SU BS CR IP TI ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 THULHIJJA 4, 1432 AH www.kuwaittimes.net Injured Libyans arrive in Kuwait for treatment 150 FILS 2 40 PAGES NO: 15256 Deadly storm hangs on in Northeast US Quake if West meddles in Syria, warns Assad League asks Damascus to end bloodletting conspiracy theories 11 Aussie court ends Qantas strike, fleet grounding 21 Vettel wins inaugural F1 Indian GP 20 Max 31� Min 19� Low Tide 08:20 & 19:46 High Tide 00:46 & 14:52 Buried secrets, what a shame! By Badrya Darwish email@example.com I watched a few videos online today showing the killing of Gaddafi. Every day there are more and more shots of the event revealed. It looks like many people wanted to keep the memory and were snapping photos and shooting videos of Gaddafi's last minutes. But the video I saw today was the worst of all. It was horrific. It was nothing like the ones broadcast on the news when he died and blood was trickling down his face. They suspected that there was a bullet in his head and he was killed. Today's video was another story. It was like a scene from a horror movie - like Scream or Horror on Elm Street. These are movies. Gaddafi's movie was a reality. Please guys, do not misinterpret my words. I am all the way against the guy. Even before the revolution started, I'd had my own revolution against him for the past 20 years. I never thought the man was loyal neither to his country nor to the Arab world. He was totally loco and in love with himself. I used to mention this all the time whenever appropriate. I wrote against him many times. I got more angry with him after the start of the revolution especially when he called his people rats. I will never forget his words - that he would chase these rats Zenga Zenga. He launched a war against his own people. He killed thousands and ruined Libya. In fact, he had destroyed Libya much earlier when he reigned for 40 years and did not do anything for this oil-rich country with a population of just five million. Libya should have been the paradise of Africa, as the leader was the King of Kings of Africa. The way these guys, according to the video I watched, kept kicking him and beating him and torturing him, spitting on him and calling him names, I disagree with. They took the law in their own hands. They tarnished the beauty of the revolution. The revolution was right and decent and the whole world sympathized with them. It is a pity that the last picture of the revolution was portrayed in such an ugly manner. Leave the law to the judiciary. We do not live in the jungle. What happened with Gaddafi's murder was the law of the jungle. You might argue with me that the man deserved it. Yes, he did. But there are rules and regulations especially in the Muslim world. Islam does not allow this. You were beating him and killing him saying: "Allah Akbar." In fact I wish you have kept him alive and take him to court and get all the secrets and deals out of this man, and all the deals he did with the whole world, gangs, leaders, countries, organizations etc. Now it will all be buried with him, unfortunately. This is another loss for Libya and for the world. Where did Libya's money go for 40 years? JEDDAH: Indonesian pilgrims arrive at the Jeddah airport yesterday on their way to the holy city of Makkah where they will take part in the annual Hajj. -- AFP Opposition keeps heat on premier Bloc seeks meeting with Amir By B Izzak KUWAIT: The newly-formed Opposition Bloc stepped up the pressure on HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah demanding his resignation hours after deciding to request a meeting with HH the Amir to urge him to dismiss the premier. Outspoken opposition MP Mussallam Al-Barrak said the number of the opposition bloc has increased to 21 after MPs Hussein Mazyed and Hassan Jowhar yesterday resigned from the National Assembly committees they were elected to last week. MP Faisal Al-Muslim said that Mazyed informed him that he has joined the opposition and from now on he will participate in its meetings, adding that the "death certificate" of the government will be written soon. The new developments came after a late Saturday night meeting of 19 opposition MPs at the diwaniya of MP Mohammad Al-Mutair which lasted until midnight. Mutair told reporters the meeting has decided to request a meeting with HH the Amir this week and he himself requested the meeting. Mutair expected the meeting to take place soon and probably before the Eid Al-Adha holidays starting next week. Continued on Page 13 DAMASCUS: President Bashar Al-Assad has warned that Western intervention would cause an "earthquake" across the region, as Arab ministers opened talks yesterday aimed at ending the violence in Syria. After almost 100 people died in the bloodiest two days of the uprising against his rule, Assad warned of "another Afghanistan" if foreign forces intervened in Syria as they had in Libya. "Syria is the hub now in this region," Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper quoted Assad as telling one of its journalists in Damascus. "It is the fault line, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake-do you want to see another Afghanistan, or tens of Afghanistans?" he asked. "Any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region." In Doha, meanwhile, an Arab League team opened talks with a Syrian delegation led by Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, bolstered by strong support for the bloc's mediation efforts from China, one of two governments with Russia which earlier this month vetoed UN Security Council action against Damascus. The Arab ministerial delegation led by Qatar aimed to try to reach "serious results and an exit to the Syrian crisis," a statement from the team said. In talks in Damascus last week, the Arab ministers warned Assad to stop the bloodshed and start meaningful reforms or face an international intervention, the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas reported yesterday. Citing well-informed Arab sources, the paper said the delegation told Assad on Wednesday that failure to resolve the crisis within the Arab fold would mean "internationalizing" the unrest. "This would mean Syria should expect a foreign intervention and a painful international blockade on the economy and other aspects," the daily said. China threw its weight behind the Arab mediation effort, with its Middle East envoy Wu Sike saying he had told Assad in Damascus on Thursday that his regime's deadly crackdown on dissent "cannot continue." Wu said China supported the Arab League's proposal for Assad's regime to hold talks with dissidents, some of whom he met during his visit to the Syrian capital. "Syria has to show some flexibility in that regard in order to help the Arab League implement its proposal," he said. Wu said Assad's regime must "respect and respond to the aspirations and rightful demands of the Syrian people," and abandon the crackdown that has killed more than 3,000 people since mid-March, according to UN figures. China, along with Russia, vetoed a Western-drafted resolution at the UN Security Council on October 4 that would have threatened Assad's regime with targeted sanctions if it continued its campaign against protesters. Assad told Russian television yesterday he expected continued support from Moscow, less than a month Continued on Page 13 Qatar suggests Saudi, Iran meet over `plot' DOHA: Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani proposed yesterday that Saudi and Iranian officials should meet over the alleged Iran plot to kill the Saudi envoy to Washington, state media said. "I think that the best and easiest way to solve this issue is for the two sides to meet," Sheikh Hamad, who also holds the foreign affairs portfolio, said after meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, QNA state news agency said. " The Islamic Republic of Iran and Saudi Arabia are two big nations and should have good relations," he said, adding that he hoped that US allegations against Iran would be proven false. "We are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and we have an interest in the security and stability of Saudi Arabia. We hope that it is false," he said. "We still wait for evidence," he said. The United States claims that the Quds Force of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards plotted to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington by hiring assassins from a Mexican drug cartel for $1.5 million. An Iranian-American accused of involvement in the plot pleaded not guilty in a New York court last week. Iran has strongly denied any involvement. -- AFP Kuwait inflation edges up to 4.5% KUWAIT: Kuwait's inflation rate edged up to 4.5 percent in September this year compared to the same month of 2010. It increased 1.1 percent compared to August 2011, a report said yesterday. The Central Statistical Office's report, issued earlier yesterday, said that the monthly consumers' price index for September 2011 showed a rise of 150 points, compared to the recorded 148.4 points in August 2011 and 143.5 points in September of 2010. In September 2001, food index rose 9.2 percent, clothing and footwear index rose 3 percent, it added. Also in the same month, educational and healthcare services' index edged up 3.3 percent, household goods and services rose 4.4 percent, transport and communications surged 3.1 percent and other services index went up 3 percent while beverages and tobacco index fell 0.7 percent. The report showed that inflation rates for the period of September of 2011 with August of the same year saw the food index increasing by 2.2 percent, clothing and footwear by 1.2 percent, household goods and other services by 0.7 percent, educational and healthcare services by 1.2 percent, transport and communications by 0.9 percent and beverages and tobacco by 1.2 percent. -- KUNA KARZAKAN, Bahrain: A boy flashes a V sign as mothers wait to pick up their children at the gates of a primary school in the western village of Karzakan, Bahrain yesterday. As of today (Oct 31), according to the UN Population Fund, there will be 7 billion people sharing Earth's land and resources. --AP (See Page 14) Kuwait Airways puts privatization on hold Ailing airline mulls restructuring DUBAI: State-owned Kuwait Airways has delayed plans to privatize the airline and will now push ahead with a restructuring of the ailing carrier, a committee formed for the privatization process said. The national carrier, which was established in 1954, has been struggling to cut losses and increase revenues amid rising competition from other regional carriers like Dubai's Emirates and Abu Dhabi's Eithad Airways. It was offering 35 percent of its share capital of KD220 million ($805.3 million) to potential long-term investors, amounting to around $280 million, as part of the privatization process aimed at transforming the airline to an efficient and lean operator. "The delay in privatizing KAC gives us the opportunity to address a number of operational and structural issues ahead of a future privatization program," it said in a statement yesterday. The privatization committee said it completed the review of the expressions of interest (EOI), which was initiated in August. It said it received interest from local and international parties, without giving further details. The committee made a recommendation to the Council of Ministers to proceed with a restructuring plan before undertaking the privatization process. The plan has been approved by the ministers who are proceeding with an amendment to the 2008 law providing the legal framework for restructuring the airline, the statement said. AMBITIOUS PLAN The struggling airline's privatization plan was seen as ambitious by many analysts, thanks to factors including high operating costs, political concerns and the offer price, which was perceived to be high. Etihad Airways said in August media reports that it would be interested in Kuwait Airways were "speculative". Qatar Airways also steered clear of claims that it may be a potential suitor. The privatization committee had said the Kuwait Investment Authority, the country's sovereign wealth fund, would own 20 percent of the new airline company which would have a predetermined share capital of KD220 million ($806 million). Joint-stock companies listed on the Kuwaiti bourse and "specialized" international firms were allowed to subscribe, the company had said in a statement in August. Continued on Page 13 A e niv rsar n Years LOCAL 2 KUWAIT: Army Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Ahmad Khalid Al-Sabah left here yesterday for Jordan, heading a military delegation on an official visit to discuss ways to boost cooperation in military fields. He was seen off by the Deputy Chief of Staff Lt Gen Khalid Jarrah Al-Sabah, Commander of the Air Force Maj Gen Abdelaziz Al-Jasem and a number of Air Force officers. Expat staff covered for striking MoJ workers KUWAIT: Expatriate staff helped cover for striking Ministry of Justice (MoJ) personnel during recent industrial action by legal workers at a number of state bodies, according to a senior MoJ official. Despite this help, which ensured that the departments were able to maintain their basic operations, the departments were adversely affected in other ways, the official added. In a statement issued on Saturday, Acting MoJ Undersecretary Abdulaziz AlAbdullah said, "The ministry put plans and mechanisms in place to contain the situation and make sure that everyday transactions weren't obstructed." He added that whilst the MoJ respects employees' right to take strike action, the ministry must act to ensure that it is able to continue functioning during any strikes. Justice minister Dr Mohammad Al-Afasi, who is also Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, has reportedly been liaising with senior Civil Service Commission officials concerning the MoJ union's wage demands, but has yet to make any final statement on the matter. Meanwhile, dozens of retired servicemen from the ministries of interior and defense and the National Guard, as well as retired personnel from the Kuwait Fire Services Directorate, staged a protest in Irada Square on Saturday evening, issuing a number of demands including improved pensions and allowances. -- Al-Qabas Temperatures to fall, good chance of rain KUWAIT: Temperatures in Kuwait are set to fall this week, reaching a minimum of 20 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 35 degrees C, according to meteorologist Adel Al-Saadoun, who added that rain is likely in the near future. Al-Saadoun further explained that the dusty weather that hit the country on Saturday was caused by the arrival of an area of low pressure, which led to southeasterly winds of up to 50 kilometers per hour. He added, however, that whilst the temperature is getting cooler, this week's weather will be quite stable. On a related note, a Ministry of Public Works (MPW) insider revealed that the ministry's emergencies committee is set to meet this week with officials from the MPW's maintenance and sewage system engineering departments to discuss the preparations for the upcoming rainy season. -- Al-Rai Four-man gang robs baqala KUWAIT: Police are searching for four men accused of robbing a small baqala (grocery store) just off Salmi Road. The traumatized shopkeeper told police that the four men had come into the shop, with one brandishing a gun, and seized the cash register before fleeing the scene in a car from which the license plates had been removed. Crime scene investigators took fingerprints at the scene and a hunt is underway for the thieves. Brutal bridal party The owner of a Fahaheel beauty salon has pressed charges against a bridal party who she says assaulted her following a dispute about the standard of the bride-to-be's make-up. The woman told police that when she attempted to reason with the women, who also included the bride's mother and her friends, and to explain that her team had done the best that it could, the bridal par ty became violent, brutally assaulting her. She provided a medical report detailing the three teeth broken in the attack. An investigation is underway. Dog mauls child An Egyptian child was hospitalized after she was savaged in an attack by a neighbor's dog in the courtyard of a building adjoining the one where her family lives. After rushing her daughter to Mubarak Hospital, the child's mother filed a complaint against the dog owner, a Kuwaiti citizen, telling police that he had previously been warned over the Alsatian's aggression towards other residents. The owner has been summoned for questioning. Arson accusation Sulaibiya police have arrested a teenager accused of setting fire to a neighbor's diwaniya following a dispute between his father and the diwaniya owner. After firefighters put out the blaze, they traced the source of the fire to a cigarette butt, with the homeowner identifying it as the brand smoked by the teen. The homeowner said that he had recently been involved in a dispute with the accused boy 's father. The alleged arsonist is being held for questioning. Fugitive caught A Kuwaiti woman wanted on multiple charges was recently arrested after police pulled her over in Salmiya. After noticing her erratic driving, patrol police pulled the suspect over, arresting her after they found that she was intoxicated. On checking her ID, the officers found that she was wanted in connection with outstanding charges of battery, fraud, housebreaking, slander and public intoxication. She was referred to the relevant authorities to face the existing and new charges. Abuse allegation A Kuwaiti man has been accused of physically and verbally assaulting his former wife, who also claims that he threatened to kill her. The woman told officers at South Surra police station that after she returned to her home in the area late one evening, she found her ex-husband at her house. He was apparently angry, having reproached her before over coming home late and expressed concern that this might somehow damage the reputation of their children, who she has custody of, launching a verbal and physical assault on her. The woman also provided a medical report detailing the injuries she sustained in the attack. Her former husband was arrested shortly afterwards and is in police custody. 58 netted in crackdown Fifty-eight expatriate residents in the country illegally were arrested in sixhour nationwide crackdown over the weekend. Farwaniya police reportedly arrested 24 individuals in Farwaniya and Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, while 19 were taken into custody in Jahra Governorate and 15 others were detained in Hawally and Salmiya. Honest man An honest young Kuwaiti man who discovered KD500 and a cash card in a Sabah Al-Salem ATM immediately called police to report the discovery. The young man explained that he had approached the cash machine to withdraw some money, only to discover the KD500 sticking out of it, along with the cash card. Since it was 9:00 PM and the bank was closed, he called police to report his find. A hunt is underway for the lucky card owner. --Al-Rai, Al-Anba, Al-Qabas, Al-Watan y MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 Illegal overseas phone calls `thriving business' MoC lost more than KD630 million By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Maria, a 40-something Eastern European expat, sits huddled in a small cubicle at one of Kuwait's few illegal phone centers. She dials the number of her family back home and then spends twohours chatting. After hanging up, she takes two one-dinar notes from her purse and pays for her call before leaving. Maria is just one of many expats who keep in regular contact with their families at home at these illegal phone centers. Recent statistic shows that some 40 percent of international calls from Kuwait are made illegally. According to some expat residents, the cost per call makes the use of these centers far more attractive than the alternative. At ten fils per minute to India, 15 fils to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and 100 fils per minute to Philippines and GCC countries, the costs currently charged at these centers or by individuals offering the same service are far lower than using a mobile phone, with charges for overseas calls via a mobile starting at 250 fils per minute or even more. How does the business of illegal phone centers work? All the vendors need to do is to purchase a card for KD28.5 for 600 minutes of telephone credit. "The telephone card is only KD23, but you have to pay KD5 for the internet connection," a call vendor named Madhu explained to the Kuwait Times. The 600 minutes of call time will then be sold at a mark-up to customers, most of whom are Filipinos and Indians. "Filipinos and Indians are my customers, but I like Filipino most because we charge them [more] so 100 fils for [each minute of ] the 600 minutes credit means KD60 in profit," he added. Madhu also moonlights as a vendor of individual prepaid cards, which ensures that regular customers get a phone card to talk to their families. This black market income is one way in which Kuwait's phone network is illegally used and abused on a daily basis, according to the Ministry of Communication (MOC). At more than 250 fils per minute for overseas calls, the MoC's call charges are the highest among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. This has led many of the country's expatriate minorities to turn to the illegal phone centers simply because they offer the only affordable way to maintain contact with family back home. "Why spend dinars when you can pay a few fils for each call?" said one customer. "Like for us in India it is even cheaper to call back home in India than calling my family and friends here in Kuwait." According to an article in local daily Al-Qabas, however, these centers cost the Kuwaiti economy dearly, with the MoC losing an estimated KD630 million between 1992 and 2006 in revenue due to over a million expatriates preferring to use the illegal centers to stay in contact with loved ones back home. One source told the Kuwait Times that some providers are fully aware of and even involved in such phone call centers. Another communications insider backed up this claim, suggesting that internet providers in Kuwait as well as some MoC employees cooperate with the `gangs' that run offices or individual vendors in exchange for profit. "I got the pre-paid card for calls from a source. It is not available at the baqala," said a Bangladeshi janitor, offering to buy one for this reporter in return for payment. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the janitor said that he has a number of regular customers for the telephone calls, especially among Filipinos and Indians. "I have a good number of customers who know about my telephone connection and I don't need to go out and offer services; people who they [regular customers] know will hear about my services and they'll come to meet me or sometimes I'll come to them to offer my services," he explained. He said that he receives a monthly salary of KD60 for his normal job, adding that the additional income from providing the international call is quite good, and certainly better than his salary. "The salary for me is just like a small bonus in my pocket I am earning lots here in this illegal telephone call business," he said. "If a person cannot pay because maybe they're broke I don't really mind at all. Can you call without paying in the call centers? What about using the services of giant telecom companies? You have to pay first before you can get their services, but I sometimes give them free." One operator at a call centercum-internet cafe in Kuwait City also suggested that the illegal international calls are mostly carried out by expatriates. "I've been doing this for months now and ever since I haven't had any problems at all," he claimed. He explained that since he bought the phone card legally and is bothering nobody he isn't afraid of getting in trouble. Just to ensure that he doesn't face any problems, however, he takes one additional security measure: "I offer these services only to people whom I know mean business. I don't offer it to Arabs." Another local Arabic daily quoting a senior MoC official noted that while the ministry is working restlessly to tackle this problem, its abilities are limited whilst those responsible are using high-tech devices they can import to Kuwait without problems, through which they can make calls online via computers and cell phones. KUWAIT: Injured Libyans arrive here yesterday to receive medical treatment at Kuwaiti hospitals. Injured Libyans arrive in Kuwait for treatment KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti Air Force (KAF) plane arrived at Abdullah Al-Mubarak Airbase yesterday carrying a number of injured Libyans who are to receive medical treatment at Kuwaiti hospitals, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Defense (MoD) The move comes as a part of a humanitarian initiative launched by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait and the Supreme Commander for the Armed Forces, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, said the statement, adding that it also forms par t of Kuwait's continuous support for the brotherly Libyan people. Amongst those on hand to receive the injured Libyans, all of whom require specialist medical care, were KAF Assistant Co m m a n d e r A i r Co m m o d o re S u l t a n Khamis Al-Farhan, a number of KAF officers, senior Kuwaiti Red Crescent Society officials, and medical emergency personnel from the Ministry of Health, who immediately took the newly arrived patients to local hospitals. --KUNA Bogus cop busted By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Police in Hawally have arrested a Kuwaiti man who carried out several armed robberies while posing as a detective. The man admitted to stealing a total of KD20,000 in hold-ups across Kuwait. He was taken into custody and is awaiting trial. Hoax bomb threat Police yesterday evacuated the Mashael School in Jahra after what was believed to be a hoax bomb threat. At the time of going to press, bomb squad officers were still combing the scene, but a police insider said that similar calls which turned out to be hoaxes had been received about the same school previously, always coinciding with exam periods. Three hurt in car accidents Two Bangladeshi men in their thirties were taken to Jahra Hospital after complaining of severe back pain following a car crash near the Ministry of Health headquarters building. In a separate incident, a 29-year-old Lebanese man suffered multiple bruises in a car accident near the Hilton Resort in Mangaf. He was taken to Adan Hospital. Fight club A 30-year-old Indian man was rushed to Adan Hospital after sustaining lacerations to his scalp and both shoulders in a fight in Fahaheel. In a separate fight, this time near the slaughterhouse in Shuwaikh, a 22-year-old Syrian man suffered lacerations to his left arm. He was taken to Sabah Hospital. Meanwhile, a 38-year-old Bedoon (stateless) man was taken to Jahra Hospital after suffering bruises to his forehead in a fight near the Irfan Complex in Jahra. Two falls A 29-year-old Canadian man suffered fractures to his left thighbone when he fell from a high window. He was taken to Sabah Hospital. A 17-year-old Kuwaiti girl was taken to Al-Razi Hospital after suffering a suspected broken right elbow when she fell from a horse at the Mesilla Club. KUWAIT: Some of the spoiled fish that was confiscated yesterday. Officials unearth violations By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Municipality officials have unearthed a series of violations while carrying out regular inspections ahead of Eid Al-Adha, announced Dr Fadhel Safar, Minister of Municipal Affairs. He said that all supervisory departments have been placed on full alert to safeguard the health and safety of the public. Safar lauded the efforts exerted by the Imports Department inspectors at the Kuwait Airport in connection with confiscating a large quantity of spoiled fish. Also, Istiqlal Al-Musallam Director of Imported Food Department at Kuwait Municipality said that the total quantity of consignment seized totaled to 350 kilograms seized from an Asian country. She said that it was immediately destroyed. It has also been announced that concerned departments have completed preparations for Eid Al-Adha, adding employees, working at the Emergency Department are ready to fulfill duties during Eid days. The following hotline number will be in operation for 24 hours a day: Main number - 1844448, Capital 1855555, Hawally - 1855550, Farwaniya 1855551, Jahra - 1855552, Mubarak AlKabeer - 1854444, Ahmadi - 1852222. A e niv rsar n Cosmetic surgery fast growing in Kuwait KUWAIT: Cosmetic surgery has become one of Kuwait's fastest growing businesses, with $100 million being spent per year locally on cosmetic operations, according to local specialists. Whist many sectors in the Gulf emirate were affected by the recent global economic crisis of 2008, the number of people having cosmetic surgery has continued to grow, with wealthy Kuwaitis and expatriates alike undergoing a range of cosmetic operations. Many also travel abroad for these operations, spending millions of dinars more overseas. Kuwait is already home to 78 cosmetic dentistry clinics, most of which were established in recent years due to the surge in demand, with the increase in the numbers of these practices helping to bring prices down. Local cosmetic surgeons in other fields say that liposuction, rhinoplasty (nose jobs) and hair transplants are the most popular operations with customers in Kuwait, with a notable increase in the number of male clients being seen in recent years. -- Al-Qabas KUALA LUMPUR: Some of the Vietnamese pilgrims with Abdurrazaq Al-Khalifa. Kuwait facilitates pilgrimage for Vietnamese Muslims KUALA LUMPUR: In the first project of its kind in Vietnam, the Kuwaiti Consulate has provided opportunities for a host of Vietnamese Muslims to make the Haj pilgrimage this year, a gesture by the Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation, said a consulate official yesterday. The Acting Kuwaiti Charge d'Affaires in Ho Chi Minh, Abdurrazaq Al-Khalifa, praised this gesture saying it is a great demonstration of Kuwaitis' love of fellow Muslims around the world and adding that there is a great need for more such brotherly gestures. This project was appreciated and extremely well received by the religious authorities in Vietnam, as well as those allowed to go on pilgrimage, added the senior diplomat, explaining that the pilgrims chosen to make this year's Haj pilgrimage were selected from among names on initial lists of people meeting specific criteria through a raffle, the official said. Statistics show that Vietnam has over 80,000 Muslims, the majority of them living in the country's southern regions. The Kuwaiti diplomat expressed hope there would be another such gesture in the future to assist a greater number of deserving Muslims in this brotherly country. --KUNA Othman Al-Ghareeb Road safety talk for school pupils KUWAIT: First Lieutenant Othman AlGhareeb, Media Officer at the Ministry of Interior, recently gave a lecture on security and traffic issues at the Saad Ibn Abi Waqqas Intermediate School in Sabah Al-Salem. In the lecture, Lt. Al-Ghareeb spoke about a broad range of subjects, including the many potential dangers on Kuwait's roads, and on road accidents and related deaths. He cited specific examples for his audience in a bid to raise awareness amongst the pupils, explaining, for example, how a teenager driving without a license can cause an accident, injuring people and creating a host of legal complications. The pupils were also given full explanations of traffic regulations and the importance of complying with these rules so as to avoid accidents. KUWAIT: Thirty six questions were posed to Kuwait during a recent meeting with human rights and women's committees at the United Nations. According to an official, the questions addressed matters concerning gender equality, civil and political rights. Sp eak in g on con dition of anonymity, the official said that the Ku waiti delegation was asked about subjects pertinent with personal status, including marriage and divorce provisions, the practice of polygamy which violates the international charter, but is permissible for men in Kuwait. The UN committees also inquired about legal provisions that reduce punishment for a m a n w h o co m m i t s c r i m e against an unfaithful wife, while no protec tion or lenienc y is extended to a woman in a similar condition. The committees also addressed gender equality in domestic issues and employment. Kuwait's delegation consisted of representatives from t h e M i n i s t r i e s o f I nter i o r, Boycotting MPs request meeting with Amir KUWAIT: A group of opposition MPs have submitted an official request to meet with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah so as to discuss topics that have been causing friction with the Cabinet. Seventeen of the 19 lawmakers who walked out of last Tuesday's parliamentary session, ahead of the impending elections to choose new members of parliamentary committees, have requested a meeting with the state's ruler, during which they intend to explain the reason behind their boycott of the elections, reasoning that some MPs running for elections have already been `named' in the cash deposits scandal. "We are currently waiting to be notified of a date for the meeting," said MP Ali Al-Mutairi who hosted the meeting at his diwaniya, confirming that the `coalition of boycotters' requested to meet with HH the Amir. The official who spoke on condition of anonymity added that the coalition will ask HH the Amir to "dismiss the prime minister and form a new government using a new approach," adding that they hope to assert on the message that "the country is on the verge of collapsing in many areas." Meanwhile, other officials stated that the opposition has agreed to place activities like seminars and rallies on hold until after they meet with HH the Amir. MPs Husain Mizyed and Mubarak AlWalan declined an invitation to attend Saturday's meeting citing personal reasons. Meanwhile, MPs Hassan Jowhar and Saleh Al-Mulla - who did not stage a walk out - were not invited. In another development, the Popular Action Bloc(PAB) and Development and Reform Bloc(DRB) reportedly oppose National Action Bloc's (NAB) decision to request the formation of a parliamentary investigations committee that probes into the Central Bank's procedures on the graft case. Officials close to the two groups indicate that the PAB ,especially, believes that such committees would have the continual presence of `tainted' MPs , even if the Cabinet doesn't hinder its formation. The DRB feel that the NAB's decision was taken `too late' although it agrees on the need to dissolve the Cabinet and implement a parliamentary dissolution. With that in mind, the two blocs insist that any internal probing should happen after a new Parliament and a new Cabinet are formed, reported Al-Qabas. Officials close to the NAB indicate that while it agrees with fellow opposition blocs on the Cabinet's inability to deal with recent developments, they insist that procedures should not `violate the Constitution' or include "waiving constitutional gains including membership in parliamentary committees." Either way, boycotters have high hopes that the NAB as well as independent MP Hassan Jowhar will eventually join the coalition. Concerning the tactics to be employed when the November's 15 parliamentary session convenes, the oppositionist blocs are expected to proceed with the debate to `grill' the prime minister. Interpellation motions on this regard were filed by MPs Ahmad Al-Saadoun and Abdurrahman Al-Anjari . Officials state that the opposition is likely to withdraw a grilling motion that was previously initiated by MPs Musallam Al-Barrak, Faisal Al-Mislem and Khalid Al-Tahous. If neither forces a Cabinet resignation, the motion will be filed again. In other news, the new head of the public funds protection committee stated that reports created by the previous committee were prepared "in the dark," and that she planned to withdraw them. MP Saleh Al-Mulla of the NAB warned the government and MPs against taking this step, urging them to "avoid opening the gates of Hell," referring to any steps taken to publicize investigation reports that have been referred to the Public Prosecution Department, reported Al-Rai. y Years local MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 KUWAIT: (Left) Najla Al-Naqi delivering her speech. (Right) Farhan Al-Farhan talking about the Kuwaiti women in history. -- Photos by Joseph Shagra Serious campaign needed to preserve Kuwait heritage Local researchers attend symposium By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Lawyer and political activist Najla Al-Naqi hosted a symposium on the `True Kuwaiti Heritage' on Saturday at her Salwa residence. "Heritage is an essential part of every country's history and it deserves to be preserved. I hope that there will be a serious campaign to gather the heritage of Kuwait and preserve it. We must combine the efforts of public institutions, civil organizations and individuals to collect our precious heritage," Al-Naqi said during the symposium. For Al-Naqi, the symposium is at least in part Kuwaitis' social responsibility and national duty to their country. "Every clipping or snippet can narrate a part of this country's history. It was my pleasure to host intellectuals and experts interested in Kuwaiti heritage, who participated with their opinions and ideas," she added. Media personality Mansour AlHajiri presented his book `Women from My Country' at the sympo- sium. "This book consists of 540 pages and includes interviews with 32 Kuwaiti women, of whom two were born in 1910. I wrote about the development of female teachers, `Mutawa' or `Mallaya', the first Kuwaiti teacher Mariam, who was teaching young girls her own age in 1938, the late poet Moudhi Al-Otaibi and others," he noted. Also in attendance at the symposium was Kuwait historian and researcher Abdullah Bu Nasser, who has produced the first documentary that narrates the history of Kuwait. "I faced some difficulties and challenges when directing this documentary but I'm glad that many people praised it and that I could participate in giving something for the community. The documentary covers such subjects as arts, architecture and Kuwaiti heritage that we should preserve and teach to our children. Chief among the subjects we should pass on are national activities and traditions," he pointed out. Another attendee, media per- sonality Ghanima Al-Fahad, noted that heritage is important for every country. "Young people ought to be familiar with the heritage of their countr y. Researchers are doing something great when they are leading studies or collecting historical items," she stated. Taking a personal angle on the subject, popular author Laila AlOthman stressed the importance of Kuwait heritage to her own works. "I was inspired by the old Kuwaiti language and so I authored a book that used many old Kuwaiti names and turns of phrase. I also wrote about the sea given its historical significance in Kuwaitis' lives. I also wrote about life in the desert and about the celebrations as held in the past. It's important to record these events so that we can teach our kids the history," she explained. According to historian and researcher Farhan Al-Farhan, historical and inherited stories and events have affected the modern history of Kuwait. He also spoke about the historical role of the Kuwaiti woman. "The old Kuwaiti woman was always supporting the men - she was supplying fathers, husbands, brothers and sons with food and water, and was also providing medical service. When a husband departed on an annual sea voyage that lasted for months, the woman would assume responsibility over the family and children," stressed AlFarhan. Tareq Al-Ruwayeh, nephew of Mohammed Al-Ruwayeh, founder of the first library in Kuwait, narrated the story of his uncle's creation of the National Library. "The librar y still exists at Musaqaf Market. My uncle established it in 1917 when he was 20-years-old after he'd been traveling between Kuwait and India. The late Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Mubarak, paid for all those books to be brought from India and gave my grandfather a location where the library was to be built. There are some books there that are 70-yearsold," he said. Kuwait responds to UN human rights queries Education, Health, Foreign Affairs and Justice, in addition to the Women's Affairs committee in th e Cabin et an d th e Central Apparatus for Resolving the Situation of I llegal Residents. On the topic of stateless residents(bedoons), the committees enumerated the steps to resolve their situation by e n fo rc i n g e l e ve n p r i v i l e g e s including education and healthcare, and also touched upon the topic of `naturalization' for those who have spent more than fifty years in Kuwait. The Kuwaiti delegation asserted that naturalization is a matter of national sovereignt y, explaining that a large number of illegal residents entered the country following the 1990/91 Iraqi Invasion. They went on to state that bedoon claimed statelessness to obtain Kuwaiti c itizen sh ip af ter destroy in g their original passports. The delegation also noted that the Central Apparatus would complete its work within five years. -- Al-Qabas A e niv rsar n Kuwait expected to witness enviable economic growth Steps to develop infrastructure, services KUWAIT: While the world economy is still plagued by uncertainty, Kuwait's continues to grow, supporting the country's medium-term development plans. In September, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its forecast for 2011 global growth to 4 per cent, taking into account the Eurozone crisis and US debt, but announced that it expected 5.7 per cent growth in Kuwait. While this is a generous estimate, with some international press reports suggesting a rate of around 4.5 per cent, it seems likely that Kuwait will outperform much of the rest of the world, particularly the developed markets of Europe and North America, as a result of substantial public investments. Indeed, the country's budget surplus for the first five months of its 2011/12 fiscal year reached KD 8.1 billion ($29.4 billion), accounting for 22 percent of GDP of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), according to an October Reuters report. Kuwait's surplus stood at KD 4.6 billion ($16.7 billion) in the same period last year. Kuwait is using its substantial oil wealth to develop infrastructure and services, as well as to raise living standards, particularly for the less affluent. In response to the international economic situation and the need for increasing domestic investment, government spending rose by an estimated 21.5 per cent in the fiscal year 2010/11, excluding energy-related subsidies and the recapitalization of the Public Institution For Social Security. Kuwait is benefitting from the four-year KD30 billion ($108.2 billion) development plan launched last year, which is expected to be the first of several consecutive schemes running to 2035. Upgrading the country's transport infrastructure, as well as its education and healthcare systems are all priorities. Kuwait also aims to develop its business environment to promote private sector-led growth by cutting red tape and investment restrictions, enhancing competition legislation, freeing up land for private investment and developing the workforce to suit a knowledge economy. In a public information notice issued following a consultation with Kuwait in July, the IMF remarked that the plan "rightly targets much needed investment, including in human capital, with a view to better preparing Kuwaiti nationals for private sector employment." The fund's representatives urged Kuwait to implement the development plan carefully, ensuring that projects are viable and the institutions involved have the capacity to execute them. As well as the "currently accommodative mix of macroeconomic policies," the fund noted that Kuwait also benefits from a sound financial system, and that banks strengthened capital adequacy and enjoyed greater profitability in 2010. With a great deal of public spending coming on-stream, and the effects of the substantial Amiri grant of KD 1,000 ($3,605) awarded to ever y Kuwaiti on the occasion of the national celebrations in February of this year, inflationary pressure is a concern. However, inflation dropped to an 11-month low of 4.6 per cent in July, the last month for which figures were available, and the rate is expected to average 4.7 per cent for full-year 2011, according to international press reports using figures from Kuwait's Central Statistics Office. Food price inflation, currently standing at 9.7 per cent, is worryingly high, but is likely to abate over the remainder of the year as international prices fall. Increases in housing costs - the biggest single component of Kuwait's consumer price index (CPI) - are also cooling off, as a much-needed new supply becomes available. Though Kuwait's expected growth this year is enviable, its economic expansion has been the most modest among GCC member countries over the last five years, the IMF noted. The country's GDP expanded an average 2.6 per cent per year, below the UAE's 4.2 per cent, Bahrain's 5.7 percent and Qatar's 18 per cent. There are certainly risks to Kuwait's growth, most notably any sharp deterioration in the global economy, which would cut export earnings and foreign investment. Conversely, if the international situation were to improve, inflation could rise. The baseline and the most likely scenario, however, is for a highly respectable performance. Kuwait has ample resources to invest in infrastructure and public transfers and to support its citizens' incomes at a time when many countries are facing both fiscal cutbacks and slowing growth. Public outlays are already bearing fruit, which, in addition to pro-business reforms, could place the emirate in an enviable position. -- Oxford Business Group Kuwaiti Haj agencies praised for good organization JEDDAH: Kuwait's pilgrimage expeditions rank above their international competitors in terms of punctuality and compliance with Saudi Arabia's laws, according to a senior Kuwaiti government official involved in the annual pilgrimage expeditions. The high regard accorded to Kuwait's Haj agencies is based on studies conducted by various authorities, said Dr Adel AlFalah, Assistant Undersecretary of Hajj Affairs at the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. Dr Al-Falah also revealed that the reputation of Kuwaiti pilgrimage services has prompted the Saudi telecom company STS to grant 10,000 SIM cards to Kuwaiti pilgrims, while another 10,000 will also be made available for the token price of five Saudi riyals. Expressing deep gratitude for the Saudi gesture, which he said reflected appreciation of the renowned organization of the Kuwaiti pilgrimages, Dr Al-Falah affirmed that the agency management teams remain diligent in their provision of services to pilgrims. He added that organizers are focused not only on pilgrims' physical needs but also on their spiritual and cultural requirements. Dr Al-Falah also took the opportunity to call on pilgrims to abide by the rules and guidelines established by the relevant Saudi authorities and convoy leaders in order to safeguard the sanctity of the pilgrimage. Dr Al-Falah expressed gratitude to efforts of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, for the kingdom's preparations for and welcoming of the pilgrims. Kuwait established a national authority for leading the Kuwaiti Haj convoys in 1965.-- KUNA y Years MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 local KUWAIT: China's Ambassador to Kuwait, Huang Jiemin yesterday visited the Kuwait Times and discussed issues of mutual interest with Editor-in-Chief Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan. AWARE Center holds diwaniya presentation for expatriates KUWAIT: The AWARE Center yesterday invited Western expatriates to attend a diwaniya presentation entitled, `Welcome to Your New Home: Navigating the Process of Acculturation' by family therapist Andrea AlAdwani. Adapting to a new culture with its new customs, new food, new music, new driving habits, new weather and a new language or dialect is called acculturation, explained a statement from the center. Moving to a new place brings numerous changes all at once, which can be exhilarating at some times and overwhelming at others. Even if you have previously worked abroad or lived in another Arab country, you can expect to experience phases of acculturation when you move to Kuwait. Moving can bring with it moments of uncertainty, confusion, misunderstandings and mistakes, however comfortable and confident one was in one's previous country of residence. There are individual differences in the length and intensity of each phase of acculturation, but if you have enough patience and support to adapt through all four phases of acculturation, you can gain new skills, learn about yourself and develop a surprising level of comfort in your new home country. If you are interested in the topic, especially if you are new to Kuwait, the AWARE Center is the best place to be on November 1, 2011 at 7:00pm. A e niv rsar n y Years MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 local Former Gitmo inmates tell of confessions under `torture' By Jenifer Fenton (Editor's note: Nearly three years after President Obama declared the Guantanamo prison for terrorist suspects would be closed, the camp in Cuba remains open. Of the more than 750 inmates that were once held there, fewer than 200 remain now. CNN contributor Jenifer Fenton interviewed one of the former guards, and some of the inmates.) disasters and do nothing about it." Al-Rabiah traveled to Afghanistan twice in 2001, July and October, for charitable reasons. He was on a fact-finding mission related to Afghanistan's refugee problems and lack of medical infrastructure, he said. The government said that Al-Rabiah was a "devotee of Osama bin Laden who ran to bin Laden's side after Sept 11." The US court ruled that the evidence strongly supported Al Rabiah's story. Al- Shammeri, 37, also said that he traveled to Afghanistan in October 2001 for charitable reasons-to teach Islamic law in Afghanistan. His life was `normal' before Guantanamo. He was married and had two children, who in 2001 were six and two years old each. He was an Islamic scholar and worked at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Kuwait. He was planning to get a master's degree in Egypt, where he had paid registration dues. He was accepted, he later learned, the same day he was captured in Afghanistan. He was 28-years-old at the time. I met Al-Shammeri at Khaled Al- Odeh's house, where the former detainees meet on a regular basis for support. He is a tall, relaxed and very funny man who smiles without interruption. He understands basic English. He is far from fluent, but he said with time he understood all the jargon related to Guantanamo. If I only knew that this would have been the way, I'd have just gone in hiding. "Terrorists," he said and laughs. "Guilty," that word too he added. "They never used the word innocent." The US said Al-Shammeri was a member of Al-Qaeda and one of his known aliases was on a list of hard drives associated with Al-Qaeda. Road to Guantanamo In October, Al-Rabiah entered Afghanistan through Iran, where he had been looking at the situation of Afghan refugees. "The day that I went into Afghanistan is the day the [American] bombing started. Of course, this is all documented because I had the stamp," he said. The US authorities later took possession of his passport and they saw the stamp, he added. But when the bombing started, the Iranians closed the border. He decided he would try to leave Afghanistan through Pakistan and wrote a letter to his family about the situation. Al-Rabiah said at the time he weighed 108 kilograms (240 pounds) and could not see at night, which made him ill suited physically for the Afghan terrain. On December 25, he was captured in a village outside of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The villagers took him to the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, who he alleged tortured him. Al- Rabiah was in their custody he believes for about a month, and then, he alleges, the Northern Alliance sold him to the Americans for $5,000, the same price as his watch. He was then sent to Bagram Air Base, a US military-controlled facility north of Kabul, where he said he was treated well. According to legal documents, at this point he told his family he was "detained by the American troops and thanks to God they are good example of humanitarian behavior." Al-Rabiah said he was told at Bagram that they were preparing for his transfer back to Kuwait, but that he would first need to move to Kandahar, Afghanistan. Al-Rabiah spent two and half months in Kandahar, where he alleges he was tortured. Al-Shammeri was also sent to Kandahar. Before he was captured, he said he realized the situation in Afghanistan was becoming increasingly more dangerous. He heard that every Arab was wanted dead or alive and Arabs were being bought and sold. So he said, he decided to leave via Pakistan, where he was arrested trying to cross the border. He said he turned himself in to the Pakistanis thinking they would contact Kuwait and send him back home. "What first comes to anyone's mind is that once a citizen of any particular nation travels abroad when a problem takes place, the logic dictates that he should be handed to his native country of origin and not to be extradited to a third party nation. That's what anyone in their sane mind would think," he said. "If I only knew that this would have been the way, I'd have just gone in hiding." The Pakistani government told him that they were going to send him back home, AlShammeri said. But according to Al Shammeri, US forces took him by plane to a military camp in Kandahar. Al- Shammeri said he had no recollection of time or place. He too alleges he was tortured in Kandahar. He was interrogated and beaten. He says he did not know what was happening because he did not understand all of the English, his eyes were covered, his hands and feet were tied and all he heard was the voice of an Arab interrogator. When he was leaving Kandahar, AlShammeri said he had no idea where he was going. "They just recited my number and they took me, shaved my head and then they tied me up and blindfolded me," he said. "While I was walking toward the plane, there was a female military personnel who took the mufflers off my ears and told me that I am going home, in English, she said `you are going back to your home' then she put them back on and for a second, I thought they are taking me back to Kuwait." However Al-Rabiah, who speaks fluent English, knew that none of the detainees would be going home. Everybody would be going to Guantanamo. Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Al-Rabiah arrived in Cuba on May 1, 2002. His first impression of the place was `heaven,' he said compared to his detention in Afghanistan. The camp was clean. It was not blistering hot during the day and freezing at night like Afghanistan. There were no sandstorms and no planes taking off around the clock. They were allowed to shower. He was told that they would not be held at Guantanamo for more than six months, which he thinks now was a tactic to keep them from rioting. "The first year in Cuba, I left my cell... for recreation only 24 hours for the whole year," Al-Rabiah said. He passed his time by reading the Quran. He spent a lot of time in isolation. He said early on he was told by a woman working at the camp "`We have nothing against you. We know nothing about you, but the president said there is no innocent [person] in Cuba'." Al- Rabiah said she continued advising him: "You cannot leave here so confess to something so we can charge you, sentence you and you go home. But if we don't charge you, sentence you, you are not leaving'." Al-Rabiah said he thought it was crazy and that he was not going to play that game. "I said this is absurd... that was way in the beginning and then they changed the tactics and started the torture." The US court opinion-parts of which are redacted-which freed Al-Rabiah reads: "The following day marked a turning point in Al Rabiah's interrogations... After using a [redacted] ... featuring ... for approximately [redacted]. From that point forward, Al- Rabiah confessed to the allegations that interrogators described to him." I asked Al-Rabiah what changed and why he started to "confess." "I was threatened by two major things. First, they asked: `Would you like to go home a drug addict,'" Al-Rabiah said. Then they threatened to send him to a place where he would `disappear.' He said that he believed that these were not empty threats and he believed that people were sent to other countries and were tortured and "those people when they came back from there they were different people." They were broken `beyond repair.' A US court said that threats against AlRabiah included "rendition to places where Al- Rabiah would either be tortured and/or would never be found," and threats against him "were also reinforced by placing AlRabiah into the frequent flier program," a sleep deprivation program where detainees were frequently moved from one cell to another. Al- Shammeri, however said he never `confessed' even though he alleged he was tortured. "If I did confess, I wouldn't be here," he said, referring to Kuwait. But he too reached a point of desperation, not unlike AlRabiah's. Al- Shammeri said he was so desperate in 2005 that he went on a 100-day hunger strike which ended only when he was released. He also protested his detention in 2002 by refusing to eat. Al- Shammeri denied all of the government's claims against him. Life after Guantanamo When Al-Rabiah returned to Kuwait he said he was received warmly. Those who knew him never thought he was guilty, he said. When repatriated, Al-Rabiah was supposed to-according to a US request-live in a rehabilitation center, according to David Cynamon, the lead lawyer for the Kuwaiti detainees. Cynamon said the request was improper. "It would be like the US demanding conditions of parole on a prisoner that the court ordered released because the prisoner didn't commit a crime." But Kuwaiti authorities decided there was no case against Al-Rabiah and they allowed him to go free. He returned to his job at Kuwait Airways. But he says he has lost so much. While he was in Guantanamo, his father died, his brother died, two uncles passed away and his mother had a stroke, and could not speak to him when he returned. "I lost the childhood of my children," he said. His youngest child was six years old when he left, and 15 when he finally returned home. Al-Rabiah said he was blessed that God kept him sane during his Guantanamo ordeal. But he is not a free man. As per a US request, he is monitored, has to regularly report to a security post and he cannot travel, according to Al-Rabiah. He fears that if he doesn't comply, the US will hold his actions against the remaining two Kuwaiti detainees. Al- Shammeri also has the same restrictions, which he follows mainly for the same reasons. For him, the Guantanamo issue is not finished. Since he was released he says he has continued to suffer because of the association. Unlike Al- Rabiah, he was not ordered released by the court but rather he was released because a US government decision. The details of his release are unknown. Al-Rabiah fears that the evidence against the two remaining Kuwaiti detainees in Guantanamo may be as weak as the evidence was against him. "if you [America] are sure they are bad people, don't you trust your legal system...or is it justice only for US citizens... since when do people not have a right for justice... isn't that what the US is known for?" In Al-Rabiah's case the courts also ruled that "none of the alleged eyewitnesses have provided credible allegations against AlRabiah." Fawzi Al-Odah is one of those two Kuwait detainees being held. According to a Department of Defense memorandum published by WikiLeaks at least one person who provided evidence against Al- Rabiah gave evidence against Al- Odah. "YM-252 stated detainee (Al- Odah) and Fuad Mahmud Hasan Al-Rabia assisted KU552 in the production and distribution of jihad videos in Kuwait. The videos were created to encourage people to provide contributions or to fight in Bosnia and Chechnya....YM252 also reported detainee was well-connected to religious leaders in Kuwait, and stated detainee recruited young males in Kuwait to fight in Afghanistan. He also collected money that was then funneled to Afghanistan in support of KU-217." Khalid Al-Odah, Fawzi's father, says he spoke to him on Aug 28, and he said his son was not well. Fawzi Al-Odah was on a long hunger strike, close to two months, and he was in isolation. Earlier this year, the US Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Fawzi Al- Odah challenging his indefinite detention. Fawzi AlOdah said he went to Afghanistan to do charity work, but the government claims he was associated with Al- Qaeda and the Taliban. Fayiz Al-Kandari, the other Kuwait detainee at Guantanamo, has an appeal in November in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but his lawyer is not hopeful about the case. The main difficulty in defending the detainee cases is the government is allowed to rely entirely on hearsay, which is not normally admitted in the US courts, according to Cynamon, who also represents Al-Kandari. "They don't have to bring any witnesses who are subject to cross examination." The government can simply submit "raw intelligence reports which basically are the summary write up of what an interrogator says, the detainee or what other people have said," Cynamon said. Khalid Al- Odah, fears his son is being punished in part because Kuwait has an independent judiciary. The US cannot force Kuwait to hold former detainees in jail. Here in Kuwait "you cannot bring someone and put in them in jail unless you try them," Khalid Al- Odah said. But the US has decided to release detainees to other countries that can put anyone they want to in jail without reason, he added. He feels these countries, which lack proper judicial systems, are being rewarded. He also does not know what more he can do to assist his son's case. Khalid Al- Odah was told that the US wanted to make sure that the two Kuwaiti detainees previously released, which included Al-Rabiah, were monitored and reported back often to the Kuwaiti authorities. After four months, if the system was working his son would be released. But time passed and the US said it would not release the remaining two Kuwaitis, including his son, for security reasons. Khalid Al- Odah was told that the US said they were very dangerous. "But they will never tell you why," Khalid Al- Odah said. -- CNN.com Aseel Al-Turkait Northwestern University joins the KSF competition KUWAIT: The Kuwait Science Fair (KSF), the largest student science competition held in Kuwait, announced yesterday that it has partnered with Northwestern University, one of the most prestigious universities in the United States, to grant the first place winner of the competition a full four-year undergraduate tuition scholarship. KSF has been endorsed for the fourth consecutive year by the Minister of Oil, Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs, and Chairman of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, HE Dr Mohammed Al-Busairi. The KSF competition was founded in 2008 by ExxonMobil and Kuwait Energy. It is joined this year by lead program manager and honorary founder, the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS). Northwestern University joins the KSF competition as the first global partner in supporting math and science excellence across Kuwait, with an undergraduate scholarship commitment to the 2012 KSF first place winner, provided the winner meets Northwestern University's standards for admission. Northwestern University Provost Daniel Linzer has said "Northwestern University recognizes the value of the KSF for its innovative students and the founders' commitment to empower the youth in exploring math and science fields. We are happy to support this competition and look forward to awarding a full undergraduate tuition scholarship to the first place winner." For the last two years, the Kuwait Science Fair has provided winners with academic scholarships from other private universities in Kuwait, namely Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) and the American University of Kuwait (AUK). Based in Chicago and with three campuses in the US and Qatar, Northwestern University is comprised of twelve schools and colleges, with undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, engineering, communication, journalism, education and music. Northwestern also offers professional degrees in law, medicine and business management. In 2010-2011, the university educated close to 19,000 students across its undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. The university combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It also provides students exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth in a setting enhanced by the richness of the city of Chicago. KSF Managing Director Aseel Al-Turkait said "The KSF continues to provide students in Kuwait with valuable academic opportunities and our partnership with Northwestern University provides every student across Kuwait the chance to pursue his or her higher education abroad in one of the most renowned international institutions. We thank Northwestern University for granting Kuwait's youth one of the most important opportunities: education." The KSF is held annually and includes students from more than 200 public and private schools in Kuwait. It is a five-month-long competition, extending over two cycles. The first cycle is the pledging phase, where students across Kuwait submit their ideas for a chance to be selected to compete in the next cycle. In its second cycle, the `Best 100' projects will be chosen to continue in the competition and will start developing their ideas into experimental projects, which will be showcased to the panel of judges, comprised of science experts and engineers. Since its inception in 2008, more than 500 students from 86 public and private schools in Kuwait joined and competed in the KSF, showcasing the most innovative math and science projects. In its three years, two scholarships, over KD 6,000 in cash prizes and internship opportunities have been awarded. To qualify, students must be in grades eight to 12, enrolled in a local school and must submit all registration forms listed in the competition's website (www.best100.org) or in the KSF guidebook, which may be picked up from the KSF booth in the Marina Mall, the Scientific Center of Kuwait, or Cinescape Avenues. Submissions close on Nov 20, 2011. The `Best 100' will be announced on Nov 28, 2011. KUWAIT: "You know what this is?" Fouad AlRabiah asked as he held up a photograph of a cell in Guantanamo. "This is my house of eight years." The cell is small, sterile and resembles a cage. It has a hole in the floor where the toilet is. Al- Rabiah, a Kuwaiti father of four, then held up another piece of paper. "This is the first evidence that the United States government had given to the court to tell them that I am the worst of the worst in Guantanamo." The evidence is a two-page letter in Arabic, which Al- Rabiah was accused of writing. It was found in Tora Bora and was presented as evidence Al- Rabiah and his son Abdullah were the leaders of an attack in Afghanistan in 1991. His oldest son was only one year old in 1991. "This was not me." He showed more of the evidence that was used against him. The US government had accused Al-Rabiah of providing material support to Al- Qaeda and the Taliban. Al- Rabiah was interrogated, by his own count, more than 200 times. He says he was tortured: "Lots and lots of torture." He confessed to any and everything his interrogators said about him. But in 2009 US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered that Al-Rabiah, an aviation engineer who had studied in Scotland and America be released citing a lack of credible evidence that he was associated with Al Qaeda or the Taliban. The evidence presented by the government to the court was `surprisingly sparse,' and interrogators used `abusive techniques,' Judge Kollar-Kotelly wrote in a 65-page opinion. The court said that Al-Rabiah's confessions were so inconsistent or implausible even his interrogators did not believe them. "It is also undisputed that Al-Rabiah confessed to information that his interrogators obtained from either alleged eyewitnesses who are not credible and as to whom the government has now largely withdrawn any reliance, or from sources that never even existed," the opinion stated. The court concluded, "If there exists a basis for Al-Rabiah's indefinite detention, it most certainly has not been presented to this court." Al-Rabiah's petition for habeas corpus was granted. Al-Rabiah returned to Kuwait in December 2009. He had lost eight years of his life. "I lost so many things, but I know that I was right," he said. "I know that they were wrong." AlRabiah is one of 12 Kuwaiti detainees taken to Guantanamo. Nine other Kuwaitis have been released, including Abd Al-Aziz Sayer Uwain AlShammeri. Al- Shammeri had been detained without charge and transferred to Kuwait in 2005 for reasons that remain unclear. AlShammeri and many of the freed detainees were charged in Kuwaiti courts following their release from Guantanamo but were acquitted of any wrongdoing. One of those acquitted-Abdallah Saleh Ali Al Ajmi-blew himself up in Iraq, according to Pentagon officials. Al-Ajmi was one of two Kuwaitis who took part in a suicide attack in Mosul in April 2008, the officials said. Records show an attack that day targeted an Iraqi police patrol and left six people dead, including two police officers. Two people who knew Al-Ajmi described him as unstable when he returned from Guantanamo. Two Kuwaiti detainees, Fawzi Al- Odah and Fayiz Al-Kandari, remains in custody and their families and others fear they may be indefinitely detained. I met with Al Rabiah, AlShammeri and Khalid Al-Odah, Fawzi AlOdah's father in Kuwait 10 years after America's war on terror began. Life before Guantanamo Al-Rabiah, now 52, had a documented history of doing charitable work with reputable organizations in Kosovo, Bosnia and Bangladesh. Before leaving for humanitarian trips, Al- Rabiah routinely requested leave from his employer Kuwait Airways, where he had worked since 1981. For the first 30 minutes of our meeting Al-Rabiah, a serious and intense man, enthusiastically told me about his previous missions and expressed his view that as a wealthy Muslim country, Kuwait should help those less fortunate. "We are well-off in comparison to other countries....We cannot see famine and natural Gulf Bank announces weekly Al-Danah winners KUWAIT: The Gulf Bank held its 41st weekly Al-Danah draw Oct 23, announcing a total number of ten Al-Danah winners, each of whom received a prize of KD 1,000. The 41st Al-Danah weekly winners are: Sharifa Omar Islam, R abah Ahmed M ohammed Hammad, Safa Hassan K azem Al- Qallaf, Tayseer M elhem K halef, Abdalmohammad Saif Ashams, Mubarak Zmqan Edres Mahmdin, Sakina Bounoir, Raed Odeh, Hashem Abd Al-Razaq Al-Sayed Yosef and Hasaan Tayer Hussain Sawan. Gulf Bank encourages everyone in Kuwait to open an AlDanah account and/or increase their deposits by Oc t 31 to maximize their chances of becoming a winner in the upcoming week ly (KD 1,000 each for 10 winners), and the annual draw (one million dinars). Gulf Bank's Al-Danah allows customers to win cash prizes and encourages them to save money. Chances of winning increase with the more money that is deposited and the longer it is kept in the account. Al-Danah also offers a number of unique services including the Al-Danah Deposit Only ATM card, which helps account holders deposit their money at their convenience. The AlDanah calculator to help customers calculate their chances of becoming an Al-Danah winner. To be part of the Al-Danah draws, customers can visit one of Gulf Bank 's 55 branches, transfer on line or call the Customer Contact Center on 1805805 for assistance and guidance. Customers can also log on to w w w.e - gulfbank .com, Gulf Bank's bilingual website, to find all the information regarding Al-Danah or any of the bank's produc ts and ser vices. I ndividuals can also visit www.e-gulfbank.com/aldanahwinners, to find out more about Al-Danah and the winners. KUWAIT: Mohammed Al-Otaibi, Assistant Manager at Gulf Bank's Marketing Department, congratulates an AlDanah weekly winner. A e niv rsar n kuwait digest The Amir's concern By Sheridah Al-Amaosherji y Years LOCAL MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 kuwait digest Superwoman on the roof By Bedour Al-Muttairi p to this very day I am torn between my upbringing and reality. Who says that Superman does not really exist? Why did my mother tell me that man cannot fly? If that is so, why, then, do official delegations dispatched by certain ministries fly from one country to another, covering a distance three times the circumference of the globe? It is always the same group and the same names who are involved; they are also paid daily pocket money and handsome allowances. They never stay very long in Kuwait, where they ought to be working hard to earn their salaries. They are real supermen! As a child I was so naughty and hyperactive that my mother would pray for Allah to give any woman she disliked a daughter like me. Some of these women, who did not know us well enough and who were beguiled by my innocent-looking haircut, took such prayers positively while others were offended. "What have I done for you to wish me something like that?!" they would angrily ask my mother. I recall one day when neighborhood mothers gathered at our house and left us children to play together. On that day I had the terrible desire to imitate Superman. I took the kids to the roof, where we tied some bed sheets around or necks and stood by the edge of the roof, overlooking the courtyard and our mothers below, ready to fly off. We were stopped only by our mothers' yells and screams, who begged us to back off from the edge, despite our efforts to convince them that we would have no difficulty flying given our Superman-like bed sheet capes. Somehow, my mother managed to sneak upstairs during this exchange, grabbed us and took us downstairs. My daydream of flight was cast aside with a deafening slap to the face. Unfortunately the other children explained that it had been my idea to attempt flight and while they were reprimanded the fiercest criticism was reserved for me. "You're acting like a superwoman, child. Men don't fly!" I was told. Nevertheless, and after all these years, I would say "No, Mum, men do fly, but in official ministry delegations rather than with bed sheets. These men fly provided that no one is monitoring such delegations, where they fly to, what they do and how much they're paid." The irony of all of the matter is that having grown up I've become scared of heights, I can no longer stand to either be Superman or superwoman anymore. -- Al-Watan A s usual, upon recommencing the parliamentary term, HH the Amir addressed both the Parliament and the Kuwaiti people. He sounded very concerned this time, which was evident in his voice, his looks and the carefully worded speech. The reasons for HH the Amir's concern were explained in his speech, particularly when he warned of being drifting apart owing to sectarianism that has even permeated to educational facilities. He also warned of the consequences of bringing up young generations instilling in them hatred, disrespect, disputes and denial. The speech also highlighted the conflict between the legislative and executive, and how each acted as rivals rather than as partners in cooperating for the best of Kuwait and its prosperity. HH also pointed out at some MPS' unconstitutional practices will create more bitterness among citizens. In addition to these reasons, HH the Amir was also concerned because Kuwaiti politicians were too engrossed in domestic conflicts to take notice of dangers and economic problems plaguing the whole world. Nevertheless, he stressed that his directives did not mean any leniency in holding those responsible for constitutional violations accountable. HH also urged the media, as a basic partner in Kuwait's democracy, not to aggravate the complicated situation. This is to stop inciting disputes and creating untrue stories only for the sake of increasing viewership or readership, reported Aljarida. Addressing citizens, HH the Amir urged them to practice constitutional rights in monitoring the performance of representatives in Parliament and hold the wrong doers responsible. U kuwait digest An awakening or just laziness? By Waleed Al-Rujaib here is a notable change in this year's International Book Fair, which has been noticed by both visitors and publishers alike. The change came in the form of lighter censorship of the books on sale, as well as a complete absence of inspections of the showcased publications. This change has been welcomed by the country's book lovers. However, this awakening-if it can be described as such-has come around very late in comparison to similar exhibitions in the Gulf and the Arab world. Readers have for years boycotted Kuwait's book fair, with publishers in recent years avoiding bringing any publications containing subjects that might be deemed controversial. This new change was noted during the inauguration ceremony, when Secretary-General of the National Council of Culture, Arts and Letters Ali Al-Youha he emphasized the importance of limiting censor- T kuwait digest We face enough problems By Shamlan Yousuf Al-Essa I nterior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud recently commented about setting up a shareholding company to hire domestic helpers. The company reportedly would complete out all formalities related to hiring and employing domestic helpers. I do not know who the advisors of the Interior Ministry or the government are! The issues faced by domestic helpers, estimated to be more than 500,000 in number by the government, are engaged in providing domestic help in citizens and non-citizens' homes. This segment of workers pose a challenge to citizens and all official bodies. Local and international human rights committees have come forward waving a stern finger at Kuwait for its dismal record in human trafficking and mistreatment of domestic helpers and laborers in Kuwait. The government has tried to convince us by releasing official statements about transforming Kuwait into a financial and commercial center. It has announced that it plans to assign the private sector a larger role. The question that we would like to ask the interior minister is: why does the government interfere with the issue of domestic helpers' recruitment? What is the benefit? And what is the true intention behind setting up this company which will be run by employees from the Interior, Social Affairs and Health Ministries? If the purpose behind establishing the company is to reduce the numbers of domestic helpers, then the ministers and his employers know that this is a futile exercise. They are fully aware about those that are involved in hiring laborers. Many studies and researches have been done on this phenomenon of reliance on migrant workers, especially in the domestic help sector. All the studies done show that those people's rights are infringed upon mostly owing to the ignorance of law. Problems crop up between the employer and his domestic helpers. The citizen, with the help of the Interior Ministry, effectively deports them once a complaint Is lodged against them. This is so that the case does not reach the courts and expose the inhumane violations some Kuwaiti families commit against domestic helpers with the knowledge and help of officials. The domestic helpers recruitment agencies that are spread across Kuwait, face overcrowding by citizens and expats who want to swap them. Some want to receive their money back. Some Kuwaiti families torture their helpers, and others do not pay salaries for over six months, or even for a year. There are documented cases of rape and sexual violence against domestic maids. Some victims have even ended their lives. Can the shareholding company find a permanent solution to these issues? Can our wise government employees that are unable to collect timely bills in return for services provided run a company that concerns human resources? May be we should face the existing problems with courage, instead of creating unnecessary new issues. -- Al-Watan ship in order to boost citizens' rights granting access to books. The speech was different to the usual speeches made by government officials, which, for the most part, focus on governmental achievements. Al-Youha's statements caught many publishers off guard; many subsequently said that they would have brought more books to this year's event had they known about the new regulations. Something else I've noticed about this year's exhibition is the increasing number of young men and women looking for books on Marxism. I've encountered numerous incidents during my visits to the fair in which a young person quietly asks a salesman about publications on the Russian Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, or on other books about Marxism. Naturally, they remain cautious because books discussing subjects like Marxism are yet to be cleared by the Ministry of Information (MoI). However, I couldn't help telling these young readers that they do not have to act as if they're buying drugs when they shop for philosophical and ideological books, which they can easily find online anyway. In my opinion, young people are becoming interested in such books in light of the capitalistic global economic crisis, which forced many people to reexamine Karl Marx's ideologies and analyses, which contain predictions of the economic difficulties that the world experiences today. Yet while readers are dusting off books about Marxism in libraries around the world, people in Kuwait still find themselves forced to behave as fugitives whenever they go out to look for these books. It remains to be seen when the MoI will realize that its censorship no longer works and that such efforts only give people more reasons to laugh at the MoI while shopping online for whatever publication they desire. -- Al-Rai kuwait digest Hands off our children By Dr Abdullatif Al-Suraikh ast week my son, an 11th grade high school student, asked me for permission to take part in Thursday's demonstration in front of the Ministry of Education. He also forwarded me a WhatsApp message-containing many spelling errors, I might add-urging his classmates to participate in the demonstration at the personal invitation of MP Musallam Al-Barrak. MP Al-Barrak had called on students the week before to take part in a mass rally held last Thursday, insisting that "rights are achieved by voicing demands." It appears that some MPs favor leading mass public rallies instead of committing to their legislative and monitoring roles in Parliament. Not only are they targeting adults and state employees, but they are now looking to persuade teenagers to ride the recent wave of public demonstrations. I agree with calls that state the Cabinet, led by HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed, has failed to achieve its goals and that both the Cabinet and the PM must be changed. That, however, does not permit our honorable MPs to use teenagers as a political tool in their conflict with HH the premier. Moreover, L It appears that some MPs favor leading mass public rallies instead of committing to their legislative and monitoring roles in Parliament. Not only are they targeting adults and state employees, but they are now looking to persuade teenagers to ride the recent wave of public demonstrations. is the new assessment system-which is what students are protesting against-the most serious problem that our country's education system is facing? What about the delayed university project in Shaddadiya, problems in higher education, scholarships and the school curricula desperately in need of improvements? To MP Musallam Al-Barrak and all other MPs, I demand that you keep your hands off our students. Our children are not to be used as political tools. Rather, you have a political tool called `a grilling motion.' Use that against the Minister of Education. Instead of gathering a public demonstration, gear up support in Parliament to achieve what is best for the common good; not for what can serve you in your battles with HH the premier. -- Al-Rai MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 US troop exit `golden' page for Iraq: Khamenei Page 9 Peak tides test Thailand capital's flood defences Page 12 SANAA: Anti-government protesters demanding the ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh, as they shout slogans during a march calling for the release of prisoners, in Sanaa yesterday. --AFP 5 killed by Yemen government forces SANAA/ADEN: Four people, including three children, were killed overnight when troops loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh shelled a region north of the capital, hitting a petrol station, tribal sources said yesterday. Thirteen others were wounded in the attack in the Arhab area, some 40 km (25 miles) from Sanaa, where tribesmen have backed protesters demanding an end to Saleh's 33-year rule. In the city of Taiz, south of Sanaa, a doctor said one civilian was shot dead and two were wounded by government forces who fired at a car. The incident occurred in a district where there have been clashes between government forces and pro-opposition tribesmen. Months of anti-government protests have divided impoverished Yemen, pushing the Arabian Peninsula country to the verge of civil war and a humanitarian crisis. Neighbouring oil giant Saudi Arabia and the international community fear growing lawlessness in Yemen is giving al Qaeda's regional wing scope to plan and potentially launch attacks in the region and beyond. The ruling party is likely to name Saleh's deputy as its presidential candidate if a transfer of power is carried out under a Gulf-brokered power transition plan, Deputy Information Minister Abdu al-Janadi said yesterday. " The General People's Congress intends to announce Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi as its candidate in the presidential election in the coming period," Janadi told reporters. The UN Security Council issued a resolution on Oct. 21 deploring the fighting and calling on Saleh to leave office in line with the transition plan. Saleh has dug his heels in, surviving an assassination attempt and three times agreeing to sign the Gulf plan only to back out at the last minute. Violence has showed no sign of easing. In the southern port city of Aden, one soldier was killed and two wounded by a roadside bomb targeting their patrol on Sunday, a security official said. Islamist militants had probably planted it, the official said. Soldiers, security officials and tribesmen fighting militants are frequently attacked in the country's south, where government control has been weakened by political upheaval. --Reuters Kenyan jets bomb Somali town 12 killed, dozens injured MOGADISHU: At least 12 people were k illed yesterday when t wo Kenyan jets bombed the southern Somali town of Jilib, residents and officials said, as the east African nation fights to rid Somalia of Islamist al Shabaab rebels. Kenya moved its troops into Somalia in mid-October in pursuit of Somali insurgents it blames for a series of kidnappings on Kenyan soil and frequent assaults on its security forces in the border province of North Eastern. "Twelve civilians died including six children and 52 others were injured after Kenyan jets bombarded an IDP (internally displaced people) camp in the town," said Mohamud Ali Harbi, a local elder in Jilib, 120 km (74 miles) north of the port of Kismayu. Emmanuel Chirchir, the Kenyan military spokesman, could not immediately confirm the raid when contacted by Reuters, saying they were waiting for an operational update from the ground. "The jets bombarded two places, an al Shabaab base and a nearby IDP camp," Hassan Abdiwahab, a resident in Jilib, told Reuters. But al Shabaab said the five bombs dropped by the planes hit a bus stop, the IDP camp and an area just outside of the town. A top official of the group, Sheikh Muktar Robow Abu Mansoor, on Thursday urged their followers to attack Kenya with "huge blasts" in retaliation for the campaign that is being carried out jointly with Somali government troops. The call followed t wo grenade attacks in the capital Nairobi that killed one person and injured over 20 more on Monday. Unknown militants also carried out two attacks on vehicles in the remote northern Kenya. Mohammud Farah, spokesman for the Ras Kamboni militia that is allied to the S omali Transitional Federal Government said they seized a fourby-four vehicle laden with explosives that was headed to Kenya. "Our forces in patrol found the car 8 km away from the town on its way to Kenya and we have discovered different types of explosive materials in the car," Farah told Reuters from Dhobley town, which is close to the border. The vehicle was carrying 10 passengers, four of whom were identified as al Shabaab fighters, he added. Kenya said on Saturday it was committed to withdrawal from Somalia once it is satisfied that it has stripped the al Qaeda-linked group's capacity to carry out attacks across the border. Although the Kenyan chief of defence forces said his troops had chased al Shabaab from the whole of Gedo region, the two-week old campaign has been slowed considerably by heavy rains. Chirchir said the intense rains had started to abate, allowing Kenyan forces to plan an offensive of Afmadow in Lower Juba region, where al Shabaab has been digging in after reinforcing with fighters from other areas. "Now that the rains have subsided, the taking of Afmadow is likely. It should be very soon," he said. Two Ugandan soldiers were injured on Saturday when African Union troops came under an al Shabaab attack in Mogadishu. Rwanda's President Paul K agame, South Africa's President Jacob Zuma and Tanzania's Jakaya Kikwete expressed their support for Kenya's military action in Somalia, the Kenyan presidency said in a statement from Perth, Australia, where President Mwai K ibak i was attending the Commonwealth summit.-- Reuters Iran parliament to question Ahmadinejad over fraud TEHRAN: Iran's parliament is set to summon President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for questioning over an economic scandal and his policies after the required number of lawmakers signed a petition yesterday, the latest salvo in a long battle between the president and his rivals. Ahmadinejad would be the first president to be hauled before the Iranian parliament, a serious blow to his standing in a conflict involving the president, lawmakers and Iran's powerful clerics. At least 73 lawmakers signed the petition to question Ahmadinejad, just above one -quarter of the 290 members required by Iran's constitution to call in a president. Earlier the parliament found Ahmadinejad's economics minister guilty in relation to a $2.6 million fraud case, considered the largest in Iran's history. This is just one of several economic misconduct cases that target Ahmadinejad allies, evidence that his political struggles are a factor. Ahmadinejad has been wrestling with the parliament and the clergy in the run-up to parliamentary elections in March and a presidential election in 2013. Ahmadinejad has come under increasing attacks in recent months from the same hard-liners who brought him to power. Dozens of Ahmadinejad's political backers have been arrested or hounded out of the public eye by hardline forces in recent months. His protege and top aide, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, has been effectively blackballed from his goal of succeeding Ahmadinejad in 2013 elections by a series of reputation-killing accusations. They include leading a "deviant current" that seeks to challenge the system of theocratic rule, and alleged links to the $2.6 billion bank fraud. The questioning, should it happen, would be a serious blow to Ahmadinejad, who has already been weakened after he publicly challenged Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in April over the choice of intelligence minister.--AP Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad A e niv rsar n Preparations for US's Iraq withdrawal in full swing COS KALSU: At a US base south of Baghdad, trucks plod in either direction amid a hive of activity: with the clock ticking on a year-end withdrawal from Iraq, preparations are in full swing. Located in the centre of Iraq, just 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of the capital near the town of Iskandiriyah, Contingency Operating Site Kalsu forms a crucial transit hub for the tonnes of materiel and thousands of soldiers moving out of the country, mostly towards Kuwait, in the coming two months. The massive logistical operation has to be finished by December 31, in line with a security pact between Baghdad and Washington that US President Barack Obama said was on track this month. "It's pretty big," said Captain Mark Alfers, the commander of the 606th Movement Control Team, a logistics unit on COS Kalsu. "We've been here for eight-plus years, so there's just eight-plus years worth of equipment trying to get out of a single point." Thanks to its strategic location, along the main thoroughfare heading south through Iraq, COS Kalsu will likely be one of the final five American bases left in the country, said Lieutenant Colonel Jason Hayes, commander of the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Cavalry Regiment. It will be handed over to the Iraqi army along with a portion of materiel, but the exact date of its handover remains a secret for security reasons. COS Kalsu serves as a "go-between for the smaller bases and the bigger hubs such as Kuwait or (Joint Base) Balad," a sprawling US base north of Baghdad, Alfers said. As a result, between two and 20 convoys of up to 50 trucks apiece stop in Kalsu on their way south to refuel, and for passengers and drivers to get some rest. Major General Jeffrey Buchanan, spokesman for US forces in Iraq, said that in the early part of October, 399 convoys with 13,909 trucks were used for the pullout in a single week. At COS Kalsu, along with the countless flat-bed trucks and other vehicles, dozens of MRAPs-"Mine Resistant Ambush Protected" troop carriers-sit between rows of concrete blast walls that line the base's outer perimeter and parts of its interior. Nearby, containers are piled up on top of each other, waiting to be carried out of the country, lugged out by contractor-driven trucks that regularly come and go. Much of the military equipment remains hidden for security reasons. "The biggest challenge is that this drawdown only happens once a war, once a conflict, so you can plan and plan for it but the plans keep changing," said Alfers. "You have to keep the enemy on their toes, so you can't really publish a plan." These operations have been ongoing for several months, but Obama's October 21 announcement that all US troops would leave Iraq by year-end quashed any remaining speculation over potential for an American military training mission beyond 2011. "The withdrawal operation really started to become big about a month ago," said Major Frank Cruz, a logistics officer on COS Kalsu. "Now, it's only getting busier." Like his soldiers, Hayes does not yet know when he will finally leave Iraq. As to where they will go, some are hoping for a country less austere, like Germany, while others are looking to spend Christmas with their families. Around 39,000 American soldiers remain in Iraq, stationed on 15 bases, including approximately 3,000 on COS Kalsu. That compares to peak figures of nearly 170,000 soldiers and 505 bases in 2007 and 2008. Many of those still here have sent most of their belongings home and are living on the bare minimum. And they are not the only ones who do not know when they will be leaving. "The Iraqis would like to know as well-it's frustrating," said Captain Ryan Edwards, commander of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment. Edwards added that he was confident his domestic counterparts, whom he had been training for much of his deployment, were "ready". Hayes painted a more nuanced picture of the forces Iraq would be left with. "There's some security concerns," he noted. "I think the Iraqi army and police are capable of handling the current threat situation." "I think if we saw a serious increase in violence, especially if that increase was caused by external influences, I think it could possibly exceed their capacity." He added: "If it exceeds their capacity then my hope is that they'll be able to raise their hand and ask the world community for help. ... Whether they will or not that's the big question." -- AFP GAZA CITY: Palestinian mourners shout slogans during the funerals of militants of the Islamic Jihad movement in Gaza City yesterday, killed during Israeli air raids late last night. The Islamic Jihad said it would observe an Egyptian-brokered truce in and around Gaza after a day of violence which killed nine Palestinian militants and an Israeli. -- AFP Gaza violence simmers after truce announced GAZA: Violence between Israel and Gaza militants flared anew yesterday after Egypt said it had brokered a truce to end attacks that have killed 10 Palestinian gunmen and an Israeli civilian in the past five days. A ceasefire had appeared to be taking hold, with the frontier quiet for some eight hours, until Israeli aircraft attacked Palestinian militants who the military said were about to fire rockets from the southern Gaza Strip. Medical officials in the enclave said one man was killed and another wounded, identifying them as members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a group that rarely launches attacks against Israel. Islamic Jihad and two smaller factions have claimed responsibility for rocket strikes against Israel since Wednesday. Islamic Jihad has close ties with Iran and has chafed at the rule of rival Hamas Islamists in the Gaza Strip. An Islamic Jihad source, speaking several hours after the ceasefire was announced by Egyptian officials, said the group welcomed Cairo's efforts. "If the (Israeli) aggression is stopped, we will abide by the calm," said Abu Ahmed, leader of Islamic Jihad's armed wing said. Israel and Palestinian militants have used such language in the past in ceasing fire while stopping short of acknowledging any formal truce agreement. "If someone rises up to kill you, kill him first," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in public remarks several hours before the latest air strike. But he said Israel was "not eager for escalation". The current round of cross-border violence began when residents of Israeli suburbs in the southern approaches to Tel Aviv were jolted awake on Wednesday night by sirens usually sounded in towns and villages closer to the Gaza Strip. The alert was triggered by what Israeli security sources said was an upgraded long-range Grad rocket that struck harmlessly near the Israeli port of Ashdod, leading to an Israeli air strike on Saturday that killed five top Islamic Jihad militants in a Gaza training camp. Five other militants have died in subsequent air attacks. One of some 30 rockets and mortar bombs fired at Israel killed an Israeli man in the city of Ashkelon. Two other people were wounded. "My interpretation is that these guys (Islamic Jihad) are keen to show off their clout, which has been built up recently," Yosef Kupperwasser, director-general of Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry, told Reuters. Israel kept schools shut in its southern region on Sunday as a precaution against further rocket fire, while hundreds of thousands of civilians within 40 km (25 miles) of Gaza were urged to stay indoors. Islamic Jihad released images of what it said was the firing by its men of a truckmounted multiple rocket-launcher, a platform not previously seen in Gaza. Israel says Gaza arsenals have been boosted by gun-running from Libya since the fall of its ruler, Muammar Gaddafi. The violence erupted after weeks of a relative lull surrounding a prisoner swap on October 18 in which Israel released 477 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held by Hamas since 2006. -- Reuters BEIRUT: People gather outside the Syrian embassy to show their support for President Bashar Al-Assad in Beirut yesterday. -- AFP y Years MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L ISKANDIRIYAH: US troops secure vehicles mounted on trucks at the military base of Camp Kalsu in the town of Iskandiriyah in Iraq's Babel province, 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Baghdad. Contingency Operating Site Kalsu forms a crucial transit hub for the tones of material and thousands of soldiers moving out of the country, mostly towards Kuwait, in the coming two months. -- AFP US troop exit `golden' page for Iraq: Khamenei Iraqis united in wanting pullout TEHRAN: Iran's supreme leader yesterday hailed the coming withdrawal of US troops from neighbouring Iraq as a "golden" victory. US President Barack Obama plans to withdraw his 40,000 troops from Iraq by the end of the year after negotiations on keeping some forces there failed, a move some US politicians say could give Tehran more room to assert its influence. "The uniform stance of all tribes and religions in Iraq over America's pressure to get legal immunity for its occupying servicemen, and ultimately the coercion of America to exit Iraq, constitute a golden page in that country's history," Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said after a meeting with Iraqi Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani, the ISNA news agency reported. The troops are leaving more than eight years after a US-led invasion toppled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 2003. Tehran welcomed the fall of Saddam, a secular Sunni Muslim who took majority Shi'ite Iraq into a bloody 1980-88 war with Iran, but has always criticised US military intervention. While it has been rebuilding ties with postSaddam Iraq, Iran's relations with the United States have worsened. Washington has warned Tehran not to underestimate its large military presence in other nearby countries. The two nations broke ties after radical students seized the US embassy in Tehran following the 1979 Islamic revolution. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's announcement on Wednesday of plans for a "virtual embassy" to reach out to Iranians was received in Tehran with derision. "If America wants to open a virtual embassy in Iran, the young officers of soft war will occupy that as well," Mohammad Reza Kashefi, a member of the Basij student militia, told the semi-official Fars news agency. "Ms Clinton has confused diplomacy with a toy," said parliament speaker Ali Larijani. Clinton said the "virtual embassy" website would be open by the end of the year and it would provide Iranians with information on visas and other programmes. On Saturday, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran wanted ties with all countries except Israel, but that US policy made any rapprochement with Washington impossible. Obama has not ruled out military action if needed to stop Iran getting nuclear weapons, which Tehran denies seeking. Washington is pressing for new sanctions on Iran after uncovering what it says was an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington. -- Reuters TEHRAN: In this photo released by the official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, greets Iraqi Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani, during their meeting in Tehran, Iran, yesterday. -- AP Egypt military detains activist over clashes CAIRO: Egyptian military prosecutors ordered an activist be detained yesterday for 15 days and another bailed pending investigations into accusations they incited violence, a move rights groups say is part of a crackdown by the ruling army on dissent. A lawyer for Alaa Abd El Fattah, a high-profile blogger, said he was detained after appearing with activist Bahaa Saber before military authorities on Sunday over "inciting violence and sabotage" in connection with deadly clashes between the army and protesters in Cairo on Oc t. 9. Saber was released on bail, said the lawyer, who said he would appeal Abd El Fattah's detention despite facing little chance of winning a case against the military prosecutor. Abd El Fattah's sister told Reuters he was detained after both activists had refused to answer the army prosecutor's questions. She said they rejected the "legitimacy of the military prosecutor" and would only speak to a civilian official. Egyptian military sources were not immediately available to comment on the case. Some 25 people were killed in clashes that erupted during a demonstration by Christians over what they said was an attack on a church in southern Egypt. Protesters said military police used excessive force, firing live ammunition and driving army vehicles into the crowds. The army defended their actions during the protest and blamed "foreign elements" and other agitators for the violence. "They committed a massacre, a horrible crime and now they are working on framing someone else for it," Abd El Fattah earlier told Reuters on his way to the military prosecutor's office. "This whole situation is distorted." "I nstead of launching a proper investigation, they are sending activists to trial for saying the plain truth and that is that the army committed a crime in cold blood," he said, adding the military was using the "incitement" card to shift the blame away from its own officers. Authorities have detained 28 others on suspicion of attacking soldiers. Any trial will be before a military court, a move that has drawn broad criticism from politicians who want the army to use civilian courts and say the military cannot be the arbitrator when it is accused of having a role. London-based rights group Amnesty said Saber could be charged with "verbal incitement " and said alleged videos showing Abd El Fattah throwing rocks during the protests could be used against them. If charged, the two are also likely to face military trials, the rights group and others said. Abd El Fattah, a wellknown blogger and political activist, was previously arrested in 2006 when ousted President Hosni Mubarak was still office. Critics say the army has been using similar tactics against dissenters as Mubarak did. Yesterday's detention order was met by condemnation from activists who said the army was attacking "symbols of the revolution." " The regime that arrested Alaa in 2006 is the same regime that is arresting him 2011, it has not yet fallen," Muhamed El-Hajj wrote on Twitter, reviving a `Free Alaa' campaign that was used in 2006 to free the blogger. --Reuters FM expects Palestinian success at UNESCO vote RAMALLAH: Palestinians expect to win full membership of the UN's cultural agency UNESCO today in a vote that will boost their bid for recognition as a state at the United Nations, Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said yesterday. UNESCO is the first UN agency the Palestinians have sought to join as a full member since President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full membership of the United Nations on Sept. 23. The diplomatic move is opposed by Israel and the United States, which also opposes the Palestinian bid for membership of UNESCO. But that won't matter if the Palestinians win the support of two thirds of UNESCO's 193 members at a general conference in Paris "I expect that the voting will happen and that Palestine will get the number of votes required for membership," Maliki told Reuters. "We have enough votes to get over the two-thirds barrier." Admission will be seen by the Palestinians as a moral victory in their bid for full UN membership. Washington, which has the power to veto such applications, opposes the Palestinian bid for a full UN seat on the grounds it is unhelpful to efforts to revive peace talks with Israel, the last round of which broke down a year ago. Israel's closest international ally, the United States has said it will use its veto power in the Security Council to quash the bid for full UN membership, were it brought to a vote. But UNESCO is one of the UN agencies the Palestinians can join as a full member regardless of their broader status at the United Nations, where they are currently classified as "an observer entity". "This success, if it is realised, and with this large number of votes, will give a great boost to the efforts that we are making to get the required vote in the United Nations," Malki said in separate remarks to Voice of Palestine radio. Palestinian success could bring a financial cost for UNESCO. Under US law, Palestine's admission as a full UNESCO member would trigger a cutoff in US funding which accounts for 22 percent of the agency's funding. Israel has said the Palestinian bid would amount to politicisation of the agency that would undermine its ability to carry out its mandate. Malki said US officials cited the threat to UNESCO funding while seeking to dissuade the Palestinians from proceeding with their bid for membership. "We made clear to them that any proposal must be based on a fundamental point: the acceptance of the membership of the state of Palestine in UNESCO," Malki said, signalling the Palestinian determination to go ahead regardless. --Reuters A e niv rsar n Kyrgyzstan votes in test of reforms BISHKEK: Kyrgyzstan began voting yesterday to elect a new president capable of bridging divisions that threaten stability in the former Soviet republic, a vital step to completing bold reforms to create Central Asia's first parliamentary democracy. A clean election would signal the first peaceful handover of the presidency in the mainly Muslim and strategically important country after 20 years of failed authoritarian rule, the culmination of reforms set in motion after a bloody revolt toppled the president last year. But two challengers to the frontrunner, the Moscow-backed Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev, have said they will contest the results if they believe violations have taken place, raising the spectre of protests by disgruntled supporters. Instability in Kyrgyzstan concerns the United States and Russia, which operate military air bases in the country of 5.5 million people and share concerns over drug trafficking and the future spillover of Islamist militancy from nearby Afghanistan. Those who took power after an April 2010 revolution, led by outgoing President Roza Otunbayeva, have watered down the powers of the president and established parliament as the main decision-making body in Kyrgyzstan. Atambayev, the 55-yearold pro-business prime minister, is the flag-bearer of these reforms. His policies are closest to those of Otunbayeva, a former ambassador to London and Washington who will step down at the end of 2011. Opinion polls have made Atambayev the clear favourite, although some analysts doubt he can secure the required 50 percent of votes to win outright. Should he fall short, he will face a run-off against a strong challenger from the south. "We want to live better, and he's a grafter," said retired construction worker Nikolai Dubovik, 77, the first to vote at a school in the capital Bishkek, a city coated in the first snow of winter. "The current authorities have done a lot, but not everything they promised," said 53-year-old architect Kubanbaike, who declined to give his second name. "The price of gasoline is hitting us in the pocket. Sugar has nearly doubled in price in the last year," he said. The election also threatens to expose a north-south cultural divide. Atambayev, from the more Russianleaning and industrial north, faces a strong challenge from two candidates who can draw on the nationalism of voters in the poorer south. One of these candidates, threetimes national billiards champion Adakhan Madumarov, wants to reverse the constitutional reforms to give equal prominence to the presidency and parliament. The other leading southern candidate, trained boxer Kamchibek Tashiyev, has said "millions" of Kyrgyz citizens would take to the streets to overthrow the country's leaders if they believed the elections to be unfair. "We want an honest president who can uphold the law, somebody who will not allow the country to be divided by clans or by north and south," said 43-year-old Bishkek schoolteacher Aida, also declining to give her second name. The next president will be permitted by the current constitution to serve a single 6-year term and will appoint the defence minister and national security head. The field of 16 candidates and the unpredictability of the result make Kyrgyzstan stand apart in formerly Soviet Central Asia, a region otherwise governed by authoritarian presidents. "In the context of the region, Kyrgyzstan is different," said Walburga Habsburg Douglas, the Swedish member of parliament who is leading the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe's observation mission. "The people have a genuine choice of candidates, who are presenting different programmes," she said. "Here, you have a pluralism that is reflected in the election campaign." The wishes of some Kyrgyz voters were simple. "I'm a pensioner already. May God help our children not to kill and steal from each other," said Jamillya Karashova, 62. " We want peace on our soil. And maybe just a little happiness." -- Reuters Bulgarian Socialist Party presidential candidate Ivailo Kalfin casts his vote at a polling station in Sofia yesterday. Bulgarians vote yesterday in the second-round run-off of presidential and local elections, largely tipped by analysts to tighten the grip on power of the ruling right-wing GERB party. -- AFP Bulgaria elects president, right wing seeks to cement power SOFIA: Bulgarians voted yesterday in the second-round run-off of presidential and local elections, largely tipped by analysts to tighten the ruling right-wing GERB party's grip on power. GERB's presidential candidate, former construction minister Rosen Plevneliev, holds a commanding lead of 40 percent after the first-round vote last Sunday. He faces Socialist Ivaylo Kalfin, who garnered 29 percent. The battle will be hard-fought, however, as the Socialists scramble to keep hold of the job, following the two successive five-year terms of incumbent Georgy Par vanov who cannot stand again. Bulgaria's president is elected in a direct ballot for a five-year term in office but has a largely ceremonial role, apart from being the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The top job is however particularly coveted by GERB as it would give the right-wing party full control of power. GERB already has a near-majority in parliament, while its minority cabinet is also safely buttressed by a handful of independent lawmakers. Although Plevneliev holds a commanding lead after last week's firstround vote, the outcome was far from certain as Meglena Kuneva, the former European commissioner who had come in third in the first-round vote with 14 percent, had not endorsed either of the candidates. Riding on the huge personal popularity of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, the party is also expected to win most mayoral seats in the parallel local run-offs yesterday. It already took the capital Sofia and three other big cities in the first round, and is sending 18 more of its big-city mayoral candidates to run-offs. GERB had also won the most city council seats in 20 of the 27 regional centres last Sunday. Massive election fraud and vote-buying allegations had however marred its victory. The more complicated two-in-one elections together with new voting rules caused administrative chaos in polling stations last Sunday. Many of the 6.9 million eligible voters could not cast a ballot because of voting list discrepancies and huge lines outside stations. A record number of between six and 10 percent of the ballots was also declared invalid, raising eyebrows by anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International and prompting numerous objections. The release of official results by the central electoral commission was also delayed well after the 48-hour deadline. Polling stations opened at 6:00 am and were to close at 7:00 pm (1700 GMT), with the first exit poll results expected to be released shortly after polls close. -- AFP Spain's opposition on course for majority MADRID: Spain's opposition People's Par ty (PP) is on course to win an absolute majority in Nov. 20 elections over a Socialist government reeling from austerity measures and Europe's highest unemployment rate, according to opinion polls yesterday. A Sigma Dos poll published in right-leaning daily El Mundo gave the PP a lead of 14.8 percentage points, or enough to win 191 out of 350 seats in the lower chamber and avoid the need to negotiate with regional parties, as many Spanish governments have had to since democracy was restored in 1978. Pollster Metroscopia estimated the PP were 15 points ahead in a separate survey published in centre-left daily El Pais. It added that while Socialist candidate and former Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba's personal rating had improved since Basque separatist group ETA declared an end to its 43 years of armed struggle on Oct. 20, his party's had not. Metroscopia noted that only 44 percent of Socialist supporters were prepared to vote for Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's party amid disenchantment over joblessness and austerity measures designed to avoid a bailout as in other euro zone members Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Unemployment figures released on Friday were the highest in 15 years at nearly five million and analysts said there were few prospects that a battered economy could create new jobs in the near future. The PP has yet to publish an explicit manifesto, but is widely expected to step up cost-cutting. Analysts point out, however, that voters are so keen to ditch the Socialists that they will take a chance with the PP's Mariano Rajoy even if they do not fully k now what he plans. -- Reuters y Years MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 I N T E R N AT I O N A L BISHKEK: Kyrgyz soldiers stand in line to receive their ballot papers at a polling station for the presidential elections in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, yesterdau. Voters in the turbulent Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan headed to polling stations to cast their ballots in a presidential election that could set a democratic precedent for the region. -- AP Two Britons among victims of convoy attack in Kabul Afghan leader offers condolences KABUL: Two British civilians working for a building contractor were among the victims of a weekend suicide bombing in the Afghan capital that killed 17, Britain's Foreign Office said yesterday. The brazen midday attack on Saturday, in which a Taliban bomber rammed an explosive -filled vehicle into a NATO armored bus, killed five NATO service members, including one Canadian soldier, eight civilian contractors and four Afghans. The assault underscored the Taliban and allied militant movements' ability to strike in the country more than a decade into the U.S.-led coalition's war against the insurgents. Yesterday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai apologized and expressed condolences to the families of the foreigners and Afghans who died. Karzai's statement of condolences issued after the incident failed to recognize the Americans and other foreigners killed. A US defense official had said all the foreigners killed were Americans, while NATO has yet to provide the nationalities of those killed. During a meeting of Afghanistan's National Security Council yesterday, Karzai offered his apologies to US Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Marine Gen. John Allen, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Karzai said it was an oversight and not a snub against his international partners, a Western official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to disclose the personal exchange at the presidential palace. The Afghan leader also offered his condolences on the death of three Australian soldiers who were killed on a base in the southern Uruzgan province when an Afghan soldier turned his weapon on NATO and Afghan forces. An Afghan interpreter was also killed in that attack, while another seven Australian soldiers were wounded, including one who was treated for life-threatening injuries, according to Australian defense officials. The motive behind the shooting was still under investigation, but Gen. Abdul Hameed, commander of the Afghan Army Corps 205, said the attacker was a soldier - not someone posing as a member of the Afghan security forces. The day's attacks raised to 488 the number of NATO service member killed in Afghanistan so far this year. The US-led coalition is readying to hand over more security responsibilities to its Afghan counterparts in all or part of 17 of the country's 34 provinces. British Prime Minister David Cameron offered condolences to families of the dead, but also insisted the attacks would not disrupt the work of international forces in Afghanistan. -- AP Loud explosion hits restive Nigerian city MAIDUGURI: A loud explosion rocked the troubled northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri yesterday in an apparent attack on a military patrol, residents said. It was not immediately clear whether there were deaths or injuries linked to the explosion in the city, which has previously been targeted by scores of bombings blamed on an Islamist sect. "There was a loud explosion," said resident Hammadi Yakubu. "The explosion was the loudest I've heard so far in the city." He said that "from what I gathered, a bomb detonated targeting a military patrol vehicle. Nobody knows the extent of the damage because the area has been cordoned off by soldiers." Another resident gave a similar account, speaking of a heavy explosion and smoke billowing. "The sound was really terrifying," said Ahmad Gana. Military and police officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Another resident, Bunu Zarabe, said he saw a siren-blaring ambulance speeding out of the area with a military van behind it. Residents in the neighbourhood known as Bulabulin Ngarnam were later said to be fleeing out of fears of a military raid in response to the blasts. Soldiers have in the past been accused of rampaging though neighborhoods after such explosions, killing residents, burning homes and claiming locals cooperated with the sect known as Boko Haram. Maiduguri has been hit by scores of attacks blamed on Boko Haram, which also claimed responsibility for the August suicide bombing of UN headquarters in Abuja that killed at least 24 people. Earlier this month, the military in Borno state, where Maiduguri is the capital, set a deadline of October 31 for residents to turn in illegal weapons and explosives. At the time, the military claimed criminals were "hiding under the pretence of Boko Haram to commit crime in the state." "Those who refuse to surrender their arms would face consequences after the expiration of the deadline," the statement had said. Thousands of residents have already fled Maiduguri out of fears of further violence. The city, located in Nigeria's far northeast near the border with Chad, Cameroon and Niger, has seen the brunt of the violence blamed on the sect. -- AFP Britain to allow armed guards to defend ships LONDON: British merchant ships travelling around the Horn of Africa will for the first time be able to carry armed guards to protect them from pirates, Prime Minister David Cameron announced yesterday. Officials said a legal ban will be relaxed so that shipping companies can apply for a licence from the government to carry weapons on board in the most dangerous areas, mainly off the coast of Somalia. " We are now going to say to British-flagged ships that they would be licensed if they want to have security guards, armed guards on those ships," Cameron told the BBC. "The evidence is that ships with armed guards don't get attacked, don't get taken for hostage or for ransoms. So we think it's a very important step forward," he said. The plan could see commercial, passenger and cargo ships carrying firearms off the coast of Somalia, in the Gulf of Aden, in the Arabian Sea and the wider Indian Ocean within a month, a spokesman for Cameron's office said. Experts agree that private guards do deter pirates, but their use can cause problems of legal jurisdiction and spark concerns about the use of mercenaries, questions of liability and private militarisation of the seas. But Cameron argued: "Frankly, the extent of the hijack and ransom of ships around the Horn of Africa is a complete stain on our world. "The fact that a bunch of pirates in Somalia are managing to hold to ransom the rest of the world and our trading system, I think is a complete insult and so the rest of the world needs to come together with much more vigour." By October 21, pirates had attacked 369 ships worldwide, with Somalis in search of ransoms responsible for 208 raids. Cameron said that armed guards were only one way of tackling piracy; it was also important to make sure the pirates faced justice after being caught. In addition, "I want us to have a far greater focus on this broken country Somalia and how we can try and deal with the causes of the hijack, the piracy, the ransom, the kidnapping", he said. -- AFP KUROPATY: Belarus opposition activists carry wooden crosses, their flags and portraits of jailed opposition leaders, including former presidential election candidate Andrei Sannikov (R), as the march to a grave site of mass Stalin-era executions in Kuropaty on the outskirts of capital Minsk, yesterday. A few hundred people gathered to commemorate the victims of Soviet-era political repression, marking the Day of the Dead. -- AFP A e niv rsar n Years i n t e r n at i o n a l 11 Alabama immigration fight recalls civil rights era MONTGOMERY: The epicenter of the fight over the patchwork of immigration laws in the United States is not Arizona, which shares a border with Mexico and became a common site for boycotts. Nor was it any of the four states that were next to pass their own crackdowns. No, the case that's likely to be the first sorted out by the US Supreme Court comes from the Deep South state of Alabama, where the nation's strictest immigration law has resurrected ugly images from the state's days as the nation's battleground for civil rights a halfcentury ago. And Alabama's jump to the forefront says as much about the country's evolving demographics as it does the nation's collective memory of the state's sometimes violent path to desegregation. With the failure of Congress in recent years to pass comprehensive federal immigration legislation, Arizona, Georgia, Utah, South Carolina and Indiana have passed their own. But supporters and opponents alike agree none contained provisions as strict as those passed in Alabama, among them one that required schools to check students' immigration status. That provision, which has been temporarily blocked, would allow the Supreme Court to reconsider a decision that said a kindergarten to high school education must be provided to illegal immigrants. Its stature as the strictest in the U.S., along with the inevitable comparisons of today's Hispanics with African-Americans of the 1950s and `60s, makes it a near certainty the law will be a test case for the high court. "It really offers the Supreme Court a broad canvas to reshape what being an immigrant in the United States means," said Foster Maer, an attorney with LatinoJustice in New York, which is challenging the law. Alabama was well-suited to be the nation's civil rights battleground because of its harsh segregation laws, large black population, and the presence of a charismatic young minister named Martin Luther King Jr., who led a boycott of segregated buses in 1955-56. Opponents say the new law's schools provision conjures images of Gov. George Wallace's stand in the schoolhouse door to block racial integration. "Today we have a different stand in the schoolhouse door. We have efforts to intimidate children who have a constitutional right to go to school," said Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Although no solid numbers exist, schools have reported fewer Hispanic students attending school, with some saying as much as 10 percent of their Hispanic students have withdrawn since the law took effect a month ago. Illegal immigrants interviewed by The Associated Press have said their General Luther Strange, faults President Barack Obama's Justice Department for stirring the civil rights comparisons by falsely predicthere in Alabama, which is so widely out of touch with our state," he said, referring to the public safety commissioner who unleashed police dogs and fire hoses on civil rights marchers in Birmingham in the 1960s. At first glance, Alabama seems ill-suited to be the nation's immigration battleground. It's not a border state and is home to fewer illegal immigrants than several other Southern states. "Why are we getting all the publicity? I think it has to do with Alabama's past and the perception that people have of Alabama over the years that don't live in our state and really don't recognize the amount of progress we've made in Alabama over the last 50 to 60 years," said Republican Gov. Robert Bentley, who supported the law and signed it into effect. Alabama's law, pushed through by a new Republican super-majority in the state Legislature, is being challenged in federal court by the Justice Department, about 30 civil rights organizations and some prominent church leaders. Judges have blocked some provisions, but sections still stand that allow police to check a person's immigration status during traffic stops and make it a felony for illegal immigrants to conduct basic state business, like getting a driver's license. State Rep. Alvin Holmes, the senior black member of the Legislature, said Republicans can't undo the voting rights gains of Democratic-leaning blacks, so they are going after brown-skinned people in hopes they won't gain a voting foothold. "They feel if these Hispanics come in and get registered to vote, they will team up with black voters to take over Alabama politics," he said. Proponents say the law had nothing to with race. They say it was the result of frustration with the federal government's inaction and an effort to open up jobs for the nearly 10 percent of legal state residents out of work. "There are people who try to make racism a cottage industry and profit off it, but I would put the harmony in Alabama up against any place in the country," said Republican Sen. Scott Beason, one of the law's sponsors. Beason, the powerful chairman of the state Senate's Rules Committee, has prompted some of the comparisons with the civil rights era by telling one group that the Legislature needed to "empty the clip" on the immigration issue. And in tapes played during the federal trial of several lawmakers and lobbyists accused of buying and selling votes on gambling legislation, he referred to customers of a dog track in a predominantly black county as "aborigines." --AP MASSACHUSETTS: In this Oct. 18, 2011, file photo, Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain, left, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, center, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are seen before a Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas. Key proposals from the Republican presidential candidates might make for good campaign fodder. --AP New Cain Internet advert shines focus on viral videos NEW YORK: Before Smoking Man, there was Obama Girl. And who can forget Jib Jab? A new ad featuring Herman Cain's smoking campaign manager Mark Block is the latest political video to become an overnight web sensation. The ad, with Block taking a deep drag on a cigarette while Cain flashes a Cheshire cat grin, has had close to 1 million clicks on Cain's website since its debut last week. It's also aired repeatedly on cable news shows and become the subject of countless parodies. Online viral videos have become a staple of American politics. Not long ago, pricey paid television ads were the only way for candidates to be noticed. Now, anyone with a good idea and an Internet connection can generate buzz in the presidential contest. "The most important thing to appreciate about viral videos is they really reduce the power of traditional media gatekeepers," said Stephen Farnsworth, an associate professor of communications at George Mason University in Virginia. "The decisions of what the public could see used to be in the control of TV executives. The Web gives people the ability to send messages horizontally. You see something you like, you put it on YouTube." Some widely disseminated videos have been harmless fun such as the ad produced by digital studio Jib Jab in 2004 showing rivals George W. Bush and John Kerry singing a hilarious rendition of "This Land." Others have had a deeper impact, including Tina Fey's scathing depiction of 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin as an ill-informed lightweight. Those sketches first appeared on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" but were widely shared online. Cain, a little-known former Godfather's Pizza executive before joining the 2012 GOP race, has seen his popularity spike recently after a series of debates and his much-discussed 9-9-9 tax plan. The smoking man ad, with its low production values and quirky imagery, has added to the sense of novelty about Cain's candidacy and was distributed almost for free. In an interview with CNN on Friday, Block said Cain had raised $3 million in October in part because of the video's popularity. "That's what we're seeing in our grassroots activism growth and obviously in the YouTube thing," Block said. President Barack Obama, cast as the innovative newcomer when he joined the Democratic field in 2008, has experienced the upside and downside of being a Web video sensation. The Obama Girl video, in which a fetching young woman sang about her crush on the then-Illinois senator, went viral early in the campaign and reinforced the notion of Obama as the cool and sexy alternative to his more established Democratic rival, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Clinton briefly reclaimed the online spotlight when news footage of her welling up at a New Hampshire coffee shop was widely circulated. She narrowly beat Obama in that state's first-in-thenation primary. Obama fans struck back with the "Yes We Can" video, produced by the Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am and featuring celebrities such as actress Scarlett Johansson. It was an online hit and revived Obama's image as the hip and trendy candidate after he lost New Hampshire. Arizona Sen. John McCain, Obama's general election rival in 2008, sought to turn such gushing testimonials back on the Democrat. Strapped for cash that summer as a confident Obama toured Europe, McCain's campaign released a video comparing Obama to starlets Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. "He's the biggest celebrity in the world," the ad said mockingly. It quickly went viral and became the talk of cable news. Obama's campaign also experienced a crisis when videos surfaced of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, shouting anti-American slogans from the pulpit. The videos generated questions about Obama's faith and status as the first major black presidential candidate, forcing him to deliver a major speech on race relations. The campaign later found itself on the defensive again after news clips of Obama fist-bumping with his wife, Michelle, were widely distributed, as well as a sound bite from Michelle Obama saying her husband's candidacy made her proud of the United State "for the first time in my adult life." Critics seized on the videos as evidence of the Obamas' "otherness" or lack of patriotism. Ken Goldstein, whose Campaign Media Analysis Group tracks political advertising, said that while online videos had the power to influence a race, paid television advertising still carried much more overall impact. "The Internet preaches to the choir," Goldstein said. "It's a great way to raise money and mobilize supporters to work harder, which are not trivial things. But viral videos are not a way to mobilize passive and undecided voters, which television ads do." --AP y MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 BIRMINGHAM: In this Oct. 22, 2011 file photo, supporters surround Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., center, as he leaves after speaking at the "Alabama United: One Family, One Alabama," mass rally in Birmingham, Ala. The rally called for a stand for the basic rights of all people. Now, in 2011, the epicenter of the fight over the nation's patchwork of immigration laws is not Arizona, which shares a border with Mexico and became a common site for boycotts. --AP children were bullied and told to go back to Mexico, while others have described their intense fears of arrest and deportation. The lawyer leading the state's defense, Alabama Attorney ing the law would lead to the kind of widespread discrimination and profiling that marked Alabama's past. "The idea they seem to have is there's a Bull Connor on every corner Deadly storm hangs on in Northeast US Connecticut hit hardest by power outages NEW YORK: Transportation in the Northeast was hard-hit yesterday by a rare October snowstorm that also cut power to more than 2 million homes and killed at least three people. The heaviest snow was recorded in Western Massachusetts, where 27.8 inches/(71 cm) was measured in Plainfield, according to the National Weather Service. Just 45 minutes northwest of New York City, in West Milford, New Jersey, 19 inches/(48 cm) of snow fell. "A historic October storm is still crushing New England with heavy snow and howling winds," meteorologist Meghan Evans said on Accuweather.com yesterday. The storm was expected to push out of Maine on Sunday but not before dumping up to a foot/(30.5 cm) of snow on northern New England states, particularly southern Vermont, the NWS said. The heavy, wet snow snapped enormous trees like twigs, downing power lines from West Virginia to Massachusetts. New Jersey Transit and MetroNorth Railroad suspended service on several lines into New York City on Saturday and continued the suspension yesterday. Many flights at New York Cityarea airports were canceled. Authorities warned drivers to stay off icy roads. Slippery road conditions were blamed for a crash that killed a motorist in Colchester, Connecticut. In Temple, Pennsylvania, an 84-year-old man was killed when a snow-caked tree fell through his home, said a Muhlenberg Township Police Department dispatcher. In Springfield, Massachusetts, a 20-year-old man was electrocuted when he stepped out of his vehicle and touched an electrified guard rail, a Springfield police spokesman said. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts declared weather emergencies broke a snow record that had stood since 1969 for New York's Central Park, which received 2.9 inches/(7.3 cm) of snow, the National Weather Service said. Widespread power outages caused by snow, ice and falling Pennsylvania; 341,000 without power from PSE&G in New Jersey; more than 300,000 by First Energy in Pennsylvania and New Jersey; more than 77,000 by Con Edison in New York and more than 66,000 by Allegheny Power in Maryland, BELMONT: A downed tree limb lies across power lines in Belmont, Mass., yesterday. A snowstorm with a ferocity more familiar in February than October socked the Northeast over the weekend, knocking out power to 2.3 million, snarling air and highway travel and dumping more than 2 feet of snow in a few spots as it slowly moved north out of New England. --AP because of the storm. Snow fell on Saturday, some at record amounts, across most of Pennsylvania well into Massachusetts after blanketing parts of Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. The unseasonably early storm trees were reported from the MidAtlantic into New England, leaving some 2 million customers without power. The power outages included 606,388 customers reported by Connecticut Light and Power; 214,000 by PPL Electric Utilities in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Another 205,890 customers of National Grid in Massachusetts and New York were without power and 17,467 customers reported by The United Illuminating Company in Connecticut. --Reuters Sham US colleges expose huge student visa scams WASHINGTON: A case working its way through a federal court in California has exposed huge student visa scams by "sham" universities cashing in on Indians and other foreigners looking for a quick path to jobs in the United States. Enrollment at Tri-Valley University, an unaccredited self-styled Christian graduate school, surged from a handful of students to 1,500, almost all from India, in a two-year period before federal authorities shut it down in January. The university's president, Susan Su, was arrested in May and charged with fraud, money laundering, harboring aliens and making false statements. Four others also have been charged in the case. She is accused of submitting false documentation to get federal approval to sponsor students to the university on foreign visas, and then using it to sell visas to all comers for the price of tuition, $2,700 a semester. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Wednesday called it "a pretty horrible visa scam, where a fake university petitioned and got visas for a bunch of students to come over and then actually turned out not to be a real educational institution." The case, which has yet to go to trial, has strained relations with India, whose press has portrayed the students as innocent victims suddenly at loose ends and under threat of deportation, their dreams dashed by the scam. India's ambassador to the United States, Nirupama Rao, this week wrote US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the case, citing the hardships faced by the students and urging that their cases "be viewed in their totality with understanding and in a fair and reasonable manner," the embassy said. Nuland said 435 of the students have been approved to be allowed to transfer to other universities, but the status of more than 900 others is still in doubt. "Some students we're not going to be able place, but we're continuing to work on this issue," she said. The TVU case comes at a time when many American colleges are eager to recruit students from India, where a burgeoning middle class and growing population is powering demand for higher education. In 2009-2010, there were 105,000 Indian students in the United States, about 15 percent of the total international students here, according to a report by the Institute of International Education. Only China, with 128,000, had more. But even with the rush for foreign students, TVU was unusual in that it had only foreign students, 95 percent of them from India. It operated from a building in Pleasanton, California that had capacity for only 30 students when it opened in 2008, and yet the university grew by hundreds of students in its second year, according to court filings. As the school's enrollment surged, Su bought a new Mercedes-Benz and a 1.8 million dollar home in Silicon Valley with the estimated 3.2 million dollars that flooded in, the government said. There were other signs that something was amiss-a university website rife with misspellings and grammatical errors, sketchy course listings, many of them taught by none other than the school's president and CEO, Susan Su When DHS agents finally raided the school they found that most of its students were dispersed around the country, holding jobs under the visa program's work-study provisions. The residence where the university said more than half its students were living turned out to be a single apartment, according to the filings. Prosecutors allege that Su gained certification to sponsor foreign student visas with a tissue of false information. When DHS agents visited the school, she gave false information about "TVU's classes, instructors, DSO's, official staff and school policies," according to the April 28 indictment. A database that DHS created after the September 11, 2001 attacks to keep track of foreign students was allegedly plied with false information. False letters of good standing, transcripts and attendance records filled out the picture, prosecutors allege. "It is certainly a wake-up call," said Ronald Cushing, director of international services at the University of Cincinnati, an accredited university. "I would be very surprised if anybody who has gone through the certification process since TriValley has not been looked at more closely," he told AFP. --AFP MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 i n t e r n at i o n a l Australian PM vows to stay Afghan course after attack PERTH: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday defended her country's involvement in Afghanistan after three troops were shot dead and seven wounded in an attack by a rogue Afghan soldier. Speaking in Perth, she said the nation's deadliest incident in the conflict since three soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash in 2010 would concern Australians. "I well and truly understand that when you see losses in Afghanistan, in particular when you see losses of this kind, that it does cause the Australian people to question our deployment in Afghanistan," she said. Thirty-two Australian troops have been killed so far in the conflict but Gillard said Canberra would not be deterred from its mission of training and mentoring Afghan soldiers in restive Uruzgan province. "We are there because it's in our national interests to be in Afghanistan," she said, adding that Australia's 1,550 soldiers were making progress and had a defined mission. "We cannot allow our will to be undermined by incidents like this." The Australian Defence Force is investigating the incident in Kandahar province on Saturday in which an Afghan National Army soldier shot at a parade, killing a corporal, captain and lance corporal. General Abdul Hameed, commander of 205 Atal corps in the south, said an Afghan soldier with three years' experience had carried out the shooting, in which an Afghan interpreter also died, and was gunned down by foreign soldiers. Fears of infiltration within the Afghan army ranks have risen as Western backers fund and train a huge expansion of the fledgling national force ahead of the withdrawal of all foreign combat forces scheduled for 2014. In June, Australian Lance Corporal Andrew Jones was shot dead by a rogue Afghan soldier. "We have been a nation that has suffered very, very deeply this year with casualties in Afghanistan," Gillard said. "I am unbelievably conscious of that. "I am also very conscious of the need to see the mission through." Defence Minister Stephen Smith said Australian forces would not be in Afghanistan "forever" but would not depart now. "If we were to leave now the Afghanistan/Pakistan border area would again become a breeding ground for international terrorism, and Australians have been on the receiving end of international terrorism," he said. -- AFP Peak tides test Thailand capital's flood defences Situation `critical' in provinces BANGKOK: Peak tides tested Bangkok's flood defences yesterday as hope rose that the centre of the Thai capital might escape the worst floods in decades, but that was little comfort for swamped suburbs and provinces where worry about disease is growing. The floods have killed at least 381 people since July and affected more than 2 million. Authorities have cut growth forecasts for Southeast Asia's second biggest economy. Disruptions to auto and computer-part producers have been felt worldwide. Water flowing down the central Chao Phraya river basin from the north is meeting peak tides surging in the Gulf of Thailand, 20 km (12 miles) south of Bangkok, leading to fears the city's makeshift defences would be swamped. The tides have pushed water in the river, which snakes its way through the city past gilded temples and wooden shanties, about 2.5 metres (8 feet) above sea level but dikes and sandbag walls have largely held. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, a political novice who took over this year after an election that many Thais hoped would heal chronic political divisions, said the city's fate rested with its net work of defences. "I t depends on the level of the sea and sometimes it's about the stability of the way we put the sandbags," Yingluck told repor ters. "Hopefully, the sandbags are quite strong enough. So if the sandbags don't fall over, it should be OK." The high tides are due to last until today. Yesterday 's tide was not quite as high as Saturday's, Yingluck said, adding that people should not lose confidence: "We will recover soon." But the danger is far from over. Authorities trying to divert water around the city and out to sea said a "great volume" was flowing from the north into a canal in western Taling Chan district and people were being advised to leave. Most people living in Thonburi, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya, have been struggling in waist-deep water for several days to save possessions. People in Thonburi's Bang Phlad neighbourhood battled in vain to shore up a crumbling sandbag wall and women screamed as water from the swollen river surged into a commercial street. Several par ts of nor th Bangkok are also swamped while provinces just nor th, such as Pathun Thani and Ayutthaya, have been largely inundated for weeks. Fears about water-borne diseases and malaria are growing. Matthew Cochrane of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the situation was critical. Many HENGYANG CITY: Family members gather for news of some 35 miners who were working in the state-owned Xialiuchong Coal Mine in Hengyang city, central China's Hunan province yesterday. -- AFP China coal mine blast kills 29 BEIJING: A gas explosion at a coal mine in central China has killed 29 miners, state media said yesterday, the latest in a series of deadly accidents to hit the country's mining industry. Some 35 miners were working in the state-owned mine at the time of the blast, which happened early Saturday evening at the Xialiuchong Coal Mine in Hengyang city, Hunan province, the official Xinhua news agency said. State television put the number of dead at 29, raising the toll of 28 earlier given by Xinhua. All the bodies of the dead had been recovered, China Central Television said. Six miners had been rescued and were being treated in hospital. Relatives had earlier gathered outside the mine in the early hours of Sunday morning to await news of the missing miners, China News Service said. The mine, which was owned by the city government, was legally registered, state television said. The mine had more than 500 employees but only 160 workers were on shift at the time of the accident. The cause of the accident was still under investigation. Government officials could not immediately be reached for comment. The head of the central government's work safety agency, Luo Lin, and Hunan governor Xu Shousheng had travelled to the scene to help direct the rescue and recovery efforts. China's mining industry has a notoriously poor safety record with its mines considered among the most deadly in the world. Earlier in October, a gas explosion in a coal mine in China's southwestern city of Chongqing killed thirteen people, while another blast in the northern province of Shaanxi killed 11 miners. In 2010, 2,433 people died in coal mine accidents in China, according to official statistics-a rate of more than six workers per day. Labour rights groups say the actual death toll is likely much higher, partly due to under-reporting of accidents as mine bosses seek to limit their economic losses and avoid punishment. As China's rapid economic growth has caused demand for energy, including coal, to surge, some mining bosses have put the safety of workers at risk to chase profits. -- AFP BANGKOK: A Thai family wades through floodwaters in Bangkok, Thailand, yesterday. Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is expressing optimism that Thailand's worst flooding in a half-century will mostly spare Bangkok. -- AP people were living in floodwater without access to food and water. "There are more than 2 million people who have been affected over the past few months. Many of them are still affected," Cochrane told Reuters. As well as the growing risk of diarrhoea and mosquito-borne diseases, skin infections were a major problem, he said. In some areas, crocodiles have escaped from flooded farms and snakes searching for dry land have slithered into homes. The floods have submerged 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares), or roughly the size of Kuwait, and follow unusually heavy monsoon rain. But there have been accusations that authorities delayed releasing water from dams. By the time they had to release it or risk dams bursting, rain was heavy and rivers full. The weather has been mostly clear for the last few days. The worst floods in half a century have also wiped out a quarter of the main rice crop in the world's biggest exporter. The waters also inundated seven industrial estates that have sprung up over the last 20 years on what used to be the central plan's rice-growing lands. Thailand is the secondlargest exporter of computer hard drives and global prices are rising because of a floodrelated shortage of major components used in personal computers. The president of South Korea's Samsung Electronics said he expected Thailand's floods to hit the computer memory chip market further by hurting PC production until the first quar ter of next year. " There is too much uncertainty in the market," Jun Dong-soo, president of Samsung's memory business, said in comments released on Sunday. Samsung is the world's top maker of dynamic random access memory, which is used widely in PCs. Japan's Honda Motor Co may keep its Thai factory shut for about six months which would affect 3 percent of its annual global car output, the Nikkei business daily reported. The high tides have flooded parts of Bangkok's normally bustling Chinatown and some streets around the glittering Grand Palace which a few tourists were still visiting. Numerous buildings have been sandbagged or walled off. Many people left their cars on elevated roads, although most of the inner city is dry. Many residents have taken advantage of a special five-day holiday to Monday to flee the city. Those left behind have stocked up and supplies of staples in many shops have run out. Some governments have warned citizens against non-essential travel to the city of 12 million and some flights have been cancelled, although the main airport has not been flooded. -- Reuters Crowds throng Imran Khan rally in Pakistan LAHORE: A crowd of thousands gathered yesterday for a rally in the Pakistani city of Lahore called by cricket hero turned politician Imran Khan to press President Asif Ali Zardari to step down. Dancing to a drumbeat and waving the party's red and green flags, supporters of Khan's Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice) filled the sprawling Minar-ePakistan ground which was ringed with tight security. "Who will save Pakistan? Imran Khan, Imran Khan," the crowd chanted. More than 20,000 people had gathered as the meeting began at 4pm (1100 GMT ) with more on the way, according to witnesses, as the crowd waited for a scheduled appearance by their hero. Khan's party slogan is "throw this government out and save the country," in a campaign aimed at the ruling coalition led by Zardari and the party of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Khan, who guided Pakistan a World Cup win 1992, brims with confidence that he can solve Pakistan's myriad and devastating problems. But his party has no seats in parliament and it is criticised for lacking grassroots support and the infrastructure needed to win an election. The rally, seen as a show of strength, comes two days after Sharif's brother Shahbaz, attracted some 30,000 people at an anti-Zardari protest also in the key political battleground of Lahore. Sharif 's Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) held on Friday to demand early elections in its political heartland-it controls the Punjab provincial government despite being in opposition at national level. Party faithful denounced corruption and widespread power cuts, calling on the 56-year-old president, dubbed "Mr Ten Percent" over graft allegations, to step down before the government's five-year mandate expires in 2013. The venue for Khan's public meeting was bedecked with banners and hoardings showing portraits of the former cricketer and the founder of the nation Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He was due to speak later. Tehreek-e-Insaf Secretary General Arif Ali said Khan "will make important announcements regarding the country's politics and future course of action." "The wind of change of has started in the country and anyone coming in its way would be eliminated," Alvi said and added "Tehreek-e-Insaf wants the rule of people constitution and law in the country." "It is going to be historic. We have our supporters and voters coming from Lahore and its suburban areas and the expected gathering would be over 100,000 people," Malik Zaheer Abbas K hok har, a member of the par ty 's organising committee said. Lahore, with a population of eight million, is Pakistan's second-biggest city and the capital of the most populous province Punjab, which commands the greatest number of seats in the national assembly or lower house of parliament. That makes it bitterly contested territory where opposition leaders are targeting the unpopular Zardari. They are looking to exploit disillusionment with the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) which swept to power in February 2008, two months after Zardari's wife, exprime minister Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated. The party had expressed some concerns about inadequate security arrangements and blocking of the convoys coming from other cities. "We have been reassured by the provincial police chief about the security of the gathering and smooth flow of traffic for our convoys," Khokhar told AFP. Senior police official Ghulam Mahmood Dogar told reporters that all steps had been taken to provide "foolproof " security at the public meeting. Around 2,000 Pakistanis led by Khan demonstrated in Islamabad on Friday to demand an end to US drone strikes in the tribal areas, claiming they kill more innocent civilians than Taleban and AlQaeda leaders. -- AFP US drone strikes fail to mobilise Pakistan masses ISLAMABAD: Campaigners condemn US drone strikes in Pakistan as extra-judicial assassinations that kill hundreds of civilians, but popular protests against them are conspicuous by their rarity. Opinion polls suggest barely nine percent of the Pakistani public support the strikes, and anti-Americanism is rife in the country of 180 million people, a key ally of Washington in the war on terror. Even so, rallies protesting the CIA-run operation against Taleban and Al-Qaeda allies in Pakistan's tribal areas on the Afghan border are few and thinly attended. The government says 30,000 people have been killed in Islamist attacks across Pakistan in the last decade -- 10 times the 3,000 people who perished in the September 11, 2001 suicide hijackings in the United States. Cricket hero turned politician Imran Khan, a staunch critic of US policy in Pakistan and the "hypocrite" government in Islamabad, led an anti-drone demonstration on Friday but only around 2,000 people joined him. Earlier in the week, Khan was among the speakers at a press conference in Islamabad where lawyer Shahzad Akbar held up a piece of twisted, rusting metal. "These are the remains of a drone missile fired in August 2010 in Datta Khel, North Waziristan," he said. "It killed the wife and two children of a local tribesman, Bismillah Khan. This proves the US wrong when they say no civilians are killed by their drones." Akbar is backed by British-based charity Reprieve, whose founder and director Clive Stafford Smith said drone strikes were "in violation of the laws of war and Pakistan sovereignty". But behind the politics, security officials say the issue is not so simple. Campaigners struggle to win public sympathy for people killed in remote mountains, difficult to access and often under rebel control. The United States says the area, particularly the districts of North and South Waziristan, is infested with Taleban and Al-Qaeda allies who need to be eliminated to protect US soldiers in neighbouring Afghanistan. -- AFP Philippine offensive targets terror suspects MANILA: Philippine bomber planes and troops assaulted a mountain stronghold of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group in the south yesterday in a new offensive targeting a key Malaysian terrorism suspect in Southeast Asia and allied Filipino gunmen, officials said. Filipino marines found three bodies of suspected militants scattered around the Abu Sayyaf jungle lair near Karawan village in Sulu province's Indanan town after OV10 planes bombed the area. Security officials were trying to identify the bodies, regional military spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said. Sulu police operations chief Amil Baanan said the targets of the offensive, which started Saturday, included Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, a US-trained Malaysian engineer long hunted by US and Philippine authorities for his alleged role in past bombings and other terror attacks. The troops were also after Singaporean militant Muhammad Ali Bin Al-Rahman, also known as Muawiya, who is believed to be affiliated with the Southeast Asian militant network Jemaah Islamiyah. Abu Sayyaf commander Umbra Jumdail, who has given refuge to Marwan and Muawiya in his jungle encampment, was also targeted, Banaan said. Washington has offered $5 million reward for the capture or killing of Marwan, among Southeast Asia's most wanted terror suspects. New intelligence indicated that the three terror suspects have been hiding in the heavilyforested Karawan hinterland with about 30 Abu Sayyaf militants, prompting the military to order the assaults, military officials said. Marines found three assault rifles, a pistol and camouflage uniforms, which were abandoned by the militants, who were being pursued, Cabangbang said. Marwan, who is believed to have provided bomb-making training and funds to Filipino militants for years, is a key associate of Indonesian militant Umar Patek, who was captured last Jan. 25 in Pakistan's garrison town of Abbottabad, where Osama bin Laden was killed in a highly secretive U.S. commando attack four months later. -- AP MANILA: A father and son spruce up the crypt of the departed loved ones yesterday at a public cemetery at suburban Navotas north of Manila, Philippines, in preparation for the traditional observance of honoring the departed known as All Saint's Day. -- AP A e niv rsar n DAMASCUS: A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows Syrians rallying in support of President Bashar Al-Assad in the city of Sweida, south of Damascus, yesterday. --AFP ICC hunt for Gaddafi son poses dilemma for Niger NIAMEY/BEIJING: The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) said yesterday he has "substantial evidence" that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, now on the run, had helped hire mercenaries to attack Libyan civilians protesting against his father's rule. Saif al-Islam may be heading for Niger, which risks upsetting its own pro-Gaddafi Tuareg nomads if it hands him over to the ICC in line with its treaty obligations, as it has promised to do if the wanted man shows up on its territory. "We have a witness who explained how Saif was involved with the planning of the attacks against civilians, including in particular the hiring of core mercenaries from different countries and the transport of them, and also the financial aspects he was covering," ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told Reuters during a visit to Beijing. Saif al-Islam, 39, is desperately seeking to avoid the fate of his father, Muammar Gaddafi, who was beaten, abused and shot after forces of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) captured him on Oct 20 after the fall of his home town Sirte. The NTC may try Saif al-Islam itself, but the fugitive Libyan has been in indirect contact with the ICC over a possible surrender, though he may also harbor hopes that mercenaries can spirit him to a friendly African country. Neighboring Niger has vowed to honor its ICC commitments, but knows that handing over Saif alIslam could spark unrest in Saharan areas where his father, feted by many desert-dwellers as a hero, nurtured past Tuareg revolts against the capital. A senior member of Niger's coalition government told Reuters Saif al-Islam's whereabouts remained unknown, but that surrender was his best option. Niger would cooperate with the ICC to ensure he was handed over as safely as possible. "It's perhaps best that he goes of his own accord rather than to be hunted and caught by Libyans who will end up lynching him as they did to his father," said Habi Mahamadou Salissou, vice-president of the Nigerien Democratic Movement. The former foreign minister said he was convinced that any transfer of Saif al-Islam would not spark a new Tuareg revolt in the West African nation, pointing to recent government efforts to integrate Tuareg officials into positions of power. But he acknowledged the imprint the former Libyan leader had left on Niger. "Gaddafi backed virtually all the rebellions in Niger and then managed to find a solution to them." Moreno-Campo said the ICC had witnesses to testify against Saif Al-Islam, whom he said he had met a few years ago-when Saif had backed ICC efforts to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir over alleged genocide and other crimes in Darfur. "So we have substantial evidence to prove the case, but of course Saif is still (presumed) innocent, and (will) have to go to court and the judge will decide," he said. Moreno - Ocampo said he would brief the UN Security Council on Wednesday about the court's work in Libya. The Hague-based court has warned Saif al-Islam that it could order a mid-air interception if he tried to flee by plane from his unidentified Sahara desert hideout for a safe haven. "We received through an informal intermediary some questions from Saif apparently about the legal system-what happens to him if he appears before the judges, can he be sent to Libya, what happens if he's convicted, what happens if he's acquitted," said Moreno-Ocampo. "We are not in any negotiations with Saif," he said, adding that the ICC would not later force him to return to Libya provided another country is willing to receive him after he is either acquitted or is convicted and has served his sentence. The NTC's interim information minister, Mahmoud Shammam, said the council had not discussed the indirect contacts between Saif al-Islam and the ICC. "We don't have a formal position on the reports," he told Reuters in Tripoli. CHANGE OF IMAGE Before a popular uprising imperiled his father's grip on Libya, Saif al-Islam had cast himself as an enlightened supporter of reform at home and across the Arab world. But then he swore to crush opponents of his father's 42-year rule. Asked about Saif al-Islam's metamorphosis, Moreno-Ocampo said: "After all these years, nothing surprises me." Niger has not commented on statements by local northern leaders that Saif al-Islam was probably on its side of the mountains straddling its porous border with Libya, Algeria and Mali. An official for the remote northern Agadez region, through which another fugitive Gaddafi son, Saadi, has passed, said on Saturday it had hosted security talks with US officials. The official, who requested anonymity, spoke of escape plans by Saif al-Islam and former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, both wanted by the ICC for war crimes. "Senussi is being extricated from Mali toward a country that is a non-signatory to the (ICC) convention. I am certain that they will both (Senussi and Saif al-Islam) be extricated by plane, one from Mali, the other from Niger," he said. A member of parliament from nor thern Mali, Ibrahim Assaleh Ag Mohamed, denied Senussi was in his country and said neither he nor Saif al-Islam would be accepted if they tried to enter. Niger, like Mali, has signed the ICC's statute, but handing over Saif al-Islam would annoy northerners who feel remote from the capital Niamey and have long espoused Gaddafi's vision of a cross-border Saharan people. " We are ready to hide him wherever needed," Mouddour Barka, a resident of Agadez town, told Reuters, adding that if Niger authorities handed him over: "We are ready to go out onto the streets and they will have us to deal with". Gaddafi, a self-styled African "k ing of k ings" befriended desert tribes in Niger, Mali and other former French colonies in West Africa, and lavished funds on several African nations. The ICC accuses Saif al-Islam of hiring mercenaries to carry out a plan, worked out with his father and Senussi, to kill unarmed protesters inspired by Arab uprisings elsewhere. Algeria, which took in Saif al-Islam's mother, sister, brother Hannibal and half-brother Mohammed, is not a signatory to the treaty that set up the ICC. Nor is Sudan or Zimbabwe. --Reuters Kuwait Airways puts privatization on hold Continued from Page 1 Kuwait's parliament had approved a plan in 2008 to privatize loss-making Kuwait Airways. Under the plan, the government was to sell 40 percent of the airline to the public and 35 percent to a long-term investor. Last year, Kuwait appointed Citigroup Inc, auditors Ernst & Young and aviation consulting firm Seabury to handle the privatization of the carrier, which has a fleet of 17 planes. Kuwait, the world's fourth largest oil exporter, is on a drive to boost its private sector and become a regional financial centre. Its economy is largely dependent on oil revenues and driven by government spending. -- Reuters Opposition keeps heat on premier Continued from Page 1 MP Muslim said yesterday that the opposition will request HH the Amir to change the prime minister and the government over corruption charges and for failure to run the country. Ahead of the meeting, which was not attended by any representative of the liberal National Action Bloc, many MPs signed a document prepared by youth activists pledging to continue to press for the resignation of the prime minister. Bad news for the prime minister camp emerged early yesterday when MP Jowhar said he has decided to keep out of the National Assembly panels he was elected to last week until the corruption crisis is resolved. About 15 MPs are accused of accepting bribes amounting to KD 100 million apparently for political reasons and the opposition claims it was paid as a price for the votes of those MPs in the assembly. The opposition also alleged that public funds were transferred into bank accounts held by the prime minister abroad but the office of Sheikh Nasser and the foreign minister strongly denied the allegations. About 19 opposition MPs boycotted the election of National Assembly committees in the first session of the new parliamentary term last week and immediately formed the new opposition bloc vowing its aim is to force the resignation of the prime minister and dissolving the National Assembly. The bloc has also vowed it will not cooperate with the government and MPs suspected of accepting the bribes. MP Muslim said that unseating the prime minister now depends on the positions of MPs Mazye, Jowhar and the four members of the National Action Bloc, who along with the 19 opposition MPs will complete the required 25 lawmakers required to vote the prime minister out of office following a grilling. Muslim also called on Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi to inform HH the Amir that the National Assembly is paralyzed and should advise him that it should be dissolved and new elections called. MP Jamaan Al-Harbash called on MPs close to the opposition to withdraw from committee membership in order to isolate the government politically, saying this will accelerate its departure. The public prosecution is investigating the bank accounts of about 15 MPs over allegations they received huge illegal deposits and the prosecution is expected to summon those MPs for questioning. MP Adel Al-Saraawi yesterday warned of summoning those MPs before asking the assembly to lift their parliamentary immunity as "a way to keep their identity secret". Also, Islamist MP Waleed Al-Tabtabai challenged MP Saadoun Hammad to prove his allegations that Tabtabai holds a big bank account in Saudi Arabia. DOHA: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas (left) speaks with Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani (right) during a meeting of the committee of Arab foreign ministers in Doha yesterday.--AFP y Years MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 NEWS Quake if West meddles in Syria, warns Assad Continued from Page 1 after President Dmitry Medvedev told the Syrian strongman for the first time to either accept political reform or bow to calls for his resignation. "First and foremost, we are relying on Russia as a country with which we are bound by strong ties, in the historic perspective," Assad told Moscow's Channel One television. The Syrian foreign ministry accused the Arab ministerial delegation of stoking dissent, having been influenced by "lies spread by television channels." It said that in Sunday's talks in Doha, Muallem would inform the delegation of the "true situation in Syria," the official SANA news agency reported. The Doha talks come as Syrian activists put mounting pressure on the Arab League to suspend Syria's membership in the 22member bloc. "Assad's militias have been killing us for eight months. They arrest us and crush us... And you, Arabs, who love rhetoric, what are you doing," the Syrian Revolution 2011, one of the motors of dissent, said in a post on its Facebook page. The activists called for protests across Syria yesterday calling for the League to "freeze the membership" of Syria. At least two people were killed in fresh violence yesterday, both by snipers in the flashpoint central province of Homs, a human rights group said. Gunfire from a security checkpoint in the Deir Balaa neighborhood of Homs city wounded another 10 people, some of them critically, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP in Nicosia. On Saturday in Homs, 20 Syrian soldiers were killed and 53 wounded in clashes with presumed army deserters, while 10 security agents and a deserter were killed in a bus ambush, the Britain-based watchdog added. It said at least 12 civilians also died from sniper or machinegun fire in the province. Funerals were held yesterday for eight of the security force personnel killed the previous day, the state news agency said. -- AFP opinion 14 MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 THE LEADING INDEPENDENT DAILY IN THE ARABIAN GULF ESTABLISHED 1961 Founder and Publisher YOUSUF S. AL-ALYAN Editor-in-Chief ABD AL-RAHMAN AL-ALYAN EDITORIAL : 24833199-24833358-24833432 ADVERTISING : 24835616/7 FAX : 24835620/1 CIRCULATION : 24833199 Extn. 163 ACCOUNTS : 24835619 COMMERCIAL : 24835618 P.O.Box 1301 Safat,13014 Kuwait. E MAIL :firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.kuwaittimes.net Issues Qaeda may seek sanctuaries in African nations By Michel Moutot l-Qaeda could be seeking new sanctuaries in unstable African nations and the continent's disparate armed Islamist groups may forge closer ties under the Al-Qaeda umbrella, experts and officials warned. The organization founded by the late Saudi-born Osama bin Laden has largely been driven out of former safe-haven Afghanistan, and it has been battered by US drone attacks across the border in Pakistan, leaving it in need of new bases. Al-Qaeda has already established links with a number of African Islamist groups. Its declared north Africa affiliate is Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Somalia's Shebab also swore allegiance to bin Laden, who was killed by US commandos in May. "Al-Qaeda traditionally has taken advantage of areas that are wracked by conflict, turmoil and lack of government. It is a safe haven they seek to launch attacks," said John Brennan, US President Barack Obama's top anti-terrorism official. Somalia, without a stable government since 1991 and currently led by a weak government that is largely confined to the capital Mogadishu, could therefore be an ideal sanctuary, Brennan said. "Somalia is one of the most challenging areas of the world because it has this internal conflict, it has such a devastating famine, and it is an area that AlQaeda has tried regularly to exploit," he added. AQIM has been linked to attacks and kidnappings across north Africa. And the already volatile region was further destabilized by the months-long conflict in Libya, which may have flooded the region with weapons once controlled by Muammar Gaddafi's fallen regime, officials said. Vast, sparsely populated areas across countries such as Mauritania, Mali and Algeria could also offer senior al-Qaeda leaders a safe haven, some officials said. Although Nigeria has little appeal as a territorial base, the Boko Haram Islamist group there is also thought to have ideological links to Al-Qaeda. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for August's suicide bomb attack in Abuja at the UN headquarters in Nigeria that killed 24 people. Shebab, AQIM and Boko Haram are "each individually of concern," US general Carter Ham, who heads the Africa command, said recently in Washington. "But what really concerns me is at least a stated intent for those organizations to link and synchronize their efforts," he added. "That, to me, would be a very, very dangerous outcome for us." The Abuja blasts highlight this fear, as Nigerian police have said that Boko Haram's number two, Mamman Nur, spent time in Somalia with the Shebab before returning to Nigeria in July to plan the attacks. The suicide bombing carried out by a driver in an explosives-packed car also had the stamp of Al-Qaeda methodology. Relations between the Shebab and Al-Qaeda are well-established. In mid-October, a video appeared on a jihadist site showing a young masked man, who identified himself as Abu Abdullah al-Mouhajir, filmed in an area of Somalia controlled by the Shebab. Speaking in English, he said he had been sent to Somalia by Ayman al-Zawahiri, who succeeded bin Laden as Al-Qaeda's chief. Roger Middleton, an East Africa specialist at London's Chatham House think tank, sees a risk of even closer ties between the Shebab and Al-Qaeda. "Some of the leadership of Shebab are pretty committed to the idea of global jihad and rebuilding the Caliphate and all these kind of ideas," he said. "Some of them fought in Afghanistan and come from that kind of background, so there are certainly international links but they are pretty busy in Somalia," he added. "There probably are ideologically some similarities, but I don't have any evidence of operational cooperation." --AFP A Slums on stilts Lagos at centre of Africa's population boom By M J Smith he maze of shacks on stilts stretch out across the filthy water's surface, canoes colliding as they hustle between them in a slum that serves as a warning for the world's fastest growing continent. Tens of thousands of people live amid fetid conditions and no public services in this water-top neighborhood in the Nigerian economic capital of Lagos, already the largest city in Africa's most populous nation. "I'm just like the people. I don't have shelter on the outside," Friday Gezo, a 25-year-old teacher at a school started through donations, said from his wood-frame classroom when asked why he lived in the slum known as Makoko. The United Nations today symbolically marks the birth of the world's seven billionth person, and while Asia remains by far the most populated continent, Africa is the fastest growing. Nigeria is the continent's largest country when it comes to population, with around 160 million people, and the UN estimates it could grow to around 400 million by 2050. Lagos, with its ostentatious mansions, overcrowded slums, flickering electricity and maddening traffic, provides an example of what such growth can look like. Its population is estimated in the range of 15 million. The challenges are immense, particularly regarding housing, infrastructure and a lack of jobs for an exploding population of youths, but experts say there is also great potential if managed properly. If not, unemployed youths could turn to crime or, particularly in the case of Nigeria's mainly Muslim north, extremist movements, observers say. Nigeria, long held back by corruption, has so far been largely unable to leverage its status as Africa's largest oil pro- T ducer into true development. A recent World Bank study found that as many as 50 million young people in Nigeria could be either unemployed or underemployed. "That is a time bomb," said John Litwack, the World Bank's lead economist for Nigeria. "With too many energetic young people without employment opportunities, it's very easy for them to move in the wrong direction." But the possible advantages can also be seen, and the resiliency of those who live in Makoko, as well as the boundless entrepreneurial energy of Nigerians in general, serve as proof. Despite the frighteningly poor sanitation in Makoko, some residents talk with pride of how the waterfront climate strengthens them. Many of the men who live there are fishermen, taking their canoes out into the lagoon in the shadow of the city to cast nets, then handing their catch over to their wives, who sell them. A sawmill hums with activity, while boats ferry everything from traditional medicines to food, as pilots-sometimes children-pole them atop water as black as night. Houses are made from thatch, bamboo, scrap wood and burlap sacks. Many of Makoko's residents' families originated from the neighboring country of Benin, a former French colony. Makoko local chief Jeje Albert Ayede, dressed in a red, green and LAGOS: Adenike Akinlosose, 48, a dealer in African textiles, shows her fabrics at Balogun market in Lagos. The United Nations today symbolically marks the birth of the world's seven billionth person.--AFP yellow traditional robe, said residents do not have the option of finding a home elsewhere in Lagos. "The money they're going to spend on the outside, they don't have it," he said. Lagos environment commissioner Tunji Bello said the government wants to clear water-top slums such as Makoko. It is willing to assist in relocation for those with a legitimate claim to businesses or property, but those who built illegally are another matter, he said. "If you are not careful, that is an environmental disaster waiting to happen," Bello said. Regarding Lagos' wider challenges, Bello said the state government is seeking to have more affordable housing built as well as to attract more industry to provide jobs. He acknowledges that infrastructure has lagged far behind population growth, blaming much of the problem on the federal government, which Bello says has not provided Lagos with nearly enough financing. While it may not be immediately noticeable to an outsider, Lagos has made progress in recent years, putting gang members to work through jobs programs, improving tax collection and following through on beautification projects. It also has grand plans to build a new enclave on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, envisioned as a modern municipality that will attract major investment. There are huge amounts of work to do to get there, but few doubt Nigeria's potential. It has seen significant economic growth in recent years, a number of reforms have been undertaken and oil prices-vital for revenuehave been relatively high. "In some ways, Nigeria has been in crisis for some time, but I think the opportunities have never been greater," said Litwack of the World Bank. "I think now is a time when Nigeria can move ahead." -- AFP Cycle of revenge hangs over Libya By Maria Golovnina L All articles appearing on these pages are the personal opinion of the writers. Kuwait Times takes no responsibility for views expressed therein. Kuwait Times invites readers to voice their opinions. Please send submissions via email to: email@example.com or via snail mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait. The editor reserves the right to edit any submission as necessary. ibya is plunging into a cycle of tribal violence and retribution which, if left unchecked, could undermine the authority of its new leaders, spur new forms of insurgency and throw the country back into chaos. More than a week after the death of Muammar Gaddafi, anger is on the boil again with what many Libyans see as the inability of the interim government to rein in its brigades and stop a wave of revenge attacks. Retribution is a byproduct of wars the world over, but Libya is awash with guns and still roamed by gangs of Gaddafi loyalists, meaning that an orgy of revenge could easily shatter its fragile peace and derail attempts to rebuild. Analysts say the only way to avert the scenario is to win people's hearts and minds by disarming regional militias, providing strong guarantees of security, and moving tribal disputes into a legal sphere. Easier said than done. As postGaddafi euphoria fades, trouble already appears to be brewing in parts of Libya where disgruntled and armed civilians are growing increasingly suspicious of the National Transitional Council and its ability to bring law and order. "I've seen a lot of revolutions. This is not a revolution, this is chaos," said Ali Mohamed, a 57-year-old former soldier in Gaddafi's army. "It's all about personal acts of revenge. If there is no stability and security, people will turn against the council." Observers say that, for now, Gaddafi loyalists have no hope of reinstalling the dictator's regime, with his armed forces crushed and most of his family either in exile or dead. Yet in many cities in Libya's central and western parts- which, unlike the more rebellious east, have been in Gaddafi's fold until recently-the atmosphere is bitter. In one town 120 km (75 miles) southwest of Tripoli, locals said several people had been killed in the past week in raids by former rebel brigades from other tribes seeking revenge against men they believed had fought on Gaddafi's side. Southeast of Tripoli, in the former Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid, tribesmen from the powerful Warfalla tribe said their men were already trying to organize themselves into an insurgent movement. In Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte, the USbased Human Rights Watch has urged the NTC to investigate dozens of decaying bodies discovered shortly after he was killed. On Sunday, the rights group accused militias from the coastal city of Misrata of "terrorizing" displaced residents of the nearby town of Tawarga, in retribution for the townspeople's alleged collaboration in atrocities committed by Gaddafi forces. "Revenge against the people from Tawarga, whatever the accusations against them, undermines the goal of the Libyan revolution," said Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW's Middle East and North Africa director. These early signs may be part of the inevitable chaos that follows the end of any conflict. Yet they are adding fuel to proGaddafi feelings at a time when people are waiting for the NTC to show signs of strong leadership. "With so many different and potentially destabilizing actors emerging, the NTC's challenge of bringing about security is immense," Henry Wilkinson, associate direc- tor of the Janusian risk advisory group, wrote in a report. "There is ... a clear risk that unless the NTC can make tangible progress, a cycle of instability may take hold." The NTC has ordered its forces to refrain from looting and revenge attacks, and has played down any risks of insurgency. "We are in complete harmony. ... If there has been anything outside the law, there will be an investigation," said Deputy Defense Minister Fawzi Abu Katif. "We have been following some (proGaddafi) groups. We are working ... to discover how big they are. But after Gaddafi's death most of them have been dissolved. The death of Gaddafi changes everything. We don't think they constitute any threat." RETRIBUTION The cycle of retribution appears already to have started. The town of al Jemel, a scattering of sandy homes in the palm-studded desert southwest of Tripoli, is one example. Residents said brigades from faraway Misrata had appeared at their doorstep a week ago, breaking into people's homes and looking for Gaddafi loyalists. Dozens of young men have disappeared and four have been killed in detention, said Al Koni Salem Mohammed, the uncle of one of those killed. Speaking at a mourning ceremony on the edge of town, he shook with grief as he showed the death certificate listing "electric shocks" as a cause of death. He said the body had been dumped outside the detention centre with its tongue and genitals cut off. "After all this, our children and the children of our children will never be with this revolution," he said, bursting into tears and shaking his fist, as other men in traditional dress sat in the shade of a tent set up for the mourning period. "If this does not stop there will be a reaction. Any build-up of pressure leads to an explosion ... There is a lot of anger. Doesn't the government have an army to handle this?" Another man, Hussein Silian, said his son had also been detained and killed by brigades because he had served in Gaddafi's army, adding there should have been a trial. "There is nowhere we can go," he said. "I wish someone could disarm these gangs, they are turning into criminals." Worryingly, the fault lines are tribal. In this town, locals blamed men from Misrata, whereas in Bani Walid, tribesmen singled out brigades from Zawiya as the ones behind revenge attacks. In places like Bani Walid, where undefeated Gaddafi forces still launch attacks on NTC positions, commanders are worried about the rise of a new insurgenc y. "Gaddafi forces are not fighting, they are escaping," said Omar al Mukhtar, commander of anti-Gaddafi forces in northern Bani Walid. "But we are concerned they are regrouping again in the north of Mali and could strike again." In a sign that Gaddafi loyalists are reorganizing, about 100 people from Libya's southern desert demonstrated in Tripoli on Saturday, saying their villages were under constant attack from pro-Gaddafi mercenaries. "They are the men of Gaddafi and they are attacking villages, killing people, stealing cars," said Mohammed Hassan, from the town of Mausq where Gaddafi's fugitive son Saif al-Islam was last believed to be hiding. "They don't recognize the new flag."-- Reuters A e niv rsar n Kipsang runs 2nd fastest marathon in Frankfurt FRANKFURT: Wilson Kipsang of Kenya ran the second fastest marathon in winning the Frankfurt race yesterday, missing the world record by a mere four seconds. Kipsang won the Frankfurt Marathon for the second straight year in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 42 seconds, barely missing the world mark in mild weather and nearly perfect conditions. "It's OK," the 29-year-old said at the finish. "I'm very happy with the time. The pacemaking was fine, they did a good job. I'll try to do it next year, this has given me even more motivation". Patrick Makau of Kenya won the Berlin Marathon one month ago with a world-record time of 2:03.38. Kipsang pulled away shortly after the 21-mile mark to leave behind a group of Kenyans that had been on a record pace from early on in the race, now in its 30th edition and the oldest city marathon in Germany. Six runners were four seconds ahead of Makau's world record pace at the halfway mark, but the pace started to drop off as the leading runners approached mile 21 and Kipsang surged ahead on his own. -- AP NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Saturday. Ottawa 5, NY Rangers 4 (SO); Florida 3, Buffalo 2; Toronto 4, Pittsburgh 3; Montreal 4, Boston 2; San Jose 3, NY Islanders 2 (OT); Philadelphia 5, Carolina 1; Tampa Bay 1, Winnipeg 0; Nashville 3, Anaheim 0; Minnesota 1, Detroit 0; Dallas 3, New Jersey 1; Chicago 5, Columbus 2; Phoenix 3, Los Angeles 2 (OT ); Vancouver 7, Washington 4. (OT denotes overtime win) (SO denotes shootout win) Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS 8 3 2 39 28 18 6 4 1 41 36 13 4 4 1 20 24 9 3 3 3 20 23 9 3 4 2 18 23 8 Northeast Division 7 2 1 34 32 15 6 4 0 29 22 12 6 5 0 36 43 12 4 5 2 29 30 10 3 7 0 22 25 6 Southeast Division 7 2 0 35 23 14 6 4 0 26 25 12 5 4 2 33 35 12 4 4 3 28 35 11 3 6 1 26 36 7 Western Conference Central Division 6 2 2 32 25 14 5 4 1 24 26 11 5 4 0 22 23 10 5 5 0 26 27 10 1 9 1 25 39 3 Northwest Division 6 2 2 21 16 14 6 4 0 29 27 12 4 3 3 21 23 11 5 5 1 31 33 11 4 4 1 22 23 9 Pacific Division 8 3 0 28 23 16 6 2 2 24 19 14 6 3 0 28 21 12 5 3 2 30 30 12 5 4 1 21 25 11 y Years sp orts MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 `Ultimate Ski Pass' ASPEN: Want first crack at the runs in Aspen? The Aspen Skiing Co. is offering an "Ultimate Ski Pass" that will let you have unlimited first tracks before chairlifts open to the public - for $25,000. The exclusive passes also allow holders to meet members of the US Women's Ski Team when they race in Aspen on Thanksgiving weekend. And they include breakfast with Aspen native Bill Marolt, president of the US Ski and Snowboard Association. The Ultimate Ski Passes have perks for more than just the few who can afford them. Proceeds from the pricey passes will be split between supporting public schools in the Roaring Fork Valley and helping present events tied to World Cup ski racing in Aspen. "Philanthropy with rewards is the idea behind the Ultimate Ski Pass, which strengthens Aspen's unique community" while offering holders some VIP privileges, Skico said in a promotional piece for the passes. It's the third year the ski resort has sold the high-cost ski passes. Aspen Skiing Co. says it is offering 18 of the passes this season and has sold one, The Aspen Times reported. "We've typically sold two or three (of the passes per season) so we don't have an expectation that we will sell them all," said Matt Hamilton, Skico director of sustainability. The passes are transferable and valid at Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk. --AP Pakistan win Hong Kong Sixes HONG KONG: Blistering half centuries by Abdul Razzaq and Sohail Tanvir guided Pakistan to a 35-run victory over England to be crowned champions at the Hong Kong Sixes yesterday. Captain Razzaq smashed 63 not out, while the left-handed Tanvir battered 58, as Pakistan set an imposing target of 155. It was too much for England who regularly lost wickets before being bowled out with two balls left in the final eight-ball over, sparking jubilation among most of the 4,500-strong crowd at the Kowloon Cricket Club. The victory saw Pakistan draw level with England as the team with the most number of wins at the big-hitting event-each on five. But Pakistan warned they will be back for more. "We are delighted to have matched England with five wins a piece. But we want to make it six next year," said skipper Razzaq who was named Man-of-the-Match. "It was a superb batting display," conceded England captain Rory Hamilton-Brown. "We were up against some world-class players and getting to the final itself was creditable for us." Pakistan had looked in good nick for the event and even outshone the All Star team boasting countryman Shahid Afridi and Sri Lankan legend Sanath Jayasuriya. -- AFP Leafs halt Penguins march TORONTO: Phil Kessel scored his leagueleading 10th goal midway through the third period to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Mikhail Grabovski, Tim Connolly and Clarke MacArthur also scored for the Maple Leafs (7-2-1). Matt Cooke, Chris Kunitz and Evgeni Malkin scored for the weary Penguins (8-3-2), who were playing for the 13th time in 26 days. Kessel and Pittsburgh's James Neal entered the evening tied for the NHL lead in goals. Kessel edged ahead shortly after the Penguins erased their third onegoal deficit of the game and Pittsburgh goalie Jonas Gustavsson made sure it stood up by stacking his pads on a great opportunity by Neal with less than 5 minutes to play. Canucks 7, Capitals 4 At Vancouver, British Columbia, Alex Edler scored his first two goals of the season and added an assist to lead Vancouver past Washington. Maxim Lapierre and Chris Higgins also had a pair of goals for the Canucks. Henrik Sedin scored the winner at 6:18 of the third period. Alex Ovechkin had two goals for the Capitals, who lost their second straight after opening the season with seven consecutive wins for the first time in franchise history. Mike Knuble converted a penalty shot and Marcus Johansson also scored for the Capitals. Lightning 1, Jets 0 At Tampa, Florida, Dwayne Roloson made 28 saves in his 29th career shutout and Vincent Lecavalier scored a powerplay goal late in the second period as Tampa Bay downed Winnipeg. Ondrej Pavelec stopped 26 shots for the Jets, who were coming off a 9-8 win Thursday at Philadelphia. Lecavalier scored with 39.2 seconds left in the second. His tough-angle shot from below the right circle beat Pavelec. Senators 5, Rangers 4 At New York, Milan Michalek capped Ottawa's three-goal comeback in the third period and then netted the only goal in the shootout as Ottawa stormed back to beat New York and stretch its winning streak to five games. Jason Spezza started the rally from a 4-1 hole by scoring twice, and Michalek tied it with Ottawa's third goal in a 7:52 span when he put in his seventh with 2:50 remaining. That wiped out a big day by Rangers top forwards Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, who were split up as linemates but produced three points each - with Richards scoring twice. Canadiens 4, Bruins 2 At Montreal, Brian Gionta and David Desharnais scored power-play goals and Carey Price made 26 saves as Montreal extended its winning streak to three with a win over Boston. Lars Eller and Tomas Plekanec also scored for Montreal. The Canadiens Predators 3, Ducks 0 At Nashville, Tennessee, Pekka Rinne made 20 saves for Nashville in his 100th career win. Rinne set a franchise record with 22 shutouts, two this season. Patric Hornqvist, Martin Erat and Shea Weber scored for Nashville in the first meeting between the two teams since the Predators beat the Ducks in the opening round of the playoffs last season. Stars 3, Devils 1 At Dallas, Vernon Fiddler scored the go-ahead goal off a fortunate bounce with 8:26 remaining to send Dallas to a victory over New Jersey. With the score at 1-1, Fiddler sent a shot toward the net from the left of the goal that banked off the skate of Devils defenseman Mark Fayne and past goalie Johan Hedberg for Fiddler's second goal of the season. Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 shots and Loui Eriksson and Sheldon Souray also scored for the Stars, who'd won their first four at home before a 5-3 loss to Los Angeles on Thursday night. Petr Sykora scored for the Devils. MONTREAL: Dennis Seidenberg No. 44 of the BostonBruins strips the puck from Brian Gionta No. 21 of the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL game at the Bell Centre. --AFP Panthers 3, Sabres 2 At Buffalo, New York, Jason Garrison's goal snapped a third-period tie and lifted Florida over Buffalo. Marcel Goc and Tomas Fleischmann also scored, and Jose Theodore made 24 saves for the Panthers, who won for the third time in their past four games. Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville scored, and Ryan Miller finished with 33 saves for the Sabres (6-4-0). Tomas Kopecky added three assists, while Garrison also had an assist. Flyers 5, Hurricanes 1 At Philadelphia, Jaromir Jagr scored two goals to lead Philadelphia past Carolina. Ilya Bryzgalov needed an outing like this one to restore the confidence he said was shot after an 0-4-1 stretch with a 4.62 goals against average. Pittsburgh's Jussi Jokinen scored in the second period after Bryzgalov was knocked down. Max Talbot, Scott Hartnell and Claude Giroux also scored against Brian Boucher for Philadelphia. improved to 4-5-2 after winning only one of their first eight games. Tyler Seguin scored with 54.4 seconds remaining to draw the Bruins within one. Milan Lucic also scored for the reigning Stanley Cup champions. Sharks 3, Islanders 2 At Uniondale, New York, Brent Burns scored a power-play goal 1:07 into overtime to give surging San Jose a victory over the New York Islanders. Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, and Thomas Greiss made 35 saves. San Jose has won the first five games of its six-game road trip. John Tavares and Michael Grabner scored for the Islanders, who have lost five in a row. Wild 1, Red Wings 0 At St. Paul, Minnesota, Josh Harding made 36 saves and Dany Heatley scored to lift Minnesota over Detroit. Jimmy Howard made 19 saves for the Red Wings, who have lost four games in a row after a 5-0 start. Blackhawks 5, Blue Jackets 2 At Chicago, Viktor Stalberg scored his first two goals of the season just 1:58 apart early in the third period to snap a tie as Chicago the Columbus. Stalberg put Chicago ahead 3-2 at 4:26 of the third during a 4-on-4. He scored again at 6:24 to make it 4-2. Chicago rookie Marcus Kruger scored his first NHL goal, and Dave Bolland and Michael Frolik also connected for the Blackhawks (6-2-2). Vinny Prospal and Derek MacKenzie scored for the injuryplagued Blue Jackets. Coyotes 3, Kings 2 At Glendale, Arizona, Daymond Langkow scored with 43.7 seconds left in overtime to give Phoenix a victory over Los Angeles. Langkow's shot from in front of the net bounced off the stick of Kings defenseman Jack Johnson and past goalie Jonathan Quick to give Phoenix its third victory in four games. Radim Vrbata scored twice for the Coyotes, both on assists from Martin Hanzal. Vrbata also had an assist. Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar scored for the Kings. -- AP Pittsburgh Philadelphia New Jersey NY Rangers NY Islanders Toronto Buffalo Ottawa Montreal Boston Washington Florida Tampa Bay Carolina Winnipeg Chicago Nashville Detroit St. Louis Columbus Edmonton Colorado Minnesota Vancouver Calgary Dallas Los Angeles San Jose Phoenix Anaheim Cardinals in 11th heaven after World Series win ST LOUIS: Call it a state of 11th heaven for the St. Louis Cardinals after a fairytale finish to one of baseball's great comeback stories, ending with a World Series triumph for the National League's most successful team. The Cardinals claimed their 11th Major League Baseball crown, extending their NL record for Fall Classic titles with Friday's 6-2 Game Seven victory over the Texas Rangers, clawing their way to the top against all odds. Yet nothing seemed capable of stopping the no-quit Cardinals after their last and greatest escape of a miracle season, the 11-inning, do-or-die Game Six victory that saved them from elimination. World Series have a way of producing the extraordinary. There was Kirby Puckett's 11th-inning home run that ended the Minnesota Twins' must-win Game Six in 1991, and Carlton Fisk's arm-waving prayers answered for his Game Six-ending 1975 homer in the 12th inning that kept the Boston Red Sox alive. For pure theatrics, the St. Louis series show stopper topped them all. The team that battled to claim a wildcard playoff berth after standing a half-game short of 11 behind Atlanta with a month to go in the season, and won the last two in Philadelphia to overtake the leaguebest Phillies in the first round, needed last-gasp hits twice to set up their walk-off moment. After trailing at five different stages of the tensionpacked elimination game, the cardiac Cards prevailed after staying alive with two runs in the ninth and two more in the 10th when Series MVP David Freese, a local boy made good, smashed a walk-off homer to dead center in the 11th. Even MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was enthralled. "It certainly was one of the most exciting, best games I've ever seen," Selig told reporters before Game Seven. "It was breathtaking. The last three innings were breathtaking." Game Seven failed to pack the punch of that game for the ages, but that did not dim the euphoria of a sold-out Busch Stadium crowd and thousands more fans who crowded near big screens outside and were let in through the gates in the ninth inning to watch the clinching and celebration on the diamond. After a night of horns honking, people riding atop cars, and dancing in the street outside former Cardinals player Mike Shanahan's downtown bar/restaurant until the wee hours, the venerable franchise faced critical questions moving forward. Tony La Russa, 67, who became the ninth manager to win three World Series, has not yet decided about his return for a 17th season in St. Louis, and three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols was set to test the free-agent market. La Russa, closing in on a move into second place on the all-time wins list for major league managers, is a fair bet to come back after joining Joe McCarthy, Casey Stengel, Connie Mack, Walter Alston, Joe Torre, Sparky Anderson, Miller Huggins and John McGraw as triple World Series winners. -- Reuters Al Harthy set for Porsche GT3 Cup title bid opener in Dubai, they quickly head back to the UAE DUBAI: Ahmad Al Harthy, Oman's top racing driver, sponsors for helping to make this happen. "It's certainly a great honor to be one of the first capital for the next two rounds which form part of the will be an exciting new addition to the starting line-up when the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East drivers in the world to sample the brand new 2012 race support programme for the 2011 Formula 1TM model of the Porsche GT3 Cup car. The car I've raced in Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina launches its third season in Dubai next week. The Oman Air Racing Team confirmed recently that the UK this year has been incredible to drive, and any Circuit on November 12-13. Al Harthy said: "Continuing to race over the next Al Harthy will contest the 12-round series in full, and improvement on that will be just sensational. I can't the 30-year-old from Muscat now looks forward to wait for the first test." He will be testing at Yas Marina few months will help to keep me sharp, something making a strong challenge for the drivers' title in the one-make series. He launches straight into pre-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi on Sunday and Monday (October 30-31) when the 2012 edition Porsche GT3 Cup car will be in action for the first time anywhere in the world. Enjoying continued support from his sponsors, Oman Air, Nawras, National Bank of Oman, Brand Oman, Oman Ministry of Sports Affairs and Oman Ministr y of Tourism, Al Harthy makes his competitive debut in the Porsche GT3 Cup series in the opening two rounds at Dubai Autodrome on November 4-5. The Omani has become one of the top drivers in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB Championship over the past couple of years and recently concluded his second season of sportscar racing in the UK by taking third place in the Pro-Am 1 driver standings. Racking up two class wins and a Al Harthy has total of 12 podium finishes from 19 races, enjoyed considerable he confirmed his position as Oman's top circuit racer and will undoubtedly be a Pro- success in Porsche Am 1 championship threat if he returns to Carrera Cup racing in the UK. Oman's Ahmad Al Harthy - thrilled to be joining the Porsche GT3 Cup series. the British series next April. His immediate priority, however, is the Porsche GT3 Cup series, and Al Harthy is thrilled to be Circuit over the next two days (Oct 30-31) along with that will be really important ahead of the 2012 chamentering the championship. "This is fantastic news for most of the 2011-12 season challengers, including pionship in Britain - if we have the chance to go back the Oman Air Racing Team", he said, "We've had an Saudi Arabia's Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal, who was the next year of course. "The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East has grown rapidly over the last couple of amazing season in the UK championship and now we Middle East's first ever Porsche GT3 Cup champion. It will be invaluable track experience for Al Harthy years. It's very well organised and I'm delighted to be have a chance to race at home in the Middle East. It's a wonderful opportunity and I'm so grateful to all of my and the Oman Air Racing Team. Following the season part of it. We intend to proudly fly the flag for Oman." A e niv rsar n Khalid living the dream in Volvo Ocean Race ALICANTE: By far the most enthusiastic celebration of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's crushing victory in Saturday's opening stage of the Volvo Ocean Race came from 23-year-old crew member Adil Khalid. As the sleek black yacht Azzam made its way back to port in Spain's Alicante after blowing away its five rivals, Khalid energetically waved a huge United Arab Emirates (UAE) flag before spraying champagne off the side of the boat as he beamed at the cameras. The first sailor from UAE to take part in the Olympic Games in 2008, Khalid beat around 120 other applicants to win a place on Azzam, which means "determined", and is the first Emirati to compete in the eightmonth, 39,000 nautical mile Volvo Ocean Race. "I loved it," Dubai-born Khalid told Reuters in an interview on Sunday as Azzam and the five other 70-foot yachts bobbed gently up and down in the harbour nearby and crew members chatted in the warm sunshine. "Winning is always the best moment in every sailor's life but this is only the first step and there is a long way to go," he added. "The guys were so happy and we have the confidence now and we think we are going to do so well going around the world representing UAE." As organisers acknowledge, Khalid's presence on the boat has less to do with his sailing skills, which were honed in much smaller dinghies a world away from the Ocean Race vessels, and a lot to do with raising the event's profile in UAE. As well as entering the first Middle Eastern-backed team, Abu Dhabi is one of the host ports, a key attraction for some of the race's corporate sponsors keen to push their business in the region. Azzam skipper Ian Walker, a double Olympic silver medallist competing in his second Ocean Race, said having Khalid on board was crucial to building the event's profile in UAE and had the added benefit of taking some of the attention away from him and the rest of the 11-man crew. "The whole thing is new for him as he has obviously come from a dinghy background," Walker told Reuters yesterday. "So although he's a good sailor and he's sailed in the Olympics he was really starting from scratch in terms of sailing on big boats. "He has a lot more to learn but he's coming on very well and the good thing about Adil is that he is pretty comfortable on the boat so we don't have to keep an eye on him too much. "The important thing is to get him to a stage where he can contribute to the team and hold down his watch. Without that he would just be slowing us down." Khalid's job is to help the bow man and complete physically challenging tasks such as grinding and trimming. He said he applied for the job after deciding he was not well-enough prepared to compete at the Olympic Games in London next year. There is something of a maritime tradition in his family as his grandfather used to sail dhows, the Arab vessels used in trading along the Arabian Peninsula. Chatting in the bright morning sunshine and still flush with victory, he said he was looking forward to the race's first ocean leg, which starts from Alicante on Nov. 5 and ends in Cape Town, South Africa 6,500 nautical miles later. His enthusiasm was undimmed despite the knowledge of what awaits him. The race is considered one of the toughest sporting events on the planet. Sleep depravation is common and teams can face temperatures between -12C in the Southern Ocean and 50C near the Equator. The wind can reach 70 knots, hurricane force. "It's a great moment and you want to carry the flag in every port and back home in my country they are proud," he said, adding that he is doing 90 minutes of gym work every day to stay in shape. "Everyone was watching the race and people are understanding more and more about sailing," he said. "I got many text messages and until now my phone has not stopped ringing. Everyone is happy and excited." A big concern for Khalid is the food. Race crew eat mainly freeze-dried rations as they struggle to take on the 6,000 to 6,500 calories they need per day compared with around 2,500 for a normal diet. Getting used to the change is not always easy. "It's very hard for me to eat this kind of food," Khalid said with a smile. "It's my first time around the world and maybe I'll get sick of it after four or five days."--Reuters Garcia edges Jimenez VALDERRAMA: Sergio Garcia, fresh from his victory at home in last week's Castello Masters, followed up by winning the Andalucia Masters here yesterday. The Spaniard edged out his compatriot Migule Angel Jimenez by one stroke after shooting a fourth round level par of 71 for a six under par total of 278. Scotland's Richie Ramsey, who led after rounds one and two, was a shot further away in third with Ireland's Shane Lowry fourth on three under. Garcia led by three shots with three holes to play but was made to fight after Jimenez birdied the 16th and 17th for a victory that was a good deal harder than Garcia's 11-stroke stroll in the Castello Masters. The 31-year-old became the first Spaniard to win a stroke-play event at Valderrama and was going one better after finishing runner-up at this course three times. This fifth EPGA Tour success on home soil lifted him back into the world top 20. "It's very, very special," he said. "Valderrama - I have so much history here and unfortunately it wasn't as good as this until now!" Jimenez had joined Garcia on six under with a brace of early birdies and took the outright lead when Garcia three-putted the sixth. But the 47-year-old dropped shots at the 13th and 15th with Garcia gaining shots at the 11th and 14th, with a superb up-and-down from a greensside bunker at the 16th keeping him at six under. And he held his nerve when Jimenez had reduced the gap to one going to the final hole to cap a productive two weeks. "I'm out of words," added Garcia, who now leads the European Ryder Cup points race. "It's been two amazing weeks. Miguel fought so hard and had some good chances coming in, 17 for eagle and 18 for birdie. "I wasn't as good as probably the last 13 days, but we hung on and managed to pull through. "On 18, we decided to play a little more conservative and make sure we hit the fairway, then the chip was just amazing. I thought it was going in. "I've been in that situation three or four times on this course. It wasn't easy, but I believed in my ability. To be able to hit the chip I hit there and roll the putt in with the pressure, it was nice."--AFP Van Pelt canters to victory in Malaysia MALAYSIA: Overnight leader Bo Van Pelt cantered to a six-stroke victory over fellow American Jeff Overton in the $6.1 million CIMB Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia yesterday. Leading by one shot from Overton, the 36-year-old Van Pelt hit a bogey-free seven-under 64 to win his second career title and a first prize of $1.3 million at the Mines Resort and Golf Club. Van Pelt hit the ground running with birdies on the third and fourth holes, before adding five more on the back nine to card a four-day total of 23-under 261 to capture the PGA Tour and Asian Tour co-sanctioned event. "I feel like the luckiest guy in the world. I get to do what I love to do for a living," Van Pelt, who won his maiden title on the US circuit in 2009, told reporters after his win. "It was funny. I got here Tuesday morning, went to the hotel, got showered and then went to the range. "My swing felt good right at the first warm up and I kind of continued that all week and had confidence with what I wanted to do with my golf swing." Van Pelt was delighted with the margin of his victory. "I had a chance to win a couple of times this year but it didn't come out on top," he added. "I wanted to do a better job when I was having the lead and I took a lot of satisfaction with the way I played today. "I've watched other guys coming down 18 with a big lead and I thought that would be fun some day if I could do that and it was." Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson finished third, a shot behind the 28-year old Overton, who is still searching for his first title on the PGA Tour. Overton, who arrived in Malaysia on Tuesday evening after a last-minute call up following the withdrawal of David Duval, paid tribute to his fellow American. "That was one of the best rounds of golf I've seen... at the end of the day, the guy, he played one of the best rounds of golf anybody has all year." Overton said.--Reuters KUALA LUMPUR: Bo Van Pelt of the US poses with the winner's trophy after the final round of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic golf tournament at the Mines Resort and Golf Club. --AP Ning clinches World Cup crown SINGAPORE: Reigning world champion Ding Ning of China yesterday clinched the Women's World Cup title in Singapore with a 4-1 victory over compatriot and world number one Li Xiaoxia. It was a repeat of the world championships in May, which also saw Ding, the world number two, emerging victorious over her higher ranked opponent. Her victory at the event makes Ding, 21, only the third female player ever in the sport to win the world championships and Women's World Cup in the same year. "I am very happy. I feel every match is very tough, but eventually I was able to emerge the champion from the matches, hence I am very happy," Ding told the media after the finals. Ding's victory also netted her the winner's cheque of US$45,000.--AFP y Years sp orts MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 SPAIN: In this photo provided by Volvo Ocean Race, competitors cross the start line of the Iberdrola In-Port Race in Alicante. First points in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, went to Abu Dhabi Racing team skippered by Ian Walker from the UK.--AP Walker wins race opener ALICANTE: British skipper Ian Walker steered Abu Dhabi through testing conditions to claim victor y in the opening event of the Volvo Ocean Race on Saturday. Abu Dhabi won the opening in-port race in Alicante by a huge margin of 14 minutes, 14 seconds. Twice Olympic silver medallist Walker took control at the first mark with a slick sail change, and coped well with a sudden drop in wind. "It was very tricky on the water and none of us expected it to be," said Walker, who is aiming to become the first British skipper to win the race. "We thought it would be strong winds out there. " We did well ... It's a great start." Puma, skippered by experienced American Ken Read, was second ahead of Camper (New Zealand/Spain), Team Sanya (China), Groupama (France) and Telefonica (Spain) in the six-yacht race. Walker's crew take six points for the win. More than 20 percent of all points in the race will be decided in in-port races. "I don't think it means too much," Walker said. "But I said before we left that whoever wins today's race can go home with a spring in their step and look forward to the week ahead." The teams now head to Cape Town for the first offshore leg of the race on Nov. 5. The boats will visit five continents, 10 countries and four oceans, and are expected to reach the finish line in Galway, Ireland in July 2012.--AP McIlroy bags Shanghai Masters SHANGHAI: US Open champion Rory McIlroy won $2 million in the Shanghai Masters yesterday, beating Anthony Kim with a par on the first hole of a playoff. McIlroy holed a 2-foot putt for the victory after Kim missed a 3-footer. McIlroy had a chance to win in regulation, but the 22-year-old star from Northern Ireland missed an 8foot birdie putt. He closed with an even-par 72 to match Kim (69) at 18 under on Lake Malaren's Jack Nicklaus-designed Masters course. "It's something that I feel like I can still get better at is winning and putting yourself in the position to win when you're not playing your best," McIlroy said. "Even if it's scrappy golf where you grind it out, you're going to win a lot more tournaments by doing that rather than playing your best golf the whole week. I was very happy I was able to pull this one out." The $2 million first prize is the richest in golf. The top players, staying in Shanghai another week for the World Golf ChampionshipsHSBC Champions at Sheshan International, also received appearance money and last place paid $25,000. Because the event isn't sanctioned by a major tour, there were no ranking points at stake. Kim earned $750,000. "It was an exciting final day and a tough finish for me personally," Kim said. "We had a lot fun out there today." Hunter Mahan (70) and South Korea's Noh Seung-yul (73) tied for third at 13 under in the 30man event. Second-ranked Lee Westwood aced the par-3 12th en route to a 67 that left him fifth at 12 under. McIlroy gave up an early three-shot lead, then rallied from a stroke down on the back nine to force the playoff. Both players drove into the bunker on the first extra hole, then blasted out to set up the deciding putts. The victory was McIlroy's first in three career playoffs. McIlroy ran into trouble on the opening hole of the day when his ball hit the pin and bounced back into the fringe, leading to a bogey. "I felt good standing on the first tee obviously with a three-shot lead," McIlroy said. "I thought my second shot was very good. It was just a little unfortunate to hit the pin and ricochet back off the green. To go from three ahead to one ahead after the first hole was obviously not the start I was looking for." After McIlroy answered with a birdie on No. 7 to retake the lead, he hit his second shot into the water on the difficult par-4 ninth en route to a bogey. But Kim missed a 5-foot par putt to remain a stroke back at the turn. McIlroy hit into the bunker on the 11th and three-putted for another bogey - his third of the round - to give Kim the sole lead. After hitting into the bunker again and barely salvaging par on the 14th, McIlroy finally got a break on the 15th hole when he made a 5-footer for birdie and Kim missed from the same distance to even it. McIlroy had a chance to take the lead on 17, but missed a birdie putt by less than inch. Then, on 18, he missed the putt that would have given him the victory. Ian Poulter (72) was 11 under, Retief Goosen (68) and K.J. Choi (67) were another stroke back and Y.E. Yang (72), Padraig Harrington (72) and John Daly (71) were 6 under.--AP Tseng storms to ladies title SUZHOU: World number one Tseng Ya Ni cantered to her eleventh title at the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open yesterday after a blistering final round gave her a seven shot victory. The 22-year-old from Taipei, finished the 18th in style pulling-off a birdie from a bunker position to the delight of the 5,000 fans. Yani's final round 6-under 66 gave her a -16 total after the three rounds to triumph by seven shots over Sweden's Pernilla Lindberg. Defending champion Lee-Anne Pace and England's Melissa Reid were joint third after finishing with 208. "Today, I made a lot of putts. I proud of my achievement. I don't have a secret recipe for winning tournaments, but just exercise patience, practice and learning from mistakes," Tseng who pocketed 45,000 euros ($62,550) for the win. Yani made six birdies, beginning with three on the spin from the fifth hole. She then picked up strokes in the 15th and 16th and ended her round with another birdie on the 18th. She expressed gratitude to the thousands of fans who have been captivated by her stunning rise to the top of the rankings but pleaded with her legion of supporters to make less noise when she is taking her shots. "It's good, I'm now used to thousands of fans following me but the only setback is the clicking of cameras when I star t to execute my swing," she said. "I know the fans are very excited but they must learn to keep silent when a player is taking her shot."--AFP SHANGHAI: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates his USD2 million win with the winner's trophy after finishing at 18 under par on the final day of the Lake Malaren Shanghai Masters golf tournament. --AP MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 sp orts Tuktamisheva clinches Skate Canada at age 14 Russian youngest gold medalist in 30 years MISSISSAUGA: Russian teen Elizaveta Tuktamisheva became Skate Canada's youngest women's winner in 30 years on Saturday, and Patrick Chan began the defense of his world championship with a come-from-behind win in the men's event. The 14-year-old Tuktamisheva won the short program Friday and finished with 177.38 points after placing second to Japan's Akiko Suzuki in Saturday's free skate. The Russian is the youngest gold medalist at the Grand Prix event since Canada's Tracey Wainman won at age 13 in 1981. Suzuki was fourth in the short program and scored 172.26 points overall to earn silver. American Ashley Wagner won bronze with 165.48 points. Chan was third after the men's short program Friday, but his free skate program was good enough, even with a fall and a stumble, to take gold with 253.74 points. Javier Fernandez of Spain, the leader after the short program, took silver (250.33) and Japan's Daisuke Takahashi won bronze (237.87). It was Tuktamisheva's first senior Grand Prix appearance. "I didn't feel a big difference," she said through an interpreter when asked about stepping up from the junior ranks. "I try not to think of the importance of the competition." Chan fell on his first jump, a quadruple toe loop, but just attempting it was worth a pile of points. He followed with another quad toe and nailed it. He tacked on a triple toe to make it a combo and show why he's the world champion. "I made an extra effort to stay relaxed today and it felt good," Chan said. "My (free-skating) program is so brand new that my breathing pattern is not there yet." Sarah and Shahad Al-Hawal Kuwaiti shooters win gold, silver in Morocco KUWAIT: Kuwait female shooters claimed the first two gold medals and one silver during the Arab clay target shooting championship being held in Tanjeers, Morocco from Oct 27 until Nov 1, 2011. Shooter Sarah Abdelrahman Al-Hawal won the gold medal, while Kuwait's team of Shahad and Sarah Al-Hawal along with Wasmiyah Al-Juhail won the team's gold, Qatar was second and received the silver medal, while Morocco took third place and the bronze medal. Kuwait's women Skeet team of Sheikha Al-Rashidi, Afrah Adel and Iman Al-Shamma won the silver medal during the first day of competition. Arab and Kuwait Sports Federations Secretary General Obeid Munahi AlOsaimi dedicated the wins to HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad and HH the Premier Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad, and the Kuwaiti people. Al-Osaimi said Kuwait shooters, promised during the meeting before departing to Morocco, in the presence of the President of Kuwait Shooting Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah and Vice President Eng. Duaij Al-Otaibi to do their best for their country during this major championship, and preserve the bright record of their previous champions. He said Kuwait shooters are expected to win more gold during the men's and juniors trap and Skeet events. ONTARIO: Women's gold medalist Elizaveta Tuktamisheva (center) of Russia, silver medalist Akiko Suzuki (left) from Japan, and bronze medalist Ashley Wagner, from the United States, show off their medal during victory ceremonies at the Skate Canada International figure skating competition. --AP The 20-year-old Canadian stumbled on a footwork sequence, too, but his overall skills were better than those of his competitors. "It wasn't pretty but I was really proud of myself in recovering after my (footwork) trip. I'm extremely relieved. Hopefully the next competition, in Paris, will be a little stronger. It's a work in progress." The next Grand Prix meet is in Paris in two weeks. Wagner showed she's well on the way back to prominence. The 20-year-old American's only world championship appearance was in 2008 when she placed 16th. She was sixth at the 2011 U.S. nationals. "I was so happy with what I put out there," she said. "I was very satisfied, with the exception my Lutz." She fell on a Lutz midway through her program; the jump has been a hard one for her to land because of tendinitis in the landing foot. Ever ything else was impressive in her Black Swan routine. The International Skating Union is allowing Tuktamisheva to compete at the highest level this season even though she won't be eligible to skate for the senior world championship until 2013. By 2014 in Sochi, Russia, she hopes to skate for Olympic gold. "I'm trying not to show everything that is inside," she said. "Even if I'm nervous, I try to hide it. I try to approach everything calmly. There is pressure but I try not to pay attention to that too much. "I just try to do my job." Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov of Russia won gold in the pairs competition with 201.38 points overall after topping the standings in both the short and long programs. Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China, who had been fourth after the short, were second in the free and wound up with 180.82 points and a silver medal. Canadians M eagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won bronze with 174.84 points.--AP SCOREBOARD DHAKA: Scoreboard at the close of the second day of the second and final test between Bangladesh and West Indies yesterday: West Indies first innings (overnight 253-5) K. Brathwaite c Kayes b R. Hossain 50 K. Powell b Shuvo 72 K. Edwards lbw b Al Hasan 121 D. Bravo lbw b N. Hossain 12 S. Chanderpaul c Rahim b N. Hossain 18 K. Roach b Al Hasan 6 M. Samuels c & b N. Hossain 48 C. Baugh c Kayes b Al Hasan 6 D. Sammy hit wicket b Al Hasan 1 F. Edwards lbw b Al Hasan 9 D. Bishoo not out 2 Extras (b-2, lb-4, w-3, nb-1) 10 Total (all out; 126.4 overs) 355 Fall of wickets: 1-100 2-155 3-180 4-226 5-232 6-319 7-337 8-339 9-348 Bowling: S. Hossain 16-1-76-0 (1nb), R. Hossain 24-3-71-1 (3w), S. Al Hasan 34.4-1263-5, N. Hossain 25-6-52-3, S. Shuvo. 23-3-73-1, N. Islam 4-0-14-0 Bangladesh first innings T. Iqbal c Bravo b F. Edwards 14 I. Kayes c Brathwaite b F. Edwards 29 S. Nafees c Bravo b F. Edwards 7 R. Hassan lbw b F. Edwards 0 M. Rahim c Chanderpaul b F. Edwards 0 S. Al Hasan b Bishoo 73 N. Islam run out 45 N. Hossain not out 34 S. Shuvo not out 2 Total (seven wickets; 51 overs) 204 To bat: S. Hossain, R. Hossain Fall of wickets: 1-14 2-36 3-46 4-46 5-59 6-143 7-195 Bowling (to date): F. Edwards 12-0-58-5, K. Roach 9-0-52-0, D. Sammy 10-3-32-0, D. Bishoo 14-1-47-1, M. Samuels 6-0-15-0. Edwards duo puts Windies on top DHAKA: Fidel Edwards grabbed five quick wickets and Kirk Edwards cracked an impressive 121 to help the West Indies gain the upper hand in the seriesdeciding second Test against Bangladesh yesterday. Fast bowler Edwards finished with 5-58 for his 11th haul of five or more wickets in a Test innings as the West Indies reduced Bangladesh to 204-7 in their first innings at stumps after posting 355 on the second day. Shak ib Al Hasan, who also bagged five wickets with his leftarm spin, defied the West Indies' attack with a 74-ball 73 with the help of nine fours before being bowled by leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo. " The batsmen were playing shots and that made it easier for me to earn wickets. It was a pretty good day for me and the team. I hope to continue such performance," said Fidel Edwards. "Our plan was to stay aggressive as much as possible and beat the batsmen with pace and it worked for us." Bangladesh were reeling at 59-5 following Fidel Edwards' five-wicket burst off 29 balls on a slow pitch before being steadied by Shakib, who put on 84 for the sixth wicket with Naeem Islam (45). The hosts now trail by 151 runs with just three wickets in hand. Nasir Hossain was unbeaten on 34 and debutant Suhrawadi Shuvo on two not out. Kirk Edwards, 71 overnight, completed his second century in three Tests in the opening session as the tourists added 102 runs to their overnight total of 253-5 before being bowled out in the second. " Test hundreds are not that easy. You will always have to be patient and I tried to do what my team required. I'm proud of my today 's hundred," said Kirk Edwards. The opening Test of the twomatch series ended in a draw in Chittagong. Bangladesh went for shots early in their innings as they raced to 60 off just 10 overs, but lost five wickets in the process to find themselves in deep trouble. Fidel Edwards had opener Tamim Iqbal and Shahriar Nafees caught by Darren Bravo at shortleg in his opening three overs before removing Raqibul Hasan and skipper Mushfiqur Rahim off successive deliveries in his fourth over. His fifth victim was opener Imrul Kayes, who hit one six and five fours in his 26-ball 29 before being caught by Kraigg Brathwaite at square-leg. Tamim was the other toporder batsman to reach double figures, hitting three fours in paceman Kemar Roach's opening over before falling for a 10-ball 14. The West Indies earlier lost their last five wickets for 36 runs, with Shakib finishing with 5-63 for his eighth haul of five or more wickets in a Test innings. Kirk Edwards, who scored a hundred on Test debut against India at home in July, hit two sixes and 14 fours in his 273-ball knock before being trapped legbefore by Shakib. He was dropped on 90 by wicket-keeper Rahim off off-spinner Nasir Hossain and then smashed two fours in the same over before completing his century with a boundary off left-arm spinner Shuvo. Meanwhile, Tamim was reprimanded for using "offensive language" against West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels on Saturday, the International Cricket Council said in a statement.--AFP Misbah, Dilshan back use of DRS DUBAI: Rival captains Tillakaratne Dilshan and Misbah-ul Haq have called for the use of the Decision Review System (DRS) in all international cricket. Sri Lankan captain Dilshan has reasons to back the DRS after his key batsman Kumar Sangakkara was adjudged leg-before in their nine-wicket defeat against Pakistan in the second Test on Saturday. Sangakkara, batting on 30 in the second innings was given legbefore by New Zealand umpire Tony Hill. Television replays showed Sangakkara lunged forward to an incoming delivery from Pakistani spinner Abdul Rehman but did not offer a stroke, which may have prompted Hill to give the verdict against the left-handed batsman. Sangakkara trudged back to the pavilion in disgust, while Dilshan showed anger in the players' balcony in the Dubai stadium. Since no DRS was available in the series, Sri Lanka were unable to challenge the decision. Dilshan said he was in favor of making the system available, especially when pinpoint decisions need making. "I cannot comment over what went wrong on the decisions. I am very happy if the DRS is there when the match is going 50-50, it is important to have it," said Dilshan, who was wrongly adjudged caught behind in the drawn first Test in Abu Dhabi. "If bowlers and batsmen can get 100 per cent correct decisions it is really good, especially in Test cricket we need DRS," added Dilshan, whose team had DRS in the series against Australia at home last month. The International Cricket Council (ICC) in its Board meeting earlier this month ruled that the DRS will no longer be mandatory in bilateral series and both the participating countries must agree to its use, a reversal of a decision made in June. The ICC Board, however, supported the use of technology and its continued development and were encouraged by certain members who were willing to use and work towards improving the technology.--AFP DHAKA: West Indies' Kirk Edwards celebrates after scoring a century during the second day of the second cricket Test match against Bangladesh. --AP NCAA moves highlight need for real reform NEW York: To hear the people at the NCAA talk, the vote this week to allow students an extra $2,000 in scholarship money while also getting tougher on grades is the biggest change in college sports since they began making football players wear helmets. " These changes demonstrate a remarkable resolve by presidents," crowed NCAA President Mark Emmert. "They represent a return to and a focus on values that are at the core of what intercollegiate athletics are all about. They also represent a clear signal to the world about what we care about and what we stand for." On the last part, Emmert is at least close to being correct. The NCAA does care a lot about money, and it at least pays lip service to the crazy notion that athletes should be students first. Unfortunately, the reality doesn't match the rhetoric. A few more bucks in an athlete's pocket is a good thing, yes, and everyone wants to see kids who go to college actually graduate from college. Take a look at what was accomplished at the Division I Board of Directors meeting in Indianapolis, though, and it falls short of real reform. Always will, until there is a plan in place to limit the influence of those who really control major college sports. That would be the television networks that pour tens of millions of dollars into college football and basketball rights, as well as the big conferences and schools that profit from their largesse. They've staked out positions that not only create uneven playing fields among schools but summarily exclude many from even reaching for their piece of the pie. Improved academic standards won't change that, especially with talk already about allowing exceptions in the first year of rules requiring that teams graduate more players. University of Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun said Friday that he hoped his school - which won the national title last season - would receive a break and not be declared ineligible for the 2013 postseason because of miserable graduation rates. Paying players $2,000 a year won't do much, either. Although it might give athletes pocket money for a Saturday night date, it's little more than a bone thrown in their direction by a system that exploits them at every opportunity. Worst of all, the payments threaten to create a whole new problem: They likely will increase the disparity between the haves and have-nots in college sports - a gap that already has schools engaged in a dizzying dance for positions in realigned conferences so that they don't get left behind. The big schools - such as Ohio State, which brings in more than $100 million a year through athletics - will be able to give everyone on full scholarship their $2,000 without giving it a second thought. But schools with tight budgets - and just 22 of 120 schools in the top tier of football operated their athletic departments in the black in 2009-2010 will have to scrape to find a way to pay what could easily be an additional, say, $500,000 a year or so. Many won't be able to do it. And that will leave them at even more of a disadvantage when it comes to trying to compete with their richer siblings. Assuming all other things are equal would any potential recruit give up $2,000 a year in easy cash to sign with a school that doesn't offer it? There is a solution to the problem. Instead of having schools give money to athletes, why not take a percentage from every new television contract - the $3 billion pact the Pac-12 inked recently would be a prime candidate - and put it into a fund to pay them? Use the money to give $2,000 a year to every Division 1 athlete on full scholarship, whether it's a star quarterback or an unknown on the women's rowing team. Want them to go to class, too? Pay a little extra for good grades and toss in a bonus for graduating. The money is there, thanks to the football and basketball players who provide all those hours of televised entertainment for nothing more than books and board. Despite Emmert's recent claims that "this is not the NFL, the NBA, it's not a business," the many millions pouring into the big schools and big programs are all the evidence needed to prove him wrong. If the NCAA is serious about reform it must do more than hand out spending money to athletes and threaten sanctions that may never come for poor academic performance. Either take steps to regulate what has indeed become a big business or drop the fa�ade. Until then, real reform can never happen.--AP S P ORT S MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 Espinosa shines again at the Pan Am Games GUADALAJARA: Paola Espinosa entered the Pan American Games as the local favorite, and she will leave them as the biggest star of the two-week competition. The Mexican diver completed her games with a third gold medal Saturday, winning the women's synchronized 3-meter springboard event with Laura Sanchez. "Right now I'm dead, very tired," Espinosa said. "My muscles are no longer responding, but this fills us with confidence for the future." Espinosa also won the 10-meter platform gold and the synchronized 10-meter platform event with Tatiana Ortiz. She also earned a bronze medal in the 3-meter springboard. And in the future, Espinosa has even greater plans. "Right now I begin preparing myself for the great challenge that the London Olympics will be," Espinosa said. Besides Mexico, Cuba was a big winner again Saturday, the penultimate day of competition at the Pan American Games. A day after winning 15 gold medals, the Cubans claimed six more. But the United States kept pace, winning another six gold medals to increase its tally to 92 gold and 234 overall. Cuba is second in the medals table with 58 gold and 136 overall. The Americans won both the women's team epee and the men's team foil, giving them 11 of the 12 fencing golds. The only event they failed to win was the men's sabre, but Timothy Morehouse did manage to earn silver a few days ago. "It's a little nerve-racking before we actually got it because we didn't want to be the only ones that didn't get the medal," American fencer Kelley Hurley said. "We got to contribute to the gold medal count." In athletics, Horacio Nava led a MEXICO: James Williams from the United States celebrates winning the gold in the men's team saber fencing event at the Pan American Games. -- AP Argentina snatch back hockey title from Canada GUADALAJARA: Argentina fought back from a goal down to beat Canada 3-1, snatch back the Pan-American men's hockey title and qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London on Saturday. It was Argentina's eighth Pan-Am gold medal in 12 tournaments at the quadrennial Games since winning the first in Winnipeg in 1967. It was also the 10th consecutive final played by the two regional rivals since 1975 with Argentina victorious for the sixth time to take back the title Canada won at Rio de Janeiro four years ago. The victory went some way towards compensating for the shock 4-2 defeat for the Argentine women's team, the world champion Las Leonas' (lionesses), by the United States in Friday's final which put their Olympic place in danger. The Argentine men played the ball around with confidence and had Canada pinned in their half for most of the opening 25 minutes but the Canadian defence withstood enormous pressure surviving a string of short corners. At the first short corner for Canada 10 minutes before halftime defender Scott Tupper hit high into the net to put his team ahead against the run of play with his ninth goal of the tournament. "That goal stunned us a bit because Canada always play like that (on the counter-attack) and put one in, but we were calm and with a lot of confidence and knew we could turn it round," Argentina's Matias Paredes told reporters. It was only the third goal conceded by Argentina in five matches but they equalised then went ahead with two shorts corners within four minutes of each other early in the second half. Ignacio Bergner scoring from the first and Pedro Ibarra the second. Argentina rounded off the victory with a brilliant field goal, Lucas Vila dribbling into the circle from the right and hitting a low back-stick shot past Canada's excellent goalkeeper Antoni Kindler. Canada's veteran midfielder Rob Short, saying goodbye after a fifth and last Pan-Am Games, was unhappy with Canada's game in the final, telling Reuters: "It's a disappointing result but I'm also disappointed with the way we performed. "We didn't play well today. I don't know if it's inexperience but we looked nervous... Canada held on to their sticks too tight, the moment was too big for us," the Netherlands-based 39-year-old said. "I think we're a team that can make the Olympics still. It's going to be a tough road...but maybe we just have to grow from this." Las Leonas, who had won the women's gold medal at every Games since the tournament was first played at Indianapolis in 1987, could avoid having to play an Olympic qualifying tournament, Argentine Hockey Confederation president Sergio Marcellini told Reuters. "As things stand, we are due to go to a qualifier but there is an issue with South Africa," Marcellini said. "The South African Olympic Committee does not consider the African qualifier of sufficient standard to send their team to the Olympic Games and so told them they had to finish first or second in the Champions' Challenge and they didn't, so they've said they aren't going (to London 2012). "It will be confirmed this week (but) it's practically a fact South Africa won't go and Argentina would take that place as top of the ranking of non-qualified teams...but if that doesn't happen we have to go to a qualifier." The bronze medals in both tournaments went to Chile. -- Reuters MEXICO: Mexico's Paola Espinoza (right) and Laura Sanchez compete in the women's synchronized 3m springboard final event at the Pan American Games. -- AP Mexican 1-2 finish in the men's 50-kilometer walk. Nava won the race in 3 hours, 48 minutes, 58 seconds. Teammate Jose Ojeda earned silver in the race and Jaime Quiyuch of Guatemala took bronze. "I didn't come to break a record," Nava said. "I followed my game plan and everything went well." In team sports, Argentina won the men's field hockey gold medal, beating Canada 3-1 in the final. The United States also beat Canada in a final, winning the men's water polo gold 7-3. Those victories guarantee Olympic berths. "This is huge," said Tony Azevedo, who scored three goals for the Americans. "Now we can take some time off and then focus only on London and not have to worry about qualifying only a couple of months (before) the Olympic Games."--AP Wisconsin fall again in final seconds, 33-29 COLUMBUS: The first loss for Wisconsin was painful. The second was almost unbearable. Braxton Miller lobbed a 40-yard touchdown pass to an open Devin Smith with 20 seconds left to give Ohio State a dramatic 33-29 victory over the 12th-ranked Badgers on Saturday night. Dramatic losses are nothing new for the Badgers. "It's pretty tough, especially two in a row," quarterback Russell Wilson said. "The Hail Mary from the week before, and then just throwing it up and finding a guy. That's kind of tough." It was almost exactly seven days earlier that the Badgers were beaten 37-31 at Michigan State on a miracle pass on the final play of the game. The latest heartbreak, just like that one, wasn't confirmed until it passed a video review. "The replay booth has definitely not been our friend the last two weeks," a glum Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said. The Badgers (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten) drove to the Ohio State 45 - and got an extra play after time elapsed due to a defensive facemask call - but linebacker Andrew Sweat hit Wilson as he was throwing to end the game. The ball fell far short of the target, touching off a wild celebration. It was an incredible finish, with four touchdowns scored in the final 4:39. But the Buckeyes were the last standing after a series of knockout punches by both sides. Much like a week before when the Badgers came back from a two-touchdown deficit to pull even, Wilson threw touchdown passes of 17 and 49 yards to Jared Abbrederis with 3:48 and 1:18 left to give Wisconsin a 29-26 lead. But it wouldn't last. Miller had given Ohio State (5-3, 2-2) a 2614 lead with 4:39 remaining with his second touchdown run, from 44 yards out. The Badgers answered with a quick score in just 44 seconds, with Wilson hitting Abbrederis on a 17-yard score to cut it to 2621. Wisconsin kicked deep and then held the Buckeyes on three runs, forcing a punt. It took just four plays to cover the 68 yards, with Wilson finding Abbrederis all alone down the right sideline for a touchdown with 1:18 left. A 2-point conversion pass from Wilson to Ball made it 29-26. "Unfortunately, we scored too fast," said Bielema. After Jordan Hall returned the ensuing kickoff 42 yards, the Buckeyes were in business again. They picked up 12 yards on three plays before Miller took the snap on first down at the Wisconsin 40 with 30 seconds left. He floated right to avoid a rush, barely sidestepped a potential tackle and suddenly noticed Smith wide open in the end zone. Miller stopped and looped the ball to Smith who caught it just before two defenders closed on him. A crowd of 105,511 went wild. A video review confirmed that Miller had not crossed the line of scrimmage before arching the long pass that decided the game but it wasn't over. The Buckeyes kicked off out of bounds. That gave Wisconsin the ball at its own 40 with 18 seconds left. Wilson threw three incompletions - twice off the hands of receivers who had chances to make huge plays. As a mob of fans waited to rush the field, it was announced there was a flag on the final play of regulation. It was for a defensive facemask call against safety Christian Bryant. That gave the Badgers the ball at the Ohio State 45 and one final play. But the pocket closed on Wilson and Sweat hit him from behind just as he was releasing the pass, the ball fluttering to the ground while the field filled with running, jumping fans celebrating Ohio State's 90th homecoming. The Badgers are hoping for brighter days. "Obviously, it's another heartbreaking loss," Bielema said. Wilson looked stunned as he assessed another one that slipped away. "We kept believing that our defense was going to stop them," said Wilson, who completed 20 of 32 passes for 253 yards and three scores. "We just fell short. They made a nice play at the end." --AP Dellow, Rollison win triathlon NOOSA HEADS: Australians David Dellow and former steeplechaser Melissa Rollison won the men's and women's divisions of the Noosa Triathlon yesterday, finishing ahead of 2012 London Olympic hopefuls. Dellow completed the Olympic distances of a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer cycle and 10-kilometer run in 1 hour, 46 minutes, 36 seconds ahead of Australians Paul Matthews and James Seear. Two-time World Ironman champion Chris McCormack, making the switch to the shorter Olympic distance, finished 10th in a time of 1:51.37. Beijing Olympian Courtney Atkinson of Australia, trying to win the Noosa event for the fourth straight time, was 14th in 1:52.54. Atkinson finished 11th in the Olympic triathlon at Beijing, while McCormack, who won the Noosa Triathlon in 2005, hopes to qualify for his first Olympics for Australia when the team is announced next April just before his 39th birthday. Rollison finished in 2 hours, 25 seconds, with Emma Jackson, a favorite for Australia's Olympic team in London, second in 2:01.09. New Zealander Kate McIlroy was third. Rollison, who needed medical assistance after crossing the finish line in the hot, muggy conditions, won a silver medal in the women's 3000-meter steeplechase at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. She made the switch from athletics to triathlon last year and the Noosa event was her first at the Olympic distance. Jackson is one of the three so-called "Australian Emmas" - Emma Snowsill won triathlon gold at Beijing in 2008 and Emma Moffatt took the bronze. Snowsill and Moffatt did not race at Noosa yesterday, but all three Emmas are vying for London Olympic spots. --AP MEXICO: Argentinean field hockey player Fernando Zylberberg (left) and Canadian Phillip Wright vie for the ball during their final game for gold in the XVI PanAmerican Games. -- AFP Kentucky eye title with mix of veterans, freshmen LEXINGTON: John Calipari embraces being a player's first college coach and he has yet another crop of talented freshmen eager to end Kentucky's national championship drought. Going into his third season, Calipari also has some veterans returning to help ease the path back to a second straight Final Four for the Wildcats, ranked No. 2 in preseason poll. I've got a good team," Calipari said. Terrence Jones pulled his name out of the NBA Draft at the deadline, and now the sophomore forward is the Southeastern Conference's preseason player of the year. He's back with senior guard Darius Miller and sophomore guard Doron Lamb to go along with six freshmen led by Michael KiddGilchrist, Anthony Davis and Marquis Teague as the preseason favorites to win the SEC. It's Calipari's third straight No. 1 recruiting class and the group could mirror his first that included John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins. Not that any of the Wildcats are talking about how much they want a national title, which would be Kentucky's first since 1998 and eighth overall. "It hasn't been discussed, but it's what everyone wants," Jones said. "I know it's what everyone wants. We haven't talked about it as a team, but it's what everyone's goal is." The clock is running on Calipari as well. He won 35 games, the SEC title and had five Wildcats become first-round NBA draft picks, which he said may never be done again. "Unless we do it here of course," Calipari said. Last season, he followed that up by winning the Wildcats' 27th SEC tournament title en route to their first Final Four since 1998. They lost in the national semifinal to Connecticut and finished 299. Not that Calipari sounds worried about how the season ends as long as he focuses on his players. "This is kind of like my first year and a couple other years where I've had where you're in a short order trying to get a group of talented players together to play," he said. "If you've ever coached this sport, you know, to get freshmen to, one, play without the basketball on offense, to make hard cuts that don't really matter for the play, to make the extra pass, to not worry about stats, and then defensively play off the ball, to do all of the things to help your team, it's just hard. I would like to get them to talk to one another on the court. That stuff's hard, and it takes time." Calipari and the Wildcats must come together quickly with the season opener Nov. 11 against Marist before hosting Kansas and Penn State. North Carolina visits Dec. 3 with Commonwealth State rival Louisville at Rupp on Dec. 31. Then Kentucky dives into the SEC with the toughest road games Feb. 11 at Vanderbilt, at Mississippi State on Feb. 21 and Florida in the regular season finale March 4. Jones is his top returning scorer averaging 15.7 points per game. Lamb averaged 12.3 points, while Miller averaged 10.9 points. Jones said they have a lot of interchangeable players with this roster. "We've got long players and players that remind me of myself when it comes to blocking shots and working hard," Jones said. "I just wanted to come back and win. I don't care about who I have to guard. I just like playing basketball. It doesn't matter what position I'm in." Calipari's bigger challenge will be adapting to a roster that doesn't have a true center. The 6-foot-10 Davis from Chicago may wind up filling that role, and Teague, the younger brother of the NBA Atlanta Hawks' Jeff Teague, is expected to start at point guard. Teague has been busy in the weight room, going from 170 pounds when he arrived on campus to 187. "You have to go hard here," Teague said. "It has improved my game. I can take bumps a lot better when I'm going to the basket so it has helped me to be able to finish better." Calipari said having a freshman point guard could be torture early on with turnovers and bad shots, and the coach said he has to make sure to keep him out of foul trouble early because of his physical defense. He knows early games likely will feature 16 turnovers or more, which he expects to be closer to 11 or 12 by season's end. "At the end of the year, this offense unleashes you as a point guard," Calipari said. "It just does." And it's all part of Calipari's grand plan. -- AP A e niv rsar n Years SPORTS 19 QPR 1 SPAIN: Levante's Asier Del Horno (left) duels for the ball with Osasuna's Ibrahima Balde from Senegal during their Spanish La Liga soccer match. --AP Levante lose at last MADRID: Levante finally lost their first game of the season yesterday, 2-0 away to Osasuna, to allow Real Madrid to stay top of La Liga a point ahead of Barcelona. First-half goals from Juan Martinez `Nino' and Alvaro Cejudo were enough to deny Levante an eighth straight league victory. Real Madrid moved top on Saturday thanks to a 1-0 away win at Real Sociedad with Gonzalo Higuain scoring the winner for his 10th league goal of the season. Real have a one-point lead on unbeaten arch-rivals Barcelona, for whom Lionel Messi starred with a first-half hat-trick in a 5-0 thumping of Mallorca. Levante remain third, two points behind Madrid after the defeat in Pamplona, their first in ten games. An amazing run of seven straight wins, starting with a 1-0 defeat over Madrid in midSeptember, had taken them the small Valencia-based side to the top of the league. However, they were no match for a hungry Osasuna side that always looked a likely winner, despite playing with only ten men for more than thirty minutes. Cejudo opened the scoring on 39 minutes for Osasuna with a left foot shot and celebrated by removing his shirt for an obligatory yellow card which he was later to regret. `Nino' took advantage of a hesitant Levante defence 5 minutes later to give Osasuna a two goal advantage and the home team seemed home and dry. However, when Cejudo received a second yellow for a reckless challenge on 58 minutes he left his team to defend the lead a man short. Levante attacked admirably in search of a breakthrough but it was not to come and their unbeaten start to the season was over. Osasuna are now unbeaten in four games and move into the top half of the league. Earlier yesterday Sporting Gijon salvaged a point in a 1-1 home draw with Athletic Bilbao which allowed the hosts to continue their slow but steady crawl out of the relegation zone. Markel Susaeta opened the scoring for Bilbao on 63 minutes, finishing from close range after a corner was flicked on at the near post by Gaizka Toquero. Gijon substitute Mata Bilic equalised eight minutes later with a thunderbolt drive from 25 yards which made sure the hosts avoided what would have been their seventh defeat in 10 games. Having plummeted to the bottom of the Primera Liga at the start of the season, Gijon have now picked up seven points from a possible nine, while Bilbaounbeaten in eight games-move up to seventh. Also on Saturday Valencia beat Getafe 3-1 to remain in fourth, four points off the pace, as they prepare for hosting Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday in a must-win Champions League clash. Villarreal warmed up for their Champions League tie at home to Manchester City on Wednesday by beating Rayo Vallecano 2-0. --AFP Spanish League results/standings Sporting Gijon 1 (Bilic 71) Athletic Bilbao 1 (Susaeta 63); Osasuna 2 (�lvaro 40, Nino 44) Levante 0. Playing later: Racing Santander v Real Betis; Atletico Madrid v Real Zaragoza; Malaga v Espanyol Playing today: Sevilla v Granada Spanish League table ahead of yesterday's late matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Real Madrid Barcelona Levante Valencia Sevilla Espanyol Osasuna Bilbao Malaga Vallecano 10 10 10 10 9 9 10 10 9 10 8 7 7 6 4 5 3 3 4 3 1 3 2 3 5 0 5 4 1 3 1 0 1 1 0 4 2 3 4 4 32 32 17 15 10 8 13 15 10 10 6 4 7 9 6 11 17 12 13 13 25 24 23 21 17 15 14 13 13 12 Real Betis Atletico Villarreal Real Zaragoza Real Mallorca Real Sociedad Sporting Gijon Getafe Santander Granada 9 9 10 9 10 10 10 10 9 9 4 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 0 1 0 4 4 3 3 2 2 4 5 2 5 3 4 4 5 6 6 5 4 6 10 9 9 9 8 9 8 9 6 2 14 10 17 17 16 14 14 15 15 11 12 10 10 9 9 8 8 7 5 5 Cologne hammer Augsburg BERLIN: Cologne's topsy-turvy season continued yesterday as star striker Lukas Podolski netted twice in their impressive 3-0 win over ten-man Augsburg in the German League. Germany star Podolski struck twice in the first-half to put his side 2-0 up at the break, converting a half-chance from close range on 19 minutes and then drilling home a penalty five minutes later. Cologne's Poland midfielder Slawomir Peszko then scored on 56 minutes to end the match as a contest and to add insult to injury, Augsburg striker Torsten Oehrl was sent off for a dangerous foul on 76 minutes. The win moves Cologne up to 11th in the table with five wins and five defeats, but the hosts are struggling for consistency under new Norwegian coach Stale Solbakken. His team were drubbed 5-0 at defending champions Dortmund just a week ago, a fortnight after they were humiliated 3-0 at mid-table Hertha Berlin. But Champions League side Bayer Leverkusen, Hanover 96 and Hoffenheim have all been beaten by Solbakken's team this season with Podolski scoring five goals in those three games alone. The defeat leaves Augsburg second from bottom and they drop below Hamburg, who drew 1-1 at home to Kaiserslautern with 10-men to pick up just their ninth point of the season after 11 games. Hamburg were reduced to 10 men when Serbian defender Slobodan Rajkovic was shown a straight red card for elbowing Kaiserslautern captain Christian Tiffert in the face after just 21 minutes. Kaiserlautern took the lead when midfielder Pierre De Wit netted on 38 minutes, while Peru striker Jose Paolo Guerrero levelled for the hosts in the second-half. On Saturday, league leaders Bayern Munich warmed up for Wednesday's visit of Napoli in the Champions League with a 4-0 hammering of Bavarian neighbours Nuremberg. It was Bayern's eighth straight home win as Germany stars Mario Gomez, twice, and Bastian Schweinsteiger, plus France playmaker Franck Ribery, all netted. But the victory may have come at a high cost as Schweinsteiger limped off in the 71st minute and is an injury doubt for Napoli. Defending champions Dortmund drop to third in the table after they were held 1-1 at Stuttgart, where the kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes as the guests were caught in a motorway traffic jam en route. Germany defender Serdar Tasci put Stuttgart ahead on 22 minutes, but on the stroke of half-time teenage Germany star Mario Goetze put in a superb ball for Shinji Kagawa to square for Lukasz Piszczek to put Dortmund level. Schalke 04 take over second in the table, four points behind Bayern, after they enjoyed a 2-1 win over Hoffenheim. Werder Bremen moved up to fourth after they came from behind to win 3-1 at Mainz on Saturday evening and it was the host's ninth league game without a win. Borussia Moenchengladbach are fifth in the table after Germany's rising star Marco Reus scored both their goals in a 2-1 win over Hanover. Michael Ballack could be doubtful for Bayer Leverkusen's visit to Champions League Group E opponents Valencia on Tuesday after fracturing his nose during the 1-0 win over rockbottom Freiburg on Friday. --AFP y MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 Bale double sinks QPR Tottenham 3 LONDON: Gareth Bale scored twice as Tottenham reinforced the growing belief they are on course for a return to the top four with a 3-1 victory over QPR yesterday. Rafael Van Vaart was also on target for Spurs, scoring for a fifth successive Premier League game, as Harr y Redknapp's side moved fifth. Jay Bothroyd's second half reply provided little consolation for a Rangers side whose preparations had been overshadowed by the fall-out from the previous week's win over Chelsea that prompted an FA investigations of allegations of racial abuse directed at Anton Ferdinand by Blues captain John Terry. Ferdinand was included in the Rangers starting line-up and newspaper reports on the morning of this game suggested Ferdinand will shortly make his first public statement on the allegations that have been strenuously denied by Terry. That issue was finally put to one side, however, as Rangers struggled to handle a Tottenham side who produced a display that confirmed they are a team on the rise. Redknapp's side were unbeaten in 10 games coming into this clash and the way they took the game to the visitors confirmed there is no lack of confidence at White Hart Lane right now. Less than two minutes into the game Van der Vaart turned Luka Modric's half-hit shot into a pass, turning sharply before striking a left foot effort that brought a good save from Rangers keeper Paddy Kenny. Kenny needed to enlist the help of teammate Heidar Helguson at the resulting corner, with the QPR forward clearing Bale's header off the line before the keeper once again reacted well to deny Van der Vaart. That forced Rangers to reorganise their backline and the confusion caused by the changes became apparent five minutes later when Emmanuel Adebayor met Van der Vaart's free kick with a free header six yards out. On that occasion the striker missed the target, just as he did moments later when he met Bale's low cross. But it was clear the QPR defences were creaking and Bale finally found a way through when he put Tottenham ahead in the 19th minute. Adebayor won a header after a long punt forward and Van der Vaart and Aaron Lennon helped the ball on to Bale, who finished ruthlessly with an angled shot. The move was simple enough, and its execution summed up the difference between the two sides in the first half. LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur's Emmanuel Adebayor (right) tackles Queens Park Rangers' Anton Ferdinand during their English Premier League soccer match. --AP A second Tottenham goal was always likely before the interval and it came in the 32nd minute when Van der Vaart once again made the most of a mishit shot, this time from Ledley King. On this occasion the Holland international showed more conviction with his finish, placing the ball inside the far post giving Kenny no chance of repeating his earlier heroics. QPR manager Neil Warnock responded with a double half-time substitution, withdrawing Adel Taarabt and Shaun Derry for Jay Bothroyd and James Mackie. The changes had the desired effect with the visitors offering a greater threat, even if Spurs were clearly still the better team. Kenny once again produced a fine save to deny Van der Vaart shortly after the break but Rangers began to push Tottenham back and they were back in the game thanks to Bothroyd's header from a Joey Barton corner in the 61st minute. Kenny produced a string of good saves to deny Van der Vaart, Bale and Modric but he had no chance of denying Bale in the 72 minute. The build-up was even slicker than for the first goal with Van der Vaart and Lennon once again involved with the England winger exchanging passes with Bale before the Welshman curled in an excellent shot from the edge of the area. --AFP EPL results/standings Tottenham 3 (Bale 20, 72, Van der Vaart 33) QPR 1 (Bothroyd 62) Playing today Stoke v Newcastle won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals 9 10 10 10 10 9 10 10 10 10 3 3 3 2 2 3 2 1 2 1 3 3 2 4 4 1 2 3 0 2 3 4 5 4 4 5 6 6 8 7 7 8 9 14 13 10 9 13 13 6 11 17 13 12 12 13 17 23 27 17 12 12 11 10 10 10 8 6 6 5 English Premier League table after yesterday's match (played, against, points): Stoke Man City 10 9 1 0 36 8 28 QPR Man Utd 10 7 2 1 27 12 23 West Brom Chelsea 10 6 1 3 23 15 19 Sunderland Newcastle 9 5 4 0 12 6 19 Fulham Tottenham 9 6 1 2 18 14 19 Everton Liverpool 10 5 3 2 14 10 18 Wolves Arsenal 10 5 1 4 20 21 16 Blackburn Norwich 10 3 4 3 14 15 13 Bolton Aston Villa 10 2 6 2 13 13 12 Wigan Swansea 10 3 3 4 12 15 12 Udinese keep pressure on Juve ROME: Udinese maintained their chase of league leaders Juventus with a nervy 1-0 victory against Palermo yesterday. Captain and talisman Antonio Di Natale made an heroic return from injury by notching the only goal of the game. Udinese could have won more comfortably but in particular wasted a rash of late chances to kill the game on the counter attack. They now trail Juventus by just one point but can be joined by Lazio on 18 points if the capital-based club win at Cagliari on Sunday night. Udinese first opened up Palermo when Giampiero Pinzi got into the box but with only goalkeeper Alexandros Tzorvas to beat he opted to try to pick out Di Natale instead but fluffed his pass. Di Natale hit the bar with an acrobatic volley from the edge of the box but was called for offside. Mauricio Isla picked out Kwadwo Asamoah from the right but the Ghana midfielder's shot was well saved by Tzorvas. The goal came on 38 minutes when Dusan Basta picked out Di Natale, who was right on the limit of offside but scored with a volley as he fell sideways. Udinese could have scored again when Di Natale was free in the box but Pablo Armero's pass made the striker check his run, his first touch was poor and then his inventive chip flew wide. Udinese played cleverly on the counter after the break and Di Natale's volley from Isla's cross went just past the upright. Armero then picked out Di Natale, who shot into the side-netting before returning the favour only for the Colombian wing-back to crash his effort off the post. Palermo's best chance fell to Israeli forward Eran Zehavi but his finish was weak and Samir Handanovic saved easily. Almen Abdi was the chief culprit for Udinese late on, blazing high when one-on-one with Tzorvas and then firing into the side-netting having rounded the keeper. In other games Andrea Lazzari earnt his Fiorentina coach Sinisa Mihjlovic some respite by scoring the only goal in the 1-0 defeat of Genoa. Bologna put daylight between themselves and the drop zone by beating Atalanta 3-1 while Lecce and Novara stayed in bottom three after sharing the points in a 1-1 draw. Cesena remain rock bottom after losing 2-0 at Parma while Siena thumped Chievo 4-1. On Saturday, Juventus maintained their lead at the top with an impressive 2-1 win at arch rivals Inter Milan. Goals from Mirko Vucinic and Claudio Marchisio either side of one from Maicon ensured the Old Lady of Turin remained unbeat- ITALY: Udinese's Giampiero Pinzi (left) and Palermo's Giulio Migliaccio fight for the ball during the Serie A soccer match. --AP en. AC Milan moved up to third, ahead of Lazio's trip to Cagliari, with a 3-2 win at Roma. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brace and Alessandro Nesta added the third while Nicolas Burdisso and Bojan Krkic scored for the hosts. Napoli missed the chance to keep pace with the front-runners as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Catania. They opened the scoring after just 29 seconds through Edinson Cavani but had Mario Santana sent off before half-time. Goals either side of the break from Giovanni Marchese and Gonzalo Bergessio gave the Sicilians victory. --AFP Italian League results/standings Bologna 3 (Di Vaio 45-pen, Ramirez 48, Loria 68) Atalanta 1 (Denis 7); Fiorentina 1 (Lazzari 41) Genoa 0; Lecce 1 (Strasser 31) Novara 1 (Rigoni 44-pen); Parma 2 (Paletta 41, Lucarelli 71) Cesena 0; Udinese 1 (Di Natale 38) Palermo 0; Siena 4 (Destro 25, 57, D'Agostino 61, Calaio 90) Chievo 1 (Moscardelli 75). Playing later: Cagliari v Lazio Matches on TV (Local Timings) English Premier League Stoke v Newcastle Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 23:00 Spanish League Malaga v Espanyol Al Jazeera Sport +2 Sevilla v Granada Al Jazeera Sport +2 Al Jazeera Sport 2 HD 00:00 23:00 Italian Serie A table yesterday (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Parma 9 4 0 5 12 17 12 Juventus 9 5 4 0 15 7 19 Roma 9 3 2 4 11 11 11 Udinese 9 5 3 1 11 3 18 Bologna 9 3 1 5 8 13 10 AC Milan 9 5 2 2 19 14 17 Atalanta 9 4 3 2 12 12 9 Lazio 8 4 3 1 12 8 15 Chievo 9 2 3 4 7 11 9 Napoli 9 4 2 3 13 7 14 Inter Milan 9 2 2 5 11 16 8 Catania 9 3 5 1 12 12 14 Novara 9 1 4 4 12 17 7 Siena 9 3 4 2 11 6 13 Lecce 9 1 2 6 7 16 5 Cagliari 8 3 4 1 9 6 13 Cesena 9 0 3 6 3 12 3 Palermo 9 4 1 4 11 11 13 Note: Atalanta deducted six points at start of seaFiorentina 9 3 3 3 10 8 12 son for match-fixing. Genoa 9 3 3 3 13 12 12 MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 17 Tuktamisheva clinches Skate Canada at age 14 18 Page 16 NOIDA: Red BullRenault driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (right) leads the pack at the start of the Formula One Indian Grand Prix. (Inset) Vettel kisses his trophy after winning the Formula One Indian Grand Prix. --AFP Espinosa shines again at the Pan Am Games Khalid living the dream in Volvo Ocean Race Vettel cruises to victory in India NOIDA: Red Bull's double world champion Sebastian Vettel ran away with the inaugural Indian Formula One Grand Prix yesterday for his 11th victory in 17 races this season. On a dusty and bittersweet afternoon at the new Buddh International Circuit, the 24-year-old German led every lap of the race after starting from pole position. He also set the fastest lap right at the finish. As if those landmarks were not enough, Vettel also set a record for the most laps led in a single season by any driver, leapfrogging Britain's 1992 champion Nigel Mansell in the statisticians' lists. Both championships have already been won by Vettel and his team. Britain's Jenson Button, the 2009 world champion, consolidated his grip on second place overall by finishing 8.4 seconds behind the German, while Ferrari's Fernando Alonso took third place a further 15.8 seconds adrift. "Yes boys, we did it," shouted Vettel after cricket great Sachin Tendulkar brought down the chequered flag. "First Indian Grand Prix, great job." Vettel now has 374 points with two races remaining, McLaren's Button 240, Alonso 227 and Red Bull's Australian Mark Webber-who finished fourth after starting on the front row-221. The champion celebrated on the podium by drinking champagne from the gleaming silver trophy after being joined in celebration by Red Bull technical head Adrian Newey but struck a more sombre mood afterwards. The afternoon may not have been a thriller but, coming at the end of a grim month for motorsport with two high-profile race fatalities on successive weekends, that was almost a relief. Teams and drivers held a minute's silence, standing stock still on the grid with just the hum of generators, before the race in memory of double Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon and MotoGP showman Marco Simoncelli. Button, a friend and rival of Wheldon's early in their careers in Britain, dedicated the race to them while Vettel paid his own tribute. "I have mixed feelings," the German added. "I am very, very happy. The first GP in India and I'm very proud to be the first winner. But looking back at the last weekends, we lost two of our mates." McLaren's 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Felipe Massa again collided, their sixth ontrack clash of the season. The Brazilian was handed a drive through penalty for causing the collision and later retired with a broken front suspension. British comedy actor Rowan Atkinson, `Mr Bean', grimaced in disbelief and shook his fists theatrically at the screen in the McLaren garage. "Felipe just turned in on me, he didn't give me any space," shouted Hamilton, who had to pit for a new front wing while Massa continued, over the team radio. Hamilton, who had qualified in second place but had a three place grid penalty after ignoring warning flags in practice, finished seventh behind the Mercedes pairing of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. Spaniard Jaime Alguersuari was eighth for Toro Rosso while Germany's Adrian Sutil ensured Force India scored points in their home race in ninth place. --Reuters Kvitova confirms elite credentials ISTANBUL: Petra Kvitova, the 21-year-old Czech left-hander who caused a sensation by winning Wimbledon as an outsider four months ago, proved she is now a fully fledged member of the sport's elite by winning the WTA (year-end) Championships. Kvitova did that with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win over Victoria Azarenka, the fourth-seeded Belarussian, which earned her the second most important title of her career and further enhanced her growing reputation. It also gained her a career-high year-end ranking of world number two - a tremendous surge from the 30th place at which she began 2011. Asked how her triumph felt compared with winning Wimbledon, Kvitova replied: "It's a little early to say, but compared with Wimbledon it is different. Both are great tournaments. "Winning a Grand Slam was a very big step. I don't know how it will be going home this time, but I think it will be similar." Asked whether she aimed to be world number one next year, she said: "I am not focused on that. "I will be world number two and next season will be different. I may be the favourite all the time, and we will have to see. I t will be strange for me. It will be something new again." Azarenka commented: "I think I just didn't really step it up," when she was asked about the important first game of the final set when she almost broke Kvitova's serve. "You know, she played really well those points, but, you know, I could have done better, definitely. But regrets? I don't have regrets. I gave it all." Kvitova narrowly prevailed in a two-hour 28-minute match because her hard-serving, flat-hitting, all-aggressive style was just about consistent enough to impose itself on Azarenka's more solid, but slightly less potent qualities. However, had Azarenka converted the two break points she held in the opening game of the final set, she might have added to her already increasing momentum and carried on to victory. Instead, she had to settle for defeat with honour and a year-end ranking of three, equalling her highest, and suggesting that she too could be a contender for Caroline Wozniacki's number one ranking next year. In the tense closing stages Kvitova may have been helped by her familiarity with Azarenka's game. "We know each other very well," she said before the final. "We played twice this year and I won both, so hopefully this final will be better for me mentally." Kvitova mostly played a solid final set, despite her propensity for risk-taking, an outcome which augured well for dealing with the even bigger occasions which are likely to come her way. On the first break point against her at the start of that decider she launched a brilliant forehand inside-out winner, and on the second she dared an approach and combined it with a courageous stop volley. She then took advantage of Azarenka's disappointment by making the crucial break of serve in the next game, taking the first chance she had to achieve it. Kvitova did that by returning a fine first serve and watching the follow-up hurtle over the baseline. Azarenka placed her hand over her mouth in horror at how she had overpressed with her forehand drive - as well she might. She never got close to breaking Kvitova's serve again after that, and suffered from the increasing pressure of having to play catch-up the longer the third set went on. Azarenka did save one match point brilliantly in the penultimate game, spearing a backhand straight drive just inside the sideline, and converting the opening with a heavy drive volley. But Kvitova was well pumped up when she came to close out the match on her next service game, completing it with some uncharacteristic defence and counter-attack, and rolling on her back in celebration. She was the first Czech since Jana Novotna in 1997 to win the title, and it was her sixth title of the year. There are likely to be many more.--AFP Tsonga grabs Vienna title VIENNA: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga laid on another late finishing surge, with his dangerous just-in-time habit paying off with a 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Juan Martin Del Potro yesterday and a trophy at the Austrian Open. Besides becoming the first Frenchman to lift the title in the Austrian capital, Tsonga will now leapfrog American Mardy Fish into seventh place in the race for the eight-man ATP World Tour Finals to be staged in London November 2027. The top-seeded Tsonga made the most of his Vienna debut with a comeback victory which required two hours and 29 minutes. He trailed a set and a break in a match in which he fired 25 aces and ended it with a winning forehand volley which caught his second-seeded opponent off-balance. The win was the first of his career win over Del Potro after losing three previous matches in their series. Del Potro's mind is preoccupied not only with a possible year-end finals place - he remains on provisional 11th and will lift his ATP ranking from 15th to 11th on Monday - but the December Davis Cup final in Seville against Spain. "It was really tough," said Tsgona, winner of a second title in 2011 after claiming Metz honours in September. "Juan Martin played great until in the second set. I was down a bit after losing (another) first set in the tiebreaker. "But I fought on and didn't give away any easy points after that." After losing the 63-minute first set, Tsonga proceeded to get his game together with two breaks of Del Potro in the second set and another in the third which gave him a 4-3 lead. The angry Argentine let fly with a vicious kick to his racquet bag as his chances began to slip away. Tsonga took full advantage, firing his 25th ace to notch a 5-3 lead and finishing two games later with the match-winner. The Frenchman will play as second seed next week in Valencia, where Del Potro is also in the field. Del Potro is also in the chase for London, with outside chances as he stands 11th. The 2009 US Open winner will also see his ranking rise to 11th as well after standing 484 in February as he came back from 2010 wrist surgery. "I really wanted to win this final," said the 23-year-old. "But Jo was so good on serve today. I had hoped to win a title, it always means a lot when you are coming back. I'm getting closer to my best level, but I need to build confidence." Del Potro stands 9-4 in career finals after winning Delray and Estoril this season, he has never claimed an indoor title and was playing for a trophy under a roof for the first time in two years when he lost the year-end event to Nikolay Davydenko.--AFP ISTANBUL: Czech Petra Kvitova poses with her trophy after winning the Istanbul WTA tennis masters final match against Belarus' Victoria Azarenka. --AFP More than 60% global consumers downbeat Page 22 Qatar Airways to ply domestic routes in Iran Page 23 MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 Banking sector in GCC maintains stability Page 26 China risks backlash over EU bailout deal Page 25 SINGAPORE: Passengers line up to speak to customer service officers from Australian flag carrier Qantas at the airline's counter at Singapore's Changi Airport yesterday. -- AFP Aussie court ends Qantas strike Qantas crisis costs tens of millions CANBERRA: An Australian court has ended the union strikes and abrupt grounding of Qantas Airways fleet after it stranded tens of thousands of passengers. The court ruled early this morning after hearing more than 14 hours of testimony from the airline, the Australian government and unions. Workers have held strikes and refused overtime work out of worry that some of Qantas' 35,000 jobs would be moved overseas in a restricting plan. The airline argued the strikes disrupted operations and it needed certainty to continue operating. Tens of thousands of stranded Qantas Airways passengers scrambled to reach their destinations yesterday as the airline, its unions and the Australian government argued in a lengthy arbitration hearing over the abrupt grounding of its entire fleet. The airline demanded a permanent ruling against more union strikes, with CEO Alan Joyce saying outside court that a temporary order to end its employee lockout would not ensure Qantas would get its planes back into the air. The government wants the panel to order Qantas to fly in Australia's economic interests and would prefer a permanent ruling, while the unions are arguing for a temporary suspension of the lockout. The tribunal held 14 hours of hearings over two days before returning early this morning. "It's not our place to start allocating responsibility, but what I also know is there is a better way to resolve these matters ... than locking your customers out," Australian Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten told reporters yesterday in the southern city of Melbourne. "We want more common sense than that." About 70,000 passengers fly Qantas daily, and would-be fliers this weekend were stuck at home, hotels, airports or even had to suddenly deplane when Qantas suspended operations Saturday. More than 60 flights were in the air at the time but flew to their destinations, and Qantas was paying for passengers to book other flights. Qantas had reduced and rescheduled flights for weeks as union workers struck and refused to work overtime out of worries that a restructuring plan would move some of Qantas' 35,000 jobs overseas. German tourist Michael Messmann was trying to find a way home from Singapore yesterday. He and his wife spent five weeks traveling around Australia but found their connecting flight home to Frankfurt suddenly canceled. "I don't know the details of the dispute, but it seems like a severe reaction by the airline to shut down all their flights. That seems a bit extreme," said Messmann, 68. "After five weeks of traveling, we just want to go home." Australian business traveler Graeme Yeatman sided with the airline, even though he was also trying to find a new flight home to Sydney yesterday after his flight was canceled. "I think the unions have too much power over Qantas. Even though this is an inconvenience for me, I'm glad the airline is drawing a line in the sand," said Yeatman, 41. The court listened to arguments Saturday and yesterday after the government called the emergency hearing. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the airline could be flying again within hours if the three arbitration judges rule to permanently terminate the grounding and the unions' strike action. The unions want the judges to rule for a suspension so that the strikes can be resumed if their negotiations with the airline fail. The government's lawyer Tom Howe submitted to the court that the lockout and strikes should be terminated or at least suspended for four months. He said a suspension was only a temporary solution to a dispute that threatened significant economic damage to Australia's tourism and aviation industries. "That temporariness necessarily allows the real possibility, indeed, the likelihood that at the end of the suspension period, there may be a reinstatement of the lockout which, on the evidence before the tribunal, would inevitably lead to the risk, if not likelihood, of significant damage to an important sector of the Australian economy," Howe told the judges. Qantas' lawyer Frank Parry told the court the airline "may conclude that it cannot return to the air" if the court opts for a suspension rather than a termination. But the pilots' union lawyer Arthur Moses accused Qantas of making an "implied threat" to the judges that only a termination would ensure that the fleet would not remain grounded. Moses said no Qantas witness had given evidence to back that submission. But Joyce said outside court yesterday that a suspension order might not lead to the the airline flying again. "A termination stops the lock out, but we have to make a decision about putting the airline back in the air," Joyce told Sky News television. "A suspension may not necessarily mean the airline gets back in the air," he added. "If it's a suspension, we cannot put the planes back in the air without having certainty," he said, without elaborating. -- AP Etihad looks to step in amid Qantas strike DUBAI: Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways is planning to introduce additional services in Australia to transport the country's travelers, as other carriers step in to fill the gap from Qantas grounding its fleet over industrial dispute. Etihad said it is discussions with partner Virgin Australia, a rival of Qantas, to offer various options including domestic shuttle services within the country using its aircraft. Normally foreign airlines cannot operate domestically in other countries. "We are already looking at a range of options to support Virgin Australia in its home market by freeing up additional capacity if required," James Hogan, the chief executive of Etihad Airways said in a statement. Qantas Airways sparred with unions at a second labor tribunal yesterday after Australia's prime minister called for an end to the industrial dispute that grounded the airline's entire fleet. Qantas grounded more than 100 aircraft on Saturday and said it had cancelled 447 flights affecting more than 68,000 passengers by yesterday afternoon. Etihad said it will support Australian travelers disrupted by the Qantas dispute. The Gulf carrier said it in talks with Virgin Australia to operate a shuttle service between Sydney and Melbourne. It is also eyeing operation of a daily flight between Sydney and Bangkok. "We also stand ready to assist Qantas passengers who are stranded overseas and need to travel home, and have advised our call centers worldwide to do everything possible to assist people in these circumstances in fact, to help anyone whose international travel plans have been affected," said Hogan. State-backed Middle East carriers are in the process of fierce expansion and threaten to slowly shift the centre of gravity in air travel from Europe to the Gulf. Etihad, Dubai's Emirates and Qatar Airways together operate hundreds of flights each week to several Australian destinations. Etihad operates 24 weekly flights from Australia to the Britain, Europe, the Middle East and North America through its hub in Abu Dhabi. It offers connections to and from other Australian cities and towns in conjunction with its partner Virgin Australia. Meanwhile, Emirates airlines and Qatar Airways said yesterday that their flights to Australia are operating as scheduled. -- Reuters Syria revolt strains Lebanon's economy BEIRUT: Lebanon's economy is feeling the strain of a sevenmonth uprising against Syria's Bashar Al-Assad, as the increasingly violent revolt takes its toll on tourism, trade and capital inflows. "The Arab Spring has not been remotely beneficial to the Lebanese economy. In fact, it's deprived us of two crucial markets-Syria and Egypt-at a time when all our drivers of growth over the past five years are on the decline," said Beirutbased economist Sami Nader. After years of overall economic expansion and record prosperity in the vital tourism sector, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently revised downward its forecast for growth in Lebanon to 1.5 percent in 2011 from 7.5 percent between 2007 and 2010, citing political uncertainty and the unrest in neighboring Syria. The Economist Intelligence Unit meanwhile reported indicators for banking, construction, and tourism-which alone accounts for 25 percent of employment in Lebanon and 20 percent of the country's annual incomeweakened significantly in the first half of 2011. The histories-and economies-of Lebanon and Syria for decades have been intertwined, with Damascus taking advantage of Beirut's modern banking system and the latter capitalizing on its neighbor's cheap labor. But today, ongoing unrest in Syria has raised the risk of capital flight from Lebanon, as expatriates and potential investors play it safe fearing the violence threatening the regime in Damascus could spill over to Beirut. "Inflow will begin to suffer soon if Lebanon does not take measures to protect the economy, including stimulating growth and exports," said Nader. "In light of what is going on in the region, the government must have a cohesive and clear vision on how to boost the economy and counter lack of growth." While Lebanon's foreign reserves stand at $31 billion (21.8 billion euros), the country staggers under a public debt of more than $53 billion, equivalent to around 135 percent of GDP-among the highest debt-to-GDP ratios globally. Inflation in 2011 is also forecast to rise to some 5.2 percent as international commodity prices increase sharply, particularly for oil and food. And as trade with Damascus declines, the economic future looks far from rosy in Lebanon, which depends on Syria as a destination or transit route for a large portion of its trade. "Our clients in Syria are not buying because they just can't afford to lose liquidity," said one Lebanese trader of fast moving consumer goods who depends on customers in Damascus for at least half of his sales. "Even after Syria lifted its ban on foreign goods, clients have frozen their business with us as they're not sure what's going to happen," said the businessman who did not want to be named. Months after it was hit by sanctions by the European Union and United States, Syria in September announced the temporary suspension on imports of products subject to tariffs of more than five percent, excluding only basic supplies that are not manufactured locally. The ban was later revoked. Exports from Lebanon topped $2 billion in the first two quarters of 2011, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's Lebanon country report. Syria is still listed as one of Lebanon's top markets abroad. But with the revolt against Assad showing no signs of dying down, the business community is on edge fearing the loss of a once-lucrative market which has long favored processed foods and luxury items imported from Lebanon. "Freight coming to Beirut is by and large resold to other destinations, and Syria was a top customer," said Marwan Chebli, general manager of Antarsped, a shipping company with branches in Lebanon and Syria. Chebli said business in Syria has dropped by nearly half since the start of the year, while air, land and sea shipping from Lebanon has declined 13 percent since August. "Even banking is affected," he told AFP. "We are unable to even transfer money to our office in Damascus." -- AFP A e niv rsar n Years business 22 Air Arabia celebrates 8th anniversary of first flight KUWAIT: Eight years after the very first Air Arabia flight took off from Sharjah International Airport, the region's low-cost pioneer is now widely seen as one of the Middle East's true corporate success stories, the carrier's Group Chief Executive Officer Adel Ali, highlighted yesterday. Air Arabia has experienced massive, sustained growth since October 2003, when it introduced a new way of taking flight to the Arab world. From the earliest days of serving five regional destinations with just two aircraft, the region's leading low-cost carrier today serves 69 destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe, operating from hubs in the UAE, Morocco and Egypt. "Eight years ago, we couldn't have anticipated how rapidly Air Arabia would grow, or how dramatically our pioneering lowcost model would change how, when and at what price people would travel here in the Middle East," Adel Ali said. "Consider that, today, more than 100 Air Arabia flights now take off every day, including over 50 per day from our primary hub in Sharjah. Just as important, we now employ some 1,500 Air Arabia staff, who are dedicated to providing our customers with the very highest level of service." "The past eight years have been a remarkable journey for all of us at Air Arabia - including our employees and, of course, our loyal passengers" Ali continued "From our earliest days, with just a handful of passengers, we have now served millions and millions of individuals - connecting them with friends and families, helping them carry out their studies and succeed in their businesses. To put that in context, today, we process more than 4,000 passenger bookings on our website every day." "For the past eight years, we have remained focused on upholding that simple promise - by growing our destination network and fleet, by introducing innovative solutions at the lowest possible cost, and by ensuring that the Air Arabia brand remains close to our passengers' hearts." As it enters its ninth year of operations, Air Arabia continues to add to its impressive list of industry plaudits, including recently winning the top award for "Innovation in Operations - Low-Cost Carrier Airline" at the Express TravelWorld Awards 2010-2011 held in New Delhi, India. Al-Tijari announces daily draw winners KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait held the Al-Najma Account draw yesterday. The draw was held under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry represented by Abdulaziz Ashkanani. The winners of the Al Najma Daily Draw who get KD 7,000 are: Aishah Abdulaziz Mohammed Al- Nasrallah; Kirles Habil Jineedi Jindi; AbdulRahman Masaad Mezban AlZahameel; Babo Lal Jalanjo; and Hayat Ebraheem Abdulla Yousef. The Commercial Bank of Kuwait announces the biggest daily draw in Kuwait with the launch of the new Najma account. Customers of the bank can now enjoy a KD 7,000 daily prize which is the highest in the country and another 4 mega prizes during the year worth KD 100,000 each on different occasions: The National Day, Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha and on June 19 which is the date of the bank's establishment. With a minimum balance of KD 500, customers will be eligible for the daily draw provided that the money is in the account one week prior to the daily draw or 2 months prior to the mega draw. In addition, for each KD 25 a customer can get one chance for winning instead of KD 50. Commercial Bank of Kuwait takes this opportunity to congratulate all lucky winners and also extends appreciation to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for their effective supervision of the draws which were conducted in an orderly and organized manner. EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds .2720000 .4370000 .3830000 .3130000 .2720000 .2890000 .0040000 .0020000 .0738890 .7198690 .3810000 .0700000 .7049050 .0040000 .0430000 .2762500 .4480000 .3830000 .3240000 .2820000 .2980000 .0072500 .0035000 .0753140 .7337480 .4010000 .0760000 .7184950 .0072000 .0530000 .2748000 .4430050 .3888010 .3184060 .2770300 .0522580 .0430340 .2940910 .0353960 .2212560 .0036240 .0056890 .0025060 .0031840 .0036420 .0748470 .7292030 .3886850 .0733000 .7140440 .0064960 Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham GCC COUNTRIES 73.323 75.550 714.170 730.300 74.871 Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal 10 Tola Sterling Pound US Dollar 3.190 6.490 75.790 73.150 221.980 38.010 2.588 446.000 43.900 321.400 5.400 9.290 198.263 74.700 274.300 1.190 GOLD 1,791.750 TRAVELLER'S CHEQUE 444.000 273.900 3.160 6.430 75.360 73.150 221.980 38.010 2.485 444.000 319.900 5.400 9.160 74.600 273.900 Sterling Pound Japanese Yen Bangladesh Taka Indian Rupee Sri Lankan Rupee Nepali Rupee Pakistani Rupee UAE Dirhams Bahraini Dinar Egyptian Pound Jordanian Dinar Omani Riyal Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal 444.02 3.67 3.613 5.611 2.486 3.519 3.160 74.56 728.56 45.91 389.68 711.85 75.53 73.13 446.00 3.62 3.705 5.920 2.588 4.250 3.220 75.00 730.00 48.10 392.00 717.00 76.00 73.35 y MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 More than 60% global consumers downbeat India retains top spot but Saudi catching up LONDON: Global consumer confidence remained weak in the third quarter with more than 60 percent of consumers saying it was not a good time to spend, and one-in-three North Americans saying they have no spare cash, a survey showed yesterday. The economic outlook, followed by job security, became consumers' biggest concern in the third quarter, overtaking worries about rising inflation, according to the quarterly survey by global analytics and information company Nielsen. The Nielsen Global Consumer Confidence Index dipped just 1 point in the third quarter from the second quarter to 88 points, but it was shored up by a surge in confidence in emerging economies Brazil and Saudi Arabia, which masked weak confidence in major developed economies. A reading below 100 indicates consumers are pessimistic about the economic outlook for the coming months. Confidence was highest in India for a seventh straight quarter but India's reading fell 5 points from the second quarter and Saudi Arabia was catching up. Consumer morale in the euro zone remained especially weak, notably in France, as the region's debt crisis deepened during the summer. Confidence in Greece, at the centre of the crisis, actually rose sharply but it was still the fourth-weakest of markets surveyed. Confidence was lowest in Hungary. One-in-five Europeans said they have no extra cash to spend, although that was better than one-in-three North Americans. Confidence in European powerhouse Germany was better than much of Europe and the United States, but like the US its reading dipped 1 point from the second quarter. "The third quarter was volatile and challenging for global economies and financial markets amid stagnant US unemployment figures and a worsening euro zone debt crisis," said Venkatesh Bala, chief economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen. "A recessionary mindset is growing among consumers as more than half say they are currently in a recession-up 4 percentage points from last quarter and 7 points from the start of the year. The result is continued spending restraint for discretionary expenses, which is expected to continue into next year." The survey, taken between Aug. 30 and Sept. 16 and covering 28,000 consumers in 56 countries, showed 64 percent of consumers globally saying it was not a good time to spend. Financial markets picked up last week following a euro zone agreement to tackle its debt crisis and after encouraging third-quarter US economic growth data, but further positive data will be required to reassure consumers. Confidence in China dipped a point while in Europe the Baltic states of Latvia and Lithuania saw a surge in confidence, though it was still relatively low. The survey showed that global consumers facing tighter budgets would cut back on clothing purchases, dining out and buying electronics and appliances before anything else. "If the global economic climate worsens, these three sectors appear to be particularly vulnerable," said Bala. The survey is based on consumers' confidence in the job market, status of their personal finances and readiness to spend. --Reuters Gulf Bank is the `Bronze Sponsor' of MEED's conference KUWAIT: Gulf Bank announced yesterday its Bronze sponsorship of MEED's 7th Annual Kuwait Energy and Infrastructure Projects Conference. The conference will be held at the Marriot Courtyard Hotel from the November 1-3, 2011. This year's conference will highlight the latest developments in Kuwait's mega project sector and address the key Michel Accad issues in delivering the successful implementation of Kuwait's National Development Plan. Commenting on the Bank's participation, Michel Accad, Chief Executive Officer and Chief General Manager at Gulf Bank said: "We are proud to be part of this important conference as it attracts key government officials along with major private sector players. It is also a strong platform to hold extensive discussions on the economy and the way forward and the key challenges and opportunities associated with the ongoing development of Kuwait's energy sector." Gulf Bank will continue to participate in key financial conferences that focus on boosting the national economy and highlighting the deficiencies that should be addressed and enhanced. The Bank is looking forward to the upcoming Kuwait Financial Forum that is scheduled to take place on October 31, 2011 with the objective of discussing global economical prospects in addition to identifying issues and main trends in the Arab economies in the period of political transformation. IKEA launches its `Soft Toy' campaign KUWAIT: IKEA Kuwait is geared to relaunch its yearly `Soft Toy Campaign', an initiative that the company prides its self with and aims to strengthen its social responsibility activities across the country. This year, IKEA Kuwait has chosen a local charity organization, Bayt Abdullah Children's Hospice, to be the objective of their annual donation campaign. During the campaign, IKEA will donate 1 euro for every soft toy sold at the IKEA store to Bayt Abdullah Children's Hospice with the objective of developing the organization's overall process. The IKEA Kuwait Soft Toy Campaign, which will run through November 1 until December 24, 2011, aims at supporting Bayt Abdullah Children's Hospice while also reinforcing social engagement with the society. Since the annual soft toy campaign's inception in 2003, a total of 35.2 million Euros were raised that have benefitted more than eight million children in over forty countries. The objective of this global initiative is to provide improved education in better schools along with books, pencils and well trained teachers to attend to the children. In 2010, IKEA Kuwait has helped raise $250,000 during Ramadan to advance the growth of Bayt Abdullah Children's Hospice. This year, IKEA Kuwait continues to aid the local organization by creating strong awareness amongst the wider community, with an objective of bridging local and global charity communities to serve a common goal. The cuddly and washable IKEA soft toys are durable, enjoyable and reasonably priced to ensure every child leaves the store satisfied. This annual campaign has proven to be one of the most efficient investments to create opportunities that will have a long term impact on future generations. IKEA Kuwait continues to give back to the community through highly supportive and innovative social initiatives designed to improve lives everywhere. ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 48.500 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.030 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.258 Tunisian Dinar 198.810 Jordanian Dinar 388.290 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 184.500 Syrian Lier 5.936 Morocco Dirham 35.237 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 274.850 Euro 393.040 Sterling Pound 447.320 Canadian dollar 281.320 Turkish lire 157.690 Swiss Franc 324.840 Australian dollar 293.180 US Dollar Buying 273.650 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram GOLD 318.000 160.000 82.000 Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency Rate per 1000 (Tran) CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2727000 GB Pound/KD .4396200 Euro .3858300 Swiss francs .3159720 Canadian dollars .2749130 Danish Kroner .0518590 Swedish Kroner .0427050 Australian dlr .2918440 Hong Kong dlr .0351260 Singapore dlr .2195650 Japanese yen .0035970 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0742750 Bahraini dinars .7236300 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0727390 Omani riyals .7085880 Philippine Peso .0000000 Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd Rate for Transfer Selling Rate Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY SELL CASH SELL DRAFT Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash 3.664 5.626 3.165 2.491 3.462 221.350 35.373 3.603 6.444 8.999 0.271 0.273 Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound Euro Cash Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria Norwegian krone Omani Riyal 296.900 728.600 3.840 279.700 538.100 36.400 53.100 167.800 47.910 391.500 36.960 5.950 0.032 0.224 0.238 3.710 388.810 0.185 91.640 46.100 4.220 229.100 1.775 51.700 711.590 295.400 728.600 3.597 278.200 222.000 45.912 390.000 35.810 5.625 0.031 US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupees Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Cyprus pound Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit 273.850 277.615 442.140 389.790 317.635 726.070 74.535 75.165 72.990 385.475 45.923 2.482 5.619 3.164 3.606 6.425 671.723 3.710 9.070 5.765 3.560 90.965 US Dollar Pak Rupees Indian Rupees Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso UAE Dirhams Saudi Riyals Bahraini Dinars Egyptian Pounds Pound Sterling Indonesian Rupiah Yemeni Riyal Jordanian Dinars Syrian Pounds Euro Canadian Dollars Nepali rupee 274.600 3.165 5.570 2.505 3.620 6.410 74.865 73.380 730.100 46.015 445.400 3.190 1.550 390.100 5.750 389.700 280.500 3.690 Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 388.200 0.184 91.640 Currency UAE Exchange Center WLL Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 3.530 227.600 711.410 Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar Swiss Franc Euro 296.36 279.86 322.42 390.76 297.00 280.00 322.00 392.00 US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal *Rates are subject to change 273.550 389.800 443.800 278.100 3.630 5.626 46.910 2.481 3.600 6.445 3.170 728.400 74.550 73.100 A e niv rsar n Commodity Update relief rally: Will it stick? By Ole S Hansen, Senior Manager, Saxo Bank he news from Europe that its leaders (after two years of turmoil) finally delivered what looks like a useful set of tools to bring the crisis, if not to an end then at least under some sort of control triggered huge rallies across riskier assets. The S&P 500 erased all of its 2011 losses and is now on course for the best monthly performance since 1974. Commodities meanwhile also took another major step away from the lows seen last month with the Reuters Jeffries CRB index surging by 5.5 percent and almost moving into positive territory for the year. The big question now is whether Europe has done enough in order to bring back investor confidence in the eurozone or whether, once the dust settles, the market once again comes to the conclusion that the can has once again been kicked further into the long grass. While stock markets rallied eurozone bond markets seemed less convinced with the 10 year yield on Spanish and Italian bonds falling by much less than what could have been hoped for. These markets will be the focus in the weeks ahead and will determine whether the rally in stocks and commodities will continue. All in all a good week though, especially for riskier assets which on top of the European result took direction from improved economic data from the US and China which has further reduced the risk of recession. This changed environment forced many investors and funds to re-enter on the long side thereby adding additional upside pressure to the market. According to Barclays, investors globally pulled 10 billion dollars out of commodities during September with speculative investments held by hedge funds through futures and options on U.S. exchanges falling by 44 percent to 900,000 lots. Rebuilding these positions has been felt across all commodities this week, especially in copper, silver and WTI crude. Copper goes berserk The highflier has undoubtedly been copper with its 20 percent rally in just one week, the biggest weekly gain since at least 1986. Much of the recessionary fears during September were expressed through copper after hedge funds turned outright bearish on the metal for the first time since October 2009. The changed environment following better economic data and a weaker dollar triggered a major scramble to cover shorts and rebuild long positions thereby giving prices a dramatic boost. Further support has come from China as demand has returned after imports rose to a 16 month high in September, combined with falling supply due to labour unrest at mines in Peru and Indonesia. Iron ore tells a different story Iron ore however continues to tell a different story after the price has dropped by one third since early September on weakness in global steel markets. Unlike copper Chinese demand for iron ore has been slowing and with miners in Australia and Brazil continuing to produce at full capacity the market has been flooded and prices have suffered as a consequence. Prices are still more than double the big miners' production costs so further losses are likely if demand does not pick up soon. US crude gaining on Brent crude The price of prompt WTI crude has broken above previous resistance after a 21 percent rally since early October. The rally has primarily benefitted the front end of the oil curve with the price of oil for December delivery surging above previous resistance at 91 dollars per barrel. The change in the shape of the forward curve over the last seven days has been quite dramatic resulting in the spread between current month and next month turning positive for the first time since September 2008. In the process the discount to Brent crude has begun to shrink moving from a recent high of 25 dollars down to 18.50 dollars as the recovery in North Sea production and increase in Libyan crude production continues to ease the tightness seen in European crude markets over the summer. After the initial spike higher oil prices however failed to move further ahead after the European debt announcement, probably highlighting a belief that much higher prices from here are not supported by fundamentals. WTI crude has now moved from a negative to a neutral stance after the move above 91 and technically could be targeting the 100 to 105 area over the coming weeks although we find limited value above 95 dollars for now. Gold breaks 1,700 dollar shackle Investors in gold finally seem to have recovered from the sharp correction witnessed during September as gold took out resistance at 1,700 dollars before reaching a five-week high. With the safe haven aspect of gold investment currently not the focus it will be difficult to make much further progress beyond 1,772 for now. Not least because strong equity markets and a falling dollar have been the main drivers behind the recent rally and some risk of profit taking in these markets now looks increasingly likely over the coming week. Silver and platinum back to life Both silver and platinum experienced a reversal of fortunes this week both outperforming gold as they, just like copper, reacted to improved economic data which points toward improved demand for industrial metals. During the last couple of months hedge funds have reduced their long exposure to the lowest level in 30 months and the rebuilding of positions has been a factor behind the rally and further improvements on the economic front are required for the outperformance to continue. Thai flood removes global rice glut The worst flood to hit Thailand in more than 50 years has the potential of wiping out between 15 and 20 percent of the country's main rice harvest, which represents about 70 percent of annual production. The impact on global prices has been felt over the last few weeks especially considering its role as the world's biggest rice exporter. Rice is Asia's leading food crop and the worlds' most widely consumed staple food and a further deterioration carries the risk of spilling over into higher food inflation at a time where inflation had just begun to come under control among emerging economies. Earlier this month the United States Department of Agriculture projected a global rice surplus of nearly 4 million tonnes but the flood now carries the risk of removing this glut thereby adding to the upside pressure on prices. US production was already suffering after farmers had a torrid summer with an early flood being followed by a drought, thereby reducing the crop by almost one third. All however is not lost as Thailand could replant once the flood recedes and India could ramp up its rice exports. But until further news about potential crop destruction reaches us the price of rough rice for January delivery, traded in Chicago, carries the risk of moving higher as it prices in this increased uncertainty. y Years business MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 Iran sees no need for urgent OPEC meeting Saudi, Kuwait and UAE boost output TEHRAN: Current OPEC president Iran does not envisage holding an emergency meeting of the oil producers' group ahead of a scheduled one in December, Iran's OPEC Governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi was quoted as saying by the student news agency ISNA yesterday. "I find it improbable to have an OPEC emergency meeting because there is no emergency matter and the market is balanced," he was quoted as saying. Price hawk Iran along with African countries and Venezuela, blocked a Saudi-led proposal to increase output targets at OPEC's last meeting on June 8, but Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates boosted output unilaterally after wards-a move Tehran criticized. "Libya is getting back to the oil market and it is predicted that by next year its production will return to normal," Khatibi said. Libya is currently pumping around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd), but industr y sources doubt it can quickly reach pre-war levels, which represented about 2 percent of the global demand. On prices, Khatibi said: "The fall in the oil price is detrimental for all oil producers and exporters". Iran has said in the past it expects output quotas to remain unchanged at the December meeting. -- Reuters T Ahmad Alzabin ALAFCO announces KD 47m Q3 net profit KUWAIT: ALAFCO announced a net profit of KD 47 million for the fiscal year which ended September 30, 2011, exceeding four folds increase as compared to KD 10.8 million earned last year. The profit per share also rose more than four times to fils 60 versus fils 14 in the previous year. The Company's assets increased 8 percent to KD 581 million, and the shareholders equity jumped 39 percent to KD 142.5 million. The Board of Directors has recommended the distribution of cash dividends of fils 10 per share subject to approval by the general assembly. Chairman & CEO, Ahmad A Alzabin, stated to the press after a meeting of the Board of Directors that the profits resulted from the expansion in the regional and international markets, in addition to the exceptional gains realized through the adjustment of purchase agreements with aircraft manufacturers during this period. He added that the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011, had seen an increase in ALAFCO's portfolio whereby the number of aircraft increased from 40 to 48 aircraft, which is an increase of 8 aircraft that are leased to a number of regional and global airlines. Furthermore, ALAFCO had successfully obtained financing for the acquired aircraft in the amount of $266 million from local and international banks. During the year, ALAFCO strengthened its presence in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Currently, ALAFCO has agreements to purchase 57 new aircraft from Airbus and Boeing that will be delivered from 2014 until 2021. Alzabin said that they have confidence in the company's ability to meet the requirements of our customers and achieve the aspirations of our shareholders. This year's exceptional results have bolstered the company's ability to advance to the next phase of the growth plan. ALAFCO has an ambitious plan to increase its portfolio to 100 aircraft by 2018 that will result in increased cash flows and profitability. At the end, the Chairman & CEO expressed his gratitude to the shareholders for their confidence and continued support to the company and its Board of Directors. Alzabin also thanked ALAFCO's management and staff for their contribution in achieving this success. KAC committee concludes review KUWAIT: The Privatisation Committee of Kuwait Airways would like to announce that it has concluded the review of the Expressions of Interest (EOI) to participate in the privatization process of Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC). While PrivComm is pleased with the interest received from a broad range of local and international parties, it has made a recommendation to the Council of Ministers to proceed with a restructuring plan prior to undertaking the privatisation process, taking into account the long-term strategic benefit to KAC and the economy of Kuwait. The Council of Ministers has approved the recommendation and decided accordingly to proceed with an amendment to Law 6 of 2008 to provide the legal framework for the restructuring and reformation of KAC prior to its privatization. This is also in line with the successful direction taken in other regional and international airline privatisations Commenting on the announcement, Motlaq Al-Sane the Chairman of the PrivComm said: "We are pleased with the interest received in the company despite the unprecedented market volatility and economic conditions. We believe that the privatization has been underpinned by a transparent process in line with international best practice. We have also achieved solid progress in identifying the framework that will reposition KAC as one of the leading regional operators." He added: "In taking this process forward we can also learn from the experiences of other regional airlines which have faced similar challenges. The delay in privatising KAC gives us the opportunity to address a number of operational and structural issues ahead of a future privatisation programme." Etihad commences service to Maldives tihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced it will commence operations to Male, the capital city of the Republic of Maldives, tomorrow. Etihad will operate a daily return service from Kuwait via its home base in Abu Dhabi to Male International Airpor t, operating Airbus A320 aircraft on the route, configured with two cabins and offering 1,904 seats each week. The flight leaves Kuwait at 4 am and arrives at Abu Dhabi at 6:40 am. Travellers will then depart to the Maldives at 9:20 am and arrive at 14:30 pm with a layover time of 2 hours and 40 minutes. James Hogan, Etihad Air ways' Chief Executive Officer, said: Male is gateway to the premium leisure destination, the Maldive Islands, and given the strong increase in visitation numbers we are seeing in the market, the time is right to launch services to this popular holiday destination." E Hogan said the commencement of the services in November was perfectly timed to coincide with the start of the busy Northern winter period. " We expect the ser vices will appeal to the Kuwaiti leisure travellers, as well as customers from our major European markets, particularly with the strong connectivity options on offer and following the additional frequencies that will come online on a number of our key European routes this summer," he said. "Etihad's schedule, which offers an attractive afternoon arrival and evening departure, has been carefully designed to offer customers maximum leisure time at their destination. In fact, European travellers can take advantage of our overnight flights in both directions, offering them a full extra day in the Maldives." The Maldives is made up of close to 1,200 islands grouped into natural atolls; including 200 inhabited islands and 97 resort islands, with a population of close to 300,000 people. The region features deep blue seas, sandy beaches and turquoise reefs, and with its tropical climate and warm temperatures year round, is a renowned honeymoon and leisure destination. Etihad Holidays has special packages on offer for the most spectacular of the islands. Offering a wide range of experiences for all budgets, Etihad Holidays has developed tailored packages for honeymooners or families, sun worshippers or divers. The packages include flights, hotel accommodation and island transfers. Etihad Guest Members who book early and fly during the first 30 days of operation will be rewarded with twice as many Etihad Guest Miles. For further information, go to etihad.com. Terms and conditions apply. Male will become the 67th destination on Etihad's global network. Qatar Airways to ply domestic routes in Iran TEHRAN: Sanctions-hit Iran is taking the unprecedented step of allowing a foreign airline, Qatar Airways, to ply its domestic routes, an Iranian official told the ISNA news agency yesterday. "The agreements have been done and the time of implementation of this agreement will be announced by the roads and urban development ministry," the deputy minister in that ministry tasked with transport, Shahriar Afandizadeh, was quoted as saying by the ISNA agency. The deal would see Qatar Airways operate a code-share arrangement with Iranian airlines to comply with laws excluding non-Iranian companies from domestic routes, the CEO of flag-carrier Iran Air, Farhad Parvaresh, told the IRNA news agency. Iran's airline sector has suffered badly under three decades of US sanctions, which have left a shrinking, dilapidated fleet unable to keep pace with demand. The country has struggled to purchase new aircraft under the sanctions-notably US-made Boeings but also European-made Airbus planes, which contain US components-and has had difficulty in sourcing spare parts and providing necessary maintenance. Purchases of used aircraft have also been limited. Around 15 serious air accidents over the past decade have killed more than 900 people, prompting authorities in February to start retiring leased Soviet-era Tupolev aircraft, badly reducing capacity. There also have been a number of near-misses, including an emergency landing this month of an Iran Air flight arriving from Moscow whose landing gear did not fully deploy. An identical problem forced a similar landing in June on a domestic flight by the country's secondbiggest airline, Mahan Air. There were no injuries in either incident. Iran Air and Mahan Air have fleets of 51 planes and 36 planes, respectively. The average age of Iranian aircraft in service is 22.5 years, according to figures presented in September by an Iranian lawmaker who calculated investment of five billion dollars was needed to cut the average age to 15 years. Qatar Airways, which has a fleet of 97 aircraft and orders for 182 more, currently services international routes between the Qatari capital Doha and the Iranian cities of Tehran, Shiraz and Mashhad. The Qatari company already has code-share agreements with several foreign airlines on international routes, including US carriers United and US Airways. Afandizadeh said domestic seats sold on the Qatar Airways planes would be 25 percent more expensive than the ones run by Iranian airlines, partly because the Qatari aircraft would purchase aviation fuel at the market rate of 60 cents a liter rather than the subsidized 33 cents per liter offered to national companies. --AFP A e niv rsar n Investment sector boosts bourse GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) closed yesterday's session adding margin gains to major indices after banking sector closed unchanged. Gains were broadbased with five out of the eight sectors gaining upward momentum. While increased investor interest in select stocks in investment sector lifted the market higher. Market indices Global General Index (GGI) ended the day up by 0.03 percent, at 182.97 point. Market capitalization was up for the day, reaching KD 29.95 billion. On the other hand, KSE Price Index closed at 5,908.5 point, adding 6.40 points (0.11 percent) to its previous close. Market breadth During the session, 108 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards advancers as 44 equities advanced versus 19 that declined. Daily trading activity Total volume traded was down by 7.41 percent with 153.56 million shares changing hands at a total value of KD 20.34 million (16.01 percent lower compared to Thursday's session). Investment sector was the volume leader, accounting for 43.36 percent of total shares exchanges. Al- Safat Investment Company was the session's most traded stock with 9.68 million shares exchanged. The same sector was the value leader, having 28.14 percent of total traded value. Top gainers and biggest decliners In terms of top gainers, National Real Estate Company was the top gainer for the day, adding 8.20 percent to its share value and closing at KD 0.132. On the other hand, Kuwait National Cinema Company shed 9.09 percent and closed at KD 1 making it the biggest decliner in the market. Sectors-wise During yesterday's session, five out of the eight sectors ended the day with gains. Investment sector topped the gainer's list, adding 1.07 percent, on the back of the increase in Kuwait Projects Company 's (Holding) share price. The scrip added 3.03 percent to close at KD 0.340. Bayan Investment Company was the top gainer within the sector. The scrip closed up by 7.58 percent at KWD0.0355. Elsewhere in the investment sector, Commercial Facilities Company and Kuwait Investment Company were up by 1.85 percent and 1.79 percent, respectively. This sector is trading at a weighted P/E of 10.71x. Global Real Estate Index fol- y Years business MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 Stocks mixed after big rally NEW YORK: A quiet day on Wall Street ended with major stock indexes little changed after a big rally the day before. The Dow Jones industrial average closed out its fifth week of gains, its longest winning streak since January. The Dow edged up 23 points, or 0.2 percent, to finish at 12,231.11. Stock indexes jumped more than 3 percent Thursday after European leaders unveiled a plan to expand their regional bailout fund and take other steps to contain the debt crisis in Greece. Optimism ebbed on Friday as analysts raised questions about the plan, which left out many key details about how the fund would work. European markets mostly fell, and the euro declined against the dollar. "It's a kind of sobering-up after a day of partying," said Jerr y Webman, chief economist with Oppenheimer Funds in New York. "We got back to what's more of a square position, closer to where we want to be, and now we're going to take a couple of deep breaths and reassess what this really means." There are still plenty of obstacles to overcome before the crisis is resolved. One troubling sign: Borrowing costs for Italy and Spain increased, signaling that traders remain worried about their finances. The S&P 500 rose less than a point to 1,285.09. The Nasdaq composite fell 1.48, or 0.1 percent, to 2,737.15. In less than four weeks, the Dow has risen 14.8 percent from its 2011 low, reached on Oct 3. The S&P has gained 17 percent. However, the Dow remains 4.5 percent below this year's high, reached on April 29. The S&P is 5.8 percent below its high. The Dow surged 3.6 percent for the week; the S&P and Nasdaq each gained 3.8 percent. Both indexes are on pace to have their best month since January 1987. Whirlpool Corp slumped 14 percent, the most in the S&P index, after the appliance maker said it would cut 5,000 jobs, citing weak demand and higher costs for materials. Another household name, Newell Rubbermaid Inc., soared 11 percent after its adjusted earnings beat Wall Street's expectations. The maker of tubs and markers maintained its outlook for the year. Cablevision Systems Corp fell 12.5 percent after reporting that its third-quarter net income dropped sharply and it lost cable TV subscribers. Hewlett-Packard Co. rose 3.5 percent after the company said it would shelve its plan to spin off its PC business. Demand for Treasuries increased sharply Friday, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury down to 2.33 percent from 2.39 percent late Thursday. Markets have been roiled for months by fears about the impact of Europe's debt crisis. Greece couldn't afford to repay its lenders, and banks holding Greek bonds faced billions in losses. A disorganized default by Greece threatened to spook lenders to other countries with heavy debt loads such as Spain and Italy. Traders feared that a wave of defaults by countries would cause financial panic and mire the global economy. Some analysts expect traders to refocus on US economic news next week after months spent watching Europe. The government releases its jobs report for October next Friday. A news conference by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke might offer clues about the Fed's economic outlook. Key reports on manufacturing and business sentiment are due out as well. -- AP lowed, rising by 0.88 percent. National Real Estate Company was the top gainer for the day, adding 8.20 percent to its share price to close at KD 0.132. Food sector came in the third place as its index rose by 0.76 percent. The sector 's biggest gainer was Danah Al-Safat Foodstuff Company, which soared by 3.19 percent to close at KD 0.097. It is worth mentioning that the BOD of Danah will meet to discuss the company's financial statements for the 3Q2011 in October 31, 2011. On the other hand, services sector was the sole decliner during the session, shedding 0.70 percent. Heavyweights, Zain and National Mobile Telecommunications Company closed down by 1.06 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Among stocks moving on specific news, Jazeera Airways Company saw its share value appreciate by 7.04 percent during the day, to close at KD 0.380, its highest level since December 17, 2008. The company announced that it will post its Q3 financial statements on October 31, 2011 through live webcast. Corporate news The Kuwait Central Bank approved Commercial Bank of Kuwait request to buy back a maximum of 10 percent of its outstanding shares for another six-month period starting November 21, 2011. Oil news The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $109.09pb on Thursday, compared with $108.83pb the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. LENIN A e niv rsar n Years business 25 SHANGHAI: Birds fly past high rise buildings yesterday. -- AFP China risks backlash over EU bailout deal SHANGHAI: Europe has set its sights on Beijing as it tries to haul itself out of a debt crisis, but many Chinese people are asking why they should bail out wealthier nations that have lived beyond their means. With $3.2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves and an economy that depends heavily on exports to the European Union and the United States, China has both the means and the motive to help Europe in its hour of need. But as China's own economic growth begins to slow and inflation remains persistently high with surging prices for food and housing, there are fears a major investment in Europe's bailout fund could trigger a domestic backlash. Already, opposition to such a move is being expressed online on China's hugely popular weibos-microblogging sites similar to Twitter that now have more than 200 million users-and in some state media. "Europe is much richer than China. How can they be short of money? This is clearly a fraud, a robbery," said weibo user Song Hongbing. Michael Pettis, a professor of finance at Peking University, said the opposition gave China's leaders cause for concern as they consider whether to stump up the large sums of cash Europe needs. "It's going to be perceived that China is bailing out a bunch of rich foreigners, and politically that's never a popular move," said Pettis, who is also a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Klaus Regling, the head of the European bailout fund, held talks with China's commerce ministry and central bank in Beijing on Friday-a day after European leaders reached a last-ditch deal to tackle the crisis. The chief executive of the European Financial Stability Facility was reportedly aiming to coax another $100 billion out of China, already a major holder of EFSF bonds, but Beijing has so far been non-committal about further investment. Details of the form any investment might take remain sketchy, and Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said on Friday that Beijing needed more clarity before it could agree to invest. China has been burned before on risky overseas investment. It bought stakes in investment bank Morgan Stanley and asset management firm Blackstone only to see values collapse in the 2008 global financial crisis. The losses led to severe criticism of the investment choices made by China's sovereign wealth fund, only a year after it was established. "There was a lot of domestic criticism for that, so I think they're sensitive to do it again," Pettis said. The state-controlled Global Times newspaper, known for its stridently nationalist stance, said Beijing should require concessions in return for cash, such as further market opening for Chinese products and investment. "A developed Europe turns to China for cash... Many can't understand why China should extend a helping hand," the newspaper said in an editorial on Friday. Analysts say Beijing may expect Europe to muzzle criticism of its yuan currency, which major trading partners have blasted as undervalued, claiming China's exports enjoy an unfair advantage. Rescuing developed European countries is a hard sell for the Communist leaders of a country that is still trying to lift tens of millions of people out of grinding poverty. The world's second-largest economy may not be a democracy, but its leaders cannot ignore its people -especially now that the Internet has given them a forum to express their anger. "When will you rescue your own people, feed children in rural areas, find jobs for countless unemployed university graduates, and let the struggling masses afford homes?" posted one of China's more than 500 million Internet users under the name Post-90s Voice. Europe wants outside help to quadruple the EFSF to one trillion euros ($1.4 trillion), possibly via a special purpose investment vehicle or the International Monetary Fund, where China's influence has grown under recent reforms. But independent economist Andy Xie, former chief economist for Morgan Stanley, said he expects any Chinese contribution to be "token". "One cannot give money away in a potential bankrupt situation without influence over restructuring," he said. "China has no control over Europe. How can one throw away money like that?" -- AFP Obama cites income gap to push slow jobs bill WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama is banking on a new report detailing the income disparity in the country as further evidence of the need for his $447 billion jobs bill. A report this past week by the Congressional Budget Office found that average after-tax income for the top 1 percent of US households had increased by 275 percent over the past three decades. Middle-income households saw just a 40 percent rise. For those at the bottom of the economic scale, the jump was 18 percent. Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday that he would pay for his jobs plan with an added tax on people who make at least $1 million a year. Senate Republicans have blocked action on the bill, which mixes tax breaks for businesses and public works spending, because they oppose much of the increased spending and the tax on millionaires."These are the same folks who have seen their incomes go up so much, and I believe this is a contribution they're willing to make," Obama said. "Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress aren't paying attention. They're not getting the message." Obama is now trying to get Congress to pass the individual components of the bill. But Senate Republicans also stalled progress on the first of those measures, $35 billion to help local governments keep teachers on the job and pay the salaries of police officers, firefighters and other emergency services workers. Saying the country cannot wait for Congress, Obama has begun bypassing Congress and taking steps on his own that he says will encourage economic growth. On Friday, Obama directed government agencies to shorten the time it takes for federal research to turn into commercial products in the marketplace. The goal is to help startup companies and small businesses create jobs and expand their operations more quickly. The president also called for creating a centralized online site for companies to easily find information about federal services. He previously had announced help for people who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth and for the repayment of student loans. The White House also challenged community health centers to hire veterans. "We can no longer wait for Congress to do its job," Obama said. "So where Congress won't act, I will." The congressional report, based on Internal Revenue Service and Census Bureau data, was released as the Occupy Wall Street movement spreading across the country protests bailouts for corporations and the income gap. In the weekly GOP message, Illinois Rep. Bobby Schilling urged Obama to support bills that Republicans say would help create jobs by blocking various energy and environmental regulations and streamlining administrative procedures. The bills, passed by the Republican-controlled House, await action in the Democratic-run Senate. Shilling said the bills give the White House and Congress an opportunity to build on the common ground created by the passage of recent free-trade agreements, and a measure to void a law requiring federal, state and many local governments to withhold 3 percent of their payments to contractors until their taxes are paid. Obama included repealing that tax in his jobs plan. "Republicans have a jobs plan, one with some bipartisan support, but it's stuck in the Senate," said Schilling, owner of a pizza parlor in Moline, Ill. --AP y MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 Airlines ready for next against EU carbon rules Airlines say EU law poses major challenges, risks BRUSSELS: Twenty-six nations are expected to lodge a formal protest on Wednesday against a European Union law to make airlines pay for carbon emissions-adding to transatlantic tension on an issue that has triggered a tit-for-tat bill in the US Congress. Under EU legislation, from Jan. 1 all flights to or from Europe will have to buy carbon permits to help offset their emissions under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) -- the 27 member bloc's prime tool for trying to curb the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Last week, in the US Congress, where environmental issues have become a flashpoint between Republicans and President Barack Obama's Democrats, the lower house passed a bill making it illegal for airlines to comply with the EU's law. On Wednesday this week, a council meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal, Canada is also expected to take up the airlines' cause. EU lawyers have said any decision by the ICAO council would not be legally binding, but could be a step towards a formal dispute procedure, in which the president of ICAO would mediate. A copy of an ICAO council working paper seen by Reuters said the law, unilaterally passed by the EU, posed "major challenges and risks for aircraft operators". EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said the legislation was designed to address "the vertiginous growth in carbon emissions from aviation". "Such growth scenarios are completely at odds with the internationally agreed objective of holding global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit)," she wrote in an opinion piece carried on Reuters. An EU source said the most likely outcome on Wednesday was that the ICAO council would vote through a set of resolutions. Of the 36 states on the council, 26, including the United States, China and Russia, would call on the EU and its member states to cease making flights by non-EU carriers fall under the remit of its ETS. They would also adopt a declaration the 26 states made in New Delhi at the end of September, saying the EU plans were discriminatory and breached international laws. Long legal battle Already the airlines have taken their opposition to European courts. The London High Court of Justice referred the case, brought by the Air Transport Association of America, American Airlines and United Continental , to the European Court of Justice.(ECJ) Earlier this month, the Advocate General at the EU's highest court in a preliminary opinion said EU plans to include airlines in its ETS were legal. Her opinion is not final, but is a good gauge of the definitive ECJ ruling expected early next year. While the airlines have argued the commercial cost of the EU law could be significant and they have taken separate steps to reduce their carbon impact, the European Commission's calculations are that it would be modest. Depending on decisions by airlines on how much to pass on to customers, the Commission has calculated costs per passenger could rise by between around 2 euros ($2.80) and 12 euros- much less than the 100 euro per allowance penalty it would impose on airlines that do not comply. Some analysts had suggested the airlines' claims the EU law was discriminatory could lead to a case before the World Trade Organization (WTO), but lawyers said that was the wrong forum. "A special annex to the WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) exempts most aspects of air services from WTO coverage," said Gabriel Sanchez, adjunct professor of law at the International Aviation Law Institute, Chicago. That leaves ICAO, but, said Sanchez, it "does not have a good track record with respect to issuing final rulings in aviation disputes". "It's doubtful an ICAO challenge will dissuade the EU from its current plans." Trade scuffle Sanchez regarded the US draft bill as a stronger rebuff, although it is unclear whether the proposal, which has not been matched by companion legislation in the US upper house, would become law. It would put airlines in the near-impossible position of being either in breach of US law or of EU law. "This measure effectively means that the EU will have to ban all US flights to or from the Union on the basis that they're not complying with EU law. This is the first step toward a trade war," said Sanchez. The 26 member states expected to oppose the EU are Argentina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, the United States and the United Arab Emirates. Of the non-EU members on the ICAO governing body, only Australia and Canada were not in agreement with the council working paper, EU sources said. -- Reuters Before scandal, Gupta was role model for middle-class India MUMBAI: Before Indra Nooyi became CEO of PepsiCo Inc or Vikram Pandit took the reins at Citigroup Inc there was Rajat Gupta, the original "global Indian" who was the first to head a major Western business. More than 17 years after first being elected head of McKinsey & Co, the management consultancy, Gupta was charged last week in part of the same insider trading investigation that saw his friend, hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, sentenced to 11 years in prison, the longest-ever sentence in such a case. For hundreds of thousands of bright young men and women from India's huge middle class, Gupta and later Pandit and Nooyi were role models-case studies of how learning and old-fashioned hard work could lead to success on a global scale. "He kind of came to epitomize, if not exactly a rags-to-riches story, but more of how a person from a relatively humble background, out of sheer hard work and merit, could really rise to the top of the ladder," said Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, a political commentator. Gupta was born in 1948, a year after India's independence, in what was then Calcutta and is now Kolkata. His journalist father moved the family to the capital New Delhi when he was five. The young Gupta attended the prestigious Modern School, a sprawling campus in the centre of the city, on a scholarship and his classmates included the sons and daughters of India's elite. His father died when he was 16 and his mother, a Montessori school teacher, died two years later, leaving Gupta and two sisters and a brother on their own. If anything, being orphaned made him even more determined to succeed. Gupta stood out as a student, ranking 15th out of thousands in the entrance exam for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in 1966, according to a Business Today profile. The IIT entrance is fiercely competitive and at the time was one of the few paths to professional opportunity in India. He took a place at the IIT's Delhi campus, earning a degree in mechanical engineering, perhaps the best professional qualification in the land in the early 1970s. It was success against a challenging background that made Gupta's story compelling to many in India. "Everybody cannot be born into an Ambani family," said Sarthak Prakash, 24, a graduate business student at IIT-Delhi, referring to the Ambani brothers who fought over a multi-billion-dollar empire inherited from their father. "Some of us will be born as middle-class people in Gupta families and we will have to study and pay our own way." Dramatist Other than the success, there was nothing extraordinary in Gupta's early years. He was fairly typical for someone from Bengal, a part of India that traditionally prizes learning, debate and the arts more than wealth. In interviews later in his career, Gupta used to quote from the Bhagavad Gita, which encapsulates the wisdom of India's ancient Vedic knowledge, especially the principles by which life should be lived. At the IIT, he was a debater and a keen amateur dramatist. At a play rehearsal he met Anita Mattoo, a Kashmiri from northern India. They married in 1973. Offered a job at cigarette maker ITC Ltd, then about the most sought-after employment for a young graduate, Gupta instead opted to go to Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, an honor bestowed on the top 5 percent of the MBA class. He joined McKinsey after Harvard and rose to lead the partnership's operations in Scandinavia before becoming global head in 1994. While at McKinsey, he co-founded the Indian School of Business, a graduate school in the southern city of Hyderabad that quickly became an elite institution in education-mad India. He also co-founded the American India Foundation. Gupta completed three terms as managing director of McKinsey in 2003 and retired in 2007, a lifer in a firm many use as a stepping stone to Wall Street or the corpoEmbraces being Indian India has a large and prosperous diaspora that is a source of national pride, with the exploits of overseas Indians a regular feature of Indian media. Although he holds a US passport and has lived outside India for four decades, Gupta embraces being Indian. He often quotes from Indian philosophy and literature, even to Western groups, and breaks into Hindi or Bengali around Indians. "He was one of those people who, despite having reached a very high level, used to carry his Indian-ness with a certain self-confidence," said Pramath Sinha, a former McKinsey partner. "He was genuinely happy to talk about India or to discuss India rather than disown India, which sometimes Indians who have been very successful tend to do," he said. Charming and persuasive, impeccably dressed and well-coiffed, Gupta was known in the United States as a master networker who was a prolific joiner and leader of boards and committees, becoming the quintessential insider and rubbing shoulders with the likes of Bill Gates and Bill Clinton. People who know him say Gupta has personal warmth and a knack for connecting with people, taking an interest in their careers and families. Not a back-slapper or a joker, Gupta likes small groups and tends to steer conversation towards topics in which he takes a professional or philanthropic interest. Gupta and his wife raised their four daughters in a waterfront mansion in upmarket Westport, Connecticut. The house is now security for his bail. "He has what every Indian seeks, which is recognition, respect of the mind," said Suhel Seth, a marketing expert and commentator. He also has money, but perhaps not as much as he wanted. Gupta is a millionaire but he hobnobbed with billionaires and multi-millionaires, including Rajaratnam, with whom he invested. Despite his fairly straight-laced upbringing, Gupta is widely viewed as motivated by a desire to become extremely rich. "Here he sees an opportunity to make a hundred million dollars over the next five years, or 10 years, without doing a lot of work," Rajaratnam said of Gupta in a recorded phone call played during the hedge fund manager's trial in New York. --Reuters NEW YORK: Rajat Kumar Gupta, former Goldman Sachs board member, leaves a Manhattan court after he surrendered to federal authorities. -- AFP rate world. However, he was only getting started in a variety of advisory, philanthropic and investment roles that leveraged his formidable networking skills and ultimately got him in trouble. Gupta, now 62, is accused of leaking secrets of Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble , where he was a director, to the Sri Lankan-born Rajaratnam, who founded the Galleon Group. On Wednesday, Gupta pleaded not guilty to all charges and was freed on $10 million bail. "I'm really saddened by this turn of events because regardless of the outcome, he's done a lot for the world, and for India in particular," said Pramod Bhasin, vice chairman and former CEO of back office services firm Genpact , where Gupta was chairman before resigning in March. HYDERABAD: Indian casual labourers carry tools and household implements as they walk in search of daily work. Millions of Indian men and women migrate from rural to urban areas each year in search of work, many are employed in the booming construction sector which along with many other industries is riding the wave of the Indian economy's nearly nine percent growth. -- AFP A e niv rsar n Years BUSINESS 26 US regulator rebuts critics funds to fortify firms, not housing market WASHINGTON: Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's regulator on Saturday rejected criticism he was obstructing a housing recovery by taking too narrow a view of his mission to protect the financial health of the two massive, taxpayer-supported mortgage firms. Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, argued the $141 billion in taxpayer funds Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had received since they were seized by the government in 2008 were us to do really go beyond what Congress has given us the authority to do and the funds that have been provided," he said. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest sources of US mortgage finance, were placed in government conservatorship in September 2008 as mortgage losses skyrocketed. Along with the Federal Housing Administration, they provide the funds for 90 percent of all new mortgages. Some Democratic lawmakers and former Obama Sunday that DeMarco had "taken a narrow view of the public interest" in his efforts to protect Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's health. "FHFA has not acted on its conservatorship mandate to insure that the GSEs act to stabilize the nation's housing market, and taken no account of the reality that the narrow financial interest of the GSEs depends on a national housing recovery," Summers wrote. New initiative In the interview, DeMarco touted a new initiative by his agency to widen a federal program that offers mortgage aid to so-called underwater borrowers. The effort-a retooling of the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP-aims to make it easier for borrowers who hold loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to refinance. "Mortgage rates came down, but there was a set of borrowers who were not able to refinance," DeMarco said. "Given the changes we've made, we estimate that maybe at least we're roughly doubling what we've already seen come through the program." When HARP was unveiled in March 2009, the Obama administration predicted it would help 5 million borrowers. But so far, fewer than 895,000 have refinanced through the program. DeMarco defended the steps he had taken as being well within his "statutory authority" to oversee the two firms. The regulator said he was now focusing on a way to sell foreclosed properties held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to investors willing to convert them into rental properties. "We're turning to this as the next priority," DeMarco said. But he stood firm against suggestions the regulator open the door to principal reductions on loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. "On a stand-alone basis, principal forgiveness doesn't accomplish our conservator mandate relative to the loan modifications tools and techniques that we have in place right now," DeMarco said. He said it was up to Congress and the administration to decide how to restore the housing market. "That policy debate needs to take place and we need to await an act of Congress to give us clear direction on where we're going forward and what the timeline for that is," he said. "The longer this goes on, the harder it is for FHFA to know what to do." --Reuters TOKYO: A homeless sits alone with his belongings at a park. The Japanese government said Friday unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in September from 4.3 percent in August. --AP meant to get the companies back on their feet, not to provide "broad relief" to the housing market. "FHFA has been aggressively trying to assist the housing market to ensure that the country continues to have a liquid and stable and functioning secondary mortgage market," DeMarco said in an interview with C-SPAN public affairs television that was set to air on Sunday. "Some of those things that are being advocated for administration officials have taken aim at DeMarco's position on the mandate of the two government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs. They argue FHFA needs to do more to halt the record pace of foreclosures and cut loan balances for the estimated 11 million US borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth. Lawrence Summers, a former top economic adviser to President Barack Obama, said in a Reuters column last The euro's wild week: Peek behind the scenes BRUSSELS: Berlusconi ordered to shape up, Merkel and Sarkozy at odds, banks arm-twisted-the race to save the euro before last week's summit saw moments of high drama in the corridors of European power. On October 19, Jean-Claude Trichet, the outgoing head of the European Central Bank, invited the cream of Europe's financial world to a Frankfurt concert hall for a last drink to celebrate his departure from the ECB. But the fancy get-together quickly turned sour. An EU summit had been scheduled the following Sunday to contain Europe's debt crisis but there was no deal on the table. So at the last minute French President Nicolas Sarkozy decided to join the other VIPs, flying out of Paris just as his wife prepared to give birth. Putting glasses to one side, those now known as "the Frankfurt group" gathered to set things right-Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the ECB chief, the head of the euro-group, Luxembourg premier Jean-Claude Juncker, and EU leaders Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso. "Everybody was extremely surprised in Frankfurt by the deep difference of opinion between the French and German suggestions on the EFSF," the eurozone rescue fund, said an official briefed on the talks. Paris dug in its heels over its suggestion the EFSF be given a licence to operate as a bank that could borrow without limit from the ECB. An angry Merkel, backed by Trichet, put her foot down, saying "Nein!" Finally giving in, the French leader turned to the ECB, asking it to give a signal it was ready to come to the rescue of Italy and Spain by buying back their debt on the market. This time Trichet turned a darker shade of red. "He did not appreciate this idea at all" and reacted "sharply," said one negotiator. The ECB's mandate to remain completely independent is dear to Germany so Merkel demanded that a reference to the ECB that had slipped into a draft summit statement be struck out to avoid all future misinterpretation.Sarkozy nonetheless phoned Trichet's successor, Italy's Mario Draghi and on the day the summit finally took place the Italian proclaimed he would continue to take "non conventional" measures. For Paris, that amounts to a clear message the ECB would never let Italy down. --AFP Banking sector in GCC maintains stability KAMCO MARKET RESEARCH KUWAIT: Albeit the never-ending repercussions of the global financial crisis sparing no financial system across the region along with massive provisioning booked against credit losses and impairments on investments, the banking sector in the GCC region has upheld its enviable position as the key sector in the region. The sector has managed to maintain a relatively sound profitability and asset quality levels while repairing balance sheets, securing adequate provisions reser ves for potential credit losses, and booking impairments on investments. Looking ahead, notwithstanding the sector's policy to maintain a safe level of provisions along with cautious strategy in extending loans to certain sectors, the combined net profit of Banks in the GCC region is expected to grow further at 15 percent during 2011 to a record high of $21 billion, and therefore exceeding the $20 billion profits recorded during 2007. Moreover, the sector is seen to head towards a favorable operating environment fueled by governments' massive expenditures on infrastructure projects and real economic sectors along with a positive economic outlook for the GCC states fueled by robust oil prices that are forecast to remain above $100 per barrel. Credit growth in the GCC region improved during the first half of 2011 on the back of robust economic growth across the region which spurs a pickup in lending to the private sector. Credit remained tight in UAE and Kuwait, where the property market correction and troubled investment companies, real estate developers, and GRE (in Dubai) are hampering the banking sectors' recovery in both countries. The Gulf region's prominent economic outlook supported by fiscal stimulus plans implemented by most governments along with robust oil prices should eventually prompt greater lending by banks, with credit growth is forecast to pick up by the end of the year. Access to credit became difficult, as banks gradually tightened their credit lines after booking massive provisions when the downturn in the property and equity markets led to a sharp drop in asset prices and rise in credit risk. Exposure to Dubai World and Saad Group and Ahmad Hamad AlGosaibi, added fuel to the fire and forced banks to follow a more cautious lending policy. Credit facilities for the whole banks in the Gulf region are expected to reach by the end of the current year $750 billion, representing an annual growth rate of 8 percent during 2011 fuelled by the robust growth in Saudi Arabia and Qatar which are forecast to add further $22 billion and $19 billion in 2011, respectively. In Saudi Arabia, credit growth is at two-year highs, but it's still stagnating in the UAE and Kuwait. Credit growth in the Kingdom accelerated to 8.7 percent year- on-year in August, the highest since April 2009 and is expected to record 12 percent ment plan, deleveraging along with volatility in local bourse and correction in property market. In the UAE, the wait for the final completion of Dubai World's debt restructuring by the end of the year or early 2012 continues to act as an obstacle to any improvement in credit growth, especially in Dubai. A pick-up in credit growth in Dubai is not expected in the last quarter as weak economic activity and the continued pressure on the real estate market along with debt restructuring and high levels of provisions pushed banks to reduce lending to the private sector to by the GCC governments and the improvement in life conditions of local citizens that is fueling consumption and economic activities. Despite diminishing financial results of the GCC banking sector in 2008 and 2009 when combined net profit dropped by 16 percent and 6 percent respec tively, the Sec tor enjoyed a solid financial standing, remained profitable and highly liquid and was able to expand its balance sheet supported by governments' policies which aimed at strengthening the financial position of the sector and boost liquidity in This was mainly fuelled by a healthy growth in operating profits before accounting for loan loss provisions (LLPs) and impairments which grew at 12 percent to $15.4 billion driven by an improving operating environment and growth in the loan portfolios. Accordingly, and in line with the GCC banks' performance during 2010 and 1H-11, core profitability ratios saw gradual improvements where Return on Average Assets (RoAA) and Return on Average Equity (RoAE) for the sector improved during the last 12 months period ended June-11 to 1.9 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively, yet still below its five year average (2005-2010) of 2.4 percent and 18 percent. This drop in profitability ratios is mainly attributed to high credit risk which forced banks to book massive provisions and impairments, thus weighing down heavily on bottom line figures. GCC Banks' operating profits The GCC Banking Sector has managed to record growth in operating profit before LLPs and impairments during 2008 and 2009; this growth was achieved despite the challenging operating environment over the same period along with declining interest rates and weak economic activities. Operating profits before LLPs grew by 8 percent and 12 percent during 2008 and 2009 to reach $25 billion and $27.8 billion, respectively. However, the year 2010 witnessed no growth in operating profits before LLPs, while the First Half of 2011 witnessed a 12 percent rise versus 1H-2010 on the back of a 7 percent increase in net interest income, thus reflecting the improvement in operating environment and the increase in lending activity despite the low profit margins resulted from depressed interest rates that are currently hovering around their lowest levels in years. Governments in the GCC region are seeking many ways to encourage resumption in bank lending after a stagnant growth in the last two years. Economic recover y in the region should be associated with increasing the contribution of the private sector in economic activity (Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia) in addition to the huge infrastructure projec ts implemented by some countries (Saudi Arabia & Qatar) that will act as the major catalyst for economic development. We do expect a further improvement in credit growth in the GCC region, especially in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Oman in the last quarter of this year and throughout 2012. y MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 DENVER: A man is arrested while clashing with police during the Occupy Denver protest, Saturday, Oct 29, 2011. --AP US protesters defy curfew a 3rd time NASHVILLE: Occupy Wall Street protesters and state officials in Tennessee squared off for a third consecutive night Saturday, even though a local judge has consistently refused to jail the demonstrators. The protesters have been galvanized by the friction between state officials and the local magistrate. Several new demonstrators showed up at the state-owned plaza near the Capitol for the first time earlier in the day. Fifty to 75 people remained after the curfew that started at 10 p.m. local time and runs until 6 a.m. Police did not immediately move in. In previous nights, the defiance has led to arrests. The Nashville arrests came after a week of police crackdowns nationwide on Occupy Wall Street activists, who have been protesting economic inequality and what they call corporate greed. Clashes have occurred in other cities, including Oakland, California, Denver and Atlanta. "My heart has been here all along, but the arrests gave me the momentum to come," said Vicki Metzgar, 61, director of a Nashville Public Schools science and math initiative. "This (plaza) belongs to us, not the politicians." In Oakland, California, an Iraq War veteran was seriously injured during a protest clash with police Tuesday night. In Atlanta, helicopters hovered overhead Wednesday as officers in riot gear arrested more than 50 protesters at a downtown park. In San Diego, police arrested a similar number of people who occupied the Civic Center Plaza and Children's Park for three weeks. And in Denver on Saturday evening, authorities moved into an encampment of protesters and began arresting demonstrators just hours after a standoff near the steps of the Colorado Capitol turned into a skirmish that ended in police force, including pepper spray and reports of rubber bullets. Nashville magistrate Tom Nelson has said there's no legal reason in his city to keep the demonstrators behind bars and he has released them after each arrest. He has refused each night to sign off on arrest warrants for more than two dozen people taken into custody. Some legal experts agreed with the judge. The arrests appeared to be a violation of Constitutional rights that allow for people to peacefully assemble, said attorney David Raybin, a former prosecutor. He and others said the nature of the arrests, coupled with the judge's refusal to sign off on the warrants, could become ammunition for lawsuits. Nelson did not return an email seeking and a phone number for him could not be found. State troopers began enforcing the cur few at the Legislative Plaza on Thursday night. Others questioned the timing of the curfew. The protesters had been demonstrating for about three weeks before it took effect, a point that Nelson said he factored into his decision. "You can't pass a curfew mid-protest because you disagree with this group of protesters," said criminal defense attorney Patrick Frogge, who is representing some of those arrested. The state Department of Safety has been carrying out the arrests. Commissioner Bill Gibbons, who until he joined the Haslam administration was the district attorney in Memphis, said he didn't have a role in developing the cur few but assured Haslam his department could enforce it. Gibbons developed a reputation as an able and tough prosecutor in Memphis, where gang and drug violence have been problems for years. He ran against Haslam for governor in the GOP primary, touting his law-and-order credential and sharply attacking his multi-million-dollar opponent for refusing to divulge how much income he gets from the familyowned chain of Pilot truck stops. Cecily Friday, one of the original Occupy Nashville protesters, said the administration's attempt to get rid of the demonstrators has "completely backfired." "Over 1,000 people have been added to our Facebook page since the arrests," she said. --AP during 2011. In Qatar, credit growth remains robust at 18 percent yearon-year in August and is forecast to continue throughout the coming year; credit facilities extended by Qatari banks grew at 18 percent in September, year-on-year, and are expected to continue their upward trend to grow at 22 percent during full year 2011. However, in the UAE credit growth slowed to 1.5 percent (y-o-y) in June and in Kuwait it remained sluggish at 1.4 percent. Credit growth is forecast to remain low in Kuwait at 1 percent during the year 2011 on the back of challenging business environment for banks, low demand for credit, and delay in implementing the develop- improve liquidity. In Abu Dhabi, credit growth is picking up in line with the government 's fiscal stimulus plan. Profitability of GCC banks Despite the retreat in profitability levels from its record high in 2007, deterioration in assets quality for some key players in the sector triggered by the challenging business environment and credit risk, the GCC Banking Sector upholds its high reputation and remains the backbone of the GCC states economies; it is also continued to be seen as one of the prime, prominent and most attractive sectors that would benefit from the fiscal stimulus policies adopted the credit market. During 2010, the Sector returned back to record positive growth rates in its bottom line figures with combined net profit growing at 13 percent to record $18.3 billion compared to $16.1 billion in 2009. The upbeat performance came in spite of the tight credit conditions, downturn in the property market along with the high volatility in equity securities forcing many banks to book further provisions and impairments which stood at nearly $9.3 billion in 2010. Even though, provisions remain above the $4 billion level during the First Half of 2011, the combined net profit of GCC banks hiked 20 percent versus 1H-10 to record $11.3 billion. A e niv rsar n Years TECHNOLOGY 27 Duqu: Targeted attacks on Iranian, Sudanese objects detected MOSCOW: Experts at Kaspersky Lab are continuing their ongoing investigation into the new malicious program Duqu, which shares some characteristics with the infamous Stuxnet worm that targeted industrial installations in Iran. Though the ultimate objective of the creators of this new cyber threat is still unknown, what is clear already is that Duqu is a universal tool being used for carrying out targeted attacks on a limited number of objects, and one that can be modified depending on the given task. Several characteristics of the worm were revealed in the first stage of analysis of Duqu by Kaspersky Lab specialists. First, in each discovered modification of the malicious program the drivers used to infect systems had been changed. In one instance the driver used a fake digital signature, in others - the driver wasn't signed at all. Second, it became obvious that other elements of Duqu were likely to exist, but had yet to be found. Together, these findings allowed one to assume that the workings of this malicious program could be changed depending on the particular target being attacked. Detection of only a very few infections (there had been just one detected at the moment of publication of the first part of the Kaspersky Lab Duqu investigation) is the one thing that distinguishes Duqu from Stuxnet among the similarities. Since discovering the first samples of the malicious program, four new instances of infection have been detected - thanks to the cloudbased Kaspersky Security Network. One of these was tracked down to a user in Sudan; the other three were located in Iran. In each of the four instances of Duqu infection a unique modification of the driver necessary for infection was used. More importantly, regarding one of the Iranian infections there were also found to have been two network attack attempts exploiting the MS08-067 vulnerability. This vulnerability was used by Stuxnet too, and also another, older, malicious program, Kido. The first of the two network attack attempts took place on October 4, the other on October 16, and both originated from one and the same IP address - formally belonging to a US Internet provider. If there had been just one such attempt, it could have been written off as typical Kido activity - but there were two consecutive attack attempts: this detail would suggest a targeted attack on an object in Iran. It is also possible that in its operation other vulnerabilities of software were exploited. Commenting on the new findings, Alexander Gostev, Chief Security Expert at Kaspersky Lab, said: "Despite the fact that the location of the systems attacked by Duqu are located in Iran, to date there is no evidence of their being industrial or nuclear program-related systems. As such, it is impossible to confirm that the target of the new malicious program is the same as that of Stuxnet. Nevertheless, it is clear that every infection by Duqu is unique. This information allows one to say with certainty that Duqu is being used for targeted attacks on predetermined objects." BANGKOK: Thai residents gather to look at an shop selling new mobile phones at a department store in Bangkok, Thailand, yesterday. -- AP Siri: Apple's sassy secret weapon in battle with Google SAN FRANCISCO: Apple's legendary co-founder Steve Jobs has a posthumous hit on his hands with the launch of the iPhone 4S, which was unveiled one day before his death on October 5. Perhaps inspired by the passing of the peerless tech visionary, customers have been streaming to Apple stores to buy the company's latest smartphone. In the first weekend alone, they snapped up more than 4 million of the devices. Few could have predicted such a rush in the immediate aftermath of the unveiling of the iPhone 4S. On the day that it was presented to the public, the reaction of the blogosphere, Apple fanboys included, was almost universal disappointment. Instead of treating its customers to an all-new iPhone 5, they moaned, the relentlessly innovative Apple had merely settled for an upgrade to the iPhone 4, the same design with a better screen, processor and camera. But Jobs died the next day, and with the benefit of three weeks hindsight it emerges that he was right - yet again - and the critics were wrong. He bet that one single innovation in the Apple 4S would be enough to silence detractors, establish the new phone as another must-have device and perhaps forge itself as Apple's secret weapon in its death-battle with Google. That weapon goes by the name of Siri: Apple's new combo of voice recognition and artificial intelligence that is the closest that humankind has yet seen to the kind of digital servants long portrayed in Hollywood fantasies, like the computer HAL in the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Like HAL, Siri is both smart and sassy. In the US it is female, in Britain it is male. But both versions seem to know the answers to lots of questions and are able to elegantly deflect comments that would be inappropriate if made by one person to another. Siri's deft sense of humour has already spawned numerous websites devoted to quotable answers. Thus a comment like "I love you Siri" may prompt an answer like "Oh, I bet you say that to all your Apple products." Ask it to "talk dirty to me" and it might answer "the carpet needs vacuuming." Questions about the meaning of life have prompted retorts like "I find it odd you would ask that question of an inanimate object," and "Life: the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter." But Siri is far more than an amusing conversation piece. Apple bought the basis of Siri from SRI International, the famed Silicon Valley research institution that in past decades was a key player in the developments of the internet and the point-and-click interface, which dominate modern computing. While Google's Android operating system has enabled voice commands and dictation for a couple of years, Siri goes one better by seeming to understand natural language questions and providing decent answers. You can tell it to find restaurants, check the weather or set reminders. But Tim Bajarin, the doyen of technology analysts, believes that the allknowing digital assistant is also a Trojan Horse, linking its users to huge databases that will allow Apple to circumvent the search engines of rivals like Google and Microsoft's Bing to bring information to its customers. He likens the introduction of Siri to Jobs' championing of the mouse and the touch screen - two watershed moments in the history of computing. "Jobs and the Apple team have given something to the world that it will look back on and regard as the next major user input technology: voice and speech. -- dpa S Korea agency fines LCD makers $175m SEOUL: Seoul's antitrust agency said yesterday it had fined 10 of the world's leading flat panel makers in South Korea and Taiwan a total of 194 billion won ($175 million) for price fixing. Firms including Samsung Electronics and LG Display in South Korea and AU Optronics and Chimei Innolux from Taiwan colluded from 2001 to 2006 to control prices of panels for computers and televisions, the Fair Trade Commission said. "They colluded on minimum prices of panels, pricing policies on each product type, timing of price increases and a ban on cash rebates," the FTC said in a statement. The offenders also included Taiwanese and Japanese units of both Samsung Electronics and LG Display as well as Taiwan's Chunghwa Picture Tubes and HannStar Display, it said. Officials from the firms involved held around 200 secret meetings over six years to agree on cutting or suspending production to prevent prices from falling and to exchange confidential information such as sales plans, it said. "They were aware that such action was illegal and kept their gatherings and information secret," said the statement. The firms have a combined 80 percent share in the global liquid crystal display (LCD) market, the FTC said, adding the cartel hurt consumers by increasing prices of computers, laptops and televisions. Samsung Electronics, the world's top flat screen maker, and its overseas units were slapped with the heaviest fine of 97.2 billion won, followed by 65.5 billion won for LG Display and its foreign affiliates. The fines by the FTC-the largest it has ever imposed for a case of international price fixing-came three years after several major Asian LCD makers, including LG, were fined after a similar US probe. In December, the European Commission also fined six Asian makers of LCD screens a total of 649 million euros ($860 million at the time) for operating for almost five years as a cartel. Samsung said it respected the regulator's decision and would abide by it. LG Display however said it opposed the ruling and would appeal to the Seoul court to reduce the fine on the grounds that it had fully cooperated with the investigation. -- AFP y MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 Can Kodak rescue itself via a patent bonanza? Kodak has one of the largest cache of weapons ROCHESTER: Picture this: Kodak - the company that invented the first digital camera in 1975, and developed the photo technology inside most cellphones and digital devices - is in the midst of the worst crisis in its 131-year histor y. Now, caught between ruin and revival, Eastman Kodak Co. is reaching ever more deeply into its intellectual treasure chest, betting that a big cash infusion from the sale of 1,100 digital-imaging inventions will see it through a transition that has raised the specter of bankruptcy. Kodak popularized photography over a century ago. It marketed the world's first flexible roll film in 1888 and transformed picturetaking into a mass commodity with the $1 Brownie camera in 1900. But for too long the world's biggest film manufacturer stayed firmly focused on its 20th-century cash cow, and failed to capitalize quickly on its newwave know-how in digital photography. As a result, Kodak has been playing catchup. Pummeled by Wall Street over its dwindling cash reser ves - and its stumbling attempts to reinvent itself as a profitable player in digital imaging and printing - Kodak has been hawking the digital patents since July. Many financial analysts foresee the portfolio fetching $2 billion to $3 billion. But others think Kodak can haul in far more than that - and carry it off within a few months. That 's because patents have become highly valuable to digital device makers who want to protect themselves from intellectual property lawsuits. In July, an alliance made up of Apple and Microsoft purchased a raft of patents from Nortel Networks for $4.5 billion. A month later, Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, in part, to gain hold of the company's 17,000 patents. "The size of the (Kodak) deal could blow your socks off," predicts Los Angeles money manager Ken Luskin, whose Intrinsic Value Asset Management owns 3.8 million Kodak shares. "It's pocket change for Google and Apple to go pay $3-or-$4-or-$5 billion for these patents," concurs Christopher Marlett, chief executive of MDB Capital, an investment bank based in Santa Monica, Calif., that specializes in intellectual property. "There is an all-out nuclear war right now for global dominance in smartphones, tablets and mobile devices, and Kodak has one of the largest cache of weapons sitting there." Marlett says he owns Kodak stock, but wouldn't disclose how much. Even a hefty return, skeptics counter, won't solve Kodak's struggle to close out a nearly decade-long transformation and return to profitability in 2012 after running up losses in six of the last seven years. "All the extra cash does is give you a lifeline for a short period. And then, poof, you're back in the same position without the assets to sell," says analyst Shannon Cross of Cross Research in Livingston, N.J. "If you're burning cash and not finding a way to generate recurring earnings, it doesn't matter." Kodak's grim financial picture should become clearer when it reports third-quarter results Thursday. Agitated investors will likely focus on the company's latest borrowing activities and cash woes - it had $957 million in cash in June, down from $1.6 billion in January. They will also want to know what kind of progress Kodak made in the JulySeptember period in building up a high-margin ink business to replace shriveling film sales. Kodak has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into new lines of inkjet printers that are finally on the verge of turning a profit. Home photo printers, high-speed commercial inkjet presses, workflow software and packaging are viewed as the company's new core. Kodak projects that sales from those four businesses will double to nearly $2 billion in revenue in 2013, accounting for 25 percent of all sales. In the meantime, Kodak needs to tap other sources of revenue before those areas have time to pay off - and mining its inventions has become indispensable. Kodak's chief executive, Antonio Perez, has signed confidentiality agreements with potential buyers but hasn't given a time frame for a deal. The patents for capturing, storing, organizing, editing and sharing digital images do not apply to the four core businesses, Kodak spokesman Gerard Meuchner says. "One thing I would stress is: It is our intention to retain a license to any of the intellectual property we sell," Meuchner says. "It's like you sell the property but still get to live in the house." A sale represents a sharp tactical shift. Kodak picked up just $27 million in patentlicensing fees in the first half of 2011 after amassing nearly $2 billion in the previous three years. In the heated environment for patents, "it makes more sense for us to sell the portfolio than it does to license it company by company, which takes lots of time and expense and can involve litigation," Meuchner says. Michael Fitzgerald, chief executive of Next Techs Technologies, a patent buying-and-selling intermediary in Houston, says that while the portfolio is valuable, "I just don't view it necessarily as a `strategic' acquisition that multiple players will fall all over themselves on." Investor fears sent Kodak stock tumbling to an all-time closing low of 78 cents a share on Sept. 30 after it hired Jones Day, a major restructuring law firm, as an adviser. Kodak insisted it had no intention of filing for bankruptcy protection. Kodak is also involved in a royalty dispute with iPhone behemoth Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. The case centers on a 2001 patent now on the auction block - a method that enables a camera to preview low-resolution versions of a moving image while recording still images at higher resolutions. The 21-month-old battle before the US International Trade Commission, a trade-dispute arbiter in Washington, DC, was due to be revisited on Monday, but was recently shelved until December 30. Chief Executive Antonio Perez thinks a favorable ruling could enable Kodak to draw up to $1 billion in fees from its deep-pocketed rivals. In 2009, the commission ruled that South Korean mobile phone makers Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics infringed the same patent, resulting in $964 million in payouts. -- AP Sony seeks to quit Samsung LCD venture TOKYO: Sony has entered talks to sell its stake in a joint liquid crystal display panel venture in South Korea to its partner Samsung Electronics, the business daily Nikkei reported yesterday. The Japanese electronics giant aims to reach an agreement with Samsung on the sale within this year but the talks could be complicated as the South Korean firm will be forced to secure a new buyer if the two companies part ways, Nikkei said. As LCD panel prices continue to slide due to a supply glut, Sony is increasingly relying on other manufacturers for the key TV component as part of its cost-cutting efforts, the daily said. No official was immediately available at Sony's head office to comment on the report. In 2004, Sony and Samsung Electronics set up the joint venture, S-LCD Corp., as the two leading television makers wanted to secure a stable supply of LCD panels. Samsung Electronics has a stake of 50 percent plus one share in the joint venture with Sony holding the remaining shares. From 2004 to 2009, Sony spent a total of 1.95 trillion South Korean won (currently about $1.8 billion) to ramp up S-LCD's output capacity, Nikkei said. The Japanese manufacturer purchases about half of the LCD panels produced by the joint venture. In the year to March 2011, Sony posted an operating loss in its TV business division for the seventh consecutive year, with its accumulated loss exceeding 450 billion yen ($6 billion), the daily said. The company plans to sell 22 million T V sets throughout the world in the year to March 2012, down two percent on the year, Nikkei added. -- AFP SAN FRANCISCO: File photo shows Research in Motion President and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis delivers a keynote address at the BlackBerry Devcon Americas in San Francisco, California. -- AFP Taiwan's Hon Hai looks to robot industry TAIPEI: The parent company of Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn plans to mass produce industrial robots as part of its efforts to cope with labour shortages and rising wages. The project, which is initially forecast to cost the Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Tw$6.7 billion ($223 million), was unveiled Saturday when Terry Gou, chairman of the conglomerate, broke ground for the construction of a research and development unit in Taichung, central Taiwan. "The investment marks the beginning of Hon Hai's bid to build an empire of robots," the Central Taiwan Science Park authorities said in a statement. The investment will be made through Hon Hai's subsidiary Foxnum, a company focusing on the manufacturing of automation facilities and equipment, it said. Foxconn, hit by a spate of suicides at its Chinese plants, plans to replace 500,000 workers with robots in the next three years, official media earlier reported. Foxconn-the world's largest maker of computer components, which assembles products for Apple, Sony and Nokia-plans to use one million robots to do "simple" work, China Business News quoted Gou as saying in August. At least 14 workers have died in apparent suicides since last year, most of them in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Activists blamed the deaths on tough working conditions and have called for better treatment of staff. -- AFP A e niv rsar n Damage caused by Psoriasis more than skin-deep KUWAIT: Kuwaiti doctors e urged a greater understanding of the chronic skin disease psoriasis, in recognition of World Psoriasis Day that was held on Saturday. Experts are urging the wider public to increase awareness of the longterm immune disorder, which is characterised riasis is definitely not only what we can see on a patient's skin, but it extends deeper to emotional and psychological pain that we may not see. Many people with the condition that are not treated with the appropriate medications hide indoors, in bulky clothing to avoid the embarrassment of revealing the obvious symptoms, such as the red patches of skin," said Dr Adel Abdul Razzaq, Consultant Dermatologist at Adan Hospital in Kuwait. People can contract the disease at any age, the doctor continued, with patients ranging from 12 years old right up to the age of 75. The disease affects about 2 to 3 percent of the population worldwide . "Some patients develop Psoriasis as a result of genetics, so their father or mother may have passed it on. Unfortunately it is still not yet fully understood how the rest of those who suffer the disease contract it, but the good news is that the condition is ver y treatable and patients can live normal, productive lives once on the correct treatment," Dr Abdul Razzaq added. Plaque psoriasis involves the acceleration of the usual replacement processes of the skin. It normally takes 28 to 30 days for skin cells to mature and reach the surface of the skin, where a constant invisible shedding of dead cells takes place. Contrastingly, psoriatic cells develop and reach the skins surface in just three to five days, resulting in an accumulation of both dead and live cells forming visible plaques . People with psoriasis often feel stigmatised by their condition, which can cause them to withdraw from society and can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety, with research suggesting that some people with psoriasis experience a very low quality of life similar to people with other chronic medical disorders . "A patient of mine is a student and when the symptoms of the disease first became evident; his teacher requested a medical certificate from me assuring that the condition was not contagious. Awareness and education is key to ensuring that sufferers are not stigmatised and made to feel isolated from society. Psoriasis is not contagious and treatment such as topical creams and, more recently, targeted biologic drugs are readily available," added Dr Abdul Razzaq. Biologics are highly specific in their mode of action and have demonstrated the potential to be an effective therapeutic option for treatment of psoriasis, by blocking the inflammation caused by a specific molecule of the immune system, in turn reducing skin lesions. Dr Adel Abdul Razzaq by patches of thickened and red skin covered by silvery white scales, stressing that the damage caused by the disease is much more than skin-deep. "The pain and damage associated with pso- ROME: In this photo released by Rome's Bio-Park press office, hippos seem to express appreciation for the carved pumpkins offered them at the "Bioparco".--AP FDA ties newer birth control drugs to blood clots WASHINGTON: Safety concerns with the popular birth control pill Yaz increased Thursday as federal health scientists reported that the Bayer drug and other newer birth control treatments appear to increase the risk of dangerous blood clots more than older medications. A new study released by the Food and Drug Administration reviewed the medical history of more than 800,000 US women taking different forms of birth control between 2001 and 2007. On average, woman taking Yaz had a 75 percent greater chance of experiencing a blood clot than women taking older birth control drugs. Yaz contains estrogen along with a next-generation synthetic hormone called drospirenone, which is known to increase potassium levels in the blood. FDA compared medical records of women taking the drug with those taking the older drug levonorgestrel. Yaz, Yasmin and related drospirenone-containing pills were Bayer's second-bestselling franchise last year at $1.6 billion in global sales. In 2009, the FDA took the unusual step of ordering Bayer to run corrective TV advertisements on Yaz, saying the drugmaker's marketing campaign overstated the drugs' ability to prevent acne and premenstrual syndrome. Bayer Healthcare, a division of the German conglomerate, said it "is currently evaluating this publication and cannot comment at this point in time." The agency also reported higher complications in women using the Ortho Evra patch from Johnson & Johnson and the Nuvaring vaginal ring from Merck & Co. Inc. Those drugs combine estrogen, which is present in all birth control pills, with two other synthetic hormones launched in the last decade. The FDA said it hasn't reached a final conclusion on the drugs' safety but will hold a meeting with scientific advisers Dec 8. Consumer safety advocates have criticized the agency for approving newer, more expensive birth control drugs when cheaper, generic drugs with established safety records are widely available. "At a certain point we have to ask why the FDA continues to approve drugs that are less safe and have no benefit compared to drugs already on the market," said Dr Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Women and Families, a consumer group for women's health issues. "With all these different birth control options, why take the most expensive one that can also kill you?" Recent studies have reached differing conclusions on the risks of newer birth control pills. A study published earlier this week involving more than 1 million Danish women found that women taking Yaz and other newer medications had twice the risk of blood clots as women taking the older hormone levonorgestrel. The findings appeared Tuesday in the British Medical Journal. However, two studies published in 2007, conducted as part of the postmarketing requirements of the FDA or European regulators, did not find any difference in blood clotting between the two comparable groups. Birth-control pills that contain drospirenone include Bayer 's Yaz, Yasmin, Beyaz, Safyral; Sandoz's Syeda and Loryna; as well as Barr Laboratories' Ocella, Watson Pharmaceuticals' Zarah and Teva Pharmaceuticals' Loryna.--AP Missouri testing specimens in E coli outbreak ST LOUIS: Missouri health officials say they're testing specimens and trying to determine the cause of an E. coli outbreak that sickened nearly two dozen people in St Louis and four surrounding counties. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said in a statement Saturday that it's testing 34 specimens reported to contain E coli. Spokeswoman Jacqueline Lapine says complete tests will take several days, but so far 18 of 34 specimens have tested positive for a byproduct of E coli. Testing also continues to determine the cause of the reported illnesses. E coli are a group of bacteria that can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia. The illness can be spread through consumption of contaminated food. At least six people required hospital stays in the recent outbreak.--AP y Years H E A LT H & S C I E NC E MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 A patient with Plaque Psoriasis. Different forms of cancer neglected for decades 72,000 adults between 15-39 diagnosed annually LOS ANGELES: She has had four surgeries to remove her thyroid, parathyroid and vocal cord nerve, along with muscle and tissue. Once a year, she goes to a hospital and swallows a radioactive iodine capsule to attack the remaining cancer cells-and then remains in isolation for four days. During what she calls her quarantine, she can't touch-or even be in the same room as-anyone else. The treatment causes soreness, swelling, nausea and headaches. Each year, as the ordeal approaches, she scans the Internet for support groups. Once, she reached out to another cancer patient, only to discover that the woman was 64. Erica Martinez is 22. "No one can really relate to what I am feeling," she said. "I can't find anybody else who has a similar case to me." Physicians and researchers acknowledge that for decades, the needs of adolescents and young adults with cancer have been slighted. They frequently receive inconsistent treatment and follow-up care, and clinical trials and research focused on this age group have been scarce, according to oncologists and a report by the National Cancer Institute. More than 72,000 adolescents and young adults-defined by the cancer institute as ages 15 to 39 _ are diagnosed with cancer each year. For many, the disease is detected late for various reasons: Patients don't recognize the symptoms or have no health insurance, or the cancer is initially mistaken for something else. That may help explain why there has been very little improvement in cancer survival rates among adolescents and young adults, even as the rates for childhood cancers have risen steadily over the last few decades. On top of the physical burdens of the disease, many young adults feel a painful isolation. "This was the lost generation," said Dr Stuart Siegel, director of the children's center for cancer and blood diseases at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. "They were thrown in with kids or adults depending on their age." Now, physicians nationwide are realizing they can no longer ignore this population. The Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology, the first peer-reviewed journal devoted to this age group, began publishing this year. Doctors are receiving better training in how to diagnose and treat young adults, and the number of clinical trials and support groups addressing their needs has increased. A new film, "50/50," about a 27-year-old man diagnosed with a rare spinal cancer, has brought further attention to this long-neglected cohort. In the spring, the University of Southern California and Children's Hospital Los Angeles plan to open a center devoted to adolescent and young adult cancers, one of several such facilities established across the country in recent years. "There is a growing appreciation for the differences and unique needs of young adults with cancer," said Dr Brandon nosed cat scratch disease and prescribed antibiotics. Two years later, Martinez started feeling lumps and went back. This time, her doctor referred her to a specialist. Surgeons operated to find out what was wrong and discovered the cancer, which by then had spread to her lungs. "I came out after surgery and everything was different," said Martinez, who lives in Alhambra with her parents. She was transferred to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and spent much of a summer there. Most and at the adult hospital, "I get the look like `You're too young.'" Martinez, who has round cheeks and a soft voice, is quick to laugh. She carries a Harry Potter keychain and wears a purple pendant, which falls next to a small red scar on her neck. She is studying to become an ultrasound technician and works as a sales clerk at Macy's. She doesn't talk much about her cancer, but she doesn't hide it either. Occasionally, she posts photos on Facebook, including a CT-scan image of her lungs with the caption: "Lungs, meet facebook, facebook meet my radioactive `glowing' pair of lungs." In addition to her parents, Martinez relies on her boyfriend, Mike Harty, for emotional support. "He keeps me feeling my age," she said. On a recent evening, the couple shared smoothies at Jamba Juice and made plans for celebrating their upcoming two-year anniversary: sushi and the latest movie in the "Paranormal Activity" series. Hardy said he manages to keep the cancer out of his thoughts-most of the time. "When I do think about it, it scares me. I don't want to be left without her," he said. Martinez squeezed his knee and smiled. "Awww," she said. "Hallmark's going to be calling." Martinez said she too is usually able to put the cancer out of her mind. Except for scars running down her neck, she said, no one would know she is sick. But when she has to miss school or work to go to the hospital, she becomes angry that she can't live like other 22-year-olds. "Those kind of trigger the `Why Me?' kind of days," she said. That's when she starts wondering about the future and wishing there was more support for young people with cancer. "I don't know what's going to happen to me," she said. "I haven't found someone who lived through this and is OK." At Platt College in Alhambra, Martinez and her fellow students take turns performing ultrasound scans on one another. In late summer, her classmate noticed scar tissue and a mass in Martinez's neck. Martinez said there isn't much she can do about it. She hasn't had medical insurance since August. Until she was 21, she was covered by a state program for low-income families. Then her parents, who own a small manufacturing company, purchased a business health plan and added her to it. But the premiums became too high, she said, so they had to cancel the coverage.--MCT LOS ANGELES: Erica Martinez, 22, poses for a portrait in South Pasadena, California, October 23, 2011, showing the scar from cancer for which she was diagnosed when she was 15.--MCT Hayes-Lattin, a cancer survivor and head of the adolescent and young adult oncology program at Oregon Health and Science University. In addition to studying the biology of cancers and developing more effective treatments, doctors are trying to meet patients' social and emotional needs. Many adolescents and young adults are trying to form relationships, finish school, begin careers and have children while fighting the disease. "A cancer diagnosis is really disruptive for many of those things in a way that it isn't for young kids or older adults," said Dr Rebecca Johnson, medical director of the adolescent and young adult oncology program at Seattle Children's Hospital. Thyroid cancer is one of the most common among young adults, along with ovarian and testicular cancer, melanoma, lymphoma and leukemia. Martinez first noticed the swelling in her neck when she was 13. Her mother took her to a doctor, who diagdays, she couldn't lift her head or speak clearly. She felt out of place, surrounded by young children, TV screens showing Disney movies and walls decorated with butterflies. Martinez read fashion magazines and rarely left her room. "It was a happy place to be, but it wasn't catered to my age," she said. After she was discharged, Martinez felt too sick to return to Alhambra High School. But she was determined to graduate and did two years of independent study to earn her diploma. When she turned 21 and was no longer eligible for children's health coverage, she started receiving treatment at City of Hope in Duarte. She didn't feel she belonged there either. "Really old" people sat in wheelchairs or lugged oxygen tanks behind them as they walked, she recalled. Hospital workers did double takes when she told them that she-not her mother-was the patient. "I was too old for the children's hospital," she said, Healthcare advisory firm opens office in Kuwait KUWAIT: Ted Kennedy Jr, cofounder and President of the Marwood Group, announced the opening of the firm's Kuwait office. The Marwood Group is a leading healthcare advisory and financial services firm located in New York City, Washington, DC and London and has recently begun offering services in Kuwait. "The Marwood Group is proud to have established this longterm partnership in the State of Kuwait. We believe that healthcare systems across the MENA region are undergoing dynamic transformations. The Marwood Group's extensive track record and experience in the US healthcare marketplace, coupled with its international presence, ideally positions the firm to meet the needs of MENA region clients on a local, regional and global level," said Kennedy. The Marwood Group has partnered with Kuwait Life Sciences Company (KLSC). KLSC is a fullyowned subsidiary of the National Technology Enterprises Company (NTEC), a Kuwait Investment Authority company. "We are pleased to have established a strong partnership with the Marwood Group. The firm's deep expertise as an advisor and investor in the US healthcare market compliments our new company strategy. We are mandated by the Kuwait Council of Ministers to play a vital role in servicing major stakeholders in Kuwait with their technology needs via Private Equity, Venture Capital and Direct Investments to initiate and stimulate Technology Projects in Kuwait and the local region," said Anas Meerza, General Manager of NTEC. The Marwood Group's insight into innovative, highquality healthcare businesses and technologies positions it to provide strategic advice to hospitals, clinics, third party administrators, health insurers and others in Kuwait and the MENA region seeking to enhance best practices, improve competitive positioning and create strategic alliances with international partners. In addition, the unique public policy experience of the Marwood Group will allow it to assist governments seeking to develop healthcare systems with appropriate incentives for quality and future cost sustainability. A e niv rsar n LIPA: This photo shows a Filipino coffee farmer showing civet cat droppings of undigested coffee seeds he collected from the forest floor at the Malarayat mountain. --AFP photos Philippine farmers cash in on civet coffee dung LIPA: Philippine farmers used to hunt and kill the civets that ate their coffee beans-until they realized the animals' droppings were worth a small fortune. Now the ravenous nocturnal raider with the pungent faeces has a status akin to the fabled goose that lays the golden eggs among farmers like Rustico Montenegro, who cleans up after the weasel-like mammals. "Never in our dreams did we suspect that we could make money out of them," said Montenegro, 44, who switched a few years ago from picking ripe cherries on coffee trees to gathering the undigested seeds excreted on the forest floor. The small, tree-dwelling palm civet eats the outer fruit of the coffee bean but passes the rest through its stomach. It is there that the enzymes and acids in the civet's hyper-active digestive system remove the normally bitter aftertaste of the coffee bean and give it a distinctive fruity aroma. "It has no acidity whatsoever, very full-bodied and the taste is very complex... there's a little bit of spice, a little bit of fruitiness," said chef Jude Mancuya, a civet coffee fan, as he sipped on a cup at a Manila cafe. Mancuya paid 295 pesos (about $7) for his cup, which is about double the price of a regular brew in Manila but extremely cheap compared with prices people are paying for civet coffee in the West as its popularity booms. In the United States, Heirloom Coffee in Massachusetts advertises on its website a brewing and tasting deal at $49 for two cups, with a choice of civet beans from the Philippines, Indonesia or Vietnam. In New York, one coffee shop sells the exotic beans at a staggering $340 a pound ($748 a kilogram). For Montenegro and other farmers in Lipa, the capital of the Philippines' coffee industry a couple of hours' drive out of Manila, the civet coffee craze has changed their lives. Pandora's box Montenegro said he and his wife collected up to eight kilograms (17.6 pounds) a day of beans in the peak season between March and May, washing them in natural springs. At 1,200 pesos a kilogram, five times the price for ordinary beans, the couple easily clear 9,600 pesos ($230) a day in the peak season, a fortune in a country where a quarter of the population live on a dollar a day. The palm civets switch to eating wild fruits as well as cultivated papayas and bananas when coffee trees are not fruiting, however. Then the Montenegros' income plunges to roughly 500 pesos a week, when they just sell vegetables and whatever fruits the wild animals have not filched. Montenegro sells his beans to Vie and Basil Reyes, traders who became interested in civet coffee in 2004 and are now the Philippines' largest exporters of the product. Vie Reyes said she stumbled on the exotic brew while working on a project to save the sugar palm tree, the favorite abode of the civet that also drinks the sugary sap from its flower stems. Her company, Bote Central, processes the sap into boutique vinegar and exports it to Belgium, but the coffee is now her most important product. Bote Central has grown to have an annual civet coffee output of about three tons, which it exports across Asia and to the United States. South Korea and Taiwan are among the company's largest foreign markets. Montenegro and Reyes belong to a cooperative that aims to protect the civets, amid a growing trend among farmers and producers to place the animals in cages in a bid to increase harvests. "I feel bad about it because we sort of opened a Pandora's box wherein people think it's all about money," Reyes said. She estimated that 80 percent of civet coffee in the Philippines was now produced using caged animals, and said there were similar problems in Indonesia.--AFP y Years H E A LT H MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 A e niv rsar n Years W H AT ' S O N Announcements Exhibition on healthcare The India Medical Tourism Destination (IMTD) exhibition and conference, which aims at promoting India as a global healthcare destination, is to take place on the 2nd & 3rd of November at the Hall No 7, Kuwait International Fair Grounds in Mishref. The two-day mega medical tourism exhibition and conference is being organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Trident Exhibitions in collaboration with the Embassy of India, Kuwait and the Indian Doctors Forum, Kuwait. EDA Onam 2011 Ernakulam District Association Kuwait (EDA) `Onam 2011" celebration will be on November 4th at Indian Community School, Salmiya (Senior Girls). It will be a full day entertainment from 9 am to 5 pm. Indian Ambassador Satish C. Mehta will be the chief guest. EDA family will be staging various cultural activities bringing back the nostalgic memories of a bygone era of prosperity, equality and righteousness under the golden reign of Mahabali. In addition, a sumptuous traditional meal "ONASADYA" will be served to all the members and invitees. All members and their families are requested to participate in the event. Contact Baburaj (66080256), Bipin (66024732) or visit our website www.edakuwait.com Free medical camp MES conducts their 12th Free Medical Screening Camp on Friday 11th November at Central School Abbasiya in association with Kuwait Medical Association (KMA), Indian Doctors Forum (IDF), Kuwait Heart Foundation and Indian Dentists Alliance in Kuwait. The camp will be from 8 am to 2:30 pm. Around 50 specialized doctors from IDF will lead the examination. Thousands of poor and needy community members were benefited from the past 11 Medical Camps. Doctors specialized in Gynecology, Ortho, Cardiology, Surgical, Pediatrics, Diabetes, Ophthalmology, ENT, Skin, General Medicine and Dental are available in the camp. Applicant should bring any medical records he/she have i.e. X-ray, Lab Test Report. Application forms are available at all the Branches of Gulf Mart, Tasty Restaurant, Al-Yaqza Book Shop (Kuwait City), Dress Mart (Fahaheel), Highland Supermarket (Abbasiya), Azizia Book Shop (Salmiya). Duly filled application will be acceptable maximum by 5th November 2011. For details contact Zubair (99826195) & Hassan Managad (99131104). Indian Lawyers' Forum Onam Indian Lawyers' Forum will celebrate Onam, the unique, secular, harvest festival of Kerala on 18th November, 2011 Friday 10.30 am at Hi-Dine Restaurant Auditorium, Abbassia. Celebrations will include traditional variety entertainments, with the grand `ONASADHYA'. All Indian Lawyers & Law graduates working here in Kuwait are invited with their families. For details contact Panicker 97203939, Pulikkal 97260159. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tulukoota talent hunt Tulukoota Kuwait will hold a "Talent Hunt 2011" a chance to prove an inborn trait in you that confirms your individuality, uniqueness. For more information and registration form kindly log on to our Website: www.tulukootakuwait.org or visit our facebook page - Tulukoota Kuwait Talent Hunt 2011. You could also email your form request to: email@example.com or contact our area coordinators mentioned below. Mangaf, Fahaheel, Abuhalifa : Ronald Dsouza- 60035824, Shalini Alva23726164, Suma Bhatt- 97834578 Salmiya & Hawally: Swarna Shetty- 99006934, Kripa Gatty66044194 Kuwait City, Jahra, Sharq: Rekha Sachu65044521,97862115 Farwaniya, Abbassiya, Shuwaikh & Khaitan: Sathyanarayana- 66585077 Sanath Shetty- 67712409. BEC T10 Cricket tournament The BEC T10 Tennis Ball Cricket Tournament will be organized & played from 7th October to 11th November, 2011. The Tournament being organized by RED N BLACK CRICKET CLUB and sponsored by BEC EXCHANGE will be played out in Abu Halifa cricket grounds. For registration and other queries please mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 66820148/ 66130940/ 66841653. Brain Bang Calling all students aged 11 and above, Support Group for Accelerated learning under the umbrella of FOCC (Friends of CRY Club, Kuwait), BRAIN-BANG invites you to join us in our fortnightly Friday Class from 11.45 am to 13.45 pm in Salmiya starting October 7th for the next 6 months. Successfully running for the seventh consecutive year. KGA Alemao Memorial Football Tournament The 3rd edition of Eslinda Alemao Memorial Football 7-a-side tournament will be held on first day of Eid Al Adha Festival (6th November 2011) to be held at the MOH Grounds, Al-Sabah Hospital Premises, Shuwaikh under the auspices of Kuwait Indian Football Federation (KIFF). All KIFF affiliated teams are requested to contact the organizers, Kuwait Goan Association (KGA). For more info, Email: email@example.com Tel: (+965) 94963677. Youth Chorus competition Youth Chorus is organizing the sixth Christian Malayalam Group Song Competition on Friday, 18th November 2011 at 6:00 p.m. at the United Indian School Auditorium, Abbasiya. The team has to present one Christian Malayalam song within seven minutes. The minimum number of members in the team should be 7 and the maximum 20, including the orchestra persons. The first, second and third prize winners will be awarded with rolling trophies and certificates. The following prestigious trophies will be awarded to the winners. First Prize - Youth Chorus Ever Rolling Trophy Second Prize- Omana Jose memorial Ever Rolling Trophy Third Prize- Youth Chorus Ever Rolling Trophy All the other participating teams will be awarded a Youth Chorus memento. Please register the name of your team with the conveners on or before 10th November 2011. Tel: 66853100, 6651093 or to our e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org 30 y MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 The Arabic Language department at the Abdul-Aziz Al-Gharballi elementary school organized a competition for fifth grade students regarding the concepts of tolerance and renouncing violence. KU and Citi Foundation launch 2011 Financial Market Trading Program 30 MBA candidates to undergo hands-on financial training or the third year in a row, the Citi Foundation, Citi's social investment arm, and the College of Business Administration (CBA) at Kuwait University are cooperating to offer the CITI-Financial Market Trading Program (CITI-FMTP) which trains CBA's top students on real-life dealing room simulations. The course culminates in a degree in Financial Market Trading. 30 CBS students will be taking part in the first round of this market-leading training program this year. Funded through a grant from the Citi Foundation, the Citi-FMTP will run twelve 2-day intensive sessions employing the following tools: l Applied fundamental analysis l Technical Analysis l Financial and economics indicator for financial market forecasting l Kuwaiti Stock market Trading rules & regulation F Opening brokerage account, placing order and execution l Strategic investment and short term positioning l Financial modeling & dynamic Portfolio using Excel Pro l Reuters Xtra 3000 and Reuters equity model for trading The renewed cooperation between the two institutions follows the recent certifying of 51 CBA students as Financial Market Traders following intensive training throughout 2010-2011, lifting the number of certified students to 105 since the commencement of the program in late 2009. Established in 1967, The CBA is one of KU's 14 colleges, and offers the following majors: Management & Marketing, Finance & Financial Institutions, Accounting, Quantitative Methods and Information Systems, Economics and Public Administration. CBA prepares l graduates for professional positions in public and private sector businesses, organizations, institutions and corporations using English as the academic language. "We continue to work closely with Kuwait University to upgrade business students' practical skills and get them ready to engage real-life work environments," said Fatah Adour, Treasurer of Citibank Kuwait. "This program is in line with Citi's long-term strategy to developing local professionals with a clear career path, and underscores Citi's commitment to supporting financial education at top academic institutions." "At KU, we want to ensure that our CBA students receive all-round academic and practical training which prepares them to join the financial industry upon graduation," said Dr. Abdullah Alsalman, Founder&Director of Financial Trading center. "With the steady commitment of corporate players such as Citi and the Citi Foundation, we are able to complement academia with relevant hands-on training for our business majors." Citi has been in the Arab World for nearly 50 years and continues to view the region as critical to its global franchise. It is currently present in ten Arab countries including Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. Since establishing its fully licensed branch in Kuwait in 2006, Citi has evolved into an active corporate citizen, with a particular interest in supporting financial education and developing Kuwait's talent pool. Over 400 young Kuwaitis have so far received certified training on financial literacy, life skills and personal economics through Citi's sponsored training programs. AWARE Education Manager "T he AWARE Center cordially invites Western expatriates to its lecture entitled, "Hajj: a spiritual journey for Muslims," by Dr Teresa Lesher at on November 3, 2011 at 7:00pm. It will be followed by a movie entitled, "Inside Mecca." A buffet will be on offer at the end. What is Hajj? Hajj is an international pilgrimage to Mecca that attracts up to three million Muslims annually. Dr Teresa Lesher will discuss its historical significance, describe the major rites that comprise the pilgrimage, and share some of the sentiments that Muslims experience in this trip of a lifetime. Her 30-minute PowerPoint presentation will be followed by National Geographic's 45-minute documentary entitled, "Inside Mecca" which presents an intimate look at the annual pilgrimage by following three pilgrims from very different backgrounds as they embark on a spiritual journey that is both deeply personal and widely universal. For more information, call 25335260/80 or log onto: www.aware.com.kw ." Integrated Indian School revels Diwali with full pomp CH Memorial Open Football Tournament continues D iwali is the festival of light. It is not simply about lighting and burning crackers, but it is also about enlightenment of soul and burning all our bad times. On this occasion of Diwali, Integrated Indian School, in collaboration with the Kalka Group of Institutions, enlightened their souls with a new ray of hope and light by celebrating Diwali in full grandeur. The students and teachers of Happiness House organized a distinct assembly on the occasion of Diwali. The Manager Mohd Ali and the Principal in charge. Cathy Thomas graced the occasion by lighting the lamp. The students edified the audience regarding the provenance of Diwali. The graceful dance by students left the audience spell bound. The euphonious song rendition by the school choir added to the bliss. Cathy Thomas extolled the students and teachers for the marvelous feat and wished each and everyone a very happy and prosperous Diwali. The assembly met its end with the Indian National Anthem. The Management treated each and every staff members with a special Diwali Gift. T he quarter final match of the CH Memorial All India Open Football tournament was held in Al-Nasar stadium in a very festive atmosphere. In a very competitive match as reflected in the scores, Malappuram Brothers have won the game with 2 scintillating goals against MAK-Kuwait which could score only one goal. There were prices for spectators through lots for watching the entire game. President Sharafuddeen Kanneth, Convenors Musthafa Kari , Iqbal Maviladam and Saleem Kottayil shook hands with players before the beginning of the match. Other quarter and semifinals will be held next Friday at AlNasar Stadium, and final will be played on the second day of Eid-Al-Adha, probably 7th of November. A e niv rsar n Years W H AT ' S O N 31 Movenpcik Hotel Kuwait FTZ hosts media & press y MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 Embassy Information EMBASSY OF AUSTRIA The Austrian Embassy would request to take note that in respect of the official mourning in the State of Kuwait in memory of the former Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz of Saudia Arabia, the reception of the Austrian Ambassador on the occasion of the Austrian National Day on October 26th has been cancelled. The official reception is now rescheduled to Monday, October 31, 2011 from 19:00 to 21:00. nnnnnnn T he Movenpcik Hotel Kuwait is well prepared to welcome its guests during Eid Al Adha in a totally different family perspective. The Movenpcik Hotel Kuwait invited a crowd of local media & press representatives with their families to an open day festivities to celebrate the upcoming Eid Al Adha. Press & Media personnel were briefed on the Movenpcik Hotel Kuwait's Programs and activities during Eid that address the needs of the entire family members. The huge gathering featured many entertainments where guests enjoyed various interesting sport activities on the hotel's private swimming pools. A raffle draw was held to thrill the guest and excess their astonishment. The raffle draw was sponsored by Royal Jordanian Airlines which offer the guests tickets to different destinations; in addition the hotel offers the winners valuable gifts as well as a complimentary stay at Movenpcik Istanbul & Movenpcik Dead Sea in Jordan. Fun activities filled with laughter for the kids held that included gift vouchers presented by Baroue and other surprises. The Movenpcik Hotel Kuwait's Executive chef created an outstanding lunch buffet at the swimming pools area to serve the guests. Best cuisines of the world 4 corners were on display at the lavish buffet. Besides, the Movenpcik `s distinguished guests enjoyed a collection of their favorite dishes cooked to perfection live at the cooking station. Addressing the crowd, Beat Peter, the General Manager wished the invitees a happy Eid and explained that "the invitation is just a token of the Movenpcik Hotel Kuwait's appreciation of the press, it's an acknowledgment of their great role and continued support to the Hotel "Peter promised the Movenpcik Hotel Kuwait well prepared to welcome its guests during Eid Al Adha in a totally different family perspective. Celebrate Eid Al-Adha at Marina Hotel Kuwait elebrate the joy of Eid Al Adha and experience three days of leisure and enjoyment at Marina Hotel Kuwait. The hotel has unveiled a rich choice of culinary flavours, family entertainment and special room packages to make this Eid truly memorable. There will be plenty to keep the little ones happy as Marina Hotel has organized a range of fun activities and a wonderland filled with lots of games. Kids can enjoy participating in the various activities along with the entertainers which include Eid shows, games for adults and kids, magic shows, movie viewing, football, volleyball, basketball, bouncy castles, trampoline, face painting, sand castle building and much more. Families wishing to spend their holidays at the hotel are invited to enjoy the astounding room packages including complimentary breakfast. They can also avail of the packages at discounted prices and take the opportunity to relax in luxurious rooms while enjoying the C charm of genuine Arabian hospitality. They will have access to the spa and state of the art Coral Reef Health Club and can benefit from the hotels various facilities and amenities. The hotel has set the stage for a grand celebration and invites you to enjoy the flavors from around the world. Experience a memorable culinary journey while sharing this special time with friends and family. Start your morning with steaming coffee and delicious breakfast at The Six Palms Restaurant. Watch authentic innovations spring to life inside the Atlantis Restaurant while devouring on the International lunch Buffet. Indulge yourself throughout the day with the finest dinner buffet dishes from around the world at Six Palms Restaurant while listening to the Oriental band and enjoying your Shisha. Seize this opportunity and head towards Marina Hotel where fun and surprises await you. Enjoy all the enticing offers and make your family's Eid holiday a memorable event. EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da'aiyah. Please visit our website at www.Kuwait.gc.ca. Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at www.voyage.gc.ca. The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at www.UAE.gc.ca. Effective January 15, 2011, the only Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application form that will be accepted by CIC is the Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257] form. All previous Temporary Resident Visa application forms will no longer be accepted by CIC and instead will be returned to applicants. Should old applications be submitted prior to January 15, 2011 they will continue to be processed. To ensure that the most recent version of the Temporary Resident Visa application form is being utilized, applicants should refer to the CIC website. As of January 15, 2011, forms are to be filled in electronically. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The forms are available on the internet at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/forms/IMM 5257E.PDF. A guide explaining the process can be found here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/guides/52 56E.PDF. nnnnnnn EMBASSY OF GERMANY The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kuwait wishes to announce that as of 1 May 2011, the external service provider Al Qabas Assurex is operating a Visa Application Centre in support of the German Embassy. Short-term visa applications for travels to Germany (e.g. for tourism, visits, business) are to be submitted to the service provider Al Qabas who for your convenience will ensure that all relevant documents are included in your application. Your personal appearance at the Application Centre is not required. Address of the Visa Application Centre: Al Qabas Assurex Sanabel Tower (Al-Babtain) Mezzanine (M3) opposite Sharq Mall Kuwait 22924444 Fax: 22924442 Further information are available on the following websites: www.kuwait.diplo.de www.qavisa.com nnnnnnn Bangladesh Awami observes 10th anniversary of ex-Bangladesh parliamentarian's demise angladesh Awami Seschsasebak League in association with Joybangla Sankskritik Oikyo Jothe Kuwait chapter observed the 10th anniversary of exBangladesh Parliamentarian, `Dwip bandhu' (Friend of Islanders) Mustafizur Rahaman's sad demise on 20th October 2011. The observation took place at Kawakab hotel in Kuwait City. It is noteworthy that the late parliamentarian being a native of Sandwip island had earned country wide fame through his life time benevolence and outstanding achievements such as founding editor of a National daily, pioneering the banking and insurance establishments and leading numerous chari- B ties above all. Bangladesh Awami Seschsasebak League and Joybangla Sankskritik Oikyo Jothe Kuwait chapter President Masud Karim had presided over the event. President of Bangladesh Awami league Kuwait chapter and the chief patron of Awami Seschsasebak League, gallant freedom fighter, engineer Abdur Rab had attended the program as guest of honor. Among the special guests were respectively, Abdus Subhan General Secretary of Bangladesh Awami League Kuwait chapter, Awami Foundation Kuwait chapter president Rafiqul Islam bhulu, Columnist Ali Azam, Jatiya Sramik League Kuwait chapter's Vice president Mohiuddin Chowdhuiy, advisor to the the Seschsascbak league Kuwait chapter Safiqur Rahaman, Monthly Morulekha editor and the former general secretary of Bangladesh Awami League Kuwait chapter Abdur Rauf Mawla, Ekushey Bangla editor Jahangir hosen bablu, Bangladesh Sommilito Media group General Secretary Selim Reza, President of Bangladesh Reporter s unity in Kuwait Moinuddin Sumon, and General Secretary Ehsanul Hoque khokan, President of Friday forum Tauhidul Islam Harun. Mohammad Hasan Ali General Secretary of Joybangla Sankskritik Oikyo Jothe had presented the program that was commenced with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran recited by Moulavi Mohammed Habibur Rahaman religious affairs secretary of Joybangla Sankskritik Oikyo Jothe Kuwait. Bangladesh Awami League Kuwait chapter Vice president Shamim Ahmed, Organizing secretary Omar Faruk, Seschsasebak League Kuwait chapter Vice President Bahar Uddin, General Secretary Lak Miah, Organizing Secretary Delwar Hosen, Mohammed Kabir Hosen, Office Secretary Abul Hosen Rashed, Publicity Secretary Nasir Uddin, Finance Secretary Shahadat Hosen along with the chief guest and special guests had delivered speeches highlighting the unparallel charitable acts of the late `Dwip bandhu' Mustafizur Rahaman. Primary and secondary schools, Degree college, religious schools, mosques, hospitals founded and funded by him still bearing his golden name- emphasized Masud Karim the president of the observation. Also he wished- may Bangladesh gifted with such lion hearted personalities! The chief guest, engineer Abdur Rab had noted that patriotism, far sighting political vision and dedication to the mass people were the rare qualities of the late `dwip bandhu' that brought him closer to the Father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman s affection. A special prayer mahfil was conducted seeking divine grace for the late parliamentarian, `Dwip bandhu' Mustafizur Rhaman. The prayer mahfil was lead by Moulana Nurul Huda- religious affairs secretary of Bangladesh Awami Seschsasebak league Kuwait chapter. EMBASSY OF PERU The Embassy of Peru announces the formal opening of the offices of the Embassy of Peru tomorrow November 1, in Kuwait which is located at Al-Arablya Tower, Sharq, Ahmed Al-Jaber Street, on the 6th Floor. In the same place, as a part of the Chancellery of the Embassy of Peru in Kuwait, also is located the Showing Room of "PeruExpo-Tour, Trade & Invest." nnnnnnn EMBASSY OF NIGERIA The Nigerian embassy has its new office in Mishref. Block 3, Street 7, House 4. For enquires please call 25379541. Fax- 25387719. Email- email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org nnnnnnn Cluck for joy! McDonald's Tasty New Chicken McWings are back! M cDonald's Chicken McWings are making a comeback - due to popular demand from fans of the succulent chicken snack, they will once again be available on the menu for a limited period of time in both four- and 10-wing portions, from XX DATE. When McDonald's first launched Chicken McWings as a promotional, limited-period offer in 2010, customers flocked to stores to experience the succulent chicken snack. Made from tender, halal meat, Chicken McWings are seasoned with spicy onion, garlic and pepper, cooked until crispy and golden, and served hot with a selection of delicious dipping sauces. "Chicken McWings made a sensational splash when we launched them as a special promotion in 2010. We've since been inundated with requests to bring them back to the menu. McDonald's is dedicat- ed to giving our customers complete satisfaction with the taste that they love, which is why we've listened to their requests and brought Chicken McWings back for them," said George Khawam, Marketing Director of McDonald's Kuwait By expanding the offerings on its chicken menu, McDonald's is recognizing the preferences of its expansive customer base and catering to their taste requirements, while introducing exciting products that satisfy their desire for the delicious experience that the restaurant is synonymous with. Khawam added, "We pay especially close attention to the needs and wants of our customers, and go out of our way to give them even more choice. As a result, our menu is always improving and evolving - though we're more than happy to bring back old favorites to satisfy customer cravings!" EMBASSY OF US The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Leadership for Democracy Fellows Program is now accepting applications - deadline Nov 1, 2011. The MEPI Leaders for Democracy Fellowship (LDF) Program is an exciting, selective 3-month program in the United States for 20-25 young civic leaders from the Middle East and North Africa. The program begins with 6 weeks of academic coursework, where fellows focus on the concepts of leadership, democracy, communication, and conflict resolution among other issues. After completing the academic portion of the program, participants engage in a 6-week professional assignment with a political, non-governmental, or public policy organization in Washington, DC. For more information about the program, please e-mail: email@example.com Visit us @ USEmbassyQ8 http://www.facebook.com/USEmbassyQ8 nnnnnnn EMBASSY OF UKRAINE We'd like to inform you that in response to the increasing number of our citizens who work in the state and the need for 24-hour operational telephone in case of emergency the Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait has opened "hotline telephone number" - (+ 965) 972-79-206. A e niv rsar n 00:50 01:45 02:40 03:35 04:30 05:25 06:20 07:10 08:00 08:25 08:50 09:40 10:10 11:05 12:00 12:55 13:50 14:45 15:40 Baker 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:25 19:20 20:15 Baker 21:10 22:05 23:00 23:55 Untamed & Uncut Dogs 101 Beast Lands Wildest Africa Whale Wars Untamed & Uncut Dogs 101 Michaela's Animal Road Trip Chris Humfrey's Wildlife The Really Wild Show Penguin Safari Breed All About It My Cat From Hell Dogs 101 Animal Cops Specials 2009 Pit Bulls And Parolees Animal ER Galapagos Weird Creatures With Nick Chris Humfrey's Wildlife The Really Wild Show Natural Born Hunters Jeff Corwin Unleashed Dogs 101 Breed All About It Weird Creatures With Nick Dogs 101 Planet Earth Bad Dog Untamed & Uncut 00:20 01:15 01:45 02:35 03:25 04:10 05:00 05:30 05:50 06:05 06:25 06:35 06:45 07:05 07:20 07:40 07:55 08:05 08:25 08:40 09:00 09:10 09:20 09:40 09:55 10:15 10:25 10:40 11:40 12:30 13:20 13:50 14:20 15:25 16:25 17:15 18:05 18:35 19:05 20:10 21:00 21:45 22:15 22:45 Five Daughters As Time Goes By The Weakest Link The Fixer The Weakest Link Lark Rise To Candleford Dinnerladies Tweenies Gigglebiz Me Too Charlie And Lola Buzz & Tell Tweenies Gigglebiz Me Too Charlie And Lola Buzz & Tell Tweenies Gigglebiz Me Too Charlie And Lola Buzz & Tell Tweenies Gigglebiz Me Too Charlie And Lola Buzz & Tell Dinnerladies The Weakest Link North And South Doctors As Time Goes By Coast Dinnerladies North And South The Weakest Link Doctors As Time Goes By Coast North And South The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Holby City 05:00 Newsday 05:30 Asia Business Report 05:45 Sport Today 06:00 Newsday 06:30 Asia Business Report 06:45 Sport Today 07:00 BBC World News 07:30 Hardtalk 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 World Business Report 08:45 BBC World News 09:30 World Business Report 09:45 BBC World News 10:30 World Business Report 10:45 Sport Today 11:00 BBC World News 11:30 World Business Report 11:45 Sport Today 12:00 BBC World News 12:30 Hardtalk 13:00 BBC World News 13:30 World Business Report 13:45 Sport Today 14:00 BBC World News 14:30 World Business Report 14:45 Sport Today 15:00 GMT With George Alagiah 16:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 17:30 World Business Report 17:45 Sport Today 18:00 BBC World News 18:30 Hardtalk 19:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:30 World Business Report 20:45 Sport Today 21:00 BBC World News 21:30 World Business Report 21:45 Sport Today 22:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 23:00 BBC World News America 00:00 00:30 01:00 01:10 01:30 02:00 02:30 02:45 03:00 03:30 04:00 04:30 04:45 BBC World News World Challenge 2011 BBC World News World Features Horizons BBC World News Asia Business Report Sport Today Newsday India Business Report Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today 00:15 Samurai Jack 00:40 Megas XLR 01:05 Robotboy - Elements 01:30 Squirrel Boy 01:55 George Of The Jungle 02:20 Cramp Twins 02:45 Chop Socky Chooks 03:10 Best Ed 03:35 My Gym Partner's A Monkey 04:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 04:25 Generator Rex 04:50 Adventure Time 05:15 Flapjack 05:40 Chowder 06:05 Powerpuff Girls 06:30 Ed, Edd n Eddy 06:55 I Am Weasel 07:20 Squirrel Boy 07:45 Cow & Chicken 08:00 Eliot Kid 08:04 Cow & Chicken 08:12 Eliot Kid 08:25 Angelo Rules 08:50 Best Ed 09:15 Flapjack 09:40 My Gym Partner's A Monkey 10:05 The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 10:30 Courage The Cowardly Dog 10:55 Cow & Chicken 11:20 I Am Weasel 11:35 Adventure Time 12:00 Ben 10 12:25 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 12:50 The Secret Saturdays 13:15 Samurai Jack 13:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 14:05 Codename Kids 14:30 Skunk Fu! 14:50 My Gym Partner's A Monkey 15:15 Flapjack 15:40 Ed, Edd n Eddy 16:05 Camp Lazlo 16:30 Chowder 16:55 The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 17:25 Cow & Chicken 17:50 Courage The Cowardly Dog 18:15 I Am Weasel 18:40 George Of The Jungle 19:05 Casper's Scare School 19:30 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 19:55 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 20:20 Generator Rex 20:45 Star Wars: The Clone Wars FLASH OF GENIUS ON OSN MOVIES HD y Years TV PROGRAMS 21:10 21:35 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:00 23:25 23:50 Hero 108 Bakugan: New Vestroia Total Drama Action Adventure Time Billy And Mandy Ben 10 Bakugan Battle Brawlers The Secret Saturdays 00:15 07:00 07:25 07:50 08:15 08:45 09:10 10:05 10:30 10:55 11:25 12:20 13:15 14:10 15:05 15:30 16:00 16:25 16:55 17:20 17:50 18:45 19:10 19:40 20:05 20:35 21:00 21:30 22:25 Sons Of Guns Wheeler Dealers Fifth Gear Stunt Junkies Time Warp How It's Made Mythbusters Cake Boss Border Security Auction Hunters Ultimate Survival Deadliest Catch Ultimate Survival Swords: Life On The Line Swamp Brothers Cash Cab Us Wheeler Dealers Fifth Gear Stunt Junkies Time Warp Mythbusters Cake Boss Border Security Auction Hunters How Do They Do It? How It's Made Cash Cab Us Ultimate Survival Deadliest Catch 15:15 15:40 16:05 16:30 16:40 16:55 17:20 17:45 18:00 18:20 18:30 18:55 19:25 19:50 20:03 20:05 20:25 20:50 21:10 21:20 21:25 21:55 22:20 22:35 22:50 23:15 23:25 23:40 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Imagination Movers Handy Manny The Hive Jake & The Neverland Pirates Imagination Movers Lazytown Jungle Junction The Hive Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Little Mermaid Special Agent Oso Animated Stories Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 101 Dalmatians Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Hive Timmy Time Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Little Einsteins Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jungle Junction Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Timmy Time Handy Manny Jungle Junction MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 00:20 01:10 02:00 02:45 03:35 04:25 05:15 06:20 Cody 06:45 07:05 07:30 07:55 08:20 08:35 09:00 09:10 09:20 09:30 09:40 10:05 Cody 10:30 10:50 11:15 11:35 12:00 12:45 13:10 13:30 13:55 14:55 15:45 16:10 16:35 Cody 17:00 17:25 17:50 18:15 19:35 20:00 20:25 20:50 21:15 21:35 22:00 22:25 Cody 22:50 23:15 23:35 Replacements Fairly Odd Parents A Kind Of Magic Stitch Kim Possible Emperor's New School Stitch The Suite Life Of Zack And Phineas And Ferb Wizards Of Waverly Place Suite Life On Deck Good Luck Charlie Fish Hooks Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jungle Junction The Hive Handy Manny Imagination Movers The Suite Life Of Zack And Phineas And Ferb Good Luck Charlie Phineas And Ferb Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Hannah Montana Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Fish Hooks Shake It Up The Suite Life Of Zack And Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Fish Hooks Shake It Up Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Jake & Blake Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up The Suite Life Of Zack And Sonny With A Chance Wizards Of Waverly Place Jonas 00:40 Bang Goes the Theory 01:05 Green Wheels 01:30 The World's Strangest UFO Stories 02:20 What's That About? 06:40 Green Wheels 07:10 Extreme Bodies 08:00 Catch It Keep It 08:55 Space Pioneer 09:50 The Tech Show 10:15 Weird Connections 10:40 The Gadget Show 11:35 The Future of... 12:30 Sci-Fi Science 12:55 How Stuff's Made 13:25 Future Weapons 14:15 Space Pioneer 15:05 One Step Beyond 15:30 Stunt Junkies 15:55 Mega Builders 16:45 Weird Connections 17:10 Catch It Keep It 18:00 Brainiac 18:50 Sci-Fi Science 19:15 The Tech Show 19:40 Under New York 20:30 Bad Universe 21:20 Nextworld 22:10 The Gadget Show 23:00 Under New York 23:50 Bad Universe 00:25 Style Star 01:25 40 Smokin' On Set Hookups 03:15 E! Investigates 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Reality Hell 05:30 Wildest TV Show Moments 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 10:15 20 Acts Of Love Gone Wrong 12:05 Extreme Close-Up 12:35 Fashion Police 13:05 Khloe And Lamar 14:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 14:35 Giuliana & Bill 15:30 E! Investigates 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Bridalplasty 17:55 Ice Loves Coco 18:55 E! Investigates 19:55 The Dance Scene 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:25 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 22:25 Style Star 22:55 Fashion Police 23:25 Chelsea Lately SHUTTER ISLAND ON OSN ACTION HD 21:00 21:30 22:00 23:00 Going Bush Finding Genghis By Any Means Endurance Traveller 00:00 It's a Woman's World 01:00 Planet Sports 02:00 Wild Carpathia 03:00 Glutton For Punishment 03:30 Life's A Trip 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 Globe Trekker 06:00 Globe Trekker 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 People of the Sea 09:00 Planet Sports 10:00 Glutton For Punishment 10:30 Glutton For Punishment 11:00 Four Men and a Lady 11:30 Travel Channel Guide to Jordan 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Opening Soon 13:30 Hollywood and Vines 14:00 Cruising the South China Sea 15:00 Great Scenic RailwaysAustralia 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Four Men and a Lady 17:30 Portugal's Wild West 18:00 Opening Soon 18:30 Hollywood and Vines 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Food Tripper 21:00 It's a Woman's World 22:00 Tall Ship Explorers 23:00 Globe Trekker 00:40 World Cafe Asia 01:05 Luke Nguyen's Vietnam 01:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:55 Unwrapped 02:45 Lidia's Italy 03:35 Barefoot Contessa 04:25 World Cafe Middle East 05:15 Chef vs Britain 05:40 Unwrapped 06:05 Ten Dollar Dinners 06:30 Paula's Best Dishes 06:50 Paula's Party 07:35 Barefoot Contessa 08:00 Chopped 08:50 Guy's Big Bite 09:15 Everyday Italian 09:40 Chef vs Britain 10:05 Ten Dollar Dinners 10:30 Paula's Best Dishes 10:55 Barefoot Contessa 11:20 Aarti Party 11:45 Lidia's Italy 12:10 Unwrapped 12:35 Paula's Party 13:25 Everyday Italian 13:50 Paula's Best Dishes 14:15 Chopped 15:05 Luke Nguyen's Vietnam 15:30 Lidia's Italy 15:55 Unwrapped 16:20 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 16:45 Chopped 17:35 Guy's Big Bite 18:00 Barefoot Contessa 18:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:50 Aarti Party 19:15 World Cafe Asia 19:40 Chopped 20:30 Food Network Challenge 21:20 Paula's Party 22:10 Food Network Challenge Special 23:00 Chopped 23:50 Kid In A Candy Store Special 00:00 Cowboy U 00:50 Aiya TV 02:30 Final Fu 05:50 Lucas Oil Motocross Championships 2009 07:30 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2007 08:00 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2008 09:00 X-Traordinary 09:25 Ticket To Ride 2010/11 11:30 Parcour 11:55 Fantasy Factory 12:45 Eds Up 13:35 Pinks: Lose The Race, Lose Your Ride 14:25 Eddie Jordan's Bad Boy Racers 15:15 World Combat League 16:05 Fantasy Factory 16:55 Eds Up 17:45 X-Traordinary 18:10 Ticket To Ride 2010/11 20:15 Parcour 20:40 Eddie Jordan's Bad Boy Racers 21:30 Pinks: Lose The Race, Lose Your Ride 22:20 Mantracker 00:15 The Collector-18 02:00 Blood And Bone-18 03:45 Shutter Island-18 06:00 The Lost Future-PG15 08:00 Ballistica-PG15 10:00 Ghost Town (TV Movie)-PG15 11:45 Universal Soldier: Regeneration-PG15 13:30 Ballistica-PG15 15:15 Wyatt Earp-PG15 18:30 Universal Soldier: Regeneration-PG15 20:15 Zombieland-18 22:00 Rocky v-PG15 02:00 Four Last Songs-PG15 04:00 Bandslam-PG15 06:00 All's Faire In Love-PG 08:00 One Hot Summer-PG15 10:00 The Country Bears-PG 12:00 Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement-FAM 14:00 The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie-PG 15:45 Julie And Julia-PG15 18:00 All About Steve-PG15 20:00 Death At A Funeral-PG15 01:00 03:15 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 16:45 19:00 21:00 23:15 Two Lovers-18 The Open Road-PG15 Slipstream-PG15 Hachiko: A Dog's Story-PG15 Ramona And Beezus-PG The Open Road-PG15 Fly Me To The Moon-PG Citizen Jane-PG The Brothers Bloom-PG15 Shrek Forever After-FAM Tron: Legacy-PG15 Easy A-PG15 01:00 The Parent Trap-PG 03:00 Stone Of Destiny-PG15 05:00 Nanny Mcphee And The Big Bang-PG 07:00 Flash Of Genius-PG15 09:00 The Social Network-PG15 11:00 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid-PG 13:00 Marmaduke-PG 15:00 The A-Team-PG15 17:00 The Social Network-PG15 19:00 The Girl In The Park-PG15 21:00 Up In The Air-PG15 23:00 Greenberg-18 00:00 02:15 03:15 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 Super Formula UFC 137 Prelims UFC 137 UFC The Ultimate Fighter WWE Bottom Line WWE Tough Enough Speedway FIM World Super Formula Power Boats UIM Intercontinental Le Mans Cup V8 Supercars Championship WWE SmackDown WWE Tough Enough Speedway FIM World UFC 137 Prelims UFC 137 00:20 00:50 01:15 01:40 02:10 02:30 03:00 03:25 03:50 04:20 04:40 05:10 05:35 06:00 06:30 06:50 07:15 07:45 08:00 08:15 08:45 09:15 09:30 10:00 10:15 10:25 10:45 10:55 11:15 11:45 12:10 12:30 12:45 13:10 13:35 14:00 14:10 14:25 14:50 Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Jo Jo's Circus Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Jo Jo's Circus Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Higglytown Heroes Jo Jo's Circus Jungle Junction Higglytown Heroes Handy Manny Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Handy Manny The Hive Timon And Pumbaa The Hive Mickey Mouse Clubhouse The Little Mermaid Handy Manny Imagination Movers Jungle Junction Lazytown Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jungle Junction Special Agent Oso Little Einsteins Imagination Movers 00:40 Couples Who Kill 01:30 Cuff Me If You Can 02:15 Nightmare Next Door 03:05 I Almost Got Away With It 03:50 Couples Who Kill 04:40 Cuff Me If You Can 05:25 On The Case With Paula Zahn 06:15 Disappeared 07:10 Mystery ER 08:00 Murder Shift 08:45 Forensic Detectives 09:35 Mystery Diagnosis 10:20 Real Emergency Calls 10:45 Street Patrol 11:05 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 11:50 FBI Files 12:40 Murder Shift 13:25 On The Case With Paula Zahn 14:15 Disappeared 15:00 Mystery Diagnosis 15:50 Street Patrol 16:15 Real Emergency Calls 16:35 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 17:20 FBI Files 18:10 Forensic Detectives 19:00 Murder Shift 19:45 Real Emergency Calls 20:10 Mystery Diagnosis 20:55 Street Patrol 21:20 On The Case With Paula Zahn 22:10 Disappeared 23:00 Nightmare Next Door 00:00 00:30 01:00 02:00 03:00 03:30 05:30 06:00 06:30 07:00 08:00 09:00 09:30 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 15:00 15:30 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 Travel Madness Madventures Food School Market Values Word of Mouth Banged Up Abroad Weird & Wonderful Hotels Travel Madness Madventures Food School Market Values Word of Mouth Banged Up Abroad Weird & Wonderful Hotels Travel Madness Madventures Banged Up Abroad Extreme Tourist Afghanistan Going Bush Finding Genghis By Any Means Endurance Traveller Ultimate Traveller Banged Up Abroad Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 00:00 Curb Your Enthusiasm 00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Party Down 02:00 Happy Endings 02:30 Curb Your Enthusiasm 03:00 Friends 03:30 Friends 04:00 According To Jim 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Dharma And Greg 06:00 Coach 06:30 Weird Science 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 According To Jim 08:30 Friends 09:00 Dharma And Greg 09:30 State Of Georgia 10:00 8 Simple Rules ... 10:30 Coach 11:00 Weird Science 11:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 According To Jim 13:00 Friends 13:30 Dharma And Greg 14:00 Coach 14:30 State Of Georgia 15:00 8 Simple Rules ... 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Weird Science 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Friends 19:00 8 Simple Rules ... 20:00 Seinfeld 21:00 The Daily Show Global Edition 21:30 The Colbert Report Global Edition 22:00 It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia 23:00 The Cleveland Show 23:30 Seinfeld 00:00 True Story Of Puss'n Boots-PG 02:00 A Simple Wish-FAM 04:00 Turtle Hero (1)-FAM 06:00 In Search Of The Titanic-PG15 08:00 Turtle Hero (2)-FAM 10:00 Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jr. 12:00 Tangled-FAM 14:00 Pocahontas & The Spider Woman-PG 16:00 The Enchanted Mountain-PG 18:00 Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jr. 20:00 The Prince Of Dinosaurs-PG 22:00 Pocahontas & The Spider Woman-PG 00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 Warriors Pawn Stars American Pickers Pawn Stars Chasing Mummies Battles B.C. Warriors Pawn Stars Pawn Stars American Pickers Pawn Stars Chasing Mummies Battles B.C. Warriors Pawn Stars American Pickers Pawn Stars Chasing Mummies Battles B.C. How the Earth Was Made Pawn Stars Mega Movers 00:00 Rugby League 4 Nations 02:00 Trans World Sports 03:00 UFC 137 06:00 The Ultimate Fighter Season 07:00 The Open Championship Official Film 08:00 European PGA Tour 12:30 RWC Tournament Highlights 14:30 Rugby League 4 Nations 16:30 Rugby League 4 Nations 18:30 Super Formula 21:00 UFC 137 00:30 Currie Cup 02:30 Trans World Sport 03:30 Futbol Mundial 04:00 Masters Football 07:00 Scottish Premier League 09:00 Currie Cup 11:00 Trans World Sport 12:00 Futbol Mundial 12:30 Premier League Snooker 16:00 Golfing World 17:00 Scottish Premier League 19:00 Trans World Sport 20:00 Spirit of Yachting 20:30 World Hockey 21:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 21:30 Scottish Premier League 23:30 Futbol Mundial 00:05 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 01:00 Top 10 02:00 Videofashion Daily 02:55 Videofashion News 03:25 How Do I Look? 04:20 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 05:15 Married Away 06:10 Homes With Style 06:35 Area 07:05 Clean House 08:00 Videofashion News 09:00 Videofashion Daily 10:00 Open House 10:55 How Do I Look? 11:50 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 12:50 Clean House: Search For The Messiest... 13:50 Clean House 14:45 Videofashion Daily 15:45 How Do I Look? 16:40 Ruby 00:50 02:30 04:20 05:50 07:20 08:45 10:20 12:00 13:45 15:35 17:05 18:55 Cold Heaven After Dark, My Sweet The Little Death Finding The Way Home Strictly Business Breakheart Pass Love Bites Kings Of The Sun The Perez Family Danielle Steel's Heartbeat Inherit The Wind (1999) Book Of Days 01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:45 15:45 17:45 19:15 21:15 23:15 Long Weekend-PG15 From Within-PG15 Last Breath-PG15 Deceit-PG15 The Box-PG15 Avatar-PG Patriot Games-PG15 The Box-PG15 Fast Lane-PG15 Jennifer's Body-18 Rocky v-PG15 The Grudge 3-18 02:00 Scottish Premier League 04:00 Rugby League 4 Nations 06:00 European Challenge Tour Highlights 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 European PGA Tour 12:30 Scottish Premier League 14:30 Rugby League 4 Nations 16:30 Rugby League 4 Nations 18:30 Futbol Mundial 19:00 Golfing World 20:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 21:00 Rugby League 4 Nations 23:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 00:55 The Dirty Dozen 03:20 Invitation To The Dance-FAM 04:50 Live A Little, Love A Little-PG 06:20 Dream Wife-FAM 08:00 Ride Him, Cowboy-FAM 08:55 The Happy Years-FAM 10:45 It's Always Fair Weather-FAM 12:25 King Solomon's Mines-FAM 14:05 The Letter-FAM 15:40 The Private Lives Of Elizabeth And Essex-FAM 17:25 Lady L-PG 19:10 The Philadelphia Story-FAM 21:00 Ten Thousand Bedrooms-PG 23:00 Poltergeist Classifieds MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 FOR SALE GMC Envoy 2004 - Black color - Excellent condition - KD 2,400/-. Contact: 66729295. (C 3717) Nissan Sunny 2009 - White color - 70,000 km - KD 2,150/. Contact: 55323839. (C 3718) 31-10-2011 CHANGE OF NAME I, Bommireddipalli Adithya, s/o B.V. Ramana Murthy, having Indian Passport No. G9940168 and Civil ID No. 292050101237, shall henceforth be known as Bommireddipalli Aditya Vighnesh Ramakanth. (C 3716) No: 15256 DIAL 161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION ` Airlines JZR PIA KLM JZR JZR BBC ETH THY UAE QTR DHX MSR FDB ETD GFA KAC DHX FAH JZR JZR BAW KAC KAC FDB KAC KAC KAC KAC UAE ABY QTR FDB SVA ETD GFA KAC KAC KAC JZR MEA IRC MSR MSR JZR UAL KAC GFA SYR FDB Flt 185 205 447 267 539 1185 620 772 853 138 370 612 67 305 211 544 170 201 503 555 157 412 206 53 352 302 284 362 855 125 132 55 4169 301 213 344 1902 1708 165 404 6521 623 610 201 982 672 219 341 57 Arrival Flights on Monday 31/10/2011 Route DUBAI LAHORE AMSTERDAM/BAHRAIN BEIRUT CAIRO DHAKA/JEDDAH ADDIS ABABA ISTANBUL DUBAI DOHA BAHRAIN CAIRO DUBAI ABU DHABI BAHRAIN CAIRO BAHRAIN DUBAI LUXOR ALEXANDRIA LONDON MANILA/BANGKOK ISLAMABAD DUBAI COCHIN MUMBAI DHAKA COLOMBO DUBAI SHARJAH DOHA DUBAI JEDDAH ABU DHABI BAHRAIN CHENNAI JEDDAH MEDINAH DUBAI BEIRUT LAMERD SOHAG CAIRO DAMASCUS WASHINGTON DC DULLES DUBAI BAHRAIN DAMASCUS DUBAI Tim 0:20 0:25 0:30 0:45 0:50 1:00 1:45 2:15 2:35 2:40 2:55 3:00 3:05 3:10 3:15 4:40 5:15 5:30 5:55 6:00 6:40 6:45 7:40 7:45 7:50 7:55 8:15 8:20 8:30 9:00 9:05 9:20 9:30 9:35 9:55 10:35 10:40 10:40 11:20 11:55 12:00 12:30 12:55 13:00 13:05 13:20 13:25 13:45 13:50 OMA QTR SVA RJA KAC JZR JZR KAC KAC QTR KNE SVA JZR ETD UAE KAC GFA SVA ABY JZR RBG ALK JZR FDB KAC KAC JZR KAC KAC KAC AIC KAC KAC FDB KAC JAI MSR DHX VOS MEA GFA QTR UAE JZR UAL KLM TAR JZR SVA BBC DLH PIA 645 140 500 640 788 257 241 550 546 134 745 4171 535 303 857 118 215 510 127 777 3561 227 177 63 542 744 787 786 618 674 975 104 774 61 552 572 618 372 81 402 217 136 859 135 981 445 327 239 4155 43 636 239 MUSCAT DOHA JEDDAH AMMAN JEDDAH BEIRUT AMMAN SOHAG ALEXANDRIA DOHA JEDDAH JEDDAH CAIRO ABU DHABI DUBAI NEW YORK BAHRAIN RIYADH SHARJAH JEDDAH ALEXANDRIA COLOMBO/DUBAI DUBAI DUBAI CAIRO DAMMAM RIYADH JEDDAH DOHA DUBAI CHENNAI/GOA LONDON RIYADH DUBAI DAMASCUS MUMBAI ALEXANDRIA BAHRAIN BAGHDAD BEIRUT BAHRAIN DOHA DUBAI BAHRAIN BAHRAIN AMSTERDAM TUNIS AMMAN JEDDAH DHAKA FRANKFURT SIALKOT 14:15 14:20 14:30 14:40 14:50 15:00 15:05 15:15 15:20 15:25 15:25 15:40 16:25 16:50 16:55 16:55 17:15 17:20 17:40 17:45 17:50 18:10 18:15 18:40 18:50 18:55 19:05 19:10 19:15 19:25 19:30 19:35 19:40 20:00 20:05 20:10 20:45 21:00 21:15 21:20 21:25 21:35 21:40 21:55 22:00 22:05 22:35 22:45 23:05 23:45 23:50 23:55 Airlines AXB AIC DLH PIA KLM BBC ETH RLB THY FDB UAE DHX MSR ETD QTR KAC KAC JZR GFA JZR FDB KAC BAW KAC JZR KAC JZR KAC JZR UAE ABY FDB QTR ETD GFA SVA KAC KAC JZR KAC MEA IRC MSR KAC JZR MSR UAL GFA Departure Flights on Monday 31/10/2011 Flt Route 390 MANGLORE/KOZHIKODE 982 AHMEDABAD/HYDERABAD/CHENNAI 637 FRANKFURT 206 PESHAWER/LAHORE 447 AMSTERDAM 1186 DHAKA 621 ADDIS ABABA 1203 SHARJAH 773 ISTANBUL 68 DUBAI 854 DUBAI 371 BAHRAIN 613 CAIRO 306 ABU DHABI 139 DOHA 1901 JEDDAH 1707 MEDINAH 164 DUBAI 212 BAHRAIN 200 DAMASCUS 54 DUBAI 545 ALEXANDRIA 156 LONDON 549 SOHAG 256 BEIRUT 671 DUBAI 534 CAIRO 787 JEDDAH 240 AMMAN 856 DUBAI 126 SHARJAH 56 DUBAI 133 DOHA 302 ABU DHABI 214 BAHRAIN 5169 MEDINAH 165 ROME/PARIS 541 CAIRO 776 JEDDAH 103 LONDON 405 BEIRUT 6522 LAMERD 624 SOHAG 785 JEDDAH 176 DUBAI 611 CAIRO 982 BAHRAIN 220 BAHRAIN Time 0:50 1:05 1:20 1:25 1:45 2:15 2:45 2:45 3:15 3:45 3:50 3:55 4:00 4:00 4:55 5:30 5:50 6:55 7:00 7:30 8:25 8:30 8:40 8:55 9:00 9:00 9:15 9:25 9:35 9:40 9:45 10:05 10:10 10:20 10:40 11:00 11:45 12:00 12:15 12:30 12:55 13:00 13:30 13:40 13:50 13:55 14:20 14:20 FDB KAC SYR KAC OMA RJA SVA JZR KAC KNE KAC KAC QTR SVA JZR ETD JZR QTR VOS UAE GFA ABY RBG SVA JZR ALK FDB JZR KAC FDB DHX KAC KAC JAI MSR KAC DHX MEA GFA FAH QTR KAC JZR UAE KAC KLM TAR JZR UAL KAC 58 551 342 673 646 641 501 786 617 746 743 773 141 5171 238 304 538 135 82 858 216 128 3563 511 134 228 64 184 283 62 171 331 351 571 619 543 373 403 218 102 137 301 554 860 205 445 327 528 981 411 DUBAI DAMASCUS DAMASCUS DUBAI MUSCAT AMMAN JEDDAH RIYADH DOHA JEDDAH DAMMAM RIYADH DOHA JEDDAH AMMAN ABU DHABI CAIRO DOHA BAGHDAD DUBAI BAHRAIN SHARJAH ASSIUT RIYADH BAHRAIN DUBAI/COLOMBO DUBAI DUBAI DHAKA DUBAI BAHRAIN TRIVANDRUM COCHIN MUMBAI ALEXANDRIA CAIRO BAHRAIN BEIRUT BAHRAIN DUBAI DOHA MUMBAI ALEXANDRIA DUBAI ISLAMABAD BAHRAIN/AMSTERDAM DUBAI/TUNIS ASSIUT WASHINGTON DC DULLES BANGKOK/MANILA 14:35 14:40 14:45 15:05 15:15 15:35 15:45 15:50 15:55 16:10 16:15 16:25 16:30 17:10 17:15 17:35 17:40 17:45 18:00 18:10 18:15 18:25 18:30 18:35 19:05 19:10 19:20 19:55 20:15 20:40 21:00 21:00 21:05 21:10 21:45 21:55 22:00 22:20 22:25 22:30 22:35 22:45 22:45 22:50 23:00 23:05 23:35 23:35 23:45 23:55 Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (www.kuwait-airport.com.kw) stars CROSSWORD 485 CALVIN & HOBBES 34 MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) Challenges call for a check-up regarding your nutritional intake and your stamina capabilities. If these are not up to par, you could be left with a confused feeling and perhaps a headache. Before the day gets underway, make sure your nutrition is taken care of and your frame of mind is positive. You could be helping others learn how to live a less stressful life. Thinking things through, accounting for all the details, making careful measurements: these and similar experiences keep your mind active and involved. An interest in health and work may come into focus. You attract money today. This is a very good day for job-related events. There are opportunities to correct, change or improve on working situations. You are very motivated. Taurus (April 20-May 20) There is a yearning to broaden your horizons and reach for the ultimate experience, although it is only a regular workday. Settle down and think about planning some adventure weekend trip so that your day-to-day challenges will not seem so boring. Law, politics, education, travel and religion are some of the areas where emotionally-charged drama will be played. This could be a difficult time to relax and remain calm as you may not appreciate the easy way or clear-cut option and may choose instead a more difficult path. Get out-of-doors and enjoy some fresh air this evening. Later, you will have time to be quiet and enjoy some relaxation time by yourself--regain some focus. Do a neighbor a favor this evening. POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. An undergarment worn by women to support their breasts. 4. Arrived at without due care or effort. 10. The compass point that is one point east of due south. 13. The act of slowing down or falling behind. 14. Medieval artillery used during sieges. 15. A boy or man. 16. The residue that remains when something is burned. 17. A large gathering of people intended to arouse enthusiasm. 19. A living organism characterized by voluntary movement. 21. A radioactive transuranic element that is similar to uranium. 23. A communist state in the Caribbean on the island of Cuba. 25. Free from liquid or moisture. 26. An annual publication including weather forecasts and other miscellaneous information arranged according to the calendar of a given year. 29. Affect with wonder. 33. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 35. Of or in or relating to the nose. 36. (computer science) The rate at which data is transferred (as by a modem). 37. A Kwa language spoken by the Yoruba people in southwestern Nigeria. 39. (Jungian psychology) The inner self (not the external persona) that is in touch with the unconscious. 40. An ancient Hebrew unit of dry measure equal to about a bushel. 42. In bed. 44. (British) Your grandmother. 45. The compass point that is one point north of northeast. 47. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 49. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 52. The part of the nervous system of vertebrates that controls involuntary actions of the smooth muscles and heart and glands. 54. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 58. Squash bugs. 60. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 63. An associate degree in applied science. 64. An emotional response that has been acquired by conditioning. 65. A member of an agricultural people of southern India. 67. Government agency created in 1974 to license and regulate nuclear power plants. 68. A group of African language in the Niger-Congo group spoken from the Ivory Coast east to Nigeria. 69. A port city in southwestern Iran. 70. A doctor's degree in preventive medicine. DOWN 1. Divulge information or secrets. 2. Tear down so as to make flat with the ground. 3. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 4. The goddess of fortune and good luck. 5. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 6. A high-crowned black cap (usually made of felt or sheepskin) worn by men in Turkey and Iran and the Caucasus. 7. An Eskimo hut. 8. A field covered with grass or herbage and suitable for grazing by livestock. 9. A trivalent metallic element of the rare earth group. 10. Speaking a Slavic language. 11. Capital city of the Apulia region on the Adriatic coast. 12. Tropical starchy tuberous root. 18. Alligator-like reptile of Central and South America having a more heavily armored belly. 20. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 22. A city in southeastern Spain. 24. A small cake leavened with yeast. 27. An inhabitant of Lappland. 28. Dance the slam dance. 30. The seventh month of the Hindu calendar. 31. The battle in 202 BC in which Scipio decisively defeated Hannibal at the end of the second Punic War. 32. A feeling of strong eagerness (usually in favor of a person or cause). 34. An awkward and inexperienced youth. 38. A Dravidian language spoken in southern India. 39. An Eskimo hut. 41. Type genus of the Anatidae. 43. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 46. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 48. An intensely radioactive metallic element that occurs in minute amounts in uranium ores. 50. Again but in a new or different way. 51. God of death. 53. Bony flesh of herring-like fish usually caught during their migration to fresh water for spawning. 55. Relating to or characteristic of or occurring on land. 56. The lean flesh of a fish that is often farmed. 57. United States writer (born in Poland) who wrote in Yiddish (1880-1957). 59. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 61. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 62. A decree that prohibits something. 66. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. Gemini (May 21-June 20) Deep and penetrating analysis, particularly with a group or in relation to your situation, may be in order. Others could seek you out for your psychological insight and understanding. Consider making changes in your environment. Finding answers takes on a special significance now. This is another good day for requesting that someone return a loan. There is a heightened interest in getting things organized into a rational system. Partnerships, especially those involving business contacts, are agreeable for this next week--now is the time to get the presentation in order. There is an opportunity to attend a social event this evening. If you decide to go . . . you will be most elegant. Your caring attitude toward others attracts people to you. Cancer (June 21-July 22) NON SEQUITUR A young person may need your guidance and today is a good time to help this person think through some decisions. Helping those who cannot help themselves--and getting such help if you need it--is very important to you. A creative part of you is unleashed this afternoon and you spend a great deal of time with a hobby or invention that will sell very well if you decide to sell. You might consider getting a patent on your work so that only you can make a claim to your invention. There is a cornucopia of subjects in which you could delve now that would help quench your need to escape. Take a day away from your daily work. Pump a little iron this evening and get the body energized and refreshed. Consider a light meal this evening. Leo (July 23-August 22) This day begins and ends with positive communication. Friends may seek you out for your guidance regarding some future event, perhaps issues surrounding a reunion or some other gathering like a charity ball. You will be able to handle any of the questions without any difficulties and quick results benefit many. Getting several different groups together for committees will help make the event be more organized and presentable. Although all of this attention may make you feel important, you will be very happy to be in a less demanding situation. You can relax tonight. A date night may not be a late night but it has the potential of being a delightful evening. Perhaps you will enjoy a movie or a pizza dinner. ZITS Virgo (August 23-September 22) You will be able to dedicate more time to your loved ones this evening but for now, you may feel the push to complete tasks and get down to business. It is easy to reach burnout by stretching your physical energies--try to set a reasonable pace. Relationships--romantic, business, social--are the arena where this drama is played. Try a new approach with your loved one that would involve open communication . . . plan a weekend getaway soon. In coming to know the other person, there is a better understanding of the individual self. Marriage is strongly indicated these days. Harmony is long lasting. You are coming to a period of greater than usual emphasis on emotional security, which is likely to manifest as putting down roots somehow. Libra (September 23-October 22) MOTHER GOOSE AND GRIMM With you, dreams and ideals have become a way of life. You seek to bring them down to earth and make them real. You will, as a song says, never let your dreams depart. Yours is a path leading to a career in music, mysticism or the arts. You understand the forest behind the trees and the unity beyond all separateness. You could discover yourself through creativity and selfexpression, especially at this time. Increased confidence and a more outgoing manner may be the key that opens new doors in your career. A kind of romantic thinking characterizes your approach to life this evening. This could mean a longing for a soul mate or a yearning to save the world; it could mean carrying a torch, as well. Secret loves, lost loves--all you need is love. Scorpio (October 23-November 21) There is a need to be respected--it is an emotionally charged issue at this time. Watch yourself move throughout the day and make note of how you respond, progress, solve problems, laugh and perhaps just how you relate to others, and you will either gain a confirmation that will help you gain confidence or you will see positive ways to make yourself known. This is the time of recognition and it doesn�t necessarily mean the recognition of others. This afternoon it is important to read the directions when it comes to a technical problem. A handbook or the nearby hardware store is packed with resources you need. You are able to adjust, change or fix the technical problem; cheer. Tonight there are pleasant surprises from a family member. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You are willing to work hard today, particularly when you know you are only moments away from achieving the results you desire. Get your ideas out there. Business travel or conferences provide an excellent forum for your plans. This business travel may also allow you to meet others who are on a similar path as you. Today you will meet influential people that will help you advance in your career. Everything seems to be working to your advantage. Be willing to return the favor to a young co-worker this afternoon. Clear decisions are getting easier to find; thank goodness. This evening is a good time for surrounding yourself with friends and for having a good time. You appreciate your particular situation and enjoy support from those around you. Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You are willing to lend a helping hand to a friend today. Your psychological understanding of others is fine tuned and you are able to understand a situation or plea for help in short time. You have resources and can quickly access a situation and find avenues of help that will make a positive difference in this person's life. Feeling good about yourself this afternoon, you may take some time to browse through a bookstore or department store and enjoy the lights and activities around you. Be careful that you do not overspend or indulge too much for now. You are happy to have friendly people around you this evening that basically have similar interests. Communication is interesting and inspiring. Laughter is easily enjoyed this evening. Yesterday's Solution To Yesterday's Solution Yester Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Legal issues are in the air. Just wave your hand above your head and you will pick a topic out of the air. Today, this strong inclination toward the legal, justice and balance type of issues may come to you through a volunteer situation that you see needs attention. This could be helping to do research for the pro-bono projects that come about when the special-needs citizen needs counsel. Perhaps you could create a group of people that want to eventually work in the legal system and want to gain experience and to be helpful to those that cannot afford legal help. You feel a love of order and law--an appreciation for responsibility and duty. You could find you are appreciated for your ability to act and get things done. Express yourself; your heart will be lifted. Pisces (February 19-March 20) Word Sleuth Solution You are fulfilled by meeting challenges and overcoming obstacles today. You may be sought after for a particular job. Your directional abilities are in high focus. You find that you can think things through and really use your mind to make clear choices. Career decisions are straightforward and easy to make. A change in your environment is on the horizon. You could receive unexpected help from a senior or someone in command. A person or teacher could appear. Deep and penetrating analysis, particularly with a group or in relation to your situation, may be beneficial. Fun and sometimes mind-boggling conversations send you into some research hunting this evening. Perhaps you are fascinated by an awareness of some scientific discovery. i n f o r m at i o n MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 FIRE BRIGADE 112 Ministry of Interior website: www.moi.gov.kw For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128 Al-Madena Al-Shohada'a Al-Shuwaikh Al-Nuzha Sabhan Al-Helaly Al-Fayhaa Al-Farwaniya Al-Sulaibikhat Al-Fahaheel Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh Ahmadi Al-Mangaf Al-Shuaiba Al-Jahra Al-Salmiya 22418714 22545171 24810598 22545171 24742838 22434853 22545051 24711433 24316983 23927002 24316983 23980088 23711183 23262845 25610011 25616368 Hospitals Sabah Hospital Amiri Hospital Maternity Hospital Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital Chest Hospital Farwaniya Hospital Adan Hospital Ibn Sina Hospital Al-Razi Hospital Physiotherapy Hospital 24812000 22450005 24843100 25312700 24849400 24892010 23940620 24840300 24846000 24874330/9 POLICE STATION Al-Madena Police Station Al-Murqab Police Station Al-Daiya Police Station Al-Fayha'a Police Station Al-Qadissiya Police Station Al-Nugra Police Station Al-Salmiya Police Station Al-Dasma Police Station 22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801 Clinics Rabiya Roudha Adhaliya Khaldiya Keifan Shamiya Shuwaikh Abdullah Salim Al-Nuzha Industrial Shuwaikh Al-Khadissiya Dasmah Bneid Al-Ghar Al-Shaab Al-Kibla Ayoun Al-Kibla Al-Mirqab Sharq Salmiya Jabriya Maidan Hawally Bayan Mishref W.Hawally Sabah Jahra New Jahra West Jahra South Jahra North Jahra North Jleeb Al-Ardhiya Firdous Al-Omariya N.Kheitan Fintas 4732263 22517733 22517144 24848075 24849807 24848913 24814507 22549134 22526804 24814764 22515088 22532265 22531908 22518752 22459381 22451082 22456536 22465401 25746401 25316254 25623444 25388462 25381200 22630786 24810221 24770319 24575755 24772608 24775066 24775992 24311795 24884079 24892674 24719048 24710044 3900322 Hawally Farwaniya New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy Ibn Al-Nafis Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11 Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Salmiya-Amman St Hawally-Beirut St Hawally & Rawdha Coop Jabriya-Block 1A Jabriya-Block 3B Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop 24734000 24881201 24726638 25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241 Capital Ahlam Khaldiya Coop Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop 22436184 24833967 Jahra THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988 PHARMACIES ON 24 HRS DUTY GOVERNORATE Ahmadi AIRLINES Kuwait Airways Jazeera Airways Jet Airways FlyDubai Qatar Airways KLM Air Slovakia Olympic Airways Royal Jordanian Reservation British Airways Air France Emirates Air India Sri Lanka Airlines Egypt Air Swiss Air Saudia Middle East Airlines Lufthansa PIA Alitalia Balkan Airlines Bangladesh Airlines Czech Airlines Indian Airlines Oman Air Turkish Airlines Aeroflot 22433377 177 22924455 22414400 22423888 22425747 22434940 22420002/9 22418064/5/6 22433388 22425635 22430224 22425566 22438184 22424444 22421578 22421516 22426306 22423073 22422493 22421044 22414427 22416474 22452977/8 22417901/ 2433141 22456700 22958787 22453820/1 22404838/9 PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan Modern Jahra Madina Munawara ADDRESS Fahaeel Makka St Abu Halaifa-Coastal Rd Mahboula Block 1, Coastal Rd Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92 PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558 24575518 24566622 PRIVATE CLINICS Ophthalmologists Dr. Abidallah Al-Mansoor 25622444 Dr. Samy Al-Rabeea 25752222 Dr. Masoma Habeeb 25321171 Dr. Mubarak Al-Ajmy 25739999 Dr. Mohsen Abel 25757700 Dr Adnan Hasan Alwayl 25732223 Dr. Abdallah Al-Baghly 25732223 Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Dr. Ahmed Fouad Mouner 24555050 Ext 510 Dr. Abdallah Al-Ali 25644660 Dr. Abd Al-Hameed Al-Taweel 25646478 Dr. Sanad Al-Fathalah 25311996 Dr. Mohammad Al-Daaory 25731988 Dr. Ismail Al-Fodary 22620166 Dr. Mahmoud Al-Booz 25651426 General Practitioners Dr. Mohamme Y Majidi 24555050 Ext 123 Dr. Yousef Al-Omar 24719312 Dr. Tarek Al-Mikhazeem 23926920 Dr. Kathem Maarafi 25730465 Dr. Abdallah Ahmad Eyadah 25655528 Dr. Nabeel Al-Ayoobi 24577781 Dr. Dina Abidallah Al-Refae 25333501 Urologists Dr. Ali Naser Al-Serfy 22641534 Dr. Fawzi Taher Abul 22639955 Dr. Khaleel Abidallah Al-Awadi 22616660 Dr. Adel Al-Hunayan FRCS (C) 25313120 Dr. Leons Joseph 66703427 Psychologists /Psychotherapists Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar Dr. Esam Al-Ansari Dr Eisa M. 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Sister Helen Prejean - who provided the inspiration for Susan's role in `Dead Man Walking' officiated the ceremony, which was followed by a black-tie reception hosted by Susan and her former partner Tim Robbins, who helped to raise Eva during their 21 years together. `Californication' star Eva and her mother both wore designs by Lela Rose, while Kyle, 30, wore a Brioni tux. The couple chose Charleston for the wedding because Kyle's parents live in the area, according to People. After Kyle proposed in December 2010, Eva couldn't wait to share her excitement, tweeting: "The most wonderful man on this planet is now my FIANCEE!!!! #Engaged! (sic)." She added: "What a week. I became a cartoon character, did a Maxim shoot, and got engaged! Lol. Not bad, not bad. Thanks for all the congrats!! Xoxo (sic)." U2 hated living withBono B ono "drove mad" his U2 bandmates when they lived together. Three of the `One' hitmakers - the singer, Larry Mullen Jr. And Adam Clayton - shared a house in Los Angeles in 1987 and while they had fun in the US the rest of the group admit it was "very hard" being around the frontman all the time. Adam said: "It was a mad house. I think Bono drove us mad. It's very hard to live with Bono. "It was a house that was due to be demolished and was built in blocks around a pool. We each had a bedroom and living area; it was basically a commune. Bono would find all these things to do late at night, all these underground clubs." Only guitarist The Edge opted not to live with the band and he was relieved to have a "refuge" away from the group where he could work. He told Q magazine: "It was a strange time for me - things weren't going great at home. "Then up the road, the others... People were really enjoying the fact they were in a rock band that was a big success. It was like being in a candy store - a lot of partying, a relatively hedonistic time. It was more of a refuge for me, I was throwing myself into work." Rapace restricted in corset N oomi Rapace felt like she was in "prison" while filming `Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows'. The actress plays the role of Sim in the Victorian-set Guy Ritchie-directed sequel starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law, and she admits she struggled wearing a corset as it was very restrictive. She told Total Film magazine: "The corset is the worst thing! You can't really bend over, it feels like a prison, you can't do anything and it's painful. One day I was supposed to run, fall over, do a roll on the floor, stand up, grab a knife in my shoe and throw it. I was like, I just want to cut this hair and have trousers and, like, come on!'" However she admits she had no problem fitting in on the set of the film because the male-led set were very friendly. She added: "It was actually very easy to come into their little group of boys. They were very open and they really invited me into the conversation and onto the journey they've been on since day one." --Bang Showbiz y MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 Duffy splits from rugby star uffy and Mike Phillips have reportedly split up for a second time. The `Well, Well, Well' singer - who had been in a relationship with 29-year-old rugby player since September 2009 - reportedly broke up with the sportsman while he was in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup earlier this month because they never get to see each other. The split comes after the pair first broke up in May but quickly reconciled. A friend told the Mail on Sunday newspaper: "It's sad but it's all over. "Mike and Duffy went through a rough patch in May but they worked through it and spent the summer together between London and Wales. "We were all hoping it would work out but they broke it off again recently and Duffy has said this time it's final. "It happened a few weeks ago during the World Cup. It's largely down to their careers and the fact that they rarely get to spend time together." Duffy, 27, has previously D spoken of her delight at being in a committed relationship with Mike, as she previously romanced some "idiots", including Mark Durston, who claimed she wrote her first album `Rockferry' about him. She said: "I had a few other relationships but all of them were gracious enough not to come forward. So what does that tell you about him? It's not a great character reference for someone. "There are streams of idiots that I have loved and lost but now Mike is the guy for me." De Niro spoils Cooper s dog R obert De Niro sends presents to Bradley Cooper's dog. The Hollywood legend became enamoured with Bradley's pet pooch Charlotte on the set of `Limitless' and can't resist spoiling the dog when he sees something he thinks she would like. A source said: "He sent the pooch two pink leather collars and leashes, dog sweaters and treats. Brad was touched." However, Robert also has a mischievous side and likes playing practical jokes on Bradley whenever he gets the chance. The source added to National Enquirer magazine: "After finishing `Limitless', De Niro sent a dozen pizzas to Brad's home with the toppings he hates most - sardines and anchovies." Robert and Bradley hit it off while working on the movie together and the insider revealed despite the age gap between the 36-year-old Hollywood hunk and the 68year-old screen veteran, they loved to "get together and eye all the cute actresses and Sheen was rejected for movies M ichael Sheen used to be rejected for movie roles because he wasn't a big enough name. The British actor says he went for audition after audition when he first moved to Los Angeles but would regularly be turned down because bosses wanted someone who would attract big audiences. He said: "I was going up for films, it was just audition after audition, and people would say, `Well, you're the best actor we've seen, you're perfect for this part - but the studio needs a bigger actor, they need a bigger name.' So there was a lot of that for a period of time." Michael - who has a 12-year-old daughter, Lily, with ex-girlfriend Kate Beckinsale - also revealed how big acting roles only started coming in when he decided to stop worrying about it. He said: "It was always sort of a weird combination where Kate sort of felt - she'd never gone to drama school, so she felt like I was doing very worthy work, and she felt unworthy at times - which was never true. But on the other hand I felt like, `Oh I wish I was having more success in film.' So that was quite frustrating. And actually it was only once I said right, that's it, I'm going to forget about a film career and just do what I do, then almost immediately it happened." Timberlake has a crush on Middleton ustin Timberlake has a crush on Pippa Middleton. The singer-and-actor - who recently reconciled with Jessica Biel following a brief split - thinks he is like many of his countrymen in admiring the brunette beauty - who is the sister of Britain's Duchess Catherine - but doesn't want to sound like a "sleazeball" by discussing how attractive he finds her. He told the new issue of Britain's Esquire magazine: "Us American males are big fans of Pippa. We like the Middletons very much. I'm going to sound like a sleazeball. I'm going to stop right there." Justin is not the only celebrity to have spoken about finding Pippa attractive. `Forget You' hitmaker Cee Lo Green recently admitted he has become more "selective" in who he dates and thinks the party planner would be a perfect match for him. He said: "As men, when we become famous, we become as particular as pretty women. So, these days I'm more selective. I can't be screwing around with just anyone now. "I've got to go for a duchess or something. I've got to aim for ... what's her name? Pippa? Piper?" Asked if he meant Pippa, he said: "Yeah. I've got to go for Pippa, man. She's gorgeous. I like her." N-Dubz rapper Dappy praised Pippa as "buff" and said he thought Prince William should have married her instead of her elder sister. He said: "Have you seen the way she looks in that little tight dress going up that aisle? She is buff. "She should be getting married to Will! She's the one our eyes are on, innit." J Montag writing an autobiography he onetime `Hills' star - who recently announced she and her husband Spencer Pratt are broke - is set to pen her memoirs and reveal shocking details about her marriage to her former co-star and why her friendship with Lauren Conrad fell apart. A source said: "She'll talk about the control that Spencer exerted over her, which forced her to make bad decisions that ultimately got her kicked off `The Hills'. "A big chunk of the book will be about how Heidi befriended Lauren and how devastated she was when she ended up dumping her as her BFF. Maybe something positive will come out of it "She's happy to have people read the full story and make up their own minds." Heidi is also set to spill the beans on her dramatic plastic surgery which saw her transform her looks with 10 operations in one day. The source added to National Enquirer magazine: "She blames a lot of it on the pressure of being in the public spotlight. She wanted to make herself look like a Barbie doll." T A e niv rsar n Years LIFESTYLE M u s i c & M o v i e s 37 Arab teens rap out angry politics in Nazare M ai and Amane, Arab Israeli teenagers living in Nazareth, are happy to leave talk about boys and make-up to their peers. They have a political message and they're telling it through rap music. The girls, only 15 and 16, make up the duo "Damar"-Arabic for "destruction"-whose mission is to expose what they say is the routine discrimination they experience growing up as part of Israel's Arab minority. Mai Zarqawi and Amane Tattur formed Damar after meeting at school in the Jewish-Arab city of Nazareth in 2009, and discovering a shared interest in fighting for Palestinian rights. "We don't hate Jews," says Zarqawi. "We hate the idea of how Zionism came and took over our land and our culture and left us nothing." They refuse to identify themselves as Arab Israeli, but rather as Palestinians living in Nazareth, home to some 72,000 people. And their lyrics are just as direct. "Do you think the third generation will be Israeli, bro? Time will not make them forget but instead it will add history...we don't want your silence, we don't want prisons and borders," they rap in their song "Third Generation". "They buy us with money to recruit us all the time, they steal our culture even humus and ful... The minority is fighting for freedom, Palestine is in our hearts, not forgotten," it continues. Israel's Arab community of 1.6 million, which represents about 20 percent of the population, is made up of the 160,000 Palestinians who stayed behind after establishment of the Jewish state in 1948, and their descendants. Although they hold Israeli nationality, Arab Israelis in practice remain second-class citizens, with the sector receiving far fewer government resources for health, education and economic development. They struggle to maintain their cultural and political identity as Palestinians in a Jewish state where any expression of Arab national sentiment is viewed as a threat. "As a Palestinian, I want to have a voice. I want to have freedom of expression. I love hip-hop and I love my identity. So when you bring them both together, you get Damar," Zarqawi says. Inspired by American singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill and US rapper Nas, the girls' music criticizes Israel's policy toward the Palestinians and takes on issues like the towering security barrier that cuts across the West Bank. our music we're going to build a new generation that really understands what is going on here." Their lyrics, schools. We rap about what it's like growing up with two sides fighting and how this affects us," says Zarqawi. "We would talk about how Arab teenagers don't understand where they are from. They have an identity crisis because they have Israeli ID's and Palestinian heritage." At first, no-one took them seriously. The girls struggled with a taboo against female musicians, and parents who thought the group was a passing fad. "In the beginning, my parents were like, `OK, she's a teenager, she will forget everything.' But when we recorded our first song, they started to take me seriously and supported me a lot," Zarqawi says. "They let me go perform in Jordan myself, which was a big deal." Tattur says her parents also support the group. "They love what we are doing. It's the same with our friends. In the beginning no one accepted the idea of us rapping, but they began to understand the lyrics and what message we are trying to get across." Their gradual acceptance has paid off with growing success in the Arabic hip hop scene, one of the fastest-growing genres in the Middle East. It first made an appearance on the Palestinian scene in the late 1990s with the formation of the three-piece outfit DAM, otherwise known as Da Arabic MCs. Another name attracting interest is Shadia Mansour, a BritishPalestinian rapper in her mid-20s who has the moniker "the first lady of Arabic hip hop". DAM and Mansour both rap about politics and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but what makes Damar unique is the girls' young age. So far, the pair has toured the West Bank and Jordan, and are working on a first album. As for the future, Tattur is an aspiring actress while Zarqawi wants to pursue a career in music. Both, however, insist they will stick with Damar to continue spreading their political message. "Hair, makeup and boys don't concern us," says Tattur. "As a teenager, Israel concerns us. There are a lot of problems here. Some people tell you you're Israeli, some people tell you you're Palestinian. So you get confused. "We want to build a new generation through our music and words," she adds. "We want to be role models for other teenagers." --AFP y MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 Arab Israeli youths Amani Tatour and Mai Dmar sing the rap duo "Damar" (Arabic for destruction) in a studio in the city of Nazareth, northern Israel, on October 27, 2011. --AFP `We want to be role models' "Everywhere we go, we just see the wall in front of us," Tattur says. "It destroyed our dreams, so through mostly written by Tattur, also reflect their own teen experience. "Our first song is about Arab schools being completely different to Israeli Ghost of Michael Jackson, haze of meds, hangs over trial Algerian film wins A t times the wood-lined courtroom could have passed for a medical lecture theater: experts with saline drip stands and complicated graphs earnestly demonstrating the half-life of benzodiazepines. Except that you don't usually see Janet and LaToya Jackson sitting in the back of a pharmacology class, listening attentively to explanations of sedation thresholds and titration techniques. But this has been the scene in the plainly furnished room on the ninth floor of the LA Superior Court in downtown Los Angeles, where Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray has been on trial for the last five weeks. Michael Jackson has been the spectre hanging over proceedings which come to a climax this week. "Let's deal with the elephant in the room here," defense attorney Michael Flanagan intoned last Thursday. "Conrad Murray has been accused of infusing a dose of propofol and leaving his patient. Can you justify that?" His star witness, Dr Paul White, couldn't. But that was what he was here for, to debunk the prosecution claim that Grenada-born medic Murray was guilty of involuntary manslaughter over the King of Pop's 2009 death. Murraywho has sat grim-faced throughout the sometimes harrowing, sometimes eyeglazingly dull testimony-denies the charge. His iPad-wielding lawyers Ed Chernoff and lugubrious sidekick Flanagan have done their best to defy the odds and get him off, arguing that Jackson was a desperate addict who would have killed himself accidentally anyway. They have been helped by a spectacular litany of medical problems from which Jackson apparently suffered for years before his untimely death on June 25, 2009, on the eve of an ill-fated series of comeback shows in London. Incontinence, insomnia and mental instability were just three revealed in painful detail at the trial, which heard how Jackson died from a cocktail of the sedatives lorazepam, midazolam and propofol, given to help him sleep. A condom catheter, intravenous (IV) drug tube and oxygen nasal canulla were attached to Jackson's body when paramedics arrived, while pictures of his naked corpse on a hospital gurney had his family running from the courtroom. Led by his mother Katherine and father Joe, the family has filed in every day since September 27, some members more often than others-to sit on the wooden benches reserved for them at the front of the court's public seating. Occasionally, they would turn to exchange words with journalists sat behind them, while Jackson fans-winners of a daily ballot for tickets for the handful of spare seats in court-were consigned to the back row. Genial judge Michael Pastor has drawn praise, sharing jokes with the jurors and court staff-but he is not to be crossed: when a fan's phone went off near the trial's start, she was escorted smartly out, the device confiscated. Early witnesses included a cocktail waitress and a quintessentially Hollywood actress, Murray's girlfriend-who couldn't contain her breathless excitement at having met Michael Jackson, even as she discussed his death. A string of friendly character witnesses came on proclaiming how the "caring" Murray saved their lives and treated them for free-prompting the 58-year-old medic to dab his eyes at one stage. But the last week descended into a dizzying blizzard of medical testimony, as key witnesses argued over exactly what Murray might have done, or not done, in the fateful hours before Jackson's death. --AFP top award at Qatar festiva Director Merzak Allouache winner of the Best Arab Narrative film (Normal) at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival is seen on stage during the award ceremony. --AFP photos (From left) Antonio Banderas and Omar Sharif congratulate Abdullaziz Al-Nujaym who won Best Arab Short Film with `Where Are You (Wenak)' . The only Arab woman to be recognized by the panel of judges was the Lebanese documentary producer Rania Stephan, who was awarded the "Best Arab Documentary Filmmaker" prize for her portrayal of the life of Souad Hosni, a famous Egyptian actress who died in London in 2001. The Best Documentary film prize was awarded to "The Virgin, the Copts and Me" directed by French-Egyptian Namir Abdel Messeeh. The film festival opened Tuesday with a screening of "Black Gold," a movie by French director Jacques Annaud partly filmed in the gas-rich Gulf country. Starring Antonio Banderas and Freida Pinto, "Black Gold" tells the story of two emirs locked in a feud after the discovery of oil, as a young leader emerges to unite the desert tribes. US actor and the founder of New York's Tribeca Film Festival, Robert De Niro, helped organize the first Doha festival in 2009. Doha launched its festival this year four days after the end of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, in what is seen as a growing cultural competition between Gulf cities. Dubai is holding its own festival from December 7 to 14. Film festivals in the Gulf states, spared the uprisings across the Arab world, have stolen the limelight this year after Damascus and Cairo cancelled their annual events due to unrest in both Egypt and Syria. --AFP Q Nick Broomfield, Azize Tan and Hakim Belabbes award Rania Stephan best Arab Documentary Film for `The Three Disappearances of Souad Hosni' . atar's annual film festival gave its top award to filmmaker Merzak Allouache's production of "Normal", a movie that follows disillusioned Algerian youth in the wake of the "Arab Spring" revolutions. The award, which carries a bonus of $100,000 dollars, was announced at the third annual Doha Tribeca Film Festival awards ceremony Saturday, alongside seven other prizes, including, best Arab documentary film, best Arab short film, and best performance by an Arab actor. The winners were chosen by a five-member panel of judges headed by award winning Syrian director Mohammed Malas, well-known throughout the Arab world for his movies. Allouache dedicated his award to the "Syrian people's struggle", referencing the eight-month uprising against President Bashar Al-Assad, who has spearheaded a brutal crackdown on protesters that according to UN figures, has claimed more than 3,000 lives. A highlight of the festival was the Moroccan-French production "Omar Killed Me", a true story about a Moroccan immigrant to France who was convicted of murdering his wealthy French employer and pardoned by French President Jacques Chirac seven years later. The movie's director, Moroccan Roschdy Zem, was awarded the "Best Arab Narrative Filmmaker" prize, which carries a bonus of $50,000 dollars. Antonio Banderas and Omar Sharif award top honors. Lebanese actress and director Nadine Labaki and her husband, music composer Khaled Mouzannar. British singer Leona Lewis arrives to attend the closing night after party at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival. (Right to left) Actress Michelle Yeoh, director Luc Besson and producer Virginie Besson-Silla. US actor Robert De Niro arrives with his wife Grace Hightower De Niro. MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 lifestyle F E A T U R E S I t may look like an ordinary kickboxing class, but the students are among the Cambodian capital's poorest street children-and their instructor is a national superstar. Laughter echoes through the small community centre on the outskirts of Phnom Penh as 20 children, aged three to 14, attempt to copy the powerful right kick that has helped legendary kickboxer Eh Phuthong rack up nearly 200 wins. Now retired after almost two decades in the ring, Eh, himself no stranger to poverty, says he hopes passing on his fighting skills will give the youngsters in his downtrodden neighborhood a better life. "They are poor kids, some are orphans. I am showing them the art of fighting so they can defend themselves," the broad-shouldered 38year-old told AFP after the training session. "I also tell them to stay healthy, stay in school and stay away from drugs." The man who could famously break an opponent's arm with just one kick has proved a big hit with the street kids at the day centre operated by Australian charity Child Wise. "If you can imagine what it would have been like to have (famed former world heavyweight boxing champion) Muhammad Ali teach you how to box as a child, that is what it is like for these children learning from their very own national hero," said Barb Eason, who manages the group's community centre project. The regular activity also gives the children "something to look forward to, improves their self-esteem and teaches them discipline and personal safety", she added. Both UNICEF and Child Wise estimate that there are between 10,000 and 20,000 children working on the city's streets, and around 1,000 of them live on the streets full-time. "Factors as to why children are on the streets include poverty, domestic violence, rapid population growth, and rural-urban migration," added Eason, who also blamed "weaknesses in the education system". Many of the children spend long hours on the streets scavenging or begging for money. And it is a life fraught with danger. `I am poor like them' "They are highly vulnerable to various forms of abuse and exploitation, including Cambodia's `Muhammad Ali' fights for street children sexual abuse and trafficking," said Souad AlHebshi, chief of child protection at UNICEF Cambodia. "In my experience, violence against street children occurs 100 percent of the time," added Eason. She credits Eh with boosting the self-esteem of his pupils and says he is able to get through to these fiercely independent youngsters not just because of his star power, but because he has shared some of their experiences. "He too was very poor when he was a child and did not have the opportunity to go to school," Eason said. Rubbish scavenger Vong Nith, who looks younger than his 12 years, says spending time with his idol has given him more confidence. "I used to be afraid of being beaten up by the children of rich people," he said, explaining that this kept him out of school. But now that he is on friendly terms with a celebrity and knows how to defend himself, Vong says he's "not fearful anymore" of going to class. "I have many friends at my school now," he said. "When I grow up I want to become a famous kickboxer like Eh Phuthong." These photos show Cambodian kickboxer Eh Phuthong training children at the Child Wise Center in Phnom Penh. --AFP photos find a longer-term solution, Eason said. Since he started working with them nearly a year ago, Eh says he has seen the hardened children transform. "Now, they all go to school. And when they have problems or a conflict, they come to me and ask for advice. They are not hottempered kids anymore and they know how to respect their elders." Keen to make the After a career that brought fame but not fortune, Eh today lives alongside his students in the resettlement village of Borei Santhapheap 2, all of them victims of the forced evictions that have become commonplace in Cambodia in recent years. The impoverished village, inconveniently located some 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the city centre the residents used to call home, has only minimal infrastructure and lacks job opportunities. Eh was already giving free kickboxing lessons to local boys and girls when Child Wise asked him and his wife Sang Somaly, who is also a kickboxer, to run a new community centre in the area. Aside from the fighting lessons, the facility provides meals and learning materials and offers a safe environment for youngsters to hang out when they want to take a break from life on the street. Eh and his wife, who have four children and often struggle to make ends meet themselves, are known to go beyond the call of duty and regularly open their home to children in immediate need of shelter until Child Wise can most of Eh's enduring appeal, Child Wise plans to take him to communities in other parts of the country to give talks about protecting children from abuse and exploitation, Eason said. "Everyone he meets is eager to hear what he has to say," she said. Eh says he will do what he can to give vulnerable children a fighting chance at a decent future. "I want to be a role model and help these kids because I am poor like them." -- AFP Picasso takes lead in big New York art sales Coldplay keeps `Mylo Xyloto' off streaming plans B ritish band Coldplay is withholding its latest album, "Mylo Xyloto," from all-you-can-listen streaming services such as Spotify and Rhapsody making it the biggest band yet to express reservations about a system that pays artists a fraction of a penny every time someone listens to a song. The decision for the hot-selling album, releasing tomorrow, is a blow to such services, which have millions of tracks available but rely on new tunes to keep listeners interested. Consumers typically pay $10 a month for the right to pick any track or album from a library of millions and listen on demand via online streaming. Users can also download songs to mobile devices. Some services offer lengthy trials or free options with ads. Usually, new tracks are available on the services tomorrow, the same day they are released for sale. The lack of availability of Coldplay's fifth album on subscription plans could push consumers to buy the album outright. Coldplay's recording company, EMI, said in a statement "We always work with our artists and their management on a case by case basis to deliver the best outcome for each release." Rhapsody president Jon Irwin said he respects the band's decision and needs to do a better job explaining the benefits of the subscription system to artists. In an editorial he wrote for Billboard magazine on Monday, Irwin said he agreed that some reported royalties paid to artists - as low as 0.015 cents per play on Spotify and 0.91 cents on Rhapsody - "seem awfully small." By comparison, recording labels and artists share about 70 percent of the $1.29 per track or $9.99 per album when music is bought on Apple Inc.'s iTunes. Irwin argued that royalties from subscription music plans are recurring, not one-time as is the case with iTunes sales. Thus, he said, revenue will build over time. And in any case, he said it is better than what artists get paid for pirated songs - zero. "Those plays for that artist, they're going to get compensated by it," he said in an interview Thursday. "That goes on forever, and it doesn't end with the sale of an MP3" song file. Spotify said in a statement that it also respects the decision of any artist regarding where their songs are made available. But the company pointed out that its service has "convinced millions of consumers to pay for music again." Spotify said it has paid $150 million to recording companies, artists and publishers since its launch three years ago. --AP `Tete de Femme au Chapeau Mauve' by Pablo Picasso is on display at Christie's during a preview of their Impressionist and Modern Art sale in New York. (Right) "Femme Assise" by Pablo Picasso. --AFP photos hristie's and Sotheby's hold their big autumn art sales blockbuster" sale aiming for more than $215 million, with a 1930s, "Femme endormie" and "Tete de femme au chapeau in New York starting this week, with both houses centerpiece in Edgar Degas's landmark sculpture "Petite mauve." Both are estimated to sell at $12-18 million. "Picasso remains the gold standard for collectors the world over, and looking to Pablo Picasso to excite a robust market. danseuse de quatorze ans," estimated at $25-35 million. Other star lots include a pair of Picasso portraits from the Christie's has sold four Picasso works for over the $15 milThe prominence of important works by Picasso, Matisse and lion mark so far this year," the auction house said. Sotheby's other modern masters in the impressionist and modern art "L'Aubade" is a strong example of Picasso's later work, exesales at Christie's tomorrow and Sotheby's on Wednesday cuted in the 1960s when he was in his 80s and fearfully facreflects the healthy appetite this year for big-ticket works, ing the end of his life. auctioneers said. A strong market is also expected the fol"Picasso had this terrible fear of death, so for him, staying lowing week when the two houses hold their contemporary alive was painting or having sex," said David Norman, worldart auctions. wide chairman of the impressionist department at Simon Shaw, head of the modern and impressionist Sotheby's. The large work goes in both those directions, department at Sotheby's, said the offerings are "slightly bigdepicting a would-be younger Picasso waking his nude ger in the number of lots, (which) reflects perhaps an lover with a flute in what Norman called an "ecstatic, blissful, increased confidence." A low estimate of $185 million is Arcadian state." The huge Matisse bas-relief bronze comes expected for the Wednesday sale, led by Picasso's playful with its own tale. It is in fact one of a group of four, with the and erotic "L'Aubade," estimated at $18-25 million, and Henri others named "Dos II,""Dos III," and "Dos IV." Consigned by The Matissse's monumental bronze sculpture of a woman seen Burnett Foundation of Forth Worth, Texas, the group had from the back, "Nu de dos," estimated at $20-30 million. been on offer for private sale. But although "there was Another keenly awaited lot is the mosaic-like pastoral scene tremendous interest," the package was simply beyond what "Litzlberg on the Attersee" by Gustav Klimt, estimated in the market could offer, Norman said. --AFP excess of $25 million. Christie's, meanwhile, promised "a `Femme Endormie' by Pablo' Picasso. C MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 lifestyle F A S H I O N For preteen girls, a new product: Scented shoelaces or Apparel Dynasty, a Bohemia, NY, clothing company, when it comes to sneakers, makeup bags, wallets-or scented shoelaces-the watchwords are, in co-owner Stacey Grieco's words, "cute and affordable." "We have been in business for about a year, actually debuting our line at last February's Magic Show in Vegas," Grieco said Friday in an email. "It was an eye-opening experience as from that show, we got the idea to expand our product line into a full-fledged shoe and shoe accessories line." The company is working now to expand its network of retailers selling scented shoelaces, marketed to preteen girls, with direct-toconsumer and fundraising information at scentedshoelaces.com. The laces are loaded with such scents as pancake batter, bubble gum, sweet relish, fortune cookie, fried egg, ketchup. Also, Grieco says, "We do have an interesting repertoire of platform pumps, ballet flats and sneakers... and we incorporate those designs into makeup bags, wallets and luggage, that's cute and affordable." Retailers interested in buying wholesale can contact the company at email@example.com. F Apparel Dynasty produces many scented clothing products from scentsational shirts and shoelaces to everyday items like notepads.-- MCT photos The company hopes girls will use the laces as all-around decorations and accessories. Its website offers advice on "Fun Ways to Wear Your Scented Shoelaces"-as ribbons on ponytails, as a belt, looped on backpacks. Apparel Dynasty also sells scented T-shirts and posters and a line of shoes, sneakers and bags under the Acrylicana brand name. --MCT Fashion Week Chinese models wear creations of Taiwanese designer Tsai Meiyue during a fashion show in Beijing, China, yesterday. -- AP/AFP photos Chinese models wear creations by Chinese fashion house Tanya couture fashion collection. Arab teens rap out angry politics in Nazareth MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2011 37 A zombie dressed man poses for a photo in Caracas on October 29, 2011. About 300 fans of zombies marched on Saturday night looking for fun on the Halloween eve. --AFP Boo-tiful costumes ant to make your own Halloween shivers? Here are a handful of frighteningly easy food and decor treats to make for a party, your child's classmates or just your own family's enjoyment. Except for the cake pan, the materials are cheap, and everything is available locally at craft stores and baking-supply shops. Painted pumpkins: Carving a jack-o'-lantern should wait until just days before Halloween because in the unseasonably warm weather we're experiencing this year, the cut pumpkin flesh quickly will start to wither and attract bugs. In the meantime, kids can have fun painting spooky or silly faces and designs on mini pumpkins. The three pictured here were created by 10-year-old Connor Farrow. For the white and black pumpkins, a coat of spray paint first was applied. The stems were protected with aluminum foil. The faces were sketched on paper, then on the pumpkins, using pen so that mistakes could be removed with a Mr Clean Magic Eraser. Connor used acrylic craft paints and a black paint pen to make the designs. W Simple projects to make Halloween even more fun Skull cakes make for an eye-catching treat for Halloween. --MCT photos easiest to lay it on a rimmed cookie sheet. It will spread into a pool, which you can apportion as you like. Note: If kids keep their hands and play surface clean, and return the goo to its bag after use, it should provide many hours of play. Monster egg: Like the mini pumpkins, this was painted by Connor Farrow with acrylic craft paint. Start by painting a rounded river rock the color of your choice. Paint the "hole" and shell cracks black (you may want to use a paint pen for the cracks), then paint any creepy eyes you like. It doesn't matter whether you use flat or gloss paint, because you'll want to spray the egg with a protective coat of glossy clear lacquer. his Halloween, elements of the perfect costume could be in your junk drawer, closet or garage. To prove that some of the best costumes can be made from everyday items around your house, we sought the expertise of some Twin Cities costume designers. "A big part of it is just being bold," said Lisa Conley, exhibit props specialist for the Minnesota Children's Museum. "We can get locked into the idea that a box has to be a box, but imagination is all about letting yourself look at things in a different way, and not worrying that it won't turn out quite right." So, put away the checkbook and put your creativity to the test. Time traveler Drawing inspiration from the classic scifi novel "The Time Machine," by H.G. Wells, Pierce Brown, 6, dons goggles, a top hat, utility belt and a wrist device to control his trip into the future. Artist: Lisa Conley, exhibit props specialist for the Minnesota Children's Museum. What you need: Cardboard boxes, electrical tape and paint. How to assemble: Cut the cardboard into the shapes you want, then fasten them together and cover with tape. Tiger in the jungle Draped in a bedsheet, Avah Fick-Dorn, 5, is transformed into something more elaborate than a ghost. Use T No tricks, just talent Anika Greenside, 10, shows off her sassy personality in this easy-tomake bumblebee costume. A construction hat and tool belt add fun personalization. -- MCT by Daniel Greenside, 13. Artist: Rich Hamson, costume designer for Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. What you need: Black trash bags, a baseball cap, black duct tape and yellow reflective tape. How to assemble: Use one bag as the base, one bag for the wings, one bag for the headpiece and the rest for long strips of feathers, which get taped on. Cover the hat's brim with yellow reflective tape to make the crow's beak. --MCT Sweet bones are fun to display on a bed of crushed chocolate graham crackers, either on a plate or tray. For a few dollars more than a mini pumpkin, a child can create a lasting piece of decor by painting the foam craft pumpkins that are popping up at more and more stores, from Target to Hobby Lobby to Michaels and others. (Some of these foam pumpkins, like Funkins, are carvable, too.) Note: Remind kids to be patient with their painting. It's harder to paint on a curved surface than on a sheet of paper, and they'll need to let one color dry before applying another atop it or adjacent to it. Edible arachnids: Mmmm, crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside-just like a real spider! These candy critters could not be easier. Start with a round lollipop, such as a Tootsie Roll Pop or a Charms Blow Pop. Wrap it in a small square of black tissue paper or, as used here, squares cut from black paper napkins. Secure the paper to the lollipop stick by twisting three or four pipe cleaners around it. Bend the pipe cleaners into "M" shapes to create legs; if you bend them just so, they'll lift your spider's body a bit so that it wiggles when lightly tapped. Glue on some googly eyes and you're done. Boo goo: Kids eat this stuff up! (Well, not literally, but the good news is that if a child does consume some, it's nontoxic.) We've packaged this slime in zip-seal snack-size bags to give to kids at birthday and Halloween parties, and it's always a hit. It's easy to make and-if you ensure kids use it only on tabletops and other solid surfaces-easy to clean up. Even if dropped on fabric or carpet, it's easily picked up if you do it immediately. Note, though, that if you color it heavily and let it lie on a surface, it may stain. It's best to have kids play with it on a tray or wax paper. One batch should make enough to be divided among 10 snack bags. Here's how to make it: 1. In one mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of water, 1 cup of white glue and six drops of food coloring. (We used Elmer's Glue-All and, to get a richer color, Wilton Icing Colors. These come in 1-ounce bottles and the dye is a gel, which I extracted from the bottle with a toothpick, then stirred into the water/glue mix.) 2. In a second mixing bowl, stir 4 teaspoons of borax into 1? cups of warm water until it's dissolved. 3. Pour the contents of the first bowl into the second. Knead it by hand to ensure the dye is evenly distributed among the goo. Drain off the excess water. To divide the goo into portions, we've found it "Black crow" requires black trash bags. Decorate a monster egg using acrylic craft paint. Sweet bones: If you search "sweet bones" on marthastewart.com, where we got this particular recipe, you'll see picture-perfect meringue bones. I'm no Martha Stewart, but with a bit of practice, I was able to pipe shapes that clearly looked like bones. And my kids were happy to gobble up my mistakes. For a party, these bones are fun to display on a bed of crushed chocolate graham crackers, either on a plate or tray. Gummy worms are a nice accent. I've baked these bones before and they came out great-crisp and dry to the touch. This year, they stayed a little sticky on the surface, but I remedied the problem by rolling the bones in powdered sugar. Skull cake: Want to do something simple but eye-catching for a Halloween celebration cake walk or bake sale? This will put you "a head" of the game. With this Dimensions 3-D Skull Pan, even a simple white cake dusted with powdered sugar will have kids-boys, at least -- oohing and aahing. A plastic spider and some eyeballs from Dollar Tree dressed it up a little, but to see what true cake-decorating artists can do with the skull cake as a starting point, check out www.wilton.com/shapedpan/Dimensions-3D-Skull-Pan. There, you'll see images of, and instructions for, mummy, monster and Day of the Dead cakes that use the pan. The pan's retail price is $34.99, but you're likely to find a sale or store coupon that will save you some money. -- MCT Kids can get creative painting pumpkins - before the actual jack-o-lantern carving begins. a blue sheet for a "fish in the sea" or a brown sheet for a "lion in the Savannah." Artist: Cana Potter, freelance floral and costume designer; Mixed Blood Theater. What you need: Paper plates, one bedsheet, stuffed animals and markers. How to assemble: Design your mask and ears out of paper plates; fasten the ears to a headband. Decorate the bedsheet like a jungle using animals, markers or anything you can find. Bumble bee Anika Greenside, 10, shows off her sassy personality in this easy-to-make bumblebee costume. A construction hat and tool belt add fun personalization. Be your own bee with a quilt, needle and thread (quilting bee), a crown and party dress (queen bee), or Scrabble tiles (spelling bee). Artist: Shannon O'Black, costume shop manager, LyricArts. What you need: Two wire coat hangers, one pair of nylons, black electrical tape and items for personalization. How to assemble: Bend the hangers (one per wing) into the desired shape and slide into a pair of nylons or tights, then tape them together. For the bee's stinger, roll thin cardboard or card stock into a cone shape and wrap with black tape. Black crow Crows usually dig in trash bags, not wear them as modeled in this dramatic costume "Time traveler" Pierce Brown, 6, dons goggles, a top hat, utility belt and a wrist device to control his trip into the future. "Tiger in the jungle" requires a bedsheet.