7th May 2012
CR IP TI ON BS SU MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 Bahrain arrests rights activist Nabeel Rajab 40 PAGES NO: 15441 150 FILS 8 JAMADI ALTHANI 16, 1433 AH Clinton lands in India to breathe life into ties 11 Sky News Arabia goes on air, vows ‘objectivity’ 13 www.kuwaittimes.net Juventus champions as Milan lose derby 19 Socialist Hollande ousts Sarkozy as French leader Sarko concedes defeat, steps back from frontline politics PM gives access to probe panel By B Izzak KUWAIT: Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlSabah has oﬀered a parliamentary investigation committee full access to visit his oﬃces or any government department in its probe over allegation of corruption, a leading MP said yesterday. MP Faisal Al-Mislem, who heads the committee probing allegations of transferring public funds into the private accounts of the former premier, said that Sheikh Jaber was very cooperative during a meeting with the panel late Saturday night. He said the committee complained to the premier that many government departments and authorities are refusing to cooperate with the investigation under a variety of pretexts, mainly that the information is classiﬁed. Mislem said the prime minister vowed that the committee will be assisted to complete its investigation in the allegations which are also being investigated by a special judicial tribunal and the Audit Bureau. On Thursday, the committee interviewed head of the Audit Bureau Abdulaziz Al-Adasani, who had declined an earlier summons by the committee. Mislem, who has already made an inspection visit to the foreign ministry, is expected to visit other departments this week. Continued on Page 13 President-elect Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande waves as he arrives to give a speech after the results of the election yesterday in Tulle, southwestern France. (Inset) Defeated rightwing incumbent candidate Nicolas Sarkozy addresses his supporters after the results in Paris. — AFP Max 40º Min 25º High Tide 00:42 & 11:51 Low Tide 05:44 & 18:47 PARIS: Francois Hollande was elected France’s ﬁrst Socialist president in nearly two decades yesterday, dealing a humiliating defeat to incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy and shaking up European politics. The result will have major implications for Europe as it struggles to emerge from a ﬁnancial crisis and for France, the eurozone’s second-largest economy and a nuclear-armed permanent member of the UN Security Council. Hollande won the vote with about 52 percent, according to several estimates from polling ﬁrms based on ballot samples, becoming France’s ﬁrst Socialist president since Francois Mitterrand left oﬃce in 1995. Sarkozy quickly conceded defeat and signalled that he intends to step back from frontline politics. “The French people have made their choice... Francois Hollande is president of France and he must be respected,” the outgoing leader told an emotional crowd of supporters, adding that he had wished his successor well. “In this new era, I will remain one of you, but my place will no longer be the same. My engagement with the life of my country will now be diﬀerent, but time will never strain the bonds between us,” he told supporters. Sarkozy stopped short of conﬁrming his retirement, but leaders in his right-wing UMP party told AFP that he had told them he would not lead them into June’s parliamentary elections. Hollande thanked his supporters for electing him president and promised to be a leader to unite the whole country. “On this May 6, the French have just chosen change in bearing me to the oﬃce of president,” the 57-year-old candidate declared before a wildly cheering Continued on Page 13 2 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 LOCAL Kuwait heading towards electing popular PM ‘Turning point for the country’ By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Kuwait is heading towards forming a popularly elected government, said an academic. Speaking with Kuwait Times recently, University of Kuwait ’s Political Science Professor Shafeeq Ghabra noted that Kuwait will surely set an unprecedented trend in the region as a result of popularly competitive elections held by political parties that will form the government. “Kuwait is heading to that direction; we cannot deny or stop that. This will result in a popularly elected prime minister being chosen. Maybe we are looking at less than eight years. It’s in the process now,” he said. His statement was revealed months back to the Kuwait Times even before the recent proposal put for ward by MP Faisal AlYahya requests that Kuwait ’s Constitution be amended to adopt a full parliamentary system where the Parliament’s majority can form the Cabinet. The proposals ultimately call for creating a system that promotes an elected prime minister; a sensitive topic here because only members of Al-Sabah ruling family, handpicked by HH the Amir, have become prime ministers in Kuwait’s history. “There is no consensus yet, particularly with the elite and the Sabah family. It will be a turning point for Kuwait. What happened last year was a sign. The storming of the Parliament and bringing down the prime minister, a ruling family member who could become the Amir one day, set a precedent in Kuwait. These are all signs of where Kuwait is heading to,” he stressed. When asked if the so-called changes will be painful as being experienced by other countries in the Arab World, Ghabra pointed out that the road to change and reform has been painful and bloody as is the case with other nations in the Arab World. “It is not always easy to move into a democratic state if there is no consensus received from everybody. But Kuwait is historically known as being home to very peaceful people, very accommodating. Therefore, I do not see intense confrontations. Confrontation perhaps will take place, but this does not mean that it will be bloody. Taking Kuwait’s history into considertation, it has always been able to adjust to new conditions even after a period of refusal and anger,” he explained. Ghabra reiterated that the labor strike that took place months ago was not just a ‘test.’ It may recur. “They may stop now, but they may resume a month later; they will try to get the maximum of demands. If they don’t, they may go back on strike tomorrow [implied next time],” he warned. In further comments broadcast by Al-Rai T V, Al-Yahya believed that if the Constitution grants the Parliament the authority to object to an individual nominated by the Amir for the Crown Prince’s post, the Parliament must have the authority to do the same regarding the Amir’s choice for prime minister’s post, or even nominate a person who lawmakers see is the best fit for the post. “What is more crucial, choosing the person who is in line to become Kuwait’s future ruler, or choosing the next prime minister?” Yahya is the first lawmaker to propose constitutional amendments even during election campaign. In the interview broadcast by Al-Rai TV last Thursday, AlYahya said that the step was being taken decades later, was supposed to be made a few years after the Constitution was drafted fifty years ago. “HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah said two years ago that the Kuwaiti Constitution is a mixture of parliamentary and monarchy rule,” Al-Yahya said. “This situation creates conflict between the legislative and executive authorities.” The lawmaker also referred to a statement made fifty years ago by Dr Othman Khalil Al-Othman, one of the Constitution’s founders, who admitted that it is contradictor y, “as we seek to achieve harmony between two conflicting systems.” He later indicated that a full parliamentary system be adopted, albeit a few years after the Constitution was enforced. The suggestion was never realized owing to political troubles during which parliamentary results were forged. “Creators of the 1962 Constitution made a huge achievement during the beginning of Kuwait’s development,” Al-Yahya said, after examining the rocky history of Kuwait’s parliamentary system which featured five dissolved parliaments and thirty formed cabinets in five decades. “Fifty years later, we need a new quantum leap to be freed from the persisting crises in the political scene.” Scrap yard to be relocated KUWAIT: Plans have been prepared to move Amghara scrap yard from its current place to a new location near the Salmi (west) border area, a senior official announced recently. Maj Gen Jassem Al-Mansouri, General Director of the Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD), made the announcement one day after a fire engulfed tires, wood and steel stored in an estimated 6,000 square meter area in Amghara. “The new location will be more organized and takes into account all environmental standards”, Al-Mansouri said, adding that the relocation process will take place on a gradual basis. The Amghara scrap yard is currently divided into 771 units, the majority of which are in violation of safety and security conditions. Al-Mansouri said the units will be individually fenced from three directions “as a precautionary measure to prevent fires from spreading”, during the wait for relocation. Amghara’s blaze came shortly after a massive inferno that took place at Rahaiya (5 kilometers from Jahra) where at least five million used tires are dumped. Ahmad AlSabah, Director of Kuwait Municipality, reportedly recently received a letter from the Minister of Electricity and Water and State Minister of Municipality Affairs, Abdulaziz Al-Ibrahim, asking to “separate” disposal locations for tire dumping to individual 100 square meter locations. A group of Jahra residents were due to be joined by Municipal Council members in a gathering planned in front of the entrance to the Sixth Ring Road which leads to Amghara scrap yard to demand the relocation of the yard, according to news reports yesterday. A fact-finding committee formed to probe the reasons behind Rahaiya’s fire was reportedly assigned to do the same regarding Amghara’s fire as well, according to sources with knowledge of the issue. Corpse of citizen handed to family after two months KUWAIT: The Criminal Evidence General Department carried out all necessary measures within its jurisdiction in a case exposed recently by MP Mohammad AlJuwaihel, regarding a Kuwaiti citizen whose body was handed to his relatives two months after his death. This was confirmed in a report sent by the department to a committee formed by Minister of Interior, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, to investigate the death of citizen Nawaf AlAzmi. “After the department was notified on Feb 14, 2012 about a dead body found inside an apartment, criminal evidence personnel were sent to the scene”, says the report which details the steps taken by the department regarding the case. According to the report, investigators found no bruises on the victim’s body at the scene. It was then taken for an autopsy, which later confirmed that the body carried no evidence of physical assault. In the meantime, the report refutes allegations which indicate that criminal evidence investigators failed to recognize the victim. “The deceased was identified on the same day that the body was found, and the department personnel tried to contact the address registered in the database for his name”, the report says. It indicates that the house they contacted was registered in the name of the father of the victim, but it was abandoned. “A written notice was then referred to the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Prosecution Department to notify criminal investigators to search for the family of the victim”, the report says. A response was not made until a second letter, following which “(the criminal evidence department) were told that the case was transferred to another prosecution department” The report said the Criminal Evidence General Department contacted the Criminal Investigations General Department on April 16 to ask them to search for the family “despite the fact that this coordination process is not in their (the evidence department) jurisdiction”. Criminal investigators found the family two days later. The report is attached to documents which prove that the Criminal Evidence General Department carried out all their duties regarding the case. The investigations committee formed by the minister is currently working to find those responsible for the delay in handing the body to the victim’s family. —Al-Rai KUWAIT: Some of the dead fish found near the bay. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat Majority MPs try to prevent Turaiji supporting grilling By A Saleh Fish kill scare along Kuwait bay By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Fish have been dying in large numbers along Kuwait bay. This incident serves as an indicator of pollution or a major imbalance in marine environment, instilling fear of a possible fish kill. According to a local Arabic daily, Salah AlMudhi, General Director of Environment Public Authority (EPA) has accused people of spreading rumors most of the time. He said that dead fish could have been dumped into the sea by fishermen because most belonged to the ‘Giant Sea Catfish’ species. To assess the situation better, the EPA has requested the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) to investigate the cause and supervise the area. “Since last Friday, when EPA sought our assistance, we have begun daily inspection tours in the Kuwait Bay area, notic- ing that the number of fish have reduced drastically compared to Friday. We are still inspecting to make sure that it is not ‘fish kill’ and prevent more cases from occurring,” Sharik Awadh, PR of PAAAFR told Kuwait Times yesterday. “We aim to limit the problem and prevent fish kill in huge numbers and different kinds of fish. For this purpose, we are conducting daily marine inspection in different areas, not only at the bay. We do not know the reason behind these hundreds of types of dead fish, although we saw red tide twice, which may be the cause of fish kill. There are different reasons for the fish kill besides red tide. It may be pollution or high weather temperature. So, we are observing the sea. I think that the situation is under control even now,” he added. Awadh did not agree with the possibility that the dead fish were dumped by fishermen. “It is not realistic that the fishermen will throw such a huge number of dead fish into the sea. Furthermore, if the fishermen dump them, it would have been near the bay (Niga), a popular fishing spot, not deep inside the sea. So there is definitely another reason. But I’m optimistic and I hope it will not worsen,” he concluded. Khalid Al-Hajiri, Chairman of the Green Line Environment Group - Kuwait (GLEG) noted that the Group will collect information about the phenomenon. “To ascertain the exact reason, we have to do investigate the cause. We know that now one kind of fish has been affected, and we have to go back to history of fish kills in Kuwait, the area, circumstance and other situations. There is weakness in the Kuwait Bay area and in the past years, we have witnessed some fish kills cases which were not announced or published. So we need a few days to arrive at the final answer,” he pointed out. Gulf Theatre offers Jordanians glimpse of Kuwaiti folklore AMMAN: The Arabian Gulf Theatre troupe of the State of Kuwait offers Jordanian spectators in the ongoing Free Theatre Festival here a glimpse of Kuwaiti folklore and traditions, along with groups seeking to introduce the audience to Tunisia, Palestine, Libya, the host state Jordan, Holland, and Austria. Abdullah Al-Aber, Director of the Kuwaiti contribution in the festival with a play called AlBoshiyyah (the veil covering the face), said yesterday his play is an attempt to recapture Kuwaiti tradition and present it to the Jordanian audience within a modern approach. He said the play deals with social classifications. The script presents a society that unites against an “outsider” who is in fact a descendant of a “true member” of that same society. With 22 people acting, playing the music score and other technicians, the Director feels confident the play will be well received due to the great amount of shared values and cultural and social traits between Kuwait and the host state. The festival started on Saturday under the auspices of Princess Reem Ali at the Royal Cultural Center. Ali Elayyan, Festival Chairman, said theatre as an art form is a reading of history and a tentative forecast of the future. “It is an art form that keeps abreast of the current state of affairs and stays alive and thrives despite the great challenge of poor inadequate support,” he said. The first performance in the festival was a dance by a Palestinian Ramallah group. The festival lasts until May 10 and the main activity and attraction includes a symposium on the theme “Is the golden triangle losing one of its components? Audience, Text, and Artist.” The Free Theatre’s troupe is also presenting two productions of its own during the festival, one called “Alzheimer” and “Hijrah”, Arabic for migration. —KUNA KUWAIT: Well-informed sources said some Majority MPs are trying to prevent MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji from supporting the grilling motion by MP Mohammed AlJuwaihel’s against Interior Minister, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Humoud. The sources said although he will not go as far as to demand a no-confidence vote, Al-Turaiji is focusing on a number of violations involving forgery in nationalizing some citizens, granting visas to Iranians and the death of two citizens in police custody. Meanwhile, MP Hamad Al-Mattar, Chairman of the parliamentary environmental affairs committee, said it is scheduled to meet with Ahmadi residents to discuss their environmental concerns which include the gas leak in Block 1. Al-Mattar said Interior Minister, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Humoud, Oil Minister, Hani Hussein, and a Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD director, Yousef Al-Ansari, will be invited to attend the meeting as the concerned Government representatives. In another development, the parliamentary legislative committee yesterday met to discuss various topics on its agenda, such as establishing a special authority to fight corruption. MP Mohammed Al-Dallal, Committee Rapporteur, said that MPs made 36 suggestions in related bills and will meet again within two weeks to continue its discussions. Al-Dallal said the committee also discussed six requests to lift the parliamentary immunity from MPs Nabeel Al-Fadhel and Mohammed Al-Juwaihel, which were approved. MP Waleed AlTabtabaie, Chairman of the Kuwait branch of the International Islamic Parliamentarians Forum (IIPF), said its executive committee is preparing to hold a meeting in Kuwait from May 8 to 11. It will be hosted by the National Assembly. Sheikh Nasser denies accusations KUWAIT: Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad said that he has never financed any political groups in Kuwait or abroad. He added that, as a Kuwaiti citizens he is keen to maintain the political and social stability in the country. Sheikh Nasser’s comments were released in a statement by his legal representatives following claims, made by MP Nabeel Al-Fadel, to the media that Sheikh Nasser had financed opposition parties in Kuwait. The statement categorically denied the accusations, and noted that it is in violation of item21 of law3, 2006 regard- ing print and publication. The statement said that Al-Fadel continued to make baseless accusations about Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad without evidence. The statement further added that the MP did not back his accusations with any proof, but instead used the claims to incite hatred between Sheikh Nasser AlSabah and the ruling family, ministers and civil society. It concluded by saying that Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad reserves the right to take legal action against Al-Fadel.— Al-Jarida KPC, KISR sign KD 1.5m solar energy project K U WA I T: K u w a i t Pe t ro l e u m Corporation (KPC ) and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) signed here on Sunday a contract to execute the second stage of a solar energy project costing KD 1.5 million. Farouk Hussein Al-Zanki, KPC C E O, s a i d t h e c o r p o r a t i o n i s working to leverage researchers on and applications of renewable energy. “The second stage of the project concerns the execution of the initiative at three KPC sites, namely a petrol station, crude gathering center, and gas plant belonging to Kuwait Oil Tanker Co m p a ny ( KOTC - a K P C s u b sidiary),” Al-Zanki revealed. “The project aims to promote solar energy applications in electricity Generating, and reduce reliance on traditional energies. It is in keeping with the tendency of the country’s political leaders h i p a n d t h e K P C s t r a te g y fo r management of energy cons u m p t i o n i n a n e nv i ro n m e n t friendly way,” he noted. “The first stage of the project, concerned with studies and research, showed that solar energy bears a great promise as the best source of energy in Kuwait. This fac t encouraged KPC and KISR to proceed to the second stage of the projec t,” Al-Zank i added. Dr. Naji Al-Mutairi, KISR D i re c t o r G e n e r a l, p r a i s e d t h e relationship between his institute and KPC as special, saying that the partnership helps to promote technological advancement and i m p ro ve i n f r a s t r u c t u re i n t h e country. “ Th e p ro j e c t , b e i n g c a r r i e d out by national cadres, will contribute greatly to the domestication of advanced technologies, the preservation of oil resources and the protection of the environment,” Al-Mutairi said. The first stage cost KD 74,000, and the second one costing KD 1.5 m i l l i o n w i l l b e e xe c u t e d ove r the coming three days, he added. —KUNA MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 local News in brief KUWAIT: (Left) An emergency department of one of the hospitals in Kuwait. (Right) A hospital staff member putting on latex gloves before performing a medical procedure. —Photos by Joseph Shagra Hospital bacteria could be lethal By Sawsan Kazak KUWAIT: Infections, diseases, medical complications are all reasons a person would visit a hospital, but there is a bacteria that infects patients at the hospital who are seeking treatment or getting testing done. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an infection that affects people who have recently visited a hospital or healthcare facility. MRSA infection is caused by a strain of staph bacteria that’s become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections. This infection can manifest itself in a variety of ways. MRSA can cause the skin to develop small red pimples that can become painful abscesses that cause a lot of pain and need to be drained surgically. In severe cases the infection goes beyond the skin and gets deep into the body infecting a person’s bones, joints, blood stream and causing potentially lifethreatening infections. The question then arises: ‘Are Kuwait’s hospitals protecting themselves and their patients against MRSA?’ “MRSA is common in Kuwait, it’s acquired in the hospital. We see many cases of it, but it’s not normally a complaint. Patients don’t come in complaining of having MRSA, it’s a contaminant,” explains Dr Ziad, Chairman of Emergency Medicine, adding “they come in with something else and are infected with MRSA when they are at the hospital.” Dr Ziad explains that MRSA occurs everywhere around the world and can shut down wards and whole departments because of its contagiousness. “The best way to prevent it is hand hygiene by hospital staff between patients; that’s why we have strict regulations. When you perform a medical procedure on one patient, you must clean your hands, change your gloves, change the medical items you worked with before moving on to another patient,” the doctor explains. “It’s a hospital acquired infection, you wouldn’t normally catch it out on the street. A lot of people are actually carriers of this bacteria but they wouldn’t know about it,” he said. He explains that unlike the common cold, MRSA does not offer clear indications to identify it. “It’s not like a patient would complain of a sore throat and go to the hospital and discover it’s MRSA, that’s not how it happens. There aren’t any symptoms you could pinpoint. MRSA is a bacteria that can affect anything. It could affect a surgical wound, it could affect your chest infection. You could have a bladder infection and let’s say you have a catheter in the hospital and that catheter could be infected with MRSA and you would get it that way.” Dr Ziad explains that people are usually unaware that they have been infected. “It’s normally discovered in the hospital and treated there. A lot of times they call it a flesh eating bacteria, it gets a lot of publicity abroad,” he adds. The majority of people that carry it are actually doctors and nurses. “We could be carrying this bacteria in our noses, in our throats,” says the doctor of the usual carries of the bacteria. He says MRSA can be dangerous, it can even be quite lethal. “MRSA can infect wounds, complicate all sorts of surgeries. It can potentially be life threatening,” the doctor explains. According to an infection control specialist, “More than 30 percent of the population are carriers of the bacteria and the carriers are at more risk of it developing into an infection.” She further explains that the population is not screened as screening only happens for certain individuals, such as people entering an intensive care unit or about to undergo sur- gery or when people are being transferred from one hospital to another. The infection control specialist also insists that hand washing is the best method of prevention. “It’s hard to put the responsibility on the patients when it’s the doctors and nurses’ jobs to keep clean,” says Dr Ziad about what patients should do to protect themselves. “Patients don’t normally go around touching other patients, but good hand hygiene is advocated,” he adds. “MRSA is a nosocomial infection, which means it is acquired in the hospital,” says Gino, a medical laboratory specialist at a public hospital. Gino explains that this type of infection is highly infectious saying “if a family member has MRSA, then the rest of the family is at high risk of getting the infection. Medical staff treating patients with MRSA are also at high risk of getting infected.” Gino advises the use of gloves and face masks as a way of protecting against the infection, as well as constant hand washing. “There are many cases at our hospital, about 40 to 50 percent of patients with active infections have MRSA,” says the laboratory specialist who insists that good hygiene by the staff and patients could reduce the amount of infections. NA examines anti-corruption bills KUWAIT: The parliamentary committee for legal and legislative affairs pondered on Sunday bills concerning the establishment of an authority to fight corruption, and approved lifting the immunity of two members of the National Assembly. Dr. Mohammad Al-Dallal, Commission rapporteur, said members of the committee also discussed proposed laws to fight corruption, disclosing financial assets, the protection of funds and averting conflicts of interests. He said they examined up to 36 bills with representatives of the Kuwait Bar Association and Kuwait Transparency Society. He added that the committee asked the Government and representatives of civil associations to put forward their remarks and comments in writing, noting that the committee will hold another meeting in two weeks to finalize examination of the pro- posed laws, pending their submission to the National Assembly. Moreover, the commission endorsed several bills allowing the Court of Cassation to examine conviction misdemeanor cases, noting that the existing law does not allow the tribunal to look into such appealed cases. Furthermore, it approved revoking Article 15 of the penal code which stipulates imprisonment of a citizen or resident for promoting PM ‘very cooperative’ with probe panel KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak AlSabah, testified for the first time on Saturday during a parliamentar y committee meeting to probe allegations that his predecessor transferred millions in public funds to private accounts overseas. The premier was “very cooperative” in regards to making his testimony under oath and answering all questions asked according to MP Faisal Al-Mislem, committee head. “HH Sheikh Al-Mubarak gave me his approval to visit his diwan whenever necessary”, Al-Mislem said following the meeting, adding that the Premier also promised to visit ministries not cooperating with the investigation. Sources familiar with the meeting said Sheikh Jaber explained that he gave orders to stop the process by which transfers can be made through verbal orders at his diwan. The news came out simultaneously with reports that former Prime Minister, Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Sabah, testified on Thursday at the Court of Ministries in charges filed against him regarding the same case. According to sources with knowledge of the issue, the former Premier “refuted all allegations by insisting that all transfers were made to serve Kuwait’s interests”. Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad is yet to testify to the parliamentary investigations committee, which already filed a request to Parliament head office to extend their work throughout the summer as well as seeking help from the State Audit Bureau. In other news, the Development and Reform Bloc (DRB) meets today to discuss the grilling motion filed by MP Mohammad AlJuwaihel against Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, as well as the planned grilling against Minister of Finance Mustafa AlShamali. The majority coalition in parliament nominated MPs Musallam AlBarrak and Khalid Al-Tahous from the Popular Action Bloc, and Independent lawmaker Abdurrahman Al-Anjari to jointly file Al-Shamali’s grilling. It is almost certain that the debate will end with a vote of confidence through which the ‘Majority Bloc’ can force the minister out of office. While two grilling motions have already been debated in the current parliament, both of them were filed by members of the minority and the Cabinet was eventually able to overcome them. The same is expected to be applied to Al-Juwaihel’s motion. On the other hand, Al-Shamali’s grilling is characterized by the fact that it is the first to be filed by the Majority Bloc, thus ending a seemingly unofficial agreement with the Cabinet to give ministers a six month period to work before questioning. However, observers recently pointed out that this agreement became automatically void the moment Al-Shamali was selected back to the Cabinet last February. Asked about his opinion on the matter, MP Al-Barrak said a cooperation agreement between the two authorities was never in place either way. “Mustafa Al-Shamali is the one always talking about alleged cooperation (between Parliament and the Cabinet),” the outspoken Opposition lawmaker said. “True cooperation means providing information to investigation committees instead of only voting for their formation. The Central Bank today is creating barriers that prevent the committee investigating the multimillion-dinar deposits case from getting information from state departments, that received direction not to cooperate”, Al-Barrak further explained. DRB member Falah AlSawwagh announced that the leading group could soon expand to twelve members “as three MPs expressed their wish to join”. The bloc members increased to nine recently after MPs Abdullah Al-Barghash, Mohammad AlDallal, Mubarak Al-Waalan, Hamad AlMattar and Osama Al-Shaheen joined its original four members of MP AlMislem, Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, Dr Jamaan Al-Harbash and Al-Sawwagh. The names of the three potential new DRB members were not disclosed by Al-Sawagh, who said on Saturday that an announcement could be made in the very near future. Kuwait-UN conference to address urban challenges KUWAIT: The Municipal Management and Urban Development Conference for the Sustainability of Arab Cities starting here on Monday will address challenges and catching up with the latest developments related to urban community development, said the deputy head of the conference organizing committee. “The conference, organized by Kuwait Municipality and UN-HABITAT over three days, emphasizes Kuwait’s pioneering role in addressing community challenges and keeping abreast with developments in different domains,” Mohammad AlMousawi said yesterday. The event also shows the UN organization’s great confidence in Kuwait’s leading role in the region, and highlights the importance of pan-Arab action to help face growing challenges. Al-Mousawi said the organizing committee completed all preparations for the conference. He said over 70 experts from European, American and Arab universities, as well as 20 UN experts, will participate in conference activities. The conference will focus on the following themes: local urban governance and urban planning; affordable housing, slum upgrading and urban regeneration; urban economy, urban labor market and youth employment; and climate change, urban energy and mobility. The conference is considered a preparatory meeting for Arab states for the World Urban Forum 6 (WUF6) that will take place in Naples, Italy, from Sept 1 to 7. It will also discuss Arab States’ efforts towards sustainable urban development prior to the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Urban Development scheduled for June, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The conference will mark the launch of the first report on the State of Arab Cities 2012. The report is the first attempt by UN-HABITAT and Arab Towns Organization with support from the Kuwaiti Government to document urban trends in Arab cities and present a snapshot of Arab cities demographic, social, economic, environmental, physical and housing conditions (within a sub-regional context). It also provides an analysis of recent Arab uprisings within national and local governance contexts, and marks the potential and merits of Arab cities within regional and international integration prospects. —KUNA false reports about internal conditions in the country, in a manner that would undermine Kuwait’s financial credibility or state image, or for being involved in acts deemed detrimental to the country’s higher national interests. The participants in the meetings examined and approved six requests to lift immunity, five against MP Nabeel Al-Fadhel, and the sixth against MP Mohammad AlJuwaihel.—KUNA Divorce rates down KUWAIT: Heba Al-Abdul Jaleel, Ministry of Justice Director of Research and Statistics Administration, said there is noticeable decline in the divorce rate in Kuwait during the past ten years from 2001 to 2010. The rate is now two divorce cases for every 1,000 persons from the total population in Kuwait. In a study prepared for the last ten years, Al-Abdul Jaleel said the divorce average during the period reached 1.67 cases for each 1,000 persons. She said the divorce rate in Kuwait declined by 0.05 in 2010 for every 1,000 persons compared to the year 2001. She said the decline was due to efforts made to reduce divorce through information and education. She emphasized the importance of increasing concentrated efforts by those in charge of caring for Kuwaiti families, who are working hard to prevent divorce. They are also preparing informative programs for newlywed youths to educate them about the nature of dealing between couples. Sports regulations to be amended KUWAIT: Sources revealed that the Council of Ministers has sent amendments to the sports regulations to the NA council. They requested that the amendments be reviewed urgently in order to ensure that Kuwait is represented in the Olympic games in London, which open shortly. The government attached two amended laws, an explanatory note for each, and a table comparing the current articles with the amended ones. Private labs to test expats KUWAIT: Minister of Health, Dr Ali Al-Obaidi, will issue a decision by which he will allow private sectors laboratories who meet the necessary conditions laid down by medical laboratory administration, to make some tests for viruses. Sources said that this decision will be strictly monitored by the minister in order that the tests are not used to check expatriate laborers. Praise for MSAL efforts KUWAIT: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) labor relation administration received more than 15,000 labor complaints in 2011 relating to late salaries, end of service dues, warning allowances and compensation for unjustified firing. The American Embassy in Kuwait hailed the answers of the MSAL in response to the accusations contained in the American state office report, which classified Kuwait within the third group for countries who do not abide by implementing a minimum standard to fight human trade. Sources said those working at the American Embassy who are entrusted to follow up labors affairs in Kuwait have hailed the efforts made by Hadi Al-Enizi, assistant director of labor public relations and shelter center director, for following up the expatriates work and the helping to solve their problems according to the law for solving labor complaints. MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 LOCAL Satire Wire kuwait digest Democracy in the Arab world Why are our recreation facilities ignored? By Arwa Al-Wuqayan W e speak about Kuwait with love and we ask ever yone to come and visit it. However, when tourists arrive in Kuwait, they are shocked to learn that Kuwait is not a tourist-friendly at all, and that our entertainment facilities are dying a slow death. The Touristic Enterprises Company(TEC) was established in 1976. Its main aim is to provide entertainment services to every citizen and expatriate in Kuwait. In fact, the company has successfully completed many projects like the Green Island, Swimming Pool complex, Kuwait Towers, Fountain Garden and Al-Khairan resort. These have aged with time. Lets us not forget the Entertainment City that is notorious for its rundown and old game rides. Even Al-Shaab Entertainment Park which was renovated in the 90s, is a pitiful sight! In 2012, these facilities are struggling to withstand the ravages of time. Other regions in the Middle East are rushing to create ‘entertainment cities’ using state-of-the art technologies. We are an exception to the rule. Not to forget, our beaches are terribly polluted; compounded by the fact that there is nothing much to do there! We do not have any modern entertainment facilities. Construction marvels are a symbol of any country’s advancement. These help promote tourism. The lack of recreational centers mean that Kuwaitis escape to fancy destinations during holidays. All countries encourage public concerts. Here in Kuwait, these are limited to the month of February. Even local tourism is ignored in Kuwait. If we encourage foreign investors to construct large-scale projects to revive Kuwait’s tourism, it will become one of the more attractive destinations for tourists owing to its location. Sadly, our lawmakers are always bickering with each other in the National Assembly, and are not interested in reviving tourism. We began developing much earlier than other countries in the region and have also began deteriorating much earlier. It is a sorry situation. — Al-jarida In my view Time to re-formulate educational policies By Dr Yaqoub Al-Sharrah M any countries focus on formulating clear educational policies based on studies that take into account the present circumstances and requirements of society. These policies are essential to outline the process of work in the education system. Therefore, these change from one society to another depend on the circumstances and requirements. With that in mind, we cannot possibly say that one educational policy is better than the other as long as each is implemented with the social, cultural, economic and political aspects kept in mind. Instead of yielding to the wishes of certain individuals or people in power, an educational policy carries organized ideologies that meet the demands of the public regarding advanced education that can guarantee positive results. The success of an educational policy cannot be assessed until after years of active practices that fall in line with social changes. In all, an educational policy leaves a direct impact on the work of educational facilities adopting it. The quality of work can change positively or negatively depending on the change in policies. That is why educational policies are considered the pinnacle of administrative work in the education ﬁeld. Depending on this, the educational system can overcome challenges. Kuwait is a developing country that has enough capabilities to establish a competitive educational system that adopts educational policies which fall in line with the state’s development plan. Unfortunately, the educational policies adopted by the government are vague and confusing, to the point that it fails to utilize development of human resources as a main component of the state’s development plan. A successful educational policy enables students to obtain enough knowledge, creativity and capability to help improve their country. This can be achieved in Kuwait, given the resources the country is blessed with, compared to other countries that lead in technological advancement like Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia. No one can argue with the reality that the level of education and priority in society is declining. This can be attributed to many aspects that include management, teachers, curriculum and students’ families. If we take the curriculum for example, we ﬁnd that it is too poor to prepare young people to meet the labor market’s demands. Some believe that the curriculum has become a burden to Kuwait’s educational system; incapable of adjusting to a rapidly changing world. On the other hand, there are people who believe that curriculum is actually the victim of socio-cultural and political inﬂuence. It is a struggle between social categories that prepare educational material. All this, in my opinion, has contributed to the weakness of curriculum, rendering it incapable of adapting with requirements of the state’s development process. We can say that current educational curriculum is useless when it comes to achieving educational reform or productive graduates. They are now more negative in outlook, spiteful than ever before. While many reasons have led to the situation that curriculums have regressed to today, one of the main reasons come from the management, and that through chaotic and unstudied changes made by oﬃcials. The Cabinet should devise an educational code that outlines the main policies and goals in Kuwait. This is to protect this ﬁeld from being inﬂuenced by the executive or legislative authorities. — Al-Rai By Sawsan Kazak email@example.com M OP-ED News can no longer be kept secret By Dr Yasser Thabet (Head of Output at Sky News Arabia) T alk of reform - especially in the current climate prevailing in the Arab world - tends to focus on the impact of change on a country’s constitutions and laws. An oft overlooked fact is that the main beneﬁciary of reform is often the media. Barriers to freedom of expression and openness are disappearing across the Arab world. Innovation and technology have changed the media landscape, leading to the creation of a new generation of information consumers that is dependent on mobile communication through the iPad, iPhone, Android phones and other mobile devices. The way people communicate has changed through such tools, allowing users to connect and express their views anywhere, anytime via an array of social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The methods of news gathering and distribution have also entered a signiﬁcant new stage in their development on the back of this communication and information revolution. No longer are communication and news a binary relationship between a sender and receiver; rather, multiple media platforms now come together to create an interactive dialogue, providing the public with a fuller and more rounded picture of news and current events. Beyond the technological revolution, the news industry is also undergoing profound changes in terms of budget allocations, the training and qualiﬁcation of journalists, the mobility of news media across countries allowing for diversity of views and local insights as well as higher demands for editorial and visual creativity in news reporting. Today the only impediment to the reporting of a story is in the journalist’s imagination. Arab satellite channels, especially news channels, have played a key role in paving the way for freedom of information in the Arab region, successfully delivering quality news coverage from across the globe. It is thanks to the demands of Arab audiences for high quality, professional news produced to international standards that we see home grown Arab channels able to compete with western based news outlets. Audiences are no longer dependent on getting their information from foreign sources and can instead expect local news in their own language delivered by Arab journalists who have an understanding of what makes news here. There are two fundamental reasons for the success of the Arab news channels. Firstly, their capacity to inﬂuence the removal of barriers and restrictions that hindered the provision of quality news coverage. Secondly, the emergence and widespread penetration across the region of Arab Satellite channels which were able to reach audiences previously missed by the print media due to high rates of illiteracy. Reaching a larger segment of the population increased participation and further impacted the ability to push down barriers where they existed. Another fundamental shift for Arab news channels, beyond the changing rules in news reporting, is the need to cater to a new generation of viewers who consume media in ways very diﬀerent to their predecessors. As a result, news in the region is increasingly communicated across multiple platforms including online, mobile and live internet broadcasting in additional to traditional TV broadcasting. This creates a need to understand the importance of presenting news in ways that grab the attention of the viewer and makes following the news enjoyable as well as informative. The act of reporting therefore becomes a key component in the development of the news, oﬀering an additional layer of information that is both in-depth and interesting in terms of explaining the news and taking into account diﬀering views and opinions in relation to a story. The ﬁnal trend in news reporting across the Arab world is speed. In a dynamic region that is witnessing dramatic changes and fast-paced developments, news channels must be able to respond at a pace equal to the evolution of events. Doing so is the only way to retain the conﬁdence of an increasingly demanding and ever questioning audience thirsty for up-to-the-minute news. Bearing in mind these developments in the Arab media scene, and given that public awareness and engagement in the MENA is at an alltime high, audiences have become more important than ever. News outlets must ensure the information they provide is accurate, credible, communicates visually and can be substantiated. The days of having a passive audience that accepts spoon fed news are long gone. The Arab viewer will question, challenge and oﬀer an opinion; any newsroom competing in the Arab news space has to critically and innovatively consider how to simultaneously provide viewers, readers and listeners with cutting edge news without compromising quality both in terms of content and visual appeal. It is essential for Arab channels to build bridges with citizen journalists in order for the public to evolve from being simple spectators of the news to becoming active players in the creation of it. Sky News Arabia was launched on May 6 into the fast-changing landscape of Middle East news reporting with a keen mission to provide cutting edge, fast and reliable news across a number of multimedia platforms. Sky News Arabia will provide professional journalism shedding light on news events from the Arab world and to the Arab world. The integrated multimedia platforms of the 24-hour news channel will deliver fast paced, editorially independent breaking news. News will be delivered with journalistic integrity, providing objective and accurate news and, with 12 bureaus across the region, presenting a plurality of views and opinions. News in the Arab world is dynamic, innovative and fast paced and Sky News Arabia enters the news arena with a fresh perspective to cover the stories that matter. kuwait digest Wasting our public money By Thaar Al-Rashidi W henever an organization can convince 10 government parties to have 70 of its employees join a training course in an Asian capital for three days at a cost of not less than KD 3,000 for each employee, the course is either very important and very fatal, or the organizers are very super and abnormal to convince all those government organizations to participate in an overseas course. The disaster is that the course is titled “How to deal with the iPhone” and held in a hotel hall over two days. Computer engineers give lectures as well as technicians, and you can ﬁnd many similar to them in computer repair workshops at Ibn Khaldoon street or even in Friday market. The bottom line is that the commercial organization got KD 210,000 from the government in return for recreational services for 70 government employees, who were sent for a change of atmosphere to that country for a silly course not needed by that Government or its employees. Imagine a limited organization, the capital of which does not exceed a few thousand, receives from the government organizations more than KD 200,000 in one shot for a three day course. And this is not the only course, but every now and then it announces another course and the cost of joining it varies between KD 1,700 to KD 3,000 for each employee. The strange thing is that this individual organization does not put any advertisements in the newspapers. Assuring that it makes 20 courses like the one that cost KD 3,000, it can obtain from the government about KD 4 million each year. Is that logical? Is it logical that a government organization pays KD 3,000 to teach one of its employees how to use an iphone?! Note: What I said above is called playing and wasting public money unjustiﬁably and can be also named a “shame”. Note 2: There is very ﬁne thread between cunning and theft, and it seems that such a thread does not exist in Kuwait. —Al-Anbaa ost Arabs just do not understand democracy. I can make this statement because I am an Arab. It is like making fun of your own family, it is only acceptable if you do it, no one else. Looking at the recent, or should I say ongoing, activities in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, to name a few, one cannot really see any concrete progress. The Arab World was amazed at the power of protests and the strength in numbers as they watched Libya, Tunisia and Egypt overthrow their leaders and are still watching Syria ﬁght on. But can Arabs that have lived under practical dictatorship for most of their lives, understand the responsibilities that accompany freedom? I know I am making quite a big generalization when I say that I do not believe many Arabs comprehend ‘democracy.’ Given the recent actions in the Arab World, especially Egypt, it is easy to see that the concept of democracy is somewhat lost. Just because you are allowed to do something, does not mean you have to do it all the time; like protesting for instance. Having the freedom of choice means being responsible for the aftermath of that choice. A democratic government is one that is ruled by the majority, a concept that is hard to apply to any Arab nation owing to the many groups, sub-groups and minorities Arabs like to place themselves in. People in the Arab world segregate themselves by their country, then by their religion, then by the sect of the religion they practice, followed by the political group they support, then by the area they grew up in, then by the street they used to play at as children, then by the European football team they cheer on, and ﬁnally the way you like your eggs in the morning. When you see all these divisions, and there are even some I did not mention, it is hard to see a majority come out of that. If the Arab people would vote, or side with what is good for them, their country and the future of the nation, then they would understand democracy. Instead, most people living in Arab nations have blind allegiances to sects, religious leaders, political parties, football teams, and support them to death—sometimes literally. I am not saying that because most Arab nations do not seem to understand how to apply democracy to their cultures, that democracy should be scrapped. What I am saying is that democratic reform is going to take time and a lot more education before the people in Arab countries can see past their little groups and make decisions based on the bigger picture. kuwait digest MPs can amend constitution By Khalid Al-Awadhi I chose to write about the constitutional amendments in this column neither with the intention of defending the argument of lawmakers who proposed them, nor to express my own point of view on the matter. Instead, I wanted to respond to three main points through which fellow columnist Abdullatif AlDuaij argued in a recent column that MPs don’t have the authority to amend the Constitution as per its articles. First of all, Al-Duaij mentioned article 174 of the Kuwait Constitution which says that His Highness the Amir and the majority of Parliament members can agree on a revision of the Constitution. He indicated that the term ‘revision’ is carefully chosen as “an indicator that MPs do not have the right to change constitutional articles entirely”, while the term ‘amendment’ would have been chosen to indicate that lawmakers enjoy that authority. This in my opinion is inaccurate because neither the Constitution nor its explanatory memorandum gives a deﬁnite deﬁnition to both terms as suggested by Al-Duaij, and they do not mention limits by which articles can be adjusted. As far as I am concerned, this means that all constitutional articles except for article 175 which deals with the Amiri system and principles of freedom and equality are eligible for amendment by default. The second point in Al-Duaij’s article is when he said the Constitution’s explanatory memorandum indicates that Kuwait enjoys a pseudo-monarchy rule which is a hybrid between the monarchy and parliamentary systems of governance. I actually did not expect a veteran columnist of Al-Duaij’s caliber to make the mistake of mentioning that Kuwait’s system is a monarchy in the ﬁrst place in addition to being partially parliamentarian. To quote the explanatory memorandum which AlDuaij admits is part of the Constitution: “To maintain national unity and stability of power, the Constitution adopts a democratic system that combines the parliamentary and monarchy systems while leans more towards the former”. This script clearly indicates that unlike the implication in Al-Duaij’s article, Kuwait’s ruling system leans towards the parliamentary system. Moreover, the memorandum puts the parliamentary system ahead of the monarchy system whenever it mentions the type of rule in Kuwait; something AlDuaij overlooked in his column for some reason. The third and ﬁnal point pertains to Al-Duaij’s statement when he said a constitutional amendment must be carried out by a Parliament elected speciﬁcally - or at least mainly - for this job. I wonder and am sure many others are wondering as well about the source - be it a constitutional article or a paragraph in the explanatory memorandum - based on which Al-Duaij made this claim. — Al-Qabas MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 local HRW hails decision to hire women in justice ministry Victory for women’s rights KUWAIT: A court decision on April 22, 2012, cancelling a ministerial order barring women from entry-level jobs at the Justice Ministry is an important victory against legally-sanctioned discrimination in Kuwait, Human Rights Watch said yesterday. Human Rights Watch urged the Kuwaiti government to act on the decision, to guarantee women equal access to all public jobs, and to amend or repeal gender-based discriminatory provisions from all its legislation. In July 2011, the Justice Ministry announced in local newspapers that it would accept applicants for “entry level legal researcher” - a ﬁrst step to becoming a prosecutor. The advertisement speciﬁed that the positions were only open to male candidates, without providing any rationale for the restriction. “This important ruling reaﬃrms the principles of equality between men and women that are guaranteed in Kuwait’s constitution and international laws,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The court ruling shows the important role that Kuwaiti courts can play in protecting equality in the face of eﬀorts to restrict it.” At least six recent female graduates of law schools had applied for the Justice Ministry jobs following the July 2011 advertisement, but ministry oﬃcials refused to accept their applications, Marwa Al-Seiraﬁ, one of the applicants, told Human Rights Watch. In August, Al-Seiraﬁ and at least ﬁve other female applicants separately ﬁled lawsuits at the Administrative Court, contending that the ministry’s decision to consider only male appli- cants was unconstitutional. The court, in ruling for the plaintiﬀs, ordered the ministry to cancel its requirement that candidates be male. The court said that the decision violated the Kuwaiti constitution and international treaties that Kuwait has ratiﬁed. The ministry has a month to appeal. Candidates accepted by the ministry for the positions take a nine-month training course at Kuwait Institution for Legal Studies. If they successfully complete the course, they become prosecutors. “The issue is not whether I’m accepted or not,” Dhuha Al-Azmi, another female applicant, told Human Rights Watch. “What is important is I have a chance to compete with the other applicants for the positions.” In a similar case in April 2010, an administrative court rejected a lawsuit by a female Kuwaiti law graduate who contended that her application to work for the public prosecution unit was unconstitutionally rejected because of her gender. The judge found that article 2 of Kuwait’s constitution, which cites Islam as the state religion and Islamic Sharia as “a main source of legislation,” prevented women from holding prosecutorial positions. Article 29 of the Kuwait Constitution says: “All people are equal in human dignity and in public rights and duties before the law, without distinction to race, origin, language, or religion.” The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which Kuwait ratiﬁed in 1994, calls for taking measures to “eliminate discrimination Wataniya Telecom offers customers a chance to see celebrities live KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom continues to launch one creative initiative after the other in an eﬀort to develop its products and services and provide its customers with a unique communication experience. Customers will be given a chance to see their favorite celebrities live only if they join the Wink Program or The W’s rate plan. Wataniya strives to please its customers and present them with the latest and most exciting oﬀers. By joining Wink or The W’s, top-spenders customers might get the chance to see their favorite celebrities live. Commenting on the exciting oﬀer, Riham AlAyyar Senior Director of Communications, Brand and Customer Experience at Wataniya Telecom said: “Wataniya’s teams are always working to introduce oﬀers and packages that suit our difRiham Al-Ayyar ferent customer segments and especially youth. The new oﬀer allows our customers to enjoy exclusive beneﬁts which are not only on a local level but regional and international level as well.” Al-Ayyar also added: “Wataniya Telecom provides exclusive access to international concerts and we are always looking for ways to indulge our customers with unique treats.” The Wink oﬀers allow customers to enjoy amazing beneﬁts exclusively designed for the youth. These oﬀers include: free Gold numbers, 50% oﬀ on calls to four Wataniya numbers, 50% oﬀ on SMS sent to Wataniya numbers and discounts at their favorite stores and restaurants. On the other hand, The W’s Plan is tailored for customers who want to enjoy unlimited services from Wataniya for a fixed fee of KD 58. In return they would receive unlimited calls to any local number, unlimited local SMS and MMS, unlimited BlackBerry service or 3GB Net-on-Phone. against women in the ﬁeld of employment.” “This is a great historic achievement for all women in Kuwait,” Al-Seiraﬁ told Human Rights Watch following the decision. “We are ﬁghting for the rights of women in this country and if the ministry appeals the ruling we will keep challenging them.” Women’s rights in Kuwait took a step forward in 2005, when Kuwaiti women won the right to vote and to become candidates for election, paving the way for the election of four women to parliament in May 2009. However Kuwaiti women continue to face discrimination on many legal levels. Kuwait’s nationality law denies Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaiti men the right to pass their nationality on to their children and spouses, a right held by Kuwaiti men married to foreign spouses. In cases of alleged domestic violence or marital rape, under Kuwaiti regulations, courts provide lawyers to the accused but not to the victims. Furthermore, Kuwait’s laws do not speciﬁcally prohibit domestic violence or marital rape, and there are no government-run or funded shelters or hotlines speciﬁcally for survivors of domestic violence. In its concluding observation in October 2011 the CEDAW committee expressed concerns about many discriminatory provisions of Kuwait laws and called on Kuwait to “systematically review its laws and regulations ... in order to amend or repeal sexand gender-based discriminatory provisions of its legislation with the aim of ensuring full compliance with the provisions of the Convention.” —Human Rights Watch ABCK holds annual golf tournament By Sawsan Kazak KUWAIT: Golf enthusiasts teed oﬀ on Friday at the 11th annual American Business Council-Kuwait (ABCK) golf tournament - an event held under the patronage of the US ambassador to Kuwait Matthew H Tueller. The tournament was held at the Sahara Golf Club oﬀ the Sixth Ring Road. 28 teams participated in the tournament. It was a four-man 18 Hole Texas Scramble Competition (no handicap). The event started at 6:30am with a breakfast reception after which the players took to the golf course. A shotgun at 7:30am signiﬁed the beginning of the completion. The tournament ended at 1:00pm with a luncheon. “I am proud to see an increased number of players this year and am happy about the continued support of the sponsors for making this a successful event,” the Executive Director of ABCK, Muna Al-Fuzai said. She encouraged ABCK membership enrollment to all non-member golfers to promote a friendly-business relations and have a higher interactive level. The lunch ended with a brief address by the US Ambassador. Prizes were awarded to the top three teams as well as other winners. The winning team made up of H Al-Azem, M Joujou, F Bester, and S Letoaba scored 53.6. The second place team (R Coleman, H Jones, R Zayat, and L Moskaliliuk) were close behind with a score of 54.7. the third place winners (D Slims, S Dunning, C Bambrook, and J Kehoe) scored of 55. Prizes in other categories were also awarded. Micheal Pihblad won ‘Nearest the Pin prize (KEEP AS IS)’ at hole 14. Lloyd Parker also won for Nearest the Pin’ at hole 8. Nadeem Shaﬁ grabbed a prize for the longest drive. Unpaid phone bills lead to disconnection this month KUWAIT: The Ministry of Communications (MoC) called on subscribers to pay dues for their telephone service to avoid programmed disconnection this month. Ahmad Ramadan, MoC Director of Public Relations, said yesterday that initial warning notiﬁcations will be sent on May 13 as a reminder for customers to pay their bills, with a second notice on May 20. The MoI will start disconnecting unpaid phone lines on May 27, after the second message is sent out. Home phone lines exceeding KD 50 in overdue bills and commercial lines topping KD 100 will be automatically listed for disruption. The programmed disconnection will include phone lines that are preagreed to be paid according to an installment plan, but the payment was delayed. It will also include annual fees of six months and more for home and business lines for nonKuwaitis and business lines for Kuwaitis. An early payment will guarantee a continuation of phone service, Ramadan advised. He added that the MoC provides an online payment option through its website or through the oﬃcial egate website. Subscribers can also call with any enquiries. — KUNA KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah receiving the Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmad. Somali president in Kuwait KUWAIT: Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmad, accompanied by senior oﬃcials, arrived yesterday on a three-day state visit during which he will hold talks with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. He was received at Kuwait International Airport by HH the Amir, HH the Crown Prince, National Assembly Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun, Deputy Chief of the National Guard Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Jaber AlSabah and Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Aﬀairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah. The reception was also attended by senior state, army, police and National Guard oﬃcials. Dr. Abdullah Al-Maatooq, Amiri Diwan Advisor, is heading the mission of honor to accompany President Ahmad. —KUNA Kuwaiti presence in Algeria construction event ALGIERS: The International Event for Construction, Building Materials and Public Works (Batimatec) participated in the Kuwaiti pavilion for the ﬁrst time, attracting a remarkable turnout. The pavilion covers an area of 200 square meters at the Exhibition Center Palais des Expositions in Algiers, featuring products and representatives of Kuwaiti construction and public work companies. In statements to KUNA, Sagar Farhan Al-Enzi Head of Kuwait Public Authority for Industry delegation to the event, said that Kuwait is eager to take part in diﬀerent economic and commercial expos in Arab and non-Arab countries. “ This signiﬁcant participation in Batimatec is also due to the strategic location of Algeria which makes it an important crossing point for European markets,” Al-Enzi told KUNA. Al-Enzi, Deputy Chairman of Industrial Exports Development Department at the Public Authority for Industry(PAI), said participation in the event allows Kuwaiti industrial and construction companies to compete with ﬁerce rivals from diﬀerent countries and sign several deals with Algerian agencies. This ﬁve-day event was inaugurated by Noureddine Moussa, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, along with Saud Faisal Al-Duwish, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Algeria. Considered one of the major trade fairs in Algeria and the Mediterranean, Batimatec is intended for professionals in the construction industry (architects, planners, businesses, developers, producers of building materials). Some 1,030 national and foreign exhibitors are participating in this event which includes 544 Algerian and 488 foreign companies representing 23 countries including Turkey, Italy, France, China, Spain, Belgium and Germany, with the largest number of present companies. Organized under the theme ‘ The Progress of Today and Tomorrow ’s Challenges,’ the 15th Batimatec will be an opportunity to assess progress made in the sectors of construction, public works and of domestic industry of materials construction, 50 years after independence. The challenge is to measure the opportunities for stages which includes building 2.5 million housing units under the ﬁve-year program from 2010 to 2014, according to organizers. — KUNA MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 local Three-member gang tries to kidnap female student Man dies in work mishap JAKARTA: The Kuwait University Rector Prof Dr Abdullatef A Al-Bader and the accompanying educational delegation on the campus of Indonesian University. Kuwait University signs MoU with Indonesian University KUWAIT: The Kuwait University and the University of Indonesia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Jakarta recently to enhance partnership and cooperation between the institutions in the ﬁeld of education. The signing of MoU took place during the visit of the University of Kuwait Rector Prof Dr Abdullatef A Al-Bader to Indonesia accompanied by professors Prof Malek Hussein, Vice Rector for Planning, Prof Firyal Bou Rabee, Assistant Vice Rector for Education Relations and Development, Prof Nabeel Al-Loughani, Dean of the Graduate Studies, and Mohammed Al-Sulaiman, Director for Administrative Aﬀairs at the Rectorate Oﬃce, according to a press release issued by the Indonesian embassy, Kuwait. “We would like to open up further especially in eastern countries like Indonesia”, said Prof Dr Abdul Latef Al-Bader during his meeting with the University of Indonesia Rector Prof Dr Gumilar Rusliwa Soemantri, who was accompanied by the vice rector and a number of university deans prior to the signing of the MoU. Both sides have also exchanged views and shared experience on various aspects of the university operations including the system of entrance test, graduate studies, international programs, alumni network, etc. The signing of the MoU marked the launch of a partnership and cooperation between the two universities beginning with the scholarship for the best students of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Indonesia to continue their studies at the University of Kuwait, the release added. The University of Kuwait rector and the delegation also made use of the visit to the University of Indonesia to visit the Faculty of Public Health and met with its dean and oﬃcials, visited the university library and toured around the green campus areas. The University of Indonesia, founded in the 1849, is the oldest educational institution in Asia. JAKARTA: The Kuwait University Rector, Prof Dr Abdullatef A Al-Bader and the University of Indonesia Rector Prof Dr Gumilar Rusliwa Soemantri sign the MoU. NBK celebrates its 60th anniversary KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK ) celebrates this year its 60th anniversary. On M ay 19, 1952, the late Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, NBK head office issued the famous Amiri Decree promulgating the incorporation of the National Bank of Kuwait as the first national bank and the first shareholding company in Kuwait and the Gulf. The commemoration of this inspiring and monumental anniversary comes as a culmination of a remarkable story of success, by means of which NBK has been transformed from a small bank that occupies the area of three shops and a handful of employees relying on traditional and manual banking tools to one of the largest and most profitable banks in the region. Today, NBK has the largest local and overseas banking network encompassing more than 176 branches, representative offices and subsidiaries strategically located within the main international and regional financial centers. NBK was also recently named among the ‘World’s 50 Safest Banks’ for the fifth consecutive time, illustrating the success of the bank’s conservative strategy, prudent risk management dedication excellent customer service. NBK enjoys the highest credit ratings among all the banks in the Middle East and North Africa region by international rating agencies Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings. KUWAIT: A search is currently ongoing for three male suspects who attempted to kidnap a female student in Shamiya. The victim was reportedly walking out of her college to a nearby grocery store when three people in a pickup truck stopped to ask directions. Soon, suspects attempted to force the girl inside their vehicle, but failed. She resisted, prompting them to escape. The case was reported at the area’s police station. The victim failed to jot down the license plate number of the truck. Work mishap A construction worker was killed in a rockslide that occurred recently in Jahra. Police and paramedics rushed to the construction site as soon as the mishap was reported. The Indian man succumbed to injuries by the time they arrived. The body was taken to the Forensic Department while a case was opened for investigations. Prostitution solicitation A male driver was held in police custody after being accused of soliciting prostitution. A woman ﬁled a complaint with Abdullah AlSalem police station stating that a man who claimed to be a ‘VIP’ oﬀered to pay her money to escort him. The incident reportedly took place as the woman drove out of a Hawally mall and halted at a traﬃc light at the Second Ring Road. The suspect who was also at the adjacent lane, waved at her, gesturing at her to roll down the window under the pretext of asking for direc- cooperation with the Australian institute college for public training from April 29 to May 3 2012. The program aimed at providing knowledge and a basic understanding for mental fitness, and training the brain on concentration and speed reading so that participant could innovate at his job by using the technology in the program. In management, communication and follow-up and self motivation to do Work exhaustion A policeman was hospitalized after falling unconscious while on duty. It was later diagnosed as a symptom of work exhaustion. The patrol oﬃcer was stationed at a security checkpoint at Jahra street. He was rushed to Al-Jahra Hospital by two colleagues and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit until his condition stabilized. He remains in the hospital to receive further treatment and rest. Accountant held A chief accountant of a Hawally company was arrested for stealing thousands of dinars from the ﬁrm. He initially attempted to implicate a co-worker in the crime. The suspect approached police and accused his company representative of stealing KD 11,000 that was collected from a client. When summoned for investigations, the GCC national denied the accusations but failed to provide proof because he did not collect a receipt from the chief accountant. During investigations, oﬃcers were approached by the general manager who pos- sessed video footage that was taken from a surveillance camera. It showed that the representative handing over the money but not waiting to receive the receipt, police released him and arrested the chief accountant. Maid escapes charges Attempted murder charges ﬁled against a domestic worker in Salmiya were later withdrawn after investigations revealed that no foul play took place in a case where children were poisoned. Police were approached recently by an expatriate man reporting that his three sons suﬀered food poisoning after drinking juice prepared by the domestic worker. The Asian worker was summoned after her employer charged her with attempted murder. Investigations later revealed that the poisoning happened by accident after she failed to wash glasses properly after cleaning them with a toxic detergent. Investigations are still ongoing. Missing daughter Police arrested a woman in Fintas recently after learning that she was reported missing four years ago. The 23-year-old Kuwaiti woman was detained at a checkpoint late at night after verifying her identity. This was revealed in a case ﬁled at the Salwa police station. During investigations, the woman explained that she lived in several apartments over the past four years. Investigations are currently ongoing to arrest male suspects who aided the woman. —Al-Rai, Al-Watan VIVA hails successful sponsorship of ‘Hope Carnival’ for disabled KUWAIT: VIVA, Kuwait’s newest and most advanced mobile telecommunications service provider, hailed the successful sponsorship of ‘Hope Carnival’ for children with special needs and disabilities. VIVA’s main goal of being the Platinum Sponsor of ‘Hope Carnival’ is to provide motivation and support to the people with disabilities as well as to shed the light on the importance of their involvement in the society. During the event, families and friends attended to enjoy a fun ﬁlled day with a variety of activities specially tailored for the disabled. VIVA’s sponsorship of the Hope Carnival was a very good one and the company is proud to have been part of it. VIVA is committed to the wellbeing of the society and to help the less advantaged people acquire a role in Kuwait. Hope Carnival is an event that aﬃrms the right TEC program to boost mental fitness K UWA I T: Kuw a i t To u ri s ti c Enterprise Company organized a program of mental fitness and power of concentration, held in the main company premises at Shuwaikh. The lecturer was Dr AlAladam. Participants in the training program included 17 persons from the different sections of the company. The development and training office organized the program in tions. The man reportedly drove away when the female driver heaped insults on him. She then went directly to report the case. Police used the license plate number of the suspect’s car that the woman provided to identify him. When contacted, the car’s owner, a Kuwaiti woman, explained that her car was used by her son. The young man reported to the police station within an hour. He was jailed, pending investigations. the work go in line with the new management requirements. Additionally, controlling excitement and getting rid of bad habits and controlling negative feelings and changing them to positive ones was taught. Applying these at work is part of the policy laid down by the top management of companies for better development and uplifting the level of employees of the company. of the disadvantaged people to participate in all aspects and activities of the society, and to take prominent roles that highlight their capabilities of doing almost anything and everything to serve best the entire community. During the event, VIVA was awarded for its signiﬁcant participation and leading role in supporting this particular segment of the society. VIVA has always been committed to take part in all types of activities organized for the less advantaged people as they are vital to our community and its development. VIVA will continue to looking for unique opportunities to contribute to the welfare of the society and help serve the people best and shed the light on its ongoing corporate social commitment. VIVA is the newest, most advanced mobile telecommunications service provider in Kuwait. Launched in December 2008, VIVA makes things Possible for our customers by transforming communication, information and entertainment experiences. The company has rapidly established an unrivalled position in the market through our customer and employee centric approach. VIVA’s quest is to be the mobile brand of choice for Kuwait by being transparent, engaging, energetic and fulﬁlling. VIVA continues to take a considerable share of the market by oﬀering an innovative range of best value products, services and content propositions; a state of the art, nationwide network and world-class service. VIVA oﬀers Internet speed up to 42.2Mbps due to the implementation of the most advanced third generation (3G and HSDPA) network in Kuwait resulting in superior coverage, performance and reliability. Award committee to host international forum KUWAIT: Sheikh Salem Al-Ali AlSabah, 11th Informatics Award will hold International Information Science Forum under the slogan of ‘Informatics Development ’ on Wednesday. The award committee’s board of trustees member Saleh AlAsousi said yesterday in a press statement that the forum will shed light on the present and future of information science in the world through a series of discussions. This forum is the fourth installment of a series of discussions that began back in 2009. It is the first forum to be held in Kuwait. Salem Al-Utheina, Minister of Communications will inaugurate the event, Al-Asousi noted. The forum will see the participation of Chairmen and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Egypt’s Post board member and Dr Mohammad AlMajid, member of Board of Trustees at the Information Technology Institute. Dr Emad Huballah, Head of Wire and Wireless Communication Technology Unit at the Lebanese Telecommunication Authority, will be a guest in two seminars; the first will be chaired by Saleh AlAsousi, Head of Comprehensive Planning of Information Technology Department at Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC). It will focus on establishing a prototype of informatics cooperation. The second will be led by Dr Hussain Ameen Professor of Journalism and Media at the American University in Cairo and will tackle the issue of present and future effects of information science. Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah Informatics Prize is an independent non-profit award in the field of technology and digital culture, in support of establishing society with high and advanced informatics awareness.— KUNA MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 Two American hikers jailed in Iran to wed Clinton lands in India to breathe life into ties Page 11 Page 8 MOSCOW: Russian riot police try to clear a bridge from opposition protesters in downtown Moscow yesterday. A demonstration by at least 20,000 people on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration as president boiled into a battle with police after protesters tried to split off from the approved venue and march to the Kremlin. — AP Police, protesters clash on Putin return Over 400 detained at Moscow protests MOSCOW: Baton-wielding riot police roughly broke up a Moscow protest rally yesterday on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s return for a third Kremlin term, arresting more than 400 people including top opposition leaders. The clashes just over the river from the Kremlin were the most violent since the ﬁrst rallies against the Russian strongman began in December and set an ominous tone ahead of his glitzy presidential inauguration ceremony today. Those arrested included three key leaders of the nascent protest movement against Putin-the anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, liberal leader Boris Nemtsov and ultra-left wing activist Sergei Udaltsov. Police said they detained more than 400 people after demonstrators threw stones and water bottles at oﬃcers and blamed the violence on opposition leaders who attempted to stage a sit-in protest in the middle of the crowd. The event had been billed as a “March of Millions” along one of Moscow’s main thoroughfares that was due to conclude at a square used for the ﬁrst of several mass protests that erupted against Putin’s dominant rule this winter. The crowds stretched as far as the eye could see and organisers put the turnout ﬁgure in the tens of thousands. Police put the ﬁgure at only 8,000. The ﬁrst problems began when thousands of helmeted police took control of the main bridge leading to the Kremlin to prevent the protest from spilling over and steered people into a bottleneck that soon developed into a crush. Udaltsov and about 200 others then declared a sitdown strike in front of the bridge and a tense standoﬀ lasting more than an hour eventually led to a concerted push by protesters against police ranks. The police responded by unleashing batons against protesters-many screaming out in pain-and slamming people to the ground before dragging them by their arms and legs to waiting police vans. “We will not leave until they free our comrades and they do not cancel Deadly unrest fuels on eve of Syria vote DAMASCUS: Syria’s authorities and the opposition traded accusations yesterday over who was behind blasts that rocked Damascus and Aleppo, on the eve of parliamentary polls designed to boost the regime’s legitimacy. Overnight violence in Damascus province killed three people, a rights watchdog said, as the authorities made ﬁnal preparations for a vote it says is crucial for building “the new Syria” but which the opposition has already dismissed as a “farce.” Information Minister Adnan Mahmud said that voting today was an act of deﬁance. “By taking part in the election, Syrians are defying the campaign of terrorism and aggression led by international and regional parties implicated in a terrorist war against our country,” he said. President Bashar al-Assad meanwhile on Sunday laid a wreath at a monument on Mount Kassioun, which overlooks the Syrian capital, to commemorate the annual Martyrs Day. The opposition for its part blamed the regime for two bomb blasts Saturday in Damascus and one in Aleppo, where according to the Syrian Obser vator y for Human Rights an explosion hit a car wash as a bus was passing by, killing at least ﬁve people. “It is the regime that caused these mysterious explosions,” said Omar Idlibi, spokesman for the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) which organises protests. He also called for an international probe. State media, which reported three deaths from the Aleppo blast, including a 10-year-old boy, blamed “terrorists” linked to the opposition for carrying out Saturday’s attacks in a bid to sow instability ahead of the vote. The Britain-based Observatory said on Sunday a young man was gunned down by regime troops during the night in the town of Al-Tal, while an explosion killed two in Daf al-Shouk area, also in Damascus province. Thousands of people protested in Al-Tal yesterday to denounce the overnight killing, the watchdog added. Also yesterday, a team of UN observers in Syria to monitor a tenuous ceaseﬁre in place since April 12 visited Zabadani in the Damascus province “where they met opposition activists for a short while,” LCC activist Fares Mohammad told AFP. But in spite of the ceaseﬁre, army attacks on rebel positions continued elsewhere in Syria, with several people wounded and a number of houses destroyed when the Arida village in central Homs province was shelled, the Observatory said. In the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, government troops reportedly carried out a number of raids and made arrests in the town of Al-Quriya. Monday’s vote, against a backdrop of unrest which the Observatory says has killed more than 11,000 people since March last year, will do little to change the autocratic country, according to regime critics and analysts. The vote, initially scheduled for September 2011, was postponed to May 7 this year after Assad announced the launch of a reform process. Bashar al-Haraki, a member of the Syrian National Council, the principal opposition coalition, has labelled the elections a “farce which can be added to the regime’s masquerade.”—AFP the inauguration,” Udaltsov shouted through a megaphone. “We will not leave,” he said as people chanted back “We Are the Power.” Several policemen then dramatically stormed on stage and led Udaltsov away to jeers from the crowd. Navalny was also seen being roughly arrested by several police while Nemtsov was detained after climbing onto a metal camera stand and attempting to give an impromptu speech to the crowds. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told independent Dozhd TV “we should not over-dramatise the situation” and condemned “provocations” that turned the rally violent. The interior ministry said 20 of its police oﬃcers had been injured and called the work of the overall force “professional and in accordance with the law and the situation that developed.” The protest movement had lost much of its momentum since Putin’s thumping March 4 presidential election win against only token opposition and yesterday’s protests was aimed at rejuvenating the movement. The latest rallies had drawn a fraction of the mass crowds who joined the winter protests amid questions in the fractured movement-whose members range between veteran liberals to teenage Stalinists-about their true cause. In a sign of the growing disunity, the leader of the opposition liberal Yabloko par ty lashed out at Udaltsov for splitting away from the mass protest and launching his own action. “This was not a solid move and was clearly stupid. If he (Udaltsov) continues acting like this then less and less people are going to come to the protests,” Sergei Mitrokhin told the Inter fax news agency. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Putin’s supporters gathered for a festive “celebration” ﬁlled with high-production pop concerts at Victory Parka site dedicated to Russia’s 1812 defeat of Napoleon. The police said 30,000 had come out for the pro-Putin event-more than three times the ﬁgure they gave the opposition protest. — AFP MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 I N T E R N AT I O N A L Top Iraqi politician alleges political vendetta ISTANBUL: Iraq’s vice president described a terror trial pending against him in Baghdad as part of a political vendetta that has wider repercussions for Iraqi unity and sectarian tensions across the Middle East. The trial in absentia of Tariq alHashemi, a Sunni Muslim, was postponed Thursday as his lawyers appealed to have parliament create a special court to hear the case that could deepen Iraq’s sectarian divide. Al-Hashemi has denied charges that he ran death squads that targeted government oﬃcials, security forces and Shiite pilgrims. Al-Hashemi also alleged that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, may have engineered the trial to snuﬀ out domestic opposition in case he is threatened by a revolt in Iraq similar to that in neighboring Syria. “It could be a pre-emptive attack” stemming from concern about the upheaval in Syria, al-Hashemi said in an interview with The Associated Press in Istanbul. “Al-Maliki apparently is very much sensitive to what’s going on in Syria. So from the sectarian angle, he tried to immunize himself in the future in addressing one of the principal political rivals,” he said, referring to his role as a frequent critic of al-Maliki. A media adviser for al-Maliki disputed claims that the vice president was being targeted for political reasons and said the government does not interfere in the judicial system. “We do understand that al-Hashemi might say anything to protect himself,” spokesman Ali al-Moussawi said. “The fugitive vice president should go to court and defend himself instead of launching accusations and allegations.” Al-Hashemi denies allegations he is a lawbreaker, opening a news conference in Istanbul with a declara- tion that he is not a fugitive. His representatives maintain he left Iraq for diplomatic meetings with regional leaders, not to escape arrest. The case against al-Hashemi highlights rifts that haunt Iraq after decades of dictatorship, war and civil conﬂict, and the departure of American troops. It also follows regional revolts that have toppled or undermined authoritarian leaders in the Middle East. Most in the Syrian opposition, for example, come from the country’s Sunni majority, while President Bashar Assad’s regime relies on the minority Alawites, an oﬀshoot from Shiism. Sunni Arab leaders in the Gulf see the Shiite-led government in Iraq as too soft on Syria, where the United Nations estimates at least 9,000 people, many of them civilians, have died in a government crackdown on dissent. Additionally, regional powers Iran, led by a Shiite theocracy, and Turkey, which is mostly Sunni but espouses unity across sectarian lines, have supported opposing factions in Iraq. Al-Hashemi, who ﬂed to Iraq’s self-ruled northern Kurdish region in December to avoid arrest, warned of regional spillover if Iraq’s factions cannot unite and address the mismanagement that he blamed on al-Maliki. “Iraq is the core of the geopolitical scene in the area. Whatever happens in Iraq is going to aﬀect the neighboring countries,” he said. “We could end up in some sort of sectarian polarization in the Middle East.” Iraq’s political crisis pits the mostly Shiite leadership against Sunnis and Kurds who accuse it of consolidating power even as public services deteriorate and security remains vulnerable. Last week, Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdish autonomous region, threatened to let Kurds vote to secede from Iraq if the government crisis has not been resolved by regional elections in September. In the AP interview, al-Hashemi said he understood the frustration that led Barzani to talk about partition but said the possibility was “not on the table” in Kurdish circles, at least for now. “I sit down from time to time with Kurdish leaders and we talk freely and openly about the subject,” al-Hashemi said. “All politicians are very much interested in reaching a political solution rather than jumping into an Iraqi partition.” On his own dilemma, the vice president held out hope of a settlement. “I am ready, in fact, to show up in any court provided that I do receive a fair trial, according to the constitution, according to the international justice standard,” he said. Then he added: “The whole case is politically motivated, so it is waiting for a political solution, not a legal solution.” — AP Bahrain arrests rights activist Nabeel Rajab Ministry says accused of crimes punishable by law TEHRAN: In this May 20, 2010 file photo, American hikers Shane Bauer, left, Sarah Shourd, center, and Josh Fattal, sit at the Esteghlal Hotel in Tehran, Iran. Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd detained and accused of spying after hiking near the Iraq-Iran border three years ago will marry in the San Francisco Bay area.— AP Two American hikers jailed in Iran to wed SAN FRANCISCO: Two of the three American hikers jailed in Iran after allegedly straying over the Iraq-Iran border in 2009 were to be married on Saturday in a private ceremony in California, according to a statement posted on their Facebook page. The wedding of Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd completes an engagement that began when Bauer tied a ring of thread around her ﬁnger while they were in prison in 2010. “Now that this day has come, all I can do is close my eyes and ﬁll with gratitude, for our freedom, for the love of so many generous people around the world, and for the very soil under my feet,” Shourd said in the statement posted on the Free the Hikers Facebook page. The third hiker, Josh Fattal, was to be the best man, the statement said. The statement did not say exactly where in California the wedding was to take place, only that it was a setting “chosen for its pastoral beauty.” “Becoming engaged to Sarah while we were in captivity allowed me to dream of a future that was not only secure, but also beautiful,” Bauer said in the statement. Bauer, Shourd and Fattal were arrested on July 2009 by Iranian border guards, who allege that the three crossed over into Iran from the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Shourd was released 14 months later on humanitarian grounds but Bauer and Fattal were convicted of illegal entry and espionage. The men spent the ﬁrst three months of their detention in solitary conﬁnement before they were put in an 8 foot by 13 foot (2.5 meter by 4 meter) cell together. They spent their time reading and testing each other on various topics and were allowed a short time in an outside room to exercise daily. During 781 days in jail, they had 15 minutes of phone calls with their families and one short visit from their mothers, Fattal said. They staged repeated hunger strikes over demands they be given letters sent by their families, he said. Fattal and Bauer were freed last September after Oman paid bail of $1 million. Shourd was released on $500,000 bail a year earlier. — Reuters Algeria campaign wraps up amid voter indifference ALGIERS: Algeria’s parties prepared their ﬁnal rallies ahead of the May 10 legislative polls yesterday, after the Arab Spring sweeping the region failed to bring new faces to the campaign and spark the electorate. President Abdelaziz Bouteﬂika’s camp defended a package of cautious reforms initiated to contain revolutionary contagion, while the main Islamist alliance hoped to beneﬁt from their counterparts’ gains in the region. As the three-week campaign wrapped up, the North African country’s 21.6 million voters seemed underwhelmed by the choice of 44 parties. Except for billboards plastered with ripped campaign posters, there were few signs in the streets of Algiers of the imminence of a vote Bouteﬂika has billed as “the dawn of a new era”. The country ’s top-selling daily Echorouk carried a front-page picture of a deserted street corner littered with campaign leaﬂets and this headline: “Everyone was there... except the citizens.” Algeria’s leading French-language newspaper El Watan splashed a huge picture and headline on its front page... on the French election, relegating the Algerian polls to page 5. In the daily Liberte, Algeria’s top cartoonist Dilem depicted one man asking another as they walked past the campaign posters for the May 10 vote: “So, who do you support, Sarko or Hollande?” Turnout in the 2007 parliamentary polls slumped to a record low of 35 percent, according to oﬃcial ﬁgures, and there was no sign Algerians would show more interest this year. The secretary general of Bouteﬂika’s National Liberation Front, Abdelaziz Belkhadem, told AFP this week he would be satisﬁed if 45 percent of voters cast a ballot, but some observers say oﬃcial ﬁg- ures may conceal a projected turnout of less than 20 percent. The regime has tried to assuage fears of fraud by inviting some 500 foreign election observers-including from the EU-but Algeria is Africa’s largest country, four times the size of France, and few voters seem convinced. A European diplomat told AFP yesterday that the observation mission was still awaiting a copy of the voters’ roll, despite repeated requests. The National Liberation Front, formerly the lone party, is under unprecedented strain, with rebels seeking to oust Belkhadem and sights ﬁrmly on the 2014 presidential election, after which Bouteﬂika, now 75, is widely expected to step down. “I don’t think any party can approach a majority alone.... The seats will be scattered between the parties,” Interior Minister Daho Ould Kablia said last month. The national assembly is being extended from 389 to 462 seats. The FLN, which has 136 seats in the outgoing assembly, currently sits in a coalition with the National Rally for Democracy of Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and the Movement of Society for Peace, the country’s main legal Islamist party. Speaking at a rally on Saturday, Ouyahia said Algeria’s stability needed to be preserved and criticised voices calling for an Arab Spring-style revolt. “It isn’t an Arab Spring which is sweeping the region but a plague, and there is conﬁrmation of this every day,” he said, citing “the colonisation of Iraq, the destruction of Libya, the partition of Sudan and the weakening of Egypt.” The MSP and two allied parties hope they can cash in on the so-called “Green wave” that swept Islamists to the helm in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt in the wake of the Arab Spring revolts.—AFP DUBAI: Bahrain has arrested a prominent human rights activist and critic of the country’s ruling family, the Interior Ministry and an activist said yesterday, as the authorities escalated a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. Bahrain, which is ruled by a Sunni Muslim monarchy and hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, has been in turmoil since activists mainly from the majority Shi’ite community began protests in February 2011 after successful revolts in Egypt and Tunisia. Police arrested Nabeel Rajab, head of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), on return from Beirut on Saturday evening, Sayed Yousif Almuhafda said by telephone from Manama. Prosecutors then questioned him extensively about his tweets on Twitter though he was taken to court on Sunday morning on previous charges of organising protest inside Manama in March, a member of the BCHR told Reuters. “The police arrested him near the plane’s door. They said they had an arrest warrant from the public prosecutions oﬃce... At the prosecutor’s oﬃce, it was all about tweets,” he said. It was not clear if the questioning about messages on Twitter would lead to new charges. Rajab shot to prominence last year when he became a trenchant campaigner against the crackdown. With 140,000 followers on Twitter he is one of the most well-known online activists in the Arab world. Several hundred gathered outside Rajab’s home in Bani Jamra west of Manama on Sunday evening, chanting “down with (king) Hamad” and slogans demanding his release. Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior said Rajab’s had been arrested “for committing a number of crimes punishable by law” but gave no more details. Authorities are also holding protest leader Zainab al-Khawaja after she tried to protest alone on a major highway. Prosecutors say she insulted women police oﬃcers. She became a symbol for protesters after she was dragged from a traﬃc roundabout in December by women riot police. Both Rajab and Khawaja, daughter of jailed uprising leader Abdulhadi al-Khawaja who is on a hunger strike, have been detained brieﬂy on several occasions in the past year but this is the ﬁrst time they were held with intent to press charges. Justin Gengler, a Qatar-based researcher on Bahrain, said arresting Rajab would please Sunni hardliners who have goaded the gov- ernment for not crushing the protests they views as a Shi’ite attempt to destabilise the country. “After mobilising Sunnis, the state can only appease them by caving in to their demands for a harsher response to protesters and activists,” he said. The International Federation for Human Rights, in which Rajab is deputy secretary general, condemned the arrest. “The federation demands the immediate and unconditional release of Rajab and other rights defenders, while it appears that these judicial harassments aim to place blocks against human rights activities,” the Paris-based group said. Rajab and Khawaja have been a thorn in the government’s side, organising peaceful protests inside Manama without licences - in contrast to the leading opposition party Wefaq which obtains Interior Ministry approval. The marches in Manama have sometimes ended violently when police ﬁre tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the protesters and youths throw back petrol bombs. Their acts of civil disobedience have made them heroes to many Bahraini opposition activists. Western activists, who were eventually deported, joined Rajab for protests in February that marked one year since the protest movement began. Tension has risen again since April when Bahrain’s Formula One Grand Prix became a lightning rod for protesters and visiting journalists turned their attention to an uprising that has not gone away. Analysts predicted that hardliners within the ruling family would show their teeth after the Grand Prix, when Bahrain stopped some journalists entering and deported a team from Britain’s Channel Four for entering on tourist visas. A statement on the state news agency warned clerics against incitement to violence, sectarianism, insulting the judiciary and constitutional institutions and harming the economy - comments apparently directed against leading Shi’ite clerics such as Sheikh Isa Qassim who led a mass protest in March. “The cabinet instructed ministries to take legal measures if these violations continue, aﬃrming its total rejection of any bargaining over the nation’s security and unity,” BNA said. King Hamad enacted constitutional reforms last week that would boost the elected parliament’s powers of scrutiny over ministers and budgets. But the government has not budged on the key demand for a single chamber of parliament with full powers to legislate and form governments. — Reuters Egypt MPs, military discuss govt crisis CAIRO: A delegation of MPs yesterday met Egypt’s military rulers in an attempt to resolve a government crisis that has seen parliamentary sessions suspended for more than a week, oﬃcials from both sides said. The meeting comes after tensions ﬂared ahead of a key presidential election slated for later this month. Around a dozen parliamentarians including speaker Saad al-Katatni met Sami Anan, deputy chief of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) that has ruled the country since the February 2011 fall of president Hosni Mubarak. They were to discuss ways of drawing a line under the crisis over the composition of a panel to draw up a new constitution and over anti-military clashes at the defence ministry that saw two people killed and hundreds hurt. No details were immediately available on outcome of the talks. The Abbassiya district of the capital where the defence ministry is located was calm yesterday after the second overnight curfew in a row and after the military on Saturday ordered 300 people detained after Friday’s clashes. Last Sunday, the Islamist-dominated parliament decided to suspend sessions for a week in protest at the military refusing to sack the government and name the powerful Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) to head a new one. A marathon parliamentary election which ended in January saw Egypt’s two main Islamist parties catapulted to the centre stage of politics, clinching nearly three quarters of the 498 seats in the legislature. The Brotherhood said on its website last Sunday the military had indicated there would be a cabinet reshuﬄe before the presidential election, but so far this has not happened and parliamentary meetings have resumed. Also on the agenda for the meeting between the members of parliament and the SCAF was the make-up of the panel charged with drafting a new constitution before the end of a transition period on June 30. The judiciary suspended the original panel formed by parliament and comprised of mostly Islamists.—Agencies Netanyahu calls for early polls TEL AVIV: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday called for early elections, suggesting he would seek a September vote instead of waiting until the scheduled October 2013 date. “I don’t want there to be a year-anda-half of political instability accompanied by blackmail and populism. I’d prefer a short electoral campaign of four months that will ensure political stability,” he told a meeting of his Likud party in Tel Aviv. The address, which included a laundry list of his achievements in three years of government, failed to give a deﬁnitive date for the vote, which he is expected to comfortably win. Israeli oﬃcials, including his coalition chairman Zeev Elkin, had earlier said there was consensus among most of the government on a September 4 date. Speaking to AFP after Netanyahu’s TEL AVIV: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech during a meeting of his Likud party in Tel Aviv yesterday. Netanyahu called for early elections, suggesting he would seek a September vote instead of waiting until the scheduled October 2013 date. —AFP address, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz declined to say whether that date still stands. “The elections will apparently be in September. The Likud will win and the prime minister will form the next government,” he said. Netanyahu’s address nonetheless ended months of speculation about whether he would seek to bring forward the elections in a bid to bolster his position and capitalise on his popularity. Observers have long suggested he would seek to shore up his standing ahead of painful budget cuts expected later this year and the US presidential election in November. His decision also comes amid a ﬁght within his coalition over a contentious law allowing ultra-Orthodox Jews to defer their military service. Netanyahu has pledged to replace the law, which expires this year, but is caught between the staunchly secular Yisrael Beitenu, which opposes the rule, and the ultra-Orthodox factions in his coalition. But polls show that he could hardly have picked a better time to seek re -election, with sur veys showing he easily outstrips his rivals for the oﬃce of prime minister. A poll published in the Haaretz daily on Thursday showed Netanyahu commands more support than his next three rivals put together, with 48 percent of Israelis backing his re-election. His Likud party also looks set to increase its standing in the 120-seat Knesset and have its choice of parties with which to form a coalition. Polls, including a survey published by the Maariv daily on Friday, consistently show Likud netting around 31 seats, up from its current 27. The Maariv poll showed the Labour party taking 18 seats, up from the 13 it won in the last elections, with Yisrael Beitenu seeing its 15 seats fall to 12. The Kadima party, which won the most seats in the last election but failed to form a coalition, looks set for a crushing defeat, with its 28 seats reduced to just 11. The newly formed centrist Yesh Atid (There is a Future) is also expected to win around 11 seats. Aviad Natovitz, a Likud member from Petach Tikva near Tel Aviv, expressed the party’s prevailing conﬁdence as he waited for Netanyahu’s speech. “Elections now or in six months or a year would give more or less the same result,” he said. “The Likud will form the next government because there is no alternative on the left.” The biggest uncertainty surrounding the vote is the shape of Netanyahu’s eventual coalition, with the premier pledging Sunday to form a broad government. —AFP MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 I N T E R N AT I O N A L Romney embarking on new political balancing act WASHINGTON: Mitt Romney will need independent voters in November, but he isn’t abandoning his “severely conservative” record. The likely Republican presidential nominee has embarked on an aggressive campaign against President Barack Obama that straddles two sometimes-conﬂicting political ideologies. On some days, the former Massachusetts governor is a social conservative and social moderate, a right-wing conspiracy theorist and promoter of political compromise. With the primaries over, it’s an evolving balancing act that, so far, is leaning decidedly right. Romney spoke out Friday against China’s “one-child policy,” in an apparent nod to social conservatives. But later in the same Fox News interview, he defended his decision to hire an openly gay staﬀer who just quit under pressure from social conservatives. Romney said he hires people “not based upon their ethnicity, or their sexual preference or their gender but upon their capability.” He said the exaide, Richard Grenell, who was to become foreign policy spokesman, was a “capable individual” and that many senior campaign advisers had urged him not to leave. But Grenell’s departure pleased some on the religious right. The matter oﬀered a look inside a Romney campaign that would like to broaden his appeal to the political center, while harnessing the antiObama intensity from his party’s right. It’s a tricky move, but Romney is trying to prove he won’t turn his back on his party’s most passionate voters. He’s devoting signiﬁcant attention to skeptical conservatives who have supported his Republican rivals until recently. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum gave up his bid last month, while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made his departure oﬃcial this past week. “ We’re moving quickly,” said Romney senior aide Peter Flaherty, who is leading the campaign’s conservative outreach. “We are going to work very hard to continue to work with conservatives, to work with the base, to keep them energized.” Romney on Friday met with Santorum, who has indicated he will endorse Romney. Since Santorum quit, Romney’s campaign has been recruiting former Santorum staﬀers and courting his key allies and donors. Romney has hired Santorum’s former campaign manager to broaden coalitions with conservative groups. At the same time, the Romney campaign is paying lots of attention to the conservative media. He and his wife met this past week with right-leaning bloggers, reporters and columnists for an oﬀ-the -record discussion on Capitol Hill. He has granted interviews recently to conservative publications such as The Weekly Standard, the blog “Hot Air,” National Review and Human Events magazine. Romney last month told the website Breitbart TV that the media was involved in a “vast left-wing conspiracy to work together to put out their message and to attack me.” Romney will deliver a commencement address next week at Liberty University, the evangelical institution founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell in Lynchburg, Va. He will be the ﬁrst Mormon to speak at a Liberty graduation. All that attention could alienate independents and more moderate voters often credited with deciding close elections. For now, the Romney campaign seems more focused on uniting a party that just experienced a bitter primary. His aides highlight the need to rev up conservative activists, who will drive turnout on Election Day and handle the lion’s share of the lessglamorous tasks needed to run a national campaign. They note that Democrats have a ready-made army of volunteers, relying on college students, labor union members and others. Romney has struggled for much of his primary campaign to excite most conservative voters. Aiming at that group, he described himself as a “severely conservative” Republican governor while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington in February. Some conservative leaders said they’re still not excited about Romney. — AP Heavy losses for Greek pro-austerity parties Neo-Nazis gain seats MEXICO CITY: Colleagues, relatives and friends of murdered journalists place candles and pictures on an altar erected at the Independence Angel monument in Mexico City during a vigil to protest against violence towards the press. On Thursday Mexican security forces found the dismembered bodies of missing news photographers Guillermo Luna Varela and Gabriel Huge and two other people in bags dumped in a canal in the eastern state of Veracruz. — AFP Fear spreads as Mexican journalists mourned BOCA DEL RIO: Grieving, frightened journalists remembered three slain colleagues on Friday as young and energetic members of a press corps working under terrifying conditions in a state torn by a war between Mexico’s two most powerful drug cartels. Traﬃc dwindled from the streets and shopping areas emptied hours after the discover y Thursday afternoon of Guillermo Luna Varela, Gabriel Huge, Esteban Rodriguez and Irasema Becerra, who had been slain, dismembered and stuﬀed into black plastic bags dumped into a waste canal. It was a sense of dread familiar to Veracruz, where a cartel battle for control of one of Mexico’s largest ports has spawned horrors such as the slaughter of 35 people dumped on a main highway in rush-hour traﬃc in September. The state is a common route for drugs and migrants coming from the south on the way up to the United States. Much of the area around its main port city on the Gulf of Mexico was controlled until last year by the Zetas, a brutal paramilitarystyle cartel founded by defectors from the Mexican army special forces and known for its gruesome butchery of opponents. Last year, the Zetas’ territor y in Veracruz came under assault from the New Generation, a cartel based in the western state of Jalisco and allied with the powerful Sinaloa cartel, which is led by kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Drug cartels battling for control of smuggling routes often use threats, bribes or both to demand the support of local oﬃcials, prison directors and other inﬂuential people in the cities they are ﬁghting over. Journalists have not been spared. “ We’re living in madness,” a Veracruz newspaper editor told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity for his safety. He said Zetas had wanted him to publish news about the killings of Sinaloa soldiers, and the New Generation had pressured him to suppress such reports. “The Zetas talk to you and tell you not to publish something, and the New Generation talks to you and say, ‘If this isn’t published, I’ll mess you up.’ So what are we supposed to do?” He said criminal gangs even had de facto press representatives, who e-mailed complete stories for media to publish. A local television reporter said his cameramen had once been warned oﬀ covering a story by the cartels - by a fellow journalist who worked for a gang. He also spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear. At least seven current and former reporters and photographers have been slain in Veracruz over the last 18 months, forcing their surviving colleagues to work under precautions reminiscent of those in a war zone. Journalists let colleagues and family know by phone when they are leaving for work and coming home. They call ahead before covering a story to see if the area is safe. Once they go, they move in groups of four or ﬁve and scan areas from the vehicle before getting out, remaining in constant contact with their newsroom. Few talk anymore with strangers, a new reticence in an area once known for its tropical warmth and welcoming attitude to tourists and other visitors. Press freedom groups said all three slain photographers found Thursday had temporarily ﬂed the state after receiving threats last year. Huge, a new father who was in his 30s, and Luna, his 22-year-old nephew, were “part of a new generation of young photographers who permeate the media in Veracruz,” wrote Sandra Segura, a columnist for the newspaper Notiver, where both men had worked. Both had covered the police beat. “They were all spouses, children, siblings, parents, like Gabriel, the father of a 2-yearold girl. — AP KOSOVO: A Kosovo Serb girl casts her mother’s ballot paper at a polling station during the Serb elections in Gracanica, Kosovo yesterday. Serbia, a landlocked nation of 7.1 million people in southeast Europe, is holding presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections yesterday. — AP ATHENS: Greece’s two main parties suﬀered big losses in elections yesterday, exit polls showed, rocking the eurozone state’s austerity plans after a strong showing by protest groups including the neo-Nazis. Anti-austerity parties could have won up to 58 percent of the vote between them, the exit polls showed. The conservative New Democracy led by Antonis Samaras was the largest party with 17-20 percent of the vote, insuﬃcient to give it an absolute majority and down from 33.5 percent at the last election in 2009, the exit polls showed. Socialist Pasok saw its score slump to 1417 percent from 43.9 percent. The party even looked set to be leapfrogged into second place by the leftist Syriza, which scored 15.5-18.5 percent, up from 4.6 percent three years ago. “The ruling parties have been struck by an earthquake. It has crushed Pasok and sent a strong tremor through New Democracy,” shadow foreign minister Panos Panagiotopoulos said on television channel Mega. Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn was also set to enter parliament for the ﬁrst time since the end of the military junta in 1974, with six to eight percent, making it the sixth-biggest party in the 300-seat chamber with some 25 lawmakers, it said. “A new nationalist movement dawns,” Golden Dawn said on its website. “Hundreds of thousands of Greeks have dynamically joined the national cause for a great, free Greece.” The fourth-biggest party was set to be Indepenent Greeks with 10-12 percent, a new right-wing party set up by New Democracy dissident Panos Kammenos, followed by the communist KKE on 7.5-9.5 percent. The Democratic Left, a Europhile new leftist party, notched up 4.5-6.5 percent. In total nine parties were set to enter parliament compared with just ﬁve after the last election. Both Pasok and ND have said they want the “troika” of the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank to cut Greece more slack in their two bailout deals worth worth 240 billion euros ($314.0 billion). But with voters angry at the austerity cuts demanded in response, many of the smaller parties, including possible kingmaker Syriza, want to tear up the agreements. The communist KKE party want to leave the eurozone and the neo-Nazis say they want to stop servicing Greece’s debts, an aim shared by Kammenos who wants to turn to Russia to prop up the country. The result therefore will make it tough for Samaras, once he is oﬃcially tasked to do so by the president, to form a government able to keep its austerity promises and implement more cuts demanded by the country’s creditors. His other options include a repeat of the current uneasy Pasok-ND alliance or fresh elections. The ﬁnal results are not expected much before before 2000 GMT, and experts have warned they could diﬀer considerably from the exit polls. from its commitments, the country would “bear the consequences.” “Membership of the European Union is voluntary,” he said in Cologne. As a result, it is Greece’s vote rather than France’s presidential election, also decided yesterday, which “weighs heavier” on investors’ minds, said Valerie Plagnol, Credit Suisse director of THESSALONIKI: A woman prepares to cast her vote yesterday for the general elections at a polling station in the northen port city of Thessaloniki. Greece readies for elections with voters angry about austerity cuts and uncertainty over whether a new government can be formed with a strong enough mandate to push through yet more reforms demanded by its international creditors. — AFP “After two years of barbarism, democracy is coming home,” Syriza head Alexis Tsipras said earlier yesterday. “The people will send a loud and clear message to all of Europe.” Greece’s creditors, not least paymasterin-chief Germany, the main proponent of austerity before growth-despite growing criticism across Europe-have little appetite to loosen the bailout terms, let alone consider a third rescue. With Athens having committed to ﬁnding in June another 11.5 billion euros in savings through 2014, any ambition to renegotiate terms “suggests a degree of liberty they do not have,” Swiss bank UBS said in a research note. In ominous comments widely quoted by Greek newspapers on Saturday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that if Greece’s new government deviated research. Holger Schmieding, economist at Germany’s Berenberg Bank, said that with a “high” chance that no stable government willing to implement more reforms can be formed, there was a 40-percent risk of a Greek eurozone exit this year. With Portugal and Ireland also getting aid and Italy and Spain on shaky ground too, last year there were worries of some sort of break-up of the eurozone. These fears have subsided in recent months but have not completely disappeared. Greece has already written oﬀ a third of its debts and is in its ﬁfth year of recession. One in ﬁve workers is unemployed, its banks are in a precarious position and pensions and salaries have been slashed by up to 40 percent. — AFP Teenager held in parents’ killings signs autographs WEST PALM BEACH: A teenager accused of bludgeoning his parents with a hammer before hosting a party at their home signs jailhouse autographs exclaiming “It’s hammer time,” calls himself “hammer boy,” and says he has seen and talked to the devil, a fellow inmate told police. The inmate, Justin Toney, described 18-year-old Tyler Hadley’s jailhouse fame in interviews outlined in investigative ﬁles released by prosecutors. Hadley has pleaded not guilty in the bludgeonings last July of Blake and Mar y-Jo Hadley. Toney told investigators that Hadley is known as “Hambo” and “Bamm-Bamm” by other inmates and that he has given autographs, including some on news articles about his case. Every time a new inmate is admitted, Toney said in the Feb. 21 interview, Hadley makes an introduction. “What’s up man?” Toney quoted Hadley as saying. “You know who I am? I’m the hammer boy.” The inmate says Hadley has given diﬀering accounts of why he allegedly committed the crimes. First, he said, Hadley blamed it on medication he was on. Later, though, he said Hadley explained it was because he wanted to have a par ty and knew his parents wouldn’t let him. “All this to have a par ty?” Detective Kristin Meyer of the Por t St. Lucie Police asked. “ That’s what he said,” Toney replied. Toney said Hadley told him he’d been contemplating the killings for about three weeks and had considered using a garden tool instead. “He said he seen the devil,” Toney said. “He said he talked to the devil and the devil talked to him.” Still, there are glimpses of a diﬀerent Hadley in the ﬁles. Toney said Hadley would sometimes bring him a ramen noodle cup, and often expressed remorse for his alleged crimes. In a log of a jailhouse visit with his older brother, Ryan, Hadley tells his brother he loves him and tells him to tell others he says hello and loves them too. Kelly Reynolds, who was interviewed by police but whose relationship to Hadley wasn’t made clear, said he was an altar boy. Hadley ’s public defender, Mark Harllee, did not return a call Friday seeking comment. Hadley told a friend interviewed by police, Daniel Roberts, that his father had punched him in the face several times and had shown signs of injuries at times, according to the ﬁles. But Toney said Hadley told him he’d never been beaten or molested, and Ryan Hadley called his parents “awesome” and his brother a “pathological liar.” Police have said about 60 people gathered for a party at Hadley’s house after his parents were killed, playing beer pong, smoking cigars and drinking. Friends described Hadley as being in a good mood and hospitable. Toney said Hadley claimed to have spent $2,000 on drugs and alcohol for the party, describing it as “so much fun.” He said Hadley knew he had “shocked the world” and realized something about his parents as he allegedly attacked them with a hammer. “I said, ‘Did they try to stop you?’” Toney asked about the attack. “And he was like, ‘No, that’s how I knew that they really loved me.’” — AP 11 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 international Clinton ‘hurt’ by charges of anti-Islam US bias DHAKA: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday she was deeply hurt by charges that the United States was biased against Muslims, staunchly defending her country’s record in protecting minorities. Clinton, visiting the world’s third largest Muslim-majority countr y Bangladesh, was asked by a student at a public forum about perceptions that the United States was against Islam. “That hurts me so much,” Clinton said. “It’s a painful perception to hear about and I deeply regret that anyone believes that or propagates it.” Clinton said that the decade of USled war was “self-defence” after the September 11, 2001 attacks by AlQaeda and said extremists “perverted” the teachings of Islam. “Is there dis- crimination or prejudice in the United States like in every society and country in the world? Unfortunately yes. Human nature has not changed dramatically,” she said. “There is discrimination against people of different religions, of different races, of different ethnic groups all over the world... but I don’t think that it is at all fair to hold up the United States” over discrimination, she said. “I believe that the United States through our laws and through our constant political dialogue has gone probably farther than anywhere else in the world in trying to guarantee legal protections for people. I would like to see more countries do more to protect the rights of minorities,” she said. The United States has long had a cooperative relationship with Bangladesh, which is known for its moderate brand of Islam and has a significant population of religious minorities. But Clinton is the first US secretary of state to visit Bangladesh since 2003 amid concern over political infighting that has long polarised the country. —AFP Clinton lands in India to breathe life into ties ‘We want to be your partner’ KATHMANDU: Nepalese rescuers search for bodies at a flood site at Kharapani village of Kaski district, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of Kathmandu, Nepal, yesterday. Flash floods from the Seti river in western Nepal swept away dozens of people along with their cattle and houses, officials said. Bodies have been recovered, a police official said. —AP Hope fades for Nepal flood victims, 15 dead KATHMANDU: Rescuers scouring Nepal’s central Annapurna region after severe flash flooding said yesterday that there was almost no hope of finding survivors and that the final toll could hit 60 dead. The bodies of 15 people have been recovered but district police superintendent Sailesh Thapa told AFP that 43 missing people, including three Ukrainian tourists, were feared dead. “So far, 12 of the 15 bodies have been identified. An excavator has reached the worst affected areas and is clearing the mud,” he said. “We have a list of another 43 people who have gone missing. Their chances of survival are almost zero. The three Ukrainians are still missing.” Just eight people have been rescued since the Seti burst its banks near the city of Pokhara, a popular tourist hub, on Saturday, sweeping away an entire village, and swamping families enjoying picnics on the river banks. Most of the missing are thought to be local. One witness, named as Uddha Bahadur Gurung, described how the river had suddenly swollen with water and turned into a lethal surge. “There was nothing unusual. People were enjoying picnics, some were relaxing in the hot spring pools by the river and others working,” he told the Kathmandu Post. “Out of nowhere came this swelling dark murky water with debris, sweeping away many people.” Sniffer dogs have been sent 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the capital Kathmandu to search for bodies along the banks of the river, which has now subsided, while police and army personnel hunted for survivors. Prime Minister Baburam Bhattari broke off from key political negotiations over forming a new government to visit Kharapani village, which was washed away by the flood, his spokesman told AFP. “He has instructed the authorities to bring 20 excavators so that the dead bodies of those who have been buried by the floods can be recovered,” said Bishwadeep Pandey, personal secretary to the premier. “The prime minister has also committed the government to provide expenses for the last rites to family members of those who died.” A landslide caused by days of heavy rain had blocked the Seti near its origin in the snow fields and glaciers of the Himalayas, said Nepalese Army spokesman Ramindra Chhetri. “Then there was a powerful outburst, which resulted in a flash flood in the Seti river that entered human settlements and created havoc,” he told AFP, adding some houses were covered with mud up to 12 feet (3.5 metres) deep. “We have mobilised a company, an engineer platoon and soldiers from specialised troops for search and rescue operations,” he said. The 8,091-metres (26,545-feet) Mount Annapurna attracts thousands of trekkers, both local and foreign, each year as well as day-trippers who enjoy picnics on the banks of the Seti river. The mountain is considered both technically difficult and avalanche-prone and has a much higher death rate among climbers than Everest, the world’s highest peak. —AFP KOLKATA: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton landed in India yesterday with hopes of reinvigorating a relationship seen as losing steam despite efforts to bring the world’s two largest democracies closer. Clinton was greeted by streets lined with waving well-wishers as she started her visit in Kolkata, where she will tour monuments and meet ordinary citizens in her latest bid to use her star appeal as a diplomatic tool. She heads today to New Delhi for talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with whom she is expected to raise US calls for India to stop buying oil from Iran, one of the most open disagreements in years between the countries. Clinton said she saw ample progress in relations with India, pointing to rising trade and cooperation in areas from education to clean energy. “I think it’s like any relationshipthere is progress in some areas that we are very heartened by, and there is more work to be done,” Clinton told reporters before her arrival. “But that’s the commitment that we make when we say to another country, we want to be your partner,” she said. After more than a decade of warming relations, India has bristled at a US law that would impose sanctions on banks from countries that buy oil from Iran due to concerns over Tehran’s contested nuclear programme. A senior US official travelling with Clinton acknowledged that India had quietly been cutting back on Iranian oil and that New Delhifiercely protective of its sovereignty-could not be seen as buckling under US pressure. “Our assessment is that India is making good progress but we really need to receive assurances that they’re going to continue to make good progress,” the official said on condition of anonymity. The official said that Carlos Pascual, the US pointman on the issue, would visit New Delhi later this month to determine the next step. Only EU nations and Japan have so far been given exemptions to the sanctions which go into effect on June 28. India is highly dependent on foreign energy and has historically enjoyed friendly relations with Tehran. But the US official said that Indian businesses had made “a major strategic bet” on continuing good relations with the United Walmart, the US official said. Banerjee, a fractious ally of Singh’s government, was instrumental in scuttling planned retail reforms. Critics charge that liberalising the sector would devastate India’s ubiquitous small stores, but foreign retailers contend that they can improve efficiency and consumer choice. US businesses, once has backed another of India’s longtime ambitions by supporting its bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. But few expect UN reform anytime soon and some Indians have accused the Obama administration of a lack of attention. T.P. Sreenivasan, a former Indian ambassador to the United Nations, said that the initial KOLKATA: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) waves upon her arrival at the airport in Kolkata yesterday. Clinton landed in India with hopes of reinvigorating a relationship seen as losing steam despite efforts to bring the world’s two largest democracies closer. —AFP States and did not want to jeopardise them over Iran. Clinton will meet today morning in Kolkata with West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who took power last year by sweeping out nearly 35 years of communist rule in the eastern state. Clinton will seek to show solidarity with a fellow female leader but also press Banerjee to back the opening up of India’s fast-growing retail sector to major foreign companies such as at the vanguard of building ties with India, have voiced disappointment over the deadlock on retail reform along with parliament’s refusal to give US nuclear firms greater protection from liabilities. Nuclear energy had been a symbolic milestone in the relationship, with former president George W. Bush championing a deal that ended India’s decades of isolation over its nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. President Barack Obama expectations for the US-India relationship had not been met but that Clinton had the advantage of being considered a friend of New Delhi. The visit “comes at a useful time as there is a certain amount of strain in relations that needs to be rectified,” he said. “The relationship has lost momentum partly because... both are preoccupied with their own internal problems,” he said. —AFP Suicide bombing in Pakistan kills 20 KHAR: A Taleban suicide bombing in a Pakistani market close to the Afghan border killed 20 people Friday, officials said, a day after the US released letters seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound that criticized Pakistani militants for killing too many civilians. Five of the dead in the blast in the Bajur tribal area were local members of the security forces, including one who had received an award for bravery in fighting Islamist militants, government administrator Abdul Haseeb said. The others were passers-by. Over 40 people were wounded, mostly civilians. The suicide bomber, who was believed to be 15 to 16 years old, detonated his explosives as he approached a security checkpoint near the market in the town of Khar, said Haseeb. The attack took place as locals were headed to work or taking their children to school. The dead included a woman and several schoolchildren. The explosion damaged over a dozen shops, and rescue officials searched through the debris for anyone trapped inside. The ground outside the market was covered in blood and littered with the shoes of those hit by the attack. Pakistani Taleban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed responsibility for the bombing in a telephone call to The Associated Press. “This is revenge for killing our people,” said Ahsan. Pakistan’s branch of the Taleban, which is battling for control of the region, has killed and wounded thousands of people since 2009, many of them civilians in markets or mosques. On Thursday, the US released 17 letters seized from the compound of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden by American commandos after they had killed him one year ago. Many of them addressed bombings in which civilians were killed. Two senior al-Qaida leaders wrote a letter to Pakistani Taleban chief Hakimullah Mehsud in December 2010 criticizing the group for carrying out attacks in markets, mosques and other places that kill innocent Muslims. It accused the group of making “clear legal and religious mistakes which might result in a negative deviation from the set path of the jihadists’ movement in Pakistan.” The group’s actions also “are contrary to the objectives of jihad and to the efforts exerted by us,” said the letter, which was written by Abu Yahya al-Libi and a militant leader identified as Atiyatullah. One of bin Laden’s spokesmen, the American Adam Gadahn, wrote a letter to an ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or movement for justice party, addresses a rally in Islamabad, Pakistan yesterday. Thousands of supporters of Pakistan Tehreeke-Insaf rallied in the capital Islamabad against the Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and to show their support with the Supreme Court, which punished Gilani for contempt of court. —AP unknown recipient in January 2011 in which he listed a series of attacks on mosques and other sites in Pakistan that killed hundreds of civilians. The Pakistani Taleban either claimed responsibility for the attacks or were suspected of carrying them out. Gadahn said these kinds of attacks “distort the picture of the pious and loyal mujahideen.” “Now many regular people are looking at the mujahideen as a group that does not hesitate to take people’s money by falsehood, blowing up mosques, spilling the blood of dozens of people in the way to kill one or two who were labeled as enemies,” said Gadahn. One of the incidents highlighted by Gadahn was a 2010 suicide bombing of a mosque in the northwest town of Darra Adam Khel targeting anti-Taliban tribal elders that killed nearly 70 people. He expressed skepticism at attempts by the Pakistani Taleban to blame the attack on the private U.S. security firm formerly known as Blackwater. The Pakistani Taleban rarely claim responsibility for attacks that kill many civilians, often blaming them on the US or Pakistani governments. Gadahn advised the Pakistani Taleban to carry out more targeted attacks that would limit civilian casualties. “If that targeted person really deserves to be killed, why not employ another method rather than random attacks, which are not tolerated by any conscience or religion?” said Gadahn. “Have you not remembered that you are fighting in the Muslim towns and not in the infidel’s fortresses?” —AP NEW DELHI: French nationals residing in India check their names against a voter registry during the second round of presidential elections at the French Embassy in New Delhi yesterday. France goes to the polls with frontrunner Hollande hoping voters will reject French presidential candidates incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy’s record in office and make him the country’s first Socialist president since 1995. —AFP Militants attack Pakistan military convoy: Officials MIRANSHAH: Militants attacked a Pakistani military convoy in the countr y ’s troubled nor thwest yesterday, injuring three soldiers, officials said, a day after a US drone strike killed 10 insurgents. The attack triggered a gun battle that raged for more than two hours near Miranshah, the main town in the notorious militant stronghold of North Waziristan, with troops killing at least three militants, tribal police official Taj Mohammed told AFP. Security officials confirmed the clash while witnesses said helicopters were seen circling overhead. The convoy came under attack from about a dozen militants armed with rockets and automatic rifles, officials said, and followed a US drone strike on a militant compound in North Waziristan on Saturday in which at least 10 insurgents were killed. Waziristan lies in northwestern Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt which Washington considers the main hub for Taleban and Al-Qaeda to plot attacks on the West and in Afghanistan. Pak istan says the drone strikes are counter productive and undermine government efforts to separate tribes from militants, violate Pakistan’s sovereignty, kill civilians and fuel anti-US sentiment. —AFP 12 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 international Hardline Myanmar vice president resigns YANGON: A former top general close to Myanmar’s retired dictator Than Shwe has resigned as vice-president, Burmese media reported, ending the hardliner’s role in the reformist government. Tin Aung Myint Oo, 61, submitted his resignation on May 3 for health reasons after returning from Singapore for medical treatment, the Myanmar language service of Voice of America reported on Sunday. The report could not be immediately confirmed. Tin Aung Myint Oo, a former four-star general, was one of two vice-presidents and considered a leader among hardliners in the year-old military-backed government that replaced the often-brutal junta who ruled for half a century. Tin Aung Myint Oo graduated from the Defence Ser vices Academy in 1970, becoming northeastern military commander near the Chinese border late 1990s. He was promoted to Secretary-1 of the former junta in 1997, a year when the army rounded up hundreds of pro-democracy activists in Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy to prevent them from attending a party congress. Suu Kyi and 42 other members of her party took their seats in parliament last week following a historic by-election in a year of dramatic reforms in the former British colony also known as Burma. In 2009, Tin Aung Myint Oo was appointed military advisor to thenSenior General Than Shwe. He was elected to the lower house a year later as a candidate for the armybacked Union Solidarity and Development Party, and was quickly nominated as vice president by military delegates. —Reuters Chinese activist seeks official help to go to US ‘It’s even difficult for me to get out of bed’ BEIJING: Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, isolated in a Beijing hospital, yesterday appealed for official help to leave the country after a USbrokered diplomatic solution paved the way for his departure. Chen is at the centre of a major diplomatic wrangle had been barred from visiting and US diplomats had only been allowed to see his wife, who was with him at the facility. “Now I have notified the hospital to invite them (government officials) to help me do the procedures. I really don’t abroad, signalling then-visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had secured a deal with the Chinese government. Chen, 40, a self-taught law yer, is in hospital being treated for foot injuries sustained during his escape from his village home, where he says BEIJING: Police remove an abandoned vehicle as they clear the street outside the Chaoyang Hospital wing housing blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, in Beijing yesterday. —AFP between China and the United States af ter he dramatically escaped harsh house arrest in the eastern province of Shandong and sought refuge at the US embassy in Beijing. He has been offered a fellowship from New York Universit y but injuries sustained during his flight and official restrictions on access to him have prevented him from completing the necessary formalities to leave. The activist was escor ted to the Beijing hospital by US officials on Wednesday, but said his friends have a way,” he told AFP in a telephone interview. “It’s even difficult for me to get out of bed and my other friends cannot come, so I have no way. They (US diplomats) have come, but they can’t see me.” Chen, who riled authorities by exposing forced abortions and sterilisations under China’s “one - child ” polic y, says he wants to depart for the United States for his safety and that of his wife and two young children. China’s foreign ministry said on Friday that he would be allowed to apply to study he was beaten and kept under constant surveillance. Friends of the dissident told AFP Chen and his family were preparing to go to the United States and might leave soon though his depar ture would depend on the Chinese government giving permission and issuing passports. Jerome Cohen, a New York University professor who is a friend and adviser to Chen, said he may go to the United States “soon”. “I t ’s conceivable he could be here quite soon,” Cohen told AFP by telephone from his US home. “I’m hoping it’s a done deal. I was very excited when I saw the announcement by the foreign ministr y spokesman on Friday af ternoon,” he said. “That’s an open signal that they are prepared to let him come abroad for a period of study,” said Cohen, who spoke to Chen t wice before he lef t the US embassy but not since. A spokesman for New York University said Friday that the ac tivist had been invited to study there. Chen said he did not know how long he would be in hospital, but fellow activist lawyer Jiang Tianyong, who spoke to him by phone late Saturday, said he would probably be in the hospital a few more days for treatment. “The current situation is that he hopes he and his family can go together to the United States,” Jiang told AFP yesterday. “He hopes to come back.” The entrances of the Chaoyang Hospital compound remained tightly guarded by uniformed police yesterday and the wary authorities kept journalists in a designated area outside, an AFP photographer said. If Chen decides to take up the NYU offer, he would be a visiting scholar at the law school with a programme of study and lecture, Cohen said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he got here within a week. But if it takes a month, it doesn’t matter and it wouldn’t surprise me either,” he said. US officials appeared to be keeping the details, including a timescale, of the agreement with Beijing deliberately vague, fearing that it would fall through if China felt embarrassed on its home soil. The US State Depar tment said it expected China to move “expeditiously” to grant Chen a passport. —AFP BUSAN: South Korean police officers stand guard at an entrance of a karaoke bar where a fire broke out, in Busan, South Korea, Saturday. Nine people were reportedly killed in the blaze. —AP Fire kills nine at South Korean karaoke bar SEOUL: A fierce blaze swept through a karaoke lounge in a busy commercial district of the South Korean city of Busan, killing nine people including three Sri Lankans, police said yesterday. The fire, which broke out on Saturday night, injured 25 others, who were taken to hospital for treatment. One is in a critical condition. Witnesses reported hearing a loud bang before smoke quickly engulfed the bar, which has 28 rooms and is on the third floor of a six-storey building in the major southern port city. The dead included three Sri Lankan workers who were holding a party with Korean colleagues, a police spokesman in Busan told AFP. “Three migrant Sri Lankan workers and three Korean workers from a factory in Busan were found dead,” he said, declining to give their identities. South Korean companies hire tens of thousands of manual workers from other Asian countries because more and more South Koreans are shunning dirty and dangerous jobs. Smoke and fumes spread quickly after the blaze started in one of the karaoke rooms, making it hard for people to find the exits. The victims died from inhaling toxic gases, the police spokesman said. About 100 firefighters and 20 fire trucks battled the blaze and rescued 35 people, some of them from the top of the building, he said. Television footage showed firemen using ladders to rescue people, watched by scores of passersby. It was not immediately clear what started the fire and an investigation is under way. “Firefighters believe the fire might have been caused by a short circuit,” the spokesman said. A fireman said the victims were trapped inside after the fire broke out near the main front door but declined to confirm TV reports that the karaoke lounge was ordered to correct its electric wiring last year. High casualties appeared to have been caused by the complicated layout of the 28 rooms and sound-insulating material in the establishment, which is located in the Busanjin district, Yonhap news agency said. In January 2009, at least eight people were killed in a fire in another karaoke lounge in Busan. Investigators blamed lax fire precautions and suspected staff negligence for the blaze, which gutted the basement bar in the Yongdo district. —AFP Nuclear-free Japan braces for severe power shortages ILIGAN CITY: Philippine Army 103rd Brigade, investigators gather evidence at an area where a grenade exploded in Iligan city, southern Philippines. Officials in the Philippines say the powerful grenade explosion killed two people and wounded dozens others outside a crowded bar. —AP Grenade blast kills two, wounds 30 in Philippines MANILA: A grenade explosion killed two people and wounded at least 30 others outside a crowded bar in the southern Philippines, officials said yesterday. Investigators were trying to identify the attackers who tossed the grenade late Saturday outside the El Sentro Resto Bar and a nearby drug store in Iligan city. Police found the pin of the grenade, which also damaged a number of parked cars and sent people fleeing in panic, army Col. Daniel Lucero said.It remained unclear if Muslim rebels, al-Qaida-linked militants or extortion gangs were behind the blast or if it was sparked by feuding civilians, Lucero said. President Benigno Aquino III called on the attackers to surrender, warning that authorities would not stop until they were captured. He said investigators were looking at two motives for the attack but did not elaborate. The government of Australia, which funds anti-poverty projects in the south, expressed its sympathies to the victims. Iligan, an industrial and trading center 780 kilometers (485 miles) southeast of Manila, has been targeted by Muslim separatist rebels in the past. —AP TOKYO: The shutdown of Japan’s last working nuclear power plant and the government’s failure to convince a wary public about restoring production at dozens of reactors leaves the world’s third largest economy facing another summer of severe power shortages. Hokkaido Electric Power Co shut its nuclear plant late on Saturday - the last of Japan’s 50 reactors to go off line marking the first time since 1970 Japan has been nuclear power-free. Japan’s $5 trillion economy has relied heavily on nuclear power for decades, with its reactors providing almost 30 percent of electricity needs, but last year’s massive earthquake and subsequent nuclear crisis spurred a public backlash against atomic energy. Cabinet ministers have largely failed to win over the public to allow the restart of the country’s plants - shut one by one for scheduled maintenance and unable to resume operations because of concerns about safety. Japan’s Asahi newspaper said public sentiment was “wavering between two sources of anxiety” - fear over the safety of nuclear power and doubts on whether Japan can live without it. “The public shouldn’t just criticise (the government) but make its own decision on energy policy that involves burden and responsibility, such as through cooperating in power saving,” the paper said in an editorial yesterday. The government hopes to come up with an estimate by mid-May of expected shortages this summer, and will then produce a plan to conserve energy that could include compulsory curbs on use of power, Japanese media say. But setting a long-term energy policy or a clear timeframe for restarting the plants will take time given strong public opposition and a divided parliament that has paralysed policy-making, analysts say. Policymakers are worried about the damage to the budding economic recovery as the power shortages are expected to be more severe and widespread than last summer, when many areas in Japan were still running nuclear reactors. Some also warn of the long-term fallout as the rising cost of electricity, coupled with a strong yen, hits production and could prompt companies to shift operations overseas. “Depending on the weather, power supply could constrain output during the summer,” the Bank of Japan said. “But we must be mindful not just of such short-term effects but the chance (the power shor tages) could hur t Japan’s medium-and long-term growth expectations,” the central bank said in a twice-yearly report on the economy issued on April 27. Japan managed to get through the summer last year without any blackouts by imposing voluntary curbs on the use of power in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that left thousands dead. Factories operated at night and during weekends to avoid putting too much stress on the country’s power grids. Many big firms are already preparing to take similar steps this summer, but some also plan to generate power themselves to cut costs. The last time Japan went without nuclear power was in May 1970, when the country’s only two reactors operating at that time were shut for maintenance, the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan said. —Reuters TOKYO: Residents walk under fallen power poles after a tornado struck Tsukuba city, northeast of Tokyo, yesterday. The tornado tore through the area, injuring at least 30 people, destroying dozens of homes and leaving thousands more without electricity. —AP Tornado kills teenager TOKYO: A tornado ripped through eastern Japan yesterday, killing a teenager, destroying dozens of homes and cutting power to around 20,000 households. “A 14-year-old male died” as a result of the tornado, said a spokesman at the disaster headquarters of Tsukuba city in Ibaraki prefecture, roughly 60 kilometres (37 miles) northeast of Tokyo. The exact cause of the death was not immediately clear, but he was among 15 people whom rescue workers rushed to hospitals immediately after the twister, the city government said. It added that 21 other people also sought medical care for tornado-related injuries in the city, and said it had asked Self Defense Force troops to help with rescue and relief operations. “The figure is only a temporary tally. We believe the number (for injuries) could rise,” the spokesman said. The Tsukuba fire and emergency bureau said 30 to 50 houses were destroyed by the tornado, with many more damaged. Moka city in neighbouring Tochigi prefecture reported one injury and damage to 132 buildings after it was hit by a separate apparent tornado. A number of minor injuries were also reported in Tochigi, while a swathe of eastern Japan was battered by strong winds, hail, lightning and heavy rain. In total, tornadoes damaged roughly 500 houses and buildings in the K anto region, including Ibaraki and Tochigi, said the online editions of national broadcaster NHK and the mass-circulation Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper. Television footage from Tsukuba showed houses swept from their foundations, over turned cars in muddy debris and fallen concrete power poles. Aerial images showed possibly hundreds of houses and apartments with shattered glass windows, many of them with their roofs blown away. “You could see the roaring column of wind rushing with sparks from live power lines inside it,” a local man told national broadcaster NHK. “Winds blew into my house. It took only a moment,” a woman told NHK while cleaning up her home. Japan’s weather agency issued warnings for a wide region in the east of the country, urging people to seek shelter in case of sudden winds and thunder. The severe winds caused a power outage for nearly 20,000 households in the region, said a spokeswoman for Tokyo Electric Power. —AFP MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 NEWS PARIS: A supporter of Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande waves a party flag yesterday outside the party’s headquarters following the announcement of the estimated results of the second round of the presidential election. — AFP Sky News Arabia goes on air ABU DHABI: Sky News Arabia, a 24-hour Arabic language news channel based in Abu Dhabi, began broadcasting yesterday, pledging to be “objective” in its news coverage. The channel’s lead story was the French presidential election, with live coverage from the home of Francois Hollande, the front-runner in the poll, followed by a report on Syrian refugees on the Syria-Turkish border. “New Sky Arabia will change the media in the Arab world,” promised presenter Faisal Ben Hariz, emphasising on the “objectivity” factor. The channel’s CEO, Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber said in a statement: “The region demanded an Arab news product which incorporates both the technological developments and the fast changing media consumption habits that are transforming how news is gathered and disseminated.” With a team of some 400 journalists, producers and technicians and 12 oﬃces worldwide, Sky News Arabia, aims to compete with the Doha-based Al-Jazeera - the ﬁrst rolling news broadcasting channel in the Arab world - and the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya based in Dubai. Another channel, Al-Arab, belonging to Saudi billionaire Al-Walid bin Talal, is expected to be launched in December 2012 in Bahrain. Based in Abu Dhabi, Sky News Arabia is a joint venture between BSkyB of London and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corporation owned by Sheikh Mansur bin Zayed Al-Nahayan, a brother of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa. — AFP ABU DHABI: An Emirati couple attend the launch of Sky News Arabia yesterday. — AFP Socialist Hollande ousts Sarkozy... Continued from Page 1 crowd in his hometown of Tulle, in the rural Correze region. Hollande said that he wanted to be judged over his ﬁve-year term with regard to how well he advanced the cause of fairness in society and the fate of the young, many of whom face unemployment and exclusion in France.”It is the French dream that I will strive to make whole during the mandate that has just been given me,” he said. Hollande also warned fellow European leaders that he would push ahead with his vow to refocus EU ﬁscal eﬀorts from austerity to growth. “Europe is watching us, austerity can no longer be the only option,” he said. “And this is the mission that is now mine - to give the European project a dimension of growth, employment, prosperity, in short, a future. “This is what I will say as soon as possible to our European partners and ﬁrst of all to Germany, in the name of the friendship that links us and in the name of our shared responsibility. We are not just any country on the planet, just any nation in the world, we are France.” After the speech, the president-elect was due to ﬂy back to Paris for a larger victory rally in the Place de la Bastille, a sacred space for the left, and he is expected to take over power from Sarkozy on May 15. “We are rid of a poison that was blighting our society. A normal president! It gives us a lot to dream about,” said Didier Stephan, a 70-year-old artist who was among throngs of supporters at Place de la Bastille. Hollande led in opinion polls throughout the campaign and won the April 22 ﬁrst round with 28.6 percent to Sarkozy’s 27.2 percent - making the right-winger the ﬁrst-ever incumbent to lose in the ﬁrst round. Grey skies and rain showers greeted voters across much of France, but turnout was high, hitting 71.96 percent at 5:00 pm (1500 GMT) according to interior ministry ﬁgures. More than 46 million people were eligible to vote. The election was marked by fears over European Union-imposed austerity and globalisation, and Hollande has said his ﬁrst foreign meeting will be with German Chancellor Angela Merkel - the key driver of EU budget policy. The 57-year-old Socialist has vowed to renegotiate the hard-fought ﬁscal austerity pact signed by EU leaders in March to make it focus more on growth, but is facing resistance from Merkel. The French vote coincides with an election in Greece, where exit polls showed the country’s two main parties suﬀering big losses for landing the country in its bleak economic state. Anger over sputtering economies has brought down leaders from Ireland to Portugal since the debt crisis washed over the European continent. Berlin moved quickly to establish ties with Hollande, with Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle vowing “close partnership” between the two nations and saying: “We will work together on a growth pact.” Hollande has said he will move quickly to implement his traditionally Socialist tax-and-spend program, which calls for boosting taxes on the rich, increasing state spending and hiring some 60,000 teachers. Sarkozy fought a ﬁerce campaign, saying a victory for Hollande would spark market panic and ﬁnancial chaos and calling him a “liar” and “slanderer” in the ﬁnal days of the race. But Sarkozy failed to overcome deeprooted anger at meagre economic growth and increasing joblessness, and disappointment after he failed to live up to the promises of his 2007 election. Sarkozy, 57, was also deeply unpopular on a personal level, with many voters turned oﬀ by his ﬂashy “bling bling” lifestyle - exempliﬁed by his marriage to former supermodel Carla Bruni - and aggressive behaviour. Hollande has vowed to be a “normal president” in contrast with Sarkozy, but some have raised concerns over his lack of experience. Hollande, a longtime Socialist party leader and local lawmaker from the Correze region, has never held a top government post. The ﬁrst round of the election last month was marked by a record score for Marine Le Pen of the far-right, anti-immigrant and anti-Europe National Front, when she took nearly 18 percent of the vote. Sarkozy turned increasingly to the right ahead of the run-oﬀ - vowing to restrict immigration and “defend French values” - but Le Pen refused to call on her supporters to back him and she cast a blank ballot. Hollande won the backing of centrist Francois Bayrou, who took nine percent in the ﬁrst round, and Communist-backed Jean-Luc Melenchon of the Left Front, who took 11 percent. “This is a very big failure (for Sarkozy) against a candidate who has no experience in government,” said political analyst Stephane Rozes. “It is not so much for the content of his policies that he has been punished, but for his way of being and acting,” Rozes said. After seeing Merkel, Hollande will quickly set oﬀ for a series of international meetings, including a G8 summit in the US on May 18-19 and NATO gathering in Chicago on May 20-21. The Socialists, Sarkozy’s right-wing UMP and France’s other political parties will now be focused on a parliamentary election to be held over two rounds on June 10 and June 17. — Agencies ‘Crab’ chips, fruity Oreos? They’re big NEW YORK: Russians prefer their Lay’s potato chips dusted in caviar and crab ﬂavors. The Chinese like their Oreos stuﬀed with mango and orange cream. And in Spain, Kellogg’s All-Bran cereal is served ﬂoating in hot coﬀee instead of cold milk. Americans might get squeamish at the thought of their favorite snacks being tweaked. But what works in the US. doesn’t always work everywhere. In other words, Lee Linthicum, a market researcher, says: “It can’t be some generic mix of spices that might fool an American.” Food makers long have tinkered with their products to appeal to regional tastes, but getting the recipe just right is becoming more important than ever. That’s partly because people in developing nations such as China and India are gaining more of an appetite for American-style “on-the-go” foods as they work longer hours and have less time to cook. But it’s mostly because snack makers increasingly are looking for growth in other parts of the world as sales slow at home. Growth in the snack food industry has been virtually ﬂat in the US for the past two years, according to market research ﬁrm Euromonitor. Meanwhile, combined sales in China, Brazil and Russia - three major developing markets rose 15 percent in 2010 and 11 percent last year to $17 billion. That’s half the size of the US market but it’s growing. The challenge for snack makers is that people in other countries have diﬀerent tastes. Consider the Oreo, which Kraft Food Inc. introduced in China in 1996. Sales of the vanilla cream-ﬁlled chocolate cookie sandwich were respectable there, but the Chinese didn’t completely take to it. So Kraft decided to tweak the Oreo. But executives of the Northﬁeld, Illinois-based company knew that they had to proceed with caution. “When you have a brand that’s 100 years old, you don’t mess with the recipe thoughtlessly,” says Lorna Davis, head of the company’s global biscuit and cookies business. In 2006, Kraft began oﬀering the Oreo as a wafer, a popular cookie throughout Asia. It is made up of cream sandwiched between crispy wafers. The plan was to help familiarize more Chinese customers with the brand. Three years later, the company decided to go a step further. Kraft worked with a panel of consumer taste experts from around the world to identify the characteristics of the Oreo - including color, crunchiness, bitterness, color - that were likely to appeal to Chinese tastes. Executives learned through research that the Chinese don’t like their treats as big or as sweet as Americans do. So the company rejiggered the recipe to create a cookie that was a tad smaller and a touch less sweet. To test the new recipe, hundreds of Chinese consumers tasted the new Oreo. It was a hit. “It made us realize the smallest of details make a big diﬀerence,” Davis says. But the company wasn’t ﬁnished. After noticing sales of Oreos were lagging in China during the summer, Kraft added a green tea ice cream ﬂavor. The cookie combined a popular local ﬂavor with the cooling imagery of ice cream. The green tea version sold well, and a year later, Kraft rolled out Oreos in ﬂavors that are popular in Asians desserts - raspberry-andblueberry and mango-and-orange. The result? Over the past ﬁve years, Kraft said sales have grown an average of 60 percent a year, although it declined to give revenue amounts. The Oreo now is the top-selling cookie in China with a market share of 13 percent. The previous top cookie was a biscuit by a Chinese company. Kraft, which operates in more than 80 countries, is taking a similar approach with other snacks. In Saudi Arabia, Kraft oﬀers its Tang powder drink in a lemon-pepper ﬂavor. In Mexico, it comes in tropical fruit ﬂavors like tamarind and mandarin, and a hibiscus version fashioned after the ﬂower. Sales have nearly doubled to $1 billion worldwide since Kraft rolled out the localized versions in 2006. Kraft’s ability to adapt to local tastes is increasingly important as it looks for growth overseas. The rise in international revenue at Kraft was more than double the increase in North America last year. Kraft also plans to split into two separate units by the end of the year. The largest will be a global snacks company called Mondelez International, pronounced “mohndah-leez”, to sell its Trident gum and Cadbury chocolates in fast-growing countries worldwide. Kellogg Co, the world’s largest cereal maker, also has intensiﬁed its focus on catering to local tastes as it attempts to grow its snack business overseas. Last year, the company’s revenue in Latin America topped $1 billion for the ﬁrst time. And in February, Kellogg said it agreed to buy Pringles chip brand from Procter & Gamble for $2.7 billion. The deal will nearly triple its international snack business, making it the world’s second-largest snack maker behind PepsiCo Inc. The company, based in Battle Creek, Michigan, already sells products in more than 180 countries. It’s learning that on-the-ground insights can pay oﬀ. In Europe, for instance, Kellogg for many years had marketed its cereals there just as it did in the US But it failed to take into account that many in the region don’t drink cold milk in the morning. Now, an American traveling in Spain might ﬁnd it surreal to see TV ads showing All-Bran cereal ﬂoating in a steaming cup of coﬀee. Kellogg, which makes Keebler, Cheez-It and Kashi bars, declined to give details on how well the cereal is selling there, but it said the marketing has resulted in “great results”. A similar story played out for PepsiCo. For the ﬁrst time last year, revenue from the company’s international snacks division surpassed revenue in North America. To achieve that, PepsiCo has had to adjust its recipes. In 2005, PepsiCo’s food division began a quest to make its Lay’s potato chips more appealing to local tastes in Russia. It wasn’t easy. Russians still like packaged versions of a Soviet-era snack - stale bread slathered in oil and baked to a crisp. “Potato chips were not big in the Communist time, so it’s something we’re gradually building,” says Marc Schroeder, who heads PepsiCo’s food division in Russia. To get a better sense of what Russians like, employees traveled around the country to visit people in their homes and talk about what they eat day-to-day. That was a big task. Russia has nine time zones and spans 7,000 miles, with eating habits that vary by region. The ﬁndings were invaluable for executives at the company’s Purchase, New York headquarters. In the eastern part of the country, PepsiCo found that ﬁsh is a big part of the diet. So it introduced “Crab” chips in 2006. It’s now the third most popular ﬂavor in the country. A “Red Caviar” ﬂavor does best in Moscow, where caviar is particularly popular. “Pickled Cucumber,” which piggybacks oﬀ of a traditional appetizer throughout Russia, was introduced last year and is already the fourth most popular ﬂavor. Other favorites include onion, bacon and “sour cream and herbs”, which is a bit sweeter than the American version. The chip translations are paying oﬀ; sales of Lay’s have more than doubled in the past ﬁve years. As for the classic Lay’s - an American favorite - Russians still aren’t biting. “They ﬁnd it a very boring ﬂavor,” Schroeder said. — AP PM gives access to probe panel Continued from Page 1 In another development, the majority bloc is unanimous on the need to grill Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali because his inclusion in the Cabinet was a very big mistake, Islamist opposition MP Adel Al-Damkhi said yesterday. The grilling is expected to be ﬁled this week unless the veteran minister steps down or is sacked by the prime minister as is demanded by the opposition, which is particularly upset over Shamali’s negative role over assisting two key parliamentary investigation panels. Damkhi, a member of the coordination committee for the majority bloc, said the bloc believes that Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah should face the grilling by MP Mohammad Al-Juwaihel and refute its allegations. He said that all the majority MPs are unanimous in backing the planned grilling of the ﬁnance minister. Damkhi said the majority has also approved the list of prior- ity issues for May - which are approving anti-corruption laws, independence of the judiciary and the appointment of senior bureaucrats. In a related development, the rapporteur of the legal and legislative committee MP Mohammad Al-Dallal said yesterday the committee has started reviewing 35 anti-corruption draft laws proposed by MPs and the government. He said the committee expects to complete the law before the end of May. In other business, MP Juwaihel yesterday continued his attack on the interior minister by claiming that a popular poet who several months ago renounced his Kuwaiti citizenship in protest against authorities has been allowed to visit Kuwait. Juwaihel demanded to know why authorities allowed Saad Al-Muraikhi to enter the country. The lawmaker is expected to debate the grilling against the interior minister on Tuesday but has so far failed to send an explanation demanded by the minister on a number of issues included in the grilling. 14 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 opinion 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 Safe destinations thrive as Arab Spring hits tourism By Ali Khalil he Arab Spring has resulted in a sharp drop in tourism in countries at the centre of the turmoil, to the benefit of safe destinations in the region, experts say. Major tourist destinations such as Tunisia and Egypt saw the numbers of visitors plummet because of uprisings last year that spread to other nations where confrontations with autocratic regimes turned deadly. The Gulf city state of Dubai, as well as popular destinations outside the Middle East, became the focus of diverted tourism. “The Middle East and North Africa saw a drop as a whole in international arrivals, mainly in Egypt and Tunisia,” said Ahmed Youssef, MENA director of marketing and operations at Amadeus. “Tourist flows from Egypt to Turkey increased by 400 percent in 2011,” said Youssef, speaking at the Arabian Travel Market last week in Dubai. His company provides IT solutions for the travel industry. According to the World Tourism Organisation UNWTO, international tourist arrivals in the Middle East declined 8.4 percent to 54.8 million in 2011, after growing 14.9 percent the year before. UNWTO statistics also showed that tourist inflows to North Africa slipped 9.9 percent to 16.9 million after increasing by 6.5 percent in 2010. “Due to the social and political developments,” Syria saw a drop of 41 percent, Egypt by 32 percent, Tunisia 31 percent and Lebanon 24 percent,” UNW TO statistics showed in March. In autumn last year Jordan reported a 16-percent drop in its tourism revenues in the first seven months of 2011. The sector contributes 14 percent to the kingdom’s gross domestic product. In Tunisia, where tourism accounted for seven percent of economic output in 2010, the sector’s receipts plunged by a third in 2011. Syrian state newspaper Al-Baath reported last week that four million tourists visited Syria in 2011, despite insecurity in the country where thousands have been killed since anti-regime protests erupted in March 2011. But the number reveals a drop of more than 40 percent from the seven million tourists registered in 2010. On the other hand, Turkey received 1.4 million Arab tourists in the first eight months of 2011: up from 1.2 million in 2010. And Dubai last year posted a 10-percent rise in guests at hotels and hotel apartments, reaching 9.09 million, with revenues hitting 15.97 billion dirhams ($4.4 billion), 20 percent up from 2010. In the first quarter of 2012, the number of guests increased nine percent to 2.6 million guests, according to Dubai authorities. They hope the number of tourists will hit 10 million this year. “The Arab Spring has left an impact,” said Khaled Al-Mazroui, general manager of Fujairah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates. “Tourists look for safe destinations, in addition of course to quality services,” he told AFP, adding that the UAE had “benefited from this diversion of tourism, especially from neighbouring Gulf countries.” Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer of Dubai Airports, acknowledged an increase in tourists from neighbouring Gulf states who would usually travel to Egypt or other Arab countries on the Mediterranean. “There has been a redistribution (of tourists) over the past few months,” he told reporters, pointing to a “significant surge in tourists (in Dubai) from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait” and other Gulf nations. Dubai’s malls and restaurants have been heaving with Gulf visitors during school holidays over past months. The head of UNWTO, Taleb Rifai, gave an upbeat assessment at the Arabian Travel Market, saying some of the destinations hit by last year’s uprisings were already making a comeback. “Countries directly affected like Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and Yemen saw a downturn of 80 to 85 percent as political events unfolded but minimised losses considerably in 2011, closing the year down by 25 to 30 percent,” he said.��� AFP T 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. India’s Mideast role provokes debate By Joseph Mayton he small conference room, lit by a row of fluorescent lights, is part of Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University’s appeal. It’s Western, well-endowed and full of spunk. Here they talk of fighting corruption, what are perceived as the ill-effects of globalization and increasingly the problems of the Middle East.”We must look to our close neighbors and show we are willing to be friendly, despite our relationship with Pakistan in the past,” says Idris, an Muslim Indian student at the university and one of the young students taking part in a student-organized discussion on the role of India in the Middle East. Geographically close but politically far away, the Middle East has traditionally factored little in India’s diplomatic calculations. But its growing economy has made the country increasingly reliant on the region’s oil and, with that, its involvement in the Middle East’s complicated politics has grown too. The dust-up over India’s defiance of Western-led sanctions on Iran points to India’s new clout as well as the risks that entails. India’s political class - its politicians, diplomats, pundits and leading business people have focused on the high diplomacy of ensuring a ready and reliable supply of oil by refusing to join Western-led sanctions against Iran. But at Jawaharlal Nehru University, students look at a bigger picture, one painted with India’s long history and experience with democracy and human rights, and more recently economic development. “We are a nation that boasts the largest democracy in the world,” says Yeshwaran Rajneev, a final year student at the university and a political science major, “and even with our problems, we can give support and assistance to the countries in transition”. For T Rajneev, the future of India’s relationship with the Middle East should be based on mutual understanding of how India’s transition to democracy a half-century ago was developed and nurtured. Sashank Joshi, India’s leading political and international affairs analyst casts India’s dilemma more in term of state-to-state diplomacy. In his view, India’s main challenge is managing the bilateral relationship with Saudi Arabia. “Saudi-Iranian rivalry has ebbed and flowed for decades, but two developments - the acceleration of Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the Arab Spring - has sharpened the antagonism. In the coming years, that will likely push Saudi Arabia closer to Pakistan and exacerbate threats to India,” according to Joshi. That relationship has grown fraught over the Iran sanctions, which the Saudis back. Indians newspapers have openly raised concerns that the Saudis could use their influence in Washington to damage India for continuing to import Iranian oil in defiance of the Westernled boycott. Joshi contends that India needs to use its political clout, especially with Iran becoming increasingly estranged from the international community. New Delhi should actively mediate between the US and Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he contends, admitting that this won’t be easy as India itself has never signed on to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT). “Since Iran and Turkey are clashing over Syria, this is a perfect opportunity for India to pursue its own interests and demonstrate international leadership,” he argues. Sashank also raises concerns about India’s oil security in the evolving geopolitical context. “India imports over half its oil from Arab countries, dwarfing the roughly 15 percent it gets from Iran. But Saudi oil dominates those flows. It’s in India’s interest to strengthen its energy and security relationship with the smaller Arab states,” he said. The youth, however, have a wider perspective, one that lies with the Arab uprisings of 2011 and the continuing struggles against oppressive regimes in Syria and Bahrain. At the Jawaharlal Nehru University, they argue fervently for a new approach that puts India’s proven democratic experience at the forefront of any dealings with the Middle East, including oil politics. “Over the past year, we have come into contact and begun to understand the young generation [in the Middle East and North Africa] has the similar demands for the future as we do in India. We want freedom, an end to corruption and a better relationship that ties development to better governance,” says Rajneev, the final-year student. “In Saudi, there are many people who want change, especially in how our government is run, but we cannot speak out like they did in Tunisia and Egypt right now because of the fear of being jailed, which is why we come to India, where it is more open,” he told The Media Line. Like the Middle East, Aziz feels that the future of India’s relationship with the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Iran in particular, can be buttressed by dialogue between the next generation of upcoming leaders. Both in India and the Middle East, demography is skewed in favor to the young and their voices have the potential to influence events, especially in democratic systems. “Young people are the future of both India and the Middle East, so starting these discussions at the university is an important step,” he argues. Nevertheless, both Aziz and Rajneev understand the realpolitik taking place now, particularly the multifaceted conflict over oil and nuclear policy that pits the interests of India against those of the West and Saudi Arabia, with Iran as the object of contention. Democracy and human rights barely factor at all. “Certainly this is a major difficulty in the struggle for better understanding and relationships,” Rajneev holds out hopefully. “But we, as Indian and Arab students, want to create a new way of thinking and are pushing our government here in New Delhi to change its policy of avoiding a discussion on human rights when we are dealing with the Gulf.” It may quixotic, but some politicians seem willing to listen. One leading member of India’s parliament, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Media Line that the future of India’s relationship with the Middle East, and Iran and Saudi Arabia, in particular, “should accept the notion that receiving oil from these countries must also have another aspect to it”. The lawmaker argues that his office has been inundated by letters from students across the country, asking for human rights and democracy to play an important role in the future of any dealing with Tehran and Riyadh. “We must listen to these people, because they are the ones who will be running India in a few years and their voices are strong in the digital age where people are communicating across borders. Youth are the future, and if we don’t listen, they could be on the streets,” he argues. Although India is only now beginning to understand its renewed push for a greater role in the Middle East, these students, are already beginning the dialogue that could make the future India foreign policy more attractive to youth movements across the Middle East. And for Aziz, this is vitally important for the legitimacy of any attempt by New Delhi to create a stronger presence, politically and economically, in the region. “We are now, more than ever, looking for countries to become a part of the new Middle East and to support the youth. India can be that country, but it has to listen to its young people, like the great students I have met at the university here in India.” —Media Line Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood rises from ashes By Khaled Yacoub Oweis t a meeting of Syria’s opposition, Muslim Brotherhood officials gather round Marxists colleagues, nudging them to produce policy statements for the Syrian National Council, the main political group challenging President Bashar AlAssad. With many living in the West, and some ditching their trademark beards, it is hard to differentiate Brotherhood from leftists. But there is little dispute about who calls the shots. From annihilation at home 30 years ago when they challenged the iron-fisted rule of Hafez al-Assad, the Brotherhood has recovered to become the dominant force of the exile opposition in the 14-month-old revolt against his son Bashar. Careful not to undermine the council’s disparate supporters, the Brotherhood has played down its growing influence within the Syrian National Council (SNC), whose public face is the secular Paris-based professor Bourhan Ghalioun. “We chose this face, accepted by the West and by the inside. We don’t want the regime to take advantage if an Islamist becomes the Syrian National Council’s head,” former Brotherhood leader Ali Sadreddine alBayanouni told supporters in a video. The footage is now being circulated by Brotherhood opponents, seeking to highlight its undeclared power. “We nominated Ghalioun as a front for national action. We are not moving now as Muslim Brotherhood but as part of a front that includes all currents,” said Bayanouni. The Syrian Brotherhood is a branch of the Sunni Muslim movement founded in Egypt in the 1920s. It was a minor political player before a 1963 Baath Party coup but its support grew under the authoritarian 30-year rule of Hafez Al-Assad, as his minority Alawite community dominated the majority Sunni country. Mindful of international fears of Islamists taking power, and A of the worries of Syria’s ethnic and religious minorities, the Syrian Brotherhood portrays itself as espousing a moderate, Turkishstyle Islamist agenda. It unveiled a manifesto last month that did not mention the word Islam and contained pledges to respect individual rights. With backing from Ankara, and following the political ascendancy of the Brotherhood in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya since Arab Spring revolts broke out two years ago, the group is poised to be at the top of any new governing system in Syria. Extending the loose Brotherhood umbrella to Syria will raise pressure on the USbacked Hashemite monarchy in Jordan, where the local Brotherhood has been sidelined by laws that favour tribal politicians allied with the security apparatus. Iraq’s Shiite rulers could also find they have a hardline Sunni government as their neighbour, and Lebanon’s Shiite guerrilla group Hezbollah would lose its main Arab backer. Working quietly, the Brotherhood has been financing Free Syrian Army defectors based in Turkey and channelling money and supplies to Syria, reviving their base among small Sunni farmers and middle class Syrians, opposition sources say. “We bicker while the Brotherhood works,” said Fawaz Al-Tello, a veteran opposition figure who is a pious Muslim while being on the liberal end of the Syrian political spectrum. “They have gained control of the SNC’s aid division and the military bureau, its only important components,” said Tello, a former political prisoner who fled Syria four months ago. “But they still have to work more do to get support on the inside. Lots of clerics, activists and rebels do not want to be linked to them.” Tello, however, acknowledged that the Brotherhood has clawed back influence inside Syria, especially in the cities of Homs and Hama and the rural province of Idlib on the border with Turkey, hotbeds of the revolt against Assad. This is no small feat after three decades in the political wilderness. Unlike Arab rulers who tried to co-opt the movement by granting it limited operation, the Assads excluded it and all other opposition from the political system. Bashar’s father Hafez Al-Assad’s forces killed, tortured and imprisoned tens of thousands of people after leftists and Islamists began challenging his rule in the 1970s. The Brotherhood took the brunt of the repression, and a 1980 decree singled out membership as punishable by death. Mulhem Droubi, educated in Canada and one of a younger generation of Brotherhood leaders, said the group is not primarily concerned with political prominence. “We are a party that presents moderate solutions. We are not extremists, neither to the left nor to the right and our programme is the most accepted by the Syrian street,” he said. “We are working for the downfall of Bashar Al-Assad and not to find a popular base. We leave competition for the future in a free Syria,” the softly spoken Droubi told Reuters. Droubi, however, acknowledged that the road to democracy will be even more bloody, adding that the Brotherhood began supporting armed resistance in earnest a month ago. The issue sharply divided the group in the 1980s, when it took up arms against the president. Assad’s forces killed nearly 20,000 people when they overran the city of Hama in 1982, where the Brotherhood’s armed division made it last stand. Droubi said there is no dispute now about the need for armed resistance, alongside street protests against Assad. “Too many of our people have been killed. Too many have been raped,” Droubi said, adding that Brotherhood was committed to a setting up a multi-party democracy if Assad is toppled. Droubi pointed to a political programme unveiled by the Brotherhood last month in Istanbul, which committed to multi-party democracy in a future Syria. It said a new constitution would be reached through consensus and guarantee fair representation for diverse ethnicities and religious groups. “Our proposals are more advanced than the Brotherhood in other countries,” he said. Bassam Ishaq, a Christian opposition figure who has worked with the Brotherhood within the SNC, said the manifesto bore the marks of the Brotherhood’s pragmatism. “If they get a chance to seize power by themselves they will do it, but they realise that it will be difficult in country where 30 percent of the population are ethnic or religious minorities,” said Ishaq. “The street has lost faith in leftist politicians. After the repression in the 1980s, the leftists dispersed. The Brotherhood kept together and rebuilt while in exile, aided by donations from wealthy Syrians in and support in the Gulf,” he added. In a demonstration of their financial muscle, Brotherhood operatives were dispatched last month with suitcases of cash to a dusty camp for Free Syrian Army defectors in a Turkish region bordering Syria near Antakya. Sources in the camp said the Brotherhood was supporting Colonel Riad al-Asaad, one of the first prominent defectors last year, now at odds with more senior officers who deserted later. Colonel Asaad now sports a Brotherhood-style beard. Street activists who have had little to do with the Brotherhood are also being lured by promises of instant support for the revolt. “I approached them and they instantly gave me 2,000 euros when I asked for help...and I am not even Ikhwan (Brotherhood),” said veteran activist Othman Al-Bidewi, who regularly travels between Syria and the border region in Turkey to drum up support for street demonstrations against Assad in Idlib province. “ The Brotherhood wants to restore its political base. It is their right,” he added. — Reuters MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 sp orts ‘Higuain going nowhere’ MADRID: Spanish champions Real Madrid have no intention of letting striker Gonzalo Higuain leave but may need to buy a back-up goalkeeper if Antonio Adan cannot be persuaded to stay, coach Jose Mourinho said. Mourinho told Spanish daily ABC that Argentina forward Higuain, reportedly a target of several clubs including Paris St Germain and Chelsea, would remain to compete for a starting place with Karim Benzema next term. “He has an excellent contract for many years,” said Mourinho, whose side wrapped up the club’s first La Liga title in four years on Wednesday. “He is not one of those players who arrived a year ago and earns little, he earns at the same level as others,” he added. “An offer of 40, 50, 60 million euros could be made, whatever, but Madrid will not want to sell. I don’t have a problem. —Reuters Spain threatens Euro boycott MADRID: The Spanish government would boycott the final of Euro 2012 in Kiev if Ukraine did not resolve the case of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Spain’s Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo was quoted as saying yesterday. Spain are the defending champions and favourites for the continental soccer tournament being jointly hosted by Ukraine and Poland and the final is due to be played in Kiev on July 1. “If Spain gets through to that final, there will be no member of the government present while the case of Yulia Tymoshenko is unresolved,” Garcia-Margallo said in an interview LA Dodgers 5, Chicago Cubs 1; Washington 7, Philadelphia 1; Baltimore 8, Boston 2; Chicago White Sox 3, Detroit 2; NY Mets 4, Arizona 3; San Francisco 5, Milwaukee 2; Houston 8, St. Louis 2; Texas 5, Cleveland 2 (11 innings); Pittsburgh 3, Cincinnati 2; Oakland 4, Tampa Bay 3 (12 innings); Kansas City 5, NY Yankees 1; Atlanta 13, Colorado 9; Miami 4, San Diego 1; LA Angels 6, Toronto 2; Seattle 7, Minnesota 0. Tampa Bay Baltimore Toronto NY Yankees Boston Cleveland Detroit Chicago W Sox Kansas City Minnesota Texas Oakland Seattle LA Angels W L PCT 19 9 .679 18 9 .667 16 12 .571 14 13 .519 11 15 .423 Central Division 14 11 .560 13 13 .500 13 14 .481 9 17 .346 7 19 .269 Western Division 18 9 .667 14 14 .500 12 17 .414 11 17 .393 GB .5 3 4.5 7 1.5 2 5.5 7.5 4.5 7 7.5 Washington Atlanta NY Mets Miami Philadelphia St. Louis Cincinnati Houston Milwaukee Pittsburgh Chicago Cubs LA Dodgers Arizona San Francisco Colorado San Diego National League Eastern Division 18 9 .667 17 11 .607 14 13 .519 13 14 .481 13 15 .464 Central Division 16 11 .593 13 13 .500 13 14 .481 12 15 .444 12 15 .444 10 17 .370 Western Division 18 9 .667 14 14 .500 13 14 .481 12 14 .462 9 19 .321 1.5 4 5 5.5 2.5 3 4 4 6 4.5 5 5.5 9.5 Rangers top Indians CLEVELAND: Pinch-hitter Adrian Beltre hit a three-run homer in the 11th inning to lift the Texas Rangers over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday. Beltre didn’t start for the fourth straight game due to a tender hamstring, but he hit a 1-0 pitch from Joe Smith (11) over the center-field wall for his fifth homer, snapping the Rangers’ threegame losing streak. Alexi Ogando (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings and Joe Nathan worked the 11th for his seventh save in eight tries. Asdrubal Cabrera had four hits for Cleveland, which had its three-game winning streak stopped. It was Beltre’s third career pinch-hit homer - but first in nearly 12 years. He also did it in 1998 and 2000 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Orioles 8, Red Sox 2 At Boston, Mark Reynolds hit a threerun homer and Jason Hammel continued his strong start this season as Baltimore extended Boston’s recent home struggles. Adam Jones added a two-run homer for Baltimore, which won its 10th in the last 12 games, and Hammel (4-1) held the Red Sox scoreless until he gave up two runs in the seventh. Adrian Gonzalez had three hits for Boston, which lost its fourth straight and has dropped nine of its last 10 games at Fenway Park. White Sox 3, Tigers 2 At Detroit, Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer deep into the right-field seats off Jose Valverde in the ninth inning to lift Chicago over Detroit. Dunn hit a 422-foot drive off Valverde (2-1) for his eighth homer this season and Paul Konerko also went deep for the White Sox. Nate Jones (1-0) got the win and Addison Reed came on to strike out Austin Jackson with runners on second and third for the final out. It was Reed’s first career save. Detroit’s Delmon Young went hitless in his first game back from a seven-day suspension following his April 27 arrest in New York. CLEVELAND: Texas Rangers’ Adrian Beltre watches the ball after hitting a three-run home run off Cleveland Indians pitcher Joe Smith in the 11th inning in a baseball game. —AP COPENHAGEN: World champion Mark Cavendish showed his sprint rivals he is still the man to beat as he won the second stage of the Giro d’Italia 206km around Herning yesterday. American Taylor Phinney survived a late crash to hold onto the leaders’ pink jersey. Phinney lost his chain with about 8km left but his BMC team worked hard to bring him back into the peloton before the final sprint began. There was another crash a few hundred metres from the line that took out some of the sprint contenders but Cavendish was in the right place and kept his cool to take victory. Australian Matthew Goss was second with Frenchman Geoffrey Soupe taking third. The day began with a three-man break as Alfredo Balloni, Olivier Kaisen and Miguel Rubiano opened up a lead of 12 minutes at one point.—AFP Mets roll over D’backs MLB results/standings American League Eastern Division with ABC newspaper published on Sunday. Spain would consider not playing the final if there was a Europe-wide decision for teams to boycott it, he said, adding that he was in touch with Poland and Germany on the issue. Tymoshenko, the main rival of President Viktor Yanukovich, was sentenced to seven years in prison last October for abuse of office after a trial the West says was politically motivated. She is in prison in the city of Kharkiv, one of the Euro 2012 venues, and is on hunger strike in protest at what she said was an assault by prison guards, an allegation denied by the prison administration.—Reuters Cavendish sprints to victory Royals 5, Yankees 1 At Kansas City, Missouri, Felipe Paulino came off the disabled list to toss six shutout innings and Billy Butler drove in three runs as Kansas City beat New York. Paulino (1-0) retired 11 straight to start the game and did not allow a ball out of the infield until Raul Ibanez singled with one out in the fifth. Paulino gave up only four hits and walked two while striking out six in his first start of the season. Butler doubled in the first and again in the fifth, each time driving in Alex Gordon, who matched a career high with four hits. Gordon also drove in a run with a double in the sixth. Hiroki Kuroda (2-4) allowed two runs in the first inning, one earned, which kept up a strange trend. Nine of the 18 runs he’s given up this season have come in the first. Russell Martin’s long homer off Jose Mijares represented the only run for the Yankees. Derek Jeter went 0 for 4 and left four on base. He also committed an error at shortstop. Athletics 4, Rays 3 At St. Petersburg, Florida, Jonny Gomes hit a go-ahead home run in the 12th inning to lifted Oakland over his former team Tampa Bay. Gomes, who spent six seasons with Tampa Bay from 2003-08, hit his fifth home run of the season off reliever Joel Peralta (0-1) to stop the Rays’ six-game winning streak. Carlos Pena, Ben Zobrist and Elliot Johnson all homered as Tampa Bay rallied to bail out Jeremy Hellickson after an ineffective start. But the Rays fell to 13-2 at home and failed in their bid to become the first major league team to reach 20 wins this season. Josh Reddick also homered for the A’s. Angels 6, Blue Jays 2 At Anaheim, California, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo homered, and C.J. Wilson pitched effectively through eight innings as Los Angeles bounced back from consecutive shutout losses against Toronto to beat the Blue Jays with slumping slugger Albert Pujols on the bench. Wilson (4-2) allowed two runs and six hits, including Adam Lind’s leadoff homer in the seventh, and struck out nine. Kyle Drabek (2-3) was charged with five runs, eight hits and five walks in fiveplus innings. Pujols, batting .194 with five RBIs and no home runs, got the day off after playing in the Angels’ first 27 games. Mariners 7, Twins 0 At Seattle, Felix Hernandez and Steve Delabar combined on a one-hitter as Seattle shut out struggling Minnesota. Kyle Seager homered and drove in four runs to pace the Mariners. Ichiro Suzuki added a two-run triple. Denard Span had the only hit for the Twins, a roller through the right side in the fourth. Hernandez (3-1) struck out nine and walked two in eight innings. His ERA dropped to 1.89. Delabar pitched a perfect ninth. Jason Marquis (2-1) tied a career high with six walks in six innings. He allowed two runs and four hits. —AP NEW YORK: Johan Santana won for the first time in 20 months, finally getting some run support from his teammates, as the New York Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 on Saturday to snap a four-game losing streak. Mike Nickeas and Andres Torres each hit a tworun single to back Santana, who toughed out seven innings for his first victory since the two-time Cy Young pitching award winner had shoulder surgery in September 2010. Daniel Murphy went 4 for 4 for the Mets.Santana’s last win came against Atlanta on Sept. 2, 2010, before his injury wiped out last season. The Mets had scored just four runs in his first five starts this year but matched that total in the fourth inning Saturday. Santana (1-2) allowed nine hits and gave up three runs, striking out five and walking one. for the first time since late 2010. Jed Lowrie added a two-run home run for the Astros, who hadn’t won five straight since Aug. 2226, 2010. Norris (2-1) limited the Cardinals to one unearned run on three hits over six innings to improve to 7-2 in 11 career starts against them. Left-hander Jaime Garcia (2-2) was charged with six runs on four hits in six innings for the Cardinals, who lost their season-worst third straight. Garcia walked four and struck out two. Pirates 3, Reds 2 At Pittsburgh, Neil Walker hit his first home run since September and James McDonald put together another strong start to lead Pittsburgh over Cincinnati. Alex Presley also homered for Pittsburgh and Colorado. Matt Diaz and Jason Heyward hit backto-back home runs to help the Braves overtake the Rockies after trailing 6-0 and 8-3. Atlanta scored 10 runs from the sixth inning on and benefited from sloppy defense by the Rockies, who committed four errors in a game that included a 69-minute rain delay in the eighth. Cristhian Martinez (2-0) worked an inning of scoreless relief for the victory. Livan Hernandez got five outs for the first save of his 15-year career.Wilin Rosario homered twice for the Rockies. Marlins 4, Padres 1 At San Diego, Mark Buehrle threw a five-hitter and pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs singled in the goahead run to lift Miami over San Diego for its sea- Nationals 7, Phillies 1 At Washington, Gio Gonzalez allowed one run over seven innings as Washington hit a seasonhigh three home runs in the win over Philadelphia. Jayson Werth hit a three-run drive, Chad Tracy connected with a man on and Ian Desmond had a solo shot for the Nationals, who have won seven straight over the Phillies dating to last year. Gonzalez (3-1) gave up four hits, struck out seven and walked one. Acquired last December in a trade with Oakland, the left-hander has a 1.72 ERA in six starts this season and has yielded only three runs over the last 27 innings. Dodgers 5, Cubs 1 At Chicago, Chris Capuano threw seven shutout innings and drove in two runs to lead Los Angeles past Chicago. Capuano (4-0) held Chicago to three hits and struck out seven, extending his scoreless innings streak to 18 2-3. His two-run double in the second gave him his first RBIs since Aug. 24, 2007. Cubs starter Chris Volstad (0-4) fell to 0-9 over 17 starts dating to July 10. He allowed four hits and five runs over five innings, walking three and striking out one. Giants 5, Brewers 2 At San Francisco, Madison Bumgarner shut down Milwaukee for seven innings and added an RBI double to win his eighth straight home start as San Francisco snapped a four-game skid. Buster Posey and Brett Pill added RBI hits in a three-run sixth inning against Randy Wolf to give Bumgarner (5-1) all the support he needed. The Brewers got National League most valuable player Ryan Braun back in the lineup after he missed Friday’s series opener with a sore right Achilles and he hit a solo homer in the eighth inning. The Giants had not led a game at any point during their recent skid and struggled early against Wolf (2-3), putting just one runner in scoring position in the first four innings. Joel Hanrahan worked a perfect ninth for his fifth save in relief of McDonald (2-1), who gave up one run and six hits in 6 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out seven. Cincinnati starter Mike Leake (0-4) remained winless but showed improvement after a rough opening month, allowing three runs and four hits in seven innings. He walked four and struck out four. Joey Votto had two hits for the Reds. Astros 8, Cardinals 2 At Houston, Chris Johnson hit his first career grand slam and Bud Norris continued his dominance of St. Louis as Houston won its fifth straight Braves 13, Rockies 9 At Denver, Chipper Jones had three hits and matched a career high with five RBIs as Atlanta overcame a grand slam by Michael Cuddyer to beat NEW YORK: Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill (right) forces out New York Mets’ Johan Santana (57) while attempting to throw out Andres Torres at first base during the third inning of a baseball game.—AP son-high fifth straight victory. With a bullpen depleted due to overuse recently and closer Heath Bell getting demoted, Miami manager Ozzie Guillen was counting on Buehrle to pitch deep in the game, and he delivered. Buehrle (2-4) walked two and struck out three in a game that took 2 hours, 18 minutes one day after the teams played a 12-inning game that lasted 4:45. It was the left-hander’s 28th career complete game and first since Oct. 2, 2010, with the Chicago White Sox. Giancarlo Stanton homered and Hanley Ramirez had three hits, raising his batting average from .198 to .219. Omar Infante had two RBIs.—AP Capitals win to tie series WASHINGTON: The Washington Capitals beat the New York Rangers 3-2 to tie their NHL Eastern Conference semifinals at two games apiece on Saturday. On the winning goal, Rangers captain Ryan Callahan got knocked down along the boards and lost the puck, which went to Capitals defenseman Dennis Wideman. He slid the puck over to wide-open defenseman Mike Green, who sent a slap shot from the right circle past goalie Henrik Lundqvist, then celebrated by slamming up against the glass. The power-play goal came with 5:48 left in regulation. It allowed the Capitals to make a much-needed recovery from what could have been a demoralizing setback: They lost Game 3 at home in triple overtime. The series moves to New York for Game 5 today. Game 6 will be at Washington on Wednesday. Washington’s other goals on Saturday came from captain Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. But only 23 seconds after Backstrom’s goal in the second period, Ovechkin’s skates left the ice as he delivered a high hit to Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi, a play that resulted in a charging penalty against the two-time NHL MVP and could draw attention from the league office. In the third period, Ovechkin was treated by a trainer for a bloody upper lip. Artem Anisimov had a goal and an assist for the Rangers. New York’s other goal came from Marian Gaborik, who provided the winner after nearly 115 minutes of play in Game 3.—AP Simpson leads at Quail Hollow CHARLTON: Home-town favourite Webb Simpson birdied the 17th hole to break a logjam at the top and seize a one-stroke lead going into late yesterday’s final round of the Wells Fargo Championship, as Rory McIlroy charged into contention with a 66. Simpson, who lives near the Quail Hollow golf course at Charlotte, North Carolina, carded a three-under-par 69 for a total of 202 to lead second-placed countrymen Ryan Moore and D.A. Points as he chases his third PGA Tour title. Northern Irishman McIlroy, who could regain his world number one ranking this week, is tied for fourth with American overnight leader Nick Watney, two shots behind Simpson. Simpson cautiously greeted the chance to win on his home course, mindful of 10 rivals within five strokes of his lead. “I don’t want to get ahead of myself,” he told reporters. “I look at the leaderboard and there’s so many great players within a shot or two.”“So I know it’s going to be a tough day. I know I can go out and shoot four-under and get beat by two or three.” “If conditions are right you can get a string of birdies going,” said Simpson, who bought a home at Quail Hollow 18 months ago. “You saw McIlroy a few years ago shoot 10-under,” added the American of the 2010 winner who posted a 62 to seal the title. “Knowing that, my expectations aren’t too high ... Obviously I want to go out there and try to win, but all I can do is kind of control what we’re doing.” McIlroy blistered his front nine with five birdies, and despite undoing some of the work with a bogey on 16, is well positioned to repeat his 2010 triumph. “I’ve had some great experiences on this golf course,” McIlroy said. “hopefully I can create a few more.”—Reuters WASHINGTON: New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) knocks Washington Capitals left wing Troy Brouwer (20) to the ice during the first period of Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series.—AP MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 sp orts Sochi 2014 ready for spotlight after London SOCHI: The Russian Black sea resort of Sochi is ready to step into the spotlight as host of the world’s next major sporting event after the London Olympics, 2014 Winter Games chief Dmitry Chernyshenko said yesterday. Sochi, the ﬁrst Russian city to have been awarded the Winter Olympics, has already staged several test events in its mountain cluster and is preparing for its last and biggest major venue tests over the coming 12 months. “It is a very exciting moment for a project like this and we’ve been planning and working for seven years already just for these two weeks (in 2014) to be perfect,” Chernyshenko told Reuters in a telephone interview. “(In 2012/13) we will have the last opportunity to test all state of the art infrastructure; last season it was the mountain clusters, this season for both clusters with more than 48 events, 22 of which are international level events. “It’s like two Games spread out over two months but it is so useful,” said the Sochi native, who also led the city’s winning bid in 2007. Despite what Chernyshenko called the “world’s biggest construction site”, plans for a Formula One race, also in 2014, will not be aﬀected. The International Olympic Committee reserves the right to cancel the race if its preparations hamper Olympic progress. Chernyshenko said organisers from both events had drawn up plans so as to maximise use of venues - pits stop buildings for example will also be used during the Olympics and Russia’s ﬁrst Formula One race was on track. Sochi will be out in force in London with 120 specialists seconded to the Games for experience and another 100 of their best volunteers working at the Olympics in July and August. “We are using some (of London’s) achievements as a blueprint to minimise expenditures to optimise our eﬀorts,” said Chernyshenko, who has led preparations from scratch as Sochi and its nearby mountain range had virtually no venue in place when they bid. “All the systems like planning and system of contract management, management of the goods, organising of construction (are based on London),” he said. Chernyshenko rejected criticism that in the test events held so far teams were not given equal access to familiarise themselves with the venues. The IOC had also urged organisers as recently as April to improve access to venues. “The biggest problem is with the access to the training venues. (Sochi) has promised many times it would be solved but it hasn’t been solved,” senior IOC member Gunilla Lindberg said. Chernyshenko said the issue had arisen due to ongoing construction this winter that had curtailed access. “We have to do our best to provide equal support and access to any and all participants. In the forthcoming test season automatically all venues will be welcoming international events,” he said. “The problem of athlete access will not exist at all. Last season some private owners of venues stopped con- struction during test events and restarted after the events. That meant that there was some limited access due to safety restrictions to venues.” Sochi was also on track to meet its ﬁnancial targets and could even create a windfall with sponsorship revenues alone already topping $1.2 billion, a record for any Games, winter or summer, Chernyshenko said. “The budget for staging the Games is around $1.8 billion. So far this budget is balanced,” he said. “Our record-breaking marketing programme goes from strength to strength, $1.2 billion from partnership programmes. More income will come from the IOC contribution from TV rights and big input from our campaign from merchandising. “(Licensing) will generate additional income that will help us to keep our budget balanced. Ticketing could then even generate some proﬁt,” he said. Chernyshenko also welcomed the re-election of Vladimir Putin as Russia’s president. He will be sworn in today. “Since the start of the bidding cam- paign he was personally and actively involved in everything,“ said Chernyshenko of Putin, who regularly visits Sochi to ski. “He personally guaranteed the strong commitments which have been delivered. Delivery of the ﬁrst Winter Games in the history of our country. It was his baby. That is why we call him the captain of our team.” When asked about calls for a boycott of Ukraine during the Euro 2012 soccer championships over jailed opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko, Chernyshenko said politics and sport should remain separate. Sochi is located on the Black sea coast, close to Georgia, with whom Russia fought a brief war in 2008 over two breakaway regions. The wider volatile Caucasus region is a major source of concern. “Olympics is not about politics. It is always frustrating when politics interferes with such great values as the Olympics,” he added. “Olympic values are friendship respect and excellence.” —Reuters I’ll Have Another wins Kentucky Derby KINGSTON: World Record holder Usain Bolt (center left) of Jamaica, crosses the finish line ahead of Antigua and Baruba’s Daniel Bailey (center right), Trinidad and Tobago’s Richard Thompson (right) and USA’s Darvis Patton to win the 100m dash of the Jamaica International Invitational track and field meet. —AP Bolt speeds to year’s fastest 100 metres KINGSTON: Jamaican Olympic champion Usain Bolt held his nerve after two false starts by competitors and powered to the year’s fastest 100 metres at the Jamaica International Invitational on Saturday. The 100 and 200 world record holder clocked a dazzling 9.82 seconds in his ﬁrst individual race of 2012, exploding from the blocks to take control at 40 metres. “It’s a good start, I would say,” said Bolt, who erased the previous season-leading time of 9.90 by his training partner and world champion Yohan Blake three weeks ago. “I feel better than last year, so I’m deﬁnitely happy with myself,” Bolt added. “I don’t think my execution was perfect, but I think for my ﬁrst race it was good.” Michael Frater, a member of Jamaica’s world record 4x100 relay team, ﬁnished a distant second in exactly 10 seconds. Bolt was disqualiﬁed from last year’s 100 ﬁnal at the world championships because of a false start, but was not perturbed by the delays. “A couple of false starts will throw you oﬀ, but I stayed focused and went out there and executed as best as possible, so I’m just happy with myself,” he said. Although pleased with the last 50 metres of the race, the lanky sprinter, who owns world records of 9.58 seconds in the 100 and 19.19 in the 200, said he must continue to work on the ﬁrst phase of the shorter race. “I always try to work on my ﬁrst 40 metres because the last 40 metres is always the best part of my race,” he said. “So over the season as I get more ﬁt and get more ﬂuent it will deﬁnitely get better.” Blake also added a season-leading performance, one of four in the meeting. The world 100 champion clocked 19.91 seconds in the 200. “Bolt erased my world lead in the 100 so I though I would set a world lead in the 200,” the Jamaican said. Top performances of the year also came in the women’s 100 and 400. World champion Carmelita Jeter took the shorter race in 10.81 seconds, ﬁnishing ahead of Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago, who ran 10.86. Jamaican Olympic silver medallist Kerron Stewart was third in 10.98. “I feel good with that win,” Jeter said. “I know there’s some things I didn’t do right and I’m sure my coach is going to get on me, but it’s a long season. “Right now I just have to stay healthy ... to stay humble, stay focused ... I can’t get ahead of myself, I can’t get big-headed because you never know who is going to show up.” Jamaican Novelene WilliamsMills, the 2007 world bronze medalist, held oﬀ U.S. world indoor champion Sanya Richards-Ross in the last 50 to win the women’s 400 in 49.99 seconds. RichardsRoss, who had the previous world leader of 50.18, took second in 50.11. —Reuters LOUISVILLE: The glorious unpredictability of horse racing produced a fairytale winner of the $2.2 million Kentucky Derby on Saturday when I’ll Have Another stormed to victory in the 138th Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs. A record crowd of almost 165,000 roared themselves hoarse as the three-yearold chestnut colt, perfectly ridden by unheralded Mexican jockey Mario Gutierrez, hit the lead in the shadows of the iconic Twin Spires and kicked clear to win the $2.2 million, 1-1/4 mile (2000 metres) classic. Bodemeister, who started as the 4-1 favourite after winning last month’s Arkansas Derby by an eye-popping nine and a half lengths, ﬁnished second, 1-1/2 lengths back, after trying to lead all the way. The fast-ﬁnishing Dullahan (8-1) came third, a further neck behind while Union Rags, the 9-2 second favourite, was seventh in the 20-horse ﬁeld after getting caught in heavy traﬃc. “He is an amazing horse,” said Gutierrez, who moved to the United States less than a year ago after riding for six years in Canada. “I told everybody before the ﬁrst time I rode him, I knew he was the one.” I’ll Have Another, who was bought last year by Canadian businessman J. Paul Reddam for just $35,000, emerged as a contender to win the annual Run for the Roses after winning last month’s Santa Anita Derby in California. But he was still considered an outsider in one of the most open Derbies in years, starting at odds of 15-1 and paying $32.60 for a $2 win bet. “It is beyond belief,” said winning trainer Doug O’Neill. “Somebody asked me earlier in the week what it would be like to win the Kentucky Derby and I used Bubba Watson’s quote when he won the Masters. I never dreamt this far. I never in a million years thought we could do it.” The connections wasted no time declaring their grand plans to tackle the Triple Crown. It has been 34 years since a horse has won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes but Reddam said they would give it a go. “Subconsciously, that was always the plan,” the late sprint from I’ll Have Another as he faded in the last furlong. “He’s a brilliant horse. That’s the way we wanted him to run,” said Bodemeister’s trainer Bob Baﬀert, who is recovering from a heart attack he suﬀered CHURCHILL DOWNS: Jockey Mario Gutierrez rides I’ll Have Another to victory in the 138th Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs. —AP said Reddam. “We knew we had a good horse and we wanted to make sure he was fresh because the Triple Crown is a gamble. “It looks like it paid oﬀ. We’ve only run three times this year so Preakness here we come.” Bodemeister lost no admirers after a bold front running display on the tight, dirt track. He jumped straight into the lead from post position six and set a scorching pace on a humid day where the temperature reached 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius). Jockey Mike Smith kicked ﬁve lengths clear rounding the ﬁnal turn but could not hold oﬀ while in Dubai in March. “He ran his race. He was there and he just tired a little bit.” In keeping with tradition, the race was preceded by the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home” and the winner was draped in a garland of red roses as a huge crowd packed into the course, dressed in an array of outﬁts and sipping on mint julep drinks. The lone international entrant, Irish-trained Daddy Long Legs, failed to complete the trip after overheating and being eased up before the ﬁnish post. “I wasn’t going to push him. He’s got a long year ahead,” said jockey Colm O’Donoghue. —Reuters Thunder rally to sweep Mavs DALLAS: James Harden scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as Oklahoma City rallied for a 103-97 victory Saturday to sweep the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks out of the playoﬀs. The Thunder trailed by 13 points with 9:44 left before Harden scored seven in a row, and nine in a 12-0 run over the next 3 minutes. Oklahoma City ﬁnally took the lead, and kept it, after Russell Westbrook stole the ball from Dirk Nowitzki and passed to Serge Ibaka for a two-handed slam that made it 92-91 with 5:17 left. Dallas is the second defending champion in ﬁve years to be swept in the ﬁrst round. After beating the Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals, Miami lost in four games to Chicago the next year. Kevin Durant had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder, who will get a break before playing the winner of the series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver. The Lakers lead that Western Conference series 2-1 going into Game 4 on Sunday night in Denver. Nowitzki had 34 points. Clippers 87, Grizzlies 86 At Los Angeles, Chris Paul had 24 points and 11 assists, and high-ﬂying Blake Griﬃn added 17 points for Los Angeles, which beat Memphis only after Rudy Gay missed a jumper just before the buzzer. The Clippers won their ﬁrst home playoﬀ game in six seasons to take a 2-1 series lead. Paul hit a fadeaway jumper with 2:02 left for an 82-80 lead. On the next possession he had a no-look bounce pass to Griﬃn coming in oﬀ the baseline for a monster slam. Trailing 86-80 after two free throws by Paul, Gay hit a 3-pointer with 12.9 seconds left, Memphis’ ﬁrst ﬁeld goal since 7:10. After Los Angeles missed three of four free throws, Gay hit another 3-pointer with 8.9 seconds. Gay ﬁnished with 24 points. Group photo with winners and officials Pacers 101, Magic 99 At Orlando, Florida, George Hill hit a pair of free throws with 2.2 seconds left in overtime as Indiana beat Orlando to take a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference series. The Pacers won after squandering a 19point lead in the fourth quarter. Orlando had a ﬁnal chance to tie it in the closing seconds, but Glen Davis’ fade away jumper bounced oﬀ the side of the rim. David West scored 26 points, including 12 in the third quarter and four in overtime, for Indiana. Danny Granger added 21 points. Jason Richardson led Orlando with 25 points, and Davis had 24 points and 11 rebounds. The Pacers won their third straight game and will try to close out it out Tuesday night in Indianapolis. Spurs 102, Jazz 90 At Salt Lake City, Tony Parker scored 27 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter as San Antonio beat Utah to take a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference series. No NBA team has ever overcome an 0-3 deﬁcit to win a best-of-seven series. The Spurs can close it out Monday night in Salt Lake City. Al Jeﬀerson and Devin Harris scored 21 apiece for Utah, while Derrick Favors added 15 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks in his most extensive action of the series. —AP PAYS Deputy Director Humoud Fulatih receives a memento from Sheikh Salman Shooting season concludes By Abdellatif Sharaa KUWAIT: The closing ceremony of HH The Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Championship on Saturday marked the conclusion of a season full of events both locally and internationally. Social Aﬀairs and Labor Minister Lt. General (Rt.) Ahmad Abdellatif Al-Rujaib represented HH the Amir at the closing ceremony. The championship was distinguished with the participation of a large number of Kuwait shooters from the club and military sports association, who competed so hard to get the best results possible to be able to join national teams to participate in future events. President of the Kuwait and Asian Shooting Associations, and Vice President of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Sheikh Salman Al-Salem Al- Humoud Al-Sabah welcomed participants in HH The Amir Championship which comes as a ﬁtting conclusion of a season full of technical and administrative achievements. He said “I thank HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad for his generous support for youth and athletes in general and the shooting community in particular. He said the shooting community is proud that it gained the support and encouragement of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad and gave it his continuous care. He added that HH the Amir instructed that an annual international championship be organized as all shooting federations around the world are invited to participate here in Kuwait. Sheikh Salman lauded the achievement of Kuwait’s shooters as they won 119 medals during their participations in internation- al, Asian and Arab Championships as they won 44 gold, 38 silver and 37 bronze. Sheikh Salman said that Kuwait’s shooters were able to get four seats in the London 2012 Olympics, and wished them all success. Sheikh Salman thanked the sponsor of the championship HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad and HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad for their care and support. He also thanked HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, Social Aﬀairs and Labor Minister, PAYS Chairman Faisal AlJazaf and his deputies who give all facilities and remove all obstacles to promote the sport of our forefathers. He said that we look for more support for the club to maintain the Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Olympic Shooting Complex and the shooting achievements. Meanwhile, representative of HH the Amir said, he was honored to represent HH the Amir in the closing ceremony of a very dear championship to Kuwaitis. He said great eﬀorts were exerted by shooting oﬃcials and players this year, and hoped those eﬀorts help in making achievements abroad. Al-Rujaib thanked KSSF President Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem AlHumoud Al-Sabah, and board members for the ceremony and organization of the event. When asked about amendments of sports laws, he said “as everyone knows, the government submitted the amendments to the national assembly and the concerned committee will start discussing them on Monday, and I am sure that all are keen on having Kuwait’s ﬂag raised in international arenas, particularly in the London 2012 Olympics. MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 S P ORT S Pakistan crowned Asian Squash champions Indian women create history in Kuwait Indian team left to right: Dipika Pallikal, Anaka Alankmony, Joshna Chinnappa and Aparajitha Balamurukan. KUWAIT: Pakistan were crowned champion of the 16th Asian Squash Championship in the men’s category on Saturday, in the presence of Chairman and Director General of the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) Faisal Al-Jazzaf and ambassadors of India, Pakistan, USA and President of the Asian Squash Association Datto Sunni and Kuwait Squash oﬃcials. Pakistan defeated India in the ﬁnal matches, placing India second, Kuwait third along with Malaysia, Hong Kong ﬁfth, Japan sixth and Jordan seventh. Indian women Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa created history by winning their maiden title as they beat Hong Kong 2-0 in the ﬁnal of the 16th Asian Team Squash women’s championships in Kuwait. In the women’s ﬁnal, Joshna Chinappa, ranked 2 in India and World ranked 71st, put up an amazing performance as she emerged victorious against World No 16 Joey Chan 11-3, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8 in 38 minutes to put India 1-0 ahead. Following up on this thrilling victory, Dipika Pallikal, ranked 14, put up a spectacular ﬁght and defeated World No.7 Anne Au 11-8, 1210, 11-8 in 32 minutes to wrap up the title. Joshna’s aggressive play was laced with delicate drops and feints that were too much for Joey to handle as she dropped the ﬁrst game 11-3 in less than 10 minutes and Joshna won the second game 11-8 as well. Despite the loss of the third game, Joshna retaliated with persistence and won the fourth game to give India the much-needed ﬁrst point. Dipika who is ranked 1 in India and World ranked 14 went in next against World No 6 Annie Au. Dipika’s PAYS chairman and other officials with the winning teams Squash general assembly meeting ﬁerceness seemed eﬀective against Annie who is renowned for a steady lob and drop game. Annie made a dauntless ﬁght back in the third, but Dipika, undeterred, fought relentlessly from 4-7 winning 6 straight points to help India collect their ﬁrst ever Asian senior women’s title. Hong Kong women took second place while Malaysia took third along with Korea. In the men’s competition, matches were very hot and highly competitive, producing the following results: Farah Khan defeated Jushua Shina by 3 games to 2, 11-7, 11-6, 11-13, 7-11, 11-9. In the second match, Pakistan’s Farhan Iqbal defeated India’s Sourfo Kasoul 10-12, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6 and 11-9. Tournament Director Fayez Al-Mutairi expressed pleasure at the high standard and success the tournament enjoyed, and matches were highly competitive, and congratulated the Pakistani team on winning the men’s event. He said that KSA will continue seeking the organization of such major events, which will in turn develop the skills of Kuwait players taking them to new levels, and lauded their performance in this championship. Al-Mutairi thanked PAYS under the leadership of Major General (Rt.) Faisal Al-Jazzaf for their care and support. President of the Asian Squash Association Malaysian Sani Kareem lauded the organization of the tournament during the meetings of the general assembly in the presence of Asian Squash oﬃcials. Sani Kareem said Kuwait proved for all its outstanding ability to organize such events as the delegations were embraced, and there was not any complaint. He said he is happy to be in Kuwait. Meanwhile President of Kuwait Squash Association Hussein Maqseed said the Asian praise of the Kuwait’s organization of the championship came due to the eﬀorts of workers in the association and its sub-committees. He said the KSA decided to ask Pakistan to host the next championship in 2013. Pakistan’s Ambassador to Kuwait Iftikhar Iqbal was delighted for his team’s winning of ﬁrst place, he thanked all Kuwaiti oﬃcials for hosting the tournament which was outstanding at all levels. He said that Kuwait’s team showed much improvement, adding that “we are very proud of this as coaches are from Pakistan and helped build the team.” Pakistani team celebrating Mayweather outpoints Cotto LISBON: 2012 MotoGP riders take a corner during Portugal Grand Prix at the Estoril racetrack in Sintra. Stoner won the race and Pedrosa finished on third position. — AP Stoner wins Portugal GP LISBON: Australia’s MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner powered back to the top of the overall standings by a single point yesterday after fending oﬀ Spanish rival Jorge Lorenzo to win in Portugal for the ﬁrst time. The Honda rider, who won the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez last weekend, dominated the race at Estoril after starting on pole position for the ﬁrst time this season and now leads with 66 points after three races, with Yamaha’s Lorenzo on 65. Spaniard Dani Pedrosa, last year’s winner in Portugal and Stoner’s team mate, ﬁnished third for his 100th grand prix podium - a feat achieved by only six other riders in the past 64 years. Stoner made a great start and never lost the lead on a sunny afternoon, although 2010 champion Lorenzo was close on his tail throughout - and particularly mid-race - to keep the pressure up. “In the middle section of the race I did not feel so conﬁdent and I thought Jorge (Lorenzo) and Dani (Pedrosa) would catch me so I had to ﬁnd a diﬀerent way to ride, some diﬀerent lines, diﬀerent techniques,” Stoner told television reporters. “We felt good on the ﬁrst lap with the new tyres and everything but as soon as that wore oﬀ, we had the most severe chattering we’ve had this season,” he added. “I wasn’t feeling good, I wasn’t feeling comfortable,” said the Australian, who again suﬀered from some of the ‘arm pump’ muscular contraction problems he suffered in the Qatar season-opener. “Huge pressure from Jorge today and we were lucky to hold on for the win.” It was the second race in a row with Stoner and Lorenzo ﬁrst and second and the Honda rider ﬁnished 1.421 seconds of his rival. The victory in Portugal meant Stoner has stood on top of the podium at least once in every MotoGP circuit. “Casey’s rhythm at the end of the race kept us from winning,” said Lorenzo, whose ﬁrst MotoGP Grand Prix win was in Estoril in 2008. —Reuters LAS VEGAS: Floyd Mayweather came through 12 bruising rounds to outpoint Miguel Cotto in their WBA super welterweight clash in Las Vegas on Saturday. The unbeaten Mayweather (43-0) was put under immense pressure early on by a relentless Cotto (37-3) but weathered the storm and ﬁnished the stronger. Two judges gave Mayweather a 117111 decision while another had it 118110 for the American, who tipped his hat to tough Puerto Rican Cotto. “You’re a hell of a champion. You’re the toughest guy I ever fought,” he said. “You want to give the fans what they pay for and that’s excitement. It comes with the territory when you ﬁght a future Hall of Famer like Miguel Cotto. “I had to ﬁght hard and suck it up. I dug down and fought him back.” Mayweather began by landing stiﬀ jabs and fast right hands, but Cotto motored relentlessly forward, bullying Mayweather to the ropes and battering his body with left hooks. As the rounds progressed, Cotto’s constant pressure seemed to be taking its toll and after the sixth Mayweather returned to his corner with a bloody nose. In the eighth, Cotto pounded the American against the ropes but that would prove the high point for the champion as Mayweather changed strategy, employing more lateral movement and ﬁring right hands from long range. By the 12th, Cotto needed a stoppage to win but it was Mayweather who closed in style, rattling his opponent with combinations that buckled Cotto’s knees and smiling as he evaded counter-attacks. LAS VEGAS: Floyd Mayweather Jr. hits Miguel Cotto during their WBA Super Welterweight title bout at the MGM Grand. —AP After the decision, Mayweather discussed a possible ﬁght with Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines, his rival for the title of the world’s best pound-forpound ﬁghter. Fans have been clamouring for the mega ﬁght, which has hit various stumbling blocks including Mayweather’s insistence that Pacquiao agree to blood testing and how the revenue from the ﬁght is to be divided. “I tried to make the Pacquiao ﬁght and that didn’t work, so I fought Miguel Cotto instead and gave the fans a great ﬁght,” Mayweather said. “I want to ﬁght Pacquiao but he has to take the test, and I’ll ﬁght him.” Cotto said he could not have done anything more in the ﬁght. “The judges said I lost the ﬁght. I can’t do anything else,” he said. “I have to take my defeat. “He knows what kind of ﬁght Miguel Cotto brings, and so do the fans. I’m happy with my ﬁght and with my performance and so is my family. I can’t ask for anything else.” — Reuters 18 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 S P ORT S Wozniacki advances despite ankle injury Winners AVC team FC Sparx team FC Sparx, Malabar United FC advance GOA Rolling Trophy KUWAIT: Malabar United FC came back from a goal down to break the hearts of United Goans Centre players and supporters with two last ditch goals to win 2-1 and carry their fine form into the quarter finals where last year’s runners up Navelim Youth Centre who have received a bye, lie in waiting for them. In other first round matches, youthful FC Sparx thrashed Santos United FC 5-0 and AVC Sports & CA overcame Curtorcares United 4-3 in the tie breaker after normal time had ended goalless, in the 18th edition of the GOA Rolling Trophy organized by Goan Overseas Association (Goa Maroons) under the auspices of KIFF and sponsored by Bassem International Trading Company at the MOH ground, Shuwaikh. Malabar United FC and United Goans Centre who this season have raised quite a few eyebrows with their excellent performances were locked in a sea-saw battle that saw some smart saves by Shaijal in the Malabar goal and wonder ful moves by Rosario Braganza for United Goans Centre and after Agnello Monteiro scored in the 21st minute of the first half, it looked like United Goans Centre would pull off a famous win against their more fancied rivals. However, slack defending with only a few minutes left for the match to end by United Goans Centre, led to two fine counter move goals within three minutes by Aswad Ali and Muhammed ensuring Malabar United FC qualified for the Quarter Finals. The match was refereed by Pascoal Fernandes of KIFF referees body. Earlier in the first match of the day, Santos United F.C were no match for F.C. Sparx who took complete control of the match from the very beginning and scored through Husain Ali Khan (2) Anwar and Qusai (2). Kevin Misquita, and Rajesh sparkled for F.C Sparx in the 5-0 rout. F.C Sparx will now play last year’s champion club, Goa Maroons in the quarter finals. Bernard Fernandes was the center official. In the last match of the day, A.V.C Cultural C.A and Curtorcares battled it out for 80 minutes without scoring and in the ensuing tie breaker, Kevin Vaz, Anthony, Braulio and Ronnie scored for AVC while only Prakash, Joao, and Jose Antonio could find the net for Curtorcares. The match was evenly contested with Alvaro Dias, Vincy, and Liston Raju holding fort for AVC and Anthony and the flamboyant Kevin Vaz combining well to put the Curtorcares defense ably led by Francis, Zico and Joao under a lot of pressure. The match was refereed by Victor Andrade. MADRID: Former number one Caroline Wozniacki rolled an ankle but battled on to post a 7-6 (9/7), 3-6, 6-4 opening win over Ksenia Pervak of Kazakhstan in the Madrid Masters yesterday. The sixth-seeded Dane struggled on with her handicap to take victory in a match lasting more than three hours, saving an amazing 14 of the 22 break point she faced. The 2009 runner-up will now have time for her injury to heal before facing on-form German Mona Barthel, quarter-finalist a week ago in Stuttgart. Number one Victoria Azarenka beat Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 while Maria Sharapova, the second seed, was equally ruthless with Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania 6-0, 6-3. Fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska advanced as American Varvara Lepchenko bet Italy’s 2010 Roland Garros winner Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 6-3. Radwanska dismissed Spanish opposition with her defeat of Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino 6-3, 6-1 while 12th seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany started with a 61, 6-4 win over Swede Johanna Larsson. Belgian Yanina Wickmayer beat Australian Jarmila Gajdosova 6-2, 6-4 in 66 minutes despite 11 aces from the loser. Amid the controversy raging over the blue clay courts being trialled at this edition, Wozniacki had no complaints. “Blue is my favourite colour, this makes things a bit different,” she said in the run-up to the French Open preliminary event at the Caja Magica. “The court seems a bit faster than when it was (traditional) red. “Adding the Madrid altitude (650 metres above sea level) makes it even faster. But we will only know who handled it best when the tournament is over.” Defending champion Petra Kvitova, the third seed, rode her 2011 Madrid title over Victoria Azarenka to a breakthrough Wimbledon crown two months later. The Czech is back at this edition standing third in the world and hoping for a repeat of her previous success. “I haven’t practised on them enough yet to say, but I think they are something new for us,” she told the tournament website. “In my opinion they look very nice, very cool. “I like the color, so I’m looking forward to playing on them.” —AFP Del Potro wins Estoril title MUMBAI: Mumbai Indians’ Dwayne Smith hits a four on the last ball of the match to win against Chennai Super Kings during an Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match.—AP Smith leaves Super Kings shell shocked MUMBAI: West Indian batsman Dwayne Smith smashed 14 runs off the last three balls to help Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by two wickets and AB de Villiers’ late assault lifted Royal Challengers Bangalore to a five-wicket win over Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League yesterday. Smith scored an unbeaten 24 off nine balls and hit Australia’s Ben Hilfenhaus for a straight six and two consecutive boundaries to guide Mumbai Indians to 174-8 after Super Kings had finished at 173-8. Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan’s unbeaten 73 gave Chargers a formidable total of 181-2 but de Villiers struck a 17-ball 47 not out that included 23 off Dale Steyn’s last over to reach 185-5 in 18.5 overs. De Villiers hit five fours and three sixes. Sachin Tendulkar (74) and Rohit Sharma (60) had kept Mumbai on course with a 126run second wicket stand off 81 balls before Super Kings hit back strongly and took seven wickets for 25 runs. Hilfenhaus didn’t concede a run off his first eight deliveries but then bowled two low full tosses to Smith followed by a length delivery, all of which were calmly hit hard by the West Indian allrounder. Mumbai Indians looked to be coasting to victory when Tendulkar hit 11 boundaries and a six in his 44-ball knock, taking the home team to 134 in the 16th over. Faf du Plessis plucked a brilliant onehanded catch of Tendulkar at short extra cover to ignite an astonishing collapse. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja bowled Ambati Rayudu and Sharma in the 18th over before Robin Petersen was smartly run out by Du Plessis and captain Harbhajan Singh then holed out at long-off. Hilfenhaus bowled Lasith Malinga to make it 159-8 but couldn’t stop Smith from hitting the three crucial blows. Earlier, Super Kings’ opening batsman Murali Vijay (41) and Dwayne Bravo (40) were the top run-scorers before Malinga (3-25) struck three late blows. Vijay hit seamer Munaf Patel for 22 runs in one ove, including three sixes and a four, before he was bowled by RP Singh in the sixth over. The victory kept Mumbai Indians in third with 14 points while Super Kings are fourth with 11. Delhi Daredevils lead the nine-team league with 16 points, followed by Kolkata Knight Riders with 15. Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan (71) and Chris Gayle (26) laid a solid platform of 91 runs for Royal Challengers’ opening wicket at Bangalore before de Villiers cut loose when 39 was needed off the last three overs. While Chargers lie bottom of the table with five points, Royal Challengers increased its chances of making the knockout stage with 11 points. Scores: Mumbai Indians 174-8 in 20 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 74, Rohit Sharma 60, Dwayne Smith 24 not out; Ravindra Jadeja 212, Ben Hilfenhaus 2-34, Dwayne Bravo 2-39) def. Chennai Super Kings 173-8 in 20 overs (Murali Vijay 41, Dwayne Bravo 40, Suresh Raina 36; Lasith Malinga 3-25, RP Singh 3-28). Royal Challengers Bangalore 185-5 in 18.5 overs (Tillakaratne Dilshan 71, AB de Villiers 47 not out, Chris Gayle 26; Amit Mishra 2-28) def. Deccan Chargers 181-2 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 73 not out, Daniel Harris 47, Cameron White 45). —AP ESTORIL: Top seed Juan Martin del Potro retained his title here at the Estoril Open yesterday after inflicting a 6-4, 6-2 defeat on second seed Richard Gasquet. The Argentine world number 12 became the third man in the tournament’s history to win the clay title in successive years, following in the footsteps of Thomas Muster (1995-1996) and Albert Montanes (2009-2010). It was also Del Potro’s second title of the season after his victory in Marseille in February, and his 11th of a career that includes a US Open success in 2009. “I just played my game and raised my level all week,” said Del Potro. “Today was my best match. To win two titles here is great. “I played aggressive all the way and served well. I’m gaining confidence on my forehand, which is important to my game. My confidence is building and I hope to take it even further next week in Madrid. “I’m moving closer to my best form, but I still need to work to get there. The more matches you win, the more your confidence grows,” added the player who has lost only one set in two years at Estoril. The loss left Gasquet still looking for his first ATP trophy since triumphing in Nice in May 2010. “He played very well,” said the Frenchman. “He’s very powerful, has a great service, and a great forehand and back hand. He deserved this win. “He played better than me. He’s very tall and has a good sec- ond serve and was hitting the ball very well. He was the better player today. “It’s always disappointing to lose a final. I’ve lost five times to (Novak) Djokovic and (Roger) Federer (in previous finals); now Del Potro. They were better than LISBON: Argentinaís Juan Martin Del Potro kisses his trophy after winning the Estoril Open tennis final against France’s Richard Gasquet. —AP me. “It’s good for me to reach a final. It was a good tournament to prepare for the clay season. I’ll get confidence from this tournament.” The final was played in sunny conditions after wind and rain affected the early days of the event at the Estadio Nacional. Del Potro broke to love in the first game to set the tone, but Gasquet put up a fight throughout an opening set that lasted 54 minutes. The Frenchman, renowned for his flawless one-handed backhand, saved break points in the fifth and seventh games before his South American opponent sealed the set with a concluding break. Del Potro then began the second set with a break of serve and turned up the pressure to run out the winner with six aces and three breaks of ser ve in just under 90 minutes on court. The Argentine did win a pair of Davis Cup rubbers on clay against Croatia six weeks ago but he will still be delighted to triumph in what was his first tour clay event of the season after he chose to skip Monte Carlo and train at home. He has now appeared in four finals on clay in his career and won the lot, while G asquet missed the chance to become the first man from France to win the Portuguese title since the event began in 1990. He also lost the 2007 final to a then upand-coming Djokovic. —AFP Federer fresh for clay after break MADRID: In fine fettle after a month-long rest, Roger Federer is ready to get his clay season underway and continue his bid to recapture the world number one ranking from Novak Djokovic. The 30-year-old Swiss maestro, who has not played since losing to Andy Roddick at the Sony Ericsson Open at the end of March, said he had needed some time away from tennis to recharge his batteries and rid himself of one or two niggling injuries. Federer has played some of his best tennis in years in winning three titles this season, including the Indian Wells Masters event, but knows that challenging Rafa Nadal on the Spaniard’s favoured clay and stealing his French Open crown in Paris starting at the end of this month will be a tall order. “I feel good about my chances of playing well in the next few months,” the world number three told a news conference previewing this week’s Madrid Open yesterday. “But then again I am coming back on clay and Rafa has been so dominant on this surface for so many years so I know the task ahead of me,” added the 16-times grand slam singles champion. In an intense start to the year, Federer played 23 matches and lost three, reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open before falling to Nadal and winning events in Rotterdam and Dubai to add to his success in Indian Wells. He also had a busy end to 2011, triumph- ing at the World Tour finals in London in November after victories at the Paris Masters and his home event in Basel. The rest was vital, said Federer. “I needed it because I did play so, so much and this break was also looking ahead to what’s to come and there’s a lot on my plate and I want to be fresh in my mind and fit in my body for those big goals ahead,” he added. “It was more about relaxing my body because I had been playing with some niggling injuries over a few weeks, or a few months almost, and I am happy they went away. “It was just to get away from tennis for a while really, get away from the craziness that surrounds it, the matches and the press and all that stuff. “So that was nice to just recharge the batteries, that was the key during this break.” If Federer can leapfrog number two Nadal and topple Djokovic he would equal, and then have a chance of beating, Pete Sampras’s record of 286 weeks at the top and the Swiss said he was in a “pretty good position” to do it over the coming months. “All of a sudden if you do win a grand slam again you have a shot and if I do I’ll probably be extremely close to world number one,” he said. “Then again - easier said than done. I know what it takes to win a grand slam. It’s hard, it’s always been hard. “It’s still far away for me and my focus is on my next match here on Wednesday. “But it is a dream for me this year try to achieve that again. I’ll try to chase that as hard as I can and see if it’s possible. If not it’s no problem and I’ll just try to win tournaments which is a thrill in itself.” Djokovic and Nadal both have a lot of points to defend in the coming months, but the Spaniard is also eyeing a possible return to the top of the rankings, where he has spent a total of 102 weeks during his career. “I am in a good position thanks to a good start to the year,” Nadal told a separate news conference yesterday. “But right now I am closer to number three than number one,” added the 25-year-old Mallorcan. “Federer had a spectacular end to the year last year and has started this year very well too. “My first objective is always to qualify for the World Tour finals and I am close to doing that so once that’s done anything else is a plus.” Second seed Nadal, the 2010 champion who lost in last year’s final to Djokovic, and third seed Federer, winner in 2009 when he beat Nadal in the title match, both have byes into the second round in Madrid and begin their campaigns on Wednesday. Nadal takes on Nikolay Davydenko, who beat Ivo Karlovic on Sunday, while Federer will play the winner of the first-round match between fast-rising Canadian Milos Raonic and former world number three David Nalbandian of Argentina. —Reuters 19 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 SPORTS ITALY: Inter Milan Argentine forward Diego Milito scores on a penalty kick past AC Milan goalkeeper Marco Amelia during a Serie A soccer match. —AP Juventus clinch Serie A title Milan lose derby 4-2 ROME: Juventus won the Serie A title for the 28th time following a 2-0 win at Cagliari as nearest rivals AC Milan crashed 4-2 in their city derby against Inter yesterday. That gave Juve an unassailable four-point lead at the top with just one game left. Mirko Vucinic and a Michele Canini own goal gave the Old Lady of Turin victory in Trieste, where Cagliari have been playing recent home games. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brace for Milan but Inter’s Diego Milito eclipsed him with a hat-trick, while Maicon put the icing on the cake late on with a fine long-range strike. It was Juve’s first title since 2003 in the record books due to the fact they were stripped of their 2005 and 2006 crowns for match-fixing. Just as they were in mid-week, Juve got off to a blistering start, taking the lead after just six minutes. Vucinic beat the offside trap and slotted between goalkeeper Michael Agazzi’s legs, although there was a hint of offside. Juve then suffered a blow when right wing-back Stephan Lichtsteiner was carried off on a stretcher following a clash of heads with Mauricio Pinilla. Pinilla was a whisker away from equalising with a shot from distance that skidded just past the post. And Cagliari wasted a four-on-one counter-attack when Pinilla and Andrea ITALY: Juventus’ Mirko Vucinic of Montenegro (left) scores past Cagliari goalkeeper Michael Agazzi during the Serie A soccer match. —AP EPL results/standings Cossu were guilty of indecision. Agazzi saved well from Vucinic, while Martin Caceres headed wide from a corner but a woeful attempted clearance from Canini looped over the goalkeeper and in to double the visitors’ lead. At the San Siro, Milan should have taken an early lead but Ibrahimovic failed to hit the target from six yards from Robinho’s cross. They were made to pay on 14 minutes as Walter Samuel headed Wesley Sneijder’s free-kick back into the danger zone and Milito was there to slot home. Inter threatened to run away with it as Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati saved from Sneijder before Lucio knocked in the rebound, only to be ruled offside. Milan escaped when Abbiati clawed an Esteban Cambiasso header back from seemingly behind the line, only for the referee to wave play on. Abbiati then saved at his near post from Sneijder but was forced off with an injury, as defender Daniele Bonera had been earlier, forcing Milan into two changes before half-time. They were given a lifeline just before the break when the referee pointed to the spot after Kevin-Prince Boateng went down under a challenge from goalkeeper Julio Cesar. Replays showed Cesar clearly took the ball but despite trying to psyche out his former team-mate with some choice words, he could not keep out Ibrahimovic’s spot-kick. And within 30 seconds of the restart, the turnaround was complete as Ibrahimovic turned cleverly on the edge of the box to beat Maicon and Lucio and then dinked the ball over Cesar. But only a few minutes later Ignazio Abate stupidly grabbed Milito around the neck in the box to give away a penalty and the Argentine stepped up to score his second. Moments later Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari somehow knocked the ball wide with his thigh from inside the six-yard box. And the end came for Milan when Alessandro Nesta was adjudged to have handled in the box and Milito smashed home his hat-trick goal 11 minutes from time. Maicon’s stunning, rising shot into the top-left corner from distance was just an added bonus for Inter. Earlier, Udinese took charge of the race for a Champions League finish as they beat Genoa 2-0 and closest rivals Napoli fell by the same scoreline at Bologna. The two sides were level on points coming into the match but this result means Udinese will guarantee third spot if they avoid defeat away to Catania next weekend. Genoa’s defeat means they are still not safe from relegation despite Lecce’s 1-0 home defeat against Fiorentina on Saturday. Genoa need a point from their final game of the season to survive. Lazio are still in the race for third after a 2-0 win at Atalanta.—AFP Italian League results/standings Atalanta 0, Lazio 2 (Kozak 35, Cana 90); Bologna 2, (Diamanti 17, Rubin 64) Napoli 0; Cagliari 0, Juventus 2 (Vucinic 6, Canini 74-og); Inter Milan 4 (Milito 14, 52-pen, 79-pen, Maicon 87) AC Milan 2 (Ibrahimovic 44-pen, 46); Novara 3 (Rigoni 28-pen, 68-pen, 85) Cesena 0; Palermo 4 (Miccoli 10-pen, 19, 74, Silvestre 89) Chievo 4 (Pellissier 27-pen, 72, Uribe 30, Luciano 46); Siena 0, Parma 2 (Giovinco 67, Floccari 90); Udinese 2 (Di Natale 30, Floro Flores 66) Genoa 0. Italian Serie A table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, against, points): Juventus 37 22 15 0 65 19 81 Fiorentina 37 11 12 14 37 — champions Siena 37 11 11 15 44 AC Milan 37 23 8 6 72 32 77 Palermo 37 11 10 16 52 Udinese 37 17 10 10 50 35 61 Cagliari 37 10 12 15 37 Lazio 37 17 8 12 53 46 59 Genoa 37 10 9 18 48 Napoli 37 15 13 9 64 45 58 Lecce 37 8 12 17 40 Inter 37 17 7 13 57 52 58 Novara 37 7 11 19 34 Roma 37 15 8 14 57 52 53 Parma 37 14 11 12 53 53 53 Cesena 37 4 10 23 22 Bologna 37 13 12 12 41 42 51 Catania 37 11 15 11 47 50 Atalanta 37 13 13 11 40 40 Chievo 37 11 13 13 34 45 48 46 46 goals for, goals 43 45 43 44 60 43 46 42 69 39 55 36 63 32 — relegated 57 22 — relegated Note: Atalanta deducted six points at start of season for match-fixing Cisse bolsters QPR’s survival hopes Aston Villa 1 (Clark 35) Tottenham 1 (Adebayor 62-pen); Bolton 2 (Petrov 24-pen, Jones 72-og) West Brom 2 (Brunt 75, Morrison 90); Fulham 2 (Dempsey 12, Dembele 35) Sunderland 1 (Bardsley 34); Manchester Utd 2 (Scholes 28, Young 41) Swansea 0; Newcastle 0, Manchester City 2 (Y. Toure 70, 89); QPR 1 (Cisse 89) Stoke 0; Wolves 0, Everton 0. Played Saturday: Arsenal 3 (Benayoun 2, Van Persie 72, 80) Norwich 3 (Hoolahan 12, Holt 27, Morison 85) QPR 1 Stoke 0 English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man City Man Utd Arsenal Tottenham Newcastle Chelsea Everton Fulham Liverpool West Brom 37 37 37 37 37 36 37 37 36 37 27 27 20 19 19 17 14 14 13 13 5 5 7 9 8 10 11 10 10 8 5 5 10 9 10 9 12 13 13 16 90 88 71 64 55 62 47 48 43 43 27 33 47 41 48 41 39 49 38 49 86 86 67 66 65 61 53 52 49 47 Sunderland Swansea Norwich Stoke Aston Villa QPR Wigan Bolton Blackburn Wolves 37 37 37 37 37 37 36 37 36 37 11 11 11 11 7 10 9 10 8 5 12 11 11 11 17 7 10 5 7 10 14 15 15 15 13 20 17 22 21 22 45 43 50 34 37 41 38 44 47 38 45 45 51 44 66 44 51 44 51 38 63 37 60 37 75 35 75 31 79 25 — relegated Bolton blow chance to boost survival bid Bolton 2 West Brom 2 BOLTON: Bolton Wanderers are in severe danger of being relegated from the Premier League after blowing a two-goal lead in a dramatic 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion yesterday. Owen Coyle’s side looked on course to climb out of the bottom three after Martin Petrov’s penalty was followed by a Billy Jones own goal to leave Wanderers firmly in control at the Reebok Stadium. But Chris Brunt reduced the deficit with 15 minutes remaining and James Morrison netted a stoppage-time equaliser. To make matters worse for Coyle’s men, news soon filtered through from west London that relegation rivals Queens Park Rangers had beaten Stoke City with a late goal. That agonising combination of results leaves Bolton two points adrift of safety with a trip to Stoke to come on the final weekend of the season next Sunday. There is still hope for Bolton, however. If they win at the Britannia Stadium, then a QPR loss at Manchester City or two defeats for Wigan Athletic in their remaining fixtures would secure their Premier League status for another season. While Bolton worry over their future, Albion coach Roy Hodgson could take heart from his players’ spirited fightback in what was his final away game before taking over as England manager. The hosts got off to a better start, with Chris Eagles firing an early shot just wide of Ben Foster’s goal. Veteran striker Kevin Davies has found his way back into Coyle’s starting line-up of late but he failed to repay that faith when he blasted over from close range after David Ngog knocked on Petrov’s cross. Bolton had been creating most of the early pressure, but the Baggies were dangerous every time they ventured into the hosts’ half and Adam Bogdan was called upon again to keep out Gareth McAuley’s header from Brunt’s corner. Bogdan denied West Brom again four minutes later with a superb save with his feet that took Shane Long’s close-range effort onto the post. The breakthrough came after 24 minutes when Youssouf Mulumbu recklessly brought down Mark Davies in the area. Petrov was the man to step up and he remained calm before finding the bottom corner, just out of Foster’s reach after the West Brom goalkeeper guessed correctly. Davies could certainly have done better with his first-half chances but there could be little complaint when his 70th-minute header was superbly saved by Foster, who somehow got down low enough to palm the ball away. Nerves were starting to creep in at the Reebok, but while Bolton have certainly had their fair share of bad luck this term, the most fortunate of goals put them 2-0 up in the 72nd minute.—AFP LONDON: Djibril Cisse came off the bench to score an 89th-minute goal as Queens Park Rangers enjoyed a 1-0 win over Stoke City at Loftus Road yesterday that could yet keep the London club in the Premier League. Victory left QPR two points above the relegation zone ahead of the final round of matches, when manager Mark Hughes takes his team to champions-elect Manchester City-one of his former clubs-next Sunday. Joyful Rangers fans invaded the pitch after the final whistle but their side are not yet mathematically safe from the drop. Former France striker Cisse settled the match when he stole in at the back post to convert Anton Ferdinand’s flick-on. It wrapped up a great afternoon for Rangers, owned by Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes, after Bolton Wanderers, who had threatened to drop them into the bottom three, were held to a 2-2 draw by West Bromwich Albion. Stoke had the better of the play early on, with chances for Cameron Jerome and Peter Crouch, although QPR playmaker Adel Taarabt tested Potters goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen with a 25-yard free-kick. The visitors twice nearly went ahead after the break, Crouch making a mess of a free header and Ricardo Fuller curling a shot just wide. Hughes then made two more substitutions, bringing on Jay Bothroyd and Shaun WrightPhillips late on and his changes led to QPR’s goal. Wright-Phillips’ shot deflected wide, creating a QPR corner. Taarabt’s cross was nodded on by Ferdinand and Cisse scored from close range to send the crowd wild. Crouch missed a chance to grab an equaliser in the four minutes of added time as QPR held on for a valuable win that was followed by a mass pitch invasion before the Rangers players returned to salute their supporters.—AFP LONDON: Stoke City’s German defender Robert Huth (left) vies with Queens Park Rangers’ Hungarian midfielder Akos Buzsaky during the English Premier League football match.—AP Everton held by Wolves Wolves 0 Everton 0 LONDON: Everton extended their unbeaten run to eight league games yesterday but had to settle for a point in a goalless draw away to already-relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Toffees had the better of the chances at Molineux and only a dubious offside flag prevented Nikica Jelavic from registering the opener in the first half, while Denis Stracqualursi had a goal disallowed after the break. Everton have not lost a Premier League match since their 3-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby almost two months ago but this point keeps them in seventh place in the table and leaves them on course to finish above their neighbours for the first time since 2005. Wolves were already condemned to finishing bottom and this result leaves them without a win in 13 games, but their beleaguered interim manager Terry Connor will take heart from the way his side battled to a draw, while the home fans ended the afternoon cheering their team’s every pass. Everton, who had drawn 1-1 at Stoke in midweek, dominated possession in the opening 45 minutes but were unable to get what would have been a deserved breakthrough goal. Jelavic got away from home goalkeeper Dorus De Vries to finish after being put through by Steven Pienaar only to be pulled back for offside. However, the decision was a marginal one with the Croat appearing to be level with Ronald Zubar when the ball was played, and visiting manager David Moyes was furious. Jelavic had scored eight goals in his first 11 league appearances since moving south from Rangers in January, and he again looked in the mood here. He had the best chance of the second half after getting in front of George Elokobi in the 72nd minute and latching on to a through ball only to drag his shot wide of the far post. He then turned provider just 60 seconds later with a cross from the left that was turned in by substitute Stracqualursi but the flag was up for offside against Marouane Fellaini, who had initially gone for the ball and missed. Unlike in the first half, this time Everton could have few complaints about the assistant referee’s call as the game petered out to a stalemate.—AFP Mayweather outpoints Cotto I’ll Have Another wins Kentucky Derby MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 17 16 Bolt speeds to year’s fastest 100 metres Page 16 LONDON: Newcastle United’s Senegalese striker Demba Ba (second left) vies with Manchester City’s English midfielder Gareth Barry (right) and Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure (left) during the English Premier League football match.—AP City on brink of EPL title glory Newcastle 0 Man City 2 NEWCASTLE: Manchester City are on the verge of winning the Premier League title for the ﬁrst time in 44 years after Yaya Toure’s brilliant double clinched a crucial 2-0 win at Newcastle yesterday. Ivory Coast midﬁelder Toure struck twice in the second half at St James’ Park to move Premier League leaders City three points clear of second-placed Manchester United. Roberto Mancini’s men now know that they will be champions for the ﬁrst time since 1968 if they win their remaining game at home to Queens Park Rangers next Sunday, unless United can somehow bridge City’s plus10 advantage over their local rivals in the goal diﬀerence column. By coincidence, City’s 1968 title triumph was conﬁrmed by a 4-3 victory at Newcastle and the reaction of their supporters on the ﬁnal whistle suggested they have already anointed Mancini’s team as the new champions. Toure’s goals also had signiﬁcance for Newcastle, who began this game with an eye on a place in next season’s Champions League-and even a top-three ﬁnish-in the wake of Arsenal’s failure to beat Norwich. Now, facing an awkward ﬁnal game at Everton, Alan Pardew’s team may have to be content with a place in the Europa League. City certainly warranted their success, but they were far from ﬂuent as Newcastle frustrated them for long periods and looked equipped to emerge with a point until Toure’s crucial contributions. With so much at stake for both teams, it was never likely to be a classic encounter, but it was a passionate, highly-charged aﬀair after a slow start. That early caution was swept away, though, by the mobility and attacking instincts of David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri. All contributed to a ten-minute spell when City could have taken the lead on three occasions, starting with Silva’s angled shot that was saved by Tim Krul in the 11th minute. The Dutch goalkeeper was equally alert when he dealt with Aguero’s eﬀort six minutes later before he was rescued by Mike Williamson after the striker beat him to Vincent Kompany’s through ball. Newcastle ﬁnally threatened when Demba Ba and Hatem Ben Arfa combined to create an opening which Ba drove over the bar from 25 yards. Then, with 34 minutes gone, Newcastle carved out their best opportunity of the opening half after Jonas Man United 2 Swansea 0 MANCHESTER: Manchester United ensured the race for the Premier League title will go to the ﬁnal game of the season as they beat Swansea City 2-0 at Old Traﬀord here yesterday. But it proved to be a bittersweet day for the reigning champions, who will start as signiﬁcant underdogs to clinch an unprecedented 20th title as rivals Manchester City close in on their ﬁrst top-ﬂight crown since 1968. First-half goals from Paul Scholes and Ashley Young saw Sir Alex Ferguson’s side draw level on points with City at the top of the table, but with a vastly inferior goal diﬀerence. United kept the destiny of the Premier League trophy in doubt until the ﬁnal round of games on May 13, but having surrendered an eight-point advantage, that promises to be scant reward for Ferguson’s men. To end the campaign, Manchester United travel to Sunderland, who have not beaten them in the league for 15 years, spanning 19 attempts. However, City will be overwhelming favourites to beat a relegation-threatened Queens Park It was a threat that hardly surfaced, however, at the start of the second half when City were far less impressive. Tevez steered a shot straight at Krul in the 55th minute, but Newcastle were otherwise untroubled, prompting action by Mancini, who withdrew Nasri and Tevez. And, only seconds after the departure of Tevez in the 70th minute, Mancini’s team were ahead when Toure steered his shot inside the post from nearly 25 yards following neat approach play from City. Toure was deprived of a second goal when he slipped after going clear in the 75th minute, but he grabbed the clincher with a close-range strike in the 89th minute after good work by Gael Clichy.—AFP Spurs kept outside top three United take title race to wire after Swansea win Rangers side who have won just three times on the road this season. The Premier League title has never yet been decided on goal diﬀerence, but there is every chance this season that it will. United will have to better City’s ﬁnal day result to ﬁnish above their near neighbors. Victories for bothbarring a mathematical miracle courtesy of an unlikely nine-goal swing-will spark huge celebrations in the blue half of Manchester. United kicked oﬀ knowing two goals from Yaya Toure had seen City cement their grip on the title with a 2-0 win at Newcastle United earlier in the day. Asked shortly before the start if City had a hand on the title, Ferguson replied: “Probably two.” Swansea’s Michel Vorm was by far the busier of the goalkeepers, and the Dutchman was forced into a ﬁne double save to deny Patrice Evra from 20 yards, and then a close-range follow-up from Wayne Rooney. Michael Carrick was at the heart of things as the hosts ﬁnally broke the deadlock in the 28th minute. Antonio Valencia beat Neil Taylor to make strides down the right before pulling the ball back for the lurking Carrick, who quickly re-directed the ball into the six-yard box. Swansea had plenty of bodies back to cover, but that failed to prevent Scholes from reacting ﬁrst to open the scoring with a close range ﬂick. The lack of celebration from the veteran midﬁelder to meet his fourth goal of the season betrayed Gutierrez seized on a rare mistake by Pablo Zabaleta. The Argentina international’s cross created uncertainty in the City defence, who allowed the ball to reach Ben Arfa beyond the far post. His shot was instant and on-target, but not quite accurate enough to beat a goalkeeper of Joe Hart’s calibre. But only the positioning of Davide Santon, their Italian left-back, enabled Newcastle to be level at the interval. Santon was in the right place on the line to block a 41st-minute shot from Gareth Barry at the end of an incisive move that again exposed Newcastle’s problems against a team possessing City’s sharpness in the ﬁnal third. Aston Villa 1 Tottenham 1 LONDON: Manchester United’s English striker Wayne Rooney shoots during the English Premier League football match against Swansea at Old Trafford. —AP the true feeling in the United camp, one that their chase was a forlorn one. United’s second goal arrived four minutes before the break. Swansea were made to pay for being caught in possession as they attempted to pass out of their own area, Scholes winning the ball to square for Rooney in the penalty box. The England forward’s snapshot was blocked, but fell invitingly for Young to curl his eighth goal of the season into the bottom-right corner with a calm right-foot ﬁnish from 15 yards. Rooney wasted a clear opening to claim a career-best 27th Premier League goal of the season after being released by Carrick as Welsh club Swansea were again carved open in ruthless fashion. Having already secured another season in the top ﬂight, Swansea rarely looked like improving on a dire record at Old Traﬀord that now sees them without a victory there in nine visits. Nathan Dyer curled an early long-range eﬀort narrowly over, and David de Gea made a meal of a low 25-yard shot from Gylﬁ Sigurdsson, before the Spaniard made amends with a ﬁne save to deny Danny Graham from close range after the break. When De Gea clawed out Sigurdsson’s long-range free-kick shortly after Dyer blazed high and wide from a promising position, the last chance of mounting an improbable comeback had gone. Defeat left Swansea in 12th place, with only one victory in their last eight league matches going into their ﬁnal game at home to Liverpool.—AFP BIRMINGHAM: Ten-man Tottenham Hotspur spurned the chance to go third in the Premier League yesterday after a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa, for whom a point all but assured their top-ﬂight survival. Ciaran Clark gave the hosts the lead at Villa Park via a deﬂected ﬁrst-half opener and their cause was aided further still when Spurs were reduced to 10 men when Danny Rose was sent oﬀ for a challenge on Alan Hutton. Harry Redknapp’s team soon responded, though, via Emmanuel Adebayor’s penalty, yet they were unable to force a winner, meaning they remain a point adrift of North London rivals Arsenal in fourth place going into next weekend’s ﬁnal round of ﬁxtures. It leaves their Champions League prospects hanging in the balance, with ﬁfth-placed Newcastle still just a point behind. Chelsea, meanwhile, could yet snatch the ﬁnal spot for Europe’s elite competition that would normally go to the team ﬁnishing fourth if they beat Bayern Munich in this season’s ﬁnal. Alex McLeish’s Villa team are now three points clear of 18th-placed Bolton Wanderers and have a 17-goal advantage over the Trotters, making them virtually safe. McLeish’s line-up yesterday included midﬁelder Chris Herd, one of a trio of Villa players disciplined this week after their involvement in a nightclub fracas during the early hours of Tuesday morning, which followed the club’s annual awards dinner. Despite their recent struggles, Villa began brightly, with a deﬂected eﬀort from Charles N’Zogbia looping onto the roof of the net, while Adebayor threatened with a shot on the turn that ﬂashed beyond Shay Given’s right post. A golden opportunity came Villa’s way when a wayward pass from Kyle Walker, the former Villa loan player, was intercepted by Stephen Ireland, who sent Emile Heskey clean through. But the striker’s hesitation allowed Younes Kaboul the time to make a recovery tackle that referee Lee Probert deemed fair. However, Villa’s commitment was rewarded with a lucky goal 10 minutes before half-time. N’Zogbia fed Clark 25 yards from goal and his strike took a wicked deﬂection oﬀ the shoulder of William Gallas and sailed beyond the reach of the wrong-footed Brad Friedel. Tottenham, who had seen manager Redknapp overlooked for the England job in favour of Roy Hodgson earlier in the week, almost responded immediately but Gareth Bale’s stinging shot was superbly tipped around the post by Shay Given. Then, two minutes before the interval, Kaboul teed up Rafael van der Vaart on the edge of the area only for the Dutch international to see his shot curl inches past the right post. There was a ﬂashpoint within four minutes of the restart when Rose was dismissed for a lunge on Hutton that left the Scotland international in agony and brought a premature end to the former Spurs defender’s match. James Collins, another of the Villa players caught up in the drinking controversy, was introduced in Hutton’s place, with Heskey making way for the fresh legs of Andreas Weimann. Spurs continued to attack but Villa only had themselves to blame for the visitors’ equaliser after Richard Dunne dived in unnecessarily on Sandro inside the penalty area, with Adebayor sending Given the wrong way from the resulting spot kick. —AFP UK, Korea firms picked for Saudi petrochem project Page 22 Gulf bourses end lower Page 24 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 Airline industry faces turbulent year: Expert Pace of global recovery slowing: Report Page 25 Page 23 VANCOUVER: An oil tanker is guided by tug boats as it goes under the Lions Gate Bridge at the mouth of Vancouver harbor on Saturday.— AP US wants India to slash Iran oil imports Clinton urges Indian leaders to look for alternative suppliers KOLKATA: Hoping to wean India from Iranian oil imports, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is urging Indian leaders to explore alternative suppliers as she opens a three-day visit to the energy-starved South Asian giant that will also focus on regional security and easing trade restrictions. Clinton arrived in the eastern city of Kolkata - the first secretary of state to visit the former colonial capital of 14 million - yesterday after visits to China and Bangladesh as officials traveling with her said the Iranian oil imports would top an agenda that includes India’s relations with nuclear rival Pakistan and the future of Afghanistan. India has huge energy needs to fuel its rapid growth and has made some progress in easing its dependence on Iranian oil. But a senior US official said the United States wants to see more. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview Clinton’s private discussions in Kolkata and New Delhi, said the “trend lines are good” but “we really need to receive assurances that they are going to continue to make good progress.” Like other major consumers of Iranian oil, India could face US sanctions by the end of June if the Obama administration determines it has not made significant cuts in imports under a law aimed at squeezing Iran’s petroleum industry to press the country to comply with international demands over its nuclear program. A dozen European nations and Japan have already been spared from those sanctions after the administration determined they had substantially reduced their Iranian oil imports. India, along with China, South Korea, Turkey and South Africa, has still not received such waivers. India imports around 70 percent of its oil, and about 9 percent of the imports are from Iran. The US official said India had recently stepped up imports of oil from Saudi Arabia to make up for the reduction in Iranian oil and that the US was eager to see the Indians explore other alternatives. Iran is India’s second-largest crude oil supplier after Saudi Arabia and according to media reports imports 550,000 barrels a day. India has been pushing its oil companies to cut back their crude imports from Iran and an Indian official, speaking on condition of anonymity per custom, said the government is willing to discuss the matter. The official expressed hope India will be exempted from the sanctions. “We believe we have a strong case, which we will put forth,” the official said. India and Iran reached a deal earlier this year that would allow India to pay for about 45 percent its Iranian oil purchases in rupees. Iran would then use the Indian currency to buy goods from India. International economic sanctions on Iran had made oil trade difficult, because Indian oil importers had to scramble to find banks willing to handle transactions with Tehran. The barter exchange would help India pay for the Iranian crude without resorting to dollar payments, thus bypassing international banks. An Indian delegation visited Iran in March to promote Indian goods including machinery, iron, steel, miner- als and automobiles and Clinton’s visit coincides with that of a large Iranian group that will be in New Delhi to explore Indian goods and services Tehran can buy to offset the enormous rupee payments running into billions of dollars that Iran has accumulated. The US official downplayed the presence of the Iranian delegation, saying. “I don’t think we are too concerned about it.” The official added that the US special envoy for global energy issues, Carlos Pasqual, will visit India later in May to follow up on Clinton’s talks, the official said. In her talks with Indian officials, Clinton will also be pressing for the country to continue economic reforms and trade liberalization, including dropping restrictions on foreign investment in the finance sector and allowing large western retailers to open up, the US official said. Before heading to New Delhi today, Clinton will meet in Kolkata with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the top elected leader of West Bengal state. Banerjee, a key partner of India’s ruling Parliament rejects Iran subsidy cuts proposals DUBAI: A committee of Iranian lawmakers has rejected a government plan to increase prices for subsidized food and fuel in a move that threatens to derail a drive to rein in the country’s sanctions-squeezed budget, Iranian media reported late on Saturday. International sanctions imposed over Iran’s nuclear program have sharply reduced the amount of money Tehran earns from oil, upping pressure on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to push through cuts in government spending worth tens of billions of dollars by scaling back subsidies for the population. But a parliamentary committee examining this year’s budget - which the overall parliament has yet to approve - rejected the size of the proposed cuts, setting the stage for a possible compromise deal that may force the government to sign up to far less ambitious cost-savings. “The Majlis (parliament) may agree to raise energy prices to some extent, but far less than the administration has requested,” the parliament’s Integration Committee said, according to the Mehr News agency. The committee approved just 560 trillion Rials for the program (around $44 billion), less than half the amount the government wanted to add to its coffers thanks to subsidy savings, parliament’s news agency reported. That is the same amount allotted in 2011 and 50 billion dollars less than the government wanted. The government implemented the first-stage of its Targeted Subsidies Plan towards the end of 2010 in an attempt to wean the country off more generous food and fuel subsidies. At the time, Ahmadinejad called it the “biggest economic plan of the past 50 years”. But the next phase of the plan needs the parliament’s approval before it can be implemented at a time when the makeup of parliament appears to be changing in favor of Ahmadinejad’s conservative critics. Prices have spiralled since the reforms were first introduced, causing serious financial problems for millions of people across the country. The price of petrol has risen three-fold and the cost of gas has soared by 500 percent. Critics of the plan have accused Ahmadinejad of pushing through a programme of wasteful public spending that has caused soaring inflation and of using the reforms for his own political gain. The parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani - a fierce critic of the president - said the government was now planning to triple petrol prices and to double the cost of natural gas, Mehr news reported on Friday. Last month, the government said it would boost the monthly cash payments it gives to its poorest citizens to offset the rising prices by more than 50 per- cent to 730,000 Rials (around $60). Ahmadinejad wanted to introduce the second phase of his subsidy reform program last month but hostile MPs say the additional payments have not been approved and are illegal. In a New Year speech, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave his backing to the reforms which he said were an important means of distributing welfare in a more balanced way. The International Monetary Fund has commended the Iranian government for the policy which it said had led to a reduction in fuel consumption and inflationary pressure. The reforms coincide with tightening external pressure on Iran’s economy caused by harsher sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies early this year. The embargoes target Iran’s banking and energy sectors and have resulted in a dramatic devaluation of the Rial since January.— Reuters coalition, has in recent months opposed many of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-led Congress party’s plans to carry out economic reforms. Clinton is expected to push for expanding US investment opportunities in West Bengal and seek Banerjee’s views on the entry of WalMart-type multi-brand retailers into India. Banerjee has been a vocal opponent of opening up India’s retail sector saying it would harm poor shop owners. In talks with Singh in New Delhi, Clinton will look at regional security issues and the India-US Strategic Dialogue meeting scheduled to be held in Washington next month. India’s major concern, however, is the security situation in Afghanistan following the drawdown of NATO troops from the war-torn country in 2014. India has been taking a lead in the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and plans to host a regional investors’ conference on Afghanistan in June. The US will also be looking at trade and investment opportunities in India. With its economy expected to grow at around 7 percent over the next few years, India is an important market for US exports. Trade between the two countries is expected to cross $100 billion this year. However, some of the sheen has worn off the high expectations from US-India relations in the years following the signing of a landmark civil nuclear deal in 2008. Washington was riled when India chose a French company for an $11 billion order for 126 fighter jets for the Indian air force. India has sourced numerous other big ticket defense purchases from US companies. There is also a growing perception in Washington that the Indian government has not delivered on economic reforms and has been dragging its feet on implementing key nuclear legislation that would enable US companies to invest in India. Over the past year, Singh’s government has been bogged down by a series of scandals and resistance from its coalition partners that have brought economic reforms to a halt. — AP KPC walks off Ithaca Energy bid: Report KUWAIT: Kuwait’s national oil company has walked away from takeover talks with North Sea-focused oil and gas explorer Ithaca Energy , a Kuwaiti daily reported yesterday. Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration, the international arm of Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC), was not immediately for comment on the report in Al-Seyassah newspaper which cited high-level unnamed sources in KPC. “Kuwait closed the door to negotiation completely,” the newspaper quoted a source as saying. London’s Sunday Times reported in March that the Kuwaiti group was in advanced takeover talks with the company, which is also listed in London. Ithaca said in March that it had received unsolicited interest from several unnamed parties in a deal estimated to be worth C$868 million ($880 million).— Reuters OPEC output rise not yet on agenda ALGIERS: Raising the output target set by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is not on OPEC’s agenda for now but probably will be, Algerian Energy and Mines Minister Youcef Yousfi said yesterday. Asked about the prospect of increasing the target, Yousfi told state radio: “For the moment that is not the object of our discussions, but probably that will come at the OPEC level.” OPEC is scheduled to meet next on June 14 in Vienna, where it is likely to focus on quotas and production. At a meeting in December last year, the organization’s production target was set at 30 million barrels per day. This target came under pressure after oil prices in March jumped to $128 a barrel, the highest since 2008, though they have since fallen back a little. Many in OPEC believe high prices damage members’ interests by hurting economic growth in consumer countries and so driving down demand for crude long term.— Reuters MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 BUSINESS UK, Korea firms picked for Saudi petrochem project Aramco’s Rabigh 2 close to reality KHOBAR/TOKYO: Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical have issued letters of intent to at least two contractors who submitted the lowest bids to expand a petrochemical complex in Saudi Arabia, moving a step closer to a decision on whether to proceed with the major project, industry sources said. British company Petrofac and South Korea’s GS Engineering and Construction were picked among contractors to be part of building the second phase of the already operational complex in Rabigh on the Red Sea coast of the world’s largest oil exporter. The Rabigh 2 project is part of state-run Saudi Aramco’s plans to become an energy firm focusing on chemicals, unconventional gas and renewables, to diversify its business from oil alone. Petrofac leads the race for the two packages that involve a tank farm and common utilities. GS Engineering and Construction is front-runner for two process packages known as CP3 and CP4. The CP3 package involves production of ethylene-vinylacetate and low density polyethylene (EVA/LDPE), ethylene propylene (EPR) and others. The CP4 products include methyl tertbutyl ether (MTBE/IB), methyl methacrylate (MMA). GS is also the lowest bidder on a utilities package for interconnecting. The letters were issued last week as the validity of bids was due to expire on April 30, sources said. In 2010, Aramco’s chief executive Khalid alFalih said the estimated total budget cost of the expansion was $6 billion to $8 billion, but one source with knowledge of the bidding said it would now be much lower because of fierce competition. A spokeswoman for Sumitomo Chemical confirmed that her company and Aramco issued letters of intent to some engineering, procurement and construction contractors (EPC) since the end of April. She did not name the contractors involved. She said the letters demonstrate the intentions of Aramco and Sumitomo to conduct final negotiations, adding that this is still one of the steps in the feasibility study and does not mean a final decision on phase 2 has been made. “We have not made any decisions on Rabigh Phase 2 plan yet at the moment,” the spokeswoman said. She did not say how long the negotiations with the contractors would take or when the final decision on Phase 2 would be made. “We are in the stage to make final negotiations with some EPC contractors...We are still conducting the feasibility study for Rabigh phase 2”. She said the company would not make any Air Arabia beats forecasts as Q1 net rises 11.7% DUBAI: UAE budget carrier Air Arabia said quarterly net profit rose 11.7 percent, beating analysts’ forecasts, as a hike in fuel costs was offset by a rise in number of passengers seeking low-cost flying options. Air Arabia earned a net profit of 47.7 million dirhams ($13 million) for the first-quarter, it said in a statement yesterday, compared with 42.7 million dirhams profit a year earlier. Revenues for the quarter was 621 million dirhams, an increase of 21 percent to the 513 million dirhams it posted in the same period of 2011. The earnings beat forecasts by two analysts, who had expected an average net profit of 37.45 million dirhams for the quarter in a Reuters poll. The carrier said a demand for low-cost transport in the region helped the airline get past the impact of rising fuel costs that has forced may airlines to hike ticket costs. “Though political instability and sustained high fuel costs continue to challenge regional DIFC Investments has likely sold SmartStream: JP Morgan carriers, the appeal of air transport, and especially the low-cost model pioneered by Air Arabia in the region, remains strong,” said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammad Al-Thani, chairman of Air Arabia. Dubai’s Emirates, one of the world’s top airlines, said last week that fuel charges were about $2 billion in 2011, accounting for 40-43 percent of the airline’s costs. Emirates is expected to report its earlier later this month. The emirate’s budget carrier flydubai also plans to increase ticket costs. Air Arabia, headquartered in the emirate of Sharjah, also has hubs in Egypt and Morocco. It competes with regional low cost carriers such as flydubai and Kuwait’s Jazeera Airways. The company has earlier announced a 6 percent cash dividend for shareholders. Air Arabia shares closed 2.5 percent lower on the Dubai bourse yesterday prior to the results. — Reuters Arabtec-TAV group in final talks for airport contract ABU DHABI: The Abu Dhabi government has identified an Arabtec Holding consortium that includes Greek and Turkish firms as the preferred bidders for an estimated $3 billion contract to expand the oil-rich emirate’s international airport. Abu Dhabi Airports Co (ADAC), which is awarding the contract, is in discussions to finalise details of the contract and will officially announce the agreement in June, it said in an email statement yesterday. The consortium, which includes Turkey’s TAV Insaat and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), were on the cusp of securing the contract, four sources told Reuters in April. TAV Insaat is a unit of Turkish builder Akfen Holding. “ADAC is currently in discussions with the preferred announcements on phase 2 until a decision had been made. Aramco was not available for comment. Sources in Saudi Arabia said meetings with contractors would be held towards the end of this month. “The award is coming, they need to have meetings to review some things,” said one source in Saudi Arabia. South Korea’s Daelim Industrial has submitted the lowest bids for the CP1 package, for cumene, phenol and cyclohexanone. Aramco and Sumitomo have extended the bidding validity date of this package till June 2, industry sources said. Italy’s Saipem is lowest bidder on an aromatics complex, known as RP2, the sources said. Petrofac, Daelim and Saipem declined to comment. GS was not immediately available for comment. The deals had been expected to be awarded in the first quarter of this year but Sumitomo was unsure if it made economic sense and wanted a feasibility study to be completed, a senior executive said in February. Sumitomo and staterun oil giant Saudi Aramco said when they signed the agreement in 2009 to expand the plant that the feasibility study would be completed by the third quarter of 2010 and Aramco officials said a final investment decision (FID) would be taken by the end of 2011. — Reuters bidder to finalize all details of the contract prior to its signing, and before officially announcing the winning contractor of the Midfield Terminal Building at the capital’s airport in June this year,” the statement said. ADAC released the tender to six prequalified groups of joint companies to build the midfield terminal building at the Abu Dhabi airport and received all six proposals in November last year. The race was down to three final groups. The other three short-listed groups were Bechtel Corporation-ENKA-Al Jaber Group, Hyundai Engineering & Construction-Kumho Engineering & Construction-China State Construction Engineering Corporation-Al Shafar General Contracting Company and Samsung-ACC-Six Construct. — Reuters DUBAI: DIFC Investments (DIFCI), the investment arm of the company running Dubai’s financial free zone, has likely sold software company SmartStream Technologies, resulting in a $68.8 million impairment provision, JP Morgan said in a research note. DIFCI, which has been grappling with a debt pile including a $1.25 billion Islamic bond due in June, began seeking buyers for SmartStream in 2010 to raise much-needed cash. In a footnote in its 2011 financial statements last week, DIFCI said it sold one of its discontinued businesses held-for-sale after the financial year ended to a ‘related party.’ It did not name the business. “This sale could only be of SmartStream given the magnitude of impairment,” JP Morgan analyst Zafar Nazim said in the note, adding that other businesses held for-sale by DIFCI had minimal associated goodwill balances. The “related party” could be the Dubai government or Investment Corporation of Dubai, the analyst said. DIFCI Chairman Abdulla Mohammed Saleh was not immediately available for comment yesterday. SmartStream helps investment banks and fund managers with the back and middle-office processing of stock, bond and derivative trades. It has said its clients include three-quarters of the world’s top 100 banks. DIFCI bought the firm in 2007 from private equity firm TA Associates, months after poor market conditions forced TA to scrap plans to list the company. That deal valued SmartStream at about 200 million pounds, or $410 million at prevailing exchange rates, according to Thomson Reuters data. SmartStream’s parent company D-Clear, which is listed in the 2011 financial statement as 100 percent owned by DIFCI, was most likely disposed of during the early months of 2012, the analyst said. “ The goodwill impairment also implies that SmartStream was likely sold at a price less than our earlier estimate of $350 million,” Nazim wrote. DIFCI also sold an IT distribution firm last year, Despec International for $27 million, paid in three installments to 2013, it said last week. The investment firm swung to profit in 2011 and said it was confident of successfully refinancing the upcoming Islamic bond maturity. Its sukuk obligation has been highlighted by analysts as one of the most challenging refinancings in the Gulf Arab region this year, given the size of the maturity and the firm’s limited cash position. — Reuters KABUL: Afghan people gather in front of a shop as they open for business in Kabul yesterday. Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world, can ill afford to lose its main industry. — AFP ECB in the shadow of Bundesbank! By Hayder Tawfik KUWAIT: Yesterday, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said the economic outlook in the euro area is subject to downside risks and inflation pressures should remain limited. He is either watching the wrong movie or he is giving up and hoping that the whole thing will go away once the economies start recovering. Indeed wishful thinking. The task for the ECB and his president to rescue country by country in the euro region is enormous and we can say it has failed. When he talks about the risk of inflation at a time when unemployment in Europe is nearly passed 10% and in some areas such as Spain and Greece is over 25% is something out of the extraordinary. The ECB should decide whether it is truly independent or acting on behalf of the Bundesbank. The latest warning made by the newly elected head of the Bundesbank, Jens Weidmann about governments failing to do what’s needed to rescue the Euro is either genuine or he is extremely worried about Germany ending up paying for the mess created by some ambitious politicians over decades ago. How can European politicians justify the introduction of measures such as the Fiscal Compact at the time of very weak economic growth combined with very high unemployment which is spreading throughout the EU? If the ECB is shadowing the Bundesbank then it should be fully aware that the prime duty of the Bundesbank is to control money supply and inflation, two things which at present not needed in the rest of Europe. After 12 years we can say that the ECB has failed to copy the Bundesbank culture in Europe. Some EU countries have implemented the fiscal measures they were asked to do by the ECB so they can get financial help. However, these countries like Spain, Greece, Portugal even Italy are fighting the time as these tough measures creating more hardship for their people and hence high and rising unemployment. The ECB has spent nearly 1 Trillion euro on rescuing some of these economies with no any sign of success. Why? The Spanish banks have become the biggest real estate companies in the world. Latest figures show that they have over 800bn worth of real estate on their books!! How they can start lending to individuals, small companies etc so as to help with the economic recovery? I think citizens of the EU have the right to know why 1 Trillion of their taxes wasted and where that money has gone. I think this is a big worry for the Germans and the in particular the Bundesbak. I personally think the solution lays Germany and exactly in Frankfurt. The culture of the Bundesbank can’t and will not work in the EU. The masters at the Bundesbank know that for sure and also we know to that the prime objective for the Bundesbank is to shelter the Germans from any risk of inflation for historical reasons them all aware of. If the policies are not good for Germany then they will for sure fail and that is exactly what is happening now. I am afraid that the tension will rise further after this weekend’s French election and the Greek to follow. The business and culture structure in some part of the EU can’t be treated same as the ones in Germany. Spain has been let down by the ECB on immeasurable scale and the outcome will be felt throughout the EU. l Hayder Tawfik is Executive Vice President of Asset Management, at Dimah Capital 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 .2730000 .4470000 .3620000 .3010000 .2790000 .2840000 .0040000 .0020000 .0752410 .7330540 .3830000 .0710000 .7186270 .0040000 .0430000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2771500 GB Pound/KD .4486640 Euro .3643000 Swiss francs .3031450 Canadian dollars .2812140 Danish Kroner .0489800 Swedish Kroner .0410540 Australian dlr .2855750 Hong Kong dlr .0357170 Singapore dlr .2233460 Japanese yen .0034560 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0754870 Bahraini dinars .7354390 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0739260 Omani riyals .7201510 Philippine Peso .0000000 .2805000 .4560000 .3700000 .3120000 .2870000 .2930000 .0070000 .0035000 .0759970 .7404210 .4000000 .0760000 .7258490 .0072000 .0500000 .2792500 .4520640 .3670600 .3054420 .2833440 .0493510 .0413650 .2877390 .0359870 .2250380 .0034820 .0052790 .0021700 .0030850 .0034240 .0760590 .7410110 .3949790 .0744870 .7256070 .0066640 Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency Rate per 1000 (Tran) 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 278.500 3.067 5.200 2.187 3.405 6.635 75.925 74.420 740.400 46.020 455.400 3.090 Yemeni Riyal Euro Canadian Dollars Nepali rupee 1.550 370.000 285.500 3.350 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 Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 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 277.550 370.500 453.500 285.200 3.495 5.283 45.914 2.130 3.387 6.548 3.060 739.100 75.600 74.100 SELL DRAFT SELL CASH Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar Swiss Franc Euro 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 289.75 286.11 309.01 368.65 453.45 3.54 3.398 5.177 2.170 3.248 3.068 75.74 740.40 45.98 396.00 723.41 76.76 74.32 292.00 287.00 311.00 372.50 456.50 3.65 3.550 5.700 2.550 4.000 3.250 76.50 741.00 47.25 394.50 726.00 77.75 74.25 Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd Rate for Transfer US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar Selling Rate 278.300 284.250 451.815 367.140 304.905 736.970 COUNTRY 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 Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound SELL CASH 287.200 740.800 3.660 283.500 547.100 45.400 49.900 167.800 47.730 368.600 36.600 5.490 0.032 0.159 0.228 3.590 394.760 0.188 93.600 45.400 4.280 225.600 1.805 49.300 723.540 3.150 6.830 77.060 74.370 225.240 38.190 2.854 454.100 41.900 307.300 4.300 Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal 9.420 198.263 75.950 278.900 1.340 10 Tola GOLD 1,722.890 Sterling Pound US Dollar 9.210 75.850 278.500 TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 452.100 278.500 Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Bahrain Exchange Company UAE Exchange Centre WLL COUNTRY 75.745 76.390 74.175 391.745 46.013 2.168 5.235 3.089 3.403 6.598 682.655 4.465 9.105 5.860 3.405 92.090 SELL DRAFT 285.700 740.800 3.402 282.000 Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Malaysian Ringgit 3.535 5.183 3.066 2.168 3.277 225.730 35.905 3.399 6.593 8.999 91.433 GCC COUNTRIES 74.310 76.567 723.790 740.140 75.879 225.200 46.066 367.100 36.450 5.200 0.031 Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham 394.710 0.187 93.600 ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 47.700 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 45.995 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.300 Tunisian Dinar 181.47 Jordanian Dinar 393.520 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.869 Syrian Lier 4.861 Morocco Dirham 33.161 3.280 224.100 723.360 3.073 6.605 76.630 74.370 225.240 38.190 2.175 452.100 305.800 4.300 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 278.550 Euro 367.41 Sterling Pound 452.920 Canadian dollar 282.71 Turkish lire 158.580 Swiss Franc 306.77 US Dollar Buying 277.350 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram GOLD 295.000 148.000 74.000 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 BUSINESS Weekly commodity update Economic soft patch hurting commodities By Ole Hansen KUWAIT: Economic activity during Q2 is showing signs of a slow-down. Of concern is especially US economic data and uncertainty about the political direction in China combined with data pointing towards a further fall in its economic output. Eurozone anxiety has also returned in full force with the effect of previous liquidity injections by the European Central Bank proving to have had a limited impact. Protest elections across the region and the ousting of old governments with the prospect of new ones reneging on agreed austerity measures, which will cause euro-zone wide friction, is also weighing heavily on sentiment. Investors reduced exposure to commodities during April and so far the story has continued in May. The selling has not been related to one sector in particular. All three major sectors, as tracked by DJUBS subsector indices, returned losses of between 3 and 4 percent. According to data from the US Commodity Futures and Trading Commission speculative investors have reduced their exposure to US traded commodity futures by 285,000 contracts to 1,245,000 contracts representing a nominal change of $21 billion. The chart below shows how speculative investors have changed their exposure to the 10 commodities with the biggest exposure from the peak in early March until now. All apart from soybeans have seen reductions, with corn and sugar suffering the biggest percentage losses and WTI crude and gold the biggest nominal reductions. Turning towards the performance of individual commodities, during the past month the majority fell back with some of the heavyweights such as Brent crude, silver, wheat and gasoline all suffering losses of more than five percent. At the top we find cocoa, soybeans and for a change natural gas which seems to finally have found some support after having been stuck in quicksand for several months. Brent crude lower The verbal intervention that was very present during the past couple of months, especially from Saudi Arabia and the International Energy Agency seems finally to be paying off. Constant reminders that the global oil market is currently well supplied due to strong production from Saudi Arabia and Iraq and the removal of some of the outages seen in March have helped lower the price of Brent crude back to below 120 dollars per barrel. Those who have been looking for an even deeper correction may end up disappointed as such a move would hinge on the outcome of the next round of discussions with Iran over its nuclear intentions. A risk premium, although sharply reduced, still existsand would only go away, thereby causing an additional drop in prices, should the negotiations result in a solution. In our outlook for Q2 we discussed this weakness during the quarter and we still see a chance of reaching 115 dollars before support is re -established. Speculative investors have pulled 100 million barrels from WTI and Brent combined during the past few weeks and although the net long is still elevated at roughly 400 million barrels this has left the market less one -sided and less exposed than before the correction. My technical picture still points towards lower prices near-term but while momentum is slowing, indicating a possible change in direction, I am not bullish on Brent crude before 120.50 have been broken. Gold frustrates The yellow metal has been finding it increasingly difficult to break away from its current 1,610 to 1,690 trading range. Talk about additional quantitative easing in the US has diminished somewhat as of late due to a growing sense of disagreement among Federal Reserve members as to what is the correct medicine for the economy. This has left gold sailing around without a firm pair of hands at the wheel. US data however has increasingly been turning against the recovery but whether it warrants additional stimulus is the big question. Speculation about the threshold at which the Fed would have to act is being discussed. Should the creation of new jobs as measured by the monthly nonfarm payrolls report due Friday May 4 drop below 100,000, and then expectations would rise - thereby supporting gold. Speculative investors through futures hold the smallest gross long position in more than three years and the action by this group holds the key to a possible revival of the rally in gold. Investors in exchange traded products meanwhile have also reduced exposure during April with the total holdings in ETP’s now amounting to 2,380 metric tons, the lowest level in three months and down from 2,410 a month ago. All in all investors have ample room to increase exposure should the fundamental outlook turn more favorable with particular focus on developments in the US economy. In the short term however the technical picture looks a bit bleak as the market is trading below the 55-week moving average and the trend line from the 2008 low is coming under pressure again. A technical break below 1,610 carries the risk of a return to the December lows sub 1550. Airline industry faces turbulent year: Expert ‘Legacy carriers’ being forced to alter strategy By Sajeev K Peter SHARJAH: With Europe sliding into recession, 2012 will be another challenging year for the global airline industry, though the sector is guardedly optimistic, given some tentative signs of a recovery in the US and continuing positive momentum in Asia, said an aviation expert during an interview with the Kuwait Times. Predicting a slow recovery in the regional aviation sector, Chris Taylor, Vice President, Spectrum Capital, UK said, “In the short-term, the signs of a recovery are very slow in the regional aviation sector. While in the long-term, much depends on the question of an open air space, access to airports and free competition.” The global economy is coming out of recession, recovering slowly. At the same time, Europe is recovering much more slower than Middle East and Asia due to lingering concerns about the sovereign debts and worries about Spain and Italy, Taylor pointed out on the sidelines of the Arab Aviation and Media Summit 2012. “ The UK is affected because it is part of Europe. One benefit the UK has is that, it is not part of the euro-zone. What is happening is that the European investors are moving out of the euro and investing in sterling as safe currency, enabling the UK economy to recover a little more quickly,” he said. In Europe, the risk of a double dip remains real with stimulus only really buying time - still a few years before a number of European economies reach their pre-downturn size, he said. Commenting on the US economy, he said the signs of a recovery are much more stronger though banking sector’s exposure to the eurozone debt and ‘credit famine’ will pose continuous challenges to the economy. Consequently, SHARJAH: Chris Taylor speaks during the Arab Aviation and Media Summit in Sharjah. consumer spending will remain under pressure impacting the business confidence. Aviation The year 2010 was strong for the aviation industry and suggested a rapid recovery from the 2008-09 downturn. However, the industry is still waiting for a clear view on 2011’s actual outcome. The industry will remain under pressure with continuous fall in freight traffic, business travelers and volumes, straining corporate travel budgets in the short-term. While weakened export demand and impact of air freight will remain major concerns for the industry, he said. Taylor said that the underlying upward trend in jet fuel prices is reinforced by ‘geopolitical’ concerns - now in pound and euro terms. This could result in a 20 to 25 percent rise in fuel bills if not more, he said. Talking about low-cost carriers, he said changing dynamics for the LLCs will prompt the airline managers to look at issues of ‘capacity provision model’ and ‘absorption challenge.’ The short haul markets are the commodity segment for the airlines as such they need to be aware of ‘bandwagon’ effects,” he said. The low-cost carriers with their low fares have reduced the cost of travel and stimulated the growth of air travel. There are now many variations on the basic model with ancillary income being generated from sales of additional services at the time of booking and also while on board the aircraft such as: hotels, car rental, baggage, allocated seats, food, drinks, lottery tickets, tickets for onward travel on buses and trains. In the Middle East, the market share for LLCs is still very low compared to the European market, offering huge potential for growth. This is tempered by the lack of secondary airport and airlines route rights. Interestingly, the LLCs have forced traditional ‘legacy carriers’ to alter their business strategy to compete in an increasingly challenging environment, he added. Chris Taylor is the Vice President at Spectrum Capital, London. As an aviation specialist, he provides advising to leasing companies and infrastructure projects such as Heathrow Terminal 5, the privatization of NATS and the UK Air Traffic Control Service. He is a regular speaker at industry events such as Euromoney’s International School of Aviation Finance and Aircraft Finance and Commercial Aviation (AFCA) in Barcelona. UK Shareholders revolt over bumper boardroom pay LONDON: Top British companies face a wave of investor activism as shareholders rebel over boardroom pay, amid under-performance in the poor economic climate and state moves to clamp down on corporate greed. Insurer Aviva became the latest victim yesterday, when more than half of its shareholders rejected annual executive pay awards, delivering a major snub to chief executive Andrew Moss at the group’s annual meeting. Aviva revealed that 54 percent of its shareholders voted against the insurer’s remuneration report. Including abstentions, almost 59 percent of investors failed to endorse it. The defeat-the fourth revolt since advisory votes were introduced in 2003 — came despite Moss waiving a pay rise that would have taken his annual salary above £1 million ($1.6 million, 1.2 million euros). Aviva chairman Lord Colin Sharman apologized to investors on Thursday for ignoring their views when setting pay. “We recognize that a number of shareholders feel that we have not reflected their views, and overall shareholder value, in the judgments we made on remuneration and for this the board and I apologize,” he said. “We also recognize that companies need to engage with shareholders on a more proactive basis around the sensitive area of executive remuneration and Aviva will continue to consult and engage with shareholders in this regard.” Aviva’s rejection vote was non-binding but is nevertheless a major embarrassment. And the remuneration report would have been thrown out completely had new measures to give shareholders binding votes-as proposed by Britain’s coalition government in January-been brought into effect. The insurer’s share price, which has been hit by its exposure to debt-plagued eurozone economies such as Italy and Spain, is almost 30 percent lower than one year ago. Meanwhile on Thursday, newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror announced that boss Sly Bailey would step down, amid a looming shareholder revolt over her pay package. Anglo-Swiss mining company Xstrata also received relatively low approval ratings for its executive remuneration report. That news came after AstraZeneca chief executive David Brennan announced his retirement the previous week, amid investor concern over his stewardship of the group. At Barclays bank, meanwhile, almost one third of its shareholders chose not to back its executive pay awards late last month amid controversy over chief executive Bob Diamond’s hefty wage package. The lender announced that 32 percent of shareholders had either voted against or withheld support for the bank’s 2011 remuneration report. Investor group Pensions Investment Research Consultants has repeatedly called on shareholders to vote against “excessive” pay. Barclays chairman Marcus Agius apologized to shareholders, saying that management “have not done a good enough job in articulating our case”. He vowed: “I assure you that in the future we will be engaging differently and more purposefully with shareholders in order to ensure that we obtain a broader level of support on remuneration policy and practice.” Simon Bittlestone, commercial director at business consultancy Metapraxis, said that shareholders were becoming increasingly vocal. “The challenge for share- holders in a volatile market is to distinguish between those management teams who are doing a good job in tough conditions and those who are not,” Bittlestone said. “Clearly, given the dramatic increase in toplevel pay and no corresponding overall improvement in performance, some are not earning it. “This seems to be the view of many shareholders at the likes of Barclays, Aviva and UBS.” Bittlestone warned that revolts would continue without clearer guidance on the overall performance of companies. “It is hard enough for the board to get to grips with real underlying performance, let alone shareholders, who are often given little useful forward-looking quantitative information on which to base their judgment. “Until there is a focus on extracting insight from the increasing wealth of data available in a rapid and clear way ... we can expect the revolts to continue.” At the start of the year, the British government unveiled proposals that would give shareholders binding votes over executive pay, encourage greater transparency, and create more diverse boards and remuneration committees. The proposals remain under consultation. Vince Cable, a key Liberal Democrat member of the Conservative-led coalition government, said in January that there was a “disconnect” between boardroom pay and company performance, and described the issue as a “clear market failure”. The coalition wants companies to produce a distribution statement to allow shareholders to compare executive pay with other dispersals-such as dividends, business investment, taxation and general staffing costs. — AFP Clouds hang over gold mine plans in Romania MOSCOW: Russian Prime Minister and President-elect Vladimir Putin, center, looks on as Norway’s Statoil Chief Executive Helge Lund (left) and Rosneft president Eduard Khudainatov exchange documents at a signing ceremony in Moscow on Saturday. — AP Australia set for ‘modest’ budget surplus: Swan SYDNEY: Australia is on track for a modest budget surplus, Treasurer Wayne Swan said yesterday ahead of this week’s unveiling of his fifth budget for the mining-powered economy. Australia, which survived the global financial crisis without dipping into recession, has previously been forecast by the government to deliver a Aus$1.5 billion ($1.6 billion) surplus for the 2012/13 fiscal year beginning July 1. In releasing its midyear figures late in 2011, the government said it expected the deficit to balloon to Aus$37.1 billion for the 2011/12 fiscal year. “It will be a modest surplus, the surplus will build over time,” Swan said yesterday. Swan acknowledged the task had been made more difficult by revenue writedowns of Aus$150 billion over the past five years, and the budget was expected to contain significant belt-tightening. “The aftershocks of the global financial crisis have hit our revenues,” Swan told the Nine Network. Australia is benefiting from low unemployment and a mining and resources investment boom-factors that have helped persuade the government that “returning the budget to surplus is the right thing to do.” “A budget surplus is the clearest sign we can send of the strength of the Australian economy,” Prime Minister Julia Gillard said yesterday. “It’s the right thing to deliver a budget surplus, so we create a buffer if the global economy worsens at some time in the future.” But the government admits that while Australia’s economic fundamentals are strong, the economy is in transition, which is making life tough for businesses outside the mining sector. Gillard said while the economy-which is driven by huge demand from Asia for raw materials such as iron ore and coal-was strong, the high Australian dollar and rising energy costs were making some sectors struggle. “We understand this isn’t everybody’s boom,” she said. The budget to be released on Tuesday comes amid mounting speculation that Gillard, who is performing dismally in opinion polls, will face a challenge to her leadership from within Labor’s ranks. Swan dismissed the question. “The prime minister is as tough as nails, and she ain’t going anywhere,” he said. — AFP BUCHAREST: Plans by the Canadian company Gabriel Resources to open a gold mine at Rosia Montana in Romania might be hampered by a centre-left cabinet which is to take office today, analysts say. “ The Rosia Montana project will be reassessed in a transparent way so that decisions are in line with the national interest, environment protection regulations and European legislation,” the new government’s economic program says. Prime minister-designate Victor Ponta has already threatened to block the project once he comes to power. The Canadian firm which owns 80 percent of the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation-the Romanian state holds the balance-plans to extract 300 tons of gold and 1,600 tons of silver over 16 years in Rosia Montana, a village thought to lie on Europe’s largest gold deposits. “I expect Ponta will change his stand on this major investment once he takes office,” financial analyst Ionel Blanculescu told AFP. “But there will be no decision on Rosia Montana until the general elections due in November,” he added, explaining that the topic was too sensitive. Gabriel Resources chief executive Jonathan Henry said Romania had a lot to gain from the mine. “We have over $30 billion of economic benefits that come out of this project and remain in Romania,” Henry told AFP in an interview. “This equates to somewhere between 70 and 90 percent of the total benefits.” The figure is seven times higher than the amount initially promised by Gabriel Resources, but Henry stressed that this was the result of the investment’s multiplying effect and contingent on gold prices going up. “This is an exaggeration,” said Afrodita Iorgulescu, a professor at the Academy of Economic Studies and head of an opposition group. “The multiplying effect in mining is not the same as in other industries, such as machine building.” Nearly 15 years after it first embarked on a project that is estimated to cost $1.7 billion, Gabriel Resources is still waiting for a key environmental permit. And a recent court ruling invalidated a zoning plan, placing another obstacle in the way of the permit process. Outgoing environment minister Attila Korodi said the review by a technical commission should be suspended until a new certificate was obtained. But Henry did not share his view: “ The advice I received is that we have all of the requisite licenses and permits in place to continue with the commission review.” He admitted however that the fall of the centre-right government, considered more favorable to the mine, had complicated things. “Our shareholders see far more risks in investment in Romania now than they did previously and that reflects in the share price,” which has plummeted over the last few days, Henry said. “We need to make sure the new government understands fully what this project means to Romania,” he added. Opponents including environmentalists, archaeologists, historians and international organizations say that the open-cast mine, which would use 12,000 tons of cyanide a year in a leaching process, threatens the environment and Roman-era mining galleries. They also argue that the project would lead to the partial destruction of four mountains surrounding the village and damage part of the galleries, unique in Europe. But Henry insisted that the plan would meet the highest Romanian and European standards. The Gabriel Resources CEO stressed that his company would also respect a Romanian demand to lower cyanide levels in the tailings pond to below three milligrams per litre (mg/litre), compared with a 10 mg/litre EU limit or up to five mg/litre in a cup of coffee. He said the firm had already spent more than $450 million in exploration, engineering, feasibility, environmental study and employment. Some $25 million alone has gone since 2009 to the company’s communication strategy. “This was not cheap,” he said. But apparently it paid off, as the project’s approval rating surged from 15 to over 50 percent, he said. Rights groups however say the campaign has blocked all debate on the topic in the media, with journalists under pressure from the investor. Responding to calls for a renegotiation of the deal so that Romania gets a bigger share of the profits, Henry said the firm was open to dialogue on equity participation and royalty rates. But he stressed: “The current 4.0-percent royalty rate is extremely competitive. Pushing it to 8.0 percent, as the outgoing cabinet had planned to do in December, would make the country uncompetitive.” Although the permit process is dragging on, Gabriel Resources does not intend to throw in the towel. “Our license expires in June 2019. Our shareholders would be disappointed if nothing happened until 2019 but we can renew the license for five years,” he said. “All we ask is a fair hearing so the true facts are understood.” — AFP 24 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 business Gulf bourses end lower on US data; Qatar up MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS MOGADISHU: The capital Mogadishu is showing signs of life, with reconstruction underway and land prices soaring. After decades of war, Somalia’s capital enjoys building boom MOGADISHU: Somalia’s last president before the country erupted into decades of war made an ominous warning: force him from power, and he would leave Mogadishu as he found it, with only one road. The rest he would destroy. The threat came true: President Siad Barre was ousted in a 1991 coup, and the once elegant, Italian colonial-era seaside town was reduced to a wasteland of ruined buildings in years of bloody battles between rival militias. Now, 21-years later and eight months after AlQaeda-allied insurgents abandoned much of the city following pressure from the African Union and government forces, the capital is showing signs of life, with reconstruction underway and land prices soaring. “Security is still not reliable, but people decided they wanted to return life to normal,” trader Ahmed Sheikh Gure said. “People are rebuilding their destroyed buildings,” he added, waving at a newly repaired shop and a busy construction site. Though Somalia’s war is far from over, a regional offensive did force Islamist Shebab insurgents from many strongholds and they abandoned the city in August. The scars of war remain clear, with hundreds of thousands of displaced people living in and around Mogadishu, many in basic ragand-plastic shelters, some in the crumbling ruins of roofless houses. In Bakara market, the capital’s war-torn economic heart, the signs of battle are fading slowly. “You don’t even think that war has ever taken place here,” Gure said. “Thanks to God, because people have the opportunity to rebuild.” Bakara for many months was the epi- centre of violence in one of the world’s most dangerous capitals, forcing residents and businesses to flee. Despite an ongoing regional offensive with Ethiopian troops fighting in the west, AU troops in Mogadishu and Kenyan troops with the AU battling in the south, many Somalis are returning, bringing back capital earned abroad. “People are rebuilding their homes,” government spokesman Abdurahman Omar Osman said. “The Somali Diaspora are coming back to help ... businesses are reopening.” Fighting erupted in Somalia in the late 1980s against Barre’s dictatorship, escalating into a brutal civil war following a 1991 coup, with rival militias, warlords and Islamist fighters battling ever since for control of the lawless nation. ‘Return and rebuild’Less than a year ago, troops and insurgents exchanged daily mortar fire along frontlines, before Shebab fighters abandoned fixed positions and quit the city. Now it is the construction industry that is busy. “We are not jobless these days, construction is booming,” painter Adan Sharif said. “Every four or five weeks we are called for a new construction job.” Reconstruction is expensive, but those who can are repairing their homes, plastering and painting over bullet-pocked walls, and blocking up holes punched into masonry by rocketpropelled grenades. “Most of the buildings in our neighborhood were renovated in recent weeks and are looking good, the area is no longer looking like the aftermath of war,” said Fadumo Moalim, a mother of eight living in the city’s Wardhigley district. —AFP DUBAI: Most Gulf bourses fell yesterday, tracking losses in global markets over the weekend, as sentiment weakened after disappointing US jobs data, while Qatar ’s bourse bucked the regional trend. Markets were rattled by soft employment numbers from the United States, as much-anticipated April nonfarm payrolls rose 115,000, well below the consensus forecast of 170,000. While the unemployment rate fell one tenth of a point to 8.1 percent, a three-year low, that was only because the workforce shrank as people retired or stopped seeking work. In the region, Saudi Arabia’s bourse fell for a third session in five. The index finished 1 percent lower at 7,378 points, trimming year-to-date gains to 15 percent. “Saudi is consolidating and it will continue to take a lead from developed markets in the near future, but in terms of outlook, valuations are still attractive and earnings were good so buying at the weakness should be the strategy,” said Ahmed Raza Khan, head of research, asset management, at MEFIC Capital in Riyadh. Khan added that the 7,250 level was an attractive entry point. Petrochemical and banking stocks led the decline. Bellwether Saudi Basic Industries Corp slipped 1.7 percent, Al Rajhi Bank declined 1.3 percent and Banque Saudi Fransi was down 1.6 percent. Investors sold mid-caps in heavy trade. Dar Al Arkan and Alinma Bank fell 2.1 and 1.7 percent respectively. Emaar Economic City shed 2.3 percent. Elsewhere, Dubai’s index fell 1.4 percent to 1,560 points, its lowest close since Feb. 16. The index broke a support level at 1,591.84 on Thursday and analysts say the next support is at 1,500 points. Dubai Financial Market, the only listed Gulf bourse, dropped 2.7 percent, bellwether Emaar Properties shed 1.9 percent and Emirates NBD slid 2.1 percent. Contractor Arabtec recovered earlier losses and rose 1.7 percent. Abu Dhabi Airports week,” said Sami Saydam, a Dubai-based independent financial analyst. “Our markets will go back to the highs of this year.” In early March, Dubai’s index rose to 1,754 points and Abu Dhabi’s rallied to 2,641 points as local sentiment was lifted on an improving economy. In Qatar, the index climbed 0.2 percent, trading sideways in recent sessions. The market has ly. Qatar International Islamic Bank added 0.6 percent. “As long as the market stays above the 8627.77 level, it has a chance of bouncing higher with the potential to break above the 8875.35 resistance area,” said Bruce Powers, head of research and analysis at Trust Securities. Qatar’s economy is expected to grow by 6.6 percent in 2012, according to a March poll by Reuters. Global stocks dropped and oil tumbled 2.5 percent on Friday as an abrupt slow-down in U.S. hiring soured economic sentiment and data suggesting a deeper recession across the euro zone than previously thought dented sentiment. HIGHLIGHTS SAUDI ARABIA The benchmark falls 1 percent to 7,378 points. DUBAI The index fell 1.4 percent to 1,560 points. KUWAIT: An investor watches the KSE price monitor. —File photo Company said on Sunday that a consortium including Arabtec and Turkey’s TAV were the preferred bidder for a terminal expansion contract. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark slipped 0.3 percent. Developers fell in heavy trade, with Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate down 0.9 and 1.8 percent respectively. “Our markets are correcting due to the global markets drop but if we look at our profits and quarterly income for local companies, they’ve been performing better so expect a rebound next year-to-date losses of 1.1 percent, the worst performing Gulf bourse in 2012, despite strong economic growth prospects. But its muted performance is preceded by two consecutive years of outperforming regional peers. “If we see a major sell-off in other (Gulf ) markets, people will start looking at Qatar as a safe haven again,” said Sebastien Henin, portfolio manager at The National Investor. Banks led gains with Qatar Islamic Bank and Masraf Al Rayan up 2.3 and 1.3 percent respective- ABU DHABI The measure slipped 0.3 percent to 2,495 points. QATAR The index gained 0.2 percent to 8,685 points. EGYPT The benchmark rose 0.9 percent to 4,974 points. KUWAIT The index slipped 0.1 percent to 6,472 points. OMAN The measure declined 0.3 percent to 5,847 points. — Reuters 25 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 BUSINESS Pace of global recovery slowing: Report GIC MONTHLY ECONOMIC REPORT KUWAIT: The pace of the global economic recovery remains hesitant and uncertain in the backdrop of a mixture of positive and negative indicators. The IIF states that “Q1 US economic growth was lower than anticipated and the EU crisis caused global financial markets to take a turn for the worse going into Q2”. Many economists now anticipate that Spain will ultimately need to be bailed out, given that yields on Spanish and Italian bonds, are climbing nearly as high as they were in November 2011. Oil prices have remained firm, and the OPEC basket hovered around $112/barrel, which some see as a potential threat to global recovery, especially if oil prices were to escalate further. Meanwhile, Asia has continued to enjoy robust domestic demand amidst the fragile global recovery. This has been reflected in low unemployment rates and robust credit growth in the region. Inflation expectations also picked up and so far, capital inflows into Emerging Asia have rebounded in 2012. The economic slump in Europe is having a clear impact on the Chinese economy, as growth during 1Q 2012 slowed to 8.1%. China reported a trade deficit of $31.5 billion in Feb, while exports to the EU fell by 1.8% y-o-y during 1Q. Financial conditions continue to ease in Emerging economies, as India and Brazil lowered their policy rates in April. While the Reserve Bank of India cut its reverse repo rate by 50bps to 7%, Brazil’s Central Bank lowered the SELIC rate by 75bps to 9%, suggesting that further action may be necessary. The euro-zone recorded a contraction of 1% q-o-q during Q1 2012, and growth is expected to remain weak on the back of widespread fiscal austerity and weakening confidence. The ECB is trying to avert the threat of the Banking crisis with its liquidity provisions, by providing banks with more than EUR 1 trillion in 3-year funding at the ECB’s refinancing rate of 1%. An increase in Spain’s high unemployment rate, recently revised the growth forecast of the UAE to 3.5% in 2012. More than 25% of the GCC imports originate from the EU and historically the GCC has recorded large deficits with Europe. However, the weakening of the EUR is expected to soften the trade deficit and also reduce imported inflation. Overall, inflation is expected to remain contained in the GCC region, with Bahrain and Qatar forecast to of the regions SWF are expected to grow to nearly $2 trillion by the close of 2012, for an estimated $1.6trillion at present. GCC equity markets Despite some positive surprises for the 1Q earnings season, the GCC equity markets witnessed a trendreversal during the month of April, leading to a net decline of -2.08% in the S&P GCC index during the ating provisions. Though the results for the Petrochemicals sector was mixed, those for two of the largest players, one each in Saudi and Qatar, beat estimates by a reasonable margin. In the UAE, Real Estate majors beat analyst estimates, as property prices sustained positive growth for three consecutive months, project deliveries appeared to accelerate and some companies recorded growth in Lease & Rental or unexpected tax or spending figures could trigger another surge in yields. record 2012 rates of 3.3% and 2.1% respectively. While UAE is expected to record around 2.4%, it is expected to be marginally higher in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, at 4.3% and at 5.0%, due to the faster and more widespread wage and salary increases which has triggered substantial increase in food prices and rents. Firm oil prices and improved economic performance have boosted fiscal and trade surpluses, and led to an improvement in accumulated reserves. Consequently, the corpus month, as renewed fears of the European credit crisis pressured global equities. The 1Q earnings season saw Saudi Banks report positive earnings surprises amidst improved traction in loan growth, a spurt in fee income, and lower provisions. Banks in Abu Dhabi witnessed positive momentum, as two of the largest Banks reported robust growth in earnings. While earnings amongst Dubai banks was mixed, the general trend in the UAE appears to be that of positive asset growth and moder- income. The Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul index emerged the least-per forming index during the month, declining by a net -3.53%, as the Insurance and Investment sectors, that had led most of the rally during the previous month, recorded sharp losses. The losses were triggered partly by indications of reform in the capital markets that could target speculative activity. The heavy-weight Petrochemicals and Banking sectors also edged down sharply. In the UAE, Abu Dhabi’s ADSM GCC macro Firm oil prices and continued fiscal expansionary policies have supported robust growth in the GCC during 2012. According to the EIU, real GDP growth in 2012 is expected to reach 5.5% for Kuwait, 5.0% for Oman, 7.0% in Qatar and 5.5% for Saudi Arabia. Continuing political tensions in Bahrain is likely to constrain growth to 3.5%. The IMF has and Dubai’s DFM indices corrected by -1.93% and -1.03% respectively. While the Services and Banks sectors were the key laggards in Dubai, it was the Investments and Real Estate sectors in Abu Dhabi that drove the decline. The Real Estate sector in Dubai emerged as the best performing, as the recovery trend appears to be firming after a prolonged period of decline. Qatar’s QE index remained the worst-performing in the GCC, with YTD losses of -0.86%, and -0.99% for the month, as the Banking and Services sectors led losses. Investors appeared to be unenthused by the 1Q results from Qatar Banks, and the market remained out of favor with foreign investors. Kuwait’s KWSE (Weighted) index declined by -0.65%, mainly dragged by the Banking sector, and Bahrain’s BSE index scraped through with a marginal advance of +0.03%, driven by modest gains in the Services sector. Meanwhile, Oman’s MSM 30 index recorded a more convincing gain of +3.14%, driven largely by the Industries and Banks sectors. Though regional equity markets could gain confidence from the strength in Oil prices during 1Q 2012 that has raised the macro profile for the region, they remain susceptible to swings in sentiment in the global markets. It is expected that rising Bank deposits and surplus liquidity will enable Banks in Saudi to sustain lending growth in the near-term. Saudi Banks could also benefit from major projects in infrastructure projects, apart from a potential increase in lending to the SME and Retail segments. Growth is the question, reforms are the key EU analysts see informal summit this month PARIS: The contours of recession and recovery inside the EU will be drawn with forecasts this week and a quarterly snapshot next week, setting the landscape for an informal summit on growth likely by the end of this month. The new data, together with leading indicators from euro-zone businesses, will keep financial markets on edge, the European Central Bank on watch and political controversy about austerity versus growth on the casts this week, and first-quarter growth data possibly showing recession the following week. Leading indicators on Friday signaled that euro-zone private sector activity continues to contract, just as protests against budgetary reforms and appeals for stimulus increase in countries undergoing radical structural reforms to fight debt. The “stimulus measures implemented by the European Central Bank have not BARCELONA: A girl looks at herself portrayed on a poster pasted on a wall located at the spot where a project to build a new public school is planned, during a protest to demand its construction in Barcelona on Saturday. —AP boil. The austerity-growth dilemma has come to a head, pitching so-called supply-side economics, based on sound budgets and a drive for efficiency, against calls for extra stimulus to counter the drag of cutbacks. “Austerity is a powerful medicine,” said Berenberg Bank economist Holger Schmieding. “If applied intelligently, it lays the basis for more competitiveness and higher growth in the future. “But too much of a good medicine can weaken the patient,” he noted. European Union officials issue spring fore- had a lasting impact on the real economy,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit research firm which published the indicators. While ensuring that low inflation is the ECB’s sole policy objective, its chief Mario Draghi called Thursday for putting “growth back at the centre of the agenda.” But he indicated that a further rate cut or special measures like the massive one trillion euro liquidity injection which temporarily calmed markets are not currently on the cards. Special ECB action “cannot replace ... either fiscal consolidation or reforms as the way back to stability,” added Draghi. However analysts believe the ECB may reevaluate its stance after the latest batch of data. “In our view, the May round of business surveys will be key to assess the risk of conventional easing in the coming months,” said Marco Valli at UniCredit in a note to investors. Draghi also detailed his views on a “growth compact”, which has become the focus of discussion following the signing in March of the EU’s new fiscal compact requiring greater budget rigor. “There is absolutely no contradiction between a growth compact and a fiscal compact,” he said of the debate between growth and austerity. In addition to continued structural reforms to improve efficiency, Draghi called for greater EU-wide investment and for leaders to define their vision for the euro-zone’s future and specifically whether it will evolve into a fiscal union. He warned that a slowdown in painful budget cuts would “not be very much help” in restoring growth. Some economists agree that a Keynesian-style state-driven stimulus fuelled by taking on further debt won’t work this time around. “Even if a consensus is formed within European policy circles to relax the fiscal stance, we think that there is no substantial workable trade-off between a significantly slower pace of fiscal retrenchment and better macroeconomic conditions,” said Gilles Moec, a senior economist at Deutsche Bank. Christian Schulz, also a senior economist at Germany’s Berenberg Bank, said the latest data “confirms the need to focus on progrowth structural reforms to offset the harsh impact of austerity.” However “none of these structural reforms is likely to significantly mitigate the shortterm impact on growth of the fiscal consolidation,” noted Moec, nor would increased EU investment likely be sufficient to soften the blow. But the potential long-term gains to growth from structural reforms are substantial, Deutsche Bank calculated. It estimated they could give Spanish annual economic growth a 2.4-percent boost by 2020. The potential gain for Portugal is 3.7 percent, Italy 5.7 percent and Greece 6.2 percent. —AFP Kazakh copper miners stage underground strike ALMATY: Around 300 Kazakh copper miners continued their underground strike yesterday, demanding higher wages from their employer Kazakhmys in a labor dispute likely to unnerve authorities in the Central Asian state just months after deadly oil town riots. London-listed Kazakhmys, the world’s 11thlargest copper producer, sent senior managers to the Annensky mine in central Kazakhstan and said it would not punish striking workers if they agreed to enter constructive talks. “The Kazakhmys representatives guaranteed that no sanctions would be taken against workers in the event that they adopt a constructive approach to the labour dispute,” the company, which is in the FTSE 100 index, said in a statement. Authorities in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic of 16.7 million people, are especially wary of labor unrest in single-industry towns after a months- long dispute by sacked oil workers last year erupted into the country’s worst violence in decades. At least 14 people were killed in clashes in December when police used live rounds against protesters in the remote oil town of Zhanaozen. The unrest posed the most serious challenge to President Nursultan Nazarbayev in his more than 20-year rule. That violence was preceded by months of protests by nearly 2,000 oil workers sacked by KazMunaiGas Exploration Production after going on strike in May. The oil company had said the strikes were illegal. After talks with representatives of the striking miners, Eduard Ogai, chief executive of Kazakhmys Copper, read a letter to local prosecutors and officials in which management requested the sit-in be treated as a labor dispute, Kazakhmys said. Ogai was joined at the mine by Oleg Novachuk, chief executive of Kazakhmys group, as well as chief operating officer Sergei Dyachenko, it said. The miners failed to emerge from the Annensky mine, near the town of Satpayev in central Kazakhstan, after their Friday shift came to an end. Kazakhmys had tightened security around the mine’s explosives warehouses, a company source said on Saturday. “The situation on the territory of the mine is generally calm,” the company said on Sunday. “According to the latest information, around 300 people remain in the underground part of the mine.” Annensky is one of six underground mines operated by Kazakhmys near the city of Zhezkazgan, a region that contributes about 70 percent of the company’s mined ore. It also operates one open-pit mine nearby. Kazakhmys said it had increased salaries across the entire group, including miners’ salaries, by an average of 20 percent in 2010. Since February 2011, it had offered performance-related bonuses of up to 15 percent, it said. —Reuters OMAHA: The Century Link Center arena fills before the start of the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting held at the CenturyLink Center Omaha.—AP Berkshire Hathaway’s Q1 profit more than doubles OMAHA, Nebraska: Warren Buffett’s company said yesterday its first-quarter profit more than doubled because Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s insurance units avoided major disaster losses and the paper value of its derivative contracts improved. Berkshire said it generated $3.245 billion in net income, or $1,966 per Class A share. That’s up from last year’s net income of $1.511 billion, or $917 per Class A share. The earnings report was released as thousands of Berkshire shareholders were gathering in Omaha for Saturday’s annual meeting. Last year’s results were hurt by $1.1 billion in insurance losses from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, Australian floods and the New Zealand earthquake. The overall results fell short of what the four analysts surveyed by FactSet expected. They had forecast Berkshire would report earnings per Class A share of $2,297.50 on $39.154 billion in revenue. Berkshire says its revenue grew 13 percent to $38.1 billion from last year’s $33.7 billion. Berkshire’s insurance division, which includes Geico and General Reinsurance, contributed $54 million to the Omaha-based company’s profits. That was much better than last year’s $821 million loss, but slower than past years. Two years ago, Berkshire reported a $226 million underwriting gain in the first quarter. Berkshire said Geico’s expenses grew as it began to comply with new accounting standards for certain policies and losses were slightly higher. Price competition remained tough in reinsurance, so Berkshire said its companies continued to refuse to write policies when they considered the premiums inadequate. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad contributed $701 million to Berkshire’s net income, up from $607 million a year ago. BNSF said it hauled three percent more carloads in the first quarter of 2012 than it did last year. The railroad said growth in the number of consumer and industrial products it carried offset decreases in coal and agricultural goods. Last year’s acquisition of specialty chemical maker Lubrizol boosted Berkshire’s manufacturing, retail and service unit. That diverse group of businesses added $854 million net income, up from $558 million a year ago. Several of Berkshire’s manufacturing companies, such as Acme brick, Shaw carpeting and Benjamin Moore paint, make building products, so their performance continues to be hurt by the slow pace of housing construction. Berkshire’s utility unit, MidAmerican Energy, added $338 million, up from last year’s $301 million. Berkshire estimated that its derivative contracts were worth $650 million at the end of the first quarter, well ahead of last year when they were worth $176 million. The swing in the value of Berkshire’s derivatives contributed to an overall gain on investments and derivatives of $580 million. A year ago, Berkshire recorded an $82 million loss on its investments and deriva- Warren Buffett arrives at the venue. tives. The true value of the derivatives won’t be clear for at least several years, because they don’t mature until at least a decade from now on average. But Berkshire is required to estimate their value every time the company reports earnings. Buffett has told investors he believes the contracts will ultimately be profitable because the premiums are being invested. Berkshire’s operating earnings were $2.67 billion in the first quarter, up 67 percent over last year’s $1.59 billion. Buffett has said Berkshire’s operating earnings are a better measure of how the company is performing in any given period, because those figures exclude the value of derivatives and investment gains or losses. Berkshire owns roughly 80 subsidiaries, including clothing, furniture and jewelry firms. Its insurance and utility businesses typically account for more than half of the company’s net income. It also has major investments in such companies as CocaCola Co and Wells Fargo & Co. 26 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 business Tijariah achieves profit of KD 223,623 in Q1 2012 KUWAIT: Abdulfattah Marafie, attitude of conservatism, prudent risk Chairman and Managing Director of assessment and management and the Commercial Real Estate Company avoiding highly fluctuating and poten(Tijariah) has announced the results of tially unsafe markets, in addition to its the company during the first quarter ethical commitment toward its shareof 2012 and said that Tijariah has holders and society. Indeed, this attimade a net profit of KD 223,623 with tude has been instrumental in protectearnings per share for the period ing the shareholders’ equity. In addition to the distriamounting to 0.13 fils. He butions mentioned above, added that the shareholdthe Company ’s achieveers equity reached KD 252 ments extended to other million, with a growth of fields, including its ability to 3.16% from the same perireduce and re -schedule od of 2011. debts thereby underlining Marafie added that the the company’s strong finanordinary General cial position and the high Assembly of the value of its assets which Commercial Real Estate earned it the confidence of Company for 2011, which financing organizations met on18.4.2012 which seek to minimize risk approved of distributing a cash dividend of 5% of Abdulfattah Marafie by financing only the most stable companies. With the the nominal value of the share. With the approval of this latest completion of the company’s major batch of dividends, Tijariah will have projects, this year and subsequent distributed a total of KD 236.8 million years will witness a remarkable growth ($852 million) in dividends during the in our operating revenues which will period from 2002 to the end of 2011, only serve to increase our shareholdwhile retained profits, including ers’ equity. Finally, the credit classification socireserves amount to KD 70 million ($252 million), giving the company ety, Capital Standards has given one of the best dividend distribution Commercial Real Estate Company records among all other companies at KCSC a credit classification of BBB+ and a regional classification of A+kw the local level. Despite the financial crisis, the dis- with a stable outlook. Capital astrous impact of which affected all Standards’ announcement attributed countries of the world, Commercial this classification to a number of facReal Estate Company maintained its tors including the strength and soundsteady record of achieving growing ness of the company’s position in the returns for its shareholders. The Kuwaiti market as a major real estate healthy stability of the company’s per- dealer and developer, making it a key formance is attributable to the far- player in the local investment and sighted policies and strategies adopt- commercial real estate development ed by the Board of Directors since market, despite the continuing diffi2002, based on strict adherence to an cult market conditions. Mercedes-Benz Kuwait sales grew 27% in Q1 2012 Abdul Rahman Albisher & Zaid Alkazemi Co eyes record year KUWAIT: Kuwait’s passion for Mercedes-Benz luxury cars keeps on growing. Sales of new Mercedes-Benz cars grew by 27% in the period January-March 2012 versus the same period last year. Abdul Rahman Albisher & Zaid Alkazemi Co, the Authorized General Distributor of MercedesBenz in Kuwait is now in the strong position of having another record year in terms of new passenger car sales in Kuwait. “I am pleased to report that our first quarter performance has been quite stellar. Not only did we grow at a faster pace than last year but we also were selected by our customers as the brand offering the best New Car Buying experience in Kuwait, by winning the First Place in the Service Hero Awards for a second year in a row!,” said Michael Ruehle, General Manager, Abdul Rahman Albisher & Zaid Alkazemi Co. He continued, “These achievements are a real credit to my management team and staff. Mercedes-Benz cars represent the true epitome of luxury and engineering and together with our trained staff and friendly customer service we are happy to be able to serve our customers, always learning from their requirements”. In February, Abdul Rahman Albisher & Zaid Alkazemi Co won the prestigious 2011 Service Hero award for best customer service in the new cars sales segment in Kuwait beating out 35 other automotive brands, as voted by customers. The year 2012 can be labeled as the “Year of the SUV” for Mercedes-Benz in Kuwait and the region. This year has already witnessed the launch of the new MClass from April 1 onwards, which is a SUV that stands above all it’s competitors, offering a wide array of features and options as standard on the GCC version on both ML-350 & ML-500 variants. Some of the key differentiating features which are standard on the ML-350 are: 1. The AMG Sports Package and Body Kit 2. 20 inch AMG wheels 3. Panoramic Glass Sun-roof 4. Heated & Cooled CupHolders 5. LED Lights and Intelligent Light System “We are very excited about the prospects of the new M-Class as we believe it defines the segment in terms what equipment comes as standard on the GCC package as opposed to what is offered by the competition,” added Ruehle The latter half of the “Year of the SUV” will witness the introduction of the highly anticipated and much awaited G 63 AMG and the supremely powerful G 65 AMG. Staying with SUVs, the updated version of the GLK will also be introduced. Mercedes-Benz is the fastest growing luxury automotive brand in the region and the sales in Kuwait are no exception. The C-Class & E-Class Sedans and Coupes, the CLS, and the SLK were the main drivers of the first quarter result. Now with the introduction of the new M-Class from April, we can expect to see even more growth coming from the SUV segment. Swiss ambassador’s award Gulf Bank puts 400 employees through to Yusuff Ali Operational Awareness training program The presented annual ‘Swiss Ambassador’s Award’ KUWAIT: Gulf Bank yesterday announced that 400 of its employees successfully completed the Operational Awareness Training program. The program was conducted for all of Gulf Bank’s 56 branches with the objective of improving employees’ overall operational performances. The Operational Awareness Training program supervised by the bank’s Learning and Development department and led by the Bank’s Audit and Internal Control department, which provides practical methods for improving accuracy when conducting financial operations, as well as excellence in performance. Zeyad Al-Resheed, Senior Manager, Human Resources said: “Gulf Bank is committed to training and continually reviewing employee’s procedures & administrative knowledge to enhance the overall vision and performance in providing our customers with the best and fastest banking services in Kuwait.” “Our branch employees are one of the main pillars of Gulf Bank, and it is their effectiveness to deliver excellent services which is essential to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. We aim to have the best trained staff in the Kuwaiti banking sector, and I know that the Operational Awareness Training program, Ali Al-Faras, Executive Manager, Internal Audit at Gulf Bank discussing the program topics. which is implemented annually, will help to deserve.” Gulf Bank will continue to look for new proensure that our employees are up to date with the latest operational services, polices, proce- grams that cater to all its employees and help dures, and are equipped to provide customers prepare them to be highly qualified for with the service standards they expect and Kuwait’s future banking sector. for the year 2012 was presented at a glittering function held at Fairmont Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, May 3. This year’s winners included Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, UAE minister for Foreign Affairs, Obaid Humaid Al-Tayer, UAE minister of State for Financial Affairs, Mohammed Al-Suwaid, Managing Director, Al-Suwaidi and Company and Yusuff Ali MA, Managing Director of Lulu Group International. The winners received the prestigious award from Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart, Swiss Ambassador to the UAE for their outstanding efforts in promoting Swiss-UAE relations. Habiba Al-Marashi, Founder & President, Environment Emirates Group Dubai, Dr Bertrand Piccard, President and Initiator of the Solar impulse project in Switzerland, Dr. France Vigliotti, Dean EPFL Middle East, RAK also received the prestigious award from the Swiss Ambassador. The award which was first introduced by the Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart, Switzerland Ambassador to the UAE in the year 2008 recognizes notable efforts of personalities with special and long term commitments and efforts in promoting relations between Switzerland and the UAE. The award consists of a sculpture which combines elements of Switzerland and the UAE. The year 2012 edition award was created by the UAE artist Azza AlQubaissi. Al-Tijari announces winners of Najma Account daily draw KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait held the Al-Najma Account draw on 6th May 2012. The draw was held under the super vision of the Ministr y of Commerce & Industry represented by Saquer Al Manaie. 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 the 19th of June 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 addi- tion, 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. The winners of the Al-Najma daily draw are:Khaled Mohammed Amen Shaikh Abdeli Mohammed Khalfam Mohammed Yaseen Haneef Harcharan Singh Saini Karam Singh Mustafa Tinwala Shabbir Hussain Tinwala Saied Ahmad Jassem Saied Mohammed Al-Shammaa Al-Baghli opens 5th showroom KUWAIT: Chairman of the Board of Al-Baghli Foam Industries Company Ahmad Taher Al-Baghli opened the company’s 5th showroom in Dajeej area, Thursday. Businessmen and foam and furniture industry dealers were present. Al-Baghli said the company aims at increasing the number of its showrooms in Kuwait. It wants to be close to its customers and make it easier to communicate with them. KD 7000 KD 7000 KD 7000 KD 7000 KD 7000 Burgan Bank announces winners of Yawmi draw KUWAIT: Burgan Bank announced yesterday the names of the five lucky winners of its Yawmi account draw, each taking home a prize of KD 5,000. Winner’s names will also be announced through Marina FM on a daily basis during their prime shows. The lucky winners for the five daily draws took home a cash-prize of KD 5000 each, and they are: 1. Reham Abdulatif Saleh Al Therban 2. Yaqoob Abdulla Ramadan Aleidy 3. Rana Shaaban Abdul Rahman Saeidi 4. Salwa Hasan Abdulla Al-Muhanna 5. Mohammad Jawad Haji Alshatti The newly re-launched Yawmi Account is better, easier and faster than any day before. With its new and enhanced features, the Yawmi Account has become more convenient, easier, and faster for customers to benefit from. Now, customers will be eligible to enter the draw after 48 hours only from opening the account. Customers are also required to deposit KD 100 or equivalent only to enter the daily draw, and the coupon value to enter the draw stands at KD 10. The newly designed Yawmi account has been launched to provide a highly innovative offering along with a higher frequency and incentive of winning for everyone. Today, the Yawmi account is a well understood product, where its popularity can be seen from the number of increasing account holders. Burgan Bank encourages everyone to open a Yawmi account and/or increase their deposit to maximize their chances to becoming a daily winner. The more customers deposit, the higher the chances they receive of winning the draw. Opening a Yawmi account is simple, customers are urged to visit their nearest Burgan Bank branch and receive all the details, or simply call the bank’s Call Center at 1804080 where customer service representatives will be delighted to assist with any questions on the Yawmi account or any of the bank’s products and services, or log on to Burgan Bank’s www.burgan.com for further information. MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 TECHNOLOGY Quality over speed in new Internet domains ICANN sorry for abruptly shutting down CULVER CITY: Reality TV producer Mark Burnett (center) is behind a new online advertising concept that goes beyond banners and search terms called Vimby. — MCT Marketer helps advertisers express themselves via video LOS ANGELES: British television producer Mark Burnett turned program financing on its head a decade ago when he brought brands like Doritos and Mountain Dew as sponsors into the expensive, prime-time reality series “Survivor,” helping to defray costs. “Survivor” is considered a watershed in paid product placements, opening the floodgates to a projected $2.75 billion in spending this year on such shows as “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” WWE’s “Monday Night Raw,” “American Idol” and “Celebrity Apprentice.” Before “Survivor,” brands got promotional placements in exchange for use of a prop, such as a car, or as a bonus for buying commercial time. Burnett is now trying to bring that formula to the Web through his investment in the Vimby digital production studio. The Van Nuys, Calif., venture launched in 2005 with a network of filmmakers around the country who create original, short-form videos for Vimby’s website that now also may find a home on other sites including YouTube and Myspace. As part of Burnett’s investment in 2010, Vimby began rubbing elbows with such major advertisers as Aflac, General Mills, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Pepsi and Puma - helping these brands create their own content for distribution on YouTube or on a company’s Facebook page. “Mark Burnett said, ‘Guys, we need to build an arsenal, a bigger toolbox, working with General Mills, with Pepsi, doing stuff in a way that’s consistent, authentic and involves great story-telling,’ “ Vimby founder and Chief Executive Dean Waters said of the digital studio’s expanded focus. Under Burnett’s influence, Vimby’s filmmakers have widened the lens, creating stories not only for the Web but also for TV, as was the case with an MTV special that followed five young women to New York, where they competed to become a Seventeen Magazine cover model. On other occasions, brands pay Vimby to create content that the advertiser can use to build an online community or cultivate greater affinity with its consumers. Macy’s Million Dollar Makeover promotion drew 20,000 applicants from around the country, eight of whom were selected as finalists to participate in a realityTV-styled competition that attracted 1 million new fans to the retailer’s Facebook page. Burnett isn’t the first television producer whom brands have sought out to create high-quality, low-cost entertainment for the Web and beyond. Several other veterans from the traditional media world, including former top network executives such as ABC’s Lloyd Braun, NBC’s Ben Silverman and the WB’s Jordan Levin and independent producers like Jak Severson, also are looking to capture audiences as they move to these digital platforms. Big brands are tagging along, in hopes that such proven players can find their footing online. A significant portion of the US population goes online to check out YouTube videos, update their Facebook status or watch music videos and TV shows through services including Vevo and Hulu. Some 182 million Internet users spent an average of five hours a week on the Web in September and watched nearly 40 billion videos, according to ComScore Inc. Advertisers predictably are following the viewers online, with spending projected to reach $31.3 billion this year in the US - an increase of 20 percent over 2010, researcher EMarketer predicts. As new gadgets and services deliver entertainment to young, digitally savvy viewers, advertisers are scrambling to respond. Initially, brands took a direct marketing approach, focusing on buying search terms to spur sales of particular products. Although search advertising remains the single largest segment of spending on the Web, its growth has slowed as brands look for new ways to connect with consumers. “Brands are starting to think more about, ‘How do we become the destination?’ “ said Jason Deal, digital director at the Initiative ad agency. “How do we create advertising that draws consumers to us, instead of solely interrupting people” through banners and search ads? The breadth of online experimentation is wide, from traditional sponsorships and product placements to “branded content” - in which advertisers use entertainment to communicate with audiences in an original way. Hyundai, for example, attracted attention to its sporty Veloster subcompact car by sponsoring a mash-up, in which five prominent DJs reinterpreted the traditional musical genres of classical, country, R&B, jazz and rock. The resulting documentary is promoted on Hyundai’s YouTube channel as well as a series of live events. “The marketing leadership at Hyundai had the mind-set that we have to become the content that consumers are looking for, not just a disruption,” Deal said. Severson, CEO of Thoughtful Media Group Inc., a digital studio, is seeking to emulate a formula that has succeeded for YouTube celebrities such as stand-up comedian Shay Carl, who has attracted more than 1 million regular followers (self-described ShayTards) and logged more than 14 million views since he began posting videos. “Their level of effectiveness in driving continual, sustained, religiously devoted audiences - there is nothing in the world like it,” Severson said. Severson is using actors and professional writers to construct his own YouTube personalities, in hopes of building a sizable enough audience to interest advertisers. One character, Monty, a middle-aged man who lives in his grandmother’s basement, delivers product reviews that comically veer into unrelated topics - such as his infatuation with actress Christina Ricci. So far Monty’s YouTube show, “What’s What,” doesn’t rank among YouTube’s most popular: It has about 7,900 subscribers. “It doesn’t happen on Day 1,” Severson said. One of the most enduring forms of advertising - paid product placements already has taken root on digital platforms. The practice dates back to Charles Dickens, whose novel “The Pickwick Papers” draws its title from the carriage line from the author’s time, according to Patrick Quinn, president of PQ Media, a research firm. Now a film and television staple, paid product placements are expected to reach $55 million online this year, Quinn said. Lady Gaga’s 2010 “Telephone” music video illustrates how eager brands are to integrate their products into a piece of popular online content - the assortment included the Plenty of Fish dating service, Virgin Mobile phones, Polaroid cameras, Wonder Bread and Miracle Whip. “The video generated nearly 4 million views on YouTube in the first 24 hours and more than 20 million by the end of the first week of release on YouTube and Vevo,” said Patrick Quinn, president of PQ Media. Lady Gaga “did the same in the ‘Bad Romance’ video. ... She basically has become the product placement star. Brands and agencies love her right now.” Burnett made his own leap into Vimby short for Video in My Backyard - after one of his former executive TV producers introduced him to the company and its network of 70 filmmakers (it now boasts 150). Vimby’s chief creative officer, David Goffin, talked about the value of low-cost, high-quality production of video to be viewed on multiple screens. “Mark saw on instinct that there was something here,” Goffin said. “I play Rosetta Stone, translating between the world Dean had and that Mark knew.”—MCT NEW YORK: The organization in charge of expanding the number of Internet address suffixes - the “.com” part of domain names - is apologizing for delays but says it’s favouring “quality, not speed.” Three weeks ago, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers abruptly shut down a system for letting companies and organizations propose new suffixes, after it discovered a software glitch that exposed some private data. At the time, ICANN planned to reopen the system within four business days. The system remains suspended indefinitely. “We’ve very focused on the quality of what we do,” ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom said. “We take this very seriously. That’s why we’re moving very methodologically and professionally.” In an interview with The Associated Press last week, Beckstrom added, “We apologize for the delay, but we’re committed to getting this right.” ICANN has said it needed time to figure out why the software failed and how to fix it. That was completed last week, Beckstrom said, but ICANN still must undergo extensive testing on the fixes and inform companies and organizations whose data had been exposed. He declined to offer a timetable; ICANN said Friday that it planned to provide an update after tomorrow. Up to 1,000 domain name suffixes could be added each year in the most sweeping change to the domain name system since its creation in the 1980s. The idea is to let Las Vegas hotels, casinos and other attractions congregate around “.Vegas,” or a company such as Canon Inc. draw customers to “cameras.Canon” or “printers.Canon.” The new system will also make Chinese, Japanese and Swahili versions of “.com” possible. After several years of deliberations, ICANN began accepting applications in midJanuary. The application window was to have closed on April 12 - the same day ICANN had to shut down the system, just hours before the deadline. The glitch did not affect general availability of the Internet’s domain name system the databases that let Internet-connected computers know where to send email and locate websites. It also did not affect the ability to register new names under existing suffixes. Rather, the glitch was with the software ICANN had set up to take applications for new suffixes. The proposals were supposed to be confidential until the application period closed. The software glitch allowed some applicants to view data about others, including potential competitors. The data were limited to file names and usernames, not the contents of the files. But those names in some cases offered clues about which companies were proposing what suffixes, Beckstrom said. Knowing that could allow an applicant to change a proposal and gain an advantage. ICANN believes that 105 applicants might have had data viewed by others, while 50 applicants might have seen information on others inadvertently, ICANN believes. That’s out of 1,268 registered applicants, each of which can submit as many as 50 suffix proposals. Beckstrom said that once the system reopens, ICANN will monitor applicants to determine whether they make adjustments based on what they might have seen. Applicants will also have at least a week to make sure their data didn’t get lost or corrupted. The delay shouldn’t have a major effect on the availability of new suffixes, as the new names won’t appear in general use until at least next spring - in many cases, much later. Late Friday, ICANN said it had received 2,091 suffix proposals - fully completed or in progress - and another 214 for which it was still awaiting or processing application fees. That means applications will be divided into at least four batches of about 500 each, potentially stretching the review process over a few years. The bigger damage could be in the longterm confidence in ICANN. Even before the glitch was discovered, opponents of the domain-name expansion questioned ICANN’s ability to roll out new suffixes smoothly. Beckstrom said all organizations encounter technical problems, and he said ICANN hopes to retain people’s confidence by resolving the problems and communicating well. ICANN did not say what suffixes were proposed. It plans to release a list a few weeks after the application window closes, after which it will accept challenges for trademark and other issues. ICANN said Friday that it had received $350 million in applications fees so far. Each application costs $185,000, and winners will have to pay $25,000 a year. The money will pay for ICANN’s costs setting up the system, reviewing applications and making sure parties do what they have promised once the suffix is operational. Some of the money will be set aside for potential lawsuits from unsuccessful applicants and others. Companies can make money by selling names under approved suffixes. — AP Startups give consumers more control over health SAN JOSE: When new mom Leah Dillon needed advice for her son’s first fever, she wondered where to turn. Recently arrived in Palo Alto, Calif., she couldn’t ask neighbours for guidance and wasn’t sure if she should page her son’s pediatrician in the dead of night. So Dillon went to a website called HealthTap, unveiled this spring by a startup in her neighborhood. An interactive Q&A database walked her through a set of recommendations_from doctors, not just anybody with an opinion and a keyboard. “The Internet is so vast, you don’t know where you’re getting your information from,” she said. “It gives me more confidence if it’s backed by pediatricians.” The arrival of a new child also set Robert Auguste looking for technological help, but with spending, not symptoms. “All of the hospital bills started coming in, and I said, ‘I have no idea how I’m going to get through all of this,’ “ said the consultant in Greenwich, Conn. “They’re all from different companies, and it’s confusing.” Then Auguste read about another Palo Alto, Calif., startup, called Simplee, which promised help organizing medical bills; he immediately signed on for the beta. “I went to this one dashboard and I could see, ‘These bills are all related to the hospital; these are from the doctor.’ It adds a whole level of simplicity.” HealthTap and Simplee are part of a growing wave of Web 2.0 startups that are using mobile and social technology to give consumers more control over their health. From turning smartphones into diagnostic tools to helping users shop for health plans and providers, these young companies hope to bring Silicon Valley knowhow to bear on age-old problems. “There’s a ton of interest in this area, and for good reason: There hasn’t been a lot of progress in applying information technology to health care,” said Derik Pridmore of Founders Fund, the San Francisco venture capital firm launched by the co-founders of PayPal and Facebook. Among his firm’s investments are ZocDoc, which lets patients instantly book medical appointments online, and Practice Fusion, which gives doctors and patients more control over medical records. Practice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard realized the need for such a system while working for Brown & Toland, a network of more than 800 San Francisco Bay Area physicians. “I started seeing a massive problem - the claims systems were so disparate,” he said. “And I started thinking about patient records, which are even more complex.” Howard, who previously had built supply-chain technology to help companies like Wal-Mart find small suppliers, began noodling on a way to connect doctors to pharmacies, labs, and insurance companies Management and Felicis Ventures. Despite the failure of Google Health, which aimed to let consumers input and update their health records online, Howard has high hopes for a feature that lets doctors in his network give their patients access to their charts, medications and immunization histories. “Right now we’re sort of Salesforce for doctors,” Howard said. “We’ll be at 100 million patients next year, which will let us become Facebook for patients.” He talks of letting users put together online wellness plans with social gaming-type rewards and use “clinical crowdsourcing” to share information about their PALO ALTO: Leah Dillon uses a computer program called HealthTap that gives health advice and keeps her from unnecessary trips to the pediatrician. —MCT and ensure a secure flow of patient health information. Practice Fusion, rolled out in late 2007, provides the system for free to nearly 100,000 doctors and nurses, making money by placing ads on the platform. “It literally prevents the doctor from prescribing a medication that the patient will have an adverse reaction to,” Pridmore said. And while the road to broader adoption of electronic health records has been potholed - Google last month said it would close down its 3-year-old Google Health initiative - investors have been bullish on Practice Fusion, with Pridmore’s firm leading a $23 million April venture funding round that also included Artis Capital own conditions with other patients. Helping patients by helping doctors was also the idea behind HealthTap. CEO Ron Gutman, who led an interdisciplinary research team on personal health while a graduate student at Stanford University and later founded Wellsphere, an online community of health writers, launched his latest venture in April. Within two months, it had added more than 1,200 board-certified doctors in all 50 states. “We want to bring the doctor back into the center of the discussion,” he said, “because if not, it’s the blind leading the blind.” (Gutman’s wife, incidentally, is a retinal surgeon.) What powers HealthTap is not just the database culled from peer- reviewed medical articles and curated by physicians, but a search algorithm that asks patients questions as they describe symptoms_much the way a doctor would during a visit. Gutman says the software provides better search results and gives patients a personalized “prep sheet” they can take to doctor’s visits, making them shorter and less costly. Users like Dillon appear to be sold. “As a new mom, you’re constantly worried about every little thing, but you can’t see your doctor every day,” she said. “This is going to be my onestop shop for health care. It saved me a trip in the middle of the night, it saved me money, and it works.” As for Simplee, which only came out of beta June 30, it too has its roots in a parent’s search for answers. CEO Tomer Shoval, who at the time was a managing director of eBay’s Shopping.com, had a “horrifying,” flu-filled Mexican vacation in 2009, an experience made worse once the family arrived home and was inundated with invoices from medical providers and obtuse benefit statements from their insurance company. “Each of them comes in a different format; you’re not really sure if you’ve paid them or not,” he said. “It kind of hit me that this is really broken.” So Shoval left eBay last summer and in May began the beta, which he said included several thousand people covered by eight of the biggest insurance companies. Once users register, Simplee pulls together information from their insurers on recent medical visits, out-of-pocket expenses and so forth. The software will also email a user to say a doctor’s bill is on the way or remind them to take advantage of health plan benefits like free immunizations. “The average family spends more than $3,000 a year on out-ofpocket expenses, and it’s increasing every year,” said Shoval. “We can’t afford to ignore this anymore.” The service is free to consumers. And Shoval, whose 15-person company has landed $1.5 million in venture backing from Greylock Israel and others, plans to add a recommendation engine that would look at a person’s insurance history and suggest new health plans based on their historical consumption of care. —MCT I more than ‘like’ you Company diversifies Facebook buttons MINNEAPOLIS: Sure, you can “like” a store on Facebook, but you can’t easily tell all your friends you “want” that new pair of jeans, “love” that handbag or “own” that sleek electric guitar. Minneapolisbased 8thBridge Inc. is seeking to shake up the world of Facebook by adding these new buttons of endearment linked to the social media site. It hopes the options will encourage Facebook users to broadcast their shopping desires on their pages - and make the social media site all the more attractive to advertisers. The firm had centred its business on encouraging users to buy items directly on Facebook, but retail sales never took off because most consumers still prefer to shop on a retailer’s website. So now, 8thBridge is doubling down on Facebook, surmising that if users broadcast their shopping opinions to their friends, advertisers will be interested. “It’s word-of-mouth marketing. That’s where the value is,” said Wade Gerten, CEO of 8thBridge. A consumer can click on the words “want,” “love” and “have” next to a dress on American Apparel’s website, prompting a post on their Facebook page. Friends will be able to view the selected item on Facebook and can even go to the company’s retail website to purchase the product. Analysts said they believe 8thBridge’s new Facebook marketing tool, called Graphite, will help boost sales for retailers. Now, Facebook users will be able to differentiate if their friends want an item or if they already have it. In addition, the retailer will be able to know what consumers are interested in buying and could offer them a discount for wanting that dress. “It’s almost like your gift registry, but it isn’t around your birthday,” said Mike Gatti, senior vice president of member relations for the National Retail Federation. “It’s all the time.” Already, more than a dozen retailers from Guitar Center to Oscar de la Renta have signed up for the new marketing tool, generating more in sales for 8thBridge than what it made during all of last year. Companies pay on average $5,000 a month to use the tool and a one-time subscription fee, which costs less than $10,000, Gerten said. As a result of the signing up, each brand gets to pick its own expressions to post on Facebook. More companies are ramping up their marketing budget on Facebook because of the intimate way they can connect to the consumer and their friends. This year, companies worldwide will spend $7.7 billion on social network advertising, according to data analytics firm eMarketer Inc. “I think every retailer is exploring this space now. They have to,” said Tim Brunelle, president of the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association. “There’s a greater cost to not experimenting. So why not give it a shot?” Stacey Shulman, chief information officer of American Apparel, said 8thBridge’s tool fits in well with the retailer’s social media strategy. “It allows us to get detailed insights about the popularity of our products beyond the ‘like’ button,” Shulman said in a statement. Indeed, 8thBridge says 57 percent of consumers who click the “like” button on Facebook already have the product, according to its own survey. That may have alienated some shoppers who wished to Wade Gerten, is CEO of Minneapolis-based 8thBridge, whose new Facebook marketing tool, called Graphite, will help boost sales for retailers, analysts say. — MCT express their relationship to the brand in a different way, the firm said. 8thBridge is known for launching the first store on Facebook in 2009 for 1-800-Flowers.com. The company was founded in 2008 and is a winner of the Minnesota entrepreneurial competition Minnesota Cup. Gerten declined to state the exact number of employees, but said it is in the 30-person range. Last week, Gerten toasted his team, investors and friends for 8thBridge’s new product launch at a gathering at the Crooked Pint Ale House in Minneapolis. “The hard part is over, and now it’s party time,” Gerten said as he greeted his guests. — MCT MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 H E A LT H & S C I E NC E Study ties fertility treatment and birth defect risk Test-tube babies have higher rates of birth defects, and doctors have long wondered: Is it because of certain fertility treatments or infertility itself? A large new study from Australia suggests both may play a role. Compared to those conceived naturally, babies that resulted from simple IVF, or in vitro fertilization - mixing eggs and sperm in a lab dish - had no greater risk of birth defects once factors such as the mom’s age and smok ing were taken into account. However, birth defects were more common if treatment included injecting a single sperm into an egg, which is done in many cases these days, especially if male infer tility is involved. About 10 percent of babies born this way had birth defects versus 6 percent of those conceived naturally, the study found. It could be that the extra jostling of egg and sperm does damage. Or that other problems lurk in the genes of sperm so defective they must be forced to fertilize an egg. “I don’t want to scare people,” because the vast majority of babies are born healthy, said the study’s leader, Michael Davies of the University of Adelaide in Australia. Couples could use simple IVF without sperm injection, freeze the embryos and implant only one or two at a time, he said. All of those can cut the chance of a birth defect. The study was published online Saturday by the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at a fertility conference in Barcelona, Spain. Health agencies in Australia paid for the research. More than 3.7 million babies are born each year through assisted reproduction. Methods include everything from drugs to coax the ovaries to make eggs to artificial insemination and IVF. Fer tility treatments account for about 4 percent of births in Australia and as many as 8 percent of them in Denmark, where costs are widely covered, Davies said. In the United States, more than 60,000 babies were born in 2009 from 146,000 IVF attempts. About three-quarters of them used ICSI, or intracytoplasmic sperm injection. ICSI was developed because of male infertility. But half the time, it was not done for that reason but to improve the odds that at least some embryos will be created from an IVF attempt. Many clinics do it in all cases. IVF costs around $10,000 to $12,000 per attempt and another $2,000 for sperm injection. The study used records on nearly 303,000 babies conceived naturally and 6,163 conceived with help in Australia from 1986 through 2002, plus records on bir th defects detected by age 5. Researchers counted heart, spinal or urinary tract defects, limb abnormalities and problems such as cleft palate or lip, but not minor defects unless they needed treatment or were disfiguring. They looked at birth defect rates according to type of fertility treatment. They also had three comparison groups of women who conceived naturally, including some with some history of infertility or who previously needed help to get pregnant. Among fertility treatments, only ICSI, the sperm injection, resulted in higher rates of birth defects once other factors that affect these odds were taken into account. “They take a sperm that is probably not normal and force it to conceive,” said Dr. Darine El-Chaar, an OB-GYN at Canada’s University of Ottawa. She led a smaller previous study of this and called the new work impressive and “the study that needed to be done” to sort out the source of these risks. In the study, frozen embryos were less likely to result in birth defects than fresh ones used soon after they were created. Defective ones may be less likely to survive freezing and thawing, so the fittest embryos result in pregnancies, Davies said. Babies born to women with a history of infertility who ended up conceiving on their own, or who had natural pregnancies after assisted ones, also had higher rates of birth defects. That suggests that infertility itself is playing a role. Dr Glenn Schattman, president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies and a Cornell University fertility specialist, said it was reassuring that ordinary IVF is safe. If ICSI is chosen because male infertility is involved, “parents have to be aware that by having a child with their own genetic material, they might be increasing their risk” of a birth defect, he said. Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson, a geneticist and research chief at the March of Dimes, said doctors should take this work seriously and discuss it with patients. He said techniques have improved over the last decade and ICSI may be safer now than when this study began. Even with genetic testing for various diseases, “we always tell our patients that this doesn’t guarantee a perfect baby,” he said. — AP Clara Beatty, 9, looks at her mother while doing homework at their Winnetka, Illinois home. The fourth-grader was born with facial deformities, including underdeveloped cheekbones and a small jaw, caused by a genetic mutation called Treacher Collins syndrome. Her parents discovered Clara was quite able to cope, sometimes better than they. — AP Girl with deformed face learns to navigate world Genetic mutation causes Treacher Collins syndrome WINNETKA, Illinois: What if you knew, even before your child was born, that she wouldn’t look like everyone else? Clara Beatty’s parents knew. They were living in Belgium at the time, a decade ago. Prenatal screening was extensive, probably more than would have been done in the United States. Those tests determined that baby Clara, their third child, was likely to be a perfectly normal kid inside. But even in the womb, doctors could see severe facial deformities - droopy eyes, under-developed cheekbones and a tiny jaw. It meant she’d need a tube in her neck to help her breathe after birth. The lack of an outer ear and restricted ear canals also would mean she’d have hearing aids by the time she was 6 months old. In Belgium, it was unusual for babies to be born with Treacher Collins syndrome, caused by a genetic mutation. Parents almost always opted to abort, doctors said. But the Beattys wouldn’t hear of it. It wasn’t any big moral statement, they say. “There was just no question,” Janet Beatty says. No wavering, despite the looks of disapproval from the medical staff before she was born and even after, in the intensive care unit. “It was kind of strange sometimes . with the doctors, some of whom I think really, really questioned why we had this baby,” says Eric Beatty, Clara’s dad. The next few years would be so challenging that the family moved back to the United States, both for family support and to seek medical care at Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital and other institutions. There were breathing and feeding issues. The family had 24-hour nursing care for the first three years of Clara’s life because she vomited so frequently. They were lucky, they realized, to have that kind of help. Still, it took a toll on Clara’s parents, especially her mom. Janet Beatty just wanted her daughter to be OK physically, to not be constantly worried that she might stop breathing, or choke. She wanted her daughter to have the happy childhood that her other two children had had free from the physical challenges and, yes, free from the constant stares of strangers when they were out in public. “Make her normal,” her mother, Janet Beatty, thought privately. “I want that normal kid. I didn’t want people to stare, and I didn’t want people running away from her.” Cosmetic surgery was an option. But on a child so young, it would have to be redone, over and over. It was better, doctors said, to wait until her teen years. And as her parents discovered, Clara was quite able to cope, sometimes better than they. Even today, Janet Beatty is astounded at how well her youngest daughter navigates the world. “Even when she was little, you could look at her and people would say there’s an old soul in there,” she says. “She just had these big eyes and you could see her taking everything in.” Certainly, there are times when Clara gets frustrated. Now 9 years old and finishing the fourth grade, she looks forward to the day a few years from now when her skull will have grown enough for cosmetic surgery. It won’t “fix” things, but likely will help her blend more - and possibly help her get rid of the breathing tube. “I want to try to make myself as much like the other kids, so that I can stop having everyone asking me questions,” Clara says, “because it gets so annoying.” She says it matter-of-factly - not like she’s hurt or damaged by the questions and comments. When people stare, she says, she just “smiles and says ‘hi,’” because that’s what her parents have taught her to do. It’s easiest, of course, when she’s in her “protective bubble,” as her mom calls it - at home or school or church. There, people know her. To them, she is just Clara - the funny, kind girl who FDA for ‘judicious’ antibiotic use on farms After decades of debate, federal regulators have condemned the practice of using antibiotics on healthy farm animals, trying to stem the rise in socalled “superbugs” that pose a dire threat to human health. The new guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration, which are voluntary, advise the agricultural industry to use antibiotics “judiciously” in treating and preventing sickness, and recommend that veterinarians oversee usage. The new stance follows studies by scientists and the FDA from the 1970s, which showed that antibiotics given on farms lead to drug-resistant bacteria-the superbugs-that can spread to humans. In the past several decades, health care professionals as well as veterinarians have seen a steep rise in drug-resistant infections. Just one of the types of resistant bacteria, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), found in both farms and hospitals, has been estimated to kill more people than AIDS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MRSA has also been found on packaged meat in grocery store shelves. While many scientists and the American Veterinary Medical Association laud the FDA’s move, state ranchers and dairy farmers fear they’re headed down a trail of over-regulation that would stymie the health care of their animals. Meanwhile, public interest groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, say the guidelines are simply not strong enough. The FDA is giving the industry three years to adopt the guidelines before it determines the next step, which could be to make the rules mandatory. “Antibiotic resistance has increased tremendously over the last several decades,” said Dr. Stuart Levy, an expert on the issue. The situation is critical, he added, because the resistant bacteria travel with food products from the farm to home. A 2010 report by the CDC found an alarming amount of superbugs in grocery stores. More than half of all ground turkey carried E. coli that was resistant to three or more drugs. E. coli causes gastrointestinal infections and sickens about 265,000 people each year, according to the CDC. Similarly, half of all packaged pork chops were contaminated with multi-drug resistant salmonella, another cause of gastrointestinal illnesses that sickens 1.2 million people each year and results in almost 500 deaths. In a separate study published earlier this year, Iowa researchers found that nearly 7 percent of packaged pork products carried MRSA-even meat labeled “antibiotic free.” Most food experts do say that the new guidelines will have little, if any, impact on grocery prices-even if they’re made mandatory. Farmers learned in the 1950s that if they gave healthy animals food with a dash of antibiotics-less than the dose used to treat an illness-the animals would grow bigger and need less food. And nearly all of the antibiotics were available over-the-counter. However, that also created perfect conditions for generating superbugs, according to numerous studies. In a 1976 study, a team of researchers, led by Levy, fed chickens low doses of the antibiotic tetracycline-a drug also used in humans for a wide variety of infections including sexually transmitted diseases and acne. Within a week, the birds had tetracycline-resistant bacteria in their intestines. In less than six months, farmworkers and neighbors had spikes in tetracycline-resistant bacteria in their fecal samples. But, some agricultural experts claim that published data regarding antibiotic use on farms is often contradictory. Dr. Michael Payne, a food safety expert at UC Davis, pointed to a 2002 USDA study that indicated that low-doses of antibiotics in turkeys knocked down salmonella levels, which commonly causes intestinal infections in people. But the study didn’t address resistance levels. “Antibiotic resistance is perhaps the most complex issue facing agriculture today,” said Payne. Despite the worrisome 1976 findings, the FDA didn’t change the rules for antibiotic use on farms. “We think basically that the FDA has caved to the agricultural industry,” said Avinash Kar, a staff attorney for the NRDC. The organization was one of several public interest groups that sued the FDA last May to press for strict rules on antibiotic usage on farms. The FDA produced the new voluntary guidelines independently from the lawsuit. But a federal judge ruled last month that the FDA must act on the issue, and that the new guidelines would not excuse the FDA from reviewing its approval of antibiotics used on healthy animals. Legal proceedings are under way to determine the next step. The food safety director of one of the groups, The Center for Science in the Public Interest, called the new guidelines “tragically flawed.”—MCT Peru health alert after pelican deaths LIMA: Peru’s government declared a health alert along its northern coastline on Saturday and urged residents and tourists to stay away from long stretches of beach, as it investigates the unexplained deaths of hundreds of dolphins and pelicans. At least 1,200 birds, mostly pelicans, washed up dead along a stretch of Peru’s northern Pacific coastline in recent weeks, health officials said, after an estimated 800 dolphins died in the same area in recent months. The Health Ministry recommended staying away from beaches, although it stopped short of a ban, and called on health officials to use gloves, masks and other protective gear when collecting dead birds. The peak tourism season around Lima’s beaches is over, although many surfers are still venturing into the waters near the capital. The Agriculture Ministry said preliminary tests on some dead pelicans pointed to malnourishment. Oscar Dominguez, head of the ministry’s health department, said experts had ruled out bird flu. “The Health Ministry ... calls on the population to abstain from going to the beaches until the health alert is lifted,” the ministry said in a statement on its website, along with a photograph of a dead pelican. The ministry said officials had so far checked 18 beaches in and around Lima for dead birds, but gave no details on any findings. “We’re starting from the hypothesis that it’s because the birds are young and unable to find enough food for themselves, and also because the sea temperature has risen and anchovies have moved elsewhere,” said Deputy Agriculture Minister Juan Rheineck. A mass pelican death along Peru’s northern coast in 1997 was blamed at the time on a shortage of feeder anchovies due to the El Nino weather phenomenon. Some were undeterred by the mysterious deaths. “We eat fresh fish on the quay of Chorrillos every day, and no fisherman has died yet, so don’t worry, it’s nothing,” said Gloria Rivera, a seafood restaurant owner. — Reuters At least 1,200 birds, mostly pelicans, washed up dead along a stretch of Peru’s northern Pacific coastline in recent weeks, health officials said. wants to be a doctor when she grows up, who’s quick to help classmates with homework when she finishes her own. She also volunteers as a mentor at the Special Gifts Theatre, an acting troupe for children with special needs. One cognitively impaired girl needed help with her lines. “It’s fun,” Clara says, “to help someone and give them a better chance at life.” People often assume that Clara can’t speak or understand them. Her classmates at school, however, are perplexed that a reporter would be doing a story about her. “Why?” one asks. “Because Clara is awesome!” another quickly replies. The support is heartening, her parents say. This is what they hoped for their daughter, that she would be accepted, welladjusted and confident - though they also know that she has many challenges. When she goes to middle school next year, there will be new people to meet, new adjustments. Same with high school, college, dating. Doctors have told her parents that Clara is more likely to worry about her appearance when she reaches adolescence. “Those are hard things to think about in a world where your physical presence, the way you look, is so much a part of society and how people react,” says Eric Beatty, vice president of a manufacturing company. “But as any parent will know, you just get on with life.” Clara - the girl with big, brown eyes and an easy smile - has helped them truly learn how to do that. “We’re all learning that we’re just going to do what we’re going to do, and we’re not going to pay attention to what other people think,” Janet Beatty says. Still, the urge to protect will always be there. “I just don’t want her spirit to ever be crushed so much that she can’t recover,” she adds. “That’s why it’s good that she has the thick skin. I just want to keep it thick. “She needs it.” — AP Feds to put up $1.9bn for Oregon health overhaul PORTLAND, Oregon: The Obama administration is buying into an ambitious healthcare initiative in Oregon, it has tentatively agreed to chip in $1.9 billion over five years to help get the program off the ground. Oregon hopes to prove that states can save billions on Medicaid without sacrificing the quality of health care. Gov John Kitzhaber’s plan would invest in preventive care to keep patients healthy so they don’t need expensive hospitalizations. “If this works, I think other states are going to be looking at this as a way to manage that patient population,” said Kitzhaber, a Democrat and former emergency room physician who has worked for decades on reforming the health care system. The federal government could save $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years if all 50 states adopted Oregon’s approach, the governor has said. Medicaid, which provides health coverage for low-income Americans, is jointly funded by the state and federal governments. Federal officials have not yet agreed to grant Oregon a waiver from standard Medicaid regulations, which is needed for the program to be implemented and the money to be spent. The financial commitment from the US Department of Health and Human Services, while still not final, is a clear public endorsement of the concept and an indication that the administration believes the initiative holds promise to save money. The state anticipates savings of $11 billion to state and federal budgets over the next decade by reducing duplicated treatments and avoidable hospitalizations. Finding ways to slow the growth in health care costs is a critical challenge as baby boomers age and President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul extends coverage to millions more Americans, many of whom will join Medicaid in 2014. Under Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the federal government will pay most of the costs for the new patients. The Oregon plan would create “coordinated care organizations” to manage all mental, physical and dental care for 600,000 low-income patients on the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s Medicaid program. It would focus particularly on the sickest patients with the highest costs, especially people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma or with mental health concerns. The care organizations would have to work within fixed budgets, with broad leeway to spend the way they think is best. The ones that are most successful at lower- ing costs would see the largest profits. The model makes it possible to pay for services that keep people healthy but don’t get much funding - such as paying caseworkers to make sure patients go to medical appointments and take their medications. The state Legislature overwhelmingly endorsed the idea this year and last, though some Republicans complained that it would increase the government’s role in health care. In a statement, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Oregon’s plan “mirrors our plan at the national level under the Affordable Care Act.” “This is another example of how we are collaborating successfully with states in their efforts to find innovative health care solutions that work for their communities,” Sebelius said. Kitzhaber cleared his schedule at the last minute this week to fly to Washington, DC, and finalize the deal for the money. The federal money will lessen the impact of payment cuts to providers and help them pay the upfront costs of the new initiative before the savings can kick in. Oregon, facing a budget shortfall, planned to severely cut payments to doctors, hospitals and other care providers beginning this summer. Potential coordinated care organizations, which had been working to comply with proposed requirements, were eager to find out how much federal money would be available. Many will have to upgrade their computer systems so patient records can be shared, or hire new staff to manage patient care. They face a May 14 deadline to submit financial proposals to the state. The changes will initially apply only to Medicaid patients, but Kitzhaber wants to eventually extend it to government workers and the general public. State and federal officials are still negotiating the final details and hope to finish in time to make the first payment, $620 million, on July 1. About 50 groups have applied to become coordinated care organizations, with some hoping to begin operating on Aug. 1. Federal money is a “transformational achievement” but there are still significant challenges looming, said Joe Robertson, president of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, a hospital and medical school. “There is a lot of hard work ahead of us to achieve $11 billion in savings,” Robertson said. “Today’s news is encouraging, but we must always focus on long-term solutions.” —AP MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 H E A LT H What killed Lenin? Stress didn’t help, poison eyed Vladimir Lenin (left) sits in a park with Joseph V. Stalin. Syphilis probably didn’t kill Lenin. Stress, on the other hand, didn’t help, and poison may have done him in. That’s the conclusion of a doctor and a historian who examined medical records and other evidence for an annual University of Maryland School of Medicine conference on the deaths of famous figures. — AP Salmonella in dog food sickens 14 people in US COLUMBIA: Fourteen people in at least nine states have been sickened by salmonella after handling tainted dog food from a South Carolina plant that made headlines years ago when it produced food contaminated by toxic mold that killed dozens of dogs, federal officials said Friday. At least five people were hospitalized because of the dog food, which was made by Diamond Pet Foods at its plant in Gaston, S.C., the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. No pets were sickened, according to the Meta, Montana-based company. “People who became ill, the thing that was common among them was that they had fed their pets Diamond Pet Foods,” said CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell. Three people each were infected in Missouri and North Carolina; two people in Ohio; and one person each in Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the CDC said. “Our folks are really wanting people to be aware of it. They want to be aware that this is causing people to get sick because they may have product in their homes. For every one that is reported, there may be 29 others,” Russell said. People can get salmonella by handling infected dog food, then not washing their hands before eating or handling their own food, health officials said. The South Carolina plant temporarily was shut down April 8. Diamond Pet Foods has issued four rounds of recalls for food made at the plant, located outside of Columbia, S.C., between Dec. 9 and April 7. The latest recalls were announced Friday. “We took corrective actions at the plant, and today the plant is up and running. Our mission is to produce safe pet foods for our customers and their pets in all Diamond facilities,” the company said in a written statement Friday. In 2005, a toxic mold called aflatoxin ended up in food made at the same Diamond Pet Foods plant in South Carolina and dozens of dogs died. The company offered a $3.1 million settlement. The Food and Drug Administration determined the deadly fungus likely got into the plant when it failed to test 12 shipments of corn. FDA officials were not immediately available for comment Friday on the most recent problems with the plant. Agriculture officials in Michigan found the strain of salmonella during routine testing of dog food on April 2 and health investigators noticed there was a possible link to the food made by Diamond Pet Foods. An ill person still had some of the food, and authorities were able to link the cases to the food, the CDC said. The recall covers a number of pet food brands made at the Gaston plant, including Canidae, Natural Balance, Apex, Kirkland, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Premium Edge, Professional, 4Health and Taste of the Wild. —AP BALTIMORE: Stress, family medical history or possibly even poison led to the death of Vladimir Lenin, contradicting a popular theory that a sexually-transmitted disease debilitated the former Soviet Union leader, a UCLA neurologist said on Friday. Dr. Harry Vinters and Russian historian Lev Lurie reviewed Lenin’s records Friday for an annual University of Maryland School of Medicine conference that examines the death of famous figures. The conference is held yearly at the school, where researchers in the past have re-examined the diagnoses of figures including King Tut, Christopher Columbus, Simon Bolivar and Abraham Lincoln. The 53-year-old Soviet leader suffered several strokes before dying in 1924 and what caused them isn’t clear. An autopsy found blood vessels in his brain were extremely hardened, results that have been difficult to understand, said Dr. Philip Mackowiak, who organizes the yearly event. “Number one, he’s so young and number two, he has none of the impor tant risk factors,” Mackowiak said. Lenin didn’t smoke - he never let smokers near him. He also didn’t have diabetes, wasn’t overweight and the autopsy didn’t find any evidence of high blood pressure, said Mackowiak, director of the medical care clinical center of the VA Mar yland Health Care System, a co -sponsor of the event. There was “considerable suspicion” among Russians at the time of Lenin’s death that syphilis was to blame, Mackowiak said. However, family history appears to have worked more against Lenin, Vinters said. Lenin was treated for syphilis been predisposed to hardening of the arteries. Stress also is a risk factor for strokes, and there’s no question the communist revolutionary was under plenty of that, the neurologist said. “People were always trying to assassinate him, for example.” Vinters said. Lurie, a St. Petersburg-based exper t in using the primitive medications available at the time, and while the sexually transmitted disease can cause strokes, there is no evidence from his symptoms or the autopsy that was the case with Lenin, Vinters said. The Soviet leader’s father also died at 54 and both may have Russian history and politics who also spoke at the conference, said that while Lenin had several strokes, he believes Josef Stalin may finished him off with poison, a theory that Vinters said is a possibility. Lenin’s health had been growing worse over time. In 1921, he forgot the words of a major speech and he had to learn to speak again and write with his left hand after one stroke. A major stroke later left him paralyzed on one side and unable to speak. However, Lurie said Lenin had recovered enough in early 1924 that he celebrated the new year and went hunting. Lenin, who supported Stalin’s rise to power, may have realized he made a mistake and began aligning himself with Leon Trotsky, which caused Stalin to poison Lenin, the historian said. Poisoning, in fact, eventually became one of Stalin’s favorite methods of disposing of enemies, Lurie said. “The funny thing is that the brain of Lenin still is preserved in Moscow, so we can investigate,” Lurie said. Lenin’s embalmed body also still lies on public display in a Red Square mausoleum almost 20 years after the collapse of the communist state he helped bring to life. Vinters, who reviewed autopsy records and the leader’s clinical history, said toxicology tests that might have revealed poisoning were not conducted during the autopsy. Reports from the time also show Lenin was active and talking a few hours before his death. “And then he experienced a series of really, really bad convulsions which is quite unusual for someone who has a stroke,” Vinters said. —AP Community aid helps mother of six return to Mexico MEXICO CITY: When Norma Ramirez was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, the mother of six had to decide whether to return to her native Mexico for treatment or stay in Nor th Carolina and fight a deportation order after living illegally in the US for eight years. What she couldn’t foresee was the outpouring of support by the Mexican consulate in Raleigh and many other Nor th Carolinians. Ramirez, 33, was diagnosed with a malignant growth on her urethra in January at WakeMed Hospital after undergoing several medical procedures. If she continued to receive treatment in the US, she faced being arrested and deported - leaving her two young U.S.born children behind. “When the hospital’s translator explained what the doctor had said, I decided I didn’t want to stay here because my children would have to return to Mexico by themselves if something happened to me,” said Ramirez, whose US-born children are 4 and 5 years old. Yet if she returned to Mexico, she didn’t know where she’d receive medical treatment. Ramirez said she also thought of the four daughters she left behind in Mexico under the care of her mother. “I wanted my daughters to see me well, not lying on a bed, so I asked the consulate for help in getting back,” said Ramirez, who is originally from Guerrero state. The Mexican consulate in Raleigh offered to pay for the woman and her children to return to her native country and for treatment in a hospital in Acapulco, said Selene Barcelo, the deputy consul in Raleigh. All treatments, services and medications will be paid for by state insurance provided through the Mexican government, Barcelo said. Through its legal assistance program, the consulate also hired a lawyer to fight the deportation order. Ramirez had until March 9 to leave the country after being arrested in August of last year for driving with an expired license. She also had an outstanding warrant for failing to pay a speeding ticket issued in 2009 in Greensboro. The local Spanish-language weekly, Que Pasa, reported on Ramirez’s case. Lawyers, priests and dozens of strangers called and visited to offer their help. “So many people came to see me when I was in the hospital, people from Greensboro, Chapel Hill, Durham ... people from other states and even people from my hometown in Mexico, who learned about my illness by watching the news,” she said. Among these “angels,” as she called them, were her friends Oneida Cristobal and Sotero RÌos. Rios was a childhood friend; she had worked with Cristobal. Cristobal stayed with her at Raleigh’s WakeMed Hospital, where Ramirez spent several weeks, and distributed donation boxes at Hispanic-owned stores in the area to help pay for her expenses. Rios stayed with Ramirez at night and holds power of attorney for her. Rios said she would follow Ramirez to Mexico. Ramirez arrived in Acapulco with her children April 16 and checked into Acapulco’s Cancer Institute. She still has many treatments ahead because the cancer has spread to other organs. “I feel well now,” she said. “I was greeted very nicely. I didn’t expect to see so many people. Even my mom and dad were there.” —AP 30 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 W H AT ’ S O N AUK student participates in Applied Computing Conference Greetings I Many happy returns of the day on 7th birthday to our loving doll Arpita Debnath Mimi. We all wish her good health and success in every step. Best wishes come from Didun, Thakuma, mummy, papa, Mamoni (Setu), Mumu didi, Sharmi dude, Urmi didi, Sonu, Pinki, Sanat, Dolly, Ranti dada, Kona Pishi, Somy dada, Debu dada, Manu Kaka & Minu. May God bless her with a successful life. Announcements Korea Week Join us at the opening of the “Korea Week” from 7 pm to 9 pm in the Embassy of the Republic of Korea. Also to the other programs during May 8-11, 2012 at Mishref, Diplomatic Zone 2, Block 7B, Plot 164. Programs of the Korea Week May 8, 7 pm - 9 pm. Day of Taste Korea. Opening ceremony, Korean food festival. Cultural activities & traditional games. May 9, 6 pm - 9 pm. Day of Buy Korea. Korean traditional wedding ceremony, kids hanbok fashion show, Korean product market & charity bazaar, cultural activities & traditional games May 10, 6 pm - 9 pm. Day of Enjoy Korea K-POP contest, Korean product market & vharity bazaar, cultural activities & traditional games. May 11, 7 pm. Day of Feel Korea. Classical music concert performed by Korean students living in Kuwait at Abdulaziz Theater, Mishref. n alignment with its mission to provide students with intensive hands-on experience, the AUK recently introduced Computer Engineering Program hasadded the first student contribution to the world of undergraduate research. Fatma Qatan, an AUK Computer Engineering Junior student, presented her project “Performance Analysis of Lightweight Block Ciphers” at the Annual Conference on Undergraduate Research on Applied Computing (URC’12), in Dubai, UAE. Under the supervision of Dr. Issam Damaj, Program Lead of Computer Engineering, Qatan’s research focused on providing a performance profile for several ciphers running within different computing environments. The proposed performance analysis classifies the investigated algorithms according to a combination of several heterogeneous characteristics. The developed benchmark compares the profile findings with respect to reference implementations by producing performance ratios for each measurement. Accordingly, an overall Indicator is determined by the statistical combination of all the calculated ratios. The overall Indicator provides a quantitative classification criterion and an effective tool for benchmarking. Lightweight ciphers are employed for security in environments where resources are limited. The URC conference, hosted annually by the College of Information Technology at Zayed University, aims to promote undergraduate research activity at educational institutions in the MENA region. The conference provides a forum for students to present their work and interact with other young researchers, faculty, and industrial leaders. AUK was the only representative of Kuwait in the conference this year. Other participants came from different countries including Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Oman, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Iraq, Palestine, Bahrain, and Jordan. Dr. Damaj commented on his student’s achievement saying, “I’m delighted with Fatma’s achievement. Fatma started her research under my supervision in the summer of her Junior year; which is two years ahead of her major’s capstone. She has shown exemplary dedication and determination to complete the presented project. In addition, Fatma has put great effort in her development, measurements, and facts checking. I’m very pleased to Planning your future The Public Affairs Section at the US Embassy, in cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education, and in coordination with Amideast, will hold a seminar tomorrow May 8, 2012, entitled “Planning your Future: An Introduction to the US Higher Education System.” Visiting Regional Educational Advising Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Ms Kristen Cammarata, representatives from the US Embassy, the Kuwait Ministry of Higher Education, and the Public Authority for the Disabled (PAD) will talk about opportunities of higher education in US universities for distinguished students, including students with disabilities. The Embassy encourages Kuwaiti students in government and private high-schools, especially those who are registered in the 11th and 12th classes, students registered in scholarships to the U.S. as well as parents who are interested in higher education in Kuwait to attend the seminar on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at the Kuwait Graduates Society, Bnaid Al-Qar, Al-Soor street at 07:00 pm. S tudents from The British School of Kuwait have had their most successful robotics season yet, returning as quarter finalists from the 8th Regional Botball Robotics Challenge held at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. It was a day to be proud of for members of BStroniKs, the school’s robotics team, as in addition to progressing so far in the competition they were also the only school chosen to receive the Judge’s Choice Award. This is the second consecutive year that the team from BSK have been chosen for this accolade. Educational Robotics is available to students at BSK as part of the extensive extracurricular program offered by the school. The students from Years 9 - 13 get very involved and excited about the programme, building a robot and getting it to work is challenging. They get engaged with science, technology, computer science, sensors, mechanical engineering, electronics - a whole range of areas that they bring together to get their robot to perform. Students learn to programme their robots using C, the most widely used programming language in industry and O academia. Botball gives students the tools to develop sophisticated strategies using artificial intelligence with embedded systems. Participating in Robotics at BSK gives students the opportunity to try out to be a member of the school Robotics team, BStroniKs and compete at the annual Robotics Tournament, Botball which involves team members travelling to Carnegie Mallon University, Qatar on two occasions throughout the season. The annual Botball season kicked off in Doha with a two-day workshop followed by an eight week build period in which time they learn about current robotics technologies and how to apply the physics and maths concepts to design, build and program the competing robots to manoeuvre autonomously across a game board, performing tasks according to the program theme. The students returned from the Qatar Tournament feeling justifiably proud of their achievements. They have learned a lot and are confident of building on their success next year. India International School opens doors to summer fun A chance to relish ice cream during summer is something hardly anyone of us would miss. And IIS does it, but in a different way by celebrating “Ice-Cream Day” every year. The students of classes I and II has a ‘Get The Cone’ day on 19th April. It was a day the students were eagerly waiting for. They enjoyed the chunkiest, funkiest ice cream flavours of vanilla, strawberry, mango and chocolate. It was a real treat when it was topped with tutti frutti, sprinkles, choconuts and wafers. They gulped as much ice cream as they wanted. Kids danced and had fun to the different tunes of ice cream songs. The message of ice cream being a fun and nutritious food made the day successful. The children came in their colourful costumes of ice cream flavours. The girls were looking beautiful as they were adorned with paper jewellery of matching colours. The ground gave a festive look with all colourful butterflies walking around with ice cream cones. It added zest to their day when they clubbed it with Earth day activi- Nature plays Muse - a labour of love! n the morning of Friday 20 April 2012 AMMA Kuwait and PART of Kuwait (Progressive Art Realization Troop) jointly played host to pre-registered student artists and their parents who participated in Prakruti 2012, a landscape painting workshop that was conducted at the Al-Jawhara AlAhlea School in Riggae. The workshop that was inaugurated by the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait Satish Chand Mehta captured the nuances of nature through the paintings of children who showed up in large numbers despite inclement weather. Haridas Warrier of AMMA Kuwait and Artist Sreenivasan of PART extended a warm welcome to participants and distinguished guests. A CD of Embracing the World was released by Dr. Nampoori on this occasion by presenting it to the Indian Ambassador. Thereafter, Artist Sreenivasan supported by Artist Mukundan spoke extensively on various techniques of landscape painting sharing many valuable tips. Artist Sasikrishnan demystified the art of landscape painting by giving an indepth and interesting explanation about the intricacies of landscape painting while Artist Sunil Pookode demonstrated the same creating a marvelous landscape in a span of few minutes. Fatma Qatan BSK students win award in Qatar NAFO anniversary ‘Samagamam’ NAFO Kuwait (National Forum Kuwait) is all set to celebrate its 9th anniversary on Friday, May 11, 2012, at the American International School, Maidan-Hawally, at 6.30 pm. T K A Nair, the adviser to the Prime Minister of India will be the chief guest of the function. Indian Ambassador Satish C Mehta will be the guest of honor. A cultural extravaganza ‘Samagamam’, a nostalgic event of harmony and festivity will be staged on the occasion presenting a multi-dimensional visual experience to the audience. Renowned Mohiniyattam exponent and recipient of many awards Vinita Nedungady, well-known Malayalam playback singer Rajalakshmi and violinist and promising playback singer Vivekanandan are among the celebrities who will perform during the cultural show. For more details, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 99660428, 97206792, 99260356. Zara Sa Jhoom Loon Main ICS gears to a new cultural entertainment in “Zara Sa Jhoom Loon Main” with renowned playback singer from Bollywood Abhijeet & world fame theater cum comedy king Umar Sharif from Pakistan on 18th May Friday, at 7 pm sharp. The Chief Guest for the event will be Ambassador of India, Kuwait. Also guest of honor will be prominent personalities from Kuwait & respected embassies from different countries. So join @ Dr Kamil Al Rayes Auditorium, AIS opposite Police Station Maidan Hawally Kuwait. For gate passes log on to www.icskuwait.com / email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org see one of our students demonstrating lifelong learning and critical thinking skills, besides, showing a good understanding of contemporary scientific issues. I will not be surprised to see Fatma presenting an extension of her work in an international event. We will remember for a long time that Fatma was the first Computer Engineering student that made such a contribution.” The Computer Engineering (CE) program at AUK formally started in Fall 2009, with a focus on providing students with intensive high-quality hands-on experiences. Through this program, AUK aims to fulfill the requirement in Kuwait for a superior quality, technologically advanced and well-rounded educational program that can compete with high quality North American universities. The Computer Engineering program is centered on the key principles of liberal arts and science while providing students with exposure and access to contemporary technology and applications. AUK is the only private university in Kuwait that offers an independent Computer Engineering undergraduate degree, modeled on unique pillars providing a wellrounded and wholesome approach to education. The inspiration of AMMA Kuwait, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi synonymous with global humanitarian efforts was captured on canvas by Artist Shammy John who presented the portrait to Madhavankutty Menon of AMMA Kuwait. A 15 panel exhibition meticulously put together by Manjula, Arun and Rakesh displaying the charitable works of Mata Amritanandamayi Devi was a major highlight of the event. The 5 hour workshop commenced immediately after the inaugural function and brought out the artist in young children under the exemplary guidance of professional artists Sherly, Arun, Maju, Sagar, Abraham, Nikesh, Bindu, Deepa Namboothiri, Suresh, Sreejith, Prinson and Nidhish supported by tireless AMMA Kuwait volunteers supervised by Vidya. Painting paraphernalia was provided by AMMA Kuwait. The materials for the event were provided by philanthropic organizations such as Al Mullah International Exchange Co., LIC International, HOV Group of Companies, Al Naji Infotech. As the day progressed ideas and colours blended with each other at the tips of the brushes of the young artists giving birth to calm oceans, mighty mountains, puffy clouds and Constable country sides on their canvasses. Today the world is tormented by tribulations of different sorts and love seems scarce. But, the images that manifested on the canvasses of the young artists kindled hope of a brighter future. “The work of children clearly demonstrated that objective beauty exists and that the world is beautiful and interesting like a mansion of joy revealing their love for truth and honesty” is what well known artist Prasanna Rajkumar had to say. “An Oasis in the midst of a desert”, the words of renowned artist Sasikrishnan sums it all. He went on to explain how, in current times and trends, art workshops such as Prakruti 2012 go a long way to inspire and spur creativity and imagina- tion in young minds”. Molly of AMMA Kuwait spiced the event with brilliant compering and frequent art related quiz that kept the young minds alert. The other attractions of the workshop were an exhibition of previous works of the participants and the Wall of Free Spirits that was open for expression by any lover of art. The Workshop ended with the distribution of certificates to all participants by the artists of PART. As Earth Day celebrations gathered impetus in many parts of the world, it was an amazing spectacle that nature lovers in Kuwait witnessed before their eyes on the dusty Friday. In short Prakruti 2012 was a rare union of art, talent, beauty and love. The coming together of accomplished artists and connoisseurs of art in an environment conducive to creativity left an indelible mark in all those who participated in Prakruti 2012. As Sasikrishnan says, “the future is infinite to an exploring mind”, one hopes that Prakruti 2012 has given birth to a Picasso! ties of finger paint. Director Moosa koya, Principal F.M.Basheer Ahmed and Vice Principal Narinder Kaur joined the event and appreciated the efforts of class I &II teachers for making this event a wonderful event. Sophy John, coordinator thanked the authorities and teachers for making Tiny Tots’ stay enjoyable on this marvelous day. 31 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 W H AT ’ S O N Embassy Information EMBASSY OF BRAZIL The Embassy of Brazil requests all Brazilian citizens in Kuwait to proceed to the website www.brazil.org.kw (Contact Us Form / Fale Conosco) in order to register or update contact information. The Embassy encourages all citizens to do so, including the ones who have already registered in person at the Embassy. The registration process helps the Brazilian Government to contact and assist Brazilians living abroad in case of any emergency. ■■■■■■■ GUST artists and musicians shine at Art & Music exhibit T he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) organized the 3day Annual Student Art and Music Exhibitionwhich wasopened by Dr. Sabah Al-Quaddoomi, Vice President of Academic Services who was thoroughly impressed by the quality of work and raw talent of GUST music and art students. The goal of the exhibit was to showcase the musical and artistic pieces of the students which they have worked so hard to complete. Dr. Ali Al-Kandari, Dean of Admission and Registration, Dr. Mesfer Mesfer, Student Affairs Consultantwere also present for the opening of the event showing their support for their students talent and noted their pride in the students’ efforts and hard work and will continue to provide them with the tools they need to thrive. The number of students participating in the event increase each year. And each year, not only brings new outstanding tal- ent, but hones and grows the talents’ of students who’ve participated in the past. Although this is a hobby for most of the students in participation, it is their passion. And GUST tries to encourage the expression of passion and talent in balance with academic excellence, as the university believes in helping a student become as well-rounded and accomplished in everything they do. The aura in the room was filled with positivity, as the students explained their pieces to Dr. AlQuaddoomi and other guests in attendance. This event is one GUST’s most popular events due to the talent which is represents. The exhibit is open to the public today May 7 and tomorrow May 8, 2012 from 9am-1pm and 4pm to 8:30pm. 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. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is closed from 12:30 to 01:00 pm for lunch break. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. 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. ■■■■■■■ EMBASSY OF CYPRUS The Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus requests Cypriot citizens living in Kuwait to register with the Embassy has moved. This registration service is provided so that the Embassy can update its contact list and assist Cypriot citizens in cases of emergencies. Registration information can be emailed to email@example.com or faxed to 22253227 or given by phone to 65906048 (Mrs Christine). ■■■■■■■ EMBASSY OF KOREA The Embassy of the Republic of Korea wishes to inform that it has moved to Mishref. New Address: Embassy of the Republic of Korea Mishref, Block 7A, Diplomatic Area 2, Plot 6 The Embassy also wishes to inform that it will be opened to the public on the following office hours: Saturday to Thursday Morning: 8:00 am to 12:30 pm Lunch Break: 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm Afternoon: 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm ■■■■■■■ KES students enjoy visit to Porsche Kids Driving School EMBASSY OF MYANMAR Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar would like to inform the general public that the Embassy has moved its office to new location at Villa 35, Road 203, Block 2, AlSalaam Area in South Surra. The Embassy wishes to advice Myanmar citizens and travellers to Myanmar to contact Myanmar Embassy at its new location. Tel. 25240736, 25240290, Fax: 25240749, email:firstname.lastname@example.org ■■■■■■■ EMBASSY OF NEPAL The Embassy of Nepal will be moving from its current location to a new place in Jabriya, Block 8, St. 13, House No. 514, effective from 15th April, 2012. Till the new telephone connections are installed, the Embassy may be contacted by email: email@example.com ■■■■■■■ EMBASSY OF NIGERIA The Nigerian embassy has its new office in Mishref. Block 3, Street 7, House 4. For enquires please call 25379541. Fax25387719. Email- firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com ■■■■■■■ O ver 400 Early Years students from Kuwait English School (KES) participated in the Fawzia Sultan Rehabilitation Institute’s Road and Traffic Safety Initiative in support of the WHO-UN Global Decade of Action 2011-2021 on Road and Traffic Safety, under the Patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al- Jaber Al-Sabah, Minister of Interior. The Porsche Early Childhood Road and Traffic Safety Program is sponsored by Porsche Centre Kuwait, Behbehani Motors Company, with a new field trip centre located at Qadsia Sports Club, Hawally. Children from Kuwait English School Prep Department enjoyed fun-filled educational visits where they learnt the Golden Rules of Road Safety, played the traffic lights game and drove their very own Porsche pedal cars around the specially designed indoor road circuit. The children were presented with certificates and activity books along with their very own Porsche Kids driving licence, cap and certificate of participation. Everyone agreed “It was soooo much fun!” EMBASSY OF ROMANIA The Embassy of Romania to the State of Kuwait would like to inform that the Consular Section of the Embassy will be closed for construction works beginning with 18 April 2012, till 10 May 2012. During this period of time the Consular Section will not issue any type of visas for Romania and will not issue any Romanian passports or travel documents. The Consular Section will only be able to assist with notary deeds. We would like to apologize for any inconvenience. ■■■■■■■ EMBASSY OF SLOVAKIA The Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Kuwait would like to inform the public that on the occasion of Labor Day, the Embassy will be closed on Tuesday, May the 1st. The Embassy will also be closed on the occasion of Liberation Day on Tuesday, May the 8th. ■■■■■■■ EMBASSY OF THAILAND The Royal Thai Embassy in Kuwait, wishes to invite the Kuwaiti companies that deal business with Thai companies or those agencies of Thai commercial companies to visit the Embassy’s Commercial Office to register their relevant information to be part of the embassy’s business and trade database. The Royal Thai Embassy is located in Jabriya, Block 6, Street 8, Villa No. 1, Telephone No. 25317530 -25317531, Ext: 14. ■■■■■■■ ABS girls’ history trip to Belgium & France F ollowing on from a very successful boys’ trip the previous week, it was the ABS girls turn to enjoy the adventure. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t quite as good as the previous week which meant their visit to Disneyland Paris was dampened by the rain! Spirits remained high and by Tuesday 24th they were able to take some spectacular photographs next to the River Seine and the Eiffel Tower, before taking the long bus ride to Belgium. The journey was broken up with a visit to ChocolaterieLedoux to see how Belgium chocolates are made and, of course, tasting them!! The journey ended when they reached their second destination of Langemark. Again, as with the boys’ trip, the first two days were spent looking at the history of the region. At Riksmuide they caught the Last Post at Menin Gate where an anniversary ceremony was held for Australians who died at Gallipoli. Thursday 26th began with a visit to Vimy Ridge and the Somme Museum before heading to Normandy and Centre Bon Sejour. The girls really enjoyed the beach and the clear skies meant they could see the coast of England across the Channel. On Friday 27th the girls were given an informative tour of the D-Day landing sites and the American Memorial. The trip then went on to visit the Canadian Juno Beach Museum and the William the Conqueror Castle before returning to Paris on Saturday 28th for some souvenir shopping along the Champs Elyssee and preparing for the flight home to Kuwait the following day. 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. Write to us Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 24835619 / 20 Classifieds MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 ACCOMMODATION Wanted room-mate Indian only, near Garanada Cinema and KFH, Khaitan. Contact: 66141908 after 5pm only. (C 3989) Sharing accommodation available in Salmiya, Block4, for male bachelors, prefer vegetarians. Contact: 50181570. (C 3990) 7-5-2012 Sharing accommodation available at Abbasiya near United Indian School in a CA/C new building with double (separate) bath room and double bedroom ﬂat with Keralite Christian family. Preference for working ladies and couples only. Contact: 66324234. (C 3987) 6-5-2012 I, Naranga Valappil Gaﬀer, holder of Indian passport No. E2897263 hereby change my name to Jafar Narangavalappil. (C 3984) 5-5-2012 MATRIMONIAL Marriage proposals invited from parents of RC Christian Nadar family, 30 years old boy, fair, 163 cm height, working in Dar Al Shifa hospital, engineering department. Email: email@example.com (C 3988) 7-5-2012 FOR SALE Laptop HP, Core2Duo, Ram 1GB, HD 120 GB, Wiﬁ, Bluetooth, Display 15.4”. PC Siemens Core2Duo, Ram 2 GB, HD 160 GB, DVD Writer, Card reader, LCD 17” Multimedia, both excellent condition. Contact: 99337034. 6-5-2012 CHANGE OF NAME I, Vohra Kutbuddin Kikabhai holder of Indian passport No. E6247160 hereby change my name to Raja Kutbuddin Kikabhai. (C 3985) I, Shaik Younus, S/o, Shaik Ahmed, resident of H.No. 171-341/2, Darga Barhanashah, Santoshnagar, Hyderabad that I am holder of Indian passport No. E-6703568 issued Hyderabad, A.P. that I am intending to change my name as Shaik Younus instead of my old name Mohammed Younus. (C 3986) 6-5-2012 Volvo 940, model 98, KD 750. Tel: 66464874. (C 3983) Household goods at throwaway prices, beds, sofa sets, cupboards, lamps, dishwasher, deep freezer, dining table with 6 chairs, heaters, curtains, computer table, CD players, Ikea racks, roller blinds, Tel: 99510519 / 66210509. (C 3981) 3-5-2012 SITUATION VACANT Required English speaking nanny / maid. Please call 99824597. (C 3982) 3-5-2012 Prayer timings Fajr: Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha: 03:34 11:45 15:20 18:29 19:54 THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988 112 Ministry of Interior website: www.moi.gov.kw For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128 DIAL 161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION Airlines JZR QTR JZR ETH GFA UAE ETD DHX FDB MSR QTR JZR THY DHX FCX KAC BAW JZR KAC FDB KAC KAC KAC UAE ABY KAC QTR FDB ETD KAC GFA IRC MEA JZR MSR JZR MSR GFA KAC FDB OMA KNE QTR SVA RJA KAC JZR KAC QTR SYR KAC JZR ETD UAE GFA SVA UAL JZR BAB JZR Flt 185 148 539 620 211 853 305 370 67 612 138 503 770 170 201 412 157 529 206 53 302 352 362 855 125 284 132 55 301 344 213 6521 404 165 618 561 610 219 672 57 645 472 140 500 640 788 257 546 134 341 118 535 303 UAE 215 510 982 177 436 777 Arrival Flights on Monday 7/5/2012 Route DUBAI DOHA CAIRO ADDIS ABABA BAHRAIN DUBAI ABU DHABI BAHRAIN DUBAI CAIRO DOHA LUXOR ISTANBUL BAHRAIN DUBAI MANILA LONDON ASSIUT ISLAMABAD DUBAI MUMBAI COCHIN COLOMBO DUBAI SHARJAH DHAKA DOHA DUBAI ABU DHABI CHENNAI BAHRAIN LAMERD BEIRUT DUBAI ALEXANDRIA SOHAG CAIRO BAHRAIN DUBAI DUBAI MUSCAT JEDDAH DOHA JEDDAH AMMAN JEDDAH BEIRUT ALEXANDRIA DOHA DAMASCUS NEW YORK CAIRO ABU DHABI DUBAI BAHRAIN RIYADH WASHINGTON DC DULLES DUBAI BAHRAIN JEDDAH Time 0:15 0:20 0:30 1:45 2:20 2:25 2:30 2:55 3:10 3:20 3:25 3:55 4:35 5:00 5:30 6:15 6:30 6:40 7:15 7:45 7:50 8:05 8:20 8:25 8:30 8:45 9:00 9:20 9:30 9:45 10:00 10:15 10:55 11:05 11:25 12:25 13:30 13:40 13:40 13:45 14:00 14:15 14:25 14:30 14:55 15:00 15:00 15:05 15:15 15:55 16:00 16:00 16:35 16:55 17:20 17:20 17:25 17:30 17:35 17:40 ABY KAC KAC FDB KAC MSR KAC KAC KAC JAI KAC FDB MEA QTR GFA ALK UAE JZR ETD BBC ABY QTR DHX AIC GFA UAL TAR JZR DLH THY KLM PIA 127 542 786 63 104 620 618 674 742 572 774 61 402 146 221 229 859 135 307 43 129 136 372 975 217 981 327 239 636 772 411 239 SHARJAH CAIRO JEDDAH DUBAI LONDON ASSIUT DOHA DUBAI DAMMAM MUMBAI RIYADH DUBAI BEIRUT DOHA BAHRAIN COLOMBO DUBAI BAHRAIN ABU DHABI DHAKA SHARJAH DOHA BAHRAIN CHENNAI BAHRAIN BAHRAIN TUNIS AMMAN FRANKFURT ISTANBUL AMSTERDAM SIALKOT Airlines AIC UAL DLH PIA THY ETH UAE FDB DHX ETD MSR QTR QTR JZR JZR GFA THY KAC BAW FDB JZR ABY JZR KAC KAC UAE QTR Departure Flights on Monday 7/5/2012 Flt Route 982 AHMEDABAD 981 WASHINGTON DC 637 FRANKFURT 206 PESHAWAR 773 ISTANBUL 621 ADDIS ABABA 854 DUBAI 68 DUBAI 371 BAHRAIN 306 ABU DHABI 613 CAIRO 139 DOHA 149 DOHA 560 SOHAG 164 DUBAI 212 BAHRAIN 771 ISTANBUL 545 ALEXANDRIA 156 LONDON 54 DUBAI 256 BEIRUT 126 SHARJAH 534 CAIRO 671 DUBAI 787 JEDDAH 856 DUBAI 133 DOHA 17:45 18:15 18:40 18:45 18:45 19:10 19:20 19:25 19:30 19:35 19:40 20:00 20:15 20:25 20:35 20:55 21:15 21:15 21:20 21:25 21:30 21:35 22:00 22:25 22:35 22:40 22:55 22:55 23:10 23:40 23:40 23:45 Time 0:05 0:25 0:30 1:10 2:15 2:45 3:45 3:50 3:55 4:05 4:20 4:50 5:40 6:00 6:55 7:05 7:10 8:10 8:25 8:25 9:00 9:05 9:10 9:20 9:35 9:40 10:00 FDB ETD GFA IRC KAC KAC MEA JZR MSR KAC KAC JZR GFA FDB MSR OMA KAC KNE KAC SVA RJA QTR KAC KAC SYR ETD JZR JZR QTR UAE GFA JZR ABY SVA UAL FDB BAB JZR MSR KAC JAI FDB KAC KAC MEA GFA JZR DHX ALK ABY ETD UAE FCX QTR KAC KAC JZR DHX BBC QTR GFA KAC TAR 56 302 214 6522 541 165 405 776 619 103 785 176 220 58 611 646 673 473 617 501 641 135 773 741 342 304 238 538 141 858 216 134 128 511 982 64 439 184 621 283 571 62 331 351 403 222 502 171 230 120 308 860 102 137 301 205 554 373 44 147 218 411 328 DUBAI ABU DHABI BAHRAIN LAMERD CAIRO ROME BEIRUT JEDDAH ASSIUT LONDON JEDDAH DUBAI BAHRAIN DUBAI CAIRO MUSCAT DUBAI JEDDAH DOHA JEDDAH AMMAN DOHA RIYADH DAMMAM DAMASCUS ABU DHABI AMMAN CAIRO DOHA DUBAI BAHRAIN BAHRAIN SHARJAH RIYADH BAHRAIN DUBAI BAHRAIN DUBAI ALEXANDRIA DHAKA MUMBAI DUBAI TRIVANDRUM KOCHI BEIRUT BAHRAIN LUXOR BAHRAIN COLOMBO SHARJAH ABU DHABI DUBAI BAHRAIN DOHA MUMBAI ISLAMABAD ALEXANDRIA BAHRAIN DHAKA DOHA BAHRAIN BANGKOK DUBAI Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (www.kuwait-airport.com.kw) 10:05 10:15 10:45 11:15 11:30 11:45 11:55 12:15 12:25 12:30 13:10 13:20 14:25 14:25 14:30 15:00 15:05 15:15 15:45 15:45 15:50 16:15 16:25 16:30 16:55 17:20 17:30 17:40 17:45 18:05 18:20 18:20 18:25 18:35 18:40 19:25 19:35 20:05 20:10 20:15 20:35 20:40 20:50 21:05 21:15 21:35 21:45 21:50 21:55 22:10 22:20 22:25 22:30 22:35 22:40 22:45 23:00 23:00 23:05 23:10 23:30 23:40 23:45 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 FIRE BRIGADE 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 Paediatricians Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf 22547272 Dr. Khaled Hamadi Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari 22617700 Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed Dr. Abdel Quttainah 25625030/60 Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581 Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari 22635047 Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan 22613623/0 Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe 23729596/23729581 Dr. Verginia s.Marin 2572-6666 ext 8321 Endocrinologist 25665898 Dr. Zahra Qabazard 25340300 25710444 Dr. Sohail Qamar 22621099 Dr. Snaa Maaroof 25713514 Dr. Pradip Gujare 23713100 Dr. Zacharias Mathew 24334282 (1) Ear, Nose and Throat (2) Plastic Surgeon Dr. Abdul Mohsin Jafar, FRCS (Canada) 25655535 Dentists Dr Anil Thomas 3729596/3729581 Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami 25343406 Dr. Shamah Al-Matar 22641071/2 Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly 25739272 Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed 22562226 Dr. Salem soso 22618787 Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer 22561444 Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan 22619557 Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash 22525888 Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan 25653755 Dr. Bader Al-Ansari 25620111 General Surgeons Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer 22610044 Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher 25327148 Internists, Chest & Heart Dr. Adnan Ebil 22639939 Dr. Mousa Khadada 22666300 Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan 25728004 Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra 25355515 Dr. Mobarak Aldoub 24726446 Dr Nasser Behbehani 25654300/3 Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688 firstname.lastname@example.org www.soorcenter.com Neurologists Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri 25633324 Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan 25345875 Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman 22636464 Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly 25322030 Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali 22633135 Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, Ph.D. 2290-1677 Susannah-Joy Schuilenberg, M.A. 2290-1677 25339330 Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari 25658888 Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr 25329924 Physiotherapists & VD Dr. Deyaa Shehab 25722291 Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees 22666288 Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi 22655539 Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman 25330060 Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah 25722290 Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad 24555050 Ext 210 Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital Consultant Cardiologist Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Inaya German Medical Center Te: 2575077 Fax: 25723123 2611555-2622555 William Schuilenberg, RPC 2290-1677 Zaina Al Zabin, M.Sc. 2290-1677 Al-Madena 22418714 Al-Shohada’a 22545171 Al-Shuwaikh 24810598 Al-Nuzha 22545171 Sabhan 24742838 Al-Helaly 22434853 Al-Fayhaa 22545051 Al-Farwaniya 24711433 Al-Sulaibikhat 24316983 Al-Fahaheel 23927002 Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh 24316983 Ahmadi 23980088 Al-Mangaf 23711183 Al-Shuaiba 23262845 Al-Jahra 25610011 Al-Salmiya 25616368 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 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 TV PROGRAMS 00:45 Untamed & Uncut 01:40 Lions And Giants 02:35 Wildest Arctic 03:30 In Search Of The Giant Anaconda 04:25 Venom Hunter With Donald Schultz 05:20 Escape To Chimp Eden 05:45 Safari Sisters 06:10 Animal Cops Philadelphia 07:00 Orangutan Island 07:25 Growing Up... 08:15 The Really Wild Show 08:40 Cats Of Claw Hill 09:10 Your Pet Wants This, Too! 10:05 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 11:00 Animal Precinct 11:55 Animal Cops South Africa 12:50 Wildlife SOS 13:45 Wild Africa Rescue 14:10 Wildlife SOS 14:40 The Animals’ Guide To Survival 15:30 Animal Battlegrounds 16:00 The Really Wild Show 16:30 Wild Animal Orphans 17:00 Natural Born Hunters 17:25 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 18:20 Must Love Cats 19:15 Wildlife SOS 19:40 Escape To Chimp Eden 20:10 Great Ocean Adventures 21:05 Wildest Africa 22:00 Great Animal Escapes 22:55 Baboons With Bill Bailey 23:50 Animal Cops Phoenix 00:00 Newsday 00:30 India Business Report 01:00 Newsday 01:30 Asia Business Report 01:45 Sport Today 02:00 Newsday 02:30 Asia Business Report 02:45 Sport Today 03:00 Newsday 03:30 Hardtalk 04:00 BBC World News 04:30 World Business Report 04:45 BBC World News 05:30 World Business Report 05:45 BBC World News 06:30 World Business Report 06:45 Sport Today 07:00 BBC World News 07:30 World Business Report 07:45 Sport Today 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 Hardtalk 09:00 BBC World News 09:30 World Business Report 09:45 Sport Today 10:00 BBC World News 11:00 GMT With George Alagiah 12:00 BBC World News 12:30 World Business Report 12:45 Sport Today 13:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 14:30 World Business Report 14:45 Sport Today 15:00 BBC World News 15:30 Hardtalk 16:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 17:30 World Business Report 17:45 Sport Today 18:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 18:30 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 19:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 19:30 World Business Report 19:45 Sport Today 20:00 BBC World News America 20:30 Hardtalk 21:00 BBC World News 21:30 World Business Report 21:45 Sport Today 22:00 BBC World News America 22:30 Asia Business Report 22:45 Sport Today 23:00 BBC World News 23:30 Asia Business Report 23:45 Sport Today 00:10 00:35 01:00 01:25 01:50 02:15 02:40 03:00 03:25 03:50 04:15 04:40 05:00 05:25 05:50 06:00 06:30 06:55 07:20 07:45 08:00 08:25 08:50 09:15 09:40 10:05 10:25 10:50 11:15 11:40 12:00 12:15 12:40 12:55 13:45 14:10 14:35 15:25 15:50 16:40 17:05 17:30 18:10 19:00 19:15 19:40 19:55 20:20 20:35 20:55 21:20 21:45 22:10 22:35 23:00 23:20 23:45 Duck Dodgers The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop Tom & Jerry Kids A Pup Named Scooby-Doo The Jetsons Puppy In My Pocket Popeye Tom & Jerry Looney Tunes Scooby Doo Where Are You! Droopy: Master Detective Wacky Races The Flintstones A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Popeye Classics Dexters Laboratory Bananas In Pyjamas Baby Looney Tunes Gerald McBoing Boing Ha Ha Hairies Pink Panther And Pals The Garfield Show Dastardly And Muttley A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Flintstones Duck Dodgers Tom & Jerry Kids Droopy: Master Detective Wacky Races Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Ha Ha Hairies The Garfield Show Scooby Doo Where Are You! Dastardly And Muttley Looney Tunes Puppy In My Pocket Pink Panther And Pals Tom & Jerry Moomins The Garfield Show Dexter’s Laboratory Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Ha Ha Hairies Gerald McBoing Boing Bananas In Pyjamas Pink Panther And Pals Tom & Jerry Looney Tunes Scooby Doo Where Are You! Droopy: Master Detective The Flintstones Wacky Races Dastardly And Muttley New Yogi Bear Show 00:30 Bakugan: New Vestroia 01:20 Powerpuff Girls 02:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 03:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 03:25 Ben 10 03:50 Adventure Time 04:15 Powerpuff Girls 04:40 Generator Rex 05:05 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 05:55 Angelo Rules 06:00 Casper’s Scare School 06:50 The Powerpuff Girls 07:15 Adventure Time 07:40 Regular Show 08:05 Grim Adventures Of... 08:55 Courage The Cowardly Dog 09:45 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:35 Powerpuff Girls 11:25 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 12:15 Ed, Edd n Eddy 13:05 Ben 10: Alien Force 13:30 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 13:55 Redakai: Conquer The Kairu 14:20 Camp Lazlo 14:45 Powerpuff Girls 15:35 Angelo Rules 16:25 Grim Adventures Of... 17:15 The Amazing World Of Gumball 17:40 Adventure Time 18:05 Regular Show 18:30 Ben 10 18:55 Bakugan: Mechtanium Surge 19:20 Hero 108 19:45 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 20:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 21:00 Ben 10: Alien Force 21:25 The Powerpuff Girls 21:50 Cow And Chicken 22:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 22:50 Ben 10 23:40 Chowder 06:00 Kid vs Kat 06:20 American Dragon 06:45 Rekkit Rabbit 07:10 Pokemon: Black And White 07:35 Timon And Pumbaa 08:00 Phineas And Ferb 08:10 Phineas And Ferb 08:25 Pair Of Kings 08:50 Kick Buttowski 09:15 Zeke & Luther 09:40 I’m In The Band 10:05 Phineas And Ferb 10:30 Kid vs Kat 10:55 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 11:20 Aaron Stone 11:45 Rekkit Rabbit 12:10 American Dragon 12:35 Kick Buttowski 13:00 Phineas And Ferb 13:25 I’m In The Band 13:45 Kid vs Kat 14:10 Pair Of Kings 14:35 Zeke & Luther 15:00 Rekkit Rabbit 00:40 06:05 07:00 07:50 08:45 09:40 10:05 10:30 10:55 11:25 12:20 13:15 14:10 14:35 15:05 16:00 16:55 17:20 18:15 19:10 19:40 20:05 20:35 21:00 21:30 22:25 23:20 00:35 01:00 01:25 01:50 04:25 06:10 07:00 07:50 08:40 2011 09:35 10:25 11:20 12:15 13:05 13:55 14:50 15:40 16:05 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:30 20:20 20:45 21:10 22:00 22:50 23:40 Dynamo: Magician Impossible Mythbusters Futurecar Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Border Security Auction Hunters How It’s Made How Stuff’s Made Gold Rush Gold Divers Swamp Loggers Border Security Auction Hunters Coal Twist The Throttle Wheeler Dealers Ultimate Survival Mythbusters How It’s Made Factory Line Border Security Auction Hunters Scrappers Gold Rush Gold Divers Alone In The Wild Cool Stuff & How It Works Cool Stuff & How It Works The Tech Show The X-Testers Are We Alone? Mean Green Machines The Gadget Show Mighty Ships Killer Robots: Robogames Punkin Chunkin 2010 Weird Connections Smash Lab Mighty Ships Moon Machines Weird Connections Stunt Junkies The Tech Show Smash Lab The Gadget Show Moon Machines Mega Builders Superships The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Smash Lab Mega Builders Superships Mighty Ships THE TENDER HOOK ON OSN CINEMA 00:55 Style Star 01:25 THS 02:20 E! Investigates 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Then And Now 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Kourtney & Kim Take York 10:15 THS 12:05 Kendra 13:05 Dirty Soap 14:05 Keeping Up With Kardashians 15:00 Style Star 15:30 THS 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Giuliana & Bill 17:55 Kourtney & Kim Take York 18:55 E!es 19:55 Khloe And Lamar 20:55 Keeping Up With Kardashians 21:25 Ice Loves Coco 21:55 Ice Loves Coco 22:25 Scouted 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With Kardashians New The New The The 00:15 Wrestling With Reality 01:30 Gotta Grudge 01:55 Gotta Grudge 02:20 Final Fu 04:50 Alli Best Trick Competition 05:40 Eurodip 06:30 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 08:00 Tread BMX 08:25 Alli Presents 10:55 Fantasy Factory 11:45 Dr Danger 12:35 Ride Guide Snow 2010 13:25 Superstars USA 14:15 World Combat League 15:05 Fantasy Factory 15:55 Dr Danger 16:45 Tread BMX 17:10 Alli Presents 19:40 Superstars USA 20:30 Ride Guide Snow 2010 21:20 Gumball 3000: London To New York 22:10 World Combat League 23:00 Enfusion 23:50 Ride Guide Snow 2010 00:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:30 Unique Sweets 00:55 Restaurant: Impossible 01:45 Guy’s Big Bite - Special 02:10 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 02:35 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 03:25 Meat & Potatoes 03:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:15 Good Eats 04:40 World Cafe Asia 05:05 Gourmet Farmer 05:30 Chopped 06:10 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 06:35 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 07:00 Extreme Chef 07:50 Gourmet Farmer 08:15 Barefoot Contessa 08:40 Kid In A Candy Store 09:05 Good Eats 09:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 09:55 World Cafe Asia 10:20 30 Minute Meals 10:45 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 11:10 Unwrapped 11:35 Easy Chinese: San Francisco 12:00 Extreme Chef 12:50 Aarti Party 13:15 Cooking For Real 13:40 Barefoot Contessa 14:05 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 14:30 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 14:55 30 Minute Meals 15:20 Mexican Made Easy 15:45 Iron Chef America 16:35 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 17:00 Barefoot Contessa 17:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 17:50 Aarti Party 18:15 Kid In A Candy Store 18:40 Guy’s Big Bite 19:05 Mexican Made Easy 19:30 Extreme Chef 20:20 Iron Chef America 21:10 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 21:35 Gourmet Farmer 22:00 Easy Chinese: San Francisco 22:25 Easy Chinese: San Francisco 22:50 Andy Bates Street Feasts 23:15 Andy Bates Street Feasts 23:40 Meat & Potatoes 00:30 00:55 01:20 02:05 02:55 03:45 04:10 04:30 05:20 06:10 07:00 07:50 08:40 09:30 09:55 10:20 11:10 12:00 12:50 13:40 14:30 14:55 15:20 16:10 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:05 19:55 20:20 21:10 22:00 22:25 23:15 23:40 Stalked: Someone’s Watching I Was Murdered Behind Mansion Walls LA: City Of Demons Scorned: Crimes Of Passion Stalked: Someone’s Watching I Was Murdered On The Case With Paula Zahn Mystery ER Disappeared Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Mall Cops ‚Äì Mall Of America On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Street Patrol Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Mall Cops ‚Äì Mall Of America On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Forensic Detectives Undercover Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Mall Cops ‚Äì Mall Of America On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared I Married A Mobster Scorned: Crimes Of Passion Stalked: Someone’s Watching Dr G: Medical Examiner 00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 03:30 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 09:30 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00 City Chase Marrakech Around The World For Free Departures Graham’s World Earth Tripping Long Way Down Which Way To City Chase Marrakech Around The World For Free Departures Graham’s World Earth Tripping Long Way Down Which Way To City Chase Marrakech Around The World For Free Departures Banged Up Abroad Adventure Wanted Nomads Market Values Deadliest Journeys Don’t Tell My Mother Banged Up Abroad Treks In A Wild World Endurance Traveller 00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 The Morgue-18 The Siege-18 Walled In-PG15 The Devil’s Teardrop-PG15 Blank Slate-PG15 Inside Out-PG Flight Of The Phoenix-PG15 Blank Slate-PG15 Largo Winch 2-PG15 Flight Of The Phoenix-PG15 Death Race 2-18 Carlito’s Way-18 01:00 Sinners & Saints-18 03:00 Certified Copy-PG15 05:00 50 First Dates-PG15 07:00 Arthur And The Revenge Of Maltazard-PG 09:00 The Tender Hook-PG15 11:00 Ball & Chain-PG15 13:00 Cars 2-FAM 15:00 District 9-PG15 17:00 According To Greta-PG15 19:00 Red-PG15 21:00 Love And Other Impossible Pursuits-PG15 23:00 Hanna-PG15 00:00 King Of The Hill 00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Saturday Night Live 02:30 American Dad 03:00 The Simpsons 03:30 Last Man Standing 04:00 Friends 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Seinfeld 06:00 Weird Science 06:30 Dharma And Greg 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Friends 08:30 The Simpsons 09:00 Seinfeld 09:30 Two And A Half Men 10:30 Dharma And Greg 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Weird Science 12:30 Friends 13:00 Seinfeld 13:30 Dharma And Greg 14:00 Last Man Standing 15:00 Two And A Half Men 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 The Simpsons 18:30 Raising Hope 20:00 Community 20:30 King Of The Hill 21:00 The Daily Show Global Edition 21:30 The Colbert Report Global Edition 22:00 Louie 22:30 Bored To Death 23:00 American Dad 00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 08:30 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00 Unforgettable Missing Top Gear (US) Covert Affairs Strike Back The View Good Morning America The Invisible Man Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Martha Stewart Show The View Unforgettable Covert Affairs Good Morning America The Invisible Man The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street Revenge Desperate Housewives The Closer Game Of Thrones Strike Back 01:00 Kiss Of Death-18 03:00 Law Abiding Citizen-18 05:00 Clive Barker’s Book Of Blood 07:00 The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course-PG15 09:00 Returner-PG15 11:00 Taxi-PG15 13:00 Bodyguard: A New Beginning 15:00 Returner-PG15 17:00 The Reunion-PG15 19:00 Ronin-18 21:00 Carlito’s Way-18 23:30 Deadtime Stories-R 00:00 Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid 02:00 The Night Of The White Pants 04:00 The SpongeBob SquarePants INSIDE OUT ON OSN ACTION HD Movie-PG 06:00 Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid 08:00 Checking Out-PG15 10:00 Bubble Boy-PG15 11:30 Renaissance Man-PG15 13:45 Sleepover-PG15 15:45 Bubble Boy-PG15 17:45 Crazy On The Outside-PG15 20:00 The Trotsky-18 22:00 Saint John Of Las Vegas-18 01:00 03:00 05:00 07:15 09:00 PG15 11:00 13:00 15:00 PG15 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:15 Asylum-18 Romeo Is Bleeding-18 Funny Bones-PG15 Return To Rajapur-PG15 Squanto: A Warrior’s TaleSearching For Bobby Fischer Khao Niao Moo Ping-PG15 Squanto: A Warrior’s TaleThe Eclipse-PG15 Arlington Road-PG15 A L’origine-PG15 Nine-PG15 01:00 Machete-18 03:00 Head Of State-PG15 05:00 Elevator Girl-PG15 06:45 Glorious 39-PG15 09:00 Secretariat-PG15 11:00 Last Of The Living-PG15 13:00 One Hot Summer-PG15 15:00 Witness To Jonestown-PG15 17:00 Secretariat-PG15 19:00 Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son-PG15 20:45 A L’origine-PG15 23:00 Hanna-PG15 00:00 Emperor’s Secret-PG 02:00 Columbus III: The New WorldPG 04:00 The Lucky Dragon-PG 06:00 I’ll Be Home For Christmas-PG 08:00 Hua Mulan-PG 10:00 Big Fat Liar-PG 12:00 The Adventures Of Don Quixote-FAM 14:00 The Lucky Dragon-PG 16:00 Micropolis-FAM 18:00 Big Fat Liar-PG 20:00 Legend Of The Guardians-PG 22:00 The Adventures Of Don Quixote-FAM 01:00 UFC 03:00 Super Rugby 05:00 WWE SmackDown 07:00 Snooker World Championship 10:00 Super Rugby 12:00 Live NRL Premiership 14:00 Futbol Mundial 14:30 Super Rugby 16:30 Live Snooker World Championship 20:30 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 21:00 Live Snooker World Championship 00:00 02:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 12:00 14:00 14:30 16:30 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00 21:45 Super Rugby Sevens World Series NRL Premiership Scottish Premier League Sevens World Series Triathlon IronMan Scottish Premier League Pro 12 Celtic League Futbol Mundial AFL Premiership Trans World Sport SPL Highlights Live Super League 02:00 03:00 06:00 06:30 07:00 08:00 12:30 13:30 Trans World Sport Snooker World Championship Asian Tour Golf Show Futbol Mundial Golfing World European PGA Tour Golfing World Premier League Darts 17:00 NRL Premiership 19:00 Super Rugby Highlights 20:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 21:00 Top 14 Highlights 21:30 Sevens World Series 17:30 18:25 20:20 22:10 23:05 01:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 09:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 23:00 00:00 Food Tripper 01:00 The Ethical Hedonist 02:00 Globe Trekker 03:00 Safari Stopovers 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 Food Tripper 06:00 Sophie Grigson In Thailand 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Luxury Train Journeys In India 09:00 Intrepid Journeys 10:00 Sophie Grigson In The Souk 11:00 Flavours Of Peru 11:30 Glutton For Punishment 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Hollywood And Vines 14:00 Rivers Of The World 15:00 Swiss Railway Journeys 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Glutton For Punishment 17:30 Flavours Of Spain 18:00 Sophie Grigson In The Souk 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Distant Shores 20:30 Travel Today 21:00 Inside Luxury Travel-Varun Sharma 22:00 Down The Line 23:00 Globe Trekker PrizeFighter UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Unleashed UFC Unleashed WWE NXT PrizeFighter UAE National Race Day UAE National Race Day WWE Bottom Line WWE Vintage V8 Supercars V8 Supercars V8 Supercars WWE NXT WWE Experience UFC Unleashed UFC WWE SmackDown 01:15 Coma 03:10 Logan’s Run-PG 05:05 San Francisco-PG 07:00 A Day At The Races-FAM 08:50 The Adventures Of Quentin Durward-FAM 10:30 Guns For San Sebastian-PG 12:20 Logan’s Run-PG 14:15 Escape To Victory-PG 16:10 Mogambo-PG 18:05 Kim-FAM 19:55 The Journey-FAM 22:00 Clash Of The Titans 23:55 All This, And Heaven Too-PG 00:00 Declassified: Rise & Fall Of The Wall 01:00 Most Extreme Airports 03:00 Declassified: Rise & Fall Of The Wall 04:00 The Universe 05:00 MysteryQuest 06:00 Decoded 07:00 Pawn Stars 07:30 Pawn Stars 08:00 UFO Hunters 09:00 Soviet Storm: WWII In The East 10:00 Pawn Stars 10:30 Pawn Stars 11:00 Deep Sea Detectives 12:00 Most Extreme Airports 14:00 Soviet Storm: WWII In The East 15:00 UFO Hunters 16:00 Most Extreme Airports 18:00 Soviet Storm: WWII In The East 19:00 UFO Hunters 20:00 Pawn Stars 20:30 Pawn Stars 21:00 IRT: Deadliest Roads ‚Äì The Andes 22:00 Only In America 23:00 Lock N’ Load With R. Lee Ermey 00:00 01:00 01:25 01:55 02:50 03:20 04:15 05:10 06:05 07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 09:25 09:55 10:50 11:50 12:50 13:15 13:45 14:45 15:40 16:35 Wicked Fit Fashion Classics Open House Videofashion Daily Videofashion News How Do I Look? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Married Away Clean House Videofashion News Videofashion News Videofashion Daily Open House Fashion Classics How Do I Look? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Clean House Dress My Nest Mel B: It’s A Scary World Bridalplasty How Do I Look? Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane Big Rich Texas 00:10 01:00 01:50 02:40 03:30 04:20 05:10 06:00 06:15 06:40 07:05 07:30 07:55 08:20 08:45 09:10 09:25 09:35 09:45 10:00 10:25 10:50 11:15 11:40 12:05 12:30 12:55 13:20 13:45 14:10 14:35 16:15 16:40 17:00 17:30 17:55 18:20 18:45 19:10 19:35 20:00 20:25 20:50 21:15 21:40 22:05 22:55 23:45 Big Rich Texas The Amandas Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane The Amandas Fashion Police Replacements Fairly Odd Parents A Kind Of Magic Stitch Replacements Fairly Odd Parents A Kind Of Magic Fish Hooks Recess So Random Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Phineas And Ferb Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Handy Manny The Hive Mouk Recess So Random Hannah Montana Fish Hooks Jake & Blake Sonny With A Chance Wizards Of Waverly Place Phineas And Ferb Recess Jessie A.N.T. Farm Shake It Up Jessie A.N.T. Farm Recess Wizards Of Waverly Place So Random Fish Hooks Shake It Up Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Phineas And Ferb Shake It Up Jonas So Random Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Kim Possible 00:00 Taking Of Pelham One Two Three, The-18 01:45 The Mean Season-PG 03:30 Welcome To L.A.-18 05:10 Mad Dog Coll-PG 06:50 Evidence Of Blood-PG 08:40 My American Cousin-PG 10:10 Ice Blues-PG 11:35 Murder Live!-PG 13:05 How To Beat The High Cost Of Living-PG 14:50 Nobody’s Fool 16:35 Book Of Days-PG 35 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 stars CROSSWORD 668 STAR TRACK CALVIN & HOBBES Aries (March 21-April 19) Needing to feel secure in your business is very important to you. There is nothing better than to know you are useful and needed in the profession that you have chosen. If you have been looking for that special job, this week might bring you luck. Be rested and positive and consider checking out the wardrobe and making sure that everything is clean and ready for you. Your purpose is meaningful. There is always a sense of confidence from which your strong expressive ideas originate and you are wise to take a humble attitude. You can feel free to exert your big-hearted side later today, as you will find many opportunities to be around animals and children, and perhaps enjoy sports with friends. Betting on the team outcome is not a good idea. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Start looking for classes, books or lectures on budgeting, financial planning and how to organize your financial affairs because things are looking up and much of your future success will hinge on these future skills. The few challenges that you face are manageable. This can begin to be one of the happiest and most fulfilling times of your life. You have inner vision, coupled with the ability to see the big picture of most situations. You may find yourself smoothing ruffled feelings, several times this day. Today you have the opportunity to bring two people together that have previously had difficulty in understanding each other. This could include two young people or two neighbors, etc. Your playmate has a surprise for you this evening. POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. A federally chartered savings bank. 4. A deceitful and unreliable scoundrel. 10. Light informal conversation for social occasions. 13. (Irish) The sea personified. 14. Type genus of the Alaudidae. 15. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 16. A reptile genus of Iguanidae. 17. Port city in western Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea. 18. God of the earth. 19. Capital and largest city of Iraq. 21. A bachelor's degree in religion. 23. Lower in esteem. 26. Toward the mouth or oral region. 29. A nucleic acid consisting of large molecules shaped like a double helix. 30. Kindly endorsement and guidance. 34. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 35. Steal goods. 37. A sweetened beverage of diluted fruit juice. 38. Of or relating to the stomach and intestines. 40. A state in northwestern United States on the Pacific. 41. Fish eggs or egg-filled ovary. 42. A light touch or stroke. 45. A change for the better. 47. A radioactive transuranic element produced by bombarding plutonium with neutrons. 49. A rare silvery (usually trivalent) metallic element. 50. A digital display that uses liquid crystal cells that change reflectivity in an applied electric field. 52. A path set aside for walking. 54. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 59. A bag used for carrying money and small personal items or accessories (especially by women). 61. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 62. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 63. A port city in southwestern Iran. 66. The dressed hairy coat of a mammal. 67. (informal) Informed about the latest trends. 68. When dried yields a hard substance used e.g. in golf balls. 69. (computer science) Protocol that allows users to copy files between their local system and any system they can reach on the network. DOWN 1. An embarrassing mistake. 2. Stalk of a moss capsule. 3. (informal) Exceptionally good. 4. The seventh month of the Moslem calendar. 5. Surveying instrument consisting of the upper movable part of a theodolite including the telescope and its attachments. 6. Experiencing or showing sorrow or unhappiness. 7. A purplish dye obtained from orchil lichens. 8. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 9. The syllable naming the sixth (submediant) note of a major or minor scale in solmization. 10. Mentally or physically infirm with age. 11. American novelist (1909-1955). 12. A small cake leavened with yeast. 20. An informal term for a father. 22. In the Roman calendar. 24. A silvery malleable metallic element that resists corrosion. 25. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 27. Having any of numerous bright or strong colors reminiscent of the color of blood or cherries or tomatoes or rubies. 28. In bed. 31. Cassava with long tuberous edible roots and soft brittle stems. 32. (computer science) A graphic symbol (usually a simple picture) that denotes a program or a command or a data file or a concept in a graphical user interface. 33. A brace that extends from the rear of the keel to support the rudderpost. 36. Inspired by a feeling of fearful wonderment or reverence. 39. Prohibited by law or by official or accepted rules. 43. Advanced in years. 44. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 46. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 48. A river that rises in central Germany and flows north to join the Elbe River. 49. A soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. 51. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 53. The act of catching an object with the hands. 55. (Irish) Mother of the Tuatha De Danann. 56. (British slang) Cafe. 57. King of Denmark and Norway who forced Edmund II to divide England with him. 58. An association of people to promote the welfare of senior citizens. 60. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 64. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 65. A highly unstable radioactive element (the heaviest of the halogen series). Yesterday’s Solution Gemini (May 21-June 20) Pay attention to all that you are told today to avoid being fooled or mislead by others. This may be a tricky day. It may be easy to ignore some important information. Avoid the tendency to be fooled by others— you may find yourself ignoring what is underneath a conversation. Use your intuition today—it is very strong and may lead to new insights. This, however, may not be the best time to make important decisions that affect your life circumstances. Others may question your ideas or challenge your authority or the direction you are taking. Just watch and learn for now. You may find that someone close to you understands and is supportive of your eccentricities. Deep within you is everything that is perfect, ready to radiate out into the world. Cancer (June 21-July 22) Correct choices and the best path for you may be at odds with your own sense of values and you may find it difficult to focus. Your thirst for experience and growth always keeps you on the move. This is not a bad thing, particularly if you like to travel. You might consider a position at a cruise line or airline or driving as a chauffeur. Not to worry . . . you will adjust and change your goals until you find your niche, and you will. You will have support from those around you for whenever or wherever you finally decide to present your talents. This evening is the perfect time for a leisurely meal with your loved one. Perhaps a card game or word game would be just the activity to bring people together in fun and gaiety. Give some consideration to your talents. NON SEQUITUR Leo (July 23-August 22) You understand and are able to handle whatever comes across your path today. You can cut through the chatter and uncover the truth in most matters. You are wise to allow the situation or discovery to work its way into a solution; although you know just what is needed. You will make a positive difference as you interact with others. Generally, you know how to ask the right questions in getting others to find answers within themselves. Funny thing about truth . . . it brings to light an easy solution . . . the work is in the choice later. It may be necessary to make a few phone calls, ask a few questions or write a letter to the editor of your city newspaper. This is a time when political, philosophical, religious or psychological issues really take a hold on you. ZITS Virgo (August 23-September 22) You may feel that you are more energetic than usual today— your mind is clear and it seems very easy to be creative. Career decisions are straightforward and easy to make. If an interview is your worry . . . let the worry stop now. You make your way through ideas, concepts and your ability to express these ideas to others. This is a time of good fortune when things open up in a very natural way for you. Make a special effort with your appearance now. Clothing selected now will increase your desirability—on or off the job. Friends, group projects and community concerns play a key role in the direction of your future. Goodwill and humanitarian efforts can change your work and life-path. This afternoon is a good time to be with friends or loved ones. Libra (September 23-October 22) MOTHER GOOSE AND GRIMM You may be able to spend a little time today reading on things besides your work. At least try and find ways to exercise your mind in a direction you have not used lately. Learn a new mind skill or game and enjoy the distraction. If you have people around you, take the opportunity to travel to a flea market or garage sale or farmers’ market and enjoy the fun of just walking around in a different atmosphere; hey, the walking is a good way to get a little exercise as well. There will be fewer demands to put in overtime and you will be able to enjoy more time with friends and family so think about a hobby you can fine tune or teach to another willing soul. You are a good cook and may enjoy growing your own herbs this summer. Gardening can be relaxing. Scorpio (October 23-November 21) There will be no idle moments at home today and it may be a blessing. Perhaps later you could manage to get yourself up and go out-of-doors for a bit of fresh air. Your energies are perfect for socializing and interacting in groups. A friend relaxes today and you get to know this person a little bit more. Fun conversations help you get to know the similarities of childhood. There is talk of taking a ride this summer in a hot air balloon and how that experience might be. You could be shopping this afternoon. A new grocery store or a vegetable stand gains your attention. Accept an invitation to dinner this evening. At home, later today you may be thinking over the work. Write out your ideas and take a few notes so that you can refer to them later. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) A vital day is ahead and you are encouraged to take action. You may feel focused and even a bit radiant. You could find yourself in the limelight or able to really communicate and get yourself across to others. Use your powers of self-expression wisely and creatively. A good conversation with those you love is possible. Teaching a young person to respect the responsibilities that come with money may be difficult but feasible; it is certainly worth a try. You could be helping this youngster to understand budgeting. You will find your best opportunity for self-accomplishment comes from utilizing your writing and intellectual skills. Finish writing a book, write those letters or write the next speech. This evening you will enjoy the company of positive, upbeat people. Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Pace your activities today as you may feel blocked or frustrated emotionally by someone this morning. However, by the afternoon, recovery from any frustration will be like magic and you will find your most positive frame of mind has returned. Your timing gets better as the day goes on and those around you should find you most flexible and natural. You understand the needs of others and fitting your needs and the needs of others together makes life work well. Do not force your ideas for now—be patient. You may find it very easy to overdo today. There could be a sense of testing the limits. Give the emotions a treat and take a nice long shower or bubble bath this afternoon. An evening at the movies or a dinner out can be quite enjoyable. To Yesterday’s Solution Yester Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Unsolved problems or mysteries may catch your attention today. You could be the sleuth in your neighborhood and discover the truth behind a mystery that has been puzzling you and others for some time. This could additionally involve some success in getting people to pay their bills, in getting a refund or in a payback of some sort. This afternoon is spent in deep concentration to memorize or learn some task that you will be able to express to others soon. Perhaps you will sing or recite a poem or you have created an artistic masterpiece for all to see. A young person enjoys your attention later today and you might be able to help by teaching something new—he or she is certainly eager. It looks like this young person may be ready for a first driving lesson. Pisces (February 19-March 20) Word Sleuth Solution Routine chores and responsibilities move along well today. This may not be the best time for thinking about career decisions. After the noon meal, you might consider a little walk or drive to visit a friend or relative. You appreciate the beauty in your life and in those around you. At the same time, everything could take on a need for your attention. Try to create a balance and not become overly stressed. Be careful if shopping this afternoon, that you do not overspend or indulge too much. You could have trouble holding onto money at this time. Photographic opportunities become available today and you may decide to create a few homemade greeting cards with your pictures so that you can send them to a few people you have not seen in a while. 36 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 lifestyle G O S S I P Octomom is broke and desperate it was learned Octomom was also Single Mom and Welfare Mom. And that she already had six children under the age of 8 and was living on a combination of welfare checks, food stamps, student loans and her parents’ largesse. The legitimate movie, book and TV deals went away, and Suleman turned to an increasingly bizarre means of making money. The legitimate movie, book and T V deals went away, and Suleman turned to an increasingly bizarre means of making money. She endorsed birth control, but only for dogs, and cats. That earned her $5,000 and a month’s supply of vegetarian hot dogs and burgers from the animal rights group People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals. And although she once told Oprah Winfrey she hated the term “Octomom,” she had it emblazoned on the back of the robe she proudly wore into a boxing ring last year for a “celebrity” match against Amy Fisher. (The latter gained fame in the 1990s as the “Long Island Lolita” when she shot the wife of her much older lover in the face.) rom Miracle Mom to Octomom and, the bizarre life of Nadya Suleman and her 14 children has been a subject that rarely ceases to amaze. But with Suleman filing for bankruptcy this week and revealing she owes everyone from her parents to her gardener to her baby-sitters nearly $1 million, could the Octomom Odyssey finally be grinding to an inglorious halt? Not only is Suleman flat broke, but it has come to light in recent weeks that the La Habra home where she and her children have lived the past two years is about to be put on the auction block. Last week that home was visited by child welfare officials who had received a tip that Suleman was neglecting her children. They took no action but have said they are continuing to investigate. On Jan. 26, 2009, when Suleman’s octuplets, spawned by invitro fertilization, were born at a Southern California hospital and made medical history by all surviving. In the days that followed, she was reportedly showered with offers for book and movie deals, reality TV shows and a mountain of free baby stuff. Things changed quickly, however, after F Lady Gaga loves being alone he ‘Judas’ hitmaker - who recently split with ‘Vampire Diaries’ star Taylor Kinney - admitted she began cherishing her “loneliness” at the age of 20 when she decided to seriously pursue a career in the music industry. She said: “I began to cherish my loneliness. I have, sort of, since I was around 20 years old. “I was very depressed when I was 19. I decided to pursue music, so I dropped out of school and I told my parents I didn’t want any money from them. I got three jobs and I just hit the ground running. “I would go back to my apartment every day and I would just sit there. It was quiet and it was lonely. It was still. It was just my piano and myself. I had at television and I would leave it on all the time just to feel like somebody was hanging out with me.” T Souvenirs stolen from top Edith Piaf composer rench singer-songwriter Charles Dumont, who wrote the music to one of Edith Piaf’s top hits, appealed for the return of precious mementos that were stolen from his Paris apartment. ‘They took a lot of money but especially my souvenirs of Edith,’ Dumont, who wrote the music to the 1960 hit ‘Non, Je ne Regrette Rien’ (No, I Have No Regrets), told the Paris daily Le Parisien. The objects were in a safe that was ripped out of its place and removed from the apartment while Dumont, who is in his early 80s, was touring in Canada, the report said. ‘The robbers took enough things of value. I ask them simply to return a few souvenirs to me, those of Edith and then also my father’s wedding ring which I inherited a few years ago when he died,’ said Dumont. ‘They can put them in an envelope and send them to my address,’ he said, listing a gold watch engraved z e p o L r e f i n y n r r e J a m o t s t n a w T he 42-year-old singer is thought to be ready for a fourth trip down the aisle after announcing she was parting ways with Marc Anthony last July. A source told Us Weekly: “She’s telling friends she wants to marry Casper. She’s certain she wants to be with Casper forever.” At a press conference to announce her upcoming world tour with Enrique Iglesias and Wisin Y Yandel, Jennifer announced her partner of six months will play a vital part in putting the show together. “I’m working with [choreographer] Jamie King, and also Casper Smart. It’s going to be an amazing, amazing show.” She added that the event will be “one of the most historic tours ever.” She continued: “There’s never been something like this, where Latinos come together like this. It’s international - English and Spanish. I just think it’s very groundbreaking. I was honoured to be asked to be a part of it.” Jennifer has previously been married to restaurant waiter Ojani Noa and former backing dancer Chris Judd. Kate Moss loves baking with her daughter F with her signature and a pair of cufflinks as among gifts from the diminutive Piaf, a cultural icon in France and an international star who died in 1963 aged 47. The total value of the haul was estimated at nearly 200,000 euros ($260,000), Le Parisien said. Mystikal gives a bit of flavour to Jazz Fest T housands turned out Friday to see New Orleans rapper Mystikal perform one last time before returning to jail on a probation violation. The rapper, whose real name is Michael Tyler, was released from a Louisiana prison in 2010 after serving six years for sexual battery and extortion. He returns to jail May 14 following a February arrest on a misdemeanour charge of domestic abuse battery. In April, the rapper’s attorney, Roy Maughan Jr., said Tyler and the victim in the domestic battery case were longtime domestic partners. The rapper alluded to his legal problems on stage Friday. “I’m going through some things, but it’s gonna be all right,” Mystikal said to cheering fans. “Fellas if you get into it with your girl, just walk away. Me? I’m gonna run.” He also shouted: “Eighty-one days and I will be back,” referring to the length of his pending jail term. State District Judge Tony Marabella of Baton Rouge ordered Tyler to serve 90 days in jail for the violation but gave him credit for the nine days he was detained after his Feb. 22 arrest. Mystikal thanked his fans for their continued support and, in between a few water breaks, pushed through a set list that included fan favourites “Bouncin’ Back, “Danger (Been So Long),” and “Here I Go.” “He’s been through a lot, but I like artists who keep pushing past their struggles,” said Erik Hamilton, of New Orleans. “A lot of people focus on an artist’s problems and forget that he’s a regular person and regular people sometimes have problems. Kelly Osbourne’s dog has to wear booties he TV presenter took to her twitter account to share a picture of her Pomeranian Story’s new sky blue footwear which her four-legged friend has been wearing to stop her licking her paws. She tweeted: “Story has allergies so we had to put these little booties on her so she stop trying to eat her feet! She is... (sic)” But Kelly is not the only person showing the pampered pooch - who she recently rescued - a lot of attention, as her other dog Pomeranian Sid has been trying to hump her new mutt. She previously tweeted: “I got a new dog that i rescued she’s a pom that was pretty much kept in a cadge for the past year! i cant wait to meet her & make her happy! (sic)” The 27-year-old star - who also owns a Doberman called Blue - later posted another picture of Sid getting a little over excited about his new family member, which Kelly captioned: “Sid won’t stop trying to hump Story! Look how sexy he is trying to be for her! #NaughtyBoy (sic)” Kelly regularly informs her 1.9 million twitter followers on the lives of Story, Sid and Blue. T he 38-year-old model likes to relax away from work by spending time with her nine-year-old daughter Lila Grace and they love cooking together. She said: “I love baking with my daughter on a Sunday. She wants to be a chef, so we bake a cake and just hang out.” Although she insists it’s important to take time out from work, she loves being one of the world’s top models and enjoys nothing more than working on an exciting new project. Kate - who is married to musician Jamie Hince - told Cosmopolitan magazine: “I love a great project, and working with people like Terry Richardson and Mario Testino still excites me - I love the whole process of creating fashion pictures. It just doesn’t get boring if you’re working with great people.” Her favourite fashion moments have always related to people and photography. She added: “Working with legends such as Irving Penn, Helmut Newton and Richard Avedon. In 20 years time I’ll probably be saying Nicky Knight and Mario Testino, but these guys have created some of the most iconic images in fashion history.” — Bangshowbiz T 37 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 LIFESTYLE F e a t u r e s Trophies and laughs await on ‘The Comedy Awards’ he notion that TV viewers need another awards show may be laughable. Exactly. “The Comedy Awards,” which began last year, celebrates the art of comedy. And this year’s presentation, which aired last night on Comedy Central, is a funny affair packed with masters of mirthmaking including Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, T Jon Stewart and Robert De Niro (who demonstrates his own shortcomings as a standup, bobbling wisecracks such as telling Rickles, “I’ve always thought of you as a comedian and actor. But since we did ‘Casino’ together, I’ve come to think of you as, well, more of a comedian”). “Rango” is the best animated were judged by 1500 working members of the comedy community, choosing from nominees selected by a board of directors comprising such names as Carol Burnett, James Burrows, Stephen Colbert, Budd Friedman, Conan O’Brien, Joan Rivers, George Schlatter, Jon Stewart and Lily Tomlin. In this April 28, 2012 photo, comedic legend Don Rickles gestures onstage at The 2012 Comedy Awards in New York. —AP Chris Parnell, Maya Rudolph, Adam Scott and Jim Carrey. Taped April 28 at New York’s Hammerstein Auditorium, the gala event salutes comedy achievements in standup, TV, films and digital. Robin Williams gets the Standup Icon Award. Don Rickles is honoured with the Johnny Carson Award For Comedic Excellence, presented by comedy film. French actor (and Oscar winner) Jean Dujardin is named best film actor for “The Artist.” NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” is chosen as best comedy series, and its star, Amy Poehler, is named best actress, while FX’s “Louie” is the best sketch/alternative comedy series. Best club comic: Hannibal Buress. Most of the two dozen categories But several categories are left to the public, who, through airtime on Sunday, can make their picks on the Comedy Awards website to choose: the funniest person on Twitter; best comedy podcast; best comedy app; and best remix, mash-up or supercut. The twohour telecast begins with a bang as Chris Rock announces the year’s best comedy special, among whose five nominees, he jokes, “Three are funny. One used to be funny. And one was NEVER funny!” Taking the award is the online standup special “Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater.” The winner as best comedy director of a film (for “Bridesmaids”), Paul Feig, plies his craft by directing Will Arnett in a performance reading Feig’s acceptance remarks.And accepting the award for “Bridesmaids” as best comedy film, Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo deliver a funny, even fetching display of wrestling on the stage floor for custody of the single trophy. Now, THAT’s comedy! Presenter Tracy Morgan delivers a bombshell: He announces he’s quitting show business, to join the party-hearty life of the US Secret Service. The sentimental highlight of the evening is seeing Don Rickles gratefully receive his trophy. In rambling remarks that alternate between tender recollections of performers he reveres (notably Johnny Carson) intercut with his trademark insults, Rickles, who turns 86 on Tuesday, clinches his title as (in the words of Stewart) “the patron saint of comedy.” “I see many in the audience,” he says tenderly, then hurls a zinger: “I realize tonight, I’m the biggest name here.” He’s kidding, but he needn’t be. “The Comedy Awards” is a zesty who’s who of jesters, supplemented by Andy Richter in the announcer’s booth and The Roots as the robust house band. And though Chris Rock marvels at the top of the evening, “They televise THIS - and they DON’T do the Nobel Peace Prize,” it’s no wonder. This is much funnier. Anything for a laugh! —AP In this film publicity image released by Universal Pictures, a naval ship is attacked by an invader in a scene from “Battleship.” —AP After foreign haul, attleship,” the first in a string of movies based on Hasbro board games, has survived an armada of tomatothrowing critics and chugged to $170 million in ticket sales overseas. Yet it faces choppy seas as it steams toward its U.S. debut on May 18. What might sink “Battleship” is competition from other hotly expected blockbusters, including the superhero adventure “The Avengers,” which opens Friday, and Sony’s long-awaited “Men in Black III,” which rolls out May 23. “It could drown in amongst all of those big titles,” says Blake Howard, director of Australian review site Castlecoop.com. He says the movie’s “popcorn escapism” was good enough to succeed in a regular year. This summer, it has unusually tough competition. The hit-or-miss fate of a given Hollywood big-budget movie doesn’t normally matter “B ‘Battleship’ faces choppy seas that much. Media company analysts discount the studios as too volatile to be given much credit inside large conglomerates. But “Battleship” is the first board game movie since “Clue” tanked in 1985. It’s a barometer for the appetite of audiences for a handful of other Hasbro board game movies, including Universal’s own “Ouija,” due out next year, as well as “Risk” and “Candy Land,” which are in the works at Sony Corp.’s movie studio. Universal Pictures took the unusual step of releasing “Battleship” in international markets five weeks before its US debut. Part of that was to avoid competing with “The Avengers,” the Disney/Marvel movie that brings together “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk” and other superheroes from previous films. It also wanted to give a wide berth to European Cup soccer starting June 8. The overseas haul for “Battleship” goes part way to justi- Belarus local residents sing as they prepare to take part in a traditional festival to pray for a good harvest outside the village of Pogost, some 250 km south-west of Minsk yesterday. —AFP fying its reported $209 million price tag. But after subtracting splits with theater owners and marketing costs, it is estimated to need about half a billion dollars at box offices to turn a profit. That’s tough given the competition. In a little more than one week, “The Avengers” snagged $304 million abroad, far more than “Battleship” did in three weeks. “The Avengers,” fuelled by gushing reviews and a fan base that has been building since “Iron Man” in 2008, could break the domestic opening weekend record of $169 million. Both movies squarely target the young males that make or break Hollywood movies in the allimportant summer movie season. “Battleship” has mixed momentum coming to the US Just 48 percent of critics on review site Rotten Tomatoes gave it a positive review, compared with 93 percent for “The Avengers.” The most generous critics have still heaped cynicism on the board-game tie-ins, such as a scene in which American soldiers use a grid to fire blindly at alien ships in a strained nod to the board game. “The only thing to do is raise the white flag and surrender to the film’s awesome silliness,” writes British reviewer Jason Best with the What’s On TV website. American patriotic militarism is accepted overseas, but not relished, and international audiences appear to have overlooked a heavy dose of it in “Battleship” to get their action movie fix. It probably helped that a Japanese co-star, pop icon Rihanna and a disabled veteran helped the American hero save Earth from outer-space invaders. “I think it literally just comes down to: People like explosions and action movies abroad,” says Oliver Lyttleton, a U.K.-based writer for The Playlist blog. He believes that won’t prevent the movie from losing money. “I don’t think we’ll see a Battleship 2.” Executives from Hasbro Inc. and Universal, a division of Comcast Corp., declined to comment ahead of the domestic release. The movie represents the hopes of both companies for a big franchise, a series that sells billions of dollars in toys and tickets, the way “Transformers” did for Hasbro and Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures. Given the results so far, a more realistic benchmark for “Battleship” is “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.” The Hasbro toy-inspired movie from 2009 generated $300 million in ticket sales worldwide, about half of it overseas. That was good enough to spawn a sequel, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” which hits theaters in June. “Battleship” also doesn’t have to be as big as Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter” to become a bankable franchise. If it makes some money, it could add to Universal’s relatively successful series, such as the “Bourne” and “Fast Five” movies. “If they have three really strong franchises and a bunch of other movies in their slate that are going to perform well, that’s absolutely fine,” says Paul Dergarabedian, the box office president of Hollywood.com. But he added, “in order to warrant the investment of a franchise built around it, it’s going to have to do quite well here in North America.” —AP Linda Evangelista leaves Manhattan Family in New York. —AP Evangelista testifies at NY child-support trial racing her working life from picking cherries as a preteen to the cover of Vogue, supermodel Linda Evangelista told a court Friday she can still command about $100,000 to walk a runway, though her career has slowed since its 1980s and ‘90s heyday. In an unusual peek into high fashion in Manhattan Family Court, Evangelista took the witness stand to begin telling her side of her child-support standoff with French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault. But their 5-year-old boy didn’t come up in Evangelista’s brief testimony Friday; she’s expected to continue testifying Monday. Rather, answering questions from her lawyer, the high-flying model who once famously said she and her peers “don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day” sketched a portrait of herself as a woman whose first job - harvesting cherries on a farm in her Canadian hometown - paid $10 a day. She did that work at 12 to earn money for a bicycle, she said. She worked at a convenience store and several other jobs during high school, pounded the pavement in two continents to get her start in modeling and felt pressured into getting her now-signature haircut, she said. When she first got her famous cut in the late 1980s on advice from some fashion heavy-hitters, “I cried,” and organizers canceled 16 out of some 20 fashion shows she was about to do, she recalled. But soon “I had every Vogue cover around the world ... and then people came around and decided they like the short hair.” Asked about her career now, the 46year-old model paused. “I’m active,” she said in a calm, careful voice. “I would like to work.” Indeed she does: She is on the current cover of Italian Vogue, recently did a roughly $90,000 advertising shoot, and still gets some runway requests, including a 2010 Paris show she had to turn down for a court date - ultimately canceled - in the custody battle, said Evangelista, dressed for court in a tailored white skirt, stylishly boxy gray linen jacket with tan collar and cuffs, T and tan spike-heeled pumps. But her lawyer, William Beslow, has said Evangelista’s roughly $1.8 million-a-year income took a dive last year after a major contract with L’Oreal ended, and that’s why she’s asking a court to order Pinault to chip in for son Augustin’s expenses. She says she spends $46,000 a month on armed bodyguards, 24-hour-a-day nannies and other care for the boy, known as Augie. Pinault, who is CEO of luxury-brands powerhouse PPR and now the husband of actress Salma Hayek, says he has offered for years to pay Evangelista child support, but she responded with the lawsuit. His lawyer, David Aronson, has termed the possibility of a $46,000-a-month child-support bill “just ridiculous.” Pinault was grilled earlier Friday about his own spending, including the roughly $62,000 in clothes, $100,000 watch and half-share in a $250,000 sportscar he bought himself in 2010. Vacations ran him $200,000 that year; upkeep on the garden at his Paris apartment, about $45,000, he said. His testimony pulled back a curtain on personal difficulties, as well as financial details. He said he had postponed formally recognizing Augie as his son for some months in 2007 because he and Hayek were caught up in concern about her own pregnancy with their daughter, Valentina. For a time, they were told the baby would have Down syndrome, he said. “The situation was very, very complicated. We almost lost the baby,” he testified. Pinault, now 49, and Evangelista had dated over about four months in 2005 and 2006. He said they spent only about seven days together in all. Augie was born in October 2006. Pinault also has two children by a previous marriage. PPR owns Gucci, Yves St. Laurent and other high-style brands. Forbes recently estimated his family’s net worth at $13 billion. —AP ‘Death Match’ film touches nerve ahead of Euro 2012 Russian film released on the eve of Ukraine’s hosting of Euro 2012 tells the stirring story of the notorious “Match of Death” played between Soviet footballers and Nazi occupiers in Kiev during World War II. But the film has reopened still raw wounds in Ukraine and has been accused of antiUkrainian bias for its depiction of some locals willingly collaborating with the invading German forces. The film, “Match,” is set in the occupied Ukrainian capital in 1941 and 1942. It is based on the true story of a team of Soviet footballers who played a series of matches against the Nazis 70 years ago. It shows the Soviet players irking the occupiers with victory after victory. The Nazis then arrange a showpiece game in a swastika-covered stadium to prove their superiority. Under pressure to lose for propaganda purposes, the Soviet side, called Start, refuses to throw the match and wins it, knowing it will lead to their deaths. “I can’t decide for everyone, but my vote is for victory,” says the goalkeeper hero, A Nikolai Ranevich, in the dressing room at halftime. “But they’ll kill us,” objects a teammate. “That’s a minus, but we’ll get over it,” he says deadpan. Shortly after the match, later dubbed the “Match of Death,” the Nazis arrested winning team members and sent them to a concentration camp where a number of them were shot. The sweeping patriotic drama went on release in Russia and Ukraine on May 1, in time for Victory Day celebrations on May 9 and Ukraine’s controversial hosting of the Euro 2012 football championship in June. The film was 70 percent financed by a Kremlin fund set up to promote patriotic cinema and stars one of the country’s most popular actors, Sergei Bezrukov, as Ranevich. Its posters in Russia include a message wishing the national side good luck in the Euro 2012 competition. “We should show this film to our football team,” Bezrukov told journalists after training for the role with former Russia goalkeeper Sergei Ovchninnikov. CORRECTION (Second from left) Spanish Ambassador Angel Losada is pictured with his spouse (far left), Maria Minicia (second right) and Aqeel Behbehani as they cut the ribbon to officially inaugurate the first Luxenter boutique in Kuwait. MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 lifestyle Free comics? Zoiks! Promotion aims for new readers B uoyed by big-budget superhero films this summer, retailers and publishers are poised to give away more than 3.5 million free comics at events aimed at building communities among longtime fans and at capturing new readers. What began 11 years ago with just four publishers in a few cities has blossomed into an international event involving hundreds of stores in 46 countries with 40 publishers - big, small and self-run - and millions of comic books, all for free. “This grand plot for world comics domination is continuing to steam roll,” said Joe Field, who owns Flying Colors Comics in Concord, Calif., and helped launch the annual event. “We’re adding people, we’re adding countries and we’re adding comics,” he said Friday. This year’s titles range from Boom! Studio’s “Peanuts/Adventure Time Flip Book” to Rebellion’s “2000AD Judge Dredd Special” to Dark Horse’s “Star Wars/Serenity” book. For the industry - which is experiencing a creative rebirth and wider reach because of digital comics, as well as more self-produced and self-financed independent books - the first Saturday in May is as much a chance to celebrate its success as well as make efforts to drum up new readers. “You’re really getting the cream of the crop of the next tier of readers that you want to appeal to,” said John Cunningham, vice president of marketing at DC Entertainment, which last year relaunched its entire roster of heroes to make them more contemporary, a move that has drawn increased sales and acclaim from most corners of comic book stores. “It draws people in who don’t normally come to a comic shop and, hopefully, they browse when they’re here,” said Mike Ferrero, who has owned the store in downtown Philadelphia since 1976. It’s also an attempt to foster community among longtime readers while drawing in new readers whose exposure may have been to movies or cartoons on television. Keith Obeldobel was browsing through comics at Eide’s Entertainment in Pittsburgh and said the day brings in young readers who might be familiar with characters through other media. “I’ve noticed the younger generations aren’t into comics as much,” he said, adding that when first-timers come into a shop, “collectors and comics enthusiasts are very willing to share information. It’s just a friendly environment.” It’s also a chance to mark comics’ role in pop culture, a nod to the upcoming summer movie season that sports no less than three super hero film adaptions - “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing SpiderMan.” David Gabriel, senior vice president of sales at Marvel Entertainment, said the Free Comic Book Day edition of “The Avengers 12.1” “capitalizes” on the film and “the issue serves as prologue to the upcoming major Avengers comic story, the ‘Age of Ultron.’” Connecting films to print helps, too, Field said. “There’s nothing like a $100 million commercial to help out your business,” he said. — AP Ken Frederick, dressed as comic book character “Galactus,” (right), Broc Atkinson (centre) dressed as comic book character “Bane” and Kip Henniquan who is in costume as a Jawa character from “Star Wars”, wave to passing traffic as part of the promotion for New Dimensions Comics. — AP Teen points out inaccurate map to NYC’s Met museum This photo shows Benjamin Lerman, posing by a map at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. — AP A Connecticut seventh-grader says workers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City didn’t believe him when he pointed out an inaccuracy with a map that was on exhibit. The map purported to show the Byzantine Empire at its largest size in the 6th century, but he noticed that Spain and part of Africa were missing from the depiction. Benjamin Lerman Coady knew he was right, because he had just studied the empire in school before last summer’s trip to the museum with his mother. He was told to fill out a form. “The front desk didn’t believe me,” Benjamin told The Hartford Courant. “I’m only a kid.” The 13-year-old West Hartford resident filled out the form and never expected a response, but a museum official wrote him in September saying his comments were under review. Then came an email in January from Helen Evans, the museum’s curator for Byzantine art. “You are, of course, correct about the boundaries of the Byzantine Empire under Justinian,” Evans wrote, and she invited Benjamin to return to the museum. Benjamin took up the offer and met Evans at the museum in February. He brought her notepads from his school, and Evans gave him a tour of the museum including a sneak preview of a new exhibit. She also asked Benjamin to draw what the map should really look like. He’s still working on that project. Evans said this week that the museum is still deciding what to do about the error, including possibly displaying other maps reflecting the empire’s history. She said the mistake probably stems from a map reprint a few years ago. “It may be the makings of a young historian,” Evans said about Benjamin’s actions. The teen likes history, but said he has other things in mind for a career. “I want to move to Greenwich and open a modern exotic car shop,” he said. — AP ‘Avengers’ scores No. 2 opening day with $80.5m L ots of superheroes add up to lots of money for “The Avengers.” The film featuring a team of Marvel Comics heroes pulled in $80.5 million in its domestic debut Friday, the second-best haul ever on opening day. “The Avengers” trails only last year’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” which took in $91.1 million in its first day on the way to a record weekend of $169.2 million. The huge opening for “The Avengers” launches what’s expected to be a colossal summer for Hollywood, whose domestic revenues already were running 14 percent ahead of last year’s going into the weekend. Summer season began a year ago with the Marvel Comics adventure “Thor,” one of the solo superhero sagas that led to “The Avengers.” “Thor” earned a respectable $65.7 million for the entire weekend, while “The Avengers” brought in far more than that in a single day. The superhero summer continues through July with two more blockbusters in the making: “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” Produced by Disney’s Marvel Studios unit, “The Avengers” already is more than halfway toward beating the opening weekends of the second and third films on the debut charts. At No. 2 is “The Dark Knight” with $158.4 million in its first three days, while this spring’s blockbuster “The Hunger Games” is No. 3 with $152.5 million. “The Avengers” opened a week earlier in many overseas markets, where it has pulled in blockbuster cash in a matter of days. The film added $30.3 million internationally Friday, bringing its overseas haul to $334.3 million. Adding in its first-day domestic receipts, “The Avengers” has climbed to a worldwide total of $414.8 million. Directed by Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), “The Avengers” stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Mark Ruffalo as the Incredible Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye.—AP MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 lifestyle Masterchefsserve up a finger-licking experie Crème de la crème of gastronomy world unite at Singapore’s Gourmet Summit Host with the most Masterchefs from around the world were invited to spend a week in Singapore to educate and be educated on food and cooking. The international chefs were hosted by participating restaurants or hotels and were invited to create special menus. The menu options were then presented to diners as Epicurean Delights. The collaboration on menus created unique dining experiences. These events were very popular with locals and tourists alike as they were able to sample five-star dining from around the world in a span of one week. The hosted chefs also offered private cooking classes and dining experiences at their respective venues. By Sawsan Kazak T he stars of food descended on Singapore on April 23, 2012 to inaugurate the 16th Annual World Gourmet Summit. The 11day epicurean celebration paid respect to the heritage of flavour with the crème de la crème of the gastronomy world. Foodies, chefs, connoisseurs and hospitality professionals were able to mingle, exchange ideas or simply enjoy all that food has to offer. From modern fine dining to classic traditional fare, the World Gourmet Summit, or WGS as it is commonly referred to, was a food lover ’s paradise. Chefs and foodies from around the world congregated in Singapore for an epicurean feast like no other. This fabulous food festival was organized A La Carte Productions, presented by Citibank and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board. Peter Knipp, Organizer of the World Gourmet Series believes that Singapore’s own culture and traditions offer the perfect backdrop for the guest chefs of the WGS. “The World Gourmet Summit provides an authentic platform for a cultural and culinary exchange between the festival’s participating chefs and Singapore’s public,” says Peter Knipp, Principal, A LaCarte Productions. The gourmet festivities have become part of the country’s identity with some events hosted at Singapore’s top heritage sites such as the historical Alkaff Mansion, Bukit Timah Fire Station, Hotel Fort Canning and National Museum of Singapore. “Since its inception, the World Gourmet Summit has contributed to Singapore’s prominence and development as a leading culinary hub in the region,” explains Knipp. In keeping with the ‘heritage of flavour’ theme, visiting and local hosting chefs participating featured contemporary dishes and cooking techniques alongside traditional dishes. The recipes and menus presented at this year’s WGS were traditional in flavour but refreshed with a modern twist showing that recipes could hold on to their heritage while moving forward with the times. The talented chefs did not disappoint with their creations. The mission of the World Gourmet Summit Chef Ian Curley is pictured during a gastronomic Jam session. was to put Singapore on the gastronomic map; a mission that has been accomplished. Singapore, a small but proud nation, is the choice gourmet destination in the region and is leading in the world of fine-dining and hospitality. The world Gourmet Summit 2012 was to promote local cuisine and talent while exhibiting on an international arena. creations. This year’s WGS saw the participation of a star-studded cast of Michelin-starred chefs, internationally renowned professionals, celebrated vintners, as well as local talent. By bringing together chefs from around the world, WGS goers as well as participants were International cast Chefs from around the world participated in an array of activities ranging from live demonstrations, and private dinners to menu Michelin star chef Fergus Henderson able to compare and contrast the use of certain ingredients, learn about new cooking techniques and styles and, most importantly, enjoy food. A touch of Jam The very popular Jam Sessions were a great hit. The two-day morning event featured world-renowned and Michelin-starred chefs per forming live demonstration on the Universal Studios stages. During this interactive event, chefs shared secrets and cooking techniques they used in their own professional kitchens. The audience had access to the professional chefs and were able to pick certain tricks of the trade to impress their friends and family. Chefs who presented during the Jampacked sessions are Dani Garcia, Ian Curley, Janice Wong, Lino Sauro, Lucas Glanville, Marco Pierre White, Paco Roncero, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, Pietro D’Agostino and Ryan Clift. Like the years before, WGS 2012 was able to bring together professionals from the food industry, food-lovers as well as the hospitality world for a spectacular 11 days. The special events, dinners and cooking classes were the perfect venue for food, fun and festivities. email@example.com Delicious events The festival lasted 11 days and provided a platform for cross-cultural epicurean education, collaboration and celebration. The many activities were organized to bring together international and local talent in the food world as well as give access to the average foodie. Albert Tse, chef of Conrad Tokyo’s avant-garde Chinese restaurant, China Blue. Chef Ro n Emborg ny ,o the parti ne of c of this y ipants ear’s WGS. Masterchefs serve up a finger-licking experience 39 MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 T Loch Ness monster ordered to leave Wisconsin he Loch Ness monster is on vacation in Wisconsin - and state officials want the legendar y lady to leave. Department of Natural Resources spokesman Dan Baumann says a sculpture of Nessie is illegally obstructing the Chippewa River in Eau Claire and must be removed by the person who placed it there. The sculpture’s creator remains a mystery, although a person who anonymously emailed the Eau Claire LeaderTelegram on Thursday (http://bit.ly/ILl70C ) said it would be removed within 10 days. Retailer Menards says it would like to acquire the guerrilla art and that the monster could make her home in retention ponds at the home improvement chain’s Eau Claire property. The Loch Ness monster was first “spotted” at Loch Ness, a waterway some 10 miles south of Inverness, Scotland, in 1933. — AP In this file photo, a sculpture resembling the Loch Ness monster rises out of the Chippewa River in Eau Claire, Wis. — AP Is the Vogue vow more hype than health? L A model presents a creative hair style on stage at the 17th China Beauty Expo at the New International Expo Centre in Shanghai. — AFP ip service or sea change? Skeptics wonder whether Vogue magazine’s vow to ban models under 16 or those of any age with visible signs of eating disorders is more hype than health. The 19 editors of Vogue around the world made the promise Thursday, beginning with June issues and including editions in America, France, Britain and China. They also encouraged fashion designers to reconsider “unrealistically” small sample sizes that make ultra-thin models necessary in the first place. Vogue didn’t address the widespread industry practice of digitally altering photos that critics believe promotes an impossible standard of beauty. While the new initiatives are certainly good news for models, Susan Linn of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood said Vogue didn’t go far enough. “If Vogue was really concerned about the well being of girls in terms of their health, then they would have done what Spain and Italy did and use only girls who have what has been deemed a healthy Body Mass Index.” The health of models, especially their weight, has been in the spotlight over the past few years, especially after the death of two models from apparent complications from eating disorders in 2006 and 2007, but the focus, until now, has been on runway fashion shows. The primary fashion organizations in Italy and Spain banned catwalk models who fall below a certain BMI level. Israel’s government passed an anti-skinnymodel law earlier this year. The Council of Fashion Designers of America adopted a voluntary initiative in 2007 emphasizing age minimums and healthy working environments during New York Fashion Week. London Fashion Week designers signed a contract with the British Fashion Council to use models who are at least 16. Anna Wintour, Vogue’s US editor-in-chief, was instrumental in crafting the CFDA’s guidelines. Still, there is persistent criticism that the fashion world creates a largely unattainable and unhealthy standard that particularly affects impressionable young girls. Audrey Brashich, a former teen model and ex-editor of a teen magazine, called the Vogue announcement a “tiny baby step of progress,” at best. “The cynic in me feels like they are simply grandstanding while really just throwing a bone to an audience that is getting ever more savvy and tired of the tricks of the trade,” she said. Linn agreed, adding: “It’s not going to help the millions of young girls who turn to these magazines to decide what they should aspire to look like.” Conde Nast publishes other magazines, including Glamour and Allure, but a spokeswoman said there are no current plans for these guidelines to be adopted across the company. Glamour said in a statement Friday the magazine’s policy already was not to book models under 16 or those who appear to have an eating disorder. The Hearst Corp., home to Elle, Harper’s Bizarre and Marie Claire, said in a statement that it supports the CFDA guidelines, adding: “Good health is something we strive to promote in our magazines, both in our fashion and beauty stories and in our features. We make every effort to educate our readers and present images that reflect strong, beautiful women.” Elissa J. Brown, professor of psychology at St. John University and founder of The Partners Program, a specialized therapy program for children and adolescents, said she was cautiously optimistic about Vogue’s attempt to prioritize health over weight. “I don’t think the shift will come in the next couple of weeks, and I don’t think the shift will come unless the entire industry participates,” she said. “I would like to see what comes next.” — AP An American macaw is displayed at a bird market in Kuwait City on May 5, 2012. The parrot is for sale at KD 500. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat Birds of a feather Parrots are displayed for sale. African grey parrots are seen. Multi-coloured chicks are seen inside their cage. A man pets an American macaw. The parrot is priced at KD 500.