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John Oliver Takes On America’s Terrible Maternity Leave Policies

The best gift for mom this season is federal laws mandating paid maternity leave.

The US has some of the worst maternity leave policies in the world—federal laws only require that companies give new mothers 12 unpaid weeks off. It’s an urgently important issue that doesn’t get much speech-play these days. But John Oliver made it the focus of his Mother’s Day episode of Last Week Tonight on Sunday, highlighting the hypocritical contradiction in a culture that celebrates mothers with a billion-dollar greeting card industry but won’t lend them the financial support they need to be present mothers.

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Can John Oliver Make “Jeff, The Diseased Lung In A Cowboy Hat” Big Tobacco’s New Mascot?

The #JeffWeCan campaign mixes iconic mascot imagery with realistic health complications

image via youtube screen capture // last week tonight with john oliver: Tobacco (HBO)

That the tobacco industry spent decades cajoling, manipulating, and downright lying to the American public regarding the dangers of smoking is beyond question. Fortunately, thanks to ongoing efforts by both lawmakers and activist groups, the health risks posed by smoking are now common knowledge in the United States, and as a result, domestic tobacco use has dropped significantly. No, it’s not a problem solved, but given the degree to which tobacco use was once considered an indisputable facet of American life, it’s truly impressive progress.

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