A new law that went into effect Jan. 1 allows shops, cafes and restaurants to stay open 24/7, all year long, holidays included. But Italian customs can be hard to break, and opponents argue deregulated hours will create problems for small businesses.
Volkswagen has come a long way since it tried to market cars to Americans with the "Fahrvergnugen" slogan. The company has adapted to the U.S. market with bigger, less quirky cars. It seems to have paid off, as sales rose last year in the U.S. — but the company is set on becoming No. 1 worldwide.
The opposition movement in Morocco adopted the music of provocative rapper Mouad Belrhouate. Now, supporters say his arrest and trial are attempts to silence him. Despite recent reforms, activists say Morocco still has a long way to go.
The NFL kicks off an exciting weekend of games Saturday when it starts its playoffs. Meanwhile, there's big news in the sport that most of the rest of the world calls football. Fox television is making a major play to air more soccer games in this country, including an English Premier League game before the Super Bowl. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis talks with Robert Siegel about the news in both kinds of football.
A U.S. Navy ship has rescued the crew of an Iranian fishing vessel from pirates. The Iranians had apparently been held for weeks. The U.S. ship, part of the USS Stennis carrier battle group, took some 15 pirates prisoner. The Stennis is the same ship that Iran threatened just a few days ago as it transited out of the Persian Gulf. Robert Siegel talks to NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman for the latest.
Syrian authorities say a suicide bomber killed more than two dozen people in Damascus Friday, just two weeks after a similar attack in the capital left more than 40 dead. Opposition activists are questioning the government account of the bombing.
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