Last year, Dubai offered its adult residents an incentive to lose weight: The government would match the amount of weight they lost with gold, exchanging one gram of gold for every kilogram of weight lost. Now, the country is implementing a similar program for children.
"Your Child in Gold" doubles the reward, with two grams of gold offered to families for every kilogram of weight lost by in children aged two to 14. For reference, one gram of gold is worth $41.92, Quartz notes, and one kilogram is 2.2 pounds. There are, of course, stipulations: Only two children per family can participate, and children must each lose at least two kilograms of weight to be eligible. Participants visit official weigh-in sites to track their progress, and the program will run until Sept. 15.
Last year's adult program resulted in 2.8 million dirhams, or $762,340, in payouts, so the incentive may help parents encourage healthy habits in their children. A 2012 survey in the BMC Public Health journal found that the United Arab Emirates is the world's sixth most obese nation, so the incentive may help its citizens develop healthier lifestyles. (For reference, the U.S. was the world's most obese nation, according to the survey.) According to a report from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, 33.7 percent of adults in the UAE are obese.
When the program launched on July 15, roughly 15 percent of the 9,200 who enrolled did so as families. More than 25,000 people have enrolled in this year's program, while last year's enrollment was roughly 9,000.
Some nutrition experts have expressed concern with the program, however. "If a child is dramatically overweight, then two [kilograms] over the course of a month is fine," Dr. Fawad Khan, a consultant in family medicine at Al Noor Hospital, told The National. "But if the child is under four and they're losing that much weight, that might pose some health concerns." Meghan DeMaria
In the eighth inning of Monday's game between the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants at San Francisco's AT&T Park, Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland slammed a 98-mph fastball into Bryce Harper's hip, in their first matchup since Harper smacked two home runs off of Strickland in the 2014 MLB playoffs. Harper, and almost everyone else watching, viewed the hit as intentional.
"Strickland hit Harper so hard the ball flew into the air and landed halfway up the first base line, so flush that one could not mistake intent, though of course the perpetrators in these cases rarely admit that they had it planned," writes Chelsea Janes at the Nats' hometown paper, The Washington Post. Harper charged Strickland, throwing his helmet and then throwing punches. "In that situation," Harper said after the game, "you see red."
The Bryce Harper vs. Hunter Strickland History pic.twitter.com/2gG9rsFKsM
— EO (@LearnTrainWin) May 29, 2017
And in slow-motion:
Slow motion close up pic.twitter.com/TZGWLWuoAa
— Barno (@DCBarno) May 29, 2017
It isn't clear why Strickland would hold a grudge against Harper for three years, or what perceived injury Harper caused him, especially when the Giants went on to win the 2014 World Series. Strickland denied any retaliatory intent, saying his goal was simply "to go inside." After the punches started flying, "it took four of his own teammates to carry him off the field, one grabbing his leg to render him immobile, removing him from the fray like one might a petulant child," the Post's Janes said. The Nats won the game, 3-0. Peter Weber
On Sunday, the day after he returned from a nine-day trip overseas, President Trump spent a lot of time on the phone with friends and lawyers fretting about the growing investigation into Russian election meddling and the negative press it is bringing his White House, Politico reports. "Two White House officials said Trump and some aides including Steve Bannon are becoming increasingly convinced that they are victims of a conspiracy against Trump's presidency, as evidenced by the number of leaks flowing out of government — that the crusade by the so-called 'deep state' is a legitimate threat, not just fodder for right wing defenders."
Though Trump was largely silent on Twitter during his trip, he sent several tweets on Sunday railing against "fake news" and anonymous sources, and he repeatedly brought up the Russia investigation while he was overseas, Politico says, citing "an ally close to the White House." An "outside adviser who is close to the president" added, "The more people talk to him about it, the more he obsesses about it." Trump's senior aides they don't know how Trump plans to deal with the Russia investigation and its fallout, and they don't know what shoe will drop next. You can read more at Politico. Peter Weber
When it comes to global security, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) argues that Russian President Vladimir Putin poses a larger threat than the Islamic State.
"I think [Putin] is the premier and most important threat, more so than ISIS," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday, before he headed to Singapore for a defense summit. Russia continues to meddle in elections, most recently in France, McCain said, and because of that he views Russia as "the far greatest challenge that we have. So, we need to have increased sanctions and hopefully when we come back from our recess, the Senate will move forward with sanctions on Russia and enact other penalties for Russian behavior."
He also briefly touched on President Trump's national security team, and the strategy they are putting together for Afghanistan. "I do believe that most of the time he accepts their advice and counsel," McCain said. "Can I tell you that he does all the time? No. And does it bother me? Yes, it bothers me." Catherine Garcia
Armed with water, brushes, and environmentally safe cleaning solution, Andrew Lumish spends every Sunday at Woodlawn Cemetery in Tampa, cleaning the gravestones of veterans who fought in conflicts from the Civil War to Vietnam.
"It's pretty messy, pretty dirty," he told WUSF. "We're pulling out dirt and biological material that's been here since 1921. So, a lot of elbow grease here." Lumish says that over the last five years, he's cleaned about 600 gravestones, with some covered in so much mold and mildew it was impossible to read the names. It all started when Lumish, a history buff, was at another cemetery taking photos, and saw how the gravestones of some veterans were in complete disrepair. Because he owns his own cleaning company, Lumish decided he would give back by bringing new life to the gravestones.
It takes Lumish anywhere from four days to four months to finish cleaning a gravestone; it's easier when a stone is made of marble or granite and the dirt stays on the surface, rather than limestone and sandstone, which are porous. Lumish uses genealogy websites and records at the library stretching back to the 1800s to get information on the veterans, and he posts what he learns on a Facebook page called Good Cemeterian. He's also inspired others, now serving as a consultant and helping Potter County in Pennsylvania clean its own veterans' tombstones. "We uncover heroes," Lumish said. "They were not considered heroes of their day, so I hope that some of the stories that I tell make people appreciate the men and women that serve currently. There are heroes today that surround us on a daily basis." Catherine Garcia
A car bomb that exploded in central Baghdad early Tuesday killed at least 10 people and left 40 wounded, Iraqi officials said.
Police Maj. Ali Mohammed told CNN the explosion took place in "the busy al Hurriya Square," and an interior ministry spokesman said the car bomb detonated outside an ice cream shop. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility, saying they were targeting Shiite Muslims. Islam's holy month of Ramadan began on Friday, and families often are out late during the month, breaking their daily fast. Catherine Garcia
Golf great Tiger Woods said Monday night he is taking "full responsibility" for the actions that led to him being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence early Monday morning in Jupiter, Florida.
In a statement, Woods, 41, said he understood the "severity" of what happened, but wanted the "public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn't realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly." Woods went on to apologize to his "family, friends, and the fans. I expect more from myself, too. I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again." Catherine Garcia
A sportswriter for The Denver Post was fired Monday after he sent what the newspaper called a "disrespectful and unacceptable" tweet about the winner of the Indianapolis 500.
Following Takuma Sato's win on Sunday, sporstwriter Terry Frei tweeted: "Nothing specifically personal, but I am very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend." Not long after he posted his message, Frei deleted it. He followed up with an apology to Sato and those who were offended by his tweet. "I made a stupid reference, during an emotional weekend, to one of the nations that we fought in World War II — and, in this case, the specific one my father fought against," he said, later adding he was "angry" at himself because "there was no constructive purpose in saying it and I should not have said it, especially because The Denver Post has been dragged into this."
It wasn't enough, and on Monday morning, The Post's Mac Tully and Lee Ann Colacioppo released a statement saying Frei was no longer an employee and they were sorry for his "disrespectful and unacceptable" tweet. Catherine Garcia