A bill introduced in the Minnesota legislature this week would change divorce proceedings in the state and allow couples to end marriages outside the court.

Bill Doherty, project director for Minnesota Couples on the Brink and a professor at the University of Minnesota, is the author of the cooperative private divorce bill and joined MPR News’ Kerri Miller to talk about his proposal.

“In our culture, court means contest,” he said. “It means fight. It means you each hire a lawyer who fights for your best interest and a judge makes a decision. That is how we’ve culturally viewed divorce as a battle.”

Today’s Question: Should couples be able to divorce without involving the court?

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“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that while the U.S. and Israel agree that Iran should not get nuclear weapons, they disagree about how to stop the Islamic republic,” writes NPR’s Krishnadev Calamur.

The Obama administration has called the invitation to the Israeli leader, made without consulting the White House or the State Department, a departure from protocol. Obama, citing the proximity of the Israeli elections, has said he won’t meet Netanyahu during his visit to Washington; neither will Vice President Joe Biden or Secretary of State John Kerry, who will both be traveling at that time.

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“A new forecast released Friday shows Gov. Mark Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature will have even more money to work with as they set the state budget for the next two years,” writes MPR News reporter Catharine Richert.

The forecast from Minnesota Management and Budget shows the state’s previously forecast $1 billion surplus for the next biennium has grown to $1.87 billion.

Today’s Question: What should be done with the state budget surplus?

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