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Mon, 25 Oct 2021
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Wine n Glass

French Fascism: Pub raided, owners jailed and fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'

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© The Independent
French officials have fined a pub in Brittany €9,000 for "undeclared labour" after a customer returned some empty glasses to the bar.

For customers at the Mamm-Kounifl concert-café in Locmiquélic, carrying drinks trays and used glasses back to the bar was a polite tradition.

But for social security agency URSAFF, it was also an infringement of labour laws because customers were acting like waiters, French local newspaper Le Télégramme reported.

"Around half-past midnight, a customer returned a drinks tray. She passed by the bar to go to the toilets. That was when it all kicked off. My husband was pinned against the glass by a man. A woman leapt on me, showing her ID card and that's when I realised it was a URSSAF check. They told me I had been caught using undeclared labour," owner Markya Le Floch told Le Télégramme.

Arrow Down

DA's office wants more info on Luzerne County teacher sex case

harrington-cooper
© THE CITIZENS' VOICE
Lauren Harrington-Cooper, left, covers her faces as he leaves from her arraignment Thursday in Wilkes-Barre. Harrington-Cooper, a teacher at Wyoming Valley West High School, is accused of having sex with a student.
The case against a Wyoming Valley West High School teacher charged Thursday night with institutional sexual assault is part of "an ongoing investigation," a Luzerne County prosecutor said Friday.

Anyone with information about the case should contact the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office, Assistant District Attorney Jenny Roberts said. The teacher, Lauren Harrington-Cooper, 31, was arrested Thursday for having sex with an 18-year-old student, Roberts said.

The age of the alleged victim, an unidentified male senior, was not included in arrest papers filed Thursday night. His age explains why the teacher was not charged with statutory sexual assault or corruption of minors.

A victim must be under 16 for statutory sexual assault and under 18 for corruption of minors, Roberts explained. The age of consent in Pennsylvania is 16, and a defendant charged with statutory sexual assault must be four or more years older than the victim.

Institutional sexual assault is a third-degree felony, Roberts said. Certain employees of specific institutions, such as school employees and volunteers, can be charged with the crime if they have sex or indecent contact with wards of the institutions or students at the school. The charge can result in a prison sentence of seven years.

Apple Green

GMO Apples: Easy to spot?

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© Unknown

In a few months regulators are poised to approve the first genetically modified apple. The new fruit is expected in grocery stores as early as 2014.

Made by Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF), the Arctic Apple comes in Golden and Granny Smith varieties, with Fuji, Gala, and others to follow. Unlike conventional apples, Arctic does not brown when sliced or bruised.

The Arctic Apple differs from other genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in a very important way: consumers will be able to identify it.

All fresh fruit will be labeled with an Arctic sticker, and processed foods containing more than 5 percent of Arctic Apples will bear the Arctic logo. Only pasteurized products such as juice and sauce will not be labeled.

Rainbow

Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina released from Russian jail

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© Guardian
Alyokhina released early under amnesty from two-year sentence for protest against Vladimir Putin

A member of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot, Maria Alyokhina, walked free from jail on Monday under an amnesty allowing her early release from a two-year sentence for a protest in a church against president Vladimir Putin.

"They've just released her," Pyotr Verzilov, the husband of fellow band member Nadia Tolokonnikova, who is also due to be released under the amnesty, told Reuters.

Alyokhina, 25, and Tolokonnikova, 24, were convicted of hooliganism for performing a "punk prayer" in a cathedral against Putin's ties to the Russian Orthodox church.

Bad Guys

Alabama man again avoids prison for series of rapes

clem
A north Alabama man convicted in a series of rapes has again avoided a prison sentence for the assaults.

Limestone County Circuit Judge James Woodroof suspended a 35-year sentence for Austin Clem and ordered him to spend five years on probation for a series of assaults on a former neighbor.

Woodroof issued a written order Monday. Prosecutors appealed after Woodroof's original sentence didn't require prison time for the 25-year-old Clem. They claimed the sentence violates state law. An appeals court ordered another sentencing, and Woodroof again let Clem stay out of prison. The victim says she is "extremely upset" and feels like she's been punched in the face.

Clem was convicted of sexually assaulting the woman three times. Prosecutors say the assaults began seven years ago when the victim was 13

Comment: More on Austin Clem: Man avoids prison for raping teen, but attorney laments he can't drink beer or go buy lottery tickets


Airplane

Plane wing clips building at Johannesburg airport

B747 Wing Into Building
© Associated Press
The wing of a British Airways Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft is seen after it clipped a building, slightly injuring four members of ground staff.
The wing of a British Airways Boeing 747 crashed into a Johannesburg airport building, slightly injuring four ground staff.

The accident at Johannesburg's OR Tambo airport was caused by the plane using the wrong taxi way which was too narrow for the passenger jet, the South African Civil Aviation Authority said.

Air traffic control had instructed the crew of the British Airways Boeing 747-400 departing for London to use a specific taxi way, said SACAA spokeswoman Phindiwe Gwebu in a statement. However, the plane travelled on a different taxi way that was narrower.

This resulted in the plane's wing clipping a building behind the SAA technical hangars, she said.

Arrow Down

Death on the U.S.-Mexican border: The killings America chooses to ignore

CBP officers
© The Independent, UK
Since 2005, patrol agents and CBP officers have killed some 42 people along the US-Mexican border without facing any public consequences – or any large-scale media coverage.

On 28 May 28 2010, 42-year-old Anastacio Hernandez Rojas was detained by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents while attempting to enter California from Mexico, at the San Ysidro border crossing near San Diego. Hernandez Rojas had previously spent 25 years living as an undocumented immigrant north of the border, where he worked as a swimming pool plasterer and fathered five American-born children.

That evening, he was in the process of being deported back into Mexico when he was handcuffed and hog-tied on the tarmac close to the border, and surrounded by more than a dozen CBP agents and Border Patrol officers, who kicked and beat him until several of his ribs were broken.

As he pleaded for help, one officer reportedly yanked down the Mexican's trousers and shocked him with a taser gun at least five times. All told, the attack went on for almost half an hour. Hernandez Rojas was admitted to hospital, where, three days later, he died of his injuries.

San Ysidro is the busiest border crossing on Earth, so there were numerous eyewitnesses to the incident, several of whom recorded the violent scene on their phones.

Their videos undermine the official report, which claimed that Hernandez Rojas was hostile and combative. The San Diego medical examiner ruled his death a homicide, but the US attorney decided that the CBP response had been "appropriate".

When the victim's widow filed a wrongful death suit, her attorney Eugene Iredale asked to view the footage from the CBP's own closed-circuit cameras. "There are video cameras throughout the facility," Iredale recently told the Arizona Republic.

"But somehow, the video cameras weren't turned on, or they were facing the other way. I could say something cynical, but I don't need to."

Black Cat 2

Italian army medical officer faces jail for saving life of pregnant cat

Rescued Cat
© The Independent, UK
Lieutenant Barbara Balanzoni, a reservist who works as an anaesthetist in Tuscany, rescued the dying animal at a Nato base in Kosovo.
A medical officer in the Italian army is being prosecuted for saving the life of a pregnant cat while on duty at a Nato base in Kosovo.

According to the military prosecutor's indictment, Lieutenant Barbara Balanzoni violated a written order not to "approach or be approached by wild, stray or unaccompanied animals" near the army facility known as the "Italian Village".

Lt Balanzoni, a reservist who has since gone back to her civilian job as an anaesthetist in Tuscany, stands accused of "gross insubordination" for disobeying the order, signed by the commanding officer of the base in May 2012.

If found guilty, she faces a minimum one year jail sentence.

Speaking to the Guardian, Lt Balanzoni said that at the time there were a lot of cats on the base and that while they were theoretically strays, they were treated affectionately by the troops and belonged there.

She said that on the day of the alleged incident, army personnel phoned the infirmary for help after they were concerned by the noises made by one cat, later named Agata.

Lt Balanzoni said the veterinary officer was in Italy when she received the call. "Far from disobeying orders, I was following military regulations, which state that, in the absence of a vet, the medical officer should intervene."

She arrived to find the cat had taken refuge in an army pavilion to give birth, but got into difficulties with the final, stillborn kitten. Without help, Agata was certain to die.

Question

Did pilot deliberately crash Africa airliner that killed 33? Black box recordings show rapid descent while co-pilot was in the toilet and repeated banging on the cockpit door

  • Herminio dos Santos Fernandes sent plane into descent when co-pilot was in the toilet
  • Repeated banging on cock-pit door can be heard on black box recordings
  • Officials claim the pilot 'intended' to cause accident that killed 33 people
An airline pilot intentionally crashed a plane that killed 33 people in Africa, air officials have said.

Herminio dos Santos Fernandes sent the Mozambican Airlines plane in a rapid descent from 38,000 feet while his co-pilot was in the toilet.

Repeated banging on the cockpit door can be heard on recordings from the recovered black box. It isn't known if the banging was from the co-pilot or passengers.

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All 27 passengers and six crew members were on board when the plane crashed in the Bwabwata National Park in Namibia

V

More than 80 demonstrators and 100 police injured in Hamburg riots

  • Rioters attacked forces in most violent demonstration in 10 years
  • Fireworks were thrown at officers as well as paint and petrol bombs
  • Squatters protesting after being told to move out of cultural centre
German police suffered 117 casualties during the country's worst night of rioting for a decade near the infamous Reeperbahn in Hamburg.

Officials said police officers were pelted with petrol bombs, bricks, bottles and stones on Saturday night.

They were then attacked on the ground when they fell and 16 were hospitalised for their injuries. More than 80 rioters were injured and needed medical treatment in running battles.