As Italy tries to fight its way out of a full-blown recession, the state and local governments are coming up with creative — and some say questionable — sources of revenue.
The latest example comes from Venice, where Benetton, the trendy Italian clothing-maker, is poised to put the city's first shopping mall right on the Grand Canal. Residents are up in arms, but officials say deals like these keep the lagoon city afloat.
The news has gotten worse from Italy. Just after 9:15 a.m. ET, The Associated Press reported that authorities say at least 15 people were killed today by an earthquake that struck the northern part of the country.
Vatican authorities have charged Pope Benedict XVI's butler with illegally possessing secret documents. His arrest is the latest embarrassment for the Vatican. David Greene talks to NPR's Sylvia Poggioli for the latest on the investigation.
Signs of global discontent are everywhere. States side it's represented by the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movements. In Italy, it's the Cinque Stelle (Five Star) movement, founded by comedian and satirist Beppe Grillo.
Grillo's movement upset the Italian political establishment in yesterday's local elections. This wrap from Reuters will sound terribly familiar: