Presidential candidates like to float solutions to long-standing problems. Making those solutions stick is another thing altogether.

When it comes to health care, the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, rather than tamping down chatter about how to insure people, seems only to have spurred more of it.

But you know what? There's a reason some problems are long-standing. They may have no easy solution. Or the solution isn't politically feasible. Or there's a solution that sounds good on the campaign trail but isn't likely to actually work.

Italy has passed legislation legalizing same-sex civil unions. It's the last country in Western Europe to do so.

The measure was approved despite "strong opposition from the Catholic Church and conservative politicians," NPR's Sylvia Poggioli tells our Newscast unit. She adds:

"The legislation grants same-sex couples many of the same rights as married couples — the possibility to have the same last name, inheritance, hospital visitation and medical decision-making rights. But it stops short of same-sex marriage.

A second trial related to the death of Freddie Gray opens Thursday in Baltimore, where police Officer Edward Nero faces multiple misdemeanors in connection with the case.

Gray died April 19, 2015, after suffering a broken neck while in police custody — specifically, while being transported in a police van, medical examiners found. The following month, prosecutors announced charges against six police officers in connection with Gray's death.

Updated 6:15 p.m. ET

George Zimmerman, who fatally shot unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 and was acquitted of all charges in the case, said Thursday that he was auctioning off the gun that he says he used in that incident.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Review: Mudcrutch, '2'

May 12, 2016

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The best opening sentence in the history of modern science fiction belongs to William Gibson. And with his new novel, Central Station, Lavie Tidhar now holds the title for best opening paragraph:

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