Countries tend to have personalities just like people do. Researchers have set out to define those differences, using a scale that measures how tight the social rules and standards are. They find that cultural rules — as simple as when and where it's appropriate to kiss — are often shaped by a nation's experience with war, disease and other challenges.
As an American teenager, whenever I asked grown-ups about the Vietnam War, few wanted to discuss it. As an adult, it was just as hard to talk about the war. That's why I never told friends and neighbors about my family's history.
You see, the Vietnam War took place in my family's backyard. My family lived in northeastern Laos, in Nong Het, right on the border with Vietnam. When the CIA needed an ally, they found a charismatic, passionate young man not afraid to die.
That man was my great-uncle, the late Gen. Vang Pao.
We're on a crowded shopping street in Lahore, Pakistan, alongside the shrine to Data Ganj Baksh, one of the holiest places in the country. The shrine of a Muslim saint, it's a giant rectangle surrounded on all sides by giant white stone arches. This location was bombed last year. So we thought Thursday night, a very busy night at the shrine, would be a good night to ask people about what's happening in Pakistan.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will on July 21 officially become the nation's newest government agency — and the only one with the singular aim of looking out for the best interests of consumers. The agency is controversial, and at the center of it all is the woman whom President Obama asked to set it up: Elizabeth Warren.
With a 73-23 vote, the Senate voted to approve a four-year extension of three controversial provisions of the Patriot Act.
The AP reports:
It extends two provisions of the 2001 USA Patriot Act, one allowing roving wiretaps, the other allowing searches of business records in the pursuit of terror threats. A third provision gives the government power to watch non-American "lone wolf" suspects with no certain ties to terrorist groups.