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Brazil Grand Prix: Pirelli & Mclaren Cancel Tyre Testing After Robberies

14 November 2017 - 02:37

McLaren and Pirelli cancelled tyre testing amid security concerns following another armed robbery attempt near Sao Paulo's Formula 1 circuit.

On Sunday, a Pirelli van was the target of "a robbery attempt" which its security team "neutralised", F1's tyre supplier said.

Eight members of Mercedes' team were robbed at gunpoint after leaving the Interlagos circuit on Friday.

The testing was due to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Staff from Sauber were also targeted as they left the circuit on Saturday, while earlier in the week a car containing FIA officials was approached by masked gunmen.

Sebastian Vettel won Sunday's Brazilian GP, with world champion Lewis Hamilton fourth.

A Pirelli statement read: "After a weekend where similar episodes occurred with other teams, it has been decided to cancel the tyre test planned on the Brazilian circuit with Team McLaren.

"The decision, shared with McLaren, the FIA and Formula 1, was made in the interest of the safety of the personnel, both McLaren's and our own, who would have participated in the test."

McLaren said in a statement: "The safety of our people has always been our top priority, and, given recent events, we felt that it was an unnecessary risk to proceed."

Describing events of the past week, an F1 spokesperson said: "Disappointed is not a strong enough word.

"But is not our call, and it is not our responsibility. Security within the circuit is up to the promoter, and they have to liaise with the local authorities.

"We have our own security team that travels with us, and they were liaising with the local authorities. We are actively involved, but we cannot be experts in every city we go to.

"We have a year between now and the next race to get it sorted, and we would be extremely disappointed if things have not been looked at."

Abu Dhabi hosts the final Grand Prix of the year on 26 November.


F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton 'dodged' Vat On £16.5M Private Jet

07 November 2017 - 05:49

Must be nice to be filthy rich:

Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton avoided tax on his £16.5m luxury jet, according to Paradise Papers documents.

They show a £3.3m VAT refund was given after the Bombardier Challenger 605 was imported into the Isle of Man in 2013.

It appears a leasing deal set up by advisers was artificial and did not comply with an EU and UK ban on refunds for private use - although he may have been entitled to one for business.

Hamilton's lawyers say a tax barrister review found the structure was lawful.

They added it was not correct to say no VAT had been paid on any of the arrangements.   :rolleyes:


Catalonia Has 'won Right To Independence'

01 October 2017 - 21:30


Fine with me. Who's next, Wallonia?

Thailand Offers Course For Women Who Marry Foreigners

03 September 2017 - 06:32

The Social Development and Human Security Ministry is offering a free course to help Thai women cope with the highs and lows of interracial marriage and avoid potential scams or falling victim to human trafficking when moving abroad.

As Thai society becomes more accepting of interracial marriages, some women view them as a way to better their economic status, the ministry says.

"Our course will teach women how to conduct themselves, about the laws of their destination country, and how to prepare before going," said senior ministry official Patcharee Arayakul.

"This is to reduce the risks of women being scammed or being a victim of human trafficking," added Ms Patcharee, who is the director of the ministry's division of gender equality.

Although there is no recent data on such marriages, a 2004 government study showed more than 15,000 women from one of the poorest regions, northeastern Isan, had married foreign men, and sent a monthly total of 122 million baht to their families.

The course covers "legal rights, how to seek help through relevant Thai authorities, as well as exploring issues of culture shock," said Dusadee Ayuwat, an associate professor at Khon Kaen University who helped to design it.

The practical advice was very useful, said one woman who attended the day-long course, paid for by the ministry.

"I was more interested in the legal aspects rather than the culture shock," said the woman, who declined to be named.

The course could be useful for some Thai women, said Ploynisa Duangdararungrueng, a former spa manager who is married to German national Ralf Wacker.

"Thai women, especially those from the northeast region, are soft-spoken and submissive," she said. "They must learn to respect themselves and their culture."

Her husband said the course could prepare women for the reality of life in the West.

"For a lot of women, life in the West is like a fairy tale, but in reality it can feel extremely isolating moving to a small town," said Mr Wacker, who urged Thailand to offer a similar course for Western spouses.

"If the Western man does not understand the family dynamics, this can cause a lot of problems."


Hooters Is Closing Its Restaurants Because Millennials Aren’T Interested In Breasts Any...

29 August 2017 - 05:30

Millenials have recently been tried in the court of public opinion for “killing” industries from diamonds to fabric softener. But a new study may have them all beat: Millenials have now been accused of killing the breast industry.

An unnamed adult entertainment website (hint: it rhymes with Corn Pub) recently commissioned a study of American search histories. The company, which likes to keep abreast of changes in viewing habits, found that millennials (18-24) are 19% less likely to search for “breasts” when looking for their night-time viewing material. They’re also far less likely to search up “natural breasts” and far more likely to search up “fake breasts,” which I’m sure the “Millenials are psychologically-damaged narcissists” crew would have a field day with.

And the, uh, the mammary industry is suffering for it. Hooters, the iconic “breast-aurant” that made its name serving up wings and breasts for the customers’ appreciation, has faced sagging sales in the past few years. Between 2012 and 2016, the business has shrunk by 7%, and they’ve responded by closing restaurants across America.

Amid worries that the business is going bust, Hooters has started to rebrand itself. It’s focussing more and more on takeout, and even opening some fast-casual restaurants featuring (gasp!) fully-clothed waiters.

That’s right! Their new side business, called “Hoots,” leans more towards the wings than the breasts, and features an updated menu to boot.

Only time will tell whether this move will be enough to bring the chain back into America’s bosom.

Sarah Pederson, professor of communications and media at Robert Gordon University, believes it’s just a passing trend. As she told Playboy, “We tend to have responses against what was previously in fashion. At the moment larger breasts are out, though I’m sure they’ll come back.”