A week of big bangs and blow-outs

Improved safeguards to prevent rogue nuclear attacks, a mixed martial arts match that failed to ignite, and a new twist on the big bang theory. Rob McKenzie reviews the week

Haakon Magnus, the crown prince of Norway, second from right, visited Zayed University earlier this week.
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A 47-nation summit organised by the United States achieved a series of incremental measures to prevent nuclear material from falling into terrorists' hands. Ukraine, for example, was among a handful of countries that agreed to surrender its high-grade uranium to the United States, the only nation ever to drop a nuclear bomb. Iran was not invited but has organised a meeting of 15 nations which do not yet have the bomb.

Lech Kaczynski, the president of Poland, died along with 96 others when their plane crashed in foggy weather in Russia. Kasczynski's wife, Maria, was also among the dead. The couple left behind one child, Marta, a lawyer. She met her father's casket at the airport on Sunday, and her mother's on Tuesday; both times she knelt by the casket and cried. Kaczynski is the first head of state to die in a plane crash since the Macedonian president Boris Trajkovski, whose plane hit a mountain while flying through bad weather on February 26, 2004.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship needs controversy like it needs a kick in the teeth, and Anderson "The Spider" Silva obliged on one count in defending his middleweight crown at UFC 112: Invincible on Yas Island. Silva, a lithe and slippery Brazilian, vexed 11,000 bloodthirsty fans by neglecting to pummel his overmatched opponent, instead merely toying with him for the better part of five rounds. The crowd booed in disgust. Away from the action, Josh Gross of si.com described Ferrari World as "a city-sized structure straight out of a James Bond film."

A Dubai court sentenced an Iranian and a Tajik, both in their late 30s, to life in prison for taking part in the plot to kill Sulim Yamadayev, a former Chechen warlord, outside Jumeirah Beach Residence. Court documents show that as part of the preparation for the murder, the Iranian was handed a document bag and told to hang onto it. Of course, he peeked inside the bag. And saw the golden gun that would end Yamadayev's life.

Norway's dashing crown prince, Haakon Magnus, inspired students at Zayed University by urging them to help others. Haakon recounted how, during a visit to Mongolia, schoolchildren told him what they wanted to be when they grew up: "One said policeman, another said lawyer and yet another said doctor, so this tells us that everyone has expectations whether poor or rich. So something that we need to do is see each other as a whole instead of them and us ... Why should we care about people we don't know? Why should it make a difference to us what happens to them? The answer is dignity ... " Haakon raised a stir in his native country when, in 2001, he married a single mother. The couple now oversee a humanitarian foundation with projects at home and abroad.

Gold's Gym, the legendary cradle of California musclemen whose clients have included Arnold Schwarzenegger and Faith Hill, is expanding to the Middle East. The company signed a franchise deal with Al Ahli Holding Group that will start with 26 outlets in the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.

You may have heard of "Nimby" ("Not in my Backyard!") syndrome, in which communities agitate for a noisome but necessary service, such as a garbage dump, to be located somewhere else. Well, this past week saw the birth of "Nomad" ("Not on my Al Dhaid!") syndrome, in which Sharjah announced a plan to push rumbling lorries away from Al Dhaid Road by imposing a Dh100 toll.

Phil Mickelson, loyal husband to his cancer-stricken wife, took home US$1.35 million (Dh5 million) for winning the Masters golf tournament. Tiger Woods, finished fourth - out of the medals! - and took home just $330,000. @Body-SubheadNew:And we mean "rolled out"

This newspaper celebrates its second anniversary today.

KFC rolled out its new Double Down sandwich in outlets across America. Between slices of fried or grilled chicken (your choice!), the Double Down crams in two types of cheese and a "zesty" sauce. KFC says the thing has 540 calories. Nutritionists say the Double Down is basically salt, fat and a wrapper. On the other hand, it conveniently offers almost your entire daily requirement of sodium in one sitting. On the day of its debut, the Double Down ranked No 4 on Yahoo's Trending Now list, behind John Gotti Jr and just ahead of Shakira and Auschwitz.

In Monday's issue of the peer-reviewed journal Physics Letters B, an American scientist theorised that our universe might be inside a wormhole inside a black hole inside a much larger universe. According to Indiana University's Nikodem Poplawski, a massive particle that had entered a black hole could have released an enormous amount of energy - a big bang - as it was sucked into a wormhole inside the black hole. As this would re-orient the dawn of our time, it could throw a twist into unsolved puzzles such as where gravity originated, and why the universe is expanding.

According to weather.com, the week's high in the capital, through Thursday, was a mild 34°C. The high for the year so far was 42°C on April 9. The coming week's high should be a warmish 38°C. * The National, with additional reporting by agencies