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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
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 7:26 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
11:48 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 7:26 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
11:37 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

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

With Just Hours To Go, Federal Court Halts Texas Execution

A Texas judge halted the planned execution of Robert Campbell, saying his lawyers could not fairly prepare an ineligibility claim because the state had not provided them with relevant information. Campbell is mentally disabled.
Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice AP

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 1:21 pm

Update at 4:57 p.m. ET. Federal Court Halts Execution:

With just hours to go, a federal court has halted the execution of Texas inmate Robert Campbell.

The execution would have been the first since Oklahoma botched one in April.

The ruling has nothing to do with the drug shortage that's dominated the narrative over the death penalty in the country. Instead, Campbell's lawyers argued that the state knew that Campbell was intellectually disabled but did not let his defense team know that.

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The Two-Way
10:43 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Christopher Columbus Ship The Santa Maria May Have Been Found

A 2011 photo shows a replica of Christopher Columbus' flagship, the Santa Maria, off the Portuguese island of Madeira. The location of the Santa Maria has been a mystery; an explorer says he might have found it.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 6:15 am

It's been missing for more than 500 years. But now there are reports that the Santa Maria, the largest ship among the trio that made Christopher Columbus' first expedition to North America, may be found. Undersea explorer Barry Clifford says he thinks he has found the ship in waters off of Haiti's coast.

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The Salt
10:10 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Resveratrol May Not Be The Elixir In Red Wine And Chocolate

There are more than three dozen polyphenols in red wine that could be beneficial. But resveratrol may not have much influence on our health.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 3:28 pm

If you've come to treat that daily glass of wine as your fountain of youth, it may be time to reconsider.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Book News: Each Page Of 'A Drinkable Book' Kills Bacteria In Drinking Water

Each page of the new "Drinkable Book" from the organization WaterisLife can be used to treat water for bacteria.
WaterisLife

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 10:25 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Group Says There's Strong Evidence Syrian Regime Used Chemical Weapons

A screenshot from a video posted to YouTube on April 11, 2014 shows substantial yellow coloration at base of the cloud over Keferzita, Syria.
Human Rights Watch

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 6:40 pm

Human Rights Watch says evidence "strongly suggests" the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons against his own people in mid-April.

The group, which investigates allegations of human rights abuses, says the rebels do not have the helicopters used to drop the barrel bombs used on three northern cities.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Google Must Delete Personal Data When Asked, European Court Says

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 10:06 am

People have the right to have data about them deleted from online databases, the European Court of Justice says, in a ruling issued against Google on Tuesday. The search company had fought a Spanish court's order to remove links to online newspaper articles in a case that began in 2011.

"A Spanish man brought this case, arguing that Google's search results infringed on his privacy," NPR's Ari Shapiro reports for our Newscast unit. "A search of his name brought up an auction notice of his repossessed home from 16 years ago."

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Former Israeli Leader Ehud Olmert Gets 6-Year Prison Term For Bribery

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert leaves Tel Aviv's district court Wednesday. Olmert was sentenced to six years in prison and a fine of 1 million shekels ($290,000) for his role in one of the country's worst-ever corruption scandals.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 1:42 pm

In the first criminal conviction of a former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert was sentenced to six years in prison Tuesday for taking bribes related to a real estate deal. The formal case against Olmert stretches back to 2008, when he resigned from office under a cloud.

Olmert, 68, says he'll appeal his punishment, which includes a fine of 1 million shekels ($290,000), reports Israel's Haaretz. He was found guilty of the crime in March.

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