Virgin Limited Edition, Sir Richard Branson’s privately owned collection of award-winning luxury retreats, is delighted to collaborate with British Virgin Islands (BVI) Tourist Board, and offer guests the opportunity to experience a taste-infusing culinary tour with some of the world’s leading chefs and winemakers.Necker Island will host the very first 2009 Winemakers Dinner on 16th July 2009, one of eight private dinners that will take place throughout July and December at selected exotic locations. The dinner at Necker Island will feature a seven course gourmet meal prepared by master chefs. Each course is paired with two fine wines selected by the very best winemakers in the world. One of the wines that will be poured at this dinner will be the Pio Cesare Barolo 2004 which was ranked #6 by the Wine Spectator in the top 100 Wines of the World in 2008.Even more convenient is the fact that this special occasion takes place during only one of six ‘Celebration Weeks’ where Necker Island accommodates guests on an individual room basis.Jon Brown, Managing Director of Virgin Limited Edition, commented: “We’re thrilled to support the BVI Tourist Board on this project. Not only will guests be able to combine a stay on one of the world’s most exclusive islands with such an unforgettable and unique culinary experience as the Winemakers Dinner, but they will be supporting the local community, as all net profits made from the event will go to the BVI charitable fund which benefits schools, youth programms and the local Red Cross organisation.”To support this experience Virgin Limited Edition has created a special ‘free night’ offer for guests who wish to participate in the Winemakers Dinner on Necker Island. For arrivals on the 15th July 2009, guests can book to stay for four nights and pay for just three, or they can stay for eight nights and pay for seven nights, this offer is only valid for arrivals beginning on the 15th July 2009.The price for a four night stay for two guests starts from US$12,900 and includes accommodation, all meals and drinks, as well as two special Winemaker dinners – one on Necker Island and the other on a neighboring island.www.virginlimitededition.comwww.neckerisland.virgin.com/offerswww.winemakersdinners.com
More than 250 Chinese and 200 Russian spies are believed to operate in Brussels, mostly working in consulates and the cultural embassies of their respective countries.According to the German newspaper Die Welt, it is an open secret that the attaches who accompany diplomats from non-EU countries at embassy receptions are often undercover agents. In addition to Russian and Chinese agents, American and Moroccan agents are also said to be active in Brussels.The Berlaymont is an office building in Brussels, Belgium, that houses the headquarters of the European Commission, which is the executive of the European Union. (Reuters)Brussels: A hub for spies?Brussels hosts several EU institutions, the NATO headquarters and dozens of embassies, Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) and international company representatives.The EU branch of the Berlin-based NGO Transparency International estimatesthat the number of lobbyists in Brussels is more than 25,000, with an additional 10,000 to 15,000 EU lobbyists affecting EU decisions without being based in Brussels.Brussels has been at the centre of various espionage claims. Former Guardianreporter Richard Norton-Taylor wrote that the British secret services were spying on their European counterparts to have more advantageous negotiations on EU affairs.A European Union flag is seen outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on Nov. 14, 2018. (Reuters)It was a fear also felt more recently by EU representatives, who were suspicious of espionage after the UK Brexit delegation obtained a ‘sensitive document’ within hours of an internal EU negotiators delegation meeting.A spectacular espionage case also took place more than 15 years ago. In 2003, at the seat of the European Council, where the heads of government and their respective ministers met, small spy boxes were found in the translator’s booths.These boxes could be activated from outside the building and at a distance. The aim was to intercept conversations of the German, British, Spanish and French delegations. The US and Israel came under suspicion, and a Belgian Standing Intelligence Agencies Review Committee report in 2010 pointed to Israel.Chinese spies overflowing EuropeRecently, the Lithuanian intelligence service recorded in their annual report:“With China’s increasing economic and political ambitions in Lithuania and other NATO and EU countries, the activities of the Chinese secret and security services are becoming increasingly aggressive.”As reported by Lithuania, Chinese secret services tried to recruit Lithuanian citizens for espionage activities and to influence Lithuania’s positions on the independence of Tibet and Taiwan.Huawei is playing a leading role as the telecom industry gears up for 5G. (Reuters)The head of the Lithuanian Security Agency added that it is analysing possible espionage ‘threats’ posed by the Chinese company Huawei.China has denied the claims.A similar case occurred in Poland, where a Chinese Huawei employee named Weijing W was arrested and later fired by the company due to espionage allegations.Poland is considering a possible ban of Huawei products as a result of the claims. A “potential ban is still open”, Karol Okonski, the Polish Secretary of State for the Ministry of Digital Affairs, told London-based news website Euractiv.Source: TRT World The European External Action Service (EEAS) has warned EU diplomats and military officials to avoid certain restaurants and cafes in the European Quarter of Brussels. London best pest control The ‘European capital’ Brussels is apparently full of spies. Hundreds of Russian and Chinese agents are reported to be operating in the city, with diplomats warned against entering certain eateries.