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FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2012

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Issue No. 1424

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Parliament approves strict Blasphemy law

Minister of Justice says government to endorse bill Staff Writers and Agencies

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti lawmakers endorsed a legal amendment on Thursday which could make insulting God and the Prophet Mohammad by Muslims punishable by death, in a second reading that brings the proposal a step closer to passing. The plan still needs approval by the Amir before it becomes law, and follows a high-profile case of suspected blasphemy on Twitter. Forty MPs voted in favor of the law, while 6 MPs voted against, specifically MPs Ahmad Lari, Saleh Ashour, Abdulhameed Dashti, Adnan Al-Mutawa, Adnan Abdulsamad and Mohammad Al-Saqer. MPs Ali Al-Rashid, Nabeel A-Fadhl, Mohammad Al-Juwaihel and Hussein Al-Qallaf and Ministers Fadhil Safar and Mustafa Al-Shamali did not take part in the vote as they were not present. The draft now includes a new clause which will mean the death penalty will only be applied if the person stands by their actions when questioned by a judge. The parliament approved the addition of two articles to the penal code. The first article makes insulting or mocking God and His Prophets and Messengers, Holy Quran, Prophet Mohammad and his wives punishable by death, if the offenders insisted on the crime and refuse to repent. The same punishment is applied to those who describe themselves as new prophets or messengers

Tunisian court fines TV boss who screened Persepolis

from God. If the accused is a non-Muslim, the punishment would be lowered to imprisonment for no more than 10 years. The second article states whoever commits the abovementioned crimes and declares repentance shall be punished with imprisonment for no more than 5 years or will be subject to paying a fine which would not exceed 10,000 Kuwaiti dinars. Minister of Justice and Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Jamal Ahmad Al-Shihab confirmed Thursday that the government would not reject the bill. In press statements following the National Assembly’s session for approving the bill, Al-Shihab said respecting religions and religious symbols does not contradict international conventions. “Freedom of expression does not mean defaming or offending sanctities of nations,” Al-Shihab was quoted as said. He also noted the bill has not contradicted previous fatwas or religious edicts of the Fatwa Committee of the Ministry. During the deliberation, MP Abdulsamad said that the law ignores the instances of insulting the Family of the Prophet Mohammad, while MP Ashour said that the law is against Sharia and presents a negative image of Islam. Ashour added that the Legislative Committee ignored Jurisprudence opinions, stressing that insulting the Family of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Fatimah Al-Zahra should be penalized by the law. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Kuwaitis protest at US Embassy, call for release of Fayez, Fawzi

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Interior Minister orders investigation into Al-Azmi’s death

Staff Writer

KUWAIT: An official source told Al Watan that the First Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah had ordered the formation of an investigation panel into the circumstances surrounding the death of Nawaf Al-Azmi. The panel, which is comprised of senior security officials, has been asked to compile a detailed report containing the reason for keeping the corpse in a morgue for more than two months at the Criminal Evidences Department. The minister reportedly also urged the officials in charge of the investigation to pinpoint any negligent officers to that they can be penalized in accordance with military procedures in place. In addition, the source noted that the details reported by Al Watan are the closest to the truth, adding that the deceased was 38 years old and that his corpse was recovered on Feb 15, 2012 at a studio in Qurain More on 3 area which he purportedly rented a while ago.

Ahmad Zakaria Staff Writer

KUWAIT: A large crowd of citizens, members of Parliament (MPs), human rights activists, and civil society representatives gathered on Wednesday evening at the United States Embassy in a peaceful sit-in, calling for the release of Kuwaiti detainees at Guantanamo Prison Fayez Al-Kandari and Fawzi Al-Ouda. The crowd chanted loudly calling for the release of the detainees. Head of Popular Committee for Kuwaiti detainees at Guantanamo Khaled Al-Ouda thanked the citizens for supporting the families of those detained in Guantanamo. He mentioned that the Kuwaiti government has lost interest in releasing two of its citizens. He added that this conveyed a message to the United States that the release of those citizens is a priority to Kuwait. MP Adel Al-Damkhi said that this issue is a matter of dignity to every Kuwaiti and Muslim and expressed his bitterness that Muslims are locked up in cages, tortured, and humiliated without facing any charges or trials. He accused the United States of lying to the world, since they More on 2 have been falsely preaching human rights.

Europe’s presidents shun Ukraine over Tymoshenko

A supporter of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is seen in a tent camp as he takes part in a group hunger strike in central Kiev May 3, 2012. (Reuters)

KIEV: Nine European leaders are shunning a Central European summit hosted by Ukraine this month, adding to international pressure on the former Soviet republic over its treatment of jailed opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko. The move, which follows allegations of Tymoshenko’s beating in prison, highlights Ukraine’s growing isolation and casts doubts on Kiev’s plans to improve its image abroad by hosting the European soccer championship next month. The presidents of Germany, Austria, Italy, Croatia, Estonia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic have all said they would not attend the May 11-12 gathering in the Black Sea resort of Yalta to be hosted by President Viktor Yanukovich. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has also said he had no plans to visit Ukraine because of Tymoshenko who says she was jailed on Yanukovich’s personal order and fears for her life. The boycott of the informal summit - which was held in Poland last year and attended by 20 heads of states including US President Barack Obama - risks embarrassing Kiev which says it wants eventually to join the European Union. It could also be a precursor to an even more painful boycott of the European football championship which Ukraine is co-hosting with Poland next month and which Kiev has hoped would cement its position in the European mainstream. -Reuters

MPs vote on the Blasphemy law bill during Thursday’s parliamentary session, May 3, 2012. (Al Watan)

Bin Laden’s last words go online

WASHINGTON: In letters from his last hideout, Osama bin Laden fretted about dysfunction in his terrorist network and crumbling trust from Muslims he wished to incite against their government and the West. A selection of documents seized in last year’s raid on bin Laden’s Pakistan house was posted online Thursday by the US Army’s Combating Terrorism Center. The documents show dark days for Al-Qaeda and its hunkered-down leader after years of attacks by the United States and what bin Laden saw as bumbling within his own organization and its terrorist allies. “I plan to release a statement that we are starting a new phase to correct (the mistakes) we made,” bin Laden wrote in 2010. “In doing so, we shall reclaim, God willing, the trust of a

large segment of those who lost their trust in the jihadis.” Until the end, bin Laden remained focused on attacking Americans and coming up with plots, however improbable, to kill US leaders. He wished especially to target airplanes carrying Gen. David Petraeus and even President Barack Obama, reasoning that an assassination would elevate an “utterly unprepared” Vice President Joe Biden into the presidency and plunge the US into crisis. But a US analysts’ report released along with bin Laden’s correspondence describes him as upset over the inability of spinoff terrorist groups to win public support for their cause, their unsuccessful media campaigns and poorly planned plots that, in bin Laden’s view, killed too many innocent Muslims. -AP

Once-banned bird flu study suggests pandemic threat is real

Chinese dissident Chen seeks US exile deal

BEIJING: Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese activist, has said he wants to leave for the US rather than stay in China, throwing into doubt a deal used to coax him out of the US embassy in Beijing and defuse an impasse that has strained ChinaUS ties. That stalemate appears all the more troublesome for the US, with Chen saying on Thursday that he feared for his and his family’s safety if he stayed in China under an agreement that US officials initially said he was happy with. Chen, a self-taught legal activist, is under Chinese control in a Beijing hospital, having left the embassy on Wednesday. He had taken refuge at the mission for six days after escaping house arrest and left under a diplomatic solution in which the US said China promised that Chen could join his family and be allowed to start a new life in a university town, safe from the rural authorities who had abused him in prison and house arrest for nearly seven years. But Chen told Reuters news agency on Thursday by telephone from hospital, where he was escorted by US officials after leaving the embassy, that he had changed his mind after speaking to his wife who More on 5 spoke of recent threats made against his family.

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Bloody attack at Syria’s Aleppo University kills four BEIRUT: Syrian security men and students wielding knives attacked a protest march at Aleppo University on Thursday, activists said, killing four and rounding up dozens of demonstrators who were demanding President Bashar Al-Assad step down. In an unusually bloody incident for Syria’s hitherto fairly peaceful commercial hub and second city, video posted on the Internet showed young people chanting slogans against the ruling family and being drowned out by gunfire. Activists posted images of a bloodied corpse and what they said was a burning dormitory. A British-based opposition group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said at least four were killed and some 28 other students were wounded, three critically. Some 200 were arrested in the latest violence to breached a three-week-old UN truce. More on 4

US triples military aid to Philippines in 2012

MANILA: The United States will nearly triple its military funding for the Philippines this year, the Philippine foreign ministry said on Thursday, as tensions rise with China over disputed islands and Washington bolsters its alliance with Manila. However, the Philippines expressed concern over what it said was a sharp decline in its share of US foreign military financing (FMF) despite Manila’s central role in the US’s military “pivot” back to Asia. Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario said the Philippines accounted for over 70 percent of total FMF allocation for East Asia in 2006, compared to 35 percent this year. “We hope this is not indicative of the priority placed on the Philippines as a regional partner, as even non-treaty allies appear to be getting a bigger share of the FMF allocation,” del Rosario said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, according to a foreign ministry statement. Del Rosario was in Washington for the first “two-plus-two”

dialogue among their foreign and defense secretaries as they look at ways to deepen ties and help Manila build a “minimum credible defense posture”. Washington agreed to provide 30 million US dollars in FMF this year, up from an initial 2012 allocation of $15 million and from $11.9 million last year. In 2003, funding amounted to $50 million as Washington sent forces to help the Philippines battle Al-Qaeda-linked militants. The Philippines is offering the United States greater access to its airfields and may open new areas for US soldiers to use as it seeks stronger military ties with its ally and faces rising tensions with China in the maritime dispute. The United States also agreed at the meeting to share “realtime” data on the South China Sea, suggesting it will give Manila more of its surveillance data on naval activity. The State Department also promised to explore “creative funding streams” to help the Philippine military. -Reuters

People attend a rally to mark World Press Freedom Day in Tbilisi, May 3, 2012. World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993. (Reuters)


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ALWATAN DAILY

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Kuwaitis protest at US Embassy, call for release of Fayez, Fawzi

Kuwaiti demonstrators are seen dressed in a similar uniform worn by the prisoners at Guantanamo in protest to the arrest of Fayez Al-Kandari and Fawzi Al-Ouda on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. (Al Watan) Ahmad Zakaria Staff Writer

KUWAIT: A large crowd of citizens, members of Parliament (MPs), human rights activists, and civil society representatives gathered on Wednesday evening at the United States Embassy in a peaceful sit-in, calling for the release of Kuwaiti detainees at Guantanamo Prison Fayez Al-Kandari and Fawzi Al-Ouda. The crowd chanted loudly calling for the release of the detainees. Head of Popular Committee for Kuwaiti detainees at Guantanamo Khaled Al-Ouda thanked the citizens for supporting the families of those detained in Guantanamo. He mentioned that the Kuwaiti government has lost interest in releasing two of its citizens. He added that this conveyed a message to the United States that the release of those citizens is a priority to Kuwait. MP Adel Al-Damkhi said that this issue is a matter of dignity to every Kuwaiti and Muslim and expressed his bitterness that Muslims are locked up in cages, tortured, and humiliated without facing any charges or trials. He accused the United States of lying to the world, since they have been falsely preaching human rights. He explained that those men were imprisoned after a decree issued by the Congress and Senate, in addition to the approval of the president, without facing any trial or accusation. He went on to say that such injustice is being practiced by a country that claims to be the greatest country in

the world. He remarked that all the human reports issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the United States are false claims. He revealed that arrangements are made for a Kuwaiti delegation to travel to Guantanamo to meet the Kuwaiti detainees and allow their families to see them. AlDamkhi noted that 21 experts in international law stated that any detainee has the right to meet his lawyers and family. He attacked the American authorities for isolating the Kuwaiti prisoners from their families and lawyers. Moreover, former MP Jassem Al-Kandari said that the Kuwaiti detainees have been tortured physically and psychologically, adding that the guards “stepped on their dignity with their boots”. He hoped that they would be released as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Political Science professor Ghanem AlNajjar explained that Guantanamo Prison is a shame on human conscience and held the United States responsible for the current situation. He revealed that there are steps that the Kuwaiti government can take to mount pressure on the United States, such as the security arrangements agreed upon between the two countries that will turn into agreements after the National Assembly approves those arrangements. He noted that an international conference will be held in Kuwait to shed light on the Guantanamo detainees’ issue. Furthermore, MP Nayef Al-Merdas said that he blames the government for not taking this matter seriously, and stressed that the Kuwaiti government must take advantage

Foodstuff dealers must adhere to license limitations KUWAIT: The Director General of the Kuwait Municipality Engineer Ahmad Al-Subaih reaffirmed that shop owners, restaurants and cafes of various types should obtain health licenses prior to operating, adding that they should stay within the parameters specified by the municipal authorities. Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), Al-Subaih firmly warned the municipality will shut down any shops found to be in violation of the set regulations. The official further noted that oversight authorities are continuing their crackdown on all shops across the country to ensure compliance with the regulations, and

stressed that failure to adhere to the set parameters can prompt legal questioning. For his part, the Director of Municipal Services Department at the Jahra Governorate municipal branch Saleh Al-Kandari affirmed that the department has recently launched a crackdown on restaurants, supermarkets and foodstuff shops in Jahra in collaboration with the Public Relations Department and Jahra Security Directorate. He added that the clampdown resulted in the issuing of tickets for violations related to unlicensed operation and failure to abide by public hygiene, among others. -KUNA

Parliament approves strict Blasphemy law Continued from page 1

MP Abdulhameed Dashti said that intellectual terrorism is being practiced and constitutional violations are taking place. He added that the law was approved far too quickly. Meanwhile, MP Faisal Al-Mislem said that approving the law is an unprecedented move to penalize those who insult Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and his wives by sentencing offenders to death. MP AlTabtabaie commented saying, “We respect the twelve Imams and the offspring of Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein. The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has approved executing those who insult Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and his wives.” In another development, the parliament witnessed heated tension due to the interpellation motion which will be filed by MP Mohammad Al-Juwaihel against the Minister of Interior Mohammad Al-Homoud, and due to the preparations of the Majority Bloc MPs who are attempting to put an end to Mustafa Al-Shamali’s post as Minister of Finance. A parliamentary source revealed that the Minority Bloc MPs sent a message to the Minister of Interior advising him not to face the interpellation motion due to the existence of documents in the possession of MP Mohammad Al-Juwaihel, which they have deemed as ‘seriously damaging’. The source said that the documents might embarrass senior officials in the ministry because they may contain instances of fraud concerning very influential figures. Meanwhile, the Majority Bloc MPs have discussed requesting the Interior Minister to mount the podium and address some issues and overlook the ones of a more sensitive nature, noting that they will support him in order to ensure the interpellation will be carried out without incident. Sources added that some Majority MPs support referring the interpellation motion to the Constitutional Court, especially when the motion could expose the names of citizens and confidential files regarding State sovereignty. Al-Juwaihel’s refusal to present explanations and clarifications requested by the minister could also determine whether the motion will be referred to the court. In a separate development, a source in the Majority Bloc said that a meeting held at Deputy Speaker Khaled Al-Sultan’s farm aimed to ease tension with the government, adding that the meeting witnessed the agreement on the final draft of the interpellation motion, which will be filed against the Minister of Finance Mustafa Al-Shamali. The source said that the attendees discussed the draft of the interpellation

Lawmakers are seen voting for the blasphemy draft bill during the National Assembly session held on Thursday, May 3, 2012. Forty lawmakers voted in favor of the law. (Al Watan)

which MP Al-Saifi Al-Saifi intends to file against Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Ahmad Al-Rhujaib. Meanwhile, MP Ammar Al-Ajmi expressed regret over the harsh attack against the Director of State Audit Bureau Abdulaziz Al-Adsani, and Head of the Central Apparatus for Addressing the Affairs of Stateless Arabs (Bedouns) Saleh Al-Fadalah. He said that some officials in Kuwait are working hard in order to address “sensitive issues”. For his part, MP Al-Juwaihel said that MP Musallam Al-Barrak does not care about the problems unemployed citizens are facing, nor the issues of retirees and loans. He was quotes as saying, “Do not lie to the people. They do not deserve that. I will expose you before the people”. Meanwhile, MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaie said that the majority of MPs reject the discussion of the interpellation against the Interior Minister in a closed-doors session; however, they will prevent any commotion regarding the issue. He added that the majority MPs assigned a four-member committee including MPs AlWasmi, Al-Barrak, Al-Tahous and Al-Anjeri to draft the interpellation that will be filed against Minister AlShamali.

Human rights activists and lawmakers are seen gathered in front of the US Embassy in protest to the arrest of Fayez Al-Kandari and Fawzi Al-Ouda on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. (Al Watan)

of every agreement to force the United States to release the Kuwaiti detainees. He criticized the fact that the detainees are isolated, and asserted that they are deprived of their basic rights, such as meeting their lawyers and family. MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji stressed that this gathering reflects the fact that Kuwaitis can unite. However, he admitted that he cannot overlook the military assistance of the United States in freeing Kuwait during the Gulf War; nonetheless, he expressed his disappointment that the law is not enforced on those detainees who are imprisoned without any legal basis. Fellow MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei objected to the dishonesty of the president of the United States Barack Obama, who had vowed to release the Guantanamo detainees within 100 days of becoming president. He also criticized the Kuwaiti government for not exerting sufficient efforts to release the two Kuwaiti detainees. He went on to say that if he was in power, he would have disconnected power from Arifjan Camp, in order to force the American army to pay its late power bills. He added that he would have also called the municipality because the army has made constructions on state property. He stressed that such methods would have been sufficient to release the Kuwaiti detainees immediately. Former MP Mubarak Al-Khirinij stressed the importance of communicating with the American people, and revealed that the United States protected its citizens who were arrested in Cairo for illegal financing of civil society organization. He noted that the American authorities

ensured the safety of its citizens and sent them back to the United States. MP Mohammed Al-Kandari said that the Kuwaiti government failed to release the detainees, and called for referring the issue to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in order to take advantage of its collective efforts of the GCC countries. Meanwhile, MP Adel Abdul Hadi mentioned that sterling efforts were exerted and formidable challenges were overcome to turn this case into a public opinion case. He revealed that he spoke directly to Fayez Al-Kandari who called for his immediate release or death. MP Jamaan Al-Harbash said that all Kuwaitis are detained in Guantanamo, not only Fayez and Fawzi. He went on to say that Kuwait has offered its land to the United States, since all armies passed through Kuwait, in addition to the war waged against Afghanistan from Kuwait. He added that the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime was feasible because Kuwait was used as a military base to launch attacks against Iraq. He criticized the government for not prioritizing the issue of the Kuwaiti detainees, and vowed that from now on, this issue will be the main indicator in assessing the performance of the government. MP Osama Al-Shaheen mentioned that the government is not serious in handling this issue, and called for drastic steps to ensure the release of the two Kuwaiti detainees. Ghanem Al-Najjar revealed that he had received a message from Amnesty International before joining the sit-in, where it expressed its solidarity with the sit-in.

GCC to activate strategy for security cooperation: Sheikh Ahmad KUWAIT: First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Jaber Al-Sabah arrived Kuwait Wednesday night after leading the country’s delegation to the 13th consultative meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) interior ministers in Riyadh. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud said Wednesday evening that the 13th consultative meeting of the GCC interior ministers reached fruitful decisions that will enhance the security cooperation among the GCC member states. Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) before leaving for home after the meeting, Sheikh Ahmad said: “The final communique of the meeting covered all urgent issues relating to the latest security developments on the national and regional scales.” “Foremost among the recommendations of the meeting is the one related to the activation of the security strategy aiming to coordinate the efforts of the security services and enhance their preparedness for the common challenges,” he noted. “The cooperation between the security services of Kuwait and those of other GCC states is based on shared interests and mutual understanding,” the minister added. During the meeting Saudi Crown Prince, Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said that his country and all other the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states firmly support the unity and sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Jaber Al-Sabah upong his arrival to Kuwait on Wednesday night, May 2, 2012. (KUNA)

“Any harm to any of the GCC member states constitutes a harm to all members, “ Crown Prince Naif made clear. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and all GCC member states condemn the repeated infringements by a neighboring country (Iran) upon the sovereignty of the UAE over the three Arabian Gulf islands,” he stated. “The GCC states also condemn the despicable bombing that targeted Bahraini policemen recently,” the Crown Prince pointed out. He praised the great insight of the

GCC leaders for preserving the security and stability of the region which drew positive response of their peoples. “Today’s meeting will discuss a range of issues relating to the security cooperation, notably the draft security pact which will be tabled to the coming GCC summit for endorsement,” he added. Sheikh Ahmad thanked Saudi Crown Prince, Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for his hospitality and the efforts to ensure the success of the meeting. -KUNA

Kuwaiti Chief of Staff meets Australian ambassador, attaché KUWAIT: Chief of Staff of the Kuwaiti Army Lieutenant General Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah met with the Ambassador of Australia to Kuwait Robert Tyson on Thursday and discussed issues of mutual interest. The army chief received Tyson earlier in the day, accompanied by Australia’s Defense Attache to Kuwait Colonel John Paterson and the officials tackled military issues. The army chief hailed the bilateral relations between the two nations, and their mutual keenness on further bolstering them. The meeting was attended by the Deputy Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Al-Othman and a host of military and defense officials.

Chief of Staff of the Kuwaiti Army speaking to Ambassador of Australia to Kuwait on Thursday, May 3, 2012. (KUNA)


ALWATAN DAILY

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Interior Minister orders investigation into Al-Azmi’s death Abdullah Al-Najjar Staff Writer

KUWAIT: An official source told Al Watan that the First Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad AlHumoud Al-Sabah had ordered the formation of an investigation panel to investigate what circumstances surrounds the death of Nawaf Al-Azmi. The panel, which is comprised of senior security officials, has been asked to compile a detailed report containing the reason for keeping the corpse in a morgue for more than two months at the Criminal Evidences Department. The minister reportedly also urged the officials in charge of the investigation to pinpoint any negligent officers so that they can be

penalized in accordance with military procedures in place. In addition, the source noted that the details reported by Al Watan are the closest to the truth, adding that the deceased was 38 years old and that his corpse was recovered on Feb 15, 2012 at a studio in Qurain area which he purportedly rented a while ago. It has been gathered that security personnel, after being informed about the presence of the corpse, reported the matter to the Public Prosecution and the Criminal Evidences. The body was checked and photographed, upon which the corpse was referred to the Criminal Evidences building in Dhajeej for postmortem autopsy on the orders of the Public Prosecution so as to establish whether any criminal suspicion is involved in the case. The prosecution subse-

quently ordered the body to be buried. The source further explained that the autopsy conducted on the body concluded that there were no injuries and that the death was caused by a sharp drop in blood circulation due to the failure of vital areas of the brain. Moreover, the source disclosed that the Criminal Evidences Department informed relevant authorities about the completion of autopsy and that the relatives of the deceased should come to collect the body, which never happened for unknown reasons. As a result, the body was kept for more than two months in the morgue. For this reason, the minister of interior ordered an investigation into the incident. Earlier, Al Watan reported details of the incident highlighting the fact that the body was kept in the morgue for more than two months

Al-Mazzini: Municipality conference adopts ambitious ideas KUWAIT: The Head of Arab-European Organization Dr. Saleh Al-Mazzini described the first international conference for municipal Affairs and sustainable development in the Arab cities as one of great importance. The conference will be organized by Kuwait Municipality from May 7 to 9 and adopts ambitious and executable thoughts. The conference will be held under the patronage of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad in cooperation with the United Nations Human settlements Program (UN-HABITAT). The conference will focus on sensitive issues such as environment, urban city and urban economy as well as employment and submitting loans to youths, said Al-Mazzini. On his part, the Deputy Director of Environ-

ment Public Authority Ali Haydar said, “We have to benefit from the points the conference will discuss, especially in the field of designing new cities in order to avoid the mistakes committed in the past.” He added that the conference aims at setting aside all requirements of development, including saving power, water, rational use of lands and recycling wastes in addition to setting aside green or environment-friend buildings. The Director of Environment Department at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research Dr. Abdulnabi Al-Ghadban emphasized that pollution has increased rapidly and endangers the health of people as a result of the of the poor city planning that causes traffic jams. -KUNA

without the relatives being informed. In another development, MP Mohammad Al-Juwaihel, who made comments on Thursday about the issue, stated that he will include the issue in his interpellation against the interior minister where he will highlight the negligence of the security forces who failed to inform the relatives of the deceased about the existence of the body. Meanwhile, political activist and lawyer Hamdan Al-Azmi called on the minister to tighten his administrative and security oversight against certain senior officials in his ministry in order to uproot the irregularities that occasionally occur therein. In a press statement, he said, “A year ago, the people of Kuwait were shocked by the heinous death of Al-Maimuni due to torture at

the hands of undercover security personnel ... only for this issue to arise, hence shaking the Kuwaiti society.” In addition, the lawmakers of Awazem Tribe Falah Al-Sawwagh, Ahmad Mutee, Menawer Dhiyab, Salem Al-Namlan and Bader Al-Dahoum released a statement condemning the attempts of some to use the case of the deceased as an item for an interpellation motion, which is expected to be submitted against the Minister of Interior soon. The lawmakers announced their rejection to using such sensitive issue for grilling the minister, particularly as such attempt might aim at settling scores amongst certain personalities. “Discussing the case at the Parliament will harm the feelings of the family of the deceased citizen,” the statement said.

Weather expected to improve on Saturday KUWAIT: Meteorologist Dr. Saleh Al-Ajairi said that he expects the bad weather conditions to continue until today, adding that there is a slight chance of rain in some areas. He forecasted a noticeable improvement in weather on Saturday.

He said that the dust storm in the past few days was a result of the ‘Sarayat’ season known to the region during this time of the year. He said that the season will end on May 17, noting that until then the weather conditions will remain unstable.

FILE- Picture from Monday, April 30, 2012, shows the sudden change in weather that took place that day after a massive dust storm. Meteorologist Al-Ajairi expected the weather to improve on Saturday. (Al Watan)

Army to carry out drills May 6-8 KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti Army is carrying out a drill with live ammunition in the Adair’a artillery range next Sunday till Tuesday. The live ammunition exercise will be executed in

Al-Dahar area at 7 A.M. till 2 P.M. Desert campers must steer clear of the drills’ zones, the Army warned in a statement. Patrols will ensure that no-one approach the sites. -KUNA

Infrastructure project was completed two months before deadline: Al-Jasser

Representative of Minister of State for Housing Affairs and Deputy Director Saleh Al-Nafisi speaking at a celebration held to commemorate the delivery of the infrastructure projects. (Al Watan) Abdullah Al-Shemmari Staff Writer

KUWAIT: In the presence of representative of Minister of State for Housing Affairs and Deputy Director Saleh Al-Nafisi and a number of housing senior officials, the Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) received on Thursday the completed infrastructure of the North West Sulaybakhat Project from Mishref Company for Trade and contracting, two months before deadline. In a statement to Al Watan, Al-Nafisi said “I attend this party on behalf of the Minister of Housing Affairs, Minister of National Assembly Affairs Shuaib Al-Muwaizeri upon an invitation received from the

contracting company, which implemented the project according to the conditions of the contract signed with the PAHW. I’d like to thank them for implementing the project for this”. For his party, Mishref Company for Trade and contracting Chairman Mohammad Al-Jasser said “We built the infrastructure of the project two months before the dead line, without the need to extend the period of the contract”. The said project is located on the Wester coast of the Gulf, parallel to the Entertainment City. It is one of the best housing projects that have been implemented by the State over the last few years. It includes 1736 housing units, including 1030 400 square meters housing lots, 396 houses and 310 apartments.

KCCI discusses touristic cooperation with Argentina KUWAIT: Deputy Chairman of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Abdulwahab Al-Wazzan discussed with visiting Argentinean Minister of Tourism Carlos Enrique Meyer and the accompanying delegation means to bolster cooperation within the tourism sector. Al-Wazzan told the press after the meeting that KCCI was keen on investing in Argentina, saying that such gathering was beneficial to both nations. The Argentinean official said that his country was eager to cooperate with Kuwait, noting that his visit would hopefully result in bolstering ties and bilateral relations. -KUNA

Societies aim to raise Multiple Sclerosis awareness

CAPITALS: Two major medical and cultural societies in Kuwait have joined hands with local experts to raise awareness of the neurological disorder Multiple Sclerosis (MS) through a series of educational talks. “Most of the MS information on the Internet is available only in English, which makes it difficult in predominantly Arabic-speaking populations like Kuwait to keep the patients and public informed,” said Dr Raed Al-Roughani, senior neurology specialist in Al-Amiri Hospital, at one of the talks organized by the Kuwait Multiple Sclerosis Association (KMSA) and Kuwait Women Cultural and Social Society (KWCSS). “We are finding more and more that they use blogs and forums with non-approved medical information as the basis for their choices.” “Also we’re finding that many people are afraid of being diagnosed with an illness, so while they know that they are exhibiting symptoms that are unusual, they will not go seek a diagnosis out of fear. This is why these talks are so very important,” Dr Al-Roughani added. “The first educational forum hosted on April 15 with MS patients and their families was a great success. Dr AlRoughani answered questions from patients and their families about the best and latest treatments for MS as well as explaining the importance of psychological care for patients to improve their

quality of life - information they all quite desperately needed,” said Mona Al-Musaireei, chairperson of the KMSA. “The second educational forum that took place on Wednesday evening focused on the critical importance of MS awareness of patients and primary health care providers, to help diagnose the disease,” said Al-Musaireei. “There are up to 1,400 patients in Kuwait with MS and our recent results have shown that about 40 percent are not fully adherent with their current medication regimen. This is a result of the undesirable side effects of some drugs and also a perceived lack of efficacy, the patients believe that the drug has no effect,” said Dr Al Roughani. Kuwait’s Ministry of Health licensed the world’s first oral medication for the relapsing remitting form of MS last year, which affects around two-thirds of those diagnosed with the disease. Local doctors said that this new treatment option would help improve the quality of life and medication for patients in the country. Existing treatment includes the need for patients to undergo regular injections, which can cause flu-like symptoms for 24 hours and leave red marks on the skin. The new oral treatment would remove the need for these regular injections. Research figures show MS affects around 25 to 50 people in every 100,000 in Arabic populations and about 100 per

100,000 in Northern Europeans who display the highest risk of MS across the world, with prevalence seeming to increase with further distance from the equator. MS is a nervous system disease with no known cause that affects the brain and spinal cord, leading to symptoms such as visual disturbances, muscle weakness, trouble with coordination and balance, sensations such as numbness, prickling or “pins and needles” and thinking and memory problems. Moreover, MS is caused by damage to the myelin sheath, the protective covering that surrounds nerve cells. When this nerve covering is damaged, nerve signals slow down or stop. The nerve damage is caused by inflammation. Inflammation occurs when the body’s own immune cells attack the nervous system. This can occur along any area of the brain, optic nerve, and spinal cord. Globally MS affects women more than men and often begins between the ages of 20 and 40. The disease can be mild but some people lose the ability to write, speak or walk. There is no cure for MS but medicines can slow disease progression and help control symptoms. It is unknown what exactly causes this to happen. The most common thought is that a virus or gene defect, or both, are to blame. Environmental factors may play a role. -Agencies

Kuwaiti envoy discusses bilateral ties with Albania

SARAJEVO: Kuwaiti Ambassador to Albania Najib Abdulrahman Al-Bader met with the Albanian President Political Affairs Advisor at the presidential Palace in Tirana. Al-Bader told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), on Thursday, that the meeting tackled issues of mutual interest and discussed promoting cooperation in the political, investment, and cultural arenas. The Kuwaiti envoy noted that the bilateral ties are witnessing an obvious development due to smooth coordination between the two countries’ officials. On his part, the Albanian official lauded the deep ties his country enjoys with the State of Kuwait. He also pointed out that Albania is interested in enhancing cooperation with the gulf country on all domains. -KUNA

Kuwaiti Ambassador to Albania Najib Abdulrahman Al-Bader (left) with the Albanian President Political Affairs Advisor during a meeting held at the presidential Palace in Tirana. (KUNA)


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ALWATAN DAILY

regional

friDAY, may 4, 2012

Bloody attack at Syria’s Aleppo University kills four BEIRUT: Syrian security men and students wielding knives attacked a protest march at Aleppo University on Thursday, activists said, killing four and rounding up dozens of demonstrators who were demanding President Bashar Al-Assad step down. In an unusually bloody incident for Syria’s hitherto fairly peaceful commercial hub and second city, video posted on the Internet showed young people chanting slogans against the ruling family and being drowned out by gunfire. Activists posted images of a bloodied corpse and what they said was a burning dormitory. A British-based opposition group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said at least four were killed and some 28 other students were wounded, three critically. Some 200 were arrested in the latest violence to breached a three-week-old UN truce. Knife-wielding youths had joined the security forces in the attack on fellow students on the Aleppo campus, the group said, adding that teargas had been fired on what started as the latest of an almost daily series of peaceful protests by the students. “Freedom forever in spite of you, Assad!” chanted the young demonstrators in a video shot in early morning twilight. There was no comment from officials and it was not possible to verify the account from the northern city.

fighters killing 15 members of the security forces, including two colonels, in a rural part of Aleppo province on Wednesday. Security forces struck in other parts of the country, too, activists said. They fired mortars at a village in central Homs province and killed six people when they fired on villages in northern Idlib province. While the city of Aleppo itself has rarely seen clashes, there has been a string of assassinations there, apparently by rebels. The Observatory reported the killing overnight of Ismail Haidar, son of the head of a pro-Assad political party. Videos and activist accounts, however, are hard to verify conclusively because the government restricts media access. Campus surrounded

Burning dorm

From Aleppo, anti-Assad activists uploaded a picture of one young man who they said was killed, his shirt drenched in blood, and a video of a burning residence block, its windows shattered. Dormitory hallways appeared to have been smashed up and men were dragging furniture outside as students screamed. The violence was one of many breaches of the three-week-old ceasefire in Syria, where 31 United Nations observers are touring to moni-

NEWS IN BRIEF Sudan, South Sudan say border quiet after AU ultimatum KHARTOUM: Sudan and South Sudan’s armies, who have been clashing along their disputed border for weeks, said on Thursday the frontier was calm after both accepted a UNbacked African Union plan to cease fire. The crisis between the former civil war foes has raised fears of a return to all-out conflict and that prompted the AU to issue an ultimatum for both to stop fighting with the Security Council threatening sanctions if they did not comply. “There are no military operations at the border. There is an atmosphere of guardedness and watchfulness,” Sudanese army spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid said on Thursday. “The situation has been quiet for the last two days. The Sudanese army has not announced a formal ceasefire, but the fronts are quiet.”-Reuters

Iran attitude on Gulf islands ‘unacceptable’: Saudi RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz has described as “unacceptable” Iran’s attitude towards three islands under its control which Gulf Cooperation Council member UAE claims it owns, a report said. “I reiterate the kingdom’s condemnation to the unacceptable attitude of neighboring Iran that continues to ignore the legitimate right of the United Arab Emirates over its three occupied islands,” said Prince Nayef, who is also Saudi Arabia’s interior minister. “Any harm towards any of our (GCC) countries affects us all,” he said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA late on Wednesday.-AFP

Libya grants immunity to ‘revolutionaries’

The Chief of the UN Supervision Mission to Syria, Norwegian Major General Robert Mood (second right) and his team walk with members of the Free Syrian Army, at the Khalidiya neighborhood during the United Nations observers’ visit to Homs May 3, 2012. (Reuters)

tor the truce between state forces and rebels. Around 300 are expected to be deployed by the end of May. The deal brokered by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has led to a small reduction in the daily carnage, mostly in cities were

monitors are deployed permanently. The head of the monitoring mission, Major General Robert Mood from Norway, told reporters during a trip to Hama on Thursday that observers were having a “calming affect” and that state forces appeared willing to cooperate

with the truce. “There have been steps taken by the government forces on the ground that indicate a better willingness to live up to the commitments made in the agreement,” he said, giving no details. But clashes have continued, with rebel

Egypt’s military renews pledge to step down CAIRO: Egypt’s ruling military council is committed to handing over power to a civilian administration by July 1 as it promised, one of the council’s senior members said Thursday. The announcement came a day after deadly clashes between protesters and assailants left at least 11 dead in Cairo, prompting some politicians to voice fears that the military might use the violence as a pretext to ignore its own deadline to relinquish control of the country. Maj. Gen. Mohammed Al-Asar also told reporters that the military will ensure the integrity and fairness of presidential elections scheduled for May 23-24. The military took over after a popular uprising ousted Egypt’s authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. But in over a year in power, it has been accused of badly bungling the transition, killing protesters, hauling more than 10,000 civilians to trial before military tribunals and of scheming to enshrine a political role for itself after handing over power. “We say it frankly and clearly, the armed forces and their supreme council are committed to the handover of power on June 30,” Al-Asar said. “We don’t desire power. The Supreme Council (of

the Armed Forces) is not a substitute for legitimacy in Egypt.” Protesters have long called for the military to immediately step down, but the generals have responded by saying they would stick to the timetable they announced for the transfer of power. Adding to the tensions in the run-up to this month’s presidential balloting is that Egypt’s post-Mubarak and Islamist-dominated parliament has not been able to project its power beyond the chamber, while the ruling generals hold near-absolute executive powers. Al-Asar also denounced suspicions expressed mostly by Islamist politicians that the May presidential election could be rigged if the military-backed government of Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri remains in office. “How could anyone even think that the armed forces, which are mandated with the noble task of protecting the country, could be involved in or cover up the rigging of the election?” Al-Asar and two other members of the military council spoke to reporters in Cairo. Above the three hung a banner reading: “The armed forces honor the promises they make.” -AP

Palestinian hunger strikers appeal to Israeli supreme court

TRIPOLI: Libyan authorities granted immunity to former rebels who fought to oust Muammar Gadhafi’s regime and has criminalized any glorification of the former leader, in laws passed on Thursday. “There is no punishment for acts made necessary by the Feb. 17 revolution,” read the law published on the National Transitional Council’s website. The immunity covers “military, security or civilian acts undertaken by revolutionaries with the aim of ensuring the revolution’s success and its goal,” the NTC added. It was unclear if the law includes acts committed after Oct. 23, when the NTC declared Libya’s liberation following the capture and killing of strongman Gadhafi.-AFP

Fatah, Hamas unity meet ends without deal

CAIRO: A Cairo meeting between Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal and an official of the rival Fatah movement made no headway on the formation of a Palestinian national unity government, an official said on Thursday. Two hours of talks Wednesday night in the Egyptian capital produced “nothing new,” the Palestinian official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. Meshaal and his deputy Mussa Abu Marzuk discussed with senior Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmed “the possibility of advancing the reconciliation process, in particular a government of national unity, but the meeting produced nothing new,” the official said. The meeting was a bid to follow up on an agreement reached in Doha on February 6 between Meshaal and Palestinian president and Fatah leader Mahmud Abbas on the formation of an interim government of independents. Under the deal, Abbas was to serve as head of the interim government, ending a bitter dispute between the two sides over who would assume the post. The government line-up was to have been announced shortly afterwards, but the deal was met with opposition from Gaza-based members of Hamas, as well as some officials in the Fatah-controlled West Bank, who say that Palestinian law prevents Abbas from serving as president and prime minister at the same time. At Wednesday’s meeting, which was also attended by Egyptian officials, Fatah “stressed the importance of allowing the electoral commission to resume operations within the (Hamas-controlled) Gaza Strip so that president Abbas can set in motion the procedures to form a government, and fix a date for the elections,” the official said. Hamas said it was possible “to resolve the question of the electoral commission through consultations with (Abbas) over the formation of the government he will head under the terms of the Doha declaration.” But the Palestinian official said he did not expect any progress towards reconciliation before the completion of internal Hamas elections, expected by mid-May. The long-time rivals have been struggling to implement the terms of a reconciliation deal signed in Cairo in May last year, which calls for the formation of an interim government of independents to pave the way for presidential and legislative elections within a year. Representatives from the two sides have met several times to try to hammer out a final line-up for the government and agree on who should head it. Meshaal during his visit to Cairo held talks with Ahmad Jaabari, head of military operations for Hamas’s armed wing the Ezzeddine al-Qassam Brigades, an Egyptian security source told AFP. Jaabari was recently elected to Hamas’s political bureau, according to sources in the Islamist movement.

Trial postponed for fugitive Iraqi VP

Tunisian court fines TV boss who screened Persepolis TUNIS: A Tunisian court on Thursday slapped a small fine on the head of the Nessma television station for undermining morality by screening the film Persepolis which included depictions of God. Nabil Karoui broadcast the award-winning Franco-Iranian film which recounts the Iranian revolution and its aftermath through the eyes of a young girl, on Oct. 7 last year. The screening prompted attacks on the station’s offices and Karoui’s home by activists linked to Salafism, a conservative strand of Islam. In its ruling, the court ordered Karoui to pay 2,400 dinars (1,300 euros, 1,700 US dollars) for “broadcasting a film that disturbs public order and threatens proper morals.” A Nessma technician and another station official were both fined 1,200 dinars. Karoui, who was not in court for the judgment, has described his case as a key test for freedom of expression in Tunisia, which remains in flux following the January 2011 revolution that toppled an entrenched dictatorship and sparked the Arab Spring. Following a final hearing last month, he said that “the judgment will be historic and will have an effect on the entire region.” The defense said it plans to appeal against the verdict. “This verdict is an affront to the freedom of the press. We hoped for a straightforward acquittal on this World Press Freedom Day,” defense lawyer Abada Kefi told AFP. “Mr Karoui should have been sentenced to three to six months in prison in light of the charges,” prosecution lawyer Rafik Ghak countered, adding he would investigate the option of an appeal. Several people expressed anger after the announcement of the ruling. -AFP

On Thursday afternoon, protests again erupted at Aleppo University to denounce the overnight assault. “It is hard to get any information from the students right now. The situation is tense. Security forces are surrounding the campus,” said an activist in the city called Mustafa. While most opposition areas in Syria have been overtaken by an armed revolt against AlAssad, peaceful anti-Assad protests had been staged almost daily at the university in Aleppo. The Observatory cited student activists saying security forces ordered students out of dormitories, from where protests had been launched, and had shut the university until May 12. Despite the turmoil, Syria plans to hold a parliamentary election on Monday under a new constitution which has allowed the creation of new political parties and formally ended decades of monopoly by Assad’s ruling Baath Party. Authorities say the election is part of a reform process, but most of the opposition dismisses it as a sham.-Reuters

Palestinian women chant slogans during a rally in Gaza City in support of more than a thousand prisoners who are on an open-ended hunger strike in Israeli jails on May 3, 2012. (AFP)

JERUSALEM: Two Palestinians who have been on hunger strike for 65 days appeared before Israel’s Supreme Court on Thursday to appeal their detention without charge, their lawyer told AFP. Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla are protesting Israel’s use of administrative detention, which allows military courts to order individuals held without charge for periods of up to six months, renewable indefinitely. Jamil Khatib, who is representing both men, said his address to the court focused on what he called the “illegality” of administrative detention. “The appeal focused on two sides, the illegality of administrative detention in general, in terms of why they are being held, and secondly why Thaer and Bilal took this step to shed light on administrative detention,” Khatib said. He said Halahla addressed the session, speaking “about his arrest and the violations that were committed against him and why he decided to go through with his hunger strike.” “He spoke about his right to a good life and his right to see his daughter, who was born while he was in administrative detention,” Khatib added. It was unclear when the court would issue a ruling on the appeal. Judge Amnon Rubenstein “announced

that the panel of judges would make a decision after reviewing the ‘secret file,’” prisoner rights group AdDameer said in a statement. “But after the review (he) stated that the parties would be informed at a later time, without specifying when.” Halahla, 34, was arrested on June 28, 2010 and has been held under administrative detention orders ever since. Diab has been held since August 17, 2011 and both men began refusing food on February 29. Officials from the Physicians for Human Rights-Israel group have warned that both men are in danger of dying, and expressed particular concern about Diab, who was transferred from a prison infirmary to a civilian hospital on Tuesday. Khatib told AFP that Diab had fainted during the session and was treated by Arab-Israeli lawmaker Ahmed Tibi, a doctor, who was attending the hearing. The two men have been joined on hunger strike by at least 1,550 Palestinian prisoners, the bulk of whom began refusing food on April 17. They are calling for improved conditions, including increased access to lawyers and family visits, an end to solitary confinement and an end to administrative detention. -AFP

BAGHDAD: The terror trial of Iraq’s fugitive Sunni vice president was postponed Thursday as his lawyers appealed to have parliament create a special court to hear the case that has touched off a political crisis and could deepen the nation’s sectarian divide. Tariq Al-Hashemi, one of the nation’s highest-ranking Sunni politicians, was not in court to face charges that he ran death squads that targeted government officials, security forces and Shiite pilgrims. Instead, his lawyers filed motions to have Iraq’s Supreme Court direct parliament to set up a special tribunal for high-ranking officials. No opening arguments or evidence were presented on Thursday, and reporters sat in the empty courtroom for several hours before being told the case was postponed until May 10. The Shiite-led government accuses Al-Hashemi of links to about 150 bombings, assassinations and other attacks. It says the death squads were largely composed of the vice president’s bodyguards and other employees. The vice president is in Turkey, and has denied the charges that he calls politically motivated. The trial was to focus on three charges: the killings of officials at the National Security and Interior ministries and the killing of a lawyer. The maximum sentence in Iraqi terror cases is the death penalty. Al-Hashemi has refused to return to trial in Baghdad, where he claims he will not get a fair hearing. Many Iraqis assume that courts often follow directives from the Shiite-led government. Attorney Muyyiad Obeid Al-Ezzi, the head of Al-Hashemi’s defense team, told reporters that the Iraqi constitution allows the nation’s president to demand that parliament create a special court to hear cases against senior government officials. If it is allowed, this court could be perceived as more sympathetic to Al-Hashemi since Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is a Kurd and the speaker of parliament is a Sunni. Facing arrest in December, Al-Hashemi fled to Iraq’s self-ruled northern Kurdish region, which has its own security forces, and where officials have refused to hand him over to Baghdad. The vice president has since traveled to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey - three nations that have tense relations with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. Many are eagerly awaiting the chance to see the evidence brought against AlHashemi. Authorities say that some bodyguards have confessed to the terror plots that targeted police officers, government officials and judges with assassination. Al-Hashemi meanwhile says that bodyguards were tortured to extract confessions, and two died under torture - accusations that the government denies. -AP


ALWATAN DAILY

WORLD

fridAY, may 4, 2012

Russia pessimistic about US missile defense talks MOSCOW: Russia’s defense minister warned Thursday that talks between Moscow and Washington on the US-led NATO missile defense plan in Europe are “close to a dead end,” as officials scrambled to save the deal at a top-level conference. Anatoly Serdyukov said that Russia, the US and NATO have not succeeded in overcoming disagreements over the system that Washington says is aimed at deflecting potential Iranian threats. “We have not succeeded in finding mutually acceptable solutions,” Serdyukov said. “The situation is practically close to a dead end.” Moscow rejects Washington’s claim that the plan is solely to deal with any Iranian threat and has voiced fears it will eventually become powerful enough to undermine Russia’s nuclear deterrent. On Thursday, the start of a two-day conference with representatives from about 50 countries, a top Russian defense official reiterated Moscow’s offer to run the missile shield together. Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said such a jointly run European missile defense system “could strengthen security of every single country of the continent” and “would be adequate to possible threats and will not deter strategic security.” President Medvedev last year said Russia will retaliate militarily if it does not reach agreement with the United States and NATO. Chief of General Staff Nikolay Makarov on Thursday confirmed that stance, saying that Russia will take “a decision on a pre-emptive use of destructive force,” if “the situation aggravates.”

In this June 24, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama and Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev, (left), eat burgers at Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, Va. Call it the Obama effect: a presidential visit can be good advertising for the restaurants and businesses. Interest in where and what Obama and his family does can be explained with one word: authenticity. (AP)

NATO has said it wants to cooperate with Russia on the missile shield, but the alliance has rejected Moscow’s proposal to run it jointly.

NATO’s deputy secretary general, Alexander Vershbow, told the conference Thursday morning that the US-led missile shield is “not

Chinese dissident Chen seeks US exile deal Clinton presses China on rights

BEIJING: Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese activist, has said he wants to leave for the US rather than stay in China, throwing into doubt a deal used to coax him out of the US embassy in Beijing and defuse an impasse that has strained China-US ties. That stalemate appears all the more troublesome for the US, with Chen saying on Thursday that he feared for his and his family’s safety if he stayed in China under an agreement that US officials initially said he was happy with. Chen, a self-taught legal activist, is under Chinese control in a Beijing hospital, having left the embassy on Wednesday. He had taken refuge at the mission for six days after escaping house arrest and left under a diplomatic solution in which the US said China promised that Chen could join his family and be allowed to start a new life in a university town, safe from the rural authorities who had abused him in prison and house arrest for nearly seven years. But Chen told Reuters news agency on Thursday by telephone from hospital, where he was escorted by US officials after leaving the embassy, that he had changed his mind after speaking to his wife who spoke of recent threats

A handout photo from US Embassy Beijing Press office shows blind activist Chen Guangcheng (2nd left) sitting in a wheelchair as he is accompanied by US Ambassador to China Gary Locke (2nd right) at a hospital in Beijing, May 2. (Reuters)

made against his family. “I feel very unsafe. My rights and safety cannot be assured here,” he said, adding that his family supported his decision to try to get to the US.

Sarkozy fails to floor Hollande in French vote duel

PARIS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a last-ditch appeal to far-right voters on Thursday after failing to land a knockout blow in a heated televised debate with Socialist rival Francois Hollande before Sunday’s decisive runoff. Hollande, ahead in opinion polls by six to 10 points, was calm and unflappable during the nearly three-hour debate on Wednesday while the conservative Sarkozy, struggling to catch up with the moderate social democrat, was often agitated and tense. Commentators said the confrontation, watched by 17.8 million people out of an electorate of 44.5 million, was no game-changer and probably only reinforced voters’ opinions in a contest that has been as much about style and personality as substance. “It was a draw but as Hollande started as favorite, he remains the favorite,” wrote Francoise Fressoz in an editorial in Le Monde. “ Sarkozy did not manage to destabilize him, which was his objective from the start.” Returning to the airwaves on Thursday in a bid to convince waverers before campaigning ends at midnight on Friday, Sarkozy appealed to the nearly one-fifth of voters who cast their ballot for the National Front in the April 22 first round. “The opinion polls are lying. An election has never been this open ... It’s even more open after the debate,” Sarkozy told RTL radio. “I want to speak directly to National Front voters. Who would benefit if you cast a blank vote? It would benefit Hollande, the regularization of (illegal) immigrants, crazy overspending.” Television commentators said Sarkozy had performed “like a boxer” in Wednesday’s debate and Hollande “like a judo fighter”, using flashes of wit and interjections to unbalance his rival. “Hollande presides over the debate,” left-wing Liberation wrote on its front page, while the right-leaning Le Figaro, with a headline “High Tension”, emphasized the bitterness of the exchanges. It noted that every euro zone leader to seek re-election since 2008 had lost, but said divisions in the French left and Hollande’s outdated policies gave Sarkozy a chance. Hollande, 57, was confident and relaxed in the early exchanges of Wednesday’s contest, saying he aimed to be “the president of justice” and “the president of unity”. He said Sarkozy, also 57 and in office since 2007, had divided the French people and was using the global economic crisis as an excuse for broken promises. “With you it’s very simple: it’s never your fault,” Hollande said. Sarkozy, fighting for his political life, repeatedly accused his opponent of lying about economic figures and reeled off reams of statistics in an attempt to swamp his adversary. Deriding Hollande’s pledge to be a “normal president”, the president said: “Your normality is not up to the challenge.” The two sparred over Europe, which has become one of the biggest issues of the election race, as well as the sickly economy, 10 percent unemployment, nuclear power and immigration. “The example I want to follow is Germany and not Spain or Greece,” Sarkozy said, declaring that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had saved Greece from an economic wipeout and avoided the collapse of the euro currency. “Europe has got over it,” Sarkozy said of the crisis. Hollande shot back: “Europe has not got over it. Europe is today facing a possible resurgence of the crisis with generalized austerity, and that’s what I don’t want.” -AFP

The activist, citing descriptions from his wife, Yuan Weijing, said his family had been surrounded by Chinese officials who menaced them and filled the family home. Chen, from a village in rural Shandong

and will not be directed against Russia” and that its intercontinental ballistic missiles are “too fast and too sophisticated” for the planned system to intercept. The conference in Moscow is the last major Russia-US meeting about military issues before a NATO summit in Chicago later this month. Russia hasn’t said whether it will send top officials there. Without a NATO-Russia cooperation deal, the Kremlin has sought guarantees from the US that any future missile defense is not aimed at Russia as well as threatening to retaliate if no such deal is negotiated. US missile defense plans in Europe have been one of the touchiest subjects in US-Russian relations going back to the administration of President Barack Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush. The Obama administration tried in 2009 ease tensions with Russia by saying it would revamp Bush’s plan to emphasize shorter-range interceptors. Russia initially welcomed that move, but has more recently suggested that the new interceptors could threaten its missiles as the US interceptors are upgraded. Russia recently threatened to target missiles at the US missile defense systems in Europe and just commissioned a radar in Kaliningrad, near the Polish border, capable of monitoring missile launches from Europe and the North Atlantic. The missile defense plans follow a “phasedadaptive” approach using Aegis radars and interceptors on ships and a more powerful radar based in Turkey in the first phase, followed by radar and interceptor facilities in Romania and Poland. -AP

province, has two children. “When I was inside the American embassy, I didn’t have my family, and so I didn’t understand some things. After I was able to meet them, my ideas changed.” Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride, reporting from Hong Kong, said that Chen’s new situation does not necessarily offer him much safety. “At the moment he does seem to be in a fairly precarious position. Almost, you’d have to say, back in the position as he was before he saught sanctuary in the US embassy,” he said. Chen’s decision puts more strain on US-China relations at a tense time for both countries. Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, found herself in the eye of the diplomatic storm on Thursday, turning up for the opening of annual bilateral talks in Beijing which have been overshadowed but not derailed by the Chen case. She used the occasion to urge China to protect human rights but made no specific mention of Chen, whom she had spoken to on Wednesday after he left the embassy. “We believe that all governments do have to answer to citizens’ aspirations for dignity and the rule of law and that no nation can or should deny those rights,” Clinton said as she opened on Thursday the annual strategic and economic Dialogue. -AFP

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NEWS IN BRIEF Pakistan’s Asif released from British jail LONDON: Former Pakistan paceman Mohammad Asif was released from a British prison on Thursday after completing half of his one-year sentence for spotfixing, his lawyers said. Asif, 29, was jailed in November after he was found guilty of conspiring to cheat and conspiring to accept corrupt payments over deliberate no-balls bowled during the Lord’s Test against England in August 2010. The player was freed from Canterbury Prison in southeast England on Thursday morning, his London-based law firm SJS Solicitors said. -AFP

Myanmar army ‘poised to attack’ Kachin rebels NAYPYIDAW: Myanmar’s army is poised for a major assault on Kachin minority rebels, the guerilla group said Thursday, despite calls for an end to the violence which has cast a shadow on the new regime’s reforms. Around 2,000 government forces have moved into place around the northern town of Laiza - a key rebel stronghold, an official for the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) told AFP requesting anonymity. The apparent troop build-up follows calls by UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday for an end to fighting, which has forced thousands to flee into neighboring China. -AFP

Nepal to form national unity government KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Maoist Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai will disband his cabinet and form a new national unity government in a bid to end the country’s political deadlock, an aide said Thursday. The Maoists currently rule with support from fringe parties but have agreed to dissolve the coalition administration and offer portfolios to the main opposition groups, the Nepali Congress (NC) and United Marxist Leninist (UML). “We have always advocated for the formation of a national unity government. But the NC and the UML didn’t support us and we had to form a coalition government without them,” the premier’s spokesman Ram Rijan Yadav told AFP. -AFP

North Korea camps ‘house the desperate, not dissidents’ PYONGYANG: A new report on North Korea’s notorious political prison camps shows that many of those jailed in recent decades were desperate people seeking food or work overseas rather than dissidents. Other offences were even more trivial, it says: one female former student was serving a term for having a westernstyle dance with a foreigner, another student was incarcerated for singing a South Korean song. An entire family was thrown into a camp after the father forgot to refer to the state’s late founder Kim Il-Sung as “Great Leader” during an ideological session. -AFP

Islamic police play matchmaker in Nigeria LAGOS: The program run by the Islamic sharia police in Kano, the largest city in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north, aims to match widows and divorcees with available men. Officials hope it will in part help curb unrest in the north, which has been hit by deadly violence blamed on Islamist group Boko Haram, as well as reduce other social problems by providing a stable home for children. Such a program has the potential to raise obvious red flags, but local officials say the women participate strictly on a voluntary basis. “With the current security situation in Kano, children with no proper parental guide and care are more likely to be influenced and fed with these extremist tendencies,” said Nabahani Usman, deputy head of the Hisbah, as the sharia police are known. “It is very important they are saved from these destructive elements through this program, where they can have stable family life with their mothers and step-fathers

looking after them.” Analysts say unemployment and frustration among young people has helped feed the violence blamed on Islamists which has rocked Nigeria’s north, leaving more than 1,000 dead since mid-2009. Whether marriage will have a positive effect remains to be seen, but for now women and men seem eager to participate. Arranged marriages are common across northern Nigeria, an impoverished region near the Sahara desert. Health NGOs offer free HIV screening to the spouseseekers, which the Hisbah has made mandatory to the applicants. Radio announcements were aired in mid-February calling on men open to marrying selected widows and divorcees to come forward. The women were located through an NGO called the Voice of Widows, Divorcees and Orphans of Nigeria (VOWAN).

On a recent day in Kano, 38-year old Amina Adamu clutched her handbag under her arm and walked toward a long table at the end of the hall to a bearded man for her screening interview. She was among the first set of 100 women brought to the Hisbah headquarters in Kano for the program. Three other bearded men and two veiled women at the table called out names of dozens of applicants who sat on rows of plastic chairs. Questions include basic information, such as occupation, income and number of children. Men are asked why they want to get married again, among other things. Those who qualify are then allowed to meet each other at the Hisbah office, choosing on their own among the participants who they might wish to marry. A group wedding will be held later for participants, but those who prefer not to wait can also go ahead with their marriages. -AFP

Philippines erects wall to obscure view of slums MANILA: Delegates attending an international conference in the Philippines capital may not see what they came to discuss: abject poverty. A makeshift, temporary wall has been erected across a bridge on a road from the airport to downtown Manila that hides a sprawling slum along a garbage-strewn creek. Presidential spokesman Ricky Carandang defended the wall’s installation, saying Thursday “any country will do a little fixing up before a guest comes.” He expressed hope that this week’s annual meeting of Asian Development Bank Board of Governors, which includes finance ministers and senior officials from 67 member states, will show the Philippines is open for business. The lending institution, which is headquartered in its own walled compound in Manila, aims to cut poverty in the Asia-Pacific region. “We need to show our visitors that Metro Manila is orderly. We owe it to ourselves,” said metropolitan Manila chief Francis Tolentino. “I see nothing wrong with beautifying our surroundings. We are not trying to keep the poor out of the picture,” he said. There was no immediate comment from ADB. The Philippine Communist Party recalled that former first lady Imelda Marcos - notorious for her ostentatious lifestyle - was ridiculed for trying to hide squatter colonies. She erected similar whitewashed walls along the route of foreign visitors to the Miss Universe pageant held in Manila in 1974, and other international events. “The government should face reality. If they don’t, how will they know the problem, how will they solve the problem,” said Renato Reyes, secretary general of the largest left-wing group Bayan. “By covering the truth, they lose the energy or intention to resolve the problem.” About a third of Manila’s 12 million residents live in slums, and a third of 94 million Filipinos live below the poverty line of 1.25 US dollars a day. Overall, more than half the population in Asia remains poor. -AP

Residents walk past a wall covered with a tarpaulin poster of the ongoing 45th Annual Board of Governors meeting of the Asian Development Bank, May 3, at suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. (AP)


6

ALWATAN DAILY

OPINION

friDAY, may 4, 2012

Initiating effective measures to resolve the bedoun issue Shamlan Yousef Al-Essa

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he citizens of Kuwait seem to be standing at the crossroads once again especially at a crucial point of time when there are other issues (trivial and otherwise) plaguing the nation too. The main issue that everyone seems to grappling with, since time immemorial, is the resolution of the status of the bedoun community (stateless Arabs) in Kuwait which has been a bone in contention for both the government and its citizens. While there are those that aver that their predicament must be resolved, there are others who contend that granting then citizenship will only worsen the situation as most of them are actually illegal residents while others refrain from disclosing their actual identities and their countries of origin in the hope that they will eventually be granted citizenship and in the process; be entitled to all the freebies and gratuities that are usually showered on Kuwaiti citizens by the government. Kuwait is not alone in this controversial battle for citizenship; there are other countries too like the United States, for example, that is faced with the uphill task of deporting tens of thousands of illegal immigrants on an almost daily basis according to an article published by the USA Today on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2012. The newspaper further reported that more than 1.4 million Mexicans have been deported from the United States to date and stricter measures are being put in place to ensure that illegal immigrants do not find easy passage and entry into that country through illegal means. Even the usual criteria to gain entry and subsequent citizenship for immigrants have been tightened with a host of other requirements set aside for eligibility. In fact, it is not just Kuwait, the United States and other countries across Europe that are faced with such a dilemma, as was evident in the fact when Europe deported thousands

This situation is indeed pathetic; bearing in mind the fact that we have been grappling with this particular issue for almost a decade, with no apparent solution in sight.

of the gypsy tribe Roma from their respective countries. This is the main reason why countries across the world have, in recent times, laid down strict policies for immigration wherein even the most qualified aspirants are faced with an uphill task of gaining entry into countries other than their own to seek greener pastures. This is also coupled with the fact that the global economy is on a serious downward slide wherein even global economic powerhouses like the United States and United Kingdom are finding it almost impossible to sustain their economies. In fact, in desperate efforts to thwart the attempts of illegal immigrants sneaking into its borders and entering the country, the United States has further tightened and enforced stricter security measures along its border with Mexico. In recent times, US Congressmen have taken it upon themselves to make it difficult, if not impossible, for applicants to procure the US passport by ensuring that they are both academically and professionally qualified and restricting job opportunities. They have also set stringent basic requirements together with a host of other terms and conditions that aspirants have to fulfill on par with those that an average US citizen is usually subjected to. It is indeed interesting to note here that despite the fact that the

United States is still considered to be the most powerful and perhaps even the richest country in the world is currently faced with a host of immigration issues. And this is perhaps the main reason why the US administration has decided to counteract and introduce and enact more stringent measures to stop the influx of illegal migrants. It is also important to note here that the measures that have been introduced literally show no consideration for tribes, sects, religion or any other criteria. In short; it is applicable to one and all without any discrimination whatsoever! In Kuwait, however, the situation is very different with no solution in sight especially where the bedoon issue is concerned. In fact, this situation is indeed pathetic; especially while bearing in mind the fact that we have been grappling with this particular issue for almost or perhaps even over a decade -- with no apparent solution in sight. It will be only safe to assume here that it is because of such a laidback attitude nurtured by those in authority (especially when it comes to resolving this issue amicably and humanely) that these illegal immigrants find it safer to withhold their true identities and origins in the faint hope of being nationalized at some point of time or another. And looking at the current circumstances that are prevailing in the country, I think they

will continue doing so while the going is still good until such a time that they are left with no other option than to simply resign themselves to a fate they themselves have created. Immigration policies in the United States and elsewhere in Europe are entirely contradictory to those set by Kuwait simply because apart from the expatriate force employed in the country immigration is near negligible. In Europe and the United States, the authorities set strict criteria for any aspiring applicants in the sense that not only should they be highly educated, but equally productive as well - not to mention the underlying fact that they should voluntary enlist in military service and attend jury service; and most importantly pay taxes. Here in Kuwait, the situation is entirely different. We serve only those that belong to our respective communities and all our demands are met. There are no demands to be met by us like voluntarily furthering the educational process, enlisting in the military or even paying taxes. It is little wonder then that more and more people are demanding to be granted government houses despite the fact that the government has already provided citizens with more than a million houses against a population that accounts for a little over a million (1, 200, 000 to be precise as per the latest statistics). However the real issue to contend with here is the underlying fact that there are still several MPs who are seeking to naturalize members of their respective tribes and sects. It is not surprising at all since the government itself has resorted to the same over the years. Isn’t it ironical then that some of those new MPs who were naturalized by the government are now witnessed turning their backs against the same government that naturalized them by opposing the government’s policies every step of the way?!

Soothing words of comfort can be deceptive Mufarej Barjas Al-Dosari

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PARLI AMEN T

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n worst case scenarios; especially during those times when we are really left with little or absolutely no options at all - and have to choose between showing solidarity with the Iranians (God Almighty forbid) or surrendering our earthly possessions, I am certain that we would much rather prefer to live in our deserts as shepherds - wandering around barefoot and working real hard for our livelihoods - than live under the imposing and tyrannical shade of the Iranian umbrella. We’d rather prefer going to bed on a half-empty stomach than enjoy the ill-gotten gains of the Iranians that once actually belonged and still belong to us. We’d rather sleep on the bare earth with no pillow under our heads or even a thin sheet covering our cold bodies than sleep under their silken sheets and warm comforters. Most importantly; we’d rather prefer to die in dignity than live under the shade of their deceptive umbrella. We’ve heard and read a lot of criticism that was directed against me and my colleague Abdullah AlHadlaq as well as against all those other writers who lose no precious time in criticizing the aggressive Iranian policies. There are also those that criticize us under the pretext of implying that Iran harbors good will and intentions while simultaneously promulgating the slogan: “Why should we adopt a hostile stand against that Muslim neighbor that bears no animosities against us?” Ironically, those very persons instill fear in us through discouraging us to write anything against Iran -- implying that we might incur the wrath of the Iranian leadership. Of course, it is another matter altogether that neither my friends nor I give any thought to their criticisms and I am certain the same holds good with all those honest people who are well aware of the Iran’s wicked intentions. We simply choose to ignore all such threats simply because we honestly and sincerely defend the rightful causes of our nation and wish to caution all our brethren against the dangers of Iran’s evil intent. On the contrary, we will never ever be deceived even in the event that Iran changes its tactics and tries to win us over through soothing words of comfort and never ending support. We will never fall prey to their false claims of solidarity under the pretext of being Muslims and true followers of Islam. If they were indeed true followers of Islam, they would never have trampled on the rights of their own brethren and fellowmen. It is open knowledge that they do not believe in brotherhood despite their futile claims that they are indeed devout Muslims and hence encourage the welfare of all other Muslims. On the other hand, the entire world is fully aware of Iran’s intentions of dominating the entire Gulf region in attempts to restore the glory of the vanquished Persian Empire that was ravaged by the swords and blood of our ancestors. It is also no secret that the Iranians have always nursed hostile attitudes against our ancestors before and after the advent of Islam and all future generations can never ever forget such attitudes. And in the unlikely event that they ever choose to confront us, we will ensure they will be met with the same fate that they imposed on our ancestors. During that period of time in history, the might of the Persian army was too imposing as compared to that in the Arab world. It will not be long before history changes its course and enable us to restore that glory by vanquishing the aggressor!

Ali Farzat

Deliberations surrounding the Constitution’s amendment Nawaf Sulaiman Al-Fuzai

I

still remember the time when the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah had delivered a lecture at an Italian university wherein he had said that the system of governance in Kuwait was based on parliamentary guidelines and I had subsequently written an article indicating that the statement was baseless. In fact, contrary to popular perception, the system of governance in Kuwait is actually one that is based on presidential-parliamentary guidelines wherein both exercise their powers in accordance to the explanatory memorandum enshrined in the Constitution. The reality of the situation, however, is such that the parliamentary system of governance is usually marked by a host of flaws. Taking a closer look at the circumstances, one can somehow attribute the statement issued by the minister as an unintentional typographical error and hence can be condoned, but how can one ever overlook or even condone the various flaws that were witnessed in the report compiled by MP Faisal Al-Yahya simply because such mistakes are simply not typographical errors - they are surely deliberate and hence;

downright dangerous. I’d like to add here that we have always supported Al-Yahya during previous parliamentary elections far more than any other candidates that were in the fray at that point of time and hence; it is unbecoming of an MP of his stature to even suggest amending certain articles enshrined in the Constitution; especially his suggestion of converting the system of governance into a parliamentary one. The explanatory memorandum in the Constitution reveals that the parliament upholds the legal right to scrutinize any articles enshrined in the Constitution in the event that His Highness the Amir takes it upon himself to officially approve them. On the other hand, nowhere in the memorandum is it stipulated that the parliament has the right to amend articles (apart from scrutinizing them) since the very issue of amending articles is deemed to be critical and crucial and hence; cannot be executed at the click of a button or with a few strokes of a pen! The process of amending articles in the Constitution first requires the establishment of a Constituent Council and hence; since the statutes enshrined in our current Constitution coupled with the system of governance was compiled and initiated by

seasoned and proficient politicians hailing from the more experienced and older generation, such amendments simply cannot be carried out or executed by the current and novice members of the National Assembly. They have to be amended by those seasoned and proficient elders again. With regards to the parliamentary system of governance, can somebody explain to us how on earth can we ever have a parliamentary system of governance without the existence of political parties?! Moreover; and most importantly, political parties all over the world are not formed by certain sects, factions or even tribes! They comprise citizens from all walks of life whose only objective is to serve the best interests of the citizens and the country. Hence, in this context, can we urge the MP to inform us whether his previous party - the Muslim Brotherhood - will actually encourage members of the Shiite community to join the party if the formation of political parties are given the go ahead to form them?! It is an established fact that neither the Muslim Brotherhood Movement nor the Social Reform Society will ever permit Shiites to be active members of their parties while the National Forum likewise; will never ever

permit a Bedouin to be part of its elite club! In such a scenario, can we ever expect such movements to actually establish tolerant political parties that are based on the values of pluralism?! Can we ever expect MP Musallam Al-Barrak to wholeheartedly accept the establishment of a party by the Popular Action Bloc while fully realizing the fact that members of that bloc will surely bring him to book if necessary as well as the fact that its members might even demand his resignation in the event that he endorses certain attitudes?! To cite a case in point, Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady single handedly took on the Argentinean generals and the mighty Soviet Union who dominated half of Europe and nobody could stop her from attaining the prime minister’s post. However, she was forced to quit by members of her own party later on! Likewise, can we ever expect MP Musallam AlBarrak or MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun to subject themselves to the whims and fancies of members of their respective political parties because in the event that that they do, they will subconsciously -- actually let their parties dominate over them instead of the other way around.

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ALWATAN DAILY

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friDAY, may 4, 2012

The Anarchy Factor in Syria Itamar Rabinovich Project Syndicate

T

he failure of the Obama administration, its Western allies, and several Middle East regional powers to take bolder action to stop the carnage in Syria is often explained by their fear of anarchy. Given the Syrian opposition’s manifest ineffectiveness and disunity, so the argument goes, President Bashar Al-Assad’s fall, when it finally comes, will incite civil war, massacres, and chaos, which is likely to spill over Syria’s borders, further destabilizing weak neighbors like Iraq and Lebanon, and leading, perhaps, to a regional crisis. What is actually happening in Syria refutes this argument. In fact, the lingering crisis is corroding the fabric of Syrian society and government. Anarchy is setting in now: it is preceding - and precipitating - the regime’s eventual fall. The United States and others are substituting high rhetoric and symbolic punitive action for real action on Syria. Sanctions on those involved in electronic warfare against the opposition’s social media are not the answer to the shelling of civilian neighborhoods in Homs and Deraa. For several months, Russian and Chinese obstruction in the United Nations Security Council was both a real obstacle to more effective sanctions and a convenient veil for inaction. More recently, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s mission on behalf of the UN and the Arab League has come to play a similar role. Annan prepared a six-point plan for ending the violence and launching political negotiations. He dispatched a group of monitors to Syria in order to supervise the plan’s implementation, and the UN is about to beef up that mission. But, predictably, the Annan plan is not working, as Annan himself, in a report to a closed-door session of the Security Council on April 25, came close to admitting. Annan did not proclaim failure, but he did describe the situation in Syria as “bleak.” Clearly, the Annan mission gave the regime some breathing space and created a temporary illusion of political and diplomatic progress. But, according to reports too numerous and too credible to discount, Assad’s regime (and to some extent his opponents) has not complied with the plan after signing on to it: troops were withdrawn from urban areas prior to inspection and returned when the monitors left. Whole neighborhoods and individuals were brutally punished for complaining to or cooperating with the monitors. But the breathing space provided to the regime does not offer it salvation. At first sight, the regime appears to be almost intact. The army and the security apparatus remain loyal, the Cabinet has suffered few defections, and the key population centers of Damascus and Aleppo have not joined the rebellion. But, in the country as a whole, gov-

This image released by Shaam News Network Friday, April 20, 2012, shows an explosion amid heavy shelling in the Khaldiyeh area of Homs, Syria. Anarchy is setting in now: it is preceding and precipitating the regime’s eventual fall. The United States and others are substituting high rhetoric and symbolic punitive action for real action on Syria, analysts said. (AP)

The regime has lost all legitimacy, and its effectiveness is weakening. When it finally crumbles, the powerful state built by Hafez Al-Assad, will hardly exist. ernment is collapsing. Whole areas are now beyond its control, public services are unavailable, and the economy is in free fall. Assad’s fall does not yet seem imminent, but it has become inevitable. The regime has lost all legitimacy, and its effectiveness is weakening. When it finally crumbles, the powerful state built by Bashar’s father, Hafez Al-Assad, will hardly exist. A cliché has been heard throughout the Syrian crisis: “Syria is not Libya.” But another analogy may be more suitable. Syria may well become a second Iraq, not by design but as an unintended consequence of current policy. The American occupiers of Iraq, through their policy of “deBaathification,” left Iraq without an army or a government, which proved to be fertile ground for Sunni insurgents, Al-

Qaeda, and violent Shia groups. In Syria, the ground is being prepared for a similar outcome, with a growing number of radical Islamists crossing into Syria and joining the opposition. In this context, it is important to appreciate the difference between the “political” opposition and the local opposition groups waging the fight against the regime on the ground. Groups like the Syrian National Council are loose associations of individuals and groups, many of them outside Syria. These are the groups criticized by the Obama administration and others for their failure to present a united front, formulate a credible agenda, or be seen as a viable alternative to the current regime. But these groups have limited influence over the local opposition groups inside Syria,

Does Europe need a banking union?

* Itamar Rabinovich, a former ambassador of Israel to the United States, is currently based at Tel Aviv University, New York University, and the Brookings Institution.

Saudis wouldn’t gain much from a union with Bahrain

Hugo Dixon Reuters

D

oes Europe need a “banking union” to shore up its struggling monetary union? And is it going to get one? These questions are raised by the increasingly lively debate over how to break the link between troubled states in the euro zone periphery and their equally troubled banks. In some countries, such as Ireland, the lenders have made so many bad loans that they have had to be bailed out - in turn, dragging down their governments. In Greece and Italy, the banks have gorged on so many government bonds that they have been damaged by their state’s deteriorating creditworthiness. And, in Spain, the current focus of the euro crisis, a bit of both has been happening: banks made too many bad loans - and then bought too many government bonds. One proposed solution to this incestuous relationship, advocated among others by the International Monetary Fund, involves creating a centralized Europewide system for regulating banks and, if necessary, closing them down and paying off their depositors. The idea is that the region’s lenders would be viewed as European banks rather than Spanish, Greek or Italian ones. If they got into trouble, they wouldn’t infect their governments; and vice versa. That would make the whole euro crisis easier to manage. While the idea carries much theoretical appeal, such a fully-fledged banking union isn’t realistic. The incestuous embrace between governments and banks may be unhealthy, but that doesn’t mean politicians entirely dislike it. National oversight of lenders gives politicians all sorts of ways of meddling in their economies. And this is not just in the troubled countries. Relatively healthy states such as Germany and France would be loath to surrender the power to boss around banks to some supra-national authority. Citizens in rich states wouldn’t like the idea of having to bail out banks that had gone on a binge in a completely different part of Europe either. What’s more, even if a centralized banking body was created, would it really have the clout to tell the big boys what to do? A further difficulty concerns whether such a banking union should stretch across the euro zone or the entire European Union, which includes the United Kingdom, home to the region’s largest financial centre. Britain would argue that it shouldn’t be roped into a system that is designed to shore up the single currency it is not a part of. On the other hand, if the euro countries went ahead on their own, the single market in financial services would fragment. Quite apart from the politics, a banking union wouldn’t actually solve all

which are equally diverse and divided. It is among these groups that radical Islamists have gained a foothold. Fear of another Islamist takeover is a second main argument against toppling Assad, but the longer he stays in power, the greater the gains made by Islamists on the ground. The Obama administration, focused on the November presidential election, is not interested in having to deal with a major crisis in Syria in the coming months, and is preoccupied with the risk of being drawn into another military entanglement. Other actors, too, seem to prefer the apparently limited current crisis to the unknown alternatives. But the compelling moral case for a humanitarian intervention is increasingly being reinforced by sound raisons d’état. Furthermore, military or semi-military intervention is not the only option on the table. As the sanctions imposed on Iran outside the Security Council clearly show, effective action can be taken to tilt the balance and end the deadly stalemate in Syria. The current preference for inaction, while perhaps understandable, threatens to lead to precisely the outcomes that its advocates want to avoid.

Una Galani Reuters

Any transfer of Saudi social austerity would also kill Bahrain’s raison d’etre among the Saudi businessmen and expatriates who escape to Manama to relax.

S A man walks outside a Piraeus bank branch in Athens on April 19, 2012. The four major Greek banks are preparing to announce massive losses for 2011 due to the recent restructuring of sovereign debt, which will lead to a complex recapitalization through a European public support. (AFP)

The problem is that depositors in weak countries, especially Greece, don’t have confidence that their national schemes have enough money to pay out. the problems. In particular, it would do nothing to stop banks owning too much government debt. Indeed, in the last few months, Spanish and Italian lenders have bought even more of this debt - using cheap money from the European Central Bank. This has helped finance their governments through a rough patch but at the cost of tying the banks’ fate even more closely to that of their countries. Over time, governments ought to be weaned off reliance on their local banks. But, realistically, this isn’t going to happen fast. Does this mean that a European banking union is a totally dead idea? Not quite. It may be possible to cherry-pick bits of it. The most important part would be to create a Europe-wide “resolution” regime. The basic idea is that such a regime would allow insolvent banks to go bust in a controlled fashion. If shareholders haven’t put in enough capital, bondholders have to be “bailed in”. Only if bondholders also haven’t put in enough capital do deposit guarantee schemes -

and possibly taxpayers - have to be activated to make sure savers are repaid.With such a framework, governments such as Ireland’s wouldn’t in future be infected by their lenders’ problems. At present, many European countries lack such a resolution regime and those that do exist don’t collaborate effectively with one another. What’s more, until recently the European Central Bank has been hostile to the idea that bank bondholders should suffer any losses. It prevented Dublin from bailing in bondholders, fearing that this would trigger contagion. The mood, though, is changing. The European Commission is planning to publish plans for an EU-wide resolution regime in June. Even the ECB has started lending its support to such a scheme. The devil, of course, will be in the detail. But there finally seems to be momentum behind this proposal. A second idea that could be cherrypicked is to reinforce Europe’s deposit guarantee schemes. At the moment, every

country has its own. The problem is that depositors in weak countries, especially Greece, don’t have confidence that their national schemes have enough money to pay out. So savers have been taking their cash abroad. It is too much to expect that Germany, Europe’s paymaster, would agree to a euro-wide deposit insurance scheme. But what about some sort of reinsurance scheme? Nicolas Veron from the Bruegel think tank argues that the European Stability Mechanism, the euro zone’s soon-to-be-created bailout fund, could provide national schemes with a backstop. Europe is not ready for banking union any more than it is ready for political union. But such ideas show there are practical ways of limiting the unhealthy nexus between lenders and their governments. Europe should grasp them. * Hugo Dixon is a Reuters correspondent. The views expressed here are his own.

audi Arabia’s call for Gulf Arab nations to combine into a single entity appears to lay the ground for some kind of union with Bahrain. King Abdullah first highlighted the security issues facing the region when its leaders met in December - nine months after the kingdom sent tanks to tame a pro-democracy movement in Bahrain. Speculation is now swirling about how the relationship between the strongest and weakest members of the six-nation bloc could evolve, ahead of a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council this week. The old idea of a Gulf union has taken on a new meaning after the Arab uprisings. Saudi Arabia hasn’t given any details on what it envisions beyond the existing cooperation on security and selected financial issues. But the six Gulf Arab countries won’t easily set aside their political differences just to please each other. And plans for a Gulf monetary union, loosely based on the European model, appear to be stuck following the intention of the UAE and Oman to opt out. That leaves the focus on Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which already share strong links. As well as underwriting security of the island state, the house of Saud already partially bankrolls its finances. Bahrain gets roughly 150,000 barrels per day of oil from the offshore Abu Safah field, operated by Saudi Aramco under a decades old agreement. The revenues generated from its share of the field accounted for as much as 70 percent of Bahrain’s budget revenues in 2010. A full fiscal union would help Bahrain lower its borrowing costs. Even with current Saudi support, it may run a budget deficit at four percent of GDP this year. The IMF estimates Bahrain’s gross public debt is around 40 percent of GDP. Total foreign debt is almost 15 percent. Bahrain’s gross domestic product is barely five percent of that of the two kingdoms taken together. But a union formalizing the status quo carries risks that don’t make it worthwhile. A pre-emptive move would pour fuel on the flame of the protests. It would also antagonize Iran, which once laid claim to the majority Shiite island. Any transfer of Saudi social austerity would also kill Bahrain’s raison d’etre among the Saudi businessmen and expatriates who escape to Manama to relax. Saudi rhetoric paves the way for a stronger union in the event that Bahrain’s regime is overwhelmed - but in that case, union would be just a name for annexation. In the meantime, the move isn’t worth the bother. * Una Galani is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed here are her own.


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Shuwaikh 4th Ring Rd Airport Rd Ras Salmiyah 4th Ring Rd 4th Ring Rd Hawalli Shuwaikh Kheitan Farwaniyah 3rd Ring Rd King Faisal Rd Hawalli Hawalli Andalus Shuwaikh Shamiyah Nuzha Farwaniyah Farwaniyah Bayan Shuwaikh Shuwaikh Al Rai 6th Ring Rd Al Hasawi Sabah Salem 3rd Ring Rd Jahra Rd Shuwaikh UN Circle Jahra Rd Fahaheel Rd Hawalli Shuwaikh Ahmadi

KD 70 KD 140 KD 40 KD 40 KD 40 KD 40 KD 40

VISITORS RESIDENTS

H.S.C. Barium Enema Barium Meal O.C.G. Ultrasound Ultrasound desfruct M.R.I.

KD 40 KD 50 KD 45 KD 45 KD 15 KD 130 KD 245

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C omm u nic a tions Telephone for Test & Complaints

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Tel.: Afghanistan 2532 9461 Algeria 2251 9220 Argentina 2537 9211 Austria 2255 2532 Australia 2232 2422 Azerbaijan 2535 5247 Bahrain 2531 8530 Bangladesh 2531 6042 / 3 Belgium 25722014 Bhutan 2251 6640 / 50 Bosnia 2539 2637 Brazil 2532 8610 Bulgaria 2531 4458 Canada 2256 3025 China 2533 3340 Cuba 2254 9361 Cyprus 2243 3075 Czech 2252 9018 Denmark 2534 1005 Egypt 2251 9956 Ethiopia 2533 4291 Eritrea 2531 7426 Finland 2531 2890 France 2257 1061 Germany 2252 0827 Greece 2481 7101 Georgia 2535 2909 Hungary 2532 3901 India 2253 0600 Indonesia 2483 9927 Iran 2256 0694 Italy 2535 6011 Japan 2530 9400 Kenya 25353314 / 25353362 Lebanon 2256 2103

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Police stations Tel.:

Abu Halifa 2371 7656 Ahmadi 2398 0304 Ardiya 2488 1273 Bayan 2538 7762 Dahar 2383 0500 Dahiya 2256 0855 Dasma 2253 1917 Fahaheel 2391 2959 Faiha 2255 2693 Farwaniya 2471 1977 Ferdous 2489 0583 Fintas 2390 4388 Hawalli 2264 1116 Jabriya 2531 5855 Jahra Ind. Area 2457 5565 / 2458 7392 Jahra North 2455 2295 Jleeb Al Shouyoukh 2431 1234 Keifan 2483 2839 Kheitan 2472 2590 Mina Abdullah 2326 1144 Nugra 2261 6662 Omariya 2474 2160

Ambulance

Central Adan Amiri Hospital Da’iya Fahaheel Farwaniya Farwaniya Jahra Mubarak Al Kabir Sabah Salmiya Shuaiba

23940600 / 23941455 22422366 22510854 23919098 24883000 24725149 24570583 25311437 24815000 25739011 23261927

Private Hospitals

Al-Rashid Hospital Dar Al-Shifa Hospital Hadi Clinic London Hospital Mowasat Hospital Salam Hospital

Qadsiya 2257 4386 Qurain 2542 3772 Rabiah 2474 2160 Rawda 2256 0058 Riqqa 2394 1958 Rumaithiya 2562 4123 Sabah Al-Salem 2551 7229 Sabahiya 2361 5619 Salhiya (Kuwait City) 2242 7157 Salmi 2457 6576 Salmiya 2572 6950 Salwa 2562 6950 Shamiya 2484 5953 Sharq 2244 2466 Shuaiba Ind. Area 2326 1789 Shuwaikh 2481 3726 / 2484 4842 Sulaibekhat 2487 6555 Sulaibiya 2467 0672 Sulaibiya Ind. Area 2467 2728 Surra 2531 2220 Tayma’a 2457 1700 Wafra 2381 0412 Waha 2455 7902 Zour 2395 0160

Adan General Hospital Al-Sabah Chest Hospital Al-Sabah Maternity Hospital Amiri General Hospital As’ad Al-Hamad Dermatology Center Farwaniya General Hospital Ibn Sina Hospital Jahra General Hospital Mubarak Al-Kabeer General Hospital Subhan Renal Hospital Sulaibikhat Orthopedic Hospital

25624000 22802555 1828282 1883883 25726666 22533177

Private Health Centers/ Clinics

Boushahri Clinic British Medical Center Care Clinic International Clinic

Public Hospitals

cons u l a tes

Fax 2532 6274 2251 9497 2537 9212 2256 3052 2232 2430 2535 5246 2533 0882 2531 6041 2574 8389 2251 6550 2539 2106 2532 8613 2532 1453 2256 4167 2533 3341 2254 9360 2240 2971 2252 9021 2534 1007 2256 3877 2533 1179 2531 7429 2532 4198 2257 1058 2252 0763 2481 7103 2535 4707 2532 3904 2257 1192 2481 9250 2252 9868 2535 6030 2530 9401 25353316 2257 2182

centr a l 4 7 2 2 0 0 0

94904040

hospital charges

medical services

Call, sms, Email us

O n- s i t e I T s e r v i c e s

23940600 24815000 24848067 22450080

1885544 23713100 22610666 25745111

Public Health Centers/ Clinics:

Dasman Clinic Faiha Polyclinic Farwaniya Polyclinic Hawalli Polyclinic Inaya Germen Medical Center Sabah Al-Salem Clinic Salmiya Polyclinic Shamiya Clinic Shuwaikh Clinic Yarmouk Clinic

24832067 24883000 24840300 24575300 25312700 24840027 24874240

22447602 22545188 24726033 22611645 25750777 25524821 25723500 25610660 24848913 25336482

DOCTORS & DENTISTS

I N PR I VAT E PR AC T ICE

Andrology, Male Infertility and Impotence Specialist Abdullatif A. Al Salim 2533 4438

Dermatologist & Venereologists Fahad I. Al Othman 2266 5166 Taibah M. Almonayes 2573 7477 Dr. Mohamed Bo Hamra 2266 5166

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

Gastroenterologist Mohamed A. Al Shimali 2532 2030 - 2263 9955 Urologist Fawzi Taher Abul Ali Yousef Mehdi

2565 0064 2533 3501

General Practitioner Dina Al Rifai 2533 3501 - 2533 3502 Obstetricians & Gynecologists Samira Al Awadi 2573 8055 Ma’asouma Maksheed 2573 1275 Mohamed Gamal 2534 9077 Mai Al Snan 2532 1171

2572 8004 2532 9924

Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons Hossam Eldin Abdulfattah 2574 5056 Abdulmohsen Mousa Jafar 2565 5535

Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Adel Quttainah

2562 5030 / 60

Ministries

Awqaf & Islamic Affairs Commerce & Industry Communications Defense Education Health Higher Education Electricity & Water Finance

2248 0000 2248 0000 2481 9033 2484 8300 2481 7702 2487 7422 2240 1300 2537 1000 2248 0000

Foreign Affairs Housing Information Justice, Legal & Administrative Affairs Energy Planning Social Affairs & Labour Public Works

2242 5141 2530 1000 2241 5301 2248 0000 2241 5201 2242 8200 2248 0000 2538 5520

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

Noodles Salmiya Tel: 25712233

Bukhara Sheraton Hotel Tel: 22422055

The Peacock Radisson Blu Hotel Tel: 25673000

Tourist Restaurant Kuwait City Tel: 22411702

Noodle Factory Avenues Tel: 24954751

Mugal Mahal Farwaniya Tel: 24726126/7 Fintas Tel: 23915588 Salmiya Tel: 25722223/4 Sharq Tel: 22425132

• 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

Tikka Tel: 1822833 • International Al-Bustan Radisson Blu Hotel Tel: 25673000 Al-Hamra Sheraton Hotel Tel: 22422055 Al-Marsa Restaurant Le Meridien Tel: 22510999 Atrium Restaurant Courtyard Marriott Hotel

Tel: 22997000

L I S T I N G S

Beit 7 Kuwait City Tel: 22450871 Café Rio Al-Fanar Tel: 25732226 Dunes Ritz Hotel Tel: 22499911 Failaka Al-Manshar Rotana Hotel Tel: 23931000 La Brasserie JW Marriott Tel: 22455550 Ritz Shamiya Tel: 24820184 Shuwaikh Tel: 24844350 Square International Tel: 22437681 Test n’ Taste Villa Moda Tel: 24827010 Teatro Hilton Kuwait Resort Tel: 23725500

Kuwait City Tel: 22400737

Nino Gulf Road Tel: 22541900 Pizza Express Abdullah Al-Salem Tel: 22560273 Al-Bida’a Tel: 22253166 Airport Tel: 24342681 Tel: 23725500 Ricardo Sheraton Hotel Tel: 22422055 • Japanese Edo Shaab Tel: 22659590 Kei JW Marriott Hotel Tel: 22422650 Korea & Japan Restaurant New Park Hotel Tel: 25634200

Sakura Crowne Plaza Hotel Tel: 24742000

AlRoshinah Restaurant Safir Hotel & Residences -Fintas Tel: 25455555

Shogun The Palms Hotel Tel: 27070022

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

Kabab-Ji Tel: 1861616

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

HOTELS

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

23931000 24772000 23725500 22455550 1 844 444 25766666 22510999 22831831 22244970 22253100 24610033 22824060 25673000 23908630 22530000 22422055 25455555

FOUR STAR Carlton Tower Hotel The Courtyard by Marriott Kuwait El Joan Resort Four Points by Sheraton Kuwait

22452740 22997000 23281897 22415001

Ghani Palace Hotel Holiday Inn Khalifa Resort Kuwait Continental Hotel New Park Hotel Al Bastaki Hotel Al Dana Hotel Heritage Village Palace Hotel Shiik Flamingo Hotel & Resort Swiss-Belhotel Plaza Kuwait

25710301 1 847 777 23280144 22527300 25634200 22555081 23902760 22520600 1 821 111 25725050 22436686

THREE STAR Imperial Hotel Oasis Hotel Safari House Hotel Second Home Hotel Spring Continental Hotel Ibis Hotel Salmiya Ibis Hotel Sharq

22528766 22465489 22443136 22532100 25742410 25713872 22928080

TWO STAR International Hotel Kuwait Residence Hotel

25741788 22467560


Oil dips under $118 on economy, OPEC supply

BUSINESS

fridAY, may 4, 2012

m ar ket watc h KUWAIT 0.6% 6479

DUBAI 0.9% 1582

QATAR

OMAN

0.0% 8670

0.2% 5862

ABU DHABI 0.2% 2501

OIL MARKETS BAHRAIN

EGYPT

SAUDI

0.7% 1158

0.5% 4929

0.0% 7546

Kuwaiti crude at $115.89 per barrel Kuwait keen on meeting supply obligations

KUWAIT: The price of Kuwaiti crude oil came to 115.89 US dollars per barrel in transactions Wednesday, reported Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) on Thursday. Crude prices declined after data issued on Wednesday showed weakening in the US economy. The data also showed a rise in the US crude reserve to its highest level in 21 years. Geopolitical factors, topped by Iran’s nuclear file and Europe’s sovereign debts crises, are influencing the market at present.

CAPITALS: Oil slipped under 118 US dollars a barrel on Thursday after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said it had opened the taps more to weaken prices but recovered from early deeper losses after positive US data brightened sentiment.“New US claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, according to a government report on Thursday that could ease fears the labor market recovery was stalling,” said Tony Rosado, an options broker at GA Global Market, NewYork.

Meanwhile, Kuwait is keen on providing its key clients with agreed oil supplies to maintain stability in the world market, chief executive officer (CEO) of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) Farouk Hussain Al-Zanki affirmed here, Thursday. Representing KPC, Al-Zanki told the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) held in the city of Houston, USA, that KPC is committed to the cause of making the global market stable. The KPC official submitted a paper to the event which focused on global energy expectations with the current status quo of the oil market. On the event, Al-Zanki said it was amongst the world renowned oil and gas events that gather companies and executives to discuss the future of the energy industries. -KUNA

US Crude $103.27 $1.95 London Brent $116.67 $1.42 Kuwait Crude $115.89 $0.18 Information Courtesy: KAMCO

See page 10

CURRENCIES US Dollar

British Pound

Saudi Riyal

Qatari Riyal

Indian Rupee

Euro

Japanese Yen

UAE Dirham

Bahraini Dinar

Philippine Peso

Buy 0.2774 Sell 0.2779 Buy 0.3645 Sell 0.3648

Buy 0.4491 Sell 0.4495

Buy 0.003453 Sell 0.003459

Buy 0.0741 Sell 0.0741

Buy 0.07563 Sell 0.07569

Buy 0.07635 Sell 0.07628 Buy 0.7369 Sell 0.73749

Buy 0.005205 Sell 0.0052 Buy 0.006589 Sell 0.006576

Prices in Kuwaiti fils as of May 3, 2012 Courtesy: KAMCO

KSE continues rise, gains 38.2 points CAPITALS: Trading ended at Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) Thursday with the main indices in the green. The price index gained 38.2 points to reach 6,479.1 points, while the weighted index came to 421.99 points, a rise of 3.66 points. Trades came to 6,823 spot transactions worth 46,000,870 Kuwaiti dinars, with 783,677, 500 shares changing hands till end of session. The index rose 0.6 percent to finish at a near 12-month high as retail investors bet on short-term gains. As for sector indices, all were green except the non-Kuwaiti sector index. Top gainer sector was banking which put on 185.5 index points. Top share and top-volume share for the day was that of Investors Holding Group, while biggest loser was the Kout Food Group stock. Gulf Bank and Ahli United Bank rose 1.2 percent each. Commercial Bank of Kuwait gained 3.9 percent. The market is waiting for a new trading platform, the Nasdaq OMX, which will go live on May 13. “It won’t affect the performance of market, but it will help

the efficiency of trading because it offers more depth for what you do with the market,” said Jasem al-Zeraei, head of institutional sales at NBK Capital. Small-caps dominated trade with Investor Holding Group surging 11.6 percent and National Ranges 6.5 percent. Meanwhile, Dubai’s bourse fell for a sixth straight session on Thursday as investors continued to book profits from an earlyyear surge, while other Gulf bourses were mixed in muted activity. Bellwether Emaar Properties extended declines in heavy trade, down 1.3 percent. The stock went ex-dividend a day earlier. Gulf Navigation fell 4.6 percent and Drake and Scull lost 3.3 percent, also trading ex-dividend. Dubai Financial Market, the only listed Gulf bourse, slipped 1.8 percent. The company will hold a board meeting on Monday to approve its first-quarter financial results. Dubai’s index fell 0.9 percent to its lowest close since Feb. 20 and broke a support level at 1,592 points. -Agencies

KAMCO holds annual general assembly KUWAIT: Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO) Asset Management Company (KAMCO) convened its Annual General Meeting on Thursday May 3, 2012, which was followed immediately, as in the past years, by the Annual Shafafiyah Investor’s Forum, according to a press release on Thursday. In her address to shareholders, KAMCO’s Vice Chairman Entisar Al-Suwaidi stated, “On behalf of KAMCO’s Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that our company has successfully navigated through the various challenges in 2011 with the minimum realized loss, supported by our solid fundamentals, sustainable growth strategy, an embedded culture of risk management, and resilient business model. This year, KAMCO posted a net loss of 6.0 million Kuwaiti dinars or Loss per Share of (25.3) fils, compared to a net profit of KD 1.8 million in 2010, or 7.6 fils per share. Our total Assets under Management (AUM) reached approximately KD 2.1 billion (7.5 billion US dollars) as of December 2011, compared to KD 2.4 billion ($8.6 billion) for the year ending December 2010. Despite solid and operational assets, KAMCO’s investments were not spared from the sharp declines in most markets and asset classes. However the company managed to maintain positive cash flow throughout the year. Management and Advisory fees as a percentage of total revenue increased from 54 percent to 77 percent, which reflects a growing client base. Also, realized gain on sale of investments as a percentage of total revenue increased from 24 percent to 44 percent. In addition, KAMCO’s debt-to-equity ratio remains relatively low. Loans & Bonds have decreased from KD 71.25 million to KD 61.75 million, reducing the leverage ratio from 0.82 to 0.77, and we anticipate a faster recovery in our assets’ values given their high quality. Moreover, throughout 2011, KAMCO was diligent in enhancing compliance and risk management according to industry best standards, focusing on capital preservation, managing market risk, and continued its consistent conservative

investment strategy. In spite the negative results posted, KAMCO’s diversified investment portfolio and steady operational income were front-line buffers despite relentless market conditions. For instance, the company’s flagship fund, the KAMCO Investment Fund, outperformed the Kuwait Stock Exchange Price and Weighted indices, and ranks among the top three in its asset class in terms of yearly returns when compared to funds of a similar size and structure. In addition, the Kuwait Education Fund (KEF), which is specializes in investing in projects that promote learning and education in Kuwait, rose by 9.5 percent - a truly exceptional number for 2011. In addition to the strong performance of the aforementioned funds, KAMCO was involved in numerous corporate finance mandates throughout the year, and continued to win the respect of the industry, thereby enhancing its brand equity. Upon adjourning the shareholders’ General Assembly meeting, KAMCO’s Management held the Company’s Annual Shafafiyah Investor’s Forum, which has become a tradition organized on the sidelines of the shareholders’ General Assembly meeting. The agenda of the investor presentation delivered at the forum featured a review of KAMCO’s performance during 2011, and the opportunities and forecasts for 2012. Reviewing KAMCO’s performance for 2011, the Company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sadoun Ali, said, “KAMCO has proven successful in maintaining its positive cash flow, and has also managed to reduce net debt from KD 64 million to KD 58 million in 2011.” Ali then continued, “The board recommends a substantial dividend composed of 30 fils cash (KD 7.1 million) and almost all of its investment in United Industries Company as in-kind dividend amounting to KD 28.7 million. These actions stand as a testament to KAMCO’s sufficient cash assets and all of KAMCO’s lenders have expressed satisfaction with KAMCO’s distribution plans with no effect on credit limits

Kuwait plans to amend foreign investment law CAPITALS: Kuwait intends to modify its foreign direct investment law this year as the Arabian Gulf oil producer embarks on a 111 billion US dollar plan to modernize its economy, a government official said. “Foreign investors coming to Kuwait find obtaining necessary licenses a very difficult and prolonged process, as well as getting land needed” for projects, Sheikh Meshaal Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, head of the Kuwait Foreign Investment Bureau, said in an April 18 interview at the bureau’s offices in Kuwait City. “The proposed amendment should overcome shortcomings of the law. We hope it will be passed this year.” Kuwait expects private investors to contribute about half of the four-year development plan, which began in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, to diversify its oil-reliant economy. The country, which passed the foreign direct investment law in 2001 to ease foreign ownership limits, is seeking investments in projects including a $14 billion oil refinery. In 2007, Kuwait’s parliament passed a law to reduce the tax burden on international companies for the first time in more than half a century, with corporate tax on foreign firms reduced to 15 percent from as much as 55 percent. Kuwait, the fourth-biggest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), was the lowest recipient of foreign direct investment among the six Gulf Cooperation Council states in 2010 with $6.5 billion, according to data on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s website. Saudi Arabia, the biggest Arab economy, was the highest with $170.5 billion, followed by the United Arab Emirates with $76.2 billion. Kuwaiti assets

In contrast, Kuwait is estimated to own $300 billion of assets abroad through its sovereign-wealth fund. The Kuwait Investment Authority holds stakes in Daimler AG and BP Plc (BP/), and invested in the initial share sales of Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. and Citic Securities Company.

“Some government agencies still don’t understand the importance of international investors, and so take too long” to grant approvals required by the law, Sheikh Meshaal said. The proposed amendment will shorten procedures to obtain licenses and land for investors who fulfill the criteria, he said. It will also stipulate the establishment of an independent authority to consolidate “all efforts to promote investment opportunities in Kuwait to the foreign market,” he said. Economic Growth

Kuwait’s economy expanded 5.7 percent in 2011 and growth is expected to be “a little higher” this year, Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shimali said in March. National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the country’s biggest lender, last month raised its forecast for Kuwait’s 2012 real gross domestic product to 4.4 percent on expectations of increased oil output. Foreign direct investments that come under the bureau’s jurisdiction climbed 20 percent in 2011 from the previous year, Sheikh Meshaal said. “Since we started operations in 2003, about $5.4 billion in foreign investment was recorded to have come to Kuwait,” he said. “The law’s achievement may have been short of expectations, disappointing perhaps, but it is still progress.” The bureau operates under the Ministry of Commerce to oversee foreign investors interested in operating within the framework of the law. Clashes between the government and parliament have hindered projects in the development plan, which include a metro and rail network, an airport terminal and power stations. Lawmakers last month rejected a bill that covers the plan in the 2012-2013 fiscal year and have criticized the government for carrying out projects too slowly. Government officials have acknowledged delays and a panel is investigating obstacles to the plan. “Our democratic political system should not threaten foreign investors,” Sheikh Meshaal said. “They’re used to it in their countries.” -Bloomberg

File picture shows an employee placing the emblem on a BMW 5 series car at the production line of the German car manufacturer’s plant in the Bavarian city of Dingolfing March 6, 2012. BMW AG, the world’s largest luxury carmaker, posted its strongest-ever first quarter on May 3, 2012, with with an 18.1-percent rise in net profits on a 12-month comparison to 1.35 billion euros ($1.8 billion). (Reuters)

Potential lurks in Kuwait corporate bond market KUWAIT: In a region dominated by sovereign and government-related bond issues, Kuwait has bucked the trend over recent months with a series of successful corporate sales that hint at greater capital-raising potential in the Gulf state. The global financial crisis hit Kuwaiti investment companies hard, pushing some into debt restructuring talks and making banks cautious about lending. Meanwhile, the euro zone debt crisis is causing European banks to pull in their horns. Bank lending to the private sector grew just 3.2 percent from a year earlier in February, which was slow considering private analysts expect Kuwait’s gross domestic product, buoyed by high oil prices, will expand about 3.8 percent this year in inflation-adjusted terms. So Kuwaiti corporations may have little choice but to diversify their funding into bonds. Narrowing spreads have encouraged this process. Yields on one-year government Treasury bonds have compressed to 1.25 percent in March 2012 from 6 percent in 2006-2007, central bank data shows; with the dinar pegged to a US dollar-denominated basket of currencies, Kuwait has had to follow the global trend of low interest rates. “With respect to Kuwait, since 2010 we have seen dramatic spread narrowing and as a result, corporate issuers are finding the bond product a viable and cost-reducing alternative,” said an investment banker based in the region, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to talk to media. Corporate dinar-denominated issuance has dominated bond activity in Kuwait since the end of last year; four corporate bonds have come to market worth a total of 178.5 million Kuwaiti dinars (644 million US dollars).

In December, Kuwait’s Commercial Facilities Company (CFC), a consumer credit group, priced a KD 50 million bond through sole lead arranger National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) Capital. That was followed in January by an KD 80 million bond issue from major regional investment group Kuwait Projects Company, consisting of two tranches of four-year paper, the largest ever corporate bond deal in the country. Other recent deals were real estate company AlArgan with a KD 26.5 million bond, and Kuwait Financial Centre, known as Markaz, with KD 22 million. Before CFC, the last time a Kuwaiti firm issued a local currency bond was in June 2010, when United Real Estate Co, a subsidiary of Kuwait Projects, made a 40 million dinar, two-tranche issue. Last resort

Bank investors may welcome increased corporate issuance because subscribing to bonds allows them to generate higher returns on their money, given interest rate caps imposed by the central bank on loans, a regional fixed income trader said. However, a lot more needs to be done to make the Kuwaiti dinar bond market vibrant. Some issuers and investors still see bonds as a “last resort” to raise financing in the absence of bank loans. The secondary market for local bonds remains illiquid, the fixed income trader noted. Kuwait is behind regional peers such as Abu Dhabi and Qatar in developing a clear yield curve for government debt; without such a curve, it is difficult to price corporate bonds. And Kuwaiti corporate bond deals remain much smaller than the biggest in centres such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Dubai-based mall developer Majid Al Futtaim Hold-

ing issued a $400 million, five-year Sukuk in January. Even if Kuwaiti corporations request ratings, however, the ratings agencies may face challenges of transparency, lack of proper regulation and incomplete disclosure that make it difficult to assess the credit quality of borrowers. Kuwait established its first dedicated financial market watchdog in 2011, but analysts say its role needs to be clarified and strengthened to encourage investment. Financial authorities have said they want to develop corporate debt issuance, and some steps have been taken in that direction. Kuwait’s bourse plans to launch this month a new trading system, backed by The Nasdaq OMX Group Inc, to enable trade of a wide range of financial instruments including fixed income and Sukuk, perhaps as early as next year for some of them. But it is still unclear whether such initiatives will be pursued aggressively by the government. Rasha Othman, Vice President at Markaz, said investors were still only buying bonds from companies with healthy track records and good rapport with the capital markets, while the investor base was largely limited to banks, some government-linked institutions and high net-worth individuals. This prevented the market from reaching the depth of some other corporate bond markets in the region. “Following the recent debt crisis and the recent bond and Sukuk defaults, Kuwaiti bond investors have become more cautious and selective,” she said. “The Kuwaiti bond market has potential to grow exponentially in the next few years, if certain steps were taken towards advancing the development of the market by regulators, issuers, investment banks and the government.” -Reuters


10

ALWATAN DAILY

BUSINESS

friDAY, may 4, 2012

Oil slips on European manufacturing data Tasweeq offers up to 420,000 T jet, gasoline

CAPITALS: Oil slipped under 118 US dollars a barrel on Thursday after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said it had opened the taps more to weaken prices but recovered from early deeper losses after positive US data brightened sentiment. “New US claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, according to a government report on Thursday that could ease fears the labor market recovery was stalling,” said Tony Rosado, an options broker at GA Global Market, New York. Brent crude was down 44 US cents to $117.76 a barrel at 1251 GMT, after falling more than 1 percent in the prior session. The contract is well below the year’s high of $128.40 reached on March 1. US oil was down 22 cents at $105 a barrel, after dropping nearly 1 percent on Wednesday. A steeper fall in Brent narrowed its premium versus US oil to as low as $12.65 on Thursday, the smallest since Feb. 1. US weekly jobless claims data Thursday showed initial claims fell more than expected in the latest week, restoring some confidence in the economy after data on Wednesday showed U.S. private firm hiring in April at the slowest since September Investors continued to wait for key April employment data due at 1230 GMT on Friday. Analysts have forecast a slight rise in hiring has been forecast, leaving unemployment at a three year low. Worries about the euro zone lingered after the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged, while its president Mario Draghi cautioned the outlook for the euro zone was subject to downside risks. The warning helped extend the euro’s losses versus the dollar on Thursday, which in turn contributed to oil market losses. “Everything is dependent on macroeconomic issues. Personally I am (bearish), even with the fundamental difficulty in identifying all the geopolitical issues like Iran,” said Tony Machacek, an oil futures broker at Jefferies Bache. “If these remain on the side, I think prices could easily be heading lower.” Helping to cloud the outlook for the world economy, China’s services sector data on Thursday showed that growth slowed last month, with the non-Manufactur-

FILE - A motorist pumps petrol on April 16, 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand. Oil slipped under $118 a barrel on Thursday after the OPEC said it had opened the taps more to weaken prices but recovered from early deeper losses after positive US data brightened sentiment. (AFP)

ing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) retreating from March’s ten-month high. In more news, Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Company or Tasweeq, is offering up to 420,000 tons of jet fuel and gasoline for its July-December term contract, according to tender documents released on Thursday. It also offered a total of 300,000-360,000 tons of gasto-liquid (GTL) liquid for July 2012 to June 2013 lifting from Ras Laffan. This works out to 25,000-30,000 tons of naphtha a month during the term period. It had previously sold 30,000 tons of GTL naphtha for late May lifting to South Korea’s YNCC at premiums below 37.00 US dollars a ton to Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis. Naphtha spot premiums had been firm due to tight supplies but buyers expected Europe to push out high volumes of naphtha as it was hit by weaker demand

but higher supplies as refineries returned from planned maintenance. Tasweeq offered 240,000 tons of jet fuel for loading from Ras Laffan and between 150,000 and 180,000 tons of 97-octane gasoline to be loaded from Mesaieed. The tenders, including that for GTL naphtha, close on May 14, with bids to stay valid until May 17. Tasweeq has an existing jet fuel term contract with unspecified buyers for about 300,000 tons, traders said. It had set the “alpha” for its term contract for this year at 30 US cents a barrel above its pricing formula, they said. Tasweeq sets its own pricing formula for its jet fuel term contracts comprising three values - a flat price based on benchmark Middle East quotes plus a premium as assessed by price agency Platts and an “alpha” value that is set by the company. Details on the company’s existing gasoline term contract are not known. -Agencies

Gold eases ahead of euro zone rate decision LONDON: Gold eased on Thursday, under pressure from a decline in the euro ahead of a rate decision from the European Central Bank (ECB), while concerns about Spain’s ability to finance itself simmered after yields shot up at a debt auction. The ECB meets in Barcelona to discuss monetary policy and is expected to resist pressure to do more to fight the debt crisis by maintaining its bond-buying program to help Spain, which has fallen into recession. Spain attracted solid demand for its three- and fiveyear bonds at auction, but its borrowing costs jumped, reflecting investors’ concern about Madrid’s ability to finance itself and avoid a more protracted economic slowdown. Gold has fallen by about 1 percent so far this week, having dropped for three out of the last five weeks, prompting shorter-term speculators and longer-term investors to curtail their holdings of the metal both in the futures market and in exchange traded funds (ETFs). Spot gold was down 0.4 percent on the day at $1,646.50 an ounce by 1145 GMT, having declined by one percent so far this week. Most-active US June futures were down 0.4 percent at $1,647.10 an ounce. “There has been a drop in ETF holdings and the more

short-term investors seem to have withdrawn from the market somewhat,” Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said. “Besides the firmer US currency, the high correlation of gold to riskier asset classes is probably the most important factor putting pressure on prices right now,” he said. Holdings of gold in the world’s largest ETFs have fallen by nearly one million ounces since hitting a record high of 70.89 million ounces on March 16. ETFs have lost 576,575 ounces of metal over three consecutive months, marking their longest string of outflows since early 2010, when holdings fell by 1.88 million ounces in three months. The euro was down slightly after Spain sold 2.5 billion euros in three- and five-year bonds at auction, at the top end of its targeted amount, although yields rose sharply from the last sale of debt of this maturity.

Crumbling link Gold usually trades inversely to the US currency and in tandem with the euro as a decrease in the value of the single European currency makes it more profitable for euro-based investors to sell gold in exchange for dollars. This correlation between gold and the euro/dollar ex-

change rate has softened in the past few weeks, reaching its least positive in almost a month, at +48 percent, from a four-month high of around +69 percent two weeks ago, meaning gold is now less likely to move perfectly in sync with the euro. Gold priced in euros was down 0.2 percent at 1,253.08 euros an ounce and is currently little changed on the week, a better performance than dollar-denominated bullion. “Overall ... I’m feeling a bit bearish today, which worries me slightly, seeing as we are near the lows again, but the market feels heavy and in the absence of any positive news I think we can slip,” David Govett, head of precious metals at Marex Spectron, said. “However with plenty of releases today, it will pay to be quick to get in and out if necessary.” Physical demand for gold from top consumers in Asia has been restricted by the brief rally in the price towards $1,670 an ounce earlier this week, while a weakening in the rupee rate dampened consumer off-take in India, the world’s largest bullion buyer. In other precious metals, silver was down 0.7 percent at $30.43 an ounce. Platinum was down 0.3 percent on the day at $1,552.74 an ounce, while palladium traded down 0.7 percent at $661.25 an ounce. -Reuters

OPEC says pumping hard to bring oil price down PARIS: The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is working hard to bring down oil prices that jumped towards 130 US dollars a barrel earlier this year, its secretary general said on Thursday, and is pumping much more than its official target even as exports from cartel-member Iran dwindle. Oil surged in March to $128 a barrel, the highest since 2008, as increased concern over the loss of Iranian oil due to tighter sanctions combined with supply hitches elsewhere. Prices have since fallen back and Brent crude was trading just below $118 on Thursday. “We are not happy with prices at this level because there will be destruction as far as demand is concerned,” OPEC Secretary General Abdullah Al-Badri told an energy conference. “We’re working hard to bring down the price. We’re not comfortable.” The 12-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is pumping 32.3 million barrels per day (bpd), he said, citing figures given to OPEC by the member-countries. That is 2.3 million bpd more than OPEC’s target of 30 million bpd and higher than a Reuters estimate of OPEC output in April published this week. Al-Badri again identified $100 as a comfortable price - a level endorsed by top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia in January - and said the price was being driven higher by speculators. “There has been no shortage of oil in the market. Producers have been able to meet consumer needs,” he said. “We also see this as being the case for the rest of 2012 and the foreseeable future.” “Today the price continues to be driven by excessive speculation,” Badri said. No need for stocks now-IEA

The extra OPEC oil is filling gaps caused by an unusually large number of supply outages globally. Supply breaks were running at nearly 1.3 million bpd as of early April. It has also offset a decline in exports from Iran, which is facing stiffening western sanctions over its disputed nuclear energy prograe. Iranian oil exports were running at between 200,000 and 300,000 bpd below last year’s level, Maria van der Hoeven, head of the International Energy Agency, told Thursday’s conference. Iranian officials have said the country exported an average of 2.2 million bpd last year. The IEA, adviser to 28 industrialized countries and manager of their emergency oil stockpiles, last year tapped is members’ strategic oil reserves to cover shortages caused by the loss of Libyan exports. There could be a case for releasing stocks if an unexpected event occurred, as with the civil war in Libya, although there was no reason currently to do so given that the market is well supplied, Van der Hoeven said. “At this moment, although prices are relatively high, it’s not the case,” she said. “You can use this instrument only once ... so timing and circumstances are very important.” Badri’s figure of 32.3 million bpd for OPEC production is even higher than a Reuters estimate of 31.75 million bpd for OPEC output in April - the highest since 2008. OPEC at a meeting in December set the target to produce 30 million bpd, settling an argument which broke out in 2011 after Iran and other members opposed a Saudi-led plan to raise OPEC’s production ceiling. Output has remained above the target all year as Libyan supply recovered after being virtually shut down during the 2011 uprising against Muammar Gaddafi’s rule. -Reuters

Mideast fuel oil poised for tight summer on curbed Iranian supplies DUBAI: The Middle East fuel oil market is braced for a tightening third quarter as soaring power generation demand is set to curb Saudi Arabia’s exports and Western sanctions could deprive the market of Iranian supplies. But although tighter supplies should push Gulf fuel oil premiums higher and could lift the Singapore ship fuel bunkering market, fears of regional fuel oil shortage are unfounded, traders and analysts in the Middle East and in Asia say. “Saudi Arabia is likely to remain a large net exporter of fuel oil, with much of this going to Asia,” Riyadh-based Hong Kong and shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) analyst John Tottie said. “As we go into the summer season, the import of lower-sulphur fuel oil may increase, just as it did in 2011... Yet the kingdom is likely to remain a large exporter of high-sulphur fuel oil, given the high fuel oil yield of Saudi’s oil refineries.” Barclays Capital said in a note last week that Saudi plans to slash crude use for power generation may turn it into a net importer of fuel oil this summer. “With Iranian volumes likely to be curtailed severely following the sanctions and with the risk that Saudi Arabia turns into a net importer of fuel oil, more than one mt (million ton) of fuel oil exports are at risk of being lost from the market,” London-based analyst Mishwin Mahesh said. Asia-based traders who also rely on Middle East fuel oil do not expect major shortages as they anticipate increased fuel oil shipments into East Asia from other producers. Industry players still point to Western arbitrage cargoes as remaining the main bearish factor for East Asia’s fuel oil market. “Together those two factors - fall in supplies from Saudi and Iran could be very bullish,” a Singapore-based trader said. “But it will also depends on Singapore strength.” Asia’s fuel oil market fell sharply in early March under the weight of heavy supplies and slow demand.

Spot cash premiums for the 180 cst and 380-cst grades have since improved to above 2.00 US dollars a ton though, recovering from a discount low of 10 cents and 50 cents respectively as Western imports fell to three-year low levels in April. Saudi power generation

Saudi Arabia’s plan to reduce direct crude burn for power generation and rely more on natural gas and fuel imports this summer could result in a drastic drop in its monthly average fuel oil exports of around 500,000 to 600,000 tons. But several Gulf-based traders say the drop in supply from the leading fuel oil exporter was unlikely to shock the market, thanks to ample Saudi stocks and alternative fuels. “They have been building inventories of gasoil, which they will use in summer,” oneGulf based fuel oil trader said. “It also depends on how much gas they can obtain from the fields. In the end, crude burning may not be much less, but just a bit less,” he said. “They have other options than fuel oil.” Uncertainty over temperature-driven electricity demand, or how much will be met with gas, make it impossible to predict how much fuel oil will be burnt by Saudi Arabia but there is wide agreement that fuel oil exports will fall. “In the end their available supplies will fall, but I think they will still be able to export,” a second Gulf-based fuel oil trader said. Iran issues

The availability of supplies from the other major Middle Eastern fuel oil exporter Iran could take a hit from the USled sanctions. Western sanctions aimed to deter Iran pursuing its nuclear program may not specifically ban purchasing Iranian fuel oil, but financing and shipping difficulties make overall trade with Iran almost impossible. “Already a few of Iran’s existing fuel oil lifters have been sanctioned by the US government, and as long as the sanctions exist, these

FILE - An oil pump works at sunset Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain, in the Arabian Gulf. The Middle East fuel oil market is braced for a tightening third quarter as soaring power generation demand is set to curb Saudi Arabia’s exports and Western sanctions could deprive the market of Iranian supplies. (AP)

volumes are likely to find it difficult to access consumer markets in the Far East,” Barclays said in its note. While there is a consensus that July 1 will

mark a much tighter era for Iran to export crude and oil products, some traders still believe the sanctions have never been water-tight. “It will end up one way or the other in ei-

ther Singapore or in China,” a trader said. Record volumes of Iranian fuel oil flowed into East Asia in 2011, even though there were some sanctions already in place, making up nearly eight percent of the seven-million ton monthly inflow into East Asia, the world’s biggest fuel oil market. The region typically gets two grades - the National Iranian Oil Co’s (NIOC) straight-run 280-cst, mainly used as feedstock in refineries, and the cracked 380-cst as bunkering fuel. Iranian cargoes are in high demand in Asia because their low-density, low-water specs allow blenders to extract more value from the oil. Regular lifters of Iranian fuel oil have included Shell, China’s Tianbao, a subsidiary of Zhuhai Zhenrong, Vitol, Saudi trader Bakri, as well as Singapore’s Kuo Oil and Middle East trader FAL Oil, both of whom has been placed on the US government’s sanction list. Both Iranian and Saudi fuel oil is high-sulphur cargoes and therefore usually finds home among China’s refiners as well as Singapore and Fujairah bunker market for ship refueling. But since March, cargoes out of Iran’s Bandar Abbas refinery have trouble finding buyers in the local shipping hub Fujairah, due to payment problems. After July 1, when sanctions tighten further, it will be a matter of available customers instead of available cargoes. “The cargoes will still be there,” said an Asia-based fuel oil trader. “They’re not cutting back production, so the cargoes has to go somewhere,” he said. “China seems to be everyone’s bet.” The EU will prohibit European insurers and reinsurers from indemnifying tankers carrying Iranian crude oil anywhere in the world from July, threatening to curtail shipments and raise costs for major buyers like China, India, Japan and Korea. Jordan’s increased thirst for gasoil and fuel oil, because of repeated attacks on its Egyptian natural gas supply line, could also add to a tight market and has already led to some supplies being re-routed west to Jordan. -Reuters


ALWATAN DAILY

BUSINESS

11

fridAY, MAY 4, 2012

World food prices fall, inflation fear remains CAPITALS: World food prices eased in April after rising in the first quarter of this year, the United Nation’s food agency said, but inflation worries are still simmering as soybean prices climb. Record high food prices last February helped to fuel the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Prices receded in the second half of 2011 but the uptrend resumed in January. The FAO Food Price Index, which measures monthly price changes for a food basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy, meat and sugar, averaged 214 points in April, down from revised 217 in March, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Thursday. Yet soybean prices - at their highest since July 2008 are likely to rise further due to tight supplies, driving corn prices higher, the agency’s senior economist said. The index drop reflected a 2.5 percent month-on-month fall in maize prices, a one percent fall in wheat and a five percent drop in sugar prices, which offset a 2.2 percent rise in vegetable oils fuelled by soaring soybean prices. “You would see prices most likely remaining under downward pressure in the next couple of months,” the FAO’s senior economist and grain analyst Abdolreza Abbassian told Reuters, adding that weather remained a critical factor. The index seems to have stabilized at a relatively high level of around 214 points, the FAO said in a monthly update. Last week, the World Bank said costlier oil, strong demand from Asia and bad weather had been pushing up global food prices, adding that if current production forecasts for 2012-2013 do not materialize, prices could reach higher levels. U.S. soybean futures, one of the major drivers on international grain markets in the past few months, have been

FILE - A woman harvests wheat stalks in a village near Abbottabad in this May 5, 2011 file photo. World food prices eased in April after rising in the first quarter of this year, the United Nation’s food agency said, but inflation worries are still simmering as soybean prices climb. (Reuters)

fuelled by continuous purchases from China, the world’s largest buyer. “For the (FAO) index, the conditions associated with oilseeds especially have been supportive,” Rabobank senior

commodity analyst Keith Flury said. Bigger crops, tight market

While record total cereal crops are expected this year,

strong demand coupled with low initial stocks are likely to lead to tight supplies of coarse grains and soybeans which would support prices, the FAO said in its Food Outlook. The FAO has cut its outlook for the world new crop wheat output to 675 million metric tons (744 million tons) from an earlier forecast of 690 million, down 3.6 percent from last year, citing output falls in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, China, Morocco and the European Union. International wheat prices in 2012-2013 are expected to average lower than in the previous crop year, despite smaller crops and shrinking stocks, due to a fall in consumption and large export supplies, the FAO said. World cereals output is expected to rise in 2012-2013 crop year by 1.1 percent to a record 2.371 billion tons, boosting closely watched stocks by 1.7 percent to 524 million tons at the end of the 2012-2013 seasons, the agency said in its first forecast of new grain crops. Coarse grains production is seen rising 3.7 percent to 1.207 billion tons, driven by a 4.1 percent increase in maize (corn) output to 916 million tons, the agency said citing preliminary forecasts. But the coarse grains market is set to remain tight due to very low level of stocks, providing further support to prices, it said. World prices of oilcrops and their derived products, which have been rising since the start of this year, are likely to remain firm due to an increasingly tight supply and demand situation of the current season, it said. World soybean output is estimated to fall 9.5 percent to 240 million tons in 2011-2012 year and the likelihood that soybeans would have to compete for cropland with maize, especially in the United States, in 2012-2013 adds further support to prices, it said. -Reuters

Al Tijaria officially applies and commits to governance, social responsibility CAPITALS: Abdul Fattah Marafi announced in a press release this week the official execution of the Governance system along with the issuance of the governance manual of Commercial Real Estate Company, this was during the Ordinary General Assembly on April 18, 2012. He confirmed that Al Tijaria implemented the Governance principals and concepts for years, particularly during the years 2010 and 2011; however, it is now announcing its complete and direct commitment in executing this ethical approach in all its working aspects. By this Commercial Real Estate Company is one of the first compa-

nies in Kuwait that adopts and executes Governance. Although the execution of governance has no laws or legislations, Al Tijaria took on itself the responsibility to be the first in applying governance to guarantee shareholders rights. Hence Marafi urged the concerned parties and legislative authorities to work on issuing governance legislations and laws which will positively affect the financial and business markets. Abdul Fattah Marafi defined ‘governance’ as the conscience. It is the collaboration between responsibility and accountability, transparency, and credibility,

faithfulness and justice. It is the sum of relationships between the company, its board members, shareholders and all related parties which are governed by the best and highest standards of business transactions in a transparent environment yet controlled and supervised to ensure the rights of shareholders, employees, and society. In this regard, Marafi indicated that the social responsibility concept adopted by Al Tijaria for years not only enhanced its role in developing the society in light of application of the Governance system but also was a mean of committing to Islamic Sharia Law which encourages social integration

Trading Prices of Kuwait Exchange Trading Prices of Kuwait StockStock Exchange

Date of Closing Prices:

Company

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High

Low

National Bank Gulf Bank Commercial Bank Ahli Bank Ahli United Bank International Bank Burgan Bank Kw Finance House Boubyan Bank

1,080 430 800 610 890 275 440 740 600

1,060 420 760 600 890 270 435 730 590

Kw Investment Commercial Facilit. Int'L Financial Adv. National Invest. Kw Projects Ahlia Holding Coast Invest. Int'L Investor Securities House Ind. & Fin. Inv. Securities Group Int'L Finance MARKAZ KMIFIC Aref Inv. Group Al AMAN Inv. ALOLA Inv. ALMAL Inv. Gulf Inv. House A'ayan Leasing Bayan Inv. GLOBAL Inv. Osoul Inv. KFIC KAMCO Nat. Int'l Holding Housing Finance MADAR Al Deera Holding Al Safat Inv. Al Salam Group Ekttitab Holding Al Qurain Holding Sokouk Holding Al-Madina Finance NOOR Tamdeen Inv. KW BH Int'l Exch. Taiba Kuwaiti Holding Kuwait Syrian Strategia Kuwait China Inv. Manafae Inv. Gulf North Africa Amwal Al Masar Al-Imtiaz

104 265 154 325 61 106 118 44.0 154 53 39 39.0 73 315 41.0 260.0 102.0 68.0 196 35.5 69 63 52 112

102 265 150 320 59 104 118 42.0 152 52 37 38.0 68 315 38.5 250.0 99.0 66.0 190 34.5 69 60 51 108

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Global Index - Banking

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Global Index - Investment

Kuwait Insurance Gulf Insurance Ahlia Insurance Warba Insurance Kuwait Re-Ins. First Takaful Ins. Wethaq Insurance

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Global Index - Insurance

Kuwait R.E. United R.E. National R.E. Salhia R.E. Pearl R.E. Tamdeen R.E. Ajial R.E. Massaleh R.E. Arab R.E. Union R.E. ERESCO Mabani INJAZZAT RE Inv. Holding Grp Int'L Resorts Commercial R.E Sanam R.E. Aa'yan R.E Aqar Kuwait R.E Holding AL Mazaya Al Dar National R.E Themar Int'L Holding Grand R.E Projects Tijara & R.E Invest Al Tameer Arkan Al-Kuwait R.E Al Argan Int'L Abyaar Munshaat First Dubai KBT Manazel REAM Mena Real Estate Al Moudon Intl. R.E Markaz Real Estate Kuwait Remal R.E

58 112 134 248 110 42.0 93 1,020 73 24.0 65.0 89 64 68 92 38.5 84 36.0 45.5 56 90 51.0 39.5 45.0 38.0 40 63 360

Global Index - Real Estate

Nationl Ind Ind. Group Pipes Ind. & Oil Kuwait Cement Refrigeration Ind. Gulf Cables & Elec. Heavy eng. & Ship. Marine Services Portland Cement

Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ ŷ Ÿ ŷ ŷ

228 122 164 1,340 285 900

224 118 164 1,320 280 880

1060 425 770 590 880 275 435 740 590 317.38 104 265 52 150 325 13.0 60 25.0 130 25.0 230 106 118 102 52 42.0 152 53 37.5 71 38.0 48.5 69 26.0 315 51 38.5 51 38.5 100 255.0 100.0 22.0 22.5 69.0 29.0 194.0 265 114 33.50 72 70 61 52 64 42.50 106 83.67

300 520 460 126 220 122 40.50 42.44

300 520 460 126 220 122 40.50 42.44

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58 112 134 248 28.5 234 124 110 42.0 110 93 1,020 73 24.0 65.0 89 61 68 92 38.0 83 36.0 87 17.5 45.5 55 90 160 50.0 39.0 44.0 17.5 38.0 134 134 220 58 360 60.26

58 112 132 246 28.5 234 124 110 39.5 110 92 1,020 73 21.5 64.0 90 62 68 87 36.0 84 33.5 87 17.5 43.5 55 87 160 51.0 37.0 44.0 17.5 35.5 134 134 220 61 355 59.94

ŷ ź ŷ Ÿ Ÿ ź ŷ Ÿ

228 120 450 164 1,340 280 144 900

228 122 450 154 1,300 285 144 870

ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ

57 112 130 248 106 39.0 93 1,000 72 21.0 64.0 89 61 68 91 36.5 83 36.0 44.0 55 90 49.5 37.0 44.0 36.5 37 58 355

1080 430 800 610 890 275 440 740 590 322.05

102 265 52 152 325 13.0 60 25.0 130 25.0 230 106 118 102 52 43.5 154 53 37 71 39.0 48.5 68 26.0 315 51 38.5 51 41.0 100 260.0 99.0 22.0 22.5 66.0 29.0 196 265 114 35.00 72 69 61 52 64 42.50 110 84.01

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Last Close 181.44 6,479.10 Last Prev. Close Close

ŷ ŷ Ÿ Ÿ ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ Ÿ ŷ Ÿ ŷ ŷ Ÿ Ÿ ź ź ŷ Ÿ Ÿ ź Ÿ ŷ ŷ Ÿ ŷ Ÿ ŷ ź Ÿ ŷ ŷ Ÿ ŷ ŷ ź Ÿ

Previous Close Change 179.89 1.55 6,440.90 38.20 Trading Activity Tran. Value(KD) Chng Volume

DTD 0.86% 0.59%

Last Bid

Last Ask

MTD YTD 1.19% 1.08% 5.09% 11.44% Div. Annual Close High Yield Low P/E

20 5 30 20 10 5 4.67

667,500 2,480,000 135,000 45,000 195,000 1,580,000 2,290,000 1,345,000 260,000 8,997,500

30 31 5 5 5 26 36 69 13 220

710,250 1,050,700 103,900 27,350 173,550 426,750 996,350 983,350 153,750 4,625,950

1,060 425 750 580 890 270 435 730 590

1,080 430 800 610 900 275 440 740 600

3.7% 0.0% 0.0% 2.5% 1.7% 1.8% 2.3% 2.0% 0.0% 2.0%

1,220 510 800 680 930 285 480 900 600 326.42

1,040 425 700 600 790 236 410 720 530 314.20

15.55 36.98 1256.32 18.34 33.38 26.31 13.44 26.75 128.53 19.62

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380,000 470,000 1,500,000 510,000 2,320,000 11,660,000 200,000 19,280,000 2,640,000 8,920,000 31,840,000 1,280,000 520,000 10,000 8,800,000 4,810,000 4,500,000 7,680,000 220,000 1,360,000 200,000 2,240,000 920,000 12,540,000 124,800,000

17 12 47 7 45 131 4 157 27 97 215 15 12 1 75 142 76 121 9 17 2 38 19 200

102 260 150 325 60 104 116 42.5 152 52 37 38.5 68.0 310 41.0 255.0 99.0 66.0 192 35 70 68 59 52 108.0

104 265 152 330 61 230 106 118 102 43.5 154 53 37 39.5 71.0 325 56 260.0 100.0 67.0 196 265 36 77 69 61 53 110.0

0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 6.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 3.6% 4.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 2.3%

112 285 67 182 345 18.5 69 25.0 130 36.0 230 122 120 102 52 35.5 150 65 35 71 44.0 48.5 70.0 26.0 295 65 39 51 47.5 104 270.0 130.0 25.0 33.5 96.0 29.0 190 310 114 32 89 73 60 59 64 42.5 140.0 85.99

104 255 40 144 295 11.5 50 25.0 130 21.0 230 99 102 50 52 24.0 106 47 21 71 28.5 48.5 64.0 26.0 242 51 36 51 26.0 61 99.0 19.5 19.0 16.0 38.0 29.0 154 255 114 26 58 50 51 47 64 42.5 106.0 74.96

15.85 10.02 0.00

1,486

39,000 124,550 227,560 165,700 139,560 1,218,680 23,600 832,560 406,080 468,800 1,207,960 49,480 36,760 3,150 355,000 1,227,900 447,000 514,640 42,720 47,720 13,800 137,000 47,640 1,372,200 9,149,060

Ex-D Ex-D Ex-D -

-

-

-

275 460 450 120 112 28.0

300 500 460 130 -

6.7% 3.8% 5.4% 4.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 4.9%

325 610 540 148 220 134 40.5 44.91

13.38 280 13.67 520 10.96 450 20.49 102 66.32 220 102 40.5 64711.96 12.95 42.22

2 2 -

2,160,000 1,440,000 240,000 320,000 400,000 9,120,000 240,000 372,500 280,000 134,800,000 22,400,000 720,000 4,360,000 440,000 80,000 1,440,000 360,000 3,520,000 7,360,000 240,000 40,000 55,320,000 11,200,000 2,720,000 15,600,000 1,600,000 1,360,000 3,070,000 281,202,500

32 18 11 5 3 68 6 20 6 714 146 7 84 9 2 16 7 26 77 5 1 306 92 30 75 14 30 61 1,871

123,440 161,280 31,600 79,360 43,200 376,760 22,320 373,850 20,280 3,067,720 1,436,840 64,080 270,520 29,920 7,320 54,600 30,000 126,720 330,880 13,360 3,600 2,778,360 434,560 120,480 581,600 59,680 84,040 1,101,650 11,828,020

57 110 132 246 26.5 228 124 106 42.0 92 1,000 72 23.5 64.0 88 60 68 92 37.5 83 36.0 87 44.5 55 82 150 49.5 38.5 44.0 38.0 38 58 350

58 112 134 248 28.5 232 130 110 120 93 1,020 74 24.0 65.0 90 61 69 38.5 84 92 45.5 56 90 50.0 39.0 44.5 39 60 360

0.0% 4.5% 0.0% 6.0% 0.0% 3.4% 0.0% 6.4% 0.0% 6.4% 0.0% 1.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 5.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 5.6% 6.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 3.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.9%

63 118 152 246 37.5 250 130 100 52.0 120 104 1,080 85 20.0 68.0 97 75 73 90 38.0 92 23.0 91 17.5 45.0 70 80 174 52.0 39.5 40.5 28.5 25.5 134 40 220 70 480 60.26

47 97 108 200 28.5 224 114 77 27.0 108 94 840 62 11.0 35.0 77 54 52 74 33.0 59 13.5 87 17.5 31.0 57 64 116 27.5 22.0 25.0 17.5 15.0 134 31 220 49 270 49.06

2,540,000 2 540 000 740,000 80,000 10,000 90,000 260,000

58 19 2 3 6 31

574,200 574 200 89,280 13,120 13,250 25,550 231,550

224 120 440 164 1,320 280 136 880

228 122 450 1,340 295 148 900

0.0% 0 0% 0.0% 3.3% 0.0% 5.4% 3.6% 0.0% 7.2%

260 136 475 158 1,480 345 222 920

214 116 415 122 1,240 290 134 660

-

-

1.5 2 -1 1 12.5 5.0 1.03.02.0 1.5 -1 4 0.33

-

2.5 1 2.5 1.0 1.0-1 5 2.0 -1 2.5 2.0 3 -1 2.0 2.5 Ex-D -3 5 0.32 -2 10 40 -5 30

05 / 01 / 2012

For more Information please contact "Global" at (+965) 180 42 42 or www.globalinv.net

For more Information please contact "Global" at (+965) 180 42 42 or www.globalinv.net Ÿ

Abdul Fattah Marafi

Trading Prices of Kuwait Stock Exchange Date of Closig Prices: 3/05/2012

Date of Closing Prices: 03 / 05 / 2012 For more information please contact “Global” at (+965) 180 42 42 or www.globalinv.net Global General Index KSE Price Index

and social responsibility. social responsibility is a complementary and basic part of Al Tijaria policy and it is a part of governance which develops nations. Indeed, Al Tijaria contributed through its social responsibility policy in several aspects, such as providing support to people with special needs, supporting health, safety and environment and supporting youth and sports. In conclusion, Maarifi renewed his invitation to all concerned parties to cooperate and work on applying and enhancing the governance system. He confirmed the importance of commitment and execution of Governance in all transactions.

14.46 0.00 9.03 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 48.52 0.00 0.00 71.95 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 15.42 0.00 0.00 0.00 19.56 20.94 16.18 550.15

0.00 0.00 5.49 14.23

52.11 13.16 17.31 22.83 11.62 15.16 23.37 30.00 0.00 15.51 399.01

199.97 0.00 16.49 8.00 215.63 0.00 0.00 26.88 439.41 0.00 0.00 19.67

20.11 7.75 12.62 18.03 32.24

Shuaiba Industrial

-

Metal Collecting Global General Index 128 Kuwait Foundry 350 KSE Price Index

244 ACICO 93 United Industries Company High 620 Boubyan Petroch. 1,140 Gulf Glass National Bank Gulf Bank 495 Hilal Cement Commercial Bank 770 Al Kout Ind. Project Ahli Bank 640 K-PAK Ahli UnitedMaterial Bank 850 Building International 248 Nat. Ind.Co.Bank 310 460 Burgan BankHolding Equipment 190 Kw Finance House Consumer Industries 890 Boubyan Bank 590 Kuwait Gypsum Global Qurain Index - Banking 218 Salbookh Trading Kw Investment -41 IKARUS 188 265 Commercial Facilit. Boubyan Int'LAdv. Ind. 4177 Int'L Financial 174 National GlobalInvest. Index - Industrial Kw Projects 300 National Cinema Ahlia Holding 13.5 Kw Hotels Coast Invest. 53 Agility 420 Int'L Investor Market Complexes Securities House ZAIN 750 Ind. & Fin. Inv. Safat Energy 85.0 Securities Group Educational Group Int'L Finance 330 Indep. Petroleum 110 MARKAZ National Cleaning 162 KMIFIC Sultan - 112 Int'L Inv. Center Group Arabi 156 Aref Inv.Group Group City Group Investment Dar - Tele. 2,360 AlWataniya AMAN Inv. Kw Gulf Link 132 ALOLA Inv. 110 Kw Cable ALMAL Inv. Vision 50 Automated System - Gulf Inv. House NAPESCO - A'ayan Leasing KCPC 360 32.5 Bayan Inv. K.S.H Inv. GLOBAL EyasInv. Osoul Hits Telecom GULFINVEST - 93 KFIC - 24.5 Al Safwa Holding KAMCO - Human Soft Int'l Leasing & Holding Inv. -76 Privatization Nat. Int'l Holding -99 Nafaaes Holding - Housing Finance National Slaughter MADAR Aref energy 134 26.5 AlSafwan Deera Holding AlGulf Safat Inv. Petroleum 68.0 122.0 AlGulf Salam Group Franchising 29.0 41.0 Ekttitab Credit Holding & Collection AlNational Qurain Holding -25.0 Ranges Sokouk BurganHolding Well Drilling 16.5 Al-Madina 40.0 400 IFA H&R Finance NOOR 1,760 Combinted Group Tamdeen Inv. 160 88 Jeeran Holding KW BH Int'l Exch. Palms Agro 106 Taiba Kuwaiti Holding 76.0 Safat TEC Kuwait Syrian Mushrif Trading 106 Strategia UPAC 350 53 Kuwait China Inv. ALAFCO 295 Manafae Inv. Al-Muwasat - Gulf North Africa Mashaer Holding 280 Amwal Fuel AlOula Masar - 248 Future Comm. Al-Imtiaz 132 124 Hayat Comm. Global Index - Investment 71 Mubarrad Transport Kuwait Insurance 51.0 Kuwait Resorts Gulf Insurance - Advanced Technolgy Ahlia Insurance 370 Yiaco Medical 112 Warba Insurance 425 Al Jazeera Airways Kuwait Re-Ins. Al Soor Fuel 224 First Takaful - Future Kid Ins. Wethaq Insurance KGL 275 Global Index - Insurance Al Nawadi Alrai Media Kuwait R.E. 48 Zima R.E. Holding United 100 National 126 GlobalR.E. Index - Services Salhia R.E. 204 LiveStock Trans. Pearl R.E. Dana Al-Safat 22499 Tamdeen R.E. United Poultry Ajial R.E. - Kw FoodStuff 1,380 Massaleh R.E. United Food Arab R.E. 30.0 Kout R.E. Food 540 Union

- ŷ 118 źŸ 345 źŸ 240 Ÿ 91 ŷ Low 610 ź 1,120 - ŷŷ 490 - ŷŷ 770 - ŷŷ 640 - źŷ 800 - Ÿ 248 305 ŷŸ 455 182 źź 880 - źŷ 580 - ŷ 214 źŸ -41 ŷź 188 źŷ 260 4075 źź 170 źŸ 300 - Ÿŷ 12.5 ŷ - ŷ 52 ź 415 ŷ ŷ - ŷ - ŷ 740 ŷ ŷ 83.0 Ÿ - ŷ - ŷ - ŷ 325 ŷź 108 156 - ŷź - 110 ŷŸ 152 - ŷŷ - - ŷŷ 2,300 ŷŷ 126 ŷź 108 49 - źŷ - - ŷŷ - - ŷŷ 335 ŷź 31.0 - ŷŷ -ŷ - 91 ŷŷ - 22.5 ŷŸ - - ŷŷ -75 ŷź -99 ŷŸ - - ŷŷ - ŷŸ 128 26.5 - ŷŷ - ŷŸ 66.0 114.0 28.5 ŸŸ 39.0 - źŷ - 22.5 ŷŸ 16.5 - ŷŷ 38.5 400 źŸ ŷŸ 1,740 158 źź 86 - ŷ 106 ź - ŷ 76.0 Ÿ - ŷ 102 Ÿ - ŷ 350 ŷ 53 ŷ 290 - ŷŷ - - ŷŷ 280 - ŷŷ - 246 ŷź 124 - źŷ 122 źź 69 ź - ŷź 48.0 - - ŷŷ - ŷź 365 108 420 źź 224 ź - -ŷ 270 ŷŷ - źŷ 48 - źŷ 100 - Ÿŷ 118 ŸŸ 200 ź - ŷ ŷ 22494 źŸ - ŷŷ 1,360 - ŷŸ 30.0 - źź 540 - ŷź

Global Index - Food 98 96 ERESCO 86084 84083 Mabani Sharjah Cement 7593 7491 INJAZZAT RE Gulf Cement Inv. Holding Um QuwainGrp Cement 12.066 11.565 Int'L Resorts 86 93 Fujaira Cement 78 77 Commercial R.E 116 116 Ras AlKheimah 70 65 Sanam R.E. ARIG 54 53 Aa'yan R.E United Gulf Bank Aqar Egypt Kw Holding Kuwait R.E Holding Bahrain Kw Ins. 59 AL Mazaya 60 58.0 Gulf Fin. House 60.0 14.0 Al Dar National R.E 14.0 InovestInt'L Holding -76 -74 Themar Ahli United Bank - 170 Grand R.E Projects - 172 - 56.0 Tijara & R.E Invest -58.0 Ithmaar Bank AlGlobal TameerIndex - Non-Kuwaiti Arkan Al-Kuwait R.E 70 70 Markaz Real Estate Safat Global AlInvestment Argan Int'L Funds 28.5 28.0 Abyaar Al-Bareeq Holding 23.5 - 23.5 Munshaat AFAQ First Dubai 26.0 - 25.5 Al-Shamel KBT 27.0 Al-Safat Real Estate 27.0 Manazel 16.534 15.533 Ajwan Real Estate REAM 500 Specialities Group 490 - Mena Real Inter. Estate - Masaken AlDulaqan MoudonR.E Intl. R.E - - Markaz Real Estate 57 56 Eid Food Kuwait Remal 295 - 285 Maidan ClinicR.E

źŸ Ÿź ŸŸ ź ŷ ź Ÿ ź ź ŷ ź ŷ ŷ ŷ ŷ ź ź ź ŷź ŷŸ ŷŸ ŷŸ ź ŷ ŷ ŷ źŷ źŷ ź ŷŷ źŸ ŷŷ ŷŷ ŷŷ źŷ Ÿ ŷ ź

Last Close Previous Close - Change 216 216 40,000 2 4 128 176.53124 177.24 -0.70 4,920 15 5,754.20 30,000 3 -27.3010,400 330 3455,726.90 6 140,000 6 33,920 238 244 Last Prev. Trading Activity 1,880,000 28 172,440 92 92 Close Close Chng 675,000Tran. 16 Value(KD) -10 Volume 620 610 411,800 1,000 1,000 3,796,050 - 1120 1120 69 3,377,500 20 495 495 - 830,000 407,950 222 222 770 770 10,000 1 7,700 - 415 415 640 -20 2 6,400 660 10,000 275 275 800 50 850 350,000 23 282,700 224 Ex-D 224 16 5 248 248 -5 700,000 173,600 160,000 305 310 49,100 460 465 -5-4 500,000 1030 229,750 192 680,000 188 126,840 890 -10 880 1,280,000 66 1,127,050 102 102 590 590 607,850 1,035,000 33 128 Ex-D 128 319.37 319.54 8,092,500 6,639,050 0.17-4 214 1,360,000 24036 292,600 218 41 44 480,000 19,680 106 106 -4 --3 188 40,000 188 7,520 260 265 -5 250,000 14 2 65,750 320,000 24,240 4075 1,680,000 -1-1 67,160 4176 13 8 9,525,000 259 1.12 2,100,410 169.42 168.30 170 1,040,000 20 172 -2 177,720 300 110,000 5 33,000 295 5 1,000 1,000 7,040,000 12.5 12.5 46 90,920 280 280 1,280,000 22 52 53 -1 67,280 420 170,000 11 70,700 420 25.0 25.0 52 52 130 130 827,800 740 1,115,000 740 48 31.0 31.0 1.0 10,200,000 84.0 97 860,000 83.0 230 230 110 110 102 102 6,550 325 20,000 340 15.0108 112 73,920 680,000 18 2 133,960 840,000 160 162 2.050 50 -18 660,000 110 108 2 72,720 44.0 44.0 -22 2,180,000 335,200 152 152 52 52 - -54 550 550 74 74 - - - - 165,000 2,360 383,850 2,360 28.5 28.5 -30 2,600,000 336,760 126 132 108 1459 54,920 108 --6 500,000 58 4958 49.5 15,840 -1 320,000 4 295 295 23 - - 23 - - 330 330 71 - - 71 - - 350 1,027,550 2,910,000 112 345 31.0 31.0 58,760 1,840,000 22 --5 255 255 48.5 - 48.5 - - 260 260 - - 68 68 -Ex-D - 569,360 6,160,000 101 93 93 20.5 20.5 26.0 26.0 3 108,560,000 22.0 24.5 563 2,588,560 244 - 244 - - - 270 270 9476 --1 9477 -13 1,480,000 111,120 -1 5194 5199 -5 40,000 3,960 - 36 36 - - - 154 154 -88 51 51 -2 130 128 3,900,000 511,480 26.5 26.5 2 6,360 240,000 540 540 75 75 -37 1.0 68.0 67.0 2,640,000 176,800 8.0 120.0 112.0 1,305,280 2.5 11,180,000 400,000 212 5 26.5 29.0 11,560 2.039.5 41.5 24 77,080 1,920,000 120 120 19.0 19.0 - 1.5 694 3,000,800 23.0 24.5 125,600,000 16.5 5 7,920 16.5 480,000 255 255 39.0 0.5-5 10,640,000 93 1 419,440 38.5 10,000 400 395 4,000 29.0 29.0 - 40 -17 105,000 1,720 1,760 183,200 160 2.0158 12,680 80,000 4 -1 3 86 87 13,960 160,000 255 255 1 106 4,240 108 -2 40,000 114 114 16 76.0 74.0 60,800 2.0 800,000 26.00 26.00 20 1 940 000 201 640 104 102 2.0 1,940,000 56 201,640 68 68 350 1 350 7,000 20,000 53 200,000 53 10,600 2 295 295 11,750 3 40,000 60 60 168 168 46.5 - - - - 46.5 280 280 30,800 110,000 64 - -4 64 246 14,800 255 60,000 42.50 --9 42.50 -3 265 265 128 130 -2 1,240,000 38 157,920 122 111,400 128 6.0- 40,720,000 900,000 55825 76.02 0.1275.90 2,702,550 69 99,960 70 26 -1 1,440,000 -6 325 325 49.0 51.0 19,560 2.0400,000 - - 560 560 - 810 810 -485 485 365 18,450 5 380 15.050,000 118 --810 120,000 110 64 13,200 425 33,750 435 80,000 220 220 Ex-D 224 226 4,480 -2 1 20,000 114 114 - - - 108 108 Ex-D 40.50 40.50 275 395,300 275 55 1,440,000 43.63 43.43 0.19- 120,000 6 13,200 80 80 122 122 1 3,840 49 -1 48 80,000 98 92,000 9 100 9998 1 920,000 383,920 124 120 4 105 3,100,000 2,182 743.68 12,243,820 743.41 277,255,000 0.27 12 104,680 200 204 -4 520,000 184 184 37.5 37.5 95 156 1,173,280 12,120,000 97 3 224 10.0-2 100,000 22,400 234 136 136 120 120 - 1,380 1,360 263,150 192,500 82 -20 -13 82 340 335 5 1 30.0 80,000 30.5 0.52,400 580 540 2,700 5,000 - -40 108 108 -1 2.71 170 1,439,130 338.26 335.56 12,317,500 31,160 -1 320,000 98 97 8 1,656,950 10-2 1,935,000 850 57 5 860 85 23,440 280,000 83 2 8,960 120,000 21 7592 7391 9,240,000 847,400 110 15 3 23,960 11.5 12.0 0.52,000,000 65 Ex-D 28,640 66 440,000 38.0 38.0 88 1,560,000 137,920 -3 27 91 3 18,520 78 77 1 240,000 116 120 40,000 -4 2 4,640 67,400 17 1,000,000 65 70 -5 112 112 4 10,720 54 -1 55 200,000 168 168 90 90 290 290 38.0 38.0 455 Ex-D 455 11 59 26,160 440,000 -4 63 59.0 1 2,287,200 58.0 254 39,200,000 1 80,000 1,120 14.0 14.5 0.52,360,000 176,480 - -1 -36 9174 9175 2 249,520 172 170 1,460,000 -28 17.5 17.5 31.0 31.053.0 58.0 15,000,000 170 859,240 5 59 59 4,614,480 44.09 0.55 44.63 69,580,000 635 -4 320,000 2 22,400 70 74 122 122 48.5 48.5 - - - 124 124 12 0.52,720,000 76,880 28.0 28.5 144 144 1.0- 80,000 1 1,880 23.5 24.5 106 106 0.5240,000 6,160 3 26.0 25.5 250 250 Ex-D 35,040,000 946,080 - 4 27.0 27.0 24.0 24.0 1,200,000 84 1.0-2 19,240 16.5 15.5 10,760 34 320,000 32 -4 134 134 29,600 60,000 500 500 - 134 134 51 51 - - - - 220 220 345 345 -1 240,000 6 13,520 5790 5890 47 610,850 295 290 5 2,110,000 2,260 2,260 0.02- - 53,085,000 - 332 4,151,200 49.73 49.75 39.5 39.5

Global Index - Real Estate Flex 102.0 Dar Al-Thuraya Real E 242 232 Nationl Ind. Group 232 źŷ 75 Kw Medical Services 128 - 126 - ŷŷ 128 Pipes Ind. & Oil 450 Kuwait Cement 455 450 ź - ŷ Amar For Fin. & Leas. 55 150 - ŷ Refrigeration Ind.Market Total Parallel 1,420 1,420 1,420 ź Gulf Cables & Elec. 335 - ŷ Heavy & Ship. Totaleng. Market 212 Marine Services - ŷ GlobalCement Special Indices 720 720 ŷ Portland 720 Ÿ GlobalIndustrial Index - Kuwaiti Co.'s 180 - ŷ Shuaiba Ÿ Global Index - 10 Large 104 104 ź Metal Collecting 110 Cap. 460 Ÿ - ŷ Kuwait Foundry Global Index - Islamic -

102.0 242 -10 13,220,000 - 154 128 - 140,000 6 75 470 20 50,000 2 55 150 -8 380,000 1,460 -40 2,500 1 335 783,677,5006,823 212 Close Prev. Close 720 230,000 19 189.32 180 190.91 182.693 106 184.73-2 80,000 460 570.84 568.26

DTD MTD YTD 0.0% 216 180 13.22 216 -0.40% 130 -1.55% -1.55% 0.0% 120 102 118 495 0.0% 315 340 355 -1.50% -0.47% -1.50% 230 2.0% 196 30.29 242 246 Annual Close 79 Last91 Last 92 Div. 0.0% 102 37.66 Bid600 Ask 620 Yield High630 Low550 P/E86.98 0.0% 1,080 1,400 4.0% 1,100 15.82 1,120 3.6% 1,140 1,120 1,100 14.74 490 495 - 0.0% 510 490 33.95 6.8% 216 206 12.73 770 780 1.9% 790 770 88.62 340 9.94 390 8.4% 415 640 660 660 640 17.34 0.0% 300 300 3.1% 275 5.20 265 840 850 - 1.6% 850 790 29.68 228 35.32 2.2% 224 246 248 255 248 23.59 260 25.33 325 300 310 0.0% 3.2% 460 465 475 46051 12.26 152 0.0% 182 190 0.0% 880 - 2.3% 900 88093 25.07 870 102 0.0% 590 - 0.0% 580 590 590 18.88 128 112.24 128 124 5.5% 18.61 222 318.41 218 2.0% 210 13.27 216 0.0% 319.54 0.00 0.0% 102 10641 0.0% 10651 10641 40.56 162 214 16.76 186 4.3% 192 8.5% 260 265 265 260 12.09 0.0% 4075 4076 0.0% 4288 4070 163.04 13.99 174.76 2.7% 172 168 0.0% 174 170 88.93 295 300 305 295 12.13 18.77 950 910 4.2% 1,120 1,020 6.7% 12.5 13.0 0.0% 13.5 12.5 1.33 280 0.0% 280 51 52 0.0% 54 52 430 16.26 340 7.1% 415 420 0.0% 25.0 25.0 0.00 65 41 0.00 0.0% 0.0% 130 130 900 690 11.15 740 8.8% 750 33.5 0.0% 36.0 31.0 81.0 45.0 84.0 0.0% 85.0 0.0% 230 230 110 110 58.86 0.0% - 0.0% 102 102 0.00 295 315 345 9.3% 350 0.0% 106 110 116 108 170 20.44 110 158 3.1% 160 0.0% 50 50 0.00 102 136 0.0% - 110 - 112 0.0% 44.0 44.0 0.00 12.84 150 132 152 0.0% 0.0% 52 5284 0.00 530 550 560 0.0% - 0.0% 74 74 0.00 1,920 12.32 2,360 2,380 0.0% 2,440 2.1% 27.0 29.5 28.5 28.5 0.00 126 0.0% 132 128 0.0% 110 112 10895 0.00 108 0.0% 4963 50 - 0.0% 5168 4958 230 21.81 285 8.5% 320 0.0% 350 21 24 23 22 7.6% 340 8.13 320 395 - - 0.0% 71 71 0.00 2.9% 260 11.79 350 0.0% 345 305 31.0 32.5 31.5 31.0 7.1% 255 12.82 260 - 250 - 280 0.0% 48.5 48.5 260 260 4.79 7.7% - 0.0% 68.0 64.0 68.0 32.31 306.51 0.0% 132 - 92 - 93 0.0% 20.5 20.554 - 24.5 - 0.0% 26.0 26.0 0.00 14.0 0.0% 23.5 - 238 244 244 270 12.91 280 0.0% 275 0.0% -75 -76 0.0% 9484 9461 0.00 13.46 6.6% -98 54 - 0.0% 51 5184 116.80 0.0% 104 - 0.0% 36 36 0.00 154 9.95 0.0% 154 184 0.0% 51 5191 0.00 0.0% 120 132 128 26.0 26.5 27.0 27.5 520 13.11 550 0.0% 5.0% 510 710 0.0% 75 75 0.00 30.0 10.56 68.0 0.0% 67.0 78.0 99.0 120.0 0.0% 120.0 118.0 16.0 0.0% 29.0 28.5 19.5 39.0 41.5 120 130 0.0% 0.0% 140 19.0 20.0 19.0 18.0 0.00 22.5 24.5 0.0% 0.0% 12.0 24.0 16.0 16.5 17.0 16.5 41.84 198 242 255 0.0% 0.0% 275 39.0 38.0 38.5 39.0 87.26 490 380 400 0.0% 385 0.0% 0.0% 29.0 0.00 % 29.0 16.75 1,780 1,740 1,500 1,760 4.0% 156 8.28 3.8% 156 160 162 5.71 85 90 0.0% 89 73 255 22.77 255 270 5.1% 104 108 12.29 9.4% 126 86 11.92 114 0.0% 114 74.0 76.0 0.0% 78.0 57.0 26 27 0.0% 28 0 0% 0 00 104 106 0.0% 104 80 0.00 68 43.00 63 73 0.0% 68 340 345 355 12.70 8.6% 270 53 53 52 0.0% 55 280 3.4% 315 3.86 290 295 60 61 0.0% 60 130 7.71 6.0% 168 176 10.8% 47 47 - 47 172 4.6% 280 0.0% 9.96 275 305 64 69 64 20.98 305 265 0.0% 42.5 0.00 - 242 - 248 0.0% 42.5 300 128.0 18.62 275 0.0% 265 0.0% 124.0 128.0 132.0 5.19 124 2.4% 122 0.0% 124 75.90 70 10.01 76.32 70 69 0.0% 72 51 16.97 325 300 325 325 51.0 6.2% 0.0% 62.0 48.5 44.0 21.34 12.90 610 510 560 560 1.9% 770 750 4.5% 640 33.57 9.91 460 500 5.2% 520 485 370 4.1% 390 365 11.96 345 17.37 108 114 118 110 420 425 9.1% 485 410 9.74 0.0% 220 220 2.7% 0.0% 222 226 270 236 296.83 16.48 134 11498 110 4.6% 14.91 102 108 0.0% 114 40.5 43.0 40.5 300 218 8.42 275 280 0.0% 7.3% 12.60 44.80 92 43.43 77 82 4.7% 6.95 78 8.8% 114 118 0.0% 116 156 22.69 0.0% 37.20 49 49 48 48 0.0% 110 12.83 100 - 0.0% 100 9994 99 126 0.0% 120 22.21 128 122 791.90 705.36 11.34 12.2% 202 10.0% 200 17.83 208 200 182 15.27 222 - 0.0% 0.0% 37.5 37.5 37.5 114 0.0% 234 22490 16.20 22496 4.5% -95 126 6.02 146 3.7% 136 0.0% 130 120 110 130 1,360 1,360 11.55 1,380 4.7% 1,500 6.1% 82 82 5.29 85 390 43.95 340 360 1.5% 0.0% 30.5 30.0 31.5 540 500 9.68 620 6.5% 5.6% 610 108 108 15.28 112 118 365.22 331.33 11.49 4.1% 0.0% 100 96 39.65 95 98 860 840 21.70 86083 87084 0.0% 0.0% 44 95 76 7355 7684 0.0% 7183 0.0% 108 0.00 12.573 11.543 11.591 12.093 0.0% 30.67 10.6% 0.0% 38.0 38.0 35.5 37.0 46 65 66 0.0% 122 0.0% 78 14.56 77 77 79 89 88 118 10.40 8.6% 126 0.0% 75 65 65 116 102 118 0.0% 132 54 26.32 0.0% 55 53 54 114 172 112 0.0% 232 365.94 0.0% 90 90 91 174 6.9% 164 330 250 6.46 0.0% 38.0 38.0 40.5 285 290 5.5% 455 0.00 455 63 60 0.0% 59 0.0% 74.0 550.96 40.5 14.5 4.15 14.5 14.0 0.0% 13.5 0.0% 9458 5.5% 91 91 9057 9.49 7.0% 17.5 17.5 - 75 0.0% - 74 33.5 31.0 31.0 19.44 170.0 30.0 172.0 0.0% 0.0% 57 0.0% 59 59 47.16 40.74 8.77 4.1% 70 74 0.0% 78 70 11.37 1,220 1,220 0.0% 0.00 48.5 48.5 116 126 0.0% 144 124 5.38 28.0 28.5 - 0.0% 29.0 28.0 27.28 0.0% 25.0 - 0.0% 24.5 23.5 23.5 4.7% 5.03 25.0 25.5 26.0 25.5 255 0.0% 6.0% 13.99 24.5 28.0 28.5 27.0 22.0 26.5 0.0% 0.0% 15.533 16.034 0.0% 16.5 15.5 0.0% 134 130 134 23.07 5.7% 485 500 3.7% 16.05 32 29 3250 0.0% 32 0.0% 220 - - 0.0% 220 18.82 218 0.0% 816.78 57 60 0.00 5590 5795 0.0% 0.0% 8.47 295 270 0.00 290 295 2,160 0.0% 0.0% 1.1% 49.86 49.73 16.27 0.0% 22.19

-3,111,120 17,800 122 22,550 455 150 40,360 3,550 1,420 46,000,870 310 Change 710 165,600 1.59 178 2.04 104 8,480 435 2.58

102.0 232 13080 465 1,440 340 216 DTD 720 0.84% 190 1.12% 108 0.45%

0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 2.2% 0.0% 3.3% 0.6% 4.6% 4.67% 3.0% 2.4% 13.9% 5.6% 0.0% 4.3%

232 260 130 128 470 450 158 150 1,460 1,420 340 335 212 222 MTD 710 740 0.95% 180 180 0.82% 104 116 460 460 1.15%

70.58 18.38

14.10 6.49 14.77 8.02 193.84 YTD 96.15 0.72% 10.91 -2.82% 23.15 26.77 1.57%


STOCKS WITH NBK CAPITAL

12

ALWATAN DAILY friday, may 4, 2012

April 2009 May21, 03, 2012 Rebased RebasedPerformance Performance 113

1% 6%

1% 6%

111 111

Qatar

0%

Saudi

3-Apr-12

-1%

3-May-12

S&P 20-Mar-09 GCC Large/ Mid S&P Pan 3-Feb-09 Arab Large/ 18-Feb-09 Mid Composite 19-Jan-09 5-Mar-09 4-Apr-09

-6%-2

19-Apr-0

Composite

Country (Index)

Period's Liquidity 1 Ratio (PLR x)

-1

Index Level

% Chg.

YTD

Index 7,546

UASa UAE (ADX Index) Saudi Arabia (Tadawul All Share Index)

2,501 5,250

-0.2% -4.0%

Qa UAUAE Qatar (DSM Index) (ADSM Index)

8,670 2,695

0.0% 0.6%

UAE (DFM(KSE Index) Ku Kuwait Weighted Index)

OmOman UAE(MSM (DFMIndex) Index)

Level 422

1,582 406

5,862 1,745

Ba Qa Bahrain Qatar(BSE (DSMIndex) Index)

1,158 5,590

Jo Jordan (Amman General Index)

1,976

Eg Egypt (EGX 30 Index)

OmOman (MSM Index)

Ba Bahrain (BSE Index)

M Morocco (Casa All Shares Index)

Eg Egypt (Hermes Egypt Index (HFI))*

Le Lebanon (Beirut SE Index)

Jo Jordan (Amman General Index)

Pa Palestine (Al-Quds Index)

M Morocco (Casa All Shares Index)*

Tu Tunisia (Tunis SE Index)

Le Lebanon (Beirut SE Index)* *Market Closed

Pa Palestine (Al-Quds Index)

4,929

5,478

1,681

10,224

463

1,188

2,825 467

10,621

5,071

1,094 546

Tu Tunisia (Tunis SE Index)* * Market Closed

3,282

52 Wk High

% Chg.-

17.6% YTD

0.9%

4.0%

8,071 2,137

143 122

129,473 69,783

11.73 7.29

1.3% -18.8%

1,396 12,627

1,129 4,230

2 196

17,363 65,352

9.03 8.85

2,212

1,921

7

27,188

13.29

63,640

7.67

0.0%

-6.8%

-8.1%

8.5%

1.0%

2.2%

-0.4%

-0.3%

6,339 5,860 5,628

0.7%

-0.8%

-

12,109 2,903

12,203

1,033

1,403

2.4%

5,044

-2.2%

-

513

-3.3%

14,635

23.6%

739

6.6%

-

5,115

-7.2%

0.9% -

0.74 1.52

8,892 5,148

36.1%

0.4%

-0.2%

10.14 9.99

-1.2% 12.8%

1,754 787

2,119

13.6%

1,301 316

37 718

5,419 1,433

18,282 37,413

56

4,224

1,572 328

-

1,164

2,551 465

9,406

-

4,091

1,043

-

2,837

-

407

4

18,727

5

1

1.29

3.19

1.56

6.31

33,782

12.71

9,970

15.50

0.85

2.15

9.13

59,990

1.12

18.36

8,507

2

1.59

8.07

2,507

5

1.68

15.01

10,545

67

1.34

3.95

1.77

6.47

2,079

0.86

8.67

6,576

2.50

13.85

1.92

SAUDI ARABIA *Market Closed

ADCAbu Dhabi Commercial Bank

AED 0.246 SAR 22.95

225 Saudi Industrial Inv. Grp.

101 Riyad Bank

AED 0.43 SAR 48.00

-3.4% -8.6%

SAR 24.70

-6.4%

11,437,151 6,700,956

QTEQatar Telecom (QA)

Turnover (USD)

5,638,825

ARTArabtec Holding (UAE)

343,553,085 5,222,645

201 Saudi BasicQatar Industries IQCIndustries (QA) Corp. (KSA)

119,955,261 4,741,640

115 Alinma Bank (KSA) VFQ Vodafone Qatar (QA)

97,126,838

NBKNational Bank of Kuwait (KUW)

7,931 / 5,916

Tadawul Index 52 week High / Low

-

Turnover (SAR '000)

1,476,041,965

Market Cap. (SAR '000)

113

-6.8%

Turnover (USD)

MENA Highest Turnover

EMAEmaar Properties (UAE)

-

Advance/Decline Ratio

-3.5% -8.9%

SAR 13.70

GCC Highest Turnover

85%

% of stocks trading above 1yr avg. price

115

Abu Dhabi

AED 2.70 -13.1% -3.6% KWD 0.265

88,742,222 64,280,166

7,546 (0.0%)

Tadawul Index (% Chg.)

125

-9.7%

AED 3.16% Chg. -4.8% Close

EMAEmaar Properties (UAE) Best Performers

Summary

% Chg.

AED 67.00

KFI Kuwait Finance House (KUW)

Rebased Performance

8.0%

Close

MA Mashreq

0.89 201 UPP UnionBasic Properties 1.74 Saudi Industries Corp.

9.50

56,137

MENA Worst Performers

1.97 FAC CBD CommercialFacilities Bank of Co. Dubai 1.37 Commercial 1.62 ### Oula Fuel Marketing 0.88 238 Rabigh Petrochem. Co.

9.76

15,024

1

1.03 1.77

10.53 6.87

56,508

46

10,218

8.43 10.24

32,908 98,547

7 305

3,587

3,418

66,141 264,263

8.0%

OMR 0.720

GCC Worst Performers

1.99

3.5%

QAR 21.60

BKMBankMuscat

PB1.44

3.6% 8.6%

QAR 17.14

QGTQatar Gas Transport Co.

PE 14.36

3.9% 8.8%

QAR 8.90 QAR 6.35

AHCAamal Co.

PB

8.1% 9.8%

KWD 0.800 OMR 0.703

VFQVodafone Qatar KCB Al Khaliji Commercial Bank

12.83

102,051

17 2,183

2.9% 6.6%

5.1%

165

Mkt. Cap. 393,559 USD million

USD5.60 0.200 SAR

CBK Commercial Bank & of Contracting Kuwait GEC Galfar Engineering

Trailing

2,293 4,130

0.2% 1.9%

-0.3%

396

Turnover USD million

PE

% Chg.

QAR 22.00% Chg. 10.0% Close

ITHKingdom Ithmaar Bank 3 428 Hldg. Co.

Trailing

Mkt. Cap. USD million

2,775 10,090

16.9% -0.2%

0.5%

467

52 Wk 5,916 Low

Turnover USD million

4.1% 9.3%

-0.9% 1.8%

0.7% 3.9%

52 Wk 7,931 High

52 Wk Low

Close

4 EREEzdan Real Estate Co.

Period's Liquidity Ratio (PLR x)*

Sa Saudi Arabia (Tadawul All Share Index)* Country (Index)

Ku Kuwait (KSE Weighted Index)

MENA Best Performers 1

MENA Indices Highlights

MENA Indices Highlights

GCC Best Performers

Dubai

Tunisia Abu Dhabi

90 3-Mar-12

-1%

-6%

Palestine Palestine

95

-4%

Abu Dhabi

Dubai Dubai

0%

Saudi Qatar

0%

100

-2%

Qatar Abu Dhabi Bahrain

Qatar Oman

105

Kuwait

Oman

Oman Morocco

Return DailyDaily Return (%)(%)

Dubai

0%

Kuwait

107

95 3-Feb-12 85

2%

Jordan Kuwait

105

4%

Bahrain

Egypt Jordan

110

Kuwait

Oman

113

110

100

DailyIndex Index Performance Snapshot Daily Performance Snapshot

Bahrain Bahrain

115115

Bull/Bear Indicator Bull/Bear Indicator

Close

% Chg.

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A #N/A #N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

111

Highest Turnover

105

Worst Performers Turnover (SAR) 7020.SSE Etihad Etisalat Co. #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A

1 Al Rajhi Bank

#

#N/A

#

#N/A

#

95 3-Feb-12

3-Mar-12

3-Apr-12

S&P GCC Large/Mid Composite

3-May-12

#

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

Close

% Chg.

68.00 #N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

#N/A

7020.SSE Etihad Etisalat Co.

68.00 -

#N/A

Saudi SE

Quotes Company Name 1 Al Rajhi Bank

Close 78.25

Daily % Chg.

High -

-

Low

Turnover (SAR '000)

-

-

-

-

-

-

1 Alinma Bank

15.00

-

-

-

-

1 Arab National Bank

30.80

-

-

-

-

-

-

2 Almarai Co.

1 Bank AlBilad

1 Bank Al Jazira

67.00 30.00

28.10

-

-

-

-

-

-

1 Banque Saudi Fransi

38.00

-

-

-

-

4 Emaar the Economic City

13.35

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

4 Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Dev. Co. 7 Etihad Etisalat Co.

4 Jabal Omar Development Co. 4 Jarir Marketing Co.

4 Kingdom Holding Co.

2 National Industrialization Co.

2 Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Co. 1 Riyad Bank

1 Samba Financial Grp.

11.75 68.00

22.70

159.00 12.05

34.90

22.70

24.95

50.50

2 Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Co.

185.00

2 Saudi Basic Industries Corp.

103.25

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

33.10

-

-

-

-

96.00

-

-

-

-

1 Saudi Hollandi Bank

28.50

-

-

-

-

2 1 Saudi Investment Bank 2 Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co. 7 Saudi Telecom Co. 2

21.75

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1 Saudi Arabian Mining Co. 3 Saudi Cement Co.

5 Saudi Electricity Co.

22 Saudi Industrial Investment Grp.

Saudi International Petrochemical Co.

Savola Group Co. 0 3 Southern Province Cement Co. 0 1 SABB 3 Yamama Saudi Cement Co.

2 Yanbu National Petrochemicals Co. 7 Zain - Saudi Arabia

13.65

24.20 18.70

17.80

-

-

-

-

-

-

Volume ('000) -

52-Week High 82.75

67.25

71.75

48.41

32.90

17.20

-

16.25

-

33.70

-

-

% Change

Low

31.90

on high -5.4%

YTD 12.6%

12 mths

15.9

3.6

25.3%

26,800,000

23.4

3.7

9,000,000

27.5

2.6

1.1%

34,352,679

11.8

1.7

92.1%

11,347,500

60.4%

49.3%

26.60

-8.6%

12.0%

-7.2%

-8.8%

51.1%

62.6%

15.75

-11.9%

65.8%

46.7%

6.05

-15.2%

62.1%

30.6%

69.25

50.00

-1.8%

29.5%

29.5%

-

165.00

105.50

-

50.75

34.90

-31.2%

-14.3%

26.90

23.10

-7.2%

7.1%

-

40.00

30.00

-

13.60

6.20

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

13.85

22.90

13.10

28.60

56.75

11.10 7.05

21.20

-5.0%

-1.8%

-0.9%

-3.6%

-8.0%

-20.6%

12.8%

81.6%

86.8%

14.2%

36.2%

60.8%

49.1%

55.50

-2.0%

33.3%

68.4%

-

29.30

21.42

-2.7%

14.8%

13.2%

-

24.45

17.75

87.75

-

16.30

-

-

27.00 21.00 21.30

-7.0%

5.1%

7.3%

1.8

15.55

-11.0%

15.8%

-1.1%

10,285,000

14.5

1.2

-0.9%

24.9%

16.9%

84,400,000

15.50

-16.4%

2.3%

-1.7%

50.50

-

-

-

-

-

83.25

47.50

-39.3%

-27.9%

-

-

5.25

-16.1%

73.9%

11.50

5.0

22.0

65.0%

-

15.5

1.8

10,890,000

1.2%

23.3%

-

14,688,000

49.7

-10.4%

10.4%

-0.7%

-

30,617,500

27.4%

63.25

9.65

1.2

1.6

-10.4%

106.75

56.25

10.6

2.4

18.55

-

-

11.9

1.1

-

-

1.7

nmf

1.7

23.6

-

-

8.2

nmf

56,874,006

-

52.75

9.8

-1.1%

-

37.00

2.3

17.7

-16.3%

106.00

-

2.6

2.1

33.00

-

nmf

1.5

10.7

42.60

-

9.0

0.8

309,750,000

-

36.00

nmf

-7.0%

-

35.50

11.5

1.8

5.1

-

-

45,450,000

31.1

1.6

11.4

-

-

37,425,000

12.1

1.4

46,250,000

-

-

19,454,254

nmf

12.85

-11.0%

-1.8%

3.9%

42.20

35.00

9,540,000

-9.8%

98.00

111.00

21,097,380

8.4%

-3.3%

22.1%

-

47,600,000

19,885,200

-9.6%

30.8%

-7.5%

12,690,000

-20.6%

-11.7%

165.00

37.50

8,430,000

-2.4%

24.25

200.00

26,180,000

44,655,882

-11.0%

-

22,500,000

40.1%

42.40

-

PB

117,375,000

-7.7%

17.1%

Trailing PE

2.3%

9.05

-6.6%

Market Cap. (SAR '000)

23.70

27.82

41.60

-1.4%

-2.7%

-6.2%

22.0%

17.6%

19.9%

11,311,650 7,975,000

26,700,000

11.2

10.8 nmf

1.5

1.5

1.8

9.8

1.7

14,840,000

15.6

6.1

-12.6%

10,226,250

13.9

3.0

36.9%

13,510,000

nmf

24.6% 7.6%

2.4%

17,500,000

36,000,000

29,671,875

13.8

12.5 9.3

2.1

2.1

2.6

3.4


STOCKS WITH NBK CAPITAL

13

ALWATAN DAILY friday, may 4, 2012

KUWAIT Rebased Performance

Summary

Best Performers 6,479 (0.6%)

KSE General Index (% Chg.)

115

422 (0.9%)

KSE Weighted Index (% Chg.)

54%

% of stocks trading above 1yr avg. price 110

4.25

Advance/Decline Ratio

111

Turnover (KWD) 1,218,680 1,050,700

G Gulf Bank

B Burgan Bank

996,350

ZA Zain Kuwait

827,800

983,350

K Kuwait Finance House

3-May-12

S&P GCC Large/Mid Composite

0.610

3.4%

1.760

2.3%

Combined Grp Contracting Co.

3.5%

1.340

3.1%

Worst Performers

IFInternational Finance Co.

3-Apr-12

Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait

Highest Turnover

100

3-Mar-12

ABK.KSE

0.900

28,329,220

Market Cap. (KWD '000)

95 3-Feb-12

3.9%

PCEM.KSE Kuwait Portland Cement Co.

45,861

Turnover (KWD '000) 103

0.800

467 / 396 CGC.KSE

KSE Weighted Index 52 week High / Low

% Chg.

Commercial Bank of Kuwait

6,523 / 5,694 CABLE.KSEGulf Cable and Electrical Industries Co.

KSE General Index 52 week High / Low

105

Close CBK.KSE

Close OULAFUELOula Fuel Marketing Co.

0.246

BPCC.KSE Boubyan Petrochemical Co.

0.610

JAZEERA.KJazeera Airways

-3.5%

0.425

ALTIJARIA The Commercial Real Estate Co. #N/A

% Chg. -2.3% -1.6%

0.089

#N/A

-1.1%

#N/A

#N/A

KSE Weighted Index

Quotes Company Name

Close

Daily % Chg.

High

A Agility

0.420

0.0%

T Al Themar Intl. Holding Co.

0.087

-

A AREF Energy Holding Co.

0.130

A Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait

A Alafco Aviation Lease and Fin. Co. B Boubyan Bank

B Boubyan Petrochemical Co.

0.610

3.4%

0.600

0.590

154

0.800

0.440

1.760

0.435

996

2.3%

1.760

1.740

183

0.265

125

-

-

0.800 -

-

PE

PB

-2.3%

12.0%

-2.3%

439,671

16.3

-

0.104

0.079

-16.3%

-4.4%

-16.3%

88,088

nmf

45

0.657

40

0.580

0.370

-20.3%

0.530

-4.8%

0.085

675

0.630

0.530

0.620

-7.2%

0.280

0.132

105

1.945

1.300

-9.5%

135

0.930

470

0.700

0.375

-

0.255

0.051

0.019

1,031,459

-2.7%

-12.9%

679,786

13.4

1.5

11.4%

-5.1%

170,070

17.1

4.2

142,242

10.0

0.9 2.6

-14.0%

1.3%

1.9%

0.0%

6.6% 5.2%

-45.7%

97,500

nmf

295,911

33.8

53,454

-14.9%

1,017,618

-30.3% -3.9%

5.8

64,309

0.425

-22.1%

-11.5%

-19.3%

1,132,228

40.1

0.400

1.3%

0.400

0.400

4

10

0.495

0.285

-19.2%

-15.8%

-3.6%

181,553

nmf

0.0%

0.106

0.104

1,219

11,660

0.242

0.096

-56.2%

3

10

0.315

0.188

JAJazeera Airways

0.425

0.106 0.315

0.0% -2.3%

0.0%

0.450

-

0.188 0.425

0.188

8

0.315

-

1.240

0.214

80

-

-

1.680

40

34

0.420

0.315

10

0.138

0.485

-

0.120

0.236

0.610

0.415

-20.2%

-12.2%

-12.4%

0.0%

-26.2%

-5.6%

10.6% 3.9%

-6.6%

29.1%

-2.2%

-20.2%

281,308

27.0%

-58.4%

18.9%

3.1

7.7

1.6

3.7

16.8

0.9

102,850

9.7

4.0

nmf

82,940

-26.2%

1.9

141,000 85,106

254.2%

1.0

nmf

0.552

13

4.2

1.2

nmf

2,480

1.320

1.4

36.5

1,051

1.340

1.5

nmf

0.420

3.1%

1.0

-3.3%

20.3%

-3.9%

1.9

0.0%

-39.3%

-29.3%

0.5

20.3

230,033

8.9%

-16.0%

0.198

923,076

-20.3%

-3.2%

0.410

0.420

-7.2%

-6.3%

22.6%

0.524

-

-3.0%

-1.5%

2,290

-

Trailing

Market Cap. (KWD '000)

0.248

3,900

104

0.760

0.265

12 mths

0.430

260

-

-

YTD

0.430

IK Ikarus Petroleum Industries Co.

K Kuwait Cement Co.

412

on high

1.2%

1.340

K KIPCO Asset Management Co.

0.610

% Change

Low

0.430

C Gulf Cable and Electrical Industries Co.

IF International Finance Co.

511

0.440

0.0%

0.049

0.620

0.128

1.2%

3.9%

0.265

0.134

High

170

12

0.0%

1.6%

C Commercial Bank of Kuwait

IF IFA Hotels & Resorts

-

27

0.590

-

G Gulf Bank

-

0.600

0.290

0.255

G Global Investment House

-

0.610

52-Week

Volume ('000)

71

0.295

A Burgan Co. for Well Drilling

F Commercial Facilities Co.

0.415

0.0%

-1.6%

C Combined Grp Contracting Co.

0.420

Turnover (KWD '000)

0.295

0.610

B Burgan Bank

Low

286,945

0.8

nmf

1.0

20.1

1.9

K Kuwait Finance House

0.740

0.0%

0.740

0.730

983

1,345

1.000

0.720

-26.0%

-11.2%

-26.0%

2,149,081

27.6

1.7

K Kuwait International Bank

0.275

0.0%

0.275

0.270

427

1,580

0.350

0.236

-21.4%

7.8%

-19.1%

285,265

24.1

1.4

K Kuwait Projects Co. (Holding)

0.325

0.0%

0.325

0.320

166

510

0.395

0.281

-17.7%

12.1%

-17.7%

434,387

14.5

F Kuwait Food Co.

1.380

P Kuwait Portland Cement Co.

1.5%

0.900

3.5%

1.380

263

1.360

0.900

0.880

232

193

1.620

260

1.340

1.480

0.660

-14.8%

-39.2%

26.8%

0.0%

30.4%

1.020

0.0%

1.020

1.000

374

373

1.020

0.691

1.080

1.9%

1.080

1.060

710

668

1.145

0.909

-5.7%

N National Industries Grp. Holding

0.228

0.0%

0.228

0.224

574

2,540

0.280

0.192

N National Real Estate Co.

0.134

0.130

32

240

0.168

0.056

0.214

293

M Mabanee Co.

M Mena Holding

0.033

N National Bank of Kuwait N National Industries Co.

N National Investments Company O Oula Fuel Marketing Co.

A Qurain Petrochemicals Industries Co. S Salhia Real Estate Co.

S Sultan Center Food Products Co. T Tamdeen Real Estate Co.

A The Commercial Real Estate Co. S The Securities House N Wataniya

Z Zain Kuwait

-

0.310

1.6%

0.152

1.3%

1.5%

0.246

-3.5%

0.248

0.8%

0.218

1.9%

0.110 0.234

1.9% -

-

0.310 0.154

0.134

0.248 0.218

0.248

0.150

228

0.246

15

0.110

-

-

-

-

-

-1.1%

0.089

0.089

2.360

0.0%

2.360

2.300

-

0.740

0.0%

-

0.750

0.260

0.280

60

0.144

0.360

0.246

-11.5%

554,763

-39.2%

81,814

-5.7%

4,701,777

15.5

2.1

-18.6%

-12.3%

-18.6%

295,283

-20.2%

4.7%

21.8%

-8.8%

-45.7%

0.0%

10.7%

-11.6%

0.0%

21,780

-8.8%

-45.7%

1.4

133,184

nmf

0.8

-

19.2%

19.2%

127,155

17.7

1.0

-13.3%

1.7%

-8.2%

87,310

22.8

0.9

88,400

nmf

23.6%

163,298

-4.8%

21.6%

16.8%

1,189,517

165

2.480

-

1,115

-

1.880

1.200

0.690

0.7

0.0%

15.6%

0.097

-

nmf

-19.3%

-8.2%

720

0.8

-18.0%

-3.5%

0.0%

-38.3%

1.9%

85,161

nmf

-31.7%

0.067

64

0.1

25.3

-19.1%

0.216

2.3

107,323

0.093

0.270

0.8

6.1%

0.0%

0.136

-

1.3

4.2

660

73

32.2

30.0

0.186 0.200

1.9

623,412

0.226

0.248

11.6

43.9%

1,360 320

828

-

0.340

1,500

384

0.740

-

160

79

0.248

0.112

-

49

0.305

0.089 0.130

-

-

-6.8%

-8.3%

0.0%

-17.8%

6.9%

239,800

-9.8%

63,671

0.0%

-38.3%

3,187,576

21.0

2.0

13.3

1.2

nmf

1.7

15.5

0.7

7.0

3.3

1.5

11.2

1.5

UAE Rebased Performance

Summary

Best Performers 1,582 (-0.9%)

DFM Index (% Chg.)

125

2,501 (-0.2%)

ADSM Index (% Chg.)

Advance/Decline Ratio

DFM Index 52 week High / Low

2,775 / 2,293 DIB.DFM

ADSM Index 52 week High / Low

199,658

Turnover (AED '000)

111

Highest Turnover

105

3-Mar-12 S&P GCC Large/Mid Composite

3-Apr-12

A Arabtec Holding

Abu Dhabi SE

10,830,941

D Dubai Financial Market

3-May-12

0.61

Dubai Islamic Bank

1.3%

2.2%

2.01

1.0%

Worst Performers

E Etisalat 95 3-Feb-12

2.3%

2.85

Turnover (AED) 42,012,087 MASQ.DFM Mashreq 20,713,095 ADCB.ADS Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank 16,478,527 CBD.DFM Commercial Bank of Dubai

E Emaar Properties

101

2.7%

0.91

392,105,864

Market Cap. (AED '000)

111

% Chg.

1.13

50% ARKAN.AD Arkan Building Materials Co. 0.92 EMIRATES Emirates NBD 1,754 / 1,301 AIRARABIA Air Arabia

% of stocks trading above 1yr avg. price

115

Close GCEM.ADS Gulf Cement Co.

10,747,842

F First Gulf Bank

UPP.DFM

Close

% Chg.

67.00 3.16 2.70

Union Properties

0.43

TAQA.ADS Abu Dhabi National Energy Co.

1.17

-9.7%

-4.8% -3.6%

-3.4%

-2.5%

Dubai FM

Quotes Company Name

Close

Daily % Chg.

High

Low

Turnover (AED '000)

A Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

3.16

-4.8%

3.19

3.13

2,850

T Abu Dhabi National Energy Co.

1.17

-2.5%

1.20

1.16

6

A Air Arabia

0.61

1.3%

0.61

0.60

A Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

A Abu Dhabi National Hotels A ALDAR Properties

3.19

2.00

0.6% -

3.41

20,713

2.3%

0.93

0.83

0.0%

0.45

0.43

-0.9%

A Arkan Building Materials Co.

0.91

D Dana Gas

0.44

A Aramex

C Commercial Bank of Dubai D Deyaar Development Co. D du

1.81

0.36

0.3%

3.17

D Dubai Islamic Bank

2.01

E Emirates NBD

2.85

E Etisalat F First Gulf Bank

G Gulf Cement Co. M Mashreq

N National Bank of Abu Dhabi N National Bank of Fujairah

N National Bank of Umm Al Qaiwain S Sharjah Islamic Bank

S Sorouh Real Estate Co. T Tamweel

2.85

2.80

2.7%

-

1.21

U United Arab Bank

3.95

0.43

3.14

2.2%

4.95

1.12

3.18

0.36

1.99

-9.7%

0.90

0.37

2.70

2.01

67.00

1.85

2.70

1.81

1.0%

0.1% 0.9%

8.83

1.82

-

1.09

8.65 8.99

1.13

-

1.12

-1.3%

2.99

* Closing Prices, Turnover and Market Cap. in USD

0.3%

1.15

-1.8%

3.11

U Union National Bank U Union Properties

-1.1% -3.6%

1.10

E Emaar Properties

-

2.70

D Dubai Financial Market

-

2,332

3.47

3.44

A Arabtec Holding

-

461

10,144

-0.9%

1.02

-

3.17

1.12

1.13

A Amlak Finance

3.25

0.6% -

-

903

3.32

2.69

5

1.45

1.14

144 -

3,842 8,942 -

3.55

2.92

1,530,000

nmf

116.4%

140.6%

-

0.0%

3.6%

0.0%

3,557

8,036

0.69

0.34

-36.2%

-2.2%

3,573 1,627

10,831 3,807

9,847 516

9,800 1,902

1.96

3.24 0.46

3.63

1.34 2.26

1.24

-19.6%

-9.9%

1.69

2.67

0.20

2.80

2.65

-38.4%

-

4,567 -

-

18

1.23

1.19

6,639

0.42

2,472

5,059 910 -

517 -

20

-12.7%

-11.1%

-

8.80

-21.5%

1.88

102.00

40

-16.6%

-17.9%

1

45

132

-7.7%

0.68

77

374

1.12

-

0.5

-5.2%

-

67.00

-

10.5

4,616,196

67.00

2.98

2,832,687

-28.5%

8.57 6.98

0.44

1.0

22.8%

11.20 10.75

3.00

11.2

-28.9%

1,906 1,196

1.12

7,283,250

0.76

16,479 10,748

1.13

-19.3%

67.6% 9.7%

31.0% 3.6%

-22.8% -16.4%

-5.3% 16.4%

74.20

-34.3%

-34.0%

4.95

3.00

0.0%

8.8%

1.02

0.80

4.63

1.50

9.00

2.24

0.67

7.38

-24.7% -1.9%

1,592,500

nmf

-35.3%

2,904,881

-7.1%

2,650,021

5,503,550

14,491,429

13.2

-9.9%

7,632,079

1.8 1.0

-10.3%

927,839 -

6.4%

34,212,351

-3.6%

2,960,000

2,940,000

19.6%

7.2%

0.5

0.7

0.9

9.0

1.3

8.7

0.9

2,182,950

8.3

3,935,785

22.2%

nmf

13.8 18.5

-12.2%

-12.2%

1.1%

9.0

5,445,000

8.5%

3.28

0.9

11.7 7.2

7,461,919

4.50

1.2

68,388,111 26,970,000

15,839,658

-18.3%

66.7%

4.8

2.3

-16.4% -1.5%

3.5%

-13.1%

nmf

0.4

0.6

-23.3%

-23.3%

1.4

1.0

9.6

31.8%

0.24

1.7

18,943,752

-19.3%

100.7%

1.1

-4.6%

59.2%

-18.8%

0.6

0.5

-3.4%

8,800,000

0.2

0.9

5.7

nmf

-17.9%

1.1

6.9

2,062,746

-23.3%

0.53

12.5

16.7%

-31.3%

7.1%

5.0

-39.7%

-4.2%

0.67

-11.8%

8.0

20.2

-3.1%

8.9%

6.5

5,142,800

2.2%

2.82

0.50

0.0%

-17.4%

3.90

1.49

-17.9%

1.63

304 -

-2.2%

21.0%

1.46

5,735

0.6%

-5.8%

4,514 5,502

7,543,412

1.59

8.60 8.60

-

-2.5%

-1.8%

2,000,000

2.41

-

-19.3%

0.9%

-31.0%

3.30

8.95

0.8

-10.1%

-9.1%

13,518

1.14

5.4

-31.0%

0.57

42,012

8.70 9.01

17,682,088

1.98

0.76

PB

11.3%

-39.7%

215

PE

13.7%

0.71

579

Trailing

Market Cap. (AED '000)

-4.8%

1.51

177

12 mths

2.90

3.08

3.16

YTD

418

-0.8%

-

on high

381

322

0.90

0.0%

% Change

Low

3.63

0.90

-3.4%

High

6,021

0.0%

-0.9%

52-Week

Volume ('000)

8.3

1,210,000

13.1

1,447,749

nmf

2.7

0.5

0.5

0.5

4.9

0.7

11.4

2.0

0.6


STOCKS WITH NBK CAPITAL

14

ALWATAN DAILY friday, may 4, 2012

QATAR Rebased Performance

Summary

Best Performers 8,670 (0.0%)

DSM Index (% Chg.)

115

Advance/Decline Ratio

111

110

DSM 52 week High / Low

471,319,101

Market Cap. (QAR '000)

V Vodafone Qatar

3-Mar-12

3-Apr-12

C The Commercial Bank of Qatar

3-May-12

S&P GCC Large/Mid Composite

3.5% 0.6%

133.60

Turnover (QAR) 24,402,871 QNNS.DSMQatar Navigation 19,019,308 QTEL.DSM Qatar Telecom 17,267,631 KCBK.DSMAl Khalij Commercial Bank 16,118,328 MARK.DSMMasraf Al Rayan

IQIndustries Qatar

90 3-Feb-12

17.14

3.6%

0.5%

Worst Performers

Q Qatar Telecom

95

10.0%

72.00

QNBK.DSMQatar National Bank

Highest Turnover

100

100

% Chg.

22.00 8.90

8,892 / 8,071 AHCS.DSMAamal Co. 521,188 CBQK.DSMThe Commercial Bank of Qatar

Turnover (QAR '000) 105

Close

50% ERES.DSMEzdan Real Estate Co. 1.80 VFQS.DSM Vodafone Qatar

% of stocks trading above 1yr avg. price

14,917,626

D Doha Bank

Close

% Chg.

68.60

-1.6%

139.00

-0.9%

16.41

-0.4%

26.70

QGTS.DSMQatar Gas Transport Co.

-0.4%

16.40

-0.4%

Doha SM

Quotes Company Name A Aamal Co.

Close 17.14

Daily % Chg.

High

3.5%

Low

18.00

16.50

14,876

26.60

10,272

56.90

14,918

16.41

-0.4%

C The Commercial Bank of Qatar

72.00

0.6%

72.50

71.60

16,118

E Ezdan Real Estate Co.

22.00

10.0%

22.00

20.00

3,553

26.70

-0.4%

16.40

-0.4%

78.00

0.3%

D Doha Bank

26.85 56.90

IQIndustries Qatar

146.20

Q Qatar Electricity & Water Co.

141.30

M Masraf Al Rayan

Q Qatar Gas Transport Co.

Q Qatar International Islamic Bank Q Qatar Islamic Bank

51.10

Q Qatar National Bank

133.60

Q Qatar Telecom

139.00

Q Qatar Navigation

68.60

V Vodafone Qatar

8.90

0.2% 0.0%

16.37

26.90 58.00

0.3%

146.30

145.30

19,019

0.0%

141.50

141.20

4,145

0.2%

51.20

51.00

1,036

0.5%

133.70

132.50

7,121

-0.9%

140.30

138.60

24,403

-1.6%

3.6%

26.85

16.48

78.40

69.80 9.04

26.65

13,128

16.39

13,023

77.80

8,136

68.40

5,773

8.47

Volume ('000)

52-Week High

859

1,082

K Al Khalij Commercial Bank B Barwa Real Estate Co.

16.45

Turnover (QAR '000)

21.90

66

16.06

32.55

26.80

-21.7% -8.9%

-17.5%

YTD

-15.8%

-14.3%

165

24.97

18.60

-11.9%

50.00

130

148.50

118.80

29

148.00

129.50

20

56.20

45.50

53

141.73

122.73

175

140.40

64.09

491

793 104 84

1,959

28.10

22.50

18.47

85.30

87.50 9.22

-15.1% -1.5%

-5.0%

-4.5%

16.45

-11.2%

76.30

-8.6%

-5.6%

58,354,927

nmf

-4.1%

17.4%

-6.3%

-10.9%

-7.5%

-1.3%

18,430,870

-10.3%

-20.1%

7,856,429

-3.5%

17.9%

10.8%

9.4%

9.9% 1.2%

11,761,105

0.9

1.3

9.3

1.8

2.1

0.1%

80,410,000

10.4

3.3

-1.9%

14,130,000

10.4

4.7

8.7%

7,734,943

11.6

1.7

93,483,853

12.0

2.3

20,025,000 9,083,042

4.7%

116.9%

1.1

7.7

-0.9%

-11.2%

-3.3%

7.24

10,447,997

1.6

12.1 9.3

-5.7% -1.0%

-15.6%

PB

19.3

17,816,139

-5.4%

-21.6%

5,907,600

Trailing PE

-1.1%

-9.1%

69.00

9,332,730

-8.8%

-10.4%

68.00

Market Cap. (QAR '000)

5.0%

-4.4%

85.50

67.00

12 mths

18.6%

224

261

17,268

on high

14.00

18.01

384

% Change

Low

99.6%

31,803,200 7,524,060

14.0

2.4

11.1

4.7

12.9

1.7

10.8

0.8

12.6

1.5

nmf

1.1

OMAN Rebased Performance

Summary

Best Performers 5,862 (0.2%)

MSM Index (% Chg.)

120

42% NBOB.MSMNational Bank of Oman

% of stocks trading above 1yr avg. price

4.00

Advance/Decline Ratio Turnover (OMR '000)

111

OCOI.MSM Oman Cement Co.

6,339 / 5,419 RCCI.MSM Raysut Cement Co. 2,550 OTEL.MSMOman Telecommunications Co.

MSM 52 week High / Low

110

Close

7,038,569

Market Cap (OMR '000)

BKMB.MSMBank Muscat

% Chg.

0.30

2.4%

1.24

1.1%

0.69

1.8%

1.31

0.1%

0.62

0.0%

105

Highest Turnover

100

Worst Performers Turnover (OMR) 377,337 RNSS.MSMRenaissance Services 296,685 BKMB.MSMBank Muscat

O Oman Telecommunications Co. R Raysut Cement Co.

267,667

B Bank Muscat

90 3-Feb-12

3-Mar-12

3-Apr-12

3-May-12

S&P GCC Large/Mid Composite

215,662

O Oman Cement Co.

107,842

R Renaissance Services

Close

% Chg.

0.62

OTEL.MSMOman Telecommunications Co.

1.31

OCOI.MSM Oman Cement Co.

0.69

RCCI.MSM Raysut Cement Co.

-0.2%

0.62

0.0% 0.1%

1.24

1.1%

1.8%

Muscat SM

Quotes Company Name

Close

B Bank Dhofar

0.444

N National Bank of Oman

0.298

O Oman Telecommunications Co.

1.305

R Renaissance Services

0.617

B Bank Muscat

O Oman Cement Co.

R Raysut Cement Co.

Daily % Chg.

High -

Low

-

Turnover (OMR '000) -

-

0.619

0.0%

0.621

0.616

268

0.693

1.8%

0.700

0.680

216

1.233

297

1.241

2.4%

0.1% 1.1%

-0.2%

0.300

1.250

0.619

1.300

377

0.615

108

52-Week High

-

9

0.296

1.314

Volume ('000)

% Change

Low

0.549

on high

0.423

-19.1%

0.291

-8.0%

433

0.677

0.572

311

0.693

0.416

30

0.324

289

1.425

239

1.241

175

-17.8%

-4.5%

-1.7%

-7.1%

0.0%

60.4%

0.0%

63.3%

-8.4%

0.458

-40.7%

12 mths

-2.4%

-8.6%

1.041 0.711

1.040

YTD

-0.3%

Market Cap. (OMR '000)

PE

PB

488,452

12.2

330,191

9.2

2.1

-8.6%

1,112,215

16.9%

229,295

16.6

1.6

248,200

16.6

2.4

16.1%

978,750

15.3%

13.2%

Trailing

-40.7%

174,052

9.0

1.3

1.2

8.8

2.0

nmf

1.0

BAHRAIN Rebased Performance

Summary

Best Performers 1,158 (0.7%)

BSE Index (% Chg.)

120

Advance/Decline Ratio

1,396 / 1,129 BATELCO.BBahrain Telecommunications Co. 686 NBB.BSE National Bank of Bahrain

BSE 52 week High / Low

Turnover (BHD '000)

111

110

6,545,908

Market Cap. (BHD '000)

102

Turnover (BHD) 157,450 NBB.BSE National Bank of Bahrain 34,070 BATELCO.BBahrain Telecommunications Co.

N National Bank of Bahrain

13,190

B BBK 3-Mar-12 3-Apr-12 S&P GCC Large/Mid Composite

5,583

B Bahrain Telecommunications Co.

3-May-12 Bahrain SE

#N/A

% Chg.

0.20

8.1%

0.46

1.3%

0.40

2.6%

0.55

0.9%

#N/A

#N/A

Worst Performers

IT Ithmaar Bank

90 3-Feb-12

#N/A

Highest Turnover

100

Close

32% ITHMR.BSE Ithmaar Bank - BBK.BSE BBK

% of stocks trading above 1 yr avg. price

-

A Ahli United Bank

BBK.BSE

BBK

AUB.BSE

Ahli United Bank

ITHMR.BSE Ithmaar Bank

Close

% Chg.

0.55

0.9%

0.46

1.3%

0.20

8.1%

0.40

0.62 -

2.6%

Quotes Company Name

Close

Daily % Chg.

High

Low

Turnover (BHD '000)

A Ahli United Bank*

0.620

-

-

-

-

A Arab Banking Corp.*

0.420

-

-

-

-

B Albaraka Banking Grp.* B Bahrain Islamic Bank

B Bahrain Telecommunications Co. B BBK

IN Investcorp Bank*

IT Ithmaar Bank*

N National Bank of Bahrain U United Gulf Bank

* Closing Prices, Turnover and Market Cap. in USD

0.930 0.088

-

0.462

1.3%

797

-

0.400

2.6%

0.200

8.1%

0.260

-

0.550

0.9%

-

-

-

-

-

0.462

0.460

-

-

0.400

0.400

0.200

0.200

-

-

0.550

0.530

-

Volume ('000)

-

0.676

0.599

-

0.530

0.420

-

13

418 34

% Change

Low

-

6

52-Week High

-

1.063

12 33

0.116

0.486 0.426 797

2.8%

12 mths

3,244,804

-26.3%

1,306,200

-4.5%

665,280

-30.0%

637,560

-7.6%

470,448

-0.4%

-12.5%

0.082

-24.1%

-2.2%

-24.1%

0.380 0.390 797

0.065

-

0.424

0.260

0.545

-20.8%

0.0%

-4.9%

17.9%

0.0%

0.0%

-6.1%

-3.4%

-6.1%

0.0%

207.7%

110.5%

-38.7%

-13.3%

-36.0%

-8.3%

-4.3%

Market Cap. (BHD '000)

-8.8%

-12.5%

0.200

0.600

-8.3%

YTD

0.857

2,082 64

on high

943,462

Trailing PE

PB

10.3

1.3

8.0

0.8

82,691

nmf

0.8

340,542

10.6

535,553

216,986

6.2

0.4

8.5

1.3

4.5

0.6

10.2

1.7

nmf

nmf

1.4 0.9 1.0


LIFE

Recognize early signs of autism

Symptoms of autism can be difficult to recognize in very young children, especially in mild cases or in instances when a child has other mental or physical conditions. The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke mentions these possible early symptoms of autism: • No pointing or babbling by age 1, or the absence of saying single words by age 16 months. • No response to calling the child’s name. • Lack of early social or language skills. • No eye contact with others. • Obsessive organizing or lining up of objects. • Not smiling.

fridAY, MAY 4, 2012

Once-banned bird flu study suggests pandemic threat is real CONNECTICUT: Data in a formerly banned study detailing how the H5N1 avian (bird) flu virus can morph -- with the possibility that it could spread from person to person and cause a global pandemic -- may help nations prepare for the impending threat; reported HealthDay News. That’s some of the motivation for lifting the ban and publishing the study in the May 2 online issue of “Nature,” experts say. The initial ban applied to two studies slated to be published in two medical journals, “Nature” and “Science.” In December, the US government intervened, requesting that both journals censor some of the data for national security purposes. The concern was that terrorists might use the information to create a lethal biological weapon. The ban was lifted in April, after the US government conducted a risk assessment in March. “Nature” also commissioned an independent assessment. Both showed that publication would confer more public benefit than risk. In the “Nature” study, Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a professor of virology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and colleagues tweaked the H5N1 virus using genetic material borrowed from H1N1 ‘swine’ flu to see if it would transmit easily between ferrets -- an animal model thought to be closely related to humans. It did. These genetic changes can make the virus easier to transmit, the study found. Knowing their footprints can help researchers know what to look out for and hopefully catch the virus early before it begins to spread. “H5N1 viruses remain a significant threat for humans as a potential pandemic flu strain,” Kawaoka said. “We have found that relatively few mutations enable this virus to transmit in mammals.” The information provided by this study is important as the virus could mutate on its own. Now “we can better prepare should a pandemic virus emerge in nature,” Kawaoka said. Currently available vaccines and antivirals are effective treatments for this engineered virus.

FILE - In this Thursday, April 26, 2012 photo, Balinese government officials prepare to cull chickens at a market in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia after an 8-year-old boy died from bird flu. (AP)

“Stockpiling H5N1 vaccines and antivirals will be important for pandemic preparedness,” he said, and flu trackers too can use this information when they develop vaccines in the future. “Just as for a seasonal flu vaccine, it will be important for an H5N1 vaccine to be made to a closely related virus, so knowing which mutations may confer transmis-

sibility will help prioritize vaccine candidates,” Kawaoka explained. The new data also help advance science by increasing the understanding of the basic biology of flu transmission. “Sharing the data with other scientists will lead to important additional discoveries that may aid the development of

improved vaccines and therapeutics,” Kawaoka said. There had been doubt that the bird flu could mutate and cause a pandemic, said microbiologist Joseph Sriyal Malik Peiris, of the University of Hong Kong. He was a co-author of a journal editorial accompanying the new study. He said this research does suggest that bird flu can mutate. “It suggests that the H5N1 virus can potentially acquire transmissibility in humans. However, whether it will ever do so is another matter.” While there have been sporadic cases of bird flu in humans, these have been traced to people directly handling live birds, for instance while working in a poultry market. Importantly, this research and its publication are not a threat to US security, Peiris said. “This research only tells us that the mutated H5N1 transmits in ferrets. It also tells us that the mutated virus no longer kills ferrets,” he said. “Why would anyone who wanted to ‘create harm’ put so much effort into generation of such a virus with so much uncertainty on how it would work in practice?” But, Peiris noted, the study “is important for pandemic risk assessment because it gives indications of the mutations that we should be watching out for.” Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious diseases specialist at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY, agreed that publication is likely to do more good than harm. “We should be aware of the fact that this influenza can mutate,” he said. “Publication makes us safer because we know what to look out for now. This can help facilitate preventive strategies and can eventually lead to more effective vaccine development and antiviral therapy.” He added, “We live in a much smaller world because of air travel and population density and certainly we are more vulnerable to viruses as a result.” This virus is not likely to be used by terrorists to cause a pandemic, Hirsch said. “It became less lethal in the animal model. I am reassured by the fact that the ability to make it a ‘terror’ virus has not really been demonstrated.”

Vitamins E, C no help against vision disorder ESA to probe NEW YORK: Taking vitamins E and C may do nothing to protect aging eyes from macular degeneration -- the leading cause of vision loss in older adults, a new clinical trial finds. Researchers had been hoping the vitamins, both antioxidants, could shield against the tissue erosion that occurs in macular degeneration. The condition involves damage to the center of the retina, which makes it hard to see fine details. Studies have found that people who get more antioxidants in their diet have a lower risk of macular degeneration. But that doesn’t rule out other possible diet or lifestyle explanations behind the link. And so far, clinical trials using vitamin E have come up empty. This latest study is the longest-running one to test vitamin E for eyesight in men, and the first to try out vitamin C alone, said lead researcher William G. Christen, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. It found no benefits of either vitamin in older men who took supplements for eight years. No one study can be the final word on the vitamins and macular degeneration, Christen told Reuters Health in an email. On the other hand, the findings also offer no evidence to support taking vitamins E or C to ward off vision problems. The report, which appears in the journal Ophthalmology, is part of an ongoing study of more than 14,000 US male doctors age 50 and older. The men were randomly assigned to take either 400 international units (IU) of vitamin E or a placebo

pill every other day, along with a daily dose of either 500 milligrams of vitamin C or a placebo. That meant the men were either taking both vitamins, only one of them, or neither. After eight years, 193 men had developed macular degeneration that was serious enough to interfere with their vision. But the risk was nearly identical among vitamin and placebo users. In the US, an estimated 7.2 million people have some degree of macular degeneration, and 890,000 of them have advanced disease. But the rate of new cases may be on the decline. A study last year estimated that less than seven percent of Americans age 40 and up have macular degeneration. That was down from more than nine percent in research from the early 1990s (see Reuters Health story of January 11, 2011). The researchers were not sure of the reasons for the decline. But they speculated that a dip in smoking rates could be one factor. “A large body of evidence supports cigarette smoking as an important cause of age-related macular degeneration,” Christen said. “So avoiding or quitting cigarette smoking appears to be one way to lower your risk,” he added. But based on the current results, Christen’s team writes, vitamins E and C are “unlikely to have an important effect on the incidence of early agerelated macular degeneration.” The researchers note, though, that their study group was a generally “well-nourished” bunch. They say it’s possible the results would be different in people who have vitamin-deficient diets. -Reuters

‘Supermoon’ may outshine meteor shower this weekend

FILE - Photographer Sandy Adams snapped this great view of the “supermoon” full moon of March 19, 2011 over Washington, DC. (Agencies)

WASHINGTON: The biggest full moon of the year, a so-called “supermoon,” will take center stage when it rises this weekend, and may interfere with the peak of an annual meteor shower created by the leftovers from Halley’s comet, reports SPACE. The supermoon of 2012 is the biggest full moon of the year and will occur on Saturday (May 5) at 11:35 p.m. EDT, though the moon may still appear full to skywatchers on the day before and after the actual event. At the same time, the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower will be hitting its peak, NASA scientists say. “Its light will wash out the fainter Eta Aquarid meteors,” NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke of the Marshall Space Flight Center told SPACE.com in an email. Still, Cooke said there’s a chance that the brightest fireballs from the meteor display may still be visible. A supermoon occurs when the moon hits its full phase at the same time it makes closest approach to Earth for the month, a lunar milestone known as perigee. Scientists also refer to the event as a “perigee moon,” according to a NASA video on the 2012 supermoon. That’s exactly what will happen on Saturday, when the moon will swing within 356,955 kilometers of Earth - its closest approach of the entire year. Because the moon’s orbit is not exactly circular, there is a 3-percent variation in its closest approaches to Earth each month. The average Earth-moon distance is about 384,400 km. With May’s full moon timed with the moon’s perigee, it could appear 14 percent bigger and 30 percent

brighter than other full moons of 2012, astronomer Tony Phillips explained in a NASA video. There is absolutely no chance the supermoon will threaten Earth. The last supermoon was in March 2011.At the time, it was the biggest and brightest full moon in 18 years. While the moon’s extra brightness during the supermoon may wash out some of the fainter Eta Aquarid meteors, all is not lost, Cooke said. “Our fireball cameras have already detected four bright ones. So I would say that the odds are pretty good that folks can see a bit of Halley’s Comet over the next few days, if they care to take the time to look,” Cooke explained. “They will be the big and bright ones, fewer in number with a rate of just a few per hour, but they will be there.” Cooke anticipates that the 2012 Eta Aquarid meteor shower will peak at up to 60 meteors per hour on May 5. The eta Aquarid display is one of two meteor showers created by dust from Halley’s comet (the Orionid shower in October is the other). It occurs every April and May when the Earth passes through a stream of debris cast off by comet Halley during its 76-year trip around the sun. The eta Aquarid meteor shower of 2012 actually began on April 19 and ends on May 28, but its peak is in the overnight period between Saturday and Sunday (May 5 and 6). “Meteor watchers in the Southern Hemisphere stand the best chance of seeing any meteors,” a NASA advisory from the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory explained.

Jupiter’s moons for life-giving elements PARIS: The European Space Agency (ESA) said Thursday it plans to launch an explorer craft in 2022 to examine Jupiter’s icy moons for conditions that may be conducive to primitive life. The Jupiter Icy moons Explorer (JUICE) will launch from Kourou, French Guiana, on an Ariane rocket, arriving at the planet by 2030 for at least three years of detailed observations, the agency said in a statement. Under the multi-million euro mission, the spacecraft will study the gas giant planet’s atmosphere and the moons Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, all thought to host internal oceans that can act as potential habitats for primitive life forms. “We will study the conditions that may make those satellites habitable,” ESA head of science planning Fabio Favata told AFP of the first-ever spacecraft that will enter into orbit around one of Jupiter’s moons. “Those moons have a thick crust of ice below which there is likely an ocean. If there is anything, maybe bacterial life or whatever, it will be in those oceans,” he explained -- adding this mission will not physically probe underneath the ice to actually check for signs of life. “There are indications that there are such oceans. Liquid water is thought to be an ideal place where you can expect life to develop. “Previous missions have given tantalising hints of this ... but this will be the first time this is studied in detail.” Last year, astronomers said a body of water as big as North America’s Great Lakes could lie beneath Europa. Favata said the spacecraft, its launch and operation will cost ESA about 830 million euros ($1.1 billion). The addition of scientific instruments is roughly expected to cost the agency’s 19 member countries and international partners another 200 million to 250 million euros. Once formal agreement is reached between member states on the payload and other details, the mission must get the final go-ahead from ESA’s

Science Programme Committee, said Favata -- expected around 2014. JUICE will make the first measurements of the thickness of Europa’s icy crust before entering orbit around Ganymede in 2032, studying its icy surface and internal ocean using cameras, spectrometres (an instrument used to measure properties of light) and radar. Ganymede is the only moon in our Solar System known to generate its own magnetic field, and the scientists will also

observe its interactions with the mother planet. “Jupiter is the archetype for the giant planets of the Solar System and for many giant planets being found around other stars,” said Alvaro Gimenez Canete, ESA’s director of science and robotic exploration. “JUICE will give us better insight into how gas giants and their orbiting worlds form, and their potential for hosting life.” -AFP

FILE - The European Space Agency (ESA) said it plans to launch an explorer craft in 2022 to examine Jupiter’s icy moons for conditions that may be conducive to primitive life. (AFP)

Plant study flags dangers of warming world

LONDON: Plants are flowering faster than scientists predicted in response to climate change, research in the United States showed on Wednesday, which could have devastating knock-on effects for food chains and ecosystems. Global warming is having a significant impact on hundreds of plant and animal species around the world, changing some breeding, migration and feeding patterns, scientists say. Increased carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels can affect how plants produce oxygen, while higher temperatures and variable rainfall patterns can change their behavior. “Predicting species’ response to climate change is a major challenge in ecology,” said researchers at the University of California San Diego and several other US institutions. They said plants had been the focus of study because their response to climate change could affect food chains and ecosystem services such as pollination, nutrient cycles and water supply. The study, published on the “Nature” website, draws on evidence from plant life cycle studies and experiments across four continents and 1,634 species. It found that some ex-

periments had underestimated the speed of flowering by 8.5 times and growing leaves by 4 times. “Across all species, the experiments under-predicted the magnitude of the advance - for both leafing and flowering that results from temperature increases,” the study said. The design of future experiments may need to be improved to better predict how plants will react to climate change, it said. Plants are essential to life on Earth. They are the base of the food chain, using photosynthesis to produce sugar from carbon dioxide and water. They expel oxygen which is needed by nearly every organism which inhabits the planet. Scientists estimate the world’s average temperature has risen by about 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1900, and nearly 0.2 degrees per decade since 1979. So far, efforts to cut emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases are not seen as sufficient to prevent the Earth heating up beyond 2 degrees C this century - a threshold scientists say risks an unstable climate in which weather extremes are common, leading to drought, floods, crop failures and rising sea levels. -Reuters


16

ALWATAN DAILY

CULTURE

fridAY, may 4, 2012

Turkey arts under pressure from conservative gov’t ANKARA, Turkey: In a recent play in Turkey, two actors wore trench coats in their role as assassins posing as perverts planning to flash girls near a school. The scene and its themes of nudity and sexual depravity are at the center of a debate over freedom of expression in Turkish arts, where the Islamic-rooted ruling party has become increasingly critical of plays and television shows deemed to violate moral or religious values. Turkey, a candidate for European Union membership, is less strict than many other nations in the Muslim world. But Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday backed a move by Istanbul’s Islamist mayor to take over decision-making at Istanbul City Theaters, a theater troupe which is funded by the city and staged the play that outraged conservative critics. Erdogan also threatened to privatize state-run theaters - essentially cutting their funding - in response to resignations and protests by secular-minded artists against alleged political interference. That stoked fears that the government, which has a strong electoral mandate, might be seeking to put an Islamic stamp on daily life in this predominantly Muslim country that has long been proud of its secular political system. Erdogan for his part accuses artists of arrogance. “They have started to humiliate and look down on us and all conservatives,” Erdogan said. The prime minister’s remarks triggered an overnight sit-in by hundreds of artists outside an Istanbul theater. The protest came days after hundreds of artists, beating drums, marched through a main city street. Artists marched again on May Day with banners that read: “Oh Sultan! Take your hands off theaters.” “This is political interference on freedom of art,” said Nazif Uslu, an actor and official from the Theater Actors’ Association of Turkey. The scene with the flashers comes in the political comedy “Secret Obscenities” by Chilean playwright Marco Antonio de la Parra. It criticizes human rights abuses in Chile during the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Yildirim Fikret Urag, the Turkish director of “Secret Obscenities,” said the play will likely be removed from the repertoire of Istanbul City Theaters due to pressure from the board of the pro-Islamic municipality. The play, which was restricted to audiences above the age of 16, was described as “vulgarity at the hands of the state” by Iskender Pala, a conservative columnist for daily Zaman newspaper. Pala, however, admitted he did not watch the play but only read its script.

Malaysia mosque, a source of hope for heroin addicts

Artists carry a banner that reads “don’t touch my theaters!” during a May Day rally in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, May 1, 2012. (AP)

“The play has nothing to do with obscenity, it is pure black humor,” Urag said. The play was staged more than 70 times between February and mid-April as originally scheduled. “I think, the word ‘obscenities’ in its name and the tag of plus 16 are used as excuses to seize control of theaters.” Culture Minister Ertugrul Gunay sought to reassure the public. “I wish for everybody to get rid of this worry. The artistic and cultural life in Turkey will in no way go backward,” Gunay said. But Erdogan suggested that state support for theater should be contingent on stagings that meet state approval. “If support is needed, then as the government we provide sponsorship to plays we want,” he said. Erdogan’s proposal came after Mustafa Isen, secretary general of the presidential palace, proposed establishing conservative artistic norms. Critics have alleged that the government wants more plays by

Islamist playwrights. The government is currently scrutinizing a weekly TV police show, Behzat C, in which the lead character, a homicide detective, drinks alcohol, curses, beats suspects and had an out-of-wedlock affair. “The channel that broadcasts Behzat C has been twice punished for airing programs promoting alcohol and cigarettes and which could do possible harm to moral development at an hour when young people can watch it,” Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said. “We’re monitoring the broadcasts closely.” The broadcaster, Star TV, said it has no plans to remove the show. But Muzaffer Balci, the president of the country’s Green Crescent Society, which fights alcohol and tobacco consumption, has predicted it will not last. “A policeman who is always holding a bottle of alcohol in his hand cannot be promoted as a hero,” he said on his organization’s website. -AP

KUALA LUMPUR: For 30 years, Feisal Fakharudin lived a heroin addict’s life, sleeping on streets, getting into trouble with police and rotating in and out of drug treatment centers. In Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country where drug addiction is still taboo, his habit made him a social outcast until he found support from an unlikely source -- the Ar Rahman mosque nestled in the bustling capital city of Kuala Lumpur. After performing his prayers, Feisal slips upstairs away from his fellow worshippers to receive a dose of methadone from a drug-treatment clinic - the world’s first to operate in a mosque, according the World Health Organization. “In the past, there was no one to help me,” said Feisal, who said he used to feel like the “scum of society.” Feisal attributes the success of his treatment to the spiritual guidance he gets from mosque clerics, as well as the methadone syrup dispensed twice a week by medical staff. Allowing the mosque to set up the methadone clinic, which started up over two years ago, has raised eyebrows in a country that imposes the mandatory death penalty for drug traffickers. Those caught in possession of drugs above specified quantities face trafficking charges and are presumed guilty -- laws that human rights groups say contravene international fair trial standards. Rusdi Abdul Rashid, the chief coordinator of the University of Malaya’s Center of Addiction Sciences (UMCAS) that runs the clinic, had to work hard to convince mosque officials and religious authorities to allow the clinic. Islamic authorities in Malaysia - which has been a leading voice of moderate Islam - eventually gave the green light for the treatment, deciding that methadone was not a banned substance under Islam. “Methadone is a God-gifted medication. It helps with long-term treatment of drug addiction and prevents patients from relapsing,” said Rusdi, a lecturer

and consultant psychiatrist who has been treating patients with methadone for 10 years. UMCAS has plans to expand the program to a third of the country’s 6,000 mosques by 2015, aiming to reach 72,000 heroin users. Malaysia has an estimated 350,000 drug addicts, which could rise to half a million by 2015 partly because of a high relapse rate, according to Rusdi. The centre also wants to enlist Christian churches and Hindu temples, starting with the country’s iconic Hindu temple at Batu Caves on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. The government’s Department of Islamic Development (Jakim), which enforces Islamic laws, has also joined forces with the university to combat drug addiction. Ghaffar Surip, an official with Jakim, believes mosques can be used for “total treatment”. “The use of methadone is only one part of treating drug addicts because we also have to look at the patient’s spiritual, psychological and psychosocial aspects,” he said. The patients are not always well-received. Some who turn up at the Ar Rahman mosque face being stigmatized by the community and by the mosque officials themselves. “People always say that drug addicts are associated with crime, and ask why the clinic is there. They think mosques are only for ‘good’ people,” said Ghaffar. The treatment worked for Feisal, who first tried heroin when he was 15. The 48-year-old father of four is now a street musician playing in Kuala Lumpur’s popular tourists locations. His vicious cycle only eased when he enrolled in a government methadone clinic six years ago, and later was among 50 patients selected for the Ar Rahman program. “I prefer to come here because I feel closer to God. I feel cleansed,” he said. “It’s different having treatment in the mosque compared to normal clinics. Here, we can’t lie, because God is watching.” -Reuters

A drug addict waits to see the doctor before taking methadone at Ar Rahman mosque in Kuala Lumpur May 3, 2012. (Reuters)

Jakarta road ‘jockeys’ help drivers skirt the rules FRANCE: Jakarta’s carpooling laws were meant to ease traffic jams. Instead, they have spawned an industry of professional hitchhikers who help drivers comply with highway rules -- for a fee. Hundreds of men, women and children line the main arteries of the Indonesian capital every weekday, offering to ride in private vehicles during rush hours, when cars are obliged to carry at least three passengers on key stretches. The “jockeys” -- as they are known -- do not stick out their thumbs like typical hitchhikers around the world. Here, one finger signifies a jockey working solo, while two offers a pair, usually a mother with a child in tow or a baby in a batik sling. In a country where millions are struggling to climb out of poverty and into an expanding middle class the jockeys -- who charge about a dollar a ride -- have turned their services into a career.

Jimmy, 22, has jockeying down to a fine art. In the hodgepodge of roadside competitors waiting for a ride, he stands out with his silver-rimmed spectacles and blue chequered shirt tucked neatly into a pair of black trousers. “Chauffeurs in BMWs and Mercedes cars often pick me up because I can pass off as their employer’s friend or relative. Motorists don’t want to get caught by police so jockeys have to help them minimize the risk,” said Jimmy, who like many Indonesians goes by one name. Cars picking up jockeys can face fines of up to one million rupiah ($109). But in a country where official corruption is rife, a 200,000 rupiah bribe is usually enough to get off the hook. “Generally, nobody wants to get stuck in a jam with someone with smelly armpits. For my efforts, I ask for an extra 5,000 rupiah (54 cents) and I usually get it,” Jimmy said.

He makes around five trips a day and pockets about $7.50 daily -- a good sum in a country where about half of the 240 million population lives on less than $2 a day. But not all jockeys are as savvy or fortunate as Jimmy. Many female jockeys are often sexually harassed in private vehicles, and police regularly lock up riders in squalid cells. By law, they can be jailed for up to 12 months. Nuraini, 39, has worked as a jockey for the past three years to supplement her husband’s meagre income as a motorcycle-taxi driver. “One time when I was still pregnant a driver asked if I wanted some fun. It was very uncomfortable so I quickly got out of the car,” she said, carrying a baby in one arm and holding an eight-year-old daughter by the hand. Nuraini rises at dawn to make the hour-long journey from her village in the suburbs to the city for the morning rush hour, returns home to cook for her four young children

and is back on the streets to work the evening. “It’s exhausting. The weather can change from sweltering hot to terribly stormy. Some days, I earn nothing, even if I wait for hours,” she said. The jockeys know they are violating the law and could be fined or detained for several weeks if caught. But for the most part police turn a blind eye to the hundreds on the streets each day. “I don’t have a family. I never went to school. If I don’t do this, how will I eat?” asked Praspardi Putra Wibisono, a 16-year-old who was arrested last year and detained for two months. Herlina, 36, has been arrested twice and was detained for six weeks in 2006. “My time in prison was terrible. Eighteen of us were crammed in a stuffy cell full of mosquitoes. We slept on thin bamboo mats and the toilet stank,” she said. “So, why am I still doing this risky job? Simple, I need to live.” -AFP

Egyptian writers in plea for Gaza permits to attend PalFest

Chef Gerhard Jenne works on a test section of a pixilated portrait of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, made out of cakes, at Konditor and Cook, in the City of London Thursday May 3, 2012. The finished portrait made up of 3,120 cakes, one for each week of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, will be displayed in Battersea Park, London, on June 3, 2012, at the Diamond Jubilee festival. (AP)

LONDON: Egyptian authors, bloggers, journalists and revolutionaries are calling on their government to issue permits for them to enter Gaza and participate in the Palestine festival of literature, which is scheduled to start on Saturday in the embattled territory, reports The Guardian. Although PalFest, a travelling festival established in 2008, has tried to reach Gaza in the past, it has never been successful. This year it applied to the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs on April 18 for 43 travel permits for writers and artists to enter through the Rafah crossing from Egypt. Organizers say they were told it could take up to 10 days to process the permits, but they have yet to be issued. A press conference scheduled for this afternoon in Cairo, at which the Egyptian authors Ahdaf Soueif, Ghada Abdel Aal and Sahar el-Mougy, blogger Samia Jaheen, blogger and activist Alaa abd el-Fattah and reporter Amr Ezzat were set to push the government to issue the permits and open the border, has just been postponed following violence in the city, but organizers said they were still committed to reaching Gaza.

“Fourteen months on from the fall of [President Hosni] Mubarak, protesters are still being killed on the street and Gaza is still being starved,” they said in a statement this morning. “We are committed to reaching Gaza, but cannot stand and request permits from the government while such violence plagues the streets.” PalFest, a festival of public events, student workshops and meetings with civil society leaders, is set to run from 5 to 9 May in Gaza, with an initial event in Ramallah on the 5 May and a finale in Cairo on the 11 May. Supported by organizations including Arts Council England and the British Council, with patrons including Chinua Achebe, Seamus Heaney and Philip Pullman, it endorses the Palestinian call for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel, and states as its mission the reinvigoration of “cultural ties between Arab countries, ties that have been eroded for too long”. Soueif is its founding chair. “Justice for Palestine was among the most urgent demands of the Arab revolutions. In Egypt, Tahrir called for the Rafah

crossing to be opened - yet the movement of people and goods remains severely restricted. PalFest has always worked to forge cultural ties and now, more than ever, regional and global partnerships must be used to place justice for Palestine at the centre of the growing global struggle for justice,” said the festival’s producer Omar Robert Hamilton. Dr Haidar Eid, a literature professor at Gaza’s Al-Aqsa University, said the festival was “a sign of the growing solidarity across borders in our struggle against racism and oppression”. “Intellectuals and writers played a key role in ending apartheid in SouthAfrica; likewise, Arab cultural figures are visiting Gaza this year to show solidarity with Palestinian academics and artists in support for their call to increase the global BDS [Boycott Divestment and Sanctions] campaign against apartheid Israel,” he said. “On behalf of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, we deeply appreciate the Arab writers’ principled and consistent support for the Palestinian civil struggle for justice and peace in Palestine.”


ALWATAN DAILY

entertainment Song Of The Day

Fahad AlSabah Staff Writer

Song: Come To Me Artist: Beverly McClellan Album: Fear Nothing Genre: Blues In short: On her debut album, Beverly McClellan stayed true to herself without thinking of selling out to please some or sell more, Fear Nothing is a great bluesy record that’s full of pure soulful vocals and melancholic lyrics that are brought to life in McClellan’s evocative delivery. “Come To Me” is a must-listen for all fans of music, regardless of the genre they like the most. To listen to the song visit www.alwatandaily.com E-mail your feedback to falsabah@alwatandaily.com

The Buzz Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview coming to theaters Magnolia Pictures has acquired the US rights to “Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview,” and will open the film in select theaters on May 11, with DVD and Video on Demand releases following this summer. The film, which was lensed by Robert Cringley in 1995 and features Apple honcho Jobs discussing a wide range of topics such as his early days, career battles and vision for the future, saw limited special screenings at Landmark theaters earlier. Parts of the interview had aired in a television special in the mid-’90s, but most of the sit-down was shelved and assumed to be lost over the subsequent 17 years. Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles said the film will be “enlightening and entertaining for anyone that’s interested in Jobs’ legacy... It’s a valuable piece of history that has thankfully been rescued from obscurity.” -Reuters

Ashton Kutcher ad is called racist, yanked offline An online ad featuring Ashton Kutcher as an Indian man has been pulled offline after viewers called it racist. The images and video for Popchips feature the 34-year-old “Two and a Half Men” star in brown makeup portraying a Bollywood producer named Raj who is “looking for love.” They were removed from YouTube and Facebook after being criticized online. Other videos featuring Kutcher as a stoner, tattooed Southerner and pasty fashionista remain online. A spokeswoman for Popchips says the dating parody featuring the four characters was “created to provoke a few laughs and was never intended to stereotype or offend anyone.” She added that the company hopes “people can enjoy this in the spirit it was intended.” A spokeswoman for Kutcher hasn’t return messages seeking comment. -AP

PBS plans documentary series on Latino Americans PBS said Wednesday that it is preparing a six-hour documentary series on the history of Latinos in the United States, set to air in the fall of 2013. English and Spanish-language versions are being produced for the project, which will air across three days. The supervising producer is Adriana Bosch, a Cuban-American who recently did a documentary for PBS on Latin music. Bosch said she began meeting with officials at WETA, the PBS station in Washington, in 2008 about the project. They spent nearly three years putting funding together before starting with the filming. It was in 2007 that Hispanic organizations criticized PBS and filmmaker Ken Burns for inadequately representing the contributions of Latinos in his 15-hour documentary on World War II. The sprawling project includes an advisory panel of academics from across the country and 15 other producers and assistants. Bosch said she hoped both non-Latinos and Latinos seeking to learn about their heritage will tune in. -AP

Fox picks up celebrity dating show The Choice NBC has “The Voice,” and now Fox has “The Choice.” The network has given the go-ahead to a new celebrity dating show that sounds a touch like NBC’s hit singing competition in more ways than one. Four celebrities? Blind auditions? Spinning chairs? Yup, yup and yup. Hosted by Cat Deeley, the show will feature four male celebrities choosing potential suitors using only the sounds of their voices as they describe their lives and passions. When one of the famous bachelors hears something he likes, he pulls his “love handle” (yes, really), which sends him spinning to face his suitor. If more than one celebrity expresses interest, they must vie for her affection until she chooses whose dating pool she wants to join. The rounds progress, with the celebrity eventually choosing one lucky lady for a dream date. “The Choice” premieres June 7 at 9 p.m. -Reuters

Robert Pattinson to star in Mission: Blacklist Robert Pattinson will star in “Mission: Blacklist,” a psychological thriller to be directed by Jean-Stephane Sauvaire that hits the Cannes Film Market in May. The film is based on the novel “Mission: Black List #1,” which was written by a man intimately involved in the capture of Saddam Hussein, military interrogator Eric Maddox. Erik Jendresen, who wrote for and produced “Band of Brothers,” adapted the novel for the big screen. Jendresen is producing with Ross M. Dinerstein, managing partner of Preferred Content, and Kevin Waller. Embankment Films, Tim Haslam and Hugo Grumbar’s new sales and distribution company, will shop the rights at Cannes. Pattinson’s next film, the David Cronenberg-directed “Cosmopolis,” will premiere at Cannes. The “Twlight” heartthrob will then seek to sate his salivating fans in the final installment of the vampire epic, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn II,” this fall. -Reuters

friDAY, may 4, 2012

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Pepsi brings back Michael Jackson in promotion NEW YORK: PepsiCo Inc. is going on a reunion tour with The King of Pop. The Purchase, NY-based company on Thursday announced its deal with the estate of Michael Jackson to use the late pop star’s image for its new global marketing push. The nature of the promotion will vary by country, but will include special edition cans bearing Jackson’s image, a TV ad in some markets and chances to download remixes of some of Jackson’s most famous songs. Pepsi, which first partnered with Jackson in 1983, did not disclose the terms of its deal with the singer’s estate. The promotion is part of a global marketing blitz planned for the year ahead by Pepsi, which is looking to revive its brand and win back market share from The CocaCola Co. Next week, Pepsi is also launching a TV ad featuring singer Nicki Minaj and announcing details of its partnership with Twitter to stream concerts online. The broader “Live For Now” campaign is intended to amplify the company’s longstanding ties with pop culture, said Brad Jakeman, who oversees the creative strategy for Pepsi’s carbonated drinks around the world. Pepsi has a lot riding on its new push. Although the company has a diverse portfolio of brands including Frito-Lay, Quaker Oats and Tropicana, it’s often judged by the performance of its namesake cola. And in 2010, Pepsi was knocked out of

the No. 2 spot among sodas in the US by Diet Coke, with Coke remaining in the No. 1 position, according to the industry tracker Beverage Digest. Last month, Pepsi also reported that volume in its key Americas beverages unit slipped by 1 percent in the first three months of the year. The Jackson promotion is one aspect of Pepsi’s strategy to reverse that slide. Consumers in the US and China will be the first to get a taste of the campaign in coming weeks, which is timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of “Bad,” the singer’s multiplatinum album. The campaign will spread to about two dozen countries by fall. In the US, the company is rolling out collectible 16-ounce blue cans that bear an image of Jackson striking one of his iconic poses. Consumers will be able to scan codes on the cans with their phones to download remixed tracks from “Bad.” In the Chinese market, consumers will also see a TV ad featuring Jackson’s music. Contests will also let consumers win tickets to a Michael Jackson-inspired show by Cirque du Soleil and leather jackets inspired by the singer’s style. The global campaign builds on Pepsi’s deal with the singer’s estate last year to use his image in a commercial that premiered during the “The X Factor” TV show last year.

Although Pepsi is banking on the nostalgia Jackson can evoke, the partnership also resurrects painful memories. In 1984, Jackson’s hair famously caught fire while filming a commercial for Pepsi at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The blaze happened after a spark from a pyrotechnics display landed on the singer’s head. Jackson suffered severe burns and many trace his addiction to painkillers to the incident. Pepsi gave Jackson $1.5 million as a result. Other music partnerships have led to controversy for Pepsi as well. In 2002, conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly ran a segment criticizing Pepsi for an ad featuring the rapper Ludacris. The company pulled the ad the next day, but ran into trouble a few months later when it ran ads featuring Ozzy Osbourne, who is known for peppering his speech with swear words. Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons urged a boycott and the issue was resolved after Pepsi agreed to donate $3 million to charity. The partnership with Nicki Minaj hasn’t yet raised many eyebrows, even though her lyrics also contain profanity and sexual content. Jakeman noted that Minaj’s song “Moment for Life” was selected for the ad because of specific lyrics that perfectly captured the Pepsi ethos of living in the moment. -AP

Avengers star Ruffalo has had Hulk rage moments LOS ANGELES: Don’t let Mark Ruffalo’s serene demeanor fool you. He admits there’s a bit of an Incredible Hulk temper lurking underneath. Ruffalo, who comes off as a guy that could give Clark Kent a serious challenge in the mild-mannered department, plays brilliant scientist Bruce Banner and his big, green, mad-as-hell alter-ego, the Hulk - in the superhero tale “The Avengers,” opening Friday. The actor said there was a time when he had anger issues. “When I was a young actor, if you came to my apartment, you would have seen pictures and photos hung in the most bizarre places, where they were covering holes in the wall from auditions that I didn’t get or slights that I felt I had suffered, where things were thrown, cups were thrown at the walls,” Ruffalo said. “I’m no stranger to that kind of anger and rage. “But over time, I’ve, like a rock that’s spent many times being tumbled around in the sea, I’ve sort of gotten the edges polished off of me. I’m not fighting the same fights that I was back then, the same demons.” An Academy Awards nominee for 2010’s “The Kids Are All Right,” the 44-year-old Ruffalo has, in characteristically unassuming manner, built an impressive list of credits in independent and studio films, including “You Can Count on Me,” “Shutter Island,” “Zodiac,” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” He never saw himself as superhero material, let alone the Hulk, considering the Marvel Comics character had been played by Eric Bana then Edward Norton in two big-screen misfires over the last decade that failed to please fans. The nice thing with “The Avengers” is the Hulk doesn’t have to carry the film. Banner’s a reluctant recruit to the superhero dream team. That allowed writer-director Joss Whedon to hold Banner back, pick up the man’s trail after he had found some sense of shaky equanimity through which he keeps the “other guy,” the Hulk, from breaking forth. It lends more emotional power to the Hulk when he’s eventually unleashed. And through motion-capture technology in which Ruffalo’s body language and performance is digitally captured as the undercarriage for the Hulk, topped off by computer animation, the green giant looks more genuine and moves more credibly among real people than he did in the earlier movies. The Hulk’s face even resembles Ruffalo’s - tinted green and strained and bloated in colossal rage. “It’s creepy, I have to say,” Ruffalo said as he

In this April 12, 2012 photo, cast member Mark Ruffalo, from the upcoming film “The Avengers”, poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif. The film will be released in theaters on May 4. (AP)

looked through a photo album with stills of him transformed into the Hulk. “It’s exactly what we wanted it to be like. Even my chest hair, the gray in my hair. Wow. It’s pretty amazing, but it’s a little shocking.” With the foundation Ruffalo has built in “The Avengers,” Whedon said he would love to see him in a solo Hulk movie. Hollywood might be reluctant to go there again, but Ruffalo said he would be game, and plenty of fans seem to like the idea. “I haven’t heard any talk about it from the producing side of the table, but people have been tweeting it. There’s been a campaign growing. I would be into doing it, I would think, if we could come up with the right story line,” Ruffalo said. “And if they want to see a 50-year-old Hulk. That might be the big thing. No one might want to see me doing this again.” -Reuters

Amazon unveils effort to develop original TV shows SAN FRANCISCO: Amazon.com Inc unveiled a new effort to develop original comedy and children’s TV shows to distribute over the company’s video streaming service. The move is part of a broader push by Amazon to produce its own content, including video and e-books, to sell to its millions of customers over the Internet. The world’s largest Internet retailer said people will be able to submit ideas for television series to the website of its Amazon Studios unit. Amazon said it will option one new project per month and add it to a development slate where it will be tested for viability with an audience. Amazon has been spending heavily in recent quarters to add movies and TV shows to its video streaming business, increasing competition with Netflix Inc. However, both companies are also working on producing their own content from scratch to reduce reliance on big movie studios and TV production companies, which want to be paid well for their work.

Amazon Studios, which was launched in November 2010, accepts movie scripts and asks customers to review the ideas online, using the feedback to choose which project should go ahead. The unit has received more than 700 test movies and 7,000 scripts so far, and 15 movie projects are under development. The new focus on TV shows broadens this effort. Amazon said on Wednesday that the TV series project is led by Joe Lewis, previously with 20th Century Fox and Comedy Central, and Tara Sorensen, who came from National Geographic Kids. Within 45 days of getting pilot TV scripts, Amazon said it will either extend an option on the project for $10,000 or ask the creator to put the idea on the Amazon Studios website. If the company decides to distribute a full-budget series, the creator will get $55,000 and up to 5 percent of Amazon’s net receipts from toy and T-shirt licensing, and other royalties and bonuses, the company said. -Reuters

This image provided by PepsiCo Inc. shows Pepsi’s “King of Pop” can featuring a likeness of Michael Jackson. (AP)

Riot-hit London neighborhood turns to film

LONDON: Isaac Densu lives in Broadwater Farm, a large, concrete public housing project in Tottenham, the gritty district where last year’s British riots began. Unemployment is high and young people face many temptations to get into trouble. But Densu thinks he knows what might help: A good movie. The film-loving 26-yearold says watching movies can help his neighbors expand their horizons and embrace creativity rather than violence. The idea was tested Wednesday, when hundreds of Broadwater Farm residents attended a free screening of “La Haine” (“Hate”), a powerful 1995 film about alienated youth on the impoverished high-rise fringes of Paris. Some questioned the wisdom of showing a movie about brutality and gun violence in an area scarred by both. Not Densu, who helped organize the event. “(I hope it’ll be) a springboard for people to redirect the hate they feel for the establishment,” he said. “The main problem with disadvantaged areas is that they are little pockets that are disengaged from society,” he added. “It’s about breaking them out of that shell.” To most people in Britain, Broadwater Farm is a byword for urban deprivation. In 1985, it saw riots in which a policeman was stabbed to death. The clashes became an emblem of tensions between London police and the capital’s black community. It also was the home of Mark Duggan, the man whose fatal police shooting last August was the spark for riots that began a mile away in Tottenham and raged for four nights - Britain’s worst civil unrest in a generation. Residents say despite the August riots, the area has improved immensely since 1985, its high levels of poverty accompanied by a strong sense of community. Still, there was some trepidation about showing a film that while vivid, punchy and at times funny - offers a beak view of urban deprivation. The film’s director, Mathieu Kassovitz, said the concerns were misplaced. He said the film was being shown “not to raise chaos but to raise consciousness.” Kassovitz, who was in his 20s when he made “La Haine,” said he understood the anger of the young rioters who looted and set fire to shops in London and other cities, and felt they should not simply be called criminals. “There is a political meaning behind it,” Kassovitz told The Associated Press from Los Angeles. “You don’t do that (riot) just to get a flatscreen TV. You break the windows of the shops that represent the windows of the society we are living in.” In the end, a festive atmosphere prevailed at the screening. Residents packed the community center for the movie, preceded by beat poets, break dancers, BMX bikers and graffiti artists spray-painting canvasses near the screen. The audience watched intently as the black-and-white film unspooled, to a thundering live accompaniment by the band Asian Dub Foundation. Resident Gary Williams said any event that involved local people should be welcomed. “A lot of people say they are going to do stuff and get people involved from the community, but they never do,” he said. Over the next few days, organizers are holding screenings of “La Haine” around Britain. In France, it will play Friday in the Paris suburb of Saint-Ouen before a downtown screening on Saturday, the eve of the country’s presidential runoff vote. At Broadwater Farm, Densu plans to hold regular movie screenings, including ones different in tone from the hard-hitting “La Haine.” He mentioned the musical “42nd Street” and the wartime romance “Casablanca.” “It’s a film about love,” he said of the Humphrey Bogart classic. “We love here also.” -AP

This Wednesday, May 2, 2012 photo shows organizer of the ‘Other Cinema’ project, Issac Densu. (Reuters)


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ALWATAN DAILY

AROUND TOWN / TIME OUT

FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2012

If you have an event you wish to include, please email: aroundtown@alwatandaily.com

Feature o f

graffiti

the day

moderately confused

Sidekick Academy team wins gold, silver and bronze medals

KUWAIT: Under the auspices of the Kuwait Finance House, the SideKick Academy team won three medals for the first time ever at the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship held in Abu Dhabi on April 13 and 14, 2012. Abdul Mohsen Saleh Al-Babtain, founder and coach of Sidekick Academy team said that the participation of Sidekick Academy is the living proof of the players’ capacity and of the success of the training programs adopted at the academy. He further added: “Sidekick Academy players have made an honorable achievement. And I would like more particularly to congratulate Abdul Hadi Al-Adwani for winning first place during his first participation in a world championship, and Nasser Al-Qattan who ranked second in the blue belts category (under 82 kilos) and who had also won third place in last year’s championship. At that time, the Kuwaiti team had the chance to make it to the finals if Abdullah Al-Shemari would have not ranked third during the pre-final match. Al-Babtain also stated: “Sidekick Academy team has proven

Month a t

Sudoku

Elementary that the word” impossible” does not exist in the world of sports. We are assured that we will be making more important achievements in order to raise the name of Kuwait in the biggest championships. Furthermore, I would like to thank the official sponsors of the team for having continuously supported and encouraged us, whether materially or morally, starting from the

Intermediate

Advanced

Kuwait Finance House, Tri Alpha Co. for General Trading and Contracting and Mprints Co. for their continuous support to youth and sporting fans. The World Jiu-Jitsu Championship is the biggest championship with regard to the number of participants (more than 500 players) and to the value of the prizes offered to participants.

General A n n o u n c e m e n t s

a glance

Bread baking course April 19- May 10/ 6 p.m.-8 p.m. /TIES Center: TIES Ladies Club invites all ladies the unique course of preparing the ancient traditional food “The Bread Baking”. Baking of different kinds of breads will be demonstrated including Old English Toast, Italian Bread Stick, Strawberry Sweet Heart and many more. For more information please contact us on 97228860/2523015/6 or emailinfo@tiescenter.net.

Aim high Golden era club May 11 and 25/ 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. / Rumaithiya: Golden Era Club presents ‘The Eight Fold Path to Yoga’. Yoga here! Yoga there! Yoga everywhere! Yet, few comprehend Yoga’s true nature! Join Yoga Guru - Aacharya Shashikala Pushkarna - on this unique journey to the true ‘union’ between the mind, body and spirit. All seniors (60+) are cordially invited. Venue- House #34, next to Abu-Tammam Intermediate School for Boys, Sate Alhusari St., Block 2, Rumaithiya. For registration call 97172788/ 66208183 or drop a line to goldenera60@yahoo.com

Annual speech contest May 5/ 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. /AIS: The Annual Inter-Gavel Club Contest showcases the communication skills of young children through speech contest. This speech contest will be amongst the members of 14 Gavel Clubs mentored by the members of internationally recognized toastmasters in Kuwait. This year’s contest will be held at American International School, Maiden Hawalli. Entry to this event is absolutely free but a prior registration is required.

Annual lecture May 9/ 7 p.m. / AWARE Center: As the 22nd anniversary of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait approaches, the AWARE Center cordially invites all interested western expatriates to its annual lecture entitled, “Kuwait before and after: a photographic document,” presented by Gustavo Ferrari - Journalist and photographer. For more information, call 25335260/80.

May 10/ 7 p.m. - 9 p.m./ Jabriya: Toastmasters Club would like to take this opportunity to invite you to a showcase meeting which is a part of a membership campaign drive to be held on Thursday at the Jabriya Public Library. The goals of the membership drive are; to promote Aim High meetings, to attract new members and to encourage members to invite guests to the club. This is a great opportunity for members and guests to meet and network with a cross section of individuals in Kuwait with common interest of improving their communications and leadership skills. For information please call: Khaled Al-Hashem - President at 65588824 or Rhea Usman - VP Membership at 90024115.

K’S PATH invites applicants for the adoption of pets Sepp is a Domestic Long Haired (DLH) male cat. He will be 2-years-old April 2012. This friendly, laid-back boy loves a good cuddle and likes a high vantage point in a cat tree or ledge to look out from. He would do best in a home with children over 12 years of age. To adopt, contact +965 67006122 or visit the website www.kspath.org

Mario is a gentle and affectionate 6-years-young Spitz male. This friendly boy does great with people and dogs of all ages.

Fayre trade May 12/ 10 a.m. -4 p.m. / Sadu House: Welcome to the fayre! A great day out for all the family. Do your summer souvenir shopping in the wonderful surroundings of Sadu house. Games for the kids, raffle, free admission. Relax after shopping with a scone and a nice cup of tea in the Diwaniya coffee shop. Art and photography, handicrafts and gifts, jewelry rugs and carpets, sadu weaving, frankincense and myrrh, books, fashion. Supporting 5 charities. For more info: Fayretradeq8@yahoo.com Facebook: Fayre Trade Kuwait.

The Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Kuwait would like to inform the public that on the occasion of the Liberation Day, the Embassy will be closed on Tuesday, May 8, 2012.

Holiday Notice The Embassy of India will remain closed on May 6, 2012 on account of “Buddha Purnima”.

International bazaar May 26/ 10 a.m.-3 p.m. / TIES Center: Stop by and have the opportunity to see and even own some international antiques on display and taste the delicious foods on display. Also have your name inscribed in Arabic calligraphy at no cost and have a taste of our Arabic ice cream. Various items will be available for sale, such as pashmina shawls, accessories, jewelry, Mexican food, Indian food, cosmetics, cookies, handbags, traditional Kuwaiti - style dresses and many more. For more information please contact 2523105/6 or 97228860

Dilbert

Embassy of the Slovak Republic

Open House for Indian Citizens Ambassador of India would be holding an Open House for Indian citizens to address their problems\grievances on Wednesdays of the second and the fourth weeks of every month between 1500 hrs and 1600 hrs in the Embassy. In case Wednesday is an Embassy holiday, the meeting will be held on the next working day. To ensure timely action/follow-up by the Embassy, it is requested that, wherever possible, Indian citizens should exhaust the existing channels of interaction/grievance redressal and bring their problems/issues in writing with supporting documents.

Nancy

Horoscopes Aries: March 21 - April 19

Issues regarding control of a situation are probably going to be your focus, Aries. More than likely, you adhere to a solidly planned routine since you have a set way of doing things. Other people are moving into the picture, however, and they too may want to take a leadership role. People will be adamant and strong willed when it comes to their facts and you should be, too. Taurus: April 20 - May 20

You’re apt to speak and act with a great deal of power, Taurus, but be careful that you don’t get swept away by emotion. There’s a surrealistic quality to the day. It’ll lead you to believe a mirage is real. You might also get so caught up in the drama of your feelings that your power of reason gets watered down to the point where you lose track of your objectivity altogether. Gemini: May 21- June 21

Your concept of reality could be based more on your emotions than facts, Gemini. This is one of those days when this could get you into trouble. Whatever comes up, you’re most likely to feel very passionate about it and tend to lose any rational perspective whatsoever.

Cancer: June 22 - July 22

This is your day to shine Cancer. Just ensure you don’t do it at someone else’s cost. You’re feeling more self-confident than usual which may be hard for you to believe. You could be so focused on your agenda that you fail to see subtle signals put out by those around you. Other people cry out for attention, too. Make sure you shine some of your glorious light on them too. Leo: July 23 - August 22

You may feel like you’re being left out of the equation, Leo. Perhaps you feel like the oddball, the fifth wheel who simply doesn’t have a place. Just because you feel that way today doesn’t mean it’s your destiny. If you don’t like your course, change your position. If you don’t like the people you’re with, change your social circle. Don’t blame circumstances. Take responsibility. Virgo: August 23 - September 22

Take creativity to a new level, Virgo. There are many ways to express yourself creatively, so pick one and follow through. You may have a desire to be on stage and share your dreams and inner passion with the world. Your strong emotions and dreamy perspective are assets.

Libra: September 23 - October 22

Your feelings may deceive you, Libra, so be careful of getting too wrapped up in your own drama. Perhaps you feel you’re getting pushed and pulled in uncomfortable directions. You might tolerate this tension for a while but note that this is a dangerous policy because it could give others the erroneous impression that it’s alright to continue treating you the way they do. Scorpio: October 23 - November 21

In some ways, you may feel like a lost soul who isn’t quite in touch with your dreams, Scorpio. Although you feel energetic and boisterous, you might also get the sense that your energy is misdirected and you’re being led in the wrong direction. Cut through everyone else’s agenda and follow your inner rainbow. The more you take charge the happier you’ll be in the long run. Sagittarius: November 22 - December 21

The best way to create harmony among others is to first establish harmony within yourself. Don’t expect others to take care of you and attend to all your desires. It isn’t your responsibility to dote on others but do your best to maintain a healthy separation. People may pull on your heartstrings to manipulate you into doing what they want.

Capricorn: December 22 - January 19

You might feel as if your powerful emotions are getting in the way of your dreams, Capricorn. Perhaps you’re finding that you’re so wrapped up in a particular vision of the future that you’re getting lost in your own brain. You’re losing touch with the present because you’re so focused on a nebulous idea that doesn’t even exist yet. Take a step back and reevaluate the situation. Aquarius: January 20 - February 18

You’re stuck in a mindset you can’t seem to escape Aquarius. Be careful about taking action based on ideas rooted more in past fantasy than present reality. You could be attached to a dream that has more to do with feeding your ego than fulfilling your destiny. Question all your motives. You might find that you’re better off redirecting your energy somewhere else for now. Pisces: February 19 - March 20

When you talk, you want other people to listen, Pisces. More than likely, your thoughts will drift toward humanitarian ideas and philosophies. You may have a utopian dream that, if everyone just followed, would make the world a much better place. People may make fun of you for having such a perspective.


ALWATAN DAILY

SPORTS

friDAY, may 4, 2012

19

basketball

Pacers down Magic to edge ahead in NBA series

Spurs trounce Jazz, Grizzlies down Clippers in NBA

Indiana Pacers’ Danny Granger, (right) grabs a rebound from Orlando Magic’s Glen Davis (center) as Roy Hibbert (left) looks on during the second half of Game 3, Wednesday, May 2, 2012. (AP)

ORLANDO, Florida: Danny Granger scored 26 points and Roy Hibbert added 18 as Indiana pulled away for a 97-74 victory over Orlando and a 2-1 lead in their NBA Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. The Pacers outscored the Magic 32-17 in the third quarter and 53-36 in the second half to edge ahead in the best-of-seven series, regaining home-court advantage after dropping the opener at Indianapolis. Glen Davis scored 16 of his 22 points for the Magic in the second quarter. JJ Redick had 13 points off the bench and Jameer Nelson added 10. Twelve points from Hibbert helped the Pacers pull away in the third quarter. A 15-3 scoring run swelled Indiana’s lead to 21 points, Hibbert scoring six points during the run and Granger seven. After leading by just six points at halftime, the Pacers led 76-55 going into the final period.

“I think our starters are just really dialed in,” said Indiana coach Frank Vogel. “They have played extremely well together.” Despite the relative ease of the victory, Vogel said his team couldn’t afford to become complacent. “We understand how dangerous this team is,” he said. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said his team could only try to put the defeat behind them and prepare for game four on Saturday. “We didn’t play well at either end of the floor,” Van Gundy said. “Our starting line-up was really low energy today, just walking up and down. “But I said it to our guys after the game: So we got it stuck to us today, but they don’t get two wins for that. “At this time of year they don’t get two wins for blowing you out. It’s 2-1. What we’ve got to do is keep our heads straight. The only thing that matters is getting ourselves ready to play a great game on Satur-

day.” Eastern Conference action continues on Thursday when New York host Miami, with the Knicks hoping a return to their home court will help reverse their fortunes in a series in which they trail 0-2. However, the Knicks will be without forward Amare Stoudemire, who was treated for a laceration to his left hand after punching the glass case of a fire extinguisher in frustration after his team’s game two defeat in Miami on Monday. “It wasn’t as if I was trying to take out the fire extinguisher,” Stoudemire said at the Knicks’ practice facility on Wednesday. “I was just trying to make some noise. It was out of frustration.” Stoudemire said there was a chance he could return for game four on Sunday. “I think there’s a great chance I could play on Sunday,” said Stoudemire, who was sidelined late in the regular season with a bulging disk in his lower back. - AFP

SAN ANTONIO, Texas: The San Antonio Spurs pummeled the Utah Jazz 114-83 on Wednesday to take a 2-0 lead in their NBA Western Conference first-round playoff series. Tony Parker scored 18 points and handed out nine assists for the Spurs, who are the top seeds in the West and whose coach, Gregg Popovich, accepted his NBA Coach of the Year award before the contest. After the Spurs extended their series lead with ease, the Memphis Grizzlies clawed back in their best-of-seven showdown against the Los Angeles Clippers, triumphing 105-98 to knot the series at one game apiece. The Grizzlies bounced back after a demoralizing game one defeat on Sunday, in which the Clippers roared back to erase a 27-point secondhalf deficit to win by one point. The Grizzlies made sure there was no such drama this time, not letting their lead slip below four points in the final period. Chris Paul’s four-point play, on a foul as he connected from three-point range, pulled Los Angeles within 83-79. The Grizzlies answered, however, by scoring eight straight. Paul scored 29 points and Blake Griffin added 22 for the Clippers, who host game three on Saturday. In San Antonio, the Spurs took charge from the tip-off, opening the game with a 10-2 scoring run. After Al Jefferson scored with a layup, San

Antonio answered with seven straight points. A 22-2 scoring run in the second quarter saw the Spurs lead 53-28 at halftime, and they had no trouble preserving the lead in the second half. San Antonio led by as many as 36 after Boris Diaw drove for a layup late in the third and they took an 87-53 lead into the final period. “I thought we moved the ball great and our shooters were making shots,” Parker said. “Defensively, I thought we did a good job controlling the boards.” Tim Duncan added 12 points and 13 rebounds and Kawhi Leonard chipped in 17 points for San Antonio, who will try to maintain the momentum when the best-of-seven series shifts to Salt Lake City for game three on Saturday. “We have been great at home and we need to continue that,” Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin said. Josh Howard and Jefferson scored 10 points each to pace Utah, who shot just 34.4 percent. The Jazz made just one of six from three-point range. On Thursday, the reigning NBA champion Dallas Mavericks will try to gain a toe-hold against the Oklahoma City Thunder when they host game three of their Western conference series, after losing the first two games in Oklahoma to trail 0-2. “Game three is game seven for us,” the Mavericks’ Jason Terry said Wednesday. “We’re coming out with a sense of urgency.” -AFP

Cricket

Gayle open to Windies return after snubbing Somerset

Formula one

Silverstone ends exclusivity deal, seeks partners LONDON: Silverstone has reopened talks with potential investors in the Formula One circuit after an exclusivity agreement with an unidentified partner, believed to be a Qatar-based group, ended without a deal. The British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), who own the circuit that has a long-term contract to host the grand prix, said in a statement on Thursday that negotiations with the investor remained positive.

Andrew Jordan of Great Britain Pirtek Racing in action during the BTCC media day test session at Silverstone Circuit on March 19, 2012. (AFP)

Tennis

However, with the exclusivity period ending, it would “broaden its search and engage with other interested parties”. Although the BRDC has never said who it signed the exclusivity agreement with last year, media reports in Britain have speculated it is the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) sovereign wealth fund. PricewaterhouseCoopers are assisting and advising Silverstone in the search for partners. The owners want to lease their 760-acre estate in central England for 150 years, in a deal that could be worth up to 250 million pounds (405.10 million US dollars), to secure funding for development. The BRDC has already funded a revamp of the circuit and a new pit and paddock complex and wants to develop a centre for high-technology motorsport, business and education. “The commercial potential of Silverstone and the Estate is significant and we are seeking external investment, from third parties who share our vision, to help us realize that potential more quickly,” said BRDC chairman Stuart Rolt. “While progress has, and is, being made with our original preferred partner, negotiations have not yet developed into an agreement. “As the period of exclusivity has come to a close we are now speaking to other potential investors.” The circuit also hosts a round of the MotoGP motorcycling world championship and World Superbike series and Rolt said it had a secure future. “If we cannot find a suitable partner we shall continue with the development ourselves albeit at a slower pace,” he added. This year’s Formula One race is on July eight. -Reuters

Roberta Vinci wins against Nadia Petrova in Estoril Open

FILE- Royal Challengers Bangalore team owner Vijay Mallya, (right) shares a light moment with cricketer Chris Gayle as the rain delayed the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings’ in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, April 25, 2012. (AP)

LONDON: Flamboyant opener Chris Gayle has scrapped his deal with English county Somerset to make himself available for West Indies after ending his year-long dispute with the cricket board. Gayle has not been part of the West Indies team since his attack on the board in a radio interview in April last year and was not picked in the test squad for the three-match series against England starting next month. The 32-year-old left-hander, currently playing for the Bangalore franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL), is now eyeing a place in the three onedayers and a Twenty20 international that follow the England tests.

“I have written to Somerset CC and advised them that I will not be honouring the commitment I made to them when I signed a contract with them for the 2012 Friends Provident Championship,” Gayle said in a statement. “I have now satisfied all of the requests of the WICB (West Indies Cricket Board) and their selection panel... and to whom I reiterated previous assurances given to the board regarding my availability. “So that there is no doubt, I confirmed to the selectors that I was available for West Indies duty in all forms of cricket, immediately following the conclusion of my contractual obligations to my IPL franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore.” -Reuters

Wagner named in NZ team for West Indies tour

Italy’s Roberta Vinci hits a return to Russia’s Nadia Petrova during their Estoril Open tennis tournament match in Oeiras, on the outskirts of Lisbon, on May 3, 2012. (AFP)

WELLINGTON: South African-born pace bowler Neil Wagner was fast-tracked into New Zealand’s test squad on Thursday for their tour of West Indies, just two weeks after receiving approval from the International Cricket Council to be selected despite not meeting residency requirements. The ICC requires a player to spend at least 183 days in a country for four successive years to be considered for selection. The 26-year-old Wagner, who moved to New Zealand in 2008, failed to achieve the minimum number of days on two occasions. Once because he was playing a Twenty20 competition overseas with his New Zealand province Otago, and the second time due to a family wedding. Wagner had been expected to be named in the squad after he received dispensation from the ICC last month. He is the third South African born player to be named in the test squad following wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk and wicketkeeper batsman BJ Watling. “Neil has been an extremely good performer in first-class cricket for a number of seasons

and deserves his opportunity,” national selection manager Kim Littlejohn said. Swing bowler Tim Southee, who struggled for line and consistency in the test series against South Africa and was dropped from the side, has not been included in the test squad for the tour that begins with two Twenty20 internationals in Florida before moving to the Caribbean. Southee, however, has been named in the limited overs sides for the two Twenty20 games and five one-day internationals. Aggressive batsman Brendon McCullum has been rested for the limited overs portion of the tour, Littlejohn said, as has all-rounder James Franklin. McCullum also normally keeps wickets during the shorter forms of the game but Watling, who has recovered from a hip injury that gave van Wyk the opportunity to cement his place in the test side in the series against South Africa is likely to be behind the stumps in McCullum’s absence. New Zealand open their tour on June 30 with their first Twenty20 match in Florida. -Reuters


friday, may 4, 2012

SPORTS

Sports Editors Highlight WARSAW: Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland on Wednesday announced their 26-man squad for the tournament, with manager Franciszek Smuda sticking to his pledge not to pull any big surprises. The only new name on Smuda’s list was the uncapped 19-year-old Legia Warsaw midfielder Rafal Wolski while Artur Sobiech, of German club Hanover 96 was recalled to the squad two years after making his debut and which yielded just three caps. Like fellow hosts Ukraine, Poland have an automatic berth in the tournament, which kicks off on June 8 in Warsaw, and have relied on friendlies to hone their squad. All 16 teams taking part in Euro 2012 have until the end of this month to announce their final, 23-man squads. Smuda also held seven players in reserve, saying that while they would not necessarily take part in an upcoming training camp. (AFP)

Football

Race for Europe takes center stage in La Liga MADRID: The battles to qualify for Europe and to avoid relegation take center stage in La Liga this weekend after Real Madrid ended Barcelona’s reign in Spain to win the league title on Wednesday. Jose Mourinho’s champions, with 94 points and two games left to play, head to Granada on Saturday with their sights now set on beating the league points record of 99 set by Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in 2010. Barca, seven points back in second, play their final home game against city rivals Espanyol, when the Nou Camp will seek to give Guardiola a fitting send off after four trophy-ladened seasons at the helm. Guardiola will step down at the end of the campaign when his assistant Tito Vilanvoa is to replace him. The two Spanish giants, the world’s richest clubs by revenue, have once again left the rest of the league trailing in the distance this season. Valencia, in pole position to secure the third automatic Champions League qualification slot, are 29 points adrift in third on 58 from 36 games. They are three points ahead of Malaga in fourth, who, if they can hang on to their place, will have the chance to reach the Champions League for the first time via the final qualifying round in August. ES FOR Unai Emery’s Valencia can assure their return to the group stages of the competition and a third consecutive ‘champion of the rest of the league’ tag with a victory at home to regional rivals Villarreal. “We are assured of a top four finish, but the satisfaction will come from being third,” Emery, who is expected to leave at the end of the campaign, said after their 4-0 victory over Osasuna on Wednesday. “We are favorites to secure this place, but Malaga are strong and can still reach us.”

Real Madrid’s coach Jose Mourinho (center) celebrates with his players after winning the Spanish league football match Athletic Bilbao against Real Madrid, May 2, 2012. (AFP)

Qatar-owned Malaga, one of the league’s biggest spenders in the closed season, have a difficult trip to play direct rivals for Europe, Atletico Madrid. The Europa League finalists are sixth with 50 points, two behind Levante in fifth, and the two are on course to qualify for Europe’s second-tier club competition

next season. “The lads are making a great effort and we are going to fight while there are still possibilities,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said when questioned about the tiredness of his players after their 1-1 draw at home to Real Sociedad. At the foot of the table, basement side

Racing Santander are relegated but 19thplaced Sporting Gijon and 18th-placed Real Zaragoza still have chances to survive. Sporting host Real Betis and Zaragoza are at home to Racing, while Rayo Vallecano, Villarreal and Granada in 15th could all still get dragged down to the second division. -Reuters

Magpies can stall City title charge: Ferguson MANCHESTER: Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson insisted on Thursday that Champions League-chasing Newcastle can still provide another dramatic twist in the Premier League title race. Newcastle, fresh from a fine 2-0 victory at Chelsea on Wednesday, host leaders Manchester City on Sunday before United entertain mid-table Swansea later in the day. United were eight points clear at the summit last month but City drew level on points after defeating Ferguson’s side, who trail Roberto Mancini’s City on goal difference with just two games remaining, 1-0 on Monday. It is City’s title to lose but Ferguson was boosted by Newcastle’s victory at Stamford Bridge and believes Alan Pardew’s side can surprise the leaders on the penultimate weekend of the league campaign. “City have got to win at Newcastle, that’s the challenge for them,” Ferguson told reporters in Manchester. “Newcastle, as we know, is a very difficult place to go to and they’re playing well. They lost incredibly to Wigan by four goals and then galvanized themselves to go and win 2-0 at Chelsea. As everyone knows, winning at Chelsea is a very difficult job. We haven’t done it for ten years so their form is good and it will not be an easy game.” Newcastle, who start the weekend fifth in the table and just one point behind third-placed Arsenal, are well placed to qualify for next season’s Champions League. And Ferguson believes the incentive of securing a place at European football’s top table could inspire the Magpies to stop City from winning. With the Newcastle game starting early, United will know exactly where they stand in the title race by the time they kick-off against Swansea. City entertain relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers on the final day and a victory for Mancini’s side over Newcastle should be enough to all but win the title. Mancini claims United remain favorites, but Ferguson said: “What do you think? They’ve got two games left. If they win the two games they’ve won

FILE - Hatem Ben Arfa of Newcastle United competes with Nigel de Jong of Manchester City during the Barclays Premier League match, Nov. 19, 2011. (AFP)

the league. Everyone will be watching it from a United perspective hoping it works for us, you cannot avoid it.” -AFP

Second title better, says Ajax’s De Boer ROTTERDAM: Coach Frank de Boer hailed Ajax Amsterdam’s second successive Dutch title as the better of the two under him after his side clinched their 31st championship with a 2-0 win over VVV Venlo on Wednesday. Siem de Jong netted a rebound after eight minutes to put De Boer’s team ahead and the striker added a second 13 minutes into the second half to

Captain, Jan Vertonghen of Ajax holds the trophy and leads celebrations after winning the Eredivisie League title at Amsterdam Arena on May 2, 2012. (AFP)

start the celebrations. “For the fans, last season was special because they waited so long for the third star on the shirt,” De Boer, who took over from Martin Jol in December 2010, told reporters. “But for me and my staff this one feels more beautiful seeing what happened this season. All the injuries we had and then the turbulence through all the problems in our board,

but we stayed loyal to our vision,” added the coach who also won five titles with Ajax as a player. Having been sixth in the league trailing PSV Eindhoven by eight points after 20 games, Ajax put together a run of 13 straight wins and lifted the championship with a match to spare. They have 73 points, six more than arch-rivals Feyenoord. Feyenoord coach Ronald Koeman praised De Boer for his craftsmanship. “Nobody gave a dime for the chances of Ajax when we beat them at the end of January, but Frank stayed calm despite all the board turbulences. He never used it as an excuse and kept everything far away from his players and that deserves a big compliment,” added Koeman. Feyenoord remain second, in a Champions League qualification place, following a 4-1 win over Heracles Almelo, one ahead of PSV Eindhoven, who were 5-0 winners over ADO Den Haag. Otman Bakkal scored from a rebound after a Ruben Schaken effort which hit the post and three goals within 11 minutes from Jerson Cabral, Sekou Cisse and Schaken sealed Feyenoord’s win. Jeremain Lens opened the scoring for PSV midway through the first half, while Toivonen added two against Den Haag who had Kevin Visser sent off in the final minute. Heerenveen climbed to fourth with 64 points as they fought back from 2-0 down to beat Twente Enschede 4-3. Twente, who won the Dutch title in 2010, are sixth with 60 points and condemned to join the play off for a Europa League berth. -Reuters

Redknapp eyes Champions League after England snub

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp said he was fully focused on qualifying for next season’s Champions League after insisting he is “history” as far as the England manager’s job is concerned. After being linked with the biggest job in English football for months, Redknapp saw West Brom’s Roy Hodgson appointed to the post instead, with Football Association officials not even bothering to interview the Spurs boss. But if Redknapp was bitterly disappointed with the events of the last few days, he was hiding it well after his side won 4-1 away to Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium here on Wednesday to keep alive their hopes of a top-three finish in the Premier League.“I didn’t wake up on Monday morning and think, ‘what’s happened to my life, I’m not the England manager’,” said Redknapp after his side moved to within a point of third-placed Arsenal with two games remaining. “It’s saved me making an decision in all honesty because I’m very happy at Tottenham,” he added. “I wish Roy Hodgson all the best. I’m fed up of hearing my name mentioned now. I’m history with that job. Roy deserves it, he’s got it and I just hope he makes a great job of it.” Emmanuel Adebayor struck twice while Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart also scored as Tottenham, briefly pegged back by Nigel Reo-Coker’s equalizer, ultimately ran out convincing winners. Victory left Tottenham in fourth place, ahead of Newcastle on goal difference and just a point behind third-placed north London rivals Arsenal. England’s top three clubs will qualify for next season’s Champions League proper, with the fourth set to enter the preliminary provided Chelsea, four points adrift of Spurs in sixth place, don’t beat Bayern Munich in this term’s final on May 19. Tottenham’s last two league games are away to Aston Villa on Sunday and at home to London rivals Fulham on May 13. “We just have to keep believing and keep playing and it will come right,” said Redknapp. Bolton, by contrast, have two games, at home to West Brom and away to Stoke, to save themselves from relegation. They remain in the bottom three, but only by virtue of goal difference and are level on 34 points with Queens Park Rangers. -AFP

PSG beat Saint-Etienne to re-launch title bid PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain reinvigorated their Ligue 1 title challenge by winning 2-0 at home to Saint-Etienne on Wednesday, cutting Montpellier’s lead at the top of the table to three points with three games to play. Nene put PSG ahead from the penalty spot in the 21st minute at Parc des Princes after Sylvain Marchal had been harshly penalized for sliding in on Jeremy Menez in an attempt to block the winger’s shot. Menez hit the post on the half hour but PSG had to wait until the 88th minute for Javier Pastore to make the game safe, the Argentine crisply dispatching Christophe Jallet’s low cross to claim his 12th goal of the season. Ancelotti’s side visit Valenciennes on Sunday before hosting Rennes and travelling to Lorient, while Montpellier’s run-in sees them visit Rennes, host third-placed Lille, and then go to Auxerre on the season’s final day. The win moved PSG back in front of defending champions Lille, who had briefly taken possession of second place by winning 1-0 at Nice earlier in the evening. Tulio de Melo scored the game’s only goal in the sixth minute, nodding in a leftwing cross from Eden Hazard after the Belgian winger had bamboozled a pair of defenders with a sharp Cruyff turn. Lille’s fourth consecutive win took Rudi Garcia’s side to within five points of

Montpellier, who were held to a 2-2 draw by Evian on Tuesday. Lyon’s chances of a top-three finish are almost extinct but they are on course to finish fourth after winning 4-1 at home to Valenciennes. Cris put the freshly anointed French Cup winners ahead with a 69th-minute header after Lisandro Lopez’s deflected opener had been quickly cancelled out by a Renaud Cohade penalty. Lisandro made it 3-1 shortly after before Jimmy Briand scrambled home from close range in the closing stages. Rennes slipped from fourth to fifth after losing 2-0 at Bordeaux, while Toulouse remain seventh following a 0-0 draw at Brest. Marseille finally brought their 13game winless run in the league to an end by winning 1-0 at home to Nancy through a 31st-minute strike from top scorer Loic Remy. Second-bottom Sochaux spurned the chance to climb out of the bottom three, blowing a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 at Ajaccio in a match that saw David Sauget and Yassin Mikari sent off for the visitors. Elsewhere, Caen calmed their own relegation anxieties by winning 1-0 at home to Lorient courtesy of a scorching 30-yard shot from Thomas Heurtaux midway through the second half. With three games of the season remaining, just five points separate Lorient in 13th place and 19th-placed Sochaux. -AFP

Paris St Germain’s Christophe Jeremy Menez challenges Saint Etienne’s Sylvain Marchal (right) during their French Ligue 1 soccer match at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, May 2, 2012. (Reuters)


May 4, 2012