Italy's technocrat prime minister, Mario Monti, came to office less than five months ago as the country's finances were in a tailspin. And now he could be facing his toughest challenge yet — pushing through changes to labor regulations.
Italian labor rules ensure job security for older workers but can condemn the younger generation to a series of insecure, temporary jobs.
Since taking office, Monti has pushed through a round of tough austerity measures, budget cuts, pension reform and some deregulation.
When 93-year-old Rachel Veitch picked up the newspaper on March 10 and realized that the macular degeneration in her eyes had developed to the point where she couldn't read the print, she knew it was time to stop driving.
But there's much more to the Orlando, Fla., woman's story.
The decision meant she would no longer be getting behind the wheel of her beloved 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente, a car she calls "The Chariot." Veitch has pampered her ride for nearly five decades and 567,000 miles.
Imagine you've scored hard-to-get tickets to the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga. Now, imagine you're so excited that you make big a deal out of this: You buy plane tickets, you schedule some golfing of your own, you invite three buddies. And then, one day you get home to find only chewed pieces of the tickets attached to the strings that came with them.
Suddenly, it dawns on you: "The dog ate my tickets."
Like every parent who's watched a son or daughter fly off to Iraq or Afghanistan, David Freed worries that the next car that pulls up outside his house will carry a casualty notification team. In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, he wrote of his disdain for those in Washington, D.C. who for the most part send other people's kids off to fight and die. We want to hear from parents whose children are on active duty. What should the president and Congress consider before they send your children off to war?
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. We've all become accustomed to robots on the assembly line. We don't even think about automatic doors and the card swipe that lets us fill up when the gas station is closed. But Marketplace special correspondent David Brancaccio recently drove across the country with the goal of never speaking to another human being along the way.
He did meet a robot comic, hotel check-in kiosks and a robot receptionist.
DAVID BRANCACCIO, BYLINE: So Tank(ph), I'm looking for Room 2111.
Argentina invaded the British-controlled Falkland Islands in 1982. This led to a war with Britain and the death of hundreds of servicemen on both sides. Washington Post columnist Jackson Diehl explains why Argentine and British leaders are sparring over the territory 30 years later.
Jobs at U.S. businesses increased by 209,000 in March, according to a report released Wednesday by the payroll processing firm ADP. That's in line with expectations for the monthly jobs report due out Friday.
Analysts expect Friday's official employment report from the Labor Department to show that employers added 215,000 in March and that the unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent, according to Bloomberg News.
The U.S. military announced today that it was ready to proceed with the war crimes tribunal of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo prisoners suspected of orchestrating the Sept. 11 attack on the United States.
NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports this is important because it means that Mohammed must be arraigned within 30 days. This step is basically a military grand jury agreeing that there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial.
During a debate over the Violence Against Women Act last week, the Wisconsin Democrat told her own history of surviving sexual assault and violence. Rep. Moore speaks with host Michel Martin about her story and why she thinks the Violence Against Women Act deserves bipartisan support. (Advisory: This segment may not be suitable for all audiences.)
Romney said that if elected president he could provide the kind of experience and guidance to give the economy a lift, get the government on the path toward deficit reduction and ensure the USA continues to play a leading role around the world.
Incumbent presidents generally try to cast their re-election contest as a choice between the imperfect but well-meaning and effective occupant of the White House and the far worse alternative offered by the rival party.
Challengers, on the other hand, try to frame a presidential race as a referendum on the sitting president whose record nearly always contains missteps, or who can be blamed for trouble in the economy or elsewhere.
In short, whether it's the president or the challenger, the way the game is played requires each to define the opposition as well as himself.
On the plus side, the ADP National Employment Report issued this morning estimates there were 209,000 jobs added to private employers' payrolls in March. And ADP's data often are something of a predictor for what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will have to say when it issues its monthly numbers. Those March figures are due on Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Life is not back to normal for everybody in the town of Lancaster, Texas. A state of emergency has been declared there, and the city of Arlington, as well, following yesterday's storms in the Dallas area.
Nine national medical groups are launching a campaign called Choosing Wisely to get U.S. doctors to back off on 45 diagnostic tests, procedures and treatments that often may do patients no good.
Many involve imaging tests such as CT scans, MRIs and X-rays. Stop doing them, the groups say, for most cases of back pain, or on patients who come into the emergency room with a headache or after a fainting spell, or just because somebody's about to undergo surgery.
Former Arapahoe County (Colo.) sheriff Patrick Sullivan, who back in December was charged with trying to trade methamphetamine for sex with a man, "pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of meth possession and soliciting prostitution," Denver's KUSA-TV reports.
After going 0-for-3 in Tuesday's presidential primaries, a defiant Rick Santorum dismissed calls to drop out and predicted he'll win the next contest in his home state of Pennsylvania on April 24.
He'll have to — and not because it would put the former Pennsylvania senator on a path to defeat front-runner Mitt Romney, who has been racking up delegates and is increasingly seen as the inevitable nominee.
A loss in Pennsylvania, where recent polls show Santorum is weakening, would "destroy the rationale for him continuing," says Pennsylvania pollster G. Terry Madonna.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with an early Easter for the dogs of Edmond, Oklahoma. The city's parks and recreation department hosted an Easter egg hunt for dogs. The Daily Oklahoman reports that over 70 dogs took part in the first ever Hound Hunt, sniffing out more than 700 treat-filled plastic eggs, including two silver eggs as grand prizes. One canine contestant went all out, donning a pair of plush rabbit ears for the occasion. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
His wins Tuesday in Washington, D.C., Maryland and — most importantly — in Wisconsin has produced a subtle shift in the way Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney is being referred to by the news media.