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Dispelling the myth of the nanny as homewrecker: Shakira rescues the one Gerardo Piqué fired | Culture

Shakira continues to assert her essential mantra that “women don’t cry, women invoice.” She recently released El jefe, her new song with the American group Fuerza Regida. In this song —which could be categorized as a protest song— the Colombian singer advocates for the labor rights of the most vulnerable workers. Her lyrics address the plight of these workers, many of whom are Latin American immigrants who have had to endure abusive working conditions at the hands of ruthless and greedy employers. Awaiting her trial in Spain for alleged tax fraud of €14.5 million ($15,440,180), in another unexpected turn of events, the artist sings: “I have a shitty boss who doesn’t pay me well. I arrive walking and he arrives in a Mercedes Benz. He’s got me like a recruit. The son of a bitch, yeah.”

In her proletarian anthem, Shakira dedicates a special place to Lili Melgar, the nanny of her children, Sasha and Milan. Melgar was also the person who allegedly informed the singer that someone in her house was eating the jam that no one liked. “Lili Melgar, this song is for you, because they didn’t give you severance pay,” the singer says in the video as she looks at the camera and links to a close-up of Melgar. The singer is referring to Piqué’s sudden dismissal of the caregiver when he learned that she was his ex-partner’s ally and confidant. That’s a flash of sisterhood from the ordeal of Shakira and Piqué’s separation, in which some misogynistic prejudices that we thought had already been transcended reappeared, like blaming the footballer’s new partner, Clara Chía, for the situation and publicly humiliating her by calling her Twingo.

Through Melgar’s cameo in El Jefe, Shakira pays tribute to the relationship between the two women and highlights the work of caregivers, which allow millions of people to continue their professional careers while someone else raises and cares for the most important thing in their lives: their children. Although Piqué allegedly fired the Bolivian nanny, months later Shakira hired her to take care of the children again, this time in Miami, her new place of residence. On X (formerly Twitter), Melgar’s own daughter confirmed that her mother is still the Colombian singer’s right-hand woman. “Despite everything, she continues to work with SHAKIRA. I LOVE YOU MOM,” Dariana Melgar wrote on X. Other users have shared recent photos in which Shakira’s sons Sasha and Milan are outside Spain, accompanied by their mother and Lily Melgar. Shakira has reportedly granted Melgar the copyright for her participation in the video, and there has been speculation that the singer may have paid her a large amount of money for inspiring the song.

The decline of the homewrecking nanny

Nannies have always played a special role in the lives of celebrities. These women live in the bosom of the families and are deeply involved in their private matters. They are the same women today’s big influencers tend to render invisible, as if children were raised by magic. In reality, nannies are critical figures in the celebrities’ lives. It is rare for nannies to receive positive press, although it does happen. For example, Enrique Iglesias said that he thought of his nanny like a mother and trusted her more than his own parents; she was the one who financed the recording of his first album. But for the most part, nannies have been portrayed as responsible for breaking up marriages and seeking fame and fortune through questionable methods.

While these workers were sustaining the capitalist system, the press was running stories like actor Ethan Hawke’s: while still married to Uma Thurman, he fell in love with Ryan Shawhughes, the nanny of his two children; he married her in 2008. Sienna Miller found out that Jude Law was having an affair with the nanny from one of his children. “I was in so much shock over it all. And I’d really just begun. I was only 23. But if you get through that, you feel like you can get through anything… It was really hard. I look back on it and wonder how I did get through it—but I did,” Miller explained years later of her separation from Law because of that infidelity. Now living on a farm with her husband and children, Rebecca Loos made headlines in the English tabloids and Spanish press for her alleged relationship with David Beckham. The family had hired Loos as a personal assistant to help them navigate their new life in Madrid. Princess Diana was blackmailed over then-Prince Charles’s infidelities with their children’s nanny. Eventually, the BBC was ordered to pay compensation in the amount of €2.35 billion ($2,501,575) for “totally unfounded” assertions that had “serious personal consequences” for Alexandria Pettifer, Princes William and Harry’s nanny. Whether true or false, all these cases of nannies allegedly tearing famous families apart created a great deal of distrust toward them in popular culture.

But it is not only popular culture that has denigrated this profession. For example, domestic workers in Spain did not have the same labor rights as other employees until 2022, when legislation granted them the right to unemployment benefits and protections against dismissal. Spain’s second vice president and minister of labor at the time, Yolanda Díaz, stated that the feminist decree made Spain “a better country [by] focusing on those who have been the most forgotten, the most vulnerable working women.” She added that domestic workers have unique characteristics: over a third of these women are over 55 years old, 44% are foreigners, and over half of them work on a part-time basis. The 2022 law stops treating them as if they were invisible; Shakira’s music portrays them as allies who do essential work, not threats. The popular image of the homewrecking nanny has finally begun to crumble.

Lili Melgar
Lili Melgar, the nanny of Shakira and Piqué’s children, in ‘El Jefe’ video.

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Assessing Property Size: What Square Footage Can You Get With The Average UK House Price In Your Area?

Assessing Property Size In The UK

In the United Kingdom, there is a prevailing tendency to gauge the size of residences based on the number of bedrooms rather than square footage. In fact, research indicates that three out of five individuals are unaware of the square footage of their property.

However, a comprehensive analysis conducted by Savills reveals significant variations in property sizes throughout the country. For instance, with the average property price standing at £340,837, this amount would typically afford a studio flat spanning 551 square feet in London, according to the prominent estate agency.

Conversely, in the North East region, the same sum would secure a spacious five-bedroom house measuring 1,955 square feet, nearly four times the size of a comparable property in London.

Best value: Heading to the North East of England is where buyers will get the most from their money

In Scotland, the median house price equates to a sizable investment capable of procuring a generous four-bedroom residence spanning 1,743 square feet. Conversely, in Wales, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the North West, this sum affords a slightly smaller four-bedroom dwelling of approximately 1,500 square feet, while in the East and West Midlands, it accommodates a 1,300 square foot home. In stark contrast, within the South West, £340,837 secures a modest 1,000 square foot property, and in the East, an even more confined 928 square feet.

London presents the most challenging market, where this budget offers the least purchasing power. Following closely, the South East allows for 825 square feet of space or a medium-sized two-bedroom dwelling. Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, emphasizes the profound disparity in purchasing potential across Britain, ranging from compact studio flats in London to spacious four or five-bedroom residences in parts of North East England.

While square footage serves as a critical metric, with a significant portion of Britons unfamiliar with their property’s dimensions, the number of bedrooms remains a traditional indicator of size. Personal preferences, such as a preference for larger kitchens, may influence property selection. For those prioritizing ample space, Easington, County Durham, offers a substantial 2,858 square foot, five-bedroom home, while Rhondda, Wales, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, provide 2,625 and 2,551 square feet, respectively. Conversely, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, £340,837 secures a mere 547 square feet, equivalent to a one-bedroom flat.

The disparity continues in central London, where purchasing power diminishes considerably. In Kensington, the budget accommodates a mere 220 square feet, contrasting with the slightly more spacious 236 square feet in Westminster. Conversely, in Dagenham, the same investment translates to 770 square feet. Three properties currently listed on Rightmove exemplify the diversity within this price range across the UK market.

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

2. Lewisham: One-bed house, £345,000

This one-bedroom property in Lewisham, South London, is on the market for £345,000.

The semi-detached house is set over two floors, and has a private patio.

The property is located near to bus links and amenities, as well as Catford train station.

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

3. Edinburgh: Three-bed house, £350,000

This three-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh could be yours for £350,000.

The house, which has a two-car driveway, boasts a large kitchen diner, and is within easy reach of Newcriaghall train station.

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Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.

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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.

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