December 24, 2012 The Italian city isn't big on Christmas glitz and glamor. Instead, Rome saves its holiday shine for the dinner table. The Christmas day meal might start with lasagna before moving on to turkey or guinea hen. And it wouldn't be complete without plenty of sweets.
December 14, 2012 More than 1,000 people have gone to court hoping to track down sons and daughters or brothers and sisters they were told died in childbirth during the Franco dictatorship. The mothers were often poor and had Marxist leanings. Some estimates put the total number of stolen babies as high as 300,000.
December 9, 2012 Across Europe, the recession has hit media companies where thousands of journalists have been fired and many work for low wages. In Spain, journalists see the cutbacks as a threat to press freedom at a time when Spaniards need to understand the financial crisis they are facing.
December 4, 2012 Stray cats prowl freely among many of the city's ancient monuments. At the Torre Argentina ruins, a cat shelter has been caring for felines for two decades. But archaeological officials now say the shelter, built in the foundations of an ancient temple, must be closed.
October 19, 2012 A German regional court effectively banned circumcision this summer after ruling that the ancient practice amounts to assault. That fueled accusations of religious intolerance in a country still haunted by its Nazi past. Now lawmakers are pushing through a bill to make circumcision legal.
October 11, 2012 This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II, which opened the Catholic Church's window onto the modern world. Among other things, it gave a larger role to lay people and updated the liturgy. But the changes provoked a backlash, the effects of which are being felt even today.
October 9, 2012 German Catholics are facing a stark choice: Pay a church tax or forget about receiving the sacraments, including baptisms, weddings and funerals. Germany taxes registered Catholics, Protestants and Jews. In 2011, the tax raised $6.5 billion for the Catholic Church alone. Many progressives and conservatives are up in arms over the German bishops' decree.
September 23, 2012 The automaker, a symbol of Italy's industrial revolution and the country's biggest employer, had threatened to shut down its operations. It's part of a wider problem: A decade of globalization and three years of the euro crisis have accelerated Italy's industrial decay.