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Drunk Pilot Booted Off Flight Minutes Before Take-Off


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Qantas has confirmed it has stood down a female captain from duties after she was suspected of drinking before a flight from Sydney to Brisbane last week, reports the Courier Mail.

According to the Brisbane Times, the incident occurred as the Qantas aircraft was about to depart for Brisbane. Flight attendants on the Boeing 767-300 aircraft, which can carry 254 passengers, informed the airline's flight operations managers that they suspected the captain of the plane had been drinking.

Qantas pilot stood down for drinking on the job. Claims she misinterpreted their motto "Spirit of Australia".

— Dan Anstey (@Dan_Anstey) August 6, 2012

A passenger on board flight QF516 said the aircraft taxi-ed out to the runway before the female pilot announced there was a problem and they needed to turn back, said the Courier Mail.

The newspaper says the captain was breathalysed, in line with normal Qantas procedures. According to Perth Now, it is not known what reading the pilot gave, but Qantas -- like all airlines -- has a strict zero tolerance policy when it comes to pilots drinking alcohol before flying any aircraft.

The Australian Civil Aviation and Safety Authority has performed 54,000 drug and alcohol test on pilots, cabin crew, air traffic controllers and baggage handlers since 2008, says the Courier Mail.

 Only 45 of those tests, or 0.08 per cent, came back positive -- and none of those results were related to pilots.

If this is determined to be a one-off incident, writes the Brisbane Times, the pilot will be expected to undergo counseling and later a medical assessment to determine whether she is fit to fly. But if it is a long-term problem, she will be suspended from duties.

Qantas captain in charge of plane when drunk. Passengers became suspicious during unscheduled stopover at kebab shop. #Qantas

— adam rozenbachs (@arozenbachs) August 6, 2012

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food / travel

Pasta v. Fascists: How Italy's Staple Dish Became A Symbol Of Resistance

Pasta may not be considered controversial today, but it played an important role during Italy's fascist years, particularly in one family's celebration of community and liberation.

Photo of the Cervi family.

Photo of the Cervi family, whose seven children were shot by the Fascists on December 28, 1943, at the Reggio Emilia shooting range.

@comunisti_alla_ribalta via Instagram
Jacopo Fontaneto

ROME — Eighty years ago — on July 25, 1943 — the vote of no confidence by the Grand Council of Fascism, leading to Benito Mussolini's arrest, set off widespread celebrations. In Campegine, a small village in the Emilian province, the Cervi family celebrated in their own way: they brought 380 kilograms of pasta in milk cans to the town square and offered it to all the inhabitants of the village.

The pasta was strictly plain: macaroni dressed with butter and cheese, seen as more of a "festive dish" in that period of deprivation. As soon as the Cervi brothers learned about the arrest of Mussolini, they procured flour, borrowed butter and cheese from the dairy, and prepared kilos and kilos of pasta. They then loaded it onto a cart to distribute it to their fellow villagers. Pastasciutta (dry pasta) specifically regards dishes with noodles that are plated "dry", not in broth. That would disqualify soup, risotto, ravioli...

Even though pastasciutta is the most stereotypical type of pasta today, it had a complicated relationship with the government during Italy's fascist years.

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