Some 400,000 bottles worth of sparkling Italian wine will never see the bottle this year. An unidentified crew of miscreants with a mysterious motive snuck onto the grounds of the historic Italian winery Conte Vistarino and emptied steel tanks filled with Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and other white wines from the 2016 harvest. The staff came to work the morning after the act of vandalism to find $530,000 worth of grape juice and skins on the floor.
The perpetrators didn’t damage any other equipment or steal anything from the winery though, which leaves some to speculate that this act was committed out of spite, The Telegraph writes.
“If you have no idea why, you don’t sleep at night,” Ottavia Giorgi di Vistarino, the countess who manages the winery, told The Telegraph. “The team is shaken, but we won’t let it stop us. We’ll just have to roll up our sleeves and get back to work.”
Italian wine producers, not just Conte Vistarino, have been having a rough couple of years. Mafia members have infiltrated parts of the wine business and are bringing a mafia sensibility to the wine business, a 60 Minutes piece revealed in early 2016. Mafia-tainted olive oil, wine, and cheese — all of which fall under the term “Agromafia,” 60 Minutes reports — is a $16 billion-a-year business. In terms of wine, the Agromafia is notorious for mixing a lesser quality wine with a famous brand and selling it as the famous brand.
An Uber cab driver from Brooklyn was arrested Monday on federal charges that he allegedly traveled to Turkey and Yemen last year to join ISIS and expressed support for a Nice-style attack with a garbage truck in Times Square, authorities said.
Mohamed Rafik Naji, 37, revealed his support of the terrorist organization on his Facebook page, including a photo of an ISIS flag, videos of jihadists engaged in fighting, and a YouTube link of an ISIS spokesman exhorting attacks on Western targets, according to court papers.
Last summer, Naji allegedly expressed support to an informant for carrying out a deadly attack in Times Square with a garbage truck crushing pedestrian just like the ISIS truck attack in Nice, France in July.
“They (ISIS) want an operation in Times Square,” Naji told the informant on July 19.
Read Full Article – http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/fbi-arrests-brooklyn-man-joined-isis-hoped-attack-nyc-article-1.2882425
Using new billboard, ad campaign to spread message
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A civil rights activist group is taking aim at the Air Force Academy accusing it of favoring Christianity over other religions.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation said the problem has been going on for years and the group has now launched a new campaign to try to get President Barack Obama’s attention.
The private group has put up a billboard on I-25, south near Garden of the Gods, and plans to have a banner flown by a plane that says “Why is Jesus the Commander in Chief at USAFA?”
It also launched a TV advertisement that says, “Welcome Mr. President to our Airforce Academy. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation asks the questions: why is Jesus Commander in Chief here?”
“At the Airforce Academy today it’s a freaking train wreck when it comes to the separation of church and state,” said Mikey Weinstein, Founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
Weinstein said cadets are often treated differently, if they’re not fundamentalist Christians.
“We’ve had cadets bullied and pressured, members of the staff pressured to attend the national pray events that occur there,” he said.
Weinstein said they hope President Obama will take notice of their campaign, and address the issue when he speaks at the Academy’s graduation on Thursday.
“This destroys unit cohesion, good order, morale and disciple,” he further explained.
Denver7 reached out to the Air Force Academy about the group’s concern, but was told the academy had no comment.
For Weinstein, he said they’re fighting for the rights of cadets of all faiths.
“We would like to see people who are violating the oath to the U.S. Constitution aggressively investigated and visibly punished at the Air Force Academy,” he said.
Sourced From – http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/colorado-springs-area/civil-rights-activist-group-says-the-air-force-academy-favors-christianity-over-other-religons
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
A controversial rationale the Trudeau Liberals are using to justify approving exports of combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia – that these machines could help Riyadh prosecute a war in neighbouring Yemen – is figuring prominently in a Federal Court challenge aimed at stopping the shipments.
Eric David, a renowned human rights legal scholar from Belgium who has acted in major international cases, is lending support to a March 21 lawsuit led by University of Montreal professor Daniel Turp that seeks to block exports of the weaponized armoured vehicles from Canada.
In an affidavit being added to the lawsuit, Prof. David of the Free University in Brussels says he believes Canada is violating international law by shipping arms to a country already accused of massive human-rights violations in Yemen. A United Nations panel investigating the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen found “widespread and systematic” attacks on civilian targets in violation of international humanitarian law.
Allowing the “sale of armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia … would violate the obligation to respect and ensure the respect of human rights and international humanitarian law,” Prof. David wrote in a 196-page filing.
“The sale of armoured vehicles … becomes an “internationally wrongful act.”
As The Globe and Mail first reported, Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion last week quietly approved export permits covering more than 70 per cent of the $15-billion transaction with Saudi Arabia – a decision that represents the most vital step in determining whether a weapons shipment to a foreign country can proceed or whether it’s “illegal,” as Ottawa calls it.
The revelation that Mr. Dion greenlighted the bulk of this deal runs contrary to the Liberal claim that the Trudeau government’s hands were tied on the Saudi deal.
Many observers had assumed the Conservatives had granted export permits when they signed the deal.
The Liberal signature on the export permits means the Trudeau government has taken full ownership of a decision to sell arms to a country notorious for human-rights abuses.
In the memorandum justifying the export permits, the department of Global Affairs reasons that the light armoured vehicles will help Riyadh in its efforts at “countering instability in Yemen,” where the Saudis are fighting Houthi rebels aligned with Iran, as well as combatting Islamic State threats.
“The acquisition of state-of-the-art armoured vehicles will assist Saudi Arabia in these goals,” the memo approved and signed by Mr. Dion said.
When it comes to Yemen, the Canadian government is choosing its words carefully, noting that so far the Saudis have not been found to be using Canadian-made combat vehicles previously sold to Riyadh to commit rights violations there.
Asked about the Saudis’ conduct in Yemen on Thursday, Mr. Dion said they’re not the only ones that need be held to account. “There are serious concerns that should be raised about all of the parties” fighting in Yemen, Mr. Dion told the Commons foreign affairs committee Thursday, widening the matter to include the conduct of Houthi rebels.
“As far as Yemen is concerned, our priority is to have a peaceful solution found.”
Separately, Thursday, Mr. Dion offered only mild support for an NDP proposal by MP Hélène Laverdière to create a Commons committee that would scrutinize arms exports. “I think it’s an interesting proposal. I am not sure it’s the priority right now – but the committee can certainly decide,” the minister told the foreign affairs committee.
Saudi Arabia is regularly ranked among the “worst of the worst” on human rights by Freedom House.
Sourced From – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-violating-international-law-with-saudi-arms-sale-expert/article29640135/