Cultural Diversity 

In October, Italy's economic minister, noting that a third of all men over 30 still live with their parents and that rental housing markets are depressed, proposed a tax break worth the equivalent of about $1,400 for each man in his 20s who will finally leave Momma's house.

A week earlier in Sicily, one mother publicly turned her adult son over to the police for staying out too late, and also took away his house keys and cut off his allowance. The son, who immediately complained that the allowance was too small, anyway, is 61 years old.

The normal daily tension between India and Pakistan arises in many forms, but one nightly ceremony on the border at Wagah crossing is particularly odd (described by a Los Angeles Times reporter in September as part pomp, part macho posturing, and part Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks). Uniformed guards from both countries march toward each other in their inexplicably complicated headgear, "glower fiercely through their mustaches" and puff themselves up, eyeball to eyeball, in a show of confidence for their respective countrymen. However, they then meekly shake hands and close the border for the night.

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