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THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2012

@alwatandaily

Issue No. 1473

12 PAGES

www.alwatandaily.com

150 Fils with IHT

Majority Bloc seeks ‘gentleman agreement’ with PM Opposition to refrain from submitting motions in return for constitutional amendments

Staff Writers and Agencies

KUWAIT: While parliamentary circles are eagerly anticipating the acceptance of the Cabinet’s resignation and the issuing of a decree for the reappointment of His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah as Prime Minister, sources close to the Majority Bloc disclosed that the bloc is poised to seek a “gentleman agreement” with the premier. The deal is reportedly aimed at backing the prime minister’s new Cabinet and putting an end to further motions to question ministers. In exchange, the bloc would expect the government to support its plans to introduce amendments to the Constitution as well as the Parliament’s Internal Charter and the Constitutional Court’s Law. Sources have further revealed that the Majority Bloc conveyed a message to the government that it would be flexible over deferring the dissolution of the 2009 Parliament for a few weeks so that parlia-

mentary elections are not held in the sweltering summer season. In return, the bloc wants assurances that the 2009 assembly would be disbanded and would not hold sessions. In a related vein, the Cabinet is reportedly facing difficulties in finding an MP to join the new Cabinet, after a number of lawmakers in the 2009 assembly turned down the offer of being included in the lineup. Some are said to have set conditions that they would stay in Cabinet beyond the elections, hence they will not have to run for Parliament, while securing their ministerial position. For his part, National Assembly Speaker Jassem Mohammad AlKharafi confirmed that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah is the only one who has the constitutional right to take the proper decision to keep the parliament or to dissolve it. In a press statement made at the Parliament Wednesday, Al-Kharafi said that he is currently staying in Kuwait because of the ruling issued by the Con-

Al-Hajraf approves exam results with high success rates for public, private schools

KUWAIT: Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education and Acting Minister of Finance Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf approved Wednesday the high school exams’ results (Arts & Science) and the results of Religious Institute exams 2011-2012. In a press conference on this occasion and honoring the outstanding students, Al-Hajraf said that success percentage in government education reached 94.6 percent and reached 94.4 percent in private education. Success percentage in Arts section in government schools reached 90.6 percent and reached 83.5 percent in private schools. The number of students who passed exams in Science section in public schools reached 10,329 students while the number reached 8,992 students in More on 2 Arts section.

Hundred dead, 250,000 stranded in Bangladesh floods

stitutional Court “to take the procedures to enforce the court ruling”, stressing belief in the state of institutions and appreciation to the judicial authority. Al-Kharafi said that there are procedures to be taken to enforce the court ruling adding, “The government made the first step by submitting its resignation to His Highness the Amir”, adding that he is waiting for the decision of His Highness the Amir to accept the resignation and to assign a prime minister to form the coming government. When asked about the next step after the formation of a government, Al-Kharafi said that the next step is “to hold a session by parliament and inviting the prime minister and ministers to take oath before the parliament”. He added, “In case of lack of quorum, I will suspend the session and call for holding another session. If the lack of quorum continues, I will refer the issue to His Highness the Amir to take the proper decision.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Clinton to attend Geneva talks on Syria Saturday

National Assembly Speaker Jassem Mohammad Al-Kharafi giving a speech at the Parliament on Wednesday, June 27, 2012. (Al Watan)

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Saudi passenger train derails, 34 hurt RIYADH: At least 34 people were injured Wednesday, two of them in critical condition, when a Saudi passenger train derailed east of the capital, a railway official and a medical source said. The accident occurred east of Riyadh as the train was heading to the capital from the eastern city of Dammam, they said. Hamad Abdel Qader, deputy chief of operations at the Saudi Railways Organization, told AFP that the train derailed “100 kilometers (62 miles) east of Riyadh.” A company statement put the location of the accident at 70 kilometers (43 miles) away from Riyadh – in almost the same location where another passenger train derailed two years ago. The train was carrying 332 passengers and an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident.

There were “no deaths in the accident ... but several” people were wounded, including one man who was evacuated to Riyadh for medical treatment, said Abdel Qader. In all 34 passengers were wounded, two of them in critical condition, according to Saad bin Misfer Al-Qahtani, a Riyadh health official quoted by the staterun SPA news agency. The train was travelling along Saudi Arabia’s only passenger rail link, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) long, that connects Riyadh and Dammam, a coastal city in the vast desert kingdom’s oil-rich Eastern province. Almost two years ago to the day - on June 26, 2010 - a passenger train also derailed 70 kilometers east of Riyadh but only its driver and his assistant were wounded. -AFP

Myanmar vows action on child soldiers, says UN

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Queen Elizabeth shakes hands with ex-IRA chief

Bangladeshi fire fighters search for bodies after a landslide in Chittagong on June 27, 2012. (AFP)

DHAKA: At least 100 people have died and 250,000 left stranded by flash floods and landslides in Bangladesh set off by the heaviest rain in years, police and officials said on Wednesday. The low-lying and densely populated country, which is in its wet season, has been battered by five days of torrential downpours. The deaths took place late on Tuesday and on Wednesday. Most were caused by landslides, others by wall collapses, lightning strikes and surges of floodwater. Army, police and fire brigade personnel were helping in rescue efforts. Weather officials said more rain was expected over the next few days. Hundreds of homes have been washed away, while authorities have moved many families from shanty housing and told others to leave quickly. At least 23 people were killed in and around the southeastern port city of Chittagong, while 36 died in Bandarban in an area known as the Chittagong Hill Tracts. “Several more people are feared trapped in hillside homes buried under heaps of mud. Rescue operations are continuing,” Chittagong Deputy Commissioner Faiz Ahmed said. A further 38 died in the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar near the Myanmar border, officials and police said. Officials in the affected areas said about 100 people were missing, many swept away by floodwater, and about 200 injured. -Reuters

Salman Rushdie fatwa turned into Iranian video game

LONDON: Salman Rushdie was the target of a notorious fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic republic of Iran, 23 years ago. Now, the author of The Satanic Verses is the subject of an Iranian computer game aimed at spreading to the next generation the message about his “sin”, reports The Guardian. The Stressful Life of Salman Rushdie and Implementation of his Verdict is the title of the game being developed by the Islamic Association of Students, a government-sponsored organization which announced this week it had completed initial phases of production. News of the computer game came as Tehran on Tuesday played host to the country’s second International Computer

Games Expo. “The organizers considered the event as an opportunity to introduce Iranian culture, value and Islamic identity, and also a way to present Iranian products to international computer games designers and producers,” the English-language state television channel, Press TV, reported on its website. Three years ago, the student association and Iran’s national foundation of computer games asked students across the country to submit scripts for the game and the top three were handed over to video developers. But development of the game was delayed. The director of the students association, Ahmad Khalili, told the Fars news agency that production of the game was under way despite technical More on 9 difficulties.

BELFAST: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth shook the hand of former IRA guerrilla commander Martin McGuinness for the first time on Wednesday, drawing a line under a conflict that cost the lives of thousands of soldiers and civilians, including that of her cousin. The meeting with McGuinness, who is now the deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, comes 14 years after the Irish Republican Army ended its war against British rule in the province, and is one of the last big milestones in a peace process whose success has been studied around the world. The queen met McGuinness, Northern Ireland’s Unionist first minister Peter Robinson and Irish President Michael D.Higgins for just under 10 minutes behind closed doors in a theatre in a leafy suburb of Belfast cordoned off by hundreds of police. McGuinness shook the hand of the queen a second time as she

left the theatre, this time in front of television cameras, but unlike other guests chose not to bow his head. The queen’s bright green outfit appeared to have been chosen with Ireland’s national color in mind, and McGuinness wished a smiling monarch well in Irish, saying “Slan agus beannacht”, which he told her means “Goodbye and god speed”. There has been scattered opposition to the gesture of reconciliation from dissident Irish militants and from some of the IRA’s victims. But the vast majority of the province’s politicians backed the meeting, the first between the queen and a top member of the IRA or its former political wing, Sinn Fein. “Today is a huge event and it is, in a sense, the ultimate handshake,” John Reid, British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 2001 to 2002, told More on 5 the BBC.

Spain 4

VS

Portugal 2

MORE ON 12

Today’s Match:

Germany vs Italy

Kuwait inflation slows to 25-month low of 2.8%

DUBAI: Kuwait’s annual inflation rate eased to a 25-month low of 2.8 percent in May and prices edged down slightly from the previous month, mainly because of cheaper food, state news agency KUNA reported on Wednesday. Inflation in the major oil exporter has been slowing gradually. It hit 3.3 percent in April, down from a peak of 5.4 percent in May 2011. Consumer prices fell 0.1 percent month-on-month in May, compared to a 0.6 percent drop in April, KUNA said, citing data from the Central Statistics Office. “The low inflation reading is testament to a weak demand climate and anaemic credit growth,” said Liz Martins, senior regional economist at HSBC in Dubai. “Even with the salary hikes we have seen in recent months, we don’t expect a major pick-up in the short- to medium term.” Around 3,000 Kuwaiti customs workers went on a week-long strike for higher pay in March, disrupting port traffic, while employees at national carrier Kuwait Airways grounded planes for three days during a walkout. The civil service commission eventually agreed to wage rises of 25 to 30 percent for public sector employees, and proposed increases of up to 330 dinars ($1,190) per More on 6 month for Kuwaiti private sector workers.

Arctic sea-ice levels at record low for June

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Gabon burns five tons of ivory LIBREVILLE: Gabonese President Ali Bongo on Wednesday set fire to five tons of ivory worth around 10 million euros (14 million US dollars) to mark his government’s commitment to battling poachers and saving elephants. The pyre that was kindled in the capital Libreville represented the west African nation’s entire government stockpile and would have required the killing of some 850 elephants. “Gabon has a policy of zero tolerance for wildlife crime and we are putting in place the institutions and laws to ensure this policy is enforced,” Bongo said. “We don’t want our children to inherit an empty forest. For that reason, we cannot allow this trafficking to continue,” he said.’ The spectacular burning of ivory tusks and carvings at Cite de la Democratie, a vast complex for hosting state functions, was welcomed by conservationists at a time when elephant poaching in central Africa is reaching record levels. The stock destroyed Wednesday amounted to 4,825 kilograms, including 1,293 pieces of rough ivory mainly composed of tusks and 17,730 pieces of worked ivory, according to the WWF nature protection organization. “We believe this is a strong signal of intent by Gabon against poaching and illegal wildlife trade – at a time of intense poaching pressure in central Africa, where the illegal killing of elephants for ivory is at record levels,” the WWF said. -AFP

Turkish Cypriot protesters hold signs in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels June 27, 2012. The protesters were dressed in white to show their anger at not being represented in Cyprus’ presidency of the European Council, starting July 1, 2012. (Reuters)


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ALWATAN DAILY

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thursday, JUNE 28, 2012

Al-Hajraf approves exam results with high success rates for public, private schools KUWAIT: Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education and Acting Minister of Finance Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf approved Wednesday the high school exams’ results (Arts & Science) and the results of Religious Institute exams 2011-2012. In a press conference on this occasion and honoring the outstanding students, Al-Hajraf said that success percentage in government education reached 94.6 percent and reached 94.4 percent in private education. Success percentage in Arts section in government schools reached 90.6 percent and reached 83.5 percent in private schools. The number of students who passed exams in Science section in public schools reached 10,329 students while the number reached 8,992 students in Arts section. Student Michel Hana Nakhlah (Egyptian) came in the first place among Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti students with 99.89 percent, while Ahmad Hamdi Shahin (Egyptian) came in the second place with 99.8 percent, and Ola Abduljawad Tuni (Egyptian) came in third place with 99.77 percent, and Duha Ibrahim Haider (Egyptian) came in fourth place with 99.76 percent, and Mohammad Khalil Marei (Syrian) came in fifth place (repeated) with 99.74 percent and Ahmad Osama Mohammad (Egyptian) came in fifth place with 99.74 percent, and Talal Mohammad Al-Shaqih (Kuwaiti) came in sixth place with 99.58 percent, and Sarah Saad Al-Ajmi (Kuwaiti) came in seventh place with 99.49 percent and Wadha Hajraf Al-Hajraf (Kuwaiti) came in eighth place with 99.49 percent and Lujain Hussein Al-Rashid (Kuwaiti) came in ninth place with 99.3 percent while Fatmah Fadel Taqi (Kuwaiti) came in tenth place with 99.27 percent. In special needs schools (Science section) Hassan Dawood Muthafar came in the first place with 90.57 percent and Mohammad Saleh Jassem came in second place with 89.97 percent while Eman Hamed Al-Enzi came in third place with 85 percent. As for the results of Arts Section (Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis), Ayah Karem Mahmoud (Egyptian) came in first place with 99.63 percent, and Dalia Shafi (Egyptian) came in second place with 99.45 percent, and Maya Jamal Bayoumi (Egyptian) came in third place with 99.12 percent, and Fatmah Hial Al-Thufairi (stateless Arab) came in fourth place with 98.9 percent and Sarah Ahmad Khashab (Lebanese) came in fifth place with 98.83 percent, and Fatmah Abdulrahman Al-Ostath (Kuwaiti) came in sixth place with 98.37 percent and Maryam Mohammad Juwair (Kuwaiti) came in seventh place with 98.04 percent and Meshari Rashid Yaqut (Kuwaiti) came in eighth

Majority Bloc seeks ‘gentleman agreement’ with PM

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education and Acting Minister of Finance Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf Tuesday, June 27, 2012. (KUNA)

place with 98.02 percent and Heba Khaled Al-Seif (Kuwaiti) came in ninth place with 97.82 percent and Fajr Ahmad madwah (Kuwaiti) came in tenth place with 97 percent. -KUNA

Al-Kharafi denied reports on a conflict between him and His Highness the Prime Minister. He said, “We may differ over some procedures but I do respect and appreciate his views and wish him success because his success means stability for Kuwait”. He went on to say that “the country needs wisdom”, calling on media to raise awareness which will lead to the country’s stability. Regarding the resignation of 26 members of the Parliament (MPs) from the 2009 Parliament, Al-Kharafi said “I haven’t received any resignations. I read about that just as you have and some colleagues said that they would resign, but when the judge asked them whether they were MPs or not, they said ‘yes, we are’ after which they obtained immunity and decided not to resign.” When asked about his opinion regarding amendment of the elections system, Al-Kharafi said that there will be no time to discuss such a sensitive issue on the Parliament’s part, which is supposed to discuss the state budget. Meanwhile, MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaie called on the political leadership to positively consider the demands put forth by those who gathered at the Erada (Determination) square on Tuesday by adopting constitutional amendments that would grant Parliament greater powers. The lawmaker proposed an immediate introduction of a full parliamentary system where the parliamentary majority forms Cabinet, while bemoaning that some are bent on distorting the demands of the Majority Bloc. Elaborating on the proposed constitutional amendments, Al-Tabtabaie explained that the main changes entail that the government must gain, in advance, Parliament’s confidence, that the ministers should not be allowed to vote in Parliament and that the National Assembly should not be dissolved unless it serves at least two years. MP Saadoun Hammad, for his part, commented that the upcoming Parliament is very likely to face a legal challenge given that it would be impossible for the new Cabinet to take oath before the 2009 assembly.

‘Public Works New vision for vocations, qualifications refused to create exits for bridge can be achieved in 4 years: Al-Dokhi between Surrah, Jabriyah’ Staff Writer

Shabib Al-Ajmi Staff Writer

KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality Director confirmed that the Ministry of Public Works rejected a proposal by Municipal Council Members to create exits for the bridge between Surrah and Jabriyah. He explained that the Tripartite Committee for Traffic Congestions rejected the proposal because it doesn’t meet the standards of highways. He added that the ministry approved a proposal to build a temporary road linking Al-

Akbari Street to Salil Al-Jahra Roundabout and providing the municipality with the blueprints of the project. Regarding the violations in Sulibikhat Graveyard, Municipality Director said that the Funerals Department contacted the Public Hygiene Department at Jahra Governorate to provide facilities and workers required to clean the graveyard and removing ruins. He added that the department responded to the request and contacted concerned departments to maintain the fence of the graveyard and clean it periodically.

Ambassador Al-Tuwaijri meets Cambodian ministers of defense, interior

Kuwait’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia Dhrar Nasser Al-Tuwaijri (left) during a meeting with Cambodian Minister of Interior Sar Kheng and Minister of Defense Tea Banh on Wednesday, June 27, 2012. (KUNA)

JAKARTA: Kuwait’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia Dhrar Nasser Al-Tuwaijri has held talks with Cambodian Minister of Interior Sar Kheng and Minister of Defense Tea Banh on prospects of cooperation between the two Asian nations. In statements to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) Wednesday, Ambassador Al-Tuwaijri said the talks were held in two separate meetings with each minister. The meetings focused on strengthening

Mervat Abduldayem

security, economic and investment cooperation between the two countries. The Kuwaiti Ambassador said Kuwait and Cambodia have great potential that could be used in developing mutual cooperation in all domains. Al-Tuwaijri hailed the recently held successful municipal elections in Cambodia. He also conveyed to the Cambodian ministers, the greetings and best wishes of their Kuwaiti counterparts. -KUNA

KUWAIT: The Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor Jamal AlDousari unveiled that the secretariat general of Gulf Countries Council (GCC) asked the different Gulf Countries to prepare a unified vision for forming a unified work team to prepare plans and studies for establishing vocation and qualification system. Al-Dousrai released his statement while inaugurating the Gulf forum on job description wherein representatives of the different Gulf States participated in. The team is expected to

include relevant experts where the team will determine the convenient criteria for vocational tests and job descriptions. Such step aims at organizing work in which all employees will work according to their majors to avoid unnecessary errors caused by unqualified employees. He said that another forum will be held on the sidelines of Gulf Social Affairs Ministers the meeting next September and each state will submit a work sheet about the endorsed criteria in job description in each field. On his part, the General Manager (GM) of the Center of Endorsing Vocational Skills Dr. Hamoud Al-Mudaf said that preparing and quali-

fying manpower in addition to providing them with convenient administrative skills require unifying efforts by the relevant officials. Such step also requires setting national policies to develop skills of workers in the different vocations. The Technical Director of the center Dr. Fouzi Al-Dokhi unveiled that the forum will submit a suggestion for establishing a special center for job descriptions in the different Gulf countries, adding that the center has put criteria for more than 378 vocations out of 800. “The center could achieve this task just within four years,” said Al-Dokhi.

Kuwait Science Club marks International Anti-Drugs Day 2012

Mervat Abduldayem Staff Writer

KUWAIT: Photography Department at Kuwait Science Club (KSC) took part in activities of celebrating the International Anti-Drugs Day 2012 under the theme “With healthy bodies, we build the country”.The celebration was organized by the National Drug Prevention Committee under the patronage of the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and Chairman of the committee Sheikh Ahmad Al-Homoud AlJaber Al-Sabah at 360 Mall on Tuesday. General Secretary of KSC Yousef Khaled AlHamad said that the club is keen on taking part in such activities with government and private institutions concerned with drug prevention in order to raise public awareness about the serious and fetal effects of drugs and ways of prevention. Al-Hamad said that the club will not hesitate to take part in any activities related to youths in particular, stressing that this participation is part of the role played by the club. He said that the club took the opportunity to notify the public about the services provided by the club to young men and women and spreading the scientific culture which can protect the youth from the harmful psychological and physical effects of drugs. He added that the Photography Department presented a number of photos about the role played by the youths in society and highlighted the importance of voluntary work. He added that the department aims at attracting youths to join the club where they can practice their hobbies including photography. For his part, Hassan Bu Salha from the Photography Department said that the participation in the event aimed to highlight the role of photography in order to raise awareness regarding the harmful effects of drugs. He also said that they aimed to urge youths to spend spare time practicing useful hobbies. In a related issue, Sheikha Awrda Al-Jaber AlAhmad Al-Sabah stressed the need for coopera-

General Secretary of KSC Yousef Khaled with other representatives of the club taking part in the activities of the International Anti-Drugs Day 2012 on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. (Al Watan)

tion among all government and private bodies to confront drugs which threaten societies and the entire world, stressing that the harm caused by drugs is more serious than that caused by World Wars I and II as well as other wars. She said that some observers believe that drugs have been the biggest threat to humanity over the history. In a statement to Al Watan during the ceremony held by the Kuwait Finance House (KFH) Center for Treating Addiction to mark the International Anti-Drugs Day, Sheikh Awrad said that drugs have spread among young men and women in most countries including Kuwait. Sheikha Awrad stressed the importance of communication and dialogue with children and strengthening religious morals by parents and adult family members who need to be proper role models for these youth and children. She

explained that families which avoid quarrels and conflicts and their members show love to one another are usually coherent. She stressed the need to encourage youths to practice useful hobbies and sport activities in order to keep them away from bad habits such as illegal or recreational drug use. Sheikha Awrad said that the United Nation’s (UN) statistics and reports show that about 250 million people in the world, including 10 million people in Arab world, are victims of drugs and that more than 80 percent of them belong to youth category below 15 years of age. She added that drugs addiction is a social and economic problem due to the fact that addicts lose their incomes by spending large amounts of money on drugs and their families as well by unpleasant behavior and traits caused by drug abuse.

KFAS awards several local, international academic personalities

Staff Writer

KUWAIT: The Board of Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) approved the recommendation of prizes department at the institution which included the winners of its prizes in 2011. Furthermore, Dr. Majeed Sulaiman Al-Kazemi from Jordan, who is a professor in MIT University in the United States, won a prize in the field of applied sciences (nuclear

technology).. The arbitration committees have recommended for suspending certain prizes in various fields such as social and economic sciences, arts, literature as well as the Arab and Islamic heritage. Such step aims at attracting attention to prepare more researches in those fields. However, the Kuwait prize, which is a part of the prizes that the department submits, includes financial a award worth 30,000 Kuwaiti dinars, a trophy, gold medals and appreciation certificates. However, since establishing

these activities, a big number of scientists and scholars which are estimated to be around 2889 people applied to participate. The board also approved the recommendation of the department regarding the prize of scientific production which is usually submitted to Kuwaiti academic personalities. This prize aims at encouraging Kuwaiti academics to be more productive wherein Mohammad Ali Hajji won the prize of applied sciences and mathematics, Dr. Nayef Zaid Al-Metairie won the prize of engineering sciences,

Dalal Abdulwahed Al-Hudhed won the prize of social and human sciences, Dr. Sabah Al-Fadhli won the prize of administrative and economic sciences, Dr. Habiba Saud Al-Munae won the prize of life sciences and Dr. Iman Mohammad Maqdes won the prize of medical sciences. The department distributed many other prizes to several foreign participants wherein the prize of the best research for 2010 was won by Dr. Mohammad BuTuraa. This research is titled “The Right of Citizenship” which was published by Kuwait University.


ALWATAN DAILY

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thursdAY, June 28, 2012

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Iraq PM calls for early elections Clinton to attend Geneva talks on Syria Saturday Damaged buildings are seen after gunmen stormed the headquarters of Al-Ikhbariya news channel near Damascus June 27, 2012. (Reuters)

Rebels storm Pro-Assad Syrian TV channel BEIRUT: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will attend an action group meeting on Syria this weekend at the United Nations in Geneva, a senior State Department official said Wednesday. “Yes, we are going to Geneva for Saturday’s meeting,” the deputy assistant secretary of state, Philippe Reines, told AFP shortly after international peace envoy Kofi Annan confirmed the meeting would take place. The meeting will be attended by all five permanent members of the UN Security Council and other key regional players. Iran has not been invited to attend. “I look forward to a productive meeting this weekend, where we can all agree on concrete actions to end the cycle of violence and bring peace and stability to the Syrian people,” Annan said in a statement announcing the meeting. Earlier Wednesday, Clinton gave Annan her full backing. “I’ve been in close consultation with special envoy Kofi Annan about the prospects for a meeting that would focus on a roadmap for political transition in Syria,” she said during a visit to Helsinki. He “has developed his own very concrete roadmap for political transition, he has been circulating it for comments and when I spoke to him yesterday I conveyed our support for the plan that he has put forward.” “We think it embodies the principles needed for any political transition in Syria that could lead to a peaceful, democratic and representative outcome reflecting the will of the Syrian people,” she said. The news that Iran was not among those invited was likely to infuriate Syria’s chief ally, Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Iran should be invited to any international meeting in Geneva, saying it “would complicate the process” if Tehran were to be shut out. A six-point peace plan drawn up by Annan came into force in mid-April. But its key provisions, which include a total cessation of violence, have been repeatedly breached since then. Russian military cargo

Meanwhile, Russia may decide to fly a controversial military cargo of helicopters and air defense systems to Syria after it abandoned an attempt to ship the materiel by sea, a report said Wednesday. The West wants Russia to halt all military cooperation with Syria because of the escalating conflict be-

tween the Damascus regime and rebels but Moscow has insisted it cannot break contracts. A freighter, the Alaed, at the weekend docked in the Russian Arctic port of Murmansk after turning back off the British coast from a voyage to Syria to deliver the military cargo when its British insurer dropped cover. “The three Mi-25 helicopters and air defense systems could easily be delivered to Syria by air,” a military source, who was not identified, told the Interfax news agency. “Russia has to fulfill its obligations. But everything will depend on if we can resist pressure from the West who want us to break military cooperation with Syria,” the source said, adding a decision would be made soon. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has confirmed the Alaed was carrying three attack helicopters Moscow had repaired for Damascus under a previous agreement. He said last week the cargo also included air defense systems but gave no further details on the type or quantity on board. Russia delivers a range of limited air defense systems to Syria but reportedly has refused to provide the more advanced S-300 technology that it had previously also failed to give to Iran under Western pressure. TV headquarters stormed

Earlier Wednesday, gunmen stormed a pro-government Syrian TV channel headquarters, bombing buildings and shooting dead three employees, state media said, in one of the boldest attacks yet on a symbol of the authoritarian state. President Bashar Al-Assad declared late on Tuesday that his country was “at war”. US intelligence officials said the Syrian government was “holding fairly firm” and digging in for a long struggle against rebel forces who are getting stronger. The dawn attack on Ikhbariya television’s offices, located 20 km (15 miles) south of the capital, as well as overnight fighting on the outskirts of Damascus showed 16 months of violence now rapidly encroaching on the capital. Ikhbariya resumed broadcasting shortly after the attack, displaying bullet holes in its two-storey concrete building and pools of blood on the floor. One building had been almost completely destroyed. “I heard a small explosion then a huge explosion and gunmen ran in. They ransacked the offices and entirely destroyed the newsroom,” an employee who works at the offices in the town of Drousha told state media at the scene. The Syrian media are tightly regulated by the Ministry of Information. Although Ikhbariya is privately owned, opponents of Assad say it is a government mouthpiece. -Agencies

Algeria hands suspended jail term to poll-boycott blogger ALGIERS: An Algerian court on Wednesday slapped an eight-month suspended prison sentence and a 1,000-euro (1,250 US dollars) fine on a blogger who had called for a boycott of the May 10 legislative election. The Algiers court found Tarek Mameri, 23, guilty of destroying property, setting administrative documents on fire and inciting public gatherings. “The length of the sentence means nothing to me because I consider the court to have unfairly convicted me,” he told AFP upon exiting the court room. The young blogger was initially detained on May 2 for posting videos on his blog calling for a boycott of last month’s parliamentary election. State prosecution had sought a three-year prison sentence earlier this month. “This sentence is directed at all human rights activists. We are going to appeal and undertake all the necessary moves to have this decision overturned,” Mameri’s lawyer Amine Sidhom told AFP. The young blogger never denied the charges brought against him. “Yes, I destroyed electoral placards and burned my voter’s card... I opted to do that rather than immolate myself,” the young blogger told the state prosecutor last month.

More people have set fire to themselves in Algeria than in neighboring Tunisia, where the death of a fruit vendor who set himself on fire in December 2010 to protest against poverty and dictatorship ignited a historic uprising. Critics of last month’s election say the victory of the National Liberation Front, the former single party that has dominated Algerian politics for half a century, was never in doubt. Other contenders in the election were widely seen either as bogus parties recently founded to create an illusion of democracy or older parties coopted by the regime. Many Algerians opted to boycott the vote as a way of protesting the status quo in the oil-rich north African nation at a time when the Arab Spring was bringing sweeping political change to other countries in the region. Official election results put the turnout at 43 percent, a figure that opposition parties and experts argued was grossly inflated. An Algerian court last month sentenced a Yemeni Salafist imam to six months in jail, a 1,300 fine and a 10-year ban on visiting Algeria for having issued a religious edict urging voters to boycott the election. Several journalists have also been sentenced to prison terms for defamation in recent months. -AFP

Ethiopia court finds 24 guilty of terrorism ADDIS ABABA: Twenty-four Ethiopians, including a leading opposition figure and a prominent journalist, faced life in prison Wednesday after a court found them guilty on charges of terrorism. “Guilty as charged,” judge Endeshaw Adane said, referring to journalist Eskinder Nega, opposition member Andualem Arage and 22 others accused of links to US-based group Ginbot 7, considered a terrorist group under Ethiopian law, and other outlawed groups. Under the anti-terrorism legislation, the defendants face the death sentence, but the prosecutor recommended life sentences for the 24, only eight of whom were present in court. Both Eskinder and Andualem were found guilty of “participation in a terrorist organization” and “planning, preparation, conspiracy, incitement and attempt of (a) terrorist act.” Andualem was also found guilty of serving as a “leader or decision maker of a terrorist organization.” Another less prominent opposition member was also among the group convicted Wednesday. Endeshaw said Eskinder abused his freedom of speech and ac-

cused him of threatening national security. “Freedom of speech can be limited when it used to undermine security and not used for the public interest,” he said. Both Eskinder and Andualem are accused of using examples of Arab Spring uprisings in the media to promote anti-government protest in Ethiopia. “There is no way other than democratic elections to attain power in the country, and what they said is clearly against the constitution,” Endeshaw said. “By using the freedom of speech recognized in the constitution these criminals have been trying to destabilize the country... that is why the court should give a grave sentence,” the prosecutor said. Five of the defendants, including Eskinder and Andualem, will reappear in court on July 13 to present their mitigating circumstances. Rights group Amnesty International condemned the verdict, and said the men were found guilty on “trumped up” charges. Amnesty said the convicted were prisoners of conscience and said “the verdict seemed to be a foregone conclusion.” The group called for the immediate release of the prisoners. -AFP

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki called for early elections, a statement released on Wednesday said, after a series of political crises escalated into calls for his removal. “When the other side refuses to sit at the table of dialogue and insists on the policy of provoking successive crises in a way that causes serious damage to the supreme interests of Iraqi people, the prime minister found himself forced to call for early elections,” said the statement on AlMaliki’s website. The next parliamentary polls were to be held in 2014. According to Article 64 of the Iraqi constitution, parliament may be dissolved by an absolute majority vote. The process can be initiated in two ways - a request from either one-third of MPs or from the prime minister whose request has to be first approved by the president. President Jalal Talabani’s position on the issue was not immediately clear. After the last parliamentary polls in March 2010, a government was not formed until December, and some key cabinet posts including the defense and interior ministers remain vacant to this day. Iraq has been hit by a series of in-

tertwined political crises that began in mid-December with accusations by the secular, Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc that Al-Maliki was concentrating power in his hands and have escalated into calls to unseat him. An effort to persuade Talabani to call a no-confidence vote stalled earlier this month when he said that Al-Maliki’s opponents lacked the votes to oust him. That decision meant the only way Al-Maliki’s opponents could press their drive for a no-confidence motion was by requesting he appear before parliament and then holding the vote. Parliament speaker Osama Al-Nujaifi said on June 21 that Al-Maliki’s opponents were to ask in the coming days for him to appear before the house in a renewed bid to oust him. The crises have paralyzed government, especially parliament, which has passed no significant legislation except for the budget, while other important measures such as a hydrocarbons law regulating Iraq’s oil sector have been delayed. In related news, Bombs planted around a Shiite politician’s house killed seven people and wounded 21 others in

Baghdad on Wednesday, police said, the latest in a string of attacks which have raised fears of a return to widespread sectarian violence in Iraq. Militants put two bombs in the air conditioning system of the house in the Al-Wahda district in the south of the Iraqi capital, police said, but did not give the politician’s name. The politician, who is also a tribal chief, is from the smaller Islamic party AlFadhila. He was unharmed but his wife, his daughter and his son were killed in the blast, police said. In the west of Baghdad, a bomb at the home of a governmentbacked militiaman killed his wife and two of his daughters, and wounded three others, police said. More than 140 people have been killed in June across Iraq in bombings targeting mainly Shiite pilgrims and shrines as political and sectarian tensions run high. Iraq’s Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish factions have been locked in political disputes since US troops withdrew in December. Opponents of Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki have accused him of trying to consolidate power at their expense. -AFP

Palestinian president to meet Israel vice PM RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will hold talks with Israeli vice prime minister Shaul Mofaz on Sunday, a senior Palestinian official told Voice of Palestine radio. “President Abbas will meet with Mofaz on Sunday in Ramallah at Mofaz’s request,” negotiator Mohammad Eshtayeh told the official radio station Wednesday. It will be the highest-level meeting between Israeli and Palestinian officials since May 12, when Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho met Abbas to deliver a letter from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A spokesman for Mofaz declined to confirm or deny the report. The Palestinians’ official news agency WAFA initially carried quotes from Abbas adviser Nimr Hammad confirming the Sunday meeting, but later changed the story,

saying it was unconfirmed. Eshtayeh told Voice of Palestine that the meeting was a standard part of Abbas’s dialogue with various parties. “Such a meeting is nothing new and comes in the framework of president Abbas’s meetings with a full spectrum of actors in the Israeli and Jewish communities,” he said. “President Abbas will listen to Mofaz’s ideas, but we do not think that he will present political ideas that we can work with,” he said. “We do not count much on such meetings nor believe that the Israeli government as currently composed can offer anything serious on the peace process.” He added that the meeting “is not a round of negotiations,” and stressed that the Palestinians remained committed to seeking a settlement freeze and clear parameters for discussions on borders be-

fore returning to direct peace talks. Talks between the two sides have been on hold since late September 2010, with the Palestinians refusing to resume them without the moratorium and a deal to base border talks on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War. Israel wants talks without preconditions, and the international community has urged both sides to pursue a path back to the negotiating table. Early this year Molcho and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat held several rounds of “proximity” talks in Amman, intended to chart a path back to negotiations. But the talks ended without a way forward, and a later exchange of letters between Abbas and Netanyahu also failed to result in a plan for the resumption of negotiations. -AFP


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ALWATAN DAILY

OPINION / VIEWS

thursdAY, June 28, 2012

How to help Burma

The gospel of growth

Julia Gillard Lee Myung-bak

Burma’s leadership should respond by releasing all remaining political prisoners and opening up the entire political process.

Radek Sikorski

Project Syndicate

A

cross the Middle East, and now in Burma (Myanmar), one of the greatest questions of contemporary global politics has resurfaced: How can countries move from a failing authoritarianism to some form of self-sustaining pluralism? Foreign ministers everywhere, in turn, face crucial policy questions: When a country launches such a political transition, when should other countries help, and what is the best way to do so? Happy transitions, to paraphrase Tolstoy, are all alike; but every unhappy transition is unhappy in its own way. The happy transitions across much of Central Europe following the end of the Cold War were made easier by the fact that the old communist order more or less died on its feet and surrendered power peacefully. This, along with generous support from Western Europe, the United States, and others, helped to create a mood conducive to reconciliation, allowing each country to tackle in a measured, non-vengeful way the many difficult moral issues arising from the recent dark past. Above all, perhaps, these transitions took place amidst a wider network of legitimate institutions the European Union, OSCE, NATO, and the Council of Europe - championing the rule of law. This supportive context provided a roadmap for national policymakers, helping them to build democratic institutions and marginalize extremists. Elsewhere in the world, things are not so easy. Discredited regimes may cling all the more ruthlessly and ruinously to power, as in Syria. Or they may create all sorts of new problems on their way out of power, as in Libya. Or they may be struggling to introduce democratic accountability while maintaining stability, as in Egypt. In Burma, we see another model - a bold attempt after decades of military rule to move in a controlled but purposeful way toward a new, inclusive form of government. Here there are striking similarities to what happened in Poland as communism ended. A military elite favors step-by-step reform, but wants to protect its position and is determined to avoid a descent into chaos. The opposition is led by a charismatic leader with huge popular support. And the ruling elite opens a number of parliamentary seats to a popular vote, only to be shocked by a landslide opposition win. Moreover, as was true in Poland, Burma’s opposition leaders must strike a delicate balance: satisfy their impatient supporters (many of whom have suffered mightily under the old regime), while offering those still in power the prospect of a worthwhile future. But there are key differences. Burma has a very different internal political dynamic, not least

Project Syndicate

A

because of the complex relationships among its various ethnic and linguistic communities - social cleavages that were not an issue in largely homogeneous Poland’s transition. Moreover, unlike Poland when communism collapsed, Burma already has powerful business tycoons flourishing under the existing system - and they mean to maintain and develop their privileges. Above all, there is no immediate international institutional context encouraging steady change and establishing standards and benchmarks: Burma must find its own path. Earlier this month, I visited Burma, where I met President Thein Sein and the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as former political prisoners and many other activists. I came away convinced that Burma is a country on the move - and moving firmly in a good direction. All sides accept that this large and resourcerich country has under-performed for far too long. They also agree that a step-by-step approach, based on reconciliation, is better than an open struggle for power, which could quickly take on a calamitous ethnic dimension. That consensus will remain credible as long as political reform continues and economic growth accelerates. After such a long period of stagnation, people demand to see and feel changes for the better in their own lives. The rest of us should be constructive and creative, not prescriptive and pernickety. Above all, we should be patient. The EU’s suspension of sanctions and general readiness to engage constructively make sense. Burma’s leadership should respond by releasing all remaining political prisoners and opening up the entire political process. The EU also should ensure that its development assistance - and the process of delivering it - enhances pluralism and reconciliation by benefiting all of Burma’s communities fairly and transparently. Poland is making its own direct contribution, above all by helping senior Burmese decision makers, opposition leaders, and business representatives to understand the “technology of transition” - that is, the sequencing of technical reforms, which has helped to make Poland one of Europe’s healthiest economies today. Our business representatives came with me to present large-scale investment projects. Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of my visit to Burma was a willingness to open up and learn from other countries that have navigated the painful transition from dictatorship to democracy. One general asked me, off the record, “How did you manage to implement such dramatic political changes without bloodshed?” A young woman at our democracy workshop told the assembled journalists and lecturers, “We thought that Burma was a one-off example. Now we see that countries far away have had very similar experiences. We feel less lonely - it all worked out for you.” Given that spirit - and appropriate foreign assistance - I am confident that it will all work out for Burma, too.

lmost four years after the start of the global financial crisis, the world economy remains fragile and unemployment is unacceptably high. There are roughly 200 million unemployed people worldwide, including nearly 75 million young people. Growth is weakening in many countries, risks are mounting, and uncertainty has intensified, owing especially to events in Europe. Only swift and sustained recovery can stem the rise in the human cost of economic stagnation. When the G-20 met in Los Cabos, Mexico, on June 18-19, its challenge was to shift public perceptions from pessimism and concern about the future to an optimistic mindset of growth and stability. We need resolute action to address the uncertainty confronting the global economy and to chart a path toward self-sustaining recovery and job creation. We see two components to such a strategy. First, we need a clear message from Europe - the immediate source of global economic concern - that it is taking decisive steps to stabilize and strengthen its banks, and that it is focused on restoring growth while credibly committing itself to fiscal consolidation. A crucial element of restoring confidence in Europe is agreement on a “roadmap” for the eurozone to underpin its monetary union with a fiscal union and a banking union, including pan-European supervision and deposit insurance. It is essential that Europe move quickly to ensure that its banks are adequately

capitalized and backstopped. In this regard, we welcome the recent decision by Spain to seek financial assistance from the European Union to recapitalize its banks as required. Decisive steps to safeguard the banking sector’s health are necessary not only to reduce some of the risks that are preoccupying markets, but also because healthy financial institutions are vital for economic growth. Europe must have credible fiscal-consolidation plans to restore debt sustainability, but it is also essential that it has a growth strategy that includes policies aimed at boosting investment, freeing up product and labor markets, deregulating business, promoting competition, and building skills. These reforms, including deeper institutional integration, will be politically difficult and their benefits will take time to become fully apparent; but setting a clear pathway will underpin public confidence in Europe’s long-term growth and cooperation. We do not underestimate the magnitude of the reforms that Europe has achieved in recent years. Since the G-20’s meeting at Cannes last November, for example, Europe has increased its financial firewalls by [200 billion ($252 billion), restructured Greek debt, taken steps towards strengthening its banks and banking regulations, established rules for fiscal discipline, and implemented a range of labor- and productmarket reforms. But the magnitude of the challenges confronting Europe implies an urgent need for far more decisive reforms. We are confident that Europe will act together to meet these challenges, and we will continue to support such efforts, because European sta-

bility and growth matter for us all. Second, we need a clear message from the G-20 that all of its members are delivering policies for strong, sustainable, and balanced growth. To be meaningful, the message must be backed up with action: G-20 members must demonstrate that their policies are clearly directed toward restoring economic growth and creating jobs, and that they will be accountable for meeting their commitments in full. And world leaders must be unambiguous about resisting protectionism and opening trade and investment. In particular, we believe that an international agreement on trade facilitation is the right step, as it would reduce export and import costs and restore momentum to global trade liberalization. The G-20 must demonstrate in Los Cabos that reform of the International Monetary Fund is continuing. That means that countries must deliver on their commitment to increase IMF resources by more than $430 billion, and that the Fund’s quota and governance structure must reflect the ongoing global shifts in economic influence. Economic growth and new jobs are crucial to improving people’s livelihoods now and towards ensuring the prosperity of future generations. The reforms needed to secure these objectives are not easy, and change will not happen overnight. But the world expects the G-20 to deliver. * Julia Gillard is Prime Minister of Australia. * Lee Myung-bak is President of the Republic of Korea. The views expressed here are their own.

MPs

Mohmmed Thallab

Radek Sikorski is Poland’s foreign minister. The views expressed here are his own.

Pressing issues awaiting President Morsi Basidia Drammeh

T

he sight of seas of Egyptians; men, women, young and old chanting and waving Egyptian flags spoke volumes of how far Egypt has come from. The spontaneous elation that gripped the supporters of Mohammad Morsi, the winner of the first-ever free and fair elections, at the famous Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the Egyptian revolution, ensued very edgy moments, as both contenders preempted official results, in the wake of the hotly and tightly contested presidential elections, by declaring victory. The tense atmosphere was equally prompted by a decision by the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF), which has been ruling Egypt since the downfall of Mubarak in February 2011, to issue a supplementary Constitutional Declaration, which gave the council sweeping powers. The move raised serious questions about the sincerity of the powerful Generals to hand over power on June 30, as promised. Nevertheless, the announcement by the Electoral Commission that it was postponing the declaration of the results is what contributed to the exponential rise of political temperature, with some even going as far as prophesying a looming coup. Notwithstanding, the electoral commission stunned

everyone by its professionalism and the orderly manner in which it conducted the process with its Chairman Farouq Sultan declaring the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohammad Morsi, as the winner of the presidential polls with 51.73 percent of the votes. Reactions poured in immediately. All the contestants of the presidential elections and the major players in the new Egypt, including Hamdoun Sabahi, Amr Mousa and Amr Hamzawi, lined up to offer congratulations. Most importantly, his rival, General Ahmad Shafiq, congratulated him on his victory, which has been touted as a significant move toward calming the street, especially that the latter won 48.27 percent of the votes. Washington offered its congratulations, called for national unity and described the development a significant step towards democracy, while the newly elected French President Francois Holland expressed readiness to work with the new regime. The new leader has a mountain of challenges in this country of about 80 million people, according to certain estimates. The economy, which was a key factor in the January 25 revolution, is in shambles. It has been reported that Egypt’s battered economy has lost more than half of its foreign reserves - more than 18 billion US dollars -- since the revolution. How is he going to distribute wealth evenly among the heavily populated nation? It will be interesting to see how the occupant of the hot seat will deal with the judiciary which has recently ordered the dissolution of the People’s Assembly. Will he abide by their verdict or challenge them by taking oath before the Parliament, as some of his close lieutenants suggested? Immediately after the declaration of his victory, Morsi posted

Most importantly, his rival, General Ahmad Shafiq, congratulated him on his victory, which has been touted as a significant move toward calming the street, especially that the latter won 48.27 percent of the votes. on his Twitter account hailing the judiciary’s decency and integrity.What kind of foreign policy will the newly elected president pursue, particularly with Israel? During the campaign, the Muslim Brotherhood asserted that there would be no negotiations with Israel. Is he going to renegotiate the Camp David Treaty or tear it apart? The former regime had been heavily criticized for turning its back on its immediate African neighbors with whom it shares the River Nile, so is Morsi going to regard them as partners or take them for granted as his predecessor did, hence leaving the current gap between the two sides? Will the new regime remain a strong ally of the US which provides an annual $1.3 billion military aid package to Egypt, amid reports that a deal or a compromise has been reached between the two sides? Fulfilling his electoral pledge, the new leader announced that he had severed ties with the Muslim Brotherhood which, ironically, brought him to power. Was the move a political gimmick intended to allay fears and concerns over an Islamist-led regime or was it

a genuine gesture to assert that he is the president of all Egyptians regardless of political, religious and ideological affiliations? How will the new order deal with minorities like the Copts who have raised fears of persecution or marginalization under an Islamist-led government, beyond Morsi’s pronouncement that he will ensure the rights of all walks of life? How will he engage the youth who ignited and led the revolution? The issue of security is paramount, so will he be able to neutralize the security forces, whereby they serve the State rather than safeguard a regime? How will power be shared with the SCAF which oversaw the transitional period? Will the new president be confrontational or cooperative with them to secure concessions? How will he go about uniting this hugely polarized nation, bearing in mind that only a quarter of the registered voters voted for him? My list of questions goes on and on, so it will be a matter of few months before equivocal answers can be sought and found. At any rate, I do offer my warmest congratulations to the people of Egypt for the victory of the revolution and democracy against all odds.

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ALWATAN DAILY

WORLD

THURSdAY, June 28, 2012

Queen Elizabeth shakes hands with ex-IRA chief BELFAST: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth shook the hand of former IRA guerrilla commander Martin McGuinness for the first time on Wednesday, drawing a line under a conflict that cost the lives of thousands of soldiers and civilians, including that of her cousin. The meeting with McGuinness, who is now the deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, comes 14 years after the Irish Republican Army ended its war against British rule in the province, and is one of the last big milestones in a peace process whose success has been studied around the world. The queen met McGuinness, Northern Ireland’s Unionist first minister Peter Robinson and Irish President Michael D.Higgins for just under 10 minutes behind closed doors in a theatre in a leafy suburb of Belfast cordoned off by hundreds of police. McGuinness shook the hand of the queen a second time as she left the theatre, this time in front of television cameras, but unlike other guests chose not to bow his head. The queen’s bright green outfit appeared to have been chosen with Ireland’s national color in mind, and McGuinness wished a smiling monarch well in Irish, saying “Slan agus beannacht”, which he told her means “Goodbye and god speed”. There has been scattered opposition to the gesture of reconciliation from dissident Irish militants and from some of the IRA’s victims. But the vast majority of the province’s politicians backed the meeting, the first between the queen and a top member of the IRA or its former political wing, Sinn Fein. “Today is a huge event and it is, in a sense, the ultimate handshake,” John Reid, British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 2001 to 2002, told the BBC. “On all sorts of levels this is a hugely significant step but it is only one more step in a long process. This may take generations - to get back

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth shakes hands with Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness, watched by first minister Peter Robinson (center) at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast June 27, 2012. (Reuters)

to absolute reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland.” Friendly Terms

McGuinness has long been on friendly terms with the fiery anti-Catholic Unionist leader Ian Paisley, who sat with him in a powersharing provincial government. The queen regularly meets senior Unionist politicians, Protestants who want Northern Ire-

land to stay inside the United Kingdom, but not Sinn Fein - the largest party representing Catholic nationalists who want a united Ireland. McGuinness is a hero to Republican hardliners, but has long been a hate figure to Unionists, many of whom harbor deep suspicions about his past. He admits he was on the front line in the war with British forces, including on Bloody Sunday in 1972, when troops shot dead 13

Death toll from latest Nigeria clashes rises to 18 KANO, Nigeria: The death toll from the latest gun battles between militants and police in northern Nigeria, wracked by Islamist and ethnic violence, rose to 18 on Wednesday, police said. Gunmen attacked five police posts and a prison across three cities late Tuesday, sparking responses from security forces, with the heaviest fighting concentrated in Kano, Nigeria’s second city and the largest in the north. No group claimed the raids, but the violence was likely to be blamed on Boko Haram Islamists, responsible for more than 1,000 deaths in Nigeria since mid2009. The militants launched gun and bomb attacks on Kano’’s Dala, Panshekara and Challawa police posts late Tuesday, state police commissioner Ibrahim Idris told AFP. The Goron Dutse prison was also targeted. “All these attacks were repelled,” he said. “A total of 17 extremists were killed by our men. We lost a police corporal.” He added that three suspects were arrested and were being interrogated, while officers recovered 14 improvised explosive devices as

well as rifles, ammunition and vehicles following the clashes. Kano was the site of Boko Haram’s deadliest attack yet, when coordinated bombings and shootings left at least 185 people dead in January. In Taraba state, residents said gunfire and explosions broke out late Tuesday and continued into Wednesday morning. A police spokesman confirmed there was an attack on a regional police headquarters. Taraba is located near northeastern states badly shaken by Boko Haram violence. It also neighbors Plateau state, hit by waves of ethnic violence as well as Islamist attacks. The Islamist group’s insurgency, concentrated in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north, has frequently targeted the security forces, the though the group has attacked churches and other symbols of authority. It has recently taken to attacking Christians worshipping on Sundays, leading to deadly reprisal violence from Christian mobs in the city of Kaduna earlier this month and sparking fears of wider unrest. -AFP

Pakistani, US generals in border talks RAWALPINDI, Pakistan: The US commander in Afghanistan discussed border coordination with Pakistan’s army chief on Wednesday as the Taliban released a video showing the remains of 17 beheaded Pakistani soldiers. General JohnAllen, who commands 130,000 NATO troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, flew into Chaklala air base and went straight into the talks with General Ashraf Kayani at his Rawalpindi headquarters, before jetting out of the country, officials said. There was no immediate comment from NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), but a Pakistani official said Kayani demanded greater efforts from the Americans on stopping cross-border incursions. “It was a routine meeting to discuss the border coordination,” a senior Pakistani military official told AFP. “We also raised the issue of cross-border attacks on the Pakistan military from Afghanistan. We demanded that ISAF take action against the militant sanctuaries in Afghanistan and eliminate the militant groups involved in cross-border attacks inside Pakistan,” he added. Pakistan said around 100 Afghan-based militants crossed the border into the northwestern district of Upper Dir on Sunday. Six soldiers were killed and 11 went missing. Pakistani officials said Tuesday that seven of them were beheaded.

On Wednesday, a senior security official in the northwest admitted that all 17 had in fact been beheaded after the Pakistani Taliban released a video showing the slaughtered heads. Pakistan’s main umbrella Taliban faction claimed responsibility for the attack. Intelligence officials said the perpetrators were loyalists of Maulana Fazlullah, a Pakistani cleric who led a two-year Taliban insurgency in the northwestern Swat valley before fleeing into Afghanistan to escape an army offensive in 2009. But both the Afghans and the Americans repeatedly blame Pakistan for not doing more to eliminate havens on its soil, which are used as launch pads for attacks across the border. Last Friday, Allen blamed the Pakistan-based Haqqani network for a siege on a lakeside hotel in Kabul that killed 18 people. Earlier this month, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Washington was running out of patience with Pakistan over militant havens. On Tuesday, officials and witnesses in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar also said that thousands of villagers have been forced to flee their homes to escape a barrage of cross-border artillery and rocket attacks from Pakistan. Talks to reopen the border have reached stalemate over Pakistani demands for a formal apology. -AFP

Myanmar vows action on child soldiers, says UN UN YANGON: Myanmar on Wednesday signed an agreement with the United Nations pledging to prevent the use of child soldiers and allow access to military units to check for underage recruits, the UN said Wednesday. The action plan, inked by senior military officials and UN representatives in the capital Naypyidaw, is the result of years of negotiation with the government, the UN office in Yangon said in a statement. “We will be able to work closely with the Ministry of Defense and visit various military units to identify under-age children if any, have them registered and released and provide assistance for their reintegration with their families,” said Ramesh Shrestha, the country representative for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “The signing also means serious commitments from the government to ensure that there will be no more recruitment of under age children in the military,” he told AFP, adding that he expected an improvement in

screening for recruitment. There are believed to be thousands of under-18s in Myanmar’s state army and ethnic armed groups, although the exact figure is unknown. “One of the problems is the lack of birth certificate among many young people,” said Shrestha. “Sometimes papers presented by the new recruits are not authentic.” A recent report by the UN accused the military as well as six armed ethnic rebel groups of being “persistent perpetrators” of the recruitment and use of children, including the Kachin Independence Army in the far north of the country. Save the Children country director Kelland Stevenson said that children were often tricked by recruiters. “We know that children do not willingly join the military,” he said in a statement. The agreement is part of efforts by Myanmar’s reformist government to shed its international pariah image following the end of decades of military rule last year. -AFP

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NEWS IN BRIEF Tanzania hunts driver after 43 Ethiopians suffocate in truck

unarmed protesters, but says he never killed anyone. A British report said that McGuinness probably was armed with a submachinegun on Bloody Sunday, but did nothing to provoke the massacre. He has said he left the IRA in 1974, but most historians believe he was active for most of its campaign. For the queen and Prince Philip, who also shook McGuinness’s hand, the Northern Ireland conflict had a personal edge. The queen’s cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten, who was also Philip’s uncle, was killed by the IRA in 1979 with three others, including his 14-year-old grandson, when his boat was blown up while he was on holiday in Ireland. More than 1,000 members of the British security forces were among 3,600 people killed during the 30 years of the “Troubles”. McGuinness told the queen that he agreed with comments she made last year that all victims of the conflict should be remembered, according to a source who was at the meeting. McGuinness said on Tuesday that, while he represented people who had been badly hurt by British state violence, he was also big enough to understand that the queen and other families in Britain had also lost loved ones. Asked by reporters after the meeting if his convictions had changed, he said he was “still a Republican”. Some Republicans branded McGuinness a traitor for meeting a queen who is also commander-in-chief of Britain’s armed forces. “People are not unhappy that someone is shaking her hand, just not him. He’s a hypocrite,” said Martin, a 42-year-old unemployed man who said he and his friends had got criminal records defending their neighborhood in working-class Belfast. “He sent people out to fight. To die. And now he’s putting on a suit and shaking her hand? I don’t want war (but) this shouldn’t have happened till the next generation.” -Reuters

Rebel factions clash in northern Mali: Residents

BAMAKO: Rebel factions in control of northern Mali traded heavy arms fire in the city of Gao on Wednesday, threatening an uneasy power-sharing deal between Tuareg separatists and Al-Qaeda-linked militants. The clashes came a day after at least two people were killed in the town when fighters from the separatist MNLA group broke up a protest march by local youths. Islamist group MUJWA, a splinter group of the area’s Al-Qaeda branch, had sought to intervene between the protesters and the separatists. “The MNLA and MUJWA are launching rockets at each other between the two markets of the town and the governor’s building,” Gao resident Sila Askou said by telephone of the governor’s premises in which the MNLA has set up headquarters. “Right now the only people in the streets are the two armed groups fighting each other. Everyone else is staying at home,” added Askou. The northern rebels routed Mali’s government army in April, taking over the desert two-thirds of the country in the days that followed a coup in the distant southern capital Bamako. However, cracks soon appeared in the rebel front.The MNLA has pushed for the creation of an independent state it calls Azawad, a goal which is not backed by fellow Islamist rebels determined to impose Islamic sharia law across all Mali. The UN Security Council has said it would be ready to support military intervention by Mali’s neighbors to restore stability in the West African country but has said it needs more details of their plans. -Reuters

DAR ES SALAAM: Police in Tanzania are hunting a truck driver who let 43 Ethiopian migrants suffocate to death inside his vehicle, before dumping the bodies and abandoning survivors, officials said Wednesday. “A man hunt is going on for the driver of the lorry that abandoned the Ethiopian immigrants by the roadside,” said Luppy Kung’alo, a Tanzanian police spokesman. Eighty-two other people were inside the truck in central Dodoma province on Tuesday, around 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of the economic capital Dar es Salaam, police said, as they updated an earlier death toll of 42. Survivors told police that while they were locked inside the truck they had screamed to the driver to stop after several people passed out due to the lack of air, said local police chief Zelothe Stephen. When the driver finally stopped, he ordered the migrants dump the corpses and clean the truck, but then roared off leaving the Ethiopians behind in a remote area. Survivors have received medical treatment and are being looked after by the police. -AFP

Bolivia reaches pay deal with striking police: Official LA PAZ: Bolivian President Evo Morales’s government announced Wednesday it has reached a pay deal with striking police, ending a week of protests that erupted across the country. “With this agreement (to raise their salaries) the police will be resuming their duties,” Interior Minister Carlos Romero told reporters. A representative for the police, Esther Corzon, confirmed that pending “approval of our comrades in the nine departments (states) we have signed the agreement” and some uniformed officers already were back on patrol. The deal gives police a monthly pay raise of 100 bolivianos -- roughly $15 US, which raises the base pay for a police officer to 1,945 bolivianos, or $279 US. Bolivia’s deputy minister responsible for matters related to the police, Jorge Perez, said the hard fought deal was the result of “arduous negotiations” but was “for the good of the police and the country,” and would allow “a return to peace” and public order. -AFP

Taiwan probes corruption claims against top official TAIPEI: Taiwan’s prosecutors said Wednesday they would investigate a top cabinet official for allegedly taking bribes, in the latest graft scandal to hit the island. Chief prosecutor Huang Shyh-ming ordered an investigation in to corruption claims against cabinet secretary-general Lin Yi-shih, said a spokesman for the prosecution. Lin, a heavyweight of the ruling Kuomintang party, allegedly took a bribe of Tw$63 million ($2.1 million) in 2010 to help a businessman sign a contract with a state firm, according to the weekly Next magazine. He was accused of soliciting another bribe of Tw$83 million this year from the same businessman, who refused this time and took the matter to the media, according to the report. Lin has flatly denied the allegation, insisting he is a man of integrity. Taiwan has been rocked by a string of high-profile corruption cases implicating top officials, prompting the government of President Ma Ying-jeou to set up a special anti-corruption body last year. -AFP

Alleged Mumbai plotter confirms Pakistan involved THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India: India said on Wednesday that a man arrested on suspicion of helping plot the 2008 Mumbai attacks had “confirmed” during interrogation that Pakistan was involved. India has repeatedly accused its neighbor and arch rival of some degree of involvement in the attacks on its financial capital that killed 166 people and of acting too slowly in arresting those responsible. The latest tit-for-tat underscores the fragility of ties between the nucleararmed neighbors despite the resumption of peace talks broken off after the Mumbai attacks and warming trade relations. However, India on Tuesday emphasized that talks between the Indian and Pakistani foreign secretaries, scheduled for July 4-5 in New Delhi, would go ahead as planned. Indian police arrested Sayeed Zabiuddin Ansari at Delhi airport on June 21, accusing him of helping coordinate the attack by 10 gunmen of Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group from a “control room” in the Pakistani city of Karachi. “He has confirmed that he was in the control room and he has named a few people who were in the control room,” Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said of Ansari, despite the fact he has yet to be charged, let alone found guilty. “So that confirms our suspicion that it was an organized effort which had some kind of state support. The argument that it was non-state actors who were behind the 26/11 massacre is no longer valid. We’ve always said that some state support was there for these people.”

FILE - Smoke rises from the Taj Hotel in Mumbai November 27, 2008. (Reuters)

Indian media reported on Wednesday that members of Pakistan’s ISI military intelligence agency were also in the control room at the time of the attack and supplied the plotters with laptops that enabled them to communicate with the attackers via an Internet voice service. It was not possible to independently verify the information, which was sourced to Indian security officials. Indian officials have in the past accused members of the ISI of involvement in the Mumbai attacks, although on

Wednesday Chidambaram did not directly blame the intelligence agency. Islamabad swiftly rebutted the latest charge. Rehman Malik, an adviser to Pakistan’s prime minister on interior affairs, said there was no record of Ansari having entered the country legally. Pakistan routinely denies Indian accusations of Pakistani involvement in militant attacks on Indian soil. Pakistan denies backing militant groups, but experts believe the security establishment maintains a relationship with LeT. -Reuters


BUSINESS

m ar ket watc h

OIL MARKETS

KUWAIT

DUBAI

QATAR

OMAN

ABU DHABI

BAHRAIN

0.06% 5820

0.16% 1452

0.34% 8166

0.09% 5652

0.49% 2469

0.37% 1124

EGYPT 0.35% 4628

SAUDI 1.66% 6585

US Crude $79.70 $0.34 London Brent $92.99 $0.08 Kuwait Crude $88.25 $0.50 Information Courtesy: KAMCO

Kuwait crude exports to South Korea up 57.3% Remains South Korea’s key crude oil supplier

TOKYO: Kuwait remained South Korea’s number two crude oil supplier in May, with its shipments jumping 57.3 percent from a year earlier to 13.29 million barrels, or 429,000 barrels per day (bpd), according to latest data released by the state-run Korea National Oil Corporation. Kuwait provided 16.1 percent of South Korea’s total crude oil imports in May, compared to an 11.7 percent share in the same month of 2011 and 13.2 percent in April. Overall South Korea’s crude oil imports last month increased 13.9 percent year-on-year to 82.42 million barrels (2.66 million bpd). South Korea, with its heavy industrial base, is the world’s fifth-biggest oil importer. Saudi Arabia was its top crude supplier, with imports from the kingdom rising 22.0 percent from a year earlier to 894,000 bpd. The United Arab Emirates ranked third with 295,000 bpd, up 5.8 percent, followed by and Qatar and Iran. South Korea’s imports of Iranian crude oil plunged 39.5 percent on the year to 128,000 bpd, in its effort to avoid US financial sanctions targeting Iran’s nuclear program. Earlier this month, Washington exempted seven countries - India, Malaysia, South Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan - from financial sanctions in return for significantly reducing purchases of Iranian oil. South Korea’s Ministry of Knowledge Economy said on Tuesday that the country will be forced to halt oil imports from Iran due to European Union sanctions that will ban insurance on Iranian oil shipments from July 1, according to Yonhap News Agency. Currently, European firms cover 100 percent of protection and indemnity insurance on all Iranian oil shipments to South Korea. The ministry’s resources development office also said South Korea has already replaced a “significant amount” of its oil imports from Iran, mostly with increased shipments from four other oil exporting countries - Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Oil falls on Europe anxiety, strike supports

Brent crude oil fell on Wednesday on mounting concerns that European leaders would fail to solve the region’s debt crisis at a meeting this week, offsetting tighter North Sea oil supply which saw it bounce the previous session. Brent crude had fallen 46 cents to $92.56 per barrel by 1054 GMT. US crude was down 17 cents at $79.19.

A child plays in a fountain in a popular shopping district of Beijing on June 27, 2012. Chinese consumers will be the leading buyers of luxury goods brands by 2015, snapping up pricy items at home and abroad, according to a study published recently. (AFP)

An oil strike in Norway closed some oil platforms and pushed up Brent prices on Tuesday. Norway does not plan to intervene to halt the strike and may change its stance should it escalate, labor minister Hanne Bjurstroem said on Wednesday. But low expectations for a bold move from a Thursday summit of European leaders to halt contagion from the 30-month long debt crisis once again switched the focus from supply back to a weak demand outlook. German Chancellor Angela Merkel snuffed out the idea of common euro zone bonds, which are favored by France, Italy and Spain, saying that Europe would not share total debt liability “as long as I live”. “The global supply and demand, or macro concerns on Europe have not really changed, hence it might be difficult to carry on the move of yesterday in crude oil,” said Olivier Jakob at Petromatrix in Zug, Switzerland. Brent on Tuesday posted its largest daily percentage gain since March 1, settling above $93 for the first time in a week after Norway’s Statoil ASA said it would shut four more oil platforms in the North Sea. This will reduce output at the world’s eighthlargest oil producer by 150,000 barrels per day. Brent’s price jump stretched its premium over West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices to more than $13 on Tuesday, the widest in more than a week.

Investors, who are closely watching for clues on the supply-demand dynamic, were awaiting US inventory data from the Energy Information Administration. US crude stockpiles were forecast to have fallen by 500,000 barrels last week because of a drop in imports, an extended Reuters poll of analysts found, ahead of to be released at 1430 GMT. But data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) late on Tuesday showed an unexpected rise of 507,000 barrels last week. Oil is on track to drop more than 20 percent in the second quarter, the largest three-month fall since the financial crisis in 2008, due to demand concerns triggered by economic worries. “At current levels, oil is trading almost exactly at fair value,” Credit Suisse analysts said in a monthly report. “The geopolitical risk premium due to a potential escalation of the situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear program now seems to be priced out completely. Whether this is justified is arguable.” US and EU sanctions on Iranian crude are due to start this week, on July 1, but the impact was expected to be marginal as higher output from OPEC helped fill the shortfall, Creed said. Iran on Tuesday urged the European Union to reconsider the embargo, saying that it wanted engagement and not confrontation with the bloc. -Agencies

Around 3,000 Kuwaiti customs workers went on a week-long strike for higher pay in March, disrupting port traffic, while employees at national carrier Kuwait Airways grounded planes for three days during a walkout. The civil service commission eventually agreed to wage rises of 25 to 30 percent for public sector employees, and proposed increases of up to 330 dinars ($1,190) per month for Kuwaiti private sector workers. Paul Gamble, head of research at Jadwa Investment in Riyadh, said there was very little inflationary pressure coming from abroad, while consumer and government spending were not increasing that much. “In general, the political uncertainty has hindered project implementation, which has kept a lid on one aspect of inflation,” he said. Project spending in Kuwait has been slowed by political instability, which has seen eight govern-

ments come and go in just six years. On Tuesday, thousands of Kuwaitis protested against a court ruling that effectively dissolved a parliament dominated by opposition Islamists. “June will be potentially sluggish but then we have Ramadan coming up, so we will obviously see the usual Ramadan impact on food prices,” Gamble said. Food prices normally rise during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins in late July, as families enjoy elaborate evening meals after a daylight fast. In May, food costs, which account for almost a fifth of Kuwait consumer expenses, fell 1.3 percent month-on-month, after a 2.6 percent plunge in April. Transport prices edged up 0.1 percent from the previous month, KUNA said. Analysts polled by Reuters in March predicted average inflation in Kuwait of 4.5 percent in 2012, down from a three-year high of 4.8 percent last year. -Reuters

MAF in 2nd stab at bond as market, Dubai improve DUBAI: A year after it called off its maiden conventional bond issue in the international market, Dubai’s Majid Al-Futtaim Holding is trying again. This time, stronger global demand for Gulf debt, and better investor sentiment towards Dubai in particular, mean a much smoother ride for MAF. The shopping mall developer is eyeing a sevenyear, $500 million conventional bond, longer than the five-year tenor favored in the region. It released price guidance at 5.375 percent on Wednesday. It tapped the global market with a $400 million, five-year Sukuk (Islamic bond) in February at 5.85 percent. The Sukuk has since rallied to yield 4.47 percent on Wednesday - meaning the company is offering about 90 basis points for an additional 2-1/2 years with its conventional bond. That is seen as an ample premium by many potential investors. “One would expect the conventional bonds to come at a slight premium to the existing 2017 Sukuk although in today’s market, supply/ demand technical factors could well skew this logic,” said John Bates, head of fixed income at asset manager Silk Invest. A regional fixed income trader described the premium as “attractive”. “It has been fairly priced

CURRENCIES US Dollar

British Pound

Saudi Riyal

Qatari Riyal

Indian Rupee

Buy 0.2802 Sell 0.2807

Buy 0.4381 Sell 0.4383

Buy 0.0747 Sell 0.0749

Buy 0.07690 Sell 0.07710

Buy 0.4902 Sell 0.4914

Euro

Japanese Yen

UAE Dirham

Bahraini Dinar

Philippine Peso

Buy 0.3503 Sell 0.3505

Buy 0.3521 Sell 0.3525

Buy 0.0763 Sell 0.0764

Buy 0.7442 Sell 0.7446

Buy 0.00662 Sell 0.00664

Prices in Kuwaiti fils. As of June 27, 2012. Courtesy: KAMCO

US dollar rate stable against Kuwaiti dinar at KD 0.280

KUWAIT: The exchange rate of the US dollar against the Kuwaiti dinar was stable, KD 0.280, as was the case with the euro at KD 0.350 compared to Tuesday’s figures, said the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the exchange rate of the Sterling pound was up to KD 0.438. The Japanese yen remained unchanged at KD 0.003 and the Swiss franc at KD 0.291. -KUNA

KSE mixed at end of Wednesday’s session

Kuwait inflation slows to 25-month low of 2.8% DUBAI: Kuwait’s annual inflation rate eased to a 25-month low of 2.8 percent in May and prices edged down slightly from the previous month, mainly because of cheaper food, state news agency KUNA reported on Wednesday. Inflation in the major oil exporter has been slowing gradually. It hit 3.3 percent in April, down from a peak of 5.4 percent in May 2011. Consumer prices fell 0.1 percent month-onmonth in May, compared to a 0.6 percent drop in April, KUNA said, citing data from the Central Statistics Office. “The low inflation reading is testament to a weak demand climate and anaemic credit growth,” said Liz Martins, senior regional economist at HSBC in Dubai. “Even with the salary hikes we have seen in recent months, we don’t expect a major pick-up in the short- to medium term.”

thursDAY, JUNE 28, 2012

with some value left for investors,” he said. Special factors

In June last year, MAF decided not to issue its bond because of market volatility stemming from the euro zone debt crisis. At the time, sources close to the deal said the company was playing hardball on pricing, which was difficult for a first-time issuer. Since then, MAF may have decided to take a slightly more generous approach to pricing, while February’s successful Sukuk issue has also helped its case. It is riding a general improvement in sentiment towards Dubai issuers, thanks to perceptions that the Gulf is riding out the global financial crisis comfortably and that Dubai is succeeding in solving its corporate debt problems. GCC conventional bond spreads have narrowed about 20 percent this year, according to HSBC NASDAQ Indexes. Dubai’s seven-year credit default swaps were at 385 bps on Wednesday, about 100 bps tighter since mid-January. Beyond these factors, MAF has some special attractions. It has indicated it will cap the new bond at $500 million; limited supply is likely to

support the paper in the secondary market. Also, the company, which is also the sole franchisee for French hypermarket chain Carrefour in the Gulf, can use its rarity value as the only corporate issuer in the Gulf which is both investmentgrade and completely privately owned. So many investors are expected to be eager to diversify their portfolios with MAF. “MAF is a one-off credit within the Gulf region; it is one of the highest-rated private corporates,” Bates said. Growth

MAF’s core business is mall development and the expansion of leisure facilities such as cinemas and retail outlets. The firm, which conceived Dubai’s popular indoor ski slope, plans to build shopping destinations in other parts of the Middle East. The developer has said it expects to open around 15 new Carrefour hypermarkets and about 25 to 30 new supermarkets in 2012. It both builds and operates its malls. It has previously focused on bank financing, but appears to believe funding its ambitious long-term growth plans solely from banks is increasingly difficult and not necessarily desirable. -Reuters

KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange’s KSX 15 index ended Wednesday’s trading session with a gain of 9.32 points to read 985.18 points. The price index was at 5,820.94 points losing 3.4 points. The weighted index went up 2.37 points to 403.71 points. Trades came 3,745 to transactions, worth KD 19,130,053.515 and volume reached 174,076,951 shares. Top share for the day was that of Amar for Finance and Leasing Company. The biggest loser was the Contracting and Marine Services Company (CMS). Top

volume share was that of Al-Safwa Group. The 14 sector indices were mostly in the green zone. Kuwait Stock Exchange indices were red, on Wednesday, at the start of trading session at 9:30 a.m. The price index read 5,813.87 points, a down of 10.47 points. The weighted index read 400.85 points, a loss of 0.49 points, and the KSX 15 index also showed a drop of 2.44 points at 973.42 points. Trades came to 644 transactions by that time, worth KD 3,874,234.616, with 35,551,682 shares changing hands so far. -KUNA

Real-estate business grows more than 33% KUWAIT: Number of transactions in the real-estate sector increased by 33.5 percent during the January-May period of 2012 compared with the same period of 2011, according to a statistical report released by Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) on Wednesday. Value of transactions grew 10.2 percent year-on-year (Y-o-Y). In May-12, number of deals declined 35.8 percent Y-o-Y and 56 percent month-on-month (M-o-M). Value of the dealings dropped 24.6 percent Y-o-Y and 45.1 percent M-o-M. Separately, administrative procedures for allocation of 7,400 private residential units (600 sq.m each) west of Abdullah Al-Mubarak and, 52,625 units north of Subbiya (400 sq. m each) have been completed. Procedures for an additional allocation of 48,000 private residential units were underway. In Dubai, credit rating agency Fitch noted stability in the industrial and office rents in JAFZ (Jabal Ali Free Zone) and expects rental stability to flow from a high land lease renewal rate, as 80 percent of the companies have been operating since January 2007. Fitch also observed high occupancy rates in the free zone, with 79 percent of leasable land, 90 percent of warehouses, 78 percent of offices and 88 percent of onsite residential accommodation being occupied as of December 2011. Although the agency expects the free zone’s business to be less volatile compared to the overall office market in the emirate, they expect the short-term nature of rental contracts at JAFZ, with 60 percent of the rents contracted for one year and, oncoming supply of rental properties to have an impact on the free zone’s earnings. In the UAE: Institute of International Finance (IIF) estimates real GDP growth to slow down to 2.8 percent Y-o-Y in 2012 and 3.2 percent in 2013 from 4.2 percent in 2011, primarily due to steep decline in growth of crude oil output. In Qatar, NAI Qatar in its latest monthly release indicated that residential rentals remained largely stable on M-o-M basis. Rentals for furnished units increased 0.5 percent M-o-M, while those for unfurnished units edged down 2.1 percent M-o-M. On Y-o-Y basis, a prominent downtrend in rentals could be noted, barring those for three-bedroom furnished and one-bedroom unfurnished apartments. Furnished villas led the decline with a 6.9 percent Y-o-Y correction. -KUNA

Qtel submits offer to purchase shares in Wataniya Kuwait

DOHA: Qatar Telecom (Qtel) confirms it has submitted an offer document for approval from the Kuwait Capital Market’s Authority (CMA), which may lead to an offer for all the issued shares of National Mobile Telecommunications Company KSC (NMTC or Wataniya Telecom or Wataniya) not already owned by Qtel. This was mentioned in a press release on Wednesday. The proposed offer

is in line with Qtel’s strategy to simplify the Group structure while providing an attractive offer to minority shareholders. Any offer would be subject to the relevant regulatory approvals. This is not an offer for the purchase of shares. The CMA has taken the decision to suspend trading in Wataniya’s shares while the CMA reviews the offer document. Further updates will follow in due course.

Iraq deputy Finance minister sees 2013 budget above $110 billion BAGHDAD: Iraq’s 2013 budget is expected to rise to around 130 trillion Iraqi dinars ($111.4 billion), based on an oil price of $85 per barrel and crude exports of 2.9 million barrels per day, the country’s deputy finance minister said on Wednesday. “It will be bigger than the current budget,” Fadhil Nabi told Reuters. “We’ve finished the broad outline of the budget. We have started discussions with the ministries and directorates. God-willing, according to the schedule, it’s supposed to be sent to cabinet by September 15.” Iraq’s parliament approved a 2012 budget of $100 billion in February, based on an average oil price of $85 per barrel and 2.6 million bpd in exports. The budget covers operational and investment spending and Nabi said he expected 50 trillion dinars to be allocated to investment projects next year. Iraq has the world’s fourth largest oil reserves and is currently exporting an average of 2.4 million barrels per day. -Reuters


ALWATAN DAILY

BUSINESS

7

THURSdAY, June 28, 2012

Glencore under pressure to sweeten bid for Xstrata

LONDON: Commodities trader Glencore will need to sweeten its 26 billion US dollar bid for miner Xstrata or risk losing a deal it has coveted for years after key shareholder Qatar made a late demand for better terms. Qatar, which remained silent for months as it built the second-largest stake in Xstrata, said in a surprise statement on Tuesday that it supported the principle of the deal but wanted 3.25 new Glencore shares for every Xstrata share, up from the 2.8 on offer. The 11th-hour rebuff will make it very difficult for Glencore and Xstrata to push the merger through on current terms, several sources close to the deal said, leaving just two days for Glencore to sweeten the offer or delay shareholder meetings scheduled for mid-July. The very public move could embolden other vacillating investors, particularly those angry over the hefty packages being offered to retain top executives at Xstrata, including an extra 29 million pounds over three years just to keep Chief Executive Mick Davis. “The intervention by Qatar was unexpected but highly welcome and will certainly bolster the resolve of current holdouts,” Simon Wong, partner at corporate governance watchdog and shareholder advisory firm, Governance for Owners. “Most investors understand the rationale for the proposed merger and, in that sense, there may not be lasting damage at the company level. At the board level, it may be difficult to restore trust with shareholders without changes in board leadership.” Analysts and other Xstrata shareholders warned that the stakes were high as Glencore could refuse to budge, effectively kicking the deal down the road for at least six months or as much as 12. “Whether Glencore now wishes to raise its offer, having faced down independent shareholders for the last four months, is questionable,” said Neil Dwane of CIO Allianz Global Investors Europe, another top 35 Xstrata investor. “The Qatar ratio would be circa 10 percent dilutive to Glencore. In fact, given the coordinated global economic slowdown, an argument could be made for actually lowering the price to reflect worsening prospects for miners.” Charm offensive

The statement triggered intense negotiations and an emergency charm offensive from Glencore executives trying to understand the Gulf state’s motivations and bring them back onside. “Glencore need to talk to Qatar and find out what they are thinking,” said one source familiar with the matter, adding it was too soon to write off the deal. In the first sign of movement, Glencore released a short statement on Wednesday morning saying the board of Xstrata had proposed to change certain aspects of the management incentive arrangements. A source familiar with the situation said the proposed changes included tying the retention packages to performance and shifting the plans from cash to equity. “On the surface, one cannot understand why Xstrata’s CEO requires a retention package given that he will be the CEO of the combined entity and, moreover, he is already extremely well compensated,” said Wong at Governance for Owners. “I really don’t expect them to go to 3.25 or to get rid of the retention package completely, but I think it may well be

worth their while to come up with some sort of compromise,” said Charles Stanley analyst Tom Gidley-Kitchin. At a ratio of 3.25 percent, the offer would be worth $30 billion as opposed to $26 billion for a ratio of 2.8. The structure of the offer gives minority investors substantial power - opposition from just over 16.5 percent of the total shareholding could sink the deal, given approval is required from 75 percent for the main vote on the offer, and Glencore does not vote. The vote on pay requires a simple majority, but both will need to go through for the deal to succeed. Glencore, which made its move on Xstrata in February, had been expected to improve the terms of its all-share deal in the early days after the offer was announced. But those hopes faded in the months that followed as Glencore, already Xstrata’s largest shareholder, with almost 34 percent, stuck to its guns, as target Xstrata faced falling thermal coal prices and increased uncertainty over Argentina and Peru - key to its growth prospects. Moving target

On Tuesday, before Qatar’s unexpected announcement, Xstrata shares were trading around a 2.6 ratio, implying the market was not expecting a change to terms. Shares in both firms moved wildly on Wednesday, with Glencore down 3.4 percent at 0925 GMT and Xstrata down 1.5 percent. Analysts said it was not clear Glencore would raise its bid as high as 3.25 - at the high end of initial expectations and a level at which some say the deal could destroy value for Glencore. “We believe a bump - probably from 2.8 to 3.0 Glencore shares per Xstrata share - may be necessary to win over (Qatar) and other Xstrata shareholders,” Jefferies analysts said. “However, we do not believe Glencore will bump to a ratio of 3.25 times.” Analysts said failure to secure the deal would not only cause a short-term drop in Xstrata shares, currently trading at a premium to the sector, but would also prove damaging for Glencore, whose bosses have long traded on their reputation as dealmakers. It would also, though, prove potentially damaging for Qatar, which has invested more than $4 billion to become Xstrata’s largest minority shareholder. Several sources close to the deal said on Tuesday that Qatar’s demand for 3.25 was likely a negotiating position, part of a strategy that included Tuesday’s unexpectedly public statement. “In our view, the news about Qatar requesting a bump and the recent strong shareholder opposition to the Xstrata management retention awards are problems. But ... these are likely not insurmountable hurdles to the proposed Glencore Xstrata merger,” Jefferies said. “We continue to expect this proposed merger to happen.” Richard Marwood, a portfolio manager at AXA Investment Managers, a top 40 Xstrata investor, said the external pressure from Qatar would give Glencore an opportunity to revise the terms “without too much loss of face”. Glencore and Xstrata have until Thursday to alter the terms of the deal without having to change the dates of shareholder votes, set for mid July. Glencore and Xstrata have declined to comment on the Qatari announcement. -Reuters

Iran in talks to increase gas exports

MOSCOW: Iran, which faces tightening sanctions on its oil industry aimed at halting development of its nuclear program, is looking to export more gas to India and Pakistan to make up for a fall in crude exports, a National Iranian Oil Company official said. “We are trying to compensate (for) the less (oil) export,” NIOC’s managing director for research and technology, Mohammad Ali Emadi told reporters at a Moscow conference on Wednesday. “We are in negotiation with Pakistan and India to increase export of natural gas.” Customers in Europe and Asia have been scaling back purchases of Iranian crude ahead of European Union bans on imports and tanker insurance for ships carrying Iranian crude that are due to come into effect on July 1. Crude exports of Iran had dropped to 1.2-1.3 million barrels per day by the middle of last week, oil company sources and a firm that tracks oil shipments said. “It was 20 to 30 percent we reduce regarding to our export,” Emadi told reporters in English. “Some part of the reduction is shifting for the refinery internally.” “We gradually started to reduce (oil exports). It is not because of the sanctions but sometime regarding overhaul maintenance of the wells,” he said. “Normally we export 2.2 million. And 4.1 (million bpd) was oil production.” In more news, Iran acknowledged for the first time on Wednesday that its oil exports have fallen sharply, down 20-30 percent from normal volumes of 2.2 million barrels daily.

A National Iranian Oil Company official in Moscow denied exports had been hit by sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program, saying that oilfields were under maintenance and crude production was being diverted for refining. But the admission that exports have fallen substantially is a change of tack from Tehran which until now has denied that the US and European measures have had much or any impact. “It was 20 to 30 percent we reduce regarding to our export,” NIOC official Mohammad Ali Emadi said in English. “Some part of the reduction is shifting for the refinery internally.” Customers in Europe and Asia have been scaling back purchases of Iranian crude ahead of European Union bans on imports and tanker insurance for ships carrying Iranian crude that are due to come into effect on July 1. Emadi said Iran’s normal crude exports were 2.2 million bpd, in line with external estimates. A 20-30 percent fall would put Iranian exports at 1.54-1.76 million bpd, off 440-660,000 bpd. That is still above most third-party estimates which put Iran’s crude exports in June at about 1.3 million bpd. “We gradually started to reduce, It is not because of the sanctions but sometime regarding overhaul maintenance of the wells,” said Emadi. The NIOC official said Iran wanted to export more gas to India and Pakistan to make up for the fall in crude exports. Iran has long aspired to export gas east but would require heavy investment in a pipeline or liquefied natural gas facilities to do so. -Reuters

Wednesday 27 June 2012 Index Price index Weighted Index KSX 15

Change ź Ÿ Ÿ

-3.40 2 37 2.37 9.32

Security

High

Low

Volume

MARIN

142

136

15000

IKARUS

0

0

0

330

320

0

0

IPG NAPESCO

Closing

Last Closing

High

Low

5,820.94 403 71 403.71 985.18

5,824.34 401 34 401.34 975.86

5,839.99 403 71 403.71 985.18

5,806.79 399 53 399.53 968.32

Trades Value (KD)

Volume Value (KWD) Number of Trades Trades Value (KD)

Trades

Last

2 070 2,070

3

142

ź

-14 0 -14.0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

201,349

65,438

11

320

ź

-5.0

SRE

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

PEARL

31

31

150,380

4,662

Change

Security

Volume

174,113,532 19 132 477 19,132,477 3,766

Trades

Last

Change

High

Low

URC

106

106

66 000 66,000

6 996 6,996

4

106

ŷ

00 0.0

NRE

116

116

100,000

11,600

3

116

ź

-2.0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

8

31

ź

-2.5

AREFENRGY

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

TAM

218

218

600

131

1

218

ź

-8.0

GPI

55

50

158,199

8,209

19

54

Ÿ

3.0

AREEC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

ABAR

176

172

2,000 376,548

350 76,067

3 36

176 930.50

ź ź

-4.0 -11.84

MASSALEH ARABREC

92 32

85 31

12,799 262,000

1,144 8,198

4 11

90 32

ŷ Ÿ

0.0 0.5

UREC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

PIPE

110

108

256,600

28,126

14

110

ŷ

0.0

ERESCO

90

87

739

66

2

90

ŷ

0.0

KFOUC

300

300

200

60

1

300

Ÿ

15.0

MABANEE

1,100

1,020

1,038,243

1,095,466

76

1,100

Ÿ

60.0

BPCC

590

580

216 630 216,630

125 811 125,811

7

590

ŷ

0.0

INJAZZAT

59

58

130 000 130,000

7 550 7,550

6

58

ź

-1.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

INVESTORS

18

17

9,799,510

171,504

109

18

Ÿ

1.0

194

190

870,410 1,343,840

167,398 321,394

47 69

194 941.53

Ÿ Ÿ

4.0 12.46

IRC ALTIJARIA

40 79

39 78

799,600 641,304

31,231 50,243

31 27

39 79

ŷ ź

0.0 -1.0

SANAM

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

AAYANRE

75

72

2,369,000

173,801

58

73

ź

-1.0 -5.0

Oil & Gas

ALKOUT ALQURAIN Basic Materials KCEM REFRI

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

AQAR

94

94

10,000

940

2

94

ź

CABLE

1,140

1,140

16,744

19,088

6

1,140

ŷ

0.0

ALAQARIA

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

SHIP

182

180

41,000

7,386

8

180

ŷ

0.0

MAZAYA

72

70

30,923

2,200

8

72

Ÿ

5.0

PCEM

860

850

81,244

69,060

10

860

ŷ

0.0

ADNC

28

26

5,268,615

139,759

105

26

ź

-0.5

PAPER

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

THEMAR

90

90

10,000

900

1

90

Ÿ

5.0

MRC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

GRAND

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

ACICO

228

224

41,152

9,218

6

228

ź

-6.0

TIJARA

38

38

40,000

1,520

1

38

ŷ

0.0

GGMC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

TAAMEER

41

41

520

21

1

41

ź

-0.5

HCC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

ARKAN

90

80

600

49

3

80

ź

-5.0

KPAK

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

ARGAN

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

KBMMC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

ABYAAR

41

39

10,905,000

427,980

113

39

ź

-0.5

NICBM

295

260

1,005

265

2

295

Ÿ

20.0

MUNSHAAT

28

27

2,940,220

78,756

99

27

ź

-0.5

EQUIPMENT

144

136

51,000

7,004

6

138

ź

-8.0

FIRSTDUBAI

38

34

224,400

7,947

7

37

Ÿ

1.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

KBT

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

134

122

20,101

2,454

3

122

ź

-10.0

REAM

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

NCCI GYPSUM SALBOOKH

33

33

370,000

12,036

7

33

ź

-2.5

MENA

34

34

243,000

8,141

7

34

ź

-2.5

AGLTY

375

375

216,000

81,000

16

375

ŷ

0.0

ALMUDON

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

EDU

95

95

5,990

569

2

95

ź

-5.0

MARAKEZ

38

35

138,037

5,118

20

38

Ÿ

1.5

CLEANING CITYGROUP

112 550

112 550

30,000 50

3,360 28

2 1

112 550

ŷ Ÿ

0.0 30.0

REMAL Real Estate

340

330

3,237,850 45,370,897

1,082,256 3,491,827

61 904

335 906.72

Ÿ ź

5.0 -0.37 0.0

KGL

92

88

241,000

21,751

24

90

Ÿ

1.0

KCPC

320

300

50,300

15,196

5

320

Ÿ

5.0

KINV

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

HUMANSOFT

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

FACIL

280

280

138,960

38,909

7

280

ŷ

0.0

NAFAIS

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

IFA

38

36

1,554,000

57,032

38

37

ź

-0.5

SAFWAN

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

NINV

106

102

2,608,753

271,211

69

106

Ÿ

4.0

GFC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

KPROJ

325

320

305,860

98,130

13

325

ź

-5.0

20

19

4,207,279

82,409

48

20

ź

-0.5

COAST

41

40

2,115,001

84,682

44

40

ŷ

0.0

1,240

1,200

46,330

56,424

8

1,240

Ÿ

20.0

TII

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

MTCC

83

82

174,096

14,400

13

83

Ÿ

1.0

SECH

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

UPAC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

IIC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

ALAFCO

275

275

231,250

63,594

8

275

ŷ

0.0

SGC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

MUBARRAD

47

46

1,215,081

56,262

45

46

ŷ

0.0

IFC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

LOGISTICS

214

214

40,750

8,721

9

214

ŷ

0.0

MARKAZ

108

108

1,000

108

1

108

ź

-4.0

SCEM

70

70

12

1

1

70

ź

-1.0

KMEFIC

52

47

20,050

943

10

47

ź

-2.5 0.0

MAYADEEN CGC

GCEM

88

87

265,000

23,311

10

88

ŷ

0.0

AIG

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

QCEM

58

58

25,000

1,450

3

58

ź

-2.0

ALAMAN

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

FCEM

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

ALOLA

134

132

305,000

40,270

4

134

ŷ

0.0

RKWC Industrials

0

0

0 7,370,384

0 554,986

0 243

0 890.72

ŷ ź

0.0 -4.03 4.03

ALMAL GIH

38 26

37 25

814,500 7,514,500

30,588 189,390

26 107

38 26

Ÿ ŷ

0.5 0.0

AAYAN

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

KSH

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

BAYANINV

34

33

50,310

1,681

4

34

ŷ

0.0

NSH

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

GLOBAL

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

PAPCO

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

OSOUL

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

CATTL

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

KFIC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

DANAH

83

80

180,000

14,600

12

80

ź

-2.0

KAMCO

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

POULT FOOD Consumer Goods MHC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

1,280

1,260

55,418 235,418

70,925 85,525

8 20

1,280 915.06

Ÿ ź

20.0 -0.93

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

NIH

34

34

3,750

127

4

34

Ÿ

2.5

ISKAN MADAR

0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0

ŷ ŷ

0.0 0.0

ALDEERA

32

30

882,799

26,995

49

31

ŷ

0.0

ALSAFAT

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

ALSALAM

232

224

5,253,235

1,192,550

179

230

Ÿ

6.0

EKTTITAB QURAINHLD

67 0

64 0

9,766,574 0

635,304 0

196 0

65 0

Ÿ ŷ

1.0 0.0 -0.5

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

430

430

100 100

43 43

2 2

430 1176.13

ŷ ŷ

0 0.00

ALMADINA

47

46

5,691,903

265,212

123

46

ź

KCIN

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

NOOR

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

KHOT

214

212

10,109 10 109

2,163 2 163

2

214

Ÿ

8

TAMINV

164

160

5,080 080

813

3

164

ŷ

0 0.0 0

SULTAN

102

102

106,992

10,913

7

102

ŷ

0

EXCH

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

TAIBA

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

ATC YIACO Health Care

CABLETV EYAS

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

KSHC

29

29

1,700

49

1

29

ŷ

0.0

IFAHR

315

310

9,500

2,946

3

315

Ÿ

5

STRATEGIA

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

MASHAER

250

248

4,000

993

3

250

ŷ

0

KCIC

60

60

30,000

1,800

2

60

ź

-1.0 1.0

OULAFUEL

320

300

41,077

12,495

12

300

ŷ

0

MANAFAE

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

GNAHC

39

34

90,350

3,278

5

38

Ÿ

2.0

JAZEERA

345

335

96,000

32,870

6

335

ŷ

0

AMWAL

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

SOOR

244

240

177,698

43,128

29

244

Ÿ

10

MASAR

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

ALIMTIAZ

85

83

631,443

52,821

48

83

Ÿ

1.0 1 1.0 0

MUNTAZAHAT

FUTUREKID

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

MANAZEL

26

24

12,097,400 12 097 400

299 422 299,422

178

25

Ÿ

ALRAI

114

106

155

16

2

114

ŷ

0

NIND

202

200

502,100

101,408

19

202

ŷ

0.0

ZIMAH

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

UIC

88

88

100,000

8,800

5

88

ź

-1.0

UFIG

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

BIIHC

58

54

10,005

540

2

58

Ÿ

4.0

KOUTFOOD Consumer Services

0

0

0 445,531

0 105,524

0 64

0 947.88

ŷ Ÿ

0 5.04

SHOP SENERGY

0 61

0 60

0 255,000

0 15,350

0 7

0 61

ŷ ŷ

0.0 0.0

AGHC

134

134

700

94

1

134

ŷ

0.0

740

730

2,169,991

1,584,112

86

730

ŷ

0

ALSAFWA

19

18

21,098,924

375,774

197

18

ŷ

0.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

KPPC

69

68

20,000

1,370

2

69

ŷ

0.0

HITSTELEC 74 Telecommunications

72

6,645,500 8,815,491

483,803 2,067,915

104 190

72 903.30

ź ź

-1 -3.66

TAHSSILAT JEERANH

42 0

42 0

5,500 0

228 0

1 0

42 0

ź ŷ

-2.5 0.0

ALNAWADI

ZAIN NMTC

EKHOLDING

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0 0 0

NBK

1,040

1,000

1,537,453

1,568,201

97

1,040

Ÿ

20

GFH

38

36

14,314,002

527,343

195

37

ź

-0.5

GBK CBK

430 800

420 760

1,298,264 52,388

548,898 40,064

38 6

430 780

Ÿ ź

10 -10

INOVEST Financial Services

48

46

1,615,103 87,803,502

75,487 4,397,709

46 1,586

47 838.31

ź Ÿ

-0.5 1.86

ABK

590

590

44,000

25,960

1

590

ź

-10

ALMUTAHED KIB

880 255

870 250

60,370 194,649

53,122 48,662

3 17

880 255

ź Ÿ

-10 10 5

MAREF 0 Investment Instruments

0

0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0.00

ŷ ŷ

0.0 0.00

BURG

430

425

593,382

252,262

36

430

ŷ

0

KFIN

740

720

6,600,641

4,804,218

171

740

Ÿ

10

ASC

500

475

80,500

38,625

3

500

ŷ

0.0

BOUBYAN

620

610

271,824

167,365

23

620

ŷ

0

SAFTEC

63

62

113,910

7,141

11

63

ŷ

0.0

UGB

154

154

19,774

3,045

2

154

ź

-10

FUTURE

228

228

150

34

1

228

Ÿ

6.0

AUB ITHMR

0 35

0 33

0 10,400,742

0 350,432

0 171

0 34

ŷ Ÿ

0 1

HAYATCOMM Technology

118

112

1,041,900 1 041 900 1,236,460

120,504 120 504 166,305

44 59

112 1110.77

ź ź

-8.0 80 -11.83

21,073,487

7,862,230

565

955.94

ź

-1.53 0.0

Banks

BAREEQ

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

AFAQ

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

0.0

ALSHAMEL

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

KINS

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

GINS

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

AINS

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

SAFRE

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

WINS

102

99

5,093

519

3

102

ź

-6.0

AJWAN

33

30

1,431

46

7

33

Ÿ

1.0

KUWAITRE

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

SPEC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

FTI

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

MASAKEN

30

30

400

12

2

30

ź

-1.5

WETHAQ

45

42

200

9

4

45

Ÿ

1.5

DALQAN

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

ARIG

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

00 0.0

ALEID

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

00 0.0

BKIKWT Insurance

0

0

0 5,293

0 528

0 7

0 914.67

ŷ ź

0.0 -0.71

MIDAN FLEX

0 91

0 83

0 13,700

0 1,139

0 9

0 83

ŷ ź

0.0 -5.0

THURAYA AINV

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

SOKOUK KRE

24 48

23 48

6,441,557 510,000

149,391 24,260

125 11

24 48

Ÿ ź

1.5 -0.5

102

96

1,050

107

2

102

ŷ

0.0

KCLINIC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

AMAR Parallel Market

56

56

20,000 36,581

1,120 2,423

1 21

56 1010.97

Ÿ ź

5.0 -2.68

For more information, call 1 80 42 42, www.globalinv.net


LIFE

thursdAY, June 28, 2012

Arctic sea-ice levels at record low for June Scientists say that the latest observations suggest that Arctic sea ice cover is continuing to shrink and thin

LONDON: Sea ice in the Arctic has melted faster this year than ever recorded before, according to the US government’s National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) reports The Guardian. Satellite observations show the extent of the floating ice that melts and refreezes every year was 318,000 square miles less last week than the same day period in 2007, the year of record low extent, and the lowest observed at this time of year since records began in 1979. Separate observations by University of Washington researchers suggest that the volume of Arctic sea ice is also the smallest ever calculated for this time of year. Scientists cautioned that it is still early in the “melt season”, but said that the latest observations suggest that the Arctic sea ice cover is continuing to shrink and thin and the pattern of record annual melts seen since 2000 is now well established. Last year saw the second greatest sea ice melt on record, 36% below the average minimum from 19792000. “Recent ice loss rates have been 100,000 to 150,000 square kilometers (38,600 to 57,900 square miles) per day, which is more than double the climatological rate. While the extent is at a record low for the date, it is still early in the melt season. Changing weather patterns throughout the summer will affect the exact trajectory of the sea ice extent through the rest of the melt season,” said a spokesman for the NSIDC. The increased melting is believed to be a result of climate change. Arctic temperatures have risen more than twice as fast as the global average over the past half century.

FILE - Scientists say Arctic sea ice has plummeted to its lowest levels ever this year. (AFP)

Shipping companies said they would be able to send more ships to China and Japan through the previously impassable waters north of Russia if the ice continued to melt so fast. The “northern sea route”, which normally requires ice breakers, cuts about 4,000 nautical miles off a journey from Europe to China and can save tens of thousands of pounds in fuel bills.

Dolphin genes hold clues to animal intelligence NEWYORK: Evolution-wise, bottlenose dolphins have left their mammalian brothers in the dust, and new research is showing what genes they changed to do it according to LiveScience. These genes include those involved in brain and metabolism. These changes could be why dolphins are known to be exceptionally smart, able to use tools, recognize themselves and even communicate with each other and with trainers. “We are interested in what makes a big brain from a molecular perspective,” study researcher Michael McGowen, of Wayne State University School of Medicine in Michigan, told LiveSCience. “We decided to look at genes in the dolphin genome to see if there are similarities in the genes that have changed on the dolphin lineage and those that have changed on the primate lineage.” The researchers compared about 10,000 genes from the bottlenose dolphin with nine other animals. (These included the cow, horse, dog, mouse, human, elephant, opossum, platypus and chicken - cows being the dolphin’s closest relatives with a sequenced genome.) By studying its mutations, they pinpointed which genes were “evolving” or what scientists call “being selected for” - genes that underwent changes and were passed on to future generations of dolphins - by comparing them to the analogous genes from the other species. If a dolphin gene has more protein-changing mutations than the cow version, for instance, that means it was actively evolving in the dolphin population at some time. More than 200 of the genes in their survey were drastically changed in the dolphins. Twenty-seven of these were involved in the nervous system (like the brain and

sensory organs). There were also many changes in the genes related to metabolism (similar to changes seen in primates), which McGowen said are important because, “brain tissue uses much more energy than other tissues.” While we know these genes are associated with the brain, and this study says the genes are different in smarter animals, the researchers caution against linking them directly. Differences in the gene’s “code” doesn’t mean the gene actually acts any differently in the animal. “We may not know exactly what they do yet even in humans or mice (the two most well-characterized mammals from a genetic perspective), much less dolphins; however, their function in the brain points to their importance,” McGowen said. “Probably, changes in these genes could have led to the amazing cognitive capacity seen in dolphins - it definitely points in that direction.” Unexpectedly, the researchers also saw that the dolphins were evolving more slowly than some of the other animals, a trait also seen in other mammals with big brains. “Over time (since the split between dolphins and cows about 70 million years ago), we observe many more mutations or changes in the DNA along the cow branch (and indeed horse and dog branches) than we do along the dolphin branch,” McGowen told LiveScience in an email. “This is exactly what we see in primates and elephants.” This is probably because these animals are using a different life-history approach investing more in their offspring, but having fewer babies - which leads to slower evolution. “It is striking that we see such similar molecular rates between all of these lineages and they have all such comparative large brains,” McGowen said of the dolphins and primates.

Indigenous people occupy Amazon dam construction site

PARIS: More than 150 indigenous people are occupying one of the construction sites for the huge Belo Monte hydro-electric dam across the Xingu River in the Brazilian Amazon, a local spokesman said Tuesday. “They have for the past five days been occupying the Pimentel site where the river has already dried up and they are awaiting the arrival (Thursday) of the head of the Norte Energia consortium in charge of the works,” said Cleanton Ribeiro, a spokesman for the indigenous missionary Council Cimi. “They are demanding demarcation of their lands, the expulsion of invaders, an improved health system and running water,” he added. “They no longer believe in the promises made (by the consortium) and say they will leave only when concrete steps begin,” Ribeiro noted. The activists include members of the Xicrin, Juruna, Aarara, Aawete, Assurini and Parakanawa tribes. Norte Energia says some 17 socio-economic and environmental projects worth $117 million have already been launched in the region, the business daily Valor reported Monday. The third largest dam in the world, the 11,200-megawatt Belo Monte is one of several hydro projects meant to provide Brazil with clean energy for its fast-growing economy. Work began a year ago, despite fierce opposition from local people and green activists. Indigenous groups fear the dam will harm their way of life while environmentalists have warned of deforestation, greenhouse-gas emissions and irreparable damage to the ecosystem. Belo Monte is expected to flood an area of 500 square kilometers (200 square miles) along the Xingu and displace 16,000 people, according to the government, although some NGOs put the number at 40,000 displaced. The federal government plans to invest a total $1.2 billion to assist the displaced, by the time the dam is completed in 2019. -AFP

“This year we expect to send six to eight vessels through the north-east passage, compared to none just a few years ago. There are advantages but there are extra costs and it needs special ships,” said a spokesman for Copenhagenbased Nordic Bulk Carriers, the first company to use the northern sea route in 2010. More open water during the summer is expected to help

Russian, US and European oil companies to move into the Arctic. This week Norway announced plans to issue oil and gas exploration permits for up to 86 offshore tracts, most of them in Arctic waters, by the end of 2013. Russian companies have already drilled exploratory wells and Shell is preparing to sink two exploration wells in US Arctic Ocean waters - one between Alaska and Siberia and north of the Bering Strait, the other in the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska. The record speed of ice melt in the Arctic this year coincides, but is not necessarily linked to heatwaves in Siberia, record temperatures in eastern US and some of the most extreme weather ever recorded in the UK and northern Europe. The link between melting Arctic ice and extreme weather in the northern hemisphere is not established, but the UK Met Office and recent scientific reports have suggested that declining sea ice is linked to colder winters. Marine biologists this month said that the warming Arctic could be having major ecological effects. Scientists funded by Nasa working 100km from the nearest unfrozen waters reported in the journal Science that they had last year unexpectedly found vast concentrations of microscopic phytoplankton - the foundation of the marine food chain under the ice, which they described as like finding a rainforest in the desert. Until now, they had believed phytoplankton grew only in open water. The massive sub-glacial “algal bloom”, they said, could be a sign that as the that the ice may now be thin enough to allow sunlight to catalyze algal blooms without it melting completely. “We were astonished. It was completely unexpected. It was literally the most intense phytoplankton bloom I have ever seen in my 25 years of doing this type of research,” said Prof Kevin Arrigo, a scientist at Stanford University in California. The findings, if confirmed, could affect the global carbon cycle because phytoplankton absorb carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.

Atmospheres of alien planets revealed by new method

WASHINGTON: The atmospheres of alien planets can now be probed even if they are not illuminated by stars directly behind them, astronomers say according to SPACE. A new method used to scan the atmosphere of a distant “hot Jupiter” world could eventually reveal insights about many distant alien planets including, perhaps, whether or not they support life, the researchers added. “If we could detect gases like oxygen, these could point to biological activity,” study co-author Ignas Snellen, an astronomer at Leiden University in the Netherlands, told SPACE. Scientists have analyzed the atmospheres of exoplanets before, but only when those worlds passed in front of their parent stars, much like Venus did during its recent transit of the sun. The change in the light of a star as it streams through an exoplanet’s atmosphere can reveal details about the air’s composition. Different molecules absorb light in distinct ways, resulting in patterns known as spectra that allow scientists to identify what they are. Now scientists have for the first time analyzed the atmosphere of an exoplanet that, like most such alien worlds, does not pass between its star and Earth. The planet in question is Tau Boštis b, one of the first exoplanets to be discovered back in 1996 and one of the nearest exoplanets to Earth

known, at about 51 light-years away. The world is a “hot Jupiter” - a gas giant orbiting very close to its parent star. The exoplanet’s parent star, Tau Boštis, is easily visible with the naked eye, but the planet is not. Up to now, Tau Boštis b was only detectable through its gravitational pull on the star. An international team caught the faint infrared glow from Tau Boštis b using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). “We were able to study the spectrum of the system in much more detail than has been possible before,” study lead author Matteo Brogi, of Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands, said in a statement. “Only about 0.01 percent of the light we see comes from the planet, and the rest from the star, so this was not easy.” A wealth of information

Seeing the planet’s light directly also enabled the astronomers to measure the angle of the planet’s orbit, helping them deduce its mass - six times that of Jupiter’s - accurately for the first time. “The new VLT observations solve the 15-yearold problem of the mass of Tau Boštis b. And the new technique also means that we can now study the atmospheres of exoplanets that don’t transit

their stars, as well as measuring their masses accurately, which was impossible before,” Snellen said. “This is a big step forward.” The spectra also yielded details about the temperature of the exoplanet’s atmosphere at different altitudes. Surprisingly, they found the planet’s atmosphere seems to be cooler higher up, the opposite of what is seen with other hot Jupiters. Earth’s atmosphere is cooler at higher altitudes, the closer air gets to the frigid depths of space. Hot Jupiters, on the other hand, typically have atmospheres that are warmer farther up, perhaps due to gases present in their higher layers, such as titanium oxide. Tau Boštis is a star very high in ultraviolet activity, radiation that may destroy these heatabsorbing gases and give Tau Boštis b an atmosphere with temperature features more like Earth’s, researchers said. The researchers focused on the spectrum of carbon monoxide, which is expected to be the second-most common gas in the atmospheres of hot Jupiters, after hydrogen. Unlike hydrogen, carbon monoxide has very strong and observable infrared spectral features. Future research can concentrate on other common gases in hot Jupiter atmospheres, such as water vapor and methane.

Dinosaurs may be warm-blooded after all: Study NEW YORK: Dinosaurs may not have been the slow, sunbathing reptiles researchers used to think. In fact, they may have been warm-blooded, new research suggests according to LiveScience. The researchers studied the “growth lines” on animal bones, which are similar to the growth rings in tree trunks. During slow-growing times like during the winter, they are darker and narrower, while in fast-growing times the bones have lighter, wider bands. Figuring out if dinosaurs were warm-blooded endotherms (made their own body heat) or were “cold-blooded” ectotherms that relied on outside sources of warmth could illuminate a lot about how they lived, grew and evolved. How warm an animal is has an impact on their metabolism, and therefore how quickly they can grow and have babies. Of bones and blood

Previously, scientists had thought that growth lines showed up only on the bones of cold-blooded animals, since these animals grow in fits and starts. Warm-blooded animals, like mammals and birds, are assumed to grow continuously, because they keep their temperatures up and have high metabolic rates, continually making energy to grow. As such, researchers took the growth lines on dinosaur bones as evidence of their coldbloodedness. Until now. In this study, the researchers compared the bone lines from the leg bones of more than 100 wild ruminants (warm-blooded mammals like sheep and cows that have multiple stomachs) with seasonal rainfall and temperature cycles and with the animal’s core body temperature and resting metabolic rate. The researchers showed that these warmblooded animals also have bone growth lines indicating fast, yet interrupted yearly growth that depended on how long the “unfavorable” season lasted. The growth lines they found on the ruminants were similar to those seen in previous studies of dinosaur bones - indicating that both ruminants and dinosaurs have periods of high

FILE - Reconstruction of a dinosaur from the Catalan pre-Pyrenees, about 70 million years ago. (Agencies)

growth punctuated by “unfavorable” seasons with limited resources and little growth. This means that dinosaurs were likely warm-blooded like the ruminants. “The argument we are giving in our paper, rather in favor of endothermy in dinosaurs, is that between the growth and rest lines, there’s always a big region of highly vascularized [infiltrated with blood vessels] tissue that indicates very high growth rates,” study researcher Meike Kšhler, of the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain, told LiveScience. “This is typical in dinosaurs and very different from reptiles, which have slow growth between the rest lines.” Sauropods were the only dinosaurs where researchers haven’t seen growth lines similar to those of ruminants. Previous studies of their teeth indicate they would have had high body temperatures as well, though they might have been big enough for their mass to generate that

heat - what researchers call a “gigantotherm.” Researchers don’t know what their growth lines would have looked like, since no animals alive today are gigantotherms. This indicates that “dinosaurs also had very fast growth rates and needed to eat a lot and maintain high generation of heat internally,” Kohler said, so they were most likely warm-blooded. The theory that dinosaurs were warm has been gaining traction in the last few years in multiple fields, but the researchers admit that other, non-bone-based arguments for cold-bloodedness still stand. Endotherms should have the physical ability to move quickly, and lung volume to pump oxygen to muscles needed for running, which researchers can’t be sure dinosaurs had. “There are a lot of arguments in favor and against endothermy in dinosaurs,” Kohler said. “It could be that they have some traits that are clearly endothermic,” but others may be muddled.


ALWATAN DAILY

CULTURE

THURSday, JUNE 28, 2012

Post-Nazi art therapy comes to Kabul FRANCE: An art exhibition that began as an attempt to heal Germany after the horrors of Nazi rule and World War II is now being replicated in Afghanistan. “Documenta” arose from the ruins of the bombed-out German city of Kassel as artists sought to reconnect West Germany, as it then was, with movements of contemporary culture banned under Adolf Hitler’s murderous 1933-45 regime. The show has been held every five years since 1955 but is now making its international debut with a month-long exhibition in Kabul, which opened last week. The parallels between post-war Germany and Kabul -- battered by three decades of conflict -- are obvious and much of the exhibition explores ideas of destruction, rebuilding and memory. But the aim is also to create an alternative vision, to counter the precarious reality of everyday life in the Afghan capital, said Carolyn ChristovBakargiev, the artistic director of the exhibition, Documenta 13. She describes it as “choosing to act” as if the checkpoints, cement walls, conflict and militarization do not exist, “through acts of radical imagination and creativity”. In one of the works, a video by Belgian artist Francis Alys entitled “Reel-Unreel”, children run through the streets of Kabul rolling a film reel along like a toy. Smiling and laughing, the boys whizz past cars and market stalls, donkeys and checkpoints, leaving a trail of film on the undulations of the city’s rocky, battered streets. Behind them more children spin another reel, rolling the film back up. For 20 minutes the unforgiving traffic-clogged streets of the city are transformed into a children’s playground as the film the youngsters unwind feeds through Kabul’s topography as if passing through a giant projector. Strolling around Documenta in the peaceful rooms of the Queen’s Palace -- restored in the past 10 years after being destroyed during the 1992-96 civil war -- it is easy to imagine yourself in a gallery in western Europe. Andrea Viliani, one of the exhibition’s curators, said this sense of otherness is at the heart of Documenta 13. “It’s a catalyzer of change,” he told AFP. “Saying you don’t feel like you’re in Kabul is working ‘as if’. This is not like escaping reality, it’s to advocate for different realities.”

Afghan youths look at a painting displayed in the Documenta Exhibition in Bagh-e Babur, Kabul, on June 26, 2012. (AFP)

Documenta features works created by artists from 13 countries, some stemming from seminars organized in Kabul and Bamiyan, the central Afghan valley where the Taliban destroyed two giant ancient Buddha statues in 2001. While the majority of the artists are Afghan, Viliani stressed that the exhibition was about creating links between cultures and countries. American artist Michael Rakowitz used stones from Bamiyan to make sculptures of medieval books from Kassel that were damaged by Allied bombing raids, creating objects that forge connections between World War II and Taliban destruction. Afghanistan faces countless challenges as NATO troops prepare to pull out in 2014, but the Documenta organizers are passionate about the importance of art in rebuilding a society battered by conflict. “War creates facts, but art, too, creates fact of a different order, and art has a major role to play in social processes of reconstruction through imagination,” said Christov-Bakargiev.

cular Soviet youths, opens this week in London as part of the architecture and design section at the Olympics cultural festival, reports The Guardian.

Vintage Russian sports posters are on display at an Olympics cultural festival in London. (Agencies)

Rahraw Omarzad, director of Kabul’s Centre for Contemporary Art Afghanistan, agreed. “War has been going on in Afghanistan for 30 years. The first step to develop Afghanistan is to bring peace and art is the language of peace,” he said. Such a major exhibition will revitalize a Kabul art scene that is stuck in traditional ideas and techniques, and help inspire young Afghan artists, he said. “From the outside they will see that they are not alone. They will see that something is happening in contemporary art in Kabul and there are more people to work in this field, so they are encouraged to work,” he said. There are fears that when foreign forces leave Afghanistan the country will slide back to the oppressive Islamist moralizing of the Taliban, but Omarzad sees hope. “After the foreigners go contemporary art will develop, but maybe not very fast. It may be very slow, it may be with only a few artists, but it will continue,” he said. -AFP

Most of the posters have never been seen outside Russia before, and many are rare surviving examples, commissioned from some of the bestknown artists of the day. They show an idyllic world of sunlit skiing, horse riding, archery, boating, swimming and cycling, which was far from the reality for millions of Russian citizens through a century of political turmoil and material want. One poster issued by the Tourism and Excursion Department of the All-Union Central Committee of Trade Unions shows a bearded outdoor type, holding a map of Moscow and the surrounding countryside, urging his eager young companions to get active: “On your day off - go out walking!” The posters, originally intended for display in factories, government offices and public spaces, were seen as one of the most important propaganda tools in promoting sport, and the exhibition includes examples up to the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The free exhibition is at the offices of the Rossotrudnichestvo, Russian Federal Agency for Humanitarian Co-operation, on Kensington High Street and continues until July 10.

Venezuelan tribe angry at ‘sacred’ stone in Berlin BERLIN: Wolfgang von Schwarzenfeld’s sculptures in a Berlin park were meant to promote world peace, but the 79-year-old German now finds himself at war with a Venezuelan tribe which accuses him of stealing a sacred pink stone known to them as “Grandmother”. The Venezuelan government is championing the Pemon Indians of the “Gran Sabana” region by demanding the return of the polished stone from Berlin’s Tiergarten Park - putting the German government in something of a dilemma. With Caracas calling it robbery, and the sculptor arguing that the stone was a legal gift, the monolith is emitting more negative energy than its esoteric fans in Berlin are used to. Blissfully unaware of the diplomatic tug-ofwar, Robert, a Berlin gardener, got off his bicycle to light joss sticks among the stones from five continents that form the “Global Stone Project”, awaiting friends for an afternoon shamanic ritual. But newly arrived Venezuelan tourists Grecia Melendez and Juan Carlos Brozoski knew all about the war of the stone and suspected there were political motives behind the protests. “(President Hugo) Chavez always wants a conflict with someone,” said 32-year-old Melendez, taking photos of the 12 cubic meter stone, which is engraved with the word “love” in different languages - and graffiti with couples’ names and hearts. Von Schwarzenfeld, a frail figure with whispy white hair and scuffed brown shoes, waved a sheaf of documents authorizing the removal of the stone from the Canaima National Park in 1998. As with all the stones arranged in a circle in Berlin, a “sister” stone remained behind. Every summer solstice, their burnished surfaces reflect the sun “as a symbol of a united mankind, hopefully one day in peace”, he said. The project was inaugurated in 1999 near Berlin’s landmark Potsdamer Platz and Brandenburg

The search is on for the world’s biggest Harry Potter fan

LONDON: In 1997, Bloomsbury launched the phenomenon that would become Harry Potter - with an initial hardback print run for JK Rowling’s debut novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, of just 500 copies, reports The Guardian. Fifteen years, six books, eight films, countless midnight openings and 450m copies sold later, the publisher is embarking on a search for the UK and Ireland’s biggest Harry Potter fan. The competition asks readers to write a letter explaining why they love Harry. While entrants have only 50 words to express their devotion to the boy wizard and his friends, with “the most creative, clever and entertaining” reasons to be rewarded, they can also draw and doodle to make their letters “as elaborate as possible”, said Bloomsbury. Entries can only be posted into the specially designed postboxes that are being placed at more than 1,800 bookshops and libraries around the UK and Ireland, with the competition running from June 26 until July 31. The winner, who will receive a family holiday to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando and a special edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, will be announced on September 1. Fourteen runners-up will also win one of the leather-bound, signed, dedicated and numbered 15thanniversary editions of the book.

Vintage Russian Olympic posters go on display in London LONDON: A unique exhibition of vintage Russian sporting posters, boasting of the exemplary outdoor prowess of uniformly tanned and mus-

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German artist Wolfgang von Schwarzenfeld holds what he said is a deed of gift from the Venezuelan authorities for the large stone that is seen in the background in the Tiergarten Park in Berlin, June 26, 2012. (Reuters)

Gate. As children played among the stones, Von Schwarzenfeld defied Venezuela to take back what he called a “gift to Berlin” from former president Rafael Caldera. “Peace for me does not mean the absence of conflict,” said the artist, undeterred by threats and what he too suspects are “political motivations” behind the tussle over the stone. A video circulated on Youtube has mobilized public opinion in Venezuela, recounting the mythical origins of the Kueka (grandmother in the Pe-

mon language) and its pair, and voicing locals’ sense of loss. “This man decided to take the Kueka without caring about its cultural value for the Pemon community,” Venezuelan activist and ecologist Any Alarcon says in the video. Culture Minister Pedro Calzadilla told state television the donation was “illegitimate” because the stone was part of “the cultural patrimony of the (Pemon) community”. Prosecutors are looking into the stone’s removal because “whoever authorized the removal of the Grandmother committed a crime”, he said. After Pemon tribespeople demonstrated outside Germany’s embassy last week with spears, feather headdresses and banners saying “The Pemon People Want Our Wise Grandmother Back”, the German envoy promised to relay their feelings to Berlin, while telling them it would be no easy task to return the stone. German Foreign ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke said Berlin wanted a solution “agreed by all sides - Venezuela, the indigenous groups, the artist and the city of Berlin”. Von Schwarzenfeld was not convinced, saying the stone’s removal would sacrifice “the 15 years of my life and all the money I spent. If it is taken away, it ruins the whole project.” Beside him stood German anthropologist Bruno Illius, who has studied the Pemon tribe for two decades. He said there was “no such thing as a ‘holy stone’ for the Pemones, just small magical stones with practical purposes, like helping you to catch fish”. Illius rubbished stories about the stone’s removal bringing misfortune on the tribe, like drought and the disappearance of the ants they eat in spicy sauce, saying he had eaten plenty of ants on three visits to the region, as recently as last year. “This is all a fraud, a deception,” the professor said. -Reuters

SKorea claims East Asia’s oldest farming site

FILE-This May 25, 2012 photo released by South Korea’s Cultural Heritage Administration shows the remains of an old farm house in Goseong, 150 kilometers east of Seoul, South Korea. (AP)

SEOUL, South Korea: South Korea’s archaeological agency says it has unearthed evidence of East Asia’s oldest known farming site. Archaeologist Cho Mi-soon said Wednesday that the agency has found the remains of a farming field from the Neolithic period on South Korea’s east coast. The site may be up to 5,600 years old. That’s more than 2,000 years older than

what is now the second-oldest known site, which also is in South Korea. During the Neolithic period humans began living in permanent settlements and farming after a previous nomadic existence of hunting and gathering. Cho points to traces of pottery and house remains found at the site as proof of its age. She says material was tested and determined to be from the Neolithic period. -AP

Salman Rushdie fatwa turned into Iranian video game

LONDON: Salman Rushdie was the target of a notorious fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic republic of Iran, 23 years ago. Now, the author of The Satanic Verses is the subject of an Iranian computer game aimed at spreading to the next generation the message about his “sin”, reports The Guardian. The Stressful Life of Salman Rushdie and Implementation of his Verdict is the title of the game being developed by the Islamic Association of Students, a government-sponsored organization which announced this week it had completed initial phases of production. News of the computer game came as Tehran on Tuesday played host to the country’s second International Computer Games Expo. “The organizers considered the event as an opportunity to introduce Iranian culture, value and Islamic identity, and also a way to present Iranian products to international computer games designers and producers,” the English-language state television channel, Press TV, reported on its website. Three years ago, the student association and Iran’s national foundation of computer games asked students across the country to submit scripts for the game and the top three were handed over to video developers. But development of the game was delayed. The director of the students association, Ahmad Khalili, told the Fars news agency that production of the game was under way despite technical difficulties. “We usually don’t have any problems with initial thoughts and ideas [for a computer games] but when it comes to the actual point of production we experience delays,” he said. Little has been revealed about the game but its title suggests players will be asked to implement Khomeini’s call for the killing of Rushdie. Iranian authorities have complained in recent years that “enemies” have targeted their country in a “soft and cultural war” using illegal satellite channels, western novels, Hollywood films and computer games. Western hairstyles and garments have also been condemned as part of the “cultural invasion”. Iran has struggled to counter this with a presence in cyberspace. Mohammad-Taqi Fakhrian of the student association said producing computer games was one way to combat the cultural war against Iran. “We felt we should find a way to introduce our third and fourth generation to the fatwa against Salman Rushdie and its importance,” he told the semi-official Mehr news agency. This month, local media devoted significant coverage to the release of the Iranian army’s first video game, Battle in the Gulf of Aden, featuring “the Iranian navy’s mighty presence in the international waters and navy commandos’ fight with the pirates”, according to Fars . “The player of the game will take the role of an Iranian commando who should fight and kill pirates in the Gulf of Aden and then find and destroy their hideouts in a bid to find and kill the buccaneers’ ringleader. In February 1989, Khomeini described The Satanic Verses as “blasphemous against Islam”. His fatwa caused international controversy and the UK severed diplomatic relations with Iran for years. Rushdie went into hiding and received police protection. Rushdie had previously been praised by the Iranian government for another novel, Midnight’s Children, whose translation into Farsi was named the book of the year.


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ALWATAN DAILY

ENTERTAINMENT

Song Of The Day

Fahad AlSabah Staff Writer

Song: Come See Me (The B-Sharp Clubin Mix) Artist: Jill Scott Album: Crates: Remix Fundamentals, Vol.1 Genre: Soul/Dance In short: There is no better to celebrate this wonderful summer than to do so with Jill Scott’s classic, remixed and reenvisioned; the remix album isn’t all dance or all mellow, it’s varied enough to keep listeners excited all the way through. The B-Sharp Clubin remix of “Come See Me” turns it into a spiced up, summer-ready jam. To listen to the song visit www.alwatandaily.com E-mail your feedback to falsabah@alwatandaily.com

The Buzz 50 Cent in car accident, released from hospital A representative for 50 Cent says the rapper is out of the hospital after being injured in a car accident in New York on Tuesday morning. The rep says 50 Cent was taken to New York Hospital Queens where he was treated for “minor neck and back injuries” and is now “doing fine.” Bruce Miller, who was driving the car, was also injured and has been released from the hospital. Photos of the 36-year-old on a stretcher are posted on his website www.ThisIs50.com. The Grammy winner, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, appears in a neck brace in two photos. No other details were provided. -AP

ABC’s Roberts’ illness spurs bone marrow donations As Robin Roberts waits for a bone marrow transplant this fall, news of the morning show anchor’s illness is helping others who need treatment. The national bone marrow donation registry Be The Match reported Tuesday the rate of new registrants has more than doubled since the “Good Morning America” anchor announced on June 11 that she has MDS, a blood and bone marrow disease. Roberts helped supervise a bone marrow registry drive at ABC News headquarters in Manhattan. George Stephanopoulos and Lara Spencer of “GMA” and ABC News President Ben Sherwood showed up by a cafeteria, swabbing material from their mouths. Roberts, who will receive a bone marrow transplant from her sister, said her mother told her to “turn a mess into a message.” “When I received this latest disappointment I did not know what the message would be,” she said, “and now I do.” Jeffrey Chell, CEO of Be The Match, said some 15,000 people had registered since Roberts announced her diagnosis. -AP

Musical on Motown Records founder to hit Broadway A musical based on the life of legendary Motown Records founder Berry Gordy is set to open on Broadway next year. Producers said Tuesday that “Motown,” with 81-year-old Gordy writing his own book, will open in the spring of 2013 at a Nederlander Theatre to be announced. It will be directed by Charles Randolph-Wright. The songs will include those famous by Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five. Says producer Doug Morris: “This is an amazing opportunity for everyone to experience the Motown phenomenon through the eyes of the man who lived it.” Casting and dates will be revealed later. -AP

General Hospital to get new timeslot in September Move over, “General Hospital”; Katie Couric is coming to town. The long-running soap opera is being shifted from its timeslot on September 10, to make room for Katie Couric’s upcoming daytime talk show “Katie.” Starting on September 10, “General Hospital” will air at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT/CT, with “Katie” airing in many markets in the 3 p.m. timeslot. On the plus side, “General Hospital” fans will be able to get their daily dose of Port Charles intrigue an hour earlier. The ABC soap, which took Best Drama honors at this year’s Daytime Emmys, will celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 1, 2013. The syndicated “Katie” will offer a forum for “smart conversation,” Couric has said, with the topics covering a variety of subject matter. “We’ll be running the gamut from everything from serious stories, like a new cancer drug, or what’s going on with the deficit and trying to explain it so people can really understand it, to dealing with kids and technology and what is all this technology doing to our children’s brains and ability to socialize, to bullying, to fun, popular culture stories,” Couric said. -Reuters

ABC’s Glass House not shattering any records Now that ABC’s “The Glass House” is on the air, it’s hard not to wonder why CBS was so upset. The ABC reality series debuted to just under 4 million viewers last week, placing it No. 63 in Nielsen’s weekly rankings even in a quiet summer week. The Nielsen Co.’s preliminary ratings found that this Monday’s second episode did even worse, reaching 3.3 million viewers. CBS went to federal court to try to block ABC from showing the series, arguing it violated copyrights and trade secrets from its own “Big Brother.” A federal court judge in Los Angeles rejected CBS’ argument. CBS may have been concerned about “The Glass House” stealing its thunder, since the 14th season of “Big Brother” doesn’t debut until July 12. “The Glass House” is scheduled to run for only six weeks, if it lasts that long. -AP

THURSday, JUNE 28, 2012

Acclaimed screenwriter Nora Ephron dead at 71 LOS ANGELES: Oscar-nominated screenwriter Nora Ephron, known for romantic comedies “When Harry Met Sally” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” as well as books and essays, has died in New York after battling leukemia. She was 71. Ephron, who had suffered from acute myeloid leukemia, died on Tuesday evening at New York’s Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center surrounded by her family, they said in a statement. Reactions poured in from around the arts and entertainment community for the screenwriter who delighted millions with her flair for comedy, romance and the ability to tackle serious subjects with insight. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called her death “a devastating one” for the city’s arts and cultural community, and the Los Angeles-based Directors Guild of America called her “an inspiration for women filmmakers when there were few.” Ephron, who often parlayed her own love life into movies like “Heartburn” and gave her acerbic take on aging in the 2010 essay collection, “I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections,” had kept her illness largely private except for close friends and family. “At some point, your luck is going to run out ... You are very aware with friends getting sick that it can end in a second,” Ephron told Reuters in a 2010 interview while promoting the book. The elegant Ephron, known for habitually dressing in black, urged aging friends and readers to make the most of their lives. “You should eat delicious things while you can still eat them, go to wonderful places while you still can ... and not have evenings where you say to yourself, ‘What am I doing here? Why am I here? I am bored witless!’” she told Reuters.

FILE - Nora Ephron poses for a portrait in her home in New York in this November 3, 2010, photo. (Reuters)

She began her career as a journalist but transitioned into movies, leaving behind a legacy of more than a dozen films, often featuring strong female characters, that she either wrote, produced or directed. She was nominated for three Academy Awards for “Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle” and the drama “Silkwood” in which Meryl Streep played an anti-nuclear activist. Other romantic comedies included “You’ve Got Mail,” starring Meg Ryan, and her last film “Julie & Julia” in 2009, which had Streep portraying the fearless celebrity cook Julia Child. Ephron also wrote for the stage, authoring

the 2002 play “Imaginary Friends” about the rivalry of authors Mary McCarthy and Lillian Hellman, and “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” with her sister Delia, in 2009. New York, Washington, Hollywood Born May 19, 1941 in New York City and raised in Beverly Hills by screenwriter parents, Ephron worked briefly as a White House intern before going into journalism. She quickly became known as a humorist with essays on subjects ranging from food and fashion to feminism. She started in the entertainment industry while married to her second husband, The Washington Post’s famed Watergate investigative reporter Carl Bernstein.

Russian cultural stars urge release of female punks PARIS: Over 100 of Russia’s best known actors, directors and musicians on Wednesday called for the release of three young women detained after singing an anti-Vladimir Putin song in a Moscow church. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Maria Alekhina from the punk rock group Pussy Riot have been held in pre-trial detention since March for their performance of a “punk prayer” in the Church of Christ the Savior. “We do not see any legal foundation or practical sense in further isolating from society these young women who present no real danger,” said the letter, published in the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily and signed by 103 artists. The signatories included well-known opponents of President Putin like the detective author Boris Akunin, poet Dmitry Bykov and rock singer Yury Shevchuk. But also signing were much-loved actress Chulpan Khamatova and prominent actor Yevgeny Mironov, who both controversially appeared in videos earlier this

year urging Russians to vote for Putin in the March elections. In a virtual who’s who of the Russian cultural elite, other prominent names included the film director Andrei Konchalovsky, the ballet dancer Nikolai Tsikaridze and the composer Leonid Desyatnikov. “We believe that the actions of Pussy Riot are not criminal. The girls killed noone, stole from nobody, carried out no violence,” said the letter which was also published on the website of popular radio station Moscow Echo. “Russia is a secular state and no anticlerical actions -- as long as they are not a violation of the criminal code -- can be a reason for criminal prosecution.” The imprisonment of the trio has turned into a rallying cause for the opposition movement against Putin, with supporters arguing that even if their action was not appropriate the punishment is cruelly disproportional. “We believe that the criminal case against Pussy Riot compromises the Rus-

sian judicial system and undermines trust in the authorities as a whole,” the letter said. It warned: “While the participants in the action have been held under arrest, an atmosphere of impatience has grown in society which will cause division and radicalism.” The letter comes after a court last week extended the trio’s detention until July 24. A trial is not expected to begin any earlier than August. The powerful Church has showed no sign of mercy. Its head of public affairs Vsevolod Chaplin said this week that “this sin will be punished in this life and in the next life,” the PBK daily reported. “I believe this because God revealed it to me,” he was quoted as saying. Their lawyer Nikolai Pozolov suggested the signatories of the letter could be guarantors’ of the three girls behavior in the case. “You could convince the court to change their conditions of detention,” he wrote on Twitter. -AFP

Hayden Christensen scores partial victory in lawsuit LOS ANGELES: Universal Television must have been left smarting a bit over the USA series “Royal Pains” on Tuesday morning. Hayden Christensen’s production company, Forest Park Pictures, scored a partial victory in its lawsuit over “Royal Pains” on Tuesday, as an appeals court vacated an earlier decision granting Universal’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. In its complaint, filed in 2010, Forest Park maintained that it had pitched USA an idea for a series titled “Housecall” in 2005 that bore striking similarities to what would become the USA series “Royal Pains,” without receiving compensation for the idea. Universal countered with a motion to dismiss, claiming that Forest Park’s breach of contract complaint is preempted by the Copyright Act, which was granted by a district court. However, on Tuesday US District Court of Appeals for the second circuit in New York vacated the earlier court’s decision, finding that Forest Park “adequately alleged a contact that includes an implied promise to pay. Because this claim is based on rights that are not the equivalent of those protected by the Copyright Act, claim is not preempted.” USA has not yet responded to Reuters’ request for comment. According to Forest Park’s complaint, the company submitted a written treatment for a proposed series, “Housecall,” about a doctor who, after “being expelled from the medical community for treating patients who could not pay, moved to Malibu, California” and becomes “a ‘concierge’ doctor to the rich and famous.” Forest Park says that, after submit-

She helped rewrite a version of the script for the movie “All The President’s Men,” about Bernstein and Bob Woodward’s uncovering of the political scandal that led to the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974. Although that screenplay was not used, it led to a TV movie screenwriting job for Ephron. Her big movie break came after a messy divorce from Bernstein, which was the genesis for her 1983 novel “Heartburn” that she later adapted into the bittersweet hit film of the same name starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. That film ushered in a string of box office successes in the late 1980s and 1990s, including “When Harry Met Sally,” “Michael” with John Travolta, “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail,” that saw Ephron gradually add producer and director to her resume and become one of Hollywood’s most successful makers of romantic comedies. Although her movies raked in tens of millions of dollars at box offices worldwide, Ephron never won the industry’s highest honor, an Academy Award. After box office flops “Hanging Up” and “Lucky Numbers” in 2000, Ephron focused on essays, writing for the stage, and blogging for the online news site The Huffington Post. Her humorous 2006 collection “I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman” became a bestseller on the New York Times list. At the time of her death, Ephron had a biographical movie about singer Peggy Lee in development that was due to star Reese Witherspoon, according to the Internet movie website, IMDB.com. Ephron was married three times and is survived by her husband of more than 20 years, writer Nicholas Pileggi, and two children with Bernstein. -Reuters

Charlie Sheen falls off the wagon again

NEW YORK: Charlie Sheen says he’s drinking again, a year after his alcohol and drug abuse were factors in his firing from “Two and a Half Men.” The actor, who has been through several stints in rehab, talked about using alcohol in a “Good Morning America” interview with Elizabeth Vargas to promote his new FX show, “Anger Management.” In Sheen’s termination letter from “Two and a Half Men” last year, lawyers for Warner Bros. TV said Sheen’s “drug and alcohol abuse was not only affecting his ability to work on the show, but endangering his life.” He went on several highprofile drug and alcohol-fueled benders in the months before he was terminated. After his firing, Sheen dubbed his home the “Sober Valley Lodge” and said he was drug and alcohol-free. But he told Vargas that’s no longer the case with alcohol. “So you’re no longer doing drugs,” Vargas asked. “No,” said Sheen. “But you do drink?” “Who doesn’t?” he said. “You drink?” “Some people who’ve been through rehab don’t drink,” she replied. “I don’t believe in rehab anymore. It’s not for me,” Sheen said. “It’s not a one size fits all. ... We live in a country where it’s always Miller Time. It’s happy hour somewhere in the world.” Sheen also acknowledged the worries over his health last year, saying he was glad to be alive. “I’m grateful that we’re able to sit here and talk about it rather than you talking about me because I’m not here,” he said. FX declined comment. Sheen’s new show premieres Thursday. In a statement, Ben Levenson, CEO of Origins Recovery Centers, called Sheen “one of the last people an addict should take advice from.” Also in the interview with “GMA,” Sheen backed away from his recent statements suggesting that he plans to retire after “Anger Management.” He said Tuesday that he may just take a break to spend more time with his kids. -Reuters

FILE - Actor Hayden Christensen arrives at the premiere of “Takers” in Los Angeles, California, August 4, 2010. (Reuters)

ting the treatment, it met with USA’s Alex Sepiol, who admitted that he had never heard of concierge doctors but “thought it was a fascinating concept for a television show.” “Royal Pains” centers around a doctor who, after being wrongly blamed for a patient’s death, moves to the Hamptons to become a doctor for the rich and famous. In its motion to dismiss, USA argued

that Forest Park’s complaint was inadequate because the two parties hadn’t come to an agreement on price terms. However, the appeals court determined that in California, where the bulk of the meetings took place, a lawsuit can prevail if an idea is submitted with the understanding that payment is expected if the idea is used, and that an express condition or promise of payment is not required.” -Reuters

FILE - Actor Charlie Sheen introduces the instant cult classic film “Project X” at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, June 3, 2012. (Reuters)


ALWATAN DAILY

SPORTS

THURSDAY, june 28, 2012

11

Tennis

Stosur loss completes Australian woe Federer puts on performance fit for a prince

Switzerland’s Roger Federer plays a volley during his second round men’s singles match against Italy’s Fabio Fognini on day three of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament in London, on June 27, 2012. (AFP)

LONDON: Royalty reigned supreme on Wimbledon’s Centre Court on Wednesday as Roger Federer produced a majestic performance for the watching Prince Charles. Federer bowed to the heir to the throne before his match and Charles and his wife Camilla gave the Swiss maestro a standing ovation after he thrashed Italian Fabio Fognini 6-1 6-3 6-2 to reach the third round. “We are thrilled for the tennis family that they came to watch today,” Federer said after his imperious display. Two years ago, Queen Elizabeth paid her first visit to Wimbledon since 1977, prompting women’s champion Serena Williams to put in some serious practice on her curtseying technique. As six-times champion, Federer was well aware of what the royal etiquette is on the world’s most famous tennis court. “They do brief you beforehand so that you don’t do anything stupid,” Federer said. “We were asked to bow which obviously is no problem.” But Federer did take time in the tunnel leading to Centre Court to explain the procedure to Fognini. They both bowed in perfect union to Prince Charles, who had in turn received his own standing ovation from fans

when he appeared in the royal box above the court. The match itself was a royal procession for Federer who never once looked in any danger. His glorious ground-strokes and lightning fast movement across the court were greeted with unbridled admiration from the crowd. The graceful genius was at the peak of his form - except at the very start. He drew gasps of incredulity when he lost the first two points of the match on his serve but normal service was promptly restored when he fired down two aces. The Italian became so disheartened at the end of the first set that he did not even bother to try and chase down yet another stinging forehand from Federer. He just walked back to his chair, shoulders slumped. Federer lost just four points on his serve in the second set and was swift to complete his clinical execution of Fognini in the third. It was a routine day at the office but the third seed has shown he is still very much a contender after dropping just nine games in his first two matches at the tournament he so dearly loves. “I really tried to focus hard and make sure I played a clean match, “Federer said. “I served 13 aces out there today. I felt it was pretty fast.” -Reuters

Cricket

Warne slams ECB over Pietersen one-day exit FILE - England’s Kevin Pietersen (center) prepares to walk onto the field with teammate Alastair Cook (left) before their third cricket test match against West Indies at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham June 9, 2012.

LONDON: Australia great Shane Warne has said the “ego” of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) forced Kevin Pietersen’s retirement from all limited overs internationals. Pietersen wanted to give up 50-over one-day internationals (ODIs) while still playing Twenty20 internationals. However, the ECB said the South Africa-born shotmaker, who remains a Test match cricketer, could only play in both shortened formats or none at all. As a result Pietersen, the man of the tournament when England won the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean two years ago, is set to miss the defense of their title in Sri Lanka this September. He will also be absent from the upcoming one-day series against Australia and Warne, who captained Pietersen at county side Hampshire, said England had damaged themselves. “Any team that hasn’t got Kevin Pietersen is significantly weaker,” Warne told the Independent. “He’s a match-winner so that’s a big loss. “It staggers me and I’m very surprised that the ECB didn’t try and negotiate that better, drop their egos and say, okay we understand this, we want to keep our best

players playing all the time.” He added: “I think it’s just a bit too much ego for my liking from the ECB. “Who wouldn’t want Kevin Pietersen in your side? He’s a match-winner and he puts bums on seats because people love watching him play. “He rubs off on the rest of the players. So to me it’s a huge loss. “People might give up more one-day cricket or they might give up Twenty20,” added the legendary leg-spinner, who contrasted Pietersen’s situation with that of Michael Clarke, the Australia captain. “Michael Clarke’s given up Twenty20 in Australia because he can’t play all three forms at that level, but you can’t imagine Australia dropping him and saying don’t worry about one-day cricket, just stick to Tests.” England play Australia in the first of five one-day internationals at Lord’s on Friday. Without Pietersen, an opener in limited overs cricket, England saw his spot filled by Ian Bell, who made a hundred and a fifty, and Alex Hales, who struck 99, in ODI and Twenty20 wins respectively over the West Indies this month. -AFP

ICC maintains status quo on referral system CAPITALS: The use of the Decision Review System (DRS) in international cricket will remain at the discretion of teams involved in bilateral series’ after the sport’s governing body on Wednesday opted against making it mandatory. The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) cricket committee and chief executives had recommended the full adoption of the DRS, which allows teams to appeal against an umpire’s decision, after expressing satisfaction with technology enhancements in the system. But the ICC’s executive board, chaired by India’s Sharad Pawar, decided to maintain the status quo after a two-day meeting in Kuala Lumpur. “The ICC Board agreed to continue with the present arrangement where the two competing nations in a bilateral series decide on the use of DRS,” the ICC said in a statement.

The Indian cricket board (BCCI), which has always been skeptical of the technology used in the DRS, had said earlier this week they continue to believe “the system is not foolproof”. “The (BCCI) board also sticks to its view that the decision on whether or not to use the DRS for a particular series should be left to the boards involved in that series,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale said in a statement on Monday. The ICC’s executive board did, however, agree to an increase in the number of permitted short-pitched deliveries from one to two per over in 50-over internationals. One-day cricket’s ‘power-plays’ will be restricted to the first 10 overs plus one five-over batting power-play to be completed by the 40th over and only four fielders will be allowed outside the 30-yard circle. -Reuters

LONDON: Australian doom and gloom at Wimbledon was complete on Wednesday when Samantha Stosur became the highest seeded casualty at this year’s championships, the women’s number five losing 6-2 0-6 6-4 to Dutch woman Arantxa Rus. The US Open champion lost six games in a row to surrender the first set before reeling off six on the spin to take the match into a decider but never looked comfortable and failed to claw back a 3-0 deficit despite saving two match points. Of the four Australian men and five women to start in the main singles draws, Stosur was the only player to win a match - although her defeat was hardly a surprise give her poor record on grass. “This year I hated grass a little bit less than the previous years,” Stosur, who has suffered five first-round defeats at Wimbledon and four second-round losses, told reporters. “It’s just disappointing because you want to do well here. It’s a great tournament. I still love playing here at Wimbledon, but obviously it hasn’t been my very best tournament.” She saved two match points trailing 5-3, one of them with a sensational winner to end a fierce baseline rally, and looked poised to level at 5-5 as she led 40-15 on serve but crumbled, slicing a backhand into the bottom of the net to hand the 72nd-ranked Rus victory. Her defeat raised the inevitable questions about why a country that has produced Wimbledon champions like Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Roy Emerson, Pat Cash, Lleyton Hewitt, Margaret Court

Netherland’s Arantxa Rus plays a backhand shot during her second round women’s singles match against Australia’s Samantha Stosur on day three of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament in London, on June 27, 2012. (AFP)

and Evonne Goolagong, could fail so dismally at a tournament that has provided such rich pickings. The men suffered their worst Wimbledon showing since 1938. “It’s a pretty woeful performance by all of us, but it’s not through lack of trying or not wanting to be here or anything like that,” Stosur said. “I think you have to look at something on a whole, for a longer period of time than just one event, to say that we’re in this dire straits kind of mode right now.

“Of course it can be better. Myself and all the other players that I’m sure we can speak for wish we had a better tournament.” Stosur said she was looking forward to being back on the grass in the women’s doubles with Casey Dellacqua and at this year’s London Olympics at which Wimbledon is the tennis venue. “We all take great pride in playing for our country and being part of that,” she said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to turn it around for that event.” -Reuters

Basketball

Heat turn attention to draft, free agency MIAMI: The streets of downtown have been cleaned up from the championship parade. The final team meeting has been held. Not even a week after winning the NBA Finals, next year is already here for the Heat. They hold the No. 27 pick in the draft on Thursday night, have a list of free agents they would like to start speaking with on Sunday and are busy planning for what they want to accomplish in next month’s summer league in Las Vegas. So while players like LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade can continue reveling in a title, Miami’s brain trust like team president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra are in back-to-work mode. “Certainly, we were able to enjoy the weekend, like we haven’t been able to for the whole season,” Spoelstra said. “That’s been tremendous. But we’re in a different situation than the players, and our staff understands that right now. This is an important week and then everything leading up to this summer league and then all the way through this summer league will be important. We’re not in a rush to celebrate right now.” Spoelstra said that when he arrived at work Monday, he saw a list of free agents who might be available, as well as the latest details on Miami’s draft plans and salary cap situation going into the summer. Right then, Spoelstra said, he “realized how far behind I am.” “I have a lot to catch up on in the coming days,” Spoelstra said. Such is the case when your team is the last one standing at the end of any season - particularly so after the hectic sprint that was the 2011-12 NBA campaign, shortened to 66 games because of the lockout and compressed into a calendar that allowed almost no breathing room. Draft first, then free agency, then summer league. James will play in the London Olympics, Bosh said he’s still expecting to play, but Wade’s plans for the games may be on hold depending on what doctors tell him about his problematic left knee. Mike

The Miami Heat basketball team is greeted by fans at the arena in Miami, Monday, June 25, 2012. (AP)

Miller - one of the heroes of Game 5 of the finals against Oklahoma City - was planning to see a neurosurgeon on Tuesday to address his balky back. James Jones is considering retirement. Ronny Turiaf has an option to return. No one knows what the roster will really look like, which makes the workload facing the Heat right now even more of a guessing game. When Miami won its first title in 2006, the Heat returned the next season hardly ready for a title defense, losing by 42 points to Chicago on the night they got their championship rings. Wade isn’t worried about something like that happening again. “Once you win a championship, you always feel like, ‘We can do it again,’” Wade said. “I think guys came in after the 2006 title kind of going through the motions a little bit. This team will be fine. The core of our guys will be guys in the prime of their game, and I don’t think we’ll have a problem coming back motivated to try to compete for another title and defend the one that we have.” For Miami’s Olympic-bound players, there will be precious little time off. Training camp starts in Las Vegas early next month, and there will be hardly any down time through the end of the games in London in mid-August. If the Heat are selected to go overseas for part of the preseason - a strong possibility - that means

they’ll likely start training camp in late September. So the last team standing in one season might be one of the first to resume camp the following season. “You have to be a strong person to get through that,” Bosh said. “It’s going to be tough, just like anything else. But we just have to keep going. As long as we don’t look at everything as a whole and just kind of stay in what’s happening now and not get too caught up in the future I think we’ll be OK.” Some teams will have off-seasons lasting about five months. Miami’s will be about three, and with an Olympics thrown in for possibly all three of their best players. “I’m going to try to get as much rest as I can,” said James, the regular-season and finals MVP. “But I understand it’s been a long season - a short, compacted season - plus the Olympics. So I’m going to train with the team, get as much work in. I’m already kind of in shape so I don’t have to worry about getting in too much shape and then trying to re-craft my skills. And after the Olympics I’m going to take some time off, just kind of try to get my legs back.” He’s already aware how daunting the next 12 months could be for Miami, if the Heat make good on their plans for another title push. “Hopefully it’s another long season for us next year,” James said. “I will be ready.” -AP

Olympics

Chinese hurdler Liu to run in London before Games LONDON: China’s 110 meters hurdler Liu Xiang will complete his Olympic preparation by running in the London Grand Prix just two weeks before the Games begin, meeting organizers said in a statement on Wednesday. The 2004 Olympic champion has been confirmed to race on July 13 in the Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace. The Olympics open on July 27. “This will be my last race before the Olympic Games so I will be looking for a very strong performance,” Liu said. “I am really excited to be competing in London for the first time ever... The event will be a great opportunity for me to experience the conditions and atmosphere of the Olympic host city just two weeks before the Games.” Liu, who has the fastest time in the world this year of 12.97 seconds for the event, is a medal favorite at the Games but is likely to face stiff competition from Cuba’s Olympic champion and world record holder Dayron Robles. One of China’s highest-profile athletes, Liu won gold in Athens eight years ago but injury robbed him of the chance to defend his title on home soil in 2008. -Reuters

FILE - Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang participates in the opening ceremony of the 1st Shanghai Citizen’s Games in Shanghai, China, June 10, 2012. (AP)


SPORTS

Football Spain 4

VS

THURSDAY, june 28, 2012

Portugal 2

Spain beat Portugal in shootout to reach final DONETSK: Cesc Fabregas struck the winning spot kick as holders Spain beat Portugal 4-2 on penalties after their Euro 2012 semi-final ended goalless after extra time on Wednesday. Spain keeper Iker Casillas saved Joao Moutinho’s opening penalty then Bruno Alves hit the bar to eventually open the door for substitute Fabregas, who scored via the post. World champions Spain have reached a third consecutive major tournament final, which will be played in Kiev on Sunday, equaling the record set by West Germany in the early 1970s. It was the second successive game to go to penalties after Italy beat England in the last eight, with the Italians playing Germany in Warsaw on Thursday in the second semi-final. Despite the derby nature of the game between the two Iberian neighbors which featured seven Real Madrid club mates, it started in a largely sporting, open spirit. However it began to get increasingly fractious as it went on with Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir booking nine players, most for clumsy or late challenges with little malicious intent. But the attacking intentions of both sides began to fade after halftime, with the only real second-half opportunity coming from aCristiano Ronaldo free-kick that dipped just over the bar. The atmosphere in the stadium also became subdued with players’ shouts easily audible because the crowd were making so little noise with just one chance coming in the opening period of extra time when Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio made a superb save from a close-range effort from Andres Iniesta. With so much at stake, and with both teams knowing so much about each other, they might have been expected to take a more cautious approach right from the start, but the opening 30 minutes gave little clue of the flat fare that was to follow.

Portugal pressed hard when the world champions had possession and the Spaniards came forward with real purpose in contrast to the more circumspect approach they were criticized for against France in the quarter-final. Portugal did not sit back and let Spain dominate them in those opening exchanges however. Ronaldo’s expected forays forward and some powerful running from Fabio Coentrao took the game to Spain and their Real club mate Alvaro Arbeloa was fully employed keeping them both at bay. Spain threatened twice in the opening half hour with Arbeloa and Iniesta going close while at the other end Ronaldo fired a shot just past the post. Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque started with the physically powerful Alvaro Negredo in attack rather than Cesc Fabregas but the “false number nine” came on early in the second half with Negredo having been well-marshaled by Pepe and Bruno Alves. The player who showed by far the more physical side to his opponents was Portugal striker Hugo Almeida, who had one thunderous shot at goal in the second half and was a constant worry for the Spanish defense. Iniesta forced Patricio into his first serious save just before halftime in extra time when Spain finally injected some pace and took control but they could not find a way through the Portugal defense and the match went to penalties. Spain’s Xabi Alonso took the first spot kick which was saved by Patricio but then Moutinho missed for Portugal and after the next five penalties were converted Bruno Alves struck the woodwork leaving Fabregas to take the plaudits. Fabregas had also scored the decisive spot kick in Spain’s quarter-final win over Italy at Euro 2008 but this was sweeter against neighboring Portugal, for whom Ronaldo did not get the chance to step up to take a penalty in the shootout. – Reuters

Federation boss praises Germany’s continuity

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) and President of the German football federation Wolfgang Niersbach talk prior to the start of the Euro 2012 football championships quarter-final match Germany vs Greece on June 22, 2012. (AFP)

GDANSK: Germany had some of the pressure lifted ahead of their Euro 2012 clash with Italy on Thursday with federation president Wolfgang Niersbach saying it would not be the end of the world to lose another semifinal. Niersbach praised the team’s stability after reaching their fourth consecutive semifinal in a major tournament and said anything beyond this stage would be a bonus. Germany have never beaten Italy in a major tournament in seven attempts. “Reaching the last four for the fourth tournament

in a row is a sign of continuity and stability,” Niersbach told reporters at the closing news conference at their base in Gdansk. “It is the federation’s wish - it is not a demand but specifically a wish - that we finally reach the very top once.” “Whatever comes after this stage is a bonus and it will not be the end of the world if we do not win because the overall picture is already positive for us.” The three-time European champions have again fielded the youngest team in the tournament, just like at the 2010 World Cup, but have not won a major trophy since Euro 96. -Reuters

Eusebio returns home after Euro 2012 health scare

Spanish midfielder David Silva (second right) kicks the ball in front of Portuguese defender Pepe (left) during the Euro 2012 football championships semi-final match Portugal vs. Spain on June 27, 2012. (AFP)

Euro semifinal referee gives Turks reason to smile ISTANBUL: Missing out on Euro 2012 was painful for soccer-mad Turkey but having a Turkish referee at the finals has helped restore some pride to a country still smarting from match-fixing allegations and high-profile arrests. Cuneyt Cakir, a 35-year-old Istanbul native who runs an insurance branch office, is the youngest referee at the tournament and will take charge of the semifinal between Spain and Portugal in Donetsk on Wednesday. “Cuneyt Cakir... makes us Turks smile once again through his appointment to blow his whistle at the Euro semifinal,” newspaper Milliyet wrote this week. Hurriyet newspaper said on Wednesday the Iberian clash would resemble Spain’s El Clasico and was a great honor for Cakir. Cakir, whose father was a referee, regularly officiates at the notoriously volatile derbies between the three major Istanbul clubs. Turkey, semifinalists at Euro 2008, lost to Croatia in a playoff for the Euro 2012 finals after finishing second behind Germany in their qualifying group. However, Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil, who was born in Gelsenkirchen but whose family hail from Turkey, is another favorite with the Turkish public. Turkey, which has bid to host Euro 2020, is grappling with a major match-fixing investigation in which 93 defendants, including the chairman of Fenerbahce, are being tried, casting a shadow over the country’s multi-billion dollar league. The soccer scandal erupted last July

FILE - Match referee Cuneyt Cakir from Turkey shows a yelow card to Italy’s Daniele De Rossi (second right) as Ireland’s Glenn Whelan (left) and Kevin Doyle and Italy’s Alessandro Diamanti react during their Group C Euro 2012 soccer match in Poznan, June 18, 2012. (Reuters)

when police carried out raids against those accused of involvement in rigging 13 matches. An indictment by state prosecutors names eight clubs, including Fenerbahce, Besiktas and Trabzonspor. Fourteen players are among the defendants. Fenerbahce Chairman Aziz Yildirim, who is accused of being a gang leader and

is in prison awaiting a verdict on his trial, has denied the match-fixing charges. He says the allegations against him were specifically designed to undermine the 18-times domestic champions. The Turkish Football Federation launched its own investigation, and 22 separate Super League games were referred to the disciplinary committee. -Reuters

Chivas USA beats Charlotte 2-1 in US Open Cup

FULLERTON, California: Jose Correa scored two goals, including the winner in the final moments, and Chivas USA advanced to the semifinals of the US Open Cup for second time in franchise history with a 2-1 victory over USLPRO club Charlotte Eagles. The Colombian forward delivered the opening goal in the 64th minute. Juan Agudelo fired a through-ball that sliced the Charlotte defense, allowing Correa to fire an uncontested shot.

Charlotte pressed forward late and found an equalizer just a minute from the end of regulation time. Jorge Herrera fired a shot that deflected off Chivas defender James Riley, falling for Mauricio Salles. He calmly slotted the shot past goalkeeper Tim Melia. Correa then got his second goal 3 1-2 minutes into stoppage time, scoring off a sequence created by Laurent Courtois’ free kick. Chivas USA faces three-time Open Cup champion Seattle in the semifinals on July 10. -AP

Bale signs 4-year deal with Tottenham

Former Portugal Internationals Eusebio and Luis Figo speak ahead of the UEFA EURO 2012 quarterfinal match between Czech Republic and Portugal at The National Stadium on June 21, 2012. (AFP)

LISBON, Portugal: Portuguese soccer great Eusebio is back in his home town after a health scare at the European Championship. The 70-year-old Eusebio arrived at Lisbon airport in an air ambulance Wednesday after being discharged from a hospital in Poznan, Poland. He was with the Portuguese squad at its nearby Euro 2012 training camp when he felt sick and was ad-

mitted to the Polish hospital on Saturday. After initial fears he had suffered a heart attack, doctors said he needed rest. Eusebio went straight to a Lisbon hospital for a checkup after arriving in the Portuguese capital. He has been hospitalized four times since December with a variety of ailments. Portugal faces Spain in a semifinal match on Wednesday. -AP

LONDON: Gareth Bale has signed a new four-year contract with Tottenham, tying him to the London club until 2016. The Wales winger, who joined Spurs in 2007, has been linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs after emerging as one of the Premier League’s standout players over the last two years. His future at Tottenham had also been in doubt after the team failed to qualify for next season’s Champions League. However, Bale says “I love the club and the fans and I want to play my part in trying to get us back into the Champions League - where we belong.” Tottenham is currently without a manager after the departure of Harry Redknapp this month. -AP

FILE- Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale, left, competes with Blackburn Rovers’ Morten Gamst Pedersen during their English Premier League soccer match at White Hart Lane, London, Sunday, April 29, 2012. (AP)

June 28, 2012  

Al Watan Daily - Kuwait