The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Australian Government Plans To Slash Budget, Raise Taxes

Australia's Finance Minister Mathias Cormann (right) speaks at a news conference as Treasurer Joe Hockey looks on in Canberra on Tuesday.
Madeleine Coorey AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 4:42 pm

Australia's conservative government says it wants to effect radical spending cuts and tax increases aimed at nearly halving the fiscal deficit by 2016.

In a speech to Parliament, Treasurer Joe Hockney said Tuesday that "the age of entitlement is over."

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Parallels
1:48 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Iraq Debates Law That Would Allow Men To Marry 9-Year-Old Girls

An Iraqi schoolgirl passes a banner supporting a proposal that, among other things, would allow men to marry girls as young as 9. Opponents say it would mark a major setback for women and children. The Arabic on the banner reads: "The Jaafari Personal Status Law saves my rights and my dignity."
Karim Kadim AP

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 6:26 pm

A stroll through the Baghdad Book Fair last month was a lesson in today's cultural norms in Iraq. The books — gold-embossed, neatly arrayed — were almost all religious, and most of the customers were men.

But in the middle of the white pavilion, a woman's voice rang out loud and strong. Fawzia al-Babakhan, a lawyer, delivered a blistering critique of a proposed law that would rewrite the rules for matters such as marriage and inheritance according to Shiite Islamic law.

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Peoria Public Radio News
12:02 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

ACLU to file suit on behalf of @peoriamayor author

The city of Peoria and possibly Mayor Jim Ardis could be faced with a lawsuit following the investigation into a fake Twitter account making fun of the mayor.

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The Two-Way
11:49 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Official: More Than 200 Dead In Turkish Mine Explosion

A rescued miner is carried away after an explosion and fire at a coal mine in Soma, Turkey, on Tuesday.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 4:59 am

Updated at 6:00 a.m. ET. Wednesday:

Authorities in Turkey say at least 205 workers have been killed after an explosion and fire at a coal mine in the western part of the country. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared three days of national mourning.

Update at 11:19 p.m. ET. More Than 200 Dead:

The sad count of fatalities continues to climb as AP reports at least 201 dead and more than 200 are still trapped underground after a fire and explosion in a coal mine south of Istanbul.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Tue May 13, 2014

6 Ukrainian Soldiers Killed In Ambush

Ukranian soldiers stop cars at a highway checkpoint near Slovansky, Ukraine, on Tuesday.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 12:49 pm

Ukraine says six of its soldiers were killed during an ambush by militants on Tuesday.

CNN reports the Ukrainian Defense Ministry called it a "terrorist attack." The network adds:

"The incident took place in the village of Oktyabrski in the Slovyansk region, about 20 kilometers from Kramatorsk, during 'a unit movement from the military base.' The location is in volatile eastern Ukraine.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Tue May 13, 2014

International Envoy To Syria Lakhdar Brahimi Will Step Down

U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi during a news conference in Geneva.
Martial Trezzini EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 12:37 pm

Without making any progress toward ending Syria's civil war, Lakhdar Brahimi will step down as the international envoy to Syria.

Brahimi's nearly two years in the post ends in much the same way that it did for his predecessor Kofi Annan, who stepped down in the summer of 2012 after his peace plan failed to take hold.

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All Tech Considered
11:34 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Big Questions Now That Europeans Can Edit Google Search Results

Attendees line up to enter the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco in May 2013.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 12:25 pm

In case you missed it, Europe's highest court has set a new precedent: Individuals in 28 European countries can now request the removal of search results they consider harmful. Is this ruling a big win for the individual? Or does this break the Internet?

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Artist H.R. Giger, Creator Of Surreal Biomechanics, Dies

Swiss artist H.R. Giger, seen here at his "Dreams and Visions" exhibition in 2011, died Monday after a fall in Zurich. Giger's work includes designs for the 1979 film Alien.
Robert Jaeger EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 6:26 pm

You might not know the name, but you probably know the work: H.R. Giger created some of the most powerfully creepy visuals in Hollywood's history, including animals and props that forced some viewers of 1979's sci-fi film Alien to watch the film through their fingers.

Hans Rudolf Giger was 74; he died in Zurich from injuries suffered in a fall, a representative of the H.R. Giger Museum in Gruyeres, Switzerland, tells the AP.

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Parallels
10:48 am
Tue May 13, 2014

China's Communist Party Learns The Fine Art Of Public Relations

Among other courses, the China Executive Leadership Academy in Shanghai teaches public relations to government officials, including mock TV shows and mock press conferences. NPR's Frank Langfitt took this photo from a control room, because the presence of a foreign reporter in class rattled some of the participants.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 6:26 pm

Openness doesn't come naturally to China's Communist Party. After all, China is an authoritarian state where people have little right to know how they are governed. But Communist Party schools have been trying to change that over the years by teaching officials how to deal with the news media.

Earlier this month, Qin Chang, a host at Shanghai People's Radio, taught a class on the art of the press conference at China Executive Leadership Academy in Shanghai's sprawling Pudong district and I was invited to watch.

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Shots - Health News
10:32 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Employers May Start Paying You To Buy Health Insurance

Employees pay directly for their health insurance in "defined contribution" plans.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 10:37 am

What if employers started giving workers a chunk of cash to buy health insurance on their own instead of offering them a chance to buy into the company plan? Are workers ready to manage their own health insurance like they do a 401(k)?

The idea that employers might drop their health plans and replace them with a "defined contribution" for employees has been around for years. It's one way for employers to control their expenses in the face of the relentlessly rising costs of health care.

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