Gianfranco Soldera makes one of the world’s most coveted Italian wines—and was the target of a break-in that sent $25 million in vino down the drain. Why does the man have so many enemies?
It’s just past the one-year anniversary when Gianfranco Soldera, a complex 76-year-old man who makes some of the most coveted Brunello di Montalcino in the world, slumbered in his Tuscan home, unaware of the carnage about to take place. It was a few weeks before Christmas but not all creatures were snug in bed. A few yards away, under protective darkness, a vandal shattered the bulletproof window of Soldera’s Case Basse winery and opened the spigots on ten botti—huge oak casks used for aging the precious liquid.
In what could be a scene straight out of The Thorn Birds, a once high-ranking priest will finally marry the mother of his child, who happens to be the daughter of a former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See.
During his time as a priest, Father Thomas Williams officiated over countless weddings. This weekend, Williams, who left the priesthood in May after admitting he fathered a child out of wedlock, will be on the other side of the altar. The former priest will wed Elizabeth Lev Glendon in a private wedding at an undisclosed location in the United States. Theoretically, the wedding cannot be held in a Catholic church—both because Williams is a former priest who broke his vows of celibacy and because Lev Glendon has borne three children out of wedlock—but the nuptials could be blessed by a Catholic priest if the couple chooses to go that route.
Vice President Biden cooled tensions in his talks with Chinese leaders, but many in Asia and the U.S. now question whether that’s the right course.
“We’re being too soft on China”—such are the increasingly audible whispers of an ever mounting number of China’s neighbors and U.S. foreign policy experts. They are still mostly whispering because of the enormity of such a change in policy direction. And they certainly don’t wish to trigger crises. But they do feel that the U.S. needs to get tougher with Beijing. To them, China unilaterally asserts its rights and demands, doesn’t budge, wears everyone down, waits and waits until everyone shrugs and goes along.
As the Geneva peace talks loom, the Obama administration has been forced to reach out to the very Islamist groups it once hoped to marginalize.
As the United States moves forward with a summit it hopes will end the civil war in Syria, the Obama administration finds itself alienated from the opposition forces it tried and failed to cultivate for the last two years. In turn, the Obama administration has begun reaching out to Syrian rebels who espouse an Islamist agenda and draw support from American allies in the region like Saudi Arabia as opposed to the United States directly.Peace talks scheduled for next month in Geneva will involve the U.
Just when you thought the most competitive sport in Dubai couldn’t get any more exciting, the owners of purebred racing camels have gone and invented remote-control jockeys to whip their dromedaries to victory.
DUBAI, United Arab EmiratesA late-afternoon sandstorm had descended on the Al Marmoom racetrack, some 40 kilometers outside of Dubai, and dust swirled everywhere. But even with the harsh desert weather, the races went ahead as planned.The camels—many of them owned by the royal families of the United Arab Emirates—galloped along a five-kilometer track, with the fastest ones zipping past the finish line, like clockwork, on or near the 7:40 mark.
In troubled Abkhazia, just across the border from Sochi, poverty is rampant and futures uncertain—but the tiny ballerinas of the territory’s only dance school still have dreams of the big stage.
It was a scene that could have been found in any dance studio around the world: tiny ballerinas, ears sticking out beneath perfectly tight buns of hair, concentrated on doing their drills at the barre to the strains of Rachmaninov. Dressed in freshly-starched tutus, the little girls diligently performed battement tendus, demi-plies and passés as their teacher corrected their errors: “Chins up, suck in your bellies!” Only the peeling paint and the crumbling walls hinted that, for these students, a different reality lay outside.
The French award Dylan the Légion d’honneur, then place him under investigation for hate speech. Have they not been listening to what he’s sung about for half a century?
The chances of the French authorities attempting to arrest Bob Dylan are probably remote. Slapping the cuffs on a superstar to whom you have just pinned a shiny Légion d’honneur badge would a little look perverse, even by Gallic standards. It would seem sillier still if you were pursuing a figure who has had one or two things to say about human dignity down the years. To place him “under investigation” for alleged racism over remarks damning racial hatred would knock satire on its ear.
Too often the Western opponents of militant jihad speak up for pluralism and free speech only so long as it’s their rights that are being protected.
One of the supposed core values of the so-called “counter-jihad movement,” a loosely organized collection of vocal activists battling what they believe is the immediate threat of an Islamic takeover of the West, is an unflinching defense of free speech. Because dominant parts of the political elite in many Western states have been hesitant to oppose the real threat that certain Islamic states and Islamist groups pose to free speech, as seen by, for example, their handwringing during the Danish “cartoon crisis,” the counterjihadis have had some success in posing as the true defenders of free speech.
For a young journalist in South Africa Nelson Mandela as a young ANC leader was a major source on the anti-apartheid struggle. He recalls there late night clandestine meetings and the moment when Mandiba turned to violence.
Amid the worldwide mourning and praise for Nelson Mandela, memories flood in of past desperate times in South Africa when the entire police force was hunting him. Mandela was in hiding, running a campaign to end apartheid. I was a young reporter on the Rand Daily Mail newspaper in Johannesburg and my beat was black politics. Mandela and I met regularly, secretly at night, on a dark street in Johannesburg, so that he could brief me about his plans.
Hersh Slams White House on Syria
Claims administration knew rebels could make chemical weapons.More
Thousands Protest in Ukraine
After talks between president and Putin.More
U.N. Nuke Inspectors Visit Iran
First time in two years.More
THANK GOD FOR MADIBA
South Africa Holds ‘Day of Prayer’
For Nelson Mandela.More
281 Killed in CAR Violence
France to intervene in the conflict. More
In the aftermath of Nelson Mandela's death, Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown describes the 'tragic dynamic' between Madiba and Winnie Mandela.
She is a true inspiration. Teenage activist Malala Yousafzai has released a video statement for the first time since being shot by the Taliban last October. 'God has given me this new life,' Malala says, and in return, she is launching the Malala Fund, created to help educate children all over the world.