World

7:20am

Tue January 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Italian Authorities Call Off Search For Missing In Costa Shipwreck

Italian firefighters scuba divers approach the grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia off the Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy on Friday.
Pier Paolo Cito AP

Citing safety concerns, Italian officials said they were calling off the search for those still missing at the site of the Costa Concordia shipwreck.

The AP reports:

"Italy's Civil Protection agency said Tuesday that technical studies indicated that the deformed hull of the ship created too many safety concerns to continue the search. It said in a statement that relatives and diplomatic officials representing the countries of the missing have been informed of the decision.

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10:01pm

Mon January 30, 2012
Europe

In Italy, Art As A Window Into Modern Banking

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:05 am

Oil painting by Marinus van Reymerswaele.
Courtesy of Palazzo Strozzi

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.

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10:01pm

Mon January 30, 2012
Middle East

Longtime Allies, Egypt And U.S. Now Have Differences

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 5:50 am

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.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

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.

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3:45pm

Mon January 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Death Toll Rises As Syria's Crisis Heads To U.N. Security Council

Syrian soldiers who defected join protesters in the al-Khaldiya neighborhood of the restive city of Homs on January 26, 2012.
- AFP/Getty Images

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.

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1:13pm

Mon January 30, 2012
Europe

Tables Are Turned On Crusading Spanish Judge

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.
Juan Medina Reuters/Landov

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.

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