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London Battle of the Bottles

London Battle of the Bottles

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Super Tuscan lets patrons choose the best Italian wines

Italian wine bar Super Tuscan, in the London neighborhood of Spitalfields, is hosting a monthly Battle of the Bottles starting Sept. 25. The wine taste-off lets patrons try four Italian Super Tuscan wines from the establishment’s wine list, chosen by owner Nick Grossi, against four Italian challengers chosen by Tom Harrow of WineChap.

The wines that win approval from the crowd get to stay on the restaurant's wine list while those that don’t make the cut are taken off. New challengers are added to each month’s showdown.

Opened in February, Super Tuscan features hearty Italian fare prepared by husband-and-wife team Maurizio Sgroi and Rita Pisticello, originally from Sicily. The wine bar is named for the wnes that grew out of a movement in Tuscany in the 1970s in which wine producers broke with traditional classification regulations, using grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, thus losing the ability to label their wines as Chianti or other traditional types — but producing extraordinary wines in the process.

Tickets to Battle of the Bottles are £49 and include the wine tasting and food. Guests who attend the event can enter a drawing to win a bottle of the highest scoring wine from the tasting to enjoy the next time they dine at Super Tuscan. Future Battles of the Bottles are on Oct. 30 and Nov. 20.

Lauren Mack is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.

German Designer Takes Plastic Out of Shampoo Bottle and Replaces It With Soap

Shampoo and soap combinations are nothing new because if you can buy one product in the same bottle, that’s a pretty obvious win.

But, there’s also the issue of single-use plastic waste. Most of these products come packaged in plastic, and we all know how that's working out.

Since most bottles of shampoo will live their life in the damp confines of a bathroom, paper is impractical, and glass is unsafe. That’s why it usually comes in a plastic bottle, despite the ecological impact. Plus, as a fluid, it has to come in a leak-proof package durable enough to withstand shipping. So there are some very obvious hurdles when it comes to reducing waste.

This did not go unnoticed by Berlin-based designer Jonna Breitenhuber, who decided to create a zero-waste shampoo bottle that is also a bar of soap, combining two bath products that successfully avoid the use of single-use plastic dubbed SOAPBOTTLE.

The bottles are slow dissolving and made out of functional soap. Each package has a built-in hole that users can loop a rope through, making it easy to hang in the shower, while a cutter also serves as a resealable lid that pivots at the hole, and is designed to be reused on the next SOAPBOTTLE. The soap is also biodegradable, so on the off chance the consumer doesn’t want to use it, it will safely break down in the garbage.

This isn’t the first project to use soap to create liquid shampoo bottles, nor is it the first instance in which a cleanser has been used to divert trash from landfills, but at this point, we’ll take as many beautifully-designed options as we can.

‘London to Delhi’ cycle raises cash for India’s COVID crisis

LONDON - For British IT consultant Yogen Shah, India’s COVID-19 crisis is deeply personal.

The pictures of people hooked up to oxygen bottles on the streets of New Delhi and patients sharing beds in overcrowded hospitals remind him of his uncle in India, who recently contracted the disease.

So Shah joined volunteers from one of Britain’s largest Hindu temples who set out to raise 500,000 pounds ($690,000) by racking up 7,600 kilometres (4,722 miles) on stationary bikes — roughly the distance from London to Delhi — in 48 hours.

“I think every single person of Indian origin will have someone affected over there,” Shah, 40, said Saturday outside the temple in northwest London. “And anywhere around the world that you have COVID, you feel for that human being, you feel for that person, whether they’re Indian origin or not.”

The ride at Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London’s Neasden neighbourhood is one of many fundraising drives taking place across the U.K. as members of the Indian diaspora seek to help India battle the raging pandemic. The British Asian Trust, a charity founded by Prince Charles, has launched an emergency appeal to buy oxygen concentrators, which can extract oxygen from the air when hospital supplies run short.

India recorded more than 400,000 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the first time daily infections topped that milestone. The country reported 3,523 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, raising overall virus fatalities to 211,853. Experts believe both figures are undercounts.

In normal times, British Indian families might respond to a crisis in the homeland by buying a plane ticket and going back to help their relatives. But these aren’t normal times for the 1.4 million people in the U.K. who have Indian roots.

Looking for a way to help, members of the Hindu temple in Neasden decided to organize a fundraiser that would be socially distanced and attract young people. They decided on the bikeathon because they also wanted to bring London and New Delhi closer together — connecting the two capitals in spirit even though most travel is barred by COVID-19 restrictions.

The need is dire, but so is the message of solidarity, said Tarun Patel, one of the organizers.

“India is starving for oxygen,’’ he said. “We need to help.’’

Organizers arranged a bank of 12 bikes in front of the temple, its domes and turrets just peaking out from scaffolding. Joining with temples in Leicester and Chigwell, they attracted 750 riders.

Each volunteer gets an hour on the bike — 50 minutes to clock up the kilometres and 10 minutes to sanitize the bike before handing it over. Each volunteer has set up a fundraising page that goes toward an overall fundraising goal.

The efforts won’t solve India’s pandemic catastrophe, but the bikers of Britain want everyone in India to know that they did their best to ride to the rescue.

“You are not alone in this fight,’’ Patel said. “We are with you. We may geographically be thousands of miles away, but we are with you.’’


In March, five people were killed in a combined vehicle and knife attack at Westminster. In late May, a suicide bomber killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in 2017 at Manchester Arena. [10] After the Manchester bombing, the UK's terror threat level was raised to "critical", its highest level, until 27 May, when it was lowered to severe. [10] [11]

The attack was carried out using a white Renault Master hired earlier on the same evening [12] in Harold Hill, Havering by Khuram Butt. He had intended to hire a 7.5 tonne lorry, but was refused due to his failure to provide payment details. The attackers were armed with 12-inch (30 cm) kitchen knives with ceramic blades, which they tied to their wrists with leather straps. They also prepared fake explosive belts by wrapping water bottles in grey tape. [13]

At 21:58 BST (UTC+1) on 3 June 2017, the van travelled south across London Bridge, and returned six minutes later, crossing over the bridge northbound, making a U-turn at the northern end and then driving southbound across the bridge. It mounted the pavement three times and hit multiple pedestrians, killing two. [14] Witnesses said the van was travelling at high speed. [15] [16] [17] 999 emergency calls were first recorded at 22:07. [18] The van was later found to contain 13 wine bottles containing flammable liquid with rags stuffed in them along with blow torches. [13]

The van crashed on Borough High Street, [19] after crossing the central reservation. The van's tyres were destroyed by the central reservation and the attackers abandoned the vehicle, armed with knives. Then the three attackers ran down the steps to Green Dragon Court, where they killed five people outside and near the Boro Bistro pub. [20] [21] [14] After attacking the Boro Bistro pub, the attackers went back up the steps to Borough High Street and attacked three bystanders. Police tried to fight the attackers, but were stabbed, and Ignacio Echeverría helped them by striking Redouane and possibly Zaghba with his skateboard. Echeverría was later killed outside of Lobos Meat and Tapas. [14] Members of the public threw bottles and chairs at the attackers. Witnesses reported that the attackers were shouting "This is for Allah". [22] [23] [24] [25]

People in and around a number of other restaurants and bars along Stoney Street were also attacked. [23] [24] [25] During the attack, an unknown man was spared by Rachid Redouane, but despite many efforts the man was never found. [26] A Romanian baker hit one of the attackers over the head with a crate before giving shelter to 20 people inside a bakery inside Borough Market. [27]

One man fought the three attackers with his fists in the Black and Blue steakhouse, shouting "Fuck you, I'm Millwall", giving members of the public who were in the restaurant the opportunity to run away. [28] He was stabbed eight times in the hands, chest and head. He underwent surgery at St Thomas' Hospital and was taken off the critical list on 4 June. [29] A British Transport Police officer armed with a baton also took on the attackers, receiving multiple stab wounds and temporarily losing sight in his right eye as a consequence. [30] Off duty Metropolitan police constables Liam Jones and Stewart Henderson rendered first aid to seriously injured members of the public before protecting 150+ people inside the Thameside Inn and evacuating them by the Metropolitan marine support unit (MSU) and RNLI Boats to the north shore of the Thames. [31]

The three attackers were then shot dead by armed officers from the City of London and Metropolitan police services eight minutes after the initial emergency call was made. [19] CCTV footage showed the three attackers in Borough Market running at the armed officers the attackers were shot dead 20 seconds later. [32] A total of 46 rounds were fired by three City of London and five Metropolitan Police officers. [33]

Aftermath Edit

The Metropolitan Police issued 'Run, Hide, Tell' notices via social media during the attack, [34] and asked for the public to remain calm and vigilant. [35]

All buildings within the vicinity of London Bridge were evacuated, [36] and London Bridge, Borough and Bank Underground stations were closed at the request of the police. [37] The mainline railway stations at London Bridge, Waterloo East, Charing Cross and Cannon Street were also closed. [38] The Home Secretary approved the deployment of a military counter terrorist unit from the Special Air Service (SAS). [39] The helicopters carrying the SAS landed on London Bridge to support the Metropolitan Police because of concerns that there might be more attackers at large. [40]

The Metropolitan Police Marine Policing Unit dispatched boats on the River Thames, with assistance from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), to contribute to the evacuation of the area and look for any casualties who might have fallen from the bridge. [41]

A stabbing incident took place in Vauxhall at 23:45, causing Vauxhall station to be briefly closed [42] this was later confirmed to be unrelated to the attack. [43]

At 01:45 on 4 June, controlled explosions took place of the attackers' bomb vests, which were found to be fake. [16]

An emergency COBR meeting was held on the morning of 4 June. [20] [44] London Bridge mainline railway and Underground stations remained closed throughout 4 June, [45] while Borough tube station reopened that evening. A cordon was established around the scene of the attack. [46] London Bridge station reopened at 05:00 on Monday 5 June. [47]

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said that there was a surge of hate crimes and islamophobic incidents following the attack. [48]

New security measures were implemented on eight central London bridges following the attack to reduce the likelihood of further vehicle attacks, with concrete barriers installed. [13] [49] The barriers have been criticised by cyclists for causing severe congestion in cycle lanes during peak hours. [50]

Borough Market reopened on 14 June. [51]

Victims by nationality
Country Number
France 3
Australia 2
Canada 1
Spain 1
United Kingdom 1
Total 8

Eight civilians died: one Spaniard, one Briton, two Australians, [52] one Canadian and three French citizens [53] were killed by the attackers, and the three attackers themselves were killed by armed police. 48 people were injured in the attack, including one New Zealander, two Australians, two Germans [54] and four French citizens of the 48 people admitted to hospital, 21 were initially reported to be in a critical condition. [16] [55] [56] [57] One body was recovered from the Thames near Limehouse several days after the attack. [58] Two of the fatalities were caused in the initial vehicle-ramming attack, while the remaining six were stabbed to death. [14]

Four police officers were among those injured in the attack. A British Transport Police officer was stabbed and suffered serious injuries to his head, face and neck. [59] An off-duty Metropolitan Police officer was seriously injured when he was stabbed. [60] Two other Metropolitan Police officers received head and arm injuries. [61] An unidentified bystander received an accidental gunshot wound as a result of the police gunfire, which was "not critical". [62]

On 4 June the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, said that "We are confident about the fact that they were radical Islamic terrorists, the way they were inspired, and we need to find out more about where this radicalisation came from." [7] Amaq News Agency, an online outlet associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), said the attackers were ISIS fighters. [63] On 5 June, two of the attackers were identified as Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane. [64] [65] The third of the three attackers, Youssef Zaghba, was identified the following day. [6]

Khuram Shazad Butt Edit

Butt (born 20 April 1990) [13] was a Pakistan-born British citizen whose family came from Jhelum. He grew up in Britain, living in Plaistow. [66] He had a wife and two children. Neighbours told the BBC that Butt had been reported to police for attempting to radicalise children he had also expressed disgust at the way women dressed. [67] He was known to police as a "heavyweight" [68] member of the banned extremist group al-Muhajiroun. [69] A BBC interviewee said he had a verbal confrontation with Butt in 2013 on the day after another Al-Muhajiroun follower had murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby. [70]

Butt was part of an al-Muhajiroun campaign in 2015 to intimidate Muslims who planned to vote in the UK general elections of that year, on the basis that it was forbidden in Islam. [70] He was known for holding extreme views, having been barred from two local mosques. [71] He appeared in a 2016 Channel 4 Television documentary The Jihadis Next Door, which showed him arguing with police over the unfurling of an ISIL black flag in Regent's Park. [72] [73] According to a friend, he had been radicalised by the YouTube videos of the American Muslim hate preacher Ahmad Musa Jibril. [74] [75] [76] [77] Butt was known to have taken drugs before he became radicalised. After radicalisation, Butt started to stop his neighbours on the street and ask them whether they had been to the mosque. [78]

Butt had worked for a man accused of training Mohammad Sidique Khan, the leader of the July 2005 London bombing. The police and MI5 knew of Butt and he was investigated in 2015. The investigation was later "moved into the lower echelons", [79] and his file was classed low priority. [80]

Butt sometimes manned the desk of the Ummah Fitness Centre gym, where he prayed regularly. [81] CCTV footage has been released of Butt, Redouane and Zaghba meeting outside the gym days before the attack. [82] A senior figure at a local mosque had reported the gym to police. [83]

The New York Times said that Butt and his brother were part of the UK government's Prevent programme, which aims to stop people from becoming terrorists, and which reports suspected radicals to police programmes. [84] At the time of the attack he was on police bail following an allegation of fraud, though the police had intended to take no further action due to a lack of evidence. He had previously been cautioned by police for fraud in 2008 and common assault in 2010. [85]

Rachid Redouane Edit

Redouane (born 31 July 1986) was a failed asylum seeker in the UK, whose application was denied in 2009, [86] and not previously known to police. He had claimed to be either Moroccan or Libyan. [65]

Redouane worked as a pastry chef and in 2012 he married an Irish woman in a ceremony in Ireland. He beat and bullied his wife. She eventually divorced him after he tried to force his extremist beliefs on her. [87] He used to drink alcohol. [88] He lived variously in Rathmines, a suburb of Dublin, also in Morocco and the UK. [89] According to his wife, Redouane was most likely radicalised in Morocco. Later the couple stayed in the UK on an EU residency card where they had a daughter in 2015. The couple separated in 2016. [90] At the time of the attack, he was living in Dagenham, East London.

Youssef Zaghba Edit

Zaghba (born 1995 in Fez, Morocco [6] ) was at the time of the attack living in east London where he worked in a fast food outlet. He also worked at an Islamic television channel in London. [91] Zaghba was born to a Moroccan Muslim father and an Italian Catholic Christian mother who had converted to Islam when she had married. [92] Zaghba had dual Moroccan and Italian nationality. When his parents divorced, he went to Italy with his mother. In 2016, Zaghba was stopped at Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport by Italian officers who found ISIS-related materials on his mobile phone he was stopped from continuing his journey to Istanbul. [93] Italian authorities said Zaghba was monitored continuously while in Italy and that the UK was informed about him. Giuseppe Amato, an Italian prosecutor, said "We did our best. We could just monitor and surveil . [Zaghba] and send a note to British authorities, that's all we could do and we did it. Since he moved to London, he came back to Italy once in a while for a total of 10 days. And during those 10 days we never let him out of our sight." [94]

According to The New York Times, the Italian branch of Al-Muhajiroun had introduced Butt to Zaghba. [95]

On the morning of 4 June, police made 12 arrests following raids in flats in the Barking area of east London, where one of the attackers lived [96] controlled explosions were carried out during the raids. [97] Those held included five males aged between 27 and 55, arrested at one address in Barking, and six females aged between 19 and 60, arrested at a separate Barking address. One of the arrested males was subsequently released without charge. Four properties were being searched, including two in Newham in addition to the two in Barking. [98] Further raids and arrests were made at properties in Newham and Barking early on the morning of 5 June. [99] On 6 June, a man was arrested in Barking, and another in Ilford the following day. [100] By 16 June, all those arrested had been released without charge. [101]

On 7 May 2019, an inquest into the deaths of the victims opened at the Old Bailey in London. Judge Mark Lucraft QC, Chief Coroner of England and Wales, presided, and people related to the dead gave accounts of what happened and who they had lost. [102] [103] The inquest concluded on 16 July 2019 that all three attackers had been lawfully killed. [104]

Prime Minister Theresa May returned to Downing Street from campaigning for the upcoming snap general election. [105] May, on the morning after the attack, said the incident was being treated as terrorism, [16] [20] and that the recent terror attacks in the UK are "bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism" which "is a perversion of Islam". As part of a four-point plan to tackle terrorism, she called for tighter internet regulations to "deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online", saying that technology firms were not currently doing enough. [106] [107] May's stance on the role of the internet and social media in enabling radicalisation was criticised by the Open Rights Group and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence. [108] May was also criticised for using the speech to detail policy measures to respond to the terror threat, which some saw as contrary to her pledge to pause campaigning out of respect for the victims. [109] May said a review would be carried out by the police and intelligence agencies to establish whether the attack could have been prevented, [79] and on 28 June Home Secretary Amber Rudd commissioned David Anderson QC to provide independent assurance of the review work. [110]

The Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn, the Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan all wrote on Twitter that their thoughts were with those affected and expressed thanks to the emergency services. [111] [112] [113] Khan described the attack as "deliberate and cowardly" and condemned it "in the strongest possible terms". [114] He later said that "the city remains one of the safest in the world" and there was "no reason to be alarmed" over the increased police presence around the city. [115]

The Conservative Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party suspended national election campaigning for a day after the attack. [116] [117] The UK Independence Party chose not to suspend its campaigning leader Paul Nuttall said it was "what the extremists would want". [118] May confirmed that the general election would go ahead as scheduled on 8 June. [118] The BBC cancelled or postponed a number of political programmes due to air on 4 June. [119]

Harun Khan, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain also condemned the attack. [120] [121] More than 130 imams condemned the attackers, refused them Islamic burials, and said in a statement that the terrorists did not represent Islam. [122] [123]

Condolences, expressions of shock, support, solidarity and sympathy were offered by many national governments and supranational bodies. [a]

Three George Medals were awarded in relation to the attacks: Ignacio Echeverría (posthumous), a civilian, and two to police officers, PC Charlie Guenigault of the Metropolitan Police and PC Wayne Marques of the British Transport Police. All three were seriously injured as they directly confronted the terrorists and attempted to save others. [148] PCs Liam Jones and Stewart Henderson, both of the Metropolitan Police, received the British Empire Medal. [149] PC Leon McLeod of the British Transport Police received a Queen's Gallantry Medal, [148] and PCs Tim Andrews, Sam Balfour, Lian Rae, and Bartosz Tchorzewski received the Queen's Police Medal for Distinguished Service. [149] Four civilians were awarded the Queen's Commendation for Bravery: Kirsty Boden (posthumous), Ellen Gauntlett, Justin Jones, and Florin Morariu. [150] Nurse Joy Ongcachuy, Acting Detective Zac Idun, London Ambulance Service operations director Paul Woodrow, NHS England administrator Peter Boorman, Doctor Malik Ramadhan, and Claire Summers were awarded OBEs for, variously, responding to the attacks, treating victims and liaising with their families, and conducting related investigations. [151] [149]


Strategic bombing during World War I introduced air attacks intended to panic civilian targets and led in 1918 to the amalgamation of the British army and navy air services into the Royal Air Force (RAF). [24] Its first Chief of the Air Staff, Hugh Trenchard, was among the military strategists in the 1920s, like Giulio Douhet, who saw air warfare as a new way to overcome the stalemate of trench warfare. Interception was nearly impossible, with fighter planes no faster than bombers. Their view (expressed vividly in 1932) was that the bomber will always get through, and that the only defence was a deterrent bomber force capable of matching retaliation. Predictions were made that a bomber offensive would quickly cause thousands of deaths and civilian hysteria leading to capitulation. However, widespread pacifism following the horrors of the First World War contributed to a reluctance to provide resources. [25]

Developing air strategies Edit

Germany was forbidden a military air force by the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, and therefore air crew were trained by means of civilian and sport flying. Following a 1923 memorandum, the Deutsche Luft Hansa airline developed designs for aircraft such as the Junkers Ju 52, which could carry passengers and freight, but also be readily adapted into a bomber. In 1926, the secret Lipetsk fighter-pilot school began operating. [26] Erhard Milch organised rapid expansion, and following the 1933 Nazi seizure of power, his subordinate Robert Knauss formulated a deterrence theory incorporating Douhet's ideas and Tirpitz's "risk theory". This proposed a fleet of heavy bombers to deter a preventive attack by France and Poland before Germany could fully rearm. [27] A 1933–34 war game indicated a need for fighters and anti-aircraft protection as well as bombers. On 1 March 1935, the Luftwaffe was formally announced, with Walther Wever as Chief of Staff. The 1935 Luftwaffe doctrine for "Conduct of Air War" (Luftkriegführung) set air power within the overall military strategy, with critical tasks of attaining (local and temporary) air superiority and providing battlefield support for army and naval forces. Strategic bombing of industries and transport could be decisive longer-term options, dependent on opportunity or preparations by the army and navy. It could be used to overcome a stalemate, or used when only destruction of the enemy's economy would be conclusive. [28] [29] The list excluded bombing civilians to destroy homes or undermine morale, as that was considered a waste of strategic effort, but the doctrine allowed revenge attacks if German civilians were bombed. A revised edition was issued in 1940, and the continuing central principle of Luftwaffe doctrine was that destruction of enemy armed forces was of primary importance. [30]

The RAF responded to Luftwaffe developments with its 1934 Expansion Plan A rearmament scheme, and in 1936 it was restructured into Bomber Command, Coastal Command, Training Command and Fighter Command. The last was under Hugh Dowding, who opposed the doctrine that bombers were unstoppable: the invention of radar at that time could allow early detection, and prototype monoplane fighters were significantly faster. Priorities were disputed, but in December 1937, the Minister in charge of Defence Coordination, Sir Thomas Inskip, sided with Dowding that "The role of our air force is not an early knock-out blow" but rather was "to prevent the Germans from knocking us out" and fighter squadrons were just as necessary as bomber squadrons. [31] [32]

The Spanish Civil War gave the Luftwaffe Condor Legion the opportunity to test air fighting tactics with their new aeroplanes. Wolfram von Richthofen became an exponent of air power providing ground support to other services. [33] The difficulty of accurately hitting targets prompted Ernst Udet to require that all new bombers had to be dive bombers, and led to the development of the Knickebein system for night time navigation. Priority was given to producing large numbers of smaller aeroplanes, and plans for a long-range, four-engined strategic bomber were delayed. [24] [34]

First stages of World War II Edit

The early stages of World War II saw successful German invasions on the continent, aided decisively by the air power of the Luftwaffe, which was able to establish tactical air superiority with great effectiveness. The speed with which German forces defeated most of the defending armies in Norway in early 1940 created a significant political crisis in Britain. In early May 1940, the Norway Debate questioned the fitness for office of the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. On 10 May, the same day Winston Churchill became British Prime Minister, the Germans initiated the Battle of France with an aggressive invasion of French territory. RAF Fighter Command was desperately short of trained pilots and aircraft. Churchill sent fighter squadrons, the Air Component of the British Expeditionary Force, to support operations in France, [35] where the RAF suffered heavy losses. This was despite the objections of its commander Hugh Dowding that the diversion of his forces would leave home defences under-strength. [36]

After the evacuation of British and French soldiers from Dunkirk and the French surrender on 22 June 1940, Hitler mainly focused his energies on the possibility of invading the Soviet Union. [37] He believed that the British, defeated on the continent and without European allies, would quickly come to terms. [38] The Germans were so convinced of an imminent armistice that they began constructing street decorations for the homecoming parades of victorious troops. [39] Although the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax, and certain elements of the British public favoured a negotiated peace with an ascendant Germany, Churchill and a majority of his Cabinet refused to consider an armistice. [40] Instead, Churchill used his skilful rhetoric to harden public opinion against capitulation and prepare the British for a long war.

The Battle of Britain has the unusual distinction that it gained its name before being fought. The name is derived from the This was their finest hour speech delivered by Winston Churchill in the House of Commons on 18 June, more than three weeks prior to the generally accepted date for the start of the battle:

. What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation. Upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of a perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour". [23] [41] [42]

German aims and directives Edit

From the outset of his rise to power, Adolf Hitler expressed admiration for Britain, and throughout the Battle period he sought neutrality or a peace treaty with Britain. [43] In a secret conference on 23 May 1939, Hitler set out his rather contradictory strategy that an attack on Poland was essential and "will only be successful if the Western Powers keep out of it. If this is impossible, then it will be better to attack in the West and to settle Poland at the same time" with a surprise attack. "If Holland and Belgium are successfully occupied and held, and if France is also defeated, the fundamental conditions for a successful war against England will have been secured. England can then be blockaded from Western France at close quarters by the Air Force, while the Navy with its submarines extend the range of the blockade." [44] [45]

When war commenced, Hitler and the OKW (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht or "High Command of the Armed Forces") issued a series of Directives ordering, planning and stating strategic objectives. "Directive No. 1 for the Conduct of the War", dated 31 August 1939, instructed the invasion of Poland on 1 September as planned. Potentially, Luftwaffe "operations against England" were to "dislocate English imports, the armaments industry, and the transport of troops to France. Any favourable opportunity of an effective attack on concentrated units of the English Navy, particularly on battleships or aircraft carriers, will be exploited. The decision regarding attacks on London is reserved to me. Attacks on the English homeland are to be prepared, bearing in mind that inconclusive results with insufficient forces are to be avoided in all circumstances." [46] [47] Both France and the UK declared war on Germany on 9 October, Hitler's "Directive No. 6" planned the offensive to defeat these allies and "win as much territory as possible in the Netherlands, Belgium, and northern France to serve as a base for the successful prosecution of the air and sea war against England". [48] On 29 November, OKW "Directive No. 9 – Instructions For Warfare Against The Economy Of The Enemy" stated that once this coastline had been secured, the Luftwaffe together with the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) was to blockade UK ports with sea mines. They were to attack shipping and warships and make air attacks on shore installations and industrial production. This directive remained in force in the first phase of the Battle of Britain. [49] [50] It was reinforced on 24 May during the Battle of France by "Directive No. 13", which authorised the Luftwaffe "to attack the English homeland in the fullest manner, as soon as sufficient forces are available. This attack will be opened by an annihilating reprisal for English attacks on the Ruhr Basin." [51]

By the end of June 1940, Germany had defeated Britain's allies on the continent, and on 30 June the OKW Chief of Staff, Alfred Jodl, issued his review of options to increase pressure on Britain to agree to a negotiated peace. The first priority was to eliminate the RAF and gain air supremacy. Intensified air attacks against shipping and the economy could affect food supplies and civilian morale in the long term. Reprisal attacks of terror bombing had the potential to cause quicker capitulation, but the effect on morale was uncertain. On the same day, the Luftwaffe Commander-in-Chief, Hermann Göring issued his operational directive to destroy the RAF, thus protecting German industry, and also to block overseas supplies to Britain. [52] [53] The German Supreme Command argued over the practicality of these options.

In "Directive No. 16 – On preparations for a landing operation against England" on 16 July, [54] Hitler required readiness by mid-August for the possibility of an invasion he called Operation Sea Lion, unless the British agreed to negotiations. The Luftwaffe reported that it would be ready to launch its major attack early in August. The Kriegsmarine Commander-in-Chief, Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, continued to highlight the impracticality of these plans and said sea invasion could not take place before early 1941. Hitler now argued that Britain was holding out in hope of assistance from Russia, and the Soviet Union was to be invaded by mid 1941. [55] Göring met his air fleet commanders, and on 24 July issued "Tasks and Goals" of firstly gaining air supremacy, secondly protecting invasion forces and attacking the Royal Navy's ships. Thirdly, they were to blockade imports, bombing harbours and stores of supplies. [56]

Hitler's "Directive No. 17 – For the conduct of air and sea warfare against England" issued on 1 August attempted to keep all the options open. The Luftwaffe's Adlertag campaign was to start around 5 August, subject to weather, with the aim of gaining air superiority over southern England as a necessary precondition of invasion, to give credibility to the threat and give Hitler the option of ordering the invasion. The intention was to incapacitate the RAF so much that the UK would feel open to air attack, and would begin peace negotiations. It was also to isolate the UK and damage war production, beginning an effective blockade. [57] Following severe Luftwaffe losses, Hitler agreed at a 14 September OKW conference that the air campaign was to intensify regardless of invasion plans. On 16 September, Göring gave the order for this change in strategy, [58] to the first independent strategic bombing campaign. [59]

Negotiated peace or neutrality Edit

Hitler's 1923 Mein Kampf mostly set out his hatreds: he only admired ordinary German World War I soldiers and Britain, which he saw as an ally against communism. In 1935 Hermann Göring welcomed news that Britain as a potential ally was rearming. In 1936 he promised assistance to defend the British Empire, asking only a free hand in Eastern Europe, and repeated this to Lord Halifax in 1937. That year, von Ribbentrop met Churchill with a similar proposal when rebuffed, he told Churchill that interference with German domination would mean war. To Hitler's great annoyance, all his diplomacy failed to stop Britain from declaring war when he invaded Poland. During the fall of France, he repeatedly discussed peace efforts with his generals. [43]

When Churchill came to power, there was still wide support for Halifax, who as Foreign Secretary openly argued for peace negotiations in the tradition of British diplomacy, to secure British independence without war. On 20 May, Halifax secretly requested a Swedish businessman to make contact with Göring to open negotiations. Shortly afterwards, in the May 1940 War Cabinet Crisis, Halifax argued for negotiations involving the Italians, but this was rejected by Churchill with majority support. An approach made through the Swedish ambassador on 22 June was reported to Hitler, making peace negotiations seem feasible. Throughout July, as the battle started, the Germans made wider attempts to find a diplomatic solution. [60] On 2 July, the day the armed forces were asked to start preliminary planning for an invasion, Hitler got von Ribbentrop to draft a speech offering peace negotiations. On 19 July Hitler made this speech to the German Parliament in Berlin, appealing "to reason and common sense", and said he could "see no reason why this war should go on". [61] His sombre conclusion was received in silence, but he did not suggest negotiations and this was effectively an ultimatum which was rejected by the British government. [62] [63] Halifax kept trying to arrange peace until he was sent to Washington in December as ambassador, [64] and in January 1941 Hitler expressed continued interest in negotiating peace with Britain. [65]

Blockade and siege Edit

A May 1939 planning exercise by Luftflotte 3 found that the Luftwaffe lacked the means to do much damage to Britain's war economy beyond laying naval mines. [66] The Head of Luftwaffe intelligence Joseph "Beppo" Schmid presented a report on 22 November 1939, stating that "Of all Germany's possible enemies, Britain is the most dangerous." [67] This "Proposal for the Conduct of Air Warfare" argued for a counter to the British blockade and said "Key is to paralyse the British trade". [49] Instead of the Wehrmacht attacking the French, the Luftwaffe with naval assistance was to block imports to Britain and attack seaports. "Should the enemy resort to terror measures—for example, to attack our towns in western Germany" they could retaliate by bombing industrial centres and London. Parts of this appeared on 29 November in "Directive No. 9" as future actions once the coast had been conquered. [50] On 24 May 1940 "Directive No. 13" authorised attacks on the blockade targets, as well as retaliation for RAF bombing of industrial targets in the Ruhr. [51]

After the defeat of France, the OKW felt they had won the war, and some more pressure would persuade Britain. On 30 June the OKW Chief of Staff Alfred Jodl issued his paper setting out options: the first was to increase attacks on shipping, economic targets and the RAF: air attacks and food shortages were expected to break morale and lead to capitulation. Destruction of the RAF was the first priority, and invasion would be a last resort. Göring's operational directive issued the same day ordered the destruction of the RAF to clear the way for attacks cutting off seaborne supplies to Britain. It made no mention of invasion. [53] [68]

Invasion plans Edit

In November 1939, the OKW reviewed the potential for an air- and seaborne invasion of Britain: the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) was faced with the threat the Royal Navy's larger Home Fleet posed to a crossing of the English Channel, and together with the German Army viewed control of airspace as a necessary precondition. The German navy thought air superiority alone was insufficient the German naval staff had already produced a study (in 1939) on the possibility of an invasion of Britain and concluded that it also required naval superiority. [69] The Luftwaffe said invasion could only be "the final act in an already victorious war." [70]

Hitler first discussed the idea of an invasion at a 21 May 1940 meeting with Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, who stressed the difficulties and his own preference for a blockade. OKW Chief of Staff Jodl's 30 June report described invasion as a last resort once the British economy had been damaged and the Luftwaffe had full air superiority. On 2 July, OKW requested preliminary plans. [18] [63] In Britain, Churchill described "the great invasion scare" as "serving a very useful purpose" by "keeping every man and woman tuned to a high pitch of readiness". [71] On 10 July he advised the War Cabinet that invasion could be ignored, as it "would be a most hazardous and suicidal operation". [72]

On 11 July Hitler agreed with Raeder that invasion would be a last resort, and the Luftwaffe advised that gaining air superiority would take 14 to 28 days. Hitler met his army chiefs, von Brauchitsch and Halder at the Berchtesgaden on 13 July where they presented detailed plans on the assumption that the navy would provide safe transport. [73] Von Brauchitsch and Halder were surprised that Hitler took no interest in the invasion plans, unlike his usual attitude toward military operations (Bishop "Battle of Britain" p105), but on 16 July he issued Directive No. 16 ordering preparations for Operation Sea Lion. [74]

The navy insisted on a narrow beachhead and an extended period for landing troops the army rejected these plans: the Luftwaffe could begin an air attack in August. Hitler held a meeting of his army and navy chiefs on 31 July. The navy said 22 September was the earliest possible date and proposed postponement until the following year, but Hitler preferred September. He then told von Brauchitsch and Halder that he would decide on the landing operation eight to fourteen days after the air attack began. On 1 August he issued Directive No. 17 for intensified air and sea warfare, to begin with Adlertag on or after 5 August subject to weather, keeping options open for negotiated peace or blockade and siege. [75]

Independent air attack Edit

Under the continuing influence of the 1935 "Conduct of the Air War" doctrine, the main focus of the Luftwaffe command (including Göring) was in concentrating attacks to destroy enemy armed forces on the battlefield, and "blitzkrieg" close air support of the army succeeded brilliantly. They reserved strategic bombing for a stalemate situation or revenge attacks, but doubted if this could be decisive on its own and regarded bombing civilians to destroy homes or undermine morale as a waste of strategic effort. [76] [77]

The defeat of France in June 1940 introduced the prospect for the first time of independent air action against Britain. A July Fliegercorps I paper asserted that Germany was by definition an air power: "Its chief weapon against England is the Air Force, then the Navy, followed by the landing forces and the Army." In 1940, the Luftwaffe would undertake a "strategic offensive . on its own and independent of the other services", according to an April 1944 German account of their military mission. Göring was convinced that strategic bombing could win objectives that were beyond the army and navy, and gain political advantages in the Third Reich for the Luftwaffe and himself. [78] He expected air warfare to decisively force Britain to negotiate, as all in the OKW hoped, and the Luftwaffe took little interest in planning to support an invasion. [79] [53]

The Luftwaffe faced a more capable opponent than any it had previously met: a sizeable, highly coordinated, well-supplied, modern air force.

Fighters Edit

The Luftwaffe's Messerschmitt Bf 109E and Bf 110C fought against the RAF's workhorse Hurricane Mk I and the less numerous Spitfire Mk I Hurricanes outnumbered Spitfires in RAF Fighter Command by about 2:1 when war broke out. [80] The Bf 109E had a better climb rate and was up to 40 mph faster in level flight than the Rotol (constant speed propeller) equipped Hurricane Mk I, depending on altitude. [81] The speed and climb disparity with the original non-Rotol Hurricane was even greater. By mid-1940, all RAF Spitfire and Hurricane fighter squadrons converted to 100 octane aviation fuel, [82] which allowed their Merlin engines to generate significantly more power and an approximately 30 mph increase in speed at low altitudes [83] [84] through the use of an Emergency Boost Override. [85] [86] [87] In September 1940, the more powerful Mk IIa series 1 Hurricanes started entering service in small numbers. [88] This version was capable of a maximum speed of 342 mph (550 km/h), some 20 mph more than the original (non-Rotol) Mk I, though it was still 15 to 20 mph slower than a Bf 109 (depending on altitude). [89]

The performance of the Spitfire over Dunkirk came as a surprise to the Jagdwaffe, although the German pilots retained a strong belief that the 109 was the superior fighter. [90] The British fighters were equipped with eight Browning .303 (7.7mm) machine guns, while most Bf 109Es had two 7.92mm machine guns supplemented by two 20mm cannons. [nb 9] The latter was much more effective than the .303 during the Battle it was not unknown for damaged German bombers to limp home with up to two hundred .303 hits. [91] At some altitudes, the Bf 109 could outclimb the British fighter. It could also engage in vertical-plane negative-g manoeuvres without the engine cutting out because its DB 601 engine used fuel injection this allowed the 109 to dive away from attackers more readily than the carburettor-equipped Merlin. On the other hand, the Bf 109E had a much larger turning circle than its two foes. [92] In general, though, as Alfred Price noted in The Spitfire Story:

. the differences between the Spitfire and the Me 109 in performance and handling were only marginal, and in a combat they were almost always surmounted by tactical considerations of which side had seen the other first, which had the advantage of sun, altitude, numbers, pilot ability, tactical situation, tactical co-ordination, amount of fuel remaining, etc. [93]

The Bf 109E was also used as a Jabo (jagdbomber, fighter-bomber)—the E-4/B and E-7 models could carry a 250 kg bomb underneath the fuselage, the later model arriving during the battle. The Bf 109, unlike the Stuka, could fight on equal terms with RAF fighters after releasing its ordnance. [94] [95]

At the start of the battle, the twin-engined Messerschmitt Bf 110C long-range Zerstörer ("Destroyer") was also expected to engage in air-to-air combat while escorting the Luftwaffe bomber fleet. Although the 110 was faster than the Hurricane and almost as fast as the Spitfire, its lack of manoeuvrability and acceleration meant that it was a failure as a long-range escort fighter. On 13 and 15 August, thirteen and thirty aircraft were lost, the equivalent of an entire Gruppe, and the type's worst losses during the campaign. [96] This trend continued with a further eight and fifteen lost on 16 and 17 August. [97]

The most successful role of the Bf 110 during the battle was as a Schnellbomber (fast bomber). The Bf 110 usually used a shallow dive to bomb the target and escape at high speed. [98] [99] One unit, Erprobungsgruppe 210 – initially formed as the service test unit (Erprobungskommando) for the emerging successor to the 110, the Me 210 – proved that the Bf 110 could still be used to good effect in attacking small or "pinpoint" targets. [98]

The RAF's Boulton Paul Defiant had some initial success over Dunkirk because of its resemblance to the Hurricane Luftwaffe fighters attacking from the rear were surprised by its unusual gun turret. [100] During the Battle of Britain, it proved hopelessly outclassed. For various reasons, the Defiant lacked any form of forward-firing armament, and the heavy turret and second crewman meant it could not outrun or outmanoeuvre either the Bf 109 or Bf 110. By the end of August, after disastrous losses, the aircraft was withdrawn from daylight service. [101] [102]

Bombers Edit

The Luftwaffe's primary bombers were the Heinkel He 111, Dornier Do 17, and Junkers Ju 88 for level bombing at medium to high altitudes, and the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka for dive-bombing tactics. The He 111 was used in greater numbers than the others during the conflict, and was better known, partly due to its distinctive wing shape. Each level bomber also had a few reconnaissance versions accompanying them that were used during the battle. [103]

Although it had been successful in previous Luftwaffe engagements, the Stuka suffered heavy losses in the Battle of Britain, particularly on 18 August, due to its slow speed and vulnerability to fighter interception after dive-bombing a target. As the losses went up along with their limited payload and range, Stuka units were largely removed from operations over England and diverted to concentrate on shipping instead until they were eventually re-deployed to the Eastern Front in 1941. For some raids, they were called back, such as on 13 September to attack Tangmere airfield. [104] [105] [106]

The remaining three bomber types differed in their capabilities the Dornier Do 17 was the slowest and had the smallest bomb load the Ju 88 was the fastest once its mainly external bomb load was dropped and the He 111 had the largest (internal) bomb load. [103] All three bomber types suffered heavy losses from the home-based British fighters, but the Ju 88 had significantly lower loss rates due to its greater speed and its ability to dive out of trouble (it was originally designed as a dive bomber). The German bombers required constant protection by the Luftwaffe's fighter force. German escorts were not sufficiently numerous. Bf 109Es were ordered to support more than 300–400 bombers on any given day. [107] Later in the conflict, when night bombing became more frequent, all three were used. Due to its smaller bomb load, the lighter Do 17 was used less than the He 111 and Ju 88 for this purpose.

On the British side, three bomber types were mostly used on night operations against targets such as factories, invasion ports and railway centres the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley, the Handley-Page Hampden and the Vickers Wellington were classified as heavy bombers by the RAF, although the Hampden was a medium bomber comparable to the He 111. The twin-engined Bristol Blenheim and the obsolescent single-engined Fairey Battle were both light bombers the Blenheim was the most numerous of the aircraft equipping RAF Bomber Command and was used in attacks against shipping, ports, airfields and factories on the continent by day and by night. The Fairey Battle squadrons, which had suffered heavy losses in daylight attacks during the Battle of France, were brought up to strength with reserve aircraft and continued to operate at night in attacks against the invasion ports, until the Battle was withdrawn from UK front line service in October 1940. [108] [110]

Infused Water Recipes For Weight Loss

Simply drinking more water is already a great way to achieve weight loss. So if drinking infused water makes you drink more water then it can only be a good thing.

OK I want to drink more water and do that with infusion, what recipes are good for weight loss?

The truth is that there are so many different variations and you are only limited by your imagination. The best fruit infuser water bottle recipes usually happen by pure accident.

Best Fruit Infuser Recipe Ideas

If you just want some ideas to get your creative juices flowing, here are some combinations to get you started:

Rosemary + lemon + raspberry

Ginger root + lime + + basil

Watermelon + honeydew + mint

Hibiscus + orange + star anise

Cardamom + orange + cinnamon + cloves

Lime + mint + strawberry + cucumber

The London milkman, 1940

The photo pushed forward the idea of the stoic British continuing on with their normal lives.

The appearance of German bombers in the skies over London introduced a new weapon of terror and destruction in the arsenal of twentieth-century warfare. This concentrated direct bombing of industrial targets and civilian centers began on 7 September 1940, with heavy raids on London.

It was the beginning of the Blitz – a period of intense bombing of London and other cities in Great Britain that continued until the following May. For the next consecutive 57 days, London was bombed either during the day or night. Fires consumed many portions of the city.

The purpose was to demoralize the population and force the British to come to terms. The Blitz ended on May 11, 1941, when Hitler called off the raids in order to move his bombers east in preparation for Germany’s invasion of Russia.

The above photograph was taken on October 9th after a German aerial raid. Photographers stationed in London were amazed at the total destruction wrought by German bombers yet their pictures were routinely blocked by the censors who were anxious not to cause a panic and also not to let the Germans know exactly where their bombs had hit.

The photographer Fred Morley took the picture of a London milkman deliberately picking his way over the rubble. The only thing is that, in a way, the picture was staged. Morley first found a backdrop of firefighters struggling to contain a fire then he borrowed a milkman’s outfit and a craft of bottles.

He then got his assistant to pose among the ruins of a city street while the firefighters fought in the background. Morley’s thinking was that to circumvent censorship of demoralizing pictures of ruined streets, after more than a month of daily bombings, he should present things as an object lesson in the maxim “Keep calm and carry on”.

The photo pushed forward the idea of the stoic British continuing on with their normal lives. The censors felt the same way and it was published the very next day. The government made a point that daily life will go on as normal as possible, that defiance was picked up and carried through to every single person, not only in London but everywhere that those bombs fell.

Interesting facts:

  • By the end of the Blitz, around 30,000 Londoners would be left dead, with another 50,000 injured.
  • The British government censored the bombing pictures particularly because the British were actively using countermeasures to disrupt the German navigational beams, resulting in Luftwaffe planes regularly bombing the countryside instead of cities for a few months. Publishing results of German bombings in newspapers would alert the Germans that the countermeasures were working.

(Photo credit: Fred Morley / Getty Images. Original title: Delivery After Raid).

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Gin

Gin is one of my favorite spirits and I have spent the best part of my time over the past 10 years teaching people about its history, production, virtues and cocktails. I have spoken about the spirit at events such as the International Association of Culinary Professionals and Tales of the Cocktail. When my good friend Allen Katz first started to develop his own gin recipes, I jumped at the opportunity to help. He spent over a year perfecting his recipes and the result was two amazing and unique gins that are being produced in Brooklyn. I believe gin to be the quintessential cocktail spirit, and Allen’s work has inspired me to begin working on my own gin. Here are 10 things you might not know about the spirit, along with distillery tour information and a cocktail recipe:

1. Gin is for cocktails – not on its own
You can drink tequila and mescal as shots, and vodka is served chilled with food (zakuski) in its native land. Bourbon, rye and whiskey drinkers might add some ice or a splash of water. Gin is meant to be mixed, however, as the botanicals (herbs, spices etc.) come to life in cocktails and add complexity to the drink. This is why so many classic cocktails call for gin.

2. There are more classic cocktails made with gin than with any other spirit
Negroni, Ramos Gin Fizz, Martinez, Gin Rickey, Red Snapper, Tom Collins, White Lady, Hanky Panky, Clover Club, Alexander, French 75, Gimlet, Vesper, Singapore Sling, Silver Bronx, Pegu Club, Bee’s Knees, Southside. And that is just scratching the surface!

3. Holland made gin first

Gin is England’s national spirit and there are few things more English than a refreshing gin & tonic. Most of the most famous gins you see around the world hail from the UK, so it is forgivable to think that the spirit first came from here. The English actually discovered gin when they were fighting the Thirty Years’ War in the 17 th century in Holland and saw Dutch soldiers drinking Jenever to boost morale before heading into battle. The term “Dutch Courage” was born, and the English brought the idea of making and drinking gin back with them. It would take another 150 years before they would have their own version.

4. London dry gin is not always from London
Gin does not have the same geographical restrictions as spirits such as cognac, scotch or tequila. Only a tiny handful of London dry gins are actually made in the city. There are, however, 13 gins that have a “geographical indication.” The most famous of these is Plymouth gin, which has been made in Plymouth, England since 1793.

5. One man deserves recognition
Desmond Payne is currently the master distiller at Beefeater and has been there for more than 17 years. He formerly held the same position at Plymouth, giving him more experience making fine gin than anyone else. He also created Beefeater 24, which incorporates tea into the distillation process and is a great ingredient for punches.

6. A martini means gin
A martini consists of gin, dry vermouth and optional bitters. When the golden age of the martini was in full swing, most people in cocktail drinking nations had not yet tried vodka. During the era of the three-martini lunch, Smirnoff released a very clever campaign, “Vodka leaves you breathless,” that combined with the cool of James Bond to help vodka hijack gin’s place in the iconic drink.

7. Gin can be used for medicinal purposes
In 1269, the first major mention of juniper-based health-related tonics appeared in a Dutch publication. Ever since, gin has had a history of being used “for medicinal purposes.” The Royal Navy mixed gin with lime cordial to stop scurvy, and angostura settled the stomach at sea. Tonic water with quinine was anti-malarial, giving them a great excuse to drink more gin and tonics.

8. Gin is flavored vodka
The most usual production method for gin is to distill botanicals, such as juniper, coriander, citrus peel, cinnamon, almond or liquorice, with neutral grain alcohol. Making gin is like flavoring vodka, except that botanicals are always natural. A skilled gin distiller knows how to balance the botanical flavors to make a quality product.

9. The Philippines drinks the most gin
The global sale of the spirit is nearly 60 million cases, and almost half of this is consumed in the Philippines. The country drinks over 22 million cases of Ginebra San Miguel, and while this gin accounts for 43% of the gin market, most people outside the Philippines have never heard of it. Other big gin drinking nations are Spain — where gin and tonics are popular — the U.S and, of course, the UK.

10. Saying you don’t like gin is like saying you don’t like sauce
All gin uses juniper as its main ingredient. After that, however, there are very few limits to the hundreds of ingredients a distillery can use. Some gins have as few as three or four botanical flavors, while the Scottish gin Botanist has 31! The flavors in gin range from cucumber and rose (Hendricks) to lavender (Aviation) to lemongrass and black pepper (Bombay Sapphire East). No two gins are alike, making the spirit very diverse in flavor and exciting for the budding bartender.

Visit a gin distillery and learn more:
In the U.S – Visit the New York Distilling Company in Williamsburg and meet founder Allen Katz. Be sure to drink Commodore Perry’s Navy Strength gin in The Shanty, a lovely bar located next door.

In the UK – Visit the oldest working distillery in the world in Plymouth. The building has been around since 1430 as a monastery, and every drop of Plymouth Gin has been made there since 1793.

Finally, a recipe to enjoy at home:

The Last Word Cocktail (created circa. 1922 at the Detroit Athletics Club)

Amazon denies stories of workers peeing in bottles, receives a flood of evidence in return

Amazon is trying a new tactic in its endless PR battle against stories of its exhausting and exploitative working conditions: outright denial. It’s not working.

When replying to a tweet from Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) complaining about the company’s union-busting tactics and the fact that some of its workers are forced to “urinate in water bottles,” Amazon’s official Twitter account responded: “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us.”

But people do believe these stories and for a very simple reason: there are numerous accounts of it happening, documented by employees and journalists around the world.

Indeed, after Amazon sent out its ill-judged tweet, reporters who cover the company’s labor practices practically lined up to soak the firm with evidence. These included English journalist James Bloodworth, whose 2018 book Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain documented his experience of low-paid work for companies including Amazon:

I was the person who found the pee in the bottle. Trust me, it happened.

— James Bloodworth (@J_Bloodworth) March 25, 2021

Bloodworth’s book led to some of the most widely shared stories about Amazon workers being forced to pee in bottles to save time while meeting the company’s targets, but he’s far from the only one to document this exact example of poor working conditions.

Here’s Will Evans from The Center of Investigative Reporting:

Peeing at Amazon - or not being able to - is an actual thing. Here's what workers told me.

— Will Evans (@willCIR) March 25, 2021

And Lauren Kaori Gurley from Motherboard. (Gurley also wrote a story with photographic evidence, including numerous examples from the subreddit for Amazon delivery drivers.)

As a labor reporter who covers Amazon extensively. I can say Amazon delivery drivers not having a time or place to pee is one of the most universal concerns I hear about

— Lauren Kaori Gurley (@LaurenKGurley) March 25, 2021

And Ken Bensinger from BuzzFeed News:

Amazon claims its workers don't pee in bottles defenders say it's an urban legend. But these photos sent to me by a former driver for a former @amazon contractor called Synctruck in a California facility suggest strongly otherwise.

— Ken Bensinger (@kenbensinger) March 25, 2021

And Alex Press from Jacobin, who shares a much grimmer anecdote of an Amazon worker who suffered a seizure in one of the company’s facilities:

my first response to this was to laugh because it’s such a ridiculous tweet but honestly, this is infuriating. here are the type of texts Amazon workers send me

— Alex Press (@alexnpress) March 25, 2021

The Intercept added yet more evidence to the mounting case against Amazon with a new report published on Thursday detailing not only more cases of drivers urinating into bottles, but also resorting to defecating into bags. And the most damning reveal is that Amazon was made aware of this because it began reprimanding employees for the behavior when the bottles and bags were left inside Amazon delivery vehicles, The Intercept reports.

“We’ve noticed an uptick recently of all kinds of unsanitary garbage being left inside bags: used masks, gloves, bottles of urine,” reads an email from an Amazon logistics manager provided to The Intercept by a Pittsburgh area employee. “By scanning the QR code on the bag, we can easily identify the DA who was in possession of the bag last. These behaviors are unacceptable, and will result in Tier 1 Infractions going forward. Please communicate this message to your drivers. I know if may seem obvious, or like something you shouldn’t need to coach, but please be explicit when communicating the message that they CANNOT poop, or leave bottles of urine inside bags.”

The manager also complains in the email that this the incident in question was the “3rd occasion in the last 2 months” and tries to express some sympathy that delivery drivers have struggled to find bathrooms “especially during Covid.” But The Intercept goes on to quote additional former Amazon warehouse and delivery employees who say that even when management became aware of these incidents, the package quotas and other workplace metrics did not ease and in many cases only increased over time.

Indeed, although Amazon is trying to refute stories of “peeing in bottles” that have become shorthand for the company’s poor working conditions, they’re only the tip of the iceberg.

Other evidence includes the high injury rates in Amazon warehouses (7.7 serious injuries per 100 employees) employees dying from COVID-19 after complaints the company wasn’t doing enough to mitigate risks from the virus widespread union-busting production targets that treat humans like robots and gruesome anecdotes like the story of the Amazon worker who died from a heart attack and who, say colleagues, was left on the work floor for 20 minutes before receiving treatment.

Amazon denied this last story, of course, saying it responded to the man’s collapse “within minutes.” But Amazon has proven its willingness to edit reality. And if the company is happy to suggest its workers never pee in bottles despite many accounts to the contrary, it’s hard to take the company’s “truth” seriously.

Update March 25th, 5:43PM ET: Added information from The Intercept’s report on Thursday detailing further evidence of Amazon employees forced to use the restroom while on shift without taking a break and information proving Amazon managers were aware this was happening.

This Chic Water Bottle Is the Most Complimented Thing I Own

Out of everything in my possession, the one item that receives the most compliments is my water bottle. This is not an exaggeration. At first, when strangers started coming up to me in coffee shops asking where I found my water bottle, I thought it was a fluke. After all, coffee-loving hipsters like funky things. But then the compliments continued pouring in at the supermarket, in spin class, even on the train. (For the record, I’m grateful it distracts from my sweaty post-cycling appearance.) 

Let me be straight: The Lund London Skittle Bottle is like no water bottle you’ve seen before. With its geometric shape and minimalist design, the bottle looks like it belongs in a modern art museum (or at least an Ikea), not in a purse. When it was gifted to me, I thought it was a fancy decoration for my nightstand. Then the bright nob top twisted off, and I realized that it was actually a water bottle. A really beautiful water bottle. 

I know it might seem weird to rejoice over something whose sole purpose is to carry drinks, but I have a hypothesis as to why everybody (myself included) loves it. The majority of water bottles are dull, serving a purpose without bringing much pleasure mine, on the other hand, does both. Honestly, it has more personality and pizazz than most humans. When I go out and have this baby with me, I feel more cool and confident. It sounds comical, but it’s true! 

The stainless steel bottle comes in several different color varieties, (after all, Skittle is in its name) each as chic as the next. The colors are bright without being gaudy and give your desk, table, or whatever the bottle’s set on an energizing pop of brightness. Mine is mint and red others are dark gray and turquoise, violet and seafoam, and millennial pink and blue. 

Usually, with beauty, there comes some blemishes. Those suckers must be hidden away with this bottle, because it’s been a year and I have zero complaints. The stainless steel and insulated interior keeps my water chilly all day, the triangular and rounded design somehow seems like it’s an ergonomic miracle for my hand, and even though I’ve dropped this thing anywhere and everywhere you can imagine, it hasn’t chipped once.

By no means am I a water bottle connoisseur, but if the water bottle experts of this world got together and tapped me for my thoughts, I would give the Lund London Skittle Bottle a perfect score. 

Watch the video: ΕΜΠΡΗΣΜΟΙ ΠΑΝΤΟΥ: Η χώρα βρίσκεται υπό ασύμμετρη επίθεση (August 2022).