Little more than a month ago, no one had heard of Macerata. Then the murder of Pamela Mastropietro thrust the small town in central Italy onto the national stage, and the whole course of a pivotal national election was altered.
Have you ever wanted to go to China, by train? Obviously that's not at all possible today, but what if you could in the future? And take the trip in two days — about the time it takes Amtrak to go from Chicago to Los Angeles. That story tops today's Global Scan.
Silvio Berlusconi started his community service Friday. Italy's flamboyant former prime minister showed up for his first shift at a clinic for Alzheimer's patients near Milan. The billionaire tycoon will be working there a few hours a week for the next year as punishment for committing tax fraud.
There's another government besides the US in danger of shutting down: the one in Italy, where the government is on the verge of collapsing because of the failure of politicians on the left and the right to find a compromise.
As Italian politicians campaign for national elections this weekend, the sad state of the economy and politics in Italy are the subject of a new stage adaptation of "The Full Monty." It features two real-life unemployed workers as cast members.
In Italy, the caretaker government of Prime Minister Mario Monti has been dissolved. But with new elections to be held In February and another former prime minister already set to run again, some say this isn't necessarily the end of Monti.
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