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SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2012

@alwatandaily

Issue No. 1418

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150 Fils with IHT

Majority bloc to decide today on Al-Shamali

Mohammad Al-Salman Staff Writer & Agencies

KUWAIT: The majority MPs is meeting today (Saturday) in the diwaniyya of MP Mubarak AlWaalan to discuss the fate of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shamali. Sources close to the majority MPs revealed that the majority MPs unanimously agree that any parliamentary interpellation should lead to the downfall of the minister Al-Shamali because the ultimate aim behind the interpellation is not the actual grilling of the minister but rather his removal from current post. The meeting is to be

held and organized for that purpose according to the sources. Sources further revealed that one opinion has had the consent of the MPs and that is related to some representatives meet up with His Highness the Prime Minister and demonstrate to him the various violations committed which will be the subject matter of the interpellation against the Minister of Finance Al-Shamali and the subsequent demand for his dismissal from his current position. Sources however pointed out that some of the MPs expressed reservation against such ideal preferring that they proceed with the parliamentary

interpellation without any prior appointments with His Highness the Prime Minister. Those MPs believe that the objective and aim of such move, and that is getting rid of minister Al-Shamali, would be implemented regardless. Sources affirmed that in the event that the MPs decided not to see His Highness the Prime Minister and proceed with the interpellation, that it will be scheduled sometime next week. Sources also added that the majority MPs are in the process of standardizing the tools and mechanisms of handling future parliamentary interpellation. Sources pointed out that during the meeting,

it is expected that other issues will be raised notably the issue of the interpellation of the Minister of Interior a motion submitted by MP Mohammad Al-Juwaihel. The majority MPs are planning to support the interior minister even though some items in the interpellation may be crucially embarrassing for them to defend. But sources underscored that there is a fear among the majority MPs that if they support the minister of interior, it would back fire on them and that there is a strong need to have a unanimous opinion over the issue of supporting the minister. Meanwhile, MP Ali Al-Rashed said that the

Thousands protest in Syria as bombs rock Damascus

DAMASCUS: Tens of thousands of people protested across Syria on Friday as a deadly suicide bombing rocked the capital, killing 11 and fuelling growing skepticism over the prospects of a UN-backed peace plan. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said three people, including a child, were killed as regime forces opened fire to disperse protests. “Tens of thousands of people protested today in various areas of the country,” Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based group, told AFP. He said one protester was killed in the village Daf Al-Shok in Damascus province. Another died in the Sakhur district of northern Aleppo, Syria’s second city, and the child was

killed in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor. Three members of the security forces and a deserter were also killed in other clashes across the country, the Syrian Observatory said. At least 11 people died and dozens were wounded in the Damascus bomb blast which hit as worshippers were leaving weekly Muslim prayers at nearby Zein Al-Abidin mosque in the central Midan district, state television said. The report blamed “terrorists,” the term used by President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime to refer to the armed opposition, and said civilians and security force members were among the casualties. Television footage showed gruesome images, including a severed hand and leg, pieces of flesh

topics which will be raised in the parliamentary interpellation against the interior minister are immensely significant and serious “enough to lead to the downfall of the entire government.” Speaking to Al Watan, MP Al-Rashed said that the topics are of significant and serious nature and that it will have a great impact on the government. “The issue is serious,” he remarked. MP Al-Rashed called the minister of interior to provide all forms and means of protection to MP Mohammad Al-Juwaihel. MP Al-Rashed said that MP Al-Juwaihel had already announced that his under surveillance and that there are attempts “to trap him to link to certain issues.”

Obama targets diploma mills that market to vets

and pools of blood. A separate blast hit an industrial zone of Damascus where there were no reports of casualties, but three security agents were wounded in a blast in the coastal city of Banias, the Observatory said. Assad’s regime has repeatedly blamed “armed terrorist groups” for the violence, and for failing to abide by a putative ceasefire that went into force on April 12. But UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the regime was in contravention of a six-point peace deal by keeping troops and heavy weapons in urban areas, and expressed alarm about reports of population centres being shelled. -AFP

Barca coach Guardiola quits after 4 year reign BARCELONA: Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola announced Friday he is leaving at the end of the season, ending a four-year reign over one of the greatest eras in club football. “This is not a very easy situation for me,” the 41-year-old Guardiola told a news conference where the club also revealed that his assistant coach Tito Vilanova will take over. “Four years is an eternity as coach of Barca,” said Guardiola. Guardiola apologized for leaving the club in uncertainty for such a long period while he considered whether to extend his one-year contract, which expires in June. But the coach said he wanted to wait until the Champions League and the Liga title were settled before making an announcement. More on 6

Smoke engulfs Beirut after a fire broke out at a waste dump in Dawra area in Beirut April 27, 2012. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire. (Reuters)

Kuwaiti oil price rises to 115.53 per barrel

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At least 27 people injured in Ukraine bombings

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Soldiers salute as they stand for the Pledge of Allegiance before US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive to speak to troops at Fort Stewart on April 27, 2012 in Hinesville, Georgia. (AFP)

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration wants to trademark the term “GI Bill” in an effort to shield veterans and military families from being swindled or misled by schools that target their federal education benefits. President Barack Obama is signing a wide-ranging order on Friday that partially addresses growing complaints about fraudulent marketing and recruiting practices aimed at military families eligible for federal education aid under the GI Bill. The president and first lady Michelle Obama planned to talk to troops at the Fort Stewart Army post in Georgia, where Obama will sign an executive order mandating several new education protections for military service members.

Egypt’s Islamists rally against ruling military

CAIRO: Hundreds of Islamists demonstrated in Cairo on Friday against Egypt’s ruling military council, demanding that senior officials from the deposed regime of Hosni Mubarak be banned from running for president. The gathering in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square was relatively small. Unlike a week earlier, liberal movements did not join the Islamists. “Down with the military council,” chanted demonstrators, calling on the generals who took over from Mubarak step down. It reflected growing opposition to the generals even by Islamists, who preferred to stay away from street protests until recently Many Egyptians now fear that the generals are plotting to install their own president or stay in power themselves. Islamists and liberals are both critical of a ruling this week by the military-appointed election commission, allowing Mubarak’s last prime minister to run for president next month, but they are deeply split over policy and the future of Egypt. -AP

Protesters wave Egyptian national flags and chant slogans at a rally in Tahrir Square in Cairo Egypt, Friday, April 27, 2012. Hundreds of Islamists are rallying in Cairo to denounce the ruling military council and demand that Hosni Mubarak-era politicians be barred from running in the presidential elections next month. Arabic reads “there is no God but God.” (AP)

Student researcher spots lava spirals on Mars

Space shuttle Enterprise, mounted atop a 747 shuttle carrier aircraft, flies past the Jersey City skyline prior to landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport on April 27, 2012 in New York City. Enterprise, which was flown from Washington, DC, will eventually be put on permanent display at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. (AFP)

There is little the federal government can do to shut down diploma mills, but the new protections would make it harder for post-secondary and technical schools to misrepresent themselves to military students. The main target of the White House action is for-profit colleges and universities that market heavily to military families because of the easy availability of federal money under the GI Bill. Obama’s order will also set a new gauge that potential students can use to calculate how much a school will really cost in tuition and fees. Schools are asked to voluntarily participate in the “Know Before You Owe” system this school year and would be required to do so next year. -AP

LOS ANGELES: A researcher has spotted lava flows shaped like coils of rope near the equator of Mars, the first time such geologic features have been discovered outside of Earth. These twisty volcanic patterns can be found on Hawaii’s Big Island and in the Pacific seafloor on our planet. While evidence for lava flows is present in many places on Mars, none are shaped like this latest find. “I was quite surprised and puzzled when I first saw the coils,” Andrew Ryan, a graduate student at Arizona State University, said in an email. He reported the discovery in Friday’s issue of the journal Science. The biggest surprise? The largest Martian lava spiral measured 100 feet across - bigger than any on Earth. It is further evidence that Mars was volcanically active recently - geologically speaking within the past 20 million years. For more than a decade, scientists debated whether this maze of valleys near the Martian equator was sculpted by ice or volcanic processes. As part of a class project last year, Ryan analyzed about 100 highresolution photos of the region snapped by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been photographing the Martian surface since 2006. One evening, while taking a second look at the images, Ryan zoomed in and noticed the lava coils. He counted 269 spirals ranging from 16 feet More on 9 to 100 feet across.


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ALWATAN DAILY

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SaturDAY, APRIL 28, 2012

Syria ‘in contravention’ of peace plan, says UN chief

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Sabah (center), Arab League Secretary General Nabil Alarabi (left) Deputy Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmed bin Hilli (right) attend the Arab League Foreign Ministers emergency meeting held at the League’s headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, April 26. (EPA)

Deadly bombing rocks Damascus district of Al-Midan UNITED NATIONS: The Syrian government is “in contravention” of an internationally agreed peace plan by keeping troops and heavy weapons in cities, Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, has said. He also said on Thursday he was “gravely alarmed” by reports of shelling of populated areas in Syria, in a statement released a day after a deadly explosion in the flashpoint city of Hama. Activists blamed the government for the blast and put the death toll at 69, including 16 children. Syrian state media said 16 people were killed when a bomb that “terrorists” were building exploded prematurely inside a house. An unverified video posted on YouTube showed the collapsed remains of the building, as ash-covered men dug through piles of masonry looking for bodies amid the cries of onlookers. Abu Ghazi, an activist and Hama resident, told Al Jazeera: “People are dying because we don’t have the necessary medical equipment or expertise to save those injured.”

Syrian state media said 19 people died in the blast in a house used as a bomb factory by “armed terrorist groups” (AFP)

According to reports, an unexplained explosion was heard by residents in Damascus on Friday following overnight fighting in Douma, a suburb of the Syrian capital. Later on Friday, a second explosion was reported by Syrian state media in the central Damascus district of AlMidan. Al Jazeera cannot independently verify accounts of violence due to restrictions imposed on international media. More than 9,000 people have died since a revolt erupted against President Bashar Al-Assad’s government in March last year, the UN says, while non-government groups put the figure at more than 11,100. Under strong international pressure, Assad’s government has agreed a troop withdrawal from cities as part of a six-point peace plan for Syria agreed with Kofi Annan, UN-Arab League envoy. Activists said the blast in Hama was caused by government shelling or even a Scud missile attack The truce, which officially started on April 12 but has barely held, is to be monitored by 300 UN observers due to arrive in Syria in coming weeks. A small advance team is already on the ground. Ban “remains deeply troubled by the continued presence of heavy weapons, military equipment and army personnel in population centers, as reported by United Nations Military Observers”, the UN statement said.

This was “in contravention of the Syrian government’s commitments to withdraw its troops and heavy weapons from these areas,” Ban said, while demanding that Assad’s government “comply with its commitments without delay”. Meanwhile, Annan’s spokesperson has told the Reuters news agency in Geneva that 15 more ceasefire monitors of a total advance team of 30 are expected to be in Syria by Monday. “We expect the 30 will be on the ground by the end of April, on Monday,” Ahmad Fawzi said. “There is no delay... It is a whole process... They are deploying at remarkable speed.” Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin, reporting from Beirut in the capital of neighboring Lebanon, said Annan “would like as many ears and eyes on the ground as possible”. Western nations have expressed strong doubts that the UN observers will be able to work. The United States has already warned it may not renew the mission’s initial three month mandate. Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, said on Thursday the Security Council must be ready to order sanctions if Syria flouts commitments to halt violence. “We condemn what remains the government’s refusal to abide by its commitments, its continued intense use of heavy weaponry in Hama and elsewhere, which continues to result in large numbers of civilian deaths every day,” she

said. In a statement, Syria’s main opposition group, the Syrian National Congress, said: “We are calling for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council so that it can issue a resolution to protect civilians in Syria. “Hama in recent days, and following a visit by UN observers, witnessed a series of crimes that left more than 100 people dead and hundreds wounded because of heavy shelling.” In recent violence, at least 40 people were also reportedly killed in Hama on Monday, including nine activists “summarily executed” after meeting UN monitors, a rights group said. The reports cannot be verified because of restrictions on international media. The Arab League, for its part, said in a statement it would ask the UN to ensure the immediate protection of civilians in Syria, without however going as far as demanding the use of force. Nabil Elaraby, the Arab League secretary-general, called for observers to be deployed rapidly. “The entire world is waiting for a truce and the observers to be deployed, but unfortunately the fighting has not stopped and every day new victims die,” he told a ministerial meeting of the regional bloc in Cairo on Thursday. “The important thing now is the ceasefire, and this will only happen if a sufficient number of observers is deployed.” -AFP

Bin Laden family arrives in Saudi Arabia Several killed in central Iraq attacks Mother and three children shot dead just hours after twin cafe blasts in Diyala province

ABU DARMA: At least 13 people, including a mother and her three children, have been killed after twin bomb blasts and a shooting attack in Abu Garma, a village in the central Diyala province. The attacker, armed with silenced weapons, is believed to have shot the victims in the early hours of Friday. “Unknown gunmen broke into a house in the village of Abu Garma and killed a 45-year-old woman and her three children”, who were between 10 and 15years-old, Lieutenant-Colonel Ahmed Al-

Karkhi, a police official involved in the investigation in Diyala, said. He said the attack, occurring only hours after twin bombings in a cafe in the same village, might have had a sectarian motive, and could lead to further violence. “It seems like a sectarian incident, and there is a risk that it might lead to more sectarian violence in the area,” Karkhi said. The attacks in Diyala come a week after a wave of blasts killed dozens in Baghdad, Kirkuk and Samara. The two cafe explosions - occurring within minutes of each other on Thursday night - killed at least nine people and wounded another 21 in Abu Garma, Iraqi officials said. “Most of those killed in the two attacks [on Thursday] were Shia, and the family killed [on Friday] was Sunni,”

UN weighs sanctions on rival Sudans

A bus carrying family members of slain Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, leaves for the airport as they are deported to Saudi Arabia, in Islamabad, Pakistan, early April 27. (EPA)

RIYADH: The widows of Osama bin Laden and a number of his children have arrived in Saudi Arabia after being deported from Pakistan. The country’s interior ministry, which was responsible for the family since their arrest last year, said in a statement early on Friday that it had “passed orders for the deportation of 14 members of OBL family in pursuance of ... Court orders”. “The family was kept safe and sound in a guest house ... They have been deported to the country of their choice, Saudi Arabia, today,” it added. A Pakistani court charged bin Laden’s three widows and two of his grown-up daughters earlier in April with illegal entry and residency in the country. Bin Laden’s two Saudi and one Yemeni widows, together with their children, have been living under the protection of the authorities in Pakistan since the Al-Qaeda chief was killed by US Navy SEALs on May 2, 2011. The family was believed to number 12: three widows, eight children and one grand child. An interior ministry spokesman, however, said orders were passed for the deportation of 14 bin Laden relatives. They were taken to Islamabad airport to board a special flight to the Gulf kingdom, which took off shortly before 2:00 am on Friday (21:00 GMT on Thursday). The deportation was originally due to have occurred after the family members had completed their sentence last week, but the move dragged on because

legal formalities were not complete, amid suggestions that Saudi government was reluctant to accept the family. Bin Laden’s discovery in Abbottabad dealt a huge blow to US-Pakistan relations and led to accusations of Pakistani complicity or incompetence. After fleeing Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, bin Laden moved his family around Pakistan before settling in a three-storey house inside a walled compound in the garrison town in 2005. The family’s prolonged detention after the raid fed speculation that the Pakistani authorities were worried about what they might reveal about bin Laden’s time in the country and how he was able to live there for so long undetected. According to a police report, Amal Abdulfattah, 30, bin Laden’s youngest wife, told Pakistani interrogators that her husband fathered four children while he hid out in Pakistan. Abdulfattah is Yemeni, and Atif Ali Khan, the family’s lawyer, has said that she and her five children could be sent to her native country via Saudi Arabia. The United States and Pakistan are currently working to repair their relationship, which has been badly damaged by the bin Laden and other episodes during the last year. Pakistani authorities have already demolished the Abbottabad house where the bin Ladens resided, and with the one-year anniversary of the Al-Qaeda leader’s death just days away, they will be keen for the deportation to draw a line under the affair. -AFP

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council has started talks on a draft resolution that would call for sanctions against Sudan and South Sudan if they do not meet African Union demands to end their border war. Thursday’s resolution, backing previously stated AU demands, was circulated by the US. It calls for all troops to be withdrawn from the disputed border region, negotiations beginning within two weeks, and humanitarian access to aid those affected by the conflict. The text of the resolution says the Security Council would review the rivals states’ implementation of AU demands that the neighboring states halt hostilities in 48 hours, start talks within two weeks, and complete a peace accord in three months - and could “take appropriate additional measures” under article 41 of Chapter VII of the UN charter, which allows for sanctions but not military force. “The intention of the text was to provide swift and substantive support to the decisions of the African Union, in the form that the African Union requested,” Susan Rice, US ambassador to the UN, said. “But there were some members who either need more time to get guidance from their capitals or who are skeptical of the wisdom of going directly to a resolution.” Rice said it would require “at least a few days” of discussions. Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Washington, said a second day with no new attacks between the rival nations had given the US a sense of optimism that a firmly established 20km demilitarized border zone was possible. Such a border zone “would begin to

lay the groundwork for the governments of Khartoum and Juba to begin addressing the larger issue ... oil”, she said. Indepth coverage of North-South strife over border However, Princeton Lyman, US special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, told politicians on Capitol Hill on Thursday that such advances could only be made if the two nations took “a collaborative approach”. Despite no renewed violence, South Sudan has been criticized by the Arab League, which has said that Heglig belongs to Khartoum. A statement issued by the Kuwaiti foreign minister supported Sudan’s right to defend itself and called on South Sudan to respect the borders between itself and its neighbors to the north. The draft resolution and Arab League condemnation come just days after the AU called on Sudan and South Sudan to withdraw their forces from Heglig, which the South had seized from Sudanese forces, and keep their troops within their respective borders. The demand, made by the AU Peace and Security Council in a statement released after a council meeting late on Tuesday, came as South Sudan freed and handed 14 Sudanese prisoners of war to the International Committee of the Red Cross on Wednesday. The AU also said the two neighboring countries should stop issuing inflammatory statements and propaganda that could escalate the conflict. Salva Kiir, South Sudan’s president, said on Tuesday that Sudan had “declared war” on his country after the north’s repeated bombing of the south. -AFP

Karkhi said. The first attack was set off by a suicide car bomber outside the packed cafe, an interior ministry official and a local police officer said. Another bomb exploded inside the cafe a few minutes later. The tolls were confirmed by a medic at the Baquba General Hospital. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Abu Garma, a small village of between 150 and 200 people, is situated north of Baquba, the capital of Diyala. Baquba lies about 60km northeast of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Diyala, a fertile agricultural province, has long been one of the most volatile regions in Iraq, inhabited by a mix of Sunnis, Shias and Kurds. -Agencies

Blast hits Libya court house

BENGHAZI: A blast ripped through a courthouse in the eastern city of Benghazi on Friday causing serious damage to the building but no casualties, Libyan security sources said. The explosion punched a hole three meters (10 feet) in diameter through the walls of the courthouse on Meidan AlShajara, a public square flanked by several government offices and the National Oil Corporation, an AFP journalist said. The impact caused damage to a courtroom inside but no casualties. Security sources told AFP that “unknown assailants booby-trapped the building” and set off the explosion at “exactly 5 am (0300 GMT).” The area was cordoned off, the journalist said. Witnesses and residents told AFP the blast was very intense. “It left residents in the area and patients being treated in a nearby hospital completely shaken up,” one said. Late Thursday, clashes sparked by a prison revolt in Benghazi, cradle of the revolt that toppled Moamer Kadhafi’s regime last year, left one person dead and at least four wounded. The Mediterranean city has been hit by sporadic acts of violence this year, including an attack on government buildings, the desecration of a World War II cemetery, clashes at political rallies and a failed bombing of a UN convoy. -AFP


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saturdAY, april 28, 2012

At least 27 people injured in Ukraine bombings DNIPROPETROVSK: Four bombs have exploded at short intervals in the Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk in what authorities said amounted to an “act of terrorism”, wounding 27 people, including nine children. President Viktor Yanukovich said Friday’s blasts, from bombs planted in rubbish bins, represented “a challenge ... to the whole country.” The authorities were considering how to respond “appropriately”, news agencies quoted him as saying. “The first bomb seemed to have been placed in a rubbish bin just next to a tram stop near the opera house. That blast went off at 11:50am (08:50GMT) when a tram went by,” Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton reported from Moscow. The second explosion came 30 minutes later next to a cinema, injuring 11 people, nine of them children, the Emergencies Ministry said in a statement. The third blast followed shortly afterwards next to a park, injuring 2 people, it said. A fourth blast was also heard in the city center, the statement said. It was unclear whether anybody was injured in the fourth explosion. Police confirmed the blasts had been caused by explosive devices planted in trash bins. Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko immediately left for Dnipropetrovsk to head an investigation, police said. “No-one has been detained yet,” a police

People assist an injured woman at the scene of an explosion in Dnipropetrovsk. (Reuters)

spokesman said. Authorities offered no immediate explanation of any motive or say who they thought could be behind the bombs. But the prosecutor general’s office said it had launched a criminal

case classifying the blasts as an “act of terrorism”. Dnipropetrovsk, 400km southeast of the capital Kiev, is one of the former Soviet republic’s biggest industrial hubs and was a key cen-

West African bloc to send troops to Mali, Guinea Bissau ABIDJAN: West African leaders decided to send troops to coup-hit Mali and Guinea-Bissau to support their return to civilian rule and demanded coup leaders “return to barracks” in both countries. At an extraordinary summit in Ivory Coast, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also said the two countries must prepare for legislative and presidential elections within a year. Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, current head of ECOWAS, pledged a firm response to the instability “to prevent our sub-region from giving into terrorism and transnational criminality”. “The safety of Europe and of the United States now starts in the Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea,” Ouattara said. The coup in Mali on March 22 allowed Tuareg separatist rebels and armed Islamist groups, including Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, to take control of an area roughly the size of France in the remote desert north. The troops would help with Mali’s transition and “deal with any eventuality in the event of use of force for the recovery of the territorial integrity of Mali”, said ECOWAS commission chief Desire Kadre Ouedraogo. ECOWAS did not say troops would be sent to fight in the north of Mali. “We expect negotiations first,” said Ouedraogo. He said the first contingent would help ensure a safe transition but that, if talks failed, the deployment of combat troops would not be ruled out. Regarding Mali’s transitional government, “the heads of state and government decided that the transition period should last 12 months”, followed by

presidential and legislative elections, said ECOWAS. In a warning to the coup leaders, the grouping urged them to “return to barracks” and refrain from arbitrary and unilateral actions. Under an agreement between the bloc and the junta, the soldiers have handed power to a civilian government. But Ouedraogo warned that, despite the deal, “the junta still retains autocratic leanings”. ECOWAS also insisted that the toppled president, Amadou Toumani Toure, has the right to return home from exile in Senegal. Turning to Guinea-Bissau - a politically volatile country and drug trafficking hub between South America and Europe - ECOWAS decided to deploy troops with immediate effect following its April 12 coup. They gave the junta 72 hours to accept the decision or face diplomatic, economic and financial sanctions, a final statement said, also threatening prosecution before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Nigeria, Togo, Ivory Coast and Senegal will provide between “500 and 600 men” to be sent to Guinea-Bissau, said Ouedraogo. The force, to be led by Barro Gnibanga of Burkina Faso, is to “facilitate the withdrawal of Angola’s technical and military assistance mission from GuineaBissau, help in securing the transition process” and prepare the reform of the defense and security sector, said the statement. ECOWAS also called for the immediate and unconditional release of Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior and interim President Raimundo Pereira, who were arrested during the coup, staged ahead of a runoff presidential election. -AFP

Kuala Lumpur seals off venue from reform protesters KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian authorities sealed off a downtown square in Kuala Lumpur to prevent a planned sit-in by tens of thousands of electoral reform activists ahead of expected polls. City authorities who administer the country’s independence square, also known as Dataran Merdeka, where the Saturday sit-in is due to take place, have banned the gathering there and offered four stadiums as alternative venues. “Dataran Merdeka and all roads leading to it will be closed from 6 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. on Sunday,” city mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail said in statement late Thursday. Last July, police used tear gas and water cannon to break up an electoral reform rally by the Bersih 2.0 group, arresting 1,600 people. Following condemnation of the crackdown, premier Najib Razak set up a bi-partisan parliamentary panel which suggested several changes to the poll system but Bersih says they fall short of its demands. Although polls are only due next year, premier

Najib Razak is expected to seek a fresh mandate soon. The ruling coalition has governed Malaysia for more than five decades but a resurgent opposition made unprecedented inroads in the last election in 2008. Bersih has rejected the offer to hold the protest in alternative venues, saying it is too late to change location. But Home minister Hishammuddin Hussein has thrown his support behind city hall, telling the Star daily: “If they do continue to go to the street and Dataran Merdeka, that is an issue for the police to look into.” Bersih organizers say the sit-in will go ahead and they expect the crowd this year to be more than double last July, when tens of thousands took part. “We believe the sit-in will be safe because if a lot of people turn up and the numbers are huge enough, the police will be forced to behave themselves,” organizing committee member Wong Chin Huat told AFP. -AFP

tre of the nuclear, arms and space industries in Soviet times. The city provided a springboard for former President Leonid Kuchma, who was in office from 1994-2005, to rise to power. Dnipropetrovsk is also the home town of Yanukovych’s fierce opponent, the 2004 Orange Revolution leader Yulia Tymoshenko, who is serving a jail sentence for abuse of power that has strained relations between Ukraine and the European Union. Tymoshenko, 51, has been on hunger strike since last Friday and has said she suffered a beating in the prison where she is serving her disputed seven-year sentence. Dnipropetrovsk is not a host city in the European football championship that Ukraine will co-host with Poland in June and July, but is on the route of the trophy tour that is due there on May 21. Bomb attacks have been rare in the former Soviet republics, however, a similar series of explosions in eastern Ukraine in January last year were linked by officials to an attempt to extort money. “So far nothing is clear,” a high-ranking official told AFP news agency. The explosions went off as security services were conducting anti-terrorist drills at the Olympic stadium in Kiev, venue for several matches in the Euro2012 including the final on July 1. -AFP

Russia hosts China’s ‘premier-in-waiting’

NEWS IN BRIEF Nigerian papers boost security after bombings ABUJA: Nigerian police stepped up security at newspaper buildings on Friday as authorities probed unprecedented attacks on the media, with two offices belonging to a prominent paper bombed.The attacks against the influential ThisDay newspaper in the capital Abuja and the northern city of Kaduna killed at least nine people, drew widespread condemnation and came after Islamist group Boko Haram issued threats to the media.”Yesterday we started sending additional patrols to what we have on the ground with them,” Abuja police spokesman Moshood Jimoh said of media buildings. -AFP

Elite Afghan soldier kills US special forces mentor KANDAHAR: An elite Afghan soldier shot dead an American mentor and his translator at a US base, Afghan officials said on Friday, in the first rogue shooting blamed on the country’s new and closely vetted special forces. The soldier opened fire at an American military base on Wednesday in Shah Wali Kot district, in volatile Kandahar province, said General Abdul Hamid, the commander of Afghan army forces in the Taliban’s southern heartland. “The shooting took place after a verbal conflict where the Afghan special forces soldier opened fire and killed an American special forces member and his translator,” Hamid told Reuters. -Reuters

Former BJP chief Bangaru convicted for taking bribe NEW DELHI: Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Bangaru Laxman was convicted by a Delhi court and taken into custody for accepting a bribe from a fake arms dealer in a 10-year-old graft case. He was convicted by Additional Sessions Judge Kanwaljeet Arora. Laxman was taken into judicial custody and arguments on sentencing will be heard Saturday. The case dates back to 2001, when newsportal tehelka.com carried out a sting operation that caught Laxman on camera receiving money from an undercover journalist posing as an arms dealer. He later resigned as the BJP chief. -AFP

Police kill hostage-taker at South African hospital

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev (right) meets China’s Vice Premier Li Keqiang in the presidential residence at Gorki, outside Moscow, April 27. (Reuters)

MOSCOW: Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev were set Friday to host a top Chinese official who is tipped to become premier amid transitions of power in both countries. Putin, who will return to the Kremlin for a historic third term on May 7, and Medvedev, set to become premier in a job swap with his mentor, will host Vice Prime Minister Li Keqiang for political and economic talks, officials said. “Political changes in China and Russia do not have any effect whatsoever on bilateral ties,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told AFP. He declined to go into specifics of the upcoming talks. Russia, the world’s largest energy producer, and China, the world’s largest energy consumer, set much store by their bilateral ties. Putin has paid frequent visits to China in his capacity as president and prime minister since he took power in 1999. His first trip abroad since he announced his Kremlin comeback was to China last October. Putin’s next China visit is set for June, one of his first foreign trips upon reclaiming his old presidential job, the Russian foreign ministry said on Thursday.

“During the talks the sides are planning to exchange opinions on the pressing issues of the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership,” the Kremlin said in a statement, using the phrase it reserves for close friends and allies. The Kommersant broadsheet reported in February that Putin had earlier refused to host Li due to his busy agenda ahead of parliamentary and presidential polls, putting a strain on bilateral ties. The newspaper, citing sources in the Russian-Chinese inter-governmental commission, the Russian foreign ministry and the government, said Li had wanted to visit Russia in February ahead of his expected replacement of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. The newspaper said Li was forced to postpone the visit when the Russian government indicated that Putin would not be available to host him due to his busy agenda. Putin’s spokesman Peskov declined to confirm the report on Friday. A new generation of leaders must take over the reins of power in China within a year. President Hu Jintao will end his second five-year term as party head this year, while Li is expected to take over from Wen, who will resign in 2013. -AFP

Defiant Pakistan PM refuses to step down

Activists of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) shout slogans during a protest against the contempt of court verdict handed to Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani, in Peshawar on April 27. (AFP)

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday refused to step down after his contempt of court conviction, saying only the country’s parliament could remove him from office. “There is no law to remove an elected prime minister, parliament is the supreme authority and only this parliament has the authority to remove me,” he said in a defiant appearance in the lower house a day after the Supreme Court verdict. He had faced opposition calls to quit after the court convicted him for refusing to write to authorities in Switzerland asking them to reopen a multimillion dollar graft probe into President Asif Ali Zardari. “I am an elected prime minister, representing 180 million people. How can any body order an elected prime minister to go home?” he said. “Only the speaker of the house, who is

the custodian of this house, has the authority to decide. I am ready to quit if this parliament disqualifies me.” His lawyer said Thursday he would appeal against the conviction, which opened the way for proceedings to unseat him as a lawmaker, but Gilani insisted he had done nothing wrong. “I have not committed a crime, I have done nothing wrong but I have protected the constitution of this country,” he said. The Zardari allegations date back to the 1990s when he and his late wife, former PM Benazir Bhutto, are accused of using Swiss bank accounts to launder about 12 million US dollars in bribes from companies seeking customs inspection contracts. Gilani insists Zardari has full immunity as head of state, but in December 2009 the Supreme Court overturned a political amnesty that had frozen investigations into the president and other politicians. -AFP

DURBAN: Police snipers shot dead a 30year-old man who had taken two women hostage inside a Durban hospital Friday, ending a nearly five-hour standoff, a spokesman said. “The suspect was shot by police snipers in the head. He has succumbed to his wounds,” police spokesman Jay Naicker told reporters outside Westville Hospital. Police believe the man was a teacher who suffered from bipolar disorder, and was receiving treatment at the hospital, Naicker said. The attacker allegedly hijacked a taxi and forced the driver to take him to the hospital. -AFP

Officer killed activist, then himself, says Cambodia military PHNOM PENH: The Cambodian military said Friday it was closing its investigation into a shooting that occurred in a forest rife with illegal logging, concluding one of its own police officers killed a prominent environmentalist then took his own life. Chut Wutty had been taking photographs in a forest where a Chinese company is building a hydropower dam, and he refused to stop when officer In Ratana asked him to, military police spokesman Kheng Tito said. The two men then started arguing and cursing each other, until In Ratana shot Chut Wutty with his AK-47 assault rifle. “When he learned that Chut Wutty died, he killed himself with his own weapon,” the spokesman said. -AP


news in pics

A municipal worker fumigates a residential colony as the children of local residents sitting in a rickshaw watch the fumes at Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi April 27, 2012. (Reuters)

ALWATAN DAILY SaturDAY, APRIL 28, 2012

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The pack of riders cycles during the third stage of the Tour de Romandie cycling race near Avenches April 27, 2012. (Reuters)

Members of a Chinese military band walk past a Russian military vessel ahead of their performance to bid farewell to the Russian navy at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province April 27, 2012. (Reuters)

Myanmar’s Buddhist monks watch Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, Friday, April 27, 2012. (AP)

A vendor (center) poses, on April 27, 2012, during the 108th edition of the Paris Fair (“Foire de Paris” in French) at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, running from April 27 to May 8, 2012. (AFP)

Two Snow Leopards, female ‘Milla’, (left) and the male ‘Altai’, (right) are pictured in the zoo de Servion, in Servion, Switzerland, Friday, April 27, 2012. (AP)

Afghan men attend an organized ram fight in Kabul on April 27, 2012. Spring marks the start of the “fighting season” for humans involved in Afghanistan’s decade-long war, but for birds, dogs, camels and even kites it reaches its peak. The game, as well as dog fighting, camel-fighting and Buzkashi, are part of Afghanistan’s social entertainment. (AFP)

The few weeks old Asian male elephant plays in a sand pile on Friday, April 27, 2012 in Hamburg during his first trip to the outdoor enclosure of the elephants of the Hagenbeck zoo. (AP)


Yemen plans to lift oil output by 36% by end-2012

saturdAY, april 28, 2012

BUSINESS

SANAA: Yemen plans to raise its crude oil production by more than one-third to 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) by developing new fields and refurbishing pipelines, the Yemeni oil minister said on Friday. “If we can repair the pipeline from the Marib fields and carry out new developments, production will increase to 300,000 bpd by the end of the year from 220,000 bpd now,” Hisham Sharaf told Reuters. “We have plans to develop several fields and introducing new ... oil producing blocks in the next five years. We expect that will eventually lead to the lifting of oil production to 400,000 bpd as the blocks being used currently do not exceed 15 percent of the areas of oil finds,” Sharaf said. “It is expected that the country’s oil production will be increased to 300,000 bpd ... by the end of the year,” he added. -Reuters

Kuwaiti oil price rises to 115.53 per barrel Crude exports to Japan at highest in 3 years

CAPITALS: The Price of Kuwaiti crude oil rose 70 US cents to 115.53 US dollars per barrel (pb) on Thursday compared to $114.83 pb on Wednesday, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) said on Friday. The price of the Kuwaiti crude oil climbed for the third consecutive day after maintaining a downward trend for more than two weeks. Turn to the upward trend was attributed to recovery of the global economy and higher demand for oil. Meanwhile, Kuwait’s crude oil exports to Japan in March rose to the highest level in three years to 1.67 million barrels, or 339,000 barrels per day (bpd), up 45.4 percent from a year earlier, the government said Friday. Kuwait’s shipments to Japan saw the second straight month of growth

and the highest monthly volume since April 2009, when it shipped 1.68 million barrels (353,000 bpd). Kuwait overtook Iran to become Japan’s fourth-biggest oil supplier last month, providing 8.1 percent of the country’s total crude imports, compared with 6.2 percent in the same month of 2011 and 7.4 percent in February, the Japanese Natural Resources and Energy Agency said in a preliminary report. Japan’s overall imports of crude oil grew 11.3 percent year-on-year to 4.21 million bpd for the second consecutive monthly expansion. Shipments from the Middle East edged up 0.4 percent to 3.45 million bpd, and accounted for 82.0 percent of the total. Saudi Arabia remained Japan’s top oil supplier, with imports from the kingdom growing 14.4 percent from a year earlier to 1.38 million bpd, followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with 814,000 bpd, down 10.5 percent. Qatar ranked third with 399,000 bpd, down 5.7 percent. Resources-poor Japan is the world’s third-largest oil consumer after China and the US. The country is buying more

fossil fuels to meet electricity demand as nearly all the 54 nuclear reactors have shut down following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in March last year. In more news, oil pared losses on Friday to trade at around $119.90 a barrel after disappointing US data revived hopes of further liquidity injections from the Federal Reserve to boost the flagging economic recovery. Brent crude, widely used as a global oil benchmark, was down just five cents to $119.87 a barrel by 1341 GMT. US crude oil was off seven cents to $104.48 a barrel. Oil was sold off earlier in the session after Standard and Poor’s (S&P) downgraded Spain’s credit rating but pared losses when US first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures missed the consensus forecast. The data hit the dollar, and a weaker US currency is supportive of commodities priced in dollars as it makes them cheaper for holders of other currencies. Some traders also took the view that the below-expectations GDP figure would open the door to a third round of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve.

Kuwait’s Q8 merge assets with Swedish OKF KUWAIT: Kuwait Petroleum International, known as Q8, and Swedish OKF announced Friday merging their assets in Denmark and Sweden. In a statement sent to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Q8 said that two companies, engaged in partnership for years, took the decision to bolster their operation on the two markets. The statement noted that the partnership between Q8 and OKF has made great successes in the past years. The time has come to develop this strategic partnership into a total merger, it added. Q8 and OKF have 245 and 574 fuelling stations in Denmark respectively. The two companies also market several other petroleum products in Denmark and Sweden. Kuwait Petroleum International was established in 1983, to manage the refining and marketing interests of our parent company, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), outside Kuwait. The growth of Q8’s extensive network of service stations in Europe began with the acquisition, in 1983-1984, of Gulf Oil’s operations in the Benelux, Sweden, Denmark and Italy, and of BP’s operations

Iran denies China cut imports of its oil

in Denmark in 1987. Expansion continued in the early 1990s with the purchase of Mobil service stations in Italy and BP’s assets in Luxembourg. Q8 launched operations in Spain in 1992 and our business in Italy was strengthened through a joint venture with Italian oil company AGIP at the Milazzo refinery in Sicily. A joint venture with OKF in Sweden in 1998 created OKQ8, one of the leading networks of service stations in Sweden, while the acquisition of the service stations of BP and Aral, made Q8 Belgium’s second largest oil company. Q8’s business in the Netherlands was strengthened by acquiring Tango automated service stations in the Netherlands. Over the past three decades, Q8 has expanded rapidly through a series of carefully planned acquisitions selected for their strategic fit with the business. According to the statement, Q8’s business is expanding into the Far East with plans for ambitious joint venture marketing and manufacturing projects, with the construction of a refinery and petrochemical complex in both China and Vietnam. -KUNA

S&P says Kuwait insurance sector will grow despite price wars

CAPITALS: Despite its good growth prospects, a lack of pricing discipline among many Kuwaiti insurers could weaken the creditworthiness of the sector as a whole. This is according to a report titled ‘Cut-Throat Competition Is Overshadowing Growth Opportunities In Kuwait’s Insurance Market,’ published Friday on the Global Credit Portal, according to a statement released by the ratings agency. “We predict that the Kuwaiti insurance market will continue to grow faster than more-mature markets such as Europe and the US over the long term, reflecting the still-low penetration rate of 0.5 percent in Kuwait,” Standard & Poor’s (S&P) credit analyst Ali Karakuyu said. “We are expecting the market to report growth of about eight percent again in 2012.” We note that the Kuwaiti regulator aims to improve local insurance legislation as Kuwait currently lacks the many key characteristics of modern insurance law. Without appropriate regulatory measures, such as risk-adjusted capital requirements, the industry’s high exposure to risky assets - a stance partly taken to compensate for premium reductions - could deplete capital. We believe the medium-term growth outlook for Kuwaiti insurance is stronger than that in some of the other Gulf markets. “This reflects our expectation that the government’s infrastructure project investments will filter down to new insurable business. Kuwait’s ambitious fiveyear development plan, which envisages $100 billion-$125 billion of investments transforming the country into an international trade and financial hub, will boost the insurance sector, in our opinion,” Karakuyu said. There has been an influx of new insurers - notably Takaful or Sharia-compliant insurers - since 2000. This has overcrowded the sector and partly led to significant reductions in average premium rates in the retail business, notably in motor. “Despite high competition and low and volatile investment returns, we believe the larger players are likely to report reasonable, if not strong, returns on capital in 2011,” Karakuyu said. “Meanwhile, small players will continue to post low returns. This largely reflects the variation in underwriting performance. We believe that this is likely to continue in 2012.” -Agencies

A Spanish flag flutters in the wind over the Spanish national library in central Madrid, April 27, 2012. Spain’s sickly economy faces a “crisis of huge proportions”, a minister said on Friday, as unemployment hit its highest level in two decades and Standard and Poor’s weighed in with a two-notch downgrade of the government’s debt. Spain’s unemployment rate shot up to 24 percent in the first quarter, the highest level since the early 1990s and one of the worst jobless figures in the world. (Reuters)

Chinese banking giants post 1Q profit CAPITALS: Chinese banking giants the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Agricultural Bank of China reported an increase in their first quarter net profit on Friday, boosted by growth in interest income. The ICBC, the country’s biggest lender, said its net profit for the January-March period grew 14 percent from a year earlier to 61.34 billion Chinese yuan (9.75 billion US dollars), in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange. AgBank, the country’s third-biggest lender by assets, meanwhile saw its first-quarter profit soar 28 percent to 43.45 billion yuan, although the growth pace was slower than the 36 percent increase it posted during the same period a year ago.

Gold climbs above $1,660 on US data LONDON: Gold prices climbed to two-week highs above 1,660 US dollars an ounce on Friday as softer-thanexpected US growth data weighed on the dollar versus the euro, and stoked expectations the Federal Reserve could unleash a fresh round of quantitative easing. The precious metal remained well within the narrow range it has stuck to this month, however, as a dearth of buying from key bullion consumer India curbed gains. Its monthly price spread of $1,610-1,680 an ounce in April is its tightest since June. Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,665.09 an ounce at 1333 GMT, having touched a two-week high at $1,666.41. US gold futures for June delivery were up $6.00 at $1,666.30.

The market had been looking for a first quarter US GDP growth figure of between 2.3-2.5 percent, with the consensus forecast at the upper end of that range. This is still slower than the three percent achieved in the fourth quarter of 2011, but would have been enough to suggest the recovery was on track. However, GDP came in at 2.2 percent. By 1317 GMT the dollar was down 0.22 percent against a basket of currencies. Brent crude had been off some 70 cents earlier in the day following Standard & Poor’s decision to cut its credit rating on Spain by two notches to BBB+, with a negative outlook. The ratings agency cited expectations that the government’s finances will deteriorate more than previously thought due to a shrinking economy and an ailing banking sector. A bond auction by Italy of some 5.95 billion euros got away without any trouble, forestalling any further sentimentdriven sell offs. Some analysts saw potential for further oil price falls given the crude supply now coming through from Libya, and as tensions with Iran over its nuclear program have eased. -Agencies

The dollar and appetite for assets seen as higher risk are likely to remain key drivers of the market, he said. The dollar fell to a three-week low against the euro on Friday after a report showed US economic growth cooled in the first quarter. A firmer tone to stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic also helped gold to climb, although caution was still evident in the debt markets, where both US Treasuries and German Bunds climbed. Asian buyers uninspired

Physical demand for the metal in major consumer India was light after the last major gold-purchasing festival of the wedding season earlier this week, while the listless perfor-

The banks are two of China’s “Big Four” lenders, alongside China Construction Bank and the Bank of China. China’s major banks have reported strong profits despite the slowing economy, further fuelling resentment as companies struggle to access much-needed credit and helping prompt an explosion in underground lending. Premier Wen Jiabao has called for the break-up of a banking “monopoly” on lending that has squeezed private businesses. “In regards to financing costs, let me honestly say that our banks are making a profit too easily. Why is this so? It’s because a few big banks are in a monopoly position,” he said earlier this month. -AFP

mance of spot prices deterred buyers elsewhere in Asia. Gold bar premiums in Singapore were around one dollar an ounce above London prices, while in Hong Kong, premiums were quoted in the range between one dollar and $1.60 an ounce. “People don’t have much confidence that prices will move higher once we approach (the) $1,660-$1,670 level,” a Hong Kong-based dealer said. He said trading volume had been sluggish as speculators shifted interest to betterperforming markets, such as equities. Among other precious metals, silver was up 0.8 percent at $31.35 an ounce The metal is set to end the week down 1 percent after sliding below $30 an ounce for the first time since mid-Jan-

CAPITALS: An Iranian oil official denied major buyer China had cut imports of crude from the country in 2012, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Friday, after Chinese data showed they were a third lower in the first quarter than a year earlier. The customs data this week showed China - until recently Iran’s top customer - halved its Iranian crude imports in March compared with the same month in 2011. Industry sources have said the reported fall, adding to Tehran’s problems as it faces Western sanctions over its nuclear development program, was due to disputes over contract terms. “Iranian crude exports to Chinese refineries have not decreased at all in the current year,” the head of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Mohsen Ghamsari, told Mehr. “On average we are exporting about 500,000 barrels of crude to China per day,” he added. The United States and its allies have imposed strong new sanctions against Iran’s financial and energy sectors to force Tehran to abandon its uranium enrichment activities. Washington suspects it of covertly developing nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies. The European Union announced in January a total ban on purchasing Iranian crude, to be implemented in July. Iran traditionally sells most of its oil exports to Asia, where China, India, Japan and South Korea have been the biggest buyers. But China’s state oil buyers have decreased their purchases since the start of the year. In the first quarter of this year, China’s crude imports from Iran were a third lower at 346,183 barrels per day (bpd) compared to a year earlier, customs data showed, mainly because the state-run China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) slashed purchases by 285,000 bpd, or just over half of the amount it imported daily in 2011. China cut its oil imports from Iran 5 percent year-onyear in January and 40 percent year-on-year in February. March imports dropped 54 percent to 253,302 bpd, the data showed. Industry and company sources said this week that South Korea will make sharp cuts in imports of Iranian crude from June as tightening Western sanctions make it impossible to secure insurance cover for tankers to ship the crude. Iran has played a tit-for-tat game over crude shipments since the European Union’s oil embargo announcement. EU states have since scrambled to find alternative supplies before that deadline, with Iran threatening to cut exports before then. The EU had been the second biggest buyer of Iranian oil after China and its embargo is a direct strike on the biggest source of export income for Iran, the second largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). As sanctions against Iran have intensified, Gulf Arab exporters including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have boosted their exports. The threat of a cut in Iranian supplies drove oil prices in March to 128 US dollars a barrel, their highest level since 2008. Meanwhile, South Korean’s largest oil refiner, SK Energy, is securing alternative supplies to make up for potential cuts in monthly Iranian crude imports from the current 10-15 percent level due to Western sanctions on Tehran, its parent company said on Friday. South Korea, the world’s No.4 buyer, has joined China, Japan and India, the other key consumers of Iran’s 2.2 million barrels per day of exports, in reducing demand as sanctions make it harder to pay for, ship and insure the oil. “Import volumes from Iran will not change much for now as we have not yet decided how much we will cut. In response to possible cuts in imports, we are securing alternative crude and establishing supply plans,” a senior official at its parent SK Innovation told an analysts’ call. SK Innovation fully owns SK Energy, which has a refining capacity of 1.115 million barrels per day. -Agencies

uary on Wednesday. Prices fell in six of the previous eight weeks. Sales of American Eagle silver coins from the US Mint are on track to hit their lowest monthly rate since July 2008 in April, figures from the Mint showed, at 1.28 million ounces, against 2.542 million ounces in March. “Silver closed (Thursday) higher at 31.20 but remains within the range of Monday’s steep sell-off,” ScotiaMocatta said in a note. “Resistance is at 31.71, Monday’s high. Support is at 30.00, around yesterday’s low.The gold-silver ratio is trading lower at 53.26, its first pause after four sessions higher.” Spot platinum was up 0.4 percent at $1,568.74 an ounce, while palladium was up one percent at $673.47. -Reuters


saturdAY, APRIL 28, 2012

SPORTS

Sports Editors Highlight BERLIN: Germany on Friday dropped plans to host the European Championships in 2020, the German football federation (DFB) announced. A date limit of May 15 was set for potential candidates to submit their bids. DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach said: “The idea of hosting the best teams on the continent is obviously a very attractive one. But after hosting the World Cup in 2006 and the women’s edition in 2011, it is now up to other countries to step in.” So far only Turkey has expressed an interest in hosting the Euro 2020. The Euro 2012 will be held in Poland and Ukraine from June 8 to July 1 and the 2016 edition will be hosted by France. -AFP

FOOTBALL

Guardiola quits, Barcelona appoint Vilanova to succeed SPAIN: Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola announced on Friday he is leaving the team at the end of the season, ending a four-year reign over one of the greatest eras in club football. “This is not a very easy situation for me,” the 41year-old Guardiola told a news conference where the club also revealed that his assistant coach Tito Vilanova will take over. “Four years is an eternity as coach of Barca,” said Guardiola, who wore a grey V-knecked sweater and white collared shirt as he addressed a room in the Camp Nou filled with journalists and players. “Time wears everything down, I feel drained and I need to replenish.” Guardiola apologized for leaving the club in uncertainty for such a long period while he considered whether to extend his one-year contract, which expires in June. But the coach said he wanted to wait until the Champions League and the Liga title were settled before making an announcement. Barcelona crashed out of Europe’s premier club competition after a semifinal defeat to Chelsea on Tuesday, and Guardiola has already conceded the Spanish league title to arch rivals Real Madrid. After spending most of his playing career at Bar-

celona, Guardiola coached Barcelona’s B team before taking control of the first-team squad in June 2008 from Dutchman Frank Rijkaard. In his four years at the helm, he has led Barcelona to 13 titles and is credited with promoting some of the most sublime football in the world, helped by huge talent including three-times FIFA Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi. His successor Vilanova hit world headlines last summer when Jose Mourinho, coach of Real Madrid, poked him in the eye during a brawl on the sidelines of Barcelona’s Supercup victory at the Nou Camp. Asked about the incident, which earned him a twomatch ban, Mourinho famously asked journalists at a post-match news conference: “Pito Vilanova? I don’t know who this Pito is.” Vilanova, 42, played only briefly as a professional in Spain’s top flight, notably with Celta Vigo, before turning to coaching at the end of his career and finding his way back to the club of his youth. He came through Barcelona’s youth ranks but after failing to break into the first team he continued his playing career with a number of lower league sides before retiring in 2002. Vilanova rejoined the Catalans as a youth coach in 2007, helping Barcelona’s B side to promotion. -AFP

Arsenal gunning to stay third against Stoke

FILE - Gervinho of Arsenal scores past Asmir Begovic of Stoke City during their English Premier League soccer match at the Emirates Stadium in north London, Oct. 23, 2011. (Reuters)

LONDON: The race for third place in the Premier League has intensified for Arsenal as they make the treacherous trip to the Britannia Stadium to face Stoke City on Saturday. Chelsea’s surprising passage into next month’s Champions League final against Bayern Munich have given the Blues a chance to qualify for that competition next season as the holders. That would be at the expense of the fourth-placed side in England. Arsenal are in third place on 65 points - three ahead of Newcastle United. The Magpies have a match in hand while the Gunners have a comfortable 13-goal margin in goal difference. Arsene Wenger’s side have earned one point in their last two matches, a 2-1 loss to Wigan Athletic on April 16 and last Saturday’s scoreless draw with Chelsea. “They were really good chances to put ourselves into third place comfortably. At the moment we still have to fight for third place,” Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen said. “It is not going to be easy, but that is because you play in England and it is not an easy league. Everybody can beat everybody, It is going to be tight, but it is going

to be interesting.” Stoke City play three of their final four fixtures at the Britannia, where Arsenal have stumbled in the past. The Potters have won three of the last four visits by the Gunners in all competitions, including a 3-1 win in the 4th round of the 2010 FA Cup. Arsenal won the reverse fixture 3-1 at the Emirates on Oct. 23. Robin van Persie scored twice, but the league’s top scorer has struck just once in his last seven matches to allow Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney to move within one of his total of 27 Premier League goals. The Potters, meanwhile, are eyeing a top-half finish in the table. “Finishing in the top half is definitely doable, given the fact that three of our last four games are here at the Britannia Stadium,” winger Jermaine Pennant told Stoke City’s official website. “We feel that all three games are winnable, especially given our record here in recent months.” Stoke did Arsenal no favours with a 3-0 loss to Newcastle last Saturday. Jonathan Walters has gone 10 straight matches without scoring in all competitions for the Potters, who feature the Premier League’s worst attack with 32 goals. -AP

Polish Euro 2012 stadium gets green light

WARSAW: Stadium authorities in Polish Euro 2012 host city Wroclaw have received a green light for games at their brand-new arena, after resolving last-minute operating problems that forced a temporary closure. “The stadium has been approved for use,” Wroclaw’s mayor Rafal Dutkiewicz said in a statement announcing that building inspectors had given the thumbs up. While the 42,700-capacity Municipal Stadium opened officially last November, hosting a friendly between Poland and Italy, problems with its pitchspraying system last month forced a shutdown. With the high-profile European championship looming, that was an embarrassment for co-hosts Poland, and the stadium management scrambled to get their house in order. The closure was also a blow to top-flight club Slask Wroclaw, who use the stadium, and were forced to return to their old ground in the city.

The official green light means that Slask, who stand third in Poland’s 16-club first division, will be able to play Sunday’s league match against stragglers Belchatow at the new stadium. Workers are currently putting the finishing touches to the area around the stadium, with projects including a bus-park due to be complete within days. On May 11, the running of the stadium is to be handed over formally to European football’s governing body UEFA for the duration of Euro 2012. Wroclaw is one of Poland’s four tournament host cities, along with the capital Warsaw, Poznan in the west, and the Baltic port of Gdansk. During Euro 2012, Wroclaw will see Group A matches between the Czech Republic, Greece, Poland and Russia. The 16-nation tournament kicks off in Warsaw in June 8 and ends with the final on July 1 in Kiev. -AFP

Barcelona’s coach Josep Guardiola gives a press conference in Barcelona on April 27, 2012. Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola announced that he is leaving the club at the end of the season. (AFP)

Athletic, Atletico set up all Spanish final SPAIN: Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid set up an all-Spanish Europa League final on Thursday as La Liga found some solace after the Champions League misery suffered by Barcelona and Real Madrid. Athletic reached their first European final in 35 years when they grabbed a winner two minutes from time to beat Sporting Lisbon 3-1 in their semi-final second leg for a 4-3 aggregate. Fernando Llorente scored the crucial goal just as the tie was heading for extratime when he bundled a cross from Ibai Gomez over the line and past Rui Patricio in the Portuguese goal. In the May 9 final in Bucharest they will face 2010 winners Atletico who beat countrymen Valencia 1-0 for a 5-2 aggregate win. Just like they had done in the first leg, Athletic went in front against Sporting with a goal after 17 minutes at their San Mames home which took them level on aggregate, but ahead on away goals. Iker Muniain crossed from the right, the dangerous Llorente chested the ball back, and Markel Susaeta was on hand to volley the ball past Patricio. The Portuguese were level on the night a minute before half-time when Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s left-footed shot beat Gorka Iraizoz in the Athletic goal. But in time added-on at the end of the first half, Ibai Gomez made it 2-1 on the night to the Spanish side, and 3-3 on aggregate, when he was set up by the impressive Llorente before beating Patricio. Midway through the second half, both sides hit the woodwork. Athletic’s Javi Martinez crashed a header off the crossbar before former Liverpool player Emiliano Insua sent a drive past Iraizoz but off the post.

As the tie headed towards extra-time, Llorente found the target to put Athletic into a first European final since 1977. In Valencia, the home side, who had played in the Champions League earlier in the season, mounted a series of attacks against Atletico Madrid in an effort to reduce their 4-2 first leg aggregate deficit. On the half-hour mark, Spanish international Roberto Soldado got on the end of an Antonio Barragan cross, but his drive just went the wrong side of Thibaut Courtois’s goal. Five minutes before the interval, Sergio Canales shot low and

hard but Courtois smothered the danger. Valencia continued to press after the interval, and they were finally caught on the break on the hour mark as Atletico, the champions in 2010, put the tie to bed. Adrian Lopez controlled a long pass on his chest and then hit it high into the far corner past Diego Alves in goal. His strike came just moments after Valencia’s Canales had been stretchered off in tears at the Mestalla. In the 80th minute, Atletico skipper Tiago was sent off for a foul on Soldado and will miss the final. -AFP

Athletic Bilbao celebrate after they won 3-1 against SCP Sporting during their Europa League second leg, semifinal soccer match, at San Mames stadium in Bilbao, northern Spain, April 26, 2012. (AP)

Liverpool eye Premier League safety in Norwich visit LONDON: Liverpool are set to welcome Steven Gerrard back into their side Saturday when they visit Carrow Road to face a Norwich City squad close to ensuring their Premier League safety. Gerrard was left out of last weekend’s 1-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion with a hamstring injury, but he will be back against Norwich with an eye on next weekend’s FA Cup clash with Chelsea. The Reds have won once in their last 10 Premier League games, with seven defeats in that span. They are 37 points behind leaders Manchester United and have not finished more than 37 points behind an English champion since they were promoted to the top flight in 1962. Dalglish’s side sit in eighth place on 46 points, and the possibility is real that Liverpool could finish in the bottom half of the table. Norwich City would draw level on points with Liverpool with a victory. The 13th-placed Canaries have also been in stuttering form as they seek to avoid their first three-match Premier League losing streak. Paul Lambert’s side turned in a jaded effort as they fell 2-0 on the road to relegation-threatened Blackburn Rovers last Saturday. “There is no doubt people feel tired, but you can’t afford to stop doing all the work that has got you where you are, that’s the game of football,” Lambert told Norwich City’s official website. James Vaughan, signed in the summer from Everton, made his first start for the

Canaries and was replaced on 59 minutes. Vaughan, plagued by injuries, made his fourth appearance with the club. “I think the one plus thing for us is that James Vaughan did very well for the hour that he was on for,” Lambert said. “I thought he was a handful and I was delighted for James.” The Canaries are nearly assured of remaining in the Premier League, and Lambert is pointing to a strong finish for his side.

“We’ve got a mammoth game against Liverpool coming up, and that’s what you play football for,” Lambert said. Dalglish, meanwhile, rued his side’s misfortune as the Reds came up empty despite outshooting the Baggies 27-9. “They just need a bit of luck I think,” Dalglish said. “It sounds repetitive but it’s not an excuse. We’re not running away from something. It’s not as if there’s something drastically wrong. It is just a piece of good fortune that we need.” -AP

FILE - Luis Suarez of Liverpool competes with Leon Barnett of Norwich City during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Norwich City at Anfield, Oct. 22, 2011. (AFP)


ALWATAN DAILY

SPORTS

SaturDAY, APRIL 28, 2012

7

Basketball

Spurred by 2011 loss, Heat set for 2nd title shot

Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) stuffs the ball against the New Jersey Nets in the first quarter of their NBA basketball game in Newark, New Jersey, April 16, 2012. (Reuters)

MIAMI: This year, James said many times that he indeed was able to successfully change his approach. It apparently rubbed off on everyone else in the Heat locker room as well. “You just have to play the game,” Bosh said. “I think last year I got too caught up in, ‘This is it.We have to win. We’re going to win.’ Sometimes it doesn’t happen like that. You just have to play the game.” Most players walked down the hallway from the court to the locker room as the Dallas Mavericks were celebrating the title showing very little emotion. A few said afterward they didn’t know how to react in those first few moments, saying the overriding emotion was shock more than anything else. Bosh didn’t wait to react. Backup center Erick Dampier helped him down the hall, as Bosh walked with a hand covering his face. He’s not embarrassed by the moment. “I own it. I embrace it,” Bosh said. “I don’t like to lose. I didn’t know there were cameras in the back and everything. That was a private moment, honestly, for me. It wasn’t for anybody. But I was heartbroken. I had my heart torn from my chest and broken. That wasn’t a good feeling. I don’t cringe from it. It reminds me of

what can happen. That was just that one moment, but we live it until this day, until we get over the hump.” For all the attention James and Wade get, and rightly so, both say that Bosh may be the key to Miami getting over that hump. It’s not a deflection of responsibility. It’s a statement about numbers. When Bosh scored 20 points or more this season, the Heat were 19-3. Since Bosh came to Miami, the Heat are 50-15 in two years when he gets to 20. It’s not all about scoring, either. When he gets 10 rebounds, Miami is 39-10. “I think I have that wild-card effect,” Bosh said. “I can lay in the weeds and we can maybe win or maybe not. But if I have a good game, our records are winning ones.” And there’s no shortage of motivation for Bosh and the Heat in these playoffs. Especially after what happened in last year’s playoffs. “Obviously, losing burns,” Wade said. “And it hurts. But we wanted it last year just as much as this year. That wound is still there. Going into the postseason you have to relive kind of the moments from last year so you can feel that hurt a little bit, and refocus. But we want it just as bad.” Their first chance to show that comes today. -AP

Cricket

Chanderpaul reaches elite group as Australia seize control

West Indies’ Shivnarine Chanderpaul (right) is trapped LBW for 69 runs by Australia’s captain Michael Clarke as the wicket keeper Matthew Wade and Mike Hussey during the second innings, April 26, 2012. (AP)

Kings beat resting Lakers 113-96 in season finale SACRAMENTO: DeMarcus Cousins had 23 points and 19 rebounds, Tyreke Evans scored 17 points and the Sacramento Kings beat the Los Angeles Lakers’ backups 113-96 Thursday night in the regular-season finale for both teams. Kobe Bryant sat out along with four other Lakers’ starters, conceding the NBA scoring title to Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. He needed 38 points to boost his average above Durant’s 28 points per game. Instead, Bryant decided to rest up for another championship chase. Los Angeles opens its first-round playoff series Sunday at home against Denver. Sacramento finished 22-44 in the lockout-shortened season. At the very least, Kings fans have the promise of the franchise staying in the city next year - but nothing more. The atmosphere in Sacramento had a remarkably different feel than last season’s Lakers-Kings finale. At that game on April 13, 2011, the Kings seemed destine to relocate to Anaheim. Many fans, arena workers and team personnel cried. A few thousand stayed in protest - shouting “Here we stay!” - for almost an hour after the game, and players returned to the floor to thank them all in what felt like goodbye. While the doom and gloom of the town’s only professional team leaving has somewhat subsided with the Kings promising to stay next season, it still lingers until a deal is signed and a new arena is constructed. Josh McRoberts had 16 points and nine rebounds and Ramon Sessions scored 14 to lead Los Angeles, also playing without Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in game that was never close - or contested. Sacramento led 35-21 in the final seconds of the first quarter until Sessions - the only regular Lakers starter in the lineup - swished a 3-pointer in front of a charging Jimmer Fredette. The Kings built a 56-39 lead in the second quarter during a spurt highlighted by Terrence Williams’ one-handed slam over Jordan Hill, and the rest was a formality. Bryant, who missed seven games with a bruised left shin before playing the previous two, averaged 27.9 points per game while playing 58 games this season. Durant won the scoring title for the third straight year while playing all 66 contests, capping the regular season with 32 points in a win over the Kings a night earlier that forced Bryant to respond big in Sacramento. Already an NBA MVP, two-time scoring champion and winner of five NBA titles, Bryant has bigger goals to chase at age 33. -AP

Sacramento Kings forward Travis Outlaw goes for a shot during an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, April 26, 2012. The Kings won the final game of their season 113-96. (AP)

Tennis

World number one Azarenka reaches Stuttgart quarters STUTTGART, Germany: World number one Victoria Azarenka moved into the Stuttgart indoor tournament quarter-finals on Thursday after Germany’s Andrea Petkovic retired with an ankle injury while trailing 6-2, 4-4. Azarenka will face in-form Mona Barthel of Germany for a spot in the last four. The Belarussian top seed grabbed a break with the opening game but missed an easy volley to hand a break back in the fourth game. She then proceeded to break the German, back for her first WTA tournament after a back injury ruled her out for almost four months, to take the first set 6-2. The second set initially followed a similar pattern with Azarenka breaking

in the first game courtesy of a stunning double-handed backhand down the line before being broken straight back. Petkovic looked set to give her opponent a tougher time but badly twisted her ankle as she tried to hit a forehand at 4-4. “It’s such a tough situation and the ankle right away blew up,” said Azarenka in a courtside interview. “I hope she recovers soon because she is a great player. Andrea is one if the players who is tough mentally, she is a great fighter,” she said. German Barthel kept up her spectacular form this year with a 6-3, 6-1 demolition of world number seven Marion Bartoli to book her spot in the last eight and notch her first career victory over a

top-10 player. “It was one of the best matches of my life,” said Barthel, who won her maiden WTA title in Hobart in January. “I was immediately able to put her serve under pressure. It’s great to have won my first match against a Top 10 player. It’s something special.” World number five Sam Stosur avenged last year’s semi-final defeat by Julia Goerges, beating the German 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 to set up a quarter-final against world number two Maria Sharapova. Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova also advanced with a comfortable straight-sets victory over Italy’s Francesca Schiavone and China’s Li Na beat Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan 6-4, 6-4. -Reuters

Raonic routs Murray in Barcelona upset

ROSEAU, Dominica: Shivnarine Chanderpaul became the 10th batsman to reach 10,000 test runs as he headed West Indies’ attempt to avoid defeat in the third and final test against Australia on Thursday. Set a daunting target of 370 to win on a track offering plenty for spin, as West Indian Shane Shillingford proved with his 10-wicket haul, the home side fought hard with Chanderpaul making a typically stubborn 69 from 122 balls in his team’s 173 for five. The left-hander was trapped lbw by Australia captain Michael Clarke in the final over of the day, though, dampening the enthusiasm of a home crowd who had sensed the chance of an exciting final day. Chanderpaul reached his personal milestone in circumstances and a manner that has been typical of his career, patiently accumulating runs as his team struggled to avoid defeat. But the glimmer of hope provided by a partnership of 110 between Chanderpaul and Darren Bravo, faded when both were removed in the final eight overs of the day. Australia were relieved to remove Bravo, who had made a stylish 45, caught behind off Shane Watson and they were delighted when Chanderpaul departed. The decision was gained after Clarke, who has three wickets with his slow left-arm, asked for a review after his lbw appeal had been declined and the changed

verdict leaves Australia with victory well within their reach on Friday. Still needing another 197, West Indies have plenty of time but it will take a remarkable effort if they are to get close to the target. The West Indies’ bowlers had done a good job of picking up the last four Australian wickets for 59 runs in the pre-lunch session as the tourists were bowled out for 259. But, as has happened throughout the series, any benefits gained by the West Indies bowling attack were quickly undermined by the batting at the top of the order. Opener Adrian Barath failed to make it through the 25-minute spell before lunch, brilliantly caught for a duck by a flying Ed Cowan at mid-wicket off Ben Hilfenhaus. After the break, Clarke opted to make use of his own spin and his decision paid off instantly as he struck with his sixth delivery, trapping Kraigg Brathwaite (14) leg before. Kieran Powell progressed to 24 and was looking relatively comfortable until Clarke bowled him to bring Chanderpaul to the crease. The nudge to mid-wicket that took Chanderpaul into five figures also took his career average to exactly 50, an outstanding record for someone who has spent so much time in a losing team. -Reuters

BARCELONA: Canadian Milos Raonic handed second seed Andy Murray a clay-court humiliation on Friday as the big-hitting youngster hammered the Scot 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) to reach the semifinals of the Barcelona Open on Friday. Murray was to have been Raonic’s opponent in Miami last month, but the Canadian had to withdraw injured before that showdown on hardcourt. With the scene shifted to clay, the momentum went with the Canadian as he took the biggest scalp of his fast-rising career in just under one and three-quarter hours at the Real Club de Tenis. “It was important to play a few games on clay, I had some good tennis from time to time,” said Murray. “It’s most important to get ready for the upcoming Masters 1000s (Madrid from May 7 and Rome to follow). Murray, a Monte Carlo quarter-finalist who admitted that he’s had a difficult time trying to make the change from hardcourt to clay, praised Raonic’s big game. “Milos has always played well on hardcourt, now he’s a threat on all surfaces. He’s got a huge serve, you must find ways to neutralize it. If you manage, you have options.” Raonic, winner of two titles this season on indoor hardcourt where his huge game is always a threat, showed that he’s getting comfortable on the dirt as he fired 14 aces in victory. His only other final-four on clay came a year ago in Estoril, when he lost to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco. Raonic’s shock win over Murray backed up his defeat of Spanish specialist Nicolas Almagro in the third round. The Canadian ended Murray’s best run in Barcelona, where he has claimed only a single match win in three previous appearances. Raonic won the first set thanks to one break of serve and stayed steady well into the second as he dueled with Murray. The Canadian broke for a 4-3 lead but was unable to close out victory immediately as Murray got the break back in the tenth game for five-apiece. As the set went to a tiebreaker, Raonic’’s huge serve came to bear, with the 11th-seeded Canadian taking a 3-0 lead. He earned five match points, with Murray saving two before sending a week backhand into the net. Raonic converted on two of five break points while Murray missed on three of his break chances. Murray had dropped just eight games in his

first two matches in Barcelona, where he trained as a teenager and where Raonic has a base to go train with his Spanish coach Galo Blanco. Murray was Raonic’s sixth career win over a top 10 player. -AFP

Canada’s Milos Raonic returns a ball to Russia’s Igor Andreev during the Barcelona Open, April 25, 2012. (Reuters)


8

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LIFE

Caring for a sunburn

Sunburn can occur as quickly as 15 minutes after exposure to the sun begins, and the effects can range from mildly uncomfortable to quite painful. The Nemours Foundation suggests how to help care for a sunburn: • Get out of the sun as quickly as possible. • Take a cool bath or shower, or apply a cool compress. • Drink plenty of extra fluids for two or three days after the burn. • Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen as needed for pain. • Gently apply aloe gel or a moisturizing lotion. • If you must go into the sun, cover the skin with clothing, or apply sunblock.

saturDAY, april 28, 2012

Study finds warming speeding up rainfall cycle UK Company to FRANCE: An Australian study of ocean salinity over the past 50 years has revealed a “fingerprint” showing that climate change has accelerated the rainfall cycle, according to a researcher. The study published in the journal Science and conducted by Australian and US scientists looked at ocean data from 1950 to 2000 and found that salinity levels had changed in oceans around the world over that time. Co-author Susan Wijffels said the figures were revealing because ocean salinity was indicative of changes in the water cycle of rainfall and evaporation. “What the results are saying is we have an ocean fingerprint, a very clear fingerprint, that the earth’s water cycle has already spun up,” she told AFP. “What we see in the observations of how the salinity field has changed already over the last 50 years, (is) our hydrological cycle has already intensified significantly.” Wijffels said the pattern was amplifying over time and it could be inferred that the same dynamics were also happening over land. “What it really means is that the atmosphere can actually shuttle more water from the areas that are drying out to the areas that have lots of rain faster,” she said. “And essentially it means that the wet areas are going to get wetter and the dry areas are going to get drier.” Wijffels said getting a clear picture of what had happened historically with rainfall was frustrating because there was little quality data, and most of this was collected on land, in particular in the northern hemisphere. “Yet most of the earth’s surface is the ocean and actually most of the evaporation that drives our water cycle is happening over the ocean,” Wijffels said, making the oceans a worthy object of climate change study. The researchers from Australian government science and research body CSIRO and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California used data taken from vessels in oceans around the world and climate models to

build Sun orbiter

Climate change has accelerated the rainfall cycle, according to an Australian study (AFP)

produce their report. They revealed a repeating pattern of change believed to be the result of climate change, Wijffels said. “And we see it in the north Atlantic, the south Atlantic, the north Pacific, the south Pacific, the Indian; it’s

repeated in every ocean basin independently,” she said. “And the sense of the pattern is that areas that were already fresh have become fresher with lower salinity and areas that were already salty are becoming saltier.” -AFP

FRANCE: The European Space Agency said on Friday it had awarded a 300-million-euro ($400 million) contract to a British technology firm to build a satellite to examine the Sun from closer up than any before it. The Solar Orbiter, to be built by Astrium UK, is due to launch in January 2017 -- coming to within 45 million kilometers of the Sun -- closer than its nearest planet, Mercury. Project scientist Daniel Mueller said the satellite, roughly eight cubic meters in size, would have to withstand ten times the solar heat than that on earth. “The satellite will have to be equipped with a massive heat shield which is about 500 degrees Centigrade on the sun-facing side and about room temperature on the back side to protect the sensitive electronics,” he said. The shield would be about 30 centimeters thick, and could be composed either of titanium wrapped in an insulating foil or a carbonfiber composite. The spacecraft will examine solar wind, a phenomenon that disrupts satellite communications. It will also study the poles to understand how the Sun generates its magnetic field. The contract with Astrium, a subsidiary of defense giant EADS, is one of the largest ever between the ESA and a UK company, a statement said. Several European companies will supply parts, while the United States and ESA member states will fund some of the scientific instruments. “Solar Orbiter is a fantastic mission,” said Alvaro Gimenez Canete, ESA director of science and robotic exploration. “It will help us understand how the Sun, essential to almost all life on Earth, forms the heliosphere (a magnetic ‘bubble’ surrounding our solar system) and the origin of space weather, which can have an enormous influence on our modern civilization.” -AFP

New self-cleaning glass avoids fogging, glare Australia WASHINGTON: Tomorrow’s world looks a bit brighter with MIT’s new self-cleaning glass that is able to resist fogging and glare effects, reports LiveScience. Such technology could lead to smudge-free touch screens for smart phones and tablets, or even cleaner, non-reflective windows for car drivers. The new glass eliminates reflections and repels water droplets like “tiny rubber balls” bouncing off the ground, according to MIT News. Its secret recipe consists of tiny surface features that resemble nanoscale cones - 1,000 times to 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. If made inexpensively enough, the glass could end up in cameras, smart phones, televisions, solar panels, car windshields or even building windows. “For the first time, as far as I am aware, this paper learns a lesson in manufacturing efficiency from nature

by making an optimized anti-reflective and anti-fogging device,” said Andrew Parker, a senior visiting research fellow at Oxford University’s Green Templeton College in the UK (Parker was not involved in MIT’s work). The researchers’ nanocones appear fragile - inspired by natural surfaces such as lotus leaves - but calculations show they can resist everything from raindrops in a strong downpour to wind-driven pollen, or even poking by curious humans. Such self-cleaning could give a huge boost to solar power alone - many solar panels can lose 40 percent of their energy efficiency within six months because of accumulated dust and dirt. Solar panels protected by the new glass could also avoid problems related to normal glass reflecting away useful sunlight. The US military may also have an interest in the future of self-cleaning, nonreflective glass.

drought-free for first time in a decade FRANCE: Australia said it would be officially drought-free next week for the first time in more than a decade, providing relief for struggling farmers. The exceptional dry period, brought on by an intense El Nino weather pattern, sent many of those who work the land to the wall, but Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig on Friday said an end was in sight. When he lifts the last two Exceptional Circumstances declarations -- which provide subsidies to hard-up farmers -- in two areas on Monday, the vast island

continent will officially no longer be in drought. “The extended period of drought, which made things tough for many on the land, is finally over,” Ludwig said. “The seasonal outlook is brighter than it has been for many years and the improved conditions are a welcome reprieve for farmers across Australia.” Australia, with climate zones ranging from the tropical to the alpine, is characterized by extremes. Its sheer size, location and the fact

that it is surrounded by oceans make it especially vulnerable to the El Nino phenomenon and its cousin, La Nina. While El Nino brought on the drought, La Nina conditions over the past two years have contributed to flooding and downpours across Australia. Ludwig added he was working with the country’s states and territories to put together new policies that would provide more effective measures to help farmers manage risk and prepare for the next drought. -AFP

Student researcher spies odd lava spirals on Mars Ghana introduces

vaccines against top child killers

ACCRA: Ghana became the first African country on Thursday to introduce vaccines against pneumococcal disease and rotavirus at the same time in a bid to fight leading causes of the world’s two biggest childhood killers - pneumonia and diarrhea. More than 2.7 million children worldwide under the age of five are killed each year by pneumonia and severe diarrhea, and in Ghana the diseases account for 20 percent of child deaths. “Our children have been dying from these vaccine-preventable diseases for too long, but this moment begins a major fight back,” Health Minister Alban Bagbin told reporters and officials at a ceremony in Accra to mark the launch of the vaccines. With these two new shots added to Ghana’s established immunization program against polio, measles, tuberculosis and other key childhood disease, he said he was sure Ghana will meet a target for a two-thirds reduction in child mortality by 2015. The introduction of the vaccines in Ghana is being funded for the most part by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), which funds bulk-buy vaccinations for poorer countries that cannot afford to pay rich-world prices. The Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private philanthropists. The WHO, which has designated this week “world immunization week”, says vaccination is one of the most cost-effective of all public health measures. It estimates that between 2 and 3 million deaths are averted each year with immunization. A series of studies published last year found that if 90 percent of children in the more than 70 poor countries supported by GAVI were fully immunized, about 6.4 million children’s lives and more than $151 billion in treatment costs and lost productivity could be saved over 10 years, producing economic benefits of $231 billion. GAVI has secured deals with the manufacturers of the pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines -- Pfizer, Merck and GSK -- which means they can buy them for poor countries at around a 90 percent discount from prices paid by developed nations. Ghana is co-funding the vaccines needed for these campaigns, contributing around 20 US cents for each dose. Ghana’s first lady Ernestina Naadu Mills, who spoke at the launch ceremony in Accra’s Independence Square, said her country now had a new opportunity “to improve the lot of our children, who are our greatest resource”. -Reuters

LOS ANGELES: A researcher has spotted lava flows shaped like coils of rope near the equator of Mars, the first time such geologic features have been discovered outside of Earth. These twisty volcanic patterns can be found on Hawaii’s Big Island and in the Pacific seafloor on our planet. While evidence for lava flows is present in many places on Mars, none are shaped like this latest find. “I was quite surprised and puzzled when I first saw the coils,” Andrew Ryan, a graduate student at Arizona State University, said in an email. He reported the discovery in Friday’s issue of the journal Science. The biggest surprise? The largest Martian lava spiral measured 100 feet across - bigger than any on Earth. It is further evidence that Mars was volcanically active recently - geologically speaking within the past 20 million years. For more than a decade, scientists debated whether this maze of valleys near the Martian equator was sculpted by ice or volcanic processes. As part of a class project last year, Ryan analyzed about 100 highresolution photos of the region snapped by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been photographing the Martian surface since 2006. One evening, while taking a second look at the images, Ryan zoomed in and noticed the lava coils. He counted 269 spirals ranging from 16 feet to 100 feet across. Ryan said he was not surprised the features were overlooked in the past since they blended in with the terrain. The coils looked strikingly similar to Hawaiian lava flows, leading Ryan to conclude that lava - not ice - was the driving force. Planetary scientist David Paige of the University of California, Los Angeles, said the new work provides convincing evidence that the curious patterns were forged from volcanic activity. This “illustrates just how complicated Mars’ geologic history appears to really be,” Paige wrote in an email. He was not part of the research team. It’s believed that rivers of molten lava flowed through the Martian valleys into a broad basin where they settled and formed the coil shapes. The spiral shapes were preserved as the lava cooled. There are no clear signs that the region today is volcanically active. With more observations, Ryan said it is possible lava coils may exist elsewhere on the red planet. -AP

This image provided by NASA on Thursday, April 26, 2012 shows lava flows in the shape of coils located near the equatorial region of Mars. (AP)

Sunflower gene spliced into soybean to boost yield FRANCE: Researchers in Argentina have isolated a drought-resistant sunflower gene and spliced it into soy, bolstering hopes for improved yields as the South American agricultural powerhouse grapples with global warming. Raquel Chan’s team identified the HAHB4 gene that makes sunflowers resist dry conditions and implanted it in rockcress flowering plants known as arabidopsis, whose resistance to drought increased considerably. Her team has signed an agreement with Argentine firm Bioceres, which is co-owned by over 230 agricultural producers, to use and exploit the gene. The firm has conducted tests on soy, wheat and corn crops. Soy is the biggest cash crop in Argentina, a major

exporter of byproducts like soybean oil and flour, but the prospect of creating a transgenic soy plant has some experts concerned about the potential for environmental harm. Supporters of the technology say the boost in productivity could mean as much as $10 billion in added profits each year, particularly after a severe drought recently slashed Argentina’s soy output by more than a third. But the environmental advocacy group Greenpeace said the transgenic seeds would promote deforestation and the expansion of soy crops into new regions such as Patagonia, as well as cause a “significant loss” in biodiversity and force thousands of farmers and native people to relocate.

And because it is genetically modified, the new soy seed would have little to no prospects of being sold in markets where such crops are opposed or outlawed, as in Europe. Transgenic crops are far more widespread in South America, where environmentalists worry they could rush the shift to single-crop farming and denounce the encroachment of soy crops and the increased use of pesticides. With an eye on feeding a world population set to rise from seven billion to 9.5 billion by 2050 and predictions of the worsening impact from climate change, scientists in many parts of the world are working on pinpointing genes that could help crops cope with harsher weather or marginal soils. -AFP


10

ALWATAN DAILY

CULTURE

saturDAY, april 28, 2012

Operation ‘Waistcoat’ recovers art from Swiss heist ZURICH: One of four paintings stolen at gunpoint from a Swiss museum four years ago in a stunning art heist has been returned to Zurich, the city’s senior public prosecutor said on Friday, meaning all the paintings have now been recovered. The painting by Edgar Degas, regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism, was returned several months ago, but the information was withheld to avoid compromising investigations while Swiss and Serbian police were still hunting a painting by Paul Cezanne, still missing at the time. Serbian police recovered this last painting, Paul Cezanne’s “Boy in a Red Waistcoat” earlier in April. Worth a reported $109 million, the Cezanne masterpiece was the best known painting in the estimated $163 million robbery. Two of the stolen paintings, a 1879 Monet and a 1890 Van Gogh, had been found just a week after the theft when police discovered the getaway car in the car park of a Zurich psychiatric hospital. “Due to a trace found in the getaway vehicle, investigations led to a person in Serbia who had already committed offences in Switzerland in the past,” the

Zurich state prosecutor’s office said at a press conference. “The nature of the offences and the modus operandi, as well as potential accomplices suggested that the perpetrators were very dangerous criminals.” The Swiss and Serbian authorities then launched a vast operation codenamed “Waistcoat”, involving up to 30 investigators from six countries with a whole network of undercover agents monitoring phones and tracking movements. A total of 2.8 million Euros (67 million pounds) were handed over to lure the thieves in a “sting” operation. Four men were arrested in Serbia in connection with the theft, the Zurich state prosecutor’s office said. According to Swiss tabloid Blick, one of the four had been a contestant on Serbia’s version of “Who wants to be a Millionaire” where he had pocketed 80,000 Serbian dinars ($940). At a press conference in Belgrade, Miljko Radisavljevic, the special prosecutor for organized crime, said the suspects wanted to sell the painting, found in the door panel of a car, for as little as 3.5 million euros. Degas’ 1871 work “Ludovic Lepic

and his daughter”, worth around 10 million Swiss francs ($11 million) was damaged around the edges while in the hands of the robbers. “The thieves tried to cut the canvas from the frame,” said Lukas Gloor, director of the Collection E.G Buerhle, at a press conference held in Zurich under close police surveillance, adding that they stopped before doing irreparable damage. The thieves instead removed the nails holding the paintings to their frames, Gloor said. Gloor said when he first saw the extent of the damage to the Degas, an impressionist master best known for his depiction of ballet dancers; he had been quite worried for Paul Cezanne’s as yet unrecovered “Boy in a Red Waistcoat”. But that painting was found in much better condition, he said. “In the lower left corner, a part of the pigments the size of dime is gone. But that’s almost all that happened to that canvas,” Gloor told Reuters. Last October, Serbian police recovered two paintings by Pablo Picasso - “Horse’s Head” and “Glass and Pitcher” - stolen in 2008 from a gallery in the Swiss town of Pfaeffikon, near Zurich. -Reuters

Buehrle collection director Lukas Gloor explains damage on a reproduction of the impressionist masterpiece “Ludovic Lepic and his Daughters” by Edgar Degas, as the original painting and the “Boy in a Red Waistcoat” by Paul Cezanne (left) are seen in the background during a news conference at the Kunsthaus in Zurich April 27, 2012. (Reuters)

Minimum size and maximum consumption make babies great fashion targets

Garments to play with, to make parents smile, to fight off dragons, all can be part of a child’s wardrobe and also be the latest fashion trend. (dpa)

BUENOS AIRES: They can barely crawl but they are already key to the world of fashion. Babies are great clothes consumers, small as they are. It is just that the temptation to dress them with lovely garments clears away any resistance when it comes to shopping for them. It does not matter that those teensy garments cost a fortune, that the articles might barely be used once or twice or that they might soon be soiled or spotted or turn out to be too small. Fashion for children, and especially baby clothes, are the perfect example that trends are ephemeral and of how the world of design demands constant renovation. A taste for famous designer names is nursed from a tender age, practically at the breast. In the last decade major international garment designer brands have broadened their scope incorporating collections for infants. The latest to do so was Gucci using Jennifer Lopez and her twins in publicity for the spring campaign. Adolfo Dominguez entered the field early on, launching a children’s line in 2000 and other brands have grown successfully among them Ralph Lauren Baby and Armani Junior. Just like in the adult world, more garments are available for females. “There is more variety for baby girls since there are many different kinds of articles to dress them with. Use of colour for girls is limitless, but with boys the palette is smaller. Nonetheless, the use of different kinds of print designs, textures and techniques broadens the range of possibilities,” according to Gimos, an Argentine children’s line, making garments for kids from age zero to 12. Gimos exports designs and products to several Latin American countries. But the way mother feels about fashion also has an effect. “Aside from the fact that kids are growing up so quickly and need to renew their wardrobes, the mother’s need to be in vogue is transmitted to girls and creates a greater need to update her wardrobe when compared to males, who generally are more classic in their approach,” said a spokesperson at Viva la Pepa. This designer brand’s

New Yorkers bring fish farms to urban jungle FRANCE: So you recycle, drive a small car, and try to eat organic. But what about running an eco-sustainable fish farm combined with a naturally fertilized vegetable patch in your kitchen? Christopher Toole and Anya Pozdeeva, two former New York bankers who founded the Society for Aquaponic Values and Education (SAVE), are there to help. “We call it ‘beyond organic,’” Pozdeeva, 39, said. Aquaponics is a technique with ancient roots for breeding tank fish, recycling their effluent-filled water to fertilize vegetation, then allowing this naturally cleaned water to drip back into the tank below. It’s a perfect, miniature eco system that will let you grow healthy food right in a cramped apartment with almost no specialist equipment. “We built our system just from trash cans,” said Pozdeeva, a slender woman who

emigrated from Russia’s Siberian region 20 years ago and still speaks English with a gentle accent. If growing fish to eat in your New York apartment sounds unlikely, then Toole and Pozdeeva are even unlikelier urban eco pioneers. Just a short time ago they were bankers working crazy hours among the skyscrapers of Manhattan, a far cry from the gritty Bronx where they are based today. After the 2008 financial crash floored the banking industry, Toole, a vice president at Sovereign Bank, discovered he had a serious eye problem, which he says was stress-related. And both of them were severely disenchanted with their careers. “They know how to squeeze every drop out of you and then throw you away,” Pozdeeva said. “We wanted two feet on the ground,” said Toole, 47,

latest collection paid tribute to deceased singer-composer Maria Elena Walsh, who was famous for her children’s songs. Mothers often face a problem about choosing a size for their child. Andy Nistal, a designer who founded Viva la Pepa said that garments use international size labels based on age and size, but the best approach is to ask how much the child weighs or his or her height. Owoko, an Argentine house born at a fashion fair in Spain, uses its own sizing method based on the Argentine Paediatrics Association measures: thus XXS is 0-three months, XS is three-six months, and so forth. The seller asks the mother whether the baby is above or below average before providing a garment. Owoko’s colorful, attractive designs broke with traditional sky-blue for boys and pink for girls, dots and flowers in children’s designs. The collections tell stories about magical creatures called owokos endowed with special powers to realize dreams. Owoko garments are sold in Argentina, Paraguay and Chile and are heading to Colombia this year. All baby brands place emphasis on the use of cotton for the sensitive skins of young children. Cheeky, a design brand famous in 10 Latin American countries uses only combed or Pima cotton up to age 6 months. Sometimes, the items look better than the comfort they provide, but babies can’t complain so parents are advised to weigh options carefully when shopping for baby clothes. What about garments as toys? Viva la Pepa plays on the entertainment aspect, using small dolls or figures the child can remove and re-attach. Other baby brands are doing the same. Owoko sees “garments as objects for amusement that open doors so that kids can enjoy a space for imagination, magic and fantasy.” Children can play and interact with characters that emerge from the story, using sounds, lights, iridescent dyes, movement, and interchangeable pieces, that are part of the garments. All garments come with a tale from the Owoko collection that parents can read to their kids. -dpa

and striking-looking with a bushy gray beard and pork pie hat. Instead, he put two feet in the water. Toole knew a little about fish from childhood summers with his scientist father out at Woods Hole in Massachusetts, a famed marine biology research center in the Cape Cod area. Aquaponics, he reckoned, would let him marry sustainable food production with what he hopes will be an equally sustainable business model. Risky? Yes. “But understanding risks is something they teach you a lot about in banking,” he said. Each week Toole and Pozdeeva teach aquaponics to about 80 children at SAVE’s base at a community center in the south Bronx, one of the most socio-economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in the United States. -AFP

Getting married in South Korea? Bring a lot of cash!

SEOUL: The Beatles may have sung “all you need is love,” but in South Korea a couple wanting to get married also needs cash, a lot of it - nearly $200,000, or more than four times the average annual income. The sky-high costs stem from a combination of cultural traditions that mandate expensive pre-wedding gifts between families, such as mink coats and diamond rings, along with a decades-old custom that the groom must fork over money to provide a home. The average cost for a wedding in 2011 rose about 270 percent from 1999, while the inflation during the same period rose 45.5 percent. Total costs far outstripped the average annual household income at around 48.3 million Korean won ($42,400), according to government data. Thus, young couples seeking to unite in wedded bliss are forced to borrow from parents or take out loans. With candid discussions of money a cultural taboo in Korea, many are reluctant to speak about the high cost of exchanging vows. “Korean society is very tightly knit, and people here are very concerned about how others view them,” said Harris H. Kim, a sociology assistant professor at Ewha Womans University. “The wedding works as a status symbol, like a marker of where you stand in the society,” he added. One 27-year-old woman working in the financial industry, who like many others asked to remain anonymous, said her parents paid nearly 90 percent of her 140 million won ($122,900) wedding costs. “We had to use our parents’ money, which probably came from the sacrifice of their own retirement savings,” she said. A 30-year old kindergarten teacher who would only give her surname, Kim, said her husband, whose income is 40 million won, took out a loan for 45 million won in addition to financial aid from their parents for a wedding with 600 guests. The couple didn’t know half the people, who were their parents’ friends. Gift-giving also takes a hefty chunk of the cash. Traditionally, the bride and groom’s families have exchanged gifts - good silk for new clothes and simple jewelry - as a way of thanking the other family. But these days the silk has turned into fur or luxury handbags, while the jewelry has morphed into a full set of gems. But the biggest part of the wedding budget comes from soaring housing prices, according to data from couple.net, a matchmaking company. The money spent by happy couples for housing last year was 2.5 times higher than in 2000, making up nearly 70 percent of the total cost of a wedding. “I’ve had many customers in the last five years who directly asked for a spouse who can at least afford to rent a house,” said Sungmi Lee, a manager at couple.net. Although most couples choose to spend the money, many are less than happy about it. “None of that expensive jewelry is actually useful or beautiful, and you know you’ll just regret using the money for that after you’re actually married and need money for your married life,” said Kisun Lee, a 29-year-old consultant. -Reuters

JEWELRY DESIGNS

Models wear creations by Peru’s Rider Noriega jewelry designers during the second edition of the Lima Fashion Week in Lima, Peru, Thursday, April 26, 2012. (AP)


ALWATAN DAILY

entertainment Song Of The Day

Fahad AlSabah Staff Writer

Song: Bedroom Hymns Artist: Florence + The Machine Album: Ceremonials Genre: Alternative In short: Ceremonials is one of the most concrete works of last year, it doesn’t pretend to be something it is not, or try to please all tastes: it is an artist’s record. Florence Welch’s angst could be felt on this number, especially when she sings “I’m not here looking for absolution / Because I’ve found myself an old solution.” To listen to the song visit www.alwatandaily.com E-mail your feedback to falsabah@alwatandaily.com

The Buzz One of last Louis Armstrong trumpet records now a CD

saturDAY, april 28, 2012

War Witch, Una Noche wins top honors at Tribeca NEWYORK: The African child soldier drama “War Witch” won best film and its 15-year-old star earned best actress Thursday night at the Tribeca Film Festival. Tribeca announced its winners as the 11th annual edition of the New York festival wound down. Montreal filmmaker Kim Nguyen shot “War Witch” in the Congo, where his young lead, Rachel Mwanza, was previously living on the streets. Mwanza, who earlier won best actress at the Berlin Film Festival, plays a pregnant teenager swept up in an unspecified revolution. “I realized quickly that she has an immense talent,” Nguyen said in an earlier interview. “When I asked her how she does it - how she bursts out in laughter, how she starts crying so normally - she just told me that she thinks of her past.” The festival jury said “War Witch” ‘’balances scenes of crazy enemy hatred with moments of luminous private love.” Best actor was given to both Dariel Arrechada and Javier Nunez Florian,

who star in Lucy Mulloy’s “Una Noche.” The film is about Cuban teenagers, struggling in poverty, who decide to flee to Florida. It’s a fiction that became reality when Nunez Florian and another actor from the film, Analin de la Rua de la Torre, disappeared in Miami en route to Tribeca from Havana. They are presumed to have defected from their native Cuba, where the film was shot. “Una Noche” also won best cinematography for Trevor Forrest and Shlomo Godder’s photography, and Mulloy was cited as best new narrative director. Best documentary went to Nisha Pahuja’s “The World Before Her,” a film that juxtaposes the lives of Indian girls pursuing pageant glory as Miss India with those participating in a Hindu fundamentalist movement. The Dutch filmmaker Jeroen van Velzen, whose “Wavumba” depicts fishermen on the coast of Kenya, was named best new documentary director. -AP

In this image released by the Tribeca Film Festival, Rachel Mwanza is shown in a scene from “War Witch,” a film being featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, running thru April 29, 2012 in New York. (AP)

Korean Christians aim to stop Bollywood’s Dibakar Banerjee Lady Gaga’s ‘pornographic’ show on his uncommon Shanghai MUMBAI: Political thrillers are not that common in Bollywood but then director and producer Dibakar Banerjee rarely chooses conventional subjects for his films. Banerjee, 42, explored sexual attitudes in India with “Love Sex aur Dhokha” in 2010. His latest film puts the spotlight on the dark underbelly of urban development in rapidly modernizing India. The filmmaker spoke to Reuters about his new project, the political film “Shanghai” about the mysterious death of a social activist and the bureaucrat investigating it.

A live recording of Louis Armstrong playing his trumpet for one of the last times is being released to the public for the first time. The recording is being played Friday at the National Press Club in Washington where it was created in January 1971. Armstrong was a featured performer celebrating the inauguration of fellow Louisiana native Vernon Louviere as president of the club. The performance was a comeback of sorts. Armstrong had been in poor health and didn’t play for much of 1970. But he felt strong enough to play in Washington and surprised the crowd with tunes like “Hello Dolly.” Armstrong died later that year. -AP

First Watershed Festival to feature Shelton, Lambert

What would you say is the core theme of “Shanghai”?

Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley and other country stars have signed up for the inaugural Watershed Music Festival outside Seattle. The new three-day festival will be held Aug. 3-5 at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Wash. A news release announcing the festival says tickets go on sale May 5 and are limited to 25,000. Fans will be able to camp out and late-night sets are scheduled. The Watershed joins a growing number of multi-day country music festivals around the nation and is the first at the venue, which hosts the annual Sasquatch Music Festival. Other stars scheduled to perform include Kix Brooks, Sara Evans and Thompson Square. -AP

No change in film-making style, says Ram Gopal Varma Box-office success has eluded Ram Gopal Varma in recent years and critics have panned his offerings but the film-maker says his style and sensibility remains the same. Varma, 50, has been plagued by failure in the last five years, especially after “Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag” -- a 2007 remake of the Bollywood classic “Sholay” -- which bombed at the box office. “I haven’t changed, I have the same sensibility as I did when I made ‘Satya’ or ‘Bhoot,’” Varma said in an interview. “I don’t know why people have stopped liking it.” Known for his hard-hitting themes and provocative camera work, Varma shot into the limelight in the 90s, with the romance “Rangeela” and gangster film “Satya”. He went on to make horror films, (“Bhoot”, “Kaun”) and one based on a real-life murder (“Not a Love Story”). Varma returns to his favorite genre in his upcoming film “Department”, which explores the classic tussle between police and the mafia, and stars Sanjay Dutt and Bachchan. -Reuters

Rolling Stones museum opens in German backwater A German couple on Friday opened a museum devoted to legendary British rock band, the Rolling Stones, complete with urinals in the shape of the group’s famous “tongue” logo. The museum, in the small eastern German town of Luechow, will show “thousands of pieces” of memorabilia, including an original signed pool table the group took on tour, instruments, posters and a Stones pinball machine. The Stones-mad couple, Birgit and Ulrich Schroeder, say the museum -- in a town with a population of less than 10,000 -is the world’s first devoted to the ageing rockers. The grand opening party later Friday was due to be attended by Stones backing singer Blondie Chaplin but Birgit Schroeder said she was hopeful that they would soon have a visit from one of the band members. “There’s constant contact between us and the Stones,” she told AFP. “The problem is that it is up to the management to decide, not the band. But we think that if the Rolling Stones are anywhere in the vicinity that they will come to visit us. “ -AFP

Ex-president George H.W. Bush opens up for HBO film Former President George H.W. Bush, who has never written a memoir, has told his story in his own words for an HBO documentary to be broadcast on television in June. HBO said on Thursday that the documentary, called “41” to reflect Bush’s position as the United State’s 41st president, sees Bush reflecting on his childhood, family and a life that took him from World War Two navy aviator to CIA director, vicepresident and theWhite House. It was filmed over a 17-month period at Bush’s Kennebunkport, Maine summer home and his presidential library in Texas, and will be aired two days after he marks his 88th birthday on June 12. HBO said Bush agreed to take part in the documentary after meeting writer and director Jeffrey Roth and seeing his documentary film “The Wonder of It All” about the Apollo moon walkers. The film is executive produced by long-time family friend Jerry Weintraub. -Reuters

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Christians attend a prayer meeting being held as they pray to stop the concert of US pop star Lady Gaga, at a church in Seoul April 22, 2012. (Reuters)

SEOUL: Christian groups in South Korea called on Friday for pop icon Lady Gaga to cancel her concert here saying it was “pornographic” and promoted homosexuality. South Korea’s government has already bowed to public pressure and banned under-18s from attending the 26-year old’s concert, but protesters gathered outside the venue said that was not enough. “Some people can accept this as another culture but its impact is huge beyond art and debases religions. Even adults can’t see her performance which is too homosexual and pornographic,” said Yoon Jung-hoon, a reverend who organized the “Civilians Network against the Lady Gaga Concert”. The singer’s hit song “Born This Way” celebrates the empowerment of gay men and women; something that many in South Korea, which is the second most Christian country in Asia after the Philippines, say is an immoral lifestyle.

Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, has been in Seoul for close on a week as she kicks off her Asian “Born this Way” tour. “Nervous for tonight. Hope I make little monsters happy and proud,” she tweeted a few hours before the concert kicked off. Yoon’s group claims to have collected 5,000 supporters on Facebook against the concert and some have also called for a boycott of the sponsor Hyundai Card. The protesters have also threatened a boycott of its parent company, Hyundai Motor Co, South Korea’s largest car-maker. “The Christian Council of Korea with 12 million Christians and 55,000 churches will take all kinds of measures such as boycotting Hyundai Card to root out this kind of obscene culture,” the council said in a statement. Yoon said he would attend the concert to “monitor” the performance for homosexual content that could corrupt young people. -Reuters

‘Shanghai’ is about the strength of the individual, because unless and until the individual stands up, there will be no public. The public is very fickle. They change their leaders. Even Gandhi didn’t have a following forever. By the time he finished telling everyone not to partition the country, the partition had happened. The country just wanted a quick-fix solution and they steamrolled all over him. Collective will can change - ‘Shanghai’ also shows that - the power of the mob. How the mob can be used to say anything and let it be construed to be in national interest ... I’ve spoken to and read so many accounts of those who have been in mobs and robbed and pillaged, and they are as defeated and as forgotten as the victims. ‘Shanghai’ talks about how our lives, more often than not, are controlled by powers that we don’t recognize. What’s in the name “Shanghai”?

The core of ‘Shanghai’ is this belief by educated Indians that we have to be like China or we have to beat China or that China is better than us or that China is stronger than us. It’s a pet peeve that the educated middle-class has, and it shows how we are trying to define ourselves by someone else’s yardstick. It’s easy because it gives you a quick-fix solution that we have to be like China, or we don’t have to be like China. But I have travelled exten-

sively in China, and I know that they have their own problems and they are sorting them out in their own way. Is it difficult to bring all these ideas and thoughts into a film?

It’s not difficult, it’s impossible. What you say a movie is, is completely different from what the movie is. All the ideas that you think the film is about, it cannot be about them - the film is about the characters in the film and whatever they discover, the audience discovers. So some of it is discovered in a big way, some of it in a small way and some of it not at all. But you have to have those ideas to make the film. It’s like a boxer who, before a bout, also runs or skips. The audience won’t see it, but you need to do it... Then you hope that the audience will get it. I know for a fact that Michael Bay has a much larger audience than Woody Allen or the Coen brothers, but that has never stopped the Coen brothers or Allen from making films. I believe that we all have our place in the world, as long as there’s a budget for us. Can you segregate the producer personality from the director personality?

You have to. As a director, as a creative person, I am making the film for myself; as a producer, I want it to succeed. To make a successful film, you have to segregate these two personalities. If this one doesn’t work, I may not get the money to make my next film. Do you think there’ll be a time when you won’t have to think of budgets and profits and just make what you want?

I’ll be scared. I know there’s no free lunch. If someone gives you money and says do what you want, it means that he doesn’t know what he’s doing and tomorrow it’s going to come back and bite you. I’m very happy if someone tells me that there is very little money, but market forces tell you that you can’t go wrong. -Reuters

Court rejects suit accusing Egyptian star of insulting Islam

CAIRO: A lawsuit filed against Egyptian comic actor Adel Imam for insulting Islam was rejected by a court on Thursday, but he could still face a jail sentence for a conviction in a similar case, his lawyers said. Earlier, the state-run newspaper al-Ahram incorrectly reported that the three-month sentence had been overturned on appeal. Imam’s lawyers, Nabil Moawad and Safwat Hussein, told Reuters he remained a free man pending the outcome of an appeal against that conviction, the result of a case filed by the same plaintiff. The two lawsuits against Imam, whose presence in any movie or theatre cast virtually guarantees a box-office hit, were brought by Asran Mansour, a lawyer with ties to Islamist groups. Mansour accused the actor of offending Islam and its symbols, including beards and the galabiya, a loose-fitting garment often worn by hard-line Islamists. Imam, 71, has poked fun at officials in his comedies and politicians of all colors during a 40-year career, although he was publicly criticized by many Egyptians for failing to back protests against former President Hosni Mubarak. Some films deal with the rise of Islamic militancy. The jail sentence against Imam was issued a few weeks after Islamists swept most seats in a parliamentary vote. Egypt’s liberals, leftists and others are worried that Islamists who have emerged as the dominant political force in post-Mubarak Egypt will stifle social and cultural freedoms. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in front of the court on Thursday to support Imam. “We want freedom of creativity,” and “No to prosecuting creative artists,” chanted the crowd, which included directors, producers and actors. Some carried banners saying “Art is not heresy.” “This is an unjust case against Imam and a stifling of freedom of expression,” actress Jihan Fadel said. “If Imam’s appeal is not accepted, this will pave the way for more obstacles in the path of all creative people in Egypt.” But some passers-by shouted “Jail Imam” and “Imam has always been the enemy of Islam.” Arguments broke out between the actor’s supporters and opponents. -Reuters

Indian Bollywood film actress Madhuri Dixit Nene (second right) attends the launch of music album ‘Aksar’ performed by Indian poet, lyricist and director Gulzaar (left) with singer Bhupinder Singh (second left)and his wife, singer Mitali (right)in Mumbai on April 25, 2012. Bhupinder Singh and wife Mitali celebrated their musical silver jubilee (25 years) on a grand note by releasing their new album ‘Aksar’ with Indian poet, lyricist and director Gulzaar. (AFP)


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ALWATAN DAILY

AROUND TOWN / TIME OUT

SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2012

If you have an event you wish to include, please email: aroundtown@alwatandaily.com

Feature o f

graffiti

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moderately confused

ICSK emerge champions of CBSE Kuwait Cluster Volleyball Championship 2012

Sudoku

Elementary KUWAIT: The Indian Community School emerged as champions in the 14th CBSE Kuwait Cluster Volleyball Championship 2012 for Under 19 Boys which was organized at Bayan Grounds on April 15, 16 and 17. Other than the champions, host school and the last year’s winners United Indian School, Carmel School, India International School and Al Amal Indian School participated in the championship on a round robin league basis. On the inaugural day itself ICSK took the top gear by defeating the defending champions United Indian

Month a t

Intermediate

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School in a nail biting match as it went to the fifth set with ICSK clinching 3 against 2 thus making one step closer to the title. ICSK started the second day by thrashing Al Amal Indian School and scoring a very comfortable win over the Indian International School, Mangaf later on. On the final day, the opponent was Carmel School. But ICSK proved to be the best in the Kuwait Cluster by prevailing over them in straight sets, with the score line 3-0. Congrats to the champions.

General A n n o u n c e m e n t s

a glance

Diwaniya presentation May 1/ 7 p.m. /The AWARE Center: The AWARE Center cordially invites interested Western expatriates to its diwaniya presentation entitled, “Criminal Laws in Islam,” by Dr. Teresa Lesher. Criminal law in Islam aims to safeguard the community and exists when there is potential harm to a second party. Join Dr. Teresa Lesher for a discussion of Islamic law (shariah) regarding the penalties for the major crimes, including murder, manslaughter, armed aggression, theft, rape, adultery, slander and intoxication, and how these rules protect the citizens’ material, spiritual and social development. Q&A follows a 20-minute presentation.

Marriage counseling session

K’S PATH invites applicants for the adoption of pets Sepp is a Domestic Long Haired (DLH) male cat. He will be 2-years-old April 2012. This friendly, laid-back boy loves a good cuddle and likes a high vantage point in a cat tree or ledge to look out from. He would do best in a home with children over 12 years of age. To adopt, contact +965 67006122 or visit the website www.kspath.org

May 2/ 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. / TIES Center: TIES Ladies Club invites all ladies to a lecture on Marriage Institution by Joanne Hands (Psychologist, Licensed Counselor, Marriage & family Therapist). The lecture will cover on a brief introduction to the stages of marriage institution, a successful approach to the day to day marriage life, tricks of nourishing and improving your marriage relationships and techniques of overcoming the marriage challenges. Refreshments will be served. For more information please contact us on 97228860/2523015/6 or emailinfo@tiescenter.net.

Mario is a gentle and affectionate 6-years-young Spitz male. This friendly boy does great with people and dogs of all ages.

Annual speech contest

Pretty Little Things Charity Edition April 28 - May 1/3:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m/Sadu House: Try new things, meet the people behind regional brands, help raise funds to refurbish a part of the orphanage, chat under the stars by candlelight and stay a while. Opening day will be April 28 at 7:00 p.m. with special appearance by Fishyface booth and the event will extend from April 29 to May 1 from 3:00 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. held in Sadu House; Gulf Road; in front of the National Museum of Kuwait. Come and meet: Razan Al Azzouni, Fyunka, Sotra Boutique, Th\\’haba, May Jewelry, Paper Design Nest, The Yard, Peices By Farah, AK Eco Gioelli, Muneera Alsharhan, So Lulu, Baby B, Lina Jewelry Design, and more! For more information visit Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ events/122809627847930/.

May 5/ 2 p.m. - 8p.m. /AIS: The Annual Inter-Gavel Club Contest showcases the communication skills of young children through speech contest. This speech contest will be amongst the members of 14 Gavel Clubs mentored by the members of internationally recognized toastmasters in Kuwait. This year’s contest will be held at American International School, Maiden Hawalli. Entry to this event is absolutely free but a prior registration is required.

Holiday Notice The Embassy of India will remain closed on Sunday, May 6, 2012 on account of “Buddha Purnima”.

Bread baking course April 19- May 10/ 6 p.m.-8 p.m. /TIES Center: TIES Ladies Club invites all ladies the unique course of preparing the ancient traditional food “The Bread Baking”. Baking of different kinds of breads will be demonstrated including Old English Toast, Italian Bread Stick, Strawberry Sweet Heart and many more. For more information please contact us on 97228860/2523015/6 or emailinfo@ tiescenter.net.

Dilbert

Open House for Indian Citizens Ambassador of India would be holding an Open House for Indian citizens to address their problems\grievances on Wednesdays of the second and the fourth weeks of every month between 1500 hrs and 1600 hrs in the Embassy. In case Wednesday is an Embassy holiday, the meeting will be held on the next working day. To ensure timely action/follow-up by the Embassy, it is requested that, wherever possible, Indian citizens should exhaust the existing channels of interaction/grievance redressal and bring their problems/issues in writing with supporting documents.

Nancy

Horoscopes Aries: March 21 - April 19

This could be a frustrating day in the romance department, Aries. Communication is blocked at all levels. You’re anxious to speak with your loved one, but simply can’t reach him or her. Perhaps the phone system is malfunctioning or email is acting up. You feel as though the Universe is conspiring against you. Take heart. Your partner will contact you soon enough, and your reunion will be electric! Taurus: April 20 - May 20

You have certainly felt better than you do today, Taurus.We’ll pause here while you go and fetch the aspirin. The stomachache and headache are simply the result of recent overindulgence. Don’t worry - you’ll be fit as a fiddle by tomorrow morning. Next time someone offers you multiple helpings of food or drink, however, you might want to consider politely declining! Gemini: May 21- June 21

You could be feeling playful today, Gemini. Your romantic partner will certainly appreciate your funloving mood.Why not plan a fun day together doing something other than your usual routine? Rather than dinner and a movie, how about lunch and a visit to a museum or art gallery? You have both been working very hard lately.

Cancer: June 22 - July 22

Don’t be surprised if you have a desire to redecorate. The celestial energies have put you in the mood to rearrange your house a bit. Take care to not go overboard, Cancer. You have a tendency to turn little projects into big ones. For now, content yourself with buying some flowering plants and perhaps new area rugs and throw pillows. Leave the kitchen and bath renovations for later. Leo: July 23 - August 22

Be sure to answer all phone calls and open all letters and emails today, Leo. You’re likely to receive some interesting news. You might get word from a former boss that you’d be perfect for a new position opening up in his or her office. Or perhaps an old lover makes tentative inquiries about renewing old bonds. Your eyebrows will rise in surprise at least once during this day. Expect the unexpected! Virgo: August 23 - September 22

Just as a watched pot never boils, so, too, do anxiously awaited checks or letters refuse to arrive in the mail, Virgo. Beyond double-checking that the person or company has your correct address, there isn’t much you can do but continue to wait.Trust that it will arrive shortly, and then your financial difficulties will be behind you.

Libra: September 23 - October 22

No doubt you’re feeling attractive and passionate today, Libra. Don’t be surprised if a former lover gets in touch with you to try and rekindle the old flame. The attention is flattering, to be sure, but you’re unlikely to have any desire to pursue the relationship. You’re happy with what you have right now. And as they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Scorpio: October 23 - November 21

As you get older, you’re drawn more and more to spiritual matters, Scorpio. It isn’t so much that you’re embracing any particular religion, more that you’re quite curious about the supernatural and some of the ancient arts. Take some time today to visit the library or bookstore and do some reading on the subject.You might want to form a study group with other like-minded individuals. Sagittarius: November 22 - December 21

Don’t hesitate to try something new today, Sagittarius. If you’ve thought about joining a book club or taking a class, do it today! You’re likely to meet some interesting people and enter a new social world. You might be tentative at first, but you’ll find the group warm, friendly, and eager for your input.

Capricorn: December 22 - January 19

You’re likely to feel optimistic and enthusiastic about life today, Capricorn. You might also feel especially sexy, a feeling you should definitely take advantage of! Why not plan a romantic evening with your loved one? Don’t hesitate to talk about your travel dreams over dinner. You never know, he or she just might share your dream. Aquarius: January 20 - February 18

Today is full of possibilities,Aquarius.You could fall in love at first sight, or at least meet someone who captures your interest! You should be feeling especially loving, passionate, and eager to devote yourself to a worthy cause or creative activity. Don’t expect everything to fall into place right away. You could hit a few obstacles, but the ultimate result will be worth the bumps along the way. Pisces: February 19 - March 20

You’re looking beautiful and feeling passionate, Pisces. If only your passions could be reciprocated! Even though there may not be anyone special in your life right now, that’s no reason to not treat yourself well. Go out for a nice meal or, better yet, order take-out and dine at home, complete with music, candles, and your finest china.


April 28, 2012