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RI PT IO N BS C SU THE LEADING INDEPENDENT DAILY IN THE ARABIAN GULF 44 PAGES TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2010 RABI ALAWAL 2, 1431 AH Birth anniversary of the great leader, Kim Jong Il US Marines face fierce resistance in Afghan assault PAGE 12 PAGES 27- 28 in the news 5-day holiday from Feb 25 KUWAIT: The National Day and Liberation Day holidays which this year coincide with Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) birthday will last for five days, beginning from Thursday, Feb 25 to Monday, March 1. Civil Service Commission Chairman Abdulaziz Al-Zibn announced workplaces will reopen on Tuesday, March 2, reported Al-Qabas. Al-Zibn explained that Monday, March 1 has been allocated as a national holiday to compensate for Liberation Day and the Prophet’s (PBUH) birthday falling together on Friday, Feb 26. Daily fined over Israel ad KWUAIT: A Kuwaiti newspaper was fined KD 3,000 ($10,400) for printing a pro-Israeli advertisement justifying the Jewish state’s war on Gaza, Al-Jarida newspaper reported yesterday. The fine was slapped on Al-Watan Daily for allowing the printing of the advertisement in the International Herald Tribune, which it prints and distributes locally in the state. The advertisement was sponsored by the US-based Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) during the 22-day Israeli offensive on Gaza Strip that was launched on Dec 27, 2008. Al-Watan’s lawyer, Rashid Al-Radaan, told AFP that he has challenged the verdict at the appeals court, saying that the newspaper did not deliberately allow the printing of the advertisement. “The printing of this advert was not done on purpose,” he said, adding that the IHT goes directly to the press without being checked by AlWatan. Three Kuwaiti lawyers sued Al-Watan Daily although the paper had issued an apology to its readers for running the advertisement. About 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed during the Gaza offensive. NO: 14642 South Africa strike after Sehwag, Tendulkar centuries Saudi Arabia preparing for oil demand to peak PAGE 21 PAGE 17 Busairi to probe KAC violations Financial panel completes debating half of privatization bill By B Izzak Jazeera buys leasing firm KUWAIT: Kuwaiti carrier Jazeera Airways said it has fully acquired Sahaab Aircraft Leasing Co, a leasing firm launched in 2008 for KD 25.6 million ($88.77 million). “The acquisition gives Jazeera Airways a platform to pursue strategic vertical integration initiatives lined up for 2010 and 2011 that include an airline acquisition and access to global leasing markets,” Jazeera said in a statement yesterday. “Sahaab will have a minimum fleet of 38 Airbus A320s by 2016 based on confirmed orders with the manufacturer,” the statement said. It currently has a fleet of nine Airbus A320s. Jazeera, which competes with United Arab Emirates-based carriers Air Arabia and flydubai, has a firm order for 29 Airbus A320 aircraft and currently operates 11 planes across the Middle East and Egypt. (See Page 23) KUWAIT: Security personnel with sniffer dogs search the Philippines Embassy after a bomb threat was made over the phone, which turned out to be a hoax. — Photo by Joseph Shagra (See Page 3) Houthis free Saudi soldier SANAA: Yemeni Shiite rebels handed over yesterday the first of five Saudi soldiers held captive since their three-month border war, amid efforts to consolidate a four-day-old ceasefire with the Sanaa government. “The Saudi soldier, Yahya Abdullah al-Khuzai, was handed over today (Monday) in the city of Saada to mediators,” working on implementing the truce, rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdul Salam told AFP by telephone. “This is a humanitarian gesture to ease tension. The other side (Saudis) should work now to end the prisoners issue,” he said, adding that Khuzai had a leg injury. A mediator confirmed the release and told AFP that efforts were under way to “release the other four captives within hours.” The official Saudi news agency SPA, meanwhile, said the prisoner was evacuated by helicopter to Sanaa where he was handed over to Continued on Page 13 150 FILS KUWAIT: Communications Minister Mohammad AlBusairi said yesterday that he informed the National Assembly’s budgets committee that he has ordered the formation of an independent committee to probe violations cited by the Audit Bureau in the closing statements of Kuwait Airways Corp (KAC). Busairi told reporters after a meeting with the budgets committee that “no one will escape accountability if proven to be involved in the violations at KAC whether before or after its privatization”. The meeting was held at the request of the committee to study wide-ranging violations in KAC’s last four fiscal years in which between KD 150 and 200 million of accumulated losses were reported. Busairi said the meeting was positive as he answered questions about the KAC closing statements between 2004-2008, adding that these closing statements should be approved in order to complete the privatization procedures of the carrier. The Assembly must approve the closing statements of KAC in order for the government to pay the shortfalls. Busairi said that all violations reported by the Audit Continued on Page 13 Kuwait to restudy 2 key oil projects KOC eyes more gas production KUWAIT: OPEC member Kuwait plans to re-examine two key oil projects soon, a top oil executive said yesterday, after political disputes stalled the ventures, estimated to cost about $30 billion. “The two projects will shortly be referred to the Supreme Petroleum Council which has the ultimate decision-making authority on oil projects,” Saad Al- Shuwayeb, chief executive of national conglomerate Kuwait Petroleum Corp, told the official KUNA news agency. The projects include building a 615,000-barrels per day refinery for an estimated $15 billion, and upgrading two of three existing refineries at the cost of another $15 billion. Continued on Page 13 6,000 expats to get free checkup 1,000 domestics deported KUWAIT: Executive Director of Al-Rahma (Mercy) committee for medical services of AlNajat charitable society Dr Salah Malallah said yesterday that the committee would hold a medical charity forum to examine foreign workers free of charge on the occasion of the national holidays of Kuwait on Feb 25. Malallah said in a statement that the activities of the forum will be held in workers’ camps in Amghara, home to more than 6,000 workers with the participation of more than 15 volunteer doctors from all disciplines as well as pharmacists, nurses and volunteers. Continued on Page 13 Bharti eyes Africa in bid for Zain ops Kharafi confident of cash deal NEW DELHI/LONDON: Bharti Airtel is in exclusive talks to buy most of Kuwaiti telecom group Zain’s African business, the Indian firm’s third attempt at gaining a foothold in a continent that offers a last opportunity for major subscriber growth. Under the exclusivity period the companies have until March 25 to seal the $10.7 billion deal - the second largest in the industry this year after Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim’s Continued on Page 13 Clinton: Iran becoming a military dictatorship HALLE, Belgium: An injured passenger on a stretcher is helped out of the wreckage by rescue workers following a collision yesterday. — AP 18 killed as Belgian trains crash head-on BRUSSELS: A rush-hour commuter train sped through a red signal and slammed into an oncoming train as it left a suburban Brussels station yesterday, killing at least 18 people and disrupting rail traffic in northern Europe. Investigations into one of the worst accidents on the Belgian rails were likely to focus on whether human error was responsible or if it could have been influenced by the persistently freezing temperatures that have iced up the European capital. Officials said 80 people were injured, 20 of them seriously, and the death toll - 15 men and three women was not considered final. As darkness fell more than 10 hours later, rescuers were still looking for victims in the wreckage, said Jos Colpin, the spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office. The fate of the two drivers was not immediately known, and officials said they were having difficulty identifying some of the victims. The trains, carrying a total of about 300 passengers, collided in light snow just outside of the station at Buizingen about 15 km from Brussels around 8:30 am. The impact peeled away the front of one train car and threw at least one other off the tracks, severing the limbs of some passengers, witnesses and officials said. One engine was thrust high into the air and snapped overhead power lines. “When we came out we saw dead bodies lying next to the tracks, some mutilated,” said Patricia Lallemand, 40, who was in a middle car of one train and was unhurt. Lodewijk De Witte, the governor of the province of Flemish Brabant, told reporters one Continued on Page 13 different points of RIYADH: US Secretary view within the leadof State Hillary Clinton ership circle, that is held talks in Saudi part of the reason Arabia yesterday looking why we are so conto rally support for cerned with what we tough new UN sanctions see is going on against Iran, which she there.” warned is turning into a The Revolutionary “military dictatorship” Guards continue to be bent on building a the military guardian nuclear weapon. The US of revolutionary chief diplomat flew in on leader Ayatollah her first visit to the oilRuhollah Khomeini’s rich kingdom after using Islamic ideology, but some of the strongest own large language yet about RIYADH: US Secretary of also events in Iran from an State Hillary Clinton drinks tranches of Iran’s administration which traditional Arabic coffee economy. The United just a year ago had upon her arrival at the air- States last week imposed a fresh sought to hold out the port yesterday. — AP round of sanctions hand of friendship. She went straight into talks with against the elite force and hopes for her Saudi counterpart Prince Saud Al- UN sanctions. Clinton told reporters on the plane Faisal before heading to Rawdat Khurayim, King Abdullah’s desert to Saudi Arabia that Iran’s clerical and camp 60 km northeast of Riyadh, for political leadership was either distracttalks in a tent-like air conditioned ed by the political turmoil over last June’s disputed presidential election building. Speaking to students earlier in elections last June or “ceding ground” neighbouring Qatar, just across the to the Guards. Asked whether she was Gulf from Iran, Clinton said that the pessimistic about the chances that whole region had reason to fear Iran’s Iran’s nuclear program could be nuclear program and the growing influ- reversed under such circumstances, ence of the elite Revolutionary she replied: “It depends on whether Guards. Clinton said the United States the clerical and political leadership was not aiming to use military action begin to reassert themselves.” US officials acknowledged that to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions but rather seeking to build support for Clinton had used the most forceful lantough new sanctions at the UN guage yet about Iran from the administration of President Barack Obama. In Security Council. She said the package Washington her talks in Saudi Arabia, aides said wanted adopted “will be particularly she would press Saudi leaders to use aimed at those enterprises controlled their influence with China to secure a by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, change of heart on Iran sanctions. which we believe is in effect supplanti- China appears to be the strongest ng the government of Iran. “We see holdout to sanctions among the five the government of Iran, the supreme veto-wielding permanent members of leader, the president, the parliament is the UN Security Council. Clinton’s top assistant for the being supplanted and Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship,” she Middle East, Jeffrey Feltman, told said. “They are in charge of the reporters travelling with her that nuclear program. It’s a far cry from the China had an “important trading Continued on Page 13 Islamic republic that had elections and Dubai: A combo of pictures released yesterday by Dubai Police shows the pictures of 11 suspects the Gulf emirate’s police announced they are searching over the murder of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, a top Hamas militant, on Jan 20. — AFP Dubai: Mabhouh killed by European hit squad 11 suspects named • Two Palestinians held DUBAI: Dubai’s police chief said yesterday an 11-member hit squad with European passports was responsible for killing a Hamas commander in his hotel room last month, and did not rule out Israeli involvement. The Gulf emirate released photos, names, nationalities and passport numbers of all 11 suspects. Hamas military commander Mahmoud AlMabhouh was found dead in a Dubai luxury hotel last month, and the Palestinian Islamist militant group has blamed the Jewish state for Dhahi Khalfan Tamim the killing. Israel has declined to comment. The suspects included people from Britain, Ireland, Germany and France, Dubai police chief Dhahi Khalfan Tamim told reporters. One is a woman. A leading suspect, who carried a French passport, had lef t Dubai for Munich via Qatar after the killing, Tamim added. “We have no doubts that it was 11 people holding these passports, and we regret that they used the travel documents of friendly countries. Continued on Page 13

16 Feb

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