Boozy bodyguards sent home
Three members of the Secret Service detail that protects President Barack Obama were sent home from Amsterdam for disciplinary reasons, a Secret Service spokesman confirmed on Tuesday. The spokesman, Brian Leary, declined to provide further details. The agents were disciplined after going out for a night of drinking, the Washington Post reported. One of the agents was found drunk and passed out in a hotel hallway a day before the president arrived in Europe, said the Post, which first reported the incident, citing three people familiar with it. None of the agents were supervisors, a Secret Service source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. A report by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general released in December last year urged tougher management and disciplinary standards and recommended that the service monitor and address excessive alcohol consumption and personal conduct within its workforce.
Rizzo wins chef award
Brazilian chef Helena Rizzo, of the Mani restaurant in Sao Paulo, was on Tuesday named Veuve Clicquot’s World’s Best Female Chef. Rizzo, who last year became the first winner of Veuve Clicquot’s Latin America’s Best Female Chef, is to receive the award at a ceremony in London next month. She takes the award from Italian Nadia Santini, who cooks at the three-Michelin-starred Dal Pecatore in Canneto sull’Oglio, Lombardy. Rizzo apprenticed at Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca, currently rated as the world’s best restaurant. She opened Mani with her husband, chef Daniel Redondo, in 2006. Their speciality is an interpretation of classic Brazilian Maniocas baked and served with a foam tucupi sauce, coconut milk and oil with white truffle.
Guillotine up for auction
A 19th-century guillotine in perfect working order goes up for auction today and is expected to fetch up to 60,000 euros (US$82,000), the auctioneers said. The wood, iron, steel and brass guillotine, synonymous with the 1789 French Revolution, was used to behead people in the second half of the 19th century. It is to be sold in Nantes. It is expected to fetch between 50,000 euros and 60,000 euros auctioneer Francois-Xavier Duflos said. Duflos said the guillotine was used by the army, but he did not elaborate. The guillotine has been in private hands for more than a century and the current owner had it passed down to him from his grandfather, who apparently bought it in the early 20th century. The blade of the guillotine bears the inscription “Armees de la Republique,” a revolutionary force created to defend France from its neighbors after the 1789 French Revolution.
Children freed from pimps
Prosecutors say they have freed two children held by pimps who used their hold over the children to force their mothers into prostitution in the US. The raid announced on Tuesday appears to confirm one of the most chilling allegations about the prostitution trade operated by organized gangs in the center of the country: that some women are forced into sex for hire because they fear their children will be harmed if they attempt escape. The raid occurred last week in the town of Tenancingo. The Attorney General’s Office said the children’s mothers had been forced to prostitute themselves in Texas and New York. An activist familiar with the case said they were girls aged six and nine.