As Italy and much of Europe struggle with their finances, the city of Florence has staged an art exhibition looking at the critical — and controversial — role that financial institutions have played for centuries.
The recent Money and Beauty exhibit, held in the majestic 15th-century Palazzo Strozzi, illustrated how Florentine merchants got around the Catholic Church's ban on money-lending and bankrolled the Renaissance.
Every year, federal judges sentence more than 80,000 criminals. Those punishments are supposed to be fair — and predictable. But seven years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court threw a wrench into the system by ruling that the guidelines that judges use to figure out a prison sentence are only suggestions.
Chris Stephens, 28, has been battling depression all of his life, at home, in Concord, Ca., on Jan. 27. After a dose of ketamine, Stephens says "I actually wanted to do things. I wanted to live life."
Credit Ronald Duman / Yale University
Credit Ronald Duman / Yale University
A club drug called "Special K" is generating a lot of buzz among researchers who study depression.
That's because "Special K," which is actually an FDA-approved anesthetic named ketamine, can relieve even suicidal depression in a matter of hours. And it works on many patients who haven't responded to current antidepressants like Prozac.
Those traditional drugs, which act on the brain's serotonin system, can take more than a month to kick in, and don't work for up to 40 percent of people with major depression.
Judy Youngblood of Jacksonville, Fla., appears at a rally at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel Monday, wearing earrings she made from campaign buttons supporting Newt Gingrich.
Credit Stan Honda / AFP/Getty Images
Two people protest Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich outside a Republican Jewish Coalition rally Friday in Delray Beach, Fla.
Just how important is the senior vote in Florida?
Nearly one in five Floridians is retired. And a survey conducted by AARP predicts that as many as 60 percent of those who cast ballots in Tuesday's Republican primary — 6 out of 10 voters — will be retirees.
If that number is surprising, AARP Florida director Jeff Johnson says it helps to remember that primaries typically have a low turnout.
The U.S. is insisting that Egypt establish a full-fledged democracy and move away from military rule. Here, an Egyptian woman covers her head in a national flag as she demonstrates in a pro-democracy rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Jan. 27.
For many years, top Egyptian officials coming to Washington could expect a warm welcome, with few points of contention.
But for a group of Egyptian generals now in the U.S., several points of friction are likely to dominate the agenda between the longtime allies.
Egypt doesn't like the new conditions U.S. lawmakers have placed on American aid. And the U.S. is furious with the way Egypt has been treating U.S. groups that promote democracy. At least three Americans have taken shelter in the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
Sons of Fathers' self-titled debut is unmistakably Texan: Bold, powerful and twangy, there's nothing small about it. David Whitbeck and Paul Cauthen met through mutual friends, but started to play together when they realized that they wrote music at the same park on the Blanco River. That was the first of many coincidences. Within days, they'd written "an incredible number of songs," Cauthen says. "We just fall into sockets of harmony naturally."
Communist party lawmaker Liana Kanelli enters her car after protesters threw yogurt on her face as she tried to reach the Greek parliament during a 48-hour general strike in Athens in 2011.
Credit Jessica Hill / Associated Press
Dixon Jimenez (right), delivers tacos with other activists to Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. in East Haven, Conn., on Jan. 26. Maturo was not in his office to receive the tacos.
Last week, 500 tacos appeared at the mayor's office in East Haven, Conn. But they weren't intended for a casual luncheon.
Instead, this truckload of tacos was meant to be a symbol of discontent. An immigration reform group sent the fare in protest to what they said was an insensitive comment from Mayor Joseph Maturo in reference to Latinos and tacos.
Syrian soldiers who defected join protesters in the al-Khaldiya neighborhood of the restive city of Homs on January 26, 2012.
At least 100 people were killed across Syria today by security forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, activists said. The Local Coordination Committees, which organize protests on the ground and document the killings, said 76 people were killed in the restive central region of Homs.
The past five days have been some of the bloodiest since the uprising began last March, with about 387 people killed since Thursday, activists said.
Booster seats reduce children's risk of injury by more than half.
Grade-schoolers are supposed to be riding in booster seats. But anyone who's ever chauffeured a bunch of second-graders can tell you that the day will come when you don't have enough boosters to go around. Faced with this obvious safety risk, most parents (including this one) buckle up the kids without boosters, and pray.
The contest for the seat held by Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, is one of the potentially close 2012 races that could ultimately decide whether Democrats maintain control of Congress' upper chamber.
As such, the battle is attracting attention from outside groups hoping their financial assistance will make a difference for both the first-term Democrat and his Republican challenger, Rep. Denny Rehberg, the state's sole House member and a former lieutenant governor.
One of the biggest antitrust investigations in the nation's history has led to fines of $470 million against one Japanese auto parts manufacturer and $78 million against another, the U.S. Justice Department announced today.
Mitt Romney starts the week having undergone a transformation.
For almost a year, he tried to portray himself as the grown-up in the Republican race for the presidential nomination. Now, over the course of two debates and countless Florida campaign stops, the buttoned-up businessman is showing that he can get tough.
This shift has upended the yin-yang dynamic that has been playing out for weeks between the passionate, fiery Newt Gingrich and the staid, steady Romney.
One of the guests in the congressional gallery at last week's State of the Union address was Roxana Delgado, an advocate for soldiers returning home with traumatic brain injuries. Her husband, an army sergeant who NPR profiled in June, 2010, had been dramatically affected by the concussion he received from a roadside blast in Iraq.
Many investors are expecting Facebook to file papers for an initial public offering sometime later this week. The company, which was founded in a Harvard dorm room less than a decade ago, is expected to be valued at nearly $100 billion by Wall Street.
And if these early reports are true this is shaping up to be the biggest Internet IPO ever.
Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon (center) arrives at the Supreme Court in Madrid, Spain, on Jan. 24. The crusading human-rights judge is on trial for his attempt to investigate the more than 100,000 disappearances during Spain's civil war in the 1930s and the subsequent dictatorship of Francisco Franco.
Credit Juan Medina / Reuters/Landov
Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon (center) arrives at the Supreme Court in Madrid, Spain, on Jan. 24. The crusading human-rights judge is on trial for his divisive attempt to investigate the more than 100,000 disappearances during Spain's civil war and the subsequent dictatorship of Francisco Franco.
Credit Susana Vera / Reuters /Landov
Garzon supporters gather during a demonstration outside the Supreme Court in Madrid, Jan. 24.
Thousands marched in Spain on Sunday in support of Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish judge who became an icon for human-rights activists when he indicted former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998.
Now, Spain's most famous judge is on trial, after turning his investigations toward the country's own fascist past.
Garzon, 56, is a champion of universal jurisdiction — the idea that the most heinous crimes need to be prosecuted, no matter where or when.
While talking with the media outside the Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Fla., on Sunday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called for a commission to look at new rules for clinics that perform in vitro fertilization.
Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is changing another of his positions in an effort to woo socially conservative voters.
Over the weekend he told churchgoers in Florida that as president he'd work to ban research using stem cells derived from human embryos.
Gingrich has long been a strong backer of federal funding for scientific research. In 2001 his support extended to research on stem cells derived from human embryos left over from in vitro fertilization efforts.