed threats from antagonists in Congress on Thursday following months of tension between the Justice Department and conservative supporters of President Trump.

Rosenstein appeared at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. to celebrate Law Day and was asked about threats from members of Congress, including the putative “articles of impeachment” about him drafted by allies of Trump.

“There have been people who have been making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time and I think they should understand by now the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted,” Rosenstein said.

Rosenstein said he’s not sure who in Congress wrote a document that could be used to remove him from office. It appeared on Monday in The Washington Post.

But Rosenstein says when the Justice Department accuses someone of wrongdoing, the process isn’t arbitrary. It uses evidence and credible witnesses.

Rosenstein says the Justice Department needs to protect national security and confidential informants as well as the integrity of ongoing criminal investigations like the Russia probe.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is running that investigation, reports to Rosenstein. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russia matter, citing the role he played as an adviser to and surrogate for Trump in 2016.

That is why Rosenstein has become the focus of criticism for conservatives, who want to help protect Trump from what they and the president call Mueller’s “witch hunt.”

Trump cites the clean bill of health he has received from the House intelligence committee’s majority Republicans, who found no conspiracy between his campaign and Russia’s attack on the 2016 election. So the ongoing Senate intelligence and Justice Department investigations must be baseless, he argues.

Rosenstein, the Justice Department and the FBI also have been the subject of broader criticism as part of allegations they abused their powers out of “bias” against Trump. For example, Rosenstein followed a line of earlier Obama and one Trump-era Justice Department officials who reauthorized ongoing surveillance of a onetime former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page.

Rosenstein also approved an FBI raid last month that seized a trove of evidence from Trump’s longtime attorney, Michael Cohen, as part of a months-long criminal investigation into his business practices that was taking place in New York City.

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It's A Date: Facebook Enters Online Matchmaking

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote address at F8, Facebook’s developer conference Tuesday in San Jose, Calif.

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Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

The world of online dating is about to get more crowded: Facebook announced on Tuesday plans to roll out its own matchmaking feature.

The news sent shares of Match Group tumbling. Match is an online dating conglomerate, with ownership in Tinder, match.com and OkCupid, among others. Shares of Match were down 22 percent in afternoon trading.

#f8 Watch out https://t.co/O6tJw9SmGk. Facebook is getting into the dating game. They are starting to use their data to help predict who will be right for you. pic.twitter.com/YiOxXz06t0

— Laura Sydell (@Sydell) May 1, 2018

In his keynote address at Facebook’s annual developer conference — where the company brings together the programmers behind many of its third-party apps — CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the feature, which appears to integrate a Tinder-like dating platform directly into Facebook.

While Facebook dating isn’t live just yet, the company says it will begin testing later this year. And Chief Product Officer Chris Cox says the company will share more information in the coming months.

The new feature will allow users to find dates using the information people share about themselves on the platform. A preview of the feature asks users to “start a conversation” by picking something interesting from another user’s profile, including their photos and interests (“Cat Person” vs. “Dog Person” and “Coffee Drinker” vs. “Tea Drinker” are examples provided.) Facebook says these conversations will take place in a new text-only messenger, intentionally separated from Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram chats.

Facebook said its new dating feature will use profile information to help match users.

Facebook/Screenshot by NPR

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Facebook/Screenshot by NPR

Users with shared interests will be allowed to “opt in” and find dates through common groups or even in real life at events listed on Facebook.

But while dating stole the show, Facebook made many other announcements at its developer conference, which continues Wednesday in California.

Augmented and virtual reality

Zuckerberg reiterated Facebook’s commitment to augmented and virtual reality technology in his keynote presentation. He announced new software features including 3D filters for Messenger and Instagram posts. The filters, popularized by Facebook competitor Snap, allow users to overlay augmented reality objects like mustaches or hats onto their face when they upload videos and images.

Zuckerberg also announced new virtual reality hardware in the form of Facebook’s Oculus Go headset. While the $200 headset has been in the works for a while, it was not available for purchase until Tuesday.

Instagram

Instagram, which Facebook purchased in 2012 for $1 billion, will see additional features and integrations. New video chats will allow Instagram users to connect one-on-one or in groups for real-time video conferencing.

And additional stories integrations will make it easier for third-party services to reach users on Instagram. Spotify, for example, will let users link directly to songs in their Instagram stories. Previously, users had to screenshot what they were listening to and then upload the image to Instagram.

Facebook app

Zuckerberg also revealed new tweaks to the core Facebook app. The adjustments are a part of his vision for a more “active” Facebook, where users interact and engage with one another instead of simply passively watching or clicking through content.

The CEO spent a large part of the keynote discussing Facebook Groups, which will now have their own tab front-and-center in the Facebook app. He said he sees Groups as essential to Facebook’s vision and wants to empower Group leaders with tools to more effectively lead their communities.

Other changes include an improved “Safety Check” feature and a system for organizing blood donation. Safety Check allows users to notify friends that they are safe in crisis situations from terrorist attacks to hurricanes. And the blood donation feature will function as a hub to facilitate interactions between organizations and potential donors.

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Lubna Olayan Broke Saudi Arabia's Glass Ceiling. Now She Wants More Women To Work

Lubna Olayan in her office at Olayan Financing Company in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in April.

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Fatma Tanis/NPR

Lubna Olayan remembers the date. It was April 15, 1983, when she and her father sat down to dinner in Riyadh. Olayan and her American husband, John Xefos, had just returned to her native Saudi Arabia after nine years in the United States.

“Over dinner he says ‘Lubna, what are you going to be doing here?’ ” Olayan recalls her father saying. Olayan had worked as a J.P. Morgan analyst in New York, and half-heartedly thought she’d see if there was work at a bank in Saudi Arabia. But her father had something in mind.

“He just looked at me and said, ‘You don’t have to do that. My executive assistant just submitted his resignation. Why don’t you start tomorrow morning?’ “

Thirty-five years later, Olayan is the powerful CEO of Olayan Financing Company, the Middle East arm of the global private investment company The Olayan Group. Olayan Financing works on everything from medical supplies to office equipment to fast food.

The 62-year-old Olayan rarely gives interviews. The day in April she met NPR in her bright, cluttered office in Riyadh, she was wearing a cream-colored sweater and a stylish necklace. Her hair fell to her shoulders. It would be hard to tell you were in Saudi Arabia, where women routinely wear an abaya, the floor-length covering, and head scarf.

Olayan is a regular speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and has been considered one of the most influential people in business by Forbes, Fortune and Time magazine. She has shattered stereotypes of Saudi women who are widely viewed by the outside world as cloistered and subjugated. She’s seen as a pioneer in a country where women have had few liberties and there’s segregation between the sexes.

“Even my most chauvinist of Saudi friends and clients have great admiration for the way that she manages her companies,” executive Bernd van Linder told Fortune in 2015, when he was CEO of the then-named Saudi Hollandi Bank. “She is respected as a person rather than as the first Saudi woman to do this or that.”

Lubna Olayan speaks, alongside then-CEO of pharmaceutical company Novartis, Daniel Vasella, during the 2005 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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Virginia Mayo/AP

Olayan says for her first 18 years at Olayan Financing Company she was the only woman who worked there.

One of the hardest things about it? “There was no ladies’ room,” she says. “I would travel to go visit many of our factories … I mean absolutely no woman in any of the factories, no women in the boardroom, so there is no need for the facilities,” she says.

Olayan says she felt pressure to prove she wasn’t given the job just because she was the boss’ daughter.

Her father, Suliman Olayan, started the company as a trucking business back in 1947. During a visit to the U.S. in the 1960s, Lubna Olayan says, her father “fell in love” with New York and its stock exchange.

He instilled hard work in his four children, teaching them you have to earn your money, as well as people’s respect, she says. Above all else, he wanted Olayan, her two sisters and one brother to get a university education. (Lubna Olayan went to Cornell and got her MBA at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.)

Olayan spent years working with her father. And as she rose to the top, she says, she urged him to hire more women in the company.

There were a few other women in business at the time, usually working in small operations run out of their homes. She couldn’t understand why men and women were able to work together in Saudi hospitals, but not in offices, factories or elsewhere.

“How is our society going to progress if 50 percent of the population is not allowed to contribute?” she says.

Olayan wanted to change that. She slowly started reaching out to male colleagues and senior members of government for support. She says they encouraged her because they had wives and daughters who wanted to work. But they also warned her to respect the kingdom’s rigid customs, and avoid confrontation.

“So, you negotiate, you deal, you do this, you take and give,” she says. For her, the ultimate goal was to have women in the workplace.

Finally in 2001, Olayan took a stand and hired her first female colleague, Hana alSyead, whose mission was to increase the number of women employees at the Olayan Financing Company. Soon 40 females were hired to work in one of the factories making disposable medical gowns.

From there, they started building the ranks of women in the offices — some segregated, some mixed. It was all kept under the radar to avoid attracting attention and creating problems. “It was key not to speak about it,” she says.

Now things are slowly changing.

“It’s completely different now,” she says. “The change from when we started to where we are now is tremendous.”

“When we started hiring women … you needed the male guardian’s approval for the woman to work,” she says. Now, she says, it’s easier for women to get jobs in Saudi Arabia.

Still, there are only about 500 women at Olayan Financial Company, a small fraction of its 16,000 employees across Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. Olayan acknowledges she has a lot to do to include more women, especially in senior positions. She’d like to see women grow to 30 percent of the company’s Saudi personnel.

Lately, Olayan has gotten a boost in her efforts: The government is also encouraging women to enter the workforce, as part of a reform plan to diversify the economy and create jobs. That even includes allowing women to drive, starting in June, to make it easier to get to work.

Driving a car is something even Olayan has not been allowed to do in Saudi Arabia, despite her power and prestige.

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Eliane Elias On Piano Jazz

Brazilian pianist, composer, and vocalist Eliane Elias grew up with an affinity for both the music of her home country as well as American jazz. She got her start performing with two renowned Brazilian artists, singer-songwriter Toquinho and poet Vinicius de Moraes, before moving to New York in the 1980s, where she took the American jazz scene by storm.

She was McPartland’s guest for the first time in this 1988 Piano Jazz session. Elias plays a beautiful arrangement of “Darn that Dream” and teams up with McPartland for “Falling in Love with Love.”

Originally broadcast Spring 1988.

SET LIST

  • “Darn that Dream” (DeLange, Van Heusen)
  • “Beautiful Love” (Gillespie, King, Van Alstyne)
  • “Choro” (Jobim)
  • “Days of Our Love” (McPartland, Lee)
  • “Falling in Love with Love” (Rodgers, Hart)
  • “All the Things You Are” (Kern, Hammerstein)
  • “Liza” (Hancock)
  • “Indian Summer” (Dubin, Herbert)
  • “Have You Met Miss Jones?” (Rodgers, Hart)

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