The Stream

#StreamUpdate: A look at the latest news from the stories we’re still following

Displaced in the battle for Mosul, Colombia after the referendum and paid family leave in the US.


The battle for Mosul is entering its second week. Iraqi special forces and Peshmerga fighters have been inching closer to the centre of Iraq’s second largest city, which fell to ISIL in 2014. As gunfire rages just outside Mosul, more than 1.5 million residents remain in the city. Some believe tens of thousands are being used as human shields by ISIL fighters.

UN aid agencies say the fighting so far has forced about 7,500 to flee their homes, and millions more could be displaced. Construction of new shelters is underway, and food rations and medical aid are being readied for what could become the single largest and most complex humanitarian operation in the world, according to the United Nations.

We’ll take a look at the preparations underway for the displaced and ask what is the future for the residents of Mosul.


In a surprise result, Colombians narrowly rejected a referendum on a government peace agreement to end armed conflict with the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group. It’s been more than three weeks since the vote, and the unexpected result has left some amount of political and economic instability. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize for working on the deal, has vowed to work at top speed to achieve a new agreement between the sides.

We’ll look at what the No vote has meant for Colombians and ask how is a real, and lasting, peace deal with the FARC possible.


The United States is the only industrialised country in the world one without a national law providing parents with paid family leave after the birth or adoption of a newborn. The closest American workers have to job protection is the Family Leave Medical Act. But this only guarantees eligible workers can take 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a new child, for a family member with a serious illness or injury, or for the employee’s own serious health condition. Currently just over half the American workforce is eligible.

But in the 2016 election, paid family leave has come to the forefront of political discussions. Both Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton have called for increasing paid family leave. Trump’s policy would apply to women who give birth and would be paid for from the Unemployment Insurance Program. Clinton’s would be available to all workers who are new parents, caring for family member with serious illness or injury or who are suffering from their own medical issue. Funding would come from increased taxes on the wealthy.

We’ll take a look at what voters and activists are hoping to get from the next president’s policy on paid family leave at 19:30 GMT.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Frederike Geerdink @fgeerdink

Lise Grande @OCHAIraq 
UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Iraq

Federico Hoyos @FedericoHoyos
House Representative for Antioquia

Lisa Frack
Blogger, activist

Ben Gitis @BenGitis
Director, Labor Market Policy, American Action Forum 

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.