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The times they are a-shiftin
The times they are a-shiftin
Jean-Michel Normand

PARIS — In today's globalized automotive market, the average driver has two dreams: to purchase an SUV, and to switch from a manual to an automatic transmission. Used by just about everyone in the United States, Japan and China, this transmission mode is gaining ground in Europe and is set to takeoff in India and Brazil too.

"The shift is on and it affects every continent," says Alain Raposo, mechanics director for Renault-Nissan. "We can expect the trend to continue to expand because once you've tried a modern automatic transition, there's no doing back."

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Mariateresa Fichele

Fifteen years ago, Francesco kept busy by scamming people. He was a regular visitor to the beaches of Terracina, south of Rome, where he was caught several times selling counterfeit Ray-Ban sunglasses. Then came the drugs, which fed a serious substance-induced psychosis and eventually he tested positive for HIV.

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