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THURSDAY, JULY 22, 2010

SHAABAN 10, 1431 AH

Expats lament as Kuwait becomes more expensive

Obama, Cameron tread cautiously on BP, Lockerbie

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China flooding kills 701, worst toll in a decade

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India face defeat as Murali bags 5

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49 killed in Yemen Shiite rebels, army-backed tribes battle

KUALA LUMPUR: A vendor holds up a football jersey carrying the English Premier League’s Manchester United team emblem at a roadside shop in downtown in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. — AFP

Manchester United jersey un-Islamic? Muslims warned against wearing ‘devilish’ jersey KUALA LUMPUR: Muslims must not wear the famous Manchester United red jersey because of the “devil” emblem on its team crest, Malaysian clerics said yesterday. Manchester United and the rest of the English Premier League are massively popular in Muslim-majority Malaysia and the rest of the Asian region, but conservative religious scholars said the jersey is un-Islamic. Also off limits are the shirts of teams including

Brazil, Portugal, Barcelona, Serbia and Norway, all of which carry images of the cross on their team emblems. “This is very dangerous. As a Muslim, we should not worship the symbols of other religions or the devils,” Nooh Gadot, a top Islamic cleric from the southern Johor state said. “It will erode our belief in Islam. There is no reason why we as Muslims should wear such jerseys, either for sports or fashion reasons,” said Nooh, an advisor to the

Johor religious council. “Even if it (the jersey) is a gift, we should decline it. It is even more sinful when people realize this is wrong and still buy these jerseys to wear,” he added. Nooh said there was no “fatwa”, or religious edict, against the shirts but that one was not needed when it was clearly wrong for Muslims to don such a garment. “These Muslims should repent, repent immediately,” he said. Another leading cleric, Continued on Page 14

IMF pushes Gulf on transparency DUBAI: The International Monetary Fund yesterday urged Gulf Arab states to lend further support to financial firms, shut down unworkable companies and boost transparency as they emerge from the global economic crisis. The organization’s latest recommendations come as the city-state of Dubai works itself out from more than $100 billion in debt amassed by its Dubai World conglomerate and a web of other state-linked companies, whose credit woes cast a shadow on economies across the region. Firms elsewhere, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, are also struggling to repay billions of dollars in debt. Financial troubles among once seemingly solid companies in the oil-rich Gulf have spooked both lenders and borrowers, making risk-averse banks reluctant to lend even as they struggle to attract new deposits, according to the IMF. That has left many relying on state support. “The short-term priority remains the buttressing of the financial sector without unduly constraining the availability of credit,” the IMF said in an update on the region released

yesterday. It called on Gulf governments to periodically review banks’ books, which it says look healthy for now - and urged authorities to spell out a framework for how and when they would intervene should problems arise. The IMF hailed the “significant progress” made by struggling companies such as Dubai World and Kuwait’s Global Investment House to restructure their finances. Dubai World, whose name became synonymous with the Gulf’s debt troubles, is expected to meet creditors this week as it seeks to win support for its $23.5 billion restructuring plan. But the IMF also said that as authorities work to fix ailing firms, they should ensure “a smooth exit of nonviable institutions” - some of which have been propped up by the region’s deep-pocketed governments. “Countries should prepare an exit strategy from current high spending levels, to ensure long-term fiscal sustainability,” the IMF said. The fund expects Gulf economies to improve this year thanks to the global recovery and generous state spending. —AP (See Page 21)

No more ‘too big to fail’ Obama signs Wall Street overhaul into law WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama yesterday signed into law the most comprehensive financial regulatory overhaul since the Great Depression and vowed there will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts for Wall Street. “Because of this law, the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes,” Obama said at a signing ceremony for the legislation approved by the US Congress last week. The bill targets the kind of Wall Street risk-taking that helped to trigger a global financial meltdown and also Continued on Page 14

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama signs the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection financial reform bill at the Ronald Reagan Building yesterday. — AP

SANAA: Fighting in mountainous north Yemen between Shiite rebels and army-backed tribes over the past four days have left at least 49 people dead, threatening a fragile truce, tribal and rebel sources said yesterday. The major confrontations were taking place in Al-Amsheyah, in the northern Amran province, where the tribe of MP Sheikh Sagheer Aziz is allegedly besieged by the Huthi rebels. “The confrontations between the Huthi (rebels) and the supporters of the tribal chief Sheikh Sagheer Aziz have resulted in the death of 20 tribesmen and 10 Huthis,” a tribal source said, requesting anonymity. “Rebels are still besieging the tribe” of Bin Aziz, the source added. But the rebels’ spokesman, Mohammed Abdul Salam said that 20 rebels were killed in the confrontations, claiming that the clashes were with the army and not with the tribe. “We are confronting military positions. These are not tribal areas,” he said by telephone. Aziz is a member of the parliamentary bloc of the ruling General People’s Congress party. Six MPs have started a sit-in on Tuesday at the parliament in support of Aziz, demanding government action to end the alleged Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: Kuwaitis and expatriates prepare to fish in the Arabian Gulf Sea in this photo. Kuwait MP has criticized the Ministry of Commerce for ‘failing to take prompt measures against those who caused the sharp rise in the prices of fresh meat’. (See Page 3) —Photo by Joseph Shagra

Car bomb leaves 30 dead BAQUBA: A car bomb killed 30 people and wounded 46 near a mosque in a predominantly Shiite area of the mixed city of Baquba, north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad yesterday, security officials said. The bomb in a car parked near a Shiite mosque in the Abu Sayeeda neighborhood of the city exploded at around 6:00 pm, an official from Baquba Operations Command said. Police imposed a curfew in Abu Sayeeda as they suspect there might be more bombs, the official said, adding later

that police had defused two roadside bombs in the area. Also yesterday, a US soldier was killed by a homemade bomb in Diyala province, the US military said. A total of 4,413 American troops have died since the US-led invasion of 2003 toppled now executed dictator Saddam Hussein, according to an AFP tally based on a running toll kept by the independent website. Diyala, of which Baquba is the capital, is confessionally and ethnically mixed and has been a persistent target for

attack by Al-Qaeda militants seeking to exploit its communal tensions. On Monday, a bomb in a car parked in front of a coffee shop killed seven people and wounded 21 in the city, police said. And on Tuesday, six Iranians and two Iraqis were wounded by a car bomb targeting a bus in Jadidat Al-Shat to the west of the city. US and Iraqi officials have warned of the dangers of an upsurge in violence as negotiations on forming a new governing coalition have dragged on, giving insurgent groups an

opportunity to further destabilize the country. More than four months after a March 7 general election which gave no single bloc an overall parliamentary majority, the two lists which won most seats are still bickering over who should be the next prime minister. On July 12, Iraqi politicians extended an inaugural parliamentary session by two weeks to give rival blocs more time to form a government. But yesterday, the top US commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno, said that recent

attacks, including a suicide bombing on Sunday that killed at least 45 people-Iraq’s deadliest single attack in more than two months-would not affect the withdrawal timetable for US troops. “I believe it is in the best interest of our mission” to keep the timetable. “It’s important that we live up to our commitment.” US President Barack Obama has promised to scale back the US military presence to 50,000 troops by August 31 ahead of a full withdrawal in 2011. — AFP

Tehran says scientist provides info on CIA Iran eyes nuclear fusion reactor TEHRAN: An Iranian nuclear scientist who returned home last week from the United States provided valuable information about the CIA, a semiofficial news agency reported yesterday, adding that his spy’s tale would be made into a TV movie. American authorities have claimed Shahram Amiri willingly defected to the US but changed his mind and decided to return home without the $5 million he had been paid for what a US official described as “significant” information about his country’s disputed nuclear program. The Fars news agency, which is close to Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, quoted an unidentified source as saying Iran’s intelligence agents were in touch with Amiri while he was in the US and that they won an intelligence battle against the CIA. Iran has portrayed the return of Amiri as a blow to American intelligence services that it says were desperate for inside information on Iran’s nuclear program. Iran has sought to make maximum

propaganda gains from the affair, allowing journalists to cover Amiri’s return, sending a senior Foreign Ministry official to greet him and preparing to make a movie about the story. “This was an intelligence battle between the CIA and us that was designed and managed by Iran,” the source was quoted as saying. “We had set various goals in this battle and, by the grace of God, we achieved all our objectives without our rival getting any real victory.” Amiri claims he was kidnapped by American agents in May 2009 while on a pilgrimage to holy Muslim sites in Saudi Arabia. The Fars report suggests Amiri had been planted to discover how much information the US had gathered about Iran’s nuclear program, which Washington believes is aimed at weapons production. Iran says its nuclear work is only for energy production and other peaceful purposes. “We sought to obtain good information from inside the CIA. While Amiri was still in the Continued on Page 14

Photo montage shows a star R136a1 thought to be the heaviest star ever discovered. — AP

‘Monster’ star found LONDON: The most massive star ever, which is up to 20 million times brighter than the Sun, has been discovered using the Very Large Telescope in Chile, scientists in Britain said yesterday. The star, named R136a1, is thought to have started off with a mass of up to 320 times that of the Sun and the new discovery has doubled the previously accepted limit of solar mass. Although it has since shed some of its weight, it is so powerful that if it replaced the Sun as the centre of our solar system, it would make life on Earth impossible because of the strength of its ultraviolet radiation. R136a1 was discovered as part of a series of massive stars found in two young

star clusters by a team of astronomers led by Professor Paul Crowther of Sheffield University in northern England. “Unlike humans, these stars are born heavy and lose weight as they age,” Crowther said. “Being a little over a million years old, the most extreme star R136a1 is already middleaged and has undergone an intense weight loss program, shedding a fifth of its initial mass over that time, or more than 50 solar masses. “Owing to the rarity of these monsters, I think it is unlikely that this new record will be broken any time soon.” Crowther added that astronomers faced a challenge to work out how the stars origi-

nated. “Either they were born so big or smaller stars merged together to produce them,” he said. The Very Large Telescope project, in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, is operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO). It features four eight-meter diameter telescopes and is described by the ESO as “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”. Researchers studied the stars using it plus data from the NASA/European Space Agency’s Hubble Space Telescope. The research, conducted by scientists from Britain, Malaysia and Germany, was published in scientific journal The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. — AFP

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NATIONAL

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kuwait getting more expensive

Expats lament inability to save enough money By Nisreen Zahreddine KUW AIT: W hy do people w ork? There ma y be ma ny rea sons, but for most one of the most importa nt is sa ving money for emergencies or tough times. Sa lem, a young Kuw a iti ma n, sa id tha t it is ea sy for him to sa ve money

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received yesterday at Bayan Palace, Deputy Premier for Legal Affairs, Minister of Justice and Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Justice Rashed Abdulmohsen Al-Hammad and a group of Kuwaiti youth who won top places in international Quran contests held in Arab and Muslim states. The meeting took place in the presence of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. His Highness the Amir congratulated the youth for their memorization of the Holy Quran and for having attained prominent positions in international contests. He encouraged them to continue to compete in this area, and to lift the name of their homeland high at regional and international conventions.

OP-ED

Deterioration at its best By Hussain Al-Qatari ocal press reported earlier this week that the crime rate has escalated by a percentage of 68% in a matter of one year. I know I am not the only one who finds this news to be quite horrendous. This dramatic increase is quite disasterous for a country with such a small population like Kuwait. However, what did we really expect? There are so many things we have stopped caring about in this society, and the effect of all of this is only starting to appear now. If we wait longer, things will keep getting worse and before we know it we will lose all we are enjoying today. The main culprit, I find, is prejudice. Our prejudice has been gnawing at our society for many years now and slowly the ties that bind us are being obliterated. We

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only see our differences and fail to see how we are alike. We have become so violent towards one another, so aggressive and not willing to listen at all to anything that differs from our beliefs. Parliament members have become so aggressive in their debate, and bringing up difference in class, sect and background have become quite common in our parliament. How exactly do we expect things to get better if some of our parliament members have no manners? If the representatives of the nation don’t know the basics of holding a conversation, how do we expect the common people not to be intolerant of each other? When I look at the way children speak to one another today, or at the way parents treat their children I feel disappointed. Is this how what we have become nowadays? I was walking in a mall last weekend when

I saw two parents dragging their daughter who couldn’t be older than four, and when she started to protest they took turns in slapping her on her face. The father who was holding prayer beads in one hand hit her with them on her mouth. It started to bleed. If such an occurrence can happen in front of everyone in a mall, without the interference of anyone, then how do we seriously think that things will get better and be alright some day? The only thing that seems to be inevitable is deterioration. I apologize for this pessimism, but I think we need to see how things are turning horrible before our eyes. I think it is truly time for an awakening, for a revolution of tolerance and respect towards difference and freedom. We need this more urgently than anything at this point. hussain@kuw aittimes.net

For many expatriates, however, there is less chance to save, although a few admit that they do choose to waste money on unnecessary expenditure, making saving more difficult. Rami, a Lebanese expat, complained that he had been unable to save anything during his time in Kuwait, saying that the country is extremely expensive while the salaries for expatriates are wholly inadequate. Talking about his problems in attempting to save money, Rami cited a Lebanese song in which a girl addresses her fiancé who has been away working in the Gulf and visited many Gulf countries, but has returned home to Lebanon without saving a penny for his wedding. He explained that in the song, the girl laments the fact that her fiancé has failed to furnish his home, which is still empty on their wedding day. Rami said that despite being in Kuwait for three years himself, it has not worked out for him, leading him to empathize with the man who is the subject of the song: “I totally relate to the character in the song; that’s what happened to me,” he told the Kuwait Times. Salam, a Syrian expatriate, said that before the recent global economic crisis, which first hit Kuwait two years ago, he had managed to save some money. He added, however, that he is now unable to save anything except the small amount he sends to his family back home every month. All his money goes to paying rent and repaying loans, Salam explained, protesting that Kuwait is excessively expensive even for

regula rly beca use he doesn’t ha ve to pa y rent a nd his living expenses, such a s bills a nd food, a re a ll covered by his pa rents. Sa lem , w ho w ork s a t the Ministry of Educa tion a nd Higher Educa tion, is enthusia stic a bout sa ving, sa ying tha t it a ccounts for “ba sica lly a la rge chunk of my sa la ry.”

KUWAIT: As bank accounts of expats dry up, residents in Kuwait are looking at various ways to save money in the long term. — Photo by Joseph Shagra the simplest basics of life. “It’s like people are just earning money to pay it straight out here and never to send it outside to save for their future,” he asserted. Another expat, Ahmad, an Egyptian, voiced similar sentiments, saying that he had been unable to save anything due to the fact that his accommodation rent had increased, but admitting that he likes to travel abroad whenever he gets the chance. Ahmad explained that he travels outside the country at weekends for recreation whenever he can and thus spends most of his money on this. Ahmad said that while “sav-

ing is out of the equation for me,” he had noted that those in Kuwait who are on good salaries and live with their parents can afford to save, adding that for those in this group, “boredom is less and their expenses will be less.” He added that he has put plans to return back to Egypt on hold because he is unsure how he will manage there without any savings. The expatriates who spoke to the Kuwait Times all agreed on one thing; Kuwait is getting more expensive, which in turns imposes a consumerist mindset on everyone’s life rather than encouraging saving.

Disability issues used for personal gains KUWAIT: A number of local politicians and other leading figures exploit disability-related issues to score political points and for their personal gains, according to speakers at a recent seminar. Representatives from several local disability rights and non-profit organizations, including 11/11 campaign group, attended the seminar, held by the Kuwaiti Association for Citizens’ with Special Needs, whose primary purpose was to discuss the forthcoming establishment of the Public Authority for Disabled Citizens. During the event, reported Al-Qabas, the

head of the Kuwaiti Association for Citizens’ with Special Needs Ayedh Al-Shemmari accused the government of lacking seriousness in its approach to addressing the problems faced by disabled citizens, “which is proved by the fact that the new disabled citizens’ law has yet to be enforced, two months after it was adopted.” Al-Shemmari also asserted that the process by which senior officials are to be appointed to head the new authority means that unqualified individuals without the necessary knowledge will be selected for these

positions, which he said opens the door to speculation that those named were chosen as the result of “clandestine deals” between MPs and members of the government. He further said that while the difficulties facing disabled Kuwaiti athletes stem from the crisis affecting the country’s sports generally, their problems are more serious than those faced by their able-bodied counterparts due to the fact that suspending their sporting activites could damage the strong positive image they’ve managed to achieve internationally.

Ministry issues list of accredited Arab universities By A. Saleh KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education and Higher Education has announced the list of universities in Arab countries recognized by Kuwait, warning students not to register at universities in the region which are not included on the list since it will not officially recognize or accredit any qualifications from these institutions. The list of state universities included in Jordan is as follows: Jordan University, Yarmouk University, Science and Technology University, Moufa University, Aal Al-Beit University, Hashemite University, Balqa Applied University and Al-Hussein Bin Talal University. The private universities in Jordan accredited by the Kuwaiti education ministry are: Philadelphia University (except for Engineering, Administrative Science and Law degrees), Amman Private University, Petra University, Applied Science Private University (except for Engineering - Administrative Science, and Law), Zaitona University, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Israa University (except for Engineering), Jarash University (except for Engineering, Administrative Sciences, Law and Sharia), Irbid University and Zarqa University. In Tunisia, meanwhile, the following universities have been approved: Zaitona University, November 7 University in Qirtaj, Sousa University, Safaqis University, Tunis University, Manouba University, Minsteer University, Qabis University, Tunis Al-Manar University, Jandouba University, Qairawan University and Qafsa University. In Saudi Arabia, the state universities approved by the Kuwaiti education ministry are: Um Al-Qura University, Islamic University, Imam Mohammad Bin Saud Islamic University, King Saud University, King Abdulaziz University, King Fahad Petroleum and Minerals University, King Faisal University, King Khalid University, AlQaseem University, Taiba University, Taef University, Hael University, the Jazan, Jouf, Baha, Tabouk, Najran, Northern Borders Universities, Princess Tharwat Bint Abdulrahman, Al-Dammam University, and the Kharj, Shaqra, Mujammah and King Abdulaziz Health Science Universities. The private universities in Saudi Arabia accredited by the Kuwaiti education ministry are the Prince Sultan, Al-Yamama and Effat Universities, while qualifications from the following Saudi private colleges will also be accepted: Dar Al-Hikma College, Prince Sultan College of Tourism and Administration, Al-Baha College, the Business Administration College, Suleiman Faqih College for Science and Nursing, and the Riyadh College for Dentistry and Pharmacy. In Bahrain, the Kuwaiti education ministry will accept degrees from Bahrain University and Arabian Gulf University, while in Syria it will recognize degrees from Damascus University, Aleppo University and Tashreen University.

KUWAIT: As part of its preparations for the upcoming holy month of Ramadan, the Capital municipality recently launched an inspection campaign to crack down on all kinds of violations.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

NATIONAL

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Employer-employee tug-of-war lasts for over a year

Egyptian expat stranded in Kuwait over labor row By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: An Egyptian pharmacist, who has worked for a Kuwaiti firm for three years, is stranded in Kuwait after being charged with absence without leave or AWOL by his employer. Mohamad Ahmed Waguiah Mahran claimed to have been virtually held hostage in

Mahran’s predicament began when he encountered a work-related injury which caused him 15 percent disability way back on Feb 26, 2009. According to him, the Department of Occupational Health had granted him paid sick leave for two months followed by six months of physiotherapy. However, the company not only refused to pay him salary from the date of injury but also slapped him with a verbal termination notice. “They didn’t pay my salary and I was fired on June 6, 2009. They took all the things they had issued including the laptop and company documents they had entrusted in my care”. He claimed that it happened during his medical treatment period. Mahran said that his family has been paying the price everyday and their standard of living has gone downhill owing to this. “For more than a year now, I have failed to provide basic things for my wife and two children,” he laments. “I eat only once a day. My family and I survive by asking help

from our friends both in Kuwait and Egypt. I asked my parents in Egypt to help my family there and for over a year now, they haven’t received anything from me,” he continued. He turned to the media to plead for a safe trip back home. “I only want to be allowed to leave the country freely, safely, without the fingerprinting procedure which could ban me from entering Kuwait and other Gulf countries. They should also compensate me for violating my rights and preventing me from working and let me home safely with my family,” he said. He provided a chronological report of his case. Mahran said he was obliged to file a complaint on June 13, 2009 at the Labor Relations Unit (Shuon) in Hawally because of “violations against his basic rights”. The case was heard and the ruling was in his favor. Upon returning to Shuon to ask for the copy of Shuon’s decision, Mahran was allegedly informed that his file had “disappeared.”

Kuwait for over a year now, for non-payment of salary and breach of contract law cases which he filed against his employer. His employer has also filed counter-charges of multiple ‘absence claim’ on separate days, making his case more complicated. Mahran’s employer denies the allegations noting that a legal case has already been filed in the Kuwaiti court.

This is where things got worse and complicated. “My employer filed an absence claim against me on June 18, 2009. They claimed I was absent way before the accident occurred in February. Because of this, Mahran had to re-file a complaint at the office of assistant undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor to investigate. He said that Shuon then called the head of the labor dispute in Hawally who, in turn, argued that Mahran failed to attend the hearing. The case filed against his employer was dismissed, but he did not give up. “Investigations proved that I had attended the hearing set on June 26, 2009 but the company did not attend which is exactly the opposite of what was inferred,” he argued. Investigations about the absent claim finally concluded on Nov 23, 2009 and ruled positively in his favor. But the administration of the labor relations refused to give him copies of his official documents once again which was supposed

MPs respond to meat shortage crisis reports KUWAIT: Environmental awareness program launched by the Environment Protection Society in progress yesterday.

local spotlight

Mixed-nationality marriage By Muna Al-Fuzai

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o I have anything against marriages between men and women of different nationalities? Normally I see them as the free choice of the man and woman, who can choose the person they want to spend their life with, regardless of society’s views or what others may think of them and the possible results for their kids. So, I have nothing against these types of marriage in the usual circumstances when things are normal. BUT...we are not facing the usual circumstances these days. Marriage is a sacred thing and nobody can come up with an easy opinion about it that everyone will agree on. However, we have to look at all the facts and figures carefully when it comes to a move that may hold more risks and threats than benefits these days in Kuwait. Any Asian girl who wants to marry someone who comes from a different culture, religion or background to her own should think twice before doing so, mostly about what will happen if the marriage fails and the couple can’t overcome their differences and work it out, as well as about what will happen if the marriage results in children. How will a single working mum or dad be able to raise their kids in an environment that’s totally different to that in their own country, and how will each parent deal with the country’s child custody laws in the event of things going wrong? I think that living abroad is not an easy experience for any single person and I appreciate that every normal human being has a biological need for sex and to share their life...but I also wonder why individuals don’t take this into consideration before choosing to leave their country and live alone with no spouse or family? In Kuwait, there are many married men who have come here by themselves to work who end up taking a girlfriend or even, if they are Muslim, marrying another wife. This, however, is not a simple solution to the problem of loneliness and indeed these relationships too have possible consequences which may not be in the best interests of any of those involved. In the cases of polygamous marriages, the husband, for any reason, such as losing his job, may dump his new wife and children and return to his homeland to his first wife and family. The abandoned wife may not wish to leave Kuwait; if the marriage doesn’t work out, after all, where will the children end up? To the mother’s homeland, the father’s, or back to Kuwait? I think it might be hard to agree on visitation hours if the mother and father are living in different countries and can’t afford regular weekly air tickets.

In fact, a few days ago an Egyptian man murdered his Filipina wife because of the exact situation we’re talking about here. Obviously, their marriage was already on the rocks and finished, so the wife had taken their children back to the Philippines and left them with her family there. At this, the enraged father took his revenge by killing his wife. So now, the children’s mother is dead while their father will be in prison for the rest of his life, if he’s not executed as Kuwaiti law mandates that killers should be. So what will happen to the children? They’ll be stuck in the Philippines for good, possibly living with strangers or maybe with the mother’s relatives or friends. And in a poor country like the Philippines, you can imagine how difficult it might be for a poor child to have no parents. This is a tragic end and far from being an isolated example; I’ve seen and heard of many cases like this happening to expats in Kuwait over the years. So it seems that this kind of mixed-nationality marriage holds more disadvantages than advantages and more dangers than benefits, with the successful marriages of this nature being few and uncommon. I’ve also noted that the women and children are invariably the ones who lose and are hurt in these cases. Another common real-life situation I’ve often witnessed here is women with no family or friends to support them being abused by their husbands, who believe they can mistreat their vulnerable wives as they please with nobody to say a word to stop them. In many cases, men like this end up taking their wives’ money and dumping them like an item of used furniture. For abused women, yes, they can go to court, but court cases cost a lot of money and years of waiting for any result, with abused women unable to afford either. I am more concerned about the effects of these marriages on their usual victims, women and children. It is, after all, these women and children who pay the price for the irresponsible behavior of the men, who convinced these lonely women to share their lives in good and bad times, but failed to live up to their own end of that bargain. In this latest case, even this was not enough, with the man killing his wife and abusing his own children, as well as depriving them of their mother; he has no excuse and I refuse to feel any sympathy for a murderer. If there is any lesson to take away from this or advice to give, it is this: please, lonely girls, don’t trust the sweet words. Don’t think how nice it would be to be together with that man under one roof without also thinking about whether or not that roof will protect you for the rest of our life. Question what would happen if one of you has to leave Kuwait or if you end up divorced. None of us want to see any more kids suffering in this world, in which far too many are suffering already. muna@kuwaittimes.net

KUWAIT: While the Ministry of Commerce and Industry recently confirmed that an increase in red meat prices have been detected, MPs reacted to news reports regarding the same issue and called upon the ministry to take all necessary measures to maintain prices of commodities ahead of the holy month of Ramadan. “The parliament’s committee for complaints and petitions has already launched a probe following reports that warned of a potential meat shortage crisis that could take place in the country. The committee met with officials from the Kuwait Livestock Transportation and Trading Company (KLTT) as part of the investigations,” said the Head of the Committee, MP Husain Mizyed. However, he said that the company issued a statement and rejected all reports regarding increase in prices. The MP also said that “all necessary action” will be taken against KLTT if investigations revealed that the company had indulged in illegal practices and caused a price rise. “They said that there is no increase in prices or supply shortage,”

he added. “But we will continue investigations to make sure that these claims are true”. Meanwhile, MP Al-Saifi Mubarak Al-Saifi criticized the Ministry of Commerce for “failing to take prompt measures against those who caused the sharp rise in the prices of fresh meat” and accused the Government of being unable to curb traders’ illegal practices. Likewise, MP Hassan Jowhar said that the price rise proves that the ministry is unable to control prices or take measures to counter any increase. Furthermore, he reiterated demands that he had made earlier to establish more food services companies in the country, including more livestock trading in order to provide competition and prevent monopoly. This concept was supported by MP Naji AlAbdulhadi, who wanted the establishment of a separate body to control the prices of food products and check corruption. MP Husain Al-Huraiti asked the Government to “activate the Consumers’ Protection laws and monitor companies to fight price manipulation.”

KAC refuses to fund Czech treatment KUWAIT: The Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) recently informed the Ministry of Health (MoH) that they will no longer undertake the responsibility of

EPA calls for better medical waste disposal KUWAIT: The Environment Public Authority (EPA) is currently holding talks with the Ministry of Health to study the possibility of establishing two new incinerators to dispose medical waste at the Seventh Ring Road. The two incinerators are expected to contain all the waste generated by public medical facilities and discourage the practice of disposing it at landfills located in AlShuwaibah. “This is part of the efforts carried out by the tri-committee to provide a safer method for disposing medical waste”, said Fatima Al-Owayed, Chief Engineering Specialist at the EPA’s waste control department, referring to the committee formed by the EPA, the MoH and the Kuwait municipality. In order to guarantee that the medical waste does not contain any substance that is harmful, it will be subjected to treatment using ‘Steam Sanitization’ method. Further tests will also be carried out to ensure that it doesn’t contain any harmful bacteria or viruses, reported Al-Qabas.

paying for Kuwaiti patients in the Czech Republic, with effect from August 1, 2010. MoH usually delays the payment of dues owed to KAC for

Kuwaiti patients who travel to the Czech Republic for medical treatment. This may have prompted KAC to take this decision.

to help him delete his AWOL record at the Ministry of Interior. In an effort to finally settle his quandary, he again went back to the labor relations office only to be informed that his case no longer existed. Mahran also filed a case to allow him to work for another sponsor, which was initially approved, but later on, withdrawn “due to multiple illegal reports of ‘absent claim’” and the fact that his passport was in ‘Shuon’ just aggravated matters more. He claimed that he had filed five complaints. On April 5, 2010, he finally got permission from ‘Shuon’ to work with another sponsor. According to him, however, when he tried to transfer, another new ‘absent claim’ was slapped on him, claiming that he was absent from work since June 7, 2009 which prevented him from being able to transfer. “Again I filed a complaint on April 4, 2010 at the police station in Salmiya to prove to them that the ‘absent claims’ were based on false documents. It

should be deleted from the system of the Ministry of Interior. “They finally reached the conclusion that I should be allowed to work, move freely, leave Kuwait and not be chased by the police,” he said. According to Mahran, the Ministry of Interior has also issued a letter citing absence claim (submitted by his employer) was based on fraudulent documents and that it should be deleted from the system of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor and the Ministry of Interior. He eventually received a copy of the letter, but was surprised to find out that he was expected to appear at the Criminal Investigation Division for fingerprinting and that he has to pay the maximum fine of KD 600 for violation of residency in Kuwait. Without money and unwilling to taint his name, he decided not to appear at the CID. The Kuwait Times has obtained copies of the legal documents supporting Mahran’s claims.

NATIONAL

4 Kuwait digest

Daylight robbery around Kuwait By Mohammed Abdul Hameed Al-Sager espite the endless effort of security forces to protect our beloved Kuwait, some human demons are still manipulating the state laws and violating them on a daily basis. We hear of new well-planned robberies, smuggling operations and crimes which indicate that professional criminals are responsible for them.

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Everything is being robbed, be it public or private property, and can later be found for sale at the Friday Market. Robbers have grown fearless of laws or of being caught. Things have reached a level where they open special markets to display their loot and later ship them abroad without anybody to prevent them or hold them accountable for their actions. These people are criminals who have been sent to our country to practice robbery. Some of the stolen items

are displayed on sale on streets in the countries they come from. This is indeed nothing short of daylight robbery. Therefore, all military and security forces at various border exits, be it by land, air or sea should co-operate and stop them from making off with the stolen goods. This is the only way to deter these demons from selling what was never theirs in Shuwaikh and Al-Rai stores. — Al-Watan

KUWAIT: A fireman was slightly injured while tackling a blaze that broke out at a house under construction in the Hadiya area. The fire is believed to have started and spread quickly due to the large quantities of lumber being stored at the site. Firefighters from Mangaf and Qurain worked together to extinguish the blaze, and the injured fireman was treated at the scene by paramedics. — Photo by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Swimming pool safety top priority at hotels By Rawan Khalid KUWAIT: With summer being the peak season for young sw im m ers in Kuw a it, a s elsew here, the sa fety of the sw imming facilities becomes a priority for parents. Most loca l pools a re governed by strict regula tions, w ith the larger ones having a number of lifeguards and pool main“They constantly monitor the pool’s cleanliness and are also trained to give first aid to any guests who are injured or have an accident; all our lifeguards have First Aid certificates so they’re professionals in treating anyone who’s injured.” The hotel’s main swimming pool has four lifeguards on duty, he added. On the regulations for swimmers and poolside sunbathers, he explained, “It’s forbidden to bring food in from outside the hotel or to bring any games. No animals are allowed on the premises and no cameras or photography are permitted either, because some people just want privacy. Guests should respect the lifeguards’ instructions too.” Jaber explained that swimmers are requested not to run or jump around the pool area, while guests should observe the opening hours for the pool, which is closed at night for maintenance. He also revealed that guests using the pool are requested to wear modest swimwear made of fabric other than cotton, while maids and nannies are forbidden from swimming with the children or swimming in the main pool. “Couples should also respect the rules and should not indulge in indecent behavior in the swimming pool, since there are families and children present,” Jaber added. Hani Mashalli, the recreation coordinator at the Hilton Kuwait Resort, said that the hotel increases the number of

tenance staff w ho are responsible for maintaining safety a nd hygiene sta nda rds. Musta fa J a ber, the Recrea tion Director a t the Movenpick Al-Bida ’a Resort a nd Hotel, told the Kuw a it Tim es tha t the hotel’s five sw im m ing pools are closely monitored to ensure sw immers’ safety: “Every pool ha s a lifegua rd on duty w ho keeps a close eye on the children,” he explained.

KUWAIT: A swimmer is having fun in a water park in Kuwait. — Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh lifeguards at its pool at weekends due to the larger number of bathers: “Usually, there is only one lifeguard for every 25 people in the pool, but on weekends, because it’s crowded we have two lifeguards,” he explained. “There’s also a pool cleaner who takes care of the parasols and helps customers, as well as cleaning the water.” The Hilton’s rules on bringing in food and drink from outside are the same as the Movenpick’s, with users able to get food or drinks from the hotel itself. On the no-cotton swimwear

rule, which the hotel also shares with the Movenpick, Mashalli explained, “No cotton is allowed at all because it’s not good for the pool - it’s not good for the clothes themselves either because the fabric will be ruined by the chlorine.” He also explained that children under 14 are not allowed to use the Hilton’s pool unless they’re accompanied by their parents, while female swimmers must tie their hair back before getting into the water. No sunbathers or swimmers are allowed to bring CD players or other stereo systems to the

poolside since this might disturb others there, he added, while playing, jumping, running and horseplay in or around the pool are forbidden. On the safety measures taken by the resort in case of emergencies, Mashalli said “First Aid kits are kept at the reception area and by the pool itself and if anything untoward happens, there’s an emergency button that the lifeguard can push if he needs an ambulance or help from reception. When the reception staff hear the alarm they know that something has happened at the swimming pool.”

Al-Danah brings more draws Teenagers explore diverse cultures KUWAIT: Gulf Bank is encouraging new customers to open an Al-Danah account and existing Al Danah customers to maintain or increase their deposits to be eligible to enter the Al-Danah Millionaire Draw, in which one lucky customer will win 1 Million Kuwaiti Dinars. Al-Danah offers customers more draws and more prizes with its weekly draws in which 10 winners each receive KD 1,000. A minimum deposit of just KD 200 is needed to open an

Al Danah account. Maintaining this minimum balance will automatically allow Al-Danah account holders to enter the weekly as well as the annual draw. To maximise the chances of winning, customers are encouraged to increase their deposits and maintain the money in their account. For customers to be eligible to enter the Al-Danah Millionaire Draw, money should be deposited into the Al-Danah account two months prior to the draw date, and for

the weekly draw, money should be deposited two working days prior to the draw date. Gulf Bank provides AlDanah customers with personalized services such as the Al-Danah Deposit Only ATM card, which helps accountholders, deposit their money at their convenience, and the Al Danah online calculator, which gives customers a better idea of their chances of becoming an Al Danah winner. Gulf Bank would like to remind its customers that

opening an Al-Danah Account is quick and simple. Gulf Bank has 51 branches strategically located all over Kuwait. Just visit the nearest Gulf Bank branch or call 1805 805 and our Customer Contact Center representatives will be delighted to assist you with any further information or questions that you may have on Al Danah or on any of the Bank’s products and services. Customers can also log on to Gulf Bank’s bilingual website www.e-gulfbank.com for further information.

WASHINGTON: On Friday at Washington Park, eight Milwaukee-area teenagers sat under a tree with 17 high school students from far-flung countries: Lebanon, Yemen, Kuwait, Palestine, Tunisia, Mali and Senegal. They had just finished clearing out invasive species and cleaning up wildflowers at the park. That night, many of the local students would return home to host one, two, three or even four of their international guests. This kind of cultural convergence, combined with youth service and leadership, is exactly what former English teacher Matt Nink envisioned when he incorporated the Milwaukee-based Global Youth Leadership Institute in 2005. Over the years, Nink’s weeklong summer institutes have quietly expanded to various regions of the world. They take hundreds of US and international students and teachers on collaborative learning expeditions that give children the skills to lead projects of their own. The teens in Washington Park are part of a new program, an excursion for the entire month of July-to Washington, DC, Connecticut, Milwaukee, and back to DC-made possible by a firstever US State Department grant of $140,000 to Nink’s nonprofit center. And last week, Nink received another $250,000 grant from the government that will allow 40 teenagers from Chicago and Milwaukee to spend a month in Costa Rica next summer. In addition to validating his work, the grants mean Nink can open up more opportunities for lower-income students.

MILWAUKEE: Rawan Alshamali, 17, of Kuwait, (right) and Diana Elhusseini, 17, of Lebanon, (center) shake dirt off of a piece of sod as they work to improve the grounds at Washington Park on Friday. They are part of the Youth Exchange and Study Summer Academy, organized by Global Youth Leadership Institute. — www.jsonline.com Particularly in Milwaukee Public Schools, Nink sees a desperate need for students to gain global awareness and leadership skills. “We are about broadening the vision,” said Nink, a 39-year-old Wauwatosa father of four. “We ask the kids: Have you ever been to a city council meeting? Have you ever seen leadership in action? You have to give students the confidence to solve problems.” A teacher and administrator for 15 years, Nink came to the conclusion that traditional education was not encouraging enough leadership in children. Who can be inspired to change something, he thought, if they’ve never seen

what exists outside their own community? While working at the University School of Milwaukee, Nink participated in a trip with his students through the Youth Leadership Institute. That group in Chicago had formed in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks to foster peace and understanding among youth. Before long, Nink was running the organization, and he moved the operation to Milwaukee and incorporated it as the Global Youth Leadership Institute nonprofit in 2005. The model sustains itself by charging students and teachers to participate in “summer institutes”

focused on cultural awareness, personal leadership and environmentalism. Teachers are invited on each trip, at a substantially lower cost than what the students pay, so that they can help children implement leadership projects back home after each institute. All the coordination is handled in Milwaukee by Nink and two full-time staff members, plus about 20 part-time employees running programs in the summer. Because the State Department-grant students are traveling for a month, they follow a different schedule than the summer institutes. They flew into Washington, DC at the beginning of the month, then learned to sail a tall ship in Mystic, Conn., before coming to Milwaukee to do home stays with the local students and service projects around the city. Cassalee Housen, who moved to Milwaukee from Jamaica last year, was happy to be tapped as a participant. “In Milwaukee, we learned about (religions) by going to a Christian service, and a mosque,” Housen said. “Before now, I hadn’t really taken the time to learn about other religions.” James Volz, a Wauwatosa East High School student, said the trip prompted him to think about encouraging more cultural diversity projects at his predominantly white, middle-class school. “So far, I’ve learned that I can’t really do that alone,” Volz said. Nink is exploring the possibility of partnerships with education schools, such as at Marquette University, to expand the reach of his group. —www.jsonline.com

in the news Ministry selects emba ssies a tta ches KUWAIT: The Ministry of Defense has concluded interviews with officers who are nominated to be assigned as military attaches in Kuwaiti embassies abroad. A list containing the elected names is expected to be sent to the minister and current prime minister on interim basis Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak next week. Only forty out of around 120 officers who have applied will be chosen to work at Kuwaiti embassies in Washington, Paris, London, Cairo, Amman, and other embassies. Embassies at major countries contain five military attaches: the main military attache and his assistant, assistant attache for training affairs, assistant attache for treatment abroad affairs, and assistant attache for administrative affairs. On the other hand, only an attache and his assistant would be assigned at the other embassies. Among the accepted candidates are former attaches whose three-years term in service have ended, while those who served for over five years will not be accepted, reported Al-Rai.

Expa t medica l trea tment KUWAIT: MP Walid Al-Tabtabae has put forward a proposal to compel Kuwaiti citizens or companies to pay their employees’ medical expenses in cases where the staff members themselves are unable to meet the costs. In the draft proposal, Al-Tabtabae explained that some expatriate workers find themselves in emergency situations in which they require medical treatment that they are unable to afford, leaving them in an impossible situation, reported Al-Rai.

NATIONAL

Thursday, July 22, 2010

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kuwait digest

Obesity and urban planning By Fakhry Rajab

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uwait’s rates of child obesity and juvenile diabetes are among the highest in the world, according to recent reports in the local press. In my view, the main cause of these problems is not the children’s poor eating habits, but the lack of exercise. Homes in Kuwait are, unfortunately, built in such a manner that the scope for movement inside them is limited, plus which Kuwaiti families do not need to move much since their servants do all the domestic work

GEORGETOWN: His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah yesterday concluded his official visit to Guyana and headed to Brazil, the fifth leg of his tour of Latin American and Caribbean countries. His Highness Sheikh Nasser was bid farewell at the airport by Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, and top state officials. During his visit, Sheikh Nasser delivered a letter from His Highness the Amir to President Jagdeo, and held official talks that focused on the good relations between the two countries.

Major role for private sector

Kuwait, Guyana agree to boost cooperation GEORGETOWN: Official talks were held here between Kuwait and Guyana Tuesday evening in which His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo headed the two sides. The two sides discussed relations between their countries in the fields of politics, economic, trade, and culture and ways to develop them. After the talks, agreements were signed between the governments of Kuwait and Guyana on economic and technical cooperation, prevention of double taxation, avoidance of double taxation and tax evasion on income and capital. The agreements were signed by the Kuwaiti Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shimali and his Guyanese counterpart Dr. Ashni Singh. A trade agreement was also signed by Kuwait’s Commerce and Industry Minister Ahmad Al-Haroun and Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn RodriguesBirkett. In addition, the two countries signed an agreement on the establishment of a joint committee for cooperation. It was signed by Kuwait’s Foreign Undersecretary Khalid Al-Jarallah and Rodrigues-Birkett.

Moreover, the two countries signed an agreement on aviation services which was signed by Kuwait’s General Director of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation Bader Butaiban and Guyana’s Transport, Communication, and Hydraulics Minister Robenson Benn. Guyana’s President held a banquet in the honor of His Highness the Prime Minister and his accompanying delegation. The banquet was attended by senior officials from Guyana. Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti private sector is keen on benefiting from suitable investment opportunities in Guyana, a Kuwaiti official has stressed, noting that the aim of the visit to Guyana is to discuss boosting economic ties between the two countries. The statement of the President of Kuwait’s Union

in the news Ramadan timings announced KUWAIT: Working hours at ministries and other public facilities during the holy month of Ramadan will be between 8:30 am and 1 pm during weekdays, the Civil Service Commission’s Undersecretary Mohammad Al-Roumi announced. Twenty two firms will be covered by the new timings, reported Al-Qabas, including the ministries of justice, public works, communication, education, information, and commerce, as well as the public authorities for youth and sports, environment, industry and minors’ affairs. The Kuwait Municipality, the Civil Service Commission, and the Savings and Credit Bank are also included. Other public firms will work during Ramadan between 9 am and 1:30 pm. Furthermore, the CSC welcomes requests made by firms that wish to change their working hours due to conditions owing to the nature of work. More subsidized goods KUWAIT: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) is reportedly “very close” to finalizing a ruling doubling the quantities of subsidized goods available to Kuwaiti citizens throughout the holy month of Ramadan, but charging them the same amount as they pay for the usual amount. The ministry’s ‘two-for-one offer’ approach aims to help Kuwaitis to cope with the higher costs and greater-than-usual quantities of foodstuffs needed during the Ramadan period without suffering financial hardships. While no new items are expected to be added to the list of subsidized goods available to Kuwaitis, reported Al-Rai, an MCI official said that the ministry is intent on ensuring that all the items included are of the best quality and are provided in sufficient quantities to meet all the citizens’ requirements for the holy month. TV channels under scrutiny KUWAIT: The Ministry of Information has assigned its publication and multimedia department to investigate the materials that satellite TV stations intend to broadcast during the holy month of Ramadan. Any detected violations such as channels advertising for programs without obtaining the necessary license for their broadcast from the ministry or unauthorized content will be sent to the General Prosecution Department. This decision was taken by the ministry to ensure that the Audio-Visual law is not violated during the holy month, as per the instructions from the Minister of Information and Oil, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah.

of Investment Companies (UIC) came during his meeting with the president of Guyana chamber of commerce Ramesh Dookhoo Tuesday evening, as part of the visit of His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad AlSabah to Guyana. Al-Banwan said that the meeting with the Guyanese was the second, adding that the first meeting was held last January and witnessed the signing of an agreement on protecting and encouraging investment. The visit comes as part of the efforts of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to strengthen trade relations and search for suitable investment opportunities for the private sector, he pointed out. Challenges require more talks and visits to increase

trade exchange and to coordinate holding exhibitions and other activities to present Guyanese products to Kuwaiti traders and consumers, he said. On his part, Dookhoo said he was looking forward to increasing trade exchange with Kuwait. Guyana had several special natural resources and agricultural industries and products, he noted. The country has vast farming area, rich mines, and a good location, he said. The meeting was attended by head of Kuwait Travel and Tourism Agencies Association Khalid Al-Hamad, deputy chairman of the Kuwaiti Banks Association Majid Al-Ajeel, representative of the Kuwaiti Industries Union Nasser AlSharhan, and assistant director of KCCI’s public relations and media department Hamid AlAnsari. — KUNA

for them. Even when they go outside the home, Kuwaiti families’ journeys are made by car and mostly revolve around going to shopping malls where the family members sit and eat before returning back home to sleep. Meanwhile, residential blocks are poorly designed, with plenty of homes but no shops, parks or recreational facilities, which forces people to drive to buy anything or find any sort of leisure activites. I previously wrote about how my children use public transport and walk everywhere whenever we spend our vacations abroad and how in those countries the residential

blocks are well provided with shops, parks and other facilities, unlike Kuwait where many residential areas are located several kilometers away from the nearest shop, park or recreational venue. Kuwaitis’ obesity problem should not be treated with medicine but by addressing the root of the problem, which is the lack of exercise. I hope that more commercial and recreational facilities will be included when designing and building local residential areas in the future. If you compare the busy streets of Farwaniya with the monotony in residential areas with a majority of Kuwaiti residents,

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NATIONAL

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hashish, narcotic tablets confiscated

Drug dealer arrested in sting operation KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti man recently released from prison where he had served a sentence for drugs-related offences quickly returned to his former trade. Police caught the unreformed drug dealer red-handed in a sting operation, reported Al-Anba, with officers recovering a variety of drugs from his possession, including three pieces of hashish and 200 narcotic tablets. The man is being held in custody and is expected to return to prison shortly. Meanwhile, Farwaniya police conducting a routine patrol became suspicious when an Egyptian driver who they pulled over became jumpy and nervous at being stopped. Al-Watan revealed that a search of the man's vehicle revealed a quantity of hashish, which he said was for personal use. The man was taken into custody and has been referred to the relevant authorities. Karate caretaker An Asian caretaker has been hailed as a hero after thwarting an attempted robbery by three teenage hoodlums at the livestock farm where he works. The man was asleep when the three would-be thieves broke into the farm in the middle of the night, but quickly woke up on hearing the bleating of the sheep which they were attempting to steal. He rushed to confront the juvenile sheep rustlers, who then attempted to assault him, reported Al-Rai. Much to their misfortune, however, the caretaker had been trained in martial arts and was quickly able to overpower them and hold them captive until police arrived to take them into custody. Freak accident A Pakistani truck driver was killed in a freak accident when a heavy object fell on him while he was repairing a tire puncture. The incident took place on a street in Qashaniya when the driver parked his vehicle at the roadside to repair the punctured tire, helped by a

colleague. The two men were fixing the problem when the object fell from the lorry onto the driver, causing fatal injuries, reported AlWatan. Although paramedics rushed to the scene, the man had already died. His body was removed for autopsy. Gang assault A group of young thugs assaulted a Kuwaiti man in front of his family outside a shopping mall in Jahra following a dispute over whose vehicle had right of way. Police were quickly at the scene, intervening to rescue the victim, who was rushed to Jahra Hospital, reported Al-Watan. His assailants were taken into custody and face assault charges. Burglary gang Hawally police arrested three Asian burglars after a routine check of their car uncovered various items used in burgling homes. On being questioned, the men admitted that they had targeted homes in South Surra, Hiteen, Zahra and Al-Salaam. They also directed police to the address of their accomplice and

leader, who they said had masterminded the thefts, reported Al-Watan. Police arrived at the man's home only to discover that he was nowhere to be found, and a search is underway for him. Site accident An Egyptian construction worker suffered multiple fractures and severe head injuries after falling from a building under construction in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh. Paramedics rushed the man to Farwaniya Hospital, reported AlQabas. Initial questioning of the man's colleagues revealed that he had fallen after tripping over some object while working. Sex pests Two Arab men face deportation after they were arrested for harassing two female police officers at a local shopping mall. The female officers called for back-up after the two men followed them and refused to stop harassing them. Al-Rai reported that the men were quickly taken into custody and senior officials have ordered that they be deported.

kuwait digest

Things get hotter this summer By Mubarak Al-Hajri

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hile we are suffering from unprecedented heat this summer, we find that half of our Cabinet members have resorted to spending their summer vacations abroad. The problem surfaces when a minister decides to travel abroad for vacation, only to discover that another minister who was supposed to carry out his duties on interim basis during his absence has already embarked on his own holiday. The real problem occurs when a minister heads out on a trip and leaves his ministry to suffer while he's away. It would have been better if ministers

instead chose to stay back and focus on how to improve the ministry before the next term of the parliament commences. All of us remember that MP Musallam Al-Barrak set March 2011 as the deadline for the Cabinet to execute at least 25 percent of its annual development plans or face political questioning. Considering the empty promises that we have been hearing from our officials, I believe the MP should reduce that number to five percent. The Ministry of Interior's decision to assign female police officers to patrol shopping malls requires more thought. Instead of assigning policewomen to maintain order at places which are more suit-

able for them like airports, women's prisons and other service centers, they will be put in-charge of a place which would make them soft targets for harassment by heedless youngsters who disrespect the law and have enough 'wasta' to avoid any legal trouble. What would happen if the Cabinet decided to stop spending unnecessarily on ministries and public facilities and instead address the violations pertaining to tenders lesser than KD 100,000 in value which go unchecked by the Central Tenders Committee? I believe this will help eliminate the budget deficit threats and save the funds necessary to finance the development plan. —Al-Rai

Dental awareness team visits kids KUWAIT: Members of the Children Interactive Club, the brain-child of Touristic Enterprises Company, recently welcomed a visiting team of health awareness officials from the capital governorate's school dental health program. The event is being held from July 4-29 and invites membership from all children and aims to integrate differently-abled kids and normal ones. During the visit, team member Dr Mohammad Ibrahim provided a demonstration on the national goals for reducing the spread of dental diseases and promoted dental hygiene. The children were active throughout the demonstration, and participated in all the competitions. The event was sponsored by Zain.

INTERNATIONAL

Thursday, July 22, 2010

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Egypt, Turkey leaders discuss peace process Israel scraps Turkey travel warning CAIRO: The leaders of Egypt and Turkey met in Cairo yesterday to discuss stuttering international efforts to coax Israeli and Palestinian leaders back to the negotiating table, the MENA news agency said. Egypt’s

BEIT LAHIA, Gaza Strip: A file picture dated Jan 17, 2009 shows Palestinian civilians and medics running to safety during an Israeli white phosphorus strike over a UN school. — AFP

Israel eyes fewer civilian casualties in future wars IDF to restrict use of white phosphorous UNITED NATIONS: A new Israeli report on the 2008-2009 war in the Gaza Strip says that Israel’s army is taking steps to reduce the number of civilian casualties in future wars and will restrict the use of white phosphorous. The 37-page report, which was posted on the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s website, was delivered to the office of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday in compliance with a General Assembly resolution, UN officials said. “The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) has ... implemented operational changes in its orders and combat doctrine designed to further minimize civilian casualties and damage to civilian property in the future,” the report said. “In particular, the IDF has adopted important new procedures designed to enhance the protection of civilians in urban warfare, for instance by further emphasizing that the protection of civilians is an integral part of an IDF commander’s mission,” it said. Among those measures will be the inclusion of a humanitarian affairs officer in each combat unit. About 1,400 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, and 13

Israelis were killed in Israel’s Dec 2008-Jan 2009 offensive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip that was aimed at ending cross-border rocket fire from Palestinian militants. A UN report by a team headed by South African jurist Richard Goldstone was issued in September and found that both the Israeli army and the militant Islamist group Hamas, which controls Gaza, were guilty of war crimes in the conflict but focused more on Israel. The Jewish state, which refused to cooperate with Goldstone, has condemned his report as distorted and biased and rejected the war crimes allegations. Hamas denied its fighters committed war crimes but has said it regrets Israeli civilian deaths. The report also said Israel has launched some 47 criminal investigations into alleged misconduct by its soldiers in the Gaza war, 11 more than in January. A Nov 2009 resolution of the 192-nation General Assembly demanded that the Israelis and Palestinians credibly investigate allegations of war crimes during the conflict. The Palestinian Authority’s UN delegation also submitted a progress report to

Ban’s office, but it was not immediately available. The West Bankbased Palestinian Authority has no influence over Gaza and is unable to investigate Hamas. Israel said in the report it was planning to impose restrictions on using white phosphorous weapons, smoke-screening munitions that can cause serious burns. In response to criticism of its use of white phosphorous during the Gaza war, the IDF implemented mandatory buffer zones of several hundred meters and restricted use of it near sensitive sites. The report said the use of white phosphorous remains legal, though the IDF did conduct a review of its use. “As a consequence, the IDF is in the process of establishing permanent restrictions on the use of munitions containing white phosphorus in urban areas,” the report said. The United Nations has yet to react to the Israeli report. Israel is under pressure to accept another international investigation into a deadly May 31 raid on a flotilla of aid ships that attempted to break through the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. — Reuters

Yemen ‘slaves’ dream of freedom SANAA: Officially, slavery was abolished back in 1962 but a judge’s decision to pass on the title deed of a “slave” from one master to another has blown the lid off the hidden bondage of hundreds of Yemenis. The judge in the town of Hajja, which is home to some 300 slaves, according to residents, said he had certified the transfer only because the new owner planned to free the slave. But his decision has triggered a campaign by local human right activists. A 2009 report by the human rights ministry found that males and females were still enslaved in the provinces of Hudaydah and Hajja, in northwest Yemen - the Arab world’s most impoverished country. Mubarak, who has seven brothers and sisters, has never set foot outside the village where he was born into a family which was inherited as slaves by their local master. Sheikh Mohammed Badawi’s father had bought Mubarak’s parents 50 year ago, shortly before Yemen’s 1962 revolution which abolished slavery. Mubarak has known no other life except that of a slave. “Whenever I think of freedom, I ask myself, ‘Where will I go?’” he told AFP as he stood outside a hut which serves as

ASLAM, Yemen: A Yemeni family, descendent of African slaves, are seen inside their hut in this village in northern Yemen on July 15, 2010. — AFP home for him and his family. Black-skinned Mubarak does not know his birthday but he knows he has been a slave from birth 21 years ago. He has two children with a wife who was also a slave until she was emancipated by her master, a few years before they married. “Sometimes I wonder what the fate of my children will be, having a slave father and an emancipated mother,” he said. Mubarak and his family are just one case among many. “We are still in the process of

trying to count the numbers of slaves,” the coordinator of rights group Hood, Mohammed Naji Allaw, told AFP, explaining that slaves were “owned by title deeds, or inherited within families.” The news website almasdaronline earlier spoke of “500 slaves” across Yemen. In addition to “slaves whose owner can use them however he wants,” the ministry report also refers to other groups subjected to slave-like conditions, although they are not bound by documents. —AFP

Mubarak also highlighted “Egypt’s efforts to push forward the peace process, as well as negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and Egyptian efforts to achieve Palestinian reconciliation,” it said. Gul arrived in Cairo on Tuesday night and was to leave Egypt later yesterday, officials said. Mubarak on Sunday hosted separate meetings with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who are taking part in indirect talks brokered by US Middle East envoy George Mitchell. Mitchell, who is trying to clinch an agreement to a face-to-face meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas, also met with Mubarak on Sunday. He then held talks with Arab League chief Amr Mussa, who later told reporters the Palestinians could not move automatically from the indirect talks to face-to-face negotiations. The Palestinians froze direct talks in Dec 2008 when Israel launched a 22-day assault on the Gaza Strip. They have said there can be no direct talks without progress on border and security issues, and without an Israeli pledge to halt all settlement activity on occupied territory, including east Jerusalem. Turkey’s Islamist-rooted government has sought a stronger Turkish role in the Middle East, notably improving ties with Muslim countries, among them former foes Syria and Iran. Both Egypt and Turkey have repeatedly insisted their positions in the region are complementary, not competitive. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with Hamas supremo Khaled Meshaal in Damascus Monday, Anatolia news agency reported. The two men discussed efforts to heal the rift between Hamas, the radical Islamist group controlling the Gaza Strip, and the Fatah faction of Abbas, Anatolia said, adding the Middle East peace process was also on their agenda Separately, Israel has lifted an advisory against its citizens visiting Turkey, seeing reduced risk of violent protests over Israel’s killing of nine Turks aboard a Gaza-bound aid ship as well as an opportunity to patch up ties. Revising a statement issued after the May 31 interception, the CounterTerrorism Bureau in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on Tuesday said Israeli tourists or businesspeople in Turkey should steer clear of demonstrations and “political arguments with the locals”. “It has been a month and a half, there are no demonstrations, the street has pretty much calmed down,” the bureau’s Elkana Har-Nof told Israel Radio yesterday. He credited Turkey’s police with keeping order and said there was no specific concern Israelis could be targets of organised violence. “It’s possible they won’t be so welcome in the discos ... But the public reception is not within our purview.” Har-Nof said. The raid led Turkey to recall its ambassador from Israel and cancel joint defence drills. Tourism operators say that of around 150,000 Israelis who had planned vacations in

Turkey, two-thirds backed out. Turkish commercial aviation out of Tel Aviv has been cut. “There is no information on preparations for terrorist attacks or anything else that would prevent Israelis from spending the summer in Turkey,” Defence Minister Ehud Barak told Israel’s Army Radio. “Maybe it (new advisory) will also contribute to warming up the atmosphere, which is frozen, though this is not the objective and not the motivation,” he said. Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth daily said restoring tourism was among issues addressed by Netanyahu’s envoy, Trade and Industry Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, in a fence-mending meeting with Davutoglu in Zurich on June 30. —Agencies

President Hosni Mubarak and President Abdullah Gul discussed “efforts to revive the Middle East process as well regional developments of mutual interest,” the official news agency reported.

CAIRO: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (right) meets his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul at the presidential place yesterday. — AFP

INTERNATIONAL

8

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Scottish ministers defend Lockerbie release LONDON: Scottish ministers yesterday defended their decision to free the Lockerbie bomber after renewed US anger over the release threatened to spoil the new British premier’s first visit to the White House. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said he did not regret freeing Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet Al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds last August. And Salmon denied claims from US lawmakers that the release formed part of an oil deal between BP and resourcerich Libya. “If you take a decision in

good faith, you don’t regret it,” Salmond, the leader of Scotland’s devolved government, told BBC radio. He added: “As far as the Scottish government is concerned we had no contact with BP, either written or verbal, as far as the process of compassionate release was concerned.” The decision to free prostate cancer sufferer Megrahi, the only person convicted of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, caused outrage in the United States, where most of the 270

victims were from. Many of the bereaved families condemned the move, FBI chief Robert Mueller said it gave “comfort to terrorists around the world”, and an online campaign was launched for a boycott of Scottish goods. The anger has now been renewed by claims by US senators that BP already under fire over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill - lobbied for Megrahi’s release to safeguard a 2007 oil exploration deal with Libya worth $900 million. The row threatened to

overshadow British Prime Minister David Cameron’s first official visit to the White House Tuesday, but during talks with US President Barack Obama the two leaders sought to play down any differences. Both men condemned Megrahi’s release, although Cameron refused calls from four US senators to launch a full-blown inquiry in Britain, saying: “I don’t need an inquiry to tell me it was a bad decision. It was a bad decision.” Cameron also sought to distance BP from the release, adding: “I haven’t seen anything to suggest that

the Scottish government were in any way swayed by BP.” Speaking yesterday, Salmond pointed out that concerns about BP’s involvement concerned a prisoner transfer agreement (PTA) signed by the British government with Libya in 2007 at the same time as BP agreed a massive oil deal there. He said Scotland had opposed the PTA because it sparked suspicions of “deals in the desert”, and it had subsequently rejected a request by Libya to release Megrahi under this agreement. In the

end, Megrahi was granted compassionate release because he had been diagnosed in 2008 with cancer, and was judged by several doctors last year to have only months to live. He is still alive, but Salmond said Tuesday it was “entirely possible that somebody’s life expectancy in a prison in Greenock (Scotland) is somewhat shorter than the life expectancy on a progressive drug therapy in Tripoli”. Some 23 prisoners have been freed on compassionate release in the last 10 years, and Scottish Justice Minister

Kenny MacAskill, who took the decision to send Megrahi home, said this was a key part of Scotland’s approach to justice. “We believe that justice has to be served but mercy must be capable of being shown,” he told the BBC yesterday. Scotland forms part of Britain, but under its devolved system of government it has control over its own justice matters. As a result, the then British prime minister Gordon Brown’s government refused to get involved in Megrahi’s release. —AFP

Attack lays bare vulnerability of country's infrastructure

2 killed in ‘terror attack’ on Russian power plant MOSCOW: Militants stormed a hydroelectric plant in Russia's volatile Caucasus region yesterday in a brazen dawn attack, killing two and setting the facility ablaze with a string of blasts, officials said. The unknown attackers, who also beat up other plant employees, set off the explosions at the

station in the North Caucasus's Kabardino-Balkaria region by laying mines in the turbine room. The plant has been shut down as a result. "A terror act took place at the Baksanskaya hydroelectric power plant," state-run power group RusHydro, which runs the plant, said in a statement. White smoke billowed from the plant tucked into a forest and masked security officials were seen outside its premises, according to footage aired on national television. The authorities are battling a Muslim insurgency in the Caucasus, where Moscow fought two bloody wars against Chechen separatists in the 90s and militants have long pledged to destroy key infrastructure sites. “Spoke to head of FSB (security service) and Kabardino-Balkarian president. Security at strategic sites tightened after today’s explosions at the HPP,” President Dmitry Medvedev said in a message on Twitter. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was in constant contact with Igor Sechin, his powerful deputy in charge of the energy sector, and told him to make sure the incident did not disrupt energy flow in the region, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told AFP. Regional police said a group of between three and five attackers burst onto the premises of the station located in the village of Atazhukino and killed two police guards and stole their weapons. “The assailants mined the power plant’s turbine room,” police BAKSAN, Russia: A Russian NTV channel television grab shows walls charred from a blast at the Baksanskaya said, adding that two turbines were blown up, setting the hydroelectric power plant near this town of Baksan in Russia’s Kabardino-Balkaria region yesterday. —AFP engine room on fire. The blaze has since been put out. Moscow-based investigators said two explosions shook the plant’s turbine room, while another two explosive devices PARIS: President Nicolas for the state prosecutor in the pass the measure, despite fierce Before taking the work and went off at the transformer vault. Sarkozy’s government slipped western suburbs of Paris where opposition from trade unions to pensions portfolio, Woerth was One more explosive device has deeper into scandal yesterday as Bettencourt lives. pushing back the retirement age, budget minister and in charge of been found and neutralised by police moved to question a Earlier, police questioned if he is to have any hope of hunting down wealthy tax dodgers the sappers at the scene. The minister and his wife over their Florence Woerth as a potential regaining political momentum and forcing them to disclose visibly shaken director of the ties to billionaire L’Oreal heiress witness in the L’Oreal case. She before he runs for re-election in assets held abroad in havens like hydroelectric plant, Valery Liliane Bettencourt. Labour was allowed to leave without 2012. Switzerland. At the same time his Shogenov, speaking on televiMinister Eric Woerth and his wife charge, but the drip-feed of daily Woerth was not at yesterday’s wife Florence worked for the sion, said the employees had Florence, who once helped revelations and allegations cabinet meeting because he was wealth management company that been tied up with duct tape but manage Bettencourt’s €17-billion continues to undermine the defending the bill in front a was looking after the Bettencourt ($21-billion) fortune, are under government. The president has parliamentary committee fortune. Secret recordings of managed to release themselves. fire over allegations of conflict of himself been forced to deny discussing possible amendments. Bettencourt talking to Florence Alim Balkizov, the plant’s interest and illegal party claims that he accepted cash from The allegations against Woerth Woerth’s boss Patrice de Maistre spokesman in the region, said donations. Bettencourt, but his credibility and Sarkozy are complex, but - leaked to the media - seem to the staff employees were torAt yesterday’s weekly has been damaged by the scandal together they paint voters a show that she was attempting to tured and beaten up, with one meeting of Sarkozy’s cabinet, and his opinion poll approval picture of a political elite that is hide some of her cash outside also receiving knife cuts. The ministers agreed to give police ratings are as low as they have too cosy with the owner of one of France to avoid tax. two received medical help and investigators the go-ahead to ever been. France’s biggest private fortunes. Worse, for Woerth and were recovering, he added. A question the minister, who insists Woerth has said he will step “The most troubling part of the Sarkozy, Maistre is heard on the regional police spokesman, he has done nothing wrong and is down as treasurer of Sarkozy’s Woerth-Bettencourt affair is this tapes saying that he hired speaking to AFP, said “the resisting calls to resign. A right-wing majority party, the conniving group,” said leading Florence Woerth “to please” her assailants or their accomplices” summary of the cabinet, released UMP, but remains charged with Socialist opposition lawmaker husband, with the implicit briefly attacked a local police by the government, said Woerth the government’s flagship Francois Hollande, referring to suggestion that this might help building in the town of Baksan, had been “authorised to appear as legislation, a bill to reform of the Woerth’s former role as chief them curry favour with the tax possibly to deflect attention from a witness” before officers working pension system. Sarkozy must UMP fundraiser. authorities. —AFP the upcoming attack. Officials said the plant had been halted but there was no risk of a flood. Security experts said the latest attack underscored just how vulnerable the country’s infrastructure was to militant attacks despite the officials’ tough talk and hefty investment in the Caucasus. “It laid bare the vulBERLIN: German Chancellor bers of her cabinet reportedly nerability of the security system Angela Merkel, facing a free fall spitting insults such as “wild in the Caucasus,” Andrei in the polls and an exodus of top sow” and “Rumpelstiltskin” at Soldatov, editor of Agentura.Ru conservatives, said yesterday each other. Merkel was elected website with sources in the she was confident her govern- to a second term in September intelligence agencies, told AFP. ment would see out its four-year with a majority that allowed her Some said they feared the attack term. Asked at her annual pre- to dump her previous “grand might be a precursor to more holiday summer news confer- coalition” with the rival Social disastrous events. “I fear it ence whether her squabbling Democrats in favour of a tie-up might be a rehearsal of somecentre-right coalition would with her partner of choice, the thing more large-scale,” senator make it to 2013, the 56-year-old pro-business Free Democrats. Alexander Torshin said in comMerkel replied: “I am quite cer- She turned philosophical on the ments on Echo of Moscow radio. tain.” The chancellor acknowl- reasons why her administration Built in the 1930s, the relaedged that she had been unable has not appeared to be a match tively small, 25-megawatt power to corral the members of her made in heaven. plant sits on the Baksan river, “We needed time to find our team as they descended into which flows into the Terek, the name-calling in recent months feet in government,” she said. Caucasus’ most famed river. The while arguing over tax policy, “We had said for years that this accident is the latest blow to healthcare reform and the future was the coalition we wanted and RusHydro. Last August 75 peoof nuclear energy. “Voters have as it sometimes is in life, the realple died in an accident at the not been happy at all with some ity has been a bit bumpier that Sayano-Shushenskaya dam, a of the types of debates we have expected.” But she pledged to Siberian hydropower station that turn the ship around in the had,” she said. the state-run power group oper“Certain ways of speaking remainder of the term. “I am ates. That catastrophe was BERLIN: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban with each other were not accept- looking ahead and you can expect claimed by an Islamist group but kisses the hand of German Chancellor Angela Merkel as able and we need to work on us to govern well during this legauthorities insisted technical he arrives for talks at the chancellery yesterday. —AFP that,” she said, referring to mem- islative period,” she said. —AFP faults were to blame. —AFP

French minister to be quizzed by cops

Merkel confident govt will survive

BUCHAREST: Media and members of the public gather around the freshly dug up grave of late communist dictator Nicolaie Ceausescu at the Ghencea cemetery yesterday. —AP

Ceausescu remains exhumed BUCHAREST: Taking the country by surprise, forensic scientists yesterday exhumed what are believed to be the bodies of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena to solve the mystery of where they are truly buried. Ceausescu ruled Romania for 25 years with an iron fist before being ousted and executed during the 1989 anticommunist revolt in which more than 1,000 people were killed. Some Romanians doubt that the Ceausescus were really buried in the Ghencea military cemetery in west Bucharest - including the couple’s children. There is also some nostalgia for the communist period and regrets that the couple were executed on Christmas Day, 1989. The news of the exhumation, the latest development in a five-year court case, broke as most Romanians were asleep. Officials rapidly closed the cemetery as dozens of journalists began arriving. Journalists were barred from the exhumation but an AP reporter managed to enter the cemetery while the operation was taking place. A team of pathologists and cemetery officials hoisted the wooden caskets of Ceausescu and his wife out of their graves yesterday. They then took samples from the corpses and put them into plastic bags - a process lasting more than two hours before reburying the coffins. Ceausescu’s alleged remains were better preserved than those of his wife, said Mircea Oprean, the couple’s son-in-law who was present at the exhumation. “We are closer to knowing the truth,” the couple’s son Valentin Ceausescu, 62, told the AP by phone. Officials say it will take up to six months to determine the identity of the remains. Cemetery worker Cornel Muntean, who stood just yards from the exhumation, told the AP that Ceausescu was dressed in a thick gray overcoat. An

AP reporter saw a dirty cloth being removed from Ceausescu’s remains and what looked like a thick gray fur hat at one end of the coffin. A few elderly people wandered around the sprawling cemetery but were kept away from the exhumations by guards. Ceausescu was toppled Dec 22, 1989, as Romanians fed up with years of draconian rationing and communist rule revolted. He tried to flee Bucharest by helicopter but his pilot switched sides. After a summary trial, Ceausescu and his wife were executed by a firing squad three days later. Oprean’s wife, Zoia Ceausescu, had sued the defense ministry in 2005, saying she had doubts that her parents were buried in the cemetery. She died of cancer in 2006 and her brother Valentin took up the case. The couple’s other son Nicu died of liver cirrhosis in 1996 and is buried in the same Ghencea cemetery. Romanians rose up in 1989 as other Communist regimes collapsed in Eastern Europe, angered and exhausted by years of rationing as the dictator tried to pay off the country’s foreign debt. Meat, cooking oil and butter were severely limited and blackouts were common. Ceausescu was also known for the fierce way he stifled dissent with his Securitate secret police, which were believed to have 700,000 informers in the nation of 22 million. Aurel Chiubasu, 66, a former carpenter in a military unit, heard about the exhumation and rushed over to tend his wife’s grave nearby. “I didn’t agree with him being executed but the family has the right to know where he was buried,” he said. “People speak like it’s not him there and he’s buried somewhere else.” Another woman at the cemetery said her family had suffered dearly under Ceausescu’s rule. “My in-laws were thrown out of their homes like dogs and their properties were sold. —AP

UN court orders retrial for ex-Kosovo premier THE HAGUE: A UN court quashed the war crimes acquittal yesterday of ex-Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj and ordered that he be retried for murder and torture with two others, citing witness intimidation. “The appeals chamber ... orders that Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj be retried” on several counts on the initial indictment, said presiding judge Patrick Robinson of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). This would be the court’s first-ever retrial, said ICTY spokeswoman Nerma Jelacic. Robinson ordered the three, all former senior figures in the separatist ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), to be detained in The Hague. Haradinaj, 42, and Balaj, 38, had been freed after their acquittal in April 2008 on numerous counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed against Serbs and political opponents - including murder, torture and rape. Haradinaj, the most senior Kosovo leader to stand trial at the ICTY, was arrested in Kosovo on Tuesday on a warrant issued by the court “because they (the judges) wanted him to be here for the judgment,” said Jelacic. Balaj, serving an unrelated sentence in a Kosovo jail, was not present. Co-accused Brahimaj, 40, who was convicted of torture and sentenced to six years in jail in

Ramush Haradinaj 2008 but released pending the appeal outcome, sat next to Haradinaj in the accused box. Neither man displayed a reaction to the judges’ majority decision. But Michael O’Reilly, the head of Haradinaj’s defence team, said in a statement issued in Pristina he was “extremely surprised”. “We could not have predicted such a development, particularly if one takes into account the unanimity with which the decision to acquit was taken two years ago,” he said. Haradinaj was a KLA commander at the time of the alleged atrocities, as was Balaj, who allegedly headed a paramilitary unit known as the Black Eagles. Brahimaj, 40, was a deputy commander of the KLA and ran the notorious Jablanica prison camp. The prose-

cution had sought 25-year prison terms for all three men on charges that included beating, torturing and murdering detainees suspected of collaborating with Serbs. But the judges found there was insufficient evidence following a trial marked by the reluctance of witnesses to testify, allegedly under threat. Robinson upheld an appeal by the prosecution, saying the trial chamber should have given prosecutors more time to secure the testimony of witnesses who had been intimidated. “The trial chamber failed to take sufficient steps to counter witness intimidation that permeated the trial,” said the judge, ordering that Haradinaj and Balaj be retried on six war crimes charges, which include counts of murder, cruel treatment and torture, and Brahimaj on four. “Given the potential importance of these witnesses to the prosecution’s case, the error undermined the fairness of the proceedings and resulted in a miscarriage of justice.” The three men now stand accused anew of participation in a joint criminal enterprise to “consolidate total KLA control over the Dukagjin area through the unlawful removal and mistreatment of ... civilians,” according to the judgement. They are also charged with individual criminal responsibility for some of the same crimes. The three had initially surrendered to the court in March 2005, and went on trial two years later. —AFP

INTERNATIONAL

Thursday, July 22, 2010

9

Obama stands by his new peer, wants ‘all facts’ to come out

Cameron rebuffs US, says no new inquiry on bomber This diagram provided by the NYPD shows details of the car bomb built by Faisal Shahzad in his May 1, 2010 failed Times Square attack. —AP

Replica shows Times Sq bomb could have killed NEW YORK: Investigators detonated a working replica of the car bomb used in the failed Times Square terror attack, creating a large explosion that destroyed other vehicles and scattered flaming debris, law enforcement officials said Tuesday. The test in central Pennsylvania showed that the homemade bomb, had it been constructed and detonated properly, would have killed or wounded an untold number of pedestrians and damaged buildings along the block where the car was abandoned by Faisal Shahzad on May 1, the officials said. “It would have been extremely deadly,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Tuesday when asked about the test after an event at a Washington think tank. Kelly didn’t go into specifics about the FBI test. But two other officials told AP that it was conducted late last month in a remote area 48 km outside of State College, Pennsylvania, and that a video of it was played for a gathering of

authorities earlier this week. The officials spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the test. The FBI’s New York office declined to comment. The test was first reported Tuesday in the New York Post, which quoted an unnamed source saying that the results suggested the bomb could have been more deadly than the 1995 Oklahoma City car bombing that killed 168 people. One of the officials who spoke to the AP said that was an exaggeration, because the Oklahoma City bomb - also made of fertilizer - was roughly 10 times larger than the one left in Times Square. Calling himself a “Muslim soldier”, Shahzad pleaded guilty June 21. During his plea hearing, the 30-year-old traced his plot to a 2009 trip to Pakistan, where he said he received explosives training and funding from the Pakistani Taleban for his one-man scheme. He returned to the United States and loaded a

1993 Nissan Pathfinder with a fertilizer-fueled bomb packed in a gun cabinet, a set of propane tanks and gas canisters rigged with fireworks that he hoped would cause a chainreaction explosion. After parking the vehicle on a street near Broadway theaters and hotels, Shahzad said he lit a fuse that he expected would detonate the bomb within five minutes as he walked away. Instead, authorities say the bomb malfunctioned, emitting smoke that attracted the attention of a street vendor, who notified police. Federal agents arrested Shahzad two days later as he attempted to flee the country on a Dubaibound jetliner. New York Police Department bomb experts later determined Shahzad had used a type of fertilizer that wasn’t volatile enough to explode. For the test, the officials said the investigators also used a Pathfinder, but rigged it with the higher grade fertilizer and more sophisticated components. —AP

WASHINGTON: British Prime Minister David Cameron was focusing on decision to release the Lockerbie bomber. Cameron planned to lay a wreath at Afghanistan yesterday, the second day of a visit to the US that saw him turn aside the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery before headcalls for a fresh investigation into whether oil giant BP swayed the controversial ing to the Pentagon for briefings on military operations in Afghanistan. Britain has the most troops serving in Afghanistan of any NATO nation after the United States. But Cameron has said he wants his country’s 10,000 troops out by the time of Britain’s next election, which must be held by 2015. “People in Britain should understand we’re not going to be there in five years’ time, in 2015, with combat troops or large numbers,” he told BBC Radio in an interview broadcast yesterday. Cameron was later scheduled to travel by train to New York to meet with senior US business leaders about prospects for increased trade and investment with Britain. He also will hold talks with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and attend a dinner hosted by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg before flying back to Britain. Cameron had hoped to use his first visit to the US since taking office 10 weeks ago to build his standing as a statesman and develop his relation with President Barack WASHINGTON: (From left) Sen John Kerry, Majority Leader Harry Reid, British Prime Minister David Obama. Instead, the Lockerbie issue Cameron, Sen Richard Luger and Sen Frank Lautenberg pose for a picture on Capitol Hill Tuesday. —AP overshadowed a broader agenda Al-Megrahi was convicted specified Al-Megrahi’s case. that Obama and Cameron dis- had a role in the controversial BP, the British oil giant facing “Any lobbying they might cussed in the Oval Office and decision. Obama stood by his huge fallout in the United States for the 1988 bombing of a Pan over lunch Tuesday before new peer but said that “all the for causing the massive Gulf of Am jet over Lockerbie, have done is an issue for BP, Scotland, that killed 270 people, and an issue that they should Mexico oil spill. addressing reporters. The 43- facts” must come out. “I think all of us here in the most of them American. The explain themselves,” Cameron In declaring his position - to year-old Cameron, a few years younger than Obama, took power potentially make public more United States were surprised, Scottish government released said flatly. The British leader in May and leads a coalition gov- information from an earlier disappointed and angry about the the cancer-stricken man on said, though, that he has not ernment of his Conservative investigation of Libyan Abdel release of the Lockerbie compassionate grounds last seen anything to suggest that Party and the smaller Liberal Baset Al-Megrahi’s release, but bomber,” Obama said in a short year, igniting outrage on both the Scottish government was Democrats. Cameron and not start a new one - Cameron news conference dominated by sides of the Atlantic. Bringing swayed by BP. On Tuesday Obama did display a united front politely but roundly rebuffed the the topic. Yet he added: “The the matter to the fore again are night, the four US Democratic on the threat of a nuclear-armed US government. Obama sought key thing to understand here is accusations that BP sought the senators from New York and Iran, the need for direct Middle a diplomatic tone in response, that we’ve got a British prime release of the convicted bomber New Jersey, the home states of East peace talks and the fight in saying the US would “welcome minister who shares our anger as part of efforts to seek access many of the Lockerbie victims, Afghanistan. But Cameron any additional information”, and over the decision. And so I’m to Libyan oil fields; BP has met with Cameron for 45 minturned aside US calls for a fresh made clear he wanted it. Beyond fully supportive of Prime acknowledged that it urged the utes. They left with the investigation into why the con- the lingering anger, the case Minister Cameron’s efforts to British government to sign a impression that a further victed Lockerbie bomber was set swirls anew with interest gain a better understanding of prisoner transfer agreement investigation may not be out of with Libya but says it never the question. —AP free by Scotland and whether BP because of its possible links to it.”

10

INTERNATIONAL

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Aircraft 'black box' inventor dies in Australia SYDNEY: A pioneering Australian inventor whose "black box" flight data recorder revolutionised the safety of air travel and aided countless crash investigations has died aged 85, officials said yesterday. David Warren, whose own father died in a plane crash, hit upon the "black box" idea while probing a 1953 disaster involving the world's first commercial jetliner. "Without any explanation, without any witnesses, without any survivors ... (it was) a really baffling mystery," Warren said in a 2003 interview. Warren, who died on Monday,

was the first European child born on Groote Eylandt, a remote Aboriginal island in Australia's northeast, in 1925. His father was among 12 people on board the "Miss Hobart" mail plane that vanished over the southern Bass Strait in 1934, one of Australia's earliest air disasters. Then just nine years of age, Warren was left with his father's last gift to him, a crystal radio set, which he used to listen to broadcasts after lights-out in his boarding school dormitory. Building radios soon became his schoolboy hobby, but a World War II ban on ama-

teur radio led Warren to dump his nascent ambitions as a "radio ham" in favour of chemistry, his ultimate career path. He first hatched the idea of cockpit voice and data recording while investigating a 1953 crash of the Comet, the world's first commercial jet, basing his design on a miniature pocket recorder he had seen at a trade fair. "I put the two ideas together," he said. "If a businessman had been using one of these in the plane and we could find it in the wreckage and we played it back, we'd say, 'We know what caused this.' Any sounds that were

relevant to what was going on would be recorded and you could take them from the wreckage." After an initial lack of interest from authorities, Warren built a prototype "black box" in 1956. It was able to store four hours of voice recordings and instrument readings. The idea was slow to catch on, with Australia's Department of Civil Aviation advising Warren that his "instrument has little immediate direct use in civil aviation". Military authorities went further still, with the Royal Australian Air Force dismissing it

as unnecessary and likely to "yield more expletives than explanations". It took a lunchtime demonstration of the device to a visiting British official in 1958 for the potential of his design to be recognised and christened the "black box"-a reference to its technical mastery. "One of the people in the discussion afterwards said, 'This is a wonderful black box'," Warren said. "A black box was a gadget box. You didn't have to understand it but it did wonderful things." It was 10 years before black boxes - in fact brightly painted to make

them easy to spot at crash sites - were made mandatory in Australian aircraft. Their modern equivalent is now used in passenger aircraft around the world. "Dr Warren's flight data recorder has made an invaluable contribution to safety in world aviation," Australia's defence department said in a statement. Warren is survived by his wife, four children and seven grandchildren. "Our driving force was air safety so we felt that it's succeeded in that regard," he said in 2003. "(It's) a very satisfying feeling." — AFP

DPRK, China criticise military drills

US announces fresh sanctions on N Korea SEOUL: The United States yesterday announced new sanctions against North Korea, targeted against its leadership, and warned of serious consequences if it again attacked the South. Relations across the divided peninsula have turned increasingly hostile after South Korea accused the North of

sinking one of its warships in March, killings 46 sailors. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington was ready to return to international talks over North Korea's nuclear weapons program if Pyongyang sent a "positive signal", but that there had been none so far.

SEOUL: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates review a South Korean honour guard during ceremonies at the Korean War Memorial yesterday. — AFP

N Korea on damage control at ASEAN HANOI: North Korea's top diplomat will likely be on a damage control mission this week at an Asian security meeting, pleading innocent to the sinking of a South Korean warship that killed 46 sailors and has been widely blamed on Pyongyang. The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations issued a statement following a foreign ministers' meeting Tuesday condemning the sinking of the South Korean navy ship Cheonan, without pointing fingers. The North has denied any involvement. North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun, making his third trip abroad in as many years, arrived in Hanoi yesterday. But experts were not expecting him to meet with either South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan or US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. South Korea and the US remain adamant that North Korea apologize for the March 26 sinking - or face punishment - and the allies announced they would hold four days of joint military exercises starting Sunday to make a strong statement of unity to North Korea. The drills drew objections from North Korea and China. Clinton also announced yesterday

that Washington will impose new sanctions aimed at stifling the North's nuclear activities, and targeting illicit moneymaking schemes used to fund them. Seoul yesterday ruled out any chance of a bilateral meeting with the North. "Reconciliation is possible only when the North shows an apologetic attitude over its provocation," a Foreign Ministry official said in Seoul, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. Earlier this month, the UN Security Council approved a statement that condemned the sinking - but stopped short of directly assigning blame. The North has called the statement its "great diplomatic victory" and has warned any punishment would trigger war. An international investigation in May concluded that North Korean torpedoed the ship. "Pyongyang will be mainly interested in damage control at this meeting, in preventing any strong statements against it, and will otherwise seek to reassure what few friends it has left in the region that it was really not to blame," said Ralph Cossa, president of Pacific Forum CSIS, a Hawaii think tank.

ASEAN leaders, however, have expressed hope that some type of contact may be attempted to help re-ignite stalled sixnation talks aimed at getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program. All members of the talks will attend Friday's meeting. "ASEAN has been saying, 'Look, all six of you are in the (ASEAN Regional Forum) so why not make use of this forum and the process here?"' ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan told reporters on the sidelines of yesterday's meetings with China, Japan and South Korea. During that meeting, China also called for the stalled talks to resume. The last nuclear disarmament talks involving the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States were held in Beijing in Dec 2008. In addition to deflecting blame from the ship incident, the isolated North may try to drum up much-needed support from its Asian neighbors. Communist North Korea is one of the most world's most reclusive nations, with few allies and a willingness to defy international conventions that has earned the regime pariah status. —AP

Maid inherits millions from S'pore employer

SEOUL: A South Korean protester holds a portrait of Clinton and Gates during a rally against South Korea’s and the United States’ joint military exercises in front of the Foreign Ministry yesterday. – AP

SINGAPORE: A devoted Filipina maid inherited six million Singapore dollars (more than four million US) from her late employer after more than 20 years of service, a newspaper report said yesterday. "I am the luckiest maid in Singapore, with or without the money," the 47-year-old single woman - identified only by the pseudonym "Christine" - told the Straits Times in an interview. The maid refused to be named in public for fear of possible threats to her life in the impoverished Philippines, where wealthy people have been kidnapped for ransom and some killed by their abductors. The windfall, including cash and a luxury apartment near the Orchard Road shopping belt, came from the estate of her employer Quek Kai Miew, a medical doctor and philanthropist who died last year at 66. The maid had also taken care of the doctor's late mother, and was told that she would be a beneficiary of her employer's will when it was drawn up in 2008. "There were no secrets between us. I was not surprised at all when she told me how much I was going to get," the maid recalled. "Christine" was devastated when Quek died a year ago, as the two were inseparable, and temporarily moved in with the doctor's nephew for solace. "It was heartbreaking for me as I saw more years with Doctor Quek than with my own mother. I would break down every time I thought about her. I could not be by myself," she said. "I was always beside her. Wherever she went, I was with her." The maid, who is now applying for permanent residency in Singapore, said her newfound wealth had not changed her lifestyle. "I do not really think much about the money I got. I just live my life as I did before, and not as a rich person," the maid, dressed simply in a blouse and slacks with short-cropped hair, was quoted as saying. "I am still who I was before. I cannot behave differently because I have money now. Even my Filipino maid friends here still treat me the same." Nearly 200,000 foreign maids, mostly from the Philippines and Indonesia, work in affluent Singapore, which has a population of five million. — AFP

She said the sanctions aimed to prevent North Korea selling arms and from procuring luxury goods, as well as to put out of business North Korean entities operating illicitly overseas. "We are aiming very specifically, after much intensive research built on what was done before but not limited to that, to target the leadership, to target their assets," Clinton told a news conference in Seoul with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates after a visit to the demilitarised zone dividing the peninsula. She insisted the additional sanctions were not aimed at ordinary North Koreans, who make up one of the world's poorest societies and whose stumbling economy is already largely sealed off from the outside world because of previous punishments over nuclear and missile tests. China, the North's only major ally, expressed "deep concern" after the United States and South Korea said they would start large-scale joint military drills on July 25. State television on Tuesday showed the Chinese navy conducting its own exercises. "We urge relevant parties to remain calm and exercise restraint and not do anything to exacerbate regional tensions," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement. Gates called for a resumption of military-tomilitary ties with China, suspended earlier this year over planned US arms sales to Taiwan. North Korea denounced the exercises - state television said citizens were "enraged", and the official KCNA news agency accused Washington and Seoul of planning an invasion. "The puppet warmongers declared that the projected military manoeuvres, the largest in the history of naval military exercises, are aimed to tighten the 'alliance' for invading the DPRK," the news agency said in an English-language report. North Korea's economy is mainly subsistence in nature with few factories able to operate at even a third their capacity and farms lacking fertilizer and seed. A disastrous decision to issue a new currency last year cost many their life savings and many North Koreans conduct illicit business by travelling to China. "The sanctions announced by the US will not really affect the North Korean economy as all possible sanctions have already been imposed," said Paik Haksoon, a senior fellow at the Sejong Institute. "China is cooperating with North Korea ... because the stability of North Korea is a key national interest of China." Paik said North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-il, was unlikely to change his policies or compromise with the United States. The South Korean and US foreign and defence ministers warned of "serious consequences" if there were any future North Korean attacks against the South. A South Korean-led investigation team concluded a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo which sank the South Korean corvette Cheonan in March. North Korea denied it had anything to do with the Cheonan's sinking. Clinton and Gates made an unusual joint visit to the heavily defended demilitarised zone (DMZ) that divides the two Koreas amid a warning the peninsula faced a dangerous new period. — Reuters

CHONGQING, China: A streetlamp is partially emerged by the flooded Yangtze River on Tuesday. – AP

China floods deadliest in 10 yrs, set to worsen BEIJING: Flooding in China that has killed more than 700 people this year is the deadliest in a decade and looks set to worsen as the country gets deeper into typhoon season, the government warned yesterday. But officials, in the first highlevel press briefing on weeks of deadly flooding plaguing much of the country's southern half, said a disaster on the scale of historic 1998 flooding on the Yangtze River would likely be averted. A total of 701 people have died so far this year in flooding that has also left 347 people missing, Liu Ning, head of the country's flood control authority and vice minister of water resources, told reporters. He said the annual rainy season would continue at least through August, and that more downpours were expected, further straining reservoirs and other water control projects, especially as the East Asian typhoon season has just begun. "During this period there will be heavy rainfall and serious floods. The rainfall will continue," Liu said. He said meteorologists expected heavy rains could spread to northern China, possibly causing flooding along major rivers such as the Huai, Yellow and Songhua. "In these rivers they haven't seen major floods in many years and they are very likely to see some soon. So we must anticipate big disasters," he said. Liu said more than 230 rivers in the country had seen water levels rise beyond warning points, with two dozen exceeding historic

highs. Liu did not say how many of the 701 deaths came since June, when the current bout of extreme rains began, but he said 187 of the deaths - and 173 of those left missing - occurred in just the past two weeks. Tens of thousands of homes and other structures have been destroyed in floods and landslides, and economic losses have hit at least 142 billion yuan ($21 billion), with 110 million people affected, he said. The number of deaths and figures for damage are China's worst in 10 years, he added. The floods have dominated the country's attention for weeks, with state television each day broadcasting dramatic images of villagers being rescued from raging rivers or plucked from rooftops in inundated villages. The situation has triggered fears China could see a repeat of the disastrous flooding of 1998, when heavy rain swelled the Yangtze, China's longest river, and many tributaries, leading to a series of devastating levee collapses. At least 4,150 people were believed killed, 18 million were evacuated and millions of homes were destroyed in the floods, the country's worst in recent memory. However, Liu and other officials stressed that lessons learned from 1998, and the 2006 completion of the Three Gorges Dam - which was built partly for flood control - would prevent such a recurrence. —AFP

TOKYO: In a picture taken on June 5, 2010 a beekeeper shows off a beehive dripping with honey on the rooftop of a building in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district. — AFP

Beekeepers add buzz to Japan urban jungle TOKYO: Tokyo's Ginza district is usually abuzz with shoppers and office workers, but high above its skyscrapers nature-lovers have created a home for real busy bees - the ones that make honey. It's part of a project to bring a slice of natural life back to the centre of the world's largest urban sprawl, a cityscape home to more than 30 million people that stretches far beyond the horizon. Eleven storeys above the heart of the Tokyo concrete jungle - with its beehive office partitions and swarms of suit-clad workerbees - enthusiasts have stacked up beehives dripping with golden honey. "Let's enjoy the harvest, but be careful you don't have an accident," urban beekeeper-in-chief Kazuo Takayasu tells his fellow volunteers from behind the protective fine-mesh net covering his face. Clad in white body suits, the crew gets to work, squeezing out the glistening syrup using a simple centrifugal machine they crank by hand as a cloud of bees breaks free from the honeycombs. "Don't be scared. They don't sting unless you harm them," says Satoshi Nagai, 49, who has taken a break from his

desk at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. "Try the honey. The scent has a touch of citrus." The honey is largely organic, he said, because pesticide use has been banned in Tokyo city parks and gardens including the Imperial Palace, about 1.5 km away, where the bees collect much of their nectar. "Through beekeeping, you get to learn how harmful pesticides are for insects," he said. "It makes you think about your hobby of playing golf on courses which cannot be maintained without pesticides." The beekeepers may be an odd sight in the Japanese capital, but they are not the only urban farmers - on a rooftop just blocks away, barefoot farmers were recently wading through almost kneehigh mud to plant a wet rice field. On top of the building of the Hakutsuru Sake Brewing Co, its employees and their spouses and children were screaming with excitement as they stomped barefoot, the mud squelching between their toes. "Good job, good job! Well done!" said Asami Oda, 56, the vice president of Hakutsuru's Tokyo office, who takes care of the rice paddies every day. —AFP

INTERNATIONAL

Thursday, July 22, 2010

11

Afghanistan makes promises, but no guarantees KABUL: An Afghan pledge to take over national security by 2014 plays into the hands of Western supporters eager to pull their soldiers out of an unpopular war, but there are no guarantees of success. Warweary Western leaders have welcomed the latest promises from Afghanistan to take responsibility for security, control spending of billions of dollars in aid and broker a peace process to end a nine-year Taleban insurgency. But observers said the true focus for the West is pulling their soldiers out of a war increasingly unpopular with voters, also tired of pouring their taxes into the impoverished country. "Now the focus is very much on transition and donors being able to tell their vot-

ers when their soldiers are coming home," said Ashley Jackson, head of policy and advocacy for Oxfam International in Afghanistan. "I think this truly is the last strategy that will get this kind of backing from donors. Patience and support are running out," she told AFP. Tuesday's Kabul conference drew representatives from around 80 countries and organisations to endorse a proposal by President Hamid Karzai that Afghan forces take over responsibility for national security by 2014. Karzai also won a concession for the Afghan government to control within two years 50 percent of aid, up from the previous 20 percent. There was support too for his plan to talk peace with the Taleban, and pos-

sibly include them in government, welcomed by many in the West as a way to end a war increasingly seen as bogged down in the insurgency's favour. The conference decisions - contained in a communique that was debated until the last minute -were hailed by US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Obama said it was a "major step forward" for the future of Afghanistan while Cameron, who was in Washington, described 2014 as a "realistic" timeframe. Cameron said Wednesday that Britain could start withdrawing troops as early as next year based on "conditions on the ground". "The faster we can transition districts and provinces to Afghan control, clearly the faster that some

forces can be brought home," he told BBC radio after talks in Washington with Obama. Vygaudas Usackas, the European Union's ambassador to Afghanistan, said: "We have clearly established goals and benchmarks and timelines" for a "new phase in which the Afghan government is taking leadership and ownership". Officials and diplomats pointed out, however, that there were no sanctions in case benchmarks for Afghanistan's progress are not met. Trust funds and management structures for international aid were built in, they noted, auditing government spending before reimbursement. No such safeguards apply to targets for building up the army and police to take over from foreign troops, though the timetable is

punishingly fast and has been widely criticised as aiming for quantity not quality. "It took us more than eight years to build the Afghan National Army of 60,000 troops, and the same with the Afghan National Police," said analyst Haroun Mir. "Will we be able to reach 400,000 by the deadline? These figures are not based on sound calculations, rather than pressure from Britain and the United States, it's about appeasing public opinion at home," he said. As security deteriorates the war is intensifying in the southern Taleban heartland. Insurgents have stepped up attacks in the previously peaceful north. Janan Mosazai, a candidate for parliamentary elections scheduled on Sept 18, said the impetus behind the

conference was a desire by the international community "to leave Afghanistan within the next five years". "This government doesn't have the credibility, legitimacy or ability to pull all these elements together within the next four years," he said. Putting more aid money through government coffers, and applying international standards of accountability should reduce levels of corruption and embezzlement, observers said. Whether the money is spent on projects that make a difference to the lives of ordinary Afghans was another question, Oxfam's Jackson said. "The real issue which seems to be getting lost in all of this is not who gets the money, but whether it actually makes an impact and reaches Afghans." — AFP

Kabul 'foils' string of attacks

Insurgents behead Afghan policemen KABUL: Insurgents beheaded six Afghan policemen after overrunning their checkpost, NATO said yesterday, as authorities claimed to have foiled suicide attacks on a landmark international conference in Kabul. The beheading took

WAGAH: In this photograph taken on May 24, 2003, a Pakistani soldier (right) and an Indian soldier march during the flag-lowering ceremony at the Wagah border post. – AFP

India, Pakistan tone down high-kicking border show NEW DELHI: A daily, goose-stepping display of choreographed aggression by soldiers on the India-Pakistan border has been toned down because of knee injuries to the participants, a report said yesterday. For years, the military flaglowering ceremony that takes place every evening at the Wagah border post has drawn crowds of partisan tourists who cheer every hostile strut and stare traded by the border guards on both sides. Despite the ritualised hostility, the show and the atmosphere surrounding it is one of goodnatured rivalry and, according to the Hindustan Times, the two sides have now reached an agreement to take things a little easier. "We had proposed a lowering of the aggression in the gestures during the daily parade, and subsequently took a unilateral decision to implement

that," a senior Indian Border Security Force officer, Himmat Singh, told the Times. "Now, the Pakistan Rangers have also agreed to the proposal, and toned down their drill," Singh said. The motivation for the change was more medical than diplomatic. The exaggerated boot-stomping that was a major feature of the ceremony had, Singh said, resulted in guards on both sides suffering "mildto-severe" damage to joints in the lower half of their bodies, particularly the knees. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since the division of the subcontinent in 1947. The nuclear-armed rivals are currently moving, albeit very slowly, towards reviving a peace dialogue suspended after the 2008 Mumbai attacks that India blamed on Pakistan-based militants. — AFP

PAMPORE: Kashmiri protesters shout freedom slogans as Indian soldiers prevent them from marching on the outskirts of Srinagar yesterday. Indian Kashmir has been under a rolling curfew and strikes for nearly a month after anti-India street protests and clashes surged in the region. – AP

'Most wanted' militant killed in Indian Kashmir SRINAGAR: One of Indian Kashmir's "most wanted" militants has been killed in a fierce gunbattle, dealing a blow to the insurgency in the volatile Himalayan region, the military said yesterday. A Pakistani identified as Nouman, commander of the Pakistan-based Harkat-ulMujahedin rebel group in Indian Kashmir, was killed in an overnight shootout with soldiers, army spokesman J S Brar told AFP. Harkat-ulMujahedin is one of a number of groups fighting against New Delhi's rule in Muslim-majority Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan. The most powerful group is thought to be Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). In recent years, Harkat and LeT have carried out joint operations, a move military analysts put down to depleting recruitment. Brar said Nouman was the Kashmir valley's "top most militant", wanted for a number of attacks including masterminding a nearly 24-hour siege at a hotel in the centre of Indian Kashmir's main city Srinagar in January. "His death is a big jolt to insurgency in Kashmir," he said, adding Nouman was an expert

bomb-maker. The gunbattle that killed him took place in Sopore town, about 50 km north of Srinagar, and also left an unidentified accomplice and an Indian soldier dead. In further violence, police said suspected militants shot dead a civilian in the southern district of Kishtiwar early yesterday. Kashmir has been hit by demonstrations since June 11, when police were accused of killing a 17-year-old boy. Since then, another 16 protesters and bystanders have been killed. Indian police and paramilitary troops enforced a strict lockdown Wednesday in parts of the Kashmir valley after separatists called for fresh protests, while in Srinagar and other main towns a general strike called by the separatists disrupted life for the fourth day running. More than 47,000 people have died in Kashmir since anti-India militants launched an insurgency in the scenic region in 1989. The violence has declined sharply since India and Pakistan started a slow-moving peace process in 2004. Both nuclear-armed rivals hold the region in part but claim it in full. — AFP

The military said police "successfully repelled" an insurgent attack on a school, clinic and the district governor's building in Dahanah-ye Ghori, killing several insurgents. But added: "During the attack, insurgents overran a police checkpoint and killed the police officers by cutting off their heads." ISAF condemned the "brutal" killings. Abdul Majeed, provincial governor confirmed that six Afghan policemen had been killed in their post but refused to give details. In southern Afghanistan, heartland of the Taleban insurgency, a bomb attack killed another NATO soldier yesterday, bringing to at least 384 the number of foreign soldiers to have died in the war so far this year. In Kabul, Afghanistan's intelligence agency claimed to have foiled a string of attacks planned by the Taleban in a bid to disrupt a major international conference attended by representatives from over 70 nations and organisations. A spokesman for the National Directorate of Security told reporters that militants planned to carry out suicide bombings, and launch mortars and rockets to interrupt Tuesday's gathering in the Afghan capital. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were among those who attended the one-day talks. Days before the conference, intelligence agents stormed a house in the capital and detained five militants, spokesman Sayed Ansary said. A female "suicide bomber" blew herself up as the agents broke into the compound, he claimed. Ansary said the five men "confessed" to planning a suicide bombing and to intended to launch up to 20 mortars on the gathering at the foreign ministry. Another five-men group was captured in eastern suburbs and a man carrying five missiles on the western approach to the capital, Ansary said. He alleged that all those detained were planning attacks. ISAF has also previously claimed that several insurgents were shot dead or arrested in raids to thwart attacks on the conference. The meeting endorsed a plan by President Hamid Karzai for Afghanistan to take responsibility for national security by the end of 2014, allowing tens of thousands of US and NATO forces to leave. On the same day, an Afghan soldier shot dead two US civilian trainers during a training exercise in the northern province of Balkh. The shooter and another Afghan soldier also died at the camp outside the provincial capital Mazar-i-Sharif. The Afghan defence ministry said that the deaths were caused by an argument. "It's said that after a verbal argument between an army soldier and his two US trainers the soldier opened fire, killing the two trainers and injuring another one," the Afghan defence ministry said. — AFP

place Tuesday in the northern province of Baghlan, a region where insurgents have gained strong footholds in recent years, NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

CALCUTTA: Trinamool Congress supporters sit on a road as they attend a rally marking Martyr's Day yesterday. The party observes July 21 as 'Martyrs Day' in remembrance of 13 Youth Congress workers who were killed by police on the day in 1993. Seen in the background are posters depicting party leader Mamata Banerjee, who addressed the gathering. — AP

Nepal parliament to elect new PM KATHMANDU: Nepal's Maoists pushed for a return to power yesterday as parliament met to name a new prime minister to fill a three-week political void in the formerly war-struck Himalayan country. The parliament session for the election of a new leader started six hours late at 1700 pm (1115 GMT) amid intense negotiations between the leading parties as they tried to forge a consensus. The Maoists, who fought a 10-year battle against the state before entering politics and winning elections in 2008, say that as the largest single party in parliament they should lead the government. They have put forward Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who goes by the name of Prachanda, meaning "the fierce one", for the leadership contest. He served as prime minister after the 2008 vote but quit in May 2009 over a row with the army. He faces competition from Ram Chandra Paudel, vice chairman of the second-biggest party, the Nepali Congress, and veteran communist leader Jhala Nath Khanal from the Communist

Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (UML). Observers say Prachanda will struggle to get a majority because other parties are reluctant to back the Maoists until they offer a timed commitment to dismantle their army camps and return property seized during the civil war. Yogesh Bhattarai, a UML leader, claimed his party had secured Maoist support for their candidate, Khanal, which could result in a new hard-left Maoist-UML coalition. "They have given us their word to support our chairman in the prime minister's election," Bhattarai told AFP. An inconclusive outcome to the parliamentary session was also a possibility. "It's highly likely that we will not have any prime minister today since the votes are going to split," Nepali Congress spokesman Arjun Narsingh KC told AFP. The impoverished republic has been in a political limbo for three weeks since the government collapsed after the sudden resignation of former UML prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on June 30.

The former leader headed an unwieldy 22-member coalition government that excluded the Maoists and was seen as weak from the start. Its time in office was marred by a series of power struggles with the Maoists, led by Prachanda, who quit as PM after a row over the integration of former rebels into the national army. "People have no trust in the government and parliamentary process anymore," Chitra Bahadur KC, chairman of a small communist parliamentary faction, said. "People have already seen two governments and they have seen how parties behaved." Nepal's parliament, or Constituent Assembly, was elected in 2008 with a two-year mandate to complete the peace process and draft a new national constitution. But it has failed to complete either task on time, hampered by fierce disagreements between the Maoists and their political rivals. Its term had been due to end on May 28, leaving the country without a functioning legislature, but lawmakers voted to extend it for another year to allow them time to complete the constitution. — AFP

Shoes, pots thrown at Bihar's assembly PATNA: More than 60 MPs were suspended from a state assembly in India yesterday amid ugly scenes that saw the speaker pelted with shoes, seats thrown and a flower-potwielding woman legislator dragged away by security. The legislature in the eastern state of Bihar has been in uproar for several days, with opposition members demanding the resignation of the chief minister over an alleged corruption scandal. On Tuesday, members on both sides of the house stormed the well of the chamber, overturned tables and threw chairs at one another.

The chaos continued yesterday, with one lawmaker expressing his anger by flinging his sandals at the speaker, while others wrestled each other on the floor. One member, Jyoti Singh, responded to being ejected from the chamber by picking up large flower pots decorating the entrance to the assembly and hurling them at security personnel. She was eventually dragged away by three female marshals. Speaker Udai Narain Choudhry suspended 67 members - almost the entire opposition - for the remainder of the assembly's current session, which runs until tomorrow. — AFP

PATNA, India: Indian Congress party politician MLC Jyoti Devithe destroys flower pots outside the Bihar Legislative Assembly yesterday. – AFP

OPINION

12

Thursday, July 22, 2010

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issues

Foreign execs growing impatient with China By Allison Jackson

C

hina's growing importance to companies' bottom lines has led foreign firms to complain more openly about what they say are unfair business policies and market restrictions, experts say. While many top executives express their frustrations anonymously through their chambers of commerce, others from leading US and European firms are openly saying they are unhappy with the investment environment in China. "These companies have a lot more at stake than they used to when China was an interesting experiment for them," said Patrick Chovanec, a professor at Tsinghua University's school of economics and management in Beijing. "They can't afford to hope that things will get betterthey need to express their concerns." Last week, senior officials from German firms BASF and Siemens added their voices to the chorus of complaint over the business climate-during a meeting attended by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. BASF chief executive Jurgen Hambrecht complained that foreign companies were forced to transfer business and technological know-how to their Chinese competitors in exchange for market access, according to the Financial Times. Siemens chief executive Peter Loescher-whose company last week signed a deal to create

a joint venture with Shanghai Electric Group in the steam and gas turbine power plant marketsaid foreign firms "expect to find equal conditions in the fields of public tenders". Merkel herself prodded China on the issue Friday, saying she hoped that "German enterprises can enjoy the same access to the Chinese market" as Chinese firms do in her country. Those remarks follow public complaints by other senior executives of foreign companies including General Electric and US Internet giant Google, which was embroiled for months this year in a row with Beijing over censorship. "I think they are emboldened because they feel now many people are coming out to complain," said Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group in Shanghai. GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt reportedly told a private dinner in Italy that China was becoming more protectionist and that Beijing was hostile towards foreign companies. The company later objected that the comments had been taken out of context-after they made headlines around the world. GE then was named as a supplier of the electronic systems for China's first-ever jumbo passenger jet. Earlier this year, Google effectively shut down its Chinese search engine and rerouted users to a server in Hong Kong after a public spat with Beijing over state censorship and cyberattacks the company said originated in China. — AFP

Local knowledge helps troops in Afghanistan By Rob Taylor

US

and Afghan soldiers have begun joint patrols in one of the most dangerous areas of the Taleban heartland in a bid to cut mounting casualties and tackle insurgents now running rampant. US and NATO coalition commanders believe Afghan soldiers, with their local understanding, will be able to curb a mounting toll among newly-arrived US troops, caused mainly by hidden insurgent bombs. "They have a better understanding of the atmospherics, if you like. They know when a pothole in the road is new. It's like having an angel on your shoulder," one senior coalition commander with responsibility for integration with the Afghans told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs, mostly hidden in pots and using pressure plates as triggers, have maimed five US soldiers in the hotly contested area around Combat Outposts Terra Nova and Nolen, near the Taleban stronghold of Charqulba village. One soldier lost both legs. Grape and pomegranate plantations in the area provide perfect cover for insurgents to move unseen in the valley, a crucial infiltration route to Kandahar city. Fighting in Arghandab and other areas neighboring Kandahar is intensifying as USled forces prepare an offensive against Taleban strongholds, while simultaneously supporting government-friendly local coun-

cils and politicians. Two other soldiers have died in Arghandab in recent days, one shot in the head at long-range by a hidden gunman, raising fears that foreign fighters or mercenaries could be moving in to reinforce local insurgents as snipers or bomb makers. DAILY ATTACKS US troops at Nolen, belonging to the 2nd Brigade combat team of the 101st Airborne Division, have had an especially hard time, with daily attacks from Charqulba, now deserted by villagers. The walk out from battalion headquarters only 700 metres away at Terra Nova is also potentially lethal. Nolen is ringed on three sides with crude but deadly hidden bombs, while keeping the other side open is a constant battle, as insurgents bury more IEDs each night. While the bombs are smaller than the armored vehicle breaking bombs favored by Iraq insurgents, their use reached a high across Afghanistan in late June with more than 300 exploded or located, up from about 50 a week in mid-2007. The United States is shipping $3 billion worth of counter-IED equipment to Afghanistan. In Arghandab, troops are equipped with huge bomb and ambush resistant trucks carrying jamming equipment and heated "rhino" booms at the front to trigger bombs. "I've been to Iraq, but this place is something else. We've only been here a month and already I've been shot at three times and an IED exploded just near my face," Squad Leader Matthew Hubbard, 28, said. — Reuters

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: opinion@kuwaittimes.net or via snail mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait. The editor reserves the right to edit any submission as necessary.

India adjusts Afghan strategy as endgame quickens By Sanjeev Miglani

W

ith Pakistan set to play a central role in any political settlement of the Afghan war due to its sway over the Taleban, India has few options to counter its bitter rival's influence in the country. Any deal that ends up with Pakistan in a dominant position in Afghanistan, while India is left smarting and worrying about its security, could foment tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors, who already accuse each other of militant attacks and whose peace process has been deadlocked since the 2008 bombings in Mumbai. Both nations have for decades played a modern-day version of The Great Game in Afghanistan to expand their influence in an unstable, but geopolitically vital, country both see as important to their security. India sought to win Afghan support through a "soft power" approach, using some $1.3 billion to build roads, power lines and the Afghan parliament, raising the ire of Pakistan which frequently urged its ally the United States to lean on New Delhi to limit its presence.

Pakistan complains India is trying to hem it in, and that a string of newly opened Indian consulates in Afghanistan were intent on stirring up discontent in Pakistan's restive Baluchistan province just over border. But with the United States announcing plans to pull out its forces next year, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai turning to Pakistan to help bring the Taleban and other militant groups to negotiations, the tables appear to have turned against India. "India had good years in Afghanistan but unfortunately it didn't last. Pakistan is back in the saddle. The situation has dramatically changed," said Kamran Bokhari, Middle East and South Asia director for global intelligence firm STRATFOR. On Tuesday, top officials from 60 countries led by Karzai and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agreed at a conference in Kabul that Afghan forces should be leading security operations across the country by 2014. Karzai also won support for his plan to reintegrate Taleban foot soldiers with offers of money and employment, while reaching out to senior leaders in

the insurgency to end the conflict. Pakistan, which has had long-standing ties with the Taleban and other militant groups, some of whom it nurtured as strategic assets against India, is expected to try and convince the militants to end their insurgency. But analysts say it would be a mistake to rely only on Pakistan, and ignore the concerns or security of other regional powers such as India. "It is incumbent upon the administration that Indian interests kept in mind at the Kabul conference. In a lot of ways the one country with which the US interests are aligned with in the region is India in any end-game in Afghanistan," said Tim Sullivan at the American Enterprise Institute thinktank. LOWER PROFILE? While India has no intention of abandoning its quest for influence, analysts say it could lower its profile in Afghanistan to bolster efforts for a political settlement in return for security guarantees. Bokhari said India could be prepared for a lighter footprint in Afghanistan if it was assured

that the Taleban, which it sees as tied to anti-India militant groups based in Pakistan, were not going to "run amok once again". "India will probably be saying to the Americans: okay, we understand we can't have the kind of influence we had so far but the endgame must not lead to a situation which existed before the Taleban were ousted," he added. Already there are signs that New Delhi is adjusting its profile in Afghanistan, choosing to complete existing projects while not announcing any major initiatives. Officials have said they remained committed to helping develop Afghanistan. Uday Bhaskar, head of the New Delhi-based National Maritime Foundation thinktank, said there is neither an attempt to pull back or to increase the engagement with Afghanistan. "India is continuing as before. What India is trying to do is consolidate the gains. It is also looking at how things pan out in Afghanistan in the coming months," he said. IRAN IN PLAY New Delhi has also engaged in a

flurry of diplomatic contacts with Iran, the other regional player in Afghanistan which like India is strongly opposed to the Sunni Muslim Taleban. Neither Iran, nor India "wish to see the prospect of fundamentalist and extremist groups once again suppressing the aspirations of the Afghan people and forcing Afghanistan back to being a training ground and sanctuary for terrorist groups," Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said this month. One of the big projects that New Delhi has successfully completed in Afghanistan is building a road in southern Nimroz province linking the landlocked nation to the Iranian port of Chahbahar, as a way to break its dependence on Pakistan for transport links. The United States may not like India engaging Iran, but this might prod Washington to think more about Delhi, analysts said. "The renewal of Iran-India ties will not be music to American ears. However it might propel Washington to re-think its AF-PAK policy," said Shanthie Mariet D'Souza, a South Asia expert at the National University of Singapore. — Reuters

Dubai World restructuring could trigger Gulf gains By Carolyn Cohn and Rachna Uppal

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ivotal talks this week on restructuring the debts of Dubai World could be a trigger for investors to return to the Gulf region, under a cloud since the state firm suspended bond payments last year. Dubai World has invited creditors to a meeting on Thursday to offer details on its multi-billion dollar debt restructuring, the first session to include all lenders since December 2009. The debtladen conglomerate requires support for its restructuring deal from lenders representing two thirds of the debt owed to the banks. Seven core banks, which represent 60 percent of Dubai World's debt, have already agreed to the deal. As such, analysts expect the deal to go through and Dubai assets may look cheap as a result. "Once this Dubai World restructuring is done, the economy will be finding the bottom," said Okan Akin, emerging corporate strategist at RBS in London. "We would expect Dubai's five-year CDS (credit default swap) levels to come down to 400 bps-even below-once the restructuring process is complete." The cost of insuring Dubai's debt against default in the five-year CDS market is close to 500 basis points, one of the highest in the world, and twice the levels seen before the debt standstill. Dubai stocks are close to six-year lows. The emirate's propertydominated economy collapsed in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the debt standstill effectively paralyzed credit. Analysts say the restructuring,

DUBAI: A banner of Dubai's property giant Nakheel flutters near construction sites and skyscrapers in the Gulf emirate of Dubai. Troubled Dubai property developer Nakheel said that a restructuring proposal presented to creditors had, "in principle," received unanimous support.— AFP in addition to recent regulatory changes, will restore confidence in lending to Dubai's property sector, even if growth will be slower than in the past. The IMF forecasts growth contraction for Dubai of a little over 0.5 percent and growth for Abu Dhabi at 3.7 percent this year, but has said its numbers are conservative. "The finalization of the complicated Dubai World debt restructuring process will prove to investors that the Dubai government has the support of creditors going forward," said Akin. "The stabilization of Dubai's real estate market ... would aid further strengthening of investor confidence."

KNOCK-ON EFFECTS Gulf markets suffered across the board by association with Dubai following the Dubai World announcement. Abu Dhabi had to come to the rescue of its fellow emirate and in Kuwait, International Investment Group also said in April it was unable to pay the coupon of a $200 million sukuk. "Unfortunately, even investors that know the difference find it difficult to divorce the Dubai debt story from the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) as a net creditor," said Daniel Broby, chief investment officer at Silk Invest fund in London. "The risk-taking hedge funds have returned but traditional long

fixed income players are yet to return." The risks include the continued possibility of defaults. Dubai International Capital (DIC), the private equity unit of flagship conglomerate Dubai Holding, said in May it was seeking a three-month debt delay, and Dubai Holding Commercial Operations Group said earlier this month it was extending a $555 million revolving credit facility for two months. But there have been more positive signs in recent months for investment in the Gulf region as a whole. Qatari Diar, the property arm of the country's sovereign wealth fund attracted orders of $23 billion

for a $3.5 billion governmentguaranteed Eurobond launched earlier this month. In March, Bahrain issued a $1.25 billion Eurobond, having initially aimed for $1 billion, and bonds from National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Banque Saudi Fransi were heavily oversubscribed. One London-based emerging debt fund manager said his company had relaxed its policy of keeping clear of the Gulf. "We have a couple of corporates now, we are more comfortable with the story," the fund manager said. LOCAL TRUST Analysts say much of Dubai's debt is in the hands of

Gulf investors and these are the investors who most need convincing that it is safe once more to buy Dubai debt. Upcoming Dubai debt maturities account for 50 percent of GCC debt redemptions, according to research firm Arabia Monitor. Of that debt, 45 percent is held domestically by local and foreign banks. "Those who want exposure to the Middle East but want to minimize the level of risk they are taking will typically buy Qatari or Abu Dhabi credits," said Chavan Bhogaita, head of credit research at National Bank of Abu Dhabi. "However, those looking for higher yields are getting back into selected Dubai credits." A Dubai entity, utility DEWA, raised $1 billion in April, with an order book that was 11 times oversubscribed, and Dubai ran a non-deal roadshow last month, prompting speculation of a dollar-denominated Islamic bond this year. Dewa and global ports operator DP World are among Dubai credits seen as lower risk. The Gulf countries will also have to win back investors who have delved further into the MENA-Middle East and North Africa-region. Egypt, Turkey and even Jordan, which is planning a debut Eurobond later this month, have attracted interest as they are seen as insulated from the sovereign debt crisis affecting both Dubai and the euro zone. Egyptian CDS and Turkish CDS are trading far below Dubai, at 225 bps and 175 bps respectively. "Investors are being selective," said Broby. "I have noticed a preference for Turkey as a sovereign and we certainly have bought into local Egyptian paper." — Reuters

ANALYSIS

Thursday, July 22, 2010

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Gambia fetes coup anniversary amid high profile detentions By Fran Blandy

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ambia's President Yayha Jammeh will today celebrate 16 years since seizing power in a military coup as critics accuse him of rounding up ex-allies in a sign of mounting paranoia. The country's biggest party comes only a week after eight top officials, including the ex-police and intelligence chief, were sentenced to death for allegedly attempting a coup in 2009. Meanwhile the former police chief and former head of the anti-drugs agency, are on trial for alleged involvement in drugtrafficking. The flashy "Freedom Day" celebrations are seen as a kick in the teeth for many Gambians who observers say live in fear of the iron-fisted Jammeh. "Having become paranoid, President Yayha Jammeh sees coups everywhere," said Dakar-based human rights group Raddho in a statement Tuesday. "Since coming to power more than 200 coups d'etat have been identified in a country where ... a reign of intimidation and terror spare neither political actors nor civil society." Jammeh seized power via a bloodless coup in 1994, and was later elected president three times. He is running for a fourth term in 2011. Addressing a rally in western

Gambia on Sunday after a nationwide tour Jammeh said: "Whether you like it or not, no coup will end my government, no elections can end my government. By God's grace I will rule this country as long as I wish and choose someone to replace me." The 45-year-old leader brushes aside regular condemnations from human rights bodies and the international community, and has in the recent past booted two UN officials out of the country. In September 2009 he threatened to kill those who attempted to "destabilize" the country by working with "so-called defenders of human rights." Raddho said the death sentences handed down last week were "the tip of the iceberg" for a regime accused of cracking down on the press, unlawful arrests, summary executions, witchhunts and other abuses. Despite the criticism Jammeh is credited with bringing development, roads and schools to Gambia. On Monday he inaugurated a five-star hotel worth 41 million US dollars (32 million euros) in Banjul and a 5.5 million dollar bridge connecting the central part of the country to the south. Yesterday Jammeh laid the foundation stone for a 10 million dollar parliament building. Jammeh has constructed a brand new venue in Banjul for the July 22 celebration, which an

SEREKUNDA: Gambia's President and leader of the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party, Yahya Jammeh, seen during a presidential campaign meeting in this file photo. — AFP official from the Dakar-based Coalition for Human Rights in the Gambia called "the day democracy was buried" in the

country. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said recent arrests and lawsuits as well as constant reshuffling of

cabinet posts and regularly replacement of army chiefs were "a clear indication of (Jammeh's) despotic nature, he

doesn't want any form of challenges." "You have to understand that the president is a highly intolerant person. People who are around him, he sees them as a threat and unfortunately his reaction is always very harsh and very brutal." The tiny WestAfrican country with a population of 1.5 million people which nestles inside Senegal, is a popular tourist destination with its sandy beaches and swaying palms which attract thousands of visitors every year. While growth in the Gambia reached 5.9 percent in 2008, according to the World Bank, poverty is widespread, with 67 percent of the population living on less than 1.25 US dollars a day. "It is good to have big buildings and big hotels, but it is even better for people to have their basic freedoms," said the official from the Coalition for Human Rights. Amnesty International will be holding a protest march in Dakar today against Jammeh's "repressive regime" and similar demonstrations will take place around the world. Raddho called on "the international community and Africa to put pressure on Jammeh that he pardon those sentenced to death and stop the gross violations of human rights that have become commonplace in this country." — AFP

Africa mulls response to Somali threat By Ben Simon

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frican leaders gathering in Kampala days after Somalia's Shebab carried out deadly suicide attacks in the Ugandan capital are expected this weekend to mull sending more troops to war-torn Mogadishu. The venue for the African Union summit was picked long before the July 11 attacks that killed 76 people but the unprecedented bombings were expected to inject renewed urgency in the continental body's approach to Somalia. The Al Qaeda-inspired group Shebab who claimed the attacks, the region's worst in 12 years, said they were in retaliation for Uganda's leading role in the AU's mission in Somalia

(AMISOM). But instead of being bullied into a pull-out, Uganda looked set to take advantage of the 53-member organization's summit to muster support for a beefed-up deployment and more aggressive mandate. Heads of state meeting from Sunday to Tuesday are expected to endorse a decision made earlier this month by the regional body IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development) to send an extra 2,000 troops to Mogadishu. While Uganda, which already provides more than half of the existing contingent, has called on its neighbors to chip in, Kampala looks once again set to contribute the bulk of the reinforcements. "We are capable of providing the required force if other coun-

tries fail to do so," Ugandan army spokesman Felix Kulayigye said last week in the aftermath of the attacks. AMISOM's more than 6,000 troops are better trained and equipped than the Shebab but their mandate has restricted them to protecting Somalia's weak western-backed transitional government. Uganda has said it was seeking a "license to kill" for AMISOM forces to make an impact but the force's defensive mortar shelling has caused many civilian casualties and analysts argue the Shebab are trying to draw it into a trap. "We are quite worried about the consequences of such an operation, because if they are engaged in quite an indiscriminate manner, they run the risk of playing in the hands of the

Shebab," said the International Crisis Group's Ernst Jan Hogendoorn. Somalia's seemingly inexorable descent into chaos and the rise of a group affiliated to Al-Qaea that has proved its ability to strike beyond Somalia's borders are likely to overshadow the summit's official theme of maternal and child health. The continent's leaders are also expected to discuss the future of Sudan, where the oilrich south is due to hold a referendum on independence in January. Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, whose movements have been under close scrutiny since the International Criminal Court issued a warrant against him over the war in Darfur, is not expected to attend.

Dutch judgment in Ivory Coast toxic waste case By Nicolas Delaunay

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Dutch court will hand down judgment tomorrow in the first trial of a Swiss-based company whose chartered ship dumped waste alleged to have killed 17 people in Ivory Coast in 2006. Multinational Trafigura, waste treatment company Amsterdam Port Services (APS), and the Ukrainian captain of the Probo Koala ship were tried with three others for allegedly breaking environment and waste export laws on Dutch territory. They all pleaded not guilty before the Amsterdam district court. Trafigura risks a fine of up to 2.1 million euros (2.7 million dollars). "We are happy that four years after the fact, Trafigura has finally been brought before a judge," Marietta Harjono, spokeswoman for environmental group Greenpeace said. "But there can only be real justice when Trafigura is prosecuted for the events in the Ivory Coast." This trial was about alleged violations of European law. Caustic soda and petroleum residues on

board the Probo Koala were prevented from being offloaded on July 2, 2006 for treatment in the Port of Amsterdam and redirected to Abidjan, where they were dumped on city waste tips. The waste, slops from the cleaning of fuel transportation tanks, was pumped back into the Probo Koala after APS demanded a higher price for treatment as it was more toxic than previously thought. Trafigura declined to pay the increased price. The company, which denies any link between the waste and casualties and has an independent experts' report backing its stance, reached out of court settlements for 33 million euros and 152 million euros in Britain and Ivory Coast that exempted it from legal proceedings. But a United Nations report published last September found "strong" evidence blaming the waste for at least 15 deaths and several hospitalizations. The Ivory Coast claims the dumping caused 17 deaths and thousands of poisoning cases. Dutch judges have yet to decide on a bid by Greenpeace to have those responsible for the waste dump tried

in the Netherlands for crimes committed on Ivorian soil. In the current case, the prosecution asked the Amsterdam district court to impose a two-million-euro fine on Trafigura. It sought a one-year jail term for Trafigura employee Naeem Ahmed, 43, who coordinated the operation in the port of Amsterdam, and four months for the Ukrainian captain of the ship, Sergiy Chertov, 46, for allegedly falsifying documents and lying about the nature of the waste. For APS former managing director Evert Uittenbosch, 60, the prosecution sought a six-month jail term, half of it suspended, for violating environmental laws. APS faces a 250,000-euro fine for the same violation, and the city of Amsterdam, which administered the port, 150,000 euros for not having prevented the exportation of dangerous waste. The head of the Tommy Company which dumped the waste from the Probo Koala in Ivory Coast was given a 20year jail term by an Abidjan court in October 2008.— AFP

TALLINN: File photo shows the Probo Koala ship at the port of Tallinn. A Dutch court will hand down judgment tomorrow in the first trial of a Swiss-based company whose chartered ship dumped waste alleged to have killed 17 people in Ivory Coast in 2006. — AFP

In a year that saw a raft of elections, Africa's top officials and diplomats are also expected to reflect on the progress of democracy and accountability in member states. Elections in Burundi are being boycotted after opposition claims of fraud, polls in Ethiopia were marred by similar accusations and Rwanda's ongoing campaign has been tarnished by murders and arrests. The only recent elections that met international standards were those in Somaliland, which is not a state. The northern Somali breakaway territory has been asking for international recognition for years and hopes that its smooth and democratic transfer of power will boost its case with the African Union. — AFP

focus

Senegal's electricity crisis a 'social bomb' By Laurence Boutreux

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enegal's sweltering hot season has arrived along with daily power cuts described as a social timebomb, interrupting businesses and sending angry citizens into the streets in protest. "Sometimes the electricity is cut twice a day for several hours," said Mohamed Balde, a security guard in the foyer of an apartment building situated opposite one of the city's biggest hotels. "For the elevator to work and water to be pumped up to the higher floors I put 60,000 CFA (90 euros, 110 US dollars) of diesel in the generator every four days," he said. But a generator is a luxury for many who, when the power goes, can do nothing but wait. In his small workshop in the suburb of Niaye Thioker, tailor Mamadou Diallo's sewing machines have once again ground to a halt and his orders are falling behind. "There has been no electricity since noon," the 52-yearold says at around 5:00 pm. "It has been like that every day for a week." With average daily temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Celsius and high humidity, frustration boiled over at the weekend when an angry crowd took to the streets, burning tyres and barricading streets in clashes with police. A West African human rights group, RADDHO, accused police of beating a young man to death during the protest. The interior ministry was drawn into a squabble over who killed the youth, issuing a statement which refused to lay blame on the authorities for his death. "At this time, no objective element enables us to lay responsibility for this death on anyone," it said. A leader of the Sutelec electricity workers' union, Aliou Ba, said the clock was ticking on a "social timebomb". The death had brought to a head a situation that has been allowed to fester. While state-controlled energy provider Senelec struggled to provide ample electricity for

years, chief executive Seydina Kane said power cuts were mainly due to the poor quality of fuel imported to run the power plants. However he also admitted to "cashflow problems" in the company. Sutulec's Ba said: "The best way to defuse this social timebomb is to repair" ailing energy facilities which have been damaged by the poor quality fuel. "Senelec has heavily invested in diesel-run power plants which are too sensitive, and the purchase of fuel costs 75 percent of its annual turnover." As ageing power plants are unable to keep up with rising demand, a 125 megawatt coal-fired plant is scheduled to be built and will only be ready by the end of 2012. As protests reach a crescendo, lawmakers have asked the government to explain itself during a session of parliament which started Tuesday. "The national representation is simply playing its role in challenging the executive on matters that are dear to the Senegalese, including energy issues and recurring power outages," said Antoine Ngor Faye, spokesman for the national assembly where the ruling party holds a large majority. Meanwhile Senegalese are threatening to stop paying electricity bills, often exorbitant despite the unreliable power supply. In Thies, 70 kilometers from Dakar, a group of tailors has called on other artisans to stop paying their accounts at Senelec, which has earned the nickname "the company of darkness" over the past few years. An imam from the outskirts of Dakar, Moustapha Sarr, who spearheaded a massive protest against rising electricity prices in 2008, warned against summoning government "for superficial discussions designed to placate the people." "In late July, we will decide whether to call for people to stop paying their electricity bills," he said. Another march in Dakar is planned by a Committee of Intellectuals to protest the power cuts. — AFP

NEWS

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gaza factories revive as blockade eases GAZA: Some of the hundreds of Gaza factories idled by Israel’s blockade are cranking up rusty machines to can tomatoes, mix concrete and press pills again now that Israel is allowing in raw materials for the first time in three years. But Israel’s recent easing of the closure appears unlikely to get Gaza’s battered economy back on its feet. While Gaza’s entrepreneurs can now import most consumer goods, they still can’t export, cutting them off from traditional markets in Israel and the West Bank. Key raw materials, such as cement and steel, continue to be restricted. Imports are funneled through a single, congested crossing. And it remains unclear which spare parts and new machines will be allowed in, and how quickly. “The steps taken by Israel are a great development, but not enough,” said Amr Hamad of the Palestinian Federation of Industries, estimating that only a few hundred of Gaza’s 3,900 factories and workshops will be able to start up again. Israel says allowing Gazans to export and travel still poses too much of a security risk. However, it is under growing pressure from the international community to throw open Gaza’s gates to allow an economic recovery. Israel, along with Egypt, sealed Gaza in June 2007, after the Islamic militant Hamas seized the territory by force. The blockade aimed to weaken Hamas and pressure the group to release an Israeli soldier, but seems to have failed on both counts. Hamas remains firmly in control and Sgt Gilad Schalit has entered his fifth year as a captive. Instead, Gaza’s private sector was hit hard. More than 90 percent of Gaza’s factories closed and tens of thousands of workers lost their jobs. About one-third of the labor force are currently unemployed. Over time, a few hundred manufacturers resumed partial production, using raw materials smuggled through hundreds of tunnels dug under the border with Egypt. But tunnel shipments are often unpredictable, and the contraband often more expensive or of lesser quality than what used to come from Israel. In recent weeks, some factories have been getting sup-

GAZA: A Palestinian chemist works in a quality control lab at a pharmaceutical drug manufacturing company that receives raw materials from Israel, in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip. — AP plies from Israel again, with the initial cargo including timber, fabrics, thread, industrial quantities of cocoa, and packaging containers made of metal, plastic and glass. Ayman Hamada’s tomato paste cannery in the small Beit Hanoun industrial zone in northern Gaza was able to bring in 400,000 empty cans that are now stacked up to the roof in his warehouses. The cannery works eight hours a day, but Hamada says he can’t resume full production because the Gaza market is small and he can’t export. Also, the closure easing

came at the end of the tomato season, so he doesn’t have enough produce for full production. During the full blockade, Hamada’s factory operated at just 20 percent capacity, using smuggled cans, he said. Hamada says he urgently needs new equipment and spare parts for machines that have gone without maintenance for three years. Since many of these parts are made of steel - still restricted under the new rules - it’s not clear if and when he can import them. He dreams of setting up new factories for juice and potato chips, but for now he says

that’s unthinkable.“If the Israelis let us bring in more machines and improve our work, we can expand,” he said. “If they still make a siege, we cannot.” His second business, importing halva and jams from Egypt and Turkey, has revived now that Israel lifted its ban on sweets. Under the old closure rules, only basic foods and medicines were allowed, as humanitarian goods. One of his neighbors in the industrial zone is not benefiting from the changes. Sami Abu Obeid, 37, makes cinder blocks and concrete, and the ingredients he needs are all blacklisted. Israel

Arabs, Israelis chorus ‘Ra Ra Ramallah’ RAMALLAH: Arabs and Israelis boogeyed ecstatically together in the occupied West Bank late into the night as 70s band Boney M belted out their nostalgic disco tunes at an open-air concert. Tuesday’s event in Ramallah, headquarters of the Palestinian Authority, was part of a six-day music and dance festival taking part across the West Bank to highlight water shortages in the Israeli-occupied territory. Boney M, which won global fame with their catchy disco numbers, drew a crowd of several hundred, among them Israeli citizens who travelled to the West Bank in defiance of an official ban. The Jamaican band that was founded in Germany in the mid-70s offered a repertoire of songs like “Daddy Cool”, “Belfast”, “Ma Baker” and the iconic “Rasputin”-many of which have won gold and platinum discs. For many Palestinians, old and young alike, who attended the concert, the chorus-Ra Ra Rasputin-was sweet music

that sounded more like “Ra Ra Ramallah.” The band was feted with thunderous applause when Maizie Williams, a founding member of the band, shouted: “We love Palestine. We love you all, people of Palestine.” The crowd cried out for more when the band played “Daddy Cool”, one of their first hits that shot them into disco fame in the mid-70s and kept them at the top of the charts into the mid-1980s. But another hit-”By the Rivers of Babylon”was discreetly kept out of the Ramallah repertoire, possibly for politically correct reasons since the lyrics include: “Yeah, we wept, when we remembered Zion.” Nearly 15 years after they broke up, Boney M is still going strong. Individual band members have used the name of the disco group as a franchise and have been holding concerts around the world. Williams brought the group to Ramallah on Tuesday to perform as part of the 12th annual Palestine International Festival of Dance and Music.

Mustaches spark political row ANKARA: The mustache that adorns the faces of millions in Turkey still retains its political relevance, as demonstrated by a row between government and the opposition, a Turkish newspaper said yesterday. The quarrel began last week when Huseyin Celik, the deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), gave a television interview on a government plan to create units of professional soldiers to fight Kurdish rebels, the English-language Today’s Zaman reported. The govenment is determined not to repeat the mistakes of the 1980-1990s when serious human rights abuses were blamed on similar special units which were full of sympathizers of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), Celik was quoted by the paper as saying. “In the past, the wrong men were in the special operations task force. They were likely typical MHP militants with mustaches with down-turned ends,” he added. His remarks angered MHP leader Devlet Bahceli, who questioned whether the new forces would have “members with almondshape moustaches”, referring to the small and trimmed classic mustache associated by Islamists. There is a third mustache that has left its imprint on Turkish politics: a full-grown one drooping over the upper lip-a bit Nietzscheanwhich is the sign of a leftist. — AFP

Organizers hope to attract 13,000 visitors during the festival which runs until Friday with performances in five West Bank cities as well as in the Israeli port of Haifa. The lineup includes a concert by French-Algerian Rai singer Faudel on Wednesday as well as performances by the Ballet Espanol de Murcia, Jordanian composer Tareq Al-Nasser and his Rum Group, a Georgian dance theatre troupe as well as many local music and dance groups. British-born Palestinian singer Shadia Mansour, popularly known as “the First Lady of Arabic Hip Hop,” opened the festival on Sunday. The event is being held to highlight the problems faced by Palestinians in accessing water resources in the occupied West Bank, where Israel controls shared resources. Rights groups say the water supplied by Israel falls short of Palestinian needs, but also point out that the Palestinians have failed to set up the infrastructure and institutions needed in the water sector. — AFP

Britain, US issue Maldives warning COLOMBO: The US and Britain yesterday issued warnings to their citizens travelling to the capital of the Maldives, where a deepening political crisis has led to violent street protests. The Indian Ocean archipelago, an upmarket tourism destination famous for its beaches and turquoise waters, has been gripped by a bitter power struggle between the president and the opposition-led national parliament since June. Several street demonstrations in the highly congested capital island of Male last week injured at least nine police officers and six civilians. In separate warnings issued online, Britain and the US noted that demonstrations in Male could get out of hand and warned visitors to avoid large political gatherings and state buildings. Most tourist resorts are located outside Male and most tourists travel straight from the airport island to their resorts without going to the capital. “The demonstrations have not targeted foreigners, and there have not been any demonstrations in the resort islands or outside of Male,” the US

embassy in Colombo added. Police broke up an unruly gathering of ruling party supporters in the capital on Tuesday after they surrounded a school where the speaker of parliament had gone for his weekly badminton game. Meanwhile US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake on Wednesday urged President Nasheed and opposition parties to eliminate their differences and work towards serving the needs of the Maldivian people. “I am sorry to see the absence of understanding between the government and the opposition parties,” Blake told reporters in Colombo ahead of his one-day visit to Maldives today. Washington has been urging the Maldives to accept offers of international mediation to unlock the political deadlock. US Ambassador Patricia Butenis and Sri Lankan President Mahinda R ajapakse have travelled to the Maldives in recent weeks for separate meetings to iron out the row in the nation of 314,000 Sunni Muslims. —AFP

argues that construction materials, such as cement and steel, could be diverted by Hamas for military use, and only allows their import for internationally supervised aid projects. Abu Obeid gets cement from the tunnels and makes gravel - his second key ingredient - by recycling broken cement slabs and cinder blocks of buildings destroyed in Israel’s threeweek military offensive against Gaza 19 months ago. But many sites have already been picked clean, and Abu Obeid fears he will soon have to stop working. Another concrete factory is getting some

raw materials from Israel and thus able to operate at limited capacity - because it supplies two international projects, repair of a hospital and construction of a sewage treatment plant. Owner Teissir Abu Eida showed EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton around his factory as she visited Gaza this week, and he asked for international pressure on Israel to open more. While people understand Israel’s security needs, Ashton said, those concerns should not prevent “the free flow of goods into and out of Gaza in order that houses can be

rebuilt, children can go to fully functioning schools and businesses can flourish.” Israel has signaled it will respond more quickly to requests from Gaza. The current priority is to expand the cargo crossing, Kerem Shalom, from 180 to 250 trucks a day and move forward with 45 international aid projects, including the construction of schools, clinics and infrastructure, said Maj Guy Inbar, a Defense Ministry official. Of those, 31 were approved by Israel after the easing of the closure, he said. In the past three years, international

agencies repeatedly complained of Israeli delays in approving the import of material for such projects. The policy “will be step by step,” Inbar said. But the day when Gaza can stand on its feet still seems a long way off, say economists and rights activists. “Without a substantial increase in the capacity of the crossings, well beyond what Israel is promising, and without export, there will be no economic recovery,” said Sari Bashi of the Israeli human rights group Gisha. “There is a limit to how an economy that is being choked can function.” — AP

49 killed in Yemen Continued from Page 1 siege. Meanwhile, 62 MPs have signed a petition demanding the government “to assume responsibility in ending the violations committed by the Huthis”, and threatened to suspend their parliamentary membership if the authorities fail to help Aziz. The Amran region and the neighboring Saada province have been the scene of sporadic clashes between the rebels and government-backed tribes. In separate clashes on Tuesday, Yemeni tribal chief Sheikh Zaidan Al-Moqannay, his son and four of his bodyguards were killed in a rebel ambush

in Saada, a security official said. Abdul Salam denied that the rebels ambushed Moqannay, claiming that he was killed in confrontations which also resulted in the death of three rebels. “This was not an ambush. There were confrontations. We had casualties, including three killed and four wounded,” he said. The Huthi rebels and the government have repeatedly exchanged accusations of violating a February ceasefire which ended a sixmonth round of bloody conflict between the two sides. The war was the latest round in the conflict which flared up in 2004. Thousands were killed and some 250,000 people were

internally displaced. On Tuesday, the rebels said they welcomed a Qatari offer to help consolidate the truce, following a visit last week by the country’s Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani to Sanaa. “We welcome Qatar’s initiative in promoting sustainable peace,” Abdul Salam said, adding that the rebels have informed the Qatari emir of their position. Qatar has been involved in the past in talks between the Sanaa government and the rebels. In June, 2007, both sides signed a Qatari-brokered peace deal, which did not hold. Representatives of the government and the rebels met in Doha in February 2008 to try and revive the agreement. — AFP

Tehran says scientist provides info on CIA Continued from Page 1 US, we managed to establish contact with him in early 2010 and obtained very valuable information accordingly. He was managed and guided (by us),” the source told Fars. The source said Amiri provided more information after his return to Iran last week. “Iran’s intelligence agencies now possess valuable details from inside the CIA, which is a great victory,” it said. To support the claim, the source mentioned the license plate numbers of two cars used by the CIA in Virginia, claiming that some CIA locations, individuals and contacts have been identified. A US official briefed on the Amiri case dismissed Iranian claims of intelligence gains compa-

rable with the information Washington says it gleaned from the scientist. “The United States got insights into Iran’s nuclear program. The Iranians claim to have gotten some license plate numbers,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details of the case remain sensitive. The Fars news agency also reported that an Iranian film company affiliated with Iran’s state television plans to produce a TV movie about Amiri’s case. Amir Hossein Ashtianipour, director of Sima Film, was quoted by Fars as saying that a group of young graduates have been hired to write the script. Meanwhile, Iran announced ambitious new aims for its nuclear work yesterday, saying it will conduct scientific studies for

the construction of an experimental nuclear fusion reactor, an engineering challenge that no nation has yet overcome. Iran is not known to have carried out anything but basic fusion research, and any advancement in the technology would be a significant achievement for Tehran’s atomic program. The world’s physicists have been trying for half a century to create fusion, which produces no greenhouse gas emissions and only low levels of radioactive waste. To meet the immense expense involved, the United States, the European Union, China, India, Russia, Japan and South Korea have teamed up to build an experimental fusion reactor in southern France. — AP

Manchester United jersey un-Islamic? Continued from Page 1 Harussani Zakaria, a cleric from northern Perak state, agreed that devils should be shunned, not celebrated. “Yes of course

in Islam we don’t allow people to wear this sort of thing,” he said. “Devils are our enemies, why would you put their picture on you and wear it? You are only promoting the devil.” Malaysia is a generally moder-

ate Islamic country, but conservative clerics have issued controversial edicts in the past including a ban on the ancient practice of yoga, which is criticized for including Hindu religious elements. — AFP

No more ‘too big to fail’ Continued from Page 1 aims to strengthen consumer protections. Obama, who has drawn fire from Americans for bank bailouts that began under Republican President George W Bush and continued by Obama, said the legislation’s provisions make clear that no firm is protected because it is deemed “too big to fail” like AIG during the financial meltdown. “There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts. Period,” he said. “If a large financial institution should ever fail, this reform gives us the ability to wind it

down without endangering the broader economy.” Obama spoke to an audience of about 400 people in the Ronald Reagan Building close to the White House that included Wall Street bankers, people hurt by the 2007-2009 financial crisis and lawmakers. The Senate last week gave final approval to far-reaching legislation sought by the Obama administration to tighten rules on Wall Street and across the financial industry in an effort to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis. With Republicans poised to make gains in the November congressional elections, Obama’s Democrats are eager to show

voters that they have taken steps to tame an industry that dragged the economy into its deepest recession in 70 years. But it remains unclear whether Obama can gain much traction from the legislative victory, with Americans still anxious about a 9.5 percent jobless rate and ballooning deficits. The American Bankers Association expressed disappointment with the legislation, saying it “contains a tsunami of new rules and restrictions for traditional banks that had nothing to do with causing the financial crisis in the first place,” said ABA President Edward Yingling. — Reuters

SPORTS

Thursday, July 22, 2010

15

Braves overtake Padres as NL leader ATLANTA: Matt Diaz homered for the third straight game as the Atlanta Braves beat the San Diego Padres 4-1 in Tuesday's clash of National League divisional leaders. Diaz drove in three runs with a two-run homer in the fourth and a run-scoring single in the seventh as the East-leading Braves overtook the West-leading Padres for the NL's best record. Atlanta starter Jair Jurrjens (3-3) pitched seven strong innings, giving up only two hits over the last five. San Diego starter Wade LeBlanc (4-8) gave up two runs in six innings. Giants 7, Dodgers 5 In Los Angeles, Andres Torres hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the ninth inning, rallying San Francisco to victory over Los Angeles in a heated game featuring three ejections. The Dodgers lost their sixth straight to remain winless since the All-Star break. Dodgers hitting coach Don Mattingly, who took charge after the separate ejections of manager Joe Torre and bench coach Bob Schaefer, went to the mound for a chat with closer Jonathan Broxton (3-2) before Torres came up with the bases loaded. Mattingly took a few steps back toward the dugout before turning around and saying something to Broxton. Giants manager Bruce Bochy protested that Mattingly's about-face constituted a second trip to the mound. The umpires agreed, and Broxton had to leave the game. George Sherrill took over as pitcher and served up Torres' hit, giving the Giants a 6-5 lead. San Francisco's Santiago Casilla (3-2) got the win and Jeremy Affeldt picked up his third save. Cardinals 7, Phillies 1 In St Louis, Chris Carpenter worked eight dominant innings to steer St Louis past Philadelphia and to its seventh straight win. Carpenter (11-3) allowed one run, while the Cardinals got homers from Randy Winn and Matt Holliday. Phillies 47-year-old starter Jamie Moyer strained an elbow and lasted only one inning. The Phillies have lost five of six since the All-Star break and demoted another starter earlier in the day, sending Kyle Kendrick to the minors. Andrew Carpenter (0-1) pitched three innings in relief of Moyer, yielding three runs. Rockies 10, Marlins 0 In Miami, Melvin Mora drove in five runs as Colorado crushed Florida. Batting in the No 3 spot for only the second time this season, Mora hit a bases-clearing double to highlight a six-run third inning. He also hit a two-run homer off Nate Robertson (6-8) in the fifth and finished with three hits, matching a season high. Rockies starter Jeff Francis (3-3) pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out seven and walking none. Robertson gave up eight runs in five innings for Florida, which lost its first game in four and suffered its heaviest defeat of the season. Reds 8, Nationals 7 In Cincinnati, Mike Leake pitched five solid innings before a long rain delay, setting up Cincinnati's defeat of Washington. The Reds led 5-1 in the middle of the fifth, when rain forced a 2-hour, 40minute delay. The lead went to 8-1 before the Nationals rallied against the bullpen. Leake became the first Cincinnati rookie to open a season 7-1 since Wayne Simpson in 1970. Joey Votto hit a three-run homer off Washington's Luis Atilano (6-7), who got the worst of a matchup between rookie starters. Leake also had an RBI single. The Nationals have lost four straight to fall a season-high 14 games below .500 at 40-54. Reds closer Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 26th save. Diamondbacks 3, Mets 2 In Phoenix, Barry Enright pitched eight effective innings to guide Arizona to a tight win over New York. Enright (2-2) retired 14 straight hitters after escaping a tight spot in the first inning and struck out a career-high eight. He also had his first career RBI. Justin Upton hit his 16th homer of the season off R.A. Dickey (6-4), giving Arizona consecutive wins for the first time since Kirk Gibson became manager on July 2. New York's Josh Thole and Angel Pagan hit homers in the eighth and ninth but Juan Gutierrez hung on to get the save. Cubs 14, Astros 7 In Chicago, Aramis Ramirez hit three homers and drove in seven runs to help Chicago rally and beat Houston hours after manager Lou Piniella announced he will retire at the end of the season. Ramirez hit two three-run homers and a solo shot. It was the fourth three-homer game of his career. Despite the scoreline, the Cubs only went ahead in the seventh with Derrek Lee RBI double, and had trailed 7-1 in the fifth. Chicago's Andrew Cashner (1-3) pitched two innings to earn his first major league victory. Houston's Brandon Lyon (5-4) got the loss. Pirates 11, Brewers 9 In Pittsburgh, Pedro Alvarez hit a grand slam in Pittsburgh's nine-run first that set up victory over Milwaukee. Alvarez added a solo drive in the second for his first career multihomer game. The Pirates got 3 2-3 scoreless innings from four relievers after the Brewers got within one. DJ Carrasco (2-2) pitched 2 2-3 inning to take the win and Octavio Dotel worked the ninth for his 20th save. Sloppy Milwaukee committed three errors over a six-pitch span in Pittsburgh's big first and the nine runs allowed in the opening frame set a Brewers record. Dave Bush (4-8) got the loss. — AP

MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results and standings on Tuesday: Baltimore 11, Tampa Bay 10 (13 innings); LA Angels 10, NY Yankees 2; Texas 8, Detroit 0; Pittsburgh 11, Milwaukee 9; Atlanta 4, San Diego 1; Colorado 10, Florida 0; Cincinnati 8, Washington 7; Chicago Cubs 14, Houston 7; Toronto 13, Kansas City 1; Cleveland 4, Minnesota 3; St. Louis 7, Philadelphia 1; Arizona 3, NY Mets 2; Oakland 5, Boston 4 (10 innings); Chicago White Sox 4, Seattle 0; San Francisco 7, LA Dodgers 5. American League Eastern Division W L PCT GB NY Yankees 58 34 .630 Tampa Bay 56 37 .602 2.5 Boston 53 41 .564 6 Toronto 48 46 .511 11 Baltimore 30 63 .323 28.5 Central Division Chicago White Sox 52 41 .559 Detroit 48 44 .522 3.5 Minnesota 49 45 .521 3.5 Kansas City 40 53 .430 12 Cleveland 40 54 .426 12.5 Western Division Texas 55 39 .585 LA Angels 51 45 .531 5 Oakland 47 47 .500 8 Seattle 36 58 .383 19 National League Eastern Division Atlanta 55 38 .591 NY Mets 49 45 .521 6.5 Philadelphia 48 45 .516 7 Florida 45 48 .484 10 Washington 40 54 .426 15.5 Central Division St Louis 53 41 .564 Cincinnati 53 42 .558 .5 Chicago Cubs 43 52 .453 10.5 Milwaukee 43 52 .453 10.5 Houston 38 56 .404 15 Pittsburgh 33 60 .355 19.5 Western Division San Diego 54 38 .587 San Francisco 52 42 .553 3 Colorado 51 42 .548 3.5 LA Dodgers 49 45 .521 6 Arizona 36 58 .383 19

Giants stun Dodgers in heated game

BALTIMORE: US First Lady Michelle runs past the Baltimore Orioles dugout after taking part in a ceremonial first pitch ceremony at Camden Yards in Baltimore before the Orioles take on the Tampa Bay Rays. Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and the White House announced a new joint initiative as part of Michelle Obama's Let's Move program. — AFP

Angels power to 10-2 win over the Yankees NEW YORK: Hideki Matsui, Maicer Izturis and Mike Napoli hit two-run homers to power the Los Angeles Angels to a 10-2 win over the New York Yankees in the American League on Tuesday. Izturis homered in his first game back after missing 27 with a left forearm strain. His fourth-inning drive gave the Angels a 4-2 lead. Napoli connected in the fifth, and Matsui, a former Yankee, homered in the seventh. The big hitters were backed by a crisp effort from spot starter Sean O'Sullivan (1-0) who was called up from the minors on Tuesday to replace the injured Scott Kazmir. He retired 12 in a row after giving up two runs in the first inning. In six innings, he allowed two hits. New York's Phil Hughes (11-3) gave up a season-worst six runs. Rangers 8, Tigers 0 In Detroit, Tommy Hunter pitched seven scoreless innings to steer Texas to a big win over Detroit. Hunter became the first Ranger to start a season 7-0, pitching only as a starter. Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler homered for AL West-leading Texas, which is 5-1 since the All-Star break. Detroit has lost a season-worst seven straight. Starter Armando Galarraga (3-3) gave up four runs in 7 1-3 innings. Athletics 5, Red Sox 4, 10 innings In Oakland, Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a twoout RBI single in the 10th inning to cap Oakland's rally over Boston. In the 10th, Oakland's Daric Barton singled with one out and advanced to second when Boston pitcher Ramon Ramirez (0-3) was called for a balk. Kurt Suzuki was intentionally walked before Adam Rosales struck out for the second out. Kouzmanoff then lined a single to right field and Barton slid in safely ahead of the throw home. The Red Sox led 4-0 in the second inning and the A's tied it in the third. Neither team scored again until the 10th. Oakland's Andrew Bailey (1-3) pitched two innings for the win. Indians 4, Twins 3 In Minneapolis, Travis Hafner had two hits and the go-ahead RBI in the eighth inning as Cleveland edged Minnesota. Indians starter Justin Masterson allowed seven hits in 6 1-3 innings before Rafael Perez (3-0) took the win in relief and Chris Perez earned the save for the Indians, who are 6-0 since the All-Star break. The score was 3-3 when Minnesota reliever Jose Mijares (1-1) walked the leadoff man in the eighth and Hafner ripped a double to take the lead. White Sox 4, Mariners 0 In Seattle, Chicago starter John Danks combined with two relievers to shut out Seattle. Danks (10-7) allowed an infield single in the second and a two-out single in the eighth on his final pitch of the night. He struck out eight. Alexei Ramirez homered for the White Sox, who increased their lead in the AL Central to a season-high 31/2 games over Detroit and Minnesota. The Mariners plummeted to a season-low 22 games under

.500 (36-58). Doug Fister (3-6) allowed three runs in six innings. Blue Jays 13, Royals 1 In Kansas City, Toronto's Jose Bautista hit his major league-leading 26th home run and drove in five runs as Toronto routed Kansas City. Bautista hit a two-run homer in the first inning. He has homered in six of his past 13 games. His single in the second scored John Buck, who had three doubles. Bautista's double in a five-run eighth gave him five RBIs to match his career high. Toronto starter Jesse Litsch (1-4) got his first win since 2008. He pitched only two games last season before elbow surgery, and was 0-5 with a 7.08 ERA in eight starts since his previous win. Litsch allowed one run in 5 2-3 innings with no walks. The Royals have lost seven of eight.

Orioles 11, Tampa Bay 10, 10 innings In Baltimore, Baltimore's Julio Lugo singled in the winning run in the 13th inning to lift Baltimore over Tampa Bay in a game where the teams combined for seven solo home runs. The Orioles trailed by four runs in the seventh and 10-9 in the 12th before rallying to end a four-game losing skid. Cesar Izturis led off the 13th by drawing a walk from Lance Cormier (3-2). After a sacrifice, Lugo grounded a single inside the first-base line to bring home Izturis for the winner. Luke Scott, Ty Wigginton and Adam Jones hit successive homers in the second inning - the first the Orioles went back-to-back-to-back since 1995. Koji Uehara (1-0), the last of six Baltimore pitchers, got the win with 1 1-3 innings of one-hit relief. — AP

India hockey coach on fire NEW DELHI: The coach of the Indian women's hockey team has pulled out of the squad after a player accused him and some of his staff of sexually harassing her, officials from the sport's federation said yesterday. M K Kaushik's departure could deal a blow to the team's prospects ahead of next month's hockey World Cup in Argentina, as he was seen as instrumental to raising the team's performance. Officials of the Hockey India (HI) federation told reporters that Kaushik, a former Olympian and team captain, has offered to "withdraw" from the team until his name was cleared. Kaushik, speaking to the Press Trust of India news agency, said the accusations were a "big-time conspiracy against me." "I will prove my innocence," he said. HI will launch an investigation into the accusations, naming a panel today, federation secretary Narinder Batra said. "Hopefully the panel will give its recommendations before next month's World Cup so that we can either get a new coach or reinstate Kaushik if he is found innocent," Batra said. The federation, however, said it had suspended a team support staff after receiving evidence that he had been involved with prostitutes. HI President Vidya Stokes told reporters that an assistant coach will take charge of the team for the Asian Champions Trophy in Busan, South Korea, this month. Kaushik, a member of India's 1980 Moscow Olympic gold medal winning men's hockey team, met HI officials yesterday, but details were not immediately available. — Reuters

Scandal-hit school USC tries to wipe slate clean

SEATTLE: Chicago White Sox starting pitcher John Danks throws against the Seattle Mariners in the seventh inning of an MLB baseball game on Tuesday, July 20, 2010. The White Sox beat the Mariners, 4-0. — AP

LOS ANGELES: The University of Southern California (USC) will return its copy of the Heisman Trophy awarded to the New Orleans Saints' Reggie Bush for his part in an amateur player payments scandal that has left the school reeling. USC was slapped with severe penalties by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) last month after reports that running back Bush had accepted money and other benefits from marketing agents while playing for the school. The scandal also enveloped basketballer OJ Mayo, who played a single season with USC and now plays for the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies. In a letter addressed to 'members of the USC Trojan family' on Tuesday, the school's president-elect Max Nikias said "athletic jerseys and murals displayed in recognition of OJ Mayo and Reggie Bush" would be removed from campus venues. "The university will also return Mr Bush's 2005 Heisman Trophy to the Heisman Trophy Trust in August." The Heisman Trophy is college football's highest individual honor. USC, whose teams are nicknamed the Trojans, were banned from participating in NCAA footbal-

l's lucrative post-season for two years, and were stripped of their 2004 national championship among 12 wins from the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Officials estimate the punishment will cost the university millions of dollars. College sports in the United States and the huge sums generated from broadcast rights and gate receipts have traditionally tested the ideals of amateur competition. A number of schools have fallen foul of the rule over the decades, including Dallas's Southern Methodist University, which was famously banned for an entire season in 1987 and lost dozens of scholarships for repeated payments abuses. More recently, the NCAA spared the University of Alabama its most severe punishment-the 'death penalty'for a similar scandal involving payments to entice players in 2002. The USC, which also produced 1968 Heisman winner OJ Simpson, named Rhodes scholar and former USC and NFL quarterback Pat Haden as athletics director to take over from Mike Garrett, who resigned on Tuesday. "Winning any way other than the right way is not winning at all," Haden said. — Reuters

SPORTS

16 Serena hopes to play at US Open WASHINGTON: Serena Williams is hoping to recover from a right foot injury in time to play at the US Open, the agent for the 13time Grand Slam singles champion said yesterday. “Right now, we’re taking it a day at a time. She’s resting and recovering,” agent Jill Smoller said in a telephone interview. “She’s a fast healer.” The No 1-ranked Williams had surgery last week in Los Angeles to repair deep cuts on her right foot. She tweeted Tuesday about spending a “5th day in bed. arghhhh” The American was hurt while she was in Munich this month- shortly after winning her fourth Wimbledon singles title on July 3, and before playing in an exhibition match against Kim Clijsters that drew a tennis-record crowd of 35,681 in Brussels on July 8. “She will start training again as soon as she’s healed,” Smoller said. Williams already has pulled out of three hard-court tournaments she was scheduled to enter in preparation for the US Open. The season’s last major championship begins Aug. 30 in New York. She withdrew from the July 26-Aug 1 event in Istanbul, the Aug 9-15 event in Mason, Ohio, and the Aug. 16-22 event in Montreal. The foot injury also led the 28year-old Williams to miss the full World TeamTennis season for the Washington Kastles. Generally, neither Williams nor her older sister Venus, a seven-time major singles champion, publicly discusses injuries. Serena Williams already missed all of February, March and April this year because of a left knee problem. She is 25-4 with two singles titles in 2010 - at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. She won her first Grand Slam championship at age 17 at the 1999 US Open, and she also won the title there in 2002 and 2008. Last year, as the defending champion, she lost in the semifinals to Clijsters when a tirade at a line judge over a foot-fault call at the end of the match resulted in a point penalty. “Serena Williams is one of our sport’s greatest champions, and we are very hopeful she will be back at the US Open. We communicate with her team frequently, and will continue to do so,” Open tournament director Jim Curley said. “We wish her a speedy recovery.” —AP

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Isner returns to action

WIMBLEDON: In this file photo, Serena Williams makes a backhand return shot to Petra Kvitova, of the Czech Republic, at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, England. The WTA Tour says Williams is questionable for the US Open because of her recent foot injury. Williams cut her right foot on broken glass at a restaurant shortly after winning Wimbledon. —AP

JOHNS CREEK: Preparing for his first event since taking three days, 183 games and over 11 hours at Wimbledon to beat Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, America’s John Isner has adjusted to a new public life. “Yeah, but I really try to stay out of the spotlight,” Isner said Tuesday. “I don’t see myself as a celebrity at all.” Maybe not, but Isner understands there are worst things to be known for. After all, what’s wrong with appearing on the television’s Late Show with David Letterman, throwing out a ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium and winning a made-for-TV award on ESPN? Perhaps if Isner had raised his hand for attention it would be different for the third-year professional. But as Isner sees it, he was just doing his job at Wimbledon. In the strangest career twist he could imagine, Isner wondered if the tennis gods had tossed him into some kind of cruel kaleidoscope. The match began on a Tuesday, and after getting suspended twice because of darkness, it mercifully ended on a Thursday afternoon. On the night that followed the match’s second suspension, Isner slumped against his locker. He could barely move. His coach and trainer hovered nearby, offering encouragement, nutrition and a quick trip back to the hotel. “This was just - it just wouldn’t end. It was crazy,” Isner said. “I really thought it was a like dream. Out there, towards the end of that match, on the day we didn’t finish, it was like 50-all, 55-all, and I’m just thinking this can’t be real.” Because it was so late, only two or three players still milled around the locker room. “(Roger) Federer was one of them,” Isner said. “He just kind came up and laughed and gave me a pat on the back, so that was pretty cool.” The next day carried the match to its conclusion of 980 points overall, 711 of which came in the fifth set with Mahut winning 365. But Isner took the final one, which ended a run of 168 straight holds that began in the second set on Tuesday. Now that he’s a month removed from the gauntlet, Isner acknowledges the epic match “is probably going to stick with me probably forever.” What the 6-foot-9 Isner wants, however, is to earn fans’ respect for other reasons, too. “Now it’s up to me to really not make this a lasting image of my career,” he said. “Right now, I am in the top 20 in the world and I feel

We will not underestimate struggling Americans: Monty

Ginepri’s jitters fade ATLANTA: Robby Ginepri posted a 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 hometown debut Tuesday, defeating Australian qualifier Nick Lindahl to book into the second round of the Atlanta Tennis Championships. The event, returned to circulation after a nine-year pause, came back to life after the American federation bought the ATP sanction of the ill-starred former tournament in Indianapolis, a venue where Ginepri won two editions - including the last in 2009. While he’s a seasoned campaigner, the 27-year-old Ginepri confessed to an

uncharacteristic case of prematch nerves during the runup. “It felt a little bit like the days before the start of a Grand Slam,” said the player with up to 20 friends and family in the stands for his victory. “I had some anxiety in practice which I usually don’t have. “I recognized it and got through it. When you step onto the court most of the worries go away.” Ginepri said he started to feel more comfortable after getting a break back for three-all in the tight opening set with Lindahl, Swedishborn but now an Australian and ranked a distant 244.

The 75th-ranked Ginepri finished with eight aces, breaking four times in the 82-minute contest. Ginepri will next face American compatriot friend Mardy Fish, Queen’s club finalist and winner of grass this month in Newport. “It will be tough as we know each other’s game inside and out. He’s got a big serve and he’s playing as well as I’ve seen him play for some time.” Belgian seventh seed Xavier Malisse, who turned 30 on Monday, defeated American Ryan Sweeting 7-6 (7/1), 6-3 with the loser firing eight aces. —AFP

GEORGIA: Robby Ginepri returns a forehand to Nick Lindahl of Australia on Day 2 of the Atlanta Tennis Championships at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Atlanta, Georgia. —AFP

Watson hopes for more Open glory at Carnoustie CARNOUSTIE: Former Open champion Tom Watson wants a victorious trip down memory lane when he returns to Carnoustie for the Senior Open championship this week. Watson has won the Open five times but his fondest memories of the event will always take him back to Carnoustie, where he won on the Championship Course in 1975 to claim the Claret Jug for the first time. The 60-year-old American will retrace his steps around the course in the senior version that started yesterday. Watson has already won the Senior Open title three times, with two of those victories coming at the Turnberry and Muirfield courses where he also won the more famous version of the event. He is still more than capable of playing some magical golf, as he showed by finishing second at the 2009 Open, and he hopes Carnoustie will inspire him to more glory on the senior circuit. “I love playing links golf and I love Scotland and the golf fans here,” Watson said. “The Senior Open Championship is a truly great event. It attracts the best players in the world and the atmosphere is so friendly it makes you want to play here.” Joining Watson in an all-star cast on the Scottish course are former European Ryder Cup players Bernhard Langer, Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam. American Corey Pavin will become the first presiding Ryder Cup captain to play in the tournament, while former US Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman is also competing. Lehman, who captured the Claret Jug in 1996, is one of six former Open Champions playing at Carnoustie, along with Watson, Sandy Lyle, Nick Faldo, Mark O’Meara and American Mark Calcavecchia, who makes his debut in a senior Major championship. Calcavecchia said: “I think my game suits Carnoustie and it is a course I like a lot. I had a decent Open there a few years back. You never know. “It depends on what kind of weather you get stuck in, if you get the good draw or the bad draw. A lot depends on that over here. “Carnoustie is one of my favorite courses and I’m immensely looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be right up my alley.” Calcavecchia is out to dethrone reigning champion Loren Roberts, who captured his second Senior Open crown 12 months ago when he defeated Mark McNulty and Fred Funk in a play-off at Sunningdale. “Carnoustie is a hard golf course-I know that from the Open in 2007,” Roberts said. “The last four holes are unbelievable but I just love links golf, it fits my game, and hopefully I can defend my title.” —AFP

like I’m going to continue to keep climbing, and my ultimate goal is to be in the top 10 and contend at the really big tournaments.” After receiving a first-round bye as the No 2 seed at the Atlanta Tennis Championships, Isner will play a second-round match against Gilles Muller of Luxembourg. The Atlanta event marks the tour’s return to hardcourts for the first time in North America since Miami at the end of March. For Isner, who won in Auckland on hardcourts six months ago for his first career title, the last month has been a time for practice and reflection. He listed new personal goals, foremost being a desire to move out of the 183-game shadow. “It’s getting a little bit - I don’t want to say annoying - but I’ve just answered, obviously, an awful lot of questions about it,” Isner said. “I want to put it behind me because I think after my match tomorrow here maybe the questions will be focused more on that match and the rest of the tournament.” After losing at Wimbledon in three sloppy sets, he returned to his Florida home and waited five days before resuming his workout regimen. Isner spent another four days before returning to the practice court to hit some balls. His appearance yesterday was Isner’s first as professional in Georgia since leading the Bulldogs to the 2007 NCAA team title. Isner’s power game, a primary reason his world ranking improved from 146th in December 2008 to 19th this week, shows no signs of slowing. He leads the tour with 672 aces, ranks No. 5 in service games won and 17th in first-serve points won. But he’s 53rd in break points converted and 69th in points won returning first serve. Isner also needs to shorten matches, which was a concern before Wimbledon. He played a rainaffected, 72-hour match at the 2008 French Open that ended in a loss to Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina. The year before in Washington, Isner won five matches in third-set tiebreakers before losing the final to Andy Roddick. “I think one of the reasons why I play a lot of long matches is that if I’m not playing particularly well, I normally compete very, very well,” Isner said. “That’s going to keep me in the match more times than not. That’s why you see a lot of my matches kind of go down to the wire. I’m a good competitor and I don’t want to lose.” —AP

GEORGIA: Robby Ginepri returns a forehand to Nick Lindahl of Australia on Day 2 of the Atlanta Tennis Championships at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Atlanta, Georgia. —AFP

WENTWORTH: Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie insists his team will not be underestimating the United States in the run-up to the Ryder Cup. The US still possess the top two players in the world rankings in Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson but Europe’s finest appear to be way ahead of their American counterparts on current form as the balance of power in golf shifts across the Atlantic. Europeans filled four of the top five positions at last week’s British Open at St Andrews, while Graeme McDowell recently became the first European to win the US Open in 40 years when the Northern Irishman finished ahead of France’s Gregory Havret at Pebble Beach. England’s Justin Rose also recently won two tournaments on the USPGA Tour, only narrowly missing out on a third. And although the US regained the Ryder Cup in 2008, Europe have won five of the last seven events and are favorites to be victorious again in October at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales. Yet Montgomerie believes it is always a level playing field when it comes to the Ryder Cup. “There is no complacency, there is no over-confidence here,” he said. “We know these matches are very, very close. You only have to look back at the record win that Europe had in 2004 in America - 11 matches went to the last hole and we happened to win nine of them. “If that was the opposite way round, we wouldn’t have won by a record margin, we would have lost that Ryder Cup. That’s how close these matches are. “We’re under no illusions at all about how difficult this task will be to attempt to regain the Ryder Cup.” On paper, the European team is overflowing with in-form talent and the list of those players set to miss out on selection is almost as impressive as those who are currently in the nine automatic qualifying positions. The likes of Rose, world number eight Paul Casey, Sergio Garcia, two-time Open champion Padraig Harrington and Henrik Stenson could all be leaning on Montgomerie for wild cards next month when the Scot announces his 12-man team following the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. “I could pick two teams that could beat each other on any given day,” Montgomerie said. “Our players have performed brilliantly worldwide and there are issues that need to be addressed with some world stars not already qualified within the team. “Those picks right now are the biggest headache we have. But it’s a very positive headache.” By announcing Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn and Paul McGinley as his vicecaptains, Montgomerie has surrounded himself with friends who have numerous experiences of winning and retaining Ryder Cups over the past decade. The trio of assistants have been popular members of the European Tour down the years and Montgomerie will be hoping they can help generate a positive, feel-good atmosphere during the October 13 match. While appearing at first something of an old pals’ act, Montgomerie insists the selection of the three stalwarts came after much deliberation. “I’ve spoken at length to all six of the captains I’ve played under,” said Montgomerie, a veteran of eight Ryder Cups. “I’ve learnt a lot. Respect is number one, experience is number two, passion for the Ryder Cup commitment to try to win this cup back is number three. “All three vice-captains fall under every category there. There are four of us here that are going to make decisions from now on, not just me.” McGinley was also looking forward to playing his part in Montgomerie’s team. “Hopefully we can make some really good decisions and press home the advantage the world rankings suggest we have,” the Irishman said. —AFP

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pondexter leads Liberty to OT win

Villeneuve says F1 plan has corporate backing

UNCASVILLE: Cappie Pondexter scored six of her game-high 24 points in overtime as the New York Liberty beat the Connecticut Sun 82-74 in the WNBA on Tuesday. New

LONDON: Corporate backers are behind Jacques Villeneuve’s plans for a Formula One comeback next season, the former world champion said yester-

WNBA Roundup

Motor racing

York improved to 10-10, giving every team in the WNBA’s Eastern Conference a .500-or better record. Leilani Mitchell had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Liberty. Connecticut (12-9) trailed 61-48 with over four minutes left in regulation, but Renee Montgomery scored 12 of her 23 points in the final 1:48 to force overtime. She made a 3-pointer with 4.2 seconds left to tie it at 72. Tina Charles had 14 points and six rebounds for the Sun.

day. In a statement on his website, the 39-year-old Canadian confirmed a link up with Italy-based Durango in bidding to become the 13th team on the grand prix starting grid. “There are a number of rumors circulating at the moment and I wanted to clarify a few things before this gets out of hand,” said Villeneuve. “The team will be a joint venture with Durango, and based out of Italy. To be clear, right now all the money comes from corporate sponsorship and not from personal investors.” Durango owner

Sparks 86, Shock 83 At Los Angeles, Ticha Penicheiro had a career-best 13 assists, one on Noelle Quinn’s tiebreaking basket with 30 seconds left in overtime, to lead Los Angeles past Tulsa. Penicheiro finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and five steals. DeLisha Milton-Jones scored a season-high 23 points for the Sparks (6-15), while Tina Thompson and Kristi Toliver had 15 points apiece. Scholanda Robinson scored 19 points for the Shock (4-17), who have lost 14 of 15. Kiesha Brown added 13 points and Ivory Latta had 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds. With the score tied at 81, Penicheiro rebounded her own missed shot and fed Quinn for a layup. Penicheiro then made two free throws with 13 seconds remaining to extend the lead to 85-81. Storm 80, Silver Stars 74 At San Antonio, Lauren Jackson, Sue Bird and La’Coe Willingham hit key fourth-quarter 3-pointers as Seattle beat San Antonio to extend its winning streak to 10 games. Seattle (19-2) has not lost to a Western Conference team this season. The Storm are off to the second-best start in WNBA history, behind only the now-defunct Houston Comets, who opened the 1998 season 19-1 and were 25-2 before their third loss. San Antonio (7-13) has lost six in a row to the Storm. — AP

Contract issues to keep Stoudemire from worlds

LOS ANGELES: Los Angeles Sparks’ Ticha Penicheiro (21) and Tulsa Shock’s Amber Holt (4) battle for the ball during the second half of a WNBA basketball game in Los Angeles. The Sparks won 86-83 in overtime. — AP

German GP marks start of 2nd half of F1season MADRID: The second half of the Formula One season starts Sunday at the German Grand Prix, with Red Bull looking for calm after a driver dispute, McLaren intent on maintaining its championship lead and Ferrari out to prove it’s still in the title race. Red Bull insists it has cleared the air with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel after a front wing swap left eventual British GP winner Webber fuming.

Ivone Pinton said last week that he had joined forces with Villeneuve, who would be a driver for the planned team but was also looking for a role after he stops competing. Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion with Williams as well as a winner of the Indy 500 and CART series, last competed in Formula One in 2006. The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) has invited applications for the 13th slot and is expected to decide in the coming weeks whether any have what it takes to participate at a time when some teams are struggling to raise sponsorship. Durango ran a car for Villeneuve in the Dubai-based Speedcar series until that folded last year and themselves dropped out of the GP2 support series in 2009 due to financial problems. — Reuters

Webber will get the first look at any car upgrade next time around since he is higher in the standings than Vettel, while the Australian driver has also backtracked over his strong comments following Silverstone when he questioned his future in the team. Red Bull insists it will treat the drivers equally even if it damages its title ambitions, as the drivers have split the last two races to re-energize the team’s chances after McLaren

overtook it in the overall standings. “I don’t want any favoritism,” Webber said earlier this week. “Just a fair deal.” Lewis Hamilton leads McLaren teammate Jenson Button in the standings with 145 points to 133, while Webber’s third win in 10 races put him at 128 points - seven ahead of Vettel. McLaren expects to recover from its development setback at Silverstone, where a

new diffuser failed to provide the necessary edge even though Hamilton was second and Button fourth. Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said the constructors’ championship leader will have both its old and new diffusers available for Friday practice before deciding what to go with for qualifying on Saturday. “I’m not sure we’ve been behind in the development race. It’s always nicer to be

quicker, it’s always nicer to be more reliable, but I think we’re in a reasonable position,” Whitmarsh said. “But we know that we’ve got to continue to develop the car if we are going to win both championships this year.” Ferrari will need a muchimproved performance after two straight sub-par results have left Fernando Alonso fifth with 98 points and teammate Felipe Massa in eighth with 67. Despite finishing 14th at

HEPPENHEIM: Fans watch Red Bull’s German Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel driving his racecar in his hometown Heppenheim, western Germany. Vettel drove several laps on a converted race track during the “Sebastian-VettelHomerun”. — AFP

Silverstone, Alonso was encouraged by his car’s performance. “I think we still have the possibility to fight for championship,” the two-time world champion from Spain said. “We saw this year if you can have two or three good races it can change the picture of the champ. We need to do two or three podiums in a row.” Team principal Stefano Domenicali expected his team to respond to the challenges. “Anyone who does not believe that we can win the world championship would do better looking for another job,” Domenicali said. “No one here is giving up. There are still nine races to go and anything can happen. We will have to do our job perfectly, that is to say the Ferrari way, and then the results will come.” Whitmarsh said it was too early to dismiss Ferrari. “Experience has told me that you can’t write them off,” Whitmarsh said. “Red Bull clearly are the principle challenge at the moment, but I don’t dismiss the others.” Mercedes will hope to unsettle the leaders, with Michael Schumacher racing in his native country for the first time in his comeback. But it’s teammate Nico Rosberg who has been the better of the German drivers as his 90 points is 54 better than Schumacher, who expects “an emotional” homecoming. “I will be extra motivated to give (the German fans) a weekend to remember,” the seven-time F1 champion said. “We will have some updates for our car which we hope will give us a step forward so we can look forward to an exciting race.” Robert Kubica of Renault is seventh with 83 points, after having to retire for the first time this season at Silverstone. HRT will swap drivers for the second straight race as Sakon Yamamoto replaces Karun Chandhok after taking Bruno Senna’s spot at Silverstone. — AP

LAS VEGAS: Amare Stoudemire will not play for the United States in next month’s world championships because of problems insuring his contract, a damaging blow to the Americans on the day training camp opened. The New York Knicks’ new forward was expected to be one of the Americans’ top players in Turkey, but the team learned of the change of plans Tuesday. The Knicks asked Stoudemire to pull out Monday night and he understood, though he was looking forward to rejoining the team after playing for the Americans in the 2007 Olympic qualifying tournament. ESPN.com first reported that Stoudemire might not be available to play in the championships that begin Aug 28. Stoudemire has had microfracture knee surgery among his injuries, a major reason Phoenix wouldn’t offer him a maximum length contract. The Knicks then gave him a five-year deal worth nearly $100 million, even while saying they weren’t sure if the contract could be insured. According to the Knicks, the insurance policy from Stoudemire’s contract with the Suns is still in place, but it

excludes his surgically repaired left knee. The Knicks have begun working to secure insurance on his new deal, but that hasn’t been completed. “I understand the New York Knicks’ concern, also wanting to make sure I’m totally healthy for next season,” Stoudemire said. “I’m looking forward to having a big year with the Knicks organization, so I understand both sides.” Without proper insurance, NBA teams can prevent players from taking part in summer events. “He had to pull out because he couldn’t get insurance on his knees. So, he’s not able to play,” said Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni, who is an assistant with the US team. “I don’t know if his (future USA Basketball) status has changed or not. I have no idea. I hate it for him, but it’s business.” With the players who led the Americans to the 2008 Olympics gold medal taking the summer off, USA Basketball was counting on Stoudemire. Asked about his commitment to playing in the world championships recently while taking questions from the media on Twitter, Stoudemire wrote: “I’m so ready to play for USA. There isn’t anything that would stop me for playing for the US.” — AP

SAN ANTONIO: File photo shows Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire (right) scoring as San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) defends during the first quarter in Game 2 of an NBA Western Conference playoff basketball series in San Antonio. Stoudemire was at opening training camp for the players competing for a chance to play in the world championships Aug 28-Sept 12 in Turkey. Stoudemire was on the US team that went undefeated in the FIBA Americas tournament three years ago. — AP

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Evans can't wait to be an Australian in Paris

CHAMBERY: Australia's Cadel Evans (center) rides in the pack in the 184,5 km and 11th stage of the 2010 Tour de France cycling race run between Sisteron and Bourg-les-Valence, southeastern France. — AFP

Irish rider Roche furious PAU: After the fist fight between two riders following the sixth stage and the fury of Andy Schleck toward Alberto Contador, now even riders in the same team can't get along at the Tour de France. Nicolas Roche, leader of AG2R La Mondiale, blasted French teammate John Gadret on his website, saying he

was furious over an incident where Gadret supposedly refused to help him fix a puncture. "If John Gadret is found dead in his hotel room in the morning, I will probably be the primary suspect," Roche said. Roche, son of Ireland's 1987 Tour champion Stephen Roche, was lying

14th in the overall classification when he punctured a wheel on the way up the climb of Port de Bales on Monday. He asked his French colleague to give him a wheel but, he said, Gadret refused and cycled away. Roche had to wait for a wheel from a service car and lost time on his rivals, dropping three places

overall. "As he sat beside me on the team bus I had great difficulty in not putting his head through the nearest window," Roche added. Team coach Vincent Lavenu told Cycling Weekly that he had held a meeting and calmed the tensions. "I got the whole team together last night

and we talked about it," Lavenu was quoted as saying. "There are big problems at the Tour de France, but yesterday's was a small one." Roche was more conciliatory later, but said the relationship with his teammate was still frail. "I am not going to go for a pint with him yet," he told Cycling Weekly. — AP

NHL rejects Kovalchuk's 17-year deal with Devils agent. Kovalchuk and the Devils both expressed relief earlier Tuesday that negotiations were over and that his long-term hockey future would play out in New Jersey. Now there is no assurance he will ever play for the team again. Kovalchuk smiled throughout a news conference at the Devils' home arena in which he officially returned to the team after a lengthy free-agent courtship. Kovalchuk finished last season with the Devils after being traded by the Atlanta Thrashers, who couldn't get him signed before he was set to hit the open market. Kovalchuk dismissed money as a main factor in his decision to stay with New Jersey. He instead cited long-term security for him and his family and the opportunity to win the Stanley Cup with an organization that boasts three titles in 15 seasons. Kovalchuk's contract would have topped the 15-year deal goalie Rick DiPietro got from the New York Islanders, and two-time NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin's 13-year pact with Washington. Kovalchuk was to earn $6 million each of the next two seasons, $11.5 million for the following five seasons, $10.5 million in the 2017-18 season, $8.5 million for the 2018-19 season, $6.5 million in 2019-20, $3.5 million in 2020-21, $750,000 the following season, and $550,000 for the final five years of the unprecedented deal. The Devils would have absorbed an annual salary-cap hit of $6 million - the average amount per season. That number was brought down because of the extended years at low salary at the end. Whether he and the Devils can agree a new deal remains to be seen. The Los Angeles Kings and the Russian KHL were also interested in signing Kovalchuk before he reached agreement with the Devils two weeks into the free agent shopping season. — AP

who gave us an invitation I have continued," he added. Although he took the yellow jersey the next day, the pain became too much on the first high mountain stage to Morzine-Avoriaz, where he lost the race lead to Luxembourg's Andy Schleck a day after a rest day in which he had to return home early from a training session. "I took the yellow jersey and obviously that gives you hope for the rest of the race. There was no way I was going to quit while I was in the yellow jersey," he said. "But it has been really uncomfortable to ride, the descents were the hardest thing at first," added Evans as he described the pain of trying to grip his handlebars. "I had to come home early from my training session (on the rest day) in Morzine. Even putting my socks on in the morning has been a bit of a struggle." Since then it has been a struggle simply to finish stages, never mind producing the quick bursts of energy needed to join the breakaways where more sustained periods of endurance come into play. As Contador and Schleck wait for today's stage, which may decide the destination of this year's yellow jersey, it seems Evans has accepted that this year, it simply wasn't to be. He admitted, however, that a heavy schedule at the start of the season, as well as competing in this year's Giro d'Italia may have emptied precious resources. "Mentally I was okay, but physically I was exhausted," he said. He added: "Obviously it's not where we want to be (in the race). I always try and do my best, and considering what has happened this is the best I can do. "You just have to accept these things. Being disappointed doesn't bring about a miraculous turnaround in fitness. "As far as the GC (general classification) goes I'll just have to wait till next year." — AFP

Extras Blind footballer adverts draws record complaints LONDON: One of the most complained-about adverts of recent years, featuring a blind footballer kicking a cat instead of the ball, has been allowed to continue by the industry standards watchdog. Over 1,000 viewers filed complaints with the Advertising Standards Authority after watching bookmaker Paddy Power's television advertisement. Although no contact was shown between the man and the cat on screen, the player was seen taking a kick, and a thud and a loud meow were heard. Complaints were lodged on the grounds that the advertisement condoned cruelty to animals and was offensive to blind people. In defense of its decision not to uphold viewers' complaints, The Advertising Standards Authority said that the advertisement was a "humorous depiction of a fictional situation", unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence. The advertisement was supported by members of the England Blind Football Team, it noted in a statement on its website. As for the cat, it was ultimately shown walking along the branch of a tree, unharmed.

The longest deal in NHL history NEWARK: Ilya Kovalchuk's plan to spend the rest of his career with the New Jersey Devils took a big hit just hours after the star forward's unprecedented deal was announced. Kovalchuk beamed Tuesday during a news conference after receiving a 17-year, $102 million contract with the Devils - the longest deal in NHL history. But before the day was finished, he was in limbo again. Just one day after Kovalchuk and the Devils agreed to the record-setting contract, the league determined that it was illegal, a person familiar with the issues raised said on condition of anonymity because the NHL hadn't made a formal announcement. The contract was rejected because years of low salary at the end of the deal were added for the sole purpose of lowering the cap hit. The person added that it was determined that neither the Devils nor Kovalchuk believe he will play the final years of the deal at those terms. The All-Star was slated to earn only $550,000 in each of the last five seasons of the contract that was to run through the 2026-27 season, when Kovalchuk will be 44. Kovalchuk was to earn $98.5 million of the $102 million in the first 11 years of the deal. Neither the Devils nor Kovalchuk's agent, Jay Grossman, commented after the contract was rejected. Based on provisions in the collective bargaining agreement between the players' association and the league, the union has five business days after being informed that the contract was rejected to file a grievance on behalf of Kovalchuk. The deal would remain voided if no grievance is filed or if an arbitrator agrees that the contract is illegal. The arbitrator would have 48 hours to decide if the league was right to reject the contract. If the arbitrator agrees, the contract would be voided, and Kovalchuk would again be an unrestricted free

PAU: Australian Cadel Evans admits his number one priority on this year's Tour de France is to make it to Paris, no matter what place he finishes. Evans, the reigning world champion, came into the Tour hoping to build on a solid Tour of Italy, and dreaming of going better than his runnerup places in 2007 and 2008. But with one climbing day left, today's 17th stage to the Col du Tourmalet, and a penultimate stage time-trial on Saturday, Evans is way off the pace of leader Spaniard Alberto Contador in 24th overall at 33min 13sec adrift. "I'm just trying to get to Paris first," Evans told reporters on the race's second rest day as he came to terms with the fact that, for the second year in a row, he will be getting nowhere near the podium. It is a far cry from three years ago when Evans scored the first of two successive runner-up places, missing out on making history for Australia when he lost the yellow jersey by only 23secs to Spaniard Alberto Contador. In 2008, and despite also riding through the pain barrier having also crashed in the first week, Evans finished second as another Spaniard, Carlos Sastre, beat him to the top prize. His 2009 campaign was condemned almost from the start, when his Silence-Lotto team flopped badly on the stage four team time trial. Evans battled on, but eventually finished 30th as Contador beat Andy Schleck to the crown by four minutes. Once again, BMC team leader Evans has been riding through the pain barrier-but he doesn't recommend even riding, never mind racing, the Tour with a fractured elbow, which he suffered in a freak crash inside the first week. "I've never had to race a Grand Tour with a broken limb, and it's not something I would recommend, but in respect to my team and to the organizers

Inter sign top Italian defender Ranocchia MILAN: Inter Milan have signed top Italian defensive prospect Andrea Ranocchia but the former Bari player will spend next season at Genoa in a co-ownership deal. "The defender has signed a five-year deal with Inter. Inter and Genoa have agreed that Andrea Ranocchia will stay at Genoa for the 2010/11 season," the European champions said in a statement yesterday with no financial details given. Ranocchia, 22, formed a solid central defensive partnership with Leonardo Bonucci at mid-table Bari last season but his campaign was cut short by a serious knee injury in January. He had been tipped for a place in Italy's World Cup squad but Bonucci went to South Africa instead and has since joined Juventus. With Inter boasting Lucio and Walter Samuel, Ranocchia would have struggled for first team action in the coming season but he is the first part of a campaign to bring more young Italians into the club's foreigner-dominated set-up. As part of the complex deal, the Italian champions have loaned youth striker Mattia Destro to Genoa.

Oddo extends Milan contract ROME: Former Italy full-back Massimo Oddo yesterday signed a one-year contract extension with AC Milan, the club announced on its official website. The 34-year-old's contract was due to run out at the end of the coming season but he is now tied down to the seven-time European champions until June 2012. Oddo joined Milan from Lazio on a four-and-a-half-year deal in January 2007 but within 18 months he was loaned out to Bayern Munich. Although he has 34 Italy caps and was part of the World Cup winning squad in 2006, he has played little for Milan recently, making just 14 league appearances last season. Oddo began his career with Milan but failed to break into the first team and spent several years on loan in the lower divisions before joining Verona in 2000, where he made his Serie A debut. Two years later he was sold to Lazio, with whom he won the Coppa Italia in 2004. After four and a half years with Lazio he joined Milan halfway through the 2006/07 season, and ended that with a Champions League winners medal.

Wigan to sign McArthur

NEWARK: Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils poses for photographs following the media opportunity announcing his contract renewal at the Prudential Center in New Jersey. — AFP

LONDON: English Premier League club Wigan have agreed to sign Hamilton midfielder James McArthur subject to the player passing a medical. McArthur, 22, has been a long-time target for Latics boss Roberto Martinez and is set to be reunited with former Hamilton team-mate James McCarthy, who moved to the DW Stadium last year. Hamilton chairman Ronnie McDonald believes Scotland Under-21 international McArthur will be a big success in England. "I'm sure James will acquit himself well at Wigan. Our sadness at his departure is outweighed by our feeling of pride in his success and the way he acquitted himself in the Accies shirt," McDonald said. "The terms of the sale agreement forbid the disclosure of the sums involved, but the Accies will receive a substantial initial fee and 'add ons' based on appearances."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

SPORTS

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Liverpool rubber-stamp Cole deal after medical

PERROS-GUIREC: French forward Karim Benzema seen during a press conference at the stadium of Perros-Guirec, western France. French football international Karim Benzema has been placed under formal judicial investigation on allegations of sex with an under-age prostitute but was released after questioning. — AFP

Real backs Benzema in prostitution probe Maicon Real move in doubt MADRID: Real Madrid is confident striker Karim Benzema will be cleared of any involvement in a prostitution ring, the Spanish club's managing director said yesterday. Jorge Valdano says Madrid will "support its player whatever the consequences because we're confident in his innocence." Benzema and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery were detained for questioning by a special prostitution brigade in Paris on Tuesday. The players could face up to three years in prison and a $60,000 fine if found guilty of paying to have sex with a minor. Prostitution is legal in France, but prostitutes must be over 18 years old, and clients are liable if they are not. Benzema hasn't impressed since his 35 million euros transfer from Lyon last year. Meanwhile, Brazil full-back Maicon's proposed move from European champions Inter Milan to big-spending Spanish giants Real Madrid is in doubt, according to the player's agent yesterday. Antonio Caliendo told Italian TV sports channel Sky Sport 24 that unless something changes, the

28-year-old will be staying in Italy. "If things stay the same, I believe he will stay," said Caliendo, who claimed to know nothing about rumors circulating in the Spanish press that Real have given Maicon an ultimatum. The Brazilian was part of then coach Jose Mourinho's side that stormed to the treble last season and now the Portuguese boss wants his former charge to join him at his new home in the Bernabeu. Spanish daily Marca on Wednesday claimed Real have tabled a 22 million euro bid for the right-back, a member of Brazil's World Cup squad in South Africa. However, the Spanish press say Real are fed up with Inter's postulating and have given Inter president Massimo Moratti a 72-hour ultimatum to accept their offer or they will look elsewhere. Moratti is believed to be holding out for 30 million euros for a player he snapped up from Monaco four years ago. Maicon has twice won both the Coppa America and the Confederations Cup with Brazil, for whom he has 63 caps. — Agencies

S Korea appoints Cho as new coach Cho signs two-year contract SEOUL: Cho Kwang-rae has been appointed coach of the South Korean national soccer team, the Korean Football Association (KFA) said yesterday. Gyeongnam FC boss Cho replaces Huh Jung-moo, who stepped down after guiding the Asian side to the second round of the World Cup finals in South Africa last month. "We had been looking into two or three candidates, including Cho, and the technical panel unanimously opted to select Cho as the next national team coach," chairman of the KFA's technical committee Lee Hoi-taek told the Yonhap News agency. "Cho is enterprising and always trying to catch new trends of world football like England, Germany, Italy and Brazil." The former South Korean midfielder, who won the Korean K-League title with Anyang Cheetahs in 2000, has signed a contract up until 2012, before the 2014 World Cup Asian qualifiers begin. His first match in charge will be the home friendly against Nigeria on Aug 11. "It's a great honor to be the national team coach," Cho, 56, said. "I'm not scared of taking the helm of the national team. I've been working hard to be a good leader. I want to make a team that will bring joy to the Korean people." Cho's first major task will be to win the Asian Cup in Qatar, which begins in January. The twice champions have been drawn with Australia, Bahrain and India in Group C of the 16team tournament. Cho, however, will not be allowed to combine the national team role with his club job as he had hoped. "Cho asked us to allow him to hold two posts, but we concluded he can't," Lee said, giving the new manager until the friendly match against Japan on Oct 12 to quit his club position. His three year contract with Gyeongnam expires at the end of the current KLeague season and the side are fourth in the 15team league after 12 matches, one point behind leaders Jeju United. — Reuters

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool rubber-stamped the signing of Joe Cole on a four-year contract after the England midfielder passed his medical yesterday. Cole had already agreed personal terms on Monday after being released by Chelsea and flew to the club's training camp in Switzerland to undergo his physical checks. The 28-yearold has been allocated the number 10 shirt and should make his Premier League debut for the Reds in their season opener against Arsenal on August 15. Meanwhile, boss Roy Hodgson has confirmed Swiss defender Philipp Degen will be allowed to leave Anfield. Degen made little impression after signing from Borussia Dortmund in July 2008 and Hodgson said: "We have had an amicable conversation with Philipp and he wants to play football. "We won't stand in his way and he is free to look for another club." In another development, Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is set to sign highlyrated young Rangers defender Danny Wilson in a deal worth up to five million pounds ($7.6 million). Hodgson made his first signing since taking charge of Liverpool when he swooped for England midfielder Joe Cole earlier this week and teenage centre-back Wilson is about to become the latest arrival at Anfield. Liverpool have been tracking Wilson for several months and the 18-year-old has been pulled out of the Scottish champions' pre-season tour of Australia to allow time to complete his move. Rangers chief executive Martin Bain told the club's official website: "We have agreed a deal in principle with Liverpool for the transfer of Danny Wilson. "Liverpool's offer will see the club receive two million pounds up front with add-ons linked to games played, taking the total value of the deal to five million pounds." Rangers had anticipated Wilson's departure towards the end of last season after the centre-back refused a new contract offer. Bain added: "Danny was entering the final year of his contract with the club and had indicated that he felt it was in his interests to move on. "Given that and the value of the offer from Liverpool, it was deemed appropriate to accept that offer given the player wanted to go." Wilson made his debut in October 2009 and went on to make 25 appearances, which included Champions League action. The Scotland Under-19 international won both the PFA Scotland and Scottish Football Writers' young player of the year awards. — Agencies

Hodgson set to sign Rangers starlet Wilson

Chelsea's Joe Cole

Maradona to retain his post FIFA gives thumbs-up BUENOS AIRES: Diego Maradona will reportedly remain as coach of Argentina's national team, a decision he is expected to announce next week after meeting with Argentine Football Association president Julio Grondona. The state-run Argentine news agency Telam quoted Grondona as saying the meeting would be held Monday. The newspaper La Nacion said Maradona talked with Grondona on Tuesday and had agreed to a fouryear deal that will keep him in charge until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. An AFA spokesman declined to confirm to The Associated Press that Maradona would continue in the job. Maradona has not talked publicly about his plans since Argentina was knocked out in the World Cup quarterfinals by Germany 21/2 weeks ago.

He was reported to be traveling on Tuesday to Venezuela to conduct football clinics after an invitation from Venezuela President Hugo Chavez. Argentina President Cristina Fernandez has openly supported Maradona, and a legislator has proposed building a monument to honor him. Others have roundly criticized him, blaming his lack of tactical knowledge for Argentina's humiliating 4-0 loss to Germany despite possessing a team replete with many of the world's best players, including Barcelona star Lionel Messi. Several news outlets said Maradona had turned down requests from Grondona to replace some of his assistant coaches, a move that might give the national icon help in organizing practices and tactics. Argentina is scheduled to play a friendly on Aug. 11 against Ireland in Dublin. — AP

Xavi: Fabregas only 'on loan' at Arsenal

CHANGWON: South Korea's new soccer head coach Cho Kwang-rae smiles after he met with the media in Changwon yesterday. The Korea Football Association said yesterday that 56-year-old Cho, previously in charge of South Korean club Gyeongnam, will take over from Huh Jung-moo. — AP

LONDON: Barcelona midfielder Xavi has told Arsenal they will only have Cesc Fabregas "on loan" for a year if the Spanish champions are unable to sign the Gunners captain this season. Barca had a 25-million-pound (38 million dollar) bid for Fabregas rejected earlier in the close-season and, although the Arsenal midfielder has made it clear he would love to return to his former club, there is no sign of a deal being completed in the immediate future. The 23-year-old Fabregas still has five years to go on his current Arsenal contract and Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is desperate to keep his prize asset. But Xavi, who

played with Fabregas in Spain's World Cup-winning team, is convinced the player will move to the Nou Camp in 12 months time if Barca can't get him now. "We know where Cesc wants to be this coming season, but perhaps there is not enough time for Barcelona and Arsenal to agree a deal," Xavi told the Daily Express. "Arsenal need to understand they are only delaying the inevitable. "If we don't manage to get his signature this season then Arsenal only really have him on loan for a year - because there is nothing they can do to stop him joining next summer. "I haven't given up on him joining us this season but, if he

doesn't, it won't be more than a year before he is back home. "His people will have a whole season to sort out the deal between the two clubs and it will happen at the very latest next summer." Xavi claims Fabregas told his international team-mates he was keen on joining Barcelona while on World Cup duty. "We were all with him for five weeks in South Africa and we know he wants to be at Barcelona, he made it very clear," Xavi added. "But he will under no circumstances do anything that will upset the Arsenal fans. And that's probably why we are going to have to wait for him for another year." — AFP

to Japanese stadium TOKYO: FIFA officials inspecting Japan's bid for the 2022 World Cup gave the thumbs-up to a major football stadium outside Tokyo yesterday, according to the Japanese bid chief. A fivemember team from the sport's world governing body visited the 64,000-seat stadium in the satellite city of Saitama, north of Tokyo, after spending two days in the western city of Osaka. The nine-year-old Saitama Stadium was used in the 2002 World Cup, which was cohosted by Japan and South Korea, and has been home to popular J-League club Urawa Red Diamonds, who won the AFC Champions League title in 2007. The FIFA team, led by Chilean Football Federation president Harold MayneNicholls, toured the stadiumone of 13 in Japan's bid-for about one hour and checked the condition of the pitch, seats and changing rooms. "They looked at things in great detail and seemed to be very much impressed," Japan Football Association president Motoaki Inukai, who heads the Japanese bid committee, told reporters. "They rated it as a fine stadium."

The FIFA inspectors arrived Monday on a four-day visit to Japan, the first leg of a two-month tour of nine candidates for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. FIFA's 24 executives will choose the hosts on December 2 in Zurich. In Osaka, they used a helicopter to see a former railway yard by the city's central station, the site for a projected 83,000seat solar-powered stadium which would be used for the opening match and final in 2022. They also attended a presentation on Japan's bid, which includes a plan to treat football fans worldwide to live three-dimensional broadcasts of matches. In Tokyo yesterday they toured a downtown convention centre, the Tokyo International Forum, which will be used for a World Cup draw, before meeting Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan. The team next visits South Korea, Australia, joint bidders the Netherlands and Belgium, Russia, England, Spain-Portugal, the United States and Qatar. Japan, South Korea, Australia and Qatar have submitted bids for 2022 only, while the others are seeking to host either 2018 or 2022. — AFP

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India face defeat after Murali bags 5 Muralitharan two wickets away from 800th test scalp GALLE: Hosts Sri Lanka were well-placed to win the first Test against India after spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan wreaked havoc in his final match yesterday. The world’s leading wicket-taker grabbed 563 in the first innings as India were forced to follow on after being shot out for 276 on the fourth day in reply to Sri Lanka’s 520-8 declared. Sling-arm fast bowler Lasith Malinga then claimed three wickets to leave the tourists’ second innings tottering at 181-5 at stumps, still 63 runs away from avoiding an innings defeat. India, the topranked Test side, lost 12 wickets during the day on a wicket that took only slow turn at the Galle International Stadium. Muralitharan, who dismissed Yuvraj Singh with the last ball of the day, will return for his final day in Test cricket today two short of the 800-wicket mark as Sri Lanka press for the lead in the three-match series. Batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar hit a defiant 84, sharing a third-wicket partnership of 119 with Rahul Dravid (44) after India were reduced to 42-2. But Malinga, gaining appreciable reverse swing in the final hour, sent back the veteran pair in the space of six deliveries to leave the hosts on top. Malinga had earlier removed Gautam Gambhir with the third delivery of the innings after dismissing the left-handed opener with the second ball in the first innings. Indian vice-captain Virender Sehwag, who scored 109 in the first innings and a breezy 31 off 30 balls in the second, refused to concede defeat yet. “We hope the remaining batsmen will fight because the rain may come anytime and the match could get washed out and end in a draw,” he said. “But I must say Murali is the most difficult bowler I have ever faced. Because you never know which side the ball is going to turn. You can’t plan against him.” Sri Lankan coach Trevor Bayliss also would not take victory for granted. “Nothing is easy with this Indian team,” the Australian said. “We’ve had a good day and we are very happy with the position we are in. “But there is still some hard work to be done. Hopefully the weather will be as good as it was today.” The entire second day’s play had been washed out and 22 overs were lost on the first day due to heavy rain, but yesterday’s play was held under clear blue skies. Bayliss hoped Muralitharan would take the two wickets to reach the 800-mark. “If you ask him, he would want to get all five wickets,” the coach said. “We would all love him to get at least two of those five. But it’s going to be some tough work against this Indian team.” It was the 67th time Muralitharan, 38, had claimed five wickets or more in a Test innings, way ahead of second-placed Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, who managed the feat on 37 occasions. The off-spinner followed up the dismissal of

Tendulkar for eight on Tuesday with four more scalps in the first innings. Muralitharan broke a 74run stand for the sixth wicket between Yuvraj and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (33) by bowling the Indian captain with a ball that turned in sharply. Muralitharan struck again in his next over, forcing Yuvraj (52) to edge a catch to first slip and returned after lunch to remove tailenders Pragyan Ojha and Abhimanyu Mithun. — AFP

Scoreboard Sri Lanka first innings 520-8 dec (T. Paranavitana 111, K. Sangakkara 103, R. Herath 80 not out, L. Malinga 64; A. Mithun 4-105) India first innings (140-3 overnight) G. Gambhir lbw b Malinga 2 V. Sehwag c Paranavitana b Welagedara 109 R. Dravid run out 18 S. Tendulkar lbw b Muralitharan 8 VVS Laxman c Dilshan b Malinga 22 Y. Singh c M. Jayawardene b Muralitharan 52 MS Dhoni b Muralitharan 33 H. Singh st P. Jayawardene b Herath 2 I. Sharma not out 5 P. Ojha c M. Jayawardene b Muralitharan 3 A. Mithun b Muralitharan 8 Extras: (b-1, lb-1, nb-10, w-2) 14 Total: (all out, 65 overs) 276 Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-68, 3-101, 4-169, 5-178, 6-252, 7-259, 8-259 9-266 10-276. Bowling: Malinga 13-0-55-2 (4-nb), Welagedara 11-1-69-1 (1-w, 5-nb), Herath 181-62-1 (1-nb), Mathews 5-0-19-0 (1-w), Muralitharan 17-1-63-5, Dilshan 1-0-6-0. India second innings G. Gambhir c P. Jayawardene b Malinga 0 V. Sehwag c M. Jayawardene b Welegedara31 R. Dravid c Sangakkara b Malinga 44 S. Tendulkar lbw b Malinga 84 VVS Laxman not out 9 Yuvraj Singh c M. Jayawardene b Muralitharan 5 Extras (lb 3, w 1, nb 4) 8 Total (5 wickets; 59.3 overs) 181 Fall of wickets: 1-0 2-423-161 4-172 5-181 Bowling: Malinga 9-2-33-3 (2nb), Welegedara 6-1-26-1 (1nb), Herath 14-2-27-0 (1nb), Mathews 7-3-13-0 (1w), Muralitharan 18.3-157-1, Dilshan 5-0-22-0.

AFC chief dampens China WCup hopes BEIJING: Asian Football Confederation chief Mohamed Bin Hammam has urged China to work on growing the sport-and suggested its bid to host a World Cup would have to wait if Asia lands the 2022 tournament. Bin Hammam’s comments during a visit to Beijing came after China’s football chief said the country-rattled by a far-reaching corruption scandal that has hit all levels of the sport-was ready to launch a bid for the 2026 Cup. “The AFC is committed to helping develop the sport in China,” Bin Hammam was quoted by the official China Daily newspaper as saying. “China is a major part of the AFC. We would like

to see China always playing in different international competitions,” he said after talks with Chinese Football Association (CFA) officials. “I’m sure, if it makes great efforts after what was discussed, China will be an Asian leader again.” CFA chief Wei Di said last week that it was the “best time” for Beijing to launch a bid to host the World Cup in 2026. But Australia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea are already vying for the 2022 Cup. “There are now four Asian countries bidding for the 2022 Cup. Naturally, if one of them wins the bid, then Asia’s 2026 bid is going to disappear,” Bin Hammam said. —AFP

GALLE: Sri Lankan bowler Muttiah Muralitharan celebrates the dismissal of India’s Yuvraj Singh (unseen) during the fourth day of the first Test cricket match between India and Sri Lanka yesterday. — AP

Ribery faces uncertain months over sex case PARIS: French soccer star Franck Ribery faces month of uncertainty, threatening his mental stability, after being placed under judicial investigation on suspicion of soliciting sex with an underage prostitute, his lawyer said yesterday. The Bayern Munich winger, along with international team mate Karim Benzema, who was also placed under investigation, will now have to wait for police to unravel a prostitution ring centered around a night club in Paris’s Champs Elysees district. This is the first stage of criminal proceedings that can lead to charges. The offence carries a maximum three-year jail term and a 45,000-euro ($58,000) fine, but a conviction hinges on proving the accused knew the girl was under 18. “I would say this unfavorable treatment is liable to ruin his concentration and attack the mental balance of a guy who for two months has already been extremely destabilized by this case,” Sophie Bottai told Europe 1 radio. Police had postponed the hearing until after the World Cup, in which Ribery was part of the disastrous French campaign which led to a public outcry after players protested against the coach and the team crashed out without winning a game. Bottai said her client was “dismayed” about the magistrate’s decision. The girl at the centre of the probe had told Ribery she was 20, the lawyer said. She was just 17 at the time. According to French law, paid sex with someone under 18 is deemed sex with a minor. The lawyer said she would apply after the summer recess to have the case dismissed. “The investigation has been going on for two months (and) confirms even more he could not have known her age,” she said. The scandal took a twist when the young woman, Zahia Dehar, gave an interview in April, implicating players and denying being a prostitute. She said Ribery, married with two children, had invited her to Munich in April 2009 to cel-

Franck Ribery ebrate his 26th birthday, adding that he had paid her for three encounters last year. CLUB, COUNTRY FUTURE UNCERTAIN Ribery was the most popular player before the World Cup fiasco, in which ‘Les Bleus’ were eliminated in the first round without winning a match. He was branded as one of the ringleaders in a revolt by players who boycotted a training session before their final game. The playmaker extended his Bayern Munich contract until 2015 before the tournament with German media reporting his annual salary would be around 10 million euros ($12.5 million). This week his club manager said he expected to see the player return to the highest level after an injury-ravaged year. France’s Health and Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot and junior sports minister Rama Yade have previously said that any player under judicial investigation should not represent France. “It’s not a good example of a man to give to France’s youth,” junior minister Fadala Amara said. New coach Laurent Blanc, nicknamed “The President” in his playing days, has been given the mission to restore the team’s pride and has made clear discipline will be key. The first sign will come when he names his first squad for France’s friendly against Norway in Oslo on Aug 11. — Reuters

Pakistan dominate as Australia collapse

LEEDS: Pakistan’s Umar Amin (left) and Umar Akmal stretch out during the first day of the second test against Australia at the Headingley cricket ground yesterday. — AP

LEEDS: Pakistan dismissed Australia for just 88 in their first innings on the first day of the second Test at Headingley here yesterday. Australia, against accurate seam bowling, collapsed to their lowest Test total since being bowled out for 76 by the West Indies at Perth in 1984. By contrast, Pakistan were 64 without loss at tea. Pakistan’s three frontline seamers shared the wickets, with left-armer Mohammad Aamer leading the way with three for 20, including two in the first two balls after lunch, in 11 overs. Mohammad Asif took three for 30 in 11.1 overs and Umar Gul two for 16 in nine in overcast conditions that aided movement, but not excessively. Tim Paine, last man out, top scored with 17 - one of only three double-figure contributions in an innings where Australia failed to cope with the swinging ball. New Pakistan captain Salman Butt, looking to lead the side to their first Test victory over Australia since 1995, then strengthened his team’s position. Butt, who made Pakistan’s only two fifties in a 150-run first Test loss at Lord’s last week, was 38 not out and fel-

low left-handed opener Imran Farhat unbeaten on 20 at tea. Australia seamers Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson were not as disciplined as their Pakistan counterparts and Butt cashed in with some well-struck boundaries when they strayed onto his pads or pitched well outside offstump. Australia captain Ricky Ponting decided to bat first after winning the toss in cloudy conditions. But Aamer and Asif removed both openers in quick succession to reduce Australia to 20 for two. Left-hander Simon Katich, who made 80 and 83 at Lord’s, shuffled across his stumps in typical fashion but was struck in front of off by Aamer. Rudi Koertzen, in his last Test as an umpire, raised his finger with trademark deliberation and Katich was lbw for 13. Katich’s opening partner Shane Watson then missed an intended drive and was plumb lbw for five to an Asif ball that cut back into the right-hander. Michael Clarke, repeatedly beaten outside off stump by Asif, got to three before he was clean bowled by Gul’s ninth delivery. Ponting, who before this match averaged over 105 at Headingley,

never looked at ease. The star batsman had struggled to six in 41 minutes when he was lbw, aiming across the line at an Asif ball that nipped back, with English umpire Ian Gould sending Ponting on his way. Gul then had left-hander Michael Hussey lbw for five. Butt, promoted from vice-captain after former skipper Shahid Afridi

quit Tests after Lord’s following just one game in charge, saw his hunch in bringing on Umar Amin rewarded. The medium-pacer, best known as a top order batsman, took his first Test wicket when Marcus North was caught behind for 16. Australia were 73 for six at lunch. And two balls later they were 73 for

eight after Aamer bowled Steven Smith and Mitchell Johnson with swinging deliveries. Hilfenhaus survived the hat-trick but was soon run out before Paine, in for an hour and 24 minutes, was caught behind by opposing keeper Kamran Akmal. This series is being played in England because of security concerns in Pakistan. — AFP

Scoreboard Scoreboard at tea on the first day of the second test between Australia and Pakistan in Leeds, England yesterday. Australia first innings S. Watson lbw b Mohammad Asif 5 S. Katich lbw b Mohammad Aamer 13 R. Ponting lbw b Asif 6 M. Clarke b Umar Gul 3 M. Hussey lbw b Gul 5 M. North c Kamran Akmal b Umar Amin 16 T. Paine c Kamran Akmal b Mohammad Asif 17 S. Smith b Mohammad Aamer 10 M. Johnson b Mohammad Aamer 0 B. Hilfenhaus run out 3 D. Bollinger not out 2 Extras (lb 6, nb 2) 8 Total (all out; 33.1 overs) 88 Fall of wickets: 1-20 2-20 3-27 4-29 5-41 6-60 7-73 8-

73 9-86 10-88 Bowling: Mohammad Aamer 11-4-20-3, Mohammad Asif 10.1-1-30-3 (1nb), Umar Gul 9-3-16-2 (nb-1), Umar Amin 2-0-7-1, Danish Kaneria 1-0-9-0 Pakistan first innings Imran Farhat not out 20 Salman Butt not out 38 Extras (b 2, lb 3, nb 1) 6 Total (0 wickets; 15 overs) 64 Still to bat: Azhar Ali, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Aamer, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria, Mohammad Asif. Bowling: Bollinger 6-4-5-0, Hilfenhaus 4-0-31-0 (nb1), Watson 3-0-10-0, Johnson 2-0-13-0.

Air Arabia doubles A320 fleet with $620m engine order

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Etihad welcomes first Airbus A330-200 freighter

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VIVA Kuwait ties up with Triathlon Club to promote health

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

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Low oil price a risk to Gulf growth: IMF GCC states should prepare to exit high spending • Minimal impact from Dubai debt crisis WASHINGTON: Economic growth in the six-nation Gulf Arab region is strengthening but a major risk to the outlook is that oil prices remain low for a protracted period, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday. In an updated report on Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states the IMF urged countries to prepare exit strategies from the current high spending levels but not to implement them until economic conditions were right. The IMF revised up its growth forecast for non-oil growth for GCC states to 4.3 percent, higher than the 4.0 percent it forecast in May. US crude oil futures rose for a third straight day yesterday as economic optimism reflected in stronger equities markets helped

keep oil prices bolstered. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, September crude rose 85 cents to $78.43 a barrel by 8:40 am EDT (1240 GMT). The IMF said challenges in the financial sector in GCC states may restrain growth in the shortterm but those problems remain manageable and should not undermine long-term prospects. It said banks’ capital adequacy ratios “remain strong and there are strong indications on profitability”. IMF staff analysis of listed non-financial corporates shows that at the end of 2009 GCC corporates had adequate capacity to service their debt obligations, the report said. The report said regional spillovers from the Dubai debt crisis were minimal although noted there

was persistent uncertainty about Dubai. Still, the IMF urged the Dubai authorities to complete the planned debt restructuring of debt-laden conglomerate Dubai World and to determine the full breath of potential problems in other government-related entities. Dubai World has invited creditors to a meeting today to offer details on its multi-billion dollar debt restructuring, the first session to include all lender since December 2009. “The impact from financial developments in Dubai and Greece should continue to have limited effect on the GCC countries, and substantial foreign assets are available to mitigate the impact of new shocks,” the IMF added. —Reuters

Kuwait’s KFH Q2 net up 22% Results exceed expectations

FARNBOROUGH: An Apache AH-604 on display is reflected (left) on the glasses of British Army Air Corps Corporal Al Fields as he talks to visitors, reflected on the right, at the Farnborough International Airshow yesterday. — AP

Farnborough Airshow orders top $25bn FARNBOROUGH: Plane makers notched up more orders on the third day of the Farnborough International Airshow yesterday — bringing the tally past $25 billion — as a resurgence in commercial aviation offset the gloom from governments’ sharp cuts to defense programs. EADS-owned Airbus took the limelight early yesterday, booking orders from Germania, an airline based in Berlin, and Indonesian national carrier Garuda. Thai Airways also made a commitment to buy seven A330-300s worth $1.48 billion at catalog prices, which Airbus expects to be firmed up by the end of the summer. Analysts don’t expect anything close to the record-breaking $88.7 billion worth of deals announced at Farnborough in 2008, but the gathering has already exceeded the slow orders for commercial planes of around $7 billion at sister show Le Bourget, near Paris, last year. Garuda CEO Emirsyah Satar said the airline planned to use its purchase of six longrange A330-200s, worth $1.1 billion at catalog prices, to expand its new premium service “to more international destinations in a profitable and efficient way.” Airbus also firmed up its previous memorandum of understanding with

Lenders travel in hope to Dubai debt meeting DUBAI: Over-stretched Dubai plays host to some of its bank creditors today, eight months after the emirate’s flagship state conglomerate Dubai World hit the financial buffers. A core group of banks has already agreed broad terms for a restructuring deal under which billions of dollars of Dubai World loans will be repaid over five to eight years at interest rates of between 1 and 3 percent. Some banks may hold out for better terms at the first all-bank meeting of Dubai World creditors since December. Investors in the region are hoping the meeting passes off without any negative publicity. “All the news over the past couple of weeks has signalled Dubai World will reach a final resolution with banks, so that outcome is already priced in,” said Marwan Shurrab, vice-president and chief trader at Gulfmena Alternative Investments. “But anything negative would likely see aggressive selling in the market.” Dubai World’s $14.4 billion of bank debt ran into trouble as the financial crisis brought a global real estate boom to an abrupt halt. It represents just a fraction of Dubai’s liabilities- estimated at over $100 billion of syndicated and bilateral loans in a Reuters poll-run up as the Gulf Arab state built man-made resort islands, the world’s tallest building and other lavish projects. Wealthy fellow United Arab Emirates member Abu Dhabi has already stepped in to bail out Dubai. —Reuters

Germania, signing a contract for five Airbus A319s. The deal is the airline’s first with Airbus, marking a win for the European company over arch-rival Boeing as Germania starts a complete fleet rollover to eco-efficient Airbus A319s. ALAFCO, the Kuwait-based international Aviation Lease and Finance Company, said it has converted its existing firm order for 12 Airbus A350-800s placed in 2007, into the higher capacity A350 -900 model. Airbus’ chief rival Boeing said Air Austral, a French airline based on the island of Reunion, had ordered two long-range 777-200 Worldliner aircraft, worth $501 million at catalog prices. It also revealed that Qatar Airways had ordered two 777-200LRs for the same price. Both deals had been concluded previously but the name of the buyer had not been disclosed.Qatar also revealed that it was taking earlier delivery of Boeing’s 787 jetliner to meet increased demand. “Air travel demand is continuing to rise in the Middle East and it is becoming clear that international demand is returning as the global economy shows signs of recovery,” said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker. Meanwhile, smaller rival

Bombardier said Australian carrier Qantas Airways ordered seven Q400 turboprop airliners, worth $218 million at list prices. The catalog prices often represent an inflated value on the deals as airlines typically negotiate substantial discounts. The renewed optimism in commercial aviation, however, could not dispel the bad news from the defense industry, where governments are cutting budgets after spending billions bailing the global economy. “Just about every program is under review and every government is looking through their procurement program to see what is really necessary and when they need it,” said Fitch analyst Tom Chruszcz. On Tuesday the cuts to Western military budgets were the talk of Farnborough. In the US, the world’s biggest single defense market, the Pentagon is looking to trim some $100 billion from personnel and procurement costs over the next five years. The U.K., Europe’s biggest defense market, is considering defense cuts of up to 20 percent. Italian Minister Ignazio La Russa said his country will reduce its order of Eurofighter jets by 25 planes to save 2 billion euros ($2.57 billion). —AP

MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS

Oil helps Saudi overcome results gloom; stocks rise DUBAI: Rising oil prices helped Saudi Arabia’s index escape more earnings gloom in the world’s top crude exporter to end higher yesterday after being in negative territory for much of the session. Most other Middle East and global markets also advanced as buoyant US corporate results raised optimism over the strength of economic recovery stateside, while oil hit a three-week high on similar sentiment. “Saudi results have been disappointing, especially petrochemicals and we’re seeing selling from retail investors, who had higher expectations for Q2,” says Marwan Shurrab, vice-president and chief trader at Gulfmena Alternative Investments. “Saudi is also extremely tied to crude’s performance.” The kingdom’s benchmark climbed 0.4 percent, only its second gain in eight sessions. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) rose 2.1 percent, clawing back some of Tuesday’s results-driven losses, but rival Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co fell 9.6 percent as its profit halved quarter-onquarter. Saudi Telecom Co rose 1.3 percent after being down as much as 2.6 percent intraday. Its second-quarter profit fell 31 percent. “The net profit is in line with consensus, however the operating profit is 13 percent below my estimate,” says Simon Simonian, Shuaa Capital telecoms analyst. “I had low expectations for the quarter after the disappointing Q1 results. It seems the company

was able to meet expectations for the bottom line, but operating profit is weak and we didn’t see any progress from Q1.” Regional gains may prove fleeting, however, with investors seemingly beholden to global markets for direction. “Summer is here and markets will remain volatile-one day the glass is half full, the next it’s half empty,” says a Riyadh-based analyst who asked not to be identified. “Sentiment is very delicate and a little bad news changes everything.” Emaar Properties rose 3.1 percent to help Dubai’s index make its largest gain in two weeks. “Emaar is becoming a true player on hospitality, tourism and retail activity,” said Fadi Al Said, Head of equities and portfolio manager at ING Investment. “There is definitely mispricing for Emaar. We are invested in Emaar and we know we are going to make money eventually.” Said warned that Emaar’s diversified model means it is not a proxy for the Dubai real estate sector. A Reuters poll in July forecast house prices in the emirate would fall another 10 percent, having already plunged 55 percent from their peaks of two year ago. “I can’t see demand picking up and we’ll definitely see more supply coming on line, but like trying to predict earnings, it’s a black box, which is why vulture funds have not stepped in to buy up Dubai property to provide the market with a floor,” said Chet Riley, Nomura property analyst.

KUWAIT: Kuwait Finance House, the country’s biggest Islamic lender, reported yesterday a 22 percent rise in second-quarter net profit, beating expectations. The lender made a net profit of KD39.9 million ($138.4 million) in the second quarter, up from KD32.7 million in the year earlier period, KFH said in a statement on the bourse website. Net income in the first half of the year was KD70.8 million, it said. Analysts at EFG-Hermes had expected KFH to post a

net profit of KD32 million in the second quarter, according to a Reuters survey. Independent analyst Hajjaj BuKhadour said the improvement “does not reflect the operational results which show that loans and credit operations were down”. The lender’s chairman, Bader AlMukhaizeem, said in a statement that financing transactions reached KD450 million during the first half of this year. He did not provide an explanation for the second quarter profit increase. — Reuters

BUSINESS

22

Thursday, July 22, 2010

ING MENA fund taps Emaar, RAK Ceramics among picks Manager says Emaar stock mispriced by market DUBAI: ING Investment’s Middle East North Africa (MENA) fund has Dubai property developer Emaar Properties and Abu Dhabi-based RAK Ceramics among its top picks to be an early investor in growth companies. Fadi Al Said, head of equities at ING’s Middle East Investment

Team and portfolio manager for the $50 million fund, said the fund invested heavily at the peak of the debt crisis in Dubai, when most investors preferred to remain on the sidelines and valuations were cheap. It returned more than 34 percent to investors last year. “You don’t swing at every opportunity but when we see an opportunity like this, we wanted to swing with all our might,” said Al Said. The fund has more than 4 percent of its assets in Emaar, a company Said believes is not adequately valued by the market. He said markets are ignoring the value of parts of the company. “There is definitely a mispricing for Emaar. If you are on the ground and know the businesses, you know there is value and for us, we definitely think there is value,” he said. The manager believes Emaar’s leasing, hospitality and malls business alone is worth 2.5-3 dirhams a share. The stock currently trade at 3 Adel Ali, Group CEO of Air Arabia dirham mark, which means investors are getting the firm’s international operations and its land assets for free, he said. Cheap valuations and a business with diverse operations are the main attraction of RAK Ceramics, the biggest ceramics factory in the world, the managKUWAIT: Air Arabia, the first and largest operational excellence,” said Adel Ali, Africa and Asia, was ranked first on er said. low-cost carrier in the Middle East and Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Aviation Week’s TPC chart as 2009 world’s “This company generated North Africa, announced the selection of Arabia. “Our fleet growth strategy and the best LCC. cash flow last year almost close “We are obviously very pleased by Air the CFM56-5B engine to power its 44 partners we work with, contributes to to its market cap. There is not a Airbus A320 family aircraft order maintaining this record. We look forward Arabia’s selection of the CFM56-5B engine lot of interest in the stock. It announced in 2007. This new engine selec- for a long partnership with CFM in power- to power its A320 fleet,” said Eric Bachelet, trades at 4 times its estimated tion, which will more than double the air- ing our new aircraft order”. Air Arabia president and CEO of CFM. “We have earnings and is growing in doulines CFM56-5B powered A320 fleet, is val- became a CFM customer in 2003 when the established a great relationship with the ble digit,” he said. airline started operations with a CFM56- airline as an operator and are really looking ued at more than $620 million at list price. “In my career, I have seen Together with the engine selection, Air 5B-powered Airbus A320. The airline, forward to working more closely with them very few companies with a susArabia also signed a multi-year Rate per which is the winner of the A320 Family through the RPFH agreement to service tainable business model, tradFlight Hour (RPFH) service agreement for Operational Excellence Award by Airbus, and support its growing fleet.” ing at such low valuations.” CFM56-5B engines are a product of its CFM56-5B fleet. The RPFH is a com- currently operates a total fleet of 23 The fund also likes Saudi prehensive maintenance program cus- CFM56-5B-powered A320s and the airlines CFM International, a 50/50 joint company pipe system and technology tomized to Air Arabia specific needs under confirmed order of 44 A320 aircraft is between Snecma (Safran group) and GE. firm Amiantit and Egyptian firm which CFM guarantees the maintenance schedule to begin delivery later this year. CFM, the world’s leading supplier of comSidi Kerir Petrochemicals Co, cost on a dollar per engine flight hour basis. Air Arabia, which serves more than 60 des- mercial aircraft engines, has delivered the manager said. “Air Arabia enjoys a long track record of tinations across Europe, the Middle East, approximately 21,000 engines to date. Al-Said’s fund has limited exposure to banks in the Gulf Arab region as he believes balance sheet growth prospects are curtailed in the current environment as more banks begin to be cautious on their MANAMA: Bahrain Telecommunications ly 28 million in the year-earlier quarter. lending. “When a bank is tradAnalysts at SICO Investment Bank (Batelco) posted a 20 percent fall in quaring below book value, the marterly profit, hurt by stronger competition had expected Batelco to post net profit of ket is telling you that it does 24 million dinars. “Reduced market share at home and costs for new operations KUWAIT: The United Arab not agree with the stated for mobile and broadband services in abroad. Shipping Company (UASC) said accounting book value that you Bahrain and strong price erosion adverseBatelco is one of the smaller telecoms yesterday that 2,692 containers are putting in balance sheet,” operators in the Gulf Arab region with a ly affected our revenues and profits,” were transported to Kuwaiti he said. home market of just over 1 million, in Chairman Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdulla al ports in June. In a press release, The fund is also currently which it faces rising competition from Khalifa said in a statement. UASC said that the far-east not invested in Saudi Basic The operator has earmarked up to $2 bigger rivals such as Kuwait’s Zain and zone was the region with most Industries Corp (SABIC), the billion for an acquisition in Africa or Saudi Telecom (STC). cargo shipped to Kuwait during biggest petrochemical company Other Gulf Arab operators such as southeast Asia to further grow abroad June with 1,229 containers, in the world, as it believes it’s STC or Emirates Telecommunications after it bought a 49 percent stake in an “over-crowded” stock. while the European region Corp (Etisalat) have also posted lower Indian mobile operator S Tel Ltd for $225 “We are a little bit stingy in quarterly profits as they spend funds on million last year. shipped in 806 containers. paying for these businesses. It has said it expects net profit of about growing abroad to offset lower profits in It added that containers Usually they are over liked and 100 million dinars this year, below 2009 their newly liberalized home markets. coming in from the profits due to the start-up costs for S Tel. Batelco said in a statement that net they over hated at times so it’s Mediterranean came to 254, profit attributable to shareholders in the Shares in Batelco have shed 3.6 percent all about getting in at the right with another 151 from India, quarter ended June 30 fell to 22.3 million year-to-date, trailing the gains of shares time. Now, SABIC is a bit over139 from the US, and 113 from Bahraini dinars ($59.3 million) from near- in Zain and Etisalat. —Reuters crowded at this moment,” he the Gulf region. —KUNA said. —Reuters

Goal promotion: Third winner with Al-Sayer KUWAIT: Mohamad Naser Al-Sayer & Sons Automotive Co held the draw of its goal promotion campaign on the 20th July at 7 pm in sync with the 19th World cup, at Al-Ahmadi showroom. Al-Sayer continues to run the electronic raffle draw to ensure that all of Al-Sayer’s customers have an equal and fair chance in the draw. The event was attended by a representative from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and from Al Sayer MNSS Deya Ragab (Al-Ahmadi Showroom manager). This promotion is available at all Toyota showrooms from 6th June Until 31st July 2010 to win 1 of 4 Fabulous FJ

Air Arabia doubles CFM56-powered A320 fleet with $620m engine order

UASC ships 2,692 containers to Kuwait ports

Batelco Q2 net profit falls 20%

Cruisers, and a Free Third Party Insurance + Free Car registration + Accessories, for every KD 500/- customers spends towards a new Toyota purchased at Al-Sayer. The 3rd lucky winner is: Adel Soud Abdullah Al-Essa (Coupon number 190). While the next draws are going to be held as planned: Al-Rai showroom on the 8th August at 7 pm. Mohamad Naser Al-Sayer & Sons congratulates all winners and thanks all customers for their wise choice of Toyota genuine spare parts and their trust in Toyota service centers.

Celebrating success of Wataniya World Cup competition Congratulations to winners! KUWAIT: The World Cup season was full of excitement and enthusiasm. Wataniya Telecom made it even more memorable for its customers by engaging them in a thrilling contest while they watched the games. Customers had a chance to win fantastic cash prizes worth thousands of dollars. To participate in the Wataniya World Cup competition customers had to send SMS predicting the winner of each game. This way they would collect points and the subscriber with the maximum points would win a grand cash prize of $2000, and Norman Fonelas Koweranti was the winner, the second grand prize was $1000 for Shareef Abdullatif Ajez and the third, fourth and fifth prizes were $500 each, and the winners are Ali Nabeel Asfour, Waleed Abbas Helal and Mohamed Hashem AlJelm. In addition to the above, 3 winners were selected every

Abdol Aziz Al-Balool week and awarded gift vouchers worth KD25 from Soccer Scene at The Avenues. A total of 18 winners enjoyed great gifts through this exciting World Cup competition, To see the list of winner please visit wataniya.com Each subscriber received three points by default for just entering the competition and making their prediction.

An additional three points were given to the subscribers if they guessed the winner of the match correctly, one point if their guess was incorrect and two points if it was a tie. Regarding the competition, Abdol Aziz Al-Balool, PR Manager of Wataniya Telecom said “Everyone was very enthusiastic about the World Cup and each game had its own thrill. Our World Cup contest was interactive. It enabled our customers to show support for their favorite teams, and win valuable prizes for subscribing and participating in this unique competition.” Al Balool also added: “We would like to congratulate all the winners and thank everybody who participated in the competition. We will continue to create such interactive platforms for our customers and keep offering them new and innovative opportunities to maximize their experience with Wataniya Telecom.”

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 US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian dollars Danish Kroner Swedish Kroner Australian dlr Hong Kong dlr Singapore dlr Japanese yen Indian Rs/KD Sri Lanka rupee Pakistan rupee Bangladesh taka UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi Riyal/KD Omani riyals Philippine Peso US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

.2830000 .4380000 .3680000 .2720000 .2700000 .2470000 .0045000 .0020000 .0780040 .7599740 .4020000 .0750000 .7450220 .0045000 .0500000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2873500 .4398830 .3708120 .2742640 .2724170 .0497550 .0389490 .2491470 .0369500 .2081570 .0033140 .0061460 .0025520 .0033700 .0041640 .0782730 .7625870 .4063910 .0766650 .7467360 .0062460 TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2894500 .4429900 .2762060 .0771540

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.333 6.119

.2930000 .4470000 .3760000 .2800000 .2800000 .2560000 .0075000 .0035000 .0787880 .7676120 .4180000 .0790000 .7525100 .0072000 .0580000 .2894500 .4429900 .3734310 .2762060 .2743470 .0501070 .0392250 .2509070 .0372120 .2096310 .0033380 .0061890 .0025700 .0033940 .0041940 .0787720 .7674490 .4092690 .0771540 .7514980 .0062900

Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash

3.377 2.555 3.850 210.720 37.136 4.161 6.215 8.939 0.296 0.310 GCC COUNTRIES Saudi Riyal 77.022 Qatari Riyal 79.351 Omani Riyal 750.310 Bahraini Dinar 767.050 UAE Dirham 78.644 ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 53.750 Egyptian Pound 50.700 Yemen Riyal 1.266 Tunisian Dinar 198.410 Jordanian Dinar 407.830 Lebanese Lira 193.700 Syrian Lier 6.168 Morocco Dirham 34.163 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 288.680 Euro 375.860 Sterling Pound 442.260 Canadian dollar 275.720 Turkish lire 187.980 Swiss Franc 275.460 Australian dollar 253.170 US Dollar Buying 287.195 GOLD 20 Gram 235.000 10 Gram 120.000 5 Gram 62.000

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 Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal 10 Tola Sterling Pound US Dollar

SELL CASH 258.400 768.120 4.270 281.200 587.200 14.100 49.400 167.800 53.650

375.000 37.700 6.120

406.280 0.194 92.380 3.840 209.300 750.120 3.385 6.210 79.450 77.120 211.780 40.690 2.557 443.500 275.800 9.130 78.710 288.800

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound

376.500 37.850 6.480 0.035 0.273 0.255 3.420 410.160 0.195 92.380 45.700 4.520 210.800 1.968 46.700 750.300 3.550 6.540 79.880 77.120 211.780 40.690 2.737 445.500 39.500 277.300 6.400 9.290 198.263 78.810 289.200 1.320 GOLD 1,284.370 TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 443.500 288.800

SELL DRAFT 256.600 768.120 4.166 279.700

211.800 50.755

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Cyprus Pound Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees

288.750 278.610 444.944 374.987 273.634 707.744 764.287 78.595 79.292 76.969 407.465 50.724 6.136 3.381

Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees

2.557 4.175 6.207 3.310 8.927 6.299 3.819

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 Nepali rupee Yemeni Riyal Jordanian Dinars Syrian Pounds Euro Candaian Dollars

288.800 3.385 6.120 2.570 4.170 6.250 78.730 77.220 767.700 50.725 445.600 0.00003280 3.890 1.550 410.200 5.750 377.800 283.300

Al Mulla Exchange Currency US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal *Rates are subject to change

Transfer rate 288.500 374.800 444.350 279.500 3.345 6.110 50.725 2.556 4.161 6.220 3.385 768.000 78.600 77.070

BUSINESS

Thursday, July 22, 2010

23

Markaz launches US Distressed Debt Program KUWAIT: Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz”, one of the Middle East’s leading investment banking and asset management companies, announced the launch of the US Distressed Debt Program, which will invest in non-performing and sub-performing commercial mortgages with net targeted annual returns of more than 15%. Sami Shabshab, President - MarGulf Management, Inc. the wholly owned US real estate investments arm of Markaz, said, “With over $1.2 trillion of commercial real estate mortgages maturing in the next four years, lenders will continue to face challenges. Sellers are, therefore, liquidating these distressed loans at large discounts to underlying collateral values. This is creating a unique opportunity to generate significant risk-adjusted returns by investing in sub-performing and non-performing first lien wholeloan commercial mortgages.” He continued, “The upside potential is great as gaining exposure to underlying real estate at low costs will enable us to reap the benefits from aggressive property management and forecasted improvement in economic conditions. The key opportunity drivers include the ability to acquire loans from distressed sellers at significant discounts, improved ability to select high-quality assets, capturing value through negotiating a workout / repayment with the

borrower or through foreclosure and asset management, and downside protection through collateralized loans and borrower guarantees. Margulf acquired two loans in the second quarter ended June 2010, collateralized by properties in California, and has already received several offers from potential buyers.” The target size of the Markaz US Distressed Debt Program is $100 million, of which Markaz is seeding $10 million in proprietary funds. The investment period is two years, and the Program’s term is four years. It is managed by MarGulf, the US Real Estate group of Markaz headed by Sami Shabshab. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, MarGulf has been active in almost all phases of real estate for over 22 years. The team is responsible for numerous tasks including: sourcing of debt acquisitions; due diligence review of loan and property information; analytical assessments and cash flow/value projections of underlying assets; submarket and onsite property inspections; critical reviews of loan borrower credit and other documentation; renegotiation of loan terms and conditions with existing borrower; property and asset management of properties acquired by foreclosure; and the ultimate disposition of loans and/or real estate.

Sami Shabshab, President, MarGulf Management, Inc

H1 profit 329.9 million riyals, misses analysts’ expectations

Samsung unveils latest digital camera line-up KUWAIT: Samsung Digital Imaging Company Inc, a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, unveiled the latest digital camera line-up; Samsung’s dual LCD screen family of PL100, PL150 and high-zoom WB650 in Kuwait. “Samsung’s new dual LCD screen of the PL100, PL150 and high-zoom of WB650 incorporates an intuitive experience with novel features to create professional images with ease. We created these enhanced lens capabilities, revised angle technology and refined product design to deliver our consumers with the effortless performance every digital camera should be made into,” said Ram Modak, General Manager of the Digital Imaging Division of Samsung Gulf Electronics. “Our new line-up and deliver on the need for consumers to have a camera that does it all. They are convenient and easy-to-use, but still retain style and an element of fun; after all, this is what photography is all about.” PL100 and PL150 The new PL100 and PL150 digital cameras offer a variety of updated features allowing users to capture their most precious memories with family and friends, both from behind and in front of the camera. The innovative Samsung 2View family member comes fully equipped with an LCD screen located on the front of the camera. This new dual LCD screen allows users to have more fun and generate winning images. Whether taking pictures indoors or out, shooting a landscape or friends around a table, the PL150’s 5x optical zoom, 27mm-wide angle lens gives you a wider shooting range from a shorter distance. The PL100’s 35mm and 3x Optical zoom lens allow users capture and enjoy the state-of-the-art photographs with its 230K-pixels resolutions. The latest improved lenses offer consumers a true color-filtered 12.2 mega-pixel CCD with the 2View PL100 and 12.4mega pixels CCD with the 2View PL150 meaning photos will be more focused and clearer than before. Another new premium feature from Samsung’s PL100 and PL150 include the Perfect Portrait System- a series of automatic technologies which take the guess work out of shooting beautiful portraits. Key features of this system are Samsung’s Smile Shot, Blink Detection, Red-eye Fix, and Beauty Shot technologies which allow consumers to capture their subjects looking their best. The new Samsung’s 2View PL150 boasts the company’s elegant Touch of Color? (ToC?) finish; this incorporates a hint of color which is naturally blended into the deep black body of the cameras for an attractive crystalline appearance, making the new PL150 as stylish as it is advanced. The PL100 and PL150 both also feature a slanted design, which places the back of the camera at a seven degree angle. This subtle design accent provides users with further options for taking impressive self-portraits and group shots. WB650 Samsung WB650 is the first to combine a 24mm ultra wide angle lens with an up close and personal 15x optical zoom. With more options and a deeper perspective, the WB650 enables the user to capture more fun out of every moment and relive each detail with artistic depth and perspective, and with absolute ease. The new camera comes with a 3.0” Ultra Clear VGA AMOLED display screen which provides clear and sharp displays from any angle. WB650 comes with a built-in GPS and Geo-tagging capability which enables the consumer to pinpoint their location and put it up on the LCD for all to seethe Geo-tagging features also makes it easier to manage large volumes of photos on your memory card or computer hard drive. The new camera is equipped with HD video recording capabilities; delivers impressive 720p HD quality video at 30 frames per second. With the H.264 format that offers recording time 2 times longer than MP4 and 4 times longer than MJPEG video. Another intrinsic feature is the Dual Image Stabilization; Samsung combined the revolutionary technology of their ultimate Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) mechanism with the advanced algorithms of Digital Image Stabilization (DIS) to provide the user with sharp images no matter the condition.

Qatar’s Nakilat Q2 net falls 7% DOHA: Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat), the world’s largest shipper of liquefied natural gas (LNG), revealed a 7 percent drop in second-quarter net profit yesterday, missing analysts’ forecasts. Profit at Nakilat, which carries LNG to countries as far afield as China, Spain and the United States, fell to 166.5 million riyals ($45.77 million), according to Reuters calculations, from 179.29 million a year earlier. Analysts polled by Reuters had on average expected quarterly profit of 207 million riyals. “The key weakness was in income from fully

owned vessels. There can sometimes be a delay or lag in revenue between the time the vessels are delivered and the time of deployment. Over the past six months they have had a lot of vessels delivered and deployed,” said Redwan Ahmed, an analyst at EFG Hermes in Dubai. “But from Q3 onward, there should not be this variance. We don’t expect this to be a problem going forward,” he said. Ahmed said in coming quarters the company will likely be looking for new ventures which will bring additional top-line growth. “I think you’ll see investment in shipping activity over the next six months. The next stage

Strongest H1 for Etihad, with double digit growth over 2009 KUWAIT: Etihad Airways yesterday reported its strongest first half performance, with large increases in both passenger and cargo traffic. The airline experienced double digit growth in the first half of 2010, with passenger numbers up 11 per cent and revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) up 22.6 per cent over the same period last year. The growth in passenger numbers, to almost 3.3 million, was accompanied by a rise in seat factors, from 71.5 per cent to 72.5 per cent. There was also a 21.6 per cent increase in cargo tonnage carried during the quarter, with revenues up by 59 per cent. Despite growth of 20.9 per cent in available seat kilometers (ASKs), the airline reduced its costs per available seat kilometer by 4 per cent in the six months ended 30 June 2010. The improvements were seen despite the difficulties caused by the volcanic ash which covered Europe’s air routes in April, causing severe disruption to air travel during the month. The figures mark Etihad’s best first half performance and signal a return to strong passenger and cargo growth, following the impacts of the global economic recession. Highlights of the second quarter included: • the establishment of non-stop flights from Abu Dhabi to Tokyo, with Etihad the first Middle Eastern airline to operate to the Japanese capital; • the launch of new non-stop services to Baghdad and Erbil; • Etihad being awarded the Airbus Top Operational Excellence Award for its fleet of A340-500/600 aircraft at the

KIB reports KD 5m profit in H1 2010 KUWAIT: Kuwait International Bank (KIB) achieved net profits of KD 5 million in the first half of this year compared to KD 3.48 million over the same period last year, KIB stated yesterday.

The bank’s statement issued on the Kuwait Stock Exchange website showed a hike in dividends from 3.73 fils to 5.38 fils, adding that profits made during the past three months ending on June 30, reached KD 4.7 million. The statement

ees and shareholders of American Airlines and our joint business partners in the oneworld alliance. We thank all of the regulators who reviewed our proposals, both here in the United States and in Europe, and all those persons and organizations that supported us in this effort. We look forward to delivering enhanced competition for customers on transatlantic flights. By working collaboratively, we will enhance our product offerings, strengthen our route networks and better position our airlines to compete in an ever-changing global aviation marketplace.” Iberia’s executive chairman, Antonio Vazquez, said: “We’re delighted we have received approval for our joint business as it will be very positive for our employees, our shareholders and, most important of all, our customers. A new kind of collaboration between our three airlines will lead to better service levels for our customers. This means that our customers will have more destinations to choose from around the world, better scheduled travel times, better connections and more competitive fares. I am convinced that consolidation is the best and only way to succeed in the airline industry, and the approval

we have received today to create a joint business is a very important step towards this consolidation process.” The airlines plan to launch the transatlantic joint business this autumn and will co-operate commercially on flights between the EU, Switzerland and Norway and the US, Canada and Mexico. Customers will be able to travel more easily on all three airlines’ combined route network that will serve 433 destinations in 105 countries with 5,178 daily departures, providing more frequent and convenient schedule options than any of the three carriers could offer individually. By working together, the airlines will expand customer choice by supporting routes that would not be economically viable for a single airline. Customers will also benefit from greater access to discounted fares, expanded opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and elite tier benefits on flights and continued reciprocal airport lounge access. Fellow oneworld members Finnair and Royal Jordanian also received antitrust immunity from the US Department of Transportation.

reserves behind Russia and Iran. Qatar, the world’s top LNG exporter, plans to reach capacity to export 77 million tons of LNG this year. The company posted half-year profit of 329.9 million riyals, it said in a statement to the bourse. It had reported a net profit of 163.4 million riyals in the first quarter of 2010. Net profit for the first half of 2009 amounted to 233.4 million riyals. Shares of Nakilat fell 0.5 percent to 18.40 riyals yesterday on the Qatar bourse before the results were announced. — Reuters

Etihad welcomes first Airbus A330-200 freighter aircraft

Airbus Technical Symposium in Berlin, after the airline was found to outperform other airline fleets based on a number of criteria for operational excellence over a two-year period; • Etihad passing its International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), which seeks to ensure that airlines are compliant with safety requirements and recommended practices determined by IATA; and • Etihad being named the Middle East’s Leading Airline at the World Travel Awards for the Middle East in May, one of six awards on the night, followed by winning the World’s Best First Class award at the Skytrax awards later in the month. James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are very pleased with our performance over the first half of this year. Despite the continuing economic challenges faced by all airlines, our investment in infrastructure and in our service offer is paying off. “Looking forward, the trends are promising, with forward bookings on an upward trajectory. We are also seeing signs of improvements in premium traffic. “With this continued improvement in our passenger and cargo traffic, particularly in the premium cabins, we are confident of meeting our targets.” The airline will operate a total of 1,032 flights a week this summer, a 16 per cent rise on the 888 weekly flights that operated during the same season in 2009. The airline has reported strong forward bookings for the summer.

Green light for transatlantic joint business KUWAIT: British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia have received the regulatory green light to operate a joint business on transatlantic flights. Following European Union approval on July 14, the airlines have now been granted anti-trust immunity from the US Department of Transportation. British Airways chief executive, Willie Walsh, said: “This final approval is fantastic news for all three airlines and the oneworld alliance. We’ve waited 14 years to bring the benefits of the transatlantic joint business to our customers and level the playing field with the other two global alliances. As we have argued all along, the EU-US market is highly competitive and Heathrow’s liberalization in 2008 opened it up even further. We are delighted that the US and EU authorities have recognized this. “We’re pleased that the DOT and EU have worked together to ensure that there is consistency in the number of slots that the three airlines have to give up for our competitors to use on services from Heathrow to the US.” American Airlines chief executive, Gerard Arpey, said: “This is a great day for the customers, employ-

will be additional investments, new business lines,” he said. Nakilat began a $6.8 billion financing program in 2006 to fund construction of 25 LNG ships at South Korean shipyards. The company plans to complete a fleet of more than 50 owned and partowned special LNG carrier vessels this year, giving it over 16 percent of the world’s LNG shipping fleet. It expects to account for over 30 percent of global LNG supply by 2011. The source of the gas is Qatar’s North Field, which contains 15 percent of proven world gas reserves. Qatar has the world’s third-largest gas

added that the total assets of the bank recorded KD 1.148 billion, whereas the total liabilities were KD 971.8 million, adding that the Central Bank of Kuwait approved the bank’s financial data yesterday. — KUNA

FARNBOROUGH: Etihad Airways and Airbus have participated in a handover ceremony at Farnborough International Air Show, celebrating the first A330-200 freighter aircraft to be produced. Etihad is the launch customer of the A330-200 freighter aircraft, which will enter service for Etihad’s cargo business, Etihad Crystal Cargo, in September. Etihad’s A330-200 freighter aircraft which can carry up to 64 metric tons of cargo and can fly up to 7,400 kilometers non-stop - will allow the airline’s cargo business to increase frequencies and build its presence in the high-growth European and Asian freight markets, in particular China. The handover ceremony was addressed by Etihad Chief Executive Officer James Hogan and Airbus President and CEO Tom Enders. Hogan said he was delighted to welcome the A330-200 freighter aircraft to the Etihad Crystal Cargo fleet. “Etihad Crystal Cargo has been performing very well for Etihad. Over the last quarter there was an 18 per cent increase in cargo tonnage carried, reflecting the strengthening recovery in our industry. We are focused on taking the right steps to achieve strong expansion and growth,” he said. “The new aircraft will become a key part of our freighter fleet and make a major contribution to building the strength and network of our cargo business. The additional capacity will help us significantly expand our footprint in Asia and Europe, including China, as well as enhancing our worldwide charter services.” Enders said: “Etihad’s A330-200 freighter aircraft will allow the airline’s cargo business to increase frequencies and build its presence in the high-growth European and Asian freight markets. Overall, the recovery of freight traffic is gaining significant momentum and this aircraft gives operators like Etihad Crystal Cargo the best product for maximizing returns.” Etihad will take delivery of its second A330-200 freighter aircraft in September, which will enter service by October, taking the airline’s fleet number to 56 aircraft. The A330-200 freighter aircraft is part of the airline’s order placed with Airbus at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget in 2007, for aircraft to be delivered between 2008 and 2011. The A330-200 freighter aircraft will be on display throughout the air show, after which it will undertake final pre-delivery preparation by the manufacturer in Toulouse. Etihad Crystal Cargo currently operates a fleet of four freighter aircraft which includes two Airbus A300-600s and two MD11s.

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BUSINESS GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT

KSE stocks rally on results KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) continued its upward trend for the fourth consecutive session yesterday boosted by positive news and higher - than expected quarterly results, which were announced yesterday. Global General Index (GGI) rose by 2.22 points (1.18 percent) during yesterday’s session to reach 190.63 points. While, KSE Price Index, gained 72.70 points (1.12 percent) and closed at 6,567.00 points. Market capitalization went up by KD367.16mn to reach KD31.51bn. Market breadth During the session, 112 companies were traded. Market breadth sharply skewed towards advancers, as 79 equities advanced versus 12 that retreated. A total of 121 stocks remained unchanged during yesterday’s trading session. Trading activities ended on a positive note yesterday as volume of shares traded on the exchange increased by 19.07 percent to reach 362.84mn shares, and value of shares traded rose by 32.92 percent to stand at KD52.50mn. The Real Estate Sector was the volume leader, accounting for 34.50 percent of total market volume. The Services Sector was the value leader for the day, accounting for 21.48 percent of total market value. Investors Holding Group Company topped the volume leaders’ list, with a total traded volume of 86.72mn

shares. While, Mobile Telecommunications Company appeared in the value leaders’ list with a total traded value of KD5.21mn. National Bank of Kuwait led the value list for the day with total traded value of KD6.70mn. In terms of top gainers, Kuwait Metal Pipe Industries and Oil Services took the top spot, adding 9.26 percent and closed at KD0.295 On the other hand, Fujairah Cement Industries Company decreased by 4.65 percent during yesterday’s session, to be the biggest loser. The

scrip closed at KD0.082. Sector-wise Regarding Global’s sectoral indices, all market sectors were in green led by Global Food Index, which soared 3.45 percent. Heavyweight, Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana) added 4.41 percent lifting the index to add this value. While, United Food Industrial Group was the biggest gainer among the sector gaining 6.41 percent. Global Industrial Index followed adding 2.80 percent to its value. National Industries Group (Holding) added 3.77

percent to its value. Most of the index’ components reported massive gains yesterday. Global Investment Index came in the third place increasing by 2.01 percent. Global Investment House remained the biggest gainer in the sector for the second consecutive news released in the last two days leading the stock to add 8.93 percent to its value. The scrip closes at KD0.61. Global’s special indices also ended the day on a positive note, with Global Small Cap gained 0.92 percent.

Also, Global Large Cap Index rose by 0.91 percent and Global Islamic Index added 1.10 percent to its value. Oil news The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $73.16 a barrel on Tuesday, compared with $72.94 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. Kuwait International Bank (KIB) achieved net profits of KD5mn in the first half of this year compared to KD3.48mn net loss reported over the same period of last year, KIB stated yesterday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

VIVA Kuwait ties up with Triathlon Club to promote better health Because a healthier life is a happier life KUWAIT: Understanding the importance or leading a healthy lifestyle, VIVA Kuwait announced a partnership with The Three Club, an extension of Pro Vision Sports Management Company. VIVA Kuwait will introduce the concept of Triathlon, a challenging activity, which involves swimming, running and cycling through its affiliation with The Three Club. The partnership aims to raise awareness about better health, and taking positive lifestyle steps that will ultimately enrich the community. Omar Al-Houti, VIVA Kuwait’s Corporate Communications said, “Our objective in partnering with the Three Club is to promote the healthy effect of sports and their importance in society.” This goal will be reached through lectures, training sessions and education. The Three

VIVA Kuwait and Triathlon Club officials address a press conference. —Photo by Joseph Shagra Club joint campaign with VIVA Kuwait will target youth over the next year. The Three Club will offer courses to students who will have to earn their positions in the course through a fitness test. The course will be an interactive 3 Days trial on Triathlon with an aim to inspire through sports. “Our sole aim out of this partnership is to develop our club fur-

ther and enable it to continue spreading the positive effects of engaging in a sport such as Triathlon,” said Rabaa Al-Hajri, co-founder and General Manager of The Three Club. “We would like to help raise that awareness through a company that shares similar aims. And for us VIVA Kuwait represents that,” added Al-Hajri.

From left to right: Saher Al-Alami (Training Manager, Porsche Middle East & Africa), Christian Goetze (Regional Operations Manager Porsche Middle East & Africa), Royce Dsouza (Service Advisor, Porsche Centre Kuwait) and Callum Bottomley (Service Manager, Porsche Centre Kuwait).

Porsche Centre Kuwait employee becomes first-ever ‘Certified Porsche Service Advisor’ KUWAIT: Royce Dsouza, an advisor at Porsche Centre Kuwait was recently accredited with the first ever “Certified Porsche Service Advisor” status. The Porsche certification system is a globally recognized initiative, which applies to all personnel who represent Porsche to its customers. The system combines both online and instructor-led training modules, that enhance

brand knowledge, skills and the behavior competencies of Porsche employees and takes around a year to obtain. Porsche emphasizes that its advisors put their best foot forward while interacting with customers and this certification shows that valued Porsche clients will always receive exceptional service, trusted advice and the highest standards of customer care.

BUSINESS

Thursday, July 22, 2010

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Fiat takes major step towards global megagroup MILAN: Italian auto giant Fiat yesterday announced board approval for a “demerger” of its non-car activities, a key step towards the dream of top executive Sergio Marchionne to create a global megagroup. Marchionne, credited with rescuing Fiat from its own crisis well before the global financial crisis, is seen to be positioning the group to join the fray as major world automakers seek new alliances. The news pushed Fiat shares up more than six percent on the Milan stock market, causing a temporary suspension of trading at the start. The group’s share price gained 5.25 percent to 9.53 euros in overall trading that was up 1.42 percent. The maverick chief executive moved quickly to benefit from the bankruptcy of US carmaker Chrysler, becoming its chief executive after Fiat acquired an ini-

tial 20-percent stake in the company last year in a no-cash deal offering small-car and green technology. Analysts expect the new structure to help Fiat integrate with Chrysler, which gives it a big distribution network in the United States, and to form other alliances as new players come onto the scene from emerging economies such as Russia and India. The Italian-Canadian Marchionne has said the two companies combined would produce six million vehicles by 2014 from four million today. The “demerger” calls for truck maker Iveco, agricultural and construction machines manufacturer Case New Holland and a part of engine maker Fiat Powertrain Technologies to be part of a new group to be called Fiat Industrial. The operation will leave a car-only Fiat with its own brand plus Ferrari, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and its

components and motor activities. Fiat said the move would “provide strategic and financial clarity to both businesses and enable them to strategically develop independently of each other.” The change will also “allow for the proper valuation in the capital markets of these two businesses,” Fiat said in a statement. For the time being, Fiat is maintaining its 2010 targets, but, citing improved demand, said it would “very likely” revise them upwards once thirdquarter results are in. Current targets include a turnover in excess of 50 billion euros ($64 billion) and an operating profit of no more than 1.2 billion euros and a net result at or near the break-even point. The group posted a net profit of 113 million euros in the second quarter compared with a loss of 179 million euros in the same period last year, it said yester-

day. In 2009, the company lost 848 million euros as the global auto industry was devastated by the global financial crisis, and in the first quarter of 2010 Fiat posted a net loss of 21 million euros. Chrysler meanwhile posted a loss of $3.8 billion for the period between June 10 last year-when it left bankruptcy protection-and December 31 but narrowed its 2010 first-quarter net loss to $197 million from $2.5 billion a year earlier. Fiat’s “demerger,” first announced in April, that will take effect on January 1, 2011, said the group, Italy’s biggest private employer with a national workforce of some 80,000. Shareholders are set to approve the operation at a September 16 general assembly. Fiat will roll out 34 new car models between 2010 and 2014, 13 of which are to be assembled by Chrysler in the United States and Mexico, Marchionne said in April. — AFP

Foreign customers snap up cars, industrial machinery TURIN: Fiat Group Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne appears on a video during a press conference to present the new Fiat 500 car in Turin. Italian auto giant Fiat yesterday announced board approval for a ‘demerger’ to hive off its non-car activities, a key step towards boss Sergio Marchionne’s dream of creating a global megagroup. —AFP

China’s provinces become battleground in WTO offer BEIJING: Talks over China’s offer to join the World Trade Organization’s government procurement agreement will likely focus on purchase practices by the country’s many provinces, where local protectionism tends to be more prevalent. Like most WTO members, China has not yet joined the GPA, which requires a separate negotiation process. Members of the sub-group, mostly wealthy developed countries, pledge to give each other reciprocal access to government tenders and purchases. People who have seen China’s revised offer, submitted this month, say a space has been left blank under the heading “sub-central government entities”, which is supposed to outline the levels of government that must abide by the agreement. China pledged to make an offer to join the GPA last year at a Sino-US summit, after an initial proposal in 2007 was rejected as inadequate by other member countries. The revised offer is much more acceptable to trading partners, with a five-year phase-in, instead of 15 years, and more central government bodies covered by the agreement. “I don’t see the entry as being altogether smooth. A lot of negotiation will still be needed, but altogether, the environment is so much better than when China entered the WTO,” said Zheng Zhihai, the vice chairman of the China Society for WTO Studies, under the Ministry of Commerce. “At the end of the day, it will go through because it suits the interests of both sides.” European, American and Japanese firms are lobbying for an open Chinese market and, in theory, joining the GPA would be to China’s benefit by granting reciprocal access in those countries. But in practice, the benefits of the GPA for Chinese firms would be limited, since their biggest projects are in developing Middle East and African countries which are not GPA mem-

bers Trading partners are dismayed that lowerlevel government bodies or state-owned enterprises are not included in China’s initial offer. State-owned enterprises, a hybrid between a government-run body and a competitive corporation, are also not currently included in China’s GPA offer. Many SOEs, like Baosteel or PetroChina, have actively sourced foreign equipment and technology during upgrades to international standards. But negotiators may be more concerned about insular state-owned monopolies like the State Grid Corp., which function more like government arms. The initial threshold for the size of deal that must be open to outsiders is also higher than that of other GPA members. China’s provinces have in the past imposed restrictions on buying goods made in other provinces to protect local producers. Unlike China’s hard-fought entry into the WTO, spearheaded by the Ministry of Commerce, talks on the GPA will be led by the Ministry of Finance, due to its authority over the state budget. In practice, government bodies tend to actively buy foreign goods, since officials often feel the guaranteed quality offsets the higher price, said Tu Xinquan, a WTO specialist at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. “The issue for government negotiators is that right now I voluntarily open. But the GPA would force me to be open,” Tu said. “That could limit the government’s freedom of action.” The lost policy latitude would include initiatives like “indigenous innovation” regulations, designed to support Chinese firms entering the high-tech sector or moving up the value chain. Those alarmed foreign companies as they encourage government bodies to preferentially source Chinese-owned and manufactured technology, goods and services. — Reuters

Workers strike at another auto parts plant in China GUANGZHOU: Workers at Japanese electronics maker Omron’s southern China factory have gone on strike, the latest disruption in the manufacturing hub over demands for better wages and working conditions. The burst of disputes that started in May has since affected more than a dozen mostly foreign-owned factories, raising questions about the region’s future as a low-cost manufacturing base. The Omron strikers, who walked off the job yesterday morning, are demanding a pay raise of at least 40 percent from their current salary of 1,270 yuan, with some workers saying they want an increase of 500 yuan ($74) per month and another saying the demand is for 800 yuan more. One of the strikers, who declined to give their names

because of concerns about retribution, said the factory makes mainly switches and ignition keys for Honda Motor, Ford, BMW and other car makers. A spokesman from Omron said 200-300 of its 800 workers had gone on strike at its Guangzhou plant, while workers said the number of strikers was more like 400-500. Beijing, which normally stamps out any kind of grassroots movement fearing a threat to stability and Communist Party rule, appears to be willing to tolerate the strikes, in part because they dovetail with many wider political goals. Higher wages help boost potential for domestic consumption, could rein in anger over a growing rich/poor gap, and help the country move up the value chain away from cheap manufacturing. Southern Guangdong

province, the country’s export hub, is even drafting a new law that the official Xinhua agency said would be the first in the country to set rules for wage negotiations and labour disputes. All was quiet at the factory in the city of Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, on a rainy Wednesday as a tropical storm approached. Some 10 people were gathered on a balcony at the plant, including one holding a sign with a mobile phone number to call. Others remained in the building, peering out of windows. “The cost of living in Guangzhou is rising but our wages from the factory aren’t increasing at the same pace,” said one woman who has been working at Omron for two years. —Reuters

BEIJING: A worker shows the way to a car outside the Buick showroom in Beijing yesterday. China’s growing importance to companies’ bottom lines has led foreign firms to complain more openly about what they say are unfair business policies and market restrictions, experts say. — AFP

German economy bounces back, post-stimulus boost BERLIN: Germany, Europe’s economic engine, is back in gear after a painful recession, as foreign customers snap up cars and industrial machinery and the country reaps the benefits of stimulus spending that helped keep the motor running at home during the downturn. In particAs things pick up, those programs are scaling back, while the government expects to exceed its economic growth estimate. Meanwhile, carmakers Daimler AG and BMW AG say their prospects have brightened — enough for BMW to pay workers a bonus to thank them for their commitment during the tough times. Not bad for a country where the economy shrank by a painful 4.9 percent only last year — easily the worst performance since World War II for Europe’s largest economy. Germany is now a bright spot in a Europe still shaking off recession and struggling with heavy levels of government debt in some countries. The economy minister proclaimed in parliament this month that Germany can be proud “that we are the economic locomotive for the whole European Union.” So far, the government is predicting 1.4 percent growth in 2010, but officials say they expect the real figure could be 2 percent. “We have a situation now in which the economic upswing is really robust,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday. “Germany proved to be stronger in this crisis than was thought — that, of course, has partly to do with the fact we took the right political measures.” Economists see more sedate growth ahead. But for now, the signs are rosy: Germany’s central bank, the Bundesbank, said in its July monthly report that “gross domestic product likely grew extremely strongly in the second quarter.” It gave no figure, but estimates for quarter-onquarter growth range up to 1.5 percent — a huge increase on the 0.2 percent seen in the previous two quarters. Official figures are due Aug. 13. The main driving force for Germany, a major exporter, remains the growing world economy, the Bundesbank said. Still, there’s general agreement that the way to recovery was paved in part by government spending, That included two stimulus packages worth some 80 billion euros ($104 billion), featuring infrastructure spending on roads, schools and other projects that is still keeping builders busy and a nowexpired car-scrapping bonus. That fueled sales at home for much of 2009; this year, big increases in demand from export markets such as China and the US have helped Germany’s automakers. Topend car companies Daimler AG and BMW AG both said last week they were upping their 2010 outlooks; BMW said it would pay German workers a special bonus averaging §1,060 each this month to reward their commitment during the economic crisis. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Germany’s performance during the crisis was its success in keeping down unemployment, which was tamed by widespread use of a government-backed program allowing companies to put workers on reduced hours in an effort to avoid layoffs. —AP

ular, economists point to government support for keeping workers on the job with shorter hours instead of laying them off — a measure that kept more money in people’s pockets and prevented a growth-killing spike in unemployment.

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses her last press conference before going on holidays in Berlin yesterday. Merkel rejected criticism that ‘stress tests’ being conducted on European banks were not stringent enough, saying they were “very realistic.” —AFP

Merkel says EU banking stress tests ‘realistic’ BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected yesterday criticism that “stress tests” being conducted on European banks were not stringent enough, saying they were “very realistic.” “The tests are being conducted in an environment where rescue packages are in place for Greece and the euro ... They cannot be conducted as if the rescue packages were not there,” Merkel told

reporters. “I believe that (the banks) are being measured against the real situation, the conditions are very realistic for these stress tests.” The London-based Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) is due to release tomorrow at 1600 GMT the results of tests on 91 European Union lenders accounting for 65 percent of the bloc’s banking system.

The tests are designed to determine how well banks would cope with further shocks such as economic growth slowing sharply or a European country defaulting on its debt. Similar tests in the United States helped soothe investor concerns about the state of the US banking system, but investors are worried that the European tests may not be tough enough. — AFP

Nordea Q2 profit hurt by financial market turmoil STOCKHOLM: Nordea AB, the Nordic region’s largest bank, yesterday said net profit fell almost 13 percent in the second quarter, mainly due to difficult market conditions as well as lower net interest income. Net profit in the quarter dropped to 537 million euros ($694 million), compared with 616 million euros in the same period last year. The bank, headquartered in Stockholm, said profits were hurt by the economic turbulence, higher interest rates, tighter credit spreads and a weaker rebound in stock markets than hoped for. Net interest income, its main source of income, fell to 1.25 billion euros, from 1.3 billion euros in the same three months in 2009, while net fee and commission income rose, to 538 million euros from 412 million euros. Net loan losses amounted to 245 million euros compared to 425 million euros in the same quarter last year. Nordea CEO Christian Clausen said that in terms of the macroeconomic environment, the euro-zone’s recent sovereign debt crisis has hit the banking sector through heightened risks, stressed funding markets as well as higher interbank margins. But, he said,

economies in the Nordics seem to have stabilized, and all of them are expected to show positive growth rates in 2010 and 2011. “Nordea’s results are affected by both trends,” he said. In its outlook for the rest of the year, Nordea said that even though the “global devel-

opment is still fragile,” with some uncertainty, the outlook for the Nordics has improved. The bank reiterated its forecast that risk-adjusted profit is expected to fall in 2010 compared to 2009, and that net loan losses will be lower in 2010 than in 2009. Jyske Bank ana-

lyst Christian Hede said the results were “exactly what was expected.” Hede said that if Nordea’s own investments had gone according to plan in terms of stronger equity markets and higher interest rates, “that’s what could have made a difference.” — AP

STOCKHOLM: Christian Clausen, chief executive officer of Nordea Bank AB, presents the company’s second-quarter report in Stockholm yesterday. Nordea, the Nordic region’s largest bank, said net profit fell almost 13 percent in the second quarter, mainly due to difficult market conditions as well as lower net interest income. —AFP

BUSINESS

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fed chief focused on keeping recovery alive

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S Bernanke listens during a forum at J Sergeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond, Virginia. — AP

WASHINGTON: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke heads to Congress on Wednesday with a message of reassurance: The Fed stands ready to take new steps to bolster the recovery if the economy worsens. The Fed chief kicks off back-to-back appearances on Capitol Hill at a delicate time for the economy. The recovery, which had been flashing signs of strengthening earlier this year, is losing momentum. And fears are growing that it could stall. Consumer have cut spending. Businesses, uncertain about the strength of their own sales or the economic recovery, are sitting on cash, reluctant to beef up hiring and expand operations. A stalled housing market, near double-digit unemployment and an edgy Wall Street shaken by Europe’s debt crisis are other factors playing into the economic slowdown. Bernanke, who is scheduled to deliver his twice-ayear economic report to the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday afternoon, will probably again downplay the odds that the economy will slide

back into a “double dip” recession. But at the same time, he’ll strike a more cautious tone, pointing out that the fragile economy is still vulnerable to shocks. To strengthen the economy, the Fed is likely to hold a key bank lending rate at a record low near zero well into 2011, or possibly into 2012, economists predict. That would mean rates on certain credit cards, home equity loans, some adjustable-rate mortgages and other consumer loans would stay at their lowest point in decades. Ultra-low lending rates, however, haven’t done much lately to rev up the economy. Consumers and businesses are cautious and aren’t showing an appetite to spend as lavishly as they usually do in the early stages of economic recoveries. Even though the prospects of deflation — a widespread and prolonged drop in prices for goods, the value of stocks and homes and in wages — is remote, some Fed officials are worried about it. Keeping rates low would help prevent deflationary forces from taking hold. Against such a backdrop, Fed officials at their June meeting cut their forecasts for growth this

year. They also saw the need to explore new options for energizing the rebound. That’s a turnaround from earlier this year when they were moving to wind down crisis-era supports. If the recovery were to deteriorate, the Fed could revive programs to buy mortgage securities or government debt. It could lower the interest rate paid to banks on money left at the Fed or cut the rate banks pay for emergency Fed loans. The Fed also could create a new program to spark more lending to businesses and consumers in a bid to lure them to ratchet up spending and grow the economy. The economic hurdles to taking such steps would be high, analysts say. There’s also unease within the Fed about taking additional stimulative steps because of fear they could spur inflation or speculative excesses by investors later on. Bernanke will be under more pressure than usual because it’s an election year. Upset by high unemployment, rising foreclosures and lackluster wage gains, voters may seek to punish incumbent Democrats and Republicans in Congress if the econo-

my doesn’t get better. The unemployment rate, now at 9.5 percent, is expected to stay high — in the 9 percent range — through the end of this year, under the Fed’s forecast. Despite the wobbly recovery, there’s little appetite in Congress to enact a major new stimulus package. Senate Republicans in particular have balked at spending more when the government is already saddled with record high budget deficits. Bernanke appears before the House Financial Services Committee today. When Bernanke delivered his economic report to Congress in February, he struck a confident note that the rebound would endure. But he warned it would not be robust enough to quickly lower unemployment. At the same time, he was laying the groundwork for the Fed to start boosting rates once the recovery was firmly entrenched. Now, given rising threats to the rebound, prospects of a rate increase this year have disappeared, and the Fed is more focused on keeping the recovery alive. — AP

Deficit drops to 137 million dinars in Jan-May

Jordan budget gap shrinks as spending freeze bites AMMAN: J orda n’s budget deficit more tha n ha lved in the first five months of the yea r a s the government ma inta ined a freeze on nonessentia l ca pita l spending, fina nce ministry sources sa id yesterda y. They sa id the shortfa ll shra nk to 137 million dina rs ($193 million) from 348.3 million dina rs in the sa me period of 2009 - a yea r w hich ended

w ith a record deficit of nine percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The a uthorities ha ve sca led dow n tens of millions of dolla rs w orth of non-essentia l ca pita l projects a s pa rt of a usterity mea sures to sla sh its deficit to 6.3 pct of GDP this yea r a nd help its economy ride out the globa l dow nturn.

JAKARTA: An investor monitors Indonesian stocks prices at a bank in Jakarta yesterday. Indonesia’s stock market reached an all-time closing high of 3,013.40 boosted by markets around Asia and optimism about first-half corporate earnings. — AFP

Sugar trade’s sweet spot turns sour in Thailand BANGKOK: Bangkok’s ubiquitous street food vendors who feed millions of the Thai capital’s residents each day are being hit by surging costs for sugar after a government failure to ensure adequate supplies of the sweetener forced Thailand to import it for the first time in 30 years. Eggs are becoming much more expensive too after fewer layer hens were imported in a deliberate move by producers to push up prices. For now, vendors are not passing on the higher costs. But if prices continue to rise, many say it’s only a matter of time before customers pay more for sugary treats, khai jiaao — Thai omelet — and other popular dishes. Thailand, the world’s second-biggest sugar exporter, produces roughly 7 million metric tons of sugar per year. Usually about two million tons of that production is reserved for sale to ordinary Thais but the stockpile has been exhausted after world sugar prices hit a three decade high of $750 a ton in January. Prices have fallen from the January peak but remain higher than a year earlier. To alleviate the shortage the Thai government bought 74,350 tons of sugar at $705 to $720 per ton last week. Street food vendors who rely on the commodity say they have yet to feel any relief. “There’s nothing I can do, I have to sell my fruit every day,” said Charoen Saengsilp, 51, a Bangkok fruit vendor from Kamphaengphet in northern Thailand, who now pays 28 baht ($0.87) for a kilo of sugar, up 10 baht ($0.31) from last year. That’s higher than the government mandated retail price for sugar of 23.5 baht a kilo, which is often flouted by

shops because enforcement of the price controls is patchy. Charoen has not passed on the cost increase to his customers for the sugar, salt and chili paste he serves with guava and mango, but says he may be forced to if prices continue to rise. He says sugar is also harder to find in shops. A sign in a downtown Tops supermarket asks customers to limit their sugar purchases to 3 kilograms per family. Some believe the shortage is due to greedy traders selling sugar meant for the local market to buyers overseas to profit from the high world price. “The government tried to tell the producer: you are supposed to fulfill domestic demand first and then send abroad,” says Thanawat Polvichai, an economist and director of the Center for Economic and Business Forecasting at the Thai Chamber of Commerce University. But “world prices were quite high and the traders wanted to get more profit.” Prasert Tapaneeyangkul, secretary-general to the Industry Ministry’s Cane and Sugar board, said the shortage of sugar on shop shelves was mainly due to the country’s growing demand — particularly in the beverage industry, which has grown by a quarter in the first six months of 2010 over a year earlier. Thanawat, however, says that would only point to big problems in the sugar market since industrial buyers are supposed to get their sugar from the quota available for export rather than the stockpile intended to supply shops. Thailand plans to set aside at least 2.3 million tons of next year’s expected sugar crop of 6

million tons to be sure to meet local demand, Prasert said. A nationwide egg shortage, meanwhile, is compounding the problem for some street vendors. Lek Saetang, 58, serves omelets and hard boiled eggs to hungry city folks in a downtown Bangkok alley. The four dozen eggs she buys each day now cost 4 baht ($0.12) each, twice the price a few months back. Korbsak Sabhavasu, the director of the egg board, said the reason behind the price hike is “a little bit nasty ... you might say collusion of some sort.” The nine companies authorized to import layer hens chose privately to import less than the 400,000 they informally agreed on with the Egg Board. For two years in a row, they imported only 360,000 hens, in a bid to boost prices, said Korbsak, who investigated at the request of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. “This is a big market. Each egg costs 3 baht a piece but you are talking about 30 million eggs a day. That’s 90 million baht a day and 30 billion baht ($929 million) a year,” said Korbsak. In response to the egg price increase, the government scrapped the hen import quota, opened hen importation to new companies, and asked a local university this month to make recommendations for a revamped egg board in the next 60 days. Lek hopes they will be successful. “It’s inevitable if the prices go up that I must pass the price increase onto consumers,” or reduce the menu, she said. “The government must control the price or vendors and consumers will be negatively affected.” — AP

Total expenditure, mainly civil service pay and debt servicing, fell 8.3 percent to 2.144 billion dinars until May against 2.338 billion dinars in the same period last year, according to the official data obtained by Reuters. Last year the aid-dependent country ran up a record budget deficit of 1.45 billion dinars or 9 percent of GDP, much bigger than expected, as public finances came under strain after the global downturn hurt domestic demand and foreign cash flows, including remittances from expatriates in the Gulf. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and major donors have expressed concern at the high level of government spending relative to the size of the economy. It accounts for more than 45 percent of the country’s GDP. Most of the savings came from a sharp 45 percent drop in capital expenditure by 224 million dinars in the first five months of 2010 against the same period 2009, the data showed. As part of the public spending cuts the government is offering major infrastructure projects through private-public partnerships under lucrative terms that attract foreign investors. The finance ministry data showed total state revenues, which include general sales tax, income taxes and foreign grants, rose a marginal 0.8 percent to 2.007 billion dinars against 1.990 billion dinars in the same period last year. The latest figures include a rise in foreign aid to 129 million dinars in grants from major Western donors-the United States, the European Union and Japan-from 95.9 million dinars. The government has since January undertaken two rounds of hefty tax hikes, including on gasoline, to offset lower revenues due to the double impact of the global downturn and major personal tax breaks to spur investments and domestic consumption. Top economic policymakers pin their hopes of boosting revenues on an improved business climate that attracts more capital inflows as the economy begins to recover from the downturn. Officials say they expect in 2010 nearly $1 billion in grants and loans from major Western donors and Gulf Arab states — almost double last year’s levels. Foreign aid has long cushioned Jordan’s economy from disruptions and helped finance almost half of its budget deficit. A sharp decrease in aid contributed to the budget deficit spiralling to record levels in 2009, officials say. — Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR: A vendor updates sales register inside her shop for women shoes and slippers in downtown Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia surprisingly hiked fuel and sugar prices last week to reduce expensive subsidies. —AFP

Turkish cement sector faces energy cost hit ISTANBUL: Turkey’s cement sector growth could hit double-digits this year on domestic demand, although higher energy prices will likely sap profits, Turkey’s Cement Manufacturers’ Association (TCMA) said. Chairman Adnan Ignebekcili told Reuters the industry association expected growth of 8 percent to 10 percent would feed into higher revenues, although profits would lag 2009. “Revenues will rise slightly as prices increase, but costs will increase by a larger amount. Import coal and petrocoke prices have risen 100 percent since the start of the year,” he added. Energy costs amount for more than 50 percent of costs. “Profits are seen below 2009 figures as a result,” he said. According to TCMA, cement production increased by 13.2 percent in the first four months of 2010, to 18 million tons, and domestic sales rose 14.2 percent to 12.7 million tons. Turkey’s buoyant domestic market had nothing to do with forthcoming elections in 2011, which in the past have triggered a building boom, he said. Ignebekcili said Turkey’s cement sector has become Europe’s largest and the world’s fifth-

largest cement producer with 58 million tons of output. “We expect 8-10 percent growth in total production. In that case we will outperform Japan to become the world’s 4th largest producer.” Ignebekcili said Turkey, the world’s largest cement exporter last year, would likely see total exports this year of at least 18-19 million tons. A slight increase in cement exports had been offset by a 30 percent contraction in clinker exports, however. Foreign investors could try to enter the attractive Turkish cement sector if strong sales and exports continued. The largest Turkish cement makers were close to reaching expansion limits in Turkey and might eye acquisition opportunities in Iraq, Syria, Azerbaijan and Central Asia or north and west Africa. Turkey’s index of cement stocks has risen 18.4 percent since the start of 2010, outperforming the Istanbul Stock Exchange’s top 100 which has risen around 10 percent. Major players include Sabanci Holding-owned Cimsa and Akcansa. — Reuters

EU appeals against WTO ruling on Airbus subsidies GENEVA: The European Union said it would file an appeal against the World Trade Organization’s ruling that partly backed a US complaint over state support for aerospace giant Airbus. “The EU will lodge on Wednesday its appeal with the WTO Appellate Body on the panel report concerning Airbus support,” Brussels said in a statement. “While the report sides with the EU in rejecting a significant number of US claims, there are other aspects of the report which need to be corrected or clarified,” it said. In a 1,200-page ruling made public in June on Washington’s complaint, the WTO had asked EU states to halt some aid for the development and export of Airbus airliners. It notably accepted three out of seven claims by Washington that key launch aid amounted to export subsidies, which are illegal under WTO rules. WTO arbitrators had also found that 21 instances of support granted to Airbus for the launch of the A300 aircraft series amounted to subsidies as the interest rates levied were charged at below market rate. Brussels said it would challenge the findings on export subsidies and on launch aid measures. It is also contesting the ruling that a causal link has been established between support to Airbus and adverse effects to Boeing. In addition, it is disputing the panel’s conclusion that infrastructure made available by EU member states to Airbus in

Hamburg, Bremen and Toulouse amounted to illegal subsidies. “This dispute is too important to allow the legal misinterpretations of the panel to go unchallenged,” said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht. “What is more, not appealing would allow for an unhelpful precedent for the WTO membership as a whole,” he added. Brussels pointed out that the case was not only unprecedented in factual but also legal complexity, and addressed issues that had not been previously settled in WTO caselaw. “A damaging precedent could arise if certain of the panel’s legal interpretations are allowed to stand, resulting not only in a disservice to the entire WTO membership, but also putting an unwarranted burden on Airbus and the member states concerned,” warned the EU. Under WTO rules, the appellate body should make a decision on the appeal within 90 days. However, given the complexity of the case, Brussels expects the decision to be delayed, further stretching out the complaint pitting the two aerospace rivals that began in 2004. Meanwhile, a counter claim filed at the WTO by the European Union against US state financing for Boeing has also been delayed. The WTO was meant to have delivered a ruling in July, but has postponed it to as late as mid-September, a move that has angered the European Union. — AFP

Thursday, July 22, 2010

TECHNOLOGY

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HP looking to secure 'PalmPad' trademark We already know that HP, the new owner of Palm, is intent on cranking out a tablet based on WebOS, the innovative mobile platform that the touchscreen Palm Pre is based on. Now comes word that HP is seeking a trademark for the word "PalmPad," along with chatter that the new slate device might even accept input from a digital pen. MyHPMini (via PreCentral.net) found HP's trademark filing in the US Patent and Trademark Office's online database. The request itself, which was filed July 9 and has yet to be approved, doesn't tell us a whole lot besides the facts that HP wants the word "PalmPad" for itself and that the trademark would apply to products running the gamut from "computer hardware" and "computer software" to "electronic notepads" and "mobile digital electronic devices" - an awfully broad range of gadgets. Still, the "PalmPad" name will ring a bell for anyone who's ever heard of the iPad, although Examiner tech writer Daryl Deino reports that an HP source tells him that the name is no more official than Hurricane, a earlier (rumored) code

name for the WebOS tablet. Deino has another interesting tidbit from the same anonymous source: that the PalmPad (or whatever it ends up being called) will have a capacitive touchscreen capable of accepting input from a digital pen, as do HP's existing "tm" line of TouchSmart notebooks. That would be a handy feature for anyone who wants to scribble notes onto the tablet without having to tap on a virtual QWERTY keypad, or drafting sketches on a job site. Of course, we're getting a little ahead of ourselves here. All we know for certain is that HP is prepping a series of WebOS devices that'll include "slate PCs and netbooks," while even the "PalmPad" name is (apparently) up in the air. Still, the prospect of a tablet that runs on Palm's easy-to-use, multitasking WebOS (it's hard to beat the WebOS "deck" of apps, which you can swipe to switch or flick up to quit) plus support for digital pens is pretty enticing. So, should HP call its WebOS tablet the "PalmPad"? Like the idea of digital pen input, or should HP go the all-touch way, a la the iPad? —Yahoo

Amazon: E-books now outselling hardcovers According to Amazon.com, e-books have become so popular that they are now outselling hardcover books, with 180 e-books sold for every 100 hardcovers that go out the door, at least over the last month. (Free books are excluded from that figure.) That's downright incredible, to the point where it boggles the mind. I consider myself a man of the world, and I can assure you that I don't see anywhere close to as many people reading Kindles as I do reading hardcovers though, of course, these figures only apply to Amazon shoppers and not to those who might have bought books from other stores. Still, assuming Amazon is telling the truth and not manipulating the numbers in some way, this kind of growth is truly phenomenal. In fact, according to the company, e-book sales are on an outright rampage. Over the last three months, the ratio of e-book to hardcover sales was 143 to 100, so the numbers are absolutely skyrocketing

now. (Amazon says this is because the Kindle now costs just $189, which has opened it up as a truly mainstream product.) Overall e-book sales in the first half of 2010 are three times as high as that in the same period from a year earlier. The company is also justifiably proud that it continues to lead its competitors on e-book sales, noting that of the 1.14 million e-books sold by James Patterson, 867,000 of them were sold for the Kindle platform. Are we genuinely experiencing a shift in the way books are read, the first since the dawn of the softcover? The writing may indeed be on the wall (or the Kindle) - though I notice that Amazon doesn't mention how e-book sales compare in relation to paperbacks. Still, as the New York Times notes, the day is probably inevitable when e-books will overtake print in all its forms: One expert quoted says that within 10 years, fewer than 25 percent of all books will be sold in paper versions. —Yahoo

TOKYO: In a picture taken on July 14, 2010 an employee of Japan's second largest mobile communicator KDDI displays the prototype model of an Augmented reality (AR) mobile phone at the Wireless Japan exhibition in Tokyo. The mobile phone displays an animated character in the camera captured image.—AFP

NY man claims majority possession of website

Facebook ownership claim lands in court BUFFALO: Facebook will try to get a New York man's claim for majority ownership of the website thrown out of court, attorneys for the social networking site said Tuesday. A complaint by Paul Ceglia of Wellsville, New York, claims that a 7year-old contract he signed with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for software development entitles him to 84 percent of the company. "No one's ever said it's not his signature or it's a fake contract," Ceglia attorney Terrence Connors said during a federal court hearing in Buffalo. Connors said the two men met when Zuckerberg, then a Harvard University freshman, responded to an ad Ceglia had posted on Craigslist looking for someone to develop software for a street-mapping

database he was creating. Zuckerberg offered to take on Ceglia's project for $1,000, Connors said, and then told Ceglia about a project of his own, a kind of online yearbook for Harvard students that he wanted to expand. Ceglia said he gave Zuckerberg another $1,000 to continue work on Zuckerberg's "The Face Book," with the condition that Ceglia would own a 50 percent interest in the software and business if it expanded. The percentage grew to 84 percent based on a clause that added a percentage point for each day the project went past its Jan. 1, 2004, due date. Zuckerberg's undertaking "at that time was a fledgling project," Connors said. "Who knew it would turn into what it has turned into today." Facebook

recently celebrated its 500 millionth user, Connors said. At the center of Ceglia's claim is a two-page "work for hire" contract bearing the names of both men. Facebook attorney Lisa Simpson acknowledged on Tuesday that Zuckerberg and Ceglia had worked together on the street-mapping website but said the contract submitted by Ceglia was full of "inconsistencies, undefined terms and things that don't make sense." "We have serious questions about the authenticity of this contract," Simpson told U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara. "What the contract asserts is there is a relationship about Facebook and there isn't one." Ceglia's complaint was filed in state Supreme Court in Allegany County on June 30 and trans-

ferred to federal court at Facebook's request. Ceglia was the subject of a temporary restraining order issued by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in December 2009, after Cuomo said a wood-pellet fuel company operated by Ceglia and his wife took more than $200,000 from consumers and failed to deliver the pellets or refunds. The case is pending. A telephone listing for Allegany Pellets was not in service Tuesday. In 2008, Palo Alto, California-based Facebook settled a lawsuit over its origins brought by three of Zuckerberg's former Harvard classmates, who claimed he turned their idea into Facebook after they hired him to work on a website that later became ConnectU.— AP

Fujitsu 'easy-easy' seniors' phone has one-touch Internet TOKYO: Japan's Fujitsu launched a new mobile telephone for the elderly yesterday, its latest "Raku-Raku" or "easy-easy" model, with a large, crisp display and one-touch Internet access. Users of the phone, designed in Japan for telecom giant NTT, have access to a special website with travel and gourmet information tailored to the needs of senior citizens, as well as news, weather and transport details. The waterproof clamshell model also features an application called "Naoko Takahashi's Walking Clinic", named after an Olympic gold medalist

and former marathon runner, which analyzes the user's stride. The phone boasts an 8.1-megapixel "smart camera" that can take pictures automatically when it detects that the subjects are smiling, and sounds an alarm when a finger obscures the lens. Fujitsu's previous Raku-Raku phones have sold more than 17.8 million units since 2001 in Japan, a rapidly greying society with one of the world's longest life expectancies and lowest birth rates. Fujitsu did not announce plans to market the phone outside Japan.—AFP

Business wire launches EventTrak SAN FRANCISCO: Business Wire introduced EventTrak by Business Wire, a detailed media intelligence report available for more than 100 technology events that enables communications professionals to formulate a more effective tradeshow public relations plan and be in the best position to capitalize on publicity opportunities related to their tradeshow participation. For a specific tradeshow, the public relations team receives a pre-show report up to two months prior to show start detailing media/blogger coverage of the prior year's show. The report includes publication name, author, date published and a direct link to the article. Users may search within this data, download and export contacts and review "hot themes" for the upcoming show. Approximately two weeks after the tradeshow ends, the user will receive a post-show report in the same format with updated coverage data. "Since Business Wire serves more than 600 tradeshows each year and thousands of exhibiting companies, we're in a unique position to see where needs exist for public relations and communications professionals," said Leon Harbar, Vice President of Global Tradeshows and Events at Business Wire. "Public relations teams are looking for how to attract interest and engage with journalists, bloggers and others covering their tradeshow. "They need actionable, advance information that will help them formulate their messaging

based on current media and blogger trends in coverage. It goes beyond just generic media interest or social media monitoring data. We provide detailed and usable data so that exhibitors can set up effective meetings and track measurable results at tech tradeshows," Harbar added. EventTrak by Business Wire is the latest inhouse innovation to Business Wire's suite of tradeshow and event news services and was created in collaboration with IT Database, working closely with event organizers and clients. Travis Van, Founder of ITDatabase, said, "By focusing on where the actual coverage opportunities are around each event, EventTrak provides much more useful data for exhibitor media outreach and tracking." As the leading press release distribution service for tradeshow exhibitors, Business Wire recently expanded its tradeshow and financial conference services with the addition of client-controlled, event-specific Online Press Kits. Business Wire, which serves more than 600 tradeshows, conferences and events each year, has hosted event-specific online press centers since 1995. Visit BusinessWire.com to learn more about EventTrak and all of Business Wire's event news release distribution services. Follow TradeshowNews.com on Twitter @TradeshowNews and become a fan of our Facebook page. —AFP

BEIJING: Contestants remote control their robots as they take part in China's 10th National Robot Competition in Beijing on Tuesday.—AFP

HEALTH & SCIENCE

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Drug firms keen, others reluctant on AIDS pool Merck, Gilead, Tibotec in advanced talks on patent pool

VIENNA: Protesters demand more support for AIDS victims at a protest in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday. —AP

Withdraw Avastin approval as breast cancer treatment: Experts WASHINGTON: A panel of experts on Tuesday recommended that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdraw approval of Roche’s best-selling cancer drug Avastin for the treatment of breast cancer. Experts on the advisory panel voted 12 to one to recommend that the FDA remove the indication from Avastin’s label that the drug be used with chemotherapy to treat advanced breast cancer.

The recommendation came after trials showed that taking Avastin did not benefit patients with metastatic breast cancer and “that there were, indeed, more side effects when patients took Avastin,” FDA spokeswoman Karen Riley told AFP. Avastin had been approved for treatment of advanced breast cancer under the FDA’s accelerated approval program, which allows provisional approval of medicines for can-

cer or other life-threatening diseases. The final decision on whether to remove the breast cancer indication from the Avastin label will be taken by the FDA and will only affect the use of Avastin to treat breast cancer patients in the United States. “The recommendation does not impact the use of Avastin for advanced breast cancer in other countries,” Genentech, the Roche-owned pharmaceutical company that

makes Avastin, said in a statement. Riley was unable to say when the FDA will make its decision on whether or not to remove the breast cancer indication from Avastin’s US label. Genentech said the decision was expected by midSeptember. The panel’s recommendation does not affect the use of Avastin to treat other cancers, including colon and lung cancers. —AFP

WASHINGTON: People watch through an underwater viewing area as a polar bear reaches toward a fish while being fed at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in an 11-foot deep saltwater pool Monday in Tacoma, Wash. —AP

VIENNA: Drugmakers Merck, Tibotec and Gilead are in advanced talks with UNITAID about a patent pool to make AIDS drugs more widely available to the poor, the health funding agency said yesterday. But ViiV H e a l t h c a r e - a GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer joint venture company for AIDS drugs and a key player in this market — does not appear keen to join the pool, a senior UNITAID adviser said. “ViiV is, I would say, the least interested in making this work,” Ellen ‘t Hoen, an expert on intellectual property at UNITAID told reporters at an international conference on AIDS in Vienna. “We had expected a bit of a warmer reception.” GSK, the majority partner in ViiV, has in the past agreed to join patent pools on malaria and neglected diseases, but has always stopped short of offering to pool patents on medicines for HIV/AIDS, which it does not consider a neglected disease. ViiV said last week it was opening its entire AIDS product line-up to generic drugmakers working in the world’s poorest countries-a move Hoen said they had cited as a reason for their reluctance to join the UNITAID pool. UNITAID announced the plan for a patent pool in December. The idea is to allow manufacturers of generic drugs to make low-cost versions of widely patented new medicines by creating a system for patent holders to license their technology in exchange for royalties. It is expected to save poor countries more than $1 billion a year in drug costs. Around 33.4 million people around the world are currently living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS, but the vast majority of those people live in poor regions such as Africa and Asia, where medicines have to be very cheap to allow those who need them to get them. Hoen said the idea was that this would be a “one stop shop” for generic makers to negotiate rights to make patent-protected AIDS drugs such as combination antiretroviral therapies and a new class of medicines called integrase inhibitors. One of the strengths of the pool should be that as more big brand drug firms join, pressure will build on others to follow suit, prompting more interest from generic drugmakers and therefore even greater price competition. “The greater the competition between producers, the more one can expect the price of medicines to fall,” Hoen said. But the weakness, she admitted, is that the system is voluntary: “At the end of the day, the patent holders willingness to do this is crucial,” she said. “We are talking to all of them, and a number of the key companies that also have newer products have said ‘we want to see if we can help make this work’.” In the “first wave” are Merck, Tibotec, which is owned by Johnson & Johnson, and Gilead, Hoen said. “With those companies we have had several conversations and we are now talking about how rather than whether.” The ViiV pipeline includes an experimental integrate inhibitor-a drug that prevents a virus from integrating its genome into the DNA of the infected cell-which is being jointly developed with Shionogi. New clinical trial data on this drug will be reported in Vienna today. UNITAID, a drug-purchasing body that provides long-term funding for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in developing nations, has identified 19 drugs from nine firms for potential inclusion into the pool. — Reuters

Meat lovers gain more weight over time: Study NEW YORK: Being a little less carnivorous may help you stay slim, according to a European study. Researchers from Imperial College London found that avid meat eaters gained more weight over 5 years than those who ate less meat but the same amount of calories. When the researchers looked at different types of meat, they found the strongest association with weight gain was poultry, followed by processed meats and red meat. “Our results suggest that a decrease in meat consumption may improve weight management,” the researchers wrote in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (http://link.reuters.com/typ58

m). The research involved more than 100,000 men and 270,000 women from 10 European countries who took part in a study of cancer and nutrition and other lifestyle factors. Danes, Germans, Spaniards and Swedes were the biggest meat-eaters, with men eating around 300 calories worth of meat daily and women consuming 200 calories. Amongst the nations surveyed, Greeks ate the least meat, with men eating about 200 calories a day and women 140 calories. Over a 5-year follow-up period, both men and women gained about a pound a year on average, although women gained a little less. But the researchers found

the more meat a person ate, the more they gained. For every additional 250 grams of meat a person ate daily-which is the equivalent of a halfpound, 450-calorie steak-their 5-year weight gain would be 4.4 pounds greater. Based on the findings, a person who cut their meat consumption by 250 grams daily, or about half a pound, could conceivably reduce their 5-year weight gain by around 4 pounds. The researchers led by Dr. Anne-Claire Vergnaud said while this is a relatively small amount of weight from an individual’s point of view, gaining an average of 4 pounds in 5 years “could have an important effect from a population perspective.”— Reuters

Circumcision could halt four million new African HIV cases VIENNA: More than 4 million new HIV infections could be prevented in eastern and southern Africa by 2025 if male circumcision rates were increased to 80 percent, researchers said on Tuesday. Expanding circumcision services to 80 percent of adult and newborn males in the region would also save $20.2 billion in HIVrelated health costs between 2009 and 2025, they said. “With global resources spread thin, we must focus on expanding proven and cost-effective methods like male circumcision to prevent HIV transmission,” Krishna Jafa, an HIV expert at health aid group Population Services International (PSI), said at an AIDS conference in Vienna. Jafa’s comments echoed former U.S. President Bill Clinton and philanthropist Bill Gates, who both used speeches to the conference to call for rapid scale-up of male circumcision as a cost-effective way to prevent the spread of HIV. Sub-Saharan Africa carries the greatest burden of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS, accounting for 67 percent of the 33.4 million people living with the virus worldwide. An estimated 1.9 million people were newly infected with HIV in the region in 2008. Research cited by the World Health Organization has shown that male circumcision can reduce a man’s risk of getting HIV by up to 60 percent. PSI presented results of a study from Zimbabwe, where researchers designed and tried out an efficiency model called MOVE, aimed at increasing the numbers of male circumcisions by using better techniques, train-

ing, equipment and staff. In a pilot of the new system, a team of two doctors and three nurses was able to carry out four circumcisions at the same time and increase their rate from three operations per hour to 10, the results showed. Over 12 months of the pilot, around 6,500 men were circumcised. The findings also showed the quality of the procedure was not compromised and there were no increases in the percentage of men reporting bad side effects afterwards. In March 2007, the WHO and United Nations UNAIDS group recommended male circumcision as an effective HIV prevention. The PSI study found that in Zimbabwe alone, which has an adult HIV rate of 13.7 percent and a male circumcision rate of just over 10 percent, 750,000 new HIV infections could be prevented if 80 percent of men were to be circumcised. It also found there was high demand for the procedure. Bill Gates, whose Gates Foundation spends much of its $34 billion fund on fighting HIV, told the AIDS conference on Monday he had been surprised by the number of men in Africa who wanted to be circumcised to reduce their risk of contracting HIV. “I was doubtful that a large number of men would sign up for it. I’m glad to say I was wrong,” he said. “Wherever there are clinics available, men are volunteering to be circumcised in huge numbers-far more than I expected.” But Gates said while more than 41 million men in sub-Saharan Africa could benefit from it, only 150,000 have been circumcised in the past few years. — Reuters

South African hospital links 6 baby deaths to poor hygiene JOHANNESBURG: Poor hygiene led to the deaths of six newborn babies at a Johannesburg hospital in May, a health department investigation found yesterday. “Our investigation showed that the cause of death for all six babies was related to an intestinal virus which is spread by contaminated hands,” provincial health boss Qedani Mahlangu told a news conference. “The cause of death appears to be related to a highly virulent outbreak of gastroenteritis in the premature baby unit,” the department’s report said. Mahlangu ruled out negligence among

the nurses, saying a chain of events prevented them from meeting hygiene standards. “In some cases there were not enough washing basins, sanitisers and paper towels,” said Mahlangu. The report identified overcrowding and staff shortages as a major contributor to poor hygiene at the hospital. HIV exposure was ruled out as the cause of infection. “Our nurses are overloaded, sometimes you find that one nurse is responsible for up to seven newborn babies. That is way higher than the ideal 1:2 ratio,” said Mahlangu. South Africa generally has a high infant mortality rate,

with 44 babies dying out of every 1,000 born. That is among the lowest rates in Africa, but very high compared to developed countries. In Sweden the rate is 3.2 per 1,000. “Hospitals are usually able to fight infection acquired within the wards, but this one just spread like wildfire,” said Keith Bolton, one of the investigators who compiled the report. In a separate case, about 181 newborn babies were reported to have died at an Eastern Cape hospital since the beginning of the year. Authorities blamed the toll on a number of factors, including HIV complications. — AFP

Thursday, July 22, 2010

HEALTH & SCIENCE

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BP gains confidence as spill plan takes shape Louisiana: BP said it was gaining confidence in the cap over the ruptured Gulf of Mexico oil well, as plans took shape yesterday to seal the blown-out well for good. The British energy giant and US government officials were evaluating the cap each day, and on Tuesday extended for another 24 hours the period of evaluation of the so-called capping stack structure that appeared to stop the oil flow last week after nearly three months. “We’re just going to continue on with the tests. And every day that we continue on with the tests, that gives us more confidence when we don’t see any anomalies,” BP vice president Kent Wells told a briefing Tuesday. Wells said teams are moving closer to completing a relief well that would seal off the leak and at the same time discussing the possibility of a “static kill,” that would inject materials to seal off the flow sooner. “The relief well is exactly where we want it, pointed in the right direction. So we’re feeling good about that,” Wells said “The intercept of the Macondo well is still for the end of July and then the kill procedure, dependent upon whether we have flow up the annulus casing or both, could take anywhere from a number of days to a few weeks.” US Coast Guard admiral Thad Allen, who is overseeing the disaster response, said the planning was still in initial stages, and stressed two relief wells being drilled close to the broken wellhead remain the ultimate fix.

He has ordered BP to produce a detailed timeline for restarting operations to contain the oil with surface vessels if there is any major leakage from the wellhead and the cap has to be re-opened. “We just authorized another 24 hour period for the oil integrity test to continue,” Allen said Tuesday. “We are looking for all indicators of anomalies and are working very, very hard to make sure that we don’t see any indicators that there would be any compromise to the integrity of the well head.” The announcement on Thursday that BP had stopped the oil flow completely for the first time since April raised hope among devastated Gulf communities that a three-month nightmare may soon be over. The comments came as BP announced it was selling assets in the United States, Canada and Egypt worth a total of seven billion dollars to US energy firm Apache to help pay for the disaster. Also Tuesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron sought to ease anger in the US over the spill. “The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a catastrophe, for the environment, for the fishing industry, for tourism. I’ve been absolutely clear about that,” Cameron said after White House summit talks with US President Barack Obama. The British leader stressed BP bore the responsibility for the clean-up with hundreds of miles of Gulf coastline contaminated and thousands of lives wrecked by the damage done to the fishing and tourism industries. “Equally,

of course, BP is an important company to both the British and the American economies. Thousands of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic depend on it,” Cameron said. “So it’s in the interest of both our countries, as we agreed, that it remains a strong and stable company for the future.” BP has already spent close to four billion dollars on clean-up costs and compensation claims and has promised to set up a 20-billiondollar fund to pay victims of the disaster along the US Gulf Coast. The fate of the company is a sensitive issue, since BP’s stock is the backbone of many British pension funds. But the US Depar tment of L abor war ned Tuesday that the oil disaster could cost as many as 100,000 jobs across the US Gulf Coast if it cannot be resolved and Obama’s moratorium on deepwater drilling is extended until the end of the year. The disaster began on April 20 when the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the coast of Louisiana, killing 11 workers. The rig sank two days later rupturing the pipe that connected it to the well. Oil has since washed up on the coasts of all five Gulf states-Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. It is not known exactly how much oil has leaked into the sea, but if the upper estimate of over four million barrels is confirmed, the disaster would be the biggest accidental oil spill ever. — AFP

PORT FOURCHON: In a Monday, June 21, 2010 photo, oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill is seen next to a boom in a marsh owned by the Edward Wisner Donation land trust, in Port Fourchon, La. — AP

HEALTH & SCIENCE

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nations pledge clean energy amid treaty stalemate WASHINGTON: Nations pledged Tuesday to work together to improve the efficiency of energy-guzzlers from televisions to cars, showing practical cooperation on climate change despite a deadlock on sealing a treaty. Senior officials from economies that make up more than 80 percent of global gross domestic product agreed on 11 initiatives during talks in Washington, which betrayed none of the sharp divisions typical of climate negotiations. US Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who led the meeting, said Tuesday that the clean energy projects would eliminate the need for more than 500

mid-sized power plants around the world over the next 20 years. “This is about taking concrete action and concrete steps. This is not about philosophical positioning,” Chu said after two days of talks among 21 nations including key emerging economies China, India, Brazil and South Africa. “Yes, we have to deal with international agreements, but we can’t wait for those to move,” Chu said. “We know the energy challenge won’t wait, and we won’t wait either.” While the two-day talks were not designed to pledge funds, Chu said that the nations together have invested “hundreds of

millions of dollars” in developing green energy, and several states said they were boosting resources in research. One key initiative will look at ways to improve the energy efficiency of home appliances such as televisions, which the US Energy Department estimated would reduce the need for about 80 power plants by 2030. A number of nations will participate in the appliance research, including the United States, Japan, South Korea, India and European nations. In another initiative, Britain and Australia promised to take the lead in accelerating work on so-called carbon

capture and storage (CCS) — which lowers the output of carbon, which is blamed for global warming, from power plants. CCS is considered crucial for the future of coal, which provides more than one quarter of the world’s energy supply and is politically sensitive in major polluters such as Australia, China and the United States. “We have literally only 10 years to scale up and deploy CCS globally,” said Chris Huhne, Britain’s minister for energy and climate change. “Each year of delay will lock in an increased amount of old technology which we

won’t get rid of,” he said. Another project, which includes major governments and corporations, will look at ways to collaborate in design efficiency standards for large buildings including factories-which account for more than half of global energy use. Nations also agreed to exchange notes on one another’s pilot programs to develop electric vehicles, as well as to coordinate in designing so-called “smart grids” that manage community power consumption. The United Arab Emirates said it would host follow-up clean energy talks in early 2011, with Britain holding a third meeting at a

later date to be determined. The talks, an offshoot of the USled Major Economies Forum, include both rich and emerging nations but not smaller states such as Sudan and Venezuela whose strident criticisms dominated parts of December’s Copenhagen summit. Kandeh Yumkella, director general of the UN Industrial Development Organization which champions the economic uplift of the world’s poor, said rich nations still needed to follow through on commitments at Copenhagen to offer 30 billion dollars through 2012 to help poorer nations

cope with climate change. But he said that the Washington meeting should offer hope to developing countries. The world’s energy demand is estimated to jump by nearly half in the next 20 years, fueled by the developing world. “If they decide to produce, use and consume energy the same way as the US and OECD (developed) countries have done, we will not be able to deal with climate change,” Yumkella told AFP. “What this meeting does is to send a message that there are things we know already how to do. They are practical and we can deploy them now.” —AFP

Climate change makes marmots munch and mate

PARIS: This handout photo released yesterday by the Museum national d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN) shows two panthers nebulosa cubs at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. The babies were born on May 14, 2010. —AFP

Reclusive Clouded Panthers born in zoo PARIS: A pair of reclusive Clouded Leopard cubs, or Neofelis nebulosa, were born two months ago in a rare birth in captivity for the species and are doing well, a Paris zoo said yesterday. The two female cubs, Parti and Jaya, were born May 14 in the Jardin des Plantes menagerie to Luang, formerly from Britain’s Howletts zoo, and father Samar, who was brought to Paris from Prague. A medium-sized cat found in Southeast Asia, the Clouded Leopard has a tan or tawny coat marked with large, irregular ellipses shaped somewhat like clouds. Because of its reclusive behaviour, little is known about it and breeding in captivity has often proven troublesome. “After two months we believe the situation is stable,” said the zoo’s Mathieu Dorval. “The little panthers are behaving normally and are putting on weight as expected.” Some 10,000 Clouded Panthers are believed to be in the wild and 40 are currently in 13 European zoos. —AFP

Ethnic Uzbeks deprived health treatment, refuge ALMATY: International health and rights groups said yesterday that minority ethnic Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan are being deprived of medical treatment and opportunities to seek refuge in neighboring Uzbekistan. An uneasy peace has descended on Kyrgyzstan since June clashes between ethnic Uzbek and Kyrgyz communities left hundreds dead in the southern cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad and sent hundreds of thousands fleeing. But activists say Uzbeks, who suffered the worst of the violence, are now being persecuted by police and security forces. Aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres said armed security forces posted near hospitals are deterring many from seeking muchneeded medical and psychological assistance. “The normal population, all the Uzbeks who see daily violence here from the military and the police, are scared, they are too scared to go inside the hospitals,” said Anja Wolz, the group’s coordinator in Osh. Wolz said medical workers in hospitals have not threatened patients or turned them away, but that ethnic Uzbeks are routinely intimidated and threatened by other members of staff. Medecins Sans Frontieres said that over the past four weeks it has provided care to 51 patients who had suffered severe beatings. Five of the patients claimed that they had been tortured, the group said. “As MSF operates only in a limited area of Kyrgyzstan, these figures are a strong indication of the level of violence still taking place, and are also unusually high according to MSF’s experience,” the group said in a statement. In addition to treating patients with chronic health ailments, international aid organizations are also providing psychological assistance

for hundreds of people affected by last month’s violence. The United Nations and other organizations have received reports of torture and other atrocities by Kyrgyzstan’s forces against ethnic Uzbeks. Kyrgyz authorities say a number of criminal investigations have been launched into rights violations by police and military forces, although with little apparent effect. The fertile Ferghana Valley where Osh is located was arbitrarily split between Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, a situation that has fomented ethnic animosities for decades. Human Rights Watch has called on Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to reopen their borders to allow persecuted ethnic Uzbeks to seek a safe haven. HRW researcher Gerry Simpson said dozens of families seeking to flee to Uzbekistan have been stopped from leaving by Kyrgyzstan border troops. While some ethnic Uzbeks are seeking ways of getting to Russia or other parts of the country, many have been forced to hide within their own city and prepare for a possible resurgence in ethnic violence. “People are putting their wives and their children in hiding with relatives and friends ... who live very close to the border, so if there is a problem they can just jump across the border,” Simpson told The Associated Press by telephone from Osh. Around 100,000 ethnic Uzbeks fled to Uzbekistan in the days after the ethnic violence broke out on June 10. Almost all of them returned to Kyrgyzstan over the following two weeks, however, amid what rights activists say was pressure from the authorities of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. —AP

OREGON: Assistant Zoological curator Amy Cutting handles a pond turtle Monday at the Oregon Zoo, in Portland, Ore. About 70 western pond turtles raised at the Oregon Zoo are being prepared Monday for release into the wild in the Columbia River Gorge. —AP

PARIS: Global warming has been rough on polar bears, but for Colorado’s marmots it has meant more food and more sex, according to a unusual study released yesterday. Longer summers-and less time spent burning up stored fat during hibernationhave given the large burrowing rodents an evolutionary leg up, said the research, published in Nature. Not only has climate change made individual specimens heavier and healthier, it has led to a marmot baby boom as well. Yellow-bellied marmots are awake only four-to-five months of the year, which doesn’t leave a lot of time to take care of essential business, explained the study’s lead author Arpat Ozgul, a scientist at Imperial College London. “They have to eat and gain weight, get pregnant, produce offspring and get ready to hibernate again,” he said in a statement. “Since the summers have become longer, marmots have had more time to do all these things and grow before winter, so they are more likely to succeed and survive.” The study is the first to show, for any species, that a shift in seasonal timing can cause changes in body mass and population size at the same time, he said. Analysing data collected over 33 years starting in 1976, Ozgul and colleagues observed that the average weight of adult marmots increased from 3094 grams in the first half of the period to 3433 grams in the second half-about a ten percent increase. To gather the data, the scientists live-trapped wild marmots at different colonies in the Rocky Mountains and marked them with numbered ear tags, recording sex, mass and, for females, reproductive condition. Population swelled over the last decade, rising from one new member every two years during the period 1976 to 2000, to more than 14 additional marmots every year from 2001 to 2008. While the animals appear to have benefited from rising temperatures in the short run, the good times may not last, the researchers warned. “Will populations thrive in the changing climate? We suspect that this population increase is a short-term response,” said Ozgul. Brian Hoskins, director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, compared the Rocky Mountain marmots to ‘canaries in the coal mine.’ “They give us an early warning about the effect for climate change on our natural environment,” he said. —AFP

UK seas cleaner but getting warmer and higher: Govt Sea-level rising, higher risk of flooding LONDON: Britain’s coasts have become cleaner but sea levels and temperatures are rising due to climate change, a government report said yesterday. The five-year study by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) examined how climate change has affected sea levels and temperatures, species in the sea and pollution. The report includes evidence from government agencies, industry, nongovernmental organisations and academics. Defra said there were “sig-

nificant improvements” since its last report in 2005. Many estuaries are cleaner, which has increased the variety and number of fish species. Fish stocks have improved but many fish are still caught in an unsustainable way. However, the average sea level around Britain’s coast rose by about 1.4 millimetres (mm) during the 20th century, slightly less than the global level which increased by about 1.7 mm a year. The British rise has not always been steady-in the 1990s, it went up by 3 to 4 mm

each year. If this trend continues, risks of flooding increase and species could be affected, the report said. The annual sea surface temperature also increased by 0.5-1.0 degree centigrade from 1870 to 2007, which affects the balance of species. Cold-water fish like cod are retreating, while warmwater fish like seabass and red mullet are spreading. Defra also said coastal litter levels were at a record high, doubling between 1994 and 2007 with 2,000 items found per kilometre of coastline. —Reuters

NEW YORK: A German Shepherd receives chemotherapy from Dr Allyson Berent at the Animal Medical Center of New York, Tuesday. —AP

WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT

Thursday, July 22, 2010

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TRASSK conducts free eye test camp T

EMBASSY OF AMERICA The United States Department of State announces the increase in various visa fees to ensure sufficient resources to cover the increasing cost of processing nonimmigrant visas (NIVs). US law requires the Department to recover the cost of processing nonimmigrant visas through the collection of the application fees. The increased fees are to take effect June 4, 2010. Under the new rule, applicants for all visas that are not petition-based, including B1/B2 tourist and business visitor visas and all student and exchange-visitor visas, will pay a fee of $140. Applicants for petition-based visas will pay an application fee of $150, as each of the below categories requires a review of extensive documentation and a more in-depth interview of the applicant than other categories, such as tourists. These categories include: H visa for temporary workers and trainees L visa for intra-company transferees O visa for aliens with extraordinary ability P visa for athletes, artists and entertainers Q visa for international cultural exchange visitors R visa for religious occupations The application fee for K visas for fiance(e)s of US citizens will be $350. The fee for E visas for treaty-traders and treaty-investors will be $390.

hrissur Association of Kuwait (TRASSK) conducted free “Eye Test Camp” on Friday, 16th July 2010 at United Indian School, Abbasiya as a part of social welfare activities for the member and its community. It was a great success as large number of members turned up and benefited from the camp. The Joint Secretary Shijo Manjaly welcomed the Guests and the Participant. The Vice president V V Sebastian and The Social Welfare Convener Ajith Menon spoke on the occasion and thanked all those present and explained the social welfare activities undertaken by the Association. Eye Specialist briefed in length on various eye diseases and problems faced by the Expatriates. He emphasized the need for regular eye care and hygiene. He also explained the importance of wearing sunglasses in summer to protect eyes from direct exposure to sunlight. The Eye Specialist Doctor and the Sponsors were honored with mementos by The TRASSK Vice President.V.V Sebastian, The Joint Secretary Shijo Manjaly, The Treasurer Jelson Akkara and The vanitha vedi president Susan Sebastian. The Treasurer Jelson Akkara expressed his thanks to the doctor and to the event sponsors M/s English Optical’s on the occasion and thanked all the members for their Support & cooperation.

EMBASSY OF INDIA

Announcements UFC’s annual raffle draw postponed United Friends ClubKuwait informs all that the annual raffle draw which was to be held on (15/7/2010) is postponed to 10/9/2010, due to unavoidable circumstances. The president and the managing committee of United Friends Club thank all for the support and cooperation extended to them. St Francis Xavier Unity Cup An 8-a-side football tournament, open for all Indians in Kuwait will be held during Ramadan, starting from 6th Aug 2010 at the Digital Grounds, Kuwait City. Teams wishing to participate are kindly requested to contact 99663252/66625567 or email: joepereira125@hotmail.com for further details.

Tehfe new director of food and beverage at Movenpick

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amen Tehfe promoted to new Director of Food & Beverage at Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a Kuwait Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a announces the promotion of Yamen Tehfe to Director of Food & Beverage. Yamen Tehfe, who previously held the position of Food & Beverage Manager at the proper-

Toastmasters International organizes seminar/ workshops

ty, is now in charge of the department in his new role of Director of Food & Beverage. Tehfe, who is of Lebanese nationality, brings with him a vast amount of experience in the field of Food & Beverage and had numerous achievements with his previous company. He started his career as a Restaurant Manager with Pizza

Hut Food Chain Kuwait and most recently he was the Project Manager for the F&B Department in Crown Plaza Kuwait before joining Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a Kuwait. Late 2008, Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a was able to get him on board and Gary Moran, General Manager of

Movenpick Al Bida’a property, is pleased to be able promote him to his next position. “Tehfe has shown a tremendous amount of dedication and loyalty to the company and to the hotel’. It is a privilege that Yamen Tehfe joined our team,” says Gary Moran, General Manager Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al Bida’a Kuwait.

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oing on job interviews? Giving a business presentation? Leading a Seminar? Need confidence? Toastmasters is the answer! The Toastmasters program will help individuals to develop better speaking and presentation skills. Learn to think quickly and clearly on your feet. Build strong leadership abilities. Hone your listening skills. Learn effective communication techniques. You will learn these skills and more in a supportive, self paced, fun atmosphere. To learn more about Toastmasters Program attend a Seminar cum work shop on 24 July 2010, Saturday 6:00 PM at Bayan Restaurant Salmiya, adjacent to Red Hats. For Registration contact Xavier Muthu, 99850173,Xavier.muthu @trade.gov. J M Nanda, 99736183, jmnanda@hotmail.com

Embassy information

NRI TDP praise Chandra Babu and team efforts for Telangana

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elugudesam party leaders and members jointly held a meeting in Farwaniya at Telugu Badi hall on Monday. While addressing the gathering, party President Balaram Naidu lauded N. Chandrababu Naidu and his team of legislators for their great efforts and sincerity in helping to protect the rights of needy people in Telangana. Other leaders expressed their views and concerns for the betterment of Telugu community and

Andhra Pradesh. Other speakers were M. Vengaiah Chowdary, Pothuru Parthasarathi, Polineni Santharam, Oleti Divakar Naidu, Mohan Babu, Ratakonda Lakshmipathi, Sandeep Kolli and Dr. Nettem Chinni Krishna. The event coordinators were Nettem Sreenu, Kishore Daruru, Prasad Poluru. All the members paid homage to the people who died of heart attack due to the recent incidents that took place at Dharnabad.

Pravasandhra Telugudesam - Kuwait

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he members of the Pravasandhra Telugudesam – Kuwait K. Venkata Siva Rao, P. Srinivasa Chowdary, Nagarjuna Reddy, M. Suresh Babu Naidu, B.P. Naidu, K.S.N. Prasad, P.G. Raju Peram Ramana Y.Reddiah Chowdary Bhaskar Naidu Perugu Srinivas A. Uday Prakash Naidu Lakshmipathi recently handed a memorandum to the Ambassador of India Ajai Malhotra. The agenda focused on the Babli Project

in Maharashtra which is illegally stealing water from Andra Pradesh. The members of the Pravasandhra Telugudesam – Kuwait are calling on all to unite and support TDP President N Chandra Babu Naidu and MLAs in this cause. We are hoping the kind assistance from Ambassador Ajai Malhotra to take measures to find a solution to this issue by reporting this matter to the President of India to protect the interest of Andhra Pradesh.

Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: local@kuwaittimes.net Fax: 24835619 / 20

The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday. EMBASSY OF NIGERIA The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wishes to invite all Nigerians residing in Kuwait to come and register with the Embassy. The registration is compulsory for all Nigerians residing /visiting Kuwait. Kindly bring the following documents along with you: • A photocopy of the Nigerian passport • One passport photograph • Copy of the civil identification card or visa For additional information please call: 25620278 or visit the Embassy at Block, 4, Malik Bin Anas Street, Avenue 44, House 31, Along Al-Aqsa Road, Rumaithiya. The Consular Section opens Sunday - Thursday from 9 am - 3 pm Your prompt response is highly solicited. EMBASSY OF TURKEY The Embassy of the Republic of Turkey announces that Turkish language course will restart at the Embassy’s Tourism, Culture and Information Office 4 October 2010. The lessons will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. For further details and registration please contact. * The Embassy at Tel: 22531785 (only from 9 am to 3 pm) * Or fill the application form on http://kuweyt.befscnet.net and send it to the e-mail: Turkish_embassy_Kuwait@hotmail.com

TV PROGRAMS

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings 08:40 Everyday Italian 09:05 30 Minute Meals 09:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 10:00 Guys Big Bite 10:30 Barefoot Contessa 11:00 Everyday Italian 11:30 Food Network Challenge 12:30 30 Minute Meals 13:00 Tyler’s Ultimate 13:30 Guys Big Bite 14:00 Barefoot Contessa 14:30 Everyday Italian 15:00 30 Minute Meals 15:30 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 16:00 Iron Chef America 17:00 Barefoot Contessa 17:30 Everyday Italian 18:00 30 Minute Meals 18:30 Guys Big Bite 19:00 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 19:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 20:00 Food Network Challenge 21:00 Barefoot Contessa 21:30 Everyday Italian 22:00 Iron Chef America 23:00 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 23:30 Guys Big Bite

00:00 Ugly Betty 01:00 Without a Trace 02:00 Hawthorne 03:00 Sons of Anarchy 04:00 Without a Trace 05:00 Dawson’s Creek 06:00 Bones 07:00 Ugly Betty 08:00 Lie to Me 09:00 Law & Order 10:00 Hawthorne 11:00 Dawson’s Creek 12:00 ER 13:00 Burn Notice 14:00 Ghost Whisperer 15:00 Without a Trace 16:00 Lie to Me 17:00 Law & Order 18:00 My Own Worst Enemy 19:00 Bones 20:00 Defying Gravity 21:00 Warehouse 13 22:00 Sons of Anarchy 23:00 Janice Dickinson

00:45 Animal Cops Houston 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 02:35 Into the Dragon’s Lair 03:30 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 04:25 Cats of Claw Hill 05:20 Wildlife SOS International 05:45 Gorilla School 06:10 RSPCA: Have You Got What it Takes? 06:35 Vet on the Loose 07:00 Animal Crackers 07:25 Meerkat Manor 07:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 08:45 Cats of Claw Hill 09:40 Wildlife SOS International 10:05 The Beauty of Snakes 10:55 Gorilla School 11:20 RSPCA: Have You Got What it Takes? 11:50 Miami Animal Police 12:45 E-Vets: The Interns 13:10 Pet Rescue 13:40 Animal Cops Houston 14:35 Wildlife SOS International 15:00 RSPCA: Have You Got What it Takes? 15:30 The Beauty of Snakes 16:25 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 17:20 Breed All About It 18:15 Weird Creatures with Nick Baker 19:10 Africa’s Outsiders 20:10 Animal Cops Houston 21:05 Untamed & Uncut 22:00 Weird Creatures with Nick Baker 22:55 Animal Cops Houston 23:50 Africa’s Outsiders

00:25 Inspector Lynley Mysteries 01:15 Mastermind 2007 01:45 The Weakest Link 02:30 Last Of The Summer Wine 03:00 Teletubbies 03:25 Me Too 03:45 Tellytales 03:55 Tweenies 04:15 Teletubbies 04:40 Me Too 05:00 Tellytales 05:10 Tweenies 05:30 Teletubbies 05:55 Me Too 06:15 Teletubbies 06:40 Me Too 07:00 Tellytales 07:10 Tweenies 07:30 Teletubbies 07:55 Me Too 08:15 Tellytales 08:25 Tweenies 08:45 Teletubbies 09:10 Me Too 09:30 Mastermind 2006 10:00 Coast 11:00 Last Of The Summer Wine 12:00 The Weakest Link 12:45 Eastenders 13:15 Doctors 13:45 Mastermind 2006 14:15 Coast 15:15 Last Of The Summer Wine 16:15 The Weakest Link 17:00 Doctors 17:30 Eastenders 18:00 Casualty 18:50 Casualty 19:40 Doctor Who Confidential 20:00 The Weakest Link 20:45 Doctors 21:15 Eastenders 21:45 Green Green Grass 22:15 Ideal 22:45 Extras 23:15 The League Of Gentlemen 23:45 The League Of Gentlemen

00:00 Masterchef Goes Large 00:30 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 00:55 The Home Show 01:40 Home For Life 02:35 Come Dine With Me 03:20 Hidden Potential 03:45 Cash In The Attic Usa 04:05 Bargain Hunt 04:50 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 05:20 Glamour Puds 05:40 Masterchef Goes Large 06:10 Come Dine With Me 07:00 Cash In The Attic Usa 07:20 Antiques Roadshow 08:10 Living In The Sun 09:00 Bargain Hunt 09:45 Hidden Potential 10:10 Cash In The Attic Usa 10:30 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 10:55 Glamour Puds 11:20 The Home Show 12:10 Home For Life 13:00 Come Dine With Me 13:50 Antiques Roadshow 14:40 Living In The Sun 15:30 Bargain Hunt 16:15 The Home Show 17:05 Home For Life 17:55 Antiques Roadshow 18:50 Come Dine With Me 19:40 Masterchef Goes Large 20:10 Ainsley’s Gourmet Express 20:35 Ching’s Kitchen 21:00 Home For Life 21:50 Fantasy Homes In The City 22:40 Come Dine With Me 23:25 Masterchef Goes Large 23:55 Masterchef Goes Large

1:30 Jennifer Eight-18 03:30 Elegy-18 05:15 Ripley’s Game-PG15 07:15 Disco-PG 09:00 2012: Startling New Secret-PG 11:00 All Hat-PG15 12:45 Travellers And Magicians-PG15 14:30 Centre Stage 2: Turn It Up-PG15 16:15 Meet Joe Black-PG15 19:15 Roman Polanski: Wanted And

Flashbacks Of A Fool on Super Movies Desired-PG15 21:00 Elite Squad-18 23:00 Wild At Heart-18

00:00 Ross Kemp on Gangs 01:00 Street Customs 2008 02:00 Dirty Jobs 02:55 Time Warp 03:50 Extreme Explosions 04:45 Mythbusters 05:40 How Stuff’s Made 06:05 Dirty Jobs 07:00 Extreme Explosions 07:55 Street Customs 2008 08:50 Mythbusters 09:45 Ultimate Survival 10:40 Overhaulin’ 11:35 Border Security 12:00 How Stuff’s Made 12:30 How It’s Made 12:55 Mythbusters 13:50 Miami Ink 14:45 Ultimate Survival 15:40 Dirty Jobs 16:35 Deadliest Catch 17:30 Mythbusters 18:30 Cake Boss 19:00 Border Security 19:30 The Gadget Show 20:00 How It’s Made 20:30 How Stuff’s Made 21:00 Destroyed in Seconds 21:30 Destroyed in Seconds 22:00 Undercover 23:00 Deadly Women

00:30 What’s That About? 01:20 Super Comet: After the Impact 02:10 Engineered 03:00 Beyond Tomorrow 03:50 Scrappy Races 04:45 How Does That Work? 05:10 Weird Connections 05:40 One Step Beyond 06:10 What’s That About? 07:00 Scrappy Races 08:00 Sci-Fi Saved My Life 09:00 What’s That About? 16:20 How Does That Work? 16:50 Brainiac 17:45 Mythbusters 18:40 Catch It Keep It 19:30 Science of the Movies 20:20 How It’s Made 20:45 How It’s Made 21:10 The Greatest Ever 22:00 Catch It Keep It 22:50 Science of the Movies 23:40 The Greatest Ever

00:15 SUITE LIFE ON DECK 00:35 SUITE LIFE ON DECK 01:00 Sonny With A Chance 01:25 Hannah Montana 01:50 Hannah Montana 02:15 Jonas 02:35 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 03:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 03:25 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 03:50 Replacements 04:15 Phineas & Ferb 04:40 Hannah Montana 05:05 KIM POSSIBLE 05:30 A KIND OF MAGIC 05:55 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 06:20 Replacements 06:40 STITCH 07:05 Wizards of Waverly Place 07:25 Hannah Montana 07:50 Sonny With A Chance 08:10 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 08:35 Phineas & Ferb 09:00 TIMMY TIME 09:10 JUNGLE JUNCTION 09:10 SPECIAL AGENT OSO 09:35 HANDY MANNY 10:00 IMAGINATION MOVERS 10:20 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 10:45 JUNGLE JUNCTION 11:00 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 11:25 Phineas & Ferb 11:50 WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE 12:15 Sonny With A Chance 12:40 Hannah Montana 13:00 Hannah Montana 13:25 Jonas 13:50 Sonny With A Chance 14:15 Wizards of Waverly Place 14:35 SUITE LIFE ON DECK 15:00 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 15:25 Replacements 15:50 Phineas & Ferb 16:15 Hannah Montana 16:40 KIM POSSIBLE 17:05 A KIND OF MAGIC 17:30 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 17:55 Replacements 18:15 STITCH 18:40 Wizards of Waverly Place 19:00 Hannah Montana 19:25 Sonny With A Chance 19:45 FAIRLY ODD PARENTS 20:10 Phineas & Ferb 20:35 Suite Life On Deck 21:00 Wizards of Waverly Place 21:25 Hannah Montana 21:45 Jonas 22:10 Suite Life On Deck 22:35 Sonny With A Chance 23:00 Hannah Montana 23:25 Wizards of Waverly Place 23:50 Wizards of Waverly Place

00:15 Leave It To Lamas 00:40 Dr 90210 06:00 E!ES 07:45 Style Star 08:10 Style Star 08:35 E! News 09:00 The Daily 10 09:25 Denise Richards: It’s Complicated 09:50 Leave It To Lamas 10:15 THS 12:00 E! News 12:25 The Daily 10 12:50 Battle of the Hollywood Hotties 13:15 Pretty Wild 13:40 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 14:05 Kendra 14:30 Dr 90210 15:25 E!ES 16:15 Behind the Scenes 16:40 Behind the Scenes 17:10 Kendra 17:35 Kendra 18:00 E! News 18:25 The Daily 10 18:50 Wildest TV Show Moments 19:15 Pretty Wild 19:40 E!ES 20:30 E!ES 21:20 Extreme Close-Up 22:35 The Daily 10 23:00 Keeping Up with the Kardashians 23:50 Pretty Wild

00:00 Wicked Wheels 01:00 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 02:00 M1 Challange 03:00 Cannonball 8000 03:30 Kenny Belaey’s Big Time 04:00 United By Fate 05:00 I-Ex 08:00 Tread Bmx 08:30 Tread Bmx 09:00 Uci Bmx World Championships 2008 11:00 Centre Of The Universe 12:00 Lines 13:00 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 14:00 Kenny Belaey’s Big Time 14:30 Kenny Belaey’s Big Time 15:00 Centre Of The Universe 16:00 Lines 17:00 Tread Bmx 17:30 Tread Bmx 18:00 Uci Bmx World Championships 2008 20:00 Lines 21:00 Centre Of The Universe 22:00 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 23:00 M1 Challange

00:00 Iron Chef America 01:00 30 Minute Meals 01:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 02:00 Food Network Challenge 03:00 Barefoot Contessa 03:30 Everyday Italian 04:00 Iron Chef America 05:00 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 05:30 Guys Big Bite 06:00 Chopped 07:00 30 Minute Meals 07:25 Tyler’s Ultimate 07:50 Guys Big Bite 08:15 Barefoot Contessa

00:30 A Haunting 01:20 FBI Files 02:10 I Almost Got Away With It 03:05 Murder Shift 04:00 Forensic Detectives 04:55 Crime Scene Psychics 05:20 Dr G: Medical Examiner 06:10 Ghosthunters 06:35 Ghosthunters 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 FBI Files 08:40 Royal Inquest 09:30 Mystery ER 10:20 Forensic Detectives 11:10 FBI Files 12:00 The Prosecutors 12:50 On the Case with Paula Zahn 13:40 CSU 14:30 Forensic Detectives 15:20 FBI Files 16:10 Royal Inquest 17:00 Mystery ER 17:50 Forensic Detectives 18:40 FBI Files 19:30 The Prosecutors 20:20 On the Case with Paula Zahn 21:10 CSU 22:00 Dr G: Medical Examiner 22:50 Disappeared 23:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner

00:30 Banged Up Abroad 01:30 Banged Up Abroad 02:30 Banged Up Abroad 03:30 Bondi Rescue 04:00 Banged Up Abroad 05:00 Take Away My Takeaway 05:30 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 06:30 Banged Up Abroad 07:30 Banged Up Abroad 08:30 Banged Up Abroad 09:30 Bondi Rescue 10:00 Banged Up Abroad 11:00 Pressure Cook 11:30 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 12:30 Banged Up Abroad 13:30 Bondi Rescue 14:00 Bondi Rescue 14:30 The Best Job In The World 15:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 15:30 Bondi Rescue 16:00 Madventures 16:30 Madventures 17:00 Pressure Cook 17:30 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled 18:30 Banged Up Abroad 19:30 Bondi Rescue 20:00 Bondi Rescue 20:30 The Best Job In The World 21:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 21:30 Bondi Rescue 22:00 Madventures 22:30 Madventures 23:00 Pressure Cook 23:30 Lonely Planet- Roads Less Travelled

00:00 Community 00:30 Rita Rocks 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Cleveland Show 03:30 Weeds 04:00 South park 04:30 George Lopez 05:00 Just Shoot me! 05:30 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 06:30 Everybody Loves Raymond 07:00 Eight Simple Rules 07:30 The Fresh Prince of Bel Air 08:00 Frasier 08:30 Just Shoot me! 09:00 George Lopez 09:30 The Drew Carey show 10:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 10:30 Eight Simple Rules 11:00 Frasier 11:30 New Adventures of old Christine 12:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 13:00 The Drew Carey show

Iron Man on Show Movies Action

13:30 Just Shoot me! 14:00 George Lopez 14:30 Rita Rocks 15:00 Community 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey show 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 New Adventures of old Christine 18:30 Eight Simple Rules 19:00 Modern Family 19:30 Til Death 20:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Inbetweeners 22:30 Weeds 23:00 South park 23:30 New Adventures of old Christine

00:00 The Martha Stewart Show 01:00 10 Years Younger 01:30 Look A Like 02:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 03:00 The Monique Show 04:00 The Tonight show with Jay Leno 05:00 GMA (repeat) 07:00 GMA Health 07:30 What’s the Buzz 08:00 The Martha Stewart Show 09:00 Look A Like 09:30 10 Years Younger 10:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 11:00 The View 12:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 13:00 What’s Good For You 14:00 GMA Live 16:00 GMA Health 16:30 What’s the Buzz 17:00 The Tonight show with Jay Leno 18:00 Look A Like 18:30 10 Years Younger 19:00 The View 20:00 The Ellen DeGeneres Show 21:00 Jimmy Kimmel Live! 22:00 The Tonight show with Jay Leno 23:00 The Monique Show

00:15 The Love Guru-18 02:00 Let Him Be-PG15 04:00 Cutting Edge 3-PG15 06:00 Bolt-FAM 08:00 Leatherheads-PG15 10:00 Capturing Mary-PG15 12:00 Swing Vote-PG15 14:00 Frost/Nixon-PG15 16:00 Leatherheads-PG15 18:00 Hotel For Dogs-FAM 20:00 Paul Blart Mall Cop-PG15 22:00 The Wrestler-18

01:00 Tailor Of Panama-18 03:00 The Strangers-PG15 05:00 Ba’al-PG15 07:00 Planet Of The Apes-PG15 09:00 Heist-PG15 11:00 Shadows In Paradise-PG15 13:00 The Objective-PG15 15:00 Heist-PG15 17:00 Termination Point-PG15 19:00 Predator-PG15 21:00 Iron Man-PG15 23:10 Eden Lake-18

00:00 Just Buried-PG 02:00 Prom Wars-18 04:00 Will You Merry Me-PG15 06:00 City Slickers-PG15 08:00 Mr. Troop Mom-PG 10:00 I.Q.-PG 12:00 Rock Slyde-PG15 14:00 Blank Check-FAM 16:00 Just Buried-PG 18:00 Death Becomes Her-PG15 20:00 In The Loop-18 22:00 Wieners-18

00:00 Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs-FAM 02:00 Patoruzito-FAM 04:00 Alice Upside Down-PG 06:00 The Jungle Book I-FAM 08:00 Wakko’s Wish-PG 10:00 Alice Upside Down-PG 12:00 Rugrats In Paris: The Movie-FAM 14:00 Patoruzito-FAM 16:00 The Wild Thornberrys Movie-PG 18:00 Space Buddies-PG 20:00 Christopher’s Dream-FAM 22:00 Rugrats In Paris: The Movie-FAM

00:00 Burn Notice 01:00 The Closer 02:00 Criminal Minds 03:00 Dawson’s Creek 04:00 Three Sisters 04:30 Home Improvement 05:00 Whitechapel 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Street 07:00 Criminal Minds 08:00 Three Sisters 08:30 Home Improvement 09:00 Dawson’s Creek 10:00 Whitechapel 11:00 Criminal Minds 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 Three Sisters 13:30 Home Improvement 14:00 Burn Notice 15:00 The Closer 16:00 Whitechapel 17:00 In Plain Sight 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Huey’s Cooking Adventure 19:00 Heroes 20:00 The Closer 21:00 Cold Case 22:00 Tess of the D’Urbervilles 23:00 In Plain Sight

06:00 American Dragon 06:25 American Dragon 06:50 Kid Vs Kat 07:15 Kid Vs Kat 07:40 Power Rangers Rpm 08:05 I’m In The Band 08:30 Pokemon 09:00 Phineas & Ferb 09:25 Zeke & Luther 09:50 Zeke & Luther 10:15 I’m In The Band 10:40 Suite Life On Deck 11:05 Suite Life On Deck 11:30 Phil Of The Future 12:00 Phineas & Ferb 12:30 Phineas & Ferb 13:00 Kid Vs Kat 13:30 Pixel Perfect 15:15 American Dragon 15:45 American Dragon

Leatherheads on Show Movies 16:15 I’m In The Band 16:40 Shreducation 17:05 Zeke & Luther 17:30 Zeke & Luther 17:55 Phineas & Ferb 18:20 Phineas & Ferb 18:45 Pokemon 19:10 Suite Life On Deck 19:35 Power Rangers Rpm 20:00 Aaron Stone 20:30 I’m In The Band 21:00 Phineas & Ferb 21:25 Shreducation 21:55 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody

01:00 Tri-Nations 03:00 NRL Full Time 03:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 04:00 Futbol Mundial 04:30 European Tour Weekly 05:00 Triatholn 06:00 AFL Highlights 07:00 Super League 09:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 09:30 NRL Full Time 10:00 Triatholn 11:00 AFL Highlights 12:00 Futbol Mundial 12:30 Brazil League Highlights 13:00 Tri-Nations 15:00 World Match Racing Tour 16:00 ICC Cricket World 16:30 AFL Highlights 17:30 European Tour Weekly 18:00 Live The Senior Open Championship 21:00 Triatholn 21:30 The Evian Masters

00:00 AFL Highlights 01:00 AFL Premiership 03:30 Tri-Nations 05:30 FEI Equestrain World 06:00 Sea Master 06:30 European Tour Weekly 07:00 Triathlon 08:00 World Hockey 08:30 FEI Equestrain World 09:00 World Match Tour Racing 10:00 European Tour Weekly 10:30 ICC Cricket World 11:00 Futbol Mundial 11:30 NRL Full Time 12:00 NRL Premiership 14:00 AFL Highlights 15:00 European Tour Weekly 15:30 Live PGA European Tour 18:30 Triathlon 19:30 Brazil League Highlights 20:00 ICC Cricket World 20:30 World Sport 21:00 Total Rugby 21:30 PGA European Tour

00:00 V8 Supercars 01:00 V8 Supercars 02:00 WWE NXT 03:00 UFC 116 06:00 UFC Unleashed 07:00 WWE Smackdown 09:00 WWE Vintage Collection 10:00 Red Bull X-Fighters Highlights 11:00 FIM World Cup 11:30 Mobil 1 The Grid 12:00 WWE Vintage Collection 13:00 V8 Supercars 14:00 Live The Evian Masters 18:00 FIM World Cup 18:30 FIA GT1 World Championship 20:00 WWE NXT 21:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 22:00 UFC Unleashed 23:00 UFC Unleashed

01:00 Flashbacks Of A Fool-18 03:00 Taking A Chance On Love-PG15 05:00 Tribute-PG15 07:00 Sticks And Stones-PG 09:00 G-force-PG 11:00 Race To Witch Mountain-PG15 13:00 Tennessee-PG15 15:00 Lovely Still-PG 17:00 G-force-PG 19:00 Hancock-PG15 21:00 Fast And Furious-PG15 23:00 Forgetting Sarah Marshall-18

01:50 Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid 04:00 Cimarron 06:25 The Screening Room 07:00 Eight On The Lam 08:50 Captain Nemo And The Underwater City 10:35 A Hole In The Head 12:35 The Glass Bottom Boat 14:25 Cimarron 16:50 It Happened At The World’s Fair 18:35 Butterfield 8 20:20 Echoes Of A Summer 22:00 2001: A Space Odyssey

00:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 01:20 Dead Men’s Secrets 02:10 Dinosaur Secrets 03:00 Mountbatten: Death of a Royal 03:55 Godfathers 05:40 Nostradamus Effect 06:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 07:20 Dead Men’s Secrets 08:10 Dinosaur Secrets 09:00 Mountbatten: Death of a Royal 09:55 A Global Warming 11:40 Nostradamus Effect 12:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 13:20 Dead Men’s Secrets 14:10 Dinosaur Secrets 15:00 Mountbatten: Death of a Royal 15:55 A Global Warming 17:40 Nostradamus Effect 18:30 Ancient Discoveries 3 19:20 Dead Men’s Secrets 20:10 Dinosaur Secrets 21:00 Declassified 21:55 Mega Disasters 22:50 Engineering Disasters 23:40 Ax Men 2

00:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 01:00 Hollywood and Vines 01:30 Floyd Uncorked 02:00 Planet Food 03:00 People of the Sea 04:00 Globe Trekker 05:00 Planet Food 06:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 07:00 Globe Trekker 08:00 Grannies On Safari 08:30 Distant Shores 09:00 Hollywood and Vines 09:30 Essential 10:00 Planet Food 11:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 12:00 Globe Trekker 13:00 Chef Abroad 13:30 The Thirsty Traveler 14:00 Floyd On Africa 14:30 Distant Shores 15:00 Hollywood and Vines 15:30 Essential 16:00 Globe Trekker 17:00 Grannies On Safari 17:30 Chef Abroad 18:00 Planet Food 19:00 Globe Trekker 20:00 Travel Notebook 21:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 22:00 Intrepid Journeys 23:00 Globe Trekker

00:00 Music For The Masses 01:00 Vh1 Music 05:00 Chill Out 07:00 Vh1 Hits 09:00 Aerobic 10:00 Vh1 Hits 11:00 Vh1 Superchart 12:00 Top 10 Queen 13:00 Music For The Masses 14:00 Vh1 Pop Chart 15:00 Vh1 Music 17:00 Music For The Masses 18:00 Vh1 Superchart 19:00 Music For The Masses 20:00 Music For The Masses 21:00 30 Seconds To Mars Top 50 US Rockstars Pt5 22:00 100 Most Shocking  Music Moments 23:00 The Album Chart Show

00:00 Dr 90210 01:00 Millennium Fashion: The Year In Fashion 02:00 Split Ends 03:00 How Do I Look? 04:00 Millennium Fashion: The Year In Fashion 05:00 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 05:30 Area 06:00 How Do I Look? 07:00 Style Star 07:30 Style Her Famous 08:00 My Celebrity Home 09:00 Style Star 09:30 Dress My Nest 10:00 Whose Wedding Is it Anyway? 11:00 How Do I Look? 12:00 Ruby 12:30 Giuliana & Bill 13:00 Clean House 14:00 Clean House Comes Clean 14:30 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane 15:00 Dr 90210 16:00 Whose Wedding Is it Anyway? 17:00 Tacky House 17:30 Tacky House 18:00 Dallas Divas & Daughters 18:30 Dallas Divas & Daughters 19:00 Split Ends 20:00 Clean House: Search For The Messiest... 21:00 How Do I Look? 22:00 Jerseylicious 23:00 Jerseylicious

01:04 Latina 01:45 Playlist 02:00 Urban Hit 02:45 Playlist 05:04 Legend 06:00 Playlist 08:04 Latina 08:45 Playlist 13:04 Urban Hit 13:50 Playlist 14:00 Trace Video Mix 15:00 Playlist 16:04 RNB 16:45 Playlist 18:00 Urban Hit 18:45 Playlist 20:04 Sound System 20:45 Playlist 21:00 Guest Star 21:15 Playlist 22:00 Code Compilation 22:24 Playlist

CARTOON NETWORK 00:05 Cow And Chicken-U 00:30 Cramp Twins-U 00:55 George Of The Jungle-U 01:20 Adrenalini Brothers-U 01:45 Eliot Kid-U 02:10 Ed, Edd N Eddy-U 02:35 Class Of 3000-U 03:00 The Powerpuff Girls-U 03:15 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends-U 03:40 The Secret Saturdays-U 04:05 Codename: Kids Next Door-U 04:30 Ben 10-U 04:55 Best Ed-U 05:20 Samurai Jack-U 05:45 Cramp Twins-U 06:10 Eliot Kid-U 06:35 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack-U 07:00 Codename: Kids Next Door-U 07:25 Chowder-U 07:50 Best Ed-U 08:00 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack-U 09:00 Chowder-U 10:00 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends-U 11:00 Ben 10: Alien Force-U 12:00 The Secret Saturdays-U 13:00 Bakugan-U 14:00 Chop Socky Chooks-U 15:00 Eliot Kid-U 15:35 Casper’s Scare School-U 16:00 Skunk Fu!-U 16:25 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes-U 16:50 Bakugan Battle Brawlers-U 17:15 The Secret Saturdays-U 17:40 Ben 10: Alien Force-U 18:05 Chop Socky Chooks-U

Thursday, July 22, 2010

33 Flight Schedule Airlines Jordanian Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Bangladesh Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Turkish Ethiopian Air Arabia Egypt Egypt Air Jazeera DHL Emirates Etihad Qatari Kuwait Falcon Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Jazeera British Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Iran Air Kuwait Fly Dubai Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Emirates Arabia Qatari Etihad Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Middle East Wataniya Airways Jazeera Syrian Air Jazeera Almasria Universal Gulf Air Wataniya Airways Egypt Air Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait United Jordanian Wataniya Airways Egypt Air Fly Dubai Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Saudia Kuwait Nas Air Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Mihin Middle East Etihad Emirates Gulf Air Wataniya Airways Saudia Kuwait Iran Air Jazeera Arabia Jazeera Srilankan Kuwait Wataniya Airways Rovos Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Wataniya Airways Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Singapore Bahrain Air Kuwait Jazeera Almasria Universal Fly Dubai Jazeera Oman Air Middle East Wataniya Airways Rovos Jet A/W KLM Wataniya Airways Kuwait Jazeera DHL Gulf Air Emirates Qatari United Indian Jazeera Lufthansa Egypt Air Bangladesh India Express Egypt Air Pakistan Wataniya Airways

Arrival Flights Thursday 22/07/2010 Flt Route Time 802 Amman 00:05 188 Bahrain 00:30 306 Cairo 00:50 045 Dhaka/Bahrain 01:05 408 Beirut 01:05 211 Bahrain 01:05 772 Istanbul 01:15 620 Addis Ababa 01:45 551 Alexandria 02:00 614 Cairo 02:05 267 Beirut 02:10 370 Bahrain 02:15 853 Dubai 02:25 305 Abu Dhabi 02:55 138 Doha 03:25 802 Cairo 04:45 201 Dubai 05:25 637 Aleppo 05:45 503 Luxor 05:30 412 Manila/Bangkok 06:15 527 Alexandria 06:20 157 London 06:30 529 Assiut 06:40 613 Lahore 07:05 204 Lahore 07:10 605 Isfahan 07:45 302 Mumbai 07:50 053 Dubai 07:55 332 Trivandrum 07:55 676 Dubai 08:00 284 Dhaka 08:10 362 Colombo 08:20 855 Dubai 08:25 121 Sharjah 08:40 132 Doha 09:00 301 Abu Dhabi 09:25 182 Bahrain 10:45 213 Bahrain 10:45 404 Beirut 10:50 102 Dubai 11:05 447 Doha 11:20 341 Damascus 12:05 171 Dubai 12:40 407 Alexandria 12:45 219 Bahrain 12:50 422 Amman 12:50 610 Cairo 12:55 457 Damascus 13:10 672 Dubai 13:15 772 Riyadh 13:20 982 Washington DC Dulles 13:35 800 Amman 13:35 432 Damascus 13:35 621 Assiut 13:40 057 Dubai 13:50 257 Beirut 14:05 332 Alexandria 14:05 125 Bahrain 14:10 500 Jeddah 14:30 552 Damascus 14:35 745 Jeddah 14:55 134 Doha 15:05 546 Alexandria 15:30 678 Muscat/Abu Dhabi 15:35 173 Dubai 16:05 118 New York 16:15 403 Colombo/Dubai 16:40 406 Beirut 16:45 303 Abu Dhabi 16:50 857 Dubai 16:55 215 Bahrain 17:15 402 Beirut 17:15 510 Riyadh 17:20 562 Amman 17:30 617 Ahwaz 17:40 493 Jeddah 17:40 125 Sharjah 17:40 129 Bahrain 17:55 227 Colombo/Dubai 18:00 104 London 18:35 304 Cairo 18:35 093 Kandahar/Dubai 18:45 106 Dubai 18:45 542 Cairo 18:50 502 Beirut 18:50 786 Jeddah 18:55 202 Jeddah 18:55 618 Doha 18:55 177 Dubai 19:05 674 Dubai 19:20 614 Bahrain 19:20 458 Singapore/Abu Dhabi 19:25 344 Bahrain 19:25 774 Riyadh 19:25 433 Mashad 19:40 109 Assiut 19:50 061 Dubai 20:05 459 Damascus 20:10 647 Muscat 20:15 402 Beirut 20:20 612 Sabiha 20:20 081 Baghdad 20:30 572 Mumbai 20:30 0445 Amsterdam 20:40 404 Beirut 20:50 554 Damascus 20:50 183 Dubai 21:00 372 Bahrain 21:00 217 Bahrain 21:05 859 Dubai 21:15 136 Doha 21:35 981 Bahrain 21:55 981 Chennai/Hyderabad/Ahmedabad 22:05 429 Bahrain 22:10 636 Frankfurt 22:30 612 Cairo 22:55 043 Dhaka 23:00 389 Kozhikode/Mangalore 23:10 606 Luxor 23:15 205 Lahore 23:55 108 Dubai 23:55

Departure Flights on Thursday 22/07/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 528 Assiut Shaheen Air 442 Lahore Egypt Air 607 Luxor India Express 394 Cochin/Kozhikode Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt Indian 576 Goa/Chennai Bangladesh 046 Dhaka Turkish 773 Istanbul Ethiopian 620 Bahrain/Addis Ababa Air Arabia Egypt 552 Alexandria Egypt Air 615 Cairo DHL 371 Bahrain Emirates 854 Dubai Etihad 306 Abu Dhabi Qatari 139 Doha Wataniya Airways 101 Dubai Jordanian 803 Amman Jazeera 331 Alexandria Jazeera 446 Doha Jazeera 456 Damascus Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 181 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 421 Amman Rovos 094 Dubai/Kandahar Jazeera 256 Beirut Wataniya Airways 431 Damascus British 156 London Jazeera 170 Dubai Kuwait 545 Alexandria Fly Dubai 054 Dubai Iran Air 606 Mashad Kuwait 677 Abu Dhabi/Muscat Kuwait 671 Dubai Kuwait 551 Damascus Arabia 122 Sharjah Kuwait 101 London/New York Emirates 856 Dubai Kuwait 771 Riyadh Qatari 133 Doha Etihad 302 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 124 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 401 Beirut Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris Middle East 405 Beirut Wataniya Airways 303 Cairo Jazeera 172 Dubai Kuwait 541 Cairo Wataniya Airways 611 Sabiha Jazeera 492 Jeddah Kuwait 561 Amman Kuwait 501 Beirut Syrian Air 342 Damascus Kuwait 785 Jeddah Almasria Universal 408 Assiut Gulf Air 220 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 201 Jeddah Egypt Air 611 Cairo Jazeera 432 Mashad Jordanian 801 Amman Wataniya Airways 105 Dubai Fly Dubai 058 Dubai Egypt Air 622 Assiut Jazeera 458 Damascus United 982 Bahrain Jazeera 176 Dubai Jazeera 128 Bahrain Kuwait 673 Dubai Wataniya Airways 403 Beirut Kuwait 617 Doha Nas Air 746 Jeddah Saudia 505 Jeddah Kuwait 773 Riyadh Qatari 135 Doha Kuwait 613 Bahrain Jazeera 182 Dubai Rovos 082 Baghdad Etihad 304 Abu Dhabi Mihin 404 Dubai/Colombo Middle East 407 Beirut Emirates 858 Dubai Gulf Air 216 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 305 Cairo Kuwait 543 Cairo Arabia 126 Sharjah Saudia 511 Riyadh Iran Air 616 Ahwaz Kuwait 285 Chittagong Srilankan 228 Dubai/Colombo Jazeera 428 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 407 Beirut Wataniya Airways 433 Damascus Wataniya Airways 107 Dubai Bahrain Air 345 Bahrain Jazeera 266 Beirut Kuwait 361 Colombo Jazeera 512 Sharm El Sheikh Almasria Universal 110 Assiut Fly Dubai 062 Dubai Singapore 457 Abu Dhabi/Singapore Wataniya Airways 321 Sharm El Sheikh Jazeera 186 Dubai Kuwait 351 Cochin Oman Air 648 Muscat Middle East 403 Beirut Jet A/W 571 Mumbai Egypt Air 6019 Alexandria Wataniya Airways 187 Bahrain KLM 0445 Bahrain/Amsterdam Gulf Air 218 Bahrain Jazeera 240 Amman DHL 373 Bahrain Kuwait 675 Dubai Emirates 860 Dubai Falcon 102 Bahrain Qatari 137 Doha Kuwait 301 Mumbai Kuwait 205 Islamabad Jazeera 526 Alexandria Jazeera 502 Luxor Kuwait 411 Bangkok/Manila Kuwait 415 Kuala Lumpur/Jakarta Egypt Air 613 Cairo

FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161

Time 00:05 00:10 00:15 00:25 00:50 00:50 02:15 02:15 02:30 02:40 03:05 03:15 03:45 04:00 05:00 06:50 07:00 07:30 07:40 07:45 07:45 07:50 07:50 08:00 08:05 08:10 08:25 08:30 08:35 08:40 08:45 08:45 09:00 09:10 09:20 09:30 09:40 10:00 10:00 10:10 11:15 11:35 11:35 11:45 11:50 11:50 11:55 12:00 12:05 12:15 12:25 13:00 13:05 13:30 13:35 13:40 13:45 13:55 14:00 14:30 14:30 14:35 14:40 14:45 14:50 14:55 15:00 15:10 15:10 15:35 15:45 16:00 16:05 16:20 16:20 16:55 17:00 17:35 17:40 17:45 18:05 18:05 18:05 18:10 18:20 18:35 18:40 18:45 19:10 19:10 19:25 19:30 19:40 20:10 20:10 20:20 20:20 20:40 20:50 20:55 21:00 21:00 21:05 21:15 21:20 21:30 21:35 21:35 21:40 21:55 21:55 22:00 22:10 22:25 22:30 22:35 22:45 22:55 23:20 23:30 23:40 23:50 23:55

ACCOMMODATION Room available in Salmiya opposite Al Rashid hospital. For bachelors or small family with Mangalorean family. Contact: 66332653. (C 2492) Furnished room available for single family or two bachelors with a Keralite bachelor in Jleeb Shuyoukh. Contact: 66475154. (C 2488) Sharing accommodation available with a small family from the end of July, for a couple or working ladies in a two bedroom flat near Time out Restaurant. Contact: 99272057/66015211 and after 6 pm call 24318519. (C 2489) 21-7-2010 Sharing accommodation available for family, working ladies or non-cooking bachelors in Abbassiya opp German clinic in front of bus stop. Contact: 66455687. (C 2486) 20-7-2010

FOR SALE Honda Accord, 2001 model, excellent condition, full options, gold color (4 doors). Price KD 1,500. Call 55522942. (C 2493) 22-7-2010 Mercedes E240, model 99, silver, excellent condition, free accident, full option with sunroof, remote, 160,000 km. Price KD 1,350. Tel: 60717113. (C 2491) 21-7-2010

CHANGE OF NAME I, Muhamed Shaji Chungath, holder of Indian Passport No. F1052351 hereby change my name as Muhamed Shaji Kalli Valappil. (C 2490) 21-7-2010 Old name: Raza Rashid Abdul Rashid. New name: Hamid Rashid Abdul Rashid, Pakistan Passport No: KG 244838. (C 2485) 20-7-2010

MATRIMONIAL Orthodox parents from central Travancore invite proposals for their daughter, 23/157 cm, fair, M.Tech

No: 14797

from Orthodox/Marthomite parents of engineers/doctors/CA. Contact: roy_suja@rediffmail.com (C 2484) 20-7-2010

SITUATION WANTED

Indian male, B.Com, Accountant, good experience in accounts and finance, seeks suitable position, transferable residence no. 18. Please contact Tel: 55943246. Email: renjumathewjohn@gmail.com (C 2487) 20-7-2010 Indian male, M.Com, Accountant, good experience in accounts and finance, seeks suitable position, transferable residency no. 18. Please contact:

99158323, 24342472. (C 2482) Male secretary, having 12 years of Kuwait experience, complete secretarial/document controller, office administration jobs, independent correspondence & well experienced in construction tendering works, having driving license and transferable residence. Call 66597087. (C 2483)

34

SPECTRUM

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Calvin

CROSSWORD 29

Aries (March 21-April 19) This is a great time to be with others in work, school or play. A class, lecture or visiting executive has new ideas and inspirations to pass along today. Farsighted and traditional, you enjoy success and the successful. There can be increased income because of new and improved contracts. You can also increase your financial gains now by calling in loans you made last year, or even earlier. There can also be some additional income through a special sale, advertising or public relations. Financial security and enjoying the finer things in life, appreciating and creating things others long to have: these experiences assume a high priority. There is an exotic and glamorous dimension to your art of flirting at this time. Expect love to warm your heart tonight. Taurus (April 20-May 20) You enjoy exercising your mind and your sharp perceptions make finding new solutions easy. You will bring an unexpected twist or insight to whatever you set your mind to today. You are able to teach or help others to be more original when it comes to the words or thoughts they use. You can use the mind in original ways and probably have excellent eye-hand coordination. Your laser-like mind makes conversations fast-paced and illuminating. Learning and knowing a little about a lot of things, staying in touch and on top of the latest developments all seem to satisfy a need for mental stimulation now. Neighbors and brothers or sisters may play a role in this learning process through trivia and board games. Romance will come into play this evening.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. (Old Testament) In Judeo-Christian mythology. 5. Of or related to or derived from oats. 10. A federation of North American labor unions that merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1955. 13. Antibiotic-resistant mycoplasma causing a kind of pneumonia in humans. 14. Payment made to a person in a position of trust to corrupt his judgment. 15. The longer of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code. 16. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 17. A strategically located monarchy on the southern and eastern coasts of the Arabian Peninsula. 19. Enchanter's nightshade. 22. Angular distance above the horizon (especially of a celestial object). 23. A soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. 24. 1/10 gram. 26. A bachelor's degree in religion. 27. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 30. The corporate executive responsible for the operations of the firm. 32. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 34. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 35. An ancient kingdom in northern Mesopotamia which is in present-day Iraq. 39. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 41. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 43. A public promotion of some product or service. 44. Worn or shabby from overuse or (of pages) from having corners turned down. 47. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 50. American prizefighter who won the world heavyweight championship three times (born in 1942). 51. Title used for a married Frenchwoman. 54. Forming or set at an angle. 57. Station where transport vehicles load or unload passengers or goods. 60. A small cake leavened with yeast. 61. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 64. Type genus of the Nepidae. 65. An undergarment worn by women to support their breasts. 67. A branch of the Tai languages. 68. A graphical recording of the cardiac cycle produced by an electrocardiograph. 69. Of or in or relating to the nose. 70. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. DOWN 1. With rapid movements. 2. A British doctorate. 3. (botany) Of or relating to the axil. 4. Large high frilly cap with a full crown. 5. A slender double-reed instrument. 6. A large fleet. 7. Brief episode in which the brain gets insufficient blood supply. 8. The compass point that is one point north of due east. 9. A colorless odorless gaseous element that give a red glow in a vacuum tube. 10. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 11. Widely known and esteemed. 12. The sacred city of Lamaism. 18. A night flight from which the passengers emerge with eyes red from lack of sleep. 20. American novelist (1909-1955). 21. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 25. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 28. A state in midwestern United States. 29. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 31. A state in northwestern United States on the Pacific. 33. The cry made by sheep. 36. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 37. A plant hormone promoting elongation of stems and roots. 38. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 40. A boy or man. 42. A defensive missile designed to shoot down incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles. 45. A motley assortment of things. 46. Small cubes with 1 to 6 spots on the faces. 48. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 49. An official or legal cancellation. 52. Squash bugs. 53. A faint constellation in the polar region of the southern hemisphere and containing part of the Large Magellanic Cloud. 54. A public promotion of some product or service. 55. A lawman concerned with narcotics violations. 56. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 58. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 59. The basic unit of money in Bangladesh. 62. The network in the reticular formation that serves an alerting or arousal function. 63. A logarithmic unit of sound intensity equal to 10 decibels. 66. An associate degree in nursing.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You could be gaining quite a bit of attention from superiors or through the accomplishments related to your work. You may find that you enjoy your job or the responsibility more than usual. Your employer is probably happy to get you--for you are a natural in management positions. This is the perfect time to be assertive and move forward with your career decisions. You have all the drive and energy you could want--it should be easy to channel it. The path is open and clear. Positive changes in personal attitudes are evident. This evening is a time for imagination and creativity. This, coupled with the ability to put your thoughts into words, allows you to captivate and spellbind. This may mean you are entertaining tonight.

Non Sequitur Cancer (June 21-July 22) This is an easy, calm day that should find everything running smoothly. Ideas and interaction with authority figures or older people may be in the forecast. Working with rather than against the energies of the day should be easy to do. There is a natural ability to use emotions in productive ways. Hard work and all things physical, such as sports and outdoor activities, should be a snap this afternoon. You are able to manage and see how to work with the energy of others. Nurturing or being nurtured, sympathy, a yearning to settle down and a fondness for things that have stood the test of time are feelings that you express now. Planning for the next holiday activities or family gathering is in the final stage now and all is positive. Leo (July 23-August 22) You may feel that you have given enough notice as to how you feel about certain things and now you are really beginning to become peeved. People keep making the same mistakes. Perhaps you really did not make yourself clear? Take a deep breath and think back through previous conversations. This time, make your comments in writing--you will see better results. This is a perfect time for new ideas and taking the novel approach. Your keen business sense is never sharper than when you are working with or for others--a group, corporation, etc. Your actions receive support from those around you today. You are highly motivated when it comes to relationships. There is an opportunity to enjoy a social affair with your loved one this evening.

Zits

Virgo (August 23-September 22) You have an innate love of the law and working through things. You will not be put off by problems and obstacles that might seem to be keeping you from your usual routine. You bring an unexpected twist or insight to several subject matters today--you also seem to have a ready wit. Pay attention to the change in your pocket or purse--make it count. Perhaps when you get home this afternoon, you could begin a new trend or habit by placing your loose change in a can or jar near the door. This can go toward a cleaning bill or that vacation you never feel you could afford. This evening, as usual, friends will find you in a generous and loving mood. A surprise awaits you this evening. You may have a lucky streak as well today.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Libra (September 23-October 22) Before you leave for work this morning the phone rings. You have close friends and enjoy the interaction between them. The day is upbeat and active from the very moment you open your eyes. Your bright wit and talkative streak make you always ready for a conversation. You love to get your ideas across to others and communication in any form is where you are happiest. Teaching, lecturing and guiding others should be a real consideration for a professional choice. Today you will jump right in with your ideas, expressing your thoughts, etc. You can bring secrets into the light of day by the wink of your eye. You are brilliant when it comes to insights into the mind and motivation--yours or others'. Your analytical powers are superb. Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You are effective in what you try to accomplish today. Others gather around you to learn some special method or technique. You can be a good team player as well and when it is your turn to do the listening, you learn with great enthusiasm. Your manner is so helpful to others that you would make an excellent counselor, teacher or even an A-1 student. This evening you may want to take a break from these intense sessions of learning and teaching events to just enjoy the family or friends. You are very appreciative of the people in your life and can handle emotional, personal issues and vulnerable areas where angels fear to tread. People sense this and trust you with sensitive matters, inner worries and questions of personal identity. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Working longer and working harder is not necessarily the way to success. If you feel you need to work overtime or concentrate more fully on your work, make it a point to take your breaks and consume healthy foods while you are at it. If you do not check yourself on this, who will? Others may depend on you too much when it comes to group issues and important meetings today. You, however, are not the only important player at this meeting. There are opportunities for you to achieve and help the company grow. This is always an avenue for pride of accomplishments. There are also opportunities to help others achieve and maintain their interest to achieve and excel. Relax and enjoy a social event tonight; you will sleep well.

Yesterday’s Solution

Yester

Yesterday’s Solution

To

00965 00974 009712 009714 009717 009716 00968 009626 00973 009661 009662 00202 00203 009611 0096311 0096321

Tunisia Rabat Washington New York Paris London Madrid Zurich Geneva Monaco Rome Bangkok Hong Kong Pakistan Taiwan Bonn

0021610 002127 001212 001718 00331 004471 00341 00411 004122 0033 00396 00662 00852 0092 00886 0049228

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) A friend in the workplace may often seek your advice. You are able to cut through the red tape and get at what is beneath and behind a problem. This may be a good time to help this person to learn his or her own problem-solving techniques and to become more confident. You are a good teacher and this process should be a lot easier than constantly being distracted from your own work. You are all heart . . . you will be pleased to see others become independent. Children, animals and all creative work get top billing this afternoon and you may find yourself sitting with family or a friend's child. Have a goodie bag ready that is age appropriate with some surprise for each child tucked inside and you will have a happy time with the visit.

INTERNATIONAL CALLS Kuwait Qatar Abu Dhabi Dubai Raas Al Khayma Al-Shareqa Muscat Jordan Bahrain Riyadh Makkah - Jeddah Cairo Alexandria Beirut Damascus Allepo

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Today is an easy, calm day that should find everything running smoothly. Ideas and interaction with authority figures or older people may be customary. However, working with, rather than against-the-flow should be easy. You can be a real moving force in the lives of others and as a natural group leader or trainer; your organizational skills are obvious. This afternoon you may feel it is time to get serious about taking care of yourself and no matter what size or look you want to achieve, you are wise to make future medical appointments for checkups and preventative choices. You encourage the people around you and when you feel good about yourself, it shows through to others in positive ways. Breathing exercises bring you a better oxygen supply.

Word Sleuth Solution

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You have an inner urge to be all things to all people and would rather bend than argue or make an issue. This can be beneficial if you have some outlet for your frustrations. You should be recognizing some real relief from the stress and emotional strain you have been experiencing of late. Make it a habit to meditate by listening to that quiet inner voice--at least once a day for ten or fifteen minutes. You may be moved to appreciate and discover the beauty in your life and in those around you. Be careful that you do not indulge too much just now; it would be easy to become relaxed so much that you overeat or purchase all the fun things you see. Romantic, social or artistic efforts are enjoyed this evening. You will enjoy a positive ending to this very full day.

INFORMATION

Thursday, July 22, 2010

35 FIRE BRIGADE Operation Room 112 Al-Madena 22418714 Al-Shohada始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

Ministry of Interior website: www.moi.gov.kw

For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128 HOSPITALS Sabah Hospital

24812000

Amiri Hospital

22450005

Maternity Hospital

24843100

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital

25312700

Chest Hospital

24849400

Farwaniya Hospital

24892010

Adan Hospital

23940620

Ibn Sina Hospital

24840300

Al-Razi Hospital

24846000

Physiotherapy Hospital

POLICE STATION Al-Madena Police Station Al-Murqab Police Station Al-Daiya Police Station Al-Fayha始a Police Station Al-Qadissiya Police Station Al-Nugra Police Station Al-Salmiya Police Station Al-Dasma Police Station

24874330/9 CLINICS

Roudha

22517733

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24849807

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24848913

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24814507

Abdullah Salim

22549134

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22526804

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

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22515088

Dasmah

22532265

Bneid Al-Ghar

22531908

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22518752

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22459381

Ayoun Al-Kibla

22451082

Al-Mirqab

22456536

Sharq

22465401

Salmiya

25746401

Jabriya

25316254

Maidan Hawally

25623444

Bayan

25388462

Mishref

25381200

W.Hawally

22630786

Sabah

24810221

Jahra

24770319

New Jahra

24575755

West Jahra

24772608

South Jahra

24775066

North Jahra

24775992

North Jleeb

24311795

Al-Ardhiya

24884079

Firdous

4892674

Al-Omariya

4719048

N.Kheitan

4710044

Rabiya

4732263

Fintas

3900322

THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988 AIRLINES

PHARMACIES ON 24 HRS DUTY GOVERNORATE Ahmadi

PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

ADDRESS Fahaeel Makka St Abu Halaifa-Coastal Rd Mahboula Block 1, Coastal Rd

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558

Jahra

Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622

Capital

Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967

Farwaniya

New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

Hawally

Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy

Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Salmiya-Amman St Hawally-Beirut St Hawally & Rawdha Coop Jabriya-Block 1A Jabriya-Block 3B

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554

EMERGENCY 112

PRIVATE CLINICS Ophthalmologists: Dr. Abidallah Al-Mansoor Dr. Samy Al-Rabeea Dr. Masoma Habeeb Dr. Mubarak Al-Ajmy Dr. Mohsen Abel Dr Adnan Hasan Alwayl Dr. Abdallah Al-Baghly

25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 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-Awadi22616660 Dr. Adel Al-Hunayan FRCS (C) 25313120 Plastic Surgeons: Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf 22547272

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282

(1) Ear, Nose and Throat Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari 22635047 Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan 22613623/0 Gynaecologists & Obstetricians: Dr Adrian Harbe 23729596/23729581 Dr. Verginia s.Marin 2572-6666 ext 8321 Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan 22655539 Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami 25343406 Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly 25739272 Dr. Salem soso 22618787 General Surgeons: Dr. Abidallah Behbahani 25717111 Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer 22610044 Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher 25327148

Paediatricians: Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed 25340300

Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi 25330060 Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah 25722290

(2) Plastic Surgeon Dr. Abdul Mohsin Jafar, FRCS (Canada)

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas

3729596/3729581

Dr. Shamah Al-Matar

22641071/2

Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed

22562226

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

Neurologists:

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 Tel: 25339667 Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Consultant Cardiologist Tel: 2611555-2622555 Inaya German Medical Center Te: 2575077 Fax: 25723123

Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri 25633324 Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan

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

Physiotherapists & VD: Dr. Deyaa Shehab 25722291 Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees 22666288

25345875

Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman

22636464

Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly 25322030 Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali

22633135

Endocrinologist: Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman 25339330 Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari

25658888

Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr

25329924

Psychologists/Psychotherapists Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688 info@soorcenter.com www.soorcenter.com Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, Ph.D. 2290-1677 Susannah-Joy Schuilenberg, M.A. 2290-1677 William Schuilenberg, RPC 2290-1677 Zaina Al Zabin, M.Sc. 2290-1677

Kuwait Airways Wataniya Airways Jazeera Airways Jet Airways Qatar Airways KLM Air Slovakia Olympic Airways Royal Jordanian Reservation British Airways Air France Emirates Air India Sri Lanka Airlines Egypt Air Swiss Air Saudia Middle East Airlines Lufthansa PIA Alitalia Balkan Airlines Bangladesh Airlines Czech Airlines Indian Airlines Oman Air Turkish Airlines

22433377 24379900 177 22477631 22423888 22425747 22434940 22420002/9 22418064/5/6 22433388 22425635 22430224 22425566 22438184 22424444 22421578 22421516 22426306 22423073 22422493 22421044 22414427 22416474 22452977/8 22417901/2433141 22456700 22412284/5 22453820/1

INTERNATIONAL CALLS Afghanistan Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antiga Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia Botswana Brazil Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Cyprus (Northern) Czech Republic Denmark Diego Garcia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England (UK)

0093 00355 00213 00376 00244 001264 001268 0054 00374 0061 0043 001242 00973 00880 001246 00375 0032 00501 00229 001441 00975 00591 00387 00267 0055 00673 00359 00226 00257 00855 00237 001 00238 001345 00236 00235 0056 0086 0057 00269 00242 00682 00506 00385 0053 00357 0090392 00420 0045 00246 00253 001767 001809 00593 0020 00503 0044

Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guyana Haiti Holland (Netherlands) Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Ibiza (Spain) Iceland India Indian Ocean Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Italy Ivory Coast Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Liberia Libya Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia

00240 00291 00372 00251 00500 00298 00679 00358 0033 00594 00689 00241 00220 00995 0049 00233 00350 0030 00299 001473 00590 001671 00502 00224 00592 00509 0031 00504 00852 0036 0034 00354 0091 00873 0062 0098 00964 00353 0039 00225 001876 0081 00962 007 00254 00686 00965 00996 00856 00371 00961 00231 00218 00370 00352 00853 00389

SPECTRUM

36

M

el Gibson threatened to shoot himself and his exgirlfriend, it has been claimed. The 54-year-old actor - who has been accused of domestic violence against Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of his eightmonth-old daughter Lucia - allegedly pulled a gun on the Russian singer and said he would shoot her, their daughter and her 12-year-old son Alexander, before turning the weapon on himself. Speaking about the January 6 incident, a source told RadarOnline.com: “Mel punched her in the mouth and then again in the side of the head. “Oksana has told authorities it was horrific and she thought she

ruce Willis is the “happiest he has ever been”. The ‘Expendables’ actor - who married lingerie model Emma Heming in March 2009 admits he had ruled out ever finding love again after his divorce from Demi Moore in 2000, and credits the British beauty for turning his life around. He said: “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and this comes after a long period of being kind of lonely, even though I tried to convince myself I was enjoying my life. “Before I met Emma I was very pessimistic about finding that special woman with whom I would want to spend my life with. “I thought it would be difficult for someone like me, who is well known, to find a woman who didn’t have an agenda and who just wanted to be with me because they loved me, pure and simple.” The actor also admitted he struggled with the break-up of his

B

he Oscar-winning actor - who has Owen, 18, and Greta, 16, with his actress wife Phoebe Cates - is proud of the bond he has with his kids because he knows he doesn’t have to worry about them when they go out. He said: “We actually make music together sometimes. I like jamming. That’s the most fun! My kids have impeccable taste and judgment. I know that when they’re out, they’re not doing anything they wouldn’t do right in front of me!” However, the 62-year-old star admitted he sometimes has trouble making his teenagers pay attention to his views. He told HollywoodLife.com: “They just don’t listen! Or, they go, ‘Yeah, dad. Right ...’ “ Despite having a close bond with Owen and Greta, Kevin admits he can’t wait for his offspring to leave home. He added: “I’m looking forward to their freedom. The best thing is knowing that soon they will grow up and leave!”

was going to die.” The insider claims Oksana, 40, has told authorities she was holding Lucia during the alleged attack and fell backwards on the bed as the actor tried to choke her. The ‘Braveheart’ actor then reportedly yelled and called Oksana bad words. Alexander - whose father is former James Bond star Timothy Dalton - is believed to have witnessed the row in the bedroom and was interviewed by child protection services agents last Friday. Mel is now facing a criminal investigation on domestic battery charges by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and is part of a Department of Children and Family Services

Thursday, July 22, 2010

investigation. Investigators will also be looking at the actor’s phone records as it was claimed that after Oksana fled with the children - barefoot and in her pajamas - Mel repeatedly threatened her. Meanwhile, Oksana is reportedly planning on filing a suit for defamation and slander against Mel over the expletive-laced, hate-filled recordings that were recently leaked online. A source explained: “Oksana’s reputation and character has been damaged after what Mel said. He has made her out to be a gold-digger and extortionist, which she is not, and she plans to defend herself against his baseless claims.”

13-year marriage to Demi, but after receiving advice from Will Smith, realized they should stay on good terms with the actress and her new husband Ashton Kutcher for the sake of their daughters Rumer, 21, Scout, 18, and Tallulah, 16. He explained in an interview with The Sun newspaper: “I just saw that there’s no point to living with regret or antagonism or having any pent-up anger. You have to let it all go. It was a tough time for me during those years after the break-up. But I had a long talk with Will Smith one day. “He kind of explained to me how I had to make an effort to be good friends with Demi for the sake of our girls and how they would have a much happier life and feel so much better if Mom and Dad could stay friends. That was a great decision in my life and to tell you the truth it worked out really well.”

T

he ‘Heroes’ actress - who married stand-up comedian Hayes McArthur last August - will reportedly welcome the new addition to her family into the world this winter. Her spokesperson confirmed: “Ali and Hayes are thrilled to be expecting their first child.” Ali, 34, has previously admitted that she was desperate to settle down and have children with Hayes from the first time they started dating. Speaking after their engagement in 2007, she confessed: “I told Hayes after three weeks that I wanted to marry him and that we could do it tomorrow. I look forward to the time that I’m at home with babies. “He has brought light to my life. I feel lucky every morning when I wake up and see him. Not everybody is fortunate enough to find their soul mate in life.” Ali has also previously admitted she ruined several relationships before she met Hayes because she was so obsessed with getting married. She said: “Since I was 15 years old, all I wanted was to find the guy I was going to marry. My heart got broken so many times because I put so much pressure on it. And then I got blindsided. “Hayes showed me the way, and all was right. This is how it’s supposed to be.”

T

he ‘Ghost Whisperer’ star has been single since splitting from boyfriend Jamie Kennedy in March but would seriously consider taking on the care of a child even without a man in her life. When asked if she would adopt alone, she said: “I’m absolutely open to it!” Though the 31year-old actress insists she is enjoying being single, she admits she prefers to have a boyfriend. She told In Touch Weekly magazine: “I feel like as a person, I am better as a couple. But I am learning a lot about myself.” Jennifer’s latest role was as a prostitute in TV movie ‘The Client List’ and the brunette beauty recently admitted her mother was “proud” of her for being brave enough to tackle the role. The actress - who took up pole dancing to get in shape for the movie - said: “My mom’s like, ‘I’m so proud. You’re pole dancing and you’re going to play a prostitute. Awesome!’ “It’s like, ‘Yeah, what you always dreamed about, mama!’ But you know, it’s a great part.”

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he 50-year-old music mogul has reportedly agreed to fiancee Mezhgan Hussainy’s requests to start a family, and the couple plan to begin trying to conceive in the near future. A friend of the make-up artist said: “She’s already told her friends: ‘I want to have Simon’s baby - and I’m not prepared to wait much longer.’ “She said last week that she will start trying before the end of the year and that Simon is up for it.” Simon and Mezghan - who got engaged in February - were originally believed

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he 22-year-old star - who began dating the brunette beauty after they met on the set of ‘High School Musical’ in 2005 - doesn’t want the “pressure” of making an official commitment to their relationship until he is much older. He said: “No, I’m not going to get married for a while. “I think I’ve always said I’m not going to get married ‘til I’m 30. I’m going to wait. I wouldn’t want that kind of commitment or pressure at this point.” The Californian hunk recently admitted the reason his fiveyear relationship with 21-year-old

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Vanessa has worked so well is because they have kept it private and try not to let attention bother them too much. Zac said: “Not much of it is public to be honest. We don’t talk about it other than the fact that it exists. We just try to keep it to ourselves, which is what we take a sense of pride in because we don’t need to share that. “During ‘High School Musical’ I didn’t know how to handle it, but if you just live your life and keep doing what you do and don’t care if they take pictures - they can’t slow you down.”— Bang Showbiz

to be planning to marry this summer, but after delaying their nuptials, the brunette beauty is determined to carry out her plan to have children as soon as possible. The friend revealed to Closer magazine: “Simon doesn’t want to rush into a summer wedding so Mezghan wants to move on to the next big project, which she says is becoming a mum. “Mezghan thinks he’ll be a great dad, but she’s worried he might change his mind about wanting a baby as he was so anti the idea before.”

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Music & Movies government-linked Iranian studio said yesterday it plans to make a television movie about Shahram Amiri, the Tehran scientist who claims he was abducted by US spies last year. Amirhossein Ashtiyanipour, a director at Sima Film, said a “young group of movie school graduates” had been hired to write the script for the movie but gave no further details. The project was confirmed by Fars news agency, which reported yesterday that

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ountry-pop starlet Taylor Swift, who sold millions of records detailing the agonies of adolescence, said on Tuesday her third album will be a “conceptual” release directed at specific people she met during her dizzying ascent to stardom in the past two years. “In life you have a lot of situations that pop up and people come into your life and sometimes you don’t get to tell them what you wish you would have told them,” the 20-year-old singer/songwriter told fans during an Internet broadcast. “This album is my opportunity to do that. Track by track, each song is a different confession to a different person.” The aptly titled “Speak Now” will come out worldwide on Oct

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Jennifer Aniston

court has granted a temporary restraining order to Jennifer Aniston against a man who authorities say traveled cross-country in a delusional attempt to marry her. Court documents filed Tuesday in California say police detained Jason R Peyton last week after finding him with a sharp object, duct tape and love notes to the “Friends” star. Authorities say he was stopped after spending days trying to find Aniston on Sunset Boulevard. The 24-year-old was placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold by Los Angeles police. A hearing on the order will be held Aug. 9. The court filings state Peyton has said he won’t stop his pursuit of Aniston. — AP

Geena Davis

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scar-winning actress Geena Davis has a new role — on a Californian commission promoting the rights of women. Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the appointment of Davis, a Democrat, to the Commission on the Status of Women on Tuesday in a statement that also outlined her previous work with various women’s groups. The commission, a nonpartisan state agency, works with Schwarzenegger to promote equality and justice for women and girls. Davis’ appointment, which pays $100 a day, requires

confirmation by the California state senate. Davis, who has starred in films such as “Tootsie,” “The Accidental Tourist” and “Thelma and Louise,” is the founder of the “Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media.” She set the group up after watching Grated films and shows with her young daughter with the aim of reducing gender stereotyping in film and television and increasing the percentages of female characters. Davis is also a member of Mensa International, the wellknown society for people with high IQs that are in the statistical top two percent. — Reuters

George Clooney arrives at the 82nd Academy Awards in this March 7, 2010 file photo taken in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. — AP

eorge Clooney will be recognized for his humanitarian efforts at the Emmy Awards. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will present the 49-year-old actor with its Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the ceremony next month. Clooney is being honored for the “Hope for Haiti” US TV special, which is nominated for an Emmy award, and his efforts to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina and raise awareness about genocide in Darfur. John Shaffner, chairman and chief executive of the TV academy, said Clooney was “an obvious choice” for the award because he used the power of television to move people to act. The Bob Hope Humanitarian Award was established in 2002. Clooney is the fourth recipient of the honor and will receive the award at the Emmy ceremony on Aug 29. — AP

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25 through Nashville-based independent label Big Machine Records. Swift said the first single-”Mine” to be released on Aug. 16 — was a song of hope inspired by her recent tendency to run from love. “I’m never ever going to go past hoping that love can work out,” she said. For the first time, Swift wrote all of the songs herself and she produced the album with Nathan Chapman, who produced her previous releases. An extensive world tour will follow, she said, although dates have not yet been disclosed. Swift is helping to keep the lights on in the ailing music business. She was the top-selling artist in the United States in 2008 and No 2

Sima Film is to make a telefilm of the story of Amiri, “his hostage-taking and his return to Iran.” Amiri, a scientist who surfaced in Washington last week after going missing for more than a year, claims he was abducted by US agents while on a pilgrimage in the Saudi city of Medina in June 2009. US officials have repeatedly denied his claims of abduction, insisting he was in the United States of his own free will. But they acknowledged that Washington

last year behind Michael Jackson, according to tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan. Swift also boasted the No 4 North American tour during the first half of 2010, according to trade publication Pollstar. Her previous album “Fearless,” whose songs she either wrote or co-wrote, has sold 5.9 million copies in the United States since its release in November 2008, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It yielded four Grammy awards in January, including album of the year, making Swift the youngest winner of the music industry’s top prize. Her self-titled 2006 debut, which has sold 4.8 million copies, and her second album are still in the US charts. — Reuters

(From left) US actor Nicolas Cage and film producer Jerry Bruckheimer wave their hands to Japanese fans with a person dressed as Disney character Mickey Mouse at the Japanese premiere of their latest movie ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ at a Tokyo theatre yesterday. The movie will be screening in Japan from August 13. — AFP

In this June 17, 2010 file photo, Taylor Swift attends the 2010 Songwriters Hall of Fame awards gala in New York.—AP

eonardo DiCaprio hopes his mind-warp thriller “Inception” will be a hit in Japan, which has long shown a taste for anime fantasies and surreal works by its own master-director Akira Kurosawa. The Hollywood star was in Tokyo for the premiere of the scifi summer blockbuster by British director Christopher Nolan about a group of thieves who infiltrate their victims’ dreams to steal their thoughts. “This is a very surreal, multi-dimensional plot structure (which) needs ideas that don’t come about from Hollywood very often,” DiCaprio said. “I’m truly excited to see how the audiences here would react to this idea,” he said, crediting Japanese movie-goers with embracing new concepts such as works by animation director Hayao Miyazaki and cinema legend Kurosawa. “I’m a huge fan of Japanese cinema, Japanese anime,” DiCaprio said at a Tokyo press conference. “The Miyazaki film ‘Spirited Away’ has very surreal landscapes that audiences here seem to embrace and seem to love.” DiCaprio, a three-time Academy Award nominee, said his latest work stood out from what he admitted can be unimaginative Hollywood fare. “Films that come out, especially during the summer time..., seem to be a recycle from other plot structures, and this is truly unique,” he said. His co-star Ken Watanabe meanwhile lavished praise on Nolan, with whom he tied up for a second time after the 2005 film “Batman Begins”, even likening him to the Italian Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci. “I really wonder what’s happening in Chris Nolan’s head,” Watanabe said. “He has all sorts of elements, not only literary but also scientific and architectural, with a full drive to prepare them and carry them out. “It even makes me think he is a comeback of da Vinci.” But the Japanese actor also had a complaint to share: “The director first told me to play the role just like James Bond,” he said with a stern look. “Unfortunately he didn’t have a Bond girl for me in the script.”— AFP

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By Sandy Cohen

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n the outside, they all look the same: White armor, white helmets, black blaster rifles. Imperial soldiers from a galaxy far, far away, they’re loyal only to the Empire and recognizable everywhere as “Star Wars” storm troopers. Inside, though, are different stories. Those armored clones are lovingly occupied by moms, dads, doctors, cops, lawyers, exterminators, artists and other passionate “Star Wars” fans who devote thousands of dollars and countless hours to building screen-accurate costumes and wearing them all over the world to support the beloved franchise as well as dozens of children’s charities. They are the 501st Legion, an international, all-volunteer costuming group. And this week, they’re coming to Comic-Con. “It’s a major event for us every year,” says Christi Ladnier, 42, a mother of three who will be wearing an eight-years-in-the-making homemade Boba Fett costume. (Legion members dress as all kinds of “Star Wars” characters, with storm troopers the most popular.) At least 200 members of the group-which boasts nearly 5,000 members in 40 countries-will be in full costume at the annual pop-culture festival, held today through Sunday at the San Diego Convention Center. Comic-Con is just one of dozens of events Legion members attend each year. A major supporter of the Make-AWish Foundation, Legion members also lend their Imperial glory to children’s hospitals, the Ronald McDonald House, the American Cancer Society, Toys for Tots, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and March of Dimes. They’ve appeared in commercials, marched alongside “Star Wars” creator George Lucas in the Tournament of

“had been in contact with him” during his stay. Amiri returned to Tehran last Thursday and in an interview with state television said the US attempted to pressure him into confessing that he was a “spy” and be exchanged with three US hikers in custody of Tehran. US media reports said far from being abducted, Amiri defected to the United States and was paid millions of dollars to spill Iran’s nuclear secrets. — AFP

In this July 24, 2009 photo, two Comic-Con attendees dressed as Star Wars Storm Troopers pose for a photo at Comic-Con in San Diego.—AP Roses parade and handed out Halloween candy at the White House. Charity is at the heart of the 501st Legion, and friendship and fandom are its soul, but it really comes down to the costumes. Their storm trooper outfits aren’t store bought, nor are they cheap, and they must be identical to what’s in the original films to be good enough. The Legion’s standards division assesses the screen-accuracy of each member’s attire. Storm trooper armor is made from vacuum-formed plastic, heated in home ovens and poured over molds meticulously sculpted based on careful

analysis of the characters on screen. The artisans who make the outfits are Legion members themselves, and they sell their work for practically no profit under a unique agreement with Lucasfilm, owner of the “Star Wars” franchise. The company allows the fan group to use its intellectual property without fee or fine so long as the costumes, T-shirts and collectible coins that result are strictly for Legion members. “It’s an extended family,” says Steve Sansweet, Lucasfilm’s director of content management, describing copyright concerns as “a non-issue” with the 501st Legion. Marcelo Gallo, 43, of California, dis-

covered hidden artistic talents when he decided to make his own storm trooper helmet. A married father of five and owner of a pest-control business, he spent his free time researching how to make molds and vacuum form plastic. Now he’s built hundreds of helmets for fellow members and charity auctions. “Sometimes I wish I could do this every day, but I can’t make it a top priority in my life because it’s not a source of income,” he says, adding that any money he makes goes back into the club and his costume. Mike Ozeroglu, 36, a radiation therapy physicist with the US Navy, ended up doing all the leatherwork on his Jango Fett costume. “It’s not something that you can just buy. You pretty much have to make it yourself,” he said, adding that refining the costume is a continuous process. “I’ve been working on that Jengo Fett literally since I first started in 2004.” While he loves to “geek out on ‘Star Wars’ fandom,” he says the real reward is bringing joy to sick kids. “The most fun is where we go off to the hospitals,” he says. “The kids really think you’re the character most of the time. It’s fun to go in there and cheer them up a little bit. The following Monday I’m there as a staff officer and nobody knows I was there over the weekend.” Though the helmets can get hot, they also help hide emotions and keep these costumed fans firmly in character, says Ladnier, also of California. “Sometimes you’re glad you have a bucket on your head because you just start welling up.” The costume itself also can be uncomfortable. Beneath the armor, which breaks down into some 60 pieces, members wear long-sleeved shirts and leggings, plus a swath of fabric around their necks. It takes around 20 minutes to get in costume. Wearers can be a bit clumsy, too,

since the helmets obscure peripheral vision. But owning and wearing the storm trooper suit is the ultimate fan experience, says Los Angeles attorney Lawrence Green, who says he’s “over 30.” “Some people collect action figures,” he says. “We get to BE action figures.” Doing charity work began as an afterthought, says Legion founder Albin Johnson, but is now at the core of the group’s activities. “We had to find things for people to do in armor,” says the 41-year-old from South Carolina. “And charity would validate us in a way that says, ‘Hey, world, you can make fun of us as kind of goofy but we’re justifying what we’re doing by charity alone.”‘ A decade later, the Legion’s charitable outreach extends both inside and outside the group. Members have donated kidneys to each other-twice. When Johnson’s daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Legion members cooked dinners for the family, cleaned their house and mowed their lawn. “These guys are literally giving parts of themselves to keep other ‘Star Wars’ fans alive and well,” Sansweet says. “They’re giving back to all fans by doing what they do and providing this sense of wonder and excitement.” So what makes grown adults spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours to dress up like fictional characters from their favorite film? Ultimately, its camaraderie, says Johnson, and esprit de corps. “Every human being is a social animal, but a lot of sci-fi geeks aren’t seen that way,” he says. “Its successful because you’ve got a lot of people that say they had no way of celebrating ‘Star Wars’ fandom in a way that felt good until they had people to do it with, charities to do it for and events to do it at.”—AP

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fashion

Moss consoles Osbourne over break-up K

ate Moss is comforting Kelly Osbourne through her break-up. The British supermodel is said to have been on the phone “day and night” to the 25-year-old presenter, who ended her engagement with Luke Worrall following the model’s alleged infidelity with an unknown woman, and hopes she will “bounce back” quickly from the setback. A source told the Daily Star newspaper: “Kate’s been on the phone day and night giving Kelly crucial advice as well as a shoulder to cry on. “Kate told Kelly to get away for a few

A photo of Frank Sinatra with Liza Minnelli appears in the book, “Sinatra,” by Tim Frew. —MCT photos

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It was Frank Sinatraʼs hat luck! Rick Gorski walked into a neighbor’s garage sale with $5 in his pocket. And walked out with a piece of history. Consider that in the last few years, a William Shatner kidney stone sold for $25,000. A Marilyn Monroe X-ray sold for $45,000. And an Elvis Presley belt sold for $66,000. “Something just told me, I’ve got go over there,” the unemployed construction worker says of his purchase last fall. “I remember it so vividly.” He’d already bought a vacuum cleaner and telephone from the couple moving out of state. This time, he spotted a

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Eleven, on a lace-edged placket. Dean Martin’s preferred collars? Button-down roll collar using Swiss voile fabrics. Johnny Cash’s choice of fabrics? Silk crepe de Chine and 4-ply silks. “We know what Frank (Sinatra) wore in 60s,” says Sepetjian. “What style. What fabric. We have it in the archives.” He dug out the records as Gorski dug out a tape measure and magnif ying glass. Tag, two inches from bottom? Seven button holes and two in the French cuff? Gathered sleeves? Doublestitched placket? He had Gorski measure the pleated breastplate and width of each diagonal pleat. “It’s Frank’s shirt,” Sepetjian says. In the

Rick Gorski, of Newport Beach, California, shows the shirt he bought at a garage sale last year for $5 that had a tag that read: “Frank Sinatra”. white tuxedo shirt with a sign: Frank Sinatra’s Shirt. Lucinda, how do you know that’s a Frank Sinatra shirt? She lifted one corner of the shirt tail. “Frank Sinatra Feb. 1987,” was stitched next to “Nat Wise of London ... Sunset Strip, Calif.” How much? For you, Rick, five dollars. That was almost a year ago. Ever since, Gorski, 56, of Newport Beach, Calif., has tried to sell it-with no luck. Strange as it sounds, he almost feels stuck with it. “I’m in a pickle,” he says. Same question. Always. When Gorski told anyone he had a Sinatra shirt, they asked: How do you know? He finally phoned one of the most famous ateliers in the world: Anto Distinctive Shirtmakers in Beverly Hills. Past clients include President Ronald Reagan, Mick Jagger ... and Frank Sinatra. “We did the ‘Titanic’ shirt for Leonardo (DiCaprio),” says Anto’s son Jack Sepetjian, who now runs the shop with brother Ken. “That tuxedo shirt sold for $10,000 in auction. And the shirt from ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ that sold for $100,000.” The Sepetjians merged with Nat Wise in 1987 and have records, in a vault, dating back to 1955. Want to know how many buttons Jerry Lewis liked on his polysilk pullovers?

front guarantee of a big payday. Take, for example, Marilyn Monroe’s chest XRay. Way back in 2002, Julien met the X-ray’s owner (daughter of Monroe’s former gynecologist), who balked at Julien’s conservative estimate of $800-$1,200. I really think it needs to bring $5,000, he recalls her saying. To which he replied: “You’re crazy if you think it’ll ever do over $5,000!” Last month, she finally relented, and Julien auctioned it in Las Vegas-for $45,000. Auction houses list conservative estimates for celebrity memorabilia to ensure interested buyers. An item listed at $800-$1,200 may fetch $45,000. Or it might fetch $800. That’s the gamble. And that’s the pickle Gorski is in. Gorski has done other homework. He found two photographs of Sinatra wearing what appears to be this shirt (rare, with its diagonal pleats). One, while receiving an N.A.A.C.P. lifetime achievement award in Los Angeles in May, 1987. And one while singing with Liza Minnelli at UC San Diego in January, 1988. “He was smart to do the detective work,” says Julien, adding that photos are key to adding value. “The more information, the more it’s going to sell for.” Julien once sold a Sinatra jacket, without a photo, for $4,500 and says most Sinatra clothes go between $2,000 and $30,000. This one? “I’d estimate $800 to $1,200,” he says. “And it should sell from $2,000 to $6,000.” He pretty much knows Gorski’s reaction. Same as everyone’s: Oh, I thought it would be worth a lot more.

collection introduces core classics for everyday wear with a trendy mix of styles ranging from lace paneling to satin sheen and from cork bottomed sandals to chic flats and summer boots. Wood also forms the focus for the season with stacked heels and wedges in pale tones and uppers in soft colors, thus demure dressing up for the grown up girl comes to play with the Carvela collection Moving to a more aggrandized collection the KG range introduces a refreshing burst of feminity for the season that unfolds the dream world of every princess! The collection dominates girlish glamour with pale jewels, pearls, pretty studs in a complex but sultry palettes which resonates sorbet, sugary and metallic tones of mint and lilac along with sweet pastels. Designs are seen through Indian embroidery alongside Aztec prints, faceted heels to studding and crochet hints at a world of reverie and fanciful fairytales in the

A tag adorns the inside of a white cotton shirt allegedly owned by singing legend Frank Sinatra. year following February, 1987, Sinatra performed 80 concerts _ from Carnegie Hall to an Italian opera house. Chances are, he performed in the shirt now in Gorski’s hands. Several times. So what’s it worth? For that, we turn to Julien’s Auctions, the world’s largest entertainment auction house. They sold a tuxedo worn by Dean Martin for $20,000. A jacket work by Kurt Cobain for $87,000. And a little glove worn by Michael Jackson for $350,000! “He’s done the hardest part,” says president Darren Julien. “That’s finding out if it’s authentic with the people that made the shirt.” Still, that’s no up-

So let’s see: “Frank Sinatra is the ultimate American icon,” Gorski says, holding the shirt in front of him before a mirror. “How can a shirt Frank Sinatra owned, one of the rarest he ever had made, be the same price as an autographed photo? It doesn’t make sense.” That’s why, for now, the shirt hangs in the closet. And hangs. Gorski can’t sell it on eBay, he says-too complicated. And won’t sell it through an auction house-too risky. He’s in a pickle. Would he give it to the Sinatra family? “If no one buys the shirt,” he says. “I have so much respect for their dad, I’d give it to them.” All it’d cost him is five bucks. —MCT

fessed she would not “bash” Luke for their break-up, and instead was more angry at ‘Bad girls’ for ruining her relationship. She said: “At first I wanted to tell everyone everything and completely bash him because I’m hurt and angry. But at the end of the day, the truth is I did love Luke and that’s all that matters. “I kept up my side of the bargain and kept my side of the street clean, and no amount of male stupidity and no number of bad girls are going to change that.” — Bang Showbiz

urt Geiger - Europe’s leading luxury footwear brand located at The Avenues, Phase II launched the new Spring/Summer collection for every shoe aficionado. The range resurrects distinctive styles from KG, Carvela and French Connection. From futuristic styles to retro give-aways and sorbet tones to earthy appeal are all prominent in this collection! The collection is filled with glamorous and luxurious designs. The Spring Summer’10 collection styles and designs are an eclectic mix of tones and considers the instincts and everyday needs of a practical life from stiletto heels to ballerinas, comfort shoes for work and play along with some outrageous “lust- haves”. The Carvela collection draws its inspiration from the era of Boudoir dressing style and the classical look of the Brit fashion-pack! This

That $5 shirt? By Tom Berg

days, recharge then get slim and sexy by hitting the gym. “She’s assuring Kelly everything will be OK. Kate knows Kelly will bounce back but feels sad to see her mate so let down by the man she wanted to marry.” Kelly recently revealed she was having one of the worst weeks in her life when she discovered not only had Luke been cheating on her but her new puppy had died. She wrote on twitter: “My life just could not get any worst right now I come home to find my dog woody is dead. (sic)” The 25-year-old star also con-

KG collection. The French Connection range steps into summer with style. An extensive range of fashionably fresh shoes screams stylish simplicity fused with complementary color combinations to send you straight into summer. Statement sandals and sky scraper

letic materials to create up-dated formal silhouettes, raw surfaces and textures with oily canvases and suedes, channelize the subtle defining details of the French Connection collection this summer! This Spring Summer Kurt Geiger offers a range of timeless fashion styles along with chic patterns designed in a spectrum of colors that furnishes the collection with everything from classic to contemporary!!

heels take the spotlight. Designed using interesting material combinations including punch holes and colorful eyelets, textured

and ath-

Dita Von Teese refuses to use a stylist he burlesque dancer who is famed for her vintage-inspired wardrobe and glamorous look doesn’t see the point of paying someone to tell her what to wear as she likes to be adventurous with fashion and choose her outfits herself. She said: “Every celebrity today seems to hire a stylist to choose their clothes. I admire women like Daphne Guinness and the late Isabella Blow - women that took risks and have their own

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personal style without having to pay someone to do it.” Although she is always dressed and made-up to perfection, Dita insists she doesn’t take any longer to get ready than someone who has a low-key look. She told vogue.com: “I have a lot of friends that have a very natural look and it takes just as long. They straighten their hair, wear all that bronzer and beige lipstick and apply 50 coats of mascara to make

themselves look natural. I’m doing the same thing just with different colors. I set my hair which is actually quicker than a blow dry. I get ready just as quick as any other woman I know.” Dita also revealed how she would never wear jogging bottoms as she always likes to feel glamorous and sophisticated. She said: “I never feel like wearing them. Why would I do that? Who wants to purposefully feel c**ppy?” —Bang Showbiz

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

39

Fashion

Models present creations by Indian Designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee during the Pearls Couture Week 2010 in New Delhi on Wednesday. —AFP photos

Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee poses with Bollywood actresses Rani Mukherjee and Vidya Balan.

Models present creations by Indian Designer Manish Malhotra during the Pearls Couture Week 2010.

Indian Designer Manish Malhotra acknowledges the crowd after presenting his creations.

Yurman approaches jewelry as master craftsman By Samantha Critchell avid Yurman lacks a certain polish, and that is his charm. As one of the world’s few household-name jewelers, Yurman could have his feet up on the desk, wear the finest suit and flashiest gems, or be too slick to say anything juicy in an interview. But on this day, at least, that is not Yurman’s style. With a simple cable-style bracelet that has become his signature dangling from his wrist, he walks around his impressive 58,000-square-foot (5,390-sq.-meter) office space in black jeans and a pullover sweater, greeting everyone by name. Yurman spends the most time hovering over those working on Computer Assisted Design terminals, suggesting adjustments here or there. It seems the size and scope of his still-private company has not sunk in yet. He lingers over photos from the early days: holiday parties with the same stone setters still working in the back today, and, especially, his first ad campaigns, which he says have always tried to sell the idea of democratized luxury. In a sign of his own changing times, newer ads on the wall star the likes of top models Kate Moss, Amber Valetta and Natalia Vodianova instead of anonymous faces. Growing this business-now with 21 of its own retail shops, hightraffic counters at luxury stores, and expansion into fragrance and eyewear-always has been about one thing: passing on opportunity to his son, Evan, giving him the jump-start to a life that

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Yurman, who was out earning his own income at 19, did not always have. Craftsmanship is what ultimately brought him into the world of jewelry, but that was after indulging in a cross-country hitchhiking trip to California, more than a few late nights with the beatniks and a passion for whit-

Pieces of jewelry for inspiration and ideas are seen in the offices of jeweler David Yurman in New York.

Jeweler David Yurman is seen in his New York office. —AP photos

tling. Yurman, 67, says he always believed he would be an artist, specifically a sculptor, and he was for a while. “At 16, I learned how to use a blow torch. I was a bad student, but I stayed focused at the welding table. I knew I liked to make things.” The other skills he remembers from his Long Island, New York, childhood were running track and dancing. Business, branding and the fashion industry never fit into the equation. He got a motorcycle and hung out with an eccentric crowd, and Yurman began using his sculpting and welding talents to make belt buckles. It was enough to start him on a bona fide career path, he says, even if it was one that

required driving to every craft show he could find, probably 40 a year. At first, he would pull up in a 1962 Cadillac among all the VW Beetles and beatup Volvo wagons. He stood out, he recalls with a laugh. Later, becoming more a part of the craftsman scene, he would get into an old Saab and wear Birkenstocks once he and new wife Sybil moved to a Putnam Valley farmhouse in upstate New York. But Sybil, a painter, was not a fan of this nomadic craft-show life. She did, however, love the one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry he started making for her. So did a Manhattan gallery owner, who asked the Yurmans one night at an exhibit opening if a particular piece was for sale. He said no,the piece was too personal; she said yes, seeing the start of a business. He knew better than to argue, Yurman says, and he soon returned to New York City, where he had apprenticed earlier with sculptors Ernesto Gonzales and Jacques Lipschitz. “I came to the city kicking and screaming to follow Sybil. But we made the decision to move to the city so we could sell ‘Main Street.’ We got into fine jewelers and then (Henri) Bendel’s and then Neiman Marcus and Saks. We still sold a handful of craft stores.” That was more than 30 years ago, and the brand now offers about 300 new pieces a year along with scores of the classic silver-and-gold cables decorated with colored stones. Yurman said annual sales total more than 700,000 units. It can take less than six months for an idea to become a salable piece, but sometimes it will

stew much longer if Yurman is not feeling in his gut that a design fits into current tastes. He thinks that has been a key to his success. Every necklace or pair of earrings starts with a sketch in his trusty Moleskine notebook. “I get juiced by drawing. If I get a moment when no one is in the house, I’ll go through old magazines, old drawings, some ideas that are still gestating, and I’ll wonder, ‘Is this right for this moment?”‘ Sybil is still very much his business partner, the company’s chief marketing officer. David is chairman and chief designer, and their son is also a company designer. The company added a CEO in 2006. Yurman says he did a good job leading the hard-core business side, but deep down it is just not his thing. (“Marketing is too big in this world, isn’t it?” he wonders aloud.) He has other passions, though, including horses, cars and humanitarian and charitable causes. In 2001, the David and Sybil Yurman Humanitarian & Arts Foundation was established, which supports Project ALS, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, YouthAIDS and Silver Shield Fund, a scholarship program for the children of police officers killed in the line of duty. While he works in the fine jewelry arena, Yurman says it’s important to him to offer a range of prices. Make no mistake, his pieces are not cheap-you will spend hundreds of dollars, at least-but they are not, he says, only for “the Gulfstream Jet set.” “I think everyone should be able to participate in fine design. ... Why can’t you design a beautiful bracelet and have affordability?”—AP

www.kuwaittimes.net

By Anthony McCartney indsay Lohan’s time in jail will be short, but her time away from the public eye will be much longer. Sheriff’s officials say the actress will spend only about two weeks of a 90-day sentence in jail. But her brief time in an isolation cell that has housed other celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Michelle Rodriguez is just one element of a sentence that is designed to punish and rehabilitate the star. Once Lohan is released in early August, she will be required to report to probation officials within a day. She has also been ordered to spend three months at an inpatient rehab. That portion of her sentence won’t be trimmed like her jail stint by overcrowding and credits for good behavior. “It’s a straight 90 days,” prosecutor Danette Meyers said Tuesday.

Lindsay Lohan

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The result is that the “Mean Girls” and “Georgia Rules” star will be unavailable until late this year to start filming a biopic of porn actress Linda Lovelace. She will be equally unavailable to promote her role as a gun-toting nun in Robert Rodriguez’s “Machete,” which marks her return to the big screen in September. It amounts to lost time for the once-promising actress, whose movements have been restricted since she missed a court date in May. It remains to be seen whether Lohan can replicate a post-jail rebound similar to Michelle Rodriguez, who had a prominent role in last year’s blockbuster “Avatar” and appears in “Machete.” Lohan’s acting career has floundered since 2007, the year she was arrested twice and charged with drunken driving and drug charges. Her plea deal kept her out of jail for all but 84 minutes, but she has struggled with the terms of her probation.

Most of her problems have involved attendance at a state-mandated alcohol education class. The revelation that she missed seven sessions since December, when a judge ordered her weekly participation, led to her return to jail and the new probation terms. Ironically, Lohan’s attorney filed proof with the court Tuesday that she had completed the program. Moments later the nervous-looking actress rose from her chair and was handcuffed by a bailiff. She was led to a lockup cell as her estranged father yelled out a message of support, then whisked by car to the women’s jail. Cameras documented every move, except for the actual handcuffing, which the judge barred photographers from shooting. It was more time in front of the cameras for a woman who has been filmed since she was a child, but once again not in the role most people pay to see. — AP

In a courtroom sketch drawn by Mona Shafer Edwards, actress Lindsay Lohan is shown in handcuffs as she is taken into custody at court in Beverly Hills. —AP

By Ryan Mclendon ooking for love? Got five minutes and some Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses? Speed dating, a party where groups of people have microdates over the course of an evening in a sort of amorous musical chairs is being rebranded as a younger, hipper alternative to online dating. In Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, an event called “The Internet Killed Your Social Skills” is drawing crowds every first Thursday of the month, filling a bar with a sea of 20-somethings in fedoras. Julia Segal, 25, founded the event, nicknamed “hipster speed dating,” as a way to polish up the dating skills that online dating and social networking sites, such as Facebook, have helped to obliterate. “I don’t think it’s better, but I do think it’s more fun,” Segal said. “We do try to make it fun, lighthearted and for a younger crowd.” Since it began six months ago, the event has gained enough momentum to warrant a second night. Soon hipster speed dating will come to nearby Park Slope. And a slew of other dating agencies are offering specialized speed dating services to clients. Speed Dating Connections, a Manhattan-based speed dating agency, has hosted 10,000 daters over the past two years, with many daters looking for very specific kinds of dates. Speed Dating Connections primarily focuses on ethnicity-based dating; the majority of their events are for Asian and Indian clients. But like many agencies, they also offer a variety of specialized services: Dates based on pet ownership, military service and athletic ability are common among their clients. Jacob Tanur, owner of Speed Dating Connections, said it only makes sense to whittle down the number of people in the dating pool. “Everybody is looking for something specific in every person,” he said. “An athletic person doesn’t want to date a couch potato.” The crowd at this month’s hipster speed dating event is modest, but animated. A group of 20 daters line the far end of the darkened wood-paneled room, shuffling from table to table to the rhythm of Roxy Music’s “Love is the Drug.” When the song changes, the next date begins. After the last date, patrons turn in note cards to Segal that tell her with whom they felt a connection. The next day, she will send out an e-mail informing the daters of their matches. David Castillo, 27, the resident DJ and co-founder for hipster speed dating, believes true matches can happen only face to face. He met his girlfriend of four years dancing in a club. He does not think it is natural to date online. “There’s something really natural about whittling through that digital hurdle,” he said. Ed Cadmus, 23, of the New York City borough of Manhattan, does not participate in the speed dating but rather comes to watch. Spectators have as much of a chance of finding romance as do the daters playing. “I’ve seen people just meet up at the bar afterwards,” Cadmus said. Connections owner Tanur believes speed daters should not focus on looking for “the one,” at least not immediately. “The point is not to decide if the person is the person they want to spend the rest of their life with,” Tanur said. “Its if they want to spend an evening with them.” According to some experts, speed dating is not a fast track to finding love. “What can you possibly tell in that short amount of time?” asked April Beyer, founder and president of Beyer and Co, a relationship consultant group based in Los Angeles, California. “(Women) need to feel there is a connection.” According to Beyer, men especially do not benefit from speed dating because they invariably make bad choices when presented with a feast of appealing women. “Men are like autistic toddlers,” she said. “You can’t give them too many options. If you put 30 women in front of a guy, he’s going to choose the wrong person.” But the sense of innocent fun persists at hipster speed dating. Emmanuel Cruz, 25, is simply giving his luck a whirl. His first and only speed dating event was last month, and he was sporting a black eye from a recent mugging. He thought his chances might be better this time. “I’ll give it one more try,” he said. “I really came in with no expectations.”—AP

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Iraqis watch as the Iranian Jahan (World) circus company performs at the ancient city of Babylon, some 80 kms south of Baghdad. — AFP

By Jacques Clement he hapless lion and snake both died in an Iraqi heat wave, but for the jugglers, clowns, fire-eater and other circus performers, the show in ancient Babylon had to go on. This night, under the glare of spotlights and despite the sweltering heat, entertainment-starved spectators in the war-ravaged country are glued to their seats as a daredevil roars inside the Globe of Death on a motorbike. The Jahan (World) company from neighboring Iran is giving many Iraqis their first-ever circus experience. Children gasp when the circus fakir, whose firm belly has already repelled tossed knives and other sharp objects, stoically withstands a menacing nail pushed into his nose. Each evening since early July, the open-air amphitheatre has come alive with circus performers strutting their stuff before the Ishtar Gate, one of the eight entrances to ancient Babylon, founded by Amorites in 19th century BC. Except in the oil-rich, autonomous region of Kurdistan in the north, Iraqis have not seen a circus in their country since the 1970s, when Bulgarian, Romanian and Russian troupes would regale crowds in Baghdad

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each autumn. That was Iraq’s last decade of peace, before Saddam Hussein formally came to power in 1979 and pushed the country from one disaster to another. In 1980, Saddam launched into a devastating eightyear war with Iraq; his forces invaded neighboring Kuwait in August 1990 and had to endure the combined wrath of a US-led multi-national force; in 2003, US forces invaded Iraq and deposed the dictator, who was later tried and hanged. Since the invasion, ordinary Iraqis have been caught in a deadly cycle of sectarian violence, in a war between US troops and opponents that include Al-Qaeda insurgents and Shiite militants. The circus is a break from hard, dreary lives. When Jahan was invited to perform at the Babylonian Theatre built by Saddam on top of ruins dating back to Alexander the Great to evoke the glory of Babylon, at first the circus performers refused, fearing for their safety. They accepted only after their director travelled to the site and was satisfied of the risk. Abu Ghaith, head of Zifaf Al-Fourat, the travel and tourism company that is behind the performance, is jubilant that he has brought circus back to Iraq. “If I go abroad, I will be proud to say we brought circus to the Babylonian Theatre,” Abu Ghaith enthused. “The circus comes back to Iraq in

Babylon,” he gushed. “Look at the number of people tonight! I feel I did something for the people of the city.” This evening, between 300 and 400 spectators occupy the first rows of the 5,000-seat theatre that until 2003 hosted the Babylon International Festival, Iraq’s grandest celebration of music, dance and theatre, which was dedicated to the glory of Saddam and his supposed blood link to 7th century BC Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. In the crowd is baby Houda, celebrating her first birthday and too young to be dazzled but still able to enjoy the color, the movements and the music. “My family had never been to a circus before,” explained her father, 30-year-old Nabil Mohammed. Despite the excitement on stage, there are frequent reminders that this is Iraq, and this is a circus company from neighboring Islamic Iran. A female cheerleader in an Islamic headscarf takes the microphone and charges up the crowd, which responds with loud applause. They want an encore performance by the daredevil, who enters the iron orb, thunders up his motorbike and soon turns into a virtual blur, his headlight seeming like a dot of light spinning inside the sphere and speakers blaring out the song, “Eye of the tiger.”

The Jahan performers are veterans who have done the odd bit of travelling, with performances in Turkey, Russia, Italy and in Iraqi Kurdistan. The 10 performers are multi-talented: the short clown is an ace with the whip, the juggler is a specialist in unicycles of every size and the fire-eater is also a contortionist. But not everyone in the crowd is happy tonight. Ahmad Salah, 14, and his buddies travelled the 10 kilometers (six miles) from central Hilla in taxis to arrive at the circus. “Tonight the animals are missing,” he says sadly, referring to the fact that the circus’s only lion and a snake died because someone left them out too long in the sun that afternoon, when the mercury reached 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) in the shade. Three days before leaving for Iraq, the circus monkey was stolen, leaving the troupe with a pauper’s menagerie of a bear, a clever dog and two snakes. To ward away the evil eye, a sheep was slaughtered before Friday’s opening beneath the iron-fenced entrance, next to the plywood refreshment bar. Jahan promised it would get a new lion in order to give the audience its money’s worth, at tickets costing 6,000 dinars (approximately four euros/ five dollars) for adults, half price for children. — AFP

By Paola Messana he loves the taste of blood, hates the sun, and, if you ask, will tell you she died in a train accident back in 1892: meet Seregon O’Dalley, a would-be vampire living in New York. She’s far from alone. Vampires are in fashion across the United States, encouraged by the hit TV series “True Blood,” now in its third season, the “Twilight” movies and “Vampire Diaries.” Stories about feeding on blood are greedily consumed and eagerly published. For a pastime with dark, anti-religious overtones vampire fashion is itself becoming oddly like an organized religion. There are rules, priests, private gatherings and large-scale celebrations. Hundreds of “vampires” attend balls every few months, with the next vampire ball taking place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 31. Believers in this sect-like lifestyle range from teenage devotees of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” to adults who got hooked on Ann Rice’s “Vampire Diaries” in the 1970s. Rice is the author credited with turning the European model vampire-exemplified by Dracula, the horrific character at the center of Bram Stoker’s 19th century novel set in Transylvania-into a more user-friendly American version. In the very un-Transylvanian setting of New Jersey, O’Dalley keeps her apartment well curtained from the sun and decorates with bat motifs. “It’s like a religion. There are houses, and pageants, and clans, and kind of presidents, ministers,” she said. Still, this is an age of kinder, gentler vampires. O’Dalley actually enjoys garlic, the traditional weapon against vampires, and her blood consumption is modest, to say the least. “Every once in a while I drink blood. I make a prick on my finger and take the blood,” she says. And there’s no chance of leaving nasty marks on

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By Daniel Lippman utopsy tools used to embalm and prepare Elvis Presley’s body for his funeral in 1977 and a toe tag used on the singer for identification purposes are set to go under the hammer at a Chicago auction house. The instruments up for sale at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on Aug 12 include rubber gloves, forceps, lip brushes, a comb and eye liner, needle injectors, an arterial tube and aneurysm hooks, all of which the auction house say were used only once. The collection, saved for years by a senior embalmer at the Memphis Funeral Home who wishes to stay anonymous, also includes a toe tag marked “John Doe” which was used as a replacement after the original was stolen by a fan during chaos at the hospital. “The mortician, who prepared the body, retained this tag and the instruments, along with the preparation room case report, the case sheet, dry cleaning tags, the hanger to the singer’s suit and tie and the coffin shipping invoice, which are marked “Elvis Presley,”“ said Mary Williams, a spokeswoman for Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. The items will be sold in two lots, and the auction house estimated the lots will sell at between $6,000-8,000 and $4,000-6,000, respectively. Williams admitted the auction may be controversial as some people “are going to be disappointed” by the sale of these items but Elvis memorabilia was always in strong demand with a lock of his hair selling for $18,300 at an auction last year. “It’s really about owning a piece of the celebrity themselves ... and how much closer can you get than the actual embalming instruments,” Williams told Reuters. Elvis died from heart problems after taking a cocktail of prescription drugs on Aug. 16, 1977, at the age of 42 but he continues to be one of the top earning dead celebrities, bringing in $55 million in 2009 according to Forbes.com. — Reuters

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Actress Seregon O’Dassey with plastic bats on her door July 14, 2010 in her apartment in Hackensack, New Jersey. — AFP her neighbors’ necks. “We don’t bite. That should never be done. Everything should be consensual,” she cautions. Joaquin Latina, who claims to be 2,744 years old, even if his passport puts him at 35, said he’s been fixated on vampires since childhood. He’s read all the literature on the subject and never misses an episode of “True Blood,” which he rates far above the more anemic “Twilight.” “Vampires are not monsters as such, they are more beautiful than the average persons, and they are immortal. It’s a dark ideal of mankind. Today they are more like rock stars,” Latina said. The only problem in this thriving vampire environment,

Latina says, is that New York has become too clean and law-abiding over the last decade. The best scene, he says, is in Philadelphia now. “New York is too safe now for vampires.” Sociology professor Robert Thomson, who teaches at University of Syracuse in upstate New York, said “the vampire culture has been around for a long time, long before ‘Twilight’ and ‘True Blood.’” However, “‘Twilight’ has completely domesticated it. It got rid of the Eastern European monster.” According to Thomson, vampires are surprisingly marketable. They are “mysterious, dark, very, very attractive and erotic,” he said.—AP


22 Jul