Who Botched the Italian Job?
One would expect the 150-year anniversary of the Italian state be something of a celebration. One would be wrong. The country is divided culturally, politically and economically.
Tim Parks, a long-time British resident of Italy, says Italian identity is ultimately contrived—a fact which may preclude any unified stance on national issues from corruption to immigration. Looking as far back as the country's post-Roman Empire days of warring city-states, Parks says there is an ironic Italian spirit that champions subdivisions of society ahead of a national identity: "As a nation, Italians will strike temporary bargains among themselves, but they don't seek genuine conflict resolution. They seek to win, or at least not to lose, and so prefer to keep the conflict open, much as if they were involved in a soccer league, with matches to be won or lost each year by fair means or foul."
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A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
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