SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 2012
Issue No. 1454
150 Fils with IHT
Egypt’s Mubarak sentenced to life in prison
• Gamal, Ala’a Mubarak acquitted of corruption charges • Ousted president enters prison hospital despite resistance
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak sits inside a cage in a courtroom in Cairo in this still image taken from video June 2, 2012. An Egyptian judge convicted Mubarak of complicity in the killings of protesters during the uprising that ended his 30-year rule and sentenced him on Saturday to life in prison. (Reuters)
CAIRO: Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison Saturday for failing to stop the killing of protesters during the uprising that forced him from power last year. The ousted president and his sons, Gamal and Ala’a, were acquitted however, of corruption charges in a mixed verdict that swiftly provoked a new wave of anger on Egypt’s streets. Calls have gone out for a massive protest at Tahrir Square, the heart of the uprising, at 5 p.m. After the sentencing, the 84-year old Mubarak suffered a “health crisis” while on a helicopter flight to a Cairo prison hospital, according to security officials who spoke on condition of anonymity
Relatives of people who died during Egypt’s revolutions react after a court sentenced deposed president Hosni Mubarak to life in prison. (Reuters)
because they were not authorized to speak to the media. One state media report said it was a heart attack, but that could not immediately be confirmed. The officials said Mubarak cried in protest and resisted leaving the helicopter that took him to a prison hospital for the first time since he was detained in April 2011. Mubarak stayed at a regular hospital in his favorite Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh from his arrest until his trial began in on Aug. 3. The officials said he insisted on the helicopter that he be flown to the military hospital on the eastern outskirts of Cairo where he has stayed during the trial.
Mubarak finally left the chopper and moved to the Torah prison hospital more than two hours after his helicopter landed there. Egypt’s Ahmed Shafiq, a former military man who will compete with the Muslim Brotherhood in a run-off presidential vote this month, said on Saturday that the jailing of Hosni Mubarak in a trial over protester killings proved no one was above the law. “We do not have a right to comment on judicial rulings but this verdict indicates that no one is above questioning if the law requires,” said Shafiq, who has described Mubarak as a role model on his official Facebook page.
KUWAIT: During its meeting at MP Jamaan Al-Harbash’ diwaniya, the Majority Bloc’s Coordinative Committee has reportedly discussed MP AlSaifi Al-Saifi’s interpellation against the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Ahmad Al-Rujaib. Though the committee also brought up the government’s perceived failure to regularly attend parliamentary committee meetings, the Blasphemy and Sheikh Jaber University laws were featured predominantly during the meeting. According to sources, most members of the Majority Bloc are in favor of convincing Al-Saifi to defer his grilling and to reach a gentleman deal with the minister, whereby the latter addresses the issues he highlighted in the motion. This comes at a time that reports emerged suggesting that Minister Al-Rujaib is likely to request
the deferral of the interpellation for two weeks, while a final decision is made by the Cabinet during its weekly session tomorrow (Monday). Meanwhile, sources reported that a possible decision by the government to send back the Blasphemy and Sheikh Jaber University laws will expose its real stance on cooperation with the legislative authority, particularly since these laws were endorsed by the Parliament with an overwhelming majority. The sources indicated that sending back the laws will be considered an escalation on the part of the government. It has been informed that the Majority has vowed to re-endorse the said laws in the event that they were rebuffed by the government. MP Dr. Mohammad Al-Kandari remarked that such a move will represent the starkest indicative of government’s attempt to forestall laws and undermine development. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
At least 30 missing, hundreds stranded in Philippine storm
Dusty weather to prevail until today
A view shows central Kuwait City covered in dust June 2, 2012. Kuwait’s Meteorological Center warned on Saturday of low visibility due to the dust storm that will continue to prevail until today. (KUNA)
KUWAIT: Dusty weather conditions are expected to prevail until today (Sunday), where the dust is expected to begin receding on Monday, according to the director of Kuwait Meteorological Center, Mohammad Karam. Karam told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) on Saturday that the country was gripped with a current dust wave, boosted by northwesterly gales reaching 60-70 kmph.
Visibility drop will be at least to less than 500 meters in urban regions and lower than 100 m in rural areas. Strong winds are forecast to taper off at night, thus enabling dust to recede. Temperature will range between 4345 degrees and will fall at night time to 29-31 degrees. Karam urged against going to the sea, and advised allergy patients to abstain from exposure to the dusty More on 2 winds.
“Those rulings certainly disprove any claims that a presidential candidate can reproduce a ruling system that has ended,” he said, responding to critics who say Shafiq, who was also Mubarak’s last prime minister, would revive the old order. Earlier, Mubarak sat stone-faced and frowning in the courtroom’s metal defendants’ cage while judge Ahmed Rifaat read out the conviction and sentence against him, showing no emotion with his eyes concealed by dark sunglasses. His sons Gamal and Alaa looked nervous, but also did not react to either the conviction of their father or their own acquittals. Mubarak was convicted of complicity in
Kuwait oil revenues hit KD 5 billion in two months
Majority vows to re-endorse blasphemy, Jaber University laws
Egyptians gather in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, June 2, 2012. (AP)
KUWAIT: Despite the drop in oil prices, presumably Kuwait has achieved oil revenues worth KD 5 billion in the past two months, a specialized economic report said Saturday. The report, by Al-Shall Economic Consultants, showed that the oil prices have taken downward trend during the past period, but it retained above $100 per barrel benchmark. “By the end of May 2012, the second month of the current fiscal year 2012/2013 ended with the average price of a Kuwaiti barrel of oil being over $100 for the 15th consecutive month, i.e. since March 2011, though with a tendency to decline, sometimes sharply. The lowest average price of a Kuwaiti barrel of oil during the month was at $101.47 per barrel on 24/05 (source: KPC),” it said. “The average price of Kuwaiti crude oil for May scored $106.7 a barrel, by a significant drop of about US -10.2 or -8.7 percent, from April’s average of $116.9. However, May’s average is still $41.7 per barrel, or 64.2 percent, higher than the new hypothetical price estimated in the current budget at $ 65 per barrel. May 2011 price average for the last FY 2011/2012 scored about $107.5 per barrel. The last FY 2011/2012, which ended last March, achieved an average price of $109.9 for the Kuwaiti barrel of oil.” The report also expected the oil revenues for this year will hit KD 30 billion. “Assuming production and prices would continue at their current levels - an assumption on the price side at least, which has nothing to do with reality - it is expected that the value of potential oil revenues for the entire current fiscal year would score some KD 30 billion, which is KD 17.2 billion higher See also 6 than the budget estimate.
NATO rescues 4 aid workers in Afghanistan KUNDUZ, Afghanistan: A NATO rescue team dropped by helicopter in the remote mountains of northern Afghanistan early on Saturday freed four aid workers, including two foreigners, who had been seized by the Taliban last month, the alliance said. The aid workers, employed by Swiss-based Medair, were en route to flood-stricken parts of Badakhshan province when they were kidnapped. NATO forces entered the area under cover of darkness and after confirming the presence of the hostages, carried out a successful raid to free them, Lieutenant Commander Brian Badura, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) told Reuters. The rescue team suffered no casualties in the operation, Badura said. The kidnappers were armed with heavy machine guns, AK-47 assault rifles, and rocket-propelled grenades. The two foreigners were identified as Helen Johnston, a Briton, and Moragwa Oirere from Kenya. British Prime Minister David Cameron, welcoming the freeing of the hostages, said their lives were increasingly in danger. “The risks to Helen and her colleagues were getting worse all time as more and more Taliban were getting involved and the risks to her life were indeed getting greater.” He said it was an operation in which British troops were involved, and that a number of Taliban and hostage takers were killed. A statement from ISAF, however, identified the hostage-takers as members of the Taliban, who have stepped up violence across the country as foreign combat forces prepare to leave by the end of 2014. “This morning’s mission, conducted by coalition forces, exemplifies our collective and unwavering commitment to defeat the Taliban,” General John Allen, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan said. Medair is a humanitarian non-governmental organization based near Lausanne, Switzerland. The aid workers had been travelling by donkey to visit a clinic in the remote Yawan district, where the road had been destroyed by floods caused by melting snow after one of the worst Afghan winters in decades. -Reuters
the killing of some 900 protesters during the 18day uprising that forced him to resign in February 2011. He and his two sons were acquitted of corruption charges, along with a family friend who is on the run. Rifaat opened the session with a strongly worded statement before handing down the verdicts. He expressed deep sympathy for the uprising. “The people released a collective sigh of relief after a nightmare that did not, as is customary, last for a night, but for almost 30 black, black, black years - darkness that resembled a winter night. CONTINUED ON PAGE 3
Arab League urges more UN monitors in Syria
Seven dead, 30 wounded in north Lebanon clashes
TRIPOLI, Lebanon: Seven people were killed and 30 wounded in Lebanon’s port city of Tripoli on Saturday in clashes between Lebanese supporters and opponents of a popular uprising against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, an army doctor at the scene said. Residents of neighboring districts have fought on-off skirmishes in recent weeks, but Saturday’s death toll is the highest in a single day in Tripoli, raising fears that Syria’s unrest will spill over into its smaller neighbor. The fighting in Tripoli started shortly before midnight Friday and intensified Saturday, the officials said on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. Lebanon and Syria share a complex web of political and sectarian ties and rivalries, which are easily enflamed. Clashes in Tripoli last month killed at least eight people. The conflict pits Sunni Muslims who support Syrian rebels trying to oust Presi-
dent Bashar Al-Assad against members of the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam of which Assad is a member. Smoke was seen billowing from several apartments near the city’s Syria street, the dividing line between the mainly Sunni Bab Tabbaneh neighborhood and the adjacent, Alawite-majority Jabal Mohsen. The area around Syria street was mostly empty and gunmen were roaming the streets. “We are being targeted because we support the Syrian people,” a Sunni gunman told Associated Press Television. “We are with you (Syrian people) and will not abandon you.” In Syria, activists said government troops fired shells at Houla, a cluster of farming villages in the central province of Homs where the UN says at least 108 people - including 49 children under the age of ten - were killed on May 25. The opposition and the government have exchanged accusations over the massacre, each blaming the other. -Agencies
A view shows central Kuwait City covered in dust June 2, 2012. Kuwait’s Meteorological Center warned on Saturday of low visibility due to the dust storm that will continue to prevail until today. (KUNA)
England ponder Anderson omission
SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 2012
Al-Deqbasi counsels Iran to foster better relations with neighbors Staff Writer and Agencies
KUWAIT: Arab Parliament President Ali Salem Al-Deqbasi urged Iran in a statement issued on Saturday not to interfere in the internal affairs of Arab countries and not to incite sectarian divisions with the intent to destabilize them. By such interventions, said Al-Deqbasi, Iran only seeks to divert attention from the international pressures on it vis-a-vis its nuclear program and its ailing internal problems. “Iran’s recent escalation of its threats to Gulf states in the aftermath of the disclosure of a terrorist cell working for Iran in Bahrain and the sentences handed down in Kuwait against a group of Iranians accused of spying for Iran, and the ratcheting up of Iranian rheto-
ric against the notion of a Gulf confederation, especially one between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and Iran’s covering of the island of Abu Musa ( which belongs to the UAE) with a mobile phone network, and its armed support of the regime in Syria and its intervention in the internal affairs in Libya - all fall into the Iranian government’s policy to divert attention from its growing internal problems and its attempts to assuage international pressures on it,” said AlDeqbasi. Furthermore, he called on Iran to improve its ties with all Arab countries, based on principles of good neighborliness and non-interference in other’s domestic affairs and complete respect for their territories. Meanwhile, lawyer Doukhi Al-Hasban, who defended one of the suspects involved in
the Iranian espionage network, asserted that the verdict proves that Iran’s claims which accuse Kuwait’s judiciary system for lack of integrity are false. He asked the Iranian authorities to examine the phases of the trial and its verdicts. It is worth noting that Al-Hasban is the Assistant Undersecretary for the Arab Lawyers Association and the lawyer of the fourth defendant. The high profile case was covered by international media agencies, where the first judiciary degree convicted five suspects and acquitted the sixth and seventh suspects. The first three suspects received death sentences, while the fourth and fifth suspects received life imprisonment before their papers were referred to the Supreme Court Appeal. Al-Hasban explained that the fact that two
Suleiman says Lebanon will ensure safety of Kuwaitis
of the suspects were acquitted prove that the claims made by the Iranian authorities which allegedly accuse Kuwait of basing its sentence on political influences are false. The lawyer indicated that the court relied on facts, which led to the acquitting of two of the suspects that were accused by the Public Prosecution of spying for another country. He added that the Court of Appeal acquitted another suspect, which is his client, who had received a life imprisonment sentence earlier, after he provided the court with evidences that led to the release of his client. He stressed that the confessions made by the defendants were not forced, which proves that the Iranian claims are untrue. Moreover, he stated that his client, the fourth suspect, is Syrian, which also proves
that the Iranian claims are false, because if the Kuwaiti judiciary system was influenced by politics, it would have approved the sentence handed to his client by the first degree court; especially in light of the unrest and violence occurring in Syria that is clearly supported by Iran. He said that Kuwait has made it clear several times that it supports the Syrian people who are being massacred by the Syrian regime that is openly supported by Iran. Al-Hasban concluded that the Kuwaiti judiciary system is well known for its integrity, and is one of the main pillars of Kuwait that must not be surrounded by doubts. He criticized the government for deporting his client, although he has been acquitted by the court, not to mention that the deportation sentence was handed by first degree court.
Majority vows to re-endorse blasphemy, Jaber University laws Continued from Page 1
Speaking to Al Watan, the lawmaker explained that the government deserves to be termed as Tindecisive and stagnantU, while calling on all the ministers to shoulder their responsibilities by tendering their resignations as they will be credited with such a move. On the contrary, MP Saleh Ashour stated that sending back laws is an absolute prerogative of His Highness the Amir, hence MPs should deal with the issue at hand in accordance with the constitutional procedures rather than hold ministers accountable for it. For his part, MP Abdurrahman AlAnjeri challenged the Ministers of Justice
and Interior to resign in the event that the Blasphemy and Sheikh Jaber University laws were sent back to Parliament. MP Mohammad Al-Dallal went as far as accusing certain unnamed forces of Rwillingness to create political chaos in order to topple the National Assembly and the government.S In another development, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Environment and Nuclear Energy Committee Dr. Hamad Al-Matar commended the presence of the Minister of Commerce and Industry Anas Al-Salah in a meeting convened by a panel tasked with probing the Rhayya inferno. Al-Saleh emerged an hour after the meeting started.
Before the minister turned up at the meeting, Al-Matar lambasted the government accusing it of showing disrespect to the Parliament, in reference to the absence of its representatives. In other news, MP Faisal Al-Mislem insisted that the Audit Bureau did not acquit the former Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad of the allegations that he had illicit transferred public funds abroad via the Foreign Ministry. Sheikh Nasser has since denied the claims. Al-Mislem stated that the Audit Bureau was faced with difficulties while scrutinizing the particulars of the case, considering the fact that Rmost of the transfers were made without documents.
32 children from AIDS infected parents born ‘normal’
Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt (left) during an official dinner meeting held with dignitaries in Kuwait. Lebanon’s President Michel Suleiman is due in Kuwait today. (Al Watan)
BEIRUT: Lebanon’s President Michel Suleiman said Saturday Lebanon as a government and people would ensure the safety and security of Arab expatriates, including citizens from Kuwait. “Lebanese eagerly await their Kuwaiti brothers this summer in order to improve their hospitality for them as usual,” Suleiman told the Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA). “Lebanon, as government and people, is ready to embrace them and ensure their security, freedom and dignity,” he added. Suleiman’s comments come ahead of his scheduled trip to Kuwait Sunday to discuss the Gulf country’s re-
cent decision to ban their nationals from traveling to Lebanon after unrest last month in the country. Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have also issued similar notices warning their national not to visit Lebanon and for those who are in the country to leave. On Saturday, clashes renewed in the northern coastal of Tripoli between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. One person was killed and at least nine were wounded in the clashes. During an interview last month, Suleiman also said he would travel to Arab countries, including Kuwait, to enlist their support for national dialogue. -Agencies
KUWAIT: Between 2000-2012, 32 children were born from AIDS infected parents without contracting the disease, said a Health official here Saturday. Head of the infectious disease hospital Dr. Jamal Al-Duaij told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) in an exclusive interview that such born children go under specific medical treatment before they are delivered to ensure that they would not contract the disease from the parents.
He noted that persons infected with AIDS, though contagious, could live their lives normally through recent advancements in medical science and treatment, noting that it was possible for parents give birth to an AIDS-free child. The Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The illness interferes with the immune system, mak-
ing people with AIDS much more likely to get infections, including opportunistic infections and tumors that do not affect people with working immune systems. This susceptibility gets worse as the disease continues. AIDS was first recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1981 and its cause, HIV, identified in the early 1980s. It has led to nearly 30 million deaths on a global scale since the discovery. -KUNA
Dusty weather to continue today
Japan, Kuwait maintain close ties: Ambassador TOKYO: The Kuwaiti embassy held a reception in coordination with the International Friendship Center, late on Friday, during which the ambassador shed light on establishment of Kuwait as a modern state and the historic ties bounding Tokyo with the Gulf country.
Kuwaiti Ambassador, Abdul Rahman Homoud AlOtaibi. (KUNA)
The gathering got underway with a statement by the Ambassador, Abdul Rahman Homoud Al-Otaibi, dealing with process of establishing Kuwait as a modern state that succeeded in embracing democracy and granting political rights to women. On ties with Japan, he noted that the Asian nation was the first country to recognize Kuwait’s independence in 1961. These ties have developed, particularly in the economic sector, and now Japan is one of the major importers of the Kuwaiti crude oil and top exporter of industrial and electronic products to Kuwait, said AlOtaibi. Japan stood on Kuwait’s side during the Iraqi occupation and took part in the liberation of the country. “This stance is deeply rooted in memory of the Kuwaitis,” he said. Kuwait did not forget the Japanese stand, and last year, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah ordered delivery of five million barrels of oil to the Japanese people to help them cope with the catastrophic tsunami. The close ties between the two countries were affirmed with the visit of HH the Amir to Japan, on March 20. -KUNA
Illegal residents to register for education KUWAIT: The charity fund for the Education Ministry will start registering illegal residents’ students for the upcoming 2012-13 school-year, said an official on Saturday. Assistant Undersecretary for special education and chairperson of the charity fund Mona Al-Loghani told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that the effort was coordinated with the central system for dealing with the
situation of illegal residents, adding that since 2003, the fund took care of education expenses of around 12,802 students with illegal residency status at private schools. The official indicated that the fund would also be helping those who adjusted their residency status to enable students to further pursue their education. -KUNA
Labor workers are seen wearing a mask to protect themselves from inhaling dust. The weather forecasts expect the dust storm to continue until today, Sunday. (Al Watan)
KUWAIT: Dusty weather conditions are expected to prevail until today (Sunday), where the dust is expected to begin receding on Monday, according to the director of Kuwait Meteorological Center, Mohammad Karam. Karam told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) on Saturday that the country was gripped with a current dust wave, boosted by northwesterly gales reaching 60-70 kmph. Visibility drop will be at least to less than 500 meters in urban regions and lower than 100 m in rural areas. Strong winds are forecast to taper off at night,
thus enabling dust to recede. Temperature will range between 4345 degrees and will fall at night time to 29-31 degrees. Karam urged against going to the sea, and advised allergy patients to abstain from exposure to the dusty winds. Meanwhile, operations at Kuwait’s main port, Shuwaikh Port, and navigation to and from the harbor came to a halt on Saturday due to bad weather conditions, but flights to and from the national airport continued as regular. Suliman Al-Yahya, in charge of marine operations at the port, told KUNA
that gale speed exceeded 70 kmph and visibility ebbed, thus prompting the port authorities to halt all operations at the facility. Incoming and outgoing vessels have been ordered to halt moving, pending improvement of the weather. However, operations at Kuwait International Airport continued as regular, according to Issam Al-Zamel, in charge of the department of operations at the airport, in remarks to KUNA. “Landings and take-offs are proceeding as regular, although the dust wave lowered visibility in the airport region to 400 meters,” he said. -KUNA
FM holds talks with Annan on Syria
DOHA: Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah held talks here on Saturday with the Arab-UN envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan, on the situation in the troubled nation. The meeting was held on sidelines of scheduled Arab meetings, due here. It was attended by senior officials accompanying the minister, who arrived in the Qatari capital earlier today. The Kuwaiti delegation will take part in the extraordi-
nary session of the Arab League Council, the meeting for Arab Ministerial committee on Syria, and the Arab peace initiative ministerial session. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled, accompanied by senior officials of the ministry, was received upon arrival by the Qatari assistant minister of foreign affairs Ali Al-Hajri, the Kuwaiti ambassador to Qatar Ali Al-Haifi and embassy staff. The minister’s delegation includes officials from the Foreign Ministry, Kuwaiti diplomats and other personnel. -KUNA
sundAY, June 3, 2012
Arab League urges more UN monitors in Syria CAIRO: The head of the Arab League has asked the UN Security Council to boost the size of a UN mission in Syria and give it expanded powers to protect people following a surge in violence there, according to a letter leaked to media outlets on Friday. Images of the bloodied bodies of children and others massacred in the city of Houla in attacks blamed on President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces have shocked the world and highlighted the failure of a six-week-old UN-backed ceasefire plan to stop the violence in the 14-month uprising against Assad’s rule. Nabil Elaraby, Secretary-General of the Arab League, condemned the attacks in a letter to the Security Council. “I therefore urge you to move quickly to end all acts of violence taking place in Syria, and to take the necessary measures to protect Syrian civilians, including increasing the number of international monitors and allowing them the necessary powers to put a stop to the violations and crimes being committed,” Elaraby said in the letter. Elaraby, who has said the violence was intended to undercut a truce brokered by international mediator Kofi Annan that never took hold, is struggling to keep alive Annan’s six-point peace plan and avert full-scale civil war in Syria. Security Council diplomats in New York said they received the letter, although it was not immediately clear how they would react. Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Council has condemned Syria for last week’s massacre in the Houla region and called for a UN investigation to identify the perpetrators and gather evidence for possible criminal prosecution. The 47-member forum, which held an emergency session in Geneva, adopted a reso-
(Left to right) Arab League secretary general Nabil Al-Arabi, Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem AlThani and UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan attend an Arab ministerial committee meeting in Doha to discuss the Syrian crisis on June 2. (AFP)
lution on Friday by a vote of 41 states in favor to three against - China, Cuba and Russia - with two abstentions and one delegation absent. The resolution was put forward by Qatar, Turkey and the US amid international outrage at the killing of 108 people, nearly half of them children, in Houla a week ago. Speaking to Al Jazeera from Geneva, Laura
Dupuy Lasserre, the permanent representative of Uruguay to the UN and also the president of the Human Rights Council, said the council holds the Syrian government responsible for the violence in Houla. “The council in its resolution understands that pro-regime elements and Syrian government artillery and tank shelling were used
against residential neighborhoods. That means: attacking the civilian population,” Dupuy Lasserre said. “Nevertheless, it reiterates that all violence in all its forms by all parties must seize as well.” The 193-nation UN General Assembly is planning to meet next Thursday to discuss the escalating crisis in Syria and the Houla massacre.
Egypt’s Mubarak sentenced to life in prison
An Egyptian protester mimicks the gesture of execution while shouting anti Mubarak slogans, as he joins others in a protest, shortly after the announcement of the verdict in the trial of former president Hosni Mubarak and his aids in Tahrir square, Cairo, Egypt, June 2. (EPA)
defense minister. “Execute them, execute them!” chanted the protesters in Alexandria. Mubarak and his former Interior Minister Habib Al-Adly, who was in charge of the police and other security forces at the time of the uprising, were convicted of failing to act to stop the killings during the opening days of the revolt, when the bulk of protesters died. Al-Adly also received a life sentence. Most of the dead were either shot or run over by police vehicles in Cairo and a string of major cities across the country. Mubarak and his sons - one-time heir apparent Gamal and wealthy businessman Alaa - were acquitted on corruption charges, with the judge citing a 10-year statute of limitations that had lapsed since the alleged crimes were committed. Just days before the verdict was made public, the state prosecutor leveled new charges of insider trading against the two sons. It now appears that these charges may have been an attempt to head off new public outrage once the acquittals of the
Mubarak sons were made public. It has appeared all along that prosecutions since Mubarak’s fall targeting relatively few high level officials and their cronies have been motivated largely by a desire to appease public anger expressed in massive street protests that continued long after Mubarak’s ouster. Scores of policemen charged with killing protesters have either been acquitted or received light sentences, angering relatives of the victims and the pro-democracy youth groups behind the uprising. Rock-throwing and fist fights outside the courtroom left at least 20 people injured, and a police official said that four people were arrested. Thousands of riot police and policemen riding horses had cordoned off the building to prevent protesters and relatives of those slain during the uprising from getting too close. Hundreds stood outside, waving Egyptian flags and chanting slogans demanding “retribution.” Some spread Mubarak’s picture on the asphalt and walked over it. -Agencies
A nation-by-nation look at Arab Spring dictators
CAIRO: Egypt’s longtime leader Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison Saturday for failing to stop the killing of protesters during the uprising that forced him from power last year. The 84-year-old was the first Arab Spring leader to be tried in his own country, but he is not the only ruler in the Middle East to be caught up in the uprisings that have swept across the region since early last year. Here’s a look at the fate of other Arab leaders: TUNISIA: ZINE EL ABIDINE BEN ALI
The former Tunisian leader fled to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 14, 2011, after a month-long uprising that sparked the larger Arab Spring. Ben Ali has been convicted in absentia by a Tunisian court for corruption and other crimes during his 23year authoritarian rule. LIBYA: MUAMMAR GADHAFI
After leading Libya for four decades, Gadhafi spent his final weeks shuttling from hideout to hideout in his hometown of Sirte until rebel fighters captured and killed him in October. YEMEN: ALI ABDULLAH SALEH
The Yemeni president clung to power for nearly a year in the face of mass protests against his rule, staying in place even
after a bomb blast in June left him with burns over much of his body. Finally, under a US and Gulf-brokered agreement, Saleh handed over power to his vice president, who earlier this year was elected president. But Saleh remains in Yemen and at the head of his party, and his relatives and loyalists still hold powerful positions in the military, security forces and government. Many Yemenis accuse him of using those tools to undermine his successor in hopes of one day returning to power. SYRIA: BASHAR ASSAD
Syrian President Bashar Assad is clinging to power, despite a 15-month-old uprising against his rule that has turned into a bloodbath and near civil war. Activists say at least 13,000 people have been killed. Assad’s forces unleashed a withering crackdown against a revolt that began with peaceful protests, prompting many of the regime’s opponents - joined by army defectors - to take up arms against the government. The military has responded with all-out assaults on opposition areas, leaving mass destruction in neighborhoods of some cities. The conflict also has taken on a worrying sectarian tone. The Sunni Muslim majority largely backs the opposition, while the Alawites and other minorities support Assad, himself an Alawite. There have been tit-for-tat killings and a string of suicide bombings against military buildings. -AP
In Brussels, the UN’s top human rights official said Saturday that there should be no amnesty for serious crimes committed in Syria, even if the threat of prosecution might motivate members of the regime to cling to power at all costs. Asked if Assad should be allowed to leave power in exchange for safe haven, Pillay said international leaders seeking peace may be drawn to “politically expedient solutions which may involve amnesty or undertakings not to prosecute.” But she said that would be wrong under international law. “You cannot have amnesty for very serious crimes,” she told The Associated Press during an interview in Brussels. “So my message is very clear - there has to be accountability.” Lawyers for former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who was sentenced Wednesday by the Special Court for Sierra Leone to 50 years in prison, had argued that giving him a long sentence would send the wrong message to Assad. Courtenay Griffiths, an attorney for Taylor, criticized the court for refusing while setting Taylor’s sentence to take into account his decision to step down from power after his indictment in 2003. “What lesson does that send to President Assad?” Griffiths asked. “Maybe the lesson is: If you are a sitting leader and the international community wants to get rid of you, either you get murdered like Gadhafi, or you hang on until the bitter end.” Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi was killed by a mob in October. In Doha, Qatar, on Saturday, the head of Syria’s largest exile opposition group said he would welcome Arab military action aimed at ending attacks by Assad’s regime against Syrian rebel forces and civilians. -Agencies
Iran threatens to target US bases if attacked
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“The revolution by the people of Egypt was inspired by God. They did not seek a luxurious life or to sit atop the world, but asked their politicians, rulers and those in authority to give them a decent life and a bite to eat,” he said. “They peacefully demanded democracy from rulers who held a tight grip on power.” Angered by the acquittals of the Mubarak sons and six top police officers, lawyers for the victims’ families broke out chanting inside the courtroom as soon as Rifaat finished reading the verdict. “The people want to cleanse the judiciary,” they chanted. Some raised banners that read: “God’s verdict is execution.” The charges related to killing protesters carried a possible death sentence that the judge chose not to impose, opting instead to send Mubarak to prison for the rest of his life. Rifaat criticized the prosecution’s case, saying it lacked concrete and material evidence and that there was nothing in what has been presented to the court that proved that the protesters were killed by the police. Because those who pulled the trigger have not been arrested, he added, he could not convict any of the top police officers of complicity in the killing of the protesters. The prosecution had complained during the trial that it did not receive any help from the Interior Ministry in its preparation for the case and, in some cases, prosecutors were met with obstruction. Outside the courtroom on the outskirts of the capital, there was jubilation initially when the conviction was announced, with one man falling to his knees and prostrating himself in prayer on the pavement and others dancing, pumping fists in the air and shooting off fireworks. But that scene soon descended into tensions and scuffles, as thousands of riot police in helmets and shields held the restive, mostly anti-Mubarak crowd back behind a cordon protecting the court. Later, thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, birthplace of the uprising, and in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria on Egypt’s northern coast. They chanted slogans denouncing the trial as “theatrical” and against the ruling generals who took over for Mubarak, led by his former
DUBAI: Iran has warned the United States not to resort to military action against it, saying US bases in the region were vulnerable to the Islamic Republic’s missiles, state media reported on Saturday. The comments by a senior Iranian military commander were an apparent response to US officials who have said Washington was ready to use military force to stop what it suspects is Iran’s goal to develop a nuclear weapons capability. World powers held talks with Iran in Baghdad on May 23-24 in an attempt to find a diplomatic solution to their concerns over its nuclear program, which Tehran maintains is entirely peaceful. Another round was set for June 18-19 in Moscow. “The politicians and the military men of the United States are well aware of the fact that all of their bases (in the region) are within the range of Iran’s missiles and in any case ... are highly vulnerable,” Press TV reported Brigadier-General Yahya Rahim Safavi as saying. Safavi is a military adviser to Iran’s clerical Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and was until 2007 the commander in chief of Iran’s Revolutionary
Guards, the force that protects Iran’s Islamic system of governance. He also warned that Iranian missiles could reach all parts of Israel but played down any possibility of military action against his country as “faint” because of the current economic condition of the United States. Analysts say Iranian military officials use such fiery rhetoric as a way of keeping the West on edge over the possible disruption to global oil supplies in the event of US or Israeli military action. Tehran has previously threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz - a vital crude shipping lane if it is attacked, which experts say would result in a spike in the price of oil and could hit the US economy as it seeks to recover from the financial crisis. Last month the US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, said plans for a possible military strike on Iran were ready and the option was “fully available”. US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said Iran needed to take steps to curb its nuclear activities during the next round of talks in Moscow. Israel is skeptical any progress can be made and has accused Tehran of simply buying time. -AP
Iraq deaths increase for second straight month Pro- and anti-Syrian groups clash in north Lebanon
Satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the military complex at Parchin, Iran. Buildings gone at Iran site, say diplomats and the Institute for Science and International Security. (AP)
BAGHDAD: The number of Iraqis killed in May increased for a second consecutive month, but remained near the lowest level since the 2003 US-led invasion, according to official figures released on Saturday. In total, 132 Iraqis - 90 civilians, 20 policemen and 22 soldiers - died in attacks nationwide, figures compiled by the ministries of health, interior and defense showed. That compared with 126 deaths in April and 112 in March, the latter of which was the lowest monthly figure since the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. A total of 248 people were wounded in violence in May, including 115 civilians, 80 policemen and 53 soldiers. The figures also showed that 20 insurgents were killed and 105 arrested. The worst violence took place on May 31, when a spate of bombings across Baghdad killed 17 people, while shootings in the north of the country left three others dead. -AFP
BEIRUT: Gunbattles between proand anti-Syrian groups in northern Lebanon killed at least one person and wounded nine Saturday, security officials said, as activists reported fresh shelling of a region in central Syria that witnessed a massacre last week that killed more than 100 people. The clashes in the Lebanese port city of Tripoli started shortly before midnight Friday and continued Saturday, the officials said on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. Lebanon and Syria share a complex web of political and sectarian ties and rivalries, which are easily enflamed. Clashes in Tripoli last month killed at least eight people in a spillover of the conflict in Syria. The split is between Sunni Muslims
who support Syrian rebels trying to oust President Bashar Assad and members of the leader’s tiny Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. In Syria, activists said government troops fired shells at Houla, a cluster of farming villages in the central province of Homs where the U.N. says at least 108 people - including 49 children under the age of ten - were killed on May 25. The opposition and the government have exchanged accusations over the massacre with each side blaming the other. Syria has come under deep international isolation since its forces launched a ferocious crackdown on dissent nearly 15 months ago, but the Houla massacre has brought a new urgency in calls to end the crisis. -AP
OPINION / VIEWS
sunDAY, june 3, 2012
Don’t forget Iran’s record of deception Alan Elsner Reuters
ptimism that the talks in Baghdad about Iran’s nuclear weapons program could produce a deal should be tempered with extreme skepticism and caution in light of the Islamic Republic’s long record of lies and deception. The international media is awash with speculation that some kind of agreement is in the offing between the six nations that make up the so-called P5+1 (the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) and the Iranians. Such a deal, we read, would require Iran to stop enriching uranium above 5 percent and ship its stockpile of 20-percent-enriched uranium (currently estimated at more than 100 kilograms) out of the country. Enrichment at the reinforced underground facility in Fordo, near Qom, would have to stop. This is a key demand. It is clear from the size of the site that it has a military purpose: It can hold only 3,000 centrifuges - far fewer than the number needed for industrial-scale fuel production, but ideal for quick production of 90-percent-weapons-grade-enriched uranium. In return, the
No one knows if the Iranian leadership will agree to such a package but their past record leaves little room for confidence.
international community would agree not to impose further economic sanctions, though current measures would remain in place. Additionally, the six powers would agree to help the Iranians fuel a small reactor for medical purposes and send them fuel rods for a civilian research reactor. No one knows if the Iranian leadership will agree to such a package. But their past record leaves little room for confidence, and many analysts believe the Iranians are engaged in this process in an effort to buy yet more time so that they can continue enriching uranium and move even closer to a nuclear weapon. Although not part of the P5+1, no country has more at stake in these talks than Israel, which remains the most likely target of a nuclear-armed Iran. Just this past weekend, the chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, told a defense gathering in Tehran that the Iranian nation remained committed to the “full annihi-
lation of the Zionist regime of Israel to the end.” It is worth remembering that the requirement that Iran suspend all uranium enrichment is not an Israeli demand. In fact, it has been enshrined in a series of resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council starting with Resolution 1696 passed in July 2006. This and subsequent resolutions were adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, making them legally binding on Iran. Tehran continues to maintain that its program is purely civilian and peaceful - but such protestations can have no credibility in light of the Iranian record. Much of what we know about their nuclear program was disclosed by dissident groups or by Western intelligence after the Iranians tried their best to conceal the information from the world. For example, the underground nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz was revealed in 2002 by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a dissident group.
In September 2009, Western governments disclosed the existence of a second underground enrichment facility near Qom. Now we have the controversy surrounding the highexplosives weapons-testing site at Parchin. The International Atomic Energy Agency has asked repeatedly to visit the site, which it suspects is used for high-explosives tests related to nuclear weapons development - but its requests have been refused. At the same time, satellite imagery suggests that the Iranians may be trying to clean up the site, removing signs of suspicious nuclearrelated activity. It is unclear what Iran’s motivations are in agreeing to this latest set of talks. Possibly, the sanctions are biting so hard that the Iranian leadership is finally looking for a way out of the crisis. But if the past teaches us anything, it is that Iran’s leaders are deeply committed to the goal of developing nuclear arms and have been steadfastly working toward that goal for decades. It is incumbent on the P5+1 to approach these talks with deep suspicion. Any deal they accept has to have real teeth and real verification procedures. Such a deal should in no way walk back from resolutions adopted by the Security Council. And international sanctions should remain tightly in place until it is clear beyond all shadow of a doubt that Iran is complying. *Alan Elsner is a Reuters correspondent. The views expressed here are his own.
The broken legs of global trade Jagdish Bhagwati Project Syndicate
he Doha Round, the latest phase of multilateral trade negotiations, failed in November 2011, after ten years of talks, despite official efforts by many countries, including the United Kingdom and Germany, and by nearly all eminent trade scholars today. While trade officials in the United States and the European Union blamed the G-22 developing countries’ excessive demands for the failure of earlier negotiations in Cancún in 2003, there is general agreement that this time it was the US whose unwarranted (and unyielding) demands killed the talks. So, now what? The failure to achieve multilateral trade liberalization by concluding the Doha Round means that the world lost the gains from trade that a successful treaty would have brought. But that is hardly the end of the matter: the failure of Doha will virtually halt multilateral trade liberalization for years to come. Of course, multilateral trade negotiations are only one of three legs on which the World Trade Organization stands. But breaking that leg adversely affects the functioning of the other two: the WTO’s rule-making authority and its disputesettlement mechanism. The costs here may also be large. Until now, preferential trade agreements (PTAs) among small groups of countries co-existed with multilateral, non-discriminatory trade-liberalization rounds. As a result, the rules that govern trade, such as anti-dumping duties and countervailing duties to offset illegal subsidies, were in the domain of both the WTO and the PTAs. But, when there was a conflict, WTO rules prevailed, because they conferred enforceable rights that extended to all WTO members, whereas PTA-defined rights extended only to the PTA’s few members. So, while powerful, “hegemonic” countries like the US managed to impose their own rules on weaker partners in the PTAs that they helped to proliferate, big emerging economies like India, Brazil, China, and South Africa insisted on rejecting such demands when made as part of multilateral trade rounds like Doha. Now, however, with the era of multilateral trade rounds and system-wide rules behind us, the PTAs are the only game in town, and the templates established by the hegemonic powers in unequal trade treaties with economically weaker countries will increasingly carry the day. In fact, such templates now extend beyond conventional trade issues (for example, agricultural protection) to vast numbers of areas unrelated to trade, including labor standards, environmental rules, policies on expropriation, and the ability to impose capital-account controls in financial crises. The US-led public-relations blitzkrieg of euphemism has already begun, with US Assistant Trade Representative Wendy Cutler describing the latest PTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as a “high standard” agreement. Other American officials have taken to calling PTA’s “trade agreements for the twenty-first century.” Who could possibly be against the twenty-first century?
Emerging economies like India, Brazil, China, and South Africa insisted on rejecting such demands when made as part of multilateral trade rounds like Doha. What is disturbing is the way in which some trade economists in Geneva and in Washington have capitulated to such propaganda, and regard capitulation by the WTO as a way to “salvage” and reshape the organization. The WTO, like a village during the Vietnam War, must be destroyed in order to be saved. Unfortunately, this insidious attack on the second leg of the WTO also extends to the third leg, the dispute-settlement mechanism. The DSM is the pride of the WTO: it is the only impartial and binding mechanism for adjudicating and enforcing contractual obligations defined by the WTO and accepted by its members. It gives every member, big or small, a platform and a voice. Once PTA-based DSMs are established, however, adjudication of disputes will reflect asymmetries of power, benefiting the stronger trade partner. Moreover, third countries will have little scope for input into PTAbased DSMs, though their interests may very well be affected by how adjudication is structured. Given that the US has abandoned any pretense of leadership on world trade, it is up to major emerging economies and likeminded developed countries to establish their own template, one that adheres to trade objectives and discards what specialinterest lobbies in hegemons like the US seek to foist on PTAs. This is exactly what India has done with the EU, which is now stripping such features out of its proposed PTA. Other countries - Brazil, South Africa, and China among the major emerging economies, and Japan and Australia among the developed countries - should back such “garbage-free” PTAs as well. That just might be an adequate rebuff to the rise of PTAs whose main objective is to serve hegemonic interests alone - perhaps even sufficient to get the multilateral approach back on track. * Jagdish Bhagwati is Professor of Economics and Law at Columbia University and Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations.
The saboteurs of the K-Dow deal Nabeel Al-Fadel
ronically and paradoxically, I still remember the time when honorable MP Musallam Al-Barrak and Uncle Bu Abdulaziz accused anyone and everyone of benefiting from the Dow deal (except themselves of course) which they had then described as a “catastrophic deal.” They both warned of severe consequences and repercussions culminating from that deal not to mention the other underlying fact that the nations would incur severe losses in the process. In fact, they even went a step further and threatened to submit an interpellation motion against His Highness the former premier Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah simply because it was during his tenure in office that the government had approved the dubious deal. They also questioned the honesty, integrity and loyalty of all leading officials in the oil sector. Accordingly, and as expected, the deal was scrapped under a wave of threats issued by AlBarrak and Al-Saadoun. Now, suddenly and out of the blue; it turns out that the Dow project was economically feasible and if that is veritably true, Kuwait has surely lost a gold mine of an investment opportunity because of all those political conflicts erupting among all those at the respective authorities which only worsened after accusations being flying around that all Kuwaitis are thieves and plunderers with the sole exceptions of the honorable Al-Saadoun and Al-Barrak. And in the aftermath of the Dow deal the company went right ahead and approached the relevant international courts culminating in the company winning an arbitration verdict that Kuwait should compensate it for losses incurred through scrapping the contract which was worth more than 2.16 billion US dollars. Citizens across the country are now devastated taking into consideration the fact that we are now faced with a
We are now faced with a financial disaster while that same compensation could have been used towards the establishment of several development projects.
financial disaster while that same compensation could have been used towards the establishment of several development projects. And as if that is just not enough, there is another development that is gradually brewing in the form of the Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) fiasco while the one responsible for that disaster is once again; none other than the honorable MP Al-Barrak who had fought tooth, nail and claw to prevent KAC from leasing three planes from Aviation Lease and Finance Company (ALAFCO) in attempts to expand its own declining fleet. It is by now, common knowledge, that Al-Barrak singlehandedly terrorized the entire parliament and prevented KAC from expanding its fleet after leveling a plethora of false accusations and allegations against several KAC officials over their intentions of profiting from the said deal. Ironically and unfortunately, it seems only too likely that Bu Homoud suffers from a flying phobia as is clearly evident in the fact that he never travels by plane and if that is the case, then it is definitely safe to assume that he knows absolutely nothing about aviation. However, despite all the odds that were stacked against him at that time, he actually had his way and succeeded in scrapping the negotiations. God Almighty forbid, if any of the planes in the aging KAC fleet crashed, would he ever take the responsibility
through his actions of not agreeing to replace those aging aircraft? Can we ever expect to see him mourning or expressing his condolences to the family members of those killed in the crash? I honestly do not think so. This is purely evident in the fact that he has never expressed even an iota of remorse over his disastrous decision to scrap the Dow contract; a faulty decision that culminated in incurring massive losses. In another development, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Qattan delivered a speech in which he is reported to have said: “We have managed to overthrow tyrants like Gadhafi, Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak.” Does Al-Qattan actually want us to believe that he was responsible for overthrowing the regimes in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt when the entire world has actually witnessed that it was the Muslim Brotherhood Movement who achieved that goal and to which he is affiliated with. Now members of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement are also trying to topple the regime in Syria and will not stop toppling regimes even in those countries that actually provided them support in the past. It will only be a matter of time when this eventuality will come true. In fact the upcoming results of the presidential elections in Egypt will determine whether the plans of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement will be expedited or simply slow down.
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sundAY, June 3, 2012
US to shift most of naval fleet to Pacific by 2020 Panetta open to military relations with Myanmar
SINGAPORE: The United States will shift the majority of its naval fleet to the Pacific by 2020 as part of a new strategic focus on Asia, Pentagon chief Leon Panetta told a summit in Singapore. The decision to deploy more ships to the Pacific Ocean, along with expanding a network of military partnerships, was part of a “steady, deliberate” effort to bolster the US role in an area deemed vital to America’s future, he said on Saturday. And he insisted the switch in strategy was not a challenge to China, saying it was compatible with the development and growth of the fast-growing Asian power. Panetta said “by 2020, the Navy will re-posture its forces from today’s roughly 50/50 percent split between the Pacific and the Atlantic to about a 60/40 split between those oceans. “That will include six aircraft carriers in this region, a majority of our cruisers, destroyers, littoral combat ships, and submarines.” The US Navy currently has a fleet of 285 ships, with about half of those vessels deployed or assigned to the Pacific. Although the total size of the overall fleet may decline in coming years depending on budget pressures, Pentagon officials said the number of naval ships in the Pacific would rise in absolute terms. The United States also planned to increase the number of military exercises in the Pacific and to conduct more port visits over a wider area extending to the Indian Ocean. Panetta was speaking to mainly Asian defense officials and officers from 27 countries at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a summit organized by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Leon Panetta, the US Secretary of Defense delivers a speech at the Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) 11th Asia Security Summit in central Singapore, June 2. (EPA)
The speech appeared designed to reassure allies worried about Beijing’s more assertive stance in the South China Sea that Washington will back its much-publicized “pivot” to Asia with concrete action. Panetta said budget woes in Washington would not affect the plan to tilt towards Asia, which would take years to fully realize. The United States planned new investments in capabilities needed “to project power and operate in the Asia-Pacific,” including radarevading fighter jets, a new long-distance bomber, electronic warfare and missile defenses, he said. “But make no mistake - in a steady, deliberate, and sustainable way - the United States
Tuareg rebels talk with Islamists after deal rejected
Rebel Tuareg and Islamist leaders in northern Mali tried to patch up their differences by holding talks after the Tuaregs said they had rejected a deal to form a breakaway state. (AFP)
KAMPALA: Rebel Tuareg and Islamist leaders in northern Mali tried to patch up their differences by holding talks after the Tuaregs said they had rejected a deal to form a breakaway state. Leaders of the Tuareg MNLA and the Islamist Ansar Dine met in the northeastern town of Gao after the MNLA said it had given up on the week-old deal because of the Islamists’ insistence on implementing Sharia law. Walil Ag Cherif of Ansar Dine told AFP in Bamako of the talks by telephone, without giving details. The meeting was confirmed by the Tuareg side. Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) had refused to back off from their demand for the implementation of radical Islamic law, which the rebel National Liberation Movement of Azawad (MNLA) has already rejected. “The MNLA’s political leadership, faced with Ansar Dine’s intransigence on applying Sharia law in Azawad, and to remain faithful to its resolutely secular position, rejects the deal dated May 26, 2012 made with this group and declares everything pertaining to it null and void,” said a statement. The document, dated Thursday and signed by senior MNLA member Hamma Ag Mahmoud in Azawad’s capital Gao, was the first official confirmation of the rebels’ rejection of the accord. The rival groups, who seized main cities in northern Mali after a March 22 coup in the southern capital Bamako, hold separate ideologies and objectives and the relationship has been an uneasy one. A brief bid to merge the two groups quickly dissolved over Ansar Dine’s desire to impose radical Islamic rules on the state. Mossa Ag Attaher, a Paris-based MNLA spokesman, told AFP Friday they
had “accepted the idea of an Islamic State but it should have been written that we will practise a moderate and tolerant Islam, with no mention of Sharia. “We are not ready to find ourselves closed-in by sharia from one day to the next,” he added. But while the MNLA was ready to fight Islamic terrorism, he said, the Tuaregs would not give up on their aim of an autonomous state of Azawad, their name for their homeland in northern Mali, an area larger than France. The Tuareg separatists have already lost many fighters to Ansar Dine. And one regional security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that the now-defunct merger with the Islamists had deeply divided the MNLA. The Tuaregs, many of whom returned armed from fighting for Muammar Gadhafi in Libya, in January revived a decades-old struggle for autonomy. The rebellion in the north pushed back government troops and led to the coup that toppled the government in Bamako, as officers complained that they were not getting the resources they needed to fight back. In the ensuing political vacuum the rebel forces quickly seized control of the northern half of the country. But Ansar Dine, backed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) which has deep roots across the Sahel, then took the upper hand, sweeping into key cities such as Timbuktu and imposing sharia (Islamic) law. Regional and Western leaders have long feared a breakaway state in Mali’s restive north could become Al-Qaeda’s main safe haven. AQIM’s top leader has already offered advice to Ansar Dine on creating an Islamist state. -AFP
military is rebalancing and is bringing an enhanced capability and development to this vital region,” he added. Military commanders are revising doctrine to take into account new weapons that “could deny our forces access to key sea routes and lines of communication.” Amid a growing US-China rivalry, American officials privately acknowledge the push for a larger military footprint is meant to reinforce US diplomacy when confronting Beijing’s assertive stance in the South China Sea. But Panetta insisted that Washington wanted dialogue with Beijing and not conflict. “Some view the increased emphasis by the United States on the Asia-Pacific region as
some kind of challenge to China. I reject that view entirely,” he said. “Our effort to renew and intensify our involvement in Asia is fully compatible... with the development and growth of China. Indeed, increased US involvement in this region will benefit China as it advances our shared security and prosperity for the future.” But in laying out core US principles in the region, Panetta made clear Washington opposed any attempt by Beijing to make unilateral moves in its push for territorial rights in the South China Sea. Disputes had to be resolved through agreedupon rules among all countries and based on international law, he said. Panetta also said the United States is “paying close attention to the situation in Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea,” where the Philippines and China have been locked in an argument over territorial rights. The Philippines is among a number of countries with overlapping territorial claims in the potentially resource-rich South China Sea. Panetta alluded to US concerns over cyber intrusions that Washington has blamed on China, saying that in talks with Beijing the two sides had “agreed on the need to address responsible behavior in cyberspace and in outerspace.” Panetta told Asian leaders Saturday that the US is open to forging better military ties with Myanmar, if political and human rights reforms there continue. His comments to a defense conference here reflected new efforts by the Obama administration to ease sanctions on the Asian nation, which is also known as Burma, as it moves to implement democratic reforms. Assuming Myanmar is able to implement reforms and continue efforts to open up its political system, the Pentagon would be willing to have discussions about how the two nations can improve their military relationship, Panetta said. -Agencies
Mauritius set to try suspected pirates seized by UK PORT LOUIS: Mauritius has said it will receive and try suspected pirates captured by British forces patrolling the Indian Ocean under an agreement with the United Kingdom. The Indian Ocean nation’s Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in London this weekend, helping overcome one of the hurdles to cracking down on the wave of piracy that has hit international shipping. Foreign navies trying to counter piracy off Somalia are often reluctant to take suspects to their own countries because they either lack the jurisdiction to put them on trial, or fear the pirates may seek asylum. Suspected pirates detained on the high seas are released after only brief detention due to the governments’ reluctance to bring them to trial. “(The) Cabinet has agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding on the conditions of transfer of suspected pirates and seized property to Mauritius, being signed with the United Kingdom,” said a statement of cabinet decisions seen by Reuters on Saturday. The island nation said no transferred person would be charged with an offence that carries a death penalty or be sentenced to death. Mauritius is one of several countries in east Africa and the Indian Ocean region conducting trials, or intending to try pirates, because Somalia lacks the legal infrastructure. The government said last month it was making arrangements to accept one or two batches of suspected pirates in June, but did not say how many. Mauritius secured 3 million euros (3.7 million US dollars) in July from the European Union for the trial and detention of piracy suspects.
NEWS IN BRIEF US missiles kill two in northwest Pakistan DERA ISMAIL KHAN: An American drone fired two missiles at a motorbike in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing two suspected militants, officials said, as the US pushed on with its drone campaign despite repeated Pakistani protests. This was the fifth such strike in the country in less than two weeks. Two Pakistani intelligence officials said the missiles hit in Dogh village near Wana, the main town in the South Waziristan tribal region. -Reuters
Special forces free aid workers in Afghanistan KABUL: Two female foreign aid workers kidnapped in Afghanistan last week have been freed in a special forces operation in which five kidnappers were killed, according to officials. “Last night in a successful operation Afghan special forces freed two foreign and three Afghan hostages in Shahri Buzurg, Badakhshan,” Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, spokesman for security forces in northern Afghanistan, told AFP on Saturday. “Five kidnappers were killed during the operation. The hostages are in good condition,” he said. The report was confirmed by provincial police chief Sakhidad Haidar, who said the hostages were freed in a joint NATO-Afghan operation in which special forces descended from an aircraft onto the house where they were being held. -AFP
‘Canadian psycho’ killed Chinese student MONTREAL: A mattress and sofa reportedly taken out of the apartment of Luka Rocco Magnotta lie just outside an apartment building in Montreal in May 2012. A macabre profile of a Canadian porn actor suspected of filming the dismemberment of a Chinese student and mailing his body parts emerged from his acquaintances and hundreds of websites. The victim, identified as Lin Jun, had been “in a relationship” with the porn star, according to Montreal police commander Ian Lafreniere. Police say Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, fled to Europe on May 26 after the murder. -AFP
Chinese military spending a ‘threat’, says Japan
Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam addresses the United Nations General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York on Nov. 24, 2011. (Reuters)
Rampant piracy off the coast of Somalia has made it the world’s most dangerous shipping lane and earned Somali sea bandits tens of millions of dollars in ransoms while pushing up insurance premiums for ships. Kenya so far has borne the brunt of prosecuting sea bandits seized by foreign navies patrolling the Gulf of Aden’s busy shipping lanes that link Europe with Africa and Asia. -Reuters
At least 30 missing, hundreds stranded in Philippine storm
Fishermen secure their fishing boat as strong wind brought by a tropical storm with international name “Mawar” hit the area on June 2, in suburban Navotas City northwest of Manila, Philippines. (AFP)
MANILA: Thirty fishermen were missing and hundreds of travellers were stranded on Saturday after tropical storm Mawar dumped heavy rains across the Philippines, forcing flight and ship cancellations. The storm blanketed large parts of the main southern island of Luzon and central Visayas province with up to 25 millimeters (an inch) of rain an hour overnight, the state weather bureau said. At least two domestic flights were cancelled while more than 500 people were stranded in ports after the coast guard prevented passenger ferries from sail-
ing, disaster relief agencies said. “Thirty fishermen have also gone missing from the eastern-most island of Catanduanes after apparently getting caught at sea by the storm,” Benito Ramos, head of Manila’s Office of Civil Defense, said over local radio. He said search and rescue operations were underway, though the coast guard could not carry out an air search due to bad visibility. About 20 storms slam into the Philippines from the Pacific every year, causing heavy casualties and damage. Mawar is the first for 2012. -AFP
TOKYO: Japan on Saturday expressed concern over what it called a lack of transparency in China’s massive defense spending, saying the secrecy posed a “threat” to Tokyo. China’s military budget jumped 11.2 percent year on year to $106 billion in 2012, a rise that has caused unease around the region and especially in Tokyo, Japan’s Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense Shu Watanabe said. “There is expansion of the military budget and that is not transparent,” he told defense chiefs and senior officials attending an Asia security summit, the Shangri-La Dialogue, in Singapore. Because of the lack of transparency, Japan is in the dark about the details of China’s military spending, he said. “Chinese military budget growth, what sort of capacities they are trying to expand and what sort of purposes they have are not transparent and in that sense it is a threat,” Watanabe added. He said the unease generated by the issue contrasted with generally positive cultural and economic relations Tokyo has with Beijing. “On the military front there are some concerns. I think all countries are the same on that front,” he said. China’s growing military presence and assertive stance, especially in the South China Sea, where it has overlapping territorial claims with other Asian nations, have rattled nerves in the region as well as in Washington. US Senator John McCain said in a press conference on the sidelines of the summit that China should be more open about its defense spending. “What I would like to see is much more transparency on the part of the Chinese government as to how much money is being spent, what it’s being spent on and what their overall strategy should be,” he said. “I don’t view that China’s military buildup is necessarily directed at the United States of America but I do worry when we don’t know exactly how much money is spent, what it’s on and we would also like to hear what their doctrine will be.” Addressing the conference, Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony said New Delhi was also concerned about China’s military spending. -AFP
sundAY, june 3, 2012
KSE retreats at end of week, drops 2.3%, trading volume rises 3.99% KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended last week in the red zone. The price index ended last week with a decrease amounted to 2.30 percent, while the weighted index declined by 1.22 percent compared to the closings of the week before, where KSX-15 Index decreased by 0.69 percent. Furthermore, last week’s average daily turnover increased by 3.03 percent, compared to the preceding week, reaching 24.07 million Kuwaiti dinars, whereas trading volume average was 305.11 million shares, recording increase of 3.99 percent.
Kuwaiti crude plunges under $100 benchmark, drops $4.02
See Page 7
What’s next after the Dow disaster?
Compiled by Al Watan Daily
CAPITALS: The price of Kuwaiti crude oil went down 4.02 US dollars to trade for $96.36 per barrel (pb) Friday compared to last Thursday’s $100.38 pb, said Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) on Saturday. The decrease in global oil price was due to weak employment rates in the US, the retreat of production in the Chinese industry, in addition to the euro debt crisis. At the close of the week, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation chief executive officer, Faruq Al-Zanki, said that the member of the Organization of Petroleum exporting Countries (OPEC) is “comfortable” with oil at $100 a barrel, a price seen good for consumers and producers. “Kuwait is comfortable with oil prices so long they remain within the $100 range ... This price is acceptable to producing and consuming nations,” Al-Zanki was quoted as saying by the official news agency. Al-Zanki attributed the sharp spikes in oil prices to tensions over the Iranian nuclear program and the eurozone economic crisis, adding that conventional factors like supply and demand, and currency exchange rates are no longer playing an effective role in oil prices. He said that Kuwait’s production capacity has been slightly boosted to 3.2 million barrels per day and output remains just slightly above 3.0 million bpd. This makes Kuwait OPEC’s third largest producer. Latest data from the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) provide evidence of the immense strength of Kuwait’s external position. Strong oil revenues in 2011 generated a huge surplus on the current account of the balance of payments. This allowed a further rise in Kuwait’s already large stock of foreign assets. In more news, according to a specialized economic report prepared by the National Bank of Kuwait, the current account surplus recorded a big jump in 2011, reaching an all-time high of 20 billion Kuwaiti dinars, up from KD 11 billion in 2010 and equivalent to 42 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). This figure exceeded the previous record set in 2008, and stands above the KD 12 billion average of the past five years.
Independent energy analyst Exclusive to Al Watan Daily
A woman walks by the Chinese replica of Austria’s UNESCO heritage site, Hallstatt village in China’s southern city of Huizhou in Guangdong province June 2, 2012. Metals and mining company China Minmetals Corporation spent $940 million to build this controversial site and hopes to attract both tourists and property investors alike, according to local newspaper reports. (Reuters)
According to the report, almost all of the increase in the current account surplus came from the surge in the balance on goods, the largest component of the current account. The goods balance rose by some nine billion dinars in 2011 to a record high of KD 23 billion on the back of higher global oil prices. This was mainly driven by a 50 percent rise in oil exports, which make up more than 90 percent of total exports. These exports reached a record KD 27 billion in
Kuwait NTEC inks deal with German Co to set up local Joint venture
KUWAIT: National Technology Enterprises Co., or NTEC, a unit of Kuwait Investment Authority, said it has signed an agreement with Germany’s Heliocentris to set up a joint venture that is specialized in managing alternative energy. Kuwait will own 51 percent of the stake, while the remaining 49 percent will be owned by the German party. The General Director of NTEC Anas Mirza said in a statement on Saturday that the foundation of the company comes within the framework of the new strategy that is aimed at providing modern technology in Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf region. Kuwait Investment Authority owns 11 percent stake in Heliocentris, Mirza said, adding that the company aims to expand its activities in Kuwait during the coming period through the establishment of Heliocentris- Kuwait. He said that the company will implement local and regional projects based on technologies included in the plans of Heliocentris Germany. Mirza said that the company intends to sign three partnership agreements with various international companies that seek to operate in the Kuwaiti market, noting that Heliocentris is the first partnership of its kind signed
in conjunction with the company’s hosting services and commercial representation provided by the National Company. He explained that the services are among the main activities developed by NTEC since the start of its new strategy, where it signed six varied agreements including the host and the representation of commercial corporations. Mirza added that the first project the company intends to implement in Kuwait is building an experimental educational station for Heliocentris’ technologies in Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) in order to train the staff on intelligent energy management, fuel cells, and solar energy. The project will help achieve the highest possible efficiency of diesel generators in order to reduce consumption of fuel by up to 70 percent. Mirza noted that the German company has already established a laboratory for renewable Energy in the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training in Kuwait and it is working to build another laboratory at Kuwait University. For his part, Heliocentris Executive Director Iyad Aboulila said that the partnership with the NTEC reflects its confidence on the work and technology of Heliocentris”. -KUNA
2011 as Kuwait export crude prices soared to an annual average of $105 per barrel. Non-oil exports also rose during the year, by some 25 percent, but their contribution to total exports remains low at seven percent. Imports have continued to pickup since their fall in 2009, growing by five percent in 2011 to six billion dinars. However, growth in imports still remains weak compared to its pre-crisis average of 15 percent (2001-2008).
E&Y ranked leader in revenue, market share consulting
DUBAI: Gartner, Inc has ranked Ernst & Young (E&Y) as the Middle East & North Africa revenue and market share leader in Consulting, based on revenues for calendar year 2011. Gartner, Inc. is the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. This was stated in a press release on Saturday. Abdulaziz Al-Sowailim, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ernst & Young MENA said, “We are pleased to receive recognition of our leadership position from Gartner. Our organization has continued to thrive and our long term investments in our people and processes have paid off. What is equally important is the strength of our brand which is unparalleled in the region as we have been operating here for nearly 90 years.” Tariq Sadiq, MENA Leader, Advisory, Ernst & Young said, “Our people-oriented business model and strong client relationships have helped make us market leaders and we believe this is well recognized by Gartner’s top ranking. Our vast number of vertical industry specialists and our strategic outlook are especially valued by our clients. We will continue to build on our strengths to serve our clients better.”
How Morgan Stanley sank to junk pricing CAPITALS: The bond markets are treating Morgan Stanley like a junk-rated company, and the investment bank’s higher borrowing costs could already be putting it at a disadvantage even before an expected ratings downgrade this month. Bond rating agency Moody’s Investors Service has said it may cut Morgan Stanley by at least two notches in June, to just two or three steps above junk status. Many investors see such a cut as all but certain. Many US banks are at risk of a downgrade, but ratings cuts could affect Morgan Stanley most because of the severity of the cut and because of its relatively large trading business. Even before any downgrade, the bank is suffering in the bond markets. Prices for Morgan Stanley’s bonds and credit derivatives have been trading at junk levels since last summer, according to Moody’s Analytics. Prices moved further into the non-investment-grade category over the past two weeks amid troubles in Greece and other Euro zone nations. “The numbers have changed for the worse,” said Otis Casey, director of credit research at Markit. “What has driven that, obviously, is Europe. The perception is - correctly or incorrectly - that Morgan Stanley is one of the US banks most exposed to Europe’s problems.” Over time, Morgan Stanley’s weaker bonds will translate to higher borrowing costs for the bank. Morgan Stanley already has higher interest expenses relative to its assets than does chief rival Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Between downgrades and higher funding costs, “Morgan Stanley is going to make less money than Goldman doing the same types of activities,” said Jason Graybill, senior managing director at Carret Asset Management, which owns Morgan Stanley bonds. Morgan Stanley’s troubles are manifold now. Investors have been worried about the bank’s exposure to Europe for months, despite the bank’s disclosures indicating that its potential losses are limited. Its Morgan
Stanley Smith Barney retail brokerage joint venture is not generating the returns that investors had expected. Unexpected losses at its joint venture with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group last year also caused concern about management’s ability to deliver more consistent trading profits. Morgan Stanley’s problems were compounded by its handling of the Facebook initial public offer (IPO) - its high price and large size, and selective disclosure of an analyst’s reduction of his forecasts for the social network’s revenue and earnings. Facebook shares ended regular trading at $27.72 on Friday, down 27 percent from their offering price of $38. Ratings cuts do not threaten the bank’s survival but will weigh on its revenue and increase its costs, analysts said. Morgan Stanley could struggle to win certain kinds of business, such as medium-term derivatives trades, and will have to post more collateral in those trades. “A bank with a near-junk rating is in ‘no man’s land,’” said Edward Marrinan, credit strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group in Greenwich, Connecticut. “Banks rarely thrive with non- or borderline investment grade ratings.” Street moving ahead
Some of the costs of being downgraded are already manifest. Larry Fink, chief executive of the money-management giant Blackrock Inc, said in an interview with the New York Times in April that his firm has no choice but to shift business to higher-rated institutions when banks are downgraded. In a May 7 securities filing, Morgan Stanley said it might have to post 7.2 billion US dollars worth of additional collateral and termination payments in the event of a downgrade to ‘Baa2’, the second lowest investmentgrade rating, up from a $6.5 billion estimate it provided three months earlier. But bond markets are not waiting for a downgrade.
On Friday, it would have cost Morgan Stanley 1.20 percentage points more to raise five-year debt than its chief rival, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The bank would even have to pay a little more than much-smaller competitor Jefferies Group. “The Street is pretty efficient and is really moving ahead of the ratings agencies,” said Carret Asset Management’s Graybill. “It’s never good in this business to have a disadvantage against a strong competitor.” Given the difficulties associated with a ratings cut, Morgan Stanley executives are lobbying Moody’s to keep the bank’s rating at current levels. Standard & Poor’s and Fitch have not outlined plans for similar ratings cuts. Standard and Poor’s (S&P) downgraded Morgan Stanley to ‘A-’ in November, putting it four notches above junk. Fitch rates the company one notch higher, at ‘A’. Morgan Stanley Chief Executive James Gorman has met with Moody’s officials since the agency said in February it might downgrade the bank, hoping to persuade the agency against a three-notch downgrade. “The kind of company we are now from a few years ago, it’s very, very different, and part of the discovery process with Moody’s is to share that information,” Gorman said in a CNBC appearance on Thursday. “We have doubled our liquidity, we have doubled our capital, we have more than half that leverage and sold 22 percent of the company to the third-largest bank in the world, Mitsubishi Bank ... We have now put a lot in front of Moody’s to consider as they go through their process.” Morgan Stanley has also been working with clients to adjust affected derivatives contracts, moving some to its higher-rated bank subsidiary. The bank has taken other steps to lessen the blow of a triple-B rating on its balance sheet, by paying down debt and getting rid of trades funded with unsecured debt. Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Mary Claire Delaney declined to comment. -Reuters
KUWAIT: This is the question that every Kuwaiti is asking - followed by what and how do we move forward. How are we going to recover the lost 2.4 billion US dollars that is costing every Kuwaiti 650 Kuwaiti dinars as a result? The most important question is how can we invite international companies to participate in any future mega project? What are their conditions going to be? Are we going to insist on a compensation clause, and why not in order to protect their interests after four consecutive cancellations of four mega projects by the Kuwait government? How are we going to convince them of no more cancellations? Participating in Kuwait government projects is no longer proper commercial business as it is always a loss situation for foreign partners. The lesson learned from the K- Dow experience is better not to do business in Kuwait and if they wish, then our recommendation is to insist on a compensation clause or just avoid any business here. Finally we learned - the very hard way - that our government can simply cancel any legal biding contract with a blue inked signature. Biding contracts are there to be obeyed and to be adhered to. Disrespect leads to courts, arbitrations, heavy fines and a great loss for generations. We hope to have learned that our case will always be lost in front of international courts if we don’t honor our word and commitments. It’s going to be long battle to win any new friends and partners if we treat them like Dow -let alone move mega projects with this sort of negative attitude towards tenders and commercial deals. How can we just erase this bad compensation nightmare from our minds and how can we move forward? When are we going to wake up and learn? Of course we have all sorts of freedom - press, media, parliament and other democratic forms of expressing our opinion but does our government have the stamina to take the other opinions on board or refute it? This is the real challenge. In any project no matter how big or small it is, the challenge is to face the opposition in all directions as long we have straight forward deals and conditions, and money is being handled over and under the table. We killed and buried four projects, but paid compensation for one. How lucky we are. I hope we had paid the first project, so we would learn the first lesson and could have gone ahead with the rest. These are sad moments that we are going through in Kuwait since the announcement of the $ 2.2 billion compensation. It is just sickening that is from our own doing. It’s not time to blame or to look for a scapegoat - we should be talking with Dow as to how we can minimize the damages and how can make up the lost money from other joint projects very quickly. The only way that we can make up for this loss is to build another project or through the continuation of ‘Greater Equate’ with Dow in Kuwait to insure continuity with a partner that we once grew together with and have nice memories and handsome profits. This is the only way to make up the loss. The challenge is can we sell it to the individual that has to pay KD 650!?! The author of this article can be reached at email@example.com Disclaimer: Please note that the views and opinions presented in the column are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of Al Watan Daily and its staff.
Moody’s lowers Greek rating on fears of euro exit
CAPITALS: Moody’s rating agency said it was lowering Greece’s highest possible credit rating because there was an increased risk that the country would exit the euro zone. Moody’s said it “has lowered its assessment of the highest rating that can be assigned to a domestic debt issuer in Greece to ‘Caa2’ based on the increasing risk of an exit by the country from the euro area.” The highest rating “on any Greek security is currently ‘B1’, which is rating assigned to certain covered bonds. Any rating actions taken as a result of the new ceiling will be released during the coming week.” According to Moody’s, although the risk of Greece’s euro exit “is substantial,” it is still not what the ratings agency considers its most likely scenario. “Moody’s also notes that there is a potential for exceptions whereby a security could be rated higher than Caa2 if the “Greek” issuer is essentially a non-domestic company, has substantial assets outside the country or receives substantial support from an entity outside the country,” the New York-based ratings agency said. Greece’s radical leftist party Syriza surprised Europe on May 6 by placing second in an inconclusive election that saw voters fed up with salary and pension cuts shift their loyalties to radical parties. A series of opinion polls published Friday showed that neither Syriza nor its top rival, the conservative New Democracy party, would win an outright majority in new elections called for June 17 after the deadlock. The vote will determine whether Greece will meet the terms of a deal under which the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to lend it hundreds of billions of euros (dollars) in return for economic reforms. Following the vote “it is possible that the risk of euro exit will increase further. If that were to occur, the maximum rating Moody’s would assign to Greek securities would fall further,” the company said. A eurozone exit “would result in large losses to investors due to redenomination of government debt and private debt securities issued under Greek law and lead to severe disruption to the country’s banking system and acute dislocations in the real economy. “That disruption would generally imply additional losses for holders of debt securities issued by Greek entities, irrespective of their governing law,” Moody’s said. -AFP
sunDAY, june 3, 2012
KSE retreats at end of week, drops 2.3%, trading volume rises 3.99% KSE weekly activity, May 31, 2012
sector, achieving 4.22 percent growth rate as its index closed at 1,200.82 points. Whereas, in the second place, the Technology sector’s index closed at 1,183.14 points recording 3.29 percent increase. The Insurance sector came in third as its index achieved 2.07 percent growth, ending the week at 1,117.87 points. Sectors’ activity
declared companies reached 175 out of 204 listed companies, realizing approximately KD 484.44 million, with a decline of 22.24 percent compared to same companies’ results for 2011. By the end of the week, the price index closed at 6,193.82 points, down by 2.30 percent from the week before closing, whereas the weighted index registered a 1.22 percent weekly loss after closing at 404.7 points. Moreover, the KSX-15 index recorded 0.69 percent weekly loss after closing at 969.4 points.
With the end of last week, most sectors of the Kuwait Stock Exchange closed Decline. The Consumer Goods sector headed the losers list as its index declined by 5.54 percent to end the week’s activity at 935.14 points. The Telecommunications sector was second on the losers’ list, which index declined by 4.61 percent, closing at 881.0 points, followed by the Financial Services sector, as its index closed at 924.37 points at a loss of 4.19 percent. On the other hand, highest gainer was the Health Care
The Financial Services sector dominated total trade volume during last week with 798.10 million shares changing hands, representing 52.32 percent of the total market trading volume.The Real Estate sector was second in terms trading volume as the sector’s traded shares were 18.15 percent of last week’s total trading volume, with a total of 276.85 million shares. On the other hand, the Financial Services sector’s stocks where the highest traded in terms of value; with a turnover of KD 41.20 million or 34.23 percent of last week’s total market trading value. The Industrials sector took the second place as the sector’s last week turnover of KD 20.67 million represented 17.18 percent of the total market trading value. Market capitalization
KSE total market capitalization decline by 1.28 percent during last week to reach KD 27.52 billion. With the end of last week, most sectors of the Kuwait Stock Exchange recorded a decline in value, The Consumer Services sector headed the decliners list as its total market capitalization reached KD 768.99 million,
Japan’s trade deficit swells
JP:TradeBalance Since 2010 JPY,bn
ź KSE - Price Index
ź KSE - Weighted Index ź KSE - KAMCO TRW Index ź Saudi Stock Exchange (TADAWUL) ź Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange ź Dubai Financial Market ź Qatar Exchange ź Bahrain Bourse Ÿ Muscat Securities Market Total GCC Equity Markets
Return (%) YTD-12 Return
Ÿ 5- Al-Etihad Etisalat Co. Ÿ 6- Saudi Arabia Fertilizers Co. ő 7- Samba Financial Group ő 8- Kingdom Holding Co. ő 9- Riyad Bank ź 10- SABB
ő 5- Abu Dhabi National Energy ź 6- Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank ź 7- Union National Bank Ÿ 8- National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah ő 9- National Bank of Fujairah ź 10- AL DAR Properties Co.
(6.4%) (2.2%) (2.6%)
10.40 12.27 14.13
its fight against deflation and stimulate growth in the economy.
Important Disclaimer: The information contained in this report is prepared by the Research Department of the Kuwait China Investment Company (KCIC) and is believed to be reliable, but its accuracy and completeness are not warranted. Research recommendations do not constitute financial advice nor extend offers to participate in any specific investment on any particular terms. Investors should consider this material as only a single factor in making their decisions.
Prepared by Dana Al-Fakir - For more information please visit: www.kcic-asia.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. KCIC is an Asia-focused investment company. Licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Kuwait, it facilitates capital flows between the Middle East and emerging Asia by providing financial and advisory services, and managing third party capital.
Ÿ 1- EMAAR Properties
ź 3- Emirates Integrated Telecom. ő 4- Mashreq Bank ź 5- Dubai Financial Market ź 6- Dubai Islamic Bank ź 7- Commercial Bank of Dubai Ÿ 8- Arabtec Holding P.J.S.C. ź 9- Air Arabia Co. Ÿ 10- Aramex
ROE YTD Price Chg. (%)
ź 3- Ezdan Real Estate Co.
ź 4- Qatar Telecom. (Q-Tel)
ź 1- Qatar National Bank ź 2- Industries Qatar
ź 5- Masraf Al Rayan
ź 7- Commercial Bank of Qatar
Ÿ 8- Qatar Electricity & Water Co.
ź 9- Qatar Fuel Co. (Wokod) ź 10- Doha Bank
ź 6- Qatar Islamic Bank
Top 10 Largest Bahraini Companies by Market Cap
ő 1- Ahli United Bank (Price in USD)
ź 2- Aluminum Bahrain
ź 3- Bahrain Telecommunications Co.
ő 4- Arab Banking Corp. (Price in USD)
ź 5- National Bank of Bahrain
ő 6- Al Baraka Banking (Price in USD)
Ÿ 7- Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait
ő 8- Investcorp Bank (Price in USD)
ő 9- United Gulf Bank Ÿ 10- ITHMAR Bank (Price in USD)
1,184 774 680
ROE YTD Price
ź 1- Bank Muscat Ÿ 2- Oman Telecom Co. ź 3- Bank Dhofar Ÿ 4- Omani Qatari Telecom (NAWRAS)
ź 5- National Bank of Oman
Ÿ 6- Raysut Cement
Ÿ 7- Shell Oman Marketing
Ÿ 8- Oman International Bank
Ÿ 9- Oman Cement Co. ź 10- Ahli Bank
0.518 1.310 2.450
2.6% 6.1% 2.1%
ROE YTD Price
0.79 0.71 1.04
ROE YTD Price
0.5% 0.3% NM
0.0% (22.0%) 146.2%
Risk & Return
ROE YTD Price
Risk & Return
Weekly Trading Indicators
Muscat Securities Market (MSM)
Top 10 Largest Omani Companies by Market Cap
Weekly Trading Indicators
Risk & Return
Weekly Trading Indicators
ROE YTD Price
Top 10 Largest Qatari Companies by Market Cap
Risk & Return
Weekly Trading Indicators
Qatar Exchange (QE)
Risk & Return
Weekly Trading Indicators
Dubai Financial Market (DFM)
Risk & Return
Weekly Trading Indicators
Risk & Return
ź 4- Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
ź 3- First Gulf Bank
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX)
ź 2- National Bank Of Abu Dhabi
Top 10 Largest Companies by Market Cap in Abu Dhabi
ź 1- Emirates Telecom. Co.
ź 4- Saudi Electricity Co.
ź 3- Saudi Telecom
Saudi Stock Exchange (TADAWUL)
ő 2- Al-Rajhi Bank
Top 10 Largest Saudi Companies by Market Cap
Ÿ 1- Saudi Basic Industries Corp
ź 9- Ahli Bank ő 10- Ahli United Bank
Weekly Trading Indicators
Top 10 Largest Companies by Market Cap in Dubai
ź 2- Emirates NBD
ź 8- Commercial Bank of Kuwait
ź 7- United Ahli Bank
ź 6- National Mobile Co.
Ÿ 4- Gulf Bank
ź 5- Boubyan Bank
Ÿ 3- Kuwait Finance House
ź 2- Zain
Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE)
Top 10 Largest Kuwaiti Companies by Market Cap
ő 1- National Bank of Kuwait
Weekly Trading Indicators
KAMCO Research GCC Week No.22 GCC Equity EquityMarkets MarketsReport Reportforfor Week No. 22 GCC Equity Markets Weekly Performance
With alternative source of energy in the short-run, energy imports are forecasted to rise further. This could lead to a significant surge in oil exports from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), creating a deeper deficit, unless exports grow more rapidly. With imports growing, growth depends on policy. As the Bank of Japan (BOJ) continues to keep its interest rates unchanged at extremely low levels, within the 0 percent - 0.1 percent range, the BOJ’s asset purchase program has become the main tool for credit easing. As long as the BOJ remains keen on achieving its one percent inflation target, this will keep hopes for further easing alive. However, in the minutes of the meeting that it held last month, the BOJ made it clear that it is unlikely to increase the size of its program in an automatic manner. This was made even clearer during its policy meeting on May 23, when the BOJ kept further monetary easing on hold to wait and watch for developments in Europe. Japan’s already fragile economic recovery is expected to remain prone to risks from the euro zone’s debt problems and demand for safe assets will keep the yen climbing, further hampering exports. Thus an additional monetary stimulus, via its asset-purchasing program, is still expected within the next couple of months, if the government wants to step up
Japan’s trade deficit came in largerthan9expected in April, as export growth continues to remain low and import growth remains at stubbornly high levels. Export growth rose from 5.9 percent to 7.9 percent, coming in lower than the forecasted 11.8 percent as a result of a strengthening yen. Imports slowed slightly from 10.6 percent to 8.0 percent yearon-year, but remain high on the back of rising mineral fuel demand, as the nation scrambles to fill in its energy consumption gap following the shutdown of all its 54 nuclear reactors. We maintain our view that Japan’s trade balance will be in deficit for most of 2012. Whilst imports are expected to remain at high levels of growth as energy imports continue to rise, export growth is expected to remain low, unless the yen softens and foreign demand picks-up its pace of recovery. In April, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) increased its asset purchase program by five trillion Japanese yen (62.6 billion US dollars) in an attempt to pull the economy out of its deflationary spiral, increasing the size of its program to 70 trillion yen ($877.1 billion) by the end of June 2013. The government also hopes that the program will help soften the yen and give the export sector a boost.
What are the economic and financial implications?
What does the indicator tell us?
The trade balance is the difference in value between a country’s total exports and imports. When a country is in a trade deficit, then it is a net importer: its imports are outweighing its exports in value. Japan is almost a purely export led economy: over ten years up to 2010, half of Japan’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth was accounted for by net exports. The trade balance itself is a component of the current account balance. The current account balance records the purchase and sale of goods and services and is comprised of the trade balance, net income from abroad (repatriated profits, dividends, interest payments) and net current transfers (remittances, pensions, grants, international aid). Japan has been running a current account surplus for decades. From the perspective of the sector financial balances, a deficit is not an issue, as the public sector can run a larger deficit to accommodate for the sizeable savings of the Japanese private sector. However, the relevance of this shift resides in the role of the Japanese trade balance as a leading indicator of the global economy. Case in point, Goldman Sachs highlighted a 90 percent correlation between its Global Leading Indicator (GLI) and Japan’s trade balance, with a three month lead. In other words, a deteriorating trade balance in Japan could be indicative of a decline in global momentum in the medium term.
Why is this graph important?
%chg YoY %chg,YoY
Yen appreciation returns
Disclaimer: This report has been prepared and issued by the Studies & Research Department @ Bayan Investment Company on the basis of publicly available information, internal data, and other sources considered reliable. While great care has been taken to ensure that the facts stated are accurate, neither Bayan Investment Company nor any of its employees shall be in any way responsible for the contents. This report is not an offer to buy or sell any of the securities referred in the report.
KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended last week in the red zone. The price index ended last week with a decrease amounted to 2.30 percent, while the weighted index declined by 1.22 percent compared to the closings of the week before, where KSX-15 Index decreased by 0.69 percent. Furthermore, last week’s average daily turnover increased by 3.03 percent, compared to the preceding week, reaching 24.07 million Kuwaiti dinars, whereas trading volume average was 305.11 million shares, recording increase of 3.99 percent. Kuwait Stock Exchange witnessed mixed performance during the past week; the market three indices recorded different losses, whereas selling operations for a wide range of leading and small stocks continued, putting pressure on the market indicators during most of the sessions, especially the price and weighted indices. On the other hand selective buying operations, which focused on the Banking sector in particular, contributed in improving the performance of the Kuwait 15 index in relatively few sessions. In addition, more companies announced its first quarter financial results during last week, the number of declared companies reached 86 percent so far. The total number of
decreasing by 4.27 percent. The Industrials sector was the second in terms of recorded decline with 4.03 percent decrease after the total value of its listed companies reached KD 2.91 billion. The third place was for the Consumer goods sector, which total market capitalization reached KD 594.26 million by the end of the week, recording a decline of 3.02 percent. The Technology sector was the least declining with 0.41 percent recorded decrease after its market capitalization amounted to KD 79.65 million. On the other hand, the Health Care sector headed the growing sectors as its total market capitalization reached KD 224.94 million, increasing by 2.77 percent. The Basic Materials sector was the second in terms of recorded growth with 1.35 percent increase after the total value of its listed companies reached KD 651.21 million. The Banks sector was the least growing with 0.02 percent recorded growth after its market capitalization amounted to KD 13.52 billion.
1.29 1.02 0.97
ROE YTD Price
Warning signs of infant dehydration Infants and young children are no less prone to diarrhea than older people. The condition can lead to dehydration, which can be especially dangerous for the very young. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse mentions these warning signs of dehydration -- which is lack of enough bodily fluids -- in babies and young children: • Dryness of the mouth and tongue. • Crying without tears. • Not having a wet diaper for at least three hours. • A sunken appearance to the eyes or cheeks. • Running a high fever.
sunday, JUNE 3, 2012
Immune boosters show promise against cancer: Study FRANCE: A pair of experimental treatments that fight cancer by boosting the immune system have shown promise in early studies and deserve testing in larger patient groups, said US research released Saturday. The drugs, both made by Bristol-Myers Squibb, work by breaking down the shield that protects tumor cells. Rather than try to kill the cancer directly, they allow the immune system to do its work against the invading cells. In the trials which included just over 500 people, as many as one in four patients with non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma and kidney cancer, who had not responded to standard therapies, saw significant shrinkage of their tumors. Results of the phase 1 clinical trials were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and released at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago. The drugs are known as BMS-936558, which blocks a protein PD-1 on the surface of immune cells; and BMS936559, which blocks a protein PD-L1 expressed on cancer cells. They are in the same class of treatments as other antibody therapies against cancer including Erbitux, Herceptin, and Rituxan. “We have just scratched the surface of laboratory and clinical research on these drugs,” said lead author of the PD-1 study, Suzanne Topalian, professor of surgery and oncology at Johns Hopkins University. “Based on the positive response rates to these drugs and longevity of many of these responses, we believe that new clinical trials should move forward.” Among the 296 patients who tested in the PD-1 blocking drug, 18 percent of non-small cell lung cancer patients saw significant tumor shrinkage, as did 28 percent of melanoma patients and 27 percent of kidney cancer patients. A small number of patients, five to nine percent, saw their disease remain stable for six months or more, though
FILE-illustration photo shows a lab technician at work. A pair of experimental treatments that fight cancer by boosting the immune system have shown promise in early studies and deserve testing in larger patient groups, said US research released Saturday. (AFP)
more study is needed to determine the treatment’s impact on survival, the researchers said.
“This level of response in patients with advanced lung cancer, which is typically not responsive to immune-based
Quitting smoking no harder for women than men, study says CAPITALS: Men are no better than women when it comes to quitting smoking, a new study reveals, reports HealthDay News. The finding challenges the belief that women have more difficulty kicking the habit than men, an idea largely based on the results of clinical trials of smoking cessation aids that show men have higher quit rates than women. Such a gender-based difference would be important in strategies meant to help reduce smoking, noted study author Martin Jarvis, professor in the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London in England, and colleagues. For this study, the researchers examined data from more than 102,000 smokers who took part in surveys
Study: Hormone pill slows prostate cancer’s growth
CHICAGO: A hormone-blocking pill approved last year for some men with advanced prostate cancer now also seems to help a wider group of men who were given it sooner in the course of treating their disease. In a study of nearly 1,100 such men, Johnson & Johnson’s Zytiga doubled the time patients lived without their cancer getting worse. The drug also seems to be improving survival, but it will take longer follow-up to know for sure. Independent monitors stopped the study once it was clear the drug was helping and let men who had been getting dummy pills to switch to Zytiga. At that point - after a median treatment time of two years - 34 percent of men on dummy pills had died versus 27 percent of those taking Zytiga. “Our hope is that this can become a new option” for up to 30,000 men each year in the United States, said study leader Dr. Charles Ryan of the University of California, San Francisco. He gave results Saturday at a meeting in Chicago of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. In the United States alone, more than 240,000 new cases and 28,000 deaths from the disease are expected this year. Many cases don’t need treatment because the cancer grows so slowly it isn’t a threat. For men who choose treatment when the disease is still confined to the prostate, surgery and radiation are common options. Once it spreads, though, it often is treated with drugs that curb testosterone. They block about 90 percent of the hormone, “but that remaining 10 percent can still stimulate the cancer and cause death from the disease,” Ryan said. Zytiga blocks virtually all of it - “it’s really complete chemical castration,” said another study leader, Duke University’s Dr. Daniel George. The drug won federal approval last year for men with advanced prostate cancer whose disease had worsened despite treatment with standard hormones and chemotherapy. The new study tested it earlier in the course of illness - in men with advanced prostate cancer who have not yet received chemotherapy. Researchers gave more than 1,000 patients in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia either Zytiga or dummy pills plus a steroid that also is widely used to treat such cases. When the study was stopped, the median time until cancer worsened in the group getting dummy pills was about eight months. Those on Zytiga were faring much better, so doctors can only estimate the time it is taking for their cancers to worsen - at least 16 months, Ryan said. There were more cases of high blood pressure, fluid retention and heart problems among men on Zytiga. Like other hormone-blockers, it can cause hot flashes and sexual problems. And Zytiga is expensive $5,500 a month in the United States. The study was sponsored by the drug’s maker, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen division, and some study leaders have financial ties to the company. The company plans to seek approval later this year to sell the drug for men like those in the new study. Michael Wells, 65, a retired construction worker from Oakville in California’s Napa Valley, was diagnosed nearly 12 years ago with prostate cancer that had spread to his bones. Standard hormone and radiation treatments kept it in check for many years, but when it started growing, he enrolled in the study. Zytiga gave him high blood pressure but other than that, “I have not noticed any difference taking the pills I’ve always had hot flashes” on prostate medicines, he said. He has now been on Zytiga for nearly three years, and scans show his cancer is in check. “It’s worked for me, and it’s still working,” Wells said.-AP
conducted in 2006 and 2007 in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The analysis revealed similar and consistent patterns in all three countries. Before age 50, women were more likely than men to successfully quit smoking. This was particularly true among smokers in their 20s and 30s. Among people over 60, men were more likely than women to stop smoking. However, this may be due to higher death rates from smoking in older men, the researchers noted. When smoking quit rates excluded people who continued to use smokeless tobacco and included those who had stopped smoking for more than a year, the quit rates in the United States were about 50 percent for women and nearly 47 percent for men, while quit rates in Canada were about 46 percent for women and about 43 percent
for men. No comparable figures were available for the United Kingdom. “Our study has found convincing evidence that men in general are not more likely to quit smoking successfully than women. The myth of female disadvantage at quitting smoking is bad, first and foremost, for women,” who may believe it, Jarvis and colleagues noted in a journal news release. It’s also bad for men, because they may think they’re at an advantage, the researchers added, and for health care professionals and policy makers who are trying to help people quit. “It is time to put aside the idea that women are less successful than men at giving up smoking,” the authors concluded in the news release.
Great Barrier Reef heading for danger: UNESCO
FILE-A bleached section of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which scientists have warned could be killed by global warming within decades. (AFP)
FRANCE: UNESCO on Saturday urged decisive action from Australia to protect the Great Barrier Reef from a gas and mining boom, warning it risked being put on its list of world heritage sites deemed “in danger”. Australia is riding an unprecedented wave of resources investment due to booming demand from Asia, with projects worth Aus$450 billion (US$435 billion) in the pipeline. The world’s largest coral reef is not yet at sufficient risk to be declared in danger but UNESCO said the sheer number and scale of proposals including liquefied natural gas (LNG), tourism and mining projects could threaten it. Declining water quality and climate change were the major issues and it was “essential to reduce development and other pressures as much as possible to enable an increase in the reef’s resilience”, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee said. The committee said it would recommend the reef be put on the “in danger” list if some of the biggest projects went ahead, giving Australia eight months to chart a more sustainable course. Australia’s Environment Minister Tony Burke agreed that the reef was at a “crossroads” and Canberra was “acutely aware of the challenges facing the reef such as climate change and the impacts of coastal development.” “While these issues are complex, we are committed to addressing them through a range of approaches both on land and in the marine environment,” Burke said. Campbell Newman, premier of Queensland State which is locally responsible for the reef, was more combative, warning that “we are in the coal business”. “We will protect the environment but we are not going to see the economic future of Queensland shut down,” Newman said.
Environmental groups said the report should be a wake-up call for the government, with the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) describing the potential danger listing as a “national disgrace.” ACF chief Don Henry said the mining boom was putting the reef at peril, with a near-miss involving a bulk carrier just two weeks ago and a Chinese coal carrier gouging a massive scar in the coral when it foundered back in 2010. A UNESCO mission that toured the reef in March to assess the impact of an LNG project on Curtis Island said it had found an “unprecedented” development boom in the region with serious conservation risks. “The outstanding universal value of the property is threatened and decisive action is required to secure its long-term conservation,” the committee warned. “The rapid increase of coastal developments, including ports infrastructure is of significant concern.” Gladstone Harbor -- a coal export hub with huge shipments to Japan, India, South Korea and China -is undergoing a major expansion requiring dredging works which activists say is harming marine life. UNESCO said environmental conditions stipulated by the government at Gladstone and Curtis Island, a mammoth LNG project targeting annual production of 12 million tons, were not tough enough to protect the reef. It urged a “highly precautionary” approach banning any new port development in the reef zone until a conservation plan had been mapped. Burke acknowledged that there were some “very significant” decisions to be made about the reef’s future but noted that some the projects of most concern to UNESCO had been scaled back since their visit. -AFP
therapies, was unexpected and notable,” said lead researcher on the PD-L1 study Julie Brahmer, associate professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins University. Among the 207 patients treated with the anti-PD-L1 therapy, 10 percent of non-small cell lung cancer patients, 17 percent of melanoma patients, and 12 percent of kidney cancer patients showed positive responses. “The positive results from both drugs give us a good indication that the PD-L1/PD-1 pathway is an important target for cancer therapy,” said Topalian. Early analysis showed that among those who responded to the therapy, those responses were maintained for more than a year in half to two-thirds of patients. However, the treatments also caused serious toxic effects in 14 percent of patients, including three deaths from lung inflammation, or pneumonitis. Other significant side effects were colon inflammation and thyroid abnormalities. Some people reported fatigue, itching and rash. “A major limitation of the various approaches to turning on an immune response to cancer is that the immune system exerts a major effort to avoid immune over activation, which could harm healthy tissues,” said an accompanying editorial by doctor Antoni Ribas in the New England Journal of Medicine. However, Ribas, a melanoma expert at the University of California Los Angeles, pointed out that the treatments may help extend the duration of tumor suppression and could open new doors in personalized treatment. The research “predicts that these antibodies unleash a memory immune response to cancer,” he wrote, adding the approach “may well have a major effect on cancer treatment.” The study authors said the therapies might be most useful if combined with other anti-cancer agents, including cancer vaccines. -AFP
Bloodletting may provide health benefits for obese WASHINGTON: Some obese people may improve their health by donating blood, a preliminary study from Germany suggests, reports LiveScience. In the study, obese people with metabolic syndrome who had blood drawn experienced a reduction in blood pressure, along with other changes that linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, the researchers said. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of symptoms associated with heart disease, including high blood sugar, high blood pressure and low levels of “good” cholesterol. The syndrome has been linked with increased risks of stroke, coronary artery disease and Type 2 diabetes. The main treatment is weight loss. The findings suggest doctors might consider blood donation as a possible treatment for people with metabolic syndrome who have above-normal iron levels (a common situation), said study researcher Andreas Michalsen, of the Charité-University Medical Centre in Berlin. However larger trials are needed to confirm the results and evaluate the long-term risks of such a treatment, Michalsen said. Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance, said blood donation should not be recommended as a treatment for metabolic syndrome unless more studies are done. “You want to know [that] it would make them live longer,” or reduce the actual risk of heart attack and stroke, not just markers linked with those conditions, Cohen said. Previous studies have shown high iron levels are associated with metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes, the researchers said. And one small study found that bloodletting reduced blood pressure in patients with treatment-resistant high blood pressure. However, the effects of blood withdrawal on people with metabolic syndrome have not been rigorously examined. Michalsen and colleagues randomly assigned 64 obese people with metabolic syndrome to have their blood drawn, or to receive no specific treatment. At the beginning of the study, those in the bloodletting group had 10 ounces of blood removed, and four weeks later, had another 8.5 to 17 ounces removed. After six weeks, patients in the bloodletting group saw their systolic blood pressure drop by an average of 18 mmHg, from 148.5 mmHg to 130.5 mmHg. Systolic blood pressure (the “top” blood pressure number) is considered to be high if it is above 140 mmHg, and moderately high if it is between 120 and 140 mmHg. In the nontreatment group, blood pressure was reduced, on average, from 144.7 mmHg to 143.8 mmHg. Previous studies have found that a reduction in systolic blood pressure by 10 mmHg can lead to a 22 percent reduction in the risk of heart attack, heart failure and coronary artery disease, and a 41 percent reduction in stroke risk, the researchers said. The new study also found bloodletting resulted in a significant decrease in heart rate and blood glucose levels, the researchers said. Reducing the volume of blood through bloodletting would be expected to result in a decrease in blood pressure, Cohen said, but it’s not clear if this approach could stabilize blood pressure in these patients, and the long-term effects need to be studied. The study researchers did not report whether study participants were taking medications that reduce blood pressure, Cohen said. If patients’ blood pressure was not being treated properly to begin with, then the bloodletting may have had a greater effect on this group than it would on others, Cohen said. The researchers also did not take into account any changes in lifestyle and eating habits that occurred during the study, which may have affected blood pressure. “There’s good stuff in our blood too, that we need to fight infections,” Cohen said. “We can’t assume that if you take out some bad stuff in a pint of blood that you’re not also taking out some good stuff.” Because metabolic syndrome is not contagious, blood donated from those with the condition would not pose health risks to those receiving it, Michalsen said. Blood withdrawal is already used a treatment for some conditions, such as hemochromatosis, a condition that occurs when too much iron builds up in the body.
Technology APP OF THE WEEK
Jumanah Al-Ghadban Staff Writer
App: Official UEFA EURO 2012 Category: Sports Price: Free Platform: iOS Works with: iPhone, and iPod Touch. Briefly: With EURO 2012 starting on the 8th of June, one has to stock up on the best apps that help you track the games being played and what better way to do it than with an app. This app keeps you close to all the action during the 14th UEFA European Football Championship that takes place from June 8 - July 1 in Poland and Ukraine. You can basically read and share the latest articles on the tournament; set up your personalized alerts for the latest news about your favorite team, including match events; watch players and their coaches give free video interviews; access a calendar, list of standings, lineups, player profiles, detailed statistics and photo gallery; as well as watch match highlights which are available for purchase after midnight. In short, this is the app to have during the next few weeks.
TECH TALK Sharp shows thinner, clearer mobile displays: Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp. says it is upgrading its current displays to make them slimmer and clearer. Sharp also said Friday its innovation is based on technology that reduces power consumption. -AP Judge hands Google victory in Oracle copyright fight: A federal judge put a stake in the heart of Oracle’s big-money lawsuit against Google by ruling that the application programming interfaces (APIs) at issue can’t be copyrighted. The decision by US District Court Judge William Alsup came on Thursday, a week after a trial ended with jurors clearing Google of patent and copyright abuse charges leveled by the California business software titan. -AFP Court clears RIM to use BBM moniker: Research In Motion is free to use the BBM moniker for its popular BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging service after a court ruled the use did not infringe on the trademark of a company that measures Canadian television and radio audiences. “We are pleased that the Federal Court of Canada sided with RIM and confirmed that RIM’s use of BBM does not infringe the trademark rights of BBM Canada as they had alleged,” the company said in a statement on Thursday. -Reuters Laptop charity uses Facebook to link donors, recipients: With many charities, donors have little idea about the recipients of their money. A Belgium-based laptop charity offers an alternative by linking the two using Facebook. YouBridge, which has a sponsorship deal with Intel and has received support from European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, wants people to donate towards a laptop and allow them to contact the developing world recipient online. -Reuters Amazon to build distribution centers in New Jersey: Internet retailer Amazon. com Inc will build two distribution centers in New Jersey, provided it gets sufficient economic incentives from the state, Governor Chris Christie said on Wednesday. -Reuters Microsoft rolls out more social Bing search: Microsoft on Friday rolled out a revamped Bing that includes insights from Facebook and Twitter in the biggest overhaul of the search service since its launch three years ago. “The new social features in Bing make it easy to exchange ideas, share opinions and take action, giving searchers the same confidence they get from bouncing an idea off a friend.” -AFP
SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 2012
Taiwan Computex to showcase laptop-tablet hybrids
TAIPEI: Taiwan’s struggling computer makers will use next week’s Computex show to promote a new generation of ultra-thin laptops that might be their last hope of turning back the seemingly unstoppable momentum of Apple’s iPad and other hot-selling tablets. The brainchild of Intel Corp., the sleek laptop-tablet hybrid known as Ultrabook is 0.8 inches (20 mm) thick and features instant log on and ultra-sharp visual images. Taipei’s Computex, the world’s second-largest computer show, will display more than a dozen 12- to 17-inch Ultrabook models powered by Intel’s new generation of “Ivy Bridge” processors, which were unveiled in April. Ultrabook’s success is crucial for computer makers and others in the industry. World PC sales have stalled since Apple’s 2010 launch of the slickly designed iPad made personal computing and the Internet even more portable for consumers. The onslaught of the iPad and a host of imitators has cut deeply into the revenues of Taiwan’s top two brands - Acer and AsusTek Computer Inc. Acer has slipped to the world’s fourth largest PC vendor from No. 2 amid stalled sales, while AsusTek comes in fifth. “All the companies are pinning their hope on Ultrabook, which in fact may be their last hope,” said Stephen Su, a market analyst at Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute. “If the current market trend continues, tablet sales may exceed PC sales by 2016, and they hope Ultrabook can reverse the trend,” he said. The “Ivy Bridge” processors use the 22nanometer process technology that allows for more powerful and electricity-efficient computing devices than the typical tablet. It will employ Microsoft Corp.’s much ballyhooed Windows 8 software once that debuts later this year. Su said the Ultrabook’s success depends to a large extent on how well Windows 8 is received. Ultrabooks were first sold in the final quarter of last year. The hybrid model is a creation of the decades-old alliance between Taiwan and technology giants Intel and Microsoft. Using Intel chips and Windows software, Taiwanese makers produce more than 90 percent of the laptops sold in the world, for global brands including Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Dell. Almost all the units are assembled in China. Acer, Taiwan’s largest computer vendor, pre-
In this photo taken May 31, 2011, Intel Corp. Executive Vice President Sean Maloney, (left), and AsusTek Computer Inc. Chairman Jonney Shih hold an ASUS Ultrabook laptop on the opening day of the Computex computer expo in Taipei, Taiwan. (AP)
dicts Ultrabook will account for up to 20 percent of its total PC shipments toward the final quarter this year. But its executives declined to make longer term forecasts, citing the market’s volatility and the sputtering global economy. “Ultrabook sales are gaining momentum, and with the new Windows software, it will give users a touch screen experience that’s equal to or excels that of tablets currently in the market,” said
Henry Wang of Acer. In contrast, tablet sales have soared. Shipments totaled 17.6 million in 2011, with iPads taking 85 percent and Samsung’s Galaxy 11 percent, according to Gartner. The research firm puts tablet sales forecast at 60 million in 2012 and 119 million in 2013. Taiwanese vendors are also trying to get a piece of the ever-expanding tablet market. Scores
Facebook launches Mideast office in Dubai
DUBAI: Facebook Inc. launched its first office in the Arab world Wednesday, aiming to drum up new advertising business from Dubai as investors fret over its struggling share price. The online meet-up site and other social networking tools were instrumental in connecting activists during the wave of protests and revolutions that reverberated across the region last year. But Joanna Shields, Facebook’s vice president and managing director for Europe, the Mideast and Africa, said the decision to lay down roots in the region was purely commercial. “People on Facebook ... use it to organize rallies for all kinds of elections around the world,” she said. “We’re humbled by that and we are happy that we can facilitate. But we always downplay the (site’s) role because it’s really the people there who came together and did what they did.” The office is starting with three employees in Dubai’s Internet City, a business park popular with tech firms including Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc. Facebook’s website lists some 30 offices globally. The aim is to attract more ad sales by targeting the 45 million users that Facebook says it has across the Middle East and North Africa. Jonathan Labin, who will lead the Dubai office, said existing advertisers in the region include Dubai-based Emirates, the region’s biggest airline. The Dubai launch follows Facebook’s May 18 initial public offering at $38 a share, one of the most anticipated stock debuts in history. The stock had lost 24 percent of its value ahead of the Dubai launch, which was held in the plush Armani Hotel at the base of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper. -AP
of new models will be unveiled during Computex’s five-day run, organizers say. AsusTek’s 10-inch Android-powered Transformer has sold well and the company is expected to unveil several new models at Computex. Google reportedly has been collaborating with AsusTek in rolling out a 7-inch tablet computer to compete with Amazon’s low-priced Kindle Fire. -AP
Poland goes cyber-smart for Euro 2012 fans
PARIS: Cyber-minded fans heading to Euro 2012 in Poland are set to find life easier at the championship after organizers launched smartphone applications to help them navigate their way around. The free Polish Guide and Check-in Poland apps, rolled out on Friday, were billed as a landmark by Marcin Herra, boss of PL.2012, the body supervising Poland’s preparations for the tournament, which kicks off next Friday. “The Swiss told us they planned something like this when they hosted Euro 2008, but didn’t manage it,” Herra told reporters. The smartphone Polish Guide comes in the wake of December’s launch of a sevenlanguage portal, polishguide2012.pl. Both versions are meant to act as a one-stopshop accommodation, travel and tourist information service for the hundreds of
thousands of fans expected at the showcase football tournament. They also provide practical tips such as where a team’s training ground is, how to get to stadiums on matchdays, where the fanzones with big screen are for supporters without tickets, and up-to-the-minute alerts on transport delays. Within the web portal and smartphone version, fans have the option of buying a “Polish Pass” with pick and mix options. The Check-in Poland app, meanwhile, offers a Euro 2012-themed social networking service to enable fans to locate and meet their compatriots, or chat with them online. “Our goal is for all fans, all our visitors, to feel at home,” Sports Minister Joanna Mucha said at the app launch. The apps are also part of a drive to use Euro 2012 to present an image at odds with communist-era cliches. -AFP
Google unveils big changes to shopping business
Emirati men stand on an escalator under the Facebook logo during the Facebook opening of the first Middle East and North Africa office at the Armani hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, May 30, 2012. (AP)
SAN FRANCISCO: Google Inc unveiled major changes to its shopping business on Thursday that will likely prove controversial in the e-commerce world. Starting in the fall, product search results for users in the United States will be influenced by how much retailers and advertisers pay, a company executive said. In the past, product search results were based mainly on relevance and the program was free. Google, the world’s most popular Internet search engine, will rename its service Google Shopping from the current Google Product Search. “We are starting to transition Google Product Search in the US to a purely commercial model,” said Sameer Samat, vice president of product management at Google Shopping. “This
will give merchants greater control over where their products appear on Google Shopping.” Google has been in the product listing and search business for about a decade. During that time, it has provided merchants with free access to shoppers. The company made money by running paid product search ads along with the organic, or unpaid, product listings, according to Eric Best, CEO of Mercent, which helps retailers sell through Google and other e-commerce websites such as Amazon.com Inc and eBay Inc. The changes will kick in by October, which does not give merchants much time to adjust to the new system in time for the crucial holiday shopping season, he said. -Reuters
Diablo III, better the devil you know
The epic fantasy genre has matured in the last decade, thanks to writers like “Game of Thrones” mastermind George R.R. Martin who are less interested in the eternal conflict between good and evil than in the gray areas in between. Video games have followed suit, with ambitious adventures like “Dragon Age: Origins,” “The Witcher II” and “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” refusing to define their heroes and villains so neatly. So when “Diablo III” (Blizzard, for the PC/Mac, $59.99) arrived with the tag line “Evil Is Back,” it was hard not to look at it as a throwback of sorts.You know who the troublemakers are in this game: They have red skin, glowing eyes and razor-sharp horns. It’s the devil you know. That’s not the only thing that will make players wonder where the developers have been since “Diablo II” came out in 2000. The topdown, god’s-eye perspective takes some readjustment after years of battling from protagonist’s point of view. Forget about the openworld exploration of “Skyrim”; “Diablo III” is relentlessly linear. And the combat, at the default setting, rarely demands more than hacking and slashing your way through hordes of easily dispatched monsters.
And yet, “Diablo III” is nearly irresistible. You start by choosing a character from one of five archetypes: the barbarian and monk, who fight up-close; the demon hunter, who uses long-range weapons; and the wizard and witch doctor, who wield magic. After a brief video setting up the tale - a falling star has crashed into the human world, Sanctuary - you’re thrust into the fray. Once you get into its rhythm - fight, collect your rewards, take a breath before the next fight - “Diablo III” is very hard to shut down. Much of that is due to the uncomplicated controls: You can perform most movement and combat functions by just clicking the mouse keys. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an upswing in carpal tunnel syndrome cases a few months from now. There’s also a desire to keep playing just to see what’s around the next corner of the dungeon or over the next dune in the desert. And for many “Diablo” aficionados, that boils down to loot. Every monster you kill coughs up something - a few gold coins, perhaps, or a chunk of armor. Tougher creatures tend to yield more exotic rewards, but the process is randomized, so you never know what you’ll get. When you get back to town, you
can sell whatever you’ve gathered and use the cash to upgrade your weapons and armor. Or you can trade them with other players in an online auction house. Or you can ask the blacksmith to break down items and use the components to build better ones - so you can defeat stronger enemies, which earns you more valuable stuff. The whole loot-collecting feedback loop is as insidiously addictive as anything in games. The most irritating element of “Diablo III” is the need to have a steady online connection, even if you’re traveling solo. The online requirement led to chaos when the game was first released, as Blizzard’s servers weren’t able to meet 12 years of pent-up demand. The situation has been mostly resolved, but there have been a few recent occasions when I wasn’t allowed to log on. The always-connected environment does let you tackle any of the game’s missions with the help of online friends or strangers. The difficulty automatically increases with multiple players, and it’s fun to chat with other humans in the wastelands of Sanctuary, but the experience isn’t radically different. Three stars out of four. -AP
This video game image released by Blizzard Entertainment shows a scene from “Diablo III.” (AP)
Song Of The Day
Fahad AlSabah Staff Writer
Song: That Wasn’t Me Artist: Brandi Carlile Album: Bear Creek Genre: Folk/Alternative In short: On her latest album, Brandi Carlile goes back to her roots with a stronger country influence than on any of her previous records. Highlights from the album include the testimonial “That Wasn’t Me”, where Carlile’s emotions and voice soar so high, reminding listeners of her excellent eponymous debut. To listen to the song visit www.alwatandaily.com E-mail your feedback to email@example.com
The Buzz Andy Samberg leaving Saturday Night Live Andy Samberg has wrapped his seven-season run on “Saturday Night Live,” a spokeswoman for the actor-comedian said Friday. Samberg won’t return as a cast member next season, according to his publicist, Carrie Byalick. Samberg’s exit follows that of “SNL” cast member Kristen Wiig. Like other “Saturday Night Live” alumni, Samberg will be seen on the big screen. His new movie with Adam Sandler, “That’s My Boy,” is out this month. Samberg’s “SNL” highlights reel would feature his satiric rap videos including “Lazy Sunday” and a memorable one with Justin Timberlake about an X-rated gift in a box. The fake music video won an Emmy Award in 2007 for best original music and lyrics. Wiig, Samberg and Jason Sudeikis, all of whom became cast members in the 2005-06 season, have been rumored to be leaving, with “SNL” creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels saying only that any decision would wait until summer. That presumably meant no emotional on-air farewells. But on the May 19 finale, Wiig got just that. In the last sketch of the night, guest host Mick Jagger played the principal at a high school graduation and brought up Wiig, in cap and gown, as a student who is “leaving this summer.” A tearful Wiig danced in turn with Jagger, cast members and Michaels to the tune of the Rolling Stones classic “She’s a Rainbow.” -AP
Guy Ritchie attached to Treasure Island remake Guy Ritchie may bring the same splashy touch to Long John Silver that he already applied to Sherlock Holmes. The “Snatch” director is attached to “Treasure Island,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson told Reuters. If the script by Alex Harakis comes to fruition, Ritchie would direct and produce the project. Lionel Wigram and Kevin McCormick are also attached as producers. The Robert Louis Stevenson adventure story has frequently been adapted for both the big and small screen over the years, perhaps most famously by Disney in 1950, with Robert Newton portraying a snarling Long John Silver. But the time could be ripe for a more modern take on the enduring novel. After all, partnering with Ritchie has been lucrative for Warner Bros. in the past. His re-imagining of Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective series, “Sherlock Holmes” and “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” has racked up more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office. With numbers like that, it’s easy to see why the studio would want to raid the literary canon with Ritchie again. -Reuters
Director Mann to chair Venice Film Festival jury The Venice International Film Festival said Friday that Michael Mann will chair its international jury, calling the director of “Heat” and “Public Enemies” a “total filmmaker.” The jury will be responsible for selecting the recipient of the festival’s top prize, the Golden Lion, and other awards. Mann is best known for his stylish big screen crime dramas like “Collateral.” He has also won praise for his adventure film “The Last of the Mohicans,” the boxing biopic “Ali,” and the newsroom thriller “The Insider,” for which he earned a best director Oscar nomination. His first major success, however, came on the small screen, where he helped make it safe for tough guys to wear pastels with “Miami Vice.” Less fruitful was “Luck,” a horse racing drama Mann executive produced for HBO. The show was cancelled last spring after the deaths of three horses. Mann’s producing credits also include “The Aviator” and “Hancock.” -Reuters
Justin Bieber gives balcony concert in Paris Teenage pop star Justin Bieber turned a quiet Paris street corner into an impromptu concert venue on Friday afternoon, crooning through a megaphone at a balcony window over the screams of hundreds of adoring female fans. Wearing a leather jacket and dancing under the watchful eye of his bodyguard and grinning guitarist, the 18-year-old sang hits like “Baby” and “One Time” to the increasingly frenzied crowd gathered at a street behind the Pantheon monument in the Latin Quarter. Some of Bieber’s fans, who waved messages saying “Thank You Justin” and got into occasional scraps with security guards in front of the building, had waited hours for their idol after being told via Bieber’s Twitter feed to “sing with” Justin at the offices of record label Universal in Paris. “We’ve been here since 10:30 a.m...We got in a taxi and came straight here after it appeared on Twitter,” said 21-year-old student Sonia O’Donnell, accompanied by her friend Sinead Murphy. Not everyone was as pleased by the noise as the true “Beliebers” were. -Reuters
SUNDAY, JUNE 3, 2012
Joe Eszterhas pens a Mel Gibson tell-all e-book LOS ANGELES: Joe Eszterhas isn’t done with Mel Gibson just yet. The screenwriter has written “Heaven and Mel,” an eBook recounting in colorful detail his relationship with the disgraced director that Amazon will be released on June 6, Reuters has learned. “I can’t remember ever reading a more haunting, nuanced portrait of a Hollywood superstar in decline,” Dave Blum, editor of Kindle Singles, told Reuters exclusively. “This is an eyewitness account by a gifted storyteller of a man of faith at war with his demons. In the end, the demons win.” Amazon contacted Eszterhas after he released to Reuters a tape of Gibson ranting violently during a dinner at his home in Costa Rica. “On a human level it’s a great story, and it can’t be told in a nine-page letter,” Eszterhas told Reuters. “Much of it is amusing, some of it is very serious and has to do with anti-Semitism and questions of values. But mostly it’s just very human. I view it as a terrific tale.” A spokesman for Mel Gibson could not immediately be reached for comment. “Heaven and Mel” is part of Amazon’s “Kindle Single” program, which allows for publication of short books on an accelerated schedule. It will cost $2.99.
The book, obtained by Reuters, provides context and detail around the conflict between Gibson and the screenwriter, who was to do a screenplay about Jewish freedom fighters in the 2nd century, the Maccabees. After his screenplay was rejected by Gibson and Warner Bros., Eszterhas accused the director of making anti-Semitic statements and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. Among the new details in the book are Gibson’s emails to Eszterhas during the research and writing process. In the book, Eszterhas describes Gibson’s world from the inside as an invited guest and collaborator who slowly comes to distrust the person who hired him. While Eszterhas wanted to write a story of Jewish heroism, he realized over time that Gibson was seeking a story that “prefigured” the coming of Jesus Christ. Eszterhas wonders in his book: “Was his intent to make Judah Maccabee, the Jewish Braveheart, into a John the Baptist-like messenger for Jesus?” Throughout, Eszterhas offers choice observations about Hollywood and why he left Malibu to raise his second family, wife Naomi and four young sons, in Ohio. -Reuters
FILE - Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas speaks during the “Writers on Writing” panel discussion in Los Angeles, California Sept. 20, 2006. (AP)
British duo bring hit Potter parody to NYC NEW YORK: It was almost a little like magic, the way it all got started. But, hey, when it comes to Harry Potter, what isn’t? On that day in London in 2005, Dan Clarkson was trying to find someone who could be part of a short Harry Potter comedy skit he was putting together to mark the release of the sixth book in J.K. Rowling’s hit series. In Covent Garden, he happened to come across Jeff Turner, on his first day of trying his hand at a bit of street comedy. “I was looking for a Harry Potter, and saw Jeff, and there you go,” Clarkson said. That was the start of a beautiful friendship, and more importantly for theater-goers, the start of “Potted Potter,” a 70-minute parody of the entire series that has played to thousands in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, and is now making its US debut. It’s been in previews at the Little Shubert Theatre since mid-May, with the official opening night set for June 3. The New York City run will go through Aug. 12, and a national tour is being planned. The show, which bills itself as “The Unauthorized Harry Experience” is a fast-paced, tongue-firmly-planted-incheek romp through Rowling’s seven books about the boy wizard and his adventures. Turner, 31, wears a pair of black spectacles in his go-round as Harry, and Clarkson, 33, puts on a series of wigs, accents and adornments to portray a host of other characters, from Harry’s best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, to his arch-enemy Lord Voldemort. There’s a near-constant patter between the two men, and even some audience participation in the form of an attempt at a game of Quidditch, the popular sport in Harry’s wizarding world. Clarkson and Turner are quick to say the show’s take on Harry Potter comes from a place of love - Clarkson has been a longtime fan of the series, and Turner, who hadn’t read them when he and Clarkson
This undated theater image released by David Gersten & Associates, Jefferson Turner, (left), and Daniel Clarkson are shown during a performance of “Potted Potter,” in New York. (AP)
met, became an admirer. “I’d kind of resisted it,” Turner said of the series. But once he started, “I was very much surprised how much I enjoyed it.” Its worldwide popularity is a boon for the show, which as a parody benefits from an audience familiar with the source material. At the same time, though, the two say they’ve tried to create something that even those unfamiliar with the series can enjoy, something based on the comedy and the interaction between the men, who claim comedy influences ranging from Monty Python to “Saturday Night Live.” Asked about whether or not Rowling knew of the show, the men said some people connected to her had seen it. They’re prepared for her wanting to see it, though - there’s a seat saved for her at every performance.
Lil Wayne says he feels ‘unwanted’ at Oklahoma arena LOS ANGELES: Lil Wayne said that after a recent NBA playoffs ticket dispute he felt unwelcome and “unwanted” at the Oklahoma City arena and isn’t planning to return. The rapper said two Thunder players - Kevin Durant and James Harden - had reached out to offer him tickets to Saturday’s fourth game of the Western Conference Finals. “That’s not the point, though,” he told The Associated Press in an interview Friday night. “It’s the players stepping up but of course the players aren’t white. I don’t want to be sitting there on behalf of you and I’m sitting next to a (person) that’s like ‘I don’t want this (guy) sitting next to me.’ (Forget) you ... I’m in Forbes,” he said, laughing. Lil Wayne claimed in a tweet Thursday night that he had been “denied by the team to be in their arena.” The team responded by saying the seats he wanted were already taken. But the Grammy-winning rapper, appearing at a Macy’s store in Los Angeles to promote his Trukfit clothing line, described a more complicated scenario.
He said he typically procures tickets for such games “from this guy named Mike.” Lil Wayne said Mike had requested special security, parking and entrance for the rapper, but Mike said the team responded that they would only sell the seats for Mike’s personal use. Lil Wayne said a manager had advised him not to return to the city’s arena for sports events or concerts, but “I never say never.” He said he felt welcome at other arenas including Miami, and likes being able to energize players - many of whom are fans of his music - on their home court. “That’s like me going on stage and ... seeing LeBron (James) in the crowd with his hand up. I’m going to perform a little bit harder,” he said. But in Oklahoma, he said that while “the players want me there, I don’t want to feel - I’m going to still feel unwanted.” A team spokesman has said Lil Wayne’s representatives insisted that he sit in the front row, and none of those seats were available. Oklahoma City sold out every home game during the regular season and playoffs. -AP
That’s because, they say, there’s a story going around that a woman turned away from a sold-out performance one time in Edinburgh, Scotland, may have been the author. Rowling has a home in Edinburgh. Of course, if she ever did turn up, Clarkson and Turner aren’t quite sure how they would react. “The woman is a legend, I think that’s fair to say, and I don’t say that about many people, just about myself and her,” Clarkson said with a laugh. And besides, there’s excitement enough as it is for the two men bringing their show to New York City. While they felt pretty sure that it would be received positively, and had plenty of experience performing it in other locations, the night of the first preview here, “we were terrified,” Turner said. -AP
NY suit over Spider-Man musical airs in court
NEW YORK: A judge warned lawyers at the end of a two-hour hearing Friday that she may narrow the scope of a lawsuit stemming from the Broadway production of “Spider-Man.” US District Judge Katherine Forrest said she had not yet decided whether to eliminate from the litigation a three-page outline that Director Julie Taymor created before the musical’s script was written and before she was fired last year and the script was rewritten. In a lawsuit, Taymor said the current hit Broadway production, “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” was based on the unlawful use of her copyrighted written works. It said producers did not honor her right to approve changes to her book of the musical, and they have refused to pay her contractually guaranteed authorship royalties. The lawsuit said damages would exceed $1 million, and included demands for profits resulting from the unauthorized use of her material. Taymor, who was not in court Friday, was fired in 2011 as the $75 million production sputtered despite three months of preview performances. The musical was rewritten and it successfully reopened. Taymor sued the producers in November and they countersued. The producers say Taymor’s treatment was based on pre-existing “Spider-Man” comics and films. During Friday’s arguments, attorney Dale Cendali argued on the producers’ behalf, saying what Taymor wrote in her original proposal for the musical assembled the most obvious elements of comic books and Spider-Man movies. She noted that Taymor cited the Spider-Man movie in her proposal, known as a treatment. Cendali said she had “never seen a case where someone made a more blatant admission that they were copying an earlier work.” She added: “They can’t monopolize SpiderMan. They don’t own Spider-Man.” Arguing on behalf of Taymor, attorney Charles Spada insisted that his client created new material for the Broadway production, including a new character playing a pivotal role. “There is originality,” he said. “This is not just a case about a compilation.” The judge said she would like to view a video of the Broadway production, though Cendali said she wanted precautions taken to ensure it does not appear on the Internet. A trial is scheduled for January. -AP
Oprah Winfrey launches Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 NEW YORK: Oprah Winfrey is back in the book club business, updated for the digital age. “Oprah’s Book Club 2.0,” a joint project of Winfrey’s OWN network and her O magazine, begins Monday with the popular memoir “Wild,” Cheryl Strayed’s story of her 1,100-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail in California and Washington. Besides the traditional paper version, featuring the circular Oprah book club logo, special eeditions will be made available that include Winfrey’s comments and a reader’s guide. An interview with Strayed will air July 22 on OWN’s “Super Soul Sunday” and on Oprah Radio. Readers will be able to share opinions through Facebook and Twitter and Winfrey’s website, www.oprah.com. “This is way different from the old book club,” Winfrey said in an online video announcement, taped in her Chicago office and posted Friday on her website. “This time it’s an interactive, online club for our digital world.” The new club will test whether Winfrey still has clout with the reading public, especially when her viewership is far smaller than years ago. Starting in the mid-1990s, Winfrey made hits out of dozens of books through her previous club, featured on her syndicated talk show. But sales had fallen by the time her show ended, in 2011. One of her last picks, a combined volume of Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” and “Great Expectations,” was in part a victim of the e-book
FILE - In this March 9, 2012 file photo, Oprah Winfrey accepts her DVF Lifetime Leadership Award at The Third Annual DVF Awards held at the United Nations in New York. (AP)
market as many readers simply downloaded free, public-domain versions of the novels. The initial response to Friday’s announcement was slow compared to Winfrey’s peak, when her choices topped best-seller charts within hours of her revealing them. As of Friday night, “Wild,” had received a mild bump on Amazon.com’s list, from No. 175 before Winfrey’s pick to No. 97. “Wild” ranked No. 244 late Friday on the Kindle e-book charts. -AP
sunDAY, JUNE 3, 2012
Celtics cool Heat to narrow series deficit BOSTON: The Boston Celtics ramped up on defense to re-energies their playoff ambitions with a 101-91 victory over the Miami Heat on Friday, their first win in the NBA Eastern Conference finals series. A win at home was critical for Boston, especially after losing in overtime to Miami on Wednesday. The Celtics still trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series but could now tie it up in Boston on Sunday. The raucous crowd energized the Celtics, who surged to a 13-point lead by halftime and a 22-point margin by the end of the third quarter. Center Kevin Garnett top scored with 24 points and captain Paul Pierce had 23 points. “Kevin does so many little things. He does so many intangibles, he’s our best communicator. I could go on and on,” Boston guard Rajon Rondo said of his team mate. Rondo, who played all 53 minutes of Wednesday’s overtime loss, chipped in with 21 points and 10 assists, steadying the team in the fourth quarter when Miami mounted an aggressive comeback against the tiring Celtics. “He stayed with us, stabilized us really,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said of Rondo. The Celtics’ tough defense - the decisive factor in their run past Philadelphia and Atlanta to the conference final - was back on track in the win.
“The difference was our defensive energy, which allowed us to run,” said Rivers. “We had terrific ball movement for three quarters ... our rebounding was terrific in stretches.” Rivers praised the “phenomenal” effort of his team’s second string players, including Marquis Daniels and Keyon Dooling, who each got significant playing time. “What the second unit did was come in with a defensive energy that just changed the game,” Rivers said. Daniels, who played just 18 seconds in Wednesday’s game two, logged more than 17 minutes as a stand-in point guard, adding nine points and five rebounds. The Heat’s Lebron James, in pursuit of his first NBA title, dominated the first quarter and ended up as the game’s top scorer with 34 points. The Heat cut Boston’s lead to eight points late in the game, at one point staging an 11-0 run. “He kept us afloat,” team mate Dwyane Wade said of James. “We made a run in the fourth quarter (but) we can’t dig that big of a hole for ourselves.” Miami did itself no favors from the penalty line, missing 10 of 20 free throw attempts. James was one of five from the line. “We know this is a tough place to play but we know we can play a lot better than this,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. “We still have a golden opportunity.”
Miami Heat’s LeBron James shoots in the second quarter over Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce during Game 3 of the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals, Friday, June 1, 2012. (AP)
Youzhny in a sorry state after Ferrer roasting Kvitova fights past battling Russian Bratchikova PARIS: Fourth seed Petra Kvitova moved into the French Open fourth round with a 6-2 4-6 6-1 victory over Russian Nina Bratchikova on Saturday, but the Czech was forced to toil in the piercing Parisian sunshine to overcome her opponent. Peppering the baseline with a series of snappy and accurate groundstrokes, Kvitova had looked to be on course for a smooth passage into the next round when she claimed the first set in just 28 minutes. The Russian, however, upped her intensity in the second, forcing the match to a decider before Kvitova regained the upper hand to close it out with a double break. She will now play the winner of 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone’s match against Varvara Lepchenko. -Reuters
David Ferrer of Spain returns the ball to Mikhail Youzhny of Russia during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 2, 2012. (Reuters)
PARIS: If there was any doubt about how tormented Mikhail Youzhny felt as he was being bullied into a 6-0 6-2 6-2 submission by David Ferrer at the French Open, the single word “SORRY!” etched into the red clay by the Russian said it all on Saturday. A disbelieving Youzhny was red-faced after winning only six points, all on his own serve, during the first eight games of the third-round contest against a man he had beaten four times in six previous meetings. When he finally halted the run to win his first game after 30 minutes, he starting scraping a message into the red clay with the toe of his right shoe. Spectators sitting in the stands craned their necks to read the writing. Was it ‘yippee’ or ‘hooray’ or even ‘thank God’? No, it was much more simple than that. It simply said “SORRY!”, a sentiment that drew a loud round of sympathetic applause from the roasting fans on a furnace-like Court Suzanne Lenglen.
“I just wanted to say sorry to the fans because they came to see a beautiful match but I simply could not give them that,” the tortured Youzhny, with sweat still dripping off his face, told Russian reporters. Ferrer was so zoned in on completing the demolition job quickly, he did not even realize what the commotion was about. “I didn’t see him drawing the message,” said Ferrer, who has romped into the last 16 without dropping a set. “I was very focused in the match and it was funny. It was funny now because I won. I’m very happy.” It was no laughing matter for Youzhny and he is not the first player to convey a message to the crowd in clay. Gustavo Kuerten memorably celebrated his third and final triumph here in 2001 by drawing a giant loveheart in the red clay with his racket and then lying in it after beating Alex Corretja in the final. - Reuters
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic returns the ball to Nina Bratchikova of Russia during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 2, 2012. (Reuters)
England ponder Anderson omission
WADA propose Olympic ban in revised draft code
England’s James Anderson celebrates after dismissing West Indies’ Adrian Barath (left) as Alastair Cook (right) looks on during the second cricket test match at Trent Bridge cricket ground in Nottingham May 27, 2012. (Reuters)
FILE- International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge (2nd from right) talks with the coordinator for the 2016 Olympics of Rio de Janeiro Richard L. Carrion (2nd from left) prior to the beginning of the IOC executive board meeting in Quebec City, May 24, 2012. (Reuters)
LONDON: The World Anti-Doping Agency WADA has issued a revised draft code inserting a proposed Olympic ban for serious doping offenders from January 2015. The revision, if left in the final draft to be approved at a world conference on doping in sport in Johannesburg in November 2013, would mean athletes whose suspension ends before a Winter or Summer Games could be banned for one Olympic cycle. The draft will have a third consultation phase between December first this year and March 1, 2013. The second phase ended on Friday. Article 10.15 of the draft code, published on the WADA website (www.wada-ama.org), is in line with an International Olympic Committee rule which was outlawed after a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing last year. That IOC ruling had excluded athletes banned for
six months or more from the next Olympics. The British Olympic Association (BOA) also lost a recent CAS hearing over its controversial by-law imposing a lifetime Olympic ban on British athletes failing dope tests. The BOA had argued that the existing two-year sanction was an insufficient deterrent. The CAS ruling cleared the way for British athletes with previous convictions, such as sprinter Dwain Chambers and cyclist David Millar, to be considered for selection for the London Olympics starting next month. The revised WADA code says that, in certain circumstances, as an additional sanction an athlete “shall be ineligible to participate in the next Summer Olympic Games and the next Winter Olympic Games taking place after the end of the period of ineligibility otherwise imposed.” -Reuters
LONDON: England are considering leaving spearhead fast bowler James Anderson out of their team for next week’s third Test against the West Indies at Edgbaston in order to give the Lancashire seamer a rest. The hosts, 2-0 up in the three-match series, are due to name their squad on Sunday. Reports in the British press on Saturday indicated Anderson could be omitted for the ‘dead’ match, with England facing another crowded home international programme. Test cricket, despite the growing global appeal of Twenty20, has remained the priority for English administrators, fans and players alike. According to a report in the Guardian, Anderson, named England’s player of the year last month, is fully fit following a minor thigh problem. The 29-year-old has missed just one of England’s previous 25 Tests and, having spent much of his early international career as a squad player, is keen to add to his tally of 267 wickets which places him fifth on his country’s all-time list of most successful Test bowlers. He took six wickets in England’s ninewicket win at Trent Bridge, where he and Stuart Broad, with Tim Bresnan as third
seamer, continued to torment the tourists’ fragile top order. England are due to play three Tests against South Africa, challenging them as the world’s number one ranked side in the five-day game, later in the season and have a host of one-day games with both the West Indies and the Proteas as well. In between the two main tours, they are also set for a one-day series with archrivals Australia. However, that campaign was called into question Saturday after reports in the Australian press warned of a possible strike by Australia players in protest over revised performance-related pay rules. While an abandoned series would clearly have financial implications for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), it could prove a boon for Broad, a mainstay in all three major formats and England’s Twenty20 captain. When England, in a reflection of Test cricket’s ongoing supremacy in the sport’s homeland, have rested players, they’ve tended to do so in one-dayers. Test skipper Andrew Strauss, speaking shortly after his side had wrapped up victory with more than a day to spare at Trent Bridge, said ‘rotation’ was on the agenda but was understandably cautious
about its implications. “It’s always a balance to strike because primarily you want to win every Test you play: that’s the starting point,” he said. England do have the option of calling up seamers Steven Finn and Graham Onions, included in squads for the first two Tests but yet to feature this series, should they give one of their ‘regulars’ a break. Finn replaced an injured Anderson at Lord’s last year in one of just his two Tests since he was withdrawn midway through England’s victorious Ashes campaign in Australia. Since then Tim Bresnan, on the winning side in all his 13 Tests, has established himself as the regular support act for the new ball duo. England’s batting line-up, where Strauss has returned to form with a hundred in the first Test at Lord’s and another at Trent Bridge, is likely to remain unaltered at Edgbaston. Concerns had been raised by recently-capped Jonathan Bairstow’s problems against the short ball at Trent Bridge. But these will have eased since West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach, his main tormentor at Nottingham, was ruled out of the rest of the tour with a shin injury earlier this week. -AFP
sunDAY, JUNE 3, 2012
Fabregas could make Italy opener, Del Bosque says SEVILLE, Spain: Playmaker Cesc Fabregas may have shaken off his hamstring injury in time to feature in Spain’s Euro 2012 Group C opener against Italy on June 10, coach Vicente del Bosque said on Saturday. “They did some tests yesterday and the doctors saw that he (Fabregas) is in reasonably good shape,”Del Bosque told a news conference in Seville previewing Spain’s final warm-up match against China on Sunday. “He will rejoin the rest of his team mates in training at some point and, possibly, be ready for the 10th,” he added. Fabregas, who will be rested against China as a precaution, sustained the injury during Barcelona’s 3-0 King’s Cup final win over Athletic Bilbao last month before he was named in the world champions’ 23-man squad to defend their continental title
in Poland and Ukraine. The former Arsenal captain was one of a number of Barca players who ended an intense season carrying injuries and central defender Carles Puyol has been ruled out of Euro 2012 after needing knee surgery. Midfield orchestrator Xavi, a key player in Spain’s triumphs at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, has been suffering from a persistent calf problem but told a separate news conference in Seville on Saturday he was back to full fitness. “I am in very good shape and very pleased, excited and physically fine,” the 32-year-old said. “Yesterday I trained with the national team for the first time, I played the King’s Cup final, and I was already feeling good at Real Betis on the final day of the La Liga season on May 12,” he added. “I am ready to compete and to make history again with the national team.”
Spain are bidding to become the first nation to win back-to-back continental titles with a World Cup in between and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told the players on Friday another victory would help lift the struggling Iberian nation out of its economic gloom. Del Bosque said he and his players were aware of the wave of euphoria among Spanish soccer fans about the team’s prospects. “We are under a lot of pressure because the optimism around us is excessive,” he said. “There are 16 very good teams and it will not be a walk in the park, but we are used to pressure because we are defending the title and we are world champions. “In any case, if we win the European Championship it will not be the solution to Spain’s problems.” -Reuters
England, Holland set for Euro dress rehearsals
England’s soccer players attend a team training session at Wembley Stadium in London June 1, 2012. (Reuters)
PARIS: England, the Netherlands and Portugal have one last chance to make adjustments ahead of Euro 2012 as they gear up for their final pretournament warm-up matches on Saturday. England open their Euro campaign against France in Donetsk on June 11 and they have selected similar opposition for their last friendly match before the tournament, with Belgium the visitors to Wembley this weekend. Belgium’s Eden Hazard is likely to be the center of attention after revealing that he will join Chelsea from Lille this summer, but it is also England’s final opportunity to perfect their tactics before the squad fly out to Poland next week. The Three Lions prevailed 1-0 against Norway in Oslo last Saturday, in what was manager Roy Hodgson’s first game in charge. Manchester United winger Ashley Young scored the game’s only goal and he said he was looking forward to renewing his partnership with striker Andy Carroll, who will start England’s first two games due to Wayne Rooney’s suspension. “We have got to keep the performances up,” said Young. “I think the partnership with Carroll went well. We’ve been working together in training and
it worked with the goal. There is a good combination between us.” Despite early signs of promise in the CarrollYoung tandem, Hodgson faces serious problems in midfield, having lost both Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard to injury in the past week. Striker Danny Welbeck is short of fitness, having injured his ankle while playing for Manchester United in April, while Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson is struggling with an infected toe. England’s last Wembley appearance saw them beaten 3-2 by Holland in February, but the Dutch have endured mixed fortunes since, losing in successive friendly games to Bayern Munich and Bulgaria before bouncing back to defeat Slovakia 2-0 on Wednesday. Bert van Marwijk’s beaten World Cup finalists face Northern Ireland at Ajax’s Amsterdam Arena on Saturday, seven days before they take on 1992 champions Denmark in their opening Euro 2012 Group B assignment in Kharkiv. Wesley Sneijder hobbled off with an ankle injury against Slovakia and although it was only a precaution, it could give Tottenham Hotspur’s Rafael van der Vaart an opportunity to start against Northern Ireland.
“Every minute I see as an opportunity,” said van der Vaart, who claimed Holland’s second goal against the Slovaks in Rotterdam with a rare rightfooted effort. “The coach has always chosen Wesley in my position, so I have not played there a lot lately. When you start on the bench, you always hope to be given enough time to be able to prove yourself.” Beaten 3-1 by Brazil last weekend, Denmark tackle Australia in Copenhagen on Saturday, while fellow Group B adversaries Portugal meet Turkey in Lisbon. After successive 0-0 draws against Poland and latterly Macedonia, Cristiano Ronaldo and co are bidding to score their first goals since the 6-2 thrashing of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the second leg of their play-off victory in November.Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland host Andorra in Warsaw, looking to build on a quietly encouraging run of form that has seen them draw with Portugal before back-toback 1-0 wins over Latvia and Slovakia.Poland will raise the curtain on this summer’s tournament when they meet Greece in their opening Group A fixture at Warsaw’s National Stadium on June 8. - AFP
Petkovic appointed Lazio coach
FC Sion’s coach Vladimir Petkovic advises his team during their Swiss Super League promotion and relegation soccer match against FC Aarau in Aarau, May 28, 2012. (Reuters)
BERNE: Bosnian Vladimir Petkovic has been appointed coach of Serie A side Lazio, the Italian club confirmed on Saturday. The Rome club have been looking for a coach since Edoardo Reja finally left at the end of the season after handing in his resignation three times during his turbulent reign. “Lazio announce that Vladimir Petkovic is the new coach,” the club said in a brief statement. Petkovic, 48, has spent most of his career in Switzerland most recently with Sion which he saved from relegation. He also coached Turkish club Samsuspor for a short time. According to the Italian press, Petkovic has signed a two-year deal with Lazio who finished fourth in the Serie A last season. -AFP
Defending champion Li edges American McHale PARIS: Defending champion Li Na needed three sets to stop American Christina McHale at the French Open on Saturday. The seventh-seeded Li, who last year became the first Chinese player to win a Grand Slam singles title, rallied to beat McHale 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. Li committed 44 unforced errors in the match, 20 more than her unseeded opponent. The last woman to successfully defend her title at Roland Garros was Justine Henin, who won three straight from 2005-07. -AP
Klinsmann looking to boost US soccer toward powers
WASHINGTON DC: Jurgen Klinsmann is not shy on giving opinions. Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard should join Champions League clubs. American players need to get ‘’nastier.’’ They need more training sessions and less vacation time, better nutrition and less respect for opponents. Klinsmann is in this country on a mission, to help American soccer catch up with the world powers. A World Cup and European champion as a player, and a coach who led his native Germany to a third-place finish in soccer’s showcase tournament, he took charge of the U.S. team with a resume to back up his pronouncements. None of this ‘’sport of the future’’ stuff for him. American soccer has come a long way from its many lost decades. After famously upsetting England 1-0 at the 1950 World Cup, the Americans didn’t qualify again until 1990. Now they’ve made it to the last six World Cups, one of only seven nations to accomplish the feat. They’ve gotten better in fits and starts under Bob Gansler, Bora Milutinovic, Steve Sampson, Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley, reaching the quarterfinals in 2002 and the second round in 1994 and 2010. But the gap between America and the traditional powers remains huge. When the US wasted a two-goal lead and lost to Mexico 4-2 in the final of last summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, it was clear the Americans no longer were even the top team in their own region. And the distance to soccer’s highest level is now apparent to a US public that is tuning in to Premier League matches every weekend and Champions League games on midweek afternoons. So five years after a failed courtship, the U.S. Soccer Federation finally reached an agreement with Klinsmann, who had mostly lived in Orange County, Calif., with his American wife Debbie since retiring as a player in 1998. He revamped the federation’s youth coaches, started two- and three-a-day training sessions when he had players in camp. He implemented a more wideopen playing style, called for his players to press defensively like Barcelona, the most-admired club in the world. Initial results were disappointing, a 1-4-1 start. But then the U.S. won five in a row, including its first victory over four-time world champion Italy. In Italy, no less! But next weekend the games start for real. Following Sunday night’s exhibition at Canada, the Americans open quali-
fying for the 2014 World Cup at home against Antigua and Barbuda on June 8 in Tampa, Fla. They play at Guatemala four days later. Now 47, Klinsmann seems to wear a perpetual smile. His blond hair is cropped shorter than it was during his playing days, but during training he occasionally sends a rocket toward goal that reminds onlookers of the talent that scored 47 goals in 108 games for Germany from 1987-98, including 11 at the World Cup. The US, especially under Bradley, was a team that proceeded upfield with caution against top opponents, always mindful of protecting its back. Klinsmann is trying to get the Americans to play more the way he did. ‘’Every coach has a different style. Every coach has a different way of doing things, of approaching the game. And I think we’re finally learning and understanding what he wants us to do,’’ star midfielder Landon Donovan said. ‘’I think Jurgen wants us to be daring and aggressive and do the things we’re good at. We’ve always been a team that is very good defensively.We always worked hard. Our energy and our spirit is good, and we’re trying to get better at the things we haven’t been good at.’’ Players said they respected Bradley but didn’t interact with him that much on a personal level. When the US defeated Honduras last October for their first win under Klinsmann, the coach walked over to an iPad in the locker room and turned up some music. Still, he doesn’t get that close. He’s more willing than Bradley to publicly detail players’ on-field mistakes. When players are bypassed for rosters, he’ll say what they need to do to improve. Klinsmann’s ideas angered the management at Bayern Munich, which fired him in April 2009, even before his first season ended. He brought in American fitness trainers, non-German assistants and made Dutch midfielder Mark van Bommel Bayern’s first non-German captain. He brought in Donovan on loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy. With the US, Klinsmann is pushing his players to work harder than ever to gain more prominent roles with their clubs. He’s said he’ll only select those seeing regular playing time at the club level. Among Americans, only DaMarcus Beasley has reached the Champions League semifinals, starting in the first leg for PSV Eindhoven against AC Milan in 2005. Dempsey is the only American to appear in a European final, for Fulham in its 2010 Europa League loss to Atletico Madrid. -AP
United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann looks on from the sidelines during the first half of an international friendly soccer game against Brazil in Landover, Md., Wednesday, May 30, 2012. (AP)
Aston Villa hires Lambert as new manager
BIRMINGHAM, England: Aston Villa has hired Paul Lambert as its manager, luring him from Premier League rival Norwich. Lambert has been appointed by American owner Randy Lerner to replace Alex McLeish, who was fired last month after Villa narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League. Lambert had been at Norwich for two years and steered the club back into the top tier of English soccer. Norwich finished 12th last month, four places higher than Villa. -AP
Al Watan Daily - Kuwait