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Although Berlusconi--who is facing trial on charges of paying for sex with a minor--agreed to support Letta, his party still controls key Cabinet ministries, which could allow him to block policies he doesn't like.


Previous attempts to fix Italy's financial system with structural reforms were thwarted by unions. Letta's efforts are less ambitious, but it's unclear how he'll pay for them.


Comic turned politician Beppe Grillo doesn't hold elected office--he refused to work with other parties--but his Five Star Movement won millions of votes in the February election and stands to benefit politically if Letta's leadership fails.

Deliverance From Disaster

China Rescuers unload relief supplies in Shuangshi township in southwestern Sichuan province, days after a magnitude-6.6 earthquake on April 20 killed at least 193 people and injured more than 11,000 others. China has poured more than $160 million in disaster aid into Sichuan, but tens of thousands of survivors are living on the streets or in makeshift tents and face shortages of food and other supplies. Photograph by AFP/Getty Images

Progress Report

Gender Equality at the Western Wall

A Jerusalem court ruled that women arrested for wearing traditionally male prayer shawls at the Western Wall, or Kotel, weren't breaking the law--a big step toward equality at one of the world's holiest sites. Here's how other issues stand.

Start a Dialogue

Reform Jews generally lean pro-equality; Orthodox Jews typically don't. In December, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tapped Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky to help them talk and compromise.

Make the Mixed Section Bigger

Both sides were encouraged by Sharansky's proposal to expand Robinson's Arch, where men and women can pray together, but the Kotel's rabbi and Women of the Wall activists have since withdrawn support.

Let Anyone Read From the Torah

Women can't read a Torah scroll aloud at the wall (per a 2003 Supreme Court ruling), but activists plan to challenge that policy on May 10 during a monthly service, just as they did with the prayer shawls.

Support the Diaspora

Recent protests have exposed a gap between the Conservative and Reform movements in the U.S., where men and women pray together, and the Israeli government, which supports Orthodox law at the wall.



Amount that a 1939 Daimler once owned by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill fetched during an eBay auction on April 29

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