December 27, 2012 The city of Taranto is heavily dependent on a steel plant, the largest in Europe, which provides some 20,000 jobs. A court has ordered a partial shutdown because the factory spews carcinogens into the air, but the government has rejected the court's ruling, saying the economy needs the jobs.
December 27, 2012 Angered by an American law barring some Russian officials from entering the U.S., parliament members in Moscow have retaliated. Putin has now said he sees no reason not to sign the adoption ban. More than 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by Americans since 1992, the State Department says.
December 27, 2012 The Mayan people in Latin America received a lot of attention when word spread their ancient calendar had predicted the world would end on Dec. 21. The tourists that came to visit Mayan sites have gone home, and the modern-day Mayas go on with their lives marked by high rates of poverty and a dependence on migration.
December 26, 2012 Most Indonesian leaders have been generals or bureaucrats who came to power by building patronage networks, not by providing services to citizens. But Jakarta's new governor, who has been in office only a few months, has already won widespread popular support.
December 25, 2012 At the Cain and Abel School for Prophets, students learn to interpret dreams and divination. Rabbi Shmuel Fortman Hapartzi, the Tel Aviv school's founder, says everyone in his class, himself included, is in the beginning stages of reaching enlightenment. But critics say Fortman is trying to profit from the prophet business.