The Most Recent Topics (limited to 100)

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Italy changes law to make all supermarkets give unsold food to needy
Posted March 15, 2016, 07:03 by Mave in News
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Italy changes law to make all supermarkets give unsold food to needy

Italy is set to pass a law that will make supermarkets donate their waste food to charities.

It will become the second European country to pass such laws after the French introduced a bill in February which bans supermarket throwing away or spoiling unsold food.

The bill has recieved widespread bipartisan support and is expected to pass the lower house of the parliament on Monday before a final vote in the Senate of the Republic.

Unlike France, which fines supermarkets found wasting food, Italy wants to give businesses incentives to donate food and help tackle the country's €12bn waste problem.

At the moment - any Italian bar, restaurant or supermarket looking to donate food must declare donations in advance.

The new law would instead offer reductions in rubbish taxes, which would vary depending on how much businesses give to charity, The Local reports.

In addition, 17 articles in the bill look to amend food safety regulation allowing businesses to donate food after its 'best before' date is expired.

Italy's Agriculture Minister, Maurizio Martina, told La Repubblica: "We are making it more convenient for companies to donate than to waste.

"We currently recover 550 million tonnes of excess food each year but we want to arrive at one billion in 2016."

America’s airlines are introducing a class below economy
Posted March 15, 2016, 07:01 by Mave in News
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America’s airlines are introducing a class below economy

AS THE candidates in America’s presidential race pontificate on the growing divide between the haves and the have-nots, the country’s airlines are busy segmenting customers between the haves, the have-lesses, the have-somewhats, the have-nots and, now, the have-nothing-at-alls.

Airlines have long seen profitability in investing heavily in first- and business-class while degrading the flying experience in coach to cut costs. But why stop there? Coach, they have discovered, can itself be subdivided, and then subdivided again. First there was the creation of premium economy, which charges passengers extra for what used to be a standard amount of legroom, and for the exit-row seats that were previously the dominion of in-the-know flyers. Now there is a new class, a cut below standard economy. Please welcome “basic economy”, known to some as “last class”.

Delta was the first big airline to introduce basic economy, and it refined it last year as one of its five fare classes. Now United and American have both announced that they will be debuting their versions of basic economy later this year.

So what is basic economy? For frugal travellers, it’s shorthand for giving up some of the few remaining comforts of flying economy. The biggest sacrifice is losing the ability to reserve a seat when booking a flight (so be prepared for a middle seat in the back row). If you are travelling with family or colleagues, forget about sitting together. Passengers flying basic economy also forfeit their right to upgrade their seats and to change or cancel their reservations more than 24 hours after booking.

From the airlines’ perspective, last class is an effort to compete with the profitability of no-frills competitors such as Spirit and Frontier. Airlines can cut costs by limiting the things to which passengers are entitled. Eliminating upgrades and standby flying for certain passengers reduces administrative overheads. And forcing some passengers into the seats no one else wants could reduce the risk that they will remain vacant.

But some people suspect a more nefarious motive: Delta and its rivals are making basic economy so unpleasant that people will pay extra to “upgrade” to standard economy. Indeed, when you try to book a reservation on Delta’s basic economy, a screen pops up warning you of all the downsides and requiring you to check a box stating “I agree to the restrictions” before you can proceed.

Hamas lights 15 tons of Snickers on fire after recall
Posted March 11, 2016, 04:39 by Mave in News
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Hamas lights 15 tons of Snickers on fire after recall

Fifteen tons of Snickers chocolate bars have met a sticky end in Gaza.

Islamic Hamas authorities hurled boxes of the peanut chocolate candy bar into a bomb crater Thursday, dousing them with diesel and lighting them in a crackling bonfire following a company recall.

Confectionary giant Mars recalled sweets from its Netherlands factory last month after "a small piece of red plastic" was found in a Snickers bar.

Three children from a nearby Bedouin encampment managed to snatch some of the chocolate bars before they melted away.

Israel has maintained tight restrictions on imports to the Gaza Strip since the militant Islamic group Hamas violently took over the enclave in 2007. Chocolate is exempt from the restrictions and Gaza should be able to restock its Snickers supply soon.


"You're not yourself when you're hungry..."
Florida Mom Who Runs Pro-Gun Facebook Page, Shot By Her 4-Year-Old Son
Posted March 10, 2016, 06:55 by Mave in News
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Florida Mom Who Runs Pro-Gun Facebook Page, Shot By Her 4-Year-Old Son

A Florida mom who runs a pro-gun Facebook page was shot by her 4-year-old son Tuesday.

Jamie Gilt, 31, told deputies that she was on her way to pick up a horse when her son accidentally shot her.

The boy was not harmed in the incident.

Her Facebook page — “Jamie Gilt For Gun Sense” — works to protect and expand the 2nd Amendment.

Gilt said she was driving in her pickup with her son in the backseat when he got his hands on the weapon — a .45 caliber handgun — and accidentally shot her in the back.

On Monday, Gilt had boasted about her son’s ability to use a firearm. “My son gets jacked up to target shoot,” she wrote.

She was taken to a hospital in Gainesville where she is reportedly in stable condition.

China bans depictions of gay people on television
Posted March 05, 2016, 05:23 by Mave in News
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China bans depictions of gay people on television

Content that ‘exaggerates dark side of society’ is banned from TV – from homosexuality to adultery, showing cleavage and even reincarnation

Addicted AKA Heroin ... one of the shows banned by Chinese censors.

The Chinese government has banned all depictions of gay people on television, as part of a cultural crackdown on “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content”.

Chinese censors have released new regulations for content that “exaggerates the dark side of society” and now deem homosexuality, extramarital affairs, one night stands and underage relationships as illegal on screen.

Last week the Chinese government pulled a popular drama, Addicted, from being streamed on Chinese websites as it follows two men in gay relationships, causing uproar among the show’s millions of viewers.

The government said the show contravened the new guidelines, which state that “No television drama shall show abnormal sexual relationships and behaviours, such as incest, same-sex relationships, sexual perversion, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence, and so on.”

The ban also extends to smoking, drinking, adultery, sexually suggestive clothing, even reincarnation. China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television told television producers it would constantly monitor TV channels to ensure the new rules were strictly adhered to.

The clampdown follows an increase in cultural censorship in China since Xi Jinping came to power in November 2012. In December 2014, censors stopped a TV show, The Empress of China, from being broadcast because the actors showed too much cleavage. The show only returned to screens once the breasts had been blurred out.

In September 2015, a documentary about young gay Chinese called Mama Rainbow was taken down from all Chinese websites.

The new regulations have angered gay activists in China, who have fought for two decades to overcome the substantial stigma in their country against homosexuality. It was only decriminalised in 1997 and was only taken off the official list of mental illnesses in 2001.

In November, one Chinese campaigner took the government to court over its description of homosexuality as a “psychological disorder” in textbooks.

Canadian banned from owning turtles after smuggling 38 in pants
Posted March 03, 2016, 06:29 by Mave in News
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Canadian banned from owning turtles after smuggling 38 in pants

A Canadian man who smuggled 38 turtles in his pants has been given probation, a fine and has been banned from owning such reptiles for 10 years.

According to Canada’s environment department, Dong Yan of Windsor, Ontario, had tried to bring the reptiles from the United States into the southern part of the province.

“The turtles were contained in plastic bags and taped to Mr. Yan's legs,” Environment and Climate Change Canada said in a statement on Thursday.

Yan was convicted on February 17 after he was caught during an inspection in 2014 when he tried to enter Canada through the Niagara border crossing, the department said.

Yan’s probation is for two years, and his fine was C$3,500 ($2,600). He was also sentenced to 50 hours of community service and must notify the environment department of international travel. Yan was also ordered to write a letter about his experience “for publication as the department sees fit.”

Porn Industry Uses Airbnb, Rental Houses for Filming
Posted February 27, 2016, 04:20 by Mave in News
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Porn Industry Uses Airbnb, Rental Houses for Filming

The industry tells NBC4 homeowners may never know if their property was used as an adult film set.

Nearly four years after Los Angeles County passed new requirements for pornographic performers, the porn industry has spread to nearby counties like Ventura County — and much of that filming is happening in residents' homes with or without their knowledge, the NBC4 I-Team has learned.

Private citizens believe their home is being rented out for a few days — perhaps never knowing it's become the set of a raunchy pornographic title.

An enema kit, bottle of lubricant and a business card are among the things Kristina Knapic said she discovered after renting her house out on the online rental service Airbnb.

Doing a bit of research, she learned the person who rented the house was Michael Lucas, an adult performer and producer, and owner of Lucas Entertainment.

A bit more digging revealed photos of her house — inside and out — posted on social media.

"They found a sex toy under one of the beds," said John Thyne III, one of Knapic's attorneys handling a lawsuit she's now filed. "They noticed some enema kits in the bathroom [and] some what turned out to be, I believe, male steroids in the refrigerator."

Thyne and attorney Lacy Taylor said Knapic contacted them with concerns the pornographic film could damage her house's image as a rental property.

"She feels violated," Taylor said.

"She's correct in saying that I didn't tell her," Lucas told NBC4.

Lucas said he's worked in adult film nearly 20 years, and using rentals for porn shoots is common.

"We rent houses all the time," he said. "Never did we run into this problem."

It happens enough that Thyne said he's spoken to at least two others who've had porn filmed at their houses but are too mortified to come forward.

"This is not an altogether uncommon practice," Thyne said.

Since LA's condom law went into effect in 2012, the porn industry has moved into neighboring counties like Ventura which requires a permit for every film production.

Not getting a permit is a misdemeanor and violators can be fined up to $1,000 and face up to six months in county jail. But the county said it has never prosecuted anyone.

The county told NBC4 if Lucas had filled out the permit application, the owner could have learned about the shoot before he filmed there.

"He knew that it wasn't OK or probably thought that it would not be OK and he wanted to hide that purpose," Taylor said.

Airbnb prohibits commercial filming without the consent of the host and agreed to pay Knapic's cleaning fees.

But Knapic is concerned about damage to her home's reputation, now suing Michael for a cut of the profits from his films.

"He's continuing to rent for this purpose and unless he's made to pay for doing this it, he'll continue to do it," Taylor said.

It's not the first time an Airbnb host discovered his home used for something raunchy.

"It doesn't shock me at all that this would happen," said Ari Teman of Manhattan, who rented out his apartment in 2012 only to learn the renter was advertising "XXX Freak Fest" there that night.

"You're basically saying, 'Yeah, sure, for a couple hundred bucks I'll let a complete stranger into my place," he said.

Asked about filming in it's rentals, Airbnb told us "This is extremely rare," but wouldn't tell us exactly how often it happens.

"We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior in our community, and we have permanently banned these guests from Airbnb," a statement emailed to NBC4 said.

Porn movie aside, Knapic's attorneys said it's the homeowner's right to know what happens at their own house.

"The use wasn't revealed before the rental," Thyne said, "and that's just not appropriate."

The Free Speech Coalition, a trade group which represents the adult industry, told NBC4 Airbnb is sometimes used by production companies.

"Some of the rental homes are professional film set rentals, but other are Airbnb or other rentals that may not be specifically equipped for adult," a spokesperson said. "People may not alert the homeowners, they may not pull permits, they may ask performers and crew to not talk about the film shoots."

Crocodiles found guarding drug money in Amsterdam
Posted February 27, 2016, 04:17 by Mave in News
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Crocodiles found guarding drug money in Amsterdam

Synthetic drug traffickers in Amsterdam have been using large crocodiles to guard their money, according to a police report on Friday.
The beasts were found when police conducted raids on six houses in Amsterdam and one in Almere. The raids netted several kilos of synthetic drugs, including €500,000 worth of crystal meth, €300,000 in cash, and several firearms.
In total nine men and two women ranging in age from 25 to 55 were taken into custody.
Most of the cash was in a room in one house guarded by the two crocodiles which would-be thieves would have to pass to get to the money.
The owner of the crocodiles was following the law, a police spokesperson told and had the appropriate permits for the animals.
The animals are not being moved and someone is periodically visiting to feed them, the Telegraaf says.

Big in America

While the use of exotic animals to guard drug money may seem like something from a Hollywood thriller, dangerous reptiles have become popular among drug dealers all across the US.
In addition to using dangerous and exotic animals to guard drugs and money, raids in Mexico revealed that drug traffickers there had enormous private zoos full of lions, tigers, monkeys and parrots. $
The trend of drug lords owning collections of exotic animals began with Pablo Escobar during Colombia’s 1980s cocaine boom, professor Howard Campbell, a drug lifestyle expert, told Al-Jazeera.

Morgan Freeman Is Finally a GPS Navigation Voice
Posted February 27, 2016, 04:10 by Mave in News
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Morgan Freeman Is Finally a GPS Navigation Voice

Life is full of questions: Where are we going? How do we get there? Who will guide us? Experience has taught us there’s really only one person we can fully trust for those answers: POTUS, Red Redding, and the voice of God himself, Morgan Freeman. And now he’s ready to firmly-but-gently give us the advice we so desperately need – as a GPS navigation voice.

Freeman is the latest celebrity voice to be added to Google’s free navigation app, Waze. So now you can rely on Freeman’s dulcet tones to explain that you need to make a left turn in half a mile to get to Starbucks.

Of course, Google isn’t just paying Freeman who-knows-what to create some joy in our drive-time lives. The voice feature is a marketing tie-in for Freeman’s upcoming film, London Has Fallen (the sequel toOlympus Has Fallen). Freeman plays the vice president in that movie, and he addresses you, the driver, as if you’re the president, which is a bit odd – sort of like non-sexy commuter roleplay with Morgan Freeman.


Not available in Belgium yet though..
"Mein Kampf" ban lifted, now the best-seller in Germany
Posted February 26, 2016, 05:01 by Mave in News
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"Mein Kampf" ban lifted, now the best-seller in Germany

Reprinting Hitler's autobiography "Mein Kampf" (My Struggle) was long prohibited in Germany — a country that considered the book too dangerous to be read.

Now, it's a German best-seller.

An annotated version currently ranks second in nonfiction on the German weekly Der Spiegel's bestseller list, which is considered an authority in German literature circles.

It's almost certainly not because of anything German bookstores are doing: In fact, most had virtually hidden the book from customers, according to a BBC report in January. Some had refrained from advertising it, while others ordered only a single copy. But online sales picked up, and in-store sales soon followed.

The German copyright for "Mein Kampf" was held by the state of Bavaria, which upheld a ban on reprinting the book for 70 years. Bookstores as well as federal regulators and historians were worried that Hitler's autobiography could be used for right-wing propaganda.

“This book is too dangerous for the general public,” library historian Florian Sepp told The Washington Post last year.

German authorities kept official copies of the book like a state secret. Access was granted only to professionals who formally requested it. Critics had claimed that banning the book from being reprinted added to the mystery surrounding it and did more harm than good.

The secrecy ended when the copyright expired in December.

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