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The Changing Lives Of Women
3:02 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Germany's Paradox: Family-Friendly Benefits, But Few Kids

German Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen (at left, shown here with German Chancellor Angela Merkel) has been the main government architect of measures aimed at helping women reconcile careers with having children.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 11:04 am

Germany is regarded as one of the most generous countries in the world when it comes to helping women raise families. The government invests about $260 billion each year into 156 separate family-friendly benefits, including health care, generous parental leave, subsidized day care and tax breaks.

Yet on a continent with low birthrates, Germany has the lowest of all, with just 1.39 children per woman.

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Business
6:19 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Some Net Retailers Aren't Buying Online Sales Tax Proposal

The Senate on Monday approved a bill to allow states to collect sales taxes from online retailers. Proponents say sellers will get help navigating tax collection, but many retailers says complying will be burdensome and opens the door for unforeseen problems.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:00 pm

Congress is considering a bill that would allow states to collect sales taxes from online retailers. Proponents say a law is necessary to level the playing field with brick-and-mortar stores and to raise revenue for states.

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Book Reviews
4:22 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Safety Is Relative: A Moving Account Of Life In Chechnya

Russian troops patrol Minutka square in the Chechen capital on Monday, Feb. 28, 2000.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:00 pm

How do you write an absorbing novel about unspeakable things? It's always a tricky business, and an editor I know once described the dilemma this way: "A reader needs to want to go there." What "there" means is the self-contained world of the book. And what would make a reader want to go deeply into a world of hopelessness and seemingly perpetual war, a world of torture and intimidation and exploding land mines? There are many answers. One of the most obvious, of course, is the language.

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It's All Politics
4:22 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Some Democrats Back Same-Sex Amendment To Immigration Bill

Some Democrats want to amend the immigration bill before the Senate to allow foreign-born same-sex spouses of Americans to qualify for green cards.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:00 pm

The immigration overhaul bill before the Senate would provide, among other things, more visas for migrant farm workers and high-tech workers, and a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

One thing it would not provide is help for same-sex couples in which one partner is an American and one foreign-born. For heterosexual couples, a foreign-born spouse automatically qualifies for a green card and many of the benefits of citizenship. Not so with gay and lesbian couples.

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The Picture Show
3:54 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

A Picture Postcard From Wild Wrangel Island

Musk oxen, more akin to goats and sheep than to oxen, were introduced to Wrangel Island in 1975 and now number about 800. In September, with mating season underway, bulls engage in frequent head-butting confrontations to establish dominance.
Sergey Gorshkov National Geographic

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 11:19 pm

If something seems impossibly remote, you call it Siberia. And if Siberians want to make the analogy, they could call it Wrangel Island. About 90 miles off the coast of northeastern Siberia, the 91-mile-long island has been inhabited by some humans over the years — but has been home to a superabundance of wildlife such as polar bears, Pacific walruses and musk oxen.

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