Old hat, new hat trick
It was a typical week at the office for Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban. Last Thursday, he was hacked by an established NHL star, Vincent Lecavalier. On Friday he scored a goal against the New York Rangers and was challenged to a fight. On Saturday, he was disparaged on national TV by Don Cherry, and on Sunday he scored the first hat trick by a rookie defenceman in the 101-year history of les glorieux. The ebullient Subban is driving his opponents to distraction—not to mention a few prigs in the hockey media. But with each passing game, it’s becoming clearer that P.K.’s detractors will have to adjust to him rather than vice versa. As former Habs GM Bob Gainey put it: “Some of those people should just shut up and play against him.”
Hugo still boss
An autocrat’s work is never done. In between signing trade agreements with China, including a deal involving Venezuela’s state-run oil company, and an extended $4-billion line of credit for its capital of Caracas, Latin American strongman Hugo Chávez found time last week to accuse America of planning to sabotage his re-election bid in 2012, censure the West for its air strikes on Libya—and attack the boom in breast implants in his own country. He pointed the finger at doctors, who “convince some women that if they don’t have some big bosoms, they should feel bad.”
Depends on your definition of sorry
“My original answers were truthful, accurate and precise, but they were not clear.” With that—and several other acrobatic sentences—International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda attempted last week to explain how she’d arrived on the verge of being found in contempt of Parliament. Questions about why the government decided to reject a funding proposal from the aid group Kairos date back months, but appearing before a parliamentary committee, Oda apologized for “creating confusion” and sought to “clarify any remaining confusion.” As for why it took this long to “clarify” such confusion, much mystery remains.
Flay slayed with a claw
Before Montreal chef Chuck Hughes became the second Canadian to win Iron Chef America, beating out heavyweight Bobby Flay, there was a moment when he questioned his love of crustaceans. The secret ingredient in the competition was Canadian lobster, which regularly features on the menu at Hughes’s Garde Manger restaurant. “It’s my favourite food,” he told Canadian Press. He even has a crawly one tattooed on his arm. While cooking under pressure, he asked himself, “If I don’t win, then do I need to cut my arm off?” Fortunately, his menu of lobster and onion ring salad, lobster roll with a Bloody Caesar cocktail, and jerk-spiced lobster carried the day, even if his lobster poutine didn’t. He didn’t have proper Quebec cheese curds, and the judges, he said, “hated it.” He nonetheless beat Flay 45-41.
If only he was always so selfless
Actress Lindsay Lohan decides this week whether to accept a plea deal, likely to include time behind bars, for the alleged theft of a necklace, but Fox News writer Hollie McKay is concerned with something more elusive: the starlet’s legal footprint. McKay totalled up the cost of the hours in court (and avoiding court), the hours in prison, the security and parole officers, and put the figure at several million—which falls to California taxpayers. Perhaps Lohan should learn from impeached Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who was back in the spotlight last week in the lead-up to his April 20 retrial. Blago, who was convicted of only one charge, has always declared his innocence in the pay-to-play scandal. Now his lawyers, who haven’t been paid in months, are asking his retrial on the other charges be cancelled. Why? Their client feels it’s a waste of public money and resources. And if a byproduct is that he doesn’t stand trial for any other charges, well, that’s just a price he’s willing to pay.
If that’s not love . . .
To run for president of Guatemala, Sandra Torres de Colom has to first divorce her husband. That’s because she happens to be married to the current president, Álvaro Colom, and the constitution bans close relatives from running for the highest office. Opponents see the “divorce by mutual consent” as nothing more than an attempt to defraud the system. Torres, who wields immense power in her husband’s administration, will likely face a court challenge to her candidacy.
Four thousand pictures, and their thousand words
U.S. Cpl. Jeremy Morlock, soon to be Wasilla, Alaska’s second most famous export, faced a court martial hearing this week, days after German magazine Der Spiegel published a shocking photo of him posed, grinning, next to an Afghan civilian he’s charged with killing in early 2010. Morlock, who is expected to plead guilty, is one of five soldiers charged with forming a “kill team” that documented its crimes with photos and videos—some 4,000 of them. The army apologized and Hillary Rodham Clinton is trying to contain the PR disaster. But, for New Yorker writer Seymour Hersh, the Der Spiegel photographs “help to explain why the American war in Afghanistan can probably never be ‘won.’ ”
Living better is the best revenge
A blond 22-year-old university student has caught the eye of Tiger Woods—and she’s a dead ringer for his ex-wife, Elin Nordegren. But Alyse Lahti, whose biological father is former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jeff Lahti, may have more in common with some of the dodgy mistresses who broke up Tiger’s marriage last year: a mug shot of the Cleveland native emerged this week from a DUI arrest last year. Nordegren, meanwhile, appears to have made a more substantial upgrade in her own life. She’s purchased a new 17,000-sq.-foot waterfront home in Palm Beach. It’s just 15 km from the one Tiger moved into last year—and bigger.
A shot not heard around the world
The question of a bullet this weekend caused a firestorm around hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean, campaigning in Haiti for presidential candidate Michel Martelly after his own bid was denied. The would-be politician claimed he was shot after hearing “the sound of booms” as he was getting out of a car near the capital. Pras Michel, a former fellow Fugee, tweeted, “Everyone can relax Wyclef is fine.” Though the singer is sticking to the story that a bullet “grazed” his right palm, a Haitian police chief confirmed that, according to doctors, Jean had actually cut his hand on glass.
A different kind of cover-up
Gratuitous use of Photoshop has tended to be the work of ad agencies or magazine editors trying to disappear extra pounds on already glamorous women (see InStyle‘s April cover, featuring a Tina Fey who seems to be missing some ribs). But the Photoshop job on Gisele Bündchen‘s new ads for Swedish retailer H&M zaps away unwanted flesh for a different reason: her cleavage would offend the Middle Eastern market. Solution: just add tank tops or cosy grey T-shirts underneath. Of course, Bündchen is at least recognizable, which is more than can be said for the preternaturally unwrinkled Zooey Deschanel in ads for cosmetics firm Rimmel. All that retouching seems to have made the actress touchy; after E! Online commented on the ad, she tweeted an indignant response: “@eonline-um . . . what happened to your face, eonline? RUDE!!!”
Maggie and . . . Jimmy?
At first glance, it seemed Ronald Reagan was the U.S. president most closely allied with Britain’s former prime minister Margaret Thatcher. The right wingers came to define the 1980s with their shared penchant for privatization and a deep distrust of the Soviets. But, according to newly released papers from the Iron Lady’s personal archives, she was also chummy with Reagan’s ideological antithesis and predecessor, Democrat Jimmy Carter. The two carried on a warm pen-pal relationship, and in one particularly cordial note, the peanut-farming president told Thatcher he attached “great importance to our personal correspondence.” And Thatcher in one letter wrote supportively about his “painful but necessary measures” to cut inflation and reduce energy consumption.
Only one Friday has passed since Rebecca Black‘s polarizing song about the end of the week was released on YouTube. But already, the viral hit has made her famous—for at least a Twitter minute. Friday has surpassed Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way in YouTube views (35 million at last count). Simon Cowell has said he’d like to meet the young songstress, Charlie Sheen tweeted about her, and Nick Jonas, of brothers fame, performed part of her single at a concert. All that’s left is for her to get her wish to sing a duet with fellow YouTube creation Justin Bieber. She shouldn’t hold her breath. The Bieb tweeted a message—”Sunday comes after Saturday? Weird.”—that suggests he’s not impressed.