World

2:15pm

Mon May 14, 2012
Europe

Europe's Austerity Plans Face Growing Backlash

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 9:45 pm

Spanish protesters gathered in Madrid on Saturday as the country's economic problems continued to worsen. The country's banking system is seen as particularly vulnerable.
Pedro Armestre AFP/Getty Images

A political crisis in Greece and economic woes in Spain are again raising concern about the future of the eurozone.

In Athens today, Greek politicians tried again and failed to form a coalition government, though talks are ongoing. There is growing fear that Greece will not be able to remain in the currency union and avoid defaulting on its debts.

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1:08pm

Mon May 14, 2012
Asia

Australia's Poker Machines: Are They Too Popular?

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 5:49 pm

Gambling machines are extremely popular in Australia, and there are concerns about the level of gambling addiction. Opinion polls show that many Australians would like to see greater regulation of gambling.
Paul Miller Bloomberg via Getty Images

It's a weekday night at the Welcome Stranger pub in downtown Melbourne. Tom Cummings, who used to be a regular here, shows me around the gaming room.

"This machine here, which is called Shaman's Magic, has four different jackpots that you can win. If you'd like to give it a whirl, you can see how you go," says Cummings.

The machines here take Australian $50 bills (Australian dollars are currently worth almost exactly the same as U.S. dollars). You can lose $1,200 in an hour. And a win is not always what it appears to be.

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9:32am

Mon May 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Afghanistan: More Troubles, But U.S. Ambassador Sees Path Forward

Officials and mourners prepare to place the coffin of Afghanistan High Peace Council and former Taliban leader Arsala Rahmani in a grave earlier today, in Kabul.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

While U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker says there is a path toward relative stability in Afghanistan and away from a return to the kind of civil war that devastated the country in the early 1990s, the difficulties still facing that nation have been underscored by more violence:

-- CNN.com reports that "a bomb exploded inside a shop in the northern Afghanistan province of Faryab on Monday, killing nine people, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry."

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8:25am

Mon May 14, 2012

2:51am

Mon May 14, 2012
Afghanistan

Ambassador Crocker Focuses On Afghanistan's Future

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 5:56 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, travels soon to Chicago. He'll attend a summit of NATO, the North Atlantic Alliance, on whose troops Karzai's government depends. At that summit, NATO countries will be asked to pledge billions of dollars to support Afghanistan's security forces after NATO combat troops withdraw in the year 2014. The U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan will also attend that summit. And as he prepared to leave Kabul, he sat down with our own Renee Montagne.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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