December 17, 2013

Charles Oliver: Auction sniping for inferior beer?

Charles Oliver

— • The Vermont Department of Liquor Control has cited Stephanie Hoffman with selling craft beer without a license. Officials say they regularly scour Craigslist and eBay trying to find those selling craft beer illegally. They add that beer sold on the black market may not have been refrigerated properly, so customers may be getting an inferior product.

• Valentine Harverye spent more than five years in a British prison after burning a prostitute’s face with melted plastic and scalding her with boiling water. After he was released, the government moved to deport him to his native Zimbabwe but an immigration court blocked the move, saying it would violate his human rights because he might face “ill treatment” there.

• Police in Solihull, England, have sent letters to children as young as three warning them they face penalties for anti-social behavior for playing outside. The letters report that large groups of small children playing together are “intimidating to elderly neighbors” and warned they have been seen trampling plants while they play.

• A federal judge has awarded Angel and Jennifer Mendez $4 million after they were shot by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department during a warrantless raid on their home. The shooting cost Angel Mendez one of his legs. Deputies said they were looking for a parolee who had reportedly been spotted near their home. But the judge said the cops not only did not have a warrant, they had no evidence the man they were looking for lived the Mendez home.

• Eleven women and one man have sued the Puyallup, Wash., police department, claiming officers selectively videotaped people, mostly young women, undressing while in custody. City Attorney Kevin Yamamoto says that video recording of holding cells is routine as is requiring people to change their clothes when they are brought into the jail.

• A federal appeals court has ordered a new trial for Pete Seda, a Seattle man convicted of falsifying tax returns to hide his support of Chechnyan rebels. The court found numerous instances of prosecutorial misconduct, including failing to disclose that the FBI paid $14,500 to the husband of a key witness against Seda.

• The government of Jersey has sent letters to about 4,000 elderly people asking them to prove they are still alive. Officials say they just wanted to make sure that any pension payments are going to the right people.

• British police investigated comedian Jeff Mirza for inciting racial hatred. Mirza, who was born in Pakistan, uses the word “Paki” during his act. It’s considered a racial slur by many in the United Kingdom, but Mirza says he wants to turn it into a term of pride. “I have been called Paki so many times that the only thing for me was to turn it around and make people laugh with me. Black people use the N-word as a sort of reclaiming it in songs and on TV and I have never seen any of them arrested,” he said. But an audience member, also of Pakistani descent, filed a complaint, and cops warned Mirza he could be arrested if he continued to use the word.

Charles Oliver is a staff writer for The Daily Citizen.