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RI PT IO N BS C SU THE LEADING INDEPENDENT DAILY IN THE ARABIAN GULF 40 PAGES THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2010 JAMADA ALTHANI 13, 1431 AH NO: 14741 150 FILS Kuwait leader in fields of Arab media, culture, arts Space shuttle Atlantis lands for final time Sony develops roll-up video screen Real sack Pellegrini, poised to appoint Mourinho PAGE 2 PAGE 14 PAGE 27 PAGE 20 conspiracy theories BlackBerrys and diwaniyas By Badrya Darwish T Kuwait privatizes new power plants Assembly also approves KD 7.72bn development spending, new labour towns By B Izzak echnology: Accept or do not accept it. Technology has advanced with the speed of light in the last 10 years. Everybody in the world is using technology. Kuwait is part of this globe. Internet, mobile phones, BlackBerrys and now the iPad. Technology saved a lot of things for the human beings. It killed the post office definitely. Though we still need sometimes to give hard copies. Telex and fax are extinct. They are like talking about dinosaurs in a modern age. Advanced technology is beautiful in every way but it has its snags. Snags not for the people, but maybe for governments that are worried about security and who have security phobias. Technology has minuses and pluses. I think the pluses outnumber the minuses. So, we have to close an eye about the minuses. And we have to live with it, I am sorry. We need to accept the facts. So, talking about stopping the BlackBerry messenger service is nonsense. First, the reasons are far from convincing. Second, I am sorry to disappoint you but it sounds technically impossible. To my poor knowledge, BlackBerry is controlled by one server which is definitely hosted in the US. You cannot hack it and no Ministry of Interior or Communication is allowed to fiddle with that. I think the only people who have access are the CIA and the company who owns it. So, keep monitoring YouTube and bloggers online. Block whatever doesn’t suit you. Why Kuwait today wants to fight the BlackBerry messenger service? Why do we always swim against the current? In which way is it harming them? Look at the many reasons I heard they justified for a ban. One of them is that people are using it to spread rumors which could harm national security. But rumors could be spread by other 10 million ways. For instance, diwaniyas are the best breeding place for rumors. So, go ahead and ban diwaniyas. You will make many wives happy. Excuse me, if people want to spread rumors there are a million other methods than the BlackBerry. Actually, it is the Middle East mentality. They want to be in control of everything people do. Do they think that worried BlackBerry users are communicating secret parliament news? And what security do we have? Do we have nuclear reactors here in Kuwait to worry that someone will leak the news to Mossad and they will come and blow them up or assassinate the scientists? I am sorry guys, but the whole Gulf area is controlled by the US and we have nothing to worry about. Let’s just relax and enjoy camping and have the Blackberry in our pockets to chat with our friends all over the globe. Let’s concentrate on rising prices in the co-ops. That is better for the nation. By the way, it is not a rumor that prices are soaring. Enjoy your Blackberry while you can! KUWAIT: The National Assembly yesterday passed three key laws on power plants, building 10 labour towns for single expatriates and spending in the first of the four-year development plan, but delayed a decision on a women’s rights bills until next month. The Assembly passed in the second reading a law stipulating the establishment of public shareholding compa- nies to build power and water desalination plants, the first private ownership in the heavily-subsidized sector. According to the law, supported by 37 MPs and opposed by three, 50 percent of the shares of the companies will be sold to Kuwaitis in an initial public offering (IPO), while a maximum of 24 percent will be held by the government and its institutions. The remaining 26 percent stake will be sold at an auction to Kuwaiti firms listed on the bourse or to foreign companies after they get the permission of the Cabinet to participate. Under the law, the companies will sell their power and water production to the government in accordance with contracts for 40 years. Also, at least 70 percent of the companies’ staff must be Kuwaiti. After passing the law, Minister of Electricity and Water Bader Al-Shuraian said that the ministry will not be Iraq scraps airline amid Kuwait row Baghdad moves to dodge claims • Kuwait vows to pursue debt BAGHDAD: Baghdad said yesterday it will close down state-owned Iraqi Airways in the face of a decades-old financial dispute with Kuwait that prompted the seizure of an aircraft last month. Kuwait said the move was expected and vowed to pursue “officials in Iraqi Airways or the Iraqi government concerning this debt”. The sudden move comes a day after the airline announced it was dropping its services to Sweden and Britain over the row with Kuwait, but it was not immediately clear if a new company would be formed to take its place. Iraqi Transport Minister Amer Abdul-Jabbar said the cabinet had decided on Tuesday to dissolve the company, but that the process could take three years. “Iraqi Airways will not stop in its work, and its employees will continue working,” he told Reuters. “We have the idea of establishing other private companies - there are three being established,” AbdulJabbar said. “We are considering establishing a publicprivate partnership, and ... another governmental company.” Continued on Page 14 able to operate the proposed Al-Zour power plant which was planned to produce 2,000 megawatts. He said that under the law, the ministry can operate smaller 500 megawatts plants in case of urgent need. All five existing power and water desalination plants in Kuwait are owned and run by the ministry of electricity and water, which sells electricity and water at a heavily subsidised rate. Continued on Page 14 Death upheld for Jahra ‘arson’ wife KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti appeals court yesterday confirmed a death sentence against a woman convicted of setting fire to the wedding tent in Jahra as her husband took a second wife, killing 57 women and children, her lawyer said. “We still believe it’s a harsh sentence. We will challenge the verdict at the supreme court,” Zaid Al-Khabbaz told AFP by telephone after the ruling was announced. The lower court sentenced Nasra Yussef Mohammed Al-Enezi, 23, in March after convicting her of “premeditated murder and starting a fire with the intent to kill”. Enezi had denied the charge and her defence lawyers KUWAIT: Zaid AlKhabbaz, the defense lawyer of Nasra AlEnezi, talks to journalists at the appeals court yesterday. — AP said her indictment contained no material evidence to convict her. Continued on Page 14 Lax oversight makes Gulf bourses alluring Cartels stir up day traders BASRA: Passengers arrive on one of the first internal Iraqi Airways commercial flights to Basra International Airport in this June 4, 2005 file photo. — AP DUBAI: When Kuwait investors received anonymous text messages in the dead of night urging them to buy shares in telecoms operator Zain, they did something not many people in developed markets do. They paid attention. Their demand helped the company’s stock soar 23 percent in five February trading days, before the firm announced it would sell African assets in a $9 billion deal. It’s just one example of the risks an investor expects in any “frontier” market, but particularly the Middle East. “Kuwait has some well recognised companies, but it has a number of challenges in terms of Western perceptions,” said Daniel Broby, chief investment officer at Londonbased Silk Invest. “One is that locals are selective with their information and favour friends and family.” Kuwait may be the trickiest market. Last July, Kuwait financier Khalid AlBraikan committed suicide after being sued for fraud by the US regulator, alleging he was importing shady practices into the United States. Continued on Page 14 Iran, Russia clash in worst row for years Ahmadinejad urges US to accept nuke deal DAMASCUS: People walk past a poster of Syrian President Bashar Assad with writing in Arabic that reads “We love you” on May 15, 2010. — AP Reforms change Syria economy, not politics DAMASCUS: After delivering a lecture on the increasing role of private banks in Syria, economist Mohammed Ayman Al-Maydani got an uncomfortable request from members of the audience to elaborate on a brief reference he made to corruption in the country’s private and public sectors. “If I answer this question I may not get to spend the night at home,” he quipped, alluding to the possibility he could be arrested. There was nervous laughter from the room. The tense moment at the Damascus lecture earlier this month underscored how much and how little has changed in Syria under President Bashar Assad in recent years. The Syrian leader has slowly moved to lift Continued on Page 14 TEHRAN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched a stinging attack on Russia yesterday over its stance on Tehran’s atomic drive, accusing it of “siding with those who have been our enemy for 30 years”. Ahmadinejad’s comments in a televised speech, during which he also urged both Russia and the United States to back a controversial nuclear fuel deal, drew a swift rebuke from Moscow, which angrily denounced his “political demagoguery”. “The Tehran declaration (on a fuel swap) is the best opportunity. We took an important step and said something very important. There are no excuses left,” Ahmadinejad said in the speech addressed to US and Russian leaders. Moscow, like Washington, has reacted coolly to the nuclear fuel deal aimed at defusing the standoff that was brokered by Brazil and Turkey earlier this month, a stance that has clearly disappointed Tehran. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev cautiously welcomed the deal but also expressed concern that it might fail to allay the main fear of the international community about Tehran’s uranium enrichment operations. And despite strong energy and defence ties with Iran, Russia has backed a new sanctions drive at the UN Security Council, which has issued repeated ultimatums for Iran to freeze enrichment. Delivering an extraordinary broadside against a country that has traditionally been seen as enjoying the closest political ties to Tehran of any major world power, Ahmadinejad singled out Medvedev for censure. “Today it has become very difficult to explain Mr Medvedev’s behaviour to our people. Iranians do not understand whether they are our neighbour and friend standing by our side or are after other things,” he said in the speech delivered in the southeastern city of Kerman. “We hope Russian officials will pay attention, make amends and not let Iranians put them in the line of their historic enemies,” Ahmadinejad said. “If I were in the Russian President’s shoes I would be more cautious in commenting and decision making about issues pertaining to the great and strong nation of Iran.” His attack left Moscow bristling. “Any unpredictability, political extremism, lack of transparency or inconsistency in decision-making ... is unacceptable for Russia”, top Kremlin foreign policy advisor Sergei Prikhodko said in a statement released by state news agencies. “No one has ever managed to retain their Continued on Page 14 MANAMA: A woman passes US Navy sailors holding ceremonial shovels yesterday in preparation for a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday. — AP US Bahrain base to double in size MANAMA, Bahrain: Construction began yesterday on doubling the size of the US Navy base in Bahrain, with digging beginning on a 70-acre site leased from the Bahraini government. The four-phase, $580 million project will massively increase the military capabilities of the US 5th Fleet based there, according to US officials. “The 60-year long relationship the US Navy has had with Bahrain has benefited the Continued on Page 14

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