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THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

@alwatandaily

Issue No. 1458

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www.alwatandaily.com

150 Fils with IHT

Amir rejects Awqaf minister’s resignation

Death penalty for religious offences turned down Staff Writer and Agencies

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Minister of Awqaf, Islamic Affairs and Justice Minister Jamal Al-Shehab’s resignation was rejected by His Highness the Amir on Wednesday. The resignation that was tendered Tuesday was earlier announced on Wednesday by Information Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdallah Al-Sabah. In response to reporters on the matter after a National Assembly session, the Information Minister said, “yes, Minister Al-Shehab presented his resignation papers yesterday to His Highness the Prime Minister.” Sheikh Mohammad continued to refuse to elaborate on rumors of an upcoming ministerial rotation. Meanwhile, the man in question, Minister Al-Shehab said he was honored to have met His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, who “understood the grounds for my resignation, but the Amir has refused them and has urged me to continue serving this nation through upholding the rights of the people and delivering religion a moderate manner.” “I have only but to agree and to appreciate this high trust bestowed upon me, pledging sincerity and earnestness to the esteemed government, headed by the Prime Minister”, he added. Moreover, the Amir refused to sign a bill passed by Parliament stipulating the death penalty for major religious offences, sources in the assembly said Wednesday. The government has sent the bill back

to Parliament on Wednesday, sources said, indicating that it had been rejected by the Amir. The Amir has the power to refuse bills passed by the elected Parliament, but the assembly can override the rejection by passing the bill again with a two-thirds majority of the house membership of 49 MPs and 16 Cabinet ministers. The bill, passed by Parliament last month, stipulates that Muslims who curse God, the Muslim holy book The Quran, all prophets and the wives of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed will be punished by death or life in jail. The bill introduced two new articles to Kuwait’s penal code specifically to stiffen penalties for such offences. NonMuslims who commit the same offence face a jail term of not less than 10 years, according to the bill. Defendants who repent in court will be spared the death penalty, but will get a jail sentence for five years and a fine of $36,000 or one of them, while repentance by those who repeat the crime is not acceptable, the bill says. The move to harden penalties for religious crimes came after authorities in March arrested Shiite tweeter Hamad Al-Naqi for allegedly cursing the Prophet Mohammed, his wife Aisha and some companions. Al-Naqi was on Monday sentenced by the lower court to 10 years in jail, according to his lawyer Khaled Al-Shatti who said he will challenge the term in the appeals court. Kuwaiti courts have in the past several months jailed activists from both sects over religious offences.

Finance Ministry considers all details involved in questioning of Al-Shamali

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Space shuttle Enterprise floats to New York museum home

Sectarian tensions have flared in Kuwait between the Sunni majority and Shiites, who form about a third of the native population of 1.17 million, reflecting rising regional tensions between the two Islamic sects. Offences including drug trafficking and murder earn the death penalty in Kuwait. However, the last execution was implemented in May 2007. With regards to the two motions filed to grill the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Ahmad Al-Rujaib, the latter is said to have accepted the idea of merging the two motions and having them discussed in one session. According to press reports, the minister initially agreed to the discussion of MP Riyadh Al-Adsani’s interpellation during the June 19 session, one day ahead of the discussion of MP Al-Saifi Al-Saifi’s interpellation, but he later backtracked announcing that the two motions can be discussed in a single session. In this vein, Al-Adsani insisted that the minister should step up to the podium to face questioning, and that he shouldn’t avoid being grilled. “If he evades the grilling, I will then file another motion to question the prime minister,” the MP warned. Al-Adsani made it clear that he will not accept the merger of the two motions. Likewise, MP Al-Saifi stated that he is vehemently opposed to the idea of merging the two interpellation motions, and charged that there was a government conspiracy against him, which according to him, was countered by MPs Musallam Al-Barrak and Faisal Al-Mislem. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

This image provided by NASA shows the Solar Dynamic Observatory’s ultra-high definition view of Venus, black dot at top center, passing in front of the sun on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. The next transit of Venus won’t be for another 105 years. (Inset) People use eclipse glasses to watch the planet Venus transiting across the sun, at the eastern Gulf coast town of Qatif, Saudi Arabia June 6, 2012. (Agencies) More on 8

Suicide bombers kill 23 civilians at Afghan market

Egypt’s Mubarak likely to be moved to hospital

CAIRO: Hosni Mubarak’s health has deteriorated since the Egyptian ex-president was sent to prison on Saturday and it is likely he will moved to a hospital outside the jail where he is being held, the state news agency reported on Wednesday. Mubarak, 84, was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the killing of hundreds of protesters during last year’s popular uprising. He was moved to Tora prison in Cairo. Mubarak was given artificial respiration five times in recent hours and doctors treating him recommended he be moved to a military hospital or back to the medical facility he was in prior to his conviction, security officials said. “Official sources saw as likely the pos-

sibility of his transfer to a military hospital ... based on a medical recommendation from the doctors treating him,” the state agency MENA reported. A medical committee from the Interior Ministry visited Mubarak and concluded that he had suffered several “heart crises” and that his medical committee was deteriorating, the security sources told Reuters. The report from the committee said that if the prison is not prepared to deal with Mubarak, then he should be transferred. The deposed leader was suffering from nervous shock and an increase in his blood pressure, reported MENA, summarizing the findings of a medical team More on 3 which examined him.

US, India must improve ties with Pakistan, says Panetta

The Space Shuttle Enterprise passes lower Manhattan and the still under construction 1 World Trade Center tower (Center) as it rides on a barge in New York harbor, June 6, 2012. The Space Shuttle Enterprise was being moved up the Hudson River to be placed at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. (Reuters)

NEW YORK: The space shuttle Enterprise, strapped to a barge, cruised past the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday on its way to its new home at a museum on New York’s Hudson River. For a shuttle that never made it into space, Enterprise has had quite a journey. In April, hundreds of tourists and New Yorkers watched in awe as Enterprise flew over the city piggy-backed on a Boeing 747 Jumbo jet. Enterprise drew more crowds on Wednesday on the banks of the Hudson to watch the NASA spacecraft make its final approach to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Manhattan’s west side. Despite never flying in space, Enterprise holds a special place in American history having been the first of NASA’s space shuttles. In 1977 it was used for a series of approach and landing tests during a nine-month period. Enterprise was originally to be named Constitution in honor of the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. However, a fierce letter-writing campaign by Star Trek fans convinced White House officials to rename the shuttle Enterprise after the fictitious spaceship that Captain Kirk and Mr Spock flew to the frontlines of an intergalactic battle with the Klingons on the popular TV show. Experts say Enterprise captured the hearts and minds of many by embodying the best of American ingenuity. In April last year NASA announced it would retire its space shuttle fleet to locations in New York,Virginia, California and Florida. It decided that Discovery would take Enterprise’s place at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Virginia and that Enterprise would be brought to New York. -Reuters

NEW DELHI: The US and India must overcome deep differences with Pakistan to bolster peace and security in South Asia, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told an Indian conference. Panetta met with Indian leaders Tuesday and Wednesday and said he urged them to provide additional support to Afghanistan, including trade, reconstruction and assistance for the Afghan security forces. His visit comes here as US tensions with Pakistan, India’s archrival, continue to fray, strained by persistent CIA drone attacks against insurgents inside Pakistan’s borders. His speech struck a con-

ciliatory tone but also acknowledged the rocky relations with Pakistan. “Pakistan is a complicated relationship, complicated for both of our countries but it is one that we must continue to work to improve,” Panetta said. “India and the United States will need to continue to engage Pakistan, overcoming our respective - and often deep - differences with Pakistan to make all of South Asia peaceful and prosperous.” He said he welcomed steps that India and Pakistan have taken to normalize trade relations as key to resolving their differences and a way to help Pakistan counter extremism More on 5 within its borders.

Sheryl Crow says not worried by benign brain tumor

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Five banks lead Zain Saudi’s $2.5bn syndicated loan: Bankers

LONDON/DUBAI: Zain Saudi Arabia, the country’s third-largest mobile operator, has mandated Al Rajhi Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, Credit Agricole, Arab National Bank and Standard Chartered to lead the refinancing of its $2.5 billion Islamic syndicated loan that matures in July, bankers close to the deal said. Saudi British Bank, National Bank of Kuwait and Gulf Bank are also expected to join the five-year facility, which includes different pricing for the US dollar and Saudi riyal tranches. Further syndication is unlikely, with the deal scheduled to sign by mid-July, the bankers added. Pricing is below the 425 basis points (bps) margin on the original Murabaha loan from 2009 that backed the company’s network expansion, one banker said. The original deal consisted of $775 million and 6.46 billion Saudi riyals ($1.72 billion) tranches, with bookrunners Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Corp, Banque Saudi Fransi and Credit Agricole CIB. Zain Saudi was not immediately available for comment. The company, an affiliate of Kuwait’s Zain, extended the maturity for the original deal -- which was three years and four months -- by six months to 27 July in January and started eyeing the refinancing in February. Meanwhile, Zain Saudi’s 6 billion riyal ($1.6 billion) rights issue is being underwritten by five banks, after the company received regulatory approval in May to cut its share capital to 4.8 billion riyals from 14 billion. The telecoms operator posted an 11 percent decline in losses in January, bringing the firm’s accumulated losses to about 9.6 billion riyals, around twothirds of the company’s 14 billion riyals of share capital. -Reuters

Uruguay go second in FIFA world rankings

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Disney to ban junk-food ads on TV channels, websites

PARIS: The Walt Disney Company, in a first for a US media giant, said Tuesday it will ban junk-food advertising on its TV channels and websites from 2015 to help fight obesity among US children. “This new initiative is truly a game changer for the health of our children,” said First Lady Michelle Obama, a champion of better eating for young people who attended Disney’s landmark announcement in Washington. “This is a major American company, a global brand, that is literally changing the way it does business so that our kids can lead healthier lives,” she said. In a statement, Disney said all food

and drinks advertised on Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney, and Disney-owned children’s websites would, from 2015, be required to meet its own nutrition guidelines. The rules will also apply during Saturday morning cartoons on the ABC stations owned by Disney, which reach one in four American households from New York to Los Angeles. “The nutrition guidelines are aligned to federal standards, promote fruit and vegetable consumption and call for limiting calories and reducing saturated fat, sodium, and sugar,” it said. More on 9

This image made available by LOCOG shows torchbearers 007 John, (left) and Edward Grimes aka Jedward carrying the Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg through Dublin, Ireland Wednesday June 6, 2012. (AP)


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ALWATAN DAILY

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THURSday, JUNE 7, 2012

Finance Ministry considers all details involved in questioning of Al-Shamali KUWAIT: Acting Finance Minister Bader Al-Hajraf stressed on Wednesday that the ministry is considering all details related to the interpellation of the former minister Mustafa AlShamali, and is ready to implement whatever reform measures necessary in view of the final recommendations of the National Assembly. The Minister of Education and Higher Education and Acting Minister of Finance was addressing the National Assembly after reading the recommendations. He said the ministry had created a Fatwa and Legislation committee to consider the grilling dossier, the replies, the recommendations, and all details and technical factors involved. The team is to present a report to the minister of finance within three months. However, he pointed out “there were certain points of overlap with the competencies of the executive authority. “We hope the ministerial committee assigned to consider the items of the interpellation and the recommendations would be given the chance to consider all sides of this issue and we would, after the said three months, present our final report to the assembly,” Al-Hajraf remarked. Minister of Electricity and Power Abdelaziz Al-Ibrahim meanwhile criticized the

recommendation regarding Al-Zour station, as it involved stopping procedures for constructing the station and consequently delay launch of the first phase of its operation. This means loss of a potential 4,800 megawatt of power in output, he said. The Zour station was to start operation in 2013 and the ministry had completed the procedures for floating the tender, but all was put to a stop upon issue of law 39/2010 and the dossier was handed to the development initiatives authority, which in turn completed procedures according to specifications of said law. “Therefore, all procedures involved in the project are legitimate and correct.” “Putting a stick in the wheels now would cause power deficit and outage, particularly in new residential areas ... Our figures show annual increase in power consumption by 6-8 percent. If output fails to keep up, we would have to resort to scheduled outages,” the minister warned. “We are willing to sit down with any party still concerned about this issue, and we are willing to answer inquiries, but passing this recommendation would have a detrimental effect for every single citizen,” he reiterated. The National Assembly passed 10 recommendations following discussions on articles of

the interpellation sheet against Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mustafa AlShamali in his official capacity, filed by MPs Khalid Al-Tahous, Abdelrahman Al-Anjiri, and Musallam Al-Barrak. The first recommendation is to re-form management at the Public Institution for Social Security, and that the new management reconsiders all regulations and decisions regarding the institution’s investments in Kuwait and abroad. The new board is also to introduce a new internal audit system that would ensure management is informed of all financial activities while also making the supervisory duty of the Audit Bureau easier “within a maximum of three months as of issue of this recommendation.” The second recommendation is for the cabinet to task two international and locallyaccredited audit offices to prepare two separate reports on said investments. It was stressed the reports should include recommendations as to suspected or proven violations and also regarding the institution’s laws and regulations. Recommending whether to proceed with or exit each investment, the reports should be presented within a maximum of six months from

Staff Writer

KUWAIT: One of the recommendations made by the committee assigned to come up with practical and appropriate solutions to the problem of disused and damaged tires, stacked up in the city of Rahyya in the southern area of Jahra, is to bring in some sort of a machine which would shred those tries into pieces and then sell them as crude material. The committee was formed following the direct instructions of the Minister of Water and Electricity and State Minister for Municipal Affairs Abdulaziz AlIbrahim after the controversial ablaze in the tire pits some weeks ago. Sources confirmed to Al Watan that the assigned committee had ended its work and that it passed its recommendations to the Minister Al-Ibrahim, who in turn has passed to the Cabinet on Monday. Another recommendation made by the committee is to use the disused tires as fuel for the Kuwait Cement Company instead of using proper fuel. Either way, the committee called on the Cabinet to come up with rules

and regulations which would deal with the disused tires as the last statistics for them had reached 80 thousand tires are being disused each month. The committee proposed that such rules and regulations would be pertinent and within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Public Authority for the Environment, Public Authority for the Industry, Kuwait Municipality, and the Firefighters Public Authority. The committee further has attributed the blaze to “bureaucracy” in the concerned state departments, as well as the tedious and long paper work involved in matters of such nature. The report also pointed out that the Municipal Council has not allocated any plots of land for disused and damaged tires, where treatment of such increase waste can be done for the local industry. Minister of Water and Electricity and State Minister for Municipal Affairs Abdulaziz Al-Ibrahim had previously instructed that a committee would be set up to look into the nature of the issue and come up with recommendations and solutions for the huge piles of damaged and disused tires in the city of Rahyya.

Egypt Air increase its trips to 3 flights per day

FILE - Undated photo obtained from Kuwait’s Airport Website shows the departure lounge. Egypt Air increased its trips from Kuwait to three per day. Sami Wadi

Staff Writer

KUWAIT: The new Regional Director of Egypt Air in Kuwait Ali Mahrous unveiled that the company has increased its flights from Kuwait to Cairo to three. He pointed out that the three additional flights can carry 620 passengers per-day. He released his statement during a celebration held by the company last week on the occasion of seeing off the former director Ayman Ismael Fareed and receiving the new director Ali Mahrous. The director affirmed that the company has increased the number of flights in order to meet the high demand of passengers to Egypt, especially during the summer season, adding that the company might assign more additional flights if necessary. Mahrous disclosed that the company, according

to the new schedule, will have 35 flights a week given that it has also increased its flights to Alexandria to five per week. The company has also decided to assign four flights a week to Suhaj in addition to 3 flights to Assuit and two other flights to Luxor, as a result the company has 35 flights a week. The company also attempts to get an approval from Civil Aviation Department to enable the company to weigh the luggage of passengers at the plane and such step aims at decreasing pressure on the counter of weighing luggage at the airport, said Mahrous. He added that the company has endorsed all required procedures to face the expected pressure when expats return to Kuwait at the beginning of the next school year. He appealed all passengers to abide to regulations and avoiding taking any handbags that weigh more than seven kilos on board of the plane.

Summer vacation for students to last up to 4 months Khalifa Al-Rabaia and Abdulaziz Al-Fadhli Staff Writer

KUWAIT: The Undersecretary of Ministry of Education and Higher Education Tamadur Al-Sidairawi approved postponing the beginning of the next school year, in attempt to have the national holiday celebrations coincide with the spring school vacation. The new step also aims at decreasing the rate of absence. As a result, students will have a longer summer vacation this year as schools are expected to start after the Eid holidays on Sept. 23. The Elementary school students will enjoy the longest vacation in comparison to Middle and High school

students. Elementary will start schools on Sept. 17 High school students started their exams on Wednesday and are expected to begin their academic year on Sept. 23 as well. Meanwhile, Al-Watan published a few days ago an article indicating that the supervisory task allowances might be deducted; therefore eligible persons may not receive those allowances. Eligible persons include principles and supervisors at the Ministry of Education. Meanwhile, Al-Sedairawi said in a press statement that the ministry will address the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to pursue paying the allowances until the Fatwa and Legislation Department issues a memorandum in this concern.

for law 39/2010 and amendments thereof. Seventh among the recommendations was for all ministers concerned to look into the article concerning livestock price rigging and suspected customs evasion where Livestock Transport and Trading Company is concerned. Eighth was a call for a cabinet inquiry into violations regarding state property in relation to contracts of Touristic Enterprises Company in view of the decline in revenue to the state treasury, as indicated during the grilling. The assembly called for all measures required to render contracts in violation null and to refloat tenders, if desirable. Ninth was a call for cabinet to task the Higher Planning Council with a thorough consideration of the off-set investments dossier in terms of legal and administrative structure, and whether the off-set program is meeting its objectives. The assembly also called for the Higher Planning Council to present proposals for improvement, within a maximum of six months of issue of this recommendation. Last was a demand the cabinet open a full investigation into all items on the interpellation sheet against the former minister, ahead of forwarding the issue to the ministerial court, as befitting the findings of the inquiry. -KUNA

Amir rejects Awqaf minister’s resignation

Committee recommends shredding disused tires in Rahyya Ibtisam Said

the National Assembly’s recommendation. Third was the proposal to prolong suspension from duties of the institution chairman, as well as all those found involved in violations, and to sustain the suspension till issue of final rulings in all related legal suits. The fourth recommendation was for a cabinet inquiry regarding containers sent to foreign and Arab embassies, referred to in the interpellation sheet, and for all those involved to face trial. The fifth recommendation was for the Central Bank of Kuwait to conduct inquiry with local banks and their affiliate bodies which are involved in lending activities to local clients, and for the findings to presented to the Finance Minister who in turn forwards them to the cabinet and National Assembly. “This should take place within a maximum of four months from approval of recommendation.” Sixth was a demand all procedures regarding founding Kuwaiti shareholding companies to handle construction and management of power and water stations (Al-Zour station) be put on hold, and for a cabinet inquiry into suspected violations referred to in the interpellation sheet. The assembly also recommended a re-consideration of implementation guidelines

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Wading in the fray, MP Abdulhameed Dashti said that Al-Rujaib is entitled to having Al-Adsani’s interpellation discussed before Al-Saifi’s, adding that the minister had been, however, intimidated by the Majority. In another development, the Parliament witnessed a heated debate over the measures constituted by the Minister of Housing Shuaib Al-Muwaizri which led to the dismissal of the Manager of the saving and Credit Bank Salah Al-Mudhaff. In his reaction, the minister was adamant that he discharged his duties after he came to know the magnitudes of corruption and malpractices involving the bank manager. Al-Muwaizri expressed regret that the issue has been personalized and turned into one involving the urban versus the Bedouin.

Minister of Awqaf, Islamic Affairs and Justice Minister Jamal Al-Shehab. (KUNA)

Amir launches marine environment protection campaign KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, in the presence of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, inaugurated on Wednesday the national campaign to preserve the marine environment ‘Sinyar 6’ at Bayan Palace. The Amir received President of the Voluntary Work Center Sheikha Amthal Al-AhmadAl-JaberAl-Sabah, who was accompanied by the voluntary diving team members of the Sinyar 6 Campaign. The Amir praised their efforts in protecting the marine environment. He encouraged them to keep up the good work and to set an example for others to follow. He also stressed the importance of cooperative efforts to preserve the environment and to spread awareness among members of the society.

The team presented a commemorative gift to the Amir and the Crown Prince, during the meeting attended by National Assembly Speaker Ahmad Al-Sadoun, the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affaris Sheikh Ali Jarrah AlSabah and other state officials. President of the Voluntary Work Center Sheikha Amthal expressed pride of Kuwaiti youth in their efforts towards preserving the environment. After meeting His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who inaugurated the national campaign to preserve the marine environment at Bayan Palace on Wednesday, Sheikha Amthal said that this would encourage others to get involved in voluntary environmental work. On his part, Deputy President of Training at the Voluntary

Work Center Hussain Bader Al-Qallaf noted that many projects have been accomplished through Sinyar 6. “There were four projects presented to the Amir today at the inauguration ceremony. The first porject was a guidebook for diving spots in the country as well as a marine map that shows the aesthetic features of Kuwaiti islands Garouh, Um Al-Maradim and Kubbar.” Launched after three years of study, the second is a turtle reservation while the third is an international curriculum taught at the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) with the fourth being an underwater photography curriculum, he concluded. Two accredited certificates from NAUI were presented to Their Highnesses the Amir and the Crown Prince, Al-Qallaf added. -KUNA

Education Ministry denies allocating land for building church

Picture shows the Church located in Kuwait City on Wednesday, June 6, 2012. (Al Watan) Abdulaziz Al-Fadli

Staff Writer

KUWAIT: Owner of Wathaker Center Sheikh Sayed Fuad Al-Refai condemned the news that reported the Ministry of Education allocating a piece of land for building the new Coptic Church in Hawalli. However, the Ministry of Education denied the news. Education Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Planning and Information Sector Dr. Khaled Al-Rashid confirmed that all lands allocated for the ministry will be used for building educa-

tional facilities, according to the plan endorsed by the ministry. Al-Rashid explained that the “church had two sites near the Sheraton Hotel, but one of them was removed due to the expansion of the First Ring Road so the Municipality allocated another piece of land for the church. He added that the allocated site is adjacent to a piece of the land allocated for the ministry in Hawalli. Al-Rashid said that some construction materials were stored in the site allocated for the ministries while building

the church, but have been removed after completing the construction work. Sheikh Al-Refai had earlier made a statement in which he commented on news reported by a local newspaper, indicating that the ministry gave up a piece of land for the church. He said that it is impermissible to build new churches regardless of the change of conditions and circumstances. Al-Refai said that officials and the people are required to apply Sharia. He appealed to all officials to issue decisions which are compatible with Sharia.


ALWATAN DAILY

WORLD

thurSdAY, June 7, 2012

Killers of demonstrators

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US backs strong UN sanctions on Syria Al-Assad names new PM, army pounds rebels

By Hossam Fathi

Egyptians who use social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter published thousands of jokes since the beginning of the Egyptian revolution. A lot of jokes revolve about acquitting the killers of demonstrators as well as jailing demonstrators. They were laughing while exchanging such jokes because they have never believed that jokes will embody reality one day! Gradually they started witnessing jokes becoming reality within a short time. The nightmare which Egypt is still living has occurred at the hands of the followers of the Mubarak regime, and we can’t say the former regime because its members still play an effective role in the political arena. The latest joke that came out says that the presidential candidate Ahmad Shafiq accused the Muslim Brotherhood Movement of being supported by the former, or rather Mubarak’s regime!! The candidate has also accused the movement of killing demonstrators at Tahrir Square during the revolution! The candidate who was holding the position of the prime minister during the revolution said that he did not participate in killing demonstrators, seeing as he held the position for no more than 12 hours before the crime of the Tahrir Square storming with camels had occurred. He affirmed that the members of the movement were shooting people because they were present at the top of buildings which surround the square. hossam@alwatan.com.kw Twitter:@hossamfathy66

Egypt’s Mubarak likely to be moved to hospital: Agency

CAIRO: Hosni Mubarak’s health has deteriorated since the Egyptian ex-president was sent to prison on Saturday and it is likely he will moved to a hospital outside the jail where he is being held, the state news agency reported on Wednesday. Mubarak, 84, was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the killing of hundreds of protesters during last year’s popular uprising. He was moved to Tora prison in Cairo. Mubarak was given artificial respiration five times in recent hours and doctors treating him recommended he be moved to a military hospital or back to the medical facility he was in prior to his conviction, security officials said. “Official sources saw as likely the possibility of his transfer to a military hospital ... based on a medical recommendation from the doctors treating him,” the state agency MENA reported. A medical committee from the Interior Ministry visited Mubarak and concluded that he had suffered several “heart crises” and that his medical committee was deteriorating, the security sources told Reuters. The report from the committee said that if the prison is not prepared to deal with Mubarak, then he should be transferred. The deposed leader was suffering from nervous shock and an increase in his blood pressure, reported MENA, summarizing the findings of a medical team which examined him. He is currently in an intensive care unit inside prison. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court is to sit just two days before a presidential election runoff to review the legality of a law that had threatened to bar one of the two remaining candidates, a spokesman said on Wednesday. “The court has scheduled June 14 as the date for its hearing on the appeal lodged by the electoral commission concerning the law,” court spokesman Maher Sami told the state MENA news agency. Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, is due to square off in the runoff on June 16-17 against the frontrunner from the first round, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi. The former premier was initially disqualified from standing in the election in accordance with a law passed by the Islamist-dominated parliament in April barring top Mubarak-era officials from running for public office. But in late April the electoral commission accepted an appeal from Shafiq against his disqualification and the case was referred to the court. -Agencies

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT: The United States gave its backing Wednesday to the Arab League’s proposal to invoke the United Nations’ tough Chapter 7 sanctions against the Syrian regime. “We the United States hope that all responsible countries will soon join in taking appropriate actions against the Syrian regime, including, if necessary, Chapter 7 action in the UN Security Council, as called for by the Arab League last weekend,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said. The US is focused on boosting international economic sanctions against Syria “that can help hasten the day the Assad regime relinquishes power,” Geithner said. Arab League ministers at a meeting on Saturday in Doha urged the United Nations to invoke Chapter 7 to raise pressure on Damascus. But both the Arab League and the United States have consistent opposed international military intervention in the Syria crisis. “We have not asked for any military action,” said Arab League chief Nabil Al-Arabi on Saturday. On the country’s political front, Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad named a Baath Party stalwart to form a new government on Wednesday, signaling no political concessions to a 15-monthold uprising, as helicopters and tanks pounded rebels near the Mediterranean coast. The appointment of Riyad Hijab, agriculture minister in the outgoing government, as prime minister follows a parliamentary election last month which authorities said was a step towards political reform but which opponents dismissed as a sham. “We expected Al-Assad to play a game and appoint a nominal independent but he chose a hardcore Baathist,” said opposition campaigner Najati Tayyara. The new government, like its predecessors, would wield no real power, he added. “The cabinet is just for show in Syria and even more so now, with the security apparatus totally taking over.” Activists said army helicopters and tanks attacked rebel positions in the coastal province of Latakia for a second day on Wednesday, in the heaviest clashes there since the revolt against AlAssad erupted in March last year. The relentless violence has shredded an eight-week-old ceasefire deal brokered by former United Nations chief Kofi Annan. Rebels, who say they are no longer bound by the accord,

A handout image released by the Syrian opposition’s Shaam News Network on June 6 2012, shows people holding up a banner depicting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad chopping up a body and which reads in Arabic, “Thank you” during an anti-regime demonstration in the town of Kfar Nubul. (AFP)

have killed 100 soldiers this week, according to one monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Russia called for a broad international meeting, including regional powers Turkey and Iran, the Arab League, European Union and major UN Security Council members, to rescue Annan’s plan. The British-based Observatory said rebels seized control of police and intelligence buildings in the Latakia town of Selma overnight, before army reinforcements arrived at dawn. The soldiers killed a rebel captain in Selma and six civilians in Haffeh, a mostly Sunni Muslim area where clashes have been most intense, it said.

Iran says hopes to conclude nuclear deal with IAEA soon

VIENNA: A senior Iranian official expressed hope on Wednesday that his country and the UN nuclear watchdog would soon be able to seal a framework agreement to resume a stalled investigation into Tehran’s disputed atomic activities. Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh spoke two days before he is due to meet senior UN nuclear agency officials in Vienna in an attempt to finalize the accord aimed at unblocking the agency’s probe into suspected atomic bomb research in the Islamic state. Western diplomats say they doubt that Iran, which they often accuse of seeking to buy time for its nuclear program, will implement any accord that it signs with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Vienna-based UN watchdog. Iran denies Western allegations that its nuclear program is a covert bid to develop the capability to make nuclear arms. “We have decided to work with the agency ... to prove that those allegations ... are forged and fab-

Local activists provided shaky footage of a Syrian helicopter firing rockets. A member of the rebel Free Syrian Army in Latakia said its lightly-armed fighters faced shellfire. “There was heavy fighting all night. In the morning, Syrian forces started shelling Selma and Haffeh,” the FSA’s Ali Al-Raidi told Reuters by telephone. Syria heavily restricts access to international media organizations, which Damascus says have contributed to inciting violence, making it hard to verify reports from either side. More than 35 people were reported killed on Tuesday and Al-Assad’s forces also suffered heavy casualties with at least 26 soldiers killed, many in ambushes by insurgents. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

ricated. That is exactly what we are going to do,” Soltanieh told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation board. Iranian officials have made clear that only after reaching this kind of deal will they consider allowing inspectors to visit the Parchin military site, where the IAEA suspects Iran built a steel containment vessel in which to carry out the explosives tests. Soltanieh said good progress had been made in previous meetings with the IAEA on trying to agree a so-called “structured approach” on how to deal with the agency’s questions. “We will try to continue to work on the text of the structured approach. Hopefully we will be able to conclude it in a way that it will be ... a good basis for our work in the future,” Soltanieh said. Asked whether he believed it could be signed on Friday, he said: “I’m always (an) optimist and I hope that the agency also takes into serious consideration our concerns.” -Reuters

called for a broad international meeting on the crisis in Syria with the aim of reviving Annan’s peace plan, but made clear he believed Al-Assad’s opponents were responsible for its failure so far. Western powers also support Annan’s peace plan but say pressure must be stepped up against Al-Assad after the massacre of 108 women, children and men in Houla nearly two weeks ago. They hold Assad’s forces responsible, a charge Damascus rejects. “We believe it is necessary to assemble a meeting of states with real influence on different opposition groups. There are not that many,” Lavrov said in Beijing, where he is accompanying President Vladimir Putin at a security summit. -Agencies

Bomb targets US embassy offices in Libya’s Benghazi

BENGHAZI: A bomb targeted the US embassy offices in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi late on Tuesday, an embassy official said. He said the improvised explosive device hit outside the gate of the offices and no one was injured. “We have asked the Libyan government to increase its security around US facilities,” the official told Reuters. The main US embassy is in the capital Tripoli. The attack is the latest on international missions and institutions in Benghazi, the coastal city 1,000 km east of Tripoli where the uprising against Muammar Gadhafi began last year and where many overseas bodies station representatives. On May 22, a rocket-propelled grenade hit the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Benghazi, leaving a small hole in the side of the building but causing no casualties. A month earlier, a bomb was thrown

at a convoy carrying the head of the UN mission to Libya. That attack was the first of its kind targeting a foreign mission since last year’s revolt overthrew Gadhafi. There was no indication who was behind the embassy attack. But with national assembly elections due to be held in less than 20 days’ time, it underscores the instability in the country, where rival armed militia and tribesfolk are still jockeying for influence. The weak central Libyan government has struggled to assert its authority on the myriad groups and failed to convince armed Libyans to hand over weapons that became widely available after arsenals were opened during the war last year. On Tuesday, a US drone strike in Pakistan killed one of Al-Qaeda’s most powerful figures, a Libyan citizen called Abu Yahya Al-Libi. -Reuters

Israel MPs vote down outpost legalization bill Thousands of Yemenis caught up in fighting: ICRC JERUSALEM: Israeli MPs on Wednesday voted down a bill to retroactively legalize settler homes built on private Palestinian land, quashing an attempt to circumvent the court-ordered demolition of an outpost. The move effectively ends an attempt by the settler lobby and its rightwing supporters to find a legislative solution to get around a Supreme Court ruling ordering the removal of five buildings from an outpost known as the Ulpana neighborhood by July 1. The bill, which was proposed by MP Zevulun Orlev from the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party, was voted down by 69 votes against to 22 in favor within the 120-seat Knesset. The remaining 29 MPs were absent. A second, very similar bill, was taken off the parliamentary agenda by its author, Yaakov Katz, who belongs to the farright National Union faction. The planned demolition, which would affect 142 people, has sparked fury among settlers and their backers, and exposed a split within Netanyahu’s own rightwing Likud party. Netanyahu had made clear he opposed the bills on the grounds they would create an international backlash, and widespread media reports said he had threatened to sack any cabinet minister or deputy who backed the proposed legislation. Outside the Knesset, around 2,000 people who had gathered to support the legislative attempt to prevent the demolition, reacted angrily to the vote. “Jews do not evict Jews!” they chant-

SANAA: Tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians are trapped by fighting during a US-backed army offensive on Islamist militants in the south of the country and urgently need help, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Wednesday. The Yemeni army is trying to recapture towns in the southern province of Abyan that were seized by Al-Qaeda-linked militants last year during a popular uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who formally stepped down in February. In support of the army campaign, the United States has stepped up drone strikes against suspected members of an Al-Qaeda branch that is one of its main global security concerns. “We are extremely concerned about the people trapped inside, and about the dire situation in Jaar, Shaqra and in nearby areas where fighting is going on,” Eric Marclay, the head of the ICRC delegation in Yemen, said in a statement. “Our staff were there a few days ago to assess the situation and found serious, urgent needs that, if not met, could lead to the displacement of over 100,000 people. Thousands of people have already fled to safer places.” Residents are facing food, power and water shortages, while and health-care services are inadequate, the ICRC said. The Geneva-based ICRC urged all combatants to grant it immediate access and security guarantees.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a statement to the media at his Jerusalem office June 6, 2012. (Reuters)

ed, expressing anger at what they said was Netanyahu’s betrayal of the Ulpana settlers. Among the crowd was a group of around 250 settlers who had completed a three-day march to Jerusalem from Ulpana, which is located on the outskirts of the Beit El settlement near Ramallah. Netanyahu has said he backs the idea

of physically relocating the five buildings, moving them stone by stone to a new location, in a plan which is being examined by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein. Israel differentiates between “legal” settlements and “illegal” outposts, but the international community views all settlement on occupied territory as a violation of international law. -AFP

Concerned about the humanitarian and security crisis in Yemen, Gulf Arab states and the West pledged more than 4 billion US dollars in aid to the impoverished state last month, $3.25 billion of which pledged by Saudi Arabia alone. On Wednesday, Finance Minister Sakhr Al-Wajih said The World Bank has agreed to give Yemen $100 million “as a direct support for the budget.” His comments to state news agency Saba came after a meeting with US Treasury’s assistant secretary for international affairs, Charles Collyns, in the capital Sanaa. In southern Yemen, where the army is trying to dislodge AlQaeda-associated militants holding large swathes of land since last year, at least seven suspected militants died when car bombs exploded prematurely, local officials said on Wednesday. One security official said a suspected car bomb blew up before it reached an army checkpoint on a highway in Lahej province on Wednesday, killing three of its passengers. To the east of Lahej, four insurgents were killed on Tuesday night while preparing a car bomb in the militant-held town of Shaqra, another security official said. Militants also fired mortars on Wednesday at the headquarters of an army brigade in Kod, a town near the southern city of Zinjibar, killing two soldiers, including Colonel Nasser Al-Qadi, and wounding 12 others, a military source said. -Reuters

Algerian forces kill six Islamists in Kabylie: Reports ALGIERS: Algerian security forces have killed six Al-Qaedalinked Islamist militants in Kabylie, including three in the region’s main town of Tizi Ouzou, newspapers reported Wednesday. “One terrorist had walked into a chemist to buy medicine after stepping out of a car holding a prescription. When he walked back out, he was sprayed with bullets,” a witness told a local daily. The unidentified Islamist suspect’s killing on Tuesday sparked a gunfight in Tizi Ouzou that also left two of his accomplices dead, the paper said, quoting security sources. Security forces used a helicopter during another raid east of Tizi Ouzou, in the Yakouren area, which saw three Islamist militants gunned down,

Le Temps newspaper reported. A cell affiliated to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which was born out of hard-line groups that emerged during Algeria’s 1990s civil conflict, had been spotted in the region over recent days. Following the brutal decade-long war that left up to 200,000 people dead, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika started a process of national reconciliation and offered amnesty to all Islamists. Former members of the Armed Islamic Group and its offshoots who have since proclaimed their allegiance to Al-Qaeda have largely been flushed out, but incidents remain frequent in Kabylie, east of Algiers. -AFP


4

ALWATAN DAILY

OPINION / VIEWS

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

Stabilizing the Stans

Ensuring long-term stability will require poverty reduction, job creation, reduced income inequality, and the development of these countries’ human resources.

Richard Weitz

Project Syndicate

R

ecent violence in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, following civil strife in Kyrgyzstan in 2010, has intensified international concern about Central Asia’s security as the region becomes increasingly important for delivering NATO supplies to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Central Asian countries allow NATO members and partners to transport supplies through their territory to support military forces in Afghanistan - an essential complement to the flow of supplies to the ISAF through Pakistan, which is vulnerable to tensions with the United States. These countries have been logical partners for NATO in Afghanistan. They share Western concerns about a revival of the Afghan Taliban and their potential support for extremist Islamist movements in other Central Asian countries. Indeed, all five of the post-Soviet Central Asian countries - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan - have been targeted by Muslim extremist organizations linked to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Moreover, Central Asian leaders are eager to maintain NATO’s presence in Eurasia as a way to balance China and Russia. Although the region’s leaders generally enjoy good relations with both countries, they fear that Russian military and Chinese economic dominance could lead to the rise a Sino-Russian condominium at their expense. All Central Asian countries suffer from pervasive corruption, acute income inequalities, political succession problems, and transnational criminal groups that cooperate more effectively than the region’s frequently feuding governments do. Deteriorating public services contributed to the overthrow of Kyrgyzstan’s government, and could lead alienated citizens to support Islamist terrorists and other extremists. Although Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and other Central Asian countries have resumed rapid economic growth, much of their recent progress simply correlates with surging world oil and gas prices. Growth could easily slow following the next energy-price slump or other external shock, such as proposals in Russia to limit employment and remittance opportunities for Central Asian workers there. All five countries have yet to fully recover from the disintegration of Soviet infrastructure networks, and require urgent domestic and regionwide measures to strengthen their education, transportation, energy provision, healthcare, and other public services. And their myriad interdependencies increase the risks of transnational threats, such as disease outbreaks, and resource-related confrontations. Social disorder in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and other Arab countries has invariably led observers to regard Central Asia’s autocracies as potentially vulnerable to similar upheaval. Some Central Asian leaders have been in power for many years, and only Kyrgyzstan, the most impoverished of the five, has developed a competitive multi-party political system. Elsewhere, political parties are weak or are tools of the regime. But other factors make

the Arab scenario less plausible in Central Asia. Security forces are more closely aligned with ruling elites; independent political groups and socialmedia networks are less well developed; economic performance remains high in some countries; and a previous wave of revolutions produced disappointing results in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. Ensuring long-term stability will require poverty reduction, job creation, reduced income inequality, and the development of these countries’ human resources. Private-sector activity will not expand without healthy national banks subject to rigorous financial discipline and greater supervisory autonomy. Governments, facing pressure to increase spending, need to develop targeted social safety nets that protect their poorest people through cash or near-cash transfers. The International Monetary Fund recommends additional reforms aimed at improving labor-market flexibility, strengthening national competitiveness through investment in transportation and telecommunications infrastructure, and diversification away from natural-resource exports. Moreover, reducing trade barriers between these countries is essential for taking advantage of regional synergies and economies of scale. Central Asia’s economies need greater access to their neighbors’ markets, energy, and transportation infrastructure. Above all, these states need to create a more favorable climate for business and foreign investment through enhanced transparency, improved governance, and more effective political, economic, and social institutions. Although some Central Asian countries have made progress, most still lag other emerging markets in accountability, rule of law, and reducing corruption. Elsewhere in the post-Soviet world, Georgia’s success shows that determined governments can reduce even entrenched venality. In the meantime, Central Asian countries need sustained donor support, because private investment flows have not recovered to levels that preceded the global financial crisis. But foreign donors must exercise greater oversight and conditionality in their regional aid programs, as well as ensure that their assistance is better coordinated and integrated than in the past. Central Asia’s hydrocarbon reserves, and its pivotal location, make it strategically important for many countries. Russian energy managers count on the region’s oil and gas supplies to supplement stagnating domestic production. Western governments aim to circumvent Russia’s pipelines and import some oil and gas directly. China views the region’s resources as an essential complement to its more vulnerable maritime energy imports from Africa and the Persian Gulf, and has invested billions of dollars constructing overland pipelines. All of this serves to increase the political uncertainty that threatens the region’s stability. These countries urgently need structural reforms that can generate more inclusive economic growth and political institutions that channel, rather than suppress, legitimate popular demands. Citizens who can help to shape their country’s public policies through elections and other legal political activities are less likely to resort to extra-constitutional means.

MPs affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood had earlier exerted strenuous efforts to make a lot of amendments in the Constitution in desperate attempts to turn Kuwait from a civil state into an Islamic state

Shamlan Yusuf Al-Eisa

T

here can be no doubt in one’s mind that political conflicts that are erupting among the political powers in Egypt will surely have an adverse effect not only on Egypt but on other Arab countries in the region too. In fact, the situation is far worse than previously envisaged taking into consideration the fact that both the civil and religious conflicts are not in any way related to the revolution or its goals (that have yet to be achieved) but over the presidency. The Egyptian people find themselves in a quandary since they are left with no other option than to choose between Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi or former Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq. Civil and liberal powers are now nursing an overwhelming sense of concern that the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Morsi might win the presidential elections; because in the most likely event that he does, the Muslim Brotherhood Movement will certainly tighten its grip over the political arena in Egypt taking into consideration the underlying fact that members of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement are a majority in the Egyptian parliament. However, the questions that are lurking in everyone’s mind are: “What are citizens from GCC countries expected to do under these volatile circumstances? Can we expect the Egyptian citizens to extend their unstinted support for the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, or should they support Hosni Mubarak’s right hand man Ahmad Shafiq?” Or to put it quite simply: would citizens and leaders of GCC countries prefer a president with a religious background or one with a civil background?

Despite the underlying fact that GCC countries have been governed by traditional religious regimes over a considerable period of time, these countries have always nursed and practiced contradictory policies since they vociferously attack Salafist powers who are affiliated to; and who support terrorist outfits like Al-Qaeda on the one hand while they also support political Islamic powers on the other. Will it be a wise decision for leaders and citizens of GCC countries to lend their support to Morsi? I would say definitely not simply because if the Muslim Brotherhood gains power and authority and is handed the reins to rule over Egypt, other political Islamic currents will also be encouraged to fight tooth, nail and claw to grab power in several other countries in the Arab region; further strengthening the hold of the Muslim Brotherhood that is waging a ferocious war in Syria. And in the event that the Muslim Brotherhood leads Egypt; we can surely ascertain without a shadow of doubt that it will expedite the demise of the Syrian regime. And when this finally happens, political Islamic currents will have eventually reached the borders of countries across the GCC. It is common knowledge that most, if not all GCC countries nurse hostile stances towards the Muslim Brotherhood as is evi-

dently clear in the fact that Saudi Crown Prince Nayef Abdul Aziz has already raised his reservations over the intentions of the Muslim Brotherhood. Without mincing any of his words; he explicitly stated that he sees members of the Muslim Brotherhood as a clear and dangerous threat - not only to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but to other countries in the GCC too. In addition to his reservations; the Chief of Police of the United Arab Emirates Major General Dhahi Al-Khalfan had earlier expressed his sentiments saying; ‘the Muslim Brotherhood is scheming to rule over countries in the GCC. And although Kuwait has not held a hostile stance against the Muslim Brotherhood, the draft laws submitted by its members were rejected at the National Assembly; bearing in mind the underlying fact that MPs affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood had earlier exerted strenuous efforts to make a lot of amendments in the Constitution in desperate attempts to turn Kuwait from a civil state into an Islamic state. This is the main reason why His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah rejected those amendments. All countries comprising the GCC will never ever be comfortable with having the Muslim Brotherhood ruling Egypt, which is the biggest and most important country in the region.

Ali Farzat

INSPECTION

Richard Weitz is Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute.

Can science save Europe?

Whereas China, India, and others have enjoyed continuing economic growth and investment in research and innovative capacity, Europe is perceived as being on the brink of decline.

Helga Nowotny Project Syndicate

E

The consequential effects of Egyptian elections on the GCC

urope’s current financial squeeze defies easy solutions. Self-inflicted austerity has met popular restlessness for more tangible measures to revive economic growth and create jobs. Protesters vividly express widespread frustration with deepening inequality, and condemnation of privileges of a global financial elite comes uncomfortably close to implicating government. In previous times, such a situation would have been described as pre-revolutionary. In today’s world, the consequences may seem more benign, but they are no less worrisome: a loss of solidarity, a return to nationalist insularity, and greater scope for political extremism. Europe’s image has suffered accordingly, notably from the perspective of Asia’s booming economies. Whereas China, India, and others have enjoyed continuing economic growth and investment in research and innovative capacity, Europe is perceived as being on the brink of decline, economically as well as politically. Worse still, Europe also seems intent on ignoring its persistent strengths. Those strengths lie in Europe’s science base, part of the cultural heritage that shapes European identity. In terms of

numbers - whether of scientific publications, researchers, or overall access to high-quality tertiary education - Europe compares favorably with its international partners (which are also competitors). So why, critics ask, does Europe produce many novel scientific ideas and discoveries, but fail to transform them into marketable products? In fact, that question is wedded to an obsolete linear model of innovation. What is lacking in Europe is public and official awareness of where the real potential of European science lies. Scientific curiosity, given sufficient space and autonomy, remains the most powerful driving force behind the completely unforeseeable transformations in how our societies develop. In order to understand what science can do for Europe, it is important to clarify what science - that is, curiosity-driven frontier research - cannot do for Europe: deliver results that can immediately be commercialized. Frontier research, like innovation, is an inherently uncertain process. One does not know what one will find when working at the cutting edge and attempting to push

into unknown territory. Any short-term economic benefits are welcome byproducts, not the main “deliverables” that can be planned. Nor will science create much-needed jobs, except for those who work in research organizations and universities. Instead, cutting-edge research pioneers new ways of working (and models of future workplaces), which require novel skills and knowledge that will diffuse widely into society and transform production and services. For example, it could lead to more environmentally friendly and resource-efficient uses of natural resources, or to investment in services that are more responsive to human needs and better attuned to human interaction. Science is the only civic institution with a built-in longterm time horizon - a feature that builds confidence in a fragile future. Modern science began in Europe 300 years ago with relatively few people - perhaps no more than a thousand when the putative scientific revolution was in full swing. They began to engage in the systematic inquiry of how the natural world (and to a lesser extent, the social world) functioned. They obtained new knowledge of how to manipulate and intervene in natural processes.

The experimental practices that they invented spread beyond the laboratories. Later, they began to underpin and merge with progress in the crafts to drive forward the Industrial Revolution. The idea that we can only know what we can make gained wide acceptance. New tools provide new means of investigation, enabling researchers to speed up computation, for example, and hence increase the production of new knowledge. Science and technology mutually reinforce each other, and both percolate through the social fabric. This was the case in 1700, and it remains true today. Let us now look forward towards the future. According to health statistician Hans Rosling, our planet will probably be home to at least nine billion people by 2050. Six billion will live in Asia, one billion in Africa, 1.5 billion in the Americas, and 500 million in Europe. By ensuring that the pursuit of new knowledge remains a high priority, Europe can safeguard the scientific revolution and retain a leading edge globally, despite having fewer people than other regions. Europe’s scientific institutions are already evolving and adapting to new global challenges. People working within science and people working with science - ordinary citizens - will assure that the unending quest for human betterment continues to be an important part of European identity. Science alone will not save Europe. Rather, a Europe that knows how to put its science to work will not need to be saved. • Helga Nowotny is President of the European Research Council.

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ALWATAN DAILY

WORLD

ThursdAY, June 7, 2012

Suicide bombers kill 23 civilians at Afghan market KANDAHAR: Three suicide attackers blew themselves up in the largest city in southern Afghanistan Wednesday, leaving 23 people dead at least 50 others injured in a dusty marketplace that was turned into a gruesome scene of blood and bodies, authorities said. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack in Kandahar, the capital of Kandahar province and the spiritual birthplace of the insurgency. In the past two years, tens of thousands of US-led coalition troops have flooded Taliban strongholds in the south, and have largely succeeded in boosting security there. But the Taliban have proven resilient, continuing to conduct suicide attacks and targeted assassinations of pro-government figures, opening up new fronts in the north and west and stepping up attacks in the east. Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack on innocent civilians, saying it proved the “enemy is getting weaker because they are killing innocent people.” The explosion occurred about five kilometers (three miles) from the main gate of the massive military installation run by the US-led coalition and roughly 500 meters (yards) from an Afghan military base. One suicide bomber detonated a threewheeled motorbike filled with explosives first, said Rahmatullah Atrafi, deputy police chief in Kandahar province. Then, as people rushed to assist the casualties, two other suicide bombers on foot walked up to the site and blew themselves up, he said.

People who were injured after an explosive-packed motorbike blew up on the road to Kandahar airport and subsequently a suicide bomber detonated himself among the people gathered at the scene, receive medical treatment at a local hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan, June 6. (EPA)

Eight private security guards were among the 23 killed along a main road on the east side of the city, he said. Small shops and private security company offices line one side of the road. Large trucks that supply logistics to Kandahar

Air Field regularly park along the other side. The explosions left a bloody scene of body parts, shoes, soda cans, snacks and debris from three shops that were destroyed. Mohammad Naeem, a 30-year-old shop-

Deadly clashes along Azeri-Armenia border

Hillary Clinton is on a tour of the region in hopes of mediating progress in territorial disputes. (Reuters]

BAKU: Azerbaijan’s defense ministry says that five of its soldiers have been killed in clashes with Armenian troops along the border separating the two countries, deepening tensions between the two former Soviet nations. The ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that exchanges of gunfire had been reported over the last two days at numerous points along Azerbaijan’s western border. Armenia said earlier that three of its soldiers died in the clashes. Azerbaijan and Armenia have for two decades been at odds over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory, which lies within Azerbaijan, but was taken over by Armenia during a six-year war that killed about 30,000 people and displaced one million. The incidents come as Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, embarked on a tour of the South Caucasus in the hope of mediating progress in territorial disputes in the region. Azerbaijan’s defense ministry said one clash took place near the village of Ashagy Askipara early on Tuesday morning, after their soldiers were attacked by Armenian commandos. Four Azeri troops were killed in the fighting, officials said. Another soldier died in a separate incident, the ministry said. Armenia on Monday said three of its soldiers were killed and another six were wounded in villages nearby. Clinton decried the “senseless deaths of young soldiers and innocent civilians” as part of the Nagorno-

Karabakh conflict - just hours after Monday’s border clash. “I am very concerned about the danger of escalation of tensions and the senseless deaths of young soldiers and innocent civilians,” Clinton told reporters after a dinner with Armenia’s president and foreign minister. “The use of force will not resolve the NagornoKarabakh conflict,” she said, urging the sides to refrain from violence. Despite years of negotiations since a 1994 ceasefire, the two sides have not yet signed a final peace deal and there are still frequent exchanges of gunfire along the frontline. Azerbaijan has threatened to use force to win back Karabakh if peace talks fail to yield satisfactory results, but Armenia has warned of large-scale retaliation against any military action. Warning that Azeri-Armenian tensions could escalate into a broader conflict with terrible consequences, Clinton said the US would continue to press with France, Russia and others on mediation efforts. Violations of the ceasefire have been frequent, and diplomatic efforts to solve the conflict have failed. The US hopes that at the least Armenia and Azerbaijan can agree to a set of basic principles that might lead to peace. These include the return of territories and uprooted people to their homes, and an eventual vote on the area’s future. On Wednesday Clinton is due to visit Baku, where officials said that finding a resolution to the Karabakh conflict would be the main topic of discussion. -Reuters

US, India must improve ties with Pakistan, says Panetta NEW DELHI: The US and India must overcome deep differences with Pakistan to bolster peace and security in South Asia, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told an Indian conference. Panetta met with Indian leaders Tuesday and Wednesday and said he urged them to provide additional support to Afghanistan, including trade, reconstruction and assistance for the Afghan security forces. His visit here comes as US tensions with Pakistan, India’s archrival, continue to fray, strained by persistent CIA drone attacks against insurgents inside Pakistan’s borders. His speech struck a conciliatory tone but also acknowledged the rocky relations with Pakistan. “Pakistan is a complicated relationship, complicated for both of our countries but it is one that we must continue to work to improve,” Panetta said. “India and the United States will need to continue to engage Pakistan, overcoming our respective - and often deep - differences with Pakistan to make all of South Asia peaceful and prosperous.” He said he welcomed steps that India and Pakistan have taken to normalize trade relations as key to resolving their differences and a way to help Pakistan counter extremism within its borders. Pakistan and India - both nuclear-armed nations - have long been bitter enemies. And any increase in India’s support for Afghanistan is likely to worry Pakistan, fueling fears that Islamabad’s influence on the

Afghans’ future could diminish. The US is hoping that India can play a more robust role in the war effort, particularly in the training of Afghan forces, as the number of American and NATO troops in Afghanistan continues to decline over the next year. In the past, India has cautiously helped the Afghan army, partly to avoid offending Pakistan or being drawn into Afghan security affairs. India assisted Kabul mostly with economic and development aid and has helped build up the Afghan security forces by training Afghan police officers. Training for Afghan soldiers extended to individual army officers who attended a multination course at the National Defense College in Delhi. There was no organized training of Afghan national Army soldiers at Indian defense schools, but Afghan army soldiers have been attending courses at Indian military academies over the past few years. Wrapping up a week of travel across Asia, Panetta said military cooperation with India is the linchpin to America’s defense plan to focus more on the region. And he said that the two nations must move beyond individual arms sales and increase both the quality and quantity of their defense trade. “For this relationship to truly provide security for this region and for the world, we need to deepen our defense and security cooperation,” he said. -AP

keeper, said he was selling soft drinks to a customer when the first blast occurred. “I dropped to the ground,” he said. “When I got up, I looked outside and I heard people shouting for help.” Naeem said he helped his customer, who was wounded, into his shop. “He was bleeding. I put cloth on his wound to stop the bleeding,” he said. “I was busy with that when the other blasts occurred.” Islam Zada, a truck driver, was on the other side of the road having tea near his parked truck when the attack began. “I couldn’t see anything except for fire and dust,” Zada said of the scene. “I found a wounded truck driver on our side of the road and went to help him,” Zada said. “We gave him some water and when we were talking to him the other blasts occurred.” The number of Afghan civilians killed dropped 36 percent in the first four months of the year compared with last year, according to the latest figures compiled by the UN. While the trend is promising, the UN laments that too many civilians are being caught up in the violence as insurgents fight Afghan and foreign forces. The UN said last month that 579 civilians were killed in the first four months - down from 898 killed in the same period of 2011. Anti-government forces caused 79 percent of civilian casualties and Afghan and foreign forces 9 percent, according to the UN. It was not clear who was responsible for the remaining 12 percent. -AP

Nigerian raid kills 16 suspected militants

LAGOS: Nigerian soldiers have killed at least 16 militants, the army said Wednesday, after gunfire and blasts rocked an area of the country’s northeast where Islamists were believed to be hiding. “It’s confirmed,” Colonel Victor Ebhaleme told AFP when asked about reports of 16 Boko Haram members being killed in the city of Maiduguri. “They came to attack part of the city,” he said, declining to provide details. Gunfire and explosions erupted in Maiduguri on Tuesday as soldiers moved into the area where Boko Haram members were believed to be hiding, residents said. “There have been at least eight explosions in these neighborhoods and soldiers have moved in with tanks and have taken over the whole area,” one resident said Tuesday. Another said the area was largely deserted of residents after earlier signs that soldiers were preparing a crackdown. Alleyways had been sealed off ahead of Tuesday evening’s violence, they said. The explosions and gunfire began rocking the city at around 4:30 pm and stopped at around 9:00 pm. Maiduguri is at the centre of Boko Haram’s insurgency, which has claimed more than 1,000 lives since mid-2009. The group’s mosque and headquarters were located there until they were destroyed in a 2009 military assault. Nigerian troops have also been accused of abuses in Maiduguri, including burning homes and killing civilians in the wake of bomb attacks. Thousands of residents have fled the city amid the spiraling violence. Also on Tuesday in the northern city of Kano, gunmen shot dead a former deputy Nigerian police chief, his driver and a bodyguard, police said. Former Deputy Inspector-General of Police Abubakar Saleh Ningi, forced into retirement in January along with Nigeria’s police chief and all his other deputies, was shot dead by two motorcycle-riding gunmen, police said. Police declined to name suspects in the shooting. Boko Haram has been blamed for a series of drive-by assassinations in Kano as well as coordinated bombings and shootings in January which killed at least 185 people, its deadliest attack yet. -AFP

5

NEWS IN BRIEF Nairobi airport reopens after airplane slide KENYA: Kenya’s main airport in Nairobi reopened after several hours of closure Wednesday, after an aircraft veered off the runway, causing no casualties but forcing flights to divert, officials said. “Everything is back to normal, the plane has been removed from the runway,” said airport police official Joseph Ngisa. Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta airport is the biggest in the region and is the key hub for international flights, although the Kenyan capital has a second airport that handles several regional and domestic flights. -AFP

Russia’s Putin says to push military ties with China BEIJING: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he will boost military cooperation with China, including holding more joint exercises, after the United States announced plans to shift most of its warships to the Asia-Pacific by 2020. Putin referred to recent SinoRussian joint navy exercises in the Yellow Sea as an example of military cooperation which, he said, would go on. “We will continue cooperation also between our military,” he told Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in Beijing, where he is attending a security summit and meeting his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao. -Reuters

NATO airstrike killed women, children KABUL: Afghan officials and residents say a pre-dawn NATO airstrike aimed at militants in eastern Afghanistan killed civilians celebrating a wedding, including women and children. An Associated Press photographer saw the bodies of five women, seven children and six men piled in the back of vans that villagers drove to the capital of Logar province to protest Wednesday’s strike on a house in the volatile Baraki Barak district. The villagers say all of those killed had been at a wedding. Afghan government officials said militants were also among the dead. -Reuters

Indian ‘untouchable’ lynched over water pump NEW DELHI: Police in north India said Wednesday they were hunting for a village leader accused of beating to death an “untouchable” neighbor who broke strict caste-based rules by using a local handpump. Mohan Paswan, in his late 40s, was lynched in Parhuti village in Bihar state last Thursday when he disobeyed an order by a local thug not to use the pump during a heatwave. “Paswan was attacked and brutally thrashed by a village strongman Pramod Singh and his henchmen for taking water,” local police official Saroj Kumar told AFP. -AFP

Central Asia group seeks bigger Afghanistan role

The war-torn nation’s future is expected to feature prominently in discussions by leaders of the six nations that make up the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

BEIJING: Central Asian states meeting in Beijing this week say they want a role in stabilizing Afghanistan after most US combat troops leave at the end of 2014, with China’s economic juggernaut leading the charge. The war-torn nation’s future is expected to feature prominently in discussions by leaders of the six nations that make up the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The bloc, which includes China, Russia, and four Central Asian states, seeks closer security and economic ties among its members, most prominently through regular meetings and joint military exercises targeting separatists, religious extremists and drug traffickers. In comments published Wednesday in the ruling Communist Party’s flagship newspaper, the People’s Daily, Chinese President Hu Jintao outlined a broad plan for the SCO’s future role as the region’s pre-eminent grouping, while firmly rejecting outside meddling. “We will continue to follow the concept that regional affairs should be managed by countries in the region, that we should guard against shocks from turbulence outside the region, and should play a bigger role in Afghanistan’s peaceful reconstruction,” Hu said. How they plan to do so remains a question. The SCO has yet to declare a unified strategy on Afghanistan and shows little sign of filling the void left by the withdrawal of US and other foreign forces. Dominated by the Russia and China, the SCO is widely seen as useful to them as a foil to US influence in Central Asia. Underscoring close relations between Beijing and Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin told China’s vice president on Wednesday that the sides were committed to boosting cooperation between their militaries. Warming ties between China and Russia have counterbalanced US influence and shielded Syria from international moves to halt its crackdown on a 15-month uprising. Despite that, Russia and fellow SCO member nations Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan are doing their part to

ensure an orderly withdrawal, having agreed to allow the reverse transport of alliance equipment after Pakistan shut down southern supply routes six months ago. The fourth Central Asian member of the SCO is Tajikistan. The pullout will also prompt the end of military operations out of Kyrgyzstan’s Manas air base, meeting China and Russia’s oft-stated objections to a permanent US presence in Central Asia. While the SCO’s security plans in Afghanistan remain unclear, economic outreach looks set to lead the way. China - which shares a small stretch of border with Afghanistan - is the most dynamic economy in the region and its firms have already moved into Afghanistan. Kabul is hoping exploitation of its vast untapped mineral deposits will help offset the loss of revenue when foreign aid and spending drops with the withdrawal of international combat troops.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told reportersWednesday that the development of Afghanistan was “closely linked to security and stability” in the region, and that Afghanistan becoming an observer member of the SCO will speed up security and economic cooperation. The US Defense Department has estimated the value of Afghanistan’s mineral reserves at 1 trillion US dollars. Other estimates have pegged it at $3 trillion or more. In December, China’s state-owned National Petroleum Corp. signed a deal allowing it to become the first foreign company to exploit Afghanistan’s oil and natural gas reserves. That comes three years after the China Metallurgical Construction Co. signed a contract to develop the Aynak copper mine in Logar province. Beijing’s $3.5 billion stake in the mine is the largest foreign investment in Afghanistan. -AP

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (center) speaks with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin (left) as they arrive for a meeting with Chinese parliamentary Chairman Wu Bangguo at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, on June 6, prior to the start of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) walks next to Putin. Security in Central Asia, including the situation in Afghanistan, is set to be the focus of talks at a meeting in Beijing of a regional group dominated by China and Russia. (AFP)


BUSINESS

m ar ket watc h KUWAIT 073% 6085

thursDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

OIL MARKETS

DUBAI

QATAR

OMAN

ABU DHABI

BAHRAIN

0.42% 1456

0.24% 8343

0.33% 5784

0.07% 2435

0.06% 1132

EGYPT

SAUDI

0.38% 4486

1.25% 6653

US Crude $85.55 $1.26 London Brent $99.50 $0.85 Kuwait Crude $94.68 $0.95 Information Courtesy: KAMCO

CURRENCIES US Dollar

British Pound

Saudi Riyal

Qatari Riyal

Indian Rupee

Buy 0.2802 Sell 0.2807

Buy 0.4338 Sell 0.4346

Buy 0.0747 Sell 0.0749

Buy 0.07711 Sell 0.07696

Buy 0.00507 Sell 0.00506

Euro

Japanese Yen

UAE Dirham

Bahraini Dinar

Philippine Peso

Buy 0.3497 Sell 0.3504

Buy 0.003542 Sell 0.003548

Buy 0.07628 Sell 0.07642

Buy 0.7431 Sell 0.74448

Buy 0.006499 Sell 0.00648

Kuwaiti crude rises 95 cents to $94.68 per barrel Kuwait to keep full crude supply to Asia in July-September

CAPITALS: The price of Kuwaiti crude oil went up 0.95 US dollars to trade for $94.68 per barrel (pb) compared to Tuesday’s $93.73 pb, said Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) on Wednesday. Global prices slightly increased yesterday after hopes that the EU leaders would take new measures to tackle the euro debt crisis. The positive statistics from the US economy as well as the American crude oil reserve also played an integral part in the increase. In more news, Kuwait has notified at least

one Asian customer that it will supply full contractual crude oil volumes for July-September, steady from April-June, traders said on Wednesday. Kuwait has been supplying full contractual crude oil volumes to Asia since July 2011, when it ended a 5 percent curb that had been in place since February 2009. The member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) gave buyers the so-called “tolerance” option of asking to load each vessel with five percent more or less than contracted volumes in the third quarter, the same as the previous quarter, the traders added. Qatar, one of OPEC’s smallest producers, has also plans to supply contractual crude oil volumes to its Asian buyers in July, steady from June.

Asian buyers are waiting for Saudi Arabia’s crude oil supply plans in July, which are expected to be release as early as this weekend. Oil returns to triple digits

Meanwhile, oil climbed back above $100 a barrel on Wednesday, rising along with other commodities and the euro as investors hoped a European Central Bank (ECB) policy meeting later would steer the euro zone out of crisis. Brent crude surged to an intra-day high of $100.43 a barrel before easing back to $100.31 - a gain of $1.47 by 1041 GMT. US crude climbed $1.16 to $85.45. “A slight brightening of sentiment on the financial markets and a weaker U.S. dollar are putting wind in the sails of oil prices this morning,” said a Commerzbank research note. The market will closely monitor Wednes-

Prices in Kuwaiti fils as of June 6, 2012 Courtesy: KAMCO

day’s meeting of the European Central Bank, widely seen as the only institution capable of immediate action on behalf of the euro zone. The darkening outlook for the world economy has also sparked hopes the United States, the top oil-consuming nation, would introduce new stimulus measures. However, two top Federal Reserve officials suggested on Tuesday the US central bank was not ready to ease monetary policy at a meeting later this month as the economic outlook had not deteriorated to the point where action was warranted. Brent has struggled to recover from a near 25 percent drop in oil prices over the past three months as investors have yet to be convinced that European Union leaders can prevent a breakup of the single currency. “We probably need to see a more signifi-

cant rally out of this level to be more confident we have a corrective rally going on,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. “We have gone from pricing in a potential supply shortage because of the situation in Iran ... to a market that is more than adequately supplied.” But oil found support from a larger-thanexpected decline in US crude stocks. On Tuesday, the industry group American Petroleum Institute reported a 1.765 million barrel drop in inventories last week, more than triple the amount expected. Weekly inventory data from the US Energy Information Administration, which typically carries more weight in the market than API estimates, will be released later on Wednesday. -Agencies

Kuwait in talks with Malaysia IHH on IPO investment CAPITALS: Malaysia’s state-backed Integrated Healthcare Holdings (IHH), which operates hospitals in Asia, is trying to rope in Kuwait’s sovereign wealth fund as a cornerstone investor in its two billion US dollar dual listing in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, sources said. The Middle Eastern investor will be part of more than 10 cornerstones that IHH hopes to finalize by next week who will take up over 40 percent of the two billion dollar offering, sources with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters on Wednesday. This is the second major initial public offer (IPO) in Malaysia this year after palm oil giant Felda Global’s $3.4 billion deal, which is set to become Asia’s largest initial public offering so far in 2012. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which sources had told Reuters was also tapped by investment banks for the deal, is no longer in talks with IHH, a source with knowledge of the discussions said. Kuwait Investment Authority, which manages $280 billion in assets, invests in big-ticket IPOs, according to a banker with knowledge of its strategy. The fund could not be immediately reached for comment. Malaysia’s IPO market has defied a trend in other financial markets such as Singapore, where motor racing firm Formula One decided to postpone its near $3

Egypt’s foreign reserves rise by $302 million in May CAIRO: Egypt’s foreign reserves rose by 302 million US dollars in May, their second successive monthly increase after having fallen every month since the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in early 2011. Foreign reserves climbed to $15.52 billion at the end of May from $15.21 billion at the end of April, the central bank said. Reserves had tumbled by more than half since Egypt’s political turmoil scared away tourists and investors, two of Egypt’s main sources of foreign currency. -Reuters

KSE ends session in red hues, drops 45.05 points KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange’s KSX 15 index ended Wednesday’s trading session with a loss of 1.15 points to read 967.8 points. The price index also lost 45.05 points to 6,085.15 points. The weighted index shed 1.37 points to 401.78 points. Trades came to 4,006 transactions, worth 17,091,206.91 Kuwaiti dinars and volume reached 213,263,568 shares. Top share for the day was that of Securities Group Company. The biggest loser was United Gulf Bank, and top volume share was that of Gulf Finance House. The 14 sector indices were mostly red upon closing. Trading began Wednesday at Kuwait Stock Exchange on a board that was red till 9:32 a.m., when the price index came to 6,104.28 points on a loss of 25.92 points, the weighted index dropped as well to read 401.36 points on a down of 1.79 points, and the lately introduced KSX 15 index came to 963.39 points, losing 5.56 points. Trades came to 953 transactions, worth KD 5,943,648.071, with 71,937,334 shares changing hands till time of this reading. -KUNA

billion due to volatile markets. The Malaysian equity market is dominated by local investors and a large domestic pension fund system that partially insulates IPOs from global volatility. IHH, which is 62.1 percent owned by state investor Khazanah, is trying to unlock value through the listing after acquisitions of hospital operators in Singapore and Turkey. Japan’s Mitsui & Co owns a 26.6 percent stake in IHH, Dubai-based Abraaj Capital holds 7.1 percent and Turkish hospital group Acibadem chief Mehmet Ali Aydinlar 4.2 percent. Eastspring Investments, the asset management arm owned by Prudential PLC, and Malaysian pension funds have already committed to invest in the offering, they said. “It’s a good balance between local and international parties,” one of the sources told Reuters. The sources declined to be identified because the talks are not public. The lead managers on the deal are Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and CIMB. Credit Suisse, DBS, Goldman Sachs and Maybank are joint bookrunners. Nomura, OCBC and UBS are co-lead managers. IHH and the banks involved in the deal declined to comment. -Reuters

A worker cleans the windows of an apartment block in central Beijing, June 6, 2012. China’s main real estate regulator reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining current restrictions on property sales on Wednesday, the official Xinhua news service reported, as Beijing continues to resist calls for wider easing to offset a slowing economy. (Reuters)

Kuwait Energy hosts Libyan oil delegation for workshop on rebuilding energy sector KUWAIT: Kuwait Energy, one of the fastest growing independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the Middle East, today announced that it has hosted a delegation of officials from Libyan national oil companies for a full day workshop to provide them with insights and guidance in ways to rebuild the Libyan energy industry. This was stated in a press release on Wednesday. Kuwait Energy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sara Akbar, inaugurated the workshop with a case study presenting

an overview on Kuwait’s oil industry. This was followed with presentations by Kuwait Energy Advisor to the Chairman, Mohammed Al-Jazzaf, Kuwait Aviation Fuel Company (KAFCO) Chairman and Managing Director, Asaad Al-Saad, Kuwait Gulf Oil Company (KGOC) Chairman and Managing Director, Hashim Al-Refai, Kuwait Energy Board Director, Chairman and CEO of YAA Consultancy, Dr. Yousef Al- Awadhi, and finally by EQUATE President and CEO, Mohammed Hussein. Kuwait Energy also organized a day visit for the delegation in

Al Ahmadi facilities and fields in collaboration with the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). Sara Akbar said, “Libya’s energy sector has been tremendously affected during the years of autocratic ruling that overlooked the development of the industry.With the downfall of the regime, Libyans have begun to rebuild this vital sector. Kuwait Energy took the initiative, capitalizing on Kuwait’s expert team in post-war rebuilding, to extend support to Libya’s energy sector by providing its team with case studies, insights and solutions that would help ease Libya’s future transition.

KAMCO appoints acting chief executive officer KUWAIT: Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO) Asset Management Company (KAMCO), announced in a press release on Wednesday, the appointment of Faisal Sarkhou as the new Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) upon the board’s approval of outgoing Managing Director and CEO, Sadoun Ali’s resignation. KAMCO’s Chairman, Shaikh Abdullah Al-Nasser Al-Sabah, said, On behalf of myself and all the Directors of the Board, I would like to start by personally thanking Sadoun for his years of dedicated service, and pay tribute to his major contribution to the stability of the company in the midst of very difficult economic circumstances. I would also like to extend my best wishes to Mr. Ali on his new job within the Group as he is a dear friend, confidant and can continue to count on our support in the future. “I would also like to congratulate Sarkhou on his successful rise to the summit of our company. His hard work, dedication, and business-acumen have contributed to the growth and stability of KAMCO during challenging times. I am confident in his abilities to steer us into an even brighter future.” Sarkhou also commented saying, “I am honoured to be appointed as Acting CEO to such a prestigious company. Despite a challenging climate facing the investment sector, KAMCO is a company with a proven track record of achievements, carrying with it a wealth of accumulated experience, and is supported by a specialized team of capable and knowledgeable colleagues. I will trust in them as I ask them to trust in me to enhance and secure KAMCO’s place among the region’s premier investment houses. With the trust bestowed on me and the support from our shareholders, board of directors, and my team of colleagues, I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead KAMCO and to accomplish our mutual future goals.”

“We thank KAFCO, KGOC and EQUATE for joining hands with Kuwait Energy in holding this workshop.We also thank KOC for hosting the Libyan delegation at their exhibition centre and providing them with a tour of some of the oil facilities”. The Libyan delegation included managers, engineers, planners and specialists from the Libyan National Oil Company (NOC), the Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO), the Sirte Oil Company (SOC), the Ras Lanuf Oil & Gas Processing Co. (RASCO), and the Waha Oil Company (WOC).

US dollar rate stable against Kuwaiti dinar

Greenback rises in Tokyo as Japan Finance Minister shows concern in G7 talks

Faisal Sarkhou, new Acting Chief Executive Officer at KAMCO

Sarkhou joined the Corporate Finance Department in KAMCO in 2000, after working at KPMG in Kuwait. His last promotion was in 2010 where he was appointed Head of the Financial Services and Investment Division at KAMCO. Sarkhou has a history of rich experience and track record of achievements in investment banking, financial products and financial services in general. He serves as a board member on several reputable companies. He also sits on a number of company and investment management committees. He is an Economics graduate from the University of Birmingham, UK.

CAPITALS: The exchange rate of the US dollar against the Kuwaiti dinar stood at KD 0.280, the euro at KD 0.350 compared to Tuesday’s figures, said the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the exchange rate of the Sterling pound increased to KD 0.432 and the Japanese yen remains unchanged at KD 0.003, whereas the Swiss franc stood at KD 0.292. Meanwhile, the US dollar rose to the upper 78 yen range in Tokyo on Wednesday after Japanese Finance Minister Jun Azumi said the Group of Seven (G-7) major industrialized nations have shared the view that excessive volatility and disorderly exchange rate fluctuations will have adverse effects on economic stability. At 4 p.m. (0700 GMT), the dollar traded at 78.88-92 yen compared with 78.70-80 yen in New York and 78.22-24 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Tuesday.Azumi made remarks after finance ministers and central bank governors from Japan, Britain, Canada, France, Germany and the US held an emergency teleconference Tuesday night, in which he voiced concern over the yen’s rapid rise against the dollar and other major currencies since last week. “I told G-7 colleagues that excess volatility and disorderly moves in currency rates hurt economic and financial stability. I believe they had no objection to this,” Azumi told reporters. The yen’s strength hurts Japan’s export-led economy and leads stock prices to fall, as it worsens export profitability and affects earnings for exporters by making Japanese products more expensive overseas. G-7 finance chiefs also agreed to take coordinated action against the European debt crisis and the Spanish financial system, according to the minister. The conference call was held ahead of the Group of 20 (G-20) leader’s two-day summit in Mexico from June 18. The G-20 consists of the G-7 nations and emerging heavyweights such as Saudi Arabia, Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Korea. -KUNA


ALWATAN DAILY

BUSINESS

7

ThursdAY, June 7, 2012

Gulf outperforms as world markets slide Wednesday 06 June, 2012 Index Price index Weighted Index KSX 15

Change ź ź ź

-45.05 -1 37 -1.37 -1.15

Security

High

Low

Volume

MARIN

134

132

3500

IKARUS

0

0

0

325

325

5,000

IPG NAPESCO

Weight of money

One reason for the Gulf’s good performance is the region’s large pool of unused investment money. Last year’s strong economic growth - Saudi Arabia grew 6.8 percent and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 4.2 percent - built up wealth which, because of the global crisis, has had few attractive investment channels available to it. “The sheer weight of money waiting to be deployed in the region has meant that investors are currently trading with a ‘buy on weakness’ stance” in Gulf bonds, said Mark Watts, head of fixed income at the asset management group of National Bank of Abu Dhabi. During past waves of the global crisis, Gulf bonds were hit by “forced selling” as desperate European and other

Risks

Not everyone is convinced that Gulf bonds can continue outperforming so comfortably.At present, oil prices are still high enough for all six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries except Bahrain to keep their state budgets in surplus. This will start to change if oil continues dropping to around $80 - then markets could begin to get nervous about state finances, even though most governments have enough reserves to run budget deficits for many years. “If the euro zone debt crisis escalates, there will inevitably be an impact on GCC markets,” said Biswajit Dasgupta, head of treasury and trading at Invest AD in Abu Dhabi. “So far, our markets have been supported by several factors - relatively better yields compared to ratings, banks with high liquidity and reasonably strong capitalization but low credit growth, Islamic investors looking for assets. “But if risk aversion increases sharply then the demand will start to fall away.” Watts at National Bank of Abu Dhabi also said that if the cumulative weight of bad news about the global economy became too great, buyers for Gulf bonds would evaporate and prices would be marked down. “I believe that the GCC credit market is vulnerable to this over the coming weeks and have positioned accordingly,” he said. For now, however, investors seem fairly confident. During the last bout of Gulf market jitters in mid-2011, Sukuk outperformed conventional bonds because Islamic instruments were seen as less vulnerable to speculation and were believed to attract a more committed investor base than conventional debt. This time, however, Sukuk have been slightly underperforming conventional bonds in the Gulf. The spread on the HSBC-Nasdaq Sukuk index, which includes Sukuk globally, widened to 268 bps on June 1, up 12 percent since April 2. -Reuters

Low

6,131.46 403 26 403.26 968.95

6,071.40 399 38 399.38 959.16

Trades Value (KD)

Trades

Last

463

3

132

0

0

1,625

1

0

Change

ź ŷ

325

ŷ

132

ŷ

0

ŷ

104

102

107 544 107,544

11 167 11,167

8

130

122

1,035,631

129,068

56

0.0

SRE

260

255

92,684

23,909

8

PEARL

31

29

47,454

1,402

7

0.0

TAM

230

228

350

80

3

AREEC

158

158

300

47

1

MASSALEH ARABREC

0 35

0 34

0 306,593

0 10,592

0 10

0.0

0

0

0

271,000

35,232

7

GPI

60

60

32,500

1,950

1

ABAR

182

174

12,153 324,153

2,127 41,397

5 17

182 950.99

ź ź

-2.0 -9.32

110

106

310,000

32,960

22

106

ź

-4.0

610

ŷ

KFOUC

320

320

10,000

3,200

2

BPCC

620

600

251 024 251,024

153 116 153,116

9

320 0

ŷ ŷ

Trades

NRE

0

ź

Trades Value (KD)

URC

0.0

130

60

Volume

213,373,568 17 096 582 17,096,582 4,008

Low

-2 0 -2.0

-3.0

0.0

Security

Volume Value (KWD) Number of Trades

High

0

ALKOUT

foreign investors, suffering in their home markets, sold assets in the Gulf to raise money. This time, there appears to be less forced selling, perhaps because the most desperate investors have already pulled out their money. But another factor is also supporting the Gulf: a sense that despite continued risks, the region is succeeding in working through its corporate debt problems, and that while bank loan creditors may suffer in restructuring deals, governments will act as needed to make sure public bonds are repaid in full. In Dubai, for example, a looming $1.25 billion Sukuk repayment by Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Investments and a two billion dollar bond maturity at Jebel Ali Free Zone have been seen as this year’s biggest tests of the emirate’s corporate creditworthiness. In the last few months both state-owned companies have announced plans to raise money to meet those maturities. Similarly, Saudi Arabian property developer Dar Al Arkan has been seen as a danger spot in the credit universe, but the yield on its 2015 Sukuk sank to a new low of 9.69 percent this week from 14 percent at the start of this year as prospects for the company have appeared to improve. In late May state-owned petrochemicals giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp said it was buying part of a residential project from Dar for 742 million Saudi riyals ($198 million). This will help Dar obtain funds to meet a one billion dollar Sukuk redemption in July.

High

6,130.20 403 15 403.15 968.95

132

PIPE

DUBAI: Bonds in the Gulf Arab oil exporters are outperforming fixed income markets in many other countries as the world’s economic climate darkens, suggesting the Gulf may have turned a corner in convincing investors of its financial stability. Gulf bonds were hit hard between 2009 and 2011 when the initial stages of the global financial crisis burst credit and real estate bubbles in the region. Now the Gulf is threatened by another wave of the crisis: weak US and Chinese economic data and Europe’s debt problems dragged Brent crude oil as low as 95 US dollars a barrel this week, the lowest since January 2011, from around $125 early this year. In a region where energy exports are some 30-50 percent of nations’ gross domestic product, that will have a major impact. So far, however, bonds in the Gulf have held up well - surprisingly well, in the view of some experts. Spreads on the Hong Kong and shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC)-Nasdaq index of conventional bonds in Gulf Cooperation Council countries have widened only moderately to 301 basis points (bps) on June 1, when the last reading was taken. That is a rise of seven percent since April 2. It is a better performance than many bond indexes elsewhere in the world. Spreads on the iTraxx Asia ex-Japan index for investment grade bonds have risen to 206 bps between the start of April and June 5, a climb of over 32 percent. Spreads on the iTraxx Europe Crossover index, composed of 50 companies rated at the very bottom of the investmentgrade category or in “junk” territory, widened to 731 bps on June 1, up over 20 percent. Some of the Gulf’s strongest credits have barely moved during the global volatility. Qatar’s two billion dollars, 3.125 percent sovereign bond maturing in 2017 was yielding 2.46 percent on Wednesday, tighter by 67 bps since issue in December and only 13 bps wider than the yield’s record low in early May. Weaker Gulf credits have also done well. Dubai is still working through its corporate debt problems, and its credit default swaps are in a higher bracket than those of wealthy Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia. But Dubai’s $600 million, 4.9 percent sovereign Sukuk, maturing in 2017 and issued last month, offered a yield of 4.44 percent on Wednesday. If Dubai were rated, it would be a minimum ‘BBB’, analysts believe. By comparison, Indonesia’s $1 billion, 6.875 percent bond maturing in 2017, rated ‘BBB-’, is yielding 3.37 percent. Brazil’s $2.5 billion, 6 percent bond maturing in the same year, rated ‘BBB’, yields 2.08 percent.

Last Closing

6,085.15 401 78 401.78 967.80

AREFENRGY

Oil & Gas

FILE - A Kuwaiti man sits on a bench outside the Kuwait Stock Exchange, Oct. 2, 2011. Bonds in the Gulf Arab oil exporters are outperforming fixed income markets in many other countries as the world’s economic climate darkens, suggesting the Gulf may have turned a corner in convincing investors of its financial stability. (Reuters)

Closing

104

122

Change

ź ź

255

ź

230

Ÿ

29

158

ź Ÿ

0 34

ŷ ź

0

0

0

0

0

ŷ

0.0

42,937

3,907

6

92

ŷ

0.0

MABANEE

980

970

97,646

94,844

15

INJAZZAT

66

66

200

13

1

970 66 0

ŷ Ÿ ŷ

0

0

0

0

INVESTORS

0

0

0

0

0

868,470 1,439,494

186,200 375,476

25 58

214 957.67

ź ź

-2.0 -8.52

IRC ALTIJARIA

51 84

50 82

412,777 16,916

20,631 1,400

17 6

SANAM

61

61

385,000

23,485

4

61

ŷ

KCEM

400

400

1,000

400

1

400

ŷ

0.0

AAYANRE

87

82

2,423,990

204,290

84

Ÿ

REFRI

162

162

9,318

1,510

1

0.0

85

AQAR

85

85

4,100

349

1

CABLE

ALAQARIA

0

0

0

0

0

-8.0

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76

76

30,000

2,280

3

ADNC

0

0

0

0

0

0.0

THEMAR

0

0

0

0

0

GRAND

0

0

0

0

0

0.0

TIJARA

38

38

570,000

21,485

12

TAAMEER

45

45

10

0

1

0.0

ARKAN

94

94

42

4

1

0.0

ARGAN

160

160

9,500

1,520

2

ABYAAR

44

44

11,853,278

520,547

83

0.0

MUNSHAAT

31

28

28,025,001

821,290

543

FIRSTDUBAI

44

40

2,187,431

92,930

69

KBT

0

0

0

0

0

0.0

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0

0

0

0

0

MENA

37

33

33,100

1,099

6

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0

0

0

0

0

1,180

15,020

17,724

6

194

184

841,650

157,035

64

PCEM

870

870

23,800

20,706

7

PAPER

196

196

11,000

2,156

6

MRC

0

0

0

0

0

ACICO

0

0

0

0

0

GGMC

620

560

24,600

14,201

10

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0

0

0

0

0

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0

0

0

0

0

KBMMC

0

0

0

0

0

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0

0

0

0

0

EQUIPMENT

0

0

0

0

0

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0

0

0

0

0

GYPSUM

0

0

0

0

0

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36

34

233,200

8,085

10

AGLTY

380

375

249,258

94,712

11

EDU

1,200 184

870

196 0

ŷ

0

ŷ

0

ŷ

0

0

380

ź

36 0

0

0

21,255 0

13 0

KGL

108

104

370,000

38,650

13

104

KCPC

330

330

100

33

1

330

HUMANSOFT

248

238

950

235

2

NAFAIS

108

95

600

60

3

0

0

0

3,966

11

MAYADEEN

23

22

38,609,373

849,468

198

CGC

1,300

1,300

300

390

1

MTCC

87

87

79,000

6,873

6

UPAC

430

425

55,750

23,959

8

ALAFCO

295

290

297,640

86,316

11

MUBARRAD

61

59

690,240

41,304

34

LOGISTICS

280

280

160,000

44,800

11

SCEM

0

0

0

0

0

GCEM

92

85

97,510

8,892

8

ŷ ŷ

0

146,520

ŷ

0

180,130 0

0

ź

0

0

26

ŷ

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116 0

0

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0

560

0

29

ŷ

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118 0

GFC

ź

0

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ŷ

116 0

248 95 0

28

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280 0

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0.0

0.0

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2

102

ŷ

0.0

189,082

52,963

8

-5.0

IFA

41

40

2,085,030

83,266

39

NINV

120

118

837,069

99,290

44

0.5

KPROJ

325

320

46,000

14,725

9

COAST

48

47

760,000

36,145

16

TII

0

0

0

0

0

SECH

0

0

0

0

0

IIC

0

0

0

0

0

SGC

124

106

390,017

44,982

18

IFC

98

96

1,360,797

132,507

41

MARKAZ

0

0

0

0

0

KMEFIC

58

50

9,883

490

4

1.0

AIG

0

0

0

0

0

ALAMAN

33

32

591,250

19,031

20

0.0

ALOLA

140

138

3,170,012

441,422

32

ALMAL GIH

0 33

0 32

0 5,502,900

0 176,845

0 81

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0

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84

82

90,001

7,430

5

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0

84 0

ŷ

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0

0

0

0

0

0

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0

0

0

0

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KAMCO

0

0

0

0

0

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49

45

5,600

269

4

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0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0

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0.0

0

0

0

0

0

0

420

208,000 208,000

87,790 87,790

24 24

420 1167.90

ź ź

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KCIN

840

810

13,200

10,875

12

840

ź

-20

KHOT

0

0

0

0

0

106

102

409,002

41,900

23

0

0

0

0

0

MASHAER

265

265

1

0

1

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295

290

12,914

3,800

6

MUNTAZAHAT

0

0

0

0

0

400

395

11,000

4,350

4

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0

0

0

0

0

FUTUREKID

0

0

0

0

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ALNAWADI

95

95

8,000 8 000

760

2

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120

116

3,081

357

3

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0

0

0

0

0

248

232

550

132

2

0

0

0 458,127

0 62,298

700

690

228,277

2,080

2,040

UFIG KOUTFOOD Consumer Services ZAIN NMTC

HITSTELEC 74 Telecommunications

0

ŷ ź

290

ź

265 0

400 0

0

95

120

Ÿ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ź ź

40,156

2,570

6

55

172,826

9,549

6

GNAHC

45

44

540,300

24,088

19

AMWAL

0

0

0

0

0

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0

0

0

0

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0

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0

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290

290

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276

1

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42

39

48,817,907

1,958,049

489

ź

0 -10

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INOVEST Financial Services

52

49

1,988,482 92,123,563

99,863 4,958,464

68 1,651

51 903.00

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ŷ ź

0.0 -5.05

MAREF 0 Investment Instruments

0

0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0.00

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0.0 0.00

490

ź

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BURG

425

420

300,646

127,758

21

425

ŷ

0

KFIN

740

730

875,993

639,583

65

740

ŷ

0

BOUBYAN

610

600

285,202

172,917

36

UGB

170

162

165,774

27,019

14

AUB ITHMR

0 43

0 41

0 7,750,856

0 325,943

0 180

13,719,115

4,457,302

435

960.05

0

0

0

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490

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2

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74

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0

0

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116

112

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19 19,060 060 24,073

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WETHAQ

74

74

10,000

740

1

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0

0

0

0

0

BKIKWT Insurance

0

0

0 80,069

0 25,108

0 9

0 1066.05

ŷ ź

0.0 -16.94

AINV

0

0

0

0

0

0

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SOKOUK KRE

0 52

0 51

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0 20,522

0 5

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116 1142.09

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0 52

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0

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0

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ź

0.0

0.0

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870 260

0

5

32

218

ŷ

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0

ALMUTAHED KIB

FTI

13,766

0

ŷ

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136

ABK

KUWAITRE

160,000

0

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126

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0

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216

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0

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0

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60,000

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220

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0

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ALMADINA NOOR

234 84 0

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30

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SULTAN

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0

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0

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0

0

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CATTL

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106

104

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RKWC Industrials

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0

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7,169,320 55,351,801

0

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FCEM

KSH

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-4.0

46

QCEM

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370

ŷ

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85

0.0

-1.0 -1.0

REMAL Real Estate

87

295

0.0

ź ź

MARAKEZ

ź

430

0.0

51 83

0.0

1.0

-4.0 0.0

ź ŷ

22

1,300

0.0

0.0 -0.5

91

212

1,200

8.0

2.0

0

0

SHIP

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92

216

ŷ

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ERESCO

ALQURAIN Basic Materials

162

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UREC

0.0 0.0

Last

0 0

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38

Ÿ

0

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0

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0

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0 0

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00 0.0

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THURAYA

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0

0

0

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AMAR Parallel Market

50

50

100,000 110,000

5,000 5,375

1 2

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

50 955.72

ź ź

-3.0 3.0 -0.93


LIFE

ThursdAY, June 7, 2012

Last transit of Venus this century draws stargazers around the world Astronomers say they hope rare planetary spectacle - last for 105 years - will spark people’s curiosity about universe

This image provided by NASA shows the path of Venus at different stages of the event as seen by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft. (AP)

PARIS: Astronomers and novice star-gazers worldwide trained their eyes and telescopes on the skies Wednesday for the last chance this lifetime to observe Venus track a near sevenhour path across the Sun. The extraordinary event, only to be seen again in 105 years, began shortly after 2200 GMT on Tuesday, visible first from the Pacific and north and central Americas as a small black dot trailing across the solar surface. Australia -- for which the transit of the fiery planet carries a unique historical interest as a 1769 precursor contributed to the continent’s discovery -- presented one of the best vantage points. For Europe, the Middle East and South Asia, most of the event happened overnight, and impatient planetary observers had to wait until sunrise to observe the transit’s final moments. “After today, that’s it. Probably no-one alive is going to see one of these again,” the Royal Astronomical Society’s Robert Massey

Stages of the transit of Venus as seen from Seoul, South Korea. (AFP)

told AFP after witnessing the event from the Cotswold hills in southwest England. “For most of us, this was the last chance. I was very lucky; we didn’t have very good weather but we actually managed to have a few holes in the clouds.” The planet named for the Roman goddess of beauty and love only rarely moves in a direct line between the Earth and the Sun, and the next transit will be in 2117. Only six transits have been observed since the telescope was invented: in 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882 and 2004 -- happening in pairs eight years apart. Cloud cover spoiled the rare opportunity for many around the world, including parts of Australia and much of Europe. “I saw it for about, maybe at most 30 seconds to a minute once, and briefly for about 10 seconds after that. It wasn’t the best view I’ve ever had, so I was delighted to see something,” said Massey. “We regrettably saw nothing from Paris,”

lamented Claude Catala, director of the Paris Observatory. “It is the hard life of the astronomer.” For astronomers, the transit was not just a rare planetary spectacle. It was also one of those events they hoped would spark curiosity about the universe and our place in it. Sul Ah Chim, a researcher at the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute in South Korea, said he hoped people would see life from a larger perspective, and “not get caught up in their small, everyday problems”. “When you think about it from the context of the universe, 105 years is a very short period of time and the Earth is only a small, pale blue spot,” he said. European Space Agency (ESA) scientist Hakan Svedhem observed the passage from Svalbard, Norway -- so far north that the Sun doesn’t set in summer. “It was a long night but it was very exciting and it was particularly nice to see it against the midnight Sun,” he told AFP about an hour

after Venus took its leave and slid off the solar disk just before 0500 GMT. “It is a very spectacular sight to see.” To observers not using telescopes, the event would have appeared as a black dot about a 30th of the Sun’s diameter, moving slowly over the star’s northern hemisphere. ESA’s Venus Express is the only spacecraft orbiting the hot planet at present, and used the unique opportunity to study Venus’ atmosphere. “We can learn how to observe atmosphere on planets around other stars” similar to our Sun, said Svedhem -- to determine whether they may be able to sustain life. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, which cannot view the sun directly, used the Moon as a mirror to capture reflected sunlight and study the fiery planet. On Earth, Sydney Observatory held a sellout viewing with 1,500 people buying tickets. About 600 people gathered at the Goddard Space Flight Center in the US state of Mary-

Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea spreading: WHO CONNECTICUT: Gonorrhea, the second most common sexually transmitted disease, is rapidly growing resistant to the last class of antibiotics that can effectively treat the infection, the World Health Organization warned Wednesday according to HealthDay News. A number of countries, including Australia, France, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, are reporting cases of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea. The infection can lead to a series of serious health problems for both men and women, including infertility, increased risk of HIV infection, and potentially blinding eye infections in newborns, the WHO said. Every year some 106 million people around the world are infected with gonorrhea, the UN health agency said. In recommendations released Wednesday, the WHO called for greater oversight on the correct

use of antibiotics and more research into alternative treatments for infections. The agency’s Global Action Plan also urges increased monitoring and reporting of resistant strains of the disease, as well as better prevention, diagnosis and control of infections. “Gonorrhea is becoming a major public health challenge, due to the high incidence of infections accompanied by dwindling treatment options,” Dr. Manjula Lusti-Narasimhan, of WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research, said in a news release. “The available data only shows the tip of the iceberg. Without adequate surveillance we won’t know the extent of resistance to gonorrhea and without research into new antimicrobial agents, there could soon be no effective treatment for patients,” she added. Gonorrhea accounts for one quarter of the four major, curable sexually transmitted diseases,WHO noted, and it’s the second most common sexually

transmitted infection after chlamydia. Since the development of antibiotics, gonorrhea has developed resistance to a variety of antibiotics, including penicillin and tetracyclines, and appears to be developing resistance to cephalosporins, the last line of drug defense, the agency said. Untreated gonorrhea can lead to health problems for men, women and newborns, the WHO said, including: infection of the urethra, cervix and rectum; infertility in both men and women; increased risk of HIV infection and transmission; ectopic pregnancies; miscarriage, stillbirths and premature deliveries; and severe eye infections in up to 50 percent of babies born to women with untreated gonorrhea that can lead to blindness. Gonorrhea can be prevented through safe sex practices. Early detection and treatment, including of sex partners, is essential to control sexually transmitted diseases, WHO said.

Astronomers find faintest galaxy seen at universe’s edge NEW YORK: Astronomers have found the faintest galaxy yet seen in the deep, distant reaches of space, an object whose light has taken 13 billion years to reach us according to LiveScience. The tiny galaxy, which existed about 800 million years after the Big Bang created the universe, is among the top 10 most distant objects known. “This image is like a baby picture of this galaxy, taken when the universe was only 5 percent of its current age,” Arizona State University astronomer James Rhoads said in a statement. “Studying these very early galaxies is important because it helps us understand how galaxies form and grow.” Rhoads and his colleagues used the IMACS

instrument on the Magellan Telescopes at the Carnegie Institution’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile to image the galaxy. They applied a special filter that restricted the light coming in to the telescope to a narrow range of infrared wavelengths, allowing them to block out all but the most distant, faint objects. “We have been using this technique since 1998 and pushing it to ever-greater distances and sensitivities in our search for the first galaxies at the edge of the universe,” said Arizona State University’s Sangeeta Malhotra. The faint galaxy is designated LAEJ095950.99+021219.1, and has a redshift of 7. Astronomers use redshift to denote

Solar plane lands in Morocco on historic flight PARIS: A solar plane made history Tuesday by landing in the Moroccan capital after flying across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain on the world’s first intercontinental flight in a plane powered by the sun. Bertrand Piccard, a 54-year-old Swiss psychiatrist and balloonist, landed Solar Impulse at 11:30 pm (2230 GMT) under a full moon at Rabat Sale airport where he was welcomed by officials of the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency (MASEN). Big marquees had been erected near the airport for the organizers of the flight, shown live on the site solarimpulse.com. The plane was to stay in Rabat for five days before taking off for Ouarzazate in the south of Morocco for the launch by King Mohammed VI of construction of the largest-ever solar thermal plant. As he got out of the aircraft, the pilot looked exhausted after the nearly 19-hour flight but was smiling. A special terminal had been set up by the Moroccan airport authorities with a large police presence. Dozens of people, including flight organizers and Moroccan officials, gathered at the runway to witness the historic touchdown. Piccard had taken off from Madrid’s Barajas airport before dawn at 5:22 am (0322 GMT) in the Solar Impulse, an aircraft as big as an Airbus A340 but as light as an average family car. After more than 10 hours’ flight, Piccard had climbed to more than 5,500 meters (18,000 feet). Flying at some 45 kilometers (28 miles) per hour in the freezing, high altitude, he needed an oxygen mask to breathe. An onboard vid-

eo camera relayed images of the distant patchwork of fields and valleys stretched out below the aircraft, which has 12,000 solar cells in the wings turning four electrical motors. To qualify as an intercontinental flight, Piccard had only to cross the Strait of Gibraltar -14 kilometers (nine miles) at its narrowest point -- from Europe to Africa. The crossing is one of the most challenging points of the voyage because of the need of oxygen and temperatures that can dip as low as minus 29 degrees Celsius (minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit). He entered Moroccan airspace without any hitches, Mustapha Bakkoury, the head of the North African country’s solar energy agency, told AFP on the telephone. The aircraft is not using a drop of fuel. Each of the motors on the carbon-fiber craft charges 400-kilogramme (880-pound) lithium polymer batteries during the day, allowing the aircraft to carry on flying after dark. In the bright Spanish sun, the batteries had been recharged to full capacity by the afternoon. “The question is not to use solar power for normal airplanes,” Piccard explained. “The question is more to demonstrate that we can achieve incredible goals, almost impossible goals, with new technologies, without fuel, just with solar energy, and raise awareness that if we can do it in the air, of course everybody can do it on the ground.” Organizers say the voyage has been timed to coincide with the launch of construction of the largest-ever solar thermal plant in Morocco’s southern Ouarzazate region. -AFP

Men watch the transit with a telescope in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP)

distance, because the farther away something is, the more its light has been shifted toward the red range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Scientists have seen only a handful of galaxies with redshifts of 7, and none of those have been as dim the newfound galaxy. “With this search, we’ve not only found one of the furthest galaxies known, but also the faintest confirmed at that distance,” Malhotra said. “Up to now, the redshift 7 galaxies we know about are literally the top one percent of galaxies. What we’re doing here is to start examining some of the fainter ones - thing that may better represent the other 99 percent.”

land to observe the planet also known as the Evening Star or Morning Star due to the bright sunlight it reflects early and late in the day. And in Tahiti in French Polynesia, one of the best viewing spots, up to 2,000 people gathered on the beach at Venus Point, so named for the place where British navy captain James Cook observed the same momentous event in 1769. Cook had charted the east coast of Australia on that same trip. Venus is the second planet from the Sun, roughly the size of the earth, with no oceans and a lead-melting surface temperature. In the 18th and 19th centuries, astronomers used the planet’s transits to measure the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Indian numerologist Swetta Jumaani said the event was an auspicious one, describing Venus as the planet governing love, peace, harmony and good luck. “This transit across the sun will bring good luck and good fortune this year,” she told AFP. -AFP

Climate change to cost Latin America $100 billion by 2050 PARIS: Global warming could exact a devastating toll on the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean, with costs possibly exceeding $100 billion by 2050, the Inter-American Development Bank warned Tuesday. In a new report, the Washington-based organization also called for “forceful” reductions in greenhouse gases to forestall some of the worst consequences of climate change. The bank urged countries in the region to dramatically increase their efforts to prevent climate change and mitigate its negative impacts, including drought, diminishing agricultural yields, vanishing glaciers and raging floods. “Many climate-related changes are irreversible and will continue to impact the region over the long term,” Walter Vergara, the bank’s Division Chief of Climate Change and Sustainability and the lead researcher of the study, said in a statement. “To prevent further damages, adaptation is necessary but not enough. Bolder actions are needed to bend the emissions curve in the coming decades,” he said. The report -- issued by the bank, the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) -- is to be formally unveiled later this month at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. The gathering in Rio de Janeiro of more than 100 heads of state and tens of thousands of participants from governments, the private sector and NGOs will mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 “Earth Summit” in the Brazilian city. -AFP

Greenpeace maps way to saving Arctic from oil drilling

IVF at younger age may raise breast cancer risk

NEW YORK: Women who undergo in vitro fertilization at a relatively young age have a higher risk of breast cancer, a new study from Australia suggests according to LiveScience. Researchers found that women who underwent IVF at age 24 were 1.6 times as likely to develop breast cancer as women of the same age who underwent infertility treatments but not IVF, the study showed. The link held after researchers took into account other factors known to affect breast cancer risk, such as being older at the birth of the first child, and having twins or other multiples. When all women in the study, who were between ages 20 and 44 at the study’s start, were considered, there was no overall link between undergoing IVF and breast cancer. “The results of this study will be reassuring to women who commence IVF treatment in their 30s and 40s, because for these women, there appears to be no direct association between IVF treatment and breast cancer risk,” the researchers wrote. For younger women, “there is some cause for concern,” they said, however, the link needs to be confirmed in other studies. The female hormone estrogen has long been known to fuel the growth of some types of breast cancer. The drugs used in in vitro fertilization temporarily raise a woman’s estrogen levels. Levels during IVF can peak at 4,000 picograms per milliliter of blood, much higher than the 300 pg/mL seen during a normal menstrual cycle, according to the study. In the new study, researchers looked at information gathered on 21,000 women in Australia who underwent treatment for infertility between 1983 and 2002. Nearly 7,400 of the women underwent IVF, and the women were followed for 16 years, on average.

FILE - An Arctic fox hunts in Svalbard close to Ny-Aalesund, Norway, in 2009. (AFP)

PARIS: Greenpeace called here Tuesday for more use of renewable energy and greener cars to help protect the Arctic and other areas from being spoiled by oil drilling. The environmental group launched an “energy roadmap” for cutting oil demand by about 80 percent, especially for transport, by making cars more energy efficient and making wider use of electric mass transit systems. “There would be no need to exploit the Arctic and other marginal sources of oil, such as the tar sands in Canada and offshore oil in Brazil, if more renewable energy powered our vehicles and if much stronger efficiency standards for cars were adopted in Europe and elsewhere,” Greenpeace said in a statement. It called for an investment of $1.2 trillion (965.4 billion euros) a year globally in new power plants up to 2050 to imple-

ment its roadmap, noting that the sum amounted to about one percent of the world’s annual GDP. Sven Teske, a Greenpeace expert and co-author of a report titled “Energy Revolution,” said the renewable power industry was quickly improving but that the car industry was dragging its feet on offering the new technologies. Greenpeace launched the report in the German capital with the European Renewable Energy Council and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). Steve Sawyer, secretary general of the GWEC, said the technology existed to eliminate fossil fuels from the electricity sector by 2050. He said that if the political will could be mustered, wind power alone could produce about 12 percent of the world’s electricity by 2020. -AFP


ALWATAN DAILY

CULTURE

thursday, JUNE 7, 2012

9

Ancient works reveal glimpse of Islamic caliphs’ lifestyle AZRAQ, Jordan: Ancient paintings in the Jordanian desert have unveiled a rare glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of Islamic caliphs, indicating that rulers of the early Islamic empire were less pious than their public personas might suggest. The paintings were discovered at Qusayr Amra, a 1,300 year-old hunting lodge and bathhouse that archaeologists have long believed were a favored retreat for one of the last Umayyad caliphs. What has interested archaeologists in the remote palace is not its prestigious former inhabitant, but the structure itself. Adorning the palace’s walls are a series of murals - vibrant paintings depicting hunting scenes, women, and even dancing and libation - breaking taboos forbidding figural depictions and immoral imagery. Over the past 11 months, the World Monuments Fund (WMF), the Italian Conservation Institute and the Jordanian Department of Antiquities have worked to restore the murals, which have long confounded archaeologists and Islamic art historians who refused to accept that such racy imagery could be traced to early Islamic caliphs. “Critics have tried to argue that these paintings were the work of he Byzantines or even the Romans,” said Gaetano Palumbo of the WMF. “They just simply couldn’t believe that these paintings could have been commissioned by an Umayyad caliph.” Proponents of Qusayr Amra’s Islamic origins associate the pleasure palace to Caliph Walid II, whose differences with the religious establishment earned him a reputation as a “reckless playboy” and led to his exile to the Jordanian desert. Jordanian archaeologists believe the palace likely served as Walid II’s recreational retreat, its remoteness allowing the caliph to indulge in less than modest pleasures away from the prying eyes of the religious establishment and political rivals in the Umayyad’s power base of Damascus. Despite the emerging consensus among scholars that the palace was frequented by Walid II, experts lacked conclusive evidence linking the pleasure palace’s construction to the caliph - until now. After months of carefully removing centuries of soot and graffiti, the Italian team recently uncovered an inscription

FILE - Qusayr Amra, a 1,300 year-old hunting lodge and bathhouse that archaeologists have long believed were a favored retreat for one of the last Umayyad caliphs. (dpa)

FILE - Frescos of artisans on side aisle ceiling at Qusayr Amra, a 1,300 year-old hunting lodge and bathhouse built in the Jordanian desert. (dpa)

proclaiming: “Oh God! Make Walid ibn Yazid virtuous.” Experts say the lack of a title accompanying Walid’s name indicates that the palace was commissioned when he was still a prince. That would place its construction between 723 and 743 AD, during the reign of Walid’s predecessor Caliph Hisham, and a time when the Umayyad empire was still at its peak. “For the first time we can definitively say that this palace was commissioned by Walid and this is indeed art from the Umayyad era,” says Ghazi Bisheh, former Jordanian antiqui-

forts in the 1970s that used shellac - a chemical substance now known to be harmful to ancient paints - which over the decades have yellowed the murals and now threaten to detach them from the palace’s walls. “The previous team used what was the best tools and know-how they had available at the time,” said Alex Sarra, a member of the Italian team. “But as we are seeing today, they did much more harm than good.” Also of concern are the palace’s foundations, which are nearing a state of collapse due

ties department director. Over 1,000 years since the first brushstrokes were applied to the palace’s ceilings and walls, conservationists say they now face a race against time to save one of the last known examples of secular Islamic art. The team says centuries of floods, weathering and Bedouin campfires have left the murals in “a state of deterioration.” Yet despite the wear and tear, experts say the most pressing threat facing the paintings is of modern origin. Conservationists are struggling to undo previous restoration ef-

US author aims to bring vegan life to Main Street TOKYO: When Victoria Moran was growing up in Kansas City, then home of the second largest stockyards in the United States, the concept of eating anything but meat was so unheard of that even the first salad bars were revolutionary. “People confused yoga and yogurt, and both were just odd,” said Moran, a long-term vegan. “It was a different time ... more difficult in that there simply weren’t accommodations for people who didn’t eat very traditionally.” Moran, who was a vegetarian before swearing off animal products such as milk and eggs, found that her new lifestyle brought her numerous health benefits, such as dropping nearly 30 kg (60 pounds). But getting there took many years and detours, an evolution she has tried to make easier for others with “Main Street Vegan,” a book written with her daugh-

ter, who has been a vegan from birth, that aims to help people make a change that she admits can still be a challenge. “A main street vegan is a regular person who has a sense that for the sake of their own health, or for the animals that are giving their lives for this food, or for this very deserving planet, maybe he or she needs to do something a little bit strange and change their diet,” she said in a telephone interview. “It’s ... not usually the way things are done here.” Moran mixes anecdotes, information and recipes to break down what may seem like the daunting process of giving up animal products into baby steps that allow the aspiring vegan to move forward. Along the way she answers questions about vegetarianism, including the best sources of calcium and protein.

“Protein is in everything that grows out of the ground, it’s a very ubiquitous nutrient,” she explained. “You would have to really try to be protein deficient unless you were in a state of starvation, or were anorexic, or alcoholic and drinking all your meals, or eating only junk food.” The social aspects can also be tricky, she warns, from dealing with well-meaning people who urge you to “just eat some meat” to soothing the family who feel you’re turning your back on long-term cultural traditions. But in the end, for those who want to, making the change can be surprisingly easy. “You learned how to drive a car, program the DVR, and use your iGadgets,” she writes. “Compared to those accomplishments, going vegan is a piece of (cake).” -Reuters

Twitter co-founder to publish life lessons in ‘old media’ LONDON: Twitter co-founder Biz Stone is planning to dish up some life lessons that will need more than 140-character bursts. Stone, 38, is working on a book about creativity called “Things a Little Bird Told Me” that will relate stories from his life and career and encourage others to be think outside the box, Grand Central Publishing said on Monday. “I’ve found that my experiences resonate with a very wide array of individuals at different stages in their lives,” Stone said in a statement. “I’m excited

to create a physical artifact to share the lessons I’ve learned.” Grand Central’s executive editor Ben Greenberg said the book would “reveal how his creativity works and will help readers apply those principles to their own lives.” Stone co-founded Twitter with Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey in 2006, creating a micro-blogging service that allows users to send messages of up to 140 characters and which now has some 140 million active users.

Stone also helped to create and launch social networking site Xanga, blog publishing service Blogger, and most recently, The Obvious Corporation, which aims to help people work together to make the world smarter and healthier. The Twitter co-founder has previously published two books on blogging, 2002’s “Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content” and “Who Let The Blogs Out” in 2004. “Things a Little Bird Told Me” is due for publication in April 2014. -Reuters

Disney to ban junk-food ads on TV channels, websites PARIS: The Walt Disney Company, in a first for a US media giant, said Tuesday it will ban junk-food advertising on its TV channels and websites from 2015 to help fight obesity among US children. “This new initiative is truly a game changer for the health of our children,” said First Lady Michelle Obama, a champion of better eating for young people who attended Disney’s landmark announcement in Washington. “This is a major American company, a global brand, that is literally changing the way it does business so that our kids can lead healthier lives,” she said. In a statement, Disney said all food and drinks advertised on Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney

Fresh fruit with Walt Disney Company packaging are displayed during an event introducing Disney’s new “Magic of Healthy Living” program at the Newseum June 5, 2012 in Washington, DC. (AFP)

Junior, Radio Disney, and Disney-owned children’s websites would, from 2015, be required to meet its own nutrition guidelines. The rules will also apply during Saturday morning cartoons on the ABC stations owned by Disney, which reach one in four American households from New York to Los Angeles. “The nutrition guidelines are aligned to federal standards, promote fruit and vegetable consumption and call for limiting calories and reducing saturated fat, sodium, and sugar,” it said. Besides the new advertising standards, Disney said it would roll out a “Mickey Check” check-mark icon this year to identify nutritious food and menu items at

its retail shops and theme parks. Seventeen percent of US children are obese, a figure that has tripled in 30 years, according to a report last month from the Institute of Medicine that warned of a “catastrophic” impact on national health care and productivity. Another study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, said 42 percent of Americans could be obese by 2030 -- the year when today’s eight year olds will be turning 26. “I believe this is a positive development,” said Kelly Brownell, Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, in an email to AFP. “Disney has credibility and reach, and they have set quite good standards for what can be promoted as healthy food. I believe they are making good progress and other media companies will have to take notice.” The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), whose members include such food industry giants as Kellogg’s and Kraft Foods, called Disney’s announcement “another important step” to helping consumers have a healthy diet. But others expressed skepticism. “Kids aren’t obese because they are watching fast food commercials on the Disney Channel,” wrote a Virginia resident under an online story about Tuesday’s announcement on the website of Advertising Age, a trade journal. “They are obese because instead of being active, they are sitting in front of a TV... How about creating TV shows that challenge kids to be active while watching?” Speaking from Los Angeles, a Disney spokeswoman explained that the 2015 start year for the guidelines had been set in order to allow existing advertising agreements to expire. -AFP

to previous interventions that used cement rather than the original limestone. With the bulk of Qusayr Amra’s ceilings and walls still obscured and the conservation project set to expire in November, experts say they are savoring a rare glimpse into the private lives of early Islamic rulers often known for their discretion. “These paintings are proof that no matter how different the civilizations, the ideals of beauty and relaxation were the same,” Palumbo said. -dpa

Shakespeare gives hope to Afghanistan arts revival

LONDON: A bearded man in drag and the Afghan army make unlikely companions in an adapted Shakespeare comedy whose London staging has shone a spotlight on Afghanistan’s neglected arts scene. Thirty years of war and conflict have severely hampered Afghanistan’s cultural development. Afghans boast a rich musical legacy and tradition of poetry, but many of the most talented go abroad, fleeing a film industry on the brink of collapse and a theatre industry that was throttled at birth. “This is a starter, the beginning of what could be a revolution to change Afghanistan through art,” said actor Basir Haider, who plays a servant in William Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors”, a farcical play of mistaken identity. The May 31 production in their native Dari Persian is part of Globe to Globe, which comes to a close at the end of this week and showcases 37 Shakespeare plays in 37 languages at the Globe Theatre as part of an Olympic cultural festival. “Placing Afghan theatre next to the best in the world will hopefully allow more Afghans to tell their stories,” Shreela Ghosh, director of arts for wider South Asia at the British Council, which brought the troupe to London, told Reuters. Staging the play was a massive undertaking for small theatre company Roy-e-Sabs (Path of Hope), run by Syrian-German director Corinne Jaber. Jaber said it was extremely difficult to find professional actresses in ultra-conservative Afghanistan and obtain rehearsal space free from the watchful eye of the pervasive and disapproving Taliban insurgents. The actors rehearsed in India after their space at the British Council in central Kabul was obliterated by a band of suicide bombers last year. The austere rule of the Islamist Taliban banned theatre outright in Afghanistan and though they were toppled a decade ago, performers today, especially women, complain of threats from the group and pressure from relatives who deem acting un-Islamic and too Western-leaning. Preparations for the play coincided with the release of the book “Shakespeare in Kabul”, which details the harrowing obstacles of putting on the 2005 production of “Love’s Labor’s Lost” in Kabul. That was the first Shakespeare play to be staged in the capital in 30 years, say the book’s American and Afghan authors, Stephen Landrigan and Qais Akbar Omar, who credit low levels of violence and optimism at the time for the production’s success. “Afghan actors have talent and we have very good writers too,” said Omar, who helped work on the translation of “The Comedy of Errors” at the Globe. Like other people concerned with reviving Afghanistan’s cultural fortunes, Omar lamented the meager support that culture has received from the tens of billions of dollars NATO has poured into Afghanistan since the US-led war began just over a decade ago. “Shakespeare is great, but help us create an Afghan Shakespeare.” In Jaber’s adaptation of Comedy of Errors for Afghans, the Syracusan family is split up in a sandstorm. In the original they are hit by a tempest while on a sea voyage. The “risque” love scenes - while totally typical of Shakespeare - were met with caution and even disapproval by some, a grim reminder of the struggles Afghan women routinely face in a society where they have far fewer rights than men. “I am afraid life might be difficult for the women afterwards,” said veteran Afghan actress Parwin Mushtahel, one of three women in the play. She warned that the actresses could face trouble from relatives if photos or films of the play make it to Afghanistan. “Our people simply cannot accept women on the stage, not to mention women who are kissing men,” said Mushtahel. She fled to Canada some years ago after receiving death threats for appearing in the 2005 Love’s Labor’s Lost production in Kabul and her husband was murdered. She suspects the killer may have been motivated by her acting. -Reuters


10

ALWATAN DAILY

ENTERTAINMENT

Song Of The Day

Fahad AlSabah Staff Writer

Song: Too Close Artist: Alex Clare Album: The Lateness of the Hour Genre: Soul/Dubstep In short: Soul and dub step usually don’t mix well, but Alex Clare has successfully-on his debut album-merged the two beautifully; “Too Close” is a mixture of the best of many genres held together by Clare’s raspy voice and delivery. To listen to the song visit www.alwatandaily.com E-mail your feedback to falsabah@alwatandaily.com

The Buzz Woman on MTV’s Teen Mom gets 5 years in prison An Indiana woman featured on MTV’s reality show “Teen Mom” has been sentenced to five years in prison after opting out of a drug-treatment program. Amber Portwood pleaded guilty in February to felony possession of a controlled substance and admitted violating her probation. The 22-year-old avoided prison by entering a drug rehabilitation program. But on Tuesday, after she quit the program, a Madison County judge sentenced her to the five-year term she originally faced. Prosecutor Rodney Cummings tells The Indianapolis Star that Portwood said she just couldn’t do it and “wanted out of the program.” -AP

Guns N’ Roses singer robbed after Paris show Police say Guns N’ Roses front man Axl Rose was robbed of three gold-and-diamond necklaces worth some $200,000 after the hard rock band’s concert in Paris. A Paris police spokesman said Wednesday that the lead singer of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted band was fuming after the theft during a private gathering after the band’s show at Bercy stadium the previous night. Judicial police have opened an investigation but the spokesman said it didn’t appear Rose was wearing the necklaces at the time. The spokesman spoke on condition of anonymity because of office policy. The group’s website says they are scheduled to play in Moenchengladbach, Germany, on Friday before returning to France as part of a tour of Europe and Israel that runs through July 22. -AP

Mayer criticizes Taylor Swift for Dear John Taylor Swift has never revealed her target in the scathing song “Dear John,” but John Mayer’s pretty sure it was about him - and he doesn’t think that’s cool. In a new Rolling Stone interview, Mayer called “Dear John” cheap songwriting and said it made him feel terrible - and he didn’t deserve it. Swift’s song from the multiplatinum “Speak Now” album dresses down a former boyfriend. Swift has never confirmed that the pair dated and when asked pointedly refused to say that song was about Mayer. Mayer says he did nothing to deserve the song and says Swift - his former musical collaborator - kicked him when he was down. -AP

Tina Fey big winner at Audie Awards Tina Fey, Jane Fonda and William Shatner are now award winners in the book world. On Tuesday night, Fey received Audie Awards for Audio Book of the Year and best Biography/Memoir for her narration of her million-selling “Bossypants.” Fonda won in the Personal Development category as the reader of her own “Prime Time.” Shatner was cited in Humor for “Shatner’s Rules.” The awards, in more than 25 categories, were sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association. -AP

Actress Amanda Bynes charged with DUI in LA Los Angeles prosecutors have charged actress Amanda Bynes with driving under the influence roughly two months after authorities say she grazed a sheriff’s patrol car in an early morning accident. The 26-year-old will be arraigned Wednesday morning in Beverly Hills but doesn’t have to attend the hearing. Instead, she can have a lawyer enter a plea. Bynes was arrested April 6 after authorities say she scraped a patrol car making a turn. The misdemeanor complaint filed Tuesday alleges she refused to take a test at the time that could’ve determined whether she was drunk or under the influence of drugs. Because of her refusal, authorities may suspend her driver’s license for a year. -AP

Debra Messing files to divorce writer husband Debra Messing has filed for divorce from her writer-producer husband. The former “Will and Grace” star filed her petition in Los Angeles on Tuesday, citing irreconcilable differences. Messing married Daniel Zelman, a writer and executive producer of the show “Damages,” in September 2000, but the couple separated in February 2010. They have an 8-year-old son and she is seeking joint custody. Her petition requests that Zelman pay her attorney fees and spousal support. -AP

Bruce and Demi’s daughter Scout arrested in NYC New York City police say the underage daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis was caught drinking in public and carrying fake identification. The New York Police Department said Tuesday that officers found 20-year-old Scout Willis sipping a beer Monday evening in Union Square in violation of an opencontainer law. Police say she also showed them a fake ID - a misdemeanor. Willis was arrested and taken to a local police station and released with a ticket ordering her to appear in court on July 21. Bruce Willis’ representative declined to comment on the arrest. -AP

thursday, JUNE 7, 2012

Herb Reed of vocal group The Platters dead at 83 BOSTON: Herb Reed, the last surviving original member of 1950s vocal group the Platters who sang on hits like “Only You” and “The Great Pretender,” has died. He was 83. Reed died on Monday in a Boston area hospice after a period of declining health that included chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, manager Fred Balboni said. Reed was a Kansas City, Mo., native who founded the Platters in Los Angeles in 1953. Then a quartet, the group won amateur talent shows, and performed nights and weekends up and down the California coast while the members worked days at a car wash and at other odd jobs. Reed came up with the group’s name, inspired by ‘50s disc jockeys who called their records platters. The group underwent several lineup changes, even adding a woman singer to become a quintet, before signing their first major recording contract in 1955. Reed sang bass on the group’s four No. 1 hits, including “The Great Pretender,” ‘’My Prayer,” ‘’Twilight Time” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” The Platters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the

Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. Their recordings are in the Grammy Hall of Fame. The group’s popularity reached across racial lines and genres, “achieving success in a crooning, middle-of-the-road style that put a soulful coat of uptown polish on pop-oriented, harmony-rich material,” according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s website. Reed credited his survival in the music industry to the poverty he experienced as a child in Kansas City. While other members of the group spent frivolously, he used his first big royalty check to buy a house. “I never thought that it would keep going, and I never wanted to assume we’d keep getting checks,” he said earlier this year. Reed also waged long legal battles with other artists who performed and recorded under the name the Platters. He finally won a court decision in Nevada last year giving him rights to the name. He called the court victory every bit as big as the gold and platinum records he had earned, Balboni said. Reed had homes in Atlanta and Miami but had called the Boston area home since the 1970s “because the people were always so nice to me,” he told a biographer. He had most recently living in Arlington.

FILE - This undated image released by Balboni Communications Group LLC shows Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend, founder and naming member of The Platters Herb Reed at his home in Arlington, Mass. (AP)

Reed was the only member of the group to appear on all of their nearly 400 recordings. He continued touring, performing up to 200 shows per year, until last year, often

Sheryl Crow says not worried by benign brain tumor LOS ANGELES: Sheryl Crow was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year but she does not worry about it because it is benign, the singer-songwriter told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. In a story posted on the newspaper’s website on Tuesday, Crow, whose hits include “All I Wanna Do” and “Soak Up the Sun,” said the tumor was discovered when she went to a hospital to be tested because she was experiencing memory loss. “I haven’t really talked about it,” she told the newspaper’s nightclub and entertainment reporter Doug Elfman, “In November, I found out I have a brain tumor. But it’s benign, so I don’t have to worry about it. But it gives me a fit.” A representative for the singer was not immediately available for comment. Crow told the Review-Journal that she has a history of memory loss dating back to the 1990s when she forgot the lyrics to her hit “A Change Would Do You Good” while singing in a show in Las Vegas. “I worried about my memory so much that I went and got an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). And I found out I have a brain tumor,” she said. “And I was like, ‘See? I knew there was something wrong.” She made headlines in May when she forgot words to “Soak Up the Sun” at a show in St. Petersburg, Florida. Onstage at the time, she joked, “I’m 50. What can I say!” Crow, who has two children, was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in 2006, which was successfully treated that year. -Reuters

FILE - Musician Sheryl Crow performs onstage during the Stagecoach Country Music Festival held at the Empire Polo Field on April 29, 2012 in Indio, California. (AFP)

performing with younger singers under the name Herb Reed and the Platters or Herb Reed’s Platters.Reed is survived by a son and three grandsons. -AP

Hip-hop mogul James Rosemond convicted as cocaine kingpin

LOS ANGELES: James Rosemond, the former hip-hop mogul accused of peddling millions of dollars worth of cocaine, was convicted Tuesday afternoon in a federal court in Brooklyn. The jury, seated beside a chart of mugshots connecting the alleged cocaine kingpin to a network of drug-slingers, found Rosemond, known as “Jimmy Henchman,” guilty after a day of deliberation. “I’m obviously very disappointed,” Rosemond’s attorney Gerald L. Shargel told Reuters. Shargel told the court his client was never involved in the cocaine trade. “I stand by what I said in court,” he said, adding that his client plans to appeal before the sentencing, the options for which include life in prison. Rosemond is perhaps more notorious in the hip-hop community for his alleged involvement - which he has consistently denied - in the bicoastal feud that led to the murders of rappers Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace, known as Biggie Smalls. He served as the CEO of Czar Entertainment which managed big-name artists including the Game, 50 Cent, Akon, Brandy and boxer Mike Tyson. Prosecutors accused Rosemond of operating a cross-country cocaine ring that shipped the drug to New York and sent the money to the West Coast, according to court documents obtained by Reuters. The US attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York could not be reached for immediate comment. -Reuters

Director Scott revives Alien DNA in Prometheus LOS ANGELES: Since hatching “Alien” 33 years ago, Ridley Scott has hoped no other filmmakers would try to answer this question: Where did the space eggs containing those terrifying beasts come from? Scott has hints of an answer himself with “Prometheus,” a cousin to “Alien” that opens Friday and marks the filmmaker’s return to science fiction after a 30-year break. His origin story doesn’t offer easy solutions, though, and raises as many questions as it answers about the derelict space ship where humans discovered the eggs that unleashed such horror in the 1979 film and its three direct sequels, along with two hybrid “Alien vs. Predator” flicks. “At the end of the ‘Alien’ franchise, when all was said and done with the fourth film, it seemed to me you can’t use that creature one more time. It was too familiar and no longer frightening. Therefore, is it over?” Scott said. Yet fans have wondered for decades about that fossilized “space jockey” depicted in “Alien,” the apparent pilot of the extraterrestrial wreck that franchise hero Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and her crew stumbled across. Who was he, what was he, where did his cargo of alien eggs come from, and where were they bound? Some of the secrets are revealed in “Prometheus,” which stars Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce and Charlize

Theron as explorers who set out to find the “engineers” that created humanity but discover that those makers have terror in store for their offspring. The “P’’ word - prequel - has been tossed about to describe the new film. But “Prometheus” is more a precursor than a straightforward prequel to “Alien.” “To call it a prequel is limiting, but it does have a connection,” Pearce said. “It basically plants the seed for that original ‘Alien’ film, but it’s a really clever way to go about it, looking at this mission we’re actually on and how it does connect with that alien creature that Ripley does find.” Set in the late 21st century, a few decades before the action of the original film, “Prometheus” exists in a world familiar to that of the “Alien” franchise - with a monolithic corporation, space explorers in hibernation chambers for their long journey, an enigma of an android whose motivations keep the crew - and the audience - guessing. Theron plays the ice-queen overseer of the company backing the voyage, Pearce is the corporation’s patriarch, Fassbender’s the inscrutable android with agendas all his own, and Rapace is something of an update of Weaver’s Ripley, an idealistic scientist forced to become a bad-ass action hero. Like “Alien,” ‘’Prometheus” has ghastly, gory moments as creatures infiltrate human hosts. Rapace is the focus of the film’s most-

Actors Michael Fassbender, (left), Noomi Rapace and Guy Pearce, (right), pose for photographs with Director Sir Ridley Scott, at a central London hotel, June 2, 2012. (AP)

memorable instance, one to rival the shock of the infant alien bursting from John Hurt’s chest in the 1979 original. Scott knows what he’d like to do now with “Prometheus”: make a sequel. There are no simple answers at the end of the film,

Lawyers for actors Costner, Baldwin face off in trial NEW ORLEANS: Lawyers for Hollywood actors Kevin Costner and Stephen Baldwin faced off in a real-life court drama on Tuesday over Baldwin’s claims that Costner cheated him out of his share of a multimillion-dollar deal to sell oil cleanup devices to BP Plc in 2010. The federal lawsuit lodged against Costner by Baldwin and business partner Spyridon C. Contogouris alleges that Costner, best known for his performance in “Field of Dreams” and “The Bodyguard,” cheated Baldwin and Contogouris out of their share of a multimillion-dollar deal under which BP bought 32 oil and water separation devices developed by a Costner-owned company. Day two of the case focused on emails and text messages among the parties before BP made an $18 million advance payment for oil extraction devices to be used to clean up after the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon disaster, the worst offshore oil spill in US history. Both actors once invested in Ocean Therapy Solutions,

the company that owned the oil-separating centrifuges. Baldwin and Contogouris claim that Costner and his associates defrauded them by hiding details of their deal with BP. The plaintiffs seek damages of $15 million to $20 million, said James Cobb, attorney for the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs will prove that Costner and his associates lied repeatedly to exclude them, Cobb told Reuters. “Lies are like potato chips - no one can tell just one,” Cobb said. Costner’s defense contends that the plaintiffs were not actual investors in Ocean Therapy Solutions at the time of the BP deal, and therefore their claim is not valid. Both actors were expected to appear in court every day of the trial before US District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman and eight jurors. Neither has testified yet and the two have avoided any direct contact. Costner and Baldwin avoided direct eye contact in the courtroom but their body language sometimes reflected the tension between the parties. -Reuters

which sets the characters and the audience up for even bigger questions to ask in the next chapter. A “Prometheus” follow-up might explain more of the connections to “Alien,” but this first film is more of a taste or a teaser on how the two stories fit together. -AP

Paul McCartney officially on for Olympics opening LOS ANGELES: Paul McCartney will help get the London Olympic Games off to a rocking start. The former Beatle confirmed speculation that he would take part in the opening ceremony, telling the BBC that he will close out the ceremony on July 27. “I’ve been booked,” McCartney said, adding that he would be “closing the opening.” McCartney is the first act to be confirmed for the opening ceremony. “Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle is serving as artistic director of the ceremony. Boyle recently revealed that he’s using the classic monster story “Frankenstein” -- which he produced as a stage production of last year -- as inspiration for the ceremony. “I mean, we don’t reanimate dead creatures, but we did use Frankenstein as a dry run for a lot of ideas for this,” Boyle said. According to Boyle, the venue where the ceremony dubbed “The Isles of Wonder” - will look “like a cauldron, with all the people hovering over and around you.” The International Olympic Committee has not yet responded to Reuters’ request for comment. -Reuters


ALWATAN DAILY

SPORTS

THURSDAY, june 7, 2012

Basketball

Celtics cool off Heat to move one win from finals MIAMI: The Boston Celtics drew on their famous grit and determination to move within one victory of the NBA Finals on Tuesday with an upset 94-90 road win over the Miami Heat to take a 3-2 series lead. The Celtics can now secure the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals back home in Boston on Thursday after Miami’s vaunted offense spluttered in the second half. LeBron James scored 30 points and Dwyane Wade poured in 27 but the Heat now face the distinct possibility of missing out on the finals completely as they bid to make up for the disappointment of losing last year’s title showdown. Rajon Rondo was the architect of Miami’s demise for Boston with 13 assists on a night where he shot only 3-of-15, while Kevin Garnett was the chief executioner with 26 points and 11 rebounds. But above all, Boston were able to draw on their renowned fighting spirit once again as they fought back from a 13-point deficit in the second quarter and from nine points behind in the third. Both times, Boston picked themselves up and dealt with the situation to secure a victory against the odds, despite shooting just 41 percent and getting out-rebounded by 49-39. “We were just hanging in there,” Celtics head coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “They jumped on us at the beginning of the game and we just told our guys ‘don’t over-react, hang in there, the longer we are in the game, the better we’ll play’. “I thought out execution down the stretch, defensively and offensively was terrific,” he added. It was far from a classic encounter, however, with Miami shooting at 39 percent from the field and managing just 7-of-26 three-point attempts as defenses dominated. The work was spread around for Boston with Ray Allen and Mickael Pietrus scoring 13 each and Brandon Bass chipping in with ten points. The Heat, with Chris Bosh, nine points, seven rebounds; back from injury for the first time in the series, started brightly and led 24-16 at the end of a first quarter in which Rondo failed to score a point. The lead was down to 42-40 at halftime, though,

with Miami’s offense running out of steam and that was a trend that continued in the third quarter as Boston, on the back of a 15-1 run, rushed into a 6560 advantage. Key to the change was the scheming role of Rondo, who shot just one-of-eight from the field in the first half but provided five assists in the third quarter, and the powerful play at the basket from Garnett. The game’s decisive moment came when Paul Pierce (19 points) nailed a three-pointer over James, who tallied 30 points for the ninth time

this post-season, with 52.9 seconds remaining to give the visitors a 90-86 lead. Miami, who benched Bosh in the latter stages, could not come back from that blow and now the pressure is really on the Heat for a do-or-die encounter at ‘the Garden’. “It’s a loss and that’s all it is,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It was a tough one to lose here at home but it’s over with. It has to be behind us right now and our energies have to be ready for Thursday,” he said. -Reuters

Strauss defends Anderson absence

FILE- England’s Andrew Strauss leaves the field after being out for 45 runs on May 28, 2012. (AFP)

Onions. “It’s a possibility he might miss out,” Strauss said. “When it comes down to selecting a side we do it in the morning of the match.” Finn, who has 53 wickets in 13 Tests, and Onions, with 28 in eight, have had to wait patiently for their

chance this series and Strauss said: “They have both been chomping at the bit. “It speaks volumes for them the way they have reacted to not playing, and also speaks volumes for the strength in depth we’ve got in our seam bowling resources that guys of that quality are sitting out. “One of them will get the opportunity at least and I’m sure whoever gets it will be keen to take it.” This match is also set to mark the start of star batsman Kevin Pietersen’s England career as a Test player only after the South Africa born shotmaker retired from one-day international cricket when the management refused to let him play just Twenty20 matches and Tests and insisted he also, as per his contract, continued to make himself available for 50 overs per side contests. “His mood has been very good,” said Strauss. “In a lot of ways it’s probably a relief for him to get it out there and get it all done and dusted. “Kevin has made that decision and we all respect it. Kevin went into it with his eyes open. He knew what the situation was and what the ramifications were, and we’re all just looking forward now. “The schedules are hard and if you’ve got a young family and you’ve been playing for quite a long time, it’s quite hard to keep yourself fresh enough mentally,” said Strauss who retired from one-dayers after the 2011 World Cup. “The most important thing is that mentally you understand that you’re giving away a certain part of the game,” the opening batsman added. “If you’re not ready to do it, then it can eat away at you. Certainly in my case, that wasn’t the case.” -AFP

Formula one

Canada can be seventh heaven for Schumacher LONDON: Michael Schumacher has won seven Formula One world championships, seven Canadian Grands Prix and has the number seven on his Mercedes. If it all falls into place for him in Montreal on Sunday, the 43-year-old German could also find himself in seventh heaven as the unprecedented seventh different winner in seven races so far this season. Schumacher is a long shot, given that he has just two points to his credit and has not stood on the grand prix podium since he ended three years of retirement in 2010, but not as much as some might suspect. He showed a flash of his former brilliance in Monaco two weeks ago, his car is now a proven winner and he looked on course for a podium in Canada last year before having to settle for fourth. The former Ferrari great would have been on pole in Monaco had he not picked up a five-place grid penalty at the previous race in Spain, and that performance provided a timely boost. “The race in Montreal is usually action-packed, like we saw last year. The characteristics of the circuit should suit us, and we are counting on our car performing well there,” said Schumacher. “A trip to Montreal

TENNIS

Italy to host US in 1st round of 2013 Fed Cup Novak Djokovic to be Serbia’s Olympic flag-bearer

CAPITALS: Italy will host the United States in the first round of the 2013 Fed Cup. Other matchups for the Feb. 9-10 first round: Australia at the Czech Republic, Japan at Russia, and the Slovak Republic at Serbia. The semifinals are scheduled for April 20-21, and the final November 2-3. The International Tennis Federation announced the draw Wednesday. The reigning champion Czech Republic will host Serbia in this year’s Fed Cup final in November. Tennis star Novak Djokovic

has said he will be Serbia’s flag-bearer at this summer’s Olympic Games in London, Beta news agency reported Wednesday. “We are all very excited about the Olympic games in London, such a magnificent sporting event, and it goes without saying what a great honor it is for me to carry the flag for Serbia,” Djokovic told the agency. Among the hundred athletes in the Serbian delegation, the world tennis number one is one of Belgrade’s main hopes for an Olympic medal. Djokovic, the Wimbledon and US and Australian Open champion, is currently in Paris where on Tuesday he reached the French Open semifinals. -Agencies

Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce (left) drives on Miami Heat’s LeBron James in the fourth quarter during Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Finals NBA basketball playoffs in Miami, Florida June 5, 2012. (Reuters)

CRICKET

BIRMINGHAM: England captain Andrew Strauss has insisted resting James Anderson from the third Test against the West Indies will enable the strike bowler to play more international cricket in the long-run. England, 2-0 up in the three-match series, have decided now is the time to give Anderson a break with a packed schedule in front of them, and reserve seamers Steven Finn and Graham Onions eager for action. Anderson, however, has made clear his unhappiness at being rested for the third Test, which starts at Edgbaston here on Thursday. But Strauss, speaking at the ground on Wednesday, defended the decision by saying: “Jimmy Anderson has missed out and with good reason. It’s a tough thing for any player not to play in a Test but with this schedule as it is, you have to manage your resources cleverly. “The idea of rotating and resting is that they end up playing more, not less. The last thing you want is for someone to be playing to the extent that they’re dead on their feet and get injured and are out for months.” England’s aim is to make sure Anderson is fully fit for the upcoming Test series against South Africa, where they will put their world number one ranking on the line. But Strauss insisted England were not getting ahead of themselves. “South Africa is on the horizon but it’s still on the horizon, not right here yet. For us to look too far ahead is generally a little bit dangerous.” Although they have included Stuart Broad in a 12-man squad, Anderson’s new-ball partner and England’s Twenty20 captain could be rested as well if England decided to play both Finn and

11

is always worth it and let’s hope we can make our trip this year especially worthwhile.” Another qualifying performance like Monaco would hand Schumacher another seven - his seventh Montreal pole - but the first step is to make sure the car is reliable. Schumacher is a distant 18th in the standings while Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso leads on 76 points with Red Bull’s double champion Sebastian Vettel and Australian Mark Webber both tied on 73. His own team mate Nico Rosberg, a winner in China in April, has 59 points. “Michael has suffered several technical problems and our priority is to give him a problem-free weekend in Montreal,” said Mercedes motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug in a preview for the race. “As his fastest qualifying time in Monaco demonstrated, Michael has the speed to compete at the front.” While the season has been one of the most unpredictable, Montreal also has fame as a circuit that throws up surprises. Last year’s rain-hit race was the longest ever, ending after more than four hours, and Schumacher has plenty of rivals with experience of winning there. On paper, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton looks

one of the strongest prospects at a circuit that gave him his first victory in 2007. The Briton is a past master of Montreal, on pole three times in four visits to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and winner there twice, and has his eyes on McLaren’s 150th pole - something the 2008 world champion was denied in Spain due to a fuel error. “This is turning into a unique season,” Hamilton said before heading across the Atlantic for what will be the first of two North American rounds this year with a new race scheduled for Austin, Texas, in November. “Even though everything hasn’t gone right for us, I’m confident that myself and the team are doing everything we can to ensure we’re in the best possible position to challenge for victory. “I know that the results we all want will soon come to us.” Hamilton’s team mate Jenson Button took an epic win in Canada last year after charging through from the back of the field after a re-start and is hungry to end a run of poor results. Alonso and Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen, who could equally be the seventh different winner, have also triumphed at the island track in the St Lawrence seaway. -Reuters

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball to Andreas Seppi of Italy during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 3, 2012. (Reuters)

Sharapova beats Kanepi, reaches 3rd French Open SF PARIS: Maria Sharapova reached the semifinals at the French Open, the only Grand Slam tournament she hasn’t won, by beating 23rd-seeded Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-2, 6-3 on Wednesday. The second-seeded Sharapova lost in the Roland Garros semifinals in 2007 and last year. She won Wimbledon in 2004, the US Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008. Against Kanepi, Sharapova played

much better than she did in her previous match, when she had 12 double-faults and was broken nine times. Still, there were issues Wednesday, including when Sharapova was broken trying to serve it out. The Russian is expected to move up to No. 1 in the rankings, overtaking Victoria Azarenka, if she can reach her first French Open final. Kanepi dropped to 0-4 in major quarterfinals. -AP

Maria Sharapova of Russia returns the ball to Kaia Kanepi of Estonia during their quarter-final match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 6, 2012. (Reuters)

OLYMPICS

Semenya picked for Olympics, no Pistorius yet JOHANNESBURG: Former world champion Caster Semenyahas been included in South Africa’s initial team for the London Olympics, while double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius hasn’t been picked yet. South Africa’s Olympic committee said Wednesday’s selection represents “the bulk” of the team to go to London, but some athletes still can qualify and be

added ahead of the June 30 cutoff. Pistorius has yet to meet the South African qualifying criteria. He needs one more time of 45.30 seconds or better before the end of the month to be eligible to compete in the 400 meters in London. South African Olympic committee chief executive Tubby Reddy tells The Associated Press his body won’t relax the qualifying criteria for Pistorius. -AP

FILE- South Africa’s Caster Semenya (center) competes in a Women’s 800m qualification heat at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Sept. 1, 2011. (AP)


Football

SPORTS

Kagawa backed to shine for United TOKYO: Japan’s Shinji Kagawa was strongly backed to make an impact for Manchester United on the field as well as off it Wednesday as he prepared to become the English Premier League’s most expensive Asian player. Kagawa’s Japan team-mates said the 23-yearold deserved his move to the English giants, while experts said the versatile attacking midfielder would be an important asset for United -- and not just for his marketing potential. “Shinji deserves to be playing for a top club. He belongs,” said fellow Japan international Keisuke Honda, who plays for CSKA Moscow. “I hope he does well.” Kagawa has caught the eye with 21 goals in 49 appearances over two seasons for Borussia Dortmund -- who won the German league and cup double this year -- as well as a hatful of assists. The lively, right-sided player, who can play behind the main striker or on the left or right, and is also blessed with defensive awareness, is considered an important acquisition as United update their team. The 19-time English champions lost their Premier League title to neighbors Manchester City this season, and floundered in Europe. Meanwhile old-stagers Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-Sung are in the twilight of their careers. On Tuesday, United said they had agreed terms for Kagawa, pending a medical and visa clearance. The deal is expected to cost around 12 million British pounds (18.4 million US dollars), dwarfing the figure United paid for Park in 2005. Fresh-faced Kagawa is now set to become the Premier League’s biggest Asian signing and the most prominent player ever from Japan, eclipsing Hidetoshi Nakata who starred in Serie A a decade ago. But he cut a reluctant figure when cornered by media in Saitama, where Japan are preparing to face Jordan on Friday. “I haven’t put pen to paper yet,” Kagawa said, according to Kyodo news agency. “We still have two more games to play, and the entire team is focused on these qualifiers. “I’ll talk about all of this once I’m done here. I hope people will understand.” Asian newspapers splashed with the news on Wednesday, with Singapore’s New Paper calling Kagawa the “real deal”. “What Manchester United need is a player who can change the pace of attack with ingenuity and accelerate the attack. That may be why they acquired Kagawa,” said Japan’s Nikkei business daily. “Kagawa may well back up striker Wayne Rooney effectively. And he may well step up himself with the help of the sophisticated Rooney.” Press coverage in England was also positive, although the mass-market Daily Mail dubbed him

Japan’s forward Shinji Kagawa kicks the ball before Oman’s forward Raed Ibrahim Saleh during their World Cup 2014 Asia zone Group B football qualification match in Saitama stadium in Saitama on June 3, 2012. (AFP)

“Shinji Kaga-who?” and said fans would be hoping for higher-profile signings. However, few backed the theory that Kagawa had been brought in by United, recently rated as the world’s most popular club, simply to sell shirts and merchandise in Asia. “Kagawa meets the club’s need to find a player who can feed decisive passes to England forward Rooney and organize

their midfield,” said a commentary in Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper. “At present, Kagawa may be positioned as a ‘quasi-regular’. But there is no doubt that Kagawa will be a type of player needed by Manchester United.” Team-mates were also in no doubt about Kagawa’s ability to find his feet at Old Trafford, despite an indifferent season for Asian players in the Premier League. -AFP

thursDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

Holders Spain get down to business at Euro 2012 WARSAW: Spain on Wednesday began fine-tuning their bid to retain the European title they won four years ago, as the last teams for Euro 2012 were expected to arrive in Poland and Ukraine. Vicente Del Bosque’s side were put through their paces at their secluded training camp in Gniewino, near the Baltic port city of Gdansk in northern Poland, cheered on by some 300 Polish fans and about 40 travelling Spanish supporters. Spain have been drawn in Group C with Croatia, the Republic of Ireland and Italy and take on the Azzurri in Gdansk on Sunday, with UEFA president Michel Platini tipping La Roja to be among the challengers for the title come the final on July 1. “The two teams for me are Spain and Germany -- if they play at 100 percent. But if they don’t, there are a lot of teams that can beat them,” Platini told a news conference. Spain will be without Barcelona captain Carles Puyol and all-time record scorer David Villa but defender Javi Martinez said they were more than capable of making up for the duo’s absence. “It’s true that they are two very important players, integral to our wins in both Euro 2008 and the World Cup,” said the 23-year-old Athletic Bilbao star, who was also part of the World Cup-winning squad. “But those who have been selected can do as well as they did, why not better? With the help of everybody, I think that their absence will not be noticed.” Italy, who are based in the southern Polish city of Krakow, meanwhile visited the former Nazi German death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where 1.3 million people, most of them Jews, perished in World War II. Dressed in blue and white team tracksuits, they visited the barracks and the wall where prisoners were shot, before going to the gas chambers in nearby Birkenau and the largely destroyed crematorium where victims’ bodies were burned. They then placed a commemorative wreath inscribed with the words “Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio” -- Italian football federation -- at the memorial. “Such an atrocity should never happen again. What happened here doesn’t

Uruguay go second in FIFA world rankings WARSAW: Uruguay have moved above Germany to become the second-highest ranked team behind world and European champions Spain in the latest FIFA rankings published on Wednesday.Germany, who together with fourth-ranked Netherlands, Denmark (9th) and Portugal (10th) are all in a tough Group B at Euro 2012 which starts on Friday,

have slipped to third. Argentina climbed two places to seventh while Brazil (5th) and England (6th) also moved up one spot. Portugal were the big fallers, plummeting from fifth following a dismal start to the year in which they have failed to win in three matches, scoring just one goal. -Reuters

Uruguay’s national soccer team players jog during a team practice in Montevideo June 4, 2012. (Reuters)

Al Wasl makes offer for Drogba

Ivory Coast national football team’s player Didier Drogba kicks a ball during a training session in Abidjan, on May 31, 2012. (AFP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: The chairman of Al Wasl says the United Arab Emirates club has made a bid for Didier Drogba but expects the former Chelsea star to sign with a Chinese club. Marwan bin Bayat would not say Wednesday how much Al Wasl has offered Drogba, only that it was less than what has been offered from the Chinese team. Drogba has been linked to Shanghai Shenhua, which also has hired former Argentina coach Sergio Batista and another former Chelsea player in Nicolas Anelka. Bin Bayat said the club, which is coached by Diego Maradona, was ‘’definitely serious’’ about Drogba but that the Ivorian striker ‘’seems more interested in China.’’ Maradona wants the club to bring in bigger names after a season in which it finished eighth in the 12-team UAE pro league. -AP

just concern one people. It concerns all of humanity. Their pain is our pain,” the Italians wrote in the visitors’ book. They were later followed by players from the Netherlands, who made the same tour. A delegation from the German football federation visited the Auschwitz museum last Friday and England, who are also setting up their base in Krakow, are expected to visit after they arrive on Wednesday. Roy Hodgson’s in-form Group D opponents France were heading to their base near Donetsk, Ukraine, on Wednesday while Sweden were expected in the capital Kiev. Chancellor Angela Merkel was also due to pay a personal visit to the Mannschaft at their training camp near Gdansk. Co-hosts Ukraine, entering the championship on a low note after losing their friendly with Turkey 2-0, were hit by a bout of food poisoning but given an incentive to recover with the prospective of healthy bonuses for tournament wins. Ukrainian football chief Grigory Surkis said the squad would get a 500,000euro ($624,000, 405,000-pound) bonus for every group stage win and 250,000 euros for a draw. Two million euros will be paid if they make the knockout stages and the same amount again for reaching the semi-finals. An appearance in the final will earn them three million euros extra and 4.5 million euros if they win. “We have a better prize fund than any other team at the European championships,” Ukraine’s football supremo was quoted as saying by local media. Euro 2012 kicks off on Friday, when co-hosts Poland play Greece in Warsaw and Russia take on the Czech Republic in Wroclaw. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has predicted a home win, as has a 33year-old Indian elephant called Citta, who made her forecast based on a choice of three ripe melons from her enclosure at Krakow zoo. Russia’s management team claim the players are peaking perfectly for the first match. Veteran Czech striker Milan Baros is an injury doubt, however. -AFP

Red card for Euro 2012 jerseys

BRUSSELS: Official jerseys for the upcoming Euro 2012 have been handed a red card by a consumer group even before the tournament kicks off for being tainted with lead, nickel and other toxic substances. The European Consumer Organization, BEUC, called a “chemical foul play” this week after testing nine official tournament shirts. “All were found to have worrying levels of chemical content,” it said in a statement. One of its members played down the warning, however. A spokesman for Belgian consumer group Test Achat, Jean-Philippe Ducart said “there’s no need to dramatize.” Referring to the quantities found, he told AFP that “there’s nothing illegal, even though special attention is needed for vulnerable groups such as children.” BEUC said lead, a heavy metal, was found in six of nine tested shirts -- those of Spain, Germany, Ukraine, Russia, France and Italy. Players from Portugal and the Netherlands will play in shirts containing nickel, it said. Jerseys from host nation Poland “should be banned outright from shops” for containing a compound to prevent the smell of sweat -- organotin -- that can be toxic to the nervous system. Nonylphenol, which can be bad for the endocrine system and is banned from waste-water because it can harm the environment, was found in shirts from Spain and Italy. With fans paying up to 90 Euros for some jerseys “the least they should expect is to have a quality and safe product,” said BEUC director Monique Goyens. “It is inexplicable that heavy metals are used in mass consumer products,” she said. Tests were conducted by BEUC members in Italy, Portugal and Spain on jerseys from Poland, Spain, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Portugal. -AFP

Kranjcar leaves Tottenham for Dynamo Kiev ZAGREB: Croatian midfielder Niko Kranjcar announced he was leavingTottenham to join Ukrainian First Division side Dynamo Kiev afterEuro 2012, national HRT television reported on Wednesday. “All is settled. The (two) clubs have reached a deal and only details remained to be agreed upon,” Kranjcar said. “I leave it all in the hands of my agent in order to dedicate myself to preparations for the European championship,” the 27-year-old added. He spoke from Poland where the Croatia squad are awaiting the start of the Euro 2012, on Friday. Croatia have been drawn in a tricky Group C with champions Spain, Italy, and the Republic of Ireland. Croatian media have reported that Tottenham asked between eight and ten million Euros (10 and 12 million US dollars) for Kranjcar, who appeared in both the 2006 World Cup finals and Euro 2008. The Zagreb-born midfielder joined Tottneham in 2009 from Portsmouth. -AFP

FILE- Croatia’s midfielder Niko Kranjcar controls the ball during a friendly football match against Estonia in Pula, on May 25, 2012. (AFP)

June 7, 2012  

Al Watan Daily - Kuwait

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