SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2012
Issue No. 1370
150 Fils with IHT
Cabinet to discuss interpellation, salaries today
MPs push for 70% salary raise Mohammed Al-Salman, Mohammed Al-Khaldi Staff Writers
KUWAIT: The National Assembly Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun has included the interpellation filed against His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah in Parliament’s agenda for Tuesday in order to set a date for discussions. According to sources, the lawmakers may equally deliberate over the motion in the event that the premier and the interpellator expressed readiness to this effect. Reports emerged that the Cabinet will discuss the issue of interpellation during its ordinary session today (Sunday) to be headed by His Highness the Prime Minister. An official source affirmed that the report compiled by a group of constitutional experts will be tabled before the Cabinet today to determine whether it will accept discussing the interpellation as well as examine its constitutionality. The source noted that the ministerial team that will be formed to keep track of the motion is going to contact MPs to gauge their reactions before a decision is made on the discussion. It has been gathered that the government is likely to accept discussing the interpellation if it receives assurances that the MPs will not file a no-cooperation motion. Additionally, the official source pointed out that the constitutional experts have advised the government to reiterate the
unconstitutionality of the interpellation in the event that the premier persists on discussing the interpellation in a public session. This is because some of the issues highlighted in the interpellation concern the actions of the previous government. The prime minister, according to these experts, needs to stress that he chose to discuss the interpellation out of respect for the Constitution and to heed the desire of the parliamentary majority A government source equally revealed that the prime minister had requested all the information related to the five issues highlighted in the interpellation in order to determine the best way of dealing with the motion. The source confirmed that the premier is ready to step up to the podium to refute the claims made in the interpellation, while stressing that all options remain on the table. Meanwhile a source close to the MP who failed the interpellation, remained adamant that the interpellation is constitutional, arguing that Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak was a senior member of the previous government and that he witnessed irregularities such as the multimillion dinar scandal and allegations that public funds were channeled abroad via the Foreign Ministry.The source also suggested that the premier took no action regarding these allegations even though he served as a caretaker prime minister and was officially appointed as new premier afterwards. Moreover, the source added that the PM is responsible for not addressing the issue of bedouns (stateless Arabs) and that he failed to submit government’s plan of action or take action CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 against corruption.
Nigeria questions kidnappers of slain hostages
Taliban Guantanamo detainees agree to Qatar transfer
Palestinians carry the cofﬁns of Islamic Jihad militants during their funerals in Gaza City, Saturday, March 10, 2012. The worst violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip in nearly a year entered its second day on Saturday, as Israeli aircraft killed 14 militants, according to Palestinian health ofﬁcials. (AP)
KABUL: Five Taliban detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay military prison have agreed to be transferred to Qatar, a move Afghanistan believes will boost a nascent peace process, President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman said on Saturday. The transfer idea is part of US efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table to avoid prolonged instability in Afghanistan after foreign combat troops leave the country at the end of 2014. “We are hopeful this will be a positive step towards peace efforts,” Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi told Reuters, adding the Taliban detainees would be re-united with their families in Qatar if the transfer takes place. It would be one of a series of good-faith measures that could set in motion the first substantial political negotiations on the conflict in Afghanistan since the Taliban government was toppled in 2001 in a US-led invasion. A year after it was unveiled, the Obama administration’s peace initiative may soon offer the United States a historic opportunity to broker an end to a war that began as the response to the September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda attacks on the United States. But the peace drive also presents risks for President Barack Obama. He faces the potential for political fallout months before a presidential election, as his government considers backing an arrangement that would give some degree of power to the Taliban, known for their brutality and extreme interpretation of Islam. Despite months of covert diplomacy, it remains unclear whether the prisoner transfer will go ahead. Doubts are growing about whether the Taliban leadership is willing to weather possible opposition from junior and more hard-core members who appear to oppose negotiations. -Reuters
Entire Pacific nation could one day move due to climate change WASHINGTON: Fearing that climate change could wipe out their entire Pacific archipelago, the leaders of Kiribati are considering an unusual backup plan: moving the populace to Fiji. Kiribati President Anote Tong told The Associated Press on Friday that his Cabinet this week endorsed a plan to buy nearly 6,000 acres on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. He said the fertile land, being sold by a church group for about $9.6 million, could provide an insurance policy for Kiribati’s entire population of 103,000, though he hopes it will never be
necessary for everyone to leave. “We would hope not to put everyone on one piece of land, but if it became absolutely necessary, yes, we could do it,” Tong said. “It wouldn’t be for me, personally, but would apply more to a younger generation. For them, moving won’t be a matter of choice. It’s basically going to be a matter of survival.” Kiribati, which straddles the equator near the international date line, has found itself at the leading edge of the debate on climate change because many of its atolls rise just a few feet above sea level. More on 11
Russians stage new protest against Putin
Opposition protesters with their ﬂags gathered in center of Moscow during a rally, Russia, March 10, 2012. (AP)
MOSCOW: Several thousand Russians gathered in central Moscow on Saturday for a rally seen as a test of the opposition’s ability to mount a sustained challenge to President-elect Vladimir Putin. Demonstrators carried white balloons and wore white ribbons, the symbols of protests that began over a disputed parliamentary poll on December 4 and are intended now to highlight allegations of fraud in the presidential election Pu-
Fresh assault in Syria amid diplomacy efforts Arabs, Russia agree need to end Syria violence
BEIRUT: Syrian troops pushed ahead with a new assault on the northern region of Idlib on Saturday, shelling one of the centers of the uprising against President Bashar Al-Assad’s rule and sending families fleeing for safety as armed rebels tried to fend off the attack. Thick black smoke billowed into the sky. The military operation has raised fears that the regime is planning a new all-out offensive in Idlib like the bloody siege last month that captured a restive part of the city of Homs, further south.
While the fighting raged, UN envoy Kofi Annan met with AlAssad in Damascus during a high-profile international mission trying to bring a halt to fighting and arrange talks between the two sides to end the country’s yearlong conflict. But the mission was already hitting dead ends. Al-Assad told Annan that any political dialogue was doomed to fail “as long as there are armed terrorist groups that work to spread anarchy and destabilize the country,” according to the state news agency SANA. The regime blames terrorists acting out a foreign conspiracy for the uprising, not protesters seeking change. The opposition as well has rejected dialogue, saying it is impossible to talk to Al-Assad’s regime after a crackdown that the UN estimates has killed more than 7,500 people. Activists put More on 4 the toll even higher, at more than 8,000.
First free presidential race starts in Egypt
CAIRO: Egypt officially started on Saturday the process of holding its firstever free presidential elections, with the door opening for candidates to submit their applications. Politicians from the era of deposed president Hosni Mubarak, ex-military officers, and moderate and hard-line Islamists are expected to become the front-runners in a vote that is scheduled to start May 23. The elections follow decades of authoritarian rule, with all of the country’s former presidents elevated from the ranks of the military and usually approved by referendum. Mubarak, who was forced to step down last year after an 18-day mass uprising last year, was elected to his last term in 2005. Those were Egypt’s first multi-candidate presidential elections, but they were widely rigged. The country’s ruling military council, which took over power after Mubarak’s fall, has pledged to transfer power to elected civilian authorities after the name of the new president is announced in June 21. The revolutionary youth movement that led the uprising, which performed poorly in the first post-revolution parliamentary elections that ended in January, is concerned the generals will keep their More on 4 grip on power even after a new president is inaugurated.
Immune system tricked into accepting donor organs
US preparing to restart military aid to Yemen
Indian residents and onlookers gather beside smouldering remains of homes after a ﬁre swept through an area in Hyderabad on March 10, 2012. According to local police reports a child has died and many were injured after a ﬁre devastated an area of dwellings in the Nagole District of the southern Indian city. (AFP)
tin won on March 4. Putin’s opponents hoped to attract a large crowd to maintain the momentum of the rallies, which could quickly fade following Putin’s triumph and the detention of hundreds of people during or after protests on Monday. Early signs were that the protest would be smaller than the largest protests that have attracted tens of thousands of More on 5 people over the past three months.
WASHINGTON: The Pentagon is planning to restart programs that would fund military training and equipment in Yemen, nearly a year after they were shut down because of escalating chaos in the embattled country. While no agreements have been cemented, US defense officials said as much as 75 million US dollars in military assistance could begin to flow later this year. The officials said the Pentagon and State Department are putting together a letter to send to Congress to request the aid be restarted. The plan is in line with the Obama administration’s intention to provide significant security and civilian aid to Yemen in 2012-13 as long as the Middle Eastern country continues to move toward a new
government and funding is kept out of the hands of insurgents. One senior military official said discussions have begun over how best the United States can help Yemen, which is putting a new US-backed government in place. The official said it may be difficult to relaunch the counterterrorism training that was suspended about a year ago because Yemeni forces are engaged in battle with the Al-Qaeda-linked insurgency. Instead, the training program could shift to focus less on fighting tactics and more on how to plan combat operations and strategize against the enemy. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because no final decisions have been made. -AP
People light candles in bamboo holders in memory of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami victims at Jifukuji Temple in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, March 10, 2012. (AP)
Female activists call for return of caliphate TUNIS: Hundreds of Muslim women gathered near Tunis Saturday to call for the return of the caliphate, the defunct Islamic system of governance which they said was the only means of guaranteeing their rights. The members of the Hizb utTahrir party came from Islamic countries including Arab states, Indonesia and Turkey, as well as from Europe to debate the benefits of the system that disappeared nearly 90 years ago. “This conference raises questions about the secular liberal way of life and asks whether it is a system that has succeed in securing the dignity and rights of women,” chief spokeswoman Nasrin Nawaaz of the British branch of the party told AFP. “Muslim women are gathering together saying that we no longer want to live under secular liberal democratic systems,” she added.
“We want a new system, we want the khalifa system that historically has been tried and has succeeded in securing the rights of women.” Nawaz said that countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran that promote themselves as Islamic states “in reality they implement nothing but the rules of dictatorship.” Men were banned from the conference, which opened with a film castigating Western political systems and calling for “patient and determined work to reestablish the law of Islam.” Founded in 1953, Hizb ut-Tahir has members and sympathisers in more than 50 countries. It seeks the return of the caliphate, based on Islamic Sharia law, by political means. The caliphate was introduced after the death of Mohammed to govern the Muslim world and held by a succession of dynasties based in different cities before the emergence of nation states. -AFP
SUNDAY, march 11, 2012
Cabinet to discuss suggestions for developing youths’ sectors
Union to strike on March 19 for two hours Fahad Al-Loban
KUWAIT: The Vice President of the National Union for Kuwaiti Workers and Chairman of the Workers in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Syndicate Ajmi Al-Mutlaqam said that it has been agreed that on Monday, March 19 a strike will be arranged to take place for two hours effective from the start of the working hours. Al-Mutlaqam said that the decision will continue with the intended strike on grounds in order to reach an agreement with the various state departments. He added that the demands are legitimate and fair for all the employees who deserve the increment. Furthermore, the Head of the Syndicate of the Customs and Excise General Department Ahmad Uqla said that next Tuesday March 19 a strike will be carried out by the employees of the Customs and Excise. Uqla added that the demands of the employees of this department “was met with negligence” by the government, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance. “The employees of the Customs and Excise will never give up their demands for what they believe as their lawful and legitimate rights and the government needs to accept such rights,” he explained.
KUWAIT: The Cabinet will discuss during its meeting today the government’s priorities and scenarios regarding the interpellation filed by Member of Parliament (MP) Saleh Ashour against His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak, in addition to the results of the governmental discussions with MPs concerning their stance on the interpellation. A governmental source told Al Watan that the premier asked for all the information regarding the main issues of the questioning, which is a step that precedes facing the interpellation. The source added that all options are applicable and might be used by the government. It is worth noting that the premier had asked for the government’s work schedule, in order to approve it according to a specific time frame. In addition, the Cabinet will also discuss a request made by the Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud last week, which was to discuss the suggestions and ideas made by the ministers regarding the youths sector, where every minister can explain how his ministry can assist in that area. Moreover, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled will demonstrate the results of his discussions with the Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, discuss the development unfolding in Damascus, the Kuwaiti aid to Syrians, and the stance
Ministry of Finance employees demand 100% salaries increase or else strike Hamad Al-Jedi
MP Saleh Ashour addresses the media at the National Assembly on March 6, 2012. (AFP)
of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Furthermore, Minister of Public Works and Development Fadhil Safar will submit a report about
the development plan and its projects, in addition to reports about Jaber bridge, Ali Sabah Al-Salem University, and highways.
Cabinet to discuss interpellation, salaries today continued from page 1
The source further noted that Ashour will be forced to make startling revelations if he realizes that MPs are reluctance to back the interpellation. Eyes will be fixed on the Cabinet’s session today, as the government is expected to discuss the report compiled by the Civil Service Council with regard to wage increases. The Cabinet is widely expected to endorse the proposed increments after making some amendments. This coincides with increased demands by MPs that salaries should be raised by 70 percent. Some MPs have even hinted at resorting to their legislative powers by enacting a law that would ensure that the wages are increased to the appropriate
level, taking into consideration the high prices and the lack of pay increase for very long time. In this context, MP Dr. Mohammad Al-Hatlani affirmed that it is inconceivable that the wages are increased by 25 - 30 percent on top of the basic salary, describing this as unrewarding. The MP added that the Parliament will only allow a fulfilling increase through the promulgation of a piece of legislation to this effect. In the meantime, MP Menawer Al-Azmi called on the Cabinet and the Civil Service Council to urgently consider wage increase for those who have not received special allowances, stressing this issue is on top of the Majority Bloc’s priorities. He pointed out that the demands of employees
are well-deserved, affirming that there need to be fairness and justice in any increases to be made across the board. Equally, MP Mohammad Al-Kandari noted that the Parliament will discuss proposals pertaining to salary increments, which have been put forth by a group of MPs. He called on the executive and legislative authorities to cooperate on this issue. In other news, the Parliament is due to discuss during its Tuesday session requests for the formation of investigation committees into allegations certain MPs have received kickbacks in the previous Parliament. Similarly, the National Assembly is due to assign the Public Funds Protection Committee to probe allegations of diesel smuggling.
KUWAIT: Three hundred employees working at the Ministry of Finance decided to form a committee that would demand for their rights away from the ministry’s union or top management. The group’s spokesperson Nael Al-Fadli said that the decision to form a committee was reached after many employees realized that the union had never requested the basic rights of employees and that the top management will not take any action to grant them their rights. He added that those two authorities are the reason behind their loss of rights, where the demands were limited only to serve their personal requirements regardless of the rest of the employees working at the ministry. Al-Fadli specified initial requests that the committee will adopt, such as increasing the basic salary by 100 percent to all employees, increasing the allowance by five percent for every year the employees is granted an excellent evaluation, indemnity for employees who have been working for 25 years with total salaries of 18 months, and to setup a provident fund. He added that a committee formed by the ministry’s employees will manage the fund where the capital will consist of a monthly deduction (15 Kuwaiti dinars), in addition to another monthly installment of KD 30 in which the ministry will pay on behalf of its employees.
UN Human Rights Commissioner expresses gratitude to Kuwait
FM urges Syrian government to accept Arab plan CAIRO: Chairman of the 137th session of the Arab League Ministerial Council, Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah urged on Saturday the embattled Syrian regime to accept the Arab plan for resolving the crisis in Syria peacefully. “We ask the Syrian government to heed the voices of reason, coming from Arab, Muslim countries as well as the whole international community,
urging it to accept the Arab plan,” Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled said in the opening speech of the 137th Arab League Ministerial Council here. He warned that the Syrian regime’s failure to deal positively with the Arab plan had made it difficult for the international community to reach a peaceful diplomatic solution to the worsening crisis in Syria. “We urge the Syrian government to cooperate with the UN-Arab Special Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan to help save the lives of Syrian people,” the
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, is escorted by Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah, center and Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby, right, while he arrives to attend the Arab League foreign ministers meeting at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt Saturday, March 10, 2012. (AP)
Kuwait Foreign Minister said. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled added that the situation in Syria is unacceptable and can’t continue this way. “What is happening in Syria runs against all values and norms and is considered a blatant violation to human rights of the defenseless Syrian people,” he underlined. In addition, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid called for developing the Arab League and bolstering Arab cooperation to address the unprecedented challenges facing the region. “The current situation prompts us to exert more efforts to unify Arab stances and device new mechanisms to upgrade the performance of the pan Arab action to address the challenges and achieve the Arab interests,” he added. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled said that Kuwait, which chairs the current session of the Arab League Council, is paying due attention to pushing ahead pan-Arab cooperation in all domains. The Arab League Council President vowed that Kuwait will do its best during this session to overcome any obstacle facing Arab cooperation and the activation of the Arab League charter. With regard to the Palestinian cause, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled criticized the Israeli schemes to change the Arab character of occupied Jerusalem. He called for a firm Arab stance against Israeli practices and support for everlasting peace based on the Arab peace initiative of 2002. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled welcomed a Qatari proposal for taking the Jerusalem case to the United Nations Security Council to press Israel to stop its illegal activities in the occupied holy city. Meanwhile, he congratulated Yemeni President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi on his election to the high post under the Gulf Cooperation Council plan for transferring power in Yemen. The Kuwaiti FM voiced condolences over the cowardly killing of Saudi diplomat in Bangladesh Khalaf Al-Ali. -KUNA
Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and International Organizations in Geneva Dharar Razouqi (left) during his meeting with the High Commissioner for The Human Rights Navi Pillay (right) on Saturday, March 10, 2012. (KUNA)
KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and International Organizations in Geneva Dharar Razouqi said on Saturday that his meeting with the High Commissioner for The Human Rights Navi Pillay to hand in Kuwait’s contribution of a million US dollars comes in support for the role of the High Commission in such critical stage. Razouqi described the generous donation as “an exceptionally and voluntary”. Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) Razouqi said that Kuwait demanded the High Commission to see if there are any needs related to the Syrian file “a role which is complementary to other national organizations.” He added that Navi Pillay was one of the first people to declare the hardship and agony of the Syrians and expressed her support for them at the same time. “The support we are giving is a translation of Kuwait’s appreciation for the big role, particularly that related to the Syrian file, which is currently forcing itself
strongly on the international arena, in addition to the support Kuwait has portrayed for the Arab Initiative. She (Pillay) is fully aware of the nature of the Arab Initiative to resolve the Syrian issue peacefully,” he explained. The Representative also added that he outlined his country’s support to sort out the Syrian problem, which is to find a peaceful answer and to alleviate the sufferings of the Syrians. On her part, High Commissioner for Human Rights Pillay said that Kuwait’s contribution is “significant” for the Commission as it would be employed for the support and promotion of human rights. She added that it will be now applied to the Syrian issue and those who promote human rights concerns. She said that part of the Kuwaiti contribution will be used to assist women and children escaping the conflict in Hums, as well as to finance the committees visiting Syria finding mission and to take the testimony of the survivors. She also added that the refugees are in desperate need for protection. -KUNA
MoI: Traffic Week aims at protecting lives Hamad Al-Jaadi
KUWAIT: The Traffic Week for the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) was launched on Friday evening at The Avenues mall, under the title “Let`s Work Together to Reduce Road Accidents”. This event is to aware drivers who text while driving, urging them to abide by the traffic regulations, conducts traffic awareness for foreign residents, and to learn more about the traffic regulations in Kuwait. On the opening day, a number of companies participated in the activities of the traffic week, including the Traffic General Department and Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), in addition to Security Media Department which distributed brochures and booklets that included traffic advices to attendees. The event was inaugurated under the patronage of the Assistant Undersecretary of Ministry of Interior for Traffic Affairs Major General Dr. Mustafa Al-Za`abi and activities of the week
will last until March 12. On his part, the Chairman of Public Relation and Moral Guidance Department Colonel Adel Al-Hashash affirmed that the relevant authorities should utilize the media to aware the public of traffic week. Meanwhile, the celebration for the opening of this event witnessed a great turn out by young people and adults, where in the traffic officials answered the questions of the attendees. The Acting Director of Coordination and Follow Up Unit at Traffic General Department and the Head of the Organizing Committee of the traffic week activities Brigadier Nasser Al-Enzi said that the week can be considered as an annual celebration that aims at increasing traffic awareness amongst people in addition to protecting lives. He added that the rate of traffic accidents in the Gulf are increasing significantly according to official statistics and studies, therefore all efforts need to be exerted to increase the public traffic awareness.
A police patrol car is seen at The Avenues mall during an exhibition held to commemorate GCC Traffic Week on Friday, March 8, 2012. (KUNA)
sunDAY, march 11, 2012
Coop Union embraces itself for increment: Al-Samhan Hamed Al-Sayyed Staff Writer
KUWAIT: As the decision to increase the salary of the state workers is highly being anticipated, the Co-op Societies Union has introduced new regulations to prevent any attempts that could cause any increases in the prices of commodities. Speaking to Al Watan, the Head of the Price Control Department of the Union and Director of the Hattin Co-op Society Abdulaziz Al-Samhan said that to ensure meeting such targets, the Union has de-
cided to carry out field visits to the warehouses of company suppliers who seek to apply the increase. The Union will make sure that the companies do not stack away with the aim of doubling their margin profits. “The Union will not allow any attempt to increase the prices of goods, unless of course there is a very good reason behind it such as the rise of cost from the source country or shipping costs have increased and so on and so forth,” he explained. Al-Samhan added that reports of the government approving the highly de-
manded increment for the state employees is beginning to be very much within reach and soon implemented. “Part of the strict measures the Union is planning to introduce is to provide the authorized inspectors with scanner devices which will be connected to the Co-Op Societies Union, so that the prices labeled on the items would be instantly checked and verified and then compared to the official prices set by the Price Fix Committee. Such scanner devices will certainly control the prices accurately,” he concluded.
Japanese Ambassador affirms significance of upcoming visit by Amir
SARAJEVO: Japanese Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Hideo Yamazaki has affirmed significance of scheduled upcoming visit to Japan by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. Yamazaki, during a banquet hosted by the Japanese diplomatic mission here, late on Friday, also stressed on importance of the scheduled upcoming visit of Sheikh Sabah to Japan, where he affirmed the strong bilateral relations. The Amir is scheduled to visit Japan later this month. It will mark the first visit to Japan by a Kuwaiti ruler to the Asian nation since 1995.
The Japanese diplomat thanked Kuwait’s noble position towards his country and people during the Tsunami that hit Japan last year. Yamazaki held a dinner banquet in honor of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Sarajevo Mohammad Fadhel Khalaf, where he lauded the Kuwaiti continuous support for his nation during their crisis. On his part, the Kuwaiti Ambassador highlighted the strong historic relations bounding Kuwait and Japan. Such high-status relations are result of endless efforts exerted by both countries’ leaderships, with the aim of development and prosperity for peoples of both countries. -KUNA
Civil Service Bureau announces Ambassador to India joins ceremony new recruits for public sector for launching Global March to Jerusalem KUWAIT: Assistant Undersecretary for Legal Affairs in the Civil Service Bureau Nahla Bin Naji said that the names of 2,973 candidates have been announced to work in the public sector. Bin Naji said that the Civil Service Bureau is still receiving job descriptions from various state departments, adding that it is
part of the Bureau’ coordination with the state departments to fulfill the vacancies required. She added that the present patch of recruits is derived from different backgrounds in terms of specializations. She also said that new recruits may go to their work directly for any inquiry on Monday with their required documents. -KUNA
Kuwait lauds Libyan pledge to UNHRC
GENEVA: Kuwait lauded the Libyan pledge to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to respect and protect human rights in Libya during the 19th UNHRC high level meeting late Friday. Advisor at the Kuwaiti permanent delegation to the UN offices in Geneva Talal Al-Mutairi lauded in Kuwait’s speech to the meeting the Libyan persistence on pursuing the issue especially with the establishment of a public freedom and human rights council, saying that such step would promote those universal rights in that country. Kuwait, said the official, called on the UNHRC to provide unconditional support to the Libyan people to rebuild their country after decades of oppression from the former Gaddafi regime. -KUNA
NEW DELHI: Kuwait Ambassador to India Sami Mohammad Suleiman has taken part in a ceremony held at the Palestinian Embassy here to prepare for the launch of the Indian leg of the Global March to Jerusalem, scheduled to start today. “This march shows the growing international support for the Palestinian cause and growing isolation of Israel,” Ambassador Suleiman said at the ceremony. Suleiman praised the Arab-Indian relations and Indian historic support to Palestinians and their rights. “The international backing to Palestinians in this critical time is essential,” he said, adding that stability can’t be achieved in the Middle East without a just resolution to the Palestinian cause. The ceremony was opened by Palestinian Ambassador here Adli Sadeq and attended by a large number of Arab and non-Arab diplomats and prominent Indian figures. The Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) is a groundbreaking new initiative that is organizing non-violent civil resistance on March 30, 2012 in Palestine and the four neighboring countries: Egypt, Lebanon Jordan and Syria. The GMJ is comprised of a diverse coalition of Palestinian, Arab and international activists who are united in the struggle to liberate the holy city of Jerusalem from Israeli occupation. The peaceful marchers will demand freedom for Jerusalem and its people end the Israeli policies of apartheid, ethnic cleansing and Zionism,
Kuwait Ambassador to India Sami Mohammad Suleiman in a ceremony held at the Palestinian Embassy on Saturday, March 10, 2012 in preparation for the launch of the Indian leg of the Global March to Jerusalem. (KUNA)
all of which harm the people, land and sanctity of Jerusalem. International activists will participate in land caravans or fly directly to one of the main sites
for the march. In addition, mass protests will be organized in front of Israeli embassies in the capitals of different countries, or in the main public squares in the big cities of the world. -KUNA
Turkey says its stance on Syrian issue is ‘firm’
FILE- Group photo of the delegation of Kuwaiti journalists and media figures visiting Turkey as well as officials. (KUNA)
ISTANBUL: Turkey did not change its position regarding the crisis in Syria and such “firm” stance caused the country a considerable economic loss, said Deputy Turkish Prime Minister Bloand Arnich here Saturday. Arnich, also government spokesman, stated in a meeting with a high-profile Kuwaiti journalist delegation, that Ankara is doing what it could to stop the bloodshed in Syria, reiterating his country’s refusal of a military intervention to solve the crisis. “Turkey sought in the beginning of the protests, calling for freedom and reforms last March, to convince President Bashar Al-Assad to heed to the calls of his people,” said Arnich; however, he indicated that the Syrian regime “deceived everybody and continued to butcher the people.” No con-
Arab Conference for Information, Communications Security convenes in September CAPITALS: The United Marketing and Organizing Exhibitions Company (UNIEXPO) announced Saturday in a press release that preparations are underway for the upcoming 2nd Arab Conference for Information & Communications Security (ACICS-2) that will be held by the Central Agency for Information Technology (CAIT) on 24-26 September 2012. This was stated in a press release issued Thursday.A UNIEXPO spokesman said, “The success of ACICS-1 that was held on 3-4 October and the effective participation of many government organizations in Kuwait and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) counties, and the excellent response we received from many world-class IT Security companies encouraged us to transform ACICS into an annual event. During the opening speech at ACICS-1, the Minister of Communications Salem AL-Othaina considered IT Security an issue of national security, as well as technical implementation. He was delivering the opening speech on behalf of His Highness the Prime Minister. AL-Othaina’s announcement became a key item in ACICS-1 recommendations. UNIEXPO is determined to make ACICS-2 live up to this challenge of being a national security issue”. In addition to presenting various specialized technical papers, ACICS-2 will focus on priority issues in the government sector, and the state of the art technologies of Information Security. The e-government programs and the role of IT Security during the political turmoil that has hit our geographical area are at the top of the priority list. Both UNIEXPO and the Scientific Committee are working restlessly to finalize the conference’s papers, researches, and proceedings. The ACICS-2 Higher Steering Committee, headed by Abdullatif Al-Suraie,
General Manager of the Central Agency for Information Technology, continues to orchestrate all ACICS-2 preparation efforts. ACICS-1’s success was translated into a set of recommendations. As a start, Information Security is considered a national security issue and should be dealt with on that basis. National Information Security plans should be supported by political leadership on a very high level to ensure success and homogeneity across all government agencies. Moreover, National Information Security plans must deal with aspects of planning, cultural issues, business processes, human resource competencies, technology, and finally, public awareness. ACICS-1 called for developing a national Information Security framework that continually evolves and adapts to the threat landscape which continues to evolve and become more complicated. This framework should be e-services centric given that e-services are the major top-level asset for the government and the primary method of developing e-government programs. To implement the above recommendations, ACICS-1 called upon CAIT to build the national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), which should, in turn, set up the criteria and rules for building all government information systems with the necessary business continuity and disaster recovery parameters. This effort should be complemented by building the qualified human resources or outsourcing these as a start. Moreover, CAIT should follow up with the approval of regulations and laws related to information security, confidentiality, electronics transactions, and cybercrimes, while providing the necessary training for human resources working in the
government judicial and security departments. On the public awareness side, ACICS-1 recommended that CAIT enhance the level of public awareness about information security issues using various media types to ensure reachability, and encourage information security research and development at educational institutions, national security departments, and judicial departments. ACICS-1 covered many hot topics related to information and communications security and the means to counter the continuously emerging information security threats. These topics included the security risks of mobile devices, building info security professionals, securing personal confidentiality in e-government systems, e-Government services, national information security strategies, the changing landscape of information security with social media and networking, information security concepts and insights, essential strategies protecting government information & data, managing and securing consumerized enterprise IT, societal plea and government’s responsibility in the continuing of operations, security challenges in cloud computing, how governments respond to new threat landscapes, the role of ISPs in the information technology industry, new trends in the smart card industry, and finally, Strong Authentication for Enterprises (SAFE) by Symantec-VeriSign. ACICS-1, and for the first time, was an event that gathered both world-class consulting companies like Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and Protivity along with world-class technology companies like Microsoft, Symantec, and Kaspersky.This combination enriched ACICS-1 with many specialized papers and researches presented by leading international speakers.
tacts have been made with the Syrian regime since August, said the official. Arnich said that he was baffled by the stance of some regional states over the Syria crisis which did not express any clear reactions towards the issue unlike Russia and China that expressed their clear support for the regime. He affirmed that Ankara hoped that the crisis would be resolved with the involvement of the Arab League and thus, Turkey was in full support towards such step but so far, nothing has changed. On the issue of the Israeli threats to attack Iran, Anrich affirmed that such a step would lead to more tension in the region, noting his government was in solidarity with Tehran within the frame of operating
a peaceful nuclear program. The Turkish official also expressed his country’s support for the Palestinian cause for an independent state, noting that the Palestinian full membership in UNESCO was a step towards realizing such dream. The Kuwaiti delegation includes officials of daily local newspapers, the Chairman of Kuwaiti Journalists Association (KJA) and Kuwait News Agency’s (KUNA) Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ahmad Yusuf Behbehani as well as KUNA’s Editor-in-Chief Rashed Al-Rwaished. The delegation also includes Editorsin-Chief of Al-Anbaa, Al-Rai, Al-Nahar, Kuwait Times domestic newspapers, as well as Editor-in-Chief of Al-Yaqaza magazine and other officials. -KUNA
Chile and Suzan Mubarak
By Hossam Fathi
KUWAIT: Even well-versed economists might not have heard about Del Estado Bank in Chile as this bank is not classified amongst the best 100 banks in the world, or even because the bank contributes effectively in supporting development in the Third World Countries. The bank became famous because some ‘great’ Arab rulers such as Saddam Hussein and Gadhafi, among others, have secret accounts in this bank! The former first Lady of Egypt Suzan Mubarak has joined these ‘great’ figures by opening a bank account in the very same bank, which is located in Latin America, specifically in Chile. The question is “why are the aforementioned rulers and Suzan interested in this bank?!” However, the bank disclosed after Suzan decided to sell her autobiography - a book revolving around her life - to Canon Jet, a British Publishing House. The company paid 10 million pounds Sterling for the 500-page autobiography. This sum was deposited in the Bank of England, and then it was withdrawn within 48 hours and deposited in bank account no. 6070850 at “Banco Del Estado De Chile”. The sum was transferred to the bank on Dec. 14, 2011. Of course, any Egyptian citizen has the right to have a bank account in Egypt or any other country, but the fact that Suzan has bank accounts in other countries is a bit perplexing! The other issue is Chile is among the countries that the Committee of Illegal Earning Affairs has addressed in order to unveil whether the former president, his family and the members of the former regime have bank accounts and funds there or not! firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter:@hossamfathy66
Bahrain says will hold dialogue to end crisis soon DUBAI: An adviser to Bahrain’s King Hamad said the Gulf Arab state would hold a “comprehensive dialogue” soon to end a year-long political crisis but the opposition said it was unaware of such plans. The comments by Nabeel Al-Hamer, the king’s media advisor, were published by the state news agency late on Friday after a leading Shiite cleric led what appeared to be the biggest opposition pro-democracy demonstration since a wave of protests erupted in February last year. “Al-Hamer said there would soon be a comprehensive dialogue including all elements of Bahraini society and affirmed that everyone wants to end the crisis the country is in,” BNA said. A senior figure from the leading Shiite opposition party Wefaq said the group was not aware that any new talks were planned. “We haven’t heard officially from them yet,” said Abduljalil Khalil. In an incident that may complicate efforts to find a compromise, a 22-year-old Shiite man, Fadhel Mirza, died on Friday after being struck by a tear gas canister in clashes the previous day, the opposition Wefaq party said on Saturday. Wefaq walked out of a national dialogue last July saying it was a sham. Shiites form the majority of Bahrain’s native population but complain of political marginalization by the Sunni ruling Al Khalifa family. The government denies this. The previous dialogue, which approved giving the elected parliament some more powers of oversight over ministers and budgets, followed a wave of pro-democracy street protests. Bahrain’s response was to impose martial law and invite Saudi and United Arab Emirates troops to help crush what it regarded as an uprising. The United States, a powerful ally, has called on the government to talk to Wefaq and other groups. The US Fifth Fleet is based in Manama. The country’s legal opposition parties say they want electoral reform and full legislative powers for the elected parliament and elected government - changes that worry Bahrain’s powerful Sunni neighbor Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. Royal court minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed met with figures from Wefaq and separately with other opposition parties in January and February to sound them out about possible negotiations. But youth activists and dissident political groups opposed to the monarchy do not want Wefaq to enter into talks. Pro-government Sunni groups, who accuse the opposition of loyalty to Shiite power Iran, have called on the government not to enter into talks. -Reuters
SUNDAY, march 11, 2012
Fresh assault in Syria amid diplomacy efforts Arabs, Russia agree need to end Syria violence
BEIRUT: Syrian troops pushed ahead with a new assault on the northern region of Idlib on Saturday, shelling one of the centers of the uprising against President Bashar AlAssad’s rule and sending families fleeing for safety as armed rebels tried to fend off the attack. Thick black smoke billowed into the sky. The military operation has raised fears that the regime is planning a new all-out offensive in Idlib like the bloody siege last month that captured a restive part of the city of Homs, further south. While the fighting raged, UN envoy Kofi Annan met with Al-Assad in Damascus during a high-profile international mission trying to bring a halt to fighting and arrange talks between the two sides to end the country’s yearlong conflict. But the mission was already hitting dead ends. Al-Assad told Annan that any political dialogue was doomed to fail “as long as there are armed terrorist groups that work to spread anarchy and destabilize the country,” according to the state news agency SANA. The regime blames terrorists acting out a foreign conspiracy for the uprising, not protesters seeking change. The opposition as well has rejected dialogue, saying it is impossible to talk to Al-Assad’s regime after a crackdown that the UN estimates has killed more than 7,500 people. Activists put the toll even higher, at more than 8,000. In the town of Idlib, a number of families fled, clutching their belongings, according
A family escapes from fierce fighting between Free Syrian Army fighters and government troops in Idlib, north Syria, Saturday, March 10, 2012. (AP)
to an Associated Press team in the town, the main center of the northern region. Troops that are moving in place to encircle the town battered it with dozens of tanks shells from dawn until noon, the AP team said. Military reinforcements have been pouring into Idlib this week, including dozens of tanks and armored personnel carriers, activists said, reporting that dozens have been killed in the area in recent days. Their casualty reports could not be independently con-
First free presidential race starts in Egypt CAIRO: Egypt officially started on Saturday the process of holding its first-ever free presidential elections, with the door opening for candidates to submit their applications. Politicians from the era of deposed president Hosni Mubarak, ex-military officers, and moderate and hard-line Islamists are expected to become the front-runners in a vote that is scheduled to start May 23. The elections follow decades of authoritarian rule, with all of the country’s former presidents elevated from the ranks of the military and usually approved by referendum. Mubarak, who was forced to step down last year after an 18-day mass uprising last year, was elected to his last term in 2005. Those were Egypt’s first multi-candidate presidential elections, but they were widely rigged. The country’s ruling military council, which took over power after Mubarak’s fall, has
pledged to transfer power to elected civilian authorities after the name of the new president is announced in June 21. The revolutionary youth movement that led the uprising, which performed poorly in the first post-revolution parliamentary elections that ended in January, is concerned the generals will keep their grip on power even after a new president is inaugurated. Such worries escalated with recent media reports claiming that the military generals ruling the country have negotiated with the Islamist bloc that holds the near-majority of seats in parliament to produce a “consensus president.” The Muslim Brotherhood, the most influential and organized political group, has denied the reports, but this has not quieted the fears that the group would throw its massive backing behind a nominee approved by the generals,
Yemen air strikes kill 15 suspected Al-Qaeda militants SANAA/ADEN: Yemen’s air force killed at least 15 Al-Qaeda-linked fighters in the south including some of their leaders, a government source said on Saturday, while the UN refugee agency warned of a new wave of internally displaced people. The air strikes late on Friday targeted Bayda, about 267 kilometers (166 miles) southeast of the capital Sanaa. Militants have expanded their operations in southern Yemen during months of turmoil that eventually unseated the president. “A number of vehicles and cars used by Al-Qaeda were also destroyed,” the source said. The militants were carrying equipment and weapons to launch attacks in Bayda governorate, he said. Residents said the fighter planes had raided the western outskirts of Bayda town where the Ansar Al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) militants, who have been fighting Yemen’s security forces since mid-2011, had been based. “Flames and smoke could be seen rising from the area,” one resident told Reuters by telephone. Ansar Al-Sharia is inspired by AlQaeda but the precise nature of its
ties to the global network are unclear, although the Yemeni government says they are one and the same. Al Arabiya television earlier said Friday’s raid was believed to have been carried out by US planes. Working with the Yemeni authorities, the United States has repeatedly used drones to attack militants from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, described by CIA Director David Petraeus last year as “the most dangerous regional node in the global jihad”. In late January, at least 12 Al-Qaeda militants, including four local leaders, were killed in a drone strike in southern Yemen, which a tribal chief said was a US attack. The United States and Yemen’s neighbor and world No. 1 oil exporter Saudi Arabia have been deeply worried about the expansion of Al-Qaeda in Yemen, where the group controls swathes of land near oil shipping routes through the Red Sea. A local security official said two Al-Qaeda militants were killed late on Friday as they tried to set off a bomb at a security checkpoint at an entry point to the town of Mudiyah in the restive southern province of Abyan. -Reuters
Somalia Islamists attack Ethiopian troops CAPITALS: An offensive by Somalia’s Islamist Al-Shabaab fighters on Ethiopian troops on Saturday left many combatants dead, military sources on both sides and witnesses told AFP. “The fighting around the village of Yurkut was the most intense since Ethiopian forces entered Somalia” in November, said one of the witnesses in the country’s southwestern region, Abukar Moalim Yarow. Military sources in both camps gave differing tolls but stressed the fierceness of the fighting, which lasted three hours, according to independent witnesses. “The mujahideen fighters led their
firmed. The moves suggested the regime was now turning its focus on Idlib after recapturing the rebel-held district of Baba Amro in the central city of Homs, in a month-long assault that reportedly killed hundreds and devastated the district. The UN estimates that more than 7,500 people have been killed since Syria launched its crackdown on the uprising, which began a year ago as peaceful protests against Al-Assad. Activists put the toll at more than 8,000. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
sought to defend his country’s stance on the crisis before Arab leaders, angered by Moscow’s blocking of international pressure on Syria’s president to step down. Last month, just as the Homs offensive was heating up, Russia and China vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution that would have supported an Arab League peace plan calling on Al-Assad to hand over his powers. That brought accusations that Russia, a longtime Al-Assad ally, was giving Al-Assad diplomatic cover to intensify his crackdown. “We are not protecting any regimes,” Lavrov insisted at a heated session of the Arab League in Cairo on Saturday. “We are protecting international law ... We are not looking for a special prize or geopolitical interest here.” He said Russia was trying to prevent “interference in domestic affairs of states, not to mention military interference” - something he hinted other Arab countries should be concerned about, given the upheaval of the Arab Spring the past year. “We certainly believe that all outside actors must be extremely careful in addressing problems which your countries are facing,” he said. Speaking after him, Qatar’s prime minister sharply criticized Lavrov’s remarks. “There is systematic genocide by the Syrian government,” Sheik Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani said, adding that Arabs are not looking for a cease-fire anymore after “genocide” and “systematic killings” of Syrians. However, Arab nations and Russia agree violence in Syria must end and on the need for unbiased monitoring of the situation, addressing opposition to foreign intervention, delivering humanitarian aid and giving support for UN-Arab League Syria envoy Kofi Annan, ministers said. -Agencies
most important military incursion against enemy positions in Yurkut,” Sheikh Mohamed Abu-Fatma, a top Al-Shabaab commander in the sector, told AFP by telephone. “We forced the enemy to temporarily abandon three barracks and we killed more than 40 of their men,” he added. Kalif Adan, a pro-government official, told AFP from Baidoa that Al-Shabaab “attacked Yurkut this morning. Many of them were killed in fierce fighting. “The fighting is now over and (the AlShabaab) have been heavily beaten.” The hard-line Al-Shabaab attacked
Ethiopian positions in Yurkut, near the strategic town of Luuq, on the road linking the Somalia-Ethiopia border with Baidoa, a former rebel bastion in southern Somalia which Ethiopian forces recaptured last month. Somalia has been plagued by a relentless conflict since the 1991 ouster of president Mohamed Siad Barre. In February Somali and world leaders met in London for a conference aimed at finding solutions to the Horn of Africa country’s protracted crisis that has spawned piracy, militancy and a devastating humanitarian crisis. -AFP
who would then presumably steamroller any other candidate. Two of the top presidential hopefuls, former Arab League chief Amr Moussa and former Prime Minister Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shafiq, have warm relations with the generals. Moussa, who has popularity among middle class Egyptians, has made cautious statements that appear critical of a political role and privileges for the military, but is still considered a product of the Mubarak era. Shafiq is a former pilot in the armed forces who was forced to resign from his post as a prime minister last year because of alleged ties with Mubarak. Two other strong candidates, ultraconservative Hazem Abu-Ismail and moderate Islamist Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, have frostier relations with the military and are thought more likely to try to deprive the generals of a signifi-
cant political role after a transition of power. The ruling military council, whose members were appointed by Mubarak years ago, has been accused of steering a messy transitional period and of trying to discredit and intimidate the revolutionary forces by prosecuting them and heavily cracking down of their protests. Critics believe that the generals are looking for a president who will preserve their special privileges, mainly no civilian oversight on their budget, and to keep the chairmanship of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces in the hands of a military man rather than a civilian. The Muslim Brotherhood has not announced yet which of the candidates it will support, but has pledged in the past not to back present or even former Brothers - a stance viewed an attempt by the influential group to assure liberals and secularists in the country and western allies that it doesn’t intend to lead Egypt. -AP
Death toll rises in Gaza following Israeli raid
Palestinian mourners carry the bodies of seven Islamic Jihad militants (not all seen in picture), who were killed in Israeli air strikes, during their funeral in Gaza City on March 10, 2012. (AFP)
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip: The worst exchange of strikes between Israel and the Gaza Strip so far this year entered its second day on Saturday, as Israeli aircraft carried out raids that have so far killed 15 militants according to a Palestinian count, and militants responded with nearly 100 rockets. The flare-up began Friday with a strike on a commander who the Israelis say was planning an attack. This unleashed a fierce rocket barrage by Palestinian militants from the coastal territory toward Israel’s southern border communities. One of those rockets seriously wounded an Israeli civilian and sent families scattering into bomb shelters. By midday Saturday, militants fired 92 rockets at Israel - far more than the total number fired from the beginning of this year until this exchange of strikes began, a military spokesman said. He spoke anonymously in line with military regulations. Egypt said it was trying to shackle together a ceasefire to halt the violence, but truce hopes seemed distant on Saturday. Gaza residents said they could hear the low whooshing noise of militants firing rockets from border areas toward Israel. In the skies above them Israeli drones hovered, making tinny noises. Hundreds of Palestinian mourners gathered on the streets to bury their dead. They were carried in coffins, their bodies too torn up to be wrapped up in cloth, as Muslim tradition dictates. Masked militants among them sprayed machine gun fire above their heads in angry grief. On Israel’s southern border areas, residents were told to stay home and to refrain from holding large outdoor events on Saturday. Palestinian militants said they would press on. Gaza’s Hamas rulers condemned the Israeli strike but, pointedly, their militants did not fire rockets at Israel. Still, Israel’s military said it would hold the militant group responsible for any attacks that initi-
ated from Gaza. The Palestinian militants were killed in eight airstrikes overnight and on Saturday morning, said Gaza health spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya. He said some 20 more civilians were wounded by flying shrapnel from the exploding missiles, some of which targeted militants deep in civilian areas of the crowded territory. The most recent airstrike targeted two Palestinian militants on a motorbike in the border town of Bani Suheila in the south-east of Gaza, Abu Salmiya said. The flare-up began midmorning Friday, when an Israeli airstrike targeted the commander of one of the militant groups behind the abduction of an Israeli soldier five years ago. Zuhair Al-Qaissi’s killing prompted Palestinian militants in Gaza to fire over 92 rockets at Israel so far, according to the latest count by Israel’s military. The military said its air defense systems intercepted some 25 rockets before they landed. Some of the militants killed were planning to fire rockets, said Palestinian militant spokespeople. Other militants were targeted, but it wasn’t immediately clear why.Three militants walking on Gaza City’s main upscale boulevard were hit by an airstrike last night, leaving a shallow gash in the road. Another was hit while driving a car in the central Gaza City town of Deir Al-Balah. The Israeli military said it targeted Zuhair Al-Qaissi, the commander of the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, a militant group closely aligned with Gaza’s Hamas rulers. It was the highest profile killing Israel has undertaken against militants in the coastal strip in several months. The military said Al-Qaissi was plotting an infiltration attack into Israel similar to the raid from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula that they claim he orchestrated in August, which killed eight Israelis and injured 40 more. -AP
sundAY, march 11, 2012
Russians stage new protest against Putin MOSCOW: Several thousand Russians gathered in central Moscow on Saturday for a rally seen as a test of the opposition’s ability to mount a sustained challenge to Presidentelect Vladimir Putin. Demonstrators carried white balloons and wore white ribbons, the symbols of protests that began over a disputed parliamentary poll on December 4 and are intended now to highlight allegations of fraud in the presidential election Putin won on March 4. Putin’s opponents hoped to attract a large crowd to maintain the momentum of the rallies, which could quickly fade following Putin’s triumph and the detention of hundreds of people during or after protests on Monday. Early signs were that the protest would be smaller than the largest protests that have attracted tens of thousands of people over the past three months. The mood was relaxed on a cold but sunny day on Moscow’s Novy Arbat street at a rally approved by the city authorities. Police were out in force and two helicopters hovered overhead. Protests leaders addressed the crowd from a stage bearing the slogans “For new elections” and “These are not elections, this is not a president”. “These authorities are illegitimate,”
Vladimir Ryzhkov, a opposition leader and protest organizer, told the crowd. “The same people are in power: The same people who took away our right to choose, the same people who destroyed freedom of speech and political competition,” he said. “We will continue to demand deep political reforms and new elections.We will continue to demand they free all political prisoners. ... We will continue to demand freedom of speech and the media.” Liberal opposition leader Grigory Yavlinsky, who was barred from running in the presidential election, told reporters that people should be patient as they seek to change the political system which is dominated by Putin. “If this system took 15 or so years to be created, we need a few years - three, four, five - to dismantle it. Of course we will need it. That’s why we need these demonstrations,” he said. International election monitors say the presidential election was clearly skewed in Putin’s favor but the Central Election Commission said there were no serious violations. The protest organizers say there were many examples of cheating, and that Putin probably won far fewer votes than the official tally of more than 63 percent. They refuse to recognize the official results. -Reuters
Two Afghan police, three insurgents killed in attack
Chinese police shoot dead four in raid in Xinjiang
Protesters take part in a demonstration for fair elections on Novy Arbat Street in central Moscow March 10. (Reuters)
A plot by the militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram, to extend its operations to the southern part of the country has been uncovered by security agencies. (AFP)
said he made Italy’s feelings clear during talks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague. “I asked for detailed information because we have a right to maximum clarity on this episode,” Italy’s foreign minister said. Cameron said the two hostages had been held by “terrorists” who had made “very clear threats to take their lives”, and the captives had been in “imminent and growing danger”. Both countries have however agreed to cooperate on the issue. AFP received a video showing McManus and Lamolinara in August. In the footage, both men said their kidnappers were from Al-Qaeda. In a second video received by a Mauritanian news agency and seen by AFP in December, gunmen threatened to execute McManus if their demands were not met. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said the kidnappers were from the Islamist Boko Haram sect, blamed for scores of gun and bomb attacks mainly in the country’s northeast in recent months. But the radical sect denied the claim on Friday. “We are not behind the hostage taking ... which led to the military operation yesterday in Sokoto in which the hostages were killed,” the group’s spokesman Abul Qaqa said in a conference call with reporters. Nigeria’s government “had better get its facts straight and find the true identity of the kidnappers,” Qaqa added. Diplomats have said some Boko Haram members have sought training abroad, but there had not been evidence of operational links with foreign groups. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has in recent years claimed kidnappings of expatriate workers in countries including Niger, which borders Nigeria to the north, but never in Nigeria. Sokoto state borders Niger. -AFP
Pakistan’s top court targets army
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s powerful military establishment is under rare scrutiny from the country’s top court, which after a gap of 16 years has opened an investigation into allegations the army funneled money to politicians to influence elections. The case has showcased the emerging power of the Supreme Court, which is also hearing a contempt case against the prime minister that could see him imprisoned. The court’s activism has led to some uncomfortable headlines for politicians and pierced the perception of the generals’ invulnerability. But it’s unclear who, if anyone, will be held accountable. Indeed, some critics say by moving against the generals now, the court is just seeking to deflect criticism that it focuses solely on the alleged misdeeds of the elected civilian government and wants to dislodge President Ali Zardari, with the supposed nod from the military itself. The court is also demanding answers from the army and spy agencies over the fate of hundreds of “missing” Pakistanis: suspected militants or separatists picked up and held by military authorities for months and years in secret detentions. Analysts say the developments are part of jostling between the army, the court and the government, with each wanting to stake a claim on its sphere of influence. There seems to be a balance among them so far, with no side willing or strong enough to strike a decisive blow against another. Speculation of a military coup or the imminent ousting of the government, frequently raised in the media just a few months ago, has receded. The court is acting on a petition filed in 1996
NEWS IN BRIEF
KABUL: The US military and the Afghan government sealed an agreement Friday on the gradual transfer of control of the main US prison in the country, a last-minute breakthrough that brings the first progress in months in contentious negotiations over a long-term partnership. The compromise deal came on the day Afghan President Hamid Karzai had set as a deadline for the Americans to hand over the Parwan prison. The agreement gives the US six months to transfer Parwan’s 3,000 Afghan detainees to Afghan control. However, the US will also be able to block the release of prisoners, easing American fears that insurgents or members of the Taliban could be freed and return to the fight. -AP
Nigeria grills kidnappers of slain hostages
LAGOS: Nigeria on Saturday interrogated suspected kidnappers of two Europeans killed during a botched British-Nigerian rescue operation amid a row between Italy and Britain over the incident. Italian engineer Francesco Molinara, 48, and his British colleague Chris McManus, 28, were believed to have been shot by their captors before they could be rescued in the assault authorized by British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday. Nigerian security sources told AFP eight suspects had been flown to the nation’s capital Abuja and had confessed to killing the two Westerners in the northern town of Sokoto during a Nigerian-British military operation to free them after almost a year in captivity. “Those that were arrested in connection with the incident were brought to the SSS (secret police) headquarters, Abuja yesterday,” a security source said. “In the course of interrogation one of them said they killed the two guys on sighting the security men because they were not sure they, too, will survive the attack,” he said. Another security source said: “They are being interrogated to have a complete picture of the whole episode and they are providing useful information.” Italy has condemned Britain’s failure to warn it ahead of the failed rescue operation, but London said it had been forced by the situation to act swiftly. “The behavior of the British government, which did not inform or consult with Italy on the operation that it was planning, really is inexplicable,” President Giorgio Napolitano told reporters on Friday. “There needs to be a political and diplomatic clarification,” he said. At an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Copenhagen later Friday, Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata
by former Air Vice Marshal Asghar Khan, demanding it investigate what he claimed were payments to right-wing politicians made by the army-run InterServices Intelligence spy agency, known as the ISI. The money was to be used to ensure that the Pakistan People’s Party - currently in power - would not win the 1990 general elections. Without explaining why, the court began hearing the case last month. Testimony this week has shone a light on longtime allegations that the ISI has tried to influence elections. On Thursday, Yunus Habib, a 90-year-old banker from the state-owned Mehran Bank, testified that he doled out the equivalent of $1.5 million in bank funds to politicians and ISI officers on the orders of then army chief Gen. Aslam Beg and President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, who was considered close to the army. Some of the politicians who allegedly took the funds remain powerful political players, including opposition leader and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He has denied taking any money. On Friday, former ISI chief Lt. Gen. Asad Durrani testified that he was directed by Beg to distribute the money among politicians from the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, a right-wing political alliance allegedly set up by the military establishment to counter the PPP. He said Beg told him the money had been collected from the business community in Karachi. The alleged bribes didn’t give the alliance victory, however. It won 53 seats in the National Assembly, 49 less than the PPP that went on to form the government. What happens next is uncertain. -AP
Tibet exiles slam China policy on ‘uprising day’
DHARAMSHALA: The Tibetan government-in-exile branded Beijing’s “hardline policy” towards the troubled region a failure and urged China’s next leaders to hand greater autonomy to Tibetans. China begins the country’s biggest leadership transition in nearly a decade later this year, that will send its premier and president into retirement, stirring hopes it may soften its stance towards Tibet. “We hope that China’s upcoming leaders will initiate genuine change, and they find the wisdom to admit the government’s long-standing hardline policy in Tibet has failed,” Lobsang Sangay, the head of the exiled government, said on Saturday. Sangay’s statement come as Tibetans the world over mark the “uprising day” to commemorate the Dalai Lama’s flight to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule. He issued his statement from the northern Indian town of Dharamshala where the Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered. “The Tibetan struggle is not against the Chinese people or China as a nation. It is against the People’s Republic of China’s policies,” Sangay said. “China must acknowledge the depth of the problems in Tibet and understand they cannot be solved through violence,” he said. Sangay appealed to Beijing to accept the Tibetan’s “Middle Way Policy” which seeks “genuine” autonomy for Tibetans within the framework of the Chinese constitution. “Why are Tibetans still not granted genuine autonomy as stipulated in the Chinese constitution?” Sangay asked in the statement. The exiled government also urged the United Nations to appoint a “special rapporteur” to visit the troubled Tibetan region. “The international community and media must send a fact-finding delegation into Tibet to remove the veil of censorship and disinformation campaign,” Sangay said. Chinese authorities launched a huge security clampdown ahead of the sensitive anniversary as it comes after a year in which more than 20 Tibetans, most of them monks, have set fire to themselves to protest Beijing’s rule. Beijing has heaped blame for the incidents on the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India, accusing the 76-year-old Buddhist leader and his followers of plotting to create “turmoil” in China’s Tibetan-inhabited areas. -AP
SHANGHAI: Chinese police have shot dead four people suspected of making bombs in the far western region of Xinjiang, which has been beset by ethnic strife and violent unrest, Radio Free Asia reported on Saturday. The pre-dawn raid on a farmhouse took place on Thursday after a man was injured while making a bomb at home, which raised suspicions, the USbased broadcaster quoted local police as saying. China has blamed violence in Xinjiang on Islamic separatists who want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan. Some Chinese officials have also blamed attacks on Muslim militants trained in Pakistan. -Reuters
Myanmar officials censored speech, says Suu Kyi NYAWPYIDAW: Myanmar’s authorities have censored one of Aung San Suu Kyi’s key election campaign speeches by removing her criticism of the former junta, the opposition leader said in a media interview. Suu Kyi, who is standing in April 1 by-elections, told Radio Free Asia that officials removed a paragraph from the text of her speech to be aired on state media as part of her National League for Democracy’s (NLD) party broadcast. “I had to submit my speech ahead of time and one paragraph was censored,” Suu Kyi said. “The part about how there wasn’t rule of law and the military government had repeatedly used the law to repress the people, that is censored,” she was quoted as saying by RFA on Friday. -AP
Australia floods inundate almost 2,000 homes VICTORIA: Australian floods have inundated close to 2,000 homes in New South Wales, an official said Saturday, as the surging waters appeared to claim the life of a man in the state’s north. Eastern Australia has been hit by heavy downpours in recent days, causing swollen river systems to pour through towns and villages in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, damaging crops, roads and bridges. In badly-hit southern New South Wales, more homes were evacuated Saturday as the State Emergency Service said some 1,963 homes had been inundated, mostly around the major inland town of Wagga Wagga and the surrounding regions. -AP
Afghan officials visit Guantanamo in peace bid WASHINGTON: An Afghan government delegation visited the Guantanamo Bay military prison this week to secure approval from five Taliban detainees who may soon be moved to Qatar, a sign that the Obama administration is inching closer to establishing peace talks to end the war in Afghanistan. The delegation, which visited the top-security detention center in Cuba on Monday, included Ibrahim Spinzada, a senior foreign policy aide to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, sources familiar with the subject said. Government sources in Kabul said Spinzada and Shahida Abdali, a senior Afghan security official, visited the United States this week. The White House said the two officials were in Washington briefly but both the White House and the Pentagon declined comment on the Guantanamo visit. Karzai’s government has demanded the five former senior members of the Taliban government, held at Guantanamo Bay for a decade, give their consent before they are transferred to, the small Gulf state where they would under Qatar’s custody. The transfer would be one of a series of good-faith measures that, if US diplomats can surmount remaining hurdles, would set in motion the first substantial political negotiations on the bloody conflict in Afghanistan since the Taliban government was toppled in 2001 in a US-led invasion. A year after it was unveiled, the Obama administration’s peace initiative may soon offer the United States a historic opportunity to broker an end to a conflict that began as the response to the September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda attacks on the United States. The war has dragged on for a decade at great financial and human cost. But the peace gambit also presents extraordinary risks for Obama, facing the potential for political fallout months before presidential elections, as his govern-
The Obama administration have acknowledged that to build trust with the Taliban, the United States may release several Afghan Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, according to a senior congressional official. (AFP)
ment considers backing an arrangement that would give some degree of power to the Taliban, a movement known for its brutality and extreme interpretation of Islam. Despite months of covert diplomacy, it remains unclear whether the prisoner transfer will go ahead. Doubts are growing about whether the Taliban leadership is willing to weather possible blowback from junior and more hard-core members who appear to oppose negotiations. US officials have been hoping the behind-the-scenes peace initiative will gain enough momentum to permit Obama to announce the establishment of fullfledged political talks between the Karzai government and the Taliban at a NATO summit in May. Such an announcement would mark a major victory for the White House and might dispel some of the anxiety created by NATO nations’ plans to gradually pull most of their troops by the end of 2014, leaving an inexperienced Afghan military and wobbly Afghan government to fend
off a still-potent insurgency. The confidence-building measures the administration has proposed also include the opening of the Taliban office in Qatar and a Taliban statement distancing itself from terrorism. The Taliban detainees are seen by some US officials as among the most threatening inmates remaining at Guantanamo. Their possible transfer has become a lightning rod for attack - or at least anxiety - from US politicians from both parties even before the administration formally begins a required congressional notification process. Among the prisoners that may be sent to Qatar is Mohammed Fazl, a “high-risk” detainee alleged to be responsible for the killing of thousands of minority Shiite Muslims between 1998 and 2001. They also include Noorullah Noori, a former senior military commander; Abdul Haq Wasiq, a former deputy intelligence minister; and Khairullah Khairkhwa, a former interior minister. -Reuters
Kuwait is a civil state! Dr. Khalid Sultan Al-Sultan
ll persons should know that Kuwait is a civil state and the Kuwaiti people could never concede such a privilege because if we try to imitate the east or even the west then we will miss our right path that protected Kuwait and that set a great life for the Kuwaiti people. We could not have a respectable entity except by upholding the civil state. I have read the draft law that the MPs Mohammad Hayef and his bloc prepared in order to add an item to article 79 of the Kuwaiti constitution. The item says that no law can be issued except by receiving parliamentary approval, signing it by His Highness the Amir and the very law should comply with the Islamic Shariya as well. This legal item represents the cream of
sunDAY, march 11, 2012
All persons should know that Kuwait is a civil state and the Kuwaiti people could never concede such a privilege because if we try to imitate the east or even the west then we will miss our right path that protected Kuwait and that set a great life for the Kuwaiti people. urbanity or the civil state because amending the article or adding such an item harmonizes with what was announced by the late Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem wherein the late Amir had announced that Kuwait is part of the Arab and Muslim Nation, the Islamic Shariya is a main source for legislation and the main language of the country is the Arabic Language. However, Islamic Shariya determines
other items and articles like the fourth article which stipulates that His Highness the Crown Prince should be a Muslim person born to a Muslim father and mother. The ninth article indicates that the family life ought to be based on religion. The twelfth article was written for maintaining the Islamic and Arabic heritage and the eighteenth article stipulated that inheritance is a right for certain people and it should
The revival of the National Movement
BU QUTADA & BU NABIL
In the near past the difference in the local arena was between the national movement and the Islamic ones but at that time we did not witness any sectarian discussions. Rashed Al-Radaan
evival of the National Movement is an important step wherein the members of the movement refused the decency law which was suggested by some MPs recently. They exerted difficult efforts through the varying media sources and Twitter to show why they reject the draft law and the opinions of the Islamist MPs. They did that in order to reach out a message to the Kuwaiti people that the movement still exists and the movement is not submissive to any other sides. They also want to show that they are still able to take effective decisions in the local arena. However, some members of the movement have quit the movement itself and its other branches such as the National Democratic Alliance or the Democratic Forum and they started supporting different issues like that of Bedoun. We thank them for such humane stances. Some of them withdrew from the movement to join new groupings as the opposition- the tribal opposition- according to the movement itself which was calling the opposition as a tribal opposition. After joining the new alliances the members of the movement could reach the green parliamentary seats and therefore they made sure that their step for joining the opposition was a step in the right direction. If the very members insisted to support the movement then they will fail like the former MPs Aseel and Saleh. Anyway, the existence of the movement in the local arena is still important because it creates a different kind of opposition.
be regulated by Islamic Shariya. There are many other articles which derive from the laws of Islam, Islamic religion, and values and traditions of the country. These articles disclose that the finest civil source for the country is that which harmonizes with Islamic Shariya and we are happy for the important civilian steps that the members of the Majority Bloc endorsed as Islamization of laws is a popular request.
The clear evidence for that are the results of the recent parliamentary election which couldn’t be expected by any people. Such a meaningful result is a divine grant to us by God in order to protect Kuwait. Kuwait is a civil state; this phrase is usually uttered by liberal personalities in which they mean that the state is away from religion and Islam. Yes, it is a civil state but not according to that concept because Islam is the best source for a civil state which liberal and secular people seek. A media figure condemned political dialogue and described it as deteriorating and a wrong development that people have to avoid but the very figure apparently forgot that the local newspapers did not witness worse than his writings and words as he is used to criticizing everybody!!!
In the near past the difference in the local arena was between the national movement and the Islamic ones but at that time we did not witness any sectarian discussions. Therefore, we encourage the national movement to become strong again in order to face critical issues like sectarianism instead of the veil issue or the decency one as if the sole target for the national movement were just to face certain Islamic issues. The current Minister of Education Dr. Hayef Al-Hajraf has a golden opportunity to prove that he is the real savior for the educational process and to make the dreams of students come true. He did well by cancelling the new grade system and re-endorsed the previous one and we thank him for such a daring decision. The minister has to handle two serious cases. The first is what is called a placement test as the system of the placement test includes many negative points and corruption plays a significant role in the very system wherein weak students get high marks and strong students might get low marks because of corruption and the failing system. The second case is that students` admission at the various faculties of Kuwait University in which a large number of Kuwaiti families had suffered greatly last year as their sons obtained successful grades at high schools but then could not get academic seats. People feel that this problem will occur again at the beginning of the next academic year but we hope the minister would endorse effective solutions to put an end to the problem through cooperating with his colleagues at the Parliamentary Committee for Educational Affairs.
Oh, why are you crying .... Are you crying because of destroyed houses in Syria
Apparently, you’re crying because of the daily massacres committed in Syria
It was leased, purchased and then occupied
The World Zionist Organization began to purchase and lease lands in Palestine and the areas surrounding it but the Arabs were in a deep sleep. Abdullah Khalaf
n 1891, the Zionist Writer Max Aazodor Heimer, called on the Russian Jews to immigrate to Syria and then to Palestine, and that part was included in a book under the title “Where do the Jews of Russia go?” He also called for the establishment of a Zionist company for the establishment of settlements on the two sides of the railway linking Damascus in Syria and Haifa in Palestine. In 1901, the Jewish National Fund was founded. Thirty months after the first famous Zionist conference of Basel in Switzerland in 1916, the Zionist Writer Harry Sacher issued his famous book titled “Zionism and the Jewish future”. In his book, Sacher included a map of the state of Israel to be set up from Beirut to the north of Tiberias and the Gulf of Aqaba and the Golan Heights and Palestine. The Israeli Mayaa Party issued a report which said “Britain has carved out Sinai from the land of Israel and gave it to Egypt, and France carved out the Golan Heights from the land of promised Israel and handed them over to Syria. And Churchill carved out the eastern Jordan, and gave it to Prince Abdullah.” (Reference: Arab political secrets, Chapter VII Page No. 314 by the writer Abdulhadi Al-Bakkar). The above mentioned facts show that the Zionists have been looking forward to occupying several sites and areas since more than a century in order to establish a Jewish state. It is obvious that the land of Palestine and its environs have been chosen for the establishment of the Jewish state. The World Zionist Organization began to purchase and lease lands in Palestine and the areas surrounding it but the Arabs were in a deep sleep. During the press conference which was held between former Egyptian President Mubarak, May God heal him, and the late President of Syria Hafez Al-Assad, at the Presidential Palace in Heliopolis in Cairo as part of a visit by President Assad to Cairo on October 19, 1994, one of the journalists participating in the conference asked a question on whether Syria would accept
the principle of leasing land from the Golan Heights to Israel, especially after King Hussein, may God bless his soul, rented Doffer District to Israel for a period of twenty-five years but he did not declare the amount of money he received in return. Former President Hosni Mubarak answered the question and said with anger: “The Arab territories can never be given up. This is out of the question”. In turn, late Hafez Al-Assad replied by saying: “Our land should remain in our possession and not in the possession of anybody else. We believe that it is blasphemy that any patriot speaks about rental of his land to other entities. I do not believe that anybody might believe that Syria will rent its lands to Israel. There will be no peace with Israel until we restore our lands from the occupier”. The discussion was about what King Hussein did and the Jordanian citizens who refused to rent his property to the Embassy of Israel, and another Jordanian citizen who refused to rent a house he owned to be an accommodation of the Israeli ambassador in the Jordanian capital, despite interventions. (Same source: Arab political secrets, Pages 311-312) After the end of Ottoman rule in Syria and Palestine and the occupation of Palestine by the English General Allenby, the Jewish company Wicca, owned by the Jewish family Rothschild, seized a lot of land and nine rich Arab families sold their properties to the company, including four Lebanese families named Sursock family, Sallam family, Al-Tabban family and Al-Tuwaini family; and five wealthy Syrian families named Al-Qawatli family, Al-Yousef family, Al-Shamaa family, Al-Jazaeri family and Al-Qabbani family. The lands which were sold by Arabs reached six percent of the total Arab lands on which the State of Israel was established on May 15, 1948, but the rest of the territory were seized and occupied. The World Zionist Organization bought properties in Lebanon and Syria. After that, the Zionists occupied properties. It is not true that Palestinians sold their lands to the Zionists, but others did. This was a rumor that is apart from reality.
It must be that… You are affected by the suffering… Of the Syrian people
No, no because of the TV series “Wives of Sultan” the beloved of Heyam is not dead as we thought!!!
Oh mother, the Syrian people are the ones who translated TV series such as this one.... Pray for the beloved to return back to Heyam
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sunDAY, march 11, 2012
Beyond Fukushima Yukiya Amano Project Syndicate
uclear power has become safer since the devastating accident one year ago at Fukushima, Japan. It will become safer still in the coming years, provided that governments, plant operators, and regulators do not drop their guard. The accident at Fukushima resulted from an earthquake and tsunami of unprecedented severity. But, as the Japanese authorities have acknowledged, human and organizational failings played an important part, too. For example, Japan’s nuclear regulatory authority was not sufficiently independent, and oversight of the plant operator, TEPCO, was weak. At the Fukushima site, the backup power supply, essential for maintaining vital safety functions such as cooling the reactors and spent fuel rods, was not properly protected. Training to respond to severe accidents was inadequate. There was a lack of integrated emergency-response capability at the site and nationally. Human and organizational failings are not unique to Japan. Fukushima was a wake-up call for all countries that use nuclear power. It prompted serious soul-searching and recognition that safety can never be taken for granted any-
where. Key causes of the accident have been identified. Indeed, governments, regulators, and plant operators around the world have begun learning the right lessons. A robust international nuclear safety action plan is being implemented. As a result, the likelihood of another disaster on the scale of Fukushima has been reduced. What, exactly, has changed? Perhaps most importantly, the worst-case assumptions for safety planning have been radically revised. At Fukushima, the reactors withstood a magnitude 9.0 earthquake - far more powerful than they were designed to tolerate. But the plant was not designed to withstand the 14-meter-high tsunami waves that swept over its protective sea wall less than an hour later. In the aftermath of Fukushima, defenses against multiple severe natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis, are being strengthened at nuclear facilities all over the world. Measures are being taken to improve preparedness for prolonged power outages, protect backup power sources, and ensure the availability of water for cooling even under severe accident conditions. Global nuclear safety standards are being reviewed. National and international emergency-response capabilities are being upgraded. Plant operators and national regulators are being scrutinized more critically. Countries are opening their plants to more - and more thorough - international safety reviews. Despite the accident, global use of nuclear power looks set to grow steadily in the next 20 years, although at a slower rate than previously forecast. The reasons for this have not changed: rising demand for energy, alongside
A new iPad, the same iEthics Paul Smalera Reuters
everal days after the launch of the new iPad 3, HD, or whatever it’s called, we all know about its blazing 4G capabilities, including its ability to be a hotspot, carrier permitting, of course. We know about its Retina display, which makes the painful, insufferable scourge of image pixelization a thing of the past. We know about Infinity Blade. We know that to pack all this in, Apple’s designers had to let out the new iPad’s aluminum waist to accommodate some unfortunate but really quite microscopic weight gain. We know the iPad’s battery life is still amazing, and its price point is altogether unchanged. We know Apple has adopted a cunning new strategy of putting the previous-generation iPad, as it did with the iPhone 4, on a sort of permanent sale, to scoop up the low end of the high-end market. (We wonder if this was Steve Jobs’s last decree or Tim Cook’s first.) We know a lot about the iPad. But what we don’t know: How many of Foxconn’s nearly 100,000 employees will harm themselves, intentionally or inadvertently - or their families or loved ones - in the manufacture of it? And will the developed world ever acknowledge the dark side of these truly transformative technologies, like the iPad, or will we continue to tell ourselves fables to explain away the havoc our addictions wreak on the developing world? Is a device really magic if to pull a rabbit out of a hat, you have to kill a disappearing dove? Those of us who have been technology journalists have long been subjected to the cult of Steve Jobs’s Apple, and those of us who are fans of technology are mostly well aware of the stark elegance and extreme usability even the words seem inadequate - that come with using, let alone experiencing, Apple products. But the rumblings about Apple’s manufacturing processes started years ago, and the recent New York Times series on the ignobility of Foxconn as an employer blew a hole in the side of that particular ship of willful ignorance. Few Apple consumers can claim not to understand the human sacrifice behind their glowing screens - the death, diseases, exhaustion, mental and emotional stress, and superhuman expectations placed upon the workers who bring these magic devices to life. It’s not just in the papers - Mike Daisey’s This American Life podcast exposé on Foxconn and Apple is a mere click away, and most mainstream media have given at least passing coverage to the working conditions reflected in the Gorilla Glasson our devices. To be sure, Apple isn’t the first company to exploit a developing society’s cheap labor. That’s a tradition that proudly goes back hundreds of years, arguably to the first triangle trades, or perhaps to Roman times. Maybe things have come full circle for China, and this is just another version of Marco Polo and the Silk Road. But there’s something insidious about a near-perfect system where the only factor beyond design is the human one. (Especially when those humans decide to jump off buildings.) Apple has given more than lip service to the problem, and worker suicides appear to be down. But when will American consumers care how their iPads are built? When will they be told how many human hands had to touch the elegant machine, including the last pair that wiped off all the fingerprints with powerful solvents, and how many yuans were put in those hands at the end of the workweek? With technology taking an ever greater place in our culture and our society, when do we consumers begin to demand ethical technology, the way some of us now demand ethical meat and ethical investing? The apps that run on these devices - not just iPhones and iPads, but Kindle Fires and Samsung Galaxy Tabs - enable social connection and sharing as never before. Communication across time, distance and borders has be-
Fukushima was a wake-up call for all countries that use nuclear power. concerns about climate change, volatile fossil-fuel prices, and the security of energy supplies. It will be difficult for the world to achieve the twin goals of ensuring sustainable energy supplies and curbing greenhouse gases unless nuclear power remains an important part of the global energy mix. The International Atomic Energy Agency expects at least 90 additional nuclear-power reactors to join the 437 now in operation globally by 2030. Although some countries abandoned or scaled back their nuclear energy plans after Fukushima, major users of nuclear power, such as China, India, and Russia, are going forward with ambitious expansion plans. Many other countries, mainly in the developing world, are considering introducing nuclear power. Nuclear safety is of the utmost importance to both established users and newcomers. It matters to countries that have decided to phase out nuclear power, because their plants will continue to operate for decades and will need to be decommissioned, with nuclear waste stored safely. And it matters to countries that are firmly opposed to nuclear power, as many of them have neighbors with nuclearpower plants. Countries planning new nuclear-power programs must recognize that achieving their goals is a challenging, long-
term undertaking. They need to invest considerable time and money in training scientists and engineers, establishing genuinely independent, well-funded regulators, and putting in place the necessary technical infrastructure. Some countries still have shortcomings in this regard. Nonetheless, contrary to popular perception, nuclear power has a good overall safety record. New reactors being built today incorporate significantly enhanced safety features, both active and passive, compared to the Fukushima generation of reactors. But, in order to regain and maintain public confidence, governments, regulators, and operators must be transparent about the benefits and risks of nuclear power - and honest when things go wrong. The fact that an accident such as Fukushima was possible in Japan, one of the world’s most advanced industrial countries, is a reminder that, when it comes to nuclear safety, nothing can be taken for granted. Complacency can be deadly. The safety improvements seen in the past 12 months can only be a start. We must not slip back into a “business as usual” approach as Fukushima recedes from memory. Yukiya Amano is Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Somewhere along the way, the West decided it was time to start passing on to emerging economies, especially ones with huge populations, the same warnings about global warming and resource depletion that we have been hearing for years.
come free, or just pennies a minute. But few, if any, apps enable any sort of social organizing around things more important than discounted lunches or happy hours. In fact Groupon founder Andrew Mason famously abandoned his social-change startup to focus on the far more popular idea of building a coupon site. We like - love - the social tooling our devices allow us, as long as they cater to our essential selfishness as consumers. We’re not alone in this. Chinese car purchases are booming as hundreds of millions of citizens there race to join the global middle class. Somewhere along the way, the West decided it was time to start passing on to emerging economies, especially ones with huge populations, the same warnings about global warming and resource depletion that we have been hearing for years. But why would any Chinese deny herself the chance at a new car, the very symbol of economic freedom around the world? And by what rationale would a Westerner, even an eco-conscious one, dare to presume he has the right to request such a sacrifice? (The irony is that the car as status symbol is getting to be out of date thanks to all the iPads the Chinese have made for the West.) If the US, after decades of geopolitical havoc, still can’t develop an energy policy less reliant on conflict-zone oil, we don’t stand a chance of improving conditions for Chinese workers in technology factories, no matter what sanctions or misplaced scolding we dare levy on China. Nor does the conventional wisdom say that that is the right place for government to be interceding. But what if that’s wrong? If Foxconn were forced to pay workers more, increasing the cost of production and lowering Apple’s profit margins, wouldn’t that reopen technology manufacturing jobs to US workers, the ones that Steve Jobs told Barack Obama were “gone,” never to return? Might U.S. consumers accept a higher price for their magic devices, if that price also put some money back in domestic workers’ pockets? There are a lot of questions in this column because there are a lot of questions around ethical technology. It’s a subject to which few of us have devoted serious thought, and yet the knock-on effects could reshape the global economy, just as globalization has over the last two decades. Here’s where I admit I have definitely researched this column and others on my iPhone - and only then because I didn’t have my iPad handy. And though I have a feeling that neither device will be my last, I’m skipping this newest Apple generation. I hope the next time Tim Cook takes the California stage with a device that would make Steve Jobs proud, he tells us something about the status of Apple’s 100,000 subcontractors in China. That would make the rest of us a little prouder, too. Paul Smalera is Deputy Opinion Editor of Reuters. The views expressed are his own.
FILE- Protesters hold a placard reading “Deutsche Bank out of the tax oasis” during a demonstration by the alter-globalization movement Attac prior to Deutsche Bank’s annual news conference in Frankfurt, Feb. 2, 2012. (Reuters)
Dani Rodrik Project Syndicate
was recently invited by two Harvard colleagues to make a guest appearance in their course on globalization. “I have to tell you,” one of them warned me beforehand, “this is a pretty proglobalization crowd.” In the very first meeting, he had asked the students how many of them preferred free trade to import restrictions; the response was more than 90 percent. And this was before the students had been instructed in the wonders of comparative advantage! We know that when the same question is asked in real surveys with representative samples - not just Harvard students - the outcome is quite different. In the United States, respondents favor trade restrictions by a two-to-one margin. But the Harvard students’ response was not entirely surprising. Highly skilled and better-educated respondents tend to be considerably more pro-free trade than blue-collar workers are. Perhaps the Harvard students were simply voting with their own future wallets in mind. Or maybe they did not understand how trade really works. After all, when I met with them, I posed the same question in a different guise, emphasizing the likely distributional effects of trade. This time, the free-trade consensus evaporated - even more rapidly than I had anticipated. I began the class by asking students whether they would approve of my carrying out a particular magic experiment. I picked two volunteers, Nicholas and John, and told them that I was capable of making 200 US dollars disappear from Nicholas’s bank account - poof! - while adding 300 US dollars to John’s. This feat of social engineering would leave the class as a whole better off by 100 US dollars. Would they allow me to carry out this magic trick? Those who voted affirmatively were only a tiny minority. Many were uncertain. Even more opposed the change. Clearly the students were uncomfortable about condoning a significant redistribution of income, even if the economic pie grew as a result. How is it possible, I asked, that almost all of them had instinctively favored free trade, which entails a similar - in fact, most likely greater - redistribution from losers to winners? They appeared taken aback. Let’s assume, I said next, that Nicholas
To pass judgment on redistributive outcomes, we need to know about the circumstances that cause them. and John own two small firms that compete with each other. Suppose that John got richer by 300 US dollars because he worked harder, saved and invested more, and created better products, driving Nicholas out of business and causing him a loss of 200 US dollars. How many of the students now approved of the change? This time a vast majority did - in fact, everyone except Nicholas approved! I posed other hypothetical points, now directly related to international trade. Suppose John had driven Nicholas out of business by importing higher-quality inputs from Germany? By outsourcing to China, where labor rights are not well protected? By hiring child workers in Indonesia? Support for the proposed change dropped with each one of these alternatives. But what about technological innovation, which, like trade, often leaves some people worse off. Here, few students would condone blocking technological progress. Banning the light bulb because candle makers would lose their jobs strikes almost everyone as a silly idea. So the students were not necessarily against redistribution. They were against certain kinds of redistribution. Like most of us, they care about procedural fairness. To pass judgment on redistributive outcomes, we need to know about the circumstances that cause them. We do not begrudge Bill Gates or Warren Buffett their billions, even if some of their rivals have suffered along the way, presumably because they and their competitors operate according to the same ground rules and face pretty much the same opportunities and obstacles. We would think differently if Gates and Buffett had enriched themselves not through perspiration and inspiration, but by cheating, breaking labor laws, ravaging the environment, or taking advantage of government subsidies abroad. If we do not condone redistribution that violates widely shared moral codes at home, why
should we accept it just because it involves transactions across political borders? Similarly, when we expect redistributive effects to even out in the long run, so that everyone eventually comes out ahead, we are more likely to overlook reshufflings of income. That is a key reason why we believe that technological progress should run its course, despite its short-run destructive effects on some. When, on the other hand, the forces of trade repeatedly hit the same people - less educated, bluecollar workers - we may feel less sanguine about globalization. Too many economists are tone-deaf to such distinctions. They are prone to attribute concerns about globalization to crass protectionist motives or ignorance, even when there are genuine ethical issues at stake. By ignoring the fact that international trade sometimes - certainly not always - involves redistributive outcomes that we would consider problematic at home, they fail to engage the public debate properly. They also miss the opportunity to mount a more robust defense of trade when ethical concerns are less warranted. While globalization occasionally raises difficult questions about the legitimacy of its redistributive effects, we should not respond automatically by restricting trade. There are many difficult trade-offs to consider, including the consequences for others around the world who may be made significantly poorer than those hurt at home. But democracies owe themselves a proper debate, so that they make such choices consciously and deliberately. Obsessing on globalization simply because it expands the economic pie is the surest way to delegitimize it in the long run. Dani Rodrik, Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard University, is the author of The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy.
sundAY, march 11, 2012
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2531 0000 2431 0000 2477 0000 2457 0000 2261 0000 2571 0000 2394 0000 2561 0000 2481 0000 2551 0000 2467 0000 2487 0000
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22447602 22545188 24726033 22611645 25750777 25524821 25723500 25610660 24848913 25336482
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Andrology, Male Infertility and Impotence Specialist Abdullatif A. Al Salim 2533 4438
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Dentists & Oral Surgeons Ahmed Al Balool 2262 2211 Badri K. Al Rayes 2574 2557 Duha Al Shaqan 2264 4614 Ebraheem Behbehani 2573 0000 Farida Al Herz 2257 3883 Maria Blanaru 2573 0000 Najat Essa-Bahman 2262 4595 Najeeb Kassim 2573 9277 Salwa A. Abdulsalam 2573 0000 Kuwait Medical Center 2575 9044 / 5 Endocrinologists Latifa Al Dowaisan Kamal Abdulaziz Al Shome
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2572 8004 2532 9924
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RESTAURANT • Café Library Lounge Al-Manshar Rotana Hotel Tel: 23931000 Hang.Out Lounge Galleria 2000 Tel: 25755588 Song Bird Café Hilton Kuwait Resort Tel: 23725500 Chit Chat Café Restaurant Safir Hotel & Residences -Fintas Tel: 25455555 Lounge Café Safir Hotel & Residences -Fintas Tel: 25455555 The English Tea Room Sheraton Hotel Tel: 1835555 Waterlemon Al-Raya Tel: 22244797 Marina Mall Tel: 22997666 Le Pain Quotidien Palms Beach Hotel Tel: 25633684 Marina Crescent Tel: 22244942 Avenues Tel: 24954632 • Casual Dining Applebee’s Bneid Al-Gar Tel: 22407536 Fintas Tel: 23714559 Burgerhub Gulf road Tel: 22464818 Chili’s Bneid Al-Gar Tel: 22452200 Chili’s Al-Bida’a Tel: 22253120/1 Hard Rock Café Salmiya Tel: 25710004 Ruby Tuesdays Bneid Al-Gar Tel: 22444454 T.G.I. Fridays Bneid Al-Gar Tel: 22544300
• Chinese China Hut Tel: 25656226 China Express Jabriya Tel: 25342399 Salwa Tel: 25653230 China House Salmiya Tel: 25713339 / 60 China Lake Al-Blajat St. Tel: 25713072 / 3 China Town Salmiya Tel: 25652541 Greens Al-Wafra Complex Tel: 22516031
Tel: 1815050 • French Le Notre Gulf Road Tel: 25758888 • Indian Dawat Restaurant Bneid Al Gar Tel: 22411728 Abu Halifa Tel: 23724251 Al Alamia Mall, Jahra Tel: 24554642 Taal Restaurant Salmiya Beda’ Tel: 22253142 Winner’s Salmiya Tel: 25739954 Abu Halifa Tel: 23711374 / 5 Riggae Tel: 24895501 / 2 Jahra Tel: 24560088/8800
Gulf Royal Tel: 23925390-Fintas 22622556-Hawalli 25710448-Salmiya 22244795-Marina
Asha’s Tel: 22244502/3/9 Marina Crescent Tel: 24954700
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• Continental Casper & Gambini’s Kuwait City Tel: 22430054 La Marina Sharq Mall Tel: 22426672 • Fast Food Burger King Tel: 22444466 Domino’s Pizza Tel: 1800800 Hardees Tel: 1888333 KFC Tel: 1888666 Little Caesar’s Tel: 1888855 Pizza Hut
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Il Forno Restaurant Courtyard Marriot Hotel Tel: 22997000 Johnny Carino’s Salmiya Tel: 22667050 La Piazza Kuwait City Tel: 24246639 Lorenzo
Manousha Salmiya Tel: 25722607 / 8
Al-Noukhaza Crowne Plaza Hotel Tel: 24742000
Fakhr Al-Din Restaurant Kuwait City Tel: 22423180
Villa Fairouz Shaab Tel: 22652030
Shrimpy Gulf Road Tel: 22563118 Totally Fish Marina Crescent Tel: 22244960/1
Garden New Park Hotel Tel: 25634200
Yeldes Palace Kuwait City Tel: 22455212
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Zahrat Tunis Hawalli Tel: 22662444/333
Mais Al-Ghanim Kuwait City Tel: 22402590
• Persian Kabab Al-Hijja Bnaid Al-Gar Tel: 22517512
Palm Palace Salmiya Tel: 25756331 Saj Express Kuwait City Tel: 22497822 Sarai Al-Bida’a Tel: 22253180/1 Shisha &
Sushi Club Al-Blajat St. Tel: 25712144 Wasabi Al-Bida’a Tel: 22253112 Kuwait City Tel: 22494000 • Lebanese Al-Berdawny Palace Tel: 25661117 Ayam Zaman Holiday Inn Tel: 18477777 Burg Al-Hamam Gulf Road Tel: 22529095
• Steak House Relais De L’Entrecote Al-Fanar Complex Tel: 25729600 Terrace Grill JW Marriott Hotel Tel: 22455550
Shabistan Crowne Plaza Hotel Tel: 24742000
The Gaucho Grill The Palms Hotel Tel: 25667370 -
• Seafood Al-Ahmadi Crowne Plaza Hotel Tel: 24742000
• Tex-Mex Chi Chi’s Salmiya Tel: 25625811
Al-Boom Radisson Blu Hotel Tel: 25756000
Tumbleweed Southern Grill Al-Bida’a Tel: 22253154/5
Maki Al-Blajat St. Tel: 25733561 Marina Waves Tel: 22244560
Flavors Restaurant Safir Hotel & Residences -Fintas Tel: 25455555
• Italian Ciro’s Pomodoro Kuwait City Tel: 22424004
Saj Express Kuwait City Tel: 22497822
Te l : 1 8 3 9 0 9 0
Salmiya - Jabriya - Keifan www.healthstop.com.kw
FIVE STAR Al-Manshar Rotana Hotel Crowne Plaza Kuwait Hilton Kuwait Resort JW Marriot Kuwait City Hotel Kempinski Julai’a Hotel & Resort The Regency Hotel & Resort Le Meridien Le Meridien Tower Marina Hotel Kuwait Movenpick Albid’a Movenpick Palms Beach Hotel & Spa Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts Refad Palace Safir International Hotel Kuwait Sheraton Kuwait Hotel & Towers Safir Hotel & Residences Kuwait
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sundAY, march 11, 2012
Kuwaiti oil prices rises to $123.16 per barrel on limited volatility Britain seeking to develop business ties with Kuwait, says ambassador
KUWAIT: The price of Kuwaiti crude rose by 29 US cents to 123.16 US dollars per barrel Friday, in comparison to $122.87 per barrel on Thursday, the state-run Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) said Saturday. Kuwait oil price continues to rise for the second day in a row after a limited volatility over the past week. Leading factors attributed to the rise include the fading fears on the Greek debt crisis, China’s decreasing inflation rate and a growing strongerthan-expected jobs in the US in February. In other news, the United Kingdom is implementing a special policy to cope with repercussions of the global economic crisis, in cooperation with Kuwait and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), said the British Ambassador to Kuwait. Baker, interviewed by Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), said the British economy has posted some recovery since the government started implementing the ‘white paper’, aimed at spurring foreign investments and increasing external trade cooperation, a year ago. Britain is bound with Kuwait with an accord for bolstering trade exchange, aspired to swell to four million pounds by 2015, he said, touching on London’s policy of commercial cooperation with Kuwait, also noting that the exchange grew last year, reaching two billion Sterling pounds. Kuwait is one of the major trade partners for the UK for its adoption of liberal commercial policies. He affirmed that the ‘white paper’ had been drawn up by the British government to bolster economic growth in cooperation with international partners particularly the GCC states, namely
Mohammad Ali, 87, uses a hammer to repair the panel of a wooden bed at a workshop in Faisalabad March 10, 2012. (Reuters)
Kuwait. According to this strategy, London has gotten stakes in external investment enterprises, value of which has exceeded 800 million pounds. Aid has been given to more than 20,000 small and medium-size companies in the UK for aiding them export products to emerging countries, in addition to opening up new markets for these companies. Moreover, the government has organized more than 250 official visits to various nations to bolster commercial cooperation and back British businesses.
Upcoming Olympic games, due to be hosted by London, are forecast to create various businesses and contribute to hiking the gross domestic product by 0.6 percent. Acknowledging that Britain, like many other nations of the globe, is hitting some snags in its efforts at this level, he affirmed that the government strategy has proven quite fruitful and helpful for entrepreneurs. The British economy faces some problems such budget deficit, unemployment, estimated at eight percent. -KUNA
KCIC, NBK present 2012 outlook on global economy KUWAIT: Kuwait China Investment Company (KCIC), an investment firm specializing in investments in Asia, recently held a closed session for over 75 investors and analysts in Kuwait in partnership with the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), giving them an outlook on the 2012 global economy. The session was presented by KCIC Chief Economist, Alessandro Magnoli Bocchi who discussed the global economic outlook in 2012, the risks, and the investment environment, and NBK Head of Economic Research, Elias Bikhazi, who discussed the structural challenges the world is facing and the best ways to solve them. This was stated in a press release on Saturday. “The 2012 outlook is fragile, but - in absence of shocks - most economies will muddle through. Global growth will slow to less than three percent. In the developed world, structural issues, modest consumption, political impasse, and fiscal restraint will keep growth below potential. Emerging markets will grow above five percent, but below-trend. Yet, financial needs are higher than ever: this year, eight trillion US dollars of sovereign and almost one trillion dollars of corporate debt come due.” Magnoli Bocchi started the discussion. Magnoli Bocchi’s presentation focused on three main points giving investors and analysts a look on what to expect of global economies this year as well as the markets to keep an eye on. Below are the main elements from his discussion: 2012: A fragile outlook on global economy, emerging markets least impacted
Global growth will remain below potential this year as the global crisis continues to unfold, hindered by excessive debt: since 2000, the total world dues have rose by 19 percent, mostly in developed economies. In the US, despite fiscal and monetary expansion (deficit at nine percent, benchmark interest rate at 0.25 percent) and a positive business outlook, the economy is unlikely to grow below potential levels at an expected 2.1 percent. Debt is still very high; government debt has exceeded 80 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) last year while households debt, a little lower than its November 2008 high, entails upcoming deleveraging. It faces risks, due to high unemployment, and lower consumption. The EU will continue to suffer from high debt, austerity, and will undergo a recession. Growth will be below potential, expected to register a negative growth of -0.3 percent, while inflation will also be below target at an expected 1.9 percent in comparison to previous year. Challenges remain on the structural level in addition to political holdups. The EU peripheral countries are facing the austerity and likely defaults are expected. Asia’s growth is expected to maintain high single digits rates although slowing because of trade and financial links, effectively outperforming G3 and western economies. China is expected to register an 8.4 percent GDP growth, India seven percent, Indonesia 5.9
percent and Vietnam 5.8 percent. China alone has plenty of fiscal space, and consumption is unlikely to drive growth because of less loans and softening sales. Overall, investments are expected to flatten and high liquidity will create volatility and capital flight risk. Inflation will slowdown, and depreciation is a possibility. Rising systemic risks on a global level, but Emerging Asia can react via government policy
Global downside risks are rising: too many issues remain unresolved, and policy is out of steam. 2012 seems to be a volatile year as the risk scenarios expectations show a 25 percent bear and only 5 percent bull. The world will witness economic and financial fragility because of the weak policy tools, and there will be slow rebalancing. Magnoli Bocchi said, “Over the next twelve months, expect unsettling developments. The global crisis is still unfolding, and it could escalate. Weakening growth, rising systemic risks, and contagion-prone markets are likely to enhance economic and financial fragility. We are entering a perilous new phase.”. With these issues that are unlikely to be solved in the coming months, we need to watch five macro factors that could drive risk-aversion: (1) Rising sovereign risks: The Euro-zone will suffer financial instability and banking sector stress. The risks of sovereign default and bank bankruptcy are rising. The US could witness fiscal downgrade. Still, the US will continue to benefit from deep bond markets and credible liquidity conditions. (2) Jitteriness about the financial sector: Banks in the US, EU, and globally need to recapitalize and regulatory reforms must be implemented to support the financial system if conditions worsen. Banks are likely to maintain high liquidity, tight lending, and suffer a rise in nonperforming loans (3) Higher global geopolitical risks as a basecase scenario. (such as MENA instability, Iran nuclear ambitions, China’s rising power, Korean peninsula). (4) In the G3/US: Anemic recovery rather than robust recovery, due to: 1. Policy tools out of steam: reduced fiscal space and the risk of liquidity trap. 2. Deflationary pressures (unused capacity in good and labor market) overweight inflationary ones (rising oil and food prices). (5) Asia/China: The timing and the size of the monetary policy might: 1. Spur/restrain growth in Asia; 2. commodity-exports; and hence 3. the global economy. Where to invest?
The priority is to preserve capital and prudently manage risk. Holding cash will not pay off in the medium term, even though it allows taking advantage of low valuations and the highly volatile post-crisis environment, but inflation is going to diminish the purchasing power of liquid cash. Negative real interest rates will generate massive transfers from depositors and lenders to
borrowers, but to sustain the equity rally, clear public policies will be needed. In Europe, the ECP should backstop sovereign bonds, and governments provide an unambiguous map towards the introduction of Eurobonds. In the US, the stimulus bill must be approved to uplift growth. In China, fiscal expansion, monetary easing, and currency appreciation would need to tackle current account imbalances. On his part, Bikhazi discussed the situation in the EM and the EU, and said, “In light of the current issues and the ongoing situation in the global economy, we do expect a soft landing of the Emerging Markets. As for the EU, expectations are for the current recession to mild. In the US, growth might surprisingly beat expectations.” The major challenge according to Bikahzi is funds and leveraging. In the US, expected growth levels do not leave a margin for error, and Europe is limited in growth because of fiscal limits and monetary policies that limit possibility for action. Even though there are positive trends in Germany and the US, they are not enough to drive up markets. Bikhazi’s main discussions points were:
Risk factors of 2012 - We are living in interesting times because of the risks that we are looking into, whether political or natural. Investors with money have difficulties finding the opportunity to invest their money in. Future events that might affect markets Markets will be affected by the Greece plan decision, as well as the new US congress that will be voted in 2013. Structural problems require structural solutions - Structural problems persist and solutions must be implemented. Solutions must be structural. Austerity is presently pushed by unemployment rates and monetary policies. The problem is directly related to debts, however economies are not as competitive as they used to be and continues to borrow money they do not have; and debts cannot be erased. For the moment, how will Greece go, we’re not sure, and if it defaults, would it stay in the EU? Citibank announced recently that Greece would have a 50 percent chance of leaving the EU. Bikhazi concluded, “Can we say that it is all negative, no. But the situation is leaning more to the negative side, with a few potentials showing up.” Magnoli Bocchi also serves on the Management Team and the Investment Committee at KCIC. Prior to joining KCIC, Magnoli Bocchi was a Senior Economist at the World Bank. He also was a Research Associate with Harvard University and an economist with the Inter-American Development Bank. Prior to joining NBK in 2008, Bikhazi spent over twenty years as a bank and Wall Street economist (Bank of America, Deutsche bank). He also has a background in trading and in academia; he taught economics and statistics for several years at Bentley University, Massachusetts. Mr. Bikhazi holds a Ph.D. degree in economics from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
KSE ends week with 0.71% rise, average daily turnover up 12% KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended last week in the green zone. The price index ended last week with an increase amounted to 0.71 percent, while the weighted index raised by 0.80 percent compared to the closings of the week before. Furthermore, last week’s average daily turnover increased by 12.01 percent, compared to the preceding week, reaching 55.54 million Kuwaiti dinars, whereas trading volume average was 635 million shares, recording decrease of 0.03 percent.
See page 10
What is happening to our gas? Has it evaporated! Kamel Al-Harami
Independent energy analyst Exclusive to Al Watan Daily
KUWAIT: In March 2006 Kuwait announced the discovery of new gas fields in the northern part of the country, in Sabriyah and Umm Niga fields. We were jubilant that it was the first time we became gas producers and were soon to be in the gas member club. We were so proud of our discovery despite the fact that all oil companies that were running and operating our oil fields never forecasted and believed that was ever to be gas in Kuwait. So that was the reason for jubilation. Now after six years of discovery we look and ask what happened to that great discovery. The answer we get from Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) most of the time is to just wait a few more years. Finally a reliable and well known oil publication, ‘The Middle East Economic Survey’ (MEES) issued its version of the KOC mess in its publication numbered 05032012. Its findings stated that the targeted figures of gas production of 175 - 600 million cubic feet and 1.5 billion cubic feet per day by 2016 were no longer viable and totally unrealistic. It went further to suggest that all gas production estimated figures have to be cut drastically Our gas is either evaporating or being handled by the worst possible company. The gas is not being produced in accordance with plans that were set up by KOC, who told us that by December 2007 we should be getting 175 million cubic feet of gas per day. In actuality we are producing 140 million and are very unlikely to reach any higher figure in the near future. We are far behind the actual plans and we no longer can rely on any figure that KOC tells us. Since the gas discovery, we have been saying that free gas is new to our Kuwait oil industry and our opinion was to bring in international oil companies specialized in gas to work with our newly discovered gas. Our message was clear: gas is not our business and we have to give it to gas specialists to run, until we gain some experience in gas developments and production. Now our gas is in a real mess and nobody seems to know how to fix it and when. Again why KOC got itself involved in this gas business nobody knows. We can certainly make some guess as to why KOC took this upon its shoulders knowing well that it is not their business. KOC just wanted to avoid government and parliament auditing. It wanted to do it within its own system, so nobody can question them as long as they can do it right. They thought of avoiding the check and balances of various local agencies and that they could save time, not knowing that our local industry was just not ready to handle gas. As KOC is unable the rest of our local industry is the same. So KOC went ahead and signed an 800 million US dollar technical service agreement with Shell based on a bonus of one million dollars per head if they reached certain volumes of gas production.We are not sure that Shell will reach that figure as the local contractors are unable to do the work and are unable to move gas from under the service to above the ground. Our local contractors are simple ones and never handled gas. Our newly discovered gas is the most difficult that has ever been discovered. So why on earth did KOC tie itself with local contractors is another question to be raised. Now our parliament is investigating the Shell contract with KOC. Most likely they will add the reason of the delays of the production and the MEES report to their current investigation. So why was KOC in the first place not transparent? And why did it not come out openly and state the fact that we needed international oil companies to take care of the gas discovery making it their sole responsibility to tend to the gas fields? KOC’s role should have been a supervisory role and one to insure that the gas fields are well maintained with no damages being done to our reservoir. Today we do not know the status of our gas fields and whether they are in a good condition and being taken care of as KOC doesn’t have any experience to express any opinion on gas fields and developments. The Kuwaiti oil industry deserves a much better image than the current one. Again it’s our own fault that brought this mess upon ourselves. In the mean time we will continue to import gas, while being unsure of the status of our own free natural gas. Once were jubilant but today we are so sad due to our own negligence. The author of this article can be reached at email@example.com Disclaimer: Please note that the views and opinions presented in the column are the company’s own and do not necessarily represent those of Al Watan Daily and its staff.
Egypt urban inflation rises to 10.9% in February Suez Canal revenue down 1%
CAIRO: Egypt’s urban consumer inflation climbed to 10.9 percent in the 12 months to February from 8.57 percent in January, Egypt’s state statistics agency showed on Saturday. The urban consumer price index for February was 121.1 versus 110.9 a year earlier, Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) Meanwhile, revenue from Egypt’s Suez Canal inched down one percent in the year to February, the Egyptian Information Portal website showed on Saturday. Revenue fell to 381.4 million US dollars in February from $388.7 million in February 2011, the website said. Revenue in January 2012 was $445.8 million. The waterway is a vital source of foreign currency in Egypt, along with tourism, oil and gas exports and remittances from Egyptians living abroad. -Reuters
IMF chief to propose 28 billion euro loan for Greece WASHINGTON: Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde will propose a 28 billion euro loan for Greece over the next four years, it was announced late Friday. Lagarde said in a statement that she has “consulted with the IMF’s Executive Board and on that basis, as discussed with the Greek government, I intend to recommend a 28 billion euro (36.7 billion US dollar) arrangement under the Fund’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF) to support Greece’s ambitious economic program over the next four years.” She stressed, “My decision to recommend to the IMF’s Executive Board that the Fund should continue to assist Greece in this endeavor by providing substantial financial support over an extended period of time would be commensurate with the long-term nature of the challenges facing Greece and with the significant financial contributions provided by the private sector and by Euro Area member states.” “The scale and length of the Fund’s support is a reflection of our determination to remain engaged,” she affirmed. “I welcome the cooperation of the private sector in participating in the debt exchange offer by the Greek authorities,” she said. She stressed that “this is an important step that will dramatically reduce Greece’s medium-term financing needs and contribute to debt sustainability.” “The IMF’s continued support would be part of an integrated package where all parties; the Greek government, its European partners, the private sector, and the Fund, would play their part to help the Greek people overcome this crisis and over time restore growth, thus contributing to broader global financial stability,” Lagarde affirmed. She indicated that she will put this to the IMF’s Executive Board next week for review. -KUNA
BUSINESS IN REGION
ALWATAN DAILY sunDAY, march 11, 2012
KSE ends week with 0.71% rise, average daily turnover up 12% KSE weekly activity, March 8, 2012
lion shares. On the other hand, the Services sector’s stocks where the highest traded in terms of value; with a turnover of KD 81.71 million or 29.42 percent of last week’s total market trading value. The Investment sector took the second place as the sector’s last week turnover of KD 65.21 million represented 23.48 percent of the total market trading value.
KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended last week in the green zone. The price index ended last week with an increase amounted to 0.71 percent, while the weighted index raised by 0.80 percent compared to the closings of the week before. Furthermore, last week’s average daily turnover increased by 12.01 percent, compared to the preceding week, reaching 55.54 million Kuwaiti dinars, whereas trading volume average was 635 million shares, recording decrease of 0.03 percent. Kuwait’s stock market was supported last week by the continued buying operations, which focused on a large number of small-cap stocks, especially the Investment and Real Estate sectors, due to its current high activity and positive quick speculations. Moreover, the market witnessed some buying operations on few stocks of listed investment groups, which gave it an extra support during some sessions; while a return activity on some high-cap stocks was noticed after being slow for the past few weeks. In addition, random operations were made on such stocks, with focus on Banking sector, leaving a positive impact on both of the market indices especially the weighted index. Furthermore, the stock market experienced speculation in performance due to the profit taking operations through the daily sessions of last week, leading the market to drop into the red zone. However, last minute deals, which usually are random, contributed into better closings, as it helped to reducing the indices losses at some points, and reversing the indices direction into the green zone at other points. By the end of the week, the price index closed at 6,177.10 points, up by 0.71 percent from the week before closing, whereas the weighted index registered a 0.80 percent weekly gain after closing at 413.86 points. By the end of the week, the price index closed at 6,177.1 points, up by 0.71 percent from the week before closing, whereas the weighted index registered a 0.80 percent weekly gain after closing at 413.86 points.
Five of KSE’s sectors ended last week in the red zone, while the other three recorded increases. The Food sector headed the losers list as its index declined by 2.39 percent to end the week’s activity at 4,350.6 points. The Non Kuwaiti Companies sector was second on the losers’ list, which index declined by 0.98 percent, closing at 6,170.3 points, followed by the Insurance sector, as its index closed at 2,686.3 points at a loss of 0.70 percent. The Real estate sector was the least declining as its index closed at 2,247.5 points with a 0.13 percent decrease. On the other hand, last week’s highest gainer was the Investment sector, achieving 2.13 percent growth rate as
its index closed at 4,036.4 points. Whereas, in the second place, the Services sector’s index closed at 13,810.1 points recording 1.99 percent increase. The Banks sector came in third as its index achieved 0.37 percent growth, ending the week at 11,274.6 points.
15 economists it had surveyed. Analysts had expected a deficit as imports recovered from temporary disruption after the unusually early Lunar New Year in January, but they had predicted a larger rise in exports and a smaller increase in imports. China’s trade figures are politically sensitive, with Beijing and Washington embroiled in a long-running dispute over the value of the Chinese yuan, which US politicians say is kept artificially low to unfairly help Chinese exporters. The customs data came after statistics on Friday showed China’s inflation rate slowing sharply in February and factory output growth also slipping, which could potentially give authorities more room to take easing measures. “Overall, economic conditions are getting weaker at a fast pace,” said Nomura economist Zhiwei Zhang. “The slowdown is happening faster than the government expected.” Premier Wen Jiabao, speaking at the opening of the annual session of China’s parliament
CAPITALS: China swung into a huge trade deficit of 31.48 billion US dollars in February, according to the latest customs data, as the West’s economic troubles hit the world’s second-largest economy. China is normally a net exporter of goods - it recorded a surplus of $27.28 billion in January - but total monthly imports rose 39.6 percent year-on-year to $145.96 billion, with exports only going up 18.4 percent to $114.47 billion. Chinese firms’ efforts to sell to the country’s major trading partners in the West are suffering from the effects of the eurozone debt crisis and weak economic recovery in the United States. The deficit was the largest for at least 12 years, according to Dow Jones Newswires - the extent of its archived data -- and far in excess of the median forecast of $8.5 billion among
Ÿ KSE - Price Index Ÿ KSE - Weighted Index Ÿ KSE - KAMCO TRW Index Ÿ Saudi Stock Exchange (TADAWUL) ź Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange ź Dubai Financial Market ź Qatar Exchange Ÿ Bahrain Bourse Ÿ Muscat Securities Market Total GCC Equity Markets
Return (%) YTD-12 Return
(5.38%) 1.14% 0.30%
ź 6- Ahli United Bank (Kuwait) ő 8- Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait
Ÿ 5- Saudi Arabia Fertilizers Co. ź 6- Samba Financial Group Ÿ 7- Al-Etihad Etisalat Co. ő 8- Kingdom Holding Co. ź 9- Riyad Bank ź 10- SABB
ź 5- Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Ÿ 6- Abu Dhabi National Energy ź 7- Union National Bank Ÿ 8- National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah ź 9- AL DAR Properties Co. ő 10- National Bank of Fujairah
(1.2%) 4.9% 1.0% 3.0%
2,313 1,216 1,048 980
9.93 3.11 3.43 1.26
(5.9%) (3.7%) (1.7%) 0.8%
32,288 29,790 17,402
11.24 12.22 16.30
ź 1- EMAAR Properties
1.47 0.88 1.21
ő 3- Mashreq Bank ź 4- Emirates Integrated Telecom. Ÿ 5- Dubai Financial Market ź 6- Dubai Islamic Bank ź 7- Commercial Bank of Dubai ź 8- Arabtec Holding P.J.S.C. ź 9- Air Arabia Co. Ÿ 10- Dubai Investment
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Top 10 Largest Qatari Companies by Market Cap Price
ź 1- Qatar National Bank Ÿ 2- Industries Qatar ź 3- Ezdan Real Estate Co. ź 4- Qatar Telecom. (Q-Tel) ź 5- Masraf Al Rayan ź 6- Commercial Bank of Qatar ź 7- Qatar Islamic Bank ź 8- Qatar Electricity & Water Co. Ÿ 9- Qatar Fuel Co. (Wokod) ź 10- Doha Bank
49,602 28,811 19,838
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Top 10 Largest Bahraini Companies by Market Cap Price
Ÿ 4- National Bank of Bahrain
ő 5- Arab Banking Corp. (Price in USD)
ő 6- Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait
ő 8- United Gulf Bank
ő 9- Investcorp Bank (Price in USD) ő 10- Gulf Hotels Group
ź 11 Ahli United Bank (Price in USD) Ÿ 2- Aluminum Bahrain Ÿ 3- Bahrain Telecommunications Co.
ő 7- Al Baraka Banking (Price in USD)
0 670 0.670
(1 5%) (1.5%) 6.8%
1 259 1,259 895 582 500 492 351 347 254
Muscat Securities Market (MSM)
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Top 10 Largest Omani Companies by Market Cap Price
ź 1- Bank Muscat
Ÿ 2- Oman Telecom Co.
ź 5- National Bank of Oman
Ÿ 6- Oman International Bank
ő 7- Shell Oman Marketing
Ÿ 3- Bank Dhofar ź 4- Omani Qatari Telecom (NAWRAS)
ź 8- Ahli Bank Ÿ 9- Raysut Cement Ÿ 10- Oman Cement Co.
(0.4%) 6.0% 2.8%
8 885 8,885
2 244 2,244
11 0 11.0
3 7% 3.7%
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2 11 2.11
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12 2% 12.2%
0 8% 0.8%
Risk & Return
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Weekly Trading Indicators
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Risk & Return
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Qatar Exchange (QE)
Risk & Return
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Risk & Return
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ź 4- Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
ź 3- First Gulf Bank
Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX)
ź 2- National Bank Of Abu Dhabi
Top 10 Largest Companies by Market Cap in Abu Dhabi
ź 1- Emirates Telecom. Co.
Ÿ 4- Saudi Electricity Co.
Ÿ 3- Saudi Telecom
Weekly Trading Indicators
Saudi Stock Exchange (TADAWUL)
ź 2- Al-Rajhi Bank
Dubai Financial Market (DFM)
Top 10 Largest Companies by Market Cap in Dubai
ź 2- Emirates NBD
Top 10 Largest Saudi Companies by Market Cap
Ÿ 1- Saudi Basic Industries Corp
ź 9- Commercial Bank of Kuwait Ÿ 10- Burgan Bank
ő 7- Boubyan Bank
Ÿ 5- National Mobile Telecom. Co.
Ÿ 4- Gulf Bank
Ÿ 3- Kuwait Finance House
ź 2- ZAIN
Ÿ 1- National Bank of Kuwait
In more news, China has approved 23 foreign institutions to invest a combined $2.9 billion in the country’s capital markets so far this year, the country’s foreign exchange regulator said on Friday, picking up the pace of approvals as the economy shows signs of easing. China has now approved a combined quota of $24.6 billion in investment by 129 foreign investors under its Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) system, the regulator said. China introduced the QFII system in 2003. Beijing has been easing its controls on inbound investment recently as foreign capital inflows slow, in line with broader efforts to liberalize its capital markets. “With the improvement in our international balance of payments and in order to further support capital market reforms, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange has moderately quickened the pace of approvals for QFII quotas,” the regulator said in a statement on its website (www.safe.gov.cn). -Agencies
Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE)
Top 10 Largest Kuwaiti Companies by Market Cap
equivalent to 5.98 million barrels a day. Copper and iron ore imports reached their second-highest monthly volumes on record in February, the former almost doubling year-onyear and the latter up 34 percent. Analysts say that China is nonetheless still likely to run a trade surplus for 2012. The country often records monthly trade deficits early in the year, as manufacturers stock up on imported supplies that will later be processed into goods for export. During the first two months of the year trade volumes with Russia jumped 31.9 percent on year to $13.51 billion and with Brazil they went up 10.6 percent to $11.54 billion, indicating growing trade among Brazil, Russia, India, China (BRIC) group of emerging nations. China’s biggest trading partner remains the European Union, with $79.8 billion in twoway trade in January and February, up 4.7 percent. Next was the US, at $66.05 billion, up 9.2 percent.
Weekly Trading Indicators
on Monday, forecast economic growth would slow further in 2012 from the blistering pace of previous years. But the government has a difficult tightrope to walk between the perils of slowing growth and the risks of inflation, which it fears as a possible driver of social unrest. Wen warned that consumer prices remained high and the government’s aim was to keep the inflation rate within 4.0 percent this year, suggesting policymakers will be cautious about relaxing tight credit restrictions. Beijing has twice lowered banks’ reserve requirement ratio in the past three months, effectively increasing the amount of money they can lend, and analysts say they expect further such moves in the coming months, while ruling out aggressive interest rate cuts for fear of fuelling inflation. The customs data showed that the energyhungry country’s crude oil imports reached a record monthly high at 23.64 million tons,
KAMCO Research GCC Week No.10 GCC Equity EquityMarkets MarketsReport Reportforfor Week No. 10 GCC Equity Markets Weekly Performance
Disclaimer: This report has been prepared and issued by the Studies & Research Department @ Bayan Investment Company on the basis of publicly available information, internal data, and other sources considered reliable. While great care has been taken to ensure that the facts stated are accurate, neither Bayan Investment Company nor any of its employees shall be in any way responsible for the contents. This report is not an offer to buy or sell any of the securities referred in the report.
The Investment sector dominated total trade volume during last week with 935.64 million shares changing hands, representing 29.47 percent of the total market trading volume. The Real estate sector was second in terms trading volume as the sector’s traded shares were 27.84 percent of last week’s total trading volume, with a total of 883.89 mil-
China records huge February trade deficit Approves more foreign funds as economy slows
KSE total market capitalization grew by 0.86 percent during last week to reach KD 28.98 billion, as five of KSE’s sectors recorded an increase in their respective market capitalization, whereas the other three recorded declines. The Investment sector headed the growing sectors as its total market capitalization reached KD 2.17 billion, increasing by 1.67 percent. The Banks sector was the second in terms of recorded growth with 1.39 percent increase after the total value of its listed companies reached KD 12.78 billion. The third place was for the Industry sector, which total market capitalization reached KD 2.22 billion by the end of the week, recording an increase of 1.20 percent. The Services sector was the least growing with 0.32 percent recorded growth after its market capitalization amounted to KD 7.09 billion. On the other hand, the Food sector headed the decliners list as its total market capitalization decreased by 2.45 percent to reach, by the end of the week, KD 705.25 million. The Insurance sector was second on this list, which market value of its listed companies declined by 0.89 percent, reaching KD 308.47 million, followed by the Non Kuwaiti Companies sector, as its market capitalization amounted to KD 1.84 billion at a 0.15 percent decrease.
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Help prevent birth defects
Although birth defects can’t always be prevented, there are plenty of steps pregnant women can take to help reduce the risk. The womenshealth.gov website offers these suggestions: •Make regular visits to your doctor throughout pregnancy. •Get 400 mcg of folic acid each day through diet or supplements. •Don’t smoke, use illegal drugs or drink alcohol while you’re pregnant. •Always check with your doctor before taking any medication. •Get all vaccinations recommended by your doctor. •If you have diabetes, keep it under control. •Stick to a healthy body weight.
sunDAY, march 11, 2012
Entire Pacific nation could one day move due to climate change WASHINGTON: Fearing that climate change could wipe out their entire Pacific archipelago, the leaders of Kiribati are considering an unusual backup plan: moving the populace to Fiji. Kiribati President Anote Tong told The Associated Press on Friday that his Cabinet this week endorsed a plan to buy nearly 6,000 acres on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. He said the fertile land, being sold by a church group for about $9.6 million, could provide an insurance policy for Kiribati’s entire population of 103,000, though he hopes it will never be necessary for everyone to leave. “We would hope not to put everyone on one piece of land, but if it became absolutely necessary, yes, we could do it,” Tong said. “It wouldn’t be for me, personally, but would apply more to a younger generation. For them, moving won’t be a matter of choice. It’s basically going to be a matter of survival.” Kiribati, which straddles the equator near the international date line, has found itself at the leading edge of the debate on climate change because many of its atolls rise just a few feet above sea level. Tong said some villages have already moved and there have been increasing instances of sea water contaminating the island’s underground fresh water, which remains vital for trees and crops. He said changing rainfall, tidal and storm
patterns pose as least as much threat as ocean levels, which so far have risen only slightly. Some scientists have estimated the current level of sea rise in the Pacific at about 2 millimeters (0.1 inches) per year. Many scientists expect that rate to accelerate due to climate change. Fiji, home to about 850,000 people, is about 1,400 miles south of Kiribati. But just what people there think about potentially providing a home for thousands of their neighbors remains unclear. Tong said he’s awaiting full parliamentary approval for the land purchase, which he expects in April, before discussing the plan formally with Fijian officials. Sharon Smith-Johns, a spokeswoman for the Fijian government, said several agencies are studying Kiribati’s plans and the government will release a formal statement next week. Kiribati, which was known as the Gilbert Islands when it was a British colony, has been an independent nation since 1979. Tong has been considering other unusual options to combat climate change, including shoring up some Kiribati islands with sea walls and even building a floating island. He said this week that the latter option would likely prove too expensive, but that he hopes reinforcing some islands will ensure that Kiribati continues to exist in some form even in a worst-case scenario. -AP
Immune system tricked into accepting donor organs CHICAGO: Scientists have found a way to trick the immune system into accepting organs from a mismatched, unrelated organ donor, a finding that could help patients avoid a lifetime of drugs to prevent rejection of the donated organ. Of eight kidney transplant patients who have been treated with this new approach, five have managed to avoid taking anti-rejection drugs a year after their surgery, according to the study published on Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine. And one patient, 47-year-old Lindsay Porter of Chicago, is completely free of anti-rejection drugs nearly two years after her kidney transplant. I hear about the challenges recipients have to face with their medications and it is significant. It’s almost surreal when I think about it because I feel so healthy and normal,” she said in a statement. With conventional organ transplants, recipients need to take pills to suppress their immune systems for the rest of their lives. These drugs can cause serious side effects, including high blood pressure, diabetes, infection, heart disease and cancer. This new approach would potentially offer a better quality of life and fewer health risks for transplant recipients,” Dr. Suzanne Ildstad, director of the Institute of Cellular Therapeutics at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, who developed the new approach, said in a statement. But some experts say the procedure, in which patients undergo a bone marrow transplant from an unmatched organ donor, is too risky, especially given the relative safety of kidney transplants. We have to think about the risks and benefits. Since the current treatment is so stable, it really has to be safe,” said Dr. Tatsuo Kawai, a transplant surgeon at Harvard Medical School, who wrote a commentary on the new approach in the journal. Patented Technology
The new technique draws on research by Australian immunologist Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet and Brazilian-born British zoologist Peter Medawar, who won the 1960 Nobel Prize for discovering that the immune system in animals can be trained to acquire tolerance of foreign tissue. But it has been a long road to bring this about in people, says Dr. Joseph Leventhal, a transplant surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, where the transplants took place. To get transplant recipients to accept the donor organ, the team needs to condition” them by suppressing their body’s bone marrow with chemotherapy and radiation before transplanting the donor’s bone marrow, the soft fatty tissue inside bones. Bone marrow contains immature blood-forming stem cells that give rise to all blood cells, including immune system cells. The idea here is to try to use donor-derived stem cells to achieve engraftment, a state we call chimerism,” Leventhal, a co-author of the study, said in a telephone interview. Here what we are trying to do is get donor and recipient cells to peacefully coexist in the transplant recipient.” About a month before transplant surgery, kidney donors must inject themselves with a medication for several days that forces stem cells and other key cells called “facilitating cells” into their bloodstream, from where they can be collected and sent off to the University of Louisville for processing. Leventhal said these “facilitating cells” are naturally occurring cells that help create a more favorable environment for the stem cells and allow engraftment to occur safely. Ildstad has developed a process for enriching these cells and formed a company called Regenerex LLC, which is developing the patented technology. Meanwhile, the transplant recipient is given radiation and chemotherapy to suppress the immune system, a process intended to prepare them for accepting the donor’s stem cells. The patient then undergoes a kidney transplant, and a day later gets transplanted with the enriched mix of the donor’s stem cells and facilitating cells with the hope of forming two bone marrow systems that can exist and function in one person. Following those procedures, the recipient starts off taking anti-rejection drugs but is gradually weaned off them with the goal of stopping entirely a year after the transplant. -Reuters
FILE - In this March 30, 2004 file photo, Tarawa atoll, Kiribati, is seen in an aerial view. (AP)
Coke, Pepsi to drop level of ‘cancer’ chemical PARIS: Coca-Cola and Pepsi said Friday they will lower levels of a chemical in caramel coloring to comply with a California law, but insisted the beverages pose no health risks and recipes will not change. The changes allow the companies to avoid having to label products with a cancer warning due to what California has ruled are high levels of 4-methylimidazole, shown to cause cancer in lab rodents. Both drink makers said the popular soda recipes will not be affected but that caramel suppliers have been asked to make sure 4-MEI levels are reduced. “We are NOT changing our recipe; or our formula,” Coke spokesman Ben Sheidler told AFP in an email. “What we did do is direct our caramel suppliers to make a manufacturing process modification in order to reduce the level of 4-MEI in our caramel so as to meet the requirement set by the state of California’s Proposition 65.” Pepsi said its beverages “are and always will be safe for consumption.” “Consumers will notice no differ-
ence in our products and have no reason at all for any health concerns. There is no scientific evidence that 4-MEI in foods and beverages is a threat to human health,” it added. California voters passed Proposition 65 in 1986, and the law aims to protect state residents from “chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals.” The southwestern state has a 29microgram benchmark for 4-MEI in products. Anything that may expose consumers to a daily level higher than that must carry a warning label. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a recent sampling of Coke and Pepsi drink cans in the Washington area showed levels ranging between 103 and 153 micrograms. But beverage industry leaders, including the American Beverage Association, argued the evidence of a cancer link is limited to one study in mice and is not recognized by major US, European and Canadian health agencies.
The ABA added that a person would need to drink massive amounts of cola to reach a risk level similar to the dosing in mice -- 2,900 cans of cola every day for 70 years -- that served as the basis for California’s decision. “The science simply does not show that 4-MEI in foods or beverages is a threat to human health,” the ABA said. “In fact, findings of regulatory agencies worldwide, including the US Food and Drug Administration, European Food Safety Authority and Health Canada, consider caramel coloring safe for use in foods and beverages.” Michael Jacobson, executive director of the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest, countered that argument by noting that the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, last year concluded that 4-MEI was an animal carcinogen and probably a human carcinogen. “They (Coke and Pepsi) have said that forever, that the amounts don’t pose a safety risk,” he said in an interview.
“It’s face-saving. They have been fighting California for two or three years. And they didn’t prevail. They sued California and they lost.” CSPI has petitioned the US Food and Drug Administration to ban ammonia-sulfite caramel coloring, which is the type used in many common products including cola, soy sauce, coffee, bread, molasses, gravy and some beers. The chemical forms as a by-product of a heating process to create caramelization when ammonia or ammonia sulfite is used. Jacobson applauded the move to cut levels in California, and urged more action on a global scale. “The question is, when will Coke and Pepsi make these changes around the world, not just in California?” Jacobson said. Sheidler said Coca-Cola would begin enacting the same changes to beverages nationwide and globally “in order to streamline and simplify our supply chain, manufacturing and distribution systems,” though no timeline has been set. -AFP
Earth’s earliest animal with a skeleton discovered
NEW YORK: The oldest animal with a skeleton has been discovered, a creature shaped like a thimble that lived on the seafloor more than a half-billion years ago, researchers say according to LiveScience. These findings shed light on the evolution of early life on Earth, and could also help scientists recognize life elsewhere in the universe. Hundreds of fossils of the animal, named Coronacollina acula, were discovered in ancient sandstone beds in south Australia, suggesting the area was once a shallow seafloor. “Coronacollina is an example of one of the earliest animals on Earth,” said researcher Erica Clites, a paleontologist at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Arizona, who completed research on Coronacollina while she was at the University of California, Riverside. The animal measured up to 0.6 inches (1.5 centimeters) high and nearly 0.9 inches (2.2 cm) wide; radiating from the top of its body were at least four needlelike “spicules,” each up to 14.5 inches (37 cm) long, which the scientists suspect it used as a skeleton to support its body somewhat like the poles of a tent. C. acula likely was not capable of locomotion, and so probably fed as sponge does, filtering food from the water, the researchers say. The creature is between 550 million and 560 million years old. This places it in the mysterious Ediacaran period, when life first became large enough to be seen with the naked eye.
The animals from the Ediacaran are almost universally bizarre, and very difficult to link with any modern animal groups. “Up until the Cambrian period, it was understood that animals were softbodied and had no hard parts, yet Coronacollina does have hard parts,” Clites said. “Coronacollina provides the first unequivocal evidence of a macroscopic, multi-element organism possessing skeletal support structures within the Ediacaran.” The fate of Ediacaran animals has been a matter of debate, with many suggesting they were essentially failed experiments at life that virtually all went extinct just before the explosive diversification of life seen in the Cambrian period, when all the major groups of animals seemed to materialize rapidly. However, C. acula is constructed the same way Cambrian sponges were, suggesting it could be a missing link between the Ediacaran and Cambrian and hinting that not all Ediacaran animals vanished without a trace. “Coronacollina not only compares well in shape to something identifiable - a sponge - but it specifically compares to the early Cambrian sponge Choia,” Clites said. “More parallels between the Ediacaran and Cambrian may be identified by researchers in the future.” These findings could one day also help scientists identify signs of life on alien worlds, Clites said.
The Northern Lights are seen in the skies near Faskusfjordur on the east coast of Iceland Thursday March 8, 2012. A solar storm shook the Earth’s magnetic field early Friday, but scientists said they had no reports of any problems with electrical systems. After reports Thursday of the storm fizzling out, a surge of activity prompted space weather forecasters to issue alerts about changes in the magnetic field. (AP)
APP OF THE WEEK
SUNDAY, march 11, 2012
Apple unveils ‘new iPad’ with sharper screen, upgrades Apple TV
Jumanah Al-Ghadban Staff Writer
App: iPhoto Category: Photo & Video Price: $4.99 Platform: iOS Works with: iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Briefly: Day by day your iOS devices are coming closer into becoming your main devices and what better way to integrate full photo editing and managing than by bringing Mac OSX’s own iPhoto onto all iOS devices. During Apple’s event last Wednesday it was announced that iPhoto was available for all iOS devices it brought features such as smart browsing, multi-touch editing, brushes, professional quality effects, photo journals, and so much more. Being a universal app you only have to pay once to use it on all your devices to create slideshows of your photos, post directly to Facebook or Flickr, or even print your photos wirelessly on an Air-Print enabled printer. What are you waiting for? Just download it already. Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new iPad during an event in San Francisco, Wednesday, March 7, 2012. (Reuters)
TECH TALK Symantec says hackers released Norton source code: Hackers have published the blueprints to a 2006 version of Symantec Corp’s widely used Norton Antivirus software on the Internet, according to the software maker. Symantec spokesman Cris Paden said on Friday that the release of the source code, during the last 24 hours, posed no risk to millions of Norton customers around the world whose PCs are protected by its security software. -Reuters Twitter adds Arabic and Hebrew home pages: Twitter on Tuesday launched Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi and Urdu versions of its website, further localizing of the popular one-to-many text messaging service. Twitter users have long been able to fire off messages, referred to as “tweets,” in those languages but will now be able to visit Twitter.com home pages with local-language notices and instructions, a spokeswoman told AFP. -AFP Google syncs recent searches to mobile devices: Google is enticing users to forget about their online privacy and web search tracking concerns in favor of convenience and functionality. When users log on to their Google accounts and enable Web History, Google will now sync recent searches across platforms. The feature means you can search for a place on your laptop before you leave home and find out more detailed information on your mobile phone while you are on the go. -AFP VEVO launches redesign with Facebook in mind: With TV screens and social networking in mind, the music video site VEVO has launched a significant redesign. The new VEVO features a bigger player, continuous playback of videos and personalized playlists synced with user iTunes libraries and Facebook pages. VEVO, which is co-owned by Sony Music and Universal Music, debuted the new design Friday. -AP Samsung files fresh lawsuit against Apple in South Korea: Samsung Electronics Co said on Wednesday it has filed another lawsuit against Apple Inc in South Korea, claiming the iPhone 4S and iPad2 infringed on three of its patents. -Reuters
Portal 2, Skyrim win at Game Developers Choice
SAN FRANCISCO: “Portal 2” leapt over the competition to win the most trophies at the Game Developers Choice Awards. The witty sci-fi puzzler developed by Valve Corporation topped the 12th annual extravaganza Wednesday with three wins, but it was Bethesda Softworks’ role-playing saga “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” that took home the night’s top prize. “Portal 2” won trophies for best game design, narrative and audio, while “Skyrim” was honored as game of the year. Selected by a jury of game creators, Game Developers Choice honors the best games of the past year. Other winners at the Moscone Convention Center ceremony included DICE’s “Battlefield 3” for best technology, Naughty Dog’s “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception” for best visual arts and Capy Games’ “Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP” for best mobile game. “Bastion,” the artful action role-playing game from independent developer Supergiant Games, received the awards for best debut and best downloadable game, while Die Gute Fabrik’s no-graphics party game “Johann Sebastian Joust,” which pits players armed with PlayStation Move motion controllers against each other in a jousting match, won the innovation award. Ken Doroshow and Paul M. Smith, the lawyers who represented the gaming industry last year in the US Supreme Court case that eventually found it was unconstitutional to ban the sale or rental of violent video games to children, were honored with the ambassador award, which recognizes individuals who have helped advanced the gaming industry. -AP
SAN FRANCISCO: Apple gave the new iPad a bunch of new features but no new name. When it goes on sale next week in the US and several other countries, it will be “the iPad” or perhaps “the new iPad” - not “iPad 3” or “iPad HD,” as some had speculated. The new iPad unveiled Wednesday comes with improvements that may not be readily apparent to the casual observer. It has, as expected, a sharper screen, driven by a faster processing chip that acts as the “brains” of the device. What was more surprising was that the new features mean the tablet computer will be slightly thicker and heavier than the iPad 2, because it needs a larger battery to power the high-resolution screen. Prices aren’t changing from the previous models. They will start at $499. Versions capable of accessing cellular networks will cost $629 to $829. Apple is keeping the basic model of the iPad 2 in production and dropping the price to $399. That could help Apple regain some market share from cheaper tablets like Amazon.com Inc.’s $199 Kindle Fire. Samsung Electronics and other makers of full-size tablets have cut their prices to below $500.
The battery life of the new model remains the same: about 10 hours of use. Apple says the battery capacity is 70 percent higher than for the old model, which suggests that it could have kept the old screen and extended the battery life to 17 hours instead of upgrading the screen resolution. Apple said the new display will be sharper than the average high-definition television set. In a hands-on demonstration for an Associated Press reporter, text shown on the screen was noticeably crisper. The higher resolution won’t make a difference, however, for most Web images, which are of low resolution. The new screen should be able to show all the detail in high-definition movies, which the iPad 2 does not. The new screen can also show deeper and more vibrant colors than previous models, Apple said. The new iPad will go on sale March 16 in the US, Canada and 10 other countries. A week later, it will go on sale in 25 more countries. The lack of a new name could cause confusion for buyers, particularly since the older model, the “iPad 2,” will still be sold. But the naming practice is consistent with Apple’s practices for the iPod. New models have been simply called “iPod.” Consumers are left to figure out which
Comparison sheet between iPad 2 and “the new iPad.” (Agencies)
generation of the product they are looking for. Compared with the iPad 2, the new model features a higher-resolution camera on the back, similar to the one in the iPhone 4S. The new iPad will be 9.4 millimeters thick, or 0.37 inches. That compares with 8.8 millimeters, or 0.34 inches, for the iPad 2. The weight is going up from 1.33 pounds to 1.44 pounds for the Wi-Fi-only model. The original iPad weighed 1.5 pounds. Apple also confirmed that the new model will come in a version that can use Verizon Wireless’ and AT&T Inc.’s “LTE” wireless broadband networks. They offer speeds that are faster than the “3G” networks used by previous iPads, and current iPhones. iCloud and Apple TV
Apple is updating some of the software on the tablet to take advantage of the new features. For example, it’s introducing a version of the Mac’s iPhoto photo organization and manipulation program for the iPad. The company also said it would start letting users store movies in its iCloud remote storage service, so they can be accessed through the In-
ternet by PCs and Apple devices. It already lets users store photos, music and documents in the service. Apple said Wednesday that customers can now save some movies on its iCloud remote storage service. That system lets devices such as the iPad and the iPhone retrieve content wirelessly. Before, if you bought a movie on one device to play on another, you needed to connect both to a personal computer with a physical cord. ICloud does away with that. The change also means people will be able to watch purchased movies on an improved Apple TV set-top box going on sale next week. The small box, which comes with a remote, will still cost $99. The upgraded version will go on sale next week. The box will continue to offer online movie streaming services that require monthly subscriptions such as Netflix. On Wednesday, Netflix Inc. said customers will be able to sign up for its service directly from an Apple TV box and pay for it through an iTunes account. The upgraded Apple TV set-top box can now play movies in 1080p, the highest resolution commonly used video standard and will be available along with “the new iPad.” -AP
Weird and wonderful gadgets wow world’s top IT fair PARIS: Water-powered clocks, eye-controlled arcade games and pole-dancing robots: this year’s CeBIT tech fair, the world’s biggest, showcased gadgets ranging from the useful to the downright nerdy. Can’t be without your tablet computer or smartphone even when nature calls? Dutch company “phoneclip” has pioneered a small but strong device that can attach your beloved iPad to any vertical surface -- including the toilet wall. Yours for around 20 euros ($25), the clip can also be used to stick your smartphone to your bike handlebars, car dashboard or steering wheel, supermarket shopping trolley or even sportswear, explained entrepreneur Hugo Passchier. Back after a year’s absence, German firm getDigital showcased their latest range of -- in their words -- “nerd toys” that no self-respecting geek should be without. For heavy-sleeping nerds, the laser target alarm clock is a must-have toy. Emitting a high-pitched scream at the appointed time, it can only be turned off by hitting a bullseye on the clock with a laser beam, by which time the owner is most definitely awake. Another firm, Satzuma, proudly displayed its own selection of pointless but fun toys, including a clock powered just by the energy produced by running water and a teddy bear that holds your iPod or MP3 player in its paws and plays music through the soles of its feet. The CeBIT is always a magnet for the latest in robotic technology and this year was no excep-
A robot draws a portrait of a visitor at the world’s biggest high-tech fair, the CeBIT, in Hanover. (AFP)
tion, with intelligent humanoids showing off their ability to vacuum clean your bedroom, empty your dishwasher or sketch your portrait. But stopping the show was a pair of sleekwhite, life-sized pole-dancing robots gyrating in time to the music “played” by a ultra-cool megaphone-headed DJ robot. Available for your next party for a cool 30,000 euros, these very exotic dancers are made from scrap and driven by old
car motors. Also drawing crowds was a prototype “car of the future” that made parking easy by shrinking itself by up to 50 centimeters to squeeze into those tight spaces. The futuristic cobalt-blue twoseat pod, as yet only a prototype designed by the German Centre for Artificial Intelligence, will also pick you up at the touch of a button, avoiding other traffic by means of motion sensors.
But not all the gadgets on display were just for fun. Some were much more down-to-earth -literally in the case of the sensor for hopeless gardeners designed by Zurich-based firm Koubachi. Simply by sticking the sensor in the ground next to your beloved flower and programming it according to species, the machine effectively “looks after” the plant, judging the appropriate moisture levels, temperature and sun exposure. The sensor then sends the gardener an email or a read-out to a smartphone explaining what needs to be done: more water, lower temperature, more fertilizer, more shade. The Koubachi sensor currently retails for 109 euros. Another gadget that made the show popular was a robot caricaturist that can draw an accurate likeness of its subject in just three minutes was wowing the crowds on Wednesday at the world’s biggest IT fair, but not every customer was satisfied. The robot, designed by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute, takes a black-and-white picture of the subject, its computer brain then calculates the contrasts and contours of the face and it sketches what it “sees”. But, in contrast to a human artist, this robot is scrupulously honest, which can leave some punters feeling they have been poorly treated. Whereas a caricature might set you back $20 or so, this robot is worth at least 40,000 euros ($52,000). “And that’s just the hardware,” Stein said, smiling. -AFP
2013 VOLVO V40, to compete with BMW and Audi Compiled by Jameel W. Karaki
AGENCIES: The new five-door compact Volvo model adopts the Swedish firm’s design DNA with a shape that brings to mind Volvo’s crossover models like the XC60 and XC90, where V40 will be replacing two existing models the S40, and the V50 to compete with models like the Audi A3 and the BMW 1-Series. The all-new V40 is the first new model that is fully developed according to our human-centric, Designed around you strategy. Charged with an outstanding set of high-tech features it definitely will give our toughest competitors a headache. The new V40 will be replacing two existing models - the S40 and the V50 - and will compete with models like the Audi A3 and the BMW 1-Series. Performance:
The Volvo V40 is powered by a wide range of engines, starting with the brand’s very first diesel engine that boasts CO2 emissions of 94g/km. The
features a new, fully graphic instrument cluster with personalized layout and information. Competitors:
The new five-door compact model adopts the Swedish firm’s design DNA
lineup then goes to the turbocharged T5 petrol engine with 254 HP and acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds. All engine versions feature start-stop and braking energy regeneration, whether they are fitted with a manual or an automatic gearbox. The safety systems for the V40 include Volvo Car Corporation’s groundbreaking Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, the world-first
pedestrian airbag, Lane Keeping Aid with haptic auto steering, and an ingenious Park Assist Pilot that makes parallel parking easy. Exterior and Interior:
The company paid meticulous attention to every detail on the new Volvo V40 so that the final product would be modern, sleek, and sporty. The interior was designed around the driver and
Volvo has promised that the new “V40 is ready to overtake the competition in the Premium Hatchback class with sharpened features and characteristics from larger Volvos wrapped in a sleek, compact package.” This means that models like the Audi A3 and the BMW 1-Series will have to face a new, serious competitor. The new generation Audi A3 will also make its world debut on Geneva’s show floor. It will be built on an entirely new platform, featuring a completely new design and a range of 1.2, 1.4, 1.8, and 2.0-liter turbo petrol units. These engines will deliver between 105bhp and 210bhp. Audi will also include 1.6 and 2.0-liter TDI engines producing up to 170 HP. The BMW 1-Series has also been refreshed for the 2012 model year. It comes with a choice of two latest-generation four-cylinder petrol engines and three radically redesigned four-cylinder diesel units
entertainment Song Of The Day
Fahad AlSabah Staff Writer
Song: Ya Mashallah Artist: Julia Boutros Album: Yawman Ma Genre: World In short: Iconic Lebanese singer Julia Boutros released her latest album, Yawman Ma, a month ago in her home country, but sadly, copies of the album have yet to reach the Gulf region. That being said, eager listeners who couldn’t get their hands on a physical copy of the album got their fix online. Songs like “Ya Mashallah,” “Shou El Helou Feik,” and the title track are what separate Boutros from all other Arab singers; the simple, rhymed lyrics, fresh melodies, and orchestral arrangements all make her music truly unique and hard not to love. To listen to the song visit www.alwatandaily.com E-mail your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Buzz Dick Van Dyke marries makeup artist at age 86
sunDAY, march 11, 2012
Kony 2012 director answers critics of video NEW YORK: The director of a video sensation that calls for the arrest of Joseph Kony, the fugitive rebel leader of a Ugandan militia group, agreed on Friday with skeptics who have called the film oversimplified, saying it was deliberately made that way. The 30-minute YouTube film called “Kony 2012,” which by Friday had been viewed on YouTube more than 58 million times, aims to wake up the world to atrocities committed by Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, including kidnapping children and forcing them to fight. Filmmaker Jason Russell’s nonprofit group, Invisible Children, tapped 12 influential policy makers and 20 celebrities with popular Twitter accounts, including Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie, to spread the video. Since then, the company owned by powerful producer Harvey Weinstein has contacted Russell to buy the film. The phenomenal success of the video, including the savvy media campaign with tweets about Kony, has been hailed for inspiring young people to activism, but has suffered some criticism including that it oversimplified a long-standing human rights crisis. Russell, who narrates the video with a personal story that juxtaposes shots of his young son in San Diego, California with the hopelessness of Ugandan children, told Reuters on Friday the video was only meant as a kick-starter to a complicated issue. “It definitely oversimplifies the issue. This video is not the answer, it’s just the gateway into the conversation. And we made it quick and oversimplified on purpose,” he said. “We are proud that it is simple. We like that. And we want you to keep investigating, we want you to read the history.” Mixed reactions in Uganda include criticism that the at-
tention has come too late, that much of the armed conflict in the area has subsided and the film leaves out that the Ugandan military is often accused of committing the same atrocities as Kony’s fighters. In addition, Kony is believed to have long since fled Uganda and now only commands a few hundred followers. “Kony has been indicted, that’s what we are saying. It doesn’t matter if he has three fighters, 300 or 3,000. That’s not the issue,” Russell said. The group’s aim is to get Kony to surrender and be brought to the International Criminal Court in The Hague where Kony is under indictment. “He needs to face justice and we want to give him the choice to surrender,” Russell said. Invisible Children also has faced questions about its governance in light of financial statements showing a large proportion of funds were used for travel and film production rather than charity work. The non-profit group published its financial statements this week amid rising scrutiny. “They hear the word charity and they don’t understand why all of our money isn’t going to Central Africa,” Russell said. “We have found that putting money towards our media and our movie, changes lives. And in that life change, it has tangible results into a movement ... that movement does galvanize the mission.” Others have said the problem needed to be solved within Uganda rather than a viral campaign watched by viewers who may not understand the situation on the ground. To that criticism, Russell said: “We don’t think Americans should be the world police, that is not what we are advocating. We want to continue to put pressure on the policy makers, on the (US) President to keep really hyper-focused on this issue.” -Reuters
Whitney Houston sought love in ‘wrong places’: Relative
Dick Van Dyke is a very happy newlywed at age 86, his spokesman said Friday. Van Dyke and makeup artist Arlene Silver, 40, were married last week in a small Leap Day ceremony at a Malibu chapel near the actor’s home, publicist Bob Palmer said. “I’ve never seen him happier. She adds a lot to his life,” he said, adding that the couple has much in common, including a love of singing. Members of Silver’s family and some of Van Dyke’s close friends were on hand for the intimate wedding. Van Dyke suggested the couple may hold a bigger ceremony in the future, Palmer said. Silver and the stage, film and TV star became friends about five years ago after meeting at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Palmer said Friday. Michelle Triola Marvin, Van Dyke’s partner of 30 years, died in October 2009 at age 76. Van Dyke, who had a longtime marriage that ended in divorce, has four children. -AP
Ray J says he’s ‘still hurting’ over Houston death Ray J says he’s “still hurting” nearly a month after the death of Whitney Houston. The singer and sometime reality television star was one of the people who spent time with Houston in her last days. He told reporters at a charity event on Friday in Los Angeles: “I really miss my friend, you know. I really do. I’m still hurting.” “I’m able to look at life in a whole different way,” Ray J said. He looked down at a smartphone and said, “I always look at my phone because I’ve got a picture of somebody that I really love and it helps me through the day.” Ray J, who was joined by his parents Sonja and Willie Norwood, did not take questions from reporters. -AP Rapper Coolio arrested in unpaid Vegas ticket case Rapper Coolio was arrested on a warrant charging him with failure to appear in court on a traffic ticket almost two years ago. Coolio, 48, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was a passenger in a vehicle officers stopped about 2:20 a.m. several blocks east of the Las Vegas Strip, Officer Laura Meltzer said. No one else in the car was arrested. It was not immediately clear if Ivey had a lawyer. His manager Susan Haber said she had not heard about the incident and had no comment. Ivey was sought on a warrant charging him with failure to appear on an illegal stop and driving without a license summons issued in June 2010. He was freed later in the day. A court date wasn’t immediately known. Coolio is a musician, actor and record producer best known for the song “Gangsta’s Paradise.” -AP
Kill Bill actor Michael Madsen jailed in Malibu Authorities say actor Michael Madsen has been arrested for investigation of cruelty to a child after a fight with his teenage son. A Los Angeles County sheriff’s statement says Madsen was arrested Friday afternoon at his home in Malibu, after deputies were called about a family disturbance. The statement says detectives from the Special Victims Bureau are investigating allegations that Madsen was under the influence of alcohol and fought with his son, who did not need medical attention. Madsen was arrested without incident and booked at the Lost Hills sheriff’s station. He is being held on $100,000 bail. The 54-year-old Madsen is known for the Quentin Tarantino movies “Reservoir Dogs” and “Kill Bill.” Phone and email messages seeking comment from Madsen’s representatives were not immediately returned. -AP
Parents Television Council likes ‘Bully rating A petition urging the film-ratings board to overturn the “R’’ rating it gave to the teen-centric documentary “Bully” has garnered more than 250,000 signatures, but at least one organization is OK with the decision. The Parents Television Council praised the Motion Picture Association of America for maintaining the rating despite pressure from the public and the film’s distributors to lower it to “PG-13.” An “R’’ rating means moviegoers under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.The group says its position is based on the language reportedly used in the film. The MPAA also cited language as the reason for the rating. The council called for increased public involvement in the ratings process. A Michigan teenager met with MPAA officials this week as part of the campaign to lower the film’s rating after collecting signatures online. She argued that a lower rating would allow more young people to see the film. -AP
Jason Russell, co-founder of non-profit Invisible Children and director of “Kony 2012” viral video campaign, poses in New York, March 9, 2012. (Reuters)
Britney Spears rejects $10M bid to host ‘X-Factor’ LOS ANGELES: Britney Spears has rejected a $10 million offer to host the next season of “The X Factor,” TheWrap has learned. So the question is: How much is Fox going to have to pony up? Try $20 million. Reports this week that the pop star was considering a $10 million offer to host next fall’s seasons of “The X Factor” are out of date, according to a knowledgeable individual in Spears’ camp. The singer rejected that offer three weeks ago and is instead thinking about an offer to become a resident performer at a Las Vegas hotel in the fall, a la Celine Dion. So here comes a game of chicken. Fox desperately needs a big name to announce on the judge’s panel of Simon Cowell’s show, now that NBC’s hit show “The Voice” will be competing with them in the fall. Spears’ camp wants $20 million. It’s becoming an arms race for singing talent being paid to sit behind tables and... talk. NBC has put its money where its mouth is, paying Christina Aguilera upward of $10 million to come back and judge the new season of “The Voice.” They’ve given handsome paychecks, if not as much, to the other judges as well. That pales in comparison to what Fox has shelled out for the “X Factor” judges. Paula Abdul was paid $2.5 million for the last season, according to another knowledgeable insider, and she was announced at the 11th hour. She was also fired, as were judge Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones. “X Factor” is already recording its audition phase, but won’t need the judges until the end of May. What the network wants is a big piece of news to present to advertisers at their upfront sales presentations on May 14. Neither Fox, Spears’ or Cowell’s camps would comment. -Reuters
Singer Whitney Houston attends the Pre-Grammy Gala & Salute to Industry Icons with Clive Davis with her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown in Beverly Hills, California in this Feb. 12, 2011 file photograph. (Reuters)
LONDON: Late singerWhitney Houston’s manager and sister-in-law Patricia Houston has opened up publicly for the first time since the singer’s sudden death last month, saying she was “looking for love in all the wrong places” in the days ahead of her death. “I saw her chasing a dream, you know, looking for love in all the wrong places,” Patricia Houston told television talk show host Oprah Winfrey, according to transcripts from an interview that will air on the OWN network on Sunday, March 11. Houston also spoke of her concerns over the late singer’s changing lifestyle in the weeks running up to her death. “Things were really changing with her. Very much so. It wasn’t about substance abuse or anything like that ... it was just more of a lifestyle. I was afraid for other things,” she said, but did not elaborate. The “I Will Always Love You” singer, whose powerful voice fueled her rise to global fame in the 1980s, was found underwater in a bathtub at a Beverly Hills
hotel on February 11, the eve of this year’s Grammy awards. She was 48. The cause of her death is still undetermined, pending toxicology tests. Houston had a long history of alcohol and drug addiction. She entered rehab as recently as May 2011 to aid her recovery process. Her manager told Winfrey that the possibility of Houston’s addictions leading to her death was very real. “The handwriting was kind of on the wall. I would be kidding myself to say otherwise,” said Patricia Houston. The late singer’s family have remained generally quiet in the media since the singer’s death, opting not to speak publicly after her funeral on February 18. Along with Patricia Houston, Winfrey’s interviews with Houston’s 19-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown and brother Gary will also air on Sunday in a special episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” on the OWN Network. -Reuters
FILE - Singer Britney Spears arrives at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles Aug. 28, 2011. (Reuters)
Dennis Quaid’s 3rd wife files for divorce in Texas AUSTIN, Texas: Actor Dennis Quaid’s third wife has filed for divorce, saying the couple’s seven-year marriage has “become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities.” Kimberly Buffington Quaid filed a petition in Travis County, Texas, using the initials “B.K.” and identifying Quaid as “W.D.” William is Quaid’s middle name, and two of the addresses in temporary orders issued as part of the case match up to those listed as among the Austin residences for Buffington Quaid. There are also references to two children born in 2007, when the couple’s twins, Zoe and Thomas, were born. The papers were filed March 2. Word of them was first reported Friday by TMZ. Lisa Kasteler and Cara Tripicchio of WKT Public Relations issued a statement on behalf of Quaid saying, “we can confirm that Kimberley Quaid has filed for divorce.” “Contrary to what has been reported, a satisfactory settlement is being worked out for both parties,” the statement said, adding that no more information would be provided “on this private matter.” Court documents show Buffington Quaid is seeking spousal support and attorney fees. They say she believes the couple will enter into a written agreement providing for
FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2011 file photo, actor Dennis Quaid and his wife Kimberly Buffington Quaid arrive for the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP)
“possession of, access to and support of” the twins. According to a temporary order regard-
ing the twins agreed upon by both parties on March 2, Buffington Quaid will be allowed to use a home in Austin and a Mercedes, while
Quaid remains at another local residence with a Cadillac Escalade. The couple was to share a Range Rover already in Buffington Quaid’s possession. The twins were newborns when they nearly died in 2007. While at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, they were accidentally given an overdose of the blood thinner heparin. Quaid and his wife became the very public faces of the harrowing family ordeal. “There were 41 hours where their lives were in the balance,” Quaid told The Associated Press in 2010. He added that it was the most frightening day of his life and left him and his wife in “shock, anger and confusion.” Quaid produced and narrated a documentary about medical mistakes called “Chasing Zero: Winning the War on Heathcare Harm” for the Discovery Channel. Documents that became public afterward show Quaid and his wife agreed to a $500,000 settlement with the hospital. Buffington-Quaid was a real estate agent in Austin when she met Quaid. The 57-year-old Quaid is a Houston native. He married actress P.J. Soles in November 1978 and the couple divorced in 1983. He married another actress, Meg Ryan, in 1991, before they divorced in 2001. -AP
AROUND TOWN / TIME OUT
SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2012
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Feature o f
Gulf University marks 10th anniversary KUWAIT: The Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) marked Sunday the tenth anniversary of its foundation as the first private university in Kuwait. “The idea of establishing GUST is the brainchild of a group of distinguished Kuwaiti academicians and businessmen who realized the importance of setting up a modern university in Kuwait equal in quality to other prestigious universities abroad and to serve the everincreasing educational demands of the local society and the Gulf region,” GUST Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Mehailan said in a ceremony held Sunday to mark the occasion. Al-Mahelan pointed out that over 3000 students have graduated from the university in the past ten years in additions to scores of others who benefited from GUST post-graduate programs organized in cooperation with the University of Missouri at St. Louis, USA. He underlined that GUST has continually improved and expanded its educational and organizational capacities while steadily increasing its enrollments. GUST has launched an e-learning center in cooperation with the University of San Yong Sung in China and is now preparing to open a
Month a t
college for architecture. Al-Mehailan expressed gratitude for the government’s support to GUST and its graduates. For his part, University of Missouri at St. Louis’s Vice Chancellor Dr. Joel Glassman lauded GUST
achievements in the past ten years. “We are very proud of our participation in this progress.” Glassman said the Gulf University has made great strides to place itself among the prestigious private universities in the world.
General A n n o u n c e m e n t s
Quiz night for ladies March 14/ 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. / TIES Center: Ties Center Ladies Club invites all ladies to the educative and entertaining session. You can come with your family and enjoy the quiz night together. Refreshments will be provided. For more information/registration, contact 25231015/6 or 97228860/97793440.
New Toastmasters Club Second and fourth Tuesday/ 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. / Jabriya: A new Toastmasters Club is being formed and encouraging new members to join. Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. It is a non-profit international organization dedicated to improve member’s communication and leadership skills by attending and participating toastmasters meetings. For more information, please contact Khaled Al-Hashem at 65588824.
K’S PATH invites applicants for the adoption of pets Lana is a very affectionate and sweet female puppy of mixed breed. She was born in October 2011. Lana is a happy girl who loves to play and go for long walks. She will be a great addition to a family with children over 10 years of age.
Kuwaiti cuisine March 15-April 5/6 p.m. - 8 p.m./TIES Center: TIES Ladies Club invites you to our Kuwaiti cuisine classes which will start soon. Join us for a one month cooking program where you will learn to cook real Kuwaiti food. All ladies are invited to join our classes and let your family enjoy the mouth watering Kuwaiti cuisine. For more information/registration, contact 25231015/6.
Fiona is a beautiful female SemiLong Haired cat born in May 2008. She loves being cuddled and a good belly rub! She enjoys being held and likes to play. Fiona would be a lovely new family member in a household with children over 5 years of age. To adopt, call (+965) 6700 1622.
Every Tuesday/ 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. / British Ladies Society: Meetings are based on the world’s most successful healthy eating plan. Weekly meetings include private weigh in, motivational talks, recipes to try, and cooking demonstrations. Fee of KD 2.500 is required to cover for the cost of course material. For more info contact; Danielle firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hip Hop at BAIA
Art exhibition March 5-15/ 7 p.m. / Dar Al Funoon: Mohammed Abou El Naga is a multidisciplinary visual artist, art professor, curator and developer. Throughout his colorful career, he created award winning art projects, fulfilled his responsibility towards his community and brought up new generation of young artists with his teaching, workshop and his multitude of practices.
Arabic course March 11-April 19/ TIES Center: TIES Center is glad to announce the start of Arabic courses. We offer classes for all levels, from beginners to advance and also introduced new classes called Kuwait dialect. TIES Arabic classes are intended for all expatriates who wish to learn Arabic for whatever purposebusiness, basic communication, as a second language or simply as a hobby. For more information/registration, contact 97228860/97793440.
Every week/ Salmiya: BAIA offers weekly Hip Hop classes for students aged five and up. These “just for fun” classes are a great work-out. For more information visit www.thebaia.com or contact: email@example.com. Telephone: 2562 3604 ext.154, 2562 0706 ext.154. Mobile: 6005 2087.
Brainbang session October 7-April/ 11:45 a.m. -1:45 p.m. /Salmiya: BRAINBANG, the creative arm of Friends of CRY Club (FOCC) invites all students aged 11 and above, to join us fortnightly on Fridays. The areas of development are: Creativity in learning, tools and techniques to empower your mind, profile based learning, activity, fun, games and worksheet based assignments, practical experiments, mind gymnastics and application of learning techniques to conventional study. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 25660835/25618471/97677820.
Royal Thai Embassy The Royal Thai Embassy in Kuwait wishes to invite Kuwaiti companies that deal business with Thai companies or those agencies of Thai commercial companies to visit the Embassy’s Commercial Office to register their relevant information to be part of the embassy’s business and trade database. The Royal Thai Embassy is located in Jabriya, Block 6, Street 8, Villa No. 1, Telephone No. 25317530 -25317531, Ext: 14.
EducationUSA Do you have questions regarding studying at a university in the US? AMIDEAST can help. Please visit our EducationUSA Advising Center in Sharq, and attend one of our weekly free group advising sessions, held every Monday, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. For further information, visit: www.amideast.org, telephone us at 2247-0091, ext. 6819, or E-mail us at: kuwait@ amideast.org.
Horoscopes Aries: March 21 - April 19
Today is a very high-energy day in which you have the physical stamina to accomplish quite a bit, Aries. Take care, however, that you have all the necessary facts before you venture out for your day’s activities. It could be that there is a hidden force working, perhaps within your own mind, to blur the lines of reality about a certain issue. Check your sources and proceed with caution. Taurus: April 20 - May 20
Plan your moves carefully today, Taurus, and have patience with the people around you. If you’re working with others, be sure they’re on the same page with your goals and aims and that they aren’t somehow working counter to your purposes. It could be that someone is acting, or reacting, on misinformation that is creating conflict with your thoughts and feelings. Gemini: May 21- June 21
Your actions may be touched by a very fanciful frame of mind today, Gemini. Be careful about indulging in recreational substances that take you out of reality for a while. Your tendency will be to escape into the cosmos, but sooner or later you’ll have to come down.
Cancer: June 22 - July 22
You’re being called upon to take action in many areas today, Cancer. People may be tugging at you to be with them and participate in their world of fun and excitement. It could also be that there are many projects that catch your attention today, and you’re conflicted about which ones to put your energy into. Friction may arise as you find yourself tearing away from one situation to participate in another. Leo: July 23 - August 22
Take action to create a fanciful dream world today, Leo. Indeed, many of the activities of the day will be touched with an air of otherworldliness. Even though you generally like to keep your feet on the ground, realize that once in a while it’s essential to let go and experience other realms of thought in order to gain new perspective. Let your hair down and go wild tonight. Virgo: August 23 - September 22
A strong desire to bring more of the fantasy realm into your own reality spurs your actions today, Virgo.You could discover that there is an intense desire to bring a sense of the obscure to the normal, everyday realm. You want to show people that life really is just one big comedy act. Encourage others to not take life so seriously.
Libra: September 23 - October 22
This is an intense day for you during which the disharmony in different realms of your life crops up and spurs you on to action, Libra. Others may be ridiculously stubborn today, causing tension and frustration wherever you turn. Fun is the key to balancing out the equation. A jovial frame of mind and playful attitude will help remedy any situation that comes your way. Scorpio: October 23 - November 21
You may find it difficult to take action on any practical matter today, Scorpio. If you find this is the case, don’t bother pressuring yourself into making it happen. Today you’re more concerned with the fanciful side of life. Daydreams can be a wonderful escape for you today. Do something that will take you out of your current frame of mind. Go see a movie or play this evening. Sagittarius: November 22 - December 21
Take action on well-laid plans today. Stay levelheaded, and seek pleasure by taking things steadily one step at a time. Watch out for a forceful, willful, fanciful mindset that will somehow cause conflict with your plans unless you consciously make an effort to keep the daydreaming to a minimum. The lines of reality may be blurred.
Capricorn: December 22 - January 19
Action is the key word for you today, so put on some comfortable shoes and have a good time. Infuse a bit of non sequitur playfulness in your dealings with others. Find ways to escape reality for a little while. Take the original scenario and add a twist of the bizarre. Opinions will be especially strong today and conflict may arise, but realize that playfulness and lightheartedness will help any situation. Aquarius: January 20 - February 18
Live your creative fantasies today, Aquarius, but watch out for the reality police at the border. You may experience a bit of conflict with a stubborn person or in a situation that isn’t very well planned. Think things through before taking action or else you may be lost in a world of daydreams without any escape route. Set your mind on the positive aspects of the situation and you’ll succeed. Pisces: February 19 - March 20
Today is one of those days in which you might be kicking yourself for not telling the truth on an earlier occasion, Pisces. The words that seemed so harmless then may come back to haunt you now. Today is a very action-oriented day. Conflict could arise because what was thought to be true then now turns out to be false.
sunDAY, march 11, 2012
Azarenka battles through, Jankovic exits INDIAN WELLS, California: Former champion Jelena Jankovic became the first seed to tumble out of the Indian Wells WTA tournament, losing 6-4, 6-3 to American wild card Jamie Hampton in the second round on Friday. Seeded 12th, the jet-lagged Serb who had reached the semi-finals in her last two tournaments struggled to find a rhythm as she was broken three times in the opening set and twice in the second. World number one Victoria Azarenka had to work hard to extend her unbeaten record to 18-0 this year, beating Germany’s Mona Barthel 6-4, 6-7, 7-6. Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, however, eased into the third round of the elite event with a 6-1, 6-3 demolition of fellow Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Hampton, who made her debut in the top 100 of the rankings last week, sealed her surprise victory in just under 90 minutes when a Jankovic forehand sailed wide on the stadium court. “It was a bad day of tennis for me,” Jankovic, champion here in 2010, told reporters. “I just did not feel the ball. My legs felt so heavy on the court, so I was moving very badly out there. Hampton played solid. She was playing very well. I was really a shadow of myself. I guess it’s one of those days where you just come on the court and the legs don’t go, the reactions are not there.” Jankovic had reached the last four in Dubai and Kuala Lumpur in her previous two events but felt her journey from Malaysia to the United States earlier this week had taken its toll. Playing against the 99th-ranked Hampton for the first time, Jankovic was
I’m not unbeatable, says Djokovic
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus serves against Mona Barthel of Germany during their match at the Indian Wells WTA tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California, March 9, 2012. (Reuters)
broken in the second, sixth and 10th games of the match to lose the opening set in 42 minutes. Hampton, who upset 38th-ranked Polona Hercog of Slovenia in the opening round at Indian Wells, surged into a 5-1 lead in the second set before fending off a late Jankovic fightback.
The Serb broke the American in the seventh game, held serve in the eighth and then saved two match points in the ninth before her final forehand error. Top-seeded Azarenka, who won her first grand slam crown at the Australian Open in January, squandered a 5-1 lead in the second set and then came from 1-4
and 3-5 down in the third before sealing a tight victory 8-6 in the tiebreak. “I won this match mentally more than physically or tactically or whatever,” the 22-year-old Belarusian said. “That was really what brought me a win today, my fighting spirit, till the last moment.” -Reuters
INDIAN WELLS, California: Novak Djokovic has been the game’s top player for more than a year but the Serbian is not taking his world number one ranking for granted. Djokovic, who has clinched four of the last five grand slams and posted a remarkable win-loss record of 70-6 in 2011, is well aware that fortunes can change very quickly in the sport. “I don’t consider myself being on the top of the world, being untouchable or unbeatable,” the 24-year-old told reporters on Friday while preparing for his opening match at the Indian Wells ATP tournament. “That’s out of the question. I always try to give 100 percent in every practice that I have, I always want to have the positive mindset in preparing well for every event, for every season.” Djokovic, who outlasted Spaniard Rafa Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 in an epic final at the Australian Open in January, will be aiming for a fourth consecutive grand slam crown at the French Open in June. Roland Garros has always been his favorite grand slam venue but he knows he will face an uphill task their on its claycourt surface in a tournament he has yet to win. “I’ve had a good couple of years playing in Roland Garros, unfortunately I didn’t reach the finals yet in Paris,” Djokovic said. “I have played three semi-finals there, mostly against Rafa, and had some really good matches there. I love playing at Roland Garros, so hopefully this year I can make at least a step further.” While Djokovic accepted there would be speculation about a calendar year grand slam following his successful title defense at the Australian Open, he prefers to let others do the talking. “The fact is that there is always pressure and always expectations for somebody who is a top player, and it’s something that you can understand and expect,” the Serb said. “But you have to deal with the pressure.” Djokovic, also champion at Indian Wells in 2008, will face Kazakhstan qualifier Andrey Golubev in the second round, having been given a first-round bye. -Reuters
South Africa in charge against New Zealand in first test DUNEDIN, New Zealand: Captain Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum kept New Zealand’s slim hopes of scoring 401 runs to beat South Africa in the first test alive after they helped the hosts reach 137 for two at the close of the fourth day’s play at University Oval in Dunedin on Saturday. New Zealand’s chances of threatening the record target, let alone saving the test on a pitch that is displaying inconsistent bounce, rest with McCullum (58 not out) and Taylor (48 not out), who had combined for an 82-run partnership before bad light stopped play with four overs remaining. The naturally aggressive duo had thrown away their wickets with rash strokes in the first innings and while they tempered their all-out attacking instincts they were still scoring at more than four runs an over. South Africa captain Graeme Smith had declared their second innings on 435 for five midway through the second session on Saturday then his bowlers put New Zealand’s batsmen under immense pressure with Vernon Philander consistently creating doubt just outside off stump. Tall fast bowler Morne Morkel was also particularly aggressive and peppered New Zealand’s batsmen with short-pitched bowling, hitting Rob Nicol on the body several times. The pressure told on both opening batsmen with Martin Guptill unable to handle Philander’s late away movement and he was caught at third slip by AB de Villiers for six before tea. Nicol, who needed treatment on his left hand after he was hit by a steeply rising delivery from Morkel, wasted his earlier efforts when he got a full toss from legspinner Imran Tahir and hit the ball straight to Smith at mid-on for 19. Smith had declared midway through the afternoon session, shortly after Jacques Rudolph had become the
Morne Morkel of South Africa bowls to Rob Nicol of New Zealand during day four of the international cricket test match between New Zealand and South Africa at the University Oval in Dunedin, March 10, 2012. (AFP)
third player in their innings to reach a century. Rudolph, who had resumed after lunch on 59, raced through to his sixth test century and was on 105 not out, while Mark Boucher was on 34 when the Proteas ended their innings with a lead of 400 runs. Only four other sides have scored more than 400 runs to win a test match when batting fourth
and New Zealand will need to surpass not only their highest successful fourth innings score at home (324-5 against Pakistan in 1994) but also the highest successful run chase in the country. South Africa need to sweep the series 3-0 to take over the world number one test ranking from England. -Reuters
Australia experience gives rivals edge in Asia Cup: Misbah DHAKA: The tough experience that India and Sri Lanka went through in Australia in their recent tour will give them an advantage over their rivals in the Asia Cup, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq said on Saturday. The biennial four-nation Asia Cup begins in Dhaka on Sunday with Pakistan and Bangladesh vying for the top spot in the continent along with India and Sri Lanka. India had just a few days break before flying to Dhaka after a tough Australia tour where they lost all four test matches and failed to qualify for the finals of the tri-series one-day tournament. Sri Lanka, beaten by Australia in the best of three finals of the tri-series, flew to Dhaka directly from Australia on Saturday. “I think the way they have played cricket in Australia, it will always be difficult... to play against them as they have played tough cricket over there,” Misbah told a news conference in Dhaka about their opponents. “To compete with them we have to work very hard and have to
improve our performance.” Pakistan toured Bangladesh in December and won both test and one-day series by a clear margin. They also beat England in a test series 3-0 in the United Arab Emirates before losing the one-day series 4-0 to the same opponents. “Regardless of the situation that we have played here and have some advantage, but it will hardly matter as they have played some tough cricket. A lot of teams get mentally strong after playing over there (Australia),” he said. Misbah said they want to forget the poor showing in the one-day series against England and take inspiration from the past good test results. “Every game and every series is a different ball game. You can’t just stick to the series that you have lost,” said Misbah. “If you look at the series before we won six series in a row, I think this is part of the game. What we want to do is just forget the one-day series and just look forward,” he said. -Reuters
Vettel hat trick looms for F1 in 2012
Bryant’s 34 points lift Lakers over Wolves
Los Angeles Lakers’ Josh McRobert ( right) sets a pick on Minnesota Timberwolves’ Wesley Johnson as Kobe Bryant ( left) drives past in an NBA basketball game on Friday, March 9, 2012. (AP)
MINNEAPOLIS: Bynum dominated the smaller Wolves down low and Bryant made four free throws in the final 16 seconds for the Lakers, who beat the Timberwolves for the 18th straight time. Derrick Williams had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Nikola Pekovic had 25 points and 13 boards for theWolves, who found out less than 30 minutes before the game that leading scorer and rebounder Kevin Love could not play because of back spasms. The Wolves had a chance to win it down one with 16 seconds to go, but Williams’ drive to the basket was blocked by Pau Gasol. Williams wanted a foul but didn’t get the call. At 33 years old and in his 16th season, Bryant doesn’t dunk as often as he used to. But he broke out a couple in the second half to energize the Lakers. The first came on a fastbreak in the third quarter that got them rolling. Then he blew by Luke Ridnour for another with 3:06 to play that put them up 97-95 and set up a heart-pounding finish. Bynum converted an alley-oop to make it 99-95, but the Wolves came right back with a layup from Pekovic and a 3 from Luke Ridnour that gave them a 100-99 lead with 1:33 to play. Bynum was credited with a bucket on a goaltend from Williams with 34 seconds to go. Pekovic tipped home a missed layup from Williams and Bryant scored two free
throws for a one-point lead with 16.4 seconds to go. Williams crashed to the lane and appeared to draw some contact from Gasol, but Bryant corralled the rebound to save the Lakers. Ricky Rubio had 15 points, 10 assists and four rebounds, but had to be carried off the court in the final 16 seconds after his left knee buckled. Michael Beasley scored 15 points for the Wolves and Gasol finished with 12 points and 11 boards. The Lakers limped into Target Center on Friday night with a 6-14 record on the road, including ghastly losses at Washington and Detroit earlier this week. They gave away a 21-point lead against the Wizards on Wednesday night, with Bryant missing more shots than Bynum and Gasol attempted in the game combined. They were just as sluggish early against the Timberwolves, falling behind by 14 points in the first quarter before Bryant got it going in the third. Love never did make it out of the locker room, but Williams sure put on quite an impersonation. The No. 2 overall pick took it strong to the rim and asserting himself on the glass. Williams scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds in the first quarter to instill some more confidence and calm in a young team that was without its leader. -AP
FILE - Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing attends a team filming day at the Circuit de Catalunya, Feb. 18, 2012 in Montmelo, Spain. (AFP)
MELBOURNE, Australia: Six world champions on the grid for the opening Grand Prix of the season represents an unprecedented array of talent for Formula One, yet few would count on anything other than another Sebastian Vettel title this season. Kimi Raikkonen’s return from a year away in rally racing has added one more former champion to F1 ranks this season, joining Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Raikkonen’s return will add interest, yet F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is worried that may quickly ebb away if 2012 turns into another Vettel procession. It was not just that Vettel clinched last year’s title with four races to spare, but the manner in which he did it, regularly taking pole position, turning it into a good lead in the first few laps then simply maintaining that margin to the checkered flag. “We don’t want what happened last
year, which was not too good,” Ecclestone said. “We perhaps need a change. The only person that would say no to that would be Sebastian, but everybody else would agree with it.” In F1, a driver can only be as good as the car he sits in, and Vettel’s chances of a third straight title hinge largely on how Red Bull and its renowned designer Adrian Newey have managed to adapt the car to the latest slew of new regulations. McLaren’s decision to go it alone among the leading teams and retain a straight front section is a bold one that could prove either a masterstroke or an oversight. McLaren has had a much less frantic offseason leading into 2012 than it did the previous year, when it struggled to incorporate an elaborate exhaust system onto the car, and the bullish comments coming out of the team suggest Hamilton and Button will be Vettel’s strongest rivals in the early part of the season. -Reuters
SUNdAY, MARCH 11, 2012
Sports Editors Highlight
MOSCOW: Brazilian fullback Roberto Carlos will not play for his club Anzhi Makhachkala this season after being taken off the squad list, the wealthy Russian Premier League side said on Friday. Roberto Carlos, who turns 39 in April, earlier said that he was planning to retire at the end of the year. The 2002 World Cup winner with Brazil did not play for Anzhi in last week’s 1-0 win over Dynamo Moscow. Anzhi coach Guus Hiddink said then that he might still use the experienced defender from time to time. Roberto Carlos served as Anzhi’s joint caretaker coach at the second half of last year after their long-serving boss Gadzhi Gadzhiyev was sacked. Anzhi’s billionaire owner Suleiman Kerimov has said he wants to make the Brazilian a director for the rich club from the volatile North Caucasus region.
United ready to pounce on City in EPL run-in LONDON: After reducing the battle for the Premier League title to a two-horse race, Manchester United has a benign run of fixtures to look forward to as it bids to reel in Manchester City in the remaining two months of the season. United has emerged from a tough spell in the league with wins over Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham-while also coming from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Chelsea - to lie two points behind City with 11 matches left. Save for the seismic derby match against City on April 30, United’s remaining matches look much easier than those of its archrival. They begin with a home match against West Bromwich Albion, which has won its last three matches but is a big underdog heading to Old Trafford. “We are satisfied with the situation we are in,” United midfielder Michael Carrick said. “But just because we have come through a tough two months doesn’t mean we will sail through the next two nicely. We are not getting carried away and we are not taking anything for granted. We know how quickly it can come back and bite us.” Outplayed and outfought in the first legs of their Europa League last 16 matches on Thursday, the two Manchester clubs must ensure there is no hangover when they resume the title race this weekend. United found itself in the unusual position of being utterly dominated at home in a humbling 3-2 loss to Athletic Bilbao. City, meanwhile, looks to rebound from a 1-0 loss at Sporting Lisbon when it visits Swansea, which has lost only two of its 13 home matches this season since being promoted. City has won its last four league games but will be without one of its outstanding performers this season after center back Vincent Kompany injured his calf in Portugal. Like Carrick, City manager Roberto Mancini doesn’t believe there will be any lasting impact of the loss in Europe. “I am not worried,” the Italian coach said. “We will go through in the Europa League and
Manchester City’s David Silva (right) vies for the ball against Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney during their FA Cup third round soccer match at Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, Jan. 8, 2012. (AFP)
Sunday will be a different game.” United beat Tottenham 3-1 last weekend to open up an 11-point advantage over Harry Redknapp’s third-place team. Spurs will be looking over their shoulder at Arsenal, which has closed the gap with wins over its north London rival and Liverpool. Tuesday’s 3-0 win over AC Milan didn’t manage to secure Arsene Wenger’s team a spot in the Champions League quarterfinals but lifted morale even further.
“People don’t realize that we basically had half a squad at one stage and the team was just down to its bare bones,” Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs said. “Everybody has come together now and we have overcome a difficult period. We need to be consistent like this now for the rest of the season.” Sixth-place Newcastle, which is five points behind Arsenal, may still have designs on fourth but Liverpool’s hopes look doomed after defeat by Arsenal left it five points further back. -AP
New buys will complement not replace Van Persie: Wenger ENGLAND: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger played down speculation over the future of captain Robin van Persie on Friday, saying the club intended to keep their in-form striker amid interest from Premier League leaders Manchester City. The 28-year-old Dutchman, who has scored 32 goals in all competitions this term, said last month he was putting contract talks on hold until the end of the season and City have said they would be keen on signing him if those discussions fail. Media reports have widely linked Arsenal with a move for Cologne forward Lukas Podolski but Wenger denied a deal was in place and emphasized that any new purchases would work with Van Persie rather than replace him. “Our plan is to keep Robin van Persie even if we buy any player,” Wenger told a news conference. “Robin is the leader of our club and I would just like to specify that he is not at the end of his contract. He is under contract until 2013.” He added Van Persie was not being distracted by the transfer talk surrounding him, which has included Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini saying that
while the striker was likely to stay put, his club would be interested if he wanted to leave. “I believe if you are to have one quality it is not to be unsettled because what is said of you by other clubs is part of the job,” Wenger said. “What is important is how much you want to win the next game and all the rest is basically not important. I cannot stop others from talking about Van Persie. In an ideal world maybe, but it doesn’t bother me too much.” Arsenal are expected to revamp their squad in the close season after what is likely to be a seventh successive trophyless year. They were knocked out of the Champions League this week despite a spirited fightback in the second leg of their round-of-16 tie against AC Milan and are out of contention for the Premier League title. Their main priority for the rest of the season is to secure a top-four finish in the league to give them the chance of Champions League soccer next term. Sitting fourth with 49 points from 27 matches, they are three points ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea and will be looking to maintain that advantage when they host Newcastle United on Monday. -AFP
Last-gasp Inter give Ranieri reprieve Compiled by Al Watan Daily
VERONA, Italy: Argentines Walter Samuel and Diego Milito struck inside the last three minutes to give Inter Milan their first win in 10 games in a 2-0 success at Chievo on Friday while Napoli thumped Cagliari 6-3. Inter gave coach Claudio Ranieri a vital boost ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Champions League second round, second leg clash with Marseille at the San Siro. The Italians, who won the competition two years ago, trail 1-0 from the first leg in France and many in Italy believe Ranieri’s job depends on progress to the quarter-finals. Inter toiled for 87 minutes in Verona and looked to be heading for their eighth blank in their last 10 games until the dramatic late finale. The win moved them up to sixth in Serie A and boosted their hopes of securing a European finish. The nerazzurri had lost seven of their previous nine matches, failing to score in any of those and it was easy to see why in the first half. That was until Inter’s grandstand finish as Samuel
headed home a Sneijder corner three minutes from time. And in the very last minute Milito made amends for his earlier penalty miss as he headed in from captain Javier Zanetti’s cross. Italian sources have suggested that Inter is considering parting company with Ranieri, but the 60-yearold coach is not worried about his situation. “President Massimo Moratti was happy and he congratulated us,” Ranieri told Sky Sport Italia. “The president has always given me his full support and I have a great rapport with him.” However, the Italian coach confessed that Friday’s victory was important, as he was spotted misty-eyed after Milito’s goal. “It means I care about these players, I am happy for them,” Ranieri added. “We played really well and we deserved this victory after one month of abstinence. This result will surely boost our morale, it is a lifeline, and I am sure that San Siro will be full for the match against Olympique de Marseille. Our next goal is to reach the quarterfinals in the Champions League. We know how much this is important for us, the club and the fans.”
Sleeping giants India starting to wake up, says Blatter NEW DELHI: FIFA president Sepp Blatter reckons “sleeping giants” India are slowly waking up to their potential and that bids to host two world championships are positive developments. The head of world soccer’s governing body was on a visit to India, which has a population of 1.2 billion people but is 158 in FIFA’s rankings. “To wake up a sleeping giant you need more than one alarm clock. We have put different alarm clocks here. And I have to say the giant is not any longer sleeping, it’s already starting to wake up,” Blatter told reporters on Friday. “My aim as the FIFA president is to establish football in the continent of India. I have been closely following the development of football in India. The FIFA development office is presently based in Delhi and the
setting up of the regional and the elite academies are a step in the right direction.” The All India Football Federation announced on Friday that the country were planning to bid to host the World Club Cup in 2015 and the Under-17 World Cup in 2017. “Both are positive developments no doubt. But it’s up to the FIFA executive committee to decide,” Blatter said. Blatter, who was accompanied by Asian Football Confederation president Zhang Jilong, met India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Patil during his visit to Delhi. Soccer in cricket-mad India is popular only in pockets but big European teams have turned their focus to India for branding, lured by the promise of one of the world’s fastest growing economies and a huge youth population. -Reuters
New body to police ownership of English clubs
LONDON: Prospective owners of English football clubs will need to win the blessing of a new regulator as part of measures announced on Friday to improve the governance of the game following criticism from politicians. English Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore said the change would bring “added rigor” to the way rules on ownership were enforced but added it would not be a panacea. “There is no regulatory system in the world that will ultimately stop a club failure,” Scudamore said. Scudamore said soccer should celebrate the wealth generated since the 20-team Premier League broke away from the rest of the professional game two decades ago, signing a series of lucrative deals with pay TV operator BSkyB. “It’s good news that there is lots of money in the game but it needs careful regulation to make sure that clubs remain sustainable,” he said. Critics say the rewards on offer have encouraged clubs to build reckless levels of debt to try to secure Premier League status and that the game is too expensive for the ordinary fan. Scudamore was speaking at Wembley Stadium at a briefing on governance reforms proposed jointly by the English Football Association (FA), the Premier League and the Football League, representing the 72 clubs in the lower divisions. Under the proposals, a license system will be introduced to ensure clubs meet minimum standards on financial regulation, ownership and their stadium. The FA, the game’s ruling body, will slim down its board from 14 members to between 8 and 12 to streamline decision making. Clubs will also be forced to improve communication with fans by appointing a “Supporter Liaison Officer”. Scudamore noted that the rules on club ownership had been tightened since Portsmouth in 2010 became the first Premier League club to go into administration. A new FA Regulatory Authority will help to ensure that these tougher rules are being enforced and gradually take over full control for enforcing them from the leagues. Its members will be experienced business regulators but not necessarily from a soccer background. Football League chairman Greg Clarke said clubs in the lower leagues had built up close to one billion pounds in debts but were beginning to rein in spending. “The level of debt that they need to continue operating will come down but it’s a 10-year journey,” he said. Fans of a number of struggling lower league clubs have tried to fund rescues in recent seasons while, at the other end of the scale, a group of wealthy businessmen wanted to buy champions Manchester United from the American Glazer family. “If supporter ownership can be facilitated, it should be encouraged,” Scudamore said. -Reuters