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Good news, bad news: Mar. 22-Mar. 29, 2012


 

Good news

Good news, bad news

Mark Humphrey/AP

Slick oil

A British exploration firm has struck oil in Kenya, a first for the East African nation. It is “the beginning of a long journey to make our country an oil producer,” said president Mwai Kibaki. The find is a big boost for the largest economy in a region that could use a little more good fortune, and a welcome discovery for the rest of the world. Despite persistent supply fears, oil firms continue to uncover new sources of light crude—at opportune times. Oil prices are soaring, up 15 per cent this year, and prices at the pump are following suit. Relief may be on the way.

The face of justice

The most chilling scene from Graham James’s sentencing was the sight of the convicted sex abuser’s face wrapped in a red scarf—the better, presumably, to avoid public opprobrium on release. So props to the rogue cop or prison official who leaked the former hockey coach’s mugshot. Yes, it’s a breach of privacy, but the court had justified James’s light, two-year sentence for assaulting two young players (including former NHLer Theoren Fleury) by saying he will face unusual punishment: namely, being identified as a notorious sex offender. He will be a lot easier to identify now that we know what he looks like.

Best diet ever

Love junk food? Stop feeling so guilty. New research says popcorn actually contains more polyphenols (healthful antioxidant substances) than fruits or vegetables, while another U.S. study found that frequent chocolate eaters tend to have a lower body mass index than those who avoid the treat. The best news? Scientists at Nestlé are using state-of-the-art Arctic research technology to figure out how to stop those yucky crystals from forming inside your carton of vanilla ice cream.

Long-awaited victory

Take away that nasty, tell-all book released by his former coach, and Tiger Woods enjoyed a pretty good week. With The Masters just around the corner, golf’s fallen star won his first official tournament since a sex scandal shattered his perfect image 2½ years ago. “This was coming,” Woods said. “I’ve been close a number of times.” In other news Woods might approve of, Ontario’s highest court has legalized brothels.

Bad news

Good news, bad news

Manish Swarup/AP

Un-believable

In a move worthy of the late Kim Jong Il, North Korea announced plans to launch a satellite into orbit—a thinly disguised attempt, say observers, to test long-range rockets capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The move comes amid U.S.-led talks in Seoul to curb nuclear proliferation, and even China, Pyongyang’s most forgiving friend, sees it as a needless provocation. The peace-loving world hoped for better from Kim Jong Un, the son of Dear Leader and inheritor of his mantle. But evidently, poor judgment is hereditary.

Follow the money

SNC-Lavalin CEO Pierre Duhaime resigned after a company review found $56 million in payments to undisclosed agents cannot be accounted for, and were made despite the objections of the chief financial officer. Duhaime is the third executive to leave the firm in recent months; the others left over controversial dealings with the former Libyan regime of Moammar Gadhafi. But this latest scandal shows a whole new level of amateurishness from a $6-billion, publicly traded firm. The company says it will turn evidence over to police. Shareholders deserve answers.

Parents of the year

It is difficult to decide which is worse: the helicopter parents or the airplane parents? In Colorado, the organizers of an annual Easter egg hunt attended by hundreds of children had to cancel this year’s event because so many aggressive moms and dads swarmed last year’s hunt. Meanwhile, a Chicago couple is facing criminal charges after leaving their two kids (nine and 12) home alone while they flew to Las Vegas.

Pale ale

A Vancouver woman has filed a human rights complaint against the Earls restaurant chain, claiming the company’s line of “Albino Rhino” beers is demeaning to people with albinism. Ikponwosa Ero, who has the genetic condition, says using the word albino in such a “whimsical manner” is discriminatory and insulting—even though no one else has complained about the name since it was unveiled 25 years ago. Hurt feelings are not enough to warrant a human rights tribunal. We suggest that both sides agree to a meeting. Over a pint.


 
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