Members of the Italian metalworkers trade union Fiom-CGIL march during a protest in Rome on March 9. Thousands of trade unionists protested on a day of strikes against auto giant Fiat and the government's plans to overhaul labor laws to make it easier to fire workers.
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.
The peace plan brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan and backed the United Nations has yet to curb the violence in Syria.
Reuters reports that even though a U.N. team of peacekeepers is scheduled to arrive in Damascus, today or tomorrow, opposition activists said government forces continued their attack. They said about 80 people have been killed since Tuesday.
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."
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.
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?
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.