TIME Honduras

Honduras’ Miss World Contestant Found Murdered

Miss World Honduras 2014 and his sister found dead
Miss World Honduras 2014 María José Alvarado in the ceremony of the event in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on April 26, 2014 EPA

María José Alvarado had been missing for almost a week

Honduras beauty-pageant contestant María José Alvarado, 19, and her sister Sofía, 23, were found murdered and buried in western Honduras on Wednesday.

María José was supposed to participate in the Miss World competition in London this week. The sisters went missing about a week ago and were last seen leaving a party and getting into an unlicensed car in Santa Barbara, Honduras — an area known for drug-gang activity, Reuters reports.

Interior Minister Arturo Corrales told media that Sofía’s boyfriend Plutarco Ruiz was responsible, Reuters reports. Ruiz was arrested with another man on Tuesday.

“We are devastated by this terrible loss of two young women, who were so full of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of María José Alvarado & Sofía Trinidad at this time of grief,” said Julia Morley, Chairman Miss World Organization in a statement.

In 2013, Honduras was named the world’s murder capital.

TIME Scandal

‘Pickup Artist’ Accused of Promoting Sexual Assault to Be Barred From U.K.

A petition demanding Britain cancel Julien Blanc's visa garnered more than 150,000 signatures

An American “pickup artist” accused of promoting sexual assault appears set to be banned from entering the United Kingdom, according to a report Wednesday that cited the Home Office.

Julien Blanc was apparently informed that his application for a British visa has been rejected, the Guardian reports. The decision by Home Secretary Theresa May comes after a petition demanding that Britain cancel his visa garnered more than 150,000 signatures.

Blanc, 25, gives paid seminars and bootcamps that promise to teach men how to “Make Girls BEG To Sleep With You After SHORT-CIRCUITING Their Emotional And Logical Mind” and develop “panty-dropping masculinity with this rock-solid structure to self-generate the powerful emotions girls crave.” But critics have called the courses predation in disguise as dating advice.

[The Guardian]

TIME

TIME Person of the Year Reader’s Poll — Updating Results

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TIME

Face-Off: Who Should Be TIME’s Person of the Year?

TIME’s editors will choose the Person of the Year, but that doesn’t mean readers shouldn’t have their say. Cast your vote for the person you think most influenced the news this year for better or worse. Here you’ll find some of the year’s most provocative newsmakers paired head-to-head with similar movers and shakers. You can also vote in our yes/no poll. Read more about the voting methodology here.

Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 6, and the combined winner of our reader polls will be announced on Dec. 8. TIME’s Person of the Year will be announced Dec. 10.

Read next: Vote Now: Who Should Be TIME’s Person of the Year?

TIME

Vote Now: Who Should Be TIME’s Person of the Year?

TIME’s editors will choose the Person of the Year, but that doesn’t mean readers shouldn’t have their say. Cast your vote for the person you think most influenced the news this year for better or worse. Here you’ll find some of the year’s most provocative newsmakers. You can also vote in our face-off poll. Read more about the voting methodology here.

Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 6, and the combined winner of our reader polls will be announced on Dec. 8. TIME’s Person of the Year will be announced Dec. 10.

Read next: Face-Off: Who Should Be TIME’s Person of the Year?

TIME Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Pro-Democracy Protesters Clash With Police

At least six protesters were arrested Wednesday

Tension between Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters and police boiled over Wednesday, resulting in one of the most violent confrontations in weeks. Demonstrators had aimed to break into a government building but were repelled by officers in protective gear, in a dustup that occurred hours after some of the barricaded roads were ordered to be cleared. The dismantling comes after student leaders were refused entry to Beijing in a bid to meet with senior Chinese leaders about their demands.

Read more: Hong Kong Stands Up

TIME European Union

Is It a Bird? Is It a Plane? No, It’s Captain Euro

But is he in time to save the European Union and the world?

You might think there were enough cartoon characters in politics already. Apparently not. Enter Captain Euro, flexing his pectorals and multilingual skills as he battles to save the European Union.

The self-styled leader of Europe, the Captain sees himself as the first point of contact for any U.S. President seeking to speak to Europe.

But the Captain isn’t a superhero. He’s just drawn that way (though he and his team of ardent Europhiles in matching blue and gold outfits might also be mistaken for the flight crew on a European no-frills airline.)

The son of Brand EU, an initiative that tries to do exactly what the name suggests, itself the brainchild of a think tank called Gold Mercury, the Captain first strode to the rescue of Europe in 1995 but fell into obscurity until desperate times and rising euroskepsis—boosted, of course, by the flailings of the Captain’s namesake currency—necessitated his recall. So since Nov. 18 he’s been back in action, deploying his sole special power: the power of persuasion.”Together we are one of the world’s strongest powers. Separately, we amount to far less in this newly globalized world, where size is everything,” says Nicolas de Santis, President of Gold Mercury and thus the Captain’s real daddy. “Armed with this knowledge, Captain Euro will continue on his heroic mission to promote the values of a united EU which we all share: peace, solidarity and sustainability.”

To the Captain and his creator, the baddies are evil-minded euroskeptics dressed in UKIP purple who threaten that vision. Their leader is called Dr D Vider (see what they did there?).

And this is where our hero gets a little confused and confusing. His backstory is puzzling. Called Adam Andros, he’s not a David standing up to goliath globalized corporations. We are told he inherited his own giant corporation, Sustania. An avatar of vested interests, he seeks to rally to his cause some of the real-life leaders than some Europeans might see as part of the problem rather than the cure.

In real-life Jean-Claude Juncker, who has just embarked on a five-year term as President of the European Commission, already faces a motion of censure in the European Parliament after allegations that during his previous incarnations as Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Luxembourg, he helped global corporations to minimize their European tax payments. In a Captain Euro strip, Juncker is a unifying figure working to persuade Prime Minister David Cameron to keep Britain in the E.U..

The coalition of anti-Europe, anti-immigration parties seeking to censure Juncker includes a fair sprinkling of cartoonish characters, but they are successfully positioning themselves as the good guys to a broadening swathe of European voters. If Captain Euro really wants to counteract the misinformation such parties spread, he’ll need to recognize the parts of their message that resonate. The time is ripe for a hero who is pro-Europe but not identified with the European elite. Before Captain Euro can redraw the continent’s fracturing politics, he may have to redraw himself.

All cartoons courtesy of Nicolas de Santis/ Gold Mercury International.

TIME faith

Pope Francis Is Selling His Fiat Car in a Raffle for the Poor

Pope Francis Attends His Weekly Audience In St Peter's Square
Pope Francis waves to the faithful as he leaves St. Peter's Square at the end of his weekly audience on November 19, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. During his speech Pontiff appealed for peace in the Middle East. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images) Franco Origlia—Getty Images

The Vatican said it is raffling off objects that the Pontiff has received as gifts

Pope Francis’ four-wheel-drive Panda Fiat is just one of a collection of items the Vatican is raffling off to raise money for charity.

Posters around the Vatican announced the raffle will also include his Homero Ortega brand hat, bicycles, and an espresso coffee machine, Reuters reports, among 13 objects and 30 unspecified “consolation prizes.”

Tickets on sale at the Vatican will cost $12.50, and the winner will be announced on Jan. 8. The Vatican announced last week that Pope Francis, who has made fighting poverty a priority, was building bathrooms for the homeless in the shadow of St. Peter’s Basilica.

[Reuters]

TIME food and drink

Brits to Get Cheaper Beer! (If They Can Still Find a Pub to Sell It)

A pint of beer stands on a bar in a pub in Liverpool northern England, Nov. 19 , 2014.
A pint of beer stands on a bar in a pub in Liverpool northern England, Nov. 19 , 2014. Phil Noble—Reuters

New law would break the chains that tie pub landlords to big parent companies

It’s always been the most reliable vote-winner in British politics, even ahead of bashing foreigners and flinging money at the National Health Service.

But a late-night vote in Westminster last night may have actually paved the way for cheaper beer in pubs, as members of parliament voted to end the so-called ‘beer tie’ system, which forces landlords to buy beer from their parent companies at above-market prices, and stops them from offering competing brews.

That’s the headline-grabbing part, of course. The reality of the situation is, sadly, much less clear. The Beer Tie is only one half of an arrangement under which the parent groups (which have mainly grown out of Britain’s big breweries) offer low property rents, cheap insurance and other centralized services in return.

Under an amendment to the existing law, landlords will now have the right to ask for a rent-only deal, under which they would have the freedom to buy beer from whoever they choose at the best price they can find.

The pub companies were up in arms over the vote Wednesday, saying it would threaten the existence of thousands of pubs up and down the country

Punch Taverns Plc, whose shares fell 12.3% in early trading, warned the amended bill “would have significant adverse consequences for Britain’s community pubs” if it becomes law.

“The government’s own research indicated that breaking the tie would…result in between 700 and 1,400 more pubs closing with 3,700 to 7,000 job losses,” Punch said. It added that it would also lead to reduced investment in pubs, less consumer choice and “higher fixed rents, reduced levels of support and greater risk of failure” for tenants.

Enterprise Inns, Punch’s biggest rival, called the amendment “disproportionate” and said it would have “serious unintended consequences.” Its shares lost 15% on the news.

By contrast there was rejoicing at the U.K.’s Federation of Small Businesses, which has led a nationwide campaign against the Beer Tie.

FSB chairman John Allan said the vote marked “a historic day for tied publicans who look forward to a more open and competitive marketplace.”

Greg Mulholland, a Liberal Democrat MP who championed the amendment, called the vote “a victory for people power, for commonsense and for fairness and a victory a huge hard pressed publicans and their customers.”

Thousands of pubs closed in the recession that followed the financial crisis, many of them in rural communities where they were the hub of social activity. The Campaign for Real Ale, which supported the motion, says closures were still running at around 30 a week in the first half of this year.

The amendment still needs to go through the House of Lords to become law. The government, which had opposed the amendment and which only lost the vote because dozens of its own MPs revolted, may use the Lords to block the amendment and force another reading in the House of Commons.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Honduras

Bodies of Miss Honduras 2014 Maria Jose Alvarado, Sister Found

Maria Jose Alvarado, Miss Honduras World 2014.
Maria Jose Alvarado, Miss Honduras 2014. AFP/Getty Images

Maria Jose Alvarado and her sister disappeared six days ago

(TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras) — A top police official says what appear to be the bodies of Miss Honduras 2014 and her sister have been found buried near the spa where they disappeared six days ago.

National Police director, Gen. Ramon Sabillon says authorities are awaiting confirmation from forensic officials that the bodies are Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, and her sister, Sofia, 23. He said early Wednesday that Plutarco Ruiz, boyfriend of Sofia, and an accomplice, Aris Maldonado, have been arrested.

The two disappeared after attending a birthday party for Ruiz last Thursday.

Alvarado had been scheduled to leave for London on Sunday to compete in the Miss World 2014 pageant.

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