SU B SC R IP TI ON MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 JAMADI ALTHANI 13, 1432 AH www.kuwaittimes.net Egypt names foreign minister for Arab League chief 150 FILS 8 40 PAGES NO: 15090 Extreme makeover: Are humans reshaping Earth? 14 Azeri romantic ballad wins Eurovision 38 Sharapova outclasses Stosur to take Rome crown 18 Max 37 Min 27 Low Tide 04:27 & 17:27 High Tide 10:20 & 23:40 Bloodshed on Israel's borders on Nakba Day Israeli troops kill 16 on Lebanon border, Golan, Gaza IMF chief faces sex assault rap NEW YORK: IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was charged yesterday with the sexual assault and attempted rape of a New York chambermaid, a scandal which could derail his hopes of running for French president. The charges included "criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment, attempted rape" and "assaulting a 32-year-old girl in a hotel room", police spokesman Ryan Sesa told reporters. Continued on Page 14 MPs to grill Sheikh Ahmad By B Izzak KUWAIT: MPs Adel Al-Saraawi and Marzouk Al-Ghanem of the National Action Bloc yesterday filed a request to grill Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd AlSabah on allegations of corruption, a week after the Popular Bloc filed to quiz the prime minister, setting the stage for a major showdown and opening the door for all possibilities. Continued on Page 14 Demonstrators wave Palestinian flags as they cross from Syria into the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights near the Druze town of Majdal Shams yesterday during a mass show of mourning with Palestinians over the 1948 creation of the Jewish state known as the `nakba' or `catastrophe'. (Inset) A Palestinian youth throws a firecracker towards Israeli border police during clashes in the Shufat refugee camp on the outskirts of Jerusalem yesterday. -- AFP MAJDAL SHAMS, Golan Heights: Israeli troops shot Palestinian protesters who surged towards its frontiers with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza yesterday, killing up to 16 people on the day Palestinians mourn the creation of the state of Israel. Israeli forces opened fire in three separate border locations to prevent crowds of demonstrators from crossing Israeli frontier lines, in the deadliest such confrontation in years. The Lebanese army on the Lebanese frontier said 10 Palestinians died when Israeli forces shot at rock-throwing protesters to prevent them from entering the state. Lebanese security sources said more than 100 people had been wounded in the shooting incident in the Lebanese border village of Maroun Al-Ras. The Israel army said the Lebanese army had also used live ammunition in an attempt to hold back the crowds rushing the border fence. Israel blamed a cynical provocation inspired by Iran, to exploit Palestinian nationalist feeling fuelled by the popular revolts of the "Arab Spring" across the Middle East, and to draw attention from major internal unrest inside Syria, its ally. Yesterday's unrest - which came after activists used Facebook and other websites to mobilize Palestinians and their supporters in neighboring countries to march on the border with Israel - also marked the first time the protest tactics that have swept the Arab world in recent months have been directed at Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he hoped the confrontations would not escalate. "We hope the calm and quiet will quickly return. Continued on Page 14 A e niv rsar n Local Spotlight New members of the GCC Muna Al-Fuzai KUWAIT: The Kuwait Cabinet session in progress. firstname.lastname@example.org y Years local MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 I was shocked when I, like any Kuwaiti citizen, heard the news about the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) decision to include two new member countries to the organization - Jordan and Morocco. The latter is not even located in Asia but in Africa and has a completely different political structure that has been marred by financial and economical problems. Both countries suffer from high levels of unemployment and poverty. The question is this: How desperately does the GCC need a country like Morocco to be part of the organization? Now, yes, I agree that there might be some justification as to why the GCC wants to include a country like Jordan, bearing in mind its strategic interests and the strength of its intelligence. However, both countries also represent the Sunni sect at a time when the Iranians are perceived as a threat to Arab national security. The reason behind such a request is still unknown. What we hear and read about are mostly speculations. There is no concrete fact to back this sudden request. If it is true that Morocco is not really thrilled at the invitation extended, I think the country would rather consider its interests with the Europe rather than the complicated Arab world! This piece of news came as a big surprise. While some bloggers have joked about it and created funny stories, especially the possibility of people from Gulf being able to travel easily to Morocco using civil identification cards and marrying pretty girls, I doubt such a move could have been easily achieved. It appears as if an invitation extended by the Gulf countries is not enough to coax Morocco into agreement. I think one of the reasons why the Gulf countries have been successful for about thirty years, is the fact that the six Gulf countries - Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Qatar share similar political interests as oil rich countries with a common heritage. Jordan does not share these characteristics. It plays an important security role, particularly in protecting the border with Saudi Arabia. That is a strategic mission and is worth considering. Also, if the GCC plans to bring more countries under its belt, does it mean that the Arab League will come to an end? The GCC is not a rich club! Even though it appears to be, let us not forget that Bahrain and Oman are not. Many Jordanians were excited at the prospect of their country joining a club of rich oil exporters. It is important to not get carried away as things may not happen according to their wish. Jordan will have to prove that it is ready to fill requirements in order to be part of the organization. I think Morocco will remain a strategic alliance as always. Time will tell us the results. I have not seen many Kuwaitis who are happy with the news. Many young Kuwaitis think that such a union will pave the way for an easy matrimony! Cabinet hails united stance taken by GCC countries KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah chaired yesterday an extraordinary Cabinet meeting at Seif Palace in the presence of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawwaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Al-Jarah Al-Sabah. Following the meeting, State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Ali Fahad Al-Rashed said during the meeting, HH the Amir briefed the Cabinet on the good results reached by the thirteenth Consultative Summit held by the leaders of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), states which was concluded here last Tuesday in Riyadh, capital city of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in which the GCC leaders discussed all issues relevant to GCC, and the ways of further boosting the GCC progress. HH the Amir also briefed the Cabinet on the latest developments seen by the Arab region, and the Arab Gulf states in particular, noting that GCC leaders welcomed the return of stability to the Kingdom of Bahrain, hailing the wisdom of Bahraini leaders, while stressing their united stance against any threat posed to any GCC state. The GCC leaders also asserted that the responsibility of protecting the security and stability of GCC Arab states is a collective one, and thrashed out the current Yemeni crisis, its repercussions, and the efforts and contacts made by GCC states with concerned Yemeni stakeholders with the aim of reaching a consensus that protects the security and stability of Yemen, prevents bloodshed there, and preserves territorial integrity of the country. In this respect, the GCC leaders asserted their continued support to the brotherly Yemeni people in what lives up to the Amir presides over extraordinary meeting Yemeni people's aspirations, while welcoming the Palestinian national reconciliation agreement which was signed in Egyptian capital city of Cairo, stressing that reconciliation comes as a victory for the Palestinian unity, and in response to the calls by Arab and Islamic nations. The GCC also called on the Palestinians to carry out the items embedded in the reconciliation agreement, and seize such historic opportunity at the international and domestic levels in order to restore sions on joint action in order to promote integration among the GCC Arab states in various fields. Thus the GCC leaders reviewed a followup report on completing the requirements of the customs union, overcoming all obstacles hindering GCC Arab citizens from making use of the results of economic integration in the domains of customs union, the GCC Common Market and various fields of joint cooperation. Fur ther, HH the Amir briefed the their rights, and establish their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, while lauding the efforts made by the sisterly Arab Republic of Egypt in order in this respect. The GCC leaders also reviewed what was achieved by the pan-Arabian Gulf body since holding the 31st session of its supreme council in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last December as well as what was made of measures whether executive or legislative ones to activate deci- Cabinet on the content of the final communique made by the GCC Consultative Summit, and the items embedded in it regarding the goodneighborliness toward the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as the components of good ties binding both GCC Arab states and Iran in what may boost the mutual confidence, and promote peace and stability in the region as a whole. HH the Amir also said that the GCC Consultative Summit discussed the topic of the accession of Jordan and Morocco to the pan-Arabian Gulf body, while noting that GCC leaders stressed their already firm stances on renouncing violence, extremism, and terror, hailing the efforts made on making measures to activate relevant decisions, and asserting their support to any regional and international effort aiming at combating terror. HH the Amir also briefed the Cabinet on the content, and outcomes of the bilateral audiences which he held with other GCC leaders on the sidelines of the GCC Consultative Summit, noting that these meetings tackled the brotherly ties binding the GCC Arab states, and the ways of strengthening them in implementation of the goals primarily set by the GCC. HH the Amir also hailed the wise running of the GCC Consultatvie Summit by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, extending his thanks for Saudi King for the hospitality with which the Amir was received along with his accompanying delegation. Moreover, HH the Amir prayed the Almighty God to bestow good health on the Saudi King, and to help the Saudi Arabia achieve more progress and wellbeing under the King's wise leadership. Finally, HH the Crown Prince, the National Assembly Speaker, and HH the Prime Minister lauded the efforts made by HH the Amir along with other GCC leaders during the thirteenth GCC Consultative Summit in what reflects the keenness on GCC leaders on living up to the aspirations of their peoples toward making further achievements, and upholding the auspicious goals set by the GCC in what brings benefits to GCC peoples and helps boost peace and stability in the Arab region and the world as a whole. -- KUNA Meshref sewage station ready for re-operation KUWAIT: The operating mechanism of the Meshref sewage recycling station has been checked and the facility would be ready to operate soon, said an official here yesterday. Head Engineer of the Mershref station project Ali Abu Albanat said during an inspection visit of the facility that everything had been checked to ensure that the station was ready for operation, adding that the official reopening of the station, which was supposed to occur today, was postponed to ensure ever ything was intact. He noted that a KD 23 million budget was allocated to tackle the previous problem that had occurred at the station. In regards to the environmental impact of the incident, Abu Albanat affirmed that problems such as dealing with the sewage water at the station was taken care of by making that such water was treated before released into the sea to prevent pollution. On his part, American Advisor for the Meshref station Gary Miller indicated that sanitation station had modern underground pipe-line system that provided an alternative to the traditional network on the surface. He stressed that it was important to train contractors and maintenance crews to deal with any future problems that might occur. --KUNA News in brief Facebook comment sparks uproar KUWAIT: Eleven students at Kuwait University's (KU) College of Women are facing suspension (or even dismissal) over comments they posted on the Facebook that criticizes the teaching methods in one of the departments. The KU's complaints department has contacted the students for questioning. The students were further interrogated as authorities try to uncover the identities of other students who made similar comments using nicknames. One of the students said the interrogation process they were subjected to was "very offensive". She explained that none of the comments were offensive or immoral, adding that one of the students was penalized because of the term `LOL'; an online acronym for `laugh out loud'. Meanwhile, the student who opted to speak on the condition of anonymity said the a case was with the Criminal Investigations Department under the online crimes category. `Preach tolerance' KUWAIT: The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs called yesterday called on all imams and preachers to preach tolerance, but to decry violence and sectarianism. Director of the Ministry's Information Department Rashid Al-Qarawi said in news remarks that the ministry had informed its preachers to focus on fanning out the spirit of national unity and averting intolerance. The ministry has also urged mosque workers not to allow anybody, other than imams, to address the worshippers in order to fend off anything that could undermine national unity, security and stability. Bedoons to register vehicles Informed sources revealed that assistant undersecretary for traffic affairs, Lt Gen Mohammed Al- Dawsari has given instructions to all traffic departments in the six Kuwait governorates to allow bedoons to register cars in their names provided each person cannot register more than one car. Security sources said that AlDawsari's instruction was under the nationality column `none Kuwait' and that the driving license can be renewed under the same nationality name `none Kuwaiti', provided they have valid security cards. KUWAIT: The Institute for Security and Strategic Studies held a seminar titled `Strategy of Fighting Terrorist Crimes in Kuwait," on 8th May at Al-Marina hotel. It was held under the patronage of the Ministry of Interior's Assistant Undersecretary General Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf. Lt General Mohammad Rafie Al-Deehani, General Director of National Security College, officers from the Ministry of Interior and National Guards participated in this seminar. It was conducted by Lt General Dr Fahad Al Dawsari. KSE to suspend 99 firms The legal grace given by Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) for companies to declare their 2011 first quarter of profits ended yesterday. According to the informed sources, 99 companies have not declared their profits. KSE has urged the 99 companies to declare their results to avoid suspension. Team to study Sawaber The technical team in charge of evaluating AlSawaber Residential Compound will also study the best possible acquisition rules, Mohammed Al-Harees, Deputy Director of Capital and Jahra Municipality offices said. Al-Harees added that, in collaboration with the Finance Ministry and the Public Authority For Housing Welfare (PAHW), the Municipality worked toward expanding the compound, reported Aljarida. He also noted that the Municipality will also assess flat owners' share of public areas in the project. RO technology launched The Ministry of Electricity and Water is set to start operating the reverse osmosis (RO) project at the Shuwaikh power generating and water desalination plant by the end of this month. This will increase the capacity of water production to 30 million gallons per day. "This project will strongly help [the ministry] overcome water shortage threats next year", said a ministry insider. This project comes as part of the ministry's plans to reinforce its daily production capacity of water. He noted that this will help reinforce the state's strategic reserve of water and insure the country's supply in cases of emergency. `GCC nuke project' KUWAIT: A unified GCC committee that is assigned to study the feasibility of building a nuclear project has reportedly met late last week and is currently preparing a draft report regarding the recommendations made during the meeting. According to sources within the Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity and Water, the GCC countries is seeking nuclear energy as part of their strategic preparation for the post-oil era. "Long term planning is required to insure that power is generated in the future and that the power production wouldn't solely be dependent on the depleted resource", said the sources, insisting that nuclear energy is "a necessary element" for any future developmental plans. Iran respects `Kuwait security, sovereignty' KUWAIT: The Iranian Charge De Affairs in Kuwait, Sayyed Mohammed Shahabi said that foreign minister's visit would be important as he is scheduled to discuss bilateral relations and other issues with Kuwaiti officials. `Despite recent tension, both countries' relations remains outstanding', he stressed, urging for more dialogue. Shahabi also emphasized his country's respect to Kuwait's security and sovereignty. Meanwhile, informed sources underlined that Kuwait had not yet received any request concerning , Iran's FM's visit. A e niv rsar n Cabinet to hold `secret session' KUWAIT: While the cabinet is weighing in on the best way to contain the grilling motions filed against His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Sabah, the Popular Action Bloc is also working on garnering support from other lawmakers. According to sources close to the bloc, the lawmakers are currently seeking the support of Dr Ali Al-Omair, Mohammad Al-Mutairi and Hassan Jowhar. The sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity indicated that the bloc is trying to mend their fences with the fellow opposition National Action Bloc. On the other hand, the cabinet seems to be more likely to go with the option of having the premier's grilling debated in a `secret session'. According to sources, the cabinet has been told that a plan to delay the grilling could backfire. This could be seen by political spectators as a means to hinder lawmaker's ability to utilize their constitutional tools. The `secret session' option seems more likely as the cabinet already has a majority in the parliament to enforce this option and to insure that the premier overcomes a no-cooperation motion. Meanwhile, the former speaker of the National Assembly Ahmad Al-Saadoun has criticized the Prime Minister for allegedly sending the grilling motion to the Constitutional Court. The veteran lawmaker explained while speaking during a recent seminar that the premier considered this option "at the time he encourages his ministers to face their grillings". Meanwhile, MP Naji Al-Abdulhadi said he fully endorsed the grilling after reading its articles. -- Rai MoH holds talks with Johns Hopkins hospital KUWAIT: The Health Ministry is presently holding talks with the management of Johns Hopkins Hospital and University, USA to govern four Kuwaiti hospitals: the Amiri, Farwaniya, Adan and Jahra. The announcement was made by Dr Qais Al-Duwairi, Health Ministry 's Assistant Undersecretary for Medical Services Affairs. These hospitals will be provided with technical support, information systems, laboratories, radiology departments, patient safety and quality control in addition to upgrading work policies in other technical departments like Casualty, Anesthesia and Operation. Al-Duwairi added that as part of the agreement, doctors will be sent for training and fellowship to various specialized US hospitals to gain more experience, reported aljarida. He also noted that the Johns Hopkins University officials were keen on boosting relations with Kuwait and had shown complete readiness to provide assistance. He also added that the ministry had contacted a European center to set up a physiotherapy hospital. MPs slam Syrian embassy's claims KUWAIT: Kuwaiti lawmakers and activists have expressed disappointment at claims made by the Syrian embassy stating that humanitarian aid sent to the country was sponsored by organizations that had hidden a agenda. A statement released by the embassy states that the convoy which was to embark from Kuwait yesterday (Sunday) en route to the troubled Daraa City in Syria, was an `unnecessary' move, reported Al-Rai. It hinted that Syria never asked for humanitarian relief, and that the people of Daraa do not need such aid, even going as far as to accuse the parties behind this campaign as "those who have personal interests at heart." In response to the accusations, Kuwaiti MP, Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei said that the convoy will embark on its journey as planned, "disregarding statements made by representative of the Syrian Baath regime." Meanwhile, fellow Islamist lawmaker Mohammad Hayef explained that the food and medical supplies will be distributed "to break the oppression that the people of Daraa has been subjected to." Bassam Al-Ghanim, Head of Public Committee for Solidarity with Arab Nations drew similarities between the embassy's statement and the "forgery of facts that as portrayed by the media of Saddam's regime [in Iraq]." Disabled citizens urged to report assaults to police KUWAIT: The chairman of the Public Authority for the Human Disabilities Affairs has urged disabled citizens who are be subjected to any form of assault, to make their complaints with the relevant authorities instead of seeking help from the media. Dr Jassem Al-Tammar commented on recent incidents in which disabled people contacted TV stations and complained of assaults by the Authority's personnel. "Such complaints made on the air or through the press lack credibility", Al-Tammar said, insisting that no violations were committed by the Authority's personnel ever since he assumed his office. Meanwhile, he added that there have been five cases filed by some of the personnel officers against some disabled individuals who assaulted them physically and verbally. "It's unfair to label [the Authority's] staff as being hostile towards disabled citizens without hearing from both sides", Al-Tammar added, reiterating that thorough investigations during which testimonies from both parties involved should be made regarding these assault cases. Central Bank to write off 3 investment firms KUWAIT: Well-informed sources said that Kuwait Central Bank is about to write off three investment firms for violating professional standards. The sources added that the losses of one of the three firms had increased by 49 percent to reach KD5.44 million. y Years LOCAL MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 KUWAIT: Alhashimiya Saleh Abu Sabra (center) and some officers/attendees of HIKMA Pharmaceuticals seminar held at the Holiday Inn Salmiya. -- Photos by Joseph Shagra Seminar held on IVF treatment, thrombosis By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Diminished blood supply to the uterus is a common cause for In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) pregnancy failure, a medical doctor said. Speaking at a seminar held at Holiday Inn Salmiya recently, organized by HIKMA pharmaceuticals, Dr Najat Rooh Al-Deen Consultant Hematologist at AlSabah Maternity Hospital said that such pregnancy failures can be attributed to thrombosis-the blood clot that forms within a blood vessel. "Much information has been published that confirms the veracity of the previous research; many are from the UK which connects failure of IVF pregnancy to thrombosis with a high risk factor for women with advancing age," she said. Patients with thrombosis condition according to Dr Najat, can now be treated accordingly with the help of prophylactic medicines, but treatment is administered Dr Khaldoun who has extensive experience in the field and has authored several publications in the UK, noted that when goodquality embryos are repeatedly transferred over a number cycles, many do not become pregnant. This has emerged as a challenging and highly controversial issue in modern IVF practice. Details of this study was published in reproductive biomedicine online, authored by Dr Sharif. It can be accessed at www.jordanivf.com. Dr Waleed Al-Jassar, Chairman of OBGYN, GYN Oncologist in Kuwait also attended the seminar. HIKMA Pharmaceuticals is a leading pharmaceutical company located in the MENA region. It manufactures branded and non-branded, generic and in-licensed pharmaceutical products. HIKMA plants are FDA and European approved and distributed all over USA, Europe and the Middle East and North African region. Dr Najat Rooh Al-Deen depending on whether thrombophilia is acquired or inherited. "For proper medical treatment, I advised patients to always consult hematologist doctors so as to provide accurate doses," she said. Dr Najat also spoke about Thrombophilia Risk Management Assessment and how doctors handle patients with thrombosis con- Dr Khaldoun Al-Sharif dition. Dr Khaldoun Al-Sharif from Jordan, a Consultant in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery and the Clinical Director of Istishari Fertility Center, also discussed thrombosis, demonstrating results obtained from a recent study conducted on 273 patients, with cases of recurrent implantation failure. Simple mistake shatters dreams of Jordanian Student faces US visa problems By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: People do make mistakes and bear the consequences. This simple mistake however could cause one his or her future. Mohammad Ayoub, a Jordanian student who has been studying in the United States for the past three years, narrated his ordeal. Ayoub claimed he has been a good student without any bad records for three straight years until last academic year, when his father fell ill. This according to him, made him so worried and unfocused. "I was eagerly waiting for the Christmas break so as to go back and see my father. When Fall Semester ended, I immediately rushed to Kuwait without registering for the Spring Semester and my I-20 form wasn't signed. It was unintentional," he claimed, adding that he had not imagined for a moment that it could put him in trouble. After the break, he went back to the US on Jan 9, 2011. On his arrival, the immigration officer told him that his I-20 wasn't signed. They called the university's international advisor, but he told the immigration officers that Ayoub did not register for the Spring Semester and there is no seat available for him. "They canceled my visa and deported me back to Kuwait," he added. However Ayoub noted that since then, he has been trying to secure a new study visa but to no avail. "I have applied four times but my applications were rejected," he said. When reached for comment, Rachel Mikeska, the Press Attache at the Kuwait's US Embassy said the embassy does not comment on individual visa applications. "I am about to graduate, why do I have to wait for months just to get a new visa?" he queried in dismay. "My goal is clear and my intention is to just get a degree. I want to go back to America and complete my studies," he said. A e niv rsar n Kuwait Digest Expansion of Gulf council By Thaar Al-Rashidi y Years MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 LOCAL Strict rules enforced at Scientific Center beach No ban placed on fishing boats By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The seaside around the Scientific Center in Salmiya is one of the favorite places where people relax, engage in various activities like walk ing, jogging, rollerblading, biking, or just spending time with friends and families. The area is closely guarded by security personnel who ensure that safety is maintained. The management of the Scientific Center has also framed some rules that visitors are expected to abide by. Many yachts and boats are anchored near the bay, especially for fishing. However, three young men who went fishing in the area on Thursday evening had a sour experience. They were severely rebuked by a security guard. He even threatened to inform the coastguards in case the men did not leave the premises. The men were taken aback at the orders. They argued stating that the fishing area is open to the public. The guard, however, insisted that he would inform the coastguards and force the men to leave. After about 10 minutes, the men walked away. The Kuwait Times contacted the administration of the Scientific Center to clarify if rules exist. An official who requested anonymity provided us with some information about the rules and instructions. "There is no rule that bans fishing boats in this area. Some visitors may face inconveniences caused by some reckless individuals, especially those riding jet skis. We have received many complaints from visitors who were splashed with water by jet ski riders. So we have asked guards to not allow any of them near the bay," said the official. The Center has enforced more rules, "Smoking sheesha (water pipe) is not allowed. Also, it is not allowed to light a fire for any reason, even to hold a barbeque. Keeping visitors' safety in mind, we have also prohibited sitting on the rocks near the sea, as people, especially children may fall and get injured. In general, anything dangerous or harmful is not allowed," the official added. T he statement issued by the Supreme Council of the 13th GCC meeting, welcoming Jordan's application to join GCC and extending an invitation to Morocco to join the GCC was indeed surprising. Some analysts believed that it is the `kingdom club' - two kingdoms joined other GCC ones. It is true, but, not in all respect. Some said that the Arab union with GCC states is a political message sent out to Iran, which could also be partially true. What concerns me personally, is the natural question which came to my mind. Does this mean that the Jordanians and Moroccans will be treated on par with GCC nationals? Can they enter GCC countries without visas or residence permits? The answer to this lies in Article 22 of the GCC charter, which has clearly stipulated that it is not possible, unless appropriate amendments stipulating the same are made. It is almost impossible to do so owing to clear political and geographic reasons. Jordan and Morocco's inclusion, will be exactly like that of Iraq and Yemen's membership, that is, not as full members, as per an analysis that appeared in Al-Qabas daily. Neither Iraqis nor Yemenis can enter GCC countries without visas, despite enjoying partial membership for many years. In short, Jordan and Morocco's membership is akin to Kuwait joining the NATO as an ally. Despite being a NATO ally, we cannot enter NATO countries without visas. It is very simple and does not need analysis. The decision to join remains completely political. The real agenda will remain hidden until the coming days reveal it. -- Al Anba Mock evacuation exercise in Gulf British Academy By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: At approximately 10 Tuesday morning, students and staff of Gulf British Academy, Salmiya had to evacuate the premises because of `fire' which started in the school's computer lab and bellowed smoke throughout the building - but it was all a mock-up exercise. Within minutes, scores of emergency personnel were on the location, including members of the Kuwait Fire Service Directorate, Salmiya Fire Station and members of the Kuwait Department of Emergency Medical Services. Paramedic Hamad Al Shetail, Col Fahad Al Sager, head of Hawally Governorate Fire Services, Col Hussein Asad, head of Salmiya Fire Station were present to coordinate and oversee the entire operation. Eight hundred students and more than 80 staff members were quickly, and in an orderly manner, evacuated from the school's premises to the designated evacuation points. Although, there were five `victims', two of which were severely injured and covered with realistic wounds and blood, and two `missing' students still unaccounted for in the school were rescued the `fire' was extinguished in an amazingly short period of time. After the evacuation firemen and paramedics interacted with all of the students to instill the importance of fire safety and ensure all know the Emergency number 112. Fahad Al-Sager and Hamad Al-Shetail stated that they were pleased with the operation and noted that it was important to carry out such simulation exercises when children were young so that they would know how to handle a situation with a real fire at school or home. News in brief Mother of Believers insulted KUWAIT: Mubarak Al-Kabeer detectives have arrested the juvenile who insulted the Caliph Omar bin Al-Khattab and the (Mother of Believers) Ayesha. The 14 years old suspect has confessed to his crime. Mubarak Al-Kabeer port KUWAIT: "Kuwait is trying to organize marine navigation in the Arabian Gulf with Iraq, after the decision to construct Mubarak Al-Kabeer port created fears in Iraq that it may affect Iraq ports," Kuwait ambassador to Iraq Ali Al-Momen said. He added that the two countries will strengthen coordination and cooperation in that regards without causing any economic problems in either side. He said Mubarak Al-Kabeer port does not have anything to do with Iraq waters in Khor Abdallah and "we are working towards avoiding any problems that may arise regarding navigation". Fake law firms closed KUWAIT: The secretary general of Kuwait Lawyers Association (KLA), Nasser Al-Kraiween said that KLA had referred four fake lawyers to prosecution department. `We will work hard to end this phenomena so that all KLA members can feel secured and all their rights fully preserved', Al-Kraiween added. 4th refinery construction KUWAIT: The Supreme Petroleum Council has not arrived at any decision to resume the fourth refinery's construction as per the rules and regulations laid out, a recent report submitted by the Audit Bureau to the Parliament has stated. This is despite the vital nature of the project and the fact that the company has been incurring huge losses, reported Aljarida. The report that was made in response to a request from MP Saleh Al-Mulla. It shows that that the total sum already spent on the project since approval until June 24, 2009 is KD 260,440,686,000. Four injured in accidents By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A 27-year-old Egyptian suffered multiple bruises and fractured his left leg in a car accident that took place in Subhan. He was admitted to Farwaniya hospital. In another incident, a 31-year-old citizen sustained cuts and bruises to his arms and head following a car accident that took place along Maghrib street. He was admitted to Adan hospital. Also, two Bangladeshi expatriates suffered from spinal injuries and cuts to the foot following a car accident that took place along Maghrib street. They were admitted to Adan hospital. Boy dies A four-year-old Pakistani boy accidently slipped and fell to death from the fifth floor of a building located in Abbassiya. The body was removed for an autopsy. 3 Asians detained Jahra policemen have arrested three Asians with 1,000 pornographic CDs. Al-Shayea eyes parliamentary seat KUWAIT: The deputy chairman of the Municipal Council Shaye'a Al-Shayea announced yesterday that he will be running for a seat in the parliament which he predicts will be dissolved soon "due to persisting tensions", hinting that he will be running in the third constituency. During a recent interview published in Al-Rai, Al-Shaye'a denied being offered a post in the new cabinet, adding that he would be willing to "serve the country" if he receives such offer in the future. While insisting that there are no conflicts between him and Municipal Council chairman Zaid Al-Azmy, Al-Shaye'a said that the Minister of Public Works and State Minister of Municipality Affairs Dr Fadhel Safar is likely "not going to cooperate [with the Municipal Council]". He talked about what he described as "mismanagement at the Kuwait Municipality", indicating that corruption is flourishing there. Al-Shaye'a said that Dr Safar's rejection to street renaming proposals "are violation to the authorities of the council". He also commented on a proposal to Security for exam papers? KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education (MoE) is considering the option of seeking the Interior Ministry's help to secure examination papers. According to sources, the Interior Ministry will provide armored vehicles to carry the examination papers to prevent any form of leak during the transfer process. Students are set to have their final exams next month. Kuwait FM in Cairo for extraordinary meeting CAIRO: Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah arrived in Cairo yesterday to attend an Extraordinary Meeting of Arab foreign ministers. A new secretary general of the Arab League is expected to be picked to succeed Amr Moussa. The two competing candidates are Dr Mostafa El-Feqqi of Egypt and Abdul Rahman AlAttiyah of Qatar. Deputy Secretary-General of the Arab League Ambassador Ahmed Ben Helli said there are three scenarios; the first is to select a secretary general by consensus, according to the Arab League Charter, which was amended in Algeria in 2005, and should consensus not be achieved, ministers would resort to the voting rule, which requires a candidate to obtain two-thirds of votes "14 members after the freezing of the membership of Libya." He added that the third scenario is to postpone the issue if consensus is not achieved, noting that during the past 60 years, the issue of nominating a new Secretary General had always been on the basis of consensus. During their meeting, the Arab foreign minister are also expected to discuss Egypt's request to appoint a special coordinator by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to prepare for the international conference aimed at making the Middle East nuclear weapons free zone. -- KUNA Kuwaiti leaders try to make life easy for bedoons KUWAIT: The political leaders of Kuwait are `serious' about making it easy for bedoons to normalize their status, Executive Chairman of the Central Agency to Addressing the Status of Illegal Residents Saleh Yousef Al-Fadhala said yesterday. Speaking to KUNA and Kuwait TV after meeting with members of socalled the `Kuwaiti `bedoon' (stateless) committee," Al-Fadhala said his agency was launched under an Amiri decree "with the sole mandate of solving problems and the possible grievances of sons of this segment of people." "During the meeting, members of the committee raised some questions about the headway made by the agency in facilitating the daily life of the bedoon to ensure their access to public services such as healthcare, education, ration staples, and marriage and divorce certificates." "All these services have been fully ensured to the bedoon in order to relieve their burdens under the instructions of the political leaders," he made it clear. In the meantime, he affirmed that the security and stability of Kuwait are "the foul line beyond which we cannot cour t anybody.""The committee members also raised some suggestions and we promised to study them. The agency keeps in contact with the bedoon and the illegal residents with a view to bridging the gap left for decades," Al-Fadhala affirmed. " This problem has been there since the early 1960s. Some of the people involved claim rightly that they were treated badly while others wrongly claim so; we do justice to the formers," he made clear. --KUNA A e niv rsar n KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah receiving the National Assembly Speaker Jassem Mohammad Al-Kharafi at Seif Palace yesterday. Kuwaitis spend KD72m on smoking annually KUWAIT: Some KD72 million is spent annually on smoking in Kuwait, a number of health officials said here yesterday. Their remarks came on the occasion of the `World No Tobacco Day', which falls on May 31. They said smokers in Kuwait reached three percent of the country 's population and that the Ministry of Health is well-aware of smoking hazards and is working hard to combat such bad habit and its conse quences. "The ministry's celebration of the event is not limited to pinpoint challenges, but also focusing on terminating the smoking phenomenon as a whole," Health Ministry Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Affairs Dr Youssef AlNisf said. On his part, Director of Vocational Health Department at the ministry Dr Ahmad Al-Shatti said an average of 2,330 cigarettes are consumed by a regular smoker each year in Kuwait. In a more optimistic tone, the head of anti-smoking committee of the Kuwait Society for Preventing Smoking and Cancer (KSPSC) Anwar Bu Irhama said some 35 percent of smokers had quit in 2010 in the country. Established in 1980, KSPSC promotes awareness of the dangers of smoking tobacco to protect the citizens, especially children and the elderly from being exposed to this dangerous epidemic. World No Tobacco Day ( WNTD) is observed around the world every year on May 31. It is meant to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe. The day is further intended to draw global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently lead to deaths worldwide annually. The member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) created WNTD in 1987. -- KUNA Implement recommendations, ALO told CAIRO: Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and M inister of S ocial Affairs and Labor of Kuwait Dr Mohammad Muhsin Al-Afasi yesterday called on the Arab Labor Organization (ALO) to move forward on the implementation of resolutions and recommendations that come out from it for the sake of achieving a decent life for the Arab citizen. Al-Afasi told reporters on the sidelines of his participation in the 38th ALO session in Cairo that the ALO ought to activate and implement all the resolutions and recommendations issued by its various sessions, rejecting at the same time the call for a meeting without any outcome that serves the Arab nation. He said there was reluctance from the ALO in the implementation of previous decisions and recommendations that concern the Arab citizens and to ensure a decent life, stressing the need for adoption of resolutions and recommendations. Al-Afasi pointed out that the revolutions being witnessed in a number of Arab countries were as a result of frustration as well as lack of implementation of various decisions of the various Arab organizations to reduce their problems and suffering. He said Kuwait and with the initiative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has called for the establishment of a fund to support small and medium enterprises to raise the living standards and reducing unemployment in the Arab countries during the economic summit in Kuwait in January 2009. --KUNA y Years MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 LOCAL Govt urged to put an end to financial exhaustion policy Public sector salaries KUWAIT: The amount of added costs to the state budget in the form of public sector salaries alone will accrue to KD 800 million per annum, according to recent statistics. The statistics show that the total costs have been risen by 21 percent each year since 2003, and that it has also increased by 175 percent since that year, with KD 1.6 billion in 2003 when compared to KD 4.5 billion in 2011. These steep rises are viewed at by many experts as a result of `chaotic regulations' made without making careful considerations on the repercussions of such increases. Three former finance ministers criticized the `government's mishandling' while commenting on the recent news about the KD 50 raise that the Parliament had introduced after voting against the Cabinet 's rejection. This also includes payment of allowances to public school teachers and college students. "The Civil Service Council has failed in its mission and has enforced more huge financial burdens on the government," said former minister Meshary Al-Anjari, referring to allowance decisions that the council made last month. He says these were made "without a scientific basis." Moreover, Al-Anjari blamed the Parliament for `making the matter worse' by what he says is `compelling evidence to public demands at the expense of future generations' welfare." Meanwhile, Bader Al-Humaidhi warned against the `repercussions of the government's wealth distribution policies,' urging the state's leadership to `put an end to the financial exhaustion policy.' Former minister and lawmaker Ahmad Baqer warned against granting more allowances to public sector employees will driving them away from the private sector. The KD 800 million increase against salaries paid means that these costs have increased by 22 percent between 2010/2011 and the 2011/2012 budgets. A 40 percent rise has been recorded when compared to this year's budget and that of 2009/2010, reported Al-Qabas. The Parliament had passed a proposal to increase the salaries of public sector employees who earn less than KD 1,000 per month, by KD 50, thereby securing 46 votes that overturned the Cabinet's previous rejection. The majority vote compels the government to enforce the increase. However, the Cabinet can also mull over the option of referring the topic to the Constitutional Cour t. Lawmakers already expressed their disapproval at the Cabinet's plans to consult the Constitutional Court, insisting that this approach `goes against the public's wish.' Some also questioned the constitutionality of referring the issue to the Constitutional Court on the basis that MPs exercised their constitutional right when they voted to pass the bill, reported Al-Rai. Another report suggests that the Cabinet does not want to enforce the increase owing to high costs and technical difficulties involved, reported Al-Qabas. They might consult the Constitutional Court on the matter. Kuwait digest Bad food trade By Dr Yaqoub Al-Sharrah T Al-Barrak comments on NA session Anwar Bu Irhama KUWAIT: MP Musallam Al-Barrak stressed that his two-minute speech held during last Thursday's parliamentary session was held on behalf of the neglected. It focused on Article 3 of the law governing allowances concerning Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis, orphans, children with unidentified parents who are usually treated as Kuwaitis. He urged that individuals belonging to the aforementioned categories be treated as Kuwaitis, or leave the subject to be treated by the parliamentary Social Aid Committee. Al-Barrak also stressed that he did not address MP Rola Dashti, Chairperson of the parliamentary health and social affairs and labor committee. She continued her speech after session coordinator Abdullah Al-Roumi stopped her, he remarked. Commenting on Dr Dashti's remark on not wanting to waste time, Al-Barrak said that he was more keen on addressing issues that concern the public than on others who, upon government orders, participated in delaying four sessions, reported aljarida Al-Barrak also expressed amazement that a female MP would be so lax about defending women's causes. "I have made so many amendments to the law. Along with other colleagues, we will propose them for discussion and approval," he underscored. he `bad food' subject has been addressed many times by columnists in Kuwait, yet the subject remains a very dangerous issue given the fact that it hasn't been resolved. It appears that an end to this crisis is not near with news of spoiled items being busted in the local stores still appearing on our newspapers. When imported food items arrive into the country, they are supposed to be stored in a good place to prevent their damage until they are tested and certified. What happens in Kuwait's seaports, airport and land borders is a little bit more complicated than that. The Kuwait Municipality, the Ministry of Health, the Customs Department, the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources, and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry are the departments that are required to coordinate between each other in order to ensure that the imported food items are certified for human consumption. According to officials at many of these directorates, the diversity of all these bodies responsible for this task makes the coordination process harder and more complicated. In a press statement made last month, the Director of Customs Department noted that the main problem is the process that is called the Preliminary Food Discharge Procedure. This procedure permits a merchant to keep his shipments in his own warehouse until the testing results are released. It now depends on the merchant's willingness to commit to this regulation of keeping the items on hold until the testing process is finalized. The director explains on that regard that allowing food items into the market before the test results is a flawed process. Therefore, it's important that the country reviews its food importing procedures, in order to introduce processes that would be more protective. Establishing the cabinet-recommended Public Foods Authority has become a necessity to provide a single entity that will handle all the procedures pertaining verifying the validity of the imported foodstuffs before they are allowed to be distributed to the local markets. -- Al-Rai A e niv rsar n KUWAIT: The Nigerian Ambassador Ahmed Gusau Bala recently hosted the Nigerian delegates from the Defense Academy at the embassy house in Mishref. The delegates headed by Commodore A A Yusuf and accompanied by three Brigadier Generals were on a study tour in Kuwait. The event attracted many dignitaries including seven ambassadors. -- Photos by Chidi Emmanuel kuwait digest Buck up, you are about to enter a battlefield! By Iqbal Al-Ahmad he subject that I plan to write about in this column does not only concern morality, law enforcement or the lack of commitment. I will touch upon all of the above. This is because the crisis was created out of non-compliance. The moment you step into your car and start driving, you should always brace yourself for a war of sorts! Chaos created by the lack of commitment to traffic laws is present everywhere. Reckless Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti drivers are present everywhere, in light of the incompetent law enforcement process. Kuwait has enforced a great set of traffic regulations. However, these are arguably the least enforced laws in the country. Whenever a driver is in a lane, you are almost always forced to hit the breaks from time to time, and make room for a nearby driver who forces themselves in front of you. Meanwhile, drivers who are stuck in a traffic jam usually find a car whizzing past the emergency lane right beside them, kicking up pebbles right into the windshield, which usually leaves fissures on the glass. Parking in restricted areas is also another story. At some streets, yellow and black curbstones indicate a no-parking zone. It becomes almost invisible while being covered by parked vehicles. I do not blame people. This is because everyone is raised in a different manner. I believe that the traffic police is also responsible for an inadequate performance in enforcing the law. On numerous occasions, a traffic officer can be seen in his patrol vehicle or motorcycle, busy using phones while overlooking violations. To the Ministry of Interior and its Traffic Department: Please save what is left of the driver's respect. This is because, if officials do not enforce the law, drivers themselves will be forced to take matters in their own hands. This situation will insult the ministry's officials. -- Al-Qabas y Years local MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Asian woman commits suicide inside home in Jaber Al-Ali Drunk man found with loaded weapon KUWAIT: An Asian woman committed suicide inside a Jaber Al-Ali home. Police arrived at the house after its owners repor ted finding the body of their housemaid hanging on the ceiling inside her room. The body was taken to the coroner after investigations were carried out on the scene. Man assaulted Security officials are currently looking for two suspects who escaped after brutally assaulting a man inside a coffee shop following a brief conversation. The incident took place at a mall in Fahaheel where the 26-year-old victim was joined by the two suspects shortly after he entered the coffee shop. A few minutes later, the suspects started beating the man, with one of them stabbing him with a knife, before fleeing with his briefcase. The victim was rushed to Adan hospital by paramedics, and police later showed up for interrogation. He failed to provide police with phone numbers of the his attackers as he claimed to have lost his phone during the melee. Abortion charges An Asian woman is facing abortion and murder charges after she allegedly aborted her baby. The incident took place at an Ardiya house where the woman works as a housemaid. She has reportedly strangled her newborn to death after carrying out the abortion, but was busted by her employer while she was trying to cover up her crime. The woman has been taken into police custody for further investigation. Kuwaiti held Ahmadi police arrested a Kuwaiti man for driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of a loaded weapon. The arrest took place at a street in the area where the suspect was pulled over after he narrowly avoided colliding with a patrol vehicle. The man was taken to the Criminal Investigations General Department. Inmates row Three prisoners were hurt during a vicious fight that broke out inside the ward at the Central Jail recently. According to a security source, the inmates sustained serious injuries. Hacker in custody Hawally investigators have arrested an online hacker who managed to steal more than KD40000 from some bank accounts. Police arrested the suspect in Shuwaikh as he was about to complete one of his illegal online transactions. During interrogation, the suspect confessed he has hacked more than 50 accounts. Citizen shot A citizen was hospitalized with a gunshot wound in the upper abdomen in addition to bruises on the head. The victim was found at a location in AlSubahiya where police moved in after a shooting case was reported. Security officials are waiting for the victim's condition to stabilize in order to get information that could lead to the shooter's identity. Bomb found A landmine was recently found at AlKhuwaisat area near a chalet where citizens usually spend their weekends with their families. Police has secured the place as the bomb squads moved in to dismantle or defuse the explosive. T Wataniya Telecom sponsors AUK and GUST Job Fairs KUWAIT: Continuing on the path with dedication to fulfill its promises, Wataniya Telecom has recently sponsored and participated at the AUK Spring 2011 Career Fair and at the GUST Spring 2011 Job Fair aiming to further support the students and those who are looking for job opportunities. Positively approaching the educational sector and learning institutions, Wataniya Telecom intends to support youth and students throughout their educational journey as well as their career development. Wataniya made sure to interview and take into account every applicant's resume to give a fair and equal chance to all those students aspiring to work in the telecom sector and searching for a motivating and vibrant job. Commenting on Wataniya's sponsorship and participation at the job fairs Majdi Ghannam, Chief Human Resources & Admin Services Officer - CHRO at Wataniya stressed the fact that, "these job fairs simultaneously provides companies with a large number of qualified candidates and helps provide our students employment opportunities. We believe that these university job fairs are an ideal platform for companies to meet and interact with a substantial group of outstanding people." Ghannam also added: "Our hunt for the best candidates is based on selecting passionate and ambitious people so that we can help them develop their skills and give them the right opportunities in order to excel and establish a successful career path. I am glad to say that we have successfully recruited some applicants who we think are competent and qualified to work with us at Wataniya Telecom." Wataniya will never hesitate to give chances to members of the Kuwaiti society and will continue creating opportunities for those who are interested in joining the Wataniya world. To learn more about the latest social responsibility projects that Wataniya has been heavily involved in, please visit the website: www.wataniya.com to view the Annual CSR report. Wataniya Telecom was commercially launched in 1999 as the first privately owned operator in Kuwait. National Mobile Telecommunications Company (NMTC) trading under the brand name Wataniya Telecom is listed in the Kuwait Stock Exchange and has operations in 6 countries including Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Palestine. Qatar Telecom (Qtel) owns 52.5% of Wataniya Telecom. Wataniya is a customer-driven company that aims to provide product and service excellence. Over the past 10 years Wataniya has risen to be the second largest operator in one of the most competitive markets, and continues offering a wide range of prepaid and postpaid mobile voice and internet services to both individual and corporate customers. Majdi Ghannam Kuwait officials meet Brunei counterparts KUALA LUMPUR: A delegation of Kuwait's Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has paid an official visit to Brunei in response to a formal invitation, discussing mutual cooperation in various sectors especially in religious domain. The Kuwaiti delegation, headed by Assistant Undersecretary Abdullah Mahdi Al-Barrak, held talks with Mohammad Bin Abd Rahman, the Minister of Religious Affairs, at a meeting attended by a large number of ranking officials, on means of cementing mutual cooperation between Brunei and Kuwait in various sectors, particularly at the religious level. The acting charge d'affaires of the Kuwaiti embassy in Brunei, Turki Khaled Al-Mekrad, said the Kuwaiti officials were briefed by their counterparts about the local plans for promoting Islam in the Asian nation and expressed hope to enhance the level of coordination to benefit from Kuwait's expertise in the field of religious affairs. Al-Mekrad said during the visit, paid between May 11 and 14, attended the sultanate Quranic reading contest that was also attended by Sultan Hassnal Bolkiah, all state ministers and officials, in addition to visits to buildings of educational institutions in the country. --KUNA KUALA LUMPUR: Members of the Kuwaiti delegation pictured with Brunei officials. City Group CEO speaks out against violence Commerce Ministry keen on Amiri desire for regional hub KUWAIT: Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr Amani Bouresli asserted yesterday that her Ministry would harness all its potential to fulfill the desire of His Highness the Amir to transform Kuwait into a financial and regional commercial hub. Bouresli said in a press statement that the desire to work on the implementation of the Amir's desire is among her priorities for the next stage, expressing pride in the confidence that she got from the Amir and the Prime Minister for the por tfolio of Ministr y of Commerce and Industry. She said she will work to strengthen cooperation between sectors of the ministry and its affiliates and the relevant bodies from outside the ministry including the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the private sector in order to achieve the goals contained in the state development plan to support the national economy and promote stability. She explained that most important files that she has initiated action with are the pending legislation under the authority of the ministry. They include the stock companies law, de-activated laws, laws under amendment as well as the competition law. She indicated that she would work to improve the situation of Kuwait in the global and regional indicators of competitiveness through the amendment and revision of commercial licensing procedures in the Ministr y of Commerce, stressing the need to propose an integrated law to regulate bankruptcy in cooperation with the concerned authorities. -- KUNA KUWAIT: City Group, Kuwait's leading listed public transport company and operators of Citybus yesterday spoke out against violence on Kuwait's buses. Richard Woods, Group Chief Executive Officer, City Group, was commenting on a number of recent incidents in which passengers and drivers have been abused and physically assaulted on the company's buses. Woods said: "Citybus is Kuwait's leading private public transport service and we are fully committed to ensuring the well-being of our passengers and our drivers. Each year we safely and reliably carry millions of passengers to their destinations, but recently there have been a small number of incidents where passengers and staff members have suffered acts of unprovoked violence from members of the public. In one incident one of our drivers was assaulted, beaten unconscious and had to be hospitalized to allow him to recover from his injuries. Fortunately, the driver is expected to make a full recovery and his assailant, thanks to excellent detective work from officers from the Rumaithiya Police station, is now in jail awaiting a court appearance on charges of assault and grievous bodily harm." Woods continued, "We have also had an incident where a passenger was injured from an object thrown at the bus he was travelling on and had to be taken to hospital, and most recently a driver was physically assaulted and his bus, which was empty at the time it was hijacked. Although these instances are extremely rare, they are deplorable and completely inexcusable. Our drivers and our passengers have a right to work and travel in safety and we liaise very closely with Kuwait's police force to ensure this happens. As part of this, all Citybus buses are fitted with video surveillance and recording systems, which can and will be used in court as evidence against offenders". "Citybus is committed to providing Kuwait with a high-quality, reliable, cost effective and safe public transport network. The security of our staff and passengers is paramount and I want to make it clear that where there are instances of violence to either staff or passengers, we will not hesitate to prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of Kuwait's law, without exception," he added City Group Company KSC (CGC) is a public shareholding company listed on Kuwait Stock Exchange with a paid up capital of KD11.3 million. The main focus of CGC's operation is the provision of public transportation services through its Citybus division, which commenced operations in 2002 and has developed into Kuwait's leading listed public transportation operator. Citybus, City Group's wholly owned bus operator in Kuwait, presently operates 400 buses across 19 routes in Kuwait and Kuwait City. KUWAIT: A Citybus bus driver who was recently assaulted while he was driving his bus and had to be hospitalized to recover from his injuries is seen. His assailant is currently in jail waiting for his court hearing. MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 New president takes power in struggling Haiti Page 10 US-Pakistan alliance at critical moment: Kerry Page 11 UN in new bid for Libya truce Revolt enters fourth month BENGHAZI: Libyan volunteers prepare new graves in advance as rebel fighters continue their battle against leader Moamer Kadhafi's forces at Alhawari cemetery in rebel's stronghold Libyan eastern city of Benghazi yesterday. -- AFP TRIPOLI: UN special envoy to Libya Abdul-Ilah al-Khatib arrived in Tripoli yesterday to urge a ceasefire between Moamer Kadhafi's troops and rebels seeking to topple the strongman, as an anti-regime revolt entered a fourth month. The head of Britain's armed forces, meanwhile, said NATO should widen its bombing campaign to ensure Kadhafi doesn't manage to cling to power, while Pope Benedict XVI called for negotiations to end the violence. Khatib was received by Foreign Minister Abdelati Laabidi, who according to state news agency JANA told him of "serious violations" by NATO, which has been in charge of enforcing a UN-mandated no-fly zone over Libya since March 31. Laabidi "informed the UN secretary general's envoy of the extent of abuse and serious violations committed by NATO against the Libyan people in bombing civilian targets and inhabited areas in different Libyan cities," JANA said. The foreign minister also condemned the killing of civilians and the "assassination attempt" against Kadhafi, whose Bab alAziziya compound-where he resides-has been targeted by several NATO strikes in recent weeks. Soon after Khatib arrived, two loud explosions were heard in Tajura, an outlying suburb of the Libyan capital, a witness said. JANA reported that NATO air raids had yesterday also targeted "military and civilian" sites in the city of Zuara, 120 kilometres (75 miles) west of Tripoli. UN chief Ban Ki-moon said earlier in the week that Khatib would hold talks in Tripoli with Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmudi. Ban said he had urged Mahmudi on Tuesday to halt attacks on civilians immediately and called for "immediate verifiable ceasefire negotiations towards the peaceful resolution of the conflict and unimpeded access to humanitarian workers." General David Richards, Britain's chief of the defence staff, meanwhile told Britain's Sunday Telegraph that more military action was needed against the Libyan strongman. "The vice is closing on Kadhafi, but we need to increase the pressure further through more intense military action," he said. The general said he wanted NATO member states to support the targeting of Kadhafi's regime, not just targets which pose an immediate threat to civilians, such as tanks and artillery. "The military campaign to date has been a significant success for NATO and our Arab allies. But we need to do more. If we do not up the ante now there is a risk that the conflict could result in Kadhafi clinging to power," Richards said. "At present, NATO is not attacking infrastructure targets in Libya. But if we want to increase the pressure on Kadhafi's regime then we need to give serious consideration to increasing the range of targets we can hit." Protests against Kadhafi's 41-year autocratic rule began on February 15 and quickly escalated into a popular uprising, inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled their respective hardline rulers. Kadhafi ordered his forces to crush the uprising, prompting an armed rebellion which has claimed thousands of lives while seeing much of eastern Libya fall into the hands of insurgents who have vowed to march on Tripoli and topple Kadhafi. -- AFP A e niv rsar n Operation Donkey brings Iraqi equine to US WASHINGTON: It took 37 days and a group of determined animal lovers, but a donkey from Iraq is now a US resident. Smoke The Donkey, who became a friend and mascot to a group of US Marines living in Iraq's Anbar Province nearly three years ago, arrived in New York this week aboard a cargo jet from Turkey. After being quarantined for two days he was released Saturday and began a road trip to Omaha, Nebraska, where he is destined to become a therapy animal. The chest-high donkey's story begins in the summer of 2008, when he wandered in to Camp Taqaddum west of Fallujah, a former Iraqi air base being used by Marines. The smoke-colored donkey, which once snatched and ate a cigarette from a careless Marine, soon became such a part of the unit that he received his own care packages and cards. Marines took care of him until 2009 when they left the area, but they turned Smoke over to a sheik who promised to care for him. But one of the Marines, retired Col. John Folsom, couldn't forget Smoke. Folsom used to walk Smoke daily and had formed a bond with the animal. It didn't seem right that Smoke was left behind, he said in a telephone interview Saturday. Folsom, the founder of a support group for military families, Wounded Warriors Family Support, decided to see if Smoke could be brought to the United States to serve as a therapy animal. Getting Smoke back proved more difficult than Folsom realized. At first, the sheik demanded $30,000 for the famous donkey, a demand that was later dropped. Then, there was the bureaucracy of getting Smoke nearly 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometers) around the world: blood tests, health certifications and forms from customs, agriculture and airline officials. To cut through the red tape, Folsom got help from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International, which has a project that transports dogs and cats from Iraq to the United States. The group, however, had never attempted airlifting a donkey, which is more complicated because equines can't be transported on traditional commercial aircraft and must go by cargo plane. The donkey's journey has provided laughter -- and head scratching -- along the way. "People just couldn't believe we were going to these great lengths to help a donkey because donkeys in that part of the world are so low down on the totem pole," said the society's Terri Crisp, who negotiated the donkey's passage from Iraq to the United States. "Donkeys are not viewed as a companion animal. They're viewed as a work animal." As frustrating as the journey sometimes was for those involved, including a week-long delay getting Smoke into Turkey and another three weeks to get out, the donkey found friends and supporters along the way, Crisp said. They included the US ambassador in Turkey, who at one point was getting daily updates. "I think people did finally come to realize that this is one of these out-of the-ordinary situations. Once you met him and saw what a unique donkey he was, it was hard to say no to him," Crisp said, describing Smoke as "gentle" and "mischievous" as well as a food-lover -- carrots and apples in particular. The journey, which started April 5, wasn't cheap. The society estimates it cost between $30,000 to $40,000 from start to finish, with expenses such as $150 to ship Smoke's blood from Turkey to a US Department of Agriculture lab in Iowa, $18,890 for a Lufthansa flight through Frankfurt, Germany and $400 a day for quarantine in New York. Folsom says he recognizes some people may be critical of the expense, which was paid for through donations, but he says he considers it payback for the donkey that was such a friend to Marines. "Why do we spend billions of dollars of pet food in this country? Why do we do that?" Folsom said. "We love our animals. That's why." Folsom saw the donkey for the first time in years Saturday when he arrived in New York to transpor t him to his new home in Omaha. By Saturday afternoon they had driven through Baltimore and were on their way to Virginia for meetand-greet with some fans. The journey to Omaha is expected to take two days, and Folsom said Smoke is already getting used to seeing big, green trees instead of desert. "He's an American donkey now," Folsom said. -- AP CAIRO: Egyptian Coptic Christians stop a man trying to throw a stone during clashes in front of the state television building where they protest recent attacks on Christians and churches in Cairo, Egypt, yesterday. -- AP Egypt's Christian leader calls for end of sit-in CAIRO: Egypt's top Christian leader called on his followers yesterday to end a weeklong sitin in front of a government building on the Nile after a mob attacked the Christian protesters and their supporters, injuring 78. The sit-in aimed to draw attention to the plight of Christians, who have been the target of several attacks by Muslim fundamentalists in the weeks since Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was forced from office by a popular uprising. The head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Shenouda III, said in a statement that outsiders have infiltrated the sit-in of largely Christian demonstrators, making the situation even more explosive. "This has exceeded the mere expression of opinion," the statement said, "harming Egypt's reputation and your reputation." He warned that Egypt's military rulers and interim civilian government were losing patience with the protesters and that they "will be the losers if this sit-in continues." It was not immediately clear if the protesters -- many of whom have been camping out on the riverbank in front of the state TV building -- would heed his call. Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population, have felt increasingly insecure since 18 days of street protests brought down Mubarak, who led the country for nearly 30 years until he was forced to resign on Feb. 11. The Christians, many of whom are Coptic, have complained that the interim government and security forces have failed to protect them and have allowed extremist Islamic groups to attack with impunity. Earlier this month, mobs of Muslims, apparently urged on by the ultraconservative Salafi sect of Islam, stormed the Virgin Mary Church in the Cairo neighborhood of Imbaba and set it ablaze. The attack was sparked by a rumor that a Christian woman planned to marry a Muslim, which some religious purists consider to be forbidden. A short distance away, the mob tried to storm the Mar Mina Church, but were held back by Christians who formed a human shield around the church and fought for hours. Fifteen people were killed and more than 200 were injured in the melees. No trial date has been set for those arrested in the attacks. Several weeks before the attacks on the churches, Egyptians led by hard-line Islamists repeatedly rallied and marched to protest the appointment of a Coptic Christian governor in the southern Egyptian province of Qena. Violence against the sit-in in Cairo erupted late Saturday night, when a mob of more than 100 people lobbed rocks and firebombs and charged dozens of people sleeping in the area. Some 15 Vehicles were also set on fire. Armored military vehicles later blocked cars and pedestrians from going to the state TV building. More than 35 people were arrested, security officials said. --AP Egypt's former first lady to undergo heart test CAIRO: Hospital doctors will runs heart test on Egypt's former first lady Suzanne Mubarak, who is under detention in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the state news agency MENA reported yesterday. An anti-corruption agency ordered she be held for 15 days on Friday to allow for investigations into charges she used her husband's influence to amass wealth unlawfully. She was admitted to hospital on Friday after suffering symptoms of a heart attack. "Suzanne Mubarak is still in the hospital's ICU (intensive care unit) and there is a decision to keep her for 48 hours to undergo a heart catheter," the news agency said, citing hospital manager Mohamed Fathallah. It was unlikely Suzanne Mubarak would be transferred to a prison facility in the short term. "Preparing the Torah (prison) hospital (in Cairo) to receive critical cases could take months," said Nazih Gadallah, who heads the prisons service and is an aide to Egyptian Interior Minister Mansour el-Essawy, in remarks broadcast on the Dubai-based Al Arabiya satellite channel. Former President Hosni Mubarak, who led Egypt for three decades before he was ousted on Feb. 11 in a popular uprising, also suffered heart problems last month during questioning by lawyers investigating abuse of public funds and the killing of protesters.He has not been transferred to prison, as demanded by state prosecutors. Aides insist the Mubaraks have done nothing wrong. Some media reports have suggested their family's fortune may total billions of dollars. The conspicuous wealth of senior officials was a major popular grievance in a country where around 40 percent of people live on less than $2 per day. Mubarak was interrogated about his ownership of a Sharm el-Sheikh villa estimated to be worth more than 36 million Egyptian pounds ($6.1 million) and about alleged personal use of a bank account owned by the Library of Alexandria, according to state media. Suzanne Mubarak was questioned about a Cairo villa and 20 million pounds in an unspecified bank account, it added. -- Reuters y Years i n t e r n at i o n a l MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 In this Sept. 11, 2008 photo provided by the Department of Defense and Retired Marine Col. John Folsom, Smoke the Donkey takes part in a Freedom Walk event at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq. It took 37 days and a group of determined animal-lovers, but the donkey from Iraq is now a U.S. resident. Smoke The Donkey, who became the friend and mascot of a group of U.S. Marines living in Iraq's Anbar Province nearly three years ago, arrived in New York this week aboard a cargo jet from Turkey. After being quarantined for two days he was released Saturday and began road trip to Omaha, Nebraska, where he is destined to become a therapy animal. --AP Arab League selects Egyptian as new secretary-general Qatar withdraws candidate CAIRO: After a last minute change of candidates, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby was elected the new secretary-general of the Arab League. The 22-member Arab organization chose Elaraby to replace Amr Moussa, a former Egyptian foreign minister who has said he will run for the office of president in Egypt. Moussa, who is 73, has held the post for a decade. The choice for head of the Arab League traditionally is agreed in advance, but this year, Egypt and Qatar both put candidates forward. Egypt had nominated a member of the party of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in February in a popular uprising. Yesterday, it substituted Elaraby, 76, a popular diplomat who backed the uprising that ousted Mubarak's regime. After the change of candidates was disclosed, Qatar withdrew its candidate, effectively giving the job to Elaraby. Qatar 's foreign minister, Hamad bin Jassim, said Egypt 's choice of Elaraby "encouraged" his country to withdraw its nominee, diplomat Abdul Rahman bin Hamad al-Attiyah of the Gulf Cooperation Council. "We had agreement in appreciation of Egypt and the revolution of Jan. 25 (so) Qatar withdrew its candidate," he told the Arab League meeting. "This is the right choice, which encouraged us to support it." Elaraby told the session that he came to the meeting without a prepared speech, saying he wasn't expecting to be nominated or elected. He thanked Qatar for agreeing to withdraw its candidate. "It is my pleasure to have this precious trust in me from the council and be named as the League chief," he said. He praised Moussa and said the Arab League faces many challenges. "I take on this difficult job as the Arab nations are facing many problems," Elaraby said. Egypt, which is home to the Arab League headquarters, has traditionally tried to give the top post to one of its diplomats. Only when Egypt was boycotted by other Arab members for its 1979 peace deal with Israel did a diplomat from another country get the CAIRO: Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Eraby (R) speaks with Qatari Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani during a meeting in Cairo yesterday. -- AFP job. The pan-Arab organization is an umbrella group of countries in the region and tries to reach consensus on political and social issues. It has observer status at the United Nations and recently joined a number of countries in urging the UN Security Council to impose the no-fly zone on Libya. Although the Arab League often has been more a place for disagreement than for action, many activists are hoping the League will play a more active role in coordinating Arab policies and pushing for reform following the uprisings in the region. Egypt's original candidate was Mustafa elFiqqi, a member of Mubarak's ruling party who resigned after the popular uprising against the government began on Jan.25. Reform activists had opposed his nomination. Arab diplomats were divided over elFiqqi's nomination, with some pointing out that he never held a senior diplomatic position. Scores protested outside the League against el-Fiqqi. The crowd cheered when the media reported that el-Fiqqi was out as Egypt's candidate. Elaraby was Egypt's UN representative in the 1990s and served as a judge on the International Court of Justice in The Hague between 2001 and 2006. He was a legal adviser to Egypt's Foreign Ministry during the Camp David peace negotiations with Israel that led to the peace treaty; he also participated in the negotiations to end the dispute with Israel over Taba, which ended in arbitration that turned the area over to Egypt. Elaraby, an arbitration expert, was critical of the Mubarak government's crackdown against the uprising and was a member of a committee to advise protest leaders on their reform demands. -- AP Gulf mediator to meet Saleh as violence rages SANAA: A Gulf mediator was to meet President Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday in a new bid to resolve Yemen's political crisis despite scepticism from the opposition and as violence raged across the country. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretar y General Abdullatif al-Zayani flew in to Sanaa on Saturday "to achieve a settlement that can satisfy all parties," sources close to the two parties said. But the opposition seemed unimpressed by Zayani's new attempt to convince Yemen's political rivals to sign a Gulf-brokered plan that would see Saleh out of office within 30 days. "This mediation does not concern us anymore. Its proponents are concerned about President Saleh and not the Yemeni people who are peacefully resisting a bloody repression," a leading member of Yemen's parliamentary opposition Sultan al-Atwan told AFP. The opposition has not been informed of Zayani's visit in which he is reportedly to bring "new ideas" to convince Saleh to sign the initiative. "Our Gulf brothers are only concerned with satisfying Saleh, who is trying to buy time in an attempt to save his regime," said Atwan. However, chief opposition negotiator, Mohamed Salem Basandou, would meet Zayani "if he has anything new" to offer and also "to inform him of our position," said Atwani. Zayani was to meet Saleh and members of his ruling General People's Congress in the hope of achieving progress in the mediation efforts that stalled after the veteran leader refused to sign. During Zayani's last visit to the impoverished country in April, Saleh had said he would resign only as party leader, contrary to the demands of the opposition. The president says that under the constitution he should serve out his current term of office, which expires in 2013. The opposition will not meet with Zayani "unless president Saleh agrees to sign the plan as it was proposed in April," another member of the opposition said yesterday. The Gulf plan, which lost Qatar's support on Thursday, proposes the formation of a government of national unity, Saleh transferring power to his vice president and an end to deadly protests which have shaken the country since late January. The president would submit his resignation to parliament within 30 days and this would be followed by presidential election within two months. In exchange, Saleh and his top aides would be granted immunity from prosecution. Parliamentary opposition spokesman Mohammed Qahtan has said the GCC initiative was "dead" following the pullout of Qatar, whose prime minister angered Sanaa by stating the Yemeni president must go. Tension was also simmering on ground as police, armed civilians, and Republican Guards, led by Saleh's son Ahmed, opened fire on demonstrators late Saturday in Taez, south of Sanaa, killing one and wounding 34 others by live rounds, medics and witnesses said. " Three of the wounded are clinically dead," a medical official told AFP. Masked armed men patrolled neighbourhoods in Taez, Yemen's second-largest city, as they fired in the air causing panic among residents late at night, witnesses told AFP. At least 180 people have been killed in three months of protests against Saleh's regime, according to a toll compiled from reports by activists and medics. --AFP A e niv rsar n Security, emotions high for queen's Irish visit DUBLIN: This week's groundbreaking visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland is raising passions and security fears in a nation that has traditionally cast a cold eye on its former master. It is a trip filled with the symbolism of reconciliation as the queen stresses the need to bury a history of often bloody confrontation. Encouraged by the largely successful peace process in Northern Ireland, which has made her sensitive visit feasible, the queen will become the first British monarch to set foot in the Republic of Ireland. When a British sovereign last came, a full century ago, all of Ireland was still part of the United Kingdom. "She's doing it for the consolidation of the peace process," said University of Cambridge historian John Morrill, a specialist in Anglo-Irish relations. "It shows the transformation of relations. It is a demonstration to those who still need to be persuaded that things really have changed." The four-day trip to Dublin, Kildare, Tipperary and Cork comes as a Catholic-Protestant government in the neighboring British territory of Northern Ireland has just been re-elected, marking another peace milestone. The Irish Republican Army violence of decades past -- counting among its victims the queen's cousin, Lord Louis Mountbatten, killed when the IRA blew up his yacht in 1979 -- has given way to the group's 2005 renunciation of violence. Only small splinter groups still plot bloodshed across the border. Irish commentator Fintan O'Toole said the queen should have come to the Republic of Ireland at least a decade ago, when Belfast peacemaking was still in the balance, and her intervention might have boosted the momentum toward peace. "Her trip isn't actually going to change attitudes. It's putting a seal on changes that have already happened," he said. "There's been excessive caution about Dublin memorial honoring Ireland's rebel dead, a surprisingly direct gesture toward Britain's opponents in the bloody 1919-21 guerrilla war of independence. While most Dubliners say the queen should be welcomed in an age of excepwork carpenter standing outside Dublin's colonnaded General Post Office, command center for an ill-fated Easter 1916 insurrection that inspired the later war. "People fought and died in this building for our independence. Seems they shouldn't have bothered." Dubliner Deirdre Walsh, passing by with shopping bags, grabbed a reporter by the shoulder. "Don't be listening to sourpuss there," she said. "He needs to get a life. This isn't the 1920s anymore. You'd have to be a terrible hypocrite not to welcome the queen here. We're best of friends with the Brits. Half of the Irish have lived in Britain at one point or another. We've got 99 percent of everything in common." Many Britons believe the queen will be warmly received in Ireland despite the presence of a small group of vocal critics. Jude Liddle, who owns a wine bar in London, said hostility between the two countries has faded. "Most Irish people have forgiven us for the bad things we've done," he said. "People who hate Britain won't change their mind based on the queen's visit, or any politician's visit. It's only a small percentage of the population that still care, but the resentment that does exist is strong and won't go away until Northern Ireland is resolved. That's the key to it." The queen's trip will highlight Ireland's many charms, from the Guinness brewer y to its Europe-leading horseracing industry, and stunning historical monuments such as the medieval Rock of Cashel. She will be joined by her husband, Prince Philip. Security will far exceed measures used for the 1979 visit of Pope John Paul II or for the 1990s visits of US President Bill Clinton The national police force has canceled all leave and drafted in officers from rural areas, boosting the security detail to 8,500. They also have borrowed two mobile water cannons from Northern Ireland's police. The Irish Defence Forces have deployed groundto-air missiles at key locations, plan to shut down airspace over Dublin and other locations in tandem with the queen's movements, and are keeping more than 1,000 troops in reserve. Britain's Times of London reported that Ireland's government will allow British police protection officers to carry firearms during the visit. Several days ahead of the queen's arrival, police began mounting roundthe-clock watches and erected security barriers at venues she is scheduled to visit, most crucially Dublin's Garden of Remembrance honoring two centuries of fallen rebels. A small anti-British pressure group opposed to Northern Ireland's peace process called Eirigi -- Gaelic for "rise" -- has vowed to take control of the garden two days before the queen arrives. Police say they will be blocked. Eirigi has plastered Dublin lampposts with placards denouncing the visit -- ignoring a Dublin City Council order banning such displays. The Irish nationalist Sinn Fein party also opposes the visit. Martin Donnellan, who retired in 2009 as the Republic of Ireland's deputy police commander and is a security consultant today, said anti-terrorist officers in both parts of Ireland were pursuing "a great exchange of intelligence on known terrorists and anarchists and others hellbent on disrupting this visit." He said officers were keeping dissident IRA leaders under close surveillance. --AP MINSK: Belarus opposition leader Andrei Sannikov (C) and supporters flash the Vsign for victory in the defendant's cage during his trial in Minsk on May 14. A Belarus court jailed Sannikov for five years on charges of organising protests after the reelection of President Alexander Lukashenko. -- AFP Belarus sparks outrage by jailing Lukashenko rival MINSK: Belarus yesterday faced an international outcry after jailing the main rival of autocratic President Alexander Lukashenko for five years in a process denounced by the opposition as a political show trial. A Minsk court on Saturday found Andrei Sannikov guilty of organising mass protests after Lukashenko's landslide election victory in December 19 polls which were condemned by Western observers as flawed. In highly emotional scenes, Sannikov, 57, shouted "look after my loved ones" before being taken away. His son Danik celebrates his fourth birthday Sunday while his wife Irina Khalip hears her verdict Monday on similar charges. Four other younger defendants-the youngest just 19 -- were also jailed for up to three-and-a-half years in the trial, just the latest against dozens of opposition activists charged over the election protests. Suppor ters in the cour t shouted "Freedom!" and "Shame on the authorities!" while others cried. Sannikov 's lawyer Marina Kovalevskaya said the defence would appeal the verdict. Western countries rapidly condemned the verdict as politically motivated, with the United States saying it considered Sannikov and other opposition figures arrested after the elections to be "political prisoners." Britain called the trial "a new low for the rule of law in Belarus" while Germany 's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle denounced the court's verdict as "the political will of Lukashenko". An ex-collective farm boss who has ruled Belarus for almost 17 years, Lukashenko was once accused by the United States of running Europe's last dictatorship and the crackdown has ended any hopes of a rapprochement with the West. European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton also condemned the ruling and warned of the "readiness of the EU to consider further targeted restrictive measures in all areas of cooperation." The Belarussian foreign ministry has yet to give any reaction to the criticism. Sannikov polled the most votes of the nine opposition candidates in the election with 2.43 percent, according to official results, although his supporters insist his true figure was far higher. He was one of hundreds of Belarussians detained in a massive security sweep by police after tens of thousands surged into the streets to protest on the night of the election. Dozens still remain in jail. Five of the opposition candidates face prison terms over their protests and Sannikov was the first to receive a verdict. In a tragic family drama that won global attention, his journalist wife Irina Khalip was also arrested in the protests and the authorities then sought to take custody of their son Danik. Khalip was eventually released and allowed to keep the child but put under house arrest in her apartment in the company of two agents from the security service, still known as the KGB in Belarus. Prosecutors have requested a two year suspended sentence for her and she is forbidden from communicating with her husband. "The Belarussian judicial system is bulldozing our family," said Sannikov's mother Alla, 78. " They 've given Danik a presentthey've taken his father. This is absurd, we have no justice, just one person who determines the fate of others as he wishes." Sannikov served as a deputy foreign minister but then resigned in protest at the president's behaviour in 1996 and founded the opposition Charter 97 rights movement and news website. The youngest defendant at the trial, Ilya Vasilyevich, 19, was sentenced to three years in prison. Vladimir Ermenek, 20, was also jailed for three years and Oleg Gnedchik, 25, for three-and-half years Fyodor Mirzoyanov, 20, was given a three year sentence. His tearful mother Lyudmila was not even allowed into the courtroom to say goodbye to her son. Twenty-seven people have now been convicted in post-election trials, of whom 22 were given jail terms. The trials have coincided with an unprecedented economic crisis triggered by Lukashenko's Soviet-style management that has prompted an effective 50 percent currency devaluation and warnings that even worse is to come. -- AFP y Years MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 i n t e r n at i o n a l ANKARA: In this May 16, 2008 file photo, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, left, is welcomed by children waving Britain's flag, upon her arrival at the British Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. Encouraged by the largely successful peace process in Northern Ireland, which has made her sensitive visit feasible, the queen will become the first British monarch to set foot in the Republic of Ireland otomorrow. -- AP it," he said of the royal visit, first suggested by Ireland's president in 1996. "The authorities are afraid somebody's going to shoot her. But waiting for a time when nobody in Ireland would want to shoot the queen -- that's never going to happen." One of the queen's first actions Tuesday will be to lay a wreath at a tionally strong British-Irish relations, some bitterly speak of unhealed national wounds and predict street clashes. "She should be coming here to apologize for 800 years of oppression. Instead we're all supposed to curtsey and pretend the past never happened. It's sickening," said Eunan O'Kelly, an out-of- Local elections to test Berlusconi's grip on power PM battling sex scandal, trials, weak economy ROME: Italians voted yesterday in local elections that will show whether a sex scandal, three corruption trials and a stagnating economy have seriously damaged Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi two years before the end of his term. Some 13 million Italians, nearly a quarter of the population, are eligible to vote in 1,310 towns and provinces, although turnout is expected to be relatively low because of disillusionment with the stormy political climate. The most important contests are in the four big cities of Turin, Naples, Bologna and Milan-Italy's business capital and Berlusconi's home town, where his centreright coalition runs the risk of losing for the first time in nearly 20 years. The local vote, which runs through today, follows opinion polls putting Berlusconi's popularity at about 30 percent, the lowest since he swept to power for the third time in 2008. But more than once in the past the 74-year old premier has defied predictions that his grip on power was weakening. " The problem is that when people are inside the polling station, they change their mind and always end up voting for Berlusconi, and that is because the centre left does not have a leader as strong as him in terms of charisma," said Milan resident Giorgio Cecchi. Since March, Berlusconi has faced four concurrent trials for corruption, tax fraud and, most sensationally, having sex with an underage prostitute and then using his office to cover it up. Berlusconi denies all charges and says Milan magistrates are politically biased leftists bent on destroying him. He is also battling accusations that he has failed to tackle Italy's low growth, and strains have MILAN: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi looks on prior to casting his ballot during the local administrative elections at a polling station yesterday in Milan. -- AFP intensified in his alliance with the pro-devolution, anti-immigrant Northern League. Data on Friday showed Italy's economy grew just 0.1 percent in the first quarter, far below Germany's 1.5 percent growth but also lagging the 0.8 percent expansion of debtstricken Greece. The League, vital for Berlusconi's survival after he split from long-time ally Gianfranco Fini, has repeatedly distanced itself from him, notably opposing Italy's involvement in the NATO bombing of Libya. Berlusconi has aggressively hit the campaign trail, turning the election into a vote on him rather than local issues. "A vote for Silvio" read the banner headline in Il Giornale daily, which is owned by Berlusconi's brother. "We are not being asked to judge whether a programme is better than another. We are being asked whether we are for or against Berlusconi," wrote Corriere della Sera in an editorial. Using his trademark mix of jokes, invective against magistrates and opponents, and lastminute electoral pledges, he has stolen the limelight and dictated the political agenda. Over the past few days he has called prosecutors a "cancer on democracy" and said the opposition "don't wash much". In Naples, where a chronic waste disposal crisis has reappeared leaving mounds of garbage once again piled up in the streets, he promised to scrap a rubbish tax until the city is clean. He has also pledged to stop demolishing houses built illegally for a year, a significant move in a city with a long tradition of building code violations. The divided centre -left, unable so far to capitalise on Berlusconi's woes, hopes to show the tide is turning. In Milan, it has pinned its hopes on Giuliano Pisapia, a lawyer who may have the best chance in years to topple the centre-right city government. Incumbent mayor Letizia Moratti is seen as vulnerable because of wide middle class disappointment at her failure to modernise the northern city. Commentators say that even a run- off in M ilan-let alone M oratti 's defeat-would be a blow to Berlusconi, who launched his political career in the city where he became a billionaire. -- Reuters Russian deputy PM chides state of disputed islands MOSCOW: Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov yesterday rapped the state of infrastructure on one of the Pacific islands contested by Moscow and Tokyo since World War Two. Ivanov, who is responsible for arms procurement and transportation in the Russian cabinet, made his comment during a visit to one of the islands that lie north of Japan. A Japanese Foreign Ministr y official has called the visit unacceptable. Ivanov, who said he had visited the islands twice in the past, criticised the poor state of the airport, roads and living conditions on Iturup, the Russian name for the northernmost island in the southern Kurile archipelago. "Since my first visit here, I've been very disappointed with the social and economic situation on the islands..." he was quoted by Russia's Interfax news agency as saying. "If we call things by their right names, there is a complete lack of any kind of quality of life here." Ivanov is among the architects of a federal development programme for the archipelago. The 56-island chain stretches from Russia's Kamchatka peninsula to Japan's northern main island Hokkaido. Soviet troops occupied the four islands at the end of World War Two, and they have remained in Moscow's hands, preventing the two countries signing a peace treaty. For two decades since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has neglected the underdevelopment of the islands, which are some of the most remote territories under its control. Many locals have moved to mainland Russia. Ivanov said the islands are cut off from the continent, as transport facilities do not meet the basic needs of the residents. Moscow plans to invest 15 billion roubles ($537 million) in the development of the islands by 2015. The visit is the first from Moscow since an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in March, devastating parts of Japan's northeast coast and crippling a nuclear power plant. Russia sent emergency workers and aid following the disaster, in what was perceived as the sign of a thaw in relations. President Dmitry Medvedev angered Japan last November, when he became the first Kremlin leader to visit the islands. In March Moscow said it would deploy P-800 rockets, known as Yakhont, on the islands, along with MI-28N battle helicopters to protect the territories. -- Reuters A e niv rsar n Blackwater founder builds foreign force in UAE: NYT WASHINGTON: The crown prince of Abu Dhabi has hired the founder of private security firm Blackwater Worldwide to set up an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the United Arab Emirates, The New York Times reported yesterday. The Times said it obtained documents that showed the unit being formed by Erik Prince's new company Reflex Responses with $529 million from the UAE would be used to thwart internal revolt, conduct special operations and defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from attack. The newspaper said the decision to hire the contingent of foreign troops was taken before a wave of popular unrest spread across the Arab world in recent months, including to the UAE's Gulf neighbours Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia. The UAE itself has seen no serious unrest. Most of its population is made up of foreign workers. Blackwater, which once had lucrative contracts to protect US officials in Iraq, became notorious in the region in 2007 when its guards opened fire in Baghdad traffic, killing at least 14 people in what the Iraqi government called a "massacre". One former Blackwater guard pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges in those killings, and a US court reinstated charges against five others last month. Prince has since sold the firm, which changed its name to Xe. The firm denies wrongdoing. The newspaper said the Emirates, a close ally of the United States, had some support in Washington for Prince's new project, although it was not clear if it had official US approval. Two UAE government officials contacted by Reuters declined immediate comment on the New York Times report, and the US embassy in the UAE also had no immediate comment. It was not possible to locate Prince for comment. The Times quoted a US official who was aware of the programme as saying: "The Gulf countries, and the UAE in particular, don't have a lot of military experience. It would make sense if they looked outside their borders for help." State Department spokesman Mark Toner told The Times the department was investigating to see if the project broke any US laws. US law requires a licence for American citizens to train foreign troops. Toner also pointed out that Blackwater, now known as Xe Services, had paid $42 million in fines in 2010 for training foreign forces in Jordan without a licence, the Times said. According to former employees of the project and US officials cited by the Times, the troops were brought to a training camp in the UAE from Colombia, South Africa and other countries, starting in the summer of 2010. They were being trained by retired US military, and former members of German and British special operations units and the French Foreign Legion, the Times said. Prince had insisted the force hire no Muslims, because they "could not be counted on to kill fellow Muslims", the paper said. Former employees also told the newspaper the Emirates hoped the force could be used to counter any threat from Iran, which the Arab states in the Gulf consider a foe. Although The Times said the documents it obtained did not mention Erik Prince, former employees had told the newspaper he had negotiated the contract with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. Emiriati officials had proposed expanding the force to a brigade of several thousand if the first battalion was successful, the newspaper said. -- Reuters PORT-AU-PRINCE: Haiti's newly-sworn-in President Michel Martelly, right, walks with Haiti's Chief of Police Mario Andresol during Haiti's presidential inaugural ceremony at the National Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday. -- AP New president takes power in struggling Haiti PORT-AU-PRINCE: A pop star known for his bad boy antics on stage, Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly, became this earthquakedevastated country 's new president Saturday and urged Haitians to set aside their divisions and raise the country from rubble. The 50-year-old was all business as he was inaugurated on the lawn of the collapsed National Palace before a crowd of thousands. He told his compatriots to respect laws, pay their taxes, and pitch in to ensure that a more independent Haiti moves forward after a massive earthquake last year flattened the capital and outer areas, killing more than 300,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands more living in tents. Martelly spoke as if he wanted to distinguish himself from outgoing President Rene Preval, who was seen as aloof and meek. "Hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, we're going to change Haiti," Martelly told the roaring crowd in a mix of Creole and French. "We want to re-establish order and discipline in the country." As if to dramatize the challenges facing this desperately poor country, a power outage interrupted the inauguration ceremony. The inauguration marked the first time in Haitian history that a president had transferred power to a member of the opposition. An emphatic and self-confident Martelly laid out his top priorities for rebuilding the country, a plan that focused on education, tax collection, security and foreign investment. To "change the face of Haiti," he said everybody had to do their part. Martelly told his audience not to throw rocks in protest or build homes on precarious ravines. When he told his audience to pay taxes to improve services, the message seemed aimed at the business class sitting in the shade of the stands. Louis Gary Lissade, an attorney and former justice minister, said the new president wanted "no more monkey business." "He told the business class to be straight," Lissade said. "He talked about this civic duty: You must pay taxes." Martelly reiterated a pledge to rebuild the crumbling capital of Port-au-Prince, revive an economically depressed countryside and bolster security. Universal education for children, he said, would not only be free but also mandatory. The country has so far struggled to recover from the last year's magnitude-7.0 earthquake and depends heavily on foreign aid. "This is how Haiti is going to get out of its misery," Martelly said. "Haiti was asleep -- now it's going to stand up." Martelly had been a dark horse candidate leading up to the Nov. 28, 2010, elections but made it to a March 20 runoff against former first lady Mirlande Manigat. Initially barred from the second-run and readmitted under international pressure, Martelly won the presidency in a landslide with more than two-thirds of the vote, appealing mostly to young voters in urban areas. "For me, he's going to do a whole lot," said 24-year-old Sonson Edmon, who lives in a makeshift camp across from the National Palace. "He's going to send our kids to school, and the high cost of living is going to go down." Political observers have stressed that Haiti's government needs to hasten a multibillion-dollar reconstruction effort to help house more than 600,000 people still living in settlements. "His administration will have to show progress fairly quickly in order to provide confidence to the population," said Mark Schneider, senior vice president of the nonprofit think tank International Crisis Group in Washington, D.C. Martelly also faces a cholera epidemic that threatens to erupt again as the rainy and hurricane seasons approach, as well as a Parliament controlled by legislators from Preval's party. Despite speculation that Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier and ousted former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide would accept invitations to the ceremony, neither of them showed up. --AP Fujimori leads Humala in presidential poll LIMA: Right-wing lawmaker Keiko Fujimori has a small lead over left-wing nationalist Ollanta Humala ahead of Peru's June 5 presidential run-off, a poll by survey firm Ipsos showed yesterday. The nationwide poll, published in newspaper El Comercio, showed Fujimori getting 51.1 percent of the vote and Humala with 48.9 percent when blank and null votes were excluded in a simulation organized by pollsters. It was the third poll in the past week to show Fujimori, the daughter of failed former President Alberto Fujimori, ahead of Humala, but in most cases with a lead within the margin of error. The Ipsos survey polled 2,005 people May 7-13 and has a 2.2 point margin of error. A raw count of all mock ballots showed Fujimori with 43.9 percent of the votes and Humala with 42 percent. A fifth of voters are undecided or plan to abstain in the tight race that has caused volatility in the local stock and currency market and made the final outcome of the election difficult to predict. Both candidates appeal to poorer voters, though Fujimori, a lawmaker, has support from the business community, which is eager to see a decade-long economic boom continue and worries Humala might rollback years of freemarket reforms. The elder Fujimori opened the economy and slayed hyperinflation, but his government collapsed in 2000 in a cloud of corruption and human rights scandals stemming from his crackdown on insurgents. Humala, a former army officer who led a short-lived revolt against Fujimori's father, campaigns as a moderate leftist but he spooks investors with his more nationalist policy platform that outlines an interventionist agenda. Humala says his brand of nationalism would strengthen a weak state to make sure the benefits of economic growth reach all Peruvians, not just local elites or foreign firms. A third of Peruvians still live in poverty. Peruvian markets plunged after Humala won the first-round vote on April 10 but have since partly recovered as investors bet on a Fujimori victory. Before the latest gains, the market value of Peru's stock index plunged by about $18 billion in less than three weeks, according to the Maximixe brokerage. -- Reuters y Years I N T E R N AT I O N A L MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Huckabee's exit widens an already open GOP field Obama in stronger position WASHINGTON: Mike Huckabee's decision to forgo a shot at the US presidency further muddies the field for a worthy Republican challenger to President Barack Obama, and leaves America's social conservatives without a clear candidate to throw their support behind. Huckabee on Saturday night became the latest Republican to opt out of running, declaring that he would stick with his lucrative career as a television and radio personality over a race that promises to be both costly and caustic. By joining Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, South Dakota Sen. John Thune and Indiana Rep. Mike Pence on the sidelines, the former Arkansas governor underlined that for all of Obama's vulnerabilities on the economy, taking on his re-election machine and potential $1 billion treasure chest remains a daunting task. The 55-year-old Baptist minister insisted that he could have captured the Republican nomination, citing polls that showed he could score strong even in the Northeast and among the less conservative rank-and-file party members. "All the factors say go, but my heart says no," Huckabee, the winner of the 2008 Iowa caucuses, said on his Fox News Channel show. The announcement makes an already wideopen Republican field even more unpredictable. Huckabee is a prominent conservative who would have been a serious contender for the party nod with instant support among Christian evangelicals who dominate the Iowa caucuses and the early South Carolina primary. And with him out of the race, there is no clear candidate out there to for them to rally around. Onetime House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been making a concerted effort to reach out to the right. Although he's been noting his recent conversion to Catholicism, he's hampered by two divorces and an adulterous history. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney must explain and continued sluggishness in the employment market, Obama will have the advantage of being an incumbent president with a seemingly unmatchable capacity to generate cash for his campaign. And while events could change dramatically between now and the presidential vote, polls show Obama in a stronger position now than he was before the mission that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Republican candidates were quick to praise Huckabee after his announcement, making obvious plays for his backers. "Had Gov. Huckabee decided to run, there is no question he would have been a frontrunner in the 2012 campaign for president," Gingrich said. He said Huckabee "will remain a major force for conservatism and he will play a major role in shaping America's future." Pawlenty said he'd work hard to gain the support of millions of Americans who have backed Huckabee, while former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum praised the TV host for praying before deciding not to run. Santorum added that he wanted to talk with Huckabee about fighting for traditional values even as some Republicans "seek to form a `truce' on social issues." That was a slap at Daniels, who is considering a run and has suggested that Republicans downplay their focus on cultural issues like abortion while the nation's economy is so fragile. Huckabee said the past few months have been times of deep personal reflection, even as he noted that he was leading some national polls. He painted the decision as a spiritual one. "Only when I was alone, in quiet and reflective moments, did I have not only clarity but an inexplicable inner peace," he said. "Being president is a job that takes one to the limit of his or her human capacity. For me, to do it apart from the inner confidence that I was undertaking it without God's full blessing is simply unthinkable." -- AP Mike Huckabee his change of heart over the years on positions on guns, gay rights and abortion; health care also is a problem for him. Minnesota's ex-governor, Tim Pawlenty, has had to apologize for backing climate change legislation. Donald Trump? Highly unlikely. With so many social conservatives looking for a home, the void could prompt 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin or Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann to get in the race. Palin has yet to say if she will run, while Bachmann is inching toward a bid. Several other possible candidates, including Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, are in waiting mode. The lack of a clear Republican frontrunner reflects Obama's perceived strength as a candidate less than a year-and-a-half before the election. Despite uneven economic growth Mississippi River spillway opens MORGANZA: Over the next few days, water spewing through a Mississippi River floodgate will crawl through the swamps of Louisiana's Cajun country, chasing people and animals to higher ground while leaving much of the land under 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters) of brown muck. The floodgate was opened Saturday for the first time in nearly four decades, shooting out like a waterfall. Fish jumped or were hurled through the white froth and what was dry land soon turned into a raging channel. The water will flow 20 miles (30 kilometers) south into the Atchafalaya Basin, and from there it will roll on to Morgan City, an oil-and-seafood hub and a community of 12,000. In the nearby community of Stephensville, rows of sandbags were piled up outside nearly every home. Merleen Acosta, 58, waited in line for three hours to get her sandbags filled by prisoners, then returned later in the day for more bags. Floodwaters inundated Acosta's home when the Morganza spillway was opened in 1973, driving her out for several months. The thought of losing her home again was so stressful she was getting sick. "I was throwing up at work," she said. The opening of the spillway diverted water from Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and the numerous oil refineries and chemical plants along the lower reaches of the Mississippi. Shifting the water away from the cities eased the strain on levees and blunts the potential for flooding in New Orleans that could have been much worse than Hurricane Katrina. The Morganza spillway is part of a system of locks and levees built after the great flood of 1927, which killed hundreds and left many more without homes. When the Morganza opened, it was the first time three flood-control systems have been unlocked at the same time along the Mississippi River, a sign of just how historic the current flooding has been. Earlier this month, the corps intentionally blew holes into a levee in Missouri to employ a similar cities-first strategy, and it also opened a spillway northwest of New Orleans about a week ago. Snowmelt and heavy rain swelled the Mississippi, and the river has peaked at levels not seen in 70 years. About 25,000 people and 11,000 structures could be affected by the oncoming water, and some people living in the threatened stretch of countryside -- an area known for fish camps and a drawling French dialect -- have already fled. . The crest of the Mississippi is still more than a week away from the Morganza spillway, and when it arrives, officials expect it to linger. The bulge has broken river-level records that had held since the 1920s in some places. This is the second spillway to be opened in Louisiana. The corps used cranes to remove some of the Bonnet Carre's wooden barriers, sending water into the massive Lake SOUTH VICKSBURG: Neighbors and the curious come to the edge of the Cedar School Circle neighborhood in south Vicksburg, Mississippi, to watch the water levels rise as the Mississippi flood waters creep into the lower laying, unprotected neighborhoods, May 14. -- AP Ponchatrain and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. By yesterday, all 350 bays at the 7,000-foot (2,100-meter) Bonnet Carre structure were to be open. The Morganza, a 4,000-foot (1,200-meter) long structure built in 1954, was expecting to only open up about a quarter of its 125 gates. The spillways could be opened for weeks, or perhaps less time, if the river flow starts to subside. In Vicksburg, Mississippi, where five neighborhoods were under water, a steady stream of onlookers posed for pictures on a river bluff overlooking a bridge that connects Louisiana and Mississippi. Some people posed for pictures next to a Civil War cannon while others carried Confederate battle flags being given away by a war re-enactor. Larry and Paulla Dalrymple spent part of the day with a video camera, filming the river roll past a casino and swirl around the giant bridge pilings. "Wow. It's really running,"` Paulla said. "It's amazing what the water can do -- what it's doing to people's lives." -- AP ASUNCION: A military officer looks at a dog during a military parade honoring Paraguay's bicentennial in Asuncion, Saturday. Paraguay won independence from Spain May 14, 1811, following a military coup. -- ap A e niv rsar n Years i n t e r n at i o n a l 11 KABUL: Alleged Afghan child suicide bombers, Neyaz Mohammad in orange and Fazel Rahman, in green dress, are in line before they come back to their cells at the Kabul Juvenile Rehabilitation Center in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday. --AP Taleban using child bombers KABUL: The orders from their religious teacher were clear: Go to Afghanistan, strap on a suicide vest and kill foreign forces. With that, 9-year-old Ghulam Farooq left his home in Pakistan with three other would-be boy bombers and headed into eastern Afghanistan. They were told there would be two members of the Taleban waiting for them at the Torkham border crossing in Nangarhar province. Instead, members of the Afghan intelligence service who had been tipped to the boys' plans arrested them at the border. "Our mullah told us that when we carried out our suicide attacks, all the people around us would die, but we would stay alive," Farooq said Saturday, sitting inside a juvenile detention facility in the Afghan capital. He was one of five alleged suicide bombers -- all boys in adolescence or even younger -- whom the Afghan intelligence service paraded before reporters, photographers and cameramen at a news conference on May 7 in an effort to turn public opinion against the Taleban. Farooq and the other boys are being held at a detention facility that resembles a vocational training center. There are no armed guards, and the facility has classrooms and playgrounds. During a visit to the center, Farooq was smiling and said he was going to school and that he and the other boys were being given the opportunity to learn carpet weaving, carpentry and other handicrafts. The facility has dozens of boys, most detained in criminal cases. Afghan intelligence officials say the Taleban turns to young boys because they are easier to recruit than adults and tend to believe what recruiters tell them. "The Taleban are recruiting children in their ranks and using them to carry out suicide attacks in Afghanistan," Latifullah Mashal, a spokesman for the Afghan intelligence service, told reporters. "These innocent children have been cheated and sent to Afghanistan." The Taleban denies the accusation. In a statement issued a week ago, Taleban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said the insurgency's code of conduct prohibits young people from staying in military centers with fighters. Instead, he alleged that the youths were working for the Afghan police and public and private security companies. "These children have joined the ranks of the enemy on the enemy's luring, taking advantage of their ignorance and lack of knowledge," he said. In fact, the use of children to conduct suicide bombings is not a new tactic in the nearly decade-long war, Afghan officials say. Confirmed cases are rare, and it's difficult to identify the bodies of bombers who blow themselves up. But Mashal said there had been a recent increase in the use of children. In the past two months, he said, child suicide bombers executed two deadly attacks. The arrest of Farooq and three other boys allegedly heading toward suicide attacks came earlier this month, and Mashal said authorities are holding a fifth child who was about to carry out a bombing but then decided against it. Farooq, clad in a dark green Afghan-style shirt, said he was persuaded to become a suicide bomber by a mullah in a mosque near Peshawar, Pakistan. His story could not be independently verified. "He told us that there are infidels in Kabul and we must carry out suicide attacks against them," the boy said. "We were taught how to use a suicide vest in the Spin Mosque in Kher Abad near Peshawar where we live." "I want to go home," he added. "I miss my family." Ten-yearold Fazel Rahman, another member of the foursome, corroborated the story at the news conference, even using similar phrasing to Farooq's. "The mullah in the mosque told us that the infidels were in Kabul and everyone should go for jihad" and that the bombers themselves would survive, Rahman said. He said he was happy to be alive but wanted to return home. "Our families don't know where we are," he said. Afghan authorities are discussing whether to charge or release the boys. The most recent suicide attack carried out by a child occurred on May 1. Police said a 12-yearold blew himself up in a bazaar in the Barmal district of Paktika province in the east, killing four civilians and wounding 12 others. Among the dead -- and the likely target of the attack -- was Sher Nawaz, head of a new district council in the Shakeen area of Paktika province, the provincial governor's office said. On April 13, a 13-year-old suicide bomber detonated his explosives vest in Asmar district of Kunar province. The blast in eastern Afghanistan killed 10 people, including five schoolboys and an influential tribal elder, Malik Zareen, who was a former military commander who supported the Afghan government. Police said the target of the attack, which occurred at a local meeting of tribal elders was Zareen, a leader of Afghan forces during the Soviet occupation in the 1980s. The Afghan Ministry of Education called the suicide bombing an "anti-Islamic and inhumane act." Afghan President Hamid Karzai also condemned the bombing, saying that by killing tribal leaders, the attacker was trying to silence the voice of the Afghan people. Earlier this year, under the direction of a mullah in Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan, 14-year-old Noor Mohammad donned an explosives vest and traveled to a coalition outpost in Andar district. But he backed out. He, too, was among the youths brought before reporters and photographers in Kabul. "The Taleban taught me how to use a pistol, how to push the button of a suicide vest and drive a motorbike," the boy told reporters. "On the day that I had to carry out the suicide attack, I decided not to. I joined with the (pro-government) forces and I didn't carry out the attack." He never explained why he changed his mind. There have been other cases. On Feb. 26, the intelligence service announced the arrests of a Pakistani boy and two teenagers -- one from Afghanistan and the other from Pakistan -- who claimed they had been coerced into becoming would-be suicide bombers. Akhtar Nawaz, 14, from South Waziristan in Pakistan, said six men in a vehicle nabbed him off the street while he was walking home from school. "They told me that I had to carry out a suicide attack," Nawaz told reporters. "I told them I didn't want to, but they forced me to go with them. They told me that there were foreigners in Afghanistan and if I carried out a suicide attack, I would go to heaven." Nawaz said the men took him to various locations and taught him how to shoot a pistol and detonate a suicide vest. His mission, he said, was to shoot guards at an Afghan military compound in Khost province, then to ride inside on a motorcycle and detonate his explosives. He said he was told that if the detonation button on his vest didn't work, he should detonate the explosives by shooting himself with the pistol. He said he was driven to Khost and shown the target but decided not to go through with the attack at the last minute, turning himself in to Afghan security forces instead. --AP India, Pakistan exchange border fire, soldier killed JAMMU: Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged sustained cross-border fire yesterday, security officials said, a day after an Indian soldier was killed by Pakistani troops while patrolling one of the world's most heavily guarded borders. The two sides exchanged small arms fire for 30 minutes early yesterday at a border post 30 km (18 miles) from Jammu, the winter capital of the disputed Kashmir region in north India. "Pakistani soldiers opened unprovoked firing on our Umra Wali post," said a spokesman for the paramilitary Indian Border Security Force. "We responded to their fire effectively." A Pakistani border security official confirmed the clash, but denied starting it. Three Pakistani paramilitary soldiers were wounded, he said. An Indian soldier died in hospital late on Saturday from bullet wounds sustained after Pakistani soldiers opened fire on a routine patrol in the same area, the Indian side said. He was the first Indian soldier killed by Pakistani troops in a year. The two nuclear-armed rivals agreed a ceasefire in Kashmir in 2003 and while it has largely held, short exchanges of fire occur almost every month. The neighbours have fought three wars since 1947, but have been making tentative moves to revive a sluggish peace process that was broken off by India after the 2008 militant assault on the city of Mumbai. India says Pakistani-backed militants were responsible for the Mumbai attacks. India accuses its neighbour of funding militant attacks in Kashmir, which both sides claim in full, and has looked to use the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan this month to ratchet up pressure on Pakistan to do more to tackle militancy. --Reuters y MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 US-Pakistan alliance at critical moment: Kerry US senator meets Afghan president KABUL: US Sen John Kerry said yesterday that the US relationship with Pakistan was at a "critical moment" because of the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and that there were growing calls to cut aid to the country. Kerry, chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that although Pakistan had in the past sacrificed much in the battle against al-Qaeda and its own domestic Islamic insurgency, the killing of bin Laden by US Navy SEALs near the capital had raised questions. Pakistan was not told about the raid in the city of Abbottabad until after it was completed. Some in the United States were critical of the Pakistan's security forces for having failed to detect the terror leader -- or worse, giving him protection. "We are at a moment where we have to resolve some very serious issues. This is not a moment for anything except very sober, serious discussion with an understanding that there is a lot at stake, there is no other way to put it. I think they understand that, we understand that," Kerry said in the Afghan capital. He was to travel to Pakistan later yesterday for meetings with government and military officials. Kerry spent two days in Afghanistan meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, his Cabinet and US military officials prosecuting the campaign against the insurgency. Kerry said that "this is a critical moment in terms of the relationship with Pakistan" and said it was "fair to say that some of my colleagues in the House and Senate have deep reservations about whether or not Pakistan is committed to the same goals, or are prepared to be a full partner in pursing those goals." He added that there were calls for a "shift in the aid program," and that "unless there is an improvement in the current situation, I think it will be very difficult to argue to the American people that while some programs are being cut, there ought to be additional funds allocated to the current confused situation." Although he lauded Pakistani help in the past, including allowing American intelligence personnel to operate in Pakistan, -- which he said had helped the US track bin Laden -- he also said he was concerned about some of their actions. Kerry said that during a visit to Khost province, located on the eastern border with Pakistan, he was briefed on Taleban and insurgent safe havens just across the frontier. The safe havens, mostly in the province of North KABUL: In this photo of Saturday, made available by the Press Department of Presidential Palace, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, right, speaks with US Senator John Kerry at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. --AP Waziristan, are used to launch attacks against American, coalition and Afghan troops. The Pakistani military has so far not gone after the safe havens. "Yes there are insurgents coming across the border," Kerry said. "Yes, they are operating out of North Waziristan and other areas of the sanctuaries. And yes, there is some evidence of Pakistan government knowledge of some of these activities in ways that is ver y disturbing. That will be without any question one of the subjects of conversation." But he also said that bin Laden's death may present a new opportunity for reconciliation with the Taleban in Afghanistan. Kerry's trip also comes amid growing condemnation of the US raid from Pakistani leaders, military officials, the Parliament and Islamic hard-liners. The Pakistani government has threatened reprisals, and the Parliament on Saturday passed a nonbinding resolution demanding a halt to drone strikes against militants in the tribal areas. Pakistani say the drone attacks are a violation of their sovereignty and often kill civilians. The Parliament has threatened to stop US and NATO supply convoys if the strikes continued. A prominent hardline Islamist leader with suspected militant ties drew at least 4,000 people to a rally in the Pakistani city of Lahore yesterday in support of bin Laden and against the US. Hafiz Saeed, the leader of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, called bin Laden a martyr and demanded the Pakistani government break ties with the US for killing him. "Osama's death is the beginning of America's defeat," said Saeed, surrounded by several bearded gunmen and speaking from a makeshift stage in the heart of Lahore. "There is no justification for maintaining an alliance with America after its aggression against our country." He said Pakistan's civilian leaders should give the military permission to shoot down US drones, and called on Muslims all over the world to "stand up against America." "Now is the start of a battle between Islam and infidels," said Saeed. Jamaat-ud-Dawa is believed to be a front for the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is suspected of carrying out a series of attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people. --AP India mothers accused in honor killing of two brides NEW DELHI: Two Muslim mothers in a northern Indian town have been arrested on accusations they killed their daughters for dishonoring the family by eloping with Hindu men, police said yesterday. Newlyweds Zahida, 19, and Husna, 26, were strangled when they returned home after getting married to men of their choice, said Anil Kumar Kusan, a police officer. Marriages between Hindus and Muslims are not common in India and are frowned upon by both communities, although there are more instances of inter-religious marriages among the educated urban population. Across India, many marriages are still arranged by families. But with the booming economy and more women entering the work force, such traditions are slowly giving way to love marriages. However, centuries-old caste and community barriers still come into play, and there has been a spurt in "honor killings" in recent years across northern India. Zahida and Husna were neighbors in Baghpat, a town in India's Uttar Pradesh state, when they fell in love with two construction workers. They eloped and got married last week before returning home to make peace with their families, Kusan said. The women belonged to Muslim families and their mothers, both widows, were furious, Kusan said. Initial investigations showed that the mothers helped each other to strangle their daughters. "We killed them because they brought shame to our community. How could they elope with Hindus? They deserved to die. We have no remorse," Khatun, one of the mothers, was quoted as saying by the Indian Express newspaper after her arrest Friday. Khatun uses only one name. Earlier this week, India's Supreme Court recommended the death penalty for honor killings, calling the practice barbaric and feudal. Most victims of such killings are young adults who fall in love or marry against their families' wishes. In some cases, village councils order couples killed who marry outside their caste or religion.--AP KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress party leader Mamata Banerjee leaves after a meeting in Kolkata, India, yesterday. In India's fourth most-populous state of West Bengal, Congress and its ally Trinamool Congress toppled a 34-year Communist-led government after an aggressive campaign that hammered the leftist coalition on stagnation, corruption, agricultural malaise and industrial decline. --AP India's women politicians move to center stage NEW DELHI: More women than ever are holding powerful political roles in India after two female regional leaders scored massive victories in state assembly elections. Their wins doubled the number of female state chief ministers and meant that women now rule a third of the 1.2 billion population in India, where girls are often still seen as a liability and female foeticide has skewed gender ratios. The country, which already had a sprinkling of women in key positions including leader of the ruling party, is seeing an unprecedented "burst of feminine power", said veteran commentator M.J. Akbar. Firebrand Mamata Banerjee last week demolished 34 years of communist rule in West Bengal, India's fourth most populous stateprompting the Indian Express newspaper to shout in a headline: "Bengal makes herstory". Meanwhile, in Tamil Nadu, ex-movie actress J. Jayalalitha staged a huge comeback to oust a rival regional party enmeshed in corruption allegations. The pair join populist maverick leader Mayawati-who governs vast, poverty-stricken Uttar Pradesh state-and Sheila Dikshit, regarded as a sober grandmotherly type who administers the Delhi national capital region. "There is definitely a big electoral sweep in favour of women," Rekha Aggarwal, a Supreme Court lawyer and women's activist, told AFP. "For generations, women have been downtrodden. It's a big signal to male politicians who've been ruling the roost," she said. While national ruling Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, 64, is viewed as India's most influential politician, women also hold the jobs of president, leader of the opposition and parliamentary speaker. Last year, the upper house of parliament passed long-standing legislation that would reserve a third of seats in the national legislature for female MPs, but it is yet to go to a vote in the lower house. Observers are divided on what the surge in female power means-and what it could bring in a nation plagued by accusations of high-level corruption. "People are voting this way because they think women will be more responsible and less corrupt as political leaders than male politicians," said Aggarwal. However, among the chief ministers, only the diminutive Banerjee, 56, who favours plain cotton saris and lives with her elderly mother in a modest one-storey home, is free from any whiff of scandal. Jayalalitha, 63, who has a strong following among the rural poor, has battled court charges of enriching herself at public expense and had a reputation as a vindictive politician during previous stints in power. --AFP COLOMBO: Buddhist monks from Bangladesh parade on a street during a ceremony to mark the religious week coinciding with Vesak, or the Buddha Full Moon Day, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, yesterday. --AP A e niv rsar n Years i n t e r n at i o n a l 12 Wary of security, Navy won't talk about bin Laden ABOARD THE USS CARL VINSON: American servicemen aboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, which buried Osama bin Laden's body at sea, basked in their history-making mission yesterday but refused to discuss the attack that killed him, reflecting concerns over possible retaliation. US defense officials are taking measures to ensure the security of the operatives involved in the May 2 assault on a walled compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, particularly the Navy SEAL team that killed the world's most-wanted terrorist. The massive aircraft carrier dropped anchor under heavy guard at Manila Bay yesterday at the start of a four-day routine port and goodwill visit. It's the first break for Carl Vinson's 5,500 sailors, pilots and crew after months of war in Iraq and Afghanistan that was capped by their support to the commando strike that killed bin Laden. All those aboard the warship were ordered not to discuss operational details as they come into contact with the public for the first time since the covert strike, officials said. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, accompanied by senior members of his Cabinet and military chief of staff, were flown to the Carl Vinson on Saturday as it traveled in the South China Sea toward the Philippines, a key Asian anti-terrorism ally. Then a group of journalists were invited the next day. Discussions about the slain al-Qaeda leader were taboo in both visits. American servicemen did not show any overt sign of celebration over their triumph. Asked how he felt being a part of the history-making mission in Pakistan, Rear Admiral Samuel Perez, who headed the carrier strike force that included the nuclear-powered Carl Vinson, refused to be drawn in. "You know I'm not going to comment on that," Perez told journalists aboard the 97,000ton carrier, but added that "everyday that you're a sailor in the US Navy, you're a part of history." Filipino-American Navy Corpsman Liberty Raposas said morale was "very high" among her colleagues. Perez said hundreds of servicemen and women who trace their roots to the Philippines welcomed Aquino, who was given a tour of the ship and an exhibition of fighter jets landing and taking off. Aquino, at one point, sat in the cockpit of an F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter jet in a hangar bay as sailors snapped pictures. But the one thing on everybody's mind -- bin Laden's burial from the Carl Vinson just 12 days earlier -- was not raised by either side, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said. "We did not ask for a briefing because it was too sensitive," Gazmin told The Associated Press on Sunday. "It was a friendly visit and we let it stay that way." In impromptu remarks on the ship, Aquino reaffirmed the "historic, defense and cultural ties" between the United States and the Philippines, his spokesman, Ricky Carandang, said. US forces have been training and arming Filipino soldiers battling al-Qaeda-linked militants in the south. The Carl Vinson came from the North Arabian Sea, where it had received the SEAL team that carried bin Laden's body after his death in his compound near a Pakistani military academy. Pentagon officials have said that on the carrier, bin Laden's body was placed in a "weighted bag," an officer made religious remarks and the remains were put on a flat board and tipped into the sea. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that during a recent meeting with SEAL members who attacked bin Laden, they expressed concerns about their families' security. American officials agreed shortly after bin Laden was killed not to release any details on the commando assault, Gates said, but added "that fell apart -- the next day." "We are looking at what measures can be taken to pump up the security," Gates said. The US Embassy said Carl Vinson's servicemen will take part in sports events and civic projects with Filipino counterparts. --AP NARATHIWAT: Thai police officers examine the site of an attack on a Thai Buddhist man who was shot dead with another injured by suspected separatist militants in Thailand's restive southern province of Narathiwat yesterday. --AFP Singapore patriarch Lee's departure signals reform SINGAPORE: Singapore independence leader Lee Kuan Yew's decision to step down after half a century in government could pave the way for reforms after the ruling party's worst election showing, analysts said yesterday. The 87-year-old politician popularly known as "LKY" and his successor Goh Chok Tong, who turns 70 next week, announced Saturday that they would quit the cabinet of Lee's son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, 59. The catalyst was the May 7 parliamentary election, which revealed deep anger against the People's Action Party (PAP) and confirmed the desire of young Singaporeans for a more open political system with checks and balances. "This decision reflects the first major steps toward serious reform of the PAP, a generational transformation," Bridget Welsh, a political science professor at the Singapore Management University, told AFP. "The retirement of LKY was long overdue, as he has been seen as disconnecting from contemporary Singaporeans," Welsh said. The PAP's share of all votes cast fell to 60 percent, its lowest ever, and only a controversial system that elects MPs in groups capped the opposition at six out of 87 seats in the incoming parliament, still better than its previous best of four seats. The elder Lee served as prime minister from 1959, when colonial ruler Britain granted self-rule to Singapore, until 1990, when he stepped aside for his deputy Goh, who in turn handed power in 2004 to Lee's son. In a joint statement, the two former premiers said their departure from the cabinet would enable the prime minister to "break from the past" and allow a younger generation to "carry Singapore forward." The PAP has often described the unusual presence of two former leaders in the cabinet as part of an orderly succession process designed to tap the experience and international connections of Lee and Goh. But during the campaign, the two veterans attracted scorn from younger Singaporeans on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The prime minister said after the vote that the PAP would take a hard look at how it governs, calling it a "watershed" poll that marked a shift in the political landscape of the affluent island of five million people. He and other PAP leaders admitted they needed to address voters' gripes over the cost of living, the presence of over a million foreigners, overcrowding in public housing and transport, and a lack of support for the poor and elderly. "The feedback was that the people are really very angry with the PAP," said Seah Chiang Nee, who operates the independent socio-political website www.littlespeck.com. "There will be change. For one, people won't have to fear about having someone always looking over their shoulders or about being sued," he said, referring to libel suits that typically followed past elections. The PAP has always been associated with the elder Lee's commanding presence and authoritarian style of government. Days before the polls, Lee warned voters in a hotly contested district that they would "repent" if they voted for the opposition-but it triggered an outcry instead and failed to stop the loss of five seats to the Workers' Party. That setback cost Foreign Minister George Yeo, one of the most respected cabinet members, his job because he led the losing PAP ticket. The prime minister is expected to form his new cabinet within days. "What kind of transformation are they talking about?" political commentator Seah asked. "I would like to see it not only in words but in deeds. What will Prime Minister Lee do with the newfound power that he has?" --AFP JILIN: Chinese police officers march with a police emblem during a mass performance of public security forces in Changchun in northeastern China's Jilin province. --AP y MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Japan readies new tactics for Fukushima after setback Radioactive water pooled in basement TOKYO: Japanese officials are readying a new approach to cooling reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant after discovering an Olympic swimming pool-sized pond of radioactive water in the basement of a unit crippled by the March earthquake and tsunami. The discovery has forced officials to abandon their original plan to bring under control the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant as they focus on how to deal with the rising pool that some experts see as a threat to groundwater and the Pacific coast. Despite the setback, Japanese nuclear safety officials and the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) , plan to stick to a target of stabilising the plant and bringing its reactors to a state of "cold shutdown" by January. At that point, the fuel at the core of the reactors would have dropped in temperature and no longer be capable of boiling the surrounding water. "We want to preserve the timetable, but at the same time we're going to have to change our approach," Goshi Hosono, an adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, told a television talk show yesterday. Some outside experts have questioned whether the initial timetable for Fukushima was too optimistic. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake and the tsunami that followed unleashed the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986. "We would be cautious about saying the danger is over until the decontamination and cleanup of the site are well under way with no more leakage," Serge Gas, a spokesman for the Paris-based Nuclear Energy Agency, said in an email. Tepco is scheduled to provide an update on progress on Tuesday. In a pair of television appearances yesterday, Hosono said the government would announce its own timetable then as well. Tepco is preparing to pay compensation to thousands of residents, farmers, fisherman and businesses for the disaster under a plan directed and partly funded by the government. The earthquake and ensuing 15-metre (46.5-foot) tsunami devastated Japan's northeastern coast, killing more than 15,000 people. A further 9,500 are still missing. Details emerged about the state of the No. 1 reactor in the FUKUSHIMA: A woman from Iitate village, carrying a baby, arrives at a housing of local government workers to be used for evacuation center, in Fukushima city, northern Japan, yesterday. -- AP past week. Progress to bring the unit under control has been seen as a test case for how quickly work on three other damaged reactors can proceed. Among the revelations: the fuel in the reactor melted down after the earthquake and dropped to the bottom of the pressure vessel at the reactor's core about 16 hours after the quake struck. A robot on the first floor of the reactor building on Friday recorded radiation of 2,000 millisieverts per hour. At that level workers could stay in the vicinity for no longer than eight minutes before exceeding exposure limits. In addition, the reactor's containment vessel has leaked large amounts of radioactive water into the reactor building. On Saturday, a Tepco worker was able to peer into the basement of the No.1 reactor and saw it had filled to almost half its 11metre (35-foot) height-an estimated 3,000 tonnes, larger than the volume of an Olympic swimming pool. Critics have said that pumping in large amounts of water- more than 10,000 tonnes in No. 1 reactor alone - could pose grave environmental risks. Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said new steps were being readied to treat and store radioactive water at Fukushima. As a first step, a massive barge set out for Fukushima yesterday. The 136-metre long "Mega-Float" had been used as an artificial island for fishing in Shizuoka, south of Tokyo. It will be turned into a floating storage site for water with low levels of radioactivity starting in June. Among the major risks ahead, experts say, is the prospect of another hydrogen explosion like those believed to have destroyed parts of the buildings housing reactors No. 3 and No. 4. Officials also remain worried about structural damage to the No. 4 reactor and whether its storage pool for spent fuel rods has sufficient support. A strong aftershock could topple the structure and spill and scatter radioactive fuel on the ground, compounding the crisis, experts have said. Nishiyama said that Japanese officials "don't believe it is in danger of immediate collapse," but want to shore up the No. 4 reactor with new steel girders and cement. --Reuters N Korea, Iran share missile know-how UNITED NATIONS: North Korea and Iran are suspected of sharing ballistic missile technology, according to a UN sanctions report which China has sought to block, diplomats said yesterday. A Chinese representative on a UN panel of seven experts on North Korea nuclear sanctions refused to sign on the report, which said prohibited material was moved through a "neighboring third country", according to diplomats. The country is not named in the report, excerpts of which were passed to AFP, but diplomats said it was China, the isolated north's closest ally. The New York Times reported that Beijing had put political pressure on the expert not to sign. "There are certainly going to be some tough talks on the report this week," said one diplomat, speaking like the others on condition of anonymity. The sanctions panel's work is to be discussed on Tuesday. The UN Security Council imposed sanctions against North Korea after two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. It is banned from dealing in nuclear and ballistic material. "Prohibited ballistic missile-related items are suspected to have been transferred between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran on regular scheduled flights of Air Koryo and Iran Air," the report said. Air Koryo and Iran Air are the national airlines of North Korea and Iran. Both countries face UN sanctions over their nuclear programs. --AFP Australia arrests 1,600 `boozed-up idiots' SYDNEY: Australia's binge-drinking culture has been starkly highlighted with 1,600 "boozed-up idiots" arrested by police in a hardline weekend crackdown on alcohol-fuelled violence and crime. The trans-Tasman "Operation Unite", a two-day blitz on public alcohol abuse and related crime that ended yesterday, was the latest attempt to hammer home the message that drunken thugs will not be tolerated. Almost two-thirds of the arrests were made in New South Wales state, followed by Western Australia, and included numerous assaults on police officers. Other offences included drink-driving, urinating in public, failing to quit a licensed premises when asked and resisting arrest. The Police Association of NSW slammed the "chaos and mayhem" that it says prevails in Australian cities every weekend and called for new strategies to attack the root causes of alcohol-related violence. "Operation Unite has proved that our culture of alcohol and violence is out of control, with boozed-up idiots running wild all over the country," the association's acting president Pat Gooley said in a statement. "We need a comprehensive strategy for tackling alcohol-fuelled violence-one that addresses the causes of the problem, not just the symptoms." Operation Unite's commander, Assistant Commissioner Denis Clifford, said that despite the cold weather there were still many people out drinking to excess. "Until people start getting the message, we'll continue to target licensed premises, we'll continue to target excessive alcohol consumption and we'll continue to put people before the courts," he said. In New Zealand, where Operation Unite was also conducted, 338 alcoholrelated arrests were made and 467 motorists returned positive breath tests. New Zealand police spokesman, acting Detective Superintendent Ross Grantham, said it would take more than a weekend of action to change the drinking culture. "Shifting away from the drink-to-getdrunk culture needs parents, retailers, community and other interested groups to be actively involved," he said. --AFP opinion 13 MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 THE LEADING INDEPENDENT DAILY IN THE ARABIAN GULF ESTABLISHED 1961 Founder and Publisher YOUSUF S. ALYAN Editor-in-Chief ABD AL-RAHMAN ALYAN EDITORIAL : 24833199-24833358-24833432 ADVERTISING : 24835616/7 FAX : 24835620/1 CIRCULATION : 24833199 Extn. 163 ACCOUNTS : 24835619 COMMERCIAL : 24835618 P.O.Box 1301 Safat,13014 Kuwait. E MAIL :email@example.com Website: www.kuwaittimes.net Issues Russian movement could boost Putin, weaken Medvedev By Gleb Bryanski A plan by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to launch a new political movement is likely to strengthen his power base at the expense of President Dmitry Medvedev in the run-up to next year's presidential election. Putin and Medvedev have avoided saying which of them will run in the March 2012 vote, but the prime minister is creating the People's Front to broaden the base of his ruling party and increase support before a parliamentary election in December. Putin said on Thursday Medvedev had supported the initiative but, when asked about the plan, the president made no attempt to give the movement a ringing endorsement and indicated he would not join it. Medvedev and Putin have also differed in recent weeks on issues such as Libya and the fate of jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, causing speculation that both want to run in 2012 and a rift is opening between them. "Putin will tell Medvedev: `The People's Front is behind me, and who is behind you then?' It will be difficult for Medvedev to beat that," political observer Yulia Latynina wrote in the Novaya Gazeta daily newspaper. Both leaders' aides have dismissed suggestions of a rift, and political analysts caution that the two leaders' public comments could be part of a carefully orchestrated campaign that conceals the leadership's true intentions. But a former Kremlin adviser who supports Medvedev has criticised Putin's plan, which he announced this month, to create a movement grouping labour unions, veterans and youth groups around his United Russia party. "There is no place for Medvedev in the All-Russia People's Front," Gleb Pavlovsky, who lost his job this month after breaking a taboo by openly backing Medvedev for a second term, said in an interview with the daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta. "It looks like an attempt to push Medvedev aside from playing an active role in the parliamentary election," he said, looking ahead to the December poll in which a strong showing by the new movement would underline Putin's leadership credentials. Igor Yurgens, an outspoken Medvedev loyalist who heads a think tank patronised by the president, has called Putin's initiative "absolute nonsense". He has also said Putin should bow out of the presidential race. The question of who is Russia's next president could determine whether Russia embarks on reforms to modernise its $1.5 trillion economy or stagnates, economic analysts say. Some investors say it makes little difference which of the two is president because Putin has remained the most powerful figure even though he stepped aside as president in 2008 because the constitution prevented him seeking a third straight term. But other investors say privately that Medvedev, who is considered more liberal than Putin, would be more likely to carry out the reforms needed to shake up what the International Monetary Fund ranks as the world's 11th biggest economy. Although a decision on which of them will run is not expected until September at the earliest, Putin is laying the platform for a presidential campaign if he decides he wants to return to a post he held from 2000 until 2008. United Russia has a two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament but opinion polls show its approval ratings have fallen. It had 55 percent support in April, according to the Levada research group, compared with 62 percent last October. "This is an attempt to mobilise voters under the banner of Vladimir Putin ahead of the parliamentary election," said political analyst Pavel Salin. He said the creation of a new movement would help Putin, who remains Russia's most popular politician, distance himself from United Russia which has been increasingly associated with corruption and bureaucracy. "The United Russia name has become a burden. Some politicians are trying to conceal their membership," said public activist Alexei Navalny who drove an Internet campaign against United Russia calling it "a party of swindlers and thieves". The parliamentary election is expected to show whether most Russians are happy with the status quo or are ready for gradual change. A dominant showing by Putin's new movement would offer a strong platform for him in the presidential election because it will be closely associated with him personally. "If Putin wins the parliamentary election by a landslide it will be a serious claim (to run in 2012)," said political scientist Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a United Russia member. Success for Putin's movement would underline the failure of an attempt last month to mobilise more liberal voters behind Medvedev in a resurrected centre-right party. Officials invited to lead the party declined to take the risk. The creation of the People's Front also appears to end an experiment with a dual-party system involving the Just Russia party created before the 2007 parliamentary election. --Reuters Lee steps down, but not full break with past By Raju Gopalakrishnan or most Singaporeans, it's inconceivable that the government doesn't have Lee Kuan Yew at the helm or very near it. That break with the past came sooner than expected at the weekend with the announcement that Lee, 87, had relinquished the reverential title of "minister mentor" and stepped down from active politics after more than half a century at the very top. No one is predicting that Lee's exit will bring a shake-up of the tightly managed political system that helped turn Singapore from an economic backwater at independence in 1965 to a roaring success and moulded it into a world-class financial hub. Rather, there was a sense that the bluntspeaking Lee, with his impatience of dissent, was out of touch with the mood and expectations of the people of Singapore, and it was time to move on. That was underlined in this month's general election, which the ruling party won but with its most dismal performance since independence in 1965. Lee remains a member of parliament and his son is prime minister but he said on Saturday that he and Goh Chok Tong, another former prime minister, were stepping down from the cabinet to allow "a younger generation to carry Singapore forward in a more difficult and complex situation". "A younger generation, besides having a noncorrupt and meritocratic government and a high standard of living, wants to be more engaged in the decisions which affect them," the statement said. Lee has been the omnipotent leader of Singapore, as flag-bearer of independence, as prime minister of the republic for 25 years and later another 21 years in the cabinet as senior minister and then as minister mentor. But his attitude - he once said: "We decide what is right. Never mind what the people think" - is increasingly perceived as behind the times. "The old way of doing things was increasingly being seen as anachronistic, and being out of touch or even being seen as dictatorial," said Eugene Tan, assistant professor at the Singapore Management University. "And so I think it is a break from the past." Some of Lee's comments may have cost the PAP votes at the election, other commentators have said. He said during the campaign that if a constituency voted for the opposition the voters would have "five years to repent". Lee was unopposed in his constituency in the May 7 general election but the PAP returned to power with only about 60 percent of the popular vote, the lowest since independence in 1965. His son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said after the election: "Many (Singaporeans) wish for the government to adopt a different style and approach. It marks a distinct shift in our political landscape." He has not taken a decision on the resignations of Goh and his father, but should finalise the new cabinet early this week, media reports said. The Straits Times, the city's main newspaper which usually reflects government thinking, said in an analysis yesterday that when Lee Kuan Yew took over, the nation "had yet to learn to read and write, far less to create jobs". "Close engagement of the mass citizenry was not only un-necessary but would have been a non-starter." Now, the newspaper said, "there is not only an implicit acknowledgement that their styles may no longer be in sync with the expectations of a younger generation, but that they may also no longer have an instinctive sense of the ground." Still, there is no question Lee's policies, which have brought surging economic growth and a place among the richest nations in the world, will continue to guide Singapore for decades, analysts said. Any changes are likely to be only at the margins. "In terms of policy substance, strategic direc- F tions, I don't think there will be change," said Tan at Singapore Management University. "I think we will see change in the form of government in terms of how policies are packaged, how they are presented, how they are communicated, implemented, how people are consulted. "We will see the imprint becoming more and more faint but I think it wouldn't do Singapore and Singaporeans good for there to be radical changes." And while there will be political inclusiveness, there is unlikely to be complete tolerance of dissent, he added. "We can certainly expect the government to be a lot more responsive, to pay more attention, to get more buy-in rather than trying to dictate to the people," Tan said. "I think we will see dissent being tolerated more, we will see the avenues for political expression being widened but like it or not, community interest will still take priority over individual interest." -- Reuters This photo taken on April 27, 2011 shows Singapore's founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew waving to his supporters upon arrival at a nomination centre in Singapore. � AFP Washington Watch Obama speech shouldn't ignore peace plan By Dr James J Zogby 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or via snail mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait. The editor reserves the right to edit any submission as necessary. few days back, the New York Times reported that President Obama was planning to deliver a major speech designed to "reset" US relations with the Arab World. I found the article troubling. According to "unnamed US officials" cited in the story, "Mr Obama was casting about for ways to tie together events in the Middle East [i.e. the Arab Spring and the killing of bin Laden] and that "the current plan is for the President to keep his focus on the broader changes in the Arab World, rather than to present a specific new plan for reviving the [Israeli-Palestinian] peace talks". All I can say is I sure hope the New York Times got the story wrong. I believe that most Arabs are not looking to the United States to "sprinkle holy water" on their Arab Spring (with Libyans being the singular exception). Nor do they need help in understanding the significance of, or the consequences of, this moment in their history. Arabs are not looking to the US President for an analysis of their circumstances. While what they want from America may differ in some details from country to country, a core concern shared by most Arabs is that America demonstrates leadership in resolving the Palestinian issue. In anticipation of Obama's speech, I have been asking a wide range of Arab friends and acquaintances, from revolutionaries and intellectuals to government officials, what they want to hear from the US President. While offering a diverse menu of issues (Libyans want arms, Egyptians and Tunisians want economic assistance and investment to create needed employment, etc), two strong points of consensus emerge regarding the issues they hope Obama will address. On the one hand, these Arab interlocutors make clear that the US is still paying a price for Bush era policies, and that President Obama is still suffering from a "post-Cairo speech" let down. That speech raised expectations which were not fulfilled, shaking confidence in US leadership. Therefore, they caution against another "big speech" that promises a lot and delivers too little. And because the headline leading up to the 2009 Cairo University speech and then coming out of that speech was the President's commitment to resolve the IsraeliPalestinian conflict, failure to address this issue now, or to address it only in generalities or with more vague promises "to advance the peace process," will either deepen mistrust or provoke scorn or rage. In recent days, the importance of the Palestinian issue has only been heightened by the resignation of former Senator George Mitchell and by what is expected to be Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's triumphant appearance before the US Congress. While Mitchell's much heralded appointment as Special Envoy raised hopes among some in the Middle East, his tenure has been disappointing. His departure is being viewed as an admission of a collapse of the process in which he and the President had invested a great deal of political capital. And with Netanyahu and Congress both in agreement on blocking the recently completed Palestinian reconciliation pact and the Palestinian leadership's efforts to seek the United Nations' recognition of their state in September, it would be viewed as a glaring omission and a lack of serious intent should Obama fail to address the issue of Palestine in whatever Middle A East speech he is to give. Now, to be sure, there are voices here in the US maintaining that the Arab Spring has eclipsed Palestine and that Arabs now have bigger issues on their plate. They argue that Palestine was always nothing more than a diversion which Arab rulers used to distract their subjects - to redirect their anger away from home at Israel and the US With revolutions now underway in many parts of the Middle East, the removal of Osama bin Laden from the scene, and with Arabs concerned with Iran's push for regional hegemony, these analysts say that it is these issues, not Palestine, that should be the topics dominating the President's message. Of course any Presidential address on the Arab World today will have to comment on the changes underway, the killing of bin Laden, and regional concerns with extremism. But none of this can justify ignoring Palestine. It is not an either/or proposition. Our polling across the Arab World consistently demonstrates the importance of Palestine for Arabs from Morocco to the Arab Gulf. And the President, himself, knows that efforts to diminish the centrality of Palestine are wrong. Obama understands the importance of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in creating a more stable and secure Middle East and in improving US standing in the Arab World. That is why he invested so heavily in efforts to address the issue and that is why he has repeatedly and publicly made the case for the importance that this matter holds for US national security interests in the region. That his peace-making efforts have been stymied by circumstances beyond his control is unfortunate, but to advise him to surrender to these circumstances at this point would be a tragic mistake. He cannot, of course, make peace by himself. And he must always be attentive to the domestic political consequences of any actions he may attempt. But even with these constraints, there are things he can do in a speech that would demonstrate leadership at this critical time. The President can make clear in a speech the parameters of what would constitute a just solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Building on the Taba framework, which was nearly completed by Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in 2000, and the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, the President can put forward an Obama Plan. But he must go further by laying down firm markers for behavior and binding timetables for implementation, backed up by US commitments as incentives and the threat to withhold political support as a sanction. He then must sell this framework to the American public, the world community and especially to Arabs and Israelis. To do all this will be difficult and will take leadership and determination. But no one should ever have expected that undoing years of neglect, entitlement, or bad behavior would be easy. If we want to be serious and be seen as serious, the issue must be tackled head on. To do anything less, would be a mistake. If the Times story is right and ignoring Palestine or downplaying this issue is what is being contemplated, then I would respectfully suggest skipping the speech entirely. Rather than appearing insensitive and out of touch, earning scorn or worse, it would be better to do nothing at all. NOTE: Dr James J Zogby is the President of the Arab American Institute. A e niv rsar n PROMINENT HILL, Australia: This file picture taken on 17 December, 2008 shows an aerial view of Oz Minerals' Prominent Hill copper and gold mine in the sensitive military testing area of South Australia. -- AFP Humans reshaping Earth? LONDON: If alien geologists were to visit our planet 10 million years from now, would they discern a distinct human fingerprint in Earth's accumulating layers of rock and sediment? Will homo sapiens, in other words, define a geological period in the way dinosaurs - and their vanishing act - helped mark the Jurassic and the Cretaceous? A growing number of scientists, some gathered at a one-day symposium this week at the British Geological Society in London, say "yes". One among them, chemistry Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen, has even suggested a new name: the Anthropocene. Whether this "age of man" will be short or long is unknown. But one thing is clear, says Crutzen, who shared his Nobel for unmasking the man-made chemicals eating away at the atmosphere's protective ozone layer. For the first time in Earth's 4.7 billion year history, a single species has not only radically changed Earth's morphology, chemistry and biology, it is now aware of having done so. "We broke it, we bought it, we own it," is how Erle Ellis, a professor of geography and ecology at the University of Maryland at Baltimore, put it. "We don't know what is going to happen in the Anthropocene - it could be good, even better," he said. "But we need to think differently and globally, to take ownership of the planet." Dinosaurs were most likely wiped out by a giant meteor that cooled Earth's temperatures below their threshold for survival. An analogous fate could await humans if temperatures climb by five or six degrees Celsius, which climate scientists say could happen within a century. But dinosaurs thrived for more than 150 million years before a cosmic pebble ended their extraordinary run, while modern humans have only been around for about 200,000 years, a snap of the fingers by comparison. Another key difference: dinosaurs didn't know what hit them, and played no role in their own demise. Humans, by contrast, have been the main architects of the enormous changes that are threatening to throw what scientists now call the Earth System out of whack. Since Crutzen coined the term a decade ago, the Anthropocene has been eagerly adopted by scientists across a broad spectrum of disciplines. "It triggered the realisation that we were in an entirely new era of planet Earth," said Will Steffen, head of Australian National University's Climate Change Institute. It also triggered fierce debate. At one level, the issues are narrow to the point of pedantry - rock experts quibbling over whether mankind's present and future geological imprint merits recognition by the International Commission on Stratigraphy. At the same time, however, the concept forces us to ponder whether humanity's outsized impact on the planet could lead to undesired, possibly uncontrollable, outcomes, and what, if anything, humanity should do about it. That leaves scientists who may be more comfortable classifying rocks than rocking the boat in a tricky position. For now, the man in the hot seat is University of Leicester professor Jan Zalasiewicz, who heads the group of geologists tasked with recommending whether the Anthropocene should be added to the 150-odd eons, eras, periods, epochs and ages into which the last 3.6 billion years of Earth's history has been officially divided. "Jan must recognise the implications for society if his own tribe decides, using classical criteria, that there is not yet enough evidence to formally recognise a new boundary in the geological record," said Bryan Lovell, president of the British Geological Society and a professor at Cambridge. Evidence of abrupt change - on a geological time scale - wrought by human hands would seem to be overwhelming. The burning of fossil fuels has altered the composition of the atmosphere, pushing the concentration of carbon dioxide to levels unseen at least for 800,000 years, perhaps for three million. The resulting global warming has itself set in motion other planetary-scale changes: massive melting of the parts of Earth normally covered by ice and snow (aka the cryosphere), and the acidification of the oceans. Past shifts in the biosphere - the realm of the living - show up in sediment and rock, especially mass extinctions that have seen up to 90 percent of all lifeforms disappear within the geological blink of an eye. There have been five such wipeouts over the last half billion years, and most scientists agree that we have now entered the sixth, with species disappearing at 100 to 1,000 times the so-called "background" rate. Another key index is the rise of invasive species travelling in a globalised world via ship ballasts, air travel and old-fashioned smuggling. "The mass homogenisation event" -finding the same species everywhere - "will be quite a clear signal in the archaeological record a million years from now," said Zalasiewicz. Even the planet's outer skin, or lithosphere, has been transformed. "We are sculpting the surface of the Earth," said James Syvitski, a professor at the University of Colorado, pointing to two centuries of industrial-scale mining, damming, deforestation and agriculture. Thousands of dams built since the mid-19th century have "completely altered the planet's terrestrial plumbing," he said. To validate the Anthropocene, all these changes will be measured against the range of variation in our current geological period - the Holocene epoch - which began some 12,000 years ago as Earth emerged from the last ice age. "Human influence on the global environment must push the Earth system well beyond the Holocene envelope of variability," said Steffen. By one key measure, at least, we already have: the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere - measured in parts per million remained in a narrow range of 260 to 285 for nearly 12,000 years. Today is stands at 390 ppm, and is sure to rise considerably higher in coming decades. -- AFP IMF chief faces sex assault rap Continued from Page 1 The IMF chief, who was expected to be formally arraigned before a New York judge later yesterday, would deny everything, his lawyer said. "He will plead not guilty," the lawyer William Taylor said. And his wife, a high-profile television journalist Anne Sinclair, said she did not believe the accusations against her 62-year-old husband. "I do not believe for one second the accusations brought against my husband. I have no doubt his innocence will be established," Sinclair said in a statement. The IMF chief was arrested, charged by New York police and held overnight in New York City's Harlem neighborhood, at a special unit for sexual harassment, after a maid at the top class Sofitel hotel alleged he had assaulted her when he got out of his shower naked. From early yesterday a media gaggle gathered outside the police station, and there was a buzz as a young blonde woman wrapped in what appeared to be a white sheet was driven into the building. It was not known immediately who she was. Strauss-Kahn, who has been widely praised for his stewardship of the IMF, is a leading member of the Socialist party and well-known on the French political scene. He is often referred to simply by his initials DSK. He had been expected to challenge center-right French President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year's presidential race, and even though he has not yet officially declared his candidacy he had been topping the opinion polls. The bombshell news threw the Socialist party into disarray, and could prove a boost for Sarkozy and his rightwing UMP which is also facing a challenge from the far-right National Front and its leader Marine Le Pen. Martine Aubry, leader of the French Socialists, said the news of Strauss-Kahn's arrest was a "thunderbolt" which left her "astounded". But she would not yet comment on how the presidential race might reshape itself if StraussKahn is taken out of the running. Strauss-Kahn had been taken off a flight from John F Kennedy airport just minutes before take-off. According to media reports, the chambermaid had entered the IMF chief's $3,000-a-night hotel suite believing it was empty. He allegedly came out of the bathroom completely naked and attempted to sexually assault her, The New York Times reported, quoting New York Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne. According to the account from the maid, who had been employed at the Sofitel for three years, the IMF chief grabbed her, pulled her into the bedroom and onto the bed and then locked the door, the paper said. She managed to fight him off, but he dragged her down the hallway to the bathroom, where he sexually assaulted her a second time, according to The Times report. MSNBC television said that in the bathroom, Strauss-Kahn forced the maid to perform oral sex on him and tried to remove her underwear. She managed to break free and fled, reporting the incident to other hotel staff and calling the 911 police emergency line. When detectives arrived moments later, Strauss-Kahn had already left the hotel, leaving behind his cellphone, Browne said. "It looked like he got out of there in a hurry," he said. The NYPD discovered he was at the airport and contacted officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airport. Port Authority police officers plucked Strauss-Kahn from first class on the Air France flight that was just about to leave the gate. The maid was taken by police to a hospital and was being treated for minor injuries. John Sheehan, a spokesman for the hotel, said its staff was cooperating in the investigation. Strauss-Kahn does not have diplomatic immunity, Browne said. According to New York state law, a criminal sexual act carries a potential sentence of 15-20 years, the same as attempted rape. Unlawful imprisonment carries a potential sentence of three to five years. The French consul general met Strauss-Kahn overnight under the normal rules of protection for French citizens detained abroad, a spokeswoman for the consulate in New York said. The IMF posted a statement on its website yesterday saying Strauss-Kahn, who has headed up the IMF since 2007, had been arrested and retained legal counsel. "The IMF remains fully functioning and operational," said the statement from director of external relations, Caroline Atkinson, adding the Fund had no further comment. The scandal comes at a critical moment for the 187-member IMF, which as one of the pillars of the world's financial system, has been leading negotiations to help the debtridden euro zone. Strauss-Kahn, whose stint at the IMF does not officially end until Sept 2012, had been due to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin yesterday to discuss an aid package for debt-laden Greece. He was then to attend a meeting of EU finance ministers today and Tuesday in Brussels. The Fund just announced on Friday that its number two, John Lipsky, would leave at the end of his term in August. It is not the first time that the silver-haired StraussKahn has been tainted by scandal. In 2008, he was discovered to be having an affair with an Hungarian IMF economist, but the IMF concluded he had not exerted pressure on the woman, although it noted his inappropriate behavior. Strauss-Kahn then had apologised to the woman, Piroska Nagy, and his wife, French television personality Sinclair, as well as to IMF employees for the trouble he had caused. -- Agencies y Years ne ws Continued from Page 1 But let nobody be misled: we are determined to defend our borders and sovereignty," Netanyahu said. Syrian media reports said Israeli gunfire killed two people after dozens of Palestinian refugees infiltrated the Israelioccupied Golan Heights from Syria, along a disputed border that has been largely tranquil for decades. Another two people were also reported killed on the Syrian side. The Syrian foreign ministry condemned what it called Israel's "criminal activities". On Israel's tense southern border with the Gaza Strip, Israeli gunfire killed one and wounded 82 demonstrators approaching the fence with the Hamas Islamist-run enclave, medical workers said. In a separate incident, Israeli forces said they shot a man who was trying to plant a bomb near the border. A body was later found. In Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial hub, a truck driven by an Arab Israeli slammed into vehicles and pedestrians, killing one man and injuring 17 people. Police were trying to determine whether the incident was an accident or an attack. Witnesses said the driver, who was arrested, deliberately ran amok with his truck in traffic. A spokesman for the Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, Sami Abu Zuhri, called yesterday "a turning point in the Israeli-Arab conflict" that proved the Palestinian people and Arabs were committed to ending Israeli occupation. Hezbollah condemned the "Israeli aggression on unarmed civilians in Maroun AlRas and in the Golan, which constitutes a dangerous violation of human rights," said Hezbollah lawmaker Hassan Fadlallah who was participating at a pro-Palestinian protest in Maroun Al-Ras. "The resistance movement in Lebanon (Hezbollah) will continue to be an advocate for Palestinian national rights and calls on everyone to stand united in confronting Israeli occupation. What happened today in Maroun AlRas and in the Golan is an embodiment of the will of the Palestinian people who are committed to the right of return." Thousands of Palestinian refugees had traveled to the village in buses adorned with posters that said: "We are returning." Many came from the 12 crowded refugee camps in Lebanon where some 400,000 Palestinian refugees live. Young Hezbollah supporters wearing yellow hats and carrying walkie-talkies organized the protesters and handed out Palestinian flags. "Israel may be 63 years old today but its days are numbered," said Abbas Jomaa, 50, who was carrying his 4-year-old son on his shoulders and holding a Palestinian flag. "Sooner or later we will return." Israeli security forces had been on alert for violence yesterday, the day Palestinians mourn the "nakba", or catastrophe, of Israel's founding in a 1948 war, when hundreds of thousands of their brethren fled MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Bloodshed on Israel's borders... or were forced to leave their homes. To the south, Egyptian forces arrested six protesters and blocked hundreds of others from marching to its border with Israel, but no frontier police appeared to be on hand in Syria. "This appears to be a cynical and transparent act by the Syrian leadership to deliberately create a crisis on the border so as to distract attention from the very real problems that regime is facing at home," said a senior Israeli government official, who declined to be named. Syria is a police state. People don't randomly approach the border without the approval of the regime." The border zones are protected by the 1949 Armistice Agreement signed by Israel and its Arab neighbours. A spokesman for the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, set up on the Israeli-Syrian border after the 1967 Middle East war, said he had "no immediate information" about the rush on the border. In the Druze village of Majdal Shams, on the Golan Heights captured by Israel from Syria in 1967, Mayor Dolan Abu Salah said between 40 and 50 nakba demonstrators from Syria tore through the flimsy frontier fence. Hundreds of protesters flooded the lush green valley that marks the border area, waving Palestinian flags. Israeli troops attempted to mend the breached fence, firing at what the army described as infiltrators. "We are seeing here an Iranian provocation, on both the Syrian and the Lebanese frontiers, to try to exploit the nakba day commemorations," said the army's chief spokesman, Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai. Syria is home to 470,000 Palestinian refugees and its leadership, now facing fierce internal unrest, had in previous years prevented protesters from reaching the frontier area. In the Israeli occupied West Bank, Palestinian youths and Israeli forces clashed for hours at the main checkpoint dividing the Palestinian administrative capital of Ramallah from Jerusalem, a constant flashpoint. Palestinians hurled rocks and set ablaze tyres and soldiers fired tear gas, rubber bullets and tear gas to drive them away from the Qalandia checkpoint. Several hundred protesters, some of whom were said they had come from Hebron in the southern West Bank and Jenin in the northern West Bank to join the protest. In Jordan, police blocked a group of protesters trying to reach the border with Israel. Hamas spokesman Taher Al-Nono praised the "crowds we have seen in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon" as evidence of "the imminent victory and return to the original homes as promised by God". US-brokered Peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel broke down last year and no new negotiations are in the offing, with the US Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell announcing his resignation on Friday. -- Agencies MPs to grill Sheikh Ahmad Continued from Page 1 The grilling is almost the same request that was filed in March before the resignation of the cabinet in which the liberal MPs alleged graft in housing contracts and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) headquarters that cost public funds around KD. 250 million. The grilling also alleges that Sheikh Ahmad, who is also state minister for housing and development, has failed to properly implement the four-year development plan and has worked against Kuwaiti sports federations and collaborated to get them suspended by international sports bodies, thus tarnishing the image of the country. MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun, head of the Popular Action Bloc, announced that his bloc totally supports the grilling and that one of their four MPs in the National Assembly will Speak in favour of the grilling. The Reform and Development Bloc also said it will back the grilling. Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi said he received the grilling and has notified the government and Sheikh Ahmad, adding that he will place it on the agenda of the May 31 session. Ghanem said the timing was made in such a way that it does not clash with the debate of the prime minister's grilling, expected on Wednesday. MP Saifi Al-Saifi announced that he has decided to file to grill Health Minister Helal Al-Sayer alone without coordinating with other MPs, but did not say when the grilling will be filed. And the Reform Bloc said it was preparing to file a second grilling against the prime minister but only after the first one is debated. The flurry of grillings will certainly increase political tension in the country, opening the door for all possibilities, including the dissolution of the Assembly for the fourth time since May 2006. The previous government resigned on March 31 after MPs filed three grillings against Sheikh Ahmad, the former oil and information minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah and foreign minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah. Ghanem called on Sheikh Ahmad to face the grilling in a public session, adding that the timing of the grilling was selected in such a way to prevent the "parliamentary tools of Sheikh Ahmad to create a state of confusion". The two grillers had claimed after submitting the grilling in March that they had 200 documents to prove their allegations. Regarding the first issue, the 42-page grilling request alleges that the housing authority awarded four major contracts in the 2009/2010 fiscal year while adopting flawed and illegal procedures that cost public funds KD 71 million. It said the allegation was investigated and proved by the Audit Bureau. Regarding the Olympic Council of Asia headquarters in Salmiya, the grilling alleges a series of financial and administrative violations that squandered around KD 180 million of public funds. It claimed that the government originally granted a piece of land opposite the Scientific Centre on the Gulf Road in Salmiya for the OCA to build its offices. It claimed that the area of the land was expanded several times and the final land used was more than three times larger, close to 19,000 sq m. It added that the purpose of the land allocation was to build a headquarter for OCA, but the project was Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd Al-Sabah turned illegally into an investment project in the form of a multi-storey tower that currently houses the offices of major companies. The state charges only KD 22 per year as a rent for the 19,000 sq m of state land while the market value of the land now exceeds KD 10,000 per square meter, the grilling claims. It added that construction on the tower started even before the Assembly sanctioned the agreement between the state of Kuwait and OCA, of which Sheikh Ahmad is chairman, which is an explicit violation of the country's constitution and laws. With regard to the development plan, the grilling alleges that Sheikh Ahmad, being the main person responsible for implementing the plan, has failed in implementing it despite the availability of all ingredients to easily carry out the plan. It said the government has not established the public shareholding companies that were supposed to be set up in the first year of the fouryear plan which comes to an end on March 31. The grilling alleges that KD 5 billion have been allocated for spending on major projects in the first year of the plan and only KD 735 million has been actually spent, a mere 15 percent, which represents squandering golden opportunities for developing the country. On the sports issue, the grilling holds Sheikh Ahmad responsible for not implementing a key sports legislation passed in 2007, which some sports officials have alleged contradicts the constitution while many MPs insist it introduces important reforms to the sports sector. It also alleges that Sheikh Ahmad and sports officials close to him have worked with international sides and got several Kuwaiti sports federations including Kuwait Football Association suspended by the respective international sports bodies. Dominique Strauss-Kahn S P ORT S MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Pakistan cricketer held in illegal betting raid KARACHI: Former Pakistan international off-spinner Akram Raza was among seven people detained by police in Lahore for running an illegal betting ring. Police said that Raza, who is now a first class umpire, and six others were arrested at a shopping mall in the upmarket Gulberg district during a late night raid on Saturday. Police said the seven men were running a den that was taking bets on the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament in India. "One of the arrested men has been identified as Akram Raza, a former Pakistan player," an official at the Gulberg police station told reporters. The 46-year-old, who played nine tests and 49 one-day internationals from 1989-95, is on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) first class umpires panel and has supervised top matches. Four years ago, several former players raised concerns over the board's decision to name the former off-spinner on the first class umpires panel.--Reuters Boogaard death stuns hockey world TORONTO: The hockey world was digesting the sudden death of New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard with many starting to wonder whether it was possibly linked to a fight-filled National Hockey League career. The 28-year-old forward, one of the game's most feared fighters who was nicknamed " The Boogeyman," was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment on Friday. The cause of death has not been determined but foul play is not suspected. While autopsy reports are not expected for at least two weeks, sports talk shows and Twitter were abuzz on Saturday with debate about whether Boogaard's role as a hockey tough guy might have been a factor in his death. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Boogaard's family had donated the player's brain to Boston University researchers who are studying brain disease in athletes. "The news that we have lost someone so young and so strong leaves everyone in the National Hockey League stunned and saddened," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement. "The NHL family sends its deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Derek Boogaard, to those who played and worked with him and to everyone who enjoyed watching him compete." Boogaard, who was selected in the seventh round of the 2001 NHL Draft, spent five seasons with the Minnesota Wild starting in 2005 before signing a four-year deal with the Rangers in July 2010.--Reuters Dubai club Al Wasl offers Maradona coaching job DUBAI: Dubai's Al Wasl club has made Diego Maradona an offer to be its next coach and talks are ongoing, the club said yesterday. The 50-year-old Argentine, who has been out of coaching since he led Argentina to the 2010 World Cup quarterfinals, visited the club's training facility Saturday. He did not speak to reporters at the club headquarters nor when he was taking in a shopping trip to the Dubai Mall. Ashraf Ahmad Mohammad, the club's chief executive officer, said he was "happy" with the negotiations thus far but expects it will take several more days to reach an agreement. The club had said it might have an announcement late yesterday but nothing was forthcoming. Al Wasl is fourth in the domestic league and has been looking for a coach since firing Sergio Farias in March. It would definitely get a controversial and colorful figure should the club sign the 1986 World Cup winner, but not someone with extensive managerial experience. --AP Tigers notch seventh straight win DETROIT: Brad Penny pitched eight scoreless innings and the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 3-0 in the American League on Saturday for their seventh straight victory. Detroit scored three runs in the first inning and that proved enough. Penny (4-3) issued no walks in eight innings. Jose Valverde struck out two in a hitless ninth, earning his 10th save. Jeff Francis (0-5) pitched all eight innings for Kansas City, allowing seven hits. Angels 3, Rangers 2 In Arlington, Texas, Maicer Izturis hit a two-out RBI single in the ninth inning to lift Los Angeles over Texas. Izturis hit a liner to left off Darren Oliver (1-4) that drove home catcher Jeff Mathis, who led off the ninth with a single before a sacrifice bunt by Peter Bourjos. Angels closer Jordan Walden worked a perfect ninth for his seventh save in nine chances. Scott Downs (1-0) faced only one batter to get out of the eighth and take the win. Texas starter Dan Haren wound up without a decision and is winless in his past five starts despite a 1.93 ERA that is secondbest in the AL. Orioles 6, Rays 0 In St. Petersburg, Brad Bergesen pitched his first major league shutout to steer Baltimore past Tampa Bay. Bergesen (1-4) picked up his first victory of the season and improved on his previously dire 0-5 record with a 9.13 ERA in five career starts against Tampa Bay. Baltimore took a 4-0 lead when Jake Fox hit a two-run homer in the sixth off Wade Davis (4-3). Mark Reynolds also homered for the Orioles. Red Sox 6, Yankees 0 In New York, Adrian Gonzalez BOSTON: Bruins center Brad Marchand (left) battles Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson during the second period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference final playoff series. --AP Lightning score 3 goals in 1:25, beat Bruins 5-2 BOSTON: The swift-skating Tampa Bay Lightning wasted little time taking control of the NHL Eastern Conference finals, beating the Boston Bruins 5-2 in Game 1 on Saturday. Sean Bergenheim began a stretch of three Tampa Bay goals in 1:25 in the first period as the Lightning notched their eighth straight victory. "We're not a team that's waiting to win games," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said after the Lightning grabbed home-ice advantage from the Bruins. "We like to push to win games." Bergenheim, who scored just 14 goals in the regular season, got his NHL-high eighth of the playoffs at 11:15. Brett Clark connected at 11:34 and Teddy Purcell wrapped up the onslaught, both with unassisted goals. The two goals in 19 seconds and three in 1:25 are club records. "That's what we do," Bergenheim said. "We went in on the forecheck and we went in front of the net and we score that way." Tyler Seguin, the No. 2 overall draft pick last year, scored for Boston with 4:01 left in the first period in his playoff debut. Tampa Bay scored twice in the last 7 minutes -- Marc-Andre Bergeron on a power play and Simon Gagne into an empty net -- before Johnny Boychuk made it 52. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday in Boston. Both teams were coming off long layoffs after sweeping their previous series. It was the first game in 10 days for the Lightning and first in eight for the Bruins. But the speedy Lightning, the 2004 Stanley Cup champions, showed little rust in an arena where they had won just four times in 35 games before beginning their first playoff series ever against the Bruins. The Bruins, in the conference finals for the first time since 1992, made some costly mistakes. "We gave them some easy goals and that was more of our doing than it was theirs," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. Bergenheim scored after Dennis Seidenberg tried to clear a rebound from a save with a skate after losing his stick. But the puck went right to Bergenheim and he beat Thomas from just in front of the crease. "It was just a big battle in front of the net," Seidenberg said. "I lost my stick and I didn't know what to do without a stick and the puck at my feet. I kicked it to whoever scored the goal. I'm not sure." It quickly became 2-0 when Clark skated all the way up the right side, passing at least two Bruins who let him go by, and scored his first playoff goal when he shoveled a backhander from the right side off Thomas' right arm. "It takes a lot of energy from you" to allow two goals so close to each other, Boston's David Krejci said. "Somehow you've got to find a way to find the energy and go out there the next shift and try to ... maybe get a goal." The third goal resulted from a giveaway from Bruins defenseman Tomas Kaberle. He had the puck behind his own net then skated to the left and lost control. An aggressive Purcell was there to take it away. Thomas stopped the first shot, but Purcell got his second goal when he put the rebound behind the NHL's regular-season leader in goals-against average and save percentage. "We capitalized on some opportunities," Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson said. "We got a couple lucky ones." --AP DETROIT: Kansas City Royals' Melky Cabrera hits into a ground-out in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers. Cabrera went 0-for 4 at the plate in a 3-0 loss to the Tigers. --AP homered for the fourth consecutive game as Boston downed New York on a night when much of the drama was off the field. Longtime star Jorge Posada asked to be taken out of the New York lineup after the slumping designated hitter was dropped to No. 9 in the batting order. A person familiar with the discussion between Posada and the team told The Associated Press that he "refused" to play. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the situation was still not settled. His teammates weren't much more productive against Josh Beckett (3-1) while dropping their fourth straight. It is New York's longest skid this season. Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia (3-3) was battered for six runs in 6 2-3 innings. Athletics 6, White Sox 2 I n Oa k la nd, Dav id DeJes u s recorded his 1,000th career hit and drove in two runs as Oakland defeated Chicag o. Cliff Pennington, Daric Bar ton and Kurt Suzuki also drove in runs for the A's, while Josh Willingham added two hits.Oakland starter Tyson Ross (3-2) took a shutout into the sixth and gave up two runs over 7 1-3 innings. White S ox s tar ter G av in Floyd (4 -3 ) allowed five runs in 4 1-3 innings, his shortest start of the season. Blue Jays 9, Twins 3 In Minneapolis, Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning to lift Toronto over Minnesota. Bautista's two-run shot off reliever Jim Hoey broke a 3-3 tie. Hoey walked the next two batters and J.P. Arencibia followed with a double to help send the Twins to their seventh straight loss. Bautista's homer came after Glen Perkins (0-1) gave up a leadoff hit to Corey Patterson. Former Twins closer Jon Rauch (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings for the win as the Blue Jays notched a fourth straight victory.--AP Prado lead Braves to victory ATLANTA: Martin Prado homered and drove in three runs to extend his form surge and lead the Atlanta Braves to 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League on Saturday. Prado and Nate McLouth hit backto-back homers in the first inning for the only runs allowed by Philadelphia starter Joe Blanton (1-2) in five innings. Braves starter Jair Jurrjens (50) took a perfect game into the seventh inning and wound up giving up three hits in 7 1-3 innings to beat the Phillies for the second time in a week. He has not allowed more than two earned runs in six starts. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his ninth save. Reds 7, Cardinals 3 In Cincinnati, Johnny Cueto took a shutout into the eighth inning to steer Cincinatti past St. Louis. Cueto (2-0) didn't allow a Cardinal to reach second base until the seventh. Ramon Hernandez hit solo homers on each of the first two pitches he saw, while Brandon Phillips drove in three runs for the Reds, who moved into the NL Central's first place alone for the first time since April 18. Kyle McClellan (5-1) took the loss. Marlins 1, Nationals 0 In Washington, Anibal Sanchez pitched eight scoreless innings as Florida came out on top of Washington in a minimum-score game. Sanchez (3-1) struck out nine and improved to 7-0 lifetime against the Nationals, as the Marlins won their eighth straight at Washington. The sole run came from Mike Stanton's seventh-inning homer. Marlins closer Leo Nunez gave up a walk and a single to start the ninth, then escaped the first-and-second jam for his 14th save in 14 chances. Livan Hernandez (3-5) matched Sanchez for six innings before taking his third straight loss. Giants 3, Cubs 0 In Chicago, Ryan Vogelsong pitched six scoreless innings in a rain-shortened game for his first career shutout and San Francisco beat Chicago. Vogelsong (3-0) struck out seven in his first complete game. He was also helped by two double plays as the Cubs stranded eight base-runners. Cubs starter Doug Davis (0-1) pitched five innings in his season debut and allowed three against his former team Colorado. Hawpe connected off Huston Street (0-1) for his second home run of the season. The Padres got 4 2-3 hitless innings from their bullpen, including Mike Adams (2-0), who pitched the eighth. Heath Bell earned his ninth save in 10 chances and career save No. 100. Brewers 8, Pirates 2 In Milwaukee, Prince Fielder, Brandon Boggs and Ryan Braun each hit solo home runs as Milwaukee beat Pittsburgh for the eighth straight time. Milwaukee also has won eight in a row against the Pirates at Miller Park. Fielder and Boggs homered in the fourth inning off Jeff Karstens (22). The Brewers scored five times in the seventh and Braun hit his 11th homer in the eighth. Milwaukee starter Chris Narveson (2-3) ended his three-game losing streak. He gave up one run in six innings. D'backs 1, Dodgers 0 In Los Angeles, a miscommunication on a pickoff throw led to the only run as Arizona edged Los Angeles. Stephen Drew led off the second inning with a double, and Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley (23) tried to pick him off. But shortstop Jamey Carroll failed to cover the bag and the ball rolled into center field. Drew got around to third and was scored by a sacrifice fly. Arizona starter Josh Collmenter (2-0) pitched six scoreless innings in his first major league start. He walked none and retired his final 11 batters after giving up a double in the third. The Diamondbacks got only one hit the entire game while snapping a five-game skid in which each loss was by a one-run margin. Astros 7, Mets 3 In Houston, Carlos Lee delivered his 2,000th hit with an RBI single during a four-run first inning, then hit one of Houston's three homers against New York. JA Happ (3-4) pitched six innings for the win as the Mets had their three-game winning streak come to an end. Mets knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey (1-5) allowed six hits in the first inning, then held the Astros in check until the sixth, when Bill Hall and pinch hitter Matt Downs hit solo homers. It was Downs' first career pinch hit home run.--AP Reds regain top spot in Super 15 after round 13 WELLINGTON: The Queensland Reds regained first place in Super 15 rugby with a 37-31 win over the Auckland Blues in a weekend 13th-round game, while the Stormers' lead in the South African conference was reduced with a loss to the Waikato Chiefs. The Reds' win in Brisbane ended the Blues' two-week reign at the top of the table, leaving Queensland one point ahead of Auckland and six ahead of the Cape Town-based Stormers, who lead the South African conference by a point from the Durban-based Sharks. The Canterbury Crusaders stumbled despite the return from injury of stars Dan Carter and Richie McCaw and lost 33-20 to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, although they remain in fourth place, level on points with the Stormers. The Sharks remain fifth and the New South Wales Waratahs sixth after both had 13th-round byes. The Otago Highlanders stopped a two-match losing streak, beating the Wellington Hurricanes 13-6 in a rainsoaked match at Invercargill while the defending champions, the Pretoria-based Bulls, trounced the Melbourne Rebels 47-10. The second-half rally which gave the Chiefs their upset win over the Stormers kept alive their slim playoff chances and the Cheetahs have a mathematical chance of reaching the top six after their surprise win over the Crusaders. The Johannesburg-based Lions posted only their second win of the season, beating the ACT Brumbies 29-20 in Canberra, but remained at the bottom of the competition with 19 points. Only 14 points separate the top eight teams after 13 of 18 regular-season rounds and ahead of an influential 14th round in which the Blues play the Stormers, the Crusaders play the Chiefs, the Sharks take on the Bulls and Queensland has a bye. The Reds showed the quality of a topplaced team in their win over the Blues and in what was probably their toughest test of the season. Their bye now falls at an ideal time, allowing them to nurse injuries and regroup before a late run of matches against the Crusaders, Brumbies, Western Force and Chiefs. Queensland flyhalf Quade Cooper scored an early try and kicked seven goals from seven attempts for 22 points in a match-winning performance. The Reds rocked the Blues by opening an early 24-0 lead but were placed under pressure when that margin was cut to 27-24 after 54 minutes.A charge-down try to replacement hooker James Hanson became a game breaker, giving Queensland a margin which allowed them to resist a late Blues surge. Winger Digby Ioane ran for more than 300 meters. "We knew the Blues like to come out and play footy and we had to try and starve them of the (ball) as much as possible and we did that early in the first half," Reds' captain James Horwill said. Blues captain Keven Mealamu said "you can't come to a stadium like this and start the game 24 points down" Queensland broke Auckland's seven-match winning streak and posted its 11th-straight win on home turf in Brisbane. --AP ATLANTA: Philadelphia Phillies' Placido Polanco (27) breaks up an attempted double play as Atlanta Braves shortstop Alex Gonzalez (2) relays to first during the ninth inning. --AP runs, hurt by three errors. Padres 9, Rockies 7 In Denver, Brad Hawpe hit a tworun homer with two outs in the ninth inning to complete a six-run comeback and give San Diego a win MLB results/standings Major League Baseball results and standings on Saturday. Florida 1, Washington 0; Atlanta 5, Philadelphia 3; San Diego 9, Colorado 7; Oakland 6, Chicago White Sox 2; Houston 7, NY Mets 3; Baltimore 6, Tampa Bay 0; Toronto 9, Minnesota 3 (11 innings); LA Angels 3, Texas 2; Milwaukee 8, Pittsburgh 2; Detroit 3, Kansas City 0; Cincinnati 7, St. Louis 3; Arizona 1, LA Dodgers 0; San Francisco 3, Chicago Cubs 0; Boston 6, NY Yankees 0; Cleveland v Seattle (postponed). American League National League Eastern Division Eastern Division Philadelphia 25 13 .658 W L PCT GB Florida 23 15 .605 2 Tampa Bay 23 16 .590 Atlanta 22 19 .537 4.5 NY Yankees 20 17 .541 2 Washington 18 21 .462 7.5 Toronto 19 20 .487 4 NY Mets 18 21 .462 7.5 Boston 19 20 .487 4 Central Division Baltimore 18 20 .474 4.5 Cincinnati 22 17 .564 Central Division St. Louis 22 18 .550 .5 Cleveland 24 13 .649 Pittsburgh 18 21 .462 4 Detroit 22 18 .550 3.5 Milwaukee 18 21 .462 4 Kansas City 20 19 .513 5 Chicago Cubs 17 21 .447 4.5 Chicago 16 24 .400 9.5 Houston 15 24 .385 7 Minnesota 12 25 .324 12 Western Division Western Division San Francisco 22 17 .564 LA Angels 22 18 .550 Colorado 20 17 .541 1 Texas 20 19 .513 1.5 LA Dodgers 19 21 .475 3.5 Arizona 16 22 .421 5.5 Oakland 20 19 .513 1.5 San Diego 16 23 .410 6 Seattle 16 23 .410 5.5 A e niv rsar n Years S P ORT S 16 INDIANAPOLIS: Helio Castroneves, of Brazil, speeds out of the pit area during practice for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. --AP Conway takes 1st laps at Indy since big crash INDIANAPOLIS: British IndyCar driver Mike Conway would just like to forget last May. Now he may finally have a chance. Fifty weeks after leaving Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a helicopter, Conway climbed back into a race car, turning his first laps at the track since that scary scene and perhaps, finally, closing the book on one of the most frightening crashes in Indianapolis 500 history. "I really don't like to talk about it," Conway said. "To be honest with you, this is just another track. I had a bad experience in the race last year, and I've gotten past all that. I've been kind of mentally prepared for it, visualizing the laps and that kind of thing." It hasn't been easy to move on for the 27-year-old English driver. He missed the final 11 races last season and needed nearly eight months to fully recover from a compression fracture in his back and a left leg that was nearly shattered in the wreck. His contract at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing expired, too, forcing Conway to find a new team. And throughout the eight months of rehabilitation, Conway still had to contend with the constant reminders about what had happened. Indy fans will never forget the indelible images. Ryan Hunter-Reay ran out of gas between turns three and four, just in front of Conway, who was trying to chase down race leader Dario Franchitti on the final lap. When Hunter-Reay and Conway collided, the No. 24 car went hurtling through the air. As it flipped, the underside of Conway's car smashed into the catch fence, rebounded off and nearly landed on Hunter-Reay's head as debris scattered across the track. Conway survived, but there was really no escaping the crash. "I've had it shown to me so many times, you didn't really have a choice," he said. "I don't like watching it." But in racing, there is no time to whine. Talk to any driver in Gasoline Alley and everyone can recount some "big hit" they have experienced and the courage it took to continue driving. "I had a big wreck at Michigan in `07 and then again (in the next race at Kentucky), and those situations test your resolve, your mettle, your determination," said Franchitti, a two-time Indy winner and three-time IndyCar points champ. "You either get back in the car or you go home." Conway was not about to give up a career he was so passionate about, so he rededicated himself to building a leaner, stronger body in hopes of making it back for the season-finale at Homestead, Fla. By the fall, Conway knew better and ceded the ride to replacement driver Ana Beatriz. Then, in January, Conway returned to the track for the first time since the crash. It was just to get medical checks, but Dennis Reinbold was so impressed with Conway's progression that he wanted to re-sign him. Instead, Michael Andretti handed Conway the No. 27 car, adding to a stable that already included Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti and, yes, Hunter-Reay. "When I first saw him after he came back here (to Indianapolis), sometime around the holidays, he walked with no limp and you could tell he had been really working out," Reinbold said. "I knew he'd be able to recover, but you never want to see your driver get hurt or your car get destroyed like that after working all month to put yourselves in position to win." This season, Conway has established himself as a dynamic new force in the series. He has three top-10 starts in the first four races and won his first IndyCar title April 17 on the streets of Long Beach. Two weeks later, he finished sixth in Brazil and now returns to Indianapolis with confidence and a bright future. On Saturday, Conway turned 20 laps in practice, though he took things relatively slowly. He posted a top speed of 220.160 mph, 28th out of 32 drivers and nearly 4 mph slower than Ed Carpenter's chart-topping speed of 224.786. Rain washed out more than 21/2 hours of the scheduled six-hour session. Andretti's other three drivers did most of the speed work. Marco Andretti was fifthfastest at 223.927. Patrick was 12th at 222.232 and Hunter-Reay was 18th at 221.296. And now that Conway has won one race -- making it though opening day -- he can concentrate on winning the one that got away in last year's crazy finish. "It's not an exact science coming back, but it is what we do," Conway said. "It's our job and we love doing it, and we try not to remember the bad things that happen on the track. It's been a long time since I've been here, so it's kind of like, `Let's see what we've got and how good we can get it,' and I don't think about what happened last year."--AP ABCK 10th Annual Golf Tournament KUWAIT: The American Business Council of Kuwait, held its 10th Annual Golf Tournament at the Sahara Golf Club on May 13th 2011. The major sponsors of the tournament were Agility Logistics and MoveOne Relocations. Other Sponsors included: Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, SNR Denton, KGL Holding. KRH, United Airlines, Future Communications, Radisson BLU, Planet Hollywood, and Sahara Golf Club. There were 26 teams that participated. with a total of 150 attendees. Gregg Stevens, Chairman of ABCK, addressed the attendees stating that he was very proud to be the Chairman of ABCK this year, as it celebrated its 26th anniversary of existence and the 10th anniversary of ABCK's Golf tournament, marking the success of ABCK in Kuwait. The full day event concluded by awarding the first, second and third position teams with prizes and exclusive gifts for other attendees as well. y MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Liu Xiang wins 110m hurdles in Shanghai SHANGHAI: Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang broke American David Oliver's 18-race win streak, winning the 110-meter hurdles at the Shanghai Diamond League event yesterday. Liu dominated the race from the start, finishing in 13.07 seconds to the delight of the home crowd. Oliver was second in 13.18, while American Aries Merritt was third in 13.24. Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell cruised to victory in the men's 100 meters, finishing in 9.95 seconds. American Michael Rodgers was second in 10.01, while Jamaica's Mario Forsythe was third in 10.12. Oliver hadn't lost an outdoor 110-meter hurdles race since Aug. 2009 and was coming off a win Thursday in Daegu, South Korea. Liu has struggled with injuries since his dramatic, last-second withdrawal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was experimenting with a new start technique in Shanghai, taking seven steps to the first hurdle instead of his customary eight. Powell's health had been in question entering the race after he slightly injured his hamstring in a 200-meter race at the Jamaica International Invitational in Kingston last weekend, limping home in last place. He said before the Shanghai meet, however, SHANGHAI: China's Liu Xiang (left) and David Oliver of the US (right) react at the finish line during the Men's 110 meter hurdles during a Diamond League Athletics meeting. --AP that the injury wasn't serious and he didn't believe it would affect him in the race. The field was diluted somewhat by the absence of world-record holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica, who decided not to race in Shanghai this year after winning the 200 meters here last year, and American Tyson Gay, who was running in a 150-meter race in Manchester, England, late yesterday instead. Powell said he plans to compete against both men in separate races this summer to prepare for the World Championships in South Korea, in August. Jamaica's Veronica CampbellBrown, meanwhile, beat American rival Carmelita Jeter to capture the women's 100 meters on her 29th birthday. Campbell-Brown benefited from a fast start and held off a quickly closing Jeter in the final meters to win in a time of 10.92 seconds. Jeter was second in 10.95 and Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare third in 11.23. Jeter has been dominant in the 100 this season, setting the fastest time of the year --10.86 -- in Jamaica last weekend and then winning again on Thursday in Daegu. Campbell-Brown was running in her first 100-meter race of the year. The two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 200 meters is planning to compete in both the 100 and 200 at the worlds. Dwight Phillips of the United States, the 33year-old three-time world champion in the long jump, finished in a disappointing fourth place in his first event of the season. Australia's Mitchell Watt was first with a leap of 8.44 meters (27.7 feet), far ahead of surprising second-place finisher, Su Xiongfeng of China, who jumped 8.19 meters (26.8 feet). Olympic gold medalist Asbel Kiprop of Kenya was outsprinted in the stretch by countryman Nixon Kiplimo Chepseba in the men's 1,500 meters, a little over a week after he captured the men's 800 meters at the year's first Diamond League event in Doha, Qatar. Chepseba finished in a time of 3 minutes 31.42 seconds, while Kiprop was second in 3:31.76 and Ethiopia's Mekonnen Gebremedhin was third in 3:32.36. "It was not my day," Kiprop said. "But I am better this year than last year. Last year, I did 3:32 and now 3:31. So this is a good start to the season." Americans swept the men's 400 meters, with Calvin Smith winning with a time of 45.47, followed by Greg Nixon in 45.50 and David Neville in 45.58. Three-time Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner won the event last year but decided not to defend his title. Jamaica's Kaliese Spencer outsprinted a tiring Lashinda Demus of the United States at the finish to capture the women's 400-meter hurdles in 54.20 seconds. Olympic and world champion Melaine Walker of Jamaica, back on the track after missing most of the 2010 season with an Achilles injury, finished third. Two-time world champion Yargelis Savigne of Cuba easily won the women's triple jump with a leap of 14.68 meters (48.16 feet), while the two-time world champion in the women`s high jump, Blanka Vlasic of Croatia, won her event with an effort of 1.94 meters (6.36 feet). --AP SHANGHAI: Asafa Powell of Jamaica waves after winning the Men's 100 meter competition during a Diamond League Athletics meeting. --AP Webster helps Hull tame bulls LONDON: Former Melbourne Storm centre Jake Webster was among the scorers as Hull KR saw off Bradford 46-18 to leapfrog them in the Super League table yesterday. After a Kyle Briggs try in the fourth minute for the Bulls, centre Kris Welham set Rovers on their way to victory with two tries in as many minutes. Ex-Canterbury Bulldogs half-back Blake Green was the next to cross for Hull. Bradford wing Gareth Raynor pulled a try back but Webster scored soon afterwards. Michael Dobson and replacement Liam Watts both touched down either side of half-time for Rovers and, despite Andy Lynch grabbing a try for the Bulls, Welham's third and one from Peter Fox sealed victory. Meanwhile, former Australian international Matt King scored twice as Warrington Wolves crushed Terry Matterson's Castleford 62-0 to remain top. The ten-cap ex-Kangaroo grabbed a try in each half, while former Wests Tigers full-back Brett Hodgson also touched down and kicked seven goals. Ex-Canberra Raider Joel Monaghan chipped in with a try of his own for the Wolves and Lee Briers and Simon Grix followed King's lead in scoring two tries apiece. Tony Smith's troops are now top courtesy of points difference, having scored 519 in their 14 games so far this season-well over 100 more than any other side. Level with them on 20 points are Huddersfield, after former St George Illawarra Dragons coach Nathan Brown's side hammered injury-hit St Helens 40-18. Eorl Crabtree led the way with two tries as the Giants inflicted the Saints' heaviest defeat for five years with Danny Brough, Kevin Brown, Michael Lawrence, Scott Grix and Joe Wardle all also crossing. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Matty Ashurst and Ade Gardner replied for St Helens but they were no more than consolations for former Australian hooker Royce Simmons' side. To make matters worse, former Newcastle Knight prop Josh Perry, who has previously been sidelined with a groin strain, suffered a suspected broken knuckle to add to an already lengthy casualty list. Wigan also secured a big win as ex-Wests Tiger Pat Richards weighed in with 26 points, including two tries, in the Warriors' 54-6 hammering of Harlequins. Ex-New Zealand international Thomas Leuluai also grabbed a double, Ryan Hoffman crossed in the first half and ex-Newcastle Knights winger George Carmont was on the scoresheet as well. Former Manly Sea Eagles prop Kylie Leuluai crossed for Leeds as they extended their unbeaten run to five with a 30-6 win over the Catalan Dragons. Teenager Zak Hardaker scored twice and Ryan Hall and Rob Burrow once, while Ian Henderson got the only try for the Dragons, without former Newcastle Knights half-back Scott Dureau through injury. Elsewhere, ex-New Zealand Warriors stand-off Michael Witt scored a try and a drop-goal as Crusaders fought back to beat Wakefield 23-10. --AFP FLORIDA: Steve Stricker hits from the 12th tee during the third round of The Players Championship golf tournament. --AP McDowell, Watney lead FLORIDA: Britain's Graeme McDowell and Nick Watney of the United States share the lead on 11-under at the Players Championship af ter a rain- delayed Saturday but the battle for the `fifth major' remains wide open. The pair completed just five holes of their third round after a four and a half hour delay at TPC Sawgrass due to a heavy thunder storm. U.S. Open champion McDowell, of Northern Ireland, and Watney, winner of March's World Golf Championship tournament at Doral, will come back late yesterday to complete the 13 remaining holes before taking a break and coming back in the afternoon for their fourth round. Experienced American pair Steve Stricker and David Toms are both a shot behind, followed by compatriot Lucas Glover and South Korean KJ Choi a further shot back on nine-under. The heavy rain softened the course and with the wind dropping it was a much tamer challenge for the leaders when they finally emerged from the clubhouse after a frustrating day of waiting. "The golf course had changed significantly when we did get back out there. There greens were a lot more receptive, the fairways too and so you can play the course much more aggressively," said McDowell. "I think that is going to make for low scoring on Sunday," McDowell birdied three of his five holes while Watney birdied the opening two and there were others who took advantage of the easier conditions to rise up the leaderboard. Germany's Martin Kaymer, the world number two, birdied five of his opening seven holes but then three bogeys saw him slip back and he ended the day three strokes off the lead alongside Britain's Luke Donald. McDowell said the changed conditions had opened up the battle for late yesterday 's title much more. "I'm under no illusions, if the course had have stayed the same and continued to firm up then 10 or 11 under might have won this tournament, but I think it is going to take 15 or maybe 16 under now things have softened up," he said. While Watney leads the American challenge to McDowell, 44-year- old Toms, without a PGA Tour win in five years, is still very much in the frame. "I t 's going to be a ver y long day tomorrow, especially for an old guy," Toms said. "I've got to go 31 holes of golf, but hopefully I will play some good golf and that will give me the boost you need for a long day. "I think you'll probably see some good scoring so I'm going to have to go out there and start making some and have a good day myself." --Reuters A e niv rsar n Years S P ORT S 17 Miami's `Big Three' ready to run with the Bulls NEW YORK: Miami's "Big Three" are safely through to the final four and appear to be building momentum with only the top-seeded Chicago Bulls standing between the Heat and a berth in the NBA Finals. The skeptics who thought LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh would struggle to combine their individual skills in their first season together are now having second thoughts. After a mixed start to the season, the Heat have suddenly found their form at the right time, winning the Southeast division in the regular season and finishing second to the Bulls in the Eastern Conference standings. Miami's All-Star trio saved their best for the playoffs, steering the Heat to a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round and then a surprisingly swift 4-1 win over the Boston Celtics in the conference semi-finals. James and Wade are both averaging more than 26 points in the playoffs while Bosh is averaging just over 16 points to go along with his team-leading 9.6 rebounds per game. "We understood that for us to be successful as a team we had to be leaders together, to demand more of each other," said Wade about merging their talents. "We're the best of friends. Nothing that's said on the basketball court will hurt my feelings or his feelings. We both listen and we move on from it." It has been smooth sailing so far but the Bulls are likely to present more difficulties to Miami than the aging Celtics when they meet in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference final starting Sunday in Chicago. Chicago have not advanced this deep into the playoffs since 1998, when Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were en route to capturing a second three-peat of NBA titles. This year they are being led by 22year-old Derrick Rose, who became the youngest winner of the league's most valuable player award in early May, an honour that has only inspired him to greater heights. Rose is averaging 28.8 points in the playoffs and combining well with his team mates, especially Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, the son of former French Open champion Yannick Noah. The Bulls are brimming with confidence after rolling by the Indiana Pacers 4-1 in the opening round and then eliminating the Atlanta Hawks 4-2 in the conference semi-finals. The winner of the Eastern Conference final will play either the Dallas Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder or Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA Finals. --Reuters Stoner wins French GP LE MANS: Casey Stoner of Australia earned his second victory of the season at a dramatic French Grand Prix after Dani Pedrosa of Spain crashed out and fractured his right collarbone. The Honda rider completed yesterday the 28 laps of the 4.185-kilometer (2.6-mile) Le Mans circuit in 44 minutes, 3.955 seconds to climb to second place in the overall standings, 12 points behind defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo of Spain. Andrea Dovizioso of Italy finished second, 14.214 seconds behind Stoner. Multiple world champion Valentino Rossi of Italy came in third to earn his first podium of the season. Pedrosa initially had the better of polesitter Stoner at the start. But the Australian retook the lead on the second lap before Pedrosa's crash in a battle for second place. Stoner opened up a gap of 2.20 seconds on Pedrosa at the LE MANS: Australian MotoGP driver Casey halfway stage to pull away and Stoner jubilates at the end of the race, at the cruise to victory. Pedrosa got Le Mans racetrack. --AP injured on lap 18 after colliding landed on the track with five laps to go. with Marco Simoncelli of Italy. Pole-sitter Stefan Bradl of Germany Simoncelli attempted an audacious move by passing Pedrosa on the outside finished third but still leads the champiof a curve, but his motorbike's rear wheel onship, 28 points clear of Julian Simon of bumped into the Spaniard's front wheel. Spain. Andrea Iannone of Italy crashed Simoncelli was given a ride-through out on the first lap to slip to third place, one point behind Simon. In the 125cc penalty but managed to finish fifth. Lorenzo placed fourth to retain the class, 16-year-old prodigy Maverick overall lead. Stoner, the 2007 world Vinales of Spain won his first race in just champion, was also fined �5,000 for his fourth career start to end compatriot punching French rider Randy De Puniet Nicolas Terol's perfect start to the season. Vinales overtook Terol in the last curve in the shoulder during the morning of the last lap to stand on his Aprilia warm-up. In the Moto2 class, Marc Marquez of motorbike and clench his fists as he Spain scored his first points of the season crossed the finish line. Despite finishing by clinching victory, 1.982 seconds ahead second, Terol extended his overall lead of Japanese rider Yuki Takahashi. The over Sandro Cortese of Germany to 36 Suter rider, a 125cc world champion, took points. The next race will be held on June the lead just before a few drops of rain 5 in Barcelona, Spain.--AP Al-Baz, Burabiea and Abdulaziz of Kuwait raise the Kuwaiti flag during the coronation ceremony. Al-Baz wins Stock Title at UAE Jet Ski Championship Mohammad Al-Baz of Kuwait respectively. With this result, Al-Baz finclinched the United Arab Emirates ished the season on top of the overall standing with 370 points. Jet Ski Championship The final day also title in the Stock Class saw the final super for the first time in his stock class race, in career, after finishing which Kuwait's Yousuf first in the overall standAl-Abdulrazaq finished ings ahead of reigning second, and ended up champion in the last in third place at the three tournaments and overall ranking behind fellow countr yman Kuwait 's Khalid Mohammad Burabiea. Burabiea, while UAE's The tournament, Nadir bin Hindi was which was held under crowned as the class' the patronage of head of champion. the Abu Dhabi Meanwhile, up and International Sea Sports coming Kuwaiti conClub Sheikh Dr. Sultan tester Abdulaziz Albin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Omar finished in fourth was recently concluded place at the junior 's with the final race that stand up competition, was won by Burabiea which was won by who finished before the Mohammad Al-Baz Japan's Tushi Ohara who champion Mohammad finished ahead of Lahij Al-Baz, while Qatar's Waleed Al-Sharshini and Kuwait's Saud A-Ma'sam and Jaber Al-Ma'sam from Al-Sarraf finished third and fourth the UAE. y MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Kings XI Punjab defeat Delhi Daredevils in IPL DHARAMSALA: Paul Valthaty struck 62 to help Kings XI Punjab beat Delhi Daredevils by 29 runs in the Indian Premier League yesterday. Valthaty put on 102 for the second wicket with Australian Shaun Marsh (46) to help Kings XI post a challenging 170-6 off 20 overs after being put in to bat. Left-arm pacer Shalabh Srivastava took two wickets and leg-spinner Piyush Chawla claimed three to restrict the Daredevils to 141-8 in 20 overs after the visitors failed to capitalize on a 52-run start. With their sixth victory in 12 matches and third on the trot, Kings XI moved to fifth in standings with 12 points. The team stays in contention for a spot in the play-offs featuring the top four in the 10-team league. "It was a great win, it will keep us alive and a 29-run win will help net run rate," Kings XI skipper Adam Gilchrist said. "There were some great catches, one or two blemishes but in general the enthusiasm was terrific." Gilchrist fell for nine, and Valthaty struggled in conditions that aided swing and seam before he found his bearings during his stand with Marsh, lashing six fours and three sixes. Valthaty hit Australian pacer James Hopes for two sixes and a four in one over and left-handed Marsh smashed spinner Sridharan Sriram for two sixes and as many fours in a single over as the duo turned up the heat. The pair fell to left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan off successive deliveries in the 15th over but Dinesh Karthik (27) and Mandeep Singh hit six boundaries to help the side finish strongly. Australian David Warner (29) and Naman Ojha (28) got the Daredevils off to a flying start before Srivastava dismissed the pair off subsequent overs. Man of the match Chawla dismissed Sriram for four, Venugopal Rao for 16 and Hopes for seven to trigger a middle-order collapse from which the Daredevils failed to recover. "I am not sure luck had much to do with it tonight," said Daredevils skipper Hopes, leading the team in place of Virender Sehwag who has been ruled out of the the remaining part of the IPL season with a shoulder injury. "Our fielding lost us this game. We have to take those chances. Tonight, it summed up our entire season." Rajasthan Royals play Kochi Tuskers Kerala later yesterday. Score: Kings XI Punjab 170-6 in 20 overs (Paul Valthaty 62, Shaun Marsh 46; Irfan Pathan 3-28) def. Delhi Daredevils 141-8 in 20 overs (David Warner 29; Piyush Chawla 316). --AP DHARAMSALA: Kings XI Punjab's Paul Valthaty acknowledges the crowd after completing his half-century during their Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Delhi Daredevils. --AP Ajmal takes six wkts but Windies final pair resist PROVIDENCE: Pakistan recovered from losing three early wickets to reach 80 for three at the close on a remarkable third day of the first test against West I n dies on S aturday leavin g them 139 runs short of victory. A fascinating encounter on a throwback surface, that in contrast to so many modern test wickets offers something for the bowlers and truly tests the batsmen, remains in the balance although Pakistan will feel they have the upper hand. O ff-spin n er S aeed Aj ma l again dominated, tak ing six wickets, mak ing it 11 in the game, as West I n dies were bowled out for 152 in their second innings. That total would have been even worse had it not been for a fine 10th wicket partnership bet ween last man Devendra Bish oo an d S h ivn arine Chanderpaul. The Guyanese pair put on 48 for the final wicket-the best partnership in the West Indies innings with last man Bishoo mak ing 24 and Chanderpaul unbeaten on 36. It gave Darren Sammy's side a target to bowl at despite Pakistan having more than two days to reach the modest target. A sur face that had offered plenty for all kinds of bowlers, especially the spinners, was certain to produce some difficulties though for the tourists. R avi R ampaul gave Wes t Indies the perfect start when he trapped Taufeeq Umar lbw without him scoring and then two balls later removed Azhar Ali, caught behind for nought. Pak istan were reeling at three down for just two runs after Kemar Roach picked up the prize wicket of Mohammad Hafeez, lbw after a review with a ball that cut back sharply. With th e h ome suppor t going wild with delight, the prospect of a swift end to the contest appeared on the hori- GUYANA: Pakistan's Asad Shafiq (right) drives for a single as West Indies' wicket keeper Carlton Baugh looks on during the second innings on the third day of their first cricket Test match. --AP Scoreboard PROVIDENCE, Guyana: Scoreboard at the close of the third day of the first test between West Indies and Pakistan yesterday: West Indies first innings 226 (Saeed Ajmal 5-69) Pakistan first innings 160 (D. Bishoo 4-68) West Indies second innings (overnight 34-2) D. Smith lbw b Mohammad Hafeez 1 L. Simmons c Azhar Ali b Wahab Riaz 21 D. Bravo lbw b Saeed Ajmal 8 K. Roach lbw b Saeed Ajmal 3 R. Sarwan c Asad Shafiq b Saeed Ajmal 11 S. Chanderpaul not out 36 B. Nash run out 3 C. Baugh c Umar Akmal b Saeed Ajmal 7 D. Sammy lbw b Abdur Rehman 9 R. Rampaul c Azhar Ali b Saeed Ajmal 2 D. Bishoo c Umar Akmal b Saeed Ajmal 24 Extras (b 7, lb 17, w 2, nb 1) 27 Total (all out; 61.5 overs) 152 Fall of wickets: 1-3 2-23 3-35 4-47 5-59 6-74 7-86 8-99 9- 104 10-152 Bowling: Umar Gul 8-2-21-0 (2w), Mohammad Hafeez 91-15-1, Abdur Rehman 11-1-25-1, Saeed Ajmal 23.5-6-426, Wahab Riaz 10-1-25-1 (1nb) Pakistan second innings Mohammad Hafeez lbw b Roach 2 Taufeeq Umar lbw b Rampaul 0 0 Azhar Ali c Baugh b Rampaul Asad Shafiq not out 40 Misbah-ul-Haq not out 34 Extras (lb 4) 4 Total (for three wickets; 36 overs) 80 Still to bat: Umar Akmal, Mohammad Salman, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal Fall of wickets: 1-2 2-2 3-2 Bowling (to date): Roach 8-1-16-1, Rampaul 11-3-24-2, Bishoo 10-4-19-0, Sammy 6-2-15-0, Nash 1-0-2-0. zon but Asad Shafiq (40 not out) and Misbah-ul-Haq (34) knuckled down and produced the biggest partnership of this low scoring test- putting on 78 before the close. It was a timely contribution to c a l m t he ne r ve s i n t he Pakistan camp overnight but, while time is no issue, 139 runs with seven wickets remaining will be a testing task. The last wicket stand keeps West Indies' hopes alive but, d e sp i te t he t r i c k y t ra c k , Pa k i s t a n w i l l f a nc y t he i r chances of taking a 1-0 lead in the two-test series. --Reuters A e niv rsar n Manchester united in football joy MANCHESTER: After Manchester City gained a newfound swagger with cash from Middle Eastern royalty, Alex Ferguson vowed to silence Manchester United's "noisy neighbors." But on Saturday night the rivals were united is noisy celebrations. Supporters filled Manchester center bars after returning from Blackburn and London -- scenes of an unprecedented double-triumph on the same day. At Ewood Park, United became the most successful club in English league history with a 1-1 draw against Blackburn that secured a 19th league title. Minutes later at Wembley Stadium, City began the FA Cup final against Stoke that would end in a 1-0 victory to secure its first major honor in 35 years. "Tonight all the people in Manchester are happy," City manager Roberto Mancini said. "I think it's better like this. Next year I think we can try to play for the top with the other teams, but it's difficult." Not all Mancini's players, though, were happy sharing their moment of glory with United's record-breakers. "I'm annoyed even to say their name today because it's got nothing to do with them," City goalkeeper Joe Hart said. "It's about us, it's about Man City winning the FA Cup, Man City getting in the Champions League." City's official website even wipes United from the top portion of the league standings visible on the home page. It starts with Chelsea in second and goes down to Tottenham in sixth with City perched in fourth, having secured Champions League qualification for the first time. City fans will now be desperate to rip down the banner inside United's Old Trafford fortress that marks the number of years since its neighbor's last major honor: the 1976 League Cup. The United faithful, though, could reset it to mark the time that has elapsed since City won the last of its two league titles: 1968. Since then, United won the championship 12 times -- with Alex Ferguson masterminding them all starting in 1993. And Ferguson could not resist reminding City which is the most successful team in the world's oldest football knockout competition. "With the FA Cup, we have won it more times than everyone," Ferguson said of United's 11 to five lead over City. "And now we have won the Premier League more times than anyone." It has taken Ferguson 25 years to overhaul Liverpool's record haul of league titles, helped by its northwest rival failing to win one since the 18th in 1990. "It was Liverpool's time in the 80s, it's our time now and we always expect them to challenge us and we also expect Manchester City to challenge us," Ferguson said. "The great thing about us is that we accept challenges. It doesn't matter where it comes from." The next challenge for United is becoming Europe's top team for the fourth time by beating Barcelona in the Champions League final on May 28 at Wembley Stadium. That would give United two trophies to carry on the open-top bus that will parade through Manchester on May 30. It was United's first European Cup win in 1968 that upstaged City's domestic title triumph in the same year. But City will have its own moment in the Manchester spotlight on May 23 when the squad -- expensively assembled by Sheikh Mansour's investment of more than $1 billion since 2008 -- parades the FA Cup through the streets.--AP ROME: Russia's Maria Sharapova shows the trophy at the end of the final match against Australia's Samantha Stosur at the Italian Open tennis tournament. --AP Sharapova bags Rome crown ROME: Triple Grand Slam title winner Maria Sharapova won her first tournament in almost a year as she powered past Australia's Samantha Stosur 6-2, 6-4 to win the Rome International yesterday. Sharapova's last title came at the low-key Strasbourg claycourt event on the eve of the 2010 French Open. But having beaten world number one Caroline Wozniacki in Saturday's semi-final, Sharapova proved too much for an erratic Stosur. "I'm so excited to be able to be champion of this tournament," said Sharapova. "I'd been to the semis once a few years ago and it means so much to add this title to the ones I've won before." It is good news for the Russian just a week ahead of the start of the French Open, the only Grand Slam she has never won and a tournament where she has never been beyond the quarter-finals. But on her least favourite surface she had too much power for Stosur, finalist at the French Open last year, who racked up the unforced errors throughout the match. She was gracious in defeat, though. "It was a great week for me here, well done to Maria for today, well played," she said. The Australian may be higher in the world rankings but the Russian has far greater pedigree having reached the world number one ranking back in 2005. Stosur made a particularly nervy, errorstrewn opening and picked up only one of the first 15 points. The sixth seed was 4-0 down before she seemed to settle and managed to hold serve as Sharapova started missing off both flanks. Stosur started to move Sharapova around and some positive play saw the Russian net a forehand to give up a double break point. Under pressure again, seventh seed Sharapova sent a defensive lob into the tramlines to give a break back. The cool and windy conditions were not helping the server and Stosur slumped to 0-40 on her next service game. She saved the first with a forehand winner down the line and the second when Sharapova went long but a wayward, lofted forehand saw the Australian broken again. And she sent a backhand long on set point as Sharapova wrapped up the opening set 6-2. Stosur was equally erratic at the start of the second as she was broken again. However, a poor forehand on break point in the next game looped up and down into the corner to bring her back on level terms. That slice of luck was just the tonic she needed and Stosur held serve with a service winner to nose ahead in the set. However, it was but a brief reprieve as a wild inside out forehand from the Australian landed well into the tramlines on break point in her next service game. Sharapova wobbled when serving for the match at 5-4 but when Stosur had a simple backhand down the line to bring up double break point, she hit the top of the net. --AFP ROME: Serbia's Novak Djokovic lifts the trophy at the end of the men's final match against Spain's Rafael Nadal, at the Italian Open tennis tournament. --AP Djokovic stuns Nadal to win Italian Open ROME: Novak Djokovic continued his recent mastery over top-ranked Rafael Nadal with a 6-4, 6-4 win in the Italian Open final yesterdaythat stretched the Serb's unbeaten start to the year to 37 matches. The second-ranked Djokovic has beaten Nadal in all four finals they've played this year and defeated the Spaniard for the first time on clay in last week's Madrid Open final. Djokovic has now become the first player to beat Nadal on clay twice in the same year, a feat that comes exactly a week before the French Open starts. Djokovic's edge over Nadal could enable him to overtake his rival for the No. 1 ranking the week after Roland Garros. Djokovic's streak this year trails only John McEnroe's 42-0 start in 1984. Overall, Djokovic has won 39 consecutive matches stretching back to Serbia's Davis Cup triumph in December, sixth best in the Open era, seven behind Guillermo Vilas' record set in 1977. Djokovic attributed his win in Madrid partly to the altitude and faster conditions there. The conditions at the Foro Italico are more similar to those in Paris, perhaps making this victory more meaningful. Djokovic also had to recover from a threehour semifinal win over Andy Murray that ended near midnight Saturday. Fortunately for Djokovic, the rain delay before the woman's final gave him more time to rest. Despite the delay, nearly all of the 10,500 ticket holders were on hand for the DjokovicNadal match, and with Italy located geographically in between Spain and Serbia both players received about equal support. Djokovic broke to take a 5-3 lead in the opening set when Nadal shanked a backhand long off his racket frame but Nadal broke right back in the next game. With Nadal serving at 4-5 he made three baseline errors to give Djokovic his first set point, which Djokovic won by taking advantage of a Nadal backhand that sat up high inside the court, setting up a backhand crosscourt winner for Djokovic. While Nadal was using more loopy topspin shots to keep the ball in the court, Djokovic flattened his shots out more often, skimming balls just over the top of the net. After trading breaks early in the second set, Djokovic began screaming to himself and pumping himself up after each winner as the match drew closer to the end. --AFP y Years sp orts MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Lille toast French Cup success with 15,000 fans LILLE: Over 15,000 fans turned out to cheer on Lille's players at the city's town hall yesterday, as the French Cup winners celebrated their 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in Saturday's final. Lille, without a major trophy since 1955, prevailed at Stade de France in Paris thanks to a dramatic last-minute free-kick from their Polish international winger, Ludovic Obraniak. A huge crowd of supporters acclaimed the team as they appeared on stage in front of the town hall, where they were welcomed by city mayor Martine Aubry, proudly clad in a red and white Lille scarf. "There are three days (games) left in the championship and we hope to win another trophy," said coach Rudi Garcia, who held the cup aloft with club president Michel Seydoux. "You can count on us." Lille currently lead the French league championship by four points with three games remaining, although defending champions Marseille can cut the gap to one point if they win at Lorient later on Sunday. "It's an incredible happiness after an extraordinary final," said Aubry, the leader of France's Socialist Party. Obraniak explained to reporters how he had managed to deceive PSG goalkeeper Gregory Coupet with his inswinging shot from a seemingly impossible angle close to the righthand corner flag. "It was a free-kick wide of the centre," said Obraniak, who had come on as a substitute for Moussa Sow in the 79th minute. "I usually aim for the back post... I hit the ball with a bit of dip and it dropped into the side netting. "It's all great for me, for LOSC (Lille) and for Lille. I'm very happy." Brazilian striker Tulio de Melo, another second-half substitute, expressed his joy at being able to participate in the team's cup adventure. "They (Lille fans) had been waiting for this final for 56 years," he told the France 3 television station. "Today is the deliverance." PARIS: Lille's players hold the trophy as they celebrate after winning the French Soccer Cup against PSG, at the Stade de France in Saint Denis. --AP Lille's former mayor, Pierre Mauroy, who was 26 years old when Lille last lifted the cup in 1955, described himself as "very happy with this victory". "It's a reward that goes straight to my heart," he said. enough to keep Lens out of Ligue 2, it did suck the home side into the relegation zone. Lens, promoted from the second tier in 2009, endured a tumultuous season, with experienced Romanian coach Laszlo Boloni unable to stop the early-season rot after replacing Jean-Guy Wallemme in January. "It's the umpteenth time that we've got a good result away from home and it hasn't been enough," rued Boloni. "When I arrived at Lens, I gave myself an objective: being able to go home every night and look at myself in the mirror. I can do that." Lens' fate was sealed thanks to victories for Caen and Nancy, the former winning 2-0 at home to Montpellier, the latter crushing fellow strugglers Nice 3-0 on their synthetic home pitch. The congestion at the bottom of the table means that just seven points separate seventh-placed Lorient and third-bottom Monaco. Nancy and Brest, who host Lyon today, are a point above Monaco, with Nice a point further ahead in 15th. "It's not a moment when I can talk easily," said Monaco coach Laurent Banide, who left his press conference in tears. "I've taken a blow to the head. Are the players affected? Everyone is affected." With leaders Lille not playing due to their French Cup final win against Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday, champions Marseille can close to within a point of top spot if they win at Lorient in yesterday's late game. Double-chasing Lille host Sochaux on Wednesday, when PSG are at Bordeaux. -- AFP Lens relegated in French League FRANCE: Lens were relegated from France's top division yesterday, two games before the end of the season, after a 1-1 draw at Monaco and victories for two of their relegation rivals. Monaco took a 14th-minute lead through Cameroon striker Benjamin Moukandjo, who dispatched a beautifully measured left-wing centre from Chris Malonga with a deft half-volley. Teenage defender Raphael Varane, 18, equalised with an injury-time header, but although it was not Ajax claim 30th Dutch title AMSTERDAM: Four-time European champions Ajax claimed their 30th Dutch league title by beating nearest rivals FC Twente 3-1 on the final day of the Eredivisie season yesterday. Ajax went into the game a point behind Twente, the defending champions, but finished the campaign two points ahead of them, thereby ending a seven-year wait for Dutch football's top prize. "Our success is deserved," said Ajax coach Frank de Boer, who celebrated his 41st birthday on Sunday. "But we couldn't predict the outcome of this match, or the championship. Football can be so random. But things fell in our favor." Twente only required a draw at the Amsterdam ArenA to retain the title, which they had won for the first time last season under the tutelage of former England manager Steve McCLaren. However, McClaren's successor, Belgian coach Michel Preud'homme, saw his charges fall two goals down through a 23rd-minute strike by Siem de Jong and an own goal from defensive midfielder Denny Landzaat a minute after half-time. Influential Twente midfielder Theo Janssen reduced the arrears shortly afterwards with a superb shot into the roof of the net, but de Jong killed off the visitors' title hopes with a third goal for Ajax 12 minutes from time. "Ajax put us under pressure and we never managed to free ourselves," said Preud'homme. "We're disappointed but the season overall was splendid. After winning the title last season, we had to re-construct a completely new team. "Twente win the cup, reach the Europa League quarterfinals and finish second in the league. All things considered, it's a great season." Both teams qualified for the Champions League, with third-placed PSV Eindhoven having to make do with the consolation of a place in next season's Europa League. Ajax, the traditional powerhouse of Dutch football, had seen PSV (2005-2008), AZ Alkmaar (2009) and Twente (2010) all pip them to the title since their last success under former coach Ronald Koeman. Victory over Twente also secured a measure of revenge after the team from the eastern city of Enschede defeated the Amsterdam side 3-2 after extra time in last weekend's Dutch Cup final. Ajax's title success caps a season in which the club experienced numerous off-field problems, with persistent reports of friction between the board and sporting director Johan Cruyff, emblem of the great Ajax side of the 1970s. Coach Martin Jol resigned in December, with the team six points off the pace in the title race, and at the start of this year the board stepped down en masse to allow Cruyff to assemble a new management hierarchy. De Boer subsequently left his position as assistant to national team coach Bert van Marwijk in order to succeed Jol and rescue Ajax from another trophyless campaign. De Boer, who won five national championships during his time on Ajax's playing staff, recently signed a contract committing him to the club until 2014. "We opted for a new philosophy, based on coaching and youth, which has always been behind the club's success," explained de Boer. "I'm pleased to see that our new policy has borne fruit so quickly."--AFP AMSTERDAM: Ajax Amsterdam soccer players celebrate with the trophy, after winning the Dutch soccer League at the Arena stadium. Ajax won the last match of the season against FC Twente, 2-0. --AP Rangers retain Scottish title LONDON: Rangers sent manager Walter Smith into retirement on a high after securing the Scottish Premier League title for the third successive year yesterday. A 5-1 win at Kilmarnock, which featured a Kyle Lafferty hat-trick, ensured Rangers finished a point ahead of bitter Glasgow rivals Celtic whose 4-0 win over Motherwell proved academic. Smith, 63, will be replaced in the Ibrox hotseat by his assistant Ally McCoist. Smith's two spells in charge of Rangers yielded 10 titles, including seven consecutive championships in the 1990s. He also managed Scotland between 2004 and 2007 and had a four-year spell in charge of Ever ton in the Premier League. "It's fantastic, we deserved to win the title," Smith told Sky Sports. "I set the players a challenge not to lose any of our last 10 games (after losing at home to Dundee United on April 2) and they responded." It was a bitter league finale for Celtic manager Neil Lennon, who was attacked by a man during his team's match against Hear ts in Edinburgh on Wednesday. The incident was the latest in a succession of problems for the former Northern Ireland and Celtic captain Lennon, who has received death threats on several occasions and retired from international football because of them. Last month parcel bombs sent to Lennon and two high-profile Celtic supporters were intercepted. The acrimony between Celtic, who have a predominantly Catholic fan base and Rangers, whose suppor ters are mainly Protestant, is long-running and deep-seated. Lennon and Celtic can still end the season with some silverware if they beat Motherwell in next weekend's Scottish Cup final.--Reuters A e niv rsar n LONDON: Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey (left) and Aston Villa's Stewart Downing vie for the ball during their English Premier League soccer match at the Emirates Stadium. -- AP Arsenal undone by Bent Arsenal 1 goal since arriving at Villa from Sunderland during the January transfer window. James Collins played a free-kick forward and Vermaelen slipped to allow Ashley Young time to threat his pass through the Arsenal defence. Bent had raced in front of Bacary Sagna and finished through Szczesny's legs. Arsenal would inevitably see more of the ball as they looked for a goal to get back in the game. Villa tried to close them down quickly and it led to Nigel Reo-Coker getting booked when he was late on Jack Wilshere. The hosts felt they should have had a penalty when Aaron Ramsey was played through by Wilshere. The Wales midfielder just had goalkeeper Brad Friedel to beat but Richard Dunne raced back and put his opponent off his stride while also missing the ball. Ramsey protested but referee Michael Oliver waving play on. Arsenal's frustrations grew shortly after the penalty appeal when Van Persie hit the frame of the goal. The Holland striker, captain for the day in Fabregas's absence, received Wilshere's pass and tricked his way around Collins before beating Friedel with his finish but the ball hit the post. Wenger's team were jeered off at the break and the Arsenal manager took drastic action in an attempt to change the game. With France manager Laurent Blanc watching in the stands, Squillaci was taken off at the break, with striker Marouane Chamakh coming on in his place. With Alex Song dropping to centreback, Villa had a chance with less than a minute of the second half gone when Bent got behind the Arsenal defence again, but Szczesny was down to save. Andrey Arshavin fired a shot straight at Friedel, the veteran goalkeeper also saved bravely when Kieran Gibbs was sent through, while Van Persie fired over from the edge of the area. Chamakh had a goal ruled out for a push on Walker, before Van Persie finished from close range in the 89th minute. -- AFP y Years S P ORT S MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Chelsea's misery worsens Chelsea 2 Newcastle 2 Aston Villa 2 LONDON: Arsenal were jeered off the pitch at the end of their final home game of the season after Darren Bent's double earned a 2-1 victory for Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium yesterday. Many fans had left well before the final whistle when the boos started, then some who stayed made their feelings clear during what should have been a lap of appreciation from Arsene Wenger's team. The Gunners had pulled a goal back through Robin van Persie but defeat opens the door for Manchester City to finish above them, with fourth place bringing with it a tricky Champions League qualifier in pre-season, and the home supporters were far from happy with the latest defeat in a miserable second half of the campaign. The hosts were dealt a blow before kickoff when Cesc Fabregas, their skipper, was ruled out with a thigh injury and France midfielder Samir Nasri was also sidelined as he had not recovered from a hamstring complaint. Centre-back Thomas Vermaelen did make his first appearance since September following an Achilles injury but his presence in the Arsenal defence hardly stabilised them as Villa, now completely safe from relegation danger, raced into an early lead. The opening goal came after 11 minutes from a ball over the top of the defence by England full-back Kyle Walker, with Bent peeling away from Sebastien Squillaci. Bent still had work to do but he executed his finish by controlling the ball on the chest and steering a volley beyond Wojciech Szczesny and into the top corner. It got worse for Arsenal four minutes later when Bent doubled the lead for his ninth LONDON: Chelsea's pain at losing their Premier League title to Manchester United was compounded by Steven Taylor's addedtime header that secured a 2-2 draw for Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge here yesterday. This result threw open the race for second place and ensured Chelsea, who finish the season away to Everton next weekend, failed to end their home campaign on a high. Blues manager Carlo Ancelotti, whose position will be reviewed at the end of the season, had urged his side to bounce back after the disappointment of losing their title to United, who secured a record 19th English championship with a 1-1 draw away to Blackburn on Saturday. But Chelsea were twice pulled back after taking the lead with Jonas Gutierrez deflecting in a Ryan Taylor free -kick to cancel out Branislav Ivanovic's second minute opening goal and Steven Taylor replying after Alex had put the home side ahead in the 83rd minute. United's success had removed any lingering doubt about the outcome of the title race and ensured there would be a distinct end of season atmosphere at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea returned after last weekend's 2-1 defeat by Sir Alex Ferguson's side. Ancelotti gave Fernando Torres another chance to finally kick-start his Blues career in place of Didier Drogba. The Spain striker, who has LONDON: Newcastle United's goalkeeper Tim Krul (right) punches the ball away from Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic (second right) and Alex (third right) during their English Premier League soccer match. -- AP scored just once for his new club since his Januar y move from Liverpool, could at least claim an assist, heading on Frank Lampard' s corner at the near post before Ivanovic bundled the ball home from close range. With club owner Roman Abramovich watching from the stands, it looked for a brief while as though Chelsea would take the opportunity to end their home campaign in style. The early momentum quickly disappeared, however, as Newcastle forced their way back into the game, albeit fortunately, and then settled to nullify the home side's threat. The visitors were helped on their way by another costly defensive error from Chelsea, mirroring their problems against United. Alex, in for Luiz, attempted to find John Terry but underhit his pass and the Chelsea captain was forced to foul Peter Lovenkrands after the Newcastle striker nipped in, collecting a caution in the process. Taylor lined up the resulting free kick 25 yards out and his shot found its way into Petr Cech's net after a deflection off Gutierrez's back wrong-footed the keeper. Newcastle were now level with 10 minutes on the clock and they almost scored a second six minutes later when Cech spilled the ball under pressure from striker Shola Ameobi. But neither side was able to create another first half chance of note with Chelsea's lack of cutting edge highlighted by the laboured efforts of Torres and Nicolas Anelka. The second half was little better although a 61st minute Taylor freekick forced Cech to react smartly. Ancelotti had seen enough and three minutes later the Italian made a triple substitution, introducing the old guard of Drogba, Michael Essien and Florent Malouda but to little effect until Alex headed home from Lampard's free k ick. But Taylor 's header brought Newcastle back level and added to the pressure on Ancelotti. --AFP Spurs sink Liverpool to take control of race for Europe LIVERPOOL: Tottenham are within touching disLiverpool 0 tance of qualifying for the Europa League after moving above Liverpool with a 2-0 win at Anfield yesTottenham 2 terday. It was meant to be a day of celebration for the Reds after Kenny Dalglish on Thursday signed a new threeyear deal to become permanent manager of Liverpool for the second time. But Tottenham didn't read the script with goals in either half from Rafael Van der Vaart and a controversial Luka Modric penalty sealing a win that took them back into fifth spot. With one game remaining, Tottenham's fate is in their own hands after a result few saw coming as Liverpool's five-match unbeaten run came to an end. Tottenham now know that a win on the final-day at home to relegation-threatened Birmingham will be enough to confirm their place in Europe for next season. Dalglish has transformed the club's fortunes since taking over in January, with Liverpool's new owners having been fortunate to stumble upon a winning formula they could scarcely have imagined after replacing Roy Hodgson. Yet Tottenham, who knew they had to win to keep alive their hopes of leapfrogging their Merseyside hosts, began like a side throwing caution to the wind. As Liverpool struggled to get out the blocks, Tottenham surged into an early lead through van der Vaart in the ninth minute. Anfield was silenced as Modric's corner was partially cleared and the Dutch midfielder, via a slight deflection off Glen Johnson, saw 20-yards shot sail past Pepe Reina. Liverpool's frustration was evident, with Luis Suarez even fortunate to escape with just a yellow card after striking Michael Dawson while the defender was on the floor. Such was Liverpool's lethargy, it took until the 34th minute before the home side had their first serious effort on goal. And then Jay Spearing's shot wide from 20 yards out summed up their showing. Andy Carroll, back in the Liverpool team after injury, drew groans around the ground as he mistimed his header following Martin Skrtel's cross. Liverpool were finding their feet though and in Suarez they had a player capable of turning the game. The Uruguayan was a menace for the visitors in the first half and his free-kick on the stroke of half-time flew inches wide of Carlo Cudicini's right-hand post. Van der Vaart's 14 goals following his arrival from Real Madrid have made him one of the most astute signings of the season. But his injury woes show no sign of ending and he limped off moments after the restart. Despite the loss of their playmaker, Tottenham increased their lead within minutes thanks to Modric's controversial penalty in the 56th minute. John Flanagan appear to go shoulder to shoulder with Steven Pienaar, but referee Howard Webb incensed the home fans by pointing to the spot, with Modric slotting home the penalty. --AFP LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose (top) takes a tumble over Liverpool's John Flanagan, during the English Premier League match. -- AP EPL Results/Standings Arsenal 1 (Van Persie 89) Aston Villa 2 (Bent 11, 15); Birmingham 0 Fulham 2 (Hangeland 5, 49); Chelsea 2 (Ivanovic 2, Alex 83) Newcastle 2 (Gutierrez 10, Taylor 90); Liverpool 0 Tottenham 2 (Van der Vaart 9, Modric 56-pen); Wigan 3 (N'Zogbia 57, 90, Sammon 68) West Ham 2 (Ba 12, 26). Played Saturday Blackburn 1 (Emerton 20) Manchester United 1 (Rooney 73-pen); Blackpool 4 (Campbell 9, 45, Puncheon 19, Adam 63) Bolton 3 (Davies 6, Taylor 24, Sturridge 53); Sunderland 1 (Sessegnon 34) Wolverhampton 3 (Craddock 22, Fletcher 54, Elokobi 78); West Brom 1 (Mulumbu 10) Everton 0. LONDON: Wigan Athletic's Charles N'Zogbia (right) fights for the ball against West Ham's Scott Parker during their English Premier League soccer match. -- AP N'Zogbia revives Wigan as West Ham go down Wigan 3 English Premier League table after yesterday's matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): English Premier League table Man Utd Chelsea Arsenal Man City Tottenham Liverpool Everton Fulham Stoke 37 22 11 4 37 37 36 37 37 37 37 36 21 19 19 15 17 12 11 13 8 10 8 14 7 15 15 7 West Ham 2 WIGAN: West Ham United were relegated from the Premier League at the DW Stadium here yesterday as they squandered a two-goal lead to allow Wigan Athletic to pull off an incredible 3-2 victory. Avram Grant's side needed a victory if they were to stand any mathematical chance of avoiding the drop and looked to be on their way to attaining it thanks to two Demba Ba headers in the first half. But two goals from Charles N'Zogbiathe second an injury-time winner-and a Conor Sammon effort condemned the London side to the Championship. Victory meant Wigan could yet stay up if they get a draw or better at Stoke City on the final day of the season next weekend. A fraught opening saw Wigan dominate the early stages but that all changed after 12 minutes when Ba bril- liantly headed in from Thomas Hitzlsperger's whipped-in cross. Wigan's biggest fault this season has been their inability to really penetrate and threaten opposition teams when it matters most and that problem was in evidence again in the first half. And it did not take visitors West Ham long to punish them even further as they doubled their advantage after 26 minutes, prompting some Wigan fans to leave before half-time was even in sight. After a period of sustained Wigan pressure, West Ham raced to the other end and again made the most of Wigan's sloppy defending as Hitzlsperger's cross was flicked on by James Tomkins at the near post, with Senegal striker Ba in the right place to bundle in with his head. Wigan were booed off at half-time and that prompted manager Rober to Martinez into bringing Sammon and Victor Moses off the bench for the second half in a bid to rescue thee Latics' seasonand that is exactly what Wigan did. They were given the first glimmer of hope just before the hour when N'Zogbia curled home a marvellous free-kick from 20yards, and that gave Wigan the encouragement to keep attacking with wonderfully exciting consequences. --AFP 74 35 77 -- champions 8 69 32 71 8 70 41 67 9 55 33 65 8 53 45 59 13 59 43 58 10 50 45 51 11 47 41 48 16 46 44 46 Bolton 37 West Brom 37 Newcastle 37 Aston Villa 37 Sunderland 37 Blackburn 37 W'hampton 37 Birmingham 37 Blackpool 37 Wigan 37 West Ham 37 12 12 11 11 11 10 11 8 10 8 7 10 10 12 12 11 10 7 15 9 15 12 15 15 14 14 15 17 19 14 18 14 18 52 54 46 53 68 46 53 54 45 47 59 45 42 56 44 43 57 40 44 63 40 36 56 39 53 74 39 39 61 39 43 67 33 -- relegated Birmingham in deep trouble Birmingham 0 Fulham 2 game of the season and remain above the bottom three only on goal difference heading into next Sunday's match at Tottenham. The League Cup holders are level on points with third bottom Blackpool and second bottom Wigan, setting the stage for a nerve-shredding finale. Blackpool are away to Manchester United in their last match, while Wigan travel to Stoke. Only poor finishing prevented Fulham from at least doubling the final victory margin as Bobby Zamora, Andy Johnson and Clint Dempsey tormeted the Birmingham defence. To add to Birmingham's woes, Lee Bowyer, Stuart Parnaby and Martin Jiranek all had to be substituted through injury and then Alexander Hleb limped off to leave them playing with 10 men for the final 13 minutes. Dempsey missed a great chance to put Fulham ahead after two minutes. Johnson sent a low ball across the six-yard area and Dempsey spooned his shot over the bar with the goal at his mercy. Blues looked nervous and Ben Foster had to parry aside a massive clearance from Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer at full stretch. But from the resulting corner defender Hangeland put the Cottagers in front from Jon Greening's corner. Fulham were threatening to score every time they ventured forward and Johnson glanced a header wide from Greening's cross. The Cottagers came close to doubling their lead after half an hour when Zamora crashed a header against the post from a Greening free-kick. City almost levelled after 34 minutes when Jiranek's flick grazed the outside of a post from Parnaby's left-wing centre. But Fulham were soon back on top as Zamora missed two great chances. --AFP BIRMINGHAM: Birmingham's bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League will go down to the final day of the season after Brede Hangeland's double gave Fulham a 2-0 win at St Andrew's yesterday. Alex McLeish's side produced a woeful display in their last home MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 18 Djokovic stuns Nadal to win Italian Open 19 Page 16 Chelsea's misery worsens in EPL Liu Xiang wins 110m hurdles in Shanghai SPAIN: Barcelona's players celebrate after winning the Spanish League trophy 2011 after the Spanish League football match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo at Camp Nou stadium. --AFP Ronaldo equals Spanish goal record MADRID: Portuguese goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo equalled the alltime league record of 38 goals with a brace in Real Madrid's 3-1 victory at Villarreal yesterday. Ronaldo made it nine goals in his last three games with a 22nd minute free-kick and a last minute strike to stay on course to pick up the Pichichi trophy for the league's top-scorer. Barcelona's Lionel Messi, his nearest rival, has 31 La Liga goals. Ronaldo's 38-goal tally equals the all-time best record set by Athletic Bilbao's Telmo Zarra in 1951 and matched by Real's iconic Mexican striker Hugo Sanchez in 1990. And he has the final game of the season to set a new record. Newly-crowned champions Barcelona had their eye on the Champions League final against Manchester United on May 28 as they rested stars in a dull 0-0 draw against Deportivo La Coruna at Camp Nou. The visitors performed the traditional guard of honor to salute the league champions, who secured the title on Wednesday with a 1-1 draw against Levante, although most of the Barcelona stars were on the bench. Deportivo were fighting relegation and undoubtedly happy to see Messi and company watching from the sidelines and they claimed a valuable point in their bid to beat the drop. Deportivo, league champions in 2000, are one point above the bottom three heading into the final game next weekend. Elsewhere Valencia clinched third place for the second successive season with a 0-0 draw against derby rivals Levante. Valencia earn direct qualification for the Champions League, while fourth-placed Villarreal must negotiate a two-legged qualifier. The battle for the two Europa League places will go to the final match of the season with Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla all locked on 55 points. Bilbao had been in the box seat in fifth with a two point advantage over their rivals but a 1-1 draw against 10man Malaga surrendered their cushion. Atletico defeated already-relegated Hercules 2-1 at home as manager Quique Sanchez Flores said goodbye to the Atletico fans in his final game at the Vicente Calderon. Flores, who led the club to Europa League glory last season, confirmed he was leaving the club in the buildup and signed off with three points although Atletico are behind Sevilla and Bilbao on the head to head record. Sevilla climbed above Bilbao into fifth with a 3-1 win over Real Sociedad thanks to a brace from veteran Mali forward Frederic Kanoute. At the bottom of the table the tense relegation battle is set to go the wire with seven teams still fighting for sur vival. With Almeria and Hercules already relegated, there is just one place left and Real Zaragoza are currently third from bottom despite a 1-0 win over Espanyol. Zaragoza are one point behind Depor tivo and Getafe with Real Sociedad, Real Mallorca and Osasuna all two points ahead of Zaragoza. Levante are three points above the drop zone but could still go down on the head to head ruling if they lose to Zaragoza when the two teams meet on the final day of the season.--AFP Australia defeat Pakistan to win Sultan Azlan Shah Cup KUALA LUMPUR: World champions Australia won the 20th edition of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup yesterday beating Pakistan 3-2 through a golden goal in extra-time. Australia took the lead in the 11th minute through Christopher Ciriello off their second penalty corner, but the goal only served to spur on Pakistan who went in search of the equaliser. It came in the 31st minute off their second penalty corner attempt by Sohail Abbas whose powerful drag flick had goalkeeper George Bazeley well beaten. Australia regained the lead in the 44th minute through a field goal by Glenn Turner, only for Rahan Butt draw Pakistan level with an equaliser on 61 minutes sending the match into addedtime. Both teams had their chances to score the golden goal but it was Australia who prevailed through a Ciriello winner to give Australia their sixth Sultan Azlan Shah Cup title. Pakistan's manager K. M. Junaid was happy with the performance of the players but was anguished at his side's failure to take their chances to grab the winner. "It was a good showing by the players and they played one of the best matches here. It shows that despite having a young team we can play good hockey and the young players are maturing fast," he said. Pakistan had the consolation of adding two individual awards to their silver medal. Shakeel Abbasi was named the best player of the tournament while Sohail Abbas was the joint top scorer with India's Rupinder Singh at six goals each. Meanwhile, Great Britain bounced back from a lethargic start to beat New Zealand 4-2 and finish third in the tournament held in Ipoh, the capital of northern Perak state. New Zealand were the early aggressors against Great Britain for third place, forcing a penalty corner in the fourth minute. Andrew Hayward had the ball in the net but it was ruled-out. The Kiwis struck off their second penalty corner as Hayward played the ball towards the goal and pusher Stephen Jenness rushed in for a neat deflection that sailed over the outstretched goalkeeper. But Great Britain levelled in the 34th minute and then took the lead in the 51st minute through Robert Moore. Richard Smith sent in a low flick from a penalty corner that put his team 3-1 ahead while Matthew Daly added the fourth in the 65th minute. Blair Hilton netted New Zealand's second in the 69th minute but it was clearly Great Britain's game. British coach Jason Lee was pleased with the team's second half effort. "The players did better once they had equalised and the pressure came off them. We are happy that we finished third and it will motivate the players to work harder at their game," he said. Last year's joint champions South Korea and India battled it out for fifth spot in a repeat of 2010's washed-out final with the Koreans prevailing in a 2-1 victory.--AFP ITALY: AC Milan players hold the Scudetto trophy after winning the Italian football Serie A title at San Siro stadium Milan.--AFP Milan lift Serie A trophy MILAN: AC Milan goaded rivals Inter Milan by displaying a banner reading "18 titles all on the pitch" as the Rossoneri celebrated their scudetto triumph with a bus tour through the city before a 4-1 win over Cagliari on Saturday. Milan, who won their first championship since 2004 last weekend, delighted thousands of flag-waving fans in the main square by using the sign to remind Inter one of their 18 titles was won in a courtroom in the 2006 matchfixing scandal. Inter, who went on to win four more titles in a row, finished third that year but were declared Serie A winners after Juventus were demoted in the `Calciopoli' affair and second-placed Milan had points deducted. Saturday's other game saw Lazio's Brazilian midfielder Hernanes score twice in a 4-2 home win over Genoa to lift his side into the fourth Champions League qualifying spot. Another weekend of matches remain in Italy but the San Siro game meant nothing with Cagliari wallowing in midtable so a party atmosphere was assured from the off, despite Milan missing out on a double by losing to Palermo in Tuesday's Cup semi. Brazil's Robinho scored twice in the first half to add a samba rhythm to the festivities while Gennaro Gattuso, in bother for a foul-mouthed rant against Inter coach and ex-Milan boss Leonardo last weekend, popped up with a rare goal in between. Andrea Cossu pulled one back for Cagliari, bossed by former Milan hero Roberto Donadoni and the previous employers of Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri, but the celebrations were not to be dampened as a sea of red and black clad fans sang their hearts out. Clarence Seedorf, one of a number of elder statesmen at Milan whose contracts are up, bagged the fourth after the break while Filippo Inzaghi received a standing ovation after making his comeback from a knee injury sustained in November. Milan were awarded the Serie A trophy amid a fanfare after the match with proud owner and Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi in attendance. "I above all wanted the lads to finish off in style at home, in front of the fans and the club president who came to see his team, and they've done it in the best of ways," Allegri told reporters. Lazio, who visit struggling Lecce in their final game next weekend, moved to 63 points but Udinese and AS Roma can go back above Edy Reja's side on Sunday if they win at Chievo and Catania respectively in their penultimate fixtures. --AFP IPOH: Australia field hockey team celebrate with their trophy after winning the finals of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup between Pakistan and Australia. --AFP A e niv rsar n Markets swing amid higher risk aversion Page 23 y Years KSE stocks drop amid looming suspension Page 24 MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Motorola XOOM from VIVA for KD99 Page 25 Baglioni Hotels Group to invest in Kuwait Page 22 MACAU: A general view of Galaxy Macau is seen in Macau yesterday. The Galaxy Macau, a multibillion-dollar casino resort complex, opened yesterday as Macau aims to draw a broader mix of visitors than the highrolling mainland Chinese who have helped the city become the world's most lucrative gambling market. -- AP (See Page 25) Obama warns of worse crisis over debt ceiling Issue could `unravel' financial system � White House, Republicans in debate WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama warned Congress that failing to raise the US debt limit could lead to a worse financial crisis and economic recession than 2008-09 if investors began doubting US creditworthiness. In remarks recorded last week and broadcast by CBS News yesterday, Obama repeated his stance that Republicans should not link the debt ceiling decision to spending cuts as part of deficit-reducing measures. "If investors around the world thought that the full faith and credit of the United States was not being backed up, if they thought that we might renege on our IOUs, it could unravel the entire financial system," Obama told a CBS News town-hall meeting. "We could have a worse recession than we already had, a worse financial crisis than we already had." The White House and congressional Republicans are locked in a debate over the deficit and the debt ceiling. The Treasur y Depar tment is expected to hit its $14.3 trillion borrowing limit today, making it unable to access bond markets again. Republican leaders, who have said they agree the limit must be raised, say they will not approve a further increase in borrowing authority without steps to keep debt under control. A deal may not emerge for several months. The Treasury Department says it can stave off default until Aug. 2 by drawing on other sources of money to pay its bills. Obama said he was committed to deficit reduction but discouraged a link between that and the debt limit. "Let's not have the kind of linkage where we're even talking about not raising the debt ceiling. That's going to get done," he said. "But let's get serious about deficit reduction." A report from the think tank Third Way to be released today supports Obama's warnings. It says the United States could plunge back into recession if inaction in Washington forced a debt default, with some 640,000 US jobs vanishing, stocks falling and lending activity tightening. Vice President Joe Biden is leading talks between the White House and lawmakers over how to reduce massive US budget deficits and raise the credit limit. He told reporters on Thursday that progress was being made but it was too early to be optimistic about a deal. -- Reuters IMF head's arrest casts shadow on bailout BERLIN: The arrest of IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn complicates a key European meeting on whether to give Greece billions more in aid -- but analysts said one man's troubles won't keep the 17 euro-zone nations from trying to contain a debt crisis that threatens them all. Euro-zone financial leaders are to discuss Greece's deteriorating economy today at a Brussels meeting where they will be briefed by an expert team assessing the situation in Athens. Key questions include what conditions to put on more help, with European leaders unhappy at what they say see as limited Greek efforts to raise money by selling government property. Strauss-Kahn was arrested yesterday on suspicion of sexual assault on a hotel maid in New York. The IMF said in a statement it remains "fully functioning and operational." The arrest scratched Strauss-Kahn's meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, where the German public is deeply skeptical about putting up any more money for Greece, which received a 110 billion euros ($157 billion) bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund last year. Merkel has stressed her government will need clear conditions on any new Greek loans before backing more help. But German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has conceded that if the expert's full report in June shows Greece can't pay its debts, something more will have to be done. The International Monetary Fund put up 30 billion euros ($43 billion) of that Greek loan. The Washington, DC-based organization also supplies expertise in assessing whether Greece and other countries that get emergency loans are living up to the conditions attached to them, such as getting deficits under control. Many investors believe that Greece's financial troubles are so overwhelming that a Greek default or a restructuring that would give creditors less than the full value of their bonds is inevitable. But that would be a serious blow to the euro, and euro-zone governments and the European Central Bank appear determined to prevent it. A 78 billion euros ($111 billion) bailout for Portugal is also on the agenda for today's meeting in Brussels, as is Ireland's progress in dealing with the financial morass that led to its own EU-IMF bailout. With the terms of the Portuguese bailout largely decided, EU finance ministers are expected to signal approval of that deal. Although Greece is also the agenda, a new bailout announcement was not expected at this meeting. Instead, a general statement of support may come followed by days or weeks of more haggling. Marco Valli, chief euro-zone economist at UniCredit, said he expected a decision on more help for Greece in the near future but not today. "There is no way that just because the IMF's chief gets into personal trouble that Greece would be left alone," Valli said. "Maybe it can have some impact on timing, but our view is that this is not going to have a meaningful impact on the bottom line, which is that Greece would get a second bailout package." Greek government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis also downplayed the impact of StraussKahn's arrest. --AP NEW YORK: A doorman loads luggage for guests at the Sofitel Hotel where the International Monetary Fund managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn allegedly sexually assaulted a maid yesterday.--AFP KGL, three others win $870m logistics deal KUWAIT: Kuwaiti logistics firm KGL said yesterday that one of its units has won an $870 million logistics contract with the US Army along with three other companies. Also known as Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport Co, KGL said in July 2010 that the U.S. government had agreed to look into an objection filed by the company regarding the award of a military supply contract to its competitor, Anham. KGL said that Anham did not meet the minimum bidding requirements for the contract. "One of the units... has won with three other firms the Heavy Lift 7 contract with the US army in areas of Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia worth $870 million, for five years starting September 2011," KGL said in a statement on the Kuwaiti bourse website yesterday. KGL said it could not specify its share of the contract because it depends on the army's needs. In March, KGL said it signed a four-year storage contract with the US military worth $157 million. The firm's shares were up 9 percent at 0800 GMT on the Kuwaiti bourse, after it made the announcement. -- Reuters Zain Kuwait Launches `eeZee Unlimited International SMS' KUWAIT: Zain Kuwait has launched "eeZee unlimited international sms" its latest eeZee lines campaign that lets all prepaid customers make unlimited international sms' to any destination from their eeZee line. Zain, which maintains the leading position in the Kuwaiti mobile communications market, announced that this service will definitely help the eeZee community, especially the expat community to keep in touch with their families. "The launch of this campaign will see Zain adopt a new attitude to its valued customers, in particular those in the prepaid segment." "Zain has once again changed the customer's perception of their mobile phone, a device that has become a magical multifunctional in our daily life. This package complements the recently launched Unlimited Packages by offering international SMS services for eeZee customers, by launching unlimited, low-cost, sms packages to any international destinations . "This campaign offers different bundles tailored to each customer needs," A KD 0.750 subscription allows the customer unlimited international SMS, for one day. Every customer selecting the KD3.00 subscription can enjoy these benefits for one week, while the KD 9.00 allows unlimited usage for a month. To benefit from this offering, prepaid customers simply need to send a sms containing the letter "T" to 999. A e niv rsar n Years BUSINESS Time to quit? Do it gracefully! Bayt.com report o u've c a re f u lly we ig h e d t h e pros and cons and have decided the time has come to quit your job and move on? The career experts at the Bayt.com ,the Middle East's #1 jobsite, share their key tips to a graceful resignation below. Announce your resignation professionally: Be very professional and tactful in announcing your resignation and make sure you go through the proper channels of command resigning to your immediate boss first and then announcing your departure to your peers and colleagues. Do not let word of your intention to depart filter through the grapevine before you have announced your intentions to your boss. Give sufficient notice: Consult your company's policies and procedures for the proper notice period and make sure you give sufficient notice. If the company asks you to stay a little longer you are under no obligation to but if you have no other pressing priorities it may be a good idea to prolong your stay as a gesture of goodwill to ease the transition and complete any unfinished tasks. Write a letter of resignation: Always follow your verbal resignation with a written resignation letter. Make this short, tactful, professional and to the point. Your resignation letter should be sued as an added opportunity to maintain a positive rapport with your old employer; it should not be sued as an opportunity to voice grievances or vent any bad feelings you have towards the company. Ask for a reference letter: You don't want to wait till you need a reference to ask for one as people you work with leave and in time you may lose track of them and the stellar work you did for them may be forgotten. Use your resignation time while you are still fresh in the company's mind to ask for all the references you need so you have them in hand when you do need them. Offer to help find a replacement: One gesture of good will is to offer to help find a replacement for yourself. This is usually very well-received as no one knows the intricacies of your job better than you do and you are likely to have more time to devote to the task than anyone else. Do a proper hand- over: Make sure your work is well-documented, all outstanding tasks and projects are assigned to the relevant parties and you have done all you can to ease the transition. Make your handover documentation as informative, detailed and polished as possible so you look good to your successor, bosses and peers well after your departure. Finish important projects: Don't leave any loose strings. Make sure all important projects are completed or 22 y MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Y Guido Polito Interior of one of the group's hotels showing the unique internal design approach. Baglioni Hotels Group seeks to invest in Kuwait Group to introduce boutique hotel concept KUWAIT: The Baglioni Hotels Group seeks to make use of the investment opportunities available in the hospitality industry in Kuwait and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The group is looking to enter the Kuwait market with the hope of improving the hospitality services. In a statement made recently to the press, CEO of the Italianbased firm Baglioni Guido Polito acknowledged that there is a "great chance" for the Baglioni Hotels to expand in Kuwait and GCC countries "especially in the services field that is one of the most lucrative sources of national income to the countries in the region". "The Baglioni Group has allocated a specialized department to its sales in the GCC markets", said Polito during his first visit to Kuwait. He indicated that this department is chaired by Faisal Al-Rashid "who is helping cement the `Boutique Hotel' concept which the group introduces Lama Ataya, Chief Marketing Officer, Bayt.com reassigned. You will be remembered positively if you have allowed for a smooth, professional and effortless transition. If you have no immediate next job or assignment that awaits you, offer to stay longer until that important deal or project is closed. Even if you must rush off to your next job after the notice period, you can choose to offer to be available by phone or email or during weekends for a little while after your departure to ease the transition if the company needs you. Don't bad-mouth the company: Make sure you leave on good terms and do not burn any bridges. You may well end up working with the same team in some capacity or other in the future or needing their reference so do not take your resignation a s a n o p p o r t u n i t y to b a d - m o u t h bosses or colleagues no matter what you really think of them. Don't leave your office in a mess: Clear your office, computer and files before you depart and leave nothing personal behind. Make sure your files are in order and your office, desk and drawers are clean, orderly and ready to be handed over to your successor. If you are not a very organized person by nature, make an extra effor t to leave your house in order before you depart so as to leave a positive lasting impression. Do say good-bye to your colleagues: Don't leave abruptly - make sure you say your friendly goodbyes to all the people you have shared your days with. Emphasize the positive when you bid your farewells and do not use this as an opportunity to boast about your new pay packet or dig up old grievances or traumas. Leave your peers your contact details so they can choose to stay in touch with you in the future. and the region lacks". " We noticed that the majority of hotels in the Middle East adopt the `standard hotel' concept which is different from the concept we adopt and try to introduce to the region," he added. A Baglioni Group hotel The Baglioni Group manages hotels with a number of rooms ranging from 70 to 120, and adopts a special approach in internal design that according to Polito "gives customers the feel that they are at their homes". Polito also asser ted that his group focuses on their expan sion p l a ns i n t he Gul f region by b ol ste r i ng l oc a l awareness regarding the importance of hotel services in the local economy. Commercial Bank holds Al-Najma Account Draw KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait held the AlNajma Account draw yesterday. The draw was held under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry represented by Abdulaziz Ashkanani. Winners of the Al Najma draw No Names KD 1 Mohammed Mahmoud Abd Rabbah Ali 7000 2 Salem Faleh Onaifes Ashwan Al-Shemmari 7000 3 Ezzat Majed Jasim Bouresly 7000 4 Khaled Hussain Salman Al-Hefy 7000 5 Ali Mohsen Youad Al-Harby 7000 The Commercial Bank of Kuwait announces the biggest daily draw in Kuwait with the launch of the new Najma account. Customers of the bank can now enjoy a KD 7,000 daily prize which is the highest in the country and another 4 mega prizes during the year worth KD 100,000 each on different occasions: The National Day, Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha and on the 19th of June which is the date of the bank's establishment. With a minimum balance of KD 500, customers will be eligible for the daily draw provided that the money is in the account one week prior to the daily draw or 2 months prior to the mega draw. In addition, for each KD 25 a customer can get one chance for winning instead of KD 50. All existing customers will be given a grace period till June 27 to increase their balances and until that date they will be eligible to enter the weekly draw even with amounts less than KD 500. Commercial Bank of Kuwait takes this opportunity to congratulate all lucky winners and also extends appreciation to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for their effective supervision of the draws which were conducted in an orderly and organized manner. EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds 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 .2700000 .4430000 .3860000 .3060000 .2820000 .2880000 .0040000 .0020000 .0747130 .7279070 .3810000 .0700000 .7135810 .0040000 .0430000 .2800000 .4540000 .3950000 .3170000 .2910000 .2970000 .0072500 .0035000 .0754640 .7352230 .4010000 .0770000 .7207520 .0072000 .0540000 Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound - Transfer Yemen Riyal Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham 6.400 9.142 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 73.683 75.921 717.680 733.700 75.223 ARAB COUNTRIES 47.500 46.495 1.264 201.090 390.200 183.300 5.965 35.320 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 0.033 0.244 0.244 3.510 392.210 0.187 95.210 48.300 4.340 222.700 1.874 51.700 718.080 3.330 6.620 76.480 73.810 224.180 42.540 2.683 452.500 44.900 315.300 5.800 9.530 198.263 75.380 276.800 1.260 GOLD 1,549.710 TRAVELLER'S CHEQUE 450.500 276.400 0.033 390.740 0.186 95.210 3.870 221.200 Pakistani Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Cyprus pound Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit 3.261 3.787 6.397 676.638 3.519 9.113 6.017 3.935 90.720 Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. 717.900 3.260 6.400 75.050 73.810 224.180 42.540 2.514 450.500 313.800 5.800 9.350 75.280 276.400 Currency 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 Canadian Dollars Rate per 1000 (Tran) 275.600 3.260 6.170 2.525 3.775 6.465 75.195 73.695 732.700 46.450 457.300 0.00003280 3.910 1.550 391.600 5.750 402.200 295.100 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2752000 .277300 .4457000 .4491010 .3886100 .3915750 .3083650 .3107180 .2842090 .2863780 .0521190 .0525170 .0430540 .0433830 .2909830 .2932030 .0354050 .0356750 .2209550 .2226420 .0034050 .0034310 .0000000 .0062170 .0000000 .0025320 .0000000 .0032620 .0000000 .0038120 .0749560 .0755280 .7301670 .7357390 .0000000 .3922210 .0734060 .0739660 .7149910 .7204470 .0000000 .0064870 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 276.200 Euro 394.410 Sterling Pound 451.590 Canadian dollar 290.130 Turkish lire 175.370 Swiss Franc 314.580 Australian dollar 295.810 US Dollar Buying 275.000 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram GOLD 280.000 140.000 71.000 10 Tola Sterling Pound US Dollar Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 275.650 Euro 395.800 Pound Sterling 453.200 Canadian Dollar 289.700 Japanese Yen 3.445 Indian Rupee 6.155 Egyptian Pound 46.460 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.511 3.745 Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso 6.385 Pakistan Rupee 3.250 Bahraini Dinar 734.100 UAE Dirham 75.100 Saudi Riyal 73.600 *Rates are subject to change Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound Euro Cash Hongkong dollar Indian rupees SELL CASH SELL DRAFT 298.600 297.100 735.230 735.230 4.000 3.765 290.300 288.800 543.000 14.100 53.900 167.800 224.200 47.380 46.625 394.500 393.000 36.260 36.110 6.400 6.155 Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd Rate for Transfer US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupees Indian Rupees Selling Rate 275.850 290.585 454.452 397.440 314.004 730.088 75.080 75.747 73.530 389.664 46.395 2.509 6.172 Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.474 6.147 3.238 2.511 3.845 222.290 35.547 3.766 Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka A e niv rsar n Years BUSINESS IKEA Kuwait's `What's Up in IKEA' campaign huge success KUWAIT: IKEA Kuwait recently concluded its "What's Up in IKEA" campaign that was par t of Kuwait's celebration of its 50th anniversar y of independence, 20th anniversary of liberation, and the 5th anniversary of the ascendance of H.H. the Amir to the leadership of the state. This campaign's grand draw awarded 20 lucky winners with more than KD 50,000 worth of prizes that also include 5 Volvo cars as well as other 15 cash prizes. The top 5 winners are Mansour Mahdi Krimian Kakaly, who won a Volvo XC60, Maali Khaled Matlak Al Dihani, who won a Volvo XC90, Badr Yaseen Ali Hussein Abbas, who won a Volvo XC90, Haidar Ahmad Taher Sarraf, who won a Volvo S40 and Wajih Mustafa AbdelRahim Al Hamed, who also won a Volvo S40. Present at the event was Adel Al Shamali, General Manager of IKEA Kuwait and Thamer Al Ayoub, General Manager of Volvo who both handed over the cars to the lucky winners and congratulated them. IKEA Kuwait continuously provides the complete shopping experience to its customers. 23 82.4% of Mideast professionals desire career change Bayt.com poll DUBAI: When asked about a potential career change, more than 80% of Middle East professionals firmly stated they are looking to switch their career path whereas, over 17% are clearly not willing to take the risk according to the latest online poll series conducted by the Middle East's number one job site, Bayt.com. The results of the bayt.com `Career Reinvention and the MENA Workplace' poll showed that Middle East professionals would not switch to their dream career mostly because of financial considerations (23.9%) while16.8% blamed this inertia on their risk-averse personality or their fear of the unknown; 16.2% believed that in today's market companies would simply not take the risk of hiring them; 14.5% said it was due to a lack of training or education opportunities required to effect this change; 9.9% said the lack of access to jobs in the desired new career was the main problem; and 9.4% stated that the move wasn't likely to happen because of their lack of knowledge about job opportunities in the new career. Furthermore, 3.1% of the poll participants felt a shift in their career path is unlikely to happen because of culture and social prestige considerations and 6.2% said no change was necessary as they love their current jobs. When asked what new industry they would choose if a career switch was possible, 21.5% of participants said Oil & Gas, 16.5% said Telecom/IT,14.6% chose tourism and hospitality, 9.9% said financial services, 8.2% chose management consulting; 7% voted for advertising and marketing; 6.6% said FMCG, 3.7% stated healthcare, while 1.2% chose publishing. However, 7% said they would not care to join any of the above stated industries and 3.7% said they were unsure as to what their new industry would be. Respondents were also asked what they feel most passionate about in their career. 21.4% expressed that they are most passionate about their current job and another 21.4% said it was their current industry. 15.6% felt that their existing team and environment was an intrinsic factor, 8.3% said their current company was what motivated them to stay on and 5.1% indicated they didn't want to leave because they appreciated working for their current manager. Nonetheless, a staggering 28.1% voted for none of the above elements. When asked what they are most dissatisfied about in their career, 20.5% indicated their current job, 20.1% indicated their current company, and 15.7% indicated their current manager. While 9% indicated the industry itself was the main issue. Only 11.3% believed that their current team and environment were not working out for them and the rest (23.3%) said none of the above bothered them. Asked what would most motivate them to change careers, 25.8% firmly said a better salary would be a great incentive; 18.3% claimed an opportunity to start fresh in their dream career, 12.7% said additional training and development. 17.9 % look for a promise of long term stability while 8.1% look for a better company; 4.8% specified better management as an encouraging reason; 10.2% would change to get a better workplace environment; 1.5% would look for more flexible hours, while only 0.7% felt that working with nicer employees was a main factor. The poll went on to ask the region's participants where they would like to be career-wise in 10 years. 27.9% said in a different career with a new job, company and industry. 24.1% felt they would be in the same industry and company but with a different job, and 22.6% believed having the same job in the same industry, but with a different company was something they could be doing in 10 years. 16.6% said they could have the same job 10 years from now, but in a different company and industry and a further 8.7% were not sure of what their future held for them. Participants were also asked if they had ever changed their career in the past.. 42.4% of the respondents said no; 30.3% stated they have only once; 11% confirmed that they have already made the change twice; whereas 16.3% claimed they have switched their path more than twice in the span of their career. Respondents' answers also varied when asked how often they changed their jobs. 31.5% stated they have never changed their job till date; 10.1% claimed to have switched jobs once every year or less; 15.1% stated once every two years; 14.3% said once every three years; 15.2% said every four to five years; and 9.5% claimed changing jobs every six to 10 years. The rest of the respondents (4.2%) only changed every 11 to 15 years. "Bayt.com is known as the number one job site in the Middle East, and we are devoted to studying and evaluating data that can help both our employees and employers," said Lama Ataya, Chief Marketing Officer, Bayt.com, "With the Career Reinvention poll we are seeking to further gain insights into what motivates regional professionals to stay in certain careers, which careers are most popular and what factors would induce MENA professionals to change careers altogether. These results will help us at Bayt.com provide an even better platform for professionals pursuing a new and better professional career and employers seeking to source and retain top talent." When asked how often they intend to change jobs in the future, an amazing 49.1% stated they would hopefully never do that; 15.3% said they would do it once every four to five years, 11.6% claimed they would do it once every three years, 8.2% indicated once every two years, and 8.1% indicated once every six to ten years. Only 4.3% of the participants said they would change jobs once every year or less and 3.5% said they would change every 11 to 15 years." "We stand firmly by our belief that worthy working conditions not only benefit employees, but also increase their productivity, which in turn significantly benefits employers as well. In general, managers are aware that in order to get the most out of their subordinates it is helpful to create the ideal working conditions for effective productivity. At the present time, we are increasingly seeing regional companies dedicating efforts to improving their staff's working environment, which in the long-run will prove intrinsically valuable to all parties," Ataya concluded. Data for the `Career Reinvention and the MENA Workplace' poll series was collected online between April 4 and May 9, 2011, with a total of 13,361 participants from across the Middle East. This and other Middle East research, as well as information on Bayt.com's classifieds, are available online on www.bayt.com y MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Markets swing amid higher risk aversion NBK MONEY MARKETS REPORT KUWAIT: As we approach the end of QE2, the market seemed increasingly worried that fresh evidence of weaker economic growth might bring additional pressure on the deleveraging process in commodities. Markets experienced wild swings this week mainly due to non-material improvement out of Europe, weak UK Industrial Production, US unemployment claims, Australian employment and more Chinese reserve requirement ratio hikes. Commodities deleveraging seemed to have eased until Thursday when the market took precious metal and Oil another few percentage down after Shanghai Gold Exchange followed the CME move and raised Silver margins dramatically higher to control speculation. After crashing from the highs last week, Euro tried to consolidate in the beginning of the week as European officials were attempting to buy time and come up with a new "re-profiling" for Greece's debt. The currency reached a low of 1.4067 on Friday and ended the week at 1.4117. The Sterling Pound continued range trading this week with a negative bias. After reaching a high of 1.6517 on the back of a fairly balanced inflation report, GBP dropped on weaker industrial productions numbers and ended the week at 1.6197. The Yen continued its positive performance against the majors after a comment on Friday by Kaoru Yosano, Japan's economics chief, where he referred to the weakness of the Dollar rather than the strength of the Yen. After reaching a low of 81.34, JPY ended the week stronger at 80.80. Commodity currencies traded very nervously all week long, with the Australian Dollar following commodities and dropping to a low of 1.0567 to end the week at 1.0573. After reaching a high of 75.94, the Dollar Index erased its gains after a non-impressive US job report on Thursday. The index ended the week at 75.71. NFIB Small Business Optimism and Economic Optimism Index. The US Small Business survey disappointed on Tuesday, as businesses remain less optimistic about the state of the overall economy. US consumer optimism on the other hand bounced in May, registering an increase to 42.8 vs. 40.8 in April, however still well below the key 50 level. The bounce was limited given employment and geopolitical gains. The 6-month outlook rose from 38.8 to 42.3 but remains the lowest since October 2008. US Initial Jobless Claims fell less than forecasted last week, indicating that labor market and job creation is taking time to accelerate. Applications for jobless benefits decreased 44,000 in the week ended May 7 to 434,000, while economists forecasted 430,000 claims. Retail sales rose in April at the slowest pace in nine months highlighting the risks that rising gasoline prices pose for the US economy. Purchases increased 0.5%, the smallest gain since July, after a 0.9% increase in March. Spending improved at service stations and grocery stores and dropped at furniture and electronics dealers showing an increased cost allocated to essential commodities. US PPI and CPI The Producer Price Index yearon-year number had its biggest rise since late 2008. The figure came at In a statement on Thursday night, the IMF warned on the European debt crisis spreading to the core Euro zone and emerging Eastern Europe countries. The warning came as government sources in Greece said international inspectors checking on Greece's compliance with its EU/IMF rescue package had found problems and were pressing for deeper spending cuts to cover a likely revenue shortfall. Finally, the Dutch finance minister said they would have to wait for the IMF review before approving any additional aid. The report is due at the beginning of June; hence, the uncertainty is likely to remain on the market for now especially with the end of the QE2 scheduled for June. German Economy Expands More Than Expected. German GDP grew more than expected on Friday and brought some relief to the Euro. The BoE Governor King noted, "the recent pattern of revisions to the projections over the next yeardownward to growth and upward to inflation-has continued." Inflation "remains uncomfortably high and well above the 2% target. And there is a good chance that, if utility prices rise further later in the year, inflation will reach 5%". UK industrial production expanded at a slower rate than expected in March as maintenance work on oil and gas fields continued to drag on output. The disappointing figures showed output rose at 0.3% in March against economists' forecasts for a 0.8% increase. On a yearly basis, the output rose by 0.7% compared to 1.1% expectations. Manufacturing output figures came at 0.2%, also below forecasts, raising doubts about the ability of the British economy to meet its cur- 6.8% beating economists' estimates of 6.5%. US CPI increased by 0.4% in April matching economist expectations, mainly on food and fuel costs. Improving job prospects are helping consumer spending; however, the number clearly demonstrates that the rise is mainly due to the commodity price increases. Europe Greece continues to be the hot topic of the week. While European officials continue to scramble in an attempt to buy time and come up with a new "re-profiling" for the country's debt, the IMF was on the wires Friday morning mentioning it was studying the feasibility to give Greece more time to repay its debt. In a global investor poll conducted by Bloomberg, 85% of international investors believe that Greece will eventually fail to pay off its debt and will probably default. After Finland's prime minister was able to ensure parliamentary approval of the Portugal package, Europe finance ministers are set to approve a 78 billion Euro rescue plan for Portugal next Monday. number showed an increase of 5.2% and 1.5% on a yearly and quarterly basis respectively compared to a consensus of 4.5 and 0.9% respectively. German GDP expanded by 1.5% on a quarterly basis, beating consensus of 0.9%. According to the Federal Statistics Office, Q1 growth was driven by both domestic demand and net trade, with the contribution from the former exceeding that from net exports. In seasonally and calendaradjusted terms, GDP expanded by 1.5% from Q4 2010, which had been a quarter of slower growth (0.4%). While Q4 was distorted on the downside, mainly by unusually cold winter weather, which amongst others led to a huge contraction in the construction sector, Q1 output was also driven by catch-up effects in this sector. UK inflation The Bank of England released its inflation report in which it lowered the forecast for growth and raised the forecast for inflation. GBP rallied after the report was released on the assumption that the central bank would hike rates more aggressively. rent growth expectations. After attempting to consolidate in the beginning of the week, the precious metal complex continued the deleveraging process with silver dropping over 10.25% during the past five days and gold 2.09%. Silver headed for its second weekly decline, extending last week's worst drop since 1975. Shanghai Gold Exchange did not make it easy for investors by following the CME move. Indeed, in an attempt to control speculation, the exchange widened the trading band for silver contracts to 13% from 10% and raised margin requirement to 19% from 18%. After dropping over 14% the previous week, Oil continues to trade very nervously. Glencore, one of the biggest commodity dealers, helped limiting the damages by stating it received enough demand from investors for its $11 billion initial public offering to sell its shares more than twice over. Kuwait Dinar at 0.27575 The USDKWD opened at 0.27575 on Sunday morning. Aramco to double power capacity by 2015: Official Firm looks to expand its cogeneration plants DAMMAM: State oil group Saudi Aramco plans to double its power generation capacity to 4 gigawatts by 2015 as it brings new projects on stream, an Aramco executive said yesterday. "Currently we have approximately 2,000 megawatts of generating power internally ... we want ... to go to 4 to 4.5 gigawatts depending on new facilities that are coming," Ziyad AlShiha, executive director of power systems at Aramco, said at an industry conference. "We will try to generate this power in the most efficient way, reaching 75 percent, which is the highest in the world," Al-Shiha said, adding that power efficiency in the OECD countries was close to an average of 39 percent. State utility Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) had said it may revise its $80 billion investment plans in the 10 years to 2018 to boost capacity to at least 80,000 megawatts by 2020. The kingdom's water and electricity minister said on Saturday an investment of 330 billion riyals ($88 billion) is needed over the next 10 years as demand for electricity continues to grow 7 to 8 percent annually. Saudi Aramco generates power both through third-party companies that operate and produce electricity and also through its own power assets, Al-Shiha added. The company has cogeneration plants in Berri, Uthmaniyah, Qatif, Abqaiq, Riyadh, Yanbu, Jeddah, Shaybah, Juaymah, Shedgum, R as Tanura. Cogeneration lowers carbon dioxide emissions and raises energy efficiency. "Some of them are third parties, some of them are owned and operated by us," he said, adding these plants cover almost 50 percent of Aramco's power needs. "By 2015 we will be covering 100 percent." Asked about the launch of Powerco-a company which will hold the power and steam generation assets of Aramco-Al-Shiha said: "We haven't made decisions yet." If the rate of energy consumption growth is not reduced, the world's largest oil exporter could see oil available for export drop some 3 million barrels per day (bpd) to less than 7 million bpd in 2028, Khalid Al-Falih, chief executive of Aramco said last year. With demand remaining buoyant through 2030, more than 3 million barrels of oil equivalent would be burned in the power industry alone, Al-Shiha said. "Between reducing or increasing the efficiency of the supply and enhancing the efficiency of the demand, I think the kingdom can save thousands and hundreds of thousands of (barrels of ) oil equivalent," he said. The company can also save gas, used for generating power, by raising efficiency, AlShiha said. "We can make available 1 billion standard cubic feet of gas ... that is being burnt inefficiently ... that can generate mainly 6 gigawatts." --Reuters MAX paves the way for a complete customer satisfaction KUWAIT: Max, the Middle East's largest value retail brand has kept its promise of providing customers with trendy quality merchandise at reasonable price. Based on a number of testimonials and high ratings, customers have acknowledged their satisfaction with the number of services including discounts, festive season offers, bonanzas, new arrivals etc offered by the company across the various showrooms. Customers expressed their contentment with the easy accessibility of Max showrooms across all key shopping areas in Kuwait. It was also noted that every season Max came out with new trendy collections which loyal patrons look forward to. Saibal Basu, Operating Officer, Landmark Group Kuwait said "Max has always been a big hit in Kuwait and is an indication that people are getting more discerning when it comes to fashion. We combine quality and style to appeal to a broad customer base. People come to Max and find something that fits their personal style and their budget." "Our customers are very important to us and their feedback has not only helped us continue meeting their expectations but has also helped us to develop grow and expand in the region. We currently have seven Max showrooms across Kuwait; we will continue expanding in the coming years and try to serve our customers." The Max retail philosophy of providing style-conscious customers with fashion at affordable prices has gained attraction across the Middle East with continued growth expected across the region in coming years. Max offers an extensive range addressing the fashion and footwear need for both men and women at amazing value. MAX showrooms are located at Al Rai, Salmiya, Hawally, Fahaheel, Khaitan, Jahra and The Avenues. A e niv rsar n Years business 24 KSE stocks drop amid looming suspension GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange started the week with a huge drop in the major indices backed by weak performance of leading banks and telecom companies. Furthermore, 81 companies will face suspension starting from today due to not releasing their 1Q2011 financial results. This gap of information gave negative signals to investors that these companies have some problems. Global General Index (GGI), market weighted, ended the day down by 2.01 percent, at 198.83 point, its lowest reading since March 20, 2011. Market capitalization was down for the day at KD32.60bn. On the other hand, KSE Price Index closed at 6,441 point, shedding 61.50 points (0.95 percent) to its previous close. Market breadth During the session, 119 companies were traded. Market breadth was even as 78 equities retreated versus 26 that advanced. Yesterday's performance was accompanied by growing trading activity. The trades conducted in the Services sector. Total volume traded was up by 24.12 percent with 308.60mn shares changing hands at a total value of KD54.45mn (16.86 percent higher compared to the day before). The services sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 40.87 percent of total shares. The same sector was the value leader, with 38.50 percent of total traded value. Zain was the most active in terms of values of shares traded during yesterday's session with 10.24mn shares exchanged at an aggregate value of KD10.85mn. In terms of top gainers, KGL Logistics Company took the top spot for the day, adding 7.41 percent and closed at KD0.290. Kuwait National Airways Company shed 11.63 percent and closed at KD0.019, making it the biggest decliner in the market. Sector-wise Regarding sectoral performance, as measured by Global indices, they ended the day on a negative note except for Global Insurance Index which ended the day unchanged. Global Services Index was the top loser, with a 3.15 percent drop in its value, backed by heavyweight Zain Company. The scrip ending the day down by 5.45 percent as it closed at KD1.040, its lowest level since September 08, 2010. Elsewhere, Agility's scrip closed at KD0.370 down by 1.33 percent. Global Industrial Index posted a 2.04 percent decrease, making it the second biggest loser in the market. Kuwait Portland Cement Company was the top loser in the sector and y MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 KD stable at 0.275 per dollar KUWAIT: Exchange rate of the Kuwaiti dinar remained stable at KD 0.275 per dollar, and decrease against the euro, recording KD 0.389, the Central Bank of Kuwait said yesterday. The Kuwaiti dinar reduced against the pound Sterling, 0.446, remaining at the same level against the Japanese yen, at KD 0.003, and decline of KD 0.308 against the Swiss franc, Kuwait's state monetary authority said in its daily bulletin. -- KUNA Saudi bourse in talks to join MSCI index DUBAI: Saudi Arabia's stock exchange is in talks with several index providers, including influential index compiler MSCI, to become one of its component, the president of the Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) said. "The kingdom is eligible to join emerging markets indicators like some of other markets in the region," Abdul Rahman AlTuwaijri was quoted saying by Saudi's state news agency SPA yesterday. No specific time-frame or details on the talks were offered in the statement. Two other Gulf Arab states, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, are aiming to acquire an emerging market status from the MSCI in a review likely to be released next month. MSCI, a widely tracked and influential index provider, said in July last year that it would drop all indices with Saudi stocks after failed negotiations with Tadawul, the kingdom's bourse, over the licensing of information. Saudi Arabia is the largest stock market in the Gulf Arab region and fund managers have been scrambling to get an exposure in the market, considered more diverse than most other Gulf markets. -- Reuters Zimbabwe economy not ready for elections: CB ended the trading session down by 8.06 percent as it closed at KD1.140. Global Banking Index followed, shedding 1.76 percent from its value, mainly driven by National Bank of Kuwait's (NBK) decline of 3.17 percent to close at KD1.220. Kuwait International Bank followed, shedding 2.86 percent from its share price to close at KD0.340. Regarding Global's special indices, they all ended on a negative note. Global High Yield Index was the biggest decliner shedding 4.44 percent. Corporate news Global Arab Network - Capital Intelligence (CI) has announced that it has upgraded the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK) to "a-" from "bbb+". The improvement in the FSR reflects the positive effects of the substantial capital increase which took place in 2010 and in particular the consequent improvement in liquidity. The Foreign Currency Long-Term and Short-Term ratings are confirmed at the existing level of "a-" and "a2", respectively, with the Support level remaining at 2. The Outlook on all ratings is `Stable', Global Arab Network reports according to a press statement. Oil News The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $107.20 a barrel on Thursday compared with $111.35 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. HARARE: Zimbabwe's central bank chief Gideon Gono said yesterday the southern African country's economy cannot sustain an election, state media reported. "In deciding when and whether or not to hold elections, a fine balance may need to be struck between the twin objectives of politics and the economy," Gono told the state-run Sunday Mail. "Key is to be decisive and not leave the economy in a state of guesswork for far too long. Zimbabwe is not the only destination crying for investment in a world not yet fully recovered from the global financial crisis," he said. "Put differently, the economy favors no elections for now while political dynamics and imperatives may favor or dictate otherwise," he added. Zimbabwe's economy has shown signs of recovery since President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai formed a power-sharing government in 2009. That pact was aimed at ending deadly political violence sparked by their presidential run-off election in 2008. But uncertainty over new elections tipped for this year has scared off new investors, who also worry about Mugabe's threats to take over foreign firms. While President Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party have vowed to press ahead with elections this year, business leaders have also voiced concern saying the country is not ready for polls. Although no dates have been set, Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party have said elections should be held this year, while Tsvangirai and his MDC party want reforms to ensure a level playing field before the polls. Finance Minister Tendai Biti has indicated that the country cannot afford to hold elections, with election officials saying they would cost $400 million (285 million euros) to conduct. -- Reuters MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 business Commodities weekly update Energy markets hit by another risk reduction By Ole S Hansen nergy markets turned aggressively lower Wednesday and have continued downwards today. What kicked it off was surprise news from the US Department of Energy that weekly gasoline inventories rose last week by 1.27 million barrels instead of falling as expected for what would have been the twelfth consecutive weekly fall. Compounding this drop we then saw the International Energy Agency revising lower its 2011 global oil demand forecast for the first time as consumers have begun to react to the strong price rises during 2011. Gasoline had, up until now, been the driver of the rally and at one stage it came within five percent of the high from 2008. Retail gasoline prices in the US last week reached an average of $3.98 per gallon, very close to the physiological level of 4 dollars which undoubtedly would have increased political pressure for action. The $21 sell off in crude oil last week happened within 48 hours and left most analysts believing that it had removed enough of the speculative overhang to bring prices back up to previous levels. This has clearly not happened and investors are now faced with a reality check as the popular short dollar long commodity strategy has been unraveling. The Reuters Jefferies CRB index has not had a losing month since August 2010 and this long stretch of profitable movements have attracted many new investors into the commodity space, with especially silver, corn and oil catching investor's imagination. None more so than silver where the 50 dollar level was almost reached after a 170% rally over just a matter of a few months. The main damage to investors, however, has been the strong correction in crude oil over the last week and especially the aggressive manner in which it sold off. In order to understand what has been going on we have to look at the weekly data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The data chart shows how the speculative WTI Crude futures positions held by hedge funds and large investors has moved over the last couple of years. During the last few months this has risen to 300,000 futures lots or 300 million barrels. The last major correction during May 2010 triggered a similar 21 dollar sell off over a three week period, resulting in the speculative position being reduced from 150,000 to 50,000 lots. With the supply disruptions having been discounted for, the market attention has turned to the demand side where indicators are now pointing towards a softening in demand. This has been the trigger for the correction, combined with the revival of the dollar. WTI Crude has underperformed Brent Crude by almost five dollars over the last week, indicating to a certain extent where the speculative positions were held, combined with the fact that US data has been the first to hint of a slowdown in demand. "Sell in May and go away" is a myth but unfortunately that seems to hold true this year with investors having to review their outlook for commodities given the increased risk that high prices have begun to impact global demand. Fundamentally, investing in commodities still makes a lot of sense but once again we see the impact of what happens when many want or need to exit a relatively small market, compared to bonds and stocks. --Ole Sloth Hansen is a specialist at Saxo Bank Macau's Galaxy dazzles with $2bn casino opening HK property tycoon Lui Che Woo all smiles HONG KONG: Flanked by longlegged models adorned in peacock feathers, Hong Kong property and construction tycoon Lui Che Woo was all smiles as he opened the doors to his new $2 billion casino in Macau yesterday. Lui, chairman of Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment , around 20 percent owned by private equity group Permira, is the only operator to open a casino this year in Macau, the world's largest gaming market, where revenues surpass Las Vegas four fold. Designed as an Asian-style palace, the 550,000 square metre property is the third casino to open on the developing Cotai strip, Macau's version of the Vegas strip and which authorities hope will transform Macau from a pure gaming destination into a renowned tourist and leisure destination. "It doesn't feel like a casino, it's so beautiful" said Wer, a 30 year old male visitor from Zhuhai. "People can come here to relax, bring their families. It feels comfortable." Like gilded ice cream cones, Galaxy Macau's gold embossed turrets glow against the Macau skyline, magnifying the glitz of billionaire Sheldon Adelson's Venetian property and Melco Crown Entertainment's City of Dreams, all situated within walking distance of each other. Macau, formerly a hotbed for piracy and smuggling, has been to come regularly," said 27 year old Edwin. Dressed in a tight white t-shirt and fitted trousers, he shrugged: "I haven't seen the pool yet, maybe later." Galaxy Macau is following in the footsteps of rivals Melco Crown and Sands China in targeting China's mass market, betting that improving infrastructure and rising consumption will help propel demand. "Galaxy's opening is also good for us, more people will come here," said a waiter at Adelson's Venetian. "It is exciting. We have been waiting three years for the open. It is not a threat, just friendly competition." Galaxy shares have surged more than 300 percent over the past 12 months, compared with the Hang Seng Index's roughly 17 percent gain. Analysts remain bullish on the firm's prospects. "We think the property has potential to exceed revenue and cashflow expectations," said Union Gaming in a note. Galaxy's new project only covers around a third of its available land space on the Cotai strip. It plans to develop the rest of its land bank over the next seven to eight years. Wynn Macau, casino mogul Steve Wynn's Macau unit of Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International, and SJM Holdings are the three other licensed operators yet to start construction on the strip. "We could build three more of these if we wanted to," Drake, Galaxy's CFO, said. --Reuters E MACAU: Galaxy Macau Entertainment Group chairman Lui Che woo (second left) toasts with officials and guests during the opening ceremony for the Galaxy Macau hotels and resort yesterday. The $1.9 billion Galaxy Macau, which has 450 tables and features more than 2,200 hotel rooms, officially opened its doors with high hopes to attract visitors from across Asia.--AFP trying to upgrade its image with Michelin starred dining options and vast luxury retail outlets, all in a bid to woo China's rising middle class." While around 70 percent of gaming revenue is still accrued from the high-rolling VIP sector, Galaxy Macau is allocating twothirds of its 450 gaming tables to the mass market, confident of delivering returns in the mid to high teens to investors, Chief Financial Officer Robert Drake said. Galaxy's new 2,200 room property, which incorporates international hotel brands Banyan Tree and Japan's Okura, is hoping to creating a "super industry " of gaming and tourism in the former Portuguese colony, said Galaxy Vice Chairman Francis Lui. "If you merge Phuket in Thailand together with Macau it would create a new dimensional kind of market. The example of Galaxy Macau is to bring this tropical mood to Macau," said Lui, also a committee member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). With its 350 ton white sand beach, simulated wave pool and southeast Asian resort-style spa facilities, Galaxy is hoping to create a niche market in the former Portuguese colony, emphasizing the health and well being of its visitors. But it remains to be seen whether the chain-smoking hardcore gamblers that flood from into Macau from the mainland will have significant interest outside the heaving baccarat tables. "The casino is great, I am going Fact about US debt and the debt ceiling WASHINGTON: The US will hit its legal ceiling on borrowing today as government spending continues to outpace revenues. Republicans insist on a longterm plan to address the huge deficit before agreeing to increase the cap. Here are key points about the cap: � What is the US debt limit? The ceiling, set by Congress, currently stands at $14.29 trillion. The US Treasury's borrowing through bond markets will push total debt to about that level on May 16. � What will happen then? Due to higher-than-anticipated revenues, and some short-term spending and borrowing cuts, the government can sustain itself just below the ceiling for about 10 more weeks. By around August 2, though, something will have to give-either the borrowing limit must be increased, or spending reduced. Otherwise, the government might be forced to default on its existing debt. � Why does the government need to borrow more? Heavy spending over the past decade sent the country's debt rocketing upward, and income from taxes has not kept up, especially since the 2008-2009 recession. Freezing borrowing at the current level would force the near-impossible task of making spending cuts and tax hikes worth around $1.3 trillion a year. Economist say that could stall the feeble economic recovery. � How much more does the government need? In the first seven months of the current fiscal year, the government deficit hit $870 billion. At that pace, the government has to borrow roughly $120 billion more each month to keep operating. � What is the political fight about? Republicans say they want a long-term deal to slash government spending, including in its large Medicare and Social Security entitlement programs, before they will agree to raise the debt ceiling. Democrats led by the White House say they also want to raise taxes to boost income. Republicans have rejected any tax increases. � What would a default mean? A default would rock financial markets, send US borrowing costs sharply higher, and force the government to slash spending. The White House has warned of an "Armageddon-like" scenario. But because the default would be caused by a US unwillingness to borrow more, rather than an inability, some economists believe the impact would not be so catastrophic. Briefing.com bond specialist Scott Atkinson said a default could spark a momentary panic, but that the US would have to address it quickly. "We believe any sell-off would be greeted opportunistically by buyers. The odds of the US eventually not paying its debt is about zero." -- AFP PORTO: A banner against IMF (International Monetary Fund) seen at a demonstration called to demand an end to the monopoly of parties on policy, for political change and combating corruption in Porto, Portugal, on Saturday.--AP Geithner warns of new US recession without debt rise WASHINGTON: With the US government about to hit its $14.3 trillion debt limit, Treasur y Secretar y Timothy Geithner has warned of "catastrophic" consequences and a new recession if Washington is not able to borrow more. A divided Congress has run out of time to raise the debt limit before today's deadline, forcing Geithner into an emergency reallocation of funds so the government can meet its obligations, including payments to US Treasury bondholders. Those measures are only expected to give the government until Aug. 2 before it will start defaulting on payments including those on Treasury debt, an event that could trigger chaos in world financial markets. "A default would inflict catastrophic, far-reaching damage on our nation's economy, significantly reducing growth and increasing unemployment," Geithner said in a letter, dated Friday, to Democratic Senator Michael Bennet. The Obama administration and lawmakers are battling over how to curb the mounting U.S. debt, with Republicans refusing to increase the debt limit without deep spending cuts. In some of his most stark language to lawmakers so far, Geithner said a default or missed payments would not only increase borrowing costs for the US government but also for average Americans, businesses and local governments. "An increase in Treasury rates would make it more costly for a family to buy a home, purchase a car or send a child to college," he said. "It would make it more expensive for an entrepreneur to borrow money to start a new business or invest in new products and equipment." The world's biggest economy is recovering only gradually after the 2007-09 financial crisis but some 13.7 million Americans are out of work and higher gasoline and food prices are threatening to slow the recovery. If Congress does not increase the borrowing cap by August, Geithner will be forced to start choosing which payments to make first. Missing or delaying payments on a host of obligations, including those to businesses for goods and services and bond payments to investors, would result in a massive and abrupt cut in federal spending and aggregate demand, the letter warned. "The abrupt contraction would likely push us into a double - dip recession," Geithner said. The US government bond market has so far remained calm about the risk of a default. But Geithner and Federal Reser ve Chairman Ben Bernanke have repeatedly urged Congress to act quickly to raise the debt limit. The US government is borrowing approximately $125 billion per month. As of Thursday, the country was $38 billion below the debt ceiling. -- Reuters Motorola XOOM from VIVA for KD99 Exclusively with VIVA Internet KUWAIT: VIVA continues to bring the latest in tablet devices to customers as the company announced the launch of the long anticipated tablet device, The Motorola XOOM which is available exclusively with VIVA unlimited internet packages for a price of only KD 99. The Motorola XOOM, which has won accolades from the industry and has received positive acclaim during its development, is ergonomically breathtaking featuring a dual processor of 1 gigahertz and a 32 bit memory with 1 gigabyte ram, two cameras in the front and back of the device and a 10.1 inch high definition screen. The tablet PC provides exceptional performance in terms of speed and demonstrates the level of innovation provided by the Honeycomb experience and the various features including Google(tm) services. The device, provides customers with a wide range of choices in order to match their requirements and aspirations as it supports all Flash programs and files and is capable of performing multi tasks at the same time, such as browsing the internet and receiving notifications and customizing the features to suit the needs of its owner. Due to the 800X1280 high definition screen the device plays videos and displays pictures with exceptional quality. In addition, the HDMI feature enables video viewing on larger screens such as HDTV for 10 hours continuously. Also providing superior results, the 5 megapixel camera in the back of the device enables high quality video recording with crystal clear image quality of 720 pixels, while the front camera provides a 2 megapixel image allowing the user to make clear video calls using Google Talk services. Be the first to get the Motorola XOOM with VIVA high speed Internet in any of VIVA branches located all over Kuwait. Iran earns $5m in gasoline exports TEHRAN: Iran exported a batch of domestically-produced gasoline in April to make good on its pledge of becoming a gasoline exporter, the semi-official Mehr new agency quoted an official saying yesterday. "In Far vardin (the Iranian month that ends on April 20) 6.1 thousand metric tons of gasoline were exported to other countries," said Abbas Memarnejad, the head of Iran's Customs administration. He said the total value of the consignments in the period exceeded $5 million and formed 23 percent of Iran's total exports. Memarnejad did not say what countries the gasoline was exported to. However, last month foreign trade sources said Iran had struck a deal to sell gasoline to Iraq, but that the rare cargo did not mean the Islamic Republic was now free from its dependence on gasoline imports. Iran launched an Oil Exchange earlier this month and put on sale a consignment of gasoline for export to show what it says is a newly-found self-sufficiency in the fuel. The Oil Exchange launch came after a rush by the Islamic state in recent months to expand refining capacity to counter economic sanctions, which were tightened last year over the Islamic state's controversial nuclear program. The world's fifth-biggest crude oil exporter has long depended on imported gasoline for 30 to 40 percent of its consumption, but now says it has become a net exporter. Some foreign analysts view this rapid transformation with skepticism and believe it would take years not months to build so much new refining capacity. Iran's claimed success in gasoline exports comes after the enforcement of a plan to suppress domestic demand for gasoline by cutting state subsidies. Consumption has fallen to around 55 million litres per day from around 63 million, oil ministry officials say. -- Reuters A e niv rsar n Years BUSINESS 26 Spanish banks offer high rates, plus free iPads, TVs MADRID: Spanish banks are offering high interest rates plus free iPads, TVs and Blu-ray recorders in a knockdown battle for customers, prompting deep concern in the government. Madrid may now call an end to the fierce competition for fear of the damage it may wreak on the bottom lines of Spain's banks, many still mopping up the bad loans from an exploded property bubble. An array of gifts are on offer to lure customers to transfer their accounts: an iPad at Banesto, a flatscreen T V at Caixa, a video game console at Santander and a Blu-ray player at Caja Madrid. The battle has intensified recently but it is not new for Spain, said Carmen Ortiz, head of investor relations at Banco Popular, the thirdlargest listed bank. "I have worked 20 years at the bank and I have always seen this," Ortiz said. The authorities are concerned about astronomical rates on offer for new deposit accounts: 3.5 percent, 4.0 percent, even 4.75 percent a year. Many other European countries offer no such returns, nor gifts. This generosity "has introduced a new element of pressure on the financial results of Spanish credit entities," still recovering from the collapse of a property bubble in 2008, said the Bank of Spain. Moreover, banks were starting to offset these higher costs with an increase in interest rate charges for loans. Banco Popular confirmed it had "transferred" this extra cost to short-term business loans, with no regrets. "We have captured almost three billion euros in deposit accounts since the start of the war last year and we have gained more than 340,000 new customers," said the bank's Ortiz. "In three years we have reduced our dependence on the interbank market by more than 15 billion euros." That, in fac t, is the main motive. Financial markets, worried about the strength of the Spanish economy, have tightened and in some cases closed off entirely banks' access to the interbank market for overnight loans, their classic financing mechanism. So banks are turning instead to the general public. The advantage, according to the IE Business School's financial sector director, Manuel Romera, is that banks can diversify their portfolios and escape an interbank market dependant on a more limited number of actors who can impose their own conditions. But "in this headlong rush, banks are paying higher interest rates on deposit accounts than they get for loans, so in the end they lose," said Romera. That is especially true for those banks that have a lot of mortgage loans, which are long-term and cannot be re-negotiated. Already since Januar y, those banks that have received public aid have been banned by the Bank of Spain from entering into these "aggressive sales policies." The government now wants to prevent all banks from offering interest rates more than 1.5 percentage points above the six-month Euribor rate, the benchmark for the eurozone, which would mean a ceiling of about 3.2 percent. A decree will be approved "in the coming weeks," said the state secretariat for the economy. The plan has not gone down well with banks. "It would be a backwards step to go back to a situation like the 1980s with regulated interest rates and generally a great degree of economic inter ventionism," said a spokeswoman for the Spanish Banking Association. --AFP US not yet prepared for expanded Panama canal Poor infrastructure could hit bid to boost trade NEW ORLEANS: The United States could get a major trade boost from the soon-to-be-finished expansion of the Panama Canal, but experts worry poor infrastructure means Uncle Sam will miss the boat. From 2014 some of the largest ships in the world will again fit through the 80 kilometer (50-mile) Panama Canal. Vessels carrying around 14,000 containers rather than today's 5,000 will be able to cross the isthmus. Traffic is expected to double through the inter-oceanic waterway, which already handles around five percent of world trade. For people linked via the canal-most notably consumers in the eastern United States and factory owners in China-that could spell cheaper goods and lower costs. It could also provide President Barack Obama with a late boost in his effort to double US exports by 2015 and help create jobs. In Florida alone, the authorities believe upgrading the Port of Miami to handle these larger ships could help create 30,000 jobs. But during a visit to Washington this week the canal's administrator Alberto Aleman Zubieta expressed concern that the United States is not ready. "There is a lot of infrastructure that basically needs to be upgraded," he said, pointing to problems with dock length, port depth and rail and road links. Like much of America's infrastructure, US ports are creaking from years of underinvestment, and many even struggle to handle today's largest "panamax" ship sizes. "We don't have the channel depths that are required to take the post-panamax vessels," Dave Sanford of the American Association of Port Authorities admitted flatly. The list of ports that do, he said, "is really short. It's only one port: Norfolk (Virginia)." While Baltimore, New York to dredge its channel to 50 feet (15 meters) -- enough to handle post-panamax ships. But bureaucracy means the project is on the back burner. "Right now it is everything we can do to get the Corp of Engineers to maintain it at its current 47 foot depth," he said. Similarly the Port of Beaumont, in Texas is waiting for approval of a $1.2 billion project to deepen its channel. But even if the project is approved this year, it is likely to take 15 years to complete. "Our system is broken, it's just broken. It needs to be fixed," said John Roby, head of the port's customer services. In the meantime shippers are looking to deeper ports beyond the United States; to Freeport in the Bahamas and Kingston in Jamaica. "Unless we can get more channel capacity they are going to be the primar y beneficiaries of an expanded canal," said Sanford of the American Association of Port Authorities. Ultimately that may cost US consumers. "If you can't take advantage of the economies of scale that the larger vessels offer, said Paul Bingham and economist with Wilbur Smith Associates, "the bottom line is it's going to cost you more." "For the economy that ultimately means that the consumers are going to be worse off." --AFP From 2014 some of the largest ships in the world will again fit through the 80 kilometer (50mile) Panama Canal. and Miami may also be ready mostly on container terminals, ensuring waterways are navigaby 2014, they handle a fraction but CEO Gary LaGrange said the ble. Even today the Army Corps of US trade and are not on the por t is still not at fighting of Engineers-with one eye on its own limited budget and Gulf Coast, which serves con- weight. "We'll be ready, but not as resources-must approve and sumers and exporters in the ready as we could be, or should execute many upgrades. vast center of the country. Congress, which is currently Perched on the meandering be," he said. Blame for the unprepared- focused on cutting US debt, Mississippi, the Port of New Orleans is one of many facilities ness is being spread far and then has to approve funding. That results in significant that has struggled to match wide: George Washington, the infrastructure to its opportuni- Army Corp of Engineers and delays, according to many in Congress are all in the firing the industr y. LaGrange said ties. It is investing $650 million line. Since Washington's time New Orleans already holds on new canal-linked projects, the US army has played at role much-sought-after permission Belarus faces economic disaster without reform MINSK: Belarus's outdated economic model is no longer sustainable and the ex-Soviet state needs painful but urgent reform to avoid a looming economic catastrophe, analysts say. A currency crisis that prompted queues outside exchange kiosks reminiscent of the chaos after the USSR's collapse has shown up the lack of prospects for the country's still heavily state-controlled economy. The economic model championed by autocratic President Alexander Lukashenko the socalled "Lukanomika", or Luk-economy-saw the country chase high growth rates but also create a huge current account deficit as its need for imports drained hard currency. The country now needs to shut lossmaking enterprises that are heavily reliant on imports, hike interest rates sharply to battle 18 percent inflation and embrace market reform for the first time in two decades. But these are measures the former collective farm boss who has ruled the country of 10 million which borders three EU states for almost 17 years has little inclination to implement, according to analysts. The central bank this week made possibly its boldest move yet during the crisis by allowing banks to set retail currency exchange rates at the market rate, which effectively devalued the Belarussian ruble for consumers by 30 percent. But this move, which was accompanied by an interest rate hike from 13 to 14 percent, is far from enough. "A single devaluation is not going to solve the problem so long as there is not a full scale liberalization" said leading liberal Belarussian economist Leonid Zlotnikov. "But a market economy would wipe away the values that Lukashenko holds dear and would create demands for new values like democracy, human rights and a free press." "So it's fully understandable why Lukashenko is not going to adopt market reform." He said that the currency crisis now risked tipping into a "full-scale economic crisis" as it was unlikely Belarus could attract the one billion dollars needed each month to overcome the problems. "Belarus has two paths ahead," said Zlotnikov. "Either a return to the incomplete economic reforms of the start of the 1990s or the logical conclusion of the Belarussian model by moving to the Cuban example with a very low quality of life." `Like the Soviet Union in 1991' Belarus has been pinning its hopes on a substantial loan from Moscow, but Russia's Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has made clear Minsk can only expect $1 billion this year from a regional-economic grouping. "The funds alone are unlikely to solve the problem," said Raiffeisen economist Andreas Schwabe in a note to clients, estimating Belarus' financing gap for this year at $5 billion to $10 billion. "It seems likely the financial troubles are not completely over in Belarus," he added. The problems have come to a head just as Lukashenko is being ostracized by the West over a brutal crackdown on the opposition after protests over his December election victory that was condemned by observers. They have also coincided with the country's first deadly bombing since its independence, when 14 people were killed last month in a mysterious attack on the Minsk metro which has yet to be solved. Despite the increasingly insistent calls for economic change, Lukashenko this past week showed he was in no mood for reform, which he said was being promoted by a "fifth column"-his favorite term for the suppressed opposition. "People are crying out-and especially from that fifth column-that we need immediate reforms and more reforms," he said. "But what reforms are needed? What reform are they offering us? They are offering us reform towards destruction." --AFP y MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Sri Lankan-born Rajaratnam was found guilty on all 14 counts of insider trading cases. Rajaratnam conviction first step in larger war NEW YORK: Federal prosecutors' victory against Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam in the biggest insider trading case in a generation is just the first step in a wider war against Wall Street corruption, analysts say. The crushing verdict reached on Wednesday, finding Sri Lankan-born Rajaratnam guilty on all 14 counts, is "definitely going to send a shock wave through the community," David Webber, a law professor at Boston University, said. Webber predicted that authorities would be encouraged by bringing down Rajaratnam and that "those who have engaged in insider trading-I think they're pretty terrified now." Rajaratnam's case also comes against the backdrop of a threeyear investigation into the practice of experts paying insiders for tips that can then be traded on by hedge-funds looking for the extra edge in a fast-moving, highly competitive market. "It is really insidious, pervasive. It's a way of doing business," James Cox, a law professor at Duke University, said. He cited estimates showing that between 20 and 60 percent of stock trades happen "before information is being made public." Insider trading has long been considered difficult to prosecute, since there are so many legitimate ways to get information and it is hard to prove that someone traded due to knowledge of one particular piece of intelligence. Galleon prosecutors took the highly unusual tactic of wiretapping telephone conversations, something usually seen only in violent crime probes. That is now likely to continue. "I think that it validates in the government's eyes the importance and success of using wiretaps and other advances in surveillance techniques to prosecute securities fraud," Jacob Frenkel, an attorney specializing in white collar defense, said. Rajaratnam's defense plans to appeal and this will likely challenge the legality of the wiretaps-and by extension the basis of the entire prosecution. Prosecutors have to get a judge's authorization for wiretaps after proving that crucial evidence can only be obtained that way, a standard which the Galleon case appears to fit. "The appeal is going to be like climbing a very steep mountain," Frenkel said. Future prosecutions will also be emboldened by the complete failure of Rajaratnam's attempt to show his innocence by claiming that all his trades were based on open research. Once they heard the secretly recorded tapes, the jury did not buy the argument at all. "Paying a senior figure at McKinsey $500,000... for information on deals that this McKinsey partner knows about, or getting these phone calls from a member of the Goldman Sachs board who tells you that tomorrow the bank will announce a loss when the market expects a $2 profit: that's clear insider trading," Webber said. Webber said that investors have plenty of ways to do legitimate research and get on top of the competition. He pointed out the examples of John Paulson and Warren Buffett as honest traders, even if Buffett's associate David Sokol has had to resign from Berkshire Hathaway under allegations of unethical trading. They now have even more incentive to mind their behavior. "There already is evidence that hedge funds are trying to strengthen their internal procedures. This verdict is only going to heighten that concern," Cox said. --AFP KAMPALA: Vendors select potatoes at Nakasero market on Saturday in central Kampala. Top opposition leader Kizza Besigye over the last month has been leading "walk-to-work" protests over the rising cost of food and fuel and government corruption. --AFP IMF may be tougher on Europe after Kahn PARIS: Whatever the outcome of sexual assault charges against its managing director, the International Monetary Fund may take a more distant and tougher line on sovereign debtors in Europe under new leadership. Dominique Strauss-Kahn has softened the IMF's image as a stickler for fiscal orthodoxy and deregulation since 2007, and committed the global lender deeply to rescuing heavily indebted European countries-not the Fund's traditional clientele. The French Socialist had been widely expected to return home by July to run for his party's nomination in next year's presidential election before he was arrested on an Air France plane and indicted over an incident at a New York hotel. His lawyer has said he will plead not guilty and the IMF said it remained "fully functioning and operational", but it is hard to imagine Strauss-Kahn staying in office for long while defending himself in a sex assault case. The next head of the IMF may well not be a European, given strong pressure from emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil for their increased economic weight and priorities to be reflected in the Washington-based fund. Complicating matters, StraussKahn's deputy, John Lipsky of the United States, announced on Thursday he would step down when his term ends in August. So the global financial institution faces a potential leadership vacuum at a crucial time. "The chances are the successor won't be a European, and will want to rebalance the IMF's priorities away from its massive commitment in Europe," said Jean PisaniFerry, director of the Bruegel economic think-tank. Strauss-Kahn negotiated an increase in representation for the emerging nations at the IMF. He has campaigned for stricter financial regulation, created new credit lines to help states before they get into trouble and built an unprecedented partnership with the European Union in euro zone bailouts. When the global finance crisis struck in 2007-8, he campaigned for bold stimulus spending to avoid another Great Depression and reinvented the IMF as a more socially conscious financial fire brigade, seeking to avoid what he saw as errors committed in Latin America and Asia in the 1980s and 1990s. For example, when IMF and European Commission officials negotiated a rescue program for Latvia in 2009, the IMF pushed for a fairer sharing of the tax burden in the Baltic state, because of concern that its flat income tax unfairly penalised the poor. --Reuters A e niv rsar n Years TECHNOLOGY 27 WASHINGTON: Young Kim used his art-school education to help in his leading the development of the Arc Touch mouse for Microsoft. -- MCT Microsoft adds bendable mouse SEATTLE: When people pick up Microsoft's Arc Touch Mouse, it's as if they've picked up a toy. The pop-up mouse curls and flattens, and they instinctively begin snapping it back and forth. Microsoft has been chanting for two years that it wants its products to "delight" people. Delight is not the most common reaction to Windows. But, with the Arc Touch Mouse, it seems to have achieved its goal. "It's not just a gadget. It's a piece of jewelry that's perfectly put together," said Young Kim, the designer behind the mouse, which started selling in December for $70. It's strange to think of Microsoft taking baby steps, but that's what this diminutive mouse represents to an elephant. Form long has been an afterthought to function at Microsoft, which for decades delegated design to PC makers such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard. The result: The company has become crusty in a design-savvy world, left in the dust by Apple's sleek iPhone and iPad. In part, that's why Apple's market cap -its shares outstanding multiplied by its stock price - is now more than $100 billion higher than Microsoft's. One of Microsoft's recent device carcasses is the Zune, the music player meant to compete with Apple's iPod. Microsoft pulled the plug on the Zune in March. Kim is a senior user-experience designer in Microsoft's Hardware group, which makes mice, Web cameras and keyboards. Known for his ability to solve knotty problems with clever solutions, Kim started building the Arc Touch Mouse two years ago. He's better known by his alias "youngki." Despite his artfully arranged bedhead, he's down-to-earth in a place where design arrogance can be common, lighthearted where company fights can be furious. "Are we trying to design something cool or something that people can actually use? Product design gets mistaken for something that looks good," Kim said. "What's most important is figuring out what kind of problem you need to solve." His team went to a Seattle coffee shop and to the University of Washington campus to observe how people used their laptops. They noticed most portable mice were too small to maneuver, but a full-sized mouse was too bulky to pack. The Arc Touch Mouse, which curls for use and flattens for travel, was the answer. Tech reviewers have complimented its unique design. Microsoft declined to disclose sales numbers, but the device is ranked No. 10 among computer mice on Amazon.com. Kim, 29, believes hope springs eternal for design, even at Microsoft. "We can take a traditional, somewhat stale category and when you have the right group of obsessive people, you can do some really cool stuff," he said. He is one of 35 industrial designers at a company with more than 88,000 employees. "We're people designing plastics, not pixels," Kim said. There was a time when even Microsoft employees didn't realize the company made hardware. That's changed - especially with the success of the Xbox - but Microsoft remains first and foremost a software company. "You can release software, then release a patch," said Dan O'Neil, a former Microsoft Hardware designer and Kim co-worker now working at Dell as a senior lead industrial designer. "With hardware, you've really got to get it right. There's capital investment and tooling investment in Asia. You can't hide anything when you're designing hardware. "Getting the culture to understand that and the value of hardware is still probably a challenge at Microsoft, but I think they've made huge strides." In Microsoft's Hardware design workshop, windowless rooms are littered with foam cores that designers carve with X-acto knives. A 3-D printer builds objects by printing multiple layers of plastic on top of one another. Another room has a table saw and a jigsaw. "We spend a lot of time arguing over even a 0.1-millimeter gap," Kim said. On a wall, the team hangs design guideposts copies of PowerPoint slides that have key words and photos on them. One says "clean aesthetic" next to a photo of a curvy electric tea kettle. "It's clean and soft at the same time," Kim said. "It's not just gooey like Play-Doh. You have to have a level of confidence." He uses the words "clean and soft" to describe a simple pasta dish at Spinasse, a restaurant on Capitol Hill. "Sometimes you go to a restaurant, and the plate is covered with parsley and all this stuff. It shows insecurity," Kim said. "They have a buttered sage pasta. It's just a handful of noodles that is awesome." The rigor and discipline required to make hardware is not always appreciated at a company made up of software engineers. Two years ago, Kim said, "We met with the engineering team and we said, `We want something that is going to go from flat to curved repeatedly.' They were like, `No way.'" Growing up in South Korea, Kim said, the prevailing thought was that you couldn't make a living doing art. His father, a business owner, nevertheless suggested he find an art school. Kim moved to Pasadena, Calif., to attend the Art Center College of Design. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in product design, he worked at a small design-consulting firm in Santa Monica called Ashcraft Designs. He introduced the designers there to Korean barbecue and soju, a Korean vodka distilled from rice. The first thing he worked on was a speaker that he couldn't even afford to buy. "It was $300, but it was still too much for me," he said. He was looking through the Microsoft jobs website and saw a listing with the Microsoft Research group to design objects. He thought a company like Microsoft would have a lot more resources to work with, and so he joined as an intern. Greg Jones, principal design manager at Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment business, hired Kim in 2004. "He's someone we kind of identified early as a real strong designer on the team," Jones said. "In addition to the design, it was his ability to think about how the product would be used. ... He has really clever ways of thinking through that." Some designers can be pushy, Jones said, but Kim is not. "He really has a kind of lightheartedness but also a humbleness to his work," Jones said. Kim now manages a team, after working in China between 2008 and 2010 setting up a design studio to work on the ground with electronics manufacturers. Dell's O'Neil says he remembers spending hours sketching designs with Kim. Once, the two were designing a new webcam and struggling with how to attach it to the laptop. "Young's approach was to make a little magnetic dot that would adhere to the back of the laptop," O'Neil said. "It was just a more elegant way to solve it. That's kind of the angle - finding that nice, simple, pure, core idea. That's where Young's strengths are." -- MCT y MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Playstation Network to be fully restored: Sony Games company Square Enix website hacked TOKYO: Sony said it had begun restoration of its PlayStation Network games service yesterday, almost a month after a massive security breach of the network forced the company to shut it down. Gamers and security experts had criticized Sony for its handling of the incident, which sparked lawsuits and cast a shadow over its plans to combine the strengths of its content and hardware products via online services. The Japanese electronics and entertainment giant apologized to customers for the outage, and said a range of new security measures had been introduced. These included an early warning system that could alert the company to any attempt to penetrate the network. "I can't thank you enough for your patience and support during this time," Sony No. 2 Kazuo Hirai said in the news release, which was also posted as a video message on the PlayStation Network blog. "We are taking aggressive action at all levels to address the concerns that were raised by this incident, and are making consumer data protection a full-time, company wide commitment." A single message from a PlayStation Network user under the name SG-1-F-302 on the blog read simply: "Thank you Sony!!!!" But some users have said the prolonged outage has prompted them to switch to rival Microsoft's Xbox Live games service. In what is thought to be the biggest security breach of its kind, hackers accessed personal information on 77 million PlayStation Network and Qriocity accounts, 90 percent of which are in North America and Europe, and may have stolen credit card information. Hackers rented a server from Amazon for the attack, Bloomberg news said earlier in the day, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. Sony discovered unusual activity on its PlayStation Network, which enables games console owners to download games, chat with friends and pit their skills against rivals, on April 19. It shut down the network and its TOKYO: In this photo, Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Kazuo Hirai speaks on how to use the new PlayStation Portable "NGP" at PlayStation Meeting 2011. -- AP Qriocity online music and movie service, frustrating many users, but waited almost a week before alerting users to the extent of the security leak. The company later found out that a separate online games service had also been penetrated, allowing access to another 25 million user accounts. Sony said the restoration of PlayStation Network and Qriocity online movie and music services would take place on a country by country basis and that it expected the process to be complete by May 31. Sony Online Entertainment services are also being restored and customers will be offered free game time as compensation for the outage, the company said. Sony also said it had appointed an acting chief information officer to oversee security on its networks. The attack on Sony is the highest-profile of a series that have affected large corporations in recent months, fuelling doubts about the security of cloud computing services. "During the past 18 months, we've seen a dramatic rise in the volume of cyber attacks, their sophistication and their impact on businesses," Sony quoted Francis deSouza of Internet security company Symantec as saying. Japanese games company Square Enix , known for the Final Fantasy series, said on Saturday that hackers had accessed one of its websites and obtained information, including up to 25,000 customer e-mail addresses and possibly job applicants' resumes. -- Reuters `Planking' craze on net claims life in Australia BRISBANE: A new craze sweeping the Internet known as "planking" has claimed a life in Australia with a man attempting the fad plunging to his death from a balcony yesterday. Planking involves someone lying flat on their stomach with their arms against their bodies in unusual and sometimes dangerous situations, with photographs of their exploits shared through social media sites. It has gone viral in recent weeks with Facebook page Planking Australia boasting almost 10,000 fans and hundreds of photos of people lying on train tracks, escalators, fire hydrants, motorbikes, and other objects. Police last week warned "plankers" of the dangers they faced and their worst fears have been realized with the death of a man in Brisbane who plummeted from the seventh story of an apartment block and died at the scene. "This morning we have seen a young man take this activity a step further and attempt to plank on a balcony. Unfortunately he has tragically fallen to his death," Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett told reporters. The man and another person had been out during the night and were planking in various locations on their way home. "It is what we've been fearing," he added, but could not say whether it was Australia's first death from the craze. Last week, a 20-year-old, also in Queensland state, was arrested after being allegedly found "planking" on a police car and charged with being on police equipment without lawful excuse. -- AFP Picture books, iPads: New classroom tools CHICAGO: Dozens of preschool and kindergarten teachers are adding iPads to their classroom stocks of pencils and paints in an effort to hook young learners with the newest technology craze at the same time - or even before - their parents adopt it. Primar y students in several Chicago-area schools geared up this year with the touchscreen tablets, an expense school officials defend in an era of tight budgets by citing how intuitive they are for 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds raised in a world of ubiquitous technology and constant connectivity. "This is teaching to their world," said Superintendent Linda Vieth of Sunset Ridge School District 29. "Students still need finger paints and blocks. They need real books and paper in their hands. But this is another tool." The North Shore Illinois district agreed to equip two kindergarten classrooms with a dozen iPads after a yearlong study convinced teachers and parents of their fit for young students. In all, district officials will buy 60 touchpad tablets for an estimated $36,000. In DuPage County, Ill., Naperville School District 203 plans to provide each preschool classroom in the Early Childhood Center with two iPads this fall. And Chicago Public Schools outfitted nearly two dozen schools with the tablets this year in a $450,000 pilot program that attracted 200 applications. Each building received 32 iPads, and four schools focused the technology in the primary grades. District officials are considering whether to expand the iPad grant next year, said Technology Education Director John Connolly. "At first, we thought this is a nice little toy. No one had any idea what this could do educationally," said Principal Barbara Kent of Chicago's Burley Elementar y School, which debuted iPads this year in preschool, first and second grades. For primary schools that already have computers, the iPad will become one more technology tool in the classroom. But some schools have grappled to find a technology that SYNDEY: Rachel Ross, 4, a preschooler at Burley Elementary School, uses the iPad with other students in the classroom as the class looks at pictures of classrooms. -- MCT best suits their youngest learners. The correct sum." The exposure to the vanguard tablets with the flat screens and colorful of technology in a public schoolhouse iniicons that little fingers can manipulate tially startled Graham's mother. "In my world, the iPad is games and music. But it's seemed an ideal fit, educators said. To be sure, several schools set ground not just that," said Sarah Wilson of rules to teach students how to care for the Northfield. "He was doing math." Apple sold more than 19 million iPads new gadgets. Check your fingers: If there's glue or glitter, please visit the sink. Carry since they launched last year, according to them with two hands. Only use them with the company's earnings reports. It is not an adult present and ask before you k nown how many were purchased by explore, said Charlene Entman, technology schools specifically, but Chicago-area facilitator for the Sunset Ridge school sys- schools are not alone in introducing iPads tem. But the youngest students have taken to preschool and kindergarten classrooms. quickly to the technology. On a recent Last month, a Maine school district agreed Tuesday, Nola Joyce and Graham Wilson, to outfit every kindergartener with an both 6, huddled over the class iPad at iPad2 this fall. But some educators and scholars cauNorthfield, Ill.'s Middlefork School as they added two sets of numbers and deter- tion the technology has swept into classrooms so quickly the research has not yet mined which sum was biggest. Nola whispered to herself as she count- caught up to measure how well students ed her fingers to add 9 and 4. "13," she learn using the tablets. Rarely do public typed. Next, Graham added 7 and 2 to get schools equip kids with a new technology 9. He tapped the number on the screen at the same time adults race to acquire it and a mechanical voice said: "This is the themselves. --MCT A e niv rsar n Why laughing helps your mood and body BERLIN: Body and soul go together and have great influence on one another. If one isn't feeling right, then the other reacts. Thus, slumping shoulders indicate a bad mood and something troubling can be hard to stomach. Things that upset us can manifest themselves as stomach problems or the sniffles. If we're scared, we can have trouble breathing. "Whenever we process something, it has an effect on our body and our mood," says psychologist Doris Wolf. The body sends out hormones that can stimulate the circulation and gets glands to work more or less. But pain can have the same influence on posture while one's facial expression can affect one's well-being. It's easy to test: for example, by smiling. "Just look in the mirror and grin," recommends Dieter Puetz, a doctor in psychotherapy and director of the Deister Weser Clinic in Germany. In no time at all, one's mood improves, he promises. Another thing to try is to take on a selfconfident posture. Anyone who stands up straight, holds his shoulders back and sticks out his chest will find it impossible to feel uncertain. One simply finds it impossible to say "I can't do that." Of course, this works both ways. Anyone who walks around with slumped shoulders and a lowered head will feel listless and wiped out. "Body and soul are always trying to reach equilibrium," is the way Wolf describes it in her book, the translated title of which is "Understand Feelings, Conquer Problems." You can always count on this interplay. Every form of posture leads to certain thoughts and feelings, and vice versa. Using that information, one can take advantage of the fact by changing one's posture to affect one's mood, especially if one is feeling uncertain or beaten down. Soon you'll feel fresh and happy. Your mood will quickly follow your posture. Over the long run, activity is a good way to achieve mental happiness. "It causes serotonin creation, which is just the best," says Michael Schellberg, a German psychologist. He says doctors should prescribe more exercise and less medicine. He always advises his patients to try more physical activity on a daily basis, even if it's just climbing stairs, walking to the store or getting on a bike more often. Swimming and bicycling are the best sports for one's soul, after walking. "With these physical activities, you can really push your body to its limits and come to the edge of your endurance," he says. It's not easy to push your body further than it wants to go but doing so releases opiates, making the athlete feel better. Getting enough sleep and proper meals are also important to both physical and mental health. "It's pretty basic," says Schellberg. But anyone who gets at least seven hours of sleep a night and eats well will feel better than someone who is always short of sleep and has a refrigerator full of ready-to-eat meals.-- dpa ORLANDO: Marilyn Arnst has a new lease on life since receiving treatment for her thyroid. She is very active now and enjoys working in her garden and playing her guitar. -- MCT Medical labs may overlook patients with low thyroid ORLANDO: Millions of Americans - mostly women - could find the key to more energy, easier weight control, sharper thinking, less depression, less infertility, lower blood pressure and lower incidence of heart disease. It all depends on who wins a 10-year-old medical debate. The holdup is the number on a lab test - specifically, the reference range for thyroid-stimulating hormone. Many physicians who specialize in endocrine disorders, including thyroid disease, think lab limits for thyroidstimulating hormone are too broad, leaving many patients who suffer from low-thyroid disease undiagnosed and untreated. Marilyn Arnst of Orlando, Fla., fell in that gap. "I was cold all the time, even in the hot Orlando summer," said Arnst of the symptoms she felt seven years ago, when she was 49. "I would wake up feeling drowsy, and need to lie down in a couple hours. I was confused and foggy and kept finding more hair in my hairbrush." The wife and mother asked her primary-care doctor to check her for low-thyroid disease. He ran the usual blood tests and told her she was fine. Her thyroid-stimulating hormone was 3.44. Most medical laboratories put the normal range for that hormone between 0.4 and 4.5 (milliunits per liter) or even as high as 5.5. "Because both of my kids had just gone off to college and my husband traveled a lot, the doctor thought this was just a phase and suggested I try volunteering," Arnst recalled. Then a nurse practitioner friend told her to go back to the doctor and insist on more testing. A blood test for thyroid antibodies came back positive, confirming she had low-thyroid disease, or hypothyroidism. "My doctor felt terrible," she said, although in fact he only did what most doctors do. Unless they specialize in endocrine disease, most physicians go by the labs. He started Arnst on thyroid medication. Shortly afterward, she recalls, "I woke up and felt like myself again: clear, awake and alive." A butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of the throat, the thyroid governs metabolism. When it doesn't make enough thyroid hormone, people feel sluggish, have trouble concentrating, gain weight and feel cold. Left untreated, thyroid disease can lead to moreserious health problems, including elevated cholesterol, heart disease, osteoporosis, infertility and depression. Conversely, an overactive thyroid causes people to feel anxious, jittery and hot, and can cause rapid heartbeat and insomnia. Overseeing all this is the brain's pituitary gland. When it senses that the thyroid isn't producing enough thyroid hormone, it sends out thyroid-stimulating hormone, also called thyrotropin, to tell the thyroid gland to step up production. Thus, a high thyrotropin means the thyroid is underactive, causing hypothyroidism. A low level indicates that thyroid levels are too high, creating hyperthyroidism. Low thyroid is 20 times more common, and among those it affects, 80 percent are women. Most hypothyroidism occurs when the body makes antibodies that attack the thyroid gland. Treatment is simple and involves taking a daily bioidentical thyroid pill. Mark Lupo, a Sarasota, Fla., endocrinologist who specializes in thyroid disorders, estimates that 25 million Americans, or about 12 percent of adults, currently have a low-thyroid condition, and only half are captured. He attended the annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists last month and said the debate about whether to narrow the lab range was still in full swing. Many endocrinologists think the labs' upper ranges of 4.2 to 5.5 are too high and should be 3. Opponents think lowering the limit would lead to increased costs and overtreatment. "In the medical community, the issue is not seen as very serious," said Leonard Wartofsky, an endocrinologist and professor of medicine at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington who has published extensively on the subject and thinks anything over 2.5 should be looked at. "No one will die from a thyroidstimulating hormone that's 4.5. `So what if you're a little tired, a little fat, a little blue,' doctors think, "I have people with cancer.'" Wartofsky says the medical-lab ranges are too high because the labs based normal ranges on a large population sample that included those who had thyroid disorders. In 2002, the National Academy of Clinical Biochemists reran the population samples, removed those with thyroid problems and found that 95 percent of the population had thyrotropin levels of 2.5 or lower. That same year, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey looked at samples from 17,000 adults and, after eliminating those with thyroid conditions, found that Caucasians have average thyrotropin levels of 1.4, and blacks have an average of 1.18. "A lot of folks in the 2.5 to 5.0 range have mild depression and wind up taking anti-depressants when they really need thyroid medication," Lupo said. The same is true for patients taking medication for high blood pressure or high cholesterol. "If low thyroid is the underlying cause of another problem, if you treat the thyroid, the other problems get better, and the need for other medications often goes away," he said. Among the most outspoken opponents to narrowing the reference range is Martin Surks, an endocrinologist and professor of medicine and pathology at Albert Einstein Medical Center in New York. --MCT y Years MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 H E A LT H & S C I E NC E Moms who plan C-sections report high satisfaction Doctors concerned over surgery's long-term risks BALTIMORE: Dawn Cofiell was adamantly opposed to delivering her son Donovan by cesarean section three years ago, but a complication made it unavoidable. The experience was so smooth, pain-free and convenient that she surprised her doctor with requests to plan the major abdominal surgery for her next two children, Brayden and Kaitlyn. "At first I was bummed about the fact that I had to have a C-section," said the Parkville, Md., mother, who delivered her children at Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson, Md. "But I had such a good recovery and experience that I decided to go with what worked for the second and third." Cofiell's experience has become relatively common, helping to accelerate the number of the C-sections nationwide - they've increased 53 percent from 1996 to 2008, the most recent data available. That trend has alarmed many doctors and public health officials, who are concerned about the surgery's risks. But it's also a sign that new mothers' satisfaction is now a real consideration in birthing decisions. Doctors at GBMC and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center who studied the issue say emotional well-being is important because a negative birth experience has been linked to postpartum depression, which afflicts one in 10 women, government data shows. The doctors found that women who planned Csections were much more satisfied with their experiences than those who planned vaginal births - partly because more than a quarter of the latter group ended up with unplanned cesareans. "There is not enough evidence that we should offer everyone a Csection; we're not at that point," said Dr Joan Blomquist, an obstetrician-gynecologist at GBMC, which has the fourth-busiest maternity department in Maryland. "But for the right patient, it might be the right decision," said Blomquist, who was Cofiell's doctor. "At least we need to make sure they understand all the possibilities, that they don't have unrealistic goals." The findings, reported in a recent issue of the American Journal of Perinatology, were surprising in that C-sections have been linked to higher rates of postpartum depression in past studies and vaginal births have been found to be more satisfying for mothers. The research by Blomquist and Dr Victoria Handa, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, grew out of a conference at the National Institutes of Health about the growing number of C-section requests. The officials wanted to know what women were expecting from cesareans, and they funded the doctors' investigation. The study polled 160 women planning vaginal delivery and 44 planning C-sections. The women were asked eight weeks after delivery about their fulfillment, distress and difficulty. They rated their satisfaction with the childbirth experience on a scale from one to 100 and how they felt right after birth using descriptors such as "disappointed," "enthusiastic" and "cheated." Those planning C-sections reported higher satisfaction, higher fulfillment and lower distress and difficulty, and a more favorable overall experience than those planning vaginal birth. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that about one-third of US women giving birth had C-sections in 2008, the latest data available. The number crossed all races and ages. Most of the busiest baby hospitals in Maryland were near the national average. GBMC had the highest rate at 45 percent, a number officials there attributed to women such as Cofiell who chose C-sections for subsequent deliveries, a higher number of high-risk pregnancies and requests for tubal ligations after delivery. Bayview had the lowest rate of cesareans among the busy baby hospitals with 18.5 percent. Doctors say mothers are demanding more frequently to have labor induced, which makes them twice as likely to have a C-section. Doctors who fear malpractice lawsuits also may turn to cesareans more. A higher number of twins and triplets might be a factor, and obese mothers who are often hypertensive or diabetic. In recent years, there has been a push by many hospitals, physician associations and government agencies to slow the use of C-sections for nonmedical reasons. Doctors say the surgery can lead to complications that include hemorrhaging and infections, and it takes the mothers longer to recover. The National Institutes of Health said last year that it is safe for women to have a vaginal birth after C-section, known as VBAC, and should be encouraged. But some hospitals still do not regularly perform them. GBMC, for example, has started offering free classes on the subject, and Cofiell said she was counseled about VBAC but declined. The demand for C-sections shows how times have changed, said Dr. Nada Stotland, a Chicago psychiatrist and former indeed, Blomquist and Handa plan to continue the research - Macones' initial reaction is that counseling is likely lacking in some doctors' offices. He said women who have more information might be less likely to opt for C-sections or inductions, and less likely to be disappointed if they end up with an unplanned surgery. "I personally do think there are too many C-sections, and the moms and babies aren't any better off," said Macones. "In my career I've done one completely elective C-section (though) many people have asked." Still, for a woman's mental well-being, "I'd be willing to do it if I felt the patient understood the risks and had been counseled fully," he said. MARYLAND: Dawn Cofiell delivered her three children Brayden, 2 (from left) Donovan, 3, and Kaitlyn, 9 months, by cesarean section at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. -- MCT president of the American Psychiatric Association. Fifty to 60 years ago, women were much more upset about the procedure because they knew they had a major complication or felt they had failed in some way, she said. Even after a resurgence of support for natural childbirth, a C-section carries no stigma today. Although the change in attitude is good news for women who need C-sections, Stotland said, it encourages others to undergo potentially risky surgery for nonmedical reasons such as convenience or fear of pain. Women who requested a C-section because they were overwhelmed by their fear of labor pain remain afraid, even though modern medicine means no one has to endure pain, she said. "How much this figures into an individual's psyche is nothing we can measure, because we can't do randomized studies by making some women have C-sections and some vaginal births," she said. "Instead, we absolutely should have more counseling. Labor is OK, and they'll survive. Most births go very well; there's no good evidence now to circumvent Mother Nature." But while many doctors seem to agree that too many C-sections are performed for nonmedical reasons, they might not understand how birthing options affect patients. The GBMC study can help doctors with that, said Dr George A Macones, professor and chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University in St Louis. He has studied labor induction and VBAC, and has worked closely with the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Though he'd like to see more studies - and, At Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore's busiest baby hospital and among the busiest in the state, the focus will remain on lowering the C-section rate, said Dr. Robert Atlas, chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology. Data show that Mercy performs a slightly below-average number of cesareans and has one of the highest rates of vaginal births after C-sections in the state. Atlas said a discussion could reveal a woman's true motivation for requesting a cesarean section. A mother might have a fear of labor, or might want to ensure that her doctor delivers the baby and not the practice's on-call physician. A meet-and-greet with the other doctors could help, he said. Counseling could help others with different fears. "The issue is, we're not always listening to the patients," he said. "But sometimes what they want isn't what's best for them. We should be talking to our patients, but we should also be counseling them." Handa, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Johns Hopkins, said doctors in general are making an effort to listen to their patients, and that is why some are agreeing to more cesareans. She said women are getting information from many sources, including the Internet and television, though they might not be attending traditional childbirth classes as much as they once did. And they seem more accepting of C-sections and have no guilt or ill feelings. "With respect to women's preferences, this study is reassuring," Handa said. "It suggests when women choose, along with their doctors, a cesarean, it's a satisfying experience. Of course, satisfaction shouldn't be the only measure, but it has to be one piece of the puzzle." -- MCT Depression causes brain damage TAIPEI: Taiwan doctors have found that depression can cause brain damage, so it is necessary for patients to take medication to repair the damage and cure their depression. Doctors at the Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital carried out the study to find out if depression, which is on the rise in many countries, is a psychological problem or a physical disease. Tzu Chi doctors studied 20 thesis from various countries on depression patients' brain structure as analyzed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and concluded that depressed people not only feel sad, but also suffer from a brain disease. The MRI analysis showed that the grey matter of the anterior cingulate cortex, which controls emotion and social cognition, is damaged, according to the study led by Dr Lai Chien-han. The Tzu Chi hospital invited 15 people who suffered from clinical depression, but had never taken anti-depressants, to take anti-depressants for six weeks. As a result, their anterior cingulate cortex grey matter grew. "This shows that anti-depressants can reduce or heal the damage to anterior cingulate grey matter, giving hope for relieving or curing depression," Dr Lai said. "We urge depression patients to seek treatment. If they let their depression worsen, it will affect brain function and in the long term will cause their brain structure to shrink," he said. --dpa Lengthy listening to MP3 player damages hearing DUBAI: Not only can listening to loud music through your MP3 player damage your hearing but even lengthy listening at a moderate sound volume can be harmful. That warning came from experts at the Medcare Hospital in Dubai as part of International Noise Awareness Day. An individual's hearing can be permanently impaired when they listen to music at a moderate level over a period of hours. Listening to music at 90 decibels for eight hours will cause definite hearing loss, said audiologists in Dubai. Ninety decibels is the equivalent of a lawnmower or traffic on a busy highway. The ear can withstand about eight hours of this sound pressure before cells in the inner ear begin to be damaged. For every five decibels above this, the listening time is halved, meaning you can only tolerate four hours exposure at 95 decibels and two hours at 100 decibels. The experts warned that instant and irreversible damage can be caused at 120 decibels and above. The experts said MP3 players or similar appliances are safe to use with their volume set at 50 per cent. Music can be listened to for five hours at 60 per cent of the player's volume before one's hearing can be damaged. At 90 per cent of the volume, the time should be limited to just 10-15 minutes with regular rest periods so the ears can recover. -- dpa A e niv rsar n Eating habits change with age MUNICH: Formerly svelte French actress Catherine Deneuve, now 67, seems to have had enough of strict diets and to feel fine in her fuller figure. At least that is how it looks in her recently released film Potiche. With her fleshier female form, Deneuve is somewhat of an exception in the movies and media, where women, also older ones, tend to range from slender to borderline skinny. Do other older women feel compelled to emulate them? Some older people - "mostly women, not men" - do, in fact, consider themselves to be too fat, remarked Barbara Ney, a longtime member of the Association of German Professional Psychologists. "They buy certain pills, for instance, thinking the pills will help them to lose weight." According to the Remuda Ranch, a clinic for eating disorders in the US state of Arizona, an increasing number of older women suffer from these disorders and many doctors fail to recognize them. Overall, however, only a small percentage of older people have an eating disorder such as anorexia. A survey by the Berlinbased Robert Koch Institute, the German federal institution responsible for disease control and prevention, found that about 44 percent of men and women over age 65 are overweight, and about 1 percent are underweight. Ney said that the survey's findings were in line with her own experience. "Unhealthy weight-loss diets or serious eating disorders affect only a very small group," she remarked. "A more common problem for older people is not eating healthily." Ney's observation was confirmed by Mar tin Haupt, vice -president of the German Society of Gerontopsychiatry and Gerontopsychotherapy. "In old age, the sense of taste and thirst diminish. In addition, illnesses and other problems occur," he said. This leads to an unbalanced diet. Haupt said that while eating disorders in old age existed, they were not a mass phenomenon. "The advertising industry and media have found a new target group in older people," he noted. "But that's a far cry from causing them to eat poorly or to starve themselves."Something that has noticeably changed over the years, Haupt said, is body awareness. "Many older men and women are more mindful of a balanced diet. They eat more healthily than the generation before them," he said, adding that eating habits had changed thanks to better public information. "People know how much they're supposed to drink and which foods contain vitamins and carbohydrates, for example. They eat less fat and more fish and fruit," he said. What is more, larger numbers of older people now exercise -- not fanatically, but to preserve muscle mass and circulatory stability, and also to maintain their weight. "Some older people put on weight after they retire, one of the reasons being that they get less exercise," said Haupt, who pointed out that many elderly men and women today were aware of the interplay between a healthy diet and sufficient exercise. The latter, he added, "depends on their retaining adequate mobility, of course." Haupt said that men in particular had a hard time losing a few pounds by dieting and then keeping the weight off. "In old age, too, they often experience a yo-yo effect," he noted. "Men tend to revert more easily to old eating habits" -- but also diet less frequently than women. -- dpa y Years H E A LT H MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 HEIDELBERG: A Humboldt penguin swims in their pool at the zoo in the southern German city of Heidelberg. -- AFP Say bye to obesity To advertise on this page advertise this l t t please contact us: 248 33 199 email@example.com A e niv rsar n Years W H AT ' S O N 30 IIS organizes salad dressing competition y MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 "T N o remember a successful salad is generally to remember a successful dinner, at all events, the perfect dinner necessarily includes the perfect salad". With this thought in mind Integrated Indian School run in Collaboration with Kalka Group of Institutions organized a "Salad Competition" for its students on May 5, 2011 in the school It is said that it takes four men to dress a salad, a wise man for the salt, a madman for the pepper, a miser for the vinegar and a spendthrift for the oil. The endowed students of Integrated Indian School presented their salads with a variety of vegeta- bles, fruits and pulses that looked very delicious. Though the presentation of all students was mouth watering, the students of Success House and Happiness House bagged the first position while Knowledge House managed to bag the second place. The third position was grabbed by Truth House. As the competition was very tough. The Director Anis Ahmad and Principal Ritu Mathur had a real tough time declaring the winners. The Principal Ritu Mathur and Director Anis Ahmad congratulated them appreciated their efforts behind such an artistic creation and presentation which was a feast to the eyes of the viewers. ICAI Kuwait Chapter K uwait Chapter of ICAI is pleased to announce its next CPE event tomorrow, May 17 at 6:30 pm at the Sharq Ball Room in Holiday Inn, Down Town. The topic will be `Executive Remuneration: Changing Landscape' and the presenter is Mayank Vir Saxena, Advisory Services, E & Y, Kuwait and Oscar Avila, Advisory Services, E & Y, Kuwait. Notice to Filipino citizens otice is hereby given that under Republic Act No. 9189, otherwise known as "The Overseas Absentee Voting Act of 2003", all citizens of the Philippines abroad, not otherwise disqualified by law, at least eighteen (18) years of age on the day of the election, and who are registered overseas absentee voters with approved applications to vote in absentia, may vote for Senators and Party-list Representatives. For this purpose, all qualified Filipino citizens not registered as voters under Republic Act No. 8189, otherwise known as "The Voters Registration Act of 1996", (the system of continuing registration) shall file an application for registration while those who are already registered under the said Act shall file an application for certification. For purposes of the May 13, 2013 elections, the filing of applications for registration/certification and transfer of registration records shall be filed at the Post or other designated registration areas from October 31, 2011 to October 31, 2012. The 30-day voting period is from April 13, 2013 until 3:00'o clock in the afternoon (Philippine time) of May 13, 2013 at any Philippine Embassies or Consulates. (The time for voting to be announced later). For details, please contact telephone number: 65184433 (Kuwait) Al Taalib Scholarship 2011 Announcements IWG dinner dance For those of you who still require tickets to the IWG Spring Dinner-Dance (Thursday, 19 May), we will have tickets available for purchase at Costa Coffee in Al Bida'a from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. Ahmadi Music Group The Ahmadi Music Group, directed by Richard Bushman, is delighted to announce the forthcoming production of The Desert Song by Siegmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein. Fully-staged, with costumes, dancing, professional soloists, a cast of around fifty people and a full symphony orchestra, this will be a wonderful opportunity to experience an evening of musical theatre in the stunning new Performing Arts Centre at The English School Salmiya. Tuesday 31 May, Preview Performance for students. Wednesday 1 June, Black-tie Gala Opening Performance followed by Buffet Supper. Thursday 2 June, Performance. Friday 3 June, Performance. All performances start at 7pm at The English School, Salmiya. Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Thanima to present legend play Thanima (The Human and Nostalgic Interaction of Malayalees Abroad) is presenting of yet another unique cultural event to the Kuwait cultural spectrum by enacting ballads of the epic Vadakkan Pattukal (Ballads of North Malabar) of medieval Kerala on stage. `Oru Vadakkan Veerakatha', drama scope mega budget full length visual entertainer becomes a reality in the collective effort of Malayalee expatriate community in Kuwait spearheaded by Thanima. The play will be staged at 4.30 pm and 8.30 pm on 20 May at Al-Jeel AlJadeed School Auditorium Hawally. The drama combines both the legendary spirit of Vadakkan Pattu and the bravery of Kalaripayattu (martial art form of Kerala) and harmonizes with the technical excellence of silver screen. In 18 sets it will be on stage designed by acclaimed Artist Sujathan. Entry will be restricted through passes. Voice Kuwait 6th Anniversary Voice Kuwait is celebrating its 6th anniversary "VISWAKALA 2011" on May 20th Friday from 4 pm to 9 pm at Carmel School Khaitan. Voice Kuwait is giving award to its member's children who got highest mark in last S.S.L.C. either from Kuwait or from Kerala. The students those are eligible should give attested copy of their mark list to Area conveners or sent copy to email@example.com For more information please contact 66950482,94419371. Aware Arabic course The AWARE management is glad to inform those interested in learning Arabic that Summer 1 Arabic language courses will begin on April 24 and go on till June 2, 2011. AWARE Arabic language courses are designed with the expat in mind. The environment is relaxed and courses are designed for those wanting to learn Arabic for travel, cultural understanding, and conducting business or simply to become more involved in the community. We cater to teachers, travelers and those working in the private business sector. A l Taalib Scholarship is a financial aid scheme for the under privileged school students in Kuwait, sponsored by the Ministry of Awqaf in association with Islam Presentation Committee (IPC), Friday Forum and Pakistan Kuwait Welfare Association. These scholarships were given to the needy students irrespective of their religion or nationality. The process of Al Taalib Scholarship for the current academic year, 2011-12, has begun for all Indian and Pakistani Schools in Kuwait. In order to avail this scholarship, applicants are requested to collect the Application Form from Al Taalib Office located in CAMS, Ahmed Al Jaber Street, Darwaza, Near Warba Insurance Co., Int'l Islamic Charity Organization Building, 2nd Floor, Al Sharq. The duly filled application form shall be submitted to Al Taalib office on or before 10th May 2011 along with all supporting documents specified in the Application Form. Kala holds Balakalamela I ndian Embassy Charge D' Affairs Vidhu P Nair inaugurated Balakalamela -2011, which was conducted for the Indian Students in Kuwait by Kerala Art Lovers Association on May 13, at Carmel School, Khaithan. Nair quoted in his speech that on seeing the children accompanied by their parents to it evoked his childhood memories .More than 1,000 students participated in a total of 20 items. He also inspired the students by emphasizing that participating is more important than being the winner of a competition. Kala president Sam Pynummoodu presided the inaugural meeting. The competitions took place in 10 different stages named as Layam, Thalam,Thanam, Ragam, Melam. Varnam, Pallavi, Niram, Ushas and Sandram . Benji Benson ever rolling trophy in memory of late United Indian School student Benji Benson will be presented to the school which has won the overall championship on June 3. In the whole one day program, Vinu Kalleli, Sasidharan, Sudheer, Rejeesh, Sajid, Jayaraj, Shubha Shine, Binu Rani Albert, Bineesh Babu, Vikas, Saji Thomas Mathew, Michael, Sarath, Saji Mathew, Sunil and Krishnan co-ordinated in making the event a success. Kala bid farewell to Chellapan, John Britto and Suresh who were leaving Kuwait back to hometown in India by presenting them with a memento as a token of love and affection. Kala's literary magazine "Kaithiri" was also released during the occasion. In addition to the tensed atmosphere of the most awaited results of Kerala Elections, Kala General Secretary R Naganathan welcomed all . Balakalamela General Convener, K Vinod rendered the vote of thanks. CAT & ACCA finalists awarded he informative seminar and the annual awards ceremony was organized in International School of Pakistan to recognize the Asian talents in professional studies of accounting and finance. Rick Sturge, Group Development Director of London School of Business and Finance graced the event as chief guest. The event began by the recitation of the verses T from the Holy Quran. Anjum Masood the Principal of the school delivered the welcome address highlighting the importance of professional education in building the society the well financial literate to meet the challenges. Michael White the acting country director of British Council congratulated the CAT and ACCA finalists while awarding the mementos in recognition of their bril- liant success. The entire event was conducted by Rohina Ali in her unique style. The chief guest appraised the young talents from Pakistan and India who proved their talents. The CAT finalists include Thansal Abdul Bashir, Hamid Shahrukh, Daniyal Anjum, Danish Shafiq, Usama Maqsood, Talal Hasan, Mohammad Waqas, Syed Shabi Ul Hassan, Ayesha Naveed, Faryal Tahira and Ayesha Shakeel. Those who completed their ACCA and completed their graduation degree in applied accounting were Saad Ali Shahid, Zain Ul Abideen and Burhan Anwar. Parents of the finalists shared their moments of joys among the notable guests. Amjad Latif senior section in charge of the school concluded the event by vote of thanks followed by dinner. Yasmine Adel appointed Communications Manager at the M�venpick Hotel Kuwait Free Trade Zone New member joins the M�venpick Hotel Kuwait family M �venpick Hotel Kuwait celebrated the recent appointment of Yasmine Adel as the Communications Manager. Yasmine is born and raised in Egypt. She graduated from the Faculty of Arts at Alexandria University and has extensive experience in the hospitality field. She began her career seven years ago in Kuwait as Public Relations Coordinator at the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Kuwait. She displayed great aptitude and was a valuable asset to the organization, earning the admiration of her superiors. She was promoted to Executive Assistant for marketing and Public Relations. In her new role, she was responsible for all marketing campaigns of two of the most important Spas in Kuwait, the Spa Aquatonic and Laila Gallery Spa. In addition to this, she was also involved in marketing campaigns for the rest of the hotel facilities including rooms, restaurants and banquet halls. Her efforts brought in barter deals for the hotel amounting to an impressive KD 1,250,000. Yasmine also supervised all events and press conferences for the both hotels. In her stint at the Regency Hotel, Yasmine rose through the ranks to secure the position of Assistant Public Relation Manager. She was supporting the marketing campaigns as well as responsible for creating plans and PR strategies for the hotel and also worked with the sales team to increase their database. She was also instrumental in supporting the Corporate Social Responsibility programs for the hotel in the State of Kuwait. Yasmine has always been keen on developing her skills, having participated in several training courses at many hotels over the course of her career. This broadened her horizons and helped her grow professionally. She has expressed her pleasure at joining the Movenpick Hotel Kuwait Free Trade Zone, with the assurance that she will strive on her journey of success. Her focus will be to continue the successful work, so M�venpick Hotel becomes one of the most important and best hotels in Kuwait, keeping in mind the standard and values of the Swiss hotel chain M�venpick. M�venpick Hotels & Resorts, an upscale hotel management company with over 12,000 employees, is represented in 30 countries with over 90 hotels existing or under construction. Focussing on expansion in its core markets of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, the international hotel group specialises in business and conference hotels, as well as holiday resorts. Of Swiss origin, M�venpick Hotels & Resorts positions itself in the upscale segment and stands for quality, reliability and care with a personal touch. The hotel group is owned by M�venpick Holding (66.7%) and the Kingdom Group (33.3%). Write to us Send to What's On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 24835619 / 20 A e niv rsar n Years W H AT ' S O N 31 Movenpick organizes blood donation camp he Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al-Bida'a Kuwait organized a blood donation event in cooperation with the Kuwait Central Blood Bank (KCBB). Staff from Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al-Bida'a Kuwait saved countless lives on April 28, 2011 - although they will never know who they helped. More than 30 staff took time from their daily y MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 Embassy Information EMBASSY OF AUSTRALIA The Embassy encourages all Australians to register their presence in Kuwait through Smartraveller Online (see link below). Australians who are registered are asked to update their details. The information provided will assist us in contacting you in an emergency. www.smartraveller.gov.au Kuwait citizens can apply for and receive visit visas to Australia online at www.immi.gov.au. This usually takes two working days. All others visa applications are handled by the Australian Visa Application Centre Tel. 22971110. Witnessing and certifying documents are by appointment only, please contact the Embassy on 2232 2422. The Australian Embassy is open from 8.00am to 4.00pm, Sunday to Thursday. T routines to each donate a unit of blood to the Kuwait Central Blood Bank (KCBB), which came collecting at the luxury beachside resort. Dr Seham Chaarawy from the KCBB explained that blood is always in need in Kuwait and stated that she is pleased with the awareness and generosity of both Kuwaitis and expatriates in the country. She warned, however, that there is a high turnover of all types of blood and that stocks must be constantly replenished. Many of the hotel staff expressed an interest in donating blood, from back of the house to the Executive Office. Mohamed Ibrahim, Director of Sales & Marketing at Movenpick Hotel & Resort Al-Bida'a, led from the front by donating blood. Ibrahim said, "Corporate social responsibility takes many forms and donating blood is a simple and valuable way of contributing to our community." "From a personal standpoint, any one of us could need a transfusion at any time, it's great to know that we are all giving to save lives - even if we will never know who we helped." Movenpick Hotels & Resorts lures summer travelers M ovenpick Hotels & Resorts has announced its 2011 summer offers under the umbrella "100 percent summer fun and 25 percent extra savings". Guest staying at over 40 Movenpick Hotels & Resorts across the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa will enjoy an additional discount up to 25 percent on the enticing seasonal rates. Travelers can select among 24 Middle Eastern hotels located across Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates or explore fascinating destinations within some of the company's European, Asian and African locations. This attractive offer will start on May 15 and be valid throughout the summer and Ramadan. Toufic Tamim, Vice President for Sales & Marketing in the Middle East, said as travelers start organizing their summer getaways, they will find our additionally discounted sum- mer prices attractive. "Our summer offers are especially appealing this year as they not only encourage intra-regional travel but provide the opportunity to experience long-haul international locations." he said. In addition, they are designed to reward our loyal repeat guests and to attract the weekend-stay local market to come and experience our properties." Travelers looking for leisure, shopping and world-class entertainment can select one of the four Movenpick Hotels & Resorts located in Dubai. For relaxation with a cultural twist, guests can select from five properties in Jordan, located in the key historical and leisure locations of Dead Sea, Aqaba, Tala Bay and Petra while those looking for a vibrant lifestyle getaway will find the Movenpick Hotel & Resort Beirut the place to be. For a traditional Middle Eastern experience, guests may opt to stay in any of the two Movenpick Hotels & Resorts within Qatar and Kuwait respectively or at any of eight properties within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the summer offer is valid in exciting international locations such as Zurich, Geneva, Prague, Amsterdam, Berlin, Istanbul, Phuket, Saigon and Tunis, among many more. EMBASSY OF BRITAIN The Visa Application Centre (VAC) will be closed on the same dates above. The opening hours of the Visa Application Centre are 0930 - 1630 Application forms remain available online from the UKBAs' website: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk or from the Visa Application Centre's website: www.vfsuk-kw.com. And also, from the UK Visa Application Centre located at: 4B, First Floor, Al Banwan Building (Burgan Bank Branch Office Building), Al Qibla area, opposite Central Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait City. For any further inquiries, please contact the Visa Application Centre: Website: www.vfs-uk-kw.com E-mail:email@example.com Telephone:22971170. The Consular Section will also be closed on the same dates. For information on the British Embassy services, visit the British Embassy website: www.ukinkuwait.fco.gov.uk EMBASSY OF GERMANY The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kuwait wishes to announce that as of 1 May 2011, the external service provider Al Qabas Assurex is operating a Visa Application Centre in support of the German Embassy. Short-term visa applications for travels to Germany (e.g. for tourism, visits, business) are to be submitted to the service provider Al Qabas who for your convenience will ensure that all relevant documents are included in your application. Your personal appearance at the Application Centre is not required. Address of the Visa Application Centre: Al Qabas Assurex Sanabel Tower (Al-Babtain) Mezzanine (M3) opposite Sharq Mall Kuwait 22924444 Fax: 22924442 Further information are available on the following websites: www.kuwait.diplo.de www.qavisa.com ICS holds workshop for teachers H elping teachers to stay motivated in today's environment is as important as ensuring their ongoing exposure to the tools, technology and trends that will enable them to perform their jobs better. Keeping this in view, the Principal of Indian central school, Shantha Maria James, has always provided the teachers with opportunities to attend seminars and workshops on diverse topics very often. To motivate the teachers on the onset of the new academic year one such workshop was /conducted on the topic, ` Inspiring Teachers to Facilitate Learning in Children'. The resource per- son, P Vijay Chandran, a highly reputed academic consultant and the former principal of SBOA Public School, Kochi began his power-Point based workshop with these inspiring words, `Nice words are a great motivation.' The entire workshop was divided into two sessions. The first session was titled, `the Teacher as a facilitator.' He urged the teachers to bring in their passion, experience, personality into the classroom and provide an atmosphere for the learners to communicate openly on the subject. The qualities of a good teacher were extracted in quite a practical and interactive man- ner. His reference of books, writers, and scientists to make the teachers understand his point of view created an interesting atmosphere. Activities given to the teachers were so catchy, informative and innovative that all the teachers were eagerly involved in it. The second session highlighted on the teacher's role in providing quality education in schools. In this phase, he encouraged the teachers to call themselves as the nerve center of the system- the owners, who have to be agile, active, alert, accommodative, energetic and practical to bring out the best in their students. He insisted that teachers have to be at their best in teaching especially during the first phase of a child's life/which will definitely mould him into an intellectual person. He concluded the presentation by `reciting the poem "Child's Plea" by Fleming followed by the post workshop activities wherein the teachers were asked to put forward their queries. The veteran congratulated the Principal Shantha Maria James for her efforts and dedication in imparting quality education to the students. The workshop was very interesting and motivated all the teachers to begin their new academic year enthusiastically. EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da'aiyah. Please visit our website at www.Kuwait.gc.ca. Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at www.voyage.gc.ca. The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at www.UAE.gc.ca. Effective January 15, 2011, the only Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application form that will be accepted by CIC is the Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257] form. All previous Temporary Resident Visa application forms will no longer be accepted by CIC and instead will be returned to applicants. Should old applications be submitted prior to January 15, 2011 they will continue to be processed. To ensure that the most recent version of the Temporary Resident Visa application form is being utilized, applicants should refer to the CIC website. As of January 15, 2011, forms are to be filled in electronically. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The forms are available on the internet at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/forms/IMM52 57E.PDF. A guide explaining the process can be found here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/guides/5256E .PDF. EMBASSY OF KENYA The Embassy of the Republic of Kenya wishes to request all Kenyans resident in or training through Kuwait to register with the Embassy. We are updating our database. This information is necessary in order to facilitate quick assistance and advise in times of emergency. Kindly visit in person or register through our website www.kenyaembkuwait.com. The Embassy is located in: Surra Area - Block 6 - Street 9 - Villa 3 Tel: 25353362 25353314; Fax: 25353316. Konni Nivasi Sangamam celebrates annual day K onni Nivasi Sangamam, Kuwait conducted its 6th annual day and general body meeting on May 13, 2011 at the United Indian School Auditorium Abbasiya at 11 am. The meeting was presided over by Prasad Koshy, the President of Konni Nivasi Snagamam and the meeting was started with the prayer song sung by Kumari Ganga Prasad , the treasurer Shaji George welcomed the audience. The meeting was officially inaugurated by Norka member Varghese Puthukulangara and lighting the traditional lamp done by Prasad Koshy, Raju Varghese, Varghese Puthukulangara, Samkutty George and Oommen Samuel. The annual report was presented by General Secretary Anil P Cheriyan followed by patron's message by Raju Varghese. Thomas Mathew has granted the vote of thanks to the meeting. Cultural programs started with Group Song by Johncy Philip and Princy Philip followed by performing of musical instrument by Athul Thmoas, Nadanpattu by Sree Kumar and Soman Nair, quiz competition by Thomas Mathew, and Skit performance by Anand Raj and party. The Ganamela and mimicry by Kalai and team was the main highlight for the cultural program. The entire annual day program lead by Varghese Mathew (Sabu) and Thomas Mathew (Moncy). All cultural program was really exciting, entertaining and enchanting to all. The election of 2011-2012 year office bearers were held through a very systematic way, accordingly the following members were elected as the office bearers of Konni Nivasi Sangamam for the year 2011-2012. Prasad Koshy (President), John Philip (Vice President), Varghese Mathew (General Secretary), Mathai Varghese (Secretary) Thomas Mathew (Treasurer), Shoji George (Jt Treasurer), Anil P Cheriyan (Auditor), Abraham Mathews (Charity Committee Convener), Annand Raj (Cultural Committee Convener) and Oommen Samuel (Charity Committee Convener). EMBASSY OF NIGERIA The Nigerian embassy has moved its office to Mishref. Block 3, Street 7, House 4. For enquires please call 25379541. Fax25387719. Email- firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com EMBASSY OF SRI LANKA The Embassy of Sri Lanka will be closed for the public tomorrow 17th May 2001, in lieu of "Vesak festival of Sri Lanka. EMBASSY OF SOUTH AFRICA The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa will be closed on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 12:30 due to the National Day celebration. The Embassy will resume its normal working hours on Thursday, May 19, 2011, from Sunday to Thursday. Please note that the working hours will be from 8:00 to 16:00 and the consular section operation hours will from 8:30 to 12:30. A e niv rsar n y Years TV PROGRAMS 12:05 12:25 12:50 13:15 13:40 14:05 14:30 14:55 15:20 15:45 15:55 16:20 16:45 17:10 18:00 18:20 18:45 19:10 19:35 20:00 20:25 20:35 20:50 21:15 21:40 22:05 22:25 22:50 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Special Agent OSO Imagination Movers Higglytown Heroes Lazytown Little Einsteins Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Timmy Time Jo Jo's Circus Imagination Movers Jungle Junction Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Special Agent OSO Little Einsteins Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Little Einsteins Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Timmy Time Handy Manny Jungle Junction Little Einsteins Jo Jo's Circus Jungle Junction Lazytown Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 16:00 16:25 16:45 17:10 17:35 18:00 18:25 18:45 19:10 19:35 20:00 20:25 20:50 21:12 21:15 21:35 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:15 Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Jonas LA Fish Hooks Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Suite Life On Deck Phineas And Ferb Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Sonny With A Chance Jake And Blake Hannah Montana Have A Laugh Phineas And Ferb Fairly Odd Parents Replacements Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Wizards Of Waverly Place MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 00:45 Untamed And Uncut 01:40 Dogs 101 02:35 Into The Lion's Den 03:30 Great Savannah Race 04:25 Into The Pride 05:20 Last Chance Highway 06:10 Must Love Cats 07:00 Meerkat Manor 07:25 The Really Wild Show 07:50 Growing Up... 08:40 Breed All About It 09:10 Cats 101 10:05 Michaela's Animal Road Trip 11:00 Animal Precinct 11:55 Wildlife SOS 12:50 Animal Cops South Africa 13:45 SSPCA: On The Wildside 14:10 E-Vets: The Interns 14:40 Killer Crocs Of Costa Rica 15:30 Planet Wild 16:00 The Really Wild Show 16:30 Natural Born Hunters 17:00 All New Planet's Funniest Animals 17:25 Animal Crackers 18:20 Karina: Wild On Safari 19:15 Michaela's Animal Road Trip 20:10 Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 21:05 The Animals' Guide To Survival 22:00 Planet Earth 22:55 Your Worst Animal Nightmares 23:50 Life In The Undergrowth 15:05 15:50 17:25 19:00 19:50 20:35 Come Dine With Me Masterchef: The Professionals Rhodes Across China Antiques Roadshow Cash In The Attic Bargain Hunt 00:20 00:50 01:35 02:25 03:10 04:00 04:30 04:50 05:10 05:35 05:45 06:05 06:25 06:50 07:05 07:25 07:45 08:10 08:20 08:40 09:00 09:25 09:40 10:40 11:25 12:15 12:45 13:15 14:10 15:40 16:30 17:15 17:45 18:15 19:10 20:00 20:45 21:15 21:45 22:40 23:30 One Foot In The Grave The Weakest Link Around The World In 20 Years The Weakest Link New Tricks My Family Me Too Tweenies Teletubbies Charlie And Lola Me Too Tweenies Teletubbies Charlie And Lola Me Too Tweenies Teletubbies Charlie And Lola Me Too Tweenies Teletubbies Charlie And Lola My Family The Weakest Link Monarch Of The Glen Doctors One Foot In The Grave Around The World In 20 Years My Family Monarch Of The Glen The Weakest Link Doctors One Foot In The Grave Around The World In 20 Years Monarch Of The Glen The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Holby City New Tricks Live At The Apollo 00:00 BBC World News 00:10 World Features 00:30 Horizons 01:00 BBC World News 01:30 Asia Business Report 01:45 Asia Today 02:00 BBC World News 02:10 World Features 02:30 Our World 03:00 BBC World News 03:10 World Features 03:30 India Business Report 04:00 BBC World News 04:30 Asia Business Report 04:45 Asia Today 05:00 BBC World News 05:30 Asia Business Report 05:45 Asia Today 06:00 BBC World News 06:30 Hardtalk 07:00 BBC World News 07:30 World Business Report 07:45 BBC World News 08:30 World Business Report 08:45 BBC World News 09:30 World Business Report 09:45 Sport Today 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 World Business Report 10:45 Sport Today 11:00 BBC World News 11:30 Hardtalk 12:00 BBC World News 12:30 World Business Report 12:45 Sport Today 13:00 BBC World News 13:30 World Business Report 13:45 Sport Today 14:00 GMT With George Alagiah 14:30 GMT With George Alagiah 15:00 BBC World News 15:30 World Business Report 15:45 Sport Today 16:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 17:30 World Business Report 17:45 Sport Today 18:00 BBC World News 18:30 Hardtalk 19:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:30 World Business Report 20:45 Sport Today 21:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 22:30 World Business Report 22:45 Sport Today 23:00 BBC World News America 23:30 Hardtalk 00:40 Come Dine With Me 02:20 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 03:35 New Scandinavian Cooking 07:00 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 08:50 Rhodes Across China 09:35 Antiques Roadshow 10:25 Masterchef: The Professionals 12:00 Rhodes Across China 12:45 Antiques Roadshow 13:35 Cash In The Attic 14:20 Bargain Hunt 00:20 00:45 01:10 01:35 02:00 02:25 02:50 03:15 03:40 04:05 04:30 04:55 05:20 05:45 06:10 06:35 07:00 07:10 07:35 08:00 08:20 09:10 09:35 10:00 10:25 10:35 10:50 11:15 11:40 Imagination Movers Higglytown Heroes Special Agent OSO Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Little Einsteins Jo Jo's Circus Lazytown Jungle Junction Imagination Movers Higglytown Heroes Special Agent OSO Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Little Einsteins Jo Jo's Circus Timmy Time Lazytown Higglytown Heroes Imagination Movers Little Einsteins Handy Manny Jungle Junction Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Timmy Time Jungle Junction Imagination Movers Little Einsteins Jo Jo's Circus 00:05 Cow And Chicken 00:30 Cramp Twins 00:55 George Of The Jungle 01:20 Adventure Time 01:45 Eliot Kid 02:10 Ed, Edd N Eddy 02:35 Ben 10: Alien Force 03:00 The Powerpuff Girls 03:15 Chowder 03:40 The Secret Saturdays 04:05 My Gym Partner's A Monkey 04:30 Ben 10: Alien Force 04:55 Best Ed 05:20 Skunk Fu! 05:45 Cramp Twins 06:10 Eliot Kid 06:35 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 07:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 07:25 Cow And Chicken 07:50 Angelo Rules 08:05 Cartoon Network Dance Club 08:15 Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends 08:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 09:05 The Secret Saturdays 09:30 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 09:55 The Powerpuff Girls 10:20 Robotboy 10:30 Hero 108 10:55 Ben 10 11:20 Chowder 11:45 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 12:10 Camp Lazlo 12:35 George Of The Jungle 13:00 Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends 13:25 Codename: Kids Next Door 13:50 Ben 10 14:15 My Gym Partner's A Monkey 14:40 Squirrel Boy 15:05 Eliot Kid 15:35 Ed, Edd N Eddy 16:00 Cow And Chicken 16:25 Chop Socky Chooks 16:50 Skunk Fu! 17:15 Chowder 17:40 Best Ed 18:05 Hero 108 18:30 Cartoon Network Dance Club 18:45 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 18:55 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 19:20 Ben 10: Alien Force 19:45 The Secret Saturdays 20:10 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 20:35 Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes 21:00 The Powerpuff Girls 21:25 Ed, Edd N Eddy 21:50 Robotboy 22:00 Camp Lazlo 22:25 Hero 108 22:50 Ben 10 23:15 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 23:40 Chowder 00:15 00:40 01:35 02:30 03:25 04:20 04:50 05:15 06:05 07:00 07:50 08:45 09:10 09:40 10:30 10:55 11:25 12:20 13:15 14:10 15:05 16:00 16:55 17:50 18:45 19:10 19:40 20:05 20:35 21:00 21:55 22:50 23:45 One Way Out Worst-Case Scenario Mythbusters Mega Builders Huge Moves How Do They Do It? How Stuff's Made Worst-Case Scenario Mighty Ships Mega Builders American Chopper How Stuff's Made How Do They Do It? Mythbusters Cake Boss Border Security Street Customs Berlin Ultimate Survival Mythbusters LA Ink Dirty Jobs Street Customs Berlin Mythbusters River Monsters Cake Boss Border Security I Could Do That How Stuff's Made How Do They Do It? Gold Rush: Alaska Airplane Repo Swords: Life On The Line River Monsters 00:30 Sci-Trek 01:20 The Gadget Show 02:10 What's That About? 03:00 Colony 04:45 Weird Or What? 05:40 How Stuff's Made 06:10 The Future Of... 07:00 Da Vinci's Machines 07:55 Head Rush 07:58 Sci-Fi Science 08:25 Weird Connections 08:55 Super Comet: After The Impact 09:45 The Gadget Show 10:35 How Stuff Works 11:25 Savage Planet 11:50 Da Vinci's Machines 12:40 Patent Bending 13:05 Engineered 13:55 Nextworld 14:45 Mega World 15:35 The Gadget Show 16:00 Head Rush 16:03 Sci-Fi Science 16:30 Weird Connections 17:00 Brainiac 17:50 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 18:40 Mighty Ships 19:30 Futurecar 20:20 Weird Connections 20:45 How Stuff's Made 21:10 The Gadget Show 22:00 Mighty Ships 22:50 Futurecar 23:40 The Colony 06:00 Kid Vs Kat 06:20 Kick Buttowski 06:40 Pokemon 07:05 Phineas & Ferb 07:30 Phineas And Ferb 07:40 Phineas & Ferb 08:05 American Dragon 08:30 Kick Buttowski 08:50 Cars Toons 09:00 Zeke & Luther 09:50 I'm In The Band 10:15 The Super Hero Squad Show 10:40 Suite Life On Deck 11:30 Pair Of Kings 11:55 Phineas & Ferb 12:45 Kid Vs Kat 13:10 Cars Toons 13:20 Kid Vs Kat 13:50 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 14:40 Zeke & Luther 15:05 Suite Life On Deck 15:25 Cars Toons 15:35 Kick Buttowski 16:00 I'm In The Band 16:25 Suite Life On Deck 16:50 Zeke & Luther 17:40 Phineas & Ferb 18:30 Escape From Scorpion Island (Cema) 18:55 Pokemon 19:20 American Dragon 19:45 Aaron Stone 20:10 Cars Toons 20:15 Kid Vs Kat 20:40 Phineas & Ferb 21:05 I'm In The Band 21:30 Zeke & Luther 21:50 Phineas And Ferb 22:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 22:20 The Super Hero Squad Show AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS ON OSN MOVIES HD 22:00 Scottish Premier League HD 00:05 Unwrapped 00:30 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 00:55 Unwrapped 01:45 Guy Off The Hook - Special 02:35 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 03:25 Guy's Big Bite 04:15 Good Eats - Special 04:40 Unwrapped 05:05 Ten Dollar Dinners 05:30 Paula's Best Dishes 05:50 Paula's Party 06:35 Barefoot Contessa 07:00 Chopped 07:50 Guy's Big Bite 08:15 Boy Meets Grill 08:40 Good Deal With Dave Lieberman 09:05 Ten Dollar Dinners 09:30 Paula's Best Dishes 09:55 Barefoot Contessa 10:20 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 10:45 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 11:10 Unwrapped 11:35 Paula's Party 12:25 Good Eats - Special 12:50 Paula's Best Dishes 13:15 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 13:40 Ultimate Recipe Showdown 14:30 Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives 14:55 Unwrapped 15:20 Boy Meets Grill 15:45 Chopped 16:35 Guy's Big Bite 17:00 Barefoot Contessa 17:25 Good Deal With Dave Lieberman 17:50 Ten Dollar Dinners 18:15 Paula's Party 19:05 Good Eats - Special 19:30 Food Network Challenge 20:20 Paula's Party 21:10 Good Eats - Special 22:00 Guy Off The Hook - Special 00:30 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 01:20 I Was Murdered 02:10 On The Case With Paula Zahn 03:00 I Almost Got Away With It 03:50 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 04:45 Ghosthunters 05:15 True Crime With Aphrodite Jones 00:25 Style Star 06:10 Mystery ER 01:25 E!es 07:00 Forensic Detectives 02:20 E! Investigates 07:50 Undercover 04:10 Sexiest 08:40 Mystery Diagnosis 05:05 Reality Hell 09:30 Real Emergency Calls 05:30 Wildest TV Show Moments 10:20 The Will: Family Secrets 06:00 THS Revealed 07:50 Behind The Scenes 11:10 FBI Files 08:20 E! News 12:00 On The Case With Paula Zahn 09:15 Giuliana And Bill 12:50 Disappeared 10:15 E! Investigates 13:40 Mystery Diagnosis 12:05 Extreme Close-Up 14:30 Real Emergency Calls 12:35 Fashion Police 14:55 Real Emergency Calls 13:05 Kendra 14:05 Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami 15:20 The Will: Family Secrets 14:35 15 Most Infamous Child Star Revealed 16:10 Forensic Detectives Mugshots 17:00 Undercover 16:25 Behind The Scenes 17:50 FBI Files 16:55 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 18:40 Mystery Diagnosis 17:55 Holly's World 19:30 Real Emergency Calls 18:55 Kendra 20:20 On The Case With Paula Zahn 19:55 THS 21:10 Disappeared 20:55 The Soup 21:25 Kourtney And Kim Take New 22:00 Ripped From The Headlines 22:50 Disappeared York 23:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner 22:25 Style Star 22:55 Fashion Police 23:25 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 00:00 It's Alive-R 02:00 Nine Dead-PG15 04:00 No Time To Fear-PG15 06:00 The Taking Of Pelham 123-18 08:00 Con Air-PG15 10:00 Heaven's Fall-PG15 12:00 The Day After Tomorrow-PG 14:00 Con Air-PG15 16:00 Virtuality-PG15 18:00 The Day After Tomorrow-PG 20:00 Unbreakable-PG15 22:00 The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day-18 01:00 John Carpenter's Ghosts Of Mars-PG15 03:00 Bitch Slap-18 05:00 No Time To Fear-PG15 07:00 Harry Potter And The HalfBlood Prince-PG15 09:30 Beyond A Reasonable DoubtPG15 11:15 The Rock-PG15 13:30 Arlington Road-18 15:30 Beyond A Reasonable DoubtPG15 17:15 Inkheart-PG 19:00 Blood Brothers-PG15 21:00 Annihilation Earth-PG15 23:00 Blood River-18 01:30 World Hockey 02:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 02:30 NRL Premiership 06:30 ICC Cricket World 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 European PGA Tour 12:30 Weber Cup Bowling 13:30 Futbol Mundial 14:00 Scottish Premier League 16:00 Aviva Premiership 18:00 AFL Highlights 19:00 Golfing World 20:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 21:00 NRL Premiership 23:00 Golfing World 00:00 Exterminators-PG15 02:00 Reality Bites-PG15 04:00 Suburban Girl-PG15 06:00A Low Down Dirty Shame-PG15 08:00 He's Just Not That Into YouPG15 10:30 Bitter Suite-PG15 12:00 Evolution-PG15 14:00 The Invention Of Lying-PG15 16:00 Exterminators-PG15 18:00 Three And Out-PG15 20:00 Le Donk And Scor-zay-zeePG15 22:00 Harold And Kumar Escape From Guantanamo-R 01:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 08:30 09:30 10:00 12:00 13:00 15:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 UFC 129 WWE Vintage Collection UFC Unleashed WWE Bottom Line Superstock Powerboat Series City Centre Races Sports Adventure V8 Supercars Championship WWE Vintage Collection WWE SmackDown City Centre Races V8 Supercars Championship WWE SmackDown UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Wired UFC Unleashed 00:15 Aiya TV 00:40 Kick Ass Miracles 01:30 Fantasy Factory 02:20 Eds Up 04:50 Lucas Oil Motocross Championships 2009 06:30 iEX 2009 08:00 Quattro Events 2009 08:25 FIM World Supermoto 2010 09:15 Maloof Money Cup 2010 10:05 Maloof Money Cup 2010 10:55 Final Fu 11:45 X-Traordinary 12:35 Fantasy Factory 13:25 Mantracker 14:15 World Combat League 15:05 Final Fu 15:55 X-Traordinary 16:45 Quattro Events 2009 17:10 FIM World Supermoto 2010 18:00 Maloof Money Cup 2010 19:40 X-Traordinary 20:30 Fantasy Factory 21:20 Gumball 3000: 2008 22:10 World Combat League 23:00 Aiya TV 23:50 Fantasy Factory 01:30 03:30 05:30 07:30 09:00 10:30 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00 In America-18 Moon-PG15 America's Sweethearts-PG15 Gifted Hands-PG15 Paul Blart Mall Cop-PG15 Finding Forrester-PG Shorts-PG The Fog Of War-PG15 Paul Blart Mall Cop-PG15 Adam-PG15 Little Ashes-18 My Best Friend's Girl-18 IT'S ALIVE ON OSN ACTION HD 00:20 01:10 02:00 02:45 03:35 04:25 05:15 06:00 06:20 07:05 07:30 07:55 08:20 08:35 09:00 09:25 09:50 10:10 10:35 10:50 11:15 11:35 12:00 12:25 12:45 13:10 13:30 13:55 14:20 14:40 14:47 14:55 15:16 15:40 Replacements Fairly Odd Parents A Kind Of Magic Stitch Kim Possible Emperors New School Stitch Emperors New School Phineas And Ferb Suite Life On Deck Fish Hooks Good Luck Charlie Fairly Odd Parents Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Special Agent Oso Jungle Junction Imagination Movers Phineas And Ferb Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Fairly Odd Parents Phineas And Ferb Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Wizards Of Waverly Place Suite Life On Deck Have A Laugh Have A Laugh Good Luck Charlie Fish Hooks Wizards Of Waverly Place 00:30 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 01:20 I Was Murdered 02:10 On The Case With Paula Zahn 03:00 I Almost Got Away With It 03:50 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 04:45 Crime Scene Psychics 05:15 Murder Shift 06:10 Mystery ER 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 CSU 08:40 Mystery Diagnosis 09:30 Real Emergency Calls 10:20 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 11:10 FBI Files 12:00 On The Case With Paula Zahn 12:50 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 13:15 I Was Murdered 13:40 Mystery Diagnosis 14:30 Real Emergency Calls 15:20 The Will: Family Secrets Revealed 16:10 Forensic Detectives 17:00 CSU 17:50 FBI Files 18:40 Mystery Diagnosis 19:30 Real Emergency Calls 19:55 Real Emergency Calls 00:00 Cougar Town 00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 South Park 02:00 Saturday Night Live 03:00 Just Shoot Me 03:30 30 Rock 04:00 South Park 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Malcolm In The Middle 06:00 Yes Dear 06:30 The Drew Carey Show 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Tyler Perry's House Of Payne 08:30 Dharma And Greg 09:00 Just Shoot Me 09:30 Malcolm In The Middle 10:00 Yes Dear 10:30 Seinfeld 11:00 The Drew Carey Show 11:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 Dharma And Greg 13:00 Tyler Perry's House Of Payne 13:30 Malcolm In The Middle 14:00 Yes Dear 14:30 30 Rock 15:00 Two And A Half Men 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey Show 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Just Shoot Me 18:30 Tyler Perry's House Of Payne 19:00 Seinfeld 19:30 30 Rock 20:00 Hot In Cleveland 20:30 State Of The Union 21:00 The Daily Show Global Edition 21:30 The Colbert Report Global Edition 22:00 Robert Klein Comedy Special 23:00 South Park 23:30 Hot In Cleveland 00:00 Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs Wakko's Wakko-PG 02:00 Leave It To Beaver-PG 04:00 Stuart Little 2-FAM 06:00 Inspector Gadget's Biggest Caper Ever-FAM 08:00 Christmas In New York-PG 10:00 Leave It To Beaver-PG 12:15 Little Match Girl-PG 14:00 Stuart Little 2-FAM 16:00 Aliens In The Attic-FAM 18:00 Homeward Bound II: Lost In San Francisco-FAM 20:00 Treasure Island-PG 22:00 Little Match Girl-PG 23:45 Aliens In The Attic-FAMv 00:00 Top 10 01:00 Fashion Avenue 01:55 Big Boutique 02:25 How Do I Look? 03:20 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 04:15 Married Away 05:10 Homes With Style 05:35 Area 06:05 Clean House 07:00 Big Boutique 08:00 Homes With Style 09:00 Fashion Avenue 09:55 How Do I Look? 10:50 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 11:50 Clean House: Search For The Messiest... 12:50 Clean House 13:45 Top 10 14:15 Mel B: It's A Scary World 14:45 Jerseylicious 15:40 Ruby 16:35 Giuliana And Bill 18:25 Ruby 19:25 Big Boutique 19:50 Fashion Avenue 20:20 Clean House 21:15 Top 10 21:40 Top 10 22:10 Clean House Comes Clean 22:35 Clean House Comes Clean 23:05 Bridalplasty 00:00 The Guitar-18 02:00 The Shock Doctrine-PG15 04:00 I Spy-PG 06:00 My Son, My Son, What Have You Done?-PG15 08:00 Coco Before Chanel-PG15 10:00 By The People: The Election Of Barack Obama-PG15 12:00 The Blind Side-PG15 14:15 9-PG 16:00 Coco Before Chanel-PG15 18:00 Valentine's Day-PG15 20:00 A Fork In The Road-PG15 22:00 Legion-18 01:00 Aviva Premiership 11:00 Futbol Mundial 11:30 NRL Full Time 12:00 Live NRL Premiership 14:00 ICC Cricket World 14:30 Premier League Darts 18:00 NRL Premiership 20:00 Futbol Mundial 20:30 Trans World Sport 21:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 00:30 01:20 02:10 03:00 03:55 04:50 05:40 06:30 07:20 08:10 09:00 09:55 10:50 11:40 12:30 13:20 14:10 15:00 15:55 16:50 17:40 18:30 19:20 20:10 21:00 21:55 22:50 Engineering Disasters Dead Men's Secrets Ice Road Truckers Ancient Wonders Battle Against Rome Egypt: Land Of The Gods Modern Marvels Engineering Disasters Dead Men's Secrets Ice Road Truckers Ancient Wonders Battle Against Rome Egypt: Land Of The Gods Modern Marvels Engineering Disasters Dead Men's Secrets Ice Road Truckers Ancient Wonders Battle Against Rome Egypt: Land Of The Gods Modern Marvels Engineering Disasters Dead Men's Secrets Ice Road Truckers Ice Road Truckers Ancient Discoveries Godfathers Classifieds MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for Indian bachelors in a fully furnished central A/C building in Farwaniya with kitchen and parking facilities. Those interested may call Mob: 99038601. (C 3341) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for � 2011 MCT 11 M Societ Source: Zoological Society Dieg mer of San Diego, American Psychological Association Monitor ychologica sociation phic: Graphic: Paul Trap decent couples (non-smoking) in a central A/C, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom (1 attached) from 30th May onwards. Rent KD 85. Phone: 99416236 (C 3343) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya, near Al-Mulla exchange, one bedroom & separate bathroom with Keralite family from June onwards, small family or working ladies. Please call 66450237. (C 3340) Sharing accommodation single room available in Farwaniya near gas station, clinic from 10-6-2001 to 109-2011. Three month visit visa only with household items also. Please call 99482666. (C 3344) One Room available in three bedroom flat in Salmiya, Shara bin Mughaira street, behind Hadi hospital, prefer nurses or decent working lady, should Muslim Indian or Pakistan. Please call: 66373409 Furnished room available for single Muslim working lady with a Pakistani family in Farwaniya, rent KD 50. Contact: 65603645. (C 3347) 16-5-2011 Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya in a two bedroom apartment for a couple or an executive bachelor with all facilities. Please call 66699841. (C 3339) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya near Highway center with Keralite Christian family, two bedroom 2 separate bathroom available, family or working ladies preferred. Contact: 99509436. (C3338) FOR SALE Ford Edgese model 2011, zero mileage, brand new from company original price KD 8,000, selling price KD 7,200, serious buyers. Contact: 99495795. (C 3342) 16-5-2011 Toyota-Bus-HiAce model 2010, white color, excellent condition, price KD 5,750, negotiable. Contact: 66507741. (C 3336) PC Compaq Pentium 4, intel original HD 20 GB, Ram 128 MB (expandable), Windows XP pro with 15" LCD Neovo, price KD 400 & Laptop Acer Aspire 4315 price KD 75, all in excellent condition. Call 99322585. (C 3337) SITUATION VACANT A part time or a full time female house maid is needed to work for a small family of two. Contact: 97247999, 99367793. SITUATION WANTED Indian male B.Com, 25 years Gulf experience (Kuwait & UAE) in management, procurement, sales, seeks senior position, experience in oil field materials, hard wares, power and hand tools, timber, steel, building materials etc. Contact: 66889375. CHANGE OF NAME The new name changed for Haneef Abdul Khaleel, holder of Indian Passport No. E9556818 issued in Kuwait on 28-09-2004. Name change from Haneef Abdul Khaleel to Abdul Khaleel. 12-5-2011 Are you Are you a supertaster? supertaster? Some people love the taste love cabbage, of cooked broccoli, cabbage, cooke ed cauliflower and brussels brusse u els cauliflower sprouts and some people spro outs peo ople they r think they taste terrible. terrible. There is an actual diffe f erence between the ese difference between these two groups of people. p p p e. peopl two groups 1 2 Punch a hole near edge of paper What happened? What happened? If you counted 25 taste buds or more, scientists say you are a "supertaster"; you have a strong sense of taste and probably dislike broccoli and similar vegetables If you counted fewer than 25, you probably like most foods Other foods supertasters may not like: swab Dip the swab in the food coloring food coloring and wipe it on the tip of your tongue your LOST Policy No. 633000388 issued by the State Life Insurance Gulf Zone on the Life of Mr Tahir Mahmood is reported to have been lost. Anyone finding the same or claiming any interest in it should communicate with the State Life Kuwait Office Phone No. 22452208 within one month of this date. 12-5-2011 You'll need You'll need Clean sheet of paper food coloring Blue food coloring swab Cotton swab Hole punch, the standard stand dard 1/4-inch (6 mm) kind used for u for punching notebook paper pa aper Mirror Adult helper 3 blue par t Put the blue part of your tong your tongue through gue the hole and look in the mirror mirro or 4 Count the nu umber number of round bumps, or bum s, mp taste buds," "taste buds," that appear throu ugh through the hole Whole wheat bread Spicy peppers Tomatoes Dark chocolate Grapefruit Olives MISCELLANEOUS Sri Lankan Engineer in Maidan Hawally needs home cooked Sri Lankan food. Please call 97263962 for details. 12-5-2011 Supertaster children often learn to like more foods as they grow up DIAL 161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION In case you are not travelling, your proper cancellation of bookings will help other passengers to use seats Arrival Flights on Monday 16/5/2011 Airlines JZR THY ETH UAE DHX ETD FDB GFA QTR JZR FCX JZR KAC JZR BAW KAC KAC FDB KAC KAC KAC KAC UAE QTR ABY ETD GFA MEA JZR IRC MSR RBG KAC KAC MSR UAL RJA FDB OMA SVA Flt 205 772 620 853 370 305 67 211 138 503 201 555 412 531 157 206 302 53 352 284 344 362 855 132 125 301 213 404 165 6521 623 3557 618 672 610 982 640 57 645 500 Route DAMASCUS ISTANBUL ADDIS ABABA DUBAI BAHRAIN ABU DHABI DUBAI BAHRAIN DOHA LUXOR DUBAI ALEXANDRIA MANILA / BANGKOK ASSIUT LONDON ISLAMABAD MUMBAI DUBAI COCHIN DHAKA CHENNAI COLOMBO DUBAI DOHA SHARJAH ABU DHABI BAHRAIN BEIRUT DUBAI LAMERD SOHAG ALEXANDRIA DOHA DUBAI CAIRO WASHINGTON DC DULLES AMMAN DUBAI MUSCAT JEDDAH Time 0:25 1:15 1:45 2:25 2:55 2:55 3:10 3:15 3:20 5:15 5:25 6:10 6:15 6:20 6:30 7:15 7:50 7:55 8:05 8:10 8:20 8:20 8:25 9:00 9:10 9:30 9:35 10:55 11:10 11:20 12:10 12:55 12:55 13:15 13:20 13:30 13:35 13:50 14:00 14:30 KAC JZR QTR KAC KAC KNE KAC MLR ETD UAE GFA SVA JZR JZR ABY JZR ALK KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC AIC JAI FDB OMA JZR VOS MEA KAC DHX KLM UAE GFA QTR UAL JZR TAR JZR DLH PIA 788 257 134 546 550 745 118 403 303 857 215 510 777 239 127 213 227 104 542 786 744 614 674 774 975 572 61 647 179 81 402 552 372 445 859 217 136 981 135 327 185 636 239 JEDDAH BEIRUT DOHA ALEXANDRIA SOHAG JEDDAH NEW YORK COLOMBO / DUBAI ABU DHABI DUBAI BAHRAIN RIYADH JEDDAH AMMAN SHARJAH DEIREZZOR COLOMBO / DUBAI LONDON CAIRO JEDDAH DAMMAM BAHRAIN DUBAI RIYADH CHENNAI / GOA MUMBAI DUBAI MUSCAT DUBAI BAGHDAD BEIRUT DAMASCUS BAHRAIN AMSTERDAM DUBAI BAHRAIN DOHA BAHRAIN BAHRAIN TUNIS DUBAI FRANKFURT SIALKOT 15:00 15:10 15:15 15:30 15:35 15:35 16:15 16:40 16:50 16:55 17:15 17:20 17:25 17:35 17:40 17:50 18:00 18:35 18:50 19:00 19:15 19:20 19:25 19:25 19:30 19:35 20:00 20:10 20:10 20:15 20:15 20:45 21:00 21:05 21:15 21:25 21:35 22:00 22:10 22:15 22:35 23:00 23:55 Departur AXB DLH KLM AIC PIA AFG THY ETH UAE FDB DHX ETD QTR JZR JZR GFA BAW KAC FDB KAC JZR JZR KAC KAC KAC UAE ABY QTR ETD GFA KAC MEA JZR KAC JZR JZR IRC KAC MSR KAC RBG MSR Flt 390 637 447 982 206 406 773 620 854 68 371 306 139 164 164 212 156 545 54 671 256 256 787 549 617 856 126 133 302 214 165 405 776 541 212 238 6522 103 624 785 3558 611 Depurture Flights on Monday 16/5/2011 Route MANGALORE / KOZHIKODE FRANKFURT AMSTERDAM AHMEDABAD / CHENNAI PESHAWER / LAHORE KABUL ISTANBUL BAHRAIN / ADDIS ABABA DUBAI DUBAI BAHRAIN ABU DHABI DOHA DUBAI DUBAI BAHRAIN LONDON ALEXANDRIA DUBAI DUBAI BEIRUT BEIRUT JEDDAH SOHAG DOHA DUBAI SHARJAH DOHA ABU DHABI BAHRAIN ROME / PARIS BEIRUT JEDDAH CAIRO DEIREZZOR AMMAN LAMERD LONDON SOHAG JEDDAH SOHAG / ALEXANDRIA CAIRO Time 0:25 0:40 0:55 1:05 1:10 2:00 2:15 2:30 3:45 3:50 3:55 4:05 5:00 6:55 6:55 7:10 8:25 8:35 8:40 9:00 9:10 9:10 9:15 9:20 9:35 9:40 9:50 10:00 10:15 10:20 11:45 11:55 12:00 12:00 12:05 12:10 12:20 12:30 13:10 13:30 13:35 14:20 RJA FDB UAL OMA KAC KAC SVA JZR KAC QTR KAC KNE KAC VOS ETD MLR UAE GFA ABY JZR JZR SVA ALK JZR KAC JAI FDB JZR KAC KAC OMA MEA DHX KLM UAE GFA FCX QTR KAC KAC TAR JZR JZR KAC 641 58 982 646 673 551 501 178 773 135 613 746 743 82 304 404 858 216 128 184 266 511 228 134 283 571 62 528 331 351 648 403 373 445 860 218 102 137 301 205 327 554 504 411 AMMAN DUBAI BAHRAIN MUSCAT DUBAI DAMASCUS JEDDAH DUBAI RIYADH DOHA BAHRAIN JEDDAH DAMMAM BAGHDAD ABU DHABI DUBAI / COLOMBO DUBAI BAHRAIN SHARJAH DUBAI BEIRUT RIYADH DUBAI / COLOMBO BAHRAIN DHAKA MUMBAI DUBAI ASSIUT TRIVANDRUM COCHIN MUSCAT BEIRUT BAHRAIN BAHRAIN / AMSTERDAM DUBAI BAHRAIN BAHRAIN DOHA MUMBAI ISLAMABAD DUBAI / TUNIS ALEXANDRIA LUXOR BANGKOK / MANILA 14:30 14:35 14:45 15:00 15:10 15:25 15:45 16:00 16:05 16:15 16:20 16:20 16:25 17:00 17:35 17:40 18:05 18:15 18:20 18:25 18:30 18:35 19:10 19:10 20:00 20:35 20:40 20:50 21:00 21:05 21:10 21:15 22:00 22:05 22:25 22:30 22:30 22:35 22:45 22:55 23:05 23:10 23:35 23:40 Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (www.kuwait-airport.com.kw) star CROSSWORD 319 34 s MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 STAR TRACK Aries (March 21-April 19) You are very expressive and outgoing when it comes to your feelings and emotions today. Creativity of all kinds is available to you--music, drama, art, poetry. If you are not involved in learning some creative technique, you could be teaching it. Animals and children also play a large role in your day--which could mean a trip to the zoo. You are driven to excel in many forms of physical and creative expressions--sports, theatrics, arts and crafts, etc. This urge to express yourself, to speak out and be heard, propels you into many an interesting situation, especially today. You may find yourself a guide or teacher to others when it comes to these matters. You enjoy people watching--it is fun and satisfying to learn about others. CALVIN & HOBBES Taurus (April 20-May 20) You will aid and soothe others in solving difficult situations. Others will seek you out for advice. Perhaps you are a speaker, counselor or adviser, but whatever the case you aid and support those that need your help. Your special gift at promoting a healing between people comes up frequently. You are able to span the generation gap and bring people together regardless of their ages or their feelings. This is a vital day with much energy and lots of action. You express yourself deliberately and have a natural sense of organization with much discipline and care. Hobby interests and routine chores absorb your attention this afternoon. You delight on completing some of the items on your chore list. A movie may be enjoyed this evening. POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. An indistinct shapeless form. 5. Rise or heave upward under the influence of a natural force, as on a wave. 10. The local time at the 0 meridian passing through Greenwich, England. 13. A sensation (as of a cold breeze or bright light) that precedes the onset of certain disorders such as a migraine attack or epileptic seizure. 14. Of or relating to or characteristic of ancient Carthage or its people or their language. 15. An associate degree in applied science. 16. (informal) Exceptionally good. 17. Studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills (rather than occupational or professional skills). 18. An ancient Hebrew unit of dry measure equal to about a bushel. 19. The capital and largest city of Japan. 21. An elaborate song for solo voice. 23. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. 24. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 25. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 26. Date used in reckoning dates before the supposed year Christ was born. 27. A Dravidian language spoken in south central India. 30. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 35. A unit of surface area equal to 100 square meters. 36. A unit of length of thread or yarn. 39. A Bantu language spoken in southern Zaire. 43. In the Arabian Nights a hero who tells of the fantastic adventures he had in his voyages. 45. Naked freshwater or marine or parasitic protozoa that form temporary pseudopods for feeding and locomotion. 46. Small terrestrial lizard of warm regions of the Old World. 48. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 49. Squash bugs. 52. Distance measured in miles. 56. Remove with or as if with a ladle. 59. Yellow-fever mosquitos. 60. A master's degree in business. 63. A nucleotide derived from adenosine that occurs in muscle tissue. 64. A quantity of money. 65. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 66. Time for Earth to make a complete rotation on its axis. Gemini (May 21-June 20) Your energy is high and your creative juices are flowing, ready to be applied to any work you want to undertake. Giving your best effort now, considerable success will follow. Because of your desire to get things accomplished today, you may forget or set aside the instructions to your project; read all instructions. You will be finished quickly--with enough time to pitch a ball, ride a bike or hug a family member. Doing just about anything with friends or family will bring much joy. A barbeque party or homemade ice cream party will bring some interesting recipes out for viewing. This is also an excellent time to engage in activities with the opposite sex. This is a nurturing and fertile time in that any seed or impulse can be acted upon and developed. Cancer (June 21-July 22) NON SEQUITUR There is a drive to probe and penetrate that may find you examining and working through some strong internal changes. Don't push too hard--you could find more difficulties. You are presented with new energies and ideas along the line of creative endeavors now. This is a great time to clear away the cobwebs and complete any unfinished personal business or projects. You will be able to add a new touch or polish to some home project and complete a task in no time. Your interest in professional success is great and you could find yourself analyzing some future choices. You will be able to inspire your friends to new heights of accomplishment. A pleasant environment this afternoon encourages you to be with friends and family. Leo (July 23-August 22) Today marks a time when your personality and mode of living will be changeable. You are adaptable but should be careful in overextending your time. In other words, you must have some play or quiet-time to think and be by yourself. You feel lucky and are lucky today. Buoyed with confidence, you could become carried away with some particular endeavor. Think things through and set realistic goals. A parent may be in a position to grant you a favor, especially if you make it a point to be humble. This is a great time to play in competitive sports. Perhaps a few neighbors will join you in some board game type of activities. You may appear perhaps more charming and refined than usual. This evening could be the time to plan a special date. ZITS Virgo (August 23-September 22) You are particularly energetic today and involving yourself with some form of vigorous exercise early this morning will properly channel this energy. After you exercise you and a friend may enjoy a massage or some time in a sauna or hot tub. Humor and light-hearted feelings are easy to find this afternoon and feeling rejuvenated can instigate a whole flurry of ideas. You could feel great support from those around you for whatever activity you may choose. You can see what is present and active and may commit yourself to correcting, protecting or improving a situation. This could involve security, relationships or health. A busy afternoon ends with several of you and your friends planning and creating a fantastic dinner. DOWN 1. Being or befitting or characteristic of an infant. 2. Qualities that attract by seeming to promise some kind of reward. 3. Toward the mouth or oral region. 4. Capital and largest city of Iraq. 5. A health resort near a spring or at the seaside. 6. Flavored with sour orange peel. 7. Take or catch as if in a snare or trap. 8. Not final or absolute. 9. The district occupied entirely by the city of Washington. 10. An expression of open-mouthed astonishment. 11. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 12. A male monarch or emperor (especially of Russia prior to 1917). 20. Using speech rather than writing. 22. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 28. Wild sheep of northern Africa. 29. The compass point that is one point north of northeast. 31. A gradual decline (in size or strength or power or number). 32. Female equine animal. 33. Divulge information or secrets. 34. An informal term for a father. 37. Tropical starchy tuberous root. 38. (Mexican) Corn and cornmeal dough stuffed with a meat mixture then wrapped in corn husks and steamed. 40. Lower in esteem. 41. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 42. Genus of South and Central American heathlike evergreen shrubs. 44. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 47. Designating a solution containing 1 mole of solute per 1000 grams of solvent. 48. A device in which something (usually an animal) can be caught and penned. 50. (Babylonian) God of wisdom and agriculture and patron of scribes and schools. 51. (Old Testament) In Judeo-Christian mythology. 52. An informal term for a father. 53. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 54. Footwear usually with wooden soles. 55. Catch sight of. 57. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 58. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. 61. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 62. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. Libra (September 23-October 22) MOTHER GOOSE AND GRIMM It could be difficult to get yourself motivated this morning. If you have really been as busy as the energies indicate, you should not feel guilty about making this a day of relaxation. If you try to push your energies now, you could feel frustrated. Emotional crises can lead to poor health and having a handle on your emotions will aid you in problem solving, especially cognitively. This is a day to take stock in the life that is evolving around you. Look at ways in which you can make improvements and think about what you can do to begin those changes now. This afternoon can be filled with times of amusement and good communication while visiting with the older generation in your family. The time you spend with the older generation is a gain in insight. Scorpio (October 23-November 21) It is best to proceed with your plans for the day and not involve yourself with too many extra-curricular activities, at least for the morning. Before the family melds into the couch or perhaps leaves the house for their selective activities, you might talk with them about the benefit of an exercise program; with your enthusiasm, you may be able to encourage them to sign up for some curriculum of their own. Exercise encourages the body to find and keep a chemical balance during the day. There are good results from the tests run on people that exercise: hormones, mental well-being and the desire for the right sort of food as well as good digestive or intestinal health, etc. You can prevent problems or arguments through your thoughtful behavior. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Relaxing and enjoying this day is in order. You could find yourself a bit pensive around others but work around the house or in the yard can actually help to refurbish your energies. You have created pleasant surroundings in and around your home. The need for emotional security may be great at this time, though you should not pressure a partner into doing things just to please or satisfy you. It is a good idea to check all the facts before jumping to a conclusion today. You should take every opportunity to be with friends or loved ones later this afternoon. You can be in touch with your most personal emotions, usually filling you with a sense of contentment and peace. A new family project creates a wonderful opportunity to build and deepen relationships. Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You may have decided to begin a home project or help someone with his or her home project. Your energies continue throughout the day--you may however, be encouraged to quit working sometime this afternoon. Other people want your attention today. You could find yourself solving puzzles and finding solutions. You feel a love of order and law--an appreciation for responsibilities and duty. Problems are valued for the lessons they represent, rather than perceived as obstacles. Sympathy and understanding are emotional qualities that take on greater importance. It is wisdom and not knowledge that counts most. You are in a great mood and may volunteer to have some of your family members over for a barbecue this evening. To Yesterday's Solution Yesterday's Solution Yester Aquarius (January 20- February 18) If you attend a spiritual gathering you will enjoy the emotional satisfaction that it brings, as well as the opportunity to communicate with others today. This afternoon will be an important time to catch up on reading and just soaking in some good vibes. Rest and relaxation and the importance of some private personal time are important today. Law, politics, education, travel, religion or perhaps a good true story may be where your interest is this afternoon. You will want to finish any weekend task before the workweek begins tomorrow. You will be setting aside some time to catch up on the affairs of those you love. This evening you enjoy communicating with family members. Clear thoughts about the past come to you tonight. Pisces (February 19-March 20) Word Sleuth Solution This could be a time to make changes in your environment. Real estate may be a consideration and if you are buying for an investment, you will do well in your choices. If you are looking for a home or apartment it would be good to have your mate or roommate share in the decision making. You may find yourself enjoying an afternoon book signing, art show or a small gathering of friends. If you attend a spiritual gathering, you will find some in-depth discussions that may cause you to think about your beliefs and urge your contribution in a group discussion. You will have a grasp for abstract and spiritual ideas and you are able to express your views to others. Obtaining and exchanging information takes on more emotional significance. A e niv rsar n y Years i n f o r m at i o n STAT STATE OF K WAIT T TE KUWAIT KUWA Tel.: Tel.: 161 e Ext.: 262 - 2630 2627 27 MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 FIRE BRIGADE 112 Ministry of Interior website: www.moi.gov.kw For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128 DIRECTORATE GENE DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF CIVIL AV ATION AT ERAL AVIATION VIAT DEPA D PARTMENT METEOROLOGICAL DEPARTMENT Fax: 24348714 WWW.MET.GOV.KW WWW.MET.GOV. W V.KW Al-Madena Al-Shohada'a Al-Shuwaikh Al-Nuzha Sabhan Al-Helaly Al-Fayhaa Al-Farwaniya Al-Sulaibikhat Al-Fahaheel Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh Ahmadi 22418714 22545171 24810598 22545171 24742838 22434853 22545051 24711433 24316983 23927002 24316983 23980088 23711183 23262845 25610011 25616368 Expected Weather for the Next 24 Hours Weather 4 BY DAY: Y DAY: A Partly cloudy with moderate to fresh north westerly to northerly wind, with speed of 20 - 45 km/h causing fresh northerl ly 4 g raising dust fresh westerl ly 4 Partly cloudy with moderate to fresh northerly to north westerly wind, with speed of 20 - 40 km/h causing g raising dust No Current Wa Warnings arnings Y NIGHT: BY NIGHT: WA WARNING ARNING STAT STATION T TION KUWAIT KUWAIT CITY WA KUWAIT AIRPORT KUWAIT AIRPORT WA R NUWAISEEB NUWAISEEB WA WAFRA WA AFRA SALMI ABDALY L ABDALY ALIYAH JAL ALIYAH YA FAILAKA FA AILAKA PORT AHMADI PORT R UMM AL-MARADEM M WARBA BUBYAN WA A - BUBYAN ARBA YA MAX. EXP. EXP. P 36 �C 38 �C 36 �C C 41 �C 36 �C 40 �C 39 �C 35 �C 32 �C 31 �C 35 �C MIN. REC. . 29 �C 29 �C 29 �C C 29 �C 25 �C 25 �C 27 �C 28 �C 29 �C 28 �C 27 �C Hospitals Sabah Hospital Amiri Hospital Maternity Hospital Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital Chest Hospital Farwaniya Hospital Adan Hospital Ibn Sina Hospital Al-Razi Hospital Physiotherapy Hospital 24812000 22450005 24843100 25312700 24849400 24892010 23940620 24840300 24846000 24874330/9 SFC. CHART CHART 15/05/2011 0000 UTC 15/05/2011 Al-Mangaf Al-Shuaiba Al-Jahra Al-Salmiya POLICE STATION Al-Madena Police Station Al-Murqab Police Station Al-Daiya Police Station Al-Fayha'a Police Station Al-Qadissiya Police Station Al-Nugra Police Station Al-Salmiya Police Station Al-Dasma Police Station Wind Direction Wind Direction N-NE E-SE SE S-SE Wind Speed Wind 22 - 42 km/h 25 - 45 km/h 25 - 45 km/h 15 - 35 km/h Clinics Rabiya Roudha Adhaliya Khaldiya Keifan Shamiya Shuwaikh Abdullah Salim Al-Nuzha Industrial Shuwaikh Al-Khadissiya Dasmah Bneid Al-Ghar Al-Shaab Al-Kibla Ayoun Al-Kibla Al-Mirqab Sharq Salmiya Jabriya Maidan Hawally Bayan Mishref W.Hawally Sabah Jahra New Jahra West Jahra South Jahra North Jahra North Jleeb Al-Ardhiya Firdous Al-Omariya N.Kheitan Fintas 4732263 22517733 22517144 24848075 24849807 24848913 24814507 22549134 22526804 24814764 22515088 22532265 22531908 22518752 22459381 22451082 22456536 22465401 25746401 25316254 25623444 25388462 25381200 22630786 24810221 24770319 24575755 24772608 24775066 24775992 24311795 24884079 24892674 24719048 24710044 3900322 4 DAYS FORECAST DAYS AY Temper ratures Temperatures DAY DAY A Monday Tuesday Tuesday We ednesday Wednesday Thursday DATE DATE AT 16/05 17/05 18/05 19/05 PRAYER PRAYER TIMES RAY Fajr Sunrise S i Zuhr Asr Sunset Isha All i l l i l h i d 03:26 04:56 04 56 11:44 11:44 15:20 18:33 20:00 WEATHER WEATHER AT partly cloudy + blowing dust blowi ing unstable unstable partly cloudy MAX. 38 �C 40 �C 41 �C 43 �C MIN. 28 �C 28 �C 30 �C 31 �C 22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801 THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988 RECORDED YESTERDAY AT KUWAIT AIRPORT D YESTERDAY AT KUWAIT AIRPORT A WA T MAX. Temp. MA Temp. AX. MI Temp. IN. IN MIN. Temp. MAX. RH M M MIN. RH MAX. Wind MA Wind AX. i TOTAL RAINFALL IN 24 HR. TAL INFA L TOTAL RAI FALL 39 �C 29 �C 29 % 08 % NE 43 km/h E 00 mm PHARMACIES ON 24 HRS DUTY GOVERNORATE Ahmadi AIRLINES Kuwait Airways Jazeera Airways Jet Airways FlyDubai Qatar Airways KLM Air Slovakia Olympic Airways Royal Jordanian Reservation British Airways Air France Emirates Air India Sri Lanka Airlines Egypt Air Swiss Air Saudia Middle East Airlines Lufthansa PIA Alitalia Balkan Airlines Bangladesh Airlines Czech Airlines Indian Airlines Oman Air Turkish Airlines Aeroflot 22433377 177 22924455 22414400 22423888 22425747 22434940 22420002/9 22418064/5/6 22433388 22425635 22430224 22425566 22438184 22424444 22421578 22421516 22426306 22423073 22422493 22421044 22414427 22416474 22452977/8 22417901/ 2433141 22456700 22958787 22453820/1 22404838/9 PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan Modern Jahra Madina Munawara Ahlam Khaldiya Coop New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy Ibn Al-Nafis Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop ADDRESS Fahaeel Makka St Abu Halaifa-Coastal Rd Mahboula Block 1, Coastal Rd Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92 Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11 Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Salmiya-Amman St Hawally-Beirut St Hawally & Rawdha Coop Jabriya-Block 1A Jabriya-Block 3B Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Mishrif Coop Salwa Coop PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558 24575518 24566622 22436184 24833967 24734000 24881201 24726638 25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241 Jahra Capital Farwaniya Hawally PRIVATE CLINICS Ophthalmologists Dr. Abidallah Al-Mansoor 25622444 Dr. Samy Al-Rabeea 25752222 Dr. Masoma Habeeb 25321171 Dr. Mubarak Al-Ajmy 25739999 Dr. Mohsen Abel 25757700 Dr Adnan Hasan Alwayl 25732223 Dr. Abdallah Al-Baghly 25732223 Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Dr. Ahmed Fouad Mouner 24555050 Ext 510 Dr. Abdallah Al-Ali 25644660 Dr. Abd Al-Hameed Al-Taweel 25646478 Dr. Sanad Al-Fathalah 25311996 Dr. Mohammad Al-Daaory 25731988 Dr. Ismail Al-Fodary 22620166 Dr. Mahmoud Al-Booz 25651426 General Practitioners Dr. Mohamme Y Majidi 24555050 Ext 123 Dr. Yousef Al-Omar 24719312 Dr. Tarek Al-Mikhazeem 23926920 Dr. Kathem Maarafi 25730465 Dr. Abdallah Ahmad Eyadah 25655528 Dr. Nabeel Al-Ayoobi 24577781 Dr. Dina Abidallah Al-Refae 25333501 Urologists Dr. Ali Naser Al-Serfy 22641534 Dr. Fawzi Taher Abul 22639955 Dr. Khaleel Abidallah Al-Awadi 22616660 Dr. Adel Al-Hunayan FRCS (C) 25313120 Dr. Leons Joseph 66703427 Psychologists /Psychotherapists Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar Dr. Esam Al-Ansari Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan DrAdrian arbe Dr. Verginia s.Marin Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly Dr. Salem soso General Surgeons Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher Dr. Adnan Ebil Dr. Mousa Khadada Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra Dr. Mobarak Aldoub Dr Nasser Behbehani 22610044 25327148 22639939 22666300 25728004 25355515 24726446 25654300/3 Dr. Sami Aman Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali 23729596/23729581 22635047 22613623/0 23729596/23729581 2572-6666 ext 8321 22655539 25343406 25739272 22618787 Dr Anil Thomas Dr. Shamah Al-Matar Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan Dr. Bader Al-Ansari Neurologists Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan Gastrologists 22636464 25322030 22633135 25633324 25345875 Psychiatrists 22547272 22617700 25625030/60 Paediatricians Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed Dr. Zahra Qabazard Dr. Sohail Qamar Dr. Snaa Maaroof Dr. Pradip Gujare Dr. Zacharias Mathew 25340300 25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282 Physiotherapists & VD Dr. Deyaa Shehab 25722291 22666288 Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari 25658888 Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr 25329924 25339330 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 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 Central African 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) Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia 00236 00235 0056 0086 0057 00269 00242 00682 00506 00385 0053 00357 0090392 00420 0045 00246 00253 001767 001809 00593 0020 00503 0044 00240 00291 00372 00251 00500 00298 00679 00358 0033 00594 00689 INTERNATIONAL CALLS Endocrinologist (1) Ear, Nose and Throat (2) Plastic Surgeon Dr. Abdul Mohsin Jafar, FRCS (Canada) Dentists 3729596/3729581 22641071/2 22562226 22561444 22619557 22525888 25653755 25620111 25655535 Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees Gynaecologists & Obstetricians Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi 25330060 25722290 Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad 24555050 Ext 210 Internists, Chest & Heart Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital Consultant Cardiologist Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Inaya German Medical Center Te: 2575077 Fax: 25723123 2611555-2622555 Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 A e niv rsar n Years lifestyle G O S S I P 36 DiCaprio getting over split eonardo DiCaprio is getting over his split from Bar Refaeli by partying with friends at the Cannes Film Festival. The `Inception' star and the Israeli-born supermodel - who have been dating for over five years - ended their relationship recently and Leonardo immediately took off for France with pals including actor Jamie Foxx. A source told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: "Leo's gutted about the split with Bar. This time it 's for real and there's no hope of them getting back together. He wanted to go to Cannes and get away from it all. "Jamie hired a super yacht for the trip and it's been a case of partying until dawn, gaggles of girls and lots of mischief. " They're getting through champagne like it's going out of fashion." Although Leonardo, 36, and 25-year-old Bar have previously called time on their relationship, splitting for six months in 2009 after dating for four years before reuniting last year, pals have revealed this break-up is serious after they both realized neither of them are ready to settle down. A source said: "It was amicable, they're still friends and they are still talking. They just grew apart and went their separate ways. "Neither are ready to settle down, and both have busy careers that have been taking them in different directions." y MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 M L el C would reform with the Spice Girls if they were asked to play at the 2012 London Olympics. The singer would jump at the chance to reunite with her bandmates Victoria Beckham, Mel B, Emma Bunton and Geri Haliwell for the games as it would also get her inside. She told BANG Showbiz: "We've never actually been approached about the Olympics and it's just rumours at the moment unfortunately but I'd jump at it if we were asked. I'm ver y excited about the Olympics being here in London. And it'd get me in wouldn't it because I've got no tickets." The next project for the group is `Viva Forever', the musical based on their songs, and although Mel can't wait to see it, she admitted she is happy to leave the hard work to producer Judy Kramer and writer Jennifer Saunders. She said: "We've left it in the hands of our wonderful producer Judy Kramer and of course Jennifer Saunders. They're working on the story, we have a new director and it's just moving along and we're really excited to get to the casting stages but it's not going to be ready until sometime next year. "Judy wants us to be involved in casting because she wants us to be happy but we have a lot of faith in her and she's very experienced in this field." After taking time out from her recording career following the release of 2007's `This Time', Mel is set to return with a new album this year and revealed she thinks it is her best work since her lauded first album `Northern Star'. She said: "I'm just working on a new album at the moment. That'll be out later this year. It's going really good, really exciting. I feel like it's my strongest album yet since my first so it's really exciting." Mel C would reform with the Spice Girls restaurants during shooting `Inbetweeners' hit lake Harrison has revealed the `Inbetweeners' cast spent their free time in restaurants while shooting their upcoming movie. Unlike their immature onscreen personas, Simon Bird, Blake Harrison, Joe Thomas and James Buckley opted for sampling the local cuisine and wine over wild partying while filming scenes in Malia on the Greek island of Crete. Blake - who portrays slow-witted teenager Neil Sutherland in the movie and previous TV series - revealed: "We had a lovely time but the thing is, our idea of a good time is going into a bar and ordering tapas and drinking red wine. That was about as mental as it got." However, James - who plays foulmouthed Jay Cartwright - still has a lot to learn about appreciating fine wine and gave his co-stars a big laugh when he unwittingly tried to chill a bottle of red, which is best drunk at room temperature. Joe told BANG Showbiz: " There was a funny moment when James Buckley stuck a merlot in a chiller. What an idiot!" The foursome have been filming since January and Simon has revealed there are only a few scenes left to shoot for the project - which is due to be released in August. Simon - who plays geeky Will McKenzie - said: "We're filming some more scenes in a couple of weeks time, but it's mostly done." B Rihanna keeps fit with airports Gibson got Winstone's advice for `The Beaver' M he `Rude Boy' hitmaker keeps her svelte physique toned and trim by "walking for miles" through airports while she is jetting between performances all over the world. She said: "I keep fit by walking through so many airports. You end up walking for miles in those places!" The Barbados-born beauty also admitted she loves cooking up hearty, calorific meals - T including lasagne and shepherd's pie - for her friends. She added: "I love cooking, but I don't get to do it as often as I would like, because I travel so much. My best friend and I are always cooking together. She will maybe do lasagne or shepherd's pie. "Food from Barbados is so different from British food, but we have a lot of things that are similar - such as shepherd's pie." el Gibson asked Ray Winstone for advice on his accent for `The Beaver'. In the new comedy movie, Mel plays a clinically depressed man who uses a beaver puppet with a British accent to communicate in the film, and director Jodie Foster has revealed the actor modeled his voice on his `Edge of Darkness' co-star Ray. Jodie said: "Mel did a movie `Edge of Darkness' with Ray and he kept calling him during the shoot and saying, `How would I say this?' It was very specifically Ray Winstone and sort of Michael Caine on speed ... I'd love to take the credit for Mel's performances but he was amazing from day one." Jodie has also admitted Mel's recent troubles - including pleading guilty to a charge of battery relating to his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva earlier this year - had adversely affected the movie. She told Total Film magazine: "We did change the release date three times so that right there has already affected the film. Would I have liked it to come out for his Oscar consideration? Absolutely. It's incredibly hard on him - so much that it's impossible for him to talk about it. "It's been difficult for marketing to figure out how they're supposed to present the movie. I don't envy them." Parker teams up with Seacrest arah Jessica Parker and Ryan Seacrest are planning a new reality fashion TV series. `American Idol' presenter Ryan - who is dating dancer Julianne Hough is reportedly hoping the `Sex and the City' actress will agree to sign up as the star of the new show after the pair met while filming movie `New Year's Eve'. An insider told the National Enquirer magazine: "Ryan's psyched about it. He said it's a new and fresh concept. He thinks she's the perfect fit for the show. "He adores Sarah and is determined to let her know they'd be perfect for the project." While Ryan believes they will have great on-screen chemistry, Sarah, 46, has reportedly wanted to work on a fashion show ever since she appeared on `Project Runway' in 2007. The source added: "Sarah has talked about doing a TV show revolving around the fashion world for years. She loved appearing on `Project Runway' so it's a natural fit. "Whatever they decide to do, with Ryan and Sarah attached, it's sure to be a hit!" Sarah Harding has been `cheated on a lot' S T he 29-year-old singer - who is engaged to DJ Tom Crane - used to get "carried away" in relationships which would lead to her being heartbroken when the men in her life didn't live up to expectations. She revealed: "I was a hopeless romantic and used to fall hard and fast. At the beginning of every relationship I'd think, `He's amazing, I'm in love!' "It's easy to get carried away when it's new and exciting. But a lot of my heartbreak has to do with trust, as I always used to go for bad boys. I got cheated on a lot, but I craved the excitement and unpredictability." Although she used to love wild bad boys, the Girls Aloud star thinks her wedding to Tom will be a more sedate affair because there will be family present. She told more! magazine: "I don't know if it will be wild - mothers have to come!" aisy Lowe says Helena Bonham Carter is her style icon. The 22-year-old model admires the 44-year-old actress because of her daring approach to fashion and the fact she isn't afraid to express herself through clothes. She said: "Helena Bonham Carter is my icon because she's not afraid to have some fun with her clothes." The `King's Speech' star - who is in a long-term relationship with director Tim Burton - is famed for her gothic style, passion for vintage clothes and her wild hairstyle. Daisy - who is dating `Doctor Who' actor Matt Smith - finds it hard to define her own style, but she admits she favors a "disheveled" look. She is quoted by heat magazine as saying: "I don't really have a signature look, but I love dressing up and I tend to pick clothes to suit my body type. I'm curvy, so I love anything that's pulled in at the waist, be it a maxidress or highwaisted shorts worn with a baggy T-shirt and a little jumper. "I also use Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion and Bumble and Bumble Surf spray, then shake my hair out before blow-drying to achieve that disheveled look. That's it!" --Bang Showbiz D Lowe inspired by Carter lifestyle MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 `Kids Are All Right,' Kim Cattrall, honored by GLAAD T he lesbian family drama "The Kids Are All Right," about a couple whose lives are disrupted when their children seek out their sperm donor dad, won GLAAD's outstanding film award on Saturday. The film, which was nominated for four Oscars earlier this year, starred Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. Writer-director Lisa Cholodenko was on hand to accept the award from the US gay campaign group. "Sex and the City" star Kim Cattrall was honored with GLAAD's Golden Gate Award for increasing the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Other honorees on Saturday included the documentary "8: The Mormon Proposition," Spanish-language music artist Christian Chavez, and former Wall Street Journal columnist and author Kara Swisher. The corporate leader award went to telecoms company AT&T, which has LGBT inclusive policies for its employees. The awards were presented at a ceremony in San Francisco hosted by "Glee" star Naya Rivera. "Glee" tied with "Modern Family" for GLAAD's best TV comedy series award, given out ceremony in April in Los Angeles. Saturday's ceremony wrapped up the 22nd annual media award season by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which recognizes TV shows, movies, journalists, musicians and bloggers that most fairly portray the LGBT community and the issues that affect them.--Reuters A dancer dances as US director Jeff Zimbalist and Indian director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra arrive on the red carpet before the screening of "Bollywood - The Greatest Love Story Ever Told" presented out-of-competition at the 64th Cannes Film Festival.--AFP Cannes screens midnight salute to Bollywood annes celebrated Bollywood on Saturday with the midnight screening of a specially prepared montage of great moments in Hindi musical cinema that didn't quite get the audience dancing in the aisles. "Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story" was put together over the past year at the behest of festival director Thierry Fremaux to make up for a perennial dearth of Indian films in competition at the world's C biggest film event. "You can dance during the film if you want," Fremaux told the black-tie audience, and for encouragement a glamorous posse of Mumbai film stars was on hand, some of whom danced their way up the red carpet under a full moon. But from the balcony seats, it looked as if no one took up the invitation, and indeed a number of mainly older viewers were seen leaving early. For those who stayed, the reward was a dazzling 81-minute crash course in the Bollywood genre, including two minutes of obligatory wet-sari scenes, directed by Sherkar Kapur and snappily edited by US documentary maker Jeff Zimbalist. Kapur, a Cannes jury member last year, said the idea for the project came from Fremaux, who had been impressed by audiences dancing at the London musical "Bombay Dreams" which Kapur co-produced. "The audience (in Cannes) should see why over a billion people are having a love affair with this kind of cinema," he told the Hollywood Reporter trade journal in an interview published this week. "It's been quite a delicate process to do this, including clips from almost 100 films from blackand-white to today's cinema."--AFP Kim Cattrall arrives for the screening of the film " Meet Monica Velour " at the 36th American Film Festival.--AP `Grumpy' Bieber draws tiny Hong Kong welcome anadian pop sensation Justin Bieber usually draws legions of screaming girls at his sold-out concerts, but the mop-haired teen idol got a hugely disappointing greeting when he arrived in Hong Kong. Just seven fans showed up at the city's airport to greet Bieber, the Sunday Morning Post reported, calling it an "embarrassingly low-key reception". In contrast to the tiny turn-out, footage of his arrival posted on YouTube where the star made his name-had been viewed nearly 135,000 times by yesterday, four days after he jetted in to the muted reception. The paper said there were "three times" more bodyguards than female fans at the airport with the 17-yearold pop sensation "looking grumpy and walking straight past the small group of fans as they yelled out his C name". But some fans defended the heartthrob, saying his gloomy demeanor was due to him falling ill before arriving in the southern Chinese city. "He didn't acknowledge us but that was probably because he saw more of the photographers," 15year-old Ruth Boon told the Post, saying the light fan turnout was likely a result of it being a school day. Bieber's concert on Friday in Hong Kong-one of the last shows in his "My World" tour-still saw a 13,500-seat stadium almost packed to capacity, the Post said. The pop sensation soared to stardom after videos of his performances were posted on YouTube, with his album "My World 2.0" hitting the top of the US charts.--AFP Canadian teen idol Justine Bieber performs during the one-night concert in Manila .--AFP (From left) French director Michel Hazanavicius, French actor Jean Dujardin, French actress Berenice Bejo and French producer Thomas Langmann pose during the photocall of "The Artist" presented in competition at the 64th Cannes Film Festival yesterday.--AFP Silent film gets tongues wagging at Cannes Fans came out to celebrate the Blu-ray and DVD release of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, the highest grossing concert-themed film in US history in Los Angeles.--AP Dardenne duo moves Cannes with boyhood tale of loss oyhood loss and the redeeming power of love stirred crowds at Cannes with "The Kid With a Bike", a film about a boy on a desperate search for his father by festival favourites JeanPierre and Luc Dardenne. The Belgian directors, brothers who have won the top Palme d'Or prize at the Cannes film festival twice before, looked well-placed in the competition lineup this year as the audience broke out in lengthy applause at the end of a screening on Saturday evening. Shot in an anonymous Belgian city, "The Kid With a Bike" tells the story of Cyril, a feisty red-headed boy of 12 who breaks free from his orphanage to find the father who left him there with a promise to come back for him a month B later. As Cyril pedals furiously around suburban Belgium on his bicycle, refusing to accept that his father has lied, he is taken into the care of Samantha, a childless hairdresser played by Belgian actress Cecile de France. "We could have called the film a modern fairy tale ... a Pinocchio or Red Riding Hood who gets lost and has to go through certain trials," said JeanPierre Dardenne. "He has to lose the illusion that his father still wants to see him." Subtle and understated, the Dardennes' film brings together some of the ingredients that made their two previous winners- "Rosetta" in 1999 and "L'Enfant" in 2005"-popular with a Cannes jury: realism, emotional complexity and no easy endings. "It's sort of a love story, about the love of a woman who is able to overcome the violence and anger of this boy," said Luc Dardenne. Childhood trauma captivates The Dardenne brothers' movie falls in line with a series of films in competition at Cannes that have focused, unflinchingly, on childhood trauma and the horror of adults who abuse and mistreat children they have stolen from others. Most unsparing in this category was "Michael", an Austrian movie by debut director Markus Schleinzer that follows a kidnapped boy of 10 during the final weeks of his captivity at the hands of a perverted and sadistic insurance salesman who keeps him locked in a basement. --Reuters French director's clever silent movie about a fallen Hollywood silent-movie star came out of nowhere yesterday to become a strong contender for the Palme d'Or at Cannes. "The Artist" by Michel Hazanavicius won strong applause-and more than a few laughs-from festival goers who'd been wondering if Cannes this year was ever going to be about more than dysfunctional families and sexual deviancy. Shot in Hollywood in black and white, it stars Jean Dujardin as George Valentin, a vain silent-movie hero in 1927 who becomes a zero two years later with the advent of the talkies. Berenice Bejo is Peppy Miller, a talking-picture siren who fondly remembers how Valentin gave her a leg-up in show biz. Veteran funnyman John Goodman rounds out the cast as studio boss Al Zimmer. Hollywood's heavy-hitting Weinstein brothers, riding high on the success of "The King's Speech," are planning to release "The Artist" later this year. Winning top honors at Cannes would give the film a huge publicity boost. But for now, Hazanavicius-best A known for the "OSS" spy-movie parodies- is more than happy with his adventure in a form of cinema that was long thought extinct. "It's purely visual. It's pure cinema. I didn't know if I'd be able to do it," said the 44-yearold film-maker, who called in composer and longtime collaborator Ludovic Bource to score the rich orchestral soundtrack. Like his cast, Hazanavicius watched a lot of silent films-Charlie Chaplin's among them-in order to grasp the secrets of telling a tale without spoken words. He soon realized that ironic comedy wouldn't cut it. "A silent film imposes a certain experience on the viewer," he explained. "A melodrama or a love story fits best with the (silent) format." Bejo, born in Argentina but raised in France, took inspiration from silent era heroines-"without doing much, they managed to convey a lot of emotion" and F.W. Murnau's 1930 classic "City Girl". Going into the project, she said, "I was petrified. I wondered if I could rise to the challenge... but strangely enough, not having to talk gave us tremendous freedom. We could overplay, for instance." Dujardin agreed: "Sometimes there's too much talking in films. Silence is a wonderful exercise." Not in Cannes yesterday, but much talked about, was the terrier who plays Valentin's faithful four-legged companion. Named Uggy, he looked like a shoo-in for this year's Palm Dog prize for best canine acting. Other films in competition seen so far in Cannes have been achingly heavy, such as British director Lynne Ramsey's "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and Australian film-maker Julia Leigh's "Sleeping Beauty". "The Artist" was a last-minute addition to the list of 20 films vying for the Palme d'Or, having initially been earmarked to be shown out of competition. But Hazanavicius made no apologies for making a crowd-pleaseralthough it remains to be seen how a silent movie will go down in this era of 3-D blockbusters and multiplex theatres. "It's designed to be a popular film," he said, "not something that would be state of the art or complicated, or something you'd have to read between the lines."--AFP MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 lifestyle Eldar Kasimov and Nigyar Djamal of Ell/Nikki representing Azerbaijan celebrate winning the Grand Final of the 56th Eurovision Song Contest. romantic ballad wins Eurovision Song Contest zerbaijan won the annual Eurovision Song Contest with the romantic ballad "Running Scared" on Saturday, watched by a television audience of more than 100 million people. The song about a love-struck couple was performed by 21-year-old student Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal, 30, a mother-of-two who lives in London. The duo, known as Ell-Nikki, won a total 221 points. Italy was second with 189 points and Sweden came third on 185 in the 56th edition of the contest, hosted by Germany. Widely heralded pre-contest favorites Ireland, Britain and France all had disappointing results. The extravaganza, dubbed the world's biggest music competition with one of television's largest audiences, was beamed to countries from the Atlantic Ocean to the Caspian Sea -- and to nations around the world that were not even competing. "Oh my gosh, we won, we won," said Gasimov, whose face was drenched with sweat as he celebrated on stage in front of 36,000 spectators in a soccer arena in the German city of Duesseldorf that had been converted for the event. "I'm the happiest man in the world right now," he said. The Azeri entry had Swedish touches. It was composed by Swedes Stefan Orn, Sandra Bjurman and Iain Farquharson and four Swedish dancers accompanied Ell-Nikki. Jamal, who has an economics degree, said it was hard to grasp the fairytale victory for Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic of eight million that regained independence in 1991. "A few months ago I was a housewife and mother of two children-and my biggest dream was to represent my country in the Eurovision Song Contest," she told news conference. "My dream came true: I'm a winner of Eurovision." Glitz and kitsch The Eurovision Song Contest has been a launching pad for international careers. Swedish pop group Abba became famous after winning in 1974 with "Waterloo" and Celine Dion took top honours in 1988 while competing for Switzerland. Many deride the contest for serving up mediocrity, while others are enthusiastic followers. From its start in Switzerland in 1956, the contest conceived by the European Broadcasting Union has grown into a giant event where performers, often dressed in spangly costumes, belt out their songs in different languages. Fans draped in national flags and clad in exotic outfits packed the arena, cheering the 25 finalists who mixed glitz and kitsch with ballads, rock `n' roll and disco to try to win votes from viewers and 43 national juries. It was also a disappointing night for Germany after Lena won last year in Oslo. Lena became an instant national hero for ending Germany's three-decade Eurovision drought. Her song "Satellite" went to the top of pop music charts in six countries and was a top 10 hit in seven others. She was a distant 10th on Saturday night. French opera singer Amaury Vassili, British boy band Blue and Ireland's Jedward had also been tipped as favourites by bookmakers but finished poorly. Other famous participants in past contests included Julio Iglesias, Olivia Newton-John, Secret Garden, t.A.T.u., Lordi and Patricia Kaas. Riverdance was created in 1994 when Ireland hosted the contest.--Reuters A Thousands of people partied through the night in central Baku early yesterday after ex-Soviet Azerbaijan's first-ever Eurovision Song Contest win. Night party in central Baku early yesterday. Nina (2nd R) representing Serbia performs her song "Caroban". Eldar Kasimov and Nigyar Djamal Jedward, identicle twins John and Edward Grimes representing Ireland, perform their song "Lipstick". View of the results board during the counting of the points during the Grand Final of the 56th Eurovision Song Contest. Eldar Kasimov and Nigyar Djamal of Ell/Nikki representing Azerbaijan celebrate with the trophy. MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 lifestyle The stage is illuminated ahead of the announcement of the points during the Grand Final of the 56th Eurovision Song Contest. Eurovision final rankings 1 Azerbaijan 221 2 Italy 189 3 Sweden 185 4 Ukraine 159 5 Denmark 134 6 Bosnia and Herzegovina 125 7 Greece 120 8 Ireland 119 9 Georgia 110 10 Germany 107 11 United Kingdom 100 12 Moldova 97 13 Slovenia 96 14 Serbia 85 15 France 82 16 Russia 77 17 Romania 77 18 Austria 64 19 Lithuania 63 20 Iceland 61 21 Finland 57 22 Hungary 53 23 Spain 50 24 Estonia 44 25 Switzerland 19--AFP Anna Rossinelli representing Switzerland performs her song "In Love For A While". Mika Newton representing the Ukraine performs her song "Angel". Nadine Beiler representing Austria performs her song "The Secret Is Love". Sophio Toroshelidze of Eldrine representing Georgia performs her song "One More Day". Getter Jaani representing Estonia perform their song "Rockefeller Street". Amaury Vassili repre senting France performs his song "Sognu". Kati Wolf representing Hungary performs her song "What About My Dreams?". Eric Saade representing Sweden performs his song "Popular". Lena representing Germany performs her song "Taken By A Stranger". Zdob si Zdub representing Moldova perform their song "So Lucky". Lucia Perez representing Spain performs her song "Que Me Quiten Lo Bailao". --AFP photos Silent film gets tongues wagging at Cannes MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 37 Photo shows French fashion icon Pierre Cardin waving after his fashion show on board the former-Soviet aircraft carrier Kiev.--AFP photos Cardin, in search of buyer, makes splash in China T he deck of a decommissioned Soviet aircraft carrier docked on China's coast seems an unlikely place to make a fashion statement, but to Pierre Cardin, the backdrop made perfect sense. The feisty 88-year-old French designer, who has said he wants to sell his massive style empire, unveiled a romantic 2011 collection on the exbattleship in an ode to peace-and perhaps to attract deep-pocketed Chinese investors. Dozens of male and female models strutted down a catwalk lined with fighter jets in everything from shimmery silver flight suits to sassy mini-dresses in bold colors with keyhole cut-outs that recalled the couturier's 1960s heyday. In a bit of theatre to end Friday night's 30-minute style parade, a model in a red sequined jumpsuit emerged from a helicopter that landed on the deck and took Cardin's hand for a curtain call, to the applause of hundreds of guests. "If you want to be a great designer, pretty dresses are not enough," Cardin told reporters before the event in the port city of Tianjin. "You must provoke your audience-amaze and even surprise them." During a career that has spanned more than six decades, Cardin has certainly been a trailblazer-he was one of the first designers to bring Western style to Asia and one of the first to develop brand licensing. Earlier this month, he told the Wall Street Journal he was ready to sell his label, as long as he retains artistic control-and gets the one billion euros ($1.4 billion) he insists the company is worth. "If they don't have the means, they don't have the right to buy it. Simple as that," an unapologetic Cardin told the press conference. The designer said he had so far received several offers for his label, including from Chinese buyers, but declined to offer any specifics on who may be in the running. When asked if he would be keen to see his company fall into the hands of a Chinese firm, he replied: "China-why not?" Analysts say it could be a perfect fit. "Right now, Chinese investors are deep-pocketed and they're looking to acquire Western brands that they can bring back to China," Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group in Shanghai, told AFP. "It's too difficult to build a brand from scratch." Sam Mulligan, director of the Shanghai-based market research firm Data Driven Marketing Asia, agreed. "The big market for this brand in the future is going to be this market. If there is a company that would understand this market better than an European company, it would be a Chinese company," Mulligan told AFP. In 2009, Cardin sold 32 textile and accessory licenses in China to Jiangsheng Trading Company and Cardanro for 200 million euros-evidence, perhaps, of the brand's enduring cachet in the country of 1.3 billion people. Rein explained that as the French designer, who first came to China more than 30 years ago, had "defined the initial taste of luxury for many consumers" in the country, the brand still has "fairly good resonance". Officials at Pierre Cardin would not give the company's total revenue figures for China, but say they see about 20 percent annual revenue growth in the world's secondlargest economy-the fastest-growing market for luxury goods. Cardin, whose name now adorns hundreds of products worldwide from shirts to bottled water to furniture, says he has no regrets about how he has run his business and will continue to bring his singular style to the fashion world. "There are very few people who have the freedom I have-to own 100 percent of my company. I have a lot of freedom," he said.--AFP Models show off creations from Pierre Cardin during his fashion show on board an ex-soviet aircraft carrier. Dog's dinner as table manners desert new Belgium bar M arshall ordered an ice-cream but left in a huff before the waiter dished it up, Smile woofed down the chicken but showed no appetite for the wholesome carrots and apple left on his plate. Arthur actually pooped right by the table. In no time, his brown leftover had attracted two hungry customers who licked and digested it without fuss, while tiny Elliot then breached every rule of dining etiquette by scrambling atop a table to tuck into his hamburger. Welcome to Belgium's new dog bar! "Dogs don't have the same taste-buds," said restaurateur Bernard Schol. It was the Toutou Bar's--Toutou meaning doggie in French--first day of business, and a gaggle of labradors, collies and schnauzers were having a field day, sniffing for scraps when they weren't sniffing each other. " Like other classy specialist dog restaurants the world over, Schol described the a la carte menu in what he believes is Belgium's first like establishment as specifically designed to cater to the needs of human society's four-legged friends. To suit a dog's palate, the ice-cream comes without sugar and the meats and vitamin-rich veggies are unspiced. But the canines' owners could sit and enjoy the same platters, on condition of adding salt and pepper. "It's the purest sort of food a dog would eat naturally," Schol said. Indulging canines is booming business worldwide, from organic dogfoods to designer clothes, orthopaedic dog beds, ritzy furniture, specialist spas that offer aromatherapy, and even wedding dresses. The just-opened Toutou Bar claims its fame from the statue of comic-book hero Tintin and his iconic pup Milou (known as Snowy in English) erected in the leafy Wolvendael park home to the restaurant. Herge, the creator of Tintin and Milou and one of Belgium's few famed sons, is buried nearby. Set in a well-heeled Brussels district, the park is a pooch-owner's paradise where dogs may ramble off-leash early in the morning and from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm at night. "I think it's a great idea, there should be more places that welcome dogs," said Georges Blau-Turner, owner of impatient ice-cream loving Marshall, a cross between an Australian sheepdog and collie. But the pooch-pampering initiative is already raising eyebrows. "The world's gone mad," wrote Marc Isabeaux on the Belgian daily Derniere Heure's online forum. "In Belgium, it's better to be a dog than to be poor," said another. "We're being Americanized," added someone else. Schol brushed off such criticism as "griping from the usual whingers," but did admit that clearing the tables once the animals had finished had its disadvantages. "People don't usually throw their plates on the ground," he said.--AFP A dog raises its leg against a sign as it waits for opening time at the Toutou Bar.--AFP photos Dogs eat from a plate on a table next to a bottle of alcohol-free Red Dog Energy. A dog eats an icecream especially for dogs. A waitress brings food for dogs at the Toutou Bar.