Ireland: The Deserters - Thousands of Irish troops joined British forces during World War II to fight Nazi-Germany. In their own country, they were punished and scorned as deserters. Ireland was officially neutral in the war. But nearly 5000 Irishmen deserted to join the struggle against the forces of fascism. There were no honors awaiting them upon their return to their own country - only dishonorable discharges from the Irish armed forces. They were stripped of their pensions and some even court-martialed for desertion. A new initiative has been launched to restore the honor of these heroic deserters. Czech Republic: Hear No Evil - For many children in the Czech Republic, boxed ears and canings are an everyday occurrence. Attempts to prohibit corporal punishment are largely ignored. Seventy-five percent of all Czech parents favor corporal punishment. When the government's human rights commissioner said that at least children under the age of four should have legal protection from beating, there was an outcry of indignation. She quickly backtracked, saying she had only been expressing her personal opinion, not proposing legislation. No party in the Czech Republic is willing to take on the hot-button issue. And media reporting isn't exactly child-friendly either. Lately, a tabloid newspaper published tips on how best to beat children. Sweden: A Breathalyzer is Standard - Starting this year, Swedish driving schools are fitting all their vehicles with a breathalyzer lock. Would-be drivers have to blow into a tube before they can start the car. The idea is to get student drivers accustomed to alcohol testing as an integral part of starting the car. The built-in breathalyzer has encountered little resistance so far - drunk driving is thoroughly frowned on in Sweden. But the device's hefty price tag of around 1300 euros has so far tended to limit its appeal to government agencies, hospitals and bus and taxi companies. Turkey: The Pigeon Breeders - With names like Kelebec and Bursa Roller, Turkey's roller pigeons are renowned as acrobats of the air. Breeding them is a national pastime, and its enthusiasts often invest small fortunes. The rollers turn somersaults, perform breathtaking nosedives and clap with their wings. Their keepers have perfected the technique of training them for such aerial acrobatics. It takes patience and persistence. The Turkish pigeon breeders coddle and care for their 'little doves' - and command steep prices for them at auction. Unusually flamboyant specimens can fetch several thousand euros.