3:11pm

Wed April 4, 2012
Europe

Italian Law Pits Older Workers Against Younger Ones

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 9:06 am

Members of the Italian metalworkers trade union Fiom-CGIL hold a placard reading "Enough now!" during a protest in Rome on March 9.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

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.

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3:11pm

Wed April 4, 2012
The Two-Way

More Violence, As U.N. Mission Races Toward Damascus

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.

Reuters adds:

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3:10pm

Wed April 4, 2012
The Two-Way

After 567,000 Miles And 48 Years, Florida Woman Parks Her 'Chariot'

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 6:05 pm

Rachel Veitch and "Chariot," her 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente.
Katie Ball

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.

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1:49pm

Wed April 4, 2012
The Two-Way

'The Dog Ate My Tickets': This Time, The Mother Of All Excuses Was Real

One of the pieced-together tickets.
Russ Berkman via KJR

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."

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12:58pm

Wed April 4, 2012
Business

Yahoo Cuts 2,000 Employees

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with layoffs at Yahoo.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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12:50pm

Wed April 4, 2012
Health and Welfare

Texting Ban Nets a Few Hundred Violators

Since Kentucky banned texting while driving, State police have  issued a few hundred citations.  State Police Lieutenant David Jude says about 300 tickets were issued statewide in 2011, and another 100 thus far in 2012.  “And whether it takes a day, a week, a particular holiday, or even a whole month…set aside for it…it is definitely something that we need to look for….you know Kentucky annually averages around 40 percent or so distracted driving collisions,” said Jude.

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12:37pm

Wed April 4, 2012
Economy

Private Hiring Signals Another Strong Jobs Report

Joanely Carrero restocks shelves at a Target store in Miami. Two reports Wednesday indicated that private hiring grew in March.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

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.

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12:33pm

Wed April 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Military Proceeds With Guantanamo Trial Of Sept. 11 Mastermind

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:24 pm

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.

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12:26pm

Wed April 4, 2012
Africa

Mali's Rebellion Stirs Fear Of Wider Saharan Conflict

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 1:26 pm

Tuareg rebels eat a meal last month near the Malian city of Timbuktu, which they recently captured. The rebels have taken control of northern Mali, raising concerns about stability in the broader region.
Ferhat Bouda DPA/Landov

Rebels from the Tuareg ethnic group now control most of northern Mali, a territory as big as France on the edge of the Sahara desert.

A column of trucks loaded with Tuareg fighters rolled into the ancient desert town of Timbuktu on Sunday, taking over the positions abandoned by fleeing government soldiers.

They include an Islamist faction that wants to impose Shariah law throughout Mali and are believed to include elements with links to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

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12:08pm

Wed April 4, 2012
The Two-Way

In News Conference, Pakistani Militant Taunts U.S. Over $10 Million Bounty

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawwa and founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, listens to a reporter during his interview with the Associated Press in Islamabad, Pakistan on Tuesday.
B.K. Bangash AP

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed said he's not in hiding. In fact, he said, he would be Lahore tomorrow, if the United States wanted to capture him.

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