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  • A Question of Command: Allies Break with U.S. Over Military Sexual Assaults

    A video has gone viral but it’s not the latest hit from Justin Bieber or a cute cat.

    The Australian Army has posted a strongly worded, three-minute message from its chief, Lt. Gen. David Morrison. It’s gotten over a million views.

    “Those who think it's okay to behave in a way that demeans or exploits their colleagues have no place in this Army,” said Morrison in the video, reacting to an alleged sex scandal involving inappropriate emails and images. “On all operations, female soldiers have proven themselves in the best traditions of the Australian army. They are vital to us, maintaining our capability now and into the future. If that does not suit you, then get out.”

    The video message came not only as Australia was dealing with its own scandal, but as an epidemic of sexual assaults was revealed in the U.S. military. According to the U.S. Defense Department, 26,000 service members said they experienced unwanted sexual contact last year. But only 3,374 cases were actually reported to

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  • Scandal in Canada: Toronto Mayor Denies Crack Cocaine Reports

    He’s made headlines for confronting a reporter with his fists up, calling 911 on a comedian approaching him in his driveway, flipping off a mother and her daughter who saw him talking on his cell phone while driving, and appearing drunk and being belligerent to other fans at a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game.

    Yet the latest allegations against Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may be the biggest bombshell. Ford is alleged to have smoked crack cocaine. The purported evidence? A grainy cell phone video reporters said they viewed but which hasn't been seen by the public.

    A week after the allegations surfaced, Ford called a press conference to categorically deny it all.

    “The only evidence we have right now is from Gawker and two Toronto Star reporters who’ve said they’ve seen the video and they’ve described it in detail,” said Don Peat, city hall bureau chief at the Toronto Sun, in an interview with Christiane Amanpour. “That’s all the evidence we have to go on because the video has not been made

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  • Global Fine Wine Market: Follow the Money to China

    Mike Veseth remembers well the tasting note of the very first Chinese wine he drank about 10 years ago.

    “It was a cabernet sauvignon,” said Veseth, editor-in-chief of the blog “The Wine Economist.” “And the tasting note was ashtray, coffee grounds and urinal crust. It was exactly that.”

    Since that pungent experience, Veseth said the quality of Chinese wines has increased dramatically in just a few years. China has not only become a substantial wine consumer and producer but a major player in the international fine wine market, eclipsing the traditional strongholds of Western Europe. The center of gravity in the wine world has shifted.

    “Most of the wines that are being collected are the classified Bordeaux or the Gran Cru Burgundy wines,” said Veseth, author of “Wine Wars” and the forthcoming “Extreme Wine,” and a professor of international political economy at the University of Puget Sound. “But if we’re looking at the auctions, it’s not where the wines are, it’s where the money is.

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