Boy Scouts Approve Gay Boys, Jewellery Heist in Cannes, New Jersey Bars Serve Rubbing Alcohol

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Today in the news:
– A second jewel theft hits the Cannes Film Festival
– New Jersey Bars have been caught selling as rubbing alcohol as scotch
– and Boy scouts approve plan to accept openly gay boys

A necklace reportedly worth 2.5m dollars has been stolen during the Cannes film festival, in the second such theft to hit this year’s event. The expensive piece by Swiss jeweller De Grisogono vanished after a celebrity party at a five-star hotel in the resort town of Cap d’Antibes. The theft occurred despite “large security measures”, including 80 security guards, the jeweller said. Last week, thieves ripped a safe with jewels from the wall of a hotel room. The latest robbery happened after a gala held at the exclusive Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on Tuesday night, where De Grisogono was celebrating its 20th anniversary. The jeweller house regularly loans its jewels to celebrities, including Paris Hilton and Cameron Diaz. Last Friday, thieves stole jewels by Swiss jewellers Chopard from the Novotel hotel, worth more than one million dollars. Sounds like an insider job to me.

Twenty-nine New Jersey bars and restaurants, including 13 TGI Fridays, were accused of substituting cheap booze — or worse — for the good stuff while charging premium prices. At one bar, a mixture that included rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring was sold as scotch. In another bar, premium liquor bottles were refilled with water — and apparently not even clean water at that. State officials provided those new details yesterday, after raids they conducted a day earlier as part of a yearlong investigation dubbed Operation Swill. Operation Swill started after the state began receiving more complaints than usual about possibly mislabeled drinks, said the director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Michael Halfacre. An informant with knowledge of the industry contacted the agency in the fall to help in the investigation. Of 150 samples collected, 30 were not the brand as which they were being sold. The establishments face suspensions of their liquor licenses and possible revocations if there are enough violations. Wow I thought these things only happen in Russia.

After long standing debates, local leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have voted to open their ranks to openly gay boys for the first time, but heated reactions from the left and right made clear that the BSA’s controversies are far from over. The Scouts’ longstanding ban on gay adults remains in force, and many liberal Scout leaders — as well as gay-rights groups — plan to continue pressing for an end to that exclusion, even though the BSA’s top officials aren’t ready for that step. Meanwhile, many conservatives within the Scouts are distraught at the outcome of the vote and some are threatening to defect. A meeting is planned for next month to discuss the formation of a new organization for boys. The result was welcomed by many liberal members of the Scouting community and by gay-rights activists, though most of the praise was coupled with calls for ending the ban on gay adults. And so the fight goes on.

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