Tiger Woods arrested on suspicion of drunk driving

Mon, 2017-05-29 22:20

WASHINGTON: Tiger Woods was arrested early Monday on a DUI charge in Jupiter, Florida, and spent nearly four hours in a county jail before he was released.
Woods, the 14-time major champion who ranks second with his 79 career victories on the PGA Tour, has not played for four months. He is out for the rest of the season while he recovers from his fourth back surgery.
Woods was arrested on suspicion of DUI about 3 a.m. Monday and taken to the Palm Beach County jail, Jupiter Police spokeswoman Kristin Rightler said. He was arrested on Military Trail, south of Indian Creek Parkway.
Jail records show that the 41-year-old was booked into Palm Beach County jail at 7:18 a.m. and released on his own recognizance at 10:50 a.m. The jail released a booking photo of Woods in a white T-shirt.
Rightler said she did not have additional details about the circumstances leading to Woods’ arrest, nor did she have any information about whether the arrest involved drugs or alcohol. She said an arrest report may be available Tuesday.
His agent at Excel Sports, Mark Steinberg, did not immediately respond to a voice-mail from The Associated Press seeking comment. PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said the tour would have no comment.
Notah Begay, a roommate of Woods when they played at Stanford, could relate. Begay was arrested for aggravated drunken driving in 2000 when he ran into a car outside a bar in New Mexico. He was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with all but seven days suspended.
“It’s embarrassing for Tiger, something that you can’t go back and change,” Begay said on Golf Channel from the NCAA men’s golf championship, where he was working for the network. “I’ve been there myself. … But it was a turning point in my life. Hopefully, it’s something he’ll learn from, grow from, take responsibility for and use it to make some changes.”
Woods has not been seen at a golf tournament since he opened with a 77 at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, withdrawing the next day because of back spasms. He was in Los Angeles for the Genesis Open, run by his Tiger Woods Foundation, but he did not come to the course at Riviera because of his back.
He was at the Masters, but only to attend the dinner for past champions.
Woods, who had been No. 1 longer than any other golfer, has not been a factor since his last victory in August 2013 as he battled through back surgeries from a week before the 2014 Masters until his most recent operation to fuse disks in his lower back a month ago.
In an update Friday on his website, Woods said the fusion surgery provided instant relief and he hasn’t “felt this good in years.”
It was the first time Woods has run into trouble off the golf course since he plowed his SUV into a tree and a fire hydrant outside his Windermere, Florida, home in the early morning after Thanksgiving in 2009, which led to revelations that he had multiple extramarital affairs.
A police report then showed that a Florida trooper who suspected Woods was driving under the influence sought a subpoena for the golfer’s blood test results from the hospital, but prosecutors rejected the petition for insufficient information.
A witness, who wasn’t identified in the report, told the trooper he had been drinking alcohol earlier. The same witness also said Woods had been prescribed two drugs, the sleep aid Ambien and the painkiller Vicodin. The report did not say who the witness was but said it was the same person who pulled Woods from the vehicle after the accident. Woods’ wife has told police that she used a golf club to smash the back windows of the Cadillac Escalade to help her husband out.
He eventually was cited for careless driving and fined $164.
Woods and wife Elin Nordegren divorced in 2010. He later had a relationship with Olympic ski champion Lindsey Vonn that lasted two years.
Associated Press writer Jennifer Kay in Miami Beach, Florida, contributed to this report.

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Lindsay Lohan wishes Muslims a happy Ramadan

Mon, 2017-05-29 03:00

JEDDAH: Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan’s most recent post on Instagram wishes everyone a happy Ramadan.
Lohan, who has been open about her interest in Islam in the past, shared a photo of herself wearing a floor-length floral gown in what looks like a hotel room in Cannes, France. “#happyramadan” she captioned the image.
The post has led many of her fans to wonder if she has indeed embraced Islam, and if she would be fasting this Ramadan.
“Thank you… May Allah open your heart to accept the truth @lindsaylohan,” wrote one.
“Ramadan Mubarak. May Good help you during this holy month. Bless you,” posted another.
One user even used humor to convince Lohan to fast. “Ramadan is a very good time for losing weight. I suggest you to fast,” he wrote.
Earlier this year, the “Mean Girls” actress sparked rumors about converting to Islam after she deleted all her content from the site, and posted a new profile bio, which simply had the message “Alaikum salam” — Arabic for “And unto you peace.”
In an Arab language show “Swar Shoaib” in February, the 30-year-old told YouTube host Shoaib Rashid: “I did Ramadan for three days with my friend from Kuwait — it was hard but it was good. It felt good.”
According to Lohan, reading the holy Qur’an makes her feel “calm.” It is “a solace and a safe thing for me to have,” she said.

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Singer songwriter Gregg Allman dead at 69

Mon, 2017-05-29 03:00

WASHINGTON: Gregg Allman, the powerfully bluesy singer and songwriter who co-founded the Allman Brothers Band and emerged as a trailblazer of Southern rock, has died at the age of 69.
Allman died peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia, according to a statement posted Saturday on his website.
No cause of death was immediately given, but a statement on his website said he had “struggled with many health issues over the past several years.”
Allman, who played keyboards and guitar and also sang, was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1999 and underwent a liver transplant in 2010, Billboard reported on its website.
Allman’s brother Duane, a co-founder of the group and a legendary guitar player, died in a motorcycle accident in 1971 at the age of 24.
Gregg Allman, known for his gentle manner and long blond hair parted in the center, went on to front the band on his own for decades. The group was fabulously popular, particularly in the 1970s.
Billboard said that since Nielsen Music began tracking point-of-sale music purchases in 1991, the Allman Brothers Band have sold 9.3 million albums in the United States.
The group’s best-known hits include “Whipping Post,” “Midnight Rider,” “Melissa” and “Ramblin’ Man.”

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Washington’s Embassy Chef Challenge cooks up flavor, fun

Barbara G.B. Ferguson
Mon, 2017-05-29 03:00

WASHINGTON – Touring dozens of countries in one year is no easy task even for the most ambitious traveler, but here in town the 9th annual Embassy Chef Challenge allowed guests to sample 38 countries’ culinary specialties all in one night.
The prestigious annual event, held before the eve of Ramadan, brought together D.C. culinary aficionados and allowed participating embassies to display and introduce their culture through their cuisine to a sold-out crowd.
ABOUT 2,000 guests participated in the Embassy Chef Challenge. The embassies’ chefs fed the crowds while competing for the Judge’s and People’s Choices awards. The event was organized by Events DC and Cultural Tourism DC.
Throughout the evening guests ate their way through delicious national dishes and drinks prepared by the culinary teams from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan.
This year’s 2017 winners: Chef Moha Fedal of Morocco was chosen as the 2017 Judges’ Choice Champion and Chef Cynthia Verna of Haiti was the 2017 People’s Choice Champion.
Cooking up a storm for the judges and guests was serious business among these chefs, but the message behind the event was just as important: food is a diplomatic tool in any community.
“Food is like music,” Chef Red Garcia, from the Embassy of the Philippines, told the press. “You break the wall and you share your common values when you share your food with other ethnicities.”
Saudi Chef Yasser Al-Zannan achieved that goal at the event with his mufatah with rice paired with laban.
Who is Chef Yasser?
Not only is Yasser Al-Zannan a chef, he also holds Master’s degree in Economics from Old Dominion University. Before moving to Virginia for his studies, he owned Shawayh al-Eqtesad, a restaurant located in al Chafa area in Riyadh, where he fine-tuned his culinary skills. He sold it when he moved to the States.
“All thanks goes to my mother,” Chef Yasser told Arab News. “She taught me how to cook when I was a child. If not for her, I would never have become a chef.”
While studying in Virginia, Chef Yasser started cooking for friends, then parties, and different Saudi students’ events. “The number of guests grew and a lot of people learned about me, before long I was cooking Iftar during Ramadan at the Islamic Center at Old Dominion University. That’s where I learned to cook for large groups of people.”
A colleague helped him make the jump to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C. “One of my friends — a professional chef — Abdulrahman Al-Qahtani moved to Alexandria, Va., where continued to replicate Saudi traditional dishes.”
It was not long before the embassy heard about him, and asked him to provide meal ideas. “While there,” Chef Yasser said, “he asked me to join him, as he was preparing traditional Saudi food he thought it was good to have two styles of Saudi dishes, especially as we were cooking for several hundred people at large events.”
Chef Yasser soon became the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia’s Executive Chef and Manager of the Saudi Embassy’s cafeteria.
He admits that he wasn’t quite sure what he signed up for when Tarik Allagany, the Saudi Embassy’s Information Supervisor, asked him to participate in the DC Chef event. “This is one of the best events held in Washington, D.C.,” Allagany told Arab News.
But when Chef Yasser learned there would be 2,000 hungry guests to feed, he knew he wanted help.
So, Chef Yasser turned to Ahmed Al-Sasur, chef at the King Abdullah Academy in Virginia to help out. “He’s so professional. He’s got a lot of experience in these types of big events.”
“We are a great team, and it worked well to have the two of us to prepare the food. We brought in three big lambs, fresh from Pa., and the meal was cooked in the traditional Saudi manner with Saudi spices.
“Lots of people returned for seconds and thirds,” Chef Yasser beamed, “they liked it that much and everyone said it was really delicious.” Saudi décor helped create the ambiance, said Maram Alkharboosh, the Information Officer at the Royal Saudi Embassy, who set up and decorated the designated area with Saudi traditional objects, including an incense burner, or mubkraha, and traditional coffee pot, or dela.
“Food is the one thing that gathers people together,” Alkharboosh told Arab News, “it brings all these ethnicities together in one place.”
As for the outcome? “We weren’t thinking about winning, but rather how best to present our culture to people who were unfamiliar with it,” Chef Yasser said.

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Travolta donates plane to Australia aviation group

Mon, 2017-05-29 03:00

LOS ANGELES: John Travolta has donated his personal vintage Boeing 707 airplane to a restoration group in Australia.
He said in a statement Friday that the plane will require maintenance before for the trip from his Florida home to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society in Albion Park, about 145 km from Sydney.
The craft, which the society hopes to keep in the air, was originally in the Qantas fleet, delivered in 1964 and later converted to private use.
The actor, a pilot, hopes to be on board when the plane makes it voyage to Australia. The timing of that is uncertain.
Travolta said he has fond memories of the plane and is pleased it will continue to fly “well into the future.”

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Palestinians ban divorces during Ramadan

Agence France Presse
Sun, 2017-05-28 19:40

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: The head of Palestinian Islamic courts on Sunday told judges not to grant divorces over Ramadan, fearing the month-long fast could spark rash words that would be regretted later.
Judge Mahmud Habash said he based his ruling on “the experience of previous years” when he found that the dawn-to-dusk fast and ban on cigarettes, which began on Saturday, tended to lead to frayed tempers and sharp tongues.
“Some, because they have not eaten and not smoked, create problems” in their marriages, he said in a statement, and they can make “quick and ill-considered decisions.”
According to the Palestinian Authority, 50,000 weddings were celebrated in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 2015, but more than 8,000 divorces were also registered.
Endemic unemployment and poverty are said to be major contributing factors.
There is no civil marriage or divorce in the Palestinian territories, where only religious courts have those powers.

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Franco-Lebanese trumpeter Maalouf not keen on Hollywood

Fri, 2017-05-26 19:14

BEIRUT: For star trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf, famed for his award-winning film soundtracks and jazz-inspired mixing of eastern and western sounds, improvization is “a way of life.”
“Improvization is a discipline that people don’t understand well,” the Franco-Lebanese musician, who has played with Sting and Elvis Costello among others, told AFP.
“For me it symbolizes and sums up perfectly the best way to live, alongside each other,” he said during a trip to Lebanon to prepare for a July concert at a festival in Baalbek.
“To succeed in communicating with each other we must listen to each other and have empathy with others, despite the differences.”
The 36-year-old, born in Lebanon, fled with his parents — both musicians — during the country’s 15-year-civil war and settled in France.
He won French cinema’s highest award, a Cesar, in February for the music to “In the Forests of Siberia.”
He also wrote the score for Japanese director Naomi Kawase’s “Radiance” which was nominated for a Palme d’Or at this month’s Cannes film festival.
Composition aside, Maalouf has a passion for the spontaneous.
He is the artistic director of m’IMPROvise, a June festival in Etampes near Paris, with Quincy Jones’ protege, pianist Alfredo Rodriguez, topping the line-up.
“To improvise with others is to share a unique moment that will never happen twice,” he said.
Nephew of leading Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf, a member of the Academie Francaise, the trumpeter said he does not try to make his music popular.
“I write music that awakens a feeling in me that makes me happy. I have the impression that people appreciate that,” he said.
Despite his film music success, he doubts he could work in Hollywood.
“In my way of working, there is a permanent search for creation and authenticity,” he said.
“Hollywood is an industry that operates according to codes. It is very rare that a film goes outside the usual framework of the Hollywood film industry.”
“If Steven Spielberg or Quentin Tarantino for example asked me to compose music for their films and told me what they want… I would be obliged to refuse,” he said.

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Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor announce separation

Sat, 2017-05-27 03:00

LOS ANGELES: Ben Stiller and his wife announced Friday that they are separating after 17 years of marriage.
Stiller and actress Christine Taylor released a joint statement Friday announcing their breakup. They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.
“With tremendous love and respect for each other, and the 18 years we spent together as a couple, we have made the decision to separate. Our priority will continue to be raising our children as devoted parents and the closest of friends,” the actors wrote. “We kindly ask that the media respect our privacy at this time.”
Taylor has appeared in several of Stiller’s films, including “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” “Tropic Thunder” and “Zoolander” and its sequel.
The statement was first reported Friday by “Entertainment Tonight.”

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Ariana Grande plans show for Manchester victims

Fri, 2017-05-26 22:41

NEW YORK: Pop star Ariana Grande promised Friday to return to Manchester to play a charity concert following a suicide attack at her show, as she urged fans to respond to the tragedy with love.
In her first substantive comments since Monday’s tragedy, the singer said she felt “uplift” by seeing fans’ compassion after the blast which killed 22 people and was claimed by the Daesh group.
The 23-year-old, who suspended her tour and returned to her Florida home to rest, said she planned a concert as “an expression of love for Manchester.”
She said that the concert would raise money for the victims of the attack and their families. The date has not yet been set.
“Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before,” she said in an essay posted on her social media accounts.
“We won’t let this divide us. We won’t let hate win,” she said.
Grande, whose fan base is dominated by girls and young women, said she had seen a “beautiful, diverse, pure, happy crowd.”
She said that she viewed her concerts as places for her fans “to escape, to celebrate, to heal, to feel safe and to be themselves.”
“This will not change,” she said.
Grande canceled two weeks of concerts, including two shows in London, after the attacks. She flew home on Tuesday after releasing a brief message saying she felt “broken.”
She plans to resume her “Dangerous Woman” tour in Paris on June 7.

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Dubai firm dreams of harvesting icebergs for water

Wed, 2017-05-17 03:00

DUBAI: A Dubai firm’s dream of towing icebergs from the Antarctic to the Arabian Peninsula could face some titanic obstacles.
Where many see the crumbling polar ice caps as a distressing sign of global warming, the National Adviser Bureau Limited sees it as a source of profit, and a way of offsetting the effects of climate change in the increasingly sweltering Gulf.
The firm has drawn up plans to harvest icebergs in the southern Indian Ocean and tow them 9,200 kilometers (5,700 miles) away to the Gulf, where they could be melted down for freshwater and marketed as a tourist attraction.
“The icebergs are just floating in the Indian Ocean. They are up for grabs to whoever can take them,” managing director Abdullah Al-Shehi told The Associated Press in his Dubai office. He hopes to begin harvesting them by 2019.
It is perhaps no surprise that the idea would originate in Dubai, which is already famous for its indoor ski slope, artificial islands and the world’s tallest building. But the plan to harvest icebergs faces a wide array of legal, financial and logistical hurdles — and environmentalists are less than thrilled.
The firm would send ships down to Heard Island, an Australian nature reserve in the southern Indian Ocean, where they would steer between massive icebergs the size of cities in search of truck-sized chunks known as growlers. Workers would then secure them to the boats with nets and embark on a yearlong cruise to the United Arab Emirates.
The company believes that, as most of the icebergs’ mass is underwater, they would not melt significantly during the voyage. Al-Shehi said each iceberg would hold around 20 billion gallons of fresh water that could be harvested without costly desalinization, which currently provides nearly all of the Gulf region’s water.
Masdar, a government-backed clean energy firm in the United Arab Emirates, is exploring new technologies to meet the country’s water needs. The United Arab Emirates’ Energy Ministry issued a statement this week denying “reports” that an iceberg was in the process of being imported, without specifying the reports to which it referred.
Al-Shehi said his project is a private initiative and that he would seek government approval once his firm completes its feasibility study. He declined to share the company’s cost estimates, and said it has not carried out an environmental impact study.
Robert Brears, the founder of the climate think tank Mitidaption, has studied the feasibility of Antarctic ice harvesting and estimates the project would require an initial outlay of at least $500 million.
The challenges begin at Heard Island, where Australia strictly limits access in order to preserve the area’s rich ecosystem of migratory birds, seals, penguins and fish, which could be disrupted by large ships. Antarctica itself is subject to global treaties that mandate environmental regulations and ban mining and military activities.
Even if the firm secures the necessary approvals from multiple governments, the wrangling itself could prove daunting.
“There are thousands and thousands of icebergs drifting around and they can move without warning,” said Christopher Readinger, who heads the Antarctic team at the US National Ice Center. “Storms down there can be really brutal, and there’s really not anyone that can help.”
The interagency group uses satellites and floating sensors to track large icebergs in order to warn fishing and science vessels. One of the icebergs it tracked last month was twice the size of Manhattan.
Antarctica holds 60 percent of the world’s freshwater, frozen in an ice shelf that sheds nearly 1.2 trillion tons of icebergs a year , according to NASA. The ice loss is accelerating as global temperatures warm.
In the Arctic, Canadian “iceberg cowboys” use rifles to blast off chunks of icebergs that are later sold to wineries, breweries and vodka distilleries. A Norwegian company sells 750ml bottles of melted iceberg for $100 each.
But iceberg wranglers off Antarctica would find a leaner herd. “It’s the driest ice in the world,” Brears said. “You could melt a lot of this ice and get very little water from it.”
Environmentalists meanwhile point to simpler measures that could be taken to address climate change in the Middle East, like drip-irrigation, fixing leaks and water conservation.
“This region is the heartland of the global oil industry, it will be at the forefront of experiencing these massive, insane heat waves, and there’s only one way to avoid this — reducing emissions and keeping all fossil fuels in the ground,” said Hoda Baraka, spokeswoman for the climate advocacy group
Green investment groups are unlikely to finance the iceberg project, said Charlotte Streck, director of the consultancy firm Climate Focus. She says the project is “an exceptionally futile and expensive way” to solve the Gulf’s water woes __ and “seems to run counter to all ideas of climate change adaptation.”
Al-Shehi is undeterred, and insists the project will have no impact on Antarctica or any other natural environment. The whole process, he said, “will be a drop in the ocean.”

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