Tag Archives: the biggest

Hundreds of suspected members of Italy’s most powerful mafia network face ‘maximum trial’ in Calabria | Instant News

The defendant in the trial will watch the trial from inside a cage which is prohibited. Photo / Getty Images

The largest mafia trial in more than 30 years is set to begin, as more than 350 mafia suspects and their collaborators face trial in a large custom-built courtroom in southern Italy.

On trial will be a member of the ‘Ndrangheta, a network of clans based in Calabria, at the toe of the Italian boot.

It is considered the most powerful of the Italian mafia organizations, having surpassed Sicily’s more famous Cosa Nostra.

“It is the most dangerous and exists on every continent,” said Nicola Gratteri, a leading prosecutor at the trial who has lived under police protection for 30 years.

“And it’s the richest because it has a virtual monopoly on the import of cocaine into Europe,” he told AFP, guarded by three plainclothes police officers wearing black balaclavas to hide their identities.

The maxi assembly will be held in a large room in Lamezia Terme in Calabria.  Photo / Getty Images
The maxi assembly will be held in a large room in Lamezia Terme in Calabria. Photo / Getty Images

Drug trafficking generates’ Ndrangheta around € 50 billion euros a year. The network is also notorious for its brutality – last week it claimed that a businesswoman from Calabria was killed and fed pork in 2016 after refusing to sell her land to a man with ‘Ndrangheta connections.

Defendant Mafiosi faces charges ranging from murder and attempted murder to drug trafficking, money laundering and extortion.

Also on trial are accountants, lawyers, civil servants and politicians suspected of working with mafia bosses. More than 900 prosecution witnesses will be summoned in the trial which will involve 400 lawyers.

It is the largest mass trial since the 1980s, when a similar judicial marathon held in Palermo dealt a crushing blow to the Cosa Nostra mafia in Sicily.

The trial process, which is expected to last at least two years, will take place in a fortified courthouse in an industrial area outside the city of Lamezia Terme in Calabria.

The members of the mafia on trial came from a clan in the city of Vibo Valentia, and did not include the powerful godfather based in the southern city of Reggio Calabria.

Ndrangheta boss Luigi Mancuso's guess.  Photo / Telegraph Media Group
Ndrangheta boss Luigi Mancuso’s guess. Photo / Telegraph Media Group

One of the most prominent figures on trial is Luigi Mancuso, who is suspected of continuing to run drug trafficking operations despite spending most of his adult life behind bars.

“I think the impact of the trial will be limited because it doesn’t target the most important person, apart from Mancuso,” said Anna Sergi, an expert on Italian mafia at Essex University.

“He is the youngest of 11 children, a very charismatic figure. He is considered the leader of the sect,” he told the British Telegraph. “He’s a major player in the drug trafficking and creating connections all over Europe, especially in Germany.”

‘Ndrangheta – a name that comes from a Greek word meaning “society of respectable people” – has so far only “spread” in Britain, said Prof Sergi.

“They use the London banking system to launder money from all over Europe but they don’t have as much physical presence in the UK as in other countries.”

Gratteri, the prosecutor, has deep knowledge of ‘Ndrangheta – as a boy he went to school with the children of the mafia bosses. “I understand their criminal philosophy, their reasons,” he said.

After seeing the corrupt influence of the masses in his home area, he said he had vowed to do something about it when he grew up.

Many of the defendants were arrested during a series of coordinated pre-dawn raids in Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Bulgaria in December 2019.

At one of the raided properties, police find a piece of paper with details of a secret blood oath to be sworn by new recruits’ Ndrangheta, laden with esoteric references to swords and white horses.

The raids were raids carried out by members of the police, some of whom were equipped with night-vision goggles, as well as soldiers from the Army parachute regiment and elite tactical units carried by helicopters.

– Telegraph Media Group


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Australian Drag Race to be filmed in Auckland; RuPaul was granted a critical worker visa | Instant News

RuPaul is one of 16 granted visas to enter New Zealand. Photo / Provided

Kiwi, get ready to slide down the runway; one of the biggest reality shows in the world is being filmed in Auckland.

The Australian version of RuPaul’s Drag Race is gearing up to start production in Auckland later this month – and the Government has confirmed that RuPaul itself is in New Zealand to host the local iteration.

Rumors have been circulating for weeks that the production will be filmed in New Zealand, where our fight against Covid-19 has made global headlines.

Now that New Zealand Immigration has confirmed to Newstalk ZB has granted exemptions to the cast and crew from entering New Zealand.

“Immigration New Zealand (INZ) recently approved a request for 16 workers (cast and crew) under the ‘other critical worker’ border exclusion criteria for Warner Brothers for filming of RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the spokesman said.

“INZ can confirm that seven out of 16 workers have arrived in New Zealand, including RuPaul Charles.”

Warner Bros. and World of Wonder – which produce the US flagship show – have been approached for comment.

While borders are closed to international citizens – including Australia – an MBIE spokesperson said workers are allowed into the country for less than six months if they have “unique experience and technical or specialist skills that cannot be obtained in New Zealand” or they “exist” . perform an important role of time which is important for the implementation of “projects with significant benefits for the economy.

There are no confirmed dates or channels for the latest version of the hit reality TV, but Daily Mail Australia reports that Stan Originals will be airing the show.

The New Zealand transgender woman is also rumored to be appearing at the event alongside the Australian star. Local LGBT magazine Gay Express reports 10 Australians and two Kiwis will appear in 10 episodes of the season.

RuPaul’s Drag Race premiered in 2009, and is currently airing its 13th season on Netflix. In the show, a dozen transvestites each season compete for the title of the next Drag Superstar. American and Canadian contestants won $ 100,000 along with titles and crowns.

The show is the most praised reality show in Emmy Award history. RuPaul was included in the Guinness Book of World Records last year for the most consecutive wins for Best Reality Host.

The Australian version of the event will be the sixth international spin-off to be produced, but only the second will be delivered by RuPaul.

New Zealand’s Covid-free nature will likely mean a less socially distant version of the show. The American version of the 13th season, the sixth season of the “All Stars” spin-off, and the second season of the UK Drag Race were filmed during the pandemic.


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GO NZ: New Zealand’s record-holding holiday – biggest, steepest, oldest, most extreme … | Instant News

On her way to greatness, Sarah Pollok has scoured the country in search of local record-breaking and New Zealand’s weirdest bragging rights.

When it comes to being the best, Kiwis can be a humble bunch. Not people to be proud of or proud of, we tend to keep our final locations and incomparable records discreet. But if you’re looking for the highest, oldest, longest, greatest places in New Zealand (and sometimes, the world), we’ve got you covered.

Ripiro locals think 90-Mile beach is misleading.  Photo / Annette Lambly
Ripiro locals think 90-Mile beach is misleading. Photo / Annette Lambly

The longest walkable beach

You think it’s a 90 mile beach, don’t you? Well, measuring closer to 54 miles or 86 km, this popular strand is surpassed by its lesser-known but longer sibling, Ripiro Beach. Stretching along the west coast of Northland, at 107 km, this rocky coast is great to enjoy in an outdated four-wheeler.

The oldest living river

It may not be the longest or deepest but at 3 years old, the Whanganui river is officially New Zealand’s oldest “living” river, and the first in the world, to be recognized as a living thing. Given legal status in 2017 in recognition of Māori’s deep connection to the river, legend has it that the waterway was born from the teardrops of Ranginui, the father of heaven.

New Zealand has the largest left-hand gap in the world.  Photo / Jo-Marie Brown, Files
New Zealand has the largest left-hand gap in the world. Photo / Jo-Marie Brown, Files

Longest surf break

There is a lot to love about Raglan, but for surfers, there is something special. That’s right, this bohemian town of Waikato is home to one of the longest left-hand surfing spots in the world. It boasts wild sandy beaches and rugged coastlines, so take a plank and dive in.

Steepest road

Dunedin Baldwin St has held the title of the world’s steepest residential street for 32 years – despite a nine-month coup that ended in April this year. The road with a gradient of 1: 2.86 will always be the most dangerous in Aotearoa, with 1m traversed vertically with every 2.86m traveled horizontally.

The biggest Christmas tree

Feeling festive? Feel the Christmas spirit and visit New Zealand’s largest Christmas tree. Hamilton’s Garden Place tannenbaum tops the list. Soaring 27m high and decorated with lights for optimal excitement, this Waikato icon is sure to have the most loyal person hum a song or two.

Dunedin Baldwin Street has seen intense competition as competitors stepped up the challenge to its record last year.  Photos / Files
Dunedin Baldwin Street has seen intense competition as competitors stepped up the challenge to its record last year. Photos / Files

Best beach walk

Hidden between Westport Island South and Greymouth, according to Lonely Planet, one of the Top 10 Coastal Movers in the World; Jalan Pantai Besar. Although it will take 90 minutes at full speed, we recommend taking it slowly along the rugged coastline and stopping to enjoy the wild surf beaches and rocks of Punakaiki’s iconic Pancake.

950 alpacas can't be wrong: This Taumarunui farm is a record holder.  Photo / Max Crawford, Unsplash
950 alpacas can’t be wrong: This Taumarunui farm is a record holder. Photo / Max Crawford, Unsplash

Largest alpaca farm

If New Zealand’s largest alpaca farm is what you’re after (an unusual search, but we didn’t rate), Nevalea Alpacas in Taumarunui boasts first place with over 950 of them. Take one for a walk, cuddle baby and browse the gift shop’s line of trendy alpaca wool sweaters for souvenirs that will never go out of style.

Oldest Church

Head to New Zealand’s first capital city and you’ll find the country’s oldest surviving church; Church of Christ (Te Whare Karakia o Kororareka). The 184-year-old Anglican Church in Russell initially served English and Māori and served as a local courthouse.

New Zealand's tallest cafe has to be right up there too for the most beautiful views: Knoll Ridge, Ruapehu.  Photos / Files
New Zealand’s tallest cafe has to be right up there too for the most beautiful views: Knoll Ridge, Ruapehu. Photos / Files

Supreme cafe

Coffee with a view, anyone? Perched at 2020m above sea level on Mount Ruapehu, the Knoll Ridge cafe is officially the tallest cafe in New Zealand. The view alone is worth the trip but the chalet architecture also won Design Curial’s “Best Design Cafe in the World” in 2015.

Breaking records: Nevis Catapult is an one and only experience.  Photo / Provided
Breaking records: Nevis Catapult is an one and only experience. Photo / Provided

The biggest human catapult

If you have ever wondered what it feels like to be a cannonball, ask no more and load yourself into the biggest human catapult in the world. Located in Queenstown, AJ Hackett Nevis Catapult propels thrill-seekers 150m across the Nevis Valley with up to 3G strength.

Oldest postal service

Remember when email couldn’t be accessed from a screen swipe? Well, if your memory needs jogging (or you were born after a smartphone), head to New Zealand’s oldest running postal service, the Ophir Post Office. A legacy from the gold rush of the 1880s, this 133 year old gem is a charming stopover for history buffs.

It's official: Ophir Post Office in Central Otago, is the country's most historic.  Photo / Stephen Russell
It’s official: Ophir Post Office in Central Otago, is the country’s most historic. Photo / Stephen Russell

Eldest Kauri

At 45.2 m, Tāne Mahuta in Northland’s Waipoua Forest is New Zealand’s largest Kauri tree and an absolutely stunning sight. Named after the Māori Forest God, the giant Kauri is thought to be 1250 to 2500 years old, making it the third oldest tree in the world and part of New Zealand before the first people arrived.

The clearest lake

Aotearoa is known for its lush natural landscapes, it’s no surprise this is where you’ll find the clearest natural bodies of water in the world; Rotomairewhenua Lake (Blue Lake). Located in the depths of Nelson Lake National Park, swimming in the sacred lake is forbidden, but its incredible clarity is no less stunning than the shore.

The first craft beer maker

Long before the cool and cultured drank craft beer, Mike’s Brewery brought New Plymouth customers the first drink in New Zealand. As the oldest micro-brewery in the country, Mike’s has been producing award-winning ales, lagers and pilsners since 1989 and remains as popular as ever.

Longest place name: The locals call it Taumata Hill.  Photos / Files
Longest place name: The locals call it Taumata Hill. Photos / Files

The longest place name

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitatahu may not be the simplest place name to pronounce, but when it comes to the longest name in the world, it occupies the first place. Translated to “The place where Tamatea, the man with big knees, who glides, climbs and swallows mountains, is known as the ‘earth eater’, plays his flute for his lover”, you may want to follow the locals of Pōrangahau and call it Taumata Hill.

The oldest pub

Love a good pub? Visit New Zealand’s oldest still operating in its original building; the Moutere Inn. Found in Upper Moutere, the 170-year-old pub continues to keep locals and visitors alike enjoying wine and dinner well, with 13-fold rotating beers, locally sourced wines and home-made pub food.

For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newzealand.com

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Swiss- Traditional weaving mills gear up for the future | Instant News

(MENAFN – Swissinfo) The Tessanda weaving factory in Sant Maria in Val Müstair, in the mountainous canton of Graubünden, is the largest of the three remaining traditional weaving mills in Switzerland. The company was founded 90 years ago and employs 17 people, including two interns. In December it won 2020 mountain price public awards, given to successful projects in mountainous areas. (SRF / swissinfo.ch)

This content is published on 21 December 2020 – 11:00 21 December 2020 – 11:00 am


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The biggest challenge for the Imran government is inflation: Azam Swati | Instant News

LAHORE: The biggest challenge for Imran Khan’s government is inflation which has to be overcome, said Railways Minister Azam Khan Swati while speaking with reporters at Pakistan Railway Headquarters here on Saturday.

He said the opposition could not harm the government. If the opposition resigns, the same will be accepted, and the Khatm-e-Quran will be held and Biryani and mutton will be distributed in parliament, the minister said.

He said the government was there before December 31st and would remain there after December 31 as well. The Minister of Railways said there would be no privatization of Pakistan Railways or that no one would be unemployed. He said that there was a lack of management, automation and technology at the Pakistan Railways. He said improvements would be made in the department wherever needed. The income and quality of Pakistan Railways will be improved, he said.

“Railways are the backbone of our agriculture and tourism. We can fix it without wasting time. We will work day and night for its progress, “he said.

Azam Swati said, Railways will be run like a commercial institution. He said the Pakistan Railways would have nothing to do with politics; there will be no politics or external interference.

It was Azam Swati’s first visit to the Railway Headquarters, Lahore, after being sworn in.


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