French bloggers have responded with outrage to the appearance of Asterix, the French comic-book hero created by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, in a series of commercials for McDonald's. The burger chain has frequently been the focus of anti-American sentiment in France. In 1999, anti-globalisation protesters dismantled an entire McDonald's branch in south-west France and dumped the rubble outside the town hall. "My childhood hero sacrificed like a wild boar," complained one blogger. "What next? Tintin eating at Subway?"
Police were called to eject a college English professor from a branch of Starbucks in New York after she refused to say whether she wanted butter or cheese with her bagel. Lynne Rosenthal, in her early 60s, admitted she had fallen out with staff before, refusing to use Starbucks' "corporate speak" and insisting on ordering "small" or "large" coffees instead of "tall" or "venti". Matters got out of hand when a barista refused to give Professor Rosenthal a plain bagel unless she made clear if she wanted cheese or butter with it. "I just wanted a multigrain bagel," Prof Rosenthal told The New York Post. "I refused to say 'without butter or cheese'. When you go to Burger King, you don't have to list the six things you don't want. Linguistically, it's stupid, and I'm a stickler for correct English."
An outbreak of copycat Justin Bieber haircuts is sweeping the young male population of London, Ontario, although stylists say boys rarely admit to being fans of the 16-year-old Canadian singer. One stylist told the QMI news agency that they had had "tons" of requests for the Bieber look, but because their young customers thought it was uncool to admit liking Bieber, a heart-throb for young girls, they diplomatically referred to it as "The Shag". "I think people are in denial about looking like Justin Bieber," said Sandra Forward, the manager at Hairmasters.
Canadian police who raided a cannabis farm in a remote region east of Vancouver were initially alarmed when they discovered the property was being guarded by 14 black bears. The animals, common throughout the country, normally live solitary lives, but police believe they were lured to the property by the drugs growers with regular and generous helpings of dog food. Fortunately, the bears had become so domesticated they merely watched while the police arrested their benefactors, a couple in their 40s, confiscated plants worth one million Canadian dollars (Dh3.5 million) and even posed for photographs with the animals. "They were tame, they just sat around watching," said one officer. "At one point one of the bears climbed on to the hood of a police car, sat there for a bit and then jumped off." The couple have been charged with production and possession of the drug and face animal cruelty charges.
A study from Cornell University has found that men who earn less than their wives are more likely to cheat on them because they felt a "gender identity threat", whereas the less money a woman earns relative to her husband, the less likely she is to be unfaithful. The ideal relationship, concludes the study, due to be presented to the American Sociological Association on Monday, is one where both partners earn similar salaries. Men who earn considerably more than their wives are as likely to cheat on them as their poorer counterparts - just because they have more opportunity to do so. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist, told Bloomberg: "Around the world, women go for men who are on the top of the pile."