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TUESDAY, JUNE 5 , 2012

@alwatandaily

Issue No. 1456

12 PAGES

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150 Fils with IHT

Cabinet says Al-Rujaib grilling undermines national unity

Staff Writers

KUWAIT: While the Cabinet on Monday discussed the options on the table to handle the current political situation in the country, reports have alluded to a possible mass Cabinet resignation in reaction to the cascade of motions to question ministers. Reportedly, the Cabinet affirmed that the interpellation against the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Ahmad Al-Rujaib undermines national unity. In this context, MP Osama Al-Menawer announced plans to question the Oil Minister Hani Hussein for what he described as “oil related violations”. The lawmaker announced that he possesses documents containing gross finical irregularities and unlawful transactions involving the oil sector, pointing out that he will make his interpellation motion available to the Majority Bloc within a week or so in order to obtain its approval in preparation for its submission. Speaking to reporters, the MP stated that the documents in his domain warrant not only a political interpellation; rather they necessitate criminal investigation. Moreover,Al-Menawer addressed a barrage of parliamentary queries to the oil minister demanding answers about the owners of EQUATE with the details of the shares of each. He additionally asked the minister to shed light on the nature of ties between EQUATE Company and EQUATE Marketing. This comes at a time that reports have emerged suggesting

that the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Awaqaf and Islamic Affairs Jamal Al-Shehab had informed the Cabinet of his desire to resign if the blasphemy law is rejected. According to sources, the political atmosphere is highly charged, hence a careful reassessment is needed, or else the current assembly will not serve out its mandate, amid reports that MP Obeid Al-Wasmi is drafting two motions to question His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah and the Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah. With regard to the interpellation Al-Rujaib, an MP, who spoke to Al Watan on the condition of anonymity, stated that the lawmakers were informed that the minister will ask for the deferral of his interpellation’s discussion for two weeks. Sources have reported that the Majority Bloc has discussed MP Al-Saifi Al-Saifi’s interpellation against Minister Al-Rujaib during their latest meeting. Although Al-Saifi was reportedly asked to be patient, he was adamant about proceeding ahead with the interpellation. “I don’t want prejudgment. Review the items in the motion and decide after hearing the two sides,” the MP was quoted as telling his colleagues. In other news, the Cabinet has extended the tenure of three assistant undersecretaries in the Ministries of Commerce, Communications and Public Works, including Sheikh Dr. Mishal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Abdul Mohsen Al-Mutairi and Awatef Al-Ghunaim.

Rhode Island’s Olivia Culpo crowned Miss USA

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Kuwaiti gets 10 years for Twitter blasphemy

Vietnam opens three restricted sites for US MIA hunt

KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti man was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday after he was convicted of endangering state security by insulting the Prophet Mohammad and the Sunni Muslim rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on social media. Shiite Muslim Hamad Al-Naqi pleaded innocent at the start of the trial last month, saying he did not post the messages and that his Twitter account had been hacked. The written verdict, delivered by Judge Hisham Abdullah, found Al-Naqi guilty of all charges, a court secretary told Reuters. The sentence was the maximum that 26-year-old Al-Naqi could have received, his lawyer Khaled Al-Shatti said. The judge found him guilty of insulting the Prophet, the Prophet’s wife and companions, mocking Islam, provoking sectarian tensions, insulting the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and misusing his mobile phone to spread the comments. “The prison sentence is long but we have the chance to appeal,” AlShatti said. Under Kuwaiti law, the defense can file an appeal within 20 days of the verdict and jail sentences have been reduced in the past for similar convictions. The civil plaintiff arguing the case against Al-Naqi, as well as some Kuwaiti politicians, had called for Al-Al-Naqi to be executed in a case that stoked sectarian tensions in the Gulf state. “This verdict is a deterrent to those who insult the Prophet Mohammad, his companions and the mothers of the believers,” civil plaintiff Dowaem Al-Mowazry said in a text message.

HANOI: The Vietnamese government gave on Monday a boost to the search for missing US servicemen from the Vietnam War, telling visiting US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta it would open three previously closed sites to permit excavation for remains. Vietnamese Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh told Panetta of the decision during a meeting at his ministry, where they discussed the US strategic shift toward the Asia-Pacific region, and its implications for their growing military ties. The United States is looking to expand military relations with Vietnam after they signed a memorandum of understanding last year on defense cooperation. “Both sides should spend more effort in trust building,” Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung was quoted in a Vietnamese government statement as telling Panetta during a meeting. Dung urged the United States to fully remove a ban on sales of lethal weapons to Vietnam. It should also play a greater role in dealing with the consequences of the war, he said. On Sunday, Panetta became the most senior US official since the end of the Vietnam War to visit Cam Ranh Bay in central Vietnam, a US logistics hub during the conflict. He visited a US Navy cargo ship that was undergoMore on 5 ing repairs at the Vietnamese port.

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Anti-Shiite bomb attack in Baghdad kills 22

A wounded woman is helped by men at the scene after a bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, June 4, 2012. (AP)

5.9-magnitude quake strikes Indonesia’s Java SUKABUMI, Indonesia: A 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia’s most-populated island on Monday, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The quake struck 96 kilometers (59 miles) southwest of Sukabumi in western Java after 6:00 pm (1100 GMT) at a depth of 67 kilometers, the US Geological Survey said. “The quake was quite strong but we have no reports yet of casualties or damage. We will monitor the affected area,” National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told AFP. Nugroho said the quake struck around 50 kilometers offshore and that activities in Sukabumi had “gone back to normal”. An AFP correspondent in Sukabumi said the quake lasted around three minutes and that residents ran from their homes in panic. The quake was also felt in the capital Jakarta around 200 kilometers northeast of the epicenter. The Indonesian Meteorological and Geophysics Agency earlier measured it as a 6.1-magnitude quake with a depth of 24 kilometers. Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where continental plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity. -AFP

BAGHDAD: A suicide attacker blew up a bomb-packed car at a Shiite religious foundation’s headquarters in Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 22 people in the Iraqi capital’s deadliest blast in more than four months. Shortly after the attack, at least one blast struck near a Sunni foundation’s headquarters in the capital, leaving no casualties, amid a dispute between the two endowments which manage Iraq’s religious landmarks over a shrine north of Baghdad. Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and parliament speaker OsamaAl-Nujaifi both issued condemnations of the violence and appealed for calm. Monday’s first attack struck at 11:00 am (0800 GMT) outside the Shiite endowment in Baab Al-Muadham, central Baghdad, and left at least 22 people dead and more than 65 wounded, two medical officials said. The bombing completely destroyed the endowment headquarters, its deputy chief, Sami AlMore on 3 Massudi, told AFP.

Venus takes center stage in rare sky show today

CAPITALS: It’s a spectacle that won’t repeat for another century - the sight of Venus slowly inching across the face of the sun. So unless scientists discover the fountain of youth, none of us alive today will likely ever witness this celestial phenomenon again, dubbed a “transit of Venus.” It’s so unique that museums and schools around the globe are hosting Venus viewing festivities - all for a chance to see our star sport a fleeting beauty mark. Even astronauts aboard the International Space Station plan to observe the event. The drama unfolds this afternoon for the Western Hemisphere (Wednesday morning from the Eastern Hemisphere.) More on 8

Members of the public sit on the Mall while waiting for the start of a pop music concert at Buckingham Palace to help celebrate Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II’s 60-year reign during Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London, Monday, June 4, 2012. (AP)

Nigeria mourns after airliner crash kills 153

LAGOS: Nigeria recovered more bodies, searched for clues on the cause and declared three days of national mourning on Monday after an airliner crashed in a densely populated area of Lagos overnight, killing all 153 people on board. President Goodluck Jonathan visited the crash site in Nigeria’s commercial hub and saw emergency services working amid the smoldering, ash-covered wreckage of the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 flown by privately owned domestic carrier Dana Air. Jonathan ordered an investigation into how the plane crashed into the iron roof of an apartment block in the residential suburb of Agege. Search teams found what they believed to be the plane’s “black box” flight recorder, said an official. “This particular incident is a major setback for us as a people ... Investigations will have to be done thoroughly to ascertain what was the cause of the crash,” he told reporters. Jonathan, who arrived in an armored convoy with Lagos state governor Babatunde Fashola, got out and walked the last few meters (yards) on foot in his traditional Nigerian kaftan and

skull cap to the crash site. The airline said on Sunday 147 people had been killed but in a list published overnight there were also six crew members on board, taking the death total to 153. An unknown number of people may have been killed on the ground. “They’re still busy recovering bodies. I believe some people were killed on the land as well as on the plane, though we don’t yet have a precise idea of numbers,” said Tunji Oketunbi, a spokesman for Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau. Oke Osanyintolu, head of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, told Reuters at the scene that 80 bodies had been pulled out by about 12:30 p.m. (1130 GMT). A crane was helping to clear away some of the debris. “This is really a horrific moment for us here and we sympathise and give condolences to all the victims and families,” said Fashola. “(There are no) words to express our pain and grief. It is saddening, it is simply too much.” A source at Dana, who asked not to be identified, said the plane was manufactured in 1983. -Reuters

US missiles kill at least 15 in Pakistan MIRANSHAH, Pakistan: US missiles killed at least 15 militants in Pakistan’s Taliban and Al-Qaeda stronghold of North Waziristan on Monday, the third drone strike in three days and the deadliest this year, officials said. The attack looked set to inflame tensions with Islamabad ahead of a visit by a US assistant defense secretary, Peter Lavoy, on a mission to persuade Pakistan to end a six-month blockade on NATO supplies crossing into Afghanistan. There has been a dramatic increase in US drone strikes in Pakistan since a NATO summit in Chicago ended two weeks ago without a deal on the NATO supply lines. Eight drone strikes have been reported in Pakistan since May 23, the same number as in the previous four months,

Brent crude falls to 16month low on bleak data CAPITALS: Brent crude extended losses to hit a 16-month low below 96 US dollars a barrel on Monday, as weak US and Chinese economic data fanned renewed fears of a global economic slowdown, which would hit oil demand. Brent crude fell for a fifth trading day, and at 1157 GMT was at $97.03 a barrel, or $1.40 lower, having briefly touched $95.63, its lowest since January 2011. US crude fell $0.87 to $82.36 a barrel after tumbling as low as $81.32 earlier in the session, its lowest level since last October. “Market sentiment is still negative. The price is still falling despite the big sell off last week. Risk aversion is still on,” Carsten Fritsch, oil and commodities analysts with Commerzbank said. Oil ended May with the biggest monthly loss since December 2008 as Europe’s ever-deepening debt crisis, poor US jobs data and increasing signs of economic slowdown in China accelerated global cross market sell off. A poor jobs market and a slowdown in manufacturing could lead to a drop in oil demand from consumers and industries alike. Speculators cut their net long positions in Brent crude and US crude futures in the week to May 29, figures separately issued by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed. More on 6

and Monday’s was the deadliest since 18 Pakistani Taliban were reported killed on November 16, 2011. Pakistani officials said two missiles slammed into a compound in the village of Hesokhel, east of Miranshah, the capital of North Waziristan, before dawn. North Waziristan is Pakistan’s premier hotbed of Islamist militants and where Islamabad has rejected US pressure to wage a major ground offensive against militants active in the 10-year war against US troops in Afghanistan. “Fifteen militants were killed in a dawn strike on a compound. The bodies of those killed were unable to be identified,” a security official in Miranshah told AFP. He said there were unconfirmed reports that foreigners More on 5 were among the dead.

Japan’s shares fall, Topix ends 28-year low

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Fireworks are seen at the Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple during Vesak Day, an annual celebration of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death in Pathum Thani province, on the outskirts of Bangkok June 4, 2012. This year marks the 2600th anniversary of Buddha’s enlightenment. (Reuters)


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ALWATAN DAILY

kuwait

tuesday, JUNE 5, 2012

Minister of Social Affairs says MP Saifi’s questioning contain violations KUWAIT: The Cabinet held its weekly meeting on Monday at Sief Palace under the chairmanship of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. After the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said the Cabinet reviewed a letter addressed to His Highness the Amir from His Majesty Emperor Akihito of Japan tackling the successful visit to Japan by the Amir last February, in addition to ways to strengthen the already good relations between the two countries. The Cabinet also looked into a letter addressed to the Amir from His Excellency Felipe Calderon, President of Mexico, which included an invitation to the Amir to attend a seminar on creative thinking to address global challenges for the future to be held on June 16 in Los Cabos. The Prime Minister briefed the Cabinet on results of the visit of Michel Suleiman, President of the Republic of Lebanon, a visit that comes as translation of the distinguished historical relations between the two leaderships and peoples. Also, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled briefed the Cabinet on results of Kuwait’s participation in the fifth session of the Arab-Sino Cooperation Forum as Chair of the current session of the Arab League, which was held in the Republic of Tunisia recently. The Forum discussed strategic cooperation

between Arab countries and China and ways to strengthen mechanisms for cooperation in political, economic, cultural and environmental spheres consistent with common interests. Furthermore, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled also briefed the ministers about results of his participation in the Arab League’s extraordinary meeting, the Arab Ministerial Committee meeting on the situation in Syria and a meeting of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee at the ministerial level, held in Doha last Saturday. The Doha meeting called on the Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations and take the necessary measures to ensure full and immediate application of the Annan plan within a specified time frame. The Cabinet also reviewed recommendations of the Committee on Legal Affairs on the draft law on the protection of national unity, a draft law on the organization of Hajj and Umrah, in addition to a draft law to amend some provisions of Law No. 5/1982 on the establishment of Zakat House. The Cabinet approved the bills and forwarded them to HH the Amir prior to submitting them to the National Assembly. The Cabinet also took note of a draft decree on the approval of an air services agreement between the Government of the State of Kuwait and the Government of the Republic of Benin

and a similar one with the Government of the Republic of Finland. The Cabinet approved the bills and forwarded them to HH the Amir. The Cabinet then looked into a report of the Audit Bureau to examine the issue of remittances made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Kuwait’s embassies abroad, based on the provisions of Article 25 of the law establishing the Audit Bureau. The Council of Ministers while praising the Audit Bureau’s objectivity and neutrality, it has decided to deputize bodies concerned to examine this matter and report to the Cabinet quickly and identify those responsible for such shortcomings. The Cabinet also discussed the National Assembly Affairs and its agenda. For his part, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor briefed the Cabinet on the interpellation motion filed against him by MP Al-Saifi Mubarak Al-Saifi, which is on the agenda of the parliament for today’s session. The Minister said he was currently studying the grilling in light of what it contains of violations of provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws of the Parliament, in addition to explicit violations of the Constitutional Court’s principles in relation to grilling. The Cabinet then looked into current political developments on Arab and international levels. -KUNA

Bids for Kuwait Bids for Kuwait Bids for Kuwait Metro control systems top 60 KUWAIT: The technical body charged with considering development projects and initiatives said, Monday, that it had received over 60 letters from specialized local, regional, and international companies expressing interest to invest in the project for the control systems of the first phase of Kuwait Metro, in a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) framework virtue of law 7/2008. A statement by the technical team to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) said the government aims to create a fully integrated public transport network that offers flexibility of movement for the capital city and its suburbs, as part of the “Kuwait 2035” blueprint. The network is to incorporate the latest technology. The control systems project includes development and maintenance of heavymaintenance stations, as well as control system and carts components. This is the first step of the first phase of the metro project, and is to be followed by infrastructure tenders and operator tenders. Preparations are ongoing, the statement said, for pre-qualifications for the control systems company project, and the tender would be announced in all transparency and equal investment opportunity at a latter point in time. -KUNA

Kuwaiti gets 10 years for Twitter blasphemy

KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti man was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday after he was convicted of endangering state security by insulting the Prophet Mohammad and the Sunni Muslim rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on social media. Shiite Muslim Hamad Al-Naqi pleaded innocent at the start of the trial last month, saying he did not post the messages and that his Twitter account had been hacked. The written verdict, delivered by Judge Hisham Abdullah, found Al-Naqi guilty of all charges, a court secretary told Reuters. The sentence was the maximum that 26-year-old Al-Naqi could have received, his lawyer Khaled Al-Shatti said. The judge found him guilty of insulting the Prophet, the Prophet’s wife and companions, mocking Islam, provoking sectarian tensions, insulting the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and misusing his mobile phone to spread the comments. “The prison sentence is long but we have the chance to appeal,” Al-Shatti said. Under Kuwaiti law, the defense can file an appeal within 20 days of the verdict and jail sentences have been reduced in the past for similar convictions. The civil plaintiff arguing the case against Al-Naqi, as well as some Kuwaiti politicians, had called for Al-Al-Naqi to be executed in a case that stoked sectarian tensions in the Gulf state. “This verdict is a deterrent to those who insult the Prophet Mohammad, his companions and the mothers of the believers,” civil plaintiff Dowaem AlMowazry said in a text message. He had argued in court that Al-Naqi must be made an example of. Dozens of Sunni Muslim activists and lawmakers protested against Al-Naqi shortly after his arrest and he was attacked in jail by a fellow inmate, according to the Interior Ministry. Sectarian Tensions

Al-Naqi did not appear in court on Monday. He was in the central prison where he has been held since his arrest in March, the court secretary said. He appeared in previous sessions in a wooden and metal cage, guarded by armed men in black balaclavas. The activists who protested against him accused Al-Naqi of links to Shiite regional power Iran, something he has denied. Shiites are thought to number between 20-30 percent of Kuwait’s 1.1 million nationals. Vocal members can be found in senior positions in parliament, media and business. Although Kuwait has largely avoided the sectarian violence and pro-democracy uprisings seen elsewhere in the region, it is concerned its Shiite minority may turn restive. Authorities have been closely watching Shiiteled protests in Bahrain and unrest in eastern Saudi Arabia, home to more than two million minority Shiites. Al-Naqi’s lawyer Al-Shatti argued that even if his client had written the remarks, he would be guilty of a “crime of opinion”, not of threatening national security, which carried the 10-year jail term. Kuwait’s parliament, where opposition Islamists have grown in influence, endorsed a legal amendment last month that would make insulting God and the Prophet Mohammad by Muslims punishable by death instead of the current maximum penalty of 10 years in jail. Sheikh Sabah recently blocked a proposal by 31 of the 50 elected members of parliament to amend the constitution to make all legislation in the Gulf Arab state comply with sharia law, suggesting he is willing to resist pressure from Islamist lawmakers. -Reuters

Ambassador hosts visiting parliament delegation

FILE - Picture obtained from the internet shows a digital plan of Kuwait’s metro railway.

Kuwait examines Malaysia’s judicial system

Delegation of Kuwaiti Ministry of Justice during their visit to Malaysia at the headquarters of the Supreme Court in the city of Putrajaya. (KUNA)

KUALA LUMPUR: A delegation of Kuwaiti Ministry of Justice paid a visit to Malaysia to examine the nation judicial systems and designs of buildings that house offices of the state legal and judicial authorities. Faisal Abdullah Al-Khamees, the assistant undersecretary for financial and administrative affairs, a member of the delegation, told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that the visit was aimed at examining designs of buildings of courts and study administrative proceedings that serve the judicial authority. The Kuwaiti delegation visited headquarters of the Supreme Court in the city of Putrajaya, holding talks with specialized personnel, he said, adding that he and

his companions also visited several identical buildings and headquarters in various states of the country. The delegation, which gathered information about the Malaysian judicial system, would seek to “transfer such successful administrative experiences to the State of Kuwait,” Al-Khamees said, noting that the buildings housing legal and judicial authorities in the Asian nation were specially designed to facilitate daily activities of these departments and staff. Al-Khamees was accompanied by the director of the penal media department, Waleed Abdullah AlGhanem, and the director of the department of engineering projects, Samir Abdul Razek Al-Saleh. -KUNA

SARAJEVO: Kuwaiti Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Mohammad Fadhil Khalaf hosted a banquet to honor the visiting Kuwaiti parliamentary friendship delegation, with the guest list including Arab diplomats in the country. The Ambassador, early in the banquet Sunday night, said the delegation’s visit had important results when it comes to relations between the democratic institutions of the two countries. Meanwhile, Head of the delegation Khalid bin Eisa said the relations between Kuwait and Bosnia and Herzegovina had taken on a strategic dimension, which requires flexible contact mechanisms on all levels. He added the delegation was pleased with Kuwait’s reputation in all circles in, which is linked to its credibility. That good name would in turn be invested in promoting a better understanding of Islam and Muslims through well-thought and greatly needed initiatives and ventures. Members of the delegation noted that in view of the great opportunities for further cooperation and integration in the economic field, and the different resources and means each party is in possession of, the relations between the two nations are bound to prosper further. In addition to Khalaf, the Kuwaiti parliamentarian delegation includes Walid Al-Tabtabaei the delegation’s vice chairman, Mohammad Hayef, Ahmad Al-Azmi, Adel Al-Damkhi, Mohammad Al-Hatlani, and Bader Al-Dahoum. This is in addition to Parliamentary Relations Director Dhyab Al-Dihani and Parliament Caucus representative Bader Al-Tabtabaei. The delegation is set to meet with the chairman of the presidency on Tuesday, as well as parliament speaker and a host of senior officials. -KUNA

Al-Babtain Foundation for Poetic Creativity takes part in Tunis conf. KUWAIT: President of the Board of Trustees of the Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain Foundation Prize for Poetic Creativity Abdulaziz Al-Babtain said here on Monday that geography is no longer an obstacle in making the human voice reach farthest extent possible, after issues of humanity have merged to the extent of fusion. Al-Babtain told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) ahead of his participation in the 3rd International Conference for Dialogue of Southern-Northern Mediterranean countries, to be hosted by Tunis tomorrow, that the participation of his foundation stems out from its consciousness towards the dialogue of civilizations, pointing out that the foundation is “an extension of Kuwait’s international policy aimed to build bridges of love and stand by humanitarian issues in various parts of the world.” He added “I am pleased that the conference enjoys interest at the presidential level in the Republic of Tunisia because of consciousness of its president, Mohamed Moncef Marzouki, that is ‘a source of pride’ for intellectuals”. -KUNA

Kuwaiti Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Mohammad Fadhil Khalaf hosts a banquet to honor the visiting Kuwaiti parliamentary friendship delegation on Monday, June 4, 2012. (KUNA)

MP says facing motions is best mechanism KUWAIT: Member of Parliament (MP) Abdulrahman Al-Anjari affirmed that the best mechanism for dealing with filed interpellation motions is to actually face them. He pointed out that simple motions sometimes cause huge reactions as a result of the political practices that are implemented by individuals, and not political movements or parties. Yet, the Kuwaitis still vote to support certain persons or candidates instead of a successful electoral program. The lawmaker said that if the political work in Kuwait is organized and is practiced as institutionally, then motions will never cause any problems. He indicated that the government’s plans for disapproving the laws of blasphemy and Jaber University is considered an attempt to assess the reactions of the Parliament on these two sensitive laws, which were highly supported by the Majority bloc. Al-Anjari added that His Highness the Amir has the right to disapprove laws. However, he wondered why the government would try to disapprove the two laws if it participated in the discussions with the Parliament.


ALWATAN DAILY

WORLD Ask Muafi By Hossam Fathi

Before reading this article, I want the readers to be quite confident that I do not refer to a specific candidate, and that discussing this issue with my colleagues took a long time before I made a decision to write about it for the sake of Egypt. I m confident that readers are smart and courageous enough to overcome the sensitivity of discussing the issue which was banned for long decades during the era of the ousted president. The Administrative Court set a June 12 session to look into the case filed by lawyer identified only with his initials M.S. requesting assigning the Minister of Health to arrange medical checkups for all candidates who run for presidential elections and submit the results to the Presidential Elections Committee. On May 12, a lawyer identified by his initials T.M. sent an ultimatum to the Board Chairman of Al Wafd Newspaper and its Editor-In-Chief as the newspaper reported on April 19, 2012 that a security source, who preferred to remain unidentified, that   they have a recording of a candidate in immoral conditions. The source refused to reveal the name of the candidate. The newspaper is confident about the fact that judiciary has the power to force it to reveal the name of the source. I think it would be appropriate to seek the services of retired Major General ‘Muafi’ to unveil this issue. hossam@alwatan.com.kw Twitter:@hossamfathy66

Anti-Shiite bomb attack in Baghdad kills 22 BAGHDAD: A suicide attacker blew up a bombpacked car at a Shiite religious foundation’s headquarters in Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 22 people in the Iraqi capital’s deadliest blast in more than four months. Shortly after the attack, at least one blast struck near a Sunni foundation’s headquarters in the capital, leaving no casualties, amid a dispute between the two endowments which manage Iraq’s religious landmarks over a shrine north of Baghdad. Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and parliament speaker Osama Al-Nujaifi both issued condemnations of the violence and appealed for calm. Monday’s first attack struck at 11:00 am (0800 GMT) outside the Shiite endowment in Baab AlMuadham, central Baghdad, and left at least 22 people dead and more than 65 wounded, two medical officials said. The bombing completely destroyed the endowment headquarters, its deputy chief, Sami AlMassudi, told AFP. “We do not accuse anyone, but we call on the Iraqi people and especially on the sons of our religion to bury the strife because there is a plan to launch a civil war between the people, and between the Iraqi sects,” Al-Massudi said. He said the Shiite endowment had received threats in recent days as a result of the dispute over the Al-Askari shrine, a Shiite Muslim site in the mostly Sunni city of Samarra, north of Baghdad. The iconic gold-domed shrine was hit by a brutal Al-Qaeda suicide attack in February 2006 that ignited the country’s bloody confessional violence. Al-Massudi and his aides had produced documents that attributed the management of the shrine to the Shiite religious endowment, sparking tensions with its Sunni counterpart. “The issue of the Al-Askari shrine is a legal and constitutional issue, and it is our right, because it is a Shiite shrine,” Al-Massudi said. AFP journalists near the site of the attack said security forces cordoned off the scene and barred anyone from approaching, while emergency workers searched for survivors in the remains of the endowment headquarters. Several cars and nearby buildings were badly damaged by the explosion, and helicopters were hovering overhead. Later on Monday, the spokesman of the Sunni endowment told AFP that two mortars struck its headquarters in Adhamiyah, north Baghdad, while an interior ministry official said it was a roadside bomb that exploded near the building. The attack left no casualties, both said. -AFP

Militia overruns Tripoli airport, grounding flights

TRIPOLI: A militia of Libyan ex-rebels seized control of Tripoli International airport on Monday, surrounding aircraft with tanks and grounding all flights after their leader’s apparent arrest, officials said. “It is total confusion. Everyone is fleeing. Several armored vehicles and tanks are positioned on the tarmac, blocking traffic,” an official at the airport told AFP.” Cars mounted with anti-aircraft guns and armed men are surrounding the aircraft and preventing them from moving,” another official said, adding that some passengers were forced to leave planes. The official Lana news agency, citing witnesses, confirmed the “assault,” saying that the motive of the gunmen was to pressure the government to explain the whereabouts of their leader, Abu Ajila Al-Habshi. The agency said the gunmen fired into the air, slightly wounding an airport employee and causing panic among travelers. Mohammed Al-Harizi, spokesman for Libya’s interim government, said earlier that an investigation had been launched to determine the circumstances of the Al-Awfya brigade commander. Tripoli’s security commission, which answers to the interior ministry, said it had nothing to do with “the disappearance and abduction of Colonel Abu Ajila Al-Habshi” and that it was still tracking those responsible. Monday’s incident at Tripoli airport comes as Libya prepares to hold elections for a 200-seat constituent assembly by June 19, as pledged by the NTC. Flashes of violence, such as a deadly raid on government headquarters last month, have raised concerns over the capacity of authorities to secure the first election after decades under Gadhafi. Ethnic unrest in the south, calls for greater autonomy in the east and corruption are some of the challenges facing Libya’s interim leaders. Since the start of the Arab Spring, elections in the region have benefited Islamists, including in Egypt, Libya’s neighbor to the east, and Tunisia to the west. -AFP

TUESdAY, June 5, 2012

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Syria rebels say no longer committed to Annan plan

BEIRUT: Syrian rebels are no longer committed to a UN-backed peace plan that has failed to end violence in the country and have launched attacks on government forces to “defend our people”, a spokesman said on Monday. “We have decided to end our commitment to this (plan) and starting from that date (Friday) we began defending our people,” Major Sami Al-Kurdi, a spokesman for the rebel military council, told Reuters, referring to a deadline of Friday they gave to President Bashar Al-Assad to end violence or face consequences. Al-Kurdi also said rebels wanted a UN observing mission in the country to be turned to a “peace enforcing mission” or the international community should take “bold” decisions and impose a no-fly zone and a buffer zone to help bring Al-Assad down. Syrian government troops fought deadly battles with armed rebels as the European Union on Monday urged Russia to overcome differences over Syria to end 15 months of bloodshed. In talks at Saint Petersburg with Russian President Vladimir Putin, EU President Herman Van Rompuy said the EU and Russia “might have some divergent assessments” of the situation in Syria. The meeting came a day after President Bashar Al-Assad vowed to crush an anti-regime uprising after the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) announced on Friday that it was resuming “defensive operations.” Fighting continued on Monday with the Observatory saying Syrian forces used helicopter gunships to strafe positions in the northeastern province of Deir El-Zor, while at least eight people died in violence across Syria. EU leaders agreed with the Russian president that a UN-backed six-point peace plan “as a whole provides the best opportunity to break the cycle of violence in Syria, avoiding a civil war,” Van Rompuy said. Also pushing for a transition was US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said on Monday during a visit to Armenia that she spoke with UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan to dis-

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (center), European Commission (EC) President Jose Manuel Barroso (right) and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy (left) take part in press conference after a Russia-EU summit in Strelna, outside Saint-Petersburg, on June 4, 2012. (AFP)

cuss the Syria crisis. Annan has agreed to travel to Washington on Friday “to discuss next steps in his six-point plan and in particular political transition” in Syria, a senior State Department spokeswoman said. Annan has demanded a

“serious review” of deadlocked efforts to end the bloodshed and is stepping up pressure on international powers to put some muscle into their support for his peace plan or find a Plan B, diplomats said in New York. Also on Monday,

Yemen army gears up for push on Al-Qaeda-held town

SANAA: The Yemeni army geared up for a push to try to take a southern coastal town from Al-Qaeda-linked fighters on Monday, residents said, part of a US-backed offensive in a country Washington sees as a frontline of its war against the Islamist militants. The United States and its Gulf allies are alarmed by the deteriorating security in Yemen, where Al-Qaeda’s Arabian Pen-

insula wing (AQAP) took advantage of a split in the military during an uprising against then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh and seized territory in the south province of Abyan last year. Shiite rebels known as Houthis also exploited the political upheaval and carved out their own state within a state in the rugged northern province of Saada, on the border with Sunni-ruled Saudi

Yemeni Defense Minister General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed (center) meets with local tribal chiefs during a visit to the restive town of Loder in the southern Abyan province on June 3, 2012. (AFP)

Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter. The United States, which helped engineer Saleh’s replacement by his deputy in February, is backing an offensive in the south and has stepped up its campaign of drone strike assassinations of alleged AlQaeda members it says plot attacks from Yemen. It has also sent dozens of military trainers and stepped up aid to Yemen where it wants President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to reunify the military and focus it against AQAP. Yemeni troops have moved into the centre the southern town of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, where they fought AQAP militants on Sunday. They also clashed with the Islamists in the town of Jaar, some 30 km (20 miles) to the north. Meanwhile hundreds of troops backed by tanks were closing in on the militantheld town of Shaqra, some 50 km (30 miles) along the coast east of Zinjibar, residents there said. “They are getting ready to fight,” a resident told Reuters by telephone. Shaqra is on a major shipping route and the gateway for Somalis entering Yemen to fight alongside Al-Qaeda. Meanwhile, two suicide bombers targeting an army checkpoint in Lawdar, another town in Abyan, killed four people and wounded another, the Defense Ministry said in a text message. The bombers, one of whom was dressed as a woman, were also killed. -Reuters

African migrants targeted in Israeli arson attack JERUSALEM: Israeli arsonists set fire on Monday to an apartment housing Eritrean migrants, spray-painting “get out of the neighborhood” over the entrance in the latest violence against Africans migrants. Fleeing poverty, fighting and authoritarian rule, some 60,000 Africans have crossed illegally into Israel through the relatively porous desert border with Egypt in recent years. Israel says most come seeking work rather than refuge, but this has been challenged by UN humanitarian agencies and civil rights groups, making deportation legally problematic. The influx has jarred the Jewish state, with its already ethnically fraught population of 7.8 million. Some Israelis warn of a gathering demographic and economic crisis while others say a country born after the Holocaust has a special responsibility to offer foreigners sanctuary. “Two people were lightly injured from smoke inhalation and were taken to hospital,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, calling the blaze in a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem deliberate. Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the arson attack, saying “there is no justifica-

tion for such a heinous crime that endangers people’s lives”. Street violence has surged in recent months against Africans, including a rampage 10 days ago in a low-income Tel Aviv neighborhood which is home to many migrants, from Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan. On Sunday, a law went into effect that will allow Israeli authorities to jail illegal immigrants for up to three years. The measure has been denounced by liberal politicians and human rights activists. But Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday the migrants were “first and foremost workseekers” and not political refugees. “There is talk about these wretched people who walk thousands of kilometers on foot, come here exhausted and in search of political asylum,” he said in a speech in the southern resort town of Eilat, where migrants have found work in hotels. “No one comes thousands of kilometers on foot. They buy a ticket, they fly to Cairo, they come out of the airport in Cairo, they take a bus. There’s already an entire industry for transport by bus to the border, to within two kilometers of the (Israeli) border. “There they get off and are told, ‘See those antennas on the hill? Run there.’” -Reuters

the exiled opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) reported violence across Idlib, saying regime forces were using “tanks, rocket launchers and artillery” to bombard several parts of the province. -Agencies

IAEA chief urges Iran to sign nuclear deal as new talks set

VIENNA: The head of the UN nuclear agency urged Iran on Monday to sign a deal allowing greater clarity on its disputed nuclear drive and announced that new talks with Tehran would be held this week. At the start of a week-long meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors in Vienna, Yukiya Amano “invited” Iran to sign an agreement to give the agency access to sites, documents and people related to its nuclear program. This would the Parchin military base near Tehran, where the IAEA believes suspicious explosives testing has been carried out. “If we do not have access to the Parchin site or other people, information and sites, then... we cannot give assurance that all the activities in Iran have peaceful purposes,” Amano told journalists. “And that is not in the interest of Iran, nor the IAEA nor the international community. So what I expect is proactive cooperation from Iran and to clarify these issues through IAEA verification.” A new round of talks between the agency and Iran - likely to involve IAEA chief inspector Herman Nackaerts and deputy director general Rafael Grossi, as well as Iran’s envoy to the agency Ali Asghar Soltanieh - would take place Friday in Vienna, he added. After a visit to Tehran on May 21, where he met with Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, Amano said Iran and the IAEA could sign an accord “quite soon.” “I was assured that an agreement... would be expedited,” Amano said Monday. “I think we need to hope that the Structured Approach agreement will be signed as soon as possible,” he added, noting that differences between the parties had “narrowed.” Soltanieh meanwhile told national news agency IRNA that after Amano’s visit, “a new chapter of cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the agency has started”. The IAEA has been seeking to visit Parchin for months but has been refused access by Tehran, which insists the site is of no significance to its nuclear program so it need not allow inspections there. -AFP

Saudi religious police chief blames agent over mall incident

RIYADH: The head of the Saudi religious police has come out strongly against one of his men who ordered a woman to leave a mall because she was wearing nail polish, a local daily reported on Monday. “The world is manufacturing airplanes and we are still telling a woman ‘leave the mall because you’ve got nail polish on your fingers’,” a local daily quoted Sheikh Abdulatif Abdel Aziz Al-Sheikh as saying. The woman had defied the orders as she filmed her argument with the policeman and posted it on Youtube, in a video that attracted more than a million hits in the first few days since it went online. “I was very disappointed by what I have seen. The matter has been exaggerated and negatively exploited,” Al-Sheikh, head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, said. “The way the member of the commission behaved was not right, even if the girl had gone too far. He should have offered her advice and left instead of arguing with her and escalating,” he said. The three and a half minute video

posted on May 23 shows members of the notorious commission telling the woman to “get out of here (the mall).” But she refuses to comply, saying: “I’m staying and I want to know what you’re going to do about it.” “It’s none of your business if I wear nail polish,” the unidentified woman, who is not seen on tape, is heard shouting at bearded men from the feared religious force. “You are not in charge of me,” she defiantly shouts back, referring to new constraints imposed earlier this year on the religious police banning them from harassing Saudi women over their behavior and attire. “The government has banned you from coming after us,” she told the men, adding “you are only supposed to provide advice and nothing more.” The woman filmed the incident herself and posted it on YouTube. At one point during the video, she cautions the religious police that she has already posted the exchange online. It is not clear if the woman was eventually forced to leave the mall. -AFP


4

ALWATAN DAILY

OPINION / VIEWS

tuesDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

Exit the political wife

Smart women may be unwilling to marry high-profile political men these days, owing to the tremendous potential downside.

Naomi Wolf Project Syndicate

F

rance’s new president, Francois Hollande, is not married to his partner, the glamorous political journalist Valerie Trierweiler, and no one seems to care. Germany’s president, Joachim Gauck, is not married to his partner, the journalist Daniela Schadt, and no one seems to care. Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, is not married to his partner, the domesticity guru Sandra Lee, and no one seems to care. The list could easily be continued. Is the adoring political spouse - so much a part of the political landscape that she has her own iconography, from knit suits to the dreamy upward gaze at her man - receding into the past? It is true that in America, at least, hay can still be made from the role of political wife. President Barack Obama may have experienced his first major dip in the polls - and his first real slide with women voters - when a partisan supporter, Hilary Rosen, said that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, had never worked a day in her life. But the response to Rosen’s remark underscored the relative absence of the usual heightened scrutiny of the political wife’s hair and clothes, profession and cookie recipe. It was only 20 years ago that, during Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign, his wife Hillary’s career - that is, the fact that she had one of her own - sparked wild and vituperative debate. There was even her absurd “bake-off” against First Lady Barbara Bush, in which she had to produce her own cookie recipe in order to appease a lingering cultural demand for domesticity in the role. Those days now seem like another age. In America in this election cycle, as in Europe, headlines are absent that in the past would have raised questions about an unmarried female partner, a working woman, a woman with a life of her own. So, what accounts for the sudden disappearance of the adoring political wife? The role achieved its apotheosis with someone who, perhaps not coincidentally, was trained as an actress. Nancy Reagan codified the mistyeyed gaze at the rugged man, the demure demurrals, and the aggregation of power behind the throne, while claiming, in interviews, interest in nothing more serious than the White House’s latest china patterns. “I don’t talk about political matters,” she famously said. “That’s not my department.” It is not surprising that this role has

recently vanished. For starters, recent events have made it highly unappealing to any woman who has any alternative to assuming it. In recent years, the role of the traditional spouse has been, most visibly, to stand by (or not) while some excruciatingly embarrassing foible or betrayal by one’s husband is publicly aired in mortifying detail. What woman would want to risk that role - one that has become increasingly likely in an age when surveillance by political opponents has become increasingly sophisticated and extensive? Smart women may be unwilling to marry high-profile political men these days, owing to the tremendous potential downside. Other domestic arrangements might be easier than taking the matrimonial plunge, with its prospect of thankless exposure in the event of a scandal. Another reason for the not-necessarily-married and not-necessarily-full-time political spouse has to do with simple generational change: the role of adoring wife that Nancy Reagan perfected is a time-consuming profession. Most men who are ready to seize the reins of national power will be with women of their own generation, who are likely to have plenty to do on their own trajectory. We do have Clinton (as fraught and self-involved as her journey around these issues was) and Cherie Blair to thank for clearing away the cultural detritus. In a way, voters may find this evolution reassuring: when every male politician had to be equipped with a smart but underemployed full-time adoring wife, there was reason to be uneasy about the unseen influence of an unelected adviser hovering around cabinet meetings. But when a political leader’s partner is a full-time journalist - or a full-time lifestyle guru one’s fears of a power behind the throne diminish: the woman, presumably, is too busy to meddle excessively in the affairs of state. Finally, what smart contemporary woman wants to take on a one-step-down role? It is taxing to spend all of one’s time making one’s husband look good, and it is demeaning to have to feign a lack of interest in issues that doubtless were part of the attraction to one another in the first place. If the traditional political wife is vanishing, it is voters’ own fault: we set it up to be a thankless and infantilizing position. Why should we expect our leaders’ partners to perform, on a massive public stage, social roles that we no longer accept in our own lives? The adoring political wife was always more caricature than character. Now, fortunately, she can finally retire.

The plight of a people blessed with ample resources Rashed Al-Radaan

T

here can be no doubt in one’s mind that the very fact that our country has been deemed liable to pay 2.16 billion US dollars as a penalty for scrapping the K-Dow deal is indeed deplorable taking into consideration the fact that there are thousands of citizens out there who are so indebted after taking loans.Then there are those that have defaulted on their payments and are languishing in jail while last but not least; there are also those that frequently visit the Zakat House just to get a measly amount of money to pay a fraction of their debt installments and spend the rest on sustaining their families’ needs. And in the midst of all this; the Dow Chemical company drops a bombshell with the announcement that Kuwait has got to pay it $2.16 billion as penalty for scrapping the Dow deal. Moreover it is indeed ironical that those very MPs who were against the deal and had it scrapped; now aver that Kuwait would have benefitted from it if it had just gone ahead and that in turn could have benefitted the citizens too. In fact, it is even worse that there are certain figures who thought they could somehow benefit from cancelling the deal and are now regretting that they had ever thought about such a notion. I still remember the time when the Kuwaiti people were envied the world over; simply because the strength of the Kuwaiti dinar was overwhelming. These days, however, the story is completely different. The dinar, these days, has been turned into something of a commodity; a commodity to buy people’s trust, happiness and loyalty. To put it simply: those in authority always think that if you want the citizens to be happy then just dole out freebies in the form of salary increments, bonuses and write off their debts and this in turn will surely contribute towards discouraging them from staging sit-ins, strikes, taking to the streets and most importantly; dem-

All those who are habitual borrowers think nothing of taking more and more loans while living under the false impression that their loans might one day be written off after holding the government to ransom. onstrating outside the National Assembly. It is common knowledge that whenever the government is faced with public ire; it simply crumbles and gives in to demands made by the public and that usually results in the depletion of public funds. It is also ironic that all those who have accrued huge amounts of money are under the erroneous impression that their fellowmen too lead wealthy lives while on the other hand, all those who are habitual borrowers think nothing of taking more and more loans while living under the false impression that their loans might one day be written off after holding the government to ransom. There cannot be a shadow of doubt that we are a people that are blessed with the dinar and we have every right to think that we are blessed taking into consideration the fact that we rake in millions of dollars every single day through oil sales. But then again we have to also bear in mind the other fact that a huge percentage of those millions are pocketed by all those that are responsible for floating and executing tenders for projects that never ever take off while poor unsuspecting citizens get absolutely nothing; apart from their measly monthly salaries. They can barely afford to make ends meet with those salaries - leave aside saving anything to get them through a rainy day. Governments in countries across the Arabian Gulf have almost doubled the salaries of their civil servants but the Kuwaiti government still seems to be musing over the probability. Can the govern-

ment ever expect citizens to maintain a conspicuous silence over the issue? The other problem lies in the fact that most of our educated are still awaiting job opportunities after graduating from universities while those that have graduated from high school fail to gain admissions at Kuwait University. Isn’t it deplorable that a country as rich and diverse as ours has just one university which is simply bursting at the seams? he parents of students also have to pay expenses for their sons until they graduate which increase their burden more and more. Is the salary enough for parents to do all those things as well as spending money to set aside the requirements of their families!? It is indeed unfortunate that we are a people that are blessed with the dinar; simply because that very dinar has been depreciated by our own government; in the sense that it has failed to tackle even the basic requirements of the citizens. There can be no doubt in one’s mind that if the government fails to live up to the expectations of the citizens, the frustrated citizens will waste no precious time in taking to the streets to vent the frustrations that they have been nursing for far too long. The problems faced by the people, the increasing scourge of corruption and the underlying fact that the wealth of the wealthy keeps on increasing tenfold will surely ensure the government’s ultimate fall. If the government fails to address all these problems, it will only be a matter of time before the MPs will demand its resignation.

Ali Farzat

* Naomi Wolf is a political activist and social critic whose most recent book is Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries.

No shareholders’ spring Luigi Zingales Project Syndicate

T

he ongoing global economic crisis is not only causing incumbent governments to lose elections; it is also shaking corporate boards. When stock prices and profits seemed to defy gravity, shareholders’ meetings resembled American political conventions: a show to promote a company’s image, rather than a forum to debate contentious issues. This year’s round of annual general meetings has been different. Frustrated by low returns, investors are much feistier. At Credit Suisse and Barclays, for example, more than a quarter of shareholders rejected the pay package proposed by management. At Citigroup, a majority of shareholders rejected managers’ pay at Citigroup - the first S&P 500 company at which that happened. Shareholder activists can also claim other (at least partial) victories at Yahoo!, where a shareholder activist forced the newly appointed CEO to resign for falsifying his educational credentials. But many commentators’ hyperbolic depiction of a “shareholders’ spring,” with its resonance of ousted Arab

When describing shareholders’ struggle to make board members accountable, the right analogy is not the Arab Spring, but the protests at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square two decades ago. dictators, is inappropriate for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the Arab Spring actually toppled regimes. At the moment, the current shareholders’ revolt is failing to achieve any significant results. For starters, the votes on company mangers’ pay are non-binding. To be sure, compensation committees and boards tend to follow shareholders’ wishes, even if they are not legally obliged to do so. But they do so mostly out of embarrassment and a sense of guilt, and the changes can be entirely cosmetic. For example, after receiving only 43 percent of shareholders’ support, Bruce Gans, an independent director of Hospitality Properties Trust, resigned. The company then quickly invited him to rejoin the board, filling the vacancy created by his own departure! When describing shareholders’ struggle to make board members accountable, the right

analogy is not the Arab Spring, but the protests at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square two decades ago. In 1989, the Chinese Government sent troops to repress the country’s pro-democracy movement. In a similar vein, the Business Roundtable, composed of CEOs of major US corporations, has deployed brigades of lawyers to squelch shareholders’ aspirations. One of the (few) positive achievements of America’s DoddFrank legislation, enacted to address the causes of the financial crisis of 2008, is - or should have been - the requirement that the US Securities and Exchange Commission repeal the current rules that prevent institutional investors from appointing their own representatives to corporate boards. In fact, the requirement was very timid, posing so many restrictions in terms of quantity and length of ownership as to leave the bar to institutional investors effectively in place.

Still, it was too much for the Business Roundtable, which sued the SEC to stop it. Argued by Eugene Scalia, the son of US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the case against the SEC was won in the US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit, on a technicality - the SEC’s failure to conduct a cost-benefit analysis ahead of time. This small victory turned into a major defeat for shareholders when the SEC, rather than performing such an analysis and re-proposing the rule, chose to stall. At a conference last December, I asked SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro when her agency was planning to reintroduce the rule. I even offered to do the cost-benefit analysis for free. But she confessed that the SEC had many other items on its agenda, and had placed the issue on the back burner - a polite way to say that the SEC, like the heroic students in Tiananmen Square, had surrendered under irresistible pressure. The violent repression in Tiananmen Square set back China’s move toward democracy by at least 20 years. Let’s hope that Business Roundtable et al. v. SEC does not mean the same thing for shareholder democracy. This is not a shareholders’ spring: it is the winter of their discontent. * Luigi Zingales is a professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and author of A Capitalism for the People, to be published in June.

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ALWATAN DAILY

WORLD

tuesdAY, June 5, 2012

Vietnam opens three restricted sites for US MIA hunt HANOI: The Vietnamese government gave on Monday a boost to the search for missing US servicemen from the Vietnam War, telling visiting US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta it would open three previously closed sites to permit excavation for remains. Vietnamese Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh told Panetta of the decision during a meeting at his ministry, where they discussed the US strategic shift toward the Asia-Pacific region, and its implications for their growing military ties. The United States is looking to expand military relations with Vietnam after they signed a memorandum of understanding last year on defense cooperation. “Both sides should spend more effort in trust building,” Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung was quoted in a Vietnamese government statement as telling Panetta during a meeting. Dung urged the United States to fully remove a ban on sales of lethal weapons to Vietnam. It should also play a greater role in dealing with the consequences of the war, he said. On Sunday, Panetta became the most senior US official since the end of the Vietnam War to visit Cam Ranh Bay in central Vietnam, a US logistics hub during the conflict. He visited a US Navy cargo ship that was undergoing repairs at the Vietnamese port. The Vietnamese decision to lift restrictions on three sites will help the Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command’s

Vietnam’s Defense Minister General Phung Quang Thanh (3rd left) and US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (3rd right) attend their meeting at the Defense Ministry in Hanoi June 4, 2012. (Reuters)

(JPAC) search for four missing servicemen. Ron Ward, a casualty resolution specialist at JPAC, said Vietnam occasionally restricted access to suspected casualty sites. One place where restrictions were lifted on Monday was the suspected 1967 crash site of an F-4C Phan-

Denmark court convicts four over cartoon killing plot

COPENHAGEN: Four men were convicted on Monday of plotting a gun attack on a leading Danish newspaper over its cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad(PBUH), whose publication sparked deadly riots across the Muslim world. The men, a Tunisian and three Swedish citizens of Arab origin, had denied charges of terrorism though one pleaded guilty to illegal weapons possession. The four, arrested in a joint Danish-Swedish police operation at the end of 2010, were acquitted by a Danish court on two charges of weapons possession for technical reasons, court officials said. Judge Katrine Eriksen told the court that the target of the planned attack was the offices of the newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which first published the dozen cartoons seven years ago and that the goal was to kill as many people as possible there. “The accused...are guilty of terrorism”, Eriksen said. “(They) agreed and prepared acts to kill people.” Prosecutors said Tunisian national Mounir Ben Mohamed Dhahri was the ringleader of the group. The others, Munir Awad, Omar Abdalla Aboelazm and Sahbi Ben Mohamed Zalouti were Swedish nationals. All four were residents in Sweden but Dhari, Awad and Aboelazm had travelled to Denmark by car and were arrested in a Copenhagen suburb on Dec. 29, 2010. Zalouti was arrested the same day in Sweden. Police found them in possession of a machine-pistol, silencer and ammunition and plastic strips which the prosecutors said could have been used as handcuffs, and 20,000 US dollars in cash. The four men were expected to be sentenced later on Monday for their role in what security experts have called the most serious terrorist plot in Denmark’s history. The maximum sentence in Denmark for terrorism is life in prison but terrorism offences have so far been punished by terms ranging from seven to 12 years in prison. Chief prosecutor Gyrithe Ulrich urged the court to jail Dhahri for at least 16 years and sought at least 14 years jail for Awad, Aboelazm and Zalouti. Zalouti’s lawyer argued his client was repeatedly heard on surveillance recordings saying that he did not want to take part so he should be treated leniently. Zalouti got out of the car that the other three used to travel to Denmark from Sweden but he failed to alert police of the attack plans, prosecutors said. Jakob Scharf, head of Denmark’s state security police, has likened the plot to the 2008 attack in Mumbai, when 10 Pakistani gunmen killed 166 people in a three-day assault at landmarks in the Indian city, including two hotels and a Jewish centre. Scharf told Reuters last week that the cartoons meant Denmark would probably remain a target of Islamist terrorist groups for another decade. The editor in chief of Jyllands-Posten and the chief executive of the publisher declined to comment on Monday’s verdict. The paper was the first to print the set of a dozen cartoons lampooning Islam and the Prophet Mohammad(PBUH) in 2005.The most famous depicted him wearing a bomb in his turban. The images touched of riots in Muslim countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia in 2006 in which at least 50 people died. The cartoons controversy shocked Danes, who see themselves as a peaceful nation better known abroad for providing peacekeepers in the world’s trouble spots. It also sharply divided public opinion, with some Danes saying the paper should never have published such provocative images while others said it should not bend to threats to freedom of expression. The furore has forced the newspaper, cartoonists and other individuals associated with the cartoons to live under police protection due to threats against them. Last year an axe-wielding Somali was jailed for 10 years for the attempted murder of cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who drew the best known of the cartoons, in a break-in at his home on New Year’s Day 2010. -Reuters

IAEA sees no prospect now for N.Korea visit

VIENNA: The UN nuclear watchdog chief said on Monday it had become clear through recent contacts with North Korea that there was no immediate prospect of the Vienna-based atomic agency visiting the Asian state. The International Atomic Energy Agency said in early April it needed more information before it could take up an invitation from Pyongyang to travel to the reclusive country three years after the IAEA’s inspectors were expelled. North Korea said later that month it was no longer bound by an agreement with the United States for a moratorium on missile and nuclear tests and the return of IAEA inspectors. “Since an attempt by the DPRK (North Korea) to launch a ‘satellite’, the agency has been carefully monitoring the situation,” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said, referring to a failed test-launch of a long-range missile in April. “Through recent contacts with the DPRK, it has become clear that there is no immediate prospect of an agency mission taking place,” he told the IAEA’s 35-nation governing board, according to a copy of his remarks at the closer-door meeting. Amano, a veteran Japanese diplomat, called on the North to comply with its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions and to cooperate “promptly and fully” with the IAEA. -Reuters

tom in Quang Binh province in central Vietnam just north of the former demilitarized zone, he said. “We located the site in 2008 but soon thereafter the Vietnamese informed us that site was restricted for some reason,” he said. “So we’re pleased to find out that today ... the re-

striction on that site has been lifted.” The second site where restrictions were lifted was the scene of a 1968 firefight in Kon Tum province near the borders with Laos and Cambodia, and the final site was the scene of a crash of a Marine Corps F-4J in Quang Tri province. In a meeting on Monday that was heavy with Vietnam War symbolism, the US and Vietnamese defense leaders exchanged letters and a diary taken from slain servicemen and now being returned more than 40 years later as soldiers and families touched by the conflict seek to make peace with the past. The letters handed over by the Vietnamese side were taken from US Army Sergeant Steve Flaherty, a member of the 101st Airborne Division who was killed in action in March 1969. Excerpts of the letters were used in propaganda broadcasts during the war, the Pentagon said. “It has been trying days for me and my men,” Flaherty said in a letter to a girl named Betty. “We dragged more bodies of dead and wounded than I can ever want to forget.” “This is a dirty and cruel war,” he said in a note to another friend, “but I’m sure people will understand the purpose of this war even though many of us might not agree.” Vietnamese Senior Colonel Nguyen Phu Dat kept the letters after the conflict while considering how to return them. He mentioned the papers in an online article last year that came to the attention of the Pentagon, which asked for them. -Reuters

Buddhist vigilantes kill 9 Muslims in Myanmar bus attack

YANGON: Buddhist vigilantes in western Myanmar attacked a bus and killed nine Muslims, police said on Monday, the deadliest communal violence in the region since a reformist government took power a year ago. The bus was besieged near Taunggoke town in the western state of Rakhine on Sunday evening by a group who blamed some of its passengers for the murder of a Buddhist woman a week ago, said residents and politicians. One of those killed was travelling in a separate car. Rakhine is home to Myanmar’s largest concentration of Muslims, but their presence is often resented by the Buddhist majority. The resentment is particularly sharp for Rohingya Muslims, whose roots date back to the nineteenth century when they were brought to the country as laborers by colonial power Britain. Ko Kyaw Lay, a Muslim human rights activist in the region who belongs to an opposition party, said none of those killed were Rohingyas. Police could not immediately confirm details of the violence. “An investigation is underway but I can’t give you any further details,” said a police official who requested anonymity. In a separate incident on Sunday in Sittwe, the Rakhine capital, 10 people were shot and wounded when riot police tried to break up a protest, witnesses said. They said the rally by about 200 people was unrelated to the attack on the bus. Protesters threw stones at police and a 13-year-old

novice monk was among those wounded, witnesses said. In the case of the bus attack,Taunggoke resident Kyaw Min said the Buddhists “were angered by the authorities’ handling” of an attack on a woman who people in the area said was raped by several men and then killed. Just before Sunday’s attack, leaflets bearing a photo of the woman and describing the rape were distributed in the area. Several residents, who declined to be identified, said the Muslims on the bus were not from the area and were on a visit to Rakhine state. They suggested those killed may not have been the perpetrators of the reported rape and murder. In a joint statement, eight overseas-based Rohingya rights groups condemned the attack on “Muslim pilgrims”, which they said came after months of anti-Rohingya propaganda stirred up by “extremists and xenophobes”. A spokesman for the coalition, Tun Khin, said that although those killed were not ethnic Rohingyas, the groups were concerned about the plight of Muslims in Myanmar. They called on the government to treat Muslims fairly and tackle “Rakhine terrorism”. Residents were also on edge after the Sittwe demonstration. Shopkeeper Thein Kyaw said the protest erupted outside a police station after hired thugs attacked and detained business operators who refused to pay overinflated taxes. -Reuters

5

NEWS IN BRIEF Suspect arrested in Toronto mall shooting: Police MONTREAL: Police in Toronto said Monday they had arrested a suspect in connection with a weekend shooting at a mall in which one person was killed and seven wounded. In a message posted on Twitter the police said: “An arrest has been made, no further details at this time.” The gunman opened fire in a busy food court at Toronto’s Eaton Centre, the country’s largest shopping mall, on Saturday. Hundreds of people were in the area at the time. Police had earlier asked witnesses to come forward and officers said they believed they knew who the gunman was after studying footage from security cameras, as well as video taken by people on their cell phones. A police spokesman, Sergeant Brian Borg, on Sunday identified the victim of the shooting as 24-yearold Ahmed Hassan. Borg said Hassan and another man present at the mall were suspected of links to organized crime. -AFP

Mauritania willing to support efforts to solve Mali crisis NOUAKCHOTT: Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz said his country is willing to support regional efforts to resolve a crisis in neighboring Mali, whose north has been seized by rebels, the UN said Monday. United Nations representative for West Africa Said Djinnit told Mauritanian press agency AMI that Aziz had “expressed his availability to support common efforts for the benefit of Mali.” Djinnit was in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott over the weekend to discuss ways to support efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to find a solution to the crisis, which broke out after a March 22 coup. Mauritania is not a member of ECOWAS. The regional bloc’s efforts aim to offer Mali “the means necessary to face its different challenges, to recover its territorial unity and face the dangers of extremism and terrorism in the north of the country,” Djinnit said. -AFP

New Singapore rules to stop maids falling from windows SINGAPORE: Singapore said Monday foreign maids must be supervised when cleaning windows following a rise in the number of fatal work-related falls from high-rise flats. The Manpower Ministry said nine foreign domestic workers (FDWs) had fallen to their deaths so far in 2012, including five who were cleaning windows in an unsafe manner and another two who were hanging out laundry when they fell. “With immediate effect, employers of FDWs shall not allow their FDWs to clean the exterior of windows unless strict safety conditions are in place.” The ministry said grilles must be installed over windows and locked allowing maids to reach through and clean the glass safely if employers expected them to carry out the chore. -AFP

US missiles kill at least 15 in Pakistan MIRANSHAH, Pakistan: US missiles killed at least 15 militants in Pakistan’s Taliban and Al-Qaeda stronghold of North Waziristan on Monday, the third drone strike in three days and the deadliest this year, officials said. The attack looked set to inflame tensions with Islamabad ahead of a visit by a US assistant defense secretary, Peter Lavoy, on a mission to persuade Pakistan to end a six-month blockade on NATO supplies crossing into Afghanistan. There has been a dramatic increase in US drone strikes in Pakistan since a NATO summit in Chicago ended two weeks ago without a deal on the NATO supply lines. Eight drone strikes have been reported in Pakistan since May 23, the same number as in the previous four months, and Monday’s was the deadliest since 18 Pakistani Taliban were reported killed on November 16, 2011. Pakistani officials said two missiles slammed into a compound in the village of Hesokhel, east of Miranshah, the capital of North Waziristan, before dawn. North Waziristan is Pakistan’s premier hotbed of Islamist militants and where Islamabad has rejected US pressure to wage a major ground offensive against militants active in the 10-year war against US troops in Afghanistan. “Fifteen militants were killed in a dawn strike on a compound. The bodies of those killed were unable to be identified,” a security official in Miranshah told AFP. He said there were unconfirmed reports that foreigners were among the dead. Local resident Gul Jaan Wazir told AFP that the dead bodies were quickly buried after being pulled out of the rubble. The drone strike destroyed the room in the mud and wooden house where they had all been sleeping, Wazir said. In the debris, local people found letterheads of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the country’s main umbrella

Taliban faction waging an insurgency against the Pakistani government, wooden beds, blankets and mattresses. Washington considers Pakistan’s semi-autonomous northwestern tribal belt the main hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.

Distrust over Pakistan’s refusal to do more to eliminate the Islamist threat has become a major thorn in increasingly dire Pakistani-US relations. Both sides are at loggerheads over reopening NATO supply lines that Pakistan shut in fury on November 26 when US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. -AFP

Pakistani protesters shout anti-US slogans rallying against US drone attacks in the Pakistani tribal belts during a demonstration in Multan on June 4, 2012. (AFP)

Hong Kong vigil as China rounds up Tiananmen activists BEIJING: Hong Kong held a candlelight vigil Monday to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, in stark contrast to mainland China where activists said hundreds of people were detained. Hong Kong’s Victoria Park glowed with candlelight in what has become an annual act of remembrance for the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people killed in the June 3-4, 1989 onslaught against pro-democracy activists in Beijing. The anniversary is a “very symbolic event for the future of Hong Kong’s social development”, said 28year-old social worker Cheston Cheung, one of scores of thousands of people who packed the commemoration ceremony.

“It represents the things that we believe in and we want to remind the Hong Kong people about this. The June 4 events are not dead. It is very much alive.” The former British colony is the only place in China where the Tiananmen Square crackdown is openly remembered, and the number of people attending the annual vigil has swelled in recent years. People’s Liberation Army soldiers stormed into central Beijing on June 3-4, 1989, firing upon unarmed demonstrators and citizens as they ended six weeks of democracy protests on Tiananmen Square and around the vast country. The anniversary of the brutal army action in the heart of Beijing is always hugely sensitive, but particu-

larly so this year ahead of a once-in-a-decade handover of power marred by fierce in-fighting in the ruling Communist Party. China still considers the June 4 demonstrations a “counter-revolutionary rebellion” and has refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing or consider compensation for those killed. The government attempts to block any public discussion or remembrance of the events by hiding away key dissidents in the run-up to June 4, taking them into custody or placing them under house arrest. Searches on China’s popular social media sites for June 4, the number 23, the words “candle” and “Victoria” were blocked. -AFP


BUSINESS

m ar ket watc h

tuesDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

OIL MARKETS

KUWAIT

DUBAI

QATAR

OMAN

ABU DHABI

BAHRAIN

EGYPT

0.46% 6093

0.33% 1437

0.43% 8332

0.58% 5721

0.18% 2422

0.33% 1134

0.35% 4609

SAUDI

0.33% 6770

US Crude $82.69 $0.54 London Brent $97.18 $1.25 Kuwait Crude $96.18 $0.82 Information Courtesy: KAMCO

CURRENCIES US Dollar

British Pound

Saudi Riyal

Qatari Riyal

Indian Rupee

Buy 0.2802 Sell 0.2808

Buy 0.4314 Sell 0.4323

Buy 0.0747 Sell 0.0749

Buy 0.07715 Sell 0.07696

Buy 0.005046 Sell 0.005034

Euro

Japanese Yen

UAE Dirham

Bahraini Dinar

Philippine Peso

Buy 0.3487 Sell 0.3494

Buy 0.003588 Sell 0.003596

Buy 0.07629 Sell 0.07646

Buy 0.7432 Sell 0.74493

Buy 0.006459 Sell 0.006435

Brent crude falls to 16-month low on bleak data OPEC crude down to $97.44 pb

CAPITALS: Brent crude extended losses to hit a 16month low below 96 US dollars a barrel on Monday, as weak US and Chinese economic data fanned renewed fears of a global economic slowdown, which would hit oil demand. Brent crude fell for a fifth trading day, and at 1157 GMT was at $97.03 a barrel, or $1.40 lower, having briefly touched $95.63, its lowest since January 2011. US crude fell $0.87 to $82.36 a barrel after tumbling as low as $81.32 earlier in the session, its lowest level since last October. “Market sentiment is still negative. The price is still falling despite the big sell off last week. Risk aversion is still on,” Carsten Fritsch, oil and commodities analysts with Commerzbank said. Oil ended May with the biggest monthly loss since December 2008 as Europe’s ever-deepening debt crisis, poor US jobs data and increasing signs of economic slowdown in China accelerated global cross market sell off. A poor jobs market and a slowdown in manufacturing could lead to a drop in oil demand from consumers and industries alike. Speculators cut their net long positions in Brent crude and US crude futures in the week to May 29, figures separately issued by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed. Global shares tumbled as investors fled from risky assets. In Europe, the centre of the spreading debt crisis, the EuroSTOXX 50 stock index dipped slightly at the opening, but it bounced back on the increased likelihood of policy action from global central banks. Safe haven US and German government bond yields held near Friday’s record lows., Tokyo’s Topix index fell to a 28-year low of 693.26 while S&P 500 futures fell 0.7 percent, indicating yet more selling when investors wake up in North America. Several monetary policy meetings are due this week, including of the European Central Bank on Wednesday and the Bank of England on Thursday, with investors watching for clues on how they will address global growth issues. US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will

A handout picture showing the NBK logo at a local branch.

Expendable entrepreneur-sheep Exclusive to Al Watan Daily

The son of a fisherman reacts to the camera while carrying a basket full of fishes at a fishing harbor in the southern Indian city of Chennai June 4, 2012. Inflation as measured by India’s benchmark wholesale price index accelerated to 7.23 percent in the year to April as price pressures for food, fuel and manufacturing items all picked up, data showed last month. (Reuters)

testify on Thursday before a congressional panel about the state of the US economy. Stealing the spotlight

Economic worries and decades-high crude production from OPEC power Saudi Arabia have overshadowed a possible disruption of Iranian supplies due to Western sanctions against Tehran. In May, both Brent and US crude posted their biggest monthly losses since late 2008. “With maximum production out of OPEC and global inventories built up, we are not likely to get a shortage situation,” said Victor Shum, senior partner

used to fund the purchase of Amwaj and to subscribe to a capital increase by GIS’ majority-owned subsidiary Gulf Drilling International Co, the company said. GIS owns 70 percent in Gulf Drilling, according to the drilling service provider’s website. Qatar Islamic Bank, BARWA Bank, Qatar International Islamic Bank and Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) provided the financing, the statement added. -Reuters

NBK is a strong bank in any context, says Deutsche Bank KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) is a strong bank in any context, said Deutsche Bank in a report released yesterday. This was mentioned in a press release on Monday. “NBK’s capital strength, strong asset quality and good liquidity should enable it to deploy its balance sheet quickly to capture growth”, said Deutsche Bank in its initiation of coverage on NBK with a Hold recommendation. The report stressed that: “NBK is outstanding in the domestic context, with leading market shares, strong asset quality and coverage ratios. NBK has also stellar reputation amongst its clients and competitors alike”. The report also highlighted that NBK boasts the highest credit rating of any MENA bank, reflecting the conservative approach to credit, strong liquidity, capital strength and balance sheet management. Deutsche Bank in its report pointed out that NBK has been free of asset quality problems, and had instead been able to focus on housekeep during the crisis. Elsewhere in the sector, crisis management has been the norm rather than the exception. The report added that NBK enjoys leading market shares, strong margins and best in class profitability. Despite severe challenges facing the Kuwaiti banking sys-

In Focus

Savio S. Gomes

Qatar’s Gulf International signs $170 million loan to fund buy DUBAI: Qatar’s Gulf International Services (GIS) has signed a $170 million Sharia-compliant loan mainly to fund its purchase of Qatar Petroleum’s fullyowned subsidiary Amwaj Catering Services, according to a bourse filing on Monday. GIS, which has interests in several sectors, including transport, insurance and oil services, said in April it was buying the unit for a provisional price of 353.1 million riyals ($97 million). The Islamic loan will be

Prices in Kuwaiti fils as of June 4, 2012 Courtesy: KAMCO

tem, NBK has managed to remain consistent in terms of its market shares. NBK enjoys best profitability and returns amongst Kuwaiti peers. It has maintained relatively strong profitability in recent years. Both return on equity and return on assets are the sector’s best. “We think this a tremendous competitive advantage relative to other banks, as when growth does show signs of sustainability; NBK is in our view the bank that will best be able to capitalize on opportunities”, the report said. “Credit demand remains elusive in Kuwait, but NBK is well positioned and should benefit more than most when growth returns”. The report said that NBK’s balance sheet and capital structure are solid. NBK will benefit from its balance sheet to capture growth opportunities in markets such Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. NBK’s Tier 1 ratio of 18.3 percent is the strongest of any large cap bank in Kuwait and ranks very well within MENA and CEEMEA as well. Deutsche Bank added that one of the important banking stories of the past decade in Kuwait has been NBK in relation to Islamic banking. Through its current stake of 47.3 percent in Boubyan, NBK is the only bank in Kuwait to have access to both conventional and Islamic finance products and services.

at oil consultancy Purvin & Gertz. “Saudi Arabia has definitely prepared for the possible loss of Iranian supplies.” In more news, OPEC’s daily basket price decreased to $97.44 a barrel on Friday; $3.62 lower than last Thursday’s $101.06, according to the cartel’s bulletin on Monday The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela). -Agencies

KSE in red, weighted indices, KSX in green KUWAIT: Price Index of Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) shed 28.1 points in closing on Monday, falling to the level of 6,093.86. Weighted index went up 0.49 points increasing to the level of 401.39 points. However, the KSX 15, which reflects trading in bluechips, went up gaining 5.06 points and reaching the level of 965.06 points. Meanwhile, number of trades amounted to 3,793, value of traded shares 14, 643,109.698 Kuwaiti dinars and volume of the exchanged stocks reached 198,396,340. Trading started at Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) with an all-red board on Monday, with the price index reading 6,111.75 points at 9:45, on a down of 10.21 points, the weighted index reading 400.62 points on a slip of 0.28 points, and the KSX 15 index reading 959.44 on a loss of 0.56 points. Trades came to 918 transactions, worth KD 3,697,759.475, and 71,539,035 shares changed hands till that time. -KUNA

KUWAIT: Wu Ying at one point was the richest woman in China. The Chinese entrepreneur made a fortune selling sheep extract as an anti-wrinkle cream. This line of business and entrepreneurship (‘entrepreneursheep’) was solidly supported by the authorities. Wu Ying, however turned to investing and asset management. In China, the financial system is dominated by state run entities and it is illegal to run investment activities without governmental approvals. Wu Ying was found guilty of illegally collecting funds and was sentenced to death. The Supreme Court later reversed the ruling in appeal and put Wu Ying down for life imprisonment. The public uproar supported her cause, since private investment companies had become a nationwide practice by the time her appeal came up before the Supreme Court. China seems to have got it right, in terms of sentencing of fund managers who lose other people’s money without remorse. However, it does seem strange that selling sheep extract as anti-wrinkle cream is not a crime - maybe the cream works best for the sheep. Judging by the marketing success of the cream, ‘Ba Ba Black Sheep’ do you have any cream, is likely to be the newer version of the nursery rhyme. The two oldest questions around have now been joined by a third. For long people have asked why the chicken crossed the road and how many electricians does it take to change a light bulb. These two questions have now been joined by a third universal question since 2009. How many bankers does it take to take a company public? Recently, PICC, the Chinese insurer, got as many as 14 banks working on its six billion dollar sale of shares. The banks stand any chance of earning a fee only if they rope in Cornerstone investors, who get allotments and accept a lock in period. Hong Kong is now the world’s largest shares listing market, and Cornerstones take up to thirty percent of the listings in Hong Kong. Approaching a dozen banks and pre-selling portions of the IPO appears to be the way forward in a risky market. The movie industry has witnessed a couple of movies that have lumped together a motley collection of ageing heroes and stars (Avengers puts together Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Expendables sequel promises to do worse). The business world can hardly be far behind. The two best known groups in Europe and the US will now come together in a strategic partnership. Rothschild and Rockefeller are now putting together a deal that will allow RIT to acquire 37 percent in Rockefeller’s wealth advisory and asset management group. David Rockefeller is 96 and Lord Rothschild is 76. The question is, are these the new Avengers or the new Expendables of the business world? Farmers in India’s north western dry, arid, blindingly hot desert regions stand to benefit hugely from the developments in the shale energy industry in the US and Europe. Guar, a bean, has long been used as an input to make sauces and ice cream. It turns out that Guar is also a significant ingredient in the process of hydraulic fracturing, essential to shale energy. Guar has turned into black gold for the farmers and prices in 2012 have risen by ten times in the past year alone. India is the biggest producer of Guar in the world, with a current crop of one million tones of the beans each year. India’s large producers of guar gum are distributing seeds free to farmers. Ice cream producers are likely to suffer a rise in input costs and farmers in other deserts around the world will keenly look to grow the beans. It certainly looks as if any which way, black gold is to be found in the deserts on this planet. The views expressed above are the writer’s own. Savio is a financial and management advisor with a background in economics. He has carried outconsulting and management intervention projects in several countries such as USA, UK, Australia, Kenya, Armenia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia etc. The writer may be contacted on saviosgomes@gmail.com.

Dubai’s DIFCI details plans for $1.25 billion bond repayment DUBAI: DIFC Investments, a unit of the company running Dubai’s financial free zone, detailed plans on Monday to meet a looming 1.25 billion US dollar debt repayment that could help restore investor confidence shaken in Dubai’s massive debt restructuring in 2009. A top executive said DIFC will aim to sell non-core assets in future to raise cash, after the company earlier said it had secured a $1.04 billion loan to help repay the Islamic bond maturing later this month. The bond maturing on June 13 was seen as one of the most challenging maturity for the emirate in 2012 and a timely repayment will help boost credibility among investors, who fled after state-owned Dubai World shook markets in 2009 with plans for a $25 billion debt restructuring. The emirate has seen a slow recovery in its main revenuegenerating businesses such as trade and tourism, but still has a sizeable debt pile to manage. Some state-linked entities are still negotiating debt agreements with creditors after the financial crisis led to a collapse in its property market. DIFCI, whose assets range from aerospace to retail, said it raised the five-year syndicated Islamic loan facility priced at 380 basis points over the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). The facility was mainly secured on the investment firm’s property assets, a statement filed to the Nasdaq Dubai bourse showed. The remaining portion of the Islamic bond will be repaid by cash raised from previous asset sales, Shahli Akram, the company’s managing director, said. “We will continue to divest our non-core assets going forward and the main focus will be on our cash generating activities,” Akram said.

“The proceeds from the loan and the cash we have from previous sale of non-core assets will be used for the repayment of the bond,” he added. Shortfall guarantee

Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest lender, Standard Chartered, Dubai Islamic Bank and Noor Islamic Bank arranged the deal. Moelis & Co acted as financial advisor to DIFCI. The loan has a shortfall guarantee from the Dubai government which covers nearly half the loan’s amount, two sources told Reuters last week. The statement did not mention the guarantee. The Sukuk, which traded down as much as low-60s on the dollar following the debt crisis in 2009, has been trading near par in recent weeks on investor hopes of a full repayment. The Sukuk, along with a $2 billion bond maturity at stateowned firm Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), has been in the spotlight as Dubai tries to tackle its debt maturities. The glitzy emirate has never defaulted on its bond obligations and most of its restructuring deals have been secured by agreeing extended maturities with banks. Dubai also raised $1.25 billion from a sovereign Islamic bond in April. State-owned JAFZA picked seven banks to arrange a new Islamic bond, lead managers said on Friday, with at least $500 million likely to be raised to part-repay the firm’s $2 billion sukuk obligation. It has ruled out any need for government support to meet its debt obligation. DIFC Investments made a net profit of $130.5 million last year, compared with a net loss of $272 million in the previous year, after the impact of discontinued operations. -Reuters


ALWATAN DAILY

BUSINESS

7

tuesday, june 5, 2012

Japan’s shares fall, Topix ends 28-year low Monday 4 June, 2012 Index Price index Weighted Index KSX 15

Change ź Ÿ Ÿ

-28.10 0 49 0.49 5.06

Security

High

Low

Volume

MARIN

126

114

5181

IKARUS

0

0

0

IPG

0

0

NAPESCO

0

0

AREFENRGY

128

GPI ABAR

Sony dips below 1,000 yen for 1st time since 1980 TOKYO: Tokyo stocks plunged on Monday, sending a key index to the lowest closing level in 28 years on concern over disappointing US jobs data and Europe’s sovereign debt crisis. The broader Tokyo Stock Price Index, which includes all shares on Tokyo Stock Exchange’s (TSE) first section, lost 13.42 points, or 1.89 percent, to 695.51, the lowest finish since December 13, 1983. The major decliners included sea transport and real estate issues. The 225issue Nikkei Stock Average on the TSE was down 144.62 points, or 1.71 percent, from Friday to 8,295.63, its lowest closing level since Nov. 28, 2011. Sony’s stock price fell below 1,000 yen Monday for the first time since 1980 in a symptom of weak global markets and the company’s decline after huge success with the Walkman three decades ago. Battered by competition from Apple

Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., Sony has lost money for four straight years and for eight years in its core television business. A strong yen, which erodes overseas income, and natural disasters at home and in Thailand, a key manufacturing hub, have added to its woes. Sony’s shares dipped to 990 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and closed at 996 yen. The Nikkei 225 stock average ended down 1.7 percent after US hiring slowed sharply in May. The company said it was first time that its stock price had traded below 1,000 yen since August 1980 - the year after it introduced the iconic Walkman portable cassette player to the world in 1979. The stock had peaked at 16,950 yen in March 2000. Sony, whose businesses run from digital cameras and personal computers to PlayStation game consoles and movies such as “Bad Teacher,” last month reported a record annual loss of 457 billion yen ($5.7 billion) for the year through March 2012. -Agencies

Middle East companies not using social media effectively: Bayt.com KUWAIT: According to Bayt.com’s latest poll, ‘Corporate Usage of Social Media in the Middle East’, the majority of respondents (46.8 percent) believe that social media is not being used effectively by the region’s companies. Eight out of every ten respondents (81.6 percent) claim that the potential for social media to damage a company’s reputation is one of the biggest challenges to overcome, suggesting that proper education in the medium is essential for success. This was stated in a press release on Sunday. Aside from the risk of reputation damage, the top three perceived challenges to social media are difficulty in monetizing online presence (11.3 percent), getting the tone of message correct (11.3 percent), and keeping up with feedback (10.5 percent). Other challenges that were cited were the complexity of measuring return on investment and problems with keeping up-to-date with the ever-changing tools and technologies. In fact, a majority (20.7 percent) stated that they believe all of these factors are challenging. However, it is worth noting that 12 percent of respondents do not know what may present a challenge for corporate social media involvement. It is also noteworthy that despite reservations, social media usage is considered to be ‘common’ in the region, by four out of ten (42.8 percent) poll takers, and half (51.1 percent) say that their company uses the medium. “When asked what they consider to be most important in a successful corporate social media page, more than a quarter of respondents said that they want content that is ‘informative and educational’. Companies looking to implement a successful social media strategy should bear this in mind when launching a new page,” said Lama Ataya, CMO, Bayt.com. “Social media is a dynamic force that is being manifested today in both the personal and professional realms. Bayt.com provides essential statistics and tools to assist employers and job seekers in building the most successful online profile in order to boost their recruitment and personal or corporate brand potential.” Other highlydesired features are that a social media page should be ‘fun and interesting’ (17.8 percent); provide customer service and feedback (14.9 percent); promptly answer all comments and queries (13.2 percent) and that it should be updated frequently (11.7 percent). In terms of the latter, almost a third (29.3 percent) of respondents state that their company updates their social media pages once a day. Social media is viewed as a means of boosting brand exposure, communicating and interacting with customers, promoting new initiatives, recruiting staff and maintaining an online presence. According to 47.5 percent of the Bayt.com poll takers, social media activity has been largely successful in driving traffic to their company’s website, with a further 38.2 percent claiming that they have been successful in con-

verting fans into customers. Along those lines, four out of ten (43.3 percent) respondents believe that their company’s social media strategy is ‘excellent’, and half say that their company sounds ‘friendly’ in its online interactions. More companies handle their social media internally than those who outsource (39.1 percent versus 35.6 percent), with most (35.9 percent) assigning the job to a single individual. A third (31.6 percent) of those who responded to the poll did not know who was responsible for their company’s social media accounts. Companies with social media presence predominantly appear to involve all of their employees to some degree in their online applications: a collective 62.3 percent state that their colleagues are either ‘moderately’ or ‘extremely involved’. Roughly nine out of ten (86.1 percent) would participate in their company’s social media activities, if given the chance. Almost half of the respondents (47.6 percent) currently follow a Middle East corporate social media presence, and six out of ten (60.2 percent) believe that there will be a dramatic increase in the corporate usage of social media within a year. Despite the high interest employees have in social media, guidelines for its usage are only provided by 40.2 percent of companies, as opposed to the 45.1 percent that do not issue any. Thought aligns with fact in terms of the most popular social networks for companies to use: 72.1 percent believe that Facebook is the most commonly used, while a majority of 65.5 percent confirms that it is the network of choice of their company. In terms of popularity, other sites used are Google+ (10.7), LinkedIn (9.7 percent), Twitter (3.4 percent) and YouTube (2.8 percent). MySpace and Tumblr are used by 0.3 percent each. A combination of the aforementioned networks is used by 4.2 percent, while 3.1 percent claim to use other sites. Bayt.com, the Middle East’s #1 jobsite, currently has a Facebook fanpage with an excess of 72,000 fans. It also enables its community of approximately eight million active and passive jobseekers to identify which of their Facebook friends work for companies they are targeting and to thereby benefit from tapping into their Facebook friends’ employer networks via references, referrals and information gathering. Bayt.com’s newly revamped platform also allows jobseekers to import CVs from LinkedIn to ease the whole job search process and unify it in all its dimensions for the jobseeker on Bayt.com. Members are also able to track job search progress using state-of-the-art CV tracking and other measurement and analysis and comparison tools. Data for the Bayt.com Corporate Usage of Social Media in the Middle East poll was collected online from Feb. 27 - May 13, 2012, with 15,758 respondents covering more than 12 countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Last Closing

High

Low

6,093.86 401 39 401.39 965.06

6,121.96 400 90 400.90 960.00

6,129.25 401 39 401.39 965.06

6,076.81 397 74 397.74 950.33

Trades Value (KD)

Trades

Last

631

6

126

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

128

440,000

56,320

6

59

56

550,001

31,360

26

0

0

0 995,182

0 88,311

0 38

0 941.80

ŷ Ÿ

PIPE

110

106

141,438

15,204

24

110

Ÿ

KFOUC

330

330

10,000

3,300

2

BPCC

610

610

467 500 467,500

285 175 285,175

14

0

0

0

0

0

ALQURAIN Basic Materials

212

210

257,361 876,299

54,500 358,178

14 54

212 968.20

ŷ ź

KCEM

400

400

2,500

1,000

1

400

ŷ

REFRI

0

0

0

0

0

CABLE

1,180

1,140

43,430

50,524

22

Oil & Gas

Japan’s share prices fell 169.18 points to close at 9,271.07 points at the morning session of the Tokyo Stock Exchange after poor US jobs numbers led to sharp falls on Wall Street, with Sony dropping below 1,000 yen for the first time since 1980. (AFP)

Closing

ALKOUT

SHIP

196

190

976,476

188,724

80

PCEM

860

860

2,500

2,150

3

PAPER

0

0

0

0

0

MRC

0

0

0

0

0

ACICO

0

0

0

0

0

GGMC

610

600

10,000

6,015

10

HCC

0

0

0

0

0

KPAK

0

0

0

0

0

KBMMC

0

0

0

0

0

NICBM

0

0

0

0

0

EQUIPMENT

0

0

0

0

0

NCCI GYPSUM SALBOOKH

0

0

0

0

0

152

152

6,625

1,007

1

0

0

0

128 59

330

610 0

0

Change

Ÿ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ

ź ŷ ŷ

ŷ

1,160

ź

860

ź

0

ŷ

192 0

0

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610

ź

0

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0

0

0

0

0

152 0

ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ Ÿ ŷ

104

102

679 999 679,999

69 720 69,720

10

122

421,000

52,202

13

SRE

255

255

20,000

5,100

1

PEARL

30

30

35,000

1,050

2

TAM

0

0

0

0

0

AREEC

156

154

81,000

12,476

2

0.0 1.99

MASSALEH ARABREC

96 34

87 34

71,019 42,508

6,635 1,429

6 7

UREC

91

91

168

15

1

91

ź

4.0

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92

91

60,300

5,540

7

92

Ÿ

MABANEE

950

930

312,740

293,941

32

INJAZZAT

62

60

19 805 19,805

1 188 1,188

2

INVESTORS

0

0

0

0

0

0.0 -1.91

IRC ALTIJARIA

52 83

49 82

818,240 176,100

40,907 14,440

30 5

SANAM

59

58

120,000

7,040

0.0

AAYANRE

83

83

29,000

2,407

AQAR

0

0

0

0

0

-20.0

ALAQARIA

0

0

0

0

0

MAZAYA

76

74

234,855

17,640

15

-10.0

ADNC

0

0

0

0

0

THEMAR

0

0

0

0

0

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0

0

0

0

0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

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0.0

0.0

-8.0 0.0

0.0

0.0

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0

0

0

0

0

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0

0

0

0

0

MENA

36

36

60,000

2,160

9

10.0

ALMUDON

0

0

0

0

0

MARAKEZ

48

48

303,670

14,425

14

0.0 0.0

REMAL Real Estate

355

355

1,165,500 13,236,895

413,753 1,330,063

17 410

355 946.50

ŷ ź

0.0 -2.40

KINV

100

100

7,468

747

1

100

ŷ

0.0

FACIL

270

270

998

269

1

0.0

IFA

41

39

9,641,144

380,621

163

NINV

118

110

3,125,834

354,002

109

-1.5

KPROJ

320

315

715,000

225,300

36

COAST

47

45

1,824,232

84,810

59

0.0

TII

0

0

0

0

0

SECH

0

0

0

0

0

25.0

IIC

0

0

0

0

0

SGC

122

102

1,380

161

4

0.0

IFC

96

93

174,355

16,485

21

MARKAZ

110

110

131,575

14,473

5

KMEFIC

62

58

2,050

119

3

AIG

0

0

0

0

0

-1.0

ALAMAN

32

31

242,200

7,629

9

ALOLA

140

134

5,509,674

746,032

67

ALMAL GIH

0 32

0 31

0 3,288,839

0 102,185

0 49

0.0

0.0

4.0

ź

-5.0

HUMANSOFT

246

246

350

86

2

0

0

0

0

0

830,936

299

0

0

0

MTCC

87

86

155,000

13,370

11

UPAC

380

380

25,000

9,500

3

ALAFCO

285

280

98,978

28,158

12

MUBARRAD

0

0

0

0

0

LOGISTICS

275

270

467,566

128,512

28

SCEM

81

81

10,000

810

1

GCEM

91

87

805,455

71,549

49

QCEM

63

63

190,000

11,970

5

FCEM

0

ŷ

21 86

ź ź

380

Ÿ

0

ŷ

285 275 81

89

63 0

Ÿ ŷ ź ź ź ŷ

0.0

-4.0 0.0

-0.5 -2.0 5.0

0.0

-1.0 -3.0 0.0

0

0

0

0

0

114

106

56,831 44,051,895

6,025 1,990,944

4 678

110 929.56

Ÿ ź

4.0 -0.11 0.11

KSH

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

NSH

136

136

6,000

816

2

0

0

0

0

0

RKWC Industrials

PAPCO

136 0

0

ź ŷ ŷ

-10.0 0.0

0.0

CATTL

0

0

0

0

0

DANAH

84

81

299,028

24,339

23

POULT

126

126

1

0

1

1,260

1,260

148 305,177

186 25,342

1 27

1,260 923.77

ź ź

-20.0 -15.86

MHC

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

ATC

0

0

0

0

0

YIACO Health Care

420

420

346,000 346,000

145,320 145,320

15 15

420 1167.90

ź ź

-20 -16.46

KCIN

900

850

6,000

5,248

3

870

Ÿ

10

KHOT

0

0

0

0

0

FOOD Consumer Goods

104

100

279,072

28,137

26

CABLETV

SULTAN

0

0

0

0

0

EYAS

0

0

0

0

0

IFAHR

350

350

5,000

1,750

1

MASHAER

0

0

0

0

0

OULAFUEL

300

285

167,621

49,794

22

0

0

0

0

0

MUNTAZAHAT JAZEERA

0

0

0

0

0

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0

0

0

0

0

81

126

0

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ŷ

0

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0

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104

Ÿ

0

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0

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350 295

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0

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0

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100

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0

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0

0

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0

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47

1

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0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0 29

36

ź

0

0

0

ŷ

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234

224

1,741,964

400,632

102

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87 0

85 0

1,544,986 0

133,027 0

59 0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

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0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

178,733 893,938

69 167

71 864.67

ŷ Ÿ

0 11.30

1,040

ŷ

0

NIND

214

210

1,431,329

303,622

70

86

86

240,000

20,640

9

BIIHC

65

62

40,010

2,521

3

0 -0.42 0.42

SHOP SENERGY

0 71

0 68

0 1,730,000

0 118,647

0 35

AGHC

130

128

138,000

17,744

0

ALSAFWA

0

0

0

0

KPPC

76

74

1,102,600

82,365

33

TAHSSILAT JEERANH

60 0

60 0

50 0

3 0

1 0

EKHOLDING

295

295

18 500 18,500

5 458 5,458

5

295

ŷ

00 0.0

GFH

43

40

72,039,114

2,897,718

657

ź

0 40

40

INOVEST Financial Services

49

48

1,113,500 111,974,269

53,600 6,175,315

47 1,776

48 898.21

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ź ź

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0

0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0.00

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0.0 0.00

530

Ÿ

10.0

-6

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560

560

5,000

2,800

ALMUTAHED KIB

880 265

870 255

90,848 2,170,674

79,940 564,675

BURG

420

415

331,599

137,779

22

415

KFIN

740

730

1,697,376

1,240,904

102

740

BOUBYAN

610

600

116,607

70,084

23

UGB

182

182

158

29

1

AUB ITHMR

0 44

0 40

0 17,014,010

0 693,502

0 306

22,646,865

3,521,252

551

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ź

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0

ŷ

0

0

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0

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2

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ź

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7 29

880 260

ŷ ź

0 -5

ŷ

0

MAREF 0 Investment Instruments

ŷ

0

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500

21,586

11,411

3

0

0

0

0

0

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0

0

0

0

0

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0

0

0

0

0

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0

0

0

0

0

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0

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0

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0

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1

0

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0

0

0

0

0

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0

0

0 100

0 53

0 1

0 1194.12

ŷ Ÿ

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0

0

0

0

0

0

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0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

ALSHAMEL

0

0

0

0

0

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20

20

60,000

1,170

2

AJWAN SPEC

0

0

0

0

0

495

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1

0

0

0

0

0 0

MIDAN FLEX

0 37

0 35

0 117

0 4

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0

0

0

0

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0

0

0

0

AMAR Parallel Market

54

53

140,000 225,117

7,460 21,009

2 7

0 1097.91

ŷ ź

0.0 -19.96

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0

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0

SOKOUK KRE

0 52

0 51

0 1,604,826

0 82,294

0 36

0.0 0.0

-5.0 0.0

0

0

0 4

0.0

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0

0 11,747

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0

0

0 25,586

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0

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0

0

0

60 0

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0

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0

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84

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00 0.0

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WETHAQ

31

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UIC

2

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0

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0

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0

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ŷ

0

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118

28 5

0

0

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0

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0

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139 190 139,190

832,575 3,224

0

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20 -2.0

0

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0

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4 660 619 4,660,619

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0

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0

214

0.0

2.5

MANAZEL

1,020

182

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0.0

ALIMTIAZ

1,040

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164

0.0

0.0

0

NBK

610

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0

MASAR

2,507,410 3,307,377

86 0

ź

ALMADINA

0

70

230

NOOR

0

36

ŷ ŷ

18,686

29

247,218

0 0

0

0

123,272

Ÿ

532,562

12,883

2,000

ŷ

0

0

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47

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34

290,850

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0

0

0

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0

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37

43

62

0

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0

467,987

0

ALSAFAT

46

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Banks

47

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47

MANAFAE

700

Ÿ

NIH

0

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2,080

0

0

0 940.81

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0

0

7

0 72

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0

0

0

0 102,647

0.0 0.0

0

14,717

0 630,695

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0

0

0

ź

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0

226,566

0

KOUTFOOD Consumer Services

238

ŷ ŷ

0

0

3

0 32

138

0.0

0.0

0

64

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0

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65

238

ź

0

STRATEGIA

240

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0

KCIC

1

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0

0

0

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0

10

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0

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69,000

0

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31

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96

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0.0

0.0

0

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120

0

0.0

0

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0

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0

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0.0

0.0

0

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0

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100

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0

0

0

0

0

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3

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0

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0

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0

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106

21

0

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0

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41

52

23

43

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0.0

43

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2,363

ŷ

2.0

0.0

0.0

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0

0

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0

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0

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0

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2,487

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43

39 0

0

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5

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67,499 0

88,633

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0

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0.0

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0.0

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29

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0

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0

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104

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0.0

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0

Change

124

0

EDU

Last

NRE

345

Ÿ

Trades

URC

0.0

0

365

Trades Value (KD)

Low

370

AGLTY

Volume

198,621,457 14 664 119 14,664,119 3,800

High

20 2.0

Security

Volume Value (KWD) Number of Trades

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

0

0

0

20 0

495

ŷ ŷ

ŷ ź ŷ ŷ

0

ŷ

0

ŷ

0

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0

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0.0

0

0

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53 957.29

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0.0 0.0

-1.0 1.0 -9.65


LIFE

tuesDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

Venus takes center stage in rare sky show today

FILE - Watching the tiny silhouette of the planet Venus slowly cross the face of the sun doesn’t evoke the same drama and excitement as experiencing a total solar eclipse, but what makes a transit so unique is its rarity and historical significance. (Agencies) Compiled by Al Watan Daily

CAPITALS: It’s a spectacle that won’t repeat for another century - the sight of Venus slowly inching across the face of the sun. So unless scientists discover the fountain of youth, none of us alive today will likely ever witness this celestial phenomenon again, dubbed a “transit of Venus.” It’s so unique that museums and schools around the globe are hosting Venus viewing festivities - all for a chance to see our star sport a fleeting beauty mark. Even astronauts aboard the International Space Station plan to observe the event. The drama unfolds this afternoon for the Western Hemisphere (Wednesday morning from the Eastern Hemisphere.) Venus will appear as a small black dot gliding across the disk of the sun. As in a solar eclipse, do not stare directly at the sun; wear special protective glasses. The entire transit, lasting 6 hours and 40 minutes, will be visible from the western Pacific, eastern Asia and eastern Australia. Venus: The planet of broken dreams

The truth is that Venus is a hell that would have surpassed even the imagination of Dante, and it has caused more grief and disappointment than any other planet in the Solar System. Early science fiction figured Venus to be a twin to Earth, a balmy, watery home from home that was a plum target for colonization. So when the Space Age dawned, it was only natural

In tree rings, Japanese scientists find eighth century mystery

PARIS: In the late eighth century, Earth was hit by a mystery blast of cosmic rays, according to a Japanese study that found a relic of the powerful event in cedar trees. Analysis of two ancient trees found a surge in carbon14 – a carbon isotope that derives from cosmic radiation – which occurred just in AD 774 and AD 775, the team report in the journal Nature on Sunday. Earth is battered by protons and other sub-atomic particles which are blasted across space by high-energy sources. The particles collide with the stratosphere and react with nitrogen to create carbon-14, which is then absorbed into the biosphere. A team led by Fusa Miyake of Nagoya University found that levels of carbon-14 in the two cedars were about 1.2 percent higher in 774 and 775 compared to other years. This may not sound much, but in relation to background concentrations of carbon-14, the difference is huge. One source of cosmic rays is the Sun, whose activity varies in phases called Schwabe cycles. Our star also throws the occasional tantrum, spouting bursts of energy called solar flares. But Miyake’s team say that the cosmic whack of 774-775 cannot be attributed to the Schwabe cycle of the time – and it is far bigger than any known flare from the Sun. The other possibility is a supernova, or a star that explodes at the end of its life in a welter of gamma radiation. It burns brightly for a few years before cooling into a remnant that can glow sullenly for centuries. But there is no documented record in the northern hemisphere of a supernova at around 775. Recent surveys of cosmic radiation show that, at this time, there were the remains of two nearby supernovae called Cassiopeia A and Vela Jr. But they were probably too far away or not powerful enough to be responsible for the carbon-14 burst on Earth. “With our present knowledge, we cannot specify the cause of this event,” Miyake admits. “However, we can say that an extremely energetic event occurred around our space environment in AD 775 ... (but) neither a solar flare nor a local supernova is likely to have been responsible.” The team are delving deeper into the mystery. They intend to fine-tune the search for the source by looking at telltale traces of beryllium and nitrate isotopes. They also plan a wider search of historical documents to see if, 1,237 years ago, anyone noted a strange flare in the sky.

that the second rock from the Sun would be the first planet for humans to explore. For a decade, the Soviet Union and the United States battered Venus with probes. They dispatched 21 unmanned missions, nearly all of them struck by failures at launch or in the final approach, before in 1970 the Soviet scout Venera 7 made the first successful landing. The snatch of data it sent back left everyone stunned. If Venus was ever Earth’s sister, it was of the sick and twisted kind. It hosts an atmosphere of carbon dioxide with a pressure 90 times that on Earth and a surface cooked to 457 degrees Celsius (855 degrees Fahrenheit). “Any astronaut unlucky to land there would be simultaneously crushed, roasted, choked and dissolved,” Britain’s Royal Astronomical Society notes. Those watching the Transit of Venus next week should spare a thought for Guillaume le Gentil de la Galaisiere, whose life – portrayed in a play by Canadian author Maureen Hunter that has since been turned into an opera – was cursed by the planet named after love. Le Gentil became swept up in the 18th-century frenzy for the Transit of Venus, which occurs when Venus swings in front of the Sun, appearing through the telescope lens as an enigmatic spot. This evening, skywatchers in North and Central America will enjoy the start of the 2012 Transit, which will end on Wednesday, more than six and a half hours later, visible from Europe, the Middle East and South Asia. The next time a Transit happens will be in December 2117.

World visibility of the transit of Venus on 5-6 June 2012. (Agencies)

Frequently Asked Questions: Transit of Venus

What is the transit of Venus?

When Venus crosses in front of the sun, astronomers refer to this as a “transit.” As the planet moves along its orbital path, it will travel across the solar disk, making it appear to observers on Earth as a small black blemish on the face of the sun. What’s so special about it?

Due to the tilt of the planet’s orbit, transits of Venus are some of the rarest astronomical sights because they only occur in pairs eight years apart, once every 100 years or so. The last Venus transit occurred on June 8, 2004, and the next one will not be visible again until the year 2117, more than 100 years from now. Prior to 2004, the last pair of Venus transits took place in 1881 and 1889. How can I watch the transit?

As Venus passes in front of the sun, the planet will cover only a small fraction of the solar disk, which means observers need to protect their eyes. It is very dangerous for humans to stare at the sun (even mid-transit) without proper eclipse glasses or solar filters for binoculars and telescopes. To observe the sun, dense filters are used to block damaging rays. The only safe filters are #14 welder’s glass, which is sold in specialized welder’s supply stores. Special eclipse glasses are also available from telescope

stores and astronomy clubs (they should only cost a couple of dollars). Another way to watch the transit is using a “pinhole camera,” which can be made from a large cardboard box. If you plan to watch the transit with binoculars or a small telescope, you will need a proper full-aperture solar filter. What time will I be able to see the transit of Venus?

The transit will begin at around 6:09 p.m. EDT (2209 GMT) on June 5, and will last roughly seven hours. People located in the mid-Pacific region, where the sun will be high overhead throughout the transit, are particularly lucky because they will be able to witness majority of the event. Still, others in North America, Europe, Asia and eastern Africa should be able to see at least part of the transit in person. In North America, the best time to view the transit will be in the afternoon, in the hours before sunset on June 5. In Europe, Africa and Australia, Venus will be traveling across the sun as it rises in the morning on June 6. Skywatchers throughout most of Asia and across the Pacific Ocean should be able to view the event any time on Wednesday. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that these guidelines are all contingent on local weather and conditions.

Bader Sultan & Brothers Company launches revolutionary VBLOC Maestro therapy KUWAIT: In line with its commitment to adding value in the field of medical services and to the well-being of the local community, Kuwait-based Bader Sultan & Brothers Company (BSBC) launched on June 3, the revolutionary VBLOC(r) Maestro therapy for the first time in the Middle East. The cutting edge technology is brought exclusively by BSBC in the MENA region and was detailed by Dr. James Swain, former staff surgeon at Mayo Clinic USA. VBLOC, delivered by a pacemaker-like device called the Maestro(r) Rechargeable System, is a process that blocks the vagal nerve signal helping patients control hunger sensations and address the lifelong challenge of obesity without compromising safety, nutrition, lifestyle, or undergoing irreversible anatomical disfigurement. The VBLOC Maestro treatment also helps combat diabetes and blood pressure and will be available throughout the MENA region soon. Dr. James Swain a board certified surgeon highlighted the importance of VBLOC Maestro therapy and its many benefits to weight loss. During his visit, he will train six well known surgeons in Kuwait on the surgical procedure of implanting the Maestro System. The surgeons are Dr. Farida Dashti, Dr. Khaled Al-Enezy, Dr. Khaled Al-Sharaf, Dr. Mousa Khorsheed, Dr. Osama Al-Sanae, and Dr. Salman Al-Sabah. Emad Al-Zaben, General Manager of BSBC said: “Obesity in the Middle East is rising at an alarming rate and as leaders in the field of medical services; we take such health issues very seriously. We continue bringing in extensive world-class range of products, such as VBLOC Maestro, which has opened doors for patients suffering from obesity and anatomical disfigurement. VBLOC Maestro is simple and most importantly safe, it minimizes sideeffects and patients can feel results within 10-14 days” “Moreover BSBC launched www.bodycontouringme. com website that is dedicated to educate the patients with the latest techniques in body contouring; ranging from non-invasive, minimally invasive to least invasive technologies, serving a greater segment through various languages: English, Arabic, French, Hindi, and Urdu”. “Dr. James Swain presence in the Kuwait highlights our commitment towards the region. We are delighted to introduce to Kuwait Dr. James Swain and his work. His visit will be supported with a number of training sessions he will conduct during his stay. We hope his visit opens doors for patients who are reluctant or unaware that there are alternative and safe solutions to combat obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and we wish to provide people in the Middle East with all the necessary information to broaden their spectrum on such procedures,” concluded Al-Zaben, BSBC For the first time in the Middle East and out of USA, Meastro is revealed specially for those having diabetes and blood pressure in addition to weight loss which is revolutionary as Kuwait ranks No.2 in the region for obesity and

Doctors along with Emad Al-Zaben, General Manager of BSBC.

No.3 in the region for diabetes. Dr. Khaled Al-Sharaf, consultant in obesity surgery at Mubarak Al Kabeer said: “Obesity surgery has been widespread in Kuwait and the most famous have been the sleeve gasterectomy and gastric bypass. Many patients showed concerns before the operation and looked for alternative remedies, which encouraged a lot of doctors to look for more developed techniques which are less dangerous but achieve the same results.” Dr. Mousa Khorsheed, Assistant professor in Kuwait University said: “Any therapy that doesn’t include a change in the anatomy of the digestive system and controls food intake is the perfect therapy and that is relatively provided by VBLOC Maestro. Studies have indicated that VBLOC Maestro does not have any side effects and patients can lose weight by reducing the hunger sensations during meals and keeping them full. The average weight loss percentage is around 30% during a year.” Dr. Khaled Al-Enezy surgical consultant said: “VBLOC Maestro has a positive impact on diabetes patients.VBLOC Maestro helps curing patients from the disease; studies have shown remarkable improvement in diabetes conditions, high blood pressure.” Dr. Osama Al-Sanae, CEO and Chief surgeon in Royal Hayat Hospital said: “We Bariatric surgeons are aware

of the fact that treating obesity is the best investment in health as it cures many diseases, the first being diabetes. Not everyone knows that curing diabetes begins before losing weight and then it continues. Many studies have shown that obesity has an effect on metabolism in a positive way and this drives me today to say that we are conducting operations even for those with mild obesity to cure them from diabetes type II. This type of diabetes today is called digestive system diabetes, and many people having this disease hopes that it does not include cutting the stomach or even the Gastric banding. VBLOC Maestro provide that by controlling the stomach nerve as this changes the metabolism and achieves healing from the beginning, even before the weight loss and this is what gave credibility for the invention.” The operation is good for all patients who are not comfortable with any stomach cut operations. We see the VBLOC Maestro appropriate for all patients who can’t bear the traditional operations or who want operations that don’t involve stomach cut and that include diabetic patients. VBLOC The Maestro will come into Kuwait for the first time this month. It was started years ago in USA, Europe and Australia in clinical trials and it has approvals from Europe and Australia as well as IDE Approval from the USA.”


ALWATAN DAILY

CULTURE

tuesday, JUNE 5, 2012

9

Sheikha Hussah Al-Sabah, Rhode Island’s first Arab woman elected Olivia Culpo crowned Miss USA Honorary Trustee on Met board KUWAIT: Director General of the Dar Al-Athar alIslammiyah and co-owner of The Al-Sabah Collection, Sheikha Hussah Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah participated in her first Metropolitan Museum of Art Board of Trustees meeting in New York on May 8, 2012 as a newly elected Honorary Trustee, according to a press release. Al-Sabah is the first Arab and Muslim woman to be named to this prestigious body. The New York City-based Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 to “collectively represent the broadest spectrum of human achievement at the highest level of quality, all in the service of the public...” In the almost 150 years that followed, the Museum has grown to include a substantial representation of art from many cultures and communities around the world. For example, the Islamic art collection, approximately 12,000 pieces, reflects the diversity and full range of traditions in Islamic cultures and is housed in 19,000 square-feet of galleries designed especially for this purpose. “I was honored to be invited to serve as an Honorary Trustee on the Metropolitan board and now, having spent several hours with this dynamic and committed group, I am-I admit-in awe of what’s been done and what lies ahead,” said Sheikha Hussah. “We met at The Cloisters museum and garden, which focuses on the art and architecture of medieval Europe, and I found the setting inspiring. The board includes a tremendous cross-section of individuals interested in preserving, protecting and sharing the legacy of all those who came before us. In the parameters of its mission, The Cloisters does the same-presenting an equally varied collection of objects.” In addition to visiting The Cloisters, a gift to the Metropolitan Museum of Art from John D Rockefeller Jr. in the 1930s, Sheikha Hussah visited the Museum’s main building. First she visited the Islamic Art Department’s new Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia galleries, which made their debut in November 2011. After, she visited the temporary exhibition “Byzantium and Islam: age of transition, which “follows the artistic traditions of the southern provinces of the Byzantine Empire from the

Director General of the Dar Al-Athar Al-Islammiyah and Co-owner of The Al-Sabah Collection, Sheikha Hussah Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah.

seventh century to the ninth, as they were transformed from being central to the Byzantine tradition to being a critical part of the Islamic world.” “Working with The Metropolitan Museum of Art gives me the opportunity to learn from those who have had different experiences in developing and sharing works of art to create not just a great museum but also a better society. Fundamentally we have the same purpose, the Met and Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah and I am confident that our cooperation will benefit both organizations,” concluded Sheikha Hussah.

Vatican criticizes US nun’s book on sexuality VATICAN CITY: The Vatican has sharply criticized a book on sexuality written by a prominent American nun, saying she has a “defective understanding” of certain core church teachings on issues like masturbation, homosexuality and marriage. The Vatican’s Congregation to the Doctrine of the Faith said Monday the book, “Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics” by Sister Margaret Farley, a member of the Sisters of Mercy religious order and

emeritus professor of Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School, posed “grave harm” to the faithful. Farley said Monday she never intended the book to reflect current official church teaching. Rather, she said, it explores sexuality via various religious traditions, theological resources and human experience. The Farley critique comes amid the Vatican’s recent crackdown on the largest umbrella group of American sisters. -AP

Miss Rhode Island USA 2012, Olivia Culpo, of Cranston, is crowned Miss USA 2012 at the conclusion of the LIVE NBC broadcast of the 2012 MISS USA Competition from the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Theatre for the Performing Arts, in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 3, 2012. (AFP)

LONDON: Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island was named Miss USA on Sunday after saying it would be fair for transgendered contestants to win the pageant, giving her a crown that she will wear when representing the United States at the Miss Universe pageant later this year. Culpo, 20, competed in the traditional swimsuit and evening gown competitions at the Las Vegas pageant, but also answered a question - tweeted in from an audience member - about an issue that earlier this year vexed the organizers of the Miss Universe pageant in Canada when a transgendered woman wanted to compete. Culpo was asked if it was fair that a transgender woman would win Miss USA over a natural born woman, and she answered, “I do think that would be fair, but I can understand that people would be a little apprehensive to take

Queen’s Jubilee: Rock concert at Buckingham Palace LONDON: The celebration of the 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II is ready to rock ‘n’ roll. A gala concert kicks off at Buckingham Palace on Monday evening with Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Cliff Richard and Sir Tom Jones heading the line-up, along with younger artists. Will the queen enjoy it? Her musical tastes are a mystery, and the Press Association news agency reported that she brought a pair of earplugs with her to a similar concert a decade ago. According to The Guardian newspaper, the only song the queen has ever been known to request is “Some Enchanted Evening” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific.” “It may not be that pop or rock is her favorite music, but she has certainly supported us over the years and in return of course we have supported her,” said Cliff Richard, who had his first hit in 1959. “I think she’d probably rather go and see an opera.” The small Pacific island nation of Tonga claimed the honor of lighting the first of more than 4,200 beacons to be set alight in Britain and abroad to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. The queen will light the final beacon following the concert. One beacon will be lit in Kenya at the Treetops Hotel, where Elizabeth was informed of her father’s death in 1952, making her the queen. “We set out to have 2,012 beacons, which would have been the most ever for this type of occasion,” said Bruno Peek, pageant master of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee beacons. “To have reached double that figure reflects the national and worldwide respect and affection for the queen and the desire to celebrate her 60year reign.” After a drizzly, gray start, the weather looked better Monday morning, with a forecast of some sunshine by the time the concert starts. Despite threatening weather, more than 1 million people estimated to have turned out Sunday to watch the queen’s barge lead a 1,000-boat flotilla down the Thames endured heavy downpours at time. Six participants in the pageant were treated in hospitals for exposure to the cold and wet, and medics attended to about 40 spectators along the river. Margaret Watson, 73, in the crowd near Buckingham Palace on Monday, remembered watching the Coronation on the television set which her family bought especially to watch the event. “I am here to say thank you to the queen for all she has done,” said Watson, who came to London from Yorkshire with family members. “I am just so pleased to have lived through her reign.” Others were less happy to have lived through the rain. “I have run out of dry clothes and my sleeping bag is soaked through. My tent is ruined,” said Chris Wittington, 46, from suburban Essex County. “But apart from that, it has been excellent.” “Whether you believe in the monarchy or not,

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth smiles during a pageant commemorating her Diamond Jubilee in London June 3, 2012. (Reuters)

this is just fantastic,” said Beverley Clements, 44, who was with 37-year-old sister Harriet Poppleton. “There may not be much to celebrate at the moment, but there is a great sense of Britishness here at the moment.” Exercising her royal prerogative, the queen is expected to attend only part of the concert. Ten years ago at a similar concert celebrating 50 years of rule, the monarch reportedly came prepared with a pair of earplugs. Elton John is set to perform “Your Song,” “I’m Still Standing” and “Crocodile Rock.” Tom Jones will pose the question, “Why? Why? Why?” in the song “Delilah,” while Annie Lennox will sing “There Must Be An Angel.” Kylie Minogue and Stevie Wonder will play a

medley of greatest hits, and Paul McCartney will play “Live and Let Die,” his James Bond theme. American soprano Renee Fleming will perform with the BBC Concert Orchestra. The 262 residents of the remote island of Tristan de Cunha, a British territory 1,500 miles from any other land, are combining their Jubilee beacon with some environmentally conscious gardening. They are lighting their fire with invasive species including the New Zealand Christmas Tree, loganberry and other alien plants. “You don’t get more patriotic than saving UK wildlife on the queen’s Jubilee, so we decided to make the occasion by lighting a beacon made from all the plants we remove,” chief islander Ian Laverollo said. -AP

that road.” She went on to say that there are “so many people out there who have a need to change for a happier life. I do accept that because I believe it is a free country.” The audience reaction seemed mixed initially but quickly turned to cheers and Culpo gave two thumbs ups. Later, when the winner’s crown was placed on Culpo’s head, tears came to her eyes as she accepted the congratulations of fellow contestants and walked the stage as the new Miss USA in a flowing, purple evening gown that was among the few splashes of color in a competition that featured several white dress. Culpo, of Cranston, Rhode Island, is a student at Boston University. Her parents were both musicians, and she began playing cello in the second grade. She has played at the Boston Symphony Hall and Carnegie Hall in

New York City, and she continues to perform. Miss Maryland, Nana Meriwether, was the runner-up, and contestants from Ohio, Nevada and Georgia rounded out the top five finalists. Miss Congenialtiy went to Miss Iowa, Rebecca Hodge, and the most photogenic award went to Miss Oregon, Alaina Bergsma. The Miss Universe pageant will be held in December, but a location has yet to be named. Earlier this year, Jenna Talackova, who underwent gender-reassignment surgery at age 19 and holds legal documents affirming her identity as a woman, was initially kicked out of the competition in the Miss Canada division, but was later reinstated by the Miss Universe organization’s owner, Donald Trump. Talackova, now 23, went on to compete in last month’s Miss Canada pageant but did not win. -Reuters

Publishing industry gathers for annual convention

NEW YORK: It could all change quickly, but independent booksellers again have good news to report as the publishing industry prepares for its annual national convention, BookExpo America. Core membership of the American Booksellers Association rose by 55 over the past year, from 1,512 to 1,567. It’s the third straight increase for the independents’ trade organization after years of double digit and triple digit declines brought on by superstore chains and online sellers such as Amazon.com. The independents have stabilized even as the economy suffers and the market shifts dramatically from physical stores to digital purchases. The Borders superstore chain shut down a year ago and Barnes & Noble Inc. has been increasingly emphasizing its Nook e-reading device. Borders’ fall, of course, has been part of the independents’ good fortune, association CEO Oren Teicher acknowledged in a recent interview. But he also cited a nationwide movement to buy from local stores, falling real estate prices and lower costs to create and maintain websites. Sales figures for 2012 are encouraging as Teicher shared statistics compiled by Nielsen BookScan, which tracks around 75 percent of print sales. The number of books sold through mid-May by around 500 ABA stores increased by 13.4 percent compared to last year. “We are more than holding our own,” Teicher says. Thousands of booksellers, publishers, authors and agents are gathering this week at the Jacob K. Javits Center for BookExpo America, a three-day convention which ends Thursday. Featured speakers include Stephen Colbert, Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith and Jimmy Fallon. Several events will focus on Russian publishing and literary history will be made when Natalia Solzhenitsyn, widow of Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, unveils her husband’s archives. Rock stars also will be on hand: Patti Smith, winner of the National Book Award in 2010 for her memoir “Just Kids,” will interview Neil Young, whose memoir “Waging Heavy Peace” comes out in October. The convention’s floor plan reads like a map of changing times. Space dedicated to digital companies will increase from 6,000 square feet last year to 7,000. The number of gift companies, suppliers of non-book items stocked by bookstores, has more than doubled, from 21 to 50. Amazon.com has more than doubled the space for its book publishing program, from 400 square feet to 1,000 square feet. Independent stores still don’t approach the presence they had 30 years ago, when membership in the American Booksellers Association was more than 3,000. Their share of total sales is well under 10 percent and stores continue to close, if not with the frequency of a decade ago. Just last month, Thee Bookstore in Hillsboro, Kan., shut down after 90 years, citing online competition. Independents had hoped to break into the e-book market through a partnership with Google’s digital store, but the online search engine has announced it will end the arrangement because of disappointing sales. Publishers and authors value local stores for creating word-of-mouth hits, but the fate of independents remains uncertain enough that a promotional campaign being launched at BookExpo is called “Why Indies Matter,” as if proof were required. “It’s down compared to five years ago, but it went down when the whole economy fell,” says Tom Jackson, co-owner of the Regulator Bookshop in Durham, N.C. “It’s since come back up and stayed up. Given what’s been happening with digital books, the competition from Amazon and so forth, that seems pretty good.” As the industry becomes more interactive, so does BookExpo. Many speeches and panel discussions (but not the Smith-Young interview) will be streamed live on video and attendees for the first time will include members of the general public. Around 1,000 “Power Readers” are expected, dedicated book lovers recruited through stores and Web sites. “It’s a whole different approach,” says BookExpo event director Steve Rosato. “It’s all about bringing publishers and readers closer together.” BookExpo can be likened to the annual reunion of a dispersed and quarrelsome family: Attendees do have issues. Many stores refuse to stock books released by Amazon and booksellers and publishers worry greatly about Amazon’s power as a retailer to offer deep discounts. Apple, which will be present at BookExpo, and five publishers were sued in April by the federal government for alleged price fixing. -AP


10

ALWATAN DAILY

ENTERTAINMENT

Song Of The Day

tuesDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

Hunger Games scoops up four MTV movie awards

Fahad AlSabah Staff Writer

Song: I Just Started Hating Some People Today Artist: Beck Album: I Just Started Hating Some People Today - Single Genre: Country/Alternative In short: Beck’s latest single is a bombshell of a song; the country-tinged number starts lightly before switching up into hardcore rock-courtesy of Jack White-then closing off in a Tarantino-approved manner. To listen to the song visit www.alwatandaily.com E-mail your feedback to falsabah@alwatandaily.com

Josh Hutcherson poses with his award for “Best Male Performance” for his role in “The Hunger Games,” at the MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, California, on June 3, 2012. (AFP)

Overview at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles June 3, 2012. (Reuters)

Actress Elizabeth Banks poses with her award for best on-screen transformation for her role in “The Hunger Games” at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles June 3, 2012. (Reuters)

The Buzz Drew Barrymore marries art dealer Will Kopelman Actress Drew Barrymore has tied the knot for the third time, marrying her art dealer fiance Will Kopelman this weekend in Southern California, media outlets reported on Sunday. The “Charlie’s Angels” actress, 37, wore a Chanel gown and wed Kopelman on Saturday in a Jewish ceremony at their estate in Montecito, California, outside Los Angeles, with guests including Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz, Jimmy Fallon and Busy Philips, according to People Magazine. The celebrity magazine also said Barrymore is pregnant with the couple’s first child. Representatives for the actress did not immediately return calls for comment on Sunday. -Reuters

Jazz singer Al Jarreau cancels France concerts Grammy-winning jazz musician Al Jarreau has canceled part of a French tour after being diagnosed with pneumonia. The singer’s press team said in a statement Monday that Jarreau’s doctors had recommended that he not travel while he recovers. Jarreau had been scheduled to give concerts in France on June 7, 9 and 10. The statement said he hopes to perform in France later in the month. The statement said the 72-year-old musician, who has won Grammy awards in jazz, pop and R&B, “deeply regretted” the cancellations. -AP

Snow White zaps Men in Black at box office “Snow White and the Huntsman” broke the spell of lackluster performances by many big-budget films this summer season at movie theaters, grabbing $56.3 million in its first weekend to top “Men in Black 3,” according to studio estimates on Sunday. The film, a dark and sometimes violent take on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, collected an additional $39.3 million in 45 international markets where it also opened this weekend. The solid debut led Universal Pictures’ “Snow White” to escape the fate of “Battleship,” also distributed by Universal, and Warner Bros’ vampire film “Dark Shadows,” both of which fell victim to blockbuster “The Avengers.” “I’m very happy about it. The uniqueness of the campaign from the get-go made (the film) stand out as not just the quintessential fairy tale; it was telling a very different story,” Nikki Rocco, president of domestic distribution at Universal Pictures, told Reuters. “Men in Black 3,” which opened last week, collected $29.3 million in ticket sales in US and Canadian theaters to fall to the No. 2 position on US and Canadian box office charts. Starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as black-suited secret agents, together again for the first time since 2002, “MIB 3” ticket sales slipped by 58 percent from its opening weekend. It has collected $274.6 million in overseas markets since its release. -Reuters

Alexander apologizes for inappropriate cricket remark Actor Jason Alexander has apologized for joking during a TV talk show that he considers cricket to be a “gay” sport. In a blog post, the former “Seinfeld” star explained Sunday what led to his remark on CBS’s Late Late Show. He writes that he at first didn’t grasp why some might object to the comment, but that subsequent conversations with his gay friends led him to realize his insensitivity. Alexander’s remarks came in Friday’s show in which he tells host Craig Ferguson that aspects of cricket make it a “gay game” compared to other sports. The actor’s 1,000-word-plus “message of amends” said that the joking remark plays into “hurtful assumptions and diminishments” about people. Alexander also writes that as an actor with many gay friends, he “should know better.” -AP

Comedian Bill Maher buys stake in New York Mets team Comedian and talk show host Bill Maher purchased a minority ownership stake in the New York Mets Major League Baseball team, according to media reports late on Sunday. Maher revealed that he bought a minority share of the team months ago, but gave no details of the deal, the reports said. “I just thought it would be a great place, especially after I’ve seen some of the ways money can disappear in recent years. I had my money in Lehman Brothers in 2008,” the New York Times quoted Maher as saying. The Mets, who live in the shadow of the much more successful New York Yankees, have struggled in recent years. Shares of the cash-strapped club were put up for sale after it suffered financial setbacks in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal. In a video clip that the Mets published on its Twitter page, the comedian said he became a Mets fan when he was six and “I have really never wavered for my love for this team.” -Reuters

Johnny Depp accepts the the MTV Generation Award at the MTV Movie Awards on June 3, 2012 in Los Angeles. (AP)

LOS ANGELES: “The Hunger Games” won four MTV Movie Awards on Sunday but a “Twilight” film picked up the best movie honor for the fourth straight year in what proved to be a tame evening at the typically outrageous awards show. Post-apocalyptic film “The Hunger Games” nabbed MTV’s golden popcorn trophies for best male performance by Josh Hutcherson, best female performance by Jennifer Lawrence, best transformation by Elizabeth Banks and best fight. The movie of the year award, voted for by fans online throughout the show, went to vampire romance “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1,” beating out “The Hunger Games” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” Female-led comedy “Bridesmaids” picked up two awards for best comedic performance by Melissa McCarthy and best gut-wrenching performance for its stomachturning food poisoning scene, while the final installment of the “Harry Potter” franchise won for best cast and best hero. Host Russell Brand, known for raunchy humor, launched into jokes about his short-lived marriage to singer Katy Perry, thanking Kim Kardashian for “taking the pressure off me” due to her brief marriage to basketball player Kris Humphries and joking about keeping his “eyes peeled” for a new wife. His barbs also were directed at pop star Justin Bieber, Charlie Sheen, John Travolta, Kanye West and “Shame” actor Michael Fassbender for “profiting from sex addiction.” “The Descendants” star Shailene Woodley picked up the breakthrough performance award. “Spiderman” actress Emma Stone was given the trailblazer trophy and Johnny Depp was honored with the generation award for a career spanning three decades.

Wiz Khalifa performs “Work Hard, Play Hard” at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles June 3, 2012. (Reuters)

“It’s like the get-out-of-the-business award basically, when you’ve done too much ... There’s obviously something wrong with me,” Depp joked in his acceptance speech. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor showed off his guitar skills, joining rockers The Black Keys for their hit singles “Gold On The Ceiling” and “Lonely Boy.” In some of the night’s more irreverent categories, Jennifer Aniston picked up the best on-screen dirtbag award for her role as a foul-mouthed, blackmailing dentist in “Horrible Bosses.” The best kiss trophy was again given to “Twilight” leads Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, who have won for their steamy on-screen clinches for the past three years. Despite its billing an outrageous event, the show seemed more tame than in previous years with little foul language or onstage antics. Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and Joe Manganiello did some spicing up with a near strip tease. The trio stars in an upcoming film, “Magic Mike,” about male strippers. Notable moments came from “Batman” star Christian Bale, who gave an emotional introduction to an exclusive trailer for the upcoming film, “The Dark Knight Rises,” after footage of the late Heath Ledger as the Joker character was shown from the second installment of the Christopher Nolan “Batman” franchise. Music, the foundation of MTV, played a key role throughout the show with first-ever house DJ, Martin Solveig, providing movie score mash-ups from “Jaws,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Drive” between awards. Rapper Wiz Khalifa performed new song “Work Hard, Play Hard” and indie band fun. sang their hit single “We Are Young” with Janelle Monae to open the program. -Reuters

Once leads winners at the Drama Desk Awards NEW YORK: The low-tech Broadway romance “Once” won a leading four Drama Desk Awards on Sunday, including the prize for best musical, adding to its recent haul of theater prizes and giving it momentum ahead of next weekend’s Tony Awards. The musical based on the documentary-style 2006 film about an unlikely love affair between a Czech flower seller and an Irish street musician in Dublin, has already won the best musical prize from the Drama League, New York Drama Critics Circle, the Outer Critic Circle and the Lucille Lortel Awards. It is nominated for 11 Tonys. The Drama Desk Awards, which are handed out to shows both on and off-Broadway, honored “Once” for best orchestration, direction, lyrics and the top musical prize at a gala awards ceremony at The Town Hall in midtown Manhattan. Brooke Shields and Brian d’Arcy James co-hosted the ceremony. Other big winners included the revival of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” the British import “One Man, Two Guvnors” and the Gershwin-inspired “Nice Work You Can Get It,” which all earned three Drama Desk Awards. Nina Raine’s off-Broadway work “Tribes” was voted outstanding play, beating out such well-regarded works as David Henry Hwang’s “Chinglish,” Nicky Silver’s “The Lyons” and Lynn Nottage’s “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark.” Audra McDonald of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” won as outstanding actress in a musical and Tracie Bennett, who plays Judy Garland in “End of the Rainbow,” was voted best actress in a play.

Audra McDonald arrives at the 57th Annual Drama Desk Awards on June 3, 2012, in New York. (AP)

In the male categories, James Corden took home the top acting award for a play - beating out Philip Seymour Hoffman from “Death of a Salesman” and Kevin Spacey in “Richard III” - and Danny Burstein from “Follies” won as outstanding actor in a musical. “Follies” won the award for outstanding revival of a musical and “Death of a Salesman” won best revival in the play category. Mike Nichols won best director of a play for “Death of a Salesman” and John Tiffany of “Once” took the musical direction award. “Newsies: The Musical,” perhaps the biggest competition to “Once” in the musical category, took home two Drama Desk Awards, for Alan Menken’s music and Christopher Gattelli’s choreography. -AP

Winners from the 21st annual MTV Movie Awards: • Movie of the Year: “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1.” • Best Male Performance: Josh Hutcherson, “The Hunger Games.” • Best Female Performance: Jennifer Lawrence, “The Hunger Games.” • Breakthrough Performance: Shailene Woodley, “The Descendants.” • Best Comedic Performance: Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids.” • Best Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Tom Felton, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2.” • Best Hero: Harry Potter, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2.” • Best Music: LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” ‘’21 Jump Street.” • Best Kiss: Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1.” • Best Fight: Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson vs. Alexander Ludwig, “The Hunger Games.” • Best On-Screen Dirtbag: Jennifer Aniston, “Horrible Bosses.” • Best On-Screen Transformation: Elizabeth Banks, “The Hunger Games.” • Best Gut-Wrenching Performance: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper, “Bridesmaids.” • MTV Trailblazer Award: Emma Stone. • MTV Generation Award: Johnny Depp.

Trial opens for suit against Costner over BP deal

NEW ORLEANS: Two Hollywood stars could spend the next two weeks in a New Orleans courtroom rather than on camera, on opposing sides in a real-life legal drama. Jury selection was scheduled Monday for Stephen Baldwin’s federal lawsuit against fellow actor Kevin Costner over their investments in a device BP PLC used in trying to clean up the huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Both are expected to testify. US District Judge Martin Feldman ruled last month that every litigant must be in court every day “because of the seriousness of the claims and issues raised by the parties” and in case of mid-trial settlement talks. The federal lawsuit claims Costner and a business partner duped Baldwin and a friend out of their shares of an $18 million deal for BP to buy oil-separating centrifuges after the April 2010 spill. Baldwin and his friend, Spyridon Contogouris, said they didn’t know about the deal when they agreed to sell their shares of Ocean Therapy Solutions, a company that marketed the centrifuges to BP, for $1.4 million and $500,000, respectively. Baldwin and Contogouris claim they were deliberately excluded from a June 8 meeting between Costner, his business partner Patrick Smith and BP executive Doug Suttles, who agreed to make an $18 million deposit on a $52 million order for the 32 devices, according to the lawsuit. Later that month, Costner and Suttles visited Port Fourchon, La., to talk about the plan to use the centrifuges. “It was designed to give us a fighting chance, to fight back the oil before it got us by the throat,” Costner said at the time. Baldwin and Contogouris say they were entitled to shares of BP’s deposit. Their lawsuit claims Costner and Smith schemed to use BP’s deposit buy their shares in Ocean Therapy Solutions. “The source of the funds to buy plaintiffs’ interest was never disclosed to them, and OTS funds were secretly and improperly converted to effect the purchase,” a plaintiffs’ summary of the case says. Costner said he didn’t attend a June 6, 2010, meeting at which Contogouris agreed to sell his OTS interests. Baldwin and Contogouris are seeking more than $21 million in damages. Costner and other defendants also are seeking damages in counterclaims. -AP


ALWATAN DAILY

SPORTS

TUESDAY, june 5, 2012

tennis

Ferrer restores calm against shrieking Spaniard

11

Almagro keeps up run by Spaniards in Paris PARIS: Nicolas Almagro kept up the ruthless run by Spaniards at the French Open as he reached the quarter-finals with a 6-4 6-4 6-4 hammering of Serbian eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic on Monday. Almagro, the 12th seed, is one of three players in the men’s draw yet to drop a set and coincidentally they all hail from Spain. While six-times champion Rafa Nadal will be aiming to preserve his perfect record when he takes on Argentine Juan Monaco in a fourth-round contest later on Monday, David Ferrer has also reached the last eight by winning 12 successive sets. Almagro kept the bearded Tipsarevic on his toes throughout the two hour 13 minute encounter and blew a kiss skywards after ending the Serb’s ordeal with a driving forehand winner. Almagro will next face the winner of the Nadal-Monaco match. -Reuters

Nicolas Almagro of Spain returns the ball to Paolo Lorenzi of Italy during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 29, 2012. (Reuters)

Del Potro beats Berdych to set up Federer matchup Spain’s David Ferrer serves to Spain’s Marcel Granollers during their Men’s Singles 4th Round tennis match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, on June 4, 2012. (AFP)

PARIS: David Ferrer was deafened but not stirred as he silenced shrieking Spaniard Marcel Granollers with a 6-3 6-2 6-0 demolition job in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday. While fans are accustomed to the likes of Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka ratcheting up the decibel levels, Granollers proved that grunting was not confined to the women’s game. Unusually, Granollers often groans well after the ball has flown off his racket but despite his antics, a focused Ferrer reached the last eight for the third time. Sixth seed Ferrer has now won 12 straight sets, dropping only 25 games, and will be favorite to make it through to his first semifinal here when he faces either fourth seed Andy Murray or local hope Richard Gasquet. Granollers had failed to take a set off his fellow Spaniard in three previous meetings and it seems that even the local TV networks gave him no chance of winning on Monday. Television graphics showed Ferrer as a 2012 Roland Garros quarter-finalist long before a ball had been struck in the fourth-round match which was often played through drizzling rain and gusting winds.

However, no amount of wailing or rain could stop Ferrer from showering the court with 41 winners compared to 17 from Granollers - as he charged through the last seven games to secure victory. Such is the presence of Ferrer on court, his challenger in the previous round, Mikhail Youzhny, felt the need to apologize to the fans mid-match and carved out the word ‘sorry’ into the clay with his shoe. There were no apologies from Granollers on Monday, just an acceptance that he had been beaten by a better player. “David today played better and better and I couldn’t play better than what I played today,” said Granollers, who enjoyed his best performance at a slam in Paris. Ferrer, meanwhile, took the opportunity to scrawl “happy birthday” into the courtside camera lens as he walked off court. Asked if he was wishing his friend Rafa Nadal, who turned 26 on Sunday, a belated happy birthday, he quipped: “I like Rafa very much, but not that much. “It’s my fiancée’s birthday, my girlfriend.” Ferrer is one of three players yet to drop a set at Roland Garros - and they all happen to be Spaniards. -Reuters

Basketball

Celtics pull even with Heat in overtime thriller

PARIS: Juan Martin del Potro set up a French Open quarterfinal against Roger Federer by finishing off a 7-6 (6), 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Tomas Berdych on Monday in a match stopped the night before because of darkness after three sets.

The No. 9-seeded del Potro broke No. 7 Berdych at love in the final game. Del Potro is 2-11 against Federer, but one of the victories came in the 2009 US Open final, when the Argentine won his only Grand Slam title. One of del Potro’s

losses to Federer was in the 2009 French Open semifinals. That’s the only time del Potro made it that far at Roland Garros. Berdych was a French Open semifinalist in 2010 then was the runner-up at Wimbledon later that year. -AP

Formula One

Chandhok aims for an Indian first LONDON: Karun Chandhok is ready to claim an Indian motor racing first by starting the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race next week. Narain Karthikeyan will always be the first Indian driver to have competed in Formula One, and is still the only points scorer, but Le Mans offers Chandhok his own chance to be a groundbreaker. “As long as I do a lap in the race that will be enough. To be first out of 1.3 billion Indians, that’s quite nice,” the 28year-old former F1 driver told Reuters after his first laps of the Sarthe circuit in Sunday’s official pre-race test. The key is in the word ‘start’. Karthikeyan qualified for the 2009 Le Mans but did not take part in the race after wrenching his shoulder while clambering over the pit wall. “I will be walking around the pit wall to go to the toilet,” said Chandhok with a chuckle, without in any way diminishing Karthikeyan’s achievements in getting to where he did. “We’ve spent the last 10 years in India, Narain and myself, telling everybody how mega F1 is and I think in many ways we’ve glossed over the fact that there are other high-level categories and championships and good races out there like Indy and Bathurst and Le Mans,” added the driver. A 24 Hours is the equivalent of 18 grands prix in distance terms, nearly a full

Formula One season in a day, with cars covering 5,000km from start to finish. The attendance figure, many coming from Britain, will be pushing 250,000. As Chandhok pointed out, that is a bigger crowd than a sellout India v Pakistan cricket match at Eden Gardens and the Indian Grand Prix put together. He will be sharing a Honda LMP1 car for the British JRM team with Australian David Brabham, son of triple F1 champion Jack and winner in 2009, and experienced Scot Peter Dumbreck. “It’s one of those big, epic boxes you have to tick in your career,” said Chandhok of a race that will see his private team fighting to be best of the rest behind the mighty Audi and Toyota works outfits. They were 11th quickest of 61 cars on Sunday. “It was my first time ever here and a bit of an eye-opener when you’re going down the back straight, I can tell you. When you go to a place like Monza it’s really quick but...when you are doing more than 300k four times on the lap, it’s a pretty mega feeling,” he added. “It’s pretty daunting actually because with the traffic and on a circuit you don’t know, you are still trying to find your way around and you have the Audis coming past you and then you’ve got slower cars in the way. “It’s also narrower than you think because you’ve got the trees and the barriers quite close by.”

The grid will be decided in qualifying next week before the race starts on June 16 but Chandhok’s 17 laps on Sunday mean he has done enough distance to qualify as a driver. His last F1 race was with Team Lotus, now Caterham, in Germany last year after 10 races with HRT in 2010 ended in acrimony. His then boss, Colin Kolles, will also be at Le Mans with his own team several garages up the pit lane. Karthikeyan is still racing for HRT, under new management, and Chandhok has not given up on returning to F1 one day although he recognises it will be difficult. “Of course if there was an opportunity to race in Formula One, you’re never going to say no,” he said. “But the way that it’s gone, how many non-paying seats are there outside the top four teams? “We’re still looking into it, to see if we can get the right commercial backing in place but I’m very realistic,” he added. “I’ve had to mortgage the family homes twice in my career and my grandparents’ house once in the last six years to get to where I am and I’ve just started recovering the debt. “It’s going to take me a few years to recover and do the pay-back on that so I can’t afford to keep my whole family at risk of living in debt their whole lives just because I’m chasing a dream. “I wish I was a multi-millionaire but I’m not.” -Reuters

Cricket

Pakistan retain Tanvir for Sri Lanka one-day international series

Boston Celtics’ Rajon Rondo (right) drives to the net on Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade during the first half of Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Finals NBA basketball playoffs in Boston, Massachusetts June 3, 2012. (Reuters)

KARACHI: Left-arm pace bowler Sohail Tanvir has been retained in the Pakistan squad for the one-day international series in Sri Lanka. Tanvir, 27, was part of the Twenty20 squad that played two matches in Sri Lanka and will stay on for the five one-day internationals this month. “Since Tanvir has performed well in the T20 matches and keeping in mind the

BOSTON: Miami guard Dwyane Wade missed a three-point shot at the buzzer in overtime, allowing the Boston Celtics to see off the Heat 93-91 on Sunday and level the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series at 2-2. Boston lead by as many as 18 points in the first half but Miami almost clawed their way to an unlikely win on shot-making by LeBron James and smothering defense lead by Wade that took the Celtics out of their rhythm. “Our execution in the first half was flawless, but we were unorganized the whole second half,” said Boston coach Doc Rivers. “Miami got into our air space and took us out of everything. Their defensive energy took over.” James’ three-point basket with 37 seconds to play in regulation sent the contest into overtime, before the league Most Valuable Player fouled out with about two minutes left in the extra session. “In overtime, when you lose one of your big options ... we were just trying to survive,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. “It was a heck of a second half, but it certainly wasn’t a heck of a game. You have to be collectively willing to get into the pit and get your hands dirty. In

the second half we really got into the grind, into the fight.” Paul Pierce top scored for Boston with 23 points before being benched in overtime after a sixth foul. “It was like chess. They took our queen and then we took their queen,” Boston guard Ray Allen said of the early departures of Pierce and James. Veteran Celtics center Kevin Garnett added 17 points and 14 rebounds - 11 of them defensive. “Kevin’s our best defender. That’s not a secret. He’s our best communicator, he’s our best defensive rebounder. He does it all,” Celtics guard Rajon Rondo said of his team mate. It was Rondo, though, who steadied the side after Pierce’s exit, posting the team’s final three points to finish with 15 for the game and 15 assists. James led the Heat with 29 points. Wade had 20 points and chipped in with what Spoelstra termed “ferocious” defense. Each team has now won twice on their home court. The action returns to Miami for Game Five on Tuesday. “We look forward to going back home to our own fans,” said James. “We’ve just got to come out with a sense of urgency this is what the post-season is all about.” -Reuters

team management’s request to keep him we have decided he should be retained for the ODI series,” chief selector Iqbal Qasim said. Last month, Pakistan selectors launched a policy of separate specialist squads for Twenty20, one-dayers and tests. Tanvir, who has taken 55 one-day wickets in 43 matches, was initially only

picked for the Twenty20 series which ended 1-1 at the weekend. Eight of the players who took part in the Twenty20 matches will return home while captain Misbah-ul-Haq, Younus Khan, Aizaz Cheema, Imran Farhat, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Abdul Rehman, Hammad Azam will join the one-day squad. The one-day series begins on Thursday in Pallekele in Kandy. -Reuters

Pakistan’s Sohail Tanvir (right) bowls during a practice session ahead of their second Twenty20 cricket match against Sri Lanka in Hambantota, about 240km south of Colombo June 2, 2012. (Reuters)


Football

SPORTS

Germans arrive at Euro 2012 in confident mood

TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012

US held to goalless draw by Canada

TORONTO: The United States failed to seize momentum for World Cup qualifying when they were held 0-0 by Canada on Sunday in a soccer exhibition in Toronto. The match was the third of a threegame stretch of friendly matches designed to prepare the US for qualifying, beginning on Friday. After routing Scotland 5-1 on May 26, they lost to Brazil 4-1 on Wednesday and came up short on in a match they had been expected to win. Canada have not beaten the US since 1985 and it was no great shock that they failed to break through in front of a home crowd.

The US controlled most of the action and outshot their opponents 12-9, though their greatest scoring chances may have come in extra time. Clarence Goodson had two great chances in stoppage time, including a header from a free kick that was blocked by Canadian goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld, while Jermaine Jones also had a shot blocked. Though they extended their unbeaten run against Canada to 15 matches, the US will not take many positives from the clash heading into their June eight qualifier against Antigua & Barbuda at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. -Reuters

German national soccer players Philipp Lahm and Andre Schuerrle (left) warm up during a training session in Tourrettes, southern France, May 28, 2012. (Reuters)

GDANSK, Poland: Germany arrived in Gdansk for Euro 2012 on Monday with key midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger having received a clean bill of health and coach Joachim Loew in a confident mood. “The longing for a title is as great as ever in all of us. We will do everything to win it,” said Loew before his team arrived at their secluded five star hotel. Germany are based in the Baltic port of Gdansk, Poland, for the duration of Euro 2012, which starts on Friday with the final in Kiev on July 1, with all their Group B games taking place in Ukraine. The Germans have had minor set backs in their final preparations after a largely second string team suffered a shock 5-3 defeat to Switzerland at the end of May, while midfield star Schweinsteiger has been trying to recover from a calf strain. The 27-year-old is in a core group of players central to Loew’s hopes of bringing home a fourth European crown, having last lifted the title in 1996 after also winning the 1972 and 1980 tournaments. Schweinsteiger strained his left calf a fortnight ago when Bayern Munich lost the Champions League final 4-3 on penalties to Chelsea as his missed spot-kick in the shoot-out helped the Blues seal victory. Germany are amongst the pre-tournament favorites and open their campaign in Lviv, Ukraine,

on Saturday against Portugal with Schweinsteiger having been given the green light to play. “Bastian has no problems, no more pain,” German team doctor Hans-Wilhelm MuellerWohlfahrt told Munich-based newspaper TZ after Schweinsteiger spent the weekend relaxing in Italy with his model girlfriend Sarah Brandner. “He will be treated further and we assume he will train with the team for the first time on Monday. “Of course, he has a bit of catching up to do, but I assume he will be fully fit to face Portugal.” After giving his players the weekend to relax before the three-week long tournament, Loew was upbeat. “There is no reason not to look forward to these championships,” said the 52-year-old, who will be looking to land his first trophy as German coach after taking them to the Euro 2008 final and third at the 2010 World Cup. “We’re ready, we’ve trained well and we are happy that it’s about to start. “On Friday, we will decide who will play against Portugal with plenty of enthusiasm.” With the quartet of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Goetze, Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker, Lazio striker Miroslav Klose and Schweinsteiger all returning from recent injuries, Loew still has a few decisions to make. Should Schweinsteiger fail to be fit in time,

Bayern team-mate Toni Kroos is most likely to partner Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira in the defensive midfield role. As he did in last Thursday’s 2-0 friendly win against Israel, captain Philipp Lahm is set to start on the left with his Bayern team-mate Jerome Boateng on the right. Loew needs to choose between Dortmund’s Mats Hummels, Bayern’s Holger Badstuber and Mertesacker for the two places available at centreback. For the single striker berth, Bayern’s Mario Gomez is vying with Lazio veteran Klose, who turns 34 on Saturday, and is just five goals short of Gerd Mueller’s all-time record for Germany of 68 in 62 appearances. Loew has promised his players an intense week of training with Holland and Denmark still to come in Group B after Portugal and several thousand German fans expected to watch Monday evening’s training session here. “We need to be very focused this week, there is still much work ahead of us,” said Loew. Having flown the Germans from Frankfurt to Gdansk in one of Lufthansa’s flagship Boeing 7478s, pilot Peter Haenzel said he hoped he could also fly them home as European champions. “I hope that I will be allowed to fly them home on July 2 after the final in Kiev,” he said as part of his onboard announcement. -AFP

M’Vila ‘much better’, says Blanc

France’s national soccer team coach Laurent Blanc reacts during a news conference at Clairefontaine, near Paris June 4, 2012. (Reuters)

PARIS: France coach Laurent Blanc said on Monday that injured midfielder Yann M’Vila was doing ���much better”, but refused to speculate on whether he will be fit to face England in France’s Euro 2012 opener on June 11. “He’s doing better, much better,” said Blanc. “He’s an important element. There’s also the injury to Blaise (Matuidi), which is going in the right direction. “They’re significant injuries and it’ll be very tight for the first match but there’s still a chance of a pleasant surprise.” M’Vila, 21, injured his right ankle in the first minute of France’s 2-0 friendly win over Serbia on Thursday and had to leave the pitch moments later. An MRI scan on Sunday revealed the Rennes holding midfielder had sustained a “moderately serious” sprain. Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Matuidi has strained a muscle in his right thigh. France complete their Euro 2012 preparations with a friendly game against Estonia in Le Mans on Tuesday evening. -AFP

Bellamy claims he will get Olympic call-up

LONDON: Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy claimed on Monday that he will be included in the Great Britain men’s football squad at the London Olympics later this year. Team GB coach Stuart Pearce can name three players over the age of 23 in his squad for the tournament and 32-year-old Bellamy insists he has been told he will be one of those overage stars. “I am in the Olympic squad, but I was supposed to keep it quiet,” Bellamy told The Sun. “It’s a different challenge. I had a difficult season with Liverpool but the Olympics is a one-off.” Pearce is due to name his 18-man squad this month and Bellamy, who has won 69 caps for Wales, is competing with the likes of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Joe Cole to fill the over-age berths. The men’s side take on Senegal in their opening Olympic group fixture on July 26 and also face United Arab Emirates on July 29 and Uruguay on August first. -AFP

Herculez Gomez (left) of the US battles for the ball against Canada’s Kevin McKenna during the first half of their international friendly soccer match in Toronto June 3, 2012. (Reuters)

Kalinic to replace injured Olic at Euro 2012 ZAGREB: Croatia’s Nikola Kalinic was called up on Monday to the Euro 2012 squad to replace veteran striker Ivica Olic as scans showed Olic’s right thigh injury was more serious than first feared. Ultrasound and MR scans performed on 32-year-old Olic in Munich earlier Monday showed a partial rupture of a right thigh muscle, the Croatian squad doctor said. “The injury that did not seem serious unfortunately proved to be a serious one,” squad doctor Zoran Bahtijarevic said in a statement issued by the national football federation. “Such an injury requires a recovery of between four and six weeks so Olic was dropped from the list at the last moment,” he added. Croatia coach Slaven Bilic called up 24-year-old Kalinic, who plays for Ukrainian side Dnepropetrovsk, as a replace-

ment, the federation said. Olic, who will play for Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg next season after signing from Bayern Munich, suffered the injury during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Norway in Oslo. It is the latest in a long line of injuries that Olic has been plagued by in the past two years as he has also been dogged by knee problems and a hip injury. Croatia - for whom Olic was a key member in Euro 2008 when they reached the quarter-finals - face a tough task in progressing from their group as they have been drawn in Group C with champions Spain, Italy, and the Republic of Ireland. The former Yugoslav republic play their first match at the championship, hosted jointly by Poland and Ukraine, against Ireland on June 10 in Poznan, Poland. -AFP

FILE- Croatian’s Nikola Kalinic (center) celebrates with teammates during their friendly soccer match against Estonia at Aldo Drosina Stadium in Pula May 25, 2012. (Reuters)

Norwich plan European search for new boss

LONDON: Norwich chief executive David McNally plans to target European bosses in his search for a right man to replace Paul Lambert. Lambert is set to be unveiled as Aston Villa manager on Wednesday after walking out on Norwich and McNally has already started to compile a short-list of potential successors. Norwich have been strongly linked with Cardiff manager Malky Mackay, but rather than be constrained by a search of domestic bosses, McNally is aiming high and he wants to see if any European candidates fit their requirements. Although they finished an impressive 12th in their first season back in the Premier League, Norwich are still regarded as one of the top flight’s minnows, but McNally is convinced the Carrow Road post could be attractive to overseas coaches. “The search is certainly a European search,” McNally told the

Eastern Daily Press. “I don’t think the candidate necessarily has to have Premier League experience - but they have to have top-league experience. “If, for example, you have managed in Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga, they are some of the toughest leagues in the world too. “So why on earth if there is a candidate in one of those leagues who was available and we felt was right for us should we say no to them just because they haven’t managed in the Premier League? “We have names in mind, of course, and we are now thinking deeply, and long into the night, about the characteristics that the new manager must have. “They include hunger, commitment, desire, and then the usual things that we look for when we appointed Paul - knowledge, skill, relevant experience and then the glue which holds it all together, which is attitude.” -AFP


June 5, 2012