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Best of the web: 30 April

Best of the web: 30 April

Tiger Woods confessed 121 affairs during marriage to wife;Oil Leak in Gulf of Mexico May Be 5 Times Initial Estimate,; Can exotic food lead to liberty?; McDonald's 'Happy Meals' with toys banned to fight childhood obesity ;

April 30, 2010 11:07 by

Tiger Woods ‘confessed 121 affairs during marriage to wife

Tiger Woods, American golfing phenomenon, reportedly confessed to having 121 affairs during his brief marriage to Elin Nordegren, the UK’S Daily Mirror reported this week.

After the sensational scandal broke, Woods took a hiatus from the game and checked into a rehab facility for treatment of sex addiction.

Legal sources said that “when Tiger was in rehab for sex addiction, he filled out four pages, listing the amount of women he’d had affairs with – there were 121 in all,” as quoted by the newspaper.

Woods’ wife, Elin Nordegren, stands to get an estimated £50 million of Woods’ fortune, and she is reportedly consulting Hollywood’s top divorce lawyer, Sorrell Trope, the Daily Mirror said.


Oil Leak in Gulf of Mexico May Be 5 Times Initial Estimate

Initial estimates of the massive oil spill in the US Gulf of Mexico have been revised dramatically upward, to five times original estimates, the Wall Street Journal said, with the massive slick off the Louisiana coast possibly making landfall by Friday evening.

A sunken oil ring in the vicinity of the Mississippi River is reportedly leaking crude oil at a rate of 5,000 barrels per day, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated.  Original estimates were only 1,000 barrels a day.

An explosion and fire on a drilling rig last week left 11 workers missing.  They are now presumed dead.

Oil giant BP is reportedly responsible for the cleanup, although federal authorities could involve the Defense Department, if necessary.  Officials fear for coastal wildlife and vulnerable wetland habitat, as the spill approaches the Louisiana coastline.


Can exotic food lead to liberty?

“Sushi in Syria?” – asks The Economist.  Indeed.  As tourists, expats, and locals with an eye for the finer things are lining up to enjoy trendy new dining options in old world Damascus.  Foreign-food restaurants are finding plenty of “well-heeled clientele” to fill the tables – no longer looking to Beirut for fine dining, nice wine, and good cigars.

Sushi bars and fusion menus have adventurous diners digging deep, paying close to $40 for a popular Friday sushi buffet at a leading Damascus restaurant, in a country that boasts a GDP of only $2,700 per person, The Economist said.

The economic liberalization that is opening Syria to the world is ushering in a wave of fine dining and luxury services.   And “as more Syrian expatriates return, they are pushing new trends and demanding the services and cuisine they have been used to outside,” according to the report.

So, can expanded fine dining options really lead signal greater social liberties? “The Syrian outlook is expanding,” the Economist contends.  “ Flatbread and hummus may no longer do. And is Baathist socialism still tasty?” the writer wonders.


McDonald’s ‘Happy Meals’ with toys banned to fight childhood obesity

In California’s Santa Clara County, “Happy Meals” are a thing of the past, as concerned officials attempt to tackle what they call “an obesity epidemic.”

In an area with a reported 1.7 million people, including the residents of Silicon Valley, restaurants will no longer be able to include toys with meals that do not meet “  a set of basic nutrition standards. There will be a limit of 485 calories per meal,” the UK’s Telegraph reported this week.

Harlan Levy of McDonald’s disagreed with the ban, saying, “”It substitutes the county’s judgment for the judgment of parents. It does nothing to address a holistic response to the problem.”

Critics cite childhood obesity epidemic and contend that the toys “lure” children to the unhealthy offerings, which are generally high in calories and sodium, the report said.

An estimated 25% of children in the area are reportedly overweight or obese.


UAE woman becomes first female Arab to reach North Pole

Elham Al Qasimi, this week became the first Arab female to reach the North Pole following an eight day expedition, in which she battled extreme cold and a case of frostbite, Al-Qasimi told CNN.

“I wanted to stand on top of the world and I wanted to put myself into the diametrically opposite environment to what I had ever experienced in my life, “ the Emirati woman told CNN.

A former investment banker, Qasimi reported receiving inspiring messages of support from women throughout the Middle East.  Her expedition aimed to raise money for PEAS (Promoting Equality in African Schools) and the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund, CNN said.

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